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January 24, 2017


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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, and other specials


The San Pedro Sun

Island residents say NO to offshore oil exploration
Residents of Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker Village convened at the Central Park in downtown San Pedro to say ‘No’ to offshore oil exploration in Belize. The event, spearheaded by active members on the island in partnership with Oceana in Belize and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, included a peaceful walk followed by a public forum on Saturday, January 21st. Hundreds of supporters gathered at the Central Park shortly after 11AM carrying colorful banners for a peaceful walk throughout the streets of the town core. Along the route persons joined the walk, chanting ‘No Means No!’ as they made their way back to Central Park.

Team Sea Star wins friendly softball marathon
To open the San Pedro Town Council’s upcoming Co-ed Softball Tournament, a marathon was held on Sunday, January 22nd. Three softball teams: Extreme, San Pedro High School, and Sea Star entertained a crowd of softball fans at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Complex. After countless matches, Sea Star emerged victorious as the champions of the marathon.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Island Life: I Need A Ride
We live on an tropical island where it is sunny all year round, some days more than others. With this hot weather no one wants to be walking around, even less if you have to push a wheelbarrow. Empty or not, it's hard work. Getting a ride on the island is not difficult; thanks to frienldy islanders one doesn't need to walk. Wonder where this guy was headed to - maybe to work? Either way, this is such a fun way to move around a wheelbarrow; instead of pushing it, why not pull it! - photo by Solani Graniel

The Threat of Offshore Oil Exploration is Real, Belizeans Remain Proactive
The San Pedro community, concerned with the threat of offshore oil exploration in Belize has decided to speak up and stay vigilant. Caye Caulker, Belize City, Orange Walk, they were all represented in San Pedro this weekend at a public forum to discuss offshore oil. Although the government has issued a press release stating offshore oil activities have been canceled in Belize, residents of our tourism dependent islands and even residents of the mainland are not willing to risk their most valuable attraction and source of income. They are being very verbal about it. The participants of the forum were not the only ones making their mark or creating awareness for our Barrier Reef this past week. Student’s of San Pedro High School took the time to make posters for a peaceful walk through town showcasing reasons their cries for protection on this natural resource.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

VOTE MISS BELIZE INTO THE FINAL 12 OF MISS UNIVERSE!
Starting January 23, 2017 at 9:30 a.m ET, fans worldwide will be able to vote via the methods below: 1) VODI: Download the Vodi app http://vodi.io/b/MISSUNIVERSE and hit the vote button 2) WEB: Visit http://vote.missuniverse.com/ – (It will work once the voting starts!) 3) MISS U APP: Download the Miss U app here http://www.bit.ly/MissUapp and hit vote on the side menu 4) TWITTER: Tweet using #MissUniverse and a contestant specific hashtag that will be provided once voting start. Take advantage by retweeting. Once the voting window opens, fans are able to vote 10x per day per registered account. ***Please note that, vote.missuniverse.com is the ONLY website for voting.

Presentation of Credentials
Four ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence today to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador of Slovak Republic; and H.E. Mr. Luigi Maccotta, Ambassador of Italy; all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their respective countries in Belize. The ambassadors each conveyed their countries’ interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize. The Governor General warmly welcomed and received the Ambassadors’ credentials.

Alcohol and drug bust on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
On Saturday 21st January 2017 at 11:55 a.m. a joint team of Special Branch and San Pedro Police conducted searched at 21 year old Saul Bolanos years of the DFC Area of San Pedro Town. Also present was his Common Law wife Anna Haylock and his sister Carolina Bolanos of Belize City who was only visiting at the time. 3 cases of contraband mexican beers and 32 bottles contraband liquor was found. And 50.6 grams of cannabis and $30,650. All three are awaiting a joint charge of possession of drugs, and being in possession of uncustomed goods. If one person accepts responsibility the charges could be dropped against the other suspects.

Ouch! beer bust
Clive forman was busted by the police with 22 cases of assorted contraband beers including Dos Equis, Modelo, Corona Extra, and Superior. On Saturday 21st January 2017 at 11:45 a.m. a joint team of Special Branch and San Pedro Police conducted searched at two premises. The first searched was conducted at the residence of 53 year old Clive Forman of San Pablo Area, San Pedro Town which led to the discovery of 22 cases of assorted contraband. The second search at the Bolanos house yielded drugs and contraband liquor.

Access Life Expo
Access Life and Hearts of Christ had their Expo at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium.  They distributed 100's of wheelchairs and sets of crutches to those in need.  They've been in Belize for a week, and have been helping those with disabilities, and even paid a visit to Octavia Waight.

Pond's Fellowship Program 2017
The U.S. Embassy encourages women leaders in Belize to apply for the Pond's Fellowship Program 2017 that empowers young women who dare to lead with compassion and have fresh ideas for social change. The application deadline is Tuesday, January 31, 2017. To learn more or apply, please visit http://bit.ly/2iYNTC4. Vital Voices and POND'S are joining forces to launch an innovative new fellowship program to empower young women who dare to lead with compassion and have fresh ideas for social change. We know that against all odds, women are generating breakthrough solutions to the world's most urgent problems. Women leaders are resilient, their vision for the future is bold and the world needs more of them. This groundbreaking opportunity redefines what it means to be a leader, and shines a spotlight on the next generation of creative women heading up organizations or businesses, determined to challenge the status quo.

7th annual Tribute Show to Bob Marley
The San Pedro House of Culture and IRIE Belize present the 7th annual Tribute Show to Bob Marley that will be held on the 4th & 5th of February starting at 11am until 2 am and on the 5th from 11 am to midnight. There will be food and drinks for sale, arts & crafts and live entertainment starting at 6 pm. The Exhibition Show will be at the House of Culture on January 25th starting at 11 am until midnight. The live entertainment will start at 6 pm. Featuring our local legends including RastaBu, Leo Marley, DanMan, Continental Cat, Special C, Kevin G, Blackhino.

Greater opportunities in CARICOM for Belizean producers
Representatives of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, (BELTRAIDE) and the Directorate General for Foreign Trade this morning went on national radio and television to launch a public awareness campaign to inform Belizean producers, potential exporters and exporters of the numerous opportunities available in the CARICOM market. Ms Shauna Arnold, Export Promotion Officer at EXPORTBelize, a Unit of BELTRAIDE and Mr John Rivero, Trade Intelligence Economist at the Directorate General for Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, appeared on Open Your Eyes and LOVE FM’s Morning shows, and spoke on the suspension request of the Common External Tariff (CET) under CARICOM.


verflight above the Chiquibul
First overflight above the Chiquibul Forest shows areas cleared already for farming by Guatemalan farmers.

U.S. Embassy in Belmopan seeking applicants for HVAC Technician
The incumbent serves as an HVAC Technician for the residential compound/facility management section under the supervision of the Residential Maintenance Supervisor. The U.S. Mission in Belize provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. The Department of State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

Channel 7

Police: Harris Killed Hog
The murder just happened last night, but a man has already been charged for the killing on West Collet Canal. The victim was 44-year-old Clinton Frazer, known as Hog, and the accused is 23 year old Henry Rudolph Harris. The allegation is that Harris along with another man rode up on separate bicycles and shot at Frazer and his younger brother Michael. The brothers were hanging out with a couple friends near the Conch Shell Bay Fish Market. Clinton was hit to the back and died while his brother Michael was shot in the leg. We spoke to a relative today off camera and she told us she doesn't know why her brothers were targeted. Police also gave us a briefing this morning on the shooting. Voice of: Relative: "Well I hear my 2 brothers got shot and one died, when I was at home, I heard that and my brother Clinton, he liked to give jokes and stuff he wasn't a bad person, he doesn't deal with gun or weed he just relax and chill and give jokes , he would just say Sister Persh. You're alright? And I would say "hey, not today" and then he would laugh and talk and thing, he don't deal with gun or nothing so I don't know why they killed him."

Man Killed In Motorbike Accident Up North
From murder in the city to a fatal accident in the North. On Friday night at around midnight, a 19 year old motorcyclist slammed into a lamppost on the Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk. Jerry Hernison Martinez was heading towards Corozal. Martinez received massive injuries and died at the Northern Regional Hospital at 1:15 am. Police told us how they are handling this case. ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "A young man was driving his motorbike and collided into a lamp post. That's on the right of the highway if you are travelling from Orange Walk towards Corozal. He unfortunately succumb to his injuries." Reporter: "Sir, they are saying that Mr. Martinez was intoxicated when he was driving his motorcycle. Do you have such information?" ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "Like you rightfully mentioned, we have persons in the area that said that Mr. Martinez was seen socializing somewhere in the vicinity of Central Park in Orange Walk just minutes before he collided into the lamp post. So we are definitely looking at maybe that alcohol may have been a factor in this accident."

Motorbike Driver Dies in Impact With Hilux
And there was another fatal traffic accident but this time in Belmopan. Last night around 8:48, 43 year old Kevin Petzold was driving on the Hummingbird Highway in his Toyota Hilux, turning into the "the Mall's" parking lot when 21 year old motorcyclist Geovannie Reymundo who was coming from the other direction crashed into his Hilux. Reymundo died from the impact. Police gave us more details. ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "Police visited a scene sometime around almost 9pm last night where they saw Toyota Hilux and a motorbike under the front bumper. The driver of the motorbike is one, Mr. Reymundo. He was accompanied by a female rider and apparently the pick-up was turning into the entrance of a mall, between Mile 55 and 56, where he collided into the pick-up. At this time police cannot say who was at fault, but we know that he received severe head and body injuries. He was transported to the hospital where he succumb to his injuries. Fortunately for him, his rider survived with injuries to her body. The driver of the pick-up has been served with an NIP and we hope to make an arrest if there should be one very soon. I know that investigators have been on the ball since last night."

Ring Road Ramming
There was also a minor bus accident in Belmopan on Saturday. It happened on the Ring Road where there was a major impact but no one was hurt. A taxi driver darted across the road from Builders Hardware to Buca gas station and was hit by an oncoming Westline Bus which had the right of way on Ring Road. Police believe that the taxi driver did not properly clear the intersection before shooting across, and his car was struck by the bus, which sent the car skidding into the drain. The driver had no major injury. Belmopan believe that a rush of inexperienced drivers are causing a number of minor accidents in the capital and have cautioned that the speed limit within cities is 15 to 25 miles per hour.

Illegal Construction Workers Went to Work
On Friday we showed you the truckful of illegal immigrants who were picked up at the Golden Bay construction site. There were 18 of them; well today 11 of them went to court. But they didn't stay there long. They should have been charged with failure to produce a visitor's permit. But the charges were not read to them because the immigration officer who represented the prosecution had put the charges together properly. As a result, they taken back to the holding cell at Queen Street Police Station. The Immigration Department tells us that their employer Josue Aguilar - who is a naturalized Belizean - got off on a technicality, while 9 of the 11 workers have been charged by Immigration and will go back to court tomorrow. The 2 remaining had other status. As we showed you on Friday, the immigrants were picked up at the construction site by the Mobile Interdiction Team which was looking for members of the MS - 13. Apparently they were not only in possession of visitor's permits but also work permits. Today we got a call from the owners of Golden Bay who stressed that they didn't hire the illegal workers, the contractor did - and he did so without their knowledge. Golden Bay says all of it's over 40 workers are duly registered with Social Security.

Belize Murder Rate High, Clearance Rate Low
Two weeks ago we told you about murder rates in the Caribbean and Central America. In the Caribbean, St. Kitts-Nevis actually has the highest murder rate per one hundred thousand at 56. Their murder count went up by over 50%. Jamaica is second at 47 per hundred thousand, then Belize is third at 37.1. But what about a number known as the "the clearance rate"? That refers to the number of arrests compared to the number of murders. Well, according to the Trinidad Express Newspaper, Antigua has a high clearance rate, with 8 murders, and six suspects arrested making for a clearance rate of 75%. Guyana is also high on the list, at 64% with 140 murders, and 90 suspects arrested. Jamaica is at 57%, with 771 arrests for 1350 murders - that's a rate of 57%. Belize is at only 37%, with 51 arrests for 138 murders - which is on the low side. Trinidad, however is much lower than Belize with just 71 murder arrests for their 462 murders, a clearance rate of just over 15%.

United Against Oil Exploration
Late last year, the government made the controversial decision to conduct seismic surveys in Belizean waters. When conservation groups like the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, and other public agents got wind of this, they pressured to government to halt all operations until the public was properly consulted on the matter. Well, those consultations were scheduled for this month, but they were cancelled two weeks ago. There has been no word as to why the consultations were cancelled or if they will be rescheduled, and some people are tired of waiting. On Saturday some San Pedro residents organized a peaceful march and forum in the town's Central Park. The event's organizer, Kristin Marin, told us more... Kristin Marin, Event Organizer: "It began with a peaceful walk, so 100 community members joined us and we use posters created by high school students in the week. So we had 175 students come together and create posters for the event. So we carry that around town inviting people to join us in the park and once we got back to central park we created a no oil sign on the beach which I said to you and we got everyone hyped up and felt the momentum and the energy and from there we had a speaker system and we just shared information on the updates of oil concessions from 2010 all the way up to now when the recent consultations on the multi-beam surveys were cancelled and then we just shared information on the committee that's forming and future events that we're planning."

Pitts to Jail For Ammo
Tonight, 40 year-old Kirk Pitts, a barber from Antelope Street, is at the Belize Central Prison after being taken to court for bullets and marijuana, which police say they busted him with. According to police, they were on mobile patrol yesterday on Faber's Road Extension when they searched him. They officers found a black plastic bag which contained 4 live rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition, and less than a gram of marijuana. The police then charged him with keeping unlicensed ammunition and possession of a controlled drug. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, where he pled not guilty to the charges. He told the court that the police planted the bullets on him. Despite that, the Senior Magistrate couldn't grant him any bail, and he was remanded into custody until March 24.

Vote For Becky On Real Miss Universe Poll
At the beginning of the month, Miss Belize, Rebecca Rath, left for the Philippines where she will be competing in the Miss Universe Pageant. Since then she's put the finishing touches on her wardrobe, began rehearsals and even met the President of the Philippines. The Miss Universe pageant takes place on Sunday, and already Belizeans have been showing their love. She's received massive support from her fans, placing favorably in several online polls. But, the polls that really count just opened today. The official Miss Universe went live on the Miss Universe website today, and they're more important than ever. And that's because this year, the winner of the fan vote gets a guaranteed spot in the pageant's semifinal round. So with the big night less than a week away, here's how to vote. You can do so from the official Miss Universe app or website, by tweeting using the appropriate hashtags, or through the Vodi app. Each participant can cast 10 votes a day, and the polls close on Saturday.

The Jaguars Return, Unbowed
The Belize Jaguars returned from the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana tournament in Panama this morning. The came home with their heads down, and that's because - just like last time - they finished dead last. The team had one draw and four losses - ending with only one point and an 8 point goal differential. Freddy Cantiliano met the team at the airport and asked some of the players and management what went wrong in Panama. Freddy Cantiliano- Reporter: "Coach, a good beginning at the UNCAF Copa Centro Americana where you drew against the host team- something that nobody could believe when it happened. What happened from then on?" Richard Orlowski- Head Coach: "That's why after this game, expectations from all people in Belize and all the players were too high. But the reality is that the next game we played against Costa Rica which has a very good team. Everybody knows they go to World Cup were they've played like semi-finals. We gave everything during the game against Panama and not even one day we got a break because in the night time and next two days in the morning we played against Costa Rica. The boys were not even recovered after this game. But the third, fourth and fifth game we played well even against El Salvador. Second half we dominated, we created many chances, but we didn't score. That's our weakness. We get chances we have to score because this is not practice. You get three chances you have to score three goals because it's not like you get a hundred chances to do this."

How About Scubble?
So, while hardcore football fans might be struggling to get over the disappointing outcome in this tournament, maybe you're in the mood for a lighter hybrid version of the sport. It's called bubble football, and it started off as a joke back in 2011. Since then, it's gained popularity all over the world, and now, it's being played in Belize. This weekend, our news team went to find out more about this quirky sport, and why those who brought it home with them are hoping that Belizeans pick it up. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz Reporting: Seeing these two "pigeon goals" and this football, on the field, you might think this a set-up for a friendly match is about to start momentarily. But, what you certainly won't find on any other football pitch are these human sized bubbles. Each Player is expected to put these on their torsos as part of the equipment, kinda like how a pair of football pegs are expected in a game of football.

The Diplomatic Choice
Four new ambassadors to Belize were accredited today in Belmopan. The first to meet the Governor General was Jonathan Peled, the new Israeli Ambassador, second was the Norwegian ambassador, Merethe Nergaard, third was Alena Gazurova, from the Slovak Republic; and Italy's Ambassador, Luigi Maccotta. According to an official release, the ambassadors each conveyed their countries' interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize.

Channel 5

Murder in Belize City – Arrest Made in Death of Clinton Frazer
A murder on Sunday night claimed the life of one brother and has left another injured. The brothers were at the Conch Shell Bay Fish Market when a man opened [...]

Pickup Meets Motorcycle in Belmopan; Cyclist Loses Life
A motorist lost his life on Sunday night in Belmopan during a fatal road traffic accident.  Twenty-one-year-old Geovannie Reymundo, a resident of San Martin, was riding a black Meilun motorcycle, [...]

Motorcyclist’s Life Cut Short in an Instant in Orange Walk
Another motorcyclist perished in a traffic mishap over the weekend.  On Friday night, nineteen-year-old Jerry Martinez, a resident of Black Water Creek in Trial Farm, lost his life along the [...]

Teenager Charged for Dropped Gun
Eighteen-year-old Jair Tamai of Corozal Town thought he could outrun police on mobile patrol on Sunday morning, but they very quickly caught up with him. Officers spotted the teenager, also [...]

Plenty Weed and a Firearm Off the Streets
Eastern Division police continue their efforts to remove cannabis and weaponry from the streets, making one arrest. A sixteen-year-old minor has been charged with drug trafficking. Around twelve-forty Saturday afternoon, [...]

Ammunition Also Removed by Police
Forty-year-old Kirk Pitts was remanded to prison for possession of ammunition and a small quantity of weed.  Over the weekend, police busted Pitts with several nine millimeter ammunition and less [...]

San Pedranos Gather to Oppose Offshore Oil Activity
Over the weekend, a group of San Pedro residents marched peacefully through the streets before coming to a stop at the Central Park on the island. There, a public forum [...]

Will Environmentalists Go for Referendum Again?
It’s been five years since a referendum attempt by Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage failed when Government announced that the N.G.O. was unable to gather the required eight thousand [...]

Clarifying Chon Saan – Lee Mark talks to News Five
Back in December, this station, having gleaned information from reliable sources, questioned whether the Government of Belize would pay as much as four million Belize dollars for the Chon Saan [...]

Chang Says There Will Be No Hard Feelings If He Can’t Close Deal
Chang shared with News Five a copy of the appraisal documents from Mahung and Partners confirming that the restaurant building is in good condition and justifiably priced for sale. He [...]

Speaker Longsworth Steps Up to Head FOPREL
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Laura Longsworth, has had just ten days into one of the most thankless jobs in Belize. She has, however, the goodwill of Belizeans who [...]

Senate Prez Says Course Correct in 13th Senator Flap
The Senate’s first meeting of 2017 on Thursday last almost didn’t proceed after Lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay of the People’s United Party introduced an amendment to the regular motion [...]

Defending Islam in Wake of Abu Naila Report
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Belize is hosting its third annual convention this weekend.  The timing of the gathering coincides with a news item we ran on Friday, involving a [...]

After Disappointing Copa Centroamericana, Jaguars return to Dissect Performance
Belizean football fans across the country were not too happy with the performance of the national football team over the past ten days at the Copa Centro Americana Games. The [...]

James Adderley and the Weekend Sporting Highlights
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   [Feature on weekend sporting activities....]

CTV3

Motorcycle Accident Claims Life Of 19 Year Old
The family of a nineteen year old Orange Walkeno is tonight mourning his death after his life came to a tragic end, following a traffic accident on the Otro Benque Road. Police reports indicate that just before midnight on Friday, Jerry Hernison Martinez of Black Water Creek in the Trial Farm Village was driving his motorcycle on the Otro Benque Road traveling towards Trial Farm Village when upon nearing the hill just past the Orange Walk Police Station he lost control of the motor cycle and collided into a lamp post located on the right hand side of the road causing him severe head and body injuries. Martinez was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. While authorities are still unable to determine the exact cause of Martinez’s accident, they have reasons to believe that alcohol might have been a contributing factor.

Is Belizean National Behind ISIS Attack In Phillipines?
There is a very serious report tonight that could have grave implications for Belize. On January 7th, security forces in the coast town of Massim in the Sarangani Province of Philippines, while carrying out a search of the home of a suspected ISIS supporter, came under attack and had to return fire. During the exchange, they shot and killed Abu Naila and his companion Kadija. Naila’s identity is under investigation at the moment, and there is some indication that he could be a Belizean-national who was recruited by the terrorist Islamic State also known as ISIS or ISIL. It is suspected that Naila is Nadir Ali Ahmad, a Belizean muslim. Local authorities have not commented on the case, and the Ahmad family in Belize have also not spoken on the issue. But we do know that the Ahmad family has been on the radar of security authorities in the past. In June 2016, in a special and seemingly-secret operation here in Belize, several members of the Ahmad family were picked up by Police and held under custody for questioning.

OW Residence Assist In Building Child Friendly Municipal Plan
A one day training session was offered today under the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality Project with the objective of holding consultations with service providers as well as children who form part of the Orange Walk Community to assist in the development of a Child Friendly Strategic Plan. The plan comprises of specific priority goals and outcomes and is expected to be carried out in a period of five years. John Flowers – Technical Consultant, Sustainable & Child Friendly Municipality: “The National Committee for Families and Children last year developed a national plan for children and adolescence 2017/2030 so that is fourteen years so what we are doing we are aligning the strategic plan for Orange Walk Town with the national plan and so there are already a number of goals identified six goals; supportive parents, supportive transitions, we are looking at prevention is better than cure so these kinds of goals and then we have also five outcomes that we want for children...”

Help Miss Belize Reach Semi Finals
The young, gorgeous and talented Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, continues to leave a dazzling mark in Manila Philippines with every single stride. She has come a long way and has successfully managed to place Belize on the map as a result of her undeniable charm, beauty and self-confidence which out-rightly stands out among the remaining eighty nine delegates who all share the same objective… to take home the Miss Universe 2017 crown. And while Rath has been able to top the popularity voting polls online thanks to the massive support attained from Belizeans, tonight we can tell you that the Miss Universe Organization has officially opened all voting polls for this year’s pageant. Therefore, fans from all over the world can now vote for their favourite contestant.

Police Officer Involved In Traffic Accident
This afternoon, there was a traffic accident in Corozal Town in which a motorcycle driven by a police officer collided with a van driven at the time by well-known newspaper columnist Clinton Uh Luna. The accident occurred just before the 5:00pm rush hour, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 3rd Street South. The unidentified Police officer was visibly shaken by the impact and complained of severe pain in one of his arms, which was suspected to be broken. Police authorities are investigating the incident and it is expect that charges could be laid.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Police charge 1 man for Conch Shell Bay murder
Police have charged Henry Rudolph Harris, 23, with the murder of Clinton Frazer, 44, and the attempted murder of his brother, Michael Frazer, 33, which occurred last night in the Conch Shell Bay Area of Belize City. Police are yet to reveal a motive […]

Corozal youth arrested for keeping gun and ammo without gun license
According to police reports, yesterday at 1:30 a.m., Corozal police were conducting a mobile patrol in the Skeleton Town area in Corozal when their attention was drawn to 18-year-old Jair Tamai AKA “Totolosh” of a 2nd Street North address who threw away an object […]

Police find ammo and weed in Cayo
According to police reports, Saturday night at around 6:30, San Ignacio police were conducting vehicle checkpoints on the George Price Highway near Georgeville Village when a passenger bus arrived heading towards Belmopan. Police searched the bus and discovered a black plastic bag tucked under […]

Traffic accident claims one life on the Hummingbird Highway
On Sunday, January 22, 2017, at about 8:48 p.m., Belmopan Police visited an area between mile 55 and 56 on the Humming Bird Highway near “The Mall” where they saw a dark blue Toyota Hilux (BMP C-05554) on the side of the road with […]

Police issues official report on fatal traffic accident in Orange Walk
On Friday at around 11:59 p.m., police responded to a traffic accident on Otro Benque Road, Orange Walk Town where they saw 19-year-old Jerry Hernison Martinez of Black Water Creek Area, Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk, lying on top of a motorcycle on the […]

Belize City man arrested for cannabis and keeping ammunition without a gun license
Yesterday at around 2:45 p.m., police while conducting patrols on Faber’s Road Extension in Belize City searched 40-year-old Kirk Pitts of an Antelope Street Extension which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing four 9 mm live rounds of ammunition and […]

Gun and weed found in Belize City
On Friday, police conducted a search in an abandoned area across from Cumberbatch Field on Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City which led to the discovery of 118 grams of cannabis and a black plastic bag containing a black smith and Wesson sw99 with […]

Belize City student arrested and charged for drug trafficking
According to police reports, on Saturday around 12:40 p.m., police were conducting a mobile patrol on Raccoon Street in Belize City and upon reaching the corner of Curassow Street and Raccoon Street their attention was drawn to two male persons on separate bicycles, one […]

Two Brothers Shot in Belize City, One Dies From His Injuries
Yesterday at around 9:25 p.m., police responded to a shooting incident on West Collet Canal in Belize City. Investigations revealed that about 9:23 p.m., 44-year-old Clinton Frazer and his brother 33-year-old Michael Frazer both of a Conch Shell Bay address in Belize City were socializing […]

Motorist dies in Orange Walk
Jerry Martinez, 21, of Orange Walk Town died in a fatal traffic accident on Friday night. He was riding on the Otro Benque Road before midnight when he crashed head on into a lamppost and died on the scene. He was transported to the […]

Cayo Special Constables plan activities for 2017
Yesterday evening the Cayo Special Constables met to discuss their plan for the year 2017. The committee has been serving the communities of San Ignacio, Santa Elena and surrounding villages for the last five years. Present at the meeting was Cpl. Jason Jones, Officer […]

Blogs

First Art in The Park 2017 in Corozal
It was the first Annual Art in the park that was held on January 21st, 2017. It commenced at 5pm where several boots had already been out on display. Usually, after church at 7pm the music commence. Their where countless people came out to supported the event. I walked towards the park and from the distance I saw the countless people. I heard music echoing through my both ears. First thing was taking photo's of the Train CHOO! CHOO!, Miss Deb's Deli, Then I went to take photos of the rest of the boots on Central Park. I couldn't count how much booth their where on this event but their where surely a number of them. Every event it keeps getting better as the months approaches. Something that I saw where tourists buying souvenirs as a reminder of what Belize local artists does. Lots of locals enjoyed the music being played on the park. And, some where dancing, walking around the Central Park. During my booth to booth picture's I observed some where made by locals and they did an excellent job doing their art work. While doing that I was hearing the band was playing great music. Food where available for sale pupusas, nachos, garnachas, hot dogs, snacks, cotton candy and more. Excitingly, while walking around the central park I got amazed about what this locals had for their local art exhibition on display.

Casitas Tres Cocos is officially open for business!
Adding to the charm and beauty of Tres Cocos, Ambergris Caye, is the newest boutique hotel Casitas Tres Cocos. Featuring beautifully designed individual cabañas, a salt-water pool, and the onsite full service Youcan Toucan Bar and Grille, Casitas Tres Cocos is an adults-only, playful paradise. With names like Sting Ray, Kinkajou, Tapir, Iguana and Crocodile, the casitas definitely have their own unique touch and vibe. Highlighting the rooms are the gorgeous Papo paintings of each Belize animal. Sting Ray is the master suite, with a king-sized bed, its own kitchenette and outdoor plunge pool and shower. It can connect to an adjoining suite to make a bigger, shareable space too. The remaining casitas get to indulge in the all-inclusive menu from Youcan Toucan! The lap pool has fun alternating lights that make the nighttime swim parties a blast, and guests can swim right up to the bar for their favorite cocktails – it does not get any better than that.

Reef Quotes Worth Sharing by People of Belize
I’m always so proud of Belizeans coming together when it matters most. In this past week alone we have seen several groups at home raising their voices against offshore oil exploration in their own unique ways. It is humbling to see people’s reactions when you bring up the Belize Barrier Reef in a conversation. My memories of Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Sharks and simply swimming along the reef were a highlight of my childhood. It’s something I share with great pride. I would hope one day Madi has nothing but amazing memories of the reef to tell her children as well. The threat to our Barrier Reef is not something our people should be facing. We have made it clear that as a country we DO NOT support offshore oil exploration. Why then are we still talking about this? I reached out to Belizeans to hear their thoughts…

In Belize: Close encounters of the aquamarine kind
The other day I joined friends for a trip around the island, with a little snorkeling at Mexico Rocks thrown in at the end. It was my first time cruising Ambergris Caye north in a clockwise direction, starting and ending at Coco Beach Resort. Aw, it is a beautiful trip in either direction so I won’t try and split hairs over which way the ride is best. No matter which way you go, your boat must leave the safe harbor of the reef and for 20 hair-raising minutes or so, you must cut the seam between rolling waves; angle up and over with an electric glide sort of step; and, occasionally, go all muscle on the waves — gun the engine launch up and over, into the air and down with a teeth-jarring a body-slam. Talk about fun. With the right driver, I could do that all day. And with Erick and Candyman from Tuff E Nuff, we had the goods. This was a little different sort of trip. We stopped, for example, at a resort under construction right on the edge of the Bacalar Chico Reserve. It is a rustic — though hardly primitive — spot called North Coconut Beach. The resort features small wood cabanas on stilts and a centerpiece bar and restaurant called the Una Mas Cantina. Several cabanas have been built with more on the way. The owners have 10 acres sea-to-lagoon to play with.

International Sourcesizz

FBI offers $10K reward in murder of ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney
A year after ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney was murdered while on vacation in Belize, the FBI has offered a reward for information leading to her killer. Swaney, who was executive producer of online operations at ABC7, was found dead Jan. 15, 2016 at an eco-ranch in western Belize. She was found strangled in the Mopan River. Belize police, who have overseen the murder investigation, have never established a motive or a prime suspect. "We are still awaiting some test results that were sent abroad. Other than that there are still no leads," said Belize police inspector Stanley Bowden. Belize police say they have returned to the crime scene and re-interviewed witnesses. Belize has a U.S. embassy, but has no American law enforcement jurisdiction nor subpoena power in the country, thus limiting the role of the FBI. However, the FBI is offering up to $10,000 for information that helps identify Swaney's murderer. The money is a significant incentive in a country where 40 percent of the population lives in poverty.

National Geographic Names Two Caribbean Beaches among World’s Most Spectacular
National Geographic has compiled a diverse list of the world’s most spectacular beaches, ranging from the idyllic, through the unusual, to the ecologically important. The Caribbean has bagged two places in the top 21, with Curacao’s Cas Abao Beach fitting firmly into the tropical paradise niche, and Belize’s South Water Caye Reserve finding favour for the integrity of its marine ecosystems. South Water Caye Marine Reserve is the second largest in the country and was established by the Fisheries Department in 1996 in recognition of the marine ecosystems and its national, regional and international importance. The area is a priority for conservation due to its rich biodiversity, supporting an oceanic mangrove system and extensive seagrass meadows, which provide habitats for many commercial and non-commercial species. Mangrove cayes also provide nesting sites for many important bird species and the area is also utilized by marine turtles for nesting. South Water Caye Marine Reserve is one of the seven protected areas that form the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO.

How to Become a Certified Diver on a Caribbean Cruise
Looking to learn to dive and take a cruise around the Caribbean? Royal Caribbean is now the only cruise line in the world with onboard PADI Five Star Dive Centers, allowing guests to become certified scuba divers on their sailings. “For the past 16 years Royal Caribbean has worked closely with PADI to develop our onboard dive program,” said Roberta Jacoby, managing director, Global Tour Operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. “No other cruise line offers the opportunity for guests to become PADI certified scuba divers as part of the cruise, making it an ultimate dive trip as well. When guests sign up for the PADI Open Water Diver Course, they receive first-rate training and diver certification, performing their own scuba dives amidst the beautiful and serene waters of multiple Caribbean destinations.”

7 reasons Belize should be on your bucket list
Has Belize been on your travel radar? If you are looking to explore Central America for the first time, Belize is the perfect start. English is the official language and the U.S. dollar is fixed to the Belize dollar at 2 to 1, making conversions easy for tourists. Read on and see why Belize will soon be bumped up to the top of your bucket list.

Videos

  • Caye Caulker, 3min. Caribbean Sea, palm trees and burning sun, sand, lobster at will, snorkelling with sharks, dugongs, rays and dolphins, a catamaran, starry skies and nights in a tent, rum punch and Bob Marley... all this has been my Belize ! Mar dei Caraibi, palme e sole cocente, sabbia, aragoste a volontà, snorkeling con squali, dugonghi, razze e delfini, un catamarano, cieli stellati e notti in tenda, rum punch e Bob Marley ... tutto questo è stato il mio Belize! Thank to Raggamuffin Tours for the amazing experience!

  • Belize Now - January 20, 2017, 24min.

  • The "brand-new" Borcherts on Isla Bonita Belize, min. Ever dreamt of going to the Caribbean for a conch dive and beach BBQ on a private island? You'll feel like Robinson Crusoe - or at least, the NEW Mr & Mrs Borchert did on their recent honeymoon in Belize.

  • CARICOM CET Suspension - Beltrade, 30min.

  • ESCUELA SECUNDARIA TECNICA MEXICO'S 34TH SPECIAL NATIONAL CELEBRATION 2017, 9min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN JANUARY 19, 2017, 33min.

  • Belizeans Speak on Offshore Oil Exploration, 14min. "I asked Belizeans how they felt about offshore oil exploration in Belize and their responses were humbling."

  • Xunantunich Ruins - Belize, 2.5min.

  • WakyMC Youth - Belize 2016, 7min.

  • Belize, 15min.

  • Mayan Ruins- Belize, 3.5min. I hope you enjoy this small look into Belize and the Mayan Ruins that we saw!

  • Belize Snorkeling, 7min.

  • Belize Fishing Trip, 6min. Caught a bunch more just didn't think about the GoPro until we were about halfway done.

  • Belize 2017 - EF College Break, 14min.

    January 23, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Police Report
    On Saturday, January 14th at around 7:45AM, police responded to information received of a sack on the beach four miles north of San Pedro Town believed to be drugs. They visited the area and recovered the sack containing twenty five parcels of suspected Cocaine each weighing between 2.29lbs and 2.35 lbs; total amounting to 57.52 lbs. It was labelled as found property as no one was seen in the immediate area. * Simon Velasquez was charged for imitation firearm and attempted robbery and has since been remanded to the Belize Central Prison * Ernesto Caliz Jr has been charged for aggravated burglary and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. * Ian Cabañas was charged for two accounts of theft and one count of handling stolen goods. He has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Some men won’t change
    “Mr. Dennis, I don’t see why you don’t just drink cashew wine like me and Bob,” Mario said. “I made that wine myself.” Mario’s wife, Maria, came out on the porch with a cup of coffee in her hand, “Here, Mr. Dennis,” she said. “I got your coffee with no sugar like you asked.” “Thank you very much Maria.” “I like this homemade cashew wine. It tastes good,” Bob said. “Come on, try some just for me.” “Ain’t no use trying to talk him into it,” Mario said. “He been drinking that coffee for twenty-five years since I know him. When a man gets habits he won’t change just because somebody wants him to.”

    CRFM and fisheries powerhouse, Norway, launch fact-finding mission
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Government of Norway have launched a two-week mission to explore the development of a regional technical assistance project to be funded by Norway. The project would support the region’s fisheries and aquaculture sector by strengthening evidence-based management. Dr. Åge Høines, Senior Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and Dr. Johán Williams, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, began meeting on Monday, January 16, with CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton at the CRFM Secretariat in Belize City, after which the team embarked in a two-week dialogue with 7 CRFM Members States, beginning with senior government officials in Belize.

    Doctor Love: Thinking Ink
    Dear Doctor Love, I really want to get a tattoo but my mom says that as long as I live in her house I cannot have one. She says a tattoo becomes old very fast and they are a waste of money. There are girls at school who have tattoos and they are really nice and people like them. I think my mum is being old fashioned. I am good at art and I have drawn my own and I know a very good tattoo artist. If I got one it would permanent so my mother would have to accept it, right? What do you think? /s/ Thinking Ink

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    COMING SOON TO SEVEN SEAS
    BEIGNETS ON DA BEACH MON ! Can't wait to open the cafe ! Vieux Carré Cafe & Beignets on the beach ! Will be located here at seven seas resort !

    Help us ban glyphosate in Belize
    Please help all creatures of Belize become glyphosate/poison (round-up) free. Pro-Organic Belize, along with other groups, is working to protect the ecosystems and biodiversity of Belize by banning the use of glyphosate, a chemical herbicide used throughout Belize, which contaminates the fruits ,vegetables, soil, and water.

    Poets Corner: Jim Crow
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Belizean version of the Jim Crow Keeping the people stupid is the mantra of Barrow Not making them be fully cognizant Treating you like 3/5 cause you are ignorant It’s not racism but shows bias Belize reconstructs colonialism like fiberglass State imposed apartheid and imperialism Replacing the colonialist with these classism CARCICOM issues the fi the CCJ International Issues dah fi the ICJ CCJ courts have no jurisdiction in international arbitration This administration is a lawless band Every day Belize noh pay We incur interest by the day Seems like we have another half a billion fee coming our way Can the US say, “Obama’s 8 trillion debt we won’t pay” The country profited already anyway

    EnviroConnect Season 2
    The Department of the Environment is looking for people to be on season 2 of the EnviroConnect reality TV show. They are also looking for hosts. "EnviroConnect Belize is back!!!! We are now recruiting for Season 2"

    BHS Valentine Blues Revue
    The Belmopan Humane Society is having another spectacular Valentine Blues Revue, and Jimmy Thackery is playing again. The fun stats at 7:00pm on Saturday, February 11th. "Here we go folks! A Valentines Blues concert right here in the capital, Belmopan. more info to come tickets are available call 602 7947"

    The Reporter

    Spine overseas hold clinics today
    Over 25 Belizeans benefited today from specialized consultations with orthopedic doctors from the international organization Spine Overseas (SOS). The team of five arrived in Belize today and held a special clinic at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. They assessed patients with varying back problems, and identified candidates who would need surgery. The surgeries are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The KHMH has been running a collaboration with SOS for nine years, known as the Belize Spine Program. Through the program many Belizeans managed to receive surgeries at minimal cost that would have been upwards of $80,000 if they had needed to pay for it themselves. One such patient was Stephany Quiñones, who received the first scoliosis surgery in Belize in 2014. The SOS team has also donated over $160,000 in equipment to the KHMH over the course of the program thus far.

    Police determined to identify John Doe
    The Belize Police Department has determined that the body of a man found in the Belie River this week was that of Ladyville resident, Dane Dawson. Police found Dawson’s decomposing body floating faced down in the river near the Manatee Lookout area, between miles seven and eight on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Thursday morning. According to the autopsy report, Dawson’s cause of death was drowning. Pathologist Hugh Sanchez, explained that depending on the water temperature, a body could start decomposing under those conditions between two to three days, which means that Dawson could have died between Monday and Tuesday.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Between These Lines ….“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  Winston S. Churchill
    Although I publicly advocated and voted for an “elected Senate” in the February 2008 referendum, I do not support Belize having a fully elected upper chamber in our bi-cameral legislature.For the record I supported the Musa administration expansion of the Senate to include social partner […]

    Police identify drowning victim
    Police have identified the man found in the Belize River near the old Rose Garden area on the Philip Goldson highway last Thursday as Ladyville resident Dane Dawson. Police confirmed his identity on Saturday. Dawson was buried shortly after police discovered his rapidly decomposing body […]

    Blogs

    Saturday in San Pedro: Beautiful Weather and a March Against Off-Shore Drilling
    January in Belize is absolutely stunning. The temperature highs plummet to the low 80s and sometimes the mid to high 70s. The air is a bit crisper. All the migrating birds are here. I was headed down to Central Park for a rally against Offshore Drilling in Belize. The government okayed seismic testing in October 2016 without consulting the public. The people of Ambergris Caye turned out in droves to SAY NO and the testing was shut down. On our caye, everyone, directly or indirectly, make our livings from our environment. Citizens turned out to say No to Oil off our coast. Exploration and drilling. We need to make it law. As I was headed north, I stopped for a moment to see “The Reef Angels” spearheaded by MJ and his PassionKite crew, collecting bottles. His growing team freedives and gathers trash from the ocean floor. GO REEF ANGELS. For information on how you can join them OR learn kite boarding in some of Belize’s most beautiful waters, check out PassionKite.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters with Mrs. Mendoza, 66min.

  • Celebrating the first anniversary of the Seastar Belize dive barin San Pedro with the Gasoline Lollipops all the way from Boulder, Colorado!!, 1/2min.

  • Freedive in the Hol Chan Preserve, Belize, 4min. Some clips of Steve and Bre at Hol Chan and Shark Ray alley in Belize. Beautiful creatures but torture for a couple of spearfishers.

  • Belize - 2017, 4min. 1. Snorkeling Adventure - Coral Garden, Tarpon Feeding, Shark Ray Alley and Caye Caulker Beach Break with Belize Exotic Adventures. I did not film the snorkeling or shark feeding bit since we were in the water swimming. But I filmed the tarpon feeding, which was really cool! 2. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins with Pacz Tours. This is the 2nd tallest structure in Belize (behind the temple at Caracol) but it was really easy to climb. The view is spectacular. We also stopped at Cahal Pech Ruins that are walking distance from San Ignacio as well as the iguana sanctuary at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. 3. Caracol Mayan Ruins along with Rio Frio Cave and Rio on Pools with MayaWalk Tours. Caracol is a fairly large site with many temples to climb, as well as the largest structure in Belize! The road took a bumpy 2 hours to get here, but worth it. Rio On Pools are natural pools in a river that felt refreshing after hiking around the ruins. 4. Tikal Mayan Ruins in Guatemala with Pacz Tours. This is a must for anyone going to Belize. Tikal is too close to Belize to pass up, and it's the largest Mayan ruins site. Countless temples to climb, all surrounded by jungle and wildlife. One can never forget this is where George Lucas filmed Yavin 4 in the original Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. 5. Cave tubing with MayaWalk Tours in the Caves Branch river system at the Nohoch Che'en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve. After a 45 minutes hike through the jungle, we floated peacefully down a river that passed through multiple caves and jungle. This video was filmed between January 3rd, 2017 to January 9th, 2017. It consists mainly of my adventures with my family in Belize, but a quick side trip to Tikal in Guatemala.

  • Day 6 Belize & New Years Eve Dinner, 12min.

  • Day 6 New Years Eve in Belize part 1, 15min. Carnival Dream 2016 went tubing in Belize. This is part 1 showing Tendering, Bus ride through Belize City, and Walk through Rain Forest!! What a New Years!!!! Holy Cow

  • CCA 2017: Belize vs Honduras Highlights, 1.5min.

  • CCA 2017: Belize vs Honduras whole match, 2hr.

    January 22, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    What’s New: Paradice Cream
    A new ice cream parlor has opened its doors to La Isla Bonita, and of course, The San Pedro Sun had to get the “scoop” on this new businesses! Located across Tropic Air on 26 Coconut Drive, Paradice Cream Parlor offers its customers a variety of 30 flavors to choose from. The current popular flavor is chocolate candy, but be sure to try local flavors, and the array of fun toppings available! After 10 years of ice cream-making, Owner Mike Tadlock claims that his recipe has been perfected over years of practice. “Freshness is my key ingredient. There are no artificial flavors, colors or dyes in my ice cream. We get our milk and cream from a dairy in South Florida, USA. All recipes are original, and I can make up to six gallons a day,” said Tadlock.

    Caye Caulker is a model for how to co-exist with crocodiles
    In the mid 1990’s, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)/Species Survival Commission-Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) conducted a countrywide survey of the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in Belize, declaring the species as Vulnerable by the IUCN RedList as a result of habitat loss, and rapid development in some of their key nesting sites. At that time, the crocodile population of Caye Caulker was considered a population still in recovery from past overexploitation, detailing the difficulty in getting close to crocodiles, likely a result from constant harassment and continuous poaching. However, a recent published study conducted by the Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC), illustrates a positive reversal from the last official study of this population 20 years ago. The study conducted by CRC (co-founded by Dr. Marisa Tellez, a member and Vice Regional Chair of Latin America of the CSG) in collaboration with the Forest and Marine Reserve of Caye Caulker (FAMRACC) illustrates a population recovered from past harassment and exploitation, thriving and co-existing with the local community. Members of the CRC conducted habitat, nocturnal eyeshines, and capture surveys in January and March 2016, performing health assessments and identifying the external crocodile-specific parasite Paratrichosoma, which Dr. Tellez has identified as a bio-indicator of environmental fluctuations and stability given its prevalence and other parasitological characteristics.

    Saga Humane Society’s new licensed veterinarian is Dr. Donald Tummons
    After nearly a year of permit filings, rigorous testing, and interviews, the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Belize has granted Dr. Donald Tummons all rights and privileges to serve as a licensed Veterinarian in Belize. Dr. Tummons will not only practice as a volunteer at Saga Humane Society, but he will be offering his services to all Humane Societies throughout the entire country. With over 43 years of experience, this renewable one-year license will allow him to give much needed veterinary care to animals of all shapes, breeds, and sizes. Dr. Tummons expressed his gratitude to everyone who was involved in securing the license. “Becoming the first non-resident Belizean veterinarian took a lot of time, patience and the efforts of many people. I am indebted to the board and staff of Saga, Dr. Gongora and Dr. DePaz from the Belize Veterinary Surgeons Board, officials from the Ministries of Labor and Immigration, Dr. Orlando Baptist, Ingrid Lima and the many others who helped in any way,” said Tummons.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Small fire in San Marcos
    A small fire broke out in the San Marcos residential area (south of San Pedro Town) frighting the neighborhood as people started their morning routine. The San Pedro Fire Department quickly arrived at the scene at about 7:30a.m. and quickly extinguished the fire that destroyed a small bodega/workshop situated in an empty lot between two homes. There were no reports of any injures or damage to nearby homes.

    LOVE FM

    Belize’s House Speaker to take over presidency of regional body
    Belize is poised to take over the Presidency of FOPREL which is an organization with representatives from the Legislative bodies in Central America and the Caribbean. Newly appointed House Speaker Laura Longsworth will become the President sometime next month. Today, Speaker Longsworth and President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang met with Dr. Santiago Rivas […]

    New Speaker looks to keep order in the House of Representatives
    Laura Longsworth has taken over the reins within the National Assembly as she assumed the post of House Speaker. Longsworth presided over her first session last week. Over the last few years the House meetings have been known for the fiery exchanges . Today we asked Longsworth how she will maintain order during her tenure. […]

    House speaker adjusting to new roles
    The role of House Speaker is just one more cap that Laura Longsworth is wearing. As we reported earlier, in the next few weeks, Longsworth will assume the Presidency of the regional body, FORPEL. Longsworth was asked if she is overwhelmed by the added responsibilities. Laura Longsworth – House Speaker “The legislature has a responsibility […]

    Senator breaks down fifty million dollar loan from Taiwan
    Yesterday a loan motion to the tune of fifty million Belize dollars was presented in the Senate. The loan is from the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan. The loan is categorized as a sovereign bi-lateral loan which is being facilitated by Mega International Commercial Bank Company Limited. The loan is for twenty […]

    Agriculture Minister speaks on future of banana industry
    Late last year it was announced that the shareholders of Fyffes, which is Belize’s largest purchaser of bananas, had approved a takeover bid made by Japanese group Sumitomo Corporation. According to reports, the deal gained the approval of 99.9 per cent of investors during a vote at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, with executive chairman […]

    Shrimp industry looks to rebound
    The shrimp industry in Belize is fighting to stay alive. In 2015 the industry suffered a devastating loss of more than thirty million dollars due to a bacterial disease. Since then the industry has slowly been recuperating and there was hope that by this year, the industry would be performing at its best. Agriculture Minister, […]

    President of the Senate speaks on negotiations with Government over sale of building in Belmopan
    At last week’s House of Representatives meeting, the area representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requena rose to query Government’s potential purchase of a building belonging to President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang. Requena wanted to know the price of the building. Since then the figure of four million dollars has been put out there. […]

    New alcaldes sworn in
    Today seventy six alcaldes were sworn in by Justice Antoinette Moore. The Alcaldes will serve a two year term and will act under the authority of both the Maya cultural tradition and the Constitution of Belize. Over the years the alcaldes have acted as guardians of Maya values and norms in the 38 Maya villages. […]

    Oppositon questions timing of referendum amendment act
    A bill to amend the Referendum Act was passed by the Senate yesterday. The amendment seeks to lower the threshold to carry out a referendum in regards to Guatemala’s unfounded claim over Belize. The threshold was originally set at sixty percent but after the amendment passed through the lower and upper parliament it will now […]

    Tax bill debated
    Another bill that was debated was the Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (Amendment) Bill 2016. The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was developed jointly by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Council of Europe in 1988 and amended by Protocol in 2010. The Convention is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument […]

    The Reporter

    Ahmadiyya Muslims prepare for annual convention
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim sect in Belize is organizing its third annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) for next weekend, January 27 and 28 at the IT-VET coference room in Belize City. The religious event offers keen knowledge about the Ahmadiyya Muslims’ belief, that the long-awaited Messiah has already come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth, whose advent was foretold by the Ptophet of Islam, Muhammad. Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to put an end to religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. The Ahmadiyya’s claim Ahmad has united the family of religions under the banner of the true Islamby safeguarding the teachings of Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Guru Nanak, Lao Tzu and Zoroaster.

    Scientists make definitive link between stress and heart attacks
    Scientists from Harvard Medical School believe that after more than three years of study, they have found out how high levels of stress causes a heart attack. The study, published in The Lancet medical journal pointed to heightened activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that reacts to stress. The amygdala prepares the body for harmful experiences, such as being physically attacked, by telling the bone marrow to temporarily produce more white blood cells, to begin repairing damaged tissue or fight off infection. The researchers found that chronic stress leads to a similar reaction; however, because there is no damage for the white blood cells to repair, they remain in the body and form plaque in the arteries of the heart. Researchers monitored the brain activity, bone marrow, spleen and inflammation of the arteries of 293 patients for three years and seven months. During the study period 22 peolple experienced cardiovascular events such as heart attack, angina, heart failure, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fatal Traffic accident in Otro Benque, Orange Walk
    Reports are that there was a fatal traffic accident around midnight lastnight in Otro Benque in Orange Walk. A 20-year-old man reportedly crashed his motorcycle into a lamp post and died on the spot. BBN will have more information on this as an official […]

    Trump now officially president
    Donald Trump is now the 45th President of the United States of America Billionaire businessman Donald Trump was officially sworn into office as the 45th President of the USA at US capital in Washington D.C. yesterday. It was a historic transfer of power as former president […]

    Blogs

    Lake Atitlan: My Breathtaking Last Stop in Guatemala
    I’m not sure how describe exactly how stunning Lake Atitlan, Guatemala is. A lake of unknown depths, deep clear sapphire blue, surrounded by volcanoes so steep that is seems impossible that anyone lives there. PERFECT summer days and cool nights at 5000 feet. The warm air from the Pacific rises up from the west forming fairy tale clouds. If you are coming in from Guatemala City or Antigua, you are going to be dropped off at the hub of the lake, Panajchel or “Pana”. Here’s a look at Pana. It is the only town that has supermarkets, ATM machines (none worked for me) and nightlife. You can certainly choose a smaller village – some don’t even have a guest house – but I liked Pana for the convenience. It’s the hub of transport to the other villages. The very first village I visited was San Antonio. A tiny TINY town on the side of a volcano where almost all the residents wear gorgeous blue. And the way to get there is to hop on the back of the pick up trucks that run back and forth. Q5 or less than $1US for the 20 minute steep, twisting ride. The very next day I headed out on one of the transit boats to the town of San Marcos. I had heard that this village is ‘mystical’ and wanted to find out exactly what that means. The boat ride was breathtaking. The view is really hard to believe.

    Things To Do In Belize…Besides Tropical Islands
    With its abundance of golden sunshine, fantastic weather, and hundreds of miles of coastline along the Caribbean, it's no surprise that one of the most iconic attractions in Belize is its many picturesque tropical islands. But Belize has far more to offer than sea and sand; the country is home to enormous nature preserves, pristine jungles, labyrinthine caves, rainforests teeming with life, and some of the most impressive ancient Maya ruins ever discovered. The geology of Belize has created hundreds of caves, including many large subterranean spaces that were used by the ancient Maya to conduct some of their most important religious rituals. The ancient Maya priests believed that caves were a sacred space that connected the world of the humans to the world of the gods. Today, visitors can explore caves like Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) where the remains of human sacrificial victims have lain undisturbed for more than 1,000 years. Whether it's catching sight of the majestic plumage of a tropical bird soaring through the rainforest or climbing up into the canopy to get a bird's eye view of the jungle, bird watching and zip lining are two of the most iconic attractions in Belize.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters at Sgt Peppers, 58min.

  • Just one of the many, many reasons why we must protect our beautiful Belizean waters, 1/2min. View from the sugar barge off the coast of Belize. It looks like a whale, perhaps Baleen. This video was taken this morning by sugar workers on the barge in Belize City habour, approximately 5 nautical miles from mainland. Yet another beautiful reason to love and protect Belize.

  • San Pedro residents and supporters formed a human 'No Oil' sign bringing awareness against offshore oil exploration, 1/2min.

  • San Pedro Town says NO to offshore oil exploration!, 1/2min.

  • At Central Park forming a human NO OIL sign., 19min.

  • Say No To Off Shore Oil Exploration in Belize - 2017, 1/2min.

  • Belize - Belize City, Jakub ze Skierniewic, 8min.

  • Interview with the soulful Belizean stylist of reggae music, Lloyd Carlton McFarlane, aka Eljai, 11min. The long awaited exclusive interview with the soulful Belizean stylist of reggae music, Lloyd Carlton McFarlane, aka Eljai is here. The two part feature on the Belizean reggae artist is a must see that chronicles the talented Belizean musical artist's transformation from the Belizean ballad singer for the bands "The Dominators" and "Belize", and onward to become one of reggae music's most rising musical artist today in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. As Eljai continues to break down barriers in reggae music through his many world tours in the U.S., the Caribbean, Africa, and now into Europe next year on a 2017 world tour, the Belizean reggae superstar discusses his musical life with Belizean Legends Bilal Morris, and brings a special message to his many fans in Belize, Los Angeles, Africa, the Caribbean and other cities in the U.S.

    January 21, 2017


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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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Super Bond Committee rejects Belize’s bond restructuring offer
    The proposed term changes to Belize’s US$530 million super bond have been rejected. On Tuesday, January 17th, a recently appointed Bondholder Committee confirmed the news through an official statement. According to the Committee, the changes suggested by the Government of Belize would not just reduce the net present value of the bond by almost 50%, but they were also considered premature. Belize launched a consent solicitation on Thursday, January 12th, attempting to convince bondholders to amend the amortization schedule and lower the coupon on the note, which Belize has declared unable to pay. The Committee indicated that Belize is asking for a further 40% reduction on top of the cumulative 50% reduction already given in two previous restructurings. Adviser to the Committee Charles Blitzer told Belizean media that bondholders will not abide repeated restructuring. “In the view of the bondholders, this is the third time that Belize has asked for debt relief with the same underlying obligations, which is unusual,” said Blitzer.

    Seven members sworn-in to reactivate Integrity Commission of Belize
    After eight years of inactivity, the Integrity Commission of Belize was officially sworn-in by the Government of Belize (GOB) on Friday, January 13th. The pressure to enact this commission was a demand for good governance and to fight against corruption within many organizations, including the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). Seven were appointed at the National Assembly Building in Belmopan: Chairperson Attorney Marilyn Williams, along with members Armead Gabourel, Wilmot Simmons, Lisbeth Delgado, Melissa Balderamos Mahler, Claudet Grinage and Nestor Vasquez. Established under the 2007 Prevention of Corruption Act, the Integrity Commission is intended to investigate complaints or any other declaration regarding non-compliance under the act. The commission also has rights to investigate matters pertaining to corruption and is required to make scheduled reports to the Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow. Another duty of the commission is to examine the declared statements of assets and liabilities of persons who are government officials. The current deadline for elected officials to submit their declarations is December 31, 2017 with an extension up to March 2018.

    Christopher Newport University Student-Teachers collaborate with island educators
    A group of seven students from the Christopher Newport University (CNU) in the State of Virginia, USA were on Ambergris Caye collaborating with local teachers for two weeks. These students are in their final semester in their Teacher’s Education Master’s Degree program, and the trip to the island is part of their program’s requirement to engage in teaching activities at both primary and secondary school levels. Led by CNU professors Doctor Judy Pantelidis and Rita Kohr, the student groups have been coming to Belize for 11 years. Professor Pantelidis told The San Pedro Sun that they are pleased that their teacher- students are able to partner with Belizean teachers again. “Professor Kohr and I teach this class back at the University and at the end of the class, we come down here for two weeks, where students exchange teaching methodologies with the local teachers,” said Pantelidis. “When we first started coming, we used to work with the Holy Cross Anglican School and then branched out the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) and the San Pedro High School (SPHS).” She stated that this year, they are only working with SPRCS and SPHS.

    Social Security holds public consultation on proposed increase in contribution wage bands
    The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) has publicly denied the rumours of any increase in the contribution wage bands for 2017. However, at a public consultation on Tuesday, January 17th in San Pedro Town, the SSB engaged island residents in a discussion regarding a possible increase in the contributions for 2018. The consultation was led by General Manager of Policy and Programs at SSB, Chandra Cansino, who explained that if approved, the new increase will primarily affect persons that are making a salary between $300 to $500 dollars per week. According to her, employers will also be affected by the new norm once the increase is approved. “The contributions that the employers make will be affected to some extent, however, in order to finalize by how much, we need to have more conversations with employers, and unions as to how the distribution will be in regards to that,” said Cansino.

    The Belize Police Department registers a decrease in crime for 2016
    The official crime statistics for 2016 have been released by the Belize Police Department (BPD). The report shows a 3.6% decrease in crimes, compared to 2015. In total, 2,137 crimes were reported to the police department across the country, with theft registering highest in 2016. 2016 saw a total of 138 murders in the country, 19 more than in 2015, with San Pedro Town registering eight fatalities for 2016, the same number as 2015. Police also indicated that less than 50% or the murder cases saw and arrest made with only 65 arrests made. Unlawful Sexual Intercourse and Robbery also saw an increase around the country, while rape and theft incidents decreased. San Pedro Town saw an increase of 17.5% in robbery and unlawful sexual intercourse. Robbery was once again attributed to the influx of people during the tourism high season.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    OPERATIONS AT SOLID WASTE TRANSFER STATIONS AND LANDFILL, WESTERN CORRIDOR
    The Ministry Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWaMA) hereby informs the general public and the municipalities that the transfer of solid waste from the San Ignacio/Santa Elena – Benque Viejo, Belize City, Burrell Boom and San Pedro Ambergris Caye transfer stations to the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill is ongoing. We are in the process of sourcing a barge for the servicing of Caye Caulker transfer station, and indications are, that barging will commence on Saturday, January 21st, 2017. The Ministry and BSWaMA will ensure that solid waste continues to be received at the aforementioned transfer stations between normal working hours, which are: 08:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday and 08:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays, while the situation with PASA Belize Limited is being sorted out.

    BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE participates in Live & Invest Overseas Conference 2017
    As part of its investment promotion endeavors, BelizeINVEST, a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), participated in the 2017 edition of the Live and Invest Overseas Conference held on Friday January 20, 2017 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize City. The event hosted over 60 attendees from the U.S and Canada interested in learning more about Belize as a retirement destination and its investment opportunities, inclusive of government incentives available. As a three day conference, the event also encompassed key presentations from various public and private sector representatives on the business and lifestyle facets in Belize.

    Free Theatre Workshop on Caye Caulker
    Calling all creative children ages 7-12! Meet this Saturday Jan.21st, 1-2pm, in the Village Council upstairs room. Dora Carroll is the Associate Artistic Director of Bravura Theatre. She will share fun theatre games and masks with island children, followed by a theatre club for Ocean Academy students interested in performing Shakespeare's plays...in Kriol.

    Skydiving Belize
    Thrill seekers are an uncommon breed and all you need sometimes is 4 minutes of insane courage at 12,000 feet, falling from the sky at 125 miles per hour in 40 degrees Farenheit. January 13th was a first for me and the second I departed the plane, it felt I was hit with a bucket of ice. The G-Force was incredible. It was a rush that is hard to explain. I survived just literally 4 minutes of bravery. I promise something great will come out of it because Jah is my co-pilot. Leonardo Da Vinci once said "For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will forever lookup". I shall continue to walk with my head high because when you know your limitations, you can defy them. Everything after this experience is possible and I mean anything. I have a new positive outlook of life after this crazy but merited Sky Dive experience. I encourage you to try it. It is not a game for the weak at heart and friends, don't try it at home but try it with Sky Dive San Pedro team for a great experience.

    Helping Hands Intervention and Resource Center
    'A helping hand can change lives.' That's the Helping Hands Intervention and Resource Center's motto, and they are proving it to be true. They provide free homework assistance after school from 4:00 to 6:00pm. If you would like to volunteer, they'd love your help. Thanks, Helping Hands! "Helpings Hands is proud to announce that our tutoring and home work help program is up and running! We are looking to recruit passionate tutors and homework helpers. If you have some free time during after school hours (4-6pm) or anytime on the weekends, and would like to help students learn, we are looking for you.

    Blues Meets Girl
    The Soul Project is the place to be tonight! Steev Inglish, the famous Blues musician, will be performing his 'Blues Meets Girl' musical production.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend

    Corozal - Escuela Secundaria Técnica México celebrates its 34th Anniversary
    Today Deputy Primer Minister and Minister of Education Patrick Faber, joined by Minister of State of the Ministry of Health Dr. Angel Campos and Honorary Consul of Mexico Maria Luisa Espat, joined the Principal Carlos Castillo, teachers, staff, parents and students of the “Escuela Secundaria Técnica México” to celebrate its 34th Anniversary in San Roman, Corozal District. This is a great example of how Mexican cooperation efforts can be achieved to benefit young people in Belize "Agencia Mexicana de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo".

    Access Life Expo Setup
    Access-Life, Inc. and Hearts of Christ have teamed up, and are having the Access Life Expo at Sacred Heart College's auditorium today. They've brought 100's of wheelchairs and crutches, and are giving them to those in need. Saturday, January 21st, from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

    Channel 7

    Senate President Discusses Chon Saan Building Purchase
    A week ago, we showed you Prime Minister Dean Barrow's response to a question in last Friday's House Meeting. It was about the proposed government purchase of Senate President Lee Mark Chang's Chon Saan building in Belmopan. The Government is seeking to buy a new building for the Immigration Department, but the Prime Minister said last week that Chang's asking price to sell to them is $300,000 more than the Government is willing to pay. Today, when we met Chang at another event, we asked him about the Prime Minister's suggestion that his price is too high, and shared an appraisal done on the building by the firm Mahung and Partners Limited. Seen here, these valuers have assessed the building and they say that it is worth 2 million dollars, or 1.8 million if Chang and his family are forced to sell it under duress. The Government has done its own independent valuation of the building, and their expert puts the value lower. So, is the Senate President and his family prepared to bring the price down to close the sale? That's what we asked him, but it appears that Chang was itching for someone to come asking about it so that he could get the opportunity to maul the media house - not us - who reported that he was asking the Government for 4 million dollars. Here's how he put it:

    Golden Bay Was Hiring Illegal Workmen
    The Golden Bay building on Marine Parade in Belize City - it's still under construction - but it's shaping up to be one of the largest buildings in the city. But, today we found out that the construction work is being done by illegal labour. Our 7News team was on the scene when the Police Mobile Interdiction Team descended on the construction site. But they weren't looking for illegal labour. They were looking for one of the 10 Salvadorian MS-13 gang members who escaped jail in their country on New Year's Day. Well, they didn't find him, but when the MIT Personnell asked the workers for their "papeles" it turns out that none of them had a work permit. They took all 15 of them to the Queen Street police station where they are still detained tonight pending immigration charges.

    Guns In A Graveyard
    The last place you might expect to find a concealed weapon is a village graveyard, but yesterday morning at 7:00, Belize rural police searched an area in the Sand Hill cemetery where they found a .22 rifle. And, in another bushy area of the village, the cops found a 9-millimeter pistol, and one magazine in a plastic bag. This was close to a stash of two ounces of weed, along with five small, marijuana trees hidden underneath buckets. No one in the area, so all items were deposited as found property.

    Carl Reneau For Murder, Not The First Time
    Jaheem Mahler's accused killer went to court today. As we told you, Iguana Street Extension resident 28 year old Carl Reneau has been charged with the murder of the 15 year old boy. Reneau appeared before Senior magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read the charge. He was remanded into custody until February 24th. Mahler was shot and killed on Tuesday night on Iguana Street Extension. This is not Carl Reneau's first time before the court. In 2013, he was charged for stabbing two 15 year old's. It allegedly happened on Antelope Street - one block away from Wednesday night's murder scene on Iguana Street. Before that he was accused of murder in 2009, for allegedly killing Brian Williams - who was shot 8 times. And in 2008, he was charged for the attempted murder of Delroy Matura, who was shot 7 times. We note that he was charged, but not convicted for these offences.

    Rider Remains A Mystery
    Last night we showed you the images of this man on bicycle. Police say he is a prime suspect in a non fatal shooting - but they won't say which shooting at this time, so as not to trigger violent retaliation. But even though the image has been plastered on the news and on Facebook, the cops say they still have not gotten a positive identity. So if you do know who it is, you can call the police or, 0-800-922-TIPS, or you can Inbox Chester Williams on Facebook.

    "Wahaca" (Oaxaca) Weed From Back-A-Botes
    Customs Enforcement in the north is known for catching contraband alcohol and produce - as we showed you last night. But, today, they busted a kilo of high grade weed, which they believe was coming down from Botes. That's the Mexican village which is across from Santa Cruz in Belize. This morning, acting on intelligence, Customs set chase after four men in a silver Volkswagen car on the San Antonio Road. One of the men escaped, and three were arrested: one is from Taylor's Alley in Belize City, and two are from Carmelita village in the Orange Walk District. Customs say they men had the kilo of weed separated into two bricks, which was stuffed into hardhats, the kind used by construction workers. The three are being held, along with the vehicle and the weed by the police Narcotics Unit pending charges. Police believe they know the identity of the fourth suspect who escaped.

    New House Speaker Will Take Over Regional Body
    FOPREL is an abbreviation for the Forum of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments of Central America and the Caribbean basin. That's the organization in which the leaders of parliament from 10 Countries, mostly Central American, discuss shared challenges, including transnational organized crime. New House Speaker Laura Longsworth now represents Belize in that body. And, at the end of February, she'll assume the rotating presidency of FOPREL. She takes over from the leader of Guatemala's parliament. Today, a senior executive of FOPREL's Permanent Secretariat came to Belize to meet with her and Senate President Lee Mark Chang. They were discussing what it would mean when Belize assumes the presidency. Our 7News team stopped by to speak with the House Speaker, the President and the FOPREL Representative. Here's what they told us: Dr. Santiago Leclair - Permanent Secretary, FOPREL: "On this occasion, we have visited Belize since the parliament of Belize correspond to assume the pro-temporary presidency of our forum. There are 10 parliaments that we have."

    Speaker Laura and The Learning Curve
    So, this is just one more responsibility which Longsworth has to manage along with the very steep learning curve in parliamentary procedure and house politics. So, how is she handling it? That's what we asked today: Hon. Laura Longsworth - Speaker of the House: "It was interesting, you had the gallery there, and there I am in the middle, trying to observe and understand what's going across the floor, because what we see on TV is one thing, and there is actual interaction across the floor. So, my first day had to do with paying keen attention to the entire interaction, paying keen attention to what I need to do to maintain order, keeping in mind the Standing Orders, and wondering why people don't follow the Standing Orders." Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "Often times, a major criticism of the House is the way it's run and the way how Elected Members tend to have these meetings devolve into a back-and-forth, a name-calling, and finger pointing session. Have you observed that, and do you have ideas on how you will keep them in line?"

    Senate Spars Over Taiwan Money
    "Budgetary support from Taiwan" - we've been hearing about that since the 90's - basically it means a soft loan or grant to cover the budget deficit - and government always has a deficit to cover. So after about 20 years of the Taiwan Tango, governments red and blue have probably gotten something like 500 million US dollars in budgetary support from Taiwan. That's why it didn't raise many eyebrows when a loan motion for another 25 million US dollars from Taiwan went to the House last week. But in the Senate - which likes its T's crossed and its I's dotted "just so", it did generate debate. The PUP side demanded to know what "budgetary support" means exactly. Here's the back and forth: Hon. Paul Thompson. PUP Senator: "This is 25 million US dollars, that's 50 million Belize dollars. That's not a small sum, that's a hefty sum, Mr. President. I ask these questions looking for answers, but also rhetorically. Mr. President as we are painfully aware that the nation's finances are in a bad situation after years of mismanagement, after years of freelancing, after years of partying, after years of rolling it, and miss-spending, years of flying blindly without an economic plan, we are now forced to borrow to simply meet day to day expenses."

    Business Community Balks At More Loans
    The loan is a sovereign, non-commercial loan at libor plus 2% - which, works out to about 3.5% at current rates. That's considered concessionary terms. But, the Senator for the business sector said that the debt burden on taxpayers and the business sector is too great. Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator: "The rates are not onerous rates, but what my concern was that we continue to add this debt burden to an already overburdened business community and citizenry. I mean how much more can we bear? We're already at the point where government is consuming 30% of our GDP in tax revenue, and now we hear that the revenue needs to be increased - depends on who you listen to - between 100 million and 200 million in the next fiscal year. I don't know where they're going to get that money from."

    Business Sectors Says Bondholders Have No Incentive To Renegotiate
    Senator Lizarraga also expressed little or no confidence in the will of bondholders to agree to restructure the Superbond for a third time. As we've reported, the bondholders committee rejected government's offer to reduce the interest rate to 4% and defer principal payments until the year 2036. The business senator says they bondholders have no incentive to take the deal:... Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator: "We are still questioning what motivation the bondholders have to renegotiate. Why would they want to renegotiate really? Unless it was for a better deal for them. So, we will watch this very closely, and, of course, hoping that the government can achieve some cash flow reprieve, but as well some significant savings. And we really don't see the bondholders motivated to move in that direction, really. Their motivation is that it's trading at 42 cents on the dollar. 40 cents. 40 cents on the dollar, soh obviously the market knows you're holding something close to junk.

    Belize's Hops All But Dashed In Copa
    Belize's hopes in the Copa Centroamericana have been all but dashed after a decisive loss to Nicaragua today. The final score was three to one in favour of Nicaragua. Belize's only goal came as a free kick by Captain Elroy Smith in the 54th minute. At the time, that was the equalizer to bring the score even at one goal apiece. At that point, Belize had hopes of a draw or a win, but things fell apart in the 83rd minute. That's when goalkeeper Shane Orio saved a shot, and scrambled to gain possession but came down with the ball on the goal line. Game officials ruled that he had crossed the plane of the goal while in the air. It was a tough call, and when Nicaragua scored again in the 90th minute, that was the final nail in the coffin. On Sunday's final day, Belize meets first-place Honduras and Nicaragua will take on El Salvador. Barring some miracle in that game, Belize is currently poised to finish last.

    SCA's Proud Day
    St. Catherine's Academy's Mercy Center had been in the works for years and in the planning stages for possibly decades. But construction on the building has been complete for a while now, and it's been the venue to many important sporting events, including FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship Qualifier and the Central American Senior Table Tennis Championship. But the multi-purpose center was just officially opened today. SCA held a ceremony to officially inaugurate the building as well as celebrate the 134th anniversary of the school. We spoke to principal, Salome Tillet about the importance of the new center, and Sister Lisa Griffith, about some new changes SCA will be seeing... Salome Tillet, Principal, SCA: "Today is a very special day for us. We celebrate 134 years of existence and service by the sisters of Mercy to Belize, so it's a happy day for us."

    Maya Leaders Looking Up
    The Toledo Alcalde's Association is reporting tonight they have a new group of alcaldes who are running the 38 Mayan villages in Southern Belize. There was a ceremony held today in which Justice Antoinette Moore, representing Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, administered the swearing in of 76 Alcaldes. They will be led by Santiago Quib, Alcalde of San Benito Poite, who was elected as the President of the Alcaldes Association. The ceremony was also witnessed by Justice o the Peace Pio Coc, Ernest Banner from the Ministry of Rural Development, the Punta Gorda Commanding Officer, Superintendent Clement Cacho, and Lawrence Bolon, the President of DAVCO-Toledo.

    Drug Free, The Way To Be At Canaan SDA
    There is only so much you can actively keep kids, especially teenagers, away from. Things like liquor and weed are drunk and puffed all around them and they aren't difficult to get a hold of either. But it doesn't mean parents or teachers shouldn't try. That's the focus of the Canaan Seventh Day Adventist School's "Be Drug Free" week. Today 250 Canaan school students took to the streets with their posters against drug use among youth. The march ended at the Memorial Park this morning and we spoke with the principal about the importance of this movement. Patricia Nembhard, Principal, Canaan Seventh Day Adventist: "It was an entire program for the entire week, on Monday we had Pastor Paul Casanova that came and brought awareness to the young people about drugs and on Tuesday we had a fair where we had the Coast Guard and the police department that also came and they had their booth and the young people were able to go to each booth and they were able to learn that drugs really kills and they need to stay away from drugs and on Wednesday we also had a competition , if you go to the school you can see the competition where the kids had a painting competition based on the theme : be drug free and drugs - what destroys you, yesterday we had a poem, a drama competition and also a music competition and today we end off the rally with this parade to let the community see that young people from Canaan Seventh Day Adventist School are aware that drugs destroy you and we are making sure , we are pledging we will not be a part of that."

    Trump Sends Signal Of Insular Foreign Police At Inauguration
    Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States today. His unlikely rise to the highest post in the world's most powerful country, has the world on edge tonight because no one really knows what to expect. But, Trump gave the indication of a far more insular foreign policy in his inaugural address where he described an America for Americans:... Donald Trump, 45th President of the USA: "We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families." More than 200 have been arrested in protests that erupted at the same time as the inauguration.

    Botes Not All That Bad
    Earlier on in the news – we told you how customs made a bust of Marijuana coming form Botes, Mexico. It’s one of the most popular villages for contrabandists and regular shoppers. We went there in 2008, and to give some context on this curious little place, we bring back that story tonight: Jules Vasquez Reporting, Santa Cruz Village, there’s not much to see here. In fact, a government school and a hurricane shelter are the only things that tell you you’ve arrived. It’s at the end of line – the south western edge of the Orange Walk District on the periphery of the Albion islands – sitting at the border with Mexico adjacent to the community on the other side, known as San Francisco Botes. But for the folks we met there it is the beginning of a journey back home – saddled down with plastic bags and knapsacks full of groceries. The groceries they carry are from Mexico – contrabanded into Belize.

    Channel 5

    Does Muslim Militant Killed in Philippines Have Belize Link?
    An Islamic militant killed in the Philippines last week may have family ties in Belize and tonight there are more questions than answers in this case. The story has been [...]

    Evangelical Association Petitions President Trump for Ambassador with “Biblical Values”
    This afternoon, Donald Trump was officially inaugurated as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America. He succeeds Barack Obama, who appointed Carlos Moreno, former California Supreme Court judge, [...]

    “Red flags” on Puerto Azul over Money Issues
    Following the inaugural Sitting of the Senate on Thursday, Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse, spoke at length with the media about the botched Puerto Azul project.  The proposed [...]

    Should Ministers Have Gone on Cannes Junket for Puerto Azul?
    Senator Hulse also admits that eyebrows were certainly raised when the developers mentioned the unbelievably high wages that housekeepers and landscapers would be receiving.  He says that the big money [...]

    Ara Macao is Back – But in What Form?
    In what can only be described as perverse fate, a week that featured news of an implosion of a mega-tourism development project, namely Puerto Azul, ends with news of a [...]

    Belize City Police Lock Down Possible Undocumented Workers
    A group of laborers, presumably from other countries within Central America, was rounded up by Belize City police this morning at a construction site of Golden Bay on Marine Parade. [...]

    Carl Reneau to Court for Jaheem Mahler Murder
    The accused gunman in the murder of Jaheem Mahler was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for arraignment this morning. Twenty-eight year old Carl Reneau appeared before Senior Magistrate [...]

    New Alcaldes Sworn-In in Toledo
    Seventy-six alcaldes representing thirty-eight Maya communities in Southern Belize took the oath of office earlier today during a swearing-in ceremony.  The traditional leaders were each elected by a majority of [...]

    Toledo Alcaldes Also Elect New President, Plan Strategy
    At the time of the swearing-in ceremony, Santiago Quib was chosen by the majority to ascend to the presidency of the TAA.  The Maya community also acknowledges the support given [...]

    The Math of the Referendum Act
    In wrapping up Thursday’s debate on the Referendum Act, which the Government is seeking to have amended to reflect a simple majority as validating a referendum on any issue, Leader [...]

    Fyffes Sell-Out to Sumitomo Should Not Affect Belize, Says Agriculture Minister
    In agricultural news: it slipped under the radar, but in December 2016, Irish fruit distribution company Fyffes, well known in Belize for purchasing Belizean bananas, was bought out by Japan’s [...]

    Shrimp Farming Tries to Rebound, But Difficulties Remain
    Among the most disappointing performers in Belize’s “big five” line-up of exports – sugar, citrus, bananas, marine products and petroleum – is marine products and particularly the shrimp farming industry. [...]

    Introducing Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath
    All this week we’ve been showing you snippets of Rebecca Rath’s journey to the Miss Universe crown in Manila, Philippines. Rath and the other contestants are participating in a number [...]

    What to Look For with Cyber Crime
    Cyber bullying is a crime that occurs every split of a second on social media. But the truth it, that at least for now, there is little that can be [...]

    Prestigious St. Catherine Academy Marks 134th Anniversary
    You probably know or are related to someone who studies or who has passed through the halls of Saint Catherine Academy. The all-girls high school continues as a vanguard institution [...]

    LOVE FM

    Former Immigration Minister says visa recommendations by Ministers is no big deal
    When the former acting director of Immigration, Maria Marin, appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee, she mentioned that a list of Government Ministers was created. According to Marin, these Ministers were red flagged because they were recommending persons they did not know for visas. What was alarming was the massive amount of visa recommendations […]

    Minister Hulse says revelations on Puerto Azul project not surprising
    When the Puerto Azul project was initially pitched to investors and the Government of Belize, the so called developers Domenico Giannini, and Fabio La Rosa spoke of an eight star resort with world class services and ‘out of this world’ accommodations. It sounded too good to be true and it turns out that it was. […]

    No mediation session set between Ministry of Education and BNTU
    The Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Union have yet to reach a compromise regarding the 11day strike carried out by thousands of teachers countrywide. The Ministry decided to not pay those teachers who participated in the strike. The BNTU took the matter to court and the Chief Justice ordered that both parties […]

    Senior Counsel calls out Prime Minister over comments on arbitration ruling
    Last Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow threatened economic war against Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited if the companies attempted to collect the fifty million dollars arbitration award. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay commented on the situation. Eamon Courtenay – Senior Counsel “I think the big picture here is whether or not Belize, […]

    Opposition attempts to adjourn Senate meeting
    Newly appointed Senator for the United Democratic Party Michael Peyrefitte was sworn in today at the start of the Sitting of the Senate. And while Peyrefitte was present for today’s senate sitting, the Senator who is to represent the non-governmental organizations, Osmany Salas was not. Prior to today’s sitting a request had been sent to […]

    Police need help to identify body retreived from river
    Police were called out this morning after receiving reports that a body was seen floating in the river in the Manatee Lookout area on the Philip Goldson Highway. At this time Police have not identified the identity of the individual. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the body was buried at the Lord Ridge […]

    Bus driver issued with NIP following fatal accident
    50-year-old bus driver Luciano Cabanas of Ranchito Village has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Cabanas was driving a bus on Tuesday night when he knocked down and killed an elderly man in Buena Vista Village. Police say their investigations have revealed that the elderly man lived between Trial Farm Village and Buena […]

    Transport Minister meets with shuttle operators in the south
    Minister of Transport Edmond Castro and officials from the Department of Transport were in Bella Vista Village in the Toledo District on Wednesday. The delegation met with shuttle bus operators to look at issues relating to the services they provide to the public, including the regularization and streamlining of the services. The Village Chairman, Juan […]

    Senators debate fifty million dollar loan from Taiwan
    A loan motion for twenty five million US dollars from the Government of China, Taiwan, was approved today in the Senate. According to the orders of the day, the Government received an offer from Taiwan as financial support. This offer comes in the form of a long term, concessionary loan of fifty million Belize dollars. […]

    Carl Reneau charged for murder of 15-year-old boy
    28-year-old Carl Reneau has been arrested and charged for the murder of 15-year-old Jaheem Mahler. The teenager was shot and killed on Tuesday night on Iguana Street Extension in Belize City.

    PlusTV

    Senator Lizarraga on Bondholders
    In other news from Belmopan, Business senator, Mark Lizarraga weighed in on the rejection of the first proposal for a renegotiated super bond by the bondholder’s committee. He said the business community is closely following the matter: Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Business Community; We are...

    Nurses telephone call on Rise and Shine
    Over the last few days PlusNews has been receiving several complaints from nurses at the Western Regional hospital in Belmopan that several changes have been made in the way nurses are to carry out their responsibilities. These changes, they say, have been made without their permission as no consult...

    Amandala

    Bondholders say no to Belize!
    In a statement issued today, bondholders announced that they have rejected the offer released by the Government of Belize last week to holders of its 2038 billion-dollar bond, in which the Government proposed a reduction in interest rates and a delay in amortization payments due to economic exigencies. The committee has also indicated that it is not convinced that the partial fiscal adjustment measures announced by the Government of Belize will avert future problems and reduce the risk of yet another debt restructuring exercise down the road. The bondholder committee is composed of Greylock Capital Management, LLC; Grantham, Mayo, van Otterloo & Co. LLC; Steadfast Insurance Company and Capital Markets Financial Services Inc. The committee has additionally retained BroadSpan Capital LLC as financial advisor, Blitzer Consulting as special advisor, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP as legal advisor.

    Jamal Mahler, 15, murdered on Iguana Street Extension
    Last night at around 8:30 p.m., the life of another city youth was cut short by gun violence. Jamal Jaheem Mahler, 15, of Fabers Road, was murdered on Iguana Street Extension, in the south-side of Belize City. Police reported that Jamal and his two friends were on Iguana Street Extension when an unknown gunman approached and fired at them before escaping from the area. Mahler was hit in the face, chest, back and legs, but his friends escaped unhurt. Mahler was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

    Ruth Meighan “knows nothing” about Immigration Dept. scandal
    Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, was named in the Auditor General’s Special Audit into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Department after it was revealed that she had approved 12 of 15 applications for permanent residency even though the applicants did not meet legal requirements. Those persons were approved for permanent residency status in Belize even though it had been less than a year since they were issued their visas. In one shocking case, an individual was granted permanent residency in Belize only eighteen days after being issued a visa. When she was questioned at Wednesday’s Senate hearing, Meighan claimed that she simply did not see the visas when she was approving applications.

    Puerto Azul “fantasy island” was a $40 mil Ponzi scheme, Italian authorities allege
    A duo of Italian foreign investors who got the Government of Belize’s support years ago to explore the development of what had been billed as an ultra-luxury, 8-star resort dubbed Puerto Azul, near the Great Blue Hole, have been arrested on allegations that they were using the project as a part of a “Ponzi scheme” which duped over 200 investors, including famous Hollywood actors John Travolta and Andrea Bocelli, out of over 20 million euros, or nearly 40 million Belize dollars. Travolta and Bocelli, two Hollywood actors, were famously photographed back in 2014 at the launch of the Puerto Azul project in Cannes, France. Other notable figures at the event were three Belizean officials: Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, Investment and Trade Minister Erwin Contreras and Special Envoy for Women and Children – Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

    Unidentified man found floating in Belize River
    An unknown man has been laid to rest by the police department after his decomposing body was fished from the Belize River early this morning. His body was discovered floating down the river near the Manatee Lookout area at around Mile 8.5 on the Philip Goldson Highway sometime before 8 a.m. by passersby. When our newspaper spoke to onlookers we were told that they had thought it was a manatee that had perhaps been struck by a boat. However, a closer look revealed that it was a man of Creole descent, apparently in his early thirties, who was wearing a white under-shirt and brown under-pants. The Ladyville police station was immediately contacted.

    Friday’s fiery House debate on the ICJ referendum
    The Belize-Guatemala issue took center stage at Friday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives, the first for 2017, with both sides of the floor diametrically opposed to a move by the Barrow administration to do away with the 60% minimum voter turnout threshold from the Referendum Act—a change which comes three years after Guatemala demanded it, on the premise that the high threshold is not conducive to a ‘yes’ vote on the question of whether the parties should submit the territorial differendum to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). At the end of Friday’s fiery debate, 16 members of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) voted ‘yes,” thus carrying the vote; while 9 members of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP)—which was far more vocal in the debate—voted ‘no.’ There were 5 members of parliament absent and 1 suspended – that is, Cayo South area representative for the PUP, Julius Espat.

    Belize line-up in 3-1 loss to El Salvador on Tuesday
    Some day we hope to find out what was wrong with our Belize Jaguars at the start of Tuesday’s Copa Centroamericana clash with El Salvador at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. The Belize team looked lethargic, almost disoriented at the start of the match, and was simply overwhelmed by El Salvador’s swarming attack, out-numbering our midfield and defense every step of the way with aggressive player and ball movement, so that the goals seemed almost inevitable. Thank goodness, it was only 3-1. There were a couple bright individual sparks for the Jaguars, most notably Denmark Casey’s fine feed, and Deon McCaulay’s clinical finish, as well as the splendid attacking thrusts by Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton following his long over-due entry into the game in late second half.

    Orange Walk football games, results & schedule
    The Orange Walk Football Association’s (OWFA) Under 10 finals were held at Orange Walk Technical Field on Saturday, January 14. In the third-place game, Trial Farm Crocodiles won by default over San Lazaro. And in the championship final, Landy’s Jrs. shut out Minions, 3-0, with 2 goals from Raul Witzil and 1 from Mark Bainton, Jr. Under 17 games: Two Under 17 games were also played at Orange Walk Technical Field on Saturday. Vibes Alive won, 4-1, over Black Water of Trial Farm; and Colombia dropped Orange Walk Central Stars, 1-0, on a goal by Andir Chi.

    Why Guatemala is not at the Copa Centroamericana
    Some fans, especially our brothers and sisters with connections to Guatemala, keep asking us why the Guatemalan national team is not participating in this Central American Cup, which is a qualification tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this year. All other Central American teams, including Belize, are in Panama participating in the Copa Centroamericana. We sympathize with the Guatemalan fans. Our country, Belize, has had, and continues to have serious problems with the “big people” who “run things” in Guatemala. The agenda of these “big people” who run Guatemala is indeed a threat to our very existence as a nation, “from proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon.” They claim us, our homeland, our birthright. Is there any greater disregard to the dignity of an independent, sovereign people?

    Dangriga sports stats
    In secondary school football yesterday, Tuesday, in the Dangriga Zone, game 1 of the 5-game series between the females of Delille Academy and Ecumenical ended in a 1-1 draw. Orelle Gillett scored at the 19th minute of first half for Delille, while Veleene Tasher hit the equalizer for Ecumenical at the 19th minute of second half. In the males, Delille Academy won, 4 goals to 2, over ANRI. Wayne Ford scored 2, and Darney Garcia and Eaton Garcia got 1 apiece for Delille; while ANRI goals came from Sedeeke Zuniga and James Aranda. Tuesday’s games were hosted by Delille Academy.

    The Emperor of Belize
    When Mexico and Central America became independent from Spain in 1821, Roman Catholic Mexico held a kind of hegemony over Roman Catholic Central America. The Anglican, English-speaking settlement of Belize, not yet an official British colony but very much linked with British Jamaica, was stuck, geopolitically speaking, in between Mexico and Central America (which did not include Panama at that time.) In 1823, the Central American republics – Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica broke away from Mexico and formed a Central American Confederation. The year of 1823, interestingly enough, was the same year the United States of America, independent from Great Britain less than a half a century at the time, declared the Monroe Doctrine, through which the Americans declared their authority over the Western Hemisphere. Soon after they broke away from Mexico, the Central American republics began fighting amongst themselves. Around 1840 or so, the one Rafael Carrera emerged as the President of Guatemala, which had defeated the army of Francisco Morazán, who had basically enjoyed the support of Honduras and El Salvador.

    From The Publisher
    When things began becoming dangerous around me in 1969 and 1970, I didn’t turn to my own class of people, who may be described as the petit bourgeoisie. I turned to the lumpenproletariat of Belize. In thinking about it so long after the fact, I suppose it may really have been that, as opposed to my turning to the lumpenproletariat, that they in fact chose to come to my rescue. Whichever it was, the distinction is now merely a matter of academic exercise. In brute, street terms, what is relevant is that there was a working relationship between a university graduate and relatively uneducated, substantially unemployed core of Belizeans. Between 1965 and 1968 in New Hampshire, I had listened carefully to the experiences of the man Guy Mhone, who had been a student activist in Malawi. Malawi had been a British colony in the southern part of Africa called Nyasaland. The same British stamp on Nyasaland had been used to stamp British Honduras. The British used the same stamp on all their colonies. All over the world, wherever the British had held colonies, these colonies were becoming independent in the 1960s, and the nationalist leaders who emerged to lead the parliamentary democracies of the former colonies were pretty similar. Almost all of them had been labor union leaders before and during the anti-colonial struggle, so that the bulk of their support was comprised of native workers. So in Malawi, thus in Belize.

    Where are the strong visionary leaders?
    Editor Amandala Sir, Where are the strong visionary leaders like George C. Price, Eric Williams, Michael Manley, Linden F.S. Burnham, Fidel Castro, Cesar Chavez, Evo Morales, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, et al? Most of the leaders of the developing world today “suck up” to the leader of the United States of America (USA) regardless of how big or small they are. They never seem to think out of the box as did those great leaders like Fidel Castro and the Cuban people who stood up for principles. Why do we have to suffer at the hands of the USA when we could be looking at alternatives? Under the incoming US president, I don’t believe anything will improve; it will just worsen. The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries as a trading bloc can make their voices heard. We need to closely and carefully analyze the geopolitical situation today. America is certainly the world’s economic and military superpower, closely followed by China, Russia and India. Within a decade, the USA will no longer be the world’s leader in those two areas; it will be China, India, USA and Russia as economic leaders and China, USA, Russia as military world powers in that order.

    Towards ending the hocus pocus
    Dear Editor, The sitting of the House of Representatives in Belize invariably attracts certain groups of people. There are those who feel compelled to tune in because of their vested interests in politics, and there are those whose interest remains strictly intellectual. However, there are those quite contrary to the aforementioned groups and who are disinterested completely in what unfolds in the House. While we are tolerant of the former two groups, we are unforgiving of the latter, and understandably so. We believe that, surely, anyone who has a sense of civic duty would have a level of care about the governance of his or her country. We may push the argument farther and suggest that anyone who lives in Belize during any period of social decay, political corruption, and economic mismanagement would have the impetus to stay attuned to the decisions, policies, and directives coming from those who reputedly lead us. Unlike others, however, I understand completely the group of Belizeans who ostensibly lack due interest in politics. I, myself, have been unimpressed by the presentations made by and the performance of some of the leaders who represent us in The House. If they do not force us to watch them attack and disrespect each other, they force us to watch them throw fits and temper tantrums, which obscure indisputably the seriousness of the issues that they should address.

    Crique Sarco resident writes about terrible road condition in the village
    Dear Editor, Please publish in your newspaper this letter about our road condition in Crique Sarco. Crique Sarco is one of the most remote villages in Toledo. For the past month or so, the Crique Sarco road has been in a terrible condition. Concerned citizens have made it public before, via Love FM, calling on the relevant authorities to address the situation, but it seems that no one in authority has the intention to address the problem. The Public Works Department was here a couple weeks ago, but instead of filling the huge holes with rocks, they simply scraped off the mud, leaving no rocks on the road, which, in just a couple of days, goes back to even worse condition. The condition of this road is very inconvenient for the community of Crique Sarco, especially the students who are attending Corazon Creek High School. The students are missing a lot of classes because the school bus operator makes no attempt to take them to school due to the road condition. Today is the second day in this week that students are not going to school.

    New Attorney General wants to review the regime of minimum sentences
    The newly-appointed Attorney General, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, in his address to the Bench and Bar at Monday’s opening of the legal year, indicated that he would want to tackle the regime of mandatory sentences. In his remarks, AG Peyrefitte referred to the attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, who had raised a successful constitutional challenge to the mandatory 5-year sentence for firearms violations. Chief Justice Hon. Kenneth Benjamin ruled that the mandatory 5-year sentence for firearms violations was unconstitutional. That Supreme Court decision established an important principle and now persons convicted of firearms offences no longer have to languish in prison for 5 years. Sylvestre explained to a reporter yesterday that under the law as it is presently constituted, there are mandatory minimum sentences which are passed upon individuals and in many instances, the sentences are disproportionate.

    The Reporter

    High school students protest gun violence
    The students of Maude Williams High School took to the streets today, protesting the recent spike in the gun violence plaguing the country. Third form English students lined Cemetery Road, in the blistering heat with signs and posters encouraging positive conflict resolution, and asking Belizeans […]

    Trump sworn in as 45th US President
    Today, Donald John Trump, swore in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Trump and his president Michael Pence, swore in at the US Capital City, Washington DC. In his inaugural speech, Trump maintained the positions on trade that he had campaigned […]

    Suspect charged for murder of 15 year-old
    A 28-year-old man has been charged for the murder of 15-year-old Jaheem Mahler, which happened on Tuesday night. The accused killer, Carl Reneau, was charged on Thursday afternoon. The murder happened around 8:30 p.m on January 17. Mahler was riding his bicycle on […]

    Daniel Caine held for New Year murder
    Police may have cracked the case of the first murder of 2017 with the arrest of Daniel Caine, a 29 year-old resident of Pinks Alley. The victim, 22 year-old Collin Sutherland, was shot and killed near his home on New Year’s Day. Sutherland was on his way home in Conch […]

    “Wasn’t me,” says former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan
    Former Director of the Immigration and Nationality Department, Ruth Meighan, said this week that there was no internal process of any kind to oversee passport and visa approvals during her time at the Department. On Wednesday, Meighan testified before the Senate Special Select Committee which […]

    New Speaker hopes to change unprincipled culture of parliamentary proceedings
    New House Speak-er, Mrs. Laura Longsworth has said she will attempt to restore and uphold the standard of parliamentary proceedings that are conducted in the House. Longsworth, who is appointed and was sworn in at last Friday’s first House sitting for 2017, said that she […]

    25 parcels of cocaine washed ashore in San Pedro Town
    San Pedro Police confiscated 25 parcels of cocaine from the northern part of the island over the weekend before the shipment could reach its targeted destination or dealers. According to police, on Saturday around 7:45 a.m. police was tipped off about a crocos sack which appeared […]

    Female raped in the Bainsville area of Hattieville
    A Hattieville woman was attacked and raped by a machete wielding man on Saturday night. Official reports indicate that around 7.00 p.m, a 31-year-old woman was walking in the Bainsville area when she was approached by an unknown man. He was armed with a machete and […]

    New A.G. Peyrefite – new broom sweeps clean!
    The new Attorney General Michael Peyrefittehas brought a fresh wind of change to his office, as he indicated when he addressed his colleagues at the ceremonial opening of the January session of the Supreme Court on Monday. Peyrefittequoted scripture from Ecclesiastes as he encouraged his […]

    Ministry of Health wants bigger fine for burying dead on private property
    The Ministry of Health is preparing a proposal to submit to government, to increase the fine levied against people who bury their dead loved ones in their yard. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, explained that the ministry is proposing to have the fine increased from […]

    Bureau of Standards explores transition to statutory body
    The Belize Bureau of Standards, through a Caribbean Development Bank funded project, is looking at transitioning from a government department to a statutory body. Director of the BBS, Jose Trejo, explained this week that the project is valued at US$280,000 and has three major components: developing a […]

    BCCI to hold productivity workshop
    The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is calling on business owners, human resource managers, and department heads of local companies to a special workshop on “Productivity Improvements for Small & Micro Enterprises.” The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation and […]

    NGO’s said GOB breached their trust
    The Belize Network of NGO’s this week, condemned the Government of Belize for holding the first Senate meeting of 2017, without the newly-selected 13th Senator, Osmany Salas. The meeting was held on January 19, however, the commencement order which establishes the 13 Senator, did not take effect […]

    Men need to be more involved in HIV response says BFLA
    The Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) is calling on Belizean men to take a more active role in terms of sexual education, to aid in the national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Executive Director of the BFLA, Joan Burke-Skeen, said that a major cultural issue is that […]

    Editorial
    The laws of Belize make it difficult for married couples to get a divorce. They require applicants to first get a provisional divorce before going on a final decree. The courts insist on having serious reasons for a divorce. It is not enough for one of the parties to claim […]

    Body found in Belize River
    The Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department is asking the public’s assistance in identifying the body of a man found dead in the Belize River this week. Ladyville Police found John Doe floating face down in the water between miles seven and eight […]

    Supreme Court needs three more judges
    Austerity measures are in the wind for the government in 2017, but Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has warned against cutting the Judiciary’s budget. Instead he called for the support of the Attorney General’s ministry to hire three new judges for a fixed period to deal […]

    Bondholders reject GOB’s terms
    The Government of Belize is inching closer to defaulting on its next Superbond payment, after the committee formed by the majority of the bondholders refused GOB’s pitch at restructuring. The committee said on Tuesday, that bondholders decided to decline GOB’s Consent Solicitation launched on January […]

    Garbage crisis looming! Citco promises no delays in collection
    As the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWMA) faces difficulties in arranging the transfer of garbage across the country to the regional sanitary landfill, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has reassured the city that the situation is under control. Because of issues with the Mexican […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Carlos Garcia charged for drug trafficking
    Yesterday afternoon around 1:00 p.m., while police were conducting operations in Santa Elena Cayo officers searched a black and blue bag in the possession of 20-year-old Carlos Garcia of San Ignacio Town which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 508 […]

    Police find weed and guns in Sandhill
    Yesterday morning around 7:00 , police conducted a search in an area within the cemetery in Sand Hill Village, Belize District which led to the discovery of a .22 riffle without serial number. No one was found in the area and the firearm was deposited […]

    Police issue official report on body found
    Yesterday shortly after 8:00 a.m., police visited the Belize River bank between miles 7 and 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway where about 20 feet away from the river bank, the body of a man was seen floating in the river. The body was […]

    Jimmy Morales’ brother and son detained on corruption charges
    According to the Prensa Libre, a Guatemalan newspaper, yesterday a judge ordered the detention of President Jimmy Morales’ son and brother for fraud. A United Nations anti-graft commission said they are suspected of submitting about $23,000 worth of false receipts in an alleged tax […]

    Transparency International points to corruption and nepotism in some countries
    The global coalition against corruption, Transparency International, posted a video to its social media page yesterday listing some world leaders and problems of nepotism. On the top of the list is President-Elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump who officially assumes office […]

    The Senate held its first meeting yesterday in Belmopan for 2017
    Former House Speaker and newly appointed Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte, was officially sworn in as the government’s newest Senator yesterday. Peyrefitte, a political bulldog, fiercely debated with Opposition senators who tried to end the meeting even before it was started. Lead Government Senator, Godwin […]

    Infamous Mexican drug lord extradited to the US
    Yesterday, notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was extradited to the United States of America. Guzman was escorted from his cell with heavy armed security detail and a fleet of armed vehicles. He was transported in an official DEA airplane. Guzman has gained […]

    Blogs

    Story time: The tale of Nook Restaurant and Cocktail Bartique!
    The concept and team of Mojo was melded even more when, after only two months open, they had an electrical fire in the walls of the small building. All the esthetic work was damaged, and the village banded together to help. Mojo was up and running in only nine days again, and better than ever, with a staff who worked tirelessly – some without pay for weeks. They brought Mojo to a top TripAdvisor restaurant for the area, and although recently it’s under new ownership, continues to do so… In comes Jeff Parker, a skilled and seasoned IT professional who decided to try Placencia as a work remote location to test drive the waters, so to speak! Jeff became a regular at Mojo, and friend of Erin and the staff. Eventually, Jeff was thinking of getting into the restaurant game…and Erin gave him many reasons not to! Although the restaurant industry is her passion, she knew it wasn’t for everyone!

    Visiting Corozal museum "Window to the Past "Khirkee Ko Guzarna" East Indian culture Museum Corozal"
    Before I move on to the Museum in Corozal, I will tell you about how great the weather was today. It has been quite isolated all day with some cloudy at times. But, it didn't rain. Corozal was warm and cool today to come out and swim or walk around town. Who knows what you're day will be with no plans on your beautiful day in Corozal. Let me highlight some interesting facts about the past History of Belize. The video to the left, show's the inside part of the museum and how the people lived in Belize and what they use to used back then. Back then, in the old days' Belize was peaceful, slow and more enjoyable. Belize countrywide has a lot of History still waiting to be discovered. Surprisingly, I was so excited to come visit the Corozal museum Window to the Past "Khirkee Ko Guzarna" East Indian culture Museum in Corozal. I went to visit the Museum, and heading there it was so humid and enjoyed the wind. When I reached the Museum, I walked inside a large property, clean and very opened. From outside I saw the large sign that said the name of the museum. I knew it was hear, But I didn't know which building it was. I walked towards the first building, I noticed a group of Belizean's hanging outside. I kindly asked one of the people " where is the museum? one of the guy's answered me, "It is the second white building downstairs." So, I kept walking the direction they gave me. On the entrance of the building, I observed outside, a hand pump for water.

    International Sourcesizz

    Mexican anti-logging activist Isidro Baldenegro killed
    A prominent Mexican environmentalist has been shot dead in his home state of Chihuahua after receiving death threats. Isidro Baldenegro had spent many years organising peaceful protests against illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountains. In 2005 he won the prestigious Goldman environmental prize. A UK-based watchdog, Global Witness, says 33 activists were killed in Mexico in the five years up to 2015. Isidro Baldenegro was a community leader for Mexico's indigenous Tarahumara people and was one of the country's most prominent environmental activists. He had recently returned to his home village after receiving death threats against himself and his family. Mr Baldenegro was the second recipient of the Goldman Prize, given to grassroots activists, to be murdered in less than a year.

    Ligados por fraude el hijo y hermano de Jimmy Morales
    José Manuel Morales, hijo del presidente de la República, Jimmy Morales, se presentó al Juzgado Sexto Penal, en tanto que Sammy Morales, hermano del mandatario, fue detenido a primera hora. Samuel Morales, hermano del presidente Jimmmy Morales, y José Manuel Morales Marroquín, hijo del mandatario, detenidos por un caso de corrupción. (Foto Prensa Libre: Carlos Henrnández Ovalle) Para fines judiciales, Morales fue arrestado en el propio juzgado, a la espera de que se celebre la audiencia judicial.

    Vanuatu, Tonga, Belize, Mongolia: Top 10 poor countries you won’t regret visiting
    Intrigued by Belize? Curious about Costa Rica? Dreaming about Vanuatu? Now here’s a really good reason to visit in 2017 - they’re all on a new hot list of destinations where you can be sure your trip won’t be guilt trip. Holidaying in developing countries can often raise a complex set of questions and concerns - like, “Is tourism really helping the local people?” or “Am I damaging the environment by visiting?”. Thankfully, the folk at Ethical Traveler have answered these questions and come up with a list of stunning emerging destinations around the world where you can be confident you’re doing the right thing by visiting. Rated among Lonely Planet’s top value destinations for 2017; recognition as an ethical destination for 2017 with several world-leading examples of sustainable tourism, along with new attitudes that saw a law criminalising homosexuality overturned in 2016.

    Extradited 'El Chapo' Guzman to face 17 counts in US
    Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a legend in Mexico due to his dramatic prison escapes and years of staying just ahead of the law, will appear Friday in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn, where he will stand trial on conspiracy and drug charges at a later date. The diminutive trafficker, described by a federal official as "the most notorious criminal of modern time," was extradited from his native Mexico and arrived late Thursday in New York. "Who is Chapo Guzman?" said US Attorney Robert Capers of the Eastern District of New York. "In short, he is a man who has known no other life than one of crime, violence, death and destruction." Stringent security measures were put in place around the Manhattan jail where Guzman is to be held, a law enforcement source said. The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed while the drug lord is being transported to court.

    City planning manager to help Belize capital develop its downtown
    The city’s Planning Initiatives Manager is headed to Belize to help the capital city of Belmopan develop their own downtown. “The project is one of economic development in a developing country,” George Kuhl said. “People tend to leave the city after work and go back to (larger communities).” The city is hoping to make use of a park in the downtown area to get people to stay and take part in activities while promoting local business. “They’ve created an opportunity for 12 businesses to use kiosks in this park, and there will be business opportunities because of that,” he said. The setup is not unlike the City of Lethbridge’s downtown use of Galt Gardens. Kuhl’s name was put forward by Economic Development Lethbridge because of his experience in economic development and the work done for downtown revitalization in Lethbridge. He has a blend of different experiences that was felt would be applicable to the mission in Belize.

    Raising the Bar: Sir Dennis Byron charts new course for Caribbean justice
    After Sir Dennis Byron was sworn in as president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in September 2011, it was no surprise that he immediately set about transforming the institution. His reputation as an innovator and court reformer by then had already been firmly established. In the late 90s, as chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, he spearheaded several technology-driven improvements in the regional justice system. During his four-year tenure as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, he instituted judicial performance management systems still used as benchmarks to this day. Now he is at it again. Sir Dennis has led the CCJ into the adoption of a set of innovative systems for electronic filing of documents, case management and court performance measurement. Behind Sir Dennis' drive for change is an unflinching vision to enhance Caribbean citizens’ access to justice and reduce the delay of litigation from start to finish. He recently weighed in on the use of technology in Caribbean courts. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

    The Caracol Hieroglyphic Stairway
    These inscriptions support and elaborate some existing proposals, while supplying entirely new twists to the story. What follows are a few thoughts inspired by these finds. The summer of 2016 produced discoveries of tremendous importance for understanding the political history of the Classic Maya lowlands. While excavating Structure A9 at Xunantunich, Belize, Jaime Awe and his team unearthed two inscribed monuments of rare significance, their contents revealed in detailed textual analyseXunantunich Panels 3 and 4 were immediately recognizable as parts of a hieroglyphic stairway first uncovered at the site of Naranjo (Maler 1908:91-93, Pls.24-28; Morley 1937-38.2:42-59; Graham 1978:107-110). There Teobert Maler uncovered 12 blocks bearing outlined medallions of text in two different formats, one of nine glyph-blocks and the other of four. The Xunantunich stones differ in their larger size and the inclusion of two of the smaller medallions apiece. s by Christophe Helmke (Helmke and Awe 2016a, 2016b). These inscriptions support and elaborate some existing proposals, while supplying entirely new twists to the story. What follows are a few thoughts inspired by these finds.

    Videos

  • Bruk It Down Jenny Self Confidence & Esteem Building, 21min.

  • St Catherine's Academy Pageant - Miss SCA 2017, 19min.

  • Up Close: Miss Universe Belize, 1.5min. kind of a bio, she's a water baby!

  • Carnival Dream - Belize and Roatan - Belize city Carnival, 15min.

  • belize city carnival 2017 - belize city belize, 4min.

  • Fun Friday Chat on Open your Eyes, 39min. Most of the first 23 minutes a phone call with Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath minutes with Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath

  • Morning Matters Steffie Lupp, 58min.

  • Morning Matters with Bern, 60min.

  • Visiting Corozal museum "Window to the Past "Khirkee Ko Guzarna" East Indian culture Museum Corozal", 3min.

  • Placencia Players Theatre “Ebony Scrooge”, 46min. Performed December 18, 2016 at the Tipsy Tuna, Placencia Village, Belize. The premier production of Placencia Players Theatre, “Ebony Scrooge”, is a modern adaptation of Charles’ Dickens “A Christmas Carol “. While the Dickens story is set in turn of the century London, the Placencia Players Theatre version takes place today here in Placencia. The story hinges on how greedy Ebony Scrooge who dislikes Christmas has a change of heart after she is visited by three ghosts showing her past behavior and what could happen to her in the future if she doesn’t have a change in attitude.

  • Belize Barrier Reef, 2min. Compilation of videos I shot while diving at the Belize Barrier Reef

  • Ghost Hunters International S03E09 The Crystal Maiden Belize & France, 68min.


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