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December 10, 2016


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


The San Pedro Sun

Wine De Vine hosts reading of “A Wager of Wills”
Wine de Vine was the place to be for an evening of wine and literature. On Tuesday, December 6th, Samantha Alchin, author, was on hand at the wine store to present her novel, “A Wager of Wills”. Alchin met with readers and fans, signing copies of her book and answering questions about the writing process. Alchin began writing the novel at the age of 16, finishing it three years later. She set it down for a while, only returning to the pages to edit. The final version was launched on September 29th, and is now available on Amazon.com – both in paperback and on Kindle, as well as Barnes & Noble, Nook and other literary sources. Lots of research, learning and unraveling the mystery of the times, as well as sheer imagination, went into Alchin’s first published book. The author herself has had quite the adventurous life. Alchin grew up on a farm in Africa with an adventurous family. When it was time for a new adventure, she and her parents and siblings set sail aboard a 33-foot catamaran. As she describes it, “a chance meeting and a spark of romance and a year later, we are in Belize on the island of Ambergris Caye – and my sister is in her wedding dress, sailing to shore, walking down the dock and saying her vows beneath a palapa, surrounded by azure waters.”

Belize Signs the United Nations Convention against Corruption
As the world observed “International Anti-Corruption Day”, the Government of Belize (GOB) signed onto to the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). In the absence of Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow, Acting Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber officially signed the UNCAC treaty on Friday, December 9th, making Belize the 184th country to sign this convention. After discovering an array of scandals within the GOB, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), along with citizens of this country and other organizations demanded action from the government. Hon. Faber, in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator Christian Salazar Volkmann, officials from the Government of Belize and members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the treaty making Belize a signatory of the UNCAC.

#StrongwithKat Fundraiser yields tremendous community support
On Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd, Reef Radio, along with Sagebrush Church and the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) organized and hosted a successful #StrongwithKat fundraiser to raise funds to assist San Pedrana Katherine Portillo. Portillo and her husband Pavel Ythjall were both involved in a serious car accident on December 5, 2015, which resulted in Portillo being paralyzed. This fundraiser united the community of Ambergris Caye, and saw many members selflessly give towards Portillo’s medical expenses. On December 2nd, while Sagebrush Church hosted a dollar drive at the Central Park, Reef Radio hosted a radiothon to ask the public for donations. The following day, the SPTC hosted a successful “walk/run” to show their support for Portillo. From 5:30AM, participants gathered at the Boca del Rio Park to begin their journey from the park to Belizean Shores and back. At 10AM, the Central Park was the designated area to also raise funds through a food and raffle sale. In total, close to $21,000 was collected, and Councilor Flora Anconca is in the process of exchanging the funds to send to Portillo who is receiving care in the USA.

Sabrina Solano of Hopkins wins International title of Reina Garifuna del Caribe
The first ever Reina Garifuna del Caribe (Miss Garifuna Caribbean) pageant was held in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala on Saturday, December 3rd. Planned by the Friends Association for the Development of Izabal, along with the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture and Sports, the event was part of an effort to bring unity among the Garinagu within the Caribbean movement, and assist with the preservation of Garifuna culture. The pageant featured contestants from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras competing at Malecon Cultural Park. After the competition, Sabrina Solano of Hopkins Village, Belize, was crowned the Reina Garifuna del Caribe 2016-2017. Kaylin Mejia of Dangriga also represented Belize, and she took first runner-up in the pageant.

SPHS’ Male and Female Basketball teams win northern regionals!
There’s no doubt that San Pedro has talent, especially when it comes to sports. With the help of Coach Paul Kelly, the San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) male and female basketball teams came back to La Isla Bonita as Regional Champions. Both matches were played on Saturday, December 3rd at the Multipurpose Complex in Orange Walk Town. The female basketball team consisted of team players: Princess Bailey, Baybee Lopez, Rebecca Barkhouse, Ariene Benguche, Jucely Rosalez, Ada Cordova, Aliyah Elliott, Sophie Guan, Lisandra Novelo, Aaliyah Pilgrim, Sueny Vasquez, Karina Ayala, Laisha Gamez, Joshana Soberanis, and Natividad Cawich. Playing for the male basketball team were: Leonard Lopez, Tyrese Arzu, Zimmer Perez, Guillermo Nunez, Christian Orellana, Robert Palacio, Tyrese Martinez, Tyreek Azu, Jahson Salgado, Glendford Cadle, and Zian Bulnes.

Belize Barrier Reef celebrates 20 years as World Heritage Site
The Belize Barrier Reef System (BBRS) has been on the endangered list of the United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Site since 2009, which has been of much concern to Oceana Belize, Belize Tourism Board, the Belize Tourism Industry Association, The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, the World Wildlife Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Belize Audubon Society, APAMO and the Fisheries Department. On Tuesday night, December 6th, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development partnered with these agencies in celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Heritage Status with a televised forum at the Belize Institute of Performing Arts in Belize City. UNESCO’s Belize representative Orlando Medina recalled how Belize marine conservationists had begun the groundwork at a workshop funded by UNESCO in 1993 that led to UNESCO awarding the BBRS World Heritage Status in December 1996.

Belize seeks to strengthen and formalize its dollar in Mexico
The Belize Consulate at the bordering Mexican City of Chetumal has announced that they will be seeking ways in standardizing the exchange rate from Belize dollars to Mexican Pesos. If this is achieved, it is expected that the commercial activity between Belize and Mexico could see an increase of up to 40%. rAccording to Jorge Valencia Gomez at the Belize Consulate in that city, they will be engaging the local authorities of the State of Quintana Roo regarding this topic. Gomez also indicated that there are many other topics for discussions, including tourism and trade between the State of Quintana Roo and Belize.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve introduces the use of dive bands
The administration of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) has been working with their stakeholders on the new implementation of ‘Dive wrists Bands,’ for all paying visitors at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The introduction of the wrist bands will have no effect on the current user fee, which remains at $20BZ, and is good for a full day pass in any of the recreational zones within the reserve. According Miguel Alamilla, Manager at HCMR, the introduction of the wrist bands was necessary after the expansion of the reserve. “The wrists bands will provide us with a better understanding of who all visit the different recreational areas of the reserve. The bands will also be good for night dives,” he said. “We have increased the number of park rangers in order to cover more surface area, and provide the necessary service and assistance to visitors and tour operators.” The wrists bands are made of a waterproof material, and are colored-coded, each day of the week will have its own assigned color.

Leslies win first place in Wahoo de Plata Fishing Tournament
Father and son Martin and Jody Leslie competed in the Fifth Edition of the “Wahoo de Plata” International Fishing Tournament in Mahahual, Quintana Roo, Mexico. From Friday, December 2nd to Sunday, December 4th, the Leslies represented San Pedro on their boat ‘Arsenal’, competing against 12 other boats from different municipalities across Quintana Roo and Belize. With a passion for sport fishing and competion, the dynamic duo reeled in two prizes overall. They brought in the heaviest wahoo at 46.52 pounds, claiming first place. Second and third place went to Luis Contreras Castillo. The Leslies also took third place for the total accumulated pounds of wahoo. According to Captain Jody Leslie, the win was not without its challenges. “At first we were discouraged because our fishing was halted on Saturday. Our friend’s engine shut down and after attempting to find the problem, we spent three hours towing them back to Mahahual. Despite not being able to catch wahoo that day, no one beat the wahoo we caught the previous day. My dad and I never gave up, and I’m very happy about the win,” said Leslie.

Ambergris Today

Paddle Boarding with Man's Best Friend
Dogs dig, run and frolic on the beach, swim in the sea and chase cats up coconut trees, but who's to say that they cannot jump on a paddle board and have a great time on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Here is one happy dog enjoying a relaxing time while admiring the clear waters around it. Its owner doing all the hard work. It's a beautiful day in paradise, why not go out there and enjoy it as much as you can.

20th Anniversary of Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System as a World Heritage Site
In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System as a World Heritage Site a special forum was held on December 6, 2016, to celebrate, discuss of its importance and what more needs to be done to for its protection. The forum took place in Belize City at the Belize Institute of Performing Arts. In December 1996, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS) was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The BBRRS being the largest barrier reef complex in the Northern and Western Hemisphere, also represents the second largest barrier reef system in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to many species of fish, coral and other marine life found nowhere else in the world.

Violence against Children Must Stop Now
The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) joins the nation in mourning the tragic loss of another innocent Belizean child. It is truly a tragic outcome. Media reports about the questionable circumstances surrounding the tragic death of baby Janeeka Campbell leaves the NCFC with grave concerns and a number of questions. The death of any child is regrettable. Sadly, the recent results of the Belize Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2015 indicate that children below the age of five experience the most severe forms of violence against them. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that parents have all the support they need to raise happy and healthy children. Together, with its partners the NCFC continues to work on strengthening the support that Government and NGOs give to families. However, as citizens one needs to remember that “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Peace Corps looking for volunteers with Pedagogical skills: Literacy Intervention Specialist (Belize)
Do you have expertise early childhood literacy, literacy intervention strategies, designing educational materials, delivering effective teacher training for literacy? Are you interested in helping the Ministry of Education in Belize develop and implement its national literacy initiative? Peace Corps Response seeks 4 Literacy Intervention Specialists to volunteer in Belize for 7 months to further this initiative. Won't you consider sharing your skills, expertise and enthusiasm with us? APPLY TODAY! Be here in May.

Belize Social Investment Fund Continues to Empower Teachers, Students & Parents with Skills Training to Achieve Educational Excellence
Teachers, students and parents will receive Certificate of Completion at a ceremony scheduled for 1:00 pm at Chunox Saint Viator High School, Corozal District on Friday December 9, 2016. Teachers, students and parents were trained in multiple disciplines that are of critical significance in relation to capacity building under the Human Resource Development sector. Teachers are now equipped with Business Computer Applications coupled with enhanced educational leadership skills, and competencies, which will significantly contribute in making a positive educational impact in nurturing the development of students. Students were trained in Marketing designed to improve decision-making, productivity and efficiency. Parents received training in Computer Skills in the area of Basic Computer Skills.

FIU's money laundering workshop
Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) National Risk Assessment (NRA) is a process of identifying and evaluating the money laundering and terrorist financing risks in a particular jurisdiction and analyzing the main sources and drivers of the risks in order to develop effective and risk-based policies and actions, and allocate the available resources in the most efficient way to eliminate, control and mitigate the identified risks.An increasing importance is being placed on the assessment of ML/TF risks by the FATF since national strategies, policy decisions and actions must correspond to the risks faced by each jurisdiction and this will lead to effective implementation of FATF Recommendations. Revised FATF Recommendations have a stronger emphasis on ML/TF risk assessment at country level and a risk based approach (RBA). However, assessing ML/TF risks is a challenging task due to multi-dimensions of these unique crimes and lack of data and information in many jurisdictions.

BAFFUprinted publication launch
When: Monday 12th December 2016 at 10:00am Where: Image Factory Art Foundation, Belize City, Belize. The Image Factory Art Foundation announces the public presentation of BAFFUprinted magazine. BAFFUprinted is an independent magazine published by The Image Factory Art Foundation in Belize. Since June 2014 a small team of five art activists have collaborated to produce nine electronic editions featuring the works of over 300 artists, writers and poets. This effort has accumulated over 900 pages of an unprecedented art record for the country Belize. The 1st printed publication is a careful compilation of the 9 electronic editions. BAFFUprinted publication is edited by Katie Usher, Kyraan Gabourel, Briheda Haylock, Rasheed Palacio and Yasser Musa The magazine is a 48 page,9 x 12 inches, full color document and is for sale at $20BZ.

Rapidito's Sassie Barge Schedule
Just reminding everyone that Rapidito's Sassie Barge is now doing daily runs! We will be in Belize City from 6:30am through 5pm to receive your cargo Monday through Friday and deliveries will be done the following day in CC. Please give us a call if you need more information @ 206-0083 or 671-8300. We look forward to serving you

La Isla Carinosa Academy visits Belmopan
LICA standard 6 students had an educational experience we will never forget. Belmopan, we visited the National Assembly building, took picture with Mr. Speaker, sat in the meeting, visited Belmopan market, and visited Our Lady of Guadalupe High School. It was a remarkable experience.

Senior Citizen Christmas Dinner Dance in San Pedro
Seniors! Please join the San Pedro Lions for this annual holiday celebration. Monday December 19th! We look forward to celebrating with our seniors!

Government of Belize and United Nations sign United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN MSDF)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Wilfred Elrington and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Belize, Mr. Christian Salazar Volkmann, signed the United Nations Multi-country Sustainable Development Framework (UN MSDF) at a brief ceremony held in Belize City on the 7th of December 2016. The United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework 2017 - 2021 is a strategic framework that represents the United Nations collective and coherent response to addressing the common development challenges of the English and Dutch Caribbean. It provides a common platform for development cooperation to Belize that is strongly rooted and linked to national priorities. By signing the UN MSDF, the Government of Belize and the United Nations System (UNS) in Belize reaffirmed their commitment to fully support the framework’s implementation process in efforts to realize the country’s long term development goals as expressed in Horizon 2030 and Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy.

Belizean Kevin "King Kosa" Raeburn helping Kevin Gates go platinum
For all the days I been home in Belize grinding when things got so hard and people told me doing music was a waste of time n I thought about giving up am jus glad I never did, I would of never live to see accomplishments only few ppl believed and understood my capabilities. Am not a Rapper Im an Artist, Songwriter, Engineer and Producer. when am not working on my Projects am still working hard. Glad to be apart of this album and others successful artist albums.

Uval Torres 50th Birthday Party - Orange Walk
Here are a few highlights we captured in Orange Walk for Mr. Torres's 50th Birthday Party.

Channel 7

Capital Cops Puzzling Over Baby Janeeka's Death
Last night, we took you to St. Matthew's Village in the Cayo district for an inside look at the life of 1 year-old toddler Janeeka Campbell. She's the baby who was found unresponsive at her home on Tuesday. A post-mortem confirmed that she didn't die of natural causes, but what did cause her death? Well, at this time, the investigators still have strong reasons to believe that neglect or abuse contributed to the tragedy. Today, Belmopan's Commander, Senior Superintendent, Howell Gillett told the media that the medical language used by the pathologist is unclear to police. He told us that the officers intend to seek clarifications from the medical examiner, and they intend to consult with both the Department Human Services, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions: Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett, OC, Belmopan Police: "We have some medical terms that we're trying to work around because what I understand as I've read it is it's hemorrhaged due to head and chest trauma. This Monday we'll try to arrange a meeting with the pathologist to get some more detailed explanation in simpler terms as to what cause the death. Also what we want to verify is the fact that we want to find out if the injuries that were observed during the post mortem, are consistent to the statements that we have thus far which are saying that the child might have fell from the veranda unto the steps and otherwise.

Chopper By Her Stepson, Consuelo Lopez Showing Improvement
Yesterday we told you about Consuelo Lopez, who was brutally attacked by her stepson Linsdale Flowers. Around 10:00 that morning Flowers assaulted his stepmother with a machete at their home in Belize City. Lopez received serious injuries to her arms and head before police arrived and arrested Flowers. Doctors currently have Lopez in a medically induced coma in order to reduce the physical and mental trauma. We spoke to her daughter, Gloria Flores today, who told us that while her mother is still critical her future seems favorable... Gloria Flores, Daughter of Victim: "Right now she's in an unconscious state. They have her sedated, trying to get her relaxed so that no kind of swelling or internal bleeding starts to occur. She hasn't had any so far. So that's her stage, she's breathing on her own and she's fighting." Alex Courtenay, 7News: "So right now she's in a medically induced coma?" Gloria Flores, Daughter of Victim: "Yes she is."

Rt. Hon. Musa Makes A Motion For Hon. Julius
PUP Cayo South representative Julius Espat wasn't at the House of Representatives today. He stayed at his divisional office sitting out the first session of an indefinite suspension. Espat never showed up at the House as he said he would on Tuesday. He backed down off the hard talk yesterday when he said that he would simply be dressed and waiting for the call to "come on down" to the House Meeting. But that call never came, because the PUP's Senior Parliamentarian Said Musa's effort to introduce a "privilege motion" never got off the ground. Here's how Musa tried to float it, and how the Speaker Mike Peyrefitte swatted it down:... Rt. Hon. Said Musa, PUP Fort George: "The question, and this is important Mr. Speaker, a vital matter that goes to the heart of what happens in this house. Every decision, every resolution certainly a fundamental one like suspending a member, has in the final analysis to be voted on even though there's no debate, as the rules call for, there has to be a decision of the house. In other words, the question should have been put and the house should have voted without the debate as the rules say. That did not take place so it is our view respectfully, Mr. Speaker that the suspension of the member from the service of the house was therefore highly irregular and I'm saying the standing order was not followed."

Leader of The Opposition Speaks For Hon. Julius, Government Side Supports
And while that wasn't the only attempt to get the Honorable Espat back into the house. While Musa tried to slide it in with Parliamentary finesse, party leader John Briceno opened up the sitting with a shot from the heart. Here's how that went:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I am appealing to you, to the acting and to the whip of the UDP, the honorable member from Mesopotamia - we've had some discussions in trying to find a way how to resolve this as quickly as possible." Hon. Micheal Finnegan, UDP Party Whip: "This matter was being dealt with by me and the senior member from Fort George division. But the whole matter came to a halt because they wanted to go beyond the house and the matter was taken to the Supreme Court. I believe that if the matter did not go there, this matter would have been resolved by now." Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, UDP Port Loyola: "And for me, I want to make an appeal to this honorable house for to settle this thing as quickly as we could and Mr. Espat needs to understand that this is the national assembly and your behavior, I don't think like what the court decided, doesn't run the rules here."

UDP Party Whip Wants Hon. Espat Back In House
And one of the consistent voices of moderation on the government side has been UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan. Now, in Parliamentary language, the whip is to ensure discipline in the legislature, but Finnegan has been conciliatory on this occasion. In an interview outside the House Chamber he told us why he wants Espat back in the House:... Hon. Michael Finnegan, UDP Party Whip: "I think we are parliamentarians elected by the people. I think we should show magnamity in all various ways and we must rise above the fray and how the whole situation happened back in August, man, in my view it was unkind to the house of representatives and I would never want to see another elected member of parliament taken out the house by the security forces of this country and even though you may disagree with the speaker, you have got to show respect for the chair." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "But ultimately you want to see Julius Espat in this house?" Hon. Michael Finnegan, UDP Party Whip: "Of course, because the people elected him."

At Last, Government Signs UNCAC
Belize is now the 184th country to sign on to the United Nations Convention against Corruption known as UNCAC. Acting Prime Minister Patrick Faber signed the treaty today in the presence the UN Resident Coordinator Christian Salazar Volkmann, Minister of State Dr. Carla Barnett, and members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce. Signing onto the UNCAC was one of the key demands that the teachers made to the Barrow Administration as part of their 11-day strike for good governance. The signing ceremony was planned for today, to coincide with the observance of the International Anti-Corruption Day. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as the head of Government, was to have signed, but because of health issues in the US, he authorized Patrick Faber to do so in his place. Only the Government Press Office was invited to observe the event in Belmopan. Here's what Acting Prime Minister Faber told them about the significance of the signing:

Speednet Wins Major Judgment Over PUC, saving Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
In 2011 Speednet, better known as, "Smart" sued the Public Utilities Commission. Speednet claimed that the PUC was overcharging them for the licensing of the 238 channels they use to provide phone calls, texts and data usage to their customers. The dispute is that the PUC was charging the telecommunications company almost $800,000 for the licensing of the channels when they should have actually been charged $1,400. So, why was there such a big difference in the charges? Well, according to Speednet's attorneys, the problem was with the usage of the word channel, which was defined ambiguously in the PUC's regulations. The PUC was billing Speednet for the usage of voice channels, while Speednet insisted that they should be charged for radio frequency channels, which are cheaper. Today the case, which has been appealed twice, came to a definitive close with the CCJ ruling in favor of Speednet. Via teleconference the Court issued a judgment saying when the regulation is unclear, their ruling should favour towards the person paying the fee over the governing body. Both parties broke the judgment down for us at court today...

San Pedro Supervisor Accused of Sick Crime
Tonight, 62 year-old Ernesto Caliz Sr., a Supervisor at the San Pedro Town Council, is out on Supreme Court bail after being remanded on a charge of sexual assault. He is being accused of fondling a 3 year-old child. Caliz was arrested and charged last week Saturday, after a complaint was made that he fondled the female toddler. He was arraigned on Tuesday in San Pedro, and the magistrate denied him bail. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next adjournment, on January 6th of next year. But, his attorney got a hearing before Justice Adolph Lucas today, who granted bail of $5,000.

Castro Urges Bus Standees Not To Pay Full Price
Transport Minister Edmond Castro was challenged about the new bus fares at today's house sitting. The question for the minister came from the Corozal Southeast Representative Florencio Marin. He asked about the fares in the north, which increased more than any other part of the country. Now, they are still paying 12 to 14 cents per mile just like everyone else. But, that increase seems more drastic because bus operators in that area passed up the last opportunity at a fare increase in 2010. So now there's a double increase - and, understandably, commuters are feeling the pinch. Castro said Marin's questions displayed a lack of empathy: Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport: "Because you are not concern about those poor people in the south that was paying 28 - 29 cents a mile. That's none of your concern for poor black people to be paying $11 to go 40 plus miles. When you know for sure travelling on a bus from Belize City to Belmopan which is 50 miles - you can't ask anyone to pay even $10. What I am saying is your concern is only about the people in the north. So I am telling you member from Corozal Southeast that in order for them to be moving people back and forth from Corozal, Orange Walk to Belize City at 7 cents a mile in 2010 and 2015 and now 2016 - at 7 cents a mile. You have to be running something else, something has to be happening - it's impossible."

Finnegan Still Has Cheer To Give
We also got a chance to ask Mesopotamia area representative Michael Finnegan about Christmas Cheer. Government is giving out very little of it this year: $8,000 thousand dollars each to UDP representatives, we are told. In areas like Belmopan and Cayo central that works out to less than one dollar per voter. But in the relatively small Mesopotamia division, Finnegan says he's going to share up those funds with his constituents. That's because his nephew Shyne Barrow is going to sponsor the toys for the kiddies party. Finnegan says he'll use the resources form his Housing Ministry to help with Christmas cleaning:...

Cordel Hyde Alleges Vega Family Land Scandal
And while Finnegan had fun with that one - it was no laughing matter in the House today when PUP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Cordel Hyde exposed another Vega family land scandal. Hyde pointed to a usual scheme where 50 adjoining pieces of land were acquired by persons who immediately flipped them over to Vega family members. One of the "flippers" is Hilmar Alamilla - the same Vega henchman who flipped the controversial parcel of land along Haulover Creek to Andre Vega. Hyde gave the broad outlines of the Vega family land scheme:.. Hon. Cordel Hyde, PUP Shadow Minister of Natural Resources: "It was probably 4 years ago that the member from Orange Walk North and it's a pity he is not here today, told the world and country; he said "I am not a normal person in Belize" and we laughed. We took him likely, but these folks are very serious folks. I have in my possession Mr. Speaker, 50 land documents from inside the fabled land department. Land transactions that revealed a meticulously orchestrated move to get land from government, pass it on to ordinary people, who then flipped it to the former minister's family. In his capacity as minister he transferred based on these documents 55 parcels of land to 40 plus persons. The lands are all adjacent to each other and those persons in short order, in a few weeks, sometimes in a few months then flipped that land to 3 members of the former minister's family. I am allowed to do that?"

Make Like Mannequins In Belmopan
I'm sure you have heard or seen YouTube videos of the ALS ice bucket challenge. It might seem crazy pouring a bucket of freezing water over someone's else head...well the Mannequin challenge might seem even more bizarre. But that's the new thing right now in America and a team from the US Embassy staged their own today in Belmopan at the market as part of 16 Days of Activism. We were there to capture it this morning. H.E. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador: "The objective here was really to highlight the 16 days Against gender based violence and we are trying to use creative ways to sort of highlight this stuff wearing orange and ribbons and the mannequin challenge is something that came up in the last 2 or 3 months in the US and I am kind of wondering how Belizeans will react to it but as you can see when we had the first 45 seconds of stop motion everybody was watching us and the signs promoting stopping violence , don't hit me and so forth , I think it is a good message if nothing else that people will take away from this is that this is an issue that people need to be aware of and we have chosen thins creative way to bring it to the fore."

Real Pine Means Real Christmas
During the holiday season most homes are decorated with an artificial Christmas tree. Those trees tend to last several Christmas-es, but for some, a plastic pine tree is like a slim Santa Klaus - it's just not right. Teophilla Brakeman is one of those people, and her family has a long standing tradition of providing real pine trees to those who want that pine comb flavor in their living room. We spoke to her a Constitution Park in Belize City where she is selling her trees... Brakeman was originally stationed at Battlefield Park, where he parents used to sell trees, but the City Council told her that he stock was too big for the park. City Council helped her to relocate and Brakeman insists that her stock of trees will not disappoint.

Kind Wins Rotary Raffle of Motorbike
The Rotary Club has several philanthropic initiatives, one of which is to completely eliminate the Polio virus. Today Polio is still present in three countries, so in order to raise funds to fight the virus, the Rotary Club of Belize held a raffle. The grand prize was a brand new motorcycle, which and the winner was the young Nate Chen. Nate and his family received the motorbike in a small ceremony today. We spoke to them and the current president of the Rotary Club of Belize and Sunrise, Victor Usher Jr. about the raffle and where the proceeds are going. While Nate is too young to fully enjoy the new motorcycle, the other members of his family say they will put it to good use.

Shower of Broken Bottle Glass on Street
This morning Central American Boulevard was blessed with showers…not of rain, but of Coca Cola and broken glass. A truck full with morning deliveries turned off Fabers Road onto the Boulevard when it's back door, which wasn't fastened properly, flew open. The momentum launched dozens of crates of Coke onto the street. A clean up crew quickly arrived on the scene and got to work clearing the debris from the middle of the street.

Castro Says Sorry For "Retarded" Comment
Turning back now to today's house meeting, the speaker gave a special provision for Belize Rural North Representative Edmond Castro to make a statement on the adjournment. And he didn't want to make a statement as much as he wanted apologize for saying that our Daniel Ortiz was acting quote, "retarded". Castro said he'll never use that word again:.. Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport "Raise the issue of a matter of what I have said sometime during the course of this week to a reporter Daniel Ortiz, reporting for channel 7. In that interview, Mr. Ortiz was asking me the same question over and over again maybe about half a dozen time and I said 'I am here to apologize' and I apologized to him the following day. I told him one or two good words about his journalism skills as well, but I said to him 'man, brother Ortiz, this is the reason why you always get yourself in problem. Stop asking me the same thing over and over again as if though you are using-', I'm ashamed to say it but if I use the 'r' word they might think I'm saying another word. I said 'stop asking me the same thing as though you are retarded'."

Briceno Alleges Voter/Immigration Fraud To Steal Election
And while Castro apologized in his adjournment remarks, John Briceno used his address on the adjournment to blast the government for what he characterizes as election fraud. The Leader of the Opposition says that he last night received a list of two thousand new citizens who were naturalized just in time for the 2012 election:... Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader: "I was given 64 pages of names of people who got their nationality between October 2011 to February 2012. Over 2,000 nationalities were issued just before the election. Here we have the names Mr. Speaker and I can give you a copy so you all can see. Over 2,000 just before the election." "When we did an analysis 822 Guatemalans got their nationalities; 366 from El Salvador; 330 from Honduras; 62 Chinese and then we have from all over the place. We have from Bangladesh, Spain, Ukraine, Ghana, Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil, Romania - from all over the place these people got their nationalities. There was no proper vetting and no proper process was followed. In 2012, in that last election the UDP got 62,641 votes."

New Treasury Bill Ceiling Raises Opposition Eyebrows
And while those were the hot button political issues of the day, one of the main bills that generated strong debate was the Treasure Amendment Bill - which will allow the government to issue up to 1.3 billion dollars in treasury bills. That figure has been going up all this year, and Briceno called it an addiction to borrowing:...

Sarstoon, The New Norm
And finally from today's House Sitting - we continue with Defence Minister John Saldivar. Early on in the meeting he was asked what is the status of Belize's sovereignty on the Sarstoon River. He gave a synopsis of what we take to be the new normal: that regular Belizeans should expect a Guatemalan patrol shadowing them upriver:...

Channel 5

Another Vega Land Scandal; Massive Swap of Farmland in Carmelita
The final session of the House of Representatives for 2016 kicked off this morning in Belmopan. Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber took the reins for the first time with the [...]

2012 Elections Stolen? 2,000 New “Citizens” May Have Swung It, Say Leaked Papers
Were 2012’s general elections stolen? The United Democratic Party prevailed by the slimmest of margins, winning sixteen seats to fifteen for the People’s United Party. In several constituencies, the vote [...]

Speaker is the Grinch; Julius Espat Kept Out of House for Christmas
Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat will be kept away from the precincts of the National Assembly in Belmopan for the foreseeable future. Today, he faced a warrant for his [...]

Defiant Espat Vows to Resist as Colleagues Try Intercession
While the first attempt at returning Julius Espat to his seat in the House was unsuccessful, Espat’s fellow parliamentarians seemed to miss him somewhat, as the House was largely well-behaved [...]

UNCAC Signed; Acting P.M. Pays Tribute
United Nations Convention against Corruption was signed today inside the cabinet room in Belmopan to coincide with Anti-Corruption International Day. The acting Prime Minister Patrick Faber penned the document which [...]

Belize Not Looking Good for Superbond Deal But It’s Not Over
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returns home this weekend following meetings with bondholders in New York to negotiate a third restructuring of the Superbond.  Reports of Belize’s gloomy economic outlook have [...]

CCJ Hands Final Victory to Speednet in Battle with P.U.C.
A decision was handed down today by the Caribbean Court of Justice that has a significant impact on the telecommunications landscape. The Public Utilities Commission suffered a major blow when [...]

Speednet Saves Big with Court Victory
According to Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Torres, the company stood to lose as much as five million dollars had the CCJ upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal.  As [...]

P.U.C. Considers Amendments to Regulations
While the decision has cleared Speednet from having to pay such exorbitant fees, attorney Fred Lumor, who represents the PUC, says that other telecoms providers, including B.T.L., will benefit from [...]

Police Need Medical Clarity on Baby Janeeka’s Death
The death of two year old Janeeka Campbell continues to baffle police. The toddler died on Tuesday night, but the motive for her death is still under review between police [...]

Department of Human Services To Look at Possible Child Neglect
Initially, the mother was detained for questioning and the police were looking for the father, who was brought in to the Belmopan police custody on Thursday. Statements were recorded from [...]

G.S.U. Charged with Manhandling San Ignacio Couple
A couple from San Ignacio is alleging police brutality at the hands of a former GSU officer.  Shawn Gardener and her common-law husband are accusing the policeman of roughing them [...]

Transport Minister Explains New System for Bus Fares
It has been over a month since Belizean commuters have seen bus fares go up in most of the country. They have complained that there is no justification, since fuel [...]

Belize’s Rebecca Rath On the Road to Miss Universe
The road to the Miss Universe Pageant to be held in the Philippines started in September for Rebecca Rath. Known as Bex, the twenty-three-year-old beauty from Dangriga, has been preparing [...]

LOVE FM

Belize Signs UN Convention against Corruption
Today is International Anti Corruption Day and Acting Prime Minister Patrick Faber signed the treaty making Belize a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The announcement that Belize would be signing on to the UNCAC came in October this year after pressure from the social partners, particularly the Belize National Teachers Union. In […]

Police Updates Media on Baby’s Death in Belmopan
On Tuesday evening, 23 month old baby Janeeka Campbell was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital from Saint Matthew’s Village after she apparently stopped breathing. Before doctors could attend to her, she was pronounced dead on arrival. Police got involved and bruises were observed on Janeeka’s upper body. That led Belmopan Police to suspect foul […]

NCFC Expresses Concern Over Recent Deaths of Children
Yesterday, the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) joined the nation in mourning the tragic death of baby Janeeka. Chair of the NCFC, Pearl Stuart, told Love News that the committee is seriously concerned about the levels of violence that children in Belize are experiencing. The NCFC is calling on the public to collectively […]

Accused Sexual Molestor Gets Bail After Charged for Assaulting Toddler
Sixty-two year old Ernesto Caliz Sr, a supervisor at San Pedro Town Council charged with sexual assault on a three year old girl, was offered a bail of five thousand dollars today by Justice Adolph Lucas after his bail application was heard. The bail was offered on the condition that Caliz is to appear before […]

Flitches of Rosewood Found Illegally Harvested
More than thirty thousand feet of illegally harvested Rosewood in flitch form was confiscated by the Forest Department on Wednesday. The pile of rosewood was found at a wood works factory in Benque Viejo Town and forest officers reported that there was no official marking and documentation for the wood. As a result, the rosewood […]

Amendment to Treasury Bills Debated in House Sitting
Elected Government officials met at the National Assembly today for a Sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan. Today’s Sitting marks the first such meeting that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been unable to attend thus leaving the Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber to represent him. The meeting was called to order just after ten […]

Musa Makes Special Appeal for Julius Espat
After being suspended from the House of Representatives on August 26, 2016 former Prime Minister, Said Musa presented what was termed a privileged motion aimed at having Espat reinstated to the House. The motion ended up in an exchange between Musa and the Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte. JULIUS AT HOUSE IN OUT We […]

Documents Reveal an Abundance of Land for German Vega Imports
Time and time again the Lands Department has been referred to as a hot bed of corruption and today more revelations came to light. Area Representative Cordel Hyde spoke at length on the suspicious activity where several family members are acquiring large parcels of land and immediately selling them to specific individuals including German Vega […]

Opposition Questions About Utilities, Transport and Sports
Item number eight on the agenda for today’s Sitting of the House of Representatives entailed questions from the Ministers. In this segment the elected Parliamentarians presented questions on various matters ranging from health to lands and public utilities. Area Representative for the Lake Independence division addressed the issue of lack of electricity in some rural […]

Figueroa for Deputy House Speaker
In light of the promotion of Minister Edmund Castro to a substantive minister, the post of Deputy Speaker of the House had become vacant. Today, during the Sitting of the House of Representatives the elected official for Cayo North, Omar Figueroa was nominated by the Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber and seconded by Minister Frank […]

Amandala

Two men walk from 2011 Independence Day murder of boy, 9
On September 21, 2011, gunfire rang out shortly after the Independence Day parade had passed the junction of Victoria and North Front Streets, and as a result of that shooting, Joshua Abraham, a nine-year-old standard 2 student of Holy Redeemer Primary School, died from a gunshot wound. The murder sent shock waves throughout the city, marring the festive spirit of the 30th Independence anniversary. Police hastily arrested two suspects who were eventually indicted for the early afternoon murder – which was witnessed by several persons, three of whom gave police witness statements. The statements are what the Crown would rely on to secure a conviction. That, however, is a purely theoretical construct of how the criminal justice system is designed to function in its role of protecting society from its law-breaking members.

Did domestic abuse lead to husband’s murder?
Speculations are that a Corozal man was awakened from his slumber by a chop in his forehead, and when he tried to shield his face, he was chopped multiple times on his hands and back. Even with those machete-inflicted wounds, however, Armando Pelayo, Jr., 36, refused to die, and was thereafter shot in the back at close range with a 9mm gun. Corozal police have not yet confirmed that the victim was chopped first and then shot, but they did confirm that he had been shot and chopped. According to Corozal police, the incident occurred sometime around 2 a.m. today, Thursday, when the victim was home alone with his 20-year-old common-law wife in their G-Street home in Corozal Town.

Economy “imperiled,” GOB tells bondholders
In a press release issued on Tuesday, December 6, the Government of Belize invited holders of its 2038 bonds to weigh in, on new proposed terms “in order to put the Bonds on a sustainable footing.” The release came as an official delegation headed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in New York, trying to advance negotiations to ease debt payments due to spike in 2017, as the Government tries to stave off a possible default on next February’s payment of US$13.5 million. “Obviously, the acceptability of any particular approach to holders will depend on the precise financial terms of the amendments. That said, the views of holders on the structure of the amendments would be useful at this stage,” the Government said in a release published on the website of the Central Bank of Belize.

Big rosewood bust in Benque
Rosewood is still being plundered in Belize, despite a recent action to impose higher trade restrictions under the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Today, the Forest Department reported that it had made a major bust in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, where it crow-footed 30,000 board feet of unmarked rosewood, apparently destined for export. Dr. Colin Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, told us that information provided to him indicates that currently, rosewood flitches fetch between US$10 and US$14 a board-foot, with the higher price being paid for value-added products. The bust was made yesterday, Wednesday, December 7, when officers of the Forest Department conducted a site inspection at a woodworks factory in Benque, according to an official release. It said that officers found over 30,000 board feet of illegally harvested rosewood in flitch form.

19-year-old chops stepmother and neighbor
A woman and her neighbor were both chopped by her stepson at her home on Louise Bevans Street in the Port Loyola area this morning. The stepmother, Consuelo Pop, 52, was chopped in the forehead, her shoulder and her hand, while her neighbor, D’Angelo Figueroa, 23, was chopped in the upper back. Pop and Figueroa were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). She was declared to be in a critical condition, and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, where she is fighting for her life. Figueroa was admitted to ward in a serious condition. Dinsdale Flowers, 19, who lives with Pop, was arrested on the scene and is expected to be charged with 2 counts of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and grievous dangerous harm, among other charges that will be brought against him.

Candelaria Saldivar retired — paid over $100,000 for doing nothing
Amandala has confirmed from official sources that Candelaria Saldivar, 47, former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry responsible for Immigration, was last week sent a letter notifying her that she is being placed on early retirement, following a decision by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, under whose portfolio the Ministry of the Public Service falls. We understand that Saldivar, the sister of Defence Minister John Saldivar, is being put on early retirement under the Pensions Act; the reason cited to us is the rearrangement of the Immigration portfolio to achieve efficiency, although our source conceded, when we mentioned it, that Saldivar was not put on administrative leave as the result of the reshuffling of portfolios. As Amandala readers will recall, it was reported that a high-ranking government official had complained about Saldivar’s “management style,” and her then boss, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse, had said that Saldivar was moved to preserve harmony.

10 & Under reg. season ends on Saturday at Yabra Field
he 10 & Under Grassroots Football Competition, hosted by Yabra/City Boys, held its fourth week of games this past Saturday, December 3, at the Yabra Field, where all 5 teams in the competition saw action. (There were originally 6 teams in the tournament, but 1 had to drop out due to over-age players.) In the opener on Saturday, City Boys won, 1-0, over Carlston FC, on a goal by Michael Martinez. Game 2 saw Ladyville Rising Stars with the 2-0 win over Face of Belize, with a goal each from Zakir Ramclam and Daejon Jones. And in a back match, Carlston FC dropped Reality Youths, 3-0, with 2 goals from Ali Ryan Flores, Jr. and 1 from Akeem Flowers.

BDF and Police, an old rivalry
It’s an old rivalry that goes way, way back. The Police team, under Sergeant Duncan, was the first to take part in the Belize City football competition back in the early 1970’s. When the Paramilitary, and then the BDF, came on stream a few years later, it was natural, as a part of building moral in the soldiers, for Captain Charles Good to lead his men into competition on the MCC. The BDF was the first to achieve success in the Belize City competition, at one time in the early 1980s representing the City in the National Competition. Recruiting from across the country, the BDF squad was consistently one of the fittest teams in the then amateur tournaments, and always a step ahead of their Police brothers in the standings. And later in the semipro league (which began in 1991), it was BDF that first claimed a championship; actually, they three-peat between 2009-2011. Meanwhile, Police had not even entered the semipro league yet.

CYDP Peace Cup quarterfinals end Saturday; Survivors through to semifinals
The Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) Peace Cup 2016 football tournament is in the middle of its quarterfinal playoffs. Two teams had already played game 1 in their best-of-2 games quarterfinal series, where Survivors defeated Ebony Lake, 4-1. In games played this past Saturday at the MCC Grounds, Survivors and Ebony Lake played game 2, the final leg of their quarterfinal series; while 6 other teams paired off in their quarterfinal game 1. In the quarterfinal opener on Saturday, Kelly Street FC and Ladyville FC drew, 1-1. Kadeem Myers netted for Kelly Street, while Kevin Young scored for Ladyville. Next, it was Yabra/City Boys FC with the 2-1 win over Tut Bay FC. Yabra goals were by Dalton Cayetano and Kzron Patnett, while Carlos Lino got the goal for Tut Bay. The third game of the day saw Coast Guard over Hattieville United, 3-1, with goals from Duran Addier, Steven Martinez and Orvin Wade; while Marcus Lewis scored for Hattieville United.

The Bandits are coming to town; old Belize City vs new capital
The odds are clearly in favor of standings leader and defending Premier League of Belize (PLB) champions, Belmopan Bandits SC, presently sporting 8 players on the National “A” Team of Belize. But the ‘ballers from Belize City are not intimidated. After a turbulent mid-season slide, including a forfeited home game to the Bandits, and back to back losses to Police United and BDF, former two-time champions (2006 and 2007) FC Belize pulled out a big win last Sunday at the MCC against Freedom Fighters of Toledo, which catapulted them into 4th seed in the PLB playoffs, and a clash with #1 seed Belmopan Bandits SC. In their only meeting on the field this regular season, in Week 1, they held the Bandits to a 0-0 draw on their home turf at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium.

Editorial: Freedom and foolishness
To the best of our recollection, it was in 1987 that the first official case of AIDS was recorded in Belize. Since that time, thousands and thousands of our citizens have died of this dreaded disease, most of them in the prime of their lives. AIDS has indeed been a terrible scourge in The Jewel, and the family members of victims are often so traumatized that they very seldom admit the true cause of death. They will say “pneumonia,” or “respiratory failure,” or even “diabetes.” This type of deception even takes place in the mighty United States of America, where the newspaper obituaries for younger deceased often do not specifically mention cause of death, or refer to the said pneumonia or respiratory failure. When AIDS first entered communist Cuba, Fidel Castro, as brilliant and as forceful as he was, immediately understood the very grave danger this new disease posed to his island population and to the delicate Cuba economy. He employed draconian measures against AIDS, including the frightening quarantine. Compared to Belize, Cuba won its fight against AIDS, while maintaining a liberal sexual lifestyle.

From the Publisher
When I was a child, my mother told me, on more than one occasion for sure, that my great great grandmother, the one Elizabeth “Betsy” Kingston, of Sittee River, had been a “coal black woman.” In British Honduras in the 1950s when I was growing up and attending primary school, it seemed to me that, at least in the capital city, it was basically “Creoles” and “Spanish.” There were also “coolies”, which is how we referred to East Indians. I can’t recall meeting any “Caribs” at Holy Redeemer Boys School, but they must have been there. I did meet older Caribs at a hostel in the Holy Redeemer School backyard in the northern section. These included Harry Servio, Greg Arana, and Callistus Cayetano. They were attending St. John’s College, and when I began SJC I met more Caribs.

NOW IS THE TIME
Editor Amandala: Sir, Ten years ago, when it was clearer than ever that it would be impossible to end the Guatemalan territorial claim by negotiation, the Belize Government and Opposition did everything possible to pressure Guatemala to agree to submit the case to the International Court of Justice. After much effort, and with a little help from our friends, we succeeded in that objective, although it was not until 2008 that they agreed to sign the Special Agreement to send the case to the ICJ based purely on international law. Still they found excuses to not hold the required referendum on the agreed date in 2013, but now they have taken the measures to allow their government to call the referendum.

CARLOTA, FIDEL, AND AFRICA
Africans always say they owe an unpayable debt to Cuba. But Fidel said the reverse: Cuba owes a huge debt to Africa, for the African men and women who were brought here as slaves and whose descendants helped to build our nation and gave their lives for independence and for the Revolution. The biggest and most important Cuban liberation operation in Africa was called CARLOTA, after an African slave woman who gave her life in the first slave uprising in Cuba. The first Cuban combatants in the long struggle for freedom and independence in Africa was a group of some one hundred men led by Che Guevara in the Congo, in 1965. Since 1961, barely two years after the triumph of the Revolution, Cuba had collaborated with half a dozen African liberation struggles, and in 1962 Cuba sent a shipload of guns—US weapons captured from the Bay of Pigs invasion—to Algeria, and the ship brought back dozens of wounded guerrillas and orphaned children. In 1963, over 50 health workers went to Algeria, the start of an unprecedented program that continues to this day, with tens of thousands of doctors having provided free lifesaving services to Africans.

Illusive dreams… and lessons
In a page 51 article in our issue for Sunday, December 4, titled “Illusive dreams; commitment to excellence, or resignation to failure,” we made reference, in the page 53 completion of the article, to our Jamaican counterparts playing a number of international friendlies as part of their preparation. (Unfortunately, due to a mix-up, the concacaf.com story was not printed.) We applaud the FFB’s efforts (as evidenced in their release in our last mid-week issue) to secure international educational opportunities for our U-17 players. But we insist that, without the requisite international friendlies, our teams will always be under-prepared for the competition in regional tournaments. While there may be individual opportunities abroad for some of our talented youth, a continued reluctance or inability to realize international friendlies for our national teams cannot be equated with a commitment to excellence. Our Caribbean counterparts can do it, in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba and Haiti, for example. Why can’t we?

100 Guatemalans gold panning in Chiquibul
Two Guatemalans were recently detained while panning for gold in the Ceibo Grande Creek area, located in southern Chiquibul National Park, 9 kilometers away from Belize’s western border with Guatemala; but reports from Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) indicate that the total number of Guatemalans panning for gold inside Belize is now at an estimated 100, after what appeared to have been a cooling off period. FCD’s Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero, told Amandala that in addition to the apparent uptick in illegal gold panning, chainsaws were recently heard on at least two occasions at the adjacent protected area, the Caracol Archaeological Reserve—which was the first evidence of illegal logging in the area since the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie by Guatemalan loggers in September 2014. No one was arrested in those illegal logging incidents.

The Reporter

World Bank and FIU to hold money laundering workshop
The World Bank is preparing to hold a three-day workshop with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), on Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) National Risk Assessment (NRA). Through the workshops to be held from December 13-15, the World Bank will set up working groups and give training […]

Belize signs on to UNCAC
Following through with the Prime Minister’s promise in October, the Government of Belize, today signed on to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Deputy Prime Minister signed the Convention this morning, making Belize the 184th country to sign on to the Convention. Faber signed […]

Cost of living up in October, says SIB
Belizeans had to pay an average of 70 cents more for goods and services during the month of October, according to the latest data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. The SIB released its Consumer Price Index on Wednesday, which showed an average over all increase […]

Julius Espat loses case against House Speaker
People’s United Party’s (PUP) Cayo South Representative, Julius Espat, this week lost his case against Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyrefitte. Espat, who has been on suspension from the House since the Speaker ordered the police to remove him on August 26th, has […]

Christmas cheer scarce, but not absent
The bounty of Christmas cheer that Belizeans are accustomed to since the United Democratic Party (UDP) took over government in 2008 has dwindled over the years, and the economic hardships have made spreading yuletide greetings from Government difficult. The ham and turkey hampers being distributed […]

Gas leak responsible for fire at Chateau Caribbean
The Belize Fire Service (BFS) explained this week that a leak in a butane line caused the fire that destroyed the historic Chateau Caribbean Hotel. Station Manager for the BFS, Orin Smith, explained that the gas line which was connected to the main stove, was […]

New Taiwan Ambassador says Taiwan will explore energy-saving/climate change-related projects with Belize
The new Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize, H.E., Charles Liu, says his country hopes to explore more energy-saving and climate-change-related areas with Belize in the future, in light of climate trends. This follows the diplomat’s donation, last month, of scores of […]

Nestor Vasquez defends role on Integrity Commission
Senator Eamon Courtenay is calling for the removal of Nestor Vasquez from the role of Chartered Accountant serving on the Integrity Commission, saying that Vasquez lied to the Senate. But this week Vasquez refuted Courtenay’s claim. On Monday, Courtenay wrote to the Leader of Government […]

Belize prepares to accede to UNCAC: PM will be absent
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will not be in the country when Belize signs on to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on Friday December 9. The Government’s Press Office announced earlier this week that Barrow will not return to Belize until Sunday December 11, […]

Belize Barrier Reef celebrates 20 years as World Heritage Site
“Outstanding!” is the word the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee used to describe the Belize Barrier Reef System when it accorded the reef World Heritage Site status in December 1996. The Belize Barrier Reef was born to stand out, so why should we waste efforts […]

Teen chops up step mother, but why?
A south side Belize City woman is fighting for her life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), after her step-son violently attacked her with two machetes on Thursday morning. The KHMH listed 54-year-old Consuela Pop as critical on Thursday after her stepson, 19-year-old, Dindsdale Flowers chopped […]

Man murdered on busy city street in broad daylight
Emmerson Skeyers, 26, had just walked from his house through Taylor’s Alley to a Chinese-owned shop at the usually busy corner at Cemetery Road and West Street at around 1:30 Sunday afternoon when someone shot him dead. Police say the gunman sat in a white […]

Drunken man passes out, has throat cut
A man was butchered by his friend last Saturday while he slept on a bench under a bus stop in San Roman Village, Stann Creek District. According to police reports, around midnight 30-year-old Gabino Choc was in the company of a friend, taking a couple drinks […]

Mentally challenge man manually strangled in Teakettle Village
A 19-year-old mentally challenged handy man was strangled to death last Saturday morning and his body thrown behind a warehouse in the Arizona area of Teakettle Village. According to reports, on Saturday December 3, Belmopan police were called out to the scene where officers found Abner […]

Editorial
Now that the Supreme Court has decided not to entertain a motion of censure against the Speaker of the House for his suspension of the Member for Cayo South, Mr. Julius Espat, it is time to put an end to this stand-off. Mr. Espat was expelled and physically removed from […]

Parents investigated in baby’s death
Belmopan police are investigating the disturbing death of one-year, eleven-month-old, Janeeka Campbell, whose bruised body suggests she may have been beaten to death. The mother, a resident of St. Matthew’s Village, is in police custody while investigations continue. A post-mortem completed late Thursday confirmed that […]

Two men walk from 2011 murder charge
When seven-year-old Joshua Abraham was shot and killed on Independence Day, 2011, there was an angry wave of outrage and resentment that one so young should become the victim of gangland violence. But this week in the Supreme Court the two men accused of causing […]

Armed Gunman caught at court
Security around the Magistrate Court complex sprang into high alert Thursday morning after a 19-year-old youth, John Charles Orosco, was caught with a loaded .38 calibre Special pistol in the waistband of his pants. Orosco was hanging around the courthouse, but there was something about […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Newsletter to change Belize launched
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) in its latest attempt to educate Belizeans on matters of national interest and to effect change in our system of governance launched the Progressive newsletter a few days ago. Volume 1, Issue 1 of this monthly newsletter focused on […]

“No protocol”, Saldivar says
According to the Minister of Defense, John Saldivar , the Belize Defense Force (BDF) officers continue to access the Sarstoon island freely and there is no protocol in place for Belizeans to traverse the disputed area. Saldivar stated that Belizean civilians can visit the […]

House Speaker says Julius must apologize; Julius says NO
At today’s Sitting of the House, Speaker Michael Peyreffitee said that Julius Espat must apologize to the House. PUP Fort George Area Representative Said Musa asked that Espat be reinstated to the House today. Musa said that four months have passed since he was […]

More land scandals involving Vega
PUP’s shadow minister for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Cordel Hyde revealed at today’s House Sitting, that he has land documents from transactions involving three relatives of former Deputy prime minister of Belize, Gaspar Vega. According to Hyde, the revelation involves a 1600 acre […]

Castro apologizes for R word
At today’s Sitting of the House, NEMO Minister Edmund Castro apologized to 7 News reporter, Daniel Ortiz after calling him “retarded” during an interview last week. Castro was asked about questionable business transactions now affecting the sugar industry, and in an attempt to deflect […]

Disgraced Former Deputy PM misses house meeting
At today’s Sitting of the House, former Deputy Prime Minister of Belize Gaspar Vega was notably absent. This is one of a couple notable absences in recent times since Vega resigned as UDP’s Deputy Party Leader and the land scandal involving his son surfaced […]

“Krismus Eena di Paak” starts December 15
A new holiday event entitled “Krismus enna di paak” is a three-day party in downtown Belize city. It all takes place at the Battle field park starting on Thursday, December 25 and goes through to Sunday, December 18 from midday to 10 p.m. The […]

Workshop held on money laundering risks
A national money laundering risk assessment training workshop will be held from December 13- 15 in Belize. Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing (ML/TF) National Risk Assessment (NRA) is a process of identifying and evaluating the money laundering and terrorist financing risks in a particular jurisdiction and […]

Questions remain in baby Janeeka’s death
The cause of 1-year, eleven-month-old baby Janeeka Campbell’s death remains unclear after the completion of a post-mortem examination on Thursday. Campbell, as it has been widely reported, was found unresponsive on Tuesday with multiple bruises over her body. The mother has been detained and police have […]

Belize SIF trains Education stakeholders in Corozal
Today at 1:00 p.m., teachers, students and parents will receive Certificates of Completion at a ceremony at Chunox Saint Viator High School, Corozal District . Teachers are now equipped with Business Computer Applications skills coupled with enhanced educational leadership skills, and competencies, which will […]

Wildlife Conservation Day 2016
Sunday December 4 was observed as Wildlife Conservation Day and Oceana celebrated those fishermen who make a conscious effort to protect marine wildlife by choosing sustainable gear over destructive gear such as gillnets. The handing over of a gillnet to Oceana by the fishermen […]

Belizean activists banned from entering House of Representatives
A group of Belizean activists were banned from entering the National Assembly building this morning. Henry Gillett, Paul Ferguson, Raymond Rivers and Giovanni Bracket are among the activists that were not allowed to enter the House of Representatives. The ban was put in place […]

Belize becomes the 184th country to sign UN convention against corruption
Belize has officially signed the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The signing took place this morning at the Cabinet Room in Belmopan and was witnessed by members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State in the Ministry […]

Fair weather to prevail
The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies and partly cloudy skies today and tonight. A few showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected mainly over the South and coastal areas. The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 10 to 20 knots and the sea state […]

Blogs

Christmas Displays on Ambergris Caye & An Afternoon In Town
Yesterday I headed to San Pedro to document some of the tropical Christmas displays around town. There have been some great ones in previous years that I wanted to seek out but didn’t find… At Giovanni’s Chetumal boat terminal last Christmas The fun Belikin tree at Market Basket at Grand Caribe. And then the one WAY up north at gorgeous Tranquility Bay Resort – 14 miles north. I certainly wasn’t going to make it up there! And I didn’t make it across to Caye Caulker to see if this tree has gone up. While many Christmas ornaments and displays in Belize involve LOTS OF GLITTER, this simple displays are just beautiful. But don’t get me wrong…when I go into Belize Bank and join the line? I LOVE the glitter explosion. Here’s what I saw this week… Our town tree.

Wild Mango’s chef-owner is back in Victoria House kitchen
Why is Amy Knox of the popular San Pedro restaurant Wild Mango’s walking around in a Victoria House T-shirt you ask? It is more than sentimentality. Amy first made her mark on Ambergris Caye as chef at Victoria House with a celebrated cuisine that drew fans to what then seemed like the southern extreme of civilization. And like any inventive chef she eventually struck out on her own with the downtown San Pedro bistro, Wild Mango’s. Her celebrated success followed her, as did her penchant for combining surprising and satisfying flavors into substantial salads and burritos. Today, Wild Mangos is well established among the most popular restaurants in San Pedro and Amy Knox is headed back to where it all began. Janet Woollam, managing director at Victoria House, acknowledged that Amy is back in the kitchen — as a part-time consulting chef.

From jungles to beaches: Ring in the New Year in Belize!
As the New Year approaches, we tend to start debating as to where we will be when the clock hits twelve on December 31st. Home with family? A party with friends? A romantic dinner with that special someone? Those are the most common options, but if you find yourself visiting Belize during this holiday, we have some very unique places where you can ring in the New Year. Let’s face it, the typical ‘party until the sun rises’ for the New Year is not for everyone. Some people just want to relax in a comfortable setting with friends or family and enjoy a casual celebration. If this is the time you’re motivated and ready for a fresh start, choose wisely where to ring in the 2017! Happy New Year to you, and may your 2017 be filled with adventures and memories in My Beautiful Belize!

Belize Snorkeling: An In Depth Guide
The Caribbean sea boasts some of the clearest waters with the most diverse and colorful sea life. But all this beauty is lost upon us if we cannot witness it. Luckily, Belize snorkeling is one of the most enjoyable activities to be had in our warm waters. PADI operates skin diving and snorkeling certifications where you learn all the ins and outs of snorkeling and skin diving to make you an absolute pro. Luckily, unlike scuba diving, there’s no need for a certification to be able to just dive right in! Awesome Snorkel & Dive Tour operators Many beach resorts offer snorkeling from their concierge desk, chances are if you’re already staying at one such resort to embark on the tours directly from them. If your hotel/resort doesn’t offer snorkeling, however, you could try one of these cool spots:

BEACHES AND BOOK-WRITING IN BELIZE
I was so goddamn excited to finally step foot in Central America that I was convinced I’d fall in love with Belize. Everyone I’d spoken to about Belize had named it their favourite country in the region. The beaches looked gorgeous, the ruins looked secluded, and even the jungles looked inviting. I couldn’t wait to get there. Another lesson I’ve learned from travel is that things rarely go to plan. It was on the bus to Belize when I received news that the book I’d been pretending to write for several months had attracted the attention of a publisher. Suddenly, my plans for the country seemed daunting and ambitious. How was I going to properly see all that Belize had to offer if I now had to knuckle down and try to score a book deal? I filed the email away in the back of my mind for several days and pretended everything was still normal. I spent my time in San Ignacio exploring Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, then travelled into Guatemala to watch the sun rise over Tikal. At this point, I had a 50,000-word stream of consciousness manuscript on my laptop that I wouldn’t even show to Dave, let alone a big time New York City literary agent.

You Better Belize It: Best Things To Do In Belize
For my 25th birthday, my boyfriend secretly planned a trip to beautiful Belize. Best present ever. Before the vacation, I hadn’t really heard much about the country. Now, it’s on the top of my favorite destinations list due to its natural beauty, adventurous activities, and laid back island vibe (bonus: English is the main language so navigating the country is relatively easy). I highly encourage all Travel Belles to put Belize on the top of their bucket list. When you visit, be sure to complete the following activities for an unbelizeable experience! While the mainland is beautiful, the network of Caribbean islands off the coast of Belize offer gorgeous beaches, island culture, and access to the reef. My home base was Ambergris Caye, which is definitely worth checking out. The island’s main town of San Pedro has amazing restaurants. Front Street is more touristy but has excellent seafood, while Back Street has local Belizean cuisine for a steal. The best beach, with pure white sand and shady palms, is in front of Ramon’s Village Resort. When you get hot from soaking up the sun, walk down to Palapa Bar where you can float in a tube in the ocean and have buckets of beer lowered down to you from the dock. Seaside service, anyone?

Next Stop, Belize
In early February 1976 the call came and we were to deploy to Belize as trouble was brewing from the next door neighbor Guatemala! Our job on this tour would be to give support to the Harrier Jump Jets and build safe hides for them on the sides of the main runway at Belize City Airport! When we flew out from UK we used an RAF VC 10 Jet, it was a very comfortable flight but a bit unusual as the seats all faced backwards! We stopped in Newfoundland for fuel and a meal then on to the Bahamas then onto Belize. It was a long flight but we were comfortable unlike the C130’s which most troops flew out in! Upon landing we had to go through customs an Immigration then we went out to the transport but were greeted by loads of lovely ladies of every shade and color that you can think of! This gave us the idea that this tour could be fun! We went to the Airport Camp and were allocated and our Accommodation was the Half round Nissan Huts which are usually storage buildings but they were OK and had about 30 beds in each of them and ceiling fans, pure luxury! The Cook House was good and the Naafi (Naval Army Air Forces Institute) Bar OK Also!

The State of Belize- A Design To Fail by
Belize is a small country, with a relatively small population and comparatively undeveloped even within the regions of Latin American and Caribbean countries. What Belize lacks in size and development, it makes up in resources and attractions. Belize is abundant in resources such as fertile land, minerals, bountiful sea, waterways, intelligent people, exuberant culture and history. Unfortunately, however, Belize economic state is a casualty of generations of greedy and unconscionable colonizers and politicians who still enjoy little oversight and a “docile” population that genuflects conformity over rebellion. The country of what is today Belize was once a thriving Maya civilization until the British settlers (pirates) invaded in the early 1600’s. The birth of British influenced Belize was one of bloodshed, piracy, kidnapping subjugation and wars leading to enslavement, divisiveness, colonization and eventual independence. During British rule, the British extracted the rich resources from Belize and transferred the wealth to the British Empire. Today, the privilege few extract wealth from the citizenry through bloated contracts and exclusive deals. The British evidently had no development plans for Belize. The poor structures, absentee land ownerships and lack of re-settlement of British families to Belize were all evidence of an extraction of wealth policy firmly in place. The British continued to the manipulate the people and divide the nation with centuries of indoctrination and colonization through a British system of formal education, law and politics. The system inherited by Belize was designed to keep British supremacy and British rule enduringly intact even in their absence. Look around in 2016 Belize and you see a second coming of outside landowners and business owners as the Belizean people remain poorly paid workers and consumers .

International Sourcesizz

A Mermaid Vacation In Belize Is The Best Way To Kick Off 2017
If the cold weather has you down or the holidays just don't feel as magical as they used to, it's time to book a whimsical vacation suited for, well, mystical creatures: Mermaids. Sirenalia, an Austin-based "mermaid production company" (yes, that's real), is planning its annual Tropical Mermaid Retreat to Belize in February 2017, and all aspiring mermaids are welcome. For the ultimate escape, however, a few minutes swimming underwater won't cut it -- you need to book it to Belize. 2017's Tropical Mermaid Retreat will be broken up into two parts: Tobacco Caye (February 2-7, $1150) and Caye Caulker (February 8- 12, $1250), though all ten days can be attended for $2400, which includes the island-to-island flight. Profits from the retreats will be donated to Belize's Ocean Academy, which helps local children complete their education with an emphasis on environmental conservation, though mermaid classes are currently not offered as part of the program.

Belize and creditors kick off restructuring talks
Talks between Belize and creditors over a potential restructuring of the country's US$530m 2038 bond kicked off in New York this week, according to sources close to the matter. At the meeting, officials from the Central American country indicated that they intend to move quickly to ease their debt burden, which weak growth, large fiscal and current account deficits have made harder to service. A potential restructuring would be the third in a decade for Belize, which first consolidated its external debt into a so-called superbond in 2007 and then restructured that note by issuing 2038 bonds in 2013. The government now hopes to amend the terms of the 2038 notes through a simple consent solicitation.

CCJ rules in favour of private telecom company in Belize
The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) yesterday ruled in favour of the private telecommunications services provider, Speednet Communications Limited, reversing a Belize Court of Appeal ruling that had favoured the regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The four-member panel of judges ruled that Speednet Communications Limited had proved its case and ordered the PUC to refund the BZ$792,000, less the lawful licence fee of BZ$1,400. The dispute between the parties arose out of a difference in interpretation of the relevant regulations which set out the licence fees of BZ$100 per ‘channel’. According to the PUC, the term ‘channel’ referred to ‘voice’ channel while Speednet Communications argued that it meant ‘radio frequency’ channel, which would mean that BZ$1,400 would be the appropriate fee.

First marine climate change report card for the Caribbean in the works
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has been working with other Caribbean agencies and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), a marine science and technology agency sponsored by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The agencies are preparing the first ever marine climate change report card for the Caribbean, under the Commonwealth marine economies programme funded by the UK government. Peter Murray, CRFM’s programme manager – fisheries management and development, is a part of the working group that met in Belize this week to review the major themes being assessed, as well as the “hot topics” emanating from those themes. “The CRFM is trying to ensure that the issue of climate change as it relates to the fisheries sector comes to the fore... because the CARICOM heads of government have put fish and fishery products among the priority commodities for CARICOM. It means that things that affect that development are important to us and so climate change is of primary importance,” Murray said.

How the ancient Maya brought sharks to the jungle
The peoples of Classic Maya civilization were obsessed with sharks. Images of shark-like monsters appear in Maya cities throughout the regions known today as Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala—even deep in the continent's interior, where people never saw the ocean. Now one archaeologist has suggested these mythic symbols may have been based on real experiences Mayans had with sharks, as well as a brisk trade in shark jaws and giant shark tooth fossils. Shark teeth have been found in some of the earliest Maya sites in the interior, going back to 100 CE. Some are perforated, as if they were worn as jewelry. Others seem to have been attached to weapons or used in bloodletting rituals. Sea monsters with shark-like features appear on pottery and the walls of ceremonial buildings. An ancient Maya creation story features the Maize God defeating a shark in battle and sometimes being born from the creature's toothy jaws. The question is, how did sharks become such an important part of the culture in landlocked cities? Writing in the journal Antiquity, James Madison University anthropologist Sarah E. Newman explains that coastal Maya peoples probably hunted sharks. Because sharks sink when they die, their teeth sink with them—so shark teeth among the Maya almost certainly came from the spoils of the hunt. There are accounts from Europeans who witnessed sixteenth-century Maya in the Yucatán hunting sharks using remoras, or suckerfish, to snag the great fish from their canoes. Others used massive hooks baited with chunks of meat.

Private island life
There’s nothing quite like a private island. It conjures up fantasies of exclusivity, indulgence and luxury on a personalized hideaway. Position this prime real estate in the blue-as-blue Caribbean Sea just off the coast of Central America's southern Belize and you have a winner. That's exactly what Norwegian Cruise Line has done with its latest entrée in the world of private islands with a tropical dazzler called Harvest Caye. Norwegian may technically own the 15-hectare crescent-shaped Harvest Caye, but if you arrive on one of the cruise line’s ships for the day you’re encouraged to treat it as you own private enclave. That’s exactly what my wife and I and our 14-year-old daughter do as we step off the Norwegian Getaway.

How The Caribbean’s Top Court Is Going High-Tech
A suite of new high-tech court management systems are to be adopted by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The CCJ will be one of the first adopters of a set of technology-enabled systems for electronic filing of court documents, case management and court performance measurement, the court announced. The region-wide initiative aims to ensure that courts across the Caribbean have access to the software and training needed to strengthen their operations and improve service delivery, the release said. A pair of pilot projects are scheduled to take place soon in Belize and Grenada, the release said.

Cayo District: Pick your adventure in Belize's 'Wild West'
Excellent and informative Lonely Planet article all about the adventure found here in Cayo. So much to do. Mountain Equestrian Trails get a good mention. "The Mountain Pine Ridge area near San Ignacio is a few degrees cooler than the humid lowlands and offers some excellent hikes to waterfalls and caves; highlights include long-drop Thousand Foot Falls, and Rio on Pools, where you can take a dip in a series of waterfall-fed swimming holes... There are few better ways of exploring the jungles, riverbanks and Maya mountains than on horseback. Luckily for lovers of the graceful equines, Cayo is well set up for horseback riding regardless of your experience. In the Mountain Pine Ridge area near San Ignacio, Mountain Equestrian Trails is the premier operator where you can saddle up for half or full day rides, but the big news for horseback riders are the five and seven-day mountain and jungle riding packages, featuring birdwatching and Maya ruins and staying at the remote ecolodge."

Videos

  • Today, on the heels of International Anti-Corruption Day, the Government of Belize signed on to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, 6min.

  • Captain cooking lunch - Belize - November 2016, 1/2min. Sitting on the back of the catamaran while our captain bbqs some lunch.

  • BELIZE 2016, 10min. Official recap of Chris & Barry's Dirty 30s in Belize. 11/10/2016 - 11/14/2016

  • Wedding: Kris and Amanda Benton Belize November, 26, 2016 featuring Toby, 12min.

  • U.S. Embassy Belize 16 Days of Activism Campaign against GBV: Message from Survivor and Activist, 3min.

  • James Edward Funeral, 30min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN DECEMBER 1, 2016, 21min.

  • The Belize Road Safety Project, 4min.

  • Miss Belize Rebecca - Journey to miss Universe 2017, 27min.

  • Belize National Dance Company - Christmas Concert, 20min.

  • Burk It Down Jenny - Low Budget Christmas, 20min.

  • Launch of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, 8min. Testimonial from Ms. Michelle Silva

  • Spotted Eagle Ray - Belize 2016, 1min.

  • Nurse Sharks - Belize 2016, 1/2min.

  • Swimming with giant turtle, nurse sharks and sting rays in Belize, 1min.

  • Belize Adventures 2016 - Travel Video, 4min. Join me for a look into my 2016 Placencia, Belize adventure. I spent 9 days in Belize from the end of November and into early December. Visiting the Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun. Scuba diving with sharks, spotted eagle rays, hawksbill sea turtles and lobsters. Eating great food and lounging around the pool. A great trip with some of the family and lots of memories.

  • Belize Coral Reef, 4min.

    December 9, 2016


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


    Ambergris Today

    Adopt A Bear, Give A Smile For Christmas
    Adopt-A-Bear Christmas program is back and invites the community to help in making a childs wish come true, There are plenty of bears still yet to be adopted. This year's adoption centers are Sandbar, Wayo's Beach Bar, Crazy Canucks, Marbucks and Truck Stop. Here's how it works ... You choose a bear which is hung with care on one of the adoption center's Christmas trees and purchase three gifts for the child identified on the bear ... 1 item the child NEEDS, 1 education item identified and 1 item that the child WANTS. The location you adopt your bear from IS the location your WRAPPED gifts are dropped off to. December 16th is the deadline for your WRAPPED gifts to be returned to the adoption center. The children who are part of this program were identified by one or more of the following organizations: Social Services, San Pedro Police Department, San Pedro Food Bank, Holy Cross School, ACE's, San Pedro Aids Commission, Cancer Society and the Liberty Children's Home.

    Belize Defence Force Lieutenant Receives Silver Medal Award
    Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Velasquez of the Belize Defence Force was the proud recipient of a Silver Medal award from the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) on Wednesday November 30th, 2016 during its meeting in El Salvador. This award is in recognition of Velasquez’s meritorious participation and contribution to the greater cooperation of the armies of the Central American region. The award was presented to him by the President of the Superior Council of CFAC, Lieutenant General, David Mungia Payes, Minister of Defence of El Salvador, on behalf of the armies of the region. Other recipients of the award included Peruvian Vice Admiral Gonzalo Polastri and British Colonel David Stradbridge.

    Prime Minister’s Return Delayed Due to Possible Viral Gastroenteritis
    The Office of the Prime Minister issued a press release yesterday afternoon informing that the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow could not return to Belize yesterday as originally planned. The Prime Minister was experiencing symptoms seemingly consistent with viral gastroenteritis prior to his departure and had to be admitted to the Belize Medical Associates overnight last Thursday. The symptoms have persisted during his travel and he saw a doctor and was advised to run tests, some of which could not have been diagnosed in Belize. For this reason, Prime Minister Barrow’s return is delayed until Sunday, December 11, 2016.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BSCFA hosts press conference
    According to CEO Oscar Alonzo, only the Sugar Cane Producers Committee can remove Eloy Escalante from the official list of cane farmers. But the BSCFA no longer associates with Escalante who formerly belonged to the San Estevan Branch. Removing him from the Association's books, it is hoped, will restore relations with Fair trade. The suspension covers only new contracts with Tate and Lyle and may be lifted if the corrective measures submitted by the Association are found acceptable. Alonzo says the suspension was somewhat harsh considering the BSCFA's powers and those of the SCPC.

    Ocean academy Jingle Mingle Gala Fundraiser Dec. 10, 4-6pm Central Park
    Support high-school programs and enjoy a great evening out. Dinner features pibil and relleno, appetizer, dessert, wine. Live band Caribbean Kings from San Pedro. Contact Ocean Academy (226-0321/630-3652) or buy tickets from any student. Thank you, in advance, for your partnership in quality island education!

    Saving a Tamandua
    Another emergency rescue. Fingers crossed for this severely injured tamandua with a fractured hand and a septic joint, likely caused by a small carnivore attack a couple weeks ago. And what a treat to have received a donation of a new (used) and working pulse oximeter right in time today, BIG thanks to our kind clinical rotation intern Doug! It came in perfectly handy today and our Drs. were as excited as kids for christmas to have this wonderful addition to our anesthesia monitoring equipment (in addition to our eyes, ears and fingers...). Follow up treatment is due tomorrow.

    Reggae Fest 2016
    The 2016 Reggae Festival is this Saturday, December 11th, at Victor Galvez Stadium. The World Culture Band will be performing. "Come and experience a fun day of events... football, poetry, kids talent show and more... then finish the day with a concert of Reggae/Dancehall/Rancheras and Mexican love songs, from locals and International Mexican Artist, Antonio Osorio Jr. Place: Victor Galvez Stadium, San Ignacio, Cayo. Date: Sunday, December 11th 2016. Time: 10am until... Entrance: $20"

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Storks, The Magnificent 7, Sully, Pet.

    Illegally Harvested Rosewood Discovered in Benque Viejo Town
    On Wednesday 7th December 2016, officers of the Forest Department conducted a site inspection at a wood works factory in Benque Viejo Town where they discovered over 30,000 board feet of illegally harvested Rosewood in flitch form. The wood was found to be without official marking and documentation and consequently crow footed by the Forest Department officers. The owner of the wood workshop in whose possession the illegal wood was discovered was notified of the offence and it is expected that charges will be prepared and levied against him. The Ministry of Forestry takes this opportunity to advise the general public that Rosewood is an endangered species monitored under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and, as such, cannot be cut without a valid license and without ensuring that harvest is both legal and sustainable. If these conditions are unmet, rosewood cannot be traded internationally. The public is reminded that according to the Forest Act Chapter 213 of the laws of Belize, no tree shall be felled for timber without the prior written permission of the Forestry Department. Anyone found cutting a tree without permission or in possession of lumber so gotten is committing an offence and liable to prosecution under the law.

    Unacceptable: Violence against Children Must Stop Now
    The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) joins the nation in mourning the tragic loss of another innocent Belizean child. It is truly a tragic outcome. Media reports about the questionable circumstances surrounding the tragic death of baby Janeeka Campbell leaves the NCFC with grave concerns and a number of questions. The death of any child is regrettable. Sadly, the recent results of the Belize Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2015 indicate that children below the age of five experience the most severe forms of violence against them. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that parents have all the support they need to raise happy and healthy children. Together, with its partners the NCFC continues to work on strengthening the support that Government and NGOs give to families. However, as citizens we need to remember that “it takes a village to raise a child”. The general public is reminded that every citizen has a moral obligation to act when we see warning signs of violence against children and report all suspected cases of child abuse to the relevant authorities.

    Wounded tamandua
    Thanks to the efforts of many people this tamandua is in our care now. She was passed by a farmer who found her in the corn field, and realized that she was sick,, he brought her to the sugar farm office and they caleld Belize Bird rescue, who called us right away. We rushed to the Wildlife clinic. The animal is in very serious condition and the prognosis is unclear. But she is trying very hard to survive. I cannot even post the pictures of her injured paws- they are soo badly infected from the bites of another animal( 2-3 weeks ago). We come for the follow-up visit to the Wildlife clinic every day, meds, painkillers and 24 hours attention that is all we can do- the rest is up to the "little fighter." She eats every 2 hours at night and it gives us hope. Keeping fingers crossed. Thank you, Wildlife clinic- enormous amount of time is spend on her care every day!C

    Rotaract Christmas Food Drive
    The Rotaract Club of Benque is having their 3rd annual Christmas Food Drive. Help them out if you can. Food can be dropped off at the Benque DYS office. "Rotaract Club of Benque is having their 3rd annual Christmas food Drive Food Baskets will be given to needy families from Benque and & sounding Villages on Dec 17 &18. We Seek your most generous donations monetary Donations are welcome as well..."

    Cayo Art Festival 2016
    The Cayo Art Festival was great this year. Happy anniversary, SISE House of Culture! "The Cayo Welcome Center was the spot to be on Saturday. This year's Cayo Art Festival 2016 went very well, and a lot of local artisans and culinary artists were in attendance. Emmeth Young was there to drum some too."

    Cayo Christmas Expo 2016
    The 2016 Cayo Christmas Expo is next Saturday, December 17th, at Macal River Park. If you want a booth, contact the SISE Town Council. "It's here once again folks, our second Cayo Christmas Expo brought to you by the Local Economic Development Strategic Planning Team of our twin towns. Last year was good but this year we want to make it GREAT!. Spread the word. "

    Las mañanitas a la virgen de Guadalupe (Happy birthday to the virgin of Guadalupe)
    Monday, Dec. 12th, from 4:00 am to 6:00 am, San Pedro Catholic Church, Breakfast @ 6:00 am.

    Las Mañanitas A La Virgen De Guadalupe
    December 11th, at 7:00 pm, San Pedro Catholic Church.

    Channel 7

    Baby Janeeka, Post Mortem Inconclusive, She Didn't Die From Natural Causes
    What caused Baby Janeeka's death? The one year old toddler was just days away from her second birthday when she died at her St. Matthews village home on Tuesday. The police said she had bruises to various parts of her body. Tonight, the news is that a post mortem which finished just an hour ago is inconclusive. It only confirms that she did not die of natural causes. But the post mortem does not say what did cause her death. Police and the police pathologist will meet tomorrow to try and piece together the clues from the post mortem and the police investigation. They will use physical and forensic evidence, plus information from the mother and father who have both been questioned – to try to form a clearer picture of what caused her death. So, tonight there are more questions than answers. I went looking for some at her home, and at the hospital today. Here's what our news team found out about the life and premature death of Janeeka Campbell:…

    Freedom Street Savagery Leaves Stepmom Critical
    At around 10:00 this morning, police responded to a violent and bloody scene on Freedom Street in Belize City. Nineteen year old Linsdale Flowers was found chopping his own stepmother, Consuelo Pop and his neighbour Diangelo Figueroa with a machete. Police immediately arrested Flowers, and the badly injured Pop was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Senior Superintendent Alden Dawson briefed us on what the police know about the grisly crime… Sr. Supt. Dean Dawson - Deputy OC, ED South: "Sometime after 10 AM this morning police responded to a chopping incident on Lewis Bevans street. Upon the arrival they conducted an investigation into the incident which reveals that 19 year old Dinsdale Flowers had inflicted chop wound to his step mother 52 year old Consuelo Pop and a neighbour Diangelo Figueroa. Consuelo received chop to her hands and her forehead whilst Diangelo received chop wounds to his back. At this Consuelo is listed as critical and the motive for this recent incident is unknown at this time however the accused is in police custody."

    Corozal Murder Victim Was Chopped/Shot
    Tonight, Corozal police continue to investigate an early morning murder which has some very puzzling aspects. This morning before 3 a.m., the cops happened upon 36 year-old Corozal Town Resident Armando Pelayo Jr. He was right next door to his G Street home, and he was suffering from 2 gunshot wounds and several chop wounds to the face and the forearms. They rushed him to the Hospital but he succumbed to his injuries. Before he died, police did try to learn from him the identity of his attackers, but he refused to cooperate. Now, how the cops happened to be in the area at the time is a coincidence that may have some connection to the crime. A night patrol spotted a suspicious, heavily tinted car and followed it. That vehicle led them to the house belonging to Pelayo, who is very well-known to them. That's when they happened upon Pelayo in distress. He had fled his home begging for someone to help get to the hospital because had just been shot and chopped.

    Hon. Julius Not Ready to Duke It Out After All
    Tomorrow will be deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber's first time in the chair where the Prime Minister usually sits. That's because the PM is in New York seeking specialist's advice on a persistent case of gastro-enteritis. But the PM won't be the only one missing tomorrow's house meeting; so will PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat,. Tomorrow's meeting is the first since he was suspended on August 26th. He went to the Supreme Court claiming that Speaker Michael Peyrefitte had abridged his rights. But on Tuesday, the Chief Justice sent him right back to the Speaker saying that they have to work it out under the House Standing Orders. That's when Espat told the media that he will still go to the House, and he was quote, "ready to box" if necessary.

    BSCFA Fights Phantom Farmers to Keep Fair Trade Monies
    Since Friday, we've been telling you all about the suspension that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is trying to reverse. Fair Trade has audited the organization, and found that one of its members committed a major act of non-compliance. As a result, 1.2 million dollars in Fair Trade premiums is at risk of being withheld from over 3,000 farmers. That farmer is Eloy Escalante and he entered into a business relationship with the son of Cabinet Minister Edmond Castro. You saw how Castro explained in detail that his son bought out Escalante's quota of sugar. Castro became Escalante's administrator, which means that he can farm his land, and deliver cane in his name. The problem is that Escalante admitted to a Fair Trade Auditor that he was not producing cane for the past 3 years. So, it immediately called into question whether the Castro family was practicing what is referred to as phantom farming. That's where a person licensed as a cane farmer, is not producing cane, but he or she either buys cane from unlicensed farmers, or sells his rights to deliver cane to the mill.

    Where Do The Phantom Farmers Lurk?
    So, what about those phantom farmers we've been telling you about? No one knows for sure how many persons are registered as farmers, who don't actually farm cane. Insiders say that it is a widespread practice. This week, we got a chance to speak to leaders within all 3 cane farming associations. We asked if there might be undetected ghost farmers within the 3 organizations. Here's how those conversations went: Daniel Ortiz: "Is there any information that the BSCFA management team has to lend credibility that there be other members within your association or outside who are engaging in this same sort of activity?" Oscar Alonzo - CEO, BSCFA: "Well as far as you know this same situation with this farmer in San Estevan we are not aware of any other than that."

    GSU Busts 40 Pounds Of Weed
    The GSU made two large drug busts in two days. Late last night, acting off intelligence, the GSU searched a bushy lot behind a house on Caesar Ridge Road. They found three crocus bags each containing several parcels of cannabis. The first bag had sixteen parcels weighing just over ten pounds. The second had twelve parcels that together weighed almost 19 pounds. The final parcel also contained 12 parcels that came up to sixteen and a half pounds. Altogether, the GSU came up on forty parcels of cannabis, weighing a total of 45 and a half pounds. They believe that the drugs belong to key members of the South Side Gang, but no suspects were around the scene so the parcels were entered as found property.

    Three Years For Career Criminal
    He’s a career criminal and 43 year old Robert Popper is tonight starting to serve a three-year jail sentence. Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith sentenced him after he pled guilty to theft of a security guard’s tote bag. At 3:00 pm on October 15th, Dwayne Michael Crawford was walking on Princess Margaret Drive, near Nazarene High School, when Popper snatched his bag and dashed down an alley. None of the items valuing hundreds of dollars were recovered but police did catch Popper. The Chief Magistrate sentenced him to 3 years because he has a long criminal history.

    Rosewood Found At Benque Woodshop
    The great Rosewood rush of 2013 should have mostly decimated Rosewood stocks. After all those trees were felled and shipped off to China there probably wasn’t much rosewood left to root out anyway… And then Belize signed unto a CITES convention which made Rosewood export illegal. That should have been the end of an ugly episode in logging, but apparently not. The highly prised hardwood continues to appear. The forestry Department says their officers found 30,000 board feet in the form of flitches at a wood works factory in Benque Viejo Town. The wood had no official marking and documentation and was illegally harvested. Forestry confiscated it. The owner of the wood workshop will also face charges.

    Lunch Sponsored By Red Kettle Bells
    Every year the Salvation Army’s red kettle bells remind us that Christmas is about giving as much as it is about getting. And the centerpiece of their fundraising drive is the children’s luncheon and parties. This year’s version was held at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall and Salvation Army Commander, Joliker Leandre, gave us the details… Leandre told us that the Salvation Army is planning more events in Belize City as well as in San Ignacio and Georgeville.

    Dorothy Bradley And Senate Duel It Out
    Yesterday, we showed you how Auditor General Dorothy Bradley had a very tough afternoon in the Senate Hearings. The senators are trying to get to the bottom of the mass irregularities in the Immigration and Nationality that her audit has revealed. First though, they're examining the work that she and her audit team did, and they are trying to ensure that it accurately reflects what had been happening at Immigration between 2011 and 2013. In last night's newscast, we showed you how under persistent questioning, she had to abandon her assertion that it is "illegal" for ministers of Government to intervene in the Visa application process. She instead amended to say that she now asserts that it is "irregular" for those ministers to have sent letters of recommendation asking for special consideration for certain applicants. But, even then, the Senate Members did not let the matter lie. The Senate Committee Chairman, Aldo Salazar, then challenged her on her position that it is irregular for these letters to have been sent. Here's how that back and forth went yesterday:

    Channel 5

    Corozal Town Man Chopped and Shot to Death
    The month of December, celebrating peace on earth and goodwill to all men, has started off violently across the country. One of the latest victim of the violence, is thirty-six [...]

    Baby Janeeka’s Death Not Natural; Who’s Responsible?
    There are still lingering questions on the death of Janeeka Campbell, a two year old toddler, who succumbed to injuries on Tuesday night under dubious circumstances. The child was visiting [...]

    NCFC Weighs In on Baby Janeeka
    The death of Janeeka Campbell has prompted reaction from the National Committee for Families and Children.  The NCFC says it joins the nation in mourning the tragic loss of another [...]

    Stepson Chops Mom and Neighbour in Belize City
    Just after ten this morning screams echoed in the distance off Louise Bevans Street in south side Belize City. A most horrific chopping incident occurred which was witnessed by neighbors [...]

    Nationality Rush Before 2012 Elections Exposed
    Tonight there is more hanky-panky to reveal about the putrid state of affairs that was pervasive at the Immigration Department in years past. The Senate Select Committee on the Special [...]

    Julius Espat to Stay Away from House on Friday; Will Compromise Allow Him In?
    Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat will not be attending Friday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives.  In fact, he will be keeping a fairly safe distance away from the [...]

    Will Leading Parliamentarians Will Be Able to Agree on Letting Julius In?
    So what became of the discussion among senior parliamentarians on both sides of the floor to have Espat reinstated?  According to the embattled politician, U.D.P. Party Whip, Michael Finnegan, is [...]

    Julius Vs. Sedi On What to be Ashamed Of
    On Wednesday, when asked to comment on Espat’s situation, Pickstock Area Representative Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington proceeded to upbraid his colleague.  He went on to say that it is a shame [...]

    Opposition Files Motion to Discuss Net Vasquez Integrity Commission Appointment
    The appointment of Nestor Vasquez to the Integrity Commission remains a hot button issue for the People’s United Party.  Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay has raised serious concerns about Vasquez’s selection [...]

    Woodwork Factory Owner Nailed with Possible Illegal Rosewood
    An operation conducted by officers attached to the Forest Department has yielded a significant haul of illegally harvested rosewood.  On Wednesday,  a site inspection at a woodwork factory in Benque [...]

    Police Tight-lipped on Planned Arrests for Libertad Murder
    While we were up north, we got an update on the November fifteenth murder of twenty-two year old Sherman McFarlane, who was ambushed and shot dead in Libertad village after [...]

    Cane Farmers’ Association Tries to Make Up with Fairtrade; No Love for Eloy Escalante
    The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association today stepped forward to tell its side of the Fairtrade suspension debacle. The B.S.C.F.A. was suspended for the third time in eight years after [...]

    B.S.C.F.A. Rebuts Combative Edmond Castro
    While the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association has made it clear that it wants no further part of Escalante, a combative Edmond Castro is a different story. He has threatened [...]

    Salvation Army Feeds the Kids at Christmas Party
    Christmas parties for needy children are popping up at this time of the year. The annual party of the Salvation Army took place at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in [...]

    Peace Begins With Me, Declares City Residents
    The unending spate of crime and violence which continues to grip the streets of the Old Capital has given rise to a social movement where friends and families of countless [...]

    Healthy Living: How You Can Keep Off the Holiday Pounds
    The countdown to Christmas has begun. We know how much splurging takes place around this your time of year – and we’re not talking about splurging on presents – but [...]

    LOVE FM

    Baby Janeeka Suffered Head and Chest Trauma
    The post mortem on baby Janeeka Campbell was conducted today in Belize City. The pathologist has classified baby Janeeka’s death as Traumatic asphyxiation multifocal subarachnoid hemorrhage due to head and chest trauma. It’s a very scientific classification that Belmopan police are having a difficult time to understand and so are we. We are no medical […]

    Suspension of BSCFA to be Lifted Pending Corrective Measures
    Two weeks ago, an audit revealed that a cane farmer attached to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was employing irregular practices as it relates to cane delivery. This revelation caused the BSCFA to be suspended by FLO-CERT from Fairtrade. That’s a big deal for BSCFA because if the situation is not remedied in about […]

    An Arrest Warrant for Honorable House Member?
    Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat will not attend tomorrow’s sitting of the House of Representatives. Espat called a press conference today in Belmopan where he explained that a warrant for his arrest has been issued. JULIUS ESPAT “The Honorable Said Musa wrote a letter to the Speaker of the House and it is under […]

    Belize’s Former Consul Denies Details in News Item
    An online news site based in the north had filed a news report on Tuesday, December 6 stating that the Belize dollar would soon be accepted for purchases across the board in Chetumal as opposed to just a few places in that city. It is a report that even indicated that the Honorary Consul for […]

    Government Terminates Services of Honorary Consul in Chetumal
    After operating in the capacity of Belize’s Honorary Consul to Chetumal for about six years, the Government of Belize has bid goodbye to Jorge Valencia. Valencia’s term ended on Friday, December 2 in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. Love News spoke with him today via telephone where he spoke of the role he played and the letter […]

    Killer Leaves Behind a Bloody Knife, Machete and Expended Shells
    Corozal Police is trying to figure out who killed 36 year old Armando Pelayo Jr and why. Just before three o’clock this morning, Pelayo ran out of his home on G Street shouting for help. He had been shot and chopped several times. According to Corozal’s Commanding Officer, Superintendent Dennis Arnold, his officers were on […]

    Step-mother and Neighbour Chopped in Port Loyola
    His name appears nowhere in our archive on news but tonight it will be submitted after Police caught him in the middle of chopping his stepmother at their home on Louise Bevans Street in the Port Loyola area of Belize City this morning.The 52-year-old woman, Consuelo Pop received multiple chop wounds to the head, shoulder […]

    Senior Officers Trained on Refugee Laws and Policies
    A two day workshop is being hosted by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) with participation from law enforcement officers in the Belize Police Department, Belize Coast Guard, Immigration Department and Belize Defence Force. It is a workshop that is looking at laws and policies guiding the refugee process for Belize. UNHCR Representative […]

    Farmer Charged in San Roman Murder
    A farmer of San Roman Village, Stann Creek District is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was charged for the murder of 30-year-old, Gabino Choc. 25-year-old, Himencio Ical was arraigned in the Independence Magistrate’s Court today following four days of intense investigations by police in that area. Choc was found dead at […]

    Commander’s Home Burglarized on Military Base
    Reports of a burglary at the home of the Brigadier General, David Jones surfaced earlier this week and raised several questions particularly since the incident happened on Belize’s military base and the amount of money stolen was reportedly in the tens of thousands. We have been unable to get comment from Commander Jones but according […]

    UN Brings Multi-Country Program to Belize
    Resident Coordinator to Belize and El Salvador for the United Nations, Christian Salazar led the launch of the UN’s Multi-country sustainable development framework for the Caribbean for the period 2017- 2021. Simply put, Belize is getting fourteen million Belize dollars to spread in various sectors depending on the needs of the country. Foreign Affairs Minister […]

    Belize Contributes to the Global Health Agenda
    The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization are hosting a 2-day conference that seeks to contribute to the Global Health Agenda. Prior to the start of this conference, however, stakeholders met yesterday to prepare for this gathering at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. Dr Marvin Manzanero is the Director […]

    Austria Looks at Cancer Care in Belize
    There are two initiatives currently taking place in Belize and Vienna, Austria with a focus on cancer care in Belize. The team from Austria is currently in Belmopan with plans for a debriefing for Thursday. We asked Dr Marvin Manzanero to speak on this activity. DR MARVIN MANZANERO ” The 7-member team currently in Belize […]

    Going Armed at Magistrates’ Court
    A young man who was busted with a firearm this morning in front of the #1 Magistrate’s Court, pled not guilty to kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared this afternoon before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He is 19 year old John Orosco, a construction worker of New Road. […]

    The Guardian

    Supreme Court says it does not have Jurisdiction on matters of Parliament
    Julius Espat, the “wannabe” PUP Badboy elected by the voters of Cayo South, has lost his case in the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin has ruled that his suspension from the House needs to be handled by Parliament, and that the matter falls outside of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. As readers will remember, he was suspended from the House in August of this year after he disrespected House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte, and continuously disregarded Standing Orders, ignoring decorum. He has a long, well-documented history of doing just that, and the Government’s side put it to vote for him to be named and suspended from attending Sittings of the House of Representatives. Believing his constitutional rights were violated, he filed a lawsuit against the House Speaker and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster. He was asking for the court to grant an injunction restraining the National Assembly and its agents, namely the police, from enforcing what he believes is an unlawful suspension. Additionally, he was asking the court to overturn it because in his view, the Speaker did not properly follow the Standing Orders to carry out the suspension through proper procedure.

    Father suspected of beating baby to death
    On Tuesday of this week, Belmopan police were in Saint Matthews Village when they were alerted that a female child was in need of medical attention. Police officers immediately intervened and began transporting the child to the Western Regional Hospital. On their way they encountered an ambulance and the child was handed over to emergency personnel who administered first responders care to the child. Despite best efforts the child was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The child has been identified as Janeeka Campbell, a one year 11 months old, who was seen with bruises to various parts of her body. She also appeared to be malnourished.

    Auditor General admits ministers visa recommendations not illegal
    Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has been forced to abandon the very wrong assertion that it is illegal for Ministers to “intervene” in the application process for visas, passports, and nationality certificates for persons they want to help. Under duress, she had to concede in the continuation of the Senate Select Committee hearing that she has to remove that from her report. That moment of clarity came in the Wednesday, December 7, hearing of the Committee. Bradley was back under oath giving testimony in the hearings to review the alleged irregularities that her Audit Report outlines between 2011 and 2013 in the Immigration and Nationality Department. On page 9 of her report on Visas, she wrote, “We found recommendations and requests made by Ministers of Government for Individuals to be approved Belize Visas. The purpose of the Ministers’ requests were to assist specific applicants to obtain visas to visit or visa extensions to stay longer in Belize...We noted that Ministers of Government recommended and requested that a number of Asian individuals be issued Belize visas to enter… Belize”

    Julius Espat will be barred from Friday’s House Meeting
    Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte told the Guardian Newspaper that the suspension of Area Representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat remains in effect. There will be a meeting of the House on Friday December 9 which means that Espat will not be allowed to enter the House. Peyrefitte is maintaining his position after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin accepted the submission which had been made by Solicitor General Nigel Hawke and Agassi Finnegan on Peyrefitte’s behalf. They were defending Peyrefitte from an action brought by Julius Espat in which he was seeking to be reinstated into the House of Representatives after he was named and unceremoniously forced out of the House of Representatives on August 26th. Hawke and Finnegan submitted that the matter be struck out since the Judiciary does not have jurisdiction in matters of Parliament. CJ Benjamin agreed and struck out the case but not before pointing out that Espat’s moves were ‘woefully inadequate.’

    Minister of State in Home Affairs Hon. Elodio Aragon meets with Officers to discuss Strategies
    On Monday of this week, the Minister of State with responsibility for the Police Department Hon. Elodio Aragon met with the Commissioner of Police Mr. Allen Whylie and the two Police Attorneys; Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams and Sr. Superintendent Bart Jones. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss new strategies which are to be implemented as early as January of the coming year. Matters ranging from improving on professionalism of the department to steps to be taken in addressing the current murder situation were discussed. The attorneys were asked to look at existing legislation governing certain aspects of the Police Department and to come up with recommendations of possible legislation to improve and strengthen them.

    2017 sugar cane crop starts with no problems
    The 2016-2017 sugar crop season began on Monday, December 5, which is right on schedule to make the most of the grinding season. There is an estimated 1.39 million tonnes of cane in the fields, and the millers, Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI), and their majority shareholder, American Sugar Refineries (ASR), want to make the best effort at milling the entire crop. It marks the second consecutive season since the turmoil at the end of 2014 that the season is starting on time, and without any sort of in-quarrelling or controversy. It is hoped that gone are the days when cane farmers will intentionally delay the start of the season due to disputes as in 2013 and 2014, which caused the season to start some 47 days late, or 7 weeks behind schedule. The 3 Associations, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers, the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers, and the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers, were all represented at the opening ceremony, lending support to the process. In fact, they were the ones who were first to officially open the season with a ceremony which involved them throwing the first stalks of harvested cane onto one of the dumping tables for BSI’s Tower Hill Factory.

    Belize Defence Force Lieutenant Colonel receives Silver Medal Award
    Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Velasquez of the Belize Defence Force was the proud recipient of a Silver Medal award from the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) on Wednesday November 30th, 2016 during its meeting in El Salvador. This award is in recognition of Velasquez’s meritorious participation and contribution to the greater cooperation of the armies of the Central American region. The award was presented to him by President of the Superior Council of CFAC Lieutenant General David Mungia Payes, Minister of Defence of El Salvador, on behalf of the armies of the region. Other recipients of the award included Peruvian Vice Admiral Gonzalo Polastri and British Colonel David Stradbridge. The CFAC was created in 2007 and has as its mission the promotion of a permanent and systematic effort of cooperation, coordination, and mutual support among the member armed forces. It includes professional development exchanges, cooperation on dealing with shared issues and threats to democracy, peace, and freedom in the region.

    Belmopan now has the prettiest tree in Belize
    A 25 feet Christmas tree was lit with great ceremony on Saturday night at the Sir George Brown Field, at the corner of Libertad Avenue and South Ring Road in Belmopan City. Hon. John Saldivar, Area Representative and Minister of Defence, accompanied by his Worship Mayor Khalid Belisle lit up the towering Christmas Tree to the cheering of residents from Garden City. It was a full night of entertainment as a prelude to the Christmas tree lighting featuring the Panerrifix Junior Steel Band. Santa Clause was also present cheering and giving gifts to the children. In his discourse with the Belmopan audience at Sir George Brown Field, Mayor Khalid Belisle stated: “We believe in being our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.” He urged residents to complete one act of kindness for this Christmas Season and to take that into the New Year.

    The Buy and Sell effect
    We so often hear Belizeans say, a job is so hard to find, or that they have or know a child who graduated but cannot find a job. There are also employment surveys and polls of various types that are done for one reason or another on a consistent basis. Then there are those persons like those PUP Propagandists who like to speak of a high rate of unemployment. Well we don't believe those figures are indeed factual based on what we have been seeing on the ground . For us employment is not just about an employee going on a job to work for an employer. There are some folks who are entrepreneurs who either because of choice or circumstances work for themselves. They too are employed, although they are self employed. There are the entrepreneurs such as the Store Owners, Restaurateurs, Cosmetologist &Furniture Makers, Artists, Artisants, Farmers, Trades Persons, Fisherfolks, Fishscrapers, Car washers, Grass cutters, Vendors, Bakers and persons in the Manufacturing industry. These are the people we would readily think of when we speak of entrepreneurs because they are the ones we know are out there, either because they have a place of business or we know of their products.

    Belize represented in Mexico to strengthen parliaments
    Belize was this week represented in Mexico at the 13th Plenary Assembly of Americas. Held in Mexico City the focus of the gathering was on strengthening Parliaments and building resilient Societies to achieve the sustainable goals. Representing Belize was Senator of the South, Hon. Macario Coy who for two days on the 6th and 7th of this month had the opportunity to dialogue with representatives of 25 different countries of the ParlAmericas. The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the Sustainable Development Goals( SDGs) on the global , regional and national level. The distinctive political and Socio-Economic features of each country were taken into accounts in determining the corresponding actions and strategies. The parliamentarians’ delegation in attendance offer their heartfelt recognition to ParlAmericas on the occasion of its 15th Anniversary and expresses their gratitude for its notable efforts in promoting democracy and strengthening of parliamentary diplomacy in the Americas and the Caribbean, facilitating dialogue and the exchange of best legislative practices on the topic of hemispheric relevance.

    Can’t slow Castro down
    For the last 4 month or so Honourable Edmond “ Clear the Land “ Castro, has seen his political capital go up. He has been consistently producing the goods and services for the citizens of this country and much more for the people from some of the poorest communities in the country including but not limited to the residents of Belize Rural North. Charity begins at home and many persons from his constituency have been recipients and beneficiaries of his hard work. Like a true and tested veteran, Castro has not hidden his accomplishments under a bushel. He has been putting it in the public media. The congratulations, accolades and popularity that Castro has earned for his hard work in delivering for the poor people of this country has been causing the PUP restless nights and they are now desperately trying to throw a spanner in Castro’s wheel to try and slow him down. Castro now as a full minister is free to fly and as long as he spends wisely, as he usually does, more and more people will benefit from his hard work. The PUP as usual, have called on some of those persons they have planted in key positions to do the bidding of the party whenever the needs arise.

    Artists and artisans come out for Cayo Festival 2016
    In a drive to support its artists and artisans, the Cayo Arts Festival 2016 was held on Saturday of this past weekend at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. There were no shortage of arts and craft as some 50 artisans showed up to showcase their varied products. Amidst the full day of cultural events, it was also time for the main organizer, the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture, under the umbrella of the National Institute of Culture and History, to celebrate its 6th anniversary. Good weather provided an avenue for tourists and visitors alike to visit the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday and buy products from the artisans. Lupita Ferguson, the Director of the House of Culture says that this result is deliberate as she wants to encourage the artisans in their work.

    NEMO receives donation from Chile
    On Monday December 5, Minister of National Emergency Management Hon Edmond Castro received a donation of 50 Thousand US Dollars from the Government of Chile on behalf of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to assist with ongoing hurricane recovery efforts in the Agriculture Sector, specifically for small farmers impacted by Hurricane Earl. The donation was presented by Chile’s Ambassador to Belize resident in El Salvador, Maria Inez Ruz. Also on hand was Chile’s Honorary Consul in Belize H.E. Joe Mena. The groundwork for the donation was done by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), whose representative in Belize is Christian Salazar. Mr. Salazar was also on hand for the presentation.

    Defence Minister comments on completed countrywide tour of BDF installations
    Last Friday, Minister of Defence, Hon. John Saldivar completed a nationwide tour of BDF installations countrywide. The national tour started back in September, one month after Saldivar was named Minister of Defence and appointed a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Felix Enriquez. Accompanied by CEO Enriquez and BDF Commander General David Jones, the Minister first visited BDF National Headquarters at Price Barracks in Ladyville, the Air and Maritime Wings at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, and Militia Hall on the George Price Highway just outside Belize City. Following the month-long September Celebrations and a few unexpected delays, the Minister resumed his national tour in early November, heading up North to Corozal and Orange Walk where he visited BDF bases and posts, including those involved in curbing contraband and other illegal cross-border activities. On that leg, he was accompanied by BDF Deputy Commander Colonel Steven Ortega.

    Dale Tillett killed on Hydes lane
    Dale Tillett Sr., a 44 year-old father of 8, was mercilessly slain in Belize City, almost 5 years after his son, Dale Jr., lost his life to gun violence. The incident happened sometime after 3:30 a.m. on Hyde’s Lane. Tillett was walking on Hydes Lane with a group of friends, one of whom was a relative. They had just purchased food from one of the street vendors after a night out. Tillett and his companions were on their way to their destination when two assailants rode up on a motorcycle. They approached from behind, and before the men could react, one of them pulled out a gun and fired a barrage of shots at them. One of those bullets struck Tillett in the neck, while 28 year-old David Garcia, one of his companions, was injured in the left shoulder. That gunshot injury killed Tillett on the spot, and when the police arrived, they rushed his companion, Garcia, to the KHMH for medical treatment.

    Accused Killers of Joshua Abraham Walk Free
    Randy Green, 30, and Michael Young, 26, the two men who police believe were responsible for the shooting death of 9-year-old Joshua Abraham, are out free after the prosecution’s case fell apart in trial when key witnesses recanted their statements. Joshua Abraham, who lived around the Victoria Street area, was murdered on Independence Day 2011 as Belize City residents were enjoying the uniform parade. Joshua also went out to watch the annual uniform parade that passes by the intersection of Victoria Street and North Front Street. About 30 minutes after the parade had passed, he went to a nearby store and that was when two men approached the area from the intersection of New Road and Victoria Street. They hid behind a few parked vehicles stalking their targets.

    Chester Noralez charged for Sexual Assault
    A year ago, he was accused of almost killing his 93-year-old neighbor and now Chester Noralez, 36, is in trouble with the law again. This time it is for a crime against a minor. Noralez was back in court on charges of sexual assault and using insulting words on a high school student. A 17-year-old girl reported to police that she was at a shop on Mahogany Street when Noralez forcibly hugged her and then squeezed her buttocks. When the teen pushed him away and said she did not know him, Noralez allegedly threatened her saying that he was from PIV (a criminal gang from the Lake Independence area). Noralez appeared in court unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. He was offered bail in the sum of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount, which he was able to meet. Noralez is scheduled to return to court on January 30.

    Handyman murdered in Teakettle
    A 19 year old handy man Abner Vasquez was discovered murdered at about 7:15 am this past Saturday behind a warehouse in Teakettle Village. Found near his body was a slippers and a hat, which had fallen from him while he was being pursued by an attacker sometime between Friday and Saturday. He had injuries to both the back of his head and right jaw. A post mortem has revealed that he had been manually strangled. A candle light vigil was held in Teakettle on Tuesday night to recognize Abner Vasquez, who in life was widely known to be a peaceful person. He had last been seen by his family on Thursday evening of last week. About a week ago, Abner Vasquez had complained to his aunt Isolita Hewlett that a man had hit him in the eye. Belmopan Police continue investigating this case.

    House keeper accused of theft
    Maria Reina Vargas Lainez, 31, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for a single charge of theft. Her employer, Carlos Perrera, Director of Finance of the Public Utilities Commission, reported to police that she stole two of his wrist watches from inside his Bella Vista residence. The incident allegedly took place on Friday, December 2. Perrera said he left the watches in his chest of drawers and later noticed that they were missing. He made a report to police on Saturday, December 3, and told police that Lainez was his cleaner and only she had access to his home that Friday. Police later arrested Lainez for theft. Lainez, a Honduran national of Belama Phase 2, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, December 5, to answer to a single charge of theft. She was unrepresented in court and since she speaks only Spanish a translator was provided. Lainez pleaded not guilty to the charge.

    Michael McDonald sentenced to 3 years for firearm
    King Street resident Michael McDougal, 23, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment after he was found guilty of keeping a firearm without a gun license and discharging that firearm in public. Police responded to a shooting near BTL Park at 3:09 a.m. on Sunday, September 28, 2014 and allegedly saw McDougal shooting at another man. This incident took place shortly after the conclusion of the Arthur Guinness memorial festivities. Police say that when McDougal saw them he threw the firearm behind a parked SUV. Police apprehended McDougal and searched the area. They found a .38 special revolver with serial number 796694 and five expended shells. He was arrested and charged with one count each of discharging a firearm in public, causing public terror, keeping a firearm without a gun license and being a member of the George Street Gang.

    Pregnant woman accused of drug trafficking
    Conch Shell Bay resident Carolee Orosco, 21, is expecting twin babies in late January but this is not a happy time for the mother to be. That is because she is facing a charge of drug trafficking and disclosure is to be handed over to her by January 30, 2017. Police claim that Orosco and others were busted with 544 grams of cannabis on Thursday, December 1. According to police, officers of the Gang Suppression Unit were conducting mobile patrol on Ebony Street when WPC Wiley saw a pregnant female abruptly stepped back into a yard when her attention was drawn to the police. This caused the officer to become suspicious of the woman and because of that they followed her into the yard. There they saw her standing next to a stairway. When the officers approached her she said that she just wanted to use the bathroom. She was informed that a search would be conducted on her. This resulted in nothing incriminating being found. Officers then proceeded to search the bathroom and this led to the discovery of a bag with weed stashed within some plycem trim. Inside the house, police also found a Belizean passport belonging to the woman who owns the house. Though she was not at home at the time of the search, the owner is being jointly charged with Orozco and two other males who were at the residence at the time.

    Youth gunned down near his home
    Emmerson Skyers, a 26 year-old man with a troubled past, and who was trying to transform his life, was shot and killed near his home in the Taylor’s Alley area. The incident happened on Sunday, December 4, at around 1:30 p.m., when Skyers was in front of a grocery store at the corner of Orange and West Streets. He was reportedly in the company of a friend who was with a young child. He was caught off-guard by the gunmen who drove by in a white car. Those shooters fired several shot in their direction, hitting Skyers multiple times to the body. He was immediately rushed to the KHMH, but he died just under 15 minutes after the incident.

    Teenager Busted with Gun in Front of Court
    Police believe they foiled an execution plot when they busted New Road resident John Charles Orosco, 19, with a 38 special in front of the Belize City Magistrates Court on Wednesday, December 07. A police officer in civilian clothing noticed the teenager acting suspiciously outside of court. The incident occurred around 9 a.m., just as the names of individuals scheduled to appear were being called. The cop alerted officers on duty at the court who pulled out their guns and ordered the youngster to freeze. The officers conducted a search on the suspicious individual and inside his pants waist they found a .38 Special revolver with two live rounds. John Orosco was arrested and charged for possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition without a gun license. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Wednesday afternoon and claimed, “Neh police planted that gun on me because I never had no gun.”

    Traffic accident in Cayo
    One man in Cayo was killed by a heavy white Chevrolet after coming to render aid to his mother-in-law, who had ran out of fuel on the road. The accident took place between mile 56 and 57 on the George Price Highway on Sunday night of this past weekend. San Ignacio Police visited the accident scene where they observed a six wheeler truck with extensive damages to the passenger side and a minivan with damages to the back of the vehicle. Police also observed the motionless body of a male Hispanic, Carlos Medina, a Honduran of a Santa Elena Town address. Investigators at the scene determined that Marleni Wellington, a 56 year old was driving the Mazda minivan on the George Price Highway towards San Ignacio Town. But upon reaching miles 56 and 57 the vehicle driven by Wellington experienced mechanical problems.

    Franklin Velasquez caught with Hipolito Novelo’s laptop
    Honduras national, Franklin Velasquez, 18, was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith for handling stolen goods on Monday, December 5. Allegations are that he assisted in the retention of a black Asus laptop that was stolen from Love News’ reporter Hipolito Novelo on Wednesday, November 30. Novelo reported to police that his home at #12 Douglas Jones Street was burglarized and the laptop, a grey Galaxy S6 cellphone and a heavy duty charger were stolen. Police investigation led to the arrest of Velasquez who took officers to pick up the laptop. He was then charged with one count of handling stolen goods.

    Belmopan Bandits undefeated in regular season competition
    The Premier League of Belize Opening Season regular competition came to an end on Sunday 4th December, 2016, with three games on the schedule. On Saturday 3rd December, 2016, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the league’s leading Belmopan Bandits wrapped up its undefeated regular season with a 0-0 draw against the Belize Defence Force. The Belmopan Bandits completed the regular season with a 12 wins and 4 draws record. On Sunday 4th December, 2016, at the MCC Grounds, FC Belize blasted the Freedom Fighters by the score of 6-1. The goals for FC Belize were scored by Russell Cassanova in the 4th minute of play followed by Hector Martinez in the 17th, 39th and 71st minutes of play and he was followed by Jorge Aleman in the 35th minute of play and then by Oliver Hendricks in the 85th minute of play.

    Football Federation of Belize calls footballers to National ‘A’ Team training camp
    In an effort to be competitive in the upcoming 2017 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Tournament, the FFB is calling on the following players to its training camp which commenced on Tuesday 6th December, 2016, at the Football Federation of Belize training facility. Belize has been selected to compete in Group A which consists of Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua. The tournament will be held from January 13-22, 2017, in Panama City, Republic of Panama, at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. The top four teams will qualify for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the team that place fifth will advance to the playoff against the team that places fifth from the 2017 Caribbean Cup for the final berth for the Gold Cup.

    Youth footballers to play in Jamaican Youth League
    The Football Federation of Belize informs the general public that whilst it was the youngest team to participate in the recently concluded UNCAF U-17 elimination tournament, the individual talent of our youth players did not go unnoticed. Based on scouts that were present at the matches, four youth players were selected to play in the youth league in Jamaica. The invitation that was extended includes boarding and schooling, with the potential of the youth players being drafted to play in professional leagues. It also informs that a Costa Rican player agency is offering several of the youth players the opportunity to attend major colleges in the US on football scholarships, to develop their skills while obtaining their degrees. According to the Football Federation of Belize, this falls in line with the “Football for Education” programme, the it is currently pursuing to place less fortunate footballers in school, so that after their football careers, they have an education to rely on.

    2017 National Elite Basketball League season to commence on January 13
    The Commissioner of the National Elite Basketball League Karim Juan informed the general public that the NEBL will commence its fourth season on Friday 13th January, 2017. The fourth season will see eight teams competing for the top prize. The teams that will be competing in the 2017 campaign will be the Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes, Belize City No Limit, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Bandits, Dangriga Warriors, Cayo Western Ballaz and a new franchise from Chetumal, Mexico. It is noted that games will be played in Chetumal, and the Chetumal team will also play games in Belize, using the same home and away format. For the up-coming season, each team will have a shot clock, which will greatly enhance the competitive nature of the game.

    The Belize Times

    DANGER: BAD DRUGS!
    “I can’t say with certainty that some of the providers gave us medication and items that did put the population at risk. What I can say is that because we were not enforcing those standards there is a high possibility that that could have happened.” As we go to press, the Ministry of Health is under intense scrutiny as a result of bizarre and appalling revelations by current CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa. Those revelations indicate not only that the Ministry of Health has been operating as another hotbed of corruption, but incredibly that patients may have lost their lives as a result of the direct negligence of MoH officials where the monitoring of pharmaceutical and medical supplies is concerned. In a candid interview granted by the Figueroa came the admission that a lack of monitoring and controls as it relates to the provision of pharmaceutical and medical supplies possibly put the lives of patients at risk. Other health officials we have spoken with have also expressed a strong belief that the lack of proper and consistent testing of pharmaceuticals has, in fact, led to a loss of lives over the years. Still others say that even members of the Tender Committee in the Ministry of Health resort to purchasing medicinal drugs for personal use from outside because they are aware that some of the medications circulating within the public health system in Belize simply do not work.

    Castro Caught AGAIN!
    It seems that no matter how hard he tries Edmond “Clear the Cane” Castro can’t stay out of trouble. Some Belizeans would say that somebody “obeah” the man. We on the other hand would argue that this is just who he is—a magnet for underhanded behaviour! The latest escapade involving Castro is the revelation that as a result of his “arrangement” with one Eloy Escalante the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) has lost its Fairtrade certification. The permanent suspension of the BSCFA’s Fairtrade status would mean an immediate loss of more than one million dollars; the longer term impact would be even more dire and could cost cane farmers around 5 million dollars over the next 3 years. In an effort to avoid this hardship the BSCFA has expelled Eloy Escalante with the hope that his expulsion would stay the decision of the Fairtrade certification agency. The BSCFA is yet to find out if this is enough to avoid the problems brought on by the Escalante-Castro debacle.

    Baby Tameeka is Dead! – Did A Father Murder his Child?
    Belmopan Police are on a manhunt for the father of baby Tameeka Campbell, missing since last night when the child, not yet two years old, was pronounced dead at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, fresh and faded bruises covering her upper body. Is it possible that the St. Margaret resident pummelled his daughter to death on Tuesday night…that the man who should have been her protector instead took her life? Police are still trying to piece together all sides of this tragic story. What they have confirmed so far is that officers were on patrol in the village sometime around 8p.m. Tuesday when they came upon two men in distress with a child who required medical attention. The Police picked her up from the duo who were later learned to be family friends. While on their way to the Western Regional Hospital they met an ambulance that was responding to a request for emergency assistance. The child was transferred to the ambulance but was already unresponsive. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

    A Hollow Victory
    Following the 11-day strike of teachers under the BNTU’s mantle from October 3 to October 18, those determined educators were saluted as heroes, hailed as the warriors who had triumphed over an administration’s despotic and corrupt ways. After all, they fought for good governance and an end to corruption. They fought for checks and balances and accountability where none existed. They fought for responsible spending. By October 18 it seemed apparent that the Prime Minister had folded. YES to the 13th Senator. YES to the ratification of UNCAC. YES to the Integrity Commission. YES to the Senate Inquiry. The angels sang the hallelujah chorus. Oh how the teachers must have felt like the mighty Spartan 300, with the difference that they lived to tell the tale of glory. Except we were all – teachers, right-thinking Belizeans, those who wanted a real change with no political agenda – just a real change for Belize as Belizeans – bamboozled by the Prime Minister’s trademark brilliant bullshit. It is no fault of the teachers. They are to be praised because they stood alone and stood strong. In fact, many of us should feel a twinge of shame when we remember the determined stance of those teachers. What they fought for would have benefitted each and every one of us (with the exception, perhaps, of those who have already raped and raided our coffers and continue to pillage with impunity).

    Leaked Documents Reveal: The Sky IS Falling!
    The government of Belize, in its presentation to Bondholders last week, leaked to the media, outlined the very grim economic situation Belize is now faced with as a result of poor decisions made by the United Democratic Party (UDP) government. GOB also acknowledged, for the first time, in its presentation that Belize public debt is now at 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Barrow’s administration also finally took responsibility for pushing Belize’s debt over the edge: “The government’s balance sheet was hit by the financial cost of intervening in two key utilities, taking over ownership, in the case of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), to ensure proper functioning of the country’s power system, and in the case of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), to terminate a contract that had proven to be very expensive for the government. The result of these two re-nationalizations: much higher government debt, and debt servicing costs.”

    Questions to Ministers
    Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please confirm or deny reports that when he said he was meeting with bondholders in New York early this week he was actually meeting with Lord Michael Ashcroft at an undisclosed location to discuss a new cruise port? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister be willing to disclose exactly how much his brother attorney Denys Barrow made from litigation over the BTL acquisition, and also how much his law firm made from the settlement with BTL? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please disclose what was discussed when he and Pastor Ashley Rocke met at his Seashore Drive mansion at 10:45am on Saturday? Would the Member for Corozal Bay and Minister of Health please confirm or deny reports that he has come under increasing pressure to remove Ms. Danini Contreras from her post as Drug Inspectorate Inspector since their intimate relationship has become public knowledge and is considered a blatant conflict of interest?

    If Dah Noh Soh
    Pastor Ashley Rocke, Senator representing the Churches (actually Senator representing a few UDP-owned Church leaders and of course the UDP) was seen walking into the home of Prime Minister Dean Barrow at 10:45am Saturday morning. Maybe he was there to hear confession. Maybe he was there to counsel the troubled Prime Minister and to comfort him before his travels abroad. Reliable word reaching this cynical scribe is that Godwin Hulse, the man formerly known as the people’s champion, had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and is refusing to take his medication. Medical authorities were recently alerted to the troubling condition at the opening of the sugar cane crop recently. At the podium, Hulse vowed to get rid of phantom farmers in the industry, stating “I am unabashed to say there is no place for shopkeepers who pose as cane farmers and who buy quotas and that sort of thing. We need to be serious.” But minutes after, when asked about his friend Clear the Cane Castro, a minister posing as a cane-farmer, Godwin stated, “Let’s be real. He has cane and he should be able to sell his cane.” Reliable sources have confirmed to this intrepid reporter that the Special Envoy for Women, Children and really Foolish People has scheduled an intervention with Minister Edmond Castro as soon as he returns from the canefields. We are told that his repeated use of the ‘R’ word was reported to the Special Envoy and she was irate that Castro would dare to do so when she even made an ad forbidding it. We are also reliably informed that she attempted to get hubby to shuffle the shameless Minister, suggesting that he assume the portfolio of Shameless Actions, Stupid Commentary, Disrespect and Sexual Harassment, created just for him.

    More Secret Deals to Remedy Bad Decisions…?
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left for New York this week, allegedly for Superbond discussions, but the Belize Times has learned Barrow’s presence may signal a bigger move by government in the months to come. The Belize Times has learned that Economic Ambassador Mark Espat was left in charge of handling negotiations with bondholders. Sources also indicate that Barrow’s arrival in New York may indicate one of two things: either bondholders are driving a very hard line and need assurances only the Prime Minister can give or there is another deal being made to help relieve GOB of some of its more immediate expenses and free up cash for Barrow and company.

    Candelaria ‘Canned’ Under Public Pressure
    If the public had not become outraged at the continued pampering (at taxpayer expense) of Candelaria Saldivar, sister of Minister of Defence John Saldivar, it is likely that she would still be sitting at home collecting her CEO salary plus $18,000 housing/entertainment allowance and $3000 phone allowance and all other perks. But the Belize Times has confirmed that via letter dated November 24th, 2016, Saldivar has been put out to pasture. In that correspondence from Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo, Saldivar is advised that “His Excellency the Governor-General, on the advice of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister…has approved your retirement on compulsory terms on the grounds of the above mentioned and continuing organizational restructuring and for the purpose of facilitating improvement in efficiency…”

    Guatemalans Make Huge Drug Bust in Belizean Waters
    Guatemalan law enforcement agencies are reporting that they have caught four cocaine smugglers who were trying to traffic about $45M worth of the drug to what is believed to be a North American destination. The Guatemalans report that the drug bust happened in “international waters”, but experts in Belize have strong reason to believe that these men were caught in Belizean territorial waters. News reports coming out of Guatemala suggest that the Guatemalan law enforcement agencies received intelligence of this drug smuggling operation under way in international waters. They mobilized quickly, and the Ministry of Defence and Special Naval Force moved quickly to intercept these traffickers. In the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, they managed to catch one of 2 vessels which were travelling the Caribbean Sea at that time. On that vessel were 4 Hondurans, 34 year-old Walter Orlando Portillo Portillo, 26 year-old Jose Miguel Andrade Saldivar, 21 year-old Julian Avila Suazo and 42 year-old Zablo Amilcar Portillo Portillo.

    City Resident Gunned Down in Broad Daylight
    On Sunday afternoon, at around 1:30, Emerson Skyers, 26, was at the corner of West Street and Cemetery Road socializing with friends when a white car pulled up and a gunman started firing. As the car fled the scene residents in the area and friends of Skyers tried desperately to resuscitate him but he died at the scene. According to ASP Alejandro Cowo, Officer Commanding CIB, “”Emerson Skyers was walking on Cemetery Road almost at the corner of Cemetery Road and West Street when a vehicle coming from the direction of Cemetery Road towards Albert Street passed him and a person from the vehicle fired several shots at him causing the fatal injuries. Up to now we do not have a motive in regards to the death of Mr. Skyers.”

    Tour Guide Killed in Motorcycle Ride-By
    Violence sparked up in the old capital this weekend and claimed the life of well- known tour guide Dale Anthony Tillett Sr. the incident happened at around 3:45am Saturday as Tillett and friends were heading home after a night out. Police held a press conference on Monday to provide as much information as they had been able to discover. They relayed that they were called to the scene at the corner of Hyde’s Land and New Road and observed the lifeless body of Tillett with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head.

    Man Allegedly Brutalized by Police Dies Mysteriously
    At mid-afternoon on Saturday December 3rd, the body of Altreed Williams was found on Lawrence Avenue in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. Strangely, his body which was partially in a drain was just outside of his car. The sudden death is said to have been preceded by a beat down doled out by Police two weeks before (a screenshot of a conversation between Altreed and a friend confirms the date of the police brutality as November 18th). Roxanne Williams, his wife who he had been living with for 12 years—sharing two children, explained that he had been pepper sprayed and left with bruises to the forehead. She recounted that during the entire time since the incident with Police he was unable to work because the constant headaches he began suffering would cause him to tumble down and he was not eating. The previous Wednesday, November 30th, his family took him to the hospital where a CT scan was done and some medication prescribed before he was sent home. However, she says that he did not improve.

    A BURNING VIOLIN
    Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin Dance me through the panic ‘til I’m gathered safely in – Leonard Cohen The first show of the Belizean Women’s Art Collective titled RADICAL comes weeks after Donald Trump won the American presidency. We live in a world of absurd contradictions, bizarre distortions and feigning frivolity. So it is urgent that artists rise up and disrupt the social space to offer voices that seriously address the taking charge of our lives. The concept of a collective is hard to comprehend in an era of extreme individual self-promotion and exposure. These women are fearless foragers inside a shopping mall of digital paradoxes. Belize is still yet to shed its hyper misogynistic and blatant male dominated cultural entrenchment, so this small band of BWACs offer not just hope in the face of social melting and insanity, but an opportunity to seek some clarity about what our lives are really about, and how we could pursue some tangible concepts of deep revolutionary thinking.

    THE WONDERER AND NEGLECTED/CRASHED BELIZEAN INDUSTRIES
    The Wonderer was wandering on Google Earth and wandered on certain areas that brought back memories of good industries that employed thousands and thousands of Belizeans, but because of the neglect of government(s) they all came to pass into history. These projects all needed help from Government but for some reason help was denied. Help was actually denied to the Belizeans who directly and indirectly depended on those industries. It seems you have to own an island for tourism that employs a few Belizeans in the “servant” industry and ban us other Belizeans from visiting their white premises in our country. Only so and after some dealing then you obtain tax and duty exemptions or sometimes called fiscal incentives, which could save the industries from collapse. The following industries now RIP.

    Stann Creek & Toledo Win at Special Olympics 2016
    The Stann Creek and Toledo athletes were the big winners at the 2016 Special Olympics held at the Holstan Chan Stadium for 5-a-side football in Corozal Town on Friday. The 5th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run raised over $7,000 for the Games, and the arrival of the torch signalled the start of the Games after Police Commissioner Allen Whylie personally carried the torch up the ladder to light the Flame of Hope, which remained alight for the duration of the Games.

    Devesh Hukmani Wins BNE Table Tennis Championship
    The Belize Table Tennis Association closed off a rather successful year with the final tournament on the calendar, the Belize Natural Energy national championships at the BES auditorium on Sunday; where 11-year-old Devesh Hukmani emerged as the youngest Men’s champion ever! Some 39 players contested the men’s singles championship which was a single elimination format and the final 4 were all teenagers. SJC’s Rohit Pagarani won 2nd place while the two 3rd place winners were Kevin Chen and Amiri Hoare. In the Women Singles championships, Su Sen won 1st place: 3-2 over 2nd place winner Nikki Chen in the finals. Kelly Liu and Aejelee Thurton both won 3rd place

    Police United & FC Belize Win Thru to PLB Football Playoffs
    Yabra FC, Survivors FC and the undefeated Coast Guard posted wins when the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) football playoffs kicked off at the MCC Garden on Saturday. In Game 1, Ladyville FC and Kelly Street drew 1-1 when Shawn Young scored for Ladyville in the 8th minute and Kadeem Myers equalized for Kelly St. in the 25th minute. In Game 2, Yabra FC won 2-1 over Tut Bay. Dalton “Chicken” Cayetano scored Yabra’s 1st goal in the 17th minute. Carlos Lino answered for Tut Bay in the 35th minute. Yabra’s Keron Patnett scored the game winner in the 2nd half. In Game 3, Coast Guard won 3-1 over Hattieville United when Adier Duran scored the Coast Guard’s 1st goal, Steven Martinez added a 2nd goal and Orvin Wade converted a penalty. Marcus Lewis scored Hattieville’s only consolation goal.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – ACTIVISM AND ACTION
    It’s amazing…all this activity during the Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. I don’t know if we have really come a long way but all the events certainly have. I am not at all knocking the candlelight vigils, dancing in the street and marching. It is all meant to bring awareness, and we have to be aware and internalize the challenges at hand before we can actually do something. But we need action too. Last week the Social Work Students Association of the University of Belize held their first Gender Based Violence Evening of Expressive Arts at Spoonaz Cafe on North Front Street, Belize City. I was happy to have received their invitation to address them as guest speaker, and, as I usually do, I jotted a few notes and bullet points of what I wanted to say to them. I am not given to writing out long speeches, preferring instead to have some few ideas and to go with the mood and flow of the event.

    TOURISM: BELIZEANS SHUT OUT
    IF Belizeans have not yet been shut out of the tourism industry, they continue to get a thinner and thinner slice of their homemade pie. Soon they will be getting only the crumbs. Most of this industry is dominated by foreign investors with a small number of local investors owning principal stakes. On the other hand, some Belizeans own considerable capital in providing services to this industry, including transportation, but in some instances even the latter is at risk because of loose policies within the industry. Foreign real estate companies are also dominating that market. Added to this is the rampant corruption in the Ministry of Lands that goes on unabated. Real estate is prohibitively expensive putting it out of the reach of local investors. In the earlier years of the industry, many innocent Belizeans were fleeced by land speculators who bought their land for cheap.

    Thinking Out Loud
    According to a press release from the Ministry of Natural Resources, now under the control of Attorney-General Vanessa Retreage, a letter was sent to Gaspar Vega’s son Andre and UDP-affiliated attorney Sharon Pitts telling them that they had 30 days to return $800,000 ($400,000 each). They got that money when Gaspar Vega was Minister of Natural Resources, in a move that stinks to high heavens of the most worthless corruption. Those 30 days have gone. But nobody anywhere wants to talk about that money now. The Minister of Natural Resources isn’t saying a word. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that money to be given back to Belizean taxpayers. That’s not really going to happen.

    That Dreaded Corruption
    How can Belize promote development?? Poverty has so long and gravely sparked concern because many people are experiencing hardship, misery, starvation, and so on. The causes of poverty in Belize are various. But the most common cause that is pervasively found in every developing world is corruption. Corruption has negatively and greatly influenced the growth and welfare of the country and has also been one of the most important matters with which Belize is struggling to deal. It is mostly spotted in a wide range of different organizations and levels starting from government, private sector, judicial system, education and so forth. It is not difficult to understand why corruption is so dreadful for us. Corruption has drained out a large sum of money from our national income. The money could instead be used to help the poor by improving infrastructure, agriculture, the health care system or to build more schools. Furthermore, corruption is seriously discouraging foreign investments. Investment is very crucial in boosting Belize’s economy. It provides countless jobs for our population and enlarges the tax income. However, investors will become greatly reluctant to run their large scale business in a country that is marred by corruption.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BSCFA responds to Minister Castro
    The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) met at its Orange Walk branch office today to respond to criticisms raised by the Minister of Transport & NEMO, Edmund Castro as well as those raised by the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC). According to the […]

    Copa Airlines marks 1 year anniversary flying to Belize
    Today, December 8th marks the one year anniversary of Copa Airlines flying to and from Belize. Last year on December 8, 2015 Copa began offering direct flights from Belize City to Panama City, Panama connecting with other destinations throughout the American continent. The flight […]

    Over 30,000 board feet of illegally harvested Rosewood found in Benque Viejo
    Yesterday, officers of the Forest Department conducted a site inspection at a wood work factory in Benque Viejo Town where they discovered over 30,000 board feet of illegally harvested Rosewood in flitch form. The wood was found to be without official marking and documentation […]

    NCFC says violence against children must stop
    The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) issued a press release this afternoon joining the nation in mourning the tragic loss of another innocent Belizean child. “It is truly a tragic outcome. Media reports about the questionable circumstances surrounding the tragic death of […]

    Belize to host international yoga festival this month
    Rhythm of Change(ROC) Om Shanti Belize is about to embark on its first large project, the Belize International Yoga Festival, which will take place on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2016 at Harbour view greens on # 12 Fort Street in Belize City from 6am to […]

    Man murdered in Corozal; Police are investigating
    Police in Corozal are investigating a murder that happened in that district this morning. BBN contacted Corozal police who confirmed that police were patrolling in an area off the San Andres road in Corozal when they heard a woman asking for help. When police […]

    67 year old woman from Maskall village is missing
    Gabriela Mendez, 67, is missing. Mendez is from Maskall village and has been missing for the last two days. She was last seen on Monday at Spanish Town in Maskall village. Yesterday Maskall police and villagers conducted a search in her village but couldn’t […]

    BPP holds National Party Congress
    On Saturday, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) held its inaugural National Party Congress at its headquarters in Belize City. The party’s business over the past year was discussed and presented along with their developments. The BPP’s financials were conferred and a reiteration of the […]

    Blogs

    The Best Swimming Dock in Belize is ALMOST Back & Our December Heat Wave
    It’s surprising how a shift of winds, a 10% rise in humidity and a slight rise in temperature can really crank up the heat around here. Just a few weeks ago, we were all wearing sweatshirts at night (and being laughed at by visitors) as the temperature plummeted into the high 70s and the wind roared from the north. Now the wind has a southerly flow and in the high 80s? It’s HOT. A change of clothes, carry a bandana HOT. Today will be about 87 with a SE wind. Good thing for us there is a polar vortex acomin’…. But all this hot weather gets one thinking about swimming…and, lucky for all of us, my favorite FAVORITE swimming dock and yoga platform on the island is being rebuilt as I type. Ak’Bol Eco-Resort and Yoga Retreat. I’ve written about it many times over the years and then Hurricane Earl took it. Yesterday I stopped by to take a look at the construction. The water at the end is crystal clear with a beautiful sandy bottom. And a look back at the VERY CUTE bar and restaurant. This is really a great spot to spend an afternoon.

    Meet Ms. Anna Silva, an activist against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the Cayo District
    An advocate for abused women and children and a survivor of domestic violence herself, Anna, along with Ms. Marilyn Greig, founded Mary Open Doors (MOD) in 2008 in an effort to assist victims like herself. The organization was formed to empower women, children, and men affected by domestic abuse. With the support from the government, businesses, church, community, and other organizations, MOD provides services in two main areas: as a temporary emergency shelter for victims and their families and as a resource center to educate, advocate, and raise awareness of GBV and its effect on families and the greater community. Currently, MOD provides only overnight and short term housing. The temporary emergency shelter can house only 3-4 families or 6-10 people. Throughout the years, MOD, alongside the community and other organizations, have given victims the opportunity to build on their existing skills and/or to develop new skills to help them become self-sustainable. This is done through traditional or nontraditional training sessions or simply by linking victims with existing resources. While no longer responsible for the daily operations of the organization, Anna has remained on the Board of Directors as Trustee of the organization and continues to be involved with the women and children seeking assistance. She always makes herself available to GBV victims. Anna continues to work with families in her community, through counseling and referrals for medical attention and provides information on available resources.

    International Sourcesizz

    What DNA reveals about St Helena’s freed slaves
    Fascinating! St. Helena is a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. Investigation of a 150-year-old burial site is helping to unlock the mysteries of one of humanity’s darkest chapters.
    In 1849, Anglican bishop Robert Gray described a slave ship being unloaded on the island of St Helena. “I never beheld a more piteous sight,” he observed of the people on board. Some were dead; many more were close to it. “They had a worn look and wasted appearance, and were moved into the boats like bales of goods, apparently without any will of their own.” These men and women were refugees of the British Navy's campaign against the slave trade. The United Kingdom had outlawed the trade in 1807, and anti-slaver patrols were intercepting boats along the Middle Passage — the trade route from Africa to the Americas — even venturing into the harbour of Rio de Janeiro. Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, St Helena became a favoured drop-off point for people freed from the ships. From 1840 to the late 1860s, scores of ships carrying some 27,000 slaves were captured and brought to the island. The slaves who survived were granted freedom and most were eventually relocated, but for nearly 10,000, many of them children, a rocky valley on St Helena became their final resting place.

    Language, dance and music of the Garifuna
    What is "intangible heritage?" UNESCO defines is as "oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe and the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts." Read about where Belize fits in!
    A population of mixed origin incorporating cultural elements of indigenous Caribbean and African groups, the Garifuna settled along the Atlantic coast of Central America after being forced to flee from the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent in the eighteenth century. Today, Garifuna communities mainly live in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize. The Garifuna language belongs to the Arawakan group of languages and has survived centuries of discrimination and linguistic domination. It is rich in tales (úraga) originally recited during wakes or large gatherings.The melodies bring together African and Amerindian elements, and the texts are a veritable repository of the history and traditional knowledge of the Garifuna, such as cassava-growing, fishing, canoe-building and the construction of baked mud houses. There is also a considerable amount of satire in these songs, which are accompanied by various drums and dances, which the spectators may join in. These traditions are still very important to the life and survival of the Garifuna people. The elders are the ones who maintain many of the ceremonies, festivals and oral traditions. However, economic migration, discrimination and the complete absence of the Garifuna language from the school system are endangering its survival. Although the language is still widely spoken, it is now taught in only one village.

    Belize Fishing Report: November 27th – December 3rd, 2016
    Bonefish are the staple of our existence here. Even without these beautiful fish in such large numbers, we would still be left with an impressive permit and tarpon fishery. That by itself would make a for a great destination. With millions of bonefish, it's an unmatched destination for a potential grand slam. This week we had one boat with over 50 bonefish in a single day! Wow, they were busy! Also, we had a couple of big fish up to 5 pounds. 4 pounds is a big fish here with the biggest coming in around 7 pounds. Total pounds per day per angler is the highest I have seen anywhere!

    Climate Prediction Center’s Central America Hazards Outlook December 8 – 14, 2016
    Compared to the previous week with the passage of Tropical Cyclone Otto, a large decrease in precipitation was observed throughout much of Central America during early December. The highest weekly accumulations (>50mm) were received over several costal departments of Costa Rica Nicaragua, and Panama, with more moderate totals (10-25mm) throughout the northern coastal departments of Honduras. Little to no rainfall was received for many interior departments of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Since early November, many areas in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize have experienced below-average rains leading to late season moisture deficits. The anomalous dryness across central and eastern Guatemala and western Honduras has been associated with a longer-term trend of low and erratic seasonal rainfall, as several areas have received less than 80 percent of their normal rainfall accumulations since early September. The suppressed Postrera rains in the region are likely to lead to unfavorable ground conditions and may negatively impact cropping activities. With precipitation normally decreasing in December, recovery of moisture deficits appears unlikely. During the next outlook period, precipitation models suggest an increase in rainfall throughout much of Central America, with the potential for heavy rainfall amounts (>75mm) over northern Guatemala. Seasonable rainfall amounts are expected throughout the Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama during the next seven days.

    38-year-old cold case cracked
    Imagine if two of your loved ones were killed, and authorities knew it was murder but never caught or charged anyone with the crime. When a case goes cold many tend to loose hope, but a small lead decades later can crack a case back open. That's what happened when a former Sacramento man was arrested Dec.1 and charged with killing two people almost four decades ago. 75-year-old Silas Duane Boston was tracked down by the FBI and arrested in a Paradise convalescent home. Boston is accused of killing an English couple, Christopher Farmer and Peta Frampton in the summer of 1978. Court documents show that the murder happened between June and July of 78' off the coast of Guatemala. Both Farmer and Frampton were tortured and hog tied and thrown in the middle of the ocean to drown. Records show that Farmer and Frampton were once aboard the boat Boston owned and operated in Belize. Statements from Boston's two sons Vince and Russell stated that their father moved them from Sacramento to Belize running away from statutory rape charges. In interviews both boys said their dad illegally gave boat tours which is how they met the couple.

    Former Sacramento man, 75, indicted in double killing at sea. Could he have killed others?
    A federal judge announced a double murder indictment Thursday against a 75-year-old former Sacramento resident, 38 years after the hog-tied bodies of two British tourists were found after a boating excursion from Belize. Silas Duane Boston, who was arrested last week in the rural town of Paradise, was charged with two counts of first-degree maritime murder in the killing of Christopher Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton. The tourists from Cheshire, England, recent graduates of medical and law schools who were both in their mid-20s, had taken an excursion on a boat that Boston was operating in Belize, earning money by taking tourists on scuba diving or snorkling expeditions. The complaint also suggested Boston may have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run in Sacramento’s Lemon Hill neighborhood in 1972. The same traveling companion also allegedly listened to Boston’s story about killing his wife. The FBI complaint says Boston told his traveling companion that he killed his wife and buried her body after taking her to an undisclosed location where he liked to go shooting. A man who traveled with Boston in Mexico told authorities that Silas Boston had said that after Mary Lou Boston exited his truck, he told her to run and then shot her. Silas Boston told the man that he “was unsure if he hit her in the back of her skull or the base of her skull but the shot didn’t kill her,” the complaint states. The man said Boston told him he approached his wife as she pleaded for her life – asking “What about the kids?” – before Boston delivered the fatal shot. Authorities said Boston told the man that he was left with blisters on his hands from burying her.

    Could Fortis Inc Gain Strenght? The Stock Reaches 52-Week Low
    The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) is a huge mover today! About 108,298 shares traded hands. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has declined 1.84% since May 3, 2016 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 9.70% the S&P500. The move comes after 9 months negative chart setup for the $16.26B company. It was reported on Dec, 8 by Barchart.com. We have $36.59 PT which if reached, will make TSE:FTS worth $1.46B less. Out of 9 analysts covering Fortis Incorporated (TSE:FTS), 6 rate it a “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 3 “Hold”. This means 67% are positive. $50 is the highest target while $38 is the lowest. The $45.78 average target is 13.85% above today’s ($40.21) stock price. Fortis Incorporated has been the topic of 16 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) earned “Outperform” rating by Raymond James on Thursday, September 22. The firm earned “Sector Perform” rating on Wednesday, July 20 by IBC. The rating was maintained by RBC Capital Markets with “Outperform” on Wednesday, October 7. The rating was maintained by Desjardins Securities with “Buy” on Thursday, November 24.

    “Brexit” Won’t Stop Central America from Finishing Integration Process
    Central America’s economic integration process has undergone various phases since its beginnings in the 1960s but is still alive and remains a goal so highly coveted by its members that British exit – “Brexit” – from the European Union will not cause it to falter. “I don’t think there’s a danger of ‘Brexit’ making Central America question its interest in integration. This is a longstanding desire in the region, dating back since long before the EU existed,” the head of the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA), Carmen Gisela Vergara, said in an interview with EFE. Central America, a region that is rich in natural resources and strategically located, launched its roadmap toward greater union in 1960 with the General Treaty on Central American Integration and later continued that effort with the Protocol of Tegucigalpa and Protocol of Guatemala in the 1990s. Since the outset, each generation has done its part to consolidate the integration project.

    Videos

  • 2016 Belize, 4min.

  • Belize, 1.5min. Annual birthday trip series

  • BELIZE RUINS MAYAS, 5min.

  • Meksyk - Belize - Gwatemala Sylwu&Wojtu Miesic miodowy cz.3, 6min.

  • Talk A The Town - Fidel Castro, 39min. Wil Maheia and guest talk about Fidel Castro's life.

  • PAH-fest: Belize, 5min. In Punta Gorda

  • Belize 2016, 9min. Scuba diving

  • Belize - Ausflug nach Lamanai mit AIDA, 4.5min. Unser Ausflug nach Lamanai während unserer Transkaribik-Tour mit AIDAluna im Herbst 2016

  • The World Most Beautiful Place Blue Hole, 5min. The Great Blue Hole is a giant submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City.

  • U.S. Embassy Belize 16 Days of Activism Campaign against GBV: Message from Survivor, 3min. Gender Based Violence (GBV) survivor Monica Morse shares her story and inspires victims to unmask the many faces of GBV.

    December 8, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Comes Together In Support of Fallen Angel
    The San Pedro community once again rallied together in support of one of their own and displayed once again how united, strong and caring the people of La Isla Bonita really are. #StrongWithKat a fundraiser for Katherine Portillo took place this past weekend for a friend in much need. Local Sanpedrana, Kathy Portillo was in a tragic car accident and suffered extensive injuries that include a severe spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down. She is undergoing a complex recovery process and needs assistance with all daily living activities. The #StrongWithKat fundraiser (Dec. 2 &3) that included a radiothon, dollar drive, food sale, run/walk and T-shirt sales was a fundraiser that will help to provide 24/7 nursing care and physical therapy.

    25 Individuals Receive Wheelchairs From The Wheelchair Foundation of California
    Twenty five individuals living in San Pedro and Caye Caulker have received wheelchairs donated by the Wheelchair Foundation of California on December 6, 2016 at the San Pedro Lions Den. Residents of the San Pedro and Caye Caulker communities attended this event. San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero gave his gratitude, along with Mr. Glenn Perry from the Wheelchair Foundation. Eiden Salazar, San Pedro Red Cross Board President, was master of ceremonies for the evening. Over the past months, the Wheelchair Foundation officials have been working with the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross and the medical staff on the islands to compile the list of individuals who need wheelchairs.

    Unmasking the Many Faces of Gender Based Violence
    The University Of Belize Social Work Student Association (SWSA) and the University of Belize Social Work Department held an event entitled “ Stop Gender-Based Violence via Expressive Arts” to raise awareness of gender-based violence in Belize. This event was inspiring, empowering, innovative, and an avenue for UB social work students to express their talents and to learn from prominent activist in the Belize about all forms of gender-based violence. The event was a part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. It was held at Spoonaz Photo Café on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, at 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Students and visitors packed the Spoonaz Café, where the event was held and were treated to a range of powerful and profound performances and testimonials. There was a celebratory mood enveloped in a sobering spirit that more needs to be done to end gender-based violence. The night touched on serious and sensitive topics such as: women empowerment/leadership, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, gender stereotypes, and gender identity & Sexuality.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Prime Minister’s Return Delayed
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs that the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow will not be returning to Belize today as originally planned. The Prime Minister was experiencing symptoms seemingly consistent with viral gastroenteritis prior to his departure and had to be admitted to the Belize Medical Associates overnight last Thursday. The symptoms have persisted during his travel and he saw a doctor and was advised to run tests, some of which could not have been diagnosed in Belize. For this reason, Prime Minister Barrow’s return is delayed until Sunday, 11th December 2016. During his absence, Hon. Patrick Faber will continue to act as Prime Minister, and the signing of the UNCAC and the meeting of the House of Representatives will proceed.

    Self-Defense for Women and Girls
    Learn to use observation skils and vocal skills to prevent a situation from ecalating into violence. Learn physical skills to defense yourself including defense against gun, knife, machete, strangulation, suffocation, choking. Learn how to respond to a home invasion. Have fun, too! Saturday, December 10 at 8:30 AM - 12 PM, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Belize, Belize City

    Caye Caulker 3rd Annual Christmas Party
    FREE ,FREE, FREE TICKETS ! December 18, Baskerball Court 4pm. Tickets will be available on December 1st to the 12th. During the hours of 2pm to 6pm at Step By Step Tutoring Center . Parents must come for the tickets. PLEASE NOTE--------"ONLY FOR CHILDREN LIVING ON CAYE CAULKER AGES 1 TO 10 YRS".

    La Isla Carinosa Academy Christmas Show 2016
    LICA playground, December 15th, 6:30pm. Its that time of the year once again! LICA CHRISTMAS SHOW. Those who attended last year can attest to all the fun we had. Don't miss out on the fun again this year. See you there!!! You can purchase your tickets at our office or with any of our students or teachers.

    Poets Corner: Disability Registry
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez We need a report from the Special Envoy For all the trips and perks she has enjoyed Under the guise of fighting the diversely-abled ploy This the people of Belize a cannot be denied Since neither for us and nothing without is the diversely-abled cry This decadence hurts the I Belize became 148 signatory On 9th May 2011 fortunately To the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disability Promising protection of those with vulnerability Yet we have no disability registry BCVI, BAPDA, and NARCIE Claim they have theirs individually Inspiration Center has a personal registry What will it take to have national registry? This enables us to serve this community Persons who are most vulnerable in society It was Mrs Barrow who attended the signing ceremony Prior to her Judith’s visit to Hawaii

    Yucatec Maya Huipil style blouse
    Preserving our Maya heritage and culture in these modern times. Sometimes our youths do not want to wear our traditional Yucatec Maya Huipil due to western influence. Many Yucatec Maya in Belize only use the traditional Huipil for cultural presentations. What do you think of bringing our Maya wears back? How many of you young women would wear this Yucatec Maya Huipil style blouse? Season greetings to everyone from the Yucatec Maya of Corozal.

    Wanaragua Workshop
    Ever wanted to learn? Now is your chance... December 10th, 8:30am - 3:30pm. Helpage Building, Dangriga

    Learn Spanish in a Most Practical and Easy Way
    Spanish lessons are underway here in Corozal at the House of Culture, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Interested persons are invited to attend.

    Google Timelapse
    This is really neat. Google Earth has made a time lapse of evolution of the world over the last 30 years. Click on the link on the far right, directly underneath the graphic, which says "Explore the World," and type in "Caye Caulker." See how Caye Caulker has changed over the last 30 years. You might have to use the zoom feature to zoom in to Caye Caulker.

    BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE PARTICIPATES IN THE 7th EDITION OF INDIA – LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN (LAC) CONCLAVE 2016
    On November 28 , 2016, BelizeINVEST a unit of BELTRAIDE, participated in the 7th Edition of the India – Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) Conclave in Guadalajara, Mexico, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC) and the Government of Jalisco, Mexico. The event served as a platform to foster trade and investment opportunities between India and Latin American & Caribbean countries. As India – LAC cross – country investments continue to thrive to a total of an estimated $23 billion USD in 2014, key thematic areas, such as the role of regional groups and trade agreements in the India – LAC relationships, were discussed through plenary sessions which comprised of approximately 120 key public and private representations. Through strategic relationships built at the event, BelizeINVEST seeks to continue its investment promotion endeavors for the generation of Indian investments to Belize.

    Temporary closing of Baking Pot Ferry
    Thursday and Friday 8-noon. Public Announcement from the Ministry of Works. Baking Pot is the name, former name of Central Farm. If you mail from there, the postal stamp says 'Baking Pot' and the archaeological work there is also named Baking Pot. aThis release is first i am hearing about a bridge there! The new high rise bridge (very high ) over Macal should open in March 2017.

    Belize Defence Force Lieutenant Receives Silver Medal Award
    Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Velasquez of the Belize Defence Force was the proud recipient of a Silver Medal award from the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) on Wednesday November 30th, 2016 during its meeting in El Salvador. This award is in recognition of Velasquez’s meritorious participation and contribution to the greater cooperation of the armies of the Central American region. The award was presented to him by President of the Superior Council of CFAC Lieutenant General David Mungia Payes, Minister of Defence of El Salvador, on behalf of the armies of the region. Other recipients of the award included Peruvian Vice Admiral Gonzalo Polastri and British Colonel David Stradbridge.

    Aquatic Homicidal Death Investigation Training
    The Embassy’s Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) program facilitated an Aquatic Homicidal Death Investigation Training for 39 people from several sections of Belizean law enforcement including Crime Scene Technicians, Crime Investigators, Coast Guard Dive Team, a Medical Examiner, and several others. As part of CARSI’s overall commitment to assist in improving citizen security in Belize, the goal of this course was to equip law enforcement managers and supervisors with the specific forensic and behavioral knowledge necessary for handling aquatic death investigations. Few things in a democracy are as important as ensuring that citizens have confidence in their rule of law institutions. Ensuring all types of death cases are properly investigated is a key element in maintaining citizen confidence in the police department. Since 2008, the United States Government has provided US $40 million to the Government of Belize through CARSI to assist in enhancing citizen security and rule of law in Belize.

    BTL Job Fair
    This Saturday, December 10th - Belize City. Belize Telemedia Limited is looking for qualified Technicians to join our winning team!!! Applicants should possess an Associates Degree (Preference will be given to those with Computer Networking or equivalent technical field) Vacancies are available only in Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Interviews will be held from 8am - 1pm on Saturday, December 10th at our BTL Office on Church St. in Belize City. Remember to bring along your resume and two references.

    Cockscomb Basin Bird Count
    Annual Belize Audubon Society bird count for this area. Open to anyone with an interest in Birds, and a great opportunity to meet professionals in the field. The Pre-count meeting starts at 7.00pm on the 15th, at the Cockscomb Basin Head Quarters. There is where we will split in teams, decide who covers which area and team members. If you plan to attend the Bird Count the following day, this meeting is a must. Dec 16 at 1 AM to Dec 17 at 12 AM, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

    Meet Ms. Dorla Bowman, an activist against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the Toledo District
    Dorla is a social justice activist who has worked throughout Belize promoting gender equality, economic development, and peace through self-help and self-reliance. She has been actively addressing the issue of the full participation of women in the development of Belize and GBV since 1981. In her quest to address the issue of discrimination against woman, she lobbied for the ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the formulation of the first National Policy Statement on Women. Dorla has also served as the Public/Educator Trainer and Director of the Women’s Bureau (now known as the Women’s Department), the founding President of Women Against Violence, President of the National Women’s Commission, and one of the founders of the Belize Women’s Political Caucus. Additionally, Dorla has served as one of the founding members of Socio-Economic Outreach (SEO), which works to reduce poverty in the Toledo District. She developed socio-economic outreach programs focused on fighting poverty and malnutrition, in-service volunteer training, information sharing, and fundraising. Dorla also established and is the current President of Building People Movement, a local non-governmental organization with a vision of economic empowerment for marginalized communities.

    Channel 7

    Another Case Collapses, Joshua Abraham's Alleged Killers Go Free, DPP Laments
    When 9 year old Joshua Abraham was killed on Independence Day, 2011, it was a tragedy that shook society to its core. The Standard 2 student had just returned from watching the 21st. Parade. He was standing on the sidewalk in front of his home on Victoria street - when two men rode past on separate bicycles and began to fire indiscriminately. One of the bullets hit Joshua, and he died shortly after. It happened in broad daylight, and based on eyewitness accounts, Police said the gunmen were Randy Green and Michael Young. The pair have been on remand for 5 years – but tonight they are free. That's after the prosecution could not get their confession statements admitted and could not get key witnesses to back up their statements in the courtroom. Christelle Wilson represented 30 year old Randy Green while Baja Shoman represented 27 year old Michael Young. Wilson told us that after Crown Counsel Janelle Tillett closed her case, and neither caution statements nor witness statements were compelling, she made the no case submission:…

    Was Baby Janeeka Beaten To Death?
    Did child neglect or abuse cause the death of a one year old baby girl? That's what Belmopan police are investigating after one-year-old St. Matthews Villager Janeeka Campbell was picked up by police yesterday in an unresponsive state. Police were in the village when they were told that a small child was in urgent need of medical care. Police picked up the child and started rushing her to Belmopan's Western Regional Hospital. They transferred her to an ambulance along the way. But the one year old was pronounced dead on arrival at the Western Regional. What's concerning is that she was found with bruises to various parts of her body. We are told she also appeared underweight. Tonight her father is detained and her mother was also questioned today. Is it a case of criminal parental neglect? Police don't know much and they aren't jumping to conclusions. The officer commanding Belmopan told us what they have at this point:…

    Butane Leak Caused Chateau To Burn
    A gas pipe leak caused the fire that destroyed the iconic Chateau Caribbean. That's the official report from the fire department. In a briefing today, Station Manager, Orin Smith explained that there was a leak in a section of the pipe connecting the butane gas tank to one of the stoves in the kitchen. That leak filled the air with highly flammable butane, and that's what caused the source for the ignition which burnt down the building. Reports are that employees were in the kitchen cooking at the time. Smith told us this is not the first fire at the Chateau Caribbean and that there are measures that hotel and restaurant owners can take to prevent fires. Orin Smith - Station Mgr, Fire Department: "The Chateau fire investigation had concluded. That investigation reveals that the fire originated as a result of a gas leak from a galvanized pipeline that was used to transfer gas supply to the main stove within the kitchen on the third story of the building. The pipeline had a small leak that I would believe eventually build up over time and this section of the pipeline that had the leak was within a double layer wall of concrete block and when that ignition took place that Sunday morning it cause a sudden ignition that sounded like an explosion and in actuality it actually was because of the build-up of vapour within the wall."

    PM's Return Delayed By Gastroenteritis, Will Miss First House Meeting As PM
    Prime Minister Barrow's return to the country has been delayed by illness. He was scheduled to return from New York today after a few days meetings relating to the refinancing of the Superbond. But a press release issued at midday announced that the PM has viral gastroenteritis and is awaiting the results of tests done in New York. The release discloses that he had to be hospitalized overnight last week Thursday with the same illness. He travelled on Saturday, but the symptoms persisted, and so he visited a doctor in New York. He is now awaiting the results of those tests and will not return until Saturday. And, so, what about the house meeting on Friday? And the signing of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption which is also scheduled for Friday?

    GOB Offers Bondholders "Consent Solicitation Statement"
    And while the Prime Minister is in New York, the meetings with bondholders have concluded. According to a release on the Central Bank website, government is proposing to bondholders something called a "Consent Solicitation Statement." This is kind of like a first offer, which government will send to bondholders in early January 2017. Government is asking for responses by mid-February of 2017. If at that point, 75% of the bondholders agree with the terms in the Consent Solicitation Statement – well then Government hopes to finalize a new agreement with bondholders before the next Superbond payment is due on February 20, 2017. But that's only the plan; it could get a lot more complex and drawn out, if fewer than 75% of the bondholders give their consent. Likely, bondholders will want the Government and the people of Belize to "share the pain." And that's why the press release says that , quote, "Government is seeking Parliamentary approval for a rigorous fiscal reform agenda." These fiscal adjustment measures, include refinancing the Superbond, and, in the release, Government is inviting bond-holders, quote, "to comment on possible structures for amending the financial terms of those instruments in order to put the Bonds on a sustainable footing."

    The Senate's Deep Drill Begins Into Immigration Irregularities
    After exactly a month's break, the Senate Select Committee resumed its hearings, drilling deep into the Auditor General's Report on the Immigration Department. They're trying to get to the bottom of the mass irregularities that her report has catalogued. Today's session was a marathon 5 hours where Auditor General Dorothy Bradley was back under the public lens as they dissected the work of her audit team piece by piece. Today, the 5 member committee, in meticulous fashion, started with the portions of the document in which she and her team complained of what appeared to be deliberate attempts at frustrating the audit process. Now, in her interview with us in September, former Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin, flatly denied any attempts to get in the way of the auditors. She told us that she did all she could to help them, but in some instances, the department could not, for example, provide files because the Police had taken them in their own investigation.

    Auditor General Makes Major Concession On Allegation of Ministerial "Illegal" Acts
    So, in the afternoon session, when the hearings resumed, the Senate Committee members turned to some of the Auditor General's findings in which persons who obviously did not qualify for visa's, nationality or passports, managed to get them anyway. Some of these people got these documents approved at lightning speed, some in a matter of days, some right after they had been given visas to travel to Belize. Here's the Senate questioning the auditors on these findings: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "We found recommendation and request made by ministers of government for individuals to be approved Belize visas, paragraph 7. First sentence; do you have any examples of these letters, recommendations and requests made by ministers?" Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General: "Yes." Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "Do they form part of your report?" Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General "Yes." Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "Right... The actual letters? I'm asking you these documents that you gave us, you have the actual letters from the ministers?"

    Man Found With Loaded Gun At Courthouse
    In June of 2010, gang leader Andre Trapp was slain outside the courthouse building in Belize City.That incident proved that predatory gunmen lurk there because that’s often the only place where they can catch major street figures outside the protection of their home turf. That’s why an arrest today is troubling to police and court security. The cops found a man at the courthouse with a loaded double – barrelled 38 pistol. 19-year-old John Orosco was acting suspiciously and fidgeting with the waist of his pants. Police searched him and found a silver, double-barrelled .38 special tucked in his waist. The gun contained 2 rounds of gold coloured ammunition. We are told the weapon appeared to be relatively new.

    GSU Gets A Ruger
    The GSU says they took ammunition and weed off the GSG’s turf yesterday. The unit searched an abandoned house on Caesar Ridge Road, where they found four ounces of weed, and (13) live rounds of .45 ammunition. And on Tuesday night, the unit scored with the discovery of a 9 millimeter pistol. They searched the home of a person they refer to as a “known drug peddler on Iguana Street Extension” where they found a 9 millimetre Ruger pistol. It was loaded with 6 live rounds of ammunition. No one was around and the gun was labelled as Found Property.

    Accountant Nestor Vasquez Says Senator Courtenay Has It All Wrong
    Last night on the news, you saw Senator Eamon Courtenay explaining why the Senate's appointment of Net Vasquez as accountant for the Integrity Commission has to be rescinded. Courtney argues that Vasquez is not a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants because his certificate of membership has expired. Today Net Vasquez responded to that criticism:… Nestor Vasquez - Accountant, Integrity Commission: "Certificate I provided when the cabinet asked for a resume is this one. It's dated January 1st 1985 okay and this certificate if you can look it carefully and show me an expiration date, if you can find one show it to me, it has none okay. I have remained a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Belize without any interruption. The internal arose when I was given the post of executive chairman at Belize Telemedia, I no longer needed a practicing certificate so I did not apply to have a practicing certificate. I closed my office okay, I discharged my staff with their compensation, I have no clients, I haven't been practicing then but I remained a member a of the Institute of Chartered Accountants."

    The Belize Barrier Reef: 20 Years As A World Heritage Site
    Belize's Barrier Reef is not only one of the country's largest income generators, but it's also a marvel of nature. The Barrier Reef Reserve System which includes the atolls, mangrove forests and cayes was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Now 20 years later, the organizations and industries that benefit and make their livelihoods off the reef gathered to celebrate the second largest barrier reef in the world. We spoke to John Burgos, the Executive Director of the BTIA, one of the ceremony's organizers about the importance of our reef being recognized by UNESCO… John Burgos - Executive Director, BTIA: "Well basically this is the beginning of a series of events that we've been organising over the last 5 months to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the World Heritage Site of the Belize Barrier Reef is being recognised by UNESCO community. We would like for Belizeans to really get to understand how much value it brings to the economy and to what Belize stands for not only for the tourism industry, we're looking at everything that resides within the coast line and marine ecosystems in Belize are influenced and impacted by the Belize Barrier Reef System."

    Services Sector Strategy, the Real Deal
    ICT, Tourism and Culture are important service sectors and the Ministry of Economic Development want to strengthen them through regional strategies. Now we know, whenever the words report or strategy are used we lose interest and faith, because almost all the time, these draft documents don't really do or change anything. But the Ministry's Acting CSME Focal Point Berisford Codd, told us they plan on seriously putting these strategies into action. At today's consultation session at the Princess hotel, Codd told us how this process works and why it is important for the service sector and the economy. Berisford Codd - Acting CSME Focal Point, Ministry of Investment: "It's not one strategy, its one strategy per sector so there are different sectors we are looking at, health and wellness, which deals with both medical providers and the persons who deal with spa and wellness that type of field, there is ICT and we also have professional services that touches architects , engineers and that sort of thing and there is culture and entertainment services , we also have some other in the pipe line such as tourism, education, and sports, so each of these sectors will get their own strategy. What we really are doing is to bring all the partners today to the table so everybody can get a greater sense of where we are going as a group."

    BDF Lieutenant Colonel Stands Out In El Salvador
    In June the Guatemalan President referred to Belize’s army as unprofessional – and though he’s a comedian, Jimmy Morales was dead serious when he made that cutting remark. But, the BDF is proving otherwise – and right in Guatemala’s back yard. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Velasquez earned a Silver Medal award from the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) on Wednesday in El Salvador. A release states, quote: "This award is in recognition of Velasquez’s meritorious participation and contribution to the greater cooperation of the armies of the Central American region.” The award was presented by el Salvador’s Minister of Defence Lieutenant General David Mungia Payes, quote “on behalf of the armies of the region." CFAC promotes cooperation, coordination, and mutual support among the regional armed forces.

    UN Framework Launched
    Today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the UN launched the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework in the Caribbean. It’s a long and complicated name for an agreement between the UN and several countries in the Caribbean, where the UN provides funds to support the growth of developing countries. We spoke to Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and the UN Resident Coordinator, Christian Salazar, about the signing of the agreement, and where the funds will be allocated… Health, poverty reduction, climate change and citizen security and justice were chosen because they were identified as key areas in raising the quality of life for Belizeans.

    Praying For Peace
    The wave of crime in recent weeks has left Belize City shell shocked. It’s not so much the number of murders but the types of killings: 7 year old Tyler Savery gunned down for no reason, 44 year old Dale Tillett Sr. gunned down, again, no reason. I could go on….but you get the idea…it’s just too much senseless killings. That’s why today, the Belize City Council and other members of the community came together in protest of those crimes and in solidarity for their victims. The council along with the police and other stakeholders marched through the streets of Belize City in a Walk for Peace. We spoke to the event’s major organisers and participants about why this walk is necessary in this climate of crime and violence… The event ended with a rally at BTL park where several citizens gave their testimonials and performed for the crowd…

    Mayor On Foreshore Frustration
    The Belize City Council has been paving roads for years. One of those roads, Southern Foreshore in Belize City, was fully cemented and equipped with a drainage system about two years ago. The street's drains were covered with metal grills that have been proven as sub standard. While the grills worked for a while, they have recently come undone, and are more of a traffic hazard than anything else right now. We asked the Mayor if there are any plans to repair this eyesore and traffic hazard urgently... These grills have been re-done a number of times.

    The Death Aquatic
    Belize has many traumatic deaths on land – and there are also a good many at sea, including homicides, and drowning’s of Belizeans and tourists. Now it’s hard enough to get crimes solved or causes of death identified when they occur on solid ground, so you can imagine the challenges when the deaths occur in water. That’s why last week several members of the Coast Guard dive team, police crime investigators and medical examiners participated in an aquatic homicidal death investigation training course. The course was organised by the US Embassy, and aimed to equip law enforcement with the skills necessary for analysing all aspects of aquatic death cases in the country. Participants were taught how to determine the cause of death of victims along with proper case and forensic management skills.

    Belize Bank Throws A Party For Stella Maris Kids
    Who doesn't love a good Christmas party? Well the students from Stella Maris certainly enjoyed theirs today. Every year the Belize Bank hosts over 100 kids at the Radisson for a fun Christmas party. Even Santa drops by bearing gifts. The senior Marketing officer, Denise Godfrey told us why they keep on organising this party and what it means for these kids with Diverse Abilities. 108 kids attended this year’s Christmas party.

    Maskall Woman Missing
    Belize District rural Police are asking your help to find a 67 year old woman form Maskall who’s been missing since for two days. Gabriela Mendez was last seen at Spanish Town in Maskall Village on Monday. Maskall Police searched for her from 11 this morning to 5:00 this evening and found nothing. Anyone knowing her whereabouts sis asked to contact police.

    Channel 5

    Toddler Dies in St. Matthew’s: Accident or Murder?
    We begin tonight’s newscast with shocking news of the death of a baby girl under most mysterious circumstances, where authorities are not sure if it was an accident or a [...]

    Family Claims It Was an Accident; Police Wait for Post-Mortem Results
    Late-breaking information from an aunt of the deceased, who spoke to News Five via telephone this evening, is that according to Janeeka’s father, they were sleeping in bed together when [...]

    No Justice for Joshua Abraham; Accused Killers Set Free
    While police are yet to conclude that a two-year old girl from Saint Matthews was murdered, in the courtroom today, two murder suspects of another child walked free. The case [...]

    Sick P.M. to Miss House on Friday; Faber Steps Into Top Job
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow did not make it back to Belize from New York for health reasons, following meetings with bondholders.  A release today says the PM is receiving medical treatment [...]

    Wilfred Elrington Stands by “Naming” of “Rude, Disrespectful” Julius Espat
    On Tuesday, the Chief Justice struck out a case brought against the Speaker of the House by Cayo South area rep Julius Espat. Espat argued that his removal from the [...]

    Maybe Some Cheer for Christmas This Year; Gov’t Reps Will Be Resourceful
    The Christmas Cheer was introduced by the Barrow Administration to U.D.P. ministers, caretakers and other political officers.  Thousands of dollars from the public purse were also disbursed, albeit disproportionately to [...]

    Irregular, But Not Illegal: Auditor General Revises Position on Minister’s Visa Recommendations
    The second session of the Senate Special Select Committee recalled Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, who was joined by direct assistant and Supervisor of Audit Carla Faber to answer further questions [...]

    Will Immigration Go After Beneficiaries of Visas, Passports and Nationality?
    Among the many irregularities found in the Immigration Audit Report’s three volumes is the curious process by which persons who had never set foot on Belizean shores were able to [...]

    Michael Modiri’s Caretaker Exposes Blackmail and False Evidence Plot
    The bitter land dispute in Frank’s Eddy Village between businessmen Michael Modiri and Bradley Paumen, over access to Paumen’s Dark Night Tours, is unceasing.   Despite their names making headlines on [...]

    Are Senior Police Behind Blackmail and Abuse of Jerome Crawford?
    Crawford claims that he was physically abused by the arresting officers, a matter which is presently before the court.  He also says that in visiting the Belmopan police station on [...]

    Wilfred Elrington Supports A.G. in Case Against Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts
    The government is filing a lawsuit against Andre Vega for not reimbursing to government a four-hundred-thousand-dollar compensation that was paid to him in a land scandal surrounding a property near [...]

    Still Time for Sarstoon Protocol Before 2016 Ends?
    The last we spoke with Minister Elrington, he made it clear that communication with his counterpart in Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales, was non-existent and that things relating to the territorial [...]

    Leaking Gas Pipe Took Out Historic Chateau Caribbean
    An investigation into the cause of a massive fire that decimated the historic Chateau Caribbean Hotel a week and a half ago, has concluded.  According to officials at the National [...]

    Accused Hitman or Police Victim? John Orozco Jailed Over Firearm
    A teenager, who was busted in front of a Belize City Magistrate’s Court room this morning, is claiming the police planted a gun on him. Authorities suspect they may have [...]

    Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework Officially Launched in Belize
    Today, the Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework was officially launched following the signing of the agreement between the Government of Belize and the United Nations. The five-year program links the national [...]

    Stella Maris Kids Get Christmas Treat from Belize Bank
    Christmas is a time for giving and in the spirit of goodwill the Belize Bank, threw a huge party for the children of Stella Marris at the Radisson this morning. [...]

    CTV3

    Senate Select Committe Meets And Discusses Recommendations Made By Ministers
    The senate select committee’s much-anticipated hearings on the Auditor General’s special audit report on immigration resumed for second session today at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. Today’s hearing resumed right where the first one in mid-October had ended, with the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley appearing before the committee members for interrogation. If you can recall, on her first appearance Bradley entered a statement on the record, admitting to committing an error in her report which said that House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte had committed an irregularity when he signed an application for passport. Flanked by her two attorneys Derek Courtenay and Phillip Palacio, Bradley was asked to respond questions and requests for clarification on a number of aspects of her 700-page report. She was joined by a member of the auditing team to assist in the responses to questions about the auditing process.

    Prime Minister's Trip Back To Belize Delayed
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country on Saturday to attend a meeting in New York City to further carry out Superbond negotiations with bond stakeholders. While the PM was expected to return to the country today following those meetings, a release issued by the office of the Prime Minister earlier today indicates that Prime Minister Dean Barrow will not be returning to the country until Sunday December 12th. So what does his late return mean for Friday’s special House sitting and the signing of the UNCAC, both set for Friday December 9th? Well, according to the release, both the House meeting and UNCAC signing will continue as scheduled with acting PM Patrick Faber. According to the release, PM’s delayed return is attributed to matters regarding to his health, “The Prime Minister was experiencing symptoms seemingly consistent with viral gastroenteritis prior to his departure and had to be admitted to the Belize Medical Associates overnight last Thursday. The symptoms have persisted during his travel and he saw a doctor and was advised to run tests, some of which could not have been diagnosed in Belize.”

    Pitts, Vega And GOB To Meet Face To Face In Court
    The 30 days given to Andrea Vega and Sharon Pitts by the Attorney General’s office, to respond to the Government’s order requiring the return of $800,000 which Vega and Pitts obtained as compensation in questionable land deals, has expired. CTV-3 News has confirmed that neither Vega nor Pitts responded adequately to the Attorney General within the period given. Pitts, who received $400,000 as compensation for land she was sold by the Government for $10,000, reportedly did initially respond through an attorney, in which she committed to responding properly by December 1st, but that letter never materialised.

    BDF Lieutenant Receives Silver Medal Award
    Belize Defense Force Lieutenant Anthony Velasquez has received the Silver Medal Award from the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) on Wednesday November 30th, 2016 during its meeting in El Salvador. This recognition was awarded Velasquez in recognition of his meritorious participation and contribution to the greater cooperation of the armies of the Central American region. The award was presented to him by President of the Superior Council of CFAC Lieutenant General David Mungia Payes, Minister of Defense of El Salvador, on behalf of the armies of the region. The CFAC was created in 2007 and has as its mission the promotion of a permanent and systematic effort of cooperation, coordination, and mutual support among the member armed forces. It includes professional development exchanges, cooperation on dealing with shared issues and threats to democracy, peace, and freedom in the region.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Two trucks collide
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that a Toyota Hilux and a Wingle pickup truck collided on the George Price highway this afternoon near the entrance to Camp Belizario. The drivers were both treated at the San Ignacio Community hospital and have been released. Information […]

    BDF Lieutenant awarded Silver Medal
    Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Velasquez of the Belize Defense Force was the recipient of a Silver Medal award from the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC) on Wednesday November 30th, 2016 during its meeting in El Salvador. This award is in recognition of Velasquez’s meritorious participation […]

    Belize National Football Team called to camp
    The following article was sent The Football Federation has decided to call players of the National Football Team, just one month away from their participation on the upcoming UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Tournament to be held in Panama on the 13th-22nd of January. How […]

    PM Barrow not returning in time for House Sitting and signing of UN convention against corruption
    The Office of the Prime Minister issued a press release this afternoon informing that Prime Minister Dean Barrow will not be returning to the country today as originally planned. According to the release, PM Barrow was experiencing symptoms seemingly consistent with viral gastroenteritis prior […]

    Parent detained for questioning in death of infant daughter
    Police have detained the parent of an infant child for questioning after the child died suddenly yesterday. Belmopan police reported that the child was seen with various bruises to several parts of her body. A post mortem has been scheduled to determine the exact […]

    Two-year-old boy drowns in Toledo
    A two-year-old boy drowned yesterday in Jalacte village, Toledo. According to reports, Clara Coc Koy, 33, reported to police that around 12:10 p.m. on December 6, 2016 while she was serving lunch to her children, she noticed that her youngest son 2-year-old Samuel Koy […]

    Police find 1238 grams of marijuana in Teakettle village
    Acting on intelligence, Belmopan police discovered 1,238 grams of cannabis in Teakettle village yesterday morning. According to reports, at around 8:30 am police conducted the search in an empty lot in Teakettle which led to the discovery of the cannabis in a black plastic […]

    Questionable medication in Belize
    There are shocking revelations that the people of Belize were possibly being treated for health conditions with medicine that doesn’t meet Ministry of Health standards. The CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, has not confirmed this frightening possibility but did confirm […]

    Manatee dies in boat collision
    .A 7 foot manatee too big to fit on the scale at the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC) was reported dead yesterday. According to the BWRC, the manatee may have been the largest patient seen at the clinic’s facility in Central Farm so far. […]

    Pitts and Vega to be summoned to court
    The Acting Solicitor General is preparing to file a claim against attorney Shaton Pitts and son of former Cabinet minister, Andre Vega. On November 4 the Government of Belize had written the duo requesting that they return the $400,000 they had each received as […]

    Letter to the editor; 60% is a 75% but a 70% is not?
    The following is a letter submitted to the editor 60% is a 75% but a 70% is not? Belize Defence Force Math (101) I write as a concerned parent of an Officer of the Belize Defence Force, who wakes up […]

    Gas tank explosion caused Chateau inferno
    A leaking gas tank caused an explosion which ultimately led to the fire that destroyed the historic Chateau Caribbean almost two weeks ago, according to Fire Chief Ted Smith. The fire reportedly began near the rear of the building close to the kitchen of the […]

    Blogs

    PUDDLES: A MAN OF TWO COUNTRIES
    Puddles was born on Caye Caulker and now divides his time between Canada and Belize. On Caye Caulker he’s usually seen in a bike basket toodling around with his people Al & Jo-Ann. I imagine that in Canada he spends his time rolling on grass and hiding from snow. As you can see from the candid shots below, Puddles is a bit of a partier.

    Mexican Beef Tortilla Bake
    Very easy to make and delicious for every last bite.This dish will be a hit if you take it to your next potluck.

    Why visit Belize? 10 Good Reasons Why You Should Travel To Belize Now
    From since I started blogging about Belize, the most frequently asked question has been: why visit Belize? This is only logical when one is considering whether Belize a good place to travel. After all, the Caribbean offers a lot of options. When I ask myself why should someone choose to travel to Belize as opposed to another place? For me, the reasons are pretty simple. vacationing in Belize is relaxing and soothing. It’s also physically and mentally stimulating. Many visitors love it so much that they later choose to retire there. So, I’ve prepared a photo collage to show you why Belize is awesome, and let’s see if I can convince you. 1. The key to having good conversations is having interesting stories. How about adding scuba diving with whale sharks to your recent activities? They are gentle and docile creatures but something about having the words whale and shark next to each other makes it sound intimidating. Or maybe that’s just me? 2. Hiking is more fun in Belize. Imagine after a two-hour hike, you end up at the mouth of an amazing cave such as Actun Tunichil Muknal. Getting inside involves swimming and squeezing yourself through narrow areas. Old Mayan pots, cool rock formations and sacrificial remains make the trip worth it.

    International Sourcesizz

    Volunteers provide dental care in Belize
    A local dental team of three recently travelled to Belize to provide volunteer dental care to people living there. Dr. Cindee Melashenko, when still in dental school, had travelled to West Africa and Guatemala to do volunteer dental work and had found the experience to be very “inspiring” and “humbling.” Since that time she had bought a dental practise and become a mother, two things that tend to keep one tied down. This past year she decided that it was time to do another trip. She mentioned it to her co-workers Karen Bradley, a Registered Dental Hygienist and Jenna Pederson, a Certified Dental Assistant and they both asked if they could go along. The trio discovered the Belize Mission Project, founded by Dr. Frank Whipps. Once a year he organizes a trip to Belize. The group that travels there are made up of those who have a desire to volunteer their time and talents to serve the less fortunate people of Belize, who have dental and medical needs. It is a non-profit trip, which gives the participants the chance to do something for others out of pure love.

    Enculturation and Preservation
    The late Andy Palacio, a native of Belize, sang these words as he fought for the preservation of Garifuna music and culture. As a volunteer, an outsider, merely living and working among the people of Belize for two years, the question has entered my head over and over – what does this look like for me? What is my place in cultural preservation? In the efforts to learn from and be with people here, I find there is a certain push-and-pull between the enculturation and preservation of my own self. Having been born to Japanese and Portuguese parents living in the United States, I’ve always had a difficulty defining my culture. I find it much easier to identify the culture in the other than I do in myself. And while I’ve been taught to celebrate the cultures of all peoples, it can, a t times, be awkward to figure out how to do that in a way that honors and respects different cultural sensitivities–to both respect and celebrate the sacredness of culture. Over the year and a half I’ve lived in the rural south of Belize, I’ve had the privilege of partaking in different celebrations of the diverse culture here: the Mayan deer dance, the battle of the drums, Garifuna Settlement Day, and Belizean Independence Day. As I continue to encounter these experiences, I find myself cherishing culture not just in the fireworks of celebrations, but also in the subtle steady candlelight of everyday living.

    The traditions and origins of tamales
    Back in the late 1930s and the early 1940s, my parents would often drive to Montebello in California to buy tamales from a market where the building was shaped like a giant tamale. I can’t remember much about their tamales accept there was a cornhusk with a dough filled with some kind of meat. What is a tamale? It is generally a meat filling surrounded by dough. The dough is called “masa harina” and is made from white corn flour mixed with lard and a meat broth. The masa is spread out on a cornhusk or banana leaf – each present a difference taste to the tamale – and filling is spread on top of the masa. The mixture is folded over, thus filling is surrounded by the masa. The cornhusk or banana leaf is tied and is placed in a steamer and steamed for three or more hours. Masa harina is available in many supermarkets. Today, in most Mexican restaurants, the tamales are about two ounces. I like to call them border tamales. When I lived in Texas I called them TexMex tamales. In San Antonio I went to the tamale factory where some were handmade. Once you go south of the border, tamales are all different. Tamales originated in Mexico by the Mayans in about 1,200 BC. The Aztec, Olmeca, and Tolteca moved south into the Inca Empire and all along the way different countries made their own version of the Mayan tamale.

    Videos

  • Bumm & Chime - Run Mr Peters, Run, 5min. Christmas di come! Gather your friends and bring the Gombay drum, accordion, harmonica, banjo, jawbone of a donkey, maracas or rattles and anything else that can make brukdong music! (Source: Belizean Journeys).

  • Aggressor Fleet Belize, 2min. Belize is a wall diver's paradise. Sheer walls like Painted Wall, Half Moon Caye Wall and Quebrada are adorned with huge crimson gorgonians and giant orange elephant ear sponges. Moray eels, spiny lobsters and tiny arrow crabs hide in every crack, crevice, cave and tunnels of these beautiful coral formations. These are just a few things you will see at Lighthouse Reef, Half Moon Cay and Turneffe Reef. Jump aboard of Aggressor Fleet Liveaboard and experience the best diving out there.

  • Christmas in San Pedro Belize, 2.5min. One of the few Steel drum recordings made in the main Square of Ambergris Caye in San Pedro.

  • Guest Testimonials of Caves Branch and Tours, 1min. John and Sarak Kendall visited Belize in October of 2016. The couple chose a Jungle and Beach Package which included the Xunantunich/Caracol Mayan Ruins Tour in Western Belize. This is a short mini-movie on their experiences....

  • We Have Solar Power In Belize, 3min. One 153 watt panel, 30amp charge controller, two 12v deep cycle batteries and a Canadian Tire 3000 watt invertor

  • Belize Children Cahune Palm Shelter, 1/2min. Our children build themselves homes everywhere they go, Belize is no exception.

  • Belize - Harvest Caye, 2min.

  • Belize - Parasail, 4min.

  • Belize - Parasail 2 our turn to go up, 8min.

  • Belize Diving, 4min. Diving at Paradise Canyon, Half Moon Caye and the Aquarium with Edgar from Ramon's Village Divers in Ambergris Caye.

  • Loggerhead Turtles mating in the wild, San Pedro, Belize!!!!, 1min.

  • U.S. Embassy Belize 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Flash Mob, 3.5min. In partnership with Special Envoy Belize, the U.S. Embassy held a flash mob in downtown Belize City to continue fostering awareness of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender Based Violence (GBV), which began on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, Human Rights Day. Ambassador Carlos Moreno, Special Envoy Belize Kim Simplis Barrow, and Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Debbie Lingwood led the Embassy’s team to a popular SOCA song, “Phenomenal.” Fourteen members of the Belize Defence Force participated by holding anti-GBV signs. U.S. Government program alumni, including Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative - YLAI participants also took part in the flash mob.

  • Mexican Embassy - "Ven A Comer En Belice", 20min.

  • Ministry of Health Western Regional Team - End of Year Update, 31min.

  • Pallotti School Of Music - Annual Christmas Concert, 20min.

  • Belize Vignettes, 2min.

  • A Drive Through San Pedro Belize, 12min. A Drive Through San Pedro Belize Filmed early evening Wednesday December 7th 2016.

  • Snorkling at Shark Ray Alley, Caye Caulker, Belize, 2.5min. Video from our snorkling at Shark Ray Alley, Caye Caulker Belize.

  • Belize City, St. Georges Caye Day, 2016, 2min. Video from the celebration of St. Georges Caye Day in Belize City in Belize (10 September 2016).

  • Open Your Eyes: Belize International Yoga Festival, 55min.

  • You Better Belize It - Belizean Adventures 2016, 1.5min. Adventures swimming at shark ray alley at Belize as well as fun moments at Caye Caulker and Sam Ignacio.

    December 7, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage provides update on offshore oil exploration in Belize
    An update on the controversial situation regarding offshore oil exploration in Belize was held at the SunBreeze Hotel in San Pedro Town on Friday, December 2nd. Hosting the informative public meeting was the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, who along with members of the Belize Tourism Association Industry (BTIA) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), discussed the most recent development of this issue of national importance. The public meeting was attended by a handful of concerned island residents eager for an update. Coalition and Communication Officer Jacinta Gomez commended them for having made history in the country after they stood against the government on October 20th. “People power exist, and it does make a difference when we all come together to fight for a worthy cause,” said Gomez. “The San Pedro community got together and made a change for the entire country.”

    SPHS celebrates Founders Day in grand style
    Founder’s Day was celebrated at San Pedro High School (SPHS) on Monday, December 5th. The occasion commemorated the key individuals who helped establish the high school in 1971, while also celebrateing Former President of SPHS Rafael Angel Nuñez’ birthday. The day’s events also included acknowledging the athletic achievements from both the male and female basketball team, as well as the male and female volleyball teams. The assembly took place at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium, from invited guests, students of First to Fourth Form, teachers, and were in attendance. Al Felly (deceased) played a significant role in founding SPHS, and guest speakers Celi McCorkle, Martha Guerrero, and Rafael Nuñez spoke about Felly’s dedication that helped SPHS strive to this very day. A short burial ceremony followed after, and invited guests were able to witness Nuñez bury Felly’s ashes amongst the school plants. After a few musical and dance performances, students cheered as the female and male basketball players were awarded with trophies after recently winning the regionals. The male volleyball team was also awarded with medals and a banner, while the female volleyball team received certificates from CODICADER (The Central American Council of Sports and Recreation).

    Ambergris Today

    Threefold Celebration at San Pedro High Founder's Day
    December 5 is an annual celebration at San Pedro High School and this time around the student body and staff celebrated Founder's Day. It was in observance of former Principal Angel Nuñez's birthday and also celebrated the life of Al Felly, the biggest benefactor of the institution. Al Felly became on love with San Pedro and San Pedro High School since the 1970's and contributed immensely to the growth and well being of the school and the island. Before his death earlier this year, he and his family's wish was for part of his ashes be spread in the grounds of the school. On this occasion that honor was fulfilled and his remains now lie near the entrance beside a plaque that reads: "HERE LIES PAPA FELLY IN HIS ISLAND IN THE SUN". It was a touching celebration with testimonials by Celi McCorkle, co-founder and chair lady of the Board, Martha Guerrero also co-founder and lifetime supporter and charlady, and Angel Nunez, co-founder and first Principal for 37 years. A student body of 660 and staff, as well as the Mayor of San Pedro Danny Guerrero, witnessed the celebration and partook in enjoying Papa Felly's favorite song, Island In The Sun.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Founder's Day at the San Pedro High School
    On Monday, December 5, 2016, Mayor Daniel Guerrero was invited to a special occasion of Founder's Day at the San Pedro High School. Every year in December, the San Pedro High School celebrates founder's day, where the students prepare presentations such as skits, dances and musical performances for the founders and invited guests. This year, was a special Founder's Day event since they present founders along with the entire student body, SPHS staff and invited guests witnessed the memorialization of SPHS ' biggest benefector, Mr. Al Felly, or as he was dearly known as Papa Felly. The official ceremonies initiated with a flute rendition of Belize's National Anthem by the SPHS choir, followed by the School's Song performed by the same.

    International Volunteers Day Celebrated
    On this very special day when the great work of Volunteers is especially mentioned, The Belize Red Cross would like to take the opportunity to say a special THANK YOU to ALL our Volunteers across the country. Without them we would never be able to reach almost 75% of the entire population of Belize with our different programs and services. It is because of them that the National Society continues to be an organization of compassion and service to all those marginalized and vulnerable people living in our midst and who almost never have a voice. Thanks to the Volunteers for being that voice for them, always looking for different ways to meet their needs and to advocate on their behalf for improved living conditions and alternative livelihoods. The Belize Red Cross, together with all its Volunteers will continue alleviating suffering and promoting a culture of non-violence and peace wherever it is needed.

    Saving the Manatee: sometimes there are losses
    Sad picture and news snippet... We rarely have time for boredom at BWRC and yesterday was no exception with the necropsy of this 7 foot manatee to determine its' immediate cause of death. This patient was too big to fit on our scale but she must have been the largest patient seen at the clinic facilities in Central Farm so far (previously that was the 7.5 foot 138 pound, hooked American crocodile seen in 2015). Thanks to the whole BWRC team for joining in on this respectable workout and sorry for the sad news. Why did the manatee die? Due to a severe boat strike with 8 propeller cuts across it's entire back, three of which penetrated into its body cavity and leading to broken ribs, rupturing kidneys and one lung with fatal bleeding. How can this sort of accident be prevented? By respecting no wake zones and watching out for these gentle giants. Manatees are slow moving and need our protection

    3rd Annual Sarteneja Community Day!
    The Sarteneja Fishermen Association Invites Everyone to their Sarteneja Community Day on December 16th! There will be a 6-A-Side Football Marathon starting at 8:30 a.m., Displays of Informational Booths (Lionfish, Jewelry, Conservation, Coral Reef, Manatees, Monkeys, Books, Embroidery, Honey Bees & Marine Life). For those wanting to perform for Talent Night, please register before December 14th (Register at the Library). This event is Organized by local NGO's and community groups based in Sarteneja.

    Would YOU run to the end of the world to end violence against women and children?
    We are proud to share that these two Embassy colleagues, Claudia Membreno Swasey and Michelle Carrasco, recently ran the End Of The World Marathon (Run Belize; Placencia End of the World Marathon and Half Marathon) in Placencia!

    NATIONAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE CARICOM REGIONAL STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR SERVICES
    The Directorate General for Foreign Trade in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat is hosting national consultations in Belize on the Draft Regional Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Services Sector, which has been developed under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The two-day consultations will be held on 7th and 8th December, 2016 at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino, Belize City with participation by both the public and private sectors. CARICOM Secretariat officials along with Public Sector representatives will engage in discussions on the regional strategy and implementation plan for priority services sectors which is aimed at identifying priority needs of several services sector including: ICT, Professional Services, Health and Wellness Services, Cultural and Entertainment Services and Tourism Services.

    Christmas Edition of ART IN THE PARK
    Row, row, row your boat to the Corozal Central Park this weekend. It's the Christmas Edition of ART IN THE PARK. Come out and enjoy this special night with your loved ones at the Central Park on Saturday December 10th. This Corozal Daily would like to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone at home and abroad. Peace Belize!

    Rotary Donates 18 Wheelchairs
    The Rotary Club of San Ignacio donated 18 wheelchairs to the Rotary neighbors next door. "Our club has a longstanding wheelchair program working with clubs in the US. John Acott has led the donation efforts for many years. 18 chairs were donated to the Tikal Peten Rotary Club in Flores. The handover took place between the two border posts. 9 of the wheelchairs will be distributed in the Flores/Santa Elena area and the other 9 in Sayaxché, which is a town about 1 ½ hours south of Flores. It is an interesting place as you cross a large river on a huge car and truck ferry, powered by a tiny outboard motor at one corner."

    Community Outreach in southern Peten
    FCD’s Executive Director met with the Consulate of Guatemala, Mr. Edgar Chan to discuss Community Outreach needs in the rural communities of southern Peten.

    Meet Ms. Terese Brechin, an activist against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the Corozal District
    Terese Brechin is the coordinator of Festive Creation, a local women's group in the Corozal District in Northern Belize. The mission of the group is to empower women who are going through hardship. Terese holds training sessions for women at her house in Corozal Town. Since its inception in January, the women have undergone skills training in fruits preservation, financial management, and have participated in an informational session with the Social Security Board (SSB) about enrolling as contributors to the SSB system. Products that are made by the women are sold to retail and wholesale businesses in the Corozal District. The group’s main support agency is the Women’s Department. Terese and the group have organized a series of trainings on GBV issues. She is proud of the women she works with and considers them dynamic and determined. "If each one of us teaches each other to do things and to help ourselves, I believe we will do so much for our society," emphasizes Terese.

    Channel 7

    Hon. Julius Rejected By Supreme Court, Speaker Urges Conciliation, Espat Ready For War
    In August it made the worst kind of history when PUP Cayo south Representative Julius Espat was forcibly ejected from the House of Representatives. And while the rough handed removal from the house floor provided those indelible images, the fact is he is still on suspension from the House. He hasn't received his pay as a representative from September, and he is not welcome on the premises of the National Assembly. So, Espat went to the Supreme Court, asking for relief. In a matter heard by the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, he claimed that the Speaker misused his authority, and failed to follow the procedure for a suspension. Espat claimed his constitutional rights were violated by these abuses and oversights, and asked to court to remedy it - basically by telling the Speaker and the National Assembly Clerk Eddie Webster how they should have handled the matter.

    GOB Will Sue Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts
    Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts - they both got huge compensation payouts from the Ministry of Natural Resources when the Lands Department gave them title for parcels of land which were already privately owned. It's a transaction and subsequent scandal which effectively ended the cabinet tenure of former lands Minister Gaspar Vega - who is Andre's father. But, that wasn't the end of it, because on October 31st the Ministry of Natural Resources wrote to Pitts and Vega demanding that they refund the compensation money within one month. Well, the news tonight is that they didn't - and so, next week, the Solicitor General is expected to file suit against both Pitts and Vega.

    The Curious Case Of General Jones' Home Burglary
    He's the commander of Belize's Army - but tonight even Ladyville Police have questions about Brigadier General David Jones. They want to know why he didn't complete a statement he was making about a burglary at his residence at Price Barracks. Police sources tell us that on Saturday Jones dictated about one quarter of a police statement - and then said he had something to do, and would return. But he hasn't and police say that he is presently not cooperating with them. Police don't have the full details on what transpired. The burglary happened on Friday night and reports say thirty thousand dollars in cash were stolen from a drawer. We are told that a firearm and some more cash were in another drawer but those were not stolen.

    PUP Senator Stridently Against GOB Pick For Integrity Commission Accountant
    Last week Wednesday we told you about that fiery Senate meeting in which the Integrity Commission was appointed, among much other government business. This is supposed to be the watchdog keeping elected politicians honest while they are in office. But, even before the Commission starts doing its work, the members are already embroiled in controversy. The complaint is that all the Prime Minister's appointees, who were approved by the Senate last week, are UDP friendly, or outright UDP allies. So, their objectivity is being questioned given that they are part of the mechanism set in place to curb corruption within the UDP Government. Nestor Vasquez, the Integrity Commission's accountant, has come under particular scrutiny because it was revealed that up until last week, he was not a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in good standing. Added to that is the fact is that the Prime Minister chose him over another accountant named by the Institute. The Opposition is now on a full court press against Vasquez, and their lead Senator Eamon Courtenay has written to Godwin Hulse, the Senate's Leader of Government Business.

    Police Say Abner Was Strangled, Not Bludgeoned
    Last night we told you about gruesome Teakettle murder of 19 year old Abner Vasquez. Vasquez's body was found at 7:15 Saturday morning in the back yard of a vacant house. Vasquez was apparently attacked sometime between Friday night and early Saturday morning. When we spoke to residents in the area where Vasquez's body was found they claim they did not hear or see anything because they were all at a football tournament in the Arizona area of the village. Now as we told you, there was dent in a patch of dirt where Vasquez's head was bashed in, but according to the post mortem results, he wasn't bludgeoned to death, he was manually strangled. This raises more questions as to what happened and police are still investigating this case. IN terms of the motive, police have their own information, they say that the accused believed Vasquez stole drugs from him and that is why he was killed. But police are still looking for the attackers. Vasquez's aunt told us that there will be a candle light Vigil on Tuesday at 6 starting at his house to where Vasquez was found dead.

    Candelaria Saldivar's Long Departure
    She had a good long run, but 7News has learned that former CEO Candelaria Saldivar has been terminated from the public service. Saldivar is the sister of Minister John Saldivar and has been CEO in multiple ministries, but it seems she had difficulties getting along with her heads of department and members of staff. She was placed on Administrative leave with full pay and benefits - but government couldn't find a senior position to put her in and they were contemplating retirement in the interest of the public service. We are told that went through last week. Much was made of the fact that while on administrative leave Saldivar continued to collect her annual 60 thousand dollar salary, and all allowances for a year.

    Superbond: The "Sob Story" GOB Giving Bondholders
    Last night we told you about how the Prime Minister went to New York on Superbond business along with Economic Ambassador Mark Espat, and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight. The press release from the Government was very vague, but it did say that he was to "attend a meeting... in connection with the Superbond." As has been widely reported, government is trying to get the bondholders to restructure the Superbond for a third time because Belize cannot meet the step-up payments under Superbond 2.0. Well, we've gotten a copy of the powerpoint presentation the Government made to the superbond holders. It's dated, "November 2016", and it outlines the financial picture of the country from the Government's perspective. It's a 22-slide presentation filled with all the figures, but a few parts which caught our attention starts on page 8. It reads, quote, "There has been a precipitous decline in economic activity in Belize over the past 2 years. Overall growth fell from a robust pace of 4.1 in 2014 to 1.0 in 2015. Earlier forecasts for 2016 suggested a further decline below 1% growth, but the economy contracted by 0.5 in the first half of the year." End quote.

    Complain About Cayo Cop
    On Saturday, San Ignacio police arrested Kurt Morgan and his common law wife Shaun Gardener. Police searched the couple on Burns Avenue, while a friend of theirs smoked marijuana. Both Morgan and Gardener had charges against them dropped in the Magistrate's Court yesterday when their friend pled guilty to possession. But even though they have been cleared in court, the common law couple says they've been mistreated. According to them, one police officer, who is an often criticized former GSU officer, used excessive force during their arrest. Morgan came to our studio to tell us more... Kurt Morgan, Says GSU Abused Him: "What happened this weekend on Saturday night was that he came to conduct a search on me and I gave him to conduct this search. When he finished, he found nothing on me. My common-law wife asked him what's the problem and he said he didn't want to hear anything. She told him 'but you are harassing my common law husband' and he said he didn't give an F about that. He hit her in the face, grabbed her, threw her on the ground and told her that he's going to take her to the station too and hand cuffed her from behind. He man handled her and took her to the vehicle and tried to push her in, but he could get her in from the front so he took her and dragged her to the back and stuffed her in the back of the vehicle."

    Will Can Sugar Be Crushed By Beet Sugar?
    Last night, we brought you extensive coverage of the opening of the 2016-2017 sugar season, which is off to a great start. They are trying to mill 1.4 million tonnes of cane by the end of the season. But, it will be the last crop before the European Market is set to change. At the end of September of next year, the European Union will lift all restrictions they had on European Beet Sugar, which will allow beet farmers to compete directly with sugar milled from sugar cane. Now, the European farmers are producing at a very high rate of efficiency, which far outperforms Belizean cane farmers. Come October 2017, they will be able to flood the market with as much sugar as they can produce, which will drive the price of sugar down. So, is Belize's Sugar Industry ready for the shock that could inflict? Well, you saw how the farmers reacted when the world price of sugar dropped last year, and so, we asked the new Minister about his predictions for that huge, impending transition. Here's what he told us:

    Harvest Caye And Overnight Tourism: Can They Coexist?
    Norwegian Cruise Line blacklisted 7News from the opening of Harvest Caye, but there's hope for the local media: we're told that the Tourism Board is planning a media trip for to the Forbidden Island. That's supposed to happen next week Wednesday, so let's wait and see. On the peninsula itself where overnight tourism has been thriving, Harvest Caye is seen as both a blessing and a curse. Yes, jobs and opportunities have been created, but all the streams of revenue and earning opportunities are rigidly controlled by Norwegian. The question now is whether overnight tourism and cruise tourism can co-exist on the same peninsula. That's what we asked Stewart Krohn. He's been an outspoken critic of the Harvest Caye project from the get-go, in fact, he once called it crack-head economics. But, it's on the peninsula to stay now, and so we asked him how he and others who've invested millions in overnight properties will live with it:...

    Was Guate Drug Bust In Belizean Waters?
    This weekend, Social Media in Belize and the local press in Guatemala lit up when news of a 45 million dollar cocaine bust was made in the area of Belize's Sapodilla Range. The Guatemalan Navy intercepted a boat which was filled with about 1,637 kilos, or about 3,608 pounds of cocaine. Onboard were 4 Hondurans, 34 year-old Walter Orlando Portillo, 26 year-old Jose Miguel Andrade Saldivar, 42 year-old Zablo Amilcar Portillo, and 21 year-old Jeyson Julian Avila Suazo. Belizean experts say that it happened in Belizean territorial waters, but the Guatemalans say that they were caught in the Caribbean Sea. Here's Guatemala's Vice Minister in charge of Anti-Narcotics giving a press briefing on the drug bust. We've provided English subtitles for our non-Spanish Speaking viewers:

    The Wonders Of A Writing Workshop
    Artistic expression - whether it is in the form of a poem, a quote, a short story, or a painting, should come naturally, but for some creators, they need some inspiration or just the right guidance to develop their unique voice and style. And that is where Andre Habet and Mackenzie Smith come in. They will be hosting a 2 day writing workshop to help about 20 artists with this process. Now you won't suddenly emerge as the next Derek Walcott or Ernest Hemmingway after the workshop, but you should be able to better express yourself through writing. The facilitators are not in the country so we spoke to Habet's cousin who is also involved in this initiative. He told us more about a new creative center he will be launching and discussed the focus of the writing workshop. The writing workshop will take place on Saturday December 17th and Monday the 19th at the Bliss Center. There will also be a writing tour in the city on the 16th. If you would like to participate , you can submit your applications online of drop them off at Brothers Habet on Barrack road. You can go to youarethejewel.webpress.com for the application forms.

    From Chile With Love
    Since Hurricane Earl, Belize and NEMO have received several donations from various governments to aid in recovery and prepare for future disasters. And yesterday, Belize received support from a little known friend, Chile. Minister of NEMO, Edmund Castro received $50,000 US dollars from the Chilean government to aid in the recovery of the agriculture industry, specifically the small farmers affected by the hurricane. Chilean Ambassador, Maria Inez Ruz, handed over the donation. Ambassador Ruz was also in Belize to attend a seminar discussing the diplomatic relations between the two countries. Belize and Chile signed a joint communiqué underscoring areas of cooperation.

    Gun Man in Belmopan Court
    Belmopan police today convicted a man for possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition. Joseph Montero was convicted of one count of possession of unlicensed firearm and 3 counts of possession of unlicensed ammunition. He escaped a jail sentence, and was fined $2000 dollars for the firearm and $1500 for the ammunition. If he defaults on payment, he will serve 1 year in jail.

    Who's the Phone Snatcher?
    And Belmopan police want to know if you can help them identify this man who strode into a Belmopan business yesterday. He seemed like he was absently looking for someone - but there was no one at the receptionist's desk. He looked around, and looked around and figured it was safe, and then he snatched a phone on the receptionist's desk and darted out. Belmopan police are asking the public to help them identify the cellphone snatcher.

    Channel 5

    Friday Showdown at House as Julius, Thwarted in Court, Vows to Return
    There could be a showdown almost equal to the titanic battle that proceeded on the afternoon of August twenty-sixth coming on Friday, December ninth. Cayo South area representative Julius Espat [...]

    Opposition Leader Will Respect Court Decision; Speaker Makes Final Decision
    Following the decision of the Supreme Court, News Five caught up with Leader of the Opposition John Briceño to get a reaction on the ruling.  While admittedly disappointed, he says [...]

    Eamon Asks Godwin to Overturn Net Vasquez Appointment to Integrity Commission
    Turning to a another contentious issue for the Opposition…Lead P.U.P. Senator Eamon Courtenay is making a direct appeal to his opposite number, Godwin Hulse, to step in and remove Nestor [...]

    Should Veteran Net Accept Appointment?
    In the Senate’s debate over appointing Vasquez to the Integrity Commission, Senator Courtenay had objected to the appointment mostly on the ground that Vasquez’s long-standing service at now-state-owned enterprise Belize [...]

    The Pitch for Superbond 3.0 is Not Appealing to Bondholders
    The Central Bank today issued an official Government statement inviting comment from bondholders on possible structures for amending the financial terms of those instruments in order to put the Bonds [...]

    Should Julius Espat Return to the House on Friday?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you believe Julius Espat should return to the House on Friday? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or [...]

    Another Questionable Land Deal: Did ex-Lands Minister Buy Back Divided Parcels from Owners?
    Is there another land scandal involving disgraced former Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega bubbling below the surface?  News Five has caught wind that shadow P.U.P. Minister of Lands Cordel [...]

    Still No Response from Vega on Haulover Compensation
    Gaspar Vega stepped down as a member of the Barrow cabinet on October seventeenth.  His resignation came amid scandals involving his son Andre Vega and attorney Sharon Pitts in separate, [...]

    No Cheer, Blue Christmas: Christmas Cheer is Not On for 2016
    There are no hams and turkeys to be given away this year, at least not from your local area representatives.  That’s because the annual Christmas Cheer Program, a Yuletide feature [...]

    A Visit to the Naia Resort and Spa
    Naia Resort and Spa – that’s the newest and certainly very plush resort in the peninsula where mass tourism is getting a significant boast with the opening up of NCL’s [...]

    Taiwanese Ambassador Charles Liu Visits News Five, Talks About Projects
    In early November, Ambassador Benjamin Ho of Taiwan completed his mission in Belize. Within days, his successor arrived in country in the name of Charles Liu.  Liu is a senior [...]

    Ambassador Liu Pledges More Help in Education
    Taiwan has been a generous partner making significant contributions to Belize in areas of education, infrastructure, agriculture and culture. Ambassador Liu says that the many programs already in place will [...]

    Chile Donates to Help Farmers Afflicted by Hurricane Earl
    There was some boost to the bilateral relations between Belize and Chile. On Monday in Belmopan, Minister of National Emergency Management Edmond Castro received a donation of one hundred thousand [...]

    Godwin to Exporters: Don’t Bypass New Quarantine Facility
    On Monday while in the North, Minister of Agriculture Senator Godwin Hulse opened Belize’s mandatory quarantine treatment facility at the northern border in Santa Elena, Corozal District. It is part [...]

    An Introduction to the Sugar Industry Management Information System
    The Sugar Cane Production Committee has admitted that it is tough to police transactions between farmers of sugar cane and non-farmers. A recent case is the Eloy Escalante affair, where [...]

    How B.S.I. Will Steer Industry through 2017 E.U. Price Cuts
    As we reported on Monday, sugar farmers in Corozal and Orange Walk are bracing for direct competition next year with European sugar beet farmers. Beginning in 2017, the quota secured [...]

    Getting Ready for Christmas with Chamber’s Expo
    The fifth edition of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Christmas Expo Extravaganza took place over the weekend in Belize City. Thousands of Belizeans made their way to the [...]

    CTV3

    Caledonia Resident Charged For Rape
    This afternoon, Corozal Police escorted 35 year old Roger Alcoser to the Magistrates Court where he was formally arraigned on charges of rape of a minor and unlawful sexual intercourse. Alcoser, who is a Belizean national from Caledonia Village is accused of committing the crimes on Sunday about 12:30am. The specifics of the case are being withheld from the media and public since the alleged victim is a minor, a child that had only just celebrated her quinceanos, we’re told. Alcoser was detained that same day and held in custody as Police officials carried out their investigation. In Court, he was informed that the law does not give bail to persons charged for unlawful sexual intercourse. He was therefore remanded to Hattieville prison until March 3 next year.

    No Christmas Cheers This Year, GOB Admits Economy Is Grim
    The Barrow Administration’s plans for a third Superbond renegotiation has intensified with Prime Minister Dean Barrow returning to New York this week to hold further discussions with bond stakeholders. The Government’s team, led by senior advisor Ambassador Mark Espat, Minister Carla Barnett and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight have compiled a document to be presented to bondholders. That 22-page document paints the bleakest, grimmest picture on Belize’s economic state and outlook we’ve ever seen admitted by the Government. The document is split into two main sections that look at economic conditions in the country and the Government’s inability to meet its debt obligations under the terms of the Superbond. Even the overview which isn’t part of the substantive presentation speaks of “Belize: An Imperiled Economy” in its title. Perhaps it sets the tone for what stakeholders shouldn’t expect when they probe further. In the report, the Government puts forth economic data showing economic decline since 2012. It shows that the projected 5-6% GDP growth in 2014 never realised, and while a nominal 1% growth was predicted for 2016, the fact is that there will be a deep economic shrinkage.

    Will SIMIS Eliminate Phantom Farmers?
    For the past week we have been reporting on the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association suspension from Fairtrade which came after an audit was conducted by FLOCERT and turned up a major non- compliance in the association. The problem stemmed after Former BSCFA member Eloy Escalante was flagged for what is referred to as "phantom farming”. He no longer produces cane, and according to reports, in an interview with Fair Trade Auditors, he admitted that he hasn't been doing so for 3 years. Instead, he entered into a business arrangement with Minister Edmond Castro, who is in the sugar cane business. Under the arrangement, Castro's family could deliver cane to the factory under Escalante’s license. As the 2016/207 Sugar Cane crop season came to a start stake holders in the industry collaborated to set up an accounting system called, SIMIS, or Sugar Industry Management Information System, which they believe will greatly assist in correcting the situation of ‘Phantom farmers’.

    IDB Continues Assisting Caribbean Victims
    Back in the month of August Hurricane Earl made landfall in Belize causing widespread damages across the entire country resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Following the aftermath of Earl a number of organizations both locally and internationally joined hands to offer assistance to the victims that were greatly affected by Earl. Among the list of organizations is the Inter-American Development Bank which took the initiative of organizing four separate events during the months of September and October. As a result of the fundraisers, the IDB managed to obtain a sum of $10,850 US Dollars which was doubled by the IDB. However, given the fact that the fourth and final fundraising event was held after Hurricane Matthew had made its way into Haiti, half of the funds of that particular event which amounted to $1,600 were donated to the victims of Haiti leaving the IDB with a total of $18,500 US dollars.

    The system of Corozal Railway System
    Students and members of the public gathered at the Corozal Junior College conference room this morning for the second part of the Corozal House of Culture’s lecture series titled “Perspectives of the Past”. Today’s presentation featured well-known British-born researcher Alan Baker who spoke on the railway system in Corozal. Unless you were born in the 1930s, it is likely you are scratching your head, wondering what we’re talking about. But arduous research has discovered and recorded evidence of this transportation phenomenon in our midst. We asked the research expert, where the railways were located. Alan Baker, Researcher: “From my research I’ve found that the line was about a mile and a half from the House of Culture or the customs House as it used to be in those days and there were three lines in total; one went up to the hill by towards Santa Rita Hill there the other used to run along the coast along Tony’s Inn and the third line used to pass Finca Solana passing down the Methodist School along the coast road. The one from Tony’s Inn was mainly coconuts and the husk which would then ship to the UK, the one on top of the Hill by the Santa Rita ruin was a sugar mill I think it was owned by Mr. Romero and that was used for sugar and they used to put 200 pounds bags sugar on the wagon and pushing the down the hills and that was gravity feed and the other one was towards Finca Solana was also used for spices and coconuts.”

    LOVE FM

    House Speaker is Up For Continued Discussions with Area Rep Espat
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the case brought by Julius Espat against Michael Peyrefitte. Espat is the PUP’s Area Representative for Cayo South and Peyrefitte is the duly appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives. On August 26, Espat was named and suspended from the House. He refused to go and officers, on the […]

    Senate Misled in Naming Integrity Commission Chairman
    The appointment of Nestor Vasquez as a member of the Integrity Commission was highly criticized by Senators during the last Senate Meeting. So much so that Senators questioned his integrity. According to the Orders of the Day for the November 30 Senate Meeting, Vasquez was appointed to the Integrity Commission as a member of the […]

    Austerity Measures Remain Uncertain as GoB Presents Report to Bondholders
    March 2013 saw the Barrow administration applauded by many after renegotiating the Superbond that came into effect by the Said Musa administration during the period 1998 – 2008. That renegotiation reportedly saved Belize almost half billion dollars. Fast forward three and a half years later and Prime Minister Dean Barrow is having talks with creditors […]

    SolGen to File Court Claims Against Vega and Pitts in Land Compensation Matter
    On November 4, the Government of Belize issued a release saying that they are now demanding that Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts return the four hundred thousand dollars each that they received in land compensation. In speaking with PUP’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Lands, Cordel Hyde, he says that the Government is well aware that […]

    Shadow Minister Questions Land Compensation Payments
    Earlier this year the People’s United Party presented its Shadow Cabinet. The Shadow Cabinet is a list of representatives from the opposition who would be keeping a close watch on specific ministries of Government in an effort to demand accountability and transparency. Yesterday Love News spoke with Area Representative, Cordel Hyde who holds the shadow […]

    Gas Leak Takes Down a City Landmark Structure
    On Sunday, November 27, the country, especially Belize City residents, were shocked when it was learned that Chateau Caribbean Hotel was destroyed by fire. After more than a week of investigation, Love News has confirmed the cause of the fire. Station Manager for the National Fire Service, Oren Smith, told Love News that there was […]

    Preparing for the Anti-Corruption Convention
    In just three days Belize will become a party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The official documents will be signed on Friday, December 9 and that piece of paper would mean that the Government would have to promote and strengthen measures in order to prevent and combat corruption in an effective and efficient […]

    Cop Interdicted for Village Brawl
    Police Constable Jaime Gongora has been placed on interdiction after being accused of police brutality. Police Gongora is accused of badly beating Hugo Noh of Guinea Grass Village in Orange Walk a couple of weeks ago. It is alleged that both men were drunk and got into a brawl in front of Zhen Zhen store […]

    Teakettle Fined for Unlicensed Weapon and Bullets
    32-year-old Joseph Montero of Teakettle Village, Cayo District, appeared before Belmopan Magistrate Emerita Anderson and was convicted of one count of possession of an unlicensed firearm and three counts of possession of unlicensed ammunition. He was fined two thousand dollars for the firearm and one thousand five hundred dollars for the ammunition. If he defaults […]

    Amandala

    $45 mil cocaine bust
    Guatemalan police and naval authorities reportedly landed a major drug bust this past Saturday which resulted in the confiscation of 1,637 kilos or 3,608 pounds of cocaine valued at 172 million quetzales (or roughly BZ$45 million) in what they have identified as “international waters.” However, a report carried by Prensa Libre, which includes a map of the location, shows the location as the Sapodilla Caye range in Belize, and specifically the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, indicating that the bust actually occurred inside Belizean territory. We were able to plot the coordinates, which place the incident inside Belize’s territorial waters—not inside “international waters,” as Guatemalan authorities have said.

    Belize exports down by over $100 mil so far this year
    Belize continues to import far more merchandise than the goods it exports for consumption on the world market, with the ratio of merchandise imports to domestic exports standing at over 4 to 1. The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported this week that earnings from Belize’s major exports continue to be lower than they were at the same time last year, with a few exceptions—the most notable one being orange concentrate, which has been attracting better prices on the world market. SIB Statistician, Tiffany Vasquez, reported this week on the country’s external trade position as of October 2016. She noted that while Belize had imported $1.6 billion worth of goods for the period January to October, domestic exports totaled $364.3 million. Domestic exports fell substantially by 24%, while merchandise imports fell marginally at 4%.

    Dale Tillett, poet and tour guide, murdered at 44
    The last thing Dale Tillett, Sr., did on Friday night was to read one of his poems, “Cutting a black man’s life in half,” which condemned violence, at the Bricks Bar and Grill on King Street in Belize City. However, almost as soon as he stepped out into the mean streets of Belize City, his life was cut short by the same violence he decried in his poetry. Tillett, 44, is no stranger to Belize City’s violence, as almost 5 years ago, he buried his son, Dale Tillett, Jr., 19, after he was shot in the head inside the then popular Palm Island night club in Belize City. According to police reports, at around 3:45 on Saturday morning, they responded to a shooting incident on Hydes Lane in Belize City, where they saw Tillett, Sr., also known as “Blinds,” with apparent gunshot wounds in the right side of his neck.

    Sleeping farmer’s throat slashed at bus stop
    Gabino Choc, 30, a farmer of Santa Rosa, Stann Creek District, and the father of two children, had his throat slashed while he was sleeping at the bus stop in San Roman, the neighboring village, at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. A second man who was also sleeping under the shed at the time told police that he was awakened by the commotion and saw their fellow villager, known to them as “Mencho,” cut Choc’s throat with a machete. Mencho then also chopped the other villager on his arm and leg, and then ran away. Police, when they arrived at the scene, found Choc lying under the bus stop, with a large cut wound to his throat. He was already dead.

    Ministry of Health fell asleep at the wheel
    The Ministry of Health may owe an estimated 25 million dollars to ten companies from which it procured low quality pharmaceuticals that have been possibly jeopardizing the health of Belizeans for an indefinite period of time. In an exclusive interview with KREM’s Marisol Amaya last week, CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, said, “I can’t say with certainty that some of the providers gave us medication and items that did put the population at risk. What I can say, is that because we were not enforcing those standards, there is a high possibility that that could have happened.” According to Figueroa, in most cases the providers of the country’s pharmaceuticals held certificates from the parent companies of the products, but lacked general certificates of manufacture and certificate of quality for items for which they had bid.

    Almost 8,000 active businesses; over 1,000 closed
    Of the nearly 8,000 businesses operating in Belize, almost three-fourths are sole proprietorships, and about half employ between two and five workers, according to preliminary results of the first business establishment survey conducted by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician I, said that businesses reported an expense-to-revenue ratio of about 70 percent, meaning that of every dollar earned in revenues, 70 cents went to covering their various expenses. Wages and salaries paid to employees accounted for 13 percent of total expenditures across all industries, the survey found. Roughly 73% of the respondents, who filled out part B of the survey, offering financial disclosure, said they make less than $75,000—which is the business tax threshold. Among the wholesale and retail businesses, almost 8 in 10 said that they make less than the threshold.

    Chief 40+ Race results
    Here are the results from racing held yesterday for the Weekend Warriors (WW) 40 Years + category. The race went from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 31 and back, for 58 miles, as they prepare for the upcoming Krem New Year’s Day Cycling Classic. 28 riders started, and 24 finished, in the following order: 1st place Palas Joseph (Lampaz, 2:43:10); 2nd Isaiah Willacey (Santino’s, st); 3rd Ryan Willoughby (Caribbean Tires, 2:46:59); 4th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G, st); 5th Mark Gentle (FT Williams, st); 6th Jack Sutherland (Digicell-4G, st); 7th Santino Castillo (Santino’s, st); 8th Alvin Card (invitee, st); 9th Mike Phillips (Lampaz, st); 10th Colin Maheia (FT Williams, st); 11th Daniel Cano (Santino’s, st); 12th Ruthford Cunningham (Spinnaz, st); 13th Clarence Tescum (Santino’s); 14th Stephen Bisset (Lampaz); 15th Andrew Brown (Kulture Megabytes); 16th John Burns (Digicell-4G); 17th Kaya Cattouse (C-Ray); 18th Ian Abraham (Smart); 19th George Abraham (Bel-Cal); 20th Dean Belisle (Bel-Cal); ...

    5 teams have punched their tickets to the SSBA finals; 6 teams to go
    On Friday night, in game 1, Belmopan Shock (#2) defeated Lady Warriors (#3), 49-16, in the Female division. With the win, Belmopan Shock has advanced to the championship game, and will face their rivals, Benque Queens, in a rematch of last year’s finals. Belmopan Shock was led by Kaylani Reid, who netted 13 pts, and Jada Brown and Enid Dakers, who tallied 10 pts each. Shanice Mendez and Glenda Torres were the top scorers for Lady Warriors with 5 pts each. In game 2, the Under 23 division was a nail-biter, as Belmopan narrowly edged McRoe Lions, 62-60. Akeem Watters had the game winning field goal with 0.5 seconds remaining, while finishing the night with 19 pts. Brandon Flowers had the game high with 20 pts, and Karl Williams sank 18 pts. Jamaal Augustine was the top scorer for McRoe Lions with 17 pts, and Francis Arana netted 16 pts. In the nightcap, Police Stars (#2B) faced off with Tuff Enuff (#3B) for the third time this season, splitting the regular season match-up, 1-1.

    OWFA Amateur League 1st Division Week 7 results and standings
    The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) Amateur League 1st Division Football Tournament 2016 continued with Week 7 games on Sunday, December 4, at People’s Stadium. In game 1, Progresso United FC dropped United Ballers FC, 3-0, with goals from Hector Carlos (15’ & 66’) and Alex Diaz ((61’). In game 2, it was Progresso FC, 7-2, over Chan Pine Ridge FC. Shaking the net for Progresso FC were Eliazar Itza (38’, 48’, 67’, 84’ & 87’), Gabriel Perez (43’) and Erick Osorio (88’); while Chan Pine Ridge goals were by Adial Carrillio (33’) and Nayin Reyes (55’). Game 3 saw Sinbad FC edging Desert Storm FC, 1-nil, on a goal by Edgar Cardenas (58’). In game 4, Jose Cassanova (2’) gave Crystal FC an early lead, but San Felipe FC came roaring back with goals from Harvey Cruz (15’, 75’, 89’), Israel Jones (49’) and Victor Amaya (80’ & 90’) for the massive 6-1 victory. But there was no consolation goal in game 5, as Trinidad FC bombed Progresso Jrs. FC, 6-0, with goals from Ryan Rios (3’), Travion Martinez (12’, 30’, 48’ & 72’) and Jose Guy (89’).

    “Fire on the Barracks!”
    The red-hot race to the PLB playoffs ended yesterday with Week 18 games to end the regular season in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017. And of the 4 teams which have qualified to the playoffs, two are based in Belize City, and will be playing their home games at the MCC Grounds. So, it’s been quite a while, but city fans will be treated to back-to-back weekends of “Fire on the Barracks,” as FC Belize and then BDF FC host their semifinal games at the historic Garden. The only Saturday night game in Week 18 saw standings leader Belmopan Bandits SC play to a 0-0 draw with visiting BDF FC at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Both teams had already secured playoff berths, so the result only lent speculation to their possible meeting again in the finals.

    Fighting for survival
    In this age of proliferating nuclear weapons and international terrorism, it is more true today than at any previous time in humankind’s history that no one knows what tomorrow will bring. We human beings live from day to day, and for the vast majority of us that life involves fighting for survival. Over the past weekend, Belize Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Dean Barrow, and his two key financial advisors, Financial Secretary, Joe Waight, and Economic Ambassador, Mark Espat, flew to New York City for the second time in a week to see what they can do about restructuring the nation’s superbond payments. This newspaper is honored to be the leading such publication in the nation of Belize, and this has been so for the last 35 years. The editorial is a weighty exercise in this newspaper, and we do not take it lightly. At the same time, we all understand that what Belizeans enjoy of constitutional democracy here concentrates power in the hands of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and its executive Cabinet. At the end of the proverbial day, this newspaper’s editorials, then, are of no constitutional consequence or value, except when they spark some thought in the minds of the Belizean people, or in the minds of some important group of Belizean people, such as our teachers.

    Belize Defence Force Math (101)
    I write as a concerned parent of an officer of the Belize Defence Force, who wakes up on a daily basis to serve and lead the men and women, who are charged with protecting the sovereignty of our nation. Leadership is going the extra mile to look after the welfare of your subordinates and seeking the required relief at all costs. So what if the leaders themselves needed that same courtesy extended to them? What is equality? It is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and OPPORTUNITIES. Equality is not existent in the Belize military; it is merely a principle taught to the soldiers on paper but not practiced in reality. Lieutenants in the BDF are required to pass a series of tests to be promoted to the rank of Substantive captain; six (6) tests within 8 hours and the rough conditions under which they are required to perform make it even more challenging. The passing mark was once 70%, which is the universal passing mark in graduate level education, but after calls to the “BIG MAN” it was changed at the last minute after officers rejoiced over their passing.

    On the road with Fidel
    I am in Santiago de Cuba, the Crib of the Revolution, as it is known, named The Heroic City years after the Revolution. It is from a balcony on a central plaza here that Fidel first addressed the Cuban people on V-day, January 1st 1959. Fidel’s ashes arrived here yesterday, after beginning its journey on Wednesday from Havana. The cortege followed the route, in reverse, of the March of Victory undertaken in 1959 by Fidel and the guerrilla forces from Santiago to Havana. The small caravan, with Fidel’s ashes in an urn carried in a trailer behind an army jeep, passed through all the towns and villages the caravan had traversed in that historic journey, so that most Cubans had the chance to bid their last respects to the physical remains of their leader. It passed the night next to the remains of Che Guevara at the monument in Santa Clara, the following night in Camaguey and the next in Bayamo, Granma, before moving on to Santiago on Saturday. It was amazing to watch how Cubans of all ages, colours, creeds and occupations lined the roads, villages and towns, most quiet, crying, waving Cuban flags or the flag of the 26th of July Movement, many shouting slogans as the ashes passed by, the most popular being one that had sprouted the day after his death, which I saw by chance as I watched television.

    Unruly Don, yu gaan lee bit to early fih mih, but yu di rest – Samron Pott
    Jose Antonio Pott was born in Kingston, Jamaica on November 23, 1970 to Jennifer Webb Graham and Gregorio Feliciano Pott. He is brother to Roberto, Natalie and Omar. Husband to Samira, father to Jodi, Samron and Sakir. Friend and family member to many. Roberto asks “What are we to do without our convener, planner, philosopher, ice breaker, fire starter and analyst?” It is impossible in only a few minutes to fully convey the essence of a man, but I will try. To capture for example: the loyal son, the devoted father, the loving husband, the endearing sibling, the considerate friend, the thinker, the great conversationalist – the compassionate soul. This afternoon in this spiritual space we come to celebrate this natural mystic flowing through the air, a roots man with a vibration who made all our lives better.

    Fidel and African Americans
    When the Cuban Revolution triumphed in 1959, blatant, legal racism was still very much alive in the US of A. Martin Luther King was well known, loved by black people and persecuted by the FBI. The civil rights movement was just getting strong, and still had a long way to go. When black people in the US learnt of how Cuba had been equally racist before the Revolution and that Fidel had changed all that, they naturally felt an attraction for him. As Bill Fletcher Jr. put it, “For many of us in Black America, Castro represented the audacity that we have desired and sought in the face of imperial and racial arrogance. When it came to matching words with deeds on the topic of racial equality, the most stalwart leader of the Western hemisphere, over the course of the 20th century, was Fidel Castro”. This admiration for Fidel was evident during his legendary stay at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem in 1960, where he was jubilantly hailed by hundreds of Harlemites on the streets outside. Several civil rights leaders visited him there, among them, famously, Malcolm X, with whom Fidel exchanged views for some time, and both men clearly appreciated each other’s ideas.

    Discourses with no substance of objectivity
    The leaders of Belize entertain the people with a whole lot of discourses that appear to have profound meaning, but in which there is no substance or objectivity, since, up to now we can listen often to the word alleviate instead of eradicate when the situation of poverty and unemployment is mentioned. Here is where we can see the same low level of seriousness that is manifested in the national anthem and flag. Belize, as a member of the United Nations, is a democratic country that purportedly practices liberty, and freedom and opposes discrimination against women. Yet, there is a lack of a rational explanation from the corresponding authorities in connection with the two men portrayed in the emblem of the national flag. It has become part of the dead words syndrome like that of the 1981 preamble to the Constitution of Belize.

    Landowner blocks traffic through his property in San Luis
    An angry land owner of San Luis, on whose land the main road connecting San Roman to San Luis was constructed, blocked vehicular traffic for about three hours this morning when he closed off both sides of his land, bringing traffic to and from the villages to a standstill. Orange Walk Police and an official from the Ministry of Works and the Lands Department intervened, and an agreement was made with the irate land owner, who then removed the barrier from his land and traffic resumed. Teofilo Chi, the landowner, said that if he is not given compensation, he will seek the services of an attorney and take action. In an interview on CTV 3 News Orange Walk today, Chi said that when the road was being constructed by the Ministry of Works, he told them that they were constructing the road through his land. He was told to go to the office, which he did several times, but he was ignored. So, he then decided to close his property.

    The Belize Times

    NOT SO FAST! – WHY IS GOB APPEASING GUATEMALA?
    Why now? Why are we being asked to ratify these agreements at this time? What is the rush?” These were but a few of the questions which Members of the Senate asked publicly when the Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse, tabled the motion for the Senate to Ratify the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s Territorial Claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice. That was the motion tabled with another asking the Senate to ratify the Amendment of the Protocol to the Special Agreement. The Compromis was first signed in 2008, while the amendment was signed in 2015. In that amendment, both countries agreed that instead of going to simultaneous referenda, each country could choose the option to hold their individual referendum on separate dates. PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay reiterated the commitment which the Opposition People’s United Party has to holding a referendum and having the people of Belize decide whether or not Belize should go to the ICJ to settle Guatemala’s unfounded claim over our country. He stressed that the PUP does not believe that the current relations between Belize and Guatemala are conducive to the process. Presenting in the Senate, he said, “now is not a convenient time for a referendum on this matter. Guatemala continues to behave in a hostile manner toward the Government and People of Belize.” He then recounted recent incidents of aggression by Guatemala which Belizeans are well aware of, including Guatemala’s complete rejection of the vindication of Belizean law enforcement.

    NOT SO FAST! – WHY IS GOB APPEASING GUATEMALA?
    “Why now? Why are we being asked to ratify these agreements at this time? What is the rush?” These were but a few of the questions which Members of the Senate asked publicly when the Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse, tabled the motion for the Senate to Ratify the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s Territorial Claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice. That was the motion tabled with another asking the Senate to ratify the Amendment of the Protocol to the Special Agreement. The Compromis was first signed in 2008, while the amendment was signed in 2015. In that amendment, both countries agreed that instead of going to simultaneous referenda, each country could choose the option to hold their individual referendum on separate dates.

    Barrow’s Bogus Commission
    The Barrow Government’s concept of an Integrity Commission is obviously one dominated by hard-core UDPs, a couple who probably are not exactly sure of the definition of Integrity. When the names were called late last week, it became immediately clear that this administration has absolutely no intention of putting together any real Commission to watchdog its conduct. In the Senate meeting, the UDP Government Senators forced through the appointments of Marilyn Williams, Armead Gabourel, Lisbeth Delgado, Wilmot Simmons and Nestor Vasquez, who sits so many Government controlled boards. The only two Opposition-nominated members are Melissa Balderamos and Claudette Grinage.

    City Landmark Up in Flames
    Police and Fire Department investigators have still not determined the official cause of a devastating fire which claimed one of the city’s most outstanding colonial landmarks, the Chateau Caribbean Hotel and Restaurant on Marine Parade. Just after 8:00am Sunday flames were observed in the upper floor of the building and fifteen hours after when the last fire-fighter left the scene, the entire building was gutted. Fortunately, there are no human casualties from the catastrophic blaze. The Belize Times has been informed that there were guests in two rooms who managed to get out with their bags when they heard the ruckus. As well, there were guests in the dining area but they got out unharmed. Staff members have suggested that the fire may have started in the kitchen, but investigators are not ready to release any information beyond the obvious. According to Fire Chief Ted Smith, “On arrival the upper section of a three-storey structure was engulfed in flames. The fire department immediately went into operations and tried to extinguish the fire.”

    2,000 MORE BELIZEANS JOBLESS – Inflation UP…Exports DOWN…Unemployment UP…Economy Contracts!
    Today the Statistical Institute of Belize confirmed more bad news for Belize with the release of third quarter figures. For the third consecutive quarter the economy declined, this time by 0.8%. According to the fact sheet, “during the three months from July to September the country’s total production declined by 0.8% when compared to the same period in 2015…for the first nine months of the year, the country’s level of production was 0.7% lower than in the first nine months of 2015.” In the primary sector the decline was sharp, 24%, with marine exports reporting a 61% decline and banana shipments falling by 14%. While the government has continued to boast about its employment figures, the official statistics show that was a lie. According to the SIB, unemployment rose to 11.1% in September 2016, a sharp jump from September 2015. According to the findings of the Labour Force Survey, “in September 2016there were a total of 17,952 unemployed persons in Belize. This represented an increase of 2045 in the number of unemployed persons since September of 2015.”

    When the Bubble Bursts
    About a week ago one of the hosts on the UDP’s morning show commented that the best is here with this administration, a play on the government’s slogan going into 2015 elections. He went further to say that he can’t understand why people can’t see it – “it’s like people are living in a different country,” he stated in all seriousness and apparent disbelief. How do you reach people like that? They live in the same country we all do, watch the same news, see the same conditions and hear the same alarm bells ringing loudly, but they are so blindly loyal to the party they serve that they lose all sense of reality. Somebody asked a week ago – how do we get the message out to the people…the message that 2016 was a terrible year for the country and 2017 is going to be a whole lot worse? You would think that those who feel it would know it. Is it that this administration steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that the sky is indeed falling? Consecutive IMF country reports have painted the bleakest picture, stating repeatedly that the government’s wage bill is too high and debt is unsustainable. This isn’t idle chatter. The IMF continues to advocate for taxation, not because taxes are a first resort but because it is one of the last, when a government has been unable or unwilling to rein in its spending and practice fiscal responsibility. Retrenchment isn’t the first recommendation of the IMF, but the government has absolutely refused to control its wastage of taxpayer monies.

    Trinidad FC & Progresso United Win in OW 1st Division Football
    Progresso FC, Progresso United, Trinidad FC, Chan Pine Ridge and Desert Storm each posted big wins in Week 6 of the Orange Walk Football Association’s amateur league tournament at the People’s Stadium on Sunday. In Game 1, 2 goals by Eliazar “Toto” Itza gave Progresso FC a 2-0 win against Sinbad FC. In Game 2, Chan Pine Ridge won 2-1 vs. Crystal FC with goals by Adiel Carillo in the 24th minute and Juan Rodney in the 89th minutes. Crystal’s Alberto Cassanova scored in the 56th minute.

    Galen Eagles Win 2016 ATLIB Basketball Championship
    The Galen University Eagles won the 2016 Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) basketball championships at the UB gym on Saturday. In Game 1, the Galen men won 68-52 vs. Wesley Junior College, led by Lisani Lambey with 16pts. Kevin Brown scored 15pts, Raul Roches added 9pts and Karym Coleman – 8pts. WJC’s Russel Humes led with 19pts, Tyrone Anthony hit 4 treys to score 16pts, and Raymond Gongora Jr. added 7pts. In Game 2, Galen sealed the championship with a 27-22 win vs. the Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College Falcons. Galen’s Lisani Lambey scored 8pts and Kevin Brown and Raul Roches added 5pts apiece, while Bryton Codd put up 4pts and Roman Alvarez hit a long trey. SCEJC’s Nayib Casimiro led with 10pts, Irakeem Lewis hit 2 treys and Deon Castillo and Luwani Cayetano threw in a bucket apiece. In Game 3, SCEJC won 2nd place.

    UB Girls Win 2016 ATLIB Basketball Championship
    The University of Belize girls won the 2016 Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) basketball championships at the UB gym on Saturday. In Game 1, the UB girls blew away the Wesley Junior College girls: 30-15 led by Jinelle Pott with 10pts. Kafira Gill and Joeline Williams added 4pts apiece, and Alvree Mortis, Loren Henry, Yolanda Shal and Ana Gonzalez put up 3pts apiece. Wesley’s Jhane Samuels scored 6pts while Archel Wright had 5pts and Doraine Linarez – 3pts. In Game 2, UB ran over the Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College girls: 25-15; led by Joeline Williams and Jinelle Pott with 6pts apiece. Ana Gonzalez added 5pts, Gianne Cayetano scored 4pts and Loren Henry and Gisel Lodge threw in a bucket apiece. Ecumenical’s Jurshia Zuniga scored 7pts and Kaycelie Augustine hit a long trey to add 8pts.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Guatemalan authorities bust drug traffickers in Belizean waters with cocaine valued at $45 million
    Four Honduran nationals are in trouble after Guatemalan authorities busted them with cocaine valued at $45 million in Belizean waters. The Prensa Libre reported that the bust occurred on Saturday, December 3, 2016 in international waters. However reports from the Ministry of Defense is […]

    Julius Espat’s case struck out in court
    Today, Chief justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the case that was brought against the Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte by Cayo South Area representative Julius Espat. The Chief justice informed the parties that the courts could not impede the business of the House […]

    Belizeans walk away with 1st and 2nd Place in Garifuna Pageant in Guatemala
    On Saturday, Guatemala held its first annual Reina Garifuna del Caribe (the Miss Garifuna Caribbean) pageant. It was held at the Malecon Cultural Park in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. Asociacion Amigos para el Desarrollo de Izabal in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports […]

    BDF Commander reportedly robbed
    There are reports that burglars made off with $30,000 in cash from the home of BDF Commander, David Jones. The incident allegedly took place at the Commander’s Price Barracks home while he was out of the country. Jones is yet to comment on the […]

    NEMO gets US$50,000 from Chile
    Yesterday, Minister of National Emergency Management Edmond Castro received a donation of US $50,000 from the Government of Chile for the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to assist with ongoing hurricane recovery efforts in the Agriculture Sector, specifically for small farmers impacted by Hurricane […]

    Belize’s dollar to be formalized in Mexico
    According to Quintana Roo Hoy, Jorge Valencia Gomez, Belize’s consul in Chetumal informed that it will seek to formalize the official listing of the Belizean dollar in Mexico. Formalizing the Belizean currency would increase the commercial activity between the two countries by up to […]

    Not everything sweet for cane farmers
    Yesterday marked the start of the new sugar crop to be ready in the next six months. However, according to cane farmers the future of the 1.3 million tonnes of sugar is up in the air. According to the farmers, if they start the […]

    Police find marijuana and 16 gauge shotgun without serial number in Crooked Tree
    Police in Crooked Tree village found a 16 guage Arrigton and Richard brand shotgun without serial number, and a black plastic bag containing 76 grams of marijuana on December 3, 2016. According to reports, police conducted the search in an overgrown area on the […]

    Mainly dry weather to prevail
    Mostly warm and dry weather is expected to prevail over the next 24 hours with sunny skies and partly cloudy skies today and tonight. Showers will be isolated and there is a possibility for an isolated afternoon thunderstorm inland or in the North. The […]

    Corozal gets new quarantine facility
    The Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Agriculture are tightening up quarantine regulations in the northern border of Belize. Yesterday, a new quarantine treatment facility was inaugurated in Santa Elena, Corozal. The new facility will ensure that proper procedures are […]

    The Irony of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust
    “In 1996, Belize was considered a pioneer with the passing of the PACT Act. Today, the protected areas landscape continues to take shape and expand. Currently there are 103 protected areas that form a vast national protected areas system (NPAS), with categories that encompass […]

    Blogs

    Orange Walk’s 6th Tacos Fest – delicious!
    Belizeans who love good food all headed north to Orange Walk Town on Sunday, November 27, for the 6th annual Tacos Festival at the Banquitas House of Culture. The tacos came in all flavors and were made of “cochinito pibil”, grilled beef, pork and chicken. The variety and selection; you couldn’t possibly eat it all, but you were welcome to try! There was Baeza’s tacos of cochinita and chicken on corn or flour tortillas, or in toasted tortillas, Tere’s fried tacos, ‘San Francisco’ Mexican tacos, Haty’s Shmacum chicken tacos, Tortas & Tacos with Autenticas Carnitas Estilo Michoacan,Tacos al Pastor, tacos with tortillas hand-made on the comal. Nobody watching their figure or their diet here! A hearty few accepted the challenge to show their tacos- eating prowess ina contest to see who could eat the most tacos with pepper! There were cash prizes to be won for those with the cast iron stomach to hold it all down! No points if you threw up, that’s a disqualification!All that salty food worked up a thirst, and there was also Caribbean Sunrise natural orange juice, Pepsi and Presidente Beers to wash down all those tacos!

    Running Errands On Ambergris Caye – There is No One Stop Shopping
    There are many reasons that the closest Walmart to where I live is in Mexico. Belize is a small country and the import duties are high to very high- it makes no sense for the big chain stores to move in. Well…not really... So I wanted to give you a look at my daily list of errands – and how they get done. Ordering on the internet isn’t really an option (LONG delivery time + duty applied) and drive through just don’t exist. My trip to town (7 miles now) starts out something like this… List clipped into the steering wheel on the golf cart. I must stay “on list” but often I forget a few, add on a few and spend a good amount of time just chit-chatting. It’s the best way to get the scoop. My errands now include a bit of provisioning for Cayo Frances Farm & Fly which has a full December of welcoming guests. And some fundraising efforts, including #DollaADive, for BelizeKids.org. Woohoo!

    Belize Gets Represented at National Geographic World Legacy Awards 2017
    The World Legacy Awards (WLA) is a collaboration between the National Geographic and ITB Berlin that seeks to honor companies, organizations, and destinations that drive positive transformation of the tourism industry. With categories like “Earth Changers”, “Sense of Place”, and “Destination Leadership”, the WLA’s aim to spotlight the best of the forward thinking best. This year, The Lodge at Chaa Creek has been chosen as one of the three finalists for the “engaging Communities” category of awards. The Engaging Communities category is given to an applicant who aids in the direct and tangible economic and social benefits that improve local livelihoods. This includes training, capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care and education endeavors.

    Everybody is Talking About Kakaruchi’s Grill?
    What a kickname right; but Enrique has been living in San Pedro, Belize for 34 years now and all the locals and many visitors know him working in the tourism service industry. He is an accomplished bartender/mixologist, creating award-winning cocktails at the country’s signature Taste of Belize competitions and at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye’s Lobster Fest!! Hands down, he is one of the best! Who would have thought that Kakaruchi knew how to cook? The ‘island buzz’ is loud and with only a couple of weeks since opening, people have great things to say about Enrique’s cooking and the cool spot that is Kakaruchi’s Grill. Curious, we dropped by to experience ourselves.

    12 Unforgettable Adventures You Could Never Do on a Cruise Stopover
    It’s true, booking your vacation escape of a Cruise Ship can provide a lifetime opportunity for any traveler, but do cruise vacationers realize that they are missing out on a lot in stopovers? Let us analyze things for a second… With an explosive growth in Cruise Tourism over the years, Belize has seen a rapid increase in its Tourist arrivals, bringing welcomed revenue to the country. However, while millions of visitors arrive on shore annually, the majority of them do not get to experience the true essence of Belize and only scrape just the surface of this magnificent jewel because of the time restrictions on their stopover. Considering that a cruise is meant to be relaxing, many find it strangely hectic given such a short time on land. Tourists are finding that a typical Caribbean cruise vacation does not give you enough time to know Belize at an intimate level. We take this opportunity to share with you the wonderful things/attractions/tours YOU are missing out on when on a cruise vacation.

    Post renovation and ready for high season at CBC!!
    We are thrilled to have reopened, including our brand new Villas! If you are headed here, enjoy these images of the renovations to our units, the new pool and tiki area, and grounds!! Renovations on Cabanas: new doors, new roofs, all new paint inside and put, new tile floors, upgraded cushions, new hammock, new art and kitchenware, renovated kitchen and upgrades to all decor, brand new spa baths! Note guests enjoy luxury robes, resort beach towels, and welcome basket with lots of complimentary gifts :) New Villas! Villa Playa and Villa Mar are exceptional....Mexican-style Villas with wraparound lower veranda overlooking pool, with hammock and adirondack chairs, modern, sleek beach furnishings, and rooftop decks with cushioned loungers, and bar table with palapa umbrella!

    8 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling
    Wash Your Hands, Visit a Travel Clinic, Carry a Medical Kit, Prevent Bug Bites, Get Enough Sleep, Stay Hydrated, Exercise, Use Common Sense.

    FROM WHITE SANDY BEACHES TO CASCADING WATERFALLS – ALL IN A DAY!
    One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about living in Belize is how small the country is. If I so choose, I can be on the Caribbean Shores for the Sunrise, cascading the waterfalls at noon, zipping through the canopies by mid afternoon, and back on the island, just in time to enjoy the glorious sunset. In the past, this came with some restrictions. Most of the times, our guests would have to spend an overnight to enjoy these adventures. However, we were recently invited to experience the towering waterfalls of the Mayan Mountain – Macal River in a one day experience. Our journey commenced around 6:30AM, when we met up at Tropic Air to be on the 7AM flight. At the airport, we were greeted by Oscar of Balaam Eco Adventure, our host for the day. I was looking forward to going on this new adventure!! After a short 13-minute flight, we landed in Belize City and were greeted with a large smile from our driver Onil; He’s quite a character. After a light breakfast, we are on our way. We drove to Benque Viejo, where the access point to the Rio Frio Waterfalls is located. The 2 hour drive to Benque is very scenic. As you make your way along the Western (George Price) Highway, you get the chance to experience the various eco systems that exists within our environment. Beauty unfolds as the flat lands turn into valleys, and the valleys turn into mountains. Roaring rivers bordering the highway alert you that you’re almost at your destination.

    International Sourcesizz

    Concluye el torneo de internacional pesca de Mahahual “Wahoo de Plata”
    Captain Jody Leslie of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Captures Top Boat Prize at Wahoo Fishing Tournament, Mahahual, Mexico. Congratulations!!! En representación del presidente municipal, Luis Torres, el secretario general del Ayuntamiento Roger Peraza Tamayo, asistió a la clausura y premiación del Torneo de Pesca Deportiva Internacional 2016 “Wahoo de Plata” V edición Mahahual, Quintana Roo. El primer lugar fue para la embarcación Arsenal del vecino país de Belice, a bordo del capitán Jody Leslie, al capturar un Wahoo de 46.52 libras; segundo y tercer lugar para la embarcación Another Toy, de Luis Contreras Castillo con un Wahoo de 41.34 libras. El encargado de la política interna felicitó a nombre del edil capitalino a los ganadores y participantes del Torneo de Pesca “Wahoo de Plata 2016”, sobre todo al organizador de la V Edición Carlos Pérez Zafra, por promover el turismo mediante la pesca deportiva. En su mensaje, Roger Peraza Tamayo, señaló que la pesca deportiva forma parte de una tradición en el municipio de Othón P. Blanco, por tanto seguirán contando con todo el respaldo del gobierno que encabeza Luis Torres.

    Mexico Will Soon Accept Belizean Dollars As Payment
    Jorge Valencia Gomez who is part of the Belizean Consulate in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico has released a statement to Mexican and Belizean Press informing that Belize and Mexico will be officially formalising the Belizean dollar throughout Mexico. By officially formalising the Belizean Dollar, businesses throughout the entire country of Mexico will be able to accept payments in Belizean Dollars instead of just a very select few in Chetumal as the current situation is.

    Creation of robot bee to pollinate crops
    Scientists at the Polytechnic University of Warsaw have created the first robotic bee designed to pollinate artificially; a miniaturised drone that is able to find a flower, collect its pollen, and transfer it carefully from the male to the female flower to fertilise it. This robotic insect has already been successfully tested in the field and its ability to pollinate is offered as a "hopeful alternative" to address the steady decline in the world bee population, as stated by its creator, engineer Rafal Dalewski. "Last summer, we carried out a test and we already have the first seed obtained through this artificial pollination, so it has been proven that our robot can do almost the same as real bees," explains Dalewski. Dalewski, however, acknowledges that he has not been able to design a drone that can produce honey, "although technology development is moving increasingly fast and can at times be surprising," he jokes.

    World religions map
    Fastest growing. see key in upper right, (small)

    Belize's Caribbean Sea an island paradise
    My new private island in Belize's Caribbean Sea is blessed with 4 hectares of palm-fringed white sand beach. It also has a gorgeous 5,000-sq-metre pool with swim up bar -- the largest in this Central American country. As well, there are four other bars and restaurants serving everything from blackened fish to classic cheeseburgers. Diversions run the gamut from parasailing, speed boating and ziplining to stand-up paddle boarding, mangrove tours and simply lounging at the beach and pool. Of course, I have to share this tropical paradise with 4,399 other people because it's Norwegian Cruise Line's private island called Harvest Caye.

    Inside the Bizarre Movement to Make John McAfee Cyber Czar
    On Monday afternoon, as Donald Trump continued finalizing his cabinet from his transition base atop Trump Tower, a group of thirty demonstrators gathered below to make a very specific recommendation: “That Donald Trump put America first and name John McAfee, the most qualified expert, to be our nation’s Cybersecurity Czar.” The event was part of a public campaign organized by the hacking collective Anonymous, aimed, oddly enough, at “securing America from Hackers.” For the remainder of the day, the protesters alternated between chants of “Make the internet safe again” and “We want McAfee,” as they distributed flyers highlighting the software magnate’s unique qualifications to confused passersby. While not all of the protesters were affiliated with Anonymous, the requisite Guy Fawkes mask was worn by nearly everyone.

    Lionfish War: Who is Winning?
    This is a question I asked a number of people and organizations while I visited different booths at the DEMA Show last month. The answers tended to point to the lionfish winning with the environment even mankind being on the losing end. There are coral reefs where the native fish have all but disappeared. These native fish are important to feed a good portion of the world’s population. Fisherman in some areas are seeing catches so small they can not feed their families. The lionfish are seldom caught using traditional fishing methods. So while they are plentiful, they are not helping to feed the families. While the overall picture does not look good, there are so bright points. The dive operators in the Grand Cayman’s in cooperation with the local government have turned the tide against the lionfish in many areas. They each dedicate a day to remove lionfish at different reefs. This concentrated effort has brought the numbers down to the point that the native fish are living long enough to become bigger than the lionfish can eat. That itself is a feat as the lionfish has the ability to stretch its mouth and stomach to eat larger fish.

    Videos

  • The crocodiles of San Pedro were having a Sunday Funday, 1/2min.

  • Caye Caulker Village Council Public Meeting, 20min.

  • How to Play Jonkunu (Wanaragua) - with Warasa, 5min. Tis the season of "Jonkunu...

  • Talking Belize International Film Festival 2016, 47min. In case you missed it! Here's is the Mek Wave & Lik Road episode featuring a stimulating discussion of the festival as well as filmmaking in Belize, featuring Belize Film Commissioner Nigel P Miguel, NICH communications officer Holly Edgell, and several participants.

  • Marines Teach Infantry Tactics to Belize Soldiers, 3min.

  • CCIC Idea Generation Session in Belize, 4min. The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center's Project Manager Carlinton Burrell provides his take on Belize Caribbean GreenTech Startup Bootcamp in Collaboration with Beltraide Idea Generation Session

  • Belize, Spring Break 2015, 3min. St. Georges Caye.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN DECEMBER 1, 2016, 40min. Chat about Fidel Castro

  • United Nations Anti - Convention (UNACC) Working Group, 35min.

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar Hosted in Belize, 26min.

  • Belize cave tubing and nature hike adventure September 2016, 3min. Our stop in Belize while cruising on NCL getaway. We did the nature hike and cave tubing excursion. Too much fun!

  • 4K - The Lazy Lizard, Caye Caulker, Belize Dec 2016 (at the split), 6.5min. Belize was the last country for me to visit before I could say I have been to every country in the Americas. I have a few more videos of Belize to upload when I get can get a decent internet connection.

  • Carnival Sunshine Zipline Belize, 7.5min. Zipline and Cave Tubing excursion in Belize on the Carnival Sunshine 2016.

  • Portions of the 20th Anniversary Commemoration of our World Heritage Site, 3min.

    December 6, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Annual HIV/AIDS Fundraising Fair a resounding success!
    The San Pedro AIDS Commission together with the National AIDS Commission/Island Committee (NAC) collaborated once more to host the annual World AIDS Day awareness fair at the Central Park on Sunday, December 4th. Activities such as free HIV rapid testing, information and counseling, condom distribution, pastry and food sales were the main highlights commemorating the day. International aids day is observed every 1st of December around the world, and is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV. The activities got underway shortly after 9AM, with a good turnout of visitors stopping by the different booths. Serenading the event was none other than San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja! While the two groups worked together, they split responsibilities in order to enhance the success of the event. The AIDS Commission sold rice and beans, delicious pastries, and drinks for the fundraising, while the NAC offered free HIV testing, education and counseling.

    The San Pedro Dance Academy brings a ‘Tropical Christmas’ to the island
    The San Pedro dance Academy once again ushered in the Christmas spirit with their annual end-of-year Christmas show. Titled “Tropical Christmas”, the event took place on Sunday, December 4th at 7PM at the San Pedro Lions den. The annual performance serves as a fundraiser to support the Dance Academy, which has been in existence for 16 years. Attendees were delighted by the variety of creative dance routines, each one demonstrating the talent and skills of the group members. Participants included beginners, intermediate beginners-advanced and seniors. Elaborate theme costumes shone onstage during each dance, the well-executed choreography showcasing a variety of rhythms, from modern contemporary to classic ballet and traditional folklore.

    Ambergris Today

    Flamboyant Park Gets Facelift by Projects Abroad

    Belize Wins at 1st Reina Garifuna del Caribe Pageant Guatemala!
    On December 3, 2016, the first annual Reina Garifuna del Caribe (the Miss Garifuna Caribbean) pageant was held at the Malecon Cultural Park in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. The Reina Garifuna del Caribe Pageant was planned by Asociacion Amigos para el Desarrollo de Izabal in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Guatemala. The event was part of an effort to bring unity among the Garinagu within the Caribbean diaspora and assist with the preservation of Garifuna culture. The pageant featured contestants from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. The National Garifuna Council of Belize is happy to announce that Ms. Sabrina Solano of Hopkins Village is the Reina Garifuna del Caribe for 2016-2017, while Ms. Kaylin Mejia of Dangriga was the first runner up in the pageant

    UB Engineering Students Win Structures Competition in Mexico
    Students of the Engineering Department, from the Faculty of Science of Technology (FST) of the University of Belize are the 2016 champions of the “XVIII Concurso De Diseño Y Construccion De Modelos Estructurales, V Fase Internacional”, hosted by the Instituto Tecnologico De Chetumal (ITCH) in Quintana Roo Mexico from November 23-25th, 2016. The competition is hosted every year and UB has officially participated for the past 5 years. Preparations for this competition included students participating in the UB Engineering Department’s 8th Annual Macaroni Competition held on 13th and 14th of October at the University’s Freetown Road campus in Belize City. The top two teams represent UB in Chetumal. These students are second year engineering students and they competed with 3rd and 4th year students at the ITCH.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Love FM Christmas Parade
    Saturday, December 10 at 1 PM - 6 PM, Downtown Belize City.

    GARIFUNA DANCING QUEENS IN CENTRAL AMERICA!
    These spectacular Garifuna dancers from Honduras thrilled Belizean audiences some years ago at the Central American Black Organization (CABO) conference at the Bliss Institute of Performing Arts of Belize's National Institute of Culture & History (NICH) in Belize City. We here at Belizean Legends recognized deeply the Pan Garifuna Community of Central America of which Belize is a part of. They represent a taste of Africa in Central America. These Garifuna communities are calling out for help today from assimilation, cultural destruction, and the elimination of their ancestral lands today in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Watina (Calling out)!

    BELIZE CITY'S FORMER MAYOR ZENAIDA MOYA DISCUSSES THE ISSUES ON HER OWN TALK SHOW IN BELIZE CITY!
    Belizean Legends want to send a big shout out to Belize City's former mayor, Zenaida Moya, who has developed her own talk show on Belizean television in Belize where she will be discussing the social, political, and economical issues confronting the nation state of Belize today. We champion "Z"'s very ambitious move to step forward as a former mayor of Belize City, and to present her spin on these very crucial events confronting the nation of Belize today. Mayor Zenaida Moya made an incredible impact in the Los Angeles Belizean Community in 2005 where she was the invited guest of the California State University, Domiguez Hills, History Department, and later as guest of the Consortium for Belizean Development and BREDAA who hosted the former mayor.

    World Heritage Site Forum Tuesday December 6th
    In December 1996, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS) was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The BBRRS being the largest barrier reef complex in the Northern and Western Hemisphere, also represents the second largest barrier reef system in the world. It provides habitat to a number of endemic and migratory birds and threatened marine species such as the West Indian manatee, the American crocodile and marine turtles. Belizeans in the Tourism and Fisheries Sectors have relied greatly on the reef for their livelihood. The BBRRS comprises of seven marine protected areas which makes up 12% of the entire reef complex of Belize. The seven sites include: Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park and the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, you are cordially invited to a World Heritage Site Forum held on December 6, 2016 (Tuesday) in Belize City at the Belize Institute of Performing Arts from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., which will also be broadcast live on Love F.M.

    Chilean Government donates $50,000 USD for Hurricane Recovery

    SUGAR SEASON OPENS
    The 2016-2017 sugar cane crop season gets underway today. About 1.3 million tonnes of sugar cane are expected to be milled into sugar and molasses for international sale in the UK and USA. BSI's Vice President of International Relations Mac Maclachlan admitted that even with maximum preparation by the factory and farmers, some luck with weather and avoiding pests in the field is needed. Guest Speaker Minister of Agriculture Godwin Hulse said he was thankful that crop started on time without quarrels. He added that Belize should work toward having sugar growing in all six districts - currently there are four, from Corozal to Cayo.

    Corozal Car Show
    Photos of the Corozal Car Show sponsored by the North Ryders Car Club held yesterday at Caribbean Village (entrance to Corozal).

    Project in Review & Award Ceremony
    Wednesday, December 14 at 9:30 AM - 11 AM, Bliss Center for Performing Arts Southern Foreshore, Belize City. After two years, partners in the Primary & Secondary Art Skills Training Project (PSAST) invite the public to attend an event that reviews progress and celebrates its particpants on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts.

    Writing Tour of Belize City
    Friday, December 16 at 4 PM - 5:30 PM, Bliss Center for Performing Arts, Belize City. On December 16, we will do a tour of Belize City as a generative writing exercise. In this walk, facilitated by André Habet, we will discuss the historical significance of several buildings and locations between Baron Bliss Lighthouse and the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts where You Are The Jewel’s 2-day writing workshop will take place. During our walk, we will take several pauses to write short responses to writing prompts relevant to the places we’re experiencing. The goal of these prompts will be to help us recognize the rich details located within our city, and the ways we can employ those details in our writing to create a Belize distinct from the paradise it’s often characterized as.

    Meeting was held with the Management Committee of the Friends of the Vaca Forest Reserve
    The Forest Department, FCD and GEF SGP’s aim is to build the capacity of this Committee for improved utilization of the forest.

    Splashers
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Moorish Idol"

    Poets Corner: Disability Registry
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. We need a report from the Special Envoy For all the trips and perks she has enjoyed Under the guise of fighting the diversely-abled ploy This the people of Belize a cannot be denied Since neither for us and nothing without is the diversely-abled cry This decadence hurts the I Belize became 148 signatory On 9th May 2011 fortunately To the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disability Promising protection of those with vulnerability Yet we have no disability registry BCVI, BAPDA, and NARCIE Claim they have theirs individually Inspiration Center has a personal registry What will it take to have national registry? This enables us to serve this community Persons who are most vulnerable in society It was Mrs Barrow who attended the signing ceremony Prior to her Judith’s visit to Hawaii

    Workshop with the students of ITVET in Belize City
    Belize and Mexico are always finding ways to help each other in common grounds. According to Mexican Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Quesnel, Chef Jose Figueroa from Tijuana, Mexico, will be holding a workshop with the students of ITVET in Belize City this Wednesday Decemember 7th on how to prepare Mexican food, as a part of the Mexican Culinary Week "Ven a Comer". Belize and Mexico sharing common culinary expressions!

    2017 Belikin Calendar Cayo Launch
    The 2017 Belikin Calendar Launch Party for Cayo will be Saturday, December 10th, at Jalapeno's restaurant. The fun starts at 7:00pm.

    Stuck for an original Christmas Gift?
    Zack and Kiki's First Big Adventure is now on sale at Reimers stores throughout Belize. Yours for just 9lbs of sunflower seeds ($32). A fabulous gift and a fabulous way to help feed the hungry birds at Belize Bird Rescue! Living outside of Belize? Order online at all Amazon websites. All profits go to Belize Bird Rescue.

    Gender Based Violence (GBV) luncheon/round table in Punta Gorda
    Ambassador Carlos Moreno hosted a Gender Based Violence (GBV) luncheon/round table in Punta Gorda as part of the Embassy's 16 Days of Activism Campaign against GBV. The event was a great opportunity to hear about GBV issues in the southern region of Belize and learn what the local government and civil society are doing to address these issues. The Ambassador also highlighted the work that the Embassy is doing to address GBV, such as the CARSI grant, Gender Working Group, 16 Days of Activism Campaign, and other initiatives.

    Channel 7

    Mentally Challenged Man Viciously Beaten To Death
    A mentally challenged 19-year-old man was viciously beaten to death in Teakettle. On Saturday morning, Abner Vasquez was found bludgeoned in the back yard of a house. Everything seemed normal on Friday as villagers said they saw him collecting pint bottles to sell as he usually does. But later that Friday night, while everyone else was at a football tournament in the Arizona area of the village, Vasquez's attackers probably took that opportunity and killed him with uncommon savagery. Courtney Weatherburne has the story: Courtney Weatherburne reporting: Abner Vasquez had to have a chilled coca cola with every meal, and his aunt always had it ready for him. His aunt was expecting him on Thursday evening but Vasquez never showed up, instead he slept at a friend's house. She didn't find out the terrible news until 7:15 on Saturday morning from her 16 year old daughter.

    Sunday Slaying In The City: Skyers Shot
    We turn now to Belize City where there were two murders over the weekend: two men were killed in the street. We begin with Sunday afternoon's murder. It happened at around 1:30 when 26 year old Emerson Skyers was at the corner of West Street and Cemetery Road - which isn't far from the notorious Taylor's ally base. A white car pulled up, someone rolled down the window and let off a burst of gunfire. Skyers died on the spot even though - as this video posted on facebook shows - a desperate attempt was made to try and rush him to the hospital. Still, he was announced dead on arrival. Police told us more: ASP. Alejandro Cowo, OC, CIB: "Emerson Skyers was walking on Cemetery Road almost at the corner of Cemetery Road and West Street when a vehicle coming from the direction of Cemetery Road towards Albert Street passed him and a person from the vehicle fired several shots at him causing the fatal injuries. Up to now we do not have a motive in regards to the death of Mr. Skyers."

    Father of 8, Poet and Tour Guide Killed For No Known Reason
    The city's other murder happened early on Saturday morning - on Hyde's Lane - one block away from the city's biggest police station on Queen Street. At about 3:45 AM, Dale Anthony Tillett Sr., known as "Blinds" was coming from buying some street food after a night out with friends. He was walking with two other men: one of them a relative, and the other a friend. That's when death came looking for them on a motorbike. Police told us more, as did his mother Geraldine Tillett:.. ASP. Alejandro Cowo, OC, CIB: "CIB personnel visited the corner of Hyde's Lane and New Road just 40 to 50 feet from the corner where the motionless body of Dale Anthony Tillet was seen lying face up with apparent gunshot wound to the back of his head. What the police gathered so far was that Dale Anthony Tillet was waking down on Hyde's Lane, corners North Front Street along with two other male persons when two persons on motorcycle came from Hyde's Lane corners North Front Street and as they approached them almost by the corner, one of the male persons on the motorcycle fires several shots at the persons that were walking along with Dale Tillet. As a result, Dale Tillet received the fatal injuries and the other person David Garcia received apparent gunshot wound to the left side of his shoulder."

    Throat Slit As He Slept On A Bus Stop Bench
    And the weekend's fourth murder happened in the Stann Creek District on Saturday at around midnight. That's when inebriated Santa Rosa resident Gabino Chuc fell asleep on the bench at the San Roman bus stop. That's when a man - likely also drunk attacked his drinking buddy with a machete. Chuc's friend managed to escape with a cut to the eye and elbow. But the drunken machete man, then turned his blade on the sleeping Chuc and slashed his throat. He bled out and died right there at the bus stop. Police are looking for the attacker who is known to them.

    "La Zafra" Begins With Optimism, Realism
    This morning, the 2016-2017 Sugar Cane Season, known in the north as "La Zafra" opened, and ASR/BSI accepted the first cane deliveries for the new grinding season. As they do every year, the factory owners, the farmers, and the Government made a ceremony of it to mark its importance for the Sugar Industry. Today's start is on time once again, and that's important because preliminary estimates that there are currently just under 1.4 million tonnes of cane in the fields - which is considered a large crop. Our news team went to Orange Walk to witness the opening of the season, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Outside of the Tower Hill Factory, all the stakeholders gathered for the annual opening of the Sugar Season. Those within the cane farming community, the millers, the Government, and the regulators were all ready to get started, hoping to make the most of the season as they possibly could.

    Sugar Cane, Fair Trade Sanctions, And Hon. Castro
    Today's "La Zafra" opening gave us a opportunity to speak with Dr. Carlos Itza. He's the new Chairman of the Sugar Cane Production Committee, which regulates who can deliver how much cane to the factory. On last week Friday's newscast, we showed you our telephone interview with Cabinet Minister Edmond Castro, in which he discussed the allegation that his family's sugar cane dealings may have gotten the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association suspended from Fair Trade. The BSCFA's members are at risk of losing over a million dollars of financial aid from the UK based organization. In a recent Fair Trade audit, former BSCFA member Eloy Escalante was flagged for what is referred to as "phantom farming" or "ghost farming". He no longer produces cane, and according to reports, in an interview with Fair Trade Auditors, he admitted that he hasn't been doing so for 3 years. Instead, he entered into a business arrangement with Edmond Castro's son, who is in the sugar cane business. Under the arrangement, Castro's family became the administrators of Escalante's estate, which we are told is a work-around for not being a registered farmer who can deliver cane to the BSI factories.

    Finding Phantom Farmers
    So, while the Minister believes that Edmond Castro should be given an equal opportunity to deliver his cane, he does agree that there are other "phantom farmers" who need to weeded out of the list of persons allowed to deliver cane to the BSI factory. In his main address at the today's Ceremony, Hulse told the gathering that there should be a legally mandated census of cane farmers to ensure that those who say they are farmers, actually own cane fields.: Hon. Godwin Hulse: "I am looking forward to the census. We have a good agreement in our last meeting that the census will move forward and it will move forward with the participation of everybody. We need to know what cane we have. We need to know who is growing cane. We need to know where its being grown and we need to know who the serious farmers are. There is no ifs, buts and maybe's about that. There is no place. I am not on a bash at all to say there is no place for shopkeepers who posed as cane farmers and who buy quotas and that sort of thing. We need to be serious. We need to know who grown cane, where they grow it, how it is, so we can inspect fields, we can improve yields and that sort of thing. That is the business."

    Accounting For Cane Deliveries With Precision
    And to help keep the cane farmers honest, the Sugar Cane Production Committee and the Factory Owners have collaborated to set up an accounting system called, SIMIS, or Sugar Industry Management Information System. Apart from accountability, it has a direct benefit to farmers, because they are able to accurately take stock of how much cane they actually have in their fields. It's a system that the regulators and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute worked on in a pilot project last year, and this year, they are rolling it out all the sugar cane farmers. They are hoping that they will willingly participate to allow for accurate data illustrating how much cane was actually under production. Here's what the coordinator of the SIMIS told us about the program, what it does:

    PM In NYC To Talk Superbond
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in New York on superbond business. He left on Saturday and returns on Wednesday. He is accompanied by Financial Secretary Joe Waight, and Economic Ambassador Mark Espat. As we've reported, the Government has announced to bondholders that due to what it calls "serious economic and financial challenges currently facing the country," they need to restructure the Superbond again - this is after it was restructured in 2013. A government press release does not say what the Prime Minister hopes to accomplish with this meeting, but government hopes to re-schedule payments before the next payment becomes due in February, 2017.

    Talking Real Development, Human Development
    Each year, the UNDP publishes a Human Development Report, which highlights the changes countries see in many different areas such as agriculture, tourism, education and health. The annual reports are meant to emphasize growth and decline trends and guide government officials in policymaking. The 2016 report was launched today, and we spoke with UNDP's Latin American and Caribbean Regional Advisor, Kenroy Roach about the report's importance to the development of the country. As Roach mentioned, Belize's economy has not done so well this last year, but there is hope. Roach says that the growth in the tourism industry is a good sign, and he also highlights other sectors that need to be focused on in order for Belize to rebound from recession.

    Found Guilty Of Firing Gun In BTL Park
    In September 2014, Belize City resident Michael McDougal was arrested and charged for keeping a firearm without a gun license, discharging a firearm in public, belonging to a criminal gang and causing public terror. The incident occurred on at BTL park, where police say McDougal fired shots in the air and then threw the .38 pistol underneath a red SUV when they arrived. McDougal appeared in the Magistrate's Court today where the charge of belonging to a criminal gang was withdrawn, and he was found not guilty of causing public terror. McDougal was however, found guilty of keeping a firearm without a license and discharging the firearm in public. This was after McDougal's attorney, Christelle Wilson, argued that there was no forensic evidence linking her client to the case, and that no attention was brought to the allegation that police beat McDougal during his arrest.

    Altreed Williams's Strange, Sudden Death
    Altreed Williams was found dead in a drain on Lawrence Avenue in Belize City on Saturday afternoon. He was found outside his car, and half his body was in the drain. Police say it is a sudden death and foul play is not suspected. But, there is some suggestion that his death could have been preceded by a police beating some weeks earlier. Police denied that possibility: ASP Alejandro Cowo, Officer Commanding CIB: "On Saturday, sometime after 3pm in the evening, the police found a body by Lawrence Avenue, which was identified as Altreed Williams. The body was viewed and there were no signs of injuries or anything on the body. As far as we know there is no report or anyone made any report to police stating that he was beaten 3 weeks ago by any police, not even a complaint to the PSB office, nor to the uniform section. We understand from the family members that he had been suffering from some kind of seizures and that he had suffered two seizures on that Saturday, one in the morning and one in the evening where they found his body."

    "Two Pound A weed Eena Bus Back"
    And finally in police news tonight, on Saturday the Dangriga Quick Response Team made a big weed bust at a vehicular checkpoint at the entrance of Dangriga. Between 7:30 and 9:00 that night, police searched a James bus travelling from Belize City to Punta Gorda. The found a black backpack in the back of the bus, hidden in a spare wheel. The backpack contained two pounds of weed. No one in the bus admitted to owning the bag and it was deposited as found property.

    Naia Resort And Spa, the Peninsula's Answer to Cruise Tourism?
    As we've shown you, the Harvest Caye Cruise Tourism Port is in full effect, which means mass cruise tourism has laid it's very large footprint on the Placencia Peninsula and all of southern Belize. There were those overnight tourism interests on the Peninsula who had mightily resisted it, fearing the effect it would have on their delicate boutique resorts and their carefully cultivated product. But, there's a saying: fight culture with culture, and one of the biggest cruise tourism opponents, is now the boss at one of the newest and most exquisite resorts on the Peninsula. Stewart Krohn, the former Channel 5 founder and owner, has gone from TV reporting to resort running - and this weekend our news team visited his new place, called "Naia" to find out what he's created:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting: A bottle shaped speaker blasting Marley's Zion Train by the glistening sea. And a couple of coconut cutters, this might seem like the perfect Caribbean getaway in, let's say, the Bahamas.

    The Northern Quarantine Spot
    The Ministry of Agriculture and BAHA are cracking down on their quarantine regulations. In order to ensure that all produce being exported from Belize to Mexico is disease and bug free, the Ministry unveiled a new quarantine treatment facility at Santa Elena, Corozal. Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse spoke about the importance of the facility, and had some choice words for those who try to avoid the proper quarantine procedures... A similar counterpart facility was built in Mexico to make sure Belize is kept just as safe.

    It's The End Of The world As We Know It (And They Feel Fine!)
    200 runners traveled to the Placencia Peninsula this weekend for the 5th Annual End of the World Marathon. There are 2 categories: the full marathon which is 26.2 miles and the half which is 13 miles. And like most events such as these, it's not only about getting in your high impact workout nor is it only about winning, it is also about giving back to the Placencia school kids through scholarships. We were in Placencia this weekend and found out more from the Marathon Director, Chip Lovett. We also spoke to the 1st place winners about their journey along the scenic Peninsula. Chip Lovett, Marathon Director: "The idea was to come up with a fundraiser for the peninsula and I am a marathoner , I have run marathons for years ,and when I first came down here 6 years ago ,I looked at the course from the air and I said this is the perfect course for a marathon and a half marathon , 15 mile peninsula, completely flat , beautiful scenery and it also seemed like an event that would bring all of the communities of the peninsula together."

    Channel 5

    4 Murders on the Weekend; Dale Tillett Ambushed Near Downtown
    A Belize City man was murdered in the wee hours of Friday morning, giving way to the start of a bloody weekend in which police tonight have four murders to [...]

    Another Youth Apprentice Killed
    The murder count continues to climb. In the City, Tillett’s execution was followed with the broad daylight murder of twenty-six year old Emmerson Skyers of Taylors Alley. Skyers was shot [...]

    What Happened to Altreed Williams?
    There was a third death in the Old Capital. On Saturday afternoon, Eastern Division South Police were called out to Lawrence Avenue where the body of a Belize City man [...]

    Why Was Abner Vasquez Killed in Teakettle?
    The family of a nineteen-year-old is preparing to bury him this Wednesday in Teakettle Village, in the west. Abner Vasquez, who is a known handyman around his village, was killed [...]

    Murder at the Bus Stop in San Roman, Stann Creek
    The fourth murder in the span of forty-eight hours occurred in San Roman Village in the south. Thirty-year-old Gabino Choc was with a friend at a bus stop in the [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Jones’ Price Barracks Home Ransacked for $30,000
    Mum’s the word in Ladyville where a burglary at the residence of B.D.F. Commander David Jones has allegedly netted thieves a whopping thirty thousand dollars in cash.  It hasn’t been [...]

    Death by Traffic Accident in San Ignacio
    San Ignacio Police were called out to the scene of an accident between miles fifty-six and fifty-seven on the George Price Highway on Sunday night. One man was killed after [...]

    Eamon Asks Godwin to Reverse Net Vasquez Integrity Commission Appointment
    Arguing that the Senate was misled into approving the appointment and “a legal nullity”, lead Senator for the People’s United Party, Eamon Courtenay, has written Leader of Government Business in [...]

    Sugar Crop Begins; Industry Stakeholders on Same Page
    Today, the 2016-2017 sugar crop in Corozal and Orange Walk began. More than one point three million tonnes of sugar cane are expected to be delivered for processing to the [...]

    Why Castro-Escalante Deal Will Be Tough to Reverse According to SCPC
    The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association continues to reel from news received last week that it would be suspended for the third time by Fairtrade managers FLOCERT. Publicly, the Association [...]

    Godwin Wants Fellow Minister Castro to “Raise Cane”
    Minister Edmond Castro claims to have as much as two thousand acres of sugar cane under production in and around his native Maskall. But the Sugar Act mandates for now [...]

    Can Government Persuade Bondholders for Superbond 3.0?
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is tonight in New York City where discussions are taking place on the restructuring of what is known as the Belize Superbond 3.0, by all accounts [...]

    Caribbean Human Development Report Launched
    The BOOST Program through which needy families receive a conditional cash transfer from government has been cited as a success in the region. This is according to the Caribbean Human [...]

    Action on Special Agreement Not “Appeasing” Guatemala, Says Foreign Minister
    Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has been soundly criticized by many, including the Opposition, for the handling of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. A recent motion by the Government of Belize to [...]

    Caleb Orozco Scoops Activist Award After Section 53 Victory
    Gay rights activist Caleb Orozco is the 2016 winner of the David Kato Vision and Voice Award.  The achievement acknowledges the continued efforts of the UNIBAM founder in highlighting the [...]

    Sports Monday Has Weekend Sporting Highlights
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   {Feature on the weekend sporting highlights…}

    CTV3

    Minister Castro Will Continue To Deliver Cane As Phantom Cane Farmer
    As the 2016/2017 crop season came to an official start today, the largest cane farmer’s association, BSCFA, remains under suspension from fair-trade. The problem, as we had previously reported, lies in the fact that registered cane farmer Eloy Escalante and Minister of Transport and NEMO Edmund Castro came under an agreement three years ago whereby Castro, who is not a registered cane farmer, would deliver cane to the factory under Escalante’s license, automatically making Castro a phantom cane farmer. CTV3 news was the first to speak on the issue with Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse last week during the inauguration of the BAHA building at the northern border. Hulse, however, did not lay blame on Minister Castro, instead he came to his defense. And today when we spoke to Carlos Itza, the Chairman of the SCPC, which is the regulatory body of the industry, he told us that while the SCPC has the administrative power to deal with the situation there is not much than can be done.

    BSI/ASR Di-spells rumors Of Causing BSCFA Suspension
    Following the suspension of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association from fair trade, there was speculation from various members of the association that BSI/ASR somehow had something to do with it. Today when we caught up with Mac McLachlan, Vice President of International Relations of the ASR Group, he categorically dispelled any blame for the suspension. Mac McLachlan- VP International Relations ASR group: “Fairtrade is a relationship between the purchaser of the sugar in this case Tate & Lyle in the UK and the BSCFA directly there are independent audits that are carried out on all Fair Trade producers Associations, when an audits identifies that there is a major problem then the order is to report that to Fair Trade and then they act on that, these are independent audits then, nothing to do with anybody else. I think what we looking at here as I understand it, is that it cuts to the core significant problem that existed in Belize is then when people who don’t necessarily have the cane do have a culture for cane and it is what is tender to happen in the past since cane has been bought and sold particular from farmers who are in stress ...”

    Shake Up At Lands Department
    Very reliable sources have indicated to us that there will soon be a major shake-up inside the Ministry of Lands. Reports are that the Deputy Registrar of Lands, Baroni Hernandez, is preparing to exit the Ministry along with the Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos. So what’s the big deal? Firstly, Hernandez is a relative of former Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega – one of those family members who was strategically placed in the Ministry when Vega took charge in 2008. Vallejos has been Lands Commissioner throughout Vega’s term, and has been in the center of many controversies and scandals – a key player in what has often been described as a hotbed of corruption. Our sources say the decision to remove Hernandez from the Ministry comes from Cabinet, following their meeting last week.

    LOVE FM

    Sugar Season Begins for 2016/2017
    This morning at Tower Hill in the Orange Walk District, the sugar cane crop season 2016-2017 was officially opened. Chairman of all three sugar producing associations were present and so was Love News. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “The first truck delivered the first batch of sugar cane just after ten o’clock. The goal this year for […]

    Competing on a Global Level with Sugar
    Going into the 2016-2017 Sugar Cane Crop Season, all three sugar cane producing associations along with the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and American Sugar Refineries, ASR, will need to compete on the global level. That’s because the European Union’s preferential market that Belize was a part of will no longer exist. Vice President of International […]

    Gabino Found with Throat Slit at Bus Stop
    A villager of San Roman in the Stann Creek District was also murdered this weekend as we hear in this report from correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “Independence Police say that they are looking for a resident of San Roman Village in the Stann Creek district known to them as Mencho. The said individual is […]

    Teenager Found Dead in Rural Cayo
    Two other murders were reported outside of the Belize District. Fem Cruz reports on the discovery of the body of a teenager in Teakettle Village, Cayo District. FEM CRUZ “Roaring Creek police are investigating the murder of 19 year old Abner Vazquez whose body was found behind a store room in the back area of […]

    Oceana’s Wavemaker Murdered in Broad Daylight
    While investigators on the north side were following leads into Saturday’s homicide, members of the Eastern Division South were called out to a murder scene on Sunday afternoon. 26-year-old, Emmerson Skyers was shot to death just after one o’clock Sunday afternoon at the corner of Orange and West Streets in Belize City as he was […]

    Tour Guide Slain Whilst Walking Home
    A tour guide of Faber’s Road was slain in the early hours of Saturday morning as he and another man were walking on Hydes Lane in Belize City. The incident occurred just after four o’clock leaving 44-year-old, Dale Tillett Sr dead and David Garcia of a Lindo’s Alley address, injured. Inspector Alejandro Cowo of the […]

    UNDP Report Says Belize’s Poverty Figures Have Climbed as Economy Gets Sluggish
    The launch of a comprehensive report dubbed, ‘Multidimensional Progress: human resilience beyond income’ was presented today. The document is crucial as it reveals the gaps in various aspects of society in the Caribbean region including the economy, poverty, education, employment among others. Kenroy Roach is the Regional Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme; he […]

    Another Land Scandal Set to Explode
    Currently, the Government of Belize is awaiting its eight hundred thousand dollars that were paid out as land compensation to Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega. While that matter is being sorted out among the legal minds, there is another scandal of which the details are about to revealed. This one involves one thousand six hundred […]

    Classrooms Set to Reopen Early Despite BNTU’s Objections
    The Belize National Teachers Union took the issue of their salaries to court and emerged content that the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin had ordered that they be paid in full despite the strike action taken that kept them out of the classrooms for eleven days. Although content with the fact they received their full salaries, […]

    Fighting the Gay Fight Lands Caleb in London
    Caleb Orozco has become a household name over the years in Belize as his activism forgay rights has brought him spots on the media on various occasions. At times the spotlight was on him for the harassment he and his associates would undergo and then there were the times when he would be speaking out […]

    The Belize Times

    Belikin 2016 Calendar launched
    The VIP room at the Radisson Fort George Hotel was wall-to-wall Belizean beauty for the Belikin 2016 calendar launch last Saturday night, November 26, and their admirers lined up by the hundreds to get their Belikin calendars autographed by 10 of the most gorgeous young women in the Jewel. It was not all about males with too much testosterone fawning over the array of female pulchritude – even mothers and grandmothers line up to get their calendars signed!

    La Revolución Nunca Muere…
    In 1997, the Society for the Promotion of Education and Research (SPEAR) took a small Belizean contingent to Cuba for the 14th World Festival of Youths and Students. For many of us, this represented a rare opportunity to visit a country that was vilified to such an extent that it became more appealing to want to visit. During the Cold War between the US and its Allies against the Soviet block of nations, Cuba had been one of the most ostracized countries in our hemisphere. Not only had its economy been crippled by the US imposed embargo and the fall of the Soviet Union, but most third world countries were afraid to be on friendly terms with Cuba because of the backlash they would receive from the US. Upon arriving into Cuba, I felt as if I had stepped into a time warp where the most predominant form of transportation consisted of vintage vehicles of the 1940s and 50s era. Since most companies could not legally operate or trade with Cuba because of the “Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 (Helms–Burton Act)”, the country on a whole became self-sufficient and manufactured their own products. The iconic Coca-Cola version is called TuKola and basically has the same taste. Other products such as Bacardi are still distilled as the Cuban government now owns the patent to that name.

    Thinking Out Loud
    As I look at what promises to be a dreary Christmas for far too many Belizeans, I am pleased and proud that the Orange Walk Town Council has managed to stay the course and to do so much infrastructural work for the people who elected us to serve them. It has not been easy because our Central Government continues to punish our residents for voting for the People’s United Party. There are times when our Council has struggled, but I give thanks for an understanding and dedicated team which has meant that the work continues. I give thanks also to the Honourable John Briceño, leader of the PUP and Orange Walk Central Area Representative. He joined us this week as we inspected the paving works being done on Cinderella Street, one of many which have seen dramatic improvement. He has never hesitated to support us in the work that we do because he truly understands the concept of service. I am proud of what he has been able to achieve as the new leader of the PUP, and I am confident that our Party has been pulling together and the right things are being done to assure victory at the next general elections.

    THE CGA-MISMANAGED AND BANKRUPT
    The Citrus Growers Association of Belize (CGA) is being mismanaged and is bankrupt. Its Committee of Management is operating illegally by making decisions without consulting with its general membership. It has not held an Annual General Meeting since 2013. Its operations are shrouded in secrecy. There has not been a submitted audited financial report of the Association since 2011. There have not been any elections to annually rotate the CGA’s Director and there is a decision making disconnect between a 4 man Executive Committee and the other 5 members of the Committee. These are all in contravention of the Citrus Industry Act and the Policies & Rules of the Association. It is unable to service its local or its international debts. The Association is facing some serious financial woes. Its membership continues to dwindle as it is unable to provide support services to its members. It has made bad investments or has made good investments go bad. The Citrus Growers Association also continues to operate contrary to established rules and policies that should govern its operation.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – PERSON OF THE YEAR
    I couldn’t start my entry this week without acknowledging the great Fidel Castro. This is truly the end of an era in Cuba and the world. Much will be said from the lovers and the haters, but it is undeniable the impact Fidel had and his positive legacy for our own George Price and the Belizean people. We received incalculable help for our struggles from the man Fidel and his people, and Cuba remains a standout globally in their fantastic accomplishments. They are indeed the envy of every single so-called third world country due to Fidel’s vision, the power of Fidel’s personality, and the incredible force of nature which Fidel became. Here at home we approach the end of 2016 and begin the second year of this Barrow administration with huge trepidation. How have we come to this pass? Social deterioration is evident in the threats to children that we have seen, and the outlook for the Belizean economy is anything but bright. We will have to be ready to tighten our belts in 2017, all due to the profligate conduct of the few in power. By the way, I made sure of the meaning of profligate: “recklessly extravagant and wasteful.” How appropriate in describing the Barrow gang of bandits in Belmopan.

    Fidel – Humankind’s Best Friend
    Fidel Castro has left us physically, but his humanity, his life’s work on behalf of the wretched of the earth, his example, will live on as long as mankind does. His constant warnings that the greatest endangered species is mankind, as a result of the avaricious and materialistic abuse of nature by man himself, we will ignore at our peril. From the early 1970s, and consistently since then, even during his ten years of illness, he has relentlessly championed the cause of the environment, and sought to prepare his people, through an educational and scientific revolution, to confront the dangers caused to our planet because of our abuse of the environment; in that he stands alone among world statesmen. He was the quintessential champion of human civilization.

    Dancing from the Soul
    “Dance from the Soul” is the theme of the 4th annual Dance X extravaganza hosted by NICH at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City over the weekend, and at Hode’s Place in San Ignacio last Friday night, and at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk on Saturday night. Belizean dancer Jamie Thompson has taken his art onto the international stage and now dances professionally in Dallas, Texas, USA; and this realization of a lifetime dream is the reality he wants other Belizean dancers to have the opportunity to share. Thompson has left the dance company where he first turned pro, and has now formed his own company – the Live Arts Project, with Brittany Hunter, with whom he performed on both Friday and Saturday nights.

    Transportation Industry in Shambles…Commuters Punish
    Thousands of commuters who depend on Belize’s bus system to move around the country are now feeling the real pinch from arbitrarily increased bus fares, in some cases up by as much as 50%. The Transport Department is only now releasing official fares to the public even though those fares were approved and gazetted in early November. In Belize City this week, commuters were furious as Traffic and Transport officials started to enforce a no-standee rule at the terminal and Western and Northern outlets from the city. Many were forced to wait hours for buses which had space to transport them to their homes. They say that it is only the commuters who are being punished because bus operators are obligated by regulation to provide adequate standby buses to serve every run if the need arises, but there is no enforcement of that law.

    WHY WE CAN’T GET NEEDED HOUSE LOTS
    For almost a decade filing different application forms with a $5.00 stamp for house lots at the Lands Department and waiting many times from 3:00 a.m. in the cold at a Minister’s office to beg him for a house lot all proved futile for ordinary Belizeans. To poor people like John or Mary a house lot is a priceless thing. With it they can build a home for their families and steadily improve it. They can also mortgage such property with a Credit Union or bank to access finance to start a variety of small businesses. Land therefore gives poor people a degree of independence which is the opposite of what these crooked Ministers want. They deliberately choose to keep the people landless and poor so that they manipulate them to win elections. These crooked Ministers like when poor people have to rent houses they can barely afford and can never own, or have to squat on private lands to find space to build a little house. They cherish such situations because they know that the people have to bow down to them again and again for handouts to help meet their rent or for their blessings to remain as squatters where they are.

    Reaping a Bitter Harvest
    On November 24th, 2016 FECTAB (the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize), finally came to understand the extent of the betrayal of the Barrow Administration regarding the cruise port at Harvest Caye. FECTAB had called a press conference to inform the Belizean people that Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) had began to divert its ships from Belize City to Harvest Caye in southern Belize. Norwegian had only a week earlier, on November 17th, officially opened its flagship private island/cruise port at Harvest Caye. If the treatment of the media was any indication of how NCL intended to run its Harvest Caye affair then one would have to agree with FECTAB when they say that something is wrong.

    Welcome to CSI Belize…
    On Monday, after more than five years behind bars on remand for murder, accused killers Gilbert Craig and Theodore Andrews were freed of murder charges. The men had been accused of killing Troy Bowen in August 2011, but the prosecution could not continue because the main witness said he could not identify them as the killers. Without the testimony of the witness, the prosecution had nothing. In a recent incendiary documentary called Gringo, a senior investigator stated for foreign journalists that cases in Belize are not solved with forensic evidence, but only through witness statements. Those witness statements are not forthcoming any longer because persons fear for their lives. It’s a valid fear, but bad for the prosecution which basically has nothing to rely on in most cases but witnesses. Forensic evidence does not play a role in the solving of major crimes because we do not have the facilities to conduct proper testing of evidentiary matter taken from the scene of crimes, and we have no facilities to conduct DNA-tests to link rapist to victim, or attacker to victim or killer to victim.

    If Dah Noh Soh…
    So about five different elite units of the Police Department made a major bust yesterday, so major that they were snapping selfies all over the place. Let’s see…yeah they managed to confiscate a bunch of drums, some airplane seats, four batteries and some canvas I hear. Big ting dat. They didn’t manage to detain anybody and nope, they didn’t get their hands on any drugs but proud moment here…based on extreme precision, intelligence and a well-coordinated operation, they managed to capture images of the plane’s tracks on the impromptu runway off the Coastal Road. We should probably be handing out some medals anytime soon. Jeez. #sigh I finally figured out why the Police on the scene were so happy. It wasn’t because of the drums or the aviation fuel. It wasn’t the excitement of the moment. They saw the seats which were taken out the plane to make way for the cargo, probably a s*#tload of drugs. See, our Police have been having a hard time finding the resources to do their jobs. It’s gotten so bad that they’ve had to be using wooden seats in some of their pickups and it’s pretty rough on their backs during those long patrols. So now you can understand why they were so excited to see those comfortable airplane seats. One Police Officer was seen with a measuring tape checking out the chair specs…no lie! #dihstruggleisREAL

    Questions to Ministers
    Would the Member for Queen Square and Minister of Finance please confirm reliable reports that allocations to education, health and the Police will be slashed in the new budget, and that a finance team has almost completed lists of public officers who will be retrenched in 2017? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please confirm or deny reliable reports that the condo/resort he is building in Placencia on the beach will feature a helipad on the roof? Would the Member for Port Loyola and Minister of his own development please provide a REAL list of his assets (in his name and held for him by members of his family)? Could he further confirm reports that he recently purchased the abandoned Archie’s building in Belize City?

    Yes Dih Plane Land…
    Police have confiscated 16 drums of aviation fuel, along with equipment they found on a clandestine airstrip in the area of the Coastal Road. They are sure that a plane landed secretly in Belize, but are unable to say what kind of illicit cargo was smuggled through Belize. All signs are indicating that this was a drug plane which landed on this airstrip, but no other information has been forthcoming. Hattieville cops were first alerted to this plane in Belizean airspace in the predawn hours of Tuesday, November 29. That’s when they received intelligence that there was a low-flying aircraft in the area of the Coastal Road. Police were dispatched, and after searching the area, they came upon a clandestine airstrip 3 miles off a feeder road, located about 9 miles into the Coastal Road. There they found the open space, a clearing big enough to land a plane, and they found tire marks which they believe were made by the aircraft’s landing gear. A search of this area led them to discover 20 drums; sixteen of them were filed with aviation fuel while four were empty. They also found 4 batteries, electric wires, lights, and canvasses. They believe that these were all used to facilitate the landing of the aircraft.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Trend of father-son murder victims
    There have been several troubling murders recently where the victim was either the father or son of another murder victim over the last few years. Leon Savery, 28, was killed in September 2014 while socializing with his friends on Angel Lane in Belize City […]

    Nestor Vasquez not qualified for Integrity Commission
    In a letter leaked to the media, People’s United Party (PUP) Senator Eamon Courtenay has written to Leader for Government Business Senator Godwin Hulse requesting Nestor Vasquez’s appointment to the Integrity Commission last week be rectified as Vasquez does not qualify to sit on the […]

    GOB to sign UNCAC this Friday
    Belize will officially accede to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on World Anti-Corruption Day this Friday, December 9. The PM’s decision to sign came after the Belize National Teachers Union’s 11 day strike in October. Among its list of demands BNTU demanded […]

    Taylor’s Alley man killed near home
    Yesterday afternoon around 1:35 p.m., Belize City police responded to a shooting incident in the vicinity of Cemetery Road and West Street Belize City and consequently visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where officers saw 26-year-old Emmerson Skyers of a Taylors Alley Address. He […]

    Defense Minister comments on completed National BDF Tour
    Last Friday, Minister of Defence, John Saldivar completed a nationwide tour of BDF installations. The national tour started in September, one month after Saldivar was named Minister of Defence and appointed a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant Colonel […]

    Castro catches flack for R word
    During an interview about questionable business transactions now affecting the sugar industry, Minister of NEMO and Transport, Edmond Castro used a derogatory term in an attempt to deflect away from the question, raising the ire of many in the public and especially on social […]

    World Heritage site forum to be held in Belize City tomorrow
    Today, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable development announced that a World Heritage Site forum will be held tomorrow at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts from 7-9 p.m. in Belize City. This is in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Belize […]

    Fatal traffic accident in Esperanza, Cayo claims one life
    Last night, San Ignacio police responded to a fatal road traffic accident between miles 56 and 57 on the George Price Highway where 56-year-old Marlene Wellington, a resident of San Ignacio Town reported that around 9 p.m. while she was driving her Mazda mini-van […]

    Body of young man, 19, found dead in Teakettle village
    On Saturday morning around 7:30, police visited Teakettle village in Cayo District where they saw the body of 19-year-old Abner Vasquez with injuries to the back of his head and right jaw. Initial investigation revealed that Friday afternoon around 4, Vasquez was socializing at […]

    Police issue official report on murder of Dale Tillett Sr.
    On Saturday morning around 3:45, police responded to a shooting incident on Hyde Lane, Belize City where they saw 44-year-old Dale Anthony Tillett Sr., a tour guide of Madam Liz Avenue, Belize City with apparent gunshot wounds to the right side of the neck. […]

    Man chopped to death in Stann Creek
    Yesterday, around 2:32 a.m., Independence Southern Formation Police visited a bus stop in San Roman village, Stann Creek District where they saw 30-year-old Gabino Choc of Santa Rosa Village, Stann Creek with a large cut wound to the throat. Initial investigation reveals that around […]

    Official Launch of ‘Ven a comer!’
    The Embassy of Mexico in Belize officially launched ‘Ven a comer en Belize!’ on Friday. It is a project that promotes Mexico around the world through gastronomy. The four-day event will include workshops, as well as interactive training sessions with students of the Hospitality […]

    Caleb Orozco to be awarded for overturning anti-gay law
    Belizean LGBT Activist, Caleb Orozco will be honored with this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award in recognition of his successful battle to overturn Belize’s anti-gay laws. The award is presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato. He […]

    Blogs

    An Early Christmas Present for the World
    I decided to give everyone an early Christmas present this year. It is a known fact that people love saving money. I am making it easier than ever for you to do so by giving you a most useful present. This is going to be your gift that keeps on giving this holiday season and well beyond. I can’t lie, I had a little help from someone for the first part; Tropic Air. They just made your Belize Travel even easier by simplifying the system and making their tacogirl flight discount coupon code quarterly instead of monthly in the New Year. As a result this makes it easier for all new people to have a bigger booking window with one code – monkey for December. Must be booked online 24 hours or more before scheduled flight. The tacogirl flight discount coupon code going quarterly will also be a big benefit to those that fly often.

    Belize one of the friendliest places for Americans to visit
    Belize has a long-standing reputation for being one of the most hospitable places in the world. With a rich diverse cultural and ethnic background, people of all races, religion and political inclinations are welcome in Belize. And now according to online travel publication Thrillist, Belize is one of the best places for American tourists to visit. According to Thrillist, Belize can often feel like an even chiller extension of Southern California: diverse, laid-back, and always ready to eat some killer fish. Thrillist describes Belize as a nice picture of what your life could’ve been if you had shirked all responsibility and went firmly for the “no worries” lifestyle (aka what you probably should’ve done).

    Wellness and pampering at the new Victoria House Spa
    How do you improve on perfection? For over 30 years, the award-winning Victoria House Resort on Ambergris Caye has set the standard for intimate, luxurious accommodations. Nestled on a gorgeous beachfront, with white Caribbean colonial buildings and lush landscapes, this island escape also features an elegant restaurant and cozy beachside bar. It’s the ideal romantic getaway, and the ultimate relaxation destination. With every attention to detail met, there was only one thing a miss…a splendid spa. With so many amenities to choose from, some may have a hard time deciding on the pampering they want…but in all seriousness, who doesn’t love a good massage? Spa manager Jennifer is also a massage therapist, and she has the gift of locating the trouble spots in your back and shoulders you didn’t even know you had until she deftly massages them away. Once she has worked her magic on those areas, she places hot stones on your lower back to maintain the warm radiance while massaging your legs and oh yes, the feet. It’s amazing how good that feels! The entire massage is dedicated to detail, with special attention even paid to the hands, scalp and knees. Using lightly scented eucalyptus oil, the body is fully relaxed and rejuvenated after the hour-long treatment. One could certainly become addicted to such indulgence!

    International Sourcesizz

    Belizean LGBT activist to be honored internationally
    An LGBT activist from Belize is the winner of this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award, in recognition of his successful battle to overturn his country’s anti-gay laws. The David Kato Vision and Voice Award is presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato.

    Endangered sea turtles are actually thriving at Belize reef
    Endangered hawksbill sea turtles are doing swimmingly well at a reef in Belize, the Wildlife Conservation Society has announced. The sea turtles are described as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, so the fact that they’re prospering at Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize is good news for conservationists. According to a new study, researchers estimate that there are now over 1,000 juvenile hawksbill turtles in the area. “The findings of our research show that juvenile hawksbill turtles are thriving at Glover’s Reef– extremely good news for this endangered species,” Virginia Burns Perez, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s technical coordinator in Belize, said in a statement. “Strongholds for the species such as this one should become a model for other foraging and nesting areas that are important for the hawksbill turtle.”

    Explore Belize’s Barrier Reefs
    My husband, Mac, and I are in our early 60s and are not SCUBA divers. We have always been daunted by the amount of specialized knowledge and equipment that diving seems to require. Yet on a trip to San Pedro, Belize, our friends put the pressure on. “This country has the second-longest barrier reef in the world,” one said. “People come from all over to dive here. You’d be crazy not to.” They suggested we do a shallow-water introductory dive requiring about 20 minutes of instruction and no certification. We signed up for a dive with SeaStar, a San Pedro scuba shop. On the dock we got a rundown of the equipment before we motored out to a spot near the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where the reef is only 12 feet below the surface. Fifteen minutes later, I sat on the boat’s edge in full gear and let go. Soon I saw giant sea turtles, huge rays and schools of fluorescent-blue fish. Docile nurse sharks cruised past. It turns out diving was just as our friends had described it: like swimming in an aquarium.

    Kato Award honors Belize man who toppled anti-gay law
    Caleb Orozco, the activist in Belize who successfully challenged and overturned his country’s anti-gay law, has been selected as the 2017 winner of the David Kato Vision and Voice Award. In memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato, the award is presented annually to an exemplary LGBT rights activist. The award is presented at the annual fundraiser for the LGBT rights advocacy group Kaleidoscope Trust, scheduled for Jan. 26, 2017, in London. Pink News, which is a media partner for the event, reported: In 2006 Caleb Orozco co-founded Belize’s only LGBT-led campaign group, the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which brought legal action to challenge the country’s anti-gay sodomy law.

    High seas murder mystery from 1978 finally solved?
    The two lifeless bodies were floating about 200 metres off popular Punta de Manabique beach on the Caribbean Sea. Guatemalan cops reported that the victims’ feet and ankles had been bound. Their last minutes, assuredly agonizing. Their badly decomposed bodies had been weighted down with heavy engine parts tied with nylon rope. And cops didn’t have a clue who was responsible. It was July 8, 1978 and the bodies were not meant to be found. Now, after 38 years, detectives have made an arrest in the grisly slayings of young British tourists Christopher Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton. According to the affidavit, Boston, 37 at the time, promised to take the British couple to Mexico. Instead, investigators believe Farmer was beaten with a billy club and stabbed in the chest with a fillet knife following a spat with Boston. The couple was then tied up and both were tossed overboard to a watery grave. Vince Boston, who was 13 at the time, said his father had taken his children to Belize, where he bought the boat and charged for scuba lessons.

    Videos

  • A lesson in "obeah yuh man", 1.5min. A little comedy for from a San Iggy resident.

  • It's beginning to sound a lot lilke Christmas!, 2min. Season's Greeting from your Benque House of Culture & our Benque Marimba Youths - Los Hijos Del West with a little favourite for the season!

  • Toucan Belize Zoo, 1/2min. Up close and personal with a Toucan at the Belize Zoo.

  • BEST BELIZE SNORKELLING | 4K - GoPro Hero5 Black, 2.5min. 4K Belize Snorkeling filmed with our new GoPro Hero5 Black. Snorkeling in the second largest reef system of the world. UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Swimming with turtles, sharks, stingrays, barracudas and other Caribbean reef fishes at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, Caye Caulker Coral Gardens.

  • 2016-2017 SUGAR CROP OPEN, 7.5min. It is a known fact that Sugar is the backbone of the north, but similarly to many other industries in Belize, the sugar industry has undoubtedly faced many challenges over the years, and is expected to face many more as the prices in the preferential market are expected to plummet to an all-time low come 2017. But none of this seemed to dampen the spirts of steak holders who were present today for the official opening of the 2016/2017 at the gates of BSI/ASR.

  • Update on Referendum Act Adjustments, 41min.

  • Belize High School - 35th Model OAS Conference Participants, 30min.

  • Episode 2 of the Zenaida Moya Show, 1hr26min. Episode 2 of the Zenaida Moya Show featred Professor Patrick Menzies and Attorney-at-Law Arthur Saldivar who discussed the immigration element of US President Donald Trump first 100 days Policy Plan and the impacts, if any, on Belize and Belizeans living in the USA.

  • Belize Barrier Reef, 1.5min. A campaign video designed to save the barrier reef located in Belize

  • Belize it, baby! 2016, 4min. Spent a few days (not enough) in Caye Caulker going slow and then took off to San Ignacio for one of the best caves I have ever swam, ran and climbed through. ATM caves have been a highlight to my trip so far. Special thanks to Yuma's Hostel, Marios snorkeling tours and Xplore Tour for the ATM Cave Tour!

  • Sea to Shore Belize Program, 2.5min.

  • Ambergris Caye Daniel Matusiak Action Belize, 2.5min. If anyone ask WHY Belize - Here is the answer! One of the Best Island of the Caribbean. Ambergris Caye.

    December 5, 2016


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Wolfe’s Woofer: My Husband
    “You can sit here,” the lady on the bus said, making room for me. “Thank you,” I said, as I gratefully took a seat. “I am Mrs. Vernon from Dangriga,” she said. “Where are you from?” “I have lived in San Pedro for nearly thirty years,” I told her. As we exchanged small talk she said, “For some reason you remind me so much of my late husband, David.” “That’s very flattering, I’m sure,” I said. “How long has it been since he passed away?” “Oh, it’s been six years now. The family misses him every single day.” “He must have been a good husband,” I said. “My husband was the very best,” she replied. “He treated me like gold.” “How many children do you have?”

    Tropic Air gives back to San Pedro RC School and San Pedro Tour Guide Association
    Tropic Air, The Airline of Belize , has announced the October results of its 2016 nationwide #TropicGivesBack fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 is donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community. October was the chosen month for San Pedro. As part of the airline’s largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and Customers joined efforts and raised $1384. The donations have been divided equally between ($692 each) the San Pedro Roman Catholic School’s Marching Band and the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association’s environmental program. Checks were presented in San Pedro to Mrs. Roxani Kay and Philip Leslie of the school and the association respectively, on Tuesday, November 22. “Tropic welcomed the opportunity to help these two organizations. We have a keen appreciation of the important roles that both music and environmental education play in our island community, and a long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility,” said John Greif III, Tropic Air’s president. “Through music and respect for the environment, we hope to inspire future generations to pursue their dreams.”

    Doctor Love: Miss Indie
    Dear Doctor Love, I am perfectly happy being single but my friends think I must be lonely, depressed, or lack the social skills to “get a man.” My sister is worried I will soon be thirty years old and still have no husband. I enjoy a life of travel, and have been able to accept jobs in foreign countries, but my best friend says I am just avoiding commitment. My mother thinks I am selfish and spoiled. A husband, children and marriage simply does not interest me. I am so happy alone. Is there something wrong with me? Should I be looking for love? /s/ Miss Indie

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    NEW SUPPORT FOR BELIZEAN MUSICAL ARTISTS IN THE LOS ANGELES BELIZEAN COMMUNITY!
    At the request of many Belizean artists at home and abroad who have been feeling somewhat isolated in the Caribbean communities in the United States where they perform and do music for a living, and in Belize where there appear to be a preference for foreign artists over Belize's homegrown brands, the Los Angeles based Belizean organization Belize Music Entertainment Group (BMEG) was formed in summer of this year. BMEG hope to addressed and removed the stigma associated with Belizean musical artists and entertainers that they are "not marketable", that their music is the same old Caribbean stuff, that Belize don't have a music of its own, and that Belizeans can't package and distribute their musical products effectively and make money. These are just some of the issues that brought this body of Belizean entertainers, artists, business people, and broadcasters together to discuss how things can be done in terms of addressing these problems and solve them once and for all.

    Corozal 2016 Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony event
    Together we say, "Season Greetings and a Merry Christmas" to everyone in the the twenty six rural beautiful villages of Corozal and to all our fellow Corozaleos at home and abroad. For all of those who have chosen Corozal as their choice destination and new home, "Season Greetings" to you all. Here is a wonderful time to show togetherness and begin the healing process and working as one people. The 2016 Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony event was FANTASTIC that it literally brought traffic to a halt on 4th Avenue. Thanks for supporting your town. Everyone seemed to enjoy our great local performances. Here is a snippet of last night's event. Peace Belize!

    International Yoga Festival Dec. 31 in Belize City
    Yoga enthusiasts are in for a thrill as a first of its kind International Yoga Festival is set to be held inBelize City, Belize at the Harbor View Greens to bring in the New Year. The Yoga Festival will begin at 6:00 a.m. on December 31 and will finish at midnight bringing in the New Year on a positive note. The festival is designed to bring together yoga and meditation practitioners, aspirants and the general public to enjoy soulful moments of wellness, healing, relaxation and reflection in order to promote more positive interactions that are vitally important for the well-being of our communities and country.

    The Reporter

    BCCI holds Christmas expo
    Hundreds of Belizeans gathered at the Ramada Belize City Princess this weekend to take advantage of sale prices at the fifth annual Christmas Expo, hosted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). The expo, held in the King’s Room on the second floor, gathered 30 local businesses, engaging potential customers with products such as: soaps, detergents, groceries, handicrafts, juices, electronics and pastries. Vianey Reyes, marketing and public relations officer for the BCCI, explained that the purpose of the expo is to help both members of the Chamber as well as non-members, engage a customer base that they normally would not have gotten a chance to. “It’s mostly marketing here at the expo, some companies are here not even expecting to see sales at the end of the day, they just want to get their name out there,” Reyes said.

    Fidel Castro laid to rest
    Today, the Government of Cuba took the ashes of its revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, to its final destination, the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba. The interring of his ashes marks the end of a nine-day mourning period in Cuba, and the end of a four-day journey for the urn carrying his ashes. Officials left with the urn on Wednesday, driving from the capital City Havana, tracing in reverse Castro’s revolutionary tour. Officials traveled over 800 kilometers with the ashes, to lay them next to 19th Century Cuban independence hero, Jose Marti. Castro died at age 90; however he had given over the leadership of Cube to his brother Raul Castro in 2008. Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, went to Cuba to represent Belize at the funeral. Prime Minister Dean Barrow also issued an official communication to the Government of Cuba earlier this week, expressing Belize’s condolences over their loss.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fatal road traffic accident in Esperanza village
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that a cargo truck, travelling towards San Ignacio, collided into a parked mini van a short while ago in Esperanza village. One man, a resident of Santa Elena, is confirmed dead as a result of the accident (PS. Name of victim withheld as family has not yet been informed). Police are currently on the scene conducting investigations.

    Spain provides financing for OAS programs
    Spain will provide around US $1.29 Million in financing toward various programs in the Americas and the Caribbean, according to the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS said the funds will be available in 2017 for programmes on peace, democracy, human rights, security and development. The Senior Advisor for Strategy and Organizational Development of the OAS, Luis Porto, and the Permanent Observer of Spain to the OAS, Ambassador Jorge Hevia, signed the agreement during a meeting at the OAS headquarters in Washington D.C.

    International day of people with disabilities; I AM ABLE
    Yesterday was International Day of People with Disabilities and the launch of the Commonwealth Youth Council’s (CYC) campaign for youth with disabilities. The project, entitled I AM ABLE, will run for 18 months and will seek to contribute towards the development of a more inclusive society by addressing the fact that, according to the CYC, people with disabilities are among the most marginalized groups within the Commonwealth. Through initiatives such as data collection, myth-busting and leadership training, the project will provide support and opportunities for young people with disabilities, including physical, mental and learning difficulties. The launch took place in Mombasa, Kenya. The event will place persons with disabilities at the forefront as they tell their personal stories of success and challenges. In addition, there will be a panel discussion and networking to facilitate discussion about the project and ensure that key issues are addressed.

    Blogs

    An Update on Oil Exploration In Belize And Other Things
    The GOB also says that they maintain a “policy based moratorium” but they have not provided what that official policy is. WE NEED LEGISLATION but most of all TRANSPARENCY from the GOB. But good governance and transparency is a much bigger issue in Belize – one that doesn’t just pertain to our reef. SO WHAT CAN WE DO? You can sign the petition from the World Wildlife Federation – it goes straight to PM Dean Barrow. You can make your position known – you are not willing to gamble on our seas. You can do this thru conversation with friends and family, through social media, through letters to our media and contacts with your representatives. This is not a party issue. This is a resident of Belize issue. There are arguments that we’ve heard presented from the other side. “Well, the reef is dying anyway, we need to look for an alternative way to make money” or… “Resorts, divers and snorklers, boats and cruise ships are polluting our reef anyway, we need to be looking at other revenue now.” I don’t see how either of these make sense.

    International Sourcesizz

    2016 Caribbean Boxing Development tournament
    The tournament is designed to allow boxers from the Caribbean to compete with each other annually as part of the development programme for the region. Other territories participating are Barbados, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, St Maarten, the US Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. International Boxing Association president Dr C. K. Wu and the acting executive director, William Louis Marie, will be present for the finals and will have a meeting with regional representatives on Sunday, December 11.

    Videos

  • New Corona, 2.5min. A few images from the amazing Gulf of Honduras

  • Chocolate Covered Chopstix - Diving in Belize, 3min. Come along with us as we dive at south water caye, the blue hole, and lighthouse atoll.

  • Black Tip Reef Sharks - Belize, December, 1/2min.

  • Belize Mayan Site Lamanai, 3.5min. Day Trip from Caye Caulker to Lamanai Ruins on mainland Belize.

  • Belize 2016 Altun Ha Maya Ruins!!, 2min.

  • Learn how to cook and clean a Lion Fish in Belize, 1.5min. Today's Jaunt will take us to Belize and show HOW TO clean this LOCAL DISH.

  • Shark spotted, Belize, ,Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye.., 1min. Carribean Reef Shark spotted in Belize, Half Moon Caye.

  • Cestopis: Belize, Stední Amerika, 28min.

  • Belize Parrots, 1min. This audio recording is from a collection within the Pro Sound Effects library.

    December 4, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Two Belizean parliamentarians to attend Fidel Castro’s funeral in Cuba
    Former President and Revolutionary Leader of Cuba Fidel Castro’s death was announced on Friday, November 25th. 90 year-old Castro was historically known to have governed Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, and as President from 1976 to 2008. While many political leaders consider Castro as an adversary, some countries like Belize consider him an ally. Castro played an active role in pushing for Belize’s independence in 1981, and Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow expressed his condolences through a diplomatic note to Castro’s brother, Raul Castro on November 25, 2016. “This note is penned with a heavy heart. You have lost your brother, the Cuban people have lost their avatar, and humanity has lost a giant for the ages. As a leader, bestriding history, Fidel proved, in unending ways, his love for the Cuban people, and all people, especially those suffering from injustice or neglect. His leadership of Cuba was one replete with the sacrifices made by your nation…the globe owes an unpayable debt to the Commander-in-Chief. On behalf of the Government and People of Belize, I therefore extend our most profound condolences. But we know that in death Fidel will continue to inspire. Thus, we will take comfort from his enduring legacy, from the triumph represented by his life and the unmatchable work that, together with you, and all the other heroes of the Revolution, he did for Cuba, the region, and the world.”

    San Pedro Dance Academy at Dance X 2016
    The San Pedro Dance Academy joined dance companies from all over Belize, the USA and Indonesia onstage for the 4th annual Dance X “Dance from the Soul” organized by the National Institute of Culture & History (NICH) and the Institute for the Creative Arts at the Bliss Institute in Belize City last Saturday night, November 26. Shannon Nunez, Danielle Rodriguez, Joyce Martinez and Karissa Vasquez all of San Pedro High school, Alexandar Lausen of the Island Academy and Chelsea Valdez of New Horizon Academy had a blast as they glided across the stage in “Bailarines de salsa”, choreographed by their Dance Director Sherette Perrote. Miss Anna Lily and Irma Palma had chaperoned the girls on the trip from Isla Bonita to the city. Miss Lily Nunez first established the group in 1998, with the help of Greg Vernon and the late Rosita Balthazar of the Belize National Dance Company, who offered artistic support and guidance.

    Above-Average Atlantic Hurricane Season Officially Ends
    The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season wrapped up on Wednesday, November 30th, and according to meteorologists, it was noted as the busiest season since 2010. This year, there were a total of 15 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes, making the season “above average”. The season was also considered the deadliest, causing thousands of casualties and leaving a swath of destruction world-wide. During the middle of the season, Category One Hurricane Earl struck Belize in August 2016, leaving widespread damage, and destruction throughout Belize City, Ladyville, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker. Near the end of the season, the country was keeping an eye out for Hurricane Otto, which formed in the southwest Caribbean in late November 2016. It passed just north of Panama, intensifying to a Category Two hurricane as it made landfall in southern Nicaragua. However, the country was spared from its impact, receiving only a few heavy rain showers.

    NEBL 2017 tournament to start in January
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) is set to start on Friday January 13, 2017. Ambergris Caye will once again be represented by the national sub-champs San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The NEBL’s fourth season will tip off with Belize Hurricanes hosting the opening game in Belize City. The three- pre-seasonal opening games will feature Belize Hurricanes and Belize City No Limit in game 1, and Belmopan Bandits and Cayo Western Ballaz in game 2. Meanwhile in game 3, San Pedro’s team will play their first pre- season game on Friday December 9th against Orange Walk Running rebels. The 2017 season will have the participation of eight teams: Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belize City No Limit, Belmopan Bandits, Dangriga Warriors, Cayo Western Ballaz and a new franchise from Chetumal, Mexico. Throughout the tournament, the teams will play against each other in a home and away format. Each team will play a total of 14 regular season games. The top four teams will advance to the playoffs in a best of three series to decide who will reach the finals.

    Ministry of Health continues to strengthen its function in the Pharmaceutical Industry
    The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been instilling guidelines to ensure that the highest quality of pharmaceuticals are available within the Belizean market. In a press release issued on Monday, November 21st, the MOH indicated that it has presented several standards to the House of Representatives and awaits final approval of the Food and Drugs Act Chapter 291 of the substantive Laws of Belize. The revised bill presented back in August 2016 will permit the MOH to enforce firmer penalties on persons/businesses that are in violation of the law. As recently as September 2016, the MOH began gaining control in the importation of Pharmaceutical and Herbal Products by implementing a drug registry. The purpose of this registry was to block the importation of products that have never been brought to the country before. In order for pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers and importers to adhere to these standards, all vendors must be licensed as an importer with the MOH’s Licensing and Accreditation Unit.

    SHINE to host A Starry Night fundraising event
    A special fundraising event titled ‘A Starry Night,’ in support of On Eagle Wings Belize and SHINE programs will be held on Friday, December 9th at the Hidden Treasure Restaurant. Both non-profit organizations encourage young people and women in the community by providing them with resources to become who they are meant to be in society. It also provides them with hope, empowerment and the opportunity of a brighter future. Tickets for the event cost $80BZ, and will include entry to the cocktail holiday party, fancy hors d’ oeuvres and drink specials. All proceeds from this event will go towards the SHINE program ‘Thrive’ presently taking place at the San Pedro High School. This is an empowerment program open to all students who may need guidance and mentorship. The fundraiser will also benefit an Artisan Project which aims to provide business skills and opportunities to disadvantaged women on the island.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Belize International Yoga Festival
    Dec. 31, Belize City. Call 610-0882 for tickets children under 12 enter FREE!

    Here's a chance to help out Miss Belize World 2016, Iris Salguero
    ou can vote everyday!

    Prime Minister Departs Country
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country today, 3rd December 2016 to attend a meeting in New York in connection with the Superbond. The Prime Minister will be joined by Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, and Ambassador Mark Espat. During the Prime Minister’s absence, the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister. The Prime Minister returns on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016.

    Santa Elena Sports Complex Grand Inauguration
    The Santa Elena Sports Complex had its inauguration on Sunday. There was a great turnout for the event, and the game between the Verdes and the Bandits. Pictures courtesy of Orlando Pulido.

    BCCI Christmas Expo
    "Who seh Kriol people no have no Culcha". The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project believes we have so much culture in Dowtown, we plan to build an entire Eco-museum around it. Today at 11:00 a.m.and 2:00 p.m. come on down to the BCCI Christmas Expo and experience the Creole Culture at its best as we present The Youth Brukdong Band as they play and sing a number of Brukdong songs the way Mr Peters use to play it with all of the traditional instruments, you don't want to miss it.

    The Reporter

    Homicide at the start of Christmas season
    Only hours after residents gathered in harmony for the lighting of the Belize City Christmas Tree, one of those residents was gunned down. Police say Dale Tillett Sr., was on New Road, headed home at around 4 a.m., Saturday when he was fatally shot. Tillett, a tour guide by profession, had lost his son to gun violence years prior, at an incident at the Palm Island night club. Police are carrying out investigations, but are in their preliminary stages. More on this latest homicide as details become available.

    Another condition linked to Zika virus
    As research on the Zika virus epidemic continues, scientists have discovered that the virus can also cause another serious condition, glaucoma, in infants. Glaucoma is a condition that affects the nerves in the eyes, which deteriorates vision and may even result in blindness. Brazil, in collaboration with a research team from Yale University, discovered the first case of Zika-related infant glaucoma in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia in Brazil. Albert Icksang Ko, M.D., professor at the Yale School of Public Health explained that the child was exposed to the Zika virus which affected the development of the anterior chamber or front portion of the eye during gestation and caused glaucoma after birth.

    City Council brings in Christmas with tree lighting ceremony
    The Belize City Council, marked the opening of the Christmas Season with its annual City Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, held at the Mule Park in Downtown Belize City on Friday night. More than 300 people gathered at the event, which was done in collaboration with the Bowen and Bowen Group of companies. City Councilor Michael Theus explained that the event, which has been observed for more than 10 years, is a part of the council’s way of engaging the citizens of Belize City “What it does is it lifts the morale of those coming down to the downtown area to do their shopping, bring their children also to the festivities,” Theus said. “This is our part in getting all Belizeans into that spirit of showing love.”

    Ministry of Energy wraps up week-long Energy Forecasting workshop
    The Ministry of Energy concluded a week-long workshop today in collaboration with the Latin American Energy Organization, OLADE for its acronym in Spanish. The workshop, held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina, gathered energy sector stakeholders such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of the Environment and Belize Electricity Limited. The workshops had three major objectives, which included: developing participants’ skills in energy forecasting, presenting new software which will assist in energy forecasting, and sharing the preliminary results of the OLADE energy forecast exercise, carried out earlier this year. Ambrose Tillett, director of energy explained that the training will held to develop the Ministry’s information management system in terms of data collection, compilation and dissemination.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Murder in Teakettle village
    Reports are that the lifeless body of a 19-year-old resident of Teakettle village was found this morning in the village. The victim has been identified as Abner Vasquez. Police are investigating.

    G.S.T. buckle up with businesses
    There is a new policy being implemented by the Department of General Sales Tax (GST). This new policy will change the registration process for new businesses. The new rule will require any person who is registering a new business to apply to the Commissioner of the GST for a compliance letter prior to visiting the Companies Registry. This was implemented in an attempt to crack down on businesses that are not complying with the laws. G.S.T. recently reported that many businesses are deriding the tax laws. Genevie Jones, Supervisor of the Tax Payer Unit told the media that G.S.T. officers are currently visiting business establishments countrywide on a random basis to make checks and find out if the various aspects of the GST Act are being complied with. “Failure to comply with GST provisions is a criminal offense,” Jones added.

    Dead body found in drain
    This morning, a man was found dead in a drain on Lawrence avenue in the Lake Independence area. The body was riddled with shots. He has been identified as Altread Williams. Police are investigating.

    Tour guide killed in Belize City
    Reports are that a man was shot and killed near the fish bridge on Vernon Street in Belize city last night. The victim has been identified as Dale “Blindz” Tillet Sr. His son Dale Tillet Jr. was killed five years ago outside the Palm Island night club. Tillet was a tour guide and a poet. According to reports, Tillet had just left an open mic spoken word poetry night when he met his tragic and untimely death.

    PM Barrow departs country to attend Superbond meeting in New York
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country today, 3rd December 2016 to attend a meeting in New York in connection with the Superbond. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, and Ambassador Mark Espat will also attend the Superbond meeting with PM Barrow in New York. During the Prime Minister’s absence, the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister. PM Barrow will return on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016.

    International Sourcesizz

    Harvest Caye welcomes first guests to resort-style ‘eco-destination’
    Paradise awaits. Norwegian Cruise Line has opened Harvest Caye, a resort-style port of call in Southern Belize offering everything from luxury beach villas to a cross-island zip line. The first guests were welcomed ashore Nov. 17, stepping off Norwegian Dawn (there’s a pier — no need to tender!) and onto the pristine grounds that boast a 7-acre beach; 15,000-square-foot pool; bar, restaurant and shopping venues; and the Flighthouse, a 130-foot-high venue for a variety of aerial activities. Harvest Caye is an “eco-destination,” and guests can participate in manatee observation tours, meet scarlet macaws and toucans in the island’s aviary, or explore the butterfly garden. Like snakes? Belize’s indigenous reptiles — including boa constrictors — are also on display. Author and wildlife expert Tony Garel is the island’s chief naturalist, and he will lead many of the educational tours. For those whose taste is more Parrothead than parrot, the two-story LandShark Bar & Grill, a partnership between Norwegian and Jimmy Buffett, offers a swim-up pool bar. Guests can lounge on the beach in chaises or clamshell tents, or indulge in one of the 11 luxury beach villas available for rent. Villas accommodate up to 10 guests and offer indoor and outdoor showers, private restroom, hammocks, air conditioning and optional dining and beverage services.

    Videos

  • BELIZE - AMBERGRIS CAYE (PART 2) - (Full HD), 6min. This movie take you to Belize we will visit Ambergris Caye, beautiful island on Caribbean Sea. Ambergris Caye is the largest island of Belize, located northeast of the country in the Caribbean Sea. It is about 40 kilometre long from north to south, and about 1.6 kilometres wide. Where it has not been modified by man, is mostly a ring of white sand beach around mangrove swamp in the centre. Though administered as part of the Belize District, the closest point on the mainland is part of the Corozal District. San Pedro Town is the largest settlement and only town on Ambergris. There are also a number of small villages and resorts.

  • Belize - Snorkeling Mexico Rocks, 8min.

  • Carnival Sunshine Belize Cave Tubing, 6min. Cave tubing in Belize. This was an excursion booked through Carnival. Had a great time being part of Jimmy's Group.

  • Spiderman and his Tarantulas in the Jungle of Belize, 4min.

  • How We Do in Belize, 6min. A short clip about aspects of daily life.

  • Hand feeding Tarpon in Belize, 1.5min. Caye Caulker has a little dock with a hole of a lagoon at it. The people of the island have created this dock as a Tarpon refuge.

  • Belize part 1, 2.5min. Coco Beach Resort Ambergris Caye.

  • Belize part 2, 18min. The Phoenix Resort Ambergris Caye. Diving with Sharks.

  • Punta Gorda, Belize in 360!!!!, 1min. This is a short clip I filmed right at the waters edge in Punta Gorda, Belize. What a beautiful place.

    December 3, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Golf Cart theft continues to be a major concern
    Police in San Pedro Town are investigating the spike in missing golf carts. In less than a week, three golf carts were reported stolen. One has been recovered in good condition, while the other two were found completely stripped. The first report was on Friday night, November, 25th in the town core area. The golf cart, red in colour and with license plate number 3085, went missing sometime after 10:30PM. Owner Robert Novak reported that he parked and locked his golf cart on Pelican Street, next to the San Pedro Lions Club, when he returned sometime after, his golf cart was gone. A reward was offered for locating the whereabouts of the cart. However, a few days later it was found a couple feet from where it had disappeared, fully intact. The San Pedro Police Department continues seeking the public’s assistance as their investigation continues. Anyone that may have information about the culprit/s are asked to call the police station at 206-2022.

    New GST policy aims to ensure businesses comply with the law
    The Department of General Sales Tax (GST) has implemented a new policy that will change the registration process for new businesses from now on. The new rule will require any person who is registering a new business to apply to the Commissioner of the GST for a compliance letter prior to visiting the Companies Registry. The norm was implemented in an attempt to crack down on businesses that are not complying with the laws. Recent reports from the GST are that there are many businesses flouting the tax laws. According to Genevie Jones, Supervisor of the Tax Payer Unit, they have officers visiting business establishments countrywide on a random basis to make checks and find out if the various aspects of the GST Act are being complied with. “Failure to comply with GST provisions is a criminal offense,” Jones told the media. A key important aspect of compliance is for a programmable cash register to always be in the establishment. “Businesses must issue a tax receipt or tax invoice to customers displaying the GST certificate at a place where it is visible to the public,” said Jones. Businesses must also keep proper books and records, she emphasized. “Failure to do so, exposes a business to court prosecution.

    World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk held in San Pedro Town
    Despite a light rain, island residents joined in the annual World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk through the main streets of San Pedro Town on Thursday, December 1st. Organized by San Pedro AIDS Commission (SPAC), the annual event is meant to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS (human immunodefiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in the community, while remembering those affected by the disease. The walk, which is also observed worldwide, challenges people to rethink stereotyping others and to be allies to those battling HIV. Shortly after 6PM, members of the community gathered by the Central Park with candles in hand. SPAC President Felix Ayuso and Vice President David Jenkins welcomed and thanked everyone for coming out to support. They emphasized the importance of increasing awareness every year, and to be supportive to those affected.

    San Mateo Sub-Division gets LED street lights
    Belize Electricity Limited began an aggressive green energy project in July of this year, aiming strongly at replacing 31,000 street lights with LED lights countrywide. The project also benefited certain areas in different municipalities around the country that did not have well lit streets. Thanks to such campaign, the San Mateo Sub-Division in San Pedro Town now enjoys the safety of well- lit streets which bringing a sense of relief to residents. LED lights are considered environmental friendly and very cost efficient. It is expected that with the larger life span and electrical efficiency of these new lights, the consumption of energy will decrease while providing a better range in light coverage. This first phase of the project implemented in San Pedro Town has already seen good results, and with the high tourism season already starting to pick up, other key areas of the island will soon be evaluated for this much-need upgrade.

    International Wheelchair Foundation to donate 25 chairs to SP and Caye Caulker
    A total of 25 persons from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker Village will receive wheelchairs on Tuesday, December 6th at a ceremony to be held at the San Pedro Lions Den. The distribution of wheelchairs is thanks to a donation by the Wheelchair Foundation of California in the United States. The event is scheduled to start at 6:30PM, and will include the presence of Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Glenn Perry from the Wheelchair Foundation. According to Brenda Letendre from the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch, this is the third time the Foundation has donated wheelchairs to Belizeans in need. The last donation was done in 2009. This year, a total of 260 wheelchairs were brought to Belize to be distributed countrywide through the various Rotary Clubs. “25 of these were destined for both islands,” she said. “We understand that not everyone will be able to attend the ceremony and in that case, we will deliver the chairs to their homes. In the case of Caye Caulker, the three recipients will receive their chairs during the week of December the 5th.”

    San Pedro Police and Cadets’ Christmas Drive needs your help
    According to PC Juan Choc of the Community Policing Unit in the San Pedro Police Department, the intent is to collect small toys in good condition and non-perishable food items. “We distribute these items to less fortunate families in areas like San Mateo, San Pedrito, DFC among other areas,” said Choc. He added that Christmas is a time of giving and so the police want to give a little back. When donating towards this noble cause, toys can either be new or gently used. The police along with the cadet corp are seeking the cooperation of both the business community and individuals to assist them with the goal of reaching more families this year. “All we need is a little assistance so we can make Christmas possible for others,” said Choc. As usual, all items collected will be separated into Christmas hampers that will be distributed in the days leading up to Christmas.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Aids Commission Wraps Up Year with Solidarity Walk
    Last night, December 1, 2016, the San Pedro Aids Commission held it annual solidarity HIV/AIDS walk in celebration of World AIDS Day. San Pedro AIDS Commission memebers, along with the San Pedro Lions Club members, Leo’s Club members, Miss San Pedro Marisha Thompson, Miss Lions Solani Graniel, Miss Petite Earth International Vivian Noralez, members of the business sector and supporters, walked along downtown San Pedro in observance of World AIDS Day. An all day health fair will be held on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at the Central park from 10:00a.m. to 6:00 p.m. HIV confidential testings will be available also the annual dollar drive. Food, Patries and Drinks will be sold to enjoy in the company of live music by San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja.

    Dive Bands Required for Recreational Use at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
    For the past two months, Hol Chan Marine Reserve has been informing stakeholders on the implementation of "Dive Bands" for recreational users to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The Board of Trustees has decided to implement the user fee for night diving within “Zone A” of the Marine Reserve. The current user fee remains the same and is valid for a full day pass in any recreational zone in the Marine Reserve.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    The Placencia Breeze December 2016
    INSIDE December 2016 Pg 3 Christmas in Belize Pg 5 BTIA news Pg 6 Caribbean Beach Cabanas Pg 9 Fire Department / RE/MAX Donation to Police / Placencia Urban Bird Count Pg 11 Added Touch Spotlight Pg 13 Los Porticos and La Dolce Vita Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22/23 Liquor Licenses Pg 24 Placencia Humane Society News Pg 25 Photo Gallery Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Licensed Tour Operators in Placencia / Liquor Licenses Pg 28 Fragment of Hope / Pickled Parrot Art Bar Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of Events

    Ms. Debbie Drury donates toys to San Pedro
    Earlier this week Ms. Debbie Drury from Lake City, Texas, visited Mayor Daniel Guerrero and presented him with a bunch of toys to spread the joy of christmas with the less fortunate children of San Pedro. Ms. Debbie Drury is the president of Market Doctors in Dickinson, Texas, and her along with her Vice-President, Skyler Cornelius, will be having a fundraiser "Toys for Belize" back in their home this weekend in order to bring more toys for the children of Belize. Thank you so much for the toys! We're more than sure the children will be excited!

    Meet Ms. Elisa Bol, an activist against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the Orange Walk District
    Elisa is President of the women based cooperative “Creando un Futuro Mejor” (Creating a Better Future), Vice-President of the Hearth Desired Women’s Group, and Secretary of the Guinea Grass Village Council. She is a businesswoman, who over the years has been passing her knowledge and entrepreneurial skills to the women in her community. Elisa holds training conferences for women in collaboration with the Banquitas House of Culture, the Orange Walk Branch of the Women’s Department, and La Inmaculada Credit Union. Three years ago, with the assistance of a Peace Corp Volunteer, Elisa spearheaded a formation of a small cooperative (“Creando un Futuro Mejor”) that rents out tables, chairs, table cloths, and decorations for social events. To be more cost effective, the group builds its own tables and carries out food sales. The cooperative currently has seven women members, one of whom is 19 years old and another is a widow. Although the cooperative, like any other business, has had its economic challenges, it has been growing, and the members of the cooperative plan to invest savings and hope to expand in the near future.

    Disability Week in Corozal
    On November 29th, Primary Education Students of Corozal Junior College brought awareness in Celebration of Disability Week by displaying a collage of banners at the entrance to the school's compound.

    Supa G Playing Falcon Field
    Supa G will be performing at Falcon Field Saturday night. Part of the Digicell 4G Tour around Belize. " "SAN IGNACIO & CAYO: BIG BIG 4G LTE PRE-LAUNCH DEVICE SALE & PARTY THIS SATURDAY! (Read Full Post for All Details) Get your 4G LTE Device at unbeatable prices! And Everyone in CAYO is invited to our free party and concert with Supa G, DJ Dalla and others later that evening - where we'll be giving away Free Devices, Free Credit, Free Data & More... Plus get a chance to win $25,000 with every device purchase at our events and in the month of December! It all happens THIS Saturday, Dec. 3rd at the San Ignacio Falcon Field. Device Sale from 11am until 7 pm. Party & Concert begins at 5 pm until......."

    FCD at forum in Chajul, Chiapas, Mexico
    FCD’s Biologist participated at a forum in Chajul, Chiapas, Mexico with Mexican and Guatemalan partners for the development of a scarlet macaw management and conservation strategy.

    Gender Based Violence (GBV) Resources in the Orange Walk District
    Northern Regional Hospital, Holy Trinity Street, 322-2072. Counselling Unit, Northern Regional Hospital, Holy Trinity Street. Nurse Becky Tillett, 302-1560 & 302-1561. Domestic Unit, Police Department. Hospital Crescent, Orange Walk Town. WPC. Melanie Anderson & WPC Marilyn Pate, 322-2022...

    CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY AT THE CENTRAL PARK 2016

    Andy Palacio Tribute Mass at Gulisi Primary School
    Celebration of life!

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
    All are invited to the Annual Corozal Tree Lighting event tomorrow night December 3rd, in our beautiful Central Park beginning at 7 pm!

    Channel 7

    Flashmob On Front Street?
    The 16 Days of Activism to end gender based violence kicked off on November 25th. Today the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the US Embassy teamed up to take it to a "whole other level." The staged a flashmob in the middle of Belize City. Now, if you don't know what a flashmob is, it's a group of unassuming folks spontaneously bursting into dance in a public place. Now this wasn't quite that; this was more of a performance in the middle of Albert Street - and apart from stopping traffic, it sure did turn heads! The US Ambassador, Carlos Moreno, the Prime Minister's wife Kim Barrow, the BDF and other stakeholders took the street as a stage, danced to soca music and invited bystanders to join in. We asked them how the flashmob ties in with the 16 Days of Activism and eliminating gender based violence.

    Did Hon. Castro Cause BSCFA To Be Fair Trade Blacklisted?
    Right now, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is scrambling to reverse a suspension they received from the international accreditation agency, "Fair Trade." If they don't fix it, the BSCFA could lose about 1.2 million dollars in financial assistance. So, first, here's how Fair Trade works. The UK based agency asks consumers in developed countries to pay a premium on products produced in developing countries. These consumers do this conscientiously with the intention to assist the smaller farmers in these developing countries to improve their standard of living. But, to get Fair Trade certification, there are strict regulations, and they regularly check on organizations to make sure everything is on the level. It was in one of those Fair Trade audits of the BSCFA that they found what is being referred to as "phantom farmers". These are farmers who buy a portion of another farmer's quota, and deliver the cane as if the quota were theirs. So, for example, if a farmer has 1 tonne of cane, and no license to deliver it, they would approach someone with a license for 3 tonnes, who maybe is only able to deliver 2 tonnes. It's a widespread practice in the sugar industry, but under Fair Trade it's a major "no-no." We're told that in a recent report, the Fair Trade Auditors flagged cane farmer Eloy Escalante. For the past 3 years, he had not been delivering cane, but he had a quota, and sold it to Minister Edmond Castro's son.

    Brian Brown, GSG Kingpin Cleared of Charges In GSU Search
    He's a notorious street figure, but 40-year-old Brian Brown walked free from 8 criminal charges today. In May of 2012, the GSU raided Brown's home on Jimmy Dyer Avenue and found found 307 grammes of crack cocaine, 17 grams of cocaine, a bong used for smoking weed, along with several "catches" of weed, and a bullet proof vest. Brown wasn't there when -police turned his house upside down. Brown eluded arrest for days after the search. But was it his house indeed? That's the question that was put before the court during the trial. The sign on the front said Brown's Enterprises, but Brown claimed he didn't live at the address in question and at the time of the search he had no control of the premises.

    Pregnant Mother Expecting Twins Accused of Drug Trafficking
    Today in court a pregnant mother who is expecting twins was accused of trafficking half a kilo, or more than a pound of weed. 22 year old Conch Shell Bay resident Carolee Orosco is expecting in February, but police arrested her yesterday on Ebony Street. They said she was responsible for 544 grams of weed found inside a bathroom. Police say Orosco told them she was just using the bathroom of a friend's house, and when police searched it they found the stash of one pound and four ounces of weed. Orosco was charged for Possession of a Control drug with intent to Supply to another. She received bail of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount which she met by 12 noon. This is not the first time she is being charged for charged for drug trafficking. 2 years ago, she was arraigned on a single charge of trafficking almost an identical amount of weed and in that case it was also found in the bathroom. She is on bail for that offence.

    Mediating and Mercy Instead of Arresting and Charging
    This afternoon at the Radisson, 36 police officers finished a 5-day training workshop on mediation and conflict resolution. They were being trained by professionals from Riverdale Mediation, a well-respected firm from Toronto, Canada. The training is a continuation of the Canadian Government-funded program known as the Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean, or IMPACT Justice for short. These 36 officers are the first cohort of police trained in alternative dispute resolution. They're being asked to use mediation as a policing tool, instead of the hard knocks approach of simply bringing criminal charges against accused persons. Today, at the closing ceremony, one of the lead facilitators shared with us what the officers learned in their last 40 hours of instruction. Here's what she told us:

    Et Tu, Erwin?
    There is an intriguing development in the Michael Modiri/Bradley Paumen land fight which continues to play out in Franks Eddy Village. Modiri is still blocking the road across his property, while Paumen's million dollar Dark Night tour company is taking a major hit in the bank book and his hundreds of employees are languishing. Just yesterday, we saw a picture of an email from someone claiming to be Trade Minister Erwin Contreras. We say "claiming" because the minister told us that's not his email address - and indeed our records show him using another similar address for the past few years. It is sent from contreraserwin67@gmail.com, which - again - Erwin Contreras says is someone impersonating him, and it is addressed to darknightcavetubing@gmail.com. The mail is titled Road Declaration, and it says, quote, "Paumen, you will be relieved that the Road Declaration, for your Access Road has enough Support to get signed this week. You can thank Carnival, as they demanded that the Tours sold through Darknight are available for December, Erwin"

    Saldivar, Working Up A Sweat On Southern Tour
    He may be coming off a Cabinet suspension, but that hasn't caused John Saldivar to break his stride - though, judging from recent, pictures, we'd say it's clear he has broken a massive sweat! This is Saldivar after a rugged two-kilometer uphill hike to the BDF Camp at Machaquilha in the remote southern part of the Cayo district. He was accompanied by CEO in the Ministry of Defence Lieutenant Colonel Felix Enriquez, and BDF Deputy Commander Colonel Steven Ortega. They got to the nearest landing area by BDF helicopter, which then took them to the BDF border Camp at Santa Rosa in the Toledo District. This camp sits on a hill and overlooks two Guatemala settlements: Jalacte and Santa Marta Chacte. After that it was off to another border post at Cadenas near the Sarstoon River. That's where the minister braved the night, and then in the morning, made the steep downhill descent to the river. That's where the Coast Guard picked the team up and they headed to the Forward Operating Base at the river mouth. After that the next stop was Punta Gorda, Fairweather Camp, and then by helicopter to another border post, Tree Tops which overlooks Santa Cruz in Guatemala. After that, the Ministerial delegation took a trip down the new highway to Jalacte, a place where black market free trade and free crossing is the norm.

    The Coast Guard Crucible
    Crucible: That's the name of the final challenge in the Coast Guards Best Warrior Competition. It began on Wednesday. There are 2 events each day and this morning it started off with the 9 mile March and Shoot and ended this afternoon with what is called the crucible. We stopped by to see how the 6 teams of 8 fought through the grueling obstacle and we also found out why this event is more than just a competition. 48 guardsmen participated, and half of them are first timers. The Coast guard training is not limited to these exercises, they also participate in other competitions such as the End of the World marathon and other sporting tournaments. The winners of this year's Best Warrior Challenge will be announced this weekend during a special lunch.

    GSU Gets Gun
    The Gang Suppression Unit went on a number of raids in the city yesterday, and their efforts were rewarded with a number of busts. Then officers went to the Conch Shell Bay area, in 2 stash spots, the officers found 559 grams of marijuana - which is one pound four ounce, and an additional 720 grams, which is one pound nine ounces. No one was in the area, and so the items were deposited as found property. The officers then went to Elston Kerr Street, where they searched an open lot and found a gun. The weapon was a 38 revolver, which was loaded with 6 rounds of ammunition. They also found 379 grams, or 14 ounces of marijuana, and because no one was in the immediate vicinity, the items were deposited as found property.

    Radical Women And Their Art
    The Belizean Women's Artists Collective held its first exhibit today at the Image Factory in Belize City. The small band of female visual artists created pieces centered around the theme word: Radical. They were challenged to interpret the word through art. We spoke to some of the artists about their works... Katie Usher - Artist: "I have a piece her called suffer not the children and it's actually a play on a biblical, I don't know, see how bad my Catholicism is, something from the Bible where it says "Suffer the People Onto Me" and it really spun from the church's response to the UNIBAM case. They were so vocal against love, but yet still every time you open the newspapers of you guys do the news you see all these children being abused and the church kind of silences it, so that's what this piece is about." Minita Concha - Artist: "My artwork is very innovative and I based in upon my experiences as a woman, both good and bad, and experiences of other women, both good and bad. I show a strong contrast, like at the ends of two continuums. Some of the pieces show women being submissive, being held captive by domestic violence, being held in this notion here in Belize that women should be seen and not heard. While some of my other pieces show women being resilient, they're strong, they're very vocal, they're not afraid, they're very fearless. And I do this because I think it's something that I could use to educate other people."

    Christmas Tree Lights Up city
    December may have just started, but Belize City is already getting into the Christmas spirit. This evening the Belize City Council and Bowen & Bowen held the sixth annual Christmas tree lighting since the renovation of Mule Park in downtown Belize City. Hundreds gathered on Albert Street to see the ceremonial tree lit up, and enjoy the Christmas themed steel pan music. Belize City Councilor Michael Theus told us how lighting up the streets helps with the city's morale. Michael Theus - Belize City Councilor: "This tree lighting, what we have out here. We have partnered along with the Bowen&Bowen group of companies and they are a major sponsor in assisting us in getting what we have here that will be lit shortly. What it does is it basically uplifts the morale of persons coming into the downtown area to do their shopping, bringing their children out, so the varied array of lights on buildings and everything else tells them that Christmas has arrived. This is our little part of getting all of our Belizeans into the spirit, and showing that we care. And we want each and every person to have that same feeling towards each other. The sharing and the caring of this season."

    Cuba's Audacity Against The Empire
    Tonight, Fidel Castro's ashes are making their way across Cuba to their final resting place in Santiago. It is a 560 miles slow procession, retracing the journey Castor made in 1959 to liberate Cuba. It culminates on Saturday with a mass gathering in Santiago, followed by the internment of his ashes the following day. Belize is represented by the Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber and the Minster of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. Tonight, we have one more reflection on Castro's place in the long view of history. Though Castro is demonized in the US media - the view in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa is far different. Nelson Mandela called him "a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving peoples," and Prime Minister Dean Barrow called him "a giant for the ages." Biographer Godfrey Smith who called him the Greatest World Leader of All time put in context what Castro achieved:

    Channel 5

    Belize-flagged ship hauled in for fishing violations in Somalia
    A shipping vessel tonight remains in the custody of the government of the African country of Somalia for illegal fishing activities. But what does the detention have to do with [...]

    Brian Brown escapes G.S.U.’s reach in 2012 house raid case
    It made headlines in 2012 when alleged George Street gang figure, Brian Brown, was the target of a raid by the Gang Suppression Unit at a residence identified as his [...]

    Pregnant woman charged with drug trafficking
    Also in court, a pregnant woman, who is due to give birth soon, was charged for drug trafficking. She is twenty-one year old Carolee Orosco, who appeared before Magistrate, Carlon [...]

    Legal advice needed on what to do with green ham
    A consignment of fifty thousand pounds of green hams remains in quarantine at the western border after being detained sometime last week by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority. The origin [...]

    Edmond Castro says BSCFA at fault for Fairtrade suspension
    During the annual general meeting of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association over the weekend, farmers were informed of the recent suspension of the association from Fair-trade. The Association claims [...]

    Export slump highlights Belize’s economic woes
    Earlier this week we reported on the significant drop in employment and thousands are now jobless even as prices go up as the economy remains in recession. Figures released recently [...]

    Chartered accountants confirm Net Vasquez is not one of their own
    This evening, the Institute of Chartered Accountants convened its scheduled meeting and discussed the revelations surrounding the nomination of Net Vasquez to the Integrity Commission. I.C.A. had written to the [...]

    Arson, electrical causes out in Chateau Caribbean fire as B.T.I.A. sympathizes
    While National Fire Service officials promised full details on Monday of its ongoing investigation, News Five has been told that arson and electrical causes have been ruled out in the [...]

    Two Guatemalans picked up for illegal gold panning
    Two Guatemalan men are serving eight months in jail for illegally entering Belize, specifically the Chiquibul National Park, to mine for gold. The joint work of Police, Belize Defence Force [...]

    F.C.D. gets ready for Chiquibul Forest Initiative and Commonwealth Canopy/Maya 2020
    A few months ago the Government announced plans to fund four institutions, including the Belize Defence Force and Friends for Conservation and Development, to the tune of sixteen million dollars [...]

    Coast Guard continues search for best warrior
    The Coastguard Best Warrior Competition continued today; the third and final day turned out to be the most grueling. Coastguard officers were up bright and early to test their endurance [...]

    Chamber’s Christmas Expo has all the best deals
    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if you want to get the jump on early holiday deals, the best place to start is the Belize Chamber of [...]

    Police gear up for busy Christmas season
    The Christmas season is now upon us, it means that the police will be working overtime to keep up with criminals. The Police Department is embarking on an anti-crime campaign [...]

    Dancing in the streets for 16 Days of Activism
    A flash mob –or the semblance of one – cut off traffic on Albert Street today for a couple of minutes. Drivers and pedestrian were treated to a group dancing [...]

    L.A. boy with leukemia bravely helps other cancer victims
    A thirteen-year-old Belizean has been making a name for himself through a difficult time in his life. Jayhann Escalante who now lives in the US with his parents was diagnosed [...]

    Remembering the great Andy Palacio on 56th birthday
    Today would have been his fifty-sixth birthday, but although he has passed his legend lives on. Andy Palacio was not only an ambassador for the Garifuna culture, but also Belize. [...]

    Amandala

    Belize-flagged trawler, fined US$65,000 by Somalia
    Belize earns roughly $12 million a year from foreign-owned vessels flying Belize flags while operating on the high seas in jurisdictions such as Africa, but the operations have often put Belize in the public spotlight over allegations of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, a multi-billion-dollar problem which is on the radar of global authorities. This week, news hit the international press that a Belize-flagged vessel, Greko 1, had been slapped with a US$65,000 sanction after it was accused of fishing in Somalian waters, off eastern Africa, without a valid fishing license. The case also involves allegations of fishing in prohibited areas, forgery of official documents, and fishing with illegal gear. Although the vessel is said to be Panamanian, online vessel registry records connect it with European investors. Since the vessel was built in 1991 for a Greek owner, the matter is also a concern for the European Union (EU), which had a few years ago issued Belize a red card, resulting in sanctions over IUU fishing allegations on the high seas.

    Belize suffers continuing recession
    –In September, there was an official announcement signalling that Belize is experiencing a recession, a declaration usually made after two successive quarters (or six months) of negative economic growth—measured by the total value of goods and services produced by the country, which represents a tally of all production: from how many bananas were produced to how many cruise tourists visited our shores. Latest reports from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) indicate that Belize has in fact experienced three consecutive quarters (or 9 months) of negative growth, the first such scenario since the period spanning July 2007 to March 2008—which coincided with the final months of the Musa administration and the initial months of the Barrow administration, as well as the 2008 recession in the United States. Angelita Campbell, Statistician II at the SIB, said that Belize produced $655.4 million worth of goods and services for the third quarter, which spans July to September 2016. This represents a decline of 0.8% or $5.6 million for that period, worsening the contraction recorded earlier this year: 0.2% for the first quarter (January to March) and 1.0% for the second quarter (April to June).

    Fisherman, 39, gets 5 years for sexual assault of child, 6
    Today was set as the sentencing date for John Leslie, a fisherman who was convicted of sexual assault upon a six-year-old child when his case concluded before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith last Thursday, November 24. After finding him guilty, Chief Magistrate Smith did not mince her words. She told Leslie that he is “a sick and depraved person,” and if he does not know the meaning of those words, he could look them up when he goes to prison. The court had indicated to Leslie that he could bring character witnesses to speak on his behalf. Leslie brought his wife as the only character witness. Pamela Leslie, 31, told the court, “John and I have five children together. He is a very loving father to his children. I have not known John to be any child molester.”

    2,045 more Belizeans on the unemployment line
    Belize’s unemployment numbers are up, based on latest information released today by Curwen Arthurs, Statistician I at the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). Arthurs reported that whereas last September reported an unemployment rate of 10.2%, this September recorded an unemployment rate of 11.1%. The jobs created were not enough to meet the rising demand for employment. This represents a partial reversal of what was reported coming out of the last survey, which recorded a fall in the unemployment rate from 10% in April 2015 to 8% this April, with over 8,700 new jobs added. According to the SIB, “….in September 2016, there were a total of 17,952 unemployed persons in Belize. This represented an increase of 2,045 in the number of unemployed persons since September of 2015, despite the addition of over 3,800 new jobs during the period…[which was] the result of an influx of persons into the labour force at a faster rate than that at which new jobs were created.”

    Catherine Cumberbatch, 52, is the first woman to be named Chief Meteorologist in Belize
    The Ministry of Transport and National Emergency Management has announced changes in the leadership of the Meteorology Department. Former Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez, who turns 55 later this month, has retired, and Ms. Catherine Cumberbatch, former deputy, has been promoted to lead the team of 28 staff members. Her journey began in 1987, when she joined the team at the class IV level—the bottommost rank—as a weather observer. A graduate of Belize Technical College (BCT), Cumberbatch’s first job at the Met Office was to observe weather conditions every hour in the environs to support aviation. Cumberbatch said: “I grew up in one of the poorest areas of Belize City, on West Street in the Mesopotamia Division, and went to two of the poorest schools. I went to Calvary Temple Primary School and graduated from Excelsior High School. I then went on to the Belize Technical College and I did the Senior Secondary course, and then I went on to Belize Technical College’s 6th Form, majoring in the sciences.”

    SSBA basketball playoffs tip off this weekend in San Ignacio
    Due to inclement weather, the playoffs were unable to start this past weekend. As a result, the semi-finals will be played this coming weekend, and it will use a single-game knockout format. The finals will also use a single-game elimination format, since the tournament is scheduled to conclude before the Christmas holidays. The finals will tip off on Friday, December 16.

    Do or die, FC Belize
    Whatever the outcome of the dreadfully late FFB Appeals Board meeting tonight, one thing is for certain: FC Belize can determine their playoff fate on Sunday at the MCC, when they clash with visiting Freedom Fighters FC from Punta Gorda, fresh from a 3-3 draw against Belmopan Bandits and a 3-0 victory over Wagiya. Meanwhile, FC Belize is in a sort of tailspin, with a 2-2 draw with Wagiya, followed by back to back losses, 1-0 to Police United and 2-0 to BDF. With their Mexican striker Hector Martinez injured, FC Belize is scoreless in two games; and they just lost their Mexican sweeper Jordi Lopez to red card in their last outing. Lisbey Castillo, Alexander “Pleck” Peters and their Freedom Fighters from P.G. are coming to avenge their 2-0 loss to FC Belize in their first meeting in P.G. Veteran defender Floyd Jones will have to play “big” for FC Belize in the sweeper position, as their other veteran defender Mark “Kelo” Leslie is still injured. The future of FC Belize may rest in the hands of their youths – strikers Russell Cassanova and Marlon Gutierrez, midfielder Harlan Cassanova, and defenders Francis Arana, Matthew Leal and Andrew Estell.

    PLB regular season ends Sunday – 4 clubs in hunt for 2 playoff spots
    The double round-robin Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017 comes to a dramatic end this weekend with Week 18 games on Saturday and Sunday. Only the top 4 of the 9 PLB teams will go on to the semifinal playoffs the following week. Belmopan Bandits SC and Belize Defense Force FC are already assured of a playoff spot. The next 4 contending clubs will determine their fates on the field this Sunday.

    BDFA Inter-Office results, schedule
    The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) Inter-Office football tournament continued with a full schedule of games this week at the MCC Grounds. In the only game on Tuesday night, November 29, RF&G Insurance and Belize Bank played to a 1-1 draw. Kevin Martinez (7’) shook the net for RF&G, while Francisco Briceno (55’) equalized for Belize Bank. Despite the score, the game was awarded to Belize Bank after the RF&G female player was issued a red card and no other female was available for play. The rules state that a female must be on the field at all times. In the opener on Wednesday night, November 30, Belize City Council clipped Smart 2-1, with a goal each from Simon Alvarez (12’) and David McCaulay (70’); while Stephen Baizer (23’) scored for Smart. And in the nightcap, it was Latino’s FC, 1-0, over BWS, with a goal from Yancy Ek (65’).

    Che in Guatemala 1954; Che in Cuba in 1959
    On Tuesday morning this week on Plus TV, Pastor Louis Wade made some harsh criticisms of the late Comandante Fidel Castro of Cuba. We suspect that during his scholarly lifetime, Pastor Wade has concentrated more on Biblical studies than on the history of the Central American and Caribbean region in which Belize is located. Whether we are Christians or communists, we all condemn slavery unconditionally. Or do we? If we condemn slavery, and its corollary of brutal human oppression, unconditionally, then we should condone any means that are necessary to remove slavery and brutal human oppression. Or do we? Pat Robertson does not. But this is a story for another time. As the United States Declaration of Independence points out, there comes a time in the history of a people when they must take up arms in the pursuit of freedom. The United States comprised thirteen colonies ruled by the kingdom of Great Britain in 1776 when those colonies declared their independence. This is called the American Revolution, which involved warfare against the British colonizers.

    From the Publisher
    The way the media organs of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) continue to focus on and hammer Luke Palacio and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), it appears that the teachers remain a major, major concern of the UDP leadership. I am fascinated, because the teachers have been back in school for weeks working hard to impart their knowledge to their students. The issue of whether those teachers who went on strike should be paid for the 11 days they were on strike, was a very emotional issue for the UDP when the question first arose. One reason for this is that there were pro-UDP teachers who remained in class, and hardliners in the UDP leadership felt that those teachers who walked out on strike had to be punished, not only to intimidate them with respect to their future decisions, but also to let the administration’s teacher/supporters know that they had benefited because of their loyalty during the crisis.

    Vote-buying and democracy
    Dear Editor, There is a reason vote-buying is illegal in every democracy — because it usurps democracy and encourages the rule of the well-resourced – - the rich or the 1-percent. Politicians in the developing world find ways to bribe voters without having any problems with the law. The main difference between political patronage of the developed world and that of the developing world is that the developed world caters to large groups, such as elderly, women, disadvantaged groups, etc., while developing world politicians cater to the individual. Developed world politicians offer health care, welfare, day care, while Third World politicians offer short-term employment, materials for houses and direct individual bribes. The policies incentive contributes to the greater good and has a far greater effect to improve the well-being of a particular portion of the electorate, while in countries like Belize, the voting incentives are cosmetic and cater to instant gratification.

    GST harassment
    Dear Editor, Yesterday, a good friend and brother of mine who is in the same industry as I am was “dragged” to court, according to the media, to answer to charges of failure to properly display his GST (General Sales Tax) certificate in his tortilla establishment. He pleaded guilty and was fined $3,000.00. He further informed me that upon exiting the court, he was approached by certain members of the media advising him that if he didn’t want this matter to appear in the media, that it could be arranged. My friend wisely responded and said, “No, thanks. Let it come to the attention of the public.” He felt that he had been treated harshly, unjustly and in a manner that was completely uncalled for, and so he walked away with his head held up high. I go on record to stand in solidarity with him and also to bring to light this travesty.

    The reason for 50% increase in tortilla prices
    –It appears that there is an importation monopoly on maseca, the raw material used to make corn tortillas, corn chips and other corn-based products used in the country of Belize. To make masa, which is a key ingredient in tortillas, you simply add water to maseca, which is less labor-intensive than the traditional way of making masa, which involves boiling corn with white lime. Interestingly, multiple sources, including the Belize Bureau of Standards, have confirmed to our newspaper that the country’s major importer of maseca is Eddie Vega, the eldest brother of former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega. According to reports, Vega imports an estimated 80,000 -100,000 pounds or a container loaded with maseca almost monthly from Guatemala through his company, Vega’s distributors, situated in Benque Viejo Town.

    Illusive dreams; commitment to excellence, or resignation to failure
    When our contingent of Belizean U-17 footballers departed for World Cup 2018 qualifiers in Costa Rica on Tuesday, November 22, their innocent minds were full of dreams, “imagining the possibilities” of success in their first major international outing against the highest level of Central American competition. To those of us who knew better, their dreams were not realistic; but we sent them anyway, and gave them all the encouragement we could to “go deh strong.” We couldn’t lie to them. And there is always a minute measure of chance when eleven meets eleven. So, we stayed positive, and shared our one desire, that they play their hearts out for Belize. And that they did; and we are thankful and proud of their efforts. The results are another matter. We were not disgraced by hugely lopsided scores; but a loss is still a loss, and we shouldn’t feign heartbreak that there were no big “Ws” for our U-17. Not when we know fully well that we sent our boys to the slaughter. Four losses from four games (4-0 to Costa Rica, 3-1 to Honduras, 2-1 to El Salvador, 2-1 to Nicaragua), and last place in the tournament is the result, which is exactly what we knew was the most likely outcome.

    Fairtrade suspends Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association
    The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) is currently suspended by the Fairtrade inspection and certification body, FLORCERT, after an audit revealed that a Minister of Government was delivering cane to the factory even though there are claims that he is not a registered cane farmer. According to the chairman of the BSCFA Orange Walk branch, Alfredo Ortega, last Tuesday he received the suspension letter from FLOCERT. In an interview with CTV3 on Tuesday, Ortega revealed that when auditors interviewed Eloy Escalante, a farmer who is registered with the BSCFA, “he personally said that he, for the past three years, was not delivering cane in his name and he was not planting and that it was another person delivering in his name and based on that, he personally gave the information, then when they made their analysis in regards to the audit report, then they took it into account and that is why they suspended the Association.”

    The Reporter

    Integrity Commission named
    After several months of delay for not having a chartered accountant, the Integrity Commission has finally been appointed by the Senate after government nominated Mr. Nestor Vasquez to fill the post. Prime Minister Dean Barrow selected Vasquez, who chairs the government-owned Belize Telemedia Limited, and […]

    Senate divided on Guatemalan Special Agreement
    The Senate, at its last Special Sitting for 2016, on Wednesday in Belmopan, did not ratify the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala, nor the Amendment to a Special Protocol, established 15 months ago. The two motions were the only ones of 13 presented that […]

    Fire destroys Chateau Caribbean. Cause still undetermined!
    One week after a massive inferno destroyed Belize’s iconic Chateau Caribbean, the Fire Department still has not determined the cause of the fire. A fire completely destroyed the major tourism landmark in the posh Fort Point neighborhood of Belize City’s northside early Sunday morning, November […]

    Belize celebrates World AIDS Day 2016
    Several health sector organizations came together this week to commemorate World AIDS Day 2016. The National AIDS Commission (NAC) collaborated with entities such as the Ministry of Health, Diabetes Association of Belize, Kidney Association of Belize and the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB), […]

    Belikin launches 2016 calendar
    Belize has many beautiful women, and so beautiful as those who have graced the pages of the Belikincalenda, prompting admirers of all ages – male and female – to line up patiently to get their autographs from 10 beautiful models, when the Belikin Brewery launched its 2016 calendar at the […]

    Fidel Castro dies at 90
    Cuba’s revolutionary leader; a dictator to some, a hero to others, Fidel Castro died peacefully in his home at the age of 90 last Friday. His exact cause of death was not disclosed but the polarizing leader had been ailing for some time and had since […]

    Countries need to reassess their climate change strategies
    Following the Conference of the Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNCCC), many countries need to reassess their climate change strategies to align with global targets. At COP22 countries which are party to the global climate change arrangement known as the Paris Agreement, […]

    Countries set 2018 as deadline for Paris Agreement rulebook
    United Nations member countries have targeted 2018 as the year to have all the rules governing the Paris Agreement finalized. Over 190 countries met in Marrakesh, Morocco, this month for the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNCCC) and […]

    No word on missing Gales Point resident after 11 days
    A Gales Point Manatee man has been missing for 11 days and his family, who has been worried and desperately searching for him, now fears the worst. On Sunday November 20, Delroy Andrewin, 43, left his home around 9:00 a.m en route to his farm located […]

    Jaguar attacks on farm and domestic animals creating havoc in rural Toledo
    Personnel from the Forest Department are in the process of safely removing jaguars from residential and farmlands in rural Toledo because the wild cats have been killing farm and domestic animals. The jaguar attacks over the past few weeks have occurred particularly in two rural […]

    Editorial
    Since November this year we at the Reporter have counted ten criminal cases which have been nolli-prossed, that is to say, cases which were dismissed because material witnesses have chosen not to work with prosecuting authorities. Four of these cases were for murder. The other six were for various other […]

    Blue Christmas for Belizeans Unemployment and cost of living up as economy tanks
    Coming into the Christmas season, Belizeans are faced with rising unemployment, increasing cost of living, an economy in recession and even more economic uncertainty as restructuring of the “Superbond” looms. The latest economic data provided by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) on Wednesday showed […]

    Twenty-six shiny new trucks for Police Department
    The United States Government has made a hefty donation to the Belize Police Department, in the form of 26 new 2017 model Isuzu D-Max pickup trucks. The fleet of vehicles were handed over to the Minister of State with responsibility for Police, Elodio Aragon at […]

    Commuters unhappy with new bus rates
    Bus fares have been adjusted countrywide for all commercial passenger buses, going up in most areas, much to the dismay and discontent of passengers who commute regularly. Announcements of the price hike had been advertised since September, claiming that effective October, the prices would be […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Guns found in Gales Point Manatee
    Today the Special Patrol Unit led by Inspector Aaron Gamboa conducted a special operation in Gales Point Manatee where officers found two guns and 6 rounds of ammunition in an empty lot. The items were labeled as “Found property”. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article is […]

    BCCI’s 5th Christmas Expo Extravaganza this weekend
    The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) is hosting its 5th Annual Christmas Expo Extravaganza. This year’s Christmas Expo will feature local businesses, which will be offering Christmas cooking essentials and gifts at low prices. The expo takes place tomorrow Saturday and Sunday […]

    Belize weighs in on world weed list
    Belize, as it turns out, is one of the top 20 weed smoking countries in the world. Number 18 on the list of the world’s top 30 toking towns. The data comes from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Belize is […]

    Defense Minister wraps up nationwide tour
    Minister of Defense John Saldivar is today wrapping up his tour of BDF installations in the southern part of the country, which completes his national tour of BDF installations countrywide. On Wednesday, Saldivar, accompanied by CEO in the Ministry of Defense Lieutenant Colonel Felix […]

    Senate debates UNCAC, Integrity Commission and Guatemalan Special Agreement
    The Senate, during a special sitting this week, considered a series of very important motions including Belize’s accession to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the appointment of the Integrity Commission and the ratification of the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala. The Senate […]

    Fair weather to continue
    The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies and partly cloudy skies today and tonight. A few showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected. The wind will blow from the east at 5 to 15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures […]

    Soldier arrested for rescuing distressed woman
    Belize City police arrested a BDF soldier and a woman for ‘double riding’ a bicycle, but the soldier and woman claim he was in the process of rescuing her. BDF Soldier, Kendrick Archer, was slapped with a charge of “carrying a person above the […]

    Trawler flying Belize flag fined in Somalia
    A trawler with a Belizean flag has been fined US $65,000 by Somalia. According to reports, the trawler was accused of fishing in Somalian waters without a valid fishing license. Furthermore, the trawler is accused of fishing in prohibited areas with illegal fishing equipment. […]

    Clear the Cane Castro?
    The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) is in trouble after an audit revealed that Minister of Transport, Edmund Castro, was delivering cane to the factory without being a registered cane farmer. According to reports, the BSCFA received the letter of suspension last week […]

    Aggressive cat caller taken to court
    A man accused of viciously beating a 93-year-old man almost a year ago is again in trouble with the law. This time Chester Noralez, 36, is accused of sexually assaulting and using insulting words towards a Sadie Vernon student last week. According to […]

    Cool thieves caught chilling in freezer
    Eugene Bailey, 39, and Raymond Montes, 43, are in prison after they were found burglarizing Lucky Star Supermarket on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. Acting on intelligence, south side police visited the shop sometime after midnight on November 30. Officers found Bailey hiding in […]

    Woman gets six years for drug trafficking
    Today marks the first week in prison for a Belmopan woman after she failed to pay fines for being found guilty of drug trafficking earlier this year. Florita Janet Hyde, 30, had been found guilty of two counts of drug trafficking. She was ordered […]

    Blogs

    Travel on the Horizon – An Adventure Right Next Door
    My desire to travel – wanderlust – has really kicked in recently. Call it island fever…call it itchy feet but it’s time to plan a trip. And I think I found the perfect time… My very favorite thing in the world is travel…well…and dessert…but in second place is planning a trip. And last year, my big trip was basically as far away from Belize as I could go. An amazing, once in a lifetime, perspective changing, awe inducing, 10,000 mile trip to Kerala, India. SO…some time has opened up in beginning of January – the planets have aligned – and while I am hardly FLUSH with cash…there is a bit extra AND a country that I’ve been planning to see for a while. And it’s less than 200 miles away. GUATEMALA…on our very border and yet…yet…I’ve only been to the very edge of it. And there is SO MUCH. Colonial cities, active volcanoes where I can toast marshmallows, deep volcanic lakes, rain forest, a Pacific coast called “The Billfish Capital of the World”, hot springs…

    The Wild Wild West
    It started on a quiet Saturday night. I attended a dinner with the staff to say goodbye to one of our own. We enjoyed food, drinks, and laughs. I went home smiling and soon put on my PJ’s and headed to bed. I awoke at 1:30 am and I was already on the phone. Somehow I had answered while still asleep. I quickly recognised those most familiar words, “Doctora, you have an emergency.” It of course, was Ingrid. She sounded far too chipper, and I soon found out that she was still awake, having not yet been to bed. Within five minutes she was at my door, picking me up in the golf cart to drive me to work. Biking around in the middle of the night would not likely be perceived as “safe”, even by me. As we arrived I immediately recognized the male owner. He is a well known local that makes one of my favorite unique island drinks. He and his wife had returned home from a late night shift to find their small friendly dog having difficulty using its hind legs. After a thorough exam, I gave an injection as well as some medications and home care instructions and we were all headed home once again. By 2:30 am I was putting my head back on my pillow, having difficulty falling asleep after all of the excitement. At 6:20 am the phone was ringing again, this time I looked at the screen before I answered, a number was listed with no name that my phone recognized. As I said hello, the voice at the other end sounded panicked. I knew her right away. She quickly explained that her neighbor’s dog had been attacked by another larger dog. I instructed her to send them to the clinic and rolled out of bed. Pulling a scrub top over my head and exercising my self imposed special right to wear flip flops after hours, I hopped sleepily onto my bike and headed to town. The owner met me minutes later with a small fluffy dog having bite wounds on both sides of her abdomen. All I knew was that the dog who bit her dog was not her own. I quickly realized that I would need help, and so as I sent the owner home, I called for assistance. The dog was soon under anesthesia in order to clean and better assess her wounds.

    Fabulously elegant dining at EVOO Euro Bistro
    They started with Aji, bringing the concept of Spanish-style tapas to Ambergris Caye with much success. Rain Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace came next, with stunning vistas and delectable cuisine. Now, with the grand opening of their latest, incredible creation, Hugo and Victoria Meyer have truly outdone themselves. EVOO Euro Bistro provides ambiance and style in spades, while the kitchen turns out divine dishes. The Meyers did much research, and found to their surprise that the Euro Bistro concept is a rare one. Luckily for us, they went to work and put forth a beautiful new restaurant that will give residents and visitors a taste of something new and fabulous. As for the name, they choose EVOO which means Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is synonymous to European cuisines. Intimate and refined, EVOO’s 3rd floor location, provides a stunning backdrop to gourmet dining. From the water wall at the entrance, to the show-stopping crystal chandelier in the middle of the room, twinkling prettily under ambient light…mingle in the open, or cozy up to your date at a table for two. What is clear is that a statement has been made. Flair and chic combine to give you a European vibe, while its intimate size lets it truly live up to its bistro title.

    Top Travel Photos and Videos of Belize for November 2016
    November may have passed, but the memories created throughout the month will surely last a lifetime. While the month presented a few rainy days, it certainly did not discourage travelers from taking a sub-tropical vacation in Belize. The month proved to be very active, with many visitors and locals ziplining among the lush, green giants of the forest, jumping for joy at the marvels of the outdoors, getting a bird's eye view of the surroundings, or simply relaxing along the beautiful coastline. It just so happens that November 19th was the only day that saw a holiday celebrated - Garifuna Settlement Day, which allowed visitors to observe a reenactment of this vibrant ethnic group's arrival to Belize. Travelers got to dance to the rhythmic beating of drums, indulge in delicious Garifuna dishes and experience all things Garinagu. With so many travel related posts on Instagram featuring Belize this past month, it was definitely no easy task choosing our favorites. Thousands of travel photos and videos were taken, that highlighted the beauty of Belize during the past month and here's our list of the Top Travel Photos and Videos of Belize for November 2016:

    International Sourcesizz

    Just Back From Harvest Caye: 10 Things Cruise Passengers Will Love About Norwegian's New Port
    Norwegian plans to have other Cruise Lines Dock at Harvest Caye. Don't call it a private island, though. What differentiates Harvest Caye is that, like Grand Turk, Amber Cove or Mahogany Bay, it's not necessarily an extension of your cruise. When you visit, you'll find the island staffed by Belizean locals, rather than the ship's crew, and you'll have to pay for lunch, just as if you ate ashore in any other port that's not a private island. Although nothing official is in place just yet, Norwegian also plans to allow other cruise lines to use the port once it's up and running.

    See More Than the Beach in Belize
    I had heard that Belize has long stretches of lovely beach backed by magnificent multihued tropical foliage — and it does. I knew that its dense jungles hide intriguing Mayan ruins, some dating back to before the birth of Christ — and they do. What surprised and delighted me during my visit to the New Hampshire-size Central American country was the treasure-trove of other attractions and lists of things to do. Like most visitors I spent some delicious time relaxing on soft sand beaches. I also relived the mastery and mystery of the great civilization of the Mayas. I hiked hidden paths, enjoyed gentle canoe paddles and explored the jungle, rainforests and rivers that encompass inland Belize. Just off its Caribbean coastline, some 200 island cayes (pronounced "keys") bask in the warm waters. Most visitors head for Ambergris Caye, which has exploded in recent years as a diving and snorkeling destination.

    UK threatens to cut Commonwealth funding
    Just weeks after British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Dominica-born Baroness Scotland, the Commonwealth secretary general, to answer allegations of profligate spending, a new UK government report has warned that the Commonwealth Secretariat is failing in its role delivering taxpayer-funded aid and could lose funding. The Secretariat, headed up by Scotland, was among the worst rated in a review of overseas aid organisations by the Department for International Development (DFID). The report says the Commonwealth Secretariat “requires urgent organisational reform”, saying its performance needs to improve in areas such as transparency and budget discipline. It warns future spending will be linked to “performance improvements”, warning the Secretariat was “unsustainably reliant” on UK funds. The report will add pressure on Scotland’s stewardship of the Secretariat and risk embarrassing the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth.

    17 of the world's weirdest water features
    The ultimate shape-shifter, water exhibits its fair share of weirdness. Here are some of Earth's more unusual water features. An underwater sinkhole about 40 miles off the coast of mainland Belize, the Great Blue Hole is considered one of the world's best diving spots. More than 400 feet deep, the collapsed cave is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    15 COUNTRIES YOU SHOULD VISIT BEFORE YOU TURN 30
    The oldest, truest axiom of travel is that you never have both time and money. Before retirement, when your knees will be feta, your best shot at traveling big might be those bumpy early years when the world's a swirl anyway. In your teens and 20s, let's be honest, you're not in charge of squat; you don't have kids; you can get eight solid hours even when origamied in a bus seat; you're gastrointestinally fearless; and virtually nothing can kill you even if it tried. So stack a bit of cash, drop the dog at mom's, and get going. The world will still be here in a week, a month, a year. Trust us. No one in their 30s or 40s or 90s stops to wish, Gosh, if only I’d traveled less and put in longer hours at the office. That's the how and the why. For the where, we asked writers who've been around the world twice and lived to tell. Here's what they sent back on how to (mis)spend your youth -- at whatever age you happen to be now.

    Videos

  • It’s cool! HIV awareness, 1min. from Island Films

  • Sambai and Brokdong Medley, 10min. Sambai and Brokdong Medley performed by Dih Maroon Kriols and students of Maud Williams High School in Belize City

  • Kriol Punta, min. Kriol version of Punta played by Dih Maroon Kriols. Dih Maroon Kriols performing at Maud Williams High School in Belize City... Hire us this Holiday Season...

  • Andy Palacio, THE STRUGGLE GOES ON, 1960-2008, Dangriga, 4min. "Teaching the world to Punta" I first tuned into punta rock in the garage studio of Caye Records in Inglewood, near Los Angeles. Belizean, owner Patrick Barrow (who plays rhythm guitar for the Babylon Warriors, a reggae group) flipped the switch on a reel-to-reel tapedeck and hit me with some Palacio. Clearly Caribbean, somewhat African, and totally frenetic with tropical dance fever. Punta rock is the kind of electrified yet traditional Third World rhythm that's feeding the world-beat market.

  • Big up Bolo G aka Kenneth Gibbs, 2min. San Iggy Resident sings in Jamaica's Dance Hall Style

  • Open Your Eyes Rugby Belize feature, 10min. Rugby in Belize. Interview with Tony Gillings, featuring Chris Richy, Jason Castillo and others.

  • Ya'axche Conservation Trust launches EcoTourism Belize, 3min.

  • Chernow's hit Belize and Tikal 2014, 8min.

  • Coconut water in Belize with Carlos, 1.5min.

  • Belize San Pedro, 6min.

  • Legacy Rock Band Breaks up, 11min. After 13 years as a group the iconic band which rocked the hearts of thousands of Orange Walkenos, with their music and unique sound, officially announced yesterday that they are calling it quits. Today as we spoke to two members of the Legacy band, they shared with us some of the experiences, of being part of one of the most beloved and successful bands in town.

  • National Special Olympics and Sports, 7min. This morning Corozal Town was invaded by a special group of sports athletes who converged in the northern-most district for the holding of National Special Olympics. While the participation in the sporting games were the highlight of the day, the events were preceded by the arrival of the Flame of Hope and its display through town by our law enforcement officers. We were there early this morning to see the Fame of Hope take off.

  • FLASHMOB, 1.5min. The 16 Days of Activism to end gender based violence kicked off on November 25th. Today the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the US Embassy teamed up to take it to a "whole other level." The staged a flashmob in the middle of Belize City.

  • Confetti - Tips for Dressing Christmas Tree, 18min.

  • Traveller's Rum - Drinks for Christmas Seasons / Promotions, 11min.

  • Rotary Club of Belize Community Initiative - Port Loyola Christmas Party Fundraiser, 11min.

  • The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage discusses recent updates as it relates to offshore oil exploration in Belize, 1hr18min.

  • A flash mob on Albert Street!, 3min. It is a part of the US Embassy's activities for the "16 Days of Activism"

  • Belize Mayan Ruins in 360 VR injected, 4min.

  • BELIZE, Iris Carmen Salguero - Contestant Profile: Miss World 2016, 1/2min. The grand final of Miss World 2016 takes place on Sunday 18th December.

  • The Greg Davis Heirloom Seed Donation Belize, 14min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize Sep 2016, 3min.

  • Harvest Caye, Belize, 6min. We were the first guests and the second guests ever allowed on harvest caye. We did back to back cruises.

  • SNOWBALL FIGHT IN BELIZE??, 10min.

  • Belize It, 5min.

    December 2, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Town Celebrates 32 years of township

    31 backpacks donated to San Pedro Roman Catholic School
    Thanks to a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, 31 students at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) received new backpacks on Friday, November 25th. Each backpack was filled with goodies such as a headphone, charger, a bike warning light, and some batteries. Principal of SPRCS, Roxani Kay explained that the donor approached her and asked if he could to donate schoolbags to those students who are in need. Kay was more than happy to receive the donation. “I was delighted and happy for our students, because I knew that they would be grateful and enthusiastic about the donation. We do have students who have financial challenges and many come unprepared for classes. Therefore, when persons in our community or visitors are willing to help out our school children, this type of gesture is always appreciated and valued. It make us feel that indeed we do have people who are interested in investing in our children’s education,” said Kay.

    Rixy G Smith is Nuestra Belleza Gay 2016-2017
    The third annual Nuestra Belleza Gay Pageant united the San Pedro’s Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender (LBGT) community and supporters on Saturday, November 26th. Held at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, dozens of people came out to support the show organized by Zeilanni Natasha. While the crowd got comfortable, Nuestra Belleza 2015-2016 Byankka Bank’s spiced up the opening show with a dance. Nuestra Belleza Gay 2014-2015 Jennifer Baily Bowen served as the Master of Ceremonies, and introduced this year’s four delegates: Kittana Welch, Gaylene Summers, Angeline Del la Rosa, and Rixy G Smith. The panel of judges included Alfonso Singh, Dina Graniel, Anny Cruz, and Mynor Tepaz, along with tabulators, Miguel Caliz and Aldair Tun.

    Special Olympics Torch comes to Ambergris Caye
    The San Pedro Police Department was proud to host the Special Olympics Belize torch when it arrived in San Pedro Town on Tuesday, November 29th. The event forms part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), which has been taking place for the last five years. The torch arrived shortly after 6PM, and remained on the island until Wednesday, November 30th after being paraded through the streets of Town. According to Inspector of Police Elroy Carcamo LETR is part of a series of events held by Special Olympics International across the world to promote awareness for persons living with disabilities. “In this event, we also look to fundraise and sensitize the community to assist children with intellectual disabilities who are participating in sporting activities,” said Carcamo.

    Ambergris Today

    Atlantic Hurricane Season was Deadliest in Over 10 years
    The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season has become one of the most active and deadliest in years. We survived it here in Belize, but not without being hit by Hurricane Earl which caused over $10Mil in damages on Ambergris Caye alone and over $100Mil loss for Belize’s agriculture industry. Hurricane Earl was a big blow for Belize in August, luckily there were no casualties during the Category 1 Storm. There was major damage to infrastructure as strong winds ripped roofs off some buildings, uprooted trees and caused widespread power outages. Looking at all the storm activity during the Atlantic Season, there was lots more devastation and loss of lives. The season generated 15 named storms, seven of which were hurricanes; three of those Major Hurricanes. The season was the deadliest since 2005 and the costliest since 2012.

    Mass First Aid Training and a Successful Blood Drive
    The Belize Red Cross - San Pedro Branch (SPBRC) is proud to announce that training is underway for the staff of Mahogany Bay Village. Soon 30 newly qualified First Responders will be available to assist staff, visitors of the village and the community at large. The first 10 were trained Tuesday, November 22nd, the second group is scheduled for December 6th and the third group soon after. All will be trained in First Aid, CPR and AED utilization. San Pedro Red Cross has been providing First Aid training to all the citizens, organizations and businesses of San Pedro since November 2013 for a nominal fee. This year our certified instructors were able to train many teachers, firefighters and youths of the island due to the generous contributions from sponsors.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Art For Christmas 2016
    CONSIDER A PAINTING BY CHRIS EMMANUEL AS A GIFT THIS YEAR!! Ernie Christopher (Chris) Emmanuel is a successful artist/poet/writer/speaker. He is the author of four books in the self-development and inspirational genre. Chris has appeared on TV in Washington, DC. Minnesota, Belize and Toronto, Canada, for his Art and Poetry.

    Fundraiser for Kathy Portillo
    Want to get involved in something very positive this Holiday Season? Local Sanpedrana, Kathy Portillo was in a tragic car accident and suffered extensive injuries that include a severe spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down. She is undergoing a complex recovery process and needs assistance with all daily living activities. This fundraiser will help to provide 24/7 nursing care and physical therapy. Kathy was born and raised in Belize. She has served as a role model for young Sanpedranas and continues to inspire the people of San Pedro. Please join the community for this important event. Radiation & Dollar Drive - Friday, December 2 @7a.m Saturday, December 3 - Fun Run @ Walk - 5:30a.m. Food Sale & Raffles - 10a.m. Thank you for your Support Sign up with Wilfredo Jr Alamilla (624-9480) & Daniela Guerrero at the San Pedro Town Council.

    Eastern Police Division South;Community Policing
    At it.....cleaning up abandoned bushy lots in the Precinct 2 area of Belize City.

    26 Isuzu new pick-up trucks
    Today, Ambassador Carlos Moreno handed over 26 Isuzu pick-up trucks and other equipment valued at US $833,319 to the Belize Police Department (BPD). The vehicles will be used to support existing BPD programs such as Community Policing, the CompStat Program, the Field Training Officer Program, and IT related projects. Since 2008, the United States Government has provided US $40 million to the Government of Belize through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) to assist in improving and enhancing citizen security and rule of law in Belize. Assistance through CARSI supports programs such as Community Policing, CompStat, Neighborhood Watch Programs, Forensics, and several other areas. The vehicles are a part of CARSI’s systemic approach to accomplish that goal by providing several INL-supported police units with improved mobility.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Ben-Hur, Morgan, Pete's Dragon, High Strung. *Please note that HIGH STRUNG is playing on Saturday and Sunday only* Screen 2 has been reserved for a School Event for 9pm on Friday.

    Smart will now be offering internet on Caye Caulker
    Today at the Community Center 10am to 4pm!

    Are you coming to Caye Caulker next week?
    cean Academy's school office printer has run out of toner and we need more! We will buy and ship to your address if you can pack it in your bags for us. It is only $13 online but expensive in Belize.

    Belize International Yoga Festival
    Coming up at end of the year - Belize International Yoga Festival - Exciting New Festival for Belize. December 31, 2016 @ 6:00 am – January 1, 2017 @ 12:00 am WHERE: Harbour View Greens, Fort St. Belize City, Belize. Rhythm of Change, (ROC) Om Shanti Belize is a secular, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and implementing activities that bring forth individual, social and environmental changes in our country. We are proud to be using innovative approaches to peace building including yoga, meditation environmental consciousness and other forms of wellness. ROC Om Shanti, Belize has been engaged in several community outreach activities; attached are a few pictures of some of our recent engagements. We are about to embark on its first large project, the Belize International Yoga Festival, which will take place on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2016 in Belize City. The festival is designed to bring together yoga and meditation practitioners, aspirants and the general public to enjoy soulful moments of wellness, healing, relaxation and reflection in order to promote more positive interactions that are vitally important for the well-being of our communities and country.

    Hands up for HIV Prevention
    Department of Youth Services Belmopan Office participating in the HANDS UP FOR HIV PREVENTION campaign. Please join us in creating more awareness to change our world by preventing new infections of HIV, increasing personal care and health for those infected and decreasing stigma and discrimination. All you need to do is take a photo with a word or short phrase written in your palm. It can be a word or phrase that summarizes what we need to strengthen for HIV prevention efforts.

    TIDE and the youth
    Day 7 of food and beverage training offered to unemployed youths of Toledo by TIDE and the youth department and funded by the US Embassy! 'I am learning so much,' said one of the youths, 'and will surely seek employment after my training!' The Embassy is proud to be training Toledo's youth to enhance their employability skills and making a difference! Thank you for your partnership, Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE).

    BWRC 2016 Gala
    The Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic had their 3rd annual Gala and silent auction at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Once again, lionfish was on the menu, as it should have been, and the lionfish sere was superb.

    THIS DAY IN HISTORY
    On December 1st, 1820, the Light House on Half Moon key completed, and a light first shewn. The Light House will be 200 years old in 2020. Honduras Almanack 1829

    "Enchaining Kinship: Figurines and State Formation At Cahal Pech, Cayo, Belize"
    The Institute of Archaeology would like to congratulate Dr. Lisa DeLance on successfully defending her dissertation "Enchaining Kinship: Figurines and State Formation At Cahal Pech, Cayo, Belize". We wish Dr. DeLance all the best in her future endeavors.

    Channel 7

    26 New Trucks For Police
    Police formations all over the county got their fancy new rides today. 26 of them rolled into the city in style yesterday but they were officially handed over this morning at the ITVET compound. These 2017 Isuzu D-max trucks are some of the best, most well-suited trucks the police department has gotten because of their durability and high end features. Today I found out how these trucks will improve police work countrywide. Courtney Weatherburne reporting By now, most of these officers are familiar with the dazzling interior of a brand new vehicle, the sturdy feel of the gear shift and the smooth slip of a new steering wheel but, they will have to learn a thing or two about the high tech features of these brand new 2017 D-Max trucks. H.E Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador: "These vehicles are equipped with GPS real time tracking, communication systems, dash board cameras that I am sure will have an opportunity to see some of those lights flashing like I saw yesterday."

    Police Trucks Feature Technology To Monitor Police Work
    And while the trucks begin work immediately, so does the job of policing the cops who use them. That’s right, these trucks won’t just be deployed without any monitoring. There’s 21st. century technology – namely a dashboard camera - to provide an added level of accountability. It will record the officers actions in and around the pickup truck. Commissioner Whylie says this will be useful in assessing claims of police brutality: Reporter: "When it comes to the dashboard cameras, tell us what the public can expect now that this has been put in place? Is it that they will be on for every single trip?" Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "Well the camera should always be on, as long as the vehicle is operational, the camera should be on and as I've said we've developed a number of protocols. It’s not the first time that we are having cameras in vehicles. I believe a previous fleet of Ford Rangers that we have received through the CARSI programs also had cameras and so these cameras I believe is a little better quality cameras, but the protocols have been developed and strengthen to ensure that there is accountability and that they stay on and as I said in my earlier remarks, as a result of these cameras the interaction between the police and the members of the community that they would be more professional."

    Cops Say New Truck In Drain Wasn't An Accident
    And while best practices are included to ensure that the new police trucks are used according to the rules, for a wary public, that's hardly enough. Indeed, the police department has a reputation for wrecking vehicles fast. And those concerns were confirmed over the weekend when someone posted video on Facebook showing a new Mazda police truck in the drain on Pitta street in southside Belize City. Today we asked the commissioner about it:.. Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "I haven't seen the video. I am aware. I was briefed that there was a vehicle somewhere in St. Martin's where it is said that either a sink hole or the drain. I am not certain, but I think that the deputy commissioner had addressed that matter, because I believe it was a vehicle assigned to the Eastern Division South." "I would have to see the video before I could comment further and I will see it in my own time."

    COMPOL Says No Proof That There Was A Landing On Clandestine Airstrip
    Earlier this week we told you about the illicit airstrip that police found near mile nine on the Coastal Highway in the Belize District. That was Tuesday morning when a plane was heard circling low in the Belize District. When police got there, they found no plane and no drugs, just 20 drums - 16 filled with aviation fuel, while four were empty. They also came upon, makeshift landing lights, 4 batteries, canvases, and the discarded seats from an airplane. These were most likely removed to make way for a drug cargo. It suggests what is well known to those in law enforcement circles: that Belize continues to be used as a transshipment point for drugs. But, is there any police intelligence on how often illicit landings go undetected, or how many of the clandestine airstrips exist? Well, we're way ahead of the commissioner on this one: he says there's no evidence that a plane landed there:

    Female Tacos Vendor Flung Off Motorbike and Robbed
    Every morning single mother of two, Mayra Castellanos hooks a trailer to the back of her motorcycle and rides from Ladyville to Hattieville to sell her tacos. She's been doing this seven days a week for the last seven years, but two days ago that all changed after she was attacked, thrown off her bike, broke her leg and was robbed. Here's what Castellanos' told us about the incident. Castellanos told us that she thinks she was targeted because she travels alone on the road every day. But, even though she will be out of commission for a month and a half, Castellanos says that as soon as her leg heals, she'll be back to business as usual. According to Castellanos, police had one person is custody, but she was unable to identify him because her assailants were wearing shirts over their faces.

    The Notorious Chester Accused Again
    35 year-old Belize City resident Chester Noralez has been making crime news since the early 90's, but his name gained newfound notoriety one year ago when he was accused of beating his 93 year old neighbor to within inches of his life. Well, he's making news again tonight after being taken to Magistrate's Court for a sexual assault charge. He's accused by a 17 year-old girl of fondling her. The teenager reported to police that on Monday, she was in front of Qin Shop on Mahogany Street when Noralez unexpectedly hugged her and fondled her buttocks. She said that she warned him that she was going to report him to police, and that's when he allegedly insulted her with a curse word. Police charged him with one count of sexual assault and one count of using insulting words. He was arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, where he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail of $3,000.

    Senate Criticizes Belize-Guyana Trade Pact
    Last night, we brought you extensive coverage of yesterday's Senate Meeting. One of the motions which we didn't get a chance to tell you about, was a resolution tabled by the Government. It authorizes the Barrow Administration to ratify a Framework agreement between the Governments of Belize and Guyana for bilateral cooperation. Now, viewers will remember that rice war between the local producers and importer Jack Charles. He wanted to import cheap Guyanese rice, which he said was a higher quality, at a lower cost to consumers. That happened right around the start of the Christmas season last year. To protect the local producers, Belize had to send back 3 containers of Guyanese rice which Jack Charles already had shipped to the Port of Big Creek. Well, to ensure that Belize didn't offend the Government of Guyana for the refusal of that product, the then Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega, and his CEO, Jose Alpuche, travelled to that CARICOM country to have face to face talks with their Guyanese counterparts. Those talks have resulted in this Framework agreement for the deepening of bilateral cooperation between both countries.

    Whylie Rejects GSU Narrative Alleging Personal Interest in Internal Probe
    One month ago, news emerged that there were complaints of sexual harassment within the GSU. Female officers complained to the Ombudsman that they were targeted by senior male officers. It caused quite a stink in the unit because of internal police politics - which suggested that the Commissioner of Police had some sort vested interest in the case. Today the commissioner said the matter has been referred to the Professional Standards Branch and threatened suit against those media houses who have published that characterization:. Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "We understand that several female GSU officers made reports that they were being sexually harassed by their fellow male GSU officers." Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "All I can say on that matter is the matter is under investigation by the professional standards branch." Reporter "Sir, I had wanted to add to that, because our understanding is that you felt aggrieve by what was reported in one media and probably another to the point that you have sought legal action against those two media stations, but in the public's interest an allegation has been made against yourself and in the public's interest to assure them that this isn't happening within one arm of the police department. Have you taken it upon yourself to ensure that it's been properly investigated that there was a a chain of command that every single officer who should have been informed was informed, which raises the question, were you informed and what did you..."

    Belizario Says A Sudden and Early "Bye-Bye"
    In late 2014 and 2015, during all the upheaval in the sugar industry, Belizario Carballo was a face that had become synonymous with BSI. And for a while we got the distinct impression that Belizario Carballo - as the company's financial director - was being favoured over his boss, CEO Joey Montalvo. Well, Montalvo retired in mid 2015, and this week we learned that Carballo has opted for early retirement and is no longer with BSI. Carballo was with the company for 25 years, while Joe Montalvo spent over 40 years with BSI - and before the ASR takeover two were considered the leaders of BSI. And that's why the early retirement has raised eyebrows, because of the clear suggested that ASR/BSI is flushing out the local bosses, and importing institutional capacity. We note that long time factory manager John Gillett also ended his tenure last year. ASR's public relations people stressed to CTV-3 that Carballo left the company under good terms.

    Soldier was Saving Her From A Stalker, But Cops Say Two On A Bike Is Too Much
    Riding two on a bike, it's virtually a Belizean past time, but the cops seem to be cracking down on it now. Today, 25 year old BDF soldier Kendric Archer appeared in the Magistrate's Court where he pled guilty to a single charge of carrying a person above the age of 10 on a bicycle. That person was Shanna Bennett, age 23, who was charged with the unusual offence of "allowing herself to be carried." While on the stand, Archer explained the situation, saying that he was on leave from his military duties, and while he was on his way to get some food he met Bennett. She told him that she was being followed by a dread man and feared for her life, so she asked him for a ride to get away from the stalker. Archer agreed and the two took off together. Police stopped them not long after and charged both. Bennett gave the same story, and after hearing both sides, Magistrate Mendoza dismissed the charges, and cautioned them not to let it happen again.

    World AIDS Day Diagnosed
    Today is World AIDS Day, a day used to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, educate people about prevention methods and eliminate stigma against those infected. To create awareness in Belize, the National AIDS Commission and the Ministry of Health set up a testing site at the Battlefield Park in Belize City today. The site had HIV testing booths, as well as stalls that provided information about prevention and protection. We spoke to the Ministry of Health's Adherence Counselor, Kevin Mendes. World AIDS Day is a UNAIDS initiative. Emphasis is put on prevention and diagnosis of the disease with the goal to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV or AIDS are diagnosed, on antiretroviral treatment, and for them to have a fully suppressed viral load by 2020.

    A Senate Salute For The Comandante
    All this week, we've been showing you reflections of Belizean politicians on the contributions of the late Fidel Castro. The Cuban Commander-In-Chief made his mark on world history, as the most influential, far-reaching leader to come out of the Americas. Well, yesterday, the Senate took its opportunity to salute Castro with Members Eamon Courtenay and Godwin Hulse speaking about Cuba's self-less assistance to Belize: Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber and Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington are in Cuba and will represent Belize at Castro's funeral on Sunday.

    Channel 5

    Is Net Vasquez Fit to Serve on Integrity Commission?
    Is Nestor Vasquez qualified to serve on the Integrity Commission? The question provoked a furious back-and-forth during Wednesday’s meeting of the Senate in Belmopan, despite the Upper House ultimately voting [...]

    Debt for Nature: Oil Jitters Cost Belize $200 Million?
    Why would Government turn down a debt-for-nature swap programme? That is the hundred million dollar question tonight. Documents have surfaced showing that The Nature Conservancy approached Government about seven years [...]

    New Rides for Police Department
    The official handing over of a brand new fleet of vehicles for use by the police department took place today. On hand at the ITVET was the U.S. Ambassador Carlos [...]

    Caught on Camera: E.D. South Addressing Alleged Infraction Involving Police Vehicle
    While we’re on the subject of police vehicles, amateur footage of a pickup truck assigned to Eastern Division South has gone viral after it was posted on the internet a [...]

    Police Cannot Ignore Welfare, Warns Commissioner
    Since the beginning of the year, a number of police officers have died of natural causes and concerns are being raised about the physical wellbeing of the men and women [...]

    B.T.I.A.’s A.G.M. is Call to Arms for Tourism Industry
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association was established thirty-one years ago to represent the sector’s developers and service providers. It has presided over the explosion of the tourism industry into Belize’s [...]

    Times Haad, Chamber Complains; Don’t Raise Taxes!
    ‘How di Krismus di come?’ It’s a favourite question of the press at this time of the year for consumers darting in and out of the shops looking for top [...]

    UNCAC Will Not Save Us All, Says Chamber President
    With the Senate assenting to Belize’s accession to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on Wednesday, nothing stands in the way of Prime Minister Dean Barrow signing on December [...]

    Attempted Murder Charge Upgraded for Raheem Marsden
    Raheem Marsden, who has been serving time for an attempted murder charge since July of this year, just saw his charge upgraded to murder.   Today, twenty four year old Marsden [...]

    Burn Victims Mercy Fund Getting Money for Worthy Cause
    The Burn Victims Mercy Fund has been operating for years now, but not much is known about how the funds are generated to assist victims in times of desperate need. [...]

    World AIDS Day: New Cases Down as More Get Tested
    The number of new cases of persons affected with HIV annually has been on a steady downward trend according to the National Aids Commission. Today, that good news was celebrated [...]

    Tributes to Fidel Castro Continue; in Belize, a Call for Ending U.S. Embargo on Cuba
    The memorial to late President of the Cuban Republic, Fidel Castro, with the attendance of world leaders took place on Tuesday night in Havana. Today, Castro’s remains arrived in the [...]

    B.T.I.A. Wants G.O.B. to Protect Local Tourism Industry in Wake of Harvest Caye
    Norwegian Cruise Line has come under fire from local tour operators for diverting newer cruise ships south to their brand-new exclusive property at Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District. [...]

    Coast Guard Searches for the Best Warrior
    For the past two days, the competitive spirit among Coastguard officers has been in high levels at their headquarters on the George Price Highway. About fifty officers are participating in [...]

    Healthy Living: 3 Reasons Why You Should Get Tested for H.I.V.
    You saw earlier in this newscast the commemoration of World Aids Day in Belize. That story and the many others we’ve put together for this health segment have provided you [...]

    CTV3

    MOH Continues To Monitor ZIKA Virus
    In mid-November, the World Health Organisation announced that it no longer considered the ZIKA virus an emergency and would shift its focus from a short term response to long-term efforts. What this meant was that WHO recognised that the virus was here to stay. It continues to affect babies who are born with a condition known as microcephaly, which causes abnormally small heads and restricted brain development. For Belize, health officials continue on the alert for Zika. While there were over 580 suspected cases in September, it ballooned to over 600 following Hurricane Earl in October. Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero spoke to us about how Belize will be adjusting its effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services: “For us now to know that it is an endemic means that we have it here and it is going to be cyclical, our efforts has to continue just like with dengue, with malaria and chikungunya your efforts are throughout the year, what this means for us because we are taking note of it is that we are aware that ZIKA is here we probably aren’t going to be having any further spike this year...”

    PUP Criticizes GOB Political Appointees To Integrity Commission
    At yesterday’s Senate meeting, the new members of the Integrity Commission were appointed. The Government, who named four members, nominated Marilyn Williams as the chairperson, along with members Armead Gabourel, Lisbeth Delgado, Wilmot Simmons and Nestor Vasquez. The Opposition named Melissa Balderamos-Mahler and Claudette Grinage. Interestingly, Williams, Gabourel and Simmons have been like members-in-waiting because they had been named to the Commission since 2014 but the body never got to do any work because members stepped down following the introduction of new laws which made appointees to board and committees politically exposed persons. Since then the Integrity Commission has been defunct and mostly due to the unwillingness from accountants to serve on the board. But Nestor Vasquez has stepped up to the plate. When the appointed came up at Wednesday’s Senate meeting, the Opposition expressed concern that the Government’s picks are well-known UDP sympathizers.

    US Donates Fleet Of Vehicles For Law Enforcement
    The United States Government donated a new fleet of vehicles to the Police Department this morning. The Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and his district commanders gathered at the ITVET compound in Belize City where the new wheels valued at over U.S$830,000 were on display. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno said that the donation is part of his Government’s commitment to the nation’s domestic security. Ambassador Carlos Moreno – United States Of America To Belize: “Now this is a reflection of the strong partnership between Belize and the United States and we share so many, many common goals, values, people together. Our priority is here in Belize are and have always been increasing citizen security which is in the rule of law, enhancing economic prosperity and promoting good governance, this particular transfer really involves citizen security and in my view although these are separate goals in another sense they are really interconnected. As of 2008, the United States has committed over 40 million dollars in programming and equipment and training to Belize to the CARSI program and these projects work to support law enforcement institutions to respond effectively to crime, they are also directed towards the justice sector.”

    New Vehicles Will Allow COPS To Video Incidents
    Of the 26 new vehicles, a great majority will not be leaving Belize City since 13 of them will be allocated there. The City of Belmopan will get 2 while the districts will get one each. While the distribution is one thing, the role the vehicles can play in policing the Police is another. As we said, they have built in cameras that will turn on every time the vehicle is in use and capture every moment of the Police’s duties. So will the footage taken by the cameras be made public to ensure that the Police are doing the right thing? The ComPol said he won’t make any promises. ComPol Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police: “The cameras should always be on as long as the vehicle is operational, the camera should be on and as I said we’ve develop a number of Protocols is not the first time that we are having cameras in vehicles I believe that a previous fleet of Ford Rangers that we had received through the CARSI program also had cameras and so these cameras I believe it is a little better quality cameras but the Protocols have been develop and strengthen to ensure that there is accountability that they stay on and as I said in my earlier remarks we expect that as a result of these cameras the interaction between the police and the members of the community that they interact well be more professional.”

    New Approach Needed To Tackle HIV AIDS
    December 1st is globally designated as World AIDS Day. This year officials are commemorating efforts to reduce the epidemic under the message “Take the challenge, End AIDS”. Free testing was conducted in various parts of the country as national health officials promote testing and counselling. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, has been keeping an eye on the cases of HIV/AIDS in Belize. He indicated that the most recent statistics he has seen in June show that the prevalence of the sexually-transmitted disease is affecting both genders equally.

    LOVE FM

    CARSI, 26 Trucks and the Police Department
    Twenty six Isuzu DMax pickup trucks were officially handed over to the Belize Police Department this morning through the US Embassy. The almost two million Belize dollars were drawn from the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Program. According to the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Jr the vehicles were […]

    Outcome Still Pending Into Investigation of Sexual Harassment Allegations in the GSU
    At the end of October we told you of allegations surfacing within the Gang Suppression Unit where female officers were making allegations against two of their GSU colleagues. The matter was taken to the Ombudsman as well and to the Professional Standards Branch of the Belize Police Department. As a follow up, we asked Minister […]

    Aragon and Lovell Assess the Police Department and Its Policies
    Six weeks ago the junior politician and former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Junior rose to the rank of Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is a posting that many had predicted from the third victory of the Barrow administration considering his familiarity with the Belize Police Department and his […]

    Belize Joins Hands in Commemorating World AIDS Day
    For the last twenty eight years, December 1 has been dubbed World AIDS Day with the objective to remind citizens of the impacts of HIV/AIDS and the importance of preventative measures. It is a global initiative and in Belize, the Ministry of Health partnered with several agencies to commemorate the day with a mobile testing […]

    Emergency Ops Centre for Crooked Tree from Uncle Sam
    On Wednesday, US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno, handed over an Emergency Operations Center to the Government of Belize. The state of the art facility is located in Crooked Tree Village. The facility will bring together key emergency response and disaster relief officials from NEMO, the Ministries of Labor, Health, and Education, the Belize Defense […]

    US Ambassador and Pending Donations to Belize
    With only fifty two days left in office, Ambassador for the United States to Belize, Carlos Moreno says there are still a few more projects in Belize under his leadership. CARLOS MORENO “The one that I can think of right now are the provision of additional vehicles that would include motorcycles and bicycles, I know […]

    Belize Ranks 18/30 for Global Marijuana Consumption
    In a report produced by the Adam Smith Institute of the United Kingdom Belize was listed as one of the top thirty countries from around the world that consume marijuana. Belize made it at number eighteen with a reported eight point four-five percent of its population using the drug. Iceland ranked at number one with […]

    Senators Debate on Belize/Guyana Relations
    During yesterday’s Senate meeting Senators ratified a framework agreement between the Government of Belize and the Government of Guyana. That agreement seeks to deepen the bilateral agreement between the two countries. This means that Senators were asked to give the go ahead for a legal framework to be created in order to encourage cooperation through […]

    Lighting Up Downtown Belize City for Christmas
    The Belize City Council is preparing for its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony scheduled to take place on Friday, December 2. City Councillor Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar spoke of tomorrow’s event. HYACINTH CUELLAR “Tomorrow we have the annual tree lighting ceremony this is sponsored by Coca Cola and the Belize City Council. It will be very special […]

    Remembering Andy’s 56th Birthday
    Tomorrow, Friday, a memorial mass will be held in several communities to celebrate the 56th birthday of musical icon and Cultural Ambassador Andy Palacio. Leading the charge is the Andy Palacio Tribute Committee. Love News spoke with member of the Committee, Cynthia Cayetano. CYNTHIA CAYETANO “We know that it’s very important to honor the memory […]

    The Guardian

    26 new vehicles for Belize Police Department
    On Thursday December 1, the Ministry of Home Affairs will receive 26 new Isuzu D-Max pickup trucks valued at 1.6 million dollars. The donation comes through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). On Wednesday the Guardian spoke to U.S. Ambassador, H.E. Carlos Moreno who explained that over the past 8 years the U.S. through CARSI has donated over 30 million dollars worth of equipment to various law enforcement arms in Belize. He said that these donations are very important as they help to forge a closer partnership between Belize and the U.S. and that one of their main priorities is citizen security. He noted that when the State Department is looking at contributing to Belize they keep in mind proposals that fit the overarching goals of the U.S. which looks at prosperity and economic development programs as well as programs to divert youth from crime as well as promote entrepreneurship and leadership skill and to help to promote good governance.

    Suspected drug plane lands and takes off
    Police are sure that a plane landed illegally in Belize, and the smugglers who facilitated it, managed to move some sort of illicit cargo. All signs point to a drug smuggling operation, but police are unable to confirm that since, by the time they arrived in the area, these unknown underworld figures were already gone. In the predawn hours of Tuesday, November 29, Hattieville police received intelligence that there was some sort of aircraft which had entered Belizean airspace, and it was flying low near the Coastal Road, as if attempting to make a landing. The police responded as quickly as they could, and they ended up searching the entire area. They soon came across a makeshift airstrip, which was obviously created to run illegal cargo. A search of the area led them to 20 drums. 16 of them were filled with aviation fuel, and the other 4 were empty, which confirms that the aircraft landed, and it was refueled. The officers found wires, lights, batteries, and canvasses, which they believe were used to assist the pilot of the smuggling plane to safely land. The officers also found seats, which they believe came from this aircraft. Those were thrown aside, as if to make room for whatever cargo these smugglers intended to transport. The discarding of the seats is an indicator to narcotics experts that the cargo was most likely drugs, but there is no real means of confirming this.

    Five years imprisonment for “disgusting” sex offender
    “You are a sick individual! You are disgusting …,” were the words Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith had for 39-year-old John Francisco Leslie before she found him guilty of inserting his penis and ejaculating into the mouth of a five-year-old little girl. The incident occurred on the afternoon of April 12, 2016. In trial on Thursday, November 24, the child testified from behind a board so she didn’t have to face the offender and others present in the courtroom. She said that she was playing with her friends when Leslie took her inside the house. Once inside, “John touched me on my private part and he put his penis into my mouth,” testified the child. He made her stand on a chair, instructed her to open up her mouth and then put his penis inside and ejaculated. After this was done, the child said she ran outside to play but felt like she wanted to vomit. She decided to go to her mother instead and told her what had happened. The mother took the child to the police station where a social worker intervened and the child gave her report to police. In court the child was also able to describe Leslie and how she got to know him prior to that day.

    Another Beg-A-Ton, Belizeans are fed up with Wade
    Belizeans were on Saturday, again treated to the circus of Plus TV publicly begging for it to stay afloat. The principal of the TV station shamelessly paraded himself and others to beg from the Belizean public in order for their financial expenses could be met. Now the event was not any that had any real value to anyone other than for Louis “Beg-a-tonto” Wade’s selfish yearnings to keep spewing political propaganda on his tv station. Day in and day out this so called pastor attacks any and every initiative by the UDP government in a relentless manner. So rabid is he that his advertisers that he used to depend on a few years ago (a time when he seemed impartial) have all left him. He is now left without any financing. He is left to do a yearly beg-a-ton where he whines and pleas to the public to help him with his expenses.

    Corozal gets a new polyclinic
    On Friday November 25, the Ministry of Health officially inaugurated the Corozal Polyclinic II. Located at the Corozal Community Hospital Compound on Santa Rita Hill in Corozal Town, the facility is expected to greatly improve healthcare services provided in that municipality. The retrofitting of the clinic came after the government of Belize invested some $530,000 into it through the National Health Insurance Program (NHI). Under construction for the past 9 months, the new polyclinic will offer expanded healthcare to residents of Corozal Town and surrounding areas.

    Hon. Edmond Castro delivers more houses in Burrell Boom and Sandhill Will receive another Nemo building from the United States Embassy
    Yesterday, November 28, 2016, Minister of National Emergency Management and Area Representative for Belize Rural North Honourable Edmond Castro was in the villages of Burrell Boom and Sandhill handing over more houses to victims of Hurricane Earl in those villages. Honourable Castro was accompanied by NEMO Regional Coordinator for Cayo and Belize Districts Al Westby, as well as NEMO Coordinator for Belize Rural North Alphius Gillett. Last week, he similarly handed over houses to residents in the village of Crooked Tree. Honourable Edmond Castro will be back in Crooked Tree tomorrow, November 30, 2016, to receive from the United States Embassy a sturdy, newly constructed building in that village, which will serve as a spacious, well-outfitted hurricane shelter for the area.

    Historic Structure Destroyed by Flames
    One of the last few colonial style treasures went up in smoke on Sunday morning, November 27. Residents of the Fort Street area reports seeing wild flames flying out of the kitchen window of the Chateau Caribbean Hotel building around 8 on Sunday morning. The fire quickly spread to the ceiling and second floor of the aged structure. By the time fire officials arrived on the scene there was not much they could do to save the building. The mission at that point was to contain the blaze and prevent damages to other iconic structures nearby. At the conclusion of the fire fight, the second floor had collapsed and the original structure was completely destroyed. There were no casualties, fortunately. However, guests were rattled after being rushed out of the burning building. Many were having or getting ready for breakfast and that was interrupted by instruction to flee for life. Several people lost valuable property but the preservation of life is goal number one.

    Citrus growers expect price increase
    The Belize Citrus Growers Association has announced to the general membership that they can expect a price increase for their products. In a release dated the 30th November 2016 the association stated: “The new Estimated Final Price for Oranges has increased from $2.5929 per pound solid to $2.7272 per pound solid and the advance price of 65% has increased from $1.6854 per pound solid to $1.7727per pound solid.” It continued by stating that, “The new estimated price is equivalent to $16.0903 per box, up from $15.2981 per box…” This surely speaks to the fact that the citrus industry is showing an upward trend and doing much better than the last few seasons when factors such as citrus leprosies, the tristeza virus, and the Huanglongbing disease better known as HLB or citrus greening caused the industry to experience great loss.

    Belize Coast Guard- 11 years and getting stronger
    The Belize Coast Guard is now in existence for 11 years and on Friday, November 25, the Government of Belize joined in an anniversary ceremony to celebrate their growth and development since being commissioned back in 2005. The Coast Guard, which was originally named the “Belize National Coast Guard”, came into existence when the Belize Defence Force Maritime Wing became an entirely new arm of the Belizean law enforcement not under the military. Current Commandant, Admiral John Borland, recounted to the press that on November 28, 2005, the Coast Guard was formed, and 50 officers from the Police and the BDF received donations of 5 vessels. The US Government provided a lot of funding and training to these officers, and now, nearing the end of 2016, the Coast Guard has grown to 350 men with 15 boats, and a number of bases in different parts of the country, and their headquarters in Belize City. The organization has also extended the reach of its law enforcement capabilities, starting from a coastal unit, and now, they are able to patrol the country’s entire marine environment, all the way to the limit of Belize’s exclusive economic zone.

    1.2 million dollar hurricane shelter for Crooked Tree
    The United States Government through the military laison office of Southcom handed over a multipurpose disaster relief building to the people of Crooked Tree. At ceremonies held at the village, the 1.2 million dollar investment was handed over and Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Carlos Moreno told the Guardian that the building will be a place of refuge during times of disaster and can also serve as a multipurpose building for community events. The structure was constructed to withstand the strongest of hurricanes to hit the village and Moreno noted that it is an investment that symbolizes the strong bi-lateral relationship between the U.S. and Belize. For his part, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Hon. Edmond Castro explained that because Crooked Tree is an island the effects of not only hurricanes but also floods have had major impacts on the community where people had to be moved from low lying areas. There was always a place lacking to house people when they are in need. He said that he was thankful for the investment.

    UB Engineering Students Win Structures Competition in Mexico
    Students of the Engineering Department, from the Faculty of Science of Technology (FST) of the University of Belize are the 2016 champions of the “XVIII Concurso De Diseño Y Construccion De Modelos Estructurales, V Fase Internacional”, hosted by the Instituto Tecnologico De Chetumal (ITCH) in Quintana Roo Mexico from 23-25th November 2016. The competition is hosted every year and UB has officially participated for the past 5 years. Preparations for this competition included students participating in the UB Engineering Department’s 8th Annual Macaroni Competition held on 13th and 14th October at the University’s Freetown Road campus in Belize City. The top two teams represent UB in Chetumal. These students are second year engineering students and they competed with 3rd and 4th year students at the ITCH.

    Hon. Patrick Faber in Cuba attending Fidel Castro’s Funeral
    Currently in Cuba among the hundreds of thousands of Cubans and other leaders in the region is Hon. Patrick Faber who is representing the government and people of Belize at funeral services being held for former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Castro passed away in Cuba at age 90 on Saturday November 26 after suffering from illness. His funeral service commenced on Wednesday, November 30th, when his ashes were transported via a motorcade from Havana to Santiago de Cuba where it will be delivered at its final resting place. The motorcade is symbolic as it was the same journey Castro took back in January of 1959 during his rebellion known as the Caravana de la Libertad.

    Minister Castro upgrades Flowers Bank Road
    At the last Flowers Bank Day, Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of National Emergency Management and Area Representative for Belize Rural North, made a promise to residents of the historic village that he would lobby tirelessly to improve the road infrastructure in their village. Less than six months later, a project is underway for the upgrading of the Flowers Bank Access Road to “all-weather standard”. According to a release from NEMO, the project is part of a flood mitigation program which Minister Castro intends to carry out throughout his constituency and expand to other flood-prone areas countrywide up until the start of the next Hurricane Season on June 1, 2017. In November, 2015, rain pounded Belize for several days and Flowers Bank was one of the villages in central and southern Belize severely impacted by flooding after water from the Cayo District flowed into the Belize River Valley. Residents were cut off from the rest of the country as the only road and bridge in and out of the village was under water. The village does not have a grocery shop so residents have to travel to stock up on commodities. The flood made this impossible so residents had to be provided with ration from NEMO for a few days.

    Friends for Conservation and Development holds AGM
    The Friends for Conservation and Development FCD, as Co-managers of the 423,000 acre Chiquibul Forest Reserve, held its Annual General Meeting on Saturday of this past weekend at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. In opening the meeting, Rafael Manzanero Executive Director of FCD set the focus of the group as to improve the ecological and cultural integrity of the Western Chiquibul-Maya Mountains. FCD manages the Chiquibul National Park along with the Forestry Department, which is a regulatory agency in Belize. Board member of the FCD Dr. Filiberto Penados took the opportunity to announce that FCD recently completed its five year (2016 to 2020) strategic plan. He informed that FCD has been investing in the development of a tourism development plan.

    Integrity Commission and Anti-Corruption Convention goes through Senate
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Government of Belize have made good on two promises made to the teachers during their 11-day strike for good governance. The Integrity Commission has been re-appointed as an oversight for elected politicians, and Belize has the necessary authority to accede to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). At the November 30th Senate Meeting, the Senate approved the appointment of Marilyn Williams, who will act as the Chairperson of the Integrity Committee. She is the former Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, and a practicing attorney. She is more than qualified for the job since, she was already leading the country’s law enforcement agency which focused primarily on financial crimes. She is joined by others nominated by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, namely, Armead Gabourel, Lisbeth Delgado, and Wilmot Simmons. The Senate also approved the two members nominated by the Opposition, PUP. They are Melissa Balderamos Mahler and Claudet Grinage.

    Volunteer Special Constables deliver two motorcycles in Cayo
    The Cayo Special Constables Committee launched on Wednesday of this week its motorcycle patrol unit. Coming as a result of fund raising efforts by the Volunteer Special Constables VSC and the Cayo business community, two new Panther motor cycles ($2,575.00 each) were delivered at the San Ignacio Police Station to further reduce crime in Western Belize. Alberto Palma, Chair of the VSC was on site today to state that he was a proud member of the Cayo Special Constables Committee. In his address this afternoon, Superintendent Anthony Rosado, Commanding Officer of the San Ignacio Police Formation noted that his jurisdiction is one of the largest in Belize, with 38 villages and 53,000 inhabitants. “It will surely complement the formation policing strategies,” said Rosado of the donated motorcycles.

    Message of Condolence from the Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, on the passing of Commander-In-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz
    Dear President Raúl Castro Ruz, This note is penned with a heavy heart. You have lost your brother, the Cuban People have lost their avatar, and humanity has lost a giant for the ages. As a leader, bestriding history, Fidel proved, in unending ways, his love for the Cuban people, and all people, especially those suffering from injustice or neglect. His leadership of Cuba was one replete with the sacrifices made by your nation: whether in pursuit of its own sovereignty or the liberation of Southern Africa, or in the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives around the world by copious humanitarian aid, or in the everyday work of the Cuban Medical Brigade, or in the education outreach to so many from literacy to the post-graduate level. Because of the fraternity and self-sacrifice deployed by Fidel and Cuba, the people of ‘Nuestra America’ and the globe owe an unpayable debt to the Commander-in-Chief.

    PUP will have a new leader in 2017
    PUP is about to have another barn burner, as it now looks like they are about to change leader again. This will make it 2 years in a row that they have changed their leader and the sixth time in the last twenty years that they changed leader. For clarity sake let’s go over the various leadership changes and how they took place. After the PUP lost the 1993 elections, they blamed George Price for that loss and kicked him out. In what could only be described like a Cosa Nostra move, they sent Price’s niece Dolores to deliver the kiss to him. A nasty convention followed where Said Musa became leader after he bested Pistolas Marin. Said remained leader for 12 years included in those 12 were the 10 most corrupted years in the life of Belize’s governmental history. He was replaced after they lost in 2008. Having been given the choice to step down rather than be kicked out. He chose the former.

    Santa Elena Sports Complex opened
    The Santa Elena Sports Complex has become the latest feature of attraction for the Cayo District. Built at a cost of 2.5 million dollars within an area of 13.42 acres, the Santa Elena Sports Complex was officially opened on Sunday to welcoming reviews from its nearby residents. On hand to witness the opening were the Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Public Works and Representative Cayo Central Division as well as Christy Mastry, the General Manager of the Belize Infrastructure Limited. The Santa Elena Sports Complex is now the third and final facility to be delivered to the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena by the Government of Belize under the execution of Belize Infrastructure Limited. In his keynote address, the Hon. Patrick Faber said that the new facility is the tangible fruits of the Petrocaribe monies. He said it was his hope that the facilities be used to develop our young people and generate income for the surrounding areas.

    U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno bids farewell
    The United States underwent elections on November 8 and with its outcome, from an administrative perspective there will be significant changes in the way things are carried out in the country. And while those changes will take place immediately after Donald Trump officially takes office early next year, in Belize there will also be a change in the guard at the U.S. embassy. The Guardian spoke to U.S. ambassador, H.E. Carlos Moreno who explained that he was appointed by President Barrack Obama and invariably as the president leaves office so too will Moreno. He explained that, “my tenure has been fantastic. It’s like no other position that I have ever held. It’s been a very diverse, very exciting and very beneficial because I have learnt so much about Belize, its geography, its people, its customs, its food. There is no way I could have had this kind of wonderful experience without having first hand being an ambassador.”

    Dorian Blair charged for Chinese business robbery
    Jing Xiao Tan, owner of T-Supermarket in the Lords Bank area, was held at gunpoint and robbed on Monday, November 21. He was stripped of his 9 mm pistol and $3,200 cash. According to Tan, he was standing at the entrance of his supermarket around 9:10 p.m. and as he was about to close for the night three men ambushed him. One of the men was armed with a handgun. They demanded that he hand over his gun and cash. Fearing for his life, he complied with the gunman and handed over his 9 mm pistol and cash. The robbers then fled the scene. Police investigation into the robbery led to the arrest of Dorian Blair, 21. He was detained by police on Tuesday, November 22. At the time of his detention Blair had a laptop computer. Police looked into the laptop and it matched the description of one that was reported stolen by Edgar Young. Young reported to police that his house was burglarized from the rooftop and an assortment of jewelry and electronic devices were stolen, including the laptop. When police turned on the laptop they saw a picture of Edgar Young. Blair was charged for the robbery of Jing Xiao Tan and handling stolen goods for the laptop.

    Custom broker charged for theft of client’s eleven HD televisions
    Justin Longsworth, 29, customs broker of Valdez Global Limited, is out on bail after he was charged with one count of theft and one count of handling stolen goods on Thursday, November 24. Allegations being made against Longsworth are that on November 3, 2016, he took eleven 49-inch flat screen televisions that he was supposed to clear for the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. According to police reports, Valdez Global Limited firm was obtained to clear the televisions for the Radisson along with other items. However, it was later noticed that the eleven televisions were missing. On November 10 the owner of the brokage firm visited the CIB office and reported that Longsworth, his employee, was given the task to clear the items through Customs and when he was asked about them he said that he had received no televisions.

    Charge against Raheem Marsden upgraded to murder
    Belize City resident Raheem Marsden, 24, has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison since July 25 of this year for charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon Alfonso Castillo, 30, of Victoria Street. However, the day he was to be released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Castillo died of complications he suffered after being stabbed on Thursday, July 21. The doctors were optimistic that he would have healed from that injury but things took a turn for the worst on Thursday, July 28, and he passed away while undergoing treatment. The charges against Marsden were not upgraded until Tuesday, November 28. Marsden appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday and was read the upgraded charge of murder. Prosecutor in the case, Inspector Egbert Castillo, was ordered to have disclosure ready by January of 2017. Marsden’s Preliminary Inquiry is set for January 6, 2017.

    Murder in Gardenia
    Nelson Zelaya, a 27 year-old father from Gardenia Village in the Belize District, was shot and killed at his home, where his kids and his pregnant girlfriend were at the time. The very unfortunate incident happened on Thursday, November 24, just before midday. Zelaya was reportedly in his yard standing under a plum tree. His home is located at mile 21 and a half on the Phillip Goldson highway. According to police, he was fetching firewood, and while he had his guard down, a gunman crept up on him, and shot him at close range in the face. There are reports which say that the gunman was with an accomplice, and that Zelaya’s 3-year-old daughter may have seen the attack on her father. Zelaya’s other children and his girlfriend were inside their home, and as soon as the gunmen ran off, the police and emergency personnel were contacted for help. They arrived very quickly, and Zelaya was rushed to the KHMH for medical attention. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after reaching the hospital.

    Phillip Samuels charged for stealing Ford Escape
    Phillip Samuels, 30, is out on bail after he was accused of stealing Daniel Sanchez’s black four door Ford Escape. He was unrepresented in court when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and was read charges of theft, handling stolen goods and damage to property. According to police reports, Sanchez parked the vehicle in front of Lumina Bar on Barracks Road on Sunday, November 27, with a woman waiting in the passenger seat. When he returned the vehicle was missing. The woman said that someone forced himself into the driver’s seat and was about to drive off when she jumped out of the vehicle in fear. The individual then made off with the Escape. Police later recovered the vehicle but it was significantly damaged. Based on an estimate, it will take about $3,500 to repair the vehicle. Phillip Samuels was allegedly seen leaving the area where the vehicle was found and he was in possession of the vehicle keys when apprehended.

    Louis Tucker remanded for sexual assault
    Louis Tucker, 54, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand following an arraignment for sexual assault allegations. The arrest came after a female reported to police that she was walking on the street on Tuesday, November 22, when Tucker touched her private area inappropriately. She was disgusted by his action and visited the police station to make a formal complaint. Tucker was arrested after the alleged victim requested court action. In court on Friday, November 25, Tucker was unrepresented and pleaded not guilty to a single charge of sexual assault when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He told the Chief, “I never touched her. I just passed and touched her accidentally.” Cpl. Christopher Smith, prosecutor in the case, had heavy objection to bail. He submitted that the prosecution’s case against Tucker is very strong and this is the not the first time the woman has made such report against Tucker.

    El Salvador wins Central American women’s softball champions
    The Annual Central American Women’s Softball championship was staged from November 25-27, 2016, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The championship saw the participation of six of the seven countries from Central America which includes Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and the host country Guatemala. Belize was represented by the Belize Bank Bulldogs, the National Softball Champions of Belize. On Friday 25th November, all the countries played a total of 3 games on the schedule. In the first game of the day, Belize Bank Bulldogs defeated Costa Rica by the score of 5-4. In game two for the Belize Bank Bulldogs, the Belize Bank Bulldogs fell to Nicaragua by the score of 6-5. Nicaragua then went on to win over Costa Rica by the score of 10-0 and in the final game of the day that was played at the Carlos Larranaga softball pitch for the day Panama defeated Nicaragua by the score of 13-5. Meanwhile, at the Carlos Cano pitch Guatemala defeated El Salvador by the score of 4-3. El Salvador then went on to win over Panama by the score of 4-3. Guatemala won over Costa Rice by the score of 15-0 and in the final game of the day Guatemala defeated the Belize Bank Bulldogs by the score of 8-0.

    2017 National Elite Basketball League season to commence on January 13
    The Commissioner of the National Elite Basketball League Karim Juan informed the general public that the NEBL will commence its fourth season on Friday 13th January, 2017. The fourth season will see eight teams competing for the top prize. The teams that will be competing in the 2017 campaign will be the Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes, Belize City No Limit, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Bandits, Dangriga Warriors, Cayo Western Ballaz and a new franchise from Chetumal, Mexico. It is noted that games will be played in Chetumal, and the Chetumal team will also play games in Belize, using the same home and away format. For the up-coming season, each team will have a shot clock, which will greatly enhance the competitive nature of the game.

    Belize Defence Force wins again in Premier League play
    The Premier League of Belize Opening Season competition continued over the weekend with four more games on the schedule. On Sunday 27th November at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the Belize Defence Force continued on its march to the playoffs when it won its second game in as many outings when it defeated the host team FC Belize by the score of 2-0. The goals for the Belize Defence Force were scored by Trimayne Harris in the 22nd minute of play and then by Orlando Trapp in the 90+1 minute of the game. At the Victor Sanchez Stadium in Punta Gorda Town, the Freedom fighters blanked Wagiya FC by the score of 3-0. The goals for the Freedom Fighters were scored by Alexander Peters in the 20th minute of play and by Jarren Lambey in the 26th and 71st minute of play.

    Belize Defence Force clip Placencia Assassins FC
    The Premier League of Belize 2016 Opening Season competition continued on Wednesday 23rd November, 2016, with four games on the schedule. In the game played at the MCC Grounds between the Belize Defence Force and the visiting Placencia Assassins, the BDF edged out the Placencia Assassins by the score of 2-1. The host team Belize Defence Force made it onto the scoreboard in the 43rd minute of play in the first half of the game when Darrel Lambey scored the 1st goal of the game to give his team a 1-0 lead. It was not until well into the second half of the game that Placencia Assassins was able to penetrate the BDF’s defence that allowed Ashley Torres to score the equalising goal in the 65th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. However, Vallan Symns was able to convert a penalty kick in the 73rd minute of play into a goal for the Belize Defence Force’s 2-1 victory.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    Over 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Micah wrote, “You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient days, [days of eternity]. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord God Yahweh, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.” [Micah 5: 2 & 4] This is a Messianic prophesy. Jesus fulfilled this prophesy when he was born in Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David. [Matthew 2:1&2] But how could this prophesy come to reality, if Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth? Luke 2:1, 3 & 6, records, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born.”

    The Only One of Its Kind Naïa Resort and Spa
    “This place looks exactly as in the pictures!” was the very first satisfactory thought that raised the bar of expectations upon my arrival. Can you imagine experiencing all that Belize has to offer at one unique destination? I am proud to validate that for the very first time, international tourists and Belizean travelers have the opportunity to experience the flawlessness of nature and the richness of Belizean heritage all in one. Naïa Resort and Spa, located 17 miles along the Placencia peninsula, is not only known for illuminating the intensity of its unique title, but it is also known for marvelously captivating the diversity of a Belizean culture through artistry and architectural design. The word Naïa is used to describe a free spirit, connected to large bodies of fresh water and dedicated to engaging in adventurous experiences. Interestingly, Naïa Resort and Spa wonderfully represents this in its entirety. The mastermind behind such detailed elements, Stewart Krohn, definitely ensured to give visitors a sharp taste of Belize’s culture through the Mayan artifacts display, Belizean inspired paintings and carvings, handmade lamp shades made from what is culturally known as “basket tie-tie”, and bath products made from the Gumbo limbo and citrus plant products. Being engulfed by instruments that scream of the indigenous culture of Belize certainly imprinted a “Made in Belize” tattoo in my mind. It was gratifying to learn that all those products were locally made by very talented Belizeans. Modern technology is incorporated into each studio beach house, ensuring the comfort of all visitors. A deep-soaking tub and an outdoor shower are impeccably designed to provide a personal spa area in each guest accommodation. The beach house was undoubtedly the perfect representation of ‘a home away from home’.

    Youth Talks - Student Union
    And just who gives the students a voice? That is the question that the BNTU and government probably don’t ask. A vast number of students are unhappy or disagree with the actions being taken by both parties. It seems quite ironic that students, the majority, the people who will mostly be affected by the entire feud, are not even slightly represented in the decision ¬making. This is because of the ignorance that most adults have, that children are simply “too young” to understand. That the problems of this country just couldn’t possibly be understood by anyone under 18. Before I go any further, I’d like to recognize the efforts of the BNTU and thank them for trying to better the country, but should it be at the expense of our children’s education? Back in October, two weeks were lost. Think of the fourth formers and standard six students preparing for their CXC’s and PSE respectively. The vast amount of information that is covered on those exams, are barely covered during the school year. Imagine trying to squeeze that knowledge in now. SBA’s and school work is being piled on, trying to make up for that time lost, which is not really fair. A strike is a form of industrial action that can be used to better the workers conditions. Place emphasis on the workers.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Vega and Pitts haven’t reimbursed GoB for land transactions
    Attorney at law, Sharon Pitts, and Andre Vega, son of former Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, are yet to return the monies government paid out to them in a controversial land transaction that lacked much grace. The Government of Belize wrote them at the […]

    Most destructive hurricane season in over 10 years comes to an end
    The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season ended yesterday. The season saw 15 named storms of which 7 became hurricanes. The season was described as the “deadliest” and most destructive since 2005. This year, Hurricane Matthew was the strongest storm reaching Category 5 in October. It was […]

    106 primary school students graduate from Gang Resistance Education and Training Program in Cayo
    A total of one hundred and six standard six students from Santa Elena Primary School today graduated from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program. Present at the ceremony were representatives from the United States Embassy, GREAT Program evaluators from the United States, […]

    Primary School Students in Cayo benefit from Gang Resistance Education and Training program
    Standard five students from seven primary schools in the Cayo District are benefiting from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program. Today, two evaluators from the GREAT Program in the U.S. visited St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary School in San Ignacio Town to evaluate the […]

    Belize’s economic woes continue – recession enters third quarter
    Yesterday, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released its official report on Belize’s economy. The figures show that Belize’s economy continue on a downward trend since January 2016. For the third successive quarter, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed negative growth. In the […]

    Toucans caged up in Harvest Caye?
    Reports reaching our newsroom are that 4 of Belize’s national birds are reportedly being kept in a cage in Harvest Caye for cruise passengers to view. A source told BBN that there were reportedly five toucans on the Caye but one has died. In […]

    Letter to the Editor: Businessman unjustly harassed by GST Department
    The following is a letter submitted to the editor by Andre Perez ;Casa Pan Dulce Bakery Yesterday a good friend and brother of mine who is in the same industry as I am was “dragged” to court according to the media to answer charges of failure to […]

    PG woman loses house to fire
    A woman from PG lost her house to a fire on November 29, 2016. According to reports, Linda Maithe Gomez, 42, of Bribri Street, Indian Ville area, Punta Gorda reported to police that on November 29, 2016 about 12:37 p.m., she left her residence […]

    Student found with homemade firearm saved from jail time
    Two weeks ago, nineteen year old student Brandon Smith was arrested and charged for keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition without gun license. Police found the firearm and ammunition on Smith when they searched him. Smith spent 15 days in jail but yesterday, Chief […]

    Guatemalans continue to exploit the Chiquibul National Park
    Last week Friday in the Ceibo Grande Creek area (about 5 miles from the Belize and Guatemala border) of the Chiquibul National Park two Guatemalans were caught panning for gold. A joint patrol of BDF, FCD park rangers, and police detained: Anibal Quiix Cucul […]

    Blogs

    Bugs of Belize
    There are many different bugs of Belize. Over the course of my time here, I have enjoyed snapping many a bug picture as you will see below. So many interesting shapes and varieties turn up in the most random places. Aside from the creepy crawlers, sometimes bugs are going around are the microscopic “people hurting” kind. A few folks on Ambergris Caye have recently or are currently experiencing what I have dubbed the “sucker bug”. Aside from the creepy crawlers, sometimes bugs are going around are the microscopic “people hurting” kind. A few folks on Ambergris Caye have recently or are currently experiencing what I have dubbed the “sucker bug”.

    New eats? Belize’s Ministry Foreign Affairs host Indonesian Food Fest
    The common ingredient of coconut in Indonesian cooking makes Indonesian food very palatable to Belizean palates, though Indonesia is halfway around the world, requiring 30 hours of air travel to get there. Belize and Indonesia established diplomatic relations in 2014, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs collaborated in Indonesia’s initiative to bring the taste of Indonesian cuisine to Belize, by hosting an Indonesian Food Festival at the Samuel Haynes Institute on Mahogany Street in Belize City last Saturday. Indonesia’s Ambassador to Belize The common ingredient of coconut in Indonesian cooking makes Indonesian food very palatable to Belizean palates explained that his country is an archipelago of 17,000 islands, with 262 Million people of 800 different ethnic groups! A chef from the Indonesian Embassy in Mexico City had accompanied the Ambassador, and he taught a sampling of Indonesian recipes to the Belizean cooks at the Samuel Haynes Institute.

    Scuba Dive Turneffe Atoll in Belize
    One of just three coral atolls located off the coast of Belize, Turneffe Atoll is one of the most beautiful natural locations in the country and a diverse marine habitat home to more than 500 species of fish, 65 species of corals, and hundreds of species of sea birds, mammals, and invertebrates. The atoll is a protected marine area consisting of more than 150 mangrove islands as well as larger cayes (islands) that have a forest or savanna landscape. The shallow waters and huge areas of seagrasses make the atoll a popular spawning aggregation site for fish and amphibious species. Turneffe Atoll is the name for an area measuring more than 300 square miles that encompasses dozens of tiny islands known as the Turneffe Islands. The unique marine environment play a critical role in the health of the reef, used by lobster, conch, crocodiles, fish, and turtle species as a nesting and breeding site. The crystal clear waters and stunning diversity of marine flora and fauna make the Turneffe Atoll one of the best places on the planet to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. The infamous pirate Blackbeard once used the Turneffe Atoll as a base of operations as he harassed ships traveling between Mexico and the Bay of Honduras. The Turneffe Atoll is located approximately 20 miles offshore of Belize City, directly southeast of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. The Turneffe Atoll is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

    International Sourcesizz

    Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For 'Deliberate Pollution'
    Princess Cruise Lines will pay a $40 million fine for "deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up," according to the Department of Justice, which calls it "the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution." The California-based cruise operator also agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges over illegal practices on five ships dating back, in at least one case, to 2005. The Justice Department said in a statement that Princess illegally dumped contaminated waste and oil from its Caribbean Princess ship for eight years — a practice that was exposed by a whistleblowing engineer in 2013. The engineer quit his job over the dumping when the ship docked in the U.K. and alerted British authorities, who notified the U.S. Coast Guard. He said other engineers were using a device called a "magic pipe" to bypass the ship's water treatment system and unload oily waste into the ocean. Princess Cruises is a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Corp., and the plea agreement requires ships from eight of Carnival's companies to submit to court-supervised monitoring of environmental compliance for the next five years.

    National Geographic Announces World Legacy Awards Finalists
    The 15 finalists of the National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled yesterday. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from entire countries to small islands and from urban hotels to jungle retreats — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry. Among the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalists are: The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize – Belize's pioneer eco-resort demonstrates that putting local people first benefits employees, villages, and its own bottom line. The Lodge provides economic benefits to community projects across the nation, directing 10 percent of all room revenue to support social and environmental programs.

    TULUM, MEXICO: HOW AN ECO-CHIC RETREAT BECAME A DEN OF CORRUPTION
    Known for its beautiful beaches, Tulum has become increasingly popular, and its property prices have soared. Over the past five years, as Tulum has become increasingly popular and property prices have soared, environmentalists and residents like Caro have been battling business moguls and powerful politicians who are colluding to develop the land as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, the city’s infrastructure is floundering, with raw sewage spilling into one of the largest underground river systems in the world. The damage may soon get much worse—a massive new real estate project with a murky past could see Tulum’s population explode tenfold in less than 10 years. As Olmo Torres-Talamante, a local biologist, tells Newsweek, “This is the dark side of paradise.” Others feel frustrated that Tulum’s rampant growth has led to this. In June, Larissa Juarez was evicted from the cabin her family built in 1999, when there was just a handful of hotels. “It was a place to be close to nature. We didn’t even have electricity for years,” she says. “Just candles.” But five years ago, developers began building more and more hotels on the strip. “Everything changed when the New Yorkers arrived,” she says. Tulum has become so popular with young American tourists that it’s been referred to as “the Williamsburg of Mexico,” after the hipster neighborhood in Brooklyn.

    Mapped: The countries that smoke the most cannabis
    Belize is number 18 on the top countries for cannabis smokers. A new report claims the UK government should legalise marijuana because it's “the only solution to crime and addiction problems”. The strongly-worded study - titled The Tide Effect: How the World is Changing its Mind on Cannabis - was produced by the nonpartisan Adam Smith Institute and has the backing of several cross-party MPs including former deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg. According to the institute, the UK’s current drug strategy “has failed in its core aims to prevent people from using drugs, manufacturing drugs, and to put a stop to the crime, corruption and death that is taking place on an industrial scale around the world”.

    Videos

  • Chamber of Commerce - Christmas Expo 2016, 21min.

  • Sustainable Belize City, 2min.

  • Belize!, 3min. Snorkeling in Shark Alley with Blaire (Texas) and Leo (Sweden)

  • Sarteneja Belize - Fishing Trips - Green Horizon Flats Fishing, 3min. Sarteneja, Belize is a well-kept secret in Belize, and few travelers have heard about its breathtaking sunsets, sport fishing, turquoise swimming waters, and importance as a protected area for manatees and bird-nesting colonies in the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. This is slowly changing, as more travelers now stop here on their way to the northern cayes. Green Horizon Flats Fishing is a family owned and operated fishing company in Sarteneja Village in the northern, Belize. Your Fishing Guides, the Verdes Brothers are notorious fishermen. Their family have been fishing all along the Belizean coastline for men generation, just like many other Belizean family who grew up on Belize Sandy Beaches.

  • Shark attack in San Pedro Belize, 4min. Was cruising around the San Pedro Barrier reef when a shark comes out of no where to attack the go pro. Ok it was a Nurse Shark but still was thrilling..

  • Channel 5 Christmas Card 2016, 1.5min.

  • Belize, 6min. A postcard from our Thanksgiving break. No turkey this year. But watch the sharks

  • Belize blue hole., 6min.

  • Loggerhead Turtles mating in the wild, San Pedro, Belize!!!!, 1min.

  • Dancing Turtles - Belize, December 2016, 1/2min.

    December 1, 2016


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Lily’s Treasure Chest celebrates 10th anniversary!
    One of the island’s most popular beach restaurants, Lily’s Treasure Chest, celebrated their 10th anniversary on Sunday, November 27th. To commemorate such an occasion, an all day celebration was held on the beach in front of the restaurant, replete with music by DJ Smallz, special deals on food and drinks, and the best live performance of the island’s number one band, Rompe Raja! Owner Nellie Brown told The San Pedro Sun that she is grateful for all the support her patrons have given her for the past ten years. Brown also took the opportunity to extend her deepest gratitude to all of her staff for their hard work. “Each and every one of you are magnificent, never complaining and always smiling,” stated Brown. “I am truly indebted to you all.”

    SPTC holds consultation on revitalization of downtown area and Boca del Rio
    In an effort to make La Isla Bonita a safer and more attractive island, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) hosted a consultation on Tuesday, November 29th to discuss the revitalization of the downtown and Boca del Rio Areas. Members of the San Pedro Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), among several other business and tourism stakeholders gathered at the SPTC’s Conference Room to give the SPTC feedback and strategic recommendations to consider when finalizing their completed plan. Thanks to the Ministry of Local Government, Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), and the Mayor’s Association, SPTC has secured their revitalization expert, Jason Fox, who is a native of Nova Scotia, Canada. Fox split the gathering into groups and issued geographical maps of Ambergris Caye to each table. The purpose of the activity was for each group to discuss the key challenges San Pedro Town faces, while brainstorming methods and recommendations that will help alleviate traffic congestion, as well as ideas that will revamp the aesthetics of the island.

    Fire destroys Belize City’s Iconic Chateau Caribbean Hotel
    A big fire on Sunday morning, November 27th destroyed one of the oldest buildings in Belize City, the Chateau Caribbean Hotel. The hotel was located in the Fort George District by the Marine Parade and from a distance thick smoke billowed into the sky as the blaze swept through the historic building, consuming everything in its path. Despite quick response by the fire department, after hours of battling the flames most of the hotel building was gutted by the fire. The restaurant portion was reduced to rubble. The building was of great significance to the city. Built from Canadian cedar wood in the early 20th century, the building served the community as the Holden Memorial Hospital. In 1977, the hospital was closed, and thereafter it was turned in to a restaurant and hotel. The hotel, considered an iconic landmark, thrived for decades, recognized for their warm hospitality.

    Candlelight vigil held to honor Tyler Savery
    The Belize Youth Movement (BYM) and Footprints For Peace organized a candle light vigil on Saturday, November 26th to honor the life of Tyler Savery. 7-year-old Savery lost his life to gun violence on November 11, 2016 in Belize City. Several San Pedro Lion and Leo members, along with community members, gathered at the Central Park at 6PM for a peaceful demonstration. Lion Pamela Zetina was the Mistress of Ceremonies, while Pastor Clive Welsh delivered the invocation. He prayed for the protection of Belize’s youth and for strength for Savery’s mother, Shakera Young. candle-light-vigil-for-tyler-savery-2Miss Chiquitita 2016-2017, Lindsey Williams, then read a poem that reflected the negative impacts of gun violence to the society. [excerpt] “Another young body lying there silent. Do people really think they are cool because they are violent? How many more lives are going to be lost with one gun? A mother now loses her once beloved son.”

    SP Red Cross holds successful blood drive; First Responder training underway
    The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch (SPBRC) held their final blood drive of the year on Saturday, November 26th at Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. From 9AM to 3PM, donors went to the polyclinic to contribute the vital red fluid. In total, 16 pints of blood were collected, which is enough to save 48 lives. A simultaneous dollar drive brought in $205 in collections as well. The next blood drive is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the polyclinic. Laurie Norton of SPBRC reminds potential donors that giving blood is a simple process. “Please note that if you are thinking of giving blood, the experience is a very painless one. There is rarely a line and there are always yummy refreshments waiting for you after you donate. Please think “RED” before you donate. You should get plenty of Rest, Eat a healthy meal, and Drink plenty of fluids,” said Norton.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Person of the Year 2016
    It's that time of the year when Ambergris Today starts looking for potential nominees for San Pedro's Person of the Year award. Who do you think deserves to be recognized as Person of the Year for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye? Do you know an exceptional person who is doing great and positive things for the island community? Someone who is helping others, giving of his/her free time, making a positive change for the betterment of others or promoting a good cause? Let us know; we would love to find out more about that special person and place him/her on our list of potential nominees.

    Talks Commence on Revitalization of Downtown Area and Boca del Rio
    Business owners gathered at the San Pedro Town Council’s conference room on Tuesday November 29, 2016, as the municipality held consultation for a beautification project for the island designated from downtown San Pedro to Boca del Rio. Jason Fox from Canada has dedicated time into coming to Belize along with five climate change experts who have a desire in making San Pedro a better place. They presented various options that the Town Council can take into beautifying key areas of town. Business owners were given a couple minutes to come up with ideas of their own on how they could go about doing this. They were then given the time to explain their ideas to everyone. However, the San Pedro Town Council also seeks the voice and opinions of the general public. Therefore, a community consultation will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2016, where everybody is invited to listen and make suggestions on how to beautify our Isla Bonita and make it a better and more pleasant place to live. Everyone’s opinion counts and can hopefully make a difference. However, the San Pedro Town Council also seeks the voice and opinions of the general public. Therefore, a community consultation will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2016, where everybody is invited to listen and make suggestions on how to beautify our Isla Bonita and make it a better and more pleasant place to live. Everyone’s opinion counts and can hopefully make a difference.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    26 new vehicles to the Belize Police Department’s (BPD) fleet
    The Minister of State, Hon. Elodio Aragon, and the Ministry of Home Affairs are pleased to announce the addition of 26 new vehicles to the Belize Police Department’s (BPD) fleet. The vehicles which are Isuzu D-Max 2017 models are outfitted with police logos, lights, sirens, digital video recording and tracking systems. This donation is made possible by the Government of the United States of America, through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). The Government and people of Belize are grateful for this donation valued at over BZ$1.6 million as it will enhance the department’s crime fighting efforts and will go a long way in making Belize a safer place. These vehicles become a most welcome addition to the BPD’s fleet and will be utilized for law enforcement purposes in compliance with the Bilateral Implementing Agreements for the vehicles between both governments. The vehicles will be officially handed over at a brief ceremony at the ITVET compound on Freetown Road, Belize City at 10:00am on Thursday, December 1.

    Belize Council for the Visually Impaired Opening
    BCVI is looking for a responsible, driven, friendly person, with minimum 6th Form degree, to work in our Belmopan Clinic. Email your resume and cover letters to bcvibze@gmail.com.

    Accident on 4th Avenue in-front of Scotia Bank in Corozal
    Involving a Volkswagen pickup and a motorcycle. Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident but the motorcycle's front was damaged.

    Power interruption 6:00am to 8:00am, Sunday, December 4, San Pedro
    Southern portion of town from Sunbreeze Hotel onward to Island Cottage Resort. BEL to repair hotspots and fuse cut-outs on distribution system.

    Power interruption 9:00am to 1:00pm, Friday, December 2, Belize City
    Lacroix Blvd, Holy Emmanuel St, Rootsville & entire Gungulung area. BEL to remove power transformers & replace switch on distribution system.

    Can you guess which years the two Google Earth images of Belize City represent?
    You can actually see history in motion when you go to the Google Earth Timelapse feature: https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/ Pick a location and watch changes from 1984 to 2016!

    VACANCY: Tourist Information Officer
    The Tourist Information Officer will perform service under the supervision of the Cruise Manager. The post is designed to collect data of our cruise visitor disembarking from Norwegian Cruise Lines vessels. The individual is also responsible for monitoring operators, collecting data, welcoming guests, answering questions and facilitating the travelers’ visit as they enter the country.

    Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project Winner
    We finally got a picture of our first place winner in the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project's Belize City Primary School History and Social Studies Competition, Hazey Perez of St. Mary's Anglican Primary School. We wish her and her school lots of success.

    Belize Fishing Report, November 20th – November 26h, 2016
    Thanksgiving was the theme of the week here at the lodge with 75 of us at Thanksgiving dinner. It was more family time than fishing time, with just a few boats heading out during the week. The weather was poor for several days making the fishing tougher than normal. The Tarpon fishermen/women faired a little better with Chris Z and his family getting into the tarpon action, Mark landed a Silver King, and Cody followed suit with a fun fight with a tarpon. There were many other encounters with these great fish but no others resulted in landed fish.

    October 2016 Trade, GDP & CPI, Labour, Business Survey
    During the month of October 2016, the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were, on average, 0.7 percent higher than they were in October 2015. The All- Items consumer price index stood at 103.6, an increase from 102.9 in last October. For the first ten months of 2016, an inflation rate of 0.6 percent was recorded. Imports were down across almost all major categories, with goods destined for the ‘Export Processing Zones’ recording the steepest drop, from $13.8 million in October 2015 to $2.6 million in October of this year. Decreased purchases of turbines, gaming equipment, telecommunications equipment, and structures made of iron or steel were among the items that saw the greatest decline. The ‘Commercial Free Zones’ category fell by over $4.3 million for the month, owing to minimized importation of textile material, tennis shoes, cigarettes and clothing. While less imports of lard (shortening) and milk and cream resulted in a $3.7 million decrease in the ‘Food and Live Animals’ category, reduced beer, cigarettes, brandy and whiskey purchases were the leading cause of a $3.4 million wane in the ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ category.

    It is not 'where do we go from here' but 'what do we do from here'
    By Wellington C. Ramos. Our Garifuna people were forcefully removed from their homeland in 1796 to Roatan in the Bay Islands, now a part of Honduras, where they arrived on April 12, 1797. The living conditions on this island were not satisfactory to them, which led to the voluntary migration of our people to Belize in 1801. Others opted to move to other areas of Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, where they established villages. Why? Because of our desire as one people to live in these countries just like how we once lived in our original homeland "Yurumein", now known as St Vincent and the Grenadines. In Honduras, where most of our people live, some of them were slaughtered in the village of San Juan, which led to another large migration of our people to Belize in 1823. Again, some migrated to Nicaragua and Guatemala to join their relatives. Garifuna people in Nicaragua maintained an ongoing relationship with their relatives who live in the countries of Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize and the United States. If they are not satisfied with their living conditions in Honduras, their relatives would send for them to reunite with them in their new countries.

    Ocean Academy Jingle Mingle Gala Fundraiser
    Save the date: Saturday, December 10th 2016!! Caribbean Kings Band will be debuting with their first ever performance! Please come out and support a worthy cause!

    Celebrating the 4G LTE PreLaunch in San Pedro
    DigiCell is readying to launch its 4G LTE Next month. Here they are celebrating the PreLaunch in San Pedro. They have been very busy with customers all day long. Low prices on phones and plenty of giveaways!

    Belize Special Olympic Torch March
    Belize Special Olympics is an organization that dedicates itself toward children with disabilities. Every year around this time a fundraiser is held with proceeds going to different children in need. The Special Olympics Torch arrived in San Pedro last night and was placed on display at base of the Town Clock and donations were accepted. Today the torch was paraded through downtown San Pedro to raise more awareness for the cause. Funds collected go towards a special retreat for disabled children which will be held in Corozal Town on Friday, December 2, 2016. All children with debilities and their parents are invited.

    EXPORTBelize and Directorate General for Foreign Trade Host Export Opportunities Session in Spanish Lookout
    EXPORTBelize along with the Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) hosted an Export Opportunities Session with various companies within the Spanish Lookout and other surrounding communities. EXPORTBelize along with the Directorate General for Foreign Trade have been closely monitoring the trends of products recurring on the Common External Tariff (CET) Suspension List. With that, they presented their findings for three products of interest – soy bean oil, sunflower oil & palm oil along with potential target market and investment opportunities for each of those products. EXPORTBelize will be having another Export Opportunities Session with companies in the northern part of the country sometime in January.

    Belize Bird Rescue thank you to Ian Sophie
    While I am on a roll with the thanks, I have to say a HUGE thank you to this lovely lady - Ian Sophie. She was a BBR intern this summer (see her post of 9th November) and in addition to being an enormous help with the busy baby season, she took on a lot of admin tasks too. One of those tasks was to get the Global Giving programme moving for BBR. And it's entirely thanks to Ian that we had our first ever Giving Tuesday campaign - and what a success it was!! She has continued to help from her perch at U.C.Davis and has kept up the nagging and post creation beautifully. What a star! Here is a gallery of her in action at BBR. Thank you Ian - absolutely would not have been able to do it without you!

    Workshop to introduce youths to the Birding career in Belize
    Do you live in the area between Belmopan and St. Margaret's Village in the Cayo District? Or, know someone in that area who might be interested in taking Birding as a career? If so, this is your free opportunity to take this 2-day workshop. On December 12 and 13, the Belize Audubon Society will be hosting a workshop to introduce youths to the Birding career in Belize. We will discuss birding gear and equipment, basic bird biology, birding market statistics in Belize, eBird, various activities focusing on bird migration, habitat and threats. We are looking specifically at young females who might be interested, but young men are also invited to participate. We will also be birding the beautiful grounds of our host lodge; Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. Feel free to contact me or Belize Audubon Society to confirm participation

    Michelle Perdomo Art Gallery opens
    This unique painting is named Still Life and was created by the late Michelle Perdomo. This past Saturday, St. John’s College opened the Michelle Perdomo Art Gallery, in commemoration of her talent and dedication to SJC’s Art Department over the course of four decades. She taught or influenced much of the artists that have produced memorable work in Belize. She was always energetic and her enthusiasm was contagious. She was the wife of Carlos Perdomo, former Minister of National Security and later Cabinet Secretary. Michelle Perdomo passed away on July 24th, 2013. We join the SJC community in remembering and honoring Michelle.

    Channel 7

    UN Convention on Corruption Sparks Debate In House
    Today, the Senate met in Belmopan to consider a number of significant motions, and tonight we'll report on 3 of them. Those include the upper house giving authority for Belize to approve the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the ratification of the special agreement to submit Guatemala's territorial claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice, and The appointment the Integrity Commission. We start first with the robust debate on the UNCAC, and its ability to help in the fight against corruption in public life. Here's what the Senators had to say about the Government's handling of the process to get the treaty enforced on Belizean soil: Hon. Godwin Hulse- Leader of Gov't Business - Senate: "Now therefore be resolved that this Senate authorises the government of Belize to accede to the United Nations convention against corruption a full text of which is here to annex." Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator: "Mr. President as you know the business community for many, many years now beginning way back when the leader of government business shared the very seat that I share today; we have been championing for these very things."

    PUP Senators Call Out Politicization Of Integrity Commission
    As viewers are aware, the Prime Minister agreed to sign on to the UNCAC when he was negotiating with the Teachers to end the 11-day strike. They were on a campaign for good governance, and integrity in public life, and as part of their 9 demands, they also wanted the Prime Minister to reactivate the long dormant Integrity Commission. With today's motion, the Commission will once again be doing its work, but the Opposition harshly criticized the Government not really intending to make the this body a robust watchdog group. That's because all of the Prime Minister's appointees are either very UDP friendly, or are outright UDP allies. He has also appointed Nestor Vasquez as the Charted Accountant for the Integrity Commission. Now, the Government's explanation for the years of dormancy of this oversight body, was that no Chartered accountant was prepared to serve. The Business Community asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants to nominate someone who would, and they decided on Warren Coye – who happens to be the son of a former PUP minister. The Prime Minister chose Vasquez instead, and he became a flashpoint in today's debate.

    Senate Stalls On Bze-Guat Special Agreement
    The Senate was also asked to ratify the Special Agreement Between Belize and Guatemala to submit their territorial claim to the ICJ. That was signed in 2008, and it has been long delayed for Parliament to put it into force. The Government sought to do this today, along with seeking Senate Approval for the Amendment to the Special Protocol, signed last year. When the motion was tabled today, most of the Senators who are not Government Appointed publicly asked the Barrow Administration to explain, "why now?" First out of the gate was PUP Senator, and Former Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Courtenay. He made it clear that the PUP is still committed to the ICJ process, but he stressed that the PUP does not feel that now is the right time for a referendum on the matter. Why? Well, he says that the Guatemalan Aggression this year is to blame:

    Killer Brought To Court Four Months Later
    Back in July, stabbing victim Alfonso Castillo died the day he was supposed to have been released from the hospital. Today, the man who stabbed him was back in court to have his charge upgraded to murder. 24 year old Raheem Marsden allegedly stabbed Castillo three times in an alley not far from his Victoria Street home in Belize City. He was initially charged with attempted murder, and today, four months after Castillo died, he was charged for murder before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Marsden was remanded into custody until February 6.

    Alleged Gardenia Killers To Court
    And two more were charged for murder today. After an error in the court books yesterday, the accused killers of 27 year old Gardenia Village resident, Nelson Zelaya were arraigned today. 19-year-old Lenford Harris Jr., and a 16 year-old minor were both charged with murder. They were both remanded into custody until January 30th, 2017.

    Recession Deepens: GDP Negative Growth For Third Successive Quarter
    Belize's economy is in a deepening recession. That's based on the most recent figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize, which were released today. They show that for the third successive quarter, the GDP showed negative growth. The first quarter was a contraction of 0.2%, the second quarter there was contraction of 1%, and now the third quarter figures show contraction of 0.8% Now, a recession is defined by two successive quarters of decline, and this is the third quarter of decline, which suggests that the recession is only getting worse. Now, because of citrus deliveries, the third quarters usually shows growth, and the figures show this is the first time in six years that the third quarter showed negative growth. It's also the first time since 2007/2008 that there has been three successive quarters of contraction in the GDP.

    Unemployment Rose In September
    And while the GDP is down, unemployment is up – an expected mix for a faltering economy. That's the figure coming out of the labour force survey, conducted in September of this year. It's the counterpart to the April 2016 survey which showed unemployment at a 10 year low of 8%. Well, September doesn't bear such good news. Unemployment is up to 11.1% - which is just about one percentage point more than where it stood in September 2015. Statistician Curwen Arthurs explained: Curwin Arthurs - Statistician I, SIB: "So looking at the unemployment rate so we see that we had increases in the size of the labour force many due to women entering in but we also saw increases in terms of the labour force in terms of employed persons but also in terms of unemployed persons. So what that lead to is the national rate going up from 10.2% to 11.1% so it was a combination of the labour force going and more persons entering into the labour force mainly females at a rate higher than jobs were being created."

    Imports Decline In October
    And the economic picture looks even more depressing when we look at the trade statistics for October – and the ever widening trade imbalance. Imports were down, but exports were waaay down. How much? Try 43%. And much of the decline in imports had to do with the downturn in exports. That's because with lesser activity at the shrimp farms, there was less shrimp feed imported. Statistician Tiffany Vasquez explained: Tiffany Vasquez - Statistician II, SIB: "Imports to the export processing zones experienced the largest drop in imports at 60% falling from 61 million to 40 million with reduced shrimp feed imports accounting for 12 million of that declined. Imports destined for the commercial free zones fell by 6% or 14 million dollars to 246 million due in large part to reduced import of cigarettes, textile material and clothing."

    Deep Dip For Exports In October
    And that's where the exports come in. As we told you earlier, exports for October 2106 were down a whopping 43% from October of the previous year. Well most of it has to do with aquaculture and farmed shrimp. That industry got wiped out by disease over the past two years. Production is at a six year low, but the SIB says there are encouraging signs of a rebound:… Tiffany Vasquez - Statistician II, SIB: "From the period January to October 2016 export earnings contracted for all major commodities with the exception of citrus which grew minimally owing to the fall of shrimp which plummeted by 88%. Marine exports dropped from 49 million to 30 million; however on a very positive note one shrimp farm has seen vast improvements in both production and exports hence recovery is afoot. To me the big positive here is that shrimp is about to rebound because I think it's Belize Aquaculture Limited the farm they have had very good results and they project a 4.95 million pounds for next year but that is only a projected estimate."

    Citrus: Good Prices For Grapefruit
    The only encouragement in export crops came from citrus. Production was down, but world prices were up. Orange concentrate sales dropped by over one million dollars, but grapefruit concentrate almost double din October. Tiffany Vasquez - Statistician II, SIB "Our citrus products right now on the market it's in demand because prices are good for citrus products on the outside market but however orange concentrate exports decreased but we still got increased earnings." Exports for the first ten months of 2016 is down 23% from the same period last year.

    SIB: Belikin Always Bountiful
    And while the export picture, and productivity overall looks bleak, there's almost always one bright spot – and that's in beer production. Routinely, the SIB reports double digit growth in local beer production – even as more than 10 million dollar sin foreign beer was imported last year. But, according to the statisticians, Belikin continues prolific production. Here's how they explained it:… Angelita Campbell - Statistician II, SIB: "Beverage on the other hand went up by roughly 11.3% and that is because of an increase in beer production. Flour on the other hand went down by roughly 5.7%. Beer production actually went up by roughly 24.7% or roughly 143,000 gallons. Given that this quarter has the holiday of September celebration I would have expected some amount of increase in beer production." Reporter: "You're comparing year on year." Angelita Campbell - Statistician II, SIB: "Well yes for the quarter but we also had an increase in tourism as well so that could be of a result of an increase in beer. Everybody comes to Belize will want to try a Belizean beer so with the increase in tourism and celebration. Hotel and restaurants went up by roughly 10.1% within that industry we saw cruise passengers going down by roughly 3% as a result of cancellation due to Hurricane Earl; however overnight visitors went up by roughly 16%."

    Inflation Trickles Up Due To Fuel
    And while the price of beer is stable, inflation is not. In October of 2016, the consumer price index jogged up 0.7%. The increase is driven mostly by fuel which was up more than a dollar when compared to October of 2015. Here's how the inflation figures looked in different municipalities across the country. Jacqueline Sabal - Statistician II, SIB: "For October of 2016 all municipalities recorded higher consumer prices for the month with the exception of Dangriga and Punta Gorda. These were the only 2 municipalities reporting over all decreases in the transport index. Corozal town once again had the highest increase in home rental prices at 9% and as a result the highest inflation rate of 2% for the month of October. Guatemala reported the highest rate at 4.8% while prices are actually falling by 0.9% in El Salvador. Belize falls somewhere in the middle at 0.7% alongside Honduras at 2.8, Nicaragua at 3.4%, Costa Rica at 0.6%, Panama at 1.4 and Jamaica at 1.8%."

    Figuring Out Zika
    Today was the first in a three-day training workshop designed to educate healthcare providers about new methods for diagnosing mosquito borne viruses like Zika, Dengue and Chik-V. It's the product of a new partnership with the Mexican Ministry of Health and PAHO. Belize's Ministry of Health's Epidemiologist Russel Manzanero, told us how we benefited from this new relationship, especially with the prevalence of Zika… Dr. Russel Manzanero - Epidemiologist, Min of Health: "What we're currently engaging in right now is a training that's being carried out for health personnel, vector control, public health, infection control nurses from the Ministry of Health and as well we invited a few of the private and other institutions to familiarise and get on board on what is viral surveillance training. We have been trying to diagnose it's not only Zika; Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, Malaria so we know that we had certain limitations without referral lab in CARFA so as a Ministry of Health we reached out to PAHO to let us see where we can get additional testing."

    A Convoy Of Crisp, New Cop Trucks
    Today a convoy of 26 brand new 2017 Isuzu D-Max pickup trucks made its way into Belize City on the George Price Highway. It made for an impressive sight with all the lights and flashy chrome grilles – a moment certainly worth recording for posterity, because with all the roughing up of police usage, it's downhill from here. Each truck is outfitted with police logos, sirens, lights, and digital recording and tracking systems. The $1.6 million fleet was donated to the Belize Police Department by the United States Government under the CARSI program. The vehicles will be handed over to tomorrow to and deployed to formations all over the country.

    Keeping The Torch Going For The Kids
    Today was the 5th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run. Police from the Eastern Division North, along with students and other members of the public ran through the Northside's principal streets. Participants collected donations along the way, which will all be used to aid children with disabilities. The Northside Formation's public relations officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, spoke to us about the run, and their hopes for next year… Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood - Public Relation Officer: "This is the 5th annual law enforcement torch run and it's in support of children born with disabilities. We have police officers, police personnel, our civilian staff as well has joined with some students and we have ran through the principal streets in Eastern Division North. Up ahead we have the torch which will be passed on to OCD North Commissioner Phillips and then she will do the final leg up to the Benny's round about."

    More Guate Gold Diggers In Chiquibul
    Two more Guatemalans were cuaght panning for gold in Belize. It happened last Friday, in Ceibo Grande Creek, located in southern Chiquibul National Park, five miles from the border. A joint unit patrol of Police, BDF and FCD park rangers detained Anibal Quiix Cucul of Monte Los Olivos, Peten and Jose Amilcar Garcia Morales of Huite, Zacapa, Guatemala. The Guatemalans were found deep in the jungle, and the patrol team took hours of hiking, riding by tractor and pikcup to get them to the San Ignacio Police Station. They were both charged for illegally operating inside a protected area without any permit and for illegal entry into Belize. It is unclear at this point if the Mining Unit will charge them for extracting minerals without a permit. Quiix carried a vial with what appeared to be gold nuggets and he told the patrol that he had come into the Chiquibul 7 times to pan for gold. Most recently he had collected 2.5 grams of the precious metal which he sold for 500 quetzales, or about 135 Belize dollars.

    Teenager Got Off Easy For Home-made Weapon
    Nineteen year old student Brandon Smith who pleaded guilty to keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition without a gun license two weeks ago spent 15 days in jail. But he got lucky at his sentencing today when Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith gave him a suspended sentence of 6 months for both offences. She decided on the sentence after she heard a plea for mitigation from attorney Ellis Arnold and Diane Finnegan that she will enrol him in an apprenticeship program. Police arrested and charged Smith after they searched him and found him with a home made firearm with one bullet.

    Sobering 2016 Hurricane Season Ends
    Well tonight, if you were traumatized and taxed by Hurricane Earl, you can breathe a slight sight of relief tonight, because the 2016 hurricane season is over. It was an above average year with a total of fifteen named storms, seven of those became hurricanes, and three of them reached major hurricane status, meaning category three or higher. Hurricane Earl was a Category one storm which made landfall in Belize on the night and early morning August 3rd and fourth. The storm didn’t cause any deaths in Belize, but it caused major flooding and residential damage in the Belize district, while destroying crops in the north and south. The estimate of total damages was close to 200 million dollars.

    A Real Inspiration
    On Monday we told you about the 2017 Belikin Calendar launch. Well, today the Inspiration Center launched its calendar and agenda, so you have a choice: you can pick up the copy with lovely ladies modeling, or you can grab the calender featuring the drawings of 12 kids with diverse abilities, or better yet, just pick up a copy of both! The Inspiration Center's Calendar launch was held today at their office on the Western Highway. Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow told us how important this initiative is to these kids and to the center. Kim Simplis Barrow - Special Envoy for Women and Children: "Every year we bring out this inspiration calendar and it is really a way to showcase the talent of our children with disabilities especially those who are receiving services at the inspiration center so over the summer as part of their summer activities they get to draw and paint and then we put it all together with McNab design, we put together this amazing, beautiful calendar and it is so great for them because it's a motivation for them to want to do more and participate in all the activities we try to do here at the Inspiration Center."

    An ID For Kids With Diverse Abilities
    Today Belize celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, an initiative created by the UN in 1992. This year, the celebrations were held under the theme of “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”, which refers to the sustainable development goals designed to build a more inclusive world for people with disabilities. Today, BAPDA held a rally, parade and open day to inform the public about their new Disability ID initiative. BAPDA President Roxanne Marin told us more… BAPDA’s Disability IDs are available for members of the organization.

    Crooked Tree Got New Shelter From Southcom
    Crooked Tree has a new Emergency Operations Center - slash - Emergency Shelter, or just a community center. The US Embassy invested 680 thousand dollars into the new building which was handed over today. The area representative said that it is a huge relief: The Shelter was funded by the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program.

    Making Greenbacks From A Green Initiative
    Conservation Organizations are always looking for new sustainable revenue sources, and the Ya’axché Conservation Trust thinks it may have found one with a new ecotourism initiative. It’s called EcoTourism Belize, a new ecotour and rustic accommodation provider in southern Belize. The idea is to use the vast area of green which Ya'axché manages to provide visitors with a unique ecotourism experience such as accompanying a local ranger on an official ranger patrol, taking part in Maya culture and traditions, and exploring and taste food from local organic farms. The new venture was launched today at the Ya’axché Field Station in Golden Stream, Toledo, Belize – and they provided us with some video: 100% of the profits will be reinvested directly into Ya’axché’s work.

    Channel 5

    No Agreement on Special Agreement as Opposition Asks: What’s The Rush?
    The Senate met for its latest session today at the National Assembly in Belmopan with a full agenda. Thirteen motions were tabled for debate and consideration, of which ten were [...]

    Courtenay Blasts “Salami Sausage Diplomacy”; Confident A.G. States the Facts
    Senator Courtenay went on to attack what he called “salami sausage diplomacy” – the piecemeal offerings by the Government on the Guatemala issue, starting with the ratification of the Special [...]

    Integrity Commission Named; Can Partisan Appointees Be Neutral?
    The Integrity Commission was finally named today. The names of Marilyn Williams for Chairman; Armead Gabourel; Lisbeth Delgado; Wilmot Simmons; Nestor Vasquez; Melissa Balderamos Mahler and Claudet Grinage have been [...]

    Why Always Net? P.U.P. Knocks G.O.B. for Rejecting Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Nominee
    New chair Marilyn Williams is being appointed in her capacity as an attorney, as provided for by law, while Nestor Vasquez is being appointed in his capacity as an accountant [...]

    UNCAC Finally on the Way!
    Also debated before the Senate today is the resolution authorizing the accession by Belize to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Belize is nine days away from the formal [...]

    Warning: Don’t Expect Miracles After Ratification of Convention
    A working group has been established to smooth the path to ratification. That group has planned a number of events leading up to the actual signing of the Convention on [...]

    Recession Deepens: Exports Are Down, Prices Are Up and Thousands More Jobless
    Figures were released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize that confirm a gloomy economy picture in this fashion: exports are down, prices are up and thousands have joined the [...]

    Andre and Sharon: Where’s My Money, G.O.B. Asks?
    The Government of Belize wrote letters on thirty-first October, 2016 demanding from the son of former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lands Gaspar Vega and attorney Sharon Pitts, the [...]

    Catherine Cumberbatch and Derrick Rudon Lead Met Service
    There is a new chief at the Belize Met Service. You’ve heard and seen her on the news before. Catherine Cumberbatch who has had thirty years at the Met Service [...]

    Kashief Gallego Shot on Weekend
    The south side of Belize City has been rather quiet and little to no crime is always good news to report. But over the weekend, on Sunday night, there was [...]

    Unlucky Burglars Caught in Freezer
    A pair of burglars was caught in the act just after twelve o’clock this morning by officers attached to the Eastern Division South. The duo had broken into Lucky Supermarket [...]

    Mother Says Sons Did Not Kill Nelson Zelaya
    Tonight, nineteen year old Lenford Harris Junior of Gardenia, Belize District and his sixteen year old brother from Biscayne are behind bars, charged with the murder of twenty-seven year old [...]

    National Assembly Plans Busy December: 4 Meetings in 15 Days
    A busy December in the Legislature is being planned, with a House and Senate meeting scheduled around two meetings of the Special Senate Select Committee on Immigration, all in the [...]

    Crooked Tree Gets Its Own Hurricane Shelter
    On the day that marks the end of the Hurricane Season, Crooked Tree Village was gifted with a million dollar disaster shelter. It is a fittingly appropriate gift to the [...]

    What Caused Above-Average 2016 Hurricane Season?
    It’s the thirtieth of November and it is a day when a lot of people let out a sigh of relief- particularly those who live in low lying areas and [...]

    Police Contribute to Persons with Disabilities
    A team of officers and civilian employees attached to Eastern Division North ran across Belize City this morning to raise funds for children with diverse abilities.  The relay kicked off [...]

    Meeting and Greeting in Southside Belize City
    Southside police were on their weekly meet and greet. Today they were in the Vernon Street area and we met up with them to see what they were doing. Some [...]

    Police Find Lots to Clean Up on Southside
    Last week, the command of the Eastern Division South commenced a cleanup campaign across south side Belize City, going into the Raccoon Street Extension area and cleaning up overgrown lots [...]

    Persons with Diverse Abilities Rally in Old Capital
    Throughout this week, consciousness raising activities are being held around the globe to bring attention to the rights of those living with disabilities. The challenge is to create an environment [...]

    CTV3

    Senate Puts On Hold Ratification Of Special Agreement
    The Senate met today at the National Assembly and there were two important matters on its agenda. The first is the ratification of a special agreement which would see the Government amending the Referendum Act to lower the threshold that speaks to making a referendum binding for GOB, from 60% to 51%. The move by the Government has become very controversial because it is seen as appeasing Guatemala, who has complained before international forums that it will not proceed with holding a referendum on whether to take the age-old dispute between both nations to the International Court of Justice. Today as the Senate reviewed the issue, Attorney General and Senator Vanessa Retreage shared the Government’s views as to why it was taking this decision. Vanessa Retreage on Special Agreement: “The history of reneging on agreement in relation to this issue sends far back and it is for that reason that I support the approval of the Special Agreement and its Protocol. How long will we allow Guatemala behaviour to determine how we act, how long will we accept that as a reason for us not to put this issue to the citizens of this country for them to decide how they want to resolve this issue, the claim of Guatemala is not solely a PUP issue, it is not solely a UDP issue, not solely a Chamber issue, not solely a Union issue...”

    UNCAC Passed In The Senate
    The other major aspect of today’s Senate meeting was the introduction of the Government’s proposal to accept the United Nation’s Convention on Anti-Corruption as a measure of check and balance. This is a commitment which the Government made to the Belize National Teacher’s Union during the 11 days of strike in October. As the discussion commenced at today’s Senate meeting, the Social Partner senators and opposition senator discussed what their expectations are. Senator Elena Smith – Representing the Union: “We know that the NTUCB has been working with the Chamber of Commerce and the Committee but as well has been clamoring for this anti-corruption act to be signed on to. We also now that the teachers of this country took a stand and we took eleven days out to ensure that this was sign or this would be signed, having said that then, we must commend the Prime Minister and his government on this first step towards minimizing corruption, we must though understand that it is only a first step, while we are happy with this initial step we must be vigilant in our monitoring of its full implementation.”

    World leaders Honor Fidel Castro, El Commandante
    Last night, world leaders from all corners of the planet gathered at the Plaza de La Revolucion in La Habana, Cuba, to pay homage to the revolutionary Cuban leader, Fidel Castro Ruz. The entire Plaza and nearby streets were flooded with hundreds of thousands of Cubans and supporters who listened to the speeches from a dignitaries-filled list of leaders that included the Heads of state from Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico and South Africa, along with leaders from Central American nations. Castro’s younger brother and successor, President Raul Castro, gave a speech to thank world leaders for their words of praise for his late brother, who passed away at the age of 90 on November 25. President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua were among the foreign dignitaries who paid their respects to Castro and who spoke vividly of their many conversations with Castro.

    Guatemalan Gold Panners Detained In Chiquibul Area
    Two Guatemalan nationals have been arrested and charged for illegal entry into Belize and also for illegally operating inside a protected area without the use of a permit after they were discovered gold panning in Ceibo Grande Creek located south of the Chiquibul National Park and approximately nine kilometers away from the western border. The discovery was made by a joint unit patrol which was conducted on Friday by police officers, members of the Belize Defense Force and also with assistance from Friends for Conservation and Development rangers. Both individuals, identified as Anibal Quiix Cucul of Monte Los Olivos, Peten and Jose Amilcar Garcia Morales of Huite, Zacapa, Guatemala were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station where the charges were levied against each of them. During interrogation, Anibal confessed that prior to being caught he had illegally entered into the Chiquibul area approximately seven times to pan for gold. This time he was caught with one container which contained gold nuggets. Anibal also told police that upon his last visit to the area, he had collected close to 2.5 grams of gold of which he made a profit of 500 quetzales equivalent to about one hundred fifty Belize Dollars.

    Confiscation Of Drugs Continue In Orange Walk
    The never ending war to remove drugs from the streets of our town continues for the Orange Walk Police department, and yesterday evening cops won one more battle as they managed to confiscate a sizeable amount of marijuana from the streets. Sometime between 5:00 and 6:00, officers from the Quick Response Team conducted a search in an abandoned lot situated on Keyhole alley in the Louisiana Area. There officers found two transparent plastic bags containing twenty seven individually wrapped parcels of suspected marijuana. Residents of the area reported to have seen several male individuals in the vicinity, who ran off at the sight of the police officers. The drugs were transported to the Orange Walk Police station where it was weighed and amounted to 45.5 grams. The package was labeled as found property.

    GST Commissioner Investigates Possible Scam
    Last night we told you about the male individual who visited the New Diamond Supermarket located in the village of Trial Farm over the weekend claiming to be a GST officer and also claiming that he was conducting private investigations on several business establishments to find out if they are abiding by the law in terms of issuing receipts to customers upon an immediate purchase of items from the stores. Tonight we can tell you that we managed to speak to the Commissioner of the General Sales Tax Department regarding the issue and we’ll tell you about that in a few. But first to what we found out today as we hit the streets with the intention of carrying out our own investigations. We came to the conclusion that the same male person of creole descent visited not only one but several other businesses on the same day. It seems though as if his main targets were Chinese owned businesses in the Trial Farm area.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Missing golf cart recovered
    A missing golf cart has been recovered today from the person who allegedly stole it. Robert Novak’s golf cart was stolen at around 10:30 p.m. on Friday while it was parked near Lions Club and MOilo’s in San Pedro town. A $1,000 reward was […]

    Cayo Special Constable launch Motorcycle Patrol
    Today, the Cayo Special Constables Committee launched a motorcycle patrol in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The group purchased two new motorcycles to better assist the police with patrolling the communities. The officer commanding San Ignacio Supt. Richard Rosado, national coordinator for the Citizens […]

    Belize one of 30 cheapest 2017 destinations
    A new publication from Forbes lists Belize as one among the 30 best and cheapest destinations for travelers anxious to find their next perfect vacation. According to Forbes, the American dollar which has strengthened has allowed US residents to stretch their dollar around the globe. Forbes also reports […]

    Belize now needs proposal it passed up
    The government of Belize, currently in a frenzy to restructure the 2038 Bond, may end up turning to a debt-for-nature swap after passing up one such historic proposal just a few years ago. Recently, documents were made available to the media which detailed a […]

    Suspicious plane lands off Coastal road
    Belizean authorities yesterday confirmed that a suspicious plane landed in Belize on Monday night but could not definitively say it was a drug plane. Hattieville police received reports of a low flying airplane near the Coastal Road in the vicinity of the La Democracia […]

    New vehicles for Belize Police Department
    The Minister of State, Elodio Aragon, and the Ministry of Home Affairs in a press release today, announced the addition of 26 new vehicles to the Belize Police Department’s (BPD) fleet. The vehicles which are Isuzu D-Max 2017 models are outfitted with police logos, […]

    Flowers bank access road upgraded
    A project is currently underway for the upgrading of the Flowers Bank Access Road to all-weather standard. The project is the result of efforts by Minister of National Emergency Management Edmond Castro, and it is part of a flood mitigation program which he says […]

    No answers on cause of Chateau Caribbean fire
    The Fire Department is struggling to identify the cause of the fire that consumed the Chateau Caribbean over the weekend. According to Fire Chief Ted Smith, the cause is unknown but investigation at the scene is ongoing . The fire reportedly began at around […]

    PAHO urges stepping up measures to end AIDS by 2030
    The Pan American Health Organization’s campaign slogan for World Aids day December 1 is “Take the challenge. End AIDS” . This urges governments and society to intensify nine measures to end the epidemic of AIDS by 2030. Providing and promoting the use of condoms […]

    OW business owners report suspicious GST officer
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that on Saturday around 3:00 p.m., a man described as brown skinned, weighing about 200 pounds and of creole descent entered the New Diamond Supermarket located on #47 Philip Goldson Highway in the village of Trial Farm, Orange Walk. […]

    Blogs

    The New SanCas Plaza in Downtown San Pedro – All Sorts of Businesses to Open Soon
    I will be the first to admit. When I saw the sign for new construction by the airstrip in San Pedro, I was…perplexed. Office complex? In the little fishing village of San Pedro? But the secret is out. Way out. San Pedro is not a sleepy fishing village anymore. It’s the main tourist hub of Belize with all sorts of businesses – from architects to chiropractors to accountants to social media influencers. The idea of an office plaza took a while to steep in my mind. And now that I see the almost finished product everything in the new SanCas Plaza makes a ton of sense in this very central location. Ambergris Caye can not remain the place of my first visit over 10 years ago…sadly. We are growing FAST…and welcoming more and more visitors and residents to the island all the time. I stopped by late last week to speak with Gil Castillo, President of SanCas Realty and Christie’s Realty in Belize. He gave me a tour of the new building and showed me the plans. Located just across from the Tropic Air terminal, this property has been in the Santiago Castillo family for years. There is a list of some of the new businesses that are either moving in or starting in SanCas Plaza. Belize Fitness, Belize Caye Investments, Workspace Belize, Caye Coffee, a French bakery and Mahogany Bay as well as the namesake realty company.

    Pontoon Tour of Vaca Lake
    Located in the upper part of the Macal River Valley in Belize’s western Cayo District, Vaca Lake is a large body of pristine water surrounded by verdant jungle and some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. Although Vaca Lake is the six-mile long man-made creation of the Vaca Dam, this large body of water is an ideal setting to experience the lush wildlife of Belize. A pontoon boat is large, floating vessel that moves slowly and is designed for maximum stability. Participants have plenty of open seating on the pontoon boat, perfect for spotting colorful birds, crocodiles, monkeys, ocelots, and other assorted wildlife that inhabit the shores of Vaca Lake. The pontoon tour of Vaca Lake includes a stop at the waterfall where the crystal pool underneath is perfect for enjoying a refreshing swim on a hot day. The boat tour continues to a second waterfall, a gorgeous backdrop for enjoying lunch. The tour continues on to the “Crystallized” Waterfall where a small grotto contains a wealth of sparkling stones and minerals. Vaca Lake is located in the middle of the jungle a few miles outside of Benque Viejo Del Carmen. The closest town is San Ignacio, and most tours depart and return from San Ignacio.

    International Sourcesizz

    Alex To Otto: 2016 Was The 'Year Long' Hurricane Season
    Today November 30 marks the official end of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This article is a great reminder that out-of-season storms have become more common; in fact, 2016's first storm was in January! So no matter what time of the year, stay prepared. My colleague Bob Henson of WeatherUnderground pointed out in social media that 2016 has been slightly above average. He wrote on Facebook, “Total thus far for the Atlantic is 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and three 3 major hurricanes. Definitely above average, but well below the records set in 2005!” In my own research I concur with Bob. The 2016 Atlantic Basin hurricane season numbers are slightly above the 1981-2010 averages, according to NOAA: named storms (12.1), hurricanes (6.4), and major hurricanes (2.7). The 2016 numbers are pretty much on par with NOAA’s seasonal projections as well as those of other groups that do seasonal projections. Most tropical meteorologists expected a normal to above-normal season because of the dissipation of El Nino (and possible onset of La Nina). El Nino’s teleconnection patterns tend to suppress Atlantic basin hurricane activity due to alterations in the jet stream and the presence of greater wind shear.

    Climate Prediction Center’s Central America Hazards Outlook December 1 – 7, 2016
    Hurricane Otto led to flooding and many affected people over portions of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. From November 22-28, the passage of Hurricane Otto brought heavy downpours, with rainfall amounts in excess of 100 mm in southern Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica. This caused flooding, infrastructure damages, and many affected people over many areas of southern Nicaragua and Costa Rica, according to media reports. Moderate to heavy rain was also observed in eastern Honduras and the Southern Caribbean, while suppressed rain was recorded throughout Guatemala, El Salvador, the western two-thirds of Honduras, and northwestern Nicaragua.

    Belize regulator IFSC warns on Floral Investment Ltd firm
    The International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) has notified that an entity calling itself ‘Floral Investment Ltd.’ is falsely and fraudulently claiming to be an International Business Company (IBC) incorporated in Belize and to be licensed by the IFSC, stating to be registered at #7 New Road, Belize City, Belize, C.A. The Certificate of Incorporation No. 134, 564 carrying its name and purporting to be signed by Mr. Santiago Gonzalez, Deputy Registrar of the IBC Registry and the Licence Number IFSC/60/138/BCA/10, which bears the signature of Mrs. Neri Matus, Director General of the IFSC, posted on its website, https://floralinvestment.com/guarantees are complete forgery.

    Cultural, religious diversity at heart of performance
    The Neak Porn Ensemble is an instrumental group whose work extends beyond Cambodian temples to weddings and parties in the community. And Walagante represents just one Garifuna community. The history of the Garifuna - whose people can be found in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua - is somewhat elusive, though many believe it came about when a slave ship sunk in the Caribbean and survivors made their way to what is now Central America, where they integrated with indigenous people there, establishing a unique language and culture that spans centuries. "We want these guys to be heard outside their communities," Jasper says. "And at least in the case of Walagante, they want to be heard outside their community. This show is just another effort to help introduce Houstonians to their neighbors."

    The 30 Cheapest Places To Travel In 2017
    Belize listed as one of the 30 cheapest places to travel in 2017. Time to start packing your bags: 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for budget travel. The dollar is enjoying historic highs — meaning your money goes much further in many destinations around the globe — and according to an American Express Global Business Travel report, airfares are expected to fall in 2017. So where should you go on your next trip? I interviewed 14 travel experts who make it their business to keep track of the best bargains around. Here are their favorite picks for the most affordable destinations to visit next year. Where: Belize. Why: Modern conveniences and history collide in Belize. It’s a perfect place to take a budget romantic vacation. Many of the four-star hotels offer extras, like bicycle rentals, included in their low rates, as well as Belize’s excellent local wines. Some affordable resorts to check out are George Hardie’s Las Vegas Hotel in Corozal (Northern Belize) and the oceanside Royal Caribbean Resort in San Pedro along Ambergris Caye. Both can be booked for under $100 per night. Meals are also crazy cheap, but delicious. Two can eat at an upscale restaurant for less than $30, and much less at an everyday venue.

    UB engineering students win Structures Competition in Mexico

    Benque Annual Community Posada
    'Tis (almost) the season! An invitation from Benque House of Culture. Thursday Dec. 15th, 8:15pm

    Videos

  • Pod of Dolphins!!! Belize, November 2016, 1min.

  • Hot Mamas Belize Tours, 1/2min. This video is a snippet from a guest experience at the Hot Mamas Belize Factory (Pepperland).

  • Casa Tortuga Belize - Vacation Rental - My Belize Resorts,1 min. The villa is located 1 3/4 miles south of San Pedro, which takes six minutes by taxi van. Guides can pick you up at our dock for scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and sightseeing. There are bicycles, golf carts, and taxis available for transportation. The taxi fare from the villa to town is $10.00 US dollars per van, which seats up to ten people.

  • Reflections from the Death of Fidel Castro, 26min.

  • Special Olympics, 23min.

  • Cuban Ambassador - Reflections from Cuban Embassy (Death of Fidel Castro), 18min.

  • Community Initiative for Burn Victims, 14min.

  • Belize 2016, 5min. VBC High School Ministry

  • Snorkling by the fisherboat at Silk Caye, Placencia, Belize, 2min. Video from our snorkling tour by the fisherman boat nearby Silk Caye, Placencia, Belize. We saw nurse sharks, sea turtles and a spotted eagle ray.

  • Hands up for HIV Prevention Belize, 2min. In the lead-up to World AIDS Day 2016, the hands up for HIV prevention campaign will explore different aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people, such as adolescent girls and young women, key populations and people living with HIV. A photograph of a word or short phrase written on the palm of their hand summarizing what we need to strengthen HIV prevention efforts. These are some of Belizeans concerns and suggestions to Improve HIV prevention and and Continuum of Care.

  • Hands up for #HIV Prevention Belize, 3.5min.

  • PADF Belize: Community preparedness & resilience to environmental challenges, 8min. The Pan American Development Foundation is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. They target issues within communities in Latin America and the Caribbean and organize teams to assist with those challenges on the ground. The Belize project was called Community Preparedness and Resilience headed by project director Minerva Pinelo. The focus was the environmental challenges of communities within Southern Belize.

  • Norwegian Dawn Day 5 - Harvest Caye, Belize, dinner at La Cucina, 10min.


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