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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.

The San Pedro Sun

SunBreeze Hotel first to be Hospitality Assured Certified by the Caribbean Tourism Organization in Belize
Earlier this year, the SunBreeze Hotel located in San Pedro Town, completed its journey to becoming the first tourism enterprise in Belize to become Hospitality Assured (HA) certified in Belize. Hospitality Assured is a United Kingdom (UK) based certification program that promotes a culture of service and business excellence that is developed specifically for tourism and tourism-related businesses. It is a service quality certification program created and owned by the Institute of Hospitality and managed by Hospitality Limited in the UK. This program of business excellence is aligned with the European Foundation of Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model and is managed and promoted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in the Caribbean.

Special Event held to Honour 28 Years of Cuban Medical Brigade
Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin hosted an event to honour Cuban medical personnel who have served in Belize. The event was hosted at Kcho Studio Romerillo Gallery and Community Centre in Havana, Cuba. The studio is a community cultural project demonstrating the transformative power of art. It was founded by the world-renowned Cuban visual artist Alexis Leyva Machado, also known as Kcho, who believes that “art has a healing ability that can enrich and beautify other peoples’ lives”. He embodies the spirit of the collaboration that has brought Cubans and Belizeans together in keeping with the late Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro’s vision of service among developing nations.

GOB aims to improve Solid Waste Management with new IDB Grant
The amount of garbage produced in growing communities continues to concern the Government of Belize (GOB) and tourism areas are producing more garbage than the local authorities seem to be able to manage. As such, the Government of Belize has launched a new program aimed at improving solid waste management across the country. Through a non-reimbursable Technical Cooperation (grant) of $500,000US, provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through the Japan Quality Infrastructure Initiative (JQI), GOB has stated that they will “improve solid waste management in Belize by promoting the reduction and recovery of municipal solid waste generation and contributing to the expansion of coverage of municipal solid waste management to rural areas.”

2019 International Day of Yoga to be hosted at Ak’Bol
Yoga enthusiasts will convene at Ak’Bol on Sunday, June 23rd for the 5th Annual International Day of Yoga – San Pedro Chapter. Celebrated across Belize, this special day sees local yoga instructors combine classes at one select location to provide a unique experience for participants. Everyone, from first timers to advanced practitioners, are invited to this free event. Hosted by Kristen Migilio, this year’s International Yoga Day will be held from 10:30AM to 12:30PM at the Akbol Yoga Retreat and Eco Resort dock. “The class is suitable for children and adults, and the perfect opportunity to enjoy yoga for the first or hundredth time. Just bring a mat or towel and a friend, and join this worldwide celebration of fellowship and goodwill,” said one of the event’s organizers, Diana Snyder. After the yoga class, a Chai Reception and Mandala making event will be held.

Do The Right Thing School Safety Summer Program is back in San Pedro Town
For the second consecutive year, Do The Right Thing School Safety Summer Program (DTRTSS) is back in San Pedro Town.The summer program is led by activist Philip ‘Fawda’ Henry and aims at keeping island children involved in positive activities throughout their summer vacation. The summer program takes place from 9AM to 4PM, Monday to Friday at the San Pedro High School. Through presentations and fun-filled activities, children will learn about traffic rules and regulations, what is human trafficking, cyberbullying, and child abuse, as well as how to become better persons in their community.

ACCSD seeks new plan of action against development at Cayo Rosario
The fight against the massive development at Cayo Rosario continues. Most recently, on May 30, 2019, the Supreme Court of Belize refused leave for Judicial Review in the case brought forward by the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) against the Department of Environment (DOE) regarding the approved development at Cayo Rosario. However, this is not deterring the ACCSD. Former manager for Hol Chan Marine Reserve and director on the board of ACCSD, Miguel Alamilla has confirmed that they are discussing with their lawyers a new approach to stop the development.

Ambergris Today

Belize And The Republic Of China (Taiwan) Sign For Cooperation In Tourism
As a part of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Belize and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed a Letter of Intent on a framework for tourism cooperation. The signing took place in Belize City on June 19, 2019.

Lieutenant Alma Pinelo 1st Belizean Woman To Receive Honor Graduate Award
The Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard is proud to acknowledge Lieutenant Alma Pinelo for receiving the Honor Graduate award after successfully completing the International Maritime Officer Course at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia, U.S.A. Lieutenant Pinelo is the first Belizean and the first female to receive this prestigious award. Her name and country will be enshrined into the Honor Graduates Hall of Fame.

Various Belizean Sources


South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Cleanup Day Today
This Saturday, June 22nd 7:00 am to 9:00 am neighborhood clean up day. Meet at the patrol substation. Wear gloves, bug spray, good shoes and a smile. It's time to give the neighborhood a quick brush up. Can't make it? No problem, drop off bug spray for patrol, drop off AA batteries, drop off bottled water - or better yet. . . drop off a donation. The patrol is paid with 100% donor funds.

International Day of Yoga in Corozal
I am very happy to announce that Corozal Town has successfully celebrated the International Day of yoga four years in a row. Thanks to the yoga community for their love and support! Namaste

The ninth consecutive edition of the Brazil Scholarship PAEC OAS-GCUB 2019 offers 513 scholarship opportunities to outstanding citizens of OAS Member States to pursue master's or doctorate programs in Brazilian Universities. The Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC) between the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities (GCUB), with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Division of Educational Topics and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) is open now and the deadline to apply is August 7, 2019.

Season Pass: General $175, VIP $250, Ultra $300, Children 5-11 yrs $50. International Night: General $150, VIP $200, Ultra $250, Children 5-11 yrs $25. Nightly Tickets: Pageant Night $50, Children $15, Final Night $25, Children $10. Costa Maya Office is located in front of the San Pedro Town Council office “Oh Danny Boy”.

Ministry of Agriculture Hosts Closing Ceremony for Train-the-Trainers Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture
The Minister of Agriculture Senator Hon. Godwin Hulse and UNDP Country Office Resident Representative a.i. Mr. Aldo Garcia issued Certificates of Completion to forty-four participants of a five-day Train-the-Trainers workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture. The closing ceremony was held at the Administrative and Technical Conference Room, National Agriculture and Trade Showground Belmopan. The training which commenced on Monday, June 17, 2019, was a collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP). Facilitators for the training were personnel from Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE).

Are you willing to join those who provide safety, security, and protection of our maritime areas? Are you ready to accept the challenge and overcome adversity? Join the Belize Coast Guard where every day is an adventure and a challenge. The Belize Coast Guard is looking for a few good men & women to join its ranks and be a part of an elite organization. Candidates must be a Belizean between the ages of 18-24 years and must:

Snake Handling Workshop
In collaboration with the 42nd Annual International Herpetological Symposium (IHS), CRC coordinated a snake handling workshop led by Justin Elden from the St Louis Zoo for Belize Forest Department officers and caretakers at The Belize Zoo. After a presentation on basic snake biology facts and exhibiting how to safely handle and relocate or remove snakes, FD officers got to practice their skills.

Baymen's Back to School Essay Competition
Winners will be chosen July 12th.

Long Service Award from the Public Service of Belize
This media blog joins our Corozal Community in extending warmest and sincere Congratulations to Ms. Lavern Thompson on receiving the Long Service Award from the Public Service of Belize for her 37 years of service to the Corozal Community Hospital. What a great achievement.

Photos from Lobster Fest San Pedro 2019

Photos from Taste of the Caribbean 2019
Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition, food & beverage educational exchange and Caribbean cultural showcase. Since 1993, the Caribbean’s best chefs and culinary teams unite at Taste to compete, demonstrate their skills, learn from each other and offer the general public a scintillating exhibition of the most delectable culinary treats of the islands.

Rt Hon. Prime Minister Barrow & Public Service Minister Hon. Papa Mena celebrating our Public Servants at the Public Service Award Ceremony!!!

Chaktemal in Maya means The place where red trees grow. Another possible translation is: Chaac means "rain" as the lord of rain, tea means "there", and emal means "go down", that is "Where the rains come down" Shortly before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Kuchkabal controlled what is now the south of Quintana Roo and the north of Belize, whose political head is believed to be today Santa Rita(Corozal) . The last Halach Uinik that governed Chactemal was Nachán Can. Nachan Chan was feared and respected in battle during the European invasion . “turkeys in the shape of spears and corn in the shape of arrows" was Nachan Can reply In answer to a demand to submit to Spain. The Maya defended northern Belize for over 200 years against the Spanish and continue against the British .

Channel 7

Mass Murder On The High Seas, 3 Dead, Two Missing
Tonight, three Belize City families are in the throes of grief, while two more are praying for a miracle. This is after three men were found at sea murdered - and their two companions are missing. The five had reportedly gone on a lobster trapping expedition on Tuesday - basing their operations in the Swallow Caye area. But, it seems they met ruthless pirates in those waters just off Belize City. Last night we reported on the first body that had been found near Swallow Caye; by 7:30 this morning there were two more - and two unaccounted for. It's a staggering body count - and I've been following up with police and the families all day. Here's the story:

A Settlement For Sanctuary Belize, the CBB and the FTC
Shifting gears to politics now - we have highlites from today's house meeting. On the Parliamentary side, a number of significant bills were introduced and passed - which took only about two hours to get done. But the biggest news of the day came when the PUP members spoke on the adjournment - which took more than three hours. PUP Representative for Caribbean Shores Kareem Musa spoke about the Sanctuary Belize scam - which was staged in in southern Belize by US fraudsters. As has been widely reported, it was shut down by the US Federal Trade Commission - which described it as the biggest land scam it's ever put the brakes on. In the process, the FTC's suit in the US froze the foreign accounts of Atlantic International Bank - and forced that bank to shut down.

PM Says Hon. Julius is A "Sick Puppy"
And while that exchange took on dimensions of national import - another about social security disintegrated into a testy exchange of insults. It happened when PUP Cayo South Rep Julius Espat spoke about the increase in Social Security contributions and caught everyone off guard when he started praising his senior colleague Said Musa, whom he disparaged at the last house sitting. Here's what Espat said, and what the PM snapped back with:... Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South: "You are asking the people of Belize to pay 2% more on social security contributions, but at the same time the inflation rate is high. The regular Belizean makes $148.50 a week. Now just for comparative, the CEO of the social security board after receiving his salary and perks receives $200,000 a year..."

Oil Tanker Flips on Hummingbird
There was an accident this afternoon at mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway. It seems and oil tanker lost control and flipped over a guard rail on a part of the road that has hills and curves . So far police have not confirmed the status of the driver - as to the extent of the injuries. We did see some oil spillage on the road. Contractors have been working extensively in that area to flatten out some of the hills and reduce the number of sharp turns.

Big Win For PUC At Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal's 2-week session for June ended today, and as the judges always do, they handed down decisions for appeal cases that they've already deliberated on. One of the judgments involves a protracted fight between the Public Utilities Commission and telecoms company, Speednet, which is better known as Smart. As we reported, back in 2011, Smart sued the PUC, claiming that the regulator was overcharging them for the licensing of 238 channels that they use to provide phone calls, texts, and data to customers. The PUC billed them for $800,000, when in previous years, the charge was only $1,400.

After 6 Years in Jail, court Tells Deunas The System Did Him Wrong
Another appellant who got good news in the Court of Appeal today is defendant Juan Duenas. In January of 2010, when he was only 15 years-old, he was arrested and charged with 1 count of carnal knowledge for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 13 year-old girl back in September 2009 in Punta Gorda Town. 1 year later, he was tried in only a day and a half and without any legal representation. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to serve the mandatory minimum 12 years in jail. He appealed, but back in March of 2016, the Court of Appeal did not have a full transcript of his original trial. Well, the court had to re-build a record of the trial by getting guidance from the trial judge's notes, which were incomplete.

Amalgamating Tax Collection
Going back to the House of Representatives - one of the more interestIng bills to be passed today was thew Tax Administration and Procedure Bill. It will create the Belize Tax Service Department - which is an amalgamation of the Income and Sales Tax Departments. The Leader of the opposition said it is a good thing, but had concerns about staffing:..

Female Guardsman Shone
The Belize Coast Guard is reporting that one of its own has received high marks of distinction while studying abroad. She's Lieutenant Alma Pinelo, and for several months now she's been taking the International Maritime Officer Course at the US Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia. She's the first Belizean, and the first female to receive the Honor Graduate award after completing the course. Her name and country will be enshrined in the institution's Honor Graduates Hall of Fame. She also excelled in Naval Academy training she received previously in Mexico.

Immigration Officer Charged For Fight With Coworker
She's accused of attacking a fellow immigration officer 3 months ago, but today, 46 year-old Anne Smith, a Grade 1 Immigration Officer was arraigned on common-assault when she was taken to the Magistrate's Court today. The incident allegedly happened on March 10th, 2019. Smith was traveling in an Immigration van, which was being driven by Kurt Burgess. Sheree Flowers, the woman who's accusing her, was seated behind the driver. Flores was about to get out of the van, when the two women allegedly got into an argument over the positioning of Smith's purse and jacket, which was on the seat.

More Guilty Gangsters
Police have arrested and charged 3 more men for being in a gang. 2 of them are facing court fines for a guilty plea, and the third is on remand at the Belize Central Prison. The defendants are 20 year-old Kevaughan Middleton, a resident of Caesar Ridge Road; 22 year-old Steven Palmer, a resident of Guerrero Street; and 22 year-old Edward Flowers Jr., a construction worker of Gill Street. Police say that they have been conducting surveillance on these 3 men since April of last year, and they are sure that they are members of the Southside Gangsters.

Briceno Makes Pitch for Villages
Village Council elections start on Sunday, and speaking on the adjournment today - Opposition Leader John Briceno - made a kind of campaign pitch by saying that the UDP had neglected rural areas - and overseen grossly politicized mismanagement of water boards. Here's an excerpt of his 33 minute presentation - the longest of the day - where he points to water broad money mismanagement: Village council elections start on Sunday in Independence and other villages.

Senior Senator Steps Down
For just over 3 years now, he's been the Opposition Party's lead parliamentarian in the Upper House, but as of last week Tuesday, Senator Eamon Courtenay is senator no more. On the National Assembly's website, the Office of the Clerk notes that Opposition Leader John Briceño officially informed them that that Courtenay had resigned from the Senate. So has the senior Senator gone crossway with his party? A PUP press release this evening, explained quote, "Ambassador Courtenay stepped down as the Opposition's lead senator to dedicate his full attention to his new appointment as the Opposition Leader's representative on the Belize - Guatemala Committee that is working along with Belize's ICJ International Legal Team.

The Life of Refugees Through A Lens
Today is World Refugee Day where the plight of over 70 million displaced people worldwide is taken into account. Here in Belize this was noted with a Refugee Storytelling Expo at the Kiki Witz Resort outside Belmopan. It's an interesting project where children who are refugees and asylum seekers, were children living in Belize, were given cameras for a day to document their lives through photographs. The stories tell os displacement, resilience and the perseverance of hope.

Long on the Run, Juan Carlos Charged
For several months now, he been wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of 25 year-old Samuel Castro, and the shooting of 24 year-old Justin Diaz. But tonight, 29 year-old Juan Carlos Quintero is in police custody, and reliable reports to 7News are that he has been criminally charged with attempted murder. He was caught yesterday evening by a joint patrol of police officers from the Special Branch, the Special Patrol Unit, and the Quick Response team. Best information suggests that this team of police caught him at the home of several relatives of his, which is located on Santa Rosa Street in Orange Walk.

Channel 5

Triple Murder at Sea; Bodies of 3 Fishermen Recovered
There is yet another triple murder in less than three weeks, this time at sea. Three of five fishermen have been murdered, shot to death and their bodies dumped in [...]

Vessel Found, but Still No Signs of 2 Fishermen
The police have been working closely with the Belize Coast Guard as investigations continue into this triple homicide at sea. Now there are a number of fishing camps at and [...]

Belizean Man Killed in USA; Police Charge Son with Murder
A Belizean man was shot multiple times and killed on Wednesday in Barberton, Ohio, U.S.A.  He has been identified as forty-one-year-old Shannon Callahan. According to online reports, Barberton Police responded [...]

PM Barrow and Julius Espat Go at it over S.S.B. Contributions
The House of Representatives met today in ordinary session, one month after a special meeting was called to amend the Maritime Areas Act, following the May eighth I.C.J. referendum.  But [...]

Opposition Leader Calls for Order, to No Avail
While things got testy between the PM and Espat, Opposition Leader John Briceño attempted to have order returned to House and despite the Speaker’s intervention, the cutting remarks kept coming. [...]

Sanctuary Bay – A Cadaver Investigated by FTC
A thorough investigation into the real estate swindle that was Sanctuary Bay is being undertaken by the Federal Trade Commission, an independent arm of the U.S. government tasked with providing [...]

Was Atlantic Bank Ltd. Involved in Questionable AIBL Ownership Transaction?
Musa openly questioned the business transaction during which principal ownership of AIBL was assumed by former Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Pelayo, but not before taking a few more swipes at [...]

PM Warns Musa’s Assertion May Point FTC to Atlantic Bank Ltd.
While the Caribbean Shores Area Rep enjoys parliamentary privilege for utterances in the house, the prime minister took umbrage to the allegations that the Atlantic Bank may have had a [...]

Patrick Faber Takes it to Fort George and Toledo West
The topic of education proved equally testy as Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber responded to concerns raised by Freetown Area Rep and former Minister of Education Francis Fonseca.  In responding [...]

Eamon Courtenay Vacates Senate Seat for New P.U.P. Appointed Role
Eamon Courtenay has vacated his seat in the Senate. Having served as a parliamentarian in the upper house for as many as ten years as lead senator for the Opposition, [...]

Judgment in Favor of P.U.C.; SMART Ordered to Pay Overdue Spectrum Fees
The Public Utilities Commission won its legal battle against Speednet Telecommunication Limited, the parent company of SMART. This morning, the Court of Appeal handed down a judgment effectively overturning the [...]

P.U.C.’s Rejoices Win
According to Pitts, the Court of Appeal’s ruling is significant as it reminds public utilities providers to adhere to the legislation.   Sheena Pitts, Attorney for P.U.C. “Quite frankly this [...]

Notorious OW Gang Figure Captured
Twenty-nine year old Juan Carlos “Canikas” Quintero is tonight behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. Quintero who was on the run for months and believe to have been residing [...]

Tourism Minister Says Cayo Rosario Surrounded with ‘Huge Amount of Marine Life’
A Supreme Court ruling in May has the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development ready to protect Cayo Rosario. The island sits in the middle of the Hol Chan Marine [...]

Minister Heredia Sides with Environmental Group
The decision to allow the development was made in 2018 by the National Environmental Advisory Board and the Department of Environment. The project calls for fifty island bungalows as well [...]

Belizean Coast Guard Female Lieutenant Makes History
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo received the honor graduate award after she successfully completed the International Maritime Officer Course at the U.S Coast Guard Training Center in Virginia, U.S.A. Lieutenant Pinelo is [...]

Belize Coast Guard Making Strides at Fuerzas Commando Competition
Earlier this month, the Belize Coast Guard Special Operations Group deployed to Santiago, Chile to participate in the fifteenth Annual Fuerzas Commando Competition. The seven-man team is competing against nineteen [...]

Belize Goes to U-23 C.A Female Volleyball Championship
The U­23 Female Volleyball National Team departed Belize today for the fourth Central American U­23 Female Volleyball Championship in Managua, Nicaragua. All seven Central American Countries will be participating. The [...]

Belize Jaguars’ Assistant Coach Brings Fresh Skills from European Training
On Thursday, we showed you the new head coach of the Belize National Football Team. He’s Vincenzo Alberto Annese from Italy. As you heard in our report, the new coach [...]


Ohio cops charge Shannon Ingol with murder
Police in Barberton, Ohio, in the USA were called to the 300 Block area of George Street in that state yesterday, Wednesday morning, after they received a report of a shooting. When police arrived, they found a man who was later identified as Shannon Callahan, 41, bleeding profusely in his driveway. Callahan has been identified as a Belizean. Callahan was treated on the scene by paramedics and later transferred to Summa Barberton Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

8-year-old dies in tragic accident
Gabriella Corrales, 8, a standard 2 student at the Guadalupe RC School in Belmopan, had just gotten out of classes at the end of the school day and was about to ride her bicycle home when she was knocked down and killed by an SUV at about 3:45 yesterday, Tuesday, after school. She had gotten off her bicycle and was walking across the pedestrian ramp near the school, on the East Ring Road, near Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School, when she was hit by the SUV, driven by a 15-year-old Guatemalan boy.

The body of Travis Cooke found floating near Swallow Caye
At about 5:20 this evening, the corpse of a man was found floating in the sea near Swallow Caye, about three miles from Belize City. The body was seen with a gunshot wound in the head. The man was described as being of dark complexion, slimly built, and he was wearing a black T-shirt and a black and burgandy tattoo, “Beulahlee,” is on his chest. Tonight, the victim was identified as Travis Cooke of Belize City. At this time, police do not have any more information on his age and other particulars, such as his address.

The sad news of the passing of Noreen Rivers Bodden, the legendary Belizean softball superstar athlete of the “Golden Girls” of softball that won the first gold medal for Belize in the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games, reached me today Monday, June 17, 2019. Belizeans from many walks of life send their deepest condolences to her family and friends who supported the ailing Belizean softball giant throughout her time of illness. The article below was produced by yours truly on the legendary Belizean athlete last year after a very candid conversation with her. May we Belizeans at home and abroad remember and celebrate the greatness of Noreen Bodden. Rest in peace, Belizean softball superstar:

Curfew lifted off street vendors
Contention has been brewing between the Police Department and local street vendors/peddlers over a curfew that had been imposed to shut down food stalls by 12:00 a.m. on the south side and by 2:00 a.m. on the north side. As many may know, the uptake of sales for food vendors is in the later hours of the night and wee hours of the morning, especially on weekends after local bars and night clubs have been vacated. The curfew was met with disagreement by the vendors and general public, who were of the impression that this was an injustice and would greatly affect the income of the vendors.

2019 PSE Award Ceremony
The top 25 performers in this year’s Primary School Examinations were honored at the 2019 PSE Award Ceremony on Wednesday. Proud educators, parents and students convened at the Belize Civic Center to be commended for their time and commitment dedicated to achieving these accomplishments amongst a cohort of over 7,000 participating students. The students were bestowed with plaques and certificates for their exceptional performance, as well as congratulated by the Deputy Prime Minister/ Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber. “We are here to bring together the bright sparks of our students who made this year in the spotlight.

Both St. Martin De Porres girls and boys are Belize City 2019 Primary School Basketball Champions
The National Sports Council sponsored Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Tournament 2019 held its championship finals in both Female and Male categories yesterday afternoon at the Bird’s Isle basketball court, where both the girls and boys of St. Martin De Porres Primary School emerged as champions. The competition, which tipped off on Tuesday, May 28, featured only 3 girls teams and 13 boys teams, and the results of the male semifinals on Monday of this week suggested that the finals would be a tight contest. In the first semifinal on Monday at Bird’s Isle, St. Martin De Porres boys dominated Belize Elementary boys, 40-28...

Cricket Corner – Games getting hot!!
To all cricket lovers, pleasant time of the day to you! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Sir Barry Bowen/ Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2019 playoffs started last Saturday with a bang, as BDF took advantage of Summer Fever on BDF grounds, and Berlan won over Excellence by a near margin. Before getting into specifics of both games, I take this opportunity to offer our most sincere condolences to the family of Miss Marcia Talbert and Excellence Cricket Team on the loss of Marcia. May her soul Rest in Peace.

Dangriga Mayor’s Cup final regular season game results; Sampson Proper Fix makes playoffs
The regular season of the Dangriga Mayor’s Cup 2019 competition was completed tonight with the playing of a back match, where Sampson Proper Fix clinched the last playoff spot in Group A when they bombed Hope Creek Pumas, 7-0, with goals from Alton Carr (21’ & 40’), Dwayne Sampson (43’ & 53’), Dylon Williams (80’ & 56’) and Myreque Francis (69’). The top 4 Group B teams had already been decided; but in Group A, the 4th playoff spot was up for grabs among 3 teams – Pomona Impacts and Hopkins Ibayani with 13 points each, and Sampson Proper Fix at 11 points, with the back match remaining against Hope Creek Pumas, who were clearly out of playoff contention at 7th place with only 9 points.

COBY donates school supplies & equipment to Wesley Lower School
The COBY Foundation Basketball Camp and 3 on 3 Knockout Tournaments tipped off at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon at Bird’s Isle with Day 1 of a 2-Day Clinic focusing on FUN-DA-MENTALS and DISCIPLINE; and while the Clinic was still underway with over 50 youths in attendance, the Foundation President, Evondale “Coby” Coburn took a break at 4:00 p.m. to present some sorely needed school equipment and supplies to Wesley Lower School, which is located on Albert Street. The printers, tablets/pads, school bags and other miscellaneous school supplies, to a value of over Bze $1,400.00, were received on the Bird’s Isle court by Mrs. Shirley Saldano, Principal of Wesley Lower School.

Editorial: Elected Senate is no mirage
We noted last week, June 11, that Mr. Henry Gordon, who is a former Senator, Chief Meteorologist, and Cabinet Secretary, and is presently a pastor, constitutionalist, newspaper columnist (Amandala), and television host (Plus TV), declared that an editorial suggestion in the Amandala that Belize ditch the 13th Senator Senate for an elected Senate, was a mirage. Mr. Gordon wrote in his column: “What benefit, if any, would Belizeans enjoy by simply replacing the 13th Senator with an Elected Senate, as was suggested in the editorial in the Tuesday Amandala of June 4, 2019?” Mr. Gordon is a highly educated man, and very dedicated, but he may be showing frustration. He shouldn’t snatch away a candle that has never been lit, to protect a candle (13th Senator Senate) that has not delivered, and, by its composition, cannot.

Sally (and Leonardo) Caretella write(s) from Esperanza
Dear Editor, In your March 29 edition of the newspaper, you printed a letter from Candy and George Gonzalez headed “20 years of misinformation.” I read that letter and was in total agreement with it — an extremely good summary of all that has happened (or not happened) here in Cayo. Unfortunately, I did not write in support of that letter; I felt it stood on its own. Now in the Amandala of June 7, comes BECOL’s response. I wondered who could possibly have written such a letter claiming that the courts had dismissed BELPO’s claims as baseless. I seem to recall listening to then Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh in the Supreme Court giving the judgement in favour of BELPO.

You want one answer to Belize’s challenges? Sing Unsung Heroes (and be one)!
Amidst the murders, traffic deaths, the lack of effective governance, politricks and…and….etc., there are plenty of good things happening and good people making it happen. In all walks and facets of life across the Jewel, Belizeans toil with the hope that their labor is not in vain and things will improve. From rural primary schools with bright eyed children and dedicated teachers, farmers, construction workers, fishers, sanitation workers, and so on, I know they toil in hope (and so families can eat). This hopefulness is not the strength of the Belizean elite, generally speaking. Many are cynical, judgmental, and impatient while cloistered in walled cocoons of self-righteousness and privilege (not to put too fine a point on it. I digress).

Fry never trust big fish
Media in Belize have been playing up the fact that the candidate who got the most votes in the election that was held in Guatemala on June 16, to choose a new president, has some blood relationship with us. Sandra Torres, a former First Lady of Guatemala who is now the candidate with the most votes in the first round of the Guatemalan presidential election, is a sister of a prominent Belizean, Mrs. Narda Garcia. Narda is also the wife of a high-ranking PUP, former Corozal Southwest area rep, Dr. Greg Garcia. Sandra Torres is not the only candidate in the Guatemalan presidential pool of hopefuls with connections to Belize. Her running mate, Carlos Raúl Morales, spent some of his youth in Belize, and is married to a Belizean lady, with whom he has fathered two sons.

Yucatecas de Goshen y Pembroke Hall
Catalina María Rosado era para entonces parte de una tradición de matrimonios yucatecos con los ricos escuderos de Goshen y Pembroke Hall, las dos fincas más grandes del norte. A diferencia de las familias criollas e incluso blancas, las historias familiares españolas no comienzan con la llegada de un solo hombre blanco: los inmigrantes yucatecos incluían hombres y mujeres en igual número, y la movilidad no se limitaba a los hombres. Stephens observó que las mujeres yucatecas superaban a los hombres en una proporción de dos a uno, mientras que Belize era una tierra de terratenientes y comerciantes no casados.

US Trafficking in Persons Report places Belize on Tier 2 Watch List
The United States Department of State issued its Trafficking in Persons Report today, Thursday, June 20, and the opening sentence of the report noted that Belize “did not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so.” The report placed the country on the US’s Tier 2 Watch List, after noting the government has made significant efforts during the period the report covers. A press release today from the US Embassy in Belize said, “The theme of this year’s TIP Report introduction is ‘The National Nature of Human Trafficking: Strengthening Government Responses and Dispelling Misperceptions.’ It invites governments to address all forms of human trafficking with a special emphasis on when it takes place exclusively within the borders of one country, absent any transnational elements.”

Raise in SSB contributions a “political” decision, says SSB CEO
There have been quite a number of political spins surrounding the Belize Social Security Board phased-in two percent increase in the contributions required from employees and employers, which has been done to maintain the viability of the Social Security Board fund so as to guarantee that when future generations of workers reach retirement age, they will be able to receive benefits from the fund. In response to a blistering attack from the Opposition People’s United Party via a press release yesterday, Monday, June 17, the Social Security Board called a press conference today at its Belize City office, at which the Social Security Board (SSB) chairman, Doug Singh, and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Colin Young, vigorously defended the SSB’s increase and a three-page memorandum written to Cabinet that Dr. Young had penned and controversially captioned:” “How the U.D.P. can leverage S.S.B.’s sustainability to gain political advantage.”

The war against Sargassum
For years, Central America and the Caribbean have been plagued by the presence of the dreaded Sargassum. This brown algae first started affecting Belize on the coast of San Pedro, creating a foul odor as it accumulates and rots at the water’s edge. Since as far back as 2015, reports have made it to the public about the Sargassum’s rapid spread to other areas such as Caye Caulker, Hopkins and Placencia. In neighboring countries the phenomenon has grown to alarming levels and destinations such Quintana Roo have even declared the situation to be an imminent natural disaster.

Danny Mason’s murder trial fails to start because of his attorney’s no-show
William “Danny” Mason and the four other men who are accused of the beheading murder of Dangriga Pastor Llewellyn Lucas in July 2016, appeared in the Belmopan Supreme Court of Justice Antoinette Moore for the resumption of the trial this morning, but the case could not proceed, because Mason’s new attorney did not show up in court. The hearing was then adjourned to the afternoon, but when the attorney again failed to appear, Justice Moore adjourned the case until Monday, June 24.