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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

Hol Chan Marine Reserve bans motorized watercraft within Secret Beach
Motorized watercraft (small boats, motorized paddleboards) and recreational equipment of that nature are no longer allowed to operate within the Secret Beach area, which is within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR). In the case of jet skis, these will have to be registered with the HCMR and will only be allowed to transit through the area. These regulations became necessary to guarantee safety, while protecting the natural marine habitat, from the negative impacts the unregulated activity of said motorized vessels can cause. The measure came as an enforcement to the Fisheries Regulations, 2015, which prohibits motorized watercraft within a marine reserve. An initial meeting was held in March of this year with a follow-up session later in September at Secret Beach. Issues and concerns were raised by stakeholders and others in attendance. The presence of water sport activities is allegedly affecting the fly-fishing tourism sector, and persons swimming near the beach are at risk of getting injured.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks wins basketball championship tournament in Mexico
As they prepare for the 2020 season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), the San Pedro Tiger Sharks represented the country and Ambergris Caye at a tournament in Cozumel, Mexico, where they emerged victorious. The basketball tournament took place from the 15th to the 17th of November, and around 20 teams participated in various categories, ranging from male, female to even children’s divisions. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks played in the adult division, winning all games and claiming the championship at the end of the tournament.

Belize hosts first-ever National Children’s Parliament
To commemorate International Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary of Belize signing on to the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC), the first-ever Children’s Parliament was held at the National Assembly Building in Belmopan City on Wednesday, November 20th. The National Children’s Parliament sought to respond to two rights, Right #12 which covers children’s right to give their opinion, be heard and for adults to listen, and Right #13, which covers the right of a child to participate, find out information on matters relating to them and share their opinions in the most productive means available to them.

San Pedro observes Garifuna Settlement Day
The festivities started on Monday evening, November 18th, when the celebration was officially declared open. Traditional dances and an all-night drumming session took place at Central Park. Belizeans and visitors alike stopped by a tent erected at the park to enjoy an evening of traditional drumming and Punta music. There were no formalities as in previous years, where the Mayor and even the Area Representative of Belize Rural South (Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Cayes), would take part in an official opening ceremony.

Various Belizean Sources


Belize Film Commission Announces Launch of Belize International Film Market and Belize-Based Studio Complex with Saba Industries
The Belize Film Commission, along with the Global Commerce, Digital Entertainment and Media Divisions for the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Saba Industries is pleased to report that they announced the soft launch of the Belize International Market: Film - TV - New Media - Animation at the recent Belize International Film Festival. This Market is focused on content development and acquisition, networking, professional development and training workshops. The focus of the Market is on content for the Caribbean, Central and Latin America, and Asia, as well as for the State of Georgia and Hollywood.

Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 of Banana Simulation Exercise
Please be advised that the Belize Agricultural Health authority in collaboration with the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Banana Growers Association and Fyffes will be having a simulation exercise from November 25-29, 2019, in order to assess Belize’s response in the event that fusarium wilt tropical race 4 of banana is detected in Belize. The activities will take place at the PGIA, BAHA plant health diagnostic laboratory, Big Creek port, and a plantain farm in Georgetown. The public is reminded that the OIRSA region including Belize and the wider Caribbenan is free of this devastating banana disease.

German Tour Operators and Journalist Familiarization Tour
BTB photos.

San Pedro Municipal Children's Fair Nov. 29
Everyone's invited to the Municipal Children's Fair on Friday, November 29th, 2019 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Central Park. There will be FREE Birth Registration for Children, FREE Diabetes Test for Children and many other fun and education booths! Also, don't miss the SPTC Quiz Competition starting at 1:30.

The Launch of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence
At the ITVET Compound on November 25th, 2019 at 3:30 pm. The Launch is expected to end at about 5:30 pm; after-which, there will be a short candlelight vigil to the roundabout on Freetown Road where Orange Awareness Flags will be raised in memory of those we've lost as a result of Gender Based Violence.

Belize Purportedly Identified as “Safe Third Country” by International Media
It has been brought to the attention of the Government of Belize that a news article is in circulation which states that the Trump Administration has identified Belize as a “safe third country” for immigrants trying to reach the United States. The article went on to state that the immigrants will remain in a “safe third country” for the duration of the processing of their asylum requests. This news article is false. The Ministry with responsibility for Immigration and Refugees and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have no knowledge of any agreement for Belize to serve as a “safe third country” for migrants seeking asylum in the United States or of ongoing or concluded conversations in this regard.

Corozal Tree Lighting Ceremony
Corozal Town Tree Lighting Ceremony. Saturday, December 7th in-front of the Town Hall at 7:00 p.m.

Christmas Decorations going up in Corozal
Look what is coming up at Central Park.

San Pedro Wins Four Awards at the [email protected] Celebration
I am supper happy that the San Pedro Town Council and our town, through the SCFM Initiative, captured one of the four silver awards at the [email protected] Celebration. Working to make our town child friendly is not easy. Tireless nights, long hours of work, dedication and sacrifice and working closely with children - but with the help of many organizations, we have come along way. I am supper proud of the CAB and the technical steering committee and in particular Mayor Daniel Guerrero for his unwavering support and commitment to our children on the island. Never have I seen a Mayor that engages children, like Mayor Danny. 2014 to now; Hard work pays off.

Millennium Radio Expo
Millennium Radio had their Toy Drive and Expo at the Cancha Marshalleck last week. They have some great pictures from the event.

Last week, El Pescador hosted over 30 anglers for the Belize edition of the Redbone Tournament "to catch the cure for Cystic Fibrosis." During the three day event, two angler teams fanned out over the 400 square mile fishing area that El Pescador calls home base. In all, the event was a huge success from both a fishing perspective and for money raised towards finding a cure. Many thanks to the crew at Yellow Dog and the organizers at Redbone for an excellent event!

The Rising Entrepreneur Gala
Tonight at the Best Western Biltmore, 6:30pm.

Bonifacio Novelo (19th century) was a Maya Máasewal fighter in the so-called Caste War . He was a Maya caudillo and tatich (in maya: cacique, great chief, in the east of the state of Yucatan, along with Cecilio Chi and Jacinto Pat. For some time before the war he was a merchant traveling the peninsula even reaching to what would become Belize . Bonifacio Novelo children which are known are Claudio Novelo ,Baluina Novelo and Canuto Novelo. Before the beginning of the aforementioned war, Novelo was commander of a thousand Maya who participated in the siege of Valladolid under the orders of Colonel Antonio Trujeque. When the city fell into the hands of the rebels, hundreds were attributed to the ferocious action of Bonifacio Novelo.

Channel 7

5 months Later, Colin Francis Charged For Vasquez Murder
Last night we told you about the bail for Colin Francis - the 28 year old man accused of stabbing Nurse Augustina Elijio and then brutally beating Nestor Vasquez Jr - while he was in police custody. The injuries caused by that attack led to the 60 year old's death two days later. Nestor's Vasquez Junior's younger brother, Jules held a press briefing yesterday to express dismay and alarm that Francis was out on bail - because he has not been charged for the Vasquez murder - which happened in June.

Man Shot in Head A Second Time, Survives Again
Tonight, 25-year-old Justin Stephens Teck, a security guard from Hunter's Lane in Belize City, is critical at the KHMH. That's after he was shot yesterday evening a few blocks away from his family's house. At around 6:05 p.m., Teck was standing in front of a car wash on New Road - not far from the Queen Street Police Station and a police checkpoint - when a gunman came out of a nearby alley and fired several shots at him. Teck was shot to the head and the back, and was rushed to the KHMH.

Bar Association Sues Chief Justice
The Bar Association is suing Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin! It's a most unusual, certainly unprecedented turn of events, and it arises from a decision the CJ took almost two years ago. He sidelined the President of the Bar, Cheryl Lynn Vidal from the General Legal Services Commission. The CJ's problem is that Vidal is also the Director of Public Prosecutions - and as a public officer - his interpretation of the law is - she cannot sit on the General Legal Services Commission. That's what the Bar is challenging. It says her seat on this constitutionally created commission is established to ensure independence in the hiring of judicial officers.

Police Trying to Identify Man Found Dead In River
Police are asking for your help in identifying a man found floating in the Belize River behind the Belize Mills Flours factory. This morning at around 8:00 he was seen floating in the river. Police found a male of hispanic dressed in a white T-shirt , with black underwear wearing a black knapsack floating face down on the river.

Grazed Child's Cheek, Found Guilty of Dangerous Harm
Tonight 36 year-old Anthony Crawford is at the Belize Central Prison awaiting a sentence from Justice Colin Williams. He was convicted today of the offense of use of deadly means of harm. The offense is in connection with an incident that occurred on the night of November 13th, 2016. 2 persons, a mother and her daughter, testified in his trial before Justice Williams that they were on Raccoon Extension that night. That's when Crawford, who they identified as their assailant, pulled a gun and fired 8 shots in their direction. One of those bullets grazed the cheek of the girl.

A Fire Trinidad Village
A house burned down last night in Trinidad Village, Orange Walk District. Neighbors did not become aware of the fire until the home was completely engulfed in flames. The owner of the home had allowed friends to live there while she moved in with her elderly father. Today she told CTV-3 that she and the occupants lost items that that were inside the house when it burned. Yolanda Torres, Victim of fire: "Everything burned, it was all lost inside." Reporter: "We understand that you weren't living there." Yolanda Torres: "No, I wasn't living there because I live here with father but I gave my house to some people who are salvadorans. And I gave the house to them so that they can live there..."

Kids, Computers, and Science Solutions
The PUC's annual Raspberry Pi Jam was held today at the Biltmore. The Jam is pretty much an innovation challenge where youth come up with technological solutions to problems affecting the country. I stopped by to see some of the creative solutions: Computer science and programming aren't the first words that come to mind when you think of raspberry pi, but that is exactly what this PUC sponsored event is all about. Sharolyn Dougal, PUC Rep.: "The Raspberry Pi Jam is an event that PUC initially started in 2015. It started as a mobile app workshop and it transitioned into the Raspberry Pi Jam in 2016..."

The Raspberry Solution
We also interviewed the teams from Eden SDA High in Cayo and Belize High School who both tackled the issue of crime and national security in their own way. Eden SDA developed an alarm system that would alert the police of a robbery in progress. Belize High School made a border security watch dog to scan and detect criminal elements attempting to cross the border. Here is more

BTL, Facing New Challenges At 30 Years Privatization
BTL is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a private company. In that time, it has gone from the Belize Telecommunications Limited, to Belize Telemedia Limited, and now to DIGI. Last night, the company had its 13th AGM under the Telemedia name and we found executives and corporate strategists positioning themselves for a date driven future, but still paying for costly, legacy technologies. Jules Vasquez found that the tension between new and old technology had a direct effect on the company's bottom line:

BTL Doesn't Expect To Pay Sales Tax 25 Mil.
And while BTL can still boast of a 17 million dollar profit - there's a lingering tax matter with the GST office that's significantly bigger than that. We found a reference to the multi million dollar dispute with the Sales tax Office. They have calculated it at 25 plus million dollars in taxes arising but not assessed to the company because it is a matter of great accounting dispute. We asked the CEO about it:

Opp Leader Meets With Disgruntled Western Landowner
On last week Thursday's newscast, we took you to the Barrio El Juda area, which is located at the western edge of Benque Viejo Town. That's where Guatemalan Campesinos have started to encroach on Belizean territory in the adjacency zone. Because of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute, this is a problem that the Governments of the two countries will have to resolve, but the Foreign Affairs Ministry is trying to use the diplomatic channels to get the Guatemalan Government to step in and remove their citizens.

Financial Literacy For Kids
Are you Financially Literate? That is an uncommon term in many circles, even professional ones, but when discussing money management perhaps, it's best you teach it to kids - since adults are often stuck in their ways. Well the Credit Union League certainly thinks so and to do their part for teaching financial literacy they partnered with Belize Elementary school today to host a national financial literacy competition for students from primary schools across the nation.

Coast Guard's Best Warrior
On Wednesday, we told you about the start of the Belize Coast Guard's 7th Annual Best Warrior Competition. It's a one-of-a-kind competition in Belize where the fittest soldiers from the Coast Guard and the Belize Defense Force challenge each other to complete some of the most physically taxing tasks to find out who is the toughest among them. Sure, it's about bragging rights, but the commanders of these special units get to see first hand just how ready these men are, should they be called upon for dangerous, demanding missions. Our news team stopped by today for the final portion of the competition, and we spoke to Commander Gregory Soberanis about the teams who were jostling for bragging rights. Here's what he had to say about the fierce contest among the teams:

A Future Studio For Belize Film?
Last week we told you that the films "My Father Belize" and "Tecuani and the Duende" had won first place in the category of Best Belizean short film. Well, the Belize Film Commission is more than encouraged by these successes and to prove its commitment to the continued development and production of Belizean films, Film Commissioner Nigel Miguel has gotten a major partner to sign on. He today announced the signing of a statement of intention with Asian philanthropist Malini Saba of Saba Industries to fund and operate a fully functioning, self-sustaining film studio and film production facility in Belize. Now, if it sounds too good to be true - we thought so too.

Channel 5

A Third Attempt on the Life of Justin Stephens
A Belize City man was shot and seriously injured on Thursday evening. Police say that security guard Justin Stephens was standing on New Road when someone shot him twice.  Stephens [...]

John Doe Found Floating in Haulover Creek
The Belize Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man whose body was fished out of the Haulover Creek this morning in Belize City. John Doe’s [...]

Shots Fired in Griga Dang
Unconfirmed reports reaching our news desk this evening is that there was a shootout in Dangriga this afternoon.   Reliable sources tell News Five that five men, reportedly dressed in blue, [...]

Bar President Files Claim Against Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin
In an unprecedented move, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lyn Vidal, in her capacity as president of the Bar Association, has lodged a claim against Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, following her [...]

Who Presides Over the Case Against the CJ?
Recent appointments, according to Marshalleck, have seen an obvious increase in the number of judicial officers from the Caribbean taking up posts in Belize.  This, he says, is deliberate.  But [...]

Anthony Crawford is Guilty of Shooting Shanaya Whylie
Back in November of 2016, a young girl shot on Racoon Street Extension, Belize City. Police soon picked up Anthony Crawford and charged him with “use of deadly means of [...]

All About Children’s Rights
On the occasion of International Children’s Day, a special sitting of the House was convened in which young students assumed the role of parliamentarians, all thirty-one members of the House. [...]

B.T.L.’s Net Revenue Decreases by 24%
The annual general meeting of B.T.L. took place on Thursday night at the Biltmore Plaza, Belize City.  The utility had a record year in terms of gross revenues, which surpassed [...]

B.T.L.’s C.E.O. on the Way Forward
Recently appointed Chief Executive Officer for B.T.L., Ivan Tesecum highlighted the point that over the past ten years B.T.L. has invested more than five hundred million dollars. Tesecum says this [...]

G.S.T. Department’s Audit of B.T.L. Financials Still Ongoing
On page thirty-four of B.T.L.’s financial statement, there is an item listed as ‘contingencies.’  It states that there is an ongoing audit by the General Sales Tax Department on the [...]

Paslow Building Renamed to Belize Heritage Plaza
Belizeans chose “Belize Heritage Plaza” to be the name of the building that will occupy the site of the Paslow Building. Earlier this year, some Belizeans protested renaming the site [...]

Belize is NOT a ‘Safe Third Country’
The government asserts tonight that it has no agreement with the United States as a safe third country. The statement from the government was prompted by an international news article [...]

Raspberry Pi Jam 2019: Solutions for Challenges in Belize
High schools from across the country gathered in Belize City today where students participated in a competition for young innovators.  The goal is to use a miniature computer platform to [...]

Belize Fades from Black to Grey List in EU Designation
With recent news of Belize being removed from the European Union’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, is the country doing enough to turn around its status?  And what about funds received [...]

Revenue Expected to Take a Hit Due to Drought
The Statistical Institute of Belize continues to issue quarterly releases on the country’s economic performance.  While G.D.P. estimates for the third quarter will be shared during S.I.B.’s final press conference [...]

B.D.F. Team Defeats the Coast Guard to Win the 2019 Best Warrior Competition
After three days of gruelling competition, the Belize Defence Force proved they are a force to reckon. A group of eight soldiers broke records to take home for the first [...]

Tacos Festival Goes Down in Sugar City This Weekend
All roads lead to Sugar City on Sunday where the ninth annual Tacos Fest is set to go down at the Central Park in Orange Walk Town.  Vendors from across [...]

The Tourism Trends in Belize
In early November, the Belize Tourism Board released its mid-year insight into tourism performance for the Jewel. And while there are some ups and downs, the industry continues to boom. [...]

The Belize International Film Market is Launched
The Belize Film Commission is officially launching the Belize International Film Market and Belize-based Studio Complex with Saba Industries. The announcement was made today, via a press release where the [...]