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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
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The San Pedro Sun
2014 Lobster Fest is a go!
With the opening of lobster season fast approaching, dates have been set for the highly anticipated 2014 San Pedro Lobster Fest. The San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee has officially announced that Lobster Fest will be held from June 14th to the 21st. This year the festival will be bigger and better the than ever before. The weeklong festival will see revelers enjoying the tasty treats of the sea- courtesy of the Spiny Lobster- at various establishments on the island. As an added bonus, visitors will also have the opportunity of winning a grand vacation package by using their 2014 Lobster Fest Passport.
San Pedro Fishing Teams do well at the Copa Gobernador 2014
Two Belizean teams took the second and third place spots at the 2014 Copa Gobernador held in Mahahual, Quintana Roo, Mexico on the weekend of May 2nd to the 4th. The 23rd edition of the fishing tournament saw 57 vessels from five Mexican states, Belize and the United States of America participating for the big prize. The fishing tournament brings significant economic benefits to the area, and is considered one of the largest tourist attractions for Mahahual. “Real Challenge” of Ambergris Caye took second place with 621,000 points. “Real Challenge” was captained by San Pedrano Enrique Marin, and its crew compromised of Giomar Marin, Jashua Marin, Enrique Marin Jr. and Joe Hemple. They caught two dorados, one white marlin and one wahoo, weighing in at 109.51 pounds. For their efforts, the team received a trophy and a compact car.
Princess Hotel and Casino Makes Improvements Under Ramada Brand
Since 2012, the Princess Hotel has done extensive renovations to all the guest rooms and public areas and continues to improve customer service to all our valued clients. Now in the year 2014, we are widening our vision and scope by joining the hotel chain Ramada and establishing the required International standards which brings with it. Ramada operates several brand hotels under the Wyndham Group. The group operates in 53 countries more than 1000 hotels worldwide. Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Travel Lodge, Planet Hollywood, Microtel, Wyndham Garden Hotels are few of them.
Mr. Erol Olcan, Princess Hotel General Manager, unveiled the new Ramada Logo and announced the new name of the hotel as Ramada Belize City Princess at the Press Conference which held on the 30th April, 2014 at the hotel.
Mexican Footballer Pavel Pardo Visits San Pedro
Club America fans in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize were more than delighted to bump into Mexican international football player Pavel Pardo. A few local fans caught up with Pavel at Lily’s Treasure Chest and were able to get autographs and take pictures with the famous football player.
Pável Pardo Segura is a retired Mexican international footballer who last played with Club América and is the second most capped player in Mexico national team history. Pardo participated in two World Cups (1998 and 2006), won two CONCACAF Gold Cups and won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Mexico in 1999.
Misc Belizean Sources
Corozal Fish Market
Salt Fish or corn fish, as locally known here, is fresh fish that has been salt-cured and dried until all the moisture has been extracted. In order to prepare salt fish for cooking, it needs to be rehydrated and most of the salt removed through a process of overnight soaking in hot water and subsequent boiling. The aim is never to remove all of the salt, enough salt should remain to taste, if not, you can end up with a bland piece of fish.
Salt fish, also called dried/corn fish, has been a part of Corozal’s cuisine dating all the way back to the days of colonial rule. Salt fish was first introduced to this area in the 16th century. Vessels from North America - mainly Canada - would come bringing lumber, and pickled and salted cod, they would return with molasses, rum, sugar and salt.
Today, most of the salt fish consumed in the Corozal can be bought at the local fish market. In addition to the ever popular barracuda, shad and mullet are also salt cured and dried. Salt fish is primarily made with meaty white fish.
Ask your local resident for a recipe of boil up with this fish. Power to the people in the struggle.
Free concert Mothers Day, Corozal
This Saturday May 10th in celebration of Mother's Day, the Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art(COLCHA) will be hosting a free concert with Corozal's best, the Caribbean Roots Band!!! Bring mom out to enjoy and have fun!
Bailey Scholars Volunteer in Cayo
Michigan State University students are back in Cayo, and doing some community service work while enjoying their stay. They are working with Toucan Education Programs, who bring many student groups down to do voluntourism. Thanks, TEP, and MSU!
"For several years, the Bailey Service Organization, a student organization of the Bailey Scholars Program, offered a service learning trip in San Ignacio, Belize. This opportunity allowed students to actively engage with members of San Ignacio and work by their side on a variety of projects, largely related to education and social service issues. BSP would like to expand the experience to a wider audience, including BSP alumni and other BSP community members... We will be working Toucan Education Programs, a locally owned, private business in San Ignacio, who not only helps plan trip logistics, but helps foster our relationship with the community partners with whom we work."
Book Week in the Twin Towns
The Institute for Social and Cultural Research got some great pictures from the BBIA Book Fair at the Cayo Welcome Center.
"Book Week continued at the San Ignacio Welcome Center on Friday and Saturday with a cultural evening on Friday night and Literary Evening on Saturday night. Here are some shots of the events."
Bandits Host No Limit
The Belmopan Bandits will be hosting the Belize City No Limit today. The bandits are still in the running for 4th place, and the No Limit have 3rd place pretty much locked up.
In related news, the Bandits lost to the Tiger Sharks last week 84 - 70. They uploaded some pictures from the event.
The Western Ballaz are travelling to PG on Saturday to play the Toledo Diplomats.
Freedom Writers at Screen on the Green
This month's Screen on the Green will be today, Thursday, May 8th, at the Governor Generals Field. The movie will be Freedom Writers.
A little bit of intrigue
The mystery unveiled! A colonial clay pipe with the UK Royal Coat of Arms, silver Garifuna bangle, silver napkin holder, metal napkin holder, silver piece of eight, and a silver snuff box that dates 1852. Museum of Belize!
Visit Castillo's Hardware
and get a chance to win this year's Mother's Day Raffle
Southern Regional Hospital Administrator, Nasley Sommervile to Appear Before Public Service Commission this Thursday
Nasley Sommerville, Administrator at Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga to appear before Public Service Commission tomorrow, Thursday, May 8th, 2014 to answer questions regarding Quarter Million Belize dollars siphoned from the Maternal Child Heallth (NHI) funds from the Southern Regional Hospital.
According to details gleaned from an audit report, Sommerville loaned $15 Thousand Dollars to Dr. Francis Morey, with whom she was having an extra marital affair. Sources say that when Morey repaid the money, Sommerville told him to pay it into her personal account. Investigators have reportedly found accounts belonging to Sommerville at St. John’s Credit Union in Dangriga and another at Scotia Bank. The account at St. John’s was recently closed.
Sommerville has been on suspension and on half salary since this story broke in early October of last year.
Cuban Fugitive Valdez Gone to America; Minister Didn't Know
Since last week we've been reporting on Cuban Raonel Valdez Valhuerdi. He's wanted in Miami for masterminding a gold heist. But he was caught in Belize in February – trying to cross over illegally from Guatemala. He pleaded guilty and paid his fine, but the Belize government said it would hold him until the Cuban government decided his fate. But, on Friday of last week, the Americans started pushing to get him back to Florida to stand trial. This morning at 11:15, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse explained what he said is a very clear position:
Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"The law is very clear. You have to deport a person to his country of origin, or to where he wants to go. That is, you can't - the US may want him like they may want so many other people. We can't just pick him up and send him. We're in communication with the Cubans, to try to get a response from them in the first instance, and then in communication with him to get a response from him. After that, we go forward. The US Embassy understands that; they've always been wanting various people, and that is okay, but if it were an American citizen, we couldn't just pick him up and send him to Cuba, or send him somewhere else. We have to follow the law and the protocols."
Borderline Benquenos Say Trigger Happy Contraband Cops Traumatizing Children
Contraband passing through from Melchor to Benque is nothing new – in fact, in the west it is almost a way of life. But, as with any illicit movement, things can get dangerous very quickly and on Monday evening, the community's sense of peace was shattered when gunshots rang out. Benque police were chasing a suspected smuggler, right past a yard where children were playing, which put them right in the line of fire.
Our news team went to the town today, to speak with residents about the shooting, and they told us that this latest incident is only a symptom of a bigger problem:
Daniel Ortiz Reporting
The Churchill Street in Benque Viejo Town is a stone's throw away from the Guatemalan border town of Melchor de Menchos.
All you really have to do is walk down this hill - which takes about 5 minutes - cross the Mopan River, you're basically a few minutes away from cheap Guatemalan goods.
COLA Calls Out Auditor General, Ombudsman, Holds Out Hope For DPP
In March, the activist organization COLA brought criminal charges against UDP Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner. Their next court date is May 29th. That's three weeks from today when the private prosecution is required to give disclosure of what evidence it has against Penner. Thing is, they don't have any! COLA and its attorney Kareem Musa launched the prosecution on a prayer in late March because if they waited any later it would be statute barred. Since then they've been trying to gather evidence from official sources: the police, the auditor general and the DPP. So far the results have been nil, while the prospects are mixed.
The Police are just flat out ignoring them; the auditor General has said "no," while the DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal is willing to assist. And so today at a press briefing, they didn't bash the DPP, but they did heap scorn on the office of the Auditor General and the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman Lionel Arzu comes in because COLA appealed to his office to intervene when the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley turned them down – but he upheld her decision.
Musa says they asked her for her raw evidence, and she told them they couldn't have her report – two different things:
PM Has Auditor General's Preliminary Report
But before any talk of subpoena, right now the Prime Minister is in possession of the preliminary report from the Auditor General. That was confirmed in her letter to COLA – which she says qualifies it as a exempt document because presumably, he will share it with Cabinet. But, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse today told us that it hasn't been shared yet:
Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration
"The preliminary report has been submitted to the Prime Minister and not to the Cabinet yet. And of course, the final report will come to the Cabinet before it gets to the House. Then, it will go to the House, then the Senate, and then it goes to the public."
"Have you had a chance to look at it?"
Hon. Godwin Hulse
Preacher-Men Visit The PM
51 weeks ago, on May 16, 2013, the Revised National Gender Policy was launched. On the surface, it seemed harmless enough – but when the churches dug deep, let's just say (and you'll excuse the play on words) they found lots of devils in the details, mainly non-traditional references to sexual orientation. In the year since, the gender policy has become the subject of protests, debates and hours of dialogue between the prime minister and church leaders. That continued today – this time because the Evangelical Association says they came upon an interview Anne Marie Williams the National Women's Commission Director supposedly did at a UN sponsored meeting in New York, where they quote her as saying that Government would not be implementing the report from the Church on the revised Gender Policy. Williams says there's no way she gave any interview to anyone in New York – and we have not seen any news article from a credible source. But the Evangelical Church leaders remained convinced that she said it and concerned at the implications.
And that's why they met with the Prime Minister at his Belize City office today – they wanted to hear the official position from his mouth.
When they came emerged from a two hour meeting – we had to speak with them through a grilled gate – since the owners of the Withfield Tower have banned the media from the compound. Pastor Crawford was very cautious in his remarks:
Hon. Hulse Holds The Line: Says NCL In It For The Long Haul
Earlier this week we told you about BTIA's lawsuit against the government for approving the Norwegian Cruise Lines Environmental Impact Assessment. No date for hearing has been set yet, but it's one more hurdle for the controversial project. So how long will Norwegian stick around to tough it out? Fact is, the cruise line wants the project active like yesterday – and in the banana republic calculus often employed by wealthy transnationals – nothing should get in the way of it. But, plenty has been getting in the way of this project which made us wonder, how much more can they take? Today, Minister Godwin Hulse who chairs the cabinet subcommittee on investment – held the official line: all is well, and all will end well:
"From your communication with NCL, are they at a point of frustration, exasperation, because I know that they have certainly become impatient, because they need a front in the Western Caribbean."
Why Stake Bank Hasn't Started
And what about that other mega project – at Stake Bank? That has gotten full environmental clearance, and it even got a bill passed in the house with bi partisan support. Nine months ago developer Mike Feinstein told the media he had the financing to get the project started…so why hasn't it started. Well, you hear all kinds of stories, but what we hear most is that Feinstein doesn't have the full financing and is looking for a strategic investor. Today, he told us that's just plain not true: he says he has a consortium of local banks willing to finance him – and is just waiting for government to stop dragging its feet and sing off on a commercial agreement covering head taxes and other items. Today we asked Investment Committee Chairman Hulse what's the status:
Hon. Godwin Hulse – Head of Cabinet Sub-Committee for Investment
"It's a straightforward project to develop a berth for 4 ships at a time, and a causeway from Drown Caye, and from there, to the City. There's been one little issue with respect to FSTV and Royal Caribbean Lines' investment therein, which Mr. Feinstein is, as we speak, clearing through. Once that's cleared through, we should be reaching a final agreement, and they should be ready to roll."
Cabanas Re-Arrested For Fratricide
19 year-old Edward Cabanas, who has been out of prison since March 25 when he was freed of a murder charge for killing his own brother, is back on remand after he was arraigned today for a second time.
Cabanas reappeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, where he was read his charge of murder for a second time, and he was remanded to prison once again.
As we reported, 21 year-old Brandon Cabanas, who is believed to have been drinking, got into a fight with Edward Cabanas at their Sandhill home on December 29, 2012. That’s when he pulled a knife and stabbed Brandon in the legs, severing an artery causing him to bleed out before he could be rushed to the hospital.
Battery and Alrick Back to Court
2 other men who saw criminal charged brought back against them also are 28 year-old Brandon Smith, a.k.a. "Battery", and 28 year-old Alrick Smith.
They were freed on Monday before the Chief Magistrate, who struck 4 attempted murder charges out of court for lack of prosecution, but on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, they've been rearrested.
They were arraigned before Magistrate Stuart for those 4 counts of attempted murder, and they were remanded to prison until June 6.
Constables Mark Tzul, Wayne Trapp, Terry Reyes and Abner Pascual all reported that on March 16, 2013, they were processing the murder scene when a blue car, sped past them. They set chase and when they caught up, the car crashed into a drain. The officers said that when Brandon Smith exited the car, he had a gun in his hand, and opened fire on them. They were forced to return fire, and that's when Alrick Smith was shot in the abdomen. Alrick Smith had to be rushed to the KHMH for treatment, but during the shootout Brandon Smith escaped. He was detained a day later, and both were charged for the incident.
Princella To Jail
19 year-old Princella Edwards allegedly stole her friend's laptop, and is in jail tonight for it.
According to police, the theft happened at Karema Sanchez's house in Ladyville on April 27. She reported to police that she went home and saw the door of her room opened. She found that her laptop was missing. Her grandmother explained that Edwards stopped by and asked to take the laptop saying that Sanchez supposedly gave her permission.
Police tracked Edwards down and recovered the computer from the Fair Brothers Pawnshop in Belize City. They charged her with theft.
Edwards was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where she pleaded not guilty and was granted bail of $5,000, which she was not able to meet. She will remain in police custody until she is able to make arrangements for bail, and she must return to court on July 2.
BEL Offers Debentures At Attractive Interest Rate
The fourth annual GIS conference was held today at the Biltmore Best Western in Belize City. GIS means global information systems and it has to do with how satellite imagery can be used for planning everything from disaster responses to housing project to retail strategies. The idea is problem solving with technology and the conference organizer explained how it works:
It is a two day event.
Gaynair Gets His Goal: the Promised Land
But footballer Ian Gaynair won't need GIS to find his new titled land. That's because it's two lots away from his father's home. We've been following the story of Gaynair's land since August of last year: first, his lease was cancelled and then his area representative in Lake Independence intervened to get a new lease for a new lot for him. Today, he'll lease no more; King handed over title for the land and 7News was there:
King says his land amnesty program will deliver 300 titles in total this year for leases converted to titles.
Alleged Belizean Child Kidnapper Released In Mexico
A week ago, we told you about a report coming out of a small Mexican community on the banks of the Rio Hondo in Quintana Roo, called Sabidos.
Resident had taken custody of a 19 year-old Belizean, identified only as Ariel, who allegedly tried to kidnap two 8 year-old girls to smuggle them across Belize. Well, reports out of Quintana Roo say that the 19 year-old Belizean may not be criminally charged because of lack of evidence.
Townspeople from Sabidos, Quintana Roo were up in arms denouncing the decision of the Mexican authorities to release the Belizean young man and his accomplice because of lack evidence. It turns out that the 2 young victims told the investigators that the persons detained were not the men who tried to kidnap them. The "Por Esto" newspaper reports that parents and residents of Sabidos were very angry, suggesting that this just one more time that the Mexican authorities dropped the ball on an important case.
A Fair For Finance
The First ever Community Fair, which was organized by the Ministry of Education, Peace Work and Price Waterhouse Coopers, was held at the ITVET Compound Today.
It's become an annual occurrence that the international facilitators return to Belize to teach students from primary and High Schools around the country about the importance of business. The community fair gave those students trained in financial literacy an opportunity to show off what they learned, and 7News stopped by. Here's how the Deputy Chief Education Officer explained its importance:
Dr. Carol Babb - Deputy Chief Education Officer
"It's to build awareness. We have 3 components, a business showcase, where the primary schools were asked to submit a product that is original, that is creative. They must know how to brand it and promote it. Today, we also had that competition, and coming first was Queen Square Anglican School. Second was Ebenezer School, and third was All Saints School. We also have the vendors at the front, where we have organizations in finance health, and education sharing their resources, showcasing what they do on a daily basis. We have already expanded to 3 schools in each district, and for the past 3 days, we've training educators in financial literacy and entrepreneurship. So, we have officials from the Ministry of Education in every district; they were participating in training. So, it was a training of trainers, and they are expected to train teachers, principals, students and parents in their individual district."
Mother’s Day cheer for U.D.P. area reps.
News Five can confirm tonight that seventeen U.D.P. representatives have received fifty thousand Belize dollars each for Mother’s Day programs and activities in their respective constituencies. That’s a whopping eight [...]
Belmopan teacher accused of having sexual relations with 14 year old student
Stories of carnal knowledge and sexual abuse of children are among the hardest to report. But it’s a far too common occurrence in Belize – and far too often, it [...]
Auditor General’s report on immigration scandal submitted to PM and Minister Hulse
Can you say cover-up at the highest levels of government? Well that’s just how it’s looking tonight. Last year, the Auditor-General was brought in to investigate corruption in the Ministry [...]
COLA attempts to prosecute Elvin Penner have been frustrated
The existence of that preliminary report has been kept under wraps, so what’s contained in it is anybody’s guess. As we said, it only came up as a side note [...]
3 weeks before trial date, COLA’s hope is with the D.P.P.
It’s a frustrating development – or maybe we should say lack of development – for COLA. The small grass-roots organization has taken the lead in the Penner fiasco, even as [...]
Is a Cuban Gold fugitive in Belize?
After two months of negotiations between the US and Belize thirty-four year old Cuban national Raonel Valdez is locked down in a Miami jail. The fugitive wanted in connection to [...]
COLA offers reward for evidence in case against Penner
We told you earlier about the significant setbacks Cola is experiencing in the private prosecution of Elvin Penner. But despite the setbacks, COLA is unwilling to relent in the criminal [...]
ComPol comes under fire from COLA
In the latter months of the Elvin Penner debacle, the only man who has come under similar fire is Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. That’s because widespread public opinion is [...]
Will the Prime Minister also be subpoenaed in Penner case?
And finally where COLA and Elvin Penner are concerned, today it is clear that all legal avenues are being pursued, or at least contemplated. It’s even possible, according to the [...]
SATIIM says G.O.B. is corrupt, inept, despotic and discriminatory
“It is the historical trademark of a corrupt, inept, despotic and discriminatory government.” Stern words coming from the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, in a letter written to Prime [...]
Sand Hill resident is arraigned for a second time for the murder of his brother
Twenty-one year old Edward Cabanas was set free on March twenty-fifth for the stabbing death of his brother, but tonight, is once again on remand at the Belize Central Prison [...]
Brandon ‘Battery’ Smith re-arraigned for attempted murder
Another man was also re-arraigned for charges today. No sooner had twenty-eight year old Brandon ‘Battery’ Smith been freed of attempted murder when he was brought back before the court [...]
Pharmacy Association goes public with a list of bad decisions in health system
The Pharmacy Association of Belize was outraged and went public when the post of Director of Drug Inspectorate was created and Danini Contreras, the daughter of Minister Contreras, was appointed [...]
Council of Churches meet with Prime Minister
The leadership of the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches met today with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Belize City office. It came on the heels of a report that [...]
Ladyville Tech wins High School Innovation Challenge
A High School Innovation Challenge was held today as part of activities of education Week. High school teams from throughout the country were challenged to come up with an innovative [...]
Annual financial literacy training culminates with community fair
As we reported earlier, the annual financial literacy training initiative of PricewaterhouseCoopers in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Peace Work culminated today at the ITVET Compound. It gave [...]
4th Annual Belize GIS User Conference
Geographic information systems or GIS, as it is called, is designed to process geographical data of all types. The technology is driven by location, purpose or application requirements. Today, the [...]
More Problems Brewing At Ranchito Government School
Yesterday we told you about the situation faced by students at the Ranchito Government School who have had to stay at home following the cancelation of classes for the week. This is due to the dilapidated condition of the largest school building at the school compound and the rodent and insect infestation in at least two buildings. The biggest and perhaps the oldest building at the compound has been deemed unsafe and unsanitary by the Belize Central Building Authority following an inspection sometime last week. Officials from the health and Education departments visited the school yesterday while students were out of classes.
They were assessing the situation and finding appropriate spaces to relocate the now displaced students. Today, our News Room received a letter from one Mister Mendez who claims to be the president of the school committee at the Ranchito Government School. We attempted to get in contact with Mendez but to no avail. In his e-mail, Mendez says that parents have not heard from the health official. According to Mendez, they held a meeting on April thirtieth which the Health official informed she could not make but promised to meet at a later date. In that meeting, Mendez says 119 parents signed a letter stating that they will not be sending their children to school until the Ministry of Education finds a solution to the problem.
Child Predator And Sex Offender Lives In Belize, Says The U.S
The Department of Law Enforcement in Florida USA has released a picture of a 63 year old child predator and sex offender residing in Belize.
According to the report, the predator is known to be Thomas Allen Bloom.
In 1997 he was convicted for sexual battery and child coercion in Brevard Florida.
He is now registered as a sexual predator in Florida and his given address on the flyer is Belize. When checks were made, indeed it only indicated to be Belize formerly British Honduras.
Residents Of Mexican Community Up In Arms
The Mexican community of Sabidos Quintana Roo located along the banks of the Rio Hondo is up in arms and is speaking out against the authorities of that municipality since they have released a 13 year old female minor and a 19 year old man allegedly of Belizean Nationality accused of trying to kidnap two 8 year old girls from the community.
Reports coming out of the community indicate that authorities released both individuals due to lack of evidence. Reports are that the two victims were unable to identify the 13 year old and the 19 year old as the persons who tried to deprive them of their freedom and bring them over to Belize.
Community members argue that it is not the first time that authorities arrest and later release alleged criminals in this case believed to belong to a human trafficking ring.
Weekly Crop Review
May 4th 2014 marked the end of week 15 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 15 the factory milled fifty thousand three hundred and forty tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of seven hundred and sixty four thousand six hundred and forty two tons of cane. Last year the factory milled six hundred and thirteen thousand forty six tons cane during the same time frame.
Taking a look at sugar production, five thousand four hundred and ninety one tons of the sweetener was produced for week 15. An overall of eighty two thousand six hundred and thirty five tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year, the factory produced sixty two thousand eight hundred and two tons of sugar during the 15 weeks of crop.
This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of seven thousand one hundred and ninety one tons cane per day. Overall, for the 15 weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at seven thousand five hundred and seventy one tons cane. Last crop it was at six thousand seventy tons cane per day.
Caribbean Rum To Be Exported To The U.S
This past weekend the Belize Embassy in Washington DC hosted their third annual open day where they featured and promoted a little of everything that is Belizean. This annual event, Passport DC, is organized by a non-profit organization called Cultural Tourism DC, and it counts with the participation of about seventy Embassies located in Washington, DC.
Last year, the Embassy of Belize based its participation on the Belize rainforest with the theme “Special emphasis on the Chiquibul National Park” were over three thousand five hundred visitors came through the premises in one day. In 2012, the theme was the Maya World that attracted over three thousand five hundred visitors. Now this year, the Belize Embassy based there presentation on the Belize Barrier Reef.
CTV3 News was made to understand that the Embassy of Belize in Washington DC features annually Belizean DJ’s, cultural presentations, Belizean food, drinks and more. When we talk about drinks, this year Cuello’s Distillery Limited was invited to promote one of Belize's most marketed products, Caribbean Rum.
P.M Meets With Leaders Of Evangelical Churches
The Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize issued a release on Monday in which they gave the Government of Belize a deadline of 30 days (May 31st 2014) to completely retract the Gender Policy and all destructive laws associated with it. Today, the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches issued a release after they met for two hours with the Prime Minister at his Belize City Office.
It was the Executive Team of the Association that met with the Prime Minister to discuss a way forward in reference to the Gender Policy. In that release, Reverend Eugene Crawford, President of the Evangelical Association states that the PM clarified remarks that the government was implementing the document without further consultations with the churches.
Project To Rehabilitate Guadalupe Street Moves Forward
Sometime last year a group of concerned residents and business owners saw the need of uplifting Guadalupe Street and based on the necessity a group of them came together and formed the Guadalupe Street Improvement Project Committee.
After months of long hours of planning and discussion, the committee submitted a letter to the Ministry of Finance requesting that the General Sales Tax for the overall cost of the rehabilitation of Guadalupe Street be waived, which would ease the committee of an approximately$30,000.00.
According to Osmany Salas, member of the GSIP committee, the letter was submitted after the decision was made that Rodla Construction Company Ltd from Ladyville would be awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the street. And today they received some good news.
Pharmacist Association Gives MOH An F In Their Report Card
Tensions continue to grow between the Pharmacists Association of Belize and the Ministry of Health. And root cause of the turmoil is the appointment of Danini Contreras as Director of Drug Inspectorate. The Pharmacists Association believes that Contreras, who is the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras, is under qualified for the newly created post and the required procedure under the Public Service Act were not followed prior to her appointment. The association has asked that her appointment be withdrawn, but the Ministry of Health has stuck to its guns defending Contreras’ appointment. Contreras, who recently obtained a bachelor’s degree in science from Guatemala, is currently on a six-month contract. The association is also up in arms since Contreras is also authorized to approve the entry of pharmaceuticals through Customs. And that is where the dispute stands today, a dispute that won’t go away anytime soon. Today the Pharmacists Association of Belize sent out a release highlighting the actions taken by the Ministry of Health that have been continuously eroding the practices and profession of pharmacist and the consequences/impact on the Health of the people of Belize and the nation itself.
SATIM Lashes Out At GOB
The Government has waived the expiration date of US Capital’s permit that allows the company to conduct pre-drilling work in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. That was done on April thirtieth. That has not settled well with the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management, SATIIM, especially after the NGO has made numerous attempts to seek audience with the Government officials and after the court rulings that affirm the Maya traditional rights.
Immediately following that decision, the representatives of thirty-eight communities gathered at an access point to the operation area of US Capital in Sunday Wood, one of the five buffer communities surrounding the National Park. For years, tensions have been escalating and it appears that this has reached an all-time new high as today, Executive Director of SATIIM, Gregorio Choc, sent a letter to the media. That letter is dated May first and was directed to the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow.