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Today's Belize News: September 16, 2015 #507506
09/16/15 05:40 AM
09/16/15 05:40 AM
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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Best yet: Carnival Road March 2015!
If there’s one thing Belizeans know how to do, it’s partying- and there is no better party than the Carnival Road March! I’m talking colorful costumes, pounds of glitter, blaring soca music and lots of booze. Since its inception in 1975, the Carnival Road March has only being getting bigger and better, and is now a highly anticipated event in the September Celebrations calendar. This annual event has had thousands of Belizean flocking to Belize City on a designated Saturday in September to not only witness, but be part of, the largest show of culture, pride and patriotism. So what were my observation on Saturday, September 12th Carnival Road March 2015 – AMAZING, sign me up for next year! The family and I were out from early to get just the right spot at Princess Margret Drive. Loaded with snacks and refreshments, we eagerly waited for the parade to come by.

The San Pedro Town Council signs Memorandum of Understanding with CARILED
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Friday, September 11th, between the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), a project funded by the Government of Canada. The program is on its second phase and is been implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) with the sole aim to promote local economic development by supporting small businesses to start up and grow. This initiative is being held in seven countries in the Caribbean including Belize. San Pedro Town has become the first municipality in the entire program to get signed into the project’s second phase. Present at the meeting were members of the SPTC, Pastor Clive Welch, representative of CARILED Leidi Urbina, and representing the Government of Belize was Director of Local Government Eugene Palacio. CARILED representative Leidi Urbina, explained that this project, unlike others which come directly from central government, starts at the municipal level. “The first phase of the project began in three municipalities, which included Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio. This approach focuses on the stewards being the local authorities working in partnership with the private sector, other NGO’s and the civil society to stimulate and encourage business activity in the municipalities. After finishing phase one we are now moving into phase two, where we will have additional municipalities benefiting from the support we provide.”

Ambergris Today

Why You Should Not Miss Out on Belize City's Carnival Parade
The sights, the sounds, the colors, the people, the spirit, the joy, but most of all the PRIDE! Witnessing the Belize Carnival Parade, that takes place during the country’s September Celebrations honoring Independence Day, is nothing short of spectacular. Immerse yourself into the celebrations and you will get to experience first hand why Belizeans are considered such a happy and celebratory people. Boys and girls as young as six years old are decked out in full costume to the theme of their mas band camp and their energies are as, if not stronger, than those of the adults who swing, twerk and gyrate their bodies to the high-energy sounds of “Jump Up” music, as they call it in Belize. The route is a lengthy one (about four hours long) that takes place during one of the hottest months of the year, but that does not keep the parade participants from suiting up (or down to the bare essentials in some cases). Spectators also set up chairs and umbrellas along the parade route, picking their favorite location to witness all the fun and excitement.

Belize Observes World Suicide Prevention Day 2015
Recognizing the importance of suicide prevention, the Belize Mental Health Program of the Ministry of Health joined the international community in the observance of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2015. In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, San Pedro High School students paid recognition to the day by donning yellow ribbons on their uniforms during the September 10th/Battle of St. George’s Caye Day parade and celebrations. The Ministry of Health has medical officers at all health centers and hospitals across the country trained on how to diagnose and treat depression and other mental disorders attributed to suicidal behavior. Additionally, mental health clinics are situated at all district hospitals and at the Cleopatra White and Port Loyola Health Centers in Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Macal Riverside Upgrade
The area between the Hawkesworth and wooden bridges is getting a little upgrade. The Town Council has cleared some of it, and now it can be used for parking and other fun events. Looking good! "The transformation continues with Mayor Earl Trapp Jr. and the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council here in the Twin Town of San Ignacio and Santa Elena providing more parking spaces by the river side that will assist to alleviate traffic congestion down town San Ignacio especially by the Market Square. This upgrading by the river side can also serve for multi purposes, that includes recreational and possibly hosting of future culmination of September Celebrations Parade. A different setting, ambience, and certainly environmentally friendly. Your Town Council and the Government of Belize working together to provide a safer and healthy Municipality."

Government reaches agreement on BTL compensation
The Belize government says it has reached an agreement with the former shareholders of the Belize Telemdia (BTL) that was nationalized six years ago and could cost the country in excess of BZ$160 million (One Belize dollar =US$0.49 cents). Prime Minister Dean Barrow told a news conference that the accord was agreed to last weekend. “The government of Belize has settled the BTL issue. We have reached an agreement with the former shareholders of BTL, the Employees Trust and with British Caribbean Bank Ltd,” Barrow said, adding that the “ink was put to paper last Friday and Tuesday we will take to the House, a bill for an act to appropriate further sums of money in order to pay compensation and will also take the Telecommunications Acquisition Settlement Act 2015”. Barrow said that when the government first nationalized BTL n 2009, “we acquired both the shares in Telemedia and the loan that British Caribbean Bank (BCB)…we acquired the loan that the BCB had made to Telemedia at a time before the acquisition but which loan naturally remained on the books.

Commentary: Analyzing the Guatemalan presidential election
By Wellington C. Ramos. In looking at the results of the Guatemalan presidential election, the next president of Guatemala will be a person that has civilian background and that is good news for Belize. Over the years, when the president of Guatemala comes from the military, he is always a hard and difficult person to negotiate with. These individuals always assert Guatemala's claim to Belize and spend most of their presidency focusing on the Guatemalan claim to Belize. A civilian president will come in and try to focus on improving the living conditions of the people of Guatemala. The danger is that, if the military come to the conclusion that the civilian president is spending too much time on improving the living conditions of civilians and neglect them, then they will overthrow the president. The military will also overthrow the president of Guatemala if they think that he or she is making too many concessions to Belize with the claim. Why? Because the Guatemalan claim to Belize is the cow that provides all the milk that the Guatemalan military feeds on. Without this claim, they would cut down on their military spending and focus on improving the living conditions of their poor citizens.

San Pedro Town celebrated the Battle of St. George's Caye on the 10th of September with its annual Uniform Parade and Miss San Pedro Coronation. The Uniform Parade sees the participation of all the schools in San Pedro; from pre-school to high school. This year we counted with the participation of the staff of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II and the staff of Elvi's Kitchen. Kudos to these two groups for their participation. We hope next year, more businesses and organizations can join us in promoting patriotism and civic pride in San Pedro.

Emergency power interruption 5:00am to 7:00am, Thursday, September 17: entire City of Belmopan
Necessary for BEL to urgently replace damaged recloser at Belmopan Substation.

Memories Art Exhibit
The Memories Art Exhibit opens next Tuesday at the George Price Center.

Urban Bird Watch 2015
Ready for some birding? I'll be leading the San Ignacio, Benque, San Pedro and Caye Caulker trips. And maybe Dangriga if anyone can promise me some Sere or Hudut.

Channel 7

BTL Settlement, Did Lord Ashcroft Get The Better of GOB?
Is the deal to settle the BTL takeover with the Ashcroft Alliance a good one? Well, the agreement was signed Friday, it was made public yesterday and it went to the House of Representatives for debate today. Not surprisingly, the PUP says it's a bad deal because it's costly and open ended. Opposition leader Francis Fonseca spoke about the 97 million dollars BTL will have to pay to Ashcroft's British Caribbean Bank to settle what was originally a 45 million dollar debt: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "This 97 million, let be clear. The original loan was 22.5 million US, which is 45 million Belize dollars. With interest of 16% over 6 years. That has now amounted to 97 million Belize dollars. It gone from 45 million dollars to 97 million Belize dollars, all because of one man's stubborn pettiness. And now the Belizean people must pay 52 million dollars for that stubborn pettiness. We are being asked to approve a settlement and compromise which is still not very clear. We don't know what the full terms and cost of it will be Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister made mention of some figures earlier in his introduction I believe when he talked about specific share values and he suggested that perhaps we may end up somewhere with a five - eight five share value. If you use even the 5 dollar number, what you are looking at, at the very least is an additional 230 million dollars. That is what this blank cheque is all about and it may very well turned out to be more than that."

PUP Demands Protection for FCIB Employees
The First Caribbean International Bank vesting bill also went to the house today. That's to provide for the transfer of banking assets from FCIB to Heritage Bank. But, inevitably, the issue of the 60 FCIB employees who will lose their jobs came up. Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca called on government to give them some undertaking of security:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "It is our understanding that there are some 60 employees who, to use their words, find themselves in limbo. They find themselves facing growing uncertainty about their current status and their futures. Before we pass this bill, this vesting bill, we at the very least get an absolute undertaking from the Honorable Prime Minister who is the Minister of Finance, that this First Caribbean International Bank Belize Branch has fulfilled each and every of its legal obligations to these employees including but not limited to the negotiation and conclusion of what they have termed their exit packages. But we certainly what it to go beyond that. We want to make sure that there is an undertaking by the Minister of Finance that these employees will be assured a fair and reasonable exit strategy before we pass this bill. So we can't support this bill while these 60 workers and their families remained in the dark about their exit packages. We certainly expect and I expect that the bank will act in good faith. I know the people involved. I certainly expect that from them, but we certainly have to place on the record here in this house today our absolute deep concerns about this matter."

CWU President Fires Back At PM
So then, last night, and again today, the Prime Minister lathered and lambasted the leadership of the Christian Worker's Union. Well, 3 hours ago, their President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, called a press conference to respond to the Prime Minister. Here's what she had to say: Audrey Matura Shepherd, President - CWU "We have copies of letters again to prove that the Prime Minister has once again been misinformed and by extension of him going only by heir misinformation has mislead this country." "One of the questions that the workers say that it's unfair that the Prime Minister and those who spew his propaganda has been pushing is that CWU has failed FCIB workers. To that, the answer I am asked to give is and the answer to which I believe is that the government is the one that has failed the workers, because he never sat down to discuss with us or to hear our side of the story.

Man Charged For Cruel Coro Beatdown
Last night we told you about the vicious beat down in Corozal where 42 year old Mark Villanueva was almost buried alive. The family told us that between Friday night and early Saturday morning Villanueva was dragged out of his dwelling and severely beaten. He was found unconscious on his relative's nearby property. Well that relative is his cousin Alberto Hall and he has been arrested and charged with grievous harm. Now, for context, we re-air the interview we did with Villanueva's niece Shanna Pott who described the heinous attack. Shanna Pott, Niece "The person who attacked my uncle came into his camp where he works his farm in Chan Chen Village. So he stays there by himself in this area, him and this other person. They live a few yards away from each other and my uncle was asleep in his camp at the time when he was attacked by this person. The person came into his camp and knocked him out.

PG Suspects For Otoxha Murder of Guatemalan
Police are looking for 3 men in connection with the murder in the Toledo district. Guatemalan Oscar Xol Ic's body was found yesterday afternoon at 2 in some bushes near Corazon Creek - 45 miles away from Punta Gorda. Ic was killed sometime between Sunday morning and 12 midday yesterday. His body was found with a wound to the neck. Police say that robbery was the motive because Ik came from Guatemala and sold clothes in the villages in PG. But on one of his deliveries that he was robbed and killed. The men police are looking for are from PUNTA GORDA.

Caretaker Killed, Cops Looking For Threat-Maker
No one has been charged for the murder of Salvadoran care taker Jorge Aguirre. Aguirre was murdered late Wednesday evening on his boss Carl McCulloch's farm in May Pen Village off the northern highway. Aguirre's body was found floating in the Belize River on Saturday morning with chop wounds to the neck, foot, hands and head. Aguirre was killed on the farm then dragged and dumped in the river. Police told us yesterday that they have a person of interest who had threatened Aguirre before but they are still investigating the case.

Students Slow To Show Up To School At Faith Nazarene
Yesterday, only 106 students showed up for classes at Faith Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio. That's after teachers and the principal, Policarpia Pech, had agreed to proceed with regular classes, despite the breakdown in their professional relationship. Well, on the second school day since that truce, we're told this evening that only 180 students, less than half of the school's total enrollment, showed up today. So that's another half a week lost for more than half of the student body, and there is uncertainty about tomorrow's attendance. That's because the parents plan to stage another protest at the school tomorrow.

Getting Serious About Sexual Violence
"Sexual Violence is no joke:" that is theme of the new educational campaign on violence against women and children. This is the 3rd campaign of its kind - the first 2 focused on violence against women and girls but this campaign also targets sexual violence against boys. It's an issue that is often overlooked, but today at the launch of this new campaign it was discussed extensively. The coordinators told us it's not only about getting that message across but about constantly reinforcing it until there is a significant decrease in sexual violence against women and children. It is a 3 year campaign which will include visits to schools and other educational programs organized by the Youth Enhancement Services.

Audrey Scolds Media
11 days ago, we told you about that article from the Guardian Newspaper which reported that Northern Cane Farmer Lucilo Teck may be on the hook for bill of $60,000 in legal fees. That's because he sued the Sugar Industries Control Board and lost on a case of huge public importance which was resolved before the court could make a ruling. That could spell a deathblow for Teck's assets and properties, and so, while we had the opportunity, we asked his attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, to confirm the report. She told us that the court hadn't ruled on issue as yet. But then, she decided to scold us for taking an interest in this case and not digging into how much legal fees the Government is paying for the BTL and BEL settlements. Here's that back-and-forth: Audrey Matura-Shepherd - Attorney for Lucilo Teck "There is a hearing that we attended, but there is not a decision as far as I know. But I see that that suddenly comes up as an issue, while the court is in recess since the start of August to the 15th September.

How's It Coming At KHMH
7 weeks ago, the staff at the KHMH staged a go-slow to send a message that they wanted a raise just like all the other workers in the public healthcare system. The government rushed in a team of negotiators with cabinet credentials to give the message that the staff's request was being taken seriously, and that the go slow should end. It did, and meetings have continued with the most recent being held yesterday, with the KHMH Administration, Government officials, and representatives of the 579 employees. Today, we asked the CEO if any progress is being made: Dr. Adrian Coye - CEO, KHMH "As I've said in the past during this process of negotiations we have agreed not to make any formal disclosures and so all I can say is that the process has been a very healthy one. I think it will have a conclusion very soon and we will have a joint release in the near future that will basically informed the public as to the outcome of it."

KHMH @ 20
And while the negotiations continue, The KHMH, the country's national referral hospital, is celebrated it's 20th birthday today, but unlike the rest of us, the Administration wants to celebrate that milestone for an entire week with different events. It started yesterday with the ground breaking for the Petro-caribe funded Chapel to be completed before December. And today, KHMH continued the celebration in its parking lot today with it's staff. Here's what the CEO had to say about the significance of the hospital's importance: Dr. Adrian Coye - CEO, KHMH "Everyone has a birthday and every year it's celebrated. So in the same way as we celebrate life and achievements, this is an institution that have a life on its own and we are now passing the teenage years into what we would say adulthood and I think in a way this is the journey that Karl Heusner has taken. It's taken us a while to reach where we are and it's been exciting, many challenges, many difficulties, but I think there is a bright future for Karl Huesner and we are excited to celebrate the staff for the achievements that they do daily, recognizing them for such and of course reaffirmed more desire to serve the public in the best way possible and so we celebrating, I think it's a good thing."

16 Mil. For Hummingbird Rehab
The Kuwait fund will sponsor the 16 million dollar rehabilitation of portions of the Hummingbird Highway. And they are starting with the beginning and ending sections. The first portion is Belmopan Roundabout junction to the Sibun Bridge, and the second is Dangriga to Alta Vista. The Government of Belize has signed a contract with a Cayo based company A&N Construction for these two sections. To engineer the upgrade, the Ministry of Works hired the Kuwaiti Consulting Firm led by Owner and Managing Director Dr. Nabeel Abdul-Raheem. He and his team did extensive surveys and studies on what is the best way to refurbish the highway. Here's what the consultant had to say: The road pavement will be improved, and single lane bridges will be replaced among other things.

RAT ...
We've reported extensively on the rat that was found in an incubator in the KHMH nursery after it had bitten a newborn infant. Well, today that became grist for debate in the House of representatives when one PUP representative said that the millions being used to settle the BTL acquisition would better be used to invest in a failing healthcare system. Here's what Michael Finnegan had to say about that: Hon. Michael Finnegan, Mesopotamia "Look what you are glorifying in and you are happy because you all think that will give you a political advantage over the government. A rat ends up in there and bite the baby. Oh God we are sorry for that. But it's not Barrow who sent the rat in the place to bite the baby, It is not Finnegan who sent the rat in there to bite the baby. The hospital at Cayo is run by the public service. Some public officer is in charge on maintaining and keeping the hospital - the competence of not doing his job. So what will you do? You will lash Barrow for that? You think that Barrow actually took the rat and carry it into the incubator and drop it in there and tell it to bite the baby. You don't clap about that. You don't glorify that. All of us must get up and say that we must make sure that these things doesn't happen." The newborn suffered no lasting effects from the rat bite.

Channel 5

Settlement of B.T.L. Nationalization Goes Before House of Representatives
The House of Representatives met in special sitting today. There were two main issues on the agenda—the passing of the Vesting Act relating to the sale of FCIB to Heritage [...]

P.M. Divulges Settlement Figures with Ashcroft Group
Against that backdrop, the PM also got into more detail on the financial aspect of the settlement package between G.O.B. and the Ashcroft Group. As a first payment, the agreement [...]

Leader of Opposition Finds Fault with G.O.B. Settlement, Blames P.M.’s Arrogance
Those figures aren’t sitting well with the Opposition People’s United Party, which doesn’t share G.O.B.’s triumphal touting of the settlement with the Ashcroft Group. Fonseca says that the only reason [...]

P.U.P. Can’t Support Vesting Bill with Employees on the Chopping Block
Also on the agenda today was the vesting bill, which will facilitate the sale of First Caribbean International Bank assets to Heritage Bank. While the transaction is a private one [...]

Mesop Area Rep Says G.O.B. has Nothing to do with FCIB Employees
Since Fonseca was demanding answers, the Mesopotamia Area Representative decided to give him some, in his own ‘special’ style. According to Michael Finnegan, G.O.B. has absolutely nothing to do with [...]

Said Musa Says Government is Mishandling FCIB Situation
Not surprisingly, former Prime Minister and Fort George Area Rep., Said Musa, disagreed with that position by G.O.B. He claims that the entire situation has been mishandled because of government’s [...]

…No Commencement Date has been Written into Vesting Act
The Prime Minister has come under fire for proceeding with the vesting act while the employees at the FCIB are still trying to negotiate an exit package. But he says [...]

CWU President Responds to P.M.’s Criticism on Collective Bargaining Agreement
While parliamentarians were winding up the first of two consecutive house meetings to formalize the sale of FCIB’s assets to Heritage Bank Limited, CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd was appearing before [...]

Is the CBA Excitement Really Just a Red Herring?
Matura-Shepherd says that all the fuss about a collective bargaining agreement is merely a diversion from the real issue at hand, a severance package that should be given to all [...]

Are There Any Options for FCIB Employees?
Is there anything that can be done under the law that can provide an alternative to the peremptory measures being taken by government in ratifying the sale of FCIB’s assets?  [...]

Finnegan Zeroes in on Audrey Matura-Shepherd
No House sitting in recent memory has lacked the requisite name-calling ad tawdry insults, and today there was more of that, aimed at Christian Workers Union president Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Member [...]

Toledo West Area Rep and Finnegan Trade Shots over B.T.L. Settlement
One more thing on the settlement of B.T.L. At today’s sitting, firebrand area representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requeña also got in some shots at Prime Minister Dean Barrow for [...]

Guatemalan Vendor Murdered in Toledo District
Around two p.m. on Monday, the lifeless body of Guatemalan national Oscar Ik was discovered in some bushes forty-five miles outside of Punta Gorda, near Corazon Creek in the Toledo [...]

Barry Johnson is Charged with Aggravated Assault
A third person linked to an alleged gun assault that occurred back in August was arraigned this morning before Magistrate Ladonna John. Belize City resident Barry Johnson was charged with [...]

P.M. on Relationship with Ashcroft Group
A wide range of issues came up during Monday’s press conference when Prime Minister made the announcement that he had reached settlement with the previous owners of Belize Telemedia six [...]

P.M. Says He Won’t Honor Accommodation Agreement
The issue of the accommodation agreement between signed between government and the previous owners of the B.T.L. has been the elephant in the room. So how does it factor in [...]

…But if He Has to then it Will Be for Belizeans
But according to the PM, if it forms part of the valuation to the compensation, then some ground will have to be found.   Prime Minister Dean Barrow “They have [...]

K.H.M.H. Celebrates 20 Years
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this week with a series of activities that are being held across the institution to commemorate that milestone.  Since assuming [...]

Awareness Campaign on Sexual Violence is Launched
Acts of sexual violence against boys and girls are constant despite a number of new measures in place that provide more protection to victims and make it harsher for perpetrators [...]

The 2015 Carnival Road March
This past Saturday, thousands of spectators gathered along the two-mile stretch of road as the 2015 Carnival Road March got underway from Caesar Ridge Road to the B.T.L. Park on [...]


GOB Introduces Bill To Facilitate The Sale Of FICB
Today’s sitting of the House of Representatives saw the introduction of a bill to facilitate the transactions between the Belize First Caribbean International Bank (Barbados) and Heritage Bank, although the Prime Minister has yet to set a commencement date for such transactions. The bill for an act to provide for the vesting in Heritage Bank Limited of the business in Belize First Caribbean international Bank (Barbados) Limited should provide for the easy transfer of assets said the Prime Minister Dean Barrow. “This is in order to provide for the easy completion of the transfer of the First Caribbean International Bank Limited business in Belize to Heritage bank, as I said publicly yesterday and a member already had discovered from reading the provisions of the Bill and the idea is to pass this but not to appoint a commencement date until a number of things would have happened including we hope and believe the settlement of outstanding matters between the management of First Caribbean and the Staff of first Caribbean, this Bill has the recommendation of the Cabinet.”

Elroy Bastarachea Goes Back To Court
Elroy Bastarachea is a name worth remembering. But in case it does not ring a bell, he is the man accused of posing as a lands official and scamming a number of persons out of hundreds of dollars with the promise of getting their land titles. On June 3rd 2014, 31 year old Grisel Botes, a businesswoman from the Village of Libertad in the Corozal District, accused Bastarachea of swindling her of $23,875.00. Botes told police that she gave Bastarachea the money over a period of three months in exchange for several pieces of lands on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize District and in the Cayo District.

Belize Listed Among Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries
Belize has been identified as one of the Caribbean Nations major illicit drug producing or drug-transit countries that are significantly affecting the United States. This is according to a statement released by the U.S State Department today. The report says that under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, the American president is required each year to notify Congress of countries that fall into that category. On this year’s list are the Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, among other countries. Of those countries, President Barack Obama has determined that Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela “failed demonstrably” during the last 12 months to make sufficient or meaningful efforts to adhere to their obligations under international counter narcotics agreements.

Comedian Actor To Face Former First Lady In Guatemala Electoral Race
Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon quit his political party and dropped out of the presidential race on Monday, leaving Comedian Actor Jimmy Morales and former first lady Sandra Torres, who has ties in Belize, in the runoff to be the country's next president.Baldizon, of the Renewed Democratic Liberty party, told reporters that he couldn't endorse the results of the Sept. 6 vote that placed him in third place, but also in a statistical tie with Torres, though she garnered about 6,000 votes more than he did. Election authorities hadn't officially announced who had placed second and Baldizon never asked for a recount before quitting.Today though Guatemala’s official election body, TSA, announced that after obtaining one million 152 thousand 394 votes, representing 23.99 percent of the valid votes, Morales of the FCN- Nacion Party moves on to the second round. Challenging him is Torres who received 948 thousand eight hundred and nine votes representing 19.75 percent of valid votes.

Corozal Police To Increase Safety Measures For 21st September Festivities
There is no doubt that Belizeans at home and abroad look forward to the month of September when we celebrate our Independence. But while Belizeans take time out to celebrate the country’s sovereignty crime does not sit back and watch. Criminals are still on the loose and during the celebrations is when authorities need to heighten their patrols. To minimize criminal activity in Corozal over the festivities authorities in that municipality have set a number of strategies in place, especially when it comes to public drinking. Peter Claude Serrano Inspector of Police “Well, ever since the September celebrations began we have step up out patrols, we talking about foot, mobile and we even have our motorcycle patrol morning and evening along with bicycle patrols we have been moving around, we have discouraged people from public drinking and we know that it is an offence and I want everyone out there that public drinking is an offence as is coming on to the highway we have been doing highway patrols, we have been doing quite a number of vehicle check point on the highway likewise.”

Guadalupe Street To Be Paved After The Celebrations
And for those anticipating the September 21st Independence Parade in Orange Walk Town, Mayor Kevin Bernard says this year, they are doing things a bit different. According to Mayor Bernard the council is incorporating marshalls, rope lines and added security to keep the public safe during the parade. The Mayor says while the parade route will remain the same, residents raised the concern about utilizing Guadalupe Street which is yet to be paved. Those works for paving says Bernard, will be done after the 21st. “If we were going to pave it today or tomorrow there will still be fresh asphalt, fresh loose gravel on these areas and then this heavy truck that will be passing will be stopping going, stopping going, and it could have created some problem on the newly pave road so we have decided that immediately after the 21st let the parade pass and then we will be going in and pave the road and the route remains the same and I want to advice on lookers and I want to advice that there will be no vehicle to park on the parade route the police has offered the support that we will be roping off these areas and we do not want that the spectators do not pickle into the parade as well because we always know that there is a battle neck at different locations and these are the aras we are seeking to address so it remains the same and the official it starts at 1:30pm on Monday.”

Mark Villanueva Former Employer Charged For His Brutal Attack
Yesterday we told you about the severe beating received by 42 year old Mark Villanueva, a resident of Corozal Town. On Friday night Villanueva was sleeping at his camp located behind the Village of Chan Chen in Corozal in an area known as Santa Rosa when he was attacked and dragged to a nearby farm where he was nearly beaten to death. Family members say Villanueva was able to identify his attacker but up to news time yesterday no charges had been levied upon the individual hence why we were unable to release his name. But today we can tell you that Villanueva’s alleged attacker has been charged by Corozal Police. He is Alberto Hall, A.K.A Beto Hall, Villanueva’s former employer and cousin who was charged today with grievous harm. He was offered bail in the sum of $2,000 which he met and will be back in court on the 8th of December.

GOB Settles With BTL
After a few marathon meetings between Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow and Billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, the Government of Belize announced today that they along with former shareholders of the Belize Telemedia Limited being Dunkeld International Investment Limited, The Employees Trust and the British Caribbean Bank have agreed to a settlement in the telecommunications company. GOB says that at the time of acquisition in 2009, Dunkeld (through various holding companies) held 71.2% shares in BTL, and the BTL Employees Trust (through its holding company, Sunshine Holding Limited) owned 23% shares. Viewers may recall that in orders from 2009 and 2011, the Government also acquired British Caribbean Bank’s interest and rights in certain loans and securities. Particularly, the Government acquired a mortgage to BTL in the sum of US$22.5 million that both the Government and BTL contend was illegal. The Bank challenged the acquisition and commenced arbitration under the 1982 Bilateral Investment Treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Belize for the promotion and protection of investments. On December 19th, 2014, the Arbitral Tribunal ruled in favor of the bank and ordered the Government to pay compensation.

PM Blames CWU's Fault With FCIB Staff
Viewers may recall that in August of this year, First Caribbean International announced that it would be selling out its assets to a much smaller bank, Heritage Bank. The buy over, however, does not include FCIB staff, about 60 employees in total, who were told that they were losing their jobs and need to re-apply to Heritage Bank if they wish to be employed. Staff members were in negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement at the time of the announcement. All staff members, except for management, are members of the Christian Workers Union and since the announcement was made, the CWU had expressed disappointment with CIBC for not being forthcoming when the question was directly put to them via a letter dated July third, 2015. The union also said it would be working along CIBC to ensure that a proper exit package is put together for those employees who would be joining the ranks of the unemployed. But last week Friday, all 55 Union members employed by First Caribbean called in sick as part of their protest of the way the buy over is going; without the input of the employees. And while the First Caribbean Bank employees continue to stage a sick out, the Prime Minister spared no bullets when he came down on CWU’s leadership and President, Audrey Matura Shepperd. The PM criticized Matura for what he claims is a “dense and dishonest leadership” on her behalf.

Re: Today's Belize News: September 16, 2015 [Re: Marty] #507507
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Infant Bitten by Rat Sparks Rhetoric in House of Representatives
Two weeks ago a rat bit a new born baby while in an incubator at the Western Regional Hospital. Today during the Telecommunications Acquisition Settlement Bill 2015 debate, Area Representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requena brought up the topic saying that government needs to spend money on preventing these things from occurring rather that paying […]

Fonseca vs Barrow on Telecommunications Bill in the House of Representatives
Today the House of Representative met in Belmopan for a Special Sitting to introduce the Telecommunications Acquisition Settlement Bill 2015. The bill passed through all its stages today for the government to make legal, the settlement and payment of Belize Telemedia Limited. As we reported yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Government of […]

CIBC Employees Explore Option to Strike
And while the threat from the bank workers as it relates to votes in the upcoming elections, there is also the pressure that may result from the possibility of the workers taking industrial action. Matura-Shepherd spoke on that possibility considering that the Prime Minister will not be intervening on what he has classified as a […]

PM vs Audrey on Vesting Act
The saga of the pending Collective Bargaining Agreement continued both in the House of Representatives as the Prime Minister addressed the issue as well as at the Christian Workers’ Union Headquarters on Cemetery Road in Belize City where Audrey Matura-Shepherd addressed the media. Matura-Shepherd responded to several statements made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow including […]

Works Slated to Begin on Hummingbird Highway
The Hummingbird Highway will be getting a major restoration following the Government’s acquisition of a loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries. The loan was approved in February 2015 and the successful contractor, following a bidding process, is A & N Construction Limited based in […]

Orange Walk Town Regulates Taxi Parking and Pick Up Areas
Last week we told you about the issue between the Orange Walk Town Municipal Authority and short-stop taxi operators over the enforcing of a new traffic regulation. The two sides have met and have reached a compromise. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “Following the meeting between the Municipal Traffic Authority and the dollar taxi […]

Y.E.S. Continues Advocacy Against Sexual Violence Against Children
The Youth Enhancement Services (YES) held an official launch this morning at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize of their third advocacy campaign against sexual violence and abuse. YES, based in Ladyville Village, Belize District has partnered with the Women’s Department in what the organization’s director, Karen Cain, hopes to reach a countrywide audience […]

KHMH At 20 Years
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, formerly known as the New Belize City Hospital is celebrating its twentieth anniversary and the Chief Executive Officer for the medical facility, Doctor Adrian Coye, says that they have greatly expanded services since then and they hope to strengthen the current services offered. DR ADRIAN COYE “When we opened our […]


BTL Acquisition Settlement Bill argued in House Meeting
Six years ago the Belize Telemedia Limited, then known as the Belize Telecommunications limited, was natioanlize by the Government of Belize after it had been sold off to a private owner – Michael Ashcroft. Since its acquisition, the government of Belize has grappled in the courts with the for...

FCIB Vesting Bill Debated in the House
The members of the House of representatives met in Belmopan for a special sitting at the National Assembly to debate and the Bank Undertaking Vesting Bill 2015, which will provide for the vesting in Heritage Bank Limited of the business in Belize of First Caribbean International (Barbados) Limited. ...

FCIB employees hit back at Government over sale
Employees of the soon-to-be sold First Caribbean International Bank and their negotiators, the Christian Workers’ Union, hope to delay the pending sale of the bank to Heritage Bank and are willing to strike to do it. They want to be secure in their exit packages, in lieu of pending negotiation...

Opposition: Banking in Belize is Risky Business
And while on the topic of buying out of FCIB assets in Belize, the Leader of the Opposition accused the government of creating an atmosphere that is not conducive for foreign investment. He made reference to the nationalization of BTL and BEL. Here is what he had to say. Hon. Fracis Fonseca: Belize ...

Michael Finnegan lambastes CWU president in National Assembly
On Friday the FCIB staffers, held a mass sickout, crippling the functions of the bank. In a press briefing that same evening, the Leader of the Christian Workers Union, which represents the majority of workers of FCIB, said that the passage of the vesting bill, which took place today, is a betrayal ...

Parents protest outside school
The parents of students attending Faith Nazarene in San Ignacio held a protest yesterday, Monday September 15th. After a week away from classes, half of the four hundred students returned to the school’s classrooms. The Ministry of Education and the Teaching Services Commission reached an agre...

Man’s house shot at in Belize City
No one was hurt but a Belize City man’s house sustained damage from gunfire on Saturday night, September 12. We hear more from the homeowner, Cecil Martin. Cecil Martin: I get the information from my daughter that says to call me at this number but I did never had any credit. So they call me a...


Police say Cabral killed Cabral
Vance Edward Cabral, 45, a businessman of Placencia, died after he was shot with a licensed firearm which his cousin had been handling while they were socializing and drinking onboard a boat, Island Dancer, which was docked at a marina in Seine Bight near the Placencia Peninsula, at about 3:30 Thursday afternoon, September 10. Police reported that Cabral had been shot in the head, and that he died almost immediately. According to police, after the shooting, his cousin, Jeffrey Cabral, 52, who is reportedly responsible for the shooting, “threw the gun overboard, in his fright”. Inspector Dennis Myles, Commander of Placencia police, said that a police dive team immediately began to dive in the area, and found the gun. Vance Cabral was taken to the Placencia Polyclinic, where he was declared dead on arrival at 3:42 p.m. Inspector Myles said that the witnesses who were present when the weapon was discharged were cooperating with the investigation.

Barrow and Ashcroft negotiate BTL settlement
On July 4, 2011, the administration of Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow passed legislation in the National Assembly to nationalize the country’s primary telecommunications provider, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), for a second time, following the Belize Court of Appeal decision on June 24, 2011, that the first acquisition in August 2009 was unconstitutional, null and void. The nationalization of BTL opened a floodgate of litigation over its legality and constitutionality that went all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which was expected to issue a ruling in its next session between October and December this year. However, that court ruling from Belize’s highest court will not be necessary now, because today at a press conference at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel, Prime Minister Barrow, who is also Minister of Finance, announced that he had personally negotiated a settlement agreement with British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft for the government’s acquisition of BTL.

American livestock farmer chopped to death
John Ross, 46, an American who lived in Xaibe for about 6 years and who earned an income by raising sheep and chicken, was found dead on Tuesday morning on his farm located on the outskirts of the village. He had been chopped in the head, neck and face, and his right arm was missing. The gruesome discovery was made by some men from the village who went to look for him to buy some sheep. When they went to the scene, police found Ross lying face-up near a septic tank in his yard. Police subsequently detained three men, but Superintendent Dennis Arnold, Commander of Corozal Police, told Amandala that they had been released because the alibis they offered were credible. Police, however, are looking for two other men of the area, who they believe can assist the investigation. At the time of his vicious murder, Ross was living alone. The motive for his murder is still unknown.

In our Wednesday, September 2, 2015 edition of the Amandala, we inadvertently published the above picture of Ishelle Tablada on page 1, for that of Marcie Marie Humes, who was killed on Friday night, August 28, 2015, along with her boyfriend, Russell Hyde, of Camalote. Ms. Tablada is alive and well, and we sincerely apologize to her for any distress the error may have caused her, her family and friends.

FCIB employees stage sick-out to protest proposed Vesting Act
Sixty CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB) employees, faced with an uncertain fate following the bank’s decision to pull out of Belize and sell its assets to Heritage Bank, reportedly in an effort to “sharpen [their] focus on the growth opportunities [they] have in other markets,” staged a sick-out on Friday, September 11, to express their discontent – resulting in the temporary shutdown of three of five FCIB branches, specifically the branches in Orange Walk Town, Belmopan and San Cas Plaza. It is reported that the sick-out action was staged after employees got information that the Vesting Act to transfer the bank’s assets would be going to the House of Representatives for approval on Tuesday – which is before a scheduled meeting at which the employees’ union, the CWU, and the bank were to settle the terms of the workers’ exit package. The passing of the Vesting Act will thus leave the employees at a disadvantage in their negotiating position, says Audrey Matura-Shepherd, president of the Christian Workers Union. (CWU), to which many of the employees belong.

CWU and Port of Belize reach compromise
Strike action by disgruntled members of the Christian Workers Union who work at the Port of Belize Limited compound in Belize City, which was scheduled to be carried out on Wednesday, September 9 – the eve of the September 10 celebrations – was averted. The workers had not been paid by the company for the work they carried out, unloading ships, during their shifts on Monday and Tuesday. They felt that their concerns were not being addressed by the Port of Belize Ltd., and to show their displeasure, they began a go-slow action to pressure the company to go to the bargaining table. The company, in response to the go-slow action, had, instead of attempting to negotiate with the workers, as they had hoped, threatened to suspend operations at the Port, and the workers, in response, scheduled a strike to be carried out at about 8:00 Wednesday morning at the Port. Fortunately, however, the Christian Workers Union president, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, and her negotiating team had a sit-down with Tux Vasquez, the Port’s Managing Director, and other managers of the company and an amicable solution was reached.

Packed weekend in BECOL Basketball Tournament
On Friday night, September 11, Christian Ambassadors defeated Black Hawks in the U-19 division by the score of 46-29. Shaquille Crawford had the game high with 12 points for Christian Ambassadors, while Antuane McFadzen netted 11 points. In a losing effort, Black Hawks was led by Kyron Molina with 10 pts, and Justin Ford with 9 pts. Game 2 saw Yabra blowing out Invaders in the Over 35 division, 71-27. Yabra was led by Vince “Postman” Estrada, who had the game high with 18 pts, while Bart Sanchez finished with 15 pts, and Kevin Domingo and Cassian “Russian” Flowers scored 13 and 10 pts, respectively. The top scorers for Invaders were Gerald Hewlett with 11 pts and Dylon Ayuso with 9 pts. In the nightcap, the home team, Falcon Ballers was able to narrowly hold off RCV Stallions in the senior division by the score of 57-46. Falcon Ballers was led by Anfernee Young, who scored 15 pts, while the top scorers for RCV Stallions were David Hyde with 14 pts, Mark Gentle with 11 pts, and Frederick Banner with 8 pts.

Belize to participate in Women U-17 World Cup Elimination Tournament
The Football Federation of Belize will be participating in the Women U-17 World Cup Elimination Tournament, which will be held in Honduras from November 11 – 15, 2015. Below is the list of selected players. Training will commence on Friday evening, September 11, at 4:30 p.m. All training will be done on weekends from Friday to Sunday. From: Orange Walk – Adijah Ceiva, Kate Jones, Stephanie Ramirez, Kenisha Jones, Atalia Mesh, Kendra Jones, Deedrah Diaz. From: Corozal – Gabriela Cowo, Marcia Ara, Darina Tzul, Zidieny Loria, Yazli Santoya. From: Independence – Digna Cruz, Cesie Alvarado, Viviannie Pivaral, Narsedalia Hernandez, Carla Flores, Jerlin Salazar, Luz Acevedo.

Editorial: Heads they win, tails they don’t lose
60 years ago, the People’s United Party (PUP) contested its first set of general elections in coalition with the then vaunted General Workers Union (GWU). It’s a little known fact, but it should be a source of pride for any modern trade unionist and required reading for any modern student. The PUP in coalition with the GWU won the 1954 and 1957 general elections. What happened thereafter with that coalition is a story that has never been told. Younger people will recall that a little over 10 years ago in 2005, the unions took to the streets, and ironically, they almost toppled the same PUP, who had by then lost its union mooring and drifted dangerously into the stormy waters of neoliberalism. 2005 almost seems like distant memory now, but that was the awesome unions at their best. A year later, in 2006, a union firebrand was overwhelmingly elected the first female mayor of Belize City, and in 2008, the unions inside the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) would go on to change the Said Musa-led government.

From the Publisher
As I write this Sunday afternoon, September 6, 2015, Guatemalans are going to the polls to elect a new government. Extraordinary events have taken place in that Central American republic over the last ten days. Under the pressure of several months of mass demonstrations in the capital city, the Guatemalan Congress had voted on Tuesday to strip President Otto Pérez Molina of immunity from criminal prosecution. With his Vice President, Roxana Baldetti, already in jail for several weeks, Pérez Molina resigned on Wednesday this week, whereupon he was imprisoned. Pérez Molina was supposed to stay in office until the new government was sworn in next year January. His new Vice-President, Alejandro Maldonado, was sworn in as President on Thursday afternoon. As the noose tightened around Pérez Molina’s neck last weekend, I had telephoned Clinton Canul Luna in the Finca Solana section of Corozal Town to get his read. At that point, Pérez Molina was still in power and he was holding on to presidential immunity. Canul Luna suggested that Pérez Molina might try to run for asylum to Mexico. He said that it appeared to him that powerful people in Washington must have turned against him for some reason or the other.

Dear Editor, I write as President of the Christian Workers Union to make some basic facts clear regarding the plight of the 60 workers of First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB). This is especially necessary in light of the fact that now even the Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, has shown an apparent lack of interest in addressing the concerns of the workers. Firstly, it was impossible to negotiate an exit package with FCIB one year ago, because one year ago, although the Bank knew it was seeking buyers and even began discussions with its current purchasers, there was no way the employees could have known with certainty that there would be a sale and closure of the bank and come September 2015, they would be out of a job. Secondly, to distract from the issue at hand, the government propagandists and the bank interests, have teamed up to say that FCIB employees failed to re-negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Guatemalan presidential candidate says loss of Belize is deplorable
Jimmy Morales, a former comedian and television actor turned frontrunner in the first round of the Guatemalan presidential election, has made some disturbing, if not misleading, remarks about Guatemala’s territorial dispute with Belize — to which, to the best of our knowledge, the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not responded. Morales, who is considered a conservative and whose campaign slogan is “Neither corrupt nor thief,” came out of the first round of voting last week Sunday with just under twenty-five percent of the votes cast. The next round of voting is set for October 25, when Morales will face off with Sandra-Torres Casanova, the wife of former President Alvaro Colom. Casanova is the sister of Nardia Garcia, the CEO of Speednet. Casanova has garnered almost twenty percent of the votes cast and analysts consider her to be the stronger of the two candidates. In an interview last month with Telediario’s Elsie Sierra, Morales said that the most deplorable event in Guatemalan history is the loss of Belize, but there is hope that Guatemala will recover Belize through the International Court of Justice, if the claim is taken there for settlement. The exchange in which Morales made these comments to a reporter is quoted below:

Ministry of Education’s national literacy strategy
The Ministry of Education has been focusing its efforts on making Belize more literate and has come up with a method to tackle the problem — a national literacy strategy. John Newport, Acting Director of Quality Assurance Development Service (Quads), said that the program targets children from birth to the completion of primary school. He added that a campaign to encourage families to read aloud to their children is a part of the strategy. The campaign has been extended to include adults, teachers, and the interactions between older siblings and younger siblings, and parents and their children. On September 8, International Literacy Day, the literacy campaign was launched at the BTL Park. The theme for the Literacy Day was “Read to a Child Today and Every Day”. At the launch of the campaign, 10 tents were set up, where members of the community were reading to the children. Some of the readers were Alma Paredez, a literacy officer, who read to Queen Street Baptist School students; Leroy Green, an artist, performer and social organizer, who read to James Garbutt SDA school students; Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who read to Ephesus School students; Michael Shaw, of Scotia Bank Belize, who read to Calvary Temple School students; and Shakira Tsai, of Belize Bank, who read to Trinity Methodist School students.

Senator Ray Davis: “I can’t be removed…”
In view of recent comments made in the media regarding my position as Senator, particularly my attendance at the most recent Senate meeting, I consider it is necessary at this point to make the following statement. Hopefully, it will assist in sorting out the confusion regarding my tenure as Senator. 1. On 28th August 2015, I received by way of email from the General Secretary of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), a copy of a letter dated 25th August addressed to me and signed by the President of the NTUCB, Mr. Marvin Mora. The purpose of the letter was to inform me that I have been “removed as Senator for the NTUCB” and that “the Civil Society Steering Committee will also be informed of [the] decision and the Governor General will [be] subsequently notified”. 2.The letter was prefaced with a notice of the results of the votes at a meeting of the General Council of the NTUCB held on 22nd August 2015. I was informed that the majority of the Council had voted at the 22nd August meeting that the NTUCB was “not satisfied with [my] performance as Senator” and that “the Congress should replace [me] as a Senator”. The letter also referred to the “concerns” raised by the General Council regarding my performance, which I was invited to address at a meeting of the Council on 4th August 2015.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

FCIB employees hit back at Government over sale
Employees of the soon-to-be sold First Caribbean International Bank and their negotiators, the Christian Workers’ Union, hope to delay the pending sale of the bank to Heritage Bank and are willing to strike to do it. They want to be secure in their exit packages, in lieu of […]

Teenager dies of appendicitis in hospital
19 year old Lucia Cal of San Antonio, Toledo District, had her whole life ahead of her. She had just started work in Belize City as a store clerk, living with a partner, and had just learned she was to have her first child. But this bright and […]

Decision on Lucilo Teck’s legal fees still outstanding
Other media sources have reported that Lucilo Teck, the cane farmer who earlier this year unsuccessfully challenged the sugar authorities over starting the 2014-15 crop season, owes as much as $60,000 in legal fees. They have tried to tie this to his chief attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who along […]

Man’s house shot at in Belize City
No one was hurt but a Belize City man’s house sustained damage from gunfire on Saturday night, September 12. Homeowner, Cecil Martin, explains that he was called home to find that as many as six shots were fired at someone inside his home, striking furniture. According to Martin, who […]

Belize listed a major drug trafficker
In a statement released from Washington, United States today, it shows that Belize has fallen onto an undesirable list of Caribbean Countries that the US is watching closely. The 2015 list of major illicit drug producing countries or drug transit countries that “significantly affect the United States”, has been released […]

GOB signs contract for road upgrades
A contract for $16,446,519.58 was signed today by A&N Construction Ltd. from Cayo, which is tasked with the duty of rehabilitating the 54 mile long Hummingbird Highway. The highway has been divided into four segments and today’s contract signing focused on two of those four, namely: Belmopan roundabout junction to […]

Orange Walk Mayor honors 5 members of the community
Five members of the Orange Walk Community were today awarded and honoured by the Mayor in his annual Meritorious Awards. The recipients who include: Eileen Leiva, Raul Leiva, Abe Rempel, Jaime Briceno and Leonor Torres were awarded at the Town Hall this afternoon. Mayor Kevin Bernard says, […]

Thieves stopped from going after another Health Ministry Hilux
Exactly one year ago, Minister of Health Pablo Marin told reporters that it appears there is “mischief” behind thefts of motor vehicles from his Ministry’s offices in Belmopan, opining that somebody or a group of persons may be working together, possibly to sell the stolen vehicles. 365 days later the […]

Groundbreaking for Ecumenical Chapel at K.H.M.H.
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital will soon have a center for spiritual health with the construction of an ecumenical chapel funded by the Government and Council of Churches for $150,000. The Methodist Church’s Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute described it as a place of “reflection and meditation”, a site for […]

Parents keep kids away from Faith Nazarene
According to 7 News, nearly three-quarters of all 411 students of Faith Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, were kept home by parents despite a compromise reached by the teaching staff and principal Policarpia Pech. All staff went to school but found that attendance was low – […]

Belize Bank supporting Adventures Sports Club
The Belize Bank Ltd. partnered with Adventures Sports Club and signed an agreement for the sum of $50,000.00 which will be disbursed in five equal installments of $10,000.00. Over the next five years. This past week the club received the first payment of $10,000.00. Adventures Sports Club was formed in […]

Warm and mostly dry weather prevails
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and cloudy spells at times tonight. Isolated showers or thunderstorms will occur, more so over inland areas this afternoon and over the South tonight. Winds will be blowing from the East at 10-20 knots and […]

Elderly man brutally beaten in Chan Chen
A man in the Chan Chen Village of Corozal District was almost beaten to death yesterday, September 14, by one of his own relatives who claims that the 42-year-old victim, Mark Villanueva, was trying to steal his weed-eater during the wee hours of the morning. According to a family member, […]


Fin Kardashian Takes SE Asia 2.0: Bangkok’s Night Life, China Town and An 8.5 Hour Horrible Fire Fly Tour
Hello WORLD, So who would have thought that Thailand would have won my heart so fast! Am literally DRUNK IN LOVE. So currently staying at another hostel THE GREEN HOUSE, the only thing green of this hostel are the plants by the bar, since its right in the heart of the never ending BANGKOK rock and roll bars. A little on Bangkok’s night life consist of clubs, bars, cabarets, pingpong shows, bunny clubs, even swanky rooftop bars there is a little bit for anyone one that is just trying to have a good time. Most places you go to contained to my estimation 70% men, 20% women, 5% prostitutes, 5% Lady Boys. The Famous Khao San Road is just PARTY PARTY PARTY….This place starts happening at dusk till dawn.

Top Reasons Why We Love Belize in September!
September is one of our favourite months in Belize, and, with the country halfway through the always-exuberant September independence celebrations, having observed St George’s Caye Day on the tenth, partied at Carnival on the 12th, and getting ready for the big nationwide Independence Day celebrations on September 21st, now’s a good time catch our breath and reflect upon all those things that make September in Belize so special. There aren’t very many countries that celebrate their independence over the course of an entire month, but then not many countries are Belize.

Beth and Ty...moving on
In June each year, those Wildtracks howler monkeys that are considered ready are released into Fireburn Reserve. Not all are fully prepared, however, and Wildtracks makes a policy of not pushing monkeys faster through the rehabilitation process than they are ready to go. This happened to two of our rehabilitation monkeys this year - Beth and Ty. After Spartacus, Sam, Peanut, Elliot and the others left for their release in June, we were able to move Beth and Ty into a Pre-Release enclosure. In no time at all they flourished and grew in confidence and skills. Ty, who came in as an infant ex-pet, has grown into a large dominant male who is willing to stand up to anything that he feels is a danger to his troop. Beth, the quieter of the two, was rescued from a bar, where she was tied to the bar itself. She came in terrified, with bad rope burns around her stomach from the harness she wore. She has now settled in well, becoming very brave and has been enjoying exploring her new surroundings. They have done extremely well in pre-release as a pair: sticking together, finding food, and staying high up in the tree canopies. As they have been doing so well over the past few months, the decision was confirmed - there would be a special release this year for Beth and Ty, rather than holding them back for the 2016 release. On Friday morning this week Wildtracks was able to successfully move Beth and Ty to their release cage in Fireburn reserve. The word from the Fireburn tracking team is that they are adjusting very well to their new surroundings.

13 Things to Know about the Garifuna people of Belize
1.) The Garifuna history has been one of constant migration and intermarriage. Oral history records that the Garifuna ancestors, the Arawak Indians, migrated from Guyana, Surinam and Venezuela around long before the arrival of the Europeans to the New World and settled in the Greater Antilles Islands in the Caribbean. A second ancestor, the Carib Indians, also migrated from their settlements in the Orinoco Delta in 1220 A.D. and seized the Lesser Antilles. The Carib and Arawak then intermarried and engendered the Island Carib, who settled predominantly on Saint Vincent Island. 2.) Anthropologists recognize the Garifuna as a product of ‘voluntary assimilation’, which indicates the peaceful creation of this new ethnic group, but the ensuing years of searching for a homeland saw very little peace for the Garifuna. In 1660, a British peace treaty guaranteed the “perpetual possession” of the island to the Garifuna, but less than a decade later, the British broke the treaty and re-claimed the island as a colonial possession. However, by the mid 1700s (following several generations of prolific reproducing by the Garifuna), it became increasingly aware that the Garifuna were such a demographic force on St. Vincent, that they threatened to jeopardize the inherent success of a colonial mission, and the British sent more and more representatives to the island to subdue the native Garifuna.

International Sourcesizz

Belize Makes Push for Local Tourism
In a bid to increase tourism revenue, Belize is looking close to home. The country has launched a new ad campaign aimed at local travelers, under the theme “Discover How to Be a Belizean Traveler.” The campaign “is centered on getting Belizeans to travel locally and to promote the regional icons,” the country’s tourism board said in a release. The initiative is looking to encourage Belizean residents “to travel locally in order to keep our dollars at home and promote local business,” the board said. “We hope that this campaign will show the Belizeans that there is no need to go anywhere else on vacation, when an unforgettable experience awaits you in your own backyard,” said Noriko Gamero, marketing and public relations manager at the Belize Tourism Board.

Sargazo seguirá llegando, advierten especialistas
Interesting article on Sargassum. Realizan en Cancún el Simposio sobre Ecosistemas Marinos de América Latina y el Caribe, donde hablan del arribo atípico del sargazo. Los destinos del Caribe Mexicano tendrán que lidiar permanentemente con el arribo masivo de sargazo en sus costas, pues el fenómeno seguirá presente, de acuerdo con especialistas del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), participantes en el Simposio sobre Ecosistemas Marinos de América Latina y el Caribe, efectuado en Cancún. El evento reúne a más de 50 investigadores provenientes de México, Estados Unidos, Argentina, Venezuela, Brasil, Perú, Francia e India, así como a expertos de la NASA, de la National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (UNESCO, por sus siglas en Inglés); de las universidades Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) y Autónoma de Baja California. Los temas abordados versan sobre la pesca, la contaminación y la salud del ecosistema marino, la gobernanza, la economía, la productividad y el arribo atípico del sargazo, fenómeno que ha cambiado el paisaje azul de la zona costera del Caribe, al tornarlo color ocre, con fuertes impactos para el Turismo y diversas especies del ecosistema costero, como la tortuga marina, los arrecifes de coral, la playa e incluso el tiburón ballena. El investigador del Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas del IPN en Baja California, Francisco Arreguín Sánchez, indicó que las tendencias “parecen indicar” que la llegada masiva de sargazo –una especie de macro alga parda- proseguirá en El Caribe, lo que implica que el fenómeno debe ser documentado para elaborar modelos predictivos a corto plazo que permiten contar con opciones de prevención.

Tropical Homegardens: A Time Tested Example of Sustainable Agroforestry
Book by B.M. Kumar and P.K.R. Nair

Belize-born Army veteran becomes U.S. citizen
For 43 years, Randolph Kelly believed he was an American. During his 32 years in the U.S. Army, he rose to the rank of sergeant major, serving in the Persian Gulf war. But when he applied for a passport this year, Kelly, who was born in Belize, found out he was not an American citizen. Instead, he had unknowingly passed himself off as a U.S. citizen, a deportable crime. On Tuesday, Kelly, 64, became an American citizen — after a five-hour wait. “I thought I was an American,” Kelly, who lives in Mission, said after taking the oath of citizenship at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Harlingen. “Now I know I am. It’s a special feeling.”

New World Oil & Gas exits Denmark assets
As the company exits Denmark, rebel shareholders want a 'radical' new direction. New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) has relinquished its assets in Denmark amid low crude prices and uncertainty over the AIM quoted firm’s future direction. It has given up stakes in both the Danica Jutland and Danica Resources projects after failing to secure farm-in partnerships. This comes after rebel shareholders, owning 11% and represented by the lobby group NWOGaction, on Friday proposed “a radical departure” from the current business into medical technology.

Today in history: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the continental heritage and culture. Hispanic Heritage Week was approved by Pres. Lyndon Johnson, and later it was expanded to a month by law in 1988. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence from Spain of five Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days in September, on the 16th, 18th, and 21st, respectively.

Big Movers: Consolidated Water Co. Ltd
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO), which develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent, announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per share. The cash dividend is payable October 31, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business October 1, 2015. Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent. The Company operates water production and/or distribution facilities in the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and Bali, Indonesia.


  • Belize City Carnival Parade 2015, 2min. Belize City comes to life during the country's September Celebrations in observance of Independence Day. A highlight of the celebrations is the Carnival Parade that showcases color, sounds and high spirits of the jubilant people of Belize. It is a party like no other and one not to miss out on.

  • VII Belize Trip July 18-25th 2015, 2min. Jenae Tankersly, Speaks on her experience from the VII Global Belize trip

  • Mayan Discovery, 5min. A quick recount of my trip through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize shot on a GoPro Hero 4 Silver.

  • Dog swimming with Dolphin in Belize waters, 2.5min.

  • Twin Eagle Rays at Black Beauty Turneffe Belize, .5min. 2 eagle rays cruised past during a dive on Black Beauty Dive site at Turneffe Atoll, Belize.

  • Belize Carnival 2015 #6, 6min. The Belize City Carnival Road March Saturday September 12, 2015. Paati noh don.

  • Shark Alley, Mesoamerican Reef, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 10min. This is a GoPro video of our snorkel trip with Carlos Tours to Shark/Ray Alley on the Mesoamerican Reef near Ambergris Caye, Belize. Visible are nurse sharks, Jackfish, and numerous other fishes. Enjoy!

  • Discovering Belize - GoPro Hero, 6.5min. Nuova tappa nel mio giro del mondo senza aerei: questa volta è il turno del Belize, il più piccolo stato del Centro America!

  • USHUAIA le magazine de l'extrême - BELIZE 2, 73min. French Magazine programe presented by Nicolas Hulot, produced by TF 1 and directed by Krov Menuhin. Chapters include Dauphines Ambassadeurs'

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