Women’s tragic deaths caused by hospital neglect?
In the span of four days, between September 10 and 14, two patients from the Toledo District have died tragically, and information to Amandala is that the deaths were caused by lack of proper equipment, and, in the case of at least one hospital, negligence.
The three hospitals involved are the Punta Gorda Town Hospital, Southern Regional Hospital, and Western Regional Hospital, and both of the two patients died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they had been sent as a last recourse.
On September 10, Norberta Sanchez, 29, died at the KHMH after she was transported there from the Western Regional Hospital via an ambulance on Wednesday, September 9. Sanchez had to be rushed to the KHMH after she had developed complications from a second surgery at the Western Regional Hospital that was supposed to stop her from bleeding after a C-section was done and her baby girl was delivered.
BTL employees vexed; “cuss up” PM Barrow and son, Anwar
Despite meeting with members of the Union executive of the Belize Communication Workers’ Union (BCWU) on Monday, September 14, 2015, Anwar Barrow, the Prime Minister’s son and Chairman of the Executive Committee at BTL, was not brave enough tell the Union that daddy was calling a press conference less than two hours later to announce that the government had arrived at a settlement with the Lord himself.
The Union says the gross disrespect goes beyond anything they had experienced under “smart” Said!
In an effort to maintain a harmonious and healthy industrial relations climate with the UDP Government and the Management of BTL, the BCWU has been a silent pillar of support, convinced that the Prime Minister’s decision to nationalize the company was for the greater good of Belize and the BTL employees.
IRS probes Belize offshore accounts!
“Uncle Sam” has ramped up collection efforts on US taxpayers, including US citizens, Belizeans with dual nationality and green card holders who are believed to be hiding their wealth in offshore jurisdictions in Belize, which has not only been dubbed as a “tax haven” – but has also been listed as one of the major money laundering jurisdictions by the United States Government.
As we go to press tonight, there are concerns over how the latest development will affect the financial landscape, including the channeling of remittances to Belize and investments by US nationals in prime industries such as tourism, since the US probe involves both domestic and international bank transactions carried out by the Belize Bank, the country’s largest commercial bank, with two leading US banks. Miami federal judge Ursula Ungaro—who 10 years ago had presided over litigation in the telecommunications saga of Jeffrey Prosser against the Government of Belize—granted a petition this Wednesday, September 16, to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the United States government agency responsible for tax law enforcement, which will allow the IRS to issue two “John Doe” summonses to Bank of America and Citibank, both of Miami, Florida, in order to probe into offshore accounts held by thousands of Americans who may have stashed their wealth in The Jewel.
Barrow’s “stubborn pettiness” will cost taxpayers $52 million: Fonseca
Following Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow’s announcement yesterday, Monday, that he had negotiated a payment settlement for the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) acquisition with the Ashcroft alliance, the House of Representatives met today for a special sitting to introduce and pass, in one sitting, the Telecommunications Acquisition Settlement Bill 2015.
The settlement, which PM Barrow said he personally negotiated with Lord Michael Ashcroft, has three components related to the government’s July 2011 nationalization of BTL, the country’s premier telecommunications provider, over which the Barrow administration has been locked in protracted legal battles for the past six years.
Opposition Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca, during the debate on the Telecommunications Acquisition Settlement Bill, lashed out at Prime Minister Barrow, for his “wrongheaded” approach to a loan that BTL had secured from British Caribbean Bank and which Barrow had insisted he would not repay, because the government had viewed the loan from the Ashcroft-affiliated bank as illegal.
Worthless car dealer cons man out of $24,000
Ellsworth Williams, 45, of Ground Dove Street, Jane Usher Boulevard, was conned out of $24,000 of his savings by a car dealer who took his money and disappeared.
The thief is now living somewhere in the United States, and despite Williams’ best efforts, he cannot contact the con-artist to get back his money.
William came to Amandala today and told us that over two years ago, he paid the car dealer, who is known to him, and who lived on Coney Drive, an initial $3,000 as a down-payment to locate two cars for him when he (the car dealer) went to a car lot sale in Texas.
On his arrival in Texas, the dealer called Williams and told him that he had located the two vehicles and needed money to pay for them, and “clear” them, and Williams sent $21,000 through Western Union. ( receipts were presented to Amandala)
14% pay raise for KHMH staff
In July, in their efforts to pressure Government to grant them a salary increase, the staff of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) initiated a go-slow which led to the cancellation of elective surgeries and specialty services. KHMH authorities quickly took action by calling a meeting with all parties involved. As a result, the staff, with the assurance that the salary issue would be resolved within a few months, lifted their protest, and elective surgeries and specialty surgeries were resumed.
It has now been announced, that, following a series of meetings between the Government of Belize, the KHMH board of governors, and staff representatives, an agreement was reached that the staff of the KHMH staff will be getting a salary increase of 14%.
2015 Bart’s Bash Regatta this Sunday in San Pedro
The Belize segment of the 2nd Annual Bart’s Bash International Regatta will take place on Sunday, September 20, in the waters off Caribbean Villas and will start at 9:30 a.m. sharp, with a race brief Saturday 6:00 p.m. at Caribbean Villas. This is a highly entertaining and one-of-a-kind sailing race in which sailors all over the world, and in every kind of sailboat imaginable, take to their home waters on the same day and sail courses that have been designated as comparable by a computer program in the hands of the Bart’s Bash Committee, who also have a computer program to handicap the various classes. Last year, 16,780 skippers of all ages competed. It is a fully legitimate regatta, formally recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, which proclaimed last year’s Bart’s Bash the largest boat race in history.
Last year, the 28 Belizean boats entered included charter catamarans and mono-hulls, Hobie and other small catamarans of various sizes, Olympic class Lasers, tiny Optimist dinghies, and a couple of really strange homemade boats dubbed UFOs. Belize Sailing Club is the host and expects even more entries, because of the fun everyone reported last year.
Deon on a tear; Verdes leads PLB standings, tackles Queretaro tonight in Champions League
It is 5:00 p.m. right now, and three hours away from game time for Belize’s Verdes FC, who are getting ready to take the field at 8:00 p.m. for their CONCACAF Champions League return match against Mexico’s Queretaro FC in Queretaro, Mexico. They drew 0-0 in their first meeting at the FFB Stadium on August 18.
Of some concern going into tonight’s Champions League match is that Verdes’ defense has not pitched a shutout yet in 4 games so far in the PLB Opening Season tournament, conceding a goal in each of their first three encounters, and 2 in their last outing against the young Wagiya team. But on the bright side is that their star striker Deon McCaulay is in fine form, exploding for a hat trick, including an injury time strike, to secure the 3-2 win for Verdes over Wagiya this past Saturday.
Reviewing the past weekend’s Week 4 PLB games, there were two Saturday night games and one on Sunday.
Sammy Gentle visits, focusing on primary school football
On a visit home for the September celebrations is Belizean Sammy Gentle, who played for Belize City 1976-77 football champions, White Label, after being our teammate on Diamond-A and Charger football teams in the early to mid-1970s. Sammy presently owns an accounting business in New York, and says he plans to sponsor a primary school football tournament in Belize City.
He thinks that is the best place to start, as he is not satisfied with the quality of football he has seen from the Belize Jaguars in recent World Cup Qualifiers.
Sammy arrived on the 9th and expects to return to New York after the Independence Day celebrations.
BelCare Academy holds Grassroots Football Festival
The BelCare Youth Football Academy continues to promote the playing of football among the youth at the Grassroots level across Belize.
Last week Saturday, September 5, BelCare, in conjunction with the Belmopan Football Committee, under the leadership of Mr. Amilcar Umana, held a successful Football Festival in the village of Camalote. Thanks to all coaches that came out to support: Derick Gordon, Boris Dominguez, Pedro Medina and Hector Martinez.
After the Festival, 20 footballs were left with school teachers and representatives for them to continue the program and have kids use the balls.
The next village in the BelCare program is the Valley of Peace next Saturday.
Editorial: Independence in Belize – its corrupt aftermath
It has appeared to us for some time that the present United Democratic Party (UDP) government is getting away with a lot of things because of the fear on the part of many Belizeans that harming the Barrow administration in any way would increase the chances of a Said Musa/Ralph Fonseca return to power.
Until the early 2000s when his Intelco telecommunications gamble failed, the man Glenn Godfrey was a member of a troika – Said/Ralph/Glenn, which initially inherited power in the People’s United Party (PUP) from the iconic Right Honorable George Cadle Price, with his public blessing. After Intelco, followed by the Social Security Board and Development Finance Corporation revelations in late August of 2004, Mr. Godfrey faded in stature and is seldom mentioned today in the same breath as Said and Ralph are. (There was little damage done, however, to his very substantial bank accounts.)
From 1961 until 1979, Mr. Price and his Financial Secretary, Rafael “Falo” Fonseca, had run a famously tight ship where the public finances of Belize were concerned. After Mr. Fonseca’s death in a traffic accident on the Western Highway in late 1979, he was succeeded as FinSec by Edmund Marshalleck. Things did not change much, except that there was an unprecedented spending splurge in September of 1981 when Mr. Price and the PUP welcomed and celebrated Belize’s independence along with many foreign guests.
From the Publisher
This newspaper played a significant role in the successful effort by the People’s United Party to hold on to power in the 1979 general election. That PUP victory, by a 13-5 margin in seats over the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), represents the political statement which clinched independence for Belize, in that it apparently convinced the United States of America that the people of Belize were committed, inexorably committed to an independence which had been delayed since self-government in 1964.
Younger generations of Belizeans have no idea what the political landscape was like here between 1974 and 1979. Between 1961 and 1969, the PUP had won 51 of the 54 seats contested in the 1961, 1965, and 1969 general elections. To a certain extent, the Leader of the Opposition National Independence Party (NIP), Hon. Philip Goldson, represented a one-man army, and even though he was truly heroic, there were prominent Belizeans opposed to the PUP who began to become disillusioned with him. These individuals, including some who were based in New York City, actually believed that the PUP could be defeated, at a time when the blue appeared to be a total juggernaut.
The Altar Boy
Papito started as an altar boy at the age of 7 years old and took his religious duties very seriously. Born into a solid Catholic family in Benque Veijo Del Carmen, Belize, on the Guatemalan border, he was taught to respect the priest and the church and have pride in his position assisting the Jesuit priest in the daily rituals in the Benque Catholic Church.
Even if sometimes his daily religious service was strenuous, the hands in blessing on his head were always reminding him that he was doing an important job. In his innocence he was rather happy with his life, and his dream was maybe one day after finishing school he could become a priest too. After only a few years as an altar boy, at the age of 12, coming into puberty, his harmonious life got turned upside down when one schoolmate a year older than him called him a “maricon”. It was the year of 1961, and in this small British Victorian-ruled colony sexual education was not yet in the curriculum for the primary schools.
So he asked around about what that meant. His mother could not tell, his teacher could not tell, but one of his friends told him he was a “faggit”, a “queer”, somebody who had sex with another man.
Praise for the San Roman preschool project
Please allow me space in your most respectable newspaper, as I express admiration and gratitude toward those who have made a preschool community project possible in the village of San Roman, in the Corozal District.
The San Roman village community preschool has been a much needed facility for the delivery of quality education to the youngest generation of our community. The preschool was previously housed in the local community center; however, the location was inadequate as it was close to the Philip Goldson Highway with no fence and no restroom facilities in the building. The use of the community center as a preschool implied that any other community function, would either have to find a new location or run the risk of tampering with the children’s equipment and projects. At times the use of the facility as a learning center and for community activities led to conflicts between the event organizers as the community does not count with any other proper facility to carry out activities such as mobile dental and health clinics, youth development workshops or community celebrations.
St. George’s Caye Day kicks off September Celebrations
The 217th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye was celebrated throughout Belize under the theme “Belize Renewed: Confident, Competitive, Committed” on Thursday, September 10. In Belize City, a ceremony to commemorate the occasion and officially launch the day’s activities was held at the Memorial Park, and in attendance were the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley; Chairman of the National Celebrations Committee, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr.; the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca; the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega; the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin; the Governor General, Sir Colville Young; and other distinguished guests and citizens of Belize.
In his welcome address, Mayor Bradley said, “Today, we gather as a nation in this place, as we have gathered each and every year before this, in solemn form, to honor the men and women who fought in the Battle of St. George’s Caye.”
After the formal speeches, the crowning of the new Queen of the Bay took place. The crown was passed from last year’s Queen of the Bay, Monisha Stuart, to the, 2015-2016 winner, Falon Tiana Cain, who became the 70th Queen of the Bay.
Belize’s National Team 1997
Here are pictures of one of our first National Teams, who played Panama in 1997 in Cayo at the Norman Broaster Stadium. You will see players like David “Manu” McCaulay, Deon’s dad, who scored Belize’s first International goal. Players included now Minister Erwin Contreras, John Trapp, Nelson Moss, Pablo Madrid, the Tun brothers (Donny and Freddy), among others.
I congratulate the Jaguars, which has been together since 2003. It is not an overnight team. Give credit where it is due. Deon, Shane, West, Ian Gaynair, Cafu, Dalton, and all the older guys will recall Renan Couoh, “Chelato,” Cabrera among others. History was made before to the third round.
Hon. Finnegan abused Audrey Matura-Shepherd: Senator Shoman
Debates in the House of Representatives have of late become even more personal and vicious than they typically are, but Members of the House are immune from prosecution for whatever they say.
At the House meeting yesterday, Tuesday, the area representative for the Mesopotamia constituency, Hon. Michael Finnegan, who is a UDP whip and a senior parliamentarian, let loose a tirade against Audrey Matura-Shepherd, president of the Christian Workers Union (CWU), who is an unrelenting critic of the administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
At the meeting of the Senate today, Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman took Hon. Finnegan to task for his remarks against trade union leader Audrey Matura-Shepherd.
Matura-Shepherd, apart from being an activist attorney and an Amandala columnist, is also the president of the Christian Workers Union.
Ambassador Patrick Andrews presents credentials to US President
Belize’ Ambassador to the United States (US), Patrick Andrews presented credentials to President Barack Obama on Thursday at the White House in Washington, D.C. A press release from the government’s Press Office states that Ambassador Andrews, in his message to President Obama highlighted the cordial […]
Big Falls husband threatens to sue Western Regional Hospital following wife’s death
The Western Regional Hospital, and by extension the Ministry of Health are facng another embarrassment and very likely, a lawsuit after a mother died, allegedly because of negligence or malpractice at the hospital. Norberta Sanchez, a resident of Big Falls Toledo and mother of four small children […]
Fourth annual memorial held to honour the late George Price
A wreath-laying tribute took place on Friday morning at the grave site of the late Father of the Nation, George Price to mark the fourth year since he passed away. At the event, PUP Leader Francis Fonseca spoke of the man who led Belize from […]
Carnival weekend ends in string of shootings
The Carnival weekend ended in a string of shooting incidents, which saw five gunshot victims, three of which have been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and several suspects being detained in connection with the incidents. According to Eastern Division South Commander, […]
Police say shooting was intentional; They charge cousin with murder
Placencia police have charged Warren Jeffrey Cabral, 52, with murder! They say there is evidence to prove that he intended to kill his cousin, Vance Cabral, 45, on September 10, as they socialised with two other men on a luxury boat docked near Seine […]
Belize celebrates 117th Tenth
Hundreds of Belizean patriots braved unseasonably hot, dry weather to celebrate the 217th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye last Thursday, September 10, in the tradition of Simon Lamb, who caused it to be declared a national and public holiday on the centenary […]
Police operation on George Street results in more than a dozen arrests
Eastern Division South formation has made more than a dozen arrests, recovered an unlicensed gun, seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana and are expected to charge eight of 12 arrested. The bust follows a police operation in the George Street area early Monday […]
Guatemala’s most popular presidential candidate says Guatemala should pursue its claim over Belize more aggressively
Jimmy Morales, Guatemala’s most popular presidential candidate, has said that he feels that his country’s claim over Belize ought to be pursued more vigorously. Morales, a comic actor by profession, became the most favoured prospect during Guatemala’s first round at the polls a few […]
US State Department lists Belize among world’s largest drug hubs
The United States (US) State Department, this week, listed Belize, along with 21 other countries, including some from the Middle-East and Central America, as being among the major drug producing and trafficking states. US President Barack Obama alerted the US Congress about the countries […]
BTV and COLA ready to take their fight to Belmopan
The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) held a joint press conference with Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) this week, demanding a change in the Government’s foreign policy with relation to Guatemala. BTV leader Will Maheia, along with stalwart Orlando de la Fuente and COLA […]
Belize making progress on gender equality but more work ahead
A new World Bank report on gender equality based on the progress of opportunities for women, has found that among the 173 examined countries, Belize has made improvements in fostering female participation in education and the labor force. While that is the case, however, […]
BEWU puts strike talks on back burner
The Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU), which recently threatened to strike after negotiations with Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) broke down, has decided to delay its decision to take industrial action and continue working with the Labor Ministry to find an amicable solution. According to […]
Sailing Association to decide fate of young sailors
Two young sailors are awaiting a decision from the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) on whether or not they will be allowed to participate in a prestigious international sailing event in Malaysia, hosted by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) in December. The Board, who met […]
Over $160,000 in write offs
The Government of Belize this week motioned to approve some $166,565.40 in write offs as losses. The eight write off motions were tabled at the special sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan on Tuesday. The write offs were primarily for damages to vehicles, […]
It is no exaggeration to say that Prime Minister Barrow has surprised the nation with his speedy and skilful resolution of the dispute with the Ashcroft interests over BTL. This deal is good for Belize for many reasons. Firstly, it gets rid of a troublesome dispute, and it shows to […]
Family threatens to sue PG hospital!
A grieving family from the Toledo District is accusing health authorities at the Punta Gorda Hospital of total neglect of care for their daughter, who died of an untreated ruptured appendix. While they have yet to make a formal complaint with the Ministry, as […]
Cubans captured after capsizing
After being shipwrecked, rescued, and brought to shore on Tuesday, the hope for freedom was dashed for five Cubans. Two fled after reaching the mainland in Belize City. One male managed to escape, while the other was captured, and up to Thursday all four […]
New NAC survey paints picture of ‘active’ youth sexual trends in Belize
This week the National AIDS Commission presented the findings of the 2014 Country Report on Knowledge, Practices, and Attitudes (KAP) toward persons living with HIV/AIDS, a study carried out by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The data, which provided the most recent indicators and […]
Breaking Belize News
“Monchi” denies knowledge that recording would be aired at memorial
The man accused of spreading libel and slander against his political rival, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega of Orange Walk North, Ramon Cervantes, Jr., told his side of the story in court today. But contrary to popular belief, “Monchi” says that apart from twice listening to the recording […]
PUP condemns “tragedy” of Western Regional
The storm of incidents to befall the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan and the health system generally in recent weeks has refocused national attention on health issues. Rats biting babies, snakes biting nurses, even a rape of a psychiatric patient – it is all a black eye for […]
Remembering Rt. Hon. George Price
The late Right Honorable George Price died on September 19, 2011, and a grateful nation continues to remember his life and legacy. At his graveside today, members of the party he led for forty years, the People’s United Party (PUP), gathered for their twice-yearly observance in his honor. […]
Ministry of Health begins investigation into Lucia Cal death
The Ministry of Health has begun an investigation of the death of 19 year old Lucia Cal of San Antonio, Toledo District. As we reported earlier this week, she died after delayed surgery to remove a ruptured appendix after being turned away from the Punta Gorda Hospital when […]
BCWU protests BTL settlement deal
On the heels of a strongly worded press release indicating how much they were blindsided by Monday’s bombshell news of a settlement between the alliance of former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the Government of Belize, members of the Belize Communication Workers Union (BCWU) were protesting in […]
Twenty-one Belizean patriots honored
Thursday night’s Tribute to Belizean Patriots took place in Belize City at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. It is the annual recognition of Belizeans who have made outstanding contributions to Belize. Leading the way with the Order of Distinction are the late Dr. Gian Ghandi, Solicitor […]
Corozal Community Hospital gets new equipped Operating Theatre
With the recent scandals at the Western Regional Hospital, especially the attacks aimed at Minister of Health Pablo Marin, today there is a twist to all the unfortunate incidents occurring in the Health Service. This morning, as members of the Corozal Community Hospital and the community gathered at […]
Police need public help to identify critical patient
Belize City Police is asking for the public’s assistance to identify a man that has been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for several days and needs family support. He is in a critical condition and neither the hospital nor police have any […]
President Obama receives Pat Andrews as new Belize-US Ambassador
On Thursday September 18th, H.E. Patrick Andrews became Belize’s 7th ambassador to present credentials to the United States (US) when he met with President Barrack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Andrews’ message to Obama was one of appreciation for the cordial relationship between the two nations […]
Police looking for forger
Police are currently looking for a person in connection with forgery charges after an Atlantic Bank Cheque leaflet was stolen from inside a businessman’s office at K-Park Quick Stop in the Kings Park Area of Belize City. That cheque book was then used to cash $3,500 in the name of […]
Man charged for firing gun in public
24-year-old Kariq Tzul of West Street, Belize City has been charged with “Discharging Firearm in Public” in relation to the shooting in the area of Antelope Street. The shooting occurred on September 12th and Tzul was arrested yesterday morning, September 17th, at 6:40 a.m.
Four Cubans arrested for illegal entry, one on the run
One Cuban National is at large after he escaped from police officers, leaving his four companions behind to be arraigned in court and put in the Belize Central Prison. The five men’s original destination was the United States but they landed in Belizean waters after their boat got wrecked and […]
Western Regional caught up in another unfortunate incident
The Western Regional Hospital has been getting a bad rap recently for several disturbing incidents that have happened there, including the rat infestation, the rat bite of a new born child and the most recent snake bite of a nurse. Well another incident from that hospital has put it on […]
BTL employees disgusted with GOB over settlement
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) employees expressed their disgust with government over the recent settlement with Lord Michael Ashcroft in a scathing release, in which they condemn GOB for being no better than the People’s United Party (PUP) government when things came to a head in 2005. According to the release […]
BCCI slams GOB for BTL settlement
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) does not support the terms of the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) settlement with Lord Michael Ashcroft in regards to the legislation passed this week allowing government to request unknown sums of money for the settlement. The BCCI said it stands by its […]
Foodie Friday: Belizean Fry Jacks Recipe!
They say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and Belizeans take this very serious. One of the more popular and mouth-watering breakfast meals in Belize includes refried beans, eggs, cheese, bacon or ham and fresh fruits all perfectly paired with fry jacks. Fry jacks are deep fried dough pieces that can be shaped in squares, circles or triangles. Making these delicious fry jacks will be relatively easy and fast with this recipe we have prepared for you. You can make this in the comfort of your home and share a part of Belize with your family & friends!
A Scrumptious Coconut Tart
Coconut lovers will rejoice in the delights of this wonderful baked treat. These luscious little tartlets will have your mouth smiling with pleasure in every bite!
Wednesday was a day of firsts for us on Ambergris Caye
Don’t you just love this question: When is the last time you did something for the first time?
How would you answer it?
Every day we are presented with opportunities to do something a bit differently. It could be as tiny as changing the time you get up in the morning to taking a previously unexplored route to work to, oh, I don’t know, selling everything and moving to a foreign country.
What would your life be like if you decided to do one new thing every day?
Mine would be a constant state of exhaustion. This may sound strange, coming from a man living on a tiny island in the Caribbean, but I don’t run toward change. I like a certain amount of predictability. When I find a restaurant I like, for example, I quickly become a regular. I can apply that to many aspects of life: When something works, cling to it.
For example, on Wednesday we were invited on the Coco Loco’s Customer and Employee Appreciation Cruise by the bar’s owner, Carmen Arenal. Now that’s a first right there. Coco Loco’s is one of our neighborhood hangouts and Carmen is a great community builder. She seems to always be sponsoring covered dish suppers for holidays, farewells and birthdays. She is a major motivator during our First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick-up days. Plus she is a good friend to all.
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL CELEBRATIONS MONTH IN BELIZE
September 10 was National Day in Belize as Belizeans celebrated the Battle of St George's Caye.
This week there were activities held everyday, or night as Belize approached Independence Day on September 21st!
Today the Primary school children participated by having their Rally! They marched with the bright colours of the country...Blue, White and Red! Escuela Secundaria Mexico had their Patriotic Assembly today while the Corozal Community College had theirs yesterday. Celebrating these two days is something everyone in Belize looks forward to!
It’s Back to School for our Favorite Kids
Back in June, we told you about our plan to make life a little sunnier for our favorite schoolkids. Just ten minutes down the road from Ka’ana is the Holy Cross Primary School and the most wonderful group of fun-loving, dedicated students.
And they needed some help!
While the kids were on summer break, the Ka’ana team stepped in to build them new restrooms in the schoolhouse and a cover for their small garden.
The best part? Now that they’re back in school, we can start our “green days” program to teach them how to keep their garden growing beautifully! As we know from our own on-site organic garden, there’s nothing like growing your own healthy goodies.
Continue Fighting or Settle? The ongoing BTL Saga by: Aria Lightfoot
The Belize Telecommunications Limited now Belize Telemedia Limited has existed in Belize for decades and arguably one of the highest income/profit generators of any other business entity that currently exists in Belize. The profitability of the BTL has translated into financial and political manipulation resulting in one of the worst parasitic, unscrupulous and corruptive investment environment during the Musa years. The high level of questionable business and legal practices; the backroom wheeling and dealing by Belize’s elected officials; the historical fire sale of BTL’s assets escapes the memory of quite a few people and therefore the discussion has been reduced to sound bites, innuendos and further manipulation of the complex issues.
The previous caretakers had complete and wanton disregard for the people of Belize. A very powerful investor manipulated elected officials into creating an atmosphere of corruption unseen in Belize’s history. So bad was the level of corruption that the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court, used very strong language to describe the secret accommodation agreement. The CCJ described the ministers behavior as “repugnant”. The court further described our political leaders actions as “malignant tumors”, malignant tumors on our democracy potentially setting back Belize’s democracy by some three hundred years. With no shame as to how he acquired BTL, the very same investor represented by prominent politically tied attorneys of the previous adminstration, seemed hell bent at destroying Belize’s economic and investment climate after nationalization. Like a big bully who was put in his place, he had a lot of money, legal prowess and minions to accomplish just that.
Force Ripe Baby
This is important. It is about domestic violence/ violence and abuse of women and girls in Belize. It is not pretty, and it is long, but I ask your attention.
“Every woman is entitled to the free and full exercise of her civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and may rely on the full protection of those rights as embodied in regional and international instruments on human rights. The States Parties recognize that violence against women prevents and nullifies the exercise of these rights.” Article 5, BELEM DO PARA CONVENTION 1994
This starts and ends with personal anecdotes but it is not about me. It is about the abuse that women in our Jewel have endured and still endure. It is about a culture, and it cuts across all classifications, ethnicity, economic class, education level, rural/urban. This does not present solutions. It is meant as provocation.
This is about unmasking. It is about facing our evil because I think we have lived with it so long, we don’t even really see it anymore.
U.S. Targets Tax Evaders Using Belize Accounts
U.S. law-enforcement officials are targeting undeclared accounts in Belize-based banks in an expansion of their hunt for U.S. taxpayers who are hiding money abroad, the Justice Department said.
This week, Judge Ursula Ungaro of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami authorized the Internal Revenue Service to serve “John Doe” summonses on Bank of America NA and Citibank NA, seeking information about U.S. taxpayers with accounts at Belize Bank International Ltd., Belize Bank Ltd. or Belize Corporate Services.
According to the Justice Department statement, the three Belize entities are subsidiaries of BCB Holdings Ltd.
The Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. units aren’t accused of wrongdoing. Federal authorities can use information from correspondent accounts that the U.S. banks maintained for the Belizean entities to trace people who may be evading U.S. taxes.
Sponges akin to redwoods of the sea crowding out corals on Florida reefs
Study shows giant barrel sponges up 122 percent in 12 years.
The sponges live for centuries and provide critical food and shelter.
But at six feet in diameter, they leave little room for reef-building coral. In the absence of coral on Florida’s ailing reefs, a titan of the sea is taking over: giant barrel sponges.
Big as a bathtub, the redwoods of the reef can live for centuries and grow to six feet in diameter. For a healthy reef, a single sponge can provide both plentiful housing and dependable sanitation, with a menagerie of marine life finding food and shelter inside a cavernous barrel that also filters huge volumes of seawater.
But in the wake of massive coral die-off in the 1970s and 80s, a new study has found a dramatic increase in sponges threatens to collapse the foundation of the complex ecosystem.
The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology in August, found that over 12 years, sponges off Conch Key increased by 122 percent, taking up 39 percent more reef. In some areas, the number of baby sponges increased by 600 percent.
“If they’re all that there is, the reefs will flatten out and decay,” said study co-author Joseph Pawlik, a marine biologist at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. “As long as they’re holding the space — and they can live hundreds of years — they won’t give that space up to the coral.” While researchers only documented the rise in the Florida Keys, Pawlik said he has seen the spread all over the Caribbean, from Belize to Tobago.
“We think the exact same thing is happening everywhere in the Caribbean,” he said.
Cuban envoy to U.S. presents diplomatic credentials to be ambassador to Obama
The chargé d'affaires at the Cuban Embassy in the United States, José Cabañas, on Thursday presented his diplomatic credentials as ambassador to U.S. President Barack Obama in a new step toward the normalization of diplomatic relations.
Obama received the credentials of Cabañas and Mexico's new ambassador to the United States, Miguel Basañez, along with those of 14 other chiefs of mission in Washington, D.C., according to a White House statement.
In addition, Obama received the new ambassadors from Belize, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Denmark, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Tanzania, Romania, Finland, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Scotiabank Wins Award
Scotiabank is celebrating a regional sweep of Global Finance Magazine’s Best Digital Bank Awards for 2015, winning the prestigious recognition in St. Lucia and 21 other countries.
This is the 6th year in a row in which Scotiabank St. Lucia has won the award (formerly the Best Internet Bank Award).
“We are very proud to have been recognized by Global Finance for the quality of our digital banking and customer service in St. Lucia and across the Eastern Caribbean,” said David Noel, Managing Director of Scotiabank Caribbean East. “At Scotiabank one of our priorities is to make it easier for our customers to do business with us. We’ve put a lot of work into developing our multichannel, digital platform so that our customers can bank when and where they want.”
Scotiabank received Best Digital Bank recognitions in all nine countries in the Bank’s Caribbean East district – Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Further across the region, Scotiabank also won the award in the Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos and the US Virgin Islands.
Little time left to act on US tax bill
The Caribbean has just 18 congressional working days from Sunday September 20 to try to have the US Congress or the District of Colombia address an act naming 17 Caribbean nations as “tax havens”. If passed without amendment it could have the effect of reputationally damaging the countries concerned with unpredictable trade, financial, and economic consequences.
The background is a little complicated.
Under the terms of the US Constitution, the District of Columbia, which of course includes that nation’s capital, is able to govern its local affairs, but has to submit its legislation for the agreement of Congress. This provision, which has its origins in events in Washington in 1788, grants the US legislature exclusive jurisdiction over the District in “all cases whatsoever” in order to provide for the maintenance and safety of the capital.
This means that in practice any Act passed by the Federal District has to be sent to Congress for oversight by Committees of both houses. In the case of budgetary bills, there is a period of 30 working days during which “active approval” is required.
Roseate Spoonbill, 1min. Filmed at Crooked Tree Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize, April, 2015.
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, 5min. Filmed at Chan Chich Lodge, Belize, April, 2015.
Black-and-white Warbler, 25sec. Filmed near Chan Chich Lodge, Belize, April, 2015.
Hooded Warbler, 1min. Filmed at Chan Chich Lodge, Belize, April, 2015.
Tody Motmot, 2min. Filmed at Chan Chich Lodge, April, 2015
Glossy Ibis, .5min. Filmed on a Bird's Eye View Lodge boat tour of the Crooked Tree Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize, April, 2015.
White-whiskered Puffbird, 1min.
Common Pauraque, .5min.
Collared Trogon, .5min.
Gartered Trogon, .5min.
A nice morning with Boat-billed Herons, 8min. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary - Belize. This small colony of Boat-billed Herons has been using this same area in Cockscomb for many years now. I always like to pay them a visit. Their appearance rather reminds me of a cross between two fictional characters. Their black "hair style" reminds me of the alien in the "Predator" movie series. And their bill reminds me of, and you have to be pretty old to remember this one, "Ollie" the dragon from the very old "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" program in the early days of TV. I used to watch it as a child. Anyway, these birds are amazing and a favorite of mine.
Belize - Summer 2015, 4min. Our trip to Belize in summer 2015. Adventures included kayaking, ziplining, cave tubing, and more!
Tull Rea Down in the Boondocks Average Joe's San Pedro, Belize, 7min.