Today's Belize News: November 26, 2015
11/26/15 06:18 AM
11/26/15 06:18 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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
Full Moon rising over San Pedro Town
There’s truly not much that can beat this view. Enjoy walks along the beach and enjoy the cool breeze of the evening as the full moon rises over the waters of Ambergris Caye. Food vendors set up their stalls and heat up the grill as they begin to prepare the much desired “street treats” that will have customers flocking each stall for their desired share of tacos, bacon wrapped hot dogs, tacos and more.
This is the falling of dusk on La Isla Bonita!
Bahia Fest Fashion Show benefits Camp Starfish
On Friday, November 20th, The Caribbean Villas Hotel in San Pedro Town was the venue for Bahia Fest, a high end fashion show sponsored and hosted by Mujer Total, a Mexican based Magazine dedicated to women. Original fall and winter designs were showcased along the runway before an adoring audience of fashionistas. The charity event included an admission fee from which part of the proceeds would benefit Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish. Camp Starfish is an organization dedicated to helping special needs children on the island via an annual camp, with volunteers from all over the world, including physical therapists, speech therapists among other professionals. The international fashion show started shortly after 7PM with the first of three segments. Belizean and Mexican models began gracing the runway featuring ‘La Maria” clothing line, by designer Maria Perez. This line was inspired by Mexican traditional culture. The different pieces portrayed the works of different designers and artists on cotton, linens, silk, canvas and leather. The collection is very limited, but they were beautifully crafted and stunningly handmade.
David Nanes Schnitzer missing after getting bail: COLA demands action from the Government
17 days after being apprehended in connection with one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, 47-year-old David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer has not only received bail but is also nowhere to be found. Nanes Schnitzer, who was the president of Stanford Group Mexico overseeing operations in Mexico, Panama and other parts of Latin America, and believed to have defrauded over a thousand Mexican investors, had been in custody of the Belize Police Department up to Friday, November 20th. But Supreme Court Judge Denis Hanomansingh granted him bail of $10,000 during his last court hearing, even after Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith had denied him bail twice, as he presents a high flight risk. Now, Nanes Schnitzer is nowhere to be found, and police believe he has fled the country. Being out on bail for forgery required Nanes Schnitzer to surrender all his travelling documents and report to the San Pedro Police Statin twice a week, which he has not done as yet. The leading argument for granting him bail was that he is has businesses in Belize that tie him to the country. Some of his businesses include several properties on Ambergris Caye, a condo development in Hopkins Village and various active bank accounts.
Since then, authorities have not issued any confirmation as to the whereabouts of Nanes Schnitzer, and according to San Pedro Police, they do not believe he is back on the island. Many speculated that he has left the country, violating his bail agreement and is once again on INTERPOL’s wanted list. But whether Nanes Schnitzer left the country or remains here, he is in violation of court orders.
Cruise passenger drowns at Shark Ray Alley
Caye Caulker Police have reported a drowning incident that occurred on Tuesday, November 17th. According to initial investigations, 61-year-old American National from Texas, USA, Karl Edwin Simmons suffered an accident while snorkeling on Shark Ray Alley within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which resulted in his death. Currents in the area caused him to drift and guides later found him floating face down. Simmons was immediately transported to the Caye Caulker Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 12:45PM. Even though a postmortem examination has certified the cause of death as “asphyxiation by drowning”, police investigations are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.
SHINE benefits from Sunset to Stars Dinner Fundraiser
On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) and SHINE (Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment) hosted yet another successful fundraising event in San Pedro. With proceeds benefitting youth enrichment, the Sunset to Stars fundraising dinner was a truly spectacular night of good food, drink and great company. The event was held at Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace just two miles north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, with over 100 persons in attendance.
Guests started to arrive as early as 5:30PM where they were greeted with live music and delicious hors d’oeuvres served by friendly Rain waiters. During the cocktail hour, attendees mingled and took time to view some of the various items on sale, such as handcrafted jewelry and art pieces. 10% of the proceeds from all beverages consumed at the cash bar went directly towards SHINE’s second semester program, where 15 young ladies are benefitting from a personal growth and development curriculum.
Misc Belizean Sources
Consejo Road grading
If you are driving on the Consejo Road, please be cautious of a grader and roller working on that road.
This is a good time for those in authority to mitigate the Consejo Road situation. It may be a good time to consider drainage and paving it!
Let's make it a challenge.
Cayo Mural Unveiling
The Cayo Mural is almost finished! It looks amazing so far. The big unveiling is this Friday, November 27th, at 4:00pm. Galen University is hosting the grand event. Here are some current pictures.
"In the summer of 2015, a Special Topics community-based art course was taught at Galen by Ms. Pilato where students learned design principles and painting techniques as well as how to participate in civic and community relations... From across the country and internationally, over 175 people ranging in ages from 7-71, joined Ms. Pilato and the Galen Students in studio space donated by St. Andrews Anglican church to help paint."
Posters promoting the Chiquibul
FCD’s Environmental Educator, Justin Pook and Mount Carmel Primary School teachers with posters promoting the Beauty of the Chiquibul!
New Horizon 7th Day Adventist School celebrates thanksgiving by presenting Harvest Day
The Lions Club announcing the eye testing program
All kids from all schools in San Pedro will get the opportunity to get tested free of cost.
There is real benefit to coconut oil
In this newly published lab study, lauric acid (coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid) killed over 93% of human colon cancer cells (Caco-2) after 48 hours of treatment. Intriguingly, the lauric acid poisoned the cancer cells by simultaneously unleashing profound oxidative stress while strongly reducing their levels of glutathione (which is exactly what the cancer cells needed to protect themselves from the increased oxidative stress).
Puma on Ambergris Caye
Regarding the abundance of wildlife on San Pedro worth protecting, this video was taken by a security cam in 2013 on the road far north of San Pedro Town. This has been confirmed as a puma. With the development rapidly coming to the natural reserve on the north of the island, it's imperative that the conservation community works to protect this habitat. We have seen a puma and ocelot in our backyard in Basil Jones, N. Ambergris. We boarder on the Bacalar Chico Reserve and Park and see many animals.
Inner tube float off Caye Caulker
Island tubing today... departs a 4 pm see the sunset and enjoy the views of Caye Caulker.
Chester Clyde Williams now an attorney
Please join me in saying congrats to Sr. Supt. Chester Clyde Williams who officially this morning was "called to Bar", making history in becoming the 7th Police Officer to be a train Attorney in the Belize Police Department and he is the first highest ranked today!! Congrats Boss Man
BEL and Hand in Hand Ministries Partner to Provide a Home for 3rd Consecutive Year
A Belize City family of four, today received keys to a new house from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and Hand in Hand Ministries (HHM) under HHM’s “Building for Change” program. The 16’ by 16’ wooden house, complete with electrical installations and plumbing facilities was donated by BEL and constructed primarily through volunteer work by BEL employees.
Recipient, Ms. Angela Bennett, is a mother of 3 children ages 8, 9 and 13, residing on Police Street, who expressed, “It’s really a dream come true. I am a single mother and I do not have the finance to build a new house. Thanks to God because I will be in my new house for Christmas with my children. A major thanks to BEL and Hand in Hand for making my dream come true.”
The family was selected based on HHM’s criteria, which requires beneficiaries of donated houses to display a commitment to community involvement and also participate in the building of their homes. VIDEO
Being deep in the field doing bird surveys, is not an excuse not to have an espresso...
U.S. Embassy 8th Annual Artisan Fair
On Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 the U.S. Embassy will host its 8th annual Artisan Fair. Vendors from all over Belize will offer their beautiful crafts, jewelry and art for sale. Please join us!!!
Paradise Theater: Playing this weekend!
Alleged Human Trafficker Charged
It took Orange Walk police a few days, but they today finalized the charges against alleged human trafficker, 33 year old Guatemalan Rosa Anita Garcia. She’s the owner of Dominguez Bar in Orange Walk Town where she allegedly held two women – a mother and daughter – captive, and then twice forced the younger woman to have sex with bar patrons against her will. The waitress forced into prostitution was then told that if she didn’t do it – her two children in Guatemala would be killed. Garcia also allegedly locked the pair up in the bar during the day, and didn’t pay them anything for their work. IT’s a report that has exposed the face of human trafficking – and today Garcia was arraigned on a pair of trafficking charges; these are sexual exploitation and forced labour under the trafficking in persons act. She was remanded to jail until the 27th. January. She also faces immigration charges for being in the country illegally.
BWSL Workers Win Wrongful Termination Suit
You may remember the 6 former employees of Belize Water Services Limited who have been battling what they believed was wrongful termination from the country’s water company. The official reason was redundancy, but they were convinced that the corporate bosses were only firing them due to letters and emails which were circulated about sex scandals and intrigues within the company.
Well, today, after 2 years and 9 months, they were finally vindicated by the Supreme Court. Justice Michelle Arana has ruled that they were wrongfully terminated. That’s after a full trial where their former bosses were called to testify and withstand tough cross-examinations from their attorneys.
Shortly after the judge delivered the ruling, we were outside of court to speak with one of their attorneys about the implications of the judgment:
Rt. Hon. Said Musa, SC - Attorney for Mark Menzies
"Our clients were successful, all of them in their case against BWS for wrongful termination of their services. In other words they were wrongfully dismissed why the water company but the judge ruled in their favour and left the issue of damages to be assets at a later date."
Unemployment Is Down, 6K new jobs
Labour Force Surveys are carried out in April and September – and usually these figures reflect seasonality of the labour force – meaning that in April when tourism is still in season – the unemployment is low – but in September, when the season is off, the unemployment is high. But this year is unusual because the unemployment figures released today show hardly any difference between April and September. The Statistical Institute of Belize released the latest figures – and they show unemployment at 10.2% in September, meaning 5,900 more people were working when compared ot last year at the same time. The Director General said that the increased employment of women is what’s bridging the gap:…
"As far as the unemployment rate, we estimated a 10.2% in September, that's the current estimate. The country has a couple highs, a high 15.2 in Stann Creek and 14.0 in Cayo. This compares with September 2014 for the country, this is a 12.2% in September 2014, so it's down by almost 2 percentage points. But when I look at the numbers, I think the females are driving these numbers. Unemployment is down for females, the unemployed persons are down by 3,039. I think the females are the ones who are driving the decreasing in unemployment rates."
Since July, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams the police officer trying to tackle the gang violence situation Belize City through Community Policing. Well tonight, meet Chester Williams, the attorney. He was called to the bar today, meaning he is officially admitted to practice law by the Chief Justice. His senior, Edwin Flowers made the application in court on his behalf.
And, it’s not only a big deal for Williams, who becomes on the 7th police officer in the Department’s history to be called to the Bar. To note the importance, His Minister, John Saldivar, and his other boss, Police Commissioner Allen Whylie, both attended, along with the top brass of Police Eastern Division.
After he had taken the oath a legal practitioner, and he had signed the documents finalizing it, we met him outside of court to discuss his elevation.:
Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, Esq. - Can Now Practice Law
"Thanks to all those persons who assisting me getting where I am today, including my attorney Mr. Flowers who did the honour of bringing me before the court and having me admitted to the bar and to be able to practice law in Belize. I must say that I'm humbled to be a member of this noble profession, a class of very limited people. And as I enter into this new profession, I will continue to do my best in the way I perform my duties as a police officer. And I will use my knowledge and experience to assist the Belize Police Department."
Inflation Down, GDP Too
Earlier we told you how unemployment is down to 10.2% for September – which is two percentage points lower than last year at the same time. But there were also other important figures coming out of today’s 80-minute press conference held by the Statistical Institute of Belize. First off, inflation was down by 0.8%, imports were up by 3.5% and in the third quarter, the economy contracted, with GDP growth of negative 1%. Here’s a full rundown:
Angelita Campbell - Statistician II, SIB
"The inflation rate for the month of October stands at a -0.8% and what that is simply saying is on average, prices are 0.8% lower that of last year."
"The food and all items had very minimal movement but when you take a closer look at the fuel index, we realise since the start of this year we had an increase of fuel prices up until around June then we start seeing a decline in the fuel prices."
"Within the food index we saw beef going up by roughly 29%. There was also an increase in pork, eggs and fruits. Those increases were offset by a decline of red kidney beans of roughly 32% also a decline in vegetables."
16 Days Of Activism: Making The Message Painfully Real
Step up to end Gender- Based Violence NOW!! That’s the theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism. This evening at the Battlefield Park the Women’s Issues Network launched this initiative with a candle light vigil and a march. This event is to remember the women who lost their lives due to domestic violence and to get everyone engaged on this issue. Program Coordinator Sheena Gentle explained to us that it’s more than just a woman’s matter.
"This year there is step up to end gender based violence now and of course this is very important and especially in this year we've seen a lot of women who have died at the hands of their lovers at the hands of their boyfriends, ex-husbands and so on. So it's very important for us to now look at it seriously and end gender based violence, end violence against women, end sexual violence. What we do need to do is advocate for policies and laws to be enforced so that perpetrators are given stiffer penalties. So that we can at least see that there is a reason for them not to do it, instead of given them a slap on the wrist and then they just let free or they're not even charged with anything.
When Santander was building its sugar mill in the Valley of Peace area, more than once we reported on the flood of Central American workers being brought in to work when Belizean labour was available. But, it turned out that much of that imported labour comprised certified welders – because there aren’t enough of them in Belize. Sure, we have a lot of welder, but they aren’t certified.
Fabrigas Belize, sought to do something about that with the help of Belize Natural Energy and the Ministry of Education.
Through the collaboration of these 3 organizations, career welders are well into a 2 week training which will see them become certified as professionals who have met standards set by the American Welding Society (AWS). Today, we stopped by to speak with the instructor about the progress they’ve made:
Making History Matter
In 2013, Saint John’s College embraced the teaching of Maya and African History – and today the Jesuit High School launched a fully developed curriculum for those programs. It may sound arcane, but it’s a singular accomplishment for a history programme in Belize; to build it from the ground up– complete with textbooks, syllabus documents and a website in two years. Today, the head of the history department officially handed it over to the school administration, and, in fact, to the world – since everything can be accessed online. Here’s how the crafters of the programme explained it:…
Yasser Musa - Head of History Department, SJC
"Formally presents the first form curriculum, African and Mayan history and the second form curriculum, Belizean history. To our principal of St. John's College, Ms. Yolonda Gongora; in addition to the curricula, we will also present the accompanying e-readers or books; of course these elements of education are connected to our online Belize history sjc.com website, our online classroom. These documents come from a space of burning, today we present paper but as contributions to the hard work of education, culture and history."
Delmer Tzib - History Teacher, SJC
"The main theme behind it is basically to have the students learn history from the perspective of the oppressed. We try to empower the students in the class for them to question. In other words there is a lot more Socratic methods of teaching whereby the students have the power to question whatever they want to question. In doing so, they begin to question or they begin to internalize what the colonial masters use to teach us and how that has created mental slavery in our society"
A Birthday For The Birds: Harpy And Friends At The Zoo
Panama the Harpy Eagle is a star at the Belize Zoo – and this very important predator’s birthday can never pass without a celebration. So the Belize Zoo Team planned a party for Panama and they invited the kids from St. Joseph Primary School and a group of 1 st formers from Wesley College. But the kids weren’t the only ones who came to pay Panama a visit – he also had some surprise guests who just…flew in. Courtney Weatherburne found out more....
Usually a Harpy Eagle like this would be out in the wild, soaring across the sky with its 6 foot wing span and powerful talons -hunting for prey. But this one – Panama - is comfortably perched on this tree branch keenly listening to the serenaders below.
All that singing is for his 12th Birthday, and just like every year, city kids are invited to come and celebrate with him.
But today is more than just a birthday celebration; it’s an event to highlight the significance of these raptors.
Jamal Andrewin - Environmental Educator, Belize Zoo
"So Harpy Eagles as we know are just raptors in Belize. So they represent a huge group, a category of birds, the birds of prey, the raptors that are very important in our culture as well as in the economy. As part of tourism, birding is a huge thing and it's growing every day. People come to Belize specifically sometimes just to see birds, to do birding.
BEL Hand In Hand With Homebuilders
Yesterday, we showed you how Unicomer - Courts - was among the first corporate citizens to start off the gift giving season. Belize Electricity Limited joined them today when they handed over a brand new house to Police Street Resident Angela Bennett.
We stopped by and found out how the Electricity Company worked with Hand in Hand Ministries to provide this family their new home. Here’s what Bennett, the recipient, had to say:
The house was constructed in 4 days.
The Best, The Brightest, The Youngest
The Twenty-first Annual CXC National Awards Ceremony was held today at the Stann Creek Ecumenical College Auditorium in Dangriga. Scores of families of exceptional students from all over the country headed south for the event which was designed to pay tribute to the bets, the brightest and the youngest. Education Minister Patrick Faber welcomed the students:
Nisa Sánchez attended Edward P. Yorke High School.
The Belize Open scholarship is valued at two hundred thousand dollars.
GSU Got Sadiki
3 men were charged with gun and drug offenses after the GSU found a .380 caliber pistol and weed at house at the 8 mile community. This afternoon around 3, GSU searched 20 year old Shakidi Baizer’s house and found the .380 caliber pistol containing a magazine with 6 live rounds of ammunition. They also found a plastic bag with small parcels of weed. Baizer along with 18 year old Sherman Samuels and a 17 year old were arrested and charged for the offence of Kept Unlicensed Firearm and Kept Unlicensed Ammunition and Possession of a controlled Drug.
UNDP And Police Find Common Goals
Our next story is about The Evidence Based Information Management And Citizen Security In Central America Project. That’s a mouthful, right? And that’s why it’s called INFOSEGURA. Through this programme, UNDP, with support from USAID handed over a bunch of computers to the Ministry of National security. IT will be used to build a crime observatory:..
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Former BWS Employees
In February of 2013, six Belize Water Services employees were terminated for redundancy, or at least that was the official company story. Those employees claimed that it was victimization, though, [...]
…Will Utility Company Appeal Decision?
It was a triumphant moment for the six employees who have faced real hardship following and based on their termination from the utility company. Today, they told us that against [...]
Chester Williams is Called to the Bar
The hierarchy and rank and file of the Belize Police Department were out in force at the Supreme Court this morning. The occasion wasn’t a high profile case, but to [...]
Top Cop is Seventh Officer-Turned-Lawyer
Williams says that he has no intention to leave the Police Department at this time and plans are in place to recognize his achievement through a promotion and salary adjustment. [...]
Ibrahim Smith Gets 7 Years for Possession of Stolen Shotgun
While Senior Superintendent Chester Williams was being called to the bar this morning, twenty-three-year-old Ibrahim Smith was being put away behind bars after being sentenced to seven years in prison. [...]
SIB Releases Consumer Price Index for October 2015
The Consumer Price Index for the month of October 2015 has been released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. Those figures, as well as data pertaining to inflation rates by [...]
…Imports are Up, Exports are Down
The External Trade Bulletin for October reflects a three and a half percent increase in goods imported into the country, while domestic exports are down by as much as sixteen [...]
What are the Contributing Factors to Decline?
As previously mentioned, exports for the month of October 2015 totaled thirty-seven million dollars, a majority of those goods being shipped to the United States and the European Union, respectively. [...]
16 Days of Activism Launched in Belize
Today, organizations dedicated to the protection of women and children collaborated to launch Sixteen Days of Activism. It’s an annual initiative designed to draw focus on gender-based violence which affects [...]
Is Posting Nude Pics An Act of Violence Against Women?
There has also been much attention drawn to another form of violence against women, that of posting nude pictures on the internet and in social media. By no means is [...]
Child Rights Ambassadors Chosen
Since its inception, the National Committee for Families and Children, NCFC, has been championing the rights, welfare and development of Belizean families and children. The statutory body is legally mandated [...]
3-day Training Commences for CRC Ambassadors
About fifteen ambassadors from across the country were shortlisted and then chosen to represent the NCFC across the country. Following the three-day training that ends this Friday, the new ambassadors [...]
Welding Instructors Get Certified
A first-of-its-kind Welding Certification Training Course has been taking place at the ITVET Compound in Belize City. A joint initiative between Fabrigas, Belize Natural Energy, BELTRAIDE and the Ministry of [...]
The Belize Zoo Celebrates Panama’s Birthday
The spectacled owl, the black hawk-eagle and the harpy eagle are three predatory birds that exist in Belize’s ecosystem. Their species are being conserved here in Belize since they are [...]
Angela Bennett Receives Keys to a New Home
A mother of three is the recipient of a new home that was erected over the weekend by Hand in Hand Ministries and Belize Electricity Limited. Angela Bennett, a resident [...]
B.E.L. and Hand in Hand Ministries Come Thru for Single Mother
B.E.L.’s community outreach focuses on contributions that improve the quality of life for Belizeans. According to Customer Care Manager Celina Gill, the company is committed to good corporate citizenship. [...]
Re: Today's Belize News: November 26, 2015
11/26/15 06:18 AM
11/26/15 06:18 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Woman Changes Plea And Fined Two Thousand Dollars For Drug Possession Simplicitor
On Friday 20th of March 2015, at about 11:00am, members of the Orange Walk Quick Response Team were conducting a mobile patrol on Royal Palm Street, Orange Walk Town, when they spotted a Silver Kia car speeding off from in front of a house known to sell drugs.
Police set chase after the vehicle and caught up with the driver on Liberty Avenue.
The passenger of the vehicle identified herself as Lavern Herrera Trujillo, Belizean housewife of Caracol Street, Orange Walk Town. She immediately told police that she had about three ounces but it was for her to put in alcohol.
Trujillo then handed over to authorities a black plastic bag containing green leafy substance consistent with marijuana. As a result she was placed under arrest and escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station where the drugs were weighed and amounted 114.0 grams.
Lisa Shoman Discusses Her Possible Candidacy As party Leader
Senator Lisa Shoman, word is she is aspiring to run as a candidate for the Leader of the Opposition seat which is up for grabs. To date there are five names in the bag for the position: John Briceno, Cordel Hyde, Kareem Musa, Julius Espat and Lisa Shoman who would become the first woman to enter the race for party leadership.
So, will Shoman run or not? And most importantly, does she have what it takes to steer the ship of the oldest political party in Belize? Here is what the Senator told our colleagues at Channel Seven News yesterday about her possible candidacy.
"It's a job that no woman in Belize to my knowledge has ever aspire for either of the 2 mass political parties. But I think it is an idea whose time has come, not just because I am a woman, but because I have invested my time, my energy, my dedication into this party and I care very deeply about the People's United Party. Not just as an opposition, but as a potential future administration of the country and so I think the time has come to think a little bit outside the box..."
Importation up In Belize Says SIB
As mentioned at the top of the newscast, the Statistical Institute of Belize, today released its latest economic statistics among them the October 2015 External Trade statistics.
The report shows that Belize’s total imports for the month of October 2015 were valued at $184.2 million. This was an increase of 3.5 percent or $6.2 million over last October’s imports, which were valued at almost $178 million.
Two thirds of all the goods imported during the month consisted of machinery, equipment, manufactured items, and goods for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’. Goods destined for the ‘Export Processing Zones’ grew by $5 million from $9 million to $13 million, due to large purchases of steam turbines.
Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, and ‘Food and Live Animals’ both rose by $4 million, with purchases of personal vehicles, portable radio telephones and various food items all rising in comparison to October 2014. Increased steel purchases resulted in a $2 million increase in ‘Manufactured Goods’ during the month. Imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and the category of ‘Mineral and Fuels and Lubricants’ experienced the largest declines for the month, at $9 million and $5 million, respectively.
Belize Celebrates 16 Days Of Activism
Domestic Violence is unfortunately an increasing issue in our country. Today the Women’s Department launched the 16 Days of Activism to promote awareness on the issue. Activities will be held countrywide to educate the public as well as to celebrate the role of women in our communities. Sixteen days of activism is an international campaign to empower women to break the silence, says Program Coordinator for Women’s Issues Centre of Belize, Sheena Gentle.
“The sixteen days of activity is something that is done internationally, it is an international campaign and each year most countries around the world celebrate it at the same time as we do so this is something that we have been doing for some year now in Belize and each year we have a different theme and so this year theme is to Settle to end gender base violence, I would like to let everyone to know men and women that domestic violence end with us we have that decision to make to end it and we can help our friends that they can do that and that we are here to support them that they can talk to us that they can come out it is never too late for them to step out of a bad situation because if we don’t want them to end up a lot of the time these men know that they do intent to hurt them and so that is what we want women to understand that there is a way out and it is never too late to break the silence around that .”
Councillor Speaks On Importance Of Celebrating Youth Week
“Make a dream work with team work”, that is the theme for this year’s Youth Week scheduled from November 29th to December 6th 2015.
As mentioned last night, Youth Week offers our younger generation an opportunity to express their ideas and views and act on issues that affect their daily lives.
While the week offers youths and opportunity for their voices to be heard, what about those who have no voice? This is what we should think about during Youth Week, says Licia Castillo, Counselor at Technical High School.
“The minute I start see a youth in a negative life we have lost, we have to think that there is still hope; you walk the streets, you ride the streets and you notice that we have a lot of young people on the streets who are not going to school, who are involved in gangs and who are involved in drugs and really and truly we have a lot of lost teenagers out there, we need to see what we can do for them and for the smaller kids to encourage them to realize that there isn’t what we want them to be, so during youth week we big up the ones that are working towards a future but we also need to bring in the other ones who have lost their sense of purpose and direction.”
Rosa Anita Garcia Charged For Sexual Exploitation And Forced Labor
Thirty three year old Rosa Anita Garcia, Guatemalan National and owner of Dominguez Bar located on Otro Benque Road, Orange Walk Town, will be spending Christmas and New Years behind bars. Today, Garcia was hauled to the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where she was charged for sexual exploitation and forced labor under the trafficking in persons act, by the Orange Walk Police Department. Since the matter is an indictable one, Garcia was denied bail and remanded to prison until January 27th 2016.
Garcia faces a slew of offences as she has also been charged with failure to comply with conditions of a visitor’s permit, to which she pled guilty for not undergoing a monthly renewal of her permit and failure to comply with conditions subject to which a permit has been granted, to which she pled not guilty in relation to allegations that she had been illegally engaged in employment here in Belize, by the Immigration Department.
SICB Declares Tentative Opening Of Crop Season 2015/2016
December 7th, that is the tentative date for the opening of the 2015/2016 Crop Season. A release issued by the Sugar Industry Control Board late yesterday evening, states that if weather and road conditions permit, the crop will commence on December 7th. We understand that the date was set on the 20th of November during a meeting held at the Sugar Industry Control Board between the three associations and BSI/ASR.
While initially the tentative date for commencement of crop was November 30th, reports are the date changed due to the weather.
But while a date has been set, there is still no resolution when it comes to the first price estimate which BSI/ASR puts at $41.56 per ton, 21% less than last year. The cry is that, at this figure, cane farmers will be crippled, especially the small ones. But BSI/ASR has indicated that there is no room for an increase as the estimated price is based on the price of sugar in the European Union's Market.
Exportation Continuous To Decline In Belize
If we look at exports, the report shows that the total domestic exports for October 2015 amounted to $37.9 million, down 15.8 percent or $7.1 million when compared to last October’s exports of $45 million.
Crude petroleum, marine and banana sales, which together accounted for almost three quarters of export revenues in October 2014, all declined for the month, contributing only a half of total exports in October 2015. Crude petroleum dropped by more than a half, from $11 million to $5 million. Diminished marine exports, owing to reduced farm shrimp sales, fell from $11 million to $7 million.
Additionally, banana exports experienced a $2 million drop for the month, as sales abroad declined from $10 million to $8 million, owing to the exclusion of one banana farm. In contrast, both sugar and citrus exports were up, partially offsetting the decrease in other major exports for the month of October. According to SIB, Sugar sales grew by a considerable $7 million to $7.6 million while citrus sales rose by $2 million to $5 million, as orange concentrate exports continue to rebound.
Senior Superintendent Chester Williams called to the Bar of Association
On the news, he is usually referred to Senior Superintendent of Police, commanding the Eastern Division South but tonight we refer to him as Attorney-at-Law. Chester Clyde Williams was called to the Bar Association of Belize this morning where he was admitted by the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. Williams is now eligible to practice law […]
US Ambassador to Belize Joins in Int’l Day of Violence against Women
Also making his voice heard in the fight against violence is the US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno, who spoke on the orange message and the support from the embassy as well as their contribution to the 16 Days initiative. CARLOS MORENO “The United Nations Secretary General’s campaign Unite to end Violence against women has […]
Special Envoy speaks on abuse and violence of women
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow has been a firm advocate to ending violence against women and children. Today, she presented a speech in celebration of the works against gender based violence. Simplis-Barrow made special note of the various forms of abuse and violence experienced by women. KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “Violence against […]
Judge rules in favor of former BWS employees
More than two years ago we brought you the story of six former employees of Belize Waters Services Limited. Michael Novelo, Mark Menzies, Journett McKoy, Charlette Barnett, Don Gillett and Collin Morrison were given their walking papers in March of 2013 and were told that their posts have been redundant. However, the group of six […]
Five men busted in San Ignacio for drug trafficking
San Ignacio Police has opened a new drug trafficking case involving five persons who were detained just after midnight last night. Members of the Special Patrol Team or SPU were doing foot patrols within the Arenal Village in the Cayo District when their attention was drawn to a red sedan passing along an un-named street […]
Cane Farmers seek Government bail out
The Belize Sugar Cane Famers Association BSCFA held their annual general meeting in San Roman Village, Corozal where one of the key items on the agenda was the sugar price for this upcoming crop season. Following the drop in world sugar prices, BSI/ASR wrote to all three cane farmers associations in...
Fruit Vendor in Dangriga suspects manual workers robbing him
A vegetable and fruit stand was robbed in Dangriga during the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations. The owners of the Food Stand, Emid Correa and his wife , travel from Belmopan to Dangriga every market day to sell their fruits and vegetables at the market. This has been the second time that such a...
Shyne Wants to Shine in Mesopotamia
Will the Prime Minister’s son, Shyne Barrow, a former inmate and rapper who was named music Ambassador of Belize, become the next UDP representative for Mesopotamia? Reports reaching our news desk are that Moses “Shyne” Barrow, has expressed his interest in running for electoral politics in the area...
Hopkins concerned over Community health Clinic following woman’s death
The community of Hopkins is mourning the loss of one of their own who passed away last week in an emergency health situation that residents say borders negligence on the part of the health clinic in Hopkins. The patient, Ms. Daniela Mejia Sacasa, died right on the street in front of the PolyClinic ...
COLA, PUP attack Government over David Schnitzer case
The hunt appears to be on for David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer, the Mexican-American who also previously held Belizean nationality, which has since been revoked. Since being granted bail last week Friday by Supreme Court Justice Denis Hanomansingh, Schnitzer, who lived on Ambergris Caye, has not been se...
GOB commits $10,000 to TV Ramos bust
Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in Dangriga, announced that Government would make a “significant contribution” toward fundraising efforts to pay sculptor Stephen Okeke for his bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos, now residing in Dangriga. That contribut...
Women’s organizations promote education on gender based violence
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begins tomorrow, Wednesday, and the primary theme of the 2015 campaign is education on the issue. Beginning tomorrow morning in Belize City, attorneys will be offering first-come, first-served legal consultations to women in all municipalities and so...
Community police training
In other police news, today, 98 police officers assigned to community policing unit country wide attended a half day training seminar at the Belmopan Civic Center to discuss community policing matters and to install the newly appointed Officer in Command of the Community Policing unit Assistant Comm...
Teenager charged for attempted murder
Teenage bus conductor Jaron Baptist has been charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against Liston Myers, one of three men targeted early Sunday morning on Antelope Street Extension. 18 year old Baptist appeared in court today and was remanded by Senior Magistr...
Belize City man accused of attempted bank burglary
An unemployed man of Curl Thompson Street in Belize City was allegedly caught red handed exiting a hole made in the Atlantic Bank Collet building on Monday. Police have accused and charged 32 year old Malique Martinez with burglary with intent to steal. He caused over ten thousand dollars in damages...
Breaking Belize News
People’s United Party calls out government on Schnitzer case
A release issued by the People’s United Party (PUP), states that it is deeply dis-satisfied with the way international fugitive, David Schnitzer’s case was handled by the Ministries of National Security and Immigration, as he was released on bail and has not been located since. It goes on to mention […]
Several men and a minor busted for drug trafficking in Arenal
Yesterday around 12:05 a.m., members of the police’s Special Patrol Unit were doing routine foot patrol in Arenal Village, Cayo District, when they spotted a suspicious Mitsubishi Galant car that was traveling on an unnamed street when they signaled it to stop, using flashlights. The officers reported that instead of […]
One final look at General Elections
Now that the dust has cleared and the political gladiators have celebrated their triumphs and mourned their defeats the country is finally returning to a state of normalcy and business as usual after historic year of politics in Belize, which saw many unprecedented events. Four elections in one year: two […]
Where is David Schnitzer after he failed to show in San Pedro? Mexico and US wants answers for his absence
The hunt appears to be on for David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer, the Mexican-American who also previously held Belizean nationality, which has since been revoked. Since being granted bail last week Friday by Supreme Court Justice Denis Hanomansingh, Schnitzer, who lived on Ambergris Caye, has not been seen and […]
16 Charming Hotels in Belize Everyone Must Visit
Nestled at the south of the Yucatan peninsula facing the Caribbean Sea lies Belize, a country prized by locals and tourists alike for its beautiful coastlines, tropical jungles and impressive and luxury resorts.
These getaways from the hustle of everyday life are the perfect charming spots to unwind and take in everything this beautiful country has to offer.
In Belize the beaches is famous for its white or crystal beaches coastline that spread on the coastline. Many tourists or local tourist visit Belize because they want to enjoy part of the beach. But, since beaches has been bought and been privately owned by foreigners no one says anything. But, what is affecting us the most is everywhere in the world by cutting down mangroves causing more erosion. Erosion is caused along the coastline in Belize by higher water rising. It is affected country wide. One of the resorts in Hopkins that got affected a lot and lost its services was Coconut Row Resort in Hopkins Village. They claimed that beach erosion was washed out on months. Not only the south is affected by the erosions. Even the cayes of Belize are affected because of cutting down of mangroves.
Mangroves thrive in nutrient rich, silty water of varying salinity, sometimes dominating wetland areas as well. All four of the mangrove species native to the Caribbean, are found in Belize. In 1993 it was estimated that mangrove forests covered some 760 km2 of land area in Belize. Distribution is primarily along low-lying sections of coast and river banks, cayes, estuaries and coastal lagoons. The largest percentage of cover is found in the northern portions of the country and in the cayes, particularly the Turneffee Atoll.
Time for a New Environmentalism
Since the early years of the environmental movement, some voices within the movement have pointed out that fighting power plants, dams, deforestation, mining, and roads is a game of defense, one that can never be won. As the late environmentalist Peter Berg used to say, such fights are “like running a battlefield aid station in a war against a killing machine that operates just beyond reach, and that shifts its ground after each seeming defeat.” In the 30 years since Berg uttered those words, the killing machine has only grown in size and power; meanwhile the environmental movement has mostly failed to evolve its tactics to go on the offensive.
Thus, it is time to create a deeper environmentalism — one that can provide a vision of a sustainable future in which human well-being is achieved while restoring Earth’s bio-capacity. This will mean an environmental movement that crafts a multi-century strategy, not just annual campaign goals; that builds fellowship among supporters, not just signature lists; and that doesn’t go hat-in-hand every year to foundations and affluent individuals whose wealth is derived from the very system that needs to be dismantled. We need a movement that can learn from the most successful movements in history: missionary religious philosophical movements.
Missionary religions have rooted themselves across a variety of geographies, eras, and cultures, and today have billions of adherents. Religious philosophies offer something fundamental that the environmental movement has so far failed to provide: a way to understand the world and humans’ place in it, as well as how to behave in that world. Just as important, religious movements build committed communities of advocates — helping each other in times of need and celebrating and mourning together — and draw their resources and power directly from these communities.
Experience the Best of Belize With Haute Ambassador Nicole Isaacs
Belize was on the top of my travel bucket list for a while. I heard so many great things so I finally booked a trip to see the best the country has to offer. I usually squeeze in so many activities on a trip that it’s rarely relaxing, but this trip was different. I spent eight days there and took my time to explore the country, soak in the sun, and relax at its finest resorts. Needless to say, I came back to Los Angeles feeling refreshed and with a beautiful Belizean tan.
I started off my trip inland in the small rustic town of Saint Ignacio. A lot of travelers don’t visit the mainland, but I would recommend it—you get an entirely different feel of the country. I arrived in Belize City and took a private shuttle (only $45!) to Saint Ignacio, which is two hours away from the airport. There’s a ton to do in Saint Ignacio including visiting the Mayan ruin sites of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, jungle adventures like zip lining, cave tubing, and visiting the famous ATM Cave. Some of my highlights from Xunantunich and the ATM cave:
My Traveling Feet See Golfing in Their Future
Two weeks ago My Traveling Feet found themselves commuting to the private resort island of Caye Chapel where I met golf legend Greg Norman; I had no idea who he was until the opportunity came to meet him. Mexican developers who just recently bought the island have hired the now golf course designer and developer to create for them a unique golf course that will compliment the new resort design plans for the island. Construction is scheduled to commence by the end of next year.
Greg Norman is an Australian professional golfer and entrepreneur and renowned in the golfing industry for his reputation in designing many of the best golf courses in the world. He spent 331 weeks as the world’s Number 1 ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking in the 1980’s and 1900’s. Developers are investing $250Mil on the first phase of the project alone. This is BIG!!!
BIG and HUGE benefits for the tourism industry – Think about it! There are two major islands that are going to be developed into top luxury resorts; Caye Chapel being a top, high end luxury golf resort with endorsement and trademark by a top golfer and Blackadore Caye a luxury eco-friendly resort owned by mega-celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio. Both are promising to be eco-sensitive and I hope our authorities are on their heels to ensure they keep their promises of environmental protection.
2 hotel options in Chetumal Mexico
Mexico shopping trips are a common thing for those of us expats who are missing the option of choice and good, reasonably priced steak. While you can take a Tropic flight and land transfer or take the water taxi and come back the same day, many opt to stay overnight and extend the getaway a bit. I recommend this option if you plan on hitting the big 3 – Plaza Los Americas, Sam’s Club and Walmart. This way you can take your time and enjoy the food court at the mall and a nice dinner out instead of being rushed to catch return afternoon travel options.
On my last trip to Chetumal with friends, the couple opted for Hotel Los Cocos based on price which made perfect sense. They were only staying one night and not going to be in the room much other than to sleep. The pool was also a deciding factor for them. I was temped to book there as I liked the outside of the building, but when it came to the inside, it was looking a little basic for my mood. I looked up Fiesta Inn Chetumal which a couple of the Grand Caribe crew had recommended and knew instantly this was the colorful funky atmosphere I was looking for. I was also told that the beds at the other place were harder and if I wanted a good deal I should book it in advance. Being Low season I opted to “wing it” and see what happened and all worked out well.
17 Reasons to Take the Kids to Belize
We wish we could take credit for the name twist, but there’s a reason families who visit Belize call the country un-Belize-able. To prove it, we’ve listed 17 reasons to travel here with kids. Make the trip doubly enjoyable by putting your itinerary into the hands of an agency with years of experience planning family trips that suit all ages and stages—a reputable resource like Break Away Travel. These professionals know how to customize a visit and according to families they’ve assisted, their expertise shows.
1. Require journals. With the exception of pictures, your family adventure can fade fast, but if you give your kids journals and encourage them to record their experiences in Belize, these little books become family heirlooms!
2. Take the kids cave tubing where families float into mysterious chambers that set kid’s imaginations on fire.
3. Take a family camping trip to a deserted atoll (like the one Robinson Caruso found) and camp there for a night. Bring the book and read it aloud by the light of a campfire.
4. Show your children how dolphins, manatees and sharks live and flourish in their natural habitats. It’s time your kids learned that the ocean is home to creatures other than Nemo!
Ambergris Caye’s New Restaurants Going International…Two Tree Banh Mi, The Sandwiches I LOVE!
Now we have VIETNAMESE sandwiches right on the beach…and my LOVE of cilantro (I wrote a whole ode to it) and even deeper, NJ born and bred love of subs…hoagies…SANDWICHES…it was meant to be.
Two Tree Banh Mi, right on the beach in Boca Del Rio. A small menu, a simple stand and fresh flavorful deliciousness.
ISIS In Mexico Memes: Twitter Reacts To Threat From Terrorist Group
Today the world was shocked when ISIS made a new threat to the U.S. and its allies that are against the terrorist group. One of those countries mentioned was Mexico and social media quickly took the news to make light of it. Twitter users went on to create memes poking fun of the situation, showing off their heroes and the success or failure of a possible attack. In the time of holidays and when we are supposed to be loving, together and in peace, this message is extremely untimely, but leave to internet trolls to see the lighter side of things. These were some of the memes that were trending today:
Belize to host CXC governance meetings
Belize, the only Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) participating country in Central America, will host the 2015 annual governance meetings of CXC. The CXC governance meetings are held annually in one of the CXC participating countries. Belize last hosted a CXC governance meeting in 1993. The meeting of the School Examinations Committee, (SEC) will be held on Thursday 3 December 2015 and the 47th Meeting of the Council will be held on Friday 4 December at the Radisson Hotel. SEC deals with examinations and technical issues, while Council deals with administrative, staff and financial matters.
The Council meeting will be officially opened with a formal ceremony on Thursday 3 December in Belize City. During the opening ceremony, nine CAPE awardees and eight CSEC awardees from Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will be presented with the regional top awards.
US District Court Grants "John Doe" Summonses For Information Related To Off-Shore Accounts In Belize
On September 16, 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an order allowing the IRS to proceed with "John Doe" Summonses seeking information regarding US persons who hold offshore accounts at Belize Bank International Limited and Belize Bank Limited (the "Belize Banks").1 These summonses permit the IRS to seek records of the Belize Banks' correspondent accounts at Bank of America, N.A. and Citibank, N.A.
According to relevant court documents, the Belize Banks are known to "market their ability to provide secret banking services to foreign residents."2 The US petition also discusses Belize Corporate Services ("Corporate Services," and together with the Belize Banks, the "Belize Entities"), which has the same parent company as the Belize Banks and advertises its ability to create corporate entities, organized in Belize, that are used to hide the identity of account holders.3
A correspondent account is a bank account that one bank maintains for another bank. Typically, a foreign bank that does business in US dollars but does not have a US office will obtain a correspondent account in order to provide services to its US customers. Foreign correspondent banks, in this case the Belize Banks, and users of the correspondent accounts, such as Corporate Services, can potentially wire funds from the Belize Banks to their correspondent accounts at Bank of America and Citibank; or alternatively from the correspondent accounts at Citibank and Bank of America to the Belize Banks. The IRS believes that these John Doe Summonses will enable it to ascertain the identity of US taxpayers that it believes are using the Belize Entities and correspondent accounts to avoid their obligation to report and remit associated taxable income to the United States.
Blue Ventures Belize, Expedition 8-15, 4.5min. Just a short montage with some of the best bits from my time diving in Belize, both at Bacalar Chico and on the Blue Hole day with Franchise Diving in Caye Caulker. First time I've made one of these so apologies if its not quite on point, but hope you enjoy it anyway!
U.S. Embassy Belize - 16 Days Against Violence Against Women Campaign 2015 - Video 1, 1min. U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno support the United Nations Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women.
U.S. Embassy Belize - 16 Days Against Violence Against Women Campaign - Video 2, 2min. Domestic Violence Survivor Michelle Silva discusses her experience with domestic abuse for the U.S. Embassy Belize's 16 Days Against Violence Against Women campaign
U.S. Embassy Belize - 16 Days Against Violence Against Women - Video 3, 2min.
UN Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, 1min.
The United Nations Secretary-General's Campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women has proclaimed the 25th of each month as "Orange Day," a day to raise awareness and take action against violence against women and girls.
We at the U.S. Embassy Belmopan are answering the call this orange day by highlighting issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls.
Here is a message from Ambassador Moreno:
Eiden Salazar playing the drums like a pro, 1min.
Travel Belize Series: San Ignacio Downtown Walkabout, 2min. A brief walkabout downtown San Ignacio in western Belize to get a taste of what to expect on your visit to this part of the country. Together with neighboring Santa Elena, on the east bank of the river, San Ignacio forms the chief population center of Cayo District. Staying here is generally the more economical option for travel in Cayo; furthermore, there is no shortage of tour operators who are willing to show you the attractions and activities in the surrounding area. It is a friendly, functional base for your explorations of the region.
But San Ignacio is not one of those towns that exist only for tourists. It has a very positive local vibe, with a bustling market and a steady influx of immigrants. Residents are Mestizos, Maya and Garifuna, as well as a bunch of free-spirited expatriates from Europe and North America. San Ignacio is on the west bank of the Macal River, a couple of miles upstream from its confluence with the Mopan River – a meeting of waters that gives birth to the Belize River. On the river's east bank is the town of Santa Elena. Two bridges cross the Macal.
Burns Ave, running north–south, is San Ignacio's main street, taking you past the football field and terminating at the traffic circle in the south, where you'll find the town hall and the police station. There is no bus terminal in San Ignacio, but nearly all buses stop in the market square, just east of Burns Ave.
Flight to Caye Chapel private island resort., 2min. sland hopping from Ambergris Caye to neighboring Caye Chapel private island resort.
Special Envoy Belize: Let's stand together for the Elimination of Violence Against Women!, 3min. Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow
BREDDA DAVID OBI: THE REAL STORY (PART 1)!
(YOUTUBE VERSION), 26min. No other Belizean artist in the entire scope of Belizean music history has done what the legendary Belizean musical icon, bredda David has done for music in Belize. bredda David has become the quintessential Belizean artist whose migration out of Belize in the 1960's to the United States to established a credible musical accomplishment, and later returned to Belize after many years to developed a pulsating Afro-Belizean style of music called Cungo.
In this Belizean Legend expose, the talented Belizean artist explores the realms of Cungo music with Belizean Legends host, Bilal Morris, and takes his viewers through memory lane of the Afro-Belizean struggle to survive slavery and colonialism into the British Mahogany Camps in the former British Honduras where the music of Sambai created by runaway slaves were established in a village called Gales Point Manatee. bredda David makes a striking distinction between the music of Belize's other Afro-Belizean people, the Garinagu, and that of the Afro-Belizean people the Creoles whom have become the originators of the Sambai that later merged into the Brukdong. He credits the renowned Belizean Brukdong artist, Mr. Peters, whom he worked with on his repatriation back to Belize, for assisting him in the development of the Cungo sound, and being the Father of Afro-Belizean (Creoles) music.
Tour of Glover's Reef Research Station, 4min. A glimpse of what you can expect at Glover's Reef Research Station
Bonefish in Belize, 5min.
Belize part 3, 4min. by Girls On The GoPro
Belize 2015, 8min.
The Belize Zoo Celebrates Panama's Birthday, 3min.
Belize: snippets of tranquility and then town, 7min.
Belize Scuba 11/15/15 to 11/22/15, 9.5min. Diving from Yok Ha Resort at South Water Cay and Tobacco Cay in Belize. Eagle Ray, Barracuda, various Angelfish, Tangs, parrot fish, turtles and more...
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