Today's Belize News: March 3, 2016
03/03/16 06:02 AM
03/03/16 06:02 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
Annual international Bike Rally 2016 comes to San Pedro
February ended with quite a bang, as the third annual Belize Bike Rally, under the theme, ‘Meet in the Middle,’ took place in both Belize City and San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The event was held from Thursday, February 25th through Saturday, February 27th, and saw hundreds of Harley Davidson enthusiasts come out to enjoy the bike show and meet the many bikers. Organized by Belize Black Pearl Motorcycle Club, the show had bikers hailing from North, Central, and South America. The rally culminated with a beach rock concert at the Fidos Restaurant and Courtyard in San Pedro Town. This year the event was bigger than previous ones, due to the many local clubs that have been popping up all over the country. The motorcades in Belize City featured a number of popular brands and the rumble of the bikes drew the attention of many bike enthusiasts. Nigel Espat, member of Black Pearl Motorcycle Club, explained that similar rallies are held throughout the Americas, but the one in Belize is unique. Belize’s location, geography and multilingual environment offers a one- of- a kind experience for the visiting road warriors.
Sunshine Scholarship Foundation to host charity fashion show
The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is hosting its third fundraiser on Saturday, March 5th at Corona Del Mar Hotel. The fundraiser is in the form of a Fashion Show scheduled to begin from 4PM. The theme of the Show is “FashioSunshine Foundationn Glam Slam” and all proceeds will go towards providing island children with educational scholarships. There will be lots of raffles, prizes and surprises throughout the night. Admission charges are $20 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12.
Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Island Time Beach Bar and Grill, Caye Cofee, Divas and Dudes, Sunrise Realty, Time Out Beach Bar, Corona del Mar Hotel, Island Gear, and Flowers Salazar Associates LTD.
Everyone is invited to come out and support a worthy cause. For more information contact Eve Dirnback at 623-9962 or Joy Flowers at 610-0048.
Aiesha Moriera and Andrew Novelo are the islands top spellers
It was time to spell again as the Ministry of Education, Bowen and Bowen Limited and Ambergris Caye Elementary School hosted the 22nd annual National Coca Cola Spelling Bee Zone Eliminations. Top spellers from eight primary schools from across San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village participated in hopes of representing Zone 5 at the Regional Tournament to be held in Belize City. The Zone 5 Eliminations took place on Thursday, February 25th at the San Pedro Lions Den, with 16 bright contestants testing their spelling skills. But after four rounds, it was Aiesha Moriera from New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School (NHSDA) and Andrew Novelo from La Isla Cariñosa Elementary School (ICES) who took the honors. The final round would decide the top two spellers as well as an alternate. Unable to properly spell their two given words in the round and eliminated were Lupita Aldana and Mariano Calderon. This left Andrew Novelo, Aisha Moriera and Ninel Pacheco to complete for the top places. In the end it was Aiesha Moriera who rose as the winner, correctly spelling all words given to her throughout the tournament. In second place was Andrew Novelo, who only missed one word in the entire tournament. Taking third place and an opportunity to represent Zone 5 at the District Elimination if one of the two top contestants cannot attend, was Ninel Pacheco who only misspelled two words in the entire competition.
Flashback - The Little Clinic that Could
Back in 1975 when the San Pedro Lions Club was chartered, one of its first big projects was to build a clinic and equip it with a resident doctor and registered nurse. Three years later this building was completed with the sweat and blood and skills of the Lion members.
The San Pedro Lions Clinic opened its doors with Dr. Otto Rodriguez R.I.P and Nurse Burns R.I.P. attending to the health needs of the community of San Pedro. At the time it was the greatest thing to happen to San Pedro. The Lions soon expanded the clinic facility and added a second floor to this building which served as living quarters of the resident doctor.
Most important, the Lions gave this service free of cost and only asked for a ten dollar contribution to help make ends meet. Due to the tremendous success of this health clinic, the Lions then boldly moved on to initiate the construction of the present day Poly Clinic which then received the aid and collaboration of government that is now in charge of staffing and administration. It can safely be said that good health services exist in San Pedro thanks to the vision and passion of the Lions Club.
Belize Launches Carnaval Promotional Video for Cultural Preservation
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) launched the premiere viewing of ‘Belize Cultural Celebrations Video Series Volume 2: Carnaval’. The material was launched on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 9:00a.m. at the Paradise Theater, where each participating school/institution in attendance received copies of the promotional material after the viewing.
This is the second in a series of educational and promotional materials which highlight Belize’s local cultural heritage highlighting the pre-Lenten festivity of Carnaval. Launches in Caledonia Village, Corozal Town and Orange Walk Town took place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of February, at the Caledonia RC School, Corozal House of Culture, and Banquitas House of Culture. The video and accompanying poster are being distributed in San Pedro, as well as several communities in Northern Belize including Corozal Town, as this cultural event was widely practiced in Mestizo communities across Belize, especially those in the north.
Sunshine Scholarship Foundation Hosting Fashion Show Fundraiser
The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is hosting its third fundraiser on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at Corona Dell Mar. Gates open at 4p.m. and the show begins at 6p.m. Adult tickets are $20.00 and $10.00 for children under 12.
The theme for the show is Fashion Glam Slam!
There will be raffles, prizes and surprises, All proceeds to the foundation for scholarships
BTL To Launch "Full Nationwide" 4G LTE In Belize With Huawei
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), under the banner of its DigiCell Mobile brand, and its telecommunications vendor-partner Huawei Technologies, announced on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the roll-out of its nationwide 4G LTE network, expected for launch in December of this year.
The installation of DigiCell's brand new 4G LTE mobile network throughout Belize will position BTL to be the first and only telecommunications provider to have this high speed mobile service throughout the country – and at speeds and quality that will ultimately be superior to that of any provider within the country, or elsewhere throughout the Caribbean & Central American region.
Misc Belizean Sources
GEORGE PRICE HIGHWAY – AXLE LOAD SURVEY
The Ministry of Works, Transport hereby informs the general public that an axle weight survey for heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles will take place in Camalote Village, Cayo District in front of the Community Center.
The main purpose of this survey is to gather preliminary information regarding the range of heavy axle loads borne by Belize’s main highways that will be used to assist engineers in improving future highway design, improve the performance of routine & periodic maintenance and to expand its database of vehicular axle weights.
We apologize in advance for inconveniences in the form of minor delays for heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles. We encourage all motorists to obey the rules of the road, to drive with caution and to be mindful of those involved in carrying out the axle weight survey from 2nd to 10th March, 2016.
Western Ballaz Host Hurricanes
The Western Ballaz will host the Hurricanes this Friday. The game starts at 9:00pm.
"Hurricane can't hit inland. SHC is 'THE' hurricane shelter!"
FCD congratulates all the 14 teams that finished the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
The race, documented in cameras, will serve to highlight the beauty of the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains. Our gratitude goes to Doug and Julia Crystler for making this race possible in Belize.
Have you been to the EducationUSA Reference Center in Belize City yet? If not they might just come to you! Today the Education USA Reference Center and the National Library Service made history! Advisors from the center made their first school visit to Wesley College and talked about opportunities for studying in the United States. Advisors were welcomed with much enthusiasm and appreciation for imparting beneficial knowledge! Tomorrow we will be at Nazarene High School to continue our journey in educating students about Higher Educational opportunities in the U.S.A.!
University of Belize Opportunities Fair
U.S. Embassy staff recently attended the University of Belize Opportunities Fair on February 25 and talked with students from U.B. and area high schools about the student visa process and opportunities for studying in the United States.
San Pedro Sailing Club fundraising event
Your presence would be greatly appreciated at our fundraiser event on Sunday March 13th, 2016, 11am
at Caribbean Villas Hotel.
There will be sailing, raffles, a silent auction, a coin drive (please bring your spare change)food and drinks on sale.
This will be fun for the whole family.
Please support this worthy cause.
We are seeking donations for raffle prizes and the silent auction packages. Please email us at : SanPedroSailingClub@gmail.com or call Amanda at 622-2820 to find out how you can support the club.
Thank you and we hope to see you there!
BA1 Seed Capital Dispersal
The Government of Belize, through the Women’s Department, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Central American Integration System (SICA), is pleased to celebrate the achievement of 240 women recipients of seed capital grants, totaling USD340,000, as a part of the BA1 project, “Prevention of Violence against women in Central America”.
The project has taken place in seven countries in which over 3, 500 women who were victims or at risk of violence, femicide and trafficking in persons, have been awarded seed capital grants to either start or enhance their small businesses. In Belize, 319 women received micro-enterprise development and life skills training through the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize) and the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC).
NEW EDITION OF THE LAWS OF BELIZE
The latest edition of the Substantive Laws of Belize, the Revised Edition 2011, is now available. This publication consolidates the Substantive Laws (Acts) of Belize made at any time up until December 31, 2011.
Each set consists of a package containing the following:
18 Volumes -1 to 15B (packaged in 2 boxes) – B5-sized printed booklets on white bond paper (side-stapled);
1 CD-ROM –searchable PDF format, menus with hyperlinks, indexing for
keyword search, bookmarks.
They are available for sale at the office of the Attorney General’s Ministry (AG’s Ministry), Second Floor, East Block, Independence Plaza, Belmopan (special delivery arrangements may be discussed), tel. 822-2504, 822-0519 – E-mail “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The process of updating the laws is a continuous one, and supplements bringing the laws further up-to-date will be supplied in a timely manner, on terms to be advised.
The cost per set is $5000.00.
Four Belizeans to Travel to Japan for Exchange Program
Four Belizeans have been selected to participate in the Juntos Program, a Japanese Friendship Ties Program with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in March 2016.
The participants, who were selected from among 60 applicants, comprise two (2) male and female candidates of diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. They are Ms. Cecy Castillo, Ms. Christa Hulse, Mr. Donghoon Choe and Mr. Raphael Martinez.
The candidates will act as Belizean ambassadors during their two-week exchange in Japan where they will fulfill the two objectives of the program: (1) to promote further understanding of the Japanese society, history, culture, politics and foreign policy; and (2) to deepen the relations between Japan and the LAC.
Belize to host Caribbean Growth Forum meeting
Next week, representatives from 14 Caribbean countries will come together in Belize City to take stock of key lessons learned from the 100 reform actions implemented through the Caribbean Growth Forum, and announce a communiqué to move forward on their pro-growth agenda. "Belize is proud to host this meeting. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Caribbean nations to build on the results achieved so far by the Caribbean Growth Forum and enhance the competitiveness of our respective countries,” said Tracy Panton, minister of state – ministry of economic development, petroleum, investment, trade and commerce, government of Belize.
During the meeting, countries will discuss and agree on how to create result based roadmaps to accelerate reforms and help track the implementation of actions linked to these reforms in the areas of investment climate, skills and productivity, and logistics and connectivity.
Upcoming Internship Opportunities!
We are excited to announce three new internship opportunities through Belize Study Abroad at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary:
SOCIAL MEDIA INTERNSHIP
SOCIAL IMPACT MEASUREMENT AND ANALYSIS INTERNSHIP BIOLOGY, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & ECOLOGY INTERNSHIP
Want an chance to immerse yourself in the unique and diverse environments and cultures of Belize?
Want to share your skills, creativity, drive, and passion to work on the ground in community settings to contribute to meaningful projects?
Follow the link below to learn more & Like, Share and Tag your friends to spread the word!
Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Cop Shooting Robbers Were Targeting City Council's Tax Roll
Last night, we showed you how 27 year-old Woman Police Constable Shaneah Caliz was injured in a foiled armed robbery attempt. That’s because a thief panicked and opened fire on the police mobile which pulled up on a robbery in progress. Police today charged 31 year-old Jamal Jackson for the crime, and we’ll get to his criminal charges a little later.
But, first, we tell you about whom he was trying to rob. They were two security personnel contracted by the Belize City Council, who were making a night deposit at Scotiabank on Albert Street. They were depositing cash and cheques from trade licenses and property tax payments. It was quite a bit of money because March is a major financial period for the Council, because annual fees are due form business and property owners.
The robbers might have known this, but they were late, because the security guards had already deposited the money when they were held up at gunpoint.
Today, we spoke with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley about the robbery attempt which ended when a woman constable was shot in the head. He says that the scary event reinforces the need for a roll-out of a new payment system for trade licenses and property taxes:
National Leaders Meet
In early February when we spoke to the freshly sworn in PUP party leader John Briceno, he said that his first order of business was to meet with his parliamentarians to discuss the restructuring of the party. But another important order of business was to meet with the Prime Minister – and he did so this morning. Briceno told us it was a courtesy call but he still took that opportunity to discuss some pressing national issues.
Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader:
"It is more of a courtesy visit since I've been elected as the new leader of the PUP and also as the leader of the opposition, I think that it is important for both of us to meet and to discuss some of the important issues that are confronting our country. Of course the one that comes to mind is the issue of the Sarstoon incident that took place over the weekend. I pointed out to the Prime Minister that we in the PUP want to be fully engaged with the government when it comes to issues of national importance and the Belize Guatemala referendum is certainly one of them."
PUP Leader Names Senators-Designate
So now that the courtesy call to the Prime Minister has been checked off the to do list, it is back to party matters. One that we have been following for some time now is the appointment of senators. The existing slate: Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvester were only put there as placeholders after the general elections – until the PUP could elect a new leader.
Now that new leader, John Briceno has settled upon the three persons he will appoint to the upper house. This evening he discussed their strengths.
"As the new leader I have been tasked to able to try to reach out to as many people as we can to be able to come up with a good team in the Senate. I have spoken to former foreign minister Eamon Courtenay and asked him to be our lead in the Senate and he has graciously accepted..."
Did Briceno Leave Lisa Behind?
Now as you heard in Briceno’s interview, he believes this new senatorial line-up will be active and strong in defending the party – but they’ll have big shoes to fill when it comes to the formidable Lisa Shoman. Some observers wonder whether the party wouldn’t have done well to keep her on in the senate where she excelled in the parliamentary cut and thrust. Briceno told us this was not an easy decision but that he needed to give other people a chance in the senate.
Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader:
"Our party is full of talented people, we need to able to give opportunity to other people; but that does not mean that Lisa is not going to be working for the party. She's a part of this very high powered team, the Belize Guatemala team that is made up of all former PUP foreign ministers and she is going to be a part of that. I believe and I expect that she is going to play a key role in that committee and they are going to be other things that we are going to be asking of Lisa. Don't believe that is the last you've heard or going to see of Lisa Shoman."
Lining Up The Parliamentary Seating
From senators to the parliamentary seating arrangement….Briceno was very guarded in his response to this question but he did say that so far he has decided to place all 4 deputy leaders on the front bench.
Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader
"As far as I can tell you right now because obviously I have to discuss it with my parliamentarians. I have decided that all the deputy leaders are going to be seated in the front; that’s as much as I can tell you at this moment."
Those deputy leaders are Rodwell Ferguson, Jose Mai, Kareem Musa and Julius.
What "Key Position" For Cordel Hyde?
So now while the PUP line up in the House of Representatives is pretty much set – Briceno now has to get things organized inside the party. There are several vacant positions on the national executive, and Briceno is right now meeting with various “politicos” to see if he can fill those posts. Senior among all those is Cordel Hyde. Briceno has said on more than one occasion that Hyde will assume a key position in the party – but just what is that position? This evening Briceno told us he is still trying to figure out what that role will best suit Hyde.
Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader:
"At the last national executive meeting, one of the items that was discussed in the executive was the restructuring of the executive. There are certain post that were not filled in, that are open and some that were left open because of the election; for instance Honourable Kareem Musa, he was the deputy communications director but now he is a deputy leader, so that position is open. So I spoke to the executive..."
OW Police Make Major Intel. Based Weed Bust
Tonight marijuana is streaming out of northern Belize – and it’s clear that some kind of Mexican connection is fuelling the link. We start with a dramatic drug bust this afternoon outside of Orange Walk near the Mameyal curve. Police were waiting for two vehicles with Belize license plates which came heading south, an Escalade and a Mercedes Sedan. Reports say the vehicles tried to elude police – but they were caught and impounded at the Orange Walk Police station where the cops hit the jackpot with a sizeable weed bust. The drugs were stuffed in hidden panels on the Escalade. Inspector Nicholas Palomo told CTV-3 more:…
The weed weighed 16 pounds and charges for drug trafficking will be brought tomorrow. The well-known Alrick Smith who was in the Mercedes was seen telling police that they have no reason to hold him because there was no weed in that vehicle.
Weed Runners Ran Off, Left 18 lbs. Behind
But that is only part of the weed picture on the north tonight. Last night the Customs Department intercepted a major marijuana move apparently coming out of the Corozal Free Zone. Between 7:45 and 8:00 last night, Customs Officers saw three men bounding over the free zone fence near the Las Vegas Casino. They also hurled two backpacks over the fence. They dashed off when they saw law enforcement approaching and customs retrieved the bags. They found 18 and one quarter pounds of marijuana inside. The three men escaped into the bushes and could not be found. One man was found in the area, a lone Cuban – but police believe he didn’t have anything to do with the weed and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has been turned over to the Immigration Department. So, in total that is 34 and one quarter pounds of marijuana intercepted in the north in less than 24 hours. Police are investigating to see if there is a connection between the two busts. They do believe the weed is coming across from Mexico.
Honduran Fishers Caught With No "Papeles"
A Team of Coast Guard officers also caught 3 men fishing illegally near Glovers Reef. Those men, 48 year-old Belizean Grevil Franklin, and Hondurans, 37 year-old Miguel Angel Miranda and 34 year-old Marco Antonio Castillo were fishing without any kind of permit.
Today, we found Hampton Gamboa, the supervisor of the Fisheries Department’s Conservation Compliance Unit, at the Magistrate’s Court preparing to prosecute them. He told us more about the arrest:
Hampton Gamboa - Supervisor, Conversation Compliance Unit:
"Yesterday about midday, Belize Coast Guard on patrol out at Clover's Reef atoll at the north part of Clover's Reef atoll came across a black fishing commercial vessel which when they board had on two Honduran occupants and a Belizean occupant. So Coast Guard proceeded by detaining everyone after finding a Nassau Grouper which season is closed for at present and also for the fact that two of the fishermen didn't have a valid fishing license. Coast Guard personnel handed over these individuals to fisheries officers at Middle Caye out at Clover's Reef who then brought in these guys yesterday evening about after 5. So at present we are court to bring charges against these individuals for non-compliance with the fisheries regulation as it relates to conducting fishing in Belize without valid fisher folk license."
Diplomat Will Try To Get Back Stolen Truck
3 weeks ago, we told you about the very brazen Benque Viejo carjacking in which Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett, the Commanding Officer for Orange Walk Police, was car jacked.
2 Hispanic men pointed a gun at him, and took the keys for his son-in-law’s white 2014 Mazda Pick up truck. A few hours later, it was found in Guatemala, in an area known as Camalote, which is about 10 miles from Melchor.
Well, the truck is still in Melchor and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been activated to retrieve it for the Tillett family. Diplomat Said Guerra is on the job and he went to meet the judge in Melchor. Guerra has learned that the truck is impounded in Santa Elena Peten.
Link Road Will Connect George Price and Phillip Goldson
Yesterday we told you about the major upgrade to the 3.5 mile stretch of road between the Haulover Bridge and the Airport junction. That project is for 13.5 million dollars. But there is an even bigger project in the pipeline. Government has earmarked loan funds to push a road from 8 miles on the Western Highway to the Airport on the Northern Highway. This link road as it is called would give easier access to the international airport for those coming in from the west. At next Tuesday’s House Meeting, Government will bring a motion in the House to accept a loan of some $11.78 million US dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development to build the road. The loan from OPEC will cover 87% of the total costs of the civil works component of the project. It is being called the Airport Link Road Project.
Darrell Defends Darin
6 days ago, we showed you the American Investors who said that businessman Darin Smith, of Biospharms deceived them into paying 40 thousand US dollars for a piece of land on his subdivision located in Los Tambos, Cayo. They have accused him of promising to give them title for land that they’ve paid for, but that he has never delivered.
We tried exhaustively to reach Smith and his attorney, Mayor Darrell Bradley but they never responded. But today when we finally got a chance to ask the Mayor about it.
He told us that his client, Darin Smith, vigorously rejects their allegations, and that he will strenuously defend against the civil suit that these Americans have brought against him:
Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City:
"We live in a society of laws. The complaints that were raised by those persons is the subject of ongoing litigation, so that their recourse is a civil action in the Supreme Court which they have filled. They have retained council; they have served my client Mr. Smith with the claim documents."
Waterloo - is Cruise Port A Bridge Too Far?
Waterloo – that’s the name of the Ashcroft Allied company which is the receiver for the Port of Belize. And that’s also the company, which would spearhead the construction of a cruise ship berthing facility at the Port of Belize – if such a project were to ever get off the ground. Last word was that Waterloo was considering the investment – but now the activist group COLA says they’ve already decided against it. COLA – which has been consistently in favour of Mike Feinstein’s Stake Bank Project – says in a release, quote, “Government has been left with mud in its eye…the Ashcroft group sources say is not interested in investing in a cruise port at the site. Yesterday we asked Investment Minister of State Tracy Taegar Panton about it and she said as far as she knows – the proposal has not been rejected:…
"We’ve heard talks about Belize port; it has been on the news for quite some time recently as of last week when we understand that Waterloo company which is part of the Ashcroft Alliance met in Miami to discuss matters about the port. Has there been any feedback that has gotten back to the Ministry of Investment, if so what's the talks there?"
Briceno Braces For Bad Budget
Earlier in the news you heard all about the PUP’s plans for the National Assembly. Those arrangements will come into play next week when the house meets for the biggest day on the parliamentary calendar – the presentation of the revenue and appropriations bill – what we all call “the Budget.” John Briceno will lead the opposition charge against that budget – and today he told me he expects a paltry post election package which will spell suffering for regular folks and stagnation for the business sector:…
Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader:
"We went a binge before the elections and they are suffering a massive hangover and unfortunately that hangover, all of us are feeling that hangover. The government I believe they do not have, they ran out of funds, they've spent all the monies of the PetroCaribe. The oil is such as a low price that whatever we get from BNE its very little and the economy is almost stalling. We have problems in citrus, we have problems in banana, we have problem in shrimp, we have problems in sugar. We know what is going to happen with in papayas, shutting down and now even having problems with the Commercial Free Zone in the north where Atlantic Bank has announced that they will not business with any companies that are selling cigarettes. So that's going to put a serious problem for these business people."
Cable Company Jacked
A cashier was robbed of over $12,000 dollars in Dangriga. On Monday afternoon around 12:50, 19 year old Dianie Munoz was at her workplace: the Southern Cable Network Office. A man dressed in black clothes, a cap and sunshades forced his way inside the office and held her up at gunpoint. He then stole $9,905 in cash, one Laptop computer and an I-Phone. Police have not detained anyone as yet.
Preparing For Rising Waters
Today, a group of technocrats from 9 municipal governments around the country, along with the Belize Association of Planners, the Associations of Professional Engineers and Architects of Belize got together to discuss climate change in the context of urban development.
They’re trying to change the conversation on climate change from being all about science to thinking more about human habitation.
These professionals want to talk about how the coastal communities of Belize can better prepare for the effects of climate change by constructing more resilient buildings and homes.
We stopped by:
Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City:
"It’s a forum organised by the Belize Planners association, Ms. Carolyn Trench-Sandiford and the various associations regarding planners and the real topic is to discuss urban resilience to climate change. I love the opportunity here to get together, stakeholders under the hospices of the discussion of climate change because it is a very really threat to our society in terms of the minister's remarks as he said that climate change is a present and pressing risk, more especially for developing countries and especially for countries like Belize which depend on coastal community. I personally have a stake in this because I am the mayor of Belize City and Belize City is inundated by water, so it’s in our interest to participate in activities and forums like this to engage with dialogue. I think it is very important that the discussion be based on research and analysis that would guide and inform policies and planning strategies."
Squatters On the Sarstoon
Since Monday, we’ve been telling you all about the Saturday expedition that Wil Maheia led back to the Sarstoon. He intended to go to the Gracias A Dios border marker, but the Guatemalan Navy formed a blockade at the entrance of the Mouth of the Sarstoon River, and that – combined with some rough weather - stopped them from passing.
That’s caused its own controversy, but there’s another element of the story. While the Belizeans were on the way the Sarstoon, they came upon several makeshift camps along the coast a short distance away from the mouth of the river. That’s clearly in Belizean territory. And, as viewers will remember, that also its the very same vicinity that our Daniel Ortiz went splashing around in the thick mud, chasing fishermen for a chance to speak with them.
Well, Maheia says that because nothing has been done to curb this illegal behaviour, these fishermen have gotten more brazen and they’ve started to set up camps along the Beach side. That’s squatting and according to Maheia, this escalation needs to be curbed immediately:
Equipment Handed Over
Two weeks ago, the United Nations Population Fund, donated over $184 thousand dollars’ worth of information gathering equipment to the Ministries of Health and National Security. The gear is part of an effort to curb violence against women. Today police invited us to their headquarters at Queen Street Police Station to see the distribution of these new pieces of equipment to the different police branches. We spoke to Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood and Sergeant Martha Rhys, Head of the Family Violence Unit of the Eastern North Division. They said that a matter as serious as family violence, is everyone’s concern.
Police formations countrywide received equipment.
"Easy Japanese-y" For Foursome
Four Belizeans have been chosen to be a part of “Juntos”, a Japanese foreign exchange program with Latin-America and the Caribbean. They are Cecy Castillo, Christa Hulse, Donghoon Choe, and the Police Department’s very own Raphael Martinez who will all travel to Japan this month. During their two week stay, they are tasked to deepen relations between the both countries. The four were selected from 60 applicants. They met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Belmopan yesterday to share their expectations for the upcoming trip. This is the first time that Belize is participating in this Japanese foreign exchange program.
BPP Gets A Headquarters
The Belize Progressive Party failed to get 2% of the popular vote in the last general elections. But the third party is determined to carve out a lasting place for itself on the Belizean political landscape. And to do that –it has to have a headquarters, just like the PUP and the UDP. And that’s what they inaugurated yesterday on Vernon Street in Belize City. The new Headquarters is the property of party leader Patrick Rogers. His party will lease it from him for 500 dollars a month for 10 years. With all that apparent inside trading, we asked if it is an arm’s length transaction:..
The BPP says it plans to start a newspaper and a radio station as well.
Re: Today's Belize News: March 3, 2016
03/03/16 06:02 AM
03/03/16 06:02 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Breaking News: Late Afternoon Shooting in the City
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John Briceno Clarifies PUP Demand for Ambassador Alexis Rosado’s Recall
In a release from the P.U.P. issued on Monday, there was a call for the recall for consultations of Ambassador Alexis Rosado who is based in Guatemala. Foreign Minister Wilfred [...]
A Cuban National is Busted with 18 Pounds of Weed Near Corozal Free Zone
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Alrick Smith and Two Others Nabbed for Drug Trafficking in Orange Walk
Orange Walk Police are reporting a drug bust of five kilos of marijuana in town this afternoon. Acting on intelligence Police stopped a Cadillac Escalade and found the stash of [...]
Accused Cop Shooter Jamal Jackson Arraigned in Court
Thirty-one-year old Jamal Jackson, one of two suspects in an attempted robbery of a Nova Scotia Bank night deposit, made two trips to the court today. This morning he was [...]
Coastguard and Fisheries Haul in Illegal Fishermen from Glovers Reef
While police and the Belize Coastguard made drug busts up north, the Fisheries Department also successfully conducted a bust at sea. Illegal fishing continues in Belizean waters despite all efforts [...]
An Interagency Approach to Fighting Illegal Fishing
Images of a recent shark kill prompted outcry from conservationists as well as from fisher folk. There are various challenges facing the fishing industry, including the use of gill nets [...]
PUP Leader on Need for OAS at Belize/Guatemala Border
It’s been widely publicized locally and regionally that the O.A.S. is running out of money, and the office at the adjacency zone may have to close its doors. Most Belizeans [...]
New Slate of Senators for the PUP
Today Briceño made the announcement of new Senators who will replace Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvestre in the National Assembly. All three had remained in that position in [...]
Will There be More Civil House Meetings in the Near Future?
As we told you, all those matters of national importance were discussed by Briceño and the Prime Minister this morning. But outside of that, the leaders also discussed the level [...]
At Long Last Marion Jones is Opened to the Public!!
The Marion Jones Sporting Complex is getting some attention. Forgive us if we seem unduly excited about it, but it’s gotten to the point where anything positive done to enhance [...]
…FIFA-certified Football Pitch at Marion Jones in the Pipelines
And there’s more good news. In 2015 just days before elections there was a ceremony to announce that the Mexican government was pumping five million dollars into the facility. That [...]
Are Caneros in the North in Dire Straits?
The 2016/2017 Budget will be presented on Tuesday, and the Opposition has been predicting that it will be anything but uplifting and inspiring. Today P.U.P. leader John Briceño stuck to [...]
Meet and Greet on Cleghorn Street
This afternoon, officers assigned to Eastern Division North were in the area of Freetown Road near Douglas Jones Street where they were pressing flesh with residents and business owners in [...]
BA1 Donates to Domestic Violence Unit
A donation of data gathering equipment valued at roughly one hundred and eighty-four thousand dollars has been handed over to the ministries of health and national security, including the Belize [...]
Briceno Pays Courtesy Call to Prime Minister
This morning just before ten o’clock, Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno paid a courtesy call upon Prime Minister Dean Barrow at the Whitfield Tower on Coney Drive in Belize City. According to Briceno, there were several topics discussed in this meeting which is part of his 100-day agenda as the recently elected Party Leader […]
PUP to Revisit Stance on Going to the ICJ
On July 24, 2015 the People’s United Party under the leadership of Francis Fonseca, issued a release to the media, saying that the party has decided to not support the taking of the ICJ issue to a referendum. About two months prior to that release, Fonseca had stated that the PUP is saying no to […]
Party Leader Changes PUP Senators
Upon Francis Fonseca’s announcement of resignation of the Party Leader post, he did make note that the three Senators he had appointed under his leadership would remain as caretakers for the People’s United Party until a new leader is chosen. John Briceno emerged as that new leader and in the last few weeks discussions have […]
PUP Wants Ambassador Home for Consultations
Earlier this week the People’s United Party sent out a release on the Belize/Guatemala issue. That release read, in part, quote, “The PUP calls on the Government of Belize to immediately deliver a strongly worded Diplomatic Note to Guatemala rejecting the spurious claim by Foreign Minister Morales, and to recall our Belizean Ambassador to Guatemala […]
Jackson Charged for Shooting Police Officer
Thirty-one year old Jamal Jackson, A resident of Supal Street, has been charged for kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Jackson is accused of firing at a women police officer 27-year-old Woman Constable 1845 Sheneah Caliz on Monday night. Police believe he used a glock 9 millimeter pistol to do so. Jackson pled […]
Four to Japan on Friendship Program
Among 60 Belizean applicants, four have been chosen to participate in the Juntos Program this year. Cecy Castillo, Christa Hulse, Donghoon Choe and Raphael Martinez were chosen to travel to Belize to represent the country in the Juntos Program, a Japanese Friendship Ties Program with Latin America and the Caribbean. The four Belizeans will be […]
995 Grams of Marijuana Listed as Found Property
On Monday morning, the Gang Suppression Unit was on St. Jude Street in Belize City conducting operations. Officers searched an open lot and found 871 grams of cannabis among some plantain tree. No-one was in the immediate area at the time of the discovery therefore; the cannabis was labeled as Found Property. The drug is […]
Trio Caught at Spawning Site with Nassau Grouper
Two Honduran nationals and a Belizean went to court today after they went fishing at a SPAG site at Glover’s Reef. The men had no fisher folk license, no work permit, no seaworthy certificate and no license for the fishing vessel they were in. Belize Coast Guard personnel approached the vessel and uncovered a Nassau […]
Cuban Found with Marijuana Near Free Zone
The Belize Coast Guard was on a joint patrol with the Customs and the Belize Defense Force last night at around nine o’clock in the area of the Corozal Free Zone when they came across two men in the area. Reports are that the two men began fleeing upon sighting the patrol just behind the […]
O/W POLICE HIT THE JACKPOT
Plenty of weed in Gold Escalade! Orange Walk Police are currently searching two vehicles with Belize City licenses plate for drugs, ammunition or firearm. Both vehicles were traveling from Corozal to Orange Walk and upon reaching the Bypass by the Establo Restaurant they saw the police.
The drivers of the vehicles tried to evade being searched by police and as such drove off. That is when cops shot at the vehicles forcing the drivers to stop, according to residents of the area.
In the gold Escalade police found several packages of what is believed to be compressed cannabis.
Breaking Belize News
Firearms charges for alleged robber and cop shooter
31 year old Jamal Jackson of Supal Street faces charges of keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Jackson, police say, led them to the Glock 9 millimeter pistol with 9 rounds of ammunition in its magazine which was used to shoot Woman Police […]
Ministry of Human Development hands over equipment to Family Violence Unit
The law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with domestic situations, the Family Violence Unit of the Belize Police Department’s Eastern Division, today received $184,000 worth of electronic equipment from the Ministry of Human Development in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA. The data gathering equipment received […]
Child Stimulation Month emphasizes talking to your child
Since 1984, Belize has been celebrating Child Stimulation Month, a chance for the Jewel’s youngest citizens to experience more of the world around them. Every March, pre-schoolers interact with their community through trips, visits from adult leaders and activities such as culture and sports day […]
Fishermen caught with endangered species out of season
Three fishermen, two Honduran nationals and one Belizean, were charged with fisheries offences when they appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza: 48 year old Belizean, Grevil Franklin Lara, and Honduran nationals, 37 year old Miguel Angel Miranda and 34 year old Marco Antonio Castillo Vasquez, […]
Professionals address climate change in urban areas
A group of professional associations have partnered with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) to agree on and present solutions for building urban resilience to climate change. The Belize Association of Planners (BAP); the Association of Professional Engineers of Belize (APEB); and the Association of […]
John Briceño meets with P.M.
Returned leader of the People’s United Party, Honorable John Briceño has meeting with the PUP executive committees in the different constituencies nationwide. Today, he met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. One of the matters discussed was the latest incursion of the Guatemalan military into Belize’s […]
Corozal Police bag 18.25 pounds of weed
A joint operation held by the Customs Department, Belize Defence Force (BDF) and the Coast Guard on Tuesday night behind the Corozal Commercial Free Zone led them to 18 ¼ pounds of marijuana. That operation was conducted without the police around 9:00 in the night behind a chain link […]
Orange Walk police arrest 3 men for almost 15 pounds of weed
Orange Walk Police are processing three persons detained after an operation conducted around 3:20 this afternoon led officers to the discovery and confiscation of several kilos of marijuana. Authorities intercepted a gold Escalade at the Mameyal Curve located between San Jose Village and Orange Wlak Town, in […]
Could a third-party ever win an election in Belize?
The political landscape in Belize, like many other places in the world, is dominated by a two-party democratic system where the two major parties exchange power back and forth as citizens grow weary of one and restores the other to office. In the 35 years […]
COLA insists Port Loyola cruise port proposal is rejected
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has been keenly following developments regarding the establishment of a cruise port docking facility for the Belize District. In January they called out the Government for seeming to change its stance from its days in Opposition on […]
Minor to be charged for dismembered fetus found
After the shocking news of a fetus being found by a dog in Dangriga broke last Thursday, a thorough investigation was launched by that municipality’s police formation, which has led to the discovery that a minor was responsible for this horrific incident. According to […]
Armed robbery in Dangriga nets thief over $12,000
More than $12,000 was lost in an armed robbery at Southern Cable Network’s office in Dangriga on Monday afternoon, when a dark complexion male entered and held up 19-year-old cashier, Dianie Munoz. Munoz told police that she was inside the office on Court House […]
Esperanza Village businessman loses firearm accidentally
A business man from Esperanza Village, Cayo District, Elvis Orellano, 43, reported to San Ignacio police yesterday that around 4:00 p.m., his wife rented a Mitsubishi Montero to a customer and forgot to take out his licensed nine-millimeter pistol containing seven live rounds from […]
THE COMPETITION IS ON WITH THIS BANNER BY TEACHER SUSIE HYDE'S CLASS IN COROZAL TOWN, BELIZE
Teacher Susie Hyde worked with her class at Corozal Methodist School yesterday in the hot sun at their school that faces the beautiful Corozal Bay to make this banner to enter it in a competition today. Best of wishes to Teacher Susie and her class!!!
Heat oil in a saucepan and add onion and sweet pepper and sautee until onion is translucent.
Remove onion and sweet pepper from oil and place shrimps in the oil and sautee, turning constantly.
As soon as you see Shrimp is turning pink return onion and sweet pepper to pan and mix if you like. You may keep them separated, if you wish.
Warm flour tortillas and place shrimps, onion and sweet pepper on flour tortillas, roll and enjoy.
March 2, 2016 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- BELIZE AND GUATEMALA,
Sarstoon Expedition Sparks Mixed Reaction:
On Saturday, February 27, 2016, a small delegation led by Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) Leader Wil Maheia ventured on yet another expedition to Sarstoon Island, this time to commemorate the anniversary of a previous expedition which had resulted in a number of Belizeans being detained overnight by Guatemalan authorities.
A heavy presence by the Guatemalan Military prevented the Belizean contingent from making its way to the Island which is firmly within Belize’s territory. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs while doing its best in advance to discourage the expedition, nevertheless acknowledged that the Guatemalan Military appeared to have violated Belize’s sovereignty by entering our territorial waters without permission, and expressed its intention to send a diplomatic note of protest to the Guatemalan Government and the OAS.
- Prime Minister & Opposition Leader:
sign of political maturity, Opposition Leader John Briceno met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow Wednesday morning, March 2, 2016 in the P M’s Belize City Office. They discussed a number of national issues, including Belize-Guatemala relations, the Sarstoon situation, the Economy, De-risking/Correspondent Banking and Crime. Both leaders agreed in principle to work in national unity to address these issues for the good of the People and Nation of Belize.
- Chester Williams Promoted, New Assistant Commissioner of Police:
He has received many accolades of late for the leadership demonstrated as a senior member of the Belize Police Force. And now, Chester Williams has received a well-earned, much-deserved promotion from Senior Superintendent to Assistant Commissioner of Police.
After years of police work, rising up through the ranks, he returned home in the middle of 2015 with a law degree and was placed in charge of Eastern Division South. With a heavy emphasis on community policing, he quickly made his mark as the crime situation in what was the most murderous part of the country improved remarkably within the last six months of 2015 under his command. Speaking of his promotion, Williams, remarked, “I am very pleased to have been promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. I remain the Officer Commanding South-Side Belize City, and pledge to continue to do my best in preserving law and order on this side of the city, with a view to make the citizenry feel safe in their respective neighborhoods. I thank the Minister of National Security, Honourable John Saldivar, and the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Allen Whylie, for entrusting me with the responsibility I currently have, and for my long-deserved promotion.”
- Editorial: Who’s Right - Who’s Wrong:
The latest Sarstoon expedition by the
Belize Territorial Volunteers, the
provocative response by the Guatemalan
Military, and the mixed
reaction from Belizean diplomats past and
present, highlight once again the need for
National Unity on the Belize-Guatemala
Territorial Dispute and efforts to resolve it.
In our view, the words and actions of
Belizeans on all sides of this issue are wellmeaning
and motivated by patriotism. Prime
Minister Dean Barrow, while questioning the
wisdom of the series of expeditions by the Belize
Territorial Volunteers, acknowledged in
a press conference on August 19, 2015, “Their
decision arose from feelings of patriotism that
are not just commendable but inspirational.”
Our acquaintance with Foreign Minister
Wilfred Elrington and our knowledge
of his personal historical record on the
Belize-Guatemala issue convinces us his
mission of mutual friendship and peaceful
resolution is derived from a degree
of nationalism that is no less passionate.
- Transformation, Isidoro Beaton Stadium:
The Isidoro Beaton
Football Stadium in
Belmopan is nearing
completion, and it is
already a beauty to behold. The
spectacular image above was
captured at night and shared
through social media by Honourable
John Saldivar, Area
Representative for Belmopan.
It shows the stadium with its
synthetic surface and professional
lighting already installed.
The upgrading of the
Isidoro Football Stadium is one
of several projects which form
part of the Government’s nationwide
investment in Sports
Infrastructure. The contract for
this project was awarded back
in February of 2015 to a Santa
Elena based firm, Pedro R. Lizarraga
& Sons, headed by General
Contractor Mr. Pedro Lizarraga.
Other projects nationwide
include the construction
in Belize City of an innovative,
well equipped state-of-the-art
Arena and Cultural Complex
at the location of the Old Civic
Center on Central American
Boulevard, which will serve
not just the residents of Belize
City but the entire country;
construction of a new Multi-
Complex Auditorium and upgrading
of Carl Ramos Football
Stadium in Dangriga; and construction
of a new Multi-Complex
Building in Punta Gorda.
- FIFA President Gianni Infantino Marks First Day In The Office With Star-Studded Match:
New FIFA president Gianni Infantino has kick-started his reign with a friendly football match. Past World Cup stars and two current players, Kelly Smith of Arsenal Ladies and Julia Simic of Wolfsburg, were invited to join Infantino and FIFA staff on his first day in office for the informal kick around.
The Swiss-Italian was elected on Friday, ahead of Bahraini Sheik Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, to become only the ninth president in FIFA’s 112-year history.
The 45 year-old, previously General Secretary of European football’s governing body UEFA, inherited an organisation in disarray.
However, Infantino had insisted that FIFA’s reform package would close the door on a chapter of pain at world football’s governing body and usher in an era of joy.
- ukMontreal Impact Signs Belizean Michael Salazar:
The Montreal Impact announced on Tuesday the signing of forward Michael Salazar, the club’s second selection at the 2016 Super Draft (24th overall), upon receiving his International Transfer Certificate.
“We are pleased to have signed Michael to our club,” said Impact technical director Adam Braz. “He is someone who integrated well with the group during our preseason camp. He has impressed the staff with his performance on the field, as well as his strong work ethic and willingness to learn.”
Salazar, 23, distinguished himself in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, earning the Cup’s Lower Division Player of the Tournament honours and finishing tied for the lead with four assists while scoring three goals in four games.
- New Riding Mower for San Ignacio:
On February 16, 2016, Minister of State for Youth and Sports, Honourable Elodio Aragon was in San Ignacio, Cayo where he handed over a much-needed riding mower to the Sports Council in that western municipality.
Speaking of the equipment handed over, Minister Aragon says, “This equipment, which is not cheap as we ensured we got the bigger engine, will go a long way in maintaining the facilities in San Ignacio. Just a month ago, they also received a motorcycle. Slowly we are working to make a difference in sports countrywide. Congrats to our new National Sports Director, Mr. Dominguez, and his staff that are working to make things happen. I’m confident things will only get better in sports, and I ask for the communities to get involved at all levels.”
- Aragon & Figueroa, Cayo Sports Working Tour:
While in San Ignacio, Minister of State for Youth and Sports Hon. Elodio Aragon took the opportunity to visit sporting facilities in the area along with the Area Representative for Cayo North, Hon. Omar Figueroa and Director of the National Sports Council Ritchell Dominguez.
They visited the Victor Galvez Stadium, where they discussed plans for the promotion and development of sports in the communities throughout the constituency. Honourable Elodio Aragon later commented, “We are a hundred percent behind him because only by working with the community can we get sports moving.”
- Rejuvenation at Youth Ministry, Hon. Elodio Aragon At The Helm:
The new Minister of State with responsibility for Youth, Sports and Culture, Honourable Elodio Aragon, has really made his presence felt in the short three months and a half since he was appointed immediately following the November 4, 2016 general Elections. Highly motivated, the Minister of State and his team from the Ministry and the Departments which fall under his command have been moving around the country assessing the work being done and identifying what else needs to occur for the development of Youth and Sports throughout our communities .
- CODICADER GAMES COMING TO BELIZE:
Minister of State with responsibility for Youth and Sports, Honourable Elodio Aragon, recently attended the CODICADER (Consejo Del Istmo Centro-Americano de Deportes y Recreación) Reunion in Nicaragua along with representatives from Central America. There they discussed matters relating to the CODICADER Games which will be played in Belize in the month of July, 2016.
Upon his return, Honourable Aragon remarked, “Things are shaping up and Belize will host football, basketball, volleyball and ping pong. A lot more has to be done with regards to fund raising, logistics and preparations. This event will see well over 1,000 participants in Belize for four days of competition.”
- A Walk Through Dangriga, Authored By Mayor Francis Humphreys & Ifasina Efunyemi:
On Monday, February 15, 2016, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched a publication entitled “A WALK THROUGH DANGRIGA”.
It is the third publication in the ‘Walk Through’ series which features key landmarks and heritage sites in the various municipalities of Belize.
Mayor Francis Humphreys and Ifasina Efunyemi, two well-known educators in Dangriga, are co-authors of the manuscript. The book was edited and produced by the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR), a branch of NICH.
‘A WALK THROUGH DANGRIGA’ traces the development of historic locations and sites of memory within the town. The information was compiled using oral history, documentary sources, accompanied by photographs dating from the late 1890’s to the present.
- Jamaica Labour Party Wins Tight Race in Polls Marked by Low Voter Turnout:
Andrew Holness returned the favour, handing Portia Simpson Miller’s People’s National Party (PNP) its first one-term government Thursday in the country’s 17th general election that ended with the tightest majority in Jamaica’s history — 33 - 30 seats.
The polls will be memorable for the low voter turnout — barely more than one-third of the electorate. But they also sent a message to politicians that Holness acknowledged in his acceptance speech at Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) headquarters in Kingston last night.
“I know from my travels around Jamaica that you wanted to change the Government, but I also picked up from going around the country that you want to change the way that Government works,” Holness told cheering supporters. “And so, from this platform, I make the commitment to you that your new Government will not be Government as usual. We don’t take it that we have won a prize. We have been given stewardship of the country, and we stand to be held to account for our stewardship,” he said. “We know that the cost of victory is accountability. The cost of victory is the responsiveness of the Government that we will form. The cost of victory is to keep the commitments that we have made. “We are under no illusions as to the ability of the Jamaican people to hold their Government to account,” he added.
- IMPACT Justice Holds Media Workshop in Barbados:
Members of the media and law students from across the Caribbean region, 68 of them, attended a two-day workshop in Bridge Town, Bardados, hosted by Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice), a project funded by the Canadian Government.
The workshop, conducted on February 24 and 25, 2016 at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, Barbados, is part of the project’s Public Legal Education Component. Topics covered included, the Rights of Journalists; Confidentiality of Sources; Defamation in the context of Media Law; Online Reporting; Parliamentary and Government reporting; and Reporting on Family Matters and Gender Issues.
- CARICOM Secretary General Gets Second Term:
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has been re-appointed to a second term of office.
CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, made the announcement during the Closing Press Conference of the CARICOM Heads of Government Inter-sessional Meeting in Belize, Wednesday, February 17, 2016.
The Secretary-General’s initial five-year appointment ends in August, and Heads of Government decided to deal with the matter of his reappointment now because they felt the next meeting in July is too close to the August expiration date, the Chairman told the media.
- Insight into Gang Culture in Belize:
Well known Belizean Television and Radio Talk Show host, Nuri Muhammad has just launched a new book. Titled “Insights into Gang Culture in Belize”, the book was inspired by Nuri’s intimate knowledge and extensive experience working with at risk youths.
In an interview with Channel Seven News, Nuri Muhammad explained, “The book is called ‘Insights’ and I think the word indicates that it is a reflective look at the challenge that we face with youth crime and violence in this country. We tried to look at it over a spectrum of 25 to 30 years, so that we could see its generational issue as opposed to simply reporting it as various incidents that take place on a nightly and weekly basis. So the book is called ‘Insights into Gang Culture’.
- When and How Do We Draw the Line?:
The Belize-Guatemala Dispute and efforts to resolve it is an issue that transcends partisan politics and requires national unity. If there’s one class of persons in our community that has the training, discipline and incentive to reach across political lines, it is our attorneys. On Friday February 19, 2016, attorneys of opposite persuasions, all persuasions and no persuasion came together at their Annual Law Conference, and the top issue on their agenda was the Belize-Guatemala Dispute.
President of the Bar Association, Jacqueline Marshalleck, explained, “The Belize-Guatemala Dispute certainly has its diplomatic elements, but it also has its legal elements. I think that as the discussion becomes more public and the education exercise progresses, the Bar Association and attorneys at large will generally be expected to comment or assist people in understanding the process. There will be questions about the Court and what should happen, and I think there is an assumption that because we are attorneys that we know and that we have all the answers.
- GREAT Program scores Great Success:
The Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program, funded by the United States, has become a key component of the overall strategy by the Belize Police Force in its fight against crime. It started off in Belize City and has now expanded to the districts.
The latest group of police officers to receive training under the program includes 35 men and women, and they will be deployed countrywide to work with children and youths to help steer them away from a culture of gang violence and crime.
The graduation ceremony was attended by United States Ambassador in Belize, Carlos Moreno, who commented, “The Great Program is a program that the embassy has been supporting for at least the last 5 years. We’ve trained over 130 officers to work in the schools. The officers are assigned to particular schools where they interact with the youths and encourage them to stay away from gangs.
- New Strategy for Business Services Sector:
Government and private sector officials from Belize converged at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 to discuss a new strategy to improve the country’s business services sector. The meeting, which was dubbed as the first BPO Summit in Belize, was the brain child of BelizeINVEST, a division of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). It provided participants the opportunity to examine the benefits of increasing the country’s business services and identify priorities for policy and institutional reform. Participants also agreed to revive the Business Outsourcing Association of Belize (BOAB), establish a standards framework and to increase the development and promotion of IT Education in Belize. The strategy was developed in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and had as its main objective to assess the potential for higher-value IT Enabled Services (ITES) and to establish the framework for an industry standard in preserving and continuing to develop the country’s outsourcing industry. Through this partnership, OCO Global was contracted to develop key documents, such as a Comprehensive Outsourcing Strategy Action Plan and a BPO Standards Framework and Road-map for Implementation, which will serve as the mechanisms for the successful execution of the framework. The study was conducted through various visits to Belize in engaging key public and private stakeholders.
- Swear-in of Ombudsman and Contractor General:
In a brief ceremony held Monday, February 22, 2016 at Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Lionel Arzu and Mr. Godwin Arzu were sworn in for their new terms as Ombudsman and Contractor General respectively, following the Prime Minister’s announcement of their re-appointments at the Sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday January 22, 2016. Both men were joined by their families as they took the oath of allegiance before the Governor General, H.E. Sir Colville Young.
This is Mr. Godwin Arzu’s third term as Contractor General. It is Mr. Lionel Arzu’s second term as Ombudsman, he having held that position since January 2013.
The re-appointment of the Ombudsman had sparked some debate in the National Assembly upon the announcement by the Prime Minister on January 22, 2016.
- Vital Statistics discusses Vital Issues:
The Vital Statistics Unit, which is responsible for registering births, deaths and marriages, held a meeting on Thursday February 18, 2016 to emphasize the importance of birth registration and to evaluate the registration system in Belize.
Registrar General Velda Flowers, explained, “This morning what is happening is the launching of this bottleneck analysis that was conducted by Miss Patricia Holness, a consultant from Jamaica. This effort came about as a result of the partnership we have with UNICEF and OAS in order to try and ascertain and address the issue of the 6% non-registration of persons born in Belize. Currently Belize has about 94-95% of all persons born in Belize registered and this effort was put in place to try and close that gap, that 6% gap that currently exists.”
The consultant from Jamaica, Patricia Holness, emphasized, “It is very important that birth registration be taken seriously in any country. And, a mother, as you just said, bonds with her child; but then that child has to be a citizen. That child has to live in the country and reap the rewards of being a citizen. So the government of that country needs to know that this is a citizen for whom we must care and also to ensure that all that goes with citizenship will go to that child.”
- CARICOM Development Fund in BELIZE:
When CARICOM Heads of Government meet, as they did in Belize two weeks ago, those meetings are always supplemented and supported by a number of sessions involving the technical experts from the regional body and the various member countries.
One of those persons who came to Belize for the Twenty-Seventh Intersessional Meeting was the executive head of the CARCOM Development Fund (CDF), which is funding a number of very important projects in Belize, including rehabilitation of the Phillip Goldson Highway and the Haulover Bridge.
Chief Executive Officer of the CDF, Mr. Rodinald Soomer, in interview with the local media, elaborated, “Belize happens to be the first country that met the requirements to access resources under the fund. We signed the first country assistance program with Belize towards the end of 2010 and we started activities with Belize in early 2011. We are now towards the end of the program with Belize; we’ve approved a portfolio of projects totalling just over 6 Million US Dollars.
- Helping ‘Seenagers’ to Live Longer:
On Thursday, February 18, 2016, the National Council on Aging held a workshop in Belize City addressing issues affecting older persons throughout the country.
Speaking with the media at the opening, Executive Director of the council, Ix-Chel Poot, explained, “Some of the specific areas we are looking at today, we’ve talked about normal aging, we are looking at how to collaborate and how to get all the organizations together working as one and moving forward in one voice.
So there is a lot of planning that will be taking place. We will be looking at the situation of older persons across Belize. So that all the branches are up to date and abreast of what’s happening with older persons and the population that they are serving. They are looking at things like the Older Persons’ Act; how do we maintain the safety of our older persons and the care of our older persons. Last year, the National Council on Aging along with BTEC had a care-givers training here in Belize. We’ve been working with the YWCA, having care-givers’ training in Belmopan. So we are looking at building a capacity, a resource of persons who are able to be in the community to work with older persons in such a way.”
- Preventing Crimes Against Women:
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), provided data gathering equipment valued at approximately BZ$184,000.00 to relevant government departments, including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of National Security.
The official handing over of the equipment took place today, February 19, 2016 at the Raccoon Street Police Station in Belize City.The purpose of the equipment is to strengthen the capacity of those government units in charge of collecting and analysing data on violence against women and human trafficking and ensure improved access to reliable data for programme planning and decision-making in this area.
- Belize Gets Down To Business, Minister Contreras Talks Trade Opportunities With SoFla entrepreneurs:
BELTRAIDE Representative Hero Balani, OESBD Economic Development Specialist Paola Isaac Baraya and Belizean Minister of International Trade Erwin Contreras.
Belize was at the top of the business agenda this week, as Belizean Minister of International Trade Erwin Contreras stopped by at the Lauderdale Lakes Educational and Cultural Center for the “Doing Business in Belize” workshop.
During a special meet and greet session with workshop attendees, the Minister outlined the nation’s many commercial and trading opportunities in renewable energy, agro-processing, tourism, and food and beverage production and packaging. The Minister also encouraged participants to attend the upcoming trade mission, hosted by the Miramar based Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida.
- Elevating & Upgrading Bomba Access Road:
As Area Representative for Belize Rural North and Minister of National Emergency Management, Hon. Edmond Castro has undertaken a flood mitigation project in the Maskall-Bomba area.
The project entails the elevation of the access road from Maskall to Bomba village with a number of cement culverts across the ‘Quashy Banner’ Creek. The area had been plagued by seasonal flooding which severely affects accessibility to and from Bomba, thereby inconveniencing residents of the village and farmers in the general area. The project is being funded with monies secured by Hon. Edmond Castro through the Government of Belize. It is well underway and should be completed in a couple weeks. The residents and farmers of the area are happy for the project and are expressing tremendous gratitude to their Area Representative, Hon. Castro, and to Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow for making the funds available to improve and transform their community and lives. Honorable Edmond Castro says he and the government intend to carry out several similar projects throughout the constituency prior to the start of the next Hurricane Season on June 1, 2016 to mitigate flooding which occurs on an annual basis.
New Dallas-Merida nonstop flights launch today
Thursday March 3 marks an important air connectivity milestone, as Merida will be linked to Dallas, Texas with a new option from American Airlines.
With this new direct route, which will provide round-trip nonstop service five days a week, Yucatan will add to its international air options that already include flights to Miami, Houston, Toronto, Italy, Cuba and Belize.
“With this new route, American Airlines now will have 21 destinations in Mexico, operating 120 flights daily between the two countries,” said Art Torno, international senior vice president of the airline.
Regional meeting mulls economic obstacles
Economic growth in the Caribbean will continue to experience roadblocks once it’s the region’s air transport sector and sea port operations, among other important areas of business, continue to lag behind the region’s developmental objectives.
This was one conclusion when private sector and civil society organisations met in Belize earlier this week to discuss reforms to drive the development process in the Caribbean.
One document tabled by organisers of the annual Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) was a 2015 Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) study of regional airlines which pointed to, among other things, “bad financial decisions...such as by Caribbean Airlines (CAL) in a short period over 2010/11.”
Another, commissioned by the World Bank (WB), pointed to shortcomings in port operations throughout countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The Forum is an initiative of the WB, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and CDB.
17 Caribbean, Latin American Nations Named As Major Drug Producing Or Transit Countries
Seventeen Caribbean and Latin American nations have been named by the U.S. as “major illicit drug producing and/or drug-transit countries.”
According to the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) from the U.S. State Department released Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016, the 17 were identified and notified to Congress by the President of the United States on September 14, 2015, consistent with section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act. Belize: Belize was identified as a major transit country for illegal drugs destined for the United States from source countries in South America. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the drug routes are predominately maritime and via air and smuggler move at night using the hundreds of cays to conceal their movement via vessels that include container ships to more common small “go-fasts” vessels, which can utilize their small profile, and powerful motors to evade law enforcement. Belize has no air defense systems and limited capability to monitor aircraft at night.
Road Warrior: The Un-Belize-able Edition
14th Annual Road Warrior Contest Winners head to Belize! Our 14th Annual Road Warrior Contest winners head to Belize for some life-changing adventure: zip-lining through the rain forest, climbing ancient Mayan ruins, swimming with sharks and a whole lotta rum. Standing on a wooden platform 200 feet above the Belizean jungle, the emerald tops of swaying palm and mangrove trees stretch from the surrounding area to the border of Guatemala and beyond. Two silver zip-line cords reach into the rain forest and disappear. The tour guide asks for a volunteer, and Emily Williams Knight doesn’t hesitate. She hooks up, sits back in the harness, grabs the pulley and pushes herself off the platform, whipping into the foliage. Her delighted scream rises above the sound of howler monkeys and howling people.
For Emily and the four other winners of American Way’s annual Road Warrior Contest, this year’s trip to Belize starts at Calico Jack’s Village on a zip-line excursion that winds through more than 3,200 feet of private jungle reserve in western Belize. It’s a first-time experience for these five winners, who beat out more than a thousand entrants: Luis Ayala from Austin, Texas; Becky Ahlgren Bedics from Fishers, Indiana; Andrew Bolt from Miami; Emily Williams Knight from Southlake, Texas; and Eric Nunziato from San Diego.
14th annual Road Warrior contest
From the footsteps of the Mayans to bare feet in the sand, our 14th annual Road Warrior contest winners shared un-Belize-able experiences.
Dolphins in Belize, 1min. We were treated to a surprise show from some playful dolphins on the way back to San Pedro from The Blue Hole.
RDA Belize, 16min. Tyler Wine of Real Deal Advisors Visits Belize.
Pine Lumber, 7.5min. Pine Lumber with Miss Reyes
Belize Cultural Celebrations Volume 2: Carnaval, 16min. The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) launched the premiere viewing of ‘Belize Cultural Celebrations Video Series Volume 2: Carnaval’. The material was launched on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 9:00a.m. at the Paradise Theater, where each participating school/institution in attendance received copies of the promotional material after the viewing.
Carnival Magic Cruise With Friends!!! May of 2015, 14min. My friends and I needed to get away from life for 7 days!!! No cell phone, and all of our problems left behind. This was a western caribbean cruise the went to Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras. It was a blast!!!! We each payed about $700 Total for the trip. All meals paid for. We did not sign up for any excursions, but there was still plenty to do at the ports.
Reset Retreat - Mini Photo Slideshow - Hopkins, Belize, 4min. Reset Retreat is an exclusive women’s yoga and wellness retreat that combines personal growth with incredible experiences. It is a place where you can come to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself. Take a look at the experience we shared this February in adventuruous and culturally rich Hopkins, Belize. Join us on the next Belize Retreat this November!
Cool fish diving in Belize, 1min.
Belize (Caye Caulker), 13min. I'm in Belize this week and enjoy every moment of it. My first stop is the Island of Caye Caulker. where I stay at Dirty MC'nasty hostel and when on a snorkel tour. got to swim nurse shark and sting rays.
Scuba diving reef canyon in Belize, 1.5min.
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