Today's Belize News: April 8, 2016
04/08/16 05:12 AM
04/08/16 05:12 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
SP Justices of the Peace Association elect new executive board
There are currently nine chapters of the Justice of Peace (JP) Association in Belize, and with San Pedro being one of them, an important meeting was scheduled for Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of the Supreme Court. The association gathered at the Sunbreeze Hotel Conference Room on Saturday, April 2nd, where the National President, Danny Madrid, gave an introduction and discussed the sequence of agenda to the members.
Madrid proceeded in giving an apology for the inactive state of the association for the past two years, indicating that he hoped to revive the committee. The meeting also allowed Madrid to get a current database of the JP’s as some of the elderly have passed away. He expressed his goal for the association to be up-to-date. In an effort to form a healthy association, he also encouraged those who were inactive to either become active or resign.
‘Kite to Point’ – Kite surfing to Placencia: Friends of Jeffrey Eiley honor his memory
In order to complete such a challenging journey, perfect wind conditions had to be present to carry them along to their destination. The trip left one day earlier than its scheduled date in an attempt to ride along with the strong trade winds. However, after the first leg of the trip, the wind suddenly shifted, then died down. Everyone thought it was a prank; given it was April Fools’ Day, but the wind never picked up again.
It was impossible for the group of surfers to continue kite surfing to Placencia. “The whole idea of the trip was to stay together and due to the changes in the currents and wind we had to complete the remaining of the trip by boat. It was a very emotional trek admiring all the scenery the coast of our country has to offer, islands we have never seen, marine life, the mountains to the west, it was an adventure that I know Jeff would have loved so much to experience,” said MJ. During the journey riding on the Carpe Diem, Jeffrey’s mother Susana took in the natural beauty of her surroundings while remembering her departed son.
Minister of National Security and Commissioner of Police visit San Pedro
On Friday, April 1st the San Pedro Police department hosted the Minister of National Security, Honorable John Saldivar and the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie for an impromptu inspection of the guard followed by a quick meeting. The visit to the local police is part of Saldivar’s countrywide tour to re-assess and re-evaluate the effectiveness of the police and explore ways of improving the work of the Belize Police Department (BDP) in its fight against crime and its function of increasing safety and security throughout our communities.
The official ceremonies for the visit were held at the San Pedro Town Council conference room, where the San Pedro police officers were inspected prior to the commencement of the meeting. The short meeting saw addresses from both Saldivar and Whylie, as well as a question and answer segment for the police officers in attendance. “San Pedro is a very important town in Belize. It contributes significantly to the economy, so we are always concerned when we see incidents of crime occurring on the island,” said Commissioner Whylie. He went on to indicate that the Belize Police Department is always taking special initiatives to ensure crime is kept in check on the island while trying to encompass a friendly community relationship.
8-Ball Pool Tournament continues
After the long Easter break, the pre-season 8-ball Pool Tournament continued this past weekend at one of the most popular local pubs in town – Cholo’s Bar. The different set of games were once again heated as teams battled it out to gain the extra points to advance to the semi-finals. The crowd of fans supporting each team is growing larger as the sporting activity continues to draw attention. The games continue this weekend at Mr. All’s Pool Room with games beginning at 7PM on Friday and Saturday, and beginning at 1PM on Sunday.
Municipal Authorities to Get Training on Zika Virus Response
In response to the Zika virus outbreak in the region, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Health, Belize Mayors’ Association, UNICEF, and PAHO partnered up and organized an on-site training in Belize City for municipal authorities: Risk Communication and Community Engagement for Zika Virus Prevention and Control.
The training starts today. Participants will review lesson learned from other countries’ effort, study the global Zika Virus Risk Communication and Community Engagement Guide, undertake field research, and formulate work plan to be implemented in their respective communities.
The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacity of municipal authorities from all over the country with the aim of promoting evidence-based community-based vector control interventions to prevent Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya outbreaks.
Misc Belizean Sources
United States Embassy and Belize Sign Amendment to the Letter of Agreement
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Program
Municipal Authorities to Get Training on Zika Virus Response
The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacity of municipal authorities from all over the country with the aim of promoting evidence-based community-based vector control interventions to prevent Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya outbreaks.
“Although Belize does not have a confirmed case of Zika virus we have been preparing a plan to effectively respond to the situation. And this event is, among many others, one of the activities we are supporting to strengthen the country’s capacity and readiness to deal with the issue.” Says Mr. Ivan Yerovi, UNICEF Belize’s Representative.
On the last day of the event, participants will develop the Prevention Risk Communication and Community Engagement Municipal Plans for their own communities. With support from the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Health, Belize Mayors’ Association, PAHO, and UNICEF, the work plans, developed by the participants at the end of the training, will be
implemented by municipalities all over Belize.
Caye Caulker: Have any blue paint to donate?
Anybody have blue paint laying around and willing to donate? need a little bit of blue paint on Sat. To complete the mural on the basketball court fence...
Saturday, April 9, Bliss Center
"Dreams to Reality" Dance Recital 2016
Belize Dance Company, Ladyville April 9, 6pm. Ladyville Community Center.
16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement (LOA) implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) program
Today the U. S. Ambassador to Belize H.E. Carlos Moreno and the Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement (LOA) implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) program through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) on April 7, 2016. The U.S. Government has provided over $35 million in programs and grants to Belize through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) since 2008.
Today’s agreement provides USD $6,450,000 in funding to be used for the following projects: Improved Border Inspection, Vetted Units, Capacity Enhancement, Justice Sector Reform, and Community Policing. To date, the U.S. Government, through INL, has committed a total of USD $28.4 million since 2008 to these programs in Belize.
In addition to INL programs, the U.S. Embassy has also provided over USD $6 million in CARSI Economic Support Fund grants to local and international NGOs operating in Belize. Programs have included entrepreneurship, vocational training and job placement, after school activities, educational assistance, skills training, and arts and culture. Another $1.2 million will be issued as grants again this year.
Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
The Finest Hours,
Norm Of The North,
Fifty Shades of Black,
Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
First Case of Zika linked to Belize BUT Belize says "not confirming at this time"
On April 6th, 2016 Ministry of Health officials received a communication message from the United States International Health Regulations National Focal Point regarding a confirmed case of Zika detected in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the transmission may have originated in Belize.
The CDC reported that, “The patient is an adult female resident who travelled to Belize from 14 -19 March 2016. She had onset of fever and rash on 23 March, 2016. Zika virus RT-PCR was positive on serum at the health department of the state. The patient reported no other recent travel history and there was no evidence of possible sexual transmission.”
The Ministry of Health at this time is not confirming that this is the first case of Zika in Belize. We are presently in communication with officials from CDC and the Pan American Health Organization Office in Belize to get more information in order to launch a proper epidemiological investigation. As soon as additional information is received, the Ministry will inform the public.
Victor the kinkajou
Victor the kinkajou had been brought to BWRC by Forest Department Wildlife officer Victoria Chi last year. He was only 5 days old when he was confiscated from poachers by the wildlife officer and he had no siblings to grow up with. Victor developed a typical behaviour of very young orphans - thumb sucking. BWRC tried to deter this behaviour for a long time and hoped that enrichment, upgrading into the pre-release cage and ultimately release would keep him "busy" enough to get over the baby behaviour - but he proved us wrong.
At first he seemed to go through the process, showed no further interest in humans and thrived post release. For 2 weeks he was only seen on camera and in good condition. Nearly 4 weeks after release he returned and showed clear signs of stress, weight loss, continued thumb sucking and complete fixation on his previous human carers. Faced with an unreleasable animal BWRC - as an organisation whose focus is to return animals to the wild - immediately contacted The Belize Zoo to see if they could give a home to this patient... And fortunately they had just completed a wonderful new habitat for kinkajous and the timing was perfect!
So today Victor transferred to his new home thanks to The Belize Zoo and hopefully he will help to educate more people about the sad plight of pet wildlife in the illegal trade.
“The Big Deal” CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride
Cancer continues to be a Big Deal! It is a deadly pandemic plaguing the world and Belize is by no means exempted from this horrible illness as it continues to be the second leading cause of mortality in Belize annually. Most of us, in some way, are affected by cancer.
In order to increase awareness and support the efforts of the Belize Cancer Center and Belize Cancer Society the CEO Caucus is hosting “The Big Deal” CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride.
The CEO Caucus pledges to raise $50,000 over the next month to support national efforts to combat cancer. On Saturday May 7th, the Caucus will culminate its efforts in an awareness ride. “The Big Deal” CEO Caucus Challenge 2016: Cancer Awareness Ride will start at Mile 25 on the George Price Highway and conclude at the Show Grounds in the City of Belmopan.
Power interruption 7:00am to 10:00am, Sunday, April 10, San Pedro
Southern portion from Sunbreeze Hotel to Island Cottage Resort and DFC Subdivision, Elliot Subdivision, San Pedrito, San Marcos, Escalante Subdivision & San Pablo. BEL to repair hotspots on power distribution system in area.
Rotary Rainforest Reading Camp
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio teamed up with the Rotary Club of Red Deer to do an educational camp. Thanks, Rotary!
"Totally amazing Rainforest Reading and Adventure Camp in San Ignacio BELIZE this past week. 23 Albertans working with over 300 Belize primary school aged children and over 40 educators and community volunteers. In the 40 degree C heat the Canadians did an outstanding job. So many smiles of children and gratitude from Belize teachers and community members. The Rotary Club of Red Deer is doing some exemplary humanitarian work in the area of literacy with so many benefits for both Canadian and Belize participants. I am so grateful for the very talented literacy team that joined the Literacy Alive III project and is half way through their project work. Next week is Professional Development for Belize teachers. This weekend the group is enjoying R and R in the Caribbean Cayes or in the beautiful Cayo area."
The Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium will start on the 28th of June this year. It all happens at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.
Challenging but possible
FCD’s environmental educator visits San Ignacio Pre-schoolers to teach them about the beauty of the Chiquibul!!
Belmopan Screen on the Green: "WALL-E"
Belize Screen on the Green is next Thursday, April 14 at Governor General Field. Please join the U.S. Embassy and the Belmopan City Council for a special screening of the movie "WALL-E".
About the Movie – WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying up the planet, one piece of garbage at a time. But during 700 years, WALL-E has developed a personality, and he's more than a little lonely. Then he spots EVE (Elissa Knight), a sleek and shapely probe sent back to Earth on a scanning mission. Smitten WALL-E embarks on his greatest adventure yet when he follows EVE across the galaxy.
Belmopan Screen on the Green: "Akeelah and the Bee"
Belize Screen on the Green in DANGRIGA is back this month with the screening of the movie "Akeelah and the Bee" on April 28th at the Slaughter House. Please join us!!!!
About the Movie –Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will take her to the National Spelling Bee. Despite her mother's objections, Akeelah doesn't give up on her goal. She finds help in the form of a mysterious teacher, and along with overwhelming support from her community; Akeelah might just have what it takes to make her dream come true.
PM Speaks on SATIIM's Sarstoon Showdown
Last night we told you about SATIIM's Sarstoon showdown with the Guatemalan Navy. The Indigenous NGO which used to co-manage the Sarstoon Temash National Park, reported that the Guatemalan military showed aggression and attempted to stop them from entering the Sarstoon River.
They were on a patrol of the southern portion of the National Park, but when they entered the Mouth of the Sarstoon, the SATIIM Rangers reported to the BDF soldiers what they intended to do. They believed that, since they had been given the nod from the BDF soldiers based at the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base, they were in the clear to conduct their patrol. SATIIM says that they've haven't been stopped by the Guatemalan Navy from entering the Sarstoon on patrol duty for the past 10 years, and so they had no reason to believe that Tuesday's trip would be different. SATIIM says they when they entered this time, however, the Guatemalans intercepted them, and attempted to stop their passage through the river, if they did not first stop in at the Guatemalan military base, which is right across the river from the BDF's base.
PM Denies Guatemalan Annexation of Sarstoon
Today, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), released a statement condemning the attempt by the Guatemalan military to stop the SATIIM rangers from entering the Sarstoon River.
APAMO says quote, "With the increasing sensitivity of the bi-national relations between Belize and Guatemala, these organizations operating in protected areas near the border need the support of the relevant Government agencies to ensure the deterrence of the ongoing pillaging of our natural resources by non-Belizeans." End Quote.
Given the recent confrontations between Belizeans and the Guatemalan military in the Sarstoon river, some suspect that all this aggression is an attempt to establish that the Guatemalans have and will continue to exercise their sovereignty over the river. The Prime Minister told the press that if that is the intent, they Guatemalans will fail if and when the territorial dispute goes to the International Court of Justice:
Saldivar Says GOB Must Protest
We also spoke with the Minister of National Security John Saldivar about this latest Sarstoon showdown. He told us that his ministry is investigating the incident and that he still has to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington to decide on the next step. But he strongly condemns Guatemala's aggressive approach in the Sarstoon.
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security:
"First of all let me say that this is unfortunate and certainly if this is the action by the Guatemalan military, this is unacceptable. As soon as we can ascertain exactly what to place, we will be making the necessary representations both to the OAS and to Guatemala. We're trying to get in touch with the minister of foreign affairs but we're definitely going to make a strong representation if this is the case."
Saldivar Says Guatemalans Shot The Staff Sargeant
And from these Sarstoon clashes to gun fights in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. We also asked Saldivar for an update on the Holy Saturday shooting of Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey in the reserve. Saldivar told us that they have confirmed that the shooters are Guatemalan:
"Shifting over to Sergeant Richard Lambey, he was shot on Holy Saturday in the Caracol Archeological Reserve. That's another very unfortunate incident. Is there any update on that incident? Can we confirm if Guatemalans were the shooters?"
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security:
"I believe we have confirmed and that they are. Again it's another unfortunate incident, we've already made strong representations in this regard. We are happy that Mr. Lambey is safe and recovering and being given the best possible treatment for his injuries."
Lovell Loathes Leaks, Wants Lawsuit
He could not confirm, but Saldivar also could not deny. And the information that is fuelling the speculation, is from an internal BDF report, fed to the media by whistleblowers who have been leaking reports to the media. That's how the media got the details of Staff Sergeant Lambey's shooting, and the history of Guatemala's 10 year aggression toward the BDF in the Sarstoon River.
Well, National Security CEO George Lovell wants to plug those leaks, because according to him, these documents compromise the national security apparatus. He made the case to us today:
George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security:
"It is very unfortunate that we are getting these type of clear breach of security which obviously comes from individuals who, firstly had access to these things. The entire system have people who are disloyal, in my opinion, who are dishonest, who even though they understand that they can have some adverse security implications, on not just the department or organization from which these things come from but the entire national security of this nation."
GOB Seeking Guatemalan Help With Lambey Investigation
And while the BDF have done a preliminary report, who's doing the investigation into the identity of the Guatemalans who ambushed Staff Sergeant Lambey? The Government's press release immediately following the Holy Saturday shooting stated that the Government intended to call in the Organization of American States to verify the details and evidence of the shooting.
But what about the police investigation? Lovell told us that at this time, the main line of inquiry for the investigators is the Guatemalan angle:
George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security:
"Very unfortunate incident. One when you look at it, it may or may not could have been avoided. It depends on how one would look at it. I can tell you that there have been a series of investigations done. Whenever there is any criminal activity or occurrence. What normally happens is our police who has jurisdiction to investigate these matters, conducts an investigation which was done. And a report was provided to us by the commissioner of police in that regard. We had also, because this occurred in that area that we refer to as the adjacency zone, which is administered by Belize which is sort of East of where the border lies. "
CEO Lovell Put In A Word At The OAS
And while they have engaged the Guatemalans, Belize also spoke up to the OAS today when the member states held a meeting via Skype. National Ministry CEO George Lovell was Belize's representative. He told the press that he while he had their attention, he took the opportunity to voice Belize's position on the Sarstoon River, given the recent confrontations initiated by the Guatemalan armed forces. He read an excerpt of that speech to the media:
George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security:
"Belize shall maintain its position and continue to act always strictly in accordance with international law and the spirit of good neighborliness. We invite the Republic of Guatemala to similarly do so. Furthermore, the government of Belize reiterates its invitation, which we've already given to the government of the Republic of Guatemala and the OAS to join with Belize in the constructive engagement for the establishment of a set of confident building measures that are specific to the Starstoon. In order to ensure the maintenance of peace and stability and avoid future conflict between our 2 countries in that areas. Until such time that a definite settlement our differendum is reached by whatever means. I have to say through whatever means because we don't know how we will reach that settlement."
Saldivar: Border Solution Cannot Be Military
But are those types of interventions at the OAS, diplomatic protest notes and friendly military and ministerial visits actually making a difference? At the surface, it doesn't seem like they are because the border tensions are intensifying -. Well, Saldivar says that regardless of the border situation - the solution is diplomatic, not military.
"Looking at all these incidents, Sergeant Richard Lambey, the SATIIM confrontation and as well as several confrontation between the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the Guatemalan Navy. What is being done to regulate these issues? Its increasingly alarming looking at these cases."
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security:
"First of all, it is clear that there's a new position that is being adopted by the Guatemalan, either the government or the military or both. This is of recent, we have to take the necessary actions diplomatically and otherwise to make sure that our case is heard. There is certainly, as we continue to repeat, there is not a military solution to what is happening here. We've got to continue to plow away at the diplomatic solution and that's what we're doing in the strongest possible terms. We are trying to make sure that we maintain the support of all our brothers and sister nations that have previously supported our independence and our continued territorial integrity and sovereignty, using the diplomatic channels. I am hopeful that we'll be able to resolve this."
Securing The Border, The Broader Picture
Now civil border relations and diplomacy can only go so far, there must be a strategic border security plan in place on the ground. Saldivar told us that with the Forward Operating Base at the Sarstoon, the 2 new Taiwanese helicopters and a new road that will be built along the border - they should be able to better protect Belizean territory.
Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security:
"As you know, we've placed several forward operating bases, several conservation posts in place in that area. We're looking at putting a road, the Prime Minister has already announced that he is making the funds available for us to put a dirt road that will give us access to another crucial area. We're also contemplating a road around the border that will give us better access to the border areas. We're working at it, resources are scarce, and it's an expensive venture. National security is expensive and we've been increasing our budget in national security annually over the last 8 years but it's still not enough, we've just got to keep plowing away at it."
"As you said rightfully it's still not enough, what else is being done apart from increasing or bolstering the patrols in these specific or strategic areas along the border?"
Belize-Guatemala Border, Open All Night...
And while there's all this friction surrounding Belize's southern and western boundaries with Guatemala, at the Benque border, the Belize-Guatemala situation is actually being relaxed. Last night, for the first time in memory, the Melchor border station in Guatemala was opened for 24 hours. Usually it closes at 9:00 in the night and opens at 6:00 am. But as of yesterday things have changed - and we understand that the directive going forward is to open the border 24/7. That's how Belize's border with Mexico operates but because of our territorial dispute, it's always been different with Guatemala. We understand it is a political directive coming from the governor of Petén. Belize has reciprocated and customs and immigration are now also on the Belize side 24/7. And while it does open the door for greater trade and better relations, more security will be needed on the Belize side - since the border is a hotspot for all kinds of smuggling and trafficking. More than that, it's also going to be one heck of a headache on Friday nights when Benque barhoppers can stay over in "Champung" for as long as they want!
CDC Says Belize Has ZIKA
There's very bad news for the Belize tourism industry tonight: reports say that the Centers for Disease Control in the USA will issue a Zika travel advisory for Belize tomorrow. The CDC says that a female traveled to Belize from the 14th to the 19th of March this year began having fever and rash on the 23rd of March. She reports to have recently traveled to only Belize and tested negative for any possible sexual transmission of the virus.
Now a press release from the Ministry of Health says they are still fighting it. They say that are currently in communication with the officials at CDC and the PAHO office in Belize to get more information in order to launch a proper epidemiology investigation. Again the Ministry reiterated that they are not at this time confirming the first case of Zika in Belize.
Keeping ZIKA Awareness High
But, regardless, the world will soon know Belize as having Zika. Undaunted, UNICEF is taking on the disease. Today in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of local Government and the Mayor's Association, UNICEF held the start of a two day training workshop for communication directors and town and city councilors in all 9 municipalities. The training was geared towards sensitizing municipal authorities in how to develop evidence-based and community-based vector control interventions. The workshop placed a particular emphasis on Zika. Today we spoke to the UNICEF representative where we learned about the communication strategies they are trying to promote and why it is that UNICEF has now joined the Zika fight.
Denise Robateau, Education Officer - UNICEF:
"UNICEF has an initiative with the Ministry of Local Government on sustainable child friendly municipalities. The municipalities as you know, have been looking at strategic plans for making their community safe for children. In light of that initiative, the municipalities have started a lot of the clean-up campaigns. They have started advocacy. So our purpose here today is to help, and is to give the ideas in terms of communication for development. So we have with us from the region, a communication for development specialist and he has been sharing a lot of the different ideas so as to reach to community at a local level."
Hello, Harvest Caye!
In November of this year, the country's cruise profile is set to change drastically when Norwegian Cruise Line officially opens its Harvest Caye Cruise Port. It's the much talked about, multimillion dollar facility on Harvest Caye, just off the Placencia Peninsula.
Today, NCL invited the media and the Government to Placencia for a local launch of the project. No, we didn't get to visit Harvest Caye for ourselves; the executives have promised to do that a later date. But, we did get an update on the status of the project from NCL Senior Vice President Colin Murphy, who is in charge of Destination & Port Operations. Here's his presentation to the gathering the Belize Ocean Club Resort which happened this afternoon:
Colin Murphy, V.P., Destination Development, NCL:
"So this is the beach and the beach look fabulous I gotta say. More trees and more shade, but the beach came out extremely well and we are very happy with the outcome. We try to give the building a little bit of character and styles, so they are not boring and functional buildings. The bathrooms will have similar look. These are the early days of those beach fillers, we had landscape to go in to make them look very nice.
Millions From US/Carsi For Justice/Crime Fighting
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and US Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno invited the press to Belmopan today for the signing of the 16th Amendment to the Letter of Agreement implementing the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs program. It's a part of the Central American Regional Security Initiative, through which the US Government has provided Belize with funding of 35 million US dollars in programs and grants since 2008.
With today's signing, Belize is receiving another US 6.45 million dollars which will continue some of the CARSI funded programs in Belize. But, there is an allocation in that new disbursement which will go straight toward criminal justice reform.
Ambassador Moreno explained how it will work:
Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize:
"We are very proud to offer through our international narcotics and law enforcement affairs office US$6.4 million dollars to the government of Belize to support citizens' security for fiscal year 2015 which extends into the present time. Now much of these funds will continue successful existing projects and programs such as improve border protection, capacity enhancement and community policing.
PM: US Led De-Risking May Reverse Crime-fighting Gains
And while he had the Ambassador at the same head table, Prime Minister Barrow took the opportunity to make the point that the issue of de-risking by the US tier one banks could threaten the progress in regional security that Belize and the other Caribbean Countries have worked hard with the US to foster.
Here's his remarks on the fact that even though the de-rsiking crisis is well known, no tangible progress has been made to resolve the problem:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"I will I'm afraid use this opportunity to say again that a solution must be found to that particular difficulty else, all that we do with respect to security will ultimately count for naught and it's an ongoing struggle as you well know Ambassador and while I must at the same time put on record my extreme gratitude at the facilitation that you helped to organized for when I visited Washington and the courtesy and understanding in which I was treated. The fact is there has been no real progressed and that's a point that I think also needs to be underscored. But, presumably one step at a time Ambassador and certainly this is a welcomed development, the additional funds and the expanded uses to which we are agreeing the funds must be put."
PM Nonplussed On Panama Papers
And keeping it on financial matters, the rest of the world continues to react to the revelation of the Panama Papers. As we reported, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have gotten their hands on 11.5 million financial and legal records from a Panamanian law firm known as Mossack Fonseca and Company.
They say that the leak from Mossack-Fonseca shows how 140 politicians, public officials, and prominent business persons from 200 countries and territories around the world, have supposedly used tax havens to hide their wealth.
So, what's the Prime Minister's reaction it given that Belize's name has been called? Here's his response:
"Clearly my understanding is that there is a mix. There are people who from the develop world who use these offshore jurisdiction for legitimate privacy purposes, but there are just as clearly a few, I think its the minority that will take advantage of trust instruments, the various vehicles that are part of the menu that offshore jurisdictions offer and exploit loopholes for purposes that are certainly questionable if not outright illegal.
Lovell Says Chetumal Extortion Was Isolated
Since Monday, we've been telling you about the crazy story of the Belizean businessman who narrated his tale of extortion in Chetumal at the Fiesta Inn.
The Mexican embassy said that it's an isolated case, affecting only one Belizean out of an estimated thirty thousand that travelled to Quintana Roo over the Easter weekend.
Today, the National Security CEO told the press that his ministry had to get involved, and the information that they've been given from their Mexican counterparts suggests that this businessman's case is indeed isolated:
George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security:
"We do have our friends over in Chetumal you know, and so if a request is made for them to assist and quite often if there in danger or if life is being threatened we rendered assistance."
"Did the ministry get involved in this case?"
George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security:
"Yes we had rendered assistance."
Arana Family: Pay Up, Jose Mai!
The Arana family is calling on the PUP's Jose Mai to step up and pay up for knocking down their mother. Since the accident, the family hasn't gotten any financial support from Mai and they say prayers and words of support won't pay the mounting hospital bill. Today Julia Arana's son Nissan came to our studios and gave us an update on his mother's condition and to send that message to Mai.
Nissan Arana, son of accident victim
"Up to now the furthest that the doctors are saying is that she is still in a condition that's not recognizable so far. They are waiting for after the medication wear off what will be her response. But to talk to her she doesn't recognize anyone."
"So she's not responding?"
Nissan Arana, son of accident victim:
"Right now she is not responding and not talking at all. She listens, but she doesn't recognize anything."
A Strategy For Growth And Sustainable Development
How can Belizeans have a better quality of life now and in the future? Well the Government's Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy outlines specific goals that should secure that quality of life. The strategy incorporates ways to drive the economy forward, to improve government policies and citizen security and to better protect the environment among other key areas. Now another report that sort of compliments this new strategy is the World Bank Group Report called " Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future." Today at the official launch we spoke to Lead Economist Francisco Carneiro and he told us that Belize has quite a few areas to improve on especially financial sustainability.
Saldivar Plays Sherriff In Deputy Race
The race for UDP First Deputy Leader looks more like a sprint right now although no one knows where the finish line is. That's because no date has been set for the convention. But, both candidates, Patrick Faber and John Saldivar have been racking up the endorsements. Faber came out early with a press conference featuring three ministers and 6 standard bearers, but Saldivar has been racking up his own endorsements recently, with a powerhouse ad featuring the entire UDP Cayo Caucus endorsing him - and now he has the same from Dangriga's Frank Pawpa Mena. And while he's on a media blitz, Saldivar says it is more than just the ads, he says he has gotten a lot of support from delegates on his campaign. Today he told us how his campaign has been going:
Belizean Produced Nicki Minaj's Hit "Anaconda"
Another outstanding young Belizean is John Myvett, the music producer known as "Anonymous." He didn't go to Harvard, but he's been toying with computers and music since he was 14, and now, just in his mid - 20's, he's been nominated for a Grammy award as the producer of one of Nicki Minaj's biggest hits, and he's currently working on the score for a new Will Smith movie. He's in Belize right now helping out his cousin, Shyne Barrow. Yes, that's right, Myvett is another one of Michael Finnegan's nephews, and he's here to help Shyne out with a new program he's doing at the B-Tec Center called the music master class. Shyne and Anonymous told us more:…
And John Myvette is the one who took the initiative when he produced the basic track for "Anaconda" - which is one of the biggest Nicki Minaj tracks ever. He told us how he put that together:
Orange Walkeno Is Harvard Bound
Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is one of the most selective - so only the brightest of the brightest can get in there. And it is also one of the most expensive, meaning even if you're brilliant, you've got to have long, long cheddar to get inside it's ivy walls. Orange Walkeno Angel Navidad had only one of those pre-requsities: he's brilliant. But, he had one other thing: he doesn't mind being rejected, so figuring he had nothing to lose, he wrote an admission essay to Harvard - and he ended up with a full four-year scholarship. Today he visited his old school in Orange Walk, Bishop Martin High School and told CTV-3 how he did it:..
Angel leaves in August.
According to internet sources, standard annual tuition at Harvard is $45 thousand US dollars, with another 15 thousand for Room and board - bringing it to a total of $60 grand per year.
Dealing With Diabetes
Today in observance of World Health Day, the Ministry of Health in partnership with the World Health Organization made a global call to "Beat Diabetes." For some years, the non-communicable disease was ranked as the number one cause of death in the country. In 2014, it fell back to number three. But according to the Ministry of Health, regional and national trends seems to indicate an increase in the number of diabetes cases in the very near future. That is if behavioral change in the community is not sustained. In light of this and in commemoration of World Health Day, the Ministry of Health along with its partners hosted a Diabetes awareness forum and symposium at the Biltmore this morning.
In observance of World Health Day, several regions will organize activities throughout the week including a Diabetes Walk in San Ignacio Town, Diabetes Information Presentations for Senior Citizens at Helpage Center in Orange Walk, and a Diabetes Health Session with schools in Punta Gorda Town.
Re: Today's Belize News: April 8, 2016
04/08/16 05:13 AM
04/08/16 05:13 AM
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PM Barrow Speaks on SATIIM Incident in Sarstoon
A meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala scheduled for this Friday has been postponed for sometime next week. It would have discussed the new stance by Guatemala [...]
Minister of National Security Says GAF Actions Are Unacceptable
The Minster of National Security John Saldivar was also asked today about the most recent Sarstoon incident. He offered few details on the aggression by the Guatemalan Armed Forces against [...]
National Security CEO Discusses Sarstoon with OAS Permanent Council
The government, particularly Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, has come under fire for a perception of timidity where negotiations with Guatemala are concerned. There has been a consistent criticism that the [...]
Is Guatemala Using Aggression as ICJ Strategy?
There are differing viewpoints on the Guatemalan claim on the entire Sarstoon. Minister Wilfred Elrington has maintained that nothing has changed since 1939, where Guatemala’s position on owning the river [...]
Minister Saldivar Says CBMs Have Defused Tension
On a previous occasion in the Sarstoon between the B.D.F. and the GAF the B.D.F. said that they had secured commitment from the GAF, to stand off but the SATIIM [...]
OAS Joint Verification Exercise Conducted in Shooting of BDF Soldier
Today the Ministry of National Security confirmed that based on a Police investigation into the shooting of B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, they believe that the assailants were Guatemalan citizens [...]
CEO Lovell Says Lambey Should Not Have Been Alone
The B.D.F. report into the incident revealed that Staff Sergeant Lambey was alone when he was ambushed by seven Guatemalan men, and the patrol he was leading came on the [...]
Investigations Show Guatemalans Were the Shooters
Today, Minister of National Security John Saldivar told the media that it has been confirmed that Guatemalans shot Staff Sergeant Lambey. He says that the problem in the Sarstoon does [...]
US Hands Over US$1.4M for Justice Sector Reform
The Central America Regional Security Initiative, very affectionately known as CARSI. We say affectionately because since 2008 Belize has received over thirty-five million in programs and grants. In fiscal year [...]
Ambassador Moreno Says Prosecution in Belize Needs Strengthening
Ambassador Moreno explained that there are very specific allocations for the funding, but all of it is geared to improving a justice system which has shown some wear and tear, [...]
NCL Stakeholders Say Harvest Caye Project Means More Jobs
The inauguration of the cruise port in Southern Belize is scheduled for November seventeenth 2016. The launch of the Norwegian Cruise Line’s project has been delayed somewhat but according to [...]
Tourism Minister Says Southern Stakeholders Must Organize
The idea of introducing cruise tourism to southern Belize was initially met with objection from various communities, primarily from residents of Placencia, as it relates to the Harvest Caye development. [...]
No progress in solving the loss of correspondent banking
Earlier in this block we told you about the extremely generous donations to Belize through CARSI, a US initiative aimed ultimately at strengthening regional security. But the happy – happy, [...]
Was Drug Cartel Involved in Former Minister’s Scare in Chetumal?
Was a Belizean businessman and former Minister really targeted by a drug cartel as he vacationed in Chetumal at the Fiesta Inn a week ago? He claims he was, and [...]
World Bank Analyzes Belize’s Economy
The Ministry of Economic Development launched its National Growth and Sustainable Strategy earlier today, a few hours ahead of a new report by the World Bank Group which looks at [...]
Financial Sector Dubbed Uncompromising
While tourism and agriculture have both been identified as key pillars of Belize’s economy, there is a certain nervousness when it comes to the impact of both sectors on the [...]
How Does Belize’s Dropout Rate Compare to Latin America?
On a positive note where it concerns the education system, the completion rate at the primary level is significantly higher in Belize than anywhere else in Latin America. While that [...]
World Health Organization Focuses on Diabetes
In 2015, health expenditure for diabetes in the Americas was estimated at three hundred and eighty-two billion dollars and that staggering figure will increase to around four hundred and forty-five [...]
Healthy Living looks at how to prevent diabetes
Earlier in our newscast, we showed you the World Health Day Forum held under the theme “Beat Diabetes”. When we talk about diabetes, we often focus on knowing your status [...]
Prime Minister Not Surprised About Aggression
The aggression that rangers from SATIM suffered yesterday at the hands of Guatemalan Armed Forces while patrolling the Sarstoon-Temash National Park, on the South of the Sarstoon River continues to make headlines tonight.
As is reported the rangers were on their routine patrol when they were stopped by a Guatemalan naval vessel. The Guatemalan Authorities, in a very aggressive manner, told the rangers that they had breached the new protocol which indicates that any Belizean entering the Sarstoon must get permission from the Guatemalans at their base.
The encounter prompted the Executive Director of SATIM to fire off a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs demanding to know which protocol the rangers had breached since in all its years of patrolling the area it was the first time that rangers were told they had to receive permission from the Guatemalan forces.
Latest Aggression From The Sarstoon To Be Reported To The OAS
As the news of the recent aggression lived at the Sarstoon by SATIM continues to be widely discussed today Minister of National Security John Saldivar weighed in on the issue. But he was as submissive as the Prime Minister and agrees that if the accounts of SATIM as to what transpired yesterday proves to be true it must be resolved in a diplomatic manner.
“First of all let me say that this is unfortunate and certainly if this is the action by the Guatemalan military this is unacceptable and as soon as we can ascertain exactly what took place we will be making the necessary presentations both to the OAS and to Guatemala we trying to get in touch with the Minister of Foreign Affairs but we are definitely going to make a strong presentation if this is the case.”
BMHS Board of Directors Applauds Former Student Accomplishment
The Board of Directors of Bishop Martin High School is also proud of Angel Navidad’s latest achievement and today the Chairman of the Board, Jaime Briceno, told us how Navidad’s accomplishment puts Bishop Martin and Orange Walk Town on high standards.
Jaime Briceno- Chairman of the board- BMHS:
“Bishop Martin is been in existence over ten year and over that period we’ve had a number of achievements that has made us proud of the High School perhaps today is an official one and we are here to honor and to recognize the achievements of one of our fellow students, it is the reason why Bishop Martin exist, it is the reason it is here to provide each and every one of you with a foundation with education for you to make a better life, for you, for yourself and for the community and like the rest of the Board we are extremely proud and happy that Angel has made this achievement that we are her to celebrate with him.”
Vendors Moved To Fort Carns
Last week we told you about the initiative taken by the Orange Walk Town Council to relocate the vendors that lined the sidewalks at the corner of Arthur and Progress Streets. The decision was taken after the Town Council noticed that the problem created by traffic congestion in the area had become a hazard to all passersby especially students who frequently pass through the area.
The vendors were today relocated to the Fort Carnes Market square, where they will still be able to freely sell their produce and the intersection is cleared for pedestrians and drivers to Travers freely, and according to the Mayor the decision is the best one the council could have taken as it benefits the vendors as well as the general public.
BMHS Graduate Awarded Full Scholarship At Harvard
He graduated at the top of his class from Bishop Martin High School and then went off to St Johns Junior College in Belize City from where he graduated with highest honors receiving an associate’s degree in Biology and now he is off to one of the most prestigious universities in the World, Harvard. We are talking about Angel Navidad, who becomes one of the first students in many years to be accepted and offered a scholarship to the high-status university.
But the road to Harvard has not been an easy one for Navidad. Today he visited his former high school, where we got the opportunity to speak to him. He told us while it was tough for him to remain focused on his goals and aspirations, living in a society where drinking and partying are common past times for the youth at the end it all paid off.
Guatemalan military tells Mayan Community patrol that Belizeans must report to them
SATIIM is asking if there is a new international directive for travelling in the Sarstoon River. That’s because the Guatemalan military informed SATIIM on Tuesday, April 5th 2016 that all visits to the Sarstoon must be reported to them. Froyla Tzalam, SATIIM’s Executive Director said that over its ...
Keyren Tzib to be tried for manslaughter
The first of two Supreme Court trials to involve 25 year old Coast Guard officer Keyren Tzib was confirmed today. Tzib will stand trial for a charge of manslaughter in the stabbing death of her common-law husband, Thytis Blancaneaux, in July of 2015 during a domestic dispute at their Lord’s B...
Car Dealer must compensate for vehicle
Western Avenue, Belize City car dealer Albert Wright cut short his trial in the Magistrate’s Court today on a charge of obtaining property by deception by pleading guilty. Now Wright must pay a fine of $1,500 and compensation of nearly 8 thousand dollars to Ken Dyer, the man whom he promised ...
Teenager robbed in Belize City
A 17year old female student was held up and robbed in Belize City. On Monday the 4th of April at around 10:30 a.m, a 17-year-old student of Belize City was walking alone on Princess Margaret Drive when she felt someone pulling her gold chain valued at $500.00 from behind her. When she turned around,...
Teenager detained due to stolen gun investigation
A 15 year old minor has been detained pending investigations of a stolen 12 gauge shotgun. On Tuesday the 5th of April, 74-year-old Windel Gilbert Lizama, a Belizean construction worker of Burrel Boom reported that at about 3:00 p.m that same day, someone stole his 12 gauge Bolt Action shotgun which...
Belize Hosts 2016 CODICADER
This year, the CODICADER games will be hosted and held in Belize. CODICADER is a part of the Central American Integration System (SICA) whose goal is to contribute to the strengthening of integration, solidarity and peace between our neighboring countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ni...
Tropic Aid donates $400 to King’s Children Home
Tropic Air donated $400 to the King’s Children Home in Belmopan as part of their Tropic gives back fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 would be donated to an organization chosen by the staff from that community. In February, $400 was donated to the Arms ...
When did the curfew for children start?
The curfew came into effect and carried on indefinitely as between 1998 and 2000 Jackie Malic, Erica Wills, Sherilee Nicholas, Naomi Hernandez, and Jay Blades lost their lives to whom it was believed was a single individual believed to have been a serial killer. The response was a knee jerk reaction in implementing a curfew to a crisis that seemed to have had no end and which saw the cruel slaying of the little girls. But this knee jerk reaction had limited success. Even when the curfew was in effect, the killings continued. That was because all the little girls were being taken in broad daylight when the curfew was not in effect. As time went by the killings stopped and the fear of ‘Jack’ disappeared and so too did the curfew, but it was never taken off the books.
Now a decade and a half later, Belize City is being plagued by a different problem. The problem is one where the very young people that the curfew was designed to protect are actually creating an unsafe environment for residents in the city. The police have identified that problem to be young people who associate with older gang members and are basically sucked into the gang-lifestyle often times committing serious crimes including robberies and murders.
Johnny installs Cordel as his deputy and gets rid of those who do not support him
It seems like Johnny is now set on getting rid of those PUP’s that did not support him in his recent leadership bid. All of those who did not support him may feel the edge of Johnny’s razor-sharp machete. At a meeting of the PUP National Executive, heads were falling left, right and center. Assistant Communications Director Vaughan Gill, a Julius Espat loyalist and Francis Fonseca supporter in the convention was replaced with whom we don’t know as yet. As far as we know Vaughan Gill may be the only person who has experience in the field of journalism, but that did not matter when it came time for him to face the machete. Vaughan was one of those persons who were always talking about those persons who he referred to as wanting to break up the party during the time when Francis was leader and Johnny was rebelling. Some rather nasty things were said at the time and Johnny it seems has not forgotten them.
Grandma Busted with marijuana in margarine bucket
Florence Choc, 54, of Carmelita Village must pay the court $10,000 by August 31 or serve three years imprisonment for trying to smuggle weed into the Belize Central Prison four and a half years ago.
On September 4, 2011, Choc went to visit an inmate at the Kolbe Foundation with a margarine bucket for the person. Before she was allowed to enter, Prison Officer Reynar Valencio conducted a routine check on her. An inspection of the margarine bucket made officers realize that it had been altered. Valencio noticed that there were two buckets, one inside the other. He further inspected the bucket and found multiple parcels in the space that is between the base of both buckets. The parcels contained marijuana and as a result Choc was apprehended. She was held until Hattieville police arrived at the prison and arrested her for the marijuana found inside her bucket.
Altercation leads to murder in Selena, Cayo
The imbibing of alcohol in public places has always been discouraged by the authorities. There are good reasons for this, since alcohol lowers inhibition and can foment disputes with tragic consequences, such was the case in Selena Village in Cayo over the weekend.
Police visited Selena village on Saturday, April 2, where they saw the lifeless body of an elderly Hispanic descent man, with multiple chop wounds to the under part of his body, in an open lot behind the Iguana Creek Government School. He was later identified as Edgar Alfonso Perdomo Aldana, a 63 year old, Guatemalan Laborer of Selena Village.
Traffic fatality in Trial Farm
Hilberto Coyoc, a 40 year-old resident of Trial Farm Village, was knocked down and killed on Thursday, March 31, almost 24 hours before Julia Arana was hit by PUP Deputy Party Leader Jose Mai (see story on page 4)
The driver of a silver Mazda car, 60 year-old Benjamin Carillo Sr., told police that he was driving on the Highway between mile 55 and 56 at around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. He told police that he did not notice Coyoc lying in the middle of his lane until it was too late, when he ran him over with the vehicle. The accident killed Coyoc on the scene.
13 year old harmed in Belmopan
A concerned Belizean father from Belmopan has reported that his 13 year old daughter was having an affair. The 50 year old Businessman visited the Belmopan police station along with his 13 year old daughter, who is a student residing at his address, and reported having observed a black and blue mark around her neck. He suspected that she was having an affair.
The daughter reported that between November and December of 2015 she had sexual intercourse on different dates with four different men.
Five persons charged for attacking police
On Monday of this week a special Western Regional Operation was launched, which involved Benque Viejo and San Ignacio Police and the Special Patrol Unit, which resulted in the detention of five persons from a Church Hill Street address in Benque Viejo. Caught within this sweep were 29 year old Merari Lopez, 46 year old Santos Osorio, 35 year old Herson Lopez, 28 year old Julio Portillo and 30 year old Mirahim Lopez. They were all arrested and charged for the crime of Aggravated Assault and the use of Threatening Words.
This follows an incident over three weeks ago when chaos almost descended on the streets of Benque. A police report records that on Saturday 12th March 2016 about 12:30 pm; members of the Benque Viejo Police were conducting foot patrols by the Planting Patch Area, along the banks of the Mopan River, in Benque Viejo Town, and had detained two Hispanic men for uncustomed goods. Whilst having them detained, a woman along with eight other men ambushed the Police with rocks and machetes, demanding the release of the two men, where they were shouting in Spanish, “Vamos a Matar a los Policia” which means in English, “ Lets’ Kill the Police Officers”.
Western Regional Commander commends Roaring Creek Police
The Western Regional Police Commander, Andrew Ramirez, has commended the work from Roaring Creek Police; under the command of Inspector Octaviano Victorin, for their swift apprehension of culprits related to a daring daylight robbery in Roaring Creek last week.
“[The] Western Regional Commander commends the swift work from Roaring Creek Police ...who all showed commitment, dedication and eagerness to find the culprits,” he noted.
Roaring Creek Police responded to a call of a robbery in progress at the falls area near the river located in Roaring Creek Village at about 3:15 pm on Wednesday of last week. Shanda Mckoy 21 year old Belizean student of Roaring Creek Village reported to police that on the same day about 3:00 pm, she was walking up the steps that lead from the bottom of the river after taking a bath along with her 13 year old cousin and a male friend when they were approached by two dark skinned males.
Glenford Soberanis chops landlord with a machete
Tour guide Glenford Soberanis, 36, is lucky to be a free man after he pleaded guilty to one count of wounding for chopping his landlord, Lloyd Flowers, 69, with a machete just after midnight on Sunday, April 3.
In a report to police, Flowers said that at about 12 midnight Soberanis was drinking in his yard and making a lot of noise. Therefore, he went to see what the noise was all about and put a stop to it. This caused an altercation to ensue between him and Soberanis. The argument escalated and Soberanis pulled out a machete and chopped him across the left side of his head. Flowers went to seek medical attention at the Karl Heusner Memorial and was later issued a medico legal form in which the doctor classified his injury as wounding. Soberanis was detained by police and charged for the offence.
Solar panels stolen from Ministry of Works
A set of solar panels have been stolen from the Ministry of Works. James Robinson a 63 year old Belizean Project Engineer for Road Safety, Ministry of Works, reported that on 29th March 2016 the solar panels attached to the radar signs between miles 38 and 39 on the George Price Highway were discovered missing. They are valued at $1,800.00 Belize currency, property of the Government of Belize.
The Public is asked if they know the whereabouts of these panels, to contact the nearest Police Station or Roaring Police Station at 802-0402
Keyren Tzib to stand trial for manslaughter
Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled on Wednesday, April 6, that the prosecution has presented a prema facie case for former Coast Guard officer, Keyren Tzib, 25, to stand trial for the manslaughter of Thythis Blancaneaux.
In a Preliminary Inquiry on February 24, Tzib’s attorney, Darrel Bradley, challenged the evidence put forward by Prosecutor Christopher Smith. Bradley submitted that there are a number of inconsistencies in the statements of two of the crown’s main witnesses. Chief Magistrate Smith said that is something for the Supreme Court to look at and ruled that there is sufficient evidence for Tzib to face trial.
Thytis Blancaneaux, a 30 year-old resident of the Spanish Town area of Lord’s Bank Village, was found dead in his home on Saturday, July 18, 2015. It is believed that his common-law wife, 24 year-old Keyren Tzib, who was already out on bail for attempted murder, was his attacker.
UDP Central Executive meets to finalize deputy leader convention date
The Central Executive of the United Democratic Party met on Wednesday April 6 during which the final preparations were discussed for the extraordinary convention to select a new first Deputy for the Party.
Among the discussed topics were the location of where the convention will be held as well as the date when the convention will be held. A final decision on either the location or the date has not been decided on.
Lorenzo Garbutt, 26, allegedly had sex with 14 year old girl four times
A fisherman of Bingo King Apartment #9, Lorenzo Garbutt, 26, is being accused of having sex with a minor on four separate occasions between the period of March 25, 2016 and March 30, 2016. The minor, in the company of an adult, visited the police station and reported that Garbutt had sexual intercourse with her on four different occasions at his apartment. As a result of the report, a police mobile unit visited Garbutt’s apartment in order to detain the accused.
On Thursday, March 31, police visited Garbutt’s apartment and upon their arrival they heard a door slam shut. This caused them to become suspicious and they rushed into the apartment. The officers conducted a search inside his room where they found some green leafy like substance on his bed board that proved to be cannabis. Garbutt was arrested and taken to the police station where the cannabis was weighed in his presence. It amounted to 1.2 grams. He was charged for possession of a controlled drug. Later, he was charged for the original report with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Mexican woman and two Belizeans caught with over US$130,000
Three persons were taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court on separate charges after they were found in possession of over US$130,000 at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on Wednesday, April 6.
Mexican businesswoman, Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado, 42, was with Wilfrido Catzim, 36, a cane farmer of San Narcisco Village, and Nair Arjenis Balam, 25, an employee of the Corozal Freezone, when officials of the Financial Intelligence Unit stopped her. Allegations being made against Rosado are that on Tuesday, April 5, she attempted to leave Belize with US$137,130 in United States currency without making a declaration to an official of FIU. Balam was allegedly found in possession of US$9,900 and Catzim was found in possession of US$9,880.
Missing person in Cayo
An unemployed female teenager has been reported missing in Cayo. A Belizean worker of Bullet Tree Falls Village, Esther Teck reported that on Monday 4th April, 2016 at approximately 12:00 pm, she had texted her daughter Heidi Teck in an attempt to discover her whereabouts. At that point in time, her 16 year old daughter informed that she was going to Placencia with her friends to find a job. Teck had responded that she didn’t approve for her daughter to seek a job as she was a minor, so she asked her to come back home.
Anthony Morris Jr. charged for burglary of Angelus Press
Anthony Morris Jr. charged faAngelus Press Ltd. at #10 Queen Street was burglarized over the weekend and police believe that Anthony Morris Jr., 38, is the man responsible. On Saturday, April 2, the burglar broke in and stole a Gardex Safe valued at $3,000 which contained three cash pans with $1,064 in different denominations. The safe also contained a gift certificate book for Angeles Press. Police were called in to the establishment and reviewed the surveillance tapes. Based on these recordings, they apprehended Morris Jr. and charged him with burglary.
Irvin Pitts accused of rape
A plumber of #7254 Kraal Road is being accused of forcefully penetrating the mouth of a woman who he promised a ride home to.
The victim told police that just after 3 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, she and her sisters were heading home from a night of partying when Irvin Pitts offered them a drop home. He took her two sisters home first and on their way to her home he diverted to his house. Pitts allegedly told her that he had to pick up something from his house. He left her in the vehicle for about 30 minutes and the woman became annoyed. She then decided to go to knock at his door to check on him. According to the woman, that was when Pitts ambushed her from behind and pushed her into his house. She fell to the ground and he tried to rape her. The woman told Pitts that she was menstruating. Pitts then told her that since he could not get sex she will have to perform oral sex on him. He then forced her to perform oral sex. The woman said she complied out of fear for her life.
Ground breaking for Lake Independence Resource Center
On Monday April 4 ground was broken in Lake Independence for the construction of the Lake Independence Resource Center. The center is a part of the Community Infrastructure Support component of the Youth and Community Transformation Project. This project is geared at reducing vulnerabilities of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake Independence, Pickstock and Port Loyola division of Belize City. This will be achieved by providing services to enhance literacy and adaptive life skills, support conflict mediation, and improve inter-linkages and the sharing of best practices among participating agencies working within these communities.
On completion of the resource center, which is scheduled in September of next year, it will have a 21,000 square feet single storey structure which will include training rooms for programs of pre-literacy and after school literacy programs, adaptive life skills programs, arts and cultural programs as well as indoor multipurpose sports programs. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche says the project will provide a safe space in the community focusing on young people and families.
NICH launches National Cultural Policy
In 2010 the President of the National Institute of Culture and History, Diane Haylock, approached two of her most senior officials to start a conversation about the need for a cultural preservation policy. Those individuals in the initial conversation with Haylock were Dr. John Morris, Director of Archeology, and Nigel Encalada, Director of the Institute of Social and Cultural Research. After five years the National Culture Policy was launched on Thursday, March 31, and some of those key individuals present at the initial discussion table looked back on their journey.
“There were many questions about the cultures of Belize and we needed some guiding principles that could help us chart the way forward,” said Dr. Morris. “Everything on this document literally comes from the people who are on the streets, the people who live Belizean culture. We simply just put their words on paper.”
PACT Shares $1.2 Million among 7 organizations
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), with the blessings of Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development, awarded over $1.2 million in new grant funding to seven organizations on Thursday, March 31: the Belize Audubon Society, the Fisheries Department (Hol Chan Marine Reserve Team), Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Sarteneja Fishermen Association (SFA), Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association (STACA), Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group (CBSWCG) and Celso Poot.
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) is a statutory board responsible to encourage and promote the protection, conservation and enhancement of Belize’s natural and cultural resources. PACT awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. There are four categories of grants: Large, Medium, Small and Research Grants. Two organizations received large grants this year; one received medium, three received small grants and two received research grants.
Unicef is against the children curfew, but what is the alternative?
“So I will be giving my officers direction that if you see any young person on the street after 9 - when I say young person, I mean anyone under the age of 18 after 9pm, we will take that person into the police station. Unless that person is with a guardian supervising him or her on the street. So we are now going to hold the parents accountable. Because we have this propensity of going out there blaming the government, blaming the police for crime, when in fact sometime we fail to look at the root cause of crime which is in our own home - the way we supervise our children.” These words uttered by then Sr. Superintendent Chester Williams on July 30, 2015 have since sparked an array of discussions both for and against what is now known as the Children Curfew.
There have been many people opposing this initiative and now almost a year later, the child protection agency UNICEF has come out and made their position public. Luwani Cayetano, child protection officer with UNICEF in an interview with Channel 7 said, “From the UNICEF side, we wanted to make it very clear that moving forward we would like to work on some of those alternatives. How can we work more concretely on some of the things that are ongoing, but also how we can have some more inventive approaches?
World Bank officials in Belize to release diagnostic report
Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Francisco Carneiro, World Bank Lead Economist for the Caribbean, and other senior officials of the World Bank are in Belize for the release of its latest diagnostic on the country’s economy and the launch of Belize’s “Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS)” for the period 2016-2019.
The report to be released by the World Bank is titled “Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future”. Based on our conversation with individuals familiar with discussion between Belize and the Bank, the report points out that GDP Per Capita has stagnated since 2002 and high interest rates at the commercial banks have limited access to finance and caused negative impacts on the economy. The report points out that Belize has great opportunities for economic development with its young population, large land mass, access to the Caribbean Sea, attractive coral reef system and prime geographic location for access to key markets. However, Belize is too vulnerable to shocks from natural disasters; the public sector debt is concerning; unemployment rate is high and savings is low.
Andrew Zimmerman unwinds in Belize
The Food Network’s ‘Bizarre Foods’ show host, Andrew Zimmerman was in Belize vacationing. According to a post of Zimmerman’s Instagram page he was in the country for eight days and had the opportunity to visit San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Halfmoon Caye, the Great Blue Hole, Xunantunich and the Actun Tunichil Muchnal Cave.
During his visit Zimmerman met at least one Belizean politician, Philip Willoughby who posted a picture of himself and the TV food program host on his Facebook Page.
Zimmerman is the host of the popular Bizarre Foods program on the Food Network where he gets the opportunity to visit various destinations around the world and samples exotic and bizarre foods. He featured Belize’s cuisine back in 2009 when he visited the country back then as part of his show.
Smart Belize Hurricanes top team into the National Elite Basketball League playoffs
The 2016 National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the weekend with a number of games on the schedule.
On Friday 1st April, 2016, at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium in Belize City, the host team Smart Belize Hurricanes won over its next door neighbour the Belize City No Limit Team by the score of 74-63.
The top scorers for the Smart Belize Hurricanes were Farron Louriano with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal; Leroy Louriano with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 steals and Akeem Watters with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. For the Belize City No Limit team, the top scorers were Jamaal Augustine with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal; Michael Bables with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists and Lennox Bowman with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
Meanwhile, out at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the host team Cayo Western Ballaz won handily over the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 88-58.
Belize will host CODICADER games
Belize has been selected and has accepted to host the 2016 Central American Council of Sports & Recreation (CODICADER) Games. The games which are scheduled from the 6th to the 11th of July 2016 will be played across the country simultaneously in Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan and Belize City.
Sporting disciplines which will be played are table tennis, football, basketball and volleyball. Athletes between the ages of 6 to 12 years from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize will participate in the games.
CODICADER is an organ of the Central American Integration System (SICA) whose goal is to contribute to the strengthening of integration, solidarity and peace between the peoples of member countries.
The Official Launching will be held Friday, 8th April 2016 at 9:00 am at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City.
Softball Federation calls junior female softballers to training camp
In preparation for the XV Central American Junior Female Softball Championship that is scheduled for August 11-14, 2016, at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City, the Belize Softball Federation is calling all junior female softballers, 19 years and under, to its training camp scheduled for Saturday, 9th April, 2016, at 9:00 am at Rogers Stadium.
Junior softballers are asked to bring along an ID card, to verify date of birth, and their own softball glove.
Raymond Garbutt Cayo Senior Female Competition opens
The Raymond Garbutt Cayo Softball Association Senior Female Competition for 2016 opened on Sunday 13th March, 2016, at the Elston Galvez Stadium in Roaring Creek Village with three games on the schedule.
This year’s Cayo Softball Association is featuring six teams namely: Esperanza Wolverines, Unitedville Rebels United, Camalote, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy, Belmopan Capital City Emeralds and the Belmopan Bandits.
In the first game played, Belmopan Bandits made its debut by picking up an easy won via the default route over Camalote.
In game two, Unitedville Rebels United won handily over Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 8-0. This game utilised the Run-a- Head rule. The winning pitcher was Nikita Perez and the losing pitcher was Shareenie Soberanis. Unitedville Rebels United’s Indira Ireland hit the 1st home run of the 2016 Season campaign.
Special Olympics Belize to hold Fun Run on April 9
Special Olympics Belize will be holding its Fun Run on Saturday 9th April, 2016, across the country of Belize.
The Fun run will commence at 6:00 am in Corozal Town and will start at the Central Park. In Orange Walk Town, the run will commence at 9:00 am and will start at St. Peter’s Anglican School. In Belize City, the event will start at 6:00 am from Stella Maris School. In the City of Belmopan, the run will commence at 6:00 am from in front of the National Assembly Building. In Dangriga Town, the run will also commence at 6:00 am from the BTL Princess Royal Park while in Punta Gorda Town, the run will also commence at 6:00 am from the Central Park.
Special Olympics Belize extends an invitation to all to join the Special Olympics Movement, a Unified Community that fosters active inclusion and participation of all regardless of their abilities.
Rural Softball competition opens this Sunday in Lord’s Bank
The Belize Rural Softball Association 2016 senior female competition will commence on Sunday 10th April, at 9:00 am out in Lord’s Bank Village in the Belize District, with the traditional showcase marathon.
This year’s marathon competition will feature the seven teams that will be participating in the regular competition. The teams that will be competing in the competition are Lord’s Bank Sunrise, Double Head Cabbage, Sandhill, Burrell Boom, UB Jaguars, Flowers Bank Easy Does It and Lord’s Bank (new entrant).
The champion and sub-champion of the Belize Rural Softball Competition will join the other champions and sub-champions of the affiliated associations that make up the Belize Softball Federation in August for the National Women’s Softball Championship.
I always find myself disappointed when I see Belizeans online, posting blatantly, negative things about our country. Most of these very same Belizeans glorify countries such as the United States, England and Brazil, as well as cities such as Chetumal and Cancun. I find it to be very ironic, as well as contradictory.
Their Facebook and Twitter posts label Belize as one the most crime riddled, disease plagued, and bureaucratic countries on earth. In reality, the very countries they compare Belize to are countries with exponentially higher instances of the bad things of which they suggest Belize is riddled with.
For example, In Belize, violence is (for the most) perpetuated by and against gang members, kidnappings occur perhaps once every 10 years and ‘drug-wise’, we only cultivate Marijuana for domestic consumption (which is popularly acceptable). It is fact that Belizeans enjoy easy access to the court, public departments and lending institutions. Residents enjoy hundreds of free and safe public spaces such as river sides, sea walls, basketball facilities, parks and playgrounds.
The Hunt Begins (Prepping for your first Job?)
As we approach the end of another School Year, we hope to welcome a batch of new employees to the workforce. While some of us might be privileged enough to find opportunities to continue our studies without having to work, a lot of students will have to work either to sustain themselves or their families. While the job hunt may be one that is approached with optimism by vibrant, enthusiastic, young minds, that optimism swiftly declines for the majority. Few students get jobs directly related to their respective fields of interest and even fewer actually like the jobs they end up doing. But without experience or qualification, we can’t all expect to be rocket scientists straight out of high school. There are many stepping-stone positions available that we can take up to build experience and aptitude; not to mention you’ll be earning money. Especially if you’ve never worked a day in your life before; this might be the hardest thing for you to do, to actually apply for and start a new job. A great number of people never actually complete and submit applications; some irrationally thinking that a quality job will come looking for them. Not all of us are born with silver spoons and how could you know what you like if you haven’t played the field a bit. Apply to as many jobs as you can and cross your fingers hoping the right ones answer.
Re: Today's Belize News: April 8, 2016
04/08/16 05:13 AM
04/08/16 05:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
The Belize Times
Who will be the 3rd Candidate?? – Faber wants it, Gapi got Saldivar’s back, but Barrow noh happy
Is there going to be a third candidate for Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party? The answer is yes and it will be Barrow’s choice for who he wants to succeed him. Rumours and speculation have been flying within the UDP rank and file. Faber may have jumped out first in the race, but Saldivar got the Gapi northern connection and the West is all locked up. Those in the “inner circle” have been too silent but at this weekend UDP national party council meeting, sparks might fly when the UDP oligarchy reveals their hand-picked candidate who has the Party’s blessings to succeed the current leader. Some say it’s Mark Espat, who Barrow credits as his foremost economic guru and political genius, but the UDP insiders say they cannot trust a PUP-backstabber and they will have nothing of that, so it’s down to Carla Barnett. At the last Senate meeting, Carla Barnett pulled a Mark Espat-signature move when she lambasted her own Party’s position on the composition of the Senate. She called for an elected Senate, which Dean Barrow and the UDP had campaigned against in the 2008 elections.
Ever since Belize Telemedia Limited was taken by force by the Barrow Administration in 2009, the company has been slowly pilfered away by the politically connected.
The BELIZE TIMES has reported several instances in which the public-owned company has been making certain UDP-connected individuals rich. Some are given special contracts to sell BTL phones at a higher mark-up price than the original cost of the devices. The company loses. Others in very high places are given exclusive contracts to sell top-up credit to key ministries. Just another get-rich scheme. In other cases, services which were produced internally by the company are slowly being privatized through one-sided lucrative contracts.
A UDP-induced Recession
The philosophy of the UDP is an interesting one, but not a surprising one considering that the party’s leader, Dean Barrow, has been referred to as ‘glitter and no substance’ for years. Nobody denies that he talks pretty. Nobody denies that he’s a great storyteller and a great magician, but apart from that, is there anything of substance really?
Just look around us, and there’s no need to look too far.
The UDP is building streets and roads and roundabouts and sporting complexes. We won’t get into the fact that the roads have potholes just weeks after being paved, or that the cemented streets are cracking up, or that the roundabouts take months and months and months to complete. We won’t mention that the work done is lousy, and we won’t mention that the majority of the contracts are being given to friends and family. We won’t talk about bloated contracts. We won’t even talk about multi-million dollar projects like the Memorial Park given to special companies and then it just deteriorates because nobody can figure out what the hell was built in it or what those state of the art structures are for.
Leaked BDF report reveals Guatemalans could poison key water source
A leaked Belize Defence Force report dated March 31, 2016 has revealed how the security challenges along the western border could exacerbate as incursions by illegal Guatemalans are expected to continue and become even more dangerous for our security officers.
Over the last two years, the lives of two security officers have fallen in jeopardy. There was the September 2014 murder of Tourism police officer Danny Conorquie at the Caracol tourist site at the hands of an armed Guatemalan, and now the Holy Saturday March 26, 2016 shooting of BDF Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, some 334 meters east from the western border. Lambey was ambushed by a group of Guatemalans near a water supply area.
The leaked BDF report containing the findings of an internal investigation into the shooting, explains that Lambey’s ambush and shooting was in retaliation to the March 3rd 2016 shooting and arrest of two Guatemalan nationals near the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. In that incident, the BDF found 56 year old Luis Dias Alballeros and 51 year old Francisco Torres Sucup, Guatemalan nationals, almost 600 kilometers inside Belizean territory. The BDF reported that as they prepared to destroy marijuana plantations, Sucup charged at them with a 9mm pistol while Alballeros attempted to assault them with a 12 gauge shotgun. In defense, Sucup was shot in his leg.
A Castrated Leadership
This United Democratic Party government has always been considered by the vast majority of the Belizean populace as a party lacking the wherewithal to govern and lead Belize to the majestic heights it deserves to reach.
This nation is becoming threatened by Guatemalan military aggression and its encroachment by its civilians in the western and southern frontiers. Danny Conorquie’s death and now Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey of the Belize Defense Force being shot underscores the severity of the border situation with Guatemala.
Another serious challenge facing the Jewel is the approaching economic storm from various fronts: the recent “banking Armageddon”, i.e. the de-risking banking crisis, the matter of the world “sliding back into recession” cited by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. There is also the force of globalization and trade liberalization, as well as the winds of climate change, all of which is affecting Belize’s Agro Industry.
BDF eliminates Verdes 1-0 in PLB football
The Belize Defence Force virtually clinched their berth in the playoffs of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) closing season tournament by eliminating last year’s champions Verdes FC 1-0 at the MCC grounds on Sunday, April 3; in the last of a series of back matches played over the weekend.
Verdes FC desperately needed the win to qualify to the playoffs, and Marlon Molina and Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton led their offensive supported by Richard “Cheety” Jimenez and Garrett Bermudez on the wing, and Jamil Cano and San Leobardo Mendez at midfield. But they got no reprieve from the BDF defense anchored by Vallan Symns, along with Ricky Ricketts, Leon “Chow” Cadle and Mark Arzu.
Daniel Cano wins Weekend Warriors Cross Country Classic
Team Santino’s Daniel Cano won the 6th annual Weekend Warriors Cross Country Cycling Classic, a 68-mile ride from the La Loma Luz clinic in Santa Elena, Cayo District to the finish line in front of Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway on Sunday, April 3.
Corozal Rising Stars lead U-13 football
The undefeated Corozal Rising Stars are leading the under-13 football with 7 wins, 1 draw in the tournament organized by Orange Walk Deputy Mayor Ladrick “Mad Bull” Shephard and the O.Walk Sports committee at the Orange Walk Technical High School field on Saturday, April 2.
The Corozal Stars won 1-0 over Centaur Minions. Nigel Williams, Drnell Morgan and Alton Thompson have each scored 4 goals so far in the tournament and they led the attack, supported by Jair Williams and Fernando Vellos at midfield. The host’s defense held up to a scoreless draw at intermission, but they got no break from the Corozal defenders: Ian Velasquez, Jordan Casanova and Carlos Mendez who held them scoreless the entire game.
Eventually the Corozal boys won a corner kick; and Alton Thompson centered the ball to Jair Williams, who flicked it into the net for the 1-0 win.
Quotes of the Week!
“When the Mayor of Belize City talks about doing streets, he is not talking about doing your streets but his list of show time streets” – M. Jackson
“We don’t have cane farmers in the north under the UDP, we have been reduced to cane cutters” – Tomas Garcia, Cañero
“Nepotism is not the granting of a favour to a family member or a close relative. Nepotism is what I say it is!!” – Dean Barrow
“It does not matter how much press conference you have every month. IF you don’t tackle the root causes of crime the problem remains…” – Mose Hyde, Krem WUB Morning Show Host
Family of accident victim demands justice! – GOB Press Office Director getting special treatment after killing cyclist
The family of fatal traffic accident victim, Dean Dawson, is livid after the man behind the wheel of the vehicle involved, Director of the Government Press Office Dorian Pakeman, has been getting special treatment.
Pakeman was driving his Government-assigned Isuzu D-Max towards Ladyville from Orange Walk Town when he knocked down the 44 year old mechanic in Gardenia Village around midnight on Wednesday March 30th.
Saldivar/Faber camps get paranoid
Paranoia is setting into both camps of the candidates of the United Democratic Party race for First Deputy Leader.
Both camps have prohibited their close supporters from being seen or even contacting the other candidate, in an effort to prevent possible buy-out of support.
Saldivar’s camp sent out text messages to his close delegates this week, threatening to cut them off if they are caught even thinking of Patrick Faber. It appears that Saldivar and his Belmopan ‘bossom buddies’ are experiencing full blown loyalty issues with his own people. Now an investigation has started to find out how the news of the text messages went out.
The Garifuna Response
Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experiences, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group endeavors. Culture is a way of life of a people and it encompasses in totality each member of the group. All of the above applies to the Garifuna culture and to us Garinagu.
The Garifuna culture has been in existence for thousands of years, even prior to our acceptance and use of modern Judea-Christianity, because it served a purpose and provided all elements of life that the Garinagu required to live, to strive, and be happy. The culture of the Garinagu is what enabled our people to survive the attempted genocide that occurred on the island of Balliceaux in 1797, to survive the harsh conditions of the early years of enforced expulsion to the island of Roatan, to survive the social isolation when forced to move to the mainland of Honduras in search of arable land, and to survive the prejudice in our Belizean homeland.
The Sarstoon – A Comedy of Errors
Eulogy for Louis Edmund Humphreys
Words cannot express how much it means to me and my family that all of you are here today to commemorate our father’s returning home to Our Creator and Eternal God, to dwell in the more Beautiful Beyond.
In summing up our father’s life, we seemed to keep coming back to one thought. Never have we known a man who more faithfully lived and fulfilled his God given intellect and potential. In fact, in his lifetime, he never failed to amaze us as his boundless energy found yet another outlet from which to provide some service to his community, or engage in some business venture! Our father’s potential seemed endless.
Please allow us to share a few of these with you.
Thuli Madonsela Part II
On May 4, 2014 I wrote a piece for the BELIZE TIMES called “Belize Needs a Thuli Madonsela.” She is South Africa’s Public Protector, and in March of that year she had called out South African President Jacob Zuma for serious corruption in that he had used over 216 million rand (US $23 million) to provide “security” upgrades to his home at Nkandla in KwaZulu Natal province. I know it is wishful thinking that Belize could have an Ombudsman who would be able to use constitutional power and moral suasion to demand integrity and the highest standards from public officials. But we should not give up on wanting this.
Ms. Thuli is back in the news, because this past week on March 31, 2016 the Constitutional Court of South Africa ordered President Zuma to repay some of the multi millions in public funds that he had spent on lavish personal expenses. The court delivered a stinging rebuke to Zuma, who for two years flouted Ms. Thuli’s findings and dug in his heels. The arrogance of his refusal to heed her call is incredible, but this only proves the impunity with which so many political leaders operate and the hubris that so often results from the wielding of great power.
Think About It
Last week a report appeared in the British media concerning a decision of the United Nations.
The United Nations has a Commission set up to determine the continental shelf of various countries as part of the overall law of the sea. The Commission is made up of 21 distinguished persons and experts. The Commission, after very careful study, reached a determination that the Continental shelf of the nation of Argentina stretched out from 200 odd miles to 350 miles.
This decision has major implications for the country of Argentina apart from increasing its potential for oil and other mineral resources findings. It also means the tiny island of the Malvinas is part of Argentina. The British have been holding on to the island, which they call the Falklands, as part of their colonial legacy. They have started drilling for oil in the surrounding waters. They and Argentina fought a bitter war over Malvinas.
The British Government last week quickly rejected the decision of the United Nations. This decision of the United Nations and the British, have implications for Belize.
I take a break this week from our local politics and problems to touch on a situation that is developing in the U.S. that will likely have huge implications; not only for the Republican party or the American people but indeed for the entire globe. A man who has become known simply as “The Donald” is making huge waves in the sea of politics of the world’s only remaining super power. Donald Trump however, is a dangerous man; he is bigot and a lunatic and has become concerningly popular. A columnist in the Global Times, an English language Chinese newspaper recently wrote: “The rise of a racist in the US political arena worries the whole world.” It does and it should!
Whether you like Donald Trump (remarkably, even some Belizeans do) or dislike him (many absolutely abhor the man), what this man has done is nothing short of incredible and he has turned American politics on its ear. Trump’s rhetoric has resulted in what many consider to be a “demographic conundrum”, having offended just about every member of the United States’ diverse ethnic groups. His main target has been Mexicans, even threatening to build a wall along the entire length of America’s southern border with Mexico.
This Poco Time UDP Government
The reality that this UDP government insists on disregarding the gravity of this impoverished society. The Belizean Jewel has become poorer which speaks volumes to the POCO TIME government in office – the UDP.
The 2016 Budget engenders no meaningful programs catering to alleviate the lives and conditions of the poor, the marginalised, the elderly, the sick and the youths on the OUT SIDE. Except for the old vested interest of the UDP: BOOST, FOOD PANTRY and the CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFERS (CCTs).
In 2008 in its first term UDP launched its “pro-poor” policy. This was not a novel idea of this government. Organizations such as the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO), World Health Organization (WHO), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and recently, the access to $325 through the generosity of the late Comandante Hugo Chavez and the Petro-Caribe program bought into those programs.
Breaking Belize News
Letter to the Editor: Local law firm linked to Panama papers
It has been several days since the story broke of the Panama Papers, the unprecedented leak of information from the infamous Panama offshore firm, Mossack Fonseca. The implications of this leak are already being felt far and wide. So far as it relates […]
New World Bank report warns that Belize must make right choices for brighter future
The World Bank Group this afternoon issued a diagnostic report on Belize that is primarily intended to help the Bank forge its own strategy for assisting Belize in major initiatives. However, “Belize: Right Choices, Bright Future,” as it is called, also offers a unique […]
Governor General leaves for Jamaica
A press release from the Governor General’s Office dated April 7th, states that Sir Colville Young left the country today for a launching at the University of the West Indies, which is starting its Week of Global Giving. The initiative aims to raise funds […]
Atlantic Bank Sign and Drive Pre-Owned Auto Show
The Atlantic Bank Belmopan Branch is holding its Semi-Annual Pre-Owned Auto Show on Saturday April 16, from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Garden City Plaza. Atlantic Bank encourages all its customers to take advantage of its unbeatable promotional interest rates, same day approval […]
CODICADER games to be hosted in Belize
Belize is hosting the Central American Council of Sports & Recreation, (CODICADER), Games scheduled from July 6th to the 11th. The games are going to be held in Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan and Belize City and will see the participation of students ages […]
San Ignacio Schoolboy hospitalised after being hit by truck
A truck owned by Bahadur & Sons Trucking knocked down a primary school boy about an hour ago in San Ignacio Town. The incident happened in front of Trins Store in downtown San Ignacio. The boy has been rushed to the polyclinic and is in […]
Belize improves FIFA ranking to best ever
Despite its last competitive match coming at the end of August 2015, Belize’s national football team has achieved its all-time best ranking in the monthly FIFA World Ranking of association football. They are now ranked 114th. Belize moved up five ranks from its previous […]
Cordel Hyde new PUP Deputy Leader
Cordel Hyde has been appointed as the new People’s United Party (PUP) deputy leader, but his appointment is just a small part of a larger shake-up in the party at the behest of party leader John Briceno. Hyde was introduced as the party’s new […]
Belize to tackle improving economy, health, environmental and governance issues in coming years
A three-year Growth and Development Strategy seeks to guide overall development in Belize based on an integrated, systemic approach to sustainable development. Presented today in Belize City, the strategy’s main factors for success are optimizing national income and investment; building social cohesion and resilience; […]
Trio charged over undeclared currency
2 Belizeans and a Mexican businesswoman are separately charged for failing to declare currency above the prescribed level before leaving Belize on a flight to Panama. 42 year old Maria Jose Del Valle Rosado, one of the accused, we understand is the wife of […]
Car dealer must compensate for vehicle
Western Avenue, Belize City car dealer Albert Wright cut short his trial in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday on a charge of obtaining property by deception by pleading guilty. Now Wright must pay a fine of $1,500 and compensation of nearly 8 thousand dollars to […]
Keyren Tzib to be tried for manslaughter
The first of two Supreme Court trials to involve 25 year old Coast Guard officer Keyren Tzib was confirmed today. Tzib will stand trial for a charge of manslaughter in the stabbing death of her common-law husband, Thytis Blancaneaux, in July of 2015 during a […]
Low Tide and A Perfect Day on Ambergris Caye
Yesterday, with the sun shining, a cool north-east wind blowing and late a new moon, the tide was WAY out and the beaches looked wide and beautiful. I’m guessing Ambergris Caye had Lil Rhody well beat.
…we watched a mono-hull sail boat get their keel stuck in soft sand within the reef.
It was tugged free in about 10 minutes.
The former Lick’s Restaurant has been sold and changed to Dock’s. And some high school students throwing the javelin, shot put and discus on the wide beach. Who knew?
Lan Sluder's Top 10 Beach Resorts in Belize<
A former business newspaper editor in New Orleans, Lan Sluder has written more than 15 books about Belize. Founder, editor and publisher of Belize First Magazine, Sluder has contributed articles on travel to the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Chicago Tribune and many other prestigious publications.
Below is his guide to the top 10 beach resorts in Belize:
1 – Victoria House,
2 – Phoenix Resort,
3 – Grand Caribe Beach Resort and Condominiums,
4 – Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort,
5 – Pelican Reef Villas Resort,
6 – Chabil Mar Villas,
7 – Turneffe Island Resort,
8 – Cayo Espanto,
9 – Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro,
10 – Xanadu Island Resort.
Best Travel Apps for Belize to Help You Feel Like a Local
The tropics are a much-coveted destination for any traveler. Sun, sea, sand, palm trees, island life: what more could you ask for? With so many expats heading out to sunnier shores and the numerous claims by vacation makers that “I could live somewhere like this,” there is an ever-growing demand to help those from overseas feel really at home on the islands.
Fortunately, the dramatic rise in technology use over the recent decades have given us the opportunity to form a global community and, no matter where we are in the world, the use of apps is bringing us ever-closer together. For those jetting off to Belize, there’s a high chance you’ll never want to leave, and although it might not be time to become a local, these seven apps will take you a large portion of the way to feeling like one.
4 Belizean Festivals We Love (And You Should, Too!)
Belize is a charming little country nestled in between two Latin-American giants to the north, west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
This positioning makes us primed to be a cultural meeting point, and gives the ability to boast being both Central American and Caribbean interchangeably depending on what we might be doing or eating.
Geographically smaller than almost all US states, many are inclined to ask ‘Where is Belize?’ well, Belize is where the party is at!
1. September Celebrations,
3. Garifuna settlement day,
4. Costa Maya festival.
Evanston Library celebrates Belize
Everyone is invited to a Celebration of Belize Culture, 3-5 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.
"There's going to be folksongs and dance, games for children and also some treats and savory sweet goodies from Belize," said Lesley Williams, head of adult services. "It will be a great way to find out a lot about the culture of Belize, which is one of Evanston's Sister Cities."
The event is being organized by Sharon Staine, founder and president of the Belize Culture and Heritage Association. Staine started the organization to preserve the heritage of this small diverse country on the Yucatan Peninsula. The organization's motto is, "One Country, Many Cultures."
Staine reported that four performers will sing, dance and tell stories at the event. They will also demonstrate how to make a traditional bread and give everyone a sample.
Caribbean Fisheries Forum to discuss challenges
Fisheries experts from across the Caribbean region are traveling to Guyana this week for the 14th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the primary technical deliberative body of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The Forum will be meeting in Georgetown on Thursday and Friday to undertake its annual stocktaking and planning for the fisheries and aquaculture sector. The event will bring together more than 50 participants, including directors of fisheries, chief fisheries officers, and other development partners, such as NGOs and international organizations like the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, which work with the CRFM in promoting the development, management and conservation of the Caribbean’s fisheries resources.
Interjet launches direct Merida-Havana flights
Right at 1:30 pm on Thursday April 7, Interjet’s inaugural flight from Havana, Cuba touched ground at Merida’s international airport. This flight becomes the seventh international route operating directly from Merida to points abroad.
Interjet managers said that the flights will operate on Thursday and Sunday with arrival time at 1:05 p.m., with a return flight to Havana departing at 3:15 pm.
Interjet’s Havana-Merida service will be offered at an introductory roundtrip fare of 2,999 pesos (USD$ 176.00).
This new flight has an estimated duration of approximately 60 minutes, depending on weather conditions.
CONTRABAND CONTINUES TO POSE A THREAT FOR LOCAL PRODUCERS, 5min. On Thursday March 17th, 28 farmers who partook in a Farmer Field School in the area of onion planting, were awarded in a ceremony at Centro Escolar Mexico marking the end of the project. At the time of their graduation farmers were elated but at the same time concerned about whether or not the contraband of onion would continue to affect them insight that acres of the product was recently harvested.
Role Play Activity (Group 1) - Belize Workshop, Nov 24-25, 2015, 8.5min. Role Play Activity based around the Human Rights & Gender Based Approaches Workshop we held in Belize, Nov 24-25, 2015
NMSU Entomology students check out tropical insects in Belize, 2min. Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences traveled to Belize in March to study arthropods. The students are enrolled in the tropical insect ecology course with Scott Bundy, who is an entomology professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science. The students compared the diversity of arthropods in a different habitat and learned how to sample insects in various habitats. Bundy, who is also the director of the NMSU Arthropod Museum, prepared the students by providing them with lectures regarding Belize’s people, history and habitat. In addition to learning about arthropods, the students visited a Mayan ruin, a cave, the coast, a jaguar preserve in a rainforest and the island Tobacco Caye.
Davis ziplining Belize, 5min. view from our ziplining day in Belize
World Health Day 2016, 49min.
The Lake Independence Resource Centre, 31min.
Gales Point Goldfish Swim School, 3min.
Spring Break Belize Full, 3min.
Barracuda Fishing, Belize, 1.5min. My first Barracuda! Great day in Belize!
Mackerel Fishing, Belize, 1min.
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