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Today's Belize News: June 28, 2016 #515627
06/28/16 05:54 AM
06/28/16 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints

88 San Pedro residents affected by devastating fire
As many as 88 residents have been left homeless after a devastating fire gutted through 17 homes shortly after midnight on Monday, June 27th. 11 buildings were totally destroyed, of which 8 were businesses and 3 were family homes. 6 buildings were partially destroyed. 27 families, totaling 88 people, have been affected by the most devastating fire San Pedro has seen in recent history. 21 families (68 people) lost everything. The fire roared through wooden and concrete buildings on Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street as the San Pedro Fire Department and the ever-present bucket brigade frantically tried to get it under control. By 4AM, the fire was brought under control, but not after it had caused major damage. According to Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemott, upon receiving the call around 12:30AM, Police and Fire personnel arrived at the scene where they observed the rear part of El Dorado Store engulfed in fire. At about 8:30AM, the fire had passed, stopping just short of Graniel’s Dreamland. Police are calling it an act of arson.

Canned food drive at the San Pedro Lions Club, Belize starting Tuesday at 8AM.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

Relief efforts for fire victims underway
If you wish to donate clothing, footwear, toiletries, personal goods, canned goods, equipment, baby supplies, toys, and feminine products, you may drop off your donations to the following places: Lions Den, San Pedro Roman Catholic School, SPTC, Crazy Canucks, Palapa Bar, Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye, and The Sandbar. Maya Island Air, Caribbean Queen Shipping, and Tropic Air are also on board to help, and will be offering free cargo transport to those who wish to ship their donated items. Saga Humane Society is providing pet shelter, dog or cat food, toys, leashes, and collars. Victims may contact Eileen Jamiso at 600-7450 for more details. The SPTC will be organizing a clean-up for the next three days. Those willing to volunteer should meet at The Sandbar at Boca del Rio at 7:30AM with gloves, masks, and any equipment (shovel, rake, wheel barrow, etc.) to speed up the process. Over the course of the clean-up, the SPTC will be hosting meals for the fire victims, and volunteer workers at the Town Hall Conference Room. Those affected can stop by during breakfast, lunch hours, and at 8PM. So far, Elvi’s Kitchen, Rojo Bar and Lounge, The Sandbar, Blue Water Grill, El Popular of Orange Walk, and Ramon’s Village has provided food relief assistance. The SPTC advises that anyone who is interesting in donating food to drop off warm meals at the conference room.

Aftermath of Fire on Pescador Drive
Donations are desperately needed, as entire families are now homeless and will have to start all over. Items needed include practical clothing and canned food, household items, towels, pots, pans, silverware, sheets, pillows, toys, toiletries (including sanitary items), toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. UPDATE: Baby items are desperately needed as well: wipes, diapers, formula, etc. As people have no way to cook, instant meals such as cereals and milk are much appreciated.

San Pedro Magistrate explains court proceedings
With the escalating crime rates across Ambergris Caye, residents frequently question the effectiveness of the San Pedro Police Department. On many occasions, a person known to have been charged for a crime is seen out on the streets shortly after their arrest. This has led to community frustration, with residents claiming that the local police are not doing their job. Seeking to clarify the situation, The San Pedro Sun sought answers from the local island authorities. The fact is that the release of persons charged is not a decision made by police officers, but by the Magistrate stationed in San Pedro Town. In an interview with current San Pedro Town Magistrate, Janelle Villanueva, the functions of the court and why certain decisions are made was explained. According to her, the main function of the court is to administrate justice in the local judiciary system. She stated that when persons are issued an arrest warrant and brought in for trial, they are entitled to bail by law, as long as the felony is not murder, possession of fire arms or drug trafficking in large quantities. “It is in the constitution of the country that every person has a right for bail, as long as they meet certain conditions. Bail is a form of assurance that the person in question will be present for his/her trial and not flee,” she said. While this is the case for bail, there have been incidents whereby people breach their bail conditions.

Run away to John’s Escape!
Just a quick turn off the main road 4.5 miles north of San Pedro Town, to where golf carts once traversed, is a hideaway that is so tranquil and beautiful, you just want to sit and enjoy. That is what we did one fine Saturday, as we took the purple lovebug (aka, the company golf cart) out for a fun afternoon of exploration. Our location for Zen and conversation? John’s Escape! Former home of he-who-must-not-be-named, the brightly colored buildings and expansive beach views offer a relaxing atmosphere after a bit of a hot and dusty drive up. The roads are fantastic and wider, making for smooth driving, but not paved so the dust in these hot months had us thirsting for refreshment. Bartender Cookie was happy to greet us with two ice cold Belikins, and we collapsed under a palapa on the beach, sipping and refreshing ourselves.

Ambergris Today

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Awards Exceptional Youth
Over the weekend Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, took time to award three outstanding youth of Belize with scholarships. Rachel Alamilla of San Pedro Roman Catholic School and Rafael Marin of Caye Caulker RC School were the top-scoring students for their school in Belize’s the Primary School Examination (PSE). Rachel scored an average of 94.3 and Rafael scored 79.9. For their top performance in their respective schools, Hon. Heredia granted both students a $500 book scholarship. Considered a Belizean Hero for his great work towards raising funds for the Belize Council for the Visual Impaired, vRowan Garel was granted a $10,000 scholarship by Hon. Heredia as he furthers his education in the United States at Drew University. Visually impaired himself, Rowan takes on the challenge of living on his own a the university expanding on his eco-location training.

Massive Downtown Fire Almost Destroys Entire Block in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Sunrise brought to light the vast destruction that an early morning fire caused in the heart of downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Monday, June 27, 2016. The fire started shortly after midnight and spread though homes, businesses, storage rooms and apartment complexes, almost wiping out an entire block. The fire is said to have started in a small structure in the center of the town block and quickly spread to buildings on the left side of Pescador Drive (Middle Street). The destruction starts from Lino’s Meat Shop and upstairs residence on the corner of Buccaneer St. and extends down the street all the way to Graniel’s Dreamland display room and upstairs residence. The fire department was reported to have arrived early at the scene, but that it took the firemen some time to set up their equipment and start battling the fire. It was with the assistance of a bucket brigade of over 1,000 volunteers that the fire department was able to control the fire. A line of volunteers stretched from the seafront at Estel’s diner all the way to the lagoon side of the Sunset Boardwalk in a well-organized bucket brigade that managed to salvage Lino’s Meat Shop and upstairs residence.

Ambergris Caye’s Massive Efforts to Assist 88 Fire Victims and Cleanup Downtown Disaster Area
As the community of Ambergris Caye rapidly pushes humanitarian efforts to effectively assist the fire victims of this morning’s tragedy and ensure that they are fed, clothed and sheltered, the San Pedro Town Council pushed forward a massive cleanup campaign of the devastated downtown area and the San Pedro Police Department looks into making an arrest of an individual suspected to be the arsonist responsible for the fire. Henry Jemmott, Assistant Superintendent/Deputy CEO of Police in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, stated that his department is conducting an internal criminal investigation separate from the San Pedro Fire Department’s investigations. They are looking at arson as to the cause of the fire. Just a few hours after the massive and disastrous fire that raved through downtown San Pedro, the Lions Club, Leos Club and the San Pedro Food Bank were first to organize a collecting station for non-perishable food, clothing and personal items for the fire victims. Clothing, toys for children and even diapers have been made available to them, but now donations of towels, pillow, bed sheets and personal hygiene items are being asked for by the Lions Club/Food Bank.

Big Support for San Pedro Saga Humane Society
San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero reiterated the Town Council’s full support of the services provided by the Saga Humane Society on the island by presenting the non-profit organization with a newly purchased Carry All vehicle on Saturday, June 24, 2016. Mayor Guerrero promised that the Town Council will not continue the inhumane practice of dog eradication by poisoning as long as Saga Humane Society continues its work in controlling the number of stray dogs in the community. The donation of the Carry All is to assist Saga in their daily operations. The Town Council will pay for the yearly licensing of the vehicle and is looking into providing the serviced of a town dog catcher who will also be of great assistance to the community. It was also announced that Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. committed to assist in the payment of two month's rent for Saga’s office and has acquired two properties for the organization in north Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BTIA-Cayo Chapter Unites to Reel In the BTB
Approximately 45 accommodation owners in the Cayo District met on Thursday June 23, 2016 at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio, Cayo to discuss new Minimum Standards for Accommodations proposed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). The Cayo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) a trade organization for local tourist market stakeholders, sponsored the event. PHOTOS A broad cross section of stakeholders, including many from off-grid jungle lodges, attended the meeting. The large turnout was attributed to the widespread opposition to the BTB’s proposed legislative changes to existing laws governing the industry. Changes that members unanimously feel would have an adverse ripple affect throughout the industry. Judy duPlooy, President of the BTIA-Cayo Chapter stated, “No one is opposed to regulations pertaining to health, safety and emergency measures. However, the new proposed Minimum Standards which total 532 items (for the hotel category) far exceed reasonable requirements for an extremely diverse marketplace. Furthermore, many of the items on the checklist are not relevant criteria for renewing or obtaining a license”. “BTB has not yet looked at the cost of implementing the proposed Minimum Standards, the implication for competitiveness of the sector and more broadly the economy of Belize” commented Dr. Ydahlia Metzgen, a BTIA-Cayo Board member. She went on to say, “The impact of the current proposed Minimum Standards not only will be felt by the hotel owners but also by their employees, tour operators and all businesses touched by the tourism industry, the #1 employer in Belize. The broader consequences of the standards should be examined”.

Chiquibul Outreach Campaign Finishes
The Friends for Conservation and Development have finished their Chiquibul Forest Outreach Campaign. Over 6000 students were reached. Thanks, FCD and PACT! Protect the Chiquibul! "The Beauty of the Chiquibul Forest Outreach Campaign has reached its project end. A total of 28 communities, 44 schools, 250 teachers and 6,246 students benefited from the educational presentation throughout the Cayo District. FCD is grateful to PACT, Principals, teachers, students and the Ministry of Education for their support."

Channel 7

Block Burner On San Pedro Leaves 88 Homeless
Tonight, 88 people are homeless, and there is major loss of property as San Pedro town tries to recover from a massive fire that devoured part of a downtown block in Belize's tourism capital. Tonight, we'll have the story from the island plus the answers from the fire chief and the police. We start with the basic narrative. This morning at12:45, The San Pedro Fire department received a report of a fire on Pescador Drive, which is in the heart of the town. By the time it was done four hours later, 11 buildings had burnt and 6 were partially damaged.

Why Only One Fire Truck And Two Firemen?
And so while that is the fire and the aftermath, what about the firefight? Did the Fire Department fail to contain the fire effectively? There was only one fire truck working and only two fire men on duty. When they arrived at the scene, they found an unoccupied two storey wooden structure on fire. The bad part was that it was surrounded by other wooden buildings - which was a recipe for the disaster that unfolded. The fire truck quickly expended the 300 gallons of water it had in the tank, and then had to activate mobile pumps to source water from the sea. That's more than 15 minutes down time - which is when the fire quickly spread. We spoke to the Fire chief today about what went wrong, and what was unavoidable:..

Another City Slaying, Cops Say Not Gang Related, Streets Say Otherwise
There was another murder on the southside of Belize City close to midnight on Friday. 38 year old Anthony Gillett was shot in the head, allegedly by 30 year old Ryan Bennett who he had been socializing with inside a yard on west Collet Canal. The two were in Gillett's yard hanging out when suddenly things turned, and Gillett was shot to the top of his head. He survived - but died a few hours later at the KHMH. The Southside commander told the media more on Saturday: ACP Chester Williams- O. C., Eastern South Division: "Upon arrival there, they met one, Anthony Gillett, who at the time was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was subsequently transported to the KHMH where he was admitted and subsequently he died shortly thereafter or upon arrival at the hospital."

Cops With Capes? Police Played Hero And Saved Drowning Child
Often times on the news, there's an onslaught of bad news about policemen and women - variously accused of abusing their power, or engaging in criminal activities. And while there are more than a few bad eggs in the department of over two thousand men and women, most cops are genuinely just doing their jobs trying to preserve the peace. And, in most cases, they get no recognition for it. Well, tonight, we can say that's starting to change, because a trio of officers from the north side strike team who saved a child from drowning on Friday were recognized by the commissioner for their valiant conduct. At about 10:35, police learned about an 11 year old child who'd gone under water at the pier on Marine Parade and they sprung into action. Sgt. Anibal Castellanos who supervises the team explained:..

COMPOL Congratulates Courageous Cops
And another set of cops show showed extraordinary bravery last week also received a commendation today. They're the ones who chased down the 15 year old shooter that tried to kill a man in front of the Eastern Division police station. Corporal Alrick Arnold took a bullet to the chest, while Detective Corporal Brian Miller, Coporal Joel Grinage and PC Criston Moore all teamed up to apprehend the youth. Today, they received their commendation at the police station while the top Brass of the Police Department went all the way to Corporal Arnold's home to tell him how much they appreciated his work:...

Did Cops Endanger Public With Urbie
And while those are the good cops - the bad cop of the moment is Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla. He was remanded to prison last week after he was charged with discharging a firearm in public. Turns out, it was the second time in two weekends that he did the same thing, except the first time - even though he was visibly drunk and disorderly - his bother police officers brought no criminal charge. And then when it happened again the following weekend, only then were they quick to charge. Today when we asked the commissioner about the prudence of that decision - he said there is practical metric in a disciplinary charge:..

Santa Cruz 13 Get Free!
Exactly a year ago, we showed you when the Punta Gorda Police Department hauled 13 Mayans from San Cruz into the Magistrate's Court on charges of unlawful detention. That's because they tied up and detained Creole Belizean Rupert Myles because they say that he built his house on the sacred Ux Benka Maya Site. Well today, after months of attending court adjournments on the criminal charge, the Santa Cruz 13, now Santa Cruz 11 turned up for their adjournment. To their surprise, This morning the Director of Public Prosecutions discontinued the charges against all remaining 11 defendants setting them free. It's a welcomed end for the case, and in a press release today, the Maya Leaders Alliance said that they congratulate the Director of Public Prosecutions for acknowledging, quote, "the 13 accused who, along with their families, suffered in-calculable hardships as a result of their arrest and prosecution." End Quote.

Soldier Found Dead In PG
In other news from Punta Gorda, there was a murder in that southern town this weekend. On Sunday at 9:30 a dead body was found on the seashore on Front Street. It had been there a while, and an area resident only became aware of it when vultures started circling. Police confirmed the identity to be 27 year old BDF soldier Orlando Rash from San Felipe Village. His body was face down, nude and in an advanced state of decomposition. A postmortem conducted on site certified the cause of death as facial blunt force traumatic injuries with ligature around the neck.

Chopping Victims In Critical Condition, Deranged Man Arraigned
Tonight, two of six persons who were seriously injured in a chopping incident last week are just barely clinging to life. 29 year old Adela Choc was chopped to her face and sustained an amputated thump, while her son 13 year old Danny Choc, who sustained injuries to the back of his head, are both at the KHMH in a critical condition. The 13 year old is reported to be on life support. The other victims were released from the Northern Regional Hospital after receiving treatment. The horror began unfolding on Friday at midday, when a man known for his history of mental breakdowns went on an all-out chopping spree. The incident has left the community of Yo Creek Village quite shaken. But just what motivated one man to commit such an atrocity? Emanuel Pech travelled north today to find out. The relative peace and tranquility of Yo Creek Village was shattered when a man wielding a machete hacked two families close to the point of death. Today that man, 35 year old Larry Banner was remanded to prison after being arraigned for charges related to aggravated burglary and maim. A crowd of villagers gathered in front of court today to witness his arraignment- as if to make sure he is locked up.

PUP Challenge Working Its Way Thru Court
It's been a month since the Barrow Government has ended the controversial 30-day ban on the Sarstoon River. But, Opposition Leader John Briceño remains convinced that the Government wrongly used its executive powers to block Belizeans from entering a part of their territory. Today, the lawsuit he brought against the Government went back before the Chief Justice for a very brief hearing today as part of it's continuation through the court process. Today, when his attorney exited court, we asked him what's next for the case that appears moot. Here's what he told us: Godfrey Smith, Temp, Attorney for Claimant: "This morning they asked for some more time because his Excellency, the Governor General who is supposed to make the affidavit in response, was not in the jurisdiction. So they've been given until next week Monday to file that affidavit. After that, one week later on the 11th of July will be the first hearing where the time tabling and scheduling exercise will be done. So it's still at the preliminary stages."

Why Did Police Search Ahmads
It made major news last week when police special branch searched six homes and rounded up an entire Muslim family. The Ahmad's are well known in Belize and the fact that the entire family was arrested for no clear reason suggested that they may have been detained because they are Muslims. With the long shadow of the US Intelligence apparatus, and the shadowy involvement of the Special Branch, which is Belize's spy agency - it raised eye brows. Today police gave answers: Marco Vidal, Special Branch Commander: "For the past several months special branch has been engaged in an investigation concerning information which we consider to be of a serious nature. I am not in a position to divulge the nature of that information, neither can I provide details of the investigation. But you may be aware that on Monday the 20th of June we conducted searches at the residents' of the Acpad family and other persons. Items were taken from the search and these items are being returned to the owners as we speak. Certain allegations have been made in relation to the operation at the manner of which the searches were done. We can categorically state that the operation satisfied us and we are satisfied that in fact the operation was done within the confines of the law and in a professional manner."

Muslim Woman Charged
One charge has been brought against a Muslim. Fifty-five year old Filipino national Eloisa Mujahil, who is of the Muslim faith, pled guilty to a charge of failure to comply with the conditions of her visitors permit when she appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. She was fined $1,200 and she was given until December 31 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve 6 months. Mujahil arrived in Belize on December 9, 2006 and she was given a permit to remain in Belize until October 4, 2009. Her attorney, Douglas Carr, explained that it was only a matter of circumstance that she was charged because she has been living in Belize with her 2 sons at 102 Amara Avenue and it was only when the police came to her home it was discovered that she had not complied with the conditions of her permit. Carr said her husband, who was looking after the immigration matter had passed away in 2014 and the attorney who was hired to do the work did not do so. The immigration officer who represented the Immigration Department told the court that the Immigration Department is not requesting deportation.

Re: Today's Belize News: June 28, 2016 [Re: Marty] #515628
06/28/16 05:54 AM
06/28/16 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

88 Persons Homeless after Fire Devastates San Pedro Neighborhood
As many as eighty-eight persons have been affected by the biggest fire to erupt in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The inferno sent clouds of fire into the sky as smoke [...]

Massive Relief Effort Launched in Wake of Fire
The families displaced by the fire are looking for basic necessities following the horrible fire. They lost everything in the blink of an eye. In the island, relief efforts have [...]

Belize City Fire Classified as Arson
There is another fire which police have classified as arson.  On Friday night, the first floor of a two-storey building on East Collet Canal, Belize City went up in flames.  [...]

City Resident Gunned Down Over Money Beef
There was a murder on Friday night in Belize City. Thirty-eight year old Anthony Gillett was killed at his home on West Collet Canal by a man sources claim was [...]

Missing B.D.F. Soldier’s Body Washes Ashore in PG
On Sunday morning a PG resident made a gruesome discovery on the beach. She spotted vultures circling and when she investigated found a badly decomposed body washed up on shore. [...]

Police Provide Little Clarity in Ahmad Detention
On Monday, June twentieth, Police rounded up nineteen members of the Ahmad family from six different homes in Hattieville. The homes were searched and documents, weapons and electronic items were [...]

ComPol Allen Whylie Says He Authorized the Operation
Still not revealing anything, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie explained that he is satisfied that the investigation, search and seizure were conducted within the parameters of the law. That will [...]

6 Persons Chopped By Yo Creek Madman
A resident of Yo Creek, Orange Walk with a mental disability maimed three persons and injured several others while on a chopping spree in the village last Friday afternoon. Larry [...]

Santa Cruz 13 Freed of All Charges
After a year of numerous court appearances, the Santa Cruz Thirteen has been freed of all charges stemming from the unlawful arrest of Rupert Myles.  This morning, Director of Public [...]

Drug Running San Felipe Resident Evades Checkpoint
On Sunday morning as Customs Officers and B.D.F. soldiers conducted a checkpoint in the Blue Creek community, they intercepted a Mazda pickup truck, driven at the time by San Felipe [...]

Mexican David Dominquez Fined for Uncustommed Goods
Late this evening, the Customs Department dragged to court five Mexican nationals and two Belizeans from the San Jose, Orange Walk for uncustomed goods in respect of two hundred and [...]

Policemen Awarded for Bravery in Apprehension of Queen Street Shooter
Today, the top brass of the Belize Police Department gathered to pay tribute to seven officers – four of them involved in the bizarre shootout in front of the Queen [...]

ComPol Whylie Says Urbie Alamilla Embarrassed the Department
One police officer who certainly won’t be receiving any awards of distinction anytime soon is Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla. Alamilla was charged criminally last week for discharging his weapon in [...]

Anthropologist Set to Launch Book on Urban Violence in Belize
Anthropologist Doctor Herbert Gayle is releasing a book on urban violence in Belize. Gayle started his studies of Belize in 2008 and released the infamous Gayle Report in 2010. This [...]

Gayle Says Public Will to Stop Violence is Strong in Belize
According to the expert, Belize has the exceptional public will to do away with violence and that’s a critical component of positive change. But the time to start moving is [...]

Was 15 Year Old Involved in Queen Street Shootout a Psychopath?
We took the opportunity to ask Gayle about the brazen shootout in front of the Queen Street Police Station, in which a fifteen year old minor wounded four persons, one [...]

Cops Honored for Saving Drowning Boy
A young boy in Belize City is alive tonight, thanks to the heroic actions of three members of the Eastern Division North’s Strike Team. According to reports, the eleven year [...]

Top Brass Says Recognition is Well-Deserved
For the top brass the positive news is a boost to the Police Department, and the tribute today a necessary recognition to prompt the officers to always strive to perform [...]

Basketball and Boxing Matchups in Weekend Sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Friday night’s big match dubbed the battle banks saw Atlantic Bank challenge the Heritage Bank in a bid for [...]


Mad Machette Man chops 5 people in Yo Creek
Just before our news time, reports reaching Plusnews is that there was a chopping incident in Yo Creek Village in Orange Walk District. Details are still sketchy but we understand that five persons were viciously chopped by a man wielding a machete. We have been told that four of the persons chopped...

NEAB stands with National Youth council on controversial decision
NEAB also commented on the decision taken by the National Youth Council to remove gender references fromits constitution and the backlash it has been receiving from LGBT advocates. NEAB says this targeting is bulying in action. The statement says, “The National Youth Council voted on June 11th to am...

NEAB says it is appalled at LGBT flag hoist by US Embassy
On Thursdaywe reported that the US Embassy in Belmopan, raised an LGBT flag on its premises alongside the American flag in commemoration of LGBT Pride Month. Members of the Belizean LGBT community were invited to attend the event. While those on the US compound were discussing the pride of those ...

SSB approves buying shares in GOB utility companies]
The Board of Directors of the Social Security Board on Thursday June 23, 2016, approved the purchase of Government’s shares in BEL and BTL at a recommended purchase of 40 million dollars of BEL’s shares and 15 million dollars of BTL shares. The Investment committee made the recommendatio...

APBEL-Petrocaribe marks tenth anniversary of establishment
Depending on calculations, Belize is closing in on the 11th anniversary of formally joining the Petrocaribe energy union arranged by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which happened on June 29th, 2005; and the 10th anniversary of the formation of Belize Petroleum and Energy Limited, now a minor...

Belize to source regular gas from Puma after short Venezuela shortfall
Since early 2015 Belize has stopped importing premium fuel through the Petrocaribe program at Venezuela’s request.According to Deputy Chairman John Mencias it has not much affected his company, which has actually made greater profits as a result. But there is a coming shortfall in regular gasoline f...

DFC gets 8 million Euros credit line from European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank has signed an 8 million EURO loan with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in Belize. This line of credit is expected to help enhance access to finance by projects implemented by small and medium sized companies and micro entrepreneurs in the country. In addition t...

Regional HIV/AIDS Testing Day observed
Friday June 24 is observed as Regional HIV/AIDS Testing Day. It is the 5th year Belize has participated in its regional effort and it is being done under the theme, “Increasing testing to create change.” Executive Director for National AIDS Commission, Enrique Romero, said testings are done countryw...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Santa Cruz 13 case discontinued for lack of evidence
In Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court this morning, the sitting Magistrate discontinued the case against the Santa Cruz 13 (currently 11 after two defendants were previously dismissed) for lack of evidence on the advice of Director of Public Prosecutions and prosecutor Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd […]

ComPol says P.C. Alamilla “embarrassed” Department
Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla is out on bail after being arraigned last week for discharging his firearm in a public place. Defenders say he was trying to stop a violent confrontation from getting worse, but this was the second time he had to draw a […]

Police recognize brave Eastern Division (North) cops
Seven police officers from Eastern Division (North), which covers Northside Belize City and the cayes, were today recognized for acts of bravery in the call of duty. Three were involved in a rescue of an 11-year-old drowning child on Newtown Barracks on Friday, while the remaining […]

ComPol responds to gang problem in Belize City
Responding to recent incidents including the murderous attempt by a 15-year-old minor on a noted gang affiliate which resulted in four persons including a police officer being injured two weeks ago, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie indicated that police will have to ring the perimeter of their […]

Ryan Barnett arrested in weekend murder
George Street resident 30 year old Ryan Barnett has been charged with murder following the death of 38 year old Anthony Gillett who was found shot to death on West Collet Canal on Friday night. Gillett was found lying in a sofa with what appeared to be […]

San Ignacio police seek suspected burglar
San Ignacio Police are currently looking for one man for questioning in connection with a burglary. On Friday at around 9:30 a.m. 68-year-old Clifford Marshall from Franks Eddy Village made checks at his trailer house bus and noticed that one of the side windows was broken and saw a […]

Police capture machete wielding man after he injures six in Yo Creek Village
Orange Walk Police successfully arrested Larry Banner after a he inflicted chop wounds to six persons, including children. Authorities report that around midday on Friday June 24, Banner entered the home of Moises Pech and attacked him and his companion Juanita Pech with a machete. […]

Estimated million-dollar fire razes ten buildings on Ambergris Caye
An early morning fire on Pescador Drive in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye is said to have razed ten buildings including homes and business and caused as much as a million dollars in damage. Around 12:45 this morning, police and fire officials responded to a wooden two-storey […]

Common law husband burns house over dispute
Belize City Police are currently looking for Jose Alberto Rivera for questioning. On Friday, June 24 sometime around 9:45 p.m. members of the fire department were dispatched to extinguish a fire that started at a yellow two storey cement house located on #182 East Collet Canal Street. […]

BDF Soldier murdered in Punta Gorda
The Belize Defense Forced is today mourning the loss of one of their own in Punta Gorda. Orlando Rash, 27, a resident of San Felipe Village was discovered in an advanced state of decomposition on Sunday morning. According to a police report, officers received information of a […]


Devastating Fire on San Pedro’s Busy Middle Street Burns Businesses & Homes to the Ground
Last night, at around midnight, a fire broke out on Ambergris Caye – in perhaps the most densely packed area on the island, Middle Street, San Pedro. It was a rainy night…and that’s a good thing. For pictures of the flames, please check the photos from Ambergris Today and San Pedro Sun. I made it to town this morning at about 7am, to see many cleaning up the still smoking debris. Here are my photos. I parked in front of Elvi’s Kitchen – the block ahead was closed. The building to the left is Lino’s Meat Shop – they will be running there shop down south as this clean-up continues. Behind Lino’s… El Dorado Market. Across the street, doors and signs melted but relatively minor damage compared to what can happen on a windy night.

5 Ways You Can Help San Pedro Fire Victims
My heart is heavy today. I woke up to the news that all the buildings between Lino’s Meat and Graniels were badly hit by a fire last night. As I walked home and saw the devastation in my neighborhood and the streets with downed power-lines it made me think just how fragile life can be. One minute everything is normal the next it can all be gone. So many of us take that for granted every day. As I sit here writing I can smell the lingering smoke and it is making it hard for me to concentrate, I keep thinking about everyone who just lost it all in the blink of an eye. The silver lining to that is watching the San Pedro community spring to action to help our most vulnerable and do what we can to get them back on their feet. I would like to recognize those who were part of the late night bucket brigade. There were some amazing members of the community working tirelessly to help douse the fire and those helping get the word out.

Police treating fire as arson; 26 families homeless, 11 buildings burned; focus turns to cleanup, donations for victims
Updated June 27, 11:07 a.m.: San Pedro Sun is now reporting that 88 people were affected by the fire, mostly left homeless, and 11 buildings were completely destroyed in the early morning fire in Downtown San Pedro, Belize. Eight buildings were businesses and the others were residences. Updated June 27, 1:12 p.m.: Mary Rodriguez of the San Pedro Sun reports that “police are investigating it as arson.” The Sun quotes Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemott as saying, ““So far we are doing internal criminal investigation to see what occurred. The fire department was also assisting at this time; we would not like to speculate but we are looking at arson at this time.” The numbers are devastating: 21 families comprising 68 people lost everything in the fire, the Sun reports. This link from the Sun includes around 40 stunning pictures from this morning’s fire scene. Among the businesses destroyed were El Dorado Market, former Waraguma restaurant (recently closed?) and Cortez Upholstery — others?

International Sourcesizz

Bookbag Santa bringing Christmas in July to kids in Belize
Bookbag Santa volunteers are hard at work collecting school supplies that will be delivered to schools in Belize at the end of July. Gary Hunt, president and founder of Bookbag Santa, came up with the idea for the organization over 20 years ago. He hated seeing perfectly good school supplies go into the landfill at the end of the school year. "We literally keep two tons, actually more than two tons of good usable stuff out of the landfill every year. And we take it down to four little schools in Belize or groups here, churches, anybody that asks for stuff that we don't take to Belize, we just give it away,” said Hunt. Hunt says all of the schools in Belize need help. It's a heartwarming experience he's glad volunteers like David Parr will be able to take part in.

Enabling Belizean operator to become a regional mentor in The Caribbean
On July 11-12 members of the Cari-WOP and supporting organizations will come together in Miami for a two-day coordination and proposal development meeting. Representatives from the Belize Water Services (BWS), Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association (CAWASA), Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), and GWOPA, will meet at the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) to move forward their actions to strengthen the capacity of Caribbean water utilities through Water Operators’ Partnerships. The purpose of this meeting is to develop a framework that will establish BWS into a regional mentor and replicate the best practices gained from the WOP between BWS and CCWD in the Caribbean region. Furthermore, participants will aim to formulate strategies to obtain funding for this replication phase.

UK’s exit from EU a threat to the Caribbean, warns region’s top academic
Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Sir Hilary Beckles has warned the region to brace for the impact of the United Kingdom’s (UK) break with the European Union (EU), as he predicted that every aspect of life in the Caribbean will be negatively affected. The Brexit (British exit) vote last Thursday has already caused ripples across the world, with the value of the pound falling and stock markets dipping among the immediate effects. And Sir Hilary says the region’s fragile economic recovery is now under threat and Britain’s exit should trigger immediate strategic regional reactions, even before Heads of Government meet in Guyana for their July 4 to 6 Summit. “The predictable, highly individualistic action poses both a short-term as well as a long-term threat to the performance of CARICOM economies,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

Do you speak ‘ocean?’ – UNESCO develops open resource on ocean literacy
UNESCO is collaborating with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) on a project to develop an open resource learning tool on ocean literacy. The project is being developed by UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme and IOC as part of the EU Horizon 2020 SeaChange project. It aims to produce a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to sensitize and enable teachers and students from Europe and beyond to incorporate the concept of ocean literacy - how we influence the ocean and it influences us - into learning. The MOOC will focus on Ocean Literacy’s 7 essential principles with the long-term aim is to enhance responsibility towards the marine environment and develop marine citizenship. At the recent Global Ocean Science Education Workshop in Paris highlighting the importance of “citizen science” in protecting the marine environment, Bernard Combes of UNESCO’s Global Action Programme on ESD participated in panel discussions on the Influence of Informal Science Education on Policy and Connections Between Citizen Science, Informal Science Education, and Policy.


  • Aftermath of Fire on Pescador Drive, 4.5min. On the early morning of Monday, June 27, 2016 a fire broke out on Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street. Starting around 1AM, the inferno blazed until 4AM when the San Pedro Fire Department and citizen bucket brigades managed to control the flames. 11 buildings were destroyed, leaving 88 people homeless. Fortunately no injuries have been reported. All rights reserved by The San Pedro Sun.

  • Aerial Footage of Fire on Pescador Drive, 2.5min. View of the fire in San Pedro Town on Pescador Drive from the air. June 27, 2016 Drone footage by Bryce Peterson Video & Imaging Productions.

  • Hummingbird Flight Off of the Veranda, 1.5min.

  • HUBERT PIPERSBURG PRESENTATION AT THE ANGLO GUATEMALAN TOWN MEETING IN LOS ANGELES!, 32min. Belizean political analyst, Hubert Pipersburgh, in his presentation at the Anglo Guatemalan Claim Town Meeting made the case in his presentation that the Guatemalan military oligarchy is using a strategy called Effective Control by annexing the Belize Sarstoon River and Island on the southern most border between Belize and Guatemala. Pipersburgh established in his presentation that the Guatemalan military oligarchy will use the annexation to convince the judges at the I.C.J that since Guatemala has sovereignty over the Sarstoon, that the law which states that squatters rights is nine-tenths of the law should take precedence and whereby convinced the court at the Hague that Belizean territory in the South should be held under control by Guatemala.

  • Belize Cancer Society Cervical Cancer Ad 2015, 1.5min.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize, 30min.

  • Ziplining in Belize, 7min.

  • Fire on Pescador Drive San Pedro Belize, 1min. Fire on Pescador Drive San Pedro Belize

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