Belize City Bad Boys Like "Bush Fire"
A book on Belize's Urban Violence called "Like Bush Fire" was launched today at the Image Factory on North Front Street in Belize City. It is based on Dr. Herbert Gayle's 400 page report on male social participation and urban violence in Belize. The report was condensed in a 200 page reader friendly book of sociology and anthropology that attempts to definitively deconstruct the social fabric of urban violence in an attempt to understand some of it's root causes. The report was launched in 2010, but now the authors hope that the published work will make it into schools, and all government institutions. The book was written by Dr. Herbert Gayle from Jamaica and co-authored by Virginia Hampton and Nelma Mortis. They told us more about the creation of the book from it's concept to completion.
Herbert Gayle - Main Author:
"We started out in 2008 at the Boys and Education forum that was held there by UNICEF where I met Nelma Mortis who was agitated in the meeting about the state of boys in Belize and I said to her you know start a think tank and come up with ideas as to what can be done. And that's where the work started, I came here, I started training people, a think tank of people that recognize we needed to do research."
Judges and Jurists Consider Justice
This morning, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General's Ministry opened a 2-day workshop called "JURIST", or the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project.
The premise is that The Judiciary, headed by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, is aware of the public's dissatisfaction with the inefficiencies in the justice system. It was recently well documented when Caleb Orozco and his gay rights activist organization, UNIBAM, complained publicly about the Chief Justice for his 3-year delay in handing down a judgment in Orozco's challenge of Belize's sodomy laws.
So, the judges and magistrates participated in the continuation of the JURIST Project, which is a collaboration between the Government of Canada, and the Conference of Heads of Judiciaries within CARICOM. Here's what the Chief Justice and his brother judge, Justice Courtney Abel had to say at today's opening ceremony:
Man Mysteriously Shot On Crooked Tree Road
A man was shot 5 times with a shot gun near Crooked Tree but he survived. Stephen Palacio had parked his car near the junction last night at around 8 and got out. That is when he was shot. Police say they do not have much information as to what exactly happened and why he was there but they told us today that they are still trying to confirm Palacio's version of the story.
ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural:
"Last evening we had a shooting at the Crooked Tree junction where on Steven Palacio from number 15 Racoon Street received 5 pellet wounds from the blast of a shot gun. He was rescued by a vender who transported him to the Orange Walk hospital where he was treated. According to Mr. Palacio he saw some individuals catching crabs when he was shot. We don't have any further details at this time; we will be interviewing Mr. Palacio sometime later today. We are investigating what he was doing in the area; as far as we know it seems as though he was out of his vehicle because his vehicle was not injured, he was in a blue Mitsubishi SUV."
Kaina and Kathy, The Controversy And The Competition
Tonight the discussion continues on the topic of Kaina Martinez's exclusion from Belize's Olympic team. As we told you yesterday the National Garifuna Council came out with a strongly worded press release demanding that the Belize Athletic Association rescind its decision of sending Kathy Sealy and immediately engage Martinez as a possible candidate for the Rio Olympics. But just how feasible are these demands? The Olympics, after all, are less than two months away. Today we asked the president of the BAA if that is something they can consider at this time. Here is what he told us.
Deon Sutherland - President, BAA:
"At this juncture no, what is done is done in terms of the selection in terms of the representation we cannot change that because we have no control over the processes of the IOC who is the International Olympic Committee nor the Organization Committee in Rio. They asked for information, information was submitted while it was gathered. They asked for the final roster to be in, we sent in those final roster; at this juncture one month before the start of the Olympics there is nothing else we can do."
Belize Water Services Limited handed over a total of $45 thousand dollars in grants today to assist in various community driven initiatives. The first grant was to the tune of $5 thousand dollars. This was awarded to the National Sports Council of Belize in assisting them in their CODICADER Belize initiative. The HR manager and Public Relations Officer for BWS Haydon Brown told us why they’ve decided to pitch in to the CODICADER program.
The national sports council had earmarked a total of $800 thousand dollars to fund the CODICADER games. Now with this generous BWS donation, the sports council says it is closing in on the half way mark of their targeted financial goal.
The other grant, which is to the tune of $45 thousand dollars, went to the Program for Belize initiative to help the organization in funding scholarships for deserving students.
Very regularly on the news, we show you fishermen who break the fisheries laws with out of season catches.
But, there are also responsible fisher folk who follow the laws and practice sustainable fishing with a mind to preserve fish stocks in Belize's rivers and sea.
Today, the Fisheries Department honoured 3 of them by choosing two outstanding fisherfolk, and 1 Fisherman of the year for 2016. Two of those exemplary fishermen told us how they balance conservation and their needs to earn as breadwinners:
Those 3 responsible fisher folk were given a number of gifts and certificates.
The Ride, The Road, The Reason
As we told you earlier, 120 cyclists joined the first leg of this year’s Ride Across Belize Challenge. Here’s the organizer and a few of the participants as they arrived in Belize City after the 6 hour ride
The Ride Across Belize will continue from Belize to San Ignacio tomorrow, from San Ignacio to Dangriga on Friday and from Dangriga to Punta Gorda on Saturday. Beneficiaries of this year’s fund raising initiatives include: St. Paul’s feeding program, St. Peter’s School Feeding program, Together We Can Solve Hunger, Cornerstone Foundation Feeding Program, Holy Cross Anglican School Feeding Program, Belmopan Police Feeding Program, Red Cross Feeding Program, and Toledo Schools Feeding Program.
COLA Condemns Social Security Utility Share Purchase
Last week, we told you about the Social Security Board's decision to approve the purchase of 55 million dollars worth of shares in both BTL and BEL.
The PUP disagrees with them, and once again COLA is joining the chorus of objection. They're accusing the Government and the SSB Board of Directors of many things, including cronyism, conflict of interests, and poor judgment on the part of SSB Investment Committee.
Here's COLA making their case today as to why they view the impending purchase of shares as questionable:
Hon. Kareem Musa - Legal Advisor, COLA:
"There's a legitimate expectation that our people must a say in how our hard earn contributions are going to be invested and invested in a company that in my opinion is going to be obsolete in the next 10 years. That there has been no forensic audit carried out on this company; let us bear in mind that it has been under government control and with the stewardship of the prime minister's son for the last 8 years. We have seen no forensic audit to see if this company is even viable and yet SSB and its board is being expected and asked to invest blindly people's money, invest it blindly in a company."
SIB: Unemployment Down, So Is GDP
The Statistical Institute of Belize issued a major tranche of figures today. Due to time contraints with a very loaded newscast tonight – we can't go into them with the depth that we usually do, but just to give you a snapshot, here's what we can tell you.
First off, GDP growth was down 2% for the first quarter of 2016. That's a very negative indicator, since it was up 7% in the first quarter of 2015.
But there's good news for employment figures. A labour force survey conducted in April 2016, showed the lowed unemployment figures in almost 10 years. Unemployment was 8% in April of 2016, down form 10% in April 2015. Unemployment has been trending down from April of 2012 when it was 14%.
And, inflation in May increased by 1%, meaning goods cost 1% more this year than they did a year ago. We'll have a more detailed breakdown in tomorrow's news.
Archaeology Symposium Underway
For the past 3 days, local and international archaeologists and anthropologists have been participating in the annual Belize Archaeology Anthropology Symposium, which is being held at the San Ignacio Resort and Hotel.
It's a forum where these professionals discuss advancements and best practices in these two fields. But, on Monday evening, before they jumped into the highly technical topics, they enjoyed a laid-back opening ceremony.
Here are the NICH leaders welcoming their guests:
The symposium continues tomorrow and concludes on Friday.
FinSec Breaks Down Arbitration Award
As we told you Tuesday night, after years of legal battles, the long anticipated figures for the 2009 nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited are in and they are staggering. According [...]
PM Barrow Blames P.U.P. for Majority of Award
In case you missed it, Government, for the acquisition of B.T.L., must pay approximately four hundred million to the previous owners of B.T.L., give or take a million or two. [...]
Barrow Says Takeover of B.T.L. Was Worth Every Penny
It’s not quite as simple as that. The settlement agreement, agreed to in 2015 between Prime Minister Barrow and Lord Michael Ashcroft, does indeed stipulate that the Accommodation Agreement portion [...]
G.O.B. Claims Analysis Shows Benefits from B.T.L. Outweigh Costs
To round off his sales pitch, the P.M. then launched into a costs-benefits analysis which he maintains is complete vindication of G.O.B.’s seven years of effort and fighting the good [...]
$200 Million Due in 9 Days – Barrow Says No Problem
Two hundred million in ten days, now actually nine, sounds like a big deal. But it’s not, apparently. In fact, Government says they will have absolutely no difficulty raising the [...]
P.U.P. Says Arbitration Award is the Cost of Barrow’s Arrogance
The Prime Minister appears to be deeply impressed with the four hundred million dollar arbitration award, but the P.U.P. is not. In a release issued late this evening the Party [...]
Teenager Brutally Stabbed in Mahogany Heights
A gruesome discovery was made this morning in Mahogany Heights. The body of a young woman stabbed multiple times was found in a ditch behind the village, a short distance [...]
18 Salvadorans Nabbed by Police in Human Trafficking Operation
The police have made a significant bust of a suspected smuggling ring of illegal Central American nationals. Two Cayo residents, twenty-two year old Anival Alvarenga and twenty-four year old Victor [...]
2 Belizean “Coyotes” Detained by Cops
ACP Broaster says that the rural corridor is used by coyotes to transport illegal immigrants into the country as they make their way to Mexico with their final destination the [...]
Belize City Man Shot in Mysterious Circumstances
Ladyville police are also investigating a shooting that occurred around eight p.m. on Tuesday at the Crooked Tree junction with mile thirty-one on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Twenty-five year old [...]
Have Tensions in the Sarstoon De-escalated?
While all eyes will now almost certainly be turned on the arbitration award, the situation at the Sarstoon continues in limbo. Coming out of a meeting at the O.A.S. last [...]
PM Wants P.U.P. to Re-Engage in Talks
The People’s United Party announced on the eve of the Washington meeting that they would be withdrawing from the process because government didn’t appear to be serious in its talks [...]
Did G.O.B. Take Attempted Interception of Media in the Sarstoon Seriously?
The last time News Five went to the Sarstoon just prior to the Washington talks last week, we were chased out by a Guatemalan naval vessel with nine armed soldiers. [...]
G.O.B. Will Change the Referendum Act When Sarstoon Protocols Established
To referendum or not to referendum – that is the question or at least one of the questions. Another involves the amending of Belize’s Referendum Act. It’s been reported that [...]
SIB Releases Latest Statistics
Today was report card day from the Statistical Institute of Belize. S.I.B. held its quarterly press conference this morning to present the most recent figures pertaining to Belize’s economic performance. [...]
COLA Steps Up in B.T.L. Arbitration Award
Ahead of the prime minister’s press conference this afternoon, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, held its own media brief to discuss the impact of the B.T.L. arbitration award. [...]
COLA Attorneys Says Delayed Misappropriation was a Costly Blunder
Attorney Kareem Musa, who describes the entire nationalization as a political blunder, maintains that the former owners of B.T.L. should have been compensated at the time the utility company was [...]
Judiciary Participates in Reform Project
This morning, the courts took a break from court proceedings and instead the judiciary participated in the JURIST project which is the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project. A cross-section [...]
Chief Justice Says Elimination of Backlog is a Priority
The Chief Justice says that one project that has had success in the Court of Appeal involves backlog elimination. The initiative is still in progress and involves case management methods [...]
Herbert Gayle Launches ‘Like a Bushfire’
Born out of a social research known as the Gayle Report, conducted in Belize over six years ago, Like A Bushfire was officially launched at the Image Factory this morning. [...]
Gayle Says Project was a Labour of Love
In 2013, Cubola Productions approached the research team with an idea to compile the results of the Gayle Report into book form. It has been three years since and the [...]
BWS Partners With Restore Belize
Belize Water Services Limited has announced a partnership with Restore Belize’s “I am Belize” Scholarship Program, as well as the Belize National Sports Council. BWS has pledged to assist with [...]
2 Programs Benefit from BWS Contributions
Each of the various representatives, including Roger Bradley and Ritchel Dominguez, described their respective programs. The ‘I am Belize’ Scholarship Program began several years ago and was primarily funded through [...]
Outstanding Fisherfolk Recognized
The Fisher of the Year Award Ceremony was held in Belize City this morning to acknowledge fisher folks, men and women, who have been outstanding in their effort to secure [...]
Guadalupe Lampella Is Most Outstanding for 2016
Guadalupe Lampella has been a fisherwoman for over forty-five years. She was selected as the Outstanding Fisher Folk for 2016 after meeting the criteria of participating in the decision-making process, [...]
255 Million + 395 Million in Debt Translates to A Victory for Belize, Says PM Barrow (BTL Arbitration)
After almost seven years of court battles surrounding the takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited, the Government of Belize are now better informed on how much money they will need to settle and close this issue. Early last month, a preliminary report was published by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands and from then […]
PM Barrow Says Satisfaction Will Come Via A Written Mechanism with Guatemala
In today’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow allowed the issues surrounding the Sarstoon River and the relations between Belize and Guatemala to be discussed. The first question regarding this subject focused on where we are in terms of access to the Sarstoon and our negotiations with Guatemala. Here was the Prime Minister’s response. DEAN […]
COLA Accuses GOB of Appeasing the Guatemalans
Just hours before the Prime Minister’s press conference, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) held a press brief to discuss a couple issues. President, Geovanni Brackett spoke of the Guatemala dispute, he said the decisions being made by Government seems aimed at appeasing Guatemala. GEOVANNI BRACKETT “We’ve seen the veracity by the government who […]
COLA Seeks Legal Counsel to Simplify National Issues
Yesterday, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) spoke to Love News about their concerns as it relates to Belize’s economic state; specifically, the fifty five million dollar shares being bought by the Social Security Board from Belize Telecommunications Limited and Belize Electricity Limited. COLA has since then met with attorney Kareem Musa, to seek […]
Teenager Stabbed Multiple Times and Dumped in a Ditch
Neighbours, relatives and police investigators are tonight trying to put the pieces together as to how a seventeen year old girl ended up in a ditch in the Mahogany Heights residential community bearing over ten stab wounds. Love News was alerted minutes after the body was found and upon reaching the scene we found police […]
Statistics Released for First Part of 2016
This morning the Statistical Institute of Belize released its latest figures as it relates to Consumer Price Index, External Trade, Gross Domestic Products, and the Labor Force. Presentations began with the Consumer Price Index by statistician one, Angelita Campbell who said on average prices were one percent higher in the month of May 2016 when […]
Accident on George Price Highway claims one life
Over the weekend, a traffic accident claimed the life of Rosendo Teck as he was travelling on his motorcycle. On Saturday the 25th of June, Teck was travelling on the George Price Highway when he tried to overtake a bus, but collided head first with a Ford Escape and was flung off his motorcycle, dy...
Two arrested for murder of San Benito man
Police in the South have arrested two persons for the murder of San Benito Poite resident, 36 year old Francisco Ack. The two Belizean farmers were arraigned today for the murder of Ack who was killed while walking home after church on Saturday the 18th of June. On the following day, the 19th of Jun...
Fire aftermath; Picking up the pieces
San Pedranos are picking up the pieces after a massive fire wiped out 8 businesses and 3 family homes after midnight on Monday, June 27th. A total of 88 people have been affected by the devastating blaze and now the relief efforts are on the way on the island. San Pedro residents have kicked into co...
Compol discusses Santa Cruz 13 and lack of village police
In Monday’s newscast we reported that the Government of Belize led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, dropped all charges against 13 Mayans, including MLA spokesperson Christina Coc, after one year of dragging them through the courts in Punta Gorda Town. The charges t...
Police deletes pictures taken by Journalist
Citizens sometimes complain about police overstepping their authority or abusing their authority. Similarly, journalists sometimes find themselves face to face with that same kind of behavior from police. One Journalist from the Belize Media Group, was taking pictures of a police operation in San Ig...
Deidra Smith receives Queens Award
60 young people from across the Commonwealth received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award including Belizean, 28 year old Deidra Smith. The recipients were awarded in London at Buckingham Palace this past week by Her Majesty the Queen in acknowledging the achievements of those young persons who are tra...
San Ignacio’s Officers of the Month
The Belize Western Police Division had a brief ceremony on Friday June 24th at their headquarters in San Ignacio where they honored officers of the month for June 2016. Corporal Michael Salazar told us about some of the criteria looked at when choosing officers of the month. Michael Salazar, San Ign...
Breaking Belize News
PUP slams GOB over BTL settlement
The People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement this evening and said it was appalled and deeply concerned by the final figures released by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Tuesday with respect to Government’s acquisition of BTL. The PUP said the figures were even worse […]
Economic stats: Unemployment down, economy shrinks, exports rebound but not enough
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released a battery of economic statistics during a press conference today in Belize City. The big headline is that the economy shrank 2 percent in the first quarter, primarily due to a slowdown in agriculture, marine production and manufacturing, […]
How much debt has the Barrow government added to the country?
Belize’s national debt, now estimated to be somewhere around $2.6 billion, is always a hot topic of discussion. The national debt is projected to balloon to $3 billion by the end of 2017 and Belizeans should be concerned about how government intends to manage its […]
GOB breaks down BTL settlement
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference this afternoon at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City to brief the nation on the Arbitration Panel ruling on the final settlement of the BTL nationalization. Barrow was accompanied by Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and BTL Chairman […]
Southern Belize Communities undergo training for natural disasters and climate change
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) has concluded the Community Preparedness and Resilience initiative that was launched in July 2015. Through the program, over 14, 000 residents of Stann Creek District were assisted in preparing for and responding to disasters and climate change adaptation. Through the […]
BWS donates to CODICADER and RESTORE Belize
Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) has entered a four-year partnership with RESTORE Belize to sponsor its “I am Belize” scholarship program for needy students, to the tune of 40 thousand dollars for the next four years. The state-owned water company also gave a check for 5 thousand […]
Woman murdered in Mahogany Heights
Breaking Belize News has been made to understand that a woman was found dead with multiple stab wounds to her body in the small community of Mahogany Heights near mile 30 on the George price Highway. This is a developing story. BBN will post more […]
Half a billion for BTL?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be holding a press conference in Belize City this afternoon to brief the country of the decision from an Arbitration Panel regarding the final compensation figures for the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). The judgment, however, has been leaked to […]
Author of Male Social Violence Report on Belize to release book
Dr. Herbert Gayle, anthropologist specializing in social violence and based at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, is in Belize to launch his new book, based on the major report “Male Social Violence and Urban Participation in Belize” released in 2010. Dr. […]
COLA: Consult Belizeans before selling utility shares
The sale of 55 million dollars in shares in Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) appears to be a done deal between Government and the Social Security Board (SSB), after approval was received last week from the latter’s Board of Directors. But […]
This is San Pedro Strong
It’s been on everyones mind lately and it weighs more than most Sanpedranos can bare. A fire, one night, 11 buildings, 27 families, 88 people who lost it all.
Immediately after our first news report the outpour of concerned calls and messages overwhelmed our phones, websites and social media and we all knew there was work to be done by all of us. I posted a flyer on Facebook the evening of the fire thinking if a handful of volunteers came to help we would do everything in our power to assist in the cleanup of the site.
You amazed me San Pedro! Forty-five of us met at Estel’s on Tuesday morning to assist in the cleanup and we were only one of the many groups who volunteered.
No fund me’s please and Important San Pedro Fire Updates
There has been lots of talk and people stepping up from afar to help those affected by the San Pedro Fire. My mom and Stepdad immediately put money in my Canadian Bank account for me to pass along. Yesterday I was asked politely if I was willing to address the individual fundraising campaigns sprouting up and being asked for all over Facebook. Here goes….
A few people have started up “Go Fund Me” campaign type sites to raise money for the cause and we do appreciate everyone’s efforts and wanting to help. However it is easier for all of NGO’s collecting money to be approved by the Lions Den. If too many sites get out there it makes it hard to keep track of and disorganized.
At a time like this we all need to be as organized and efficient as we can. This is an enormous task ahead of us and we appreciate everyone who is helping in any way. The Mayor and a few heads of each NGO came together yesterday afternoon and made a concrete plan which we are all doing our part to follow. Different organizations are working together, but still maintaining their own policies and protocols when it comes to disaster relief and management.
San Pedro rises strong from the ashes
Cleanup on Middle Street in San Pedro Town, Belize, continues today after Monday’s devastating fire. More than 60 volunteers showed up this morning to help clear debris from the area where 11 shops, restaurants and homes once stood.
And life goes on. The annual fishermen’s breakfast and boat parade were this morning. A stage is being built and chairs set out in front of the Roman Catholic Church to celebrate the annual feast of Saint Peter, our community’s namesake, with a Mass tonight by the Bishop.
Across town at Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex an even grander stage is being built for the Dia de San Pedro celebration, with entertainment, music and fireworks planned. Entertainment will continue through Saturday with big name bands on the stage each night. (Here’s the full schedule.)
Behind the Sylvestre field stage is the itinerant carnival where so many people were enjoying themselves when the fire broke out. Scores of revelers abandoned the ferris wheel and whirley rides and streamed into town to join the bucket brigades which yet again saved a piece of San Pedro.
NOAA Outlook for Central America June 30 – July 6, 2016
In the last seven days, seasonal rains continued throughout Central America, however below-average totals were again registered across many anomalously dry regions. The highest weekly precipitation accumulations (>100mm) were received throughout many coastal areas in the Yucatan peninsula, southern Guatemala, and along the Atlantic coastline of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Lesser, but well distributed totals were received over many interior departments of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Since the end of May, seasonal dryness continues to strengthen across many central regions of Guatemala and Honduras. While many of these areas have experienced an increased number of days of rain during this span, several weeks of below-average totals have led to many areas experiencing between 50 to 80 percent of their normal rainfall accumulation over the past three months. In western Guatemala, the delayed onset and erratic distribution of rainfall have already resulted in wilted, early-planted crops. A failure of Primera rains by mid-summer would mark the 3rd consecutively failed season of Guatemala and Honduras.
Belize’s IFSC issues warning against binary options broker YieldOptions for forged license
Belize financial regulator the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) has issued a warning against binary options broker YieldOptions, owned and operated by HSBO Capital Ltd.
According to the IFSC, YieldOptions is fraudulently claiming to hold a license for trading in financial and commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities, issued by the Samoa International Financial Authority.
The Licence No. IFSC/60/241/TS/14 carrying its name and purporting to be signed by Mr. Gian C. Gandhi, the former Director General of International Financial Services Commission of Belize is a complete forgery.
The IFSC warns with regards to this to take note and exercise extreme caution.
Francis Ford Coppola's Private Island Is Taking Reservations
Francis Ford Coppola has successfully conquered the film and wine worlds, and has been making a serious mark on the hospitality world as well.
After successfully opening several resorts around the world, the director is set to unveil his first private island this summer.
Coral Caye is located off the coast of Belize, near Coppola's beachfront property Turtle Inn. Beginning July 1, guests will be able to enjoy a rustic two-acre island just eight miles from the mainland, Coral Caye. The property can accommodate up to 12 guests — but a private island for two sounds more romantic.
As with all Coppola Resorts, top-notch service is paramount. The live-in caretaker on this piece of paradise will provide all meals, including fresh seafood dinners and continental Belizean breakfasts.
YannisWCA Video Update #2 - Snorkeling in Belize, 4.5min.
Snorkeling in Belize with Caveman Snorkeling Tours, 3.5min. Snorkeling in Caye Caulker, Belize with Caveman Snorkeling Tours
A Journey to Belize, 8.5min.
Xunantunich, Cayo, Belize 2016, 4min.