Today's Belize News: July 14, 2016
07/14/16 04:58 AM
07/14/16 04:58 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
BEL holds public meeting regarding power outage issues in San Pedro
After the frustration of San Pedro Town’s most recent 18- hour power outage, an important public meeting was held by the nation’s electricity provider Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). A large delegation of BEL employees, including senior staff members, addressed a small group of residents on Monday, July 11th at the San Pedro Lions Den. Also present at the meeting were local authorities, including Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr.
Canary Coves donates eye screener to San Pedro Lions
Through a request from Lion Members Melanie Paz and Jan Brown, Canary Coves Resort handed over a Plus Optix eye screening device to the San Pedro Lions Club on Friday, July 8th. Since November 2015, the San Pedro Lions Club has conducted an “Eye Screening Program”, and has screened over 1,500 children on Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Corozal.
On hand to receive the donation was President of the San Pedro Lions Club, Fatima Graniel, who was grateful for the much needed equipment. “We are so thankful for this donation. We have two eye screeners, but we have to rotate them between Belize City, Belmopan, and San Estavan. Now that we have our own, it is more convenient to carry out the screening here in San Pedro,” said Graniel.
The Lions are committed to providing eye glasses for free to children who need them, and parents/guardians who cannot afford them. Up to the month of April 2016, over 180 children in San Pedro and Caye Caulker have been referred to obtain eye glasses.
Two men injured during shooting incident in Escalante Subdivision
Dwayne Hyde, a 30-year-old mechanic from the Escalante Subdivision of San Pedro Town, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City after being involved in a shooting incident. Police responded to reports of a shooting in the said area early on Wednesday, July 13th, and also discovered a second person suffering from stab wounds.
According to the official report from the police, about 12:30AM, 22-year-old Kimberly Humes reported that while at home, she heard a knock at her door. When she opened it, it was her common-law husband, Hyde, who stated that someone wanted to kill him. Shortly after, two male persons reportedly entered the yard of their home; one of them was identified as 23-year-old Luis Manuel Carter from the San Pedro area who is mainly known as ‘Wizz.’ He approached Hyde and after a brief exchange of words, an altercation ensued, resulting in Hyde being shot in his abdomen. During the struggle, Wizz also sustained stab wounds to the neck, mouth and abdomen.
Yerbaklan set to perform at Costa Maya
The entertainment lineup at the International Costa Maya Festival has gotten more exciting as the Honduran group Yerbaklan is set to perform for Tropical Night. On Friday, August 5th, the most recognized and established urban duo from Honduras will be adding to the fun onstage. Cesar Castaneda (Csarec), singer/songwriter of San Pedro Sula, Honduras and Jaime Colindres (Jimmy James) singer/song writer of Tegucigalpa, Honduras are no strangers to Costa Maya, having brought their energy to the stage in 2010. Now they will be back with some new and exciting originals.
Together they have performed on the best stages locally and internationally, with artists like Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Mark Anthony. Yerbaklan has even performed at the Latin Billboard Awards! One of their greatest hits, Meneando La Cintura, has surpassed the million-view mark on YouTube. The tropical tune was done in collaboration with Panamanian artist Mr. Saik. Their collaborations also include “Ahora Marchate” with artist Nicky Jam.
Bucket Brigade Fundraiser a grand success
The event was organized by entertainment group, Higher Levelz Promotion. For a fee/donation of $5, supporters enjoyed a full slate of entertainment starting at 10PM. DJ Boss, Shuga Vybz, Fyah Statah , DJ Patron, DJ Smallz, Top Ranking, No Fear Deejays, and 5 Star Int’l kept the dance floor full. Live performances from Andidre of Corozal and Punta King Supa G added to the fun. Traveller’s Liquors and Carib Beer were busy keeping everybody refreshed, and they even donated half of their sales towards the Fire Relief Fund. Corozal adds to the Fire Relief Fund: On that same day a similar event took place in Corozal Town. Organized by DJ Callie Promotions and Euphoria 21 night club, the event was called ‘Relief for San Pedro fundraiser event,’ with its proceeds sent to the island to be added to the Fire Relief Fund.
American Airlines to Introduce New London to Belize Flight in November
The biggest inconvenience travelers face when traveling to Belize form Europe is the overnight in the United States of America or Mexico, but American Airlines is changing all of that with a new flight that launches in November 2016 from Heathrow Airport in London.
Although the flight is not a direct connection from London to Belize, the new afternoon flights departing from London Heathrow will have a few hours' connection in Miami onto Belize City. Factors as flight delays, long TSA lines my be a factor when balancing a few hours for connecting flights, but it is understood that PGIA in Belize may also have to activate extended hours of operation to accommodate the new flight.
Parkour/Freerunning Athletes Film Commercial in Ambergris Caye
Tempest, a US company dedicated to the support and development of Freerunning and Parkour, is in Belize this week working on a commercial shoot. Ambergris Today spotted their film crew in downtown San Pedro as parkour/freerunning athletes performed for the production.
Top athletes in the sport/lifestyle including Mich Todorovic, stuntman Richard King, Cory DeMeyers and Luci Rumberg all have posts on their individual Facebook profile accounts about their experiences in Belize that include photos and videos.
Misc Belizean Sources
Paint N Splash
Join us to paint "Crab in a Net. For our regular customers please bring your detail brush. Sign up here
Job opportunity at The Belize Zoo for an Environmental Educator
TBZ will soon be saying farewell to Deidra, our excellent Environmental Educator. She is off to pursue an exciting new chapter in her professional career, and goes with our very best wishes and deepest thanks for all her hard work at the Zoo!
TBZ is now looking for another bright young Belizean to take up the position of Environmental Educator. This post requires the minimum of an Associate's degree in Natural Resource Management, Biology, or a related field. Responsibilities include: Delivering on-site and outreach environmental education programs developed for local school groups and communities. Conducting natural history tours, presentations, and animal encounters. Contributions to design, preparation, and distribution of zoo education resources. Assisting with logistics and preparation for public zoo events. Interested applicants can contact the Zoo's Education Director at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and with formal queries.
Vocal Training for Kids Day Camp
July 16-23, Government House
Belize Screen on the Green in Belmopan
How's your week going? Take a break, and LET IT GO this Thursday at the Belize Screen on the Green in Belmopan at GG Field. We will be featuring the movie "Frozen." Movie starts at dark and as always it's FREE.
Commentary: Race can influence police officers in carrying out their duties
By Wellington C. Ramos.
Before I came to the United States, I served five years in the Belize Police Force and was assigned to the Patrol and Criminal Investigation branches in Belize City, NCO i/c Criminal Investigation Branch Orange Walk District and NCO i/c Hattieville Police Station Belize District. I joined the Belize Police Force on April 23, 1973, and was enrolled at the Police Training School in Ladyville Village with about 40 trainees for six months. At the school we learnt; police duties, criminal law, traffic law, immigration, rules of evidence, first aid, self defence, drills, weapons training and physical training.
Belize is a multi-ethnic country that is populated by Creoles, Mayas, Mestizos, Garifuna and other ethnic groups. Most of the people that had the highest ranks in the Belize Police Force at the time were Creoles and a majority of them came from Belize City. They were the ones who controlled the Police Departments including the Police Training School. Some of them were prejudice towards people from the other ethnic groups and districts throughout the country of Belize.
Corozal Destination Launch
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Inter-American Development Bank, in partnership with the Corozal Town Council, cordially invite you to the Destination Launch of the Corozal Tourism Development Plan and the Sustainable Tourism Program II.
Date: Saturday July 16, 2016.
Time: 3:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Place: Corozal Town Hall.
Free bocas and refreshments will be offered after the event.
This is an important event for Corozal, so no excuses not to be there! Please share with all stakeholders!
Taste of Belize 2016 With a Cup of Victory
Congratulations, Kevin Chi! The San Ignacio Resort Hotel cook took 1st place in the Anateur Cook category at the BTB's Taste of Belize competition, which was held in Orange Walk this year. Way to go, Kevin!
"For the competition, he prepared a delicious Pan Seared Belizean Duo consisting of beef fillet and shrimp accompanied by coco mash, string beans, drizzled with wine butter reduction sauce, and seasoned with his mystery blend of herbs and spices (because we can’t give away all the secrets!) ;) YUM!"
Barefoot Skinny 25th Anniversary Concert
Barefoot Skinny is celebrating 25 years of playing in Belize this Friday, July 15th, at Bamboo Bar. They'll have some great BBQ there too.
"Hey folks! It's on this Friday with Barefoot Skinny and friends! BBQ on sale and cold Drinks will be served! Live music starts at 6pm! Tell your friends!"
All that jazz!
The Belize International Jazz Festival is back!
GOB Finances Strain to Cough Up 190 Million For Ashcroft Alliance
190 million dollars – that's how much the Government of Belize had to pay the Ashcroft Alliance today as partial payment for the BTL final settlement. The government had announced that half would be paid within 10 business days of the decision from the Permanent Council on Arbitration. Government paid 60% - or 114 million dollars of the total in Belize currency and 40% in US dollars – amounting to 38 million US dollars. The Belize currency was raised through the selling of government treasury bills and notes, while the US currency came out of the Central Bank Reserves.
It's a serious strain on government's finances and hard currency reserves – and they'll have to do the same thing in a year's time when the final 190 million is due.
Michael Baptist Remanded
Last night, we told you about how Corozal Police captured Michael "Wani" Baptist, the stepson of Eugene "Fatback" Webster after we put his picture on the news. Well tonight, he's at prison after he was taken to court on charges related to Webster's stabbing.
He was arraigned this morning of the offences of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer did not take any plea, and did not grant him bail. He was remanded to prison untilSeptember 2.
The stabbing happened in the wee hours of last week Wednesday morning at Fatback's Los Lagos home. He allowed Baptist to sleep at his house, and according to Webster, he was asleep when Baptist attacked him and stabbed him with 2 different knives. The family says that Baptist was trying to rob him.
Molasses Meltdown At ASR/BSI
Molasses is one of the by products of sugar production – and, locally, it is usually sold as an animal feed supplement, or to rum distillers. It's also exported, likely as a key element in ethanol.
But something has gone very wrong with the molasses stored at ASR/BSI. The company issued a release today saying that for the first time in the history of cane production in Belize, there's been a case of what is known as a Maillard Reaction. It's a chemical reaction which heats up the molasses and sort of cooks it, into a blackened solid.
BSI says it has only affected one tank so far, but the quantity of molasses affected is not known. Now, this affects ASR/BSI's bottom line since the molasses cannot be sold – and that means less money for farmers. And now, it's an issue for the public because disposing of the blackened mass could prove problematic.
Sharp Cops Get Gun And Suspects Quickly
Belize City Police made an effective weapons bust yesterday evening at 5:30. Police responded to reports of shots fired in the area of Lakeview Street, and saw a man feeling on bicycle with a gun in his hand. When the police closed in on him, he threw the gun into an empty lot. Police caught him and took him back to where the object was thrown and they found this.38 revolver loaded with1 live .38 round and 3 expended .38 casings. 19-year-old Davon Guzman, of #4 Moya Street St. Martin de Porres area, Belize City was arrested and charged for the offence of “Keeping a Firearm and Ammunition without a Gun License"and aggravated assault with a firearm. In court today, he pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until September 13.
Cops Waiting For DNA Results In Lopez Murder
So, while Southside police have that case neatly wrapped up, they aren't getting the same kind of success with several the recent murders in their jurisdiction. The murder of Karim Hafiya continues to be investigated with no luck so far, and the double murders of Kieran Morrison and Kent Brooks Jr remain uncertain because eyewitnesses won't come forward.
The investigation into the shooting death of Michael Lopez, the third murder which happened on last week Wednesday, hinges solely on scientific evidence at this time. The two suspects who were caught in the St. Martin's area have been detained, thoroughly questioned, and they have been released without any charges. The cops say that the results of the DNA samples taken form their shirts stained with what police believe to be Lopez's blood is away being tested.
Today, Eastern Division South's Deputy Commander told us that they're in a holding pattern for this investigation until the results are in:
Man Shot On San Pedro, Cops Say Could Be Drug Business
A man is struggling to stay alive after he was shot on San Pedro. 30 year old Dwayne Hyde was heading to his common law wife's home this morning at around 12:30. But he wasn't alone, he was being followed by 3 men. As soon as he got to the house, he saw the men in the yard. That is when Hyde and one of the men, who he knows as Luis â€˜Wizz" Carter got into a fight. Carter drew his gun and shot Hyde in stomach but Hyde got a chance to grab a screwdriver and stabbed Carter 4 times. Today police told us what they know so far.
Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood - PR, Eastern Division North:
"Something around 12:30 am Mr. Dwayne Hype ran home and he had to bang on his door because he was in hot pursuit by some persons that wanted to harm him. By the time his common law wife opened the door to their residence he was shot somewhere in the abdomen and he was transported to the KHMH where is undergoing treatment as we speak. How the stabbing came about we believe that one of his assailants was stabbed with a screwdriver. We cannot determine as yet who inflicted that wound to one of the assailants but we know that one of the person out of the 3 attackers was known to the victim and the common law."
City Police Hope Victim Cooperates
And while San Pedro cops got the community's help, City police are only hoping for the cooperation of the victim of a recent shooting.
As we told you last night, 26 year-old Clifford Anderson was shot in the abdomen while he was on the Penn Road Basketball Court on last week Friday night at around 10.
He's since been taken off life support, and the doctors are hoping that he will make a full recovery. In fact, the police are hoping that not only will he recover, but that he will be able to name his shooter so that they can prosecute the gunman:
Mayor: Don't Know Jack About Joe
Yesterday we told about the "Joe" situation in the Belize City Council. Now, we aren't talking about any average Joe, we mean Joe Bradley, UDP mouth piece and City Council employee, under his son, Mayor Darrell Bradley.
Bradley works in the City's PR department, but he could be in a disciplinary pickle because, according to reports, he berated and threatened the City Engineer.
We understand that a disciplinary complaint was made by the City Engineer but when we asked the Mayor about this today he told us he told us he learned of it on the news:…
Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor:
"In relation to any disciplinary hearing that's not something that comes to my desk and it's not anything that I would have direct knowledge of or involvement in. Actually I became aware of that issue because I saw it on Channel 7's news last night much to my surprize."
"But I mean you must be keeping tabs on the doing of the..."
Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor:
"I do not keep tabs of any staff, no. Human resource is not something that the mayor is involved in. One of the reasons why we created a human resource regulation is to depoliticize any kind of hiring or any kind of firing...."
Siltation, And Other Hydraulic Problems
In another matter related to city hall, the silt buildup in the Belize harbor is gone – well, almost anyways.
For months we've been documenting the buildup of silt in the Belize harbor. It was turning into a real disaster as the silt continued to push further across the mouth of the Belize River almost clogging the entire canal and making passage rather tricky. But it seems that behind us for the time being, because shortly after the dredge began ploughing into the silt, immediate change was apparent. Today the waves are once again crashing against the seawall and the Foreshore sea-view is restored. But the effort to find a more sustainable solution to the problem is still on. We spoke to the Mayor about this today.
Mayor On Mass Manhole Substitution
And while the mayor may have his hands full with flood mitigation, another project that is surely keeping him busy is the 3 month initiative to replace 3 thousand 6 hundred manholes and drain covers in the City. If you or anyone you know has ever fallen in one then you'd understand the urgency of these works. But the project has been experiencing setbacks because of the rains and other technical complications. The works started about three weeks ago and have 12 weeks to go before they should cover all the manholes as proposed by the project. Mayor Bradley gave us an update today.
Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor:
"We've seen much improvement in relation to how it looks. Actually I did an inspection in relation to some of them and you can visibly see the fact that you in many cases have old sidewalks with these brand new manhole covers. And one of the reasons that we decided to do this is because of the interest in wanting to make Belize City more child friendly and more safe and secure and we upgrading a significant amount of the carriage way but one of the areas which I would concede that we have neglected is sufficient attention to drainage and also sufficient attention to the sidewalk and the manhole covers and we just wanted to ensure that when kids for example are walking on the streets it's a safe walk for them."
NEMO And San Pedro's Fire Needs
On Friday, we told you how relief efforts on San Pedro have raised 225 thousand dollars to aid the 98 residents who lost everything in the June 27 fire.
The residents have been getting help from generous donors, the Emergency Operations Committee, the Belize Red Cross and other NGOs. The NEMO Ministry has also chipped in to help out, but the victims are short of as much as 700 thousand dollars to cover the total losses.
So today, we asked the NEMO Minister how much aid can the residents reasonably expect the Government to provide them. He told us that he has to balance the need against his Ministry's resources:
Hon. Edmond Castro - Minister of State, NEMO:
"From the get go within the first 3 hours NEMO was out there assisting those victims with basics such as food, hygiene and we followed up with some of the other hardware such as stoves, gas tanks, bed, bedding, mattress and so on. NEMO has played a significant role in terms delivering of those good and services to the people affected in that fire."
Belmopan Woman Found Man In Her House With Knife
A Belmopan woman got a terrifying surprise on Monday afternoon when she found a man in her house. 22 year old Marlin Maldonado got to her home on Venezuela Street at about 1:30. She noticed that someone had moved her laptop and tablet that she’d left on her bed. Maldonado searched her room and found them in a black plastic bag and that is when a man with a knife emerged from the bathroom and tried to grab her. She dashed out of the apartment and the man escaped with her $250 dollar tablet. Police are looking for the burglar.
Regularly on the news you hear about police finding wholesale quantities of marijuana. But, San Pedro police came up with an Island twist on that everyday drug.
At 4:00 this morning, based on special branch intelligence, the quick response team did a few raids and hit the jackpot when they found cocaine, hashish, ecstasy and cannabis at an apartment on Sea Grape Drive. Police arrested 27 year old waiter Juslyn Daniels and a minor. They have been charged with two counts of trafficking for one pound of cannabis, AND 26.1 grammes of cocaine, and possession of controlled drugs for the 27.2 grammes of hashish and 0.7 grammes of ecstasy.
Youths Leading Youths
We're well into the summer break that means that school children will be attending all kinds of camps.
Today, we found one in the Fabers Road Area. It's a sports camp organized by the YMCA, and though the organization's staffs are in charge, they're using teen coaches to run it. We spoke to the YMCA Executive Director about the benefits of utilizing youths to help at-risk kids:
Dr. Clara Cuellar - Exec. Dir, YMCA:
"There are lots of reasons to build youth coaches. One I think that in the volunteer world it's more difficult sometimes for adults to find a time given how busy our society is and so this way I can have an adult come in 1 hour a day during my training session for 5 days they can find that time more experts and we did that. And then there are teen coaches, they love sport so now they are giving back in an area or learning how to teach in something they enjoy. So it's fun for them but while it's work at the same time and we just find that lots of our youths out there don't have a summer job but want a summer responsibility that allows them to grow without feel laborious. After all it is a break from so they join our camp, we train them, they do a week of training and then every day they come an hour early so we go over the daily plan and after a year of this they are ready to start teaching another group and two, three years we can certify them of coaches on their own by the time they are hitting 17."
From Hollywood To Our Neck Of The Woods
For most of you, whenever you want to watch a really good movie, you'll head to the DVD store, or surf the web or Netflix and load up, let's say …"The Hangover" or "Neighbors" for comedy and "The Conjuring" if you are in the mood for horror.
Well, the Belize Film Commission hopes that one day, people all over the world will stream and enjoy a fully Belizean produced high quality movie. Now, that hope might not seem all that realistic but Belize Film Commissioner Nigel Miguel says that through more exposure and connections with the right people in the US film industry, Belize can reach the next level. And one of the ways in which Miguel plans to promote Belize, is by hosting a meeting with movie producers and directors in Santa Monica, California. Miguel told us more about the significance of this meeting
The first meeting was held in March 2015. This year's meeting will be held on July 21st. Miguel also told us that HBO and HBO Latino are working on 2 projects in Belize. Representatives and producers from these global powerhouses plan on coming to Belize to scout in August.
Crumbling Cement Street Gets Major Surgery
Earlier we told you what the city council is doing with manhole and drain covers, but they’re also trying to fix one the failed concrete streets. Cemetery Road and Orange Street were among the first to get paved three years ago, but the much trafficked streets were also among the first to start breaking down. Well, a section of the street on Cemetery road near the junction with Euphrates Avenue is currently locked off as it is being jackhammered in preparation to have it re-casted. And while that portion of the street is already getting serviced, there is another portion of that same concrete road, about 100 yards from the current working site that seems to be caving in. The problem that persists in that area according to the city council, is that it is flood prone. That compounded with the heavy traffic tends to cause the concrete road to deteriorate quickly. Those in the industry point to unsuitable cement work.
Going Postal On Amazon
On last night's news, we told you about the opening of a week-long training which leading officials from the Government Post Offices all across the Caribbean are participating in. They're trying to improve the postal services in the region, but we wondered today just how relevant the postal service is at this time. Email, mobile phones and social media apps have taken over modern communication – and letters are mostly only sent by older persons who love the written word and lawyers who love paperwork.
So, how does this Government Department continue to remain relevant? Well, Belize's Deputy Post Master General told us with competition that the internet brought, it also opened online shopping and E-commerce. The post offices all around the world have tapped into that market. Here's how he explained it:
Hon. Edmond Castro - Minister of State, NEMO
"Not just Belize that is challenged facing difficulty with the post but the entire region and the world and if you listen to critics' 10 years ago they had predicted that the post would have been out of service by now. That is not the case; the post is here to stay."
Cops And Community
And lastly tonight, we were with the police as they did their north and southside meet and greet today. We found the Eastern Division Southside team on La Croix Boulevard and nearby St. Martin’s area. There was a recent double murder on that boulevard, and another street killing believed to be connected to gang activity in the area.
So, when we met the Eastern Division South's Deputy Commander touring that area, we asked him about the feedback from residents in the wake of these homicides. Here's what he told us:
Northside Going Through Changes
While the South side meet and greet session went as usual, northside police made theirs a bit different. And that is only because there is a new commander for precinct 3. So it was not only to go out and meet residents but it was for the community to meet the new Superintendent. He is Hilberto Romero, former Officer Commanding CIB for the Eastern Divison. Romero takes over from Inspector Suzette Anderson – who made a hasty exit, we are told. But Romero’s introduction as commander certainly did not take away from the real purpose of this initiative. We asked Northside Public Relations Officer Fitzroy Yearwood about today’s session and if the current state of southside gang violence has northside police on edge.
Re: Today's Belize News: July 14, 2016
07/14/16 04:58 AM
07/14/16 04:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Santander Issued with Stop Order for Environmental Breaches
There is big news tonight coming out of the largest new industry in the west of the country. Santander, located in Valley of Peace in the Cayo District, recently started [...]
Ministry of the Environment Assessing Fines for Company
The stop order was not to close the factory down, but rather to give the company strict notice that it must act immediately to remedy what in some cases were [...]
G.O.B. Comes Up With First Payment to Ashcroft Group
Has the Government of Belize made the huge first payment in the approximately four-hundred-million-dollar bill outstanding in the Arbitration Award for the B.T.L. nationalization? Today was the deadline as set [...]
San Pedro Resident Critical After Shooting
Turning to crime…A shooting just after midnight on Tuesday on La Isla Bonita San Pedro has left two persons hospitalized; one who is fighting for his life at the Karl [...]
Guzman Arraigned for City Shooting
The violence in the streets of the Old Capital continues. There was a shooting incident on Tuesday evening and fortunately no one was injured during the spray of bullets. Sometime [...]
Police Await Forensics Results to Lay Charges in Lopez Murder
Last Wednesday, twenty-two-year-old Michael Lopez was slain in front of his home on Jones Street, a few hours after a pair of unrelated murders in the Old Capital. Immediately following [...]
Anderson Still Hospitalized after Shooting
Also in the crime blotter…On Monday, we reported on the shooting of Clifford Anderson in an alley off Neal Pen Road Extension in Belize City. The twenty-six year old was [...]
San Pedro Police Seize Drugs on the Island
At around four o’clock this evening, a joint operation conducted by officers attached to the Special Branch and Quick Response Team in the Escalante area of San Pedro Town yielded [...]
Woman Detained in Curious Circumstances in Ladyville
A victim of an alleged burglary has had the tables turned on her and ended up in lockdown. On Tuesday night, Ana Villacorte, an employee of B.T.L., arrived at her [...]
Villacorte Claims that Detention Is Related to Domestic Situation with Arthur Saldivar
Villacorte says she believes that what has transpired is related to an ongoing custody battle with her common-law husband over the couple’s two children. They too are in the United [...]
Baptist Arraigned for Stabbing ‘Fatback’
Last Thursday we reported on the attempted murder of Eugene “Fat Back” Webster at his Los Lagos home off the Phillip Goldson Highway. Webster had been stabbed multiple times to [...]
Haulover Creek Dredged to Alleviate Siltation Situation
Since the start of the year, silt and filth accumulated in the Belize City Habour between the Fort Street Tourism Village and Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. But today, [...]
B.S.I. Release: Maillard Reaction Affects Molasses Tanks
Earlier we told you about the fines being imposed against Santander for the breach of environmental compliance. The other sugar factory in the north is also facing its own challenges. [...]
CDB Approved Funding for Crooked Tree Causeway
The Crooked Tree causeway has been a source of constant consternation for residents of the community – just about every rainy season. Prior to recent seasons there has been some [...]
North Side Cops Meet Residents of Pickstock
The Belize Police Department continues to ramp up its community policing efforts, primarily by going out and meeting people – finding out their concerns and just generally showing them a [...]
Yearwood Says Effective Policing Is Responsible for Northside Peace
There is always a clear differentiation between the north side of the city and the south side – sort of an assertion that bad things happen in the latter, while [...]
Southside Cops Visit Residents in CET Site
Community policing initiatives were also ongoing in the south side of Belize City. Today, a team of officers from Eastern Division South visited the CET Site, a neighborhood within the [...]
Sr. Supt. Dawson Explains Checkpoint on La Croix Blvd.
According to Senior Superintendent Dawson, the need for a checkpoint on La Croix Boulevard arises out of its distance from the nearest police substation, as well as the crime situation [...]
Deputy Postmaster General Provides Update on Financial Misappropriations
The training workshop for regional Postal service personnel continued in Belize City today. We’ve reported comprehensively on it, but tonight there’s another angle. The Belize Postal Service has come under [...]
Applications Invited for NSC Summer Camp
Softball, volleyball, football and basketball are the four disciplines that will be featured in the National Sports Council’s 2016 Summer Sports Camp. The annual activity will commence on Monday, July [...]
Five Women and One Minor Detained After Altercation In San Pablo
Yesterday at around 5:00 in the evening an altercation broke out between two rival groups from the village of San Jose which led to the detention of several women and one minor of the village. According to Daniele Valladarez, daughter of one of the women detained, the reason behind the altercation between the two groups of teenage boys is unknown but has been ongoing for some time now.
“Hay un grupo de chamacos haya en San José que se creen maleantes, tienen apenas diez y seis años y tienen un crowd cada que los reportan acá nada hacen los policías y ahora que de un de repente que empezó el pleito que ellos venían de trabajar tenían piedras en su bags y empezaron a tirotear a los chamacos ahora cuando...”
Did Guatemalans Navigate Into Belizean Waters?
Over the weekend a group of Guatemalan civilians carried out an expedition to the Sarstoon Island in an excursion geared at exercising their sovereignty over the area. Yesterday Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke about the trip taken, saying that he was not surprised at the presence of the nationalistic civilian. But the question tonight is…..did the group enter Belizean waters? That is still not certain because according to the C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell, the B.D.F. stationed at the base were unable to determine the identity of the civilian vessel or their intentions due to the increment weather that was experienced at the time.
Ret. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security:
“I was made to understand that on Saturday there was such a patrol that went out there. I was in dialogue with the commander of the Belize Defense Force this morning and he reported that on Saturday around four p.m. or so, there was in fact a vessel out there and it was raining very hard and it was difficult for them to really identify if it was just normal Guatemalans who were out there on a day-to-day basis versus these ones who went out there, in my understanding, to show their sovereignty of the area.”
No Coast Guard At Forward Operating Base As Yet
In April of this year GOB inaugurated the joint military forward operating base that stands at the mouth of the Sarstoon River which was intended to house the Belize Defense Force and coast guard personnel. Three months after its launch, the base is still only being used by the B.D.F. with no presence by the Belize Coast Guard. According to C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell, there is a plan being put together to see how best a coastguard team can be accommodated at the F.O.B.
Ret. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security:
“Well, nothing went wrong actually. My understanding is that the coast guard needs to have a team that can operate as a team at that location. I am currently working with the commander of the Belize Defense Force to see how we could accommodate that. They had initially two people placed out there but they cannot operate with two people, that is the coast guard. They cannot operate with two people. And certainly it is the Ministry of National Security’s intention for us to have a joint base as we had intended for it to be in the first instance.”
Women Summit Discusses Challenges In Women Of Today
The Women Leaders’ Summit is delivered in collaboration with the Women of the World Festival, Southbank Centre, Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Royal Commonwealth Secretary with the aim of bringing together women and men from diverse backgrounds to set targets in order to address gender inequality in the Commonwealth. This year’s Summit will be held on Thursday at Marlborough House where female leaders from government, business and civil society from all parts of the commonwealth will assemble in order to discuss three major topics which include Violence against Women and Girls, Women in Leadership and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Government of Belize Meets First Payment For BTL
Today the government of Belize made their first payment for BTL in the sum of more than two hundred million dollars. The total award is over half a billion dollars including interest at 8.34 percent over the seven years. We understand the payment was made through treasury notes made to the central bank. More Information on the first payment was hard to come by since it was deal with under high discretion.
Belize, Correspondent Banking and Forecast
In the newscast for July 12, we brought back the issue of correspondent banking and we spoke with Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington who recently returned from a CARICOM session in Guyana where the matter formed a part of the meetings’ agenda. Minister Elrington has conceded that not much progress has been made in getting […]
The Parallel of Belize/Guatemala to the Philippines and China
For months now we have been hearing the Foreign Affairs officials speak of amending the Referendum Act and we have heard of the plans to hold a referendum. The monies spent, however, on travel and accommodations for meetings between Belize and Guatemala are undoubtedly in the hundreds of thousands; yet when you look at it, […]
Elrington Explains Trade Agreement with Guyana
On July 7, we told you of an agreement that Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, signed onto with Guyana as it relates to trade and commercial cooperation. While the Government’s release on the signing didn’t get into any details of the document, a Caribbean publication did note in its article that the agreement does not […]
Belize Coast Guard Absent from FOB – CEO Says It Is Unintentional
When the announcement came from the Government of Belize regarding the construction of the Forward Operating Base, the intentions expressed were to have both Belize Defense Force and Belize Coast Guard personnel manning the fort. It has been some months now since the base was officially opened and according to a source from within the […]
Island Men Scuffle with Gun and Screwdriver
A man was reportedly attacked in his yard in the DFC area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. An exchange of words ended in two persons being injured. Thirty year old Dwayne Hyde was shot to the abdomen and twenty three year old Luis Carter was stabbed to the neck, mouth and abdomen. Love News spoke […]
Suspected Murderers Released Pending Lab Results Sent Abroad
Last Thursday, twenty two year old Michael Lopez was shot and killed near his home in the St. Martin de Porres area. Minutes after the incident, members of the Gang Suppression Unit caught two of the suspected gunmen on a motorcycle speeding off. When they were intercepted, police found blood on their clothes. Senior Superintendent […]
Suspected Shooter Apprehended Minutes Later
19-year-old Davon Guzman has been charged for keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun licence. Police say about five twenty five yesterday evening they responded to reports of shots fired in the Lake View Street area where they found Errol Flores suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Minutes later police observed a […]
Elrington Stresses for Cooperation from Media and Citizenry
During the recently concluded Caricom Heads of Government meeting, Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington delivered an address regarding the border dispute brought on by Guatemala against Belize. He made several points regarding the support of the citizenry as the Government seeks a resolution. The news in Guyana quoted him as saying that the local media […]
Breaking Belize News
Retired American soldier overstayed time, is wanted in U.S.
46 year old American national Tarry Rhodes, retired from the U.S. Army, was charged with failing to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit when he appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. Rhodes pleaded guilty to the charge. He was fined $1,200 and he […]
Police: Not going back to crime control provisions yet
Amidst heavy concern over crime, in November of 2012, Government invoked a provision in the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, declaring five specific sections of Belize City – all within the Lake Independence area – “crime ridden areas.” As reported by the Amandala at the time, […]
More surveillance cameras coming to Belize City; originals working, but “antiquated”
Several years ago, the Police Department in Belize City introduced surveillance cameras in six locations across Southside Belize City. These were at the foot of the Pound Yard Bridge; corner of George and Dean Streets; corner Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard; south end of […]
Kent Brooks Jr is latest murder victim
Added to the toll of murders reported over the weekend is 18 year old Kent Brooks Junior, who was shot along with Keiran Morrison on the night of June 29th on Lacroix Boulevard. Brooks died in hospital after being removed from life support on Sunday. Brooks is […]
Michael Baptist charged for attack on Eugene “Fatback” Webster
20 year old Michael Marvin Baptist, Belize City resident, was in court this morning accused of the attempted murder by stabbing of former stepfather Eugene “Fatback” Webster of the Los Lagos subdivision of Ladyville. Baptist was also read charges of use of deadly means of […]
Belmopan police seek brazen burglar
Belmopan Police are currently looking for one man of interest in connection with an aggravated burglary. Twenty-two-year-old Marlin Maldonado, reported to police that on Monday a little before 1:30 that afternoon she arrived at her apartment located on Venezuela Street and noticed that her laptop and tablet she had […]
FM challenges Guyana, Belize citizens, media to support their country
Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Wilfred Elrington has told a Guyanese media agency that the citizens of both Guyana and Belize must support their nation’s cause as they fight back on territorial disputes with neighbors, and that the media has a role to play […]
My Pokémon Pic in Belize is Better than Yours
Happiness is everywhere if you take the time to look, and apparently so are Pokémon! These virtual creatures have been flooding social media feeds for the past week.
Pokémon Go, a new augmented reality game available on iOS and Android devices is seemingly taking over more than just the internet. In the past couple of days I’ve read everything from “it makes people go outside and move more” to “it’s helping people with depression and anxiety”.
My first reaction to this was that I didn’t need another app on my phone taking over my life. I have no problem going outside, I live in Belize! I swim with sharks, I zipline the jungle, I bike, I hike, I tube, I sail, I explore!
Still, curiosity got me again and the app now has a home on my phone. The idea of augmented reality just had me wondering how it all worked and more importantly: “Would it work in Belize?”
Yes, it sure did and in true iTravel Belize fashion, the family and I set out to the nearest amazing destination to test out the app. Altun Ha was the perfect place, lots of open space and plenty of hiking and beautiful views.
A Beautiful July in Belize
I love being in Belize and taking photos – especially when I get to go on amazing trips like snorkeling with sharks, visiting Caye Caulker and Lamanai Mayan site in the Orange Walk district. But Instagram is the best travel brochure out there…my world bucket list has grown exponentially since I signed up…and it’s a brilliant way to see what people are doing around Belize.
LIve vicariously. Here are some pictures I took and some other great Instagram shots during the last few weeks…with summer fully upon us, the lightening storms at nights and the passing dark clouds seem to make things more beautiful.
Take a look…
Updated : The perfect itinerary for 3, 5, or 7 days in Placencia, Belize!
After checking in to your hotel (preferably in the village for short trips, as this saves you a lot of time and hassle of shuttling or renting a car to get to the village - within the village means - south of the water tower, which makes the village totally walkable) walk the "loop" of the village. You can't get lost here, and if you can get your hands on the village map (go to the BTIA office /tourist office by Remax, or get it from your hotel) follow the loop starting either on the main street or the sidewalk. This loop allows you to see the whole village and get a feel for the tour booths, shops, restaurants, and bars that draw you in.
Decide on at least one excursion to do for your 3 days and book it on your walk for Day 2. The highest rated/unique to Placencia outings are the following: Monkey River (check out www.barebonestours.com, you can book online), snorkeling at Silk Caye/Laughingbird Caye, or Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve with Doyle at DTourz. Another newer option is a day trip to Ranguana Caye, a gorgeous private island. You can walk around and book snorkeling at any tour booth - the tours here are all good, so you can be assured a consistent positive experience.
Theresa May appointed as new Prime Minister
Theresa May has been appointed the new Prime Minister.
Mrs May will make appointing a Brexit cabinet minister a top priority, and has already asked civil servants to find a suitable 'Brexit House'.
A History of the Caribbean in 100 Objects
Alice Samson (University of Leicester) and Angus Mol (Stanford University) are issuing a call to all who wish to talk at the next meeting for the Society of American Archaeology in Vancouver (March 29-April 2, 2017) about an object from the Caribbean islands which crosses past and present. Papers will be presented at a special forum that will be recorded and published as a series of episodes in A History of the Caribbean in 100 Objects. More information in the link below.
NOAA Outlook for Central America July 14 – July 20, 2016
In the last seven days, rains have been seasonably distributed. However, totals remained below average for several already anomalously dry regions. The highest weekly precipitation accumulations (>300mm) were received over a large area of eastern Nicaragua. Similarly large amounts of rain were observed in the Gulf of Belize region. Heavy rains (100-200mm) were also observed in southern Guatemala and western El Salvador. Other areas received lighter and below-normal rainfall, notably in central Honduras and through western Nicaragua. The Gulf of Fonseca region observed nearly no rainfall. Since the end of May, seasonal dryness remains entrenched across many central parts of Guatemala and Honduras.
BABY BOY FROM BELIZE GETS LIFESAVING HELP IN HOUSTON
Thanks to the skilled hands of surgeons and the generosity of strangers, a 10-month-old boy facing a life-threatening ailment is on the road to recovery.
Little Edwin and his mother Anita are from Belize, a country lacking in the specialized medical treatment Edwin needed to survive a heart condition.
But thanks to the non-profit called HeartGift, he was able to come to Houston and received life-saving surgery at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.
"HeartGift works with Children's Memorial Hospital to serve six patients every year right here in Houston," said Rachael Wright, Executive Director of the HeartGift Houston Chapter.
Edwin had successful surgery on June 30th. He and his mother return home next week.
Hendrix students study biology in Belize
Eleven Hendrix College students visited Belize this summer to experience firsthand the environments and organisms that they studied in Jenn Dearolf’s marine biology course this spring.
In the course, students study rocky and soft bottom intertidal zones, estuaries, and the open and deep ocean, but the focus is on mangroves and coral reefs in order to prepare them for what they will see in Belize.
Belize has one of the largest barrier reefs on the planet, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and mangroves serve as a nursery for many of the organisms that live on and around the reef.
This year, Hendrix students designed a study to investigate the environmental parameters that encourage and support elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) growth on the reef.
Gloucester chiropractor helping Belize athlete prepare for Olympics
When competing in events like this summer’s upcoming Olympics, athletes often look to achieve advantages in training or preparation to gain a leg up on their opponents.
Triple jumper Brandon Jones, a member of this year’s Belize Olympic squad, is turning to Gloucester Chiropractic and Massage Therapy Center, Hayes, believing their treatments will help him compete at a higher level.
Jones ran track for the first time at the age of 9, but his competitive career began at Salem High School in Virginia Beach where he competed in the triple jump and seven other events. After graduating from Salem High School, Jones attended Hampton University where he was a member of the track and field team.
Caribbean countries entangled by U.S. financial crackdown
Burdened by chronic back pain, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow avoids traveling abroad, his colleagues say. But in January, he flew to Washington and visited one government agency after another on a singular mission: reconnecting his country to the U.S. financial system.
A U.S.-educated lawyer, Barrow made his case before agencies with chief oversight of American banks, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
His Belizean delegation described how their country had been shunned over the last year by large, reputable American banks, a trend that threatens its tiny economy.
As banks scrub their books of potentially risky businesses amid a tightening regulatory noose, major U.S. financial institutions have ended relationships with regional banks across the Caribbean in the last four years, Caribbean officials and bank executives say.
Threatened World Heritage Sites Must Be Protected Warns UN Body
The future of some of the world’s most important natural World Heritage sites was determined yesterday at a UN session representing 192 countries.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to keep the Belize barrier reef and Selous Game Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The reef was kept on the list due to continued threats from oil exploration, damaging coastal construction and pollution.
While the decision on the Belize barrier reef recognises commitments by Belize to protect the reef by promising to ban oil exploration in the World Heritage site, the committee asked that such promises be enacted in law.
Nadia Bood, WWF-Belize Reef Scientist commented:
“We are moving in the right direction with this decision, but it’s a long road to ensure that both the reef and the people who rely on it are protected into the future. WWF welcomes an expert monitoring mission by the end of this year to assess the government’s progress.
11 Hauntingly Beautiful Underwater Sites
We live in a beautiful world, but some of the most mesmerizing sites take a little digging (or diving) to find. From shipwrecks to sculptures, these underwater attractions are the perfect combination of eerie and alluring.
The Great Blue Hole is a 1,000-foot-wide, perfectly circular sinkhole in the middle of Belize's Lighthouse Reef, as well as a famous spot for divers. The limestone shelf surrounding the vertical cave sits about 40 feet below the surface, and then it’s a straight jump down into the unknown. The further down divers go, the clearer and more beautiful the massive underwater stalactites and stalagmites become.
Live and Invest Overseas Offers 10 Intriguing Retire Abroad Picks
I’m always curious to see the latest best places in the world to retire rankings from expat experts. But I have to tell you: Some of the Top 10 spots on the new 2016 Retire Overseas Annual Index, from Live and Invest Overseas, made my head spin like a globe.
Below is the Top 10 list, followed by an explanation of how the creators came up with it. You’ll note that four in the Top 10 are in Europe, three are in North America and the Caribbean (two of those are in Mexico); two others are in Central America (both in Belize) and one’s in Asia. And nearly all are not just peachy, according to Live and Invest Overseas, but beachy.
DID CHINA DISCOVER AMERICA
This map claims that a Chinese Muslim beat Columbus to it. But is it real?
In 1405 a Chinese Muslim eunuch, Zheng He, launched the first of seven voyages west from China across the Indian Ocean. Over the next 30 years, in command of the world’s largest fleet and funded by the Ming emperor, he sailed to the east coast of Africa and deep into the Persian Gulf. That much, we know, is true.
But some people believe he went much farther—and this map is one reason. Entitled “General chart of the integrated world”, it is apparently an 18th-century copy of a 1418 map which claims to show the world that Zheng He discovered. If it is real, it rewrites history, for it shows that he circumnavigated the globe and—most provocatively—that he discovered America more than 70 years before Columbus.
The map came to light in 2001 when a Shanghai lawyer, Liu Gang, says he bought it from a local dealer for around $500. He believes it proves that Zheng navigated the waters around both poles, the Americas, the Mediterranean and Australia too. In 2003 Gavin Menzies used it as evidence for his book “1421: the year China discovered the world”.
Making Tortillas, 1.5min.
THE ENERGY OF NATURE VS. THE NATURE OF ENERGY - Part 1 (Nadia Bood), 17min. Nadia Bood is a Marine Scientist and Climate Change Adaptation Advisor for the World Wildlife Fund’s Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion. She has spearheaded scientific research programs geared at coral reef and mangrove restoration, conservation and management in Belize.
THE ENERGY OF NATURE VS. THE NATURE OF ENERGY - Part 1 (Dr. Alex Tewfik), 17min. Dr. Tewfik has been living and working in Belize since 2014 when he became Country Director of the scientific and technical aspects of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s marine program in Belize. WCS, originally the New York Zoological Society, is one of the oldest conservation organizations in the world, having been founded in 1895.
The Hol Chan Experience by Miguel Alamilla, 22min. Since 1997 Miguel Alamilla has managed one of Belize's most popular marine destinations, Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Using his Hol Chan experience, Mr. Alamilla highlights the practical, scientific, and economic benefits of conserving coastal and marine protected areas.
Discovery while filming in a Cave in Beliz, 3min.
U.S. bank exodus hurts Belize, 1.5min. Carribean countries get cut off from the international banking system as U.S. banks pull out due to tighter controls and risk aversion. Colette Luke reports.
Bay Area Girl Survives Bite From Deadly Snake In Belize, 2.5min. 15-year-old Audrey Benton, from American Canyon, is lucky to be alive after she was bitten by a Fer-de-Lance -- one of the world's most poisonous snakes -- in Belize.
El Pilar 20th Celebration, 3.5min. They had a special celebration at El Pilar after the BAAS, at which there were multiple presentations on El Pilar. There were dancers and speakers during the event, which celebrated 20 years of El Pilar being an Archaeological Site.
2015 OCEAN HERO - Romaldo “Romi” Badillo, 8.5min. Oceana has celebrated Ocean Hero Awards since 2009 as a way to recognize and honor leaders in ocean conservation, education, and advocacy from around the world.
2015 OCEAN HERO - Miguel Alamilla, 6.5min. Since 1997, Miguel Alamilla has been managing one of Belize’s most popular marine protected areas, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. As a part of his responsibilities, Miguel has also been leading a monitoring program in order to protect the highly vulnerable marine turtles that live and nest on the shores of Ambergris Caye. Officially declared a reserve in 1987, in February 2015, Hol Chan was expanded, largely in part from Miguel's lobbying efforts, from 21 square kilometers to include more than 131 square miles of reef, shoals, sea, lagoon and wetlands.
Belize Snorkeling Trip 2016, 6.5min.
Caribbean whiptail stingrays, 1min. Thanks to Earthwatch and Vulcan, Inc. our MS student Gina Clementi and volunteers captured this footage at South Water Caye Belize.
Mangrove Reforestation: Laughing Bird Caye Belize, 1.5min. Reforestation efforts at Laughing Bird Caye will become a model example of how mangroves and coastal vegetation are used as a form of coastal adaptation to climate change.
Living life in Caye Belize, 5min.
What's the BIG deal? Chicken Chow Mein & Caribbean Slaw from Belize, 4min. A weekly video cooking blog. One recipe per week.
Belize 2016, 8min.
CAYE CAULKER BELIZE, 2min.
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