Today's Belize News: July 23, 2016
07/23/16 05:57 AM
07/23/16 05:57 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
Inter-office Football Tournament heating up
The 6-a-side Interoffice Football League continues drawing football fanatics to the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex weekly. Now halfway before its scheduled championship game, the tournament teams have been fighting for a chance to get to the finals.
The next set of matches are scheduled from Thursday, July 21st through Sunday, July 24th at the Sporting Complex starting at 7PM. Fans are encouraged to come cheer for their favourite team.
2016 Healthy Reefs Report Card: Belize Barrier Reef ‘endangered’
On Thursday, July 7th, various entities dedicated to the important work of preserving and protecting Belize’s natural heritage presented the Belize Barrier Reef scorecard for 2016. The purpose of the evaluation is to get Belize’s Reef System off the World Heritage Site’s endangered category. The reef system has been on that list since 2009, and according to the results this year much more needs to be done before its removal from the vulnerable category.
The Belize Barrier Reef runs parallel to the coast of Belize for about 185 miles and is responsible for 15% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, this great valuable natural resource is in danger. According to Valentino Shal from the World Wildlife Fund they are looking at all that needs to be done in order to get the Barrier Reef off the endangered list, while at the same time ensuring that it is a healthy and functioning resource. “The indicators of this score card are based on the exact same indicators that are included in the desired state of conservation report that we the World Heritage Committee and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gave to the government,” said Shal. He added that unless the government addresses the issues highlighted in the indicators, the reef will continue to be considered vulnerable.
San Pedro Police Youth Cadets attend 19th Annual Summer Camp
San Pedro Police Youth Cadet Corp members have returned to the island after attending the 19th National Youth Cadet Corp Summer Camp held in Trial Farm, Orange Walk District. The annual camp took place from July 9th to the 16th, under the theme ‘Be bold, be Strong, Survival, We are together, We can.’ Five local San Pedro cadets, accompanied by Police Constable Juan Choc from the Community Policing Unit and Woman Police Constable Arillee Young, joined cadets from around the country for some fun.
According to Choc, the annual camp takes place in different parts of the country and serves as a good opportunity for the youngsters to interact with youth from around the country. “It also serves as a platform for our youth to get to know other cultures, while learning to appreciate and respect them,” said Choc. The five cadets from San Pedro Town were happy to participate in the activity and look forward for another camp next year.
Zennon Anderson, Joey Everette, Ashley Garnett, Meberly Jimenez, and Lalvani Dominguez attended lectures on decision making and peer pressure as well as exercises in team building.
GOB makes first payment towards BTL acquisition
On Wednesday, July 13th, the Government of Belize (GOB) made the first payment of over $190 million dollars to the Ashcroft Alliance as part of the arbitration award for the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). While the entire award was for $458.4 million, the GOB had already paid off $65 million in September 2015, decreasing the amount required for the first installment.
After the GOB’s acquisition of some 45,199,996 of BTL’s shares in a span of eight years, the Permanent Court of Arbitration awarded the Ashcroft Alliance BZ $5.6547 per share, at an 8.34% interest per annum, along with a $4.4 million arbitration fee.
Managing Director of Legacy Fund, Ervin Perez told the Amandala Newspaper that as of June 15, 2016, the amount of excess liquidity (in terms of hard cash) in the system is $451,802,000, up about $81 million from the same time last year. The GOB is currently making use of the increased liquidity of Belize’s financial system, and reports indicate that GOB was able to finance the payment by Treasury Notes sold to the Central Bank. Since the payment was made through domestic borrowing, the debt burden has increased to about 86%.29.
Financial Secretary Joseph Waight shared that the Central Bank, the GOB’s fiscal agent, will purchase the Government’s notes and bills and then sell them to institutional investors such as commercial banks and insurance companies via a bid process.
Basil Jones Summer Camp brings fun and education to youngsters
Camp Basil Jones is in its third week of their youth education summer program at the Basil Jones Educational Centre in the Bacalar Chico Reserve. A group of 22 children enjoyed a long week of activities that included a balance of both fun and learning. The annual program which started on Monday, July 4th and will end on Friday July 29th is divided into four individual camps and spread over four weeks of unique educational summer experiences for children. Campers enjoyed in morning exercise, swimming, beach volleyball, football, basketball, kayaking, snorkeling, campfire, arts and craft, nature trail hiking, sea turtle beach clean-up, and traditional games like hopscotch, skipping rope, hide & seek, and even storytelling, poetry, dance and acting during talent show night.
Leos work to improve San Pedro Catholic Church
The San Pedro Leo’s Club has taken on a community rehabilitation project at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church. With hopes of improving the church compound, the Leos got to work, painting the walls surrounding the church yard as well as renovating the main entrance door. Under the supervision of Leo’s advisors, Marina Kay and Pamela Zetina, as well as current San Pedro Lions Presidents, Fatima Graniel, 18 island youth took part in this project. From 8AM to 4PM on Sunday July 17th, the young community activists worked hard to improve the religious landmark of San Pedro. By the end of the work day, the Priest in charge of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church expressed his gratitude for their contribution, pleased with the improvements made.
New emerging destinations launch as tourism continues to rise
As a part of tourism development, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MTCA), with support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), along with other stakeholders will be launching new Destination Plans in four areas of Belize: Toledo, Caye Caulker, Corozal and the Mountain Pine Ridge/Caracol/Chiquibul. The plans identify key tourism organization projects and priorities that are considered crucial for further sustainable development of tourism in each respective destination.
The Destination Plans are a part of an ongoing process that was initiated in 2015, with the intention to bring together private and public stakeholders, and the community to develop an integrated approach to tourism development. This approach follows the recommendations of the National Sustainable Tourism Masterplan 2030 (NSTMP). It also highlights the need for greater involvement of multiple stakeholders in destination coordination and management, and encourages local stakeholder leadership within all aspects of tourism development including planning, branding and promotion, and quality management.
Misc Belizean Sources
PRESS RELEASE from the Forest Department
The Forest Department is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Adriana Moody of Maypen village, who was fatally attacked by a crocodile while she was swimming in the Belize River around 3pm on the afternoon of Sunday July 17th.
Although the specific reasons are uncertain for what we suspect is a morelet's crocodile attack, the Forest Department reports that this unprovoked incident may have been the result of one or a combination of five reasons: (a) hunting for food and limited natural food source; (b) defense of nesting sites; (c) the male Morelet’s heightened testosterone levels; (d) loss of fear towards humans, and (e) direct or indirect feeding of crocodiles.
The Morelet's crocodile is the smaller of the two crocodile species found in Belize and can span over 8 feet in length (adult size range from 6 to 14 feet) and normally inhabits freshwater environments such as swamps, ponds, lakes and rivers. These crocodiles naturally prey on aquatic species, amphibians, reptiles and small mammals. A recent decline of their food source has forced crocodiles to seek alternatives, such as dogs and small mammals, whereby children may be at much greater risk than adults.
Caye Caulker Carnival Group Workshop/ Registration
Sunday, July 31 at 9 AM - 3 PM, Community Center. Come join our Carnival Group and learn to prepare your costumes and obtain materials for free towards making your costumes! Come and register and join in the fun for September! Hosted by Ms. Sandra Mahler - President of the Belize Carnival Association! Want to be in our September 19th Carnival Queen Competion? Show of your beautiful and creative costume while dancing to carnival music!! This is just our first workshop! Cant make it? Let us know and we can still register you!
Call 630 - 3652 for more information or PM any CCVC member!
Garifuna Summer Workshop
Garifuna Summer workshop comes to a end. N.G.C in collaboration with the Stann Creek House of Culture- NICH
Ancient World Week
An incredible final day of the Ancient World Week event. A site visit to the the ancient Maya city of Aventura, located just outside San Joaquin Village, with Northwestern University's Dr. Cynthia Robin and students along with the University of Arizona's Dr. Laura Kosakowsky. We want to thank the Institute of Archaeology's(NICH) Sylvia Batty, Josue Ramos as well as Dr. Robin, Dr. Kosakowsky and Jorge De Leon for an enlightening experience over the past four days. A great thank you to each of our attendees. Also thanks to our sponsors getransfers Executive Services and the Corozal Junior College. We will continue to develop this annual event and look forward to presenting Ancient World Week 2017!!
Paradise Theater playing this weekend
The Huntsman: Winter's War,
Meet the Blacks,
The Angry Birds Movie.
The brutal murder and beheading of a beloved pastor in Belize
By Wellington C. Ramos.
On Saturday, July 16, 2016, I received a text from a family member that the police in Belmopan, Belize, had found the head of her relative Llewellyn Lucas, better known as “Pastor Lue” in a bucket in a vehicle belonging to a Canadian man. When I heard this I was shocked, amazed, angry, disgusted and in disbelief because I knew Pastor Leu when he was living here in New York City as a pastor and a real estate agent.
I called her immediately to reconfirm if what she had texted me was in fact true and she said yes. I then said to myself what did Pastor Leu do to this man or other individuals to be killed so brutally?
Then I also said to myself even if he did something to this man or other individuals, no human being has the right to take the life of another human being unless he or she is defending his, her or other peoples’ lives. I was so perplexed by this story that I even wondered why he was carrying Pastor Leu’s head in his vehicle.
Blue suitcase found at Carlo and Ernie's
The nice guys at Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar found a small blue suitcase and are holding it at the bar for whoever may be missing some vital clothing items! If you know someone who lost their items (a guest, a visiting pal, etc), let them know!
BTL Compensation Award Update
The Government of Belize (GOB) informs that a dispute has arisen between the Government and the Ashcroft Alliance over the recent BTL compensation award handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
GOB, after the most careful examination by a number of its experts, argues that the wrong rate of exchange was applied by the Arbitral Tribunal in arriving at its ultimate compensation figure. GOB also submits that the Tribunal's calculation of interest was mathematically incorrect. Both mistakes by the Tribunal prejudiced GOB and resulted overall in larger sums being awarded than were justified. GOB has 30 days from the date of the award to seek rectification, and its overseas lawyers have now prepared and are filing the relevant application.
For its part, the Ashcroft Alliance questions the currency split used by GOB last week in making the first half payment of the award. It will be recalled that the award was divided into two by the Tribunal, with 40% of the total representing the non-Accommodation Agreement portion and 60% representing the Accommodation Agreement portion.
Turneffe Atoll Trust US Executive Director
Great op to work in two amazing locations: Montana (Bozeman no less) and Belize. Job Title: Turneffe Atoll Trust US Executive Director.
Location: Bozeman, Montana.
Deadline: August 15, 2016.
Background The Turneffe Atoll Trust (TAT) was founded in 2002 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization operating in Belize and the United States. Our mission is to drive conservation efforts at Turneffe Atoll in Belize leading to sustainable social and economic benefits for Turneffe and serving as a model for similar coastal marine environments elsewhere. TAT is guided by a dynamic and dedicated board with backgrounds in marketing, law, finance, tourism, philanthropy, wildlife conservation, business and communications, and operated by a small staff in the U.S. and Belize.
San Pedro Town Council Soccer Camp
San Pedro Town Council Soccer Camp was a week of fun it ended with a visit to The Ambergris Stadium where the kids got a little feel of the pitch. Special mention goes to Alex Sansores & Gerri Trejo for thier assistance.
As the first camp comes to and end, the boys got a special treat by visiting and playing on the new Ambergris Stadium! Kudos Councilor Hector Tito Alamilla Jr. and Kent Bob Gabourel on organizing such an exciting camp!
ECLAC team trains Belize public finance managers
Twenty government officials from Belize benefitted from a one week workshop to build capacity in conducting public expenditure reviews (PERs), focusing on applications for education, health, agriculture and social protection. PERs are intended to align expenditures with government’s priorities.
They are also intended to provide savings, either from expenditure reallocation or by reducing unproductive expenditures. In addition they improve fiscal management and can provide fiscal space especially when a country is experiencing high debt levels.
Caye Caulker: BBQ Sale for a worthy cause
Our family friend is very ill and we are raising funds to help pay his medical expenses. All orders will be sent on the water taxi. Please comment or inbox your orders. Thanks.
International Costa Maya Festival
Bring the Kids to the festival! FUN FUN FUN.
The Farm House Deli in Belmopan
There is a creation called "rum and raisin cheesecake" at the Farm House Deli. I pinched it. I yelled for my creator in vain. For some reason I said "oh my." "Ate some more. The flavors melted with the knowledge that it was all made from scratch. The staff was expectedly friendly because Ella Baron and Ian Anderson are awesome employers and I must say if you truly want great food and cheese you should visit this place in the capital.
One simply does not go in without trying the desserts or the cheese that they make.
Miss Belize Universe Pageant Contestants -2016
The wait is over: Delegates for the Miss Belize Universe Pageant are selected! It has been nearly 10 years since a delegate from Belize graced the Miss Universe Pageant stage. September 10 will mark a turning point, when a panel of judges will select a young woman to represent Belize in the world’s premiere beauty pageant.
Sixteen Miss Belize Pageant contestants, representing every district, were selected through an open casting call process in July:
Misty Swazo, Corozal Theotisha Hall, Corozal
Lianne Chi, Orange Walk Caroline Fox, Orange Walk Krystalane Wolfe, Spanish Lookout Marcia Moody, San Ignacio Kimberly Price, Santa Elena Shamra Palacio, Esperanza Lyanne Reid, Belmopan
Moriah Lino, Belmopan
Cellula Playing Cayo Welcome Center
The Panamanian reggae band, Cellula, will be playing at the Cayo Welcome Center Saturday, July 23rd, starting at 7:30pm. Another great free concert. Thanks, NICH!
"Coming to the Welcome Center through Nich, a Band from Panama that will be performing at 7pm. All are invited!"
World Culture Band Rock CWC
The World Culture Band was amazing! They rocked the Cayo Welcome Center. They played one really long, incredible set that got everyone moving to the beat.
"The World Culture Band really rocked the CAYO Welcome Center on Saturday night."
"enSLAVEd - The RISE and FALL of SLAVERY in BELIZE" at Museum of Belize
We are excited to present the newest exhibition at the Museum of Belize - "enSLAVEd - The RISE and FALL of SLAVERY in BELIZE". To be launched on Emancipation Day, at the Museum of Belize.
OUT AND ABOUT!
U.S. Embassy Belize
Ambassador Moreno recently traveled South to meet with some organizations helping youth in Belize.
Here are some highlights.
Hulse Went Up The Hill, to Fetch A Lighthouse?
Since the story of accused murderer, kidnapper, and conman William "Danny" Mason broke on Monday, we've been trying to find out just how connected he is to the Barrow Administration.
So far, we've found out that he was well known to Police Minister John Saldivar, whose football club he contributed to. Prime Minister Dean Barrow disclosed that Minister of State Frank "Pawpa" Mena received a ten thousand dollar campaign contribution form Mason, which he now wants to give back. Then, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber went to Mason's Intelco Hill Mansion for "congratulatory drinks" after his swearing in ceremony in early June. And, today, when we asked, Immigration and Natural Resources Minister Godwin Hulse confirmed reports we'd been receiving that he also went up the Hill along with DPM Faber. Now, this would seem to conflict directly with what Hulse told the media on Monday when he said that he'd never seen Mason before – and now we learn that he's been to visit his house? How does Hulse square that away? Today he explained:
Taeger-Panton Bristles At Mason Question
And while we had the opportunity, today, we asked Hulse's cabinet colleague, Tracy Taegar-Panton, if she ever came into contact with William Mason. We had been questioning all of her colleagues who granted press encounters this week. Though she answered when we asked, she made it plain that she didn't appreciate the topic being brought up:
"Did you by any chance come into contact with Mr. Mason?"
Hon. Tracy Panton - Minister of State - Investment, Trade & Commerce:
"I can say categorically I have never had any interaction with Mr. Mason or any of his associates."
Mason's Attorney Unfazed By Police Video of Abduction
And while Tracy Taegar-Panton says that she has never met William Mason, her husband, Herbert Panton has to do so, and that's because he is Mason's attorney – and he seems to have a very big defence to mount.
That's because on Wednesday, police revealed that they are in possession of surveillance footage confiscated from Mason's Intelco Hill Mansion in Belmopan. According to investigators, the video shows clearly how Mason and his other 5 defendants kidnapped Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, David Dodd, and another man while they were inside Mason's hilltop home on Friday, February 15. A few hours later, the cops found Pastor Lue's decapitated head inside Mason's truck.
With the evidence seemingly piling up against Mason and the other 5, we asked Herbert Panton yesterday evening about the apparently tough cause he'll have to defend his clients against when they get their day in court. But, Panton was still confident that the men could be acquitted:
A Crooked Birth Certificate For a Crooked Con
So, as the William "Danny" Mason saga continues to unravel, there a number of unanswered questions. We've managed to unearth several aliases of his. His Guyanese passport says that he is Rajesh Oulette, and that would make the name "William Mason", just one of the assumed identities. He's known also as Canadian "Ted Oulette", as "Raj Ouellet" - a variation on the spelling on the Guyanese passport, and there are reports suggesting that he has also identified himself as Belizean "William Ferguson", and we know that police are seeking his wife, Mellissa Ferguson.
Today, we asked Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse if he or the other Government Department heads have managed to find out just how he got hold of the fake birth certificate which says that he is from Crooked Tree. Hulse told us that the Attorney General's Ministry is still investigating that, but he knows for certain that Mason did not manage to get hold of a Belizean passport:
Ashcroft Alliance Wants settlement in USD - Goes to CCJ
The Barrow Administration and the Ashcroft Alliance are back in court tonight – and this time the argument is over US dollars. As we told you government paid the first half of the settlement last week Wednesday, 40% in US dollars, and 60% in Belize dollars.
And, just as we told you at the time, the Ashcroft Alliance didn't like that breakdown one bit. They wanted the whole sum in US dollars, so the news tonight is that the Alliance has applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice to ask the court the interpret the settlement agreement with Government.
But that's just one issue. Government is now saying that the Permanent Court of Arbitration made mathematical errors in its judgment, namely with the rate of exchange used and the calculation of interest. According to a release, quote, "Both mistakes by the Tribunal prejudiced GOB and resulted overall in larger sums being awarded than were justified." End quote. Government now has 30 days from the date of the award to seek rectification, and applications are being filed.
BSI Scolds Caneros: "No Finger Pointing"
Two nights ago we told you about the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association – they are saying that ASR/BSI should absorb all the losses – which is about half a million dollars - for the 3,900 tonnes of molasses that went bad in tanks at the Tower Hill factory. The farmers stand to lose 22 cents per tonne in their second payment as a result of this loss – and they aren't too happy about that.
Well today ASR/BSI sent out its own release telling the famers that it's not a deduction from the price, but, quote, "rather a lost opportunity to realize proceeds from its sale." A release from ASR/BSI adds, quote, "The fundamental principle underlying the cane price calculation is a sharing of the value…from the sale of sugar and molasses…this extends to a sharing of both gains and losses." The release points out that BSI alone has to deal with the losses of handling and disposal of the molasses. The release closes, scolding, "It is…unhelpful to point fingers… it must be viewed as an opportunity to…work together…with a sense of shared responsibility."
A Policy For Trade Optimization
For the past five years, Belize's trade imbalance has been growing – that means that the country consistently imports more goods than it exports.
The disparity is cause for concern, and though it is an issue that confronts many small nations, the Directorate of Foreign Trade wants to ensure that they are doing all they can to maximize access to export markets.
To get the job done, the Ministry of Economy Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce has put together a new trade strategy called the "National Trade Policy Framework". It's a 40 page document which takes an honest, hard look at all aspects of trade. After months of deliberation within the Ministry and Cabinet, it was finally unveiled this morning.
7News was there, and we spoke with the Director of Foreign Trade, and the Minister of State about it:
Hulse On Campaign Finance Reform
Earlier in the news, you saw our interview with Minister of Natural Resources Godwin Hulse about his trip up to the Mason Mansion on Intelco Hill. Though Hulse says that he has never met the man, we know that at least 5 of his cabinet colleagues were friendly to, or acquainted with Mason: so far three of them have publicly admitted to this. And while public perception is one thing, the fact of the matter is that politicians cultivate wealthy friends, because politics is a money game, and those who don't have it, can't play, or maybe, we should say, they can't win!
Yesterday we asked the PUP leader about committing to campaign finance reform and accountability, and he gave us a feeble "wait and see" answer. But today we asked Godwin Hulse about it. Ever the reformer, how does he feel about limiting the influence that private business persons can exert on the political matrix?:
"I want to ask you about the importance of that if you are a supporter of campaign finance reform. And also the integrity commission; there has been a call for the integrity commission."
Grasping the Meaning of Prehistoric Graffiti at Xunantunich
You might have thought you knew everything about the maya site of Xunantunich in San Jose Succotz, but for the past two nights, we've been showing you exciting new finds that have been made at that ancient city.
Well, The final part of the Xunantunich feature series focuses on the discovery of a scribal room at the El Castillo structure.
Archeologists were finally able to decode the graffiti on the walls of this room last week. Here's what we saw:
The El Castillo structure stands 30 meters, or a hundred feet high at the south-eastern side of the central plaza. It is the second tallest building in Belize and it was once a palace that housed the royal Maya rulers of Xunantunich. While you can take in its grandeur on the ground level.
As you mount the steps, you truly appreciate its towering magnificence.
How Methodist Kids Spent Summer
And while that’s how the archaeologists are spending their summer, kids from Methodist schools were doing it today learning about art and Spanish, and taking music lessons. They’re doing it right beside our studio where Emanuel Pech was pulled in by the sound of drums:…
New Bookbags For Summer Campers
And while those students are keeping their brains active during the summer break, 75 five school kids from Belize City will start the upcoming school year with some brand new school bags, thanks to the Belize City Council and Diamonds international. This small but meaningful donation was done to mark the culmination of the 2016 City Council Summer Camp Program. We spoke to the coordinators who told us what the kids learned this week.
The program has been held annually for the past four years.
Pastor Lu, They Reminisce Over You
For the entire week, you've been hearing about the different parts of the William "Danny" Mason saga, including the most horrifying element that he is the mastermind behind the beheading of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas.
Separate from the fine-tooth comb with which the media has been investigating Mason and his life in Belize, are the family and friends of Pastor Lue who are still trying to come to terms with his gruesome murder. Today, Plus TV Station Owner Louis Wade and Sharon Palacio, who is one of Pastor Lue's relatives discussed a candlelight vigil that they are putting together on Monday night in his honour. They told us why they want people from all over the country to join them:
Sharon Palacio - Pastor Lue's Family Member:
"As we know grieving is never easy. Losing a loved is naturally rough and the news we received and the way it happened it is beyond our comprehension so there's no way I can say that; it's something we can't describe, it is horrible. You can imagine that even people who are not directly related, the entire country is mourning, everybody is mourning so you can image the immediate loved ones. You can imagine the atmosphere. Words cannot describe nor cannot express."
Classical Music Mastery At Pallotti
The classically trained musicians who work at the Pallotti Music School are preparing for a grand concert. It's an event called the Piano and Violin Concert which happens on Sunday evening. This evening, the organizers gave us a preview of the musical spectacle they have in store:
Alobi Young - Piano Teacher, Pallotti:
"This weekend what we have planned is a piano and violin concert. We say piano and violin because it's basically just solo performances. We have a couple students who will also be on stage but for the most parts it solo performances. The thing is what I found in Belize is we have a lot of orchestral concerts; either the national youth orchestra Belize or Coral Society. All these guys they come out and they do group work but we never really had solo performances in Belize. And I find the only time we really have it is either when Franky Reneau, you know the great Franky he comes and he does his thing on the piano or he foreign musicians who come in on the violin or other instruments and they do their solo performances. And in Belize especially at Palotti we're one of the leading music schools, we have a lot of talented musicians here; talented teachers. We have Ms. Chelsea Thompson who will be playing with us. Ms. Cindy Burgos, they are both going to be doing violin solos. They are extremely talented and I think it's about time we started show casing Belizean talent, Belizean musicians. Not in cortex or orchestra but doing solo performances."
Panama Reggae To Belize
A popular Spanish-reggae band from Panama is here in Belize to perform for FREE this weekend. The band called “Cellula,” arrived in the City late this evening the bad leader stopped by our studio, and told this is his second time and he plans to make it memorable for his fans:
The band performs on Saturday at the Welcome Center in Cayo at 7:30 pm and on Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Park in Orange Walk at 6 pm. Again both concerts are being organized by the NICH and are absolutely free.
Godwin Hulse Gives His Account of DPM’s Reception at Mason Manor
There has been a full week of solid coverage of the bizarre murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Five persons including the man alleged to be the murder mastermind, William Mason, [...]
How Did Guyanese Born/Canadian National William Mason Become a Native Belizean?
Before coming to Belize William Danny Mason, using multiple names, was known to be a grifter, a con man, and a scam artist without scruples. In Belize he was a [...]
Frustration Over Rank Corruption at Vital Statistics Unit
The birth certificate in question, obviously fraudulent, was actually issued by the Vital Stats Department which comes under the Attorney-General’s Ministry. That occurrence, we can tell you with certainty, is [...]
Tracy Panton is Grilled About William Mason
News Five also got the opportunity to speak to Minister of State in Economic Development Tracy Taegar-Panton. It seems that just about every other U.D.P. Minister hung out with William [...]
Government is Headed to CCJ for Interpretation of B.T.L. Arbitration Award
Just when you thought that the B.T.L. acquisition fiasco had been settled, the Ashcroft Group and the Government of Belize are headed back to the courts for an interpretation of [...]
Godwin Hulse Weighs in on Campaign Financing
Frank ‘Papa’ Mena received ten thousand dollars from Mason toward his by-election campaign. At least he says it was only ten thousand. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, no other [...]
Government Vehicles Collide on Busy Highway
After nine this morning, there was a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway in front of Enrique Martinez and Sons Limited. It involved two government vehicles, a Ford Ranger [...]
Mobile Patrol Along Seven-mile Stretch to Haulover Bridge
Now the last time we spoke with Senior Superintendent Flowers, traffic accidents were a perennial problem in the precinct four area. Today it still remains the most prevalent issue officers [...]
B.S.C.F.A. Says Farmers Shouldn’t Absorb Cost of Spoiled Molasses
Up north, there is trouble in the sugar belt. Will sugar cane farmers in the north bear the brunt of financial losses from spoiled molasses? Caneros are tonight incensed over [...]
Homeless, Hungry Man is Sentenced to 5 Years for Burglary
An elderly homeless man is spending his first night of a five-year prison term in jail tonight for causing damages of four hundred dollars during a break-in. Sixty-year old Codrington [...]
Overnight Shootings in Belize City and San Pedro Leaves Teenager Injured
Two persons were injured in separate shootings on Thursday night in Belize City and San Pedro. In the Old Capital shortly after nine o’clock, gunshots rang out in the vicinity [...]
National Trade Policy Framework is Launched in Belize
Today the Ministry of Economic Development and stakeholders launched the National Trade Police Framework. That structure signifies approval by Cabinet to implement a comprehensive review to find common and fertile [...]
CitCo Wraps Up Annual Summer Camp
Summer camps have been providing an outlet for those energetic kids who are on holidays. In the city, students from numerous schools participated in a free summer program that entertained [...]
2016 Expressive Arts Summer Program is Hosted by ICA
Another summer camp dedicated to the expressive arts concluded today in Belize City. Hosted by the Institute of Creative Arts, the participants enjoyed sessions in arts, drama, dance and music. [...]
Creative Arts Curriculum to be Piloted in Primary Schools
Green also told News Five that after four years in the making, in the next school year, the creative arts curriculum will be piloted in primary schools. Leroy Green, [...]
Calypso Rose to be Honored at WOMEX
Calypso Rose will be bestowed with the WOMEX 16 Artist Award in October of this year in Santiago De Compostela, Berlin. At age seventy-six, the legendary singer and composer from [...]
Banda Cellula Visits from Panama
The Cellula Band of Panama is in the country; the band arrived late this evening and will be performing two free concerts in Orange Walk and San Ignacio. Established in [...]
Re: Today's Belize News: July 23, 2016
07/23/16 05:57 AM
07/23/16 05:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Farmers not accepting loss for Molasses problem
On Wednesday, we told you about the press release issued by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association , which in essence rejects BSI’s allegation that it is the quality of the sugar cane brought in by the farmers that caused thee molasses problem at the factory. The sugar cane farmers said that the...
Four accused arraigned for Income Tax Robbery
Four person were arrested , charged and arraigned in the Belmopan court today in connection to the robbery of the Belmopan Income Tax office on Trinity Boulevard last Friday. They are Ichelle Tablada, David Cruz , Richard Hyde, and Devon Brooks. It wasn’t a smooth process at court this evening, wi...
William Mason’s girlfriend being sought by police
In the meantime, Melissa Ferguson is wanted by Belize police. Who is she? The girlfriend of William Mason who lived with him at this Belmopan home and also helped with the horses on the Ranch. It is unclear if she is still in the country as the murder happened on Friday and Mason was found with the ...
Lawyer of accused murderers of Pastor Lu says police need to get their ducks in a row
Herbert Panton is also the legal representative for the five men accused of the murder of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas. It would seem like almost an open and shut case based on the evidence that the police appears to have; the head in Mason’s vehicle, and the surveillance footage of Lucas being bound and ...
Confusion at Court, charges couldn’t stick on accused kidnapper
That police statement has assisted police in further investigations and has also led to the arrest of another person,one Ryan Rhaburn. Rhaburn was taken to the Belmopan court this evening where he was to be arraigned arraigned for two counts of Kidnapping of Mennonite Lloyd Friesen and his wife. Ho...
Call to Prayer for Chief Justice historical court decision
Pastor Lance Lewis, the President of the National Evangelical Association of Belize, says that Belizean Christians need to pray more. This is in agreement to the call made by Senator for the Churches, Ashley Rocke, to have Christians gather at various locations across the country this Saturday for c...
GSU Commander Replaced Following Investigation for Alleged Sexual Assault
It’s unclear if allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor had anything to do with the removal of GSU Commander Mark Flowers from the Head of the Gang Supression Unit. However, as of Wednesday, Flowers was removed from that post. We know that on Wednesday morning, Acting Commissioner Russell Bla...
Papa Mena says he will return William Mason’s money
The saga of the Llewelyn Lucas’ murder continues as his murderer’s character and connection to high ranking individuals continue to be place under scrutiny. On Wednesday, we told you that Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that Dangriga Area Representative and Minister of State Frank “Pawpa” Mena admi...
Shooting on Stann Creek Valley Road
A 34-year-old man of Hope Creek Village reported that on Thursday 14th July 2016 around 8:30 p.m., he was driving alone in his car on the Stann Creek Valley Road heading from the direction of Dangriga to Hope Creek. When he reached the first bump after White Swan around mile 7 ½, a male person wear...
Spanish Lookout Farmers give statement
Lloyd Theissen and his wife told Plusnews the day after Llewelyn Lucas was killed, that Lucas had called him on Friday morning and told Thiessen that he, Lucas, would try to get back Thiesen’s money from William Mason who did not deliver on a shipment of corn that he had been paid some $300,000 to ...
William Mason in hot, hot water!
Belizeans are still struggling to come to terms with the kidnapping and shocking beheading of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, popularly known as “Pastor Lue,” which came to light last Friday night when Lucas’ head was discovered in the pan of a pickup belonging to, and driven by William Donny Mason, 46, who was born in Guyana but who, unaccountably, has a Belize birthpaper.
In connection with Lucas’ horrible death, police today released a picture of a woman, Mason’s girlfriend, Melissa Ferguson, 56, whom they are seeking for an interview. Police believe that she may still in the country.
The gruesome discovery and Mason’s arrest and exposure have been causing all kinds of problems for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, because information has come to light that Mason, who was reportedly deported from Canada to Guyana sometime between 2007 and 2010 for a firearm offence, had been wanted by police reportedly in connection with the “attempted kidnapping” of a Canadian man and his wife in Belize.
Mason and 4 cohorts remanded for Pastor Lue’s beheading
Five men accused of a bizarre homicide appeared this morning in Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith’s courtroom for a second attempt at charging them in court for the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, whose decapitated head was found in their possession when police searched a vehicle in Belmopan last Friday, July 15.
The accused men — William Donny Mason, 46, aka “Ted Aoellett”, said to be the mastermind; and his co-conspirators Ernest Castillo, 20; Keron Fernandez, 29; Ashton Vanegas, 29; and Terence Fernandez, 30 — are all being represented by attorney Herbert Panton from the law firm of Lindo and Company.
The men were arraigned on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. They were all remanded to the Belize Central Prison.
Income Tax office armed robbers remanded
Five days after three impostor policemen held up and robbed the Belmopan Income Tax Office located on Trinity Boulevard and got away with about $29,000, along with the gun of the policeman who was on duty in the office and personal belongings of the clerks, Superintendent Howell Gillett, Commander of Belmopan Police, and his investigators, have wrapped up the case.
Three men and a woman, who was accused of being the get-away driver, were arrested, charged and taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this afternoon.
They were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until Friday, September 16. The accused are Devon Brooks, 23, of Cotton Tree; David Cruz, 21, of Roaring Creek; and Richard Hyde, 32, also of Roaring Creek; and Ishelle Tablada of Belmopan. They were all charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm, 2 counts of keeping ammunition without a license, and handling stolen goods.
“We need a Poverty Suppression Unit (PSU), not a GSU.” — Hon. Cordel Hyde
“We don’t need a Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), we need a Poverty Suppression Unit (PSU),” said Lake Independence’s area representative, Cordel Hyde, who slammed the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, at a PUP press conference on Wednesday, for his drastic crime-fighting techniques.
At a press conference held on Monday at the Biltmore Plaza, Saldivar announced that his Cabinet would expand and immediately strengthen the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) in response to the spike of crime that was experienced in the past few weeks.
Critics viewed Saldivar’s approach as a state attack on people of low socioeconomic status, as the GSU is focused squarely on blue collar crimes as opposed to white collar crimes committed by those of higher social standing.
Maya and GOB back before the CCJ
The Toledo Maya and the Government of Belize were back before the Caribbean Court of Justice via teleconference from Belize City on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, as the court continues to play an important role in helping the parties resolve a land rights dispute that has been ongoing for decades.
In January 2016, the Government of Belize, under the Attorney General’s ministry, appointed the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, headed by former Minister for indigenous affairs, Lisel Alamilla.
Denys Barrow, SC, attorney for the Government of Belize, told us that in January 2017, the parties will make a further report to the CCJ, detailing how far they have reached in the process. Although he told us that he is not sure whether the Commission will have concluded its work by then, he told us that he expects that at the least, consultations will have been finished.
Guatemalan fishers descend on the Sarstoon
With the nation’s attention fully gripped by the case of the murder and beheading of Belizean pastor/political aspirant Llewellyn Lucas, it appears that the Guatemalans have seized the opportunity to enter Belizean waters to “rape and scrape” the fisheries resources at the Sarstoon, as Wil Maheia, founder of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), has put it. Maheia said that he visited the area yesterday with three Belizean-Americans, who were shocked when they saw roughly 100 Guatemalans fishing on the Belize side of the Sarstoon, some of them throwing their gill nets right in front of the Forward Operating Base (FOB), inaugurated by Belize earlier this year—supposedly to stem illegal activities in the area.
Football updates from Orange Walk
The quarterfinals of the Andrew Chavarria Tournament were held at the Technical Field on Sunday, July 17. In game 1, Grumpy Strikers dropped Black Wata, 1-0, on a goal by Erwin Guerra. Game 2 saw Crystal with the 1-nil victory over San Fran, courtesy of a goal by Freddy Grijalva. In game 3, it was the same score, as Sinbad clipped Young Stars, 1-0, with a goal from Marlon Garcia. And game 4 was 0-0 in regulation between Heart N Soul and Cholos, before Heart N Soul prevailed 3-1 in the penalty shootout.
Semifinals for both Interoffice and Open are scheduled for this Sunday at People’s Stadium.
FFB’s Road to the U-17 World Cup
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is hosting nationwide U-17 football tournaments this week in anticipation of Belize’s participation in the U-17 World Cup Qualifiers to be hosted in Panama, November 2016.
These tournaments, which are equivalent to tryouts, are being led by respective District Football Associations across the country, in an effort to expand the opportunities to all U-17 males to become members of Belize’s U-17 National Team.
Following the culmination of the tournaments across the country a Grand National U-17 inter-district tournament will consequently be held in Belmopan from Friday, August 5, to Sunday, August 7, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. A National U-17 selection will be formed thereafter to represent Belize at the U-17 World Cup Qualifiers.
Cricket Corner – Easy Does It moves on to the semifinals by winning over Sunrise
Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the cricket games continued over the weekend. On Saturday at Rancho Dolores, Excellence went up against home team Western Eagles. This is the first of a best-of-three in the semifinals. I must mention that these two always meet, and Excellence has always come out victorious. For this series, let’s see who will win.
To put all in a nut shell, this first game Excellence won, but the Eagles put up a very good fight. Excellence batted first and made 132 runs. However, if the bowling was a bit better, the score would have been smaller. When 6 stumps fell, Excellence had a mere 52 runs. When the last man was in, the score stood at 99. Still, the Eagles allowed so many runs to be added. Well, that is cricket. When you make a mistake, you stand the consequences. In that inning, Brandon Broaster top scored with 55 runs; while Rasheed Broaster of Western Eagles took 3 of Excellence stumps.
Editorial: The man in the mirror
Our old people used to say, when you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas. If our elected politicians are going to be running around with any foreigner who flashes money and offers drinks, then our elected politicians run the risk of ending up with egg on their faces, from time to time. There were several Government of Belize officials, including Cabinet Ministers, who were scrambling this week to distance themselves from their entanglements with the one “William Danny Mason,” who stands accused of orchestrating the beheading murder of Llewellyn “Pastor Lou” Lucas sometime on Friday afternoon/evening July 15, 2016.
There are other crimes of which Mr. Mason is accused and will be accused, including kidnapping, extortion, embezzlement, and so on. He had documents for several aliases, including a Belize birth certificate for the village of Crooked Tree, even though he is basically Guyanese and Canadian. By now, had there been resources available for a media system like Kremandala, we would have had to send people to Guyana and Canada to build a lifetime dossier on William Danny Mason. He has become that big in Belize.
From the Publisher
Christian pastors played a major role in the modern black American civil rights struggle which began with the Rosa Parks incident in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist preacher who later won the Nobel Peace Prize, emerged as the voice and conscience of the civil rights struggle, and this was etched in stone after his “I have a dream” speech in August of 1963 at the historic “March on Washington” event.
The civil rights struggle under Dr. King’s leadership featured Gandhian, non-violent activism, and, as Dr. Ivan van Sertima once pointed out, there was really no other kind of black activism possible at the time in the Deep South of the United States, those states which had formed the Confederacy and seceded from the Union in 1861. In the South, the white power structure represented the majority white population: that power structure and that white population were dedicated to violent repression of all forms of black protest.
Letter to the Editor: Fix Moho Street, says handicapped California Dangrigan
Dear Mayor Francis Humphreys,
Dangriga Town Council,
I left Dangriga, Belize on August 10th, 1960, and the streets were not paved. Then after 56 years and returning to my beautiful country on 3/16, I see that all looks the same. 56 years ago I was able to walk the streets easier, unlike now. I am handicapped and it has become harder to do so. I visited for two weeks and it was hard for me to commute and visit friends and family. I have paid taxes on time and am currently up to date, as some of my fellow neighbors. I believe that our streets should be better taken care of. I will not be returning, as it is difficult for me, until my street, 18 Moho Street, has been paved and rid of potholes and any other hazardous, unsafe parts on our street. I’m writing this letter on behalf of all fellow handicapped persons. It seems to me that our Belize Government is not fully prepared to accommodate handicapped people.
Letter to the Editor: Belize and the global hegemonic dance
We live in a time of global change. The dominance of European over global affairs is waning. Islamic terroism, racial inequities, world trade, financial markets and military prowess are supporting historic geopolitical shifts.
Islamic terrorism is a direct challenge to European dominance. If you look at the two recent terrorist attacks, the one in Orlando, Florida, and the one in Nice, France, there are making US and European defence useless. When they spent billions on airport security, terrorists attack urban centers.
If they protect those, they will attack somewhere else, making the populace lose faith in their leaders. The United States, Canada, Europe and other European associates are spending trillions on their war on terrorism, which is a protracted war that will weaken their economy.
“US support to UK in Falklands War was decisive!”
Is an association of 35 American countries. The OAS seeks to provide for collective self-defense, regional cooperation, and the peaceful settlement of controversies. The OAS charter sets forth the group’s guiding principles. These principles include a belief in the value of international law, social justice, economic cooperation, and the equality of all people. In addition, the OAS charter states that an act of aggression against an American nation is regarded as an act of aggression against all the nations in the OAS…
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it says that the OAS was established on 30 April, 1948. In that case, it has been proven that after 68 years of existence it has not been able to comply with one of its principles which is equality of all people. That alone is a strong reason for the dismantlement of its membership, which did not take place because of the control the neoliberal Mafia could have imposed over these Third World countries with military dictatorship and aids for its supposed development which was invested in genocide actions and the establishment of huge corporations, drug-trafficking, organized crimes, trafficking of persons, tourism, prostitution, and all the rest that goes along with it. Cuba is the only free country of the Americas.
The Special Agreement and the ICJ: Part 2
The general consensus at this time is that the public education campaign by the government to get a YES vote at the proposed national referendum to take the Guatemala/Belize border dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will fail in achieving its objective. The main reason for this will be the wording of the Special Agreement (SA) and in particular Article 2 and Article 7(3), which is the question to be voted on at the referendum and reads: “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determine finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?”
In layman’s language, said diplomatically couched question is: Do you agree that any or all of Belize’s mainland territory, its cayes and maritime areas can be given away to Guatemala by the ICJ to finally settle the Guatemalan Claim? No patriotic Belizean will vote YES to said question and as a consequence the referendum will result in a NO vote to go and settle said dispute at the ICJ.
Fish on the plate getting smaller
Fish is an important source of animal protein and contains nutrients that are essential for adult health and child development, and is not readily available in other food products. While, seafood consumption is not very high, in Belize compared to other countries, lobster and conch is an important export commodity for the growing tourist industry in Belize.
Finfish, such as grouper and snapper, are important sources of protein for Belizeans.
Overfishing, however, pressures fishermen to harvest less desirable species such as parrotfish and creates a burden on fishermen who depend on a constant supply of fish.
While efforts are underway to improve fisheries management and improve seafood supply to tourism outlets, researchers from Columbia University in collaboration with Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), the Belize Fisheries Department and Harvard University are continuing work to answer important questions.
Property crimes increase 4-fold in Orange Walk
Whereas much has been said about the high rates of violent crimes, not much has been said about the rate of property crimes in Belize—crimes which, in fact, make up nearly 90% of major crimes reported to police. However, there are rare cases in which property crimes turn deadly, as was the case some weeks ago, when a mentally challenged man launched an assault on a family in Yo Creek Village.
The mid-year comparative crime statistics released by Belize police indicate that property crimes in Orange Walk, which make up more than 90% of major crimes in that district, have increased four-fold: from 23 cases reported in January to June 2016 to 98 cases reported from January to June 2016. These include 49 cases of theft, 35 cases of burglary and 14 cases of robbery.
GSU Commander Mark Flowers under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct
The Belize Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit exploded on the streets of Belize City in their paramilitary uniforms, emblazoned with the letters “GSU”, in bold white letters on their olive green battledress, hiding their faces behind masks as they unleashed a new, American-style aggressive form of policing, quickly earning them mostly fear from the public because of their “Gestapo-like” tactics in their operations against citizens who are mostly poor and don’t have “strings” to the politicians and top police brass.
After having three leaders since it became operational in April 2010, the GSU has had some successes, but it has likewise suffered some defeats, especially in the Supreme Court in several civil lawsuits in which judges have found that they had violated citizens’ constitutional rights.
Presently, the GSU is about to enter another phase: on Monday, government announced that the unit will be beefed-up, as if they needed more “beef.”
Chester trying to solve south side crime with digital cams; asks US embassy and IDB to assist
The streets of Belize City’s south side, plagued by gun violence and other crimes for the better part of 20 years, should see some improvement with the installation of new surveillance cameras in the coming months. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Chester Williams sent proposals […]
Brads applies for change of venue for Boledo and Lottery draw
The Administrator of Brads Gaming, Kim Chee, has applied to the Lotteries Committee to change the venue of the live drawings of the nightly Boledo and the Sunday Lottery draw from the Public Building to Brads offices at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. This […]
Hamanasi selected as Finalist for Eco-Excellence Awards
Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, located in Hopkins, was selected as a finalist in the Travel Category for the NCW Magazine’s 2016 Eco-Excellence Award. The Eco-Excellence Awards, now in its sixth edition, is the only of its kind award to recognize excellence in social and environmental sustainability […]
UN Youth Report targets economic engagement
The United Nations (UN), last week, released its World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement and discussed many issues today’s youth face in economical, political and community engagement areas. The UN World Youth Report gave unfortunate statistics of approximately 73 million young people being unemployed around the world, and in […]
CitCo hosting public consultations on new seafront business proposal
The Belize City Council is calling on members of the general public to participate in a public consultation regarding the construction of Mayan Cable Tubing, a proposed water park project along the seawall of Sandlighter’s Promenade. CitCo has been considering the proposal for months but now Mayor […]
Taiwan assists Belize with $10 million towards overall development
Belize has received a sizable sum of money from the Government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) towards the overall development of our country. In a handing over ceremony on Wednesday, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, Benjamin Ho presented a cheque of US $5 […]
Five men remanded for beheading Dangriga pastor
Five men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison this week for the grotesque decapitation of Dangriga pastor, Llewellyn Lucas. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Williams remanded Belmopan businessman William Mason, along with Ernest Castillo, Keron Fernandez, Ashton Vanegas, and Terence Fernandez, until September 7, on charges of: […]
Crocodile kills child in Maypen Village
Residents of the Maypen community are grieving after a crocodile attacked and killed an eight-year-old girl over the weekend. On Sunday July 17 at 3:25 p.m., Adriana Moody, was swimming in the Belize River along with her aunt, Indira Rhaburn, and three of her cousins, when the […]
Labourer murdered in Cayo
A fight between two groups of men in San Ignacio Town, Cayo on Monday night ended in one man being fatally stabbed and another seriously injured. Police say that shortly before 7:00 Monday night, they were summoned to Floyd Moro Street in the Santiago Juan […]
Man accused of sexually assaulting an infant
A thirty-one-year-old man, Jose Rivas, was arraigned in court on Wednesday for allegedly sexually assaulting an infant boy on Monday. A police report filed against Rivas accused him of penetrating the buttocks of a two-year-old boy. Police investigated the report and charged Rivas with sexual assault. He […]
Wildlife Conservation Society celebrates fishers and secures fisheries
Being a fisher is not an easy profession; it is one that requires love for the sea and all the uncertainties that come along with it. The recent passing of Sarteneja fisher, Mr. Eugenio Santos Sr. while doing what he loved at Turneffe Atoll reminds us of the dangers fishermen […]
ROC position on the South China Sea Arbitration
The award rendered by the tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the South China Sea arbitration is completely unacceptable to the government of the Republic of China. The tribunal’s decisions have no legally binding force on the ROC, for the following reasons: 1. In the text of the […]
People of Southside Belize have welcomed the idea of Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams to install night vision cameras in strategic locations of high crime activity in southside Belize City to put a lid on street crime and gangland activity. We applaud this new initiative, and we thank the American […]
GSU boss accused of child rape
By Marion Ali Assistant Editor Superintendent Mark Flowers has been replaced as the Gang Suppression Unit’s (GSU) boss, while police investigate an allegation that he had sexual relations with a 13¬-year-¬old girl earlier this year. The report surfaced and was confirmed this week, while Flowers – ¬ a controversial figure […]
Political connections cause more intrigue in Mason case
Since the Belize Police Department and the media began investigating William Mason on charges of kidnapping and murder, several details have emerged, including Mason’s financing of political campaigns for government officials, and a new suspect in the case. Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media this week that Mason had […]
Hoop Dreams wins gold
Belize’s Hoop Dreams basketball team won gold at the IV Copa Pioneros Under¬ 20 basketball tournament held at the 15,000 seat Poliforum and the Kuchil Bashal sports complex in Cancun from Thursday to Saturday, July 14¬17. It was the second year of participation for their […]
Your loss not our loss
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) has cried foul and said the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) Ltd. should bear the full cost of the $432,666 loss from the 3,900 tons of molasses destroyed by a chemical reaction in one of the molasses tanks at […]
Breaking Belize News
GOB, Ashcroft Alliance challenging BTL compensation in separate cases
According to the Government of Belize, it has found errors with the rate of exchange applied by the tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration applied for the final figure of compensation due on Belize Telemedia Limited as well as incorrect calculation of interest, […]
Questions for Gaspar Vega
It seems everyone in the Government service this week has a “William Mason” story – did they know him? Were they at his house? Was he ever introduced to them, and did they discuss anything in relation to Government activity? One of the senior […]
Accused kidnapper free, police must try again
Belmopan Magistrate Ladonna John was not convinced that manager of William Mason’s Outback Ranch, Ryan Rhaburn, should be charged with the kidnapping of Mennonite businessman Lloyd Friesen and his wife, and so he was set free yesterday. Police are left to try again to […]
San Pedro Police find gun in abandoned lot
A joint team of Special Branch and CIB personnel conducted a search in an abandoned lot in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town this morning around 10:00 which led to the discovery of a 9-millimeter Smith and Wesson Pistol. According to police, […]
A better way to protect the world from the next pandemic
The growing concern over the Zika virus highlights a frightening reality. The world remains ill-prepared for a fast-moving virus. Over the past decade, Ebola, avian flu, swine flu and other pandemics have shown how vulnerable the world can be when major outbreaks […]
Mexico bans gillnets, Oceana encourages Belize to do the same
Mexico’s national fisheries commission permanently banned the use of night fishing and gillnets in the protected area of the gulf known as the Sea of Cortez. The ban has become necessary to protect the endangered vaquita marina porpoise, the smallest porpoise, in the upper […]
Police nab suspects wanted for Income Tax robbery
On Friday the department of Income tax was robbed just before closing time. New information reaching our news room is that all suspects are in police custody. According to police reports, a joint team of uniform officers and MIT visited an area behind Another World […]
Sweet Business for Sale
The ever loved DandE’s (named for Dan and Eileen) Frozen Custard & Sorbet Shop is now up for sale. It was established in 2005 and has gained a huge following of both locals (like myself) and visitors. Most people who go there have a favorite flavor or in my case several. I alternate between coconut, double rich chocolate, java Joe and chocolate mint for custard. Black cherry and raspberry for sorbet. I get everything with a fudge bulls eye (hollowed out hole filled with hot fudge) and sometimes add chopped nuts. The one I sampled and need to try more is sour-sop because it tastes like candy.
Plan a Visit to Bacalar Chico National Park & Marine Reserve
The Bacalar Chico Marine and Wildlife Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site centered on the northern part of the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. Measuring more than 12,600 acres (51 square kilometers) in size, the Bacalar Chico Marine and Wildlife Reserve covers an area that is part dry land and part the waters around the island.
While the southern part of Ambergris Caye is one of the top tourist attractions in Belize, the northern part of the island forms the Bacalar Chico Marine and Wildlife Reserve and is largely a wild and undeveloped area, encompassing diverse habitats that include: beaches, forests, grasslands, and swamps. Because it is a protected habitat, there are no roads that lead to Bacalar Chico so visitors can only access it via the sea.
Currently, overnight trips are restricted so visiting the reserve is only possible by day trips from San Pedro or other nearby areas when accompanied by a licensed tour operator. Fishing is restricted but diving and snorkeling is a popular activity.
Who is your favorite Costa Maya Pageant Contestant?
The International Costa Maya Festival® committee has been working hard behind the scenes in preparation for the annual festival. The dates are set: Thursday August 4th through Sunday August 7th, and entertainment for each night has been confirmed. As is tradition, the festival will take place at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Stadium in San Pedro Town. The event will open with the highly anticilate Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant. Who do you think will be the winner?
Snapchat Pen Lens Revealed
Wow wow wow! Can I just say I’ve been waiting for Snapchat to do this? I’m so excited about their new lens! I mean, I love the fact that we can make emoji’s move in video, but I always said it would be cool if our drawings could move too, and now they can!!! Yay!!!
Think of the possibilities of this! My family and I have already started creating story boards of all the cool ideas to snap for you. In the meantime, I will leave you with this quick video of me playing with the new pen lens. As always, remember I can’t snap with strangers, but please please please leave me a comment below and if you like my silliness share this post on Facebook. Your comments make my day! Happy Snapping!
A Long Walk to Town, Changes on the Beach and The Palapa Bar
JUST south of the Belize Yacht Club, White Sands Villas is under new management. This project, started about 7 years ago, was only completed for one or two beach front units. The rest is being gutted by new management. A bit of town. The former restaurant Lick’s is now Dock’s. MUCH BETTER NAME!
The Tacklebox, now closed for almost 2 years now, is still under legal dispute…or so I hear.
And a quick peek inside the Palapa Bar with her completed second deck.
Belize Eco-Kids Summer Camp – Maya Traditional Healing Day 4
The sky was grey and swollen as the campers rose, and light droplets occasionally fell to blot the campers’ T-shirts. As we trudged up to the kitchen, carefully planting our feet on the stepping-stones amidst the sea of mud, freezing cold and with damp clothes, we all decided it wasn’t going to be a fun day.
And yet we couldn’t have been more wrong! We started off early with some campfire songs to get the blood pumping, then had a steaming hot breakfast that warmed up our bones. Now feeling warm and comfortable, we cleaned up the dining hall and proceeded straight to arts and crafts – using old rags, we created bean bags to use for tomorrow’s games. Most of the campers created pretty good bags, considering everybody had to sow their own sacks – the few that had trouble were helped by the councilors, and by the end of the hour-long class, everybody had a pretty decent bean bag that they happily threw around.
Belize Eco-Kids Summer Camp – Organic Farming Day 5
The sun was breaking out over the golden clouds as the camp stirred to life, and as the camper rose and trudged up to the dining hall, clean white rays fell on our faces and warmed our skin. By the time everyone had gathered around the campfire, we were all wide awake and the campers sang along loudly. By the time breakfast came, we were all ravenous and the sausage-and-eggs filled us up nicely. Then we grabbed our bean bags – the ones we’d created the day before – and used them in a basket-ball-like game, where we threw them into hoops. The winners got extra snacks, and then we started on Arts and Crafts!
National Trade Policy Framework is Launched in Belize
Today the Ministry of Economic Development and stakeholders launched the National Trade Police Framework. That structure signifies approval by Cabinet to implement a comprehensive review to find common and fertile ground between multi-lateral and regional trade rules and the development needs of domestic producers, exporters and stakeholders. News Five’s Mike Rudon was at the launch this morning and has the story. Mike Rudon, Reporting This periodic review is designed to look at the new rules governing trade between Belize and its trading partners – rules which speak specifically to the economic development of all member states. Trade environment is a critical factor in economic growth. Leroy Almendarez, Director-General, Foreign Trade “This framework now looks at – what it does it provides a frame, an environment, in terms of how we would want to address the challenges. This framework is diagnostic, and prescriptive, because it has certain prescriptions on how we can address some of the challenges that we have. It’s not only looking at the challenges, but how we address the challenges.”
Cracking the Mighty Coconut
People come back from Belize with strange mementos. Christina and Lucas Martell came back with a laptop full of sand, an animated short, and the beginnings of an animation company.
Austin-based 3-D VFX and animation studio Mighty Coconut is only a couple of years old. "We're definitely the newest guys on the block," said Lucas. Yet it's already making an impact: the studio has already outgrown its first offices on South Lamar, moved up Burnet, taken over a converted house, and added additional space in a nearby office complex, with more staff joining.
Next Wednesday, the team presents a night of locally produced animation with the Austin Film Society (see more about the event here). That may seem a long way from Belize's beaches, but it's really a short step. Lucas had spent six years working on his first short, 2009's spy spoof "Pigeon Impossible," when he and Christina started developing his follow-up, "The Oceanmaker." But rather than simply sit in a studio stewing over a laptop for months, the couple had a simple idea: Gather the best talent they could find, head down to the Caribbean, and engage in some oceanside animation.
Diving in Belize, Ambergris Caye - Paradise Canyons, July 17, 2016, 15min. This dive seems to have had a preponderance of nurse sharks, yielding interesting videography, like watching carp in a Japanese garden pool. We ended with a remora joining us on our safety stop.
Bahamian Youth Choir Tours Belize with Carnival Cruise Lines, 3min. The Bahamian National Youth Choir annually partners with the Carnival Cruise Line for a tour of the region; from the Bahamas the group would board a ship and travel to the Cayman Island, Honduras and Cozumel. For the first time, the group included Belize in its tour and put off a one-hour musical showcase on Wednesday, featuring its singers and band. Folkloric songs, a disco medley, as well as spiritual and Caribbean-rooted music were all on display by the Bahamian Youth Choir ensemble.
Belize: Through the eyes of a GoPro, 3min. A video compiling clips from my two week vacation to Belize. Shot using the GoPro Hero 4 Black.
Diving in Belize, Ambergris Caye - Esmeralda Canyons, July 19, 2016, 13min. Bobbi and I did this as an afternoon 3rd dive of the day and were accompanied by among others a father and his young son.
Kevin & Juliette Belize Wedding Film, from Jose Luis Zapata, 44min.
New Municipal Airstrip Belize, 4min.
Waterfall in Belize, 3.5min. One of my many adventures in Belize. I was too scared to go under the waterfall, but I had so much fun that day with my cousin and friend.
Diving Victoria Canyons, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 2016, 5min. This dive was mostly full of nurse sharks throughout except for an eagle ray at the beginning that did acrobatics for me, duly recorded
Diving Ramon's Canyons, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 2016, 4min. Diving Ramon's Canyons, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Nice way to spend the Sunday morning, July 17, 2016, with Pro Diving Belize taking us to see plenty of nurse sharks
Eagle Ray, Loggerhead, and Nurse Sharks at Tuffy Canyon, Belize 2016, 5.5min. Diving Tuffy Canyons, Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Monday July 18, 2016, we happened on an eagle ray that teased me into almost catching up with him, a loggerhead turtle that did let me catch up but became bored easily and wandered off, and a few nurse sharks, as usual.
Join the scrum in the chum - Feeding sharks and rays at Hol Chan, Belize, 8.5min. This time we were snorkeling off south Ambergris Caye, where our guide Santiago tossed bits of chum overboard so we could don our snorkels and join in the shark feeding in Hol Chan Marine Reserve Zone D Belize, Sunday July 17, 2016
Betting on chicken poop on Belize, 2min.
Diving Ambergris Caye - shallow, lazy diving in Hol Chan Marine Reserve Belize, July 17, 2016, 16min. One of the set 'tours' on Ambergris Caye is the 'combo' dive in Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is mainly a snorkel trip for non-scuba day trippers, combined with a shark feed experience. As a dive Hol Chan is restrictive and subdued compared to deeper dives on the barrier reef, but it still presents some mellow fish tableaux and the occasional turtle (here a loggerhead and a hawksbill). I tried to capture the flavor in these videos, including the snorkelers hovering overhead.
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