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Today's Belize News: August 12, 2016 #516798
08/12/16 05:47 AM
08/12/16 05:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

For the latest on Tropical Storm Earl, click here


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Fire victims receive funds
After a blazing June 26th fire affected San Pedro, dozens of families, individuals, and businesses were left without basic necessities and commodities. Public donations were raised on Reef Radio/TV via a telethon, amounting to $247,778.77, and on Tuesday, August 9th, the fire victims gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den to receive their relief grant. The telethon has been called the biggest fundraiser in San Pedro history, and Eiden Salazar of Reef Radio/TV stated that two more donations are still pending, which will allow the figures to increase to $260,000. Since the deadline to collect funds was set for Sunday, July 31st, a final assessment meeting took place to discuss the method and formula of the distribution of money.

3rd Season of 5-a-side football Tournament kicks off
After a week of crowning six champions, the Island Citizens Sporting Club (ICSC) and the San Pedro High School (SPHS) is back in action with their third season of 5-a-side Football. The tournament officially started on Thursday, July 28th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. As in the previous edition, the 5-a-side Football Tournament is divided into three categories to better accommodate all levels of athletes: little leagues, females and male seniors. Due to Hurricane Earl, the second and third week of games were postponed and rescheduled. The second week of games were scheduled for this past weekend. Here are the scores:

Team Super Fly reels in the Tres Pescados Slam championship
The 8th annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament was held on Saturday, August 6th and saw 15 teams of professional anglers joining the competition this year. Only one team could take the coveted prize, and this year, that is Team Super Fly! Courtney Smith (solo angler) took second place and Team El Diablo settled for third place. The boats left early on Saturday and by 3PM all catches had to be checked in. Anglers gave it their all as it was just one day to try and win the big prize, a Grand Slam of catching all three fish. Shortly after 7Pm, all participants then gathered at the Caprice Bar and Grill for the awards banquet. Organizer Will Flack of Tres Pescados Fly Ship thanked everyone for participating and salvaging the tournament despite the obstacles of the hurricane. During the award ceremony the prizes for the top three teams were handed out. El Diablo in third place walk away with $2,000, Courtney Smith in second place with $3,000 and team Super Fly was awarded the top prize of $5,000.

Hurricane Earl causes over $10 million in damages on Ambergris Caye and Caulker Caulker
NEMO reports around $30,000 in damages to households in both Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker were incurred. Along the eastern coast of Ambergris Caye, from the 252 docks that line the coast, 227 were affected, while 135 were totally destroyed. The assessment also includes several dive shops which were partially or totally destroyed due to the strong winds and surges caused by the hurricane. The grand total in damages is estimated at $11 million dollars. According to the report from NEMO, each dock is estimated to cost between $80,000 and $95,000 without any additional structures on them. Meanwhile, on the neighbouring island of Caye Caulker, out of the 54 docks which also includes dive shops, a total of 49 were affected. The amount of docks completely destroyed amounted to 30, while the total figure in damages added up to $2.5 million. Many of the families affected on Ambergris Caye are from the San Mateo subdivision, where several homes were heavily damaged.

The Santander Group exports first sugar shipment
On Friday, July 29th, The Santander Group exported its inaugural shipment of product to Europe. The shipment of 6,250 tonnes of raw sugar signifies the company’s first harvest of May 2016. The product is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Santander in Spain within the next two weeks. “The Santander Group has invested in the expansion of The Port of Big Creek and both parties have been working together for months in preparation of this shipment. It was a proud day for all involved and a historic event for The Port of Big Creek and Southern Belize. They continue to work together on growing the port facilities in order to accommodate even larger vessels,” stated Louise Roe, Marketing and Sales Coordinator at The Santander Group.

Ambergris Today

Belize is the First Country in the Caribbean to Overturn its Sodomy Law
On August 10, 2016, the Belize Supreme Court made a historic ruling in favor of gay activist Caleb Orozco, and has struck down the country’s anti-sodomy law. This is the first case launched in the Caribbean and the first case where the sodomy laws have been overturned. The case was brought to court in 2010, heard in 2013 and the ruling came on August 10, 2016. The long process has been spearheaded by Caribbean allies, activists, advocates, academics, and legal experts. Orozco challenged the law claiming that it infringes on the ‘Protections of the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms’ of the individual guaranteed by Belize’s constitution.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Whoot whoot way to go Crazy Canucks Beach Bar! No stoppin' them!
Replaced the bar rail with a new table a few wrap-around table tops. Adding a few more 'drinking areas' this weekend. Horseshoe pits and a new palapa/seating area are also in the works. Hurricane Earl can't stop us!

Taiwan Nephrologist and dialysis nurse will come to Belize
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that Taiwan nephrologist, Dr. Kai-Hsiang Shu, and dialysis nurse, Ms. Ju-Fen Chiang of Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, will provide clinical training for Belize seed instructors in Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and La Loma Luz Hospital from August 15th to September 14th. The seed instructors of the Chronic Renal Failure Project in Belize are Dr. Glenford Jones, Dr. Marvin Camal, Ms. Michelle Cassimiro and Mr. Dieudonne Sah Tiemula. They are going to finish their training this week in Taiwan and return to Belize to accept the clinical training which will focus on clinical application and practical technique.

Caleb Orozco - Victorious Against Sodomy Law
"If my community wants to fight for gay marriage we now know they have every right to go to court and litigate the issue. My organisation is concerned with socioeconomic, civil and political rights issue of the community." Pastor Lance Lewis - Pres. National Evangelical Assoc of Belize "The church believes in marriage between a man and a woman and therefore sex between a man and a woman is what the church believes. To make a law now that strike out the law that says it's okay to have between male and male, female and female is against the word of god, it is in my mind against the original constitution of Belize and therefore it will bring all types of ills on our society. We already have several problems this year, storms of different types and maybe more."

This year's 2016 events will take place August 12th-August 16th. San Joaquin, Belize - The San Joaquin Community and Fiesta Committee are pleased to announce the 50th Anniversray of the San Joaquin Fiesta. The Fiesta, considered the biggest of its kind in northern Belize, commenced on Monday August 8th with the ceremonial running of the torch from Bacalar, Mexico to San Joaquin/Corozal, and Novenas, which continue for nine nights, at the San Joaquin Catholic Church. Major activities continue of Friday, August 12th with the Novena at 5:00 p.m. followed by the inauguration ceremony for the Jubilee Anniversary of the celebration at 7:30 p.m. There will also be the crowning of Miss San Joaquin Fiesta 2016, cultural presentations, fireworks, a public dance and mechanical rides. The Fiesta culminates on Tuesday, August 16th with the final Novena at 4:00 p.m. with a Marimba presentation from Benque Viejo's "La Voz De La Selva", a Mass in honour of the patron saint of the community San Joaquin, fireworks, and a public dance feauturing Corozal's famous Gilharry 7. Who was San Joaquin? This saint is regarded as the father of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

A group of Belizeans from the north, particularly Orange Walk, will be leading an excursion this Saturday August 13th at 1:00 p.m. across the Corozal, Santa Elena border point in an effort to sensitize Belizeans of our free movement and passage within our borders. The excursion to the Corozal northern border is being led by Geovanni De La Fuente and Rene Cuello in an effort to challenge their point, that it is not necessary to stamp our passport, as Belizeans, at our immigration when visiting the casinos that are outside the Corozal Commercial Free Zone but in Belizean territory. If you are interested to join call Mr. Cuello at 670-6074.

It was a Miss Belize taken over at Cafe Michel'le in Belize City for lunch!
The delegates also had a few special guests! The pageant is Sept. 10 at Bliss Center for Performing Arts... You cam meet the delegates in person tonight at 7pm, poolside at the Best Western Biltmore Belize during their official presentation.

The Miss Belize delegates visited the Open Your Eyes show
T introduce themselves! You can meet them, too: Tonight at 7 pm Best Western Biltmore Belize poolside. No cover charge for the official presentation

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Playing this Weekend!! Friday Saturday and Sunday. New Projectors coming soon! Money Monster, Neighbors 2, The Jungle Book, Warcraft.

Monkey electrocuted
Due to the destruction of the trees and forest caused by hurricane Earl in the Community Baboon Sanctuary, a troop of monkeys who tried to cross the road to the other side , and who were sadly interrupted and constantly being chased back by a tour operator just to keep them in his yard to make money, have caused this adult to try something else . The poor monkey tried to cross the road to join his troop where he could not be bothered again after being chased back several times by this person . His only option now was to try the high tension wires that ended his life in a horrific way . This is very sad to see the length people will go to make money. These monkeys are strickly vegetarians feeding on a strick diet from a variety of leaves and fruits each day .They must be left alone to freely roam to find their food especially now when most of their food supply is being destroyed by Earl . I'm appealing to the tour operator/ tour guide to please stop bothering, harrassing the monkeys so they can roam freely please !!! A monkey croosing bridge was there but was destroyed by the same tour operator simple because he does not want the monkeys to leave his yard so they can be easy viewing for visitors .

VIP macaw chicks back in the Chiquibul
What a relief! After 6 days our VIP macaw chicks are back in the Chiquibul, in their flight cage, to fly free soon! After their evacuation by Boris from FCD the chicks spent 2 days in hurricane shelter at my house, safe from Earl (but what a noise and mess - my apologies to the neighbours for the strange sounds from my house and NO I would never want a macaw as a pet - I just want to see and hear them in the wild..). Then I spent 2 days worrying that their flight cage was destroyed by Hurricane Earl, which had caused a lot more damage than we anticipated (thank goodness we did evacuate!). We upgraded the chicks into a cage while waiting so they would not suffer from "cabin fever" in their hurricane shelter pet carriers. BWRC staff members Godwin Castillo and Gissell Rodriguez switched from husbandry and education to macaw security, camping right next to their cage (Thanks!). It took Friends for Conservation and Development - FCD rangers and research team another 2 days to cut through all the downed trees on the road, but then we were so relieved to learn that flight cage, lab and all buildings were spared by Earl! So yesterday we took a long drive and the chicks arrived safely home - and I happily turned over the responsibility for these precious babies to Gabriel Lopez and Francisco Galicia from FCD again. It takes a team! Thank Goodness we are part of an amazing team of organisations working for macaw conservation.

A Youth Hurricane Relief Effort
The Department of Youth Services is hereby inviting all young persons out on Friday, August 12th, which will be celebrated as International Youth Day. A Youth Hurricane Relief Effort is being organized for this day and the plan is to have as many young people involved in the cleanup and restoration efforts which are currently ongoing within Belize City. This will offer our young people an opportunity to meaningfully give back to their community. The clean-up will start at 9:00 am but the department is asking that everyone meet at the office at 55 Regent Street by 8:30am so that they can be organized. Food, refreshments and entertainment will be provided in order to make it a fun activity. Let us do our part for Belize!

Belize strikes down anti-sodomy laws
The Belize Supreme Court on Wednesday made a historic ruling in favour of gay activist Caleb Orozco, and has struck down the country’s anti-sodomy law. This is the first case launched in the Caribbean and the first case where the sodomy laws have been overturned. The case was brought to court in 2010, heard in 2013 and the ruling came on Wednesday. The long process has been spearheaded by Caribbean allies, activists, advocates, academics, and legal experts. Orozco challenged the law claiming that it infringes on the ‘Protections of the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms’ of the individual guaranteed by Belize’s constitution.

Basketry Workshop
A wonderful experience was had by all participants of the Basketry Workshop this week. A kind thank you to all of our basket makers who created their own unique baskets. We are very grateful to our facilitators Hector and Maria Villamil of Xaibe Village for passing on their knowledge of this art form, congratulations to all!!

Full Basket Belize 2016 Scholarship Program
Full Basket Belize raised enough to send 34 students to high school this coming year. 5 are in Cayo, with 3 of those choosing Sacred Heart College, and 1 choosing both Mopan Tech and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Best of luck to all the lucky students. Thanks, FBB! "Brains, ambition, and good study habits alone will not get a Belizean child into secondary school. It also requires, on average, over $800 USD per student per year. This is a formidable financial barrier to many Belizean families. In the past eleven years, your donations have enabled FBB to provide scholarships to 170 needy Belizean students. Full Basket Belize scholarships pay for tuition, fees, books, and uniforms for these students. Without scholarship funding, these promising scholars would not be able to attend high school. They sincerely appreciate the support that our organization makes possible through your generous donations. We — and they – sincerely thank you!! Your support to the FBB Scholars Program is making a meaningful investment in the future of Belize."

Official presentation of the Miss Belize delegates...

The legendary Belizean Cross Country cycling champion of the 1980 Belize Cross Country Cycling Classic has died. Vasquez who rode to prominence in winning the most popular Belizean sporting past time the Belize Cross Country was found dead in his sleep according to family sources in Los Angeles, California where the former Belizean cyclist lived since his migration from Belize in the 1980's. Belizean Legends wish to expresses its condolences to the family of Alexander Vasquez who throughout his life and his struggles have always been a very kind and beautiful brother in the Los Angeles Belizean Community where he lived and became an activist at one time in the Belizean organization called, The Winners. Yours truly spent some quality time with Vasquez in 2014 while trying to make a documentary on his life as a Belizean cross country champion. Though it didn't materialize, my many conversations with the legendary Alexander was refreshing as he chronicled the highlights of that very race in 1980 when he went against some of the best, including the legendary Kenrick Halliday and won. Vasquez would allude that he knew he was a better sprinter than the legendary Halliday, and said that he knew that very day that he was going to win, and that he was the best of them all that year being that he knew how much training went into his race.

The mystical magic of the Birds Isle sporting venue in Belize City, Belize, that Dr. Colville Young, now Belize's Governor General called, "a paradise on earth" in his song, Birds Isle, is no more. At least since Hurricane Earl that devastated Belize City on August 3, 2016, and completely destroyed what use to be Belize's most eclectic sports arena in the country where electrifying Belizean basketball, boxing, volleyball, indoor football, dances, and musical shows were performed in the 1970's and 80's. Let's give the Birds Isle Sporting Complex a big up here in terms of the fact that it provided sports recreation and a basketball sporting outlet that developed all the 70's 'Ballers of that time. When you juxtapose it alongside the 1960's St. Ignatius basketball complex, if we can called them that, you find that Birds Isle rose above being that it provided a more quality basketball venue of its time. While we cannot really call it a state of the art "wooden court", it was a step up from the cement court at St. Ignatius School that was ruining the knees of many a basketball players. And that the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall on the northside of Belize City also had a wooden court that was not really state of the art but nevertheless a better cushion for the developing basketball players of that time.

BELIZE'S WONDER WOMEN! The Women Who Help Make Belize Great!
For the month of August we are proud to announce that Mrs. Maria Esther Morales is our Belize Wonder Woman! Maria “Esther” Morales was born in El Salvador, but moved to Belize as a small child. Though Esther was unable to complete her formal education, she worked hard to learn to read and speak English and earned a living as a domestic worker cleaning houses and taking care of children. Esther’s love for children is apparent in her work and the children she cares for thrive under her care. Though Esther loves her work with children and has built a strong reputation as a domestic engineer among the families she works with, she is strongly committed to the well-being of her own three children.

Channel 7

Danny Mason And Alleged Accomplices Back To Court
Last night, we told you about Melissa Ferguson, the wife of accused murderer William Danny Mason, who was arraigned and remanded for conspiracy to commit the kidnapping of murdered Pastor Lewellyn Lucas and David Dodd. Well today, William Danny Mason was brought back to court for the kidnapping of Canadian Lloyd Freisen and his wife, Rosie. This is the case where Freisen, who was a major grain producer operating out of Spanish Lookout, claims that Mason conned him out of 300 thousand dollars. Freisen told police that Mason misrepresented himself as a shipping agent who could facilitate the importation 300 thousand dollars' worth of corn through Argentina which never materialized. Freisen told Mason to return his money. He didn't and after an extended time of Freisen pressing him to give back cash, Mason reportedly invited him to his Intelco Hill home in Belmopan for a meeting.

Mason, Says More From Behind Prison Walls
So, Mason has a second set of charges to answer to, but, he has been giving plenty of answers to the press via telephone from behind prison bars. For the past 2 days, we've featured parts of the phone conversation which he had with the Amandala. Well tonight, courtesy our colleagues from Love News, we can share more comments from William Mason. This time he spoke to reporter Renee Trujillo, and directly takes on the discovery of the head of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, which police say was in his vehicle. That was on Friday, July 15th, and though, we've never heard his side of the story, his attorney, Herbert Panton, was confident that the police's evidence was not as airtight as they were asserting to the public. Here he is explaining his time at the bar, and how the police allegedly did not search his car in his presence: Renee Trujillo - Love News: "Could we go back to the night of July 15. What were you doing at the bar? And, how did that night unfold with the officers?"

Mason Threatens Barrow Administration
So, how does Mason account for his wife now being accused of conspiracy to kidnap Pastor Lucas and David Dodd? Well, Mason told Love News that it's simply the police targeting and harassing her to get to him. More than that, He made a threat against the Barrow Administration saying that if anything happened to her, he would release 3 scandalous videos which would hurt sitting ministers of Government. Here's that part of the phone conversation: William Mason - Speaking From Prison: "I just wanna say for the record, anything happens to me or my wife - now they are targeting my wife - I will make public 3 videos that's going to go worldwide, virally, okay?" Renee Trujillo - Love News: "Would you like to go on record to make that very comment you were saying about your wife having nothing to do with this considering that she's being charged today?"

More Church Disquiet About Supreme Court Judgment
The landmark Caleb Orozco decision, in which the Supreme Court has legalized gay sex made headlines on all Jamaica electronic newscasts last night, and is being picked up news outlets all over the world. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin's decision from yesterday was to simply make an amendment to Section 53 of the criminal code by adding the clause, "This section shall not apply to consensual sexual acts between adults." It's a small change with a big meaning, and it provides the first foothold for gay rights in Belize. And not surprisingly, the churches are completely against it. We spoke to the senior leaders of the National Evangelical Association of Belize yesterday, and the other group of evangelicals, the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches sent out a press release this afternoon.

Streets Not Happy With Supreme Court
But just going by the kind of talk you hear on bus or the streets, the majority of society is not so respectful of the court. So, while the LGBT Community is rejoicing, many others are fuming. We know that the churches are solidly against it, but what about the broader public? We took to the streets to find out. Interviewee #1: "I think that the victory that their acclaiming is a vicious and undermining attack on not only African families or people of African descent but on all families. Family stability and family wellbeing determine the state of a nation, come on, sickness mentality? How are you going to promote good health in your nation?" Interviewee #2: "As a Christian, the bible makes it very clear that the gospel must be preached in all the world to all people including the UNIBAM or whosoever choose that lifestyle. The gospel has powers through Jesus Christ to restore everyone. That is not a life that is pleasing before god and his word. The reason why Jesus came into the world is to free people from this bondage of sin."

CEMO Starts Delivering Housing Supplies
One week after Hurricane Earl, Belize City and other storm-affected communities are starting to come around. Now, don't get us wrong, over a hundred are still in shelters, and many homes are still not in a live-able state. And that's why NEMO started rolling out housing relief supplies today. We met the CEMO team in the Collett Area and councilor Phillip Willoughby says that this first stage is for the do-it-yourself-ers:... Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor, CEMO: "These are self-health material, this is not the initial outlay roll out to reconstruct homes, just people with minimal damage. As you can see, there are several damaged zincs on the roof. Those that are down there have been delivered with the screws of course and they will proceed to do the requisite changing of the zincs. We have the technical people now on the ground checking to see what actually the damage is, and based on what the damages are, then we come back after they have signed off on it and we make the deliveries." Jules Vasquez: "You know there are so many people in need and the criticism will be that you all are only hurrying these resources to favored persons or maybe to UDP persons and that sort of thing."

Area Rep Says He Will Send Them to Find NEMO
Those storm-affected persons in Belize City who haven't gotten assessed yet are being referred to the Department of Human Services. And while that's the formal system, the political culture in Belize dictates that these persons go directly to their area representatives, especially if he is a member of the ruling party. We found a few dozen lining up to see Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan on his clinic day today. He said he could only help by sending them to NEMO:... Jules Vasquez: "This is the first clinic after the hurricane, why are all those people down there sir?" Hon. Michael Finnegan: "Well I guess they were probably affected by the hurricane and they are here to see how I can probably help them." Jules Vasquez: "But the prime minister has said that you cannot help them because NEMO can help them, but area representatives have no hurricane relief to disburse." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "No but they are representatives who can direct them to where they ought to go." Jules Vasquez: "Well I can also just give them the phone number on the news."

City Takes A Break From Garbage Collection
And while storm affected persons turn to NEMO and CEMO for material relief, they're asking the city to pick up all the garbage and debris generated by Hurricane Earl. The storm plowed down trees and wrecked household appliances - and someone has to pick all of it up. The city workers have been doing a commendable job, working countless extra hours - but to some extent they have been doing it in vain - because every time they clear a street, then someone else puts out their mess. And that's why at this time, the city is a taking a break from all that garbage. Councilor Willoughby explained today:.. Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor, CEMO: "Encouraging at this time home owners to put out their waste so that we can better and properly coordinate the collection of those waste. I know in our briefing this morning Hon. Anthony Martinez mentioned that there will be a team designated from on his side to deal with the demolition and removal of these homes as well as the property. So that will be observed from that angle through that initiative."

Churches Chipping In To Relief Effort
And while CEMO and NEMO are doing their best to keep up with the community's needs - others are chipping in as well. We caught up with a group called the New Fire Ministry today and they told us about their initiative to distribute food hampers in concert with a church group from Arizona:... Dennis Tillett, New Fire Ministries Belize: "We have to thank the almighty father first, the good lord, he has sent some people away to help us help out the people who are in real need, not the people that have, but the people that are in need. Its non-governmental, it's nonprofit, it's just some people from one of the ministries out of Alabama that came in and I'm apart of them. We're on the second phase of our relief by the way, you guys just came to us so I just want to say that we went out this morning and we really took care of a lot of people in the Jerusalem area. We're about to go in the Jane Usher area from here on, so the relief is on the way. we started off since yesterday about 9 o'clock yesterday morning, these people came in and they were assisting us with a little bit of finance and we went to purchase a couple of flour, some rice, beans, basic comedies that people need in their household."

Modiri Wants More
And switching now to court news, Michael Modiri is appealing his May judgement handed down by Justice Shona Griffith who awarded him $150,000 in damages against Bradley Paumen. Today, Modiri's attorney Nazira Myles filed a notice of appeal challenging the quantum of damages awarded to her client. Attorney Miles appeared in court at 9:00, but the respondent Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark night and Daylight Adventure Tours, was a no show in court. Still, after 11:00 this morning, the matter was dealt with and filed. Both sides now have until October to make applications in writing so that the matter can go before the court of appeal. Modiri, it seems, is not satisfied that $150,000 was enough to pay for the damages. The court gave Modiri compensation of 150 thousand dollars, and an additional award of exemplary damages of another 150 thousand dollars.

Belize And Guatemala: Two Nations, Shared Environmental Resources
Last night we showed you a snippet of the Chiquibul Forest from above. Well, tonight we have the full story. FCD Rangers are constantly monitoring and patrolling the forest as best they can but Guatemalan poachers still keep crossing the border and pillaging Belizean resources. In fact, the incursions have increased this year in certain areas of the Chiquibul. Courtney Weatherburne went west yesterday to find out how serious it is and to examine the Guatemalan perspective on this issue. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Over 30 years, the Chiquibul Forest has been ruthlessly invaded and pillaged. Guatemalan poachers have extracted gold, timber, Xate and rare species and have destroyed countless acres of lush forest land for illegal farming in Belize, denuding many areas in the forest. It is a reality that forest Manager Derick Chan and his team confront every day. One of the ways this persistent problem is brought into perspective Is through an aerial assessment.

Is The Power of Elected Ministers Being Diluted In Cabinet?
As we told you on Tuesday, Cabinet met with a new member, Minister Of State In The Ministry Of Finance Dr. Carla Barnett. She becomes the third senator brought up to the Cabinet - and her ascent, along with the portfolio upgrade for Vanessa Retreage, suggests a further dilution of the power of elected representatives, and the Prime Minister's confidence in them to administrate competently and scrupulously. So what's the mood like in cabinet now with these changes? That's what we asked the UDP de-facto party whip today and he went into an entertaining digression on political history:.. Hon. Michael Finnegan: "The government is trying to put its best foot forward and if you are trying to put your best foot forward and you have to go outside of elected representative to do that, I don't see any problem with that." Jules Vasquez: "However, isn't it an indication that the Prime Minister does not have a confidence in the elected representatives of which you are one?"

Breastfeeding At Work
And while Finnegan delivers them sunny side up, for mothers with young babies, what they have to deliver is breast milk. And, for most of them, asking existing or potential employers if they have a breast feeding area at the work place, can be very uncomfortable. But the Ministry of Health says this is a discussion mothers must have with their bosses. Today at the Women in Workplace Forum, bosses from different sectors were invited to learn more about the importance of supporting breast feeding at the workplace. The coordinators told us more about the importance of this event. There is no law in place forcing employers to consider a woman's breast feeding needs at work but the Ministry of Health is working with the Labour Department to draft a policy. For now, it is up to the compassion and discretion of employers.

SSB Alleges She Got Paid For Sick Leave, But Was Busy Working
Compassion is just what Social Security says one working woman abused. 45 year old Mildred Vassel, an employee of Ready Call was yesterday dragged to court on 13 counts of "made a false representation claim to sickness benefits." Social Security says that between February 26, to November 22, 2015, she made claims for sickness benefits a total of 13 different times. It is further alleged that she visited a doctor and reported sick between those periods and then later brought in sick paper documents, knowing she was not sick. During all those periods, it was revealed that she was working still at the Ready Call office and collecting a regular pay check. After the facts were read out in court to Vassel, she did not agree with them, and Magistrate Mendoza entered an equivocal plea of not guilty on her behalf and the case was adjourned for September 5, 2016.

PUC And Caribbean Talk Internet Governance
Caribbean Internet experts information technology policy makers are in Belize for the 12th annual Caribbean Internet Governance Forum. Participants discuss internet challenges and regional priorities. And PUC Chairman John Avery says it's all about making the internet work for you: Because uptake from Belizean government departments was very poor, Avery says he plans to have a local internet governance forum to bring everyone to the table.

Olympics Kicks Into High Gear For Caribbean
And before we close tonight, a correction to the story we ran last night in Belize's Olympic team. We said that all three members of Belize's Olympic team are foreign born, raised and resident. Well, our apologies to judo competitor, Renick James who was born, raised and resides in Belize. Olympic coverage continues on Channel 7 tomorrow with the start of the track & field competition tomorrow. In total for tomorrow, there there will be 46 Caribbean athletes competing in Athletics, Rowing, Shooting, Sailing, Cycling, and Badminton.

Channel 5

Additional Charges of Kidnapping Brought Against William Mason
Accused murdered William “Danny” Mason left the Belize Central Prison momentarily today for another court appearance. Under heavy police guard, he was transported to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court in a [...]

Mason’s Attorney A No-show in Belmopan Court
As we said, the Friesens have once again returned to Canada because of the ordeal they endured during their kidnapping.  We asked court prosecutor Chester Williams if their absence from [...]

National AIDS Commission Welcome Section 53 Decision
A groundbreaking decision on the constitutionality of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code was handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Wednesday after a three-and-a-half year delay in judgment.  [...]

NAC Says Condom Usage Among Male Inmates at Central Prison is Banned
While the issue of men having sex with men is not limited to the free society, at the Belize Central Prison homosexual intercourse among inmates is also widespread.  According to [...]

Legal Counsel for LGBT to be Provided for UNIBAM and Ombudsman’s Office
Having received funding from at least two agencies earlier this year, the National AIDS Commission, in light of the Section Fifty-three decision will now proceed to appoint a pair of [...]

Caleb Orozco Says Basic Healthcare Rights for LGBT are Often Denied
Access to healthcare has long been an issue for members of the LGBT community.  According to Orozco, they have been shut off from respective medical institutions simply because they are [...]

Is Gay Rights Activist Concerned About Personal Safety After Landmark Ruling?
Is gay rights activist Caleb Orozco any safer after Wednesday’s breakthrough decision?  The question of his personal safety has always been an issue ever since choosing the pioneering role of [...]

Wednesday Night Fire Leaves Ladyville Churchgoer Homeless
Fifty-year-old Cherry Martinez lost everything in a fire on Wednesday night in Ladyville.  Martinez reported to police that she left her home on Myrtle Wade Street in the Japan area [...]

A Conducive Environment for Breastfeeding Mothers at Work
There has been some progress in leadership roles for women but the glass ceiling is still hard to break. In politics, more women are becoming involved but what about the [...]

Hurricane Relief Continues in the Old Capital
A week after Hurricane Early ravaged the country, CEMO is carrying out assessments of properties in the hard hit areas of Belize City. Councilor Philip Willoughby was today on the [...]

NEMO Plans to Restore Houses for Families Still in Shelters
Earl hit the City hard and long on Wednesday leaving many without roofs over their heads. Many families are still in shelters and have nowhere to go so NEMO has [...]

119 Persons in Belize City Remain in Shelters
But the reality is that there’s still a large number of persons still in shelters with Belize City registering the majority. A total of one hundred and nineteen persons need [...]

Murder Trial Concludes in the Case of Alleged Killer Curtis Lamb
A trial by judge without jury concluded on Wednesday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court against twenty-two year old Curtis Lamb. The Belize City youth was [...]

Michael Modiri Challenges Amount of Damages Awarded by the Supreme Court
Today, attorney for Michael Modiri, Nazira Myles of Chebat and Co., filed a notice of appeal challenging the amount of damages awarded to Modiri in the case against Bradley Paumen. [...]

PUC Hosts Forum on Caribbean Internet Governance
The opening ceremony of a two-day forum on Caribbean Internet Governance was held today at the Radisson. Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, John Avery, says that Belize is not [...]

CEMO Partners with Solid Waste Management Authority to Collect Garbage
Most places in the city and elsewhere are still littered with garbage following the passage of Hurricane Earl.  CEMO is working along with the Solid Waste Management Authority and is [...]

The Pulse of the People on Section 53
The National AIDS Commission says it welcomes the ruling by the Chief Justice on Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code. The LGBT Community is also celebrating the decision. But what [...]

Annual Belize International Jazz Festival Kicks Off this Weekend
The annual Belize International Jazz Festival kicks off this weekend with an opening concert and jam session on Friday night at the Bliss.  The music celebration runs through to August [...]

Healthy Living Looks at Water Safety Post Hurricane
After the all-clear was established for Hurricane Earl last week, the Ministry of Health issued an advisory informing Belizeans to monitor their water sources and ensure that the water used [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: August 12, 2016 [Re: Marty] #516799
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Belizean Doctors And Nurses Receive Training Under Renal Failure Prevention Project
Chronic Renal Failure or Chronic Kidney Disease is the progressive loss in kidney function over a given period of time and since it is a growing problem here in Belize as more and more cases are being recorded, the Government of Belize along with Taiwan signed a three year project known as the ‘Renal Failure Prevention Project’ back in the month of February in an effort to treat patients in the early stages of renal failure. The agreement includes training sessions to be held both in Taiwan and locally and under this umbrella, the Embassy of the Republic of China in Taiwan has announced that Nephrologist Dr. Kai-Hsiang Shu and dialysis nurse, Ms. Ju-Fen Chiang of Far Eastern Memorial Hospital will be traveling to Belize in order to provide clinical training to four seed instructors of the Chronic Renal Failure Project from both the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and La Loma Luz Hospital.

Vote for Your Favorite Song
As Belizeans prepare to celebrate this year’s Independence under the theme “Sovereign and Strong - Together as one” there are a number of events that have been planned ahead of time with the aim of raising the spirit of the September celebrations. Among that list is the National Song Competition organized by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) which offers Belizeans an opportunity to showcase their talent as it relates to the art of local music. The competition is divided into two main categories…Carnival and Patriotic. NICH received numerous submissions and at the end 20 applicants were selected. Those applicants are scheduled to perform their song on Saturday night at the Memorial Park in Belize City.


Mason and Others Face Charges of Kidnapping
Just after ten o’clock this morning four of the five persons charged with the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas on July 15, appeared before Magistrate Anderson in the Belmopan Magistrates Court to answer to additional charges. The men were read the charges which entail two counts of kidnapping and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Prosecuting […]

William Mason Says His Vehicle Was Searched in His Absence
Tonight, we take you back to the night of Friday, July 15, 2016. This is the night that the chapter on the Mason saga would begin unravelling after the head of well-known Pastor Llewellyn Lucas was found in a bucket inside the pan of a pickup truck. July 18 saw the authorities including the Minister […]

Coalition for Vulnerable Communities Applauds Section 53 Ruling
Belize made history yesterday when Section 53 of the Constitution was ordered to be amended by the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. The amendment will see Section 53 not applying to consenting sexual acts between adults of the same gender as opposed to the penalty of ten years in prison for persons engaging in carnal intercourse […]

Keen Eye on Jamaica as Belize Sets Precedent on LGBT Rights
With Belize’s Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin making history via his decision on the constitutionality of Section 53, one of the countries in the Caribbean that has been looking keenly at the judgement is Jamaica. On one hand, there is talk that the judgement in Belize will have legal implications for Jamaica while others are saying […]

Government’s Move Is to Now Give Life to the Court Ruling on Section 53
The LBTQI community won a major victory yesterday as the Chief Justice ruled to amend section 53 of the constitution to exclude consenting sex between adults in private. Now the community is expectant of the government’s response to the ruling, which according to executive Director of UNIBAM, Caleb Orozco, will substantiate the ruling. CALEB […]

The Force Behind the Caleb Movement
Caleb Orozco has been fighting for the rights of the LGBTQI community for many years. Six years ago, he brought forward a case to challenge the constitution. And because of that stance, Caleb has faced a lot of discrimination including verbal and physical attacks. Yesterday at the UNIBAM press conference, Caleb stated that it was […]

7 Days Later ….. Post Hurricane Earl
The City Emergency Management Organization continues its hurricane relief work in Belize City. Today Councilor Phillip Willoughby, who is in charge of CEMO, spoke about the assessments they have conducted and the materials in form of zinc and plywood that they have obtained. Willoughby stated, as well, that the resources are being distributed with no […]

UWI Writes PM Expressing Solidarity in Aftermath of Earl
The University of the West Indies has expressed solidarity with all Caribbean neighbours during the hurricane season as they remain alert and prepared to lend support. According to a publication in the Bahamas, outreach has begun for the recovery efforts in Belize after it was hard hit by Hurricane Earl. In a letter dated August […]

PROTEL Gives Belize Red Cross $2K for Recovery Efforts
The Belize Red Cross has received a donation of two thousand dollars from Protel BPI Limited, to assist in its ongoing efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Earl. CEO of Protel BPO, Kevin Herrera, handed over the check to the Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman. Bowman said the contribution will greatly […]

The Guardian

Sodomy no longer a crime between consenting adults!
A lone protester, sympathizer of the gay rights case held up a bristol board stating “Your Mentality is an Abomination, but don’t worry you’ll be forgiven #gayandproud “ stood in front of the Battlefield park in defiance of a few dozen others who held quite the opposite view. They were all out to listen to the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin give his decision on a case brought up by Caleb Orozco 3 years and just over 3 months ago. After so long in deliberations, CJ Benjamin, delivered his judgment in the case. He has ruled that Belize’s Sodomy laws cannot stand because it violates Orozco’s constitutional rights as a citizen. It is a landmark decision, the first of its kind in Belize, and Orozco declared at a press conference that though it is a great first step, the fight for equality for the Belizean LGBTIQ community has only just begun. It was a decision which the public waited for with great interest to see whether local gay rights celeb, Caleb, would be successful in challenging Section 53 of the Criminal Code.

Mason’s Wife charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping
Melissa Ferguson, the 51 year-old wife of the infamous William Danny Mason, has been arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping of Pastor Lewellyn Lucas and David Dodd. She has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison since she handed herself in for questioning on Monday, August 8. After her 48 hours were up, she was arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. That arraignment happened before Magistrate Emerita Anderson on Wednesday, August 10. In the same way that the police fouled up the charging process for Ryan Rhaburn - which allowed him to walk out of court free - the arresting officer prepared the charge sheet and the court book without the proper facts. That’s because the 5 page document never did say who she allegedly conspired to kidnap. The case was adjourned for the Belmopan police to fix the document, and when Ferguson was taken before the Magistrate again, it finally passed the scrutiny of the sitting magistrate.

NEMO begins delivering building material
The National Emergency Management Organization has begun the distribution of building material to persons who were affected by hurricane Earl. On Wednesday evening the Guardian Newspaper found Councilor Phillip Willoughby at a local hardware store where he was loading up on zinc roofing that will be distributed to residents of Belize City on Thursday. Willoughby explained that NEMO is attempting to supply affected residents with material as quickly as possible. He says that personnel from the Belize City Council are currently doing itemized damage assessments and the first to be assisted will be those who have damage that can be handled by the home owners themselves. On a daily basis assessments will be made and material will be delivered on an expedited basis said Willoughby.

Dr. Carla Barnett Sworn in as Minister of State
In a brief ceremony at the Belize House in Belmopan, Senator Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett was sworn-in as a Minister of State by the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young. The Honourable Senator will now assume responsibility as Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance for which the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow holds overall responsibility. On the occasion of her swearing-in, the newly appointed Minister of State said:

BTL Pledges $100,000 Toward Hurricane Earl Relief
Belize Telemedia Ltd (BTL) pledged $100,000 toward the relief effort in the aftermath of hurricane Earl. The money will be split between the Red Cross which will receive $50,000 and Hand in Hand Ministries which will receive a similar amount. A release by BTL explains the following: The Belize Red Cross will use the BTL contribution principally to help fund their innovative cash transfer program (CTP) where impacted families will be provided with cash contributions directly via prepaid credit cards, to enable them to purchase their restoration supplies and products themselves. The contributions from BTL will benefit some 400 persons according to Red Cross estimates. The contribution to Helping Hands Ministries will assist in the construction and reconstruction of houses for persons whose dwellings were compromised or destroyed by Hurricane Earl.

American caught at airport with medical marijuana
An American fireman was released after he was fined only $1,000 for the importation of 153.5 grams of cannabis he brought with him from San Francisco, California on a connection flight from Atlanta to Belize on Thursday, August 4. 45 year old American national, Jamal Thomas Bushy was arraigned before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where he was read a single charge of importation of a controlled drug which carries the same penalty as if though he was charged with drug trafficking. He appeared before senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser who fined him $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which she ordered him to pay forthwith in default 1 year imprisonment. On Thursday, August 4, 2016, Bushby was caught at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with 153.4 grams of weed. He was caught with 2 packs of candy containing cannabis weighing 65 grams and 88.4 grams respectfully which amounted to 153.4 grams.

Brothers charged for beating Chinese businessman
Two brothers are out on bail after they were involved in a misunderstanding that caused a Chinese grocer to be knocked unconscious for a while after being stoned at his shop in the Belama Phase 2 area of Belize City. On Tuesday August 8, 22 year old Wardsworth Clark and his younger brother, 18 year old Damion Clark, both of #322 John Smith Street, Belama Phase 2 area, Belize City were arraigned before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. They were read a single charge of grievous harm upon Chinese grocer, Yong Bo Tan. The brothers pleaded not guilty to the charge. According to Chinese grocer, Yong Bo Tan, he was at his store when he asked Wardsworth Clark, whom he knows as “Smokey,” to leave his shop, after “Smokey” threw a liquid substance he had in a cup into his face. When he did this Smokey picked up his bicycle and threw it at Tan which injured him. Smokey then ran off with Tan in his pursuit.

Burglars caught red handed granted bail
After 6 weeks on remand for a broad daylight burglary at the home of a Belize City Secretary, 2 of 3 alleged burglars are out on bail of $4,000 each granted to them by the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. The trio, 18 year old Jamey Williams, a labourer and resident of #1080 Tibruce Street, Belize City, along with 25 year old Elect McKoy, a Construction Worker of #6756 Racoon Street Extension and 18 year old Elden Flowers, a Construction Worker of #10 Croton Lane, Belize City, who were all found hiding inside the home, appeared in court asking the lower court to consider granting them bail. Of the trio, only two were successful in securing bail through their attorney, Said Musa who was able to get bail for Flowers and Williams both in the sum of $4,000 plus one surety of the same amount.

Carl Trapp stabbed to death at his home
51 year-old Carl Trapp, a resident of Camalote Village who was recently living in Belize City, was killed inside Hyde Supermarket sometime between Friday night, August 5, and Saturday morning, August 6. He had been stabbed to death. Trapp had recently been staying in the Hyde Supermarket building, which belongs to his cousin, Alvin Hyde Jr. That business is also inside the Michael Finnegan Market Square. Trapp’s relative, Alvin Hyde Jr., told the press that earlier in the week, he had been waiting patiently for the power to come back on after Hurricane Earl devastated the country. When it finally did on Thursday night, he was relieved to be able to sleep a little more comfortably because the flood waters which came into the building was still causing them some problems. The last person to see him alive was his cousin who informed him that there were some persons looking for him out on the street.

Luis Carter’s charge upgraded to murder of Dwayne Hyde
On July 13, 2016, San Pedro resident, 30 year old Dwayne Hyde was shot and two days after police charged 2 of 3 men with his attempted murder. The attacker, 23 year old San Pedro resident, Luis Carter, aka, “Wizz” was charged and arraigned on Friday, July 15, 2016 before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser for the offenses of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm upon Dwayne Hyde and for aggravated assault upon Kimberly Humes, his common-law wife. Carter was denied bail due to the nature of the offenses and after exactly three weeks on remand at the Belize Central Prison, Carter took his case to the Supreme Court for bail. That application however had to be withdrawn after Hyde succumbed to his injuries.

Athletics Association to hold Annual General Assembly
The Belize Athletics Association will hold its Annual General Assembly at Edward P. Yorke High School on Princess Margaret Drive, on August 27th, 2016, at 10:00 am. There are three vacancies open for the election of: 1. The 1st Vice President; 2. The 2nd Vice President; and 3. A committee member for which nominations are sought. All members are required to pay their annual dues by the 24th August, 2016. Payment of dues can be made at any of the National Sports Council offices throughout Belize. All members are asked to please bring along an identification card.

FIFA Goalkeeping workshop in Belize
The Football Federation of Belize in conjunction with FIFA is hosting the first ever FIFA Goalkeeping workshop in Belize from Tuesday August 9 to 13, 2016 at the FFB Headquarters. The workshop will be delivered by FIFA Instructor Mr. Claine Plummer. Participants that are attending the workshop include the following individual listed below:

Youth Marathon held in Benque
A Youth Football Marathon was held at Sam’s Community Park in Benque Viejo on Saturday 6th of August from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Mr. Oscar Nabet of Z Boyz Jr. Football Club, collaborated with Jimmy Leslie from the Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo and Mr. Sam Bruce, owner of the Park, to make the marathon possible. Some of the Football Marathon participants were 1st Eagles, 2nd Segura’s, 3rdReal Warriors , 4th. Invaders and 5th Z Boyz. A special thanks goes out to event sponsors Marcos Kotch, Oscar Nabet, Riverside Taxi Association and the Department of Youth Services for making the games enjoyable. Thanks also goes to the volunteer referees. Jimmy Leslie from the Department of Youth Services has indicated plans to promote a similar event on a monthly schedule, and create an all girls team.

Hurricane Earl, croaking frogs, tortured trees, ripped zinc and bending lamp posts!
I must admit that Mother Nature has Power, Style and Class! Wednesday night my mind was totally freed of thinking about the worthless PUP, rapacious Capitalists and evil Supremacists. Early that night I was a little tired after helping some friends and family members get their stuff in order; so I dozed off well before all the blowing started. I had forgotten to pick up a couple Belikin stouts to keep my company during the storm! I also forgot to shower - just in case it got busy later or if the water supply was interrupted- like I said I was tired. When I woke up about 11:30 pm the wind was just picking up; later it would become wicked! I would not recommend hanging around the coast with a category 2 storm or when there is the prediction of huge storm surge! The electricity had gone off while I was resting; I turned on the LED lanterns. I strongly recommend these – they are indeed wonderful and much safer than candles or kerosene lamps. I carefully made my way to the sheltered veranda. I sat down on a chair and started to enjoy Mother Nature’s Show! The orchestra featured croaking frogs and toads – and what a noise they made! The percussion came from creaking, flapping, ripping zinc and knocking, slamming shutters – I was mindful of the risks of flying debris, although I felt quite safe on the sheltered veranda. The trees and lamp posts provided the dance!

Pursuit of happiness
Many of us are constantly faced with hardships that life throws at us that we often times forget what it means to be happy. As human beings we are often times struggling to discover who we are as individuals or maybe who we’d like to become. We then begin by asking ourselves the most difficult question of them all being, “What do I need to make me happy?”. For many, the answer to this question gives rise to answers such as money, material things, or maybe even food. And for others it may be family, friends or fortune. However, we never really dissect the answer to that question in order to truly reveal the most obvious answer of them all. Self- love has become so rare that most individuals never realize how critical it has become in order to begin living a happy life. Uncovering ways to find regard for ones’ well- being and happiness truly adds vitality and vibrancy to your life. Therefore, having self-love is critical in learning to truly appreciate those around you. In order to become accepting of the things in life we must, therefore, begin by learning to accept our own flaws and quirks.

First Direct Flight established between Canada and Belize
The Belize Tourism Board is excited to announce the latest airline to add Belize to their travel route, WestJet. Earlier today, WestJet Airlines officially announced that starting October 29, 2016, WestJet will be offering flights between Canada and Belize, two days per week. As we have previously reported, Canada is a major source market for overnight visitors to Belize. With the addition of WestJet, this will no doubt result in an increase of Canadian visitors.

Recovering from Hurricane Earl in Cayo but alertness must continue
Days after the passing of Hurricane Earl, residents in the Cayo District continue in their efforts to regain normalcy. In some areas a damage assessment is not yet complete, but much information can be gauged from individual owners of properties. While the Macal River is now receding, it left in its wake damage to property and the clean-up efforts are still ongoing. Lily’s boutique near the Cayo Welcome Center estimates that their loss is $45,000.00, Stop and Shop $25,000.00. Reimer’s Feed workers were busy by the Cayo Welcome Center on Friday taking out soaked flour from their warehouse. According to Simmy Brown, a Reimer worker, the loss therein was some $10,000.00 While there was a downpour and the winds were howling on Thursday morning, some residents were reluctant to come out to check on their business establishments. As a result a rapidly rising Macal River caught them by surprise and inundated their properties. Noemi Ortega lost $2,000.00 worth of vegetables at the San Ignacio Market as the Macal River covered her stalls. Even her stall tables were lifted up by the powerful currents and taken away. For butcher Mel Avella, he was fortunate to have evacuated the San Ignacio Market on time and saving his four refrigerators.

Man charged for breaking KHMH main entrance door!
The KHMH’s main entrance door was damaged but it was not the fault of Earl, instead anger got the better of a Belize City father and now it is costing him a charge. On Tuesday August 9, 30 year old Julian Barrow, a labourer and resident of #3 Magazine Road, Belize City was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of damage to property. Allegations are that on Saturday, August 6, 2016, he caused damages to the main entrance door for the KHMH valued at $855.00.

Santander will be re-investing in productivity
While the Santander Group has made its first shipment of sugar to Spain, the proceeds will be going to paying back loans it made for project development. Some 6,250 tons of raw sugar have been harvested and were shipped on July 29th. Santander will be paying banks in Belize for their support, which led to the production of sugar. Beverly Burke, compliance and public relations representative at Santander tells the Guardian that Santander is looking at a projected growth, where it will be re-investing in productivity in Belize. Santander will also be producing energy, which will be going back into the electrical grid says Burke.

Shyne steps up to assist in relief efforts
Most parts of the country are undergoing recovery efforts and while there are some areas that are well underway, in Belize City there are still 91 persons in three shelters in Belize City. For these persons life will not get back to normal anytime soon but efforts are underway to do so by government agencies as well as private citizens. One such citizen is Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow who is doing his part contributing to make adverse conditions more bearable for those in the shelters in Belize City. Shyne has been contributing by providing relief packages to residents in the Mesopotamia division where he provided 100 families food packages. His efforts continued by him serving hot meals to 75 people who are left in the Belize city hurricane shelters. Ambassador Barrow will provide hot meals for the rest of the week to all those remaining in shelters.

Young People to the Rescue
The Department of Youth Services has joined all the rest of responsible and caring Belizeans in the Hurricane Earl Relief and restoration mission. To this end the Department is inviting all interested young persons to come out this Friday August 12th for International Youth Day. We are gathering young people to join our 'Youth Hurricane Relief Effort’ team to play our part as young leaders. We will all meet at the Department of Youth Services on Regent Street at 8:30 on Friday morning. Food, Drinks and Entertainment will be provided for those who wish to join us. This day has been chosen in order for the young people to participate and give back in a different way. It is also noteworthy that the Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo in collaboration with the Cayo District Youth Council President Ricky Cunil have joined the Hurricane Earl Relief efforts. We wish to thank everyone who has responded promptly to assist our fellow brothers and sisters who were affected by the recent Hurricane. The efforts continue throughout the week. We are also accepting non-perishable food items-which will be distributed on Friday August 12, 2016.

Debris collection continues in Belmopan
The Belmopan City Council has sent out a notice informing residents of the City of Belmopan that debris collection works commenced at 8:00 am on the 4th of August 2016 immediately after the hurricane. Their operation began in the Cohune Walk and Habet Heights to meet somewhere in the middle. This area known as Belmopan North was completed on the10th of August 2016 and moves over to Central Site. The cleaning operation will move into Site 7, Nargusta Extension, University Heights, Police Housing Area, Water Reservoir Area, Mountain View, Las Flores and Rivera Area. Thereafter, the operation will move East to Salvapan, San Martin and Maya Mopan. The Belmopan City Council also advises residents to please get debris out to buffer (street side in front of your yard) to be collected as Council workers will not be entering your yard to remove debris. The Belmopan City Council also now recognizes members of the business community, BAY and Belmopan Lions Club that have reached out to help in its debris collection operation: Motor Solutions Ltd, Banman’s Earth Moving, Gallardo Services and Santander. The Belmopan based Council also recognize groups and individuals that have lent a much needed helping hand in the cleanup efforts: BAY, Belmopan Bandits, Road Warriors Motorcycle Club, and Wilbourne Humes.

New Polyclinic for Chunux, San Narciso and surrounding villages
Ground-breaking Ceremonies to officially commence the construction of new polyclinics took place in Chunox and San Narciso Village, Corozal District on Wednesday August 10, 2016. The Chunux facility will be constructed at a cost of $900,000.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The clinic is expected to assist in the reduction of maternal and child morbidity and mortality, water-borne, food borne, and vector borne conditions, communicable and non-communicable diseases. This facility is expected to service Chunux village as well as surrounding areas of Progreso, Sarteneja, Copper Bank, Little Belize, Fire Burn and Newland among other communities. Presently, access to basic preventable primary health care services is offered at the Chunox Health Center but the facility is inadequate to meet the needs of the growing communities which at this point is estimated to be almost 11 thousand residents.

Belizean has his throat slit in Arenal
Mario Cunil, a 24 year-old Belizean living in Arenal Village, was killed on Tuesday morning, August 9, in the place he called home. As readers are very much aware, Arenal is famous for part of the community being in Belize and half of it being in Guatemala. Early on Tuesday, Cunil was socializing at a bar in the village on the Guatemalan side, when he got into some sort of confrontation with other patrons. It quickly escalated to a brawl, with other men, suspected at this time to Guatemalans. During the incident, Cunil’s throat was slashed by one of the men. His Guatemalan friend, with whom he was hanging out, tried to come to his aid, but he got injured by the attackers as well. Belizean diplomat Said Guerra has been dispatched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist the family in getting Cunil’s body back to them. Cunil made the news back in 2011 when he was brought to Belize City Magistrates Court for trafficking 4 pounds of marijuana. He was sentenced to 3 years in jail.

San Pedro Electrician accused of having sex with 14 year old girl
Edair Dominguez, 32, an Electrician of the San Juan area of San Pedro town appeared in court before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser where he was read a single charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who was then 14 years and 6 months at the time. The allegation being made by the minor is that on Sunday, July 31, 2016, he had sex with her whilst at a home on the island. A medical examination conducted on the child has since revealed that she is carnally known. In court Dominquez was only read the indictable offense and no plea was taken. He was unrepresented and due to the nature of the offense, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 23, 2016.

Father and son are busted with gun
A father and son, 50 year old businessman, Keithburn Drury, and 34 year old Marquin Drury, both residents of #9 Santa Barbara Street, Belize City were remanded to prison when they appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. The men were read two gun related offenses of kept unlicensed firearm and ammunitions. Allegations are that on Saturday, August 6, 2016, whilst on Marine Parade Boulevard, police busted the father and son in possession of a black 9 mm Glock Pistol firearm, with serial number, PEM, 277, loaded with 8 bronze rounds of ammunitions, 7 GFL Lugar brand rounds of ammunitions and 1 Aguila brand of ammunition. In court, the duo pleaded not guilty and they were denied bail due to the nature of the offenses.

Two men charged for nearly beating a man to death
Two Belize City men were remanded on Tuesday August 9 for trying to kill a Belize City man whilst at the KHMH. They are 32 year old John Burke, a Fisherman of #52 Lavender Street, Belize City and 34 year old Kareem Eagan, a Construction Worker of #4450 Hulse Street, Belize City who were charged jointly with the offenses of attempted murder and dangerous harm upon Mario Zelaya. The duo appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where they were unrepresented and were read the two indictable offenses. No plea was taken since the matters are offenses that will be dealt with at the Supreme Court. Due to the nature of the offenses, no bail could be offered and the men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 19, 2016.

Tricia Flores and Shaun Gill fastest persons in Belize
The Belize Athletics Association held its National Track and Field Championship on Saturday and Sunday 30th and 31st July, 2016, at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City. In the female 100m event, Tricia Flores captured 1st place in a time of 11:95s. She was followed by Faith Morris in a time of 12:81s and then by Ajahney Carr in a time of 12:87s and then Jada Parchue in a time of 13:05s. In the 200m event, Tricia Flores took first place in a time of 25:44s. She was followed by Faith Morris in a time of 26:13s, and then by Ajahney Carr in a time of 26:42s and Jada Parchue in a time of 27:77s. In the 400m event, first place went to Ashontie Carr in a time of 2:31:23. Second place went to Jada Parchue in a time of 1:33:44s. In the 800m event, Ashontie Carr was the lone athlete in the event and she finished in a time of 2:31:23. In the Long Jump event, Tricia Flores took first place which a total distance of 5.46m. Flores was followed by Ajahney Carr in a time of 4.94m, and she was followed by Ashanti Carr in a time of 4.58m and then by Jada Parchue in a time of 4.48m. In the Triple Jump competition, first place went to Ajahney Carr with a total distance of 10.62m and she was followed by Ashantie Carr with a jump of 10.42m.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BPP gives GOB another challenge for good governance
In a release issued this afternoon the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) challenges the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow to “do the right thing” and take measures to ensure the Belizean public good governance. The BPP views the recent appointment of Dr. Carla Barnett as Minister […]

Belize Association in US asks for help for Hurricane relief effort
The Belize Association in Louisiana, US has set up a Go-Fund Me page to raise funds to aid families that have been seriously affected by Hurricane Earl. As hurricane relief efforts continue, there are many families who have lost their homes and belongings. […]


Storms, Surge, and Hurricanes
This is the first Sunday I've not had to work in some capacity 2 years. It's felt pretty weird really. I've even gone over to the "shop" a couple of times - maybe subconsciously hoping it would magically be there this time, but nay not really. I fancy myself who accepts whats happened pretty quickly and already am planning for the next phase before the seas let the sands settle. Don't get me wrong - the destruction of your business is not an easy thing to witness; but crying never cleaned spilled milk. Strength and determination in the face of adversity is what must be brought to the table. So we brought it. In case you've missed what happened over the past few days I'll give you a brief catch up - Hurricane Earl hit Belize; only a category 1, but it doesn't mean Mother Nature didn't inflict a lot of damage. We saw about 8 feet of storm surge and 75 mile per hour winds. There were 24 foot waves crashing on the barrier reef; had that reef not been there we would've all been swimming for sure. Who wants a day by day? Well here it is -

Cheesecake and more at Cocina Sabor!
I don’t have that much of a sweet tooth, but I do go crazy over cheesecake. So when I’m served a strawberry Amaretto cheese cake, I instantly list that restaurant as one of my go to stops. And where do I get this delicious, heaven-sent delight? At Cocina Sabor in Orange Walk Town. Owners Oscar and Amparo Gutierrez are no strangers to La Isla Bonita. In fact, Oscar was the food and beverage manager at Victoria House Resort. Since their opening three years ago, I make it a point to visit Cocina Sabor every time I’m in town. With offerings such as pork salpicon and some of the best fajitas I have ever tasted, Cocina Sabor is a great place to grab a bite while in Sugah City. Oscar and Amparo took some notes from the restaurant scene in San Pedro, and have created a great menu serving up classic Belizean cuisine with a hint of international flavor. Of course everything is fresh, as they feature only local meats, chicken, seafood and produce.

Belize is a developing country possessing a rich tapestry of natural and cultural resources.
Like many nations around the globe it confronts significant dilemmas posed at the interface of development and conservation. Local, national and international non-governmental organizations actively pursue conservation objectives through the modification of land use, land purchases, and the creation of public and private reserves. Meanwhile, deficits in financial and human resources force the Government of Belize to experiment with innovative partnerships with individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Under these arrangements, various co-management arrangements introduce different levels of management attention to otherwise neglected yet legally declared protected lands. At the same time, indigenous communities struggle to maintain and promote their traditional livelihoods and practices. While protecting their livelihoods and cultural resources, local people vigorously pursue title to their use of the areas in which they dwell. Land use decisions also involve private interests in sectors such as, tourism, timber, mineral extraction, agriculture, fishing, and shrimp farming. These industries contribute significantly to the economy of Belize. All groups contribute to the complexity of the social landscape in Belize and create challenges for a reconciliation of ecological sustainability and human development.

Half price flights made for a cheap out of country getaway
I got a last minute invitation by my friend Aimee to join a few people on a short welcome getaway after the hurricane. If anyone deserves it she does. Almost a week later and her house down south is still without water. I am sure a hotel will be a welcome reprieve. She also wanted to do some shopping, now that their house has done a first run through a storm, she knows better how to prepare for next time. Since Tropic Air is having a half price sale to anywhere but International airport, a half price flight from San Pedro to Corozal Belize made for a cheap getaway to Chetumal Mexico.

As a Gay Tourist, is Belize safe?
An email query that I would get way too often would read something like this: I am thinking about traveling to Belize and was wondering if Belize is gay-friendly? I’ve read that it is illegal to be gay in Belize and was wondering if it was safe for me to vacation there? My response would be quick and almost rehearsed: Belize is a small conservative country with 78 percent of the population claiming to be Catholic. I say claiming because, from my knowledge and experience, often people (family, friends, and acquaintances) say they are Catholic but don’t really practice the religion and only go to church once or twice a year. Similar to other Caribbean countries, socially, gay culture is looked down upon and is not mainstream. Unfortunately, yes, due to archaic sodomy laws passed on by former British rule, it is illegal to be gay in Belize. However, there are many local gays throughout the country and they are mostly left alone; at least – to my knowledge – that is how it is in my hometown of San Ignacio. I have also worked in the tourism industry for several years and numerous times, gay couples would be on vacation and they were perfectly fine. I never heard of any gay individual complain that they felt unwelcome or were mistreated while on vacation.

International Sourcesizz

Mexico’s Richest Man Confronts a New Foe: The State That Helped Make Him Rich
All is not well in the kingdom of Carlos Slim. For more than 25 years, he has dictated the terms of Mexico’s telecommunications industry and built an empire, making him one of the world’s richest men. Mr. Slim and his family are billionaires 50 times over. He has stood at the very top of the Forbes World’s Billionaires list — more than once. His flush years in Mexico enabled him to span the Americas with companies that touch nearly every facet of modern life: telecom, banking, construction, retail and media, among others. But at home in Mexico, the game is changing. And there is not much he can do about it, analysts say. Determined to bring his dominance to an end, leaders from Mexico’s three biggest political parties have put aside their own animosities in recent years, meeting in secret sessions to chip away at Mr. Slim’s domain. Now, the plan they concocted to increase competition in the telecommunications industry, signed into law two years ago, is starting to bite.

Belize, Simone Biles' second-favorite country, offers Final Five a free trip
The work isn't over for Simone Biles. She won team gold with her "Final Five" teammates two days ago, and claimed all-around gold tonight, but she still has three event finals--beam, vault and floor--to prepare for. But that isn't stopping her from looking forward to a post-Rio vacation. And she's hoping to bring her team with her. A few hours after her commanding win in the all-around final, the tourism board of Belize extended Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian and Gabby Douglas a tempting offer. Hopefully her teammates will be willing to help out with Biles' bait and tackle, because within minutes of Belize's inviation on Twitter she accepted on their behalf. The offer is for five days, all-expenses-paid, in Belize for the Final Five team.

Belize’s ruling on gay sex supports access to HIV services — UNAIDS
The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today welcomed Belize’s Supreme Court decision to overturn a portion of the small Central American country's criminal code that outlawed gay sex. This development, UNAIDS said in a release today, reinforces human rights and supports access to HIV services. Yesterday, Chief Justice of Belize Kenneth Benjamin ruled that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code is inconsistent with the Constitution. The law criminalised “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, including anal sex between consenting adults. The chief justice ruled that this provision violated the rights to human dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination and equality before the law.

Belize, Guatemala agree on enforcement of criminal sentences
Belize and Guatemala have agreed on the enforcement of criminal sentences, that allows persons convicted of crimes to serve time in their native countries. According to local reports, the purpose of the agreement is to maintain and strengthen friendly bilateral relations until the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute is resolved . The agreement further states that the convict should be informed of the provisions within the agreement and the process of their transfer. The agreement will run for 10 years and is automatically renewed unless one side, through a written diplomatic note, terminates the agreement, which will take effect one year after such termination is announced. The agreement is based on “a framework for negotiations and measures to promote trust between Guatemala and Belize” that was signed on September 7 2005.

Atlantic hurricane season still expected to be strongest since 2012
In its updated 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, NOAA calls for a higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal season, and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent, from the initial outlook issued in May. The season is still expected to be the most active since 2012. Forecasters now expect a 70-percent chance of 12–17 named storms, of which 5–8 are expected to become hurricanes, including 2–4 major hurricanes. The initial outlook called for 10–16 named storms, 4–8 hurricanes, and 1–4 major hurricanes. The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Mysterious carvings found in a Maya royal tomb may reveal murky secrets of the 'Snake Dynasty'
They were a dynasty of Maya rulers who ruthlessly rose to dominate western Belize after turning on a nearby allied city and sacrificing its king. But the story of how the 'Snake Dynasty' led the ancient Maya city of Caracol into a golden age with its victory over nearby Naranjo have been obscured due to missing pieces of a massive carving depicting the events. Now, however, archaeologists believe they may have discovered some key pieces of these hieroglyphic panels inside a huge royal tomb of another Maya ruler 25 miles away. Researchers uncovered the tomb, which may be the largest to be found in Belize, at the ruins of Xunantunich, a city on the Mopan river that was a ceremonial centre between 600-890AD. Inside were the remains of a mysterious male member of the Xunantunich royal family who died aged between 20 and 30-years-old. A study of the remains suggest he had been athletically built and muscular. His body had been laid on the floor of the tomb on his back with his head pointing to the south.

Where In The Caribbean Can You Find The Most Unemployed Youth?
World Bank data compiled from the ILO (International Labor Organization) shows that one third of the world’s 1.8 billion young people aged ages 15-24 are neither employed, educated, nor trained. The Caribbean region is not exempt from this crisis. So where in the Caribbean are the most unemployed youth? 6: Belize The Central American nation of Belize rounds out the list with World Bank and ILO data showing there is a whopping 22 percent youth unemployment in that CARICOM nation.

Simone Biles Soars, Lifting Another Country With Her
NY Times... BELIZE CITY, Belize — One o’clock arrived. Relatives gathered at a hotel bar to watch Olympic gymnastics on television. So did the first lady of Belize and 11 contestants in the coming Miss Belize pageant, wearing their sashes and carrying tiny flags. But where was Simone Biles? The women’s individual all-around competition had begun 4,000 miles away on Thursday afternoon at the Rio Games. Biles, 19, was the heavy American favorite, but there was also anticipation in an unlikely place, the tiny Central American country of Belize, where she holds dual citizenship. Phone calls were made. Television channels were changed. Beauty contestants were perplexed. Still no live gymnastics. Finally, after 30 minutes, the live feed began on Caribbean television. Biles had already performed her vault routine, but the delayed start did not mute the ecstatic cheering that greeted her second gold medal at the Rio Games. There are big stories unfolding in Belize, including a Supreme Court ruling that affirmed gay rights and the cleanup from Hurricane Earl, which churned through last week. But interest in Biles also has resonated here, in the country’s economic capital, as evidenced everywhere from the Prime Minister’s residence to the shade of a local plum tree, painted purple and gold, where tour guides talk politics and play dominoes.


  • Fire in the DFC this morning, 10sec. Shortly after 2:45AM on Friday, August 12th, a blaze destroyed a home on Black Pearl Street in the DFC Area of San Pedro Town. Firefighters and volunteers worked quickly to bring the fire under control, preventing a much bigger disaster. The home and its contents were completely destroyed. By 3:50AM, the last of the blaze was being tended to.
  • Belize Makes Appearance in Judo Match in Rio, 2min. In Rio today, Belize’s own Renick James went up against Ovini Uera of Nauru; a tiny island nation northeast of Australia, in the men’s ninety kilograms Judo event. With Judo’s fast paced action and penalties against non-combativity, the match was over fairly quickly. James put up an admirable defence until a second near-takedown earned Uera enough points to win the match. While disappointed at his performance of his first Olympic competition, James is looking forward. Here is what he said in an interview with ESPN:

  • Where the bridge used to be, 15sec.

  • August 3, 2016 - A ‪timelapse‬ off ‪Dangriga‬ 12 hours before ‪Hurricane‬ Earl strikes ‪Belize, 1min. You can see the cloud flow change direction and speed up near the end of the video as the hurricane approaches.

  • After hurricane, concerns focus on schools, 4min. Hurricane Earl, which made landfall south of Belize City just after being upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane last Thursday, August 4, 2016, resulted in major flooding in the central and coastal areas of Belize. Belize City and surrounding villages were among the most affected. In the city and the rural of Belize District the assessments are coming in.

  • Belize Through My Eyes, 6min.

  • Swimming with the sharks & freaking out in Belize - Shark Ray Alley, 1.5min. Swimming with the sharks in Belize's Shark Ray Alley while our friends throw fresh bleeding fish at us.

  • Anonymous Message to Belize "Section 53 unconstitutional",1 min.

  • Landfall of Hurricane Earl in Belize, 1min. This animation for NOAA's GOES-East satellite imagery shows the movement and strengthening of Earl from August 2 to August 4 through the Caribbean Sea to landfall in Belize.

  • Manatee in front of Tranquility Bay, 1min. Did you know we have visitor partly everyday in front of our Resort

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 4min. Snorkeling in the blue hole, shark Ray alley and more

  • MUMC Belize Mission 2016, min. The youth group of the Murphysboro UMC went to Belize. This slideshow gives a small glimpse into what they experienced.

  • Shark Attack or Love Bite? Shark eats GoPro in Belize, 3min. Reef and nurse sharks filmed in Belize during a scuba dive on the Paradise Reef. The camera gets suddenly attacked by one of the hungry sharks during filming....

  • Belize and the Human Museum, 4min. Adventure of traveling to Belize and scuba diving amongst the human museum. Get out and enjoy life, make every moment count. If you inspire to do it, I inspire to film it

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