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Today's Belize News: August 26, 2016 #517110
08/26/16 06:01 AM
08/26/16 06:01 AM
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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

When will the Ambergris Stadium be completed?
The state-of-the-art design of the Ambergris Stadium will no doubt transform the professionalism of sports on the island, but it will also develop sports in the country. Despite Hurricane Earl, the renowned sporting complex is still on-schedule, and with the pace of construction, the inaugural ceremony is set to take place in September 2016. The multi-purpose stadium, which is substituted with synthetic grass, will come equipped with a regulation pitch, locker facilities, concession stands, bathroom facilities, and a storage unit. It will also be suitable for various sports, including: softball, running, track and field, and newly added, basketball. Though there were some speculations about changes in the design plan, Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) General Manager Christy Mastry, confirmed that no changes were made in the actual design plan. However, they added additional enhancements to the stadium, such as adding a basketball court facility, to better accommodate the multi-purpose sporting arena.

Heated matches continue during the 6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament
The excitement of the 6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament continued on Thursday, August 18th and Friday, August 19th. After 10 weeks of competitions at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex, the remaining teams are finally approaching the end of the tournament. As usual, fans came out and supported their teams, motivating them to fight hard towards qualifying for the playoffs. A total of 16 teams, comprising of first, second, and third place teams of each category will qualify for the second round games.

5-a-side Football action heading to finals!
The semifinals of the Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSC) and San Pedro High School (SPHS) Five-a-side Football Tournament took place on Sunday, August 21st at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. Four teams fought hard in order to advance in the grand finals. Over the course of the tournament, the games have become heated, and fanatics gathered on the bleachers to cheer on their favorite teams. The exciting matches were intensified, with the possibility that each team playing their last game on the court. The marathon competition kicked off at 11AM with little league matches. In the first match, Juventus Jrs crushed El Pescador in a 5-0 victory. The second match was between Bayern Munich U11 and PSG. The match ended in a devastating 11-0 defeat for Bayern Munich U11.The third round saw a close match between Bayern Munich U13 and PSG U13, which resulted in a 2-1 win for Bayern Munich U13. Juventus saw FC Boca Jrs in the last match of the little leaguers. The game was intense, but Juventus prevailed with a 4-3 score.

SPBRC holds Blood Drive at Polyclinic
The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) hosted their regular blood drive on Saturday, August 20th at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. The doors opened from 9AM, with potential donors coming in prepared to donate their blood. At the end of the day, a total of 11 pints were collected, which means that up to 33 lives can be saved out of the San Pedro blood reserves. On the other side of town, SPBRC Coordinator Heidi Simmons and a couple of volunteers conducted a coin drive. The coin drive brought in a total of $172.91, which will help further their endeavors, and continue their community service. According to Simmons, the results of this blood drive had a lot of setbacks due to Hurricane Earl. However, the SPBRC is still grateful to everyone who took the time to donate blood. “I feel it was a really great turnout considering what the island and community have been going through as of late. The Cancer Society just did a blood drive so those people would have not been in the correct time frame to donate again. Also, we did have to reschedule it because of the hurricane. Plus, I’m sure people are worn out from donating because they’ve given so generously to those in need after the fire, as well as for the hurricane,” said Simmons.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Is There Such a Things as the Perfect Sunset?
I love sunrises more than sunsets, but every now and then I want to change my mind. When I think I have taken a picture of the best sunrise, there comes along a sunset to match its magnificence.

More Donations for Belize Hurricane Earl Relief
Although life has gone back to normal in the cayes after Hurricane Earl struck Belize, there are still some families in the mainland that have damaged homes and others who were left homeless by the storm. Work continued to provide relief for those affected. Recent donations towards Belize’s Hurricane Earl Relief come from Norwegian Cruise Line. On Friday, August 19, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Senior Vice President of Destination & Strategic Development, Colin Murphy (above left), presented a donation of BZ$100,000 (US$50,000) to assist the people of Belize in the recovery efforts to Lily Bowman, Director General of Belize Red Cross Society (above right).

Seventeen New Persons now Equipped to Take Care of the Elderly in Belize
The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, is Belize’s leading centre for industry specific workforce development, providing effective, demand driven, user-friendly and value based programs that will develop, deliver and sustain a quality work force. Its’ mission is to develop a cadre of well-trained, marketable and self-sufficient individuals able to confidently compete in the marketplace. In keeping with its mandate, seventeen persons, who are employed or seeking employment as caregivers in homes of the elderly or in assisted living facilities received certificates at the conclusion of a five-week training on Basics of Caregiving during a brief ceremony held on Tuesday, August 23 at the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) on the ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City.

Belize Awards Scholarships in Tourism Field of Studies
On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, the Belize Tourism Board awarded five (5) scholarships to students venturing into the Tourism field of studies. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., presented each student with their scholarship package. Two Associate Degree scholarships were awarded. The recipients were Clarita Ack, of Toledo Community College, and Ahkeem O’Brien, of St. John’s College. Both students received a two-year tuition scholarship for a Tourism Program at one of the Junior Colleges in Belize. One Bachelor Degree in Tourism Management was awarded to Janeen Nal, of the University of Belize. She received a two-year tuition scholarship for the Tourism Management Program at the University of Belize.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Water test results round two. With belizewaterservices
We went back into the community to test again areas we had not already tested. Since round 1 produced bacteria and e coli in the town pipe water we felt we should check other areas and report to Belize Water Services. We met Mr. Jermaine Jones and had a great chat. In the works for next year are improvements in the San Mateo area pipelines. We tourrd San Mateo together this morning informing the resodents and identifying the test sites. Mr. Jermaine has promised they will test all end of lines and check our results from there. This will not identify any areas where the pipe may be broken between the road and the house. Residents can check results with the Belize Water Services in approximately 2 days time.

Government of Belize to Provide Safe Reliable Water for Pueblo Viejo Village, Toledo District
Ground-breaking ceremony to kick-off construction of Pueblo Viejo Rehabilitated Water Project will be held in Pueblo Viejo Village at 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, 2016. The Government of Belize is financing the Pueblo Viejo Water Project so that over 600 villagers have access to the continuous supply of reliable and safe quality water to meet their daily needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking. The water project is being made available to the Government of Belize courtesy of a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Water and Sanitation System Enhancement Sector of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF7) Programme.

Crave Wine House Dinner
Crave House of Flavor and the Wine House are teaming up to bring Cayo the first Wine Dinner this Friday, August 26th. Call 804-0203 to reserve your amazing meal, which will have an appetizer, entree, dessert, and a bottle of wine. "Join us for a night to remember as The Wine House teams up with Renowned Chef Alejandro from Crave, House of Flavor to bring you a complete culinary adventure with a delicious menu paired with the perfect wines... We will be able to host reservations at 6pm and at 8pm and reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.

San Pedro Sailors Suspended
facebook page reports the following: "The resulting suspension of all our sailors was because we attended a sailing regatta! Please note that the attendance to the regatta in Canada is an "open invitation" meaning any one can register and compete if they meet the registration requirements. There was no requirement for sanctioning from BzSA. Our sailors are from Belize and an over zealous admin on our page regrettably used the term "team Belize" which BzSA took issue with. However our sailors are from Belize and can be referred to as "Team Belize." The sailors were great ambassadors for Belize and were popular with fellow sailors from around the world who were in attendance at CORK. Our optimist sailors produced good results with Kevin coming in 7th in the Gold Fleet and Caroline coming in 10th in the Silver fleet. And in the laser radial events Blanca came in 42nd in the Gold fleet and Sarah came in 14th in the bronze fleet. All very respectable achievements". We wish to congratulate the San Pedro Racers Club for so admirably representing Belize at the Cork Regatta in Canada. We hope that the Belize Sailing Association will reconsider and reinstate your membership.

15 minute power interruption is scheduled for the entire Toledo District from 4:45pm to 5:00pm on Thursday, August 25, Friday August 26, & Saturday August 27.
BEL to replace transmission poles in the area.

Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00noon, Sunday, August 28: entire Punta Gorda Town, Hopeville, Cattle Landing & portion Elridgeville.
BEL to energize Water Supply area of Punta Gorda.

Bamboo Bar Grand Reopening Concert
Bamboo Bar is finished with their post-hurricane refurbishments, and they are celebrating by having a concert this Saturday, August 27th. Ascenthium will be playing, along with Barefoot Skinny, and Eddie Allen! Hot Taco will be there, and there will be BBQ. New sand, new paint, and the same great food and drinks. "This Saturday its the Re-opening of Bamboo Bar! we got live music all night! cold drinks! BBQ and Hot Taco in the house! Starts at 4pm and runs till midnight!. Spread the word and lets party!"

I Got the Voice II
Are you ready to sing your heart out? I Got the Voice's 2nd season is having open auditions all around Cayo next week. They'll be at Sunset Bar on Thursday, September 1st, then at Wing Stop in Belmopan on Friday, and Wingz in Benque on Saturday. Let the singing begin.

Queen of the Bay
Is Saturday, August 27 at Bliss Center for Performing Arts!

Are available via Town Councils in: Belize City, Belmopan, Benque, Corozal, Dangriga, Orange Walk, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio & Santa Elena, and San Pedro. You can also find them at Government House ~ House of Culture (NICH), Bliss Center for Performing Arts, the Museum of Belize (NICH), the Belize Tourism Board, banks, and other businesses in Belize City and around the country. If you have any questions, please call the NICH offices at 227-0811.

Who will represent Belize at the Miss Universe Pageant?
You can help your favorite delegate get there! HOW TO: 1) Go to the Miss Belize Facebook Page 2) LIKE the official photo of your favorite Miss Belize delegate 3) Spread the word! The delegate who is "The People's Choice" will be on the fast track to the finals on pageant night: Saturday, September 10 at Bliss!

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Popstar, Now You See Me, The Darkness, Ratchet & Clank

Channel 7

Hulse Says " Tell me Something I didn't know ", Audit Report, nothing new
Last night we gave you an overview of the very loaded and detailed Auditor General's report on the Visa and Passport irregularities between 2011 and 2013. The two reports combined are 350 pages long, so yes, it is a lot of information to read, analyse and digest. But according to former Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, it shouldn't be so shocking to read because, the way he puts it, there's nothing new in the report since it was well known that these dubious nationality transactions were happening. Today at another event, he told us that he would not go into any details until the reports are tabled at the house on Friday, but he did highlight all the rigid measures he has put in place to ensure these immigration scandals do not reoccur. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Police: "Well first of all as you know more than a year and a half ago when I said in the Senate let the Auditor General do their work and they did their work. So the reports came out; the only thing I will say to start with is I understand the Auditor General did not comply with what would be a requirement to do a management letter to CEO and other people. I personally was never asked any question by the Auditor General not a question from any of their people so I can't comment on that. My understanding is that they didn't speak to the CEO of the ministry at the time but a part from that majority of the things that come out are things that we've heard, some of them we have seen from the Penner situation and some of the things that I myself have undertook to look into. But I won't comment on anything specifically until it goes to the house on Friday when it's laid on the table and of course subsequently on Wednesday when it goes to the Senate."

Report Points To Minister, Calls Visa Recommendations Unlawful
And while Hulse can casually dismiss the Auditor General reports, we'd beg to differ. That's because while we all knew that wholesale hustling was happening at the Immigration Department – we didn't know the full extent of it, the names involved, and generally, how sleazy it all was, reducing nationality documents to something slightly better than used scraps of paper tissue. It was facilitated by politicians, public officers, justices of the peace, and a host of ancillary players. Of course, politicians are singled out for special scrutiny because, ultimately, they either, by commission, fostered, or, by omission, nurtured the culture of lawlessness that prevailed in the Department of Immigration. Tonight we'll look at a few singled out for special mention:,… Jimin Guan, he's a 46-year-old Chinese national who was issued a visa on May fifth, 2013, and he got a Belize passport on June 13th – just one month later. The visa was his gateway document – and usually Chinese nationals have a sponsor in Belize – someone who vouches for them – but he had none, he had better than that; the letter recommending him for a visa was written four months before he set foot in Belize, on 29th January, 2013, by Minister Erwin Contreras. Contreras was busy on January 29th., because that's also the day he wrote letters for two more Chinese, Weidong Li and Muping Chen. Li got his citizenship eight days after he arrived in March – this usually takes a minimum of 6 years. Muping Chen had to wait until July for his passport.

Mysterious "Mr. Middleton" Says "Wasn't Me"
One regular citizen who got named in the audit as a visa salesman is called “Mr. Middleton. “ In the audit report he is introduced as the common-law husband of an immigration officer and the report claims he sold stolen Belizean visas to former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang. Well, today Middleton came to our office to say the auditors have it all wrong. He says he’s not that Immigration Officer’s common law and added that he knows nothing about any visas sold to Eric Chang.

Report Raises Red Flags for Belizeans traveling to US
Of course, we're all learning the report as we go along, and we aren't the only ones who still have a lot to review: the US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, among other government officials are still familiarizing themselves with the content, or just about to read the reports. Now as you heard, Godwin Hulse declined to comment on any specific topic in the documents, but Ambassador Moreno took our questions on it. Moreno admitted to us that the information is alarming and that it could affect the free and open flow of Belizeans into the US. Courtney Weatherburne: "Shifting over to the Auditor General's report on the visa and passport scandal; first of all have you read it or gone over it?" Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize : "I have not had an opportunity to read it, I just read about it in today's newspapers. I'm looking forward to reading it and ultimately if there are ways that the US government can assist in terms of investigation and so forth I think if we're asked to participate we'll be happy to do so." Reporter: "Does that include cancelling visas for person who may have been involved? We understand that the prime minister has asked certain questions of the US embassy in that regard."

No sleepless nights for Heredia, He says his name is clean.
So as you can see, this report complicates things for not only Belize, but for the US and even other countries, not to mention the list of politicians and public servants who are implicated in several acts of fraud and mismanagement. But there is one UDP Minister who couldn't be less bothered by the report and he is Minster of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Junior. We asked Heredia about the Auditor Generals reports and if we can expect to see his name in the report among his colleagues, and he told us that his reputation speaks for itself. Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism: "Even though I'm part of government I always try to focus on what I am doing. If you see my two ministries that I hold; Civil Aviation and Tourism, over the 8 plus years that I have been you have never heard any type of scandal or any negative thing about this particular minister or with my ministry itself."

Barrow Admin & the "Alibaba's": Poetry, To Prose To Profiteering?
And while Heredia may live both politically and literally, on an island in the sun, the kind of heat his other cabinet colleagues are feeling comes not from that golden orb in the sky, but from a heat source deep in the bowels of the political netherworld. Indeed, between the Danny Mason Debacle and the exposure of all the lurid details of the Passport and Visa hustle, the Barrow Administration is in rough waters – add to that the blowback over the section 53 judgment, and those waters suddenly become perilous. Sure enough, Prime Minister Dean Barrow is rolling in the deep – and there's no shoal in sight, no rock to run to for rescue. Certainly, it's not how he would have planned it back in the heady days of 2004 – when he was – as they say - campaigning in poetry. But 12 years later, even governing in prose has proved difficult – matter of fact, these days, it's more like governing in doggerel. To measure the trajectory between the ideal and the real, we juxtapose comments he made in 2004 when the Musa Administration was starting to unravel, and in 2013, when the Citizen Kim scandal first emerged:…

Leaked OAS Report Damning For Guats
In last night's news, you saw Brigadier General David Jones expressing confidence that his soldiers would be vindicated in the fatal shooting of 14 year-old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. That's the incident which sent Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales into demagogue mode calling the BDF all kinds of names, accusing them of murder, and triggering a military buildup along the Belize Guatemala border. Well, our colleagues at KREM News managed to secure a leaked copy of the OAS report which has still not been released. The report vindicates the BDF, and exposes that the Guatemalans as trying to bamboozle that investigation by attempting to conceal evidence. That evidence clearly showed that the Belizean Joint Forces Patrol did indeed come under fire from hostile Guatemalan civilians, and they returned fire in self-defence.

A Killing In Caye Caulker
Tonight, police officers on Caye Caulker continue to investigate the murder of an island resident. She's 51 year-old Jennifer Coleman who was found bleeding on the side of street she lived on. Daniel Ortiz travelled to the island today to find out that she may have been attacked in her home by someone she knew. Here's his report: The body of 51 year-old Jennifer Diane Coleman was found here on the street in front of her Caye Caulker House. Police say that she had been stabbed and left on the street to bleed out. The police were a short distance away, and they responded as soon as they got the call. ASP Henry Jemmoth - Deputy Coastal Executive Officer: "At about 11:50 police officers were called out to the area of Aventurera Street in Caye Caulker Village. Upon arrival to that area they say a lady on the ground slumped over bleeding profusely from the neck area. Police quick actions took the person to the polyclinic where she was pronounced dead on arrival."

Section 53 Judgement Good for Tourism
We all know Cabinet's position on the Section 53 judgment; they won't appeal it. But, how do individual minister's feel? We've heard some grumblings from within the UDP that some are dissatisfied with the collective position – and would support an appeal. Today we asked Belize Rural South Representative Manuel Junior Heredia about it – mainly because he should have a unique perspective. As the song says La Isla Bonita is wild and free – but it's also very openly gay. The island has a thriving gay community, which is welcoming to tourists who live in societies with that same ethos. So what does he think about the judgment and how it affects his voters and visitors to his island? Here's how the Tourism Minister explained it:… Courtney Weatherburne: "We know that in San Pedro many people are openly gay, we have a lot of homosexuals in San Pedro. First of all what do you think the Section 53 judgement, what impact will it have on San Pedroanos?" Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism: "I don't believe it will have any additional effect. You've said it and rightly there are a number and I respect people for what they are. I have my personal feelings for what I believe but I respect everybody's rights and this judgement, all that it did is to simply say that what has been done before supposed to be uphold. I am one of those that believe that the law of a country supposed to be uphold and the court have said so and we as a government I believe that we will not appeal the situation and that because of the treaty that we the human right treaty we then we have to live up to our commitment but I believe that even though I'm a Catholic, our pope has said who is he to judge."

Powerful Teachers Union Urges GOB To Appeal
And while San Pedro has its own story with section 53, last night, we told you about the how the light, water and telephone unions came out in support of the Evangelist Churches. They want to the Government to reconsider their decision not to appeal the Section 53 judgment which decriminalizes gay sex. Well today, the Belize National Teachers Union added their voice of support to the churches saying, quote, "The BNTU wishes to express (its) deep concern about the recent judgement (as) representative of the largest group of organized teachers in the country… (The BNTU) had registered our concern about the implications, for the classroom, at the suggested implementation of the National Gender Policy...We now raise our concern at the...Amendment of Section 53." End Quote.

Hon. John's Man Miley For Manslaughter
Key advisor to John Saldivar, 58 year old Miley Gracia was charged today for killing a man in an accident. It happened yesterday afternoon after 1 in Belmopan. Garcia was turning into Floriander Street, the street right in front of the Governor General’s residence when 29 year old Osman Jiron drove up in his motorcycle. Garcia then made a sudden turn into Jiron’s lane and slammed into him. Jiron was seriously injured and rushed to the hospital but he died during surgery. Garcia was charged today with death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, manslaughter by negligence and failed to give way when changing direction. A urine sample was also taken but the results have not been released as yet.

Belize's Rain Insurance Good For Quarter Mil.
Two weeks we told you about Belize’s Hurricane Insurance with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. After the storm they said that the losses from Hurricane Earl did not trigger the policy, and so no insurance payout was due. But, that’s not the end of the story, because as it turns out, Belize purchased excess rainfall coverage for the first time for the 2016/17 policy year, and that began on June 1st. Well, that did trigger, and on August 18th, CCRIF made a payout of $261,073 US dollars to the Government of Belize under its excess rainfall insurance policy. These are as a result of heavy rains that affected the country on August 4 & 5 during Hurricane Earl.

National Security Strategy: First step in keeping Belize Safe.
Today, senior officials in the Ministry of Defence met to discuss a National Security Strategy. It was just one of many meetings held around this subject. Now, we weren't allowed to stay in for the entire session but new CEO in the Ministry of Defence Felix Enriquez gave us a very general outline of what the strategy will address. Feliz Enrique - CEO, Ministry of Defence: "Today's event is a stakeholder's consultation meeting. It's one in a series of meeting that is taking place to form what will become the national defence and security strategy. So this process has started some time ago and we're today is informing several stakeholders will includes CEOs from different ministries, heads of departments and key stakeholders within the ministry, within the NGOs where they are at this point with the formulation of the strategy and get input most importantly, getting input from everybody else who are the stakeholders to form what is the national defence and security strategy." Courtney Weatherburne: "Sir are you able to; I know when we are speaking of national security it is such a broad hefty issue or topic. Are you able to give us any details in terms of how the report is set up or is divided and in terms of the focus of the report?"

New Road Ahead For BTB Scholarship Recipients
More scholarships were awarded today but this time by the Belize Tourism Board. After a thorough selection process, 5 persons were selected and a short handing over ceremony was held today to recognize the recipients. We stopped by and found out how significant this scholarship is to these youths. The cost for this scholarship program is between $40 to $50,000 dollars.

Policing and Teaching : What it takes to be GREAT.
Gang Resistance Education And Training – it is a programme spearheaded by the police department and funded by the US Embassy. The Embassy brought in five trainers from the GREAT National Program in the US, joined by three from the Police Department. They trained 40 police officers who graduated today as “GREAT” instructors. Today we spoke to the coordinators about the importance of this programme. The US embassy reports through CARSI funded programs that ongoing efforts will enhance capacity throughout Belize with programs for police, forensics, prosecution, judiciary, prison, immigration customs and more.

Channel 5

P.M. Barrow Finds No Smoking Gun in Audit Reports, But Will Question Ministers
The Special Audit Reports on the Immigration and Nationality Department are to be laid before the House of Representatives on Friday, and are sure to engineer much talk and opprobrium. [...]

Ministers Intervened in Visa Process Repeatedly – and Flouted the Law
Not a smoking gun on corruption?….well the Special Audit during the period 2011-2013, unearthed so many irregularities in the issuance of visas and passports that could not have been carried [...]

Government Ministers Also Wrote-in for People to Get Nationality Despite Irregular Documents
Ministers of government also illegally intervened in the nationality process when there is no such provision for them to do so in the Belize Nationality Act, pointed out by the [...]

Prime Minister Pleased With O.A.S. Report – But What Will Guatemala Say?
The Barrow Administration is reeling from scandal to scandal. Fresh off the Danny Mason saga interrupted by Hurricane Earl, the hustle of visas, nationalities and passports at the immigration department [...]

B.D.F. Commander Says He Knew it All Along – His Soldiers Did Not Kill Julio Alvarado
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it today officially received the independent report on the killing of Guatemala minor Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. The report carries a chronology [...]

Patrol May Still Be Responsible For Teen’s Death
The O.A.S. investigation confirms that the incident occurred within the Adjacency Zone administered by Belize. On the twentieth of April, Julio Alvarado was killed and his father and brother were [...]

Border Tensions Eased Down After Guatemalans’ Mass Deployment
The international campaign that the Guatemalan government launched against the B.D.F. and Belize requires skilful diplomatic work to undo any eroding of Belize’s credibility.  Guatemala assumed the role of the [...]

No Turning Back On Section 53, Says P.M. As He Goes After Teachers’ Union
In spite of the protest that took place on Tuesday while he was out of the country, and the one he faces when he goes to the House on Friday, [...]

Doyle Garbutt Shot To Death in Van On Southside; Police Baffled As to Why
A north side resident is the latest murder victim. It is not quite known why thirty year old Doyle Garbutt was in a dangerous spot of the south side last [...]

9-Month Old Baby Kidnapped In Bella Vista, Ransom Demanded
There are disturbing reports from the south. A young baby boy, nine months of age, has gone missing. His mother, Yoselyn Ordones, believes it is a case of kidnapping. She [...]

Orange Walk Man Acquitted Of Murder
A resident from the north was freed of a murder which occurred in Orange Walk in March of 2012 but he will remain behind bars for another conviction.  Trinidad Pineda [...]

Construction Worker Charged for Jewellery Theft at Central Bank Deputy Governor’s Home
The home of the Deputy Governor of Central Bank, Christine Maud Vellos, was burglarized in mid-August and the culprit is believed to be her own yard man who was entrusted [...]

Minister John Saldivar Defends Immigration Involvement
The Special Audit will be fully ventilated at Friday’s House meeting where it is expected that the government side will try their best to exculpate themselves from the shenanigans. Earlier [...]

Guatemalan on the Run for Wife’s Murder Got Belize Passport to Enter Mexico
In the Special Audit, it is reordered that a number of persons who illegally obtained the Belizean birthright were anywhere from human traffickers to terrorist suspects. Among the undesirables is [...]

General David Jones Says Dangers Remain in Chiquibul
When we caught up with B.D.F. Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, we also wanted to know about the state of affairs in the Chiquibul. According to Jones, the area where [...]

Jones Says It’s Time for Independent Investigation into Danny Conorquie’s Death
The Government of Belize supported an international independent investigation on the shooting death of the Guatemalan minor and four months later, the results showed the joint patrol of B.D.F. soldiers [...]

Courts Gives $25,000 to Hurricane Earl Victims
Today Unicomer (Belize) Limited, the company which manages the Courts and Tropigas merchandise store chains in Belize, made a formal donation to families affected by Hurricane Earl through the Belize [...]

Red Cross Says Gift Vouchers Will Be Used to Get Back Needed Household Items
The donation, according to Director General of the Belize Red Cross Lily Bowman, will be used to replace much needed household items lost to the hurricane.   Lily Bowman, Director [...]

Healthy Living’s Smart Start for Back to School
Summer vacation is officially coming to an end. By the first week of September, all children across the country will be back in school. At this point, all the schools [...]

Vindication! O.A.S. Report Says B.D.F. Did Not Kill Guatemalan Child
An official report is completed, but is yet to be presented to the Government in respect of the shooting death of fourteen year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. The minor [...]

Suspected Human Trafficker, One of Many to Benefit from “Blank” Passports
The special audit on the visas, nationality and passports hustle covers a two-year period: 2011 to 2013. The feeding frenzy during that brief period was obviously gluttonous, and if the [...]

Immigration Minister Complains: Auditors Didn’t Speak to Him
The Special Audit ahead of Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives remains a hot topic of national importance.  The lengthy report names a number of elected officials and sitting [...]

Chinese Nationals Welcome to Come to Belize If They Are Qualified Says Hulse
According to Hulse, the influx of Chinese nationals into the country should not be seen as a negative if the country is able to benefit financially from the sale of [...]

Hulse: Visas Have Lengthy Process Before Approval
So, what about the visas that Hulse himself signed for?  Well according to the immigration minister, he went to great lengths a year ago to explain the process in full.  [...]

U.S. Ambassador Says Washington is Watching Immigration Issues in Belize
Also keeping an eye on matters concerning the Special Audit Reports on Immigration and Nationality is the U.S. Government. While he has not read the reports himself, U.S. Ambassador Carlos [...]

U.S. Will Not Reveal If Players in Scandal Will See Their Papers Cancelled
Former Director of Immigration and current C.E.O. in National Emergency Management, Ruth Meighan, was recently the subject of public embarrassment as she was denied entry into the U.S. and turned [...]

COLA, Evangelicals Back to Belmopan on Friday
Another round of protest has been scheduled for Friday in Belmopan where COLA and the Evangelical churches are set to demonstrate in front of the Assembly Building.  Organizers have secured [...]

U.S. Ambassador Backs Section 53 Decision; Glad It Wasn’t Appealed
Ambassador Moreno also had thumbs up for the Government’s decision not to appeal the judgment of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on August tenth regarding consenting sexual acts in private between [...]

Teachers’ Union Asks for “Ventilation” of Section 53 Issues
While the U.S. Ambassador is applauding the recent ruling on Section Fifty-three; the Belize National Teachers Union is taking a different view. The teachers of the most militant union recall [...]

Utilities’ Union Warn of Threat to Way of Belizean Life
Others have also weighed in on the Chief Justice’s judgment. The unions representing the workers of the three major utilities in Belize say that the recent judgment, and the Government’s [...]

Woman Knifed to Death On Caye Caulker; Did She Know Her Killer?
A person is in police custody tonight following the stabbing murder of a woman on Caye Caulker. Fifty-one year old Jennifer Coleman was injured once to the neck, believed to [...]

Minister’s Employee Convicted for Not Providing Blood Specimen
Seven months after the incident, William Henry, the driver of Minister “Boots’’ Martinez appeared in court today. Just before two in the morning on January ninth, 2016 police saw him [...]

National Defence Strategy Discussed with Stakeholders
Protecting Belize from attack and other dangers remains a primary concern for the Ministry of Defense.  Today, various agencies within the national security apparatus came together to discuss what will [...]

6 Students Awarded Tourism Scholarships from B.T.B.
In time for the new academic year, six young Belizeans are preparing to pursue their academic dreams in the field of tourism. Today, the Belize Tourism Board gave them important [...]

Police Officers Graduate from GREAT Training
Forty police officers joined the ranks of the GREAT program – short for Gang Resistance Education and Training – following a graduation ceremony this morning at the Radisson Hotel. Guest [...]

Salvation Army Hands Out Relief Supplies for Victims of Hurricane Earl
The Salvation Army’s giving is not limited to the Christmas season. In times of disaster they can be found reaching out with what resources they have. Today, forty families from [...]

Remembering Education Pioneer, Jean Bennett
The education system has lost a pioneer in early childhood education movement. Jean Bennett, the well-loved and highly respected educator passed away on Sunday morning inside the Intensive Care Unit [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: August 26, 2016 [Re: Marty] #517111
08/26/16 06:01 AM
08/26/16 06:01 AM
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Independent Investigation Exonerates BDF
The independent report ordered by the Organization of American States (OAS) earlier in the month of June, on the shooting death of 13 year old Guatemalan Julio Ruano in April of this year in the El Sapote area of the Chiquibul National Park concluded earlier this week. Today the results of that report was released and the findings upheld Belize’s position on what transpired that led to the death of the minor. The 22-page report, which was put together by two international forensic specialists commissioned by the OAS establishes that the Joint BDF and ranger patrol was fired upon FIRST by a group of three Guatemalans, which was being led by 48-year-old Carlos Alfredo Alvarado Ramirez along with his two sons, 14 year old Julio René Alvarado Ruano and 2 year old Carlos Alberto Alvarado Ruano. Information obtained by the forensic experts indicate that Ramirez was in the army for a few months and is quote “mentally nimble and able to find arguments to justify his actions quickly and effectively”.

BNTU Calls On Government On Section 53
The landmark ruling that was handed down inside the Supreme Court earlier this month which saw the amendment of section 53 of the criminal code of Belize followed by GOB’s decision not to appeal the decision today continues to the topic of much discussion. Today the Belize National Teachers Union as well as the Unions representing the workers of the three major utilities in Belize issued releases in response to the recent ruling and expressed their dissatisfaction with the Government’s response to the Judgment. In the release issued by the BNTU, educators express their concern on the implications that the amendment of Section 53 could have in the classroom as it relates to the implementation of the National Gender Policy.

Nine Months Old Baby Allegedly Kidnapped
Social Media was in complete disarray this morning at around 10:30 when, Yoselyn Ordonez from Bella Vista village in the Toledo District posted that her 9 month old baby boy, Aiden Matus had been kidnapped from their home sometime between 1- 1:30 a.m. Official information coming from pertinent authorities indicate that a report was filed at the Independence Police station and the matter is currently under police investigation. Police are currently searching for two dark male individuals traveling in a Grey SUV or Minivan. While Ordonez provided her contact number and asked the public to contact her if anyone has information on the whereabouts of her son, our calls went unanswered.

Dean Barrow Reiterates No Appeal For Section 53
Tomorrow, there will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. While inside the House, Government and Opposition members will be debating national matters, outside the Evangelical Church leaders along with activist group COLA will be holding a protest against the Government’s decision not to appeal the Court’s ruling on the revision of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code. The Church Leaders and COLA are demanding that the Government challenges the ruling, and their appeal picked up steam yesterday when the Belize Energy Workers’ Union and the very-powerful Belize National Teacher’s Union issued separate releases in which they also demanded that the decision be appealed. Today the Prime Minister reacted to the increasing resistance and said that while he respects the positions being taken, his Government will stick to their decision.

BDF Vindicated, Prime Minister Barrow Says Guatemala Should Apologize
Prime Minister Barrow also spoke on the Organisation of American States’ report which has exonerated the Belize Defense Force soldiers in the April shooting death of 14 year old Guatemalan national Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. In reaction to the shooting incident, the Guatemala Government immediately launched a slanderous campaign against the BDF accusing them of being unprofessional and human rights violators, without first carrying out an investigation. PM Barrow expressed satisfaction with the OAS report and said that perhaps Guatemala should demonstrate contrition.

Belize Can't Afford To Sign UN Anti-Corruption
Recently Belize has been pointed as the face of corruption in the Caribbean and Central America after more than 50% of Belize’s banks were cut off by larger international correspondent banks, and even more so with the Special Audit that was released which encompasses a bed of corruption within the immigration and other departments of the Government of Belize. Some may attribute this as a direct result of GOB’s 8 years refusal to sign the UN Anti-Corruption Convention. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow again spoke of the matter stating that Belize simply cannot afford to sign on to that convention.

Former Immigration Minister speaks On Auditor General's Report
So what does former Minister of Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse have to say about the scandalous audit report? This afternoon, the media caught up with him and while he was reluctant to speak about the damning auditor general reports on the Immigration and Nationality Department he did state that most of what is in the report is nothing new. Senator Godwin Hulse – Minister of Immigration: “First of all, as you know going back more than a year and a half ago when I said in the Senate let the Audit General do their work and they did their work so the reports came out and the only thing I would way to start with that I understand the Auditor general did not comply with what would be a requirement to do a management letter to the CEO and other people, I personally was not asked any question by the Auditor General, not a question by any of their people...”

US Ambassador concern About Passport Scandal
US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno today also spoke about the audit report, although he was hesitant to comment on specific areas of the report, he assured the US’s willingness to assist in the investigation in any way possible. Ambassador Carlos Moreno – US Ambassador to Belize: “I have not had an opportunity to read it, I just read about it I think it is in today’s newspapers and I am looking forward to reading it and ultimately if there are ways that the US government can assist in terms of investigation and so forth I think if we were asked to participate we will be happy to do so.”

BPP Continues To Push Referendum for Section 53
About one thousand protestors from across the country descended on Independence Hill in Belmopan yesterday to voice their discontent with section fifty three of the criminal code which Government has decided not to appeal. Apart from Evangelical leaders and followers, also taking part in yesterday’s demonstration were members of the Belize Progressive Party. As viewers may recall the BPP announced last week of the party’s plans of raising funds to hold a people’s referendum on several issues. Treasurer of the party, Robert “Bobby” Lopez shared an update on the progress made.


Woman stabbed and killed in Caye Caulker
A woman was killed in Caye Caulker. She has been identified as 51 year old Jennifer Diane Coleman, and she was stabbed after 11:30 pm on Tuesday night on Aventura Street on the island. Police have detained a suspect who is said to suffer from mental illness. No motive has yet been established and n...

BNTU requests that amendment to section 53 not go to House as yet
In more BNTU news, today the union issued a statement, calling on the Prime Minister to allow for public discourse on the suggested Amendment on Section 53 before it is taken to the House of Representatives. BNTU says it has “deep concern about the recent judgement of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin...

Justin Hyde beats charges
21 year old Justin Hyde of Belize City was freed of six criminal charges by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith after it was found that he was not given proper disclosure by police during the specified time under court rules. As a result, Hyde no longer stands accused of two counts of attempted murder ...

BTB gives out six tourism scholarships
Six young Belizeans are preparing to pursue further academic dreams in the field of tourism, and today the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) gave them important assistance. Herbert Haylock, Director, Quality Assurance and Industrial Standards, B.T.B. explains: Herbert Haylock, Director, Quality Assurance a...

Police United FC faces early elimination
On Tuesday night, Police United FC played against Mexican Champions Pachuca after losing four to zero against Club Deportivo Olimpia from Honduras. The match was no different than the one we saw in their debut match: a poor Police United which barely managed a 9% possession in their entire match. I...

Accident on Belmopan Ring Road; one man dead
There was a tragic accident this afternoon on the Ring Road in Belmopan which claimed the life of one man. He has been identified as 29 year old Osman Orlando Giron, a resident of Salva Pan who worked at Barack Trading Store in Belmopan. According to reports, well known Belmopan resident, Ismael “Mi...

Utilities Union calls for GOB to appeal S53 decision
The Unions representing the workers of the three major utilities in Belize: that’s the Belize Communications Workers Union, The Belize Water Services Workers Union, and the Belize Energy Workers Union, have issued a strongly worded press release this evening, following today’s Evangelical Protest in...

The Guardian

15.8 million dollars to protect the Chiquibul
The Chiquibul Forests Investment Initiative (CFII) was officially launched on Tuesday August 23 and through it an unprecedented 15.8 million dollars will be invested in protecting the Chiquibul forests. At the launch of the initiative, Minister of the Environment Dr. Omar Figueroa pointed out the pressures that the Chiquibul is under. These pressures include illegal gold mining, pollution of the head waters, illegal logging and harvesting of non-timber forest products and poaching and illegal wildlife trade. He said that "the extent and scale of the incursions often overwhelm the management presence on the ground. The difficult terrain and lack of road access into the forests on the Belize side of the border make enforcement activities on the ground extremely challenging, expensive and arduous." Faced with the challenges the ministry along with partner agencies including PACT, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and Ya'axche Conservation Trust (YCT), the Belize Defense Force, Forest Department, Ministry of Tourism, NICH, and UNDP-Small Grants Program, have teamed up to come up with a comprehensive plan to address the threats on Chiquibul.

BDF commander wants investigation into death of Danny Conorquie and shooting of BDF Sgt. Lambey
On Tuesday August 23, BDF commander, David Jones upon being interviewed by the media, even before the results of the OAS’s independent investigation into the shooting death of 15 year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano maintained the position that the report would vindicate his soldiers. And in a way the report has. In the findings the report is clear that it was not BDF weapons that killed the boy. He was killed by weapons carried by personnel of the Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD).

Churches protest Chief Justice ruling
Estimates on the ground say that just over a thousand Evangelists, led by the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), took to Independence Hill in Belmopan for a protest on Tuesday, August 23. They were there to show the country that there is a sizeable number of the population who strongly disagree with the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s ruling to decriminalize gay intimacy. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated clearly why the state will not be appealing the ruling. Having rejected those reasons, the Christian protesters made the point that they interpret the Prime Minister’s decision as some sort of disrespect to the will of the electorate. They continue to insist that he reconsider and lodge the appeal. Buses from all across Toledo and Orange Walk converged in Belmopan bringing those religious demonstrators who hoisted placards and picket signs with their message. They spent about 3 or so hours listening to the leaders of the protest make the point that the Government ought to show more respect for the Church.

Senior Citizen killed in Caye Caulker
Fifty one year-old Jennifer Diane Coleman, a resident of Caye Caulker was found by police on Tuesday, August 23, at a few minutes before midnight. Police were called out to Aventurera Street at around 11:50 p.m., and that’s where they found Coleman bleeding out from stab wounds to the neck. They tried their very best to rush her to the clinic for medical attention, but she was pronounced dead on arrival. It appears at this time that she may have been attacked in her apartment building on that very same street. The assailant most-likely ran off, and trying to seek help, she went out on the street. That’s where it is believed that she collapsed due to the injuries. A knife was retrieved on the scene of the crime which they believe to be the murder weapon. One person has been detained, and the police are in the process of interrogating him to establish if he was or was not involved in the murder of Coleman. Residents say that she was suffering from mental health issues.

September Celebrations officially opened by Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr.
Belizeans at home and abroad, it is my distinct pleasure to officially launch the 2016 National September Celebrations. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Sovereign and Strong-Together As One”. This theme, coined by Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken, provides a central narrative that aptly describes our people. It reflects our spirit of strength in the face of adversity. This is more evident today, as we slowly emerge from the ravages of Hurricane Earl for which the damages to our infrastructure and industries run in the millions. In response to this natural disaster, Belizeans have risen as one people to rebuild our homes, our communities and our lives. Our desire to assert our freedom is the reason we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of our Independence and the 218th year of victory at the battle of St. George’s Caye. For this year’s festivities, the National Celebrations Commission, comprised of the Government of Belize, municipalities, and other valued partners, have put together a series of activities for you to enjoy. This year’s Calendar includes events which honour our national heroes and patriots, which showcase our cultural diversity and which reflect on our achievements as a young nation.

Churches protest Chief Justice ruling
Estimates on the ground say that just over a thousand Evangelists, led by the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), took to Independence Hill in Belmopan for a protest on Tuesday, August 23. They were there to show the country that there is a sizeable number of the population who strongly disagree with the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s ruling to decriminalize gay intimacy. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated clearly why the state will not be appealing the ruling. Having rejected those reasons, the Christian protesters made the point that they interpret the Prime Minister’s decision as some sort of disrespect to the will of the electorate. They continue to insist that he reconsider and lodge the appeal. Buses from all across Toledo and Orange Walk converged in Belmopan bringing those religious demonstrators who hoisted placards and picket signs with their message. They spent about 3 or so hours listening to the leaders of the protest make the point that the Government ought to show more respect for the Church.

Moving data management from paper to electronic
The Belize Archives and Records Service –BARS held a workshop this week titled “Moving from Paper to an Electronic Records Management System: Benefits, Challenges, Resources and Strategies”. The four day workshop started on Monday at the Central Information Technology Office CITO in Belmopan and was attended by 25 data managing officers from 12 Departments and Ministries in Government. The aim of this workshop was to introduce participants to a set of tools required to establish a standardized electronic records management system applicable across all government ministries. Considering the latest technologies that are based on international standards, this training followed records management and archives principles that are appropriate and legally sound for both public and private institutions.

Five more ambitious youngsters get BTB Scholarships
Five more deserving youth have the opportunity to further their studies in preparation for a career in the tourism industry, thanks to the Belize Tourism Board. Clarita Ack and Ahkeem O’Brien will study Tourism Management at the Associate Degree level, Janeen Nal and Nissa August will study Tourism Management at the Bachelor Degree level and Einar Marin is studying the culinary field for a Bachelor Degree in Gastronomy. Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr. congratulated the recipients during a brief recognition ceremony at BTB’s Belize City headquarters on Wednesday, August 24. He encouraged the recipients to take full advantage of the opportunity being presented and challenged them to be pioneers in the tourism industry.

Big event coming up at the Cayo Welcome Center
The Cayo Welcome Center will be hosting its annual Back to School Extravaganza on the 27th August, 2016 at 10:00 am. An announcement by Bernz Mendez, the Director of the Cayo Welcome Center over the weekend makes clear that this event is being brought to the people of the Twin Towns through the kind courtesy of Mayor Earl Trapp Jr. and the San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Council in collaboration with the Management and Staff of the Cayo Welcome Center, the Business Community and assistant Ms. Lisa Gordon “… who continues to empower our children in Education, that will enable them to be successful in their endeavors and to be positive thinkers who will pave the way forward for our future generations…”

Ms. Lisa Shoman
Ms Lisa Shoman, former PUP Minister/Ambassador/Senator/PUP representative on the Belize - Guatemala relations team and now apparent UNIBAM mouth piece appears to have been emboldened by the recent Supreme Court ruling on section 53 of the criminal code. She now appears to be taking on all comers. First to get his was PUP apologists Louis M Wade Jr. of Plus TV. For him Lisa has no remorse about putting him in his place, because he and his cohorts have been a thorn in Lisa’s pants seat for about 3 years, ever since he began to take his ANTI - LGBT stance. Sure Lisa has been the PUP who has been on his show the most but it’s because they are both members of the USER SOCIETY. Using each other was beneficial to both of them.

Neighborhood watch summer camp held in Benque Viejo
Zone Four Neighborhoods Watch recently hosted the 9th consecutive Summer Camp at Sam’s Community Park, located between Philip Goldson Street and Arenal Road in Benque Viejo del Carmen. At the camp the children learnt valuable lessons in life and in doing so were involved in such activities as Arts and Craft and sports. Corporal Joshua McKoy from the Benque Community Policing Unit, as well as members from the Department of Youth Services and the Cayo District Youth Council were present to give the young people a fresh start. Zone 4 Captain Samuel Bruce coordinated with his most dedicated and experienced teacher zone 4 quadrant leader Ms. Isela Tesucum who has been there ready to assist since 2008. Other volunteer assistants at the camp for this year were Amin Avilez, Jair Avilez, Wendy Roque, Criselda Diaz & Juri Del Cid.

Mason’s alleged accomplice out on bail
Danny Mason’s alleged accomplice in the kidnapping of the Friesens, Ryan Rhaburn, is out on bail after a successful application to the Supreme Court by attorney Herbert Panton. Police finally levied charges of kidnapping against Mason’s Ranch Manager Ryan Rhaburn last week in the Belmopan Magistrates Court; however, he is a free man after Supreme Court Justice John Traodio Gonzalez upheld a bail application on Friday, August 19. The first attempt to charge Rhaburn for his alleged role in the kidnapping of Canadian-Belizean couple Lloyd Friessen and his wife failed in late July after officers mismanaged the case files. The magistrate in Belmopan set Rhaburn free and the case preparation was handed over to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Attorney Chester Williams. Rhaburn has now been properly arraigned for two counts of kidnapping.

Two serious accidents in Cayo
There were two serious accidents in the Cayo District this week. A pickup knocked down and fatally injured a motorcyclist near the Governor General’s residence in Belmopan on Tuesday of this week. The family of the deceased is now in the process of being informed. There was also a two vehicle accident involving several persons on Tuesday in Ontario Village. As a result of the accident, there was a back-up of vehicles on the George Price Highway. Members from the Belize National Fire Service responded promptly to clean and clear the Highway of debris. Rescue crews from Spanish Lookout were at the scene, and had to resort to the ‘Jaws of Life’ mechanism to free persons from the wreckage. We have been informed that some three persons are now critically injured as a result of the accident in Ontario.

The family of 28 year-old Belize City Resident Lionel Hamilton, who was also known as Lionel Villanueva, is preparing to lay him to rest after he was killed in a traffic accident early on Saturday, August 20. Police say that Hamilton was driving a Dodge Neon car some time between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning on the Philip Goldson Highway. The investigators have not revealed which direction they believe he was driving in, but around miles 4 and a half, the vehicle started giving mechanical troubles. The cops think that it caused the vehicle either to come to a complete stop, or that Hamilton was struggling to move. Hamilton and his companion tried to steer it onto the shoulder of the road, but all attempts were unsuccessful. That’s because a green minivan, being driven at the time by 52 year-old Godwin Pantin, slammed into the car with such violent force that it smashed Hamilton’s driver’s side, tore off the front bumper, and flung Hamilton’s body a short distance away, and smashed a culvert nearby before coming to a complete stop.

Teenager pleads guilty to burglary
Mikel Angel Longsworth, 19, broke into Atlantic Bank’s storage room, located at #26 Mahogany Street Extension, on Saturday, August 20. Police responded to reports of a burglary in progress and found Longsworth inside the building. He didn’t have a chance to steal anything. Police arrested and charged the teenager for the offense of burglary with intent to steal. Longsworth was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, August 22, where he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the single charge. When the Chief Magistrate asked why he was in the building, Longsworth said, “I just found myself entering the building, and for no apparent reason… this is not the first time I’ve tried to enter.” Longsworth said he went to the house a lot before it was turned into a storage room by Atlantic Bank.

Richard O’Neil charged for gun play
Richard Edward O’Neil Jr. of Tibruce Street is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned for two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. O’Neil is being accused of causing threat to the lives of Norris Leslie and Redford Tillett in Belize City on Monday, August 15. There was no fact sheet presented in court so the exact details of the incident are not certain. Oneil appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Thursday, August 18, where he pleaded not guilty to both charges. Due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until November 1, 2016. Disclosure has been ordered to be provided by October 17, 2016.

Peter Portillo gets drunk and is busted with firearm
Peter Portillo, 28, is at the Belize Central Prison after police responded to a drunk and disorderly complaint on Sunday and busted him with an unlicensed .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. Portillo appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Monday, August 22, and pleaded not guilty to one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm and one count of keeping unlicensed ammunition. Due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 21, 2016.

Chinese Businessman makes payment to accident victim
Chinese businessman David Wong is free after he was sent to prison by Justice Shona Griffith on Thursday, August 18, for failing to make payments on an order handed down by the Supreme Court in 2014. On April 31, 2014, Wong was driving a Buick truck on the Phillip Goldson Highway when he ran into Kelvin Aguilar, who was driving a motorcycle. Aguilar was injured as a result of the incident and he brought a law suit against Wong. Justice Griffith ruled in Aguilar’s favour in October 2014 and ordered that Wong pay $82,000 for his pain and suffering, $8,552 for the damages to the motorcycle and doctor fees and $18,100 for attorney and other fees. Wong has made no payment on this order since 2014 and, due to a six percent annual interest rate, he now owes $117,000 for the order.

Football returns to Carl Ramos in Dangriga
ootball returned to the legendary Carl Ramos Stadium in a big way on Sunday August 21st, 2016. Dangriga’s very own WAGIYA took on the visiting Verdes team from out of the Cayo District. It was indeed wonderful to see our residents coming out on a beautiful Dangriga Sunday afternoon to support the home team. Our boys didn’t disappoint as they went on to post a 2-0 win over the Verdes team. We say congrats to WAGIYA for kicking off the season with a BIG W. Looking forward to seeing many more games at Carl Ramos Stadium and many more wins from the home team. Rugged Flores and Pele big up on the great commentating and thank you to the wonderful residents of Dangriga for your support of OUR home team.

WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
In the Gospel of Mark chapter 10, verses 13 to 16 we have a great story about Jesus and the children. “People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them.”

Taiwanese man rides across the world
Equipped with a bicycle and bare essentials including a tent, sleeping bag a laptop and some clothing, 39 year old Jacky Chen set off from Taiwan to Alaska; his mission: to travel the globe on bike. Chen, an engineer back home says his motivation is to show his friends on social media the beauties of the world. One year and two months after setting off from Alaska in June of last year he entered Belize on Thursday of last week via the northern border. He's made his way through all the countries from here to Alaska, in Belize here what he's most impressed with is the people's hospitality. That aside he says he's been wowed by Relleno from the northern districts along with the ubiquitous rice and beans.

National Celebrations theme winner receives her prize
Argelia Mendoza Ken, a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District, is this year’s September Celebrations Theme Competition winner. Mrs. Ken made two submissions and in her words, “forgot about it until I was called and told that one of my entries had won”. The winning entry and this year’s theme is “Sovereign and Strong - Together as one!” For her contribution to history Mrs. Ken was presented with a $1000.00 cheque by Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Elodio Aragon Jr. at a small ceremony at the NICH office on Tuesday August, 23. This money comes in handy for Mrs. Ken as she said she will put it to good use in paying for a course she is currently taking at the University of Belize. Congratulations to Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken.

September Celebrations officially opened by Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr
elizeans at home and abroad, it is my distinct pleasure to officially launch the 2016 National September Celebrations. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Sovereign and Strong-Together As One”. This theme, coined by Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken, provides a central narrative that aptly describes our people. It reflects our spirit of strength in the face of adversity. This is more evident today, as we slowly emerge from the ravages of Hurricane Earl for which the damages to our infrastructure and industries run in the millions. In response to this natural disaster, Belizeans have risen as one people to rebuild our homes, our communities and our lives. Our desire to assert our freedom is the reason we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of our Independence and the 218th year of victory at the battle of St. George’s Caye. For this year’s festivities, the National Celebrations Commission, comprised of the Government of Belize, municipalities, and other valued partners, have put together a series of activities for you to enjoy. This year’s Calendar includes events which honour our national heroes and patriots, which showcase our cultural diversity and which reflect on our achievements as a young nation.

Why Participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is Important for the Republic of China (Taiwan) as it is for Belize?
Civil aviation in Belize has grown fast in recent years. In addition to two national air lines providing domestic air traffic service, there are six foreign airlines flying between Belize and six cities in the U.S., namely Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston; Cancun, Mexico; Panama City, Panama; and El Salvador to provide air transport service for hundreds of thousands of passengers for tourism and business every week. More air traffic is expected to be seen soon, including the direct air linkage between London and Belize later this year. Given the fast growth in civil aviation, air traffic safety has been put on the top of the agenda for the government of Belize. Terminals including the Philip Goldson International Airport have been expanded and facilities have been modernized and strengthened. Immigration control has been computerized in step by step manner. Passengers spend less time for immigration and custom processing nowadays than before.

The struggle to address garbage problems in Belize
The sight of garbage in areas that are not designated garbage dumps is one that is becoming more and more prevalent across the country. With the exception of the Western corridor where there has been a multimillion dollar investment by the Government of Belize to address the proper disposal of garbage, the entire country lacks the ability to properly do so. Speaking to Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Environment, Dr. Colin Young, he explains that the problem of garbage disposal is one that is very concerning to his ministry. “It is a significant concern especially with Zika and for sanitary reasons as well as for the health and safety of our population,” he stated. Having highlighted that, Young says that his ministry in collaboration with the Solid Waste Management Authority has been conducting cleanups of unapproved sites throughout the country.

Group Hug gives backpacks
It’s just a year and one month old and already the charitable organization, Group Hug, is making small but meaningful strides at improving the lives of Belizeans. On Wednesday afternoon we found Andre Pitts along with members of his group distributing school bags at the Memorial Park in Belize City. Pitts, the president of the organization says that this is the second annual back to school backpack drive. He says his organization had been aiming at acquiring 200 bags but his drive has exceeded that amount and he is at 250. He is now left to distribute the bags and supplies. On Tuesday he was in Hattieville where he gave out 50 bags and on Wednesday he distributed an additional 150. Pitts says that the recipients were identified in various ways. Some he identified personally while others were recommended by others and the rest shared their needs with him via facebook (

Belize Receives over $500,000 through Regional Insurance Program
The Government of Belize decided to purchase a tropical cyclone and excess rainfall insurance policy in June of this year so the country may have a safety net if it were to unfortunately be hit by a hurricane or other rain aided natural disaster from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. The unfortunate did come to pass when Hurricane Earl tore through the heart of the country on August 3 and that triggered a policy payout of US$261,073 from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). CCRIF goal is to limit the financial impact of natural disasters to Caribbean and Central American countries by giving member governments the opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage at a cheap cost with quick payouts. CCRIF prides itself in being able to make payouts within two weeks time when a policy is triggered.

Linsford Acosta arrested for home invasion
Linsford Acosta, 32, a fisherman of Belama Phase 2, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of entering the home of Adolfo McKoy, 50, on Antelope Street and holding him at gun point. According to McKoy, a construction worker of #43 Antelope Street Extension, he got out of bed to open his house door for a female friend on Saturday night, August 20, and went back to sleep. The next thing he remembers is waking up to a gun in his face. The intruder grabbed him around the neck with his right hand, pointed a gun to the right side of his head and said, “Dead now asshole.” The intruder then pulled the trigger but it snapped. McKoy then defended himself by kicking the intruder and picking up a machete that was inside his room. However, the intruder managed to get off a hit to the left side of McKoy’s head and ran out of the house. He set chase behind him but the intruder jumped on a motorcycle and rode off into the direction of Seagull Street.

Ulide Allen on remand for shooting at a woman
Dorita Tillett, 36, is lucky to be alive after a gunman opened fire at her and her boyfriend, Dwayne Garbutt, 34, on Tuesday, August 16. She reported to police that she was walking on Tibruce Street with her boyfriend when a man came from the opposite direction on a bicycle and opened fire at them. They ran into a yard to dodge the shots and hide from their attacker. From where they were hiding, Tillett saw when the gunman rode past and she recognized him as someone she knows as “Beelie”. Police investigation led to the arrest and charge of Ulide Allen, 18, of Antelope Street Extension.

16 year old charged for unnatural crime in Cayo
A police report now indicates that reference to a report of sodomy by an 11 year old male minor against his 16 year old brother, San Ignacio Police have since arrested the brother for un-natural crime. He has been further remanded to Kolbe until September 12, 2016. The minor was arraigned in the San Ignacio Magistrate Court last Friday where the charge was delivered. The incident of sodomy reportedly occurred about a week ago. Another of the boy’s brother had taken the 11 year old to the Western Regional Hospital where the doctor on duty agreed that the child had been sexually abused.

Elderly man beaten severely - suffers broken leg
A shocking video has emerged in Benque Viejo del Carmen showing an elderly man, Alberto Guerra, being placed unto a stretcher by medical responders. As he was carefully placed on the stretcher it was observed that his right foot had been broken. A Family member tells the Guardian that Alberto Guerra is now at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in need of blood. The family member also says that there is need for justice as Guerra was cornered near to his home on Wednesday night of last week and attacked by an unknown group of young people. Guerra had been attacked with pints and stones earlier that day but the young men had been chased away, reports the family member.

Domestic violence between two men
Noel Garcia, 39, reported to police that he got into a domestic dispute with his partner Justin Arnold, 23, on Wednesday night, August 17, which ended with Arnold slapping him across the face. Garcia visited the Queen Street Police Station and requested court action. Arnold was arrested and charged with one count of common assault. Justin Arnold appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, August 19, and pleaded not guilty to the charge. There was no objection to bail which Magistrate Mendoza offered in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount. Arnold was unable to meet bail and was remanded at the Belize Central Prison until he was able to do so.

Football returns to Carl Ramos in Dangriga
Football returned to the legendary Carl Ramos Stadium in a big way on Sunday August 21st, 2016. Dangriga’s very own WAGIYA took on the visiting Verdes team from out of the Cayo District. It was indeed wonderful to see our residents coming out on a beautiful Dangriga Sunday afternoon to support the home team. Our boys didn’t disappoint as they went on to post a 2-0 win over the Verdes team. We say congrats to WAGIYA for kicking off the season with a BIG W. Looking forward to seeing many more games at Carl Ramos Stadium and many more wins from the home team. Rugged Flores and Pele big up on the

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 Saturday 27th August, 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.

Firms Basketball competition enters semi-final round
The Belize District Basketball Association 2016 Firms’ Competition will play its semi-final round on Friday 26th August, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. Meanwhile, the Quarter Final round came to an end on Saturday 20th August, 2016, with two games on the schedule. In the first game scheduled to commence at 7:00 pm Belize City Council will go up against the Belize Bank Bulldogs and in the second game BTL will square off against Infotel. The finals which will utilise the best of three format will commence on Saturday 27th August, at 8:00 pm. In the first game played, BTL eliminated Mayan Man Warriors by the score of 85-82. The top scorers for BTL were Jason Vasquez with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals; Devon Lozano with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal and Lupito Acosta with 15 points and 2 rebounds. For the Mayan Man Warriors the top scorers were, Winston Pratt with 30 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal and Sheldon Williams with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.

CYDP 5th Annual Peace Cup to commence
The Conscious Youth Development Programme 5th Annual Peace Cup is scheduled to commence on Saturday 27th August, 2016, at the MCC Grounds. In connection with the 5th Annual Peace Cup competition, there will be a meeting on Friday 26th August, at 1:00 pm at 117 North Front Street. All coaches and managers are asked to make every effort to attend and to be on time. Also note that all registrations forms are due at the meeting.

Second-half goals propel Pachuca over Police United
Pachuca (2W-0D-0lL, 6 points) erupted for three second-half goals to defeat Police United FC, 3-0, in the 2016/17Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night at the Estadio Hidalgo. Half-time substitute Jonathan Urretaviscaya set-up a first goal and scored the third for the Tuzos, who outshot their opponents from Belize 29-3 to move ahead of Olimpia (1-0-1, 3) at the midpoint of group play. Erick Aguirre and Hirving Lozano also scored for Pachuca, which will close the group with two away matches, beginning with a visit to Police United (0-0-2, 0) on September 13. The 2009/10 SCCL champion has now recorded clean sheets in back-to-back SCCL matches, after a string of six games conceding at least one goal. The visitor fell to a second straight shutout defeat despite the heroics of goalkeeper Keith Allen, who made 15 stops.

Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament set for September 18th, 2016
The VII Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament has been rescheduled for Sunday 18th September, 2016, at the Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. The Memorial Tournament will feature the defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions (Unitedville Rebels United), Camalote as a special invitation as issued by Charles Solis, the top team from Belize City, Belize Rural, Cayo and the Stann Creek Softball Associations. The championship will commence at 9:00 am on Sunday 18th September 2016.

Re: Today's Belize News: August 26, 2016 [Re: Marty] #517112
08/26/16 06:02 AM
08/26/16 06:02 AM
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Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Section 53 In Context: The Church, The State, and You
Not every moral wrong can be a criminal wrong attracting imprisonment. This much we know intuitively to be true. For instance, though we would not encourage wanton promiscuity, it would not sit well with us if someone’s twenty-year old son or daughter could be […]

Alert for missing baby
Reports flooded the social media today of a 9 month baby kidnapped from inside his mom’s room. Breaking Belize News contacted the mother who would not speak on record for fear of jeopardizing her child’s return. However, late this evening a text message from […]

Doyle Garbutt shot to death in vehicle
Police are baffled by the apparent murder of 29 year old Doyle Garbutt, found yesterday evening in a vehicle at the corner of Balan and Giles Street in Belize City with a single gunshot wound to the head. But there was no trail to […]

Police investigate latest murder in the Old Capital; Belize City
Reports coming out from the old capital is that police officers are putting the pieces together in the latest homicide. Breaking Belize News was made to understand that the incident took place behind the complex in Lake Independence area of Belize City. This is […]

The National General forecast of Belize calls for a light and slightly moist northeasterly airflow to prevail over the region
The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies with cloudy spells during the daytime and cloudy later tonight. Showers and thunderstorms will generally be isolated except for a few more over inland areas this afternoon then along coastal areas tonight and tomorrow morning. Winds blow […]

Francis Fonseca: time for governance reform
Following his recent Facebook statement on sports, the former People’s United Party leader Francis Fonseca has commented on the Auditor General’s reports to be tabled this Friday at the meeting of the House of Representatives. “No Prime Minister,” says Fonseca, “should be able to spend every […]

Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility pays out for Hurricane Earl
The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) will pay out more than 522 thousand Belize dollars under its excess rainfall insurance policy, first purchased for the current policy year which began on June 1st – the same day as the hurricane season. The payment relates […]

BTB hands out six scholarships in tourism
Six young Belizeans are preparing to pursue further academic dreams in the field of tourism, and today the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) gave them important assistance. The over fifty thousand dollars in scholarship money from the Belize Tourism Board is, according to the BTB’s […]

Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize makes demands on Government
A formal protest led by Patrick Menzies’ Alliance of Ministers and Leaders of Belize and supported by COLA, the I Want My Country Back Movement, other church organizations and civil society, will take place on Friday in Belmopan during the House meeting. The Executive Body of the hereby […]

OAS report vindicates Belize soldiers and rangers
The Organization of American States’ (OAS) report on the incident in the Chiquibul in April, where a Guatemalan minor died, has leaked to the media and while neither government has released any official response, the report vindicates Belizean armed forces indicating that Belize Defense […]


Giving Orange Walk Tacos a try
Before I can even reveal my final thoughts on the famous Orange Walk tacos, I must explain a few things. I am from the Cayo District. I love the Cayo tacos that were rolled up in the factory made yellow-corn tortillas, dripping with stewed shredded chicken, topped with a cabbage slaw and a dash or two of pepper. They were a treat, and so in my head, they’re a bit romanticized. On Ambergris Caye, Neri’s Tacos are the go-to place to get those delicious little meat-filled treats. I love them so much, I’ve gotten Ruben and Enrique’s numbers on speed dial so I can avoid the long wait in line! When I show up, Vanessa (my favorite taco-maker) is quickly finishing up my double-meat, spicy $3 order. Hot, fresh, ready to go – made with love and served with a smile. (And if I go longer than a week without placing an order, they even tell me they miss me! I CAN be bought…with tacos!)

Blackadore Caye’s 2nd Public Consultation For Development: Reaching A Balance for Belize
Last night, at the San Pedro High School, the Belize Department of the Environment held the 2nd Environmental Impact Assessment Public meeting for the proposed project at Blackadore Caye, Belize. Blackadore Caye (just a quick refresh) is the long slender (beautiful) sandbar that is located west of Ambergris, almost exactly between the us and the mainland. It was added, just earlier this year, to the Hol Chan National Marine Reserve as a conservation zone. You can see it below as Zone V (land is in lavender). And you can see it here in lots of photos that I took in May – gorgeous and seriously barren. A sand bar covered in grass and crabs. Leonardo DiCaprio and investors purchased the island in 2007. Just this last year, after numerous rumors of a Four Seasons Resort, a development plan was announced at a January meeting with the public in San Pedro. The question and answer portion of that meeting became quite heated around the issue of over-the-water structures and the restricted use, by sport and commercial fishermen, of the flats around the caye.

My Cost of Living on Ambergris Caye, Belize
How much does it REALLY cost to live in Belize? A friend of mine just forwarded me an article: 8 Countries Where $200K Will Last 30 Years of Retirement. The list includes all the budget retiree hot spots: Panama, Ecuador, Thailand but then also includes Belize. Nerd that I am, I plugged that amount into an annuity calculator. 6% growth (aggressive), inflation, $200,000, 30 years…it comes out to $1,187US per month. Ouch. So…in actuality, the only country listed in this article that MIGHT work is Ecuador. Can you live in Belize on that “salary”? Probably. I would think about rural Belize – perhaps Benque in the West or small villages where rent is low. On Ambergris Caye, I would argue that you would have a lifestyle VERY different from what you are used to. Depending on the choices you make, you are not going to have transportation or air conditioning, you are not going to get to fly home to see the kids or grandkids, you are going to be scrimping and saving.

The Biggest Maya Tomb Ever Discovered Found at Xunantunich
Archaeologists have been excavating the ruins of Xunantunich in western Belize for more than 120 years, but it was only this year that a royal tomb was discovered buried 10 meters underneath the floor of the central building on the site. After pulling out tons of rubble that filled a central staircase, archaeologists unearthed one of the largest Maya tombs ever discovered. Inside, they found the skeleton of what is believed to have been a leader of the infamous “snake dynasty” as well as animal bones, vases, jade beads, and more than a dozen obsidian blades. What has the archaeologists most excited is the discovery of several panels covered in hieroglyphs dating back to the dynasty’s rule. Similar panels have been found at other sites in the region, depicting the story of a series of conquests by the so-called “snake dynasty” (named for the snake head emblem that the family used) that once dominated the area. Many of the panels were found partially destroyed, and archaeologists believe that one of the kingdoms that the snake dynasty bragged about conquering on the panels later usurped the family and smashed the panels in an effort to rewrite history. Once properly translated, archaeologists believe that the recently-discovered panels found at Xunantunich will fill in the missing parts of the dynasty’s history to tell the full story of a family that once ruled over what is now Caracol, Xunantunich, and several Maya city-states in Guatemala.

International Sourcesizz

NOAA Outlook for Central America August 25 – 31, 2016
During the past week, an increase in rainfall was observed over parts of Central America. Moderate to heavy rain fell over Guatemala, eastern Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, and the Southern Caribbean. The heaviest (> 100 mm) rain was received over the southwestern and northern portions of Guatemala, localized areas of eastern Honduras, southeastern Nicaragua, and the Pacific and Atlantic Basins of Costa Rica and Panama. In Guatemala, torrential rain caused the overflowing of the Cotoxá River, affecting many people in the San Luis area of the Petén department. Despite this past week’s average to above-average rain over some areas, moisture deficits have persisted over localized areas of Honduras and most parts of central Nicaragua over the past thirty days. The continuation of insufficient and poorly-distributed rain could negatively affect ongoing crops, associated with the Primera, May-August, and land preparation and planting for the Postrera, August-November rainfall seasons over some local areas.

The man behind Belize’s gay rights ruling
Until last week, I was an “un-apprehended felon” in my country. The law I broke — just by being myself — criminalized “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” including anal sex, making it punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Although I am an openly gay man, I was never prosecuted. Still, I was imprisoned all the same. Ever since 2010 when I decided to challenge the law, I’ve spent most of my time in my home, behind a security gate. Whenever I leave, I am insulted and threatened for being effeminate. I’ve also faced death threats and endured protests fueled by homophobic hatred. But not even these realities could dissuade me from pursuing my case. On Aug. 10, all the hardships—which pale in comparison to what many other LGBTI people face—were validated when the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Belize ruled in my favor on every argument. I brought my sister to the courtroom for the decision. Like my mom, she’s been with me from the start, paying my bills when I had no job or money. She even helped me establish the United Belize Advocacy Movement, the oldest and only policy and advocacy group of its kind in Belize. In court, she sat beside me. When she whispered that she was anxious, I whispered back, “tell you what—if you stay calm, so will I.”

Ancient Mayan Text Reinterpreted: Dresden Codex Reveals Astronomy Discovery 500 Years Before Copernicus
A reinterpretation of the Dresden Codex, the famed ancient Maya civilization pictographic text, suggests that a Mayan astronomer figured out that Earth’s sister planet Venus required a “leap year” — and the astronomer calculated it 500 years before Polish astronomer Nikolaus Copernicus discovered the same orbital oddity. What is revealed, by extension, is that the ancient Mayas were very aware that the Earth and other planets revolved around the Sun, and they had made the discovery half a millennium before Copernicus’ published his findings in defiance of the commonly held belief that the universe was geocentric. reported last week that University of California Santa Barbara professor of anthropology Gerardo Aldana believes the text of the Dresden Codex, one of less than 20 codices that survived the Spanish conquest of Central America, has been misinterpreted, particular in the pictographic panel known as the “Venus Table.” Making his argument in the Journal of Astronomy in Culture, Aldana posits the argument that the Venus Table is not just a collection of calculations of the phases of Venus as it moved between the Earth and the Sun, but instead is a calculation of Venus in its orbital revolution of the Sun.

Belize receives US$260,000 insurance payout for rains associated with Hurricane Earl
On August 18, CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) made a payout of US$261,073 to the government of Belize under its excess rainfall insurance policy, as a result of heavy rains that affected the country on August 4 and 5 during Hurricane Earl. CCRIF’s prompt payment to the government demonstrated its commitment to provide policy payouts within two weeks after a qualifying hazard event. Belize purchased excess rainfall coverage for the first time for the 2016/17 policy year, which began on June 1. The modelled “Rainfall Index Loss” determined from the level of Hurricane Earl’s rainfall was greater than the attachment point (the “deductible”) on the country’s excess rainfall policy and therefore the policy was triggered. As part of its disaster risk management programme, Belize also has a CCRIF tropical cyclone (TC) – or hurricane – policy, which is based on modelled losses due to wind and storm surge. However, the modelled losses from wind and storm surge due to Hurricane Earl were below the policy attachment point as selected by the government and therefore the country’s TC policy was not triggered.

US$33 million to finance climate change resilient infrastructure in the Caribbean
Officials from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have signed an agreement to provide US$33 million towards financing sustainable infrastructure projects in the Caribbean region. At least 50 percent of the funds will be used to fund climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. The agreement was signed last month at the CDB headquarters in Barbados, by French ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, Eric de la Moussaye, in the presence of CDB vice-president (operations), Patricia McKenzie. “Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with our geographical location leading to high exposure to natural hazards. Economic conditions also play a role, as there is a lack of access to long-term resources to finance sustainable climate-related infrastructure projects. We believe that these additional funds will go a long way towards building resilience and mitigating the impact of climate change in our region,” McKenzie said.


  • Morning Matters with Eunice, 69min.

  • Morning Matters at xunantunich, 58min.

  • Enviroconnect Belize Competition reality TV, 1min. Want to learn about the environment in an exciting, competitive, and thrilling way? We are so excited to share our first Enviroconnect Belize Competition reality TV series with you all!!! So tune in on August 30, 2016 at 8 p.m on Channel 5!!!!

  • GLA BELIZE 2016, 5min. Went to Belize for 3 weeks and had the time of my life!!

  • Great Blue Hole - Belize - 2016, 18min.

  • Great Blue Hole - Belize - 2016 - Ascent, 14min.


  • CCSA Belize Anthropology, 5min. This video documents my experience during the Ethnographic Field School in Belize hosted by CCSA in June 2016. The video shows views of Orange Walk Town, Belize, images of group outings and excursions, Belizean food, and images of Yo Creek, San Lazaro, and San Estevan villages in Orange Walk District, Belize. There was also a cave tubing excursion I was not able to get pictures of, because my camera is not waterproof. This was an amazing experience. I would highly recommend this program to any anthropology student, or any student interested in getting to really know Belizean culture. I would like to thank CCSA, NKU, and specifically, Dr. Douglas Hume and Dr. Nicole Roth for making this experience possible!

  • Condiff Dive Trip - Belize 2016, 4min. San Pedro, Belize

  • Belize Scuba Diving, 5.5min. 2016 - Dive trip to Ambergris Caye Belize

  • Belizean Soka (Lenny Bailey 2016), 4min. Lenny has been writing songs since the early 80’s and is popularly known in Belize for his hit single “Belizean Soka”, a tribute to his native country, Belize. Belizean Soka first debuted on the Belize radio station in 1983 and is still currently requested and played, especially around Belize’s national holidays; because of its national references.

  • NGSE Belize 2016, 3.5min. A 12 day adventure with NatGeo on the islands of Belize!

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