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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
Time to celebrate: September Celebrations Calendar of Events Released
Are you ready for the most patriotic time of the year in Belize? I know I am!
September is right around the corner, and it means that Belize will turning 35! To celebrate, Belizeans will be proudly waving the red and blue flag with the coat of arms to honor their heritage. It also means that events will be occurring across the country, leading up to Belize’s Independence Day on Wednesday, September 21st. Since the celebrations are often considered the most patriotic, festive, and memorable part of the year, the National Celebrations Commission (NCC) isn’t holding back from the thrill. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Sovereign and Strong – Together as one” and with the release of the 2016 Playbill and Calendar of Events, which includes celebrations, commemorations and other September-related programs around the country, there are enough activities to keep everyone entertained!
OAS Report Clears Belizean Soldiers on Shooting Death of Guatemalan Teenager
The Belize government has welcomed the findings of the Organization of American States (OAS) into the shooting death of a Guatemalan teenager earlier this year that had threatened to escalate the border dispute between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has made a statement to Parliament regarding the 22-page report by the OAS that investigated the April 20 killing of 14-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the OAS report is a clear vindication of the country. “It is clearly vindication, we are very pleased; we always knew, though, that that was in fact the position. Still a little worrying as to how the Guatemalans will react now, because this is clear vindication for the Belize Defence Force (BDF).
Misc Belizean Sources
What is the authority of the Speaker of the House of Representatives?
Section 91 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives addresses this:
General Authority of the Speaker
91.(1) The Speaker shall have power to regulate the conduct of
business in all matters not provided for in these Standing Orders.
(2) The decision in all cases for which these Standing Orders do
not provide, shall lie within the discretion of the Speaker, and shall not be open to challenge.
(3) The Speaker shall be responsible for the management and
general administration of the Chamber.
How and why can a member in the House of Representatives be named?
Section 44 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives addresses this:
44.-(5) If a Member shows disregard for the authority of the Chair, or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and willfully obstructing the business of the House or otherwise, the Speaker shall direct the attention of the House thereto, mentioning by name the Member concerned. The Speaker shall then call upon a Minister to move "That Mr. ........................ be suspended from the service of the House", and the Speaker shall forthwith put the question; no seconder being required and no amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed.
In the event a member of the House of Representatives is suspended from the session and refuses to leave, can the Speaker have that member removed?
Section 44. (10) and (11) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives addresses this:
(10) If any Member, who is ordered to withdraw or who is
suspended under this Standing Order, refuses at any time to obey the direction of the Speaker to withdraw from the House and its precincts, the Speaker shall call the attention of the House to the fact that recourse to force is necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction, and the Member named by him as having so refused to obey his direction shall thereupon, without further question put, be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of the Session.
(11) If resort to force is necessary, the Speaker may suspend the
sitting during the removal of the Member and invoke the assistance of any police officer in ejecting the offending member and such officer shall, for the purposes of this order, be deemed to be an Officer of the House.
Orange Walk Marketing Expo 2016
School is back in SESSION!
Ambassador Moreno and the U.S. Embassy wish all of the students a great school year. Study hard so in the future we can assist you over at the EducationUSA Reference Center in Belize City with your college applications to study at universities in the U.S.
Also in the spirit of the new school year, the U.S. Embassy donated over 150 backpacks to the Special Envoy's Back to School Drive. On August 31st this week our Deputy Chief of Mission will join the First Lady as they distribute the backpacks to local students here in Belize. Checkout the backpacks below!
San Pedro Traffic Department: School is on, be safe on the roads...
It's that time of year again, schools start this coming Monday September 5th.We are asking all drivers to please take extra care during the times when the children are arriving and leaving school. Please follow the instructions given by the wardens. Let's all keep our children safe. During School time, we are asking all drivers of heavy and big vehicles to avoid the area around the RC school during the time students arrive and leave school, including lunchtime. This is a request but we will force drivers of these type of vehicles to park till the students are safely in or out of school.
Spanish Reports on the Battle of 1798
The Belize History Association and the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (NICH) invites one and all to come and learn about the preliminary findings on what the Spanish had to say in regards to the battle in 1798. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Bliss Centre, 9:30-11am. University of Belize, 2:30 - 4pm.
Cricel Castillo Representing Belize at WBFF Worlds in Toronto Ontario Canada
Cricel Castillo is ready to make history for Belize by preparing to take the WBFF Worlds Championship.
Tune in and watch live as Cricel makes history for Belize.
International fans: Purchase the show live on PPV.
Preliminaries begin 10AM (8AM BZE TIME)
Final Show 5:30PM (3:30 PM BZE TIME)
First Friday of September Roadside and Beach Trash Pickup
Join the fun this Friday and keep it clean! Feels like we were just out there, but here we go again! Please join us, along with our friends at Grand Caribe Belize, for our next monthly trash pickup on Friday, September 2nd! We provide bags, gloves, trash pickers and water (and even tasty treats and refreshments at the end courtesy of Marbucks Coffee House!) - all that's missing is you!
2nd Annual KREMITE/SOS (soca or surrenda) JOUVERT 2016
call 202-4409/4469 for more details.
New and improved Operating Theatre at the Orange Walk Northern Regional Hospital
Residents in the Orange Walk District can expect to see a new and improved Operating Theatre at the Orange Walk Northern Regional Hospital by the end of November.
This afternoon, the Minister and Minister of State in the Ministry of Health Belize, Hon. Pablo Marin and Hon. Dr. Angel Campos, respectively, along with CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa signed contacts between the Government of Belize and various contractors for works and repairs to the facility.
Special Audit: Passport Immigration and Nationality Department
Scans of each page of this report.
Opposition Calls For Removal of House Speaker
Tonight Belizeans are still recovering from the stunning images coming out of Friday's house meeting where police forcibly ejected PUP representative Julius Espat from his seat on the opposition bench, and a police officer fired a live round to scare off a small group of protestors who were charging towards the National Assembly building.
Those events made history - and now the PUP want to force another kind of history: they want to Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte to resign or be removed because of the events of Friday afternoon. And they want him to apologize to Julius Espat - both of which have never happened before. Today at a press conference at party headquarters, opposition leader John Briceno laid out his party's demands:
PUP Plans Two Protests, Wants Government Out
And while that is the demand - based on past events, we'd say there's about….ah, let's say, 0% chance of it happening - which the PUP pretty much knows. So then, what's next for the opposition? Well, they want to use the momentum and the outrage from this event to drive the Barrow Administration out of Belmopan. Today, the opposition leader outlined their action plan:...
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP:
"The People's United Party on behalf of the Belizean people call this government to leave, to resign and to call elections now!"
"To prove our commitment to this, I call on all Belizeans, especially those of us who believe in democracy and good governance and who knows that we deserve better, to join us on Wednesday 7th September in Belize City for our "Save Belize" march, where we will take Belizean democracy back in a display of the power of the people."
Friday's House Meeting History: A Recap
And so that's where it is tonight: they PUP want both the House Speaker and the Barrow administration gone - and they're going to "take it to the streets" to get that done.
There's no telling yet where that effort will go, but if Friday's events do demonstrate anything, it's that in politics, a few minutes can change everything. Tonight Daniel Ortiz recaps all those minutes that made Friday's House Meeting pivotal:...
Daniel Ortiz reporting:
The day started off as normal with the Members of the House of Representatives debating the different items on their agenda.
Outside, a second protest was organized by members of churches, this time by the Spanish arm of the Evangelicals, with a few familiar faces.
Louis Wade - Protester/Talkshow Host:
"Today is different, we are not afraid to call a demonstration today and we're not afraid to associate with COLA, PPORS, the Alliance and other groups as well as some teachers are here today."
PUP Says Speaker Made Multiple Errors in Ejecting Espat
And today the PUP gave it's legal opinion on both the forcible ejection of Cayo South's Julius Espat and the rough-handed removal of the press from the House Chamber. Starting with the Espat incident, where he was named by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington - the PUP says that the House Speaker had his procedure all mixed up. PUP Deputy Kareem Musa explains his interpretation of events:...
Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP - Caribbean Shores
"The Hon. Julius was very emotional, there was a back and forth and he did say something that offended the house speaker. Now, section 44 3 deals with when something offensive is said in the house and that is called the withdrawal of the member for the day's sitting. That is the particular section that the honorable house speaker should have applied and if I may read that section..."
Hon. Musa Says Media Should Not Have Been Moved
And the PUP's also say that the media were wrongfully removed. As we've shown you, the police pushed out the media, and dragged out our news News Director Jules Vasquez on his back. Jules's position was that the police don't have the authority to eject the press - only the Speaker does, and we certainly weren't going to go quietly so that the cops could then eject Julius Espat without having the press witness that piece of history. Today - perhaps not surprisingly - the PUP sided with the media:...
Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP - Caribbean Shores:
"Because the speaker before leaving his chair did not clear the media from the gallery and so the police officers, I don't know whose instructions they were acting on, then acted unlawfully. Because Jules Vasquez is right. He had all right to be where he was recording history."
Junie Balls Son Stabbed To Death At Soca Concert
21 year old George Mckenzie Jr. was murdered yesterday morning around 12:45. If that name sounds familiar it should, because he was the son of George Mckenzie Sr. the notorious, "Junie Balls" - a legendary gangster known as the Godfather of Pink's Alley.
Sunday August 28th marked the 9th anniversary of his execution - and it was the same day his son was killed. Now was it some sort of plan to kill Mckenzie Jr. on 9th anniversary of his father's death? Or was it just a bad mix of coincidence and a petty disagreement? Courtney Weatherburne went to Pink's Alley to find out.
Courtney Weatherburne reporting:
For mother Melissa Major, these two pictures were her favorites, the man standing tall in full white is her son George McKenzie Junior and the picture right beside him, is of his father, McKenzie Sr, better known as "Junie Balls". Looking at her son's picture would always bring her comfort after "Junie Balls" was killed in 2007, but now, these images on her TV stand bring her grief, and they are now just reminders of all she has lost.
Northside Homicide By Southside Gang
Now while Northside police are searching for more leads in this murder case, south side police also have their work cut out for them. Police did not confirm this in their briefing but reports are that it was members of a south side gang who murdered Mckenzie. Today ACP Chester Williams told us about the gang interventions he is doing in relation to Mckenzie's execution.
ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South:
"Well you would know that the Pink's Alley crowd is affiliated or they have some connection to Southside gangsters and then Pink's Alley crowd again have some affiliation with Banak Street, because the son of George McKenzie Jr. do have affiliations in Banak. So we have to be mediating between Banak, Southside and George Street, because from information they stabbing was done by George Street. So we do not want there to be any spillover or any retaliation coming either from Southside or Banak. As it relates to the Pink's Alley crowd, they are over on Northside. I have not been able to have a chance to speak with them, but I'll be going over there this evening to have a talk with them to see how I can also reach out to them to be able to bring this thing to an end and let the investigation takes its course."
GSU Vs. GTC, Meighan Brothers Shot
And while ACP Williams is doing gang mediation - on Sunday morning, right after the murder, it seems the GSU was doing gang aggravation. They were caught in a dangerous exchange of fire with gang combatants in the middle of a crowded community. This came after the gang trailed a group of persons associated with the Ghost Town neighborhood to their community and then proceeded to shoot two of them - and not just any two; they shot two of the Meighan brothers - who are considered leaders of the Ghost Town Crips. That set off all kinds of chaos in the community. Now, to make it clear, as you saw in our earlier story, the Meighan's are not suspects in the Mckenzie murder because they were friends and allies with the young man. But, it seems the GSU was either just waiting for a chance to pounce on ghost town, or doing an aggressive pre-emptive strike to block retaliation. Either way, all hell broke loose as gunshots rained down on Mayflower Street. Jules Vasquez went there yesterday for a damage assessment:..
Chester To GSU: "No Come Yah With That"
Eventually, the southside commander Chester Williams had to be called in to quell the chaos. Today ACP Williams spoke candidly and courageously about the conduct of the GSU, saying they overdid it and that if the GSU can't get with their new policing program, they better stay out of the Southside.
ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South:
"Yesterday there was an incident in the Mayflower between the GSU and the elements from the Mayflower/Banal Street area and yes it is an unfortunate situation. I have spoken to the Commissioner about and the commissioner have directed that Professional Standards Bureau conducts an intensive investigation into the matter to ensure that there is impartiality in the way how the investigation is being conducted."
"Video has been made public, showing that the GSU actually came with a lot of aggression. From what I understand at least 5 shots were fired from one of the officers, one which hit Mr. Meighan."
Killer Ambushed Orange Walk Resident
A man was shot and killed in front of his home in Orange Walk. Yesterday morning around 5:00, Kevin Flowers arrived at his gate when someone opened fire on him, hitting him in the head and back. Police believe the gunman was waiting and hiding out in Flowers' yard. ASP Tillett told us the little they have so far.
ASP Selvin Tillett, OC - Orange Walk Police:
"We don't want to speculate. We have certain information that we are following at this moment."
"Does the police have any fear of retaliation?"
ASP Selvin Tillett, OC - Orange Walk Police:
"Well as I said, we are ready for any happens, but at this moment we will try and work as quick and hard as we can to avoid any such incident to happen."
Caye Caulker Resort Keeper Charged for Knife Murder
On last week Wednesday's newscast, we took you to Caye Caulker for the very strange murder of 51 year-old Jennifer Coleman. Well, the man who police believe to be her killer is at the Belize Central Prison Tonight. 51 year old Donald Heredia - who is a groundskeeper for an island resort, was charged with her murder when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was remanded until September 30. Herredia is believed to have frequented her house. Coleman was found bleeding from a stab wound to the neck. That was just before midnight on Tuesday, and though the cops tried to get her help, she passed away. The investigators found a knife on the scene which they believe is the murder weapon.
OAS PRESENTS INDEPENDENT REPORT
Last week, we reported multiple times on the results of the OAS Independent Investigation Team which did a thorough inquiry into the shooting death of 14 year old Guatemalan Julio Ruano. The report has vindicated Belize, but the Guatemalan officials are not prepared to concede that at this time, and we'll get to their refusal shortly. But first, we tell you about a press conference which the OAS held at their Adjacency Zone Office at the Benque/Melchor border on Saturday. That's where the Secretary General's Special Representative, Magdalena Talamás, hosted a 7 minute press briefing.
Though she took questions from the press, she was unable to say anything that you the viewers don't already know. Here are those brief comments:
Magdalena Talamas, O.A.S. Representative:
"I have traveled to Belize and to Guatemala at the request of the Secretary General to formally hand over the report of the independent commission that carried out the investigation of the incident that took place in the Adjacency Zone on April 20th. I would like to clarify that this report is technical report that was conducted, it was produced by forensic experts that are not OAS staff members. The governments of the United States and Mexico responded affirmatively and put at disposal two very high level experts."
Foreign Minister Address House On OAS Report
And while the OAS Special Representative was very conservative in her remarks, so too was Belize's Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington. We showed you on Friday how he didn't need any apology from Guatemala for the outrageous and erroneous comments that the Guatemalan President, His Ambassador to Belize, and his Foreign Affairs Minister made.
At Friday's House Meeting, Elrington dryly reported to his colleagues that the Independent Expert's report has been delivered to him. Here's a portion of his presentation:
And, if you're waiting for an apology from the Guatemalans, don't hold your breath. The Guatemalan Foreign Minister is quoted in their media as explaining that they question the chain of custody of evidence relied on by the independent experts, and that at the heart of it, the report pits the accounts of the diverging sides of the fatal shooting against each other.
DPM Says No Free Ride From GOB
The saga of Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber's drowned SUV continues tonight, and up until Friday it was hemorrhaging the UDP.
Before Friday's House Meeting went awry, the leader of the Opposition asked the Prime Minister if he would buy the Deputy a new vehicle. The Prime Minister said that Government would do so.
So even though the PM committed to 90 thousand for a new vehicle, plus a little more in consideration of Faber's Deputy Prime Minister-ship - today Faber turned it down. He sent out a release today saying he will personally finance the replacement of his ministerial vehicle quote, "via personal resources."
And if that sound sort of vague, the release adds, quote, "For full disclosure, the Deputy Prime Minister informs that the financing of his new vehicle will come by way of a personal loan from his bank and an interest accruing salary advance."
No Permit, No Problem: Christians Will Protest
In our recap of the madness at Friday's House Sitting, we showed you outside where Belize City agitators seized control of the protest and turned it from a peaceful demonstration to a riot-like confrontation with the Belmopan police.
Well, chief organizer Patrick Menzies, the President of the Spanish Church's Alliance of Ministers and Leaders, told us today that they are going back to Belmopan tomorrow. He told us via phone that the police are refusing to grant him a permit, but they will still be out there nonetheless:
We'll be there, and we will tell you what happened in tomorrow's newscast.
PUP Says GOB Should Appeal Part of Section 53
At its press conference today the PUP said that the government should challenge the section 53 judgment made by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. But, like the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition urged a challenge based on the Chief Justice's interpretation of the word "sex" to mean "sexual orientation". He explained why the issue of intercourse against the order of nature was not deemed important to challenge:
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP:
"When you take a close look at the judgment and there is just one part of the judgment that most people are against or they are concerned, and that is the issue about the new interpretation of sex to mean sexual orientation. And when you have so many citizens demanding clarity on that portion of the ruling then I think it is the responsibility of the government to appeal to get clarity whichever way it will happen, to go to the Court of Appeal and if necessary to the Caribbean Court of Justice."
Duff Says Audit Has it All Wrong
On Thursday's newscast, we told you about how House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte is demanding an apology from the Auditor General, and amendment to her Audit Reports on Immigration and Nationality.
Well, as you know, it names a number of UDP Ministers, former Ministers, and UDP operatives as being involved in irregular and questionable issuances of passports, visas, and nationality certificates.
Well, there is another person who is disputing the Auditor General's findings. He's 76 year-old Ladyville Resident Valvin Seymore Duff Sr., who says that he is sure that the Dorothy Bradley got it wrong in his case. He said that he's been living uninterrupted in Belize for close to 40 years, so he does not know how and why he does not qualify for a passport.
Duff told us this evening that he got the surprising news from his friends who pointed it that his name was printed in the Belize Times Newspaper:
Briceno Explains How He Got Into Passport Audit
One other person whose name is in the report is PUP Leader John Briceno. We were the first to inform him of this on Friday, but indeed, it's right there in the passport audit for an application that did not meet requirements. We asked him to explain today.
Jules Vasquez, 7News:
"Your name is also in the audit for the passport section for one Dalia Amanda Brikish. What is the situation with that?"
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP:
"Dalia Amanda Brikish is my wife's aunt. She is a Belizean. She grew up in Orange Walk. She married a man who is a Canadian with origins from Yugoslavia, lived in Belize all his life. She was renewing her passport and according to the report all it says is that I never put the stamp. That's all."
Jules Vasquez, 7News:
"The problem is that that is a mistake. Elvin Penner seems to have made on 3 successive occasions - so that by association it makes it suspicious."
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP:
"Your point is?"
P.U.P. Calls Suspension of Espat “An Attack on Democracy”
The political brouhaha at the sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday remains at the forefront of national discourse tonight. It is the first time that security forces are [...]
P.U.P. Leader Gives Kudos to Friday Protestors in Belmopan
In the wake of Friday’s chaotic sitting, the People’s United Party announced that it has agreed to hold a series of activities; the first to take place on Wednesday at [...]
Julius Espat Believes He Has Not Been Lawfully Suspended
Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat was suspended as a member of the House of Representatives, at Friday’s scandalous sitting. While questions have been raised as to the legitimacy of [...]
Briceño Says Michael Peyrefitte Must Go
According to senior parliamentarian and Leader of the Opposition John Briceño, the Speaker of the House has been very biased in moderating House debates. The P.U.P. claims the Speaker does [...]
P.U.P. Condemns Police’s Removal of Press at End of House Meeting
The ejection of the media from the gallery has also raised concerns in respect of the apparent abuse of authority by members of the police department. Without verbal authorization from [...]
P.U.P. Does About Turn on Section 53; It Now Wants Appeal
The People’s United Party is also calling for an appeal of the Supreme Court decision on Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code. In the days following the landmark ruling, the [...]
Opposition to Protest in Belize City Next Wednesday
The P.U.P. touched on a number of other issues. It weighed-in on the massive turnout of protestors who were present for the COLA/Evangelical Church rally in Belmopan on Friday. According [...]
Kareem Musa on Standing Orders in House
Turning to the procedure on the naming of a member of the House of Representatives…. As you know, the House ended in utter confusion not to mention the chaos after [...]
P.U.P. Joins Call for Government to Join UN Anti-Corruption Convention
The People’s United Party has joined the B.P.P. in demanding that the Barrow administration immediately sign on the UN Convention on Anti-corruption. The urgent call for the U.D.P. government to [...]
George McKenzie Jr. Stabbed to Death During Entertainment Event
A man well-known to the law was murdered during a fete in Belize City over the weekend. George McKenzie Junior, the son of slain gang leader George McKenzie, was stabbed [...]
3-cornered Gang Beef Forces Police to Intervene
But Eastern Division South Regional Commander, ACP Chester Williams, says that information gathered so far indicates that the stabbing murder of McKenzie Junior was carried out by a member of [...]
GSU Accused of Shooting Meighan Brothers in Mayflower Street Area
Shortly after the stabbing of George McKenzie Junior on the ITVET Compound, shots rang out over on south side of Belize City in the Mayflower/Banak Street area. Brothers Tyrone and [...]
Southside Commander Says G.S.U.’s Aggressive Tactics Not Welcome
ACP Williams says that the incident is counterproductive to the efforts that they have put in place. He laid out why the Gang Suppression Unit’s aggression is no longer welcome [...]
Orange Walk Police Puzzled Over Early Morning Murder
In Sugar City, Orange Walk, police are still puzzling over the murder of twenty-eight year old Kevin Flowers, gunned down in front of his Smithsonian Street home in the early [...]
A Caye Caulker Man is Arrested for Woman’s Murder on Island
Five days ago, Caye Caulker resident, Jennifer Coleman was murdered at her apartment on the island when her throat was cut. Today, a mentally challenged man was charged for her [...]
Independent Commissioners Present Report on Julio Alvarado Death
A report from experts, Doctors James Hamby of the U.S. and Doctor Patricia Trujillo of Mexico, on the killing of a Guatemalan minor back in April was released last week [...]
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Blasts Barrow and Talamas – Belizeans “Shameless”
The report of the independent investigation has incensed Guatemala. As soon as it was released, the Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales made comments to Emisoras Unidas, a news outlet across [...]
Carlos Raul Morales Says Report is not Conclusive, Must Be Expanded
By and large in the aftermath of the death of fourteen-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, it was felt that the Guatemalan government was ahead in its campaign to internationalize their [...]
Eastern Division South’s Back to School drive continues
The second of three back to school drives organized by the Eastern Division South Police Department took place today at the Raccoon Police Station. Over a hundred and twenty children [...]
Kaya Cattouse Wins Regional Cycling Race in Merida
We’ll have much more in Sports with James Adderley, but today, elite female cyclist Kaya Cattouse told us that she competed in a race in Merida over the weekend. The [...]
James Adderley And the Weekend Sporting Activities
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. We turn immediately to the Premier Football League Opening season where Week II took us to Sugar City where [...]
Cecil Ramirez Jr. freed of murder charge
An SJCJC Student who was slapped with a single charge of murder back in December 2015, has been set free. 20 year old Cecil Ramirez Jr., saw the charge withdrawn by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for insufficient evidence. Ramirez, defended by Dickie Bradley and Senior Counsel Sai...
Two charged for King’s Park home invasion
In mid-July there was a home invasion in the King’s Park area where an elderly senior citizen in the company of her daughter and her boyfriend were held at gun point. The gun man raided the home, taking the home owner’s safe containing all her valuable jewellery worth over $17,000 and 20 thousand US...
Woman’s troubles after bail revoked
Belizean American Kimberly Lino, whose bail of $30,000 was revoked last week by Justice John Gonzalez, almost fainted today when she was being escorted from the Supreme Court back to the holding cell at the magistrate’s court after she was told that her reapplication for bail has been adjourne...
Breaking Belize News
PUP calls on Belizeans to stand against corruption
The People’s United Party (PUP), in a press conference at Independence Hall in Belize City this afternoon, announced that it is organizing a protest to be held on September 7th in Belize City in response to what the party considers rampant and obvious instances of corruption and […]
PUP to take to the streets
Claiming that the Cayo South area representative was attempting to present evidence of one of the worst instances of corruption in Belizean history when he was stopped and hauled out of the House of Representatives, the People’s United Party (PUP) has demanded that Julius […]
GSU shoots man during confrontation in Belize City
Reports coming from the old capital are that the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) shot a man during a confrontation in Belize City this weekend. A video posted on Facebook has gone viral and it shows the Gang Suppression Unit firing shots and you […]
Missing woman from San Ignacio Town found hanging in abandoned cement house
Desiree Denise Gladden, 49, who went missing this weekend was found hanging in an abandoned cement house located at the corner of Church Street and Bullet Tree road in San Ignacio Town. Mechanical asphyxia was the cause of her death and the body was […]
Belize City police investigate shooting in the old capital
Just a little after midnight on Sunday, August 28th 2016, Belize City police visited the KHMH where they saw 19 year old Clarence Thompson of a Belize City address with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the left shoulder. Initial Investigation has revealed that Thompson was […]
Belize Progressive Party Commends the Auditor General, Ms. Dorothy Bradley
This afternoon, the Belize Progressive Party( BPP) issued a release commending the Auditor General, Ms. Dorothy Bradley, for conducting the investigation of the immigration department without fear or favor. According to the press release, the BPP calls all government employees to conduct their service to the public with utmost […]
Orange Walk police investigate murder of Kevin Flowers
Kevin Flowers, 28, was gunned down around 5:00 Sunday morning when he arrived home and attempted to open the gate in front of his residence on Smithsonian Street. According to Inspector Selvin Tillett, police believe that the gunman may have been waiting on Flowers inside his […]
Cayo man beaten in Benque succumbs to injuries
On August 5th we reported that Michael Pagett, 36, from San Ignacio Town was badly beaten by two men in Benque Viejo Del Carmen on July 31st 2016 and was in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The incident happened […]
Booking a Hotel in Belize: How To Get Your Best Deal
So…you’ve been dreaming of a tropical getaway, snorkeling and sunning, and you thought of Belize. Maybe a friend has visited recently and raved or you stumbled upon one of Belize’s new super cute short videos…
…or maybe even my blog or Instagram account and the MANY reasons that Belize is SO DIFFERENT from just your average Caribbean beach get-away. (Belize is SO DIFFERENT: Here’s Why)
But here’s a tip that might be different for you too. When booking travel, many use travel websites. I love Kayak.com for booking flights.
And I always peruse Expedia, Tripadvisor, Hotels.com to research, pick and often book a hotel.
September Celebrations in Belize
In early Belize history, the country was under Spanish rule, but Spain did not actually control the area due to a belief that it did not have sufficient resources to gain the country’s full attention. Spain allowed British settlers into the area, and the British eventually gained a large presence. During the Battle of St. George’s Caye, the Spanish and British fought for about a week in September 1798, and this essentially led to British rule of the country. The British held control over the area until it was granted self-government in 1964, and it was renamed Belize from British Honduras in 1973. Belize finally attained independence on 21 of September 1981.
Each year during September, Belizeans celebrate their independence in a number of ways. Below are a few examples:
13 Unique Belize Resorts to Visit this Fall
If you’re planning to visit Belize this fall, but you can’t decide where to stay because you have found too many choices, it’s understandable. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of resorts known for their luxe environs, amenities and award-winning hospitality—and this doesn’t begin to touch on the natural wonders that await your arrival like our famous reef, jungles, wildlife, Mayan ruins and the friendliest English-speaking people on the planet. The following 13 resorts are not just enclaves of relaxation and pleasure; they’re trend-setting lodgings that have put Belize on the Caribbean tourism map. Are they the only reason Belize has a growing reputation for being the hottest destination in the region? Nope. Airlines are adding routes to meet growing demand–the newest of which are Westjet, starting direct Toronto flights in October, and Southwest Airlines launching a Denver leg to its already-impressive U.S. cities of origin list as of March 2017.
Canciller Morales pedirá una ampliación del informe de la OEA
The Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Raul Morales calls OAS Representative Magdalena Talamas "anything but diplomatic" after her statement concerning the investigation into the April 20th incident in the Chiquibul which resulted in the death of a Guatemalan minor.
Prime Minister Barrow has requested an apology for the unfair accusations levied against the Belize Defense force in the wake of the incident. Morales describes the request as irresponsible.
US tells Haiti it will cut off money transfers in November if no reforms undertaken
The Obama Administration has reportedly warned that it will end all money transfers from the US to Haiti in November, 2016, unless certain unspecified "corrective measures" are taken.
Many Haitians have, for decades, been largely supported by remittances sent by expatriates working in America to their needy families in Haiti, but that route is also used to repatriate the proceeds of narcotics crime, and apparently the United States has lost patience with the Haitian financial industry's non-existent anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) efforts. Most North American compliance officers are ill-informed about the thriving Venezuela-to-Haiti-to USA drug trafficking route, believing Haiti to be an extremely poor country and not understanding its key role in drug smuggling and money laundering operations.
USD33 mn 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 USD33,000,000 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,” said Mrs. McKenzie.
How to Make the Most Out of Three Days in Belize
San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye may be tiny, but it has tons to offer the weekend tourist.
VACATIONS ARE A BIG COMMITMENT. You want to make the best of your too-short time off and find the best of the best while you’re there. The problem with sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp is that yeah, you get a snapshot view of what you’re interested in, but you don’t really know what it’s like until you get there—at least, that’s how I felt traveling to San Pedro, Belize.
Even though I only spent a weekend there, I feel like a combination of planning ahead (with those aforementioned travel sites) and going with the flow gave me a feel for the best Belize has to offer. Below, my own tips for making the most out of a short jaunt south.
Only a 2 ½ plane ride to Belize City, piece of cake right? After going through customs in the most adorable little airport ever, complete with duty free liquor stores advertising Rough flight? We’ve got complimentary shots!, you’ve got two options to get over to San Pedro—boat or mini plane. The mini plane is the way to go. The boat a) takes much longer b) is not at all scenic and c) isn’t that much cheaper. The mini-plane, on the other hand, takes you on a gorgeous ride over the ocean and islands and the flight only takes 20 minutes.
Belize Boy Travels to Baltimore to Receive Life-Changing Eye Treatment
At just 2-years-old he is facing a battle that could affect the rest of his life.
Born in Belize, 3-months premature, George Garcia has faced many medical issues– the latest — leading his family to doctors right here in Baltimore to attempt to correct is eye sight issues.
He is your normal 2-year-old full life, energy and laughter.
But life has not been so easy for George.
“We have been to Guatemala for the first surgery; he got a cataract removed,” said his mother, Maria Garcia. “And then the second surgery was in Mexico. That one was to remove some dry blood that was in his eye that was causing swelling.”
In Belize, George was born at just 1 pound and 4 ounces. He spent 11 months in intensive care, underwent his first surgery within his first month of life for a testicular hernia.
Now, his family is here in Baltimore meeting with doctors at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute.
NAU Archaeologist Jaime Awe Describes ‘Unbelievable’ Find in Belize
Archeologists made a major discovery in Belize this summer: they uncovered one of the largest Mayan tombs ever found, along with two hieroglyphic panels. Northern Arizona University professor Jaime Awe led the expedition. From the Arizona Science Desk, Melissa Sevigny spoke with Awe about the discovery.
Melissa Sevigny: So you made some big findings in Belize this summer. Can you talk about that?
There’s a site in Western Belize known as Xunantunich. That site has been investigated since the turn of the 19th century, so back in 1890s. Just a large number of people have worked there. Nobody had ever found a burial of an important elite ruler of the site.
This year we decided to excavate this one smaller temple, and bingo, we hit this huge tomb, in fact one of the largest tombs ever discovered in the country of Belize.
NAU Expedition Uncovers Mayan Tomb in Belize
An archaeology expedition led by Northern Arizona University has uncovered one of the largest Mayan tombs ever found in Belize, and scientists are calling it the most significant discovery in more than a century of research at the site.
The dig took place at Xunantunich in western Belize. NAU professor Jaime Awe brought his team of more than 30 students to the site, where they uncovered a burial chamber five times larger than a typical Mayan tomb.
“Most tombs in the Maya world are sort of dug into existing buildings,” Awe said. “Not in this case. In this case, they constructed this tomb and then built the pyramid on top of it.”
The tomb holds the remains of what appears to be an important Mayan ruler, animal bones and artifacts.
This time we mean it: Alana Shock's moving on, possibly to Belize
Chef Alana Shock, who for years has been one of Columbus’ most prized and inventive chefs, says she and her husband/co-owner Kevin Bertschi have put Alana’s Food and Wine (2333 N. High St.) up for sale after 18 years.
“I have a great business here. People love this place, but I have been literally standing in my kitchen for 32 years now,” Shock says. It’s time for a change. So, what does the future hold?
“It’s rather refreshing to not know,” Shock says. She does, however, have options. One is a job offer in Belize. Her former college roommate’s friends are planning to open an eco lodge in the Central American home of Mayan ruins, dense forests and the Caribbean Ocean. Shock was asked to travel down over her birthday in September to discuss the opportunity.
“Palo de Campeche”, Logwood natural dye that changed the textile industry
In 1540, when Spanish troops captured the Mayan port of Kin Pech on the Gulf of Mexico, they found an unexpected treasure: a small, scrawny tree that grew all over the nearby forests — and from which a gorgeous, red-orange dye could be made.
That was a big deal back in Europe, where only the rich could foot the hefty bills for purple capes, red waistcoats and other bright clothes dyed with the juices of rare bugs, exotic plants and the like. Commoners could only afford clothes dyed with cheap, drab materials. Like soot.
Soon, galleon loads of the Kin Pech trees began showing up in Spain, and news that a cheap source of colorful dye had been found blasted across the European continent like a cannonball. The sooty set could now dress like the silky set.
All this from a little tree simply called logwood.
Concern over Brexit in vulnerable Commonwealth states
Key industries in some Commonwealth nations could take massive hits if appropriate steps aren’t taken following the UK’s departure from the EU. The forecast over so-called Brexit comes from policy experts’ analysis in two new research papers published by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
"Brexit is a journey into unknown trading arrangements, both for the UK dealing with the EU, and the UK’s trading relationship with a large number of developing countries. Many have benefited from EU trade preferences," said Dr Mohammad Razzaque, head of the Secretariat’s international trade policy section.
The analysis is part of the Secretariat's peer reviewed 'Trade Hot Topics' series. The latest papers suggest that the uncertainties caused by Brexit may weaken the chances of world economic recovery. This in turn will have severe implications for many developing and so called least developed countries or LDCs.
Virgin Boss Richard Branson “Amazed To Be Alive” After Crashing Bike in British Virgin Islands
Sir Richard Branson saw “his life flash before my eyes” during a bike crash close to a cliff edge that left him needing hospital treatment.
The Virgin founder suffered a badly damaged cheek and severe cuts to his body after crashing his bicycle during training on the island of Virgin Gorda.
Dramatic photos from the incident show a bloodied and bruised Sir Richard receiving emergency treatment at the scene after he missed a bump in the road and was thrust into the air, over the handlebars and onto the concrete.
“The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes,” he wrote in his blog.
Here’s Why Caribbean Bankers Are Giving The IMF Chief A Thumbs Up
The Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. (CAB) is strongly supporting IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s proposed approach to dealing with the de-risking/correspondent banking issue that threatens some regional economies. It’s her suggestion that “it is a collective action problem that calls for a collective solution” that is getting her a thumbs up from the CAB.
De-risking is where international banks limit or terminate their relationships with regional financial institutions because of fears that money laundering and questionable sources of funds which would cause them [international banks] to receive heavy fines from their regulators.
The CAB said in a statement issued yesterday that it has been active in raising and advocating on the issue and its effects on the Caribbean region since 2014, when it brought the matter to the attention of Caribbean governments and other stakeholders.
The CAB had requested regional intervention and highlighted that the loss of correspondent banking relationships could render the Caribbean region unbankable and ultimately destabilize all sectors of the economies.
KAYAK RACE AD, 1min. from PGTV News Network
San Antonio Village, Corozal North, Corozal, Belize, 3min. Village Meeting, Village Council 2016-2019, Mrs. Veronica Riveroll Chairlady
Belize's Citizens Security, People's Referendum & Good Governance, 13min. Paco Smith, Chairman of the Belize Progressive Party - BPP speaks on issues affecting Belize.
Excerpt from our August 18, 2016 Press Conference
A DAY IN CAYE CAULKER BELIZE, 8min. Our typical day here in Caye Caulker. Diving, fishing and eating!
UWI Belize Constitutional Case Briefing, 45min. Tracy Robinson, an LGBT advocate, shares the background story of HOW and WHY Belize was selected for the sodomy lawsuit challenge, characteristics of a "favourable environment" for the first lawsuit of many in the Caribbean. Quite revealing...
Belize Vacation Adventure, 5min.
Diving with Dolphins on B&D Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min. We saw dolphins in Belize, but on that dive my GoPro was out of charge, so I couldn't record our most phenomenal dive of the week. However, we managed to make contact with another diver in an adjacent group who sent us this video. You can hear the dolphins clearly and see how they were chasing the hapless sharks around. They paused to check out the divers, then went on their way.
Booth Random Walk Belize 2016, 2.5min. Making Friends Under Water
Carlos Bardalez Jr, 1min.
And the 2016 September Celebrations are OFFICIALLY opened: "Sovereign and Strong. Together as One!, 4min. Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture officially declares the 2016 Belize September Celebrations Open.
Treasure Found - Long Lost Logs from Belize, 11min. This video gives you an overview of the early logging methods once used to harvest Mahogany in Belize, (once known as British Honduras), and what is being done about all the logs that were lost to the bottoms of rivers and lagoons during 200+ years of Mahogany harvest.
Doyle Family Vacation Video - Belize June 10-16, 2016, 15min.
Cruise Crew 2016, 3min. Mexico, Belize, Honduras
Isla Marisol - Belize, 2min. Little video of our diving in Isla Marisol - Belize 2016.
Belize Jungle Tour 2016, 6min. Zip line and cave tubing with King David Castillo.
Belize - nurse shark after free lion fish meal, 2min.
Belize 2016, 3.5min. Loyola students and faculty members travel to Belize for a service trip.