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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
Carnival Road March 2016: A parade of Patriotism and Culture!
Heavy rain just minutes before the commencement of the annual Carnival Road March in Belize City, did not dampen the spirits of thousands of patriotic Belizeans on Saturday September 17th. The event is part of the September Celebrations and it started pre-dawn with the annual jouvert, culminating in the afternoon with a grand carnival parade, complete with elaborate, glittery and feathery costumes.
The morning jouvert set the bar high for the afternoon carnival road march, which left the Yarborough Area south of Belize City, and made its way along Central American Boulevard, culminating on Marine Parade at the BTL Park. From steel pan bands mounted on large double deck trucks, to blaring speakers playing Soca beats, the atmosphere was celebratory and filled with color and fun, as hundreds of dancers lit up the carnival route. The gruelling temperature and humid atmosphere did not faze the thousands of spectators lining the parade route as they cheered on the dancers as they made their way to the BTL Park. Stationed at strategic points along the way were a set of judges, awarding points to the carnival groups for some fabulous prizes.
BNTU protests with “Stand Up For Belize” campaign
On Monday, September 19th, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) staged a massive demonstration to highlight issues of national importance within the education system of Belize. As part of the “Stand Up for Belize” solidarity campaign, over 2,500 BNTU members gathered in Belmopan City, wearing their signature green t-shirts. The protest is in response to Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow’s government decision to defer their 3% salary adjustment until April 2017. Not only does BNTU want their salary increase now, but they are also demanding good governance for the country, after all the recent corruption scandals within the Government of Belize (GOB). On September 19th, through confirmation from the MOE, classes were officially canceled. In San Pedro, nearly all of the teachers of San Pedro High School were absent, 28 teachers from the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and 16 teachers from Holy Cross Anglican Primary School left the island to participate in the protest.
Alex Noralez Elected President of National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch
“I am humbled that you entrusted the affairs of our people to me and pledge to work arduously along with the new elected officials and our community as we strive to unite our people and to promote our culture to the max,” stated Noralez.
National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch include:
President - Alex Noralez,
Vice President - Virginia Melendez,
Secretary - Eden Velasquez,
Asst. Secretary - Elsy Guity,
Treasurer - Elroy Castillo,
Asst. Treasurer - Amanda Martinez.
Misc Belizean Sources
National Service Day
"I would like to be known as a good Belizean, one who went through life in a pilgrimage and left the world a better place than he found it." --- George Cadle Price (January 15,1919 - September 19, 2011)
On this day, 5 years ago, Belize lost its Father of Independence, the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. Today, in his honour, Belizeans across the country remember Belize's first Prime Minister through community service acts as we celebrate National Service Day.
We join the nation in remembering the man who fought for the independence we celebrated for the first time 35 years ago. Thank you, Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price!
Teacher strike photos
Thousands of teachers gather on the steps of the National Assembly as they continue their planned demonstration against several national issues and the deferral of their salary adjustment. The BNTU says this is a continuation of their "Stand Up for Belize" campaign.
PUP's submit statements of assets and liabilities to Integrity Commission
Annually, elected officials of Belize are to submit a statement of assets and liabilities to the Integrity Commission, satisfying the requirements of the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act.
The 12 elected representatives and three senators representing the People's United Party PUP today delivered theirs on National Service Day, the anniversary of the party's paramount leader, George Cadle Price, passing on five years ago.
The Commission's board of supervisors remains unappointed following trouble with certain provisions insisted on by international bodies targeting those referred to as PEP's or politically exposed persons
Cayo Independence Parade 2016
Wednesday is the big parade. Happy 35th, Belize!
Parade Route Map.
"The route for the 21st September parade is as follows... from Santa Elena to San Ignacio:
Basketball court at La Loma Luz Boulevard - George Price Highway - Hawkesworth Bridge - Burns Avenue - Savannah Area, Joseph Andrews Drive - concluding at the Macal Park.
Starts at 1pm.
'Sovereign and strong - Together as one'
See you there... !!!"
Rotaract Go Green Project
The Rotaract Club of Benque celebrated National Service Day yesterday by participating in their annual Go Green Project. Thanks, Rotaract!
"Today we participated in the 2nd Annual Go Green Project. Where clubs are welcome to participate and plant and make the environment a better place and improved nature for a better tomorrow."
Pirates in Belize Exhibit
A great morning at the House of Culture as we launched the Pirates in Belize Exhibit. Thank you to our invited guests, Standard 5 & 6 students and teacher of Corozal Nazarene School, our key note speaker Mr. Roy Rodriguez, and community members. This dynamic exhibit will be on display through to May 2017 as part of our educational objectives. We kindly extend an invitation to you to visit the House of Culture where you can learn about past pirates in Belize.
There's something about that Jouvert mud!
By the way, if you can't get enough, you can get your mud on AGAIN at Orange Walk Jouvert on Sept. 21!
National Colours Day
On this National Colours Day, we take inspiration from these patriots! How are you showing your Belizean pride?
Song of the People...composed by Francis Reneau
Congratulations to Francis Reneau and his team, and all the musicians and performers!
Extraction of a Maya relic in the Chiquibul
Last week FCD’s Karst Unit and the Institute of Archaeology organized an expedition for extraction of a Maya relic in the Chiquibul. The aim was to safeguard the precious maya artefact before any looter could reach and steal it. Expedition was a success.
The BTB's Northern Border Kiosk sharing the September spirit!
ATTENTION U.S. CITIZENS LIVING IN BELIZE!
Have you submitted your Fed Post Card Application to vote in the upcoming presidential election?
SBDC Workshop: MARKETING YOUR PRODUCT
he attractiveness and appearance of your product, attitude and style of the seller is as important as the product itself. The objective of this training is to stress the importance of selling, branding, labeling and packaging in marketing your product. Cost: $30.00. Includes snacks and refreshments. Presented by:
Mrs. Vicky Heredia,
Manager and Business Advisor SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location:
La Inmaculdada Credit Union Training Room, 5 Park Street, Orange Walk Town.
September 29th, 2016. Time:
9am to 12noon.
Belize to Improve Solid Waste Sites
. The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and the General Manager for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Central America, Mexico, Panama and Dominican Republic Country Department, Ms. Gina Montiel, today signed an IDB loan agreement to finance investments to improve the transport, recovery and final disposal of solid waste in towns and villages in Belize’s northern and southern corridors as well as in Belmopan.
Through the five-year program, which is valued at US$10 million, major tourist destinations in Belize will be provided access to a sanitary landfill. The project will cover the expansion of the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill, including the construction of a new cell for final disposal; the closure of six (6) existing dumpsites which will be replaced with transfer stations; and the strengthening of the Solid Waste Management Authority (SWaMA) as the lead agency in the waste management sector.
The Government of Belize will provide US$200,000 in local counterpart funding and the executing agency is SWaMA.
CHEVENING IN BELIZE
If you have a Bachelor's Degree, apply for to study for your Masters in the UK ... Applications for 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarships are open between 12:00 BST on 8 August 2016 and 12:00 GMT on 8 November 2016 (both midday UK time).
Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at any UK university. The scholarship programme provides a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.
A Chevening Scholarship offers financial support along with the opportunity to become part of the highly regarded and influential Chevening global network.
Caye Caulker Independence Day schedule
Come out and celebrate independence eve and independence day with us. Come be a part of our block party. Get you floats ready to win fabulous prizes!
Presentation of Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Four ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, Monday, at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan.
The Governor General welcomed and received the credentials of H.E Jorge Roza de Oliveira, Ambassador of Portugal; H.E. Margriet Leemhuis, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; H.E. Malgorzata Wasilewska, Ambassador of the European Union; and H.E. Lee In-ho, Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea. The Governor General also welcomed H.E. Muktesh Pardeshi, High Commissioner of India to Mexico, who paid a courtesy call.
Photos from Carnival 2016
Here are just a few photos before the Carnival started as the revellers prepared to pound the pavement just before the rain.
2016 Carnival Road March
A few photos from the 2016 Carnival Road March in Belize City! Celebrating the patriotic month, with vibrant colors and soca music!
Carnival Carried on In Memory of Reveler Who Lost Her Life in Mas Camp Building Collapse
Schools across the country were closed today - as thousands of teachers converged on Belmopan to send a message of dissatisfaction to the Barrow Administration. We'll have that's tory for your shortly, but, first, we turn back to Friday's headline story. It was about the house that fell on Dolphin Street in Belize City at 4:00 on Friday evening. That house was the headquarters for the Soca Moca Mas Camp and as many as twenty persons were underneath working when it collapsed. Six of them had to be hospitalized with mostly minor injuries. Only Deborah Humes was seriously injured. The 39 year old mother of three ran in the wrong direction, and her midsection took the full weight of one corner of the falling house. She died at 9:30 Friday night - 12 hours before her beloved Soca Moca Band was to take to the streets - but after losing a long time member so tragically the band just didn't have the "ganas" to go out on the road the next day. But then, a quite remarkable thing happened, the Carnival community bonded together and turned all that sadness into positive energy - because the lifetime reveler Debbie Humes would have wanted them to carry on, regardless. They did so in her name - making for an unusual Carnival day:
Mass Hysteria Created When Off Duty Cop Fired Shot In Crowded Area On Carnival Route
And while there was that accidental death before the Carnival - the road march itself passed without incident. But there was a serious case of public terror when a shot or shots were fired as the tail of the carnival passed Nazarene High School on Princess Margaret Drive. All kinds of crazy accounts went out on social media - even one that three persons were killed by a grenade! And another that a two year old child was shot. But police say none of that actually happened. Here is their account of a single shot fired by an off duty police officer:...
ASP Desiree Phillips, OC - Eastern North Division:
"Police officers met an off-duty police officer identified as Chris Staine who is a member of eastern division south and he was armed with his licensed firearm. According to him, he fired one single shot from his firearm as a result of bottles being thrown at him. With that, the officer was taken in, brought into custody, his firearm was retrieved from him. The entire process was done in terms of sealing the firearm. He is being dealt with at this time internally through our police act disciplinary."
Teachers Take Multitudes And Muscle To The Capital
And now, to the teachers…there was no school across most of the country today - as teachers paid no heed to warnings and remonstrations from the Ministry of Education and went right ahead with their national rally and demonstration in Belmopan.
The BNTU is the most powerful and organized union in the country, and today in the capital, they surely showed their muscle and their anger at the Barrow Administration - first by shutting down the education system and second by flooding the capital with thousands of protestors.
Closed windows, chained gates and an empty play ground - that is what you found at most schools across the country today. At other schools, the classrooms were open but the kids were just idly hanging around on the compound. That's because teachers from all over country were protesting in the streets of the capital city.
PUP IS WITH THE BNTU
But it's fairly widely accepted that the Unions brought out more than the PUP did a few weeks ago in Belize City. And that's why the Leader of the Opposition is with them 100%. John Briceno told us this morning that the PM made them a promise he couldn't keep - and now they should hold him to it:..
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"They have every right to demand the raise that was rightfully promise to them. I don't think they were even asking for it, but the Prime Minister in his quest to get a third term, went overboard and made all kinds of promises and he made a promise to the teachers and now he is using an excuse about Hurricane Earl, that it has caused I am told millions of dollars of damages. It is so ironic in this world. They say when you spit up in the air, it falls on your face. That's exactly what is happening to the Prime Minister. Because remember the PUP had 5 storms and hurricanes and whenever we gave the extent of the damage, he was the first one saying that it was being inflated. Now in this case, it was just a category 1 storm or hurricane and he is saying we lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet people are not seeing any kind of benefit that he is getting from supposedly the efforts that or his government has been doing."
What Next For Teachers? More Industrial Action?
But the Teachers Union isn't into symbolism, not one bit, because right now they are dealing with direct action.
And what's the next direct action for the teachers? Well there's a meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday to try and find common ground. But the teachers aren't softening up - far from it, they're gathering ammunition to take on their own Ministry of Education. President of the BNTU Luke Palacio told the media what's next:...
Luke Palacio, President - BNTU:
"We have written to the Prime Minister asking him to meet with us on Thursday. I don't know if he has given a response because I haven't seen that, but we intend to meet with him on Thursday and then on Friday we will say to our members what our next move is. Since the Prime Minister has responded and asked us to a meeting, we are asking our teachers okay lets us put on hold the original plan we had, so that on Thursday we give that opportunity for the Prime Minister to meet with us, respond to the issues we have raised with him. He has provided some response, but we are prepared again as a professional organization to meet, to discuss and then on Friday we will instruct our members as what's out next move."
BATSUB Soldier Ran Over and Killed Diner Patron
Early on Sunday morning, a British Military Officer ran over and killed a man at a nightclub.
It happened at mile one on the Northern Highway at the Dream Like City nightclub. 41-year-old British Sergeant Lee Humphreys, attached to BATSUB was driving an F150 pickup and appears to have put it in the wrong gear - he thought it was in reverse, but it was in drive, and when he hit the gas, he ran over 43-year-old Salvadorean Jose Chinchilla Molina and his three friends who were socializing at Sonia's Diner, which is just outside the nightclub. Chinchilla was crushed under his wheel and died on the spot. Sargeant Humphries was taken into custody and his vehicle was impounded. Today police told us it is not a regular criminal prosecution:...
What Happened At Sarstoon Island This Time
On Saturday, while the rest of the Country was focused on the Carnival Road March in Belize City, a small group of Belizeans participated in the first ever Sarstoon Island Eco Challenge. It's the latest idea from Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers in their continued agitation for greater awareness of the Sarstoon Island.
The volunteers set up a Kayak and Canoe race from the Barranco Village pier, to the Mouth of the Sarstoon, around the Sarstoon Island and back. With the help of our colleagues from PGTV, Maheia's television station, we have some images of that event. Here's how it looked out on the southern waters this Saturday:
Though the event went mostly without incident, viewers just saw how the Guatemalan military vessels positioned themselves almost to stop the Belizeans. There may have been one or 2 which were definitely in Belizean waters at while they waited for the racers to get there. That will have to be verified by the Belizean law enforcement officers who were also observing. One observer who is questioning why nothing was done about the Guatemalan military that day is Belizean American Mario Lara. He's a former US Army soldier, who says that activities like this shouldn't be taken lightly. Lara was out on the Sarstoon in one of the boats as a sort of technical assistance staff for the race, should anything go wrong, He says that the Guatemalan military had intentions of trying to stop them. He explained via phone that the driver of his boat had to disregard the Guatemalan warning not to enter the Sarstoon to:
PUP Makes "Symbolic" Filing With Integrity Commission
Today was National Service Day - an observance created to honor the memory of National Hero George Price - who died six years ago today. The PUP laid a wreath on his grave, but they also put deeds into action by going to declare their assets and earnings to the non functioning integrity commission. He explained it is a symbolic gesture indicating his party's commitment to transparency - but he wasn't so transparent when we asked if they would publicly release the documents:...
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"I think it is something symbolical, a symbolic gesture on our part to be able to present it even though we don't have an integrity commission we are going to go to Belmopan."
Jules Vasquez, 7News:
"We know that there are ways of concealing assets and incomes. In terms of one can, for example, benefit from a company, but it's a shell company or it's in your family's name or there are ways obfuscating your true earnings. For example, you or your family is the owner of one of the largest telecommunications enterprises, but from a cable perspective as well the footprint of family's cable company, it has a monopoly from Ladyville up to into Corozal Town and the cable company continues. It's a huge company, it's a huge enterprise."
Hon. J. Espat Says Integrity Commission is Intrinsic To Good Governance
And one representative who's hell bent on forcing the government to be accountable is PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat. He also made his integrity filing today and he told the media that even if it's only symbolic, the gesture is important:...
Hon. Julius Espat:
"We have what it takes to show the Belizean people that we are not afraid to be held accountable for what we are and it's not that we are inventing the wheel, it is in the laws of Belize. Every elected public official should declare their assets. You know why? Because if you come in with $10, we want know how much you come out with minus how much salary you get. It's a basic formula. We just want to have a little idea. We want to know if the cheese was properly spent or not."
Espat Got Docked Because Of House Suspension, PUP Objects
And Espat's filing should be a little lighter because after he got suspended from the House of Representatives, government stopped paying him as a representative. Today Espat's party leader told us it's wrong in principle because the people made him a representative, and government he says can't take that away:...
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"The question we need to ask the Prime Minister, as a representative, you get paid to go to house meeting or you get paid to represent your people? Because if it only to go to a house meeting, we have about 3-4 house meetings a year and I certainly don't think that the people of this country would be happy to find out that you are being paid just to go to house meetings. I believe that we've been paid to be representatives 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and on leap year 366 days a year. So I want to put that on record, that we believe that it is wrong what they did and the Prime Minister needs to clarify that. Is he saying or is he suggesting that we are being paid to go to a house meeting or are we being paid to be a representative. Because no Speaker, no Prime Minister have the right to remove any of us as representatives of the people in the area that we represent."
Espat Explains His Interpretation Of House Suspension
You all will remember the explosive and historic house meeting in August where Cayo South Representative Julius Espat was suspended and then forcibly carried out by officers. Well Espat has said that the suspension was illegal and he would still be present for the next house meeting. But while Espat isn't taking the suspension seriously, the clerk of National Assembly does and today Espat gave us an update.
"Have you gotten any response from the clerk?"
Hon. Julius Espat:
"From the clerk, no. but I got a copy of a letter written by the Financial Secretary to the Clerk explaining to him that what he said was erroneous; that he had no authority to stop the payment of the constituency vote and to stop payments of the assistance to office because that comes from the Ministry of Finance. The only authority he had was on the salary or anything that has to do with the National Assembly. So that was clarified a couple days after by the Financial Secretary with instructions from the Prime Minister."
PUP Senators Clamor For Expedited Senate Meeting
And while the PUP's house lineup is unclear because of the Julius Espat situation, the focus right now is on the PUP Senators. They're hoping to bring back their defeated resolution for a Senate Inquiry into Immigration irregularities and are now pressing the President of the Senate to set a meeting to do so. Today, the PUP Leader told us they do not accept the Barrow administration's version of a Senate Select Committee:...
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"Okay the cabinet finally agree that we are going to do a senate like he is doing us a favor. But then he is saying, he is already saying what is the composition going to be for the senate. He does not have that power and to determine that it cannot be the senator from the private sector. That is something that is solely at the discretion of the senators themselves. At most he should do is to let the senate call a house meeting. And I am calling out on the president to call a senate meeting as soon as possible for them to decide what is the composition and for them to decide who's going to be the chairman and I hope that they follow the convention or follow the precedence that has been set under the PUP government, that it should be 5 members; 3 from social partners; 1 from opposition; and one from the government."
Maria Marin's Version, The Final Chapter
And keeping on the subject of immigration irregularities, here now is part 3 of our interview with former Immigration Director Maria Marin. She rejects many of the conclusions in the Auditor General's reports, but here's what she said about what went wrong in the department.
"It's clear that other people, corrupt individuals elected and unelected, private and public officers were involved in a corrupt enterprise, facilitated through the immigration department."
"Were you under pressure to help out the elected officials who may have needed or felt whatever obligation to assist people who came to them when you received a letter that says I recommend so and so, please assist this person?"
Remembering The Hero
As we told you earlier, today is the sixth anniversary of the death of Father of the Nation, George Price. As is traditional on this day, the PUP held a wreath laying service at his grave site at Lord's Ridge Cemetery. Price's family, and his political family gathered to remember the old man. PUP Leader John Briceno explained why Price's message remains relevant even after his passing on:...
Catholics Commend Barrow Admin. For Making Concessions To Christian Agenda
On Friday, we showed you how the National Evangelical Association of Belize went to the Court to file their written notice of Appeal to the Section 53 Judgment. Well, the Catholic Church has confirmed that it did the same, and tonight they're applauding Government for following through on their promise to make sure that the Court of Appeal will hear this case.
The Statement from the Catholic Diocese says, quote, "The Roman Catholic Bishops express their appreciation to Government for appealing the decision, even if on a limited basis, to revisit the national gender policy and to support the position that marriage should be between man and woman only. The Bishops also express their gratitude to the Honorable Opposition Representatives who supported the Church's cause for appeal and who provided commitments to vote for Constitutional Amendments with a view to safeguard our children against the advance of an agenda that is not consonant with our collective public morality and our religious teaching." End Quote.
Jouver't, the Monster Mash of Mud and Masses
The Carnival is the culmination of everything that makes September so special: it has music, dancing, colour, patriotic themes, and, yes, for better or worse, it also embodies that spirit of excess that's a part of the celebration season. But for most folks - finding the money to pay for a carnival costume isn't easy, and for those thousands who just want to "go on bad" in the streets, jouver't is the answer. No costume required, it's a full on party in the streets! Our Codie Norales was out there with Wilson Grinage and here's what they saw:
Carnival Winners Are Repeat Champs From Veteran Camps
And from jouver't it was right into the carnival Road March. This year the route was about three quarter mile shorter; it finished at the Marion Jones Stadium and not the BTL Park. But when it was done, the winners were two old favourites: Jump Street Posse for the Juniours, and Soca Moca for the Seniors.
As you heard earlier, it was an almost impossible outing for Soca Moca, because their camp headquarters had a structural collapsed on Friday, less than 24 hours before they went on the road. Still, they made it out unto the road in high spirits, and won for the second year in a row. Critics say it is a sympathy vote, but today the bandleader told us that all that prettiness you se eon the street is only a part of the score that leads to a winner:..
Culture Minister Shows Love To Grieving Soca Moca
And today, Minster of State for Culture Elodio Aragon made a gesture to donate to the family of deceased Soca Moca member Deborah Humes. We met him at the Camp Headquarters where he told us why it was important:
September: The Season For Soca
And while Carnival may be gone, the Soca music plays on on the 20th night. That's when a Byron Lee and the Dragonaires reunion concert will take place at the ITVET compound in Belize City. While "the Byron" is now playing with the big band in the sky his former front line performers Oscar B, Lima Calbio and Leon Caldero are performing together in his name. Earlier today we spoke to some of the, about the concert:
"Well, it's nice to be back in Belize again. To all the listeners and viewers, it's Oscar b, yours truly, from Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, formaly. And it's nice to be back in Belize and we having a big convert happening this Tuesday at the ITVET compound. It's going to be a Soca jazz, Byron lee reunion with a sprinkle of some new and upcoming and fresh faces, that you will ever see that we're kind of launching out to the Belizean public; so it's going to be fun, it's gonna be exciting, I'm excited and the whole crew excited to be here."
Farewell, Carnival 2016
And we leave you tonight with highlites from our live Carnival coverage on Central American Boulevard. Our cameras caught all the shaking, sashaying, and shimmering costumes as they passed our live transmission site.
Enjoy and join me back here tomorrow:…