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Today's Belize News: October 14, 2016 #518284
10/14/16 06:07 AM
10/14/16 06:07 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

Belize Red Cross appeals to help Haiti after Hurricane Matthew
During the first week of October, Belize was spared from the impact of Hurricane Matthew, a fierce category four hurricane that swept across the Caribbean and central Florida, USA. For countries like Haiti, Matthew did damage beyond repair, with an estimated two million people affected. The latest figures indicate that over 900 people in Haiti have lost their lives, and the Belize Red Cross (BRC) has expressed its solidarity, working around the clock to ender aid to the victims.40-haiti-hurricane-victims-epa-orlando-barria The BRC announced on Friday, October 7th that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) societies have launched an emergency appeal for $6.9 million to provide medical, shelter, water and sanitation assistance to 50,000 people ravaged by the storm in the southwest portion of Haiti. According to the press release issued by the IFRC, Matthew’s torrential rains and winds have flooded towns and roads, destroyed homes and buildings and collapsed the main bridge in the south, making the affected areas extremely difficult to reach.

Caye Notes: Garifuna Council Fundraiser and Bird Watching in San Pedro
The National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch (NGCSPB) will be hosting their second food sale fundraiser on Saturday, October 15th at the Central Park. Starting at 11AM, you can purchase staple Garifuna staple dishes such as hudut for $10, and boil-up for $12. Rice and beans will also be available for $7 and up The NGCSPB asks for the community’s support to help them fundraise for their upcoming festivities planned for Garifuna Settlement Day (Saturday, November 19th).
The Belize Audubon Society invites everyone in San Pedro to come and learn about the birds in your area. No need to register, just show up at Central Park at 6AM on Sunday the 16th.

International friendly match between Belize Jaguars and Honduras ends 2-1
The Belize National Football Team (Jaguars) took on the National Football Team from Honduras in an international friendly match on Saturday, October 4th at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) stadium in the city of Belmopan. The Jaguars gave the Catrachos a tough game, but lost to the visitors in a 2-1 game score. The game started at 4PM and Belizeans from many parts of the country made their way to the FFB stadium to support the national team. Among the well- known Belizean football stars was Belize Pro Footballer of the Montreal Impacts, Michael Salazar, who travelled to Belize to play in the match. The game was in preparation for the upcoming matches on the road to the World Cup Russia 2018.

Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath visits Ambergris Caye
Miss Belize Universe 2016 and Dangriga’s beauty ambassador, Rebecca Rath, visited Ambergris Caye on Sunday, October 10th. The visit was a part of her preparation process before her upcoming participation in the Miss Universe Pageant on January 29, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. During her visit to La Isla Bonita, Rath took the opportunity to mingle with residents and continue her training for the international pageant. While in San Pedro Town, Rath was trained by Enrique de Leon, who has vast experience in pageants and works along with the Miss Belize Organization. He emphasized that the pageant is as much about Belize as it is about Rath, and that by visiting as many parts of the country, it will help her portray that Belizean experience when she goes to the pageant in the Philippines. “As an Organization, we are looking to promote all that we offer as a country when she goes to the pageant,” said de Leon. “Everything that Rebecca takes with her will give a true picture of what Miss Belize is with the support of what the country has to offer to the world.”

Ambergris Today

CG Esthetics Showcases New Skin Care Product
Guest were greeted with wine and Mrs. Dawn Kennedy Shake showcased a new skin care product line to customers and friends of CG Esthetics on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. Carol Goudreau, owner of CG Esthetics was happy to host the ‘happy hour’ event. A small presentation about the product and how it works was given, while Carol greeted her guest with wine and snacks. Those interested took the opportunity to sample the product for free as Ms. Dawn stands by the product 100%. The new skin care product is only available in the U.S. and Canada, but is being made available in Belize through CG Esthetics. It is recommended for both male and female from age 16 and older.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

NEMO Minister of State Hon Edmond Castro Hands Over Houses to Hurricane Earl Victims in the Stann Creek District
Minister of State for National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro was in the Stann Creek District yesterday, Wednesday October 12, 2016 officially handing over houses to victims of Hurricane Earl. Accompanied by Area Representative for Dangriga Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena and NEMO Dangriga Coordinator Victor Castillo, Hon. Castro handed over houses to four families in Dangriga and one in the village of Santa Rosa in the Stann Creek District. These are part of a total of over 180 houses that are being constructed by the Government of Belize through NEMO, more than 60 of which are already completed. More than 80 roofs have also been repaired and more than 1,400 families assisted with materials to repair their homes in the four districts most affected by Hurricane Earl, namely Belize District, Cayo, Orange Walk and Stann Creek.

Belize Raptor Research Institute's Annual Bird-a-thon
This year, Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge captured the championship title of the Belize Raptor Research Institute's Annual Bird-a-thon Competition. Renowned birder aficiondao Roni Martinez handed over the H. Lee Jones Cup with the Caves Branch Jungle Lodge plate now included on the trophy and this has now taken up a residence on our wall of fame. This means Caves Branch Jungle Lodge Estate has been named the "Birdiest" destination in Belize!

Contract signed for FIFA standard lights at Marion Jones
I am pleased as the Minister responsible for sports in Belize to announce that a contract has been signed between UNOPs (United Naions Office for Projects) and the Maheia Constuction Group for the installation of FIFA standards lights at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. This is indeed a milestone as we continously strive to make Marion Jones the premier sporting facility in the country. It is only through partnership that this development becomes possible. Thanks goes out to the Government of Mexico who is one of such parners.

Wow. Tourists can anchor with cement blocks off the coast of San Pedro
Yes the cinder block is how these tourist anchor on our World Heritage Site while they fish without licences and snorkel without tour guides. It seems no government agency will step up to be responsible for monitoring or enforcing rules and regulations in this area.

Orange Walk BNTU Branch manager victim of vandalism
This is what the vehicle belonging to Otilio Muñoz, president of BNTU Orange Walk looks like.

Candle Light Vigil and Ecumenical Service headed by the BNTU Corozal Town Branch
Yesterday October 12th, 2016 at around 6:45 p.m. were overwhelmingly welcomed by our Corozal community. Today is an important day as the BNTU goes back to the table to negotiate with the Government. We ask that the Prime Minister be humbled and adhere to the cries of our nation, his nation.

The village of Sarteneja makes a desperate public plea to the Government of Belize on behalf of its fisher folk
As a result of several terrorizing incidents at sea that have been building up of recent, and put the lives of our Corozal fishers at high risk. One individual is still unaccounted for at sea in a recent pirate attack. "Por favor, necesitamos ayuda por nuestros pescadores" (Please, we need help for our fishers), exclaimed a woman at a community meeting in Sarteneja held last Friday. The previous Sunday, Sarteneja villagers received news of yet another tragic loss of life: Vicente Villamil was the latest victim of pirate attacks against Sarteneja fishers at sea, which have occurred with increasing frequency and violence in the last few years. The men carrying out the attacks operate as a group under the pretence of being fishers, and use a fast skiff with a large engine. They are heavily armed and unafraid to use physical violence. They target legitimate fishing boats, threatening the crew, stealing their products and stripping their boats of all valuables before leaving. Some fishers have been left drifting on boats with nothing but slashed sails, others thrown overboard in deep water in the middle of the night to fend for themselves. One man was thrown tied up and unconscious into the boat's icebox, while another spent four months in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained in an attack. Five have disappeared and are presumed to be dead. No one has been charged or brought to justice for these coward violent attacks. The attacks are focused along the cayes 15 miles east of Dangriga and extending north towards Belize City. This region, which straddles Area 2 and Area 3 of the Managed Access Program, is known to be extremely productive fishing grounds, particularly important for conch fishing. Fishers do not want to be forced to leave their traditional fishing grounds, but similarly feel afraid to continue fishing where their lives are at risk.

Dia de los Muertos & Los Finados
Although, the Day of the Dead/All Souls Day (known as Dia de los Muertos & Los Finados) is most prominently recognized and celebrated in Mexico it is also very popular in many villages and towns in Belize. This is due to the fact that the tradition of celebrating the life and death of loved relatives dates back to the ancient Maya's Hanal Pixan. This celebration is also linked to Catholicism, the primary religion in Belize. On el Dia de los Muertos, Maya and Mestizo communities across the country unanimously get together to commemorate the life and death of ancestors. This is done by decorating small tables as altars at home and including water, flowers, fruits, sweets, candles and portraits of their deceased. Families make sure to have delicious traditional Belizean foods such as Tamales, Bollos, Caldo de Gallina local, Chirmole and Xpasha atole. These altars may also include favorite alcoholic drinks, rum and tequila. Families visit the cementery and carry along wreaths, candles, flowers and food which are placed on the graves of their beloved departed. Family members pray and thank their dead relatives for being a part of their lives and wish them the best in the afterlife. ¡Feliz Dia de los Muertos! Happy All Souls Day!

Project Support Officer
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project i slooking for a Project Support Officer

Meet the Author Book reading featuring Ms.Zee Edgell
A very special thank you to everyone who made our 'Time and the River' Meet the Author Book reading featuring Ms.Zee Edgell possible. There's still time to pre-order a copy of 'Time and the River', call 223-4524 to reserve your auto-graphed copy by Friday Oct.14th, 2016.

BPP calls for additional conditions regarding good governance in Belize
Amid the extreme crisis in governance that has gripped the nation, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) reiterates its solid support of the BNTU in its yeoman’s effort to ensure the government of Belize (GOB) adopts, implements, and adheres to good governance practices and principles. In this regard, we encourage all unions, civil society organisations, the private sector, and tertiary level teachers and students to become actively involved in the BNTU’s just act of civil expression via industrial action. To add to the discourse, in the name of bringing not only an expression, but also the practice of good governance principles to the fore, the BPP champions the call for voter re-registration and re-districting to be held, on schedule, on or before 2017. Of note, 2017 will mark 20 years since any such re-registration exercise! After all, with the electorate’s franchise being fundamental to the democratic process, Belize can no longer afford to allow for outdated voters lists to erode the integrity of the electoral process.

Forum on The Contemporary Maya in Northern and Southern Belize
Members of the Maya group of Corozal (Yucatec Maya) "U ka Sijih le Mayahob" have been invited to participate in a two day forum at The University of Chetumal Quintana Roo (UCQROO) to discuss the topic of The Contemporary Maya in Northern and Southern Belize. Let's preserve our identity as Mayas of Northern Belize,(Corozal and Orange Walk)

Belize Screen on the Green - October
Belize Screen on the Green is featuring the move "Little Shop of Horros" for October! Bring the family and enjoy this classic. As always, movie starts at dark and popcorn and refreshments will be served for free (while they last). See you there! Thursday, October 20 at 6 PM - 9 PM at Governor General Field, Ring Road, Belmopan, Belize

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Skiptrace, Nerve, Ice Age, Lights Out. Due to multiple requests .. on Friday night ONLY we'll be replaying the Conjuring 2 at 7pm on Screen 1 in substitute of Skiptrace .. Skiptrace will play Saturday and Sunday on Screen 1 .. p.s. October is the month of Horror movies .. keep an eye out the next couple of upcoming weekends

Fundraiser for National Garifuna Council SP Branch
National Garifuna Counsel San Pedro Branch Food Sale this Saturday October 15 , 2016. We thank you in advance for your support. Please place you orders early. Don't miss out. We would like to take the time to Thank our Town's Mayor Mr. Daniel Guerrero and The Town Counsel's events committee for all their support as we prepare for our Garifuna Settlement Day Festivities. Special mention" Miss Daniela Guerrero" Thank you so much. We also thank the members of the Garifunal counsel and all those who donate to make these sales a success. And last but not least, we express our gratitude to all those of you who purchased last week and humbly invite those of you who have not as yet to do this Saturday. See you there!!!!!!!!

Channel 7

BNTU and PM Meet for 3.5 Hours, No Breakthrough
The Teachers Union and Prime Minister Dean Barrow met for about three and a half hours today – from 2:00 to 5:30. At the end of it, the PM held a press conference which just concluded, and the teachers are now meeting to consider what he proposed. Our team is just returning from the press conference – and we’ll have all the major details for you in tonight’s news, but what we can tell you at this hour is that the Prime Minister agreed to most of their governance demands but did not give a timeline. That’s what the teachers union is pondering at this hour, and we’re closely monitoring the outcome of their deliberations – so stay tuned for that.

Chamber Passes Resolution To Shutdown, Eventually
But, the Chamber of Commerce is also an important part of the dynamic. That organization is also part of the negotiations with government, and it is making its own demands. Last night, at the end of a contentious meeting, their membership voted in favour of two resolutions last night at their Special General Meeting. The first is that their Senator, Mark Lizarraga, will only participate in the Senate Inquiry to investigate the Auditor General's Findings at the Immigration Department if certain conditions are met. The Government has to reconstitute its membership with the amended terms of reference. Bottom line? The Prime Minister is basically being told to limit Government membership on the Senate Select Committee to only one, and the investigation powers of the Committee will have to be broadened.

Man Detained For Setting DPM Vehicle On Fire, Faber says Family Shaken
Police have detained a Belize City man for setting the Deputy Prime Minister's vehicle on fire. As we reported, the vehicle was parked at Patrick Faber's home in Lord's Bank on Tuesday at midnight when a man jumped the fence and set the vehicle on fire on plain view of security cameras. 7News has learned from police that the man has confessed his involvement and has alleged that someone set him up to do it. While police investigate that angle, he is expected to be charged tomorrow. Today, Faber spoke for the first time since the fire. We met him at another event today, and he was noticeably still shaken after the vehicle fire. He told us his only concern is for his kids who were traumatized. Faber also threw out a few ideas as to why he was targeted, the main motive being politics.

Aragon Says Supporters Did Not Smash Union Leader's Windshield
But first, the teachers strike continued today – and many parents who have kids at home learning little more than Sponge Bob's latest tricks are losing their patience. Simultaneously, politicians from the ruling UDP are under increasing pressure to get things back to normal – because every day that the strike continues is an indictment against their governance practices. Either of those two factors could have led to what happened last night: Otilio Munoz's windshield was smashed. He's the president of the Orange Walk Branch of the Teachers Union and this morning he woke up to find that someone had done this to his windshield. Union activists suggest that the UDP is behind it. We asked Orange Walk East Area Representative Elodio Aragon about it today:… Jules Vasquez: "There are suggestions, just like there were suggestions when Mr. Faber's vehicle was set on fire, that someone sympathetic to the BNTU may have done that, there is a suggestion that the UDP loyalists are the ones who smashed Mr. Otilio windshield what do you have to say about that?"

PM Makes Many Compromises
So as we told you at the top of this segment, the Prime Minister held a press conference at the end of his over 3 hour meeting with the teachers unions. Here now are his comments about what transpired in the meeting, mostly unedited. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "With respect to item number 1 which is the senate select committee, the BNTU is still concerned as I understand it about the composition though not about the terms of reference. Their focus was on composition because they would like to see the government side go down to 1. That is not government's view, government insisted that the motion that was passed when the Senate met a week or so ago is what should stand. We feel that government having 2 senators will not in any way interfere with the ability of the senate select committee to do its job impartially.."

PM Responds To Opposition On Senate Select Committee
As you heard earlier on, the Chamber's resolution becomes yet another harsh criticism of the current Senate probe that is already on the move to start its investigation of the Immigration Department. As we showed you yesterday, none of the Social Partners were prepared to accept the Chairmanship yesterday at the first meeting of the committee. The principal concerns are that the Government currently has too much influence on the tribunal. The call is for the Prime Minister to ask one of his 2 senators to step down from the Committee. As you heard, he was not prepared to do that. So, The PUP also continues to question the resolve of the Prime Minister to thoroughly investigate the Auditor General's reports. At every stage of the process, the Opposition has been accusing the ruling party of trying to obstruct the path to a thorough Senate probe.

Lights For Marion Jones Complex
And switching to now to another kind of transparency in public life, the media was called today to witness the signing of a contract for the installation of lights on the football field at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Now, you mightn't even know that there is a field at the stadium – but it's there, alright, just buried under some dense overgrowth. Well, now as part of the ongoing plan to revive that moribund facility, the field is being resurrected. And while the signing of a contract to put up four lights wouldn't normally draw national media attention – this one did because it's the first contract awarded under an agreement with the Mexican Government. The Mexicans gave Belize a grant of 5 million US dollars for a sports facility at Marion Jones. What's novel about the grant is that it is being administered through an organization called UNOPS, the United Nations Office For Project Services. That means no hanky-panky politics in the awarding of the contracts; this money is administered by a UN Agency. Maheia's construction won the 450 thousand dollar contract to construct what are called "Class Two lights" and they signed the contract today. Here's more:…

Plans For New Stadium Unveiled
And today the Ministry of Sports also unveiled the plans for the real centerpiece of the Mexican funded project, which is a nine million dollar multipurpose volleyball and basketball facility – which will be placed on the same Marion Jones grounds, to the east of the main structure. It's a major sports complex, and this is also being administered by UNOPS – and is slated for completion in February 2018. Sharp outlined the basic details:… Allan Sharp - Steering Committee Member: "The basketball and volleyball facility which will be built just to the north of here which will have 4 training courts which can be converted to one main court with 2 side courts and the facility will be able to hold 1500 people but I think the main part of the project that government is trying to push is that sport needs facilities."

The "No-Kickback" Contract
But every stage of the project, from design to tendering is managed by UNOPS – no contracts are being assigned, awarded or influenced by anyone in government. That's a sharp deviation from business as usual – and usually, "business" means someone pockets a kickback. In fact, the Marion Jones Stadium where today's event was hosted might be a prime example of that. But that can't happen with this new facility because of the presence of UNOPS, and we asked the Minister of State how much the difference means to him:… Jules Vasquez: "Because it's run through UNOPS which is a UN agency no one can contact the contractor and say hey I mi get you that contract I need a lee 10%. These are things that happen in government that nobody likes to talk about but they're real. Were you alienated by this process which went through UNOPS agency?" Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. - Minister of State, Youth, Sports, Culture: "None at all, none at all Jules; I think it's all about accountability and it's all about value for money that is what I've always talked about, value for money. And I think if we are going to get an investment especially a donation coming from Mexico it is imperative that we get value for money."

Is Marion Jones Complex Being Elevated To The Detriment Of MCC?
And so now that the Marion Jones Complex is getting new football lights – what does that mean for Belize City's primary football field – which is the MCC? We asked Aragon what are the plans for the MCC – which already had part of it property turned into a casino parking lot:… Jules Vasquez: "Are you all putting in lights here elevating this at the demise of MCC? Is it a suggestion that well guys we will have a well-lit football field over ya maybe you could switch over from MCC then turn MCC from a parking lot into an extension of the Princess. Maybe they could put a new casino where the MCC is; I don't know what you're plans are, you're friendly with the people."

The Final Word Is In, The Strike Continues
And the teachers union has decided: the strike continues tomorrow. Here's what Luke Palacio explained to the media after discussing with the committee of management after meeting the Prime Minister:… Reporter: "Are you guys going back to the classroom tomorrow? Do you continue with your strike action? Where do you stand as a union?" Luke Palacio - National President - BNTU: "We continue our strike action tomorrow because we are not satisfied with the outcome of what has transpired." Reporter: "Mr. Palacio what was different between this meeting and the last one two weeks ago?" Luke Palacio - National President - BNTU: "What was different? The difference is it got worse because basically we thought that we would have made some movements today. There were certain issues that we thought we could have moved on to get the prime minister to agree but instead we see that it has gone in a different direction."

Free From Facebook Crime
Today, two Belizean American women and a 14-year-old boy are on a plane back to the US after being held in prison for the last nine weeks. In August, sisters, Samanti Nicole Louis and Kimberlee Lino, a 14 year old boy, and Tiffany Rene Cacho of Dangriga, appeared in the Magistrate's Court, where they were charged with aggravated assault, damage to property and bodily harm on Dangriga resident, Bremime Martinez. Louis, Lino, Cacho and the minor broke into Martinez' home in early August and attacked her. The incident was caught on camera, and then uploaded onto Facebook, where it went viral. All were initially denied bail except for Cacho, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the incident.

Strike Team Got A Raven
The Southside Strike Team struck again today when they found a gun in an abandoned lot on Lake View Street in Belize City. The Strike Team conducted a search of the lot this afternoon, where they found a Raven Arms .25 pistol along with 30 live 9mm rounds of ammunition. No one was in the area that the gun was found, so it was submitted as found property. This is the same general area where a pineapple non lethal grenade was found yesterday.

Otilio Undaunted
Earlier on in the news we told you about Otilio Munoz. He’s the president of the Orange Walk Branch of the Teachers Union whose windshield was smashed this morning. It happened at around 3:00 in the morning when neighbours heard a loud noise.Munoz told the media today that he is undaunted by this:… Munoz has made a report to police – but says that unlike the Minister of Education, he doesn’t have any security cameras.

The Fast Flip And Come Up, Vega Style
As you hear on the news ever single night, the Government is under pressure to clamp down on corruption, and so a new revelation of a highly questionable land deal land comes up at a very bad time for the PM. It involves the former Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, and his son, Andre, and the details of this deal gives cause for you to shake your head. It starts and ends with this prime piece of real estate near the Haulover Bridge. It's identified as in the Lands Registry System as Entry 14608, a 1.057-acre parcel between the Caribbean Sea and the Phillip Goldson highway. The documents show that on January 14, 2013, Gaspar Vega approved the purchase of the piece of land from the Government to Hilmar Alamilla, who is well-connected to Vega. The land was assessed at just over 6 thousand dollars, but, as seen in this document, Gaspar Vega directed Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos to discount the value of the land to $2,500. The documents do not explain why he complied with such a questionable directive to give yet another discount on this expensive piece of sea frontage.

A Conference About Caring
A two-day conference on children with disabilities began today. Belizean health professionals as well as representatives from the Caribbean will be discussing ways to integrate these special needs kids into society so they can have a normal and enriching life. The speakers will also be focusing on those at risk of developing a disability early in life. Dr. Einstein Bodden opened today's ceremony. He was diagnosed with a condition called kypho-scoliosis at age 2, which is a deformity to the spine. And today, he is a perfect example of a man who defeated the odds to become a Doctor. We start off with his message. UNICEF Rep. Ivan Yerovi then delves into the importance of inclusiveness.

Rebuilding NICH
The Administration of the National Institute of Culture and History, has been going through some major transition tremors since the election in November of last year. Right now NICH is looking for a new president, as well as an administrator, a head of museums, and a business development officer. We asked the Minister of State responsible for culture about the unsettled state of affairs:..

Bliss Needs A Boost
And while NICH is going through a major administrative overhaul, its flagship building also needs an overhaul. That’s the Bliss Centre – which, 12 years after opening is in need of major and urgent repairs. We asked Aragon about it: The Mexican government sponsored the Bliss Centre to a tune of 8 million dollars and it sprung its first leak days after opening.

PM Can't Knock The Hustle
Just a few minutes ago, we detailed the story of how the former Deputy Prime Minister's son was compensated 400 thousand for land, which had been purchased form the government for $2,500 dollars. And it's private land which the government knew it shouldn't have sold. This evening, we asked the Prime Minister about it, and here's what he had to say: Daniel Ortiz: "The former deputy prime minister, former minister of lands Gaspar Vega, there is a scandal…" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "No, no, no you see and then yo the use emotive and judgmental language. No man we're here to talk about what happened with the BNTU and the meeting today. Any questions you have about that please you can no doubt get in touch with the deputy prime minister. That's not something that I'm prepared to discuss, it's not something I've yet gotten a report from the current minister of lands. So please I can't deal with that."

An Ocean Of Concern
Yesterday, we told you about OCEANA's concerns with Cabinet's recent approval of seismic surveying in the waters outside of the barrier reef and atolls one kilometre buffer zone. Today, Janelle Chanona, OCEANA's country leader, visited the studio to explain why they are so concerned about the decision: Alex Courtenay: "The Cabinet has recently approved certain, surveys. A seismic survey as well as a multi beam survey, which the OCEANA organization has taken a position on?" Janelle Chanona - VP, OCEANA Belize: "So on Wednesday we were informed verbally and in person by both the PM and the Minister of Petroleum that Cabinet in its Tuesday meeting has approved conducting seismic surveys offshore Belize, East of the Belize Barrier reef, excluding the reef itself and one kilometre, and excluding Belize's 3 atolls and their one kilometre basis. They would shoot seismic essentially everywhere else.

Channel 5

P.M. and B.N.T.U. Meet; Some Agreements Reached
The Prime Minister met with the Belize National Teachers Union beginning at two o’clock this afternoon. At five-forty this evening, the P.M. spoke about what happened inside; in respect of [...]

P.M. to Finally Sign Order for 13th Senator; Makes Moves on Integrity Commission
In respect of the Integrity Commission, PM said he waiting for a list of persons to be presented by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. But as it relates [...]

Chamber of Commerce Pulls Out of Senate Inquiry, Plans One-Day Shutdown
The Chamber of Commerce met on Wednesday night in Belize City; there were two motions to discuss and determine as pressure grows to accomplish a good governance agenda. We can [...]

Chairperson of Senate Committee Will Not Vote in Inquiry
A chair for the Senate Select Committee could not be appointed, since each of the three social partners senators declined to head the working group; they have respectively declined for [...]

Business Senator Wants Another Crack at Senate Inquiry Motion
After lengthy discussions, even though it was decided that the Chamber would remove itself from the senate inquiry if the committee is not reconstituted as directed and the terms of [...]

P.U.P. Still Angry Over Senate “Railroading;” Will Support B.N.T.U. and B.C.C.I.
The People’s United Party didn’t participate in the first meeting of the Senate Select investigation into the scandalous affairs of the immigration Department revealed in the Auditor General’s Special Audit. [...]

One Detained for Vehicle Burning as “Shaken” DPM Recounts Incident
Police have picked up a man in connection with the burning of Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s government assigned vehicle. The fire happened at Faber’s Lord’s Bank residence around midnight [...]

Teachers Picket Outside B.N.T.U.’s Meeting with P.M.
As the Prime Minister Barrow and the unions negotiated for hours inside the Biltmore, outside the hotel, teachers were out in support waiting for any word of progress.  In those [...]

Ministry of Education Plans to Make Up Lost Class Time
Before the meeting with the Prime Minister got underway at Biltmore, the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber was cautiously optimistic about the outcome. While he did not disclose specific details,   [...]

P.M. Says Government Will Not Meet Chamber’s Timeframe on Demands
Earlier we told you about the Chamber’s decision to call for a shutdown. At the press conference today, the Prime Minister said they will not meet the Chamber’s timeline, which [...]

O.W. Teachers’ Leader’s Vehicle Smashed; Deputy Education Minister Says U.D.P. is Not Behind It
On Wednesday, we reported to you about the arson at the home of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. But early this morning, the vehicle of Otilio [...]

Public Service Union Supports Negotiations and Disdains Industrial Action
There will be no industrial action on the part of the Public Service Union. Beginning last week, the P.S.U. held consultations with its branch members countrywide. The Union’s executive sought [...]

Fire Victims Stabilized, but Have Long Road to Recovery Ahead
It has been six days since Ian and Empress Hamilton and their mother Melissa left Belize for Galveston, Texas, for an urgent series of surgeries to repair up to ninety-five [...]

Donations Encouraged for Burn Victims’ Fund; Hamilton Family Member Headed to Texas
It is important to note that the Shriners Hospital in Galveston, Texas is doing the surgeries and continued care for free. However, there are still costs to be paid, such [...]

Special Envoy for Women and Children Hosts Regional Disability Conference
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow is hosting a regional partnership conference for children with disabilities. Simplis Barrow invited spouses of Prime Ministers in CARICOM and Presidents [...]

B.N.T.U. Says They Will Consult Members
The B.N.T.U. has just concluded its meeting; a number of issues were decided upon. But first we can report tonight that the strike continues on Friday and the union will [...]

More Money for Marion Jones; Contract Signed for Multi-Purpose Sports Building
An additional ten million dollars will be spent on the Marion Jones Sporting Complex that has been under construction for years; in fact, for at least ten years. The Government [...]

Sports Minister Says Things Have Changed for Marion Jones
The total amount of money already invested in the Marion Jones Sporting Complex is unknown, but it is safe to say that millions upon millions of dollars have been spent [...]

Healthy Living Visits Urban Garden for Sustainable Farming
Healthy Living requires healthy eating. Healthy eating means access to fresh and nutritious foods. Now we’ve heard the complaint – and in many cases it’s true – healthier can be [...]


Prime Minister Meets With Teachers, But Was There Compromise?
A second round of face to face negotiations between the PM and the Belize National Teachers Union took place today in Belize City. The meeting lasted for some three hours inside, and like the last one that led to the strike two weeks ago, today’s meeting did not end with total agreement between the parties. Our news team is still at the meeting venue in Belize City, where we understand the BNTU is holding an emergency meeting with the council of management to review the discussions with the PM. A short while ago, the PM ended his press conference where he updated the media on the positions his Government presented to the BNTU. Due to the limited time, we will only be presenting the PM’s statements on two of the issues, follow by our explanatory notes. First, the PM spoke on the Senate Select Committee which has been an issue of contention. Today, despite the BNTU’s insistence that the composition must give all parties equal representation with one representative each, the PM said he will not budge

BCCI Calls For National Shut-Down
A countrywide shutdown of businesses – that’s what a majority of the members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry voted for and supported in a special general meeting held on Wednesday night. Like the BNTU, the Chamber has been lobbying for specific reform measures including that a Senate Special Select Committee investigate the Auditor General’s report, the establishment of the Integrity Commission, a reconstituted Public Accounts Committee, the enforcement of the laws that call for the appointment of the 13 Senator and the signing of the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption. The Chamber, in response to the Government’s slow commitment to those measures, decided to step up the pressure. They did so by putting two resolutions on the table for the members at their special meeting. Resolution 1 asked whether they agreed that Senator Lizarraga should only participate in a Senate Inquiry meeting if it is reconstituted as the Chamber has proposed, with the Government having only 1 representative along with the Opposition and each Social Partner.

PUP Senator Says Senate Select Meeting Is Null and Void
Yesterday the Senate Select Committee that will investigate the findings of the special immigration audits met for the first time. Well, the People’s United Party is pointing out that the meeting is null and void. In a release today the Opposition insists that the government is intent on railroading the establishment of an impartial and effective committee. After the Chamber’s special general meeting yesterday where the members voted for their senator not to participate in the inquiry as it currently stands, the media spoke with Opposition Senator Valerie Woods on the issues. Senator Valerie Woods – Opposition Senator: “As long as it a farce we will not participate, we have maintained that we are in solidarity with the noble effort of the BNTU, these are serious issues it is good governance issues we are not going to play around with it, if you are serious lets go with the committee of five, let ensure that there is a proper budget and lets ensure that we can all witnesses person with relevant information, that is not limited, if we are genuine and serious about good governance.”

Windsheild of BNTU Orange Walk's President Smashed
Who vandalized the vehicle belonging to the President of BNTU Orange Walk Branch Otilio Munoz and what was the motive? That is what Orange Walk Police are trying to figure out after Munoz discovered this morning that the windshield of his Mitsubishi Outlander which was parked on the side of the road in front of his home on George Street had been shattered. President Otilio Munoz – BNTU Orange Walk Branch: “I realize that when went out to get into my vehicle at seven o’clock in the morning, I realized that I was just burglarized, actually they took and burst the windshield of my vehicle so I had to contact the police and inform them as to what has happen and that is actually what transpired.”

Is The Belize Workers Union Broke?
Is the Belize Workers Union, the union that represents BSI workers bankrupt? According to the UDP Guardian Newspaper it is. According to the newspaper, at this point in time the BWU has a total of $1,394 in its accounts at the Belize Bank which is three accounts: the General account, the Strike Fund and an Employees Savings Account. The newspaper further states that the union is operating on an overdraft facility of $25,000, $24,281.37 of which has already been spent which only leaves an available $718.63 for the union to operate on. The Guardian reports that BWU is broke because of the issuance of a number of checks between four members of the executive from April to the month of October.


BIOFIN Looks at Cost of Protecting the Chiquibul
The world is looking at conservation and protection of the environment as the solution to many issues that ail the world including climate change, economics and sustainable development. BIOFIN is the acronym for Biodiversity Finance Initiative and was launched by the United Nations Development Fund in October 2012 with an objective to address the financial […]

PUP Says GOB is Hijacking Senate Investigation
In the political arena, the main opposition party, PUP has issued a release condemning what they have cited as an attempt by the Government of Belize to railroad the selection of an impartial and effective Senate Select Committee. The release says that the Government is hijacking the investigation and that it is clear that the […]

PSU Not Ready for Industrial Action
The charge for good governance led by the Belize National Teachers’ Union has created divisions in various sectors as some are in support of the teachers and some are not. While the Public Service Union had agreed in supporting the BNTU, there has been some silence in the past weeks from that union up until […]

Chamber Takes Its Motions to a Vote at Special General Meeting
The private sector has voted for a national shutdown of all businesses if the Government of Belize does not adhere to several demands in regards to good governance. A Special General Meeting was held last night which saw the participation of one hundred and twenty four members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, […]

Senator Woods on Boycotting of Senate Inquiry
Yesterday the first Senate Special Select Committee was held and the first business of the day was to appoint a Chairperson to head the committee but that did not happen. Absent from the meeting was a senator representing the Opposition. In fact, the People’s United Party has taken the stance that it will not participate […]

Hulse Takes Good Governance Issues to the Police
Yesterday at the police graduation service for Squad #93, Minister of Home Affairs, Godwin Hulse delivered a lengthy address that not only focused on the expectations of the recent graduates and where he sees the Belize Police Department heading but he also incorporated the current issues of good governance that is being demanded by the […]

Progress at Marion Jones Sports Complex
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture signed a contract for the lighting of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Four light posts will be installed at the sporting complex. In addition to this project, the Ministry also unveiled the design of the indoor basketball and volleyball facility that will be constructed. Project Coordinator for United […]

Anglicans Prepare for Synod 2017
Anglican churches around the country are preparing for their upcoming sessions of the Synod slated to begin on Friday, October 14. This is an event that happens every two years with the church heads coming together to look at both internal and external exercises with an objective to effectively implement them. Love News spoke with […]

Re: Today's Belize News: October 14, 2016 [Re: Marty] #518285
10/14/16 06:08 AM
10/14/16 06:08 AM
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The Guardian

Deputy Prime Minister’s vehicle set ablaze
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber and his young sons were not physically harmed on Tuesday night when a hired hand jumped his fence and set his vehicle on fire in the middle of the night, but one has to believe that it was a tough psychological blow for the young leader when he had to rush his infant boys out of bed in order to escape a ferocious fire that was reaching for their roof. He, nor anyone associated with the administration, has laid blame on the Belize National Teachers Union and there is almost no chance in hell that any member of the BNTU was involved in such a sinister plot. However, with the climate of animosity they have fostered, the venom they have spewed at the Minister of Education for years, the thugs they have encouraged to march at their side and speak at their rallies – they might as well had scratched the match with their own hands. Belize is a young country but we have seen protests, strikes and riots throughout our brief history. The level of violence in this strike of the BNTU pales in comparison to that of 2005 and the Heads of Agreement. However, the kind of hatred being expressed (personal hatred) is something we have never seen before.

BSI’s Belize Workers Union is bankrupt! - Union leaders mismanage members’ contributions
As of Wednesday morning, the Belize Workers Union, representing the BSI workers, has a total of $1,394 dollars in its accounts at the Belize Bank. The union has three active accounts: the General account that has $718.63 in it, the Strike Fund that has $172.61 in it and an Employees Savings Account which has $502.76 in it. The union is operating on an overdraft facility of $25,000, $24,281.37 of which has already been spent leaving behind the $718.63 available which the union can operate on. But a copy of the balance on the overdraft facility which we have seen indicates that there is $624 under an uncleared effects line item which could mean that there is another check or a deposit to that amount which has not been credited or debited to the General account. In simple terms, the union is bankrupt. But how did it come to this? The Guardian Newspaper has obtained documents which suggest a serial level of bleeding of the union’s accounts. This took place through the issuing of checks between the President, Ramiro Gongora; the Treasurer Gilberto Castillo, the Secretary Malco Cabrera and a trustee Hector Castillo.

Chamber calls Lizarraga off Senate inquiry
The Chamber of Commerce met on Wednesday night during which a vote was taken to have Markhelm Lizarraga not participate in the Senate Special Select committee to investigate irregularities at the Immigration and Nationality departments. This comes after the committee officially had its meeting on Wednesday in which the work of the commission was outlined (see story above) The Chamber also voted to have a one day shutdown of businesses. The date for the shutdown has not yet been announced.

Four man picket by concerned parents
On Tuesday of this week Guardian’s Editor Alfonso Noble took the conscious decision to picket the Belize City office of the BNTU. Alfonso who is the father of three teenagers, two of whom are in High school, while the other is in Junior College, has been saying from last week that he would be doing what he did on Tuesday . According to Alfonso he was frustrated that his children were not at school being taught by their teachers as they should be on a regular school day. He mentioned to us and the entire Wave Radio and TV audience that he was prepared to picket even if it meant he had to walk the walk all by himself. Alfonso stated that although he and his wife were able to ensure that their children just don’t sit idle around the house he would prefer to have them in school.

Great advocate of Belize bids farewell
In a reception hosted by Taiwan Ambassador, His Excellency Benjamin Ho at the Ramada Princess Hotel last Friday, 7th September, His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, Governor General in his congratulatory remarks to Taiwan’s 105th anniversary national day epitomized the Republic of China on Taiwan’s strenuous efforts to gain economic and democratic development despite the adverse political setbacks resulting from the defeat out of its civil war and its retreat to Taiwan. The wisdom of Taiwan in launching peaceful initiatives with Mainland China has achieved remarkable peace dividends with the signing of an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and twenty more cooperation agreements. The governor general lauded Taiwan’s willingness to share its development experience with like-minded countries by providing necessary financial and expertise assistance as a constructive member and stakeholder of the international community. He toasted to wish Taiwan’s every continued success in its national development and international involvement.

Burnt children flown out for medical treatment
For the past 5 days, 4 year old Ian Sambula-Carr and his sister, 8 year old Empress Hamilton, 2 of the burn victims from that tragic Aloe Vera Street fire, are in Galveston, Texas getting medical treatment. The doctors at the Shriners Hospital are trying to ensure that their lives aren’t lost the very same tragic way that their cousin, 11 year-old Aaron Gabourel’s was. After spending 2 days at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where the doctors saved their lives, the kids caught the attention of Yvette Burke, who runs the Burn Injury Mercy Fund. The fund’s finances are almost depleted, but she dug deep into her own financial reserves to qualify for credit so that an air ambulance could be chartered to fly them out of Belize. The doctors at Shriners Burns Hospital for Children also made contact having seen their case file, and they have decided that these two Belize City children are cases that they will be happy to take on.

Taxi moratorium lifted in Belize City
The moratorium on taxi license plates in Belize City has been lifted and those interested in entering the taxi industry are now free to do so, with the permission of a taxi union that is. Mayor Darrell Bradley and Councilor Bernard Pitts made the announcement at the Battlefield Park on Wednesday, October 12, with representatives of each city taxi association in attendance. Mayor Bradley’s administration instituted a strict moratorium on the issuance of taxi license plates shortly after he was elected in 2012. This was done after consultations with stakeholders over the concern that the city had an excess of taxi operators and the industry needed to be streamlined. This was largely supported by the existing taxi operators because it meant no new competition. However, individuals found a way to circumvent the moratorium. They applied for licenses in the villages, towns and national transport department then operated in the city. This really frustrated the city operators and they forwarded that concern to City Hall.

Coast Guard receives new building courtesy US State Department
The Belize Coast Guard is currently in receipt of a brand new maintenance facility on the compound of their Belize City headquarters. It costs 4.46 million Belizean dollars, and it is a donation from the United States Government through the United Station Southern Command. The work began in July 2014, and it was completed in September 2016. With this facility, the Coast Guard gets housing for 100 new coast guard staff. It also provides office spaces for the fleet commander and the sector commanders for Coast Guard Stationed in Belize City. It is multi-purposed, and it also provides the Coast Guard state-of-art maintenance capability to conduct repairs and preservation of vital equipment, such as the Boston Whalers and other marine craft that the organization has in its care. The idea is to preserve these costly assets.

Belize’s Governor General tours Benque
Belize’s Governor General Sir. Colville Young made a tour of the friendly Town of Benque Viejo del Carmen on Tuesday of this week. During his tour the Governor General visited significant areas within Benque and was also able to meet its prominent community members. At the entrance of Benque on Tuesday morning, he was greeted by the Mayor of Benque, Heraldo Ramcharan Junior and students from the Hills of Promise Seventh Day Adventist Primary School as well as the Mount Carmel High School. The Governor General then visited the Benque House of Culture where he was entertained by ‘Los Hijos del West’ Marimba Group. After his visit at the House of Culture, Sir. Colville Young also visited the Centennial Park and the Benque Archaeological Reserve; two areas where gargantuan efforts have been made to beautify Benque.

Government condemns torching of the Deputy Prime Minister’s vehicle
The Government strongly condemns the actions of those persons who put the lives of the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber and his two young children in danger by illegally entering his yard and setting his vehicle on fire. It is welcomed news that no one was injured in this cowardly and despicable act. The current climate created by the teachers’ strike is no excuse for this lawless behavior and Government calls on the mastermind and other persons involved in inciting violence to stop and allow the peaceful democratic process to proceed.

Appointment of New Governor of the Central Bank of Belize
Governor General, Sir Colville Young, signed a writ of appointment naming Ambassador A. Joy Grant as Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, with effect from 1 October 2016. Ambassador Grant succeeds Mr. Glenford Ysaguirre who held the position since 2008. She assumes her Central Bank responsibilities immediately following her previous position as Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. Previously, Governor Grant served as Minister of the Energy, Science & Technology, and Public Utilities Ministry from 2012 to 2015. Governor Grant has served her country in the diplomatic corps as Deputy Head of Mission in Washington D.C., and as Ambassador stationed in Brussels and being accredited to five countries, the European Commission, and the World Trade Organization.

Lights and indoor facility for Marion Jones Sporting Complex
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has announced the signing of the contract for the lighting of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex project. The signing of the contract is between United Nations Office on Projects (UNOPs) and Maheias Construction for the installation of FFB- standard lights on the field of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. This signing takes place at 10 a.m. Thursday, October 13th at the Marion Jones Complex. In addition, the Ministry of Sports will reveal the design of the indoor basketball and volleyball facility that will be constructed next to the Marion Jones Grandstand. Bids will go out for that contract shortly and construction is expected to begin by early January, during the dry season.

PM to meet BNTU
On Tuesday October 11, the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow once again called on the Belize National Teacher's Union to return to the negotiating table. In it he stated that "I first wish to again clarify the basis of my writing to invite the NTUCB to meet with me to finalize a joint position on the good governance agenda. This was done only after I was made aware of the NTUCB position that, as the umbrella organization to which the BNTU belongs, NTUCB is the proper bargaining agent to conclude this matter with Government." he continues stating that he will first want to meet with the BNTU then "the NTUCB is in the process of scheduling their meeting (of which you are also to be a part) with me." The letter concludes by setting Thursday October 13th at 2p.m at the Biltmore as the date time and place when the meeting could take place.

Remember the PUP’s Corruption
The PUP of late have become accustomed to using the word CORRUPTION when speaking of the UDP government under Prime Minister Rt. Hon Dean Oliver Barrow. That is an accusation which they have no substance to back up those accusations with. Unlike when they were in office during 1998 to 2008. That period may very well go down as the most CORRUPT ERA in Belize's Political History. Every so often we at this newspaper find it very necessary to remind Belizeans of some of those things that has caused the PUP to have been losing elections since October 2003 to present. Below is a list of things that wreaks of corruption. We hope that this list will also help to loosen the PUP Leader's tongue and allow him to call the names of those PUPs he said stole millions during those years. • Sold the Port! • Sold the Airport! • Sold BEL! • Sold BTL, THREE TIMES! • Sold WASA! • Sold the V.O.A. compound to a PUP area rep. He used a DFC loan (which was later written off). The same compound was later sold to a Canadian for millions!

The misguided attack on Senator Rocke
It is unfortunate that once someone does not act in accordance with or in the expectation of an interest group, that person becomes the target of group hate. In my opinion the composition of the Senate Committee as it stands now is not important. The important thing is that the investigation is carried out. As it stands there are at least 4 none government representatives there to ensure that a just and fair investigation takes place. Senator Rocke has explained that he has voted in accordance with the wishes of the organization he represents. He has invited the media to question the leaders of his organization to see if he acted in defiance of their wishes. Instead of the media doing so, they chose to vilify him.

Norman Charles Rodriguez appointed magistrate
Retired teacher Norman Charles Rodriguez, 46, is now serving his country as a Magistrate of the Court. Rodriguez was a teacher at Excelsior High School from 1992-2005. He retired early to care for his ailing father, Porfilio Rodriguez Sr., until his death in 2006. After losing his father, Rodriguez became Chairman of the National Anti Crime Association of Belize. In 2007, he became the Administrative Officer in the office of the Mayor of Belize City, Zenaida Moya. There he served as Protocol Officer while pursuing a law degree. On October 12, 2012, Rodriguez received his LLB in Guyana and transferred from Mayor Moya’s office to the Municipal Court as a prosecutor/legal assistant. He served until 2014 when he was offered a space to study law at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. On September 2, 2016, Rodriguez received his Legal Education Certificate (LEC) from the Norman Manley Law School where he also received a certificate of Good Conduct.

Ruth, Oh Ruth!
On Friday October 7th, the BNTU’s Corozal Branch Secretary, one Ruth Shoman appeared on the evening news and made the following proclamation, “It was shameful, it was a sad moment in history for Minister Elrington to go publicly and state that we lack the wisdom, the ability and the competence to tackle these issues. It was shameful and especially knowing that his sister and his wife were once teachers; it speaks volumes to his character. So today on behalf of all the teachers in this country we are demanding a public apology and we will not stop.” Now that seems like a reasonable request, demand an apology if you feel slighted. But when we look at the bearer of the message we understand why Minister Elrington would say what he said. You see Ruth Shoman was not born Ruth Shoman, she was born Ruth Yadira Guerra in Corozal Town. That in and of itself says nothing, a good looking Corozal lady/teacher requesting an apology, however when you look a little further into this young lady’s past, she should be the last one to cast the proverbial stone.

Special Envoy hosts regional conference on children with disabilities
Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, is collaborating with UNICEF to host a two-day conference under the theme “Breaking Barriers for an Inclusive Society and Empowerment for Children with Disabilities” on Thursday, October 13, and Friday, October 14. According to the Office of the Special Envoy, the conference is “aimed at highlighting issues affecting children with disabilities, exchanging best practices on a regional level and re-committing to the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. There are several alarming factors that influence UNICEF and the Special Envoy’s sense of urgency in pushing for an inclusive society. The Special Envoy points to the facts that 36 per cent of children aged 2 to 9 are at risk of having one or more disabilities: physical, auditory, visual or learning. Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. They face discrimination “in the form of negative attitudes, lack of adequate policies and legislation; they are effectively barred from realizing their rights to healthcare, education, and even survival”.

Do teachers know why they are on strike?
On Friday evening we spent about an hour on a commuter bus with a friend who is a Public Officer. We were engaged in a conversation about the BNTU strike. After about five minutes we were joined by two female teachers. We don't know what political inclination any of the three ladies have but we must say that the conversation was lively. Our friend the Public Officer, appeared to be a very intelligent and informed young lady. The same cannot be said about any of the two teachers, who appeared to us as being women in their mid to late thirties. The Public Officer we know is older and is a few years away from retirement, because she had indicated that to us earlier in the conversation before we were joined by the teachers. These teachers appeared to not have a clue as to why they were on strike, more than to say corruption and raise. When we asked them to expound on the corruption issue all they could tell us was that it was their union president that was dealing with that.

Record numbers in Tourism
Overnight tourism is where the real money is generated in the tourism industry and, fortunately for our services dependent economy, record number of tourists continues to visit Belize for an extended period of time. According to the Belize Tourism Board, the industry has been experiencing record breaking increases in overnight arrivals every month since June of 2015. That is fifteen (15) consecutive months of record breaking overnight tourist arrivals. From June 2015 to September 2016, the Tourism Industry has been experiencing record breaking double digit percentage increases in overnight arrivals every month with the exception of August 2016 which recorded an increase of 8.3 percent. Through the first nine months of this calendar year, 293,622 overnight arrivals, a 16.4% increase over the same nine months of 2015, which had 252,329 overnight arrivals. September, which is in the middle of the low season, saw the highest percentage increase in arrivals this year at 26.9 percent. Once again, the month of March saw the greatest number of overnight tourist arrivals with 43,063.

TRANSPARENCY; ACCOUNTABILITY; GOOD GOVERNANCE, have all become the buzz words hurtling from all corners by some who scarcely understand their meaning, much less their importance. They have become blanket terms used to disguise a joint movement by organizations with ulterior motives. Based on their reckless use on social media it is obviously clear that even some members of the BNTU have major problems aligning the use of these words properly. There is an apparent dispute between the BNTU and the Government of Belize. The dispute was triggered by a proposal by GOB to request a deferral of a 3% increase promised to teachers, after GOB was confronted with damages caused by hurricane Earl. The GOB proposal on its face alone seemed rather harmless. At the very least one could not have believed it would have triggered a reaction from BNTU, forcing an all out strike, endangering the education of students. This is so especially in light of the fact that GOB has met their obligation with regards to wage increases to the Public Servants for the previous two years. From the position of GOB, there has always been goodfaith.

Inmate busted with weed
Belize Central Prison inmate in the remand section, Oswald Twist Arnold, 18, is in more trouble after he was busted with weed inside the prison on Monday, October 3. Arnold is a Roaring Creek resident on remand for attempted murder. Allegations being made against him by prison officials is that a search was conducted of his cell on Monday and some green leafy like substance was found inside his tennis shoe. Hattieville Police were called in to investigate the matter and officer Kenrick Pena arrested and charged Oswald Twist Arnold for drug trafficking with intent to supply another person for persons. The weed was weighed and amounted to 42 grams.

Brother kills brother in Orange Walk
The younger brother of Ruben Cain, a 41 year-old resident of Orange Walk, was expected to be charged a few days ago for his murder. The police believe that he stabbed Cain to death after they had a sibling quarrel and a fight. His family from the Louisiana area of the Town, continue to be distressed over what happened on Wednesday October 5, at around 3:45 p.m. The other relatives and friends have refused to talk to the press, but eyewitnesses say that the two brothers had some kind of disagreement. That argument escalated to a fight, and it is believed that sometime during the incident, the young brother, who has not yet been identified by police, pulled a knife. He stabbed Ruben Cain with it in the chest, which caused him to collapse in the yard, where he was bleeding out. The police responded very quickly, and they found Ruben Cain bleeding. They tried to rush him to the Northern Regional Hospital, but when they arrived it was too late.

Artisan shot in Western Belize
An internationally known artisan Luis Alberto Camal was buried near his home village of San Jose Succotz on Friday, surrounded by family and friends. A just released statement from the Benque House of Culture expresses its sincere condolences to the Camal Family with the loss of Kent, as he was affectionately known, a first class Artisan of San Jose Succotz. The fine work of Luis Camal had been showcased in various events and activities in Belize, especially at the annual Street Art Festival and the Belize Tourist Board Village Exposition. Internationally Camal’s masterpieces had also entered the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO Arts & Craft Worldwide Showcase in Paris, France in 2013. But tragically, 45 year old Luis Camal was shot in the area of Hills of Promise near Benque last Wednesday night in front of his wife and teenaged daughter. Camal was on his way home at about 7:40 pm when he was approached by two persons.

Family members find decomposing body of Ashley Clarke in Belmopan
In Belmopan, Police have in custody two persons and are now looking for a third who may be able to assist in their investigation into the death of Ashley Clarke, whose body was reportedly found on Saturday at mid-day. The 23 year old young man was with a group of other young people socializing last Friday night in Belmopan when he was picked up by another young man on motorcycle. He was to have been taken to purchase alcoholic beverages for the group to continue drinking. Instead both Clarke and the other young man identified as OV ended up at La Cabana bar where Clarke was involved in an altercation. OV reported to Clarke's mother that Ashley had punched someone to the mouth and ran away after doing so.

Teenage girl charged with drug trafficking
Kristy Elizabeth Dawson, 18, is lucky to not be in jail or on the hook for $10,000 after she admitted to being a drug peddler before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, October 7. Allegations being made against her by police is that at about 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, police found her on Kelly Street with 30.2 grams of weed in a white purse. As a result, Dawson was taken into custody to be charged. While in police custody, Dawson told WPC #1824 Vashtey Alarcont, “I sell weed feh wah lady.” This confession led police to charge her with drug trafficking instead of the lesser charge of drug possession, which the quantity actually warrants.

Homeless man stabbed to death in Cayo
San Ignacio Police continue their investigation into the sudden death of a homeless person in San Ignacio Town. Benjamin Gomez was found on Saturday morning of this past weekend lying motionless at his usual place of abode; a bus stop at the corner of Joseph Andrews Drive and the Benque Viejo Road. He was found in a lateral position with multiple stab wounds to the upper body. Benjamin Gomez was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination.

Six Left to Stand Trial for ABou Nehra Home Invasion
Of the 18 people initially charged in connection with the December 2015 home invasion at the house of Diplomat Sarkis Abou Nehra in Burrell Boom Village, only six are left to face trial. This is after the prosecutor in the case withdraw charges against many of the accused due to lack of evidence. Disclosure was provided to the accused just over two weeks ago and there was no evidence linking most of the accused to crimes for which they were charged. There were several attorneys inside the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Wednesday, October 12, waiting to find out if the prosecution will proceed with trial against their client or not. Attorneys present included Dickie Bradley, Ivy Pitts, Godwin Haylock and Alifah Elrington Hyde. The 18 individuals were facing charges including aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, rape, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, abetment to aggravated burglary, theft and handling stolen goods.

Belmopan Bandits and FC Belize at top of Premier League standings
The Premier League of Belize 2016 Opening Season Tournament continued over the last weekend with 4 games on the schedule. On Saturday 9th October, 2016, at the MCC Grounds in Belize, FC Belize blanked the Freedom Fighters by the score of 2-0 to gain a share in the lead of the Opening Season Tournament. The first goal of the game was scored by Jorge Aleman in the 18th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further extended when Herbert Baptist scored his team 2nd goal of the game in the 45th minute of play for the white-wash win. The competition then continued on Sunday 10th October, 2016, with three games. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the Belize Defence Force and the Belmopan Bandits played to a 1-1 draw. The Belmopan Bandits was the first to score when Jerome James scored his team’s goal in the 29th minute of play to give it a temporary 1-0 lead. However, the Belize Defence Force made it onto the scoreboard when Vallan Symms scored his team’s equalising goal in the 60th minute of play via a penalty kick to tie the score at 1-1.

Jumanji wins again in Sugar City Hoops competition
The Sugar City Hoops Basketball competition continued on Friday 7th October and on Saturday 8th October, 2016, respectively in Orange Walk Town. On Friday 7th October at the East Sports Centre in the U-17 competition, Technical High School won over Muffles Bobcats by the score of 54-40. The top scorers for Technical High School were Clinton Shaw with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists and 1 block; Vijay Young with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist and David Smith with 5 points, 2 steals and 1 assist. For the Muffles Bobcats, the top scorers were Kristian Cabrera with 15 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist and 1 block; CJ Vasquez with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and Dickerson Li with 6 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.

Belize to host XIII Central American U-22 Female Softball championship
The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting the XIII Central American U-22 female softball championship from November 4-6, 2016, at Rogers Stadium. The Central American U-22 championship will feature the national teams from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and the host country Belize. El Salvador is the defending Central American U-22 champions. The championship will commence on Friday 4th November at 8:30 am and will conclude on Sunday 6th November, 2016. The official opening ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 pm at Rogers Stadium on Friday 4th November, 2016. The Tournament Director will be Jude Lizama 1st Vice President of the Belize Softball Federation while the Chief Umpire will be Joel Westby. The Presidents of the Central American countries that will be participating in the championship will form the Disciplinary Committee.

Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament to take place this Sunday
The Belize Softball Federation informs the softball community and the general public that the VII Annual Charles Solis Memorial Invitational Tournament will take place this Sunday 16th October, 2016, at Rogers Stadium commencing at 8:30 am. The Memorial Tournament which was scheduled for early August had to be postponed because of the weather and was again last Sunday postponed because of weather conditions. The teams that will participate in the Single Elimination Format Tourney will include Unitedville Rebels United (defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions), Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy, Belize Bank Bulldogs, Independence PALS, Belmopan Bandits and Flowers Bank Easy Does It.

Here in OW, most cable channels between 50 and 59 are PUP channels. No lie, if you click on any of these ten channels, you will see a deep, dark cavern spewing forth PUP recyclables, and if this was not enough, they went ahead and put Patrick Jones on channel 61. Thank God he is only an independent PUP, though, and not those Die-hards like Hyde and El Loco, Wade. The PUP these days are like mites; they are all over the place, even in the bowels of the catholic arch-diocese. We even heard foolishness coming from the cavern of a youth at the teacher’s rally wanting the teachers to crown him prime minister. On a serious note, though, the BNTU has been bloated up so big that they are demanding apologies left right and center. Anyone who does not praise them are disrespectful. Personally, I will genuflect to no false prophet who cloaks their agenda behind the flag of patriotism. Another spokesperson has reared in Corozal by the name of Babe Ruth. More on her later. PUP mites, that’s what I call them.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Teenager injured in traffic accident in Santa Elena
A teenager from the Hillview area in Santa Elena was injured in a traffic accident that occurred just after 8 p.m. near La Loma Luz in Santa Elena. A BBOC bus that was traveling towards San Ignacio collided with a motorcycle heading in the […]

BNTU will continue to strike!
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) decided to finish off the week with strike action, after meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow today. BNTU President Luke Palacio explained at the meeting that while the Prime Minister made the commitment to sign the commencement order […]

PM Barrow and BNTU meet; BNTU says strike continues
PM Barrow announced at his press conference this evening following his meeting with the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) that he will sign the process to commence the 13th Senator SI Constitutional Amendment by next week Thursday but it will come into effect until three months […]

Estimate of economic impact of the BNTU Strike
Today is the 8th day of the BNTU strike action to STAND FOR BELIZE, demanding actions by the Government of Belize to curb corruption and to deliver good governance. This strike can be expected to have a similar effect on the economy as the […]

Fire arm and ammo found in abandoned lot in Belize City
Police in Belize City are reporting that this afternoon around 1:30, members of the Southside Strike Team conducted a search on an abandoned lot on Lake View Street which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing a chrome raven arms brand […]

Belize Chamber of Commerce votes for good governance
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has issued a press release indicating that last night at a Special General Meeting the BCCI members voted on two resolutions. According to the BCCI release, the two resolutions are: Resolution 1: that Senator Lizarraga shall […]

Queen’s Scout Aidian Flowers to represent Belize in Hungary
Queen’s Scout Aidian Flowers, a member of the 27th Santa Elena Jaguars Scout Group will be representing Belize at the World Scout Seminar on Messengers of Peace (MOP) in Budapest, Hungary. The seminar is organized by The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) […]

Who smashed the windshield of BNTU’s OW President?
This morning around 3, Otilio Munoz, the Orange Walk BNTU Branch President woke up to find the windshield of his 2007 Mitsubishi smashed. According to reports, Munoz has filed a report to police and the authorities are investigating the matter. This incident comes after […]

Contract signed for installation of FIFA standard lights at Marion Jones Sporting Complex
The Minister responsible for Sports, Elodio Aragon has announced that a contract has been signed between the UNOPs (United Nations Office for Projects) and the Maheia Constuction Group for the installation of FIFA standards lights at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. Aragon said in […]

PM Barrow to meet with BNTU president today
BNTU president, Luke Palacio and Prime Minister Dean Barrow are meeting this afternoon at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. Teachers assembled at Brodies parking lot and were moving in single file to Biltmore. The PM has announced that there will be a press […]

NEMO Minister hands over houses to Hurricane Earl victims in Stann Creek
Yesterday, Minister of State for National Emergency Management, Hon. Edmond Castro was in the Stann Creek District handing over houses to victims of Hurricane Earl. The Minister was accompanied by Area Representative for Dangriga, Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena and NEMO Dangriga Coordinator, Victor […]

Road traffic accident in Cayo
Reports reaching our newsroom are that a road traffic accident occurred around 7 this morning on the George Price Highway near Benque Viejo Del Carmen. According to reports, the incident involved an SUV and a brown pick up truck. The pick up truck flipped […]


Belize Cave Tubing Guide
What To Know About Belize Cave Tubing: Belize is believed to be home to over 900 Maya sites in total over the more than eight thousand square miles of Earth area we call home. As you could imagine that is a lot to excavate, luckily not all these “sites” are large ruined/abandoned temples. Quite a number of these sites includes village remains and caves. Belize Cave tubing adventures take you through some of these very subterranean that were once traversed by the Mayan denizens of these parts. For those of you wondering who or why anyone would float through an old cave for fun, let us share these awesome facts with you: Over a thousand years ago the last local Mayan inhabitant left one of the caves after what would be the last ritual ever performed in one. After them, these sites became abandoned and forgotten, deemed too dangerous for day to day life and too dark to ever be comfortable for human eyes. Our Mayan ancestors believed the caves to be entrances to Xibalba; their underworld, the place of fear and the gods of death. It’s difficult to ascertain exactly how old these formations could each be or when the first use of them was. Many of the artifacts left in them have since become calcified, encased in limestone sediments and fused with the cave-scape around them. Many. if not all the artifacts found therein are permanently fixed to their resting place. It is also difficult to determine whether the caves with no artifacts were used at all or not or for different purposes; the cave that you tube through could have at one point been a very integral part of a community’s belief system!

Hiking in Belize
With more than 30% of its territory set aside for nature reserves and national parks, it’s no wonder that Belize is a popular hiking destination. Whether you prefer to wend your way up steep inclines to marvel at mountain panoramas, make your way through lush jungles, see ocean birds and spectacular ocean vistas, or witness colorful tropical birds and exotic animals like jaguars, monkeys, and tapirs, there is a trail suitable for every hiker in Belize. Some of the top hiking destinations in Belize include: Shipstern Wildlife Nature Reserve – Measuring more than 32 square miles in size, the reserve is a mix of pristine forest, wetlands, and savanna. The reserve has several marked trails, a special botanical trail, a butterfly aviary to visit, and a natural history museum. Rio Bravo Conservation Area – This lovely area is home to a lush tropical rainforest that is the natural habitat of more than 200 species of trees. Other denizens of the rainforest include jaguars, howler monkeys, deer, and more than 400 species of birds. Half Moon Caye Natural Monument – In Belize, islands are known as “cayes”, and this protected natural area has hiking trail that combine spectacular views of the Caribbean and more than 90 species of birds, including species like the frigate bird and the Red-footed Booby.

Art, Happiness and a Bit of Splashing Around
I recently came across a quote that reads, “Art is you being free of all of the wold’s heaviness” and I could not agree more with its unknown author. Imagine a place where you can relax, be yourself, put some colors together, create your own masterpiece and do it all with great company. I know a place and I love the company. I absolutely adore this woman and could tell stories about her all day. She is not funny, she is hilarious, kind hearted and hard working. I couldn’t be more proud of her latest venture. Truly Sanpedrana, there are few locals who do not know Melody Sanchez Wolfe. From helping feed the less fortunate in town, to organizing volunteer work on the island, she’s put in her fair share of community service and yet found the time to become a successful business woman. Her Art Gallery, Belizean Melody, just announced it’s new and much improved location to the north side of the island. After months of juggling hospital visits and work, Dorian and I were way past due for a relaxation session. We remembered that we had a couple unfinished art pieces at Melody’s gallery and decided to make an evening of it.

The Day of the Dead
Although, the Day of the Dead (also known as el Dia de los Muertos and Los Finados) is most prominently celebrated in Mexico in November, it is also very popular in many villages and towns in Belize. This is due to the fact that the tradition of celebrating the life and death of lost loved ones dates back to the ancient Maya, an indigenous culture of Belize and Central America. However, interestingly enough, this celebration is also linked to Catholicism, the primary religion that was enforced by the Europeans when they colonized the Americas. Understanding that, it is not a coincidence that the Day of the Dead is celebrated at the beginning of November with All Saints Day and All Souls Day. On the Day of the Dead, Maya and Mestizo communities across Belize unanimously get together to commemorate the life and death of their ancestors. This is done at people’s homes by decorating small tables as alters and including water, flowers, fruits, candles and portraits of their deceased. Families also make sure to have delicious traditional Belizean foods such as tamales, Bollos, Caldo de Gallina local, Chirmole and Ishpasha Atole. As for favorite alcoholic drinks, rum and tequila seem to be the popular choices. On All Souls Day, the Catholic Church holds a mass where everyone goes to pray for their loved ones who have passed away. Following the mass, a street procession takes place which leads to the local cemetery. Individuals carry with them wreaths, candles and food, which are later placed on the graves. The tombs are not only adorned but the family members pray and thank their dead relatives for being a part of their lives and wish them the best in the afterlife. Also common is the sharing of good memories and fun stories.

Make Belize your next vacation destination
As a born and raised Belizean, there is nothing more I love than being a tourist in my own country. Part of the fun of playing tourist in my own country is that I get to explore new places and create wonderful memories. I can confidently say that Belize has endless destinations and spectacular attractions that will make your vacation an amazing adventure. Why should you make Belize your next vacation destination? Well, why not. Belize is a place like no other. Let’s take a look into why you should make Belize your next vacation destination! Take a journey into the heart of the ancient Mayan civilization. Belize is filled with Mayan Ruins. The Mayan civilization left its permanent mark in our country in the form of temples, agriculture and artifacts. Some of the famous Mayan sites you can visit are Lamanai, Cahal Pech, Altun Ha, Caracol and Xunantunich.

International Sourcesizz

Florida's manatees loved to death in Time Lapse Video
Conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier points out that the "love" we have for manatees is also a source of trouble for the species. The animals come to Crystal River Springs as a refuge during the winter. It is a place for them to rest and conserve energy in warm waters. But with so little protection from the many people pressing in on them -- including touching, riding, and otherwise harassing them, not to mention the injuries they sustain from boat propellers slicing into them as they sit just below the water's surface -- our desire to be near them is preventing them from getting that much needed rest. Here, in a timelapse video made by Mittermeier and fellow photographer Neil Ever Osborne, you can see just how much interaction the manatees are forced to deal with all day, every day. You'll even see a manatee stampede, which happens when a sudden loud noise onshore scares them. Mittermeier states that this happens several times a day. The video reveals just how little space manatees get for themselves, and how much more protection we need to be offering these animals who are, we cannot forget, members of an endangered species.

Caribbean countries share plans to adapt to climate change at Grenada meeting
Representatives from 11 Caribbean countries and development agency partners are meeting in Grenada’s capital of St George’s this week to discuss strategies to prepare for the impact of climate change. Grenada held the final consultation for its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) on Tuesday and will now host peers from the region to share lessons from its experience through a two-day regional workshop. “Here in Grenada, we don’t have to look far for to see the impacts of climate change. We experience them every day,” said Senator Simon Stiell, minister of state with responsibility for the environment. “Grenada’s National Adaptation Plan process will help protect against the potentially devastating effects of extreme weather like Hurricane Ivan in 2004,” said Kevin Andall, permanent secretary with responsibility for human resource development and the environment. “We look forward to sharing what we have learned about national adaptation planning with others in the Caribbean community to build our countries’ resilience to climate change.




  • BELIZE BEST YOUTH INITIATIVE 2016, 23min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • BNTU's STRIKE ACTION CONTINUES ON FRIDAY, 5min. The BNTU is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the PM. BNTU President Luke Palacio says that the three percent salary adjustment deferral will not be accepted. He says that the PM was able to address some of the good governance issues, but several other points were not satisfactorily agreed upon.

  • While the BNTU leadership and Prime Minister meet at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, teachers gather outside the hotel in solidarity, 1.5min.

  • Ziplining in Belize, 3min. Ziplining through the jungle in Belize...

  • TROPIC AIR The Airline of Belize, 9min.

  • Snorkeling with Manatee in Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min. Caye Caulker is an island reachable by an hour ferry ride from Belize City in Belize. On a 5 hour snorkeling tour we were lucky to come across a Manatee. Manatees are mammals, so they need to come to the surface to breathe every 2 minutes. They eat sea grass and weed

  • Nurse Sharks feeding at Shark Ray Alley in Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min.

  • Landing in Belize City Belize, 1min.

  • A Tour Through Belize, 4.5min. When I was cruising we stopped at belize and we hired this lady to drive us around and show us the city back in 2014.

  • Food Security Video, 8.5min. While it Toledo District is known for its lush landscapes and cultural diversity it also features the highest rates of poverty throughout the Country of Belize. Humana People to People Belize has implemented a number of strategies/ Activities in the area to reduce malnutrition and poverty. One of which is the development of Model Farms to promote Sustainable Farm Management and Resilience and also to build the capacity of farmers in the area while creating income generation for families.

  • Honeymoon in Belize, 2min. Honeymoon at Hamanasi Resort in Belize, June 2016.

  • Our Trip to Belize, 10min.

  • Ambergis Caye scuba diving., 8min.

  • Belize Excursion Part 04, 48min.

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