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Today's Belize News: October 29, 2016 #518594
10/29/16 05:56 AM
10/29/16 05:56 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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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

BTB’s 2016 Tourism Industry Conference
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held its annual “Tourism Industry Conference” in Belize City on Saturday, October 22nd. At the Ramada Princess Hotel, stakeholders, industry partners, and media members were given the latest insights on the tourism sector, as well as valuable information on how to enhance their marketing skills. Karen Pike, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. After the National Anthem was sung by Stacey Kelly of BTB, Wendy Castillo Swan of BTB proceeded with an invocation. The welcome address was formally given by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. He recapped the growth of the BTB and Ministry of Tourism in 2016, and stated that he is more than positive that tourism will continue to dominate in Belize. The first part of the panel of discussion focused on “How to Market Yourself and See a Return on Your Investment”. The panel was led by Moderator and Marketing Manager of San Ignacio Hotel Resort Trinity Castro, Connections Strategist of Olson James Lager, Executive Director of Afar Media Barry Brown, and Vice-President of Industry Relations of JG Black Book of Travel Maureen Kim.

San Pedro community says goodbye to OIC Sandra Bowden
After over a year of heading the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Sandra Bowden is leaving San Pedro Town. Bowden, Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit for both the San Pedro and Caye Caulker Police Formation, will now be stationed at Belmopan City at the Belize Police Department Headquarters. To commemorate her departure, community members and co-workers hosted a farewell party in Bowden’s honour on Wednesday, August 26th. At the party, several community member shared words of appreciation for Bowden’s work in San Pedro. “Even though she is leaving, she will always be welcome here in San Pedro. I am happy to have worked with such a strong woman,” said Deputy Office in Charge, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott. Bowden first arrived in San Pedro in July 2015 and through her time, fostered a strong bond with the police and the community. Together with Jemmott, the San Pedro Police Formation has come a long way in community policing and interaction with civilians.

Police hold public meeting to address increase in golf cart thefts
An increase in the theft of golf carts in San Pedro Town led the San Pedro Police Formation to host a meeting with concerned stakeholders. The meeting took place on Tuesday, October 25th at the Magistrate Court Room located on the second level of the police station. A handful of business operators, who are engaged in the golf cart rental business, attended the gathering to discuss the issue that is affecting their establishments. Bowden informed the attendees that since the beginning of the year, a total of 22 golf carts have been stolen. According to her this number only accounts for thefts that have been reported. During the presentation she explained which areas of the island were more susceptible to cart thefts. “The majority of the incidents have been reported from downtown to the area near Island City supermarket. A total of 16 carts have been stolen from this area of town,” said Bowden. According to her, the main reason for the increase in missing carts is due in part to negligence and not locking golf carts when left unattended.

Blue Water Grill turns 15!
Turning 15 is big deal in Belizean culture and for Blue Water Grill it was a great occasion for celebration. On Saturday, October 22nd, BWG owners and staff of BWG hosted island friends to a grand ‘Quinceañera’ celebration. From customized sunglasses and commemorative cups, to an array of drinks and food, BWG went all out to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Guests even enjoyed of a night of silent dancing, with headphones directly connected to the DJ being handed out to control the noise level. It was definitely a night to remember! BWG is not only among the top restaurants on the island, but is also known for their great generosity towards the community. Through their Monthly Donation program, BWG has given back thousands of dollars in assistance to local charities.

Ambergris Today

Belize Hotel Association Markets Members at Several Tradeshows
The Belize Hotel Association (BHA) was extremely busy this past week, actively marketing members at several tradeshows and roadshows. On October 18 and 19, At the Cancun TravelMart, Past President Doug Thompson and Marketing Director Tessie Tonaco, met with several international travel agents and marketing agencies who were interested in learning more about what Belize has to offer. The two day show was well represented as the BHA looks forward to attracting more travelers to Belize from countries such as Mexico, Japan, Spain, Canada and the USA. On October 17-19, the Belize Hotel Association also participated in the United Airlines/ Tropic Air Roadshow, hosting several travel agent events in Chicago, New Jersey and New York. BHA Director, Barbara Hall also did the presentation about Belize to the agents at each event, informing them of the different attractions and exciting activities in each area of Belize, and about the cultural diversity of the country. These roadshows have proven to be particularly successful, mainly because invited agents are carefully selected based on their interest in selling Belize or if they are already selling Belize.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Halloween Events in San Pedro
Here are the upcoming fun Halloween events this week~ Thurs. & Fri. 6-9pm Haunted House at Wayo's, Benefits Food Bank, Hope Haven, Kid's Club & Literacy Program Fri. 7pm Trivia for Red Cross at Crazy Canuck's~ dress in costume to support Red Cross Sat. 9pm- 4am Holiday Hotel Halloween Party $15. (They say no charge if your costume is good enough!) Sunday 11am Saga Halloween Party ~ dress your pup up!! Mon. 5pm-9pm Black Orchid 5th Annual Halloween Social ~ for kids & adults Candy for the kids, drink specials for adults in costume, or come as you are, but be there or be square!!!

Halloween at Island Academy
Halloween Fun Commences on Ambergris Caye

Congratulations to Asia Gilharry, Miss Belize at Miss Divali Nagar 2016, for placing 3rd Runner-up. Asia also won the award for Best Saree
ull results: Miss Divali Nagar 2016: Canada, 1st Runner-up: Trinidad & Tobago, 2nd Runner-up: Jamaica, 3rd Runner-up: BELIZE. Thanks for doing a wonderful job, Asia! You made us all proud! And special thanks to the National Council of Indian Culture of Trinidad and Tobago (NCIC TT) for the awesome event and to Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritage (COEICH) for sending a Belize delegate to represent the Jewel in Trinidad & Tobago.

Court Vindicates GOB Takeover of IMMARBE and IBC Registries
The Government of Belize (GOB) welcomes today’s Supreme Court ruling declaring illegal the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft alliance for 25 years. The court’s decision, rejecting the Ashcroft alliance’s claim for $90 million for GOB’s take back of the registries, is a vindication of GOB’s position and a triumph for the rule of law and the constitution of the country. As this current administration has always maintained, it is politically, morally and legally repugnant for the PUP to have handed over control of Belizean assets and revenue to the Ashcroft enterprise. It amounted to a scandalous diversion of monies that could only properly have gone into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and is yet another instance of the corruption that accompanied all the PUP secret deals.

Yesterday, Minister of National Emergency Management, Honorable Edmond Castro was on Ambergris Caye inspecting hurricane rebuilding efforts through partnership with the business community and the San Pedro Town Council. The Minister visited houses built, repaired, and under construction in the Boca Del Rio and San Pedrito areas. He was accompanied by a representative from the San Pedro Town Council, Jorge Aldana, and NEMO Regional Coordinator Al Westby. Honorable Castro plans to return to the island when the rebuilding is complete, at which time he will officially hand over the houses to victims of Hurricane Earl along with Belize Rural South Area Representative and Minister of Tourism Honorable Manuel Heredia who is currently abroad on official business.

Every year the ABC Pre-School invites the San Pedro Town Council to visit the children dressed up in their halloween costumes before they go trick or treating around the neighborhood. We were excited to visit them and treat them with fun halloween cupcakes. There were princesses, scary monsters and lots of super heroes to save the day!

BELAIFA & Kidney Association Health Fair
Free HIV, Kidney, Diabetes, Blood Pressure and other tests.

Catch of the day
Here is David Podany from Cedar Hill, Texas with his 50-54 pound barracuda caught off San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

Power interruption 9:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday, October 30: entire Lake Independence area
BEL will relocate high voltage lines to facilitate construction at St. Martin de Porres Parish.

A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
For the post of Senior Technician in the Transmission and Substation Department.

A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
For the post of Call Center Representative in the Customer Care Department.

BWRC Gala Fundraiser
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic's 3rd annual Gala and fundraiser is only 3 weeks away. It'll be a fun night, with great food and music. Certainly one of the most exciting patients of this year was Chiquibul. She came to BWRC as an orphaned jaguar cub rescued by FCD and BFD, and after 12 days of veterinary treatment at BWRC we transferred her with a clean bill of health into the care of the amazing Belize Zoo (where she will soon be introduced to the public with her new enclosure). Help BWRC provide veterinary care for imperiled wildlife and join us for our Fundraiser Gala Dinner at the San Ignacio Hotel, or donate an auction item or service, or buy a ticket for one of our conservation partners. Contact us at 615 5159 for more information or get your tickets at the San Ignacio Hotel, or BWRC. Thanks for your continued support that makes our work possible!

Peacemakers Paint Pediatric Palace
A group of Belmopan youth, ages 13-16, who call themselves the 'Peacemakers,' spent more than a month painting the pediatric ward at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan with colorful artwork and wall hangings. The completion of the decorating project will be celebrated on October 29. Many of the Peacemakers have themselves been treated in the hospital or have visited younger siblings and cousins. Because they know how frightening the experience can be, they decided to do something to make the experience less stressful.

The Sea King repaired
The recent Hurricane Earl caused much damage in Belize City. The Sea King suffered minor damages and was displaced by the storm. It has now been righted and once again stands proudly at the Government House.

We have a Belizean-only music video category in the festival this year, and we are excited to introduce the judge for that category! Manillan-born Writer/Director Tim Cruz is an internationally known music video and commercial director. Tim works with nearly every major record label, including Warner Music Group, Capitol Records, Universal Music Group, and EMI with some of the hottest stars, such as 50 Cent, P Diddy, Theophilus London, 30 Seconds to Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Barker, and Sabi. Selections of his commercial clients include GQ, Sony, Lockheed Martin, Discovery Networks, Bravo, Spark Networks, and MTV.

Belize Tourism Board Job Opportunity: Tourist Information Officer

The U.S. Embassy has two job vacancies
VISA ASSISTANT and ELECTRICAL TECHNICIAN POSITIONS. WHO MAY APPLY: Anyone who is eligible for appointment under Belize’s local laws. Applicant must be in possession of a Belize social security card valid for employment and/or a resident/work permit. The successful candidate will be required to obtain a security clearance and undergo a medical examination. The U.S. Mission in Belize provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. The Department of State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

CAYE CAULKER .. Farmers Market .. SUNDAY
Fresh baked artisan Breads, Artisan aged cheeses, smoked and cured meats and sausages.. smoked fresh reef fish, farm fresh range eggs, pro biotic beverages, fermented and pickled vegetables.. and much much more.. Caye Caulker market at the Dreaded Grape 10 am - 2 pm. ** ALL FRESH BAKED BREADS 20 % OFF Looking forward to seeing all of our Caye Caulker friends this weekend.

Dia de Muertos at Embassy of Mexico
November 2, Wednesday, at the Mexican Cultural Institute 9am - 5pm. Free Entrance!

The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-UPV- in Spain are offering scholarships for the course: “Introducción a la Energía Solar Fotovoltaica”. This is an online course and will be delivered in Spanish. The deadline for receiving the applications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan for forwarding to Washington, D.C. will be November 9th, 2016.

Minister of State meets with top brass of police force
Yesterday I had my first meeting as the Minister of State of Police with the COMPOL and my Admin Officer. I must say that it was refreshing to know that the Department is on the right path and things will only get better. Today I had the pleasure of meeting with all the senior officers to get an update as to where we are and also to give them an idea as to my plans for the way forward. It was a productive conference and I thank the officers for their committment. Together we will make it happen.

SBDC Green Startup Bootcamp
Do you have a sustainable business idea? If it's good, you could win up to $2000Bz. The Small Business Development Centre is having a 54 hour boot camp, from November 11th through the 13th, where you can learn about green technology that can help your business. Contact the SBDC for more information. "Caribbean GreenTech Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour weekend event, during which potential entrepreneurs will be empowered with the skills and tools relevant to start up a sustainable business focusing on clean technology solutions to impact climate change."

Our crew repping Belize at Expofer!
in Chetumal, Quintana Roo.

Dia de los Finados
Wednesday, November 2 at 7 PM - 10 PM. Día de los Finados is an island tradition celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. It is a celebration in which Mestizos/Maya remember and honor their deceased loved ones. The San Pedro House of Culture continues to promote and preserve this island tradition. On November 2nd, we kindly invite you to join us in remembering our dearly departed.

Channel 7

A Rare Win for GOB Against Ashcroft Alliance
3 years and 4 months ago, the Government of Belize took over the IMMARBE AND IBC Registries. IMMARBE is short for the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, which sells the Belize flag as a Flag of convenience to ships. The other, ICB, is short for International Business Companies Registry, and that's the entity which registers offshore companies so that they can operate on Belizean soil, giving them tax-free status, and an assurance of secrecy in their corporate affairs. These two entities were managed and controlled by a company named Belize International Services Limited, linked to the Ashcroft Alliance. On June 11, 2013, the Barrow Administration acquired them for a public purpose. You may remember that this was a time when Belize's fisheries products were facing sanctions because international vessels flying Belizean flags were engaging in illegal and unregulated activities on the high seas.

New Police Minister Says He'll Listen Before Leading
The new Minister of State with responsibility for Police Elodio Aragon held his first officers conference today in Belmopan. He gathered them into the training room at the Academy where he addressed 100 senior officers. Aragon knows them all very well - after all, he was a cop for 17 years - and reached the post of Deputy Commissioner before leaving for politics in 2013. Today he told his fellow colleagues that familiarity doesn't mean easy days ahead:... Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "I have worked with all of you in the past whether it was on the streets or in the office. i know you and you know me." "The task at hand is not an easy one especially in the face of the current murder rate statistics."

Aragon Concedes Cop Portfolio Is Tough
And as he alluded to - the police ministry is a tough job. It has confounded former star-ministers such as Dean Barrow, Jorge Espat, Ralph Fonseca and Doug Singh - whose tenures didn't make much of a dent in reducing major crimes. But, Aragon has one advantage over all those guys; he's a former career police officer, one who earned a master's degree in criminology from the University of Leicester in the UK. We asked him what's his plans and his fears:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "What are your hopes, expectations and apprehensions as you take over this portfolio?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "No matter where you go this portfolio of the police is always a contentious portfolio, because it has lot of challenges."

Aragon's Got No Love For Lazy Cops
Aragon was a former Deputy Commissioner, and this morning he gave his senior officers the first hint that he's willing to shake things up for those asleep at the command desk:... Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "It is my hope that you come to work to make a difference. Why come to work or be a police officer if you did not like the work you do? Or feel that you cannot contribute? If there is anyone of you who feel that you have had enough and is not capable of contributing to the department, let me know so I can help you on your way. You see, I am of the belief that you are senior officers who can contribute and can make a difference, but sometimes we lose our drive and our motivation. I ask that you re-motivate yourself and re-inspire that lion or lioness within you so that we lead this department forward."

No Favorites for Former Deputy COMPOL Turned Minister
And while he wants to root out corruption, will this former cop play favourites? In 17 years as a cop, he surely developed friendships and professional alliances. We asked him if this will taint his judgment:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Some might be concerned well, when Elodio mi de ya me and he nevah 'gree, sake a that now he gwen send me da PG. I'm not saying that you're prone to these immature or unprofessional types of motives, but it's natural for people to feel apprehension that if perhaps you and them in the normal course of things ha da professional misunderstanding during your career as a police officer, that perhaps you may wish to settle, or move them out of the way, so that you can have a functional hierarchy that suits yourself." Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "When I worked as a police officer, I have always been a professional, that's the way I have always been myself, I try to adhere to that kind of, to that level of professionalism."

Aragon is Third Police Minister in 8 weeks
Aragon becomes the third police Minister in eight weeks - a time of unprecedented transition. With over 1500 police officers bouncing from minister to minister, we figured that couldn't be a good thing. So we asked him about the transition tremors:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Is it productive for the department to have gone from Saldivar to Hulse now to you, so that's three directions in just eight weeks?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "Well, I don't know if it's three directions, I mean Hulse was only here about a month, you know, and it takes you some time. Like I said, right now I 09:00 can't come now and say "this is my policy direction etc." We have to really sit down look at where were are and where we want to go."

Will Aragon Shake Up Senior Command?
And while the Ministers have changed, the COMPOL has remained the same. Allen Whylie has been commissioner since 2013 and from the looks of things he's not going anywhere. We say that because there appears to be some kind of logjam at the post of Assistant Commissioner where there are currently no less than eight Assistant Commissioners. We asked Aragon about the Top Cop spot, and he was slightly evasive:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "The commissioner's post - is that something that you are as the minister prepared to look at and review that perhaps there is new leadership needed in the department?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of Police: "Jules I am here for what is best for the police department, and like is aid at the end of the day I will hold everybody accountable."

Elodio Knows Mason Too
And speaking of "dark figures", what about William Danny Mason? Anecdotal reports we have received say that Aragon was friendly with him back when he was a cop. We asked the now Minister of Police about his Mason credentials:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Mr. William Mason, this was someone first known to you in Sandhill area when he first arrived in Belize in 2013. Would you explain the extent of your relationship then and thereafter and perhaps now with Mr. Mason. What is the extent of that relation?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "Well Jules I met Mr. Mason way back maybe 5-6 years ago when he first came. I met him on a few occasions and that was it. After that I had no contact with him and it's been years since I haven't seen him, except for when I was here when I got back to Belmopan."

Major Crimes Down But Murders Up
And you heard Aragon discuss the fall in reports major crime between 2009 and 2015. But the murder rate has been going up for the past three years, and with one weekend to go in October 2016, there have been 116 murders - which is an increase from last year. Whylie outlined all the major crime statistics:... Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "The statistics that we have shown that we are a little below in terms of major crimes of where we were last year. The statistics shows basically that we have one thousand; six hundred and fifty major crimes reported up to the end of September, compared to one thousand, six hundred and fifty-five for the same period in 2015. The area of concern remains the issue of murders. That area is up, where we have at the end of September we have a hundred and eight murders and..." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "How much was it in 2015 September?"

And one major crime that had a major effect on police was the attempted murder of Constable Mark Rodriquez. He was off duty but in uniform at a Camalote bar on October 16. The accusation is that two men Sanjay Casey and Belhem Guzman, viciously beat him allegedly because they thought that he had called cops to the bar because they were smoking weed. The duo was arraigned in the Magistrate's Court last Wednesday and read charges ranging from attempted murder to common assault. Well, both Casey and Guzman are out on bail tonight. The duo's lawyer presented the bail application in the Supreme Court today, and after heavy objections from the DPP, Justice Herbert Lord granted them bail at $4000 each. Justice Lord also added the conditions that Casey and Guzman must report to the San Ignacio Police Station ever Monday and Friday, and that they must not interfere with the victim or his family. If any of these conditions are violated, their bail will be revoked.

Police Looking for Suspects in Gang Rape of Minor
Tonight, police are looking for two suspects in the gang rape of a minor. The first suspect, Kevin Buller, appeared in the Magistrate's Court where he was read a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse upon a minor. The 15 year old minor, who reported the crime, said that on Wednesday afternoon she went over to her boyfriend's house, where they engaged in sexual intercourse. She alleged that after they were finished, three more men, one of whom was identified as Buller, entered the room and gang raped her. Because of the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and he was remanded to prison until December 29th. The investigation will continue as police are still looking for two of the culprits.

Convicted of Raping Daughter, Father's Sentence Reduced
A Dangriga father who raped his own daughter six times got his sentence reduced today. In 2011, he was sentenced to 75 years after being convicted of 6 counts of unlawful carnal knowledge. He was accused of having vaginal and anal sex with the daughter when she was between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. Today at the appeal, three judges who heard his case, namely, Justices Awich, Ducille and Blackman agreed with the father's attorney, Oscar Selgado who argued that the sentence of 75 years was harsh. The judges reduced the father's sentence to 19 years. This means that since the father already served 5 years of his time, deducting that 5 years from the now 19 years means he has a total of 12 years and 6 months left to spend in jail.

Lands Dept. Ran The Money for Ron J
Earlier on in the news, we told you about Government's win against the Ashcroft Alliance in court. That triggered a blustery government statement about PUP corruption. But the Barrow Administration is embroiled in its own moral battle as the land compensation scandal is just starting to break. 10 days ago, documents surfaced which show a questionable land deal between the Ministry of Natural Resources and a company, Ron J Limited. It involves a piece of land on the Placencia Peninsula. Reports are that it is a 2+ acre parcel of mangrove land, which is located on the banks of a channel leading to the Lagoon on the west side of Placencia. These documents show that in January 2012, the principals of the company Ron J Limited bought the land for just over 6,300 dollars. Here is the lands Registry Certificate which shows that Ron J owned the land.

Finsec Has Limited Oversight on Compensation Payouts
This morning at the Supreme Court we asked Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, about the procedure, and why these alarming land compensation deals went mostly unquestioned when the Ministry of Finance was transferring the huge sums of money being requested by the Ministry of Natural Resources. He told us that the bureaucrats at the Finance Ministry trusted that whatever the officials at the Natural Resources Ministry presented to them, was legitimate, and so, they never dug deeper into each compensation case: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary: "Annually, the cabinet, the legislature approves a budget. Within that budget there is a line for land acquisition and compensation. I think last year it was 10-11 million, I am not sure and within that the Ministry of Natural Resources pays first, court orders, settlement - second. So court orders go first and there is no escaping that. Usually court orders are paid over a period of time. There is legal cost as well and then there is settlement. All of them have some payment schedule. I would not be able to say how much of those compensations are link to duplication of titles. I really don't know."

Government Lawyer: No Compensation for Fraud
So, does the Government have the proper legal footing to go after the return of these Government funds which were paid out in these questionable land compensation deals? As you probably heard, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and new Natural Resources Minister Vanessa Retreage want Andre Vega to refund that 400,000 dollars he got for that duplicate title which should never have been issued in the first place. We asked the Prime Minister's brother, Denys Barrow, for his legal opinion on matters like this. He said that if the Government can prove that the compensation was improper, and due to some sort of fraud, they perfectly entitled to go after the return of those monies: Denys Barrow, SC - Attorney: "When for instance compensation has been improperly paid, where for instance a person claims compensation and it turns out afterwards that the claim was improperly made as in an extreme case, it was a fraudulent claim that the person ought never to have received compensation at all. In that situation it is entirely open to the government. It is permitted by law for a claim to be made to recoup the compensation paid. Because anything which happens as a result of a fraud is a nullity."

Faber Will Meet With 5, Teachers insist on 25
Last night, we told you about the impasse between the Belize National Teachers Union, and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber. The docking of the teachers' pay for those 11 days of strike is pending for next month, and while the clock is ticking, these two sides can't even agree on how and when they will meet to find a compromise. They were supposed to do so today, but because Faber is insisting that they send a 5-member delegation from the Union's Council of Management to meet with him, that meeting was postponed. Unless either side gives ground, no dialog will happen because the Union is not backing down on its stance that if the Minister wants to meet with the Union, he has to do so with the entire 25 members of its Council of Management. They met amongst themselves today, and afterwards, they held a press briefing to say that they are sticking to that position:

Making HIV Stigma Free
Today the National AIDS Commission held a public forum to discuss the challenges facing victims of HIV and AIDS, including their lack of access to proper health care. The speakers addressed issues like stigma and sexual abuse and ways to make life better for those who are HIV positive or have full blown AIDS. We asked the Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero to tell us more about the forum, and how stakeholders will continue the fight against stigma and sickness... And while there is still a long way to go to eliminate stigma and misinformation about HIV/AIDS and other STDs, for HIV awareness lobbyists, the future does hold some promise. In a 2012 study conducted by UNAIDS in the Caribbean, 75% of Belizeans polled said that they believed sexual education should be taught as early as primary school. 80% said that secondary students should have access to condoms and contraceptives.

Lowering Interest on GOB Paper Won't Drive Down Rates
Earlier on, we showed you our interview with Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. We also asked him about the idea from financial advisor, Ervin Perez, to lessen the taxpayer's burden on domestic debt. The Managing Director of Legacy Fund thinks that if the Government lowers the rates on the Treasury Notes and Treasury Bills - it will also drive down interest rates - while making public debt cheaper. But the Financial Secretary isn't so sure that the Banks will want to by in. He told us that it's all about demand, and if the banks profit margins are decreased, they will not want to buy in on the Government's Treasury Bills: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary: "Whether the government can borrow cheaper it depends on the market, it depends on the demand. We don't have many takers at 7%. People don't want to tie up their money for that long even at those attractive interest rates. They would prefer shorter term maturity, because a bank would not want to tie up its money for that period of time and private investors don't have the kind of money that the government is borrowing. The government had borrowed 200 million dollars the other day. So mostly it's the banks that are in the game."

Noah from Jamaica Live At the Bliss
We all know the biblical story of Noah's Ark. Well, the Jamaican playwright Patrick Brown adds a comedic twist to it in his play called "Ras Noah and the Hawk." And the Rotary Club of Belize is performing it tonight at the Bliss. It's the second showing and Rotarian Sandra McKay told us why everyone should come out to see it. The show started at 7:00 sharp tonight at the Bliss . Tomorrow is the final night. You can buy tickets at the Bliss or Karl H Menzies.

You Can't Beat This Fair
Today at the Lions Club Parking Lot the Kidney Association of Belize, held a health fair in concert with the Belize Association of Life Insurance and Financial Advisors. So, what's the connection between life insurance companies and health and wellness? Well, we stopped by this afternoon, and the President of BELIFA, Shawn Smith, told us if their customers are healthy, and then it drastically increases their chances of qualifying, should they want to buy a life insurance policy. She and the Administrator of the Kidney Association told us more today: The fair was scheduled to come to a close some time after 2 p.m. once the traffic from the public died down.

WOMEX Calls The Name of The Rose
She may be a Tobagonian, but Calypso Rose for anyone who was around in the 70's and 80's, she may as well be Belizean. Ask about songs like "Fire in Belize", "Fire in Me Wire" or "Leh We Punta" and you'll know that she has major credentials in the jewel. And that connection continues to this day. Her latest album "Far From Home" which is a runaway success in Europe - was recorded and produced in Belize by Stonetree records. And to top it off, On Sunday, the now 76 year Calypso Rose was presented with the WOMEX Artist of the Year Award. The album was produced by BENQUE VIEJO'S Ivan Duran, who also produced Watina, the album that won Andy Palacio the Artist of the Year Award in 2007. Duran presented Rose with the award earlier this week. Here's what he had to say about her legendary musical talent. Calypso Rose has been performing in Belize for decades, and was named an honorary citizen in 1982.

Re: Today's Belize News: October 29, 2016 [Re: Marty] #518595
10/29/16 05:56 AM
10/29/16 05:56 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,968
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

B.N.T.U. and M.O.E. At Impasse After Council of Management Rejects Sending Smaller Delegation
Across the country today, teachers formed long lines in various banks and credit unions and collected a full month’s wage, despite an eleven-day strike a few weeks ago.  That’s because [...]

Teachers Accuse M.O.E. of Dictating to and Intimidating Teachers
So, why can’t the union give in to Faber’s request and reduce its attendance to five executives?  According to B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio, government does not have a bearing on [...]

Were Teachers Who Went to School During Strike “Rendering Service”, Asks B.N.T.U.?
In speaking with Minister of Education Patrick Faber over the past week, he has expressed a concern for fairness to teachers who were present in their classrooms during the strike.  [...]

B.N.T.U.’s Nadia Caliz Discusses Teachers’ Dilemma
Contextualizing the argument on behalf of the teachers who took part in the strike was Nadia Caliz.  She’s a member of the council of management representing the Stann Creek District.  [...]

B.I.S.L. Defeated in Claim for Compensation for Registry Takeover
The Government of Belize secured a significant legal victory this morning in the Supreme Court, where Justice Michelle Arana dismissed an application brought by Belize International Services Limited.  The suit [...]

Contract Extension Should Have Been Put Out to Tender; Appeal Expected
The foundation on which government presented its argument and the subsequent decision taken by the court is that a binding agreement of that magnitude ought to have been put to [...]

Government Celebrates “Vindication” on Takeover
Financial Secretary Joseph Waight welcomes the Supreme Court ruling, despite being uncertain whether an appeal will be filed in the days ahead.   Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary “I’ll have to [...]

Police’s Crime Stats: Most Major Crimes Up, Murder Count Past 100 Again
The Belize Police Department’s quarterly crime statistics covering the six major crimes – murder, robbery, burglary, theft, rape and unlawful sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge – were publicly announced at [...]

What’s Going Right and Wrong for Police in Belize City
The Commissioner of Police offered something of a theory for why murders went up countrywide. However, in Belize City the pace has fallen off, if only a little. Minister of [...]

Senior Police and New Minister of State Meet in Belmopan
Earlier this week, we brought you the statements of the new Minister of State for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Junior. He served as a police officer for seventeen years, bowing [...]

Police Continue Investigations Into Shooting Death of San Pedro Fugitive
Twenty-five-year-old Juan Carlos Martinez was killed, allegedly at the hands of Police, on the island of Ambergris Caye on Tuesday night. A fugitive from justice since December of 2015, Martinez [...]

Distraught Mother of Kaylee Alvarez Denies Neglect, Says Deadly Fire Was Deliberately Set
On Thursday night we told you about the tragic fire in Conch Shell Bay area that claimed the life of two year old Kaylee Alvarez.  Around midday yesterday, Alvarez and [...]

Patrick Faber Retains Major Ministries After Losing Junior Minister
While the new Minister of State for Home Affairs is pleased to once again be involved with the Police Department, he had to leave his old portfolio of Youth, Sports [...]

New Police Minister Kept “Danny Mason” at Arms’ Length
William “Danny” Mason may be behind bars as he awaits the next phase of his trial procedure for murder and kidnapping charges, but he continues to be a thorn in [...]

Improving Access to Health Care for HIV/AIDS Patients
The National Aids Commission in collaboration with the UNAIDS hosted a public forum this morning at the Biltmore Plaza to discuss barriers to accessing health care services. The meeting addressed [...]

Checking in With Health Fair in Belize City
The Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisor (BELAIFA)  in partnership with the Kidney Association of Belize held a health fair in the city today. They were doing free rapid [...]


Stalemate Between Faber and Luke Palacio
It’s all of us or none of us – that is the position that the Belize National Teachers Union has taken in regards to a suggestion made by Education Minister, Patrick Faber. There is a pending meeting between both parties and Faber had proposed that only five members of the BNTU’s Council of Management participate […]

Strike Fund Will Not Be Used to Pay Teachers’ Wages
Today members of the Council of Management, once again, clarified that the strike fund is not meant to pay the teachers. Thousands of teachers were on strike for 11 days and the Ministry of Education has decided to hold its salary contributions from those teachers who participated in the strike. The BNTU is insisting that […]

BNTU to Rally Over the Weekend
The BNTU has planned an event for tomorrow. That event was being called a “thank you” rally and teachers were expected to express their appreciation for all those who supported and kept on supporting them and their stance against corruption. That “thank you” rally is now being called a demonstration and teachers are now expected […]

IMF Insists on Raising Taxes to Overcome Economic Strain
On September 29 we brought you the Article IV Consultation Report produced by a team from the International Monetary Fund that was in-country earlier this year. This week, the Executive Directors of the IMF met in session and had reviewed the report in full and has insisted that measures are needed to strengthen the economy […]

Government Seeks to Address Economic Challenges
As we mentioned regarding the IMF Report for 2016, there are some recommendations that went to the Government of Belize that would prove as stepping stones in rectifying the economic challenges. In the section dubbed, ‘Rebuilding Investor Confidence with Strong Fiscal Policy Action’, the report noted that the Government of Belize had acceded to the […]

Court Rules in Favor of Government on IBC Registries and IMMARBE
The Government of Belize is rejoicing over today’s Supreme Court ruling that has declared illegal, the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft Alliance for 25 years. GOB sees the court’s decision, rejecting the Ashcroft alliance’s claim for $90 million […]

Guatemala’s Congress Gives Green Light for Referendum
In yesterday’s session of the Guatemalan Congress, Decree number forty seven of 2016 was approved which seeks to take their territorial, insular and maritime claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with the condition that the country’s internal mechanisms are followed before submitting the claim which translates to the referendum. Guatemala’s approval […]

NEMO’s Emergency Operation Centre Officially Opened
A ceremony to mark the inauguration of Toledo District NEMO Emergency Operation Centre and Disaster Relief Warehouse was held this morning. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung.


BNTU to stage national demonstration Saturday
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) is inviting the public to a national demonstration to be held in Belize City on Saturday. At 9:00 a.m. there will be a march through the streets of Belize City beginning in front of the Channel 5 studios on Coney Drive. The march is expected to conclude with a rally at the Memorial Park. According to BNTU president Luke Palacio, the purpose of Saturday’s event is to firstly thank everyone who supported the BNTU in its eleven days of industrial action and furthermore, to call on the Ministry of Education to make salary contributions for the teachers who participated in the historic protest. After the BNTU suspended its protest on Tuesday, October 18, the Ministry of Education sent a memo to school managers announcing that it would not be making salary contributions for those teachers. The Ministry subsequently sent school managers another memo providing guidelines on how those salary deductions should be processed.

Another tragedy – 2-year-old perishes in fire
Almost three weeks ago, an 11-year-old boy was burnt to death by fire while trapped inside his bedroom on Aloe Vera Street. Today, Thursday, another fire engulfed a wooden structure on the south side of Belize City, and another child lost her life as a result. The blaze erupted in the Conch Shell area of Belize City shortly after midday in a house belonging to Phyllis Rhaburn. Rhaburn’s daughter, 2-year-old Kaylee Avilez, ran into the bathroom of the home to hide from the flames of the fire that started inside her house. She was along with her two other siblings, and according to eyewitness accounts, their parents were not too far away.

$1 million for land sold for $6,540.30!!!
Amandala has obtained shocking documents revealing that under Gaspar Vega’s watch the Government of Belize entered into an agreement to pay BZ$1 million for a parcel of land they had sold a businessman for $6,500 just three years earlier. The Government of Belize sold the businessman a portion of mangrove supposedly measuring a little over two acres on the banks of a channel leading to the lagoon on the west side of Placencia, and then turned around three years later and re-acquired the same portion of mangrove for a whopping $1 million. The documents reveal that on February 15, 2012, Ron J Limited purchased block 36, parcel 3246, of Placencia North from the Government of Belize for $6,540.30. However, our sources say that the proposed developments by Ron J Limited on that particular piece of land would have affected the access to the lagoon of a highly connected member of the United Democratic Party. The well-connected UDP reportedly complained and a decision was made for Government to repossess the said mangrove.

UDP spent $70 mil in 8 years on land compensation!
Hon. Gaspar Vega was the Minister of Natural Resources when his son, Andre Vega, and the highly connected attorney, Sharon Pitts, both walked away with a combined total of almost BZ $1 million, $400,000 each, to be precise. They both acquired land titles despite the fact that the Ministry apparently knew that the land in question was already privately owned, and could not be surveyed again. Records show that on at least two occasions public officers pointed out to higher-ups in the Ministry that the said land was already privately owned, and in fact, the Lands Commissioner gave instructions to revoke Pitts’ permission to survey the land. But still, Sharon Pitts’ survey of the said land was authenticated and made to supersede the original survey.

Murders in Belize hit high of 115: CEO Lovell
If you’ve been getting the sense that the murder rate in Belize is substantially up this year, official data now confirms that to be the case. With the launch of the Belize Crime Observatory on Tuesday, Amandala asked for a status report from the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Retired Colonel George Lovell, who indicated to us that at last report on Monday, 115 persons had been murdered in Belize. That rate is alarming, especially since 2015 reported 119 murders for the entire year. Data published on the observatory indicates that at the end of September 2016, there had been 108 murders, up 21% since the same time last year. It is the major crime statistic which is seeing the highest increase next to the theft from motor vehicles, which is up by 32%. Lovell said that based on the report he received on Monday, other major crimes, with the exception of property crime (robbery, theft and burglaries), seem to be lower than the same time last year. Robbery is up 8% and burglary 18%, the data indicate.

One accused homosexual says it didn’t happen; the other says it did!
It made Amandala headlines this week when two men were accused of attempting to rape another man, an officer of the Belize Coast Guard. However, none of the accused men have been formally charged in connection with the incident. According to information from police, statements have been recorded from both accused men. In their statements, one of the accused men flatly denied that the incident even occurred, while the other confirmed that the incident did in fact happen. The story the accused man who confirmed the incident gave, is that the Coast Guard officer grew enraged and began beating them when he learned that he would not be paid for sex.

Belize volleyball coach attends ICECP Course
On September 17, 2016, Belizean volleyball coach, Mr. Oscar Arnold traveled to the U.S. to take part in the Ninth Edition of the International Coaches Enrichment Certificate Program. Coaches from thirty-three countries and fifteen sport disciplines from five continents took part in the courses. The program is a collaborative effort between the International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee, the Belize Commonwealth Olympic Association, and the University of Delaware. Coach Arnold spent the first two weeks on the University of Delaware campus participating in numerous seminars and workshops on coaching theory, sport sciences and sport medicine. He then underwent a one week apprenticeship at the University of North Carolina where he was imbedded and shadowed the coaching staff of the UNC female indoor volleyball team. UNC is a NCAA Div. 1 program and participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). This week exposed our coach to training, planning, recruiting, and injury rehabilitation of volleyball athletes within a high-performance environment.

CSSSA high school volleyball results, schedule
The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school volleyball competition got under way on Tuesday of this week with two games, one female (F) and one male (M) at the Stars Volleyball Gym on Princess Margaret Drive. In the female game, it was NHS (Nazarene High) over PHS (Pallotti High), 25-5, 25-10; and in the males, BHS (Belize High) defeated ACC (Anglican Cathedral College), 25-18, 26-24. On Wednesday, at Stars Gym, it was (F) ACC over LTH (Ladyville Tech), 25-21, 25-13; and (M) LTH over NHS, 25-19, 25-18. Today, Thursday, also at Stars Gym, it will be (F) WES vs BHS, and (M) MWH vs WES. The games on Friday and Saturday will be at the SJC gym. On Friday, it will be (F) SCA vs MWH; and

OWFA Amateur League Week 1 results and standings
ORANGE WALK TOWN, Wed. Oct. 26, 2016–The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) Amateur League 2016 held Week 1 games on Sunday, October 23, at the Chan Pine Ridge Field, starting at 9:00 a.m. In game 1, Progresso United FC won, 4-3, over Sinbads FC. Rijel Correa struck twice (2), and Dennis Charley and Wilfred Lino scored 1 apiece for Progresso United; while Sinbads got a goals each from Rubiel Mendez, Juan Chi and Ruvini Carrillo. In game 2, Trinidad FC and Progresso FC played to a 1-1 draw. Jose Acevedo hit the target for Trinidad FC; while Mauricio Estrada rocked the net for Progresso FC. In game 3, it was Desert Storm Jrs. FC over Crystal FC, 4-2, with goals from Brian Westby, Jose Temu, Marco Solis and Jason Batun; while Alberto Cassanova and Luigie Urbina scored for Crystal FC. Game 4 saw San Felipe FC edging United Ballers FC, 6-5.

Message to Minister Manuel
Hon. Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia, United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, last week, under pressure from your substantive constituents, you said that you had dived the Barrier Reef for thirty years in making a living as a fisherman, and that you loved the reef more than you loved your Ministry. We believe you, Minister Manuel. To know the reef, is to love the reef. Ninety years ago, an invalid British peer by the name of Baron Bliss came to Belize (then British Honduras) in his yacht, the Sea King. He spent only a couple months here before he died. He never set foot on the mainland of The Jewel. Baron Bliss fished the Barrier Reef, and he fell in love with the Barrier Reef, so much so that, as he was dying, he sent for the British Governor, Sir John Burdon, and prepared a will which left all his estate for the colony and its people. Baron Bliss was Belize’s greatest benefactor. Ungrateful, or confused, UDP politicians a few years ago changed the March 9 holiday named after Baron Bliss from specifically honoring the Baron to a generic title – “Heroes and Benefactors’ Day.” One supposes those confused politicians felt that the Baron’s legacy reminded too much of the colonial days, and they wished to emphasize the anti-colonial struggle. Fair enough, but you don’t bite the hand that fed you, and, more relevant today, the UDP politicians apparently didn’t properly appreciate why it was that the Baron did what he did. It was the reef, baby; it was always the reef.

From the Publisher
I have some fans who say they look forward to this column in every issue of the newspaper. Trust me, I really don’t want to disappoint on the occasions that I do. This is my profession, to write, and I feel fulfilled when I can satisfy my readers. In Belize, I would say that the majority of black men who are gainfully employed have more than one woman. For sure I caught your attention with that categorical statement opening this paragraph. You know what I’m saying is true, but such things are not discussed in polite society. It’s possible that this column entered “polite society” years ago, because it is often these days that I think of a subject and then I say to myself, oh oh, better not fool around with that. There was a time, roughly between 1969 and 1977, when yours truly was definitely not “polite society,” and I felt free to tell it like it was in those days. I was not making a living off my profession those days, however, and this had really negative implications for my responsibilities as a father.

You cannot fight ideas that have power!
Dear Editor, One writer, more or less commenting about the U.S., posted this in The New York Times today: “This country is a nation of ideas, not white men. Three hundred years after the Renaissance, when ideas, curiosity and hope ran supreme, we are back to the same point of an elite sitting on its privileges and trying to keep everybody in check. “You cannot fight ideas that have power, and they come from everywhere. Proportionally speaking, there are no more raw intelligent men in the elites than in the confines of the Congo. Worldly education makes the difference. “‘Everybody is Equal’, ‘Nothing in Excess’ and ‘Ethical Behavior’ are pretty good precepts. Conservatism, trickle-down economics, ‘No New Taxes’ are nothing but a bunch of inconsequential non-sense. In other words, non-ideas.”

Grand corruption destroying Belize
I watched a replay of the Senate hearing on TV a week or so ago. What was immediately striking was a groping and rambling by the Senatorial Committee to cover up for the leaders of both the House of Representatives and the Senate and to pin their Grand Corruption on others. They were trying their hardest to divert attention away from themselves so that their wrongdoings are not known by the public. They were distorting the rule of law by dragging the country into lawlessness and international disrespect. It is a total waste of time and money to continue stretching their time in office simply to collect more salaries. The House and Senate know that they have no useful or productive solutions to the severe corruption in the proposed Senate Committee agenda. The dominant voices and actors in both Houses are the one and the same, who have accepted corruption as a normal political practice and behaviour. The Senate, as corrupt as the House, can only play “follow the leader” to the House that leads in the severe corruption, and thus cannot offer solutions to it.

PUP name Senator Eamon Courtenay to Senate Select Committee
On Monday, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) named Senator Eamon Courtenay as its representative on the Senate Select Committee, appointed to investigate the Auditor General’s Special Report into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2011-2013. Church senator, Ashley Rocke, had tabled a motion which was passed, granting the Government two representatives, while the other parties to the Senate — the church, the unions and the Opposition — would be granted only one seat each. The Opposition grew furious following that meeting and withdrew its participation in the committee, dubbing its composition, “bogus.” However, at the last committee meeting, Government senator, Aldo Salazar, was elected as chairman of the committee.

The Reporter

FIU signs MOU with Income Tax Dept.
The Income Tax Department and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide for automatic exchange of information between the two government departments. The move is to enhance their abilities in preventing things like money laundering, tax evasion and […]

EU pledges over €70 million to Latin America and the Caribbean
The European Union (EU), this week, pledged over €70 million in funding to the Latin American and Caribbean regions to support sustainable development. The EU made the pledge during the its two-day ministerial meeting with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Santo […]

No response from GOB on Seismic testing
After awaiting a formal response for over a week in relation to the status of Seismic testing; environmentalists have grown restless and have called out the Government of Belize. Unease set in after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting when no response was given to any of the concerned […]

Scotia Bank gives $100 thousand for Hurricane Earl relief
Scotia Bank extended assistance in the form of $100,000 and two scholarships last week to aid in continued hurricane Earl relief efforts. Managing Director Michael Shaw handed over the donations last Thursday at the bank’s main branch on Albert Street. The cheques were handed over to officials […]

Prime Minister departs the country for medical appointment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country this week for a medical appointment related to his ailing back. In his absence Deputy Prime Minister patrick Faber is acting Prime Minister until Barrow returns. PM Barrow is scheduled to return on Sunday.

Saldivar is back!
The Minister of Defense, John Saldivar, resumed his ministerial duties this week after a one-week suspension. Saldivar resumed his duties after Prime Minister Dean Barrow, received legal advice that Saldivar sufficiently severed his business relationship with accused murderer, William Danny Mason. Barrow’s legal advisor, explained that while […]

Health and Tourism sectors collaborate for regional project
Health and Tourism sectors in six participating Caribbean countries are working together to protect the viability of the tourism sector by monitoring the health of visitors. Belize is one of the countries to benefit from the US$1.7 million project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. Principal Public […]

WOMEX: an important experience for Belizean artists
Some of the Belizean delegates who represented the country at the recent World Music Expo (WOMEX) returned to Belize this week, to share the experiences they had at the event. Jackie Castillo, Creative Industry Development Officer for the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), explained that […]

Coast Guard Officer claims his buddies tried to rape him
Police in ladyville are investigating a bizarre case in which a Coast Guard Officer has accused a prominent businessman and a teacher of attempting to rape him. On Monday, the 20-year-old Coast Guard Officer reported that he was drinking with two of his buddies but they […]

In one week, two killings in San Pedro
Two men were shot to death in San Pedro this week. The police are investigating one case, and are themselves responsible for the other death. On Wednesday night 30-year-old Jason Gentle was shot multiple times and died on the spot. Superintendent of Police Sandra Bodden of the San Pedro Police […]

Man shot to the head while at home
Around 5:00 Monday evening a lone gunman entered an apartment complex on Neal’s Penn Road and fired several shots into the residence leaving a Coast Guard Officer in an induced coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Daniel Arzu Jr., 28, a father of two had […]

Motorcycle accident claims female technician’s life
A motorcycle accident last Friday night claimed the life of a well-known Bravo Motors technician. Around 11:30 that night 26-year-old Nitaya Locke was heading home from the direction of Belize City to Ladyville when she lost control of her blue Meilun motorcycle and slammed into a […]

Now that we have a new Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries we hope he will find time for some serious thought to a new law which would end the use of gill nets in Belizean coastal waters. Ideally it would be great for Belize to take the initiative in persuading […]

Two-year-old baby killed in blaze
A two-year-old baby girl died in a fire which destroyed her home on Ebony Street in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. The fire occurred around 12:30 on Thursday afternoon. On Thursday Phyllis Rhaburn was at home with her three children, aged four […]

“Cowboy” walks free
Kevin “Cowboy” Alvarez, a former policeman, has walked away from four attempted murder charges which accused him of shooting at four police officers from the swimming pool of an Orange Walk hotel. This amazing outcome from what appeared to be a clear-cut, open & shut […]

Girl 15 gang-raped in southside Belize City
Police are investigating a case in which a 15-year-old girl claims to have been gang raped by four men at a house in southside Belize City. According to police, the girl reported that she visited her boyfriend’s house on Wednesday around 1:00 p.m. and had […]

Rivers Vs. Willoughby
City Councillor Phillip Willoughby is pressing charges against waterfront activist Raymond Rivers, after Rivers allegedly threatened to kill him. Willoughby reported to police on October 4th that Rivers threatened him in September, and again earlier this month. Rivers, however, has accused Willoughby of threatening him […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BNTU’s rally shifts to national demonstration
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) had organized a thank you rally to be held tomorrow October 29th in Belize city. The rally has now shifted to a national demonstration as a result of the back and forth between the union and the Ministry […]

Multi million dollar project approved at Blackadore Caye
The eco-tourism project launched by mega star Leonardo DiCaprio and former wall street banker Paul Scialla for an extravagant eco-friendly resort at Blackadore Caye near Ambergris Caye has been approved. The proposed multi-million dollar project was heavily criticized by conservationist, tourism stakeholders and local […]

FIU to execute National Risk Assessment for Belize
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the income Tax department signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday. The MoU is to expedite the share of information and anti- money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing efforts. Kent Clare, Director of FIU, will commence on […]

Court Vindicates Government takeover of IMMARBE and IBC Registries
The Government issued a release welcoming today’s Supreme Court ruling declaring illegal the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft alliance for 25 years. The release states that the […]


After six months in Mexico, my visa was days away from expiring and I knew it was time to leave. Next stop: Belize. There was only one direct bus from Cancun to Belize and it left at 10:15 p.m. And if that sounds like a recipe for not much sleep, that’s because it was. Add in a 4 a.m. border crossing on top of that and there was little chance of us arriving in Belize feeling fresh and rested. Oh, and don’t forget to throw an intense questioning session at the Belizean immigration at 5 a.m. either! Let’s just say my first experience of a Latin American border crossing was both tiring and memorable. We pulled up at the border right on time and piled out of the bus. Fortunately, Dave had researched what crossing the border involves several days before and was well aware of the money-making scheme they have on the Mexican side. Basically, there’s a man sat in a small room who tells you that you need to pay a 300 peso ($16) exit fee. What most people don’t know is that if you flew into Mexico, you’ve most likely already paid this fee — for the vast majority of people, it’s already been included in your airfare.

Sunrise birders participate in annual Urban Bird Watch
They say the early bird gets the worm, but in this case the early riser got the bird! At 6AM on Sunday, October 16th nine bleary eyed enthusiasts met birding guide extraordinaire Roni Martinez to participate in the annual Urban Birdwatch. Sponsored by the Belize Audubon Society (BAS), the small group flocked to Central Park in San Pedro to see how many species of birds they could count over a duration of three hours. The journey began along the beach heading north to Boca del Rio. Along the shore and immediate area the group spotted a bounty of birds, including Blue-winged Teals, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Double-crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Reddish Egrets, Green Herons, Semipalmated Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, Least Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpipers, Royal Terns, Rock Pigeons, Eurasian Collared-Doves, White-winged Dove, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbirds, Barn Swallows, Tropical Mockingbirds, American Redstarts, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warblers, Mangrove Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Bananaquits, Great-tailed Grackles and Hooded Orioles. A special treat was discovering a Peregrine Falcon perched on a distant Belize Electricity Tower. We don’t see that every day on La Isla!

Fun for all AGES at Caves Branch! The Senior Steppers Story
Showcasing their agility, moves and memories, a group of golden citizens known as the Senior Steppers arrived on Wednesday for another holistic exercise session at the Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. The group of energetic women, ranging from 56 to 90, hail from Belmopan and not only perform in and attend regular dance performances and talent nights but also mentor young adolescents in developing thinking skills. Senior Stepper member, Lindy Jeffery, said, “Seniors shouldn’t feel that they are limited in the activities available to them. There are many exercises for seniors, many of which are non-traditional, low-impact exercises that limit stress on the body and risk of injury,” end quote. The Senior Steppers program is a joint venture between the National Council on Ageing in Belize, PAHO and the Ministry of Health. Besides dancing, they also engage in recreation classes, such as singing, swimming, theatre, sign language, as well as learning important health and nutrition tips. The seniors we spoke to had raving praise about the program and the benefits it has provided for them. Chairperson/Coordinator, Beverly Swasey added, “…dancing is a fantastic way to get some cardiovascular benefit, improve your coordination and balance, and meet local seniors who enjoy similar activities,” end quote.

International Sourcesizz

IMF warns of significant challenges to Belize economic growth
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Belize continues to face significant vulnerabilities and challenges driven by high public debt, large fiscal and external deficits, and declining international reserves. The IMF executive directors, who met to discuss the September report of an IMF mission to the Caribbean Community (Caricom) country, said that the adverse weather conditions have also posed difficulties and emphasised that decisive policies are urgently needed to ensure macroeconomic stability and improve growth performance. In September, the IMF mission warned that the Belize economy faced multiple challenges. It noted that gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to one per cent in 2015 due to falling oil production and reduced output in the primary commodity sectors, and turned to negative 1.5 per cent in the first half of 2016 relative to the same period in 2015.

A Man Fell In A Cave With 10.000 Bones. The Story Behind The Maya Human Sacrifice Is Spine-Chilling!
Back in 2006, a local farmer working in the Cayo District of west Belize made one of the most grisly archaeological discoveries of the last decade. Tipped off by the screams of a looter who fell 18 meters (60 feet) to the floor of a pitch-black cave, the farmer discovered human bones and teeth by the thousands, some so smashed up, it’s impossible to count how many bodies they once belonged to. Welcome to the Midnight Terror Cave, where archaeologists suspect countless children were sacrificed to Chaak – the rain god of the ancient Maya civilization. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta, bioarchaeologist Michael Prout from California State University discussed the results of a recent analysis of the 9,566 bones, teeth, and bone fragments found scattered on the floor of the cave, confirming that they belonged to individuals no older than 14 years. Most of the remains were attributed to individuals aged between four and 10. As Bruce Bower reports for Science News, radiocarbon dating of the bones indicates that one or a few bodies were dumped into the cave over a period of about 1,500 years, starting around 3,000 years ago, at the dawn of Maya civilization.

Las Vegas Latin Caribbean Carnival
Caribbean food, music and carnival this weekend in Las Vegas. Come enjoy and celebrate with us

Before the world had been fully explored, cartographers often made educated but incorrect guesses. They also just made things up. The history of map-making is full of educated guesses. As late as the 19th century Africa and Australia contained vast, unexplored interiors. Cartographers often used experience and logic to infer the lay of the land. Unsurprisingly, they were frequently wrong. Since antiquity, for example, the Nile had been known to be a river of enormous length, and because rivers often emanated from mountains it was thought there must be a large mountain range at its source. The Mountains of the Moon appeared on maps of Africa up until the 1800s, when explorers finally confirmed there was no such thing. In his new book, “The Phantom Atlas”, Edward Brooke-Hitching gathers a rich selection of these mistakes. They range from honest errors to the mythical or mendacious. One map from 1766 shows Patagonia, and includes pictures of heavily bearded giants walking around with bows and arrows. Another of Java la Grande, a landmass in the southern hemisphere first reported by Marco Polo, depicts the locals riding on horseback and harvesting coconuts while fantastical sea creatures swim offshore.

Pirated WGN channel inspires Cubs love in Belize
Local cafes and bars are packed, and excited fans talk in the streets about how the Cubs are finally going to the World Series. Cubs fever is everywhere. But this isn’t Wrigleyville; it’s Belize, 2,800 miles away from Clark and Addison. Belize may be home to the biggest base of Cubs fans outside of the Windy City. Why? It all started back when legendary broadcaster Jack Brickhouse was still calling the games. After Belize gained its independence from Britain, a wealthy couple started a TV station, but they forgot to buy some programming to go with it. So instead they found a way to pirate the WGN TV signal from Chicago. “They sort of pirated the signal and broadcast it to homes in Belize,” explains freelance writer Adam Rosen. Rosen uncovered the strange story and says the team has many ties to the country.

The beginner's guide to living as an expat, according to a woman who lives in Belize on $1,000 a month
In 2014, Lisa May Cobham was working as a secretary in Washington, DC, paying $700 a month to sleep on a couch in a townhouse with seven other people. Now, she does the same work, but from a beach house in Belize. Cobham shares her story and her knowledge on Expat Real, in the hopes that it will help others achieve the American Dream abroad. She posts informational videos and interviews with other expats about living on the US dollar in other countries, has a book coming out in November called "Runnin' Global Game," and is launching a three-month Expat Incubator program to guide aspiring expats through their first steps. INSIDER asked Cobham for a beginner's guide to living as an expat, which she shared with infectious enthusiasm over Zoom - a video conferencing site every expat should know.

Miss Canada is Nagar Queen
CANADA’S Divali Queen Dannilian Motilal, did the double when she was crowned Miss Divali Nagar 2016. Motilal emerged ahead of ten other contestants at the annual competition which attracts participants from several countries. Motilal, who arrived in the country a week ago to prepare for the competition, told Newsday on Thursday evening, it was a dream come true for her to crowned Divali Queen. Motilal said she was surprised to have taken the title as the other delegates were equally educated and also very beautiful. Motilal also won the Miss Photogenic and People’s Choice awards. She won $20,000 from Maritime Insurance. First runner-up was Trinidad and Tobago’s Kimlyn Boodram who also won Best Hairstyle. Second runner up was Shanique Singh of Jamaica with the third runner-up position going to Asia Gilharry of Belize.

The Caribbean Response to the Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking
Honorable Prime Minister, central bank governors, and distinguished guests, good morning! It is a pleasure to join all of you here. I am so pleased to be able to join you on my first official overseas visit in my new capacity as IMF Deputy Managing Director. This visit provides the opportunity to see the beauty of Antigua and Barbuda—and to learn more about a region rich in history and culture. To see a country so dependent on the linkages between financial services and tourism and other sectors provides an immediate understanding of the importance of today’s conference. The discussions yesterday and today highlight a serious problem that relates to a lifeline for your economies—the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships, also known as CBR.


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