FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
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
Tenants feel violated after GSU raid
A raid conducted by the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) officers stationed in San Pedro caused renters in the DFC area to feel violated. Initial reports are that due to the surge in recent shootings, the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) requested for the GSU to assist them in conducting patrols. A few citizens are now claiming that they were indiscriminately searched without a warrant on Tuesday, November 1st, and they formally made their report to the San Pedro Police Station.
According to acting Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent, Henry Jemmott, 10 GSU officers allegedly raided a home in the DFC area, claiming that they acted on special intelligence received. Jemmott indicated that police do not necessarily need a warrant in this case, but however, the GSU searched the premise without the directive of the SPPD. In the end, a total of four rooms, and two board houses in the backyard were searched. Three eyewitnesses saw the GSU ransacking a tenant’s room, with one of them describing the experience as ‘inhumane’. “It was painful to see the GSU searching my neighbor’s room because her room looked as if a tornado hit it. She was not home, she was at work when they stormed in the house and started searching. GSU know no boundaries, and I saw the officers blatantly criticizing her room because she hung her underwear inside her room, and a female GSU officer was shaming her because of the scent that circulated from the dirty laundry basket as a result of all the windows closed. After that, the GSU ripped up her poster, threw all of her clothes everywhere, carelessly flung all of her important documents in the air, while dumping everything else she had packed all over the place,” said the eyewitness.
Senate Select Committee moves forward
On Wednesday, October 19th, the Senate Select Committee on Immigration proceeded with its sitting at the nation’s capital, Belmopan City. At the gathering, Senator Aldo Salazar was appointed as the chairman for the committee. Now that the committee has a chairman, the People’s United Party (PUP) has appointed its representative, Senator Eamon Courtenay. The appointment of a chairman is the start of the investigation regarding the immigration hustle revealed in the Auditor General’s special report on August 27th during a sitting at the House of Representatives. The committee’s membership did not change and it continues to include two Government Senators: Senator Salazar and Doctor Carla Barnett, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. Also making up the committee are Reverend Ashley Rocke – Senator representing the Churches and Elena Smith – Senator representing the trade unions. Senator Mark Lizarraga represents the business community, but was not present at the meeting. Courtenay is the most recent addition to the team.
Henry Jemmott takes over the role of OC
Last week, San Pedro Town bid farewell to former Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit Superintendent Sandra Bowden, who served both Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker for over a year. With Bowden now stationed at Belmopan City at the Belize Police Department Headquarters, Henry Jemmott has taken on the role as the new Officer in Charge (OC) of the Coastal Executive Unit. According to Jemmott, being an OC requires a lot of dedication, patience, and promptness, which he believes he has. “This is actually my third time acting as the OC, and I am confident that this will remain as my position. I have strategic plans that will help improve the department, as well plans to deter crime,” said Jemmott.
Furthermore, in an effort to alleviate crime in the most active criminal zones on the island, Jemmott, along with the assistance of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), have installed a police substation in the San Mateo Area. This sub-station will be operational in the coming days and will serve to provide constant police presence in the area.
IMF says Belize’s economic growth is in jeopardy
Belize faces challenges of high public debt, depleting international reserves, and large and external deficits, and now its economy is in jeopardy. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Belize is encountering significant vulnerabilities, and reducing public debt should be the country’s first priority. In September 2016, IMF executive directors discussed the September report of an IMF mission to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. Within the report, it emphasized that decisive policies are urgently needed in Belize to ensure macroeconomic stability, as well as to improve growth performance.
According to the IMF mission, the country’s fiscal position has weakened, which in turn, has pushed the public debt higher. In 2015, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to one per cent, and the overall fiscal deficit expanded to eight percent of GDP. The decline in oil and other commodity prices led to deflation in 2015, and even deflated to a negative 1.5 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. However, the inflation rate increased during the first months of 2016, thanks to increased food prices and a hike in the fuel tax.
Misc Belizean Sources
National Belize Youth Awards
The National Belize Youth Awards were last night and it was a very inspiring celebration of young leaders. Ocean Academy's Next Gen Croc won a Special Mention for Environmentalism. Their project is called Crocodile Nocturnal Eyeshine Surveys with Purpose and combines citizen science with social entrepreneurship. Senior project leaders Annabella, Lily, Daniel and Mathew represented the project at the ceremony. The students work in partnership with their mentor Dr. Marisa Tellez of the Crocodile Research Coalition, Tony Aguilar of the Caye Caulker Forest and Marine Reserves and Ocean Academy's Social Enterprise program.
The 3rd Annual Sisimito Sessions held in Placencia. A weekend of quality underground electronic music in the secluded country of Belize. Limited release weekend passes for BZ$50/US$25 available from http://www.wantickets.com/sisimito17, Barefoot Beach Bar, Placencia & Luna Loca, San Pedro, call +501 636 5015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. clock
January 28, 2017 – January 29, 2017
BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
See you at the movies!
San Pablo RC school Cultural Day
Today San Pablo RC school had its cultural day they represented the Maya Mestizo(Yucatec Maya) culture along with others in the village. San Pablo is a village in the Orange walk district which had milpas since 1886 from people of the nearby villages. In 1915 the village had its first permanent settlement consisting of Mayeros(Maya People) who spoke Yucatec Maya. The first inhabitants consisted of Don Pedro Marin,Anacleto Mai,Fulgencio Sabido,Prudencio Sabido,Liberato Sabido among others. Also the village had the famous Maya H-men(Curandero) Don Agustine Cawich. Today even that most of the youths speak the Spanish language you can still find elders who speak Maya. Today you can still find people holding ancient Maya surnames like Bacab,Chuc,Itza,Uh,Yama,Mai,Cawich,Cowo,Pat,Tamay,Tzul,Pott,Chable and others.The San Pablo Village Council was present also for this event.
Pictures courtesy of Ak Kuchkabal Maya
High School Battle of the Drums
Congratulations to the 1st place winner of this year's High School Battle of the Drums Competition -Stann Creek Ecumenical High School!
Ambassador Carlos Moreno visited the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)
To learn about the institute's great new initiatives and programs for the youth in the Toledo District. TIDE currently hosts three student interns from the United States--check out the videos to find out what brings them to Belize!
Miss Universe Poll Voting Batch 1 Winners
• Miss Universe Belize - Rebecca Rath
• Miss Universe Honduras - Sirey Moran
• Miss USA - Deshauna Barber
Climate change agreement takes affect
The Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force on Friday, 30 days after the required 55 minimum states – accounting for 55 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions – ratified the Convention.
The central aim of the Agreement is to keep global temperature rise during this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to try to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius (the level pushed by CARICOM during the Paris negotiations). This commitment supports Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 (Climate Action) and 12 others that include targets addressing climate change.
Countries will begin to tackle implementation of the Paris Agreement when COP22 (the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)) convenes in Marrakech, Morocco from November 7 to 18. The CARICOM Secretariat will join several CARICOM Member States at this meeting.
Human Rights Commission holds AGM
The Human Rights Commission of Belize held its annual general meeting today, at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) open campus in Belize City.
Among other business, the HRCB met, for the first time in four years to hold elections for a new board of directors.
Vice president of the Commission, Kevin Authurs, explained that the meeting was critical in getting the HRCB’s affairs in order so it could better establish itself to work with other NGO’s and serve Belizeans.
“There have been new legislations passed with respect to NGO’s in tea of accounts and so on. So this meeting was essential for us to get our ducks in a row so we can engage other organizations about doing the same,” Authurs said.
Newly-elected President, Leo Bradley Jr. said that the Commission’s board will continue to hold projects working with various target groups in different communities, for the betterment of those in the target area.
Breaking Belize News
Shooting in Santa Elena Town
Reports reaching our newsroom is that a man was shot this morning near the gas station on Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena. The victim has been identified as Patrick Gordon of Santa Elena town. He was shot in the left upper chest. He […]
Belize invites Cubs’ David Ross to free vacation
The biggest Cubs fan base outside of Chicago is located in Belize and to celebrate the team’s historic World Series win, Belize has offered David Ross an all expenses paid vacation. The invitation was extended by the Belize Tourism Board through a Belizean version […]
“Money on My Mind” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Regular readers will know that I’m one of the world’s great ponderers. But, I have to admit, it wasn’t always that way. When working in the UK (boy does that seem an eternity ago) I used to ponder but back then I described it as thinking. I was paid to think, and think quickly, not ponder, you understand.
But now ? Well now I ponder. And I ponder a lot. I ponder about the weather. Will it be sunny? Will it rain? Will our water tank be full soon? Will Arsenal win the next game? You give me a subject and I’m sure I will able to ponder about it. But the subject I’ve spent a lot of time recently pondering about is the sterling v US Dollar exchange rate. It’s fair to say that I’ve had money on my mind.
Why? Quite simple really. My pensions and the majority of our easily convertible assets are in sterling and sterling has taken a real pummelling recently and particularly so since Brexit.
Before we moved here I did all of our budget calculations on the basis of US$ 1.50 to £1 exchange rate. The rate was better than that but my years of managing budgets for companies that I worked for had taught me (well actually it was the Finance Directors that browbeat it in to me) to always be prudent. I then did the same calculations – for the cost of building our house and living expenses during and after the completion of the build – but this time using outliers . I even went so far as calculating a 1:1 exchange rate. I never, ever, expected the rate to drop so low but I wanted to be sure that if it did we could still ‘cut the mustard’. And we could.
U.S. Court Enforced Arbitration Award Bodes Well For Caribbean Investment Holdings Shareholders
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has enforced an arbitration award against Government of Belize worth ~$0.364 per share including prejudgement interest on the Final Award.
Only 1% of cases petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court are reviewed, giving us confidence that the petition for review by Government of Belize will be dismissed.
The stock trades at between 10 to 15x EPS and less than half of book value; a special dividend of the financial award would double an investment.
The U.S. Court enforcement stems from an unfulfilled Government of Belize guarantee on a loan made by Belize Bank over 10 years ago.
The foreign arbitration enforcement follows the New York Convention, and the London Court of International Arbitration's decision to force Belize to pay the loan plus interest worth $37mm.
Belize includes HPV vaccine to National Vaccine Program
The Belize Ministry of Health hosted a press conference to speak on the inclusion of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the National Vaccine Schedule under the National Vaccine Program of the country. The presentation panel was headed by the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero accompanied by Dr. Natalia Largaespada Beer, Technical Advisor, Maternal and Child Health Unit.
Dr. Manzanero spoke of the consultations that the Ministry has undertaken and the support it has garnered from the partners in this discussion including the Churches, the Ministry of Education, related NGO agencies, parents and the community. He mentioned that the administering of the vaccine will commenced by the end of this month to girls age 10 in standard 4 school settings.
2 named finalists in Siemens contest
Will Duke of Pine Bluff and Nick Nehas of North Little Rock, seniors at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs, were recently named semifinalists and region finalists in the 2016 Siemens Competition in Mathematics, Science and Technology.
The Siemens competition is one of the nation's premier competitions in math, science and technology for high school students who vie for college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.
Duke and Nehas' project focused on the Coral Gardens reef in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Belize. They conducted research on the health of the reef during their school's Global Learning Program trip this summer to the Tropical Marine Research and Education Center in San Pedro, Belize.
More than 1,600 projects were submitted to the Siemens competition this year, and 498 students were selected as semifinalists. Ninety-six semifinalists are chosen to advance to one of six regional competitions. Duke and Nehas will compete in Region 2 at the University of Texas at Austin this month. They are guaranteed at least a $1,000 college scholarship for being named a regional finalist.
Commonwealth Tax Administrators to meet in Barbados
The issues of tax compliance, enforcement and exchange of information will top the agenda when the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) hosts the 37th annual Technical Conference of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators next week.
Over 140 delegates including representatives from Commonwealth nations, tax advisors from international agencies, and members of the business community are expected to attend the November 7-11 meeting, which will be held at the Hilton Hotel under the theme ‘Enhancing Tax Compliance through Strategic Alliances’.
“This forum provides an excellent platform to share experiences on strategies for enhancing tax compliance as well as identifying opportunities for stronger cooperation between respective tax administrations,” the BRA’s communications officer Erica Lazare said.
TY - Di Paper, 3min. Belizean Dancehall Star TY drops the long awaited video for his hit single "Di Paper. " "The Paper" is Ty Linares' most recent plunge into Jamaica's Danchall genre. Yes it is the cultural appropriation of our Caribbean cousins. But TY represents himself as a true artiste, a confident lyricist who dares in this track to go bare: no profanity, no sexual objectification of women. The song is essentially about working hard for money and it relies solely on the talent of the artist. It opens up in a non traditional way as well with the strum of a guitar riff that plunges into the deep depths of the bass. The rhythm is by King Kosa. Yes it is more hook but the message is clear and clean.
Ty Linares' other songs appeal to the issues that faces the youth and young adults but you have to wait for those to be released. So open soundcloud app, turn up the bass and listen to "The Paper."
Mexico to Belize // My trip to Tulum - Punta Allen - Belize City - Caye Caulker - Hopkins // 2016, 10min. My Trip to Mexico and Belize... And I went slow ;)
Being woken up by monkeys in a tiny town in Belize days before Christmas, 2min.
Flying Over the GREAT BLUE HOLE in BELIZE, 2min.
Ms World, Belize 2016 held at Log Cab Inn Belize, 4min.
NORWEGIAN GETAWAY - DAY 4, 10min. We make a stop in Belize to zipline through the jungle and go under the Mayan Mountains..
Belize Drummer Afro an Black Survivers Band Tribute to Night Life an Belize, 51min.
Belize Family Life Association Live Stream, 57min.