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Today's Belize News: November 10, 2016 #518866
11/10/16 06:04 AM
11/10/16 06:04 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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

Caye Note: Free Workshop for Fathers
On behalf of the Evangelical Alliance and the San Pedro Police Department’s Community Policing Unit, all fathers are invited to participate in the first fatherhood workshop on Sunday, November 13th. This free workshop will take place at the Living Word Church on Tropical Wave Street from 2PM to 5PM. The intent of the program is to unite fathers in order to help fight crime. Fathers will receive valuable information that can be applied to daily life, as well as necessary information to share with their children to promote healthy and productive lives.

Massive casino-hotel development proposed in Laguna de Cayo Frances area
Caribbean Developers Belize Limited is proposing to create a diversified residential, commercial amenity-based tourism development project on 3,000 acres of land, which is approximately 13 miles north of San Pedro Town. The development site itself is situated centrally on Ambergris Caye, forming a land bridge between Laguna de Cayo Frances and Santa Cruz Lagoon, the latter of which falls within the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. The announcement of the project’s preliminary public consultation scheduled for November 16th, has revealed a first look into the proposed development. Some of the key elements of this $100US million dollar project to be completed in three phases, will consist of multi-family and single family residence sites; 10 casino hotels; an 18-hole 190-acre golf course with single family golf residences; restaurants and bars; pools; piers with slips, overwater villas; a beach club condominium-hotel and a free zone.

Belize National Softball Team U-22 Sub-Champions; SPHS part of the team
The sports skills of San Pedro High School (SPHS) athletes have once again put Belize in the spotlight. Three SPHS students, Jucely Badillo, Nayeli Longsworth, and Steviana Moreira joined the National Female Softball Team at the 13th U-22 Softball Female Championship held on Saturday, November 5th and Sunday, November 6th in Esperanza Village, Cayo District. After two days of challenging matches, the home team claimed second place in the competition and the opportunity to represent Belize at World Baseball Softball Confederation U-19 Junior Women’s Softball World Championship in Clear Water Florida, USA in January 2017. The three participating teams hailed from Costa Rica, El Salvador and Belize. The games had previously been arranged to take place in Belize City, at Roger’s Stadium, but due to the inclement weather, they were moved to the Cayo District. On Saturday, the Belizean team faced Costa Rica and triumphantly won the match with a game score of 16-4. Later that day, they took on the team from El Salvador. Despite their good performance, the Belize Team was defeated.

BNTU and MOE continue negotiations on teachers’ time missed and salary deuction
In Belize, the academic calendar requires both students and teachers to be in session for 180 days. However, the 11-day strike led by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) has caused disorder within the Ministry of Education (MOE), which declares that students and teachers have to make up instructional time missed by the strike. On Thursday, November 3rd, the MOE proposed to add six additional days to the academic 2015-2016 school calendar. Chief Education Officer, Dr. Carol Babb, announced that four extra school days will be added in January and two extra school days will be added in April. Prior to the announcement, Education Minister of the MOE, Patrick Faber, disclosed in an interview with Love News that any extra time given by the teachers would be compensated. However, President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio, responded and said that teachers were not asking for any compensation because they were fully aware of having to make up time.

GOB demands compensation money from Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega
After being compensated nearly $1 million dollars jointly, Andre Vega, son of former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, and Attorney Sharon Pitts are being asked by the Government of Belize (GOB) to return the funds. Both Vega and Pitts were paid by the Lands Department $400,000 each in what has been declared a shady land transaction deal. The compensation stems from Vega’s and Pitts’ acquisition of the land even though it was privately owned. Located at Mile 5 near the Haulover Bridge in the Belize District, the property was first parcelled between Pitts and Hilmar Alamilla. Alamilla, Gaspar Vega’s campaign manager at the time, quickly sold his piece of land to Andre Vega for $15,000, while Pitts obtained permission to survey 1.5 acres at the same location for $10,569. In an attempt to re-acquire the land, GOB paid both parties a hefty amount of money, which by far exceeded the price paid for the properties in the first place.

Ambergris Today

Re-Shuffle of Portfolios of San Pedro Town Council
The San Pedro Town Council hereby informs the residents of San Pedro Town that the portfolios of the Mayor and Councilors of the San Pedro Town Council 2015-2018 have been reshuffled and are as follows: (The changes are effective immediately)

Belize Female Softball Team 2nd in Central American Games
The Belize Softball Federation hosted the XIII Central American U-22 female softball championship that took place from November 4 to the 6, 2016, at Rogers Stadium. Belize is proud to announce that the country’s team came in second place. The Central American U-22 championship featured national teams from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama. Defending champion El Salvador once again took the winning title while Costa Rica came in third place. Two young ladies from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye are members of Belize’s female team. Congratulations Jucely Badillo, Nayeli Longworth and the rest of the female softball team.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

3rd Annual Saga Humane Society Bidding Bonanza
It's that time of year again. Time for the 3rd Annual Saga Humane Society Bidding Bonanza, and this year it contains all you need to enjoy Ambergris Caye. Whether you live here full time, you visit year after year, or if you are planning your first trip to Trip Advisors #1 Island, we have your San Pedro Survival Kit. It's all here for the taking. This is your chance to fetch the greatest gifts and vacation deals, all while helping to save lives. It's simple. You bid on a great prize, you are the highest bidder and you WIN. AND You help the staff and volunteers save the lives of the homeless, sick and unwanted animals of Ambergris Caye. We've got amazing prizes again this year, including first class accomodations, gourmand dinner certificates, tours, activities, you name it. There are just too many to list. Check out all the great items for yourself. Our special thanks goes to our sponsors and donors who make it possible for us to offer such great items year after year. If by chance you are not the lucky high bidder of a prize, please remember our sponosrs when you shop, dine, travel and enjoy all that Ambergris Caye has to offer.

5 X 5 Basketball Marathon in San Pedro Nov. 13
1st prize $500 cash! 2nd prize $200 cash!

B2B Waste to Energy & Renewable Energy Fair
Belize's first B2B Waste to Energy & Renewable Energy Fair is being held at the Biltmore.

Flor de la Feria- Benque Viejo del Carmen
Did you know that apart from the flor de la feria pageant our community has one more pageant organized by the renowned Benque viejo Marching Band? Well, you've been missing a lot! Our current FDLF, Rianne, was Miss Teen 2014 and our current Miss Independence 2016, Edna is the current Miss Teen 2015! Well, they are on it for a third consecutive year with four lovely candidates vying for the title! The FDLF Wishes the candidates and organizers a successful event on November 26th beginning at 7 p.m.

UB Defeats SHJC in ATLIB Basketball Round II
The UB Black Jaguars beat the SHJC Scorpions in the 2nd round of the ATLIB regionals. They both will be playing Galen next.

The documentary Tree Fellers at Corozal House of Culture
As part of our Remembrance Day Exhibit Friday November 11, we will be screening the documentary Tree Fellers throughout the day. The documentary tells the story of Belizean Ex -servicemen who were part of the WW 2 contingency in forestry. They traveled to Scotland where they were able to put to use their expertise in chopping trees. The fallen trees were used to make paper, lumber and other items during the war. Some of the Ex-servicemen stayed on in Scotland after the war; this is their story.

Castillo's Hardware has 20% OFF on Christmas Decorations
Lights and Selected Imported Tiles. Christmas Raffle tickets available upon purchases.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is reminding the Gladden Caye Resort Ltd. and its agent that a CEASE and DESIST order was issued on November 2, 2016. The Ministry is in the process of levying the necessary penalties under Sections 2 & 109 of the Mines and Minerals Act Chapter 226, Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000 – 2003. The Developer is further advised to contact the Mining Unit, Ministry of Natural Resources no later than November 15, 2016. The Ministry reminds the general public that it is an offence to mine, prospect and/or remove minerals without first obtaining a permit/license from the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Any person who is found carrying out these activities without the requisite permit or license will be held liable on conviction to fines and imprisonment under the Mines and Minerals Act Chapter 226, Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000 – 2003.

Belize to Commence Discussions with Bondholders
The Government of Belize today announced that it intends to commence discussions with holders of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 (the “2038 Bonds”) regarding the serious economic and financial challenges currently facing the country. These challenges include low growth, rising fiscal deficits, a deteriorating balance of payments position, and declining sovereign debt indicators. Belize’s challenges have been exacerbated by slow global growth, U.S. dollar strength, Hurricane Earl, a substantial decline in key commodity production and prices, and the higher than anticipated arbitration awards. Belize’s 2038 Bonds were issued in 2013 and are the only Government debt securities outstanding in the international capital markets. For a variety of reasons, Belize’s economy has significantly underperformed in comparison with the projections used at the time in setting the terms of the 2038 Bonds.

"Please fix our street"
The UDP Sarteneja Village Council would like assistance to fix this Street in Sarteneja. It is a main road for students and villagers to use everyday. Their calls for assistance have not been heard and they hope through this medium the Ministry of Works or some generous donors can assist them with the upkeep of the village street.

Public Consultation Notice - Sponsored by Ministry of the Environment
EIA has been lodged for a Bio-refinery for the processing of green sugarcane into ethanol and biomass electricity. Wed November 23, 6:30pm, La Democracia Community Center, Belize District

Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador Benjamin Ho and Embassy staff visited the Chiquibul Forest
We are grateful for all the assistance that ROC (Taiwan) has done in supporting the protection of Chiquibul and wish safe travels to Ambassador Ho as he concludes his services in Belize.

National Women’s Show & Canadian Road Show, Toronto
It's all about Belize at the "2016 Canadian Road Show, Toronto".

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Mechanic: Resurrection, War Dogs, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, DON'T BREATHE.

Channel 7

The Auditor General Apologizes To The House Speaker
After months of waiting, Belizeans finally got to tune in and see the first day of the Senate hearings on the Immigration and Nationality Department. That happened today, and it was carried live on all the television stations. In today's episode, the Senate Select Committee summoned Dorothy Bradley, the Auditor General herself, and she had to give preliminary testimony on her findings of mass irregular practices within the Ministry of Immigration. Her report had been the subject of great interest of those within the public, and great discomfort for the Barrow Government, since a number of Cabinet Ministers were named in the report. So, the stakes were high, and it obliged Dorothy Bradley to give a public accounting of her work for the first time since it became part of the public record. We'll show you what the Committee wanted her to answer, plus an interview she granted after the hearing. But, first the big news of the day was that the Auditor General took the opportunity to address the Senate, and she corrected the mistake she made in wrongfully naming House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte in her report. Now as you, she has an unresolved lawsuit pending, which Peyrefitte brought against her to do exactly this. Only, last week when the case went to court, there were talks of an out-of-court settlement, and the would have to do exactly what she did today. Here's that moment from today, when she ran the gauntlet and acknowledged the mistake:

Auditor General Called To Testify in Senate Hearings
So, to the Senate hearings itself - it lasted just under an hour, and the Committee chose to do so because they wanted to lay out the groundwork before they started the deep dive into the specifics of her report. However, there were a few interesting revelations made in today's conversation between the Auditor General and the Senate Select Committee. Here are a few excerpts: Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator: "You state in your opening in your executive summary that this audit reflects a small percentage of the total findings because of the volume of the actual findings. Can you give us an idea of how small this percentage is?" Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General: "This percentage reflects a 25% of a one year activity because we did two years so it's 25% of one year which would equate to something like 3 months." Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator: "So if you had in fact done a full 100% audit we would have expected to see four time perhaps?" Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General: "I'm not sure it would depend on the examination and the findings." "The presentation was done to the Minister of Finance in accordance with the regulations and it was done that way because of the volume of finding and because of the names we had associated with the findings, meaning names that were directly linked to the Immigration Department. So because the names linked to the Immigration Department was in the report I felt it was fitting in accordance with the regulations to make that presentation to the Minister of Finance."

Dorothy Bradley Defends Her Immigration Audit
Of course, after the hearings, we made sure to seek out Dorothy Bradley when she was exiting the National Assembly. She had always been a phone call away for clarifications on the audit reports, but for the past few months, she was declining interviews. Fortunately this morning wasn't one more of those refusals, and she took a few questions from us. She shared her thoughts on day one of the Senate Hearings, and it also gave us the opportunity to ask her about those most often repeated lines of defence from the UDP Minister's who we've questioned about being named in her reports. Here's how the conversation went: Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General: "It went fairly well, my intent is to produce and to say exactly what happened and I have absolutely no problems with that." Daniel Ortiz: "The trust of the Barrow government's resistance to the findings is that their right to natural justice was not afforded to them to be given an explanation as to why certain things were done. Do you feel that the way you delivered the report violated anyone's natural justice?" Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General: "I have not a clue the truth is that out of all this I hope that we will provide with the right resources to guide us properly."

Senate Inquiry: A Brief Pause
So, what's supposed to happen at the next adjournment of the Senate Hearings? That's what we asked Senate Committee Member Eamon Courtenay and Chairman Aldo Salazar, when they exited a post-mortem meeting. They told us that the Committee will hire an attorney, and after that, the Auditor General will be called upon again to give follow-up testimony. Here's what they had to say: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "I think the auditor general's report is quite comprehensive. We need for her to clarify on the record the procedure she had adopted. The way in which she reached her conclusions, we need for her to indicate to us the evidence that she had, the evidence that she did not get and that's one of the issues we'll be taking up the fact that the Senate will insist on getting those things and maybe having seen that she may want to change her report. We're at a very preliminary stage and I think that the auditor general's report and her evidence is going to be very helpful in terms of the long term, in term of what recommendation the committee will make."

William "Danny" Mason Back To Court For Adjournment
Accused murderer William "Danny" Mason went back to court today for a routine case management hearing. But, of course, with Danny Mason, nothing is routine – and the Magistrate's Court was flanked with GSU officers and trucks to escort him. The matter was heard quickly where two important dates were set: the 18th. of January for full disclosure and the first of February for the preliminary inquiry. It was also revealed that police could only give partial disclosure because they are waiting on the result of DNA tests. We spoke to the defence and prosecution attorneys outside court:… Richard "Dickie" Bradley - Attorney for Mason: "Today was to say this is an adjourned date but when we come back to court we need to know what is happening so Jules today a decision was made by the chief magistrate to say to the prosecution make disclosure available. The prosecution is awaiting some DNA testing from abroad but normally procedurally and the chief magistrate agreed you can make available to the accused person what you currently have. So prosecutor Chester Williams is going to get his hands on the documents from the DPP's office and make that available to us."

ACP Williams Discusses Silent Dispute With Compol
As you saw in that story, ACP Chester Williams is off that one-day administrative leave and back on duty. He confirmed that he has been reinstated as commander, while the eight-hour shifts remain in place on a trial basis: Jules Vasquez: "But you're in place as Commander Southside?" ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "Yes I am the Commander Southside Belize City." Jules Vasquez: "Now the police officers I'm in contact with say they remain on the 8 hour shift. Is that right the 8 hour shift experiment continues?" ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "Yes it continues and the commissioner has ordered a survey in respect to the matter and when the survey is done then he'll make a final determination from there." Jules Vasquez: "But is it premature for a survey? In terms of you just reinstated it four days ago, the survey will be done forthwith?" ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "Well the commissioner has given his directive and that is within his purview, I am not going to question his authority where that is concerned."

Belize Also Watch Donald Trump Elected As US Prez.
Donald Trump is the 45th President of The United States meaning that after eight years of Democratic rule, there will be a Republican in the White House. In a stunning election outcome, Trump, the non-politician, up-ended the political establishment when he beat out Hilary Clinton and the Clinton machine. Trump was swept into office by appealing to disillusioned, mostly-white voters, and his unlikely election is seen as a repudiation of the establishment – which had for so long embraced multiculturalism. Certainly, his election is reason for anxious concern among immigrant communities whom Trump has characterized as being an unwelcome burden on the American mainstream. The government of Belize has not yet issued any release on his election. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in New York on official business when the election took place.

US Ambassador Moreno Closely Monitored Election Night
And while PM Barrow had the bird's eye view from the media capital of the USA, our 7News team got a chance to take in the election coverage from the US Embassy in Belmopan. The US Ambassador threw a big party with a huge invitation list at his residence. Here's what we saw:… The party had all the political paraphernalia you might expect, and a big screen with a viewing hall to watch the results come in. H.E Carlos Moreno - US Ambassador: "I haven't paid complete attention tonight but from the small bits of results that I've seen its closer than I anticipated." Jules Vasquez: "Now you're a democrat are you nervous?" H.E Carlos Moreno - US Ambassador: "I'm for a fair process, I'm for democracy, I have been appointed by democrats." The democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was defeated - but when we spoke to him before the outcome - he was even tempered, or maybe we can say, diplomatic:

Customs Caught Cervezas
Last night in San Pablo village in the Orange Walk District, Customs made a huge bust of contraband beer.120 cases of Mexican Superior Beer were found in a thatch house in San Pablo Village. The beers would sell on the black market for 40 dollars per case and were probably being brought in to get ready for the Christmas season. Customs says it made the bust based on intelligence. No one was in the area at the time.

Hon. "Boots" Vs. Gilroy Sr.: The War Over The Voter's List
We don't usually get political news at court, but today we found the UDP and PUP candidates for Port Loyola preparing to do battle in open court. Anthony Boots Martinez and Gilroy Usher were there to fight over the voter's list – which is coming up for its regular review. Usher wants a number of names stricken from the list, but Martinez says his opponent doesn't know what he's talking about. Here are the many sides of that story:… Gilroy Usher Jr. - Political Officer, Port Loyola: "We are here at court today in an attempt to clean up the voter's list because you know there is a situation where by especially in Port Loyola a lot of people are voting in Port Loyola that does not reside in Port Loyola." Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Defending Voter's List: "He had somebody object to 49 people on the voter's list who are registered at various address over a period of years stemming from 1997 including one home owner who still lives there. A person who 4 of the people that they are objecting to died already, one died 14 years ago and the ground of objection is that they never lived there before." Jules Vasquez: "Now your opponent is saying in fact the names you all have seem to remove include some who is deceased 14 years ago and you are all are claiming that person no live there."

Hon. "Boots", His Ministry, And the Yellow Building
We also asked Minister Martinez about the Belize City Office of the Department of Human Services. That office has moved from Regent Street to the corner of Cemetery Road and the Western Highway right in that big yellow building rumoured to be owned by the Minister of Social Services, the same Boots Martinez. So is he housing his ministry's office in his own building? When we asked him today, he said, "not quite:" Jules Vasquez: "Is the ministry of Department of Social Services renting from its minister?" Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Minister of Human Development: "The building at the roundabout, that building fortunate for me that building is for my daughter." Jules Vasquez: "Is that sir a conflict of interest if..." Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Minister of Human Development: "How will it be conflict of interest? I have a product." Jules Vasquez: "A lot of people have that product it's called rental space." Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Minister of Human Development: "That is right I don't know how much people have a product like that with the quality and location and so.."

"Monchi" Going After "Gapi" For Land Scandal
And while Minister Boots brushed that one off, another Minister who got into big trouble for his son's dealings in his ministry is Gaspar Vega. We've reported extensively on the almost half a million dollar compensation payout to Andre Vega – money which government is now demanding that he pay back by the end of this month. And Vega's opponent in Orange Walk Monchi Cervantez wants to penalize him for it. Cervantez is floating an idea to bring charges against Vega for violating the corruption in public life act. Now usually, only the Police and the DPP have standing to bring criminal charges against anyone, but, undaunted, Monchie went to said Musa's office today asking advice. When he came out of that meeting, he seemed determined if slightly in doubt that it can be done:… Ramon "Monchi" Cervantes - PUP Standard Bearer, OW North: "My intention to bring criminal charges against Gapi Vega the former Deputy Prime Minister, former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for crimes committed against the people of Belize. I think you know all the scandals under the prevention of corruption act of 2007. Specifically what we are looking for is indictment in the criminal matters we are looking for an indictment of former minister Vega. We are looking for an indictment specifically I really don't know that is up to the lawyers."

Hon. "Boots": Vega Did Nothing Criminal
Not surprisingly Vega's colleague Boots Martinez doesn't agree with Cervantez or the PUP that there is substantial misfeasance or any criminal conduct on the part of the former Minister of Natural Resources. Today he told us Vega did nothing criminal:… Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Minister of Human Development: "As far as I'm concerned about one revelation on which the man resigned over I don't know about all maybe you might know about a lot more that I don't know, I don't know about all." Duane Moody: "Don't you think it was grounds enough sir?" Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Minister of Human Development: "The man resign from Cabinet, there is a criminal charge against the man so I don't know. Nobody claim that Mr. Vega did anything illegal, there's no criminal charge and we the talk about all and I don't know about all I only know about one and the one the man resign over that so I don't know about all. Maybe you could tell me the rest."

K9 Unit Helped In Weed Seizures
Last week, Courtney Weatherburne brought you the story of the K9 Unit, a team of highly trained dogs and their cop companions. The K-9 Unit specializes in using their noses to track down guns, people and drugs. Today, the unit helped the South Side Strike Team in tracking down 8 ounces of marijuana. Both police units conducted a search at the Almendarez residence in Belize City where they found two black plastic bags containing marijuana hidden in the shrubs behind the house. Police then arrested, Tasha, Karen, Shaquawn and Darnell Almendarez along with Trecia Benguche and a 16 year old minor. All were charged for drug trafficking.

Superbond 3.0?
Earlier, we told you that the Prime Minister was in New York on official business. But, up until two hours ago, no one knew what that official business was all about. Well, thanks to a government press release, we know now. Can you say, Superbond 3.0? That's right; Government has announced that it intends to commence discussions with holders of the Superbond. An official release says this is due to, quote, "the serious economic and financial challenges currently facing the country." But, if you can recall, the Superbond was just re-negotiated in 2013. Well, the bullet payments for this restructured Superbond 2.0 are coming up in 2017, and, guess what? Government won't be able to pay it. An official release puts is plainly, quote, "Belize's economy has significantly underperformed in comparison with the projections used at the time in setting the terms of the 2038 Bonds." So now, the government's financial team will meet with individual bondholders or a committee representing the bondholders basically to tell them that hard times are here and government can't pay. These meetings will be held before the end of November. Government has retained Citigroup Global Markets as its structuring advisor and a New York law firm as its counsel.

Stop-Order For Gladden Caye Dredging
Two nights ago we told you about the unauthorized dredging at Gladden Caye Resort. Well today government confirmed that a cease and desist order was sent to them one week ago. The Ministry of Natural Resources is levying fines on them for unauthorized dredging. The Ministry put out a notice that an Environmental Compliance Plan is not a permit and approvals are still required from the requisite regulatory bodies for permits for various activities under the plan.

B2B Waste to Energy
The first ever B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair took was held today in Belize City. The fair was hosted by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the UNDP and other climate change prevention stakeholders, and was aimed specifically at the business community. It served as a way for businesses to network with renewable energy companies in Belize and learn how implementing renewable energy applications can benefit them: The fair presented businesses with energy saving alternatives such as solar powered heating systems, or even simply switching florescent light bulbs to LEDs.

UWI's Belize Country Conferences
And, while that was happening, The Belize Country Conferences also officially kicked off today. The two day event, hosted by the UWI Belize Open Campus, brings in experts from around the world to discuss the topic of leadership for sustainability. That is, how to develop and employ policies that will make use of resources while ensuring their longevity. We managed to speak to Minister of Education Patrick Faber, and Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley about the importance of the event… The conference has attracted experts and speakers from the Caribbean, Central America, the United States and even Norway.

Education Minister Reconciled With Derrica Castillo
Last night we told you about Derrica Jael Castillo, the twenty-eight-year-old BDF Lieutenant who received the Minister's Award at this year's Belize Youth Awards. After making a post on Facebook post attributing the award to her work for the LGBTQ community, the Youth Minister Patrick Faber responded and insisted that that was not the reason she was given the award. The Minister made it clear that her sexual orientation or her work in the LGBTQ community were not the problem, but that he was upset about the misrepresentation of the award. Faber also said that he was considering rescinding the award. So, today, when we spoke to the Minister about the matter, he said that he will not be taking the award away from Castillo, at least not unless a proper review has been conducted. This evening, Minister Faber posted an apology to Castillo. In the Facebook post the Minister mentions that while Castillo's LGBTQ work was not considered when giving her the award, it should have been.

A New Drug Court
In July the OAS released a comprehensive study on drug abuse among youths in the Caribbean. In report, Belizeans were noted to have very high rates of marijuana and alcohol consumption at a young age. We spoke to Vellos about how these insightful these statistics have been, and how they relate to implementation of the new drug court... Vellos told us that there are several method are being considered to help alleviate Belize's drug and alcohol consumption.

BIFF And The Drug Abuse Conversation
If you think the Belize International Film Festival is just about entertainment, the organizers are proving tonight that Cinema can spur social discussion, and hopefully spark change. They’re doing so with a film called “Being Charlie” directed by recognized American director Rob Reiner. The film tracks its main character through his ups and downs with drug addiction in the states. Film Festival Organizers have keyed in on that theme to jump start the Belize conversation on drug courts – a proposal which has been languishing on lawmakers desks for years. Holly Edgell of NICH explained how they’ve roped in the Drug Council and The Chief Magistrate for a wider discussion:… Today’s screening started at 5:30 and is followed by a panel discussion.

Channel 5

Senate Hosts Auditor General in First Public Hearing for Select Committee
The third meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee on a three volume Immigration Report, and the first to be held in public, proceeded for an abbreviated one-hour session this [...]

Speaker of the House Gets Name Cleared from Auditor General’s Report
Two weeks ago, Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peyrefitte brought suit against Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and Attorney General Vanessa Retreage. He complained that his name was wrongly [...]

Dorothy Bradley Challenges Belizeans to Read Report
Outside the National Assembly, the Auditor General gave her first public comments since the scandal broke. She stated that in keeping with her organization, the purpose of the report is [...]

In Testimony, Auditor General Recounts Trouble with Immigration Dept.
Inside the National Assembly chamber, the Auditor General discussed her interactions with the Immigration Department in compiling and filing the report. Put simply, it was no picnic trying to obtain [...]

P.U.P. on Why They Decided to Participate in Committee After All
They called it a sham. They said it could not possibly, as constituted along party political lines, carry out the all-encompassing independent investigation of the Immigration Department that they wanted. [...]

Chester Williams is Back; No Beef with ComPol Whylie
After clearing up an administrative tiff between the Commissioner of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, the top cop is back on the job as regional commander for [...]

P.M. in New York; Wants Meeting with Superbonders
Prime Minister Dean Barrow traveled to New York City earlier this week. The visit has to do with the super bond in light of the ailing economy. The PM is [...]

Watching the U.S. Presidential Election at Ambassador’s in Belmopan
The world got up this morning to a new reality that Donald Trump has been voted in as the forty-fifth president of the United States defying all polls and predictions [...]

Danny Mason & Company Back in Court
William “Danny” Mason was transported from the Hattieville prison and whisked through the back of the courtroom this morning. Mason and a group of men from Camalote and Roaring Creek [...]

Raymond Rivers Handed Threatening Words Charge
On Monday, activist Raymond Rivers and his attorney, Kareem Musa, appeared at the magistrate court for charges lodged against Rivers by Councilor Phillip Willoughby following what he says were online [...]

P.U.P. Challenges Port Loyola Voters’ List
While at court today, Port Loyola representatives of both political parties appeared for a hearing on the current voters list of the constituency. According to Political Officer Gilroy Usher Junior, [...]

Area Representative Dismisses Claims of Voter Fraud
Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez took jabs at his political opponent, saying that Usher Junior is using the tactic of failed politicians. He says that the P.U.P. lacks the on-the-ground intelligence [...]

Minister Denies Double Dealing with Many Government Offices
But while we were with the Minister Martinez, the issue of the rental of his properties to his own ministry came up. The Department of Social Services, which used to [...]

Orange Walk Police Face Charges of Brutality on Guinea Grass Man
The family of a construction worker from Guinea Grass, Orange Walk District, twenty-year old Hugo Noh, claims he was badly beaten by the village police officer in the presence of [...]

Trial Begins for Accused Killer of Female U.B. Student in Toledo
The trial of Jonathon Cucul for the chopping death of UB student Corina Co is taking place at the Dangriga Supreme Court. Co was killed in February 2013 in a [...]

Ramon Cervantes Wants To Go After Rival on Land Deals
Earlier this week, former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega went on record to say that he will not be stepping down as area representative for Orange Walk North, after resigning [...]

Cervantes Says It Is His duty to Bring Down Vega
For now, Cervantes is simply exploring the possibilities of legal action against his political nemesis.  In a court of law, any charges brought against Vega would have to be substantiated [...]

Should Gapi Leave House? Boots Doesn’t Think So
Still on the issue of land scams….one of the most scandalous has to be compensation paid to Ron J Limited for a parcel of Placencia land. He acquired that property [...]

U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno’s Term Drawing to Close
The election of a new United States president now means that Ambassador Carlos Moreno’s term of office in Belize is winding down.  President Barack Obama officially demits office on January [...]

Sustaining Leadership with University of the West Indies
A two-day international conference to discuss sustainability in leadership started today at the UWI Open Campus. The conference hosted by Belize’s UWI Open Campus and Cave Hill School of Business [...]

Considering Renewable Energy in the Home
Are you looking for ways to make your home or business more energy and electricity efficient? You may not know, but there are companies in Belize that can help you [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: November 10, 2016 [Re: Marty] #518867
11/10/16 06:05 AM
11/10/16 06:05 AM
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Auditor General First To Answer Questions From Senate Inquiry
The first session of the Senate Select Committee into the Auditor General’s special audit report on Immigration for the period 2011 to 2013 was held today at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. This important committee was authorised by the Senate to call on any person named in the report and question them, and to order the provision of documents or information in relation to the findings of the report. UDP Senator Aldo Salazar, who was elected as Chairman two weeks ago, guided the meeting. Unlike the previous gathering of the Committee, the Chamber and Opposition Senators attended today’s meeting as both groups have agreed to take part in the sessions.

Church Senator Questions Auditor General
Among the Senators at today’s Committee hearing was Church Senator Pastor Ashley Rocke. Pastor Rocke has played a controversial role in the establishing of the Senate inquiry. First he supported a Senate Committee proposed by the Opposition, then minutes later opposed it and supported a Bi-Cameral Committee proposed by the Government. He returned days later only to propose the Senate Committee which was accepted by a majority of Senators. Today, Pastor Rocke appeared on the offensive as he questioned the Auditor General’s terms of reference and scope of work. Pastor Ashley Rocke, Church Senator: “I only have two questions for you at this time trying to understand your terms of reference your department terms of reference, as it relates to your comments that you came across a memo from Labour Ministry or somewhere, is that the way your department works or do you have continual oversight over government entities?”

Dorothy Bradley Apologizes To Speaker of the House
Before the Auditor General began her substantive submissions in relation to the report, she had a prepared statement to read out. Last week we reported that House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte had taken the Auditor General to court for being mentioned in the report. Peyrefitte’s name was included in a list with names of persons who had given recommendation documentations for a passport application. He claimed he had done nothing illegal and his naming in the report wrong him. Well, today the Auditor General set the record straight, admitting that she had committed an error. Dorothy Bradley, Auditor General: “At page 163 of my report of the Special Audit dated 31st May 2016 I included a list at table zk of individuals who signed form 3B as recommenders although they were not lawfully authorized to do so, among the list of individuals on table ZK was Mr. Michael Peyrefitte as Speaker of the House who signed the application of William Alvin Lindo on May 30th 2013 as a 3b category recommender...”

Custom Officers Confiscate Two Pallets Of Contraband Beer
The Customs and Excise Department of the Orange Walk Branch made a huge contraband bust last night in the village of San Pablo. CTV3 News has been informed that Custom officers who were on duty headed out to the village and visited an abandoned thatch house where a total of one hundred twenty cases of Mexican beer were found inside the building. The total street value of the contraband goods adds up to approximately four thousand eight hundred dollars as it is estimated that a single case could be sold at forty dollars. It is likely that the cases of beer were bought in preparations for this year’s Christmas season. No one was found in the area at the time the search was conducted.


Government Seeks Audience with US Bondholders
Tonight, the Government of Belize is using the recent report from the International Monetary Fund to substantiate the economic trying times that Belize is currently in as they announce their intention of meeting with the country’s US bondholders. In a release issued by the Government of Belize, officials intend to, quote, “meet with individual bondholders […]

Nine Days after Death, Family Awaits Post Mortem
A 31-year-old mother of three is dead after going into the hospital with a sore throat and requiring drips. The woman who resided in Gardenia Village, Belize District has been lying at the morgue since Monday, October 31, 2016 and to date a post mortem examination is yet to be conducted. It is a case […]

Senate Select Committee Questions Auditor General
The first public hearing to examine the findings of the Auditor General’s reports on Passport, Immigration and Nationality Departments began today. The Senate Select Committee had the participation of the agreed six members including Business Senator, Mark Lizarraga, Union Senator, Elena Smith and PUP Senator, Eamon Courtenay. Today’s short session included only one witness and […]

Speaker and Auditor General Mend Fences
The first and only witness to be called for the Special Senate Select Committee hearing this morning was the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley. Bradley, in her first statements, agreed that House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte does have the authority to recommend someone for a passport since he is a member of the House of Represenatatives. Peyrefitte […]

Moody Says Climate Change May Affect Belize’s Credit-Worthiness
A recent report surrounding the effects that a country’s vulnerability to climate change can have on the economy was released by Moody with Belize as one of the most vulnerable. The report noted, quote, “Countries’ creditworthiness could be increasingly affected by climate change, with African and South Asian sovereigns most susceptible to the economic effects […]

European Union Commends Guatemalan Congress on Approving Referendum
On Thursday, October 27 we told you of the decision made by the Guatemalan Congress to have the country go to a referendum on whether their territorial claim against Belize be taken to the International Court of Justice. While the United Kingdom has already congratulated the Congress on their decision to move the process forward, […]

Did Deanne Die due to Medical Negligence?
30-year-old, Deanne Michelle Robinson began with a simple sore throat in the latter part of October. After being unable to consume food and upon the advice of her mother, Mildred Crawford, she went to do a medical checkup. She was then referred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital so she can be placed on drips; […]

Four Months Later: William Mason Awaits Disclosure
William Mason was brought down from Belize Central Prison for what was to be a matter of disclosure in the courtroom. That disclosure didn’t happen though and the matter was adjourned to January 18, 2017. According to Prosecutor Chester Williams the case is progressing well. CHESTER WILLIAMS ” Attorney for Mason, Richard Dickie Bradley also […]

Cervantes Seeks to Legal Advice on Taking Vega to Court for Land Matters
Former Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega will be back in the courtroom after his political contender, Ramon Cervantes Jr has decided to request an indictment against Vega. Love News caught up with Cervantes to speak to him on his plans and reasoning. RAMON CERVANTES JR ” As Cervantes mentioned it is a case that is […]

Chester Says All Is Honky Dory with Compol
On the heels of bringing out the story of a demand from the powers that be in Belmopan to have the 9-hour shift for police officers revert to the 12-hour shift, Love News learnt that Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams was placed on administrative leave. ACP Williams is the Commander for the Eastern Division […]


Gregory August’s life sentence substituted with 30 years
Gregory August, a convicted murderer who was sentenced to life in prison, had his sentence overturned today by the Court of Appeal, which substituted his life sentence for 30 years and also handed down a precedent-setting ruling that the mandatory life sentence for persons convicted of murder is in violation of the Belize Constitution. August had appealed his sentence and conviction, but the Belize Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and affirmed his sentence and conviction. Through his attorneys, however, August applied for leave to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). From August’s application to the CCJ, the court took two issues that it said were of public interest and remitted them to the Belize Court of Appeal: the issue of the good character discretion and the issue of the constitutionality of the mandatory life in prison sentence without parole, none of which were initially argued before the court.

BDF shocks Verdes, 3-0; Placencia Assassins beats FC Belize
Despite the wet weather weekend long, the race to the PLB playoffs was hotly contested on Saturday and Sunday at the MCC Grounds, where four teams in the hunt for a playoff spot gave it their all. BDF FC has made it thus far mostly on the strength of their defense, anchored by veteran sweeper Vallan Symms and culminating with All Belize goalkeeper Tevin Gamboa. But on Saturday night against visiting Verdes FC, after a scoreless first half, BDF’s young Osmar Duran made his name one to remember, as he launched a thirty-five yard free kick that cleared the wall and dived into the right “pigeon hole” past a bewildered Elroy “Zabble” Rowley in goal for Verdes. This happened just two minutes into second half. And, just in case anyone thought it was a fluke, Osmar followed with an even more impressive strike a half hour later. It began with a classic give-and-go sequence between Duran and left side striker Michael Myvette, and culminated with Duran unleashing a low right foot blast from just inside the eighteen towards the left corner past a diving Rowley, for the second BDF goal at the 79th minute.

After 2 months, Dorian Pakeman still not charged!
In early September, days after it was revealed that the Government Press Officer, Dorian Pakeman, had tested positive for cocaine in his blood, he was put on unpaid leave from his job at the Government Press Office. About two months has passed since that revelation, and Pakeman has not yet been charged in connection with the road traffic accident that resulted in the death of Dean Dawson, a mechanic and resident of Gardenia, in the Belize District. Today, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, confirmed that the Pakeman file was sent back to her office from the police without the police complying with her directives. Dean Dawson, 45, was knocked down and killed as he rode his bicycle on the Philip Goldson Highway between Miles 22 and 23 on the night of Wednesday, March 30.

After 1 ½ years, Candelaria still on paid leave!
Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo indicated to Amandala today that the Government is still looking at the case of Former Immigration CEO, Candelaria Saldivar, 47, sister of Defence Minister Hon. John Saldivar, who was placed on administrative leave last May, making this month a year and a half since she was put on paid leave with all her perks. It was reported that a high-ranking government official had reportedly complained about Saldivar’s “management style,” and her then boss, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse, had said that Saldivar was moved to preserve harmony. At the August sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed to Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño that Saldivar continues on paid administrative leave with full benefits—which Briceño said includes her full CEO salary of $60,000 a year, plus allowances and benefits, including vehicle, entertainment and housing allowances.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Gladden Caye Resort ordered to cease and desist
The Ministry of Natural Resources issued a release today reminding Gladden Caye Resort Ltd. and its agent that a Cease and Desist order was issued on November 2, 2016. The Ministry is in the process of levying the necessary penalties under Sections 2 & […]

Man found unconscious on south side dies
Sebastian Logue was discovered unconscious by south side police sometime this morning. He had apparent injuries to his head and was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was listed in a coma. He has since died. According to police information, Loague […]

Family of 7 charged for drug trafficking in Belize City
This morning at around 7:00 a.m., members of the South Side Strike Team and the K-9 unit were on operation during which they conducted a search at the Almendarez residence in Belize City. Police found two black plastic bags containing cannabis amounting to 229.4 […]

Valley of Peace Police station reopens after 3 years
This morning a ceremony was held in Valley of Peace for the official opening of the police station which had been closed for three years. The new station will aid with police response time as the village is 25 minutes away from Belmopan. The […]

Police find weed on bus
Yesterday morning at about 6:30 a.m., police conducted a vehicle checkpoint at Sand Hill Village on the Philip Goldson Highway where a Morales bus was searched. Police found a brown and white Everest backpack which contained two parcels of cannabis wrapped in a transparent […]

Weed found in San Pedro
Yesterday morning at around 10:30 a.m., police searched an empty lot in the DFC Area, San Pedro Town which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis hidden between a cement block. The drug was […]

Police find gun in Belize City
Last night at about 8:30 p.m., police searched an abandon bushy lot on Mahogany Street in Belize City where a silver .38 Special revolver with black rubber handle bearing serial number 1049578 was found. It was labeled as ‘found property’. © 2016, […]

Climate change could affect Belize’s credit rating
Belize’s credit rating, which is already vulnerable based on the country’s economic status, could be further affected by the increasing effects of climate change, ratings agency Moody’s reported. “Climate change is expected to become an increasingly dominant factor in our analysis of the credit […]

Senate hearing begins into Auditor General’s report
The Senate Select Committee tasked with investigating irregularities reported in the Auditor General’s Special Audit into Passport, Nationality and Visa departments begins hearings today. Auditor general Dorothy Bradley and her team of auditors are expected to appear before the Committee today. Thirteen former and […]

Trump’s win sends shock-waves through global financial markets
Belize’s economy, currently in a recession, may be further affected in the days ahead as uncertainty clouds global financial markets. With Donald Trump’s astounding ascension to Commander in Chief of the United States, the US dollar has strengthened while the Mexican peso has weakened […]

The dollar exchange with Quetzal and Peso
Belizeans should be worried about the exchange rates they are getting for the currencies they trade with every day. The official US$ to quetzal exchange has ranged from 7.50 to 7.80 over the past year…..yet the BZ$ is only getting 3.25 to 3.35 quetzal….which […]

Police seize US $363,492 worth of drugs.
According to police reports, on Saturday based on intelligence, members of the Anti-Narcotics Unit conducted a highway interdiction exercise near the Philip Goldson Highway/Burrell Boom Road junction. At around 9:00 a.m. an SUV was observed turning unto the Boom Road as if trying to avoid […]

Christmas and Easter holidays cut short
If you’ve considered going on an extended vacation during the Christmas or Easter break, then you might want to re-consider. The Ministry of Education and school managers for pre, primary and secondary schools have decided to add six additional days to the school calendar. […]


Wild Belize - Head West to Lower Dover Lodge
Continuing our Belizean Odyssey, from the beautiful Belizean coast we headed West by local bus into the jungle interior. We travelled via the bus station at the capital city of Belmopan (we spent quite a lot of time in the Belmopan bus station) and then took the 'stopping' Benque bus. This colourful bus stops right outside the end of the Lower Dover access road. Mr JB Small who owns the local hardware store right on the junction, took our cases in his wheelbarrow while he called Madeline Reynolds, the proprietor of Lower Dover, to come and retrieve her latest guests. While we waited we drank a bottle of water and had a lively debate about the Brexit situation in the UK about which Mr Small had strong opinions. Lower Dover is a very special place to stay as it situated right on top of the ruins of a once great ancient Mayan city. The site is extensive and only very partially excavated. Students come every summer to continue the excavation, but there is so much still to be uncovered and so many stories still untold. What happened to this once large and thriving city, which was probably a centre of trade and commerce, and what happened to the people who lived there?

Spay & Neuter Day
Surgery days at the Caye Caulker Humane Society are a lot like parties where everyone winds up passed out at the end. The dogs play and play and play and then get anesthesia. Today was no different. Lots of playing and socializing and a few less puppies down the road. All good news! And as usual, we had lots of cute patients. Here’s just a peek at the action: Nena wasn’t feeling well so she got some medicine and had her surgery postponed.

San Antonio Maya Women’s Group: Making their mark on the world
Who we are as a people is often classified in neat little boxes that tick off ethnicity/race, gender, religion, etc. Those forms know nothing about what we feel when we wake, when we find a particularly moving sight, or how a scent can invoke a deeply embedded memory. Most of those memories are carved long before we are born, over the years of our ancestors’ life, our journey begins. Through the San Antonio Maya Women’s Group, inheriting the talent and artistry of their forgone Maya forefathers has given new life to ceramics and an industry that revives a pride of culture and history. And the world loves it! On October 19th and 20th Timotea Mesh née Canto, Josepha Canto, Laura Mesh, Claribel Tzib and Rafael Canto headlined a fantastic event at SUNY Cortland in Cortland, New York, United States.

Sightseeing in San Pedro
For many sightseeing in Belize includes San Pedro, a lively town that people travel worldwide to see with shortage of options. Get up close with Mayan Culture at Marco Gonzalez. Play archaeologist for a few hours with popular guide, Jan Brown. You will travel a few miles south of town near the tip of Ambergris Caye to a small site area past Laguna de Boca Chica. A ten minute boat ride to the marine reserve and another five to Shark Ray Alley – repeat worthy trip. Become one with nature and whichever of the several hundred marine species crosses your path that day. Be sure and pop in at Hol Chan Marine Museum located on Caribena Street – northwest in town. A relaxing treat with a sunset cruise on a catamaran or a pontoon party are both great options. Each features unique services and great pleasure boating.

Living on 60% Less, and Annual Property Tax of $50, in Belize
“I used to watch the sun set on the Empire State Building. Now I watch the sunrise over the Caribbean, on the bay of Corozal,” says Nancy Naftchi-Medoro, 46. For Nancy and her husband Tony, 68, the move has changed their lives for the better. “We don’t have stress like we used to,” says Nancy. “If something doesn’t get done today, there’s tomorrow. Back in New York, the city that never sleeps, finding time to just nap was close to impossible. But now we take naps just because we feel like it. “I love New York City. It’s my hometown. I love her charm and her quirks. But Belize stands on her own, mesmerizing you with the moonlight and stars on quiet nights, while palm trees sway in the breeze.” It also helps that the Corozal District is far more affordable than New York. It’s among the lowest-cost regions to live in Belize. Many expats in this area can live on their Social Security income.

A November Wedding at Las Terrazas, Belize
Rebecca & Jonathan had their dream wedding on a tropical island and fabulous resort, Las Terrazas in our beautiful country, Belize! A day filled with emotions that I am sure they will never forget. Family, Champagne, laughter, tears of happiness were part of their special day… Superb ceremony, followed by a dreamy reception on the beach was exactly what they were hoping for this special day. Enjoy few of their beautiful photos!

International Sourcesizz

NOAA Outlook for Central America November 10 – 26, 2016
Seasonable weather pattern forecast to continue. Heavy rain observed along the Gulf of Honduras and Pacific Rim of Central America during the past week. During early November, suppressed rain continued throughout the interior of northern Central America, in particular, central Guatemala and northwestern Honduras. In contrast, abundant rain fell along the Gulf of Honduras, southwestern Pacific region of Guatemala, the Gulf of Fonseca, and the Pacific Rim of the Southern Caribbean. Moderate to locally heavy rain was observed across the Atlantic regions of Nicaragua. The continued limited rain over the past few weeks has contributed to the persistence of rainfall deficits across the dry portions of Guatemala and Honduras over the past thirty days. An analysis of the number of rain day anomaly since early October to date has also indicated less frequent rain throughout central Guatemala and northern Honduras.

The Takeaway: Belize
Welcome to The Takeaway, a new series highlighting the best goods a destination has to offer. Every week, we’ll showcase seven gifts every traveler should consider in terms of quality and value. Belize is lush, and more importantly to travelers seeking respite from low temperatures, it’s warm year-round. And while Belize’s tourism industry has grown substantially, it’s still affordable and an ideal destination for this time of year (as long as you aren’t pregnant or trying to conceive). Belize’s subtropical climate and high biodiversity makes the country a literal hotbed for plant-based products like coffee, chocolate and lumber. Local hot sauce and rum make for inexpensive—but still beloved—gifts. If you’re looking for something memorable, the Maya culture still thrives in art and handicrafts, which highlight native treasures like jade, black coral and ziricote wood. We’re not encouraging you to go too wild, but just know that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will waive duty on up to $800 worth of items.

Stories of Impact: Prioritizing climate resilient transport in Belize
Safe roads and reliable transportation are critical in the event of a natural disaster. The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), along with the World Bank, has been working closely with the Government of Belize to increase the climate resilience of the road network and manage disaster risk by identifying priority investments. Through an innovative methodology that includes participatory processes and advanced data collection and analysis, the Government is informing targeted investments from international donors, including a $30 million Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project through the World Bank – part of a transformative shift towards a strategic, cost-efficient investment approach to climate and disaster risk in Belize.

Welcome To Harvest Caye
Belize is such a beautiful nation and one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. Tourists flock here to scuba dive in the Great Blue Hole and swim in the Belize Barrier Reef, which is part of the longest barrier reef system in the Western Hemisphere. Belize is also known for its luscious landscape, so it only makes sense that Norwegian Cruise Line developed a resort here so their cruisers can enjoy a close-up view. Harvest Caye opens this month and is the only Belize port that features a cruise ship pier, so guests can walk from the boat right to the resort. Travelers can choose to spend their time sitting on the white, sandy, seven-acre beach or soak in the 15,000 square-foot pool, where you can swim right up to the bar and enjoy a beverage. Relax afterward in a personal cabana that features concierge food and beverage service. There are luxury enclosed villas for guests who want some additional privacy and pampering. The villas are equipped with air conditioning, lounge and dining areas, a private restroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks, and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service.

139 Optimist Dinghy Sailors Set For Competition
A total of 139 Optimist dinghy sailors from six countries are getting set to sail from the America’s Cup Endeavour West Fort at the Royal Naval Dockyard to compete for the 2016 Colonial Bermuda National and Open Championships, which will be held November 11-13. Organized by the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association [BODA] and hosted by the America’s Cup Endeavour Programme, this regatta will be the largest sailing fleet ever assembled to sail for a Bermuda National Championship. “Other top sailors registered in the star studded field include Kamil Manowiecki, 2016 Polish National Optimist Champion as well as the top male and female sailors from Canada, Jack Gogan and Maya Heidenreich. Rounding out the international fleet is a small group from Belize and the Cayman Islands.

6 ways the US election results may affect the Caribbean
Donald Trump's victory at the polls spells a new era for the USA, which will also have ramifications for the Caribbean region. Dr Richard Bernal, Pro Vice Chancellor, Global Affairs, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), said there are several concerns the Caribbean should be aware of moving forward, involving critical issues such as trade, finance and global security. Speaking at the Vice Chancellor's forum at the UWI, Mona, entitled 'The Caribbean Say on USA Today', Dr Bernal said these issues need immediate focus if the region is to progress. 1. Trade There are numerous trade agreements with the US however this is predominantly in the area of goods, and Dr Bernal says there is the need for an expansion into services. According to a Forbes report, Trump’s mercantilist trade plan calls for using the power of the Executive Order to impose a 45% tariff on a broad swath of imports from China, 35% tariffs on items produced in Mexico, and arbitrary tariffs of between 15% – 45% for any country deemed to be a “currency manipulator.”

Irish Guards Tested By Belize Rainforest
Foot guards from 1st Battalion the Irish Guards have swapped the ceremonial world of bearskins and red tunics for anonymous camouflage, knee deep sucking mud, leeches and mosquito nets as they test their operational skills on a rigorous jungle warfare exercise in Belize – Exercise MAYAN STORM. The exercise is named after the ancient Mayan culture that had previously dominated the region, and the hurricanes that batter the coast. The Guards are deployed deep in the heart of Belize’s rainforest, learning how to fight using the jungle itself as a powerful weapon and defence. Most challenging of all for the Hounslow based soldiers that most commonly are recruited from Liverpool, Manchester and Ireland, has been learning how to navigate and survive amidst the natural dangers that lie beneath the verdant canopy. Ex Mayan Storm consists of three training phases; the first is the basic jungle school phase, which is 10-12 days long and teaches survival, navigation, living and patrolling skills including a hazardous river crossing. Next the soldiers face the intermediate jungle school phase, which is a further five days’ training and includes riverine operations, section/ platoon/ company tactical training, booby trapping, close target reconnaissance, camp attack/ambush and complex navigation. During this the soldiers have to hunt and catch their own food while all the time enduring enemy attacks and natural perils from snake and spider bites, interminable mosquito bites and leeches. The biggest challenge is keeping a fire going long enough in torrential rain to cook the foraged feast. The Guards showed some incredible culinary and engineering skills, creating complex spit ovens out of branches and covering them with a dense leafy roof to keep the rain off and the heat in. The final phase is a live firing package.

Death of coral reefs could be devastating for millions
Coral reefs around the globe already are facing unprecedented damage due to warmer and more acidic oceans. It's hardly a problem that just affects the marine life that depends on them or deep-sea divers who visit them. If carbon dioxide emissions continue to fuel the planet's rising temperature, the widespread loss of coral reefs by 2050 could have devastating consequences for tens of millions of people, according to new research published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS. To better understand where those losses would hit hardest, an international group of researchers mapped places where people most need reefs for their livelihoods, particularly for fishing and tourism, as well as for shoreline protection. They combined those maps with others showing where coral reefs are most under stress from warming seas and ocean acidification. In many places, the loss of coral reefs would amount to an economic disaster, depriving fishermen of their main source of income, forcing people to find more expensive forms of protein.

Five Top Expat Havens To Move To Overseas
If the 160% surge seen today in searches for terms like “move overseas” and “expats overseas” is any indication—Americans are looking in ever-greater numbers for other, better-living options beyond the U.S. borders. In the wake of the presidential election results, the trend already underway of retirees going overseas for better-value living, more affordable healthcare, and warmer weather appears to be poised to accelerate. Already the Social Security Administration sends 660,528 payments overseas… and anecdotally, according to the editors of International Living, the number of U.S. retirees receiving Social Security benefits abroad is likely higher than that, as many simply continue to bank in the States while living outside the country.


  • Belizean Stew Turkey Neck, 25min.

  • 360 Feeding the Monkeys in Belize, 2.5min.

  • 1/2 of the Jersey Cousins Take BELIZE!!, 12min.

  • Scuba Diving The Blue Hole and Barrier Reef in Belize, 3min. Belize is known for having some of the best scuba diving in the world. I checked into Hamanasi for a week of diving! This PADI 5 star resort is all-inclusive and is located in Hopkins- near the Southern Barrier Reef. We took a day trip to dive the famous Blue Hole and it was one of the most memorable dives in my life!

  • Belize, 1.5min.

  • 360 Ants Working Hard at Monkey Sanctuary in Belize, 1min.

  • Karen Bevans talks responsible tourism awards at WTM London 2016, 1.5min.


  • GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK, 30min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • SALVATION ARMY - CHRISTMAS DRIVE, 42min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • You Betta Belize it: We went snorkeling Carnival Breeze Sept 2016 (Video 7: Caribbean Sailing), 3min.

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