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Today's Belize News: November 23, 2016 #519224
11/23/16 01:05 AM
11/23/16 01:05 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

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism and FAO plan fisheries data reform for the Caribbean
The coming of the digital age presents novel opportunities for the fisheries and aquaculture sector of the wider Caribbean to build a more robust data and information system that would augment the monitoring of production trends and traceability of catches, support more sustainable management regimes through increased people engagement, and facilitate stronger international and regional trade. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are teaming up to capitalize on opportunities for Member States to strengthen data collection and management systems through the use of modern technology, such as smartphones and wireless communications to bridge gaps in the system.

Ambergris Today

Faith Azueta Celebrates 15 Años
Congratulations to Faith Azueta who celebrated her 15 años on November 19th, 2016, at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium. A holy mass was held at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Chruch and then following at the reception, proud parents Maria Luz Azueta and Claudio Azueta along with Godparents Arturo Mimenza de Regil and Vianney Berlin Mimenza introduced Faith as a young woman to society. Family, friend and invited guests danced the night away with DJ Geraldo from Houston, Texas.

Celebrating Culture and History with the Garinagu of Belize
What a weekend - full of live music, beating of the drums, tons of dancing and even a fashion show. Garifuna Settlement Day was definitely one not to forget this year, with celebrations not concentrated on one day alone, but several days leading up to November 19. To kick off the calendar of events a food expo and a Garifuna fashion show were held on Saturday, November 12, 2016. The following day, the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church hosted a special Garifuna mass. On Friday, November 18 a cultural show, followed by live music and drumming took place at Central Park. The Garinagu invited everyone to dance the night away. There was no time to sleep as the celebration moved into the morning hours. The national holiday in honor of the Garinagu arriving to Belize is commemorated with a reenactment of the Garifuna coming into the country’s shores on canoe and boats. That took place at 6:30a.m. on Saturday, November 19, followed by a mass at the Catholic Church. Downtown San Pedro woke up with the beat of the drums, dance and song as the Garinagu paraded through the streets of the island. Still not tired of all the non-stop activities, more live music, food and drumming continued all they long at Central Park.

Court Rules in Favor of Teachers to Receive Full Salaries
The Belize National Teachers Teachers Union’s (BNTU) hard work and dedication has won them a small victory over the Government of Belize. The Union filed an injunction against GOB as they were trying to stop Government from deducting money out of their November paycheck of 1,500 plus teachers who went on the 11-day strike in October. It was announced yesterday that the BNTU won the injunction. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled against the Ministry of Education instructing that teachers should receive their full salaries at the end of November. All those teachers who went on strike would have been denied their last salary before Christmas if Government would have had its way.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Christmas 2016 Celebrations in San Pedro
Join us this Sunday, November 27, 2016 at the Central Park for the Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree, starting at 6:00 p.m. Bring the whole family! Come take your picture by the Christmas Tree while enjoying the tropical sounds of Pandemonium Steel Band from Belize City! See you there!

WCS staff collect catch data from fishers at the deep eastern edge of Glover's Atoll
These data provide ongoing month information on compostion of the catch that informs local management. Fishers provide data voluntarily and are given gas coupons to compensate for their time.

Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute
The Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) added a couple new members to its Board during its 69th Conference last week in Grand Cayman. The focus was on "applying fishers' knowledge and marine science to solve problems by bringing multiple users of ocean resources together to make informed and coordinated decisions about how to sustainably use these resources and fit this knowledge into Marine Protected Area management." WCS's Alex Tewfik is one of those new members of the GCFI Board. He and our Belize Program Country Director, Nicole Auil Gomez attended the Conference.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: Commonwealth Shared Scholarships 2017
Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture is a government institution that focused on equitable access to and efficiently delivered quality and relevant education, at all levels.

A family in Toledo remains very concern and fearing about a jaguar that has attacked and killed six of their dogs over a period of eleven months. Love News Correspondent Paul Mahung reported that the family is now living in fear of their lives and feels that the jaguar, with its continued return to the location, can be harmful to the children and adults in the two houses on the farm. Two surveillance cameras set by the Forestry department on the family's house are taking gorgeous pictures of the returning jaguar. The adult jaguar returned particularly at night time, viciously attacked, cruelly killed and had hearty meal of her family’s six dogs so far. The Forestry Department is working with the family to capture the jaguar alive.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, San Ignacio Resort Hotel. SCHEDULE: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Workshop: "Leadership in the 21st Century" Presented by Mr. Starret Dickson Green (Organization of American States - OAS) 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm Lunch. 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, BHA Bi-Annual Meeting. We hope you will join us, to hear about the exciting new activities that the BHA is planning and what we have accomplished in the recent months. Hear from our dynamic Guest speaker Mr. Starret D. Greene, OAS Representative in Belize. Join us in the morning, for his compelling seminar titled "Leadership in the 21st Century", designed to discuss, debate and propose a number of qualities, styles, methodologies and approaches that are required to produce leaders who can successfully respond to the growing demands, increasing expectations and phenomenal changes of a 21st century world.

Splashers this week:
Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Fat Fish".

San Pedro High Schoo Cultural day
San Pedro High School held its annual Cultural day on Friday, November 18, 2016. Lots of fun dancing, food, heritage and history were portrayed. Great Job to the students and teacher for organizing this event!

6 days until Giving Tuesday!
Our first reward of the week for Giving Tuesday is that every donor, no matter how small the donation, will get their name put up on our Tree of Life! Just imagine - if every one of the 36,000 of you who has given our page a Like donated $1 this Giving Tuesday, then with the double-up we would have the funds to run Belize Bird Rescue for one year. A whole year from just $1 per person! How incredible would that be?

Channel 7

Hon. Julius Vs. The Speaker In Supreme Court
PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat very famously got kicked out of the House in August - and since then he has been treated like an amputated limb - no representatives' pay, no welcome at the House of Representatives. It is a suspension of unspecified term, and today in the Chief Justice's courtroom, his attorney Andrew Marshalleck made a constitutional claim for certain declarations and injunctions against the Speaker of The House and the Clerk of The National Assembly - basically asking the court to say that the suspension was wrongly made and is invalid. The government's attorney who is the Solicitor General Nigel Hawke has responded by asking the court to strike out the case. Here's how Espat's attorney Andrew Marshalleck put it today:... Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney for Julius Espat: "The defendants who are the speaker, the clerk and the attorney general, have offered no defence to the claim on the merits yet, but instead applied to have the matter struck out on two grounds. They say that the courts not lack jurisdiction to inquire into the internal affairs of parliament and that Mr. Espat has an alternative remedy for redressing what happened. This is to go back to the house for a resolution to terminate the suspension."

Burnt Out Trio Villagers Take Their Message Of Desperation to PM Barrow
Since last week we've been reporting on the mass arson in Trio Village, Toledo, in which 5 homes were intentionally burnt down, and another was hauled down in a deliberate act of destruction. It happened on Thursday, and reports to police are that 5 men showed up in a Mahindra pickup truck, and started to set fire to the farmers' homes. We're reliably informed that a BDF retiree's name has been called by one of the alleged arsonists who was caught by police in Belize District. Police continue to put the pieces together, but for those families living in Trio, they are absolutely convinced that the culprits acted on behalf of a Chinese landowner who had purchased the land they are squatting on. Having seen the destruction visited on these 5 families, the rest of the community is taking no more chances. They are actively trying to regularize the land ownership situation, which they say successive Government administrations promised, but never delivered on.

Villagers Say Police Blundered, Cops Say They Can't Rush
So, that's the human element to the Arson in Trio, but there is also a criminal aspect that's developing simultaneously. We spoke with Superintendent of Police Reymundo Reyes, the officer commanding the Police Intermediate Southern Formation. He and the investigator in the case were summoned to the Belmopan Police Headquarters to have meetings with their respective commanders about the status of the arson investigation. When we caught up to him this morning, we asked him about the collective frustration that the Trio villagers have with their handling of the case. The villagers say that they have already passed on information to the police which they believe could expedite their investigation leading to arrests. Superintendent Reyes told us that police will crack the case, they just can't rush the process simply because the victims are anxious for justice:

Muchas Cervezas In San Victor
Customs in the north caught another stock of pre-Christmas contraband last night. It happened in one of the contraband hotspots, San Victor Village, which sits close to the Rio Hondo. Customs stopped a jeep last night and inside they found 38 cases of Tropical Light beers - amounting to 912 individual cans. The beers sell on the black market for about forty dollars per case, so that's a street value of about $1,500 dollars. Smugglers are typically fined three times the legal value. Customs Strike Teams in the north are active right now because smugglers are bringing in their Christmas stock of contraband products.

"Jacky" Store Owner Charged For Sales Tax Violations
A Chinese business owner from the mile eight community got dragged before the court today because his store was doing some funny business on sales tax. 47 year old Zihuie He, the owner of "Jacky" supermarket is accused of failing to issue a tax receipt, failing to utilize a programmable cash register and failing to keep proper books and records. The Sales Tax Office says he was caught in a sting operation on Saturday, October 29, 2016, when a Sales tax employee entered the store, purchased some items, and was not given a receipt. Today in Court, Zihuie He pleaded not guilty and was offered bail of $1,500 dollars. His next court date is set for December 6, 2016.

Westline On Why Those New Fares Are Fair
Last week, we told you about the decision which the Ministry of Transport took to increase bus fares for some bus runs around the country. The decision was taken because fuel prices have almost tripled over the past 25 years, which is the last time that the fares were adjusted. Each price is adjusted to allow bus operators to make between 12 cents and 14 cents per mile within 100 miles. For a bus route like Belize to Belmopan, the price has increased by 1 dollar for both in the regular and express runs. One of the companies which will directly benefit from this is Westline Bus, which is owned by businessman Sergio Chuc. Today, he told us that the increase will allow him to make better profit margins, with which he is publicly promising to improve the fleet of his buses:

Big Falls Operator Says He Got Jilted In Big Falls Tourism Deal
Last night you saw the first part of our interview with Andrew Caliz. He's the southern tour operator who's got the Cruise blues after his hopes of doing business with Norwegian Cruise Line evaporated. Caliz is the owner of Big Falls Extreme Adventure on the Rio Grande River in Big Falls Village. He had connected with cruise tourism mega-operator H2O Tierra to rent out his riverside property. But, for many reasons, the deal fell through, and Tom and Ivette Wilson, the owners of H20 Tierra ended up going up the river from Caliz, to the Big Falls lodge to set up their zip lining and river tubing tour. Caliz is wounded by this since he was the first one to set up that kind of tour in that area. and things came to a head last Friday when he found his tubes punctured. For Caliz, that single event crystallized everything that is wrong with Cruise Tourism in the south, and yesterday he told us why he feels angered and betrayed:...

Belize Bar Association Helping Haiti
Today the Belize Bar Association, along with the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers launched the Walk for Haiti Initiative. The goal of the 5K walk is to raise funds to aid in the relief efforts in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the island nation last month. Haiti has been victim to several major natural disasters in the last 10 years, including a devastating earthquake in 2010. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to CAJO, who is working in conjunction with a Trinidad based NGO called "Is There Not A Cause". President of the Belize Bar Association, Pricilla Banner told us more about the initiative. Pricilla Banner - President of the Belize Bar Association: "CAJO is an association of judicial officers, judges, court admins etc., and they're the ones that actually contacted us, and now we have the, CAJO has the support of the Bar Association of Belize, the Police Department, the Belize City Council and of course the judiciary. Essentially what they're trying to do is to raise funds to support these causes in Trinidad and Tobago. There are a lot of needs in terms of medical assistance needed, supplies, infrastructure, I mean the list goes on and on. So, essentially, CAJO is supporting that fundraising initiative and the funds will be channeled through Is There Not A Cause an organization in Trinidad and Tobago which will be distributing the funds."

Canada Special Forces Trained In Belize
This year, for the first time ever, Belize hosted Exercise Tropical Dagger - a Canadian military initiative. Tropical Dagger, a two-week special forces exercise which is usually held in Jamaica, allows participating defense forces to apply skills in realistic training scenarios. Today the Canadian Special Operations Command, the Belize Defense Force and the Jamaican Defense Force demonstrated the use of equipment contributed by Canada. Exercise Tropical Dagger is conducted under Canada's Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program which aims to reinforce partner military's ability to prevent and respond to threats posed by criminal activity.

Darrell On Duck Lane And Ongoing Road Renovations
Under his tenure as mayor, Darrell Bradley has overseen an impressive overhaul and upgrade of major streets in Belize City. Now that many major roads are up to grade a, the focus is shifting to the smaller subsidiary streets, like the little known Duck Lane - which is between Church and Orange Streets. Today the mayor gave us an update on the state of Belize City's road renovations... Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "We have several projects that are in the pipeline. A lot of people were complaining about the street in front of Publics, that is being cemented right now. The project is quite extensive almost at South Street. So that that East and West Canal will be resurfaced. Duck Lane is part of that infrastructure improvement. We've finish the entire length of St. Joseph Street."

Pay Your Property Tax Towards New Streets
And while the work continues, the City Council only has the funds to pave so many streets at a time, which is why they are working on a new initiative that will allow the residents of those streets to assign their property tax directly to street repairs. Here's what the mayor told us about that... Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "One of the things that we are evaluating as a city council is that we wat to create a program whereby if you and your neighbors want to get together and you want to have your property taxes assigned to the improvement and when I mean improvement, I mean the cementing or the hot mixing of your street. What we will do is that we will give you a credit on your property tax bill for a certain period. That's the same thing that we did when we did Moho Bay Street, when we did Daly Street. We had significant partnership from members of the community. We recognized that we have a problem with sourcing funding. But we also recognized that in certain communities, people may want to say well I want to know what my property is being done for, so that we are formalizing a program. We've done it adhoc in these one off streets, but we want to formalize a program whereby if neighbors get together and neighbors well I want to improve my street, they combine resources of our property taxes for the next 3-5 years, will raise 50% of the proceed to cement my street, the city council will give me 60% credit or 50% credit or 70% credit on those monies that I pay and then the city council will put the balance in relation the remaining 50% or whatever percent. Then we can say that that can be a viable alternative."

Big Money For Climate Change, But None Of It For Belize
This morning in Belmopan, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, better known as the 5C's, and the United States Agency for International Development, signed documents to launch a 26 million US dollar climate change adaptation program. It's a 4-year initiative which the US Government is committing to assist the CARICOM Nations to increase their resistance to extreme meteorological events, such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts. Belize is part of CARICOM, but this country will not benefit from this program. Those nations which will are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kits, and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname. We stopped by the launch in Belmopan today, and we spoke to the USAID representative and the Executive Director of the 5C's about its importance: So, as we told you, Belize isn't benefiting from the program, and today, we asked Dr. Kenrick Leslie why. Here's how he explained it:

For Whom the Kettle Bells Toll
The Salvation Army's annual kettle drive launched earlier this month. Passers-by are asked to make small donations to any red kettles they come across throughout the city. The proceeds are used to ensure that underprivileged children and their families can enjoy the Christmas too. We spoke to the Commander of the Salvation Army, Joliker Leandre about how the kettle drive is going so far.. Leandre also gave us an update on the status of the Salvation Army's church on Castle Street, which received significant fire damage in an arson earlier this month...

Taiwan Caring For Kidneys
Renal or kidney failure is a major health crisis in Belize and the Taiwanese government has committed to help with a three year "Renal Failure Prevention Project". The idea behind the project is that prevention is better than cure, and it is best to detect cases at an early stage to avoid costly and scarce dialysis later on. That's why the second disbursement of funding under this project will be used for screening, hosting for medical officers in Western Health Region, and other early awareness programs. The Project will also have four seed instructors from KHMH and La Loma Luz Hospital receive training in Taiwan for two months this year. In addition, two Taiwanese Nephrologists and one Dialysis Nurse came to Belize to provide clinical training.

Channel 5

Will Exiled Julius Espat Be Vindicated for Next House Meeting?
Attorneys for Cayo Representative Julius Espat and House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte today argued the merits of Espat’s purported suspension at the last sitting of the House back in August. Espat [...]

After Court Victory, Education Ministry Considers Next Moves; B.N.T.U. Piles on Pressure
There is still no definitive timeline tonight for when teachers will receive the refund of their salaries for the eleven days they were out on strike last month.  Despite a [...]

Trio Villagers Wiped Out by Arson Re-Build; Police May Have Breakthrough in Case
This morning, a contingent of villagers from Trio in the Toledo District tried to get an audience with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, but this is Cabinet Tuesday so he was [...]

B.D.F. Commander Addresses Sarstoon Situation; No Protocol in Place
Every time Belizeans travel up the Sarstoon River, they are told by the Guatemalan Armed Forces to “Respecte el Protocolo.” But is there a protocol that Belizeans must follow to [...]

Military Relationship Warm Compared to Political Deep Freeze
Recently, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington indicated that he has been unable to engage Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Minister, Carlos Raul Morales in any discussion. The breakdown in communication has [...]

B.D.F. Keeping Eye on Illegal Activity in Sarstoon Area
SATIIM co-manages the Sarstoon Temash National Park and according to them, they were intercepted by the GAF recently when they were on a patrol of the area. The N.G.O. says [...]

Caribbean Judicial Officers Unite to Walk for Haiti
Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti over a month ago and the island is trying to rebuild. While hundreds of lives were lost, thousands were left homeless after the hurricane. The Caribbean [...]

Bus Fares Gone Up
Commuters, as well as some bus owners across the country are equally incensed, following a recent adjustment in bus fares which has since come into effect.  In September, bus operators [...]

Trade License Reform May Be Ready for Christmas
What do Belizean businesses want most for Christmas, other than good sales? That would be an ease with taxes. In these hard times, every penny counts for businesses of all [...]

Chinese Shop Owner “Stung” by G.S.T. Department
Mile Eight, George Price Highway businessman, forty-seven year old Zihuie He, has been accused of three violations of the General Sales Tax Act. The businessman was caught up in a [...]

Exercise Tropical Dagger Concludes Tri-National Defense Gathering
Exercise Tropical Dagger Sixteen came to a successful end today at Camp Belizario in the Cayo District. The four-week exercise is a Canadian initiative to beef up security in the [...]

Salvation Army Re-Builds Northside Church and Assists Fire Victim Neighbors
The Salvation Army’s north side offices in Belize City suffered some eighty-eight thousand dollars in damage from a fire on November seventh which also destroyed two adjacent houses. The organization [...]

Christmas Kettle Appeal: Every Penny Counts
While we were with the Salvation Army, we got an update on its Christmas Kettle Appeal which is underway. Your coins and paper bills donated to the church are used [...]

City Council Concretes Streets for Christmas; How Can You Get Yours?
The current Belize City Council administration has embarked on an ambitious program to upgrade Belize City streets. Results have held up for the most part, but concreting costs money and [...]

What’s CitCo Doing for Christmas?
Believe it or not, Christmas di come! The year has certainly flown by, but the Belize City Council is looking forward to the holiday season, not just for goodies and [...]

The Greatest Hits from Adopted Parandero Aurelio Martinez
Paranda artist Aurelio Martinez is well-known internationally for promoting the Garifuna culture through music.  The Honduras-born artist has spent considerable time in Belize, performing on our stages and working with [...]


Speaker Of The House And Julius Espat Meets Face To Face In court
On October 31st Cayo South Area Representative Hon. Julius Espat took the Speaker of the House Hon. Michael Peyrefitte to Court following the August 26th commotion inside the National Assembly which saw Hon. Espat dragged out of the chambers by the Police on Peyrefitte’s orders. Since then Hon. Espat has been banished from House Sittings and, reports have it, he can’t even be seen near the premises. Hon. Espat and his attorney Andrew Marshalleck turned to the Court, seeking an injunction on the Speaker’s decision and a declaration that Peyrefitte’s decision was illegal. While the Court reviews the case, today Peyrefitte’s attorney Acting Solicitor Nigel Hawke entered a request for the case to be dismissed on the argument that the Judiciary does not have any jurisdiction over the proceedings of Parliament. Hawke submitted that House of Representatives is regulated by the Speaker who is guided by the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives. The Court heard the submissions and set December 6th as the date for a decision. The media caught both sides outside the Court and heard from them.

More Contraband Beers Confiscated By Customs
A few weeks ago the Customs department made a huge bust in the village of San Pablo here in Orange Walk when they confiscated a total of one hundred and twenty cases of contraband beers valuing at over four thousand dollars. Last night Custom Officers were once again on the move and were able to seize yet another beer stock, this time in the village of San Victor, where a total of 38 cases of Mexican beer was confiscated. Not much information has been obtained about this latest bust but we expect to have more information for you in tomorrow’s newscast.

Mexican Buen Fin Huge Success Thanks To Belizeans
Yesterday we showed you the massive traffic jam at the Northern Boarder over the weekend after more than 12 thousand Belizeans flocked to neighboring Chetumal to take advantage of rock- bottom prices being offered during what is known as is BUEN FIN – an entire weekend when Mexican businesses offer hard-to-beat promotions to their customers. Today the Mexican news outlet, ‘El QuintanaRoo’ reported that figures from the National Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Services in Chetumal are indicating that the results were positive for the "Buen Fin", mainly due to an influx by Belizeans. The report quotes the president of the National Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Services as stating “the results greatly exceeded all expectations mainly due to the dozens of Belizean families who arrived to take advantage of the opportunities available”

Union Farmers Called To Urgent Meeting
A few years ago, the small onion industry in Belize appeared chaotic and counter-productive when close to $1.5 million worth of locally-produced onions were left to rot on fields as the imported vegetable from Holland swarmed the market. The Belize Marketing and Development Corporation was blamed for the disaster since they were the ones who imported the product, and in turn, they blamed local producers for early harvesting. Back then, the farmers communicated to BMDC directly, via emails which could suddenly disappear or go undelivered. Stakeholders in the industry have had to learn lessons the very hard way, and today we spoke to Agriculture officials who invited onion farmers to an important meeting where planning and coordination will be the focus.

Another Hurricane Formed
With only eight days remaining until the official closing of the 2016 hurricane season, tonight we can report that another hurricane has formed this time in the south-western Caribbean marking it the seventh one for this season. Though it had been classified only as Tropical Storm Otto yesterday, things took a turn as the phenomenon has officially been upgraded to the status of a category one hurricane by the National Hurricane Centre. But before Otto had developed into a full blown category one hurricane, international reports indicate that it claimed the lives of three Panamanians including a child. Further reports say that nine people were trapped in a landslide that occurred west of Panama City, however only seven of them were rescued. The child on the other hand died as a result of a tree that collapsed on top of a vehicle that was parked outside of a school.

MOH Looks To Upgrade Pharmaceutical Standards
Last week a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development aimed at improving and monitoring peddling activities in Belize as well as the further monitoring of businesses related to health. While the MOH has taken a stand to ensure that there is an availability of high standard pharmaceuticals within the Belizean market for the benefit of all customers, tonight we can tell you that the MOH has already introduced and presented new standards to the National Assembly as it relates to the Food and Drugs Act Chapter 291 of the substantive Laws of Belize and are currently awaiting for final approval. The Ministry is also collaborating with pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers and importers so as to have them adhere to these standards which form part of a shared and agreed condition previously established with providers on the granting of license. The Ministry remains on board as it relates to setting up Standard Operating Procedures and Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms that will allow for a functional Supply Chain Management System. It is expected that the reviewed bill that was presented in August will assist the Ministry in executing well-founded penalties on persons/businesses who break the law.


215 years of Garifuna presence in Belize
Garifuna communities across Belize as well as those overseas marked a milestone on Saturday, November 19th in celebrating an enduring movement that has grown from a local celebration birthed in Dangriga in 1941 led by Garifuna icon Thomas Vincent Ramos to a cross-border celebration which serves to connect people even outside the Garifuna culture. The focal point for the celebration is still the culture capital of Dangriga, but local celebrations were also held in places such as Belize City and Orange Walk, and overseas communities like New York. Perhaps the most notable shift that is now clearly evident in 2016 is the mixture of the traditional with the contemporary; paddles are replaced by outboard motors and traditional Garifuna drummers are showcased alongside marching bands, depicting how the rich Garifuna culture continues to find an unparalleled place in a changing world, echoing the UNESCO declaration celebrating the culture as “a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.”

Government must pay teachers, says Chief Justice
For 11 days in October, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) engaged in industrial action against the Government of Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow, as it agitated for a number of governance reforms, as well as for other issues of national importance to be addressed, and by the time the BNTU called off its strike action, the government had agreed to several of its demands. In the wake of the strike, however, the government decided it would not pay salaries to those who participated in the strike. And not even the threat of a lawsuit would make the government budge from its position that it had adopted with the full cooperation of most of the school managers that it would not pay salaries to the more than 1,500 teachers who went on strike. The BNTU, after due deliberation, decided to take out an injunction against the Ministry of Education. Adelaida Guerra became the second claimant to the lawsuit against the Government.

Nepotism in GSU?
Several officers in the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) reportedly are close relatives of the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie. The allegation to Amandala is that Whylie’s two daughters and godson, and his wife’s cousin, nephew and brother-in-law are all officers of the GSU, who receive a special stipend of an estimated $500 in addition to their regular salaries at the end of the month. In an exclusive interview with the Amandala tonight, Police Minister Elodio Aragon, when asked if it was not a conflict of interest for the ComPol to have six of his relatives in a very small unit such as the GSU, told us that he would, “not answer that question.” We cannot say how many officers are in the GSU because it is police policy not to reveal how many officers are in the unit.

Anwar Barrow is leaving BTL … but not really leaving!
A few days ago, it became public knowledge that the son of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Anwar Barrow, was vacating his office as CEO of the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL); however, it was not made public that he would remain a member of BTL’s Board of Directors. In a leaked letter from the outgoing CEO to his employees on November 9, Anwar Barrow made it clear that he would be “transitioning out of the CEO role” in early 2017. “The Board has planned for this transition from earlier this year and shortly, I expect they will be advertising the post of CEO. I believe that a candidate should be selected by year’s end and in the New Year we will begin an orderly process of transition to a new CEO,” the letter read. Barrow’s letter further stated, “I want to make sure everyone remains focused on our mission and BTL’s future, despite any fears or uncertainty that comes with this type of transition.”

Land dispute in Trio escalates to arson of 5 homes
Six families in the village of Trio in the Toledo district have been displaced after 5 of their homes were set on fire and another was ripped apart sometime around 9 p.m. on Thursday as a result of an apparent land dispute. One man was almost burnt alive inside his home, but the structure was resistant to the flames. According to the displaced families, their homes were intentionally burnt down by a group of men who arrived in a truck and who were purportedly acting on behalf of a Chinese businessman who claimed to own the land on which these families had erected their homes. Information to Amandala is that some time ago, the Chinese businessman had acquired the lands, which were once owned by the Thurton Estate.

Pen Cayetano unveils Garifuna Roots Life
Legendary Dangriga artist Pen Cayetano unveiled his latest exhibition dubbed Garifuna Roots Life, at his Dangriga gallery on Friday. The month-long exhibition, featuring 42 oil-on-canvas pieces, was launched on the eve of annual Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations to pay homage to Cayetano’s culture through skillful renderings that reach beyond the mundane to capture not just the past but also the present; the ethereal and the politically controversial. Each of Cayetano’s pieces carries a story, and whereas his most historically compelling piece, “Rough Seas”, was carved out on a mahogany bowl, telling the story of the Garifuna journey over treacherous seas; the one that proved to be the most captivating to the youth visiting the exhibit was captioned “Corruption”. It is also Cayetano’s newest piece, carved after his recent return from Germany to visit his granddaughter.

PLB Week 17 outlook
With the “dog war” fully under way towards the Top-4 playoffs in the PLB Opening Season 2016-2017, the league secretariat today released its revised scheduled for the mid-week Week 16 games as follows: Wednesday, November 23 7:30 p.m. – Orange Walk United FV vs Verdes FC – Louisiana Field 7:30 p.m. – Police United FC vs FC Belize – Norman Broaster Stadium 8:00 p.m. – BDF FC vs Placencia Assassins FC – MCC Grounds 8:00 p.m. – Freedom Fighters FC vs Belmopan Bandits SC – Victor Sanchez Union Field (Wagiya FC resting)

BDFA Inter-Office Week 2 results and Week 3 adjusted schedule
The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) Inter-Office 2016 Tournament continued with Week 2 games on Wednesday and Thursday, November 16-17, at the MCC Grounds. In the opener on Wednesday, Belize City Council dropped KHMH, 4-nil, with goals from Kent Gabourel (9’), Daren Leal (45’ & 59’) and Sedrick Gentle (55’). And in the nightcap, it was Belize Water Services, 2-0, over RF&G Insurance, with Edmond Pandy netting both goals (2’ & 59’). In Thursday’s opener, National Aggregates and Tourist Village played to a 2-2 draw. Andre Alvarado (58’) and Clive Reyes (37’) shook the net for Aggregates; while Thomas Castro (31’) and Carlos Lino (53’) hit the target for Tourist Village. And in the nightcap, Belize Bank got the 4-3 win over Latino’s FC. Shaking the net for Belize Bank were Ernest Brackett (48’ & 61’), Francisco Briceno (53’) and Germaine Foster (25’); while Latino’s FC goals were by Bairon Lopez (11’ & 18’) and Deandre Pitter (28’).

Down the home stretch; 5 PLB teams battle
The regular season of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017 is fast winding down, and the race for the Top-4 playoff spots is as tight as it gets. Undefeated, defending champions Belmopan Bandits SC have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the playoffs, which are scheduled to kick off on the weekend of December 10 & 11. But 5 other teams are in a desperate struggle to seize one of the remaining 3 berths in the PLB playoffs. (See Week 15 standings below.) The playoff race tightened more over the past weekend, where Week 15 games saw front-runner of the other 5 contending teams, FC Belize experiencing a serious set-back on Sunday afternoon, as they were surprised by home standing Wagiya FC at the Carl Ramos Stadium in a dramatic come from behind 2-2 draw. F.C. Belize enjoyed a comfortable 2-nil lead, with goals from Jordi Lopez (16’) and Russell Cassanova (52’), but with time winding down, Wagiya struck back with two spectacular goals, from Hector Lopez (87’) and Clifton Thomas (90’), to secure the 2-2 draw.

Belize U-17 plays El Salvador today, slim hope of still qualifying
With Guatemala out of the competition, having been suspended by FIFA, 5 Central American U-17 national teams are presently competing in Costa Rica for 3 berths in the CONCACAF Qualifiers, which take place in mid-2017 in Panama, for World Cup Russia 2018. Honduras and Costa Rica are still undefeated, and are considered the powerhouses in this UNCAF group, but, with two games remaining against El Salvador tonight and Nicaragua on Thursday, Belize still has a chance at qualifying for the third spot. The odds are tremendously against our boys, who, unlike their UNCAF counterparts, have not benefited from tough international friendlies in preparation for this qualifying tournament. It would be a huge achievement, well beyond our realistic expectations, if they should make it to the next round. Already, with fairly respectable losses to CONCACAF champion Costa Rica, 4-0, and powerhouse Honduras, 3-1, our Belize U-17 has claimed a small measure of respect, unlike years past when the scores were far more lopsided.

Editorial: Diaspora danger
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English describes the root meaning of the word “Diaspora” as “the dispersal of the Jews among the Gentiles mainly in the 8th – 6th c BC.” A secondary meaning of “Diaspora” refers to “any group of people similarly dispersed.” To “disperse” means to “go, send, drive, or distribute in different directions or over a wide area.” To disperse, then, means to scatter. The most significant dispersal or scattering of the Belizean people began after Hurricane Hattie in 1961, and the largest section of the Belizean Diaspora began to settle in the major cities of the United States, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Today, many Belizeans also live in Houston, Atlanta, Miami, and so on. Whereas the Jewish people always viewed their dispersal or scattering as a great misfortune or tragedy, we Belizean people saw our scattering in the United States as essentially providing us with economic opportunity.

The big lie that is America
The world is in a tailspin, obsessed with who Donald Trump will turn out to be as President of the United States of America and how that will affect them. Writers have gone crazy analyzing this state of affairs from all possible angles. Belize, it doesn’t matter which side (and there are many) of the debate one is on as to whether Mr. Trump was wrongly or rightly elected, whether he is fit or unfit, unless that side reflects some real truths not usually spoken about in ‘polite society’. Mr. Trump’s perceived rejection of a racially diverse America (aimed at keeping out the non-white ‘tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ (from words quoted on the Statue of Liberty)) that attracts white nationalist groups, his misogynistic and divisive remarks, public mockery of a disabled person, his supposed anti-Semitism (although he promises even more support to Israel; his son-in-law is a Jew), are said to be against American values. His penchant for the spoils of capitalism and elitism, the impression that he acts before he thinks and may enact bad policies, particularly trade, even start World War III, are also what his adversaries point to as making him unfit to be the so-called ‘leader of the free world’.

Scary murder stats for 2016, approaching new record
A society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable: its young and its elderly. This message is gleaned from the last public address of former US Vice President Hubert Humphrey in 1977. At the time, Belize probably saw a rare murder and for the most part, people took care of each other; today, we live in a different Belize, with the country seeing triple digit homicides and heading for another record year without serious intervention. Just last week, a 7-year-old boy, Tyler Savery, was gunned down in broad daylight while days later, an elderly woman, Victoria Castillo, was found brutally hacked to death, signaling the current state of our nation, where murder convictions are still very rare, and more than 90% of cases don’t come to satisfactory closure, leaving murderers to roam free.

Bondholders get Blitzer, ex-IMF man, to engage GOB on super bond
n a news release issued earlier this week, holders of Belize’s 2038 bonds of US$530 million announced that they had formed a creditor committee, which will act under the advice of BroadSpan Capital LLC and Blitzer Consulting (led by Charles Blitzer), both of which had also advised bondholders in the last 2012-2013 restructuring. Blitzer, it appears, is among those who drive a hard bargain for bond holders. Currently, he advises some holders of Mozambique bonds, as that country similarly seeks to restructure its US$726 million bonds a second time. “The bottom line is bondholders are exasperated,” said Charles Blitzer, who served as Assistant Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, at the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2010. Blitzer, who consults for some Mozambique bondholders, is cited in a November 7 article published by the Wall Street Journal. In their November 16 release, holders of Belize’s 2038 bonds said that, “…the Bonds were issued as a result of a restructuring completed by [the Government of Belize] in March 2013 that has provided the country with over US$100 million in debt service relief to date.” They say they will evaluate the statements made by the Government of Belize in regards to its present situation.

Land dispute in Trio escalates to arson of 5 homes
Six families in the village of Trio in the Toledo district have been displaced after 5 of their homes were set on fire and another was ripped apart sometime around 9 p.m. on Thursday as a result of an apparent land dispute. One man was almost burnt alive inside his home, but the structure was resistant to the flames. According to the displaced families, their homes were intentionally burnt down by a group of men who arrived in a truck and who were purportedly acting on behalf of a Chinese businessman who claimed to own the land on which these families had erected their homes. Information to Amandala is that some time ago, the Chinese businessman had acquired the lands, which were once owned by the Thurton Estate.

Re: Today's Belize News: November 23, 2016 [Re: Marty] #519225
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The Belize Times

Prime Minister Dean Barrow smiled as he confirmed almost flippantly that Belizeans will be faced with new taxes when the new Budget is read. “We’re made no secret of the fact that there will have to be a degree of fiscal consolidation. So there’s going to have to be a tax restructuring,” the leader of the nation stated glibly at the Philip Goldson International Airport upon his return over the weekend. While the UDP administration has never come quite clean on the economic crisis facing the country, the writing has been on the wall for some time now, in glaring red ink. While the Prime Minister would like to blame all his woes on the convenient Hurricane Earl, the fact is that the nation was in trouble long before Earl was even a gust of breeze off Africa. As early as the first quarter of this year, Leader of the Opposition John Briceño revealed that the country is in a recession. Consecutive releases from the Statistical Institute of Belize have revealed that the cost of goods continues to rise, even as exports continue to fall. In one year, exports have fallen by $97.7M. Consecutive reports from the IMF have cautioned government to cut down its wage bills and to get its spending in order. Those analysts have warned that the nation’s debt is unsustainable. The Petrocaribe bounty is all but done, only the gigantic loan left to pay back to show for the UDP’s glory days.

Corozal Youth Gunned Down
Belize City police have arrested and charged 20 year-old Jayear Flores for the double murder of 7 year-old Tyler Savery and 22 year-old Porshan Pipersburgh. The Curassow Street resident is accused of killing an innocent child as part of a gang war between adults. The entire nation has taken notice of the senseless killing of little Tyler which happened on Friday, November 11, at around 4:30 p.m. on Daly Street. His grieving mother, Shakera Young, told the media that he was excited at the prospect of getting a milkshake from Moon Clusters Cafe. That was his preferred Friday evening treat, and he was supposed to have gone with his great grandmother, Victoria Avilez. His cousin, Porshan Pipersburgh arrived at their grandmother’s home at just that moment and Tyler, who wanted to get to the cafe as quickly as possible, begged his grandmother to allow Porshan to take him, since he was already ready to leave. Finally, Victoria Avilez relented, not even contemplating that such unspeakable tragedy would be visited upon her family once again, right down the street from where they live.

Belize City police have arrested and charged 20 year-old Jayear Flores for the double murder of 7 year-old Tyler Savery and 22 year-old Porshan Pipersburgh. The Curassow Street resident is accused of killing an innocent child as part of a gang war between adults. The entire nation has taken notice of the senseless killing of little Tyler which happened on Friday, November 11, at around 4:30 p.m. on Daly Street. His grieving mother, Shakera Young, told the media that he was excited at the prospect of getting a milkshake from Moon Clusters Cafe. That was his preferred Friday evening treat, and he was supposed to have gone with his great grandmother, Victoria Avilez. His cousin, Porshan Pipersburgh arrived at their grandmother’s home at just that moment and Tyler, who wanted to get to the cafe as quickly as possible, begged his grandmother to allow Porshan to take him, since he was already ready to leave. Finally, Victoria Avilez relented, not even contemplating that such unspeakable tragedy would be visited upon her family once again, right down the street from where they live.

Empress Hamilton is Third Casualty of October Arson
On the night of October 4, 2016 a fire – suspected to be arson – claimed the life of 11-year-old Aaron Gabourel, a special needs child. Aaron’s mother, Carolyn Hamilton told the media that she was downstairs and had seen a man run up inside the house, douse the living room with an accelerant then disappear down the river nearby. Aaron was in the living room watching television with two cousins, 4-year-old Ian Sambula and 8-year-old Empress Hamilton. The siblings also received severe burn injuries and a few days later, they were both flown out for treatment at the Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas.

A Culture of Corruption!
In the dictionary, corruption is defined very simply as dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power. It’s not a convoluted, complicated, complex or vague definition. It doesn’t require careful and measured analysis or interpretation. The dictionary even helps with synonyms like unscrupulousness, double-dealing, fraud, fraudulence, misconduct, crime, criminality, wrongdoing, crookedness, sleaze, informal graft, grift, profiteering. It is really only under this UDP administration led by Dean Oliver that corruption has become so conveniently complicated and difficult to define. For example, one would think that a Minister who inveigles a department within his portfolio to issue checks to pay his personal expenses and to finance his campaign efforts would be corrupt. But we find that indeed, under this administration, it is ‘distasteful’ but not corrupt. Very recently, it was learned that Ministers of Dean Oliver’s round table were extraordinarily cozy with con man/extortionist/kidnapper/accused murder William Danny Mason. There were allegations that various high-ranking Ministers took money from Mason in return for certain favours, and at least one Minister actually admitted getting money for his campaign.

By: Norris Hall. THE Americas and the rest of the world were last week shaken by a political tectonic shift with the announcement that Donald Trump had won the United States Presidential election. Mr. Trump’s victory came as a shocker to his rival, Hillary Clinton and her campaign team, who ran a lackluster campaign but was still favoured to win until the FBI threw a spanner in the works of her last week dash to the tapes, with revelations of more e-mails to hurt her. These turned out to be inconsequential nonsense, but nevertheless caused major damage to her path to victory. But while Trump’s political rhetoric and mostly lewd and disparaging campaign may have won him a blow-out victory, his personal character and disrespect for everybody but himself will not bode well for the way he will govern. He has virtually trampled on American values.

How disappointed we all feel. There was the strong possibility just a few days ago that Americans would elect their first woman leader. And how hard indeed Hillary Clinton worked for this prize for all women and for everyone! We just could not imagine that her opponent – a racist, xenophobic, sexist, misogynist would somehow pull out the mother of all upsets and take the Presidency of the United States. And yet it has happened. We wish the nightmare would go away, but it is all too real. And, like the Brexit vote in Britain, United States voters confounded the pundits and pollsters, with a huge white, working class, rural vote, denying Ms. Clinton the job she so dearly wanted, despite her winning the most popular votes. I have been pondering on the issue of what women DO bring and MUST bring to politics for a while now. I believe that I can offer a useful perspective, having been involved for many years. I know only too well that women in politics and elected office do not necessarily bring women’s issues to the forefront or even adopt a serious gender approach in their work. In other words we cannot always rely on women to be gender conscious and to fight for the social, nitty-gritty, practical and immediate concerns of families, women and children.

Sports & Crime
By: Eduardo Santos. Belize is gifted with many talented athletes that, if given the opportunity, could excel in the international arena. Sadly, sports is not a priority within our state system and we end up with a broken-down futile exercise where the majority of our youths who could use this avenue as an escape from the harshness of society are sucked back into a vortex of crime. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the old capital, Belize City. Over the past decades we have seen the rise in crime and the senseless killings. The victims, while they are sometimes unknown to the country at large, have included athletes who played football, basketball and cricket. Although we see program after program being started by government and non-government agencies, the impact on the reduction of crime is minimal. We still have a large amount of people dying needlessly because of a lack of structures in place to assist people in getting jobs.

Thinking Out Loud
About a week ago Gaspar Vega, a man who was once powerful in this area for the UDP, told his media people that he won’t be resigning from Orange Walk North. He said it with a smile on his face, like he couldn’t believe people actually expected him to resign. I swear this man has no shame. It is unbelievable that he can continue to walk around us in Orange Walk when he has wronged us so badly, and his wrongdoing has been exposed for all to see. I believe that very soon Gaspar Vega will realize that the people have had enough of politicians who pretend they will always do the right things and will always work for the poor and disadvantaged. Imagine that so many in Orange Walk North are still poor, and are still struggling to make a living as times get harder and harder, but Vega felt that it was okay for him to take $400,000 of our money and give to his son who is already rich because of his name and political connections. Imagine what the $800,000 given to Vega’s son and a UDP attorney could have done for the people of Orange Walk North. How many homes could have been fixed? How many children could have received assistance to go to school? Imagine the medical care that people could have gotten out of that $800,000. Imagine how many people’s lives could have been made better – people who really, really need it.

Faber Refuses to Pay Teachers…BNTU to Sue!
As we go to press, there is no official response from Minister of Education Patrick Faber or from the Ministry of Education to the threat of legal action by the BNTU. Unofficially, we are told that neither Faber nor the bureaucrats at the Ministry intend to acknowledge the letter. Instead, all indications are that the Minister intends to proceed with his plan to dock the pay of teachers at the end of the month. It is to be noted that teachers who went on strike will lose 11 days salary. After bank, lending institution and other obligations are met, many of those teachers will have NO money for November, a real nasty Christmas gift from Faber. Attorney Eamon Courtenay, acting on behalf of the BNTU, wrote a letter to Faber late last week stating that, “…We are of the view that the decisions taken by the Government are… unlawful, and unconstitutional, as they contravene the Education and Training Act, the Education Rules and sections 3b and 13 (1) of the Belize Constitution.”

Belize Downgraded as Financial Woes Worsen
This week Standard and Poors (S&P) downgraded Belize’s credit-rating from stable to negative. S&P lowered the country’s ratings from B- to CCC+. This downgrade amidst efforts by the Government to restructure the 2038 Bond, financial forecasters predict, could affect GOB’s ability to access capital markets. Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned from New York on Sunday along with Economic Ambassador Mark Espat and confirmed reports that GOB was trying to convene a committee of bondholders to discuss another restructuring, Belize’s second in four years. Barrow, however, offered no comments on the status of the country’s critically low foreign reserves or the award costs pending on three arbitration settlements currently in US courts. And as Belize’s economy continues to take the hit, the Belize Times is informed that the Chamber of Commerce met recently with Central Bank Governor Joy Grant to discuss the business community’s difficulties in accessing foreign currency. No information has been forthcoming on the outcome of that meeting. It is highly unlikely however, that CB would be able to facilitate any accommodation.

GOB Hikes Bus Fares without Notice
The Cabinet has authorized what, in some cases, is a dramatic increase in bus fares. The new fares were implemented via S.I. No. 72 of 2016 which was gazetted on October 29, 2016. The Gazette shows the instrument was made by the Minister responsible for Transport on October 21. The public was none the wiser despite a September 8, 2016 Ministry of Transport press release which announced that there would be a rate adjustment but also stating that “such changes would be adequately publicized before their implementation.” Granted, the release did not say to whom the changes would be adequately publicized but one would imagine that the commuters who most stand to be affected would have been given enough notice. They weren’t and the explanation from transport officials is that there is no commuters association to engage so they spoke with bus operators from the North, South and West and other stakeholders. The bus operators were informed via letter dated November 7, 2016 from the Chief Transport Officer that three copies of the fares should be placed in areas of their vehicle that are clearly visible to commuters.

Violent Crime Figures Are Shocking
By our unofficial tally at the Belize Times, there have been 130 murders already this year, with six weeks to go before 2016 comes to an end. Since 2012, the bloodiest year on record with 145 murders, 616 persons have been killed within our 8867 sq. miles. There have already been more murders than in 2013 (99), 2014 (123) and 2015 (119). If the trend continues, 2016 could well be a record-setting year, a record we can certainly do without. Currently the Prime Minister is the substantive Minister of Police, though the direct responsibility has been handed over to junior Minister Elodio Aragon Jr. He takes over from Senator Godwin Hulse who held the position only briefly, called in when former Minister of National Security John Saldivar was shuffled out amid allegations of impropriety. Saldivar was unable to accomplish anything positive in the Police, and his legacy is a department in which morale is at an all-time low, matched only by their resources. He also left behind a department deeply divided and hopelessly politicized, where corruption is perceived to be rampant at the highest levels and ‘rotten apples’ are believed to be the rule, and not the exception.

Family Accuses KHMH of Negligence…MoH Silent!
After days of waiting, the family of 31-year-old Deanne Robinson nee Pitts buried her on Saturday, November 12th, without the benefit of a post-mortem examination to confirm the cause of her death. She had passed away at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) on October 31st after she was admitted on October 28th. Despite repeated requests and the involvement of an attorney, the hospital refused to perform the autopsy. The family is highly suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Robinson’s death. She was taken to the hospital for treatment of a sore throat and high fever. According to her mother, Mildred Crawford, hours before her daughter’s death, a male nurse administered what she thought to be an unusual amount of medication to her daughter via intravenous drips. Shortly after, it appeared that Robinson began to bring up fluids and that is when Crawford was ushered out of the room where she and two of Robinson’s siblings had taken turns to keep watch over her. Crawford claims that when she went back to look for her daughter, she was shocked to learn that she had passed away.

If Dah Noh Soh…
Sad…! He only wanted a milkshake. Those words from a grieving mother touched me, but more than that it enraged me. I have children, and would not hesitate to seek revenge if any of them were hurt. Tyler’s mother speaks of love and forgiveness. Amazing! I shed no tears for Porshan. He chose his life and by doing so forecast his death. Tyler had no choice, no say in the matter. He was innocent. His mother is a good woman, a strong woman. Me…well I’ve always said that we know who all the so-called “bad-man” are in Belize. I’d round them up, kill them all and bury them in a mass grave behind the Belize Central Prison…just saying! Dean Oliver smiled when he told reporters that there would need to be tax-restructuring, meaning TAXES, if you didn’t quite get it. He smiled. What the hell is wrong with that man? And listen, you heard it here first. There’s a team comprised of persons from the Ministry of the Public Service and the Ministry of Finance who have been busy the past few months working on a RETRENCHMENT list. That’s right. TAXES and RETRENCHMENT in 2017! What was that? The best is yet to come? LOL okay then! Wait for it.

Mismanagement Forces Barrow to Beg Bondholders for Mercy!
Just a little over three years ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow stood in front of the nation following the restructuring of what he called the Superbond. He was euphoric, beside himself, stating that “there is a possibility that, with a little bit of luck and the kind of growth last year that we saw being replicated by and large, we can actually see Belize’s debt to GDP ratio fall to perhaps 60% by 2017. That, of course is debt heaven, but the fact that this kind of nirvana is even within Belize’s reach, I believe, is testament to how successful – precisely how successful the debt restructuring team has been.” That nirvana never became more than one of the Prime Minister’s trademark rhetorical flourishes, and Dean Barrow returned to the country on Saturday, November 12, after spending 6 days in New York City preparing the way for a hoped for and absolutely critical restructuring of what is now being called Barrow’s ‘Superbomb.’ He was there along with Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and Economic Ambassador Mark Espat to meet with Lee C. Buchheit, a partner at the multinational law firm, Cleary Gottlieb, and the Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Otto strengthens to a Category 1 Hurricane
On Monday afternoon, Otto, this Hurricane season’s 15th named storm became the season’s seventh hurricane as it was located in the southwest Caribbean Sea. Otto is now a rare Thanksgiving hurricane and is expected to affect parts of Central America with flooding and rainfall. […]

ComPol and GSU boss at odds
There are breaking reports that GSU Commander Glenn Caliz is to be relieved of his position and transferred by Police Commissioner Allen Whylie. The date, however, is not yet known but we were told that Caliz is currently on leave and is unable to […]

Belize warns of fraudulent Bitcoin provider
Belize’s International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), today, sounded an alarm about a fraudulent online bitcoin investment scheme. According to the IFSC, Xmaxbit, a website which claims to offer cryptocurrency investment and mining services, is not officially registered in Belize. The IFSC says that the site̵... Today's News Sponsored […]

BTV urges GOB to internationalize Guatemalan claim
Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) Founder Wil Maheia told the media yesterday that the government should be making a greater effort to internationalize the unfounded Guatemalan claim against Belize in order to win global support. According to Maheia, Belize should appeal to the United Nations Security […]

Five houses set ablaze in Trio village; alleged arson caused by land dispute
Last Thursday, five houses in the Trio villages were burnt down allegedly by a group of arsonists. The same group then demolished a sixth house leaving six families homeless. Reports are that there is an on going land dispute which has caused the deadly […]

Cool weather expected to prevail
The 24 hour forecast is for cloudy skies with some isolated showers or periods of light rain mainly over the sea and southern coastal areas tonight. The wind will blow from the northeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate. High […]

NEMO Minister delivers houses in Crooked Tree
Home to Belize’s most popular bird sanctuary, the village of Crooked Tree in the Belize District was one of the rural communities most affected by Hurricane Earl. The rebuilding efforts by the Government of Belize, through the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), assisted those […]

PUP tells PM to pay the teachers
Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno wrote to Prime Minister Dean Barrow petitioning that he reconsider government’s position on the deduction of teachers salaries. Briceno states: “ We find it very inconsiderate and disturbing that any government would even consider withholding the salaries of […]

Fisheries data reform planned for the Caribbean by CRFM and FAO
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are teaming up to capitalize on opportunities for Member States to strengthen data collection and management systems through the use of modern technology, such as smartphones and wireless communications […]

Ministry of Health strengthening pharmaceutical industry regulations
The Ministry of Health, yesterday, issued a press release announcing that in an ongoing effort to ensure that the highest quality of pharmaceuticals are available within the Belizean market, it has introduced new standards which have been presented to the House of Representatives and […]

The Bus and Transport sector steals the Christmas
Consolidation comes at the expense of diversification….and diversification comes at the expense of consolidation. The PUP government intervened in the bus transport ownership structure during its 1998-2003 term by providing the capital for Novelo’s to purchase 3 of its 4 principal competitors for the […]


Last Red Cross Blood Drive of 2016
This Saturdays San Pedro Red Cross Blood Drive will make the 5th and last one for 2016. They are nortmally held quarterly but ended up with an extra one this year in accommodating a Projects Abroad request for an additional Blood Drive at Washington University. We have collected 48 pints so far this year and as of April San Pedro Branch has approved 19 pints being given out country wide to help those in need. Our hard work in building a reserve supply for Ambergris Caye is paying off and your pints are helping people in need. Updated numbers coming at year end. Before donating, rest, eat a good meal and drink healthy fluids. Refrain from any medications for 72 hours prior. If you are over 65 you cannot donate but we appreciate you helping spread the word.

Thanksgiving Recipe: Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
This a delicious twist on apple pie that you will definitely want to make.

Sunny weather is the best weather
Living in the Caribbean certainly has its perks; we have abundant tropical wildlife, crystalline waters, lush forest and an exceptional cultural background. But for this Caribbean baby, the biggest blessing Belize offers is almost perfect year-round weather. I am NOT a big fan of the cold, despite the cute wardrobe options. I’ll stick to bikinis thanks! In Belize, its feels like it’s always summer, with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 95°F, with an annual mean of 79°F. Even the traditional coolest months of November to January see an average 75°F. With temperatures like these, it is only logical that we spend plenty of time in our nearest water bodies. Luckily for me, the Caribbean Sea is right at my front yard on Ambergris Caye! On the mainland, we have the river systems and waterfalls making great cool off spots.

10 must-have Belize souvenirs
Whenever I travel I make sure to carry extra cash and have additional space in my bags for cool souvenirs. However, many times due to being overwhelmed by options or due to time constraints, I end up buying ridiculous souveniors that no one wants. That’s super annoying, right? During your trip to Belize you’ll witness a wide variety of keepsakes and fortunately, I’m here to help by providing a short list of the best Belizean souvenirs you can take home. From rum, beers or chocolate, to wooden bowls and amazing Mayan baskets, here’s a list of 10 must have souvenirs you should buy when visiting Belize. 1. Mayan basket 2. Local Carvings 3. Rum 4. Beer 5. Hot Sauce 6. Hammock 7. Wood Tableware 8. Local Music 9. Garifuna drum 10. Chocolate

International Sourcesizz

This very interesting article highlights the integral role the 'Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade' played in how African crops were transposed to the Americas. During the trans-Atlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans, the crews of the ships would buy food stock from suppliers on the west coast of Africa before beginning the Middle Passage. Researchers have found a type of rice typically grown in the fields of the Ivory Coast growing in Suriname where they were planted by Maroons, revealing linkages between the Old and New World crops due to this trade.

Belize and Seychelles regulators warn against fraudulent bitcoin investment company XMAXBIT
Regulators in Belize and the Seychelles have issued a warning against XMAXBIT, which claims to be an international registered company. XMAXBIT website says: “Our profile of work is effective investments in cryptocurrency (LiteCoin, BitCoin) and mining. Since that time, we got wide experience in this scope of action and also we launched a service of wholesale changing of internet-currency. It works in the automatic mode, you can exchange a great sum of money at the most favorable rate at any time. “Also Since 2013 the company Xmaxbit has been actively involved in the investment of high-tech start-ups in Central and Eastern Europe. And 67 successfully implemented projects became the result of the company.”

CRFM and FAO plan fisheries data reform for the Caribbean
The coming of the digital age presents novel opportunities for the fisheries and aquaculture sector of the wider Caribbean to build a more robust data and information system that would augment the monitoring of production trends and traceability of catches, support more sustainable management regimes through increased people engagement, and facilitate stronger international and regional trade. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are teaming up to capitalize on opportunities for member states to strengthen data collection and management systems through the use of modern technology, such as smartphones and wireless communications to bridge gaps in the system.

Otto to threaten Central America with flooding, mudslides and damaging winds
Otto, currently a strong tropical storm, over the southwestern Caribbean Sea, will threaten part of Central America with flooding, mudslides and damaging winds this week. Otto is hovering just off the coasts of Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It became the seventh hurricane of the season Tuesday afternoon. Minor fluctuations in strength will occur prior to the system making landfall. Otto will drift inland over Central America later this week, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. "Steering winds will cause Otto to take a general westerly path during the middle and later part of this week, which will bring the storm inland over southeastern Nicaragua or northeastern Costa Rica on Thursday," Kottlowski said.

Commentary: Garifuna in Belize should include an international Garinagu summit
By Wellington C. Ramos. Every year, we Garifuna people plan our 19th November Celebrations to commemorate our ancestors who arrived to Belize in 1801 and 1823 to search for a better life or escape torture from a faction of the civil war groups in Honduras. Our people were forcefully removed by the British Crown from their native homeland "Yurumein", now known as St Vincent and the Grenadines in March 1796. They arrived in Roatan, part of the Bay Islands, a former British colony, now part of Honduras, on April 12, 1797. Subsequently, some of them migrated to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize and the United States still in search for a better life or to be free from discrimination and human rights violations against them by the countries where they currently reside. Some of our people identify themselves based on their national identity as opposed to their ethnic identity "Garifuna". Little do they realize that a Garifuna person is part of a nation that was broken up by the British in 1796 and their people were displaced to a remote country -- Honduras. The removal of any person or group from his, her or their homes is one of the most severe human rights violations any person or group can commit against other human beings like themselves. Yet, the Europeans committed these acts routinely as if it meant nothing to them. Our Garifuna people have not and will never forget our ancestors' removal from their native homeland "Yurumein".


  • Belize Jungle Dome Oct. 2016, 21min.

  • 2016 Minister's Award: Vitalino Reyes, 2min. Congratulations, Vitalino Reyes! Mr. Reyes won the Minister's Award at the 14th annual BTB Tourism Awards. He's the owner of Cavetubing.BZ, which does tours around Hohoch Che'en.

  • October 2016 Rick and LeahAnn's Belize Wedding, 26min.

  • Belize parasailing. William and Kate, 1min.

  • Update on Peace Initiative, 42min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) - 60th Jubilee Anniversary, 48min. on Open Your Eyes...


  • CRFM and FAO plan fisheries data reform for the Caribbean, min.

  • Happy Thanksgiving from PathLight Students, 4min. Our Sponsorship+ students wanted to wish their sponsors a Happy Thanksgiving! They are very thankful for your love and support.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 6min. Ein kleiner Einblick in die Unterwasserwelt von Ranguana Cay und Tom Owens Cay / Belize und Sapodilla Cayes / Honduras.

  • Hello Ocean: Expedition Underway - Dolphin Research in Belize w/ The Moorings, 4.5min. This is the first research expedition conducted on dolphins in the deeper waters off Belize. Research under sail in partnership with The Moorings Yacht Charters.

  • Big Blue Hole Dive in Belize, 12min. Here is my GoPro footage from the surface of the blue hole all the way to 155ft down to the stalactites.

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