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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Belize to amend Special Agreement prior to referendum on the Guatemalan claim
On Thursday, November 17th the Guatemalan Congress finally approved the amendment to the Special Agreement in regards to the Belize-Guatemala dispute. This new development allows Guatemala to hold a referendum on whether its citizens want to take the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Belize is moving in the same direction, and the Senate is expected to take that same step as early as next week.
Under the terms of the amendment, the referendum can be held on separate dates as is most convenient for each country. Guatemala has been campaigning their good faith to solve the centennial territorial dispute with Belize, but has shown no signs of complete satisfaction with the long process. They are still seeking for Belize to amend its referendum law to allow a simple majority to carry the vote. Senate is scheduled meet on Wednesday, November 30th in Belmopan, but there is no certainty yet whether the Government will agree to Guatemala’s request.
SPPD is prepared to tackle crime this high season
The “high season” of Belize’s tourism industry is in effect, and with the surge of arrivals, the presence of the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) has increased. Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott says that the SPPD has developed tactics aimed at deterring crime in San Pedro Town.
“My way of leading will be different, and you will see the effectiveness of that policing. Everything has been improving, and the type of rigorous patrol stops and searches has been upgraded. I cannot say that criminals haven’t stepped up their game, but the police have also stepped up to the plate to have a safer island for everyone,” said Jemmott. According to him, crime is not just the police’s problem, it is a community problem. He states that the Neighborhood Watch programs throughout Ambergris Caye also remain one of the most effective crime prevention programs. “With more active participation from residents, we are preventing crime, one neighborhood at a time. When our neighbors look out for one another, it can decrease the number of property crimes such as burglaries, drug trafficking, and theft in a neighborhood,” said Jemmott.
Immigration Department recommends BTB’s QRP program for retirees
Retirees living on Ambergris Caye have expressed concern regarding perceived procedure changes at the Immigration Department. It was reported to The San Pedro Sun that it seems like some rules have changed – particularly the monthly stamp for an extended stay in the country – and it is now affecting non-Belizean residents. A call was placed to the Immigration Office on the island, whereby an officer clarified that rules have not changed, but rather, they are being strictly enforced.
Normally Immigration laws in Belize allow non-Belizean citizens to extend their stay in the country for a maximum of six months. Every month, persons wishing to continue staying legally in Belize must visit an immigration office where they can get an extension. If during those six months, the individual has not acquired any ties to Belize (bought property, married a Belizean citizen or obtained a working permit), he or she must leave the country. According to a San Pedro immigration officer, there are no exceptions to this procedure, and it applies to everyone.
Heredia says DOE needs to work with BTB on non-compliant businesses
In Issue #41, Volume #26, the Department of Environment (DOE) informed The San Pedro Sun of improper sewer waste treatment infractions on the island. Chief Environmentalist of the DOE, Martin Alegria, informed both Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Henry Jemmott and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. that several resorts/businesses North of Ambergris Caye were non-compliant with the DOE.
Since Minister Heredia works hand in hand with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), he stated that although these resorts are non-compliant, the DOE also erred by not informing the BTB sooner. “There are several resorts in San Pedro, probably six resorts; and I am not aware of all of the names, that are non-compliant with the DOE. I told Alegria in a meeting that whenever letters are sent to these businesses for noncompliance, the DOE should notify the BTB so we are made aware of what’s taking place,” said Minister Heredia.
The 2016 Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is set for December 17th
The 2016 Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is scheduled to take place at 6PM on Saturday, December 17th. The traditional event ushers in the holiday season, and brightens the coast of San Pedro with twinkling lights, happy people and Christmas carols galore.
Adding to the spirit of the event, all proceeds from the event will benefit ‘Raise Me Up’, a charitable organization on the island which is also organizing the boat parade committee this year. Judges will be stationed at Wet Willy’s dock, observing and selecting their favourites. In addition, for a fee of $150BZ, you can get a VIP front row seat in a boat that will follow the parade. This fee will include food and drinks. Fees collected from those wanting to ride along will also benefit Raise Me Up. Seats are limited, so interested persons are urged to make reservations ahead of time at the above official viewing stations.
Misc Belizean Sources
MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE FROM THE RT. HON. DEAN O. BARROW, PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE, ON THE PASSING OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF FIDEL CASTRO RUZ
Dear President Raúl Castro Ruz,
This note is penned with a heavy heart. You have lost your brother, the Cuban People have lost their avatar, and humanity has lost a giant for the ages. As a leader, bestriding history, Fidel proved, in unending ways, his love for the Cuban people, and all people, especially those suffering from injustice or neglect. His leadership of Cuba was one replete with the sacrifices made by your nation: whether in pursuit of its own sovereignty or the liberation of Southern Africa, or in the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives around the world by copious humanitarian aid, or in the everyday work of the Cuban Medical Brigade, or in the education outreach to so many from literacy to the post-graduate level. Because of the fraternity and self-sacrifice deployed by Fidel and Cuba, the people of ‘Nuestra America’ and the globe owe an unpayable debt to the Commander-in-Chief.
On behalf of the Government and People of Belize, I therefore extend our most profound condolences.
Destination Belize introduces the country's first travel app
The Destination Belize app, is the ultimate travel planning companion and guide for visitors of Belize. Download today
Attempted Armed Robbery of Rapidito Loans in Corozal foiled by security guard
A would be robber was shot by a security guard after he attempted to rob the owner of Rapidito Loans Pawn Shop at #34 4th Avenue, Corozal Town around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning.
The armed robber pulled his gun at the proprietor of the business. The security guard on duty duly responded by firing several shots at the robber, hitting him in the upper right hip.
The injured man ran and stumbled out of the business establishment but not before he fired back 10 shots at the security guard and the business owner.
The injured robber then jumped into a waiting white van and fled the scene at high speed.
Officer Commanding Corozal Police Dennis Arnold, explained that a police officer, who coincidentally happened to be passing by in his private vehicle at the time, saw the raucous and followed the van in hot pursuit.
Garifuna Exhibit at CWC
The Belize Tourism Board office at the Cayo Welcome Center had a nice Garifuna Settlement Day display up last week.
Belize Fishing Report, Nov. 13th – Nov. 19th
An average weather week here, with good action for permit and bonefish. The big super moon was pretty unique as well. Now we will get ready for the Thanksgiving crowd!
Mac got a tarpon off the dock!! Dante got a nice fish on a last minute trip on his departure day. As he was not scheduled to leave here until 2 pm, he fished from 6 am to 1 pm, landed the tarpon, took a shower and headed out packing a bagged lunch for the plane in his pack! Jeremy had a four jump encounter with a large tarpon that will be forever etched in his brain (I clearly remember the first tarpon I jumped 20 years ago)
Belize Bird Rescue Fundraiser
With only 2 days until Giving Tuesday the birds are hopping foot to foot with excitation! Our next thank you offer for donations of $250 and more includes:
A copy of The Great Escape
Two BBR T-shirts
A tree of your choice planted in your name on the property for the benefit of the birds, and the environment as a whole.
Honour of naming a bird
Certificate of sponsorship
Photo of sponsored bird
Species fun facts and BBR costs informational bookmark
Senate to decide on Belize/Guatemala Special Agreement
The Senate, at its next meeting on November 30th, in Belmopan, will decide whether it will ratify the Special Agreement, which Belize and Guatemala signed 18 months ago in Guatemala in May of 2015.
The Guatemalan Congress approved the amendment to the document last week. The amended agreement was signed on May 25, 2015, to the original document, which called for Guatemala and Belize to hold a referendum together. The amended version allows for separate referendums, since Belize and Guatemala holds elections on different days of the week.
If the Senate approves the amended agreement, it would be an indication that Belize is committed to take the necessary steps to seek a resolution to our two countries’ age-old territorial differendum at the International Court of Justice in the Prague.
Dangriga receives solar panels from Taiwan
Dangriga, including the Alejo Beni Park and a number of other areas in that municipality have received new solar panels, through a donation from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
During a ceremony on Saturday in Dangriga on the occasion of Garifuna Settlement Day, new Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, Charles Liu, handed over 40 new solar panels. They are part of a larger donation of 100 that Taiwan has gifted to Belize.
The Government of Belize enacted an energy policy in 2012, which calls for use of clean energy. Through that policy, Taiwan, which has been developing and making use of clean energy for solar power, offered to assist Belize, and in 2014 Taiwan supported Belize to introduce a solar energy street light pioneer project.
Cuba’s Fidel Castro passes
Former Cuban revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, has died.
Castro, 90, governed Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, and as President from 1976 to 2008.
Under Castro’s reign, Cuba became a one-party socialist state. The U.S. opposed his government, and unsuccessfully attempted to remove him. Castro formed an alliance with the Soviet Union.
Cuban television announced that Castro died on the night of November 25th, but not giving the cause of his death. His brother, Raul, confirmed the news in a brief speech. Fidel died at 10:29 p.m. He will be cremated on November 26, 2016.
Fidel had given full control of Cuba’s government to Raul after health issues began to take a toll on him.
Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow has sent a diplomatic note to the Cuban Government on the occasion of Fidel’s death. It said in part: “This note is penned with a heavy heart. You have lost your brother, the Cuban People have lost their avatar, and humanity has lost a giant for the ages. As a leader, bestriding history, Fidel proved, in unending ways, his love for the Cuban people, and all people, especially those suffering from injustice or neglect.
BNTU accuses MOE of malice over late salaries
BNTU President, Luke Palacio has accused the Ministry of Education of another vindictive attempt against teachers, following the Ministry’s announcement late this week that teachers’ salaries would not be ready in time for the November payment. The payment would have been in keeping with a court ruling by Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, which ordered the Ministry to pay the teachers for the 11 days they remained on strike in October.
The Ministry’s announcement came on Friday, after Chief Education Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Carol Babb issued a memorandum to all managing authorities, which read in part: “The Ministry of Education and Treasury Department are doing their best to process payments of full salaries for the November period in keeping with the order.”
Palacio said the salaries should have already been calculated because the paysheets, complete with deductions, were submitted to the Ministry early in the month, on Babb’s instructions. Palacio added that he believes Babb continues to be disrespectful, even to the court’s ruling, which had given this week as the due date to pay the teachers their salaries.
Belize National Coast Guard celebrates 11 years
A ceremony commemorating the Belize National Coast Guard’s 11th anniversary was held on Friday at the Coast Guard headquarters on the George Price Highway near Belize City.
Governor-General, Sir Colville Young inspected a guard of honour at a ceremony, attended by a host of goverment and diplomatic officials.
Minister of Defence, John Saldivar said the Government and Ministry are proud of the achievements that the young but committed group of officers and sailors have attained in such a short time.
“With limited resources, the Belize Coast Guard does an excellent job of patrolling and maintaining the integrity of Belize’s marine resources, and they continue to deliver and even surpasses expectations in the performance of their duties,” Saldivar said.
Breaking Belize News
Belize National Coast Guard celebrate eleventh anniversary
A ceremony was held yesterday to celebrate the Belize’s National Coast Guard’s 11th anniversary at the Coast Guard Headquarters on the George Price Highway just outside Belize City. There was a guard of honor inspected by Governor General Sir Colville Young and a lineup […]
Belize to emend Referendum legislation
The Belize government says it will reduce the referendum threshold from 60 to 50 per cent plus one by amending the existing Referendum Act.
The move by the Dean Barrow administration comes as the Senate on Wednesday debates the special agreement on taking the Guatemalan claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a bid to settle the long standing border dispute with Guatemala.
Since Guatemala withdrew from the process in 2013, Belize has been contemplating an amendment to allow for a simple majority instead.
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, is welcoming the planned amendment to the Referendum Act.
Jordan & Alicia Belize Wedding Film, 20min.
from Jose Luis Zapata
Blue Hole Belize 2016, 4.5min. Scuba diving, Amigos del Mar.
Belize 2016, 3min.
TROPIC AIR The Airline of Belize, 8.5min.
Belize 2016, 4.5min.
cave tubing Belize, 6min.
Belize zipline, 5min.
A tour of Belize City, 4min. My cab driver, Anthony Alvarez, gave me a quick tour of Belize City and some background.
November 2016, Belize In The Off Season, 5.5min. Patty and I have been vacationing in Belize since 1983. The first ten years were amazing, then the fishery petered out because of over harvest. In 2008 the Country fo Belize passed a law that the only reason one could posses a bonefish, tarpon or permit was for catch and release. The fishery has rebounded and is now possibly as good as ever. Our 2012 trip found the fishery on the rebound, but with much better guides and accoadations than in past years.
Belize Moments, 7.5min. Belize Moments is a collection of images taken from our first five visits to Belize. Join us as we travel around many parts of the country between 2011 and 2015.
Ernestine @ Film award in Belize 2016, 3min. rnestine Carballo on stage @ Belize's International Film Festival --2016 in Belize City
Walking Tour of Placencia, Belize 2016, 9min. The Village of Placencia Stann Creek District is a quaint friendly fishing village on the Peninsula of Belize, Central America.
The road to coming back from the Black Rock lodge Belize, 2min. I just had to share this short vid i took this morning on the way out of the Black Rock lodge. Enjoy :)