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Today's Belize News: December 14, 2016 #519775
12/14/16 01:05 AM
12/14/16 01:05 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,924
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials

The San Pedro Sun

Little Angels Preschool holds successful Christmas Bazaar
Little Angels Preschool held their annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, December 10th at the San Pedro Lions Den. Every year, Principal of Little Angels Marina Kay, along with her staff, organize this fair as one of their largest fundraising events for the school. The event drew an influx of children and parents to participate in a variety of fun games, raffles, and tombola to feel the holiday spirit. With plenty of food, snacks and refreshments for sale, there was much to keep the little ones and parents entertained before the commencement of the Christmas show. At 8PM, the preschoolers presented their Christmas program to the audience. Dressed in Santa suits and angel costumes, the toddlers sang and danced. The performance kept the crowd entertained, and they cheered the children’s efforts. Principal Kay extends much gratitude to all the volunteers, and parents and guardians who took the time out to attend this special event, and for making this fundraiser successful!

Foreva Fancy hits the runway—Christmas Style!
Following the Love FM Christmas Parade, Foreva Fancy Boutique presented their third annual Christmas Fashion Show on Sunday, December 11th. Foreva Fancy is always in the spirit of giving, and this year’s theme was, “Happiness Does Not Come from What We Get, but What We Give”. At 9PM, the Central Park overflowed with viewers of all ages. Before the show began, hostess of the night, Miss Petite Earth International 2016-2017, Vivian Noralez, along with host, San Pedro High School Teacher, Philip Ramsey, welcomed the crowd and recapped several fashion shows that successfully took place within this year. For Eduardo Aguilar, organizing fashion shows reflects his passion for fashion. Although it may be hectic and time consuming, the results fulfil his desire to continue showcasing his creativity to the residents and visitors of San Pedro. In June 2016, Foreva Fancy hosted their annual fashion show for the Public Workers: “What to Wear and What Not to Wear”, while in September 2016, he worked along with a committee to host the Queen of Bacchanal Pageant.

SHINE benefits from Starry Night Fundraiser
In an effort to raise funds for various non-profit organizations under ‘On Eagles Wings Ministries’ (OEWM), Michelle Nuñez and Britney Travis organized their annual fundraiser on Friday, December 9th. Friday night’s “Starry Night” event was hosted at the Hidden Treasure Restaurant, where over 75 guests attended to primarily contribute to the SHINE (Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment) youth program. At 7PM, guests enjoyed socializing during cocktail hour with complimentary drinks. They were also greeted with live music and delicious hors d’oeuvres served by friendly Hidden Treasure waiters. To contribute to the fundraiser, guests could also purchase Holiday Cocktail Specialty Drinks.

SPTC Supervisor Ernesto Caliz accused of sexually assaulting a toddler
62 year-old Ernesto Caliz Sr., former supervisor at The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), was charged with sexual assault on a 3-year-old child. However, he is out of jail after he was offered a bail of $5,000. Caliz had been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next adjournment on January 6, 2017, but his attorney managed to have Justice Adolph Lucas approve his bail application on Friday, December 9th. The incident was reported to San Pedro Police early in December, when Caliz was accused of fondling a 3-year-old girl. He was arraigned on Tuesday, December 6th in San Pedro Town, after the Magistrate denied him bail. However, three days after, he was a free man after being granted a Supreme Court bail. The bail was given with the condition that Caliz is to appear before the Magistrate at San Pedro’s Magistrate Court on January 6, 2017 and any other date he is ordered to appear in court by the Magistrate. Another condition requires him to report to the San Pedro Police Station every Friday, starting Friday, December 16th until the case is closed. Caliz has been ordered not to interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses, especially with the complainant or any members of her family. He is not to go near where she lives.

Palapa Bar hosts island launch of Belikin Calendar 2017
The extravaganza of the anticipated 2017 Belikin Calendar came to La Isla Bonita on Saturday, December 10th. At a mini launch party hosted at the popular Palapa Bar and Grill, island residents and visitors had the chance to get their copy of the calendar signed by two of the featured models. Present at the event were Miss April, Dianira Rivera from San Pedro Town and Miss August, Miriam McCoy from Belize City. After the main launch of the calendar on November, 26th in Belize City, Belikin has been holding a series of mini-launch parties across the country for those who could not attend the official event. At Palapa Bar and Grill, patrons could obtain a copy of the calendar after purchasing a bucket of beer. Local island residents took the opportunity to congratulate Rivera, thanking her for representing the island. McCoy’s calendar shot was taken at Palapa Bar before the devastating Hurricane Earl in August of this year. She was happy to see the bar up and running again after it was completely destroyed by the hurricane.

Ambergris Today

Belizean Entrepreneurs Receive Seed Funding to Expand their Business
Thirty-six young Belizean entrepreneurs were recognized for their hard work during an award ceremony of the EMPRENDE Belize Fund, which was held on December 12, 2015 at ITVET Dining Room, ITVET Campus on Freetown Road, Belize City. During the award ceremony, His Excellency Charles Liu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, presented a check for the total sum of US$200,000 to the recipients as part of the EMPRENDE Belize Fund. The entrepreneurs will receive grant funding of up to US$5,555 each to establish or expand their businesses and will execute their investment plans as approved by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Regional Centre for the Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CENPROMYPE).

Construction of San Pedro Children’s Home to Commence in January
Talk about a New Year resolution - The San Pedro Lions Club along with Raise me up will commence a new important journey together for the community as they work on transform the old Lions Clinic building into a children’s home. Raise Me Up is one of the island’s newest non-profit organizations that operates the food bank, the literacy program at Holy Cross, the adopt-a-bear program, the boat parade, the haunted house, the kids club after school program and this year it was also in charge of the San Mateo hurricane re-building project. The children’s home is their newest project that they will tackle in the coming year; it is set to provide a household for 36 children.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Public Alert; Fake Checkpoints
In view of the recent robberies on our highways and criminals impersonating police officers and setting up check points on our highways, the general public is advised that every Check Point manned by the Belize Police Department will display clearly a Police Check Point sign. At least one police officer at the check points will be dressed in the number one uniform (Khaki shirt and blue trousers) and a marked police vehicle will also be present at the check point. If any member of the public should come across a Police Check Point that does not meet these requirements, they are advised not to stop and proceed to the nearest police station to report the matter.

Carlos Raúl Morales meeting UK Minister of State Joyce Anelay in Guatemala
To make his case for money from the UK to fund the Guatemalan ICJ referendum education campaign

Renewal of fisher folk licenses
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs the PUBLIC that it will commence with the renewal of fisher folk licenses on January 4th, 2017. A grace period for renewals will be in place until January 31st, 2017. Commercial Fishing Vessel owners are hereby informed that vessels must comply with the requirements under the VESSEL COLOR CODING SCHEME under the Managed Access program by January 31st 2017. Paint can be obtained from the Belize Fisheries Department offices in Belize City and Punta Gorda.

New ‘safe seafood’ laws, export rules being readied
The fisheries industry on Wednesday moves one step closer to making the Caribbean fish and seafood trade safer and more profitable when experts meet in Barbados to finalise a raft of model regional laws, policies and procedures. The Caribbean region’s ability to cash in on a potentially lucrative, international export trade in fish and seafood – already worth 315 million US dollars a year – is being held back by gaps in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) said. But the experts, who are wrapping up an 18-month-long project to investigate fish handling policies and design a new seafood safety regime for the region’s fish and fishery products, are set to introduce a new regime for SPS measures in CARIFORUM states.

SMCU Christmas Concert
The Saint Martin's Credit Union is having a Christmas Concert this Saturday, December 17th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. The Benque Marimba Academy and the Panerrifix Steel Band will both be performing at the event. They'll have some giveaways too. "Join us at the Cayo Welcome Center next weekend for the annual St. Martins Credit Union Christmas Concert Saturday December 17th starting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m."

Open Mic Night!
Who can make the best 4G LTE theme song? Come out and showcase you're musical greatness! $1000 cash for the winner This Friday night! December 16th 7:30pm at BTL Park!

V Festival del Pueblo 2016
The Festival of San Lazaro is coming up. You are invited to the "V Festival del Pueblo 2016," Dec. 19th, 1:30pm. The “Festival del Pueblo” is an annual cultural event advocating and promoting our tangible and intangible cultural heritage in this case our Yucatec Maya-Mestizo culture. Our community on a whole is looking forward for this event; your presence will be a pillar of strength and tower of motivation in spurring both our culture and festival on its upward momentum. This year highlights will be: Pre-Hispanic and Yucatec Maya music and dances, Maya art gallery, photograph gallery, map of Orange Walk South before the year 1950 and a small museum of the Yucatec Maya. Presentations of The Caste War: The Relationship between Mexico and Belize, Historic scenarios of Orange Walk by the Rio Hondo – War, Exploitation and Migration.

Garifuna drums and wanaragua shells
Ecumenical Auditorium will be blazing, with the sound of the Garifuna drums and wanaragua shells. Fullmoon concert kicks off immediately after with Unto Alegria Y Tradiciones de Panama, Breda David, and DI-X Band. Bringing back the old fashion Christmas.

Beautiful replicas of Maya vessels
Mr. David Magaña of San Jose Succotz has operated Magana's Art Center (MAC) since 1980, making beautiful replicas of Maya vessels and other artistic pieces because he wants people to see the art of the Maya. With people making replicas, everyone can enjoy a piece of the ancient Maya culture in their homes without the need to buy illicitly acquired pieces, thus decreasing looting. Kudos to Mr. Magaña!

Mr. Peetaz Bruk Dong Bram
Saturday, December 17 at 12 PM - 10 PM, Battlefield Park Belize City.

Seashore Drive Christmas Laser Light Show
Thursday, Dedember 15th, 6:30pm. Seashore Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic 5:30pm-10pm.

Story Telling time at the "Krismus Eena Di Paak"
Story telling has played a large part in our culture. This is one of the ways we have passed various aspects of our culture from one generation to the next. Keeping this in mind, The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project will present Story Telling time at the "Krismus Eena Di Paak" at BattleField Park on Thursday, December 15th and Friday, December 16th from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Bring the kids out and enjoy some old fashion stories.

Belize Fishing Report, December 4th – December 10th, 2016
It was a pleasure to host a large group of Cabelas’ guests who spent 5 nights and four days fishing at the lodge. The group ranged from some first-time salt water anglers to some very experienced anglers. The good weather helped many achieve the goal of a first bonefish and in a couple cases, a first tarpon or first permit.

Garinagu organization and political growth in Belize - Part 1
Belize is located along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean (Circum-Caribbean), between Mexico and Guatemala. Unlike the Spanish-speaking countries in the region, Belize, which was once a British colony, maintains English as its national and official language. In addition, in 1981 Belize was the last country in the Central American region to gain its independence, in contrast with Mexico and the other republics of Central and South America that became independent in the early nineteenth century. Belize’s diverse population comprises the Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Menonites, East Indian, Chinese, Arabs and Garinagu.1 The Creole, predominantly of African descent, and mestizo, a Spanish and indigenous mixture, represent the country’s majority population. Belize City, the earliest settlement and former capital, is presented as central in the development of Creole culture.2

Mingle Jingle Karaoke on Caye Caulker
Plan your weekend right Folks in Caye Caulker! This Saturday night, December 17th, Martini's Bar and Grill is having their first ever Karaoke Mingle and Jingle from 7 pm to midnight/close. Come on out and have a merry, fun time! Get your pre Holiday fix! DJ Liz (yours truly) will be right there to take your song requests!

It's almost Thursday and you know what that means! The Splashers will be stroking...tapping... and getting their Happy on Canvas! :) Join us at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar and get your Happy on too!

Lots of rain in San Pedro
It was rough out there today. Localized flooding as rain came down hard all day long.

Prime Minister Announces Changes in Cabinet
At a press briefing held today in Belmopan, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced upcoming changes in his Cabinet. The Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources Senator Hon. Vanessa Retreage has come to the end of her one year contract with government and will be leaving the Cabinet at the end of December 2016. In her remarks made today, Minister Retreage thanked the Prime Minister for the privilege to serve the government and people of Belize and explained that because of family and previous business commitments, she will be returning to private practice. The Prime Minister announced that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, will take up the post of Attorney General in January 2017, and the Ministry of Natural Resources will become part of the Prime Minister’s portfolio. Senator, the Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, will take up the day to day management of that ministry.

Ministry of Health Receives Note on Statement of Measles and Rubella Elimination
The Ministry of Health is pleased to share that Belize received the official statements on the announcement of the Regions of the Americas having eliminated measles, rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). The declaration was signed by the members of the International Expert Committee of the Measles-Rubella National Commissions. This declaration was first announced in September at the 55th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), which was attended by the Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases that primarily affect children. The Expert Committee reviewed evidence on measles elimination presented by all countries of the Region between 2015 and August 2016 and concluded that it met the criteria for elimination. To maintain the measles elimination efforts, all countries must strengthen active surveillance to maintain immunity through their vaccination program. Belize was specially praised and awarded second place for Surveillance at this year’s meeting of Immunization Managers; having fallen from first place in 2015, from among 24 countries in the Caribbean Region.

SMART training comes to Belize
"An innovative software application designed to help rangers curb the illegal trade in wildlife and timber." SMART training comes to Belize courtesy the International Program of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and WCS.

"Before the Flood" screening
Free movie screening of Leonardo Dicaprio's must-watch documentary flim "Before the Flood" this Thursday night in Belmopan! You don't want to miss it!

Channel 7

Retreage Rolls, Causing Another Cabinet Shakeup
Last night we told you about the unofficial reports that Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources Vanessa Retreage will be resigning from cabinet. Well, it was confirmed today when the Prime Minister held a press conference to make it official. We'll get to that shortly, but first some background. Retreage - who is an attorney - was brought into the Barrow administration after the last election in November 2015 as Attorney General. And then, after in a cabinet shuffle in August, she was promoted to Minister of Natural Resources, while remaining Attorney General. That made her one of the most powerful ministers in Cabinet - and one who had the full confidence of the Prime Minister, more confidence than he placed in any of the elected members of Cabinet. But only four months into a difficult job, Retreage has called it quits. But today there was no weeping or hard feelings, the Prime Minister presented it as a planned progression:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "She has not made any decision to leave the cabinet. She is leaving as a consequence of the effluxion of time. The explanation for that being that when I invited the attorney to join the cabinet after the last election, she was quite clear to me that she would do so, but only for a year. She indicated that both in terms of her commitments to her law firm and her law partner, as well as to her family, she would not be able to serve for longer than a year. So as she put it, that year has now gone by. In fact you gave us a little bit brata. And as a consequence she will demit office at the end of this month."

Digging Deeper Into Vega Family Flipping Scheme
And, as she leaves, the latest breaking land scandal is the one with those 1600 acres of farmland in Carmelita village. PUP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Cordel Hyde revealed a scheme at Friday's house meeting where 50 regular people got title for adjoining properties in the area and almost immediately flipped it to Vega family members. Last night, we were showing you but a few of those transactions which ended with both German and Marilene Vega owning the land, but tonight we show you a few of them which ended up with other members of Vega. Set 20 Here in this document, you'll see that instead of the land being sold to someone and then to the Vega family, the Lands Department immediately sold a piece of land in Carmelta Village to Ignacio Vega Sr. for just over 11,600 dollars. Set 21 In this one, you see that the Ministry of Natural Resources approved the transfer of another piece of land in Carmelita to Karen S. Vega.

The Curious Case of NSV VS. BTL
And one more land dispute that's gone to court has to do with another Vega family member. It's Vega's nephew Nestor Hernandez, the former Deputy Lands Commissioner who was terminated in 2014. He and his wife Susanna co-own a company named NSV Enterprise. The company is now locked in a legal battle with BTL over this piece of land in Hopkins Village. We understand that BTL was given a lease to this property, which is still valid and subsisting. The lease was granted on November 10, 2010 for 7 years, with an option to extend to 30 years. They built their phone tower and switch on it, on the clear understanding that their lease secured the property. That's until NSV came up with a title for the same property. Document's we've seen say that in January of 2013, when Nestor Hernandez was still at the Lands Ministry, a Moses Lopez, bought the land with title for $1,000 dollars. 4 months later, he then sold his title to NSV Enterprise. Now this piece of land is the very same piece that BTL has a valid lease to, and on which they already have their very expensive phone equipment installed.

Copycat Cops set Up Bogus Checkpoint
You might want to be very careful when stopping at police checkpoints. That's after a couple of police impersonators jacked a Travelers cargo truck last night on the Western Highway. Around 6:00, salesman Armando Perez along with 3 co- workers were heading to Belize city from Belmopan. At mile 20, they spotted 2 uniformed officers standing near this homemade checkpoint sign and a single cone. Perez stopped and one of the officers pulled out a gun and told him to park on the side of the road. They stole close to $50,000 in cash and cheques. Today, Ladyville police gave us more details about this frightening hold up. They also discussed what the drivers should look out for to keep safe. ASP Juanito Cocom, OC, Ladyville Police: "The Ladyville detectives along with the rural rapid response team acting upon information of a robbery, visited mile 20 on the George Price Highway. Upon arrival they met Armando Perez, a 52 years old Belizean Salesman Representative of Travelers Liquor Limited. He reported that sometime about 5:40pm he was travelling in the direction of Belmopan to Belize City in a 10-wheeler Freightliner white truck along with other 3 employees of Travelers Limited. Upon reaching mile 20 on the George Price Highway they came across what appeared to be a police checkpoint where they saw two male persons..."

Min. Of Education Says School Starts on The Third
Last night, we told you about the press release which the Belize National Teachers Union sent out. They're encouraging the teachers to ignore the Ministry of Education's make up days for the strike. Instead of ending their Christmas holiday early, the BNTU is telling its members to enjoy their entire holiday as prescribed by the Education Amendment Rules of 2012. They say that Ministry is taking on the authority of the school managements by changing the school calendar. Well, we've contacted Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber for comment, and he responded saying, quote, "Our position stands ... The issue of changing the schools' calendar when falling short of the 180 days is a matter for the managing authorities and the Chief Education Office. The decision to add additional days was made by the said two parties and so, the decision stands." That means that as far as the Ministry is concerned, school does start on January third - while the Union is telling its members to return to school on the ninth.

Will New Fiscal Year Bring New Taxes?
At today's press conference, the media also got to ask the Prime Minister about the possibility of new taxes in the coming fiscal year. Government's fiscal difficulties have been well publicized both locally to the unions, and internationally to bondholders. And as government asks holders of the superbond to give up something - government will also have to prove that it is prepared to itself go through some pain - and that usually means "people pain" in the form of higher taxes. Today the PM was non committal - but tended towards a less painful approach:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "So while acknowledging that there is a problem that must be addressed, I don't think it is quite fair to give the impression that the sky is falling. We have to take some measures. We have to take action, but I believe we can do so in a way that will concentrate rather more on the cutting of fat, the elimination of waste than on burdening the Belizean public with additional taxes."

BEL's New Power Purchase Deal With Santander Sugar is Sweet
The Santander Sugar Group has signed an agreement with BEL to supply energy to the National Grid. The Guatemalan company set up its sugar cane operation in Valley of Peace, Cayo, has been approved to sell 16 megawatts of electricity to BEL. It's part of an approval process which the Public Utilities Commission started back in October 2013. And after that extended review period, BEL, the PUC and Santander Sugar Energy Limited signed a power purchase agreement today. Here's how they explained it: A unique feature of this agreement is that energy sales will be in Belize dollars. The PUC Chairman revealed today that ASR has requested an increase in the price of the electricity they sell to the grid. That proposed increase is only in its very initial stages of review.

Jury Says Teacher Didn't Do Dirty Deed With Student
It made major news in May of 2013 when Primary School teacher Eddie Pinelo was arrested and charged with sexual abuse against one of a male student at a San Ignacio school. Well tonight, he's on day 2 of freedom from that allegation after he was acquitted in the Belmopan Supreme Court of the charge of unnatural crime. He was accused by the 14 year-old boy who said he visited Pinelo's Bullet Tree Home. He told police that while at the teacher's house, they drank Caribbean rum and coke, and after about 3 cups, he felt drunk. He said that he couldn't remember that he was taken to bed, but he alleged that Pinelo removed his clothes and had sexual intercourse with him. After 3 year and a half years, Pinelo finally got his day in court before Justice Antoinette Moore, and the prosecution called 6 witness to testify against him. He was represented by attorney Leeroy Banner.

GSU Getting Weed By The Pound
Today, the GSU came up big when it searched under an abandoned house on Old Fabers Road. They dug out just over a pound of cannabis hidden in a plastic bag under some cement blocks. The GSU later proceeded to Rivero Street where they conducted a search in an empty lot. This time they found about a pound and a half of cannabis between some zinc fences. No one was around either scene, so the drugs were all labeled and submitted as found property. And yesterday the GSU did a search at the Kolbe foundation where they found one pound of weed within the prison. This was handed over to the prison exhibit keeper.

PACT Protects The Chiquibul With Grants
Today the Protected Areas Conservation Trust handed awarded four conservation organizations a total of $2.28 million dollars in funding. Each organization mainly operates in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize's largest national park. The investment is part of the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative, through which the government plans to provide $15.8 million dollars to safeguard the park. We spoke to representatives of the Ministry of Forestry as well as one of the award recipients to find out how the money will help the conservation efforts... Dr. Colin Young, CEO, Ministry of Forestry: "Today we had the grant award ceremony for what we call the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative. We disbursed approximately 2.5 million dollars today to 4 organizations. To Friends for conservation and Development that manages the Chiquibul National Park, they got about $770,000 Dollars. The Belize Forest Department about $570,000. Ya'axché Conservation Trust that manages the Bladen Nature Reserve and the Columbia Forest Reserve, they got $400,000 and the Belize Defense Force got a cheques for $434,000."

FIU Learning To Use World Bank Tool For Risk Assessment
Today was the first day of an FIU workshop aimed at providing stakeholders with the tools and skills needed to conduct a money laundering and terrorist financing national risk assessment. The assessment will identify the main sectors where there is a risk that money laundering and terrorist financing could take place, and recommend policies and actions to control and mitigate them. We spoke to FIU Director Kent Claire about the assessment and where the FIU is looking for potential high risk sectors... Kent Clare, Director. FIU: "It's a national risk assessment that countries are required to have in place. It is a FATF (Financial Actions Talk Force) requirement but beyond that there are some countries who have done national risk assessments even outside of that. So basically what it does, it allows you to determine what is the possibility or the risk of any type of financial crime. Not only financial crimes, but other types like cybercrime and so on that could potentially harm your jurisdiction and its ability to effect cross border transactions and international trade. Some countries have done it within 2 years. We are targeting something like 18 months. The process began back in September and we are hopeful that we can conclude hopefully early 2018, but it remains to be the same."

The Name Of The Rose Is Calypso
If you grew up in Belize in the 1980's - then you'll know why Calypso Rose is considered an honorary Belizean. The Calypsonian from Trinidad and Tobago enjoyed huge popularity both for her stage shows and her irresistible hits like Fire in Belize, Fire in Me Wire and Leh We Punta. But then, Calypsos' reign ended, replaced by the far faster, catchier and younger Soca rhythms. And that might have been it for Rose, a former star who appeared every now and then on retirement tours - because, who even listens to Calypso anymore, right? Well, try ALL OF EUROPE! That's right, Calypso Rose has made a commanding and certified comeback with the number one world music album in France this summer. In fact, Her new release, recorded in Belize at Benque's Stonetree records is the first international gold album coming from Trinidad and Tobago. And yes that does mean she is bigger in Europe than Machel Montano. It's incredible and unexpected - and the man behind the music is Ivan Duran who produced the album with Belizean musicians. He spoke to us via Skype from Montreal today - where he told us why Belizeans should embrace the album:.

Golf Cart Scrooges On San Pedro
For you islanders or those of you who want to have a sandy sea side Christmas on the Cayes, you might want to hold on tightly to your golf cart keys or properly secure the golf cart when it's parked. Golf cart thefts have been on the rise on San Pedro and today police warned that if you don't want to end up stranded during the holidays, take care of your golf carts. Jemmoth says that they have their patrols and police safety operations ready for Christmas.

Cops Recognized For Going Above And Beyond
2 Northside police officers were awarded today for their exemplary police work. Every month an officer is chosen and recognized based on professional conduct and performance. Now, it's not to say that none of the other officers work hard but the awardees for October and November say it's all about going above and beyond - that is what makes the difference. We were at the Eastern Division North office this morning when PC Jerome Middleton and PC Nelson Ramos got their well-deserved awards. Here is what they had to say. But city cops were not the only ones who were recognized. Several Dangriga officers were awarded including Corporal Carlos Galvez and PC David Mejia. These two officers saved a mother and her 8 month old baby from drowning near the Tobacco CAye Range. A strong wave had caused the boat they were traveling in to capsize but the officers sprang into action to save the lives they could. The incident happened on November 17th. And one civilian drowned.

City Cops Care
Northside Police will be giving a special Christmas treat to 6 families. That treat comes in the form of a hamper. Police are putting together food items and other supplies to package and deliver to these needy residents. Public Relations Officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us more about the initiative. Northside police have been giving out these Christmas Hampers for 3 years. And as part of spreading the Christmas spirit, the police will also be hosting a party for Northside kids on Monday at their office. It starts at 2 in the afternoon.

PM Says Superbond Talks Shaping Up
And finally, one last bit of information from the Prime Minister. Today after the press conference he discussed the schedule for Superbond talks. These are ongoing but coming to a head because the government is shortly expected to outline its proposal to bondholders. He gave the media a loose schedule of what is ahead: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "So far we've set out the broad contours. We know basically what we are talking about, what's in issue. But the devil is always in the details and those details won't be discussed until the next meeting which we are hoping to have before the end of year. In early next year we expect a follow on meeting from the end of year meeting and there is where I think we are going to hopefully be coming close to a solution that will see a successful restructuring."

Re: Today's Belize News: December 14, 2016 [Re: Marty] #519776
12/14/16 01:05 AM
12/14/16 01:05 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,924
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

Attorney General Vanessa Retreage Leaves After 1 Year
On Monday night broke the news that Vanessa Retreage was stepping down from Cabinet. This afternoon, Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted a press conference confirming our report that Attorney General [...]

A.G. Cites Personal & Professional Commitments; Says Thanks to “Great” Staff
So, a year after assuming responsibility for Attorney General and four months after becoming the Minister of Natural Resources, Retreage goes back to her law firm Reyes and Retreage where [...]

Death Threat Against A.G. Was Email Spam
There has been speculation that Retreage’s resignation comes on the heels of a death threat she received via email sometime a few weeks ago.  The outgoing Attorney General said that [...]

Cabinet Shuffles for Third Time in a Year
In addition to the Attorney General’s resignation and the appointment of her successor, the most important piece of news coming out of the press conference was the Prime Minister’s assumption [...]

Laura Longsworth Proposed for Speaker of the House
A successor for House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte has been proposed, but will be made official at the next sitting of the House of Representatives.  That person is retired nurse Laura [...]

The Carmelita Land Scandal: Why Vegas Have All the Luck
Last week News Five dropped a bombshell that continues to wag tongues. In the span of five years, one thousand, six hundred acres of prime farmland along the Philip Goldson [...]

Carmelita Land Question is “Mischief-Making,” A.G. Suggests
The land flip has raised eyebrows, particularly in parliament where Hyde made his presentation.  When asked if she was aware of the situation, Minister of Natural Resources Vanessa Retreage told [...]

New Lands Minister Says There Will Be Consequences for Prior Wrongdoing
When asked about the dubious transactions, the incoming Minister of Natural Resources firmly stated that his administration is prepared to accept that there may be instances of wrongdoing in government [...]

No New Taxes: 2017 Budget Will Be Lean & Mean
Will there be a tax increase in the upcoming 2017 fiscal budget?  In light of grave economic conditions, the possibility of a hike in existing taxes is very real.  Today, [...]

Highway Robbery! Fake Cops Stole Big Money from Travellers’ Liquors Workers
Travelers Liquors Limited took a big hit on Monday night when it was targeted by thieves. But is it an inside job?  Forty-nine thousand dollars in cash and cheques were [...]

Real Police Say Watch Out For Fake “checkpoints”
But with criminals becoming so crafty, Police warn drivers to be vigilant when travelling on the road.   ASP Juanito Cocom, O.C., Ladyville Police “The scene was visited, processed where [...]

Busting “Dynamite” Against the Law; Sellers Beware
One of the more unwelcome Christmas-time “traditions,” at least here in Belize City, is the letting off what is colloquially known as “popshot” or “dynamite” – not to be confused [...]

Police in Northside Award Officers of the Month
Two police constables from the Eastern Division North were recognized with awards as “Officers of the Month of October” this morning at the Queen Street Police Station. Jerome Middleton of [...]

Chiquibul Initiative Quartet Get Big Cheques
Two point two-eight million dollars were disbursed today for the conservation and protection of natural reserves: Chiquibul, Vaca, Colombia and Bladen Forests.  PACT is the donor agency that is contributing [...]

N.G.O.’s Say Process is on Track to Identify 13th Senator
The idea of a thirteenth senator may soon become a reality. This Friday is the deadline for final submissions of documentation by non-governmental organizations to show they are in good [...]

Santander to Provide New Power Source Beginning in 2017
Three years ago, Belize Electricity Limited and the Public Utilities Commission opened a request for proposals for electricity generation of both traditional and renewable energy sources. Following a lengthy and [...]

Identifying the Risks for Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing
The World Bank is training entities working in the field of risk assessment for money laundering, terrorism financing, and related crimes to help Belize conduct its first National Risk Assessment. [...]


AG Vanessa Retreage Quits, Triggers 3rd Cabinet Shuffle In 4 Months
Attorney General Vanessa Retreage will not continue as Attorney General in the Barrow Administration, a post she has held since November 2015. Today Retreage confirmed what up to yesterday were strong rumours - that she had opted out of what was a secure Ministerial tenure in the UDP Government. This meant that she is also vacating her post as Minister of Natural Resources, which she held for four months following the Cabinet shuffle in August. Retreage spoke at a press conference called by Prime Minister Dean Barrow this afternoon in Belmopan. The meeting with the press followed a Cabinet session, in which the PM introduced his picks for the posts and got Cabinet to support it. Rt. Honourable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “As from the 1st of January 2017, the Honourable Michael Peyrefitte will become the new Attorney General of Belize, now the AG also demits office, also is giving up her position as a Senator so the Honourable Peyrefitte will replace her as well in the Senate of the National Assembly of Belize, with respect to the Lands Ministry that will be placed under your humble servant, that will now be joined with the ministry of finance so I will be the new minister of lands or the minister of natural resources, Doctor Barnet who is already the minister of state in the ministry of finance will of course be the minister of state in the expanded ministry and quite frankly it is Doctor Barnette who will have day to day charge of the Lands Ministry.”

What caused Retreage To Retire From Politics
So what triggered Retreage’s sudden retreat and the need for PM Barrow to scramble to fix re-appointments in Cabinet? Is the Ministry of Natural Resources haunted by the ghost of Gaspar Vega that no one can hold the Ministry for too long? Reports up to late yesterday and this morning were that Retreage has been facing duress to vacate office. That pressure, according to the strong rumors, was on the Attorney General because of the purging she was doing at the Ministry of Natural Resources following the mess left behind by Vega. Retreage, we were told, even faced a serious threat to her safety and security in the course of executing her powers as the Minister of Natural Resources. The most recent issue is that of pursuing legal action against Andre Vega, the son of the former Lands Minister, and UDP attorney Sharon Pitts, for collecting $400,000 each as compensation for land which they had bought for a pittance, and which was found to be privately-owned. Today Retreage addressed the issue squarely, and while she admitted to receiving at least one threat, she claimed it is not the reason she is leaving.

Another Maya Mound Destroyed In OW For Land Fill
Tonight the archeological Department of Belize is investigating the case of another Mayan Monument being destroyed here in the north. This time though, the ministry of Works is allegedly the one to blame for bulldozing the Mayan Mount located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Fresh Water Creek forest reserve located on the Honey Camp road here in Orange Walk. Early this morning CTV3 received the report of the works being carried out our news team took the journey to the area. And here is what we discovered. As you can see almost half of this unnamed historic artefact is gone. Among the stones that were scattered around the immediate area monochrome pottery shards, typical of the pre-classical period, could have been seen, most reduced to rubble. According to reports given to our news team the material being extracted from the mount is allegedly being used by the Ministry of Works as road fill aggregate in the road rehabilitation of the Cocoa road which is a feeder road for sugar cane farmers in the area.

AG Says GOB Will Take Vega and Pitts To Court
The Attorney General also provided an update on two of the highly questionable land deals. The first one is the compensation deals for Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts that the Attorney General was looking to overturn and bring to a head with orders that will force Vega and Pitts to return the monies – all $800,000 of it. The second is the land deal involving RON J Company limited, the company which according to leaked documents the Ministry of Natural Resources under Gaspar Vega sold for six thousand dollars then bought back for a cool million. The Attorney General said why this particular case will require a more intense review. Attorney General Vanessa Retreage – Attorney General Ministry: “Ron J file has gone through, it has let us down another course and I will be making a release on that shortly, please appreciate that I have been looking into it, I really have, and I intend to make a release before I leave about what will be done...”

Teachers Wont Cut Their Holiday Short
Last month we told you that the Ministry of Education had announced its decision to include six additional days to the school calendar in order to make up for the time lost as a result of the eleven days of strike carried out by the Belize National Teachers Union. This obviously meant that both the Christmas and Easter holidays would be cut short, but according to a release issued by the BNTU, it clearly indicates that the members of the union are simply not having it and have instead decided to disregard MOE’s decision despite their proposal to compensate teachers for the make-up time. In the release the BNTU states and we quote “our position remains the same as that which we hold for the attempted deduction of teachers’ salaries for the strike’. End of quote. In other words, the BNTU is implying that teachers will remain at home and enjoy the holidays as stated in the actual calendar of holidays. The release further stated that while the decision was proposed and agreed upon in a meeting held between the MOE and the Managing Authorities of primary and secondary schools, The BNTU is of the position that the Managers along with its teachers should be the ones responsible to originate such agreement as it relates to the dates for the make-up sessions and not the MOE as stated in their Handbook of Policies and Procedures for School Services 2000.


Departure of Attorney General Triggers Adjustments in Cabinet, Senate and HoR
After completing a one year term as was agreed to with the Prime Minister, Senator Vanessa Retreage is returning to private practice as an attorney. Her one year stint as Attorney General and a few months as Minister of Natural Resources has now created the need for Prime Minister Dean Barrow to name the fourth […]

PM Says No to IMF Programs; Speaks of Upcoming Fiscal Year and Taxes
As we reported on Monday there is the suggestion for the Government of Belize to adapt programs designed by the IMF to have a more stable financial outlook outside of the proposals presented to the bondholders. There designed programs by the IMF are known to be somewhat draconian and with that we asked Prime Minister […]

Lands Minister Speaks of Investigations; PM Reminds Press of PUP Land Greed
It has been barely two months since Attorney/Senator Vanessa Retreage took over the Lands Department from Minister Godwin Hulse. During’ her brief stint several issues alluding to corruption have surfaced involving former Lands Minister Gasper Vega. Two moths is a short time to conduct a thorough investigation and with that she was asked just how […]

Thieves Pose as Cops at Checkpoint, Robbing Delivery Truck of $50K
A gang of thieves got smart last night and erected a police check point near mile twenty on the George Price Highway and targeted a delivery truck, relieving the driver and passengers of just under fifty thousand dollars in cash and cheques. An investigation is ongoing as explained by Assistant Superintendent of Police, Juanito Cocom. […]

Buying Energy from Bagasse for National Grid
Santander Sugar Energy Limited, a subsidiary of The Santander Sugar Group completed its negotiation with Belize Electricity Limited last month in regards to its proposal to supply the country with energy. Today, a power purchase agreement was signed between the two bodies. Santander will now provide clean energy to the Belize’s electrical grid. The company […]

PACT Funds Protection of the Chiquibul
A grant award ceremony was held this morning in Belize City where PACT, the Protected Area Conservation Trust, awarded two point twenty eight million dollars to four agencies tasked with protecting and preserving the Chiquibul Forest. Grantees included the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Ya’axche Conservation Trust, the Belize Defence Force, and the Forest […]

GSU Scores Another Round of Drugs on Southside Belize City
The Gang Suppression Unit continues to carry out its aggressive operations in removing drugs and weapons off the streets and out the hands of the criminal elements. Just yesterday one of the GSU teams were on the south side of Belize City, particularly in the Faber’s Road and Rivero Street areas when they scored about […]


Cordel drops bombshell in House – more Lands corruption!
Hon. Gaspar Vega refuses to resign as the UDP’s Orange Walk North area representative in the face of previous scandals in the Lands Department, of which he was the Minister, and now, more damning scandals surrounding himself and his family have emerged. In the latest scandal, 1,600 acres of farmland on the Philip Goldson Highway, just outside Carmelita in Orange Walk District, ended up in the hands of Vega’s relatives while he served as the Minister of Natural Resources. The 1,600-acre farmland, originally Government land, was subdivided into 55 parcels and initially transferred from the Ministry of Lands into the hands of selected individuals according to documents leaked to our newspaper from sources close to the Lands Department. Those individuals then flipped the land to members of Vega’s family, including his brother, Ignacio German Vega, and his company, German Vega & Sons Import Limited. In total, German Vega and his company acquired 33 of the 55 parcels of land, all from persons who are allegedly close to the former Minister of Lands.

Cop arrested for human trafficking
Eight Salvadorans were busted without legal documents in San Ignacio at about 10:00 Saturday night, and surprisingly, a cop was the driver of the van (a Chrysler Pacifica) in which they were traveling. The van was stopped and searched on the George Price Highway near Carrillo Puerto gas station. In the van police found 5 adults and 3 minors, all Salvadorans. They were all taken, along with the van, to the San Ignacio Police Station. According to a police report dated today, Monday, “The SUV was pulled over, where the driver was identified as 23-year-old Edif Sierra, transporting eight Salvadoran nationals (4) females and (4) males in the country illegally without a passport.” Supt. Richard Rosado said on Channel 7 news tonight that the driver of the van was identified as being a police constable from the Benque Viejo Police Formation. Police said that the Salvadorans were searched and $2,000 USD was found on them.

Travellers delivery truck held up on George Price Highway
Hattieville police are presently investigating a robbery that occurred at Mile 20 on the George Price Highway at about 7:00 this evening. A Travellers delivery truck that was travelling to Belize City from Belmopan was stopped by robbers and the driver and the sales agent were robbed of an undisclosed amount of money. The thieves then escaped. ASP Rochel Chan, Commander of Hattieville Police, told Amandala that details of the robbery are not yet known, because their investigation has just begun.

Speednet wins case against PUC; awarded almost $800,000
After losing a drawn-out court battle to collect millions in license fees from telecommunications providers in Belize, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) may move to amend legislation which was deemed “ambiguous” by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Belize’s final appellate court, resulting in different interpretations by both the regulator and the telecommunications provider – Speednet Communications Limited. In a decision handed down today, the CCJ finally settled the matter by ruling that the PUC must refund money to Speednet, to the tune of $792,500 for annual fees less $1,400—the amount which the CCJ held was the lawful license fee. “

Vanessa Retreage to resign from Barrow’s Cabinet
There is breaking news tonight that attorney Vanessa Retreage, who is Minister of Natural Resources, has resigned from the Cabinet of three-term Prime Minister Dean Barrow. According to sources in the Opposition, word broke of her resignation sometime last week. However, the Office of the Prime Minister has not yet released a public statement. If this report is confirmed, Retreage will be the second member of Barrow’s Cabinet to resign in three months. The first was Gaspar Vega, who resigned in October after his son walked away $400,000 richer in a shady land transaction conducted while he was the Minister of Natural Resources. Following the UDP’s November 2015 elections at the polls, the post of Attorney General was removed from the portfolio of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and given to her.

Hon. Finnegan goes to bat for Hon. Espat
Rarely have parliamentarians of the ruling UDP-led government and the Opposition PUP shared a common position on any matter. However, during Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives, Senior UDP parliamentarian Hon. Michael Finnegan loaned his support to senior PUP parliamentarian and former Prime Minister Said Musa, who appealed to the House Speaker, Michael Peyrefitte, to lift the suspension of Julius Espat who is presently prohibited from attending House of Representatives meetings. In an exclusive interview with 7News, Finnegan clarified, “I think we are parliamentarians elected by the people. I think we should show magnanimity in all various ways and we must rise above the fray and how the whole situation happened back in August; man, in my view, it was unkind to the House of Representatives.”

BDFA Inter-Office Week 5 scores and standings
The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) Inter-Office tournament continued last week with Week 5 games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In the only game on Tuesday, December 6, National Aggregates and BWS played to a 4-4 draw. Shaking the net for Aggregates were Kendale Esquiliano (63’), Andre Alvarado (52’) and Faisae Ahmad (44’ & 62’); while BWS got goals from Israel Canul (47’), Edmund Pandy (67’), Ashley Hemsley (37’) and Orland Lyons (35’). Game 1 on Wednesday, December 7, saw Belize Bank Ltd. with the 2-1 win over BTL. Francisco Briceno (55’ & 69’) struck twice for Belize Bank, while Henry Mejia (70’) tallied for B T L. And in the nightcap, it was KHMH, 5-2, over Smart. Sharing the scoring for KHMH were Julius Allen (55’), Errol Sutherland (47’ & 62’) and Zebedee Moore (21’ & 31’); while Smart got a goal each from Stepen Baeza (68’) and Albert Kisling (28’).

S.P. Tiger Sharks defeat O.W. Running Rebels
On Saturday night, two-time NEBL champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks traveled to Sugar City to take on the Orange Walk Running Rebels in the first ever NEBL pre-season game. San Pedro Tiger Sharks came out with the 61-53 victory. The Tiger Sharks was led by Ashton Edwards, who had the game high with 15 pts, while Kurt “Chengo” Burgess netted 13 pts, Dar Harris sank 10 pts, Jamal Kelly scored 8 pts, and Douglas Valley finished the night with 7 pts. Randy Usher was the top scorer for Orange Walk Running Rebels with 13 pts, while Roger Reneau tallied 11 pts, and Elvis Olivera finished with 6 pts. The NEBL season tips off on January 13 in Belize City, as defending champions, Belize Hurricanes will host the opening game.

Chief Thursday Race results – December 8
Here are the results from the December 8 regular Chief Thursday Race, which has been going on every Thursday since May of 2015. The Races go from Leslie’s Imports to Hattieville roundabout and return, for 28 miles. In yesterday’s race for Weekend Warriors (WW)/Elite, 39 cyclists started, and 27 completed the ride. Finishing order was: 1st place – Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray, 1:03:44); 2nd Ernest Bradley (Smart, st); 3rd Herman Requena (Smart, st); 4th Carlton Robinson (st); 5th Adrian Faux; 6th Delawn Abraham (1:05:43); 7th Kenroy Gladden (Kulture Megabytes, st, 1st “A” rider); 8th Mark Staine (Smart, st); 9th George Abraham (Bel-Cal, st); 10th Darwin Lodge (Lampaz, st); 11th Quinton Hamilton (st); 12th Palas Joseph (Lampaz, st); 13th Francis Cassasola (Santino’s, 1st “B” rider); 14th Santino Castillo (Santino’s); 15th Leroy Cassasola (Digicell-4G Elite); 16th Colin Maheia (FT Williams); 17th Darrel August; 18th Anthony Tun; 19th Isaiah Willacey (Santino’s); 20th Nelson Zyden, Jr.; 21st Sahir Figueroa; 22nd Clarence Tescum (Santino’s); 23rd Alicia Thompson (Kulture Megabytes); 24th Dean Belisle (Bel-Cal); 25th Stephen Bisset (Lampaz); 26th Vallan Symns (Kulture Megabytes); and 27th Rasheed Young.

Unfinished business; nobody safe in game 2 of PLB semifinals
Although the odds are decidedly in favor of defending champions Belmopan Bandits at home this coming Saturday night on their carpet field at Isidoro Beaton Stadium, it is not yet “signed, sealed and delivered,” not when FC Belize poses a question in Mexican striker Hector Martinez, that the Bandits have not yet adequately answered. Repeatedly roughed up at the MCC yesterday by veteran Bandits flank defender Ian “Yellow” Gaynair, Martinez nevertheless brought a lot of pressure on the Bandits, and a better playing surface will help him to be more effective. A long hard free kick towards the southern goal from the left side by FC Belize captain Matthew Leal seemed within the radar of Bandits sublime goalkeeper Shane Moody Orio, but the ball was artfully deflected mid-flight by the head of Martinez as it entered the eighteen, and it sailed just out of reach of a diving Shane, and settled into the right top corner of the net at the 34th minute for the FC Belize 1-nil lead.

Editorial: Partridge perspectives
A fan of this newspaper felt that the editorial in our midweek issue last week was too negative. In FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL, we sought to place Belize’s looming economic crisis in perspective as we Belizeans approach our annual December feast and January famine exercises. We feel the need to elaborate. On the Creole culture calendar, we would submit, there are three massive events, and they are Christmas, Tenth of September, and Easter (featuring the Holy Saturday Crosscountry), probably in that order of importance. Traditionally, our people have this saying: “Christmas bring ‘e own money.” If you really examine this saying, you will conclude that, since participating in the Christmas celebrations/bacchanal is an absolute cultural mandate, many Belizeans dig into their savings or take out loans in order to finance the holiday feasting. There is, therefore, a Christmas spike in our economic activity which is induced at the level of individual and family choice. In the case of the 2016 Pascua, the macro indications do not, strictly speaking, justify the hype. That was the thrust of our midweek editorial.

From the Publisher
With your permission, I want to use my column today to “pressure” you into looking at some European history and some economic development theory, with the case of Spain as a teaching model. As “British subjects,” we Belizeans were never taught enough about Spain, which was England’s great rival in the sixteenth century. Our British colonial masters, understandably, were focused in Belize’s schools on glorifying Protestant Great Britain and demeaning Roman Catholic Spain. Because of Christopher Columbus, in the first instance, and later the good will of the Papacy, Spain got a great jump on the rest of Europe where plundering the gold, silver, and precious stones of the so-called New World was concerned. The English were mere pirates trying to hijack the fabulously wealthy Spanish galleons sailing from Mexico, Cuba, and Peru to Spain in the sixteenth century. And yet, by 1814, it was the English who led the defeat of the French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, who had dominated Europe for almost two decades, while Spain had crumbled before Napoleon’s armies.

Death knell for Belize City cruise tourism
Dear Editor, The diversion of Norwegian Cruise Line to Harvest Caye has created a huge dent and has negatively affected business in the Belize City cruise tourism zone. Many people in the industry now realize how valuable the passengers off that ship were, as they were more willing to venture out and experience Belize with the local and independent tour operators and guides. The biggest point that seems to get lost in this latest quagmire in cruise tourism in Belize is that about 3 to 4 years ago the cruise lines warned the Government of Belize that if they don’t install a docking facility in the Belize City harbor, they will cancel their calls to Belize. Tendering passengers to shore in smaller boats in the cruise ship business is a tedious process and will become a thing of the past. The Government solution to that warning is Harvest Caye, owned by N.C.L. The crux of the matter is that, just as how the other cruise lines like Carnival are able to rent or lease space here in Belize City at the Fort Street Tourism Village owned by Royal Caribbean and Diamond International, the same way they will be able to rent Harvest Caye, eliminating the entire tendering process for their guests. This may not be felt immediately but it is a high possibility, especially during the slow season. Until there is a proper docking facility in the Belize City harbor for ships, cruise tourism in this part of the country will slowly fade away into oblivion.

Belize accedes to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
Belize became the 184th signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on Friday, December 9—International Anticorruption Day. Due to the absence of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, whose return to Belize was delayed due to medical reasons, Acting Prime Minister Patrick Faber signed the instrument of accession for the treaty on his behalf. Present for the signing was UN Resident Coordinator, Christian Salazar Volkmann; and Minister of State Dr. Carla Barnett. The signing was witnessed by members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one of the social partners which had been pressing the Government to sign on to the international accord. The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) also included the signing of the UNCAC as one of the key demands of The Barrow Administration when they went on strike on October 3.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Suspect in Yalbac murder apparently commits suicide
Confirmed reports reaching our newsroom is that Maximiliano Williams, the suspect being sought in the murder of Melecio Gonzalez, has apparently committed suicide. A reliable source confirmed to BBN that Williams was found today with an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of […]

Accused pedophile prowling freely in San Pedro
Photo courtesy The San Pedro Sun A Child Predator is back on the streets of San Pedro Town after spending only 3 days in jail, according to the San Pedro Sun newspaper. The 62 year-old man was charged with sexually assaulting a 3 years […]

Belize praised for eliminating measles and rubella
The Ministry of Health in a press release issued today, announced that Belize received the official statements on the announcement of the Regions of the Americas having eliminated measles, rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). The declaration was signed by the members of the […]

PM shakes up Cabinet again
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced his third Cabinet reshuffle since winning his third term in November 2015. The latest reshuffle will now see Barrow taking control of the Ministry of Natural Resources, which includes the Land Department. Vanessa Retreage has resigned as Minister of […]

Vanessa Retreage resigns from Cabinet
At the Prime Minister’s press conference today, Vanessa Retreage announced that she is resigning from Cabinet. Personal and family reasons were sighted as the reasons why she is leaving at the end of December. Retreage’s resignation comes as a surprise because she was appointed […]

PM announces new House speaker
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at a press conference currently being held at the NEMO office in Belmopan, announced his latest Cabinet reshuffling, his third in just over a year of his third term. At the press conference, Barrow announced that House speaker Michael Peyreffitte […]

Fishermen urged to renew licenses
The Belize Fisheries Department issued a release informing the public that it will commence with the renewal of fisher folk licenses on January 4th, 2017. A grace period for renewals will be in place until January 31st. Commercial Fishing Vessel owners are informed that […]

Almost $50,000 stolen from Travellers truck
Reports reaching our newsroom is that last night, a Travellers liquors truck that was on its way to Belize City from Belmopan was robbed of $49,000 in cash. The truck met a check point at mile 20 on the George Price Highway and stopped […]

Public Alert; Fake Checkpoints
The Belize Police Department has issued a public advisory in view of the recent robberies on highways where criminals have been impersonating police officers and setting up check points. The BPD has informed the public that because of this, every check point manned by […]

Belize~ A beggar Nation in S.I.C.A?
Belize is a small, under-developed, independent nation member of Sistema de la Integration CentroAmericana (SICA); nestled in the Caribbean basin of Central America. Relatively peaceful and safe, compared to its neighboring countries, it has been acting like a socio-economic pressure-release-valve since the civil conflicts […]

CEO Leacock resigns from Education Ministry
Government issued a press release late Monday evening confirming that David Leacock, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the Ministry of Education has submitted his letter of resignation to the Prime Minister. The letter was submitted on September 7th, 2016 and his resignation takes effect […]

Another government minister resigns?
The government is reportedly faced with the dilemma of another Cabinet minister resigning from office in a span of two months. According to unconfirmed reports, Minister of Natural Resources/Attorney General Vanessa Retreage has tendered her resignation. The comes at an especially unstable time for […]


More Christmas in San Pedro? Ok! The Truck Stop & Belize Chocolate Company
“I don’t know HOW you do Christmas in Belize, I KNOW it wouldn’t feel like the holidays to me!”. It’s a statement that I hear from friends in the states. My response? I don’t need to be freezing cold to feel merry. In fact, watching a boat parade in flip flops, eating lobster on Christmas eve and enjoying all the holiday lights without my car heater blasting feel pretty good to me. Ambergris Caye does Christmas beautifully. PLUS, I don’t have to do a last minute search for a parking space at that JAM PACKED mall because I accidentally bought nephew Stewie 4 gifts and nephew Louie only 2. Warm weather + lots of non-stressful Christmas cheer = my perfect Christmas. Here are two more spots in town making the holidays more beautiful. Belize Chocolate Company…stop by in the air con and have a hot chocolate if you are DYING for that cold weather feel. The Truck Stop did an AMAZING job…and continues to do one…celebrating the holidays. The tree lit, everyone went to have icy cocktails and ice cream. It is Christmas in Belize after all.

How to Survive Surgery Like A BOSS!
by MADISON PEARL. This blog post is SUPER late cause it took me a while to catch up with school after surgery. I’m so glad to be sharing my stories with you all again! Here are five things you have to do to survive surgery if you ever need it. Madi and her surgeonI’m pretty sure you don’t want just any old doctor cutting into your belly. I am lucky enough that my Tati, aka grandfather, is the most amazing gastroenterologist alive today. Mom told me the story of how he decided to become one when he got really sick, but that’s another blog post cause it’s a really long story. My paediatrician, Dr. Wendy Rios, is a Boss and thanks to her I’m not even scared of needles most of the time. She’s like the kid whisperer! Dr. Ellington got to handle the needles this time cause he’s an anaesthesiologist. Lots of big words in hospitals. My surgeon, Dr. Gutierrez, has done the same surgery he did on me, on his wife! Honestly, having people you trust makes it so much easier and I can’t think of a better team of doctors and nurses than the ones at the Belize Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Center. They rock!

This is Belize: Walk a mile or two in their shoes
Moppit and I were sitting in the golf cart near Izzy’s smoothie shop at the north end of Middle Street yesterday afternoon. We were talking about life, love, this, that and the price of bread. For a dog, she’s a very quick study. As I droned on, Moppit gave me the occasional nod and tolerant expressions before returning to her own business of observing golf cart traffic. I have no idea where she picked up such habits so quickly. Rose had popped into Barbara Brown’s boutique & coffee shop for some flowers, a corsage for Moppit to wear to Sandy Rigby’s memorial service at Caribbean Villas. Sandy and Moppit had been inseparable companions for nearly three years, until she passed away in late November. Rose and I were offered Moppit on a trial basis and I can say that I’m pretty sure she has decided to keep us. A whole week now and we haven’t bungled the dog-human dynamic too badly. Moppit has even trained Rose to make dog food from scratch (heavy on the turmeric and turkey).

International Sourcesizz

CCJ rules against regulator in Belize telecommunications dispute
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) last week delivered its judgment in the case of Speednet Communications Limited v Public Utilities Commission. The CCJ, the highest appellate court in Belize, reversed the Court of Appeal and found that Speednet Communications Limited proved its case. The Public Utilities Commission is the regulator for the telecommunications industry in Belize, while Speednet Communications is a private telecommunications services provider in that nation. The Court ordered the Public Utilities Commission to refund Speednet Communications the sum of BZ$792,000 (US$394,000), less the lawful licence fee of BZ$1,400. The dispute between the parties arose out of a difference in interpretation of the relevant regulations, which set out the licence fees of BZ$100 per ‘channel’. According to the Public Utilities Commission, the term ‘channel’ referred to ‘voice’ channel, while Speednet Communications argued that it meant ‘radio frequency’ channel, which would mean that BZ$1,400 would be the total appropriate fee.


  • Betty's Beauty Salon Chrismas Special Promotion, 1min. Now offering $60 on Nails. Come for your Beauty treatments at Betty's Beauty Salon in DFC area, San Pedro Ambergris Caye.

  • Mary Did You Know, rendition by Chanelle Parks, Allegro School of Music Choir, Pannerifix Steel Band & Los Hijos del West, 4min.

  • Sharks and stingrays,Caye Caulker,Belize 2016, 1.5min. You gotta Belize it !

  • Alex & Anastasia Loskutov. Diving Belize 2016, 18min. Ambergris Caye Island; Coral reefs; Sharks; Great Blue Hole; Guatemala cave tubing.

  • My Journey Through Central America. Belize | HD, 2.5min.


  • I know we've posted baby barn owl noises before but it really never gets old!, .5min.

  • UNICEF Belize - Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) Findings, 37min.

  • Primary & Secondary Arts Skils Training Project (PSAST) Electronic Art Book, 22min.

  • Christmas Feature - Mirab's Toy Land, 31min.

  • Love FM Christmas Parade brings cheer to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, 4min. Here's your chance to see the Love FM Christmas Parade in San Pedro, if you missed it live on Sunday night.

  • Beer Diaries in Belize - Aurelio Martinez and The Garifuna, 36min. The Beer Diaries did an episode about Belize, and Aurelio Martinez is in a lot of it. Well worth a watch for the stories from Aurelio. "In this episode, host Mike Mann and his team explore Garifuna culture and how its people came to the Belize region. Unexpected weather pushes the team indoors where they meet famed musician, Aurelio Martinez, who joins the team on their road trip down the Hummingbird Highway. During this time, Mike and his team experience a full immersion of Aurelio’s music, stories and passionate views. By the end, an unanticipated Aurelio Martinez concert happens, coupled with witnessing the songwriting talents of Martinez, while recording a new album when his back is to the wall."

  • Belize - Caribbean Reef Shark, 1/2min. Nice visit by a Caribbean Reef Shark in the distance.....

  • travel to Belize, 13min.

  • Hellfighters in sanpdro city Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Jungle Zip Lining Jaguar Paw - GoPro Hero 5 Black, 2min.

  • An important message about Nassau groupers and spawning sites in Belize, 1min.

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