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Today's Belize News: December 15, 2016 #519800
12/15/16 12:38 AM
12/15/16 12:38 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,802
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

BSI prepares for EU reform on sugar market
The Belize Sugar Industry (BSI) is bracing for direct competition in 2017 following the recent European Union’s (EU) reform on world sugar prices. In view of the introduction of beet sugar in Europe, Belize will no longer enjoy the preferential rates on sugar it has experienced in the past, thus, a reduction in prices of the sweet crystals appears inevitable. As such, BSI is preparing to try new markets and strategizing on how to continue selling Belizean sugar at a sustainable or better rate. Under the EU, Belize is considered a market with limited alternatives and high production cost. Changes in world prices and the pressure to compete with other sugar producers can have a heavy impact on BSI and the economy of Belize. Over the past years, Belize has become very dependent on sugar exports and reforms such as this can result in a deep dent on the sugar industry’s future. Even though a prime catastrophic effect of this change includes an increase of 3% in poverty, American Sugar Refining Belize Sugar Industries (ASR), which runs the Tower Hill Sugar Factory in Orange Walk District, is very optimistic of what the future has in store for the industry.

SPTC and Projects Abroad team up for shoe giveaway
San Pedro Town Council’s Sports Coordinator Kent Bob Gabourel teamed up with Regina Munji of Projects Abroad to coordinate a shoe drive for the island. On Saturday, December 10th, flip flops, tennis shoes, and sandals were distributed to children in need at the Central Park. Before the shoes were distributed, Gabourel and Projects Abroad contacted each primary school in San Pedro Town, and asked teachers to recommend students who were in need. These students were then given a slip and they gathered at the park at 1:30PM to receive a new pair of shoes. With the help of Project Abroad volunteers, Gabourel and his team distributed 180 out of 200 pairs of shoes to the island children. According to Gabourel, the idea to provide new footwear was sparked after a trip to Belize City. “Our inspiration came from the kids that walk around barefoot. When Regina and I went to Belize City for a track meet, we were at the field, and we saw the kids walking barefoot in the hot sun, burning their feet. When we saw that, we decided to do a shoe drive on the island. San Pedro is my home, and nothing is more satisfying to see happy kids receive new stuff,” said Gabourel.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks win NEBL pre-season game against OW Running Rebels
Two-time champions of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, have begun the fourth NEBL season on the right foot by defeating the Orange Walk Running Rebels. At the pre-season game held on Saturday, December 10th at the Orange Walk Sporting Complex, the Tiger Sharks came out with a 61-53 victory over the host team. All basketball fans are encouraged to come out to support their favourite teams and players. The League is anticipating an excellent season for basketball. The first game of the season will take in Belize City between the current champions Belize Hurricanes against Belize City No Limit.

Bahia Fest 2016 features Belize’s own Pablo Garcia
To celebrate “Mujer Mujer” Magazines 10th anniversary, “Bahia Fest 2016” fashion weekend featured the work of a group of well-known designers on Saturday, December 3rd and Sunday, December 4th. This festive event took place at the Bellavista Hall in the capital of Quintana Roo, Mexico, and drew designers and international models from Chetumal, Merida, Campeche, Turkey, El Salvador, Mexico City, and Belize. San Pedrano Photographer Pablo Garcia represented Belize, modeling in the fashion show. Models showcased garments from the following highlighted brands: “La Maria”, “Medrano & Amaro” and “Enrique Polanco”. The event also featured musical entertainment from Saxophonist Edgar Ramírez. To cap off the night of glamour and design, the first lady of the Municipality Gabriela Rejón de Joaquín, gave recognition to the fashion and image designers, and models for their participation.

National Committee for Families and Children responds to baby Janeeka’s death
Janeeka Campbell, a 23-month old toddler from Belize City, made headline news on Tuesday, December 6th when her lifeless body was found with signs of bruises. Police reports indicated that she was taken to Saint Matthews Village on the George Price Highway to visit with her father that day. However, the puzzling reports suggested that she either died from an accidental fall or she was a victim of child abuse/neglect. Campbell’s death has prompted much reaction throughout the country, especially from the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC). Campbell’s post-mortem was conducted on Thursday, December 8th, and the results were ‘inconclusive’. The pathologist classified her death as “Traumatic asphyxiation multifocal subarachnoid” hemorrhage due to head and chest trauma”, and stated that she did not die of natural causes. The NCFC issued a press release in regards to her death of Thursday, December 8th, stating that the death of any child is regrettable and that it is of grave concern. “We join the nation in mourning the tragic loss of another innocent Belizean child…media reports about the questionable circumstances surrounding the tragic death of baby Janeeka Campbell leaves the NCFC with grave concerns and a number of questions.”

Ambergris Today

Belize Signs Clean Energy with Santander Sugar Bagasse
S.S. Energy Ltd. (SSEL), a subsidiary of The Santander Sugar Group announced on December 13, 2016, that its Board of Directors under the Chairmanship and Executive Directorship of Jose Gonzalez Rodriguez signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Belize Electricity Limited to provide clean energy to the electrical grid of Belize. The transaction marks the latest milestone in accelerated efforts by SSEL and will result in bringing home grown generated electricity to Belizean households. The completion of this definitive agreement is to provide 16 MWh of electricity by utilizing bagasse, the bi-product of sugar cane, as a renewable power generation source. The energy produced by the bagasse at The Santander Sugar Mill will be used as a primary fuel source and when burned in quantity, will produce sufficient heat energy to supply to the local consumer electricity grid. This will not only give Belize a reliable, local, energy source it will improve overall conditions by reducing the country’s dependency on imports from abroad.

Belize’s Chaa Creek National Geographic World Legacy Awards Finalist
National Geographic’s announcement of the finalists for the 2017 World Legacy Awards contained some very good news for Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek and the local communities it supports while highlighting the value of sustainable tourism and responsible travel, the Belizean eco-resort’s owners said. The World Legacy Awards (WLA) is a collaboration between the National Geographic and ITB Berlin that seeks to honor companies, organizations, and destinations that drive positive transformation of the tourism industry. With categories like “Earth Changers”, “Sense of Place”, and “Destination Leadership”, the WLA’s aim to spotlight the best of the forward-thinking best.

Belize is now a Signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
The Government of Belize today became the 184th country to sign on to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The Acting Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Patrick Faber, in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator Christian Salazar Volkmann, officials from the Government of Belize and members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the treaty making Belize a signatory of the UNCAC. The announcement that Belize would be signing on to the UNCAC came in October this year and in November Cabinet agreed to move straight to accession. The Senate held a special sitting on 30th November to approve the motion authorizing accession to the UNCAC. The signing signals the start of the development of the framework for the upcoming work plan of the Government of Belize under the Convention.

40 Years of Amazing Flavors on Ambergris Caye, Elvi's Kitchen Celebrates
The family of Elvi’s Kitchen celebrated the restaurant’s 40th Anniversary the best way it knows how to, with lots of love and exquisite food. The intimate gathering with family and friends was highlighted with amazing dishes that ranged from old favorites to new and exciting appetizers and a surf and turf Lobster & Steak combo that cannot be beat. Needless to say, Elvi’s Kitchen is synonymous to amazing food and great service. Throughout its four decades of operation, the restaurant has managed to stay on top of the game receiving international recognition for its outstanding cuisine. It is the food that has kept on evolving in taste and presentation that keeps people coming back to Elvi’s Kitchen. People re-visit the restaurant to find out that their favorite dishes are still on the menu and some have been transformed into something even more delicious, but still preserving the essence of a traditional Belizean meal.

Prime Minister Announces Changes in Cabinet
At a press briefing held on December 13, 2016 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.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Government of Belize Receives Prince Michael International Road Safety Award
The Government of Belize, on December 13, 2016, received the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award. Accepting the award on behalf of the Government and People of Belize are the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, Ms. Yvonne Sharman Hyde and the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Mr. Errol Gentle, based on their leadership role to move road safety to a higher integrated level in the region. This award was presented in The Lancaster Suite, Savoy, The Strand, London. The Government of Belize, for many years, has been assessing the road network in the country as the ranking of death within the Ministry of Health system being the fourth cause of death in Belize. In 2012 the Belize Road Safety Project was implemented and in 2013, with a multifaceted approach intervention, the project results have successfully demonstrated the benefits of all road safety partners working collaboratively on a high-collision corridor. Using Safe System interventions many lives have been saved on this 50 mile stretch of highway. Prior to the interventions, the demonstration corridor accounted for almost 50% of all road traffic deaths in the country of Belize. At the end of December 2015 less than 10% of road deaths have occurred on this corridor.

Wildtracks Update: Happy World Monkey Day!
To celebrate, we would like to share Kamal's progress with you. Kamal (shortened to Kam), an endangered Geoffroy's spider monkey, arrived in January 2016 - the most emaciated and sickly intake that Wildtracks has encountered. He was only ten months old when he was confiscated by the Belize Forest Department - skin and bones, and missing most of his hair from malnutrition and scabies. Far too young to be away from his mother, he was on his own, attached to a wire in someone's yard. Kam took time to put on weight. For the first months after arrival he was still skin and bones, terrified of sudden movements, and completely reliant on his carers. With the introduction of a diet of high nutrient milk formula, fruit and leaves, he gradually started putting on weight. Kam is now healthy and happily integrated with Cas, another young spider monkey. Kam and Cas have now moved out of the Nursery Unit and into one of the Forest Enclosures. They have begun their integration with Chippa and Izzie, two of the younger female spider monkeys in the Spider Monkey Complex, with the hope that they will become a unit of four.

Bruk Dong Bram at CWC
The SISE HoC's last Full Moon concert for 2016 will be Mr. Peetaz Bruk Dong Bram. It happens tonight at the Cayo Welcome Center, and it starts at 7:00pm. "HAPPENING THIS THURSDAY, DEC.15TH, CAYO WELCOME CENTER, 7 PM! Mr Peetaz Bruck Dong Bram!"

Belize represented at Miami TIA 2016!
Belize Tourism Board

Primary Schools Arts Skills Training project
The Embassy is honored to be part of and support the Primary Schools Arts Skills Training project. So inspiring to see many young talented artists! Kudos to all participants of this great initiative!

Professional Development for NICH
The Institute of Archaeology would like to congratulate the third round of site staff participants for completing a workshop aiming at professional development in the areas of first aid, customer service, and knowledge of Belizean prehistory.

Garinagu organization and political growth in Belize - Part 2
National policy directly targeting Garinagu, for the most part was associated with their settlement/land status and development in their regions. It could be that the reason why the British crown was hesitant in granting land rights to the Maya and Garifuna people was due to the British having problems getting the Spanish crown to give them rights over Belize, the reluctance of Britain to grant colony status to Belize, the Creoles were still slaves in Belize, they wanted no intermingling between the Creoles and the Garifuna people and Guatemala assumed Spain’s claim to Belize when it acquired its independence. All the residents of Belize began to apply pressure on the British crown to grant colony status to Belize and, in 1862, the British crown reluctantly granted them their wish. The government legislation regarding territorial rights was combined with the indigenous Maya. In official documents the land ordinances were designated to the Maya and Carib, in which “Carib” was the previous title name used to identify the Garinagu.

According to Hungarian news agency MTI and news site, Mária Dobrai, the head of defunct travel agency Kun-Mediátor, which also operated illegally as an investment bank, has been arrested in Belize, on charges of large-scale embezzlement. Hungarian police returned “Maricska” to Budapest aboard a Lufthansa plane. Dobrai fled Hungary following an investigation into Kun-Mediátor’s dealings that had begun in April of 2015. At that time, authorities were alerted to irregularities following an incident in which angry clients cued up in front of the supposed travel agency’s office in the eastern Hungarian town of Karcag, demanding the return of their deposits, on which the firm had promised huge returns. At the time, István Dobrossy, lawyer of the furious Kund-Mediátor clients, claimed that the losses caused by the travel agency were between 5 and 20 billion (roughly €15million to €63million).

Motorcycle presented to the San Pedro Fire Department
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council and the people of San Pedro, presented a motorcycle to the San Pedro Fire Department. On site to receive the donation was Officer in Charge, Mr. Newton Lennan. OIC Lennan was excited for his department as this will be very handy for their daily use.

"Meet & Greet" session with the residents
ATM: Eastern Police Division South Officers are presently in your Port Loyola/Jane Usher Blvd/Freedom Street community, doing our weekly Wednesday's "Meet & Greet" session with the residents. I must say, the residents are very receptive, positive minded & in the Christmas vibes!!!!!

TAIWAN Offers 4-Year Medicine Study Full Scholarship for Belizean Students
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce the release of the I-Shou University School of Medicine for International Students Scholarship Program, offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), in order to cultivate international medical talents and address the issue of insufficient medical resources. This is a four-year Full Scholarship MD Program for bachelor degree and applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree to apply. All courses offered by this Program are taught in English.

PACT Awards $2.2 Million for Chiquibul Forest Investment
The Chiquibul Forest is one of the largest protected areas. The plant diversity of the Chiquibul is vast, hosting over 300 species of trees, 452 species of herbs, and 109 orchid species. It represents 7.7% of our national territory. Along with the areas surrounding it, it forms a critical habitat for several threatened and endangered species such as jaguars, scarlet macaws and the black howler monkey. This investment represents the largest given to four agencies for a joint venture, in the history of PACT – a gesture of faith in the future of conservation and a gift that will continue to benefit Belizeans for many years to come.

Channel 7

Unidentified Body Found Bound, Dismembered In River
Belize Rural police are tonight trying to determine the identity of the body of a woman which was found in the Belize River this afternoon. Around midday, a female of creole descent believed to be in her 30's was found in the Belize River, three miles down from the Burrell Boom Bridge. The body was clad in a dark blouse, blue jeans pants, and she had a tattoo with the letters M-I-C-H and a rose on her right breast. Notably, she was also missing an arm, and had deep gashes on her torso, which police suspect is the work of a crocodile. But what's even more concerning to police is that her arms appeared to have been tied. What is described as a "string" was found tied around her, suggesting that police that she may have tied and thrown in the river. This is only speculation at this point, but the circumstances are certainly very disturbing, especially considering that there are no missing person's reports matching the identity of this body.

School Managements Say School Resumes on The Third, Not The Ninth!
Last night, we told you how the Ministry of Education is sticking to the decision that schools' Christmas Holiday will be cut by 4 days to make up some of the time lost by the 11-day strike from the teachers. Well, tonight, the General Managers of the Pre and Primary Schools are sticking with the Ministry on this plan to resume classes on January 3, instead of January 9. In a press release sent today, Denise Lamb, the Vice chair of the Belize Association of General Managers of Pre and Primary School stresses that on Wednesday, November 2, the general managers of the Pre and Primary Schools met with senior officials of the Ministry of Education where, quote, "Managers unanimously agreed that 6 school days will be added, January 3rd to the 6th, and April 10th and 11, 2017. The managers' decision to add the six days will assist the schools to comply with the minimum 180 school days requirement. End quote.

Senate Inquiry: The Deep Dig Into Visa Irregularities
Today in Belmopan, the Senate hearings on Immigration irregularities continued with Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and her Chief Auditor, Carla Faber, giving testimony once again. It was the Auditor General's third day on the stand, while the chief Auditor has only had 2 days. But, in that time, the Senators on the Senate Select Committee have been combing through the 3 volumes of her audit. They continued to probe deep into all parts of the visa portion, and late this evening, they finally closed their questioning on visas issued between 2011 and 2013. They're now looking at her report on passports now, and today, our news team was there once again for the hearings Here are a few choice excerpts: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "How would you characterise the level of control if the stock of visas in the immigration department?" Dorothy Bradley - Auditor General: "It was clear to us that you can characterise it as being mismanaged." Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "I was asking about your concerns with respect to the process which led to the issuance of nationality certificates. Auditor General indicated that you had serious concerns about that process and I'm wondering if any specifics could be shared with us."

Cayo's Most Wanted Kills Himself
Melecio Gonzalez was killed in front of his family on Sunday in Yalbac Village. The main suspect was his close friend Maximiliano Williams. Police had been looking for him and even released a wanted poster. But the manhunt ended last night when Williams killed himself. Yesterday evening around 5:00, one of his friends called police and told them that Williams had just left him when he heard a gunshot ring out. When police arrived, they found Williams' body on the side of the Yalbac road with a gunshot wound to the chest and the shot gun by his side. Today San Ignacio police gave us more details via phone. Supt. Richard Rosado - OC, San Ignacio: "Based on information received of a shooting incident in Yalbac Village in the Cayo district, a team of police officers visited the scene where the lifeless body of a dark complexion male person was seen lying face up a few feet from the main road in Yalbac, the body had an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of the chest and a 16 gauge shotgun was seen beside the body of the deceased. The body was later identified as Maximiliano Williams of Yalbac village who was wanted in connection with the murder of Melencio Gonzalez of Yalbac , the scene was processed and statements have been recorded , the body was later transported to the San Ignacio Community Morgue where it awaits a post mortem."

Dangriga Cops Catch Big-H Jacker With Big Gun
The Christmas robbers are out in force. Last night we told you about a bogus checkpoint in Belize Rural set up to rob a Travelers Rum delivery truck. Well, on Monday afternoon in Dangriga Town, robbers jacked a Big H Juice delivery Truck was being robbed. A man with a black handgun held up the driver and took of $1,500 dollars in cash from his pockets. Another man – who also appeared to be carrying a hand gun then swung open the delivery truck door, reached inside and snatched a knapsack with proceeds from the day's sales amounting to $3,000.00 dollars. Both men then sped off on bicycles. But, police were quick to respond, and they detained one of the suspects – a 16 year old - with some of the money.

Rural Cops Foil Ladyville Looters
Ladyville looters came up short after police foiled their operation this morning. Police responded to a burglary in progress in the Lake Gardens area around 10:36 but when they got there, they only found a number of house appliances outside, the thieves had already made their first trip with other items on foot and were going to come back for the others. Now while police didn't catch the culprits, the police prevented them from cleaning out the entire house. Police told us more about how this incident played out. ASP Juanito Cocom - OC, Ladyville Police: "A distress call was made that a burglary was in progress in the Lake Gardens area, that would be the extreme end of the Lake Gardens area, we responded but upon our response the culprits had already left the area, however apparently some of their looting was left in the premises at least we managed to deal with that part , to deter that part , we made runs within the area, it is a very bushy vast area ,muddy as well and we found some paraphernalia the guys used to break into the area. They pried open one of the back doors that had no burglar bars, at this point I can say the owner works somewhere out of the area and she has already been summoned but she has not come in as yet to ascertain what is missing from her residence."

MIT Gets A Sackful Of Weed
Recently we’ve been reporting on some sizeable weed busts in the city – the biggest being 45 pounds found in the Ceasar Ridge Road area one week ago. Well, the Mobile Interdiction Team has been doing its work on the highway. That’s where they got this sackful of marijuana earlier this week. The sack weighed in at 14.5 kilos or 32 pounds.

123 New Belizeans Take The Oath, Learn The Rules
123 new Belizean citizens were sworn in today at the George Price Center in Belmopan. They were welcomed by CEO in the Ministry, Edmund Zuniga – who also gave them a caution:… Edmund Zuniga - Director of Immigration: "Today we are swearing in 123 new Belizeans who come from 25 different countries of origin including Bangladesh, England, Burma, I think this is my first swearing in with somebody from Burma, who is the person from Burma? Good (waves), welcome. Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Philippines of course our neighbours from Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Nigeria and I have some special friends here from Nigeria; I see one over there; Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Salvador, Scotland, Slovakia, Venezuela and of course the great United States of America. The process for you to become Belizeans is even more open to scrutiny by the public at large. We take your applications at the immigration department; they are checked by the officers accepting the applications and further checked by senior officers who then submit them to the director of immigration who conducts her own check. Once she's satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements the names, your names and you can check your names are published in the gazette for 3 weeks so that the members of the public, your neighbours, your friend, and your enemies can have an opportunity to say whether or not they think you should be a Belizean. And let me assure you that we hold these ceremonies in public so that we can publicly welcome you into our Belizean family."

"Rugu" Gets Three Months For four Pounds of Shrimp
Today, forty-two year old Mark Middleton, also known as "Rugu" was sentenced to three months in prison for theft. This morning, Middleton went to Public's Supermarket in Belize City, where he put a four pound bag of shrimp in his knapsack. As Middleton was on his way out a security guard, who had seen the whole thing, stopped him, found the shrimp in his bag and called the police. During his trial, Middleton begged Magistrate Mendoza not to send him to prison because he had a daughter to take care of. The Magistrate reminded him that he was already given a chance after a previous conviction for theft, so he had to be sentenced to prison.

Bodden Cheque Was Bogus, Sylvin Serves Time
Sylvin Bodden also appeared in court today. In 2009, Bodden cashed a NICH Belize Bank cheque by purchasing a wristwatch and a pair of sunglasses. The cheque was later found to be bogus. Bodden pled guilty to the charge, and after hearing a plea for mitigation by his attorney, Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced him to 2 years in prison. The sentence is to take effect on October 25, 2016 and run concurrently with the remainder of a 2 1/2 year burglary sentence from 2014.

DOE Considers Environmental Regs
Today the Ministry of the Environment held a workshop to discuss a proposal about sustainable development and conservation. A draft was distributed earlier this year, and stakeholders gathered to give their feedback and concerns about the legislature. The DOE and a Spanish firm designed the proposal which makes recommendations on strengthening Belize's environmental regulations. Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria told us more… Martin Alegria - Department of Environment: "This is a one day workshop to agree, valid on recommendations being done by consultant out of Spain who started reviewing the environmental screening process in Belize. Basically people know it here as the EIA process. In order to look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities out there in terms of modernising such a procedure in Belize and coming up with the best scenarios, best solutions in order to have environmental management or protection while having sustainable development in Belize. So we started it sometime ago, presented a draft in mid-year, we distributed to all the stakeholders in there today and we advance a little more in depth on some of the issues that were raised and today he is presenting. The company's name is Limia and Martin; they're presenting the major recommendations from various thematic areas, legal, procedural etc. They are going through each and every line item there to see what the feelings or the positions are of all the stakeholders both from private sector, civil society and our government colleagues."

Lavern Longsworth's Long Walk to Freedom
2 and half years ago, Lavern Longsworth, better known as "Antichrist", went from serving life in prison for murder to a reduced sentence. Fuelled by a human rights project, her attorneys convinced the Court of Appeal that her conviction was excessive. In 2014, they said she was supposed to serve four and a half more years in jail, but Longsworth got paroled and she has been free since last Wednesday. It's a huge reversal from July of 2010 when she set her common-law husband David White on fire and he later died from those injuries. She was convicted of murder in November of 2012, but her attorneys appealed in 2014, arguing that she should be afforded a defence of diminished responsibility, given that she suffered from battered women's syndrome after years physical abuse at the hands of the late David White. The judges agreed and reduced conviction for murder to a conviction for manslaughter. They substituted a sentence of life for 8 years with consideration for the amount of time she already spent in jail.

Mastering The Art of Art Education
Over 200 students completed the 2 year Primary and Secondary Art Skills Training Project. The project was launched in July 2014 and since then, these kids have pretty much learned all they can learn about art at this stage. Today marks that end of the 2 year artistic journey and a ceremony was held at the Bliss to celebrate this accomplishment and also to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Youth Development Officer from the Institute of Creative Arts Kim Vasquez discussed the objective and the vision for this project. Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer, NICH: "This has been a very exciting and momentous project, this you see here is the primary schools art skills training pilot project and so today is the culmination of a 2 year pilot project funded by the Republic of China Taiwan and implemented through the Institute of Creative Arts. Ms. Fiona the art instructor, she has done a splendid job, over the past few years we have had children from various primary schools in the city, they have competed in international and local art contests and they have won gold and numerous prizes and have also had several art exhibits over the course of the project as well."

Big Money For Rural Cops
Yesterday Belize City and Dangriga cops got their officer of the month award. Well, 25 officers from Eastern Division Rural will be getting theirs soon, in cash. $12,500 was donated to the formation and Assistant Superintendent Edward Broaster told us that the money is for those cops who excelled in their professional development program. Broaster says it is always important to uphold and recognize a good work ethic. ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "Earlier in the year we spoke to you about the professional development that we had planned for rural eastern division as it pertains to our professional development. We have received a very generous donation from Kerny, a director of a large corporate services business in Belize licensed and regulated by the IFSC in Belmopan under the Ministry of Finance. During our long discussions and consultations on the prevention of money laundering we had discussed how integrity and honesty are key characteristics in our mutual industries meaning the private sector and the police department."

A Road Safety Award For Belize
Today the Government of Belize received the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award. The award was granted based on the government's efforts to increase road safety in the country, particularly in the high-collision corridor on the Western highway. Before the CDB funded road safety project, that stretch of road was responsible for 50% of all road traffic deaths in Belize. After the project, it has only accounted for 10% of road deaths as of December 2015. CEOs of the Ministries of Economic Development and Works Yvonne Sharman and Errol Gentle received the award on behalf of the government.

Re: Today's Belize News: December 15, 2016 [Re: Marty] #519801
12/15/16 12:38 AM
12/15/16 12:38 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,802
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

Was Dead Woman Found in Belize River a Murder Victim?
Ladyville Police are investigating the ghastly discovery of a badly decomposed body found floating along the Belize River earlier today.  The body of an unidentified woman was retrieved from the [...]

D.P.P. to Decide on Charges in Baby Janeeka Death
Today, the family of Janeeka Campbell said their final goodbyes to the two year old child as she was laid to rest at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City, [...]

Accused in Cayo Murder Found Shot Dead; Suicide or Foul Play?
Did a man who was on the run in connection with a murder take his own life? On Tuesday, Maximiliano Williams was found dead with an apparent gunshot wound to [...]

Police Catch Burglars Removing Loot from Lake Gardens Home
A residence in the Lake Gardens community in Ladyville was burglarized by thieves this morning.  Sometime around ten-thirty, Ladyville police were summoned to an isolated area where they discovered that [...]

Senate Committee Chairman Disagrees with Interpretation of Ministers’ Intervention
The Senate Special Committee on Immigration hosted its third meeting in Belmopan today. It continued its questioning of Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, and Supervisor of Audit Carla Faber, on various [...]

Senate Committee Hearings Resume with Discussion of Visa Process
Inside the Senate Committee meeting, much of the discussion in the morning session was taken up with going over the requirements to issue visas, which the Department seemed to treat [...]

What Happened to Manuel Heredia’s 52 Visa Stickers?
The auditors noted in the course of their report that twenty-five thousand defective visas bought from Three-M Company in the U.S. were replaced at a cost of more than fifty [...]

School General Managers Will Cut Short Christmas Break
The Belize Association of General Managers of Pre and Primary Schools says that classes will resume on January third, 2017, contrary to what the Belize National Teachers Union stated on [...]

No International Expert for Lucas Beheading Case
When the teachers went on an eleven-day strike in October, they had put together a list of eight demands, called the good governance agenda. One of the demands was the [...]

Is Senate Special Select Committee Moving Too Slowly? Chairman Says No
Now back to the senate…Three meetings of the Committee are now complete and some are wondering why the Committee is taking its time and moving so cautiously in relation to [...]

Will a Minister Sit Before Senate Committee in 2017?
Despite initial cynical comments, some from those inside the process, that the Committee’s inquiry will amount to naught, the Committee is expected to produce a report on the testimony of [...]

A.G. Reports Progress in Land Compensation Scam
Outgoing Minister of Lands Vanessa Retreage clears her desk on December thirty-first, not before completing a list of tasks which include apprising the media on the controversial Ron J Limited [...]

Carmelita Land Grab is Wrong, Says P.M.; Should It Be Investigated?
As far as investigation into the questionable transactions involving land acquired by the Vega family in Carmelita, PM Barrow says that if the facts are indeed accurate, as presented by [...]

P.U.P. Decries Reasons for A.G. Departure, Cabinet Reshuffle
The Opposition People’s United Party has accused the government of completely losing control of the Ministry of Natural Resources, and calls for an immediate independent audit of the powerful Ministry. [...]

Sedi Still Working on Sarstoon Protocol as Guatemalans Thaw
The Sarstoon Protocol continues to hang in the air. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington says there’s been some incremental gains in dialogue, but he wouldn’t share much more on where those [...]

New Supreme Court Commissioners Sworn In
There is a small list of persons countrywide who are Commissioners of the Supreme Court. But today, following a rigorous selection process including background checks and a test, over a [...]

Primary School Art Skills Training Program to Go Big in Schools
Over the past two years we have been sharing with you the creative talents of primary school students through the Primary School Art Skills Training project. It started with teaching [...]

Reviewing the Role of the Environmental Clearance Process
How sustainable and environmentally sound is the process of developing tourism and industry projects, such as offshore drilling? Well, an initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, [...]

New Legislation Will Classify Projects According to Size
But to mitigate negative impacts is to identify alternative actions or technologies. According to Martin, one of his main recommendations is for the strengthening of the current legislation, making it [...]

Wagner’s Lane Centenarian Marks 103rd Birthday
The average life expectancy for a female in Belize is around seventy-three according to the 2015 World Health Organization stats. There are several people who have defied those numbers and [...]


Third and Final Senate Inquiry for 2016
The Senate Special Select Committee convened once more in the chamber of the National Assembly Building in Belmopan, Cayo District to continue to question the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley as it relates to the Auditor General’s report on visas as well as other findings in the Immigration and Nationality Departments for period 2011-2013. Bradley who […]

Guatemala and UK to Discuss Free Trade Agreement
UK’s Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who is from the British Conservative Party was recently on a working visit to Guatemala where she met with the republic’s Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales. Baroness Joyce Anelay was part of a joint press conference on Monday, December 14, where she spoke of the […]

PUP Says Barrow Has Lost Control of His Government
The People’s United Party has issued a press release in response to the changes announced yesterday by Prime Minister Dean Barrow stating that the Prime Minister has lost control of his Government. The release reads, quote, “The People’s United Party is utterly shocked at the bizarre explanation of the departure of Attorney-General and Minister of […]

Body of Unidentified Woman Found and Buried in Rural Belize
An unidentified woman believed to be in her thirties was laid to rest in Lord’s Bank Village, Belize District this afternoon. The woman’s decomposed body was found early this afternoon three miles from the Burrell Boom Bridge down the Belize River. Her hands were tied behind her back and she was wearing a dark blue […]

Cop’s Accidental Shooting of Step-Daughter
On Monday, a police constable attached to the San Ignacio Tourism Police Unit accidently shot his step daughter. San Ignacio Commanding Officer, Superintendent Richard Rosado, told us what went wrong. RICHARD ROSADO “On Monday December 12 at about 5:27pm information was received of a shooting incident in Santa Elena town involving a police officer and […]

DPP to Determine Way Forward in Justice for Baby Janeeka Campbell
Baby Janeeka Campbell was laid to rest today after she passed away last week. Belmopan Police suspect some sort of foul play since bruises were observed on her fragile body. A post mortem was conducted but the results did not make the matter any clearer. Belmopan’s Commanding Officer, Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett, gave us an […]

Person of Interest in Weekend Murder, Found Dead
Just before five o’clock yesterday evening police in San Ignacio responded to a shooting incident in Yalbac Village, Cayo District where a man was found with a gunshot wound to the chest. Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Station, Superintendent Richard Rosado gave the details. RICHARD ROSADO ” At the scene, Police found a 16-gauge shotgun […]

Police Thwarts Burglars in Lake Garden
Police in Ladyville, belize District responded to a report of a burglary in the Lake Gardens area just across from the Lord’s Bank area. The call came in just after eleven thirty this morning. Commanding Officer for the Ladyville Police Station, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Juanito Cocom briefed the media on the incident along with […]

Contradictions in the Sugar Industry
In one of our news segments last week we brought an interview with Agriculture Minister, Godwin Hulse who had just completed a meeting with the sugarcane farmers and stakeholders in Orange Walk. In that interview Minister Hulse expressed optimism in the way forward. Today, however, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno posted on his […]

Three Years for Four Pounds of Shrimp
Forty-two year old Mark Middleton, aka “Rugu”, charged with the theft of 4 pounds of Shrimp from Public’s Supermarket, was sentenced to 3 months today by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza after he pled guilty to the charge. Middleton begged Magistrate Mendoza not to send him to prison because he has a daughter to take care of, […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

DigiCell 4GLTE to be launched on Friday
Belize Telemedia Ltd. will be launching its new DigiCell 4G LTE network on Friday with an event to be held at the BTL Park in Belize City. The event will feature BTL booths selling 4G LTE-ready devices at “super-low” prices, according to the company. […]

MOE intent to take a week from Christmas holiday
A leaked memo issued to Primary School General Managers from the Ministry of Education says school are to re-open on January 3, 2017 despite the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) having informed its membership to return to schools on the 9. On Monday the […]

PUP says Retreage got death threats
“We find that explanation ludicrous and deceitful on the part of Mr. Barrow and Senator Retreage,” the Opposition PUP said in a statement following Minister Vanessa Retreage’s resignation from Cabinet. In a press conference yesterday, PM Barrow indicated that Retreage had not resigned from […]

BAFFU launches printed magazine
On Monday, the public presentation of the BAFFU printed magazine was held at the Image Factory Art Foundation in Belize City. BAFFU is an independent magazine published by the Image Factory Art Foundation. Since June 2014 a small team of five art activists have […]

No new police barracks for Caye Caulker yet!
In January of this year, BBN highlighted the deplorable conditions of the police barracks in Caye Caulker. The residents were requesting that something be done about the conditions of the barracks as it is not livable for officers. Now 11 months later, the conditions remain […]

PM announces changes in Cabinet
At a press briefing held yesterday in Belmopan, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced upcoming changes in his Cabinet. The Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources Senator Vanessa Retreage has come to the end of her one year contract with government and will be […]

Despite new bus fares overcrowding of buses continue
Despite the implementation of new bus fares, commuters in the west continue to be plagued by the overcrowding of buses, use of below standard buses and generally poor service, particularly during peak hours on the runs between San Ignacio and Belmopan. On Saturday, there […]


A Funny Chipped Tooth Parade Story
Last Sunday marked the annual Love FM Christmas Parade. As always it was packed, lots of fun and there was much behind the scenes chaos. If you want to walk a parade in San Pedro this is a good one to do because it is night time and generally a bit cooler. This year I opted to do the fitness version and accept my trainers Sara and Greg’s invitation to join them in spot number 11. Carole and Rob who workout with them as well, also decided to join the fun. On behalf of Have Fun Stay Fit (HFSF) we were candy elves for the night. Our mission? Not to use our muscle and throw candy and take out the crowd. The Saints were behind us so we got a great live show the whole night as you can see a glimps of in the featured image above. While the Saints were doing flips Carole and I were doing squats, lunges, standing Frankensteins and much to my dismay jumping jacks. The Ambergris Caye Rotary was ahead of us; they were also handing out treats and ended up pusshin a cart near the end of the parade route.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve Festivities in Belize
December on through the ringing in of the New Year is a wonderful time to visit Belize. With plenty of warm weather, gorgeous sunshine, and lots of activities to enjoy, it’s no wonder that more and more visitors are discovering the natural beauty of Belize. December and all of the holidays are also a great time to experience local color in Belize. Visitors can witness parades through all of the major cities where Santa and his merry band of elves distribute goodies to the crowds and marvel at the local tradition of boat “parades” where flotillas of gaily-decorated vessels line up and sail past sites like Ambergris Caye and the Placencia Peninsula. Locals and visitors alike can revel in both Spanish and English-language caroling or simply enjoy the festive lights that adorn most cities and towns. In areas of the country like Dangriga where there is a strong Garifuna community, the Christmas season is a time for traditional Joncunu dances where participants don painted masks to imitate Europeans and dance to the rhythms of traditional Garifuna drums. Other local traditions include The Grand Ball where participants perform traditional ballroom dances, horse racing in the village of Burrell Boom, and Las Posadas, a Catholic ritual where the statues of Mary and Joseph are paraded through the street in a recreation of the Biblical search for room at the inn. In Maya communities like Punta Gorda in Belize’s Toledo District, groups of dancers don animal costumes to perform the traditional Deer Dance.

“Make Someone Happy” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
My friend John East writes one of my favorite blogs about life in San Pedro. This one is a well-deserved plug for an old friend who has opened up a deli in South Ambergris Caye. I’m not going to try to fool you. I’m sure that I could if I really wanted to. But I don’t. Want to fool you, that is. So I’m laying out upfront that I’ve written this edition to try and help a friend. Yes, this is an unadulterated plug to promote the new business that he opened just one week ago today.

International Sourcesizz

World's Largest Wave Was 62.3-Foot Surge in Atlantic: Scientists
The largest wave ever recorded was a six-story monster in the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists have revealed. A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert committee found data from a buoy between Iceland and the U.K. Scientists attributed the 62.3-foot surge to a "very strong cold front, which produced winds of up to 43.8 knots [50.4 miles per hour] over the area" on Feb. 4, 2013. The previous record of 59.96 feet was measured on December 8, 2007, also in the North Atlantic. The WMO Commission for Climatology's Extremes Evaluation Committee classified it as "the highest significant wave height as measured by a buoy."

British Honduras papers
The Royal Commonwealth Society Library has just published an on-line catalogue for one of its earliest and most fascinating manuscript collections, the archives of the distinguished colonial administrator Sir George Arthur (1784-1854). These papers relate to his tenure as Superintendent and Commandant of British Honduras during 1814-1822. Now known by its modern name of Belize, British settlement in the area began during the eighteenth century when timber-cutters illegally established themselves in Spanish territory along the Bay of Honduras. They exported logwood, whose dyes were essential to the European textile industries. When Arthur arrived, British Honduras was a small, remote frontier settlement populated by about thirty European families, a few companies of the West India Regiment, nearly 1,000 free people of mixed race and African origin, and almost 3,000 African and native American slaves, mainly employed in woodcutting.

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.

10 inexpensive places to get away from it all
Looking for some inexpensive places to take someone for the holidays – or a out-of-the-ordinary trip to give as a gift? Here are 10 places that won’t break your bank. 5. Ambergris Caye/Caye Caulker, Belize: If you’re willing to go downscale a bit, Belize might be the place for you. These long, thin islands, just off the coast of Belize City, have little or no pavement. Golf carts are your taxis, and there are no huge chain hotels. The four-star and up hotels can get pricey, but three stars can be had cheaply. Bring your dive and snorkel gear, and enjoy.

New 'safe seafood' laws' regional export rules being readied
The fisheries industry on Wednesday moved one step closer to making the Caribbean fish and seafood trade safer and more profitable when experts met 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 US$315 million 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.

CDB approves US$10 million to support Belize poverty reduction agency
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will assist the government of Belize in strengthening an institution that is a key partner and important vehicle for providing services to poor and vulnerable communities in that country. CDB’s board of directors last Thursday approved a loan of US$10 million to Belize. It will be used to expand the services of the Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF). BSIF, which was established in 1996, is responsible for promoting, appraising, financing and supervising the implementation of small and medium-sized sub-projects designed to benefit underserved communities. “CDB is pleased to support BSIF in scaling up its very important work, which increases access to basic social infrastructure and services to underserved women, men, boys and girls in Belize,” said Daniel Best, director, projects, CDB.


  • Hands up for HIV Prevention Belize, 2min. Commemorating World AIDS Day 2016.

  • Cave Tubing - Belize - Dec 7, 2016, 11min. Cave Tubing in Belize while here with the Carnival Glory. We used Charlie Chan's Cave Tubing for our excursion. They were great guides!

  • MISS UNIVERSE 2016 || MISS BELIZE (Rebecca Rath) INTRODUCTION, 2.5min.

  • WOW so cool...turns out that Belize is Jennifer Lawrence's favorite vacation spot!, 2min. Cover star Jennifer Lawrence on Chris Pratt, her guilty pleasure, and R-rated movies.

  • Image Factory Art Foundation - First Printed Edition of BAFFU, 29min.

  • Police Department on Safety for Christmas Season, 32min.

  • Sounds of Sugar Free Touch Band - Christmas Feature, 24min.

  • Belize 2016, 3min. St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Worth, Texas served those who are mobility challenged in June of 2016. The video is a compilation of the weeks activity which included fitting and distribution of 100 wheel chairs. Praise God for his demonstration of compassion and hope through the gift of mobility!

  • Belize Adventures 2016 - Travel Video, 4min. Join me for a look into my 2016 Placencia, Belize adventure. I spent 9 days in Belize from the end of November and into early December. Visiting the Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun. Scuba diving with sharks, spotted eagle rays, hawksbill sea turtles and lobsters. Eating great food and lounging around the pool. A great trip with some of the family and lots of memories.

  • Mission to Belize -December 2016, 25min. There is still hope for the God-fearing citizens of Belize.

  • GEF Small Grants Programme in Belize, 12min. A brief summary of the successes and history of the GEF Small Grants Programme in Belize.

  • Hurricane Earl - River Flooding in Belize 04.08.2016, 7min.

  • Lirahunu Satuye Dance Club (from Belize) Meets Other Garifuna Artists in Bronx, 16min.

  • Toucan snacking on some Palm nuts in the city, 1min. This is an an unusual city sighting: a keel billed Toucan snacking on some Palm nuts right above a busy city street. We saw this beauty on Newtown Barracks, near Hummingbird Elementary, helping himself to the Palm nuts on Dame Minita’s tree. He didn’t seem bothered by the attention as he hung around on a five foot fence mugging for passers-by who were snapping pictures. The national bird likes brightly coloured fruits, and for the palm nut, he uses his long beak to crack it open.

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