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Today's Belize News: December 31, 2016 #520591
12/31/16 01:17 AM
12/31/16 01:17 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,316
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

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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

PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY
The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum hereby invites the general public to a public consultation on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey that the Government of Belize intends to complete in the deep offshore territorial waters of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum and the Geology and Petroleum Department. The consultation will be held on January 18, 2017 and will be repeated on January 25, 2017. Both sessions will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. Information will be presented on the survey methods, techniques, equipment used, environmental concerns and mitigation measures, the products of the survey and the benefits to the country. The public will have an opportunity to clarify any concerns and to share their views on the survey.

Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message 2017
My Fellow Belizeans, The year 2016 saw more than the usual share of challenges. Cyclical and disease-induced downturns in agriculture, the damage from Hurricane Earl, and the harmful effects of de-risking by international correspondent banks, combined to trigger a mild economic recession. As well, there was the final settlement for the nationalization of BTL. The Arbitration Award was large, though much smaller than the previous owners of the company had demanded. And fully, sixty percent of it was a consequence of the previous Administration’s odious Accommodation Agreement. Still the overall size of the payout resulted in stretching the limits of the public debt. To make up, however, there has been BTL’s breakout performance service wise and revenue wise since nationalization; and there is also its superior future growth trajectory. Together these factors wholly vindicate a Belizean ownership that is now ‘feeling the rush’. In fact, these make the Award a price well worth paying for an asset that is now a source of great pride and profit. Socially, there was the prolonged BNTU strike which kept our children out of their classrooms for eleven days. It additionally had the consequence of draining away confidence from the relationship between Government and a key social partner. Thus, 2016 in many ways tested our resolve.

Ambergris Today

Belizean Bus Driver Steered To Cayman Islands For Life-Saving Surgery
A popular bus driver from Belize is alive and well, thanks to Health City Cayman Islands and Inter Change, a subsidiary of McNab Visual Strategies and the exclusive agent for Health City, Cayman Islands in Belize. Tyron Coleman, who works for James Bus Line, had been experiencing chest pain for a few months. He saw multiple doctors in Belize and underwent a slew of tests, but his heart condition remained undetected. Doctors simply advised him to keep his blood pressure under control. Finally, a cardiologist in Chetumal, Mexico, diagnosed Coleman with coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart. Back in Belize, it was determined that Coleman's condition required high-risk open heart surgery at an alternate location as soon as possible.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize Fishing Report, December 18 – December 24th, 2016
The tarpon fishing was good this week if your name was Brooks! 7 tarpon to the hand in one day – a bunch of others were jumped. They were all in one little area and there were a lot of them! This happens once in a blue moon; but I am happy it happened to him as he wanted a single tarpon with all his angling heart. The Christmas season is here – the lodge is full with lots of families taking advantage of the warm weather and great fishing! Merry Christmas!

Luna Loca's NYE Party
Saturday, December 31 at 9 PM - 2 AM. Bring in 2017 at Luna Loca's NYE Party! * Free Entry * Midnight Pinata with up to $500 in Prizes * Free Champagne toast at midnight * Games and Prizes throughout the night * Music by DJ Tracks & Gracierock * Amazing light show, FX and confetti blasters by Versatile Premier Sounds * Chance to win 2 tickets to Sisimito Sessions | Belize Electronic Music Weekend

Caye Caulker Sports Bar and Village Council NY Eve Fireworks
On the beach between the basketball court and Barrier Reef Sports Bar. Everyone is invited to come out and watch the Fire Works displace to bring in the New Year in front of the Central Park and Sport's Bar. Sponsors include Caye Caulker Village Council and Sports Bar, we take this opportunity to wish you a prosperous New Year 2017!

2017 Birding for Conservation Tour
Do you want a truly remarkable birding experience in Belize and a once in a lifetime experience with a chance to see over 300 species of birds in 11 days!? If so check out this opportunity: The FULL ITINERARY is out for our 2017 Birding for Conservation Tour, August 6-16. An incredible deal for 11 days of birding around Belize at bird diversity hotspots, including Bocawina where a Harpy Eagle was just sighted! Check out the lineup! A good opportunity to see over 300 species of birds in Belize! This is NOT ONLY a bird tour, but a educational enrichment and support of bird research and conservation. There will be talks on the research and conservation efforts of Scarlet Macaws, raptors, and Yellow-headed parrots. ALL proceeds go directly to our conservation and research efforts.

The Nation of Belize Welcomed Simone to her second home

NY Eve celebration at Lions Club
Don't miss the party of the year tonight! Ring in the New Year at the San Pedro Lions Den with live music, dancing and fun fun fun! Party till the sun comes up! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Orca whales in Belize near Ranguana Caye. We are blessed!

Corozal Community College classes resume Jan 3
Announcement from Corozal Community College Campus. Parents, guardians and students: Please be reminded that classes resume on January 3, 2017.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Deepwater Horizon, The Accountant, Trolls, Blair Witch. Closed Saturday night for NYE.

Channel 7

Three Injured In Gang Related Shooting
Last night, we had breaking news about the shooting on Jane Usher Boulevard where 3 men were injured. The victims: 18 year-old Quincy Smith, 50 year-old Winston Bowen, and 32 year-old Robert Garnett, are all lucky to be stable and recovering tonight. They survived a deadly attack in which 2 gunmen fired indiscriminately at them. It happened at a mechanic shop sometime around 5:40 p.m. All three men were working on a vehicle, and that's when they were ambushed by 2 trigger-happy gunmen. Today, the Eastern Division South's commander briefed the press: ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Yesterday evening, sometime around 7 p.m. thereabout, police were called to the area of Jane Usher Boulevard, where information had been received of shots being fired. Upon arrival, the police were briefed that 3 male persons, namely Quincy Smith, who happen to be a messenger right here at Raccoon Street Police Station, one Winston Brown, and Robert Garnett were all at a mechanic shop in the Jane Usher Boulevard area when they were accosted by two gunmen, who opened fire in their direction. When the shots subsided, Quincy Smith sustained a gunshot graze to the back and the thigh. Mr. Brown received gunshot injuries to the hip and Mr. Garnett received injuries to the hip and leg. All 3 men were transported to the KHMH, where Mr. Brown and Mr. Garnett are currently admitted in a stable condition, and Mr. Smith has since been treated and released from the hospital. Police investigation in that matter continues."

Police Say Frank Killed David
Police have charged the man who they believe killed a 19-year-old one week ago. 20-year-old Frank Young was today charged with the murder of David Andrews. Andrews was relaxing with friends last week Friday on Seagull Street - when two men pulled up on a motorbike. One of them got off, and shot Andrews four times, killing him on the spot. Police believe it is a gang related murder. Young will be arraigned and remanded next week. Our records show he was shot in 2015, and shortly after was arrested by police after he allegedly punched a woman in the face and stole her cell phone in broad daylight. It happened near the Court house, and police were in the area to arrest him immediately.

Cops Got a Pound of Weed and Two Handguns
And southside police are working extra hard to keep the peace in the streets and make sure their murder totals don't exceed last year's. To that end, the Southside strike team picked up two weapons yesterday. Yesterday, they searched an area Raccoon Street Extension where they found a .32 mm handgun. Today they found another hand gun, this one a .22 with 20 9 millimeter rounds, near Banak Street. They also found a pound of cannabis in the Banak Street area. All items were labeled as found property since no one was around.

Security Guard Caught Stealing At House He Was Guarding
Last Monday, Jorge Montero, a security guard for Priority Security Company, was watching the home of Stephanie Lupp on Princess Margaret Drive. At some point during the night, Montero entered Lupp's home and stole a Nikon digital camera, a tablet and it's charger. The items, possessions of one of Lupp's German guests, are valued at around $1500. Lupp said the items were discovered missing on the 29th, and after reviewing security footage, Montero was found to be the culprit. Montero appeared in the Magistrate's Court today, where he pled guilty to a charge of burglary. Despite insisting that he committed the offence because he was intoxicated, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser sentenced him to 5 years in prison.

Barrow and Briceno's NY Messages: Chopped and Screwed
Of, so if you've been watching the news tonight, you've already been bombarded with the New Year's messages from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. But, who can follow all that talking? The PM's one is 1200 words and almost twelve minutes long, while the Opposition Leader's one is one thousand words and 8 minutes long. That's a lotta words and a lotta minutes - so we cut it down to the bare minimum - the main points of contention. Here they are: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "The year 2016 saw more than the usual share of challenges." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "As we close out 2016, a year that was not one of the best for us." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "There was the final settlement for the nationalization of BTL. The Arbitration Award was large, though much smaller than the previous owners of the company had demanded. The Award a price well worth paying for an asset that is now a source of great pride and profit." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "We cannot have another situation like the BTL settlement which ended up costing Belizeans over half a billion dollars for a portion of a company which according to government's valuators, is worth a little over $100 million."

PM Promises New Flights From Denver and Ft. Lauderdale
One part of the PM's message that did catch our ear as newsworthy is his announcement about tourism. As we've reported, overnight tourism figures are down for November and most likely December as well. That's causing some concern in the industry, but the official numbers haven't been published yet. Some fear the bubble created by more flights coming in may have burst, but the PM confirmed that more flights are on the way:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "In the all-important tourism sector there are the new airline routes to come from Fort Lauderdale and Denver, plus the already-commenced Tropic Air flights to Merida, Cancun, Chetumal and parts of Central America. A direct Mexico City to Belize connection via a Mexican carrier is also being worked on for 2017."

PUP Calls for Re-Registration Exercise in 2017
And while the PM is talking tourism, the opposition leader is pushing for a review of the voter rolls. There hasn't been a re registration exercise since 1996, and according to the law, it's now 11 years overdue. For a while, it was something both parties could agree on since they both have the lists stacked with phantom voters. To get them re-registered would be costly and difficult. But the PUP - which hasn't won a major election in 11 years - seems to have figured that they're losing at this game, and so they have now started to push for re-registration. Briceno underscored it in his address: Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader "We will also continue to insist on an effective and functioning public accounts committee. We will continue to insist on electoral reform and we say to this UDP Administration that there must be re-registration before re-districting and the year for this to occur is 2017." The Barrow Administration has said it would favour a registration after the next municipal election in 2018.

Killer Pics of Killer Whales In Belize's Southern Waters
Yesterday, recreational fishermen and tourists who were at sea near Ranguana Caye off the coast of Placencia, saw an Orca whale leaping out of the water. It's called "full breach" where the whale jumps completely out of the water. Orcas, which typically live in higher latitude areas like Washington State in the US and Norway some times travel through our tropical waters while they migrate. They are known as the second most widely ranging mammal species on the planet - so they go all over the place. Meaning it's not so unusual to see them in Belize's waters, though it is a very rare sighting. We are told this picture was captured by Placencia tour guide Jason Westby.

Repeat Victim of Violent Assault Needs Help
Byron Jefford's name has been in the news several times in the last few years. Not because he is a criminal or a celebrity, but because he has been consistently targeted and attacked by persons in his nag infested community. In our newscast on Wednesday we told you that he was shot in his hand. Well right now, he's in the hospital, waiting for a surgery that he absolutely needs if he's going to have continued use of his hand. But he's waiting because the family needs money. They have to pay $500 up front before he can be operated on, and they are having trouble coming up with the funds. So today his mother and aunt told us about the situation and made a plea for help. Denise Flowers - Aunt: "What happened, he got shot Friday and he needs a surgery. My sister doesn't have the money. the cost of it is $500 but the doctor said if we don't give the $500 dollars they won't operate on the child, so all we are asking for is a little donation, any little thing counts to make us try to make up the 500 dollars by now and next week when he is to take the surgery Tuesday or Wednesday. Sir I'm pleading please, if he doesn't get the surgery he could lose his hand and he will be crippled because it's a partial they want to put in his hand."

Alleged San Pedro Robbers Charged
Tonight, 32 year-old Omar Delgado and 34 year-old Carlos Sedacy, are out on bail after being taken to court for allegedly robbing a man in San Pedro. The victim, Gary Hamilton, reported to police that on Wednesday, December 28, he was walking when two men pounced on him. They robbed him of his 600 dollar phone and a 30-dollar sunglasses. After investigating Hamilton's report, police charged Delgado and Sedacy with robbery. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, and pled not guilty. They met bail of $1,000 each and must return to court on February 17, 2017.

Patrolling With a Purpose
Often in the news, we show you interviews with police commanders in which they describe police response to crime in their jurisdiction. It usually involves some sort of increased presence on the ground, most times, in the form of more patrols in crime-ridden areas. But how effective are they? Well, there is no empirical data readily available to the press, but Southside Commander Chester Williams appears to have put a new spin on business as usual in the battle against crime. He and the other police administrators have carved one of the country's most difficult areas to police into a series of patrol zones. Their police and vehicular resources are strategically placed and carefully managed to make the best use of their new vehicles from the US Embassy. Using what is known as geo-fencing, these vehicles give off GPS positioning, which the Southside commander can track and manage in real time, to ensure that all the crime hotspots in their area are covered. Today, Williams discussed how it works, and why if you're living on the southside, you might see certain type of marked police vehicles in your area:

Oscar B, Come Een!
Where to bring in the New Year? Most major cities and towns in Belize will have its fair share of night-time events, and you may find it difficult to choose. But for old school soca fans, that decision shouldn't be too difficult because Oscar B is in town. The soca veteran who's been entertaining Belzieans for 20 years at least, will be hosting a New Year's Party at the Radisson tomorrow. We spoke to him and the Radisson's Food and Beverage director, Edison Trapp about the event. The event is reserved for persons 18 and older.

The Resolution Solution
And after the partying, or a quiet evening at home, or even in your bed to bring in the new year - what then? Well, that's where those nagging little things called New Year's Resolutions come in. Every year we make them, and more often than not, we break them faster than politicians break election promises. Perhaps that's the way we all are, high on hope, but low on follow through. Still, without hope for the future we wouldn't be human - and that's why, no matter how bad last year's resolutions went - we continue to make new ones. Today I went to major shopping centers to find out what's the hope for 2017:...

2016 Put The News Cycle On Steroids
And, as much as New Year's resolutions are a tradition, so is the last item on tonight's news. It's the annual montage of some of the lasting images that made news in 2016. It was the year of Pastor Lu and Danny Mason, The Auditor General, Hurricane Earl, Julius Espat, The Vega family, and, of course, the mighty Belize National Teachers Union. Sadly, 2016 was also a year where we saw the number of murders shoot up - and we reported on some very beastly crimes. Video editor Lance Howard put these shots together of the good, the bad, the ugly, the inspiring, and the just plain unforgettable:… Indeed, 2016 was the most news-making year we've seen in a decade or so, and that's owing to the Pastor Lu beheading, followed by the corruption-fuelled political upheaval, which led to the longest teacher's strike in memory - and, ultimately, major reform concessions by the Barrow Administration. You can see our recap of all the stories that made news starting tomorrow night at 6:00.

Channel 5

3 Shot in Belize City; Gang Associations May be to Blame
While shy of the record set four years ago, the count of one hundred and thirty-six murders as of this evening is still a heavy toll. Eastern Division South, according [...]

Frank Young Charged in Murder of David Andrews
Eastern Division South police have arrested and charged twenty-year-old Frank Young for the murder of nineteen-year-old David Andrews. Andrews was shot dead on Raccoon Street a week ago tonight, after [...]

Coast Guard Crashed Vehicle Near Store
Traffic accidents have not been limited to the highways and by-ways. On Wednesday night in Belize City, a driver said to be an officer of the Belize Coast Guard lost [...]

Police Re-Organize Patrols in Eastern Division South; New Wheels Will Help
The Eastern Division’s South region, long used to being the neglected step-child of the Police Department, finally got a major “come-up” with the recent distribution of vehicles to the Department [...]

Revisiting Greatest Unsolved Murder Mystery – “Belizean Jack the Ripper”
2016 is drawing to a close as one of the bloodiest years in recent times. Most murders remain unsolved as did a string of homicides that occurred between 1998 and [...]

San Pedro Man Charged for Drug Trafficking
Fifty-five-year-old Moises Roberto Soriano of Pescador Drive, San Pedro Town, is out on bail after being caught in possession of cocaine on the island. Soriano pleaded not guilty before Senior [...]

Retiree’s Friend Set Him Up to be Robbed
An ex-pat in San Pedro Town has been robbed by a pair of men whom he thought were his friends.  Sixty-five-year-old Gary Hamilton, a retiree of Sea Grape Drive, told [...]

Jorge Montero Jailed for Stefanie Lupp Burglary
Forty-eight-year-old Jorge Montero, a former employee of Priority Security, appeared unrepresented this morning in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer to answer to a single charge of burglary.  It [...]

P.M. Focuses on Economic Recovery for New Year
The Prime Minister’s annual New Year’s message is being aired elsewhere in this newscast. PM Barrow highlights the achievements of his government throughout the course of the calendar year and [...]

Social Reform and National Security Also Highlighted
The highlights of the message also include a recap of several achievements by way of social reform, particularly the appointment of the Integrity Commission, the signing of the United Nations [...]

New Year, New House for Fuller’s Alley Family
Forty-eight-year-old Carol Parham and her three grandchildren were handed the keys to a new house this morning, after living in a not-so-great condition for some time. In three days, the [...]

New Year’s Wishes from Canon Leroy Flowers
As we bid farewell to 2016 and reflect on all the trials and triumphs over the past twelve months, we look forward to a fruitful year.  With God as the [...]

Belizeans’ New Year’s Resolutions
With New Year’s Eve just hours away, everyone starts making their resolutions – a tradition where a person makes a promise to themselves to fulfill throughout the year. Whether it [...]

LOVE FM

Love Foundation and Partners to Give Home to Family
Belize City resident Carol Parham will be welcoming the New Year in her new home courtesy of the Love Foundation, NEMO and Belize Electricity Limited. Hipolito Novelo has the story.

PM Says Belize Will Bounce Back from Its 2016 Trials
Today millions of men and women and children are preparing to close off the year 2016 whilst looking forward to keeping resolutions or just hoping for the best. This time of the year is also one where much reflection is done by individuals, organizations and governments. For Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has noted in […]

2016 Brought Significant Changes for the PUP
With just ten months back in the seat of the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno released his New Year’s Message where he reflected on the changes brought about in 2016 for his party. He also spoke of the economy and hard times that loom in 2017.

Anglican Bishop Appeals to Nation to Start 2017 with God
Whilst a New Year’s address from the country leader and the Leader of the Opposition is the norm, it would not be complete without a message of spirituality. Anglican Bishop, Philip Wright released his message today for the New Year where he spoke of the importance of love and God. His message noted, quote, “Yet, […]


Re: Today's Belize News: December 31, 2016 [Re: Marty] #520592
12/31/16 01:17 AM
12/31/16 01:17 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,316
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Amandala

UDP’s Fonso charged for death of Gilbert “Thready” Myers
Alfonso Noble, host of the Fus Thing Da Mawnin talk show on Wave Radio/TV and editor of the Guardian newspaper, propaganda organs of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day in police custody at the Racoon Street Police Station, after he knocked down and killed Hattieville resident, Gilbert Myers, 48, popularly known as “Thready” or “Tyson,” on Christmas Eve night, December 24, between Miles 3 and 4 on the George Price Highway. On Wednesday morning, representatives from the city’s media corps gathered outside the Magistrate’s Court, as the police van transporting detained persons arrived and Noble, his face appearing tired from the many hours in police custody, climbed out of the van and was escorted to the court’s holding cell area. After his matter was assigned to Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, Noble sat inside courtroom #2 with his arms folded and his back against the wall, occasionally leaning his head against the wall as he stared at the ceiling, avoiding eye contact with reporters in the courtroom, as he waited for the arraignment hearing to begin.

Confusion over reopening of school
Many parents and teachers have been pressing to definitively find out when school will reopen, in the face of conflicting messages coming from two camps: the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) saying, on the one hand, that teachers are due one more week of vacation, and so should not return to school until Monday, January 9, and the Government, on the other hand, insisting that vacation should be terminated on Tuesday—right after the New Year—for the early reopening of school to compensate for time lost during the October strike. The impasse affects parents and students attending government-aided pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, as well as educators at those institutions. “In an effort to allay all confusion and misunderstandings on the reopening of schools, the Belize National Teachers’ Union reiterates that our children and teachers deserve and are entitled to their three weeks Christmas vacation as stated in the Education Rules. Therefore, classes should resume on Monday, January 9, 2017,” the BNTU said in an official statement issued on Wednesday.

Newlywed’s hopes dashed by fatal RTA
Tressa Ramclam-Alfaro, who just married Josue Alfaro, 38, on Christmas Eve, is overcome with grief after having lost her husband on her birthday. Tressa told Amandala that Josue, the father of her eight-month-old son, was preparing a surprise barbecue and party for her when his life was cut short in a road collision which happened after 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, between Miles 11 and 12 of the Philip Goldson Highway. On their bed on the night of the fatal accident lay two bottles of champagne that he had purchased for them to drink. In an unexplainable twist of fate, four days after she exchanged marriage vows with Josue, she was picking up both their marriage certificate and his death certificate. Alfaro was on his way from his Sandhill home to Belize City, to pick up his wife from her grandmother’s house, when he lost his life in a traffic accident.

8 dead in 12 days as RTAs spike
Whereas the increase in murders this year has been a grave concern, there is growing distress tonight—amid the festive season—over a spate of road traffic fatalities that have cut several young lives short. Over the past few weeks, there has been a spike in road traffic accidents, some of which Belize believe to be alcohol-related, with 8 lives having been claimed by the nation’s roadways over a span of 12 days and at least 15 others suffering various degrees of injuries for which they have had to be treated. On December 17, a trio of friends—Minor Hernandez, 22, Jason Gongora, 26, and Giovanni Gongora, 22, all of Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk District—died in a tragic road accident. In subsequent incidents, Benjamin Krahn, 17, a Mennonite of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District; Gilbert “Tready” Myers, 38, of Hattieville; David Alfaro, 47, of St. Matthews Village; Josue Alfaro, 48, of Sandhill; and Israel Lopez, 20, of Hope Creek also lost their lives.

Three men shot Thursday night
A man, his nephew and their male friend came under heavy gunfire tonight on Belize City’s southside. Information to Amandala is that Winston Bowen, a mechanic, his nephew, Quincy Smith; and their friend, Robert Garnett, were all repairing a vehicle in the Jane Usher Boulevard area sometime around 7:00 p.m. when a neighbor with whom they are well-acquainted, walked past them. The men then saw him turn back and pull out a 9mm pistol from under his shirt. The trio tried to run but the gunman fired six shots, wounding Garnett four times and the other men once. The men were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they are currently receiving treatment. According to friends of the trio, who were at the hospital tonight, Garnett, who is in the most critical condition, was rushed in for extensive surgery.

Belizeans among those nabbed in top ICE operations in 2016
In a summary of its top 2016 operations, the Unites States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provided what it described as a snapshot of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations’ (ERO) and Management and Administrations’ (M&A) daily work. It reported that Belizeans, who were not identified by name, were among more than 100 people arrested in a Los Angeles-area ICE operation targeting convicted criminal aliens in July. The report said that while the largest number of those taken into custody during the enforcement action are originally from Mexico (89), a total of 11 countries were represented, namely El Salvador (7); Guatemala (5); Belize (2); Honduras (2); Vietnam (2); Egypt (1); Philippines (1); Tonga (1); the United Kingdom (1); and Azerbaijan (1). The report indicated that about 6 in 10 of those nabbed had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault.

Come January 1, 2017, it’s another KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic
It will be a sporting weekend extravaganza, as the old year ends on Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, with the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Opening Season championship finals in Belmopan – Bandits vs BDF; and then on Sunday morning, New Year’s Day, the spotlight moves from football to cycling, as the Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with KREM Radio presents the 27th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic. Defending Elite champion is Joel Adan Borland, while defending Female champion is Alicia Thompson. Last year’s Junior champion, Ernest Bradley, will be riding as an Elite rider in this year’s 2017 Krem Classic. The Elite/Masters race takes off from the border in Corozal, while the Female and Junior races begin in Orange Walk Town. Start time is 9:00 a.m., and they all end on Central American Boulevard before its junction with Mahogany Street.

Condolences on passing of former top football referee, Pete Carrillo
We received the shocking news over the Christmas weekend of the passing last Friday of one-time top Belizean football referee, Pete Carrillo. I recall that Pete was “the man in the middle” for the 1st Division championship match in June (I think) of 1987, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, when Belize City based Coke Milpros defeated Verdes of Cayo, 2-1, to claim the national championship. It was at the time the highest attendance on record for a championship football game in Belize; at least, so I was informed by then Belize National Football Association (BNFA) General Secretary, Delhart Courtney. That Pete was chosen for such a big match, says how highly he was regarded by those in authority, and he handled himself, as always, with poise and class. At the time of his sudden passing, Pete had long retired from refereeing, and was also retired from his job as engineer in the Public Works Department. Funeral services were held yesterday in Belmopan.

No longer undefeated; Bandits fall, 1-nil, to BDF in PLB Finals Game 1 at MCC
The amazing undefeated streak by defending Premier League of Belize (PLB) champions, Belmopan Bandits SC was finally broken on Saturday night, Christmas Eve, at the rain-soaked MCC Grounds in Belize City, where home standing Belize Defense Force FC used their all-terrain muscle and a brilliant second-half strike by rookie Trimayne Harris to secure a 1-nil victory over the Bandits in game 1 of the PLB Opening Season 2016-2017 Finals. Though BDF displayed what appeared to be a 3-striker attack – Darrol Lambey, Trimayne Harris and Michael Myvette – kicking into the northern goal, to start the game, it was the visiting Bandits who made a couple serious early threats at the southern BDF goal – a long-range missile by top goal scorer Jairo Roches that tested BDF goalie Tevin Gamboa at the 2nd minute, and five minutes later a dangerous grounder from the left side by Bandits midfielder Jerome “Jarro” James that drained just wide of the right goalpost. But it was BDF that got the golden opportunity, a penalty at the 14th minute. To the Bandits’ relief, the normally sure footed Vallan Symms sent his grounder just wide to the left, although Bandits goalkeeper Shane Moody Orio had been caught going right. The rain came down hard shortly afterwards, and it remained scoreless through the rest of first half, despite a few more thrills on both ends.

Tale of the tape: Belmopan Bandits SC vs BDF FC – PLB Championship Finals Game 2 at Isidoro Beaton Stadium
This coming Saturday night, New Year’s Eve, will see the Championship Finals Game 2 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, featuring home standing and defending champion, Belmopan Bandits SC against visiting Belize Defense Force FC. The star-studded Bandits are the automatic favorites, with as many as 8 players from their roster being regular members of the National “A” Team, and their coach, Kent Gabourel, is the incumbent Goalkeeper Coach for the National “A” Team. The first team to qualify for the recent PLB playoffs, the Bandits, was undefeated in regular season. Featuring 4 foreign players, the Bandits sported an impeccable regular season record – the most goals scored at 45 (Police United was next with 39), and the least goals allowed at 11 (BDF was next with 13). And in total points, the Bandits garnered a league leading 40 regular season points, with second place BDF way behind at 31.

Editorial: Team playing vs core principles
The record shows that in order to be elected to public office in Belize, one must be a team player in one of the two major political parties. What we have of parliamentary democracy here has been dominated by the People’s United Party (PUP), on the one hand, and the United Democratic Party (UDP), and its precursor before 1973, the National Independence Party (NIP), on the other. The fact of that two-party domination, and the requirement for team playing, have had implications where core human and Belizean principles are concerned. Once the party establishes a position, one who would be successful politically must abide by the party’s decision, even if that decision violates one’s personal principles, or the aforementioned core human and Belizean principles. We Belizeans, for example, consider it an international, yea Biblical, core principle that one should not steal. But ruling politicians in Belize routinely steal from the public treasury and misappropriate public assets, and their colleagues consent to those crimes by their silence, their conspiracy of silence. This is considered team playing.

From The Publisher
Two or three months before the American presidential elections in November, I had compared the then Republican Party presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, to the Republican Party presidential nominee in 1964, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. I wrote that I thought that the Democratic Party presidential campaign strategists would be able to do to Trump what they had done to Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign – brand him as dangerous and unpredictable where the nuclear arms race and international affairs were concerned. In painting Goldwater as a trigger-happy hawk, the Democrats had succeeded in returning their candidate, Lyndon Baines Johnson, to the presidency in 1964. Johnson had been the Vice-President of the United States when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. LBJ was sworn in as President and served out the remaining year of Kennedy’s 1960 to 1964 term. Younger Belizeans will not know that when Kennedy was elected President in November of 1960, it was an epoch-making election at the time, because no Roman Catholic had ever been elected U.S. President before. No African American had ever been elected U.S. President before Barack Obama in 2008, and that was surely more sensational then Kennedy’s election as a Catholic in 1960. Still, Kennedy’s election was very big news in 1960, though his victory was by an extremely narrow margin.

The Day of the Cross
THE CASTE WAR OF YUCATAN by Nelson Reed–Barrera was working overtime to build his religious esprit de corps. He turned up with an image of the Virgin, which had traveled the now familiar road down from heaven, but it didn’t inspire faith; the idea of the cross, based solidly on the familiar cult of lineage and village crosses, was more successful. Possibly the Yalcoba location was a false lead planted to divert Ladino interest, but at any event Barrera quickly had the crosses installed at the accepted shrine of Chan Santa Cruz, where he built a defensive system of stone barricades around the place and maintained patrols against another surprise. The patrols were needed. Knowing the religious calendar, the Ladinos waited until May 3, 1851, the Day of the Holy Cross, which had a logical significance for the new cult, and then attacked, 153 men under Colonel Gonzalez. The expected fiesta was under way, but the distant explosion of a signal bomb gave Barrera time to evacuate his people, delaying the soldiers briefly at the walls, sniping, and then fading back into the forest. Barrera had an estimated 1,400 men by this time, but he lacked guns and ammunition for a fire-fight and could ill afford another Kampocolche. He left the enemy an empty prize and set up an open siege that night, using his own walls. The white guerrilla was too small for the isolated position and pulled out the next day, having accomplished little. As would happen so often later, it had nothing to report except the continued growth of Chan Santa Cruz.

It’s “Corto”! “Maradona” needs our help (Continued)
One does not get the nickname “Maradona” without any merit. In Belize City football circles, Michael Sutherland had earned a measure of respect, though he was never considered a big star. He recalled that he once represented Belize City in the national competition in the early 1980s as a member of the Fort George United team, which had placed second in the City competition. But Maradona earned his nickname for the pure enthusiasm and adventurous excitement he brought to the game. He thoroughly enjoyed playing football, and especially making a play that would merit reminding his opponent, or “rubbing it in.” Regardless of the situation, footballers getting together, the talk always comes to football. And Maradona couldn’t resist detailing the brilliance of the play he had just executed in a Monday night Over 40 game at Yabra field a couple months ago, when he suffered the injury that led to his present situation. He said he had jumped high in the air to receive a long, high centering pass; but when he realized that he was at a bad angle to try and head the ball towards the goal, he turned in mid-flight and instead headed the ball back out to an oncoming teammate to take a shot at goal. It was a great play, but someone undercut Maradona in mid-air, and he fell flat on his back; and he may have hit his spine on a hard piece of ground or a rock, as the Yabra field is uneven and not covered with thick grass. Whatever the cause, Maradona felt the pain after the fall.

10 TOP 2016 STORIES
During the year 2016, the Amandala newspaper covered more than 1,500 news stories, brought to you, our readers, via the mid-week and weekend editions of the paper. Some of these stories are available via our website (www.amandala.com.bz) as well. Without a poll, we are not able to say which ones were our most popular stories, but we can tell you which of them were the biggest online hits and the top 10 are listed below, ranked by the number of online reads. As we outlined in Part 1 of this series, the two biggest national issues for 2016 have been the attempt by Guatemala to annex southern Belize, and particularly the Sarstoon and our southern maritime waters; as well as the high homicide rate with which Belize continues to grapple. As things now stand, 2016 will emerge as the year with the second highest murder count in Belize’s history. The only other year which recorded more murders than the 136 recorded as of this report, was 2012, which registered a record murder count of 145. Whereas the crime situation and Guatemala’s aggression remain clear and present threats to peace and stability in Belize, a new menace to Belizean society emerged in 2016 — Zika; and it also gripped the attention of our online readers at home and abroad, as well as tourists to the Jewel, who wanted to keep the emergence of Zika, a mosquito-borne illness with potentially devastating effects especially on unborn babies as well as the elderly, on their radar.

On New Year’s Day and Rome’s domination
In Belize, New Year’s Day is usually welcomed with dancing and fireworks, and in New York City, by the highly anticipated Ball Drop at Times Square, where perhaps the most grand spectacle is seen by millions. In fact, the 2014 version of the kaleidoscopic 12-foot wide ball, weighing almost 12,000 pounds and patterned with multicolored triangles, pentagons and hexagons, is ready for the countdown. The worldwide political and religious dominance of the Roman empire is evident in the fact that the international civil calendar so widely used today—from Belize City to New York to Paris—is one which was introduced less than five centuries ago by an Italian pope, which is a revision of Julius Caesar’s calendar, the Julian calendar. The Roman origin of the popular calendar is a little known fact among many who will this week celebrate New Year’s Day as January 1, 2014. In Belize, where the Mayan Empire once flourished, this foreign calendar has superseded the indigenous way of telling time in the Jewel, although some traditionalists still make use of their ancestral time-keeping techniques; and although many Christians use the papal calendar to tell time and to set the dates of religious observances such as the recently observed Christmas, both the Mosaic and Messianic Scriptures are set against the backdrop of a vastly different Hebraic, luni-solar calendar.

Ready Call workers up in arms
Employees at the Ready Call Center (RCC), who number roughly 300, are reportedly up in arms after they received a memo on Tuesday demanding that they work on every public and bank holiday on which they are scheduled to work, for the upcoming year, starting January 1, 2017. Our newspaper was drawn to this developing story by concerns posted on Facebook by an employee at the RCC who shared the memo and disclosed, “I was threatened today [that] if I don’t sign a new work policy, I will not be able to enter my work space.” The memo from the management at RCC read: “Effective January 1st, 2017 you will be held accountable to report to work on Public and Bank Holidays, if you are scheduled to work. Ready Call Center has an obligation to deliver to the client without exception, even on holidays.” It continued, “The success of this call center lies in ensuring that you are fully aware of the desired results and of what is expected. Our main objective is to ensure that you are present for work every day for all days scheduled.”

The Reporter

Man charged for murder of Belize City teen
The Belize Police Department charged a man today for the murder of 19-year-old David Andrews. Police charged 19-year-old Frank Alexander Young, a laborer of Lord’s Bank village, for Andrews’ fatal shooting, which happened just before the Christmas holidays. Officer Commanding the Southern Division of the […]

War of the press releases: Ministry and BNTU still can’t agree 
The Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), have sent out conflicting press releases regarding the resumption of classes in 2017. The MOE issued a release this week, “reminding” parents, guardians, and students that classes will resume on Tuesday, January 3. […]

GOB holds public consultations on deep sea surveys
The Government of Belize is inviting interested persons to public consultations on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey that GOB intends to complete in the deep offshore territorial waters. The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum and the Geology and Petroleum Department, will host the consultations, which […]

Belmopan Mayor says municipal bond will be fully rolled out early 2017
The Belmopan City Council will fully roll out its $6.5 Million municipal bond offering by the end of January, and works to upgrade the growing city should start within a month from then. Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle told the Reporter that the delay so […]

Police detain suspect in Michele Moreira killing
Police have detained one suspect in connection with the chopping death of Michelle Morreira, formerly regarded as Jane Doe. Officer Commanding Belize Rural Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster explained that police received information of a man believed to be in a relationship with Morreira […]

Suspected gun man charged for the murder of elderly woman
San Ignacio police have arrested one man in connection with the shooting murder of 61-year-old Paulina Urbelina. San Ignacio police have confirmed that 24-year-old Trevor Jones, a mechanic of Santa Elena Town, was apprehended by officials in a pre-dawn operation on December 23. San Ignacio police […]

Two dead in Christmas weekend collisions
Belmopan Police reported two fatal accidents over the Christmas weekend, both of wihc happened on the George Price highway. The first incident happened on December 23 around 4:30 a.m. between mile 39 and 40 on the George Price Highway. Initial police investigations reveal that 23-year-old Anibal […]

UN Sec Gen hosts one last function before he steps down
As his last act before stepping down, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend the annual New Year’s Eve countdown held in Time’s Square New York. The Secetary General is scheduled to push the Waterford crystal button that kicks off the official 60-second ball drop to […]

Addiction and its demons
When a police bailiff arrived at the front desk with a Court summons, following repeated delinquency on bank loan repayments, it was a clear sign that Camy’s years of compulsive gambling had steered her to new lows. This was not the first time that she […]

The rise and fall of the Zika virus outbreak
While the global health threat status of the Zika Virus outbreak has been lifted, the World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that the virus will continue to remain a challenge for countries which have the vector. The WHO in its recently-released situational report of the outbreak said that […]

Editorial
Two powerful forces were at work in 2016 to make the year a tough one with long-range implications for Belizeans. The first was the economy. Poor harvests in banana and citrus, shrimp, and sugarcane, compounded with the disruptions of Hurricane Earl to make the year a dismal one for agriculture. […]

Married Monday, Dead on Wednesday on wife’s birthday
A newly-wed Sandhill resident died in a tragic road accident on his new bride’s birthday Wednesday night near mile 11 on the Philip Goldson Highway. His truck collided with a passenger bus, leaving his new wife a widow. Around 6:00 p.m., on Wednesday, 38-year-old Josue […]

Chinese woman robbed and shot in Orange Walk
A Chinese store clerk was shot during a robbery attempt at Taisan Grocery Shop after 8:00 p.m., on Wednesday in Orange Walk Town. According to police, around 8:05 p.m. on Wednesday, a gunman armed with a 9mm pistol, wearing a mask over his face, entered […]

Alfonso Noble charged for fatal Christmas Eve accident
Alfonso Noble, talk show co-host on the United Democratic Party’s Wave TV/Radio, and Editor of the party’s Guardian newspaper, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser Tuesday morning to face a slew of charges in connection with a fatal traffic accident. Noble, 39, of Western Paradise, […]

Highlights of 2016
The year 2016 was a remarkable one all around the world, which saw many controversial and historic moments and in Belize 2016 was no different. This past year there were a number of issues that caused great controversy, had large national impact, captured the imagination […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

San Ignacio Police share Christmas love
Tonight, the Community policing unit of the San Ignacio police formation is giving back to the community and sharing the love this Christmas season. Their kind gesture brought smiles and tears of joy to the recipient families in Cayo. […]

PM pledges more investment in Security forces in 2017
One of the highlights of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s New Year’s Address is the commitment to continue investing heavily in our armed forces for the security of the nation, both internally and externally. For emphasis, the PM enunciated this commitment in the conclusion of […]

Political Culture and Productivity: Can We Change the Pulse of our Economy, Please?
Economic prosperity and wealth flows most freely from intelligent effort and entrepreneurship. Invariably, a financially successful society will comprise smart people able to use capital assets like land or cash savings to produce beneficial goods and services that consumers are willing to purchase and […]

Gun, ammunition and weed found in Belize city
According to police reports, this morning around 9, the South Side Strike Team operating in the vicinity of Banak Street in Belize City found a .22 handgun with a magazine and 20 X 9mm rounds. Yesterday police also discovered a .32 mm handgun in the Racoon […]

Police issue official report on Jane Usher triple shooting
According to police reports, yesterday evening around 5:40, police responded to shots being fired on Jane Usher Boulevard and visited the area. Police then went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where officers saw 50-year-old Winston Bowen of a Jane Usher Boulevard address with a […]

Motorcycle stolen in Belize city
Yesterday morning around 8:25, a 61-year-old man of a Holy Emmanuel address reported that he lent his son his motorcycle (a black Lifan motorcycle with license plate MC 4497) valued at $1,800. The cycle was stolen from in front of his son’s residence on Sybil […]

Police find weed in Ladyville
Yesterday afternoon shortly after 1:00 p.m., members of the mobile Interdiction Team were conducting a vehicle check point on the Philip Goldson Highway. A search was conducted on a passenger bus which resulted in the discovery of a white school bag containing 474 grams […]

PM delivers upbeat New Year’s address, no mention of Guatemala
Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his latest New Year’s address noted outright the difficult challenges facing Belize as 2016 comes to a close and 2017 sets in. Barrow described 2016 as having more than the usual set of challenges. Barrow blamed the country’s economic […]

Blogs

Best of Belize Travel Blog 2016
We’ve been busy blogging bees in 2016, always looking for the next interesting article to bring to you, the next useful travel tip, the next undiscovered destination. But what’s a blog without an awesome audience? …And that is exactly what each and every one of you is, an awesome reader! As awesome readers you always let us know what you do, and don’t like – so we’re taking the time to round up our 8 best Blogs of the year. Not by personal opinion but by popular vote from you! Belize cultures blog is one of our more wordy entries, sometimes a couple sentences isn’t enough to explain something. Maya, Creole, Garifuna and many other peoples inhabit Belize and we couldn’t just let you all keep thinking there’s so few of us here. In this post, we explained out opposition to the over-used phrase “Belize is a melting pot of cultures”. We aren’t but before we get into another mini-rant read our elaboration.

International Sourcesizz

TravelPulse Staff Picks: 12 Destinations That Crushed it in 2016
Every year, there are a number of destinations that surge to the forefront of the travel industry and, in 2016, there were several hotspots that has been on the tips of travelers' tongues all year. Is your Instagram feed blowing up with photos of Icealand, the Caribbean or Chile? Don’t be surprised, because these are just a couple of the destinations that crushed it this year. Below TravelPulse editors explain why some destinations made it big in 2016. Despite significant damage to some resort areas from Hurricane Earl, Belize posted another strong year of arrivals growth in 2016. Overnight visitor arrivals between January and June of 2016 totaled 213,430, a 16.5 percent increase over the same period last year, according to Belize Tourism Board (BTB) data. The first half was Belize’s first-ever to reach 200,000-plus arrivals.

Travel trends for 2017 from AAA
The year 2017 brings a year of new beginnings and new destinations. Exploring places that are less traveled is the theme for 2017. Travelers are looking for unique experiences and want to be among the first to explore and share these up-and-coming destinations. Better Belize It: If you’re searching for somewhere sunny and exotic, include Belize in your choices. This tropical land offers the natural beauty of its beaches and countryside, fantastic water sports and ancient Mayan ruins, making it both a relaxing and adventurous place to visit.

Videos

  • Prime Minister's New Year's Message 2017, 11min.

  • 2016: Year In The Water, 4.5min. Great year of fishing - not a lot of filming. Soft Slam but a slam - always something to improve on for next year. Happy New Year to all the anglers in the pursuit of a spirited tussle with piscis. Didn't break out the camera a lot but in the end, a fair fight with fish.

  • Welcome to Belize | Club Cart Driving & Garifuna Food, 26min. Come and watch me explore Belize, in this vlog we rented a Cart and did a little driving around San Pedro. We also found a Garifuna Restaurant and the food was NICE!

  • Belize River Tour, 2min. Cruise on NCL Pearl December 2016.

  • Belize ~ It's Unbelizeable!, 3min.

  • Open Your Eyes, Dec 28, 2016, Belize International Yoga Festival, 25min.

  • Radisson Fort George New years Eve Dance (Christmas Feature), 21min.

  • Grace & You - Left Overs dressed up (Christmas Special), 19min.

  • Whats Hot for NYE (Christmas feature), 40min.

  • New Year Vox Pops, 10min.

  • Revisiting Greatest Unsolved Murder Mystery – “Belizean Jack the Ripper”, 10min. Many murders remain unsolved as did a string of homicides that occurred between 1998 and 2000, which we revisit tonight. As many as five primary school girls from Belize City were viciously murdered. There was a common thread in the way life was snuffed from the girls, all between nine and fourteen years of age. At the time, many believed that a serial killer dubbed ‘Jack the Ripper’ was lurking in the shadows prowling on innocent victims. News Five’s Duane Moody takes you back and has an update on what is now considered a cold case.

  • Belize, 8min.

  • Flight to San Pedro from Belize City, 17min.

  • Jay's Peace Corps Belize 1993-1995, 6.5min. "Ramma Jamma" Mr. Peters Boom and Chime Band BYCC Belize Youth Conservation Corps.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 1min. Highest quality. Best Snorkeling. Most beautiful people.

  • Belize Vacation at Hamanasi - Christmas Break 2016, 4min. Adventures on vacation in Belize at Hamanasi resort. Canoeing, cave tubing, snorkeling, jungle waterfalls, ziplines all in one trip!


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