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#520793 - 01/11/17 12:47 AM Today's Belize News: January 11, 2017  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,642
Marty Offline
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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

Caribbean prepares to pilot COAST insurance to protect fisheries sector
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is hosting a working group meeting at the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel from 9 – 10 January 2017, to advance the implementation of a risk insurance facility for fishers in the region. When Fisheries ministers from CRFM Member States met in Cayman in October 2016, they reviewed the progress made towards the activation of the Caribbean Ocean Assets Sustainability Facility (COAST). This week’s working group meeting, which the CRFM is facilitating in collaboration with the US Department of State, will aid in the selection of a representative sample of Caribbean countries in which the initiative will be piloted. The purpose of this week’s meeting is to chart the steps necessary to qualify a pilot country (or pilot countries) to purchase the COAST insurance product from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) before the start of the hurricane season on June 1, 2017.

Belize City excursion planned to attend GOB’s Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey public consultation
The Government of Belize recently announced its intent to hold consultations in Belize City on January 18th and 25th on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey in Belizean water. In response, Oceana in Belize, along with Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, hosted a public meeting in San Pedro Town on Monday, January 9th. During the gathering, island residents shared their thoughts on oil exploration, rejecting any intentions by the Government in pursuing that agenda. As a result, for a fee/donation, boats have been arranged to take people to the consultation on Wednesday, January 18th, leaving the San Pedro Municipal dock at 4PM. The general public is asked to participate in this important event that could determine the future of the tourism industry on Ambergris Caye. Boats will also be leaving from Caye Caulker, and according to organizers the intention is to spread awareness to all Belizeans about the dangers of oil exploration in Belizean waters. At the same time, they intend to send a strong message to the Government that when it comes to offshore oil drilling, ‘no means no!’ For more information on the excursion to Belize City next week, contact Ruben Navidad at 610-4012.

Ambergris Today

Government Cancels Public Consultations on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey
As residents of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and other coastal communities set up meetings to plan rallies in the city during the consultations, a surprise press release this afternoon, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, from the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum informed the general public that the consultations on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey, that were scheduled to be held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City on January 18 and 25, 2017, have been cancelled. The Coalition will keep Belizeans updated in latest developments of Government’s interest to resume Multi Beam sea exploration in Belize.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY - Commonwealth Scholarships in low and middle income countries
Applications are open for Commonwealth Masters Scholarships hosted by universities in 10 different countries, in a wide range of subject areas. Applications are open to citizens of any Commonwealth country including Belize. The application deadline is 10 March 2017. All scholarships are for courses scheduled to begin between August and October 2017, depending on the host country. The scholarships are fully-funded; and come with tuition fees, a regular stipend, a return economy flight and an arrival allowance. A second round of applications for scholarships in countries where the academic year begins in January or February will open in April 2017. These scholarships are majority funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan endowment fund, which is administered by the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Jasmine Alert for Anaseily Gonzalez,
The Jasmine Alert office is asking for the public's help in the recovery of Anaseily Gonzalez, who is believed to have been crossed over to the Mexican side and believed to currently be in Chetumal. Please share with all your contacts including your contacts in Chetumal.

Join in the Chiquibul Marathon!!!
The Toyota Chiquibul Expedition is coming up. But for those that prefer to run the Chiquibul – then this is your chance!!! Join in the Chiquibul Marathon!!!

Visit by students and professors from State University of New York
We were honored to welcome to the Embassy a group of students and two professors from State University of New York! The students are currently in Belize learning about the country's amazingly rich culture and the ways to revitalize ancient Maya ceramics traditions in a modern Maya community.

Jorgito's Surgery for Brain Tumor
The effort of preserving the past for the future falls to many of us, and there are many who give up their own time to help. One such tireless volunteer is Jorge de Leon (Lion), who is not only a brilliant tour guide, but is instrumental in reviving the interest in Maya hieroglyphics particularly among the youth. He is always willing to help, so let us all return the favor by helping a friend who right now needs it the most. Give what you can and share this message to all you know.

CANCELLATION OF THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY
The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum hereby informs the general public that the consultations on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey, that were scheduled to be held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City on January 18 and 25, 2017, have been cancelled.

OPERATIONS CEASE AT SOLID WASTE TRANSFER STATIONS AND LANDFILL
The municipalities and the general public are hereby informed that the operator of the solid waste transfer stations (San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Burrell Boom, Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker) and the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill has ceased operations effective January 9th, 2017. The Ministry and Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWaMA) assures the municipalities and the general public that they are making every effort to contain the situation, and have therefore designated temporary dumping areas on the transfer station compounds to accommodate the garbage that continues to arrive. This is an interim measure. We take this opportunity to encourage the public to minimize the amount of waste being generated. We kindly ask the users of the transfer stations to cooperate given the circumstances and to dump in the designated areas. The municipalities and the general public at large will be kept abreast of further development.

LOST Dog, San Pedro: Adorable and super friendly white poodle who goes by the name Pink (also responds to Pinky)
Last seen in the San Pablo Area. If you see her or know where she could possibly be, please call 602-2339. There will be a reward!

Splashers!
Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Pour me a Sunset Please".

2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards
Congratulations Jose Luis Zapata Photography winner of the esteemed 2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® for Wedding Photography Services in Belize!

Co-ed Softball Tournament 2017
The San Pedro Town Council initiates the year with its first sports tournament! We bring to you the Co-ed Softball Tournament 2017 to begin on January 29th with a marathon on January 22. Registration of teams is $200. Deadline for Registration is January 24th. SIGN UP NOW! with Kent "Bob" Gabourel at 604-9013, Earl Sutherland at 615-8861 or Tito Alamilla at 623-0772.

Cornerstone Health Clinic
The Cornerstone Foundation is working with the Vermont University to bring a health clinic to the Cayo market this Saturday. Thanks, Cornerstone!

2017 La Ruta Maya
The 2017 La Ruta Maya starts under the Hawkesworth on March 3rd. "The 2017 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge will be bigger and better. Race begins from the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio on Friday March 3 and ends in Belize City on Monday March 6, 2017."

The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
The US Embassy in Belize is requesting proposals

Channel 7

Director Dorian Gets A Single Charge For Traffic Fatality
After 9 months of delays, and a number of controversies in the handling of the case, Dorian Pakeman has been criminally charged for the traffic accident which killed Gardenia Mechanic, Dean Dawson. Pakeman was arraigned today in the Magistrate's Court on the single charge of causing death by careless conduct. That in itself is unusual as usually the charges for a traffic fatality would be manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention… as well as a few others. But, not in this case where the investigation has been riddled with irregularities. And those started to pile up shortly after the accident occurred on the night of March 30, 2015. That's when Pakeman, who is on suspension was the Government's Press Office Director. He was heading home from Orange Walk in his government issued Isuzu D-Max pickup, which knocked down and killed Dean Dawson. Well today, he had to take the perp walk to the court where he was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for his arraignment. He's being represented attorney Bryan Neal.

Alleged Hit And Run Driver Turns Himself In
Another traffic accident that police made major headway in is the one which caused the death of the 21 year-old resident, Jamalski Young. Young was on his way to work at the Sky Gas Station on Sunday night around 9:00. He was riding a motorcycle, and when he arrived in front of the Blue House Bar, a vehicle reversed into him, causing him to be flung forward. The motorcycle landed near him, and it exploded into flames, which burnt him to death. The driver of that vehicle fled the scene, but he has since turned himself to police, and he's identified as 35 year-old Guatemalan Eric Salazar, who has been living in Belize for the last 30 years. Police have since charged him with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, failing to stop and render aid, failing to report an accident, and failing to give way a motor vehicle on a major road.

Senator Salas Will Represent NGO's
After weeks of buildup, the NGO Community elected its senator today. This will be the 13th Senator - and it's gotten so much attention because this new Senator will have the power to tip the balance of power in the upper house - and we mean tip it against the government majority. So, this 13th Senator ushers in a new era in Belize's parliamentary democracy, but the election itself was not a high point of democracy. That's because of the 140 registered NGO's, only 23 ended up casting a vote for their Senator. That's like having a government but only 15% of the electorate came out to vote for it. And it turned out like that because the other 115 NGO's were deemed not to be in good standing - meaning they hadn't filed all their necessary documents as required by law. So, the small election, which was held in a closed-door session at the Audubon Society, was over in less than an hour. Chair of the Steering Committee Froyla Tzalam outlined the process and the outcome, and welcomed the winner:...

Garbage Crisis Looming As Mexican Company Quits
For the last few days the transfer of solid waste in the country has been at a standstill and the garbage is piling up to the sky. That's because the Mexican company responsible for delivering waste from the five transfer stations across the country to the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill just up and quit! That company is called PASA, and they got their contract from the IDB which funded the waste management project. When the project was launched in 2013, the company's representative at the time explained how PASA will work. Here's an excerpt from our story at the time:... FILE: July 30, 2013: The day to day operations will be done by the company called PASA. They will manage the Transfer Station, and they will monitor the informal workers as the garbage is being sorted into the different groups of recyclables and non-recyclables. Ariel Mitchell - Representative, PASA Belize Limited: "The arrangement is that the solid waste management authority, will pay PASA based on tonnage, we will base on every ton of garbage as delivered to the mile 24 facility, is what PASA will be paid on."

Butane Gwen Up Big!
The last time we told you about a change in the price of LPG gas, or butane as it is known was back in 2015. At the time the price was pegged at a very low eighty two dollars for a hundred pound cylinder of butane. Well, today the Bureau of Standards sent out the new controlled prices, and it represents an 18% increase. Effective tomorrow, the new price per hundred pound cylinder in the city will be 97 dollars. For BNE butane, the controlled price will be $85.00 per hundred pound cylinder. Previously, there was also a controlled price for LPG imported from Mexico, but the sole importer of that product has sold out to the Central American companies, TOMZA, BWEL and ZETA who now monopolize the supply of LPG imported into Belize.

Police Have To Put The Brakes On Patrols Due To Gas Quotas
And while home-makers and restaurant owners will have to deal with that butane price hike, the police have their own gas problems. 7News has received multiple credible reports saying that all those fancy new patrol pickups are routinely parked - especially at the end of month. That's because each pickup has a gas quota, and when the quota is expended - which is usually coming unto the end of the month - the formation or precinct is forced to park the pickups. That's when patrols are cut back - and the - we are told - the pickups then only respond to emergencies. The drivers are urged to drive no more than 18 miles per shift - and if the mileage total exceeds that the drivers have to give an explanation. The quotas are the result of the department trying to contain costs as its vehicle fleet has increased by 27 vehicles.

GSU Gets Gun and Weed
On Saturday the GSU conducted a search in an open lot on Banak Street where they found a handgun. The .25 pistol was hidden inside a foam plate and a plastic bag. The GSU later acted on intelligence received and searched another open lot, this time on Tigris Street. There they found a black plastic bag containing just over a pound of weed. No one was in the area where the gun and the cannabis were found, so both were deposited as found property.

PUP Blasts Government For Latest Ashcroft Alliance Judgment
Last night we told you about the massive judgments in favour of the Ashcroft Alliance that the Barrow Administration that the Barrow Administration is now liable. This is after the US Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal of two arbitral awards in favour of Belize Social Development Limited and BCB Holdings Limited. According to the NEW YORK law firm which litigated the case for the Ashcroft Alliance, both judgments add up to 50 million US dollars including interest. Government seems so shell-shocked by the development that it still hasn't been able to put out a statement - which would normally be routine. But the PUP has pounced on the news, calling the judgement the product of government's, quote, "incompetent and delusional decision making." The PUP says that it amounts to another $117 MILLION in debt, and, quote, "failure to make payment within 60 days could trigger the entire Superbond debt to become payable in full."

Police Need Your Help To Find 13 Year Old
Thirteen year old, Orange Walk Town resident, Ideline Adelia Romero, is missing and police are asking your help to find her. Romero was last seen at around 7:25 this morning when she was leaving for school. She was wearing the La Inmaculada School uniform. If anyone has seen her or has any information about her whereabouts, please go to your nearest police station, call 911 or contact the Orange Walk Police at 322-2022.

Multibeam Consultations Cancelled
At the end of December, we told you about the planned public consultations on the controversial marine multibeam and sea seep survey. They were to have taken place in January the 18th and 25th at the Radisson. Well, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum announced quite abruptly today that those have been cancelled. No reason was given, no future dates given. Just cancelled. Story done. But we do know that the government release came three hours after a strongly worded statement from The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. They called on the Ministries of Tourism, Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, and the Belize Tourism Board to publicly declare their position on offshore oil exploration. And the coalition also bashed the planned consultations, saying, quote, "The Coalition expresses great concern over the legitimacy of these "consultations" as it is unclear how public input will be utilized; whether survey ships have already been scheduled to enter Belizean waters and how two meetings in Belize City at night suffices as consultations for an issue of national importance." End quote.

What Did You Do, Chicky Blue? Pt.2
Last night, we told you about the story from Ladyville in which well-known basketballer and stevedore Wilfred "Chicky Blue" Nicholas was struck in the head by a cook from the Green Jade Restaurant. It all went down at closing time last week Friday, and Nicholas and the restaurant owners are giving different accounts of what happened. The restaurateurs say that Nicholas was trying to force his way in at closing time, and though they tried to stop him from trespassing, he bullied his way in, and so they had to defend themselves. Nicholas' account is that their attack on him was unprovoked, and that they disrespected him as a long-standing customer. He says that they chopped him in the head with a bladed object. He and his family believes that it was meat cleaver. Well, the Chinese business owners say that they hit him with a baton, to stop him from attacking one of their employees, identified to us as Ken. So, with such a wide divergence in the accounts - where is the truth? Well, it turns out that there is surveillance video which caught most of the stand-off. Tonight we have that for you, including a blow-by-blow account of what happened, so that you can decide. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

Rakeem Raises Belizean Interest in NFL
If you're a fan of American Football and the NFL, then you'll know that the Kansas City Chiefs made the playoffs this year. They face the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Sunday in the AFC divisional playoff. The Chiefs are the number two seed and stand a fair chance of going to the Superbowl. Now, if you're not an NFL fan, you're probably wondering why we're feeding you all this gibberish. Well, it's because of Rakeem Nunez-Roches, the Belizean born Kansas City Defensive Tackle, who's become a fixture in KC's defensive rotation. He's the first born Belizean to play in the NFL and he was featured on his team's website. Here's what he told them about his Belizean background, and his winning spirit.

Channel 5

U.S. Supreme Court Shuts Down Final Attempt to Avoid Arbitration Awards
The Government of Belize is on the hook for approximately one hundred and twenty million dollars after the United States Supreme Court today declined to hear the petitions for review [...]

Belize Moving Closer to Superbond 3.0?
Government will have to find a hundred and twenty million dollars even as Superbond renegotiations take place. But is Belize closer to obtaining debt relief from the Belize 2038 Bonds, [...]

Alexander Palacio Murdered in Punta Gorda
Weeks ago, Alexander Palacio was released from prison on parole for a manslaughter conviction. But his life was taken over the weekend in Punta Gorda where he was seeking refuge [...]

Police Stop Major Robbery Attempt at Northern Fishermen
Six persons are in detention this evening after police stopped an armed robbery in progress at the Northern Fisherman’s Cooperative’s offices on North Front Street in Belize City this afternoon. [...]

Why Did Chinese Restaurant Owner Chop “Chickie Blue”?
A well-known foreman at the Port of Belize escaped death after he was chopped twice to the head on Friday night. In Ladyville, the Nicholas family was having an annual [...]

Family Wonders Why Owner is Now Pressing Charges
Police came out to the scene within minutes because the incident occurred just around the corner from the Ladyville Police Station. An injured Nicholas and his wife were escorted to [...]

Schools Re-Open for Real; Teachers Will Say How They Want to Make Up Classes
“Free paper bun” for thousands of students countrywide on this Monday, after schools formally re-opened following a three-week holiday break. The Ministry of Education, with support from managers of schools, [...]

Jamalski Young’s Horrific Death; Burns to Death after Explosive Traffic Collision
A Ladyville man lost his life in an accident in Ladyville village on Sunday night. He was heading to work when it is alleged that a vehicle was reversing on [...]

Passengers Injured When Cement Truck Hits Bus Accidentally
There was another accident, but fortunately there were no fatalities. It occurred at mile ten on the George Price Highway, and while no one perished, several persons suffered various degrees [...]

Couple Robbed at home in Ladyville; Robbers Set Stolen Ford Escape Afire
There was a home invasion in Ladyville just before midnight last Thursday on Hibiscus Street. Twenty-six-year-old Steven Wade reported to Police that while he was inside his girlfriend’s house in [...]

Teenager Detained in Police Street Shooting
Police detained a seventeen year old minor of Belize City over the weekend. He may face charges in the attempted murder of Kyron Tyrell Santiago. On Sunday afternoon, Santiago was [...]

Cross-Border Jasmine Alert: Teen Kidnapped by Mexican Father
This Friday, thirteen-year-old Anaseily Gonzalez was allegedly kidnapped; her family believes it is by her Mexican father, forty-three-year-old Javier de la Cruz. De la Cruz was recently released from a [...]

Corozal Police Dropped Ball in Missing Person Investigation?
According to Menzies, the Jasmine Alert program is not as effective as intended. While anyone under eighteen years of age falls within the program, the police should immediately start investigations [...]

What Caused Fire in P.G.?
Two buildings went up in flames in Punta Gorda over the weekend; one was completely destroyed and the other partially damaged by the blaze. A couple who resided in one [...]

National Team Prepares for Central America in Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   {Feature including national team weekend friendly games; Weekend Warriors cycling race and C.Y.D.P. football match….}


#520794 - 01/11/17 12:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 11, 2017 [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,642
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

CTV3

13th Senator Hails From Orange Walk
For the second time in Belize’s history a 13th Senator was elected by the non-government organisation community to have a seat and a voice in the Senate. If you’re wondering why we are saying that Salas is the second 13th Senator-elect in Belize’s political history, it is because the 1st elected 13th Senator was outspoken Maya leader Greg Ch’oc. Ch’oc had been elected by the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations in October 2008, ahead of the Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s promise to put into force amended laws to allow a 13th Senator. The Prime Minister viewed the election as premature however and went on to ignore his promise, denying enforcement of the amended laws. Now, back to Salas’ election. The President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, and a well-known Orange Walkeno, bested out four other nominees including Oceana’s Janelle Chanona, BCVI’s Donovan Reneau, and Pablo Collado of Adopt a Child with a Disability, to become the NGO community’s Senator-elect.

Was Selection Process For 13th Senator Adequate?
The process of selecting an NGO Senator has been haunted by criticisms of exclusivism. This is because while there are nearly 140 registered NGOs, only 29 were accepted as “in good standing” by the Attorney General’s Ministry. That’s only 15% of the amount. And still, of the 29 organisations that were accepted, only 23 participated in the election, giving the indication that the process could have been much more inclusive and representative. Well, Senator-elect Osmany Salas does recognise that there is a problem, and he pledged that it will be one of his objectives to unite the NGO community. Osmany Salas, NGO Senator-Elect: “We need to show that we are also transparent and accountable, there is an NGO act that we must abide by with the reform set up on that act and the company’s act as well, so what transpired Mrs. Salam and other members of the community have mentioned repeatedly is that the NGO who participated in the process were the ones who were certified in good standing to participate in this process, there were a few that maybe didn’t file their papers in time and I am a little disappointed about that for them because I would have wanted them to get involved in the process..."

OW Businessman Takes Attorney General and Director of Immigration To Cour
A few months ago prominent Orange Walk businessman Rene Cuello decided to take the Attorney General and Director of Immigration Services to court as he believed that his constitutional and human rights had been violated on more than one occasion as he travelled to the Commercial Free Zone located in Belizean territory. Cuello has his mind set that the system in place at Belize’s borders where Belizeans are requested by law to stamp their passport going out and coming into the country is unconstitutional. That case is set to be heard at the Belize Supreme Court on February 22nd. Cuello was a guest this morning on the Despierta Belice Show where he told host Carmelita Perez, that the main objective for pursuing the case is to obtain freedom of movement for all Belizeans in our own territory.

Dorian Pakeman Slap With Mininal Charge
Nine months and two weeks – that’s the length of time it takes in some pregnancies – but it’s also how much time it took for the Police Department to charge Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Press Office and known UDP supporter. Pakeman knocked down and killed Gardenia Village resident and father 45 year old Dean Dawson on March 20, 2016. Dawson was riding his bicycle on his way home along mile 22 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, when Pakeman slammed into him in his Government-assigned Isuzu D-Max pickup. Dawson was killed by the impact. The well-connected Government employee was detained but eventually released without any charges laid on him. The Police claimed that they were waiting on a toxicology report on blood samples taken from Pakeman and when it did come revealing that Pakeman’s blood showed signs of cocaine instead of alcohol, still no charges followed.

LOVE FM

Bondholders Approve Re-negotiations and Debt Restructuring for Belize
ON Monday we told you of a letter dated January 6 informing Belize’s bond trustees in New York of the appeal by Belize to restructure its Superbond 2038 due to unforeseen financial challenges experienced in 2016. Today, we can tell you that the bondholders have approved Belize’s request for renegotiations and a restructured national debt. […]

Osmany Salas Elected By NGOs to Be Belize’s 13th Senator
President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Osmany Salas, made history today by being elected as the 13th Senator to represent the NGO community. The election was held in Belize City at the Belize Audubon Society headquarters where Salas became the victor after two rounds of voting. Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING […]

Trouble Brews Among the Dumps at Transfer Stations
Not much information was given as to why the solid waste transfer stations are currently not operational at the six locations countrywide. As a matter of fact, the only thing that was said was that the operator of the stations has ceased operations as of yesterday, January 9, 2017. Our attempts to find out what […]

Hit and Run Driver Arrested and Charged
Charges have been laid against a Guatemalan driver in connection with the hit and run incident that happened on Sunday, January 8 in Ladyville Village, Belize District. 35-year-old, Eric Salazar Guzman was arraigned this afternoon on the charges of causing death by careless conduct, manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention as well […]

Press Office Director Arraigned on Fatal Traffic Incident
The suspended Chief Press Officer for the Government of Belize, Dorian Pakeman, has finally been charged for the death of 45 year old Dean Dawson. The thirty four year old Ladyville resident was formally charged today for causing death by careless conduct. Pakemen knocked down and killed Dawson on March 30, more than nine months […]

Mama Chen Robbed
At around 7:30 this morning a man wearing a red hat and a dark sweater broke into Mama Chen business place on Eve Street in Belize City. We are told that the thief got away with one cell phone and injured one of the residents. We were told that the robber made his way into […]

Belize Population: 2nd Highest Percentage Below National Poverty Line at 41.3%
Studies and surveys conducted on Belize are done regularly in various aspects in order to get a better understanding on the developments and progress made in the country. Joan Burke-Skeen who works with young persons and family life, she gave a brief report on findings in a recent country assessment during The Morning Show today. […]

Sharp Increase in Butane Prices as at January 11
The increase of fuel prices at the pumps went under the radar over the last few days but tonight we can tell you that fuel prices are not the only commodity that is seeing a hike in prices as the Belize Bureau of Standards announced today that effective January 11, 2017 there will be increases […]

Coalition Saving Our Natural Heritage through Education on Sea Seep Survey
Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is holding its own consultations into the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey. According to the spokesperson, Valentino Shal, the focus is on getting everyone up to date with the information regarding the survey. VALENTINO SHAL “We are trying to meet with our friends, supporters and constituents before […]

Family Life Director Speaks on Social Media Sex, Sugar Daddies, Cougars and Teenage Pregnancy
The issue of teenage pregnancy is one that has loomed over our country for years now. While it was an occurrence that was frowned upon many years ago, it is now one that has been accepted as somewhat of a norm. In the cases of pregnancies of minors, there are very few cases where the […] -->

Amandala

Belize loses $109 mil judgments in US courts
The Government of Belize and the Ashcroft Alliance have been in a protracted legal battle over a claim for hundreds of millions of dollars in a slew of litigation dating back to 2009, and reports reaching our newsroom today are that the US Supreme Court has issued a decision today signaling that it will not accept Belize’s petition against enforcing the awards in the USA. “The justices denied certiorari [an order by which a higher court can revisit a lower court’s decision] to cases that had been originally brought by Belize Social Development Ltd., Newco Ltd. and BCB Holdings Ltd., which stem from awards that were issued by various arbitral tribunals and were all confirmed by the D.C. Circuit,” Law360 reported today. In a news release issued today, Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (formally known as BCB Holdings Limited) and the Belize Bank Limited (collectively known as Caribbean Investment Holdings), said that they “have achieved a win in a lengthy process to achieve judicial recognition in the United States of an international arbitration award rendered in London, England in August 2009 against the Government of Belize (‘GOB’).”

Belize loses US$19 mil appeal in US Supreme Court
Belize has reportedly lost its US$19 million litigation battle with Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL)—an Ashcroft company which was created by the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) while under the control of Brutish billionaire Michael Ashcroft to receive the proceeds of an arbitration award handed down months before the nationalization by the Government of Belize. A report appearing in Law360, based in New York, reported that the US Supreme Court said today “that it would not take up Belize’s challenge to enforce a 38 million Belize dollar ($19 million) arbitral award to a telecommunications company.” Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has told our newspaper that the amount sought is now almost double the original award, at roughly $75 million, with interest. We asked Denys Barrow, SC, counsel for the Government, what the implications of the US court’s decision are, and he told us that the decision means that the claimant which had filed suit in the US against the Government of Belize is able to enforce the award in the US against any property of the Government of Belize that is available for enforcement; however, he said that the asset would have to be a commercial asset – and to his mind, no such asset is available in the US for BSDL to claim.

Electrician, Anthony Gilharry, Sr. died from a broken heart!
Just before he passed away last Friday, January 6, Anthony Gilharry Sr., 40, told his sister, Glenda Archer, that his wife was calling him and that he was leaving. Gilharry’s wife, Miriam Diane Gilharry nee Hyde, died two months ago in November 2016. Maggie Magdalena Haylock, one of Anthony Gilharry’s sisters, told Amandala tonight that her brother died of a broken heart. “After his wife died, my brother gave up life”, Haylock said. Gilharry was born on 11th October 1976. He lived in Ranchito Village, Corozal District, as a child. At the age of 7 years, his mother died, so the paternal aunt of him and his siblings offered to assist with his upbringing. He lived with her until adulthood, Haylock explained. Gilharry attended Ranchito Government School and then Escuela Secondario Mexico High School. He later took vocation-technical training in Belize City, and that was when he fell in love with the electrician profession.

13-year-old Belizean girl missing; police search for Mexican father
A 13-year-old Belizean Hispanic girl is missing and the primary suspect in her disappearance is her father, a Mexican national previously convicted of child molestation in Mexico. According to Corozal police, the primary school student, Anaseily Gonzalez, was last seen at the Chunox junction in the Corozal District on Friday at around 4:00 p.m. It is believed that she was taken in a navy-blue taxi to the Orange Walk border with Mexico and was then taken over into Mexico territory. Today, Monday, our newspaper spoke to Senior Superintendent of Police, Dennis Arnold, who told us that Mexican authorities have confirmed that the child’s father, Javier De La Cruz, 43, had been convicted of child molestation. It is believed that he and the child may be in La Union or Chetumal, Mexico, he said. Arnold also revealed that on Sunday, the child contacted her mother, who had made the missing person report.

Guatemala says Belize agreed to no Sarstoon occupation until ICJ
In recent years, there has been a lot of back and forth on Sarstoon Island which Belize and Belizeans have forever known as Belize’s territory. But Guatemala became aggressive in its exertion of supposed sovereignty over the island in the last decade. A leaked Belize Defence Force confidential report from October 2015 documents, there is an increased aggression on the part of the Guatemalan Armed Forces in the area toward the BDF. This tension has led to multiple diplomatic meetings and the latest round of encounters on the matter between the Foreign Ministers of both countries have had to do with a protocol for the Sarstoon, which Belizean officials foresee will be something akin to the Confidence Building Measures or CBMs that are in place along the western border. However, it has since been revealed in Guatemalan official documents that they have rejected any CBMs for the Southern border along the Sarstoon. The Guatemalans have instead insisted on what they call a security protocol that consists of granting Belize the courtesy of allowing our military to traverse the Sarstoon River to simply conduct its changeover at its Cadenas conservation post.

WW New Year’s Race results
Below are the official results from the Weekend Warriors (WW) New Year’s Race held yesterday, Sunday, January 8. Starting at 9:10 a.m., the “A/B” went from Mile 40 on the Philip Goldson Highway towards the Boom Road junction, then took a right, then a left at the George Price Highway, then a left again at the Chetumal Street junction, then a right back again onto the Philip Goldson Highway, then made their way down to the NAPA roundabout, then back up to finish at the M&M Engineering Compound, for 54 miles. 47 riders started the “A/B” race, with 37 finishing. The “C” class went from Crooked Tree junction and did the same route, starting at 9:15 a.m. 13 of the 14 “C” class starters managed to complete the journey.

Belize’s National Team plays Friendly tonight, travels tomorrow
Belize City football fans cannot fault the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) for not bringing one of the preparation “friendly” matches of our National Team, the Belize Jaguars, to the MCC Grounds, because the playing surface there is acknowledged to be terrible and indeed risky for possible injury to our players. Hopefully, some quick action could be taken to upgrade the surface in time for next month’s start of the PLB Closing Season; and also, so that Belize City fans can once again get to see our National Team in action in the old capital. On Friday night, the Jaguars defeated a Dangriga selection, 2-nil, at the Carl Ramos Stadium; and yesterday at the Louisiana Field in Orange Walk Town, they defeated an Orange Walk selection, 4-nil. Tonight, in their last practice match before travelling tomorrow to Panama for the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana tournament, the Belize Jaguars take on the Kasvamart Talentos MX from Mexico City. This game takes place at 7:00 p.m. at the FFB Stadium, but reportedly will not be aired on TV.

Secondary schools football begins today at the MCC
The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) Football Tournament 2016-2017 kicks off today at the MCC Grounds with 2 games scheduled, 1 female and 1 male game. There are 6 female teams participating in this year’s competition, while the 11 male teams taking part have been separated into two divisions, 6 teams in Division One and 5 teams in Division Two. Female (F) teams are: Ladyville Technical High (LTH), St. Catherine Academy (SCA), Gwen Lizarraga High (GLH), Wesley College (WES), Maude Williams High (MWH), and Pallotti High School (PHS). Male (M) teams are: Division One: Belize High School (BHS), Ladyville Technical High (LTH), Maude Williams High (MWH), Nazarene High School (NHS), St. John’s College (SJC), and Sadie Vernon Technical (SVT).

Football Friendlies in Orange Walk; Belize Jaguars visit
Two friendly games were played on Sunday afternoon at the Louisiana Football Field in Orange Walk. In the opener, the Corozal Selection won, 5-4, over Carmelita. Goals for Corozal were by Camilo Sanchez (3), Diego Sanchez and Basilio Sutherland; while Carmelita got goals from Jevon Ico (2), Marlon Miranda and Diedron Baptist. The big featured nightcap saw the Belize Jaguars putting down the Orange Walk Selection, 4-0, with goals from Deon McCaulay (3) and Luis Torres. The Orange Walk Football Association would like to thank all supporters and fans who came out in numbers to support the Orange Walk team and Belize Jaguars before their departure to Panama. O.W.

Unity
It may be the greatest cliché ever, but in unity there is strength. The teachers of Belize have proven this truism once again over the course of the last week. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), embarrassed by the unity/strength of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) during the teachers’ October strike last year and the subsequent dispute over strike pay, had succeeded in forcing Belize’s school managements and principals to take the Ministry of Education’s side in the matter of whether Belize’s schools should open on Tuesday, January 3, or Monday, January 9, 2017. Holding firm on a matter of dignity and principle, the BNTU, however, quietly had it their way on Monday, January 9, 2017. For months, the UDP’s leaders have been using all their political power to divide the teachers along party lines, and clearly the ruling party has succeeded to a certain extent. The UDP has framed the standoffs between the BNTU and the Government of Belize in political terms, and has appealed for teachers with loyalty to the UDP to defy the BNTU’s directives. The UDP has been arguing for months that the BNTU is in the service of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), that the national and branch leaderships of the BNTU want to overthrow the government, and BNTU President Luke Palacio has been singled out for special invective and opprobrium.

From The Publisher
In these my senior years, it is usually uncomfortable for me to read material I wrote as a young adult, such as The Crowd Called UBAD, written in 1970 when I was 23 years old. Such material often strikes me now as immature, hence the reason for my discomfort. Still, the material provides a historical record of the era in British Honduras (Belize), and it is therefore relevant and valuable. In my column today, I will quote from the aforementioned The Crowd Called UBAD with respect to the early days of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD), which was founded on February 9, 1969, with the following executive: President – Lionel Clarke, First vice-president – Evan Hyde, Second vice-president – Robert Livingston, Treasurer – Wilhelm Arnold, Asst. Treasurer – Ismail Shabazz, Secretary – George Flowers, Asst. Secretary – Penny Casasola, Councillors – Louis Belisle; Charles X Eagan; Galento Neal; and Alfred Faber.

Homicides, the leading cause of death in the Belize District
In a health bulletin released for the year 2016, the Ministry of Health revealed that homicides are the leading cause of death for the Central Health Region—an area with a population of over 90,000, spanning Belize City, Caye Caulker, San Pedro and the remainder of the Belize District. Ranked second is cardiovascular disease and third is cancer. There were 70 murders recorded in the Belize District, constituting 51% of the 137 murders recorded countrywide for 2016, based on preliminary police reports. The Central Health Region bulletin notes that, “Hypertension and diabetes have been the leading non-communicable diseases affecting the region, with incidences of 155 and 110, respectively.” In its December 2016 epidemiology bulletin, the Ministry demonstrates that there has been a rise in the cases of diabetes observed at the national level. “Diabetes Mellitus, also known as Type II diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the fourth leading cause of death in Belize and a major cause of disability among the population,” the report said.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

PUP congratulates 13th Senator
The People’s United Party (PUP) has issued a press release congratulating Osmany Salas, current President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association on his election as the 13th Senator representing the NGOs in the Upper House of the National Assembly. “Based on past experience, we […]

Police need your help in finding 13 year old teenager from Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk are looking for a 13-year-old teenager who went missing on January 10, 2017. According to police reports, Ideline Adelia Romero was last seen about 7:25 am on January 10, 2017 leaving home to attend classes. she was wearing her her […]

Dorian Pakeman charged
Former Director of the Government Press office, Dorian Pakeman was formally charged for the crime of ‘causing death by careless conduct’ in the Belize City Magistrate Court today. Pakeman, 34, was charged for knocking down Dean Dawson, a mechanic, in March of last year and […]

Crique Sarco residents plea for better road
Residents of Crique Sarco in the Toledo district are pleading to the government for help as the road that connects the mainly Q’eqchi Mayan community to Punta Gorda is in such deplorable conditions that residents have been virtually cut off from the neighboring town. […]

New ambulance for Dangriga
The Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga is set to receive a used ambulance through the help of a Canadian chiropractor and coordinated efforts between the Rotary Clubs in both countries.Roman Bayrock, the Canadian chiropractor who has done other charitable works in Belize over the last […]

NGO’s select 13 senator
The NGO community, today, elected Osmani Salas of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, to represent them as the 13th Senator. Twenty-three of the 29 NGO’s in good standing participated in the voting process, which was held at the Belize Audubon Society office in Belize […]

Osmany Salas elected as 13th Senator
Osmany Salas has been elected as the 13th Senator. Salas is the national President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and will now represent the NGO’s in the Senate. “I am honored and humbled to be elected the 13th Senator for the NGO’s,” […]

13 year old missing; allegedly kidnapped by child molester
Thirteen-year-old Anaseily Gonzalez was last seen on Friday January 6, 2017 at 4:16 p.m. at the Chunox junction waiting on a bus. It is alleged that she was kidnapped by her father, Javier de la Cruz, who is a convicted child molester. The Jasmine […]

Belize City police recover nearly four pounds of weed
According to police reports, yesterday evening around 4:24, police conducted a search in an overgrown lot on Mopan Street, Belize City which led to the discovery of a red plastic bag containing 400 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area and […]

San Ignacio police find almost 500 grams of weed
San Ignacio Police conducted a search in a drain on 18th Street, San Ignacio Town which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 499 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area and the drugs were deposited as “Found […]

Corozal police find weed
According to police reports, yesterday morning, police conducted a search behind the park in San Andres Village, Corozal District which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag hanging from an avocado tree which contained a transparent plastic bucket containing 377 grams of […]

Motorcycle stolen in Belize city
According to police reports, 20-year-old Raheem Cole reported that between 7:00 p.m. on Sunday and 7:55 a.m. on Monday, someone stole his black and chrome 2016 150CC Lifan motorcycle, with license plate MC-4684, valued at $2,428.30 from a yard at #3 Waight Street, in […]

US Supreme Court rules that Belize needs to pay up US $50 million in arbitration costs
As Belize continues to negotiate with bondholders to restructure the 2038 Bonds, the country’s already fragile economy has taken another crucial blow as US Supreme Court, yesterday, denied the government’s request for a write of certiorari in two pending arbitration settlements, namely: GOB vs. Belize […]

General John Kelly to head US Homeland security department
Today, confirmation hearings begin for General John F Kelly who has been chosen to serve in the Cabinet of United States President-Elect Donald Trump. Kelly will serve as Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He is a retired Marine Corps General. General […]

Blogs

New Year = New Adventures! Here’s to 2017
Just like that 2016 is over. 2017 welcomes us with open arms, with the opportunity to make new memories and live exciting new experiences. A new year often sees us making resolutions, challenging ourselves to add to the storybook of our lives. There is no better way to do that than creating a list of fun/in Belize. Call it your Belize Bucket List! 1. Dive/snorkel the Blue Hole: This is an easy one, after all who doesn’t want to visit one of the top aquatic destinations in the world? The collapsed sink hole is visited by thousands each year who marvel at its complex structure and amazing marine life. We want you to enjoy that too! 2. Hike up Victoria’s Peak: Time to get those hiking boots ready! While Victoria’s Peak is not the highest summit in Belize (Doyle’s Delight is the highest peak in Belize at 1,124 m), it is the most iconic. At 1,120 m, it definitely gives you enough of a challenge!

International Sourcesizz

Is this the Caribbean's most surprising destination?
ou’ll be hiking for 45 minutes, crossing a river three times, then swimming through a cave,” warns the letter on my bed. The staff at the Ka’ana Resort near San Ignacio may be full of sound advice (“pack bug spray, be prepared to get wet and muddy”) but they give nothing away about the sensational experience that awaits on a day trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal. One joy of travelling here is how empty Belize seems. While neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala are famously populous and exuberant, here the roads are quiet, the beaches relaxed, the archaeological sites often blissfully free of crowds. Just 380,000 people inhabit an area similar in size to Wales, and they are a most engaging jumble of cultures, including Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Chinese and Mennonite. That’s very different from the heyday of the Mayan era in the third to 10th centuries when more than a million people lived here, with the ensuing deforestation and pressure on resources thought to be one reason for the demise of this great civilisation. The most popular destination is Ambergris Caye, a 25-mile-long island in the north that attracts more than 40 per cent of visitors, mostly from North America. Here, protected sites such as the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Alley, where schools of nurse sharks gather, lie just a 10-minute boat ride away.

Belize trustee approves committee for debt talks
The trustee of Belize's so-called superbond has officially recognized a bondholder committee to hold talks with the government on the country's third restructuring in a decade. Funds including Greylock Capital Management and Grantham Mayo van Otterloo joined forces to form the committee, which was assembled last month to represent bondholders. Now trustee Bank of New York Mellon has formally approved the committee to negotiate with Belize, which says that its US$530m bond, issued in 2013, is unsustainable. The bond, which comes due in 2038, came out of the restructuring of a previous note that itself was the consolidation of other debt in a 2007 restructuring. In a memorandum to BNY made public this week, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight said Belize intends to "imminently" seek the consent of bondholders to amend the terms of the notes.

Caribbean prepares to pilot insurance facility to protect fisheries sector
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) hosted a working group meeting in Belize City from 9 – 10 January 2017, to advance the implementation of a risk insurance facility for fishers in the region. When fisheries ministers from CRFM member states met in the Cayman Islands in October 2016, they reviewed the progress made towards the activation of the Caribbean Ocean Assets Sustainability faciliTy (COAST). This week’s working group meeting, which the CRFM is facilitating in collaboration with the US Department of State, will aid in the selection of a representative sample of Caribbean countries in which the initiative will be piloted. The purpose of this week’s meeting is to chart the steps necessary to qualify a pilot country (or pilot countries) to purchase the COAST insurance product from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) before the start of the hurricane season on June 1, 2017.

Victim’s mom, 92, seeks to speed trial for high-seas murder suspect, 75
Thirty-eight years after the bodies of two British tourists were found in the Caribbean Sea, the elderly mother of one of the victims is asking a federal district judge to speed up the trial of a Sacramento man accused of murdering the couple on a boating excursion from Belize. The written appeal from 92-year-old Audrey Farmer, the mother of medical-school graduate Christopher Farmer, added a new element to the bizarre, unfolding criminal case of Silas Duane Boston, 75. Boston, a former Sacramento resident who was living in a nursing home, was arrested Dec. 2 in the rural town of Paradise and later indicted on two counts of first-degree maritime murder in the 1978 killings of Farmer and the physician’s girlfriend, Peta Frampton, both in their mid-20s. He has pleaded not guilty. Authorities say Boston also is a suspect in the killing of his former wife, Mary Lou Boston of Sacramento, who was last seen in 1968. According to court documents, Boston has claimed to have committed other killings as well, and may have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run in Sacramento’s Lemon Hill neighborhood in 1972. “My husband and I were very much involved in the search for them and we did all we could to establish how, why and who killed them,” Audrey Farmer wrote of her son and Frampton in a letter introduced in federal court Tuesday. “It was a matter of great sadness that my husband, Charles, died three years ago never knowing the truth surrounding their deaths and that the murderer was never brought to justice.” She added: “I am myself now 92 years old and Duane Boston is 75. Taking all of this into account, there may be little time left for justice to be seen.”

WestJet Traffic Is Surging
Canadian carrier WestJet continues to show strong traffic growth, according to the company’s latest report. The company showed 2.098 billion revenue passenger miles in December, a 9.1 percent increase over the same month in 2015. Available seat miles grew 7.1 percent to 2.598 billion in the same period, while load factor rose by 1.6 percentage points to 80.8 percent. For the full year 2016, the airline flew 22 million guests, an 8.2 percent jump over 2015 or 1.7 million additional guests. WestJet has been expanding its Caribbean flights, most recently with new service to Belize. “We are very pleased with the double-digit traffic growth in 2016 as we achieved our second highest full-year load factor of 81.8 per cent and welcomed a record 22 million guests on board,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “I want to thank our over 12,000 WestJetters for continuing to deliver our award winning brand of friendly caring service during this busy holiday season.”

Videos

  • Healthy Kidneys, Healthy Belize, 5min. This Capacity Building Project for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Renal Failure was initiated in 2016. According to statistics from the Belize government, the prevalence rates of both diabetes mellitus and hypertension, which are potential health factors in renal failure disease, are above 30 percent. The purpose of this project is to build capacity among health workers, promote health knowledge, establish a tracking and management system for chronic disease cases, and provide epidemiological reports.

  • Karate / Mixed Martial Arts, 30min.

  • BTL Promotions,15 min.

  • NGO 13th Senator Elections & Way Forward, 35min.

  • Dolphin Fun at Coco Plum Island Resort, Belize, 1/2min. Friendly, gracious, and "show offs" these dolphins decided to stop by and say hi on a recent fishing trip! Just one of the many reasons to love our Belize Barrier Reef!

  • Aerial Perspectives of Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min. Aerial views of some of the surrounding areas of the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize.

  • Recent increase in fuel prices, 8min.

  • Story time: I found love in Belize!, 14min.

  • Howler monkey Belize 2017, 1.5min.


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