Today's Belize News: January 12, 2017
01/12/17 12:58 AM
01/12/17 12:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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
Belize Continues its Record Breaking Trend in Tourism
The Highest Overnight Arrivals in 20 Years
The year 2016 culminated with another significant achievement for the tourism industry, boasting the highest overnight arrivals in twenty years. 2016 has proven to be the most successful year for Belize’s overnight tourism sector.
With an overall increase of 13% in comparison to 2015, this translates to 44,422 additional visitors
enjoying the beauty of our Jewel; the largest increase reflected in the past 20 years. As depicted in
the graph below, the growth in the industry continues.
Cruise Passenger Arrivals exceeded 1 million for the first time
Cruise tourism also reflected growth with a 4.9% increase in arrivals in comparison to 2015.
Osmany Salas elected as the 13th Senator of Belize
After Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow signed the commencement order for the 13th senator in October 2016, the appointment became a reality on Wednesday, January 10th. Making Belizean history, Osmany Salas, the national President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), was officially elected by the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) sector to become the 13th Senator.
Prior to the voting process, the six nominees had to meet specific requirements before being formally nominated on January 3rd. Besides Salas, the other five candidates included: Pablo Collado of “Adopt a Child with a Disability”, Oceana Vice President Janelle Chanona, Edilberto Romero of Bacongo, Donovan Reneau of the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, and Executive Director of the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association Valdemar Andrade.
New Transport Board appointed for Caye Caulker
A new Traffic Control Committee was appointed in Caye Caulker Village on Monday, January 9th. Attending an inauguration ceremony held at the Caye Caulker Village Council office, was Minister of Transports and National Emergency Management, Honourable Edmond Castro, who appointed the five member committee.
The new traffic control committee will be responsible for authorizing approvals of all vehicle licenses on the island. As a result they will monitor the importation of vehicles (golf carts) to the island in an attempt to address traffic issues.
Massive protests in Mexico after increase in fuel prices
Belizeans will feel the effects of the recent rise in fuel prices introduced by the Mexican government on Sunday, January 1st. Belizean bus companies who had been relying on the cheaper fuel prices across the border at the Mexican city of Chetumal, will no longer enjoy such commodity. Residents from the Belizean northern districts believe that prices in transportation and cost of basic goods might see an increase due to the Mexican fuel crisis. The massive unrest on the Mexican side saw protesters blocking roads and looting several stores in various cities across that country. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government explained that the price deregulation had long been on the table, and it coincided with the rise in world oil prices. The 20% average increase in fuel caused a chaotic situation in Chetumal, the capital of the Mexican State of Quintana Roo, where popular establishments such as Walmart, Chedraui, Plaza de las Americas, and Aurora Bodega were looted.
Sagebrush Church and Believers World Outreach team up for Celebration Week
During the Christmas holidays, Sagebrush Church partnered up with Believers World Outreach (BWO) from Los Angeles, California USA to host a ‘Celebration Week’. With help from Sagebrush and over 60 BWO volunteers across the United States and Canada, the team dedicated themselves to serve the island youth.
Many activities took place throughout ‘Celebration Week’, including free optical clinics, eye glasses, haircuts, and manicures. They also hosted a children’s sports outreach, while other children participated in arts and crafts, dancing, games, and even watched the movie “Zootopia”.
In the spirit of the season, Sagebrush celebrated its first ever Christmas Carnival on December 23rd. The carnival featured plenty of games, life-size cartoon characters and Christmas floats to entertain children and their families.
Pastor Todd Cook then delivered an inspiring message of God’s love for humanity. He shared the message that God loves all of humanity, regardless of race, creed, age, status, gender or sins. With live bands playing praise, worship and Christmas carols, treats were given out to attendants. The fun carnival lasted until 10PM.
The Bucket Lust Party Goers Invade Belize to Celebrate New Year
They are a hedonistic group in search for the next party in exotic locations around the globe. If you were out and about during the New Year’s celebrations on Ambergris Caye, you definitely noticed the large group of party animals that invaded the island.
They travel to destinations and party on yachts and that is how this wild bunch ended up in Belize. Through the travel company The Bucket Lust, these extreme party goers made it to the country, to experience an eight-day itinerary of intense partying and debauchery.
If you were wondering why there were so many yachts and catamarans at Amigos del Mar Dive Shop during the New Year weekend, it was this gang of party people who were enjoying two days of non-stop partying in La Isla Bonita.
The group was hard to miss; they were a happy, loud and eccentric bunch. They were standing on bars, dressed up in wild costumes and painted the town red with excitement. The Bucket Lust describe themselves as a global community of explorers and ‘party unicorns’ looking to crowd-fund the ultimate weeklong experiences in the most epic locations on the plant. Indeed they found ‘EPIC’ in Belize.
History for Belize as Osmani Salas Elected 13th Senator
President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Osmani Salas, was elected as Belize’s new 13th senator by the NGO community on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
Twenty-three NGO’s participated in the voting process, that was held at the Belize Audubon Society office in Belize City. There were two rounds of voting; the first having six candidates that included Osmani Salas, Janelle Chanona, Edilberto Romero, Pablo Collado, Donovan Reneau and Valdemar Andrade as nominees for the seat in the Upper House of Parliament. The second voting carried the top two - Osmani and Edilberto.
Misc Belizean Sources
Bucket Lust comes to Belize
The world's 1st crowdfunded yachting event, Belize's largest sailing flotilla ever, 18 luxury sailing yachts, 200 amazing people from all around the world, the greatest team of skippers ever assembled (at least half are solid 7s or higher and 4 are ginger!), backed by Budgy Smuggler and Ultimate Ears, 9 theme parties over 8 days including 2 private islands, and 1 really dumb name!
Government of Belize will not Pay for PUP Corruption
The Office of the Prime Minister is astounded by the statement made by the People’s United Party (PUP) on the denial by the United States Supreme Court of the Government of Belize's petition for a review of lower court judgments in three cases.
The cases upheld arbitration awards against Belize procured by NEWCO, Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL) and BCB Holdings Limited. BSDL and BCB are Ashcroft companies, and the arbitration awards they received were for the PUP Accommodation Agreement given to BSDL, and the PUP Settlement Deed given to BCB. Those awards are unenforceable in Belize since its highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), has ruled that the PUP agreements on which they are based are scandalous, outrageous and utterly illegal. NEWCO is a company to which the PUP Government gave the contract to manage the Philip Goldson International Airport. The PUP then shafted NEWCO and took away the contract to give it instead to Musas, Courtenays and others of their friends and families.
The Police Department hosts annual meeting with local media
The Police Department is hosting its annual lunch meeting with members of the local media. The purpose of the meeting is to iron out issues on crime and violence as that relates to media coverage.
Minister of Police Elodio Aragon Jr is joined by CEO Lovell, Com Pol Allen Whylie and Regional Commanders ACP Edward Broaster, ACP Chester Williams and ACP Dezerie Phillips.
Have You Seen Ideline Romero?
The Orange Walk Police are reporting that 13-year-old Ideline Adelia Romero has been reported missing since Tuesday, January 10th, 2017. She was last seen in the morning at about 7:25 AM when she left her home heading to the School that she attends, namely La Inmaculada School. Ideline is described to be of a dark brown skin complexion, weighs about 105 pounds, is 4½ feet tall and has black curly hair. She was last seen wearing her La Inmaculada School Uniform which is a blue skirt and white blouse along with a brown colored sweater, blue socks, grey tennis and a school bag with floral designs on it. If you see Ideline Romero you are asked to call your local authorities.
Freedom Avenue at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone is getting resurfaced
Freedom Avenue at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone is getting resurfaced after demitted CEO, Raul Rosado of the CCFZ announced in October of last year that it was investing two million dollars in infrastructure.
What is clear when we asked this morning, is that 100 percent of the company, equipment, personnel and even the materials used are from Chetumal, Mexico.
We feel that with the current financial crisis and unemployment at the Corozal Free Zone and Belize as a whole for that matter, that it was only right, proper and appropriate that this project should have been given to Belizeans. We are not criticizing the quality of work of the Mexicans either.
Mind you, we are also not saying that the streets do not need upgrading. They do, but we are also wondering first, where is the investment plan to stimulate and attract more business to the Corozal Free Zone to prevent it from collapsing. Some serious measures need to be put in place immediately to mitigate its current loss of business and employment. Where is the long term business plan for the future (short and long) of the free zone?
Social Security Board public consultation meetings
Social Security Board is hosting public consultation meetings at differnt locations in Belize.
The purpose of the Public Consultation is to seek input from stakeholders in improving the financing and benefit structure.
At the meeting, you will be able to:
1) Provide your input on concepts specified during the discussions;
2) Gather first-hand information directly from the expert(s) on the performance of the Social Security Scheme.
Note from us at CD: For all those paying social security, we advise you all to attend this public consultation.
JOB FAIR in Orange Walk
Over 100 vacancies available! Visit out job fair in Orange Walk Town on January 20th, 2017 at Queen Elizabeth Park from 8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. This is an open invitation for everyone interested. Corozal, take advantage of this job fair near you!
Santander Sugar Group's vacancies.
Please assist the job fair for more information.
Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm Sunday, January 15: entire Caye Caulker
BEL to conduct equipment maintenance and replace conductor and fuse cutouts at Caye Caulker Substation.
NEBL Kickoff: Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks
The 2017 NEBL season kicks off this Friday here in Cayo, when the Western Ballaz host the Tiger Sharks. The match starts at 9:00pm at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. Find out all the latest Ballaz news on their page. The NEBL has the 2017 schedule on their page. It's going to be a showdown in San Ignacio this Friday at SHC's Auditorium! Your home team will be hosting the first game of the 2017 NEBL season. Share the flyer and invite all your friends and family to come out and cheer on our boys. This is the place you want to be on Friday!!! Let's go Ballaz..... let's go!!!!"
The reschedule date of Liquor License general meeting on Caye Caulker, January 17th,2017 at 10:00am.
Emergency Response Agencies Receive Command Vehicles from the Government of Japan
The Government of Belize today received three (3) command vehicles donated by the Government of Japan, through their Non-Project Grant for Industrial Products. These three (3) vehicles will be utilized by the Police Department, Belize National Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), as on-site command centres during emergency situations.
The Japanese delegation, headed by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunsuke Takei, arrived on the 9thJanuary, 2017. Vice-Minister Takei met with several ministers of Government including the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber; Minister for Economic Development, Trade, Investment and Commerce Hon. Erwin Contreras; and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Godwin Hulse.
During these meetings the Japanese delegation received an update on the state of play of the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute, among other bilateral themes of interest. Minister Takei expressed support for the two parties’ decision to go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Japan is a founding member of the Group of Friends of the Belize-Guatemala Peaceful Resolution Process.
Children Advisory Body (CAB) of San Pedro elects a new president
Under the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Children Advisory Body (CAB) of San Pedro has elected a new president, Karissa Vasquez, Form 1 student from San Pedro High School. The members consisting of students of each school, voted in a closed meeting to elect their new president. Karissa now replaces former president Lester Gamez, Form 4 student from San Pedro High School. Karissa is honored that her colleagues chose her as their new president and is ready to work and execute their proposed projects; such as, clean up campaigns and more.
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council congratulate Karissa on her election and look forward in working along with Karissa and her colleagues in improving San Pedro Town and Ambergris Caye and continue the work in making our Isla Bonita a Child Friendly community.
Maria Marin Testimony Continues With Damning Clues
Last week, the Senate Hearings on the Immigration Department resumed when the Committee called up the Former Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin.
Marin was careful but critical of the culture at the Department in which UDP Minister's of government took great interest in seeing their favoured applicants approved for visas, nationality certificates, and passports. In some instances, persons who they recommended did not qualify, but the persistent politicians in concert with all too willing public officers were able to get those documents approved by the Immigration Department anyway.
Well, today, Committee Chairman, Aldo Salazar, asked Marin to go into further detail about this culture of political meddling at the Department, and this time around, she gave some very revealing answers.
How Will the UDP Solve A Problem Like Maria?
So, after another 4 hours in the hot seat, Maria Marin is finally done with the Senate inquiry. The Committee reserves the right to call her back for additional testimony. When we approached her for an interview, her attorney, Darrell Bradley said that she is unable to speak at this time.
But he did give us his view of her 2 days of testimony:
Darrell Bradley - Attorney for Maria Marin:
"I want to first of all make the point that Ms. Marin was very adamant that she instituted certain reforms at the department, she recommended certain upgrades and changes including putting together proposals for greater screening, for information technology upgrades. She monitored these things and I think that her testimony both previously and today was very accurate and truthful and she indicated quite adamantly where these was any suggestion that any process be shortcut she was never involved in that and she would have always as a professional and as a person of integrity insisted on all the processed being followed. I think that her testimony both on the last occasion and on this occasion was very forth coming truthful and very substantive and I think that some cases where she had to testify about things which existed she was a bit uncomfortable but honest and I think that is what the senators expect, I think that is the spirit of the investigation inquiry being conducted here."
GOB Says It Won't Pay BCB, BDSL Awards
For the past two nights we've been telling you about the massive judgments secured by the Ashcroft Alliance after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear Government's appeal of lower court judgments for BCB Holdings Limited, and Belize Social Development. Combined, the two of them amount to a staggering 50 million US dollars.
Last night we publicly questioned whether the Barrow Administration was too shell shocked to respond; well it seems a scathing press release from the PUP rang the alarm in the Prime Minister's office.
A smoking hot release issued today from the Prime Minister's Office goes on the political offensive; it is headlined "Government of Belize will not pay for PUP Corruption."
Most strikingly, the release states, quote, "while the US courts have upheld the awards, those courts have no authority to overrule the CCJ and certainly the Ashcroft companies can never collect on those awards in Belize. …the Government of Belize under the current administration, refuses to subject the Belizean people to this monstrosity of the PUP's making, and has no intention of paying a penny of these Ashcroft awards." End quote.
How Will Police Contain Soaring Murder Rate In 2017?
For the past two weeks we've been reporting the unofficial murder total for 2016 as 137. Well, today, the official numbers were released and police say there were 138 murders. That's a 16% increase and the second highest murder total ever recorded in Belize. The Commissioner broke it down today:..
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police:
"Murders constituted a total of 138 incidents for the year 2016 country wide in comparison to 119 incidents which recorded in the year 2015. This shows an increase of 19 incidents or 15.9%. Analysis for period under review 2016 by region indicates the Belize district recorded the highest with 70 incidents compared to 66 in 2015, an increase of 4 incidents. The second highest district was Cayo with a total of 34 incidents in 2016 compared to incidents in 2015 reflecting an increase of 7 incidents. Of the 138 murders of 2016, 51 cases have been solved to date, 87 cases are currently under investigation; as a result of those cases solve police have arrested and charged 65 person; namely 60 Belizeans, 2 Salvadorans, 1 Honduran, 1 Guyanese and 1 Guatemalan. 81 were by the use of firearms, 40 were by the use of machete or knives, 2 were utilising stones, 2 were utilising a blunt object, 1 was with the use of galvanised pipe and 12 were caused by unknown weapons."
Police and Media Reach Compromise
Last week we told you about the unwelcome change in the police –media relations. The media has been doing just fine with the existing arrangement – where the commanders for various formations freely gave us interviews on crimes in their area. But under the new arrangement - they won't be able to speak with us at all anymore, the media will have to forward all questions to public relations officer Raphael Martinez. That unilateral decision unleashed a storm of protest from the media and a letter of protest.
And that led to a meeting and luncheon today between the police and the ministry top brass and the media at Old Belize. The idea was to hammer out a workable arrangement which will not fetter the free flow of information. Minister of State Elodio Aragon discussed it:…
Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Home Affairs:
"Today we call this meeting, I think we have a reunion with the members of the media, this is just to streamline the way police information is passed on to the media in regards to information that is needed by them for their newscast. Today I think we had a good sit-down with the media and their personalities along with the police commanders from Belize City and of course personnel who work in the media office of the police department."
Alleged Robbers Charged, 16 Year Old Cops Plea to Get Adults Free
On Monday we told you about a foiled robbery on North Front Street in Belize City. Well those would be robbers appeared in the Magistrate's Court today. Gilroy Thompson, Harry Montero, Dorian Blair, Aaron Flowers, Kenroy Vanzie and a 16 year old minor were all read charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and possession of live ammo without a license. All 5 adults involved pled not guilty to the charges while, the 16 year old minor pled guilty.
Magistrate Mendoza then asked to speak to the minor and his father to ensure he knew what he was pleading guilty to. After making sure the minor understood the charges, the Magistrate asked if he was being forced to take the blame for his accomplices, which he denied. After several minutes, the Magistrate was still not convinced and denied his guilty plea. If his plea had been accepted the 5 adults likely would have gone free.
Hon. Espat's Dance Around The House
There's a House Meeting on Friday but will PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat be there? Our best information says he won't, but that his a truce has been brokered to end his suspension. 7News has confirmed that Espat along with his party leader John Briceno, and UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan met with the new Speaker of the House Laura Longsworth last week Tuesday to iron out matters.
We have confirmed that Espat also wrote a letter of apology – in which he doesn't apologize, but he does vow to respect the Speaker going forward. The letter refers to the August 26th. incident as "unfortunate" and states that he had no intention of disrespecting the chair. It adds that Espat, accepts the authority of the chair and has no intention to undermine that authority. With that, it was agreed that Honourable Finnegan would move a motion at the next sitting to bring him back. But, the timing is the issue. Espat wanted to come back on Friday, but it seems the UDP Majority will only agree to have him come back at the next sitting in late January or early February.
Japan Donates Trucks For Different Kind of Firefight
The Government of Japan handed over 3 trucks to the Fire Department today. Now, they aren't fire trucks, they are called command vehicles. They will be deployed for major fires and other disasters like flooding. But don't expect to see any water coming out of them. They are pretty much like offices on wheels. Fire department personnel will be able to better coordinate for quicker response to emergencies. We were there at the ceremony to see just how special these vehicles are.
The dancing flames and the thick, blinding smoke – it is a scene all too familiar for many city families as their homes crumbled beneath the blaze.
And it's not only houses that were destroyed – lives were lost. Four children were killed in house fires in the last three months of 2016.
It is a major struggle for the fire department to respond to all these calls. But with today's donation of 3 fancy trucks, it will improve their operations and respond time.
Another Expensive New Toy For City Hall
And also in the fancy new truck business is the Belize City Council. Today, that municipal body received the last of five pieces of heavy equipment under the flood mitigation project. This time it's a new asphalt truck and Councillor Phillip Willoughby showed us how it works. He says it will be helpful in paving the City's streets...
Phillip Willoughby - Belize City Councillor:
"Well this is one of 5 new equipment that came through the flood mitigation infrastructure project; again gentrac was the contract bidder for procuring the equipment and this is the last one that came into the country and this the city's new asphalt truck, this is the game changer and this will be the equipment that will be impacting the lives or changing, transforming people's lives whereby their streets will be paved by this said equipment right here. So like I said this is the game changer and you could see a positive impact on people's lives once their street has been paved and the city now has that capacity to deal with its own street paving."
"Sir you said this will be paving the streets but it will also be paving them in a much faster pace than we've ever seen before correct?"
Customs Caught Cannabis In Orange Walk Air Cargo
Orange Walk Customs Personnel today intercepted 2.8 pounds of weed. It had been delivered in a Heineken box as air cargo bound for San Pedro on Tropic Air. Customs got intelligence and picked it up at the tower Hill airstrip before it could take flight for San Pedro. The weed was bundled up in nine saran wrap bundles. The names and numbers on it were fictitious, but Customs is following up leads.
Jaguars Leave For Panama With Dreams of Gold Cup
The Belize Jaguars are on their way to Panama tonight to participate in the Copa Centroamericano tournament. The last time Belize's national team went to this tournament in 2014, they finished in last place. Since then, the Football Federation of Belize has elected a new executive, the team has retained a new, veteran European head coach, and a handful of new players have been selected to represent the country. The FFB held a press conference this morning just before the team left for Panama and told us why they are so confident in this new lineup...
Belize has been selected as a part of Group A, and will face off against Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. They play their first game against the home team on Friday. The top four teams in the tournament will move on to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the fifth place team will enter the Caribbean Cup for a second chance at qualifying.
Jaws, The Trouble Croc Relocated
Jaws is an American crocodile whose jaw was broken by a machete while he was still a juvenile. Because his jaw healed at an awkward slant he is unable to properly hunt for prey on his own. Because of this, a few San Pedro residents took pity on the croc and have been feeding him for the last few years. Jaws is now an adult, has completely lost his fear of humans, and he’s a big old boy, making him a great threat to the humans who live near him. So, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary stepped in a relocated the Jaws to a new home made especially for him in Sandhill. ACES' founder, Vince Rose, about how Jaws' story can serve as a lesson of what not to do when a crocodile lives near you...
Tourism Soared To Record High in 2016
The BTB says that 2016 was the best year ever for tourism; it recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals in 20 years.
The numbers show a total of 385,583 overnight arrivals, a 13% increase from 2015 translating into 45 thousand more visitors. As we reported, there was one month that showed a decline, which was 1.3% in November, and December showed a slowdown in the overall growth trend with an only 1.5% increase in arrivals.
So while the year ended on an iffy note, overnight arrivals were up sharply in the first 10 months of the year, going up as much as 27% in September.
Cruise tourism also showed growth with a 4.9% increase in arrivals in 2016. And another record was broken because for the first time cruise passenger arrivals exceeded one million visitors. Of course, tour operators on the ground say the industry is faring worse than ever for locals, but the BTB boasts that the month of October showed a 38% increase in cruise arrivals.
Bought A Car From A Facebook Friend
22 year-old Jordan Morey is out on bail tonight for another charge of obtaining property by deception.
The victim who he allegedly conned is Ashton Jones, who reported to police that on November 29, 2016, he was having a Facebook conversation with someone who didn't know personally, but who introduced himself as "Jay Jay". Jones says that this man told him that he has a 2005 Ford Escape SUV for sale for $3,500. Jones reported that on January 4, he met with this "Jay Jay" and paid the man $2,700 up front, and they agreed that he would pay the $800 balance in instalments.
The problem is that he never delivered this vehicle, and when Jones started investigating, this man later identified as Jordan Morey, was using an assumed identity, and he didn't have this vehicle to sell. He told police that he has heard of other complaints of Morey that are of a similar nature, so he wanted court action.
Re: Today's Belize News: January 12, 2017
01/12/17 12:58 AM
01/12/17 12:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Senate Hearings Resume; Maria Marin Denies Contact with Kim File
Former deputy – and at one point acting – director of the Immigration Department, Maria Marin, was back on the hot seat for the Senate Special Select Committee’s fourth public [...]
Marin Says Officers Knew Files from Ministers Must Be Completed and Applicants Appear in Person
An example of alleged Ministerial overreach in the Department was pointed out by the officer in charge of Nationality, Gordon Wade. In the Audit Report he criticized Maria Marin for [...]
Ex-Immigration Chief Says it’s Time to “Walk the Talk”
Accompanying each section of the Immigration Audit Report is a list of recommendations from the auditors. While quite a few have been mentioned before, the political wherewithal to follow through [...]
A Culture of Independence Permeated Immigration, Says Former Director
A key question that the Senate Special Senate Committee on Immigration is seeking to answer is: despite all the protocols and manuals and meetings and reminders that officers in major [...]
Julius Espat Apologizes, Paves Way for Return to House
News Five has learnt that at Friday’s‘ sitting of the House of Representatives, party whip and Area Rep for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan, will be presenting a motion for the return [...]
B.T.V. to Hit National Assembly on Friday in Protest of Referendum Act Amendments
The Belize Territorial Volunteers and their political allies, the Belize Progressive Party, sent out separate releases condemning Government’s efforts to pass an amendment to the Referendum Act, proposing to reduce [...]
2016 Most Murderous Year Since 2012 as Murders Dominate Crime Statistics
An official breakdown of the 2016 crime statistics was provided by the top brass of the police today. As we have reported, murders are up by nineteen when compared to [...]
Government Swears It Will Not Pay “Ashcroft Awards”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the cases of the Government against Belize Social Development Limited, Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (formerly BCB Holdings Limited) and Newco Limited, [...]
Meet the Jaguars – They’re Off to Panama!
The national team departed Belize today for Panama with hopes running high as they embark on the first round of competition in regional games that lead to the Gold Cup. [...]
F.F.B. to Find Money to Promote National Side
But where is the F.F.B. financially? The team is sporting new jerseys, a new coach and international players are now in the mix. President Marlon Kuylen says that the intent [...]
Guats Spread Gill Nets in Belizean Waters Down South
Wil Maheia, the leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, continues to keep close watch on illegal activity at and near the mouth of the Sarstoon River, half of which is [...]
Police Take New Tack in Media Relationship
The relationship between the Belize Police Department and the local media has, for the most part, been a mutually beneficial arrangement. We have been able to provide you, our viewers, [...]
Department to Roll Out New Strategic Plan
Firearm offences remain on the rise, as handguns are the weapons of choice for criminals committing various felonies. The proliferation of guns in the streets of Belize City has caused [...]
Police Department Worried About MS-13 Jailbreak
While the department tries to get a handle on the domestic gang infestation, another problem seems to be looming overhead. That is the influx of gang members from neighboring Central [...]
A Donation for the Fire Service
Belize was gifted three command vehicles by the Japanese Government. The official handing over ceremony took place in the City where Minister of NEMO Edmond Castro accepted on behalf of [...]
Tourism Arrivals – Upward and Onward
The B.T.B. says that tourism arrivals for 2016 went way up – the highest it has been in twenty years. In release issued today, the B.T.B. says that 2016 has [...]
“Jaws” Makes the Move from San Pedro to Sandhill
Jaws caused a spectacle today at the Quality Poultry Products compound on North Front Street in Belize City. The eight-foot croc was transferred from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in [...]
Maria Marin Returns To Testify To Senate Select Committee
Former Director of Immigration Maria Marin returned to testify before the Senate Select Committee today, as the Senate-appointed group continued its investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing cited in the Auditor General’s special audit report.
At the last hearing, Marin confirmed the report’s findings that there were irregularities at the Department. Today she offered a deeper diagnosis, speaking openly about some of the things which she saw taking place in her Department but which she disapproved of.
Aldo Salazar, Committee Chairman:
“I want you to address what you perceived as the culture at the time when you came to lay the department?”
Maria Marin – Former director of Immigration:
“When I came to the department as the Deputy Director, I was aware of cases where we would have people coming in to the department to like what was referred to as agents, who would come in and bring in application forms, we would have cases where as the Deputy Director holding over for the then Director, when they went on leave or were out of office for some reason...”
La Inmaculada Student Still Missing
Tonight Orange Walk Police and the mother of thirteen year old student Ideline Adelia Romero have launched an intensive search for her after she went missing yesterday morning. According to official police reports, Romero left from home to attend classes at the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic School sometime after 7:25 a.m. and has not been seen since.
She was last seen wearing her school uniform along with a brown sweater, blue socks, grey footwear and a floral design backpack. Romero is of dark brown complexion, has narrow face, curly black hair, and thick eyebrows. She weighs one hundred five pounds and is about four and a half feet tall.
GOB Say They Won't Pay A Cent To Ashcroft Alliance
Two days ago the Government of Belize faced a major litigation loss after the United States Supreme Court was reluctant to entertain the petitions of GOB regarding the review of two judgments made against them by two Ashcroft Alliance companies….the Belize Social Development Limited and the BCB Holdings Limited. This out rightly means that GOB must make payments to these companies in the sum of close to fifty million US dollars together with interest.
Following the report made by the US Supreme Court, the People’s United Party issued a release indicating that due to the Barrow Administration’s ‘incompetent and delusional decision-making’, Belizeans will be directly affected once more as they will be compelled to contribute to the debt in the sum of $117 million US Dollars through the payment of taxes. And while the release goes on to say that failure to make payment within a period of 60 days may result in the entire Superbond debt to become payable in full, the PUP is calling on the Prime Minister and the UDP Government to clarify a number of matters to the Belizean people including what new taxes will be introduced, how the payment of these judgments will affect our already depleted foreign reserves and how many jobs will be cut from the public sector.
Bond Holder Committee Recognize For Restructuring Superbond
The trustee of Belize's superbond has officially recognized a bondholder committee to hold talks with the government on the country's third restructuring in a decade, according to an online report on Reuters.
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.
Productive Sector In Critical State Says Area Representative
We are at the start of a New Year but one thing that we were unable to leave in the old year is the current economic state of our country. There is no doubt that our country is facing a recession even the Prime Minister has accepted this fact. What is worse though, is that there is no silver lining in sight. Today PUP Representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Aberlardo Mai appeared on our morning show, Despierta Belice, to speak of the general economic state of affairs of our country but particularly looking at the productive sector which is currently in an inevitable downward spiral. Expressing grave concern for our tropical paradise, Mai explained how twenty sixteen is going down in history as the worst year for the productive sector, which includes, grains and vegetable production, forestry, fisheries, cattle and poultry production and even tourism.
Government Says M$50 USD Arbitration Award Will Remain Unpaid
Earlier this week we told you of the decision by the US Court of Appeal to reinforce the fifty million US dollar arbitration award to the Belize Social Development Limited and the BCB Holdings. When we spoke with Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay who represents some of the interests in the Ashcroft Group of Companies, we […]
Opposition Party Reverses Blame at the Barrow Administration Over the M$50 USD Award
Now, we have told you that the Government is outraged at the opposition’s release sent out yesterday where they blamed this recent enforcement of the fifty million US dollar award on the Barrow administration, citing it as a result of the Prime Minister’s arrogance and incompetence. The opposition party has referred to Barrow’s decision making […]
PUP Questions Government’s Commitment to a 13th Senator
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 saw the historical election held among the non-governmental organizations as they sought to choose their representative in the Senate. The election of the 13th Senator went smoothly and it is expected that he will be sworn in on January 20, 2017. The main opposition party, PUP issued a statement on the […]
Senate Inquiry Continues with Questions at Immigration Director
The Senate Special Select Committee continued its probing into the findings of the auditor general special report on the Immigration and Nationality Department for the period 2011- 2013.Former acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin was questioned for the second time. Marin had been the acting Director of Immigration from February 2013 to April 2016 and […]
2016 Recorded 19 More Murders than 2015
Today Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie presented the crimes statistics for 2016. Commissioner Whylie said there were a total of two thousand, one hundred and thirty seven major crimes for the year; this represents a decrease of seventy nine or three point six percent compared to 2015. ALLEN WHYLIE “Murders constituted a total of 138 […]
Media and Police Meet to Iron Out Concerns Regarding New PR Police Policy
Last Friday the media was informed that the Police Department would be changing their rules of engagement as it relates to the flow of information. A letter was sent to the Commissioner of Police requesting clarification. Today representatives of the media met with Minister of State with responsibility for the Police, Elodio Aragon Junior, CEO […]
Japanese Government Donates Command Centre Vehicles
The Vice Minister for Japan was in Belize for the last two days and is preparing to depart after holding several meetings with some Government officials and handing over three new vehicles to the National Fire Service, the National Emergency Management Organization and the Belize Police Department. His Excellency Shunsuke Takei did the official handing […]
American National Dies in Freak Accident in Western Belize
Love News has received word that a 64-year-old American woman from Memphis, Tennessee died this afternoon as a result of a freak accident. According to reports, the woman had gone swimming at Jaguar Paw. She reportedly slipped inside one of the bathrooms and got injured. She was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital but died […]
Record Breaking Trend Continues in Belize Tourism
According to the Belize Tourism Board, Belize continues its record breaking trend in tourism. Statistics shows that 2016 recorded the highest overnight arrivals in more than twenty years making 2016 the most successful year for Belize’s overnight tourism sector. Compared to 2015, 2016 saw an increase of forty four thousand, four hundred and twenty two […]
Belize Jaguars Head to Panama for UNCAF Copa Centroamericana
Twenty three football players making up the Belize Team left the country this morning for Panama where they will be engaging in five football matches against Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The team led by their imported coach and Acting President, Marlon Kuylen held a brief press conference this morning in the […]
Breaking Belize News
Weed found on boat in Belize city
According to police reports, on Wednesday January 4, at 11:03 p.m. police conducted a search on a boat which was docked in the canal on Mahogany Street, Belize City which led to the discovery of a plastic bag containing 440 grams of cannabis. No […]
Three men charged for drug trafficking
On Monday around 2:30 a.m., police conducted a search at the residence of 20-year-old Tareek Smith on Raccoon Street Extension, Belize City which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag in one of the rooms, which contained 1,090 grams of Cannabis. Also […]
PUP blasts GOB for financial and economic woes
The People’s United Party (PUP) has issued a release regarding the recent US Supreme Court ruling against the Government of Belize. “Arising from litigation caused by Barrow’s and this UDP government’s incompetent and delusional decision making, Belizean taxpayers will now be forced to make good […]
PUP congratulates 13th Senator
Yesterday the People’s United Party issued a press release congratulating the 13th Senator. “Based on past experience, we are forced to note that Mr. Salas’ election is just one stage in a long-delayed appointment. It is now the Government’s responsibility, as committed, to accept […]
Yogi is a tough little dude. He growled when I took his picture! Some of us just don’t prefer to be in the limelight. Sorry Yogi! You were too cute and I had to do it! I tried to capture his adorable overbite but he kept hiding it when I held up the camera.
Stop the Insanity
The 25 people that braved the downpour for Monday Night’s meeting at the Lions Den all agreed – the Government needs to recognize and appreciate the Unique Beauty that is Belize.There is not another place like this and the vote was unanimous, it is time for the whole country to care about our future and sustainable tourism. Oceana shed some light on the subject in combination with an open forum.
It comes down to inadequate consultation of the public and not listening to what the people really want in regards to a most important topic – surveying and drilling Belize oil.
To be fair I have created a pros and cons list for drilling Belize Oil.
But seriously, if carried out, there will be no benefit; not one, especially for future generations as well as those of us who are invested and care right now. If animals could talk they would say the same and add their 2 cents. I know a point they would make more mention of – noise pollution being a detriment to their health and well being.
I have always felt strongly that we should be most recognized for my long time rated Best Belize Oil; coconut oil – aptly named Glorious Belize.
We need to nurture our environment not pillage and torment it. It is crucial to preserve our marine heritage in a fast paced modern day world. We need to keep our country unique and prosperous with strong environmental cultivation and protection that includes traditional livelihoods and history.
Thinking of moving to Placencia, Belize? 13 ways living here will change the way you think!!
It is hard to remember how things change in the way you think, after a few years here...but here are 13 ways that I guarantee you will change if you stick around!
1.) Continuously lowering your expectations about what hair products (and makeup, etc) you'll be OK with using.--unless you are going back to the US a lot, you have to be ok with whatever stock is here. I have been unable to buy hairspray for a couple weeks at a time, and while in the US my preferred brand is certainly not V05 or Suave, I am happy to have it here! (because it is only a few bucks, the occasional random good stuff is 10x the US price!)
2.) Although you lose the materialism mentality in the US, the scarcity mentality will hit you hard....--when you DO find a beloved import product in the stores, you will find yourself buying all the things, because you may never see it again.
3.) Finding yourself saying - "Its just a cockroach.... It's just some termites.... Scorpion stings/tarantula bites don't actually kill you....Oh the bees here are all Africanized bees? Sweet."
Celebrating the New Year with a Full Moon in Belize – Belize Wedding Photography
It’s a new year and we have so many things to celebrate. We had to look up synonyms for the word ‘epic’ just to describe how unbelievable the last year has been for us as wedding photographers in Belize. Not only did we have the most fabulous, fun and fantastic weddings, but we hit over 100,000 views on this blog. The fact that people love our work and trust us to record some of the most important events in their lives is not something we take lightly. The fact that thousands of people love our work enough to read our blog is not something we take lightly either and so we are going to start off this year as we intend to go on. So, sit back and get ready for a blog that’s going to make you smile, blush, laugh and possibly become green with envy. Enjoy!
Love Across Nations – Belize Wedding Photography
There’s no doubt that Belize is probably one of the most understandably desirable destination wedding locations in the world. This means that we get couples from across the globe traveling to this jewel of a country to celebrate one of the most special and important days of their lives. In this case, Belize wasn’t just a ‘destination’ for our groom – it was home. For the glamorous bride, all the way from Poland, it was the opportunity to learn more about her gorgeous groom and his heritage. As one of our favourite events this year, filled with love, laughter, spontaneity, beauty and joy, we thought it was a perfect wedding to share with you as we round off 2016.
Belize to be one of 2017's biggest travel trends says MSN Lifestyle
An article published by the MSN Lifestyle website highlighted the many attractions "off the beaten path" in Belize as part of their Travel Trends for 2017 series. The MSN Lifestyle article featured several popular tourist attractions in Belize, including the active archeological excavation at Xunantunich, an ancient Maya site and the Belize Zoo, an educational rescue center housing hundreds of indigenous species like jaguars, margays and Harpy Eagles.
The MSN Lifestyle article also described the famous Great Blue Hole, a circular submarine sinkhole located on the 130 km-long Belize Barrier Reef. Measuring more than 300 meters (984 feet) in diameter, the Great Blue Hole was rated by French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau as one of his top 10 scuba diving sites in the world.
DISCOVER BELIZE AND YOU’LL CROSS COSTA RICA OFF YOUR TRAVEL LIST!
If you’re all about travel trends, you probably know that Costa Rica is ancient history. The country continues to invest millions to lure tourists to their shores, but like the Wizard hiding behind the Oz spectacle, things aren’t as rosy as they seem. You crave tropical Caribbean splendor that outshines, out-enchants and out-does anything Costa Rica has to offer—and at prices that are downright affordable. Sound too good to be true? Learn why thousands of travelers opt for Belize these days.
1. Eat like royalty. The Belize culinary scene is sensational. Be the first in your crowd to explore international bites not served in Costa Rica where food artistry is limited. Sample Creole, Garifuna, East Indian and Mestizo cuisine offering infinitely more variety than can be found on the Costa Rican food scene.
2. Soothe your inner conservationist. The number of initiatives and laws put into place by Belize government and nonprofit foundations to protect land, sea, wildlife and aquatic life is mind boggling, exceeding efforts put forth by neighboring Costa Rica. Belize takes seriously its responsibility to keep the planet green. Will you find a jaguar sanctuary in Costa Rica? Not if you searched for 100 years.
3. Spend your vacation doing your best sloth imitation rather than arriving drained and exhausted because flight arrangements to Costa Rica did you in. The explosion of tourists choosing Belize over neighbors Costa Rica and Panama reflects a dramatic increase in direct flights by North American carriers that get you to Belize in a few hours.
Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize This 2017
Although Belize is tiny nation in Central America--roughly the size of Massachusetts--this country is blessed with diverse natural ecosystem. The Great Barrier Reef's huge collection of assorted corals and marine life creates a communal respite to any tourist who will visit it. Plus, the Mayan ruins hidden on its lush rainforest will take any traveller back in ancient times.
Belize has a rich history and culture. People here are from different ancestors, adding to the diversity of Belize as a country. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit this beautiful place in 2017.
The U.S. News and World Report website ranked Belize as #1 Best Affordable Winter Vacations. The same site ranked it both number 8 in Best Places to Visit in Central and South America and Best Affordable Vacations in Central and South America. Find out here how the site ranks vacation destinations.
Belize Tourism Continues to Boom
Belize is seeing a continued surge in tourism growth, according to the destinations’ year-end numbers.
Belize reported 385,583 overnight tourist arrivals in 2016, a 13 percent increase over 2015, the Belize Tourism Board said in a report.
That came after Belize grew by 6.2 percent in 2015 and 9.2 percent in 2014.
The 13 percent improvement was the fastest growth of any tourism destination in the Caribbean last year, a total increase of 44,422 visitors year-over-year.
“These successes are credited to the vigorous marketing, product development and expansion efforts of the Stakeholders in the industry and, with similar efforts and collaboration continuing into 2017, it is expected to see these increasing trends continue,” the tourism board said in a statement.
Caribbean And Latin America News Round Up For Thursday Jan. 12, 2017
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 “that it would not take up Belize’s challenge to enforce a 38 million Belize dollar ($19 million) arbitral award to a telecommunications company.”
FLY FISHING INTO 2017: ANGLING’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
2016 is done. Está terminando. It was an interesting year on many fronts—and thankfully we are not going to revisit it anymore. It’s time to move on. And … go fishing. So I did just that on the first day of 2017.
My destination was the Gallatin River north of Big Sky, and it did not disappoint. Can I remind you how lucky we are to have this trout stream in our backyard? Can I remind you how vital it is we work to protect it, especially after 2016’s elections?
Dang. I promised to move on. Please just don’t get lazy in 2017, in fact get empowered. You can start by agreeing to take action in 2017—and that’s one of the New Year’s fly fishing resolutions. Here’s the list I came up in between fish on New Year’s Day.
Quit Your Job And Live Abroad: 8 Places So Cheap You Might Not Need To Work
Have you ever fantasized about quitting your job and moving to a place where it's so cheap that you barely need to work — if at all? "It’s a great idea, and it’s not that far-fetched," says Kathleen Peddicord, who has turned this fantasy into a business. As founder of the company Live and Invest Overseas, Peddicord advises global nomads on where to move in order to live on the cheap.
A long-time global nomad herself, Peddicord is originally from Baltimore. She left the U.S. about 20 years ago for a job in Waterford, Ireland, then made a pitstop in Paris before setting her sights on Panama City, where she now lives with her husband and family.
Here, Peddicord shares her top picks to live around the world: eight places where expats can get by on next to nothing. "They're beautiful, interesting, welcoming and adventure-rich places that are also single-friendly and uber-affordable," she says.
"If you want to leave the troubles and the worries of our age behind, the little Santa Familia village in Cayo, Belize, is calling your name," says Peddicord. "Life in Cayo is back to basics, simple and sweet. You know your neighbors, they know you and you all look out for each other."
Peddicord recounts a 60 Minutes segment that Morley Safer did on Belize about 25 years ago. "He sat in a row boat and said 'The news from Belize is that there is no news from Belize.' And it hasn't changed since then. That's the reason Belize is on my list."
Pound sterling hits a new 31-year low against the dollar
The pound has tumbled to a new 31-year low against the dollar with the US currency boosted ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's press conference.
The pound has tumbled to a new 31-year low against the dollar with the US currency boosted ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's press conference. Jane Foley, head of currency strategy at Rabobank, said that the dollar is rising because the “market is hoping for a bit more meat on the bones” in relation to Mr Trump’s financial policies.
Meet 12 year old Jaws, 1/2min. He is a crocodile that was captured by ACES back in 2011 on San Pedro. Today, almost six years later, Jaws was brought via Quality Poultry boat to Belize City where he will now being transported to his new home at Rainforest Adventure Tours in Sandhill.
National Football Team at departure press conference, 1/2min. The National Football Team is at a departure press conference at the PGIA. The team leaves today for the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Tournament which begins Friday in Panama.
New coach Richard Orlowski of Poland and assistant Charlie Slusher selected the national team - a total of 23 players - from a pool of thirty players who showed up for camp. Players who made the team include: Shane Orio, Woodrow West, Elroy Smith, Ian Gaynair, Trevor Lennan, Danny Jimenez, and Deon Mcaulay. New additions include Michael Atkinson and Makonnen Clare.
The team also unveiled its new jersey today.
Feedin' the baby!, 1min. This was shot last spring. I am very lucky to have a flock of Chachalacas living in my yard.....they are at the feeder every day.
Hayley + Luke, 8min. from Island Films at Ramon's Village Resort, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Preparing a Business Plan (SBDC Belize), 31min.
Wildlife Conservation Society - Commercial Fisher Folks License Program - Mobile Application, 22min.
Dance Jonkunu Habinahan Wanaragua 2016 in Dangriga, Belize, 5min.
How does it get better than this? From San Pedro, Belize, 4min.
Tropic Air Cessna 208B flight Belize City - San Pedro Town, 4.5min.
Dispute between PASA, Solid Waste Management Will Not Stop Garbage Disposal, 2min.
BSI ASR WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 5, 3.5min.
Downtown Rejuvenation Project, 29min.
Belize 2013, 3.5min.
Caribbean, Christmas 2016, 4min. I had no exams this year so my family and I flew out to Florida for a little bit of sunshine (and golf) before boarding the Caribbean Princess Cruise ship. We explored Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya.
Belize Winter Adventure, 5.5 min. Our Belize Winter Adventure San Pedro...Coco Plum... San Ignacio
Scuba diving with dolphins in Belize, 1min. Front Porch dive site in Belize. A pod of 20 dolphins came to say hi.
Lobster Hunt - Belize 2016, 1min. A short clip from our trip to the Ambergris Caye in Belize. Diving for lobsters with Cliff and Manny from Seakarus.
Mike and Jami's Belize Bash, 15min. This video memorializes an amazing week from 12/30/16 to 1/6/17 in Belize to celebrate a some birthdays - friends, rum punch, and scuba diving!
Belize - Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 2.5min.
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