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Today's Belize News: January 26, 2017 #521184
01/26/17 01:00 AM
01/26/17 01:00 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,587
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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

SPTC clarifies situation over bulldozed home in San Mateo
A resident of San Mateo, Rosa Paguada, has reported that her two houses were demolished by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) on Friday, January 20th. Paguada claims she has been living at her house for the past 14 years, and that while she was at work, the SPTC tractors began bulldozing both of her houses. However, according to neighbors in area, both houses were empty and Paguada had received many warnings to remove the houses from the said area. Reports are that she refused to move out. It was said that prior to the bulldozing, she allegedly moved out of the house and took all her belongings. The San Pedro Sun spoke to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who shed some more light on the situation. According to Guerrero, the homeowner has been given ultimatums to move the structures or dismantle them. “First of all, it’s squatting. I’ve been talking to her, along with Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. and Councilor Severro Guerrero. Since my first term in 2012, I have been discussing the removal of these structures because it was in the middle of the street. At that time, she mentioned to her neighbors that when [we] go, she will be with a machete there. After exchanging talks and agreements, we sent the bulldozer to take down the structures to clear the road,” said Mayor Guerrero.

Despite unresolved dispute with PASA, garbage transfer operations resume countrywide
Many garbage transfer stations across the country were affected after PASA Belize Limited suddenly informed the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority that they were ceasing operations as of Monday, January 9th. This included the transfer station on Ambergris Caye, which was unable to ship out its waste to the mainland. However, two weeks later, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development has announced that while the situation with PASA is being sorted, the Ministry is ensuring that solid waste is transferred off the island. On Ambergris Caye, local authorities had been monitoring the situation, and although the station on the island could not get rid of its waste, it continued receiving garbage. Mayor Daniel Guerrero had indicated that while they were closely following the matter, the garbage collection on the island would continue as per normal. He did not speak of any changes at the time, and disregarded any immediate impacts on the island, however he anticipated possible alternatives for garbage disposal if necessary. “If the transfer station on the island stops receiving our garbage then we will have to turn back to what we used to do before; burn the garbage,” said Guerrero.

Alfonso Wiltshire back in Jail
The San Pedro Police Department have confirmed the reopening of an Unlawful Sexual Intercourse case involving a 13-year-old female who was allegedly abused by island resident, 52-year-old Alfonso Wiltshire. As a result, Wiltshire has been re-arrested and will appear at the San Pedro’s Magistrate Court tomorrow Thursday, January 26th. Police have indicated that following further investigations into the case, evidence was revealed that once again incriminates Wiltshire. He is expected to be remanded to the Belize Central Prison after his court hearing tomorrow. In October 2015 Wiltshire was charged and remanded to the Belize Central Prison, but a few days later he was out on bail. The matter was dismissed for non-disclosure on August 24, 2016 at the San Pedro Magistrate Court before Magistrate Janell Villanueva. However, this time police believe they have enough evidence to incarcerate Wiltshire.

Raise Me Up and On Eagles Wings Ministry break ground for Hope Haven
After the San Pedro Lions Club generously donated the use of a building they own, ground-breaking work for Hope Haven—a new children’s home commenced on Saturday, January 21st. This has been an on-going initiative from non-profit organizations (NGOs) Raise Me Up and On Eagle Wings Ministries (OEWM) to accommodate the island’s vulnerable groups, and provide them with adequate assistance. Located on Lions Street across from Maya Island Air, the first phase of construction began upstairs. Through OEWM, a mission team from Vineyard Church in Asheville, North Carolina, USA arrived in San Pedro Town to selflessly offer their labor, and have been volunteering at the site. For the past couple of days, volunteers have helped clear out the area for renovation by knocking down walls, and stripping the flooring and ceiling.

Ambergris Today

FBI Offers $10K Reward for Anne Swaney McComb Murder Case in Belize
On January 14, 2016, Anne Elizabeth Swaney McComb’s body was found downstream of the Mopan River a day after she had went to a deck near the river to practice her yoga as she has done since she got to the Nabitunich Farm Resort for her vacation in Belize. Anne became an executive producer of online operations at ABC7 shortly after she graduated from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, in 1998. Anne Swaney had recently celebrated 16 years of working at ABC7. She loved her job and also loved to travel. She visited many countries including: Costa Rica, Scotland, Turkey, Greece, Iowa, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary Austria and Belize. Not for once did anyone ever think Belize would be her last destination. Now, a year later her murder continues to be investigated by the police force in Belize and by the FBI in Chicago. The FBI has now offered $10,000 USD to anyone who has information into capturing the killer.

Sean McDermott To Perform At Sunshine Scholarship Foundation Fundraiser
Sunshine Scholarship invites the community of San Pedro to join them in the foundation’s biggest and best Fundraiser event in San Pedro. A benefit concert featuring Broadway star Sean McDermott to be held on February 22nd, 2017, at Palapa Bar and Grill, starting at 7pm. Tickets are on sale for only $50 BZ. The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is an incorporated entity in Belize since 2014, providing scholarships to underprivileged San Pedro children. Since 2014, the Foundation has enrolled approximately 10 children in the program. Currently, there are over 20 children who need scholarships in order to attend school. As a result of this pressing need, the Foundation will be holding a huge fundraiser.

National Geographic Names Belizean Beach Among World’s Most Spectacular
Belize is known for its rich diversity of assets, ranging from Maya Mountains and ruins, caves, flora and fauna, tropical rainforest, the barrier reef and more, but now it gets a nod for having spectacular beaches. National Geographic has compiled a diverse list of the world’s most spectacular beaches, ranging from the idyllic, through the unusual, to the ecologically important. National Geographic has ranked South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Belize, as one of the Top 21 Beaches in the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) appointed South Water Caye Marine Reserve as one of the seven protected areas that form the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System’s World Heritage Site. Pelican Beach on the Caye is known for supporting an oceanic mangrove system and extensive seagrass meadow that is home for many marine life species. South Water Caye is the second largest marine reserve on the country, with a depth of approximately 20 feet or less. It is known to be the safest beach in the country where one within minutes can explore the Reserve and The Barrier Reef.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Splashers/a>
Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint this cute little guy who is "Waiting Patiently" for you to come!

Women in Art Fair 2017
The SISE House of Culture is having their Women in Art Fair on March 18th at the Cayo Welcome Center, and they are inviting female artisans from Cayo to display their art.

December 2016 Trade & Consumer Price Index
Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2016 were valued at $173.9 million. This was a decrease of 3.2 percent or $5.8 million from last December’s imports, which were valued at $179.7 million. Merchandise imports for the year 2016 totaled almost $2 billion, a decrease of 4.3 percent or $89.1 million from the total imports recorded for 2015. Total domestic exports for December 2016 amounted to $17.9 million, down 10.7 percent or $2.1 million when compared to December, 2015. Domestic exports for the year 2016 totaled $401.9 million, down 25.1 percent or $134.7 million dollars from the $536.6 million recorded for 2015. This significant drop in Belize’s export earnings for the year 2016 when compared to 2015 was as a result of decreased earnings across all major commodities

NO state of normalcy with regard to Guatemala
Nuff respect to the soldiers of the Belize Defence Force, for I know their role is to follow orders. Yet, it is this manner of bullshit propaganda which irks me. Shame on the powers that be, who persist in perpetuating the facade that we are in a state of normalcy with regard to Guatemala, its unfounded claim to our sovereign territory and its ever-increasing aggression against our nation. Any who beg to differ, I simply point to the acts of aggression that occur against Belizean nationals who seek to traverse our side of the Sastoon River. The Guatemalans have become so emboldened that they have issued fisheries regulations which clearly include Belizean waters. In addition, Guatemalans are free to use gill nets in our territorial waters, unabated, but if Belizean fisherman even venture into the area, they are summarily harassed. Let us not forget the daily incursions which take place all along our Western Border, as well as the subsequent pillaging of our flora and fauna. Additionally, if matters are so "cordial" between the two nations, can anyone tell me if Guatemala's Ambassador has returned to Belize? These are the manner of things Belizeans must recognise. Not the poppy-show propaganda which the "talking heads" spew, based on directives from the "Fifth-Column" which exists in the halls of Belmopan.

THE BELIZEAN ART SHOP: MY BELIZE FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL (PART 1)
In this second feature of the recently presented Belizean Legends artistic documentary series we call, "The Belize Art Shop", where we debut the column with Belizean artist and photographer, Karen Stuart Spence, we want to now feature another work in photography of Belizean artist and photographer, Clyde Gillett. Gillett, who has been shooting scenes from all walks of life for many years now, has made a tremendous impact on the Belizean social and political scene with his outstanding work covering the struggle of peoples from all cultures including his own people, the Belizean people. In this eight piece photo essay, Gillett has chronicled in living color the activism work of yours truly, Bilal Morris, and has followed the "BREDAA Movement" and my role in it as a community organizer. Here the viewer will see the grassroots Belizean community in which BREDAA has been associated with in Los Angeles, California for the last 30 years. The artist's work depicts the social and political work that goes into activism, and the crucial fact that one must go to the people if a movement is to survive and take root. Gillett's work in sociopolitical activism in which he has covered so many, expresses the love of the Belizean people here for their country and its survival as a nation.

BIP MAKES INVESTMENT IN BELIZE EASIER AND FASTER
The Ministry responsible for Investment, Trade and Commerce (MITC) and BelizeINVEST, a unit of BELTRAIDE, joined the LOVE FM Morning Show team today to promote the Belize Investment Portfolio Campaign (BIP). This is an initiative which aims to foster the development of a national portfolio to fast-track investment generation efforts, both local and foreign, through targeted matchmaking of pre-packaged investment concepts and projects. Through the advancement of the campaign, BELTRAIDE, through its technical unit BelizeINVEST, mandated to serve as Belize’s National Investment Promotion Agency, expects to further substantiate investment concepts submitted by key public sector Government Ministries and stakeholders into actionable business cases aligned with national development priorities. Additionally, the campaign strives to support private sector investment projects seeking financing and / or investment partners by promoting and matchmaking these “shovel ready” business opportunities through various platforms regionally, inclusive of Connect Americas and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agency (CAIPA), key supporters and collaborators of this initiative in Belize.

Convictions: Supplies Control (Prices) Regulations

2017 San Pedro Lobster Fest
Mark your calendars!!! San Pedro Lobster Festival 2017 will be June 15th-24th! The block party will be on June 24th in Central Park.

EnviroConnect Belize Competition
Season 2 of EnviroConnect Belize Competition is coming soon to Channel 5. We are recruiting participants to compete, as well as a new host. Fill out the application form, and sent it to outreach@environment.gov.bz or envirodept@environment.gov.bz.

Mountain Cow with young in the Chiquibul
Camera trap photos are from PhD student, Lauren N. Watine, and the Program for Tropical Ecology and Conservation Science. Cameras are used to understand wildlife species found in the Chiquibul Forest and how we can continue to promote their existence in this unique system.

Printed licenses now ready in San Pedro
The Traffic Dept’ would like to inform all persons who renewed their license but were not issued their license due to lack of printing supplies, that the licenses are now ready for collection. Please visit the Traffic Office with your receipt to collect your new license. Thank You.

Channel 7

Bombshell: Former Immigration Director Says Confirms Nationality Fraud In run-Up To 2012 GE
In January of 2012 there was a rush of people crowding the immigration office in Belmopan. And that's because it was the lead-up to a general election, and in a game of ruthless electioneering, UDP politicians, especially those from the Cayo District were in an unseemly rush to naturalize new voters, and get them unto the voters' list in time for the General Election in March. We covered the story at the time, where the office was over-run with new applicants and political operators greasing government wheels to get their voters regularized at all costs. Even to the casual observer, it was an unseemly affair, and tonight we know that mass acts of fraud were perpetuated during that period leading to fraudulent citizens and voters. That's what came out of the Senate hearings today in Belmopan where former Director Ruth Meighan, who presided over that period conceded that in the haste, many corners were cut, which resulted in compromised Belizean nationality documents:…

Meighan Says Visa Scam Was Perpetrated By Dept. Staff
And, that was only a snapshot of the wider fraud committed on the systems for approval of visa, nationality and passports at the Immigration Department. As we told you, the audit suggests that Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan, or someone signing in her place, may have been approving visas for an applicant, and in a matter of days, weeks, or months, she was recommending these same persons to get permanent residency, long before they qualified for it. Well, it's the same story with persons getting visas to travel to Belize, and then getting Belizean nationality shortly after. Today, the Senate challenged Meighan on that. She insisted that she did not get to see any visa approval information, and based on what she had in front of her, she believed in the immigration officer who screened it before her, without contemplating the possibility that these documents could be forgeries. Here's the back and forth on that:

Who Were Those Ministers In And Out Of Immigration Office?
And though political influence and electioneering caused that 2012 fiasco, if you ask any Minister of the Barrow Administration, they'd say that their regular visits and interventions did nothing to misdirect the application process for immigration documents. Every single Minister we've talked to insists that he was not seeking to push through applications for persons who didn't qualify. From their perspective, they were giving introduction letters, and they always made sure to indicate in their letters of recommendation to the Immigration Director, that they wished for applicants to be approved "if all was in order". Well, as we told you, Ruth Meighan's successor, Maria Marin, started to keep a record of the number of recommendation letters she was receiving from ministers. It was a red flag for her, and she provided that list to the Senate Select Committee a few weeks ago. That list was not shared with the media. But it did come up today in the Senate hearing, along with Meighan's observation that Ministers were popping in and out of the Immigration Department regularly.

Meighan's Signature Used Without Consent
And there were weaknesses all around the Immigration Department. Specifically, there is one instance where the electronic passport system had a copy of former Director Meighan's signature saved, to be applied on passports for to all applicants that the head of the passport section has approved. Meighan's signature was appearing on passports long after she left the Department, and today, the Senate found out why. Her signature as the lead Immigration Officer was needed to authenticate that a passport was valid, and for expediency, an electronic copy of it was saved on the passport system. Unfortunately, it allowed for passports to be processed with her signature affixed, but without her approval. She explained that to the Senate today: Ruth Meighan - Former Director of Immigration: "At the time I became director I was asked to put my signature on the passport system which the approval signature for passport but in terms of my intervention in the process from application up to that point after I've signed on that system I have absolutely no intervention in that process from application up to the time or approval. My signature is on a passport system that approves the passport that's what I'm saying."

Meighan Takes The Blame
So, the Senate Committee kept challenging Ruth Meighan on what her role is and what it should have been as the chief immigration officer. She eventually agreed that what came to be the norm, and what is the ideal are two different things, and because she didn't have direct oversight over all processes at the Immigration Department, irregularities, and fraud managed to slip through. Here's that portion of today's hearing: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "Who is responsible when in fact that person does not qualify, you or the officer below?" Ruth Meighan - Former Director of Immigration: "I am the person that gives the approval for the visa." Hon. Eamon Courtenay: "Who is responsible, who is accountable?" Ruth Meighan: "I am the person that gives the approval so I believe I would be the person who is accountable for the issuing of visa."

Police and Politicians Partner For Peace In Conch Shell
The Conch Shell Bay area and the nearby Lindo's Alley Street has been a hotbed of violence since the start of 2017. Two men have been killed and a 19 year old is in the intensive care unit after being shot two nights ago. So, how are police going to bring peace and safety to this very small area? Well, today Southside Police went on a meet and greet in this embattled community. But they didn't go alone, for the first time that we've witnessed, the police teamed up with the ranking politician in the area – that's representative Tracey Taeger-Panton. Here's what she told us about putting an end to the violence:… Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton - Albert Area. Rep: "Residence in this area particular, Lindo's alley and also in the Conch shell bay area very concerned with the escalation of gun violence and so we felt that it was important to do an outreach to the community to give them our reassurance that we're doing everything we possibly can in terms of dealing with the crime itself and also looking for alternative ways in which we can continue to support our community to try and stem some of what has happened. Recently there has been a spike in the activity and its concerning for all us, far too many of our young men are dying and as a community we have to come together and do what we can."

Fitzgibbon Fingered
And, going back to Lindo’s Alley, police have already charged the suspect in that shooting. In under 24 hours, police charged Enfield Fitzgibbon. Today, he was taken to court but he didn’t want the press to see his face. In court, he appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until March 17.

Morter's Marijuana Lands Him In Jail
Yesterday we told you about Elsworth Morter, who was busted in his home along with seven others with over 30 pounds of cannabis. They were all charged with multiple counts of possession and drug trafficking, but today Morter took all the blame. In the Magistrate's Court, he pled guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and two counts of drug trafficking, letting his accomplices off the hook. He was sentenced to three years in jail, and fined ten thousand dollars for one of the counts, and simply fined another ten thousand dollars for the second count. If he doesn’t pay that one by the end of this year, he will serve another three years in jail.

16 Year Old Tries To Take The Rap Again For Grown Men
Earlier this month, Gilroy Thompson, Dorian Blair, Aaron Flowers, Kenroy Vanzie, Harry Montero and a minor were all arrested and charged for possession of a firearm without a license. The group allegedly attempted to rob the Northern Fisheries Cooperative office on North Front Street, but were thwarted and captured by the police. The three adults pled not guilty, while the minor pled guilty. After some deliberation with the boy and his father, the Magistrate denied his plea, fearing he was being forced and did not fully understand the consequences. They were all remanded into custody until March. Today, the group, with the exception of Flowers who was out on Supreme Court bail, was called back to the Magistrate's Court to be read a second charge. This time, they were charged with handling stolen goods. According to reports, the firearm they used in their attempted robbery was stolen from SOS Security Guard, Allister Claire.

GOB: No IMF Prescription Will Make Us Well
Government is in the final stages of preparing the budget for the next fiscal year, and all the wags say that there will be an increase in taxes. But, will government have to take an IMF prescription for their fiscal shortfall? According to the Minister of State for Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Commerce, there's not going to be any IMF prescription: Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State - Econ Dev, Trade & Commerce: "I certainly don't think that anytime in the near future we'll be having any prescription of the IMF. I know that we're looking at how we curtail and streamline expenses for the government that is important. You know we can't go bondholders if it's business as usual, we have to be sure that we are streamlining our own activities and I think that there will be a greater effort by government departments and ministries and all involved to streamline expenses so that we can use the money in areas like intervention and mediation and job creation and that kind of thing."

Investment Minister Says Puerto Azul Was Non Starter
And speaking in the context of her Investment portfolio, Taegar – Panton distanced herself from the Puerto Azul meltdown. That supposed eight star resort development near the Blue Hole has been exposed as a straight-up scam, and, now, Taegar – Panton says it was a non-starter:… Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State - Econ Dev, Trade & Commerce: "We haven't been involved with that project for a couple of years. I know that they had applied for an environmental impact assessment to be done and a terms of reference was reviewed and that is where the project stopped. There was no direct intervention from the ministry of investment or beltraide for a couple of years now. We've heard somethings on the international media but we all have to wait and see how that plays out and if in fact those things are indeed as they represented. It is unfortunate when we have those kinds of incidents, certainly we try as best as we can to do our due diligence not only through beltraide but also through the FIU and the central bank to ensure that investors that are coming are bonafide and we don't find ourselves in that kind of situation."

Shady Shopkeepers Convicted
In other news coming out of Taeger-Panton’s Ministry, the Supplies Control office at the Belize Bureau of Standards has successfully prosecuted four Independence village shopkeepers who were taking advantage of their customers. Working with police, price control monitors found that these four stores were selling controlled items at above the legal price, and not properly displaying the price of these items. Three of tem were fined a thousand dollars, while one – which only failed to display the price was fined 500 dollars. The office says it has two pending cases in Benque Viejo.

UCLA Makes Monumental Partnership With Belize Cancer Center
We have reported on several international medical visits from a host of practitioners. A group of doctors and nurses would normally come for a couple days or sometimes a week and see a few patients. Then they head back home – medical mission over! Well, the Medical Director and his team at the Belize Cancer Center in Dangriga aren't settling for a one-time visit. They have partnered with one of the most prestigious medical centers in the world – UCLA to launch a program where in any given month , there will be 3 medical professionals from UCLA stationed at the Cancer Center in Dangriga. It is major collaborative breakthrough and after about a year of planning, it's finally official. Today Courtney Weatherburne traveled to Dangriga to find out how this new partnership will work and what it means for Southerners and the wider population. This might look like just another regular clinic with its comfy treatment area. Its storage supply area and its medicine refrigerator. But the Belize Cancer Center is so much more for Dangriga residents. For 60 year old Cancer Survivor Marjorie Garvin, this center gave her another chance at life.

UCLA Partnership Will also Be Learning Experience
Another component of this collaboration is ongoing training and education. The Center's staff will also benefit from a number of workshops and seminars organized by the UCLA medical professionals. We have more details about that educational program, and we also spoke to a sickle cell anemia patient about how this new initiative will help him and others like him: Laxmi Suthar - Program Director, UCLA Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program: "As we all recognize in the medical community it is really important to have on going medical education for both the providers but also for our patience. So I help run the residency program which is a training program, 75 physicians and as part of that education we also teach them also to be teachers and the idea will be to have a sharing of ideas between the physicians here as well as the physicians which will be visiting from UCLA. We would like to be able to do seminars and have teaching sessions where nurses, physicians, medical students can get updates on disease illnesses that may be affecting the population here. Chronic disease management, things like how do you manage diabetes or hypertension in the most cost conscious way by providing the highest quality care possible."

Exports Tanked In 2016
The latest figures from the Statistical institute of Belize have been released and they show that Belize's exports have sharply declined once again. Exports for December totalled only 18 million dollars, and which is 10.7 percent less than December, 2015. So, overall, 2016 was a very down year where exports reduced by one quarter, which is 25.1 percent or $134.7 million less than the $536.6 million recorded for 2015. This significant drop in export earnings was as a result of decreased earnings across all major commodities. For example, sugar fell by a 23.3 percent, despite virtually no change in exported volumes, due to lowered world market prices. Imports in the month of December 2016 were also down – in this case by only 3.2 percent. For the second month in a row, imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment' declined sharply, down more than $7 million from December 2015, due mainly to reduced purchases of tractors, telecommunication parts and four cylinder vehicles.

Muslims Open Arms to Community
Today the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at held a press conference to tell the public about their 3rd Annual Convention. The convention will serve as a way for practicing Muslims to reconnect with their faith, as well as serve as a learning opportunity for those who are curious about Islam. A panel of Muslim leaders from Canada, Belize and Ghana told us what to expect... The panel also addressed the case of Abu Naila, also known as Nadir Ali Ahmad, the Belizean Muslim who was killed by Filipino authorities in a skirmish with the terrorist group "Ansarul Khilafa Philippines"... The convention will take place this Friday and Saturday at the ITVET in Belize City.


Re: Today's Belize News: January 26, 2017 [Re: Marty] #521185
01/26/17 01:00 AM
01/26/17 01:00 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,587
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

.
Marty  Online Happy OP

Channel 5

Eamon Courtenay Turns Up the Heat on Ruth Meighan at Senate Inquiry
Former Director of Immigration and Nationality Ruth Meighan returned to an already hot seat at the National Assembly as the latest to testify in the Senate Special Select Committee’s hearings [...]

Did Ministers’ Recommendations Sway Immigration Officers?
Ministers of the Government of Belize tend to enjoy their power, especially when it comes to influencing their constituents. Of course, constituents tend to take advantage of that power and [...]

Ex-Immigration Director Admits She Would Have Done Things Differently
So, is there anything Director Meighan would have done differently? She acknowledged the changes made to the Department’s system since her time there and said that in hindsight, she might [...]

G.O.B.: Yes to Cutting Expenses; No to Higher Taxes and Retrenchment
You can say it’s common knowledge that the bondholders of Belize’s international debt, known as Superbond 3.0, rejected a third restructuring proposed by the Government of Belize. G.O.B. is now [...]

Belize Should Be Safe from Puerto Azul Fallout, Trade Minister Believes
Last week, we reported on the arrest of the principals of the proposed multimillion dollar Puerto Azul tourism project on the islands of Sand Bore and Northern Two Cayes in [...]

Enfield Fitzgibbon in Court for Attempted Murder in Conch Shell Bay
There was a community outreach earlier today in the Conch Shell Bay neighborhood, led by the Belize Police Department and Albert Area Representative Tracy Panton.  The initiative followed the arraignment [...]

Police Meet and Greet Conch Shell Bay with Area Rep Tracy Panton
Today, the Eastern Division of the Police Department held its first meet and greet session on south side Belize City after a new media policy was introduced. The community policing [...]

Drugs and Turf Wars to Blame for Crime Spike?
Conchshell Bay is a fairly small area within the Alberts, divided by the canal at the Fish Market. Since the beginning of the year, there have been repeated acts of [...]

Area Rep for Albert Joins Fight Against Crime
But drug war aside, there are several factors that must also be taken into consideration, including the lack of employment opportunities in the area. Panton says that the police, as [...]

Ahmadiyya Muslims: Abu Naila Was Not One of Us
Was slain religious extremist Abu Naila, believed to be Belizean born Nadir Ali Ahmad, associated with the local chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community?  It’s a question that was put [...]

Canadian Muslim Leader Disowns Islamic “Terrorists”
According to Lal Khan Malik, who is visiting from Canada, the teachings of the Holy Book of Islam, speaks to the idea of peace and harmony.  Any radical departure from [...]

Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, Flies the Flag in Philippines
On Thursday morning, our Miss Belize Universe will be taking part in the preliminary events of the sixty-fifth Miss Universe pageant. In the prelims, Rebecca Rathand the other contestants will [...]

Annual Regional Gathering of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Belize City this Weekend
Jalsa Salana, the yearly gathering of Muslims in Belize, is a reunion with the purpose of enabling every honest and open person to experience firsthand its religious benefits.  The convention [...]

F.B.I. Put Up US $10,000 Reward to Solve Anne Swaney Murder Case
January fifteenth marked one year since ABC7’s executive producer thirty-nine-year-old Ann Swaney was killed in Belize. The media professional was vacationing at a resort in Cayo when she was killed [...]

CTV3

Former Immigration Director Accepts Responsibility for Break Down In Department During Her Tenure
Former Director of Immigration, Ruth Meighan, who served as the head of the Department of Immigration from October 2010 to February 2013, returned before the Senate Select Committee hearing today to continue answering questions on the alleged irregularities exposed in the Auditor General’s special audit report. Meighan’s testimony is key to the Senate Committee’s investigation because the special audit covered the period 2011 to 2013, which encompasses the time she served as Director. In her appearance today, Meighan’s responses to questions from the Committee members was clearer about the role she played at the Department. While she emphasized and repeated that her task as Director was to essentially accept files and give them final approval, she said that she did so believing that the files that came to her desk were genuine and proper. Nonetheless, she accepted that if anyone should be held accountable, it should be her.

Meighan Speaks On Minister's VISA Recommendations
Among the myriad of issues that came up today is that special list of Ministers who were incessantly intervening in immigration processes. This intervention came in various forms – a recommending letter, a request note signed by the Minister, an impromptu phone call, or perhaps, a special visit to the Immigration office. Former Director, Maria Marin, who replaced Ruth Meighan following Meighan’s removal in 2013, claimed in her testimony two weeks ago that the practice had raised red flags and that the Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse requested that she keep a special list of those who were meddling in the process. But Meighan saw things differently. Today she testified that during her tenure the involvement of politicians in power were not of much concern to her. Senator Mark Lizarraga, who brought up this issue, reminded her that it was Prime Minister Dean Barrow who linked hustling in visa applications to Alibaba and the 40 thieves.

Recommendations To the Immigration Department Made By Meighan
Former Director Ruth Meighan was given an opportunity to propose recommendations to the Immigration Department, which she said, lacked the resources during her tenure to do proper checks on files. She agreed that a full audit was necessary. Mark Lizarraga - Senate Select Committee member: “Having seen all that has come out, would you recommend a full audit be done of the department and the files?” RuthRuth Meighan – Former Immigration Officer: “Certainly” Mark Lizarraga - Senate Select Committee member: “Certainly, so your recommendation would be that a full audit be done for those year or other years as well?” Ruth Meighan – Former Immigration Officer: “Yes”

Meighan Admits Illegal Voted In Last General Election
The Auditor General’s special audit has brought to light the many cases of questionable visas, nationality certificates and passports approved in just three months between 2011 and 2013. During the Senate hearings, the discussions have pointed to a trend in the cases of irregular activity. This is that applicants for visas would then easily access nationality certificates and this would open the doors for easy passport approvals. But what if there was one more factor in all of this, that is, that once a person got nationality, they would also get voter’s ID to be able to vote. Well, at today’s hearing Ruth Meighan, who had also served as the Director in the Elections and Boundaries Department, testified that she is aware that persons who obtained nationality certificates falsely voted in the 2015 elections. Eamon Courtenay - Senate Select Committee member: “Are you aware that there was an unusual amount of persons who got nationality shortly before the General election?” RuthRuth Meighn – Former Immigration Officer: “Yes”

LOVE FM

Teenager shot, one man charged
Nineteen year old Keimar Nicholas was shot to the neck last night. Police say that it happened on Lindo’s Alley, the same street that the teenager lives on. Nicholas along with two friends were socializing on the basketball court when just before nine o’clock, a man approached them on a bicycle and fired several shots […]

Man charged with shooting Frazer brothers makes court appearance
Two days ago, 44 year old Clinton Fraser and his younger brother, 33 year old Michael Frazer were shot in the same area of Conch Shell Bay. Clinton was killed while Michael survived the attack. Police believe that twenty-three year old Henry Harris, aka “Alkaline”, was the shooter. Harris was charged yesterday and he was […]

Chamber President expresses concern over upcoming budget
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow threatened economic war against Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited if the companies attempted to collect the fifty million dollar arbitration award. The award is to the tune of fifty million US dollars plus interest and all indications are that the Government does not intend […]

Chamber of Commerce hold workshop to look at increasing productivity
A Productivity Improvement for Small and Micro Enterprises Workshop was held today in Belize City. The workshop is the result of the partnership between the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Labor Organization, ILO. Rufino Lin, the Vice President of Commerce for the BCCI spoke to Love News. Rufino Lin – Vice […]

Labour CEO urges employers to refrain from hiring illegal workers
Eleven immigrants, who apparently entered Belize illegally, were brought to court yesterday to be charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. But the charges were not read to them because the immigration officer who represented the prosecution had not put the charges together properly. As a result, they were taken back to the holding […]

Drowning victim family look for answers
Over the weekend it was confirmed that the body found floating in the Belize River last week Thursday was that of Dain Dawson of Ladyville. Dawson’s body was in an advanced state of decomposition and so an onsite post mortem was conducted. The pathologist ruled that Dawson died as a result of asphyxia due to […]

Spike in gun violence in Conch Shell Bay area
Nineteen year old Keimar Nicholas is the fourth person to be shot in the Conch Shell Bay Area this month. Three shootings have occurred and two persons have been killed. Police would not say if the incidents are related. In an interview yesterday about the Clinton Fraser murder, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood was asked what police […]

Dixon Montero convicted of wounding security guard in attempted robbery
Dixon Montero, who was sentenced to five years for use of deadly means of harm on January 6, was sentenced to four years for wounding today. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who imposed the sentences, stipulated that they are to run concurrently. Therefore, Montero will only serve five years. The convictions for use of deadly means […]

Man who escaped from Police custody charged
Thirty-nine year old Eugene Bailey, who allegedly escaped from the holding cell at Queen Street Police Station on January 6, was charged with escape from lawful custody when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Bailey pled not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until February 24. According to the allegation, Bailey escaped […]

Toledo Alcaldes Association elects new executive members
Paul Mahung reporting… “During the Alcaldes’ recent swearing in event in Punta Gorda, Santiago Quib of San Benito Poite was elected as the new President of Toledo Alcaldes’ Association. Six other Alcaldes elected to serve as excutive members of Toledo Alcaldes Association include Basilio Teul of Santa Cruz, Andres Kus of San Miguel, Nolberto Alkahal […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Slain Islamic militant or an accomplished graduate of the Belize College of Agriculture?
On Friday, 20th January 2017 News 5 Belize broke the story that Abu Naila, an Islamic militant killed in the Philippines on 7th January 2017 after a shootout with police, is believed to be Nadir Ali Ahmad, a born Belizean national. The Philippine press reported that Abu Naila went to the Philippines to train as part of a plan to become an activist fighting the ‘IS’ (Islamic State) cause in Syria. Naila and a female companion were shot and killed after they were cornered by security forces and attempted to throw a grenade at the arresting officers. In his hiding place, police found various explosives and it is believed that he was training to be a bomb expert. According to News 7 Belize, local police sources confirmed that the Islamic extremist killed in the encounter with Philippine police is actually Belizean Nadir Ali Ahmad. While Nadir Ali Ahmad died as Islamic extremist, bomb expert and alleged terrorist, little is known or has been reported about his life and activities in Belize.

Senate Select Committee grills former Immigration Director
Today, the Senate Select Committee continued its hearing into irregularities at the Immigration Department, which was detailed in the Auditor General’s recent report.Ruth Meighan, former Immigration Director (2010-2013), made her second appearance and was grilled by the committee. The Auditor General’s report spoke of the fact that many government ministers had frequently made recommendations for immigration documents for foreign nationals. Meighan’s former Deputy Director, Maria Marin, had made a list of all those ministers and the recommendations they made. Today the committee revealed a portion of that list. In one instance between March and August 2013, 248 Ministerial recommendations were made for foreign nationals.

Ashcroft companies seek enforcement for US $50 million in arbitration awards
On Monday, two companies linked to British billionaire, Michael Ashcroft asked a D.C. federal judge for permission to enforce $50 million in confirmed arbitral awards against the country, saying it has no excuses now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected its appeals. In 2014, Belize Social development Ltd. won a US $22.5 million judgement after arbitrators found the country illegally seized a related telecommunications company. BCB Holdings Ltd. and the Belize Bank Ltd. also won US $27.4 million after the country’s government failed to make good on a debt it guaranteed. Earlier this month, Belize’s last appeal was turned away by the court. Belize has fought enforcement in U.S. courts for years.

Belize makes National Geographic list for having one of the best beaches in the world
Belize boasts the second largest Barrier Reef in the world. In addition to Belize’s pristine forests, abundant wildlife and diverse cultures, the country is home to many breathtaking beaches. National Geographic recently compiled a list of the world’s 21 best beaches in an article on its website. Pelican beach, South Water Caye, in Belize is listed as one of the 21 best beaches in the world. In the article, it is described as being the only place in Belize where visitors can swim safely to the reef within minutes and explore the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.

Belize welcomes four new ambassadors
Four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan on Monday. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador […]

Fair weather to continue
The 24-hour forecast is for mostly fair and warm weather to continue with sunny skies today and partly cloudy tonight. The National Meteorological center says that a dry easterly to southeasterly airflow supports mainly fair weather. The wind will blow from the east to […]

Belize: BEL/MEX/USA-Geo-Politics
The advent of a new presidency in the USA is causing and will cause many things to change in the years ahead. He won the presidency based on a campaign promise “to make America strong again”….by seeking to balance America’s relationship with the world […]

Belizean terrorist killed in Philippines
A suspected terrorist killed in an arrest attempt in the Philippines about two weeks ago has been identified as Belizean, Nadir Ali Ahmad. According to police, Ahmad had assumed a Sudanese/Pakistani identity but was later identified as Belizean. Ahmad reportedly has three children living in […]

Belize welcomes four new ambassadors
Four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan on Monday. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador […]

Fair weather to continue
The 24-hour forecast is for mostly fair and warm weather to continue with sunny skies today and partly cloudy tonight. The National Meteorological center says that a dry easterly to southeasterly airflow supports mainly fair weather. The wind will blow from the east to […]

Belize: BEL/MEX/USA-Geo-Politics
The advent of a new presidency in the USA is causing and will cause many things to change in the years ahead. He won the presidency based on a campaign promise “to make America strong again”….by seeking to balance America’s relationship with the world […]

Blogs

SanPedroScoop’s First Giveaway – Now It’s YOUR Turn to Sky Dive San Pedro
Ok…I could practically burst with excitement on this post. IT’S MY VERY FIRST SCOOP GIVEAWAY. And let me give you a hint. You see this…but you are 12,000 feet up… and then…then… skyDive WOW YOU JUMP! Yes! I know you all have heard about it or passed their GORGEOUS dock just outside Sandbar Restaurant, Bar, Hostel and beautiful swimming platform… …or seen the parachutes above Ambergris Caye. SkyDive San Pedro. One of the most exciting businesses to come to the island in a while. And here is YOUR chance to do your very first tandem jump…from 12,000 feet over San Pedro. The views! The rush! THIS could be you.

WEEKENDS ARE FOR THE IGUANAS
“Do you want to hold an iguana,” certainly isn’t the first thing you’re expecting to hear in the morning. But this past Saturday, that’s just about how my day started. While we were too tired from our first week of work to make it to any of the major tours, Hannah and I stayed in San Ignacio to get a taste of the local activities. The first stop? – The Green Iguana Conservation Project at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Balanced just at the top of the major hill in town, the hotel sits on the edge of the rainforest that grows up the banks from the Macal River. The tropical green leaves provide the perfect tree cover for a shaded iguana enclosure. The iguana project started over 20 years ago when the population of green iguanas in the area started to decline because of hunting. The meat of an iguana, known as “bamboo chicken”, as well as the eggs, were considered a delicacy in this area. Now it is illegal to hunt iguanas out of season, but there still remains a need for supporting the redevelopment of the population.

International Sourcesizz

Travel and Leisure Picks Victoria House as a Top All-inclusive Resort
Already a multiple award-winning resort, Victoria House just added another feather in its cap when it was declared the Top All-Inclusive Belize Resort by Travel + Leisure magazine. Located on the southern tip of the popular vacation island of Ambergris Caye, Victoria House was singled out for its deluxe spa service, beautifully appointed rooms, and the unparalleled customer service. The Travel + Leisure article highlighted the beauty of the rooms at Victoria House, lavishing praise on the four-poster beds, gauzy curtains, and furniture made from local woods. Above all else, the article spotlighted the world-class customer service provided to guests by Victoria House, including personalized touches like cooking fish that guests caught themselves. Victoria House is a posh resort located just outside the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Designed as an intimate and luxurious resort, Victoria House offers guests sumptuous accommodations in the form of villas, suites, rooms, and casitas. Guests of Victoria House can enjoy the resort’s beachfront bar called the Admiral Nelson, the Palmilla restaurant, infinity swimming pools, a dive shop, gardens, and access to the resort’s private beach. Guests of the resort have free access to high-speed wi-fi, bicycles, kayaks, and paddleboards. The resort has its own full-time wedding planner and the staff arrange for personal touches like romantic, candlelit dinners as well as arranging tours to all of the popular attractions in the country, including snorkeling, sailing, fishing, and/or scuba diving trips to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef as well as exploring Maya ruins, bird watching, zip lining in the jungle, and other adventures on the mainland.

Plot thickens in case of ABC producer murdered in Belize
More than one person may be involved in the murder of an American news producer last year while she was staying at a vacation resort in Belize, according to a published report. Anne Swaney, 39, was the executive producer of online operations at ABC 7 Chicago and a guest at the Nabitunich resort in the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen last January when she was initially reported missing. Her body was later found in a river, and according to a coroner’s report, she was strangled. On Wednesday, an FBI official told ABC 7 Chicago the agency believes more than one person may be involved. “We believe that people, the public in Belize, may have information about the suspect or suspects that committed this crime,” FBI Special Agent Paul Clark told the television station. She was killed in a scenic place, a 400-acre farm close to the jungle and Mayan ruins near the Guatemala border, her station reported.

17th-Century Shopping List Discovered at English Country House
Kent Live reports that a seventeenth-century shopping list was found under the floorboards at Knole, one of the largest historic country houses in England. The shopping list was written in 1633 by Robert Draper, who asked his friend Mr. Bilby to bring a fire shovel, pewter spoons, a frying pan, and “greenfish,” which refers to cod before it has been salted or cured, to Copt Hall. Draper also asked for the prices of these items. Scholars think that the quality of the handwriting suggests Draper was a high-ranking servant. But how did the letter get from Copt Hall to Knole House? In 1637, the daughter of the Earl of Middlesex, who owned Copt Hall, married the Earl of Dorset, who owned Knole House, and the contents of Copt Hall were eventually moved to Knole. “It’s extremely rare to uncover letters dating back to the seventeenth century, let alone those that give us an insight into the management of the households of the wealthy, and the movement of items from one place to another,” said Nathalie Cohen, regional archaeologist for England’s National Trust.

Videos

  • Miss Universe Belize - Rebecca Rath, 35min. Miss Belize Universe was LIVE on Miss Universe Fanatic Facebook Page!!!

  • What do you know about CARICOM and the CSME?, 5min. Here's a little history lesson to get you updated!

  • Belize Trip 2017, 7.5min.

  • KREM Radio Television Belize Adverts/Promos 24/01/2017, 8min.

  • Customs & Excise Day - "Data Analysis for Effective Border Management", 28min.

  • An Overview of the NGO Act Regulations, 38min.

  • Belize, 4min. I finally finished my video from mine and my family's time in Belize!!

  • Shooting day in Belize: Snorkeling with nurse sharks and stingrays, 1min.

  • Ambergris Caye San Pedro Spindrift Hotel, 1min. Welcome to Belize's Spindrift Hotel located in San Pedro , on the island of Ambergris Caye Belize ! Located in the center of town, your perfect place to stay! The Hotel is on the beach and for your ease it has a restaurant, ( Caliente) , a bar ( Wahoo's ), a Golf Cart Rental ( J&H ) and a Real Estate office with Buyers Agents ( Keller Williams Belize agents ( RainforestRealty.com/ Front Street Properties). The Spindrift Hotel offers reasonable room rates, outstanding staff, security, laundry service, kitchenettes and a dock where you can rent wave runners, and book your snorkeling or diving in Belize tour ! Visiting Belize is made easy staying at the Spindrift Hotel! You will feel like you are HOME !! Don't miss stopping next door to Estel's on the Beach for Breakfast and Lunch ! You will be GLAD you did ! Say Hi to Charles for me !!

  • BELIZE 2017, 10min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 1.5min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 14min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 4.5min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 9min. John and Carol diving the Turneffe Atoll in January, 2017. Video shot with a Canon G7X housed in a Nauticam case with a N50 3.5" dome.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 12min. On my second day in Belize I went fishing with capt George Bradley. He put me on one of the largest Bonefish I have ever caught.

  • Trip To Belize 2017 - by Adamar Productions, 3min.

  • SWIMMING IN BELIZE !, 12min.


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