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Today's Belize News: January 27, 2017 #521209
01/27/17 12:54 AM
01/27/17 12:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,843
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials

The San Pedro Sun

Miss Belize Rebecca Rath making her mark at Miss Universe 2017
The lovely Rebecca Rath is in Manila, Philippines, where she is set to compete in the 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant. The pageant will be held on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Rath, along with 85 other contestants, has been preparing arduously for the grand event. With millions of viewers expected to watch the pageant, Rath’s poise, intelligence, and beautiful personality has been growing in popularity both locally and internationally. She has been one of the favorites in several unofficial polls, and thanks to her ardent fans, has won online polls left and right! The only official poll that has been opened to the public is the Miss Universe Organization poll that will decide an automatic placement in the Top 12 on pageant night. In the meantime, Rath has been sharing her vibrant personality and smile everywhere she goes, making fast friends with the other contestants, participating in various events and shining brightly. She even had the honor of meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. On January 22nd, Rath excitedly shared that at the National Gift auction to raise money for Miss Universe charities working with HIV, 10 out of 86 gifts were chosen to auction off, including Belize’s Pen Cayetano painting!

Presentation of Credentials
Four ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador of Slovak Republic; and H.E. Mr. Luigi Maccotta, Ambassador of Italy; all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their respective countries in Belize. The ambassadors each conveyed their countries’ interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize. The Governor General warmly welcomed and received the Ambassadors’ credentials.

Two San Pedro Police Officers charged for extortion
A case of alleged extortion and wounding led two San-Pedro based Police Constables (PC) David Jimenez and Derwin Marin to be criminally arraigned on Monday, January 23rd. The complainant, John Cogdell Courtney, a 27-year-old law student from Austin, Texas, USA, visited the San Pedro Police Department on January 16, 2017 to report the incident that occurred on the previous day. Courtney stated that while on vacation, he was assaulted and extorted by the two police officers on January 15, 2017. He reported that after having dinner at a local restaurant, he walked around and ended up near a local bar. At 8PM, he came out with a beer in hand, and began socializing with locals on the corner. He indicated that while one of them was cooking food, he was speaking to a male and female who spoke Spanish. Shortly after, a pickup truck with lights approached where he was standing. As he began to walk away quickly, he saw the two police officers approach him and they requested to conduct a search on him.

SPTC Clean-up campaign to start back up
After being dormant for months, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is reviving their clean-up campaign. Their aim is to rid the island of excess garbage while targeting areas prone to flooding and serving as breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying vector diseases. The project branches out from the ‘Child Friendly Municipalities of Belize,’ which is backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Since the launch of the campaign in June of 2016, the San Pedrito and Elliot/Airstrip subdivisions were the first ones to benefit from the program. According to Jorge Aldana at the SPTC, the project met an abrupt halt after the devastation of Hurricane Earl in August of last year. “Our energies were re-focused and we side-tracked a bit as we assisted the many victims in the natural disaster,” said Aldana. “However, our intentions and mandate for this year is to re-engage our stakeholders and continue the clean-up campaign.” Aldana expects that if everything goes well in the organization with their different partners in the project, they hope to start the clean-up campaign in the second half of February or the beginning of March. He notes that, the San Pedrito and Elliot/Airstrip subdivisions benefited tremendously.

Ambergris Today

Alma Gabourel Staines Birthday Celebration Contribution of $10K+ to San Pedro Cancer Society
For her birthday wish at the end of 2016, Mrs. Alma Gabourel Staines wanted nothing more than to celebrate with close family and friends in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, her birthplace and home while growing up. She is an ‘Island Girl’ and her heart has always been with the community of San Pedro, assisting in many ways, especially through her medical facility. Her latest contribution was a $10,055.00Bze donation to the San Pedro Cancer Society. Mrs. Alma turned 55 on December 31, 2016, and celebrated in style with over 300 guests with an elegant evening under the stars on New Year’s Eve. She had guest from around the world traveling to Ambergris Caye to celebrate along with her and bring in 2017. From the start, Alma had decided that her celebration would also be a philanthropic endeavor. She asked her guests that in lieu of gifts to her, that they make a donation to the San Pedro Cancer Society instead. Along with her contribution, the final figure was presented to the society.

Amigos del Mar Makes Beach More Accessible
Lately there has been a growing concern among island residents about the erosion of the island’s beaches, in particular the growing number of docks (piers) that also contribute to erosion and lack of beach access. Although some actions have been taken to counter the effects of erosion, not enough is being done to address the problem. This week Ambergris Today gives a ‘Shout Out’ to Mr. Jose ‘Changa’ Paz, owner of Amigos Del Mar, and his staff who have taken the initiative to shorten the beginning if their dock therefore providing a cleaner and wider beach area for residents and tourists to enjoy. After noticing that their dock was projecting a few feet over the beach, especially after Hurricane Earl that struck last year in August, Amigos del Mar decided to do the Town a favor and remove the unnecessary section of the dock. We have heard nothing but good remarks and know that the community is more than pleased with their consideration and gesture.

Rastafari Culture Exhibit and Bob Marley Tribute
A Rastafari Culture exhibit opened on January 25, 2017, in San Pedro, in commemoration of Bob Marley as his date of birth nears. The San Pedro House of Culture was happy to assist those who come together to celebrate and showcase the Rastafari history and its influence to Belize. Not many people know, but the Rastafari Culture is actually a religion that was developed by Marcus Gravey in Jamaica in the 1930’s in honor of Haile Selassie. Haile was crowned King of Ethiopia right before the Rastafari culture was developed. Haile Selassie’s real name was “Ras Tafari Makonneen” this is where the name Rastafari comes from. Rastafari members looked at Selassie as their God, the one who will return to them especially the ones who live in exile as a result of slave trade and colonization. The Rastafari movement began with the teachings of Marcus Gravey. Marcus urged Africans to be proud of their race for they are the true Israelites and have been taken for slave trade as an act of divine punishment.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

A group of eye specialists from the US are teaming up with BCVI to help restore sight!
Clinic Dates Friday Jan 27th and Saturday Jan 28, BCVI Clinic, Princess Margaret Drive, Next to the KHMH, Belize City

Miss Belize Universe in the Philippines
The Bex has landed Belize, things getting real in Philippines now. These are not my photos, but photos from the press covering the event or the contestants social media feed. There are a lot of photos, so click "See More" at the bottom to see them all. From the Fashion Show on are my photos.

Valentine's Day Craft Fair!
Just in time for Valentine's Day, we're having another Holiday Craft Fair! San Pedro's craftiest and most creative residents will be selling their creations -- and if the last craft market was any indication, prepare to be impressed! Saturday, February 11 at 11 AM - 2 PM, at The Truck Stop

Miss Belize at today's Preliminary Competitions of the Miss Universe Pageant
Cultural, Swimsuit and Evening Gown competitions

Burial of Deceased on Private Property
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health that several requests have been made recently for the burial of deceased persons on private premises, although there exists an approved cemetery in most communities. It is important to note that burials should be conducted at approved cemeteries as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 30 (1) of Laws of Belize. Requests for burial on private premises will only be approved for communities without an approved cemetery, as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 section 30 (1) of the Laws of Belize. The public is reminded that the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health is the only authorized person by the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 31 to give permission for such burial if the location meets public health requirements. The public is advised that anyone found in violation of the Act will be prosecuted under the Public Health Act Chapter 40, and anyone guilty of the offence is liable to a fine of $1000.

Fifth Summit of The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC)
The V Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) was held on the 25 of January 2017 in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The Belize Delegation was headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honourable Wilfred Elrington. At the meeting, Heads of Government endorsed the Political Declaration of Punta Cana V CELAC Summit along with its 20 Special Declarations and the CELAC Action Plan. The Political Declaration spanned a wide range of development challenges including those of an economic, social, financial, technological and political nature confronting the region. Also acknowledged in the Declaration was the positive progress made in transforming the region into a zone of peace as well as other initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of people of the region.

This Day in History
On January 26th, 1928, Paul Nabor, the King of Paranda was born in Punt Gorda Town.

Belize-Guatemala Border Dispute
With the ‘Guatemala Issue’ at the forefront, I ask if information being presented by the media are words issued from the mouths of puppets, words to appease or just words for the sake of words. When being pressed to make judgment on an issue, one should always go back to the source and review all avenues. Of course, the source of this issue is ages ago when our forefathers settled the land. There are resources however, that document the time period. One I would like to share with you can be downloaded from the internet or perhaps found at your local library if you are lucky enough to have one: The Diplomatic History of British Honduras, 1638-1901 by R.A. Humphreys Before we, as Belizeans, make a judgment, we should have as many of the facts at hand that we can. It is unfortunate that all of our history is not part of the school curriculum, perhaps we can make a change in that also.

Belizean Legends today want to pay special tribute to the Belizean sports visionary, Sir Andy, whom we credited highly for taking a crowd of talented Belizean basketball players from troubling Belizean neighbors of Belize City and created an opportunity for them of a life time to resist the pitfalls of the mean streets of Belize City. He created an opportunity for them to find sports as an outlet and deterent to crime and to become some of the best basketball players in Belize in their time of the 1970's "Golden Age of Belizean Basketball". His outstanding Belizean basketball captain and another visionary of his time, Clinton "Pulu" Lightburn, rose to become one of Belize's best basketball players of his time and of all times in Belize. "Pulu" is celebrated even up to today as a basketball role model in sports in Belize among past, present, and perhaps future generations of Belizean basketball players to come.

In this feature of our new column on Belizean arts and artists called "The Belize Art Shop", we want to pay special tribute to the work of Belize's artist extraordinaire, George Gabb, whose work as an Belizean artist, sculptor, playwright, poet and writer had inspired this documentary series we call here, Belizean Legends. His famous piece called the "Sleeping Giant" has become one of Belize's most celebrated masterpieces in its national artistic archives for all times. Belizean Legends pays special tribute to the memory and work of Belizean artist George Gabb. May his inspiration and artistic brilliance live on in many of Belizean generations to come!

The silky alto touch of Belizean vocalist and balladeer, Dell Smart of Dell & The Sensations has touched the spirit of many a Belizean music lovers over the years. Dell's popularity grew as he sang lead for the legendary Belizean band in Los Angeles, Dell & The Sensations, to become one of the first Belizean bands ever to pioneer Belize's musical prominence as a band in the Los Angeles Belizean community and the Belizean diaspora in the United States. Dell's vocal pitch and quality is rare, and his melodic and harmonic voice has captured a unique sound ever since he began to sing covers in Belize as a youth growing up in one of Belize's prominent villages, Gales Point Manatee. He began listening to the music of legendary American musical artists like Percy Sledge, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers, Wilson Pickett, and many more.

Reef restoration in Turneffe Atoll
Good Morning San Pedro! We are coming to you next week Wed. Feb 1, 2017 to discuss reef restoration in Turneffe Atoll! See you at the Lion's Den 6pm! Light refreshments. Please pass the word!

The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) would be hosting a workshop on a strategy for boosting exports in Belize on Friday, 27th January, 2017 in the NEMO training room at the NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan at 9:30 a.m. The workshop is being facilitated by the renowned Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas of the University College of London. Professor Bulmer-Thomas, through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has done extensive academic work on Belize and Central America trade relations from which his insight stems. In addition, Professor Bulmer-Thomas is the co-author of the book “The Economic History of Belize”. The purpose of the workshop is to sharpen the awareness of key policy makers and analysts on innovative ways of boosting Belize’s exports to Central America and other promising markets. The DGFT expects to gain insight in the following areas from Professor Bulmer-Thomas’s presentation:

Chester Williams visits the Queen's Square Primary
Today ACP Chester Williams visited the Queen's Square Primary Infant 2 Classes with Teacher Blease, Teacher Lynch and Teacher Cruz to take about the laws that we must follow...Great Job!

David Kato Vision and Voice Award
David Kato Vision and Voice Award 2017 is awarded to Belizean LGBT activist and leader of UNIBAM Belize, Caleb Orozco. The award was presented by Magneto himself, who also goes by the name Ian Mckellen.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Moana, Allied, Jackie, Hidden Figures

The Origianl Punta Rebels Reunion
The Pepsi Maaga Season BASH in Dangriga. Featuring the Origianl Punta Rebels, C-Wills, Adrian Di Doc Martinez, Nuru and a massive lineup of artists! Jan 28 at 12 PM to Jan 29 at 12 AM, Dangriga Town

Channel 7

Customs and "Pelones" Have A Showdown on The Belize - Mexico Bridge
An explosive scene played out on the old Belize-Mexico bridge at the Santa Elena border today - leaving a Belize police corporal with a burst head. And it could have gotten much more serious, even deadly if a senior customs officer hadn't kept his cool. That officer is Jason Menzies who had his hand on his firearm as Mexican thugs taunted him. Here's what happened: the Mexicans buy bulk clothing from the Corozal Free Zone in sacks - which are called "bultos". Recently, in he past two weeks, they've started stockpiling those "bultos" on the Belize-Mexico bridge - which is frowned upon by both Mexican and Belizean authorities. So, following a meeting with border officials from Mexico on Monday, Belize's Customs Officers moved in today to take possession of the "bultos" and clear the bridge. But, that's when the Mexicans border thugs - known as "Pelones" went into outlaw mode, and here's the scene that played out next. It opens with Senior Customs officer Menzies placing his hand on his weapon. At this point the police corporal had already been stoned in the head:

Hasty House Meeting to Launch Offensive Against Ashcroft Alliance
Government has called an emergency house meeting for tomorrow - and here's why. 7News has learned through multiple sources that Prime Minister Dean Barrow is going to open a new offensive against…who else?....the Ashcroft Alliance. According to our sources, the issue is government's foreign assets - there are reports that the Ashcroft Alliance wants to move on those assets to recover the 50 million US dollars in arbitral awards that a US District Court awarded to two Ashcroft Companies: BSDL and BCB Holdings. Best information suggests that legislation to be passed tomorrow make it so that the Ashcroft Alliance cannot touch government's assets - chiefly its reserves. The full structure of the legislation is not yet known, but at the last House sitting two weeks ago the Prime Minister made it clear that he was ready to go to war. And what will be placed on the table is a piece of legislation to make it so that Belize's foreign and domestic assets are more or less firewalled from the Alliance. This will certainly result in a whole new round of legal battles in in every court from here to Trinidad. Tomorrow, more details will be known - and we'll have the full report on the House sitting which starts at 10:00.

Superbond Surprise! Gov't Extends Deadline
And in other big news from Belmopan, the government has extended its offer to bondholders. As we told you, that offer - known as a consent solicitation - is to bring the interest rate down to a uniform 4% from 6.7%, and to defer the principal payments to the years 2036, 2037, and 2039. The deadline for bondholders to accept it was today at 5:00 pm New York Time. Well, right around that time, we saw this release on the government website. It says, quote, "The Government of Belize today extended the period during which holders of Belize's U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 may respond to the Government's January 12, 2017 Consent Solicitation Statement….The offer will now remain open until 5:00 pm (New York time) on Friday, February 3, 2017." End quote.

Fishermen Fight In Monkey River
Belizeans get emotional and "real touches" about anything related to Belize/Guatemalan relations. And in the south, anything which looks like Guatemalans illegally fishing in Belizean waters, well they pounce on that very quickly. Well, at Monkey River Village, which is infamous for the massive soil erosion problem, a confrontation has been brewing for some time now, where the native fishermen are convinced that a group of unknown interlopers are illegally fishing in a managed access area. We've also heard simultaneous complaints from shark experts that there has been an alarming increase in shark fishing, which they are very concerned about. About a week or two ago, the Monkey River fisherman planned a sting operation to catch these men, who they believe to be Guatemalans, in the act of illegal fishing. It appears that somehow the men got intel on this civilian operation, and on that day, they stayed away. Well, this morning, the time was ripe for a second attempt, and they invited our News team to tag along. Our news team set out from Belize City about 2:00 in the morning, and they got a chance to capture firsthand the conflict between the natives and the unknown elements out in those waters. Here's that story:

Six Years Later, Menzies Gets Off
It made huge news in 2011 when Patrick Menzies was accused of trying to run over a GSU officer and a female companion outside a nightclub. Menzies and his friend Rodney Lino were rewarded for it with a punishing beatdown. And to add insult to injury, Menzies was charged with two counts of attempted murder and 2 counts of Use of Deadly Means of Harm, Wounding and harm. Well, 6 years later, the 35 year old is free of those charges. The Supreme Court trial started on Tuesday and this morning it ended when the DPP's office made a nolle pros submission. Turns out the witnesses did not appear as scheduled this morning - and of the first five witnesses, none had been able to place Menzies as the driver of the car at the time off the accident. And the female who was supposedly knocked down, said she suffered no injury.

Catholic Church Has New Bishop
Catholic Bishop Christopher Glancy was consecrated in May 2012. He was brought in as an auxiliary Bishop to assist the ailing Bishop Dorick Wright. Wright is suffering from several health complications including Kidney failure. While Bishop Wright is managing his various illnesses, he can't continue his service as Bishop. So another Bishop will now take over. He is Dangriga native Father Lawrence Nicasio. We met him today and he gave us an update on Wright's health and also shared his perspective on the involvement of the Church in state affairs. Fr. Lawrence Nicasio = Bishop, Diocese Belize City, Belmopan: "I am being appointed the ordinary for the Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan since Bishop Wright is not well and Bishop Glancy remains the auxiliary, hopefully we will work together for the entire Diocese that will be the entire church, Catholic Church in Belize, North, South, East and West."

The Curious, Crazy Case Of Citizen Jinchen An
Last night on the news, we brought you extensive coverage of Ruth Meighan's second day of testimony before the Senate Inquiry. The Former Immigration Director was being grilled on all the irregularities and illegalities which happened during her tenure at the Immigration Department. The Senate Committee has finished questioning her - but there's still more of her testimony to show you. One particularly intriguing line of questioning was the Senate Committee Chairman's review of a visitor turned citizen named Jinchen An. The catalogue of irregularities in his file takes up a whole 7 pages in the Nationality Audit. He was a Chinese National who was granted a visa on October 25, 2012 to come to Belize, and he used one passport number to get that. The auditor General's checks of his Nationality file says that he was granted Belizean Nationality on October 24, 2012, 1 day before he was granted a visa to come to Belize. If you're shaking your head in disbelief about how he managed to secure a passport before he was able to get a visa to come here, well, that's where the Senate Chairman's concern is also.

Hon. Sedi in D.R.
This week, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington attended the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States. CELAC is an intergovernmental organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life, economic development and social welfare of its members. During the summit concern was shown for the recent decline of Belize's foreign correspondent banking relationships. Some emphasis was also placed on how Belize would continue to sustainably grow its economy, as well as methods for it to seek developmental assistance. The Summit which was held in the Dominican Republic came to a close yesterday.

The Taylor's Alley - Carmelita Cannabis Connection
Last week Friday we told you about the weed bust in the Orange Walk District where Customs caught three men bringing in a kilo of marijuana, allegedly from Botes, Mexico. As we reported at the time, it was a Taylor's Alley - Orange Walk operation by the smugglers. Police have since charged 29 year old Justin Flowers, of Taylor's Alley, in Belize City, along with 24 year old Ruben Teul, and 26 year old Jevon Ico, both of Carmelita Village for "Possession of Controlled Drugs With Intent to Supply." Police say that Curtis Wade of Carmelita Village was the driver who escaped by running out of the Volkswagen. Police are looking for Wade to arrest him. In court, Justin Flowers pleaded Guilty, and was fined $10,000.00 or in default face 3 years imprisonment. Charges against the others will be withdrawn with his guilty plea.

A Most Unaccustomed Open Day
So, what are the chances that World Customs Day turns out to be the very same day that Corozal Customs Officers have a confrontation with Mexican smugglers on the Belize - Mexico bridge. A police corporal got his head burst, but at the end of the day, the bridge was cleared - and the situation will be regularized going forward. And while you might call that the more interesting side of Customs work, most of it is about collecting revenue as government's top revenue earner. Today in celebration of World Customs Day, the Customs Department held a fair at the Battlefield Park to give the public an opportunity to become more familiar with its methods and practices. The fair featured several booths organized under the theme "Data Analysis for Effective Border Management". We spoke to the Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Estelle Leslie, about the importance of hosting events like this...

The CITO Solution
The Central Information Technology Office also had a booth at the Customs Fair. CITO's Director, Francisco Gonzalez, told us about his office's new program to help streamline the online customs and government operations... Gonzalez said that BELAPS should be ready for use by the end of this year.

The Case Against Roundup
Roundup is the most common herbicide in Belize, and has been used for decades. But last week a study came out linking the chemical to severe liver disease. It is also classified it as a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We spoke to Wilmot Simmons, the main importer of Roundup, who told us that in his experience the product did not have any negative side-effects. Well yesterday, we heard from the other side. Eli Ochoa, the Director of Pro-Organic Belize's Pesticide free program, about the dangers caused by the usage of Roundup. Ochoa also told us how farmers can grow healthy crops without the popular herbicide... Roundup's main competitor, Paraquat, is noted to be a far more harmful alternative. Ochoa concludes that with those two grim choices, farmers will need look towards more organic ways of protecting their crops.

Channel 5

Ex-Immigration Director Says Department “Rushed” Nationality Files Before 2012 Elections
Wednesday was a big day at the Senate Special Select Committee as former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan closed her testimony. We have full coverage of the many revelations coming [...]

My Most Grievous Fault: Meighan Says Sorry for Immigration Fumbles
On Wednesday, we showed you how ex-Immigration Director Ruth Meighan took responsibility as senior officer for not taking advantage of the resources available to her to properly vet documents. But [...]

No Record of Ministers’ Many Recommendations, At Least Not Officially
Wednesday’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration touched many issues and provided many revelations. One is the extensive back and forth with regard to the issue [...]

Ministers Made Many Visits to Immigration – But What Were They Doing There?
The Senate inquiry has revealed that Ministers wielded outsize power as it related to the workings of the Immigration Department. While Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse has contended that none [...]

Aldo Salazar Indicts Officers for Failing to Collaborate on Applications
Jin Chen An. He or she, depending on who you ask, was a Chinese investor consultant working with one Roger Tien, seeking a visa to come to Belize. He was [...]

3 Years in Jail after G.S.U. Sweep Nets 13 Pounds of Weed for Elsworth Morter
Thirty-nine-year-old Elsworth Morter is spending a second night at the Belize Central Prison after being sentenced to three years for drug trafficking.  A GSU raid on his Oleander Street residence [...]

Northern Fishermen 6 Charged Over Stolen Gun
A gang of six would-be thieves, busted during a foiled robbery attempt at the Northern Fishermen’s Cooperatives on January tenth, appeared before the lower court on Wednesday.  Taxi driver Gilroy [...]

2016 Concludes with Higher Prices, Lower Trade
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released figures for December 2016.  From that information, it comes as no surprise that consumer prices were up by one point one percent.  That [...]

Contrabandistas Get Rowdy at Northern Border; Mexico Beefs Up Security
There was an encounter earlier today resulting in a heated exchange between local customs officials and Mexican contrabandists at the northern border in Corozal.  Amateur footage of the incident was [...]

G.S.U. Can’t Prove Patrick Menzies Knocked Down Officers in 2011
It made the news back in June 2011 when businessman Patrick Menzies was charged with the attempted murder of a GSU officer and a woman who were socializing at a [...]

Rebecca Rath is a Stunner in Miss Universe Preliminaries
This morning, more than eleven million viewers watched the live streaming of the preliminary events of Miss Universe pageant held in Manila, Philippines. The top ladies from the swimsuit and [...]

Customs and Excise Host Annual Celebration
The twenty-sixth of January is celebrated annually as World Customs Day and today the local Customs and Excise Department commemorated the day by setting up information booths inside the Battlefield [...]

Customs Revamps Enforcement at Borders
Many are of the opinion that the role of the department is really to have customs officers stationed at border/entry points searching your luggage and groceries and fining you. But [...]

Remembering Legendary Musical Ambassador, Paul Nabor
It’s been just over two years since Belize and the world lost musical legend Paul Nabor. Nabi, as he was affectionately known, was a humble Garifuna fisherman, farmer, and musician, [...]


Miss Belize Dazzles In The Philippines
With the highly anticipated 65th Miss Universe Pageant scheduled to kick off in only three days in the Philippines, the competition has evidently become much more intense as all eighty six beauty ambassadors continue to work tirelessly to obtain the coveted Miss Universe crown. Early this morning each delegate got the opportunity to officially introduce themselves at the 2017 Miss Universe Preliminaries Competition which was held at the Mall of Asia Arena. The competition undeniably had fanatics from all over the world practically jumping out of their seats in excitement as the candidates invaded the stage.

Did Meighan Break Policies On VISA Recommendations?
There was also much discussion about the significant number of interventions by Ministers in the process of visa applications with letters of recommendations supporting the requests by applicants. Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee: “You want us to believe that the letters from the ministers played no role?” Former Director Ruth Meighan: “No, I am not saying that. I am saying it’s a recommender and he recommends a person but I am saying to you that the approval was given based on the recommendation that is presented to me by the Officer to that this person met the requirement for him/her to be issued a VISA.” Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee: “What role did the letter from the minister…”

Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan Says Passports Were Approved Her Consent
The testimony given by Former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan at Wednesday’s Senate Select Committee hearing dominated the news for the admissions she made and positions she stuck to. Tonight there is more to reveal. Meighan asserted during her testimony that she believed that during her tenure she was only required to accept files provided by senior officers and approve them. She admitted, during questioning by Senator Eamon Courtenay, that when it came to passports, her signature could have been used without her knowledge; and when it came to recommending nationality applications, there was no way for her to double check information she was provided. Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee: “Ms. Meighan you are giving me more worries than I thought I had, just to be clear you are telling this committee that whilst you were Director of Immigration it was possible for your signature to be put on a passport without your knowledge?” Former Director Ruth Meighan: “That is the system that we had in place that is the same system that I met there and that is the system that I left there.”

Belizean Customs And Mexicans Clash Over Goods
There was a violent confrontation between Belize Customs and armed Mexican smugglers at the northern border earlier today. The clash erupted when Belize Customs officials attempted to confiscate goods that were being illegally stockpiled near the Belize-side of the Rio Hondo River and not taken into the Mexican side. Before we go to video footage of the clash, we must provide some background information. On a regular basis, there are reports in the Mexican press about their border officials clashing with Mexican smugglers known as fayuqueros over attempts to smuggle goods from the Commercial Free Zone. Because of a crackdown by Mexican officials, the fayuqueros have started to hide the goods under the Subteniente Lopez Bridge. So today when Belizean authorities attempted to get their hands on those goods, all hell broke loose. Here is video footage captured of the confrontation.

Re: Today's Belize News: January 27, 2017 [Re: Marty] #521210
01/27/17 12:54 AM
01/27/17 12:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,843
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Teenager walks free of 2013 murder charge
Harry Arzu reporting… “Twenty four year old Corina Cu was a student at the University of Belize. On February 21, 2013 she was on her way to school in Punta Gorda Town from Laguna Village in the Toledo District when she was reportedly accosted by Jonathan Cucul who was sixteen years old at the time. […]

FBI offers reward to find killer of American Anne Swaney
The FBI is offering up to a ten thousand dollar reward for information that helps to identify the person who murdered ABC7 executive producer, Anne Swaney last year. 39-year-old Swaney was visiting Belize from Chicago, Illinois and was staying at Nabitunich Resort in Western Belize. Her body was found in the Mopan River on January […]

Former Immigration Director highlights irregularities within the Department
Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan was back before the Senate Special Select Committee today. Committee members grilled Meighan with questions which she had difficulty answering to their liking. Ruth Meighan is now the CEO in the Ministry of Transport and NEMO but between October 2010 and February 2013, she had been appointed as the Director […]

Former Immigration Director admits nationality fraud ahead of 2012 elections
In 2012, the United Democratic Party won a second consecutive term in the General elections held in March. The election was called early by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and according to the Election and Boundaries Department, 178,054 voters registered for the 2012 election. Out of that number 108,753 cast their ballots. At that time, the […]

Former Director says Ministers’ many visa recommendations was no big deal
In her report, the Auditor General revealed that ministers such as the then Immigration Minister, Elvin Penner, were submitting a substantial amount of visa recommendations and nationalities. Even recognizing that fact, Meighan said she did not see it fit to establish a procedure to prevent ministers from making those questionable recommendations. Senator Elena Smith “We […]

Former Director accepts responsibility for wrongdoings under her watch
The Auditor General’s Special Visa and other findings Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department covers most of the time that Ruth Meighan was Director of Immigration. Most of the irregularities and discrepancies occurred under her watch and even though ministers were using their influence for visa, passport and nationality applications, Meighan’s signature was the […]

Albert area representative joins Police and community to address spike in gun violence
We have been reporting on the spike in gun violence in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. Since the start of 2017, four shooting incidents have been reported, with two proving fatal. Today the Police Department held their weekly meet and greet session in the trouble area. They were accompanied by area representative, […]

Minister Panton hopes GOB and bondholders and come to an agreement
As was reported last week, Belize’s bondholders rejected the Government’s initial solicitation consent. The bondholders viewed it as premature citing that any potential debt relief must be part of a medium term solution for Belize with a strong and credible medium term program of fiscal and structural adjustment to promote economic growth and reduce crises […]

Belize will not take IMF recommendations
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is expected to present the 2017/2018 budget in the next few weeks. Yesterday, the President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nikita Usher said the Chamber had done a comprehensive review of areas that could be improved. He said it is their belief that there will be limited increase […]

Puerto Azul project stalled some time ago
Panton was also asked whether the recent reports on the main investors in the Puerto Azul project would have any negative impact on Belize’s foreign investments. Tracy Teagar Panton – Minister of State, Ministry of Economic Development “We haven’t been involved with that project for a couple of years. I know that they had applied […]

The Guardian

Social Security Board conducts consultations on contribution increase
The Social Security Board hosted its 16th public meeting, since January 13th, at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on Thursday of last week. Those in attendance were able to gather first hand expert data on the performance of the Social Security Scheme as well as exchange valuable information. Facilitator for the Social Security Board Consultations, Sandra Cansino, shared with the public last week that there has been only one increase in the social security contributions in over 30 years and that our contribution rate is the lowest in Central America and the Caribbean; except for Jamaica. Cansino also said that people are living longer and that has an impact on the Social Security fund. Emerging in Belize in 1981, the Social Security Scheme has now matured to provide a range of services to those in need and is now at an important cross-road for its future. In 2015, Social Security collected $77,377,01.00 from contributions and $24,791,972.00 from investments.

Calming tensions in Conch Shell Bay
Over the past few days two persons have been killed and two injured as a result of gun violence in the Conch Shell Bay and the Lindo’s Alley area. Area Representative for the Albert Division, Hon. Tracy Panton, in which both these areas sit, was on the ground on Wednesday afternoon. Panton was in the area along with police officers including officer commanding for Eastern Division, South, ACP Chester Williams. They were there to reassure residents that everything is being done to deal with the crime situation. Panton met one on one with residents who expressed great concern with the escalation of gun violence. In her meetings Panton explained that as police do what they can to deal with the crime situation by increasing patrols, through her office she is looking for alternative ways to support the community to try and stem the recent spike in violent activity. She stated that far too many of our young men are dying and that as a community we have to come together and do what we can to stop the violence.

Minister of NEMO and Transport on working tour of the South
On the 18th and 19th of January, Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro, conducted a working tour of the south where he visited, Bella Vista, Independence Village, and Placencia. On the 18th he along with officials from the Department of Transport visited Bella Vista in the Toledo District where they met with shuttle bus operators to address issues relating to the services they provide to the public in that area. Discussions included the regularization and streamlining of those services in the area. Hon. Castro was accompanied by Chief Transport Officer, Tirsio Galvez and his assistant in the Department of Transport, Vallan Hyde. Also attending the meeting were Area Representative for Toledo East, Hon. Mike Espat; Local Advisor and Coordinator in the Ministry of Transport and NEMO (Toledo), Dennis Williams; Bella Vista Village Chairman, Juan Carlos Martinez, and other members of the Bella Vista Village Council; Senior Transport Officer for Rural Stann Creek District, Gilroy Young, and other personnel from the Stann Creek District Transport Office.

Hon. Aragon meets Israeli Ambassador
On Monday January 23, the Ambassador of Israel, His Excellency Jonathan Peled presented his credentials to Belize’s Governor General Sir. Colville Young. That same day H.E. Peled accompanied by his diplomatic team visited the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Honorable Elodio Aragon at his office in Belmopan. Apart from being a courtesy call the visit served as an opportunity for both men to exchange ideas and discuss cooperation between the two countries. For Belize the issue of crime and its effect on all aspects of life was paramount and for Israel the safety of Israeli citizens when visiting or in transiting Belize.

Work continues on upgrading streets of Belmopan
Streets in and around the Nation’s Capital continue to be upgraded at a fast and sustained pace. Hon. John Saldivar, the Representative for Belmopan has announced that in a few days time all the original Salvapan Streets will be paved. The work crews will then be moving to San Martin, starting with Saint Guadeloupe, Saint Paul, Saint Mary, Saint Mark, and Saint Michael Streets.

PUP battled for 13th senator as if he were a PUP
If one were not aware how it was that Senator Salas was appointed, after hearing the PUPs in the Senate last week Thursday, one would have been very much convinced that Salas was a PUP appointee and that the PUP was going to bat for one of their own. As is the norm, the leader of Government Business got up and moved that at its rising the Senate adjourn to a date to be set by the President. Well nobody even expected what happened next. As the President attempted to put that question to the Senate, PUP Senator Courtenay got up and tabled a motion, that the Senate adjourn so that Newly elected Senator, Salas, be first sworn in so that he be then allowed in to be able to debate the NGO Amendment Motion that was to be presented and debated later on in that same meeting. That motion was seconded by Senator Elena Smith. The President then reminded Senator Courtenay of his earlier response to the letter from the said Senator Courtenay, in regards to his request for the postponement of the meeting to allow Salas to be sworn in. At that point he informed Courtenay that if the amendment to the NGO Act were not to be first passed then legally Salas would not be able to be sworn in, since his selection and appointment would not be in conformity with the act.

Aragon – Indefatigable Representative
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Honorable Elodio Aragon is a servant of the people. Since he was elected in 2015 Hon. Aragon has worked tirelessly to ensure that he delivers for his constituency. He has the wellbeing of the people he represents at heart and works every day to try to make life a little better for all Belizeans but especially for his people in Orange Walk East. Since the beginning of the year he has ensured that attention be given to several of the sugar roads which were in horrible state. Many arteries which make up the sugar roads network in the Orange Walk East Constituency have been attended to. Roads in areas such as Dubloom, Playa Blanca, Posito and Carmelita have had remedial work done on them thereby alleviating some of the misery cane farmers experience when using such roads.

Citrus Growers Association meets to address Citrus Greening and diversification
The Belize Citrus Growers Association (CGA)held its 44th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, January 21. The meeting got underway at 10:00a.m. in Red Bank Village where the CGA has its Plant World Nursery. The nursery, a 100 acres parcel of land owned by the CGA is a gigantic operation that is considered one of the biggest citrus nurseries in this region comprising of an enclosed structure of almost 4 acres in size and propagates about 375,000 citrus plants at any one time. These plants are guaranteed free of any diseases and are sold to citrus farmers. It was apt that the AGM was held at the nursery site as it was an intense meeting where growers expressed extreme concern about “Citrus Greening” and what the CGA and Government of Belize are doing to combat this dreaded disease.

Muslim community opens doors to all Belizeans for weekend convention
The people of Islam in Belize are under the microscope after reports surfaced that a Belizean Muslim from a well known family was killed when Filipino authorities uprooted a terrorist group earlier this month. Perception of the Muslim community has already been skewed due to thousands of hours of negative coverage by the international media and almost no documentation of the true nature of the religion. This type of reporting has caused people to associate the people of Islam with terrorism, hatred and Jihad when the word itself actually derives from the root salam which means “Peace” and the mission of the people is to spread enlightment. The incident with the Belizean in the Philippines comes at a time when members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at are preparing to host their 3rd Annual Convention in Belize. Local and international leaders of this denomination of Islam held a press briefing on Wednesday, January 25, to say that it is an opportune time for them to open their doors so that all Belizeans can see and hear for themselves the true teachings of Islam.

Belizean Muslim community condemns actions of Abu Naila
“We are not familiar with that individual and I can say with certainty that he is not a member of our Muslim Community.” – Naveed Mangla, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Belize. With this statement, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at sect became the first and only Muslim community so far to distance itself from Nadir Ali Ahmad whose name has been linked to a terrorist group in the Phillipines. According to reports from the Philippines, ISIS sympathizer Abu Naila was killed by government troops in a raid in Barangay Daliao, Maasim in the Sarangani province on Saturday, January 7. Naila is a member of the terrorist group called Ansar Al-Khilafa. The Philippine Star reported that Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa claims, “[Abu Naila] wanted to fight in Syria but he first went here in the Philippines to train.” Naila and a woman believed to be his common-law-wife, Kadija, were killed as authorities closed in on them. The couple tried to fight their way out and were shot to death when Naila allegedly lobbed a grenade towards the agents.

Presentation of Credentials
Four ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence today to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador of Slovak Republic; and H.E. Mr. Luigi Maccotta, Ambassador of Italy; all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their respective countries in Belize. The ambassadors each conveyed their countries’ interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize. The Governor General warmly welcomed and received the Ambassadors’ credentials.

Bureau of Standards prosecutes stores for overcharging customers
The Bureau of Standards on Wednesday published a list of establishments that they are prosecuting for various offenses including the sale of goods at a price higher than the maximum selling price permitted, failure to indicate prices on goods. Ming’s supermarket, Wendy’s Shop and Jun’s superstore all located in Independence village were successfully prosecuted for the above mentioned infractions. They were fined $1,000 each at the Independence Magistrate’s Court. Also convicted were the owners of Dong Chang Supermarket also of Independence for failure to indicate prices on goods, this store was fined $500 dollars.

Another shooting in Conch Shell Bay
Less than a day after Clinton Frazer was murdered, there was another shooting in the same vicinity. This one nearly claimed the life of 19 year-old Keimar “Bwee” Nicholas, who is currently hospitalized in a critical condition. It happened on Monday, January 23, around 8:40 p.m., on Lindo’s Alley, which is right down the street from the Frazer family residence. Nicholas was socializing on a basketball court which is right outside the door to his house. That’s when, according to police, a tall man rode up on bicycle and opened fire on them. Nicholas was hit by a single gunshot to the neck, and he was immediately rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment. The doctors managed to save his life, but even with a successful, follow-up medical surgery the following day, he remains in a critical condition at the hospital.

Two cops accused of extortion
Police Constables David Jimenez and Derwin Marin are facing extortion charges after a tourist accused them of an outrageous abuse of authority. American John Courtenay reported to police that on Sunday, January 22, at around 8 p.m., two officers attacked him and dragged him into a police vehicle. He said that the officers searched him, assaulted him, and then took him to an ATM machine, where they forced him to withdraw $200. He said that he complied and handed over the money fearing that the officers would continue to take advantage of him. Police have since investigated his report, and on Monday, a day later, police arrested and charged officers David Jimenez and Derwin Marin with the crimes of extortion and wounding. They have since been arraigned at the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court where they pleaded not guilty to both offense.

6 fatalities as a result of traffic mishaps in January
For the second half of January, there has been an unusual spike in the number of fatal traffic accidents. Most of them have been happening in the Orange Walk and Cayo Districts. In the north, the most recent accident happened on the Otro Benque Road in the Orange Walk District. Police say that on Friday, January 20, just before midnight, 19 year-old Jerry Hernison Martinez was riding toward Trial Farm Village. It appears that when he arrived on top of a Hill, he somehow lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a Lamp post. He suffered severe head and bodily injuries, and he died on the scene. Police are reviewing to see if alcohol played any role in the accident. In Corozal, there was a fatal traffic accident involving a Bus and a cyclist who was run over. That one happened at around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, January 17, at miles 69 on the Philip Goldson Highway. That’s located in Buena Vista Village, and according to police a Tillett bus was heading toward Corozal Town when the driver knocked down and killed an unknown cyclist. The unknown man, was riding the bike in the same direction, and he was hit from behind.

Another life lost in traffic accident near Belmopan
In a span of just two weeks another person has succumbed to injuries, the result of motorcyle related traffic accidents near Belmopan. Belmopan Police visited between Mile 55 and 56 where they observed a dark blue Toyota Hilux, with a black Meilun motorbike under the front bumper. The rider of the motorbike was 21 year old Geovannie Reymundo, a resident of San Martin and he was accompanied by Anita Canti. Reymundo suffered from severe head and body injures and was transported to the hospital where he passed away. Anita Canti also suffered some injuries but was able to make it through from the painful wreck. The driver of the Hilux, Kevin Petzold, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, drove vehicle without due care and attention and failure to give way when changing direction. Petzold appeared in court on Monday and his case has been moved to April 6, 2017.

Elario Elijio attacks his stereo repair man
Elario Elijio, 39, walked away from a charge of manslaughter on July 5, 2016, after he was accused of causing the death of his drinking buddy, John Myers, 52. The accusation was that Myers fell and died because of hitting his head on the pavement after he was punched by Elijio. The case fell apart after the main eyewitness recanted his story in court and the prosecution could find no one else to point out the puncher. Elijio walked free that day but he is back in trouble with the law. Elijio was read two criminal charges, one count of aggravated assault with a machete and one count of wounding, when he appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, January 20. According to appliance repair man Nelson Martinez, 38, around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, he was socializing with some friends on Zacaranda Street when Elijio approached him on a bicycle and asked about his stereo set.

Police charge Henry Harris for Hog’s murder
Police have arrested and charged one man for the murder of 44 year-old Conch Shell Bay resident Clinton Frazer, who is better known as “Hog”. Clinton Frazer and his 33 year-old brother, Michael, became the victims of a shooting which happened down the street from their home. Police say that at around 9:23p.m. on Sunday, January 22, the two brothers were socializing with a group of friends near the Conch Shell Bay Fish market. That’s when they came under fire from two gunmen who came on separate bicycles. Clinton was injured in the back, while Michael got shot in the right leg. Both men were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and the doctors tried their very best to save their lives. Unfortunately, they were only able to work on Clinton Frazer for about 20 minutes, at which point, he succumbed to his injuries. They were able to successfully treat Michael Frazer’s leg injury.

Carl Reneau charged for Jaheem’s murder
Police believe they have solved the murder case of 15-year-old student, Jaheem Mahler, (last week we reported him to be Raheem, we apologize for that mistake), who was gunned down on Tuesday night, January 17. Carl Reneau, a resident of #30 Iguana Street Extension, is the man police believe squeezed the trigger of the gun that launched several bullets into Mahler’s body. Reneau was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, January 20. He was read a single charge of murder. No plea was taken and due to the nature of the offense bail could not be granted. He will be remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on February 24, 2017. This was not Reneau’s first time being charged for murder. On July 5, 2010, Reneau walked free from the murder of Brian “Benji” Williams, 32. Williams was killed on March 9, 2009 when he was shot while painting a house. The gunman, who was believed to be Reneau, reportedly told a little boy who was in the yard at the time to go inside the house because he had come to kill Williams. Williams was shot about eight times from close range. Then in March of 2015 he was charged for the attempted murder of 15-year-old Robert Hower.

Taxi driver accused of sexual assault
A taxi driver is being accused of inappropriately touching the leg of a 15-year-old girl who hired him to take her to her mom’s workplace. That driver is Nestor Galindo, 42, of M&M’s Street in Belize City and he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, January 20. The girl visited the police station in the company of her mother. She told police that on January 2, 2017, she went to a family dinner on Cemetery Road around lunch time with her mother who had to leave when her break from work was over. At about 6:45 p.m., the girl boarded a brown taxi being driven by Nestor Galindo to go to her mother’s workplace. While on her way, according to the girl, Galindo was constantly touching her on the leg causing her to feel uncomfortable. She told her mother about the incident and the two visited the station together.

Coast Guard champions of CYDP Football Tournament
The 2016-2017 Conscious Youth Development Programme Football Tournament came to an end on Sunday January 22, 2017, with the third place game as well as the championship game. In the championship game played between Tut Bay and the Coast Guard, it was the Coast Guard that prevailed by the score of 4-1. The Coast Guard was the first onto the scoreboard when Adgar Adderly scored the 1st goal of the game in the 11th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Steven Martinez scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 20th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. Tut Bay finally made it onto the score board when Brian Martinez scored in the 27th minute of play to cut the deficit to 2-1. Eredito Valencio scored the 3rd goal of the game in the 41st minute of play to give the Coast Guard a commanding 3-1 lead. The final goal of the game was scored by the Coast Guard’s Steven Martinez in the 85th minute of play that sealed the championship for his team.

Belize Athletics Association to hold General Assembly
The Belize Athletics Association will be holding its Annual General Assembly at Edward P. Yorke High School on Princess Margaret Drive on January 28, 2017 at 10:00 am. The BAA informs that it will be holding an election for the following positions on the executive: Treasurer and Public Relations Officer. All members are reminded that their annual due of $20.00 is due at the AGM and they must bring along a photo identification card. The closing date for all nominations, proposed motions or other items of business is the 14th January, 2017 and is to be submitted to Mrs. Liesje Chung, Secretary, at 1440 Coney Drive, Belize City, or by email to [email protected]

San Pedro Tiger Sharks keep in winning form
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks pick up its second win in as many outings in the early start of the 2017 National Elite Basketball League Season on Friday January 20, when it defeated the host team the Orange Walk Running Rebels, by the score of 77-62 at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were Ashton Edwards with 23 points; George Williams with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 11 assists; Raul Roches with 3 rebounds and 2 assists and Kurt Burgess who scored 11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Orange Walk Running Rebels were Roger Reneau with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals; Lennox Bowman with 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal; and Shemar White with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks led for most of the game, and had an 11-2 advantage on second chance points. Orange Walk had a 16-11 edge on bench points.

St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College maintain lead in Central Region Football competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued over the last week with a number of games on the schedule. On Saturday 21st January, 2017, in the first of three games played in the male competition, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 2-0. In game two, Sadie Vernon Technical High School won over Belize High School by the score of 5-2. And in the final game of the day, Edward P. Yorke High School won over Excelsior High School by the score of 4-1. On Friday 20th January, in the female game played, Gwen Lizarraga High School won via the default route over Maud Williams High School.

Belize Softball Federation to hold Umpires’ Training
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding an Umpires’ Training from February 15-19, 2017, at Rogers’ Stadium in Belize City. The Umpires’ Training will be conducted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Softball Division Chief Umpire Robert Stanton. Robert Stanton has been the WBSC-Softball Division Umpire in Chief since 2008 and has led over 40 Certification Seminars for umpires. The training will include theory (class room) and practical (field) as well as a fitness test and a written exam. The federation is extending an invitation to all softball umpires and those interested in umpiring to register for the up-coming Umpires’ Training.

United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
MEDIA refers to the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet), regarded collectively. Its synonyms that we are most familiar with are: the press, the fourth estate, the news, the papers, broadcasting and publishing. I am always very pleased when I come across instances of the MEDIA providing us with honest, truthful and useful information. In my recent research I was reading about the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. I wonder how many Belizeans know of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference of 1944. Delegates from the United States, Great Britain, Russia and China drew up proposals for a world security organization - which we now know as the - United Nations! That body adopted the strategy of freeing colonial peoples by the granting of independence to the colonies, in the hope of preventing another world war.

Ashcroft vs. the CCJ!!!
I don’t think any other Belizean could have better expressed the deep anger and disappointment than Hon. Barrow did in the House Meeting last Friday regarding the lawsuits brought against Belize in the United States by the Ashcroft Alliance. The international drama these days is that the media outlets in the United States have converted the issues surrounding their recent national elections and soon-to -be presidency of Mr. Donald Trump into a live TV soap opera with high ratings. Here in Belize we have our own version of Mr. Trump named ASCHROFT with his parallel fleet of attorneys and his Channel Five media voice supporting the idea that they are larger than the Belizean constitution. This group of people which includes a senior attorney has snubbed its nose at the CCJ and sought to embarrass our country’s highest and final appellate court. Their face of brass and their arrogance recognizes no bounds. Their wealth has lifted their pride and swollen their heads.

Why do we have to suffer? It seems that, as Christians, we encounter more problems in our daily lives that those who do not share our faith! Suffering takes many forms; it could be a physical illness, stresses of family life, problems in the workplace, or just various obstacles that get in our way. The Apostle Paul addresses these issues in Romans 5:3-4, “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and hope.” Paul, influenced by God’s Holy Spirit, saw it as a learning process. We go through various sufferings and problems so that we might be set apart and transformed and conformed to our Heavenly Father’s desire that we may become like His Son Jesus. In his earthly life, Jesus encountered opposition, rejection, and even beating and death. The Messiah was among His creation, but many did not recognize who he was. He suffered and so did his disciples when they began their ministry.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Ministry of Health issues advisory on private burials
If you have recently experienced a death in your family and you are considering a burial for your loved on private property you are advised to contact the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health for approval. A failure to secure permission will result in a fine of $1000 as outlined under the Public Health Act Chapter 40. That same act expresses that the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health is the only authorized person that can give permission for such burial if the location meets public health requirements.

Mexican fugitive sought in Belize
The Mexican Attorney General is offering up to 15-million-pesos in rewards for information leading to the arrest of the former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte Ochoa. An Interpol Red Notice, has been sent out today allowing for him to be sought in more than 190 countries. According to sources, he may be in Belize or simply using our country to navigate through Central America given our porous borders. Ochoa is wanted in Mexico for organized crime and money laundering, according to the Interpol website.

Immigration Director admits massive ‘improper’ nationalizations prior to 2012 elections
Yesterday, Ruth Meighan, former Immigration Director, told the Senate Select Committee that in many instances leading up to the 2012 general elections thousands of immigrants had their nationalization documents approved despite major irregularities. The PUP lost the 2012 General election by a total of 800 plus popular votes. Prior to the election, the UDP nationalized over 2,000 immigrants who were thereafter registered to vote. Some political pundits have suggested that this massive nationalization and registration is wrought with major irregularities and may have been the reason why the UDP won the 2012 elections.

Tensions escalate at Belize- Mexico Border
Tensions have been high in Mexico following the “gasolinazo” hike in gas prices. The price increase took effect on January 1, 2017. Since then, Mexicans have been taking to the streets to protest the increase. The government ended some gas subsidies and raised the maximum price of fuel across the board, allowing regular gas to increase by as much as 14 percent, premium to increase by 20 percent and diesel went up by 17 percent. The first few days it took effect; there was massive looting and disturbances at popular shopping spots for Belizeans in Chetumal, Mexico. According to a report of Diario de Quintana Roo, today there was a confrontation between the “fayuqueros” (people who practice illegal commerce) and Belizean custom officers at the Subtineiente Lopez bridge on the Belize/Mexico border.

FBI offers $10,000 reward for solving Anne Swaney murder
A US $10,000 rewardhas been put up by the FBI to solve Anne Swaney’s murder case The 39-year-old ABC7 executive producer was killed in Belize on January 15, 2016. It has been a year now and no one has been charged for the crime. Swaney had been vacationing at a resort in Cayo and was murdered two days before she was scheduled to return home. Her partially nude body was discovered floating in the Mopan river in San Jose, Succotz with several injuries to the head and neck.

New Immigration regulations affecting students
On Monday morning, hundreds of students from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala that travel daily to study in Belize were lined up at the Belize- Guatemalan border since Belize Immigration officials began checking for student visas. Previously, students had been allowed to cross the border without permits. This new regulation has parents of the students annoyed and concerned. It has been on-going since October 2015 when commuting students were given student border crossing cards. However, they Belize Immigration has upgraded the process to requesting student permits from all students so as to adequately record each student that enters and leaves. The permits are obtained at a cost of $50 and cards at $20.


Belize – the Owner’s Manual
This is for all those in Belize, Belizeans Abroad and International friends who are sincere about fighting and ending corruption which can be accomplished by directing your respective energy in ensuring that the Government of Belize petition the United Nations to establish the International Commission Against Impunity in Belize (CICIB). The CICIB Commission’s mandate permits it to carry out independent investigations, to act as a complementary prosecutor and to recommend public policies to help fight the corrupt groups that are the subject of its investigations. CICIB’s Commissioner is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The CICIG in Guatemala effectively placed the former President (Otto Perez Molina) and Vice-President in jail and Guatemalan former finance minister Pavel Centeno committed suicide when CICIG TRIED TO ARREST HIM this week in Guatemala City. This shows clearly that CICIB will be independent of ALL political parties, addresses the wrongs across the board and do so with honesty and impartiality.

Belize makes it in the list of the best beaches in the world by National Geographic
The multiple award-winning monthly science and photography magazine published by the National Geographic Society has recently published an article entitled "21 Best Beaches in the World" that made special mention of Belize. Using a gorgeous photo by Brian Skerry of the magazine, National Geographic highlighted the outstanding snorkeling opportunities available on Pelican Beach on the island of South Water Caye in Belize. The article sang the praises of the sea turtles, angelfish, and colorful coral on display in less than 20 feet of water along the shores of Pelican Beach. The glowing praise for the natural beauty in Belize by National Geographic follows on the heels of several unrelated but similar articles published by leading newspapers and travel publications. Some of the biggest publications in the United States, including the New York Times, Lonely Planet, and U.S. News & World Report have published articles in 2017 recommending Belize as a recommended travel destination.

Exclusive New Luxury Resort on Belize Coast
Naïa Resort and Spa is situated along a mile of beach and extending through lush forests and tranquil lagoons, the intimate resort is set within a private 200-acre reserve in southern Belize Placencia offers world-class attractions on both land and sea - nearby, endless opportunities for discovery abound, including snorkeling on the hemisphere’s longest barrier reef, hiking, river tubing and zip lining. Naïa features 35 individual Beach Houses, each designed as a private sanctuary overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

International Sourcesizz

Pope Francis Appoints A New Bishop For Belize
Pope Francis has appointed a new Bishop for the country of Belize, Father Lawrence Sydney Nicasio. This comes after the current Bishop, Dorick McGowan Wright, sent in his resignation. Father Lawrence was born in Belize on September 5th, 1956 and was a teacher for several years before entering priesthood and has been a part of various parishes throughout the Belize and Cayo District.

Miss Belize’s Evening Gown in Upcoming Miss Universe Pageant Is From Carrollton Dress Shop
On Sunday, Miss Belize will compete in the Philippines against 85 other women from across the world for the title of Miss Universe. Her evening gown, however, is from a Carrollton dress shop. Shimmer Boutique is owned and operated by Larissa Maner, who has been in the pageant and prom dress business for years. Her shop is a sponsor for the Miss Texas organization and she has helped dress women in the Miss America and Miss USA pageants. Miss Universe will be her highest achievement. Rebecca Rath first stopped by Shimmer Boutique with her Texan godmother before competing in Miss Belize. “When she came into my store, she was a beautiful girl, she was well spoken, and she just kind of had the look,” Maner says. “So when she said she was competing for Miss Belize, I kind of jokingly said, ‘We’re going to help you win the pageant and if you win the pageant, I want to dress you for Miss Universe.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’m gonna win! I’m gonna win!’ So we were all kind of joking about it but being half serious.” After Rath won Miss Belize, her first pageant ever, she texted Maner to help find her an evening gown. With the OK from her director and sponsors, she traveled to Carrollton in October to begin her search for an evening gown for the Miss Universe pageant.

IN PHOTOS: Miss Universe 2016 candidates in their national costumes
After working the stage in their swimsuits and evening gowns, the 86 candidates of Miss Universe 2016 had some fun as they showed off their national costumes to the audience at the Mall of Asia on Thursday, January 26. Although it has no bearing on the final score, the national costume is one of the most anticipated portions of the competition. Countries are given a chance to show off their culture thorugh the outfits they are wearing. Check out some of the colorful national costumes from the night!

If You Owe Taxes To IRS, You Could Lose Your Passport And Your Ability To Fly
If you're like me, your calendar is already filling up - and it's just January. If those plans include travel, you need to be aware of a new law which could affect your future plans. On December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or "FAST Act," became law. The purpose of the law was to provide long-term funding for transportation projects, including new highways. However, the Act also included a significant new provision which allows the Department of State (sometimes just called "State Department") to yank passports from delinquent taxpayers. Here's how it works. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn't have control over passports: that's the purview of the State Department. Tax debts are assessed by the IRS: the State Department doesn't generally have access to taxpayer information because of privacy laws. To bridge the two, the law now requires the IRS to advise the State Department about seriously delinquent taxpayers. The State Department may then refuse to issue or renew a passport for a seriously delinquent taxpayer; the Secretary of State is also permitted to revoke any passport previously issued to a seriously delinquent taxpayer.


  • 65th Miss Universe Preliminary Competition, 112min. Check out the 65th Miss Universe Preliminary Competition! Miss Universe Belize, Rebecca Rath competed in swimwear and evening gown in front of a panel of preliminary judges. The scores from the night’s event along with an interview portion will help determine the Top 12 during the Miss Universe broadcast.

  • Border bridge blocked, 15sec. Se encuentra bloqueado el paso para pasar a la zona libre de Belice, una cadena agarrada de conos impide el paso, el lugar es custodiado por elementos de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional de México.

  • Belizean and Mexican border officials clash at the center of the border bridge in a tense standoff., 2min. According to the report of diary of Quintana Roo, confrontation between fayuqueros and customs agents of Belize in the international bridge was about to end in a tragedy. Fayuqueros recovered several bales of merchandise from the free zone and elements of armed security cut cartridge. The confrontation occurred in the middle of the bridge and where military elements remain reguardando Mexican place. Suspending access to the free zone of Belize, by the clash. According to the Mexicans, agents of Belize crossed the border bridge and assaulted the fayuqueros

  • Video of Miss Universe Belize Rebecca Rath in her Scarlet Macaw costume during the National Costume Competition., 1/2min.

  • Bex in Manila, 112min. Miss Universe was LIVE from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, with all 86 contestants competing in swimwear and evening gown in front of a panel of preliminary judges. Watch as Miss Belize shines on stage.

  • And the lessons continue today, 7min. Learn more about the CARICOM Single Market and the Significant Developments in Community Law

  • El viaje 2/6 - Belize, 3.5min.

  • Miss Belize during Miss Universe 2016 Preliminary, min. Video montage of Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath during the Miss Universe 2016 Preliminary Competition. Vote 4 Bex!

  • Backstage of a Photoshoot in Paradise , Belize, 3.5min. Do you know how it's a photoshoot for a Big Fitness American Brand in a paradise is like? Here is a little bit of my work as model for Athleta on January 2017.

  • San Pedro Belize, 5min.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 7, 67min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN DECEMBER 26, 2016, 30min.

  • Join the Adventure: Be;ize, 5min.

  • Miss Universe Evening Gown Preliminary 2 : Belize - Brazil, 2min.

  • Belize 2017!(:, 9min. Two weeks in a beautiful country.

  • How We Lost 2 ATVs || Travel: Belize, 8min. That's right, we lost 2 ATVs in the jungle of Belize. Watch as I zip line and lug around two other dudes on my ATV to make it out of the jungle alive.

  • Steel drums - Belize - San Pedro Lobster Festival 2016,2 min. Goosebumps .... Sounds that beats on your soul, an amazing experience you must see. Fresh tasty lobster and friendly locals.

  • When your polly decides he is a rebel!, 1/2min. Birding in Belize City mein...

  • Punta Rebels rehearsal!, 104min. Punta Rebels rehearsal for Pepsi Maaga Season BASH on Saturday, 28th January.

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