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Today's Belize News: February 10, 2017 #521512
02/10/17 01:12 AM
02/10/17 01:12 AM
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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

BAHA issues Bovine Rabies advisory
On February 1st, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Belize Livestock Producers Association, informed all farmers with livestock to vaccinate them against the ongoing Bovine Rabies disease outbreak. The disease is currently being detected in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts and is expected to continue affecting unvaccinated herds throughout the entire country. The disease is also being found in sheep; therefore farmers are being advised to vaccinate their cattle, sheep and horses against the virus. Rabies is a highly fatal disease that affects all mammals, and farmers are advised that rabies can be transmitted to humans. The rabies virus can be carried through the saliva of infected wild animals such as dogs, cats, raccoons, and bats. It is then spread to humans or cattle by an infected bite, cut, or scratch.

Kelly McGuire’s birthday celebration benefits Saga Humane Society
On Monday, February 6th, locals and visitors helped award winning country singer/songwriter Kelly McGuire celebrate his birthday at The Palapa Bar and Grill in grand style. McGuire’s birthday bash benefited the Saga Humane Society after being an avid supporter for years, even starring in one of Saga’s public service announcements, “Are you man enough?” The benefit concert left McGuire literally shirtless, as he auctioned the shirt right off his own back, not once, but twice. After his first autographed shirt was auctioned, he turned his back to the crowd, stripped his second shirt off, signed it and handed it over to the highest bidder. He also auctioned two round trip tickets from Tropic Air, as McGuire fan and Tropic Air CEO Steve Schulte raised the bidding bar when he announced that the tickets would be valid for any destination where Tropic Air flies. The audience enjoyed an amazing performance by McGuire as they smiled, cried, and tapped their toes to his tunes. He even dedicated a special song to the Harnishes as they danced along with their precious pup Sunny. Fantastic food, drink specials, and even birthday cake were enjoyed. At the end of the night, raffle tickets sales, a special “Pass the Hat with Dr. Mel” donation, and auctions raised nearly $3,000.

Caye Chapel beach creation project starts without EIA
Recent reports of a beach project on Caye Chapel has raised concerns among government officials and the tourism sector, as it has started without the benefit of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Caye Chapel is an exclusive property being touted as on its way to becoming a world-class golf course. It has been revealed that developers are planning to create a beach area measuring 985 feet long by 98 feet wide, along with a beach club and a sales center. Stakeholders’ main concern is that the project was given clearance by the Department of Environment (DOE), ignoring the Supreme Court’s guidelines when handling these types of projects. On Wednesday, February 8th The San Pedro Sun headed to the island, after receiving reports of dredging activities. No dredging was observed around the island; however, works for the expansion of the beach were in full gear. Heavy machinery was observed near the proposed section of the island that will see the creation of a new beach.

Tropical Knights win the Caribbean Coconut Hockey Cup
The San Pedro Buccaneers, Belize’s only ball hockey club, held its inaugural Caribbean Coconut Hockey Cup against Withrow Park Hockey Club’s Tropical Knights from Toronto, Canada. Hosted at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, February 4th and Monday, February 6th, the bleachers were packed with an enthusiastic crowd of fans. Robert Burrows of the Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye served as the Master of Ceremonies, welcoming all in attendance. Following the official opening ceremony, the first on Saturday game began at 5PM with the San Pedro Buccaneers Squad 1 (the young members) taking on the Tropical Knights (the professionals). There were three 20-minute rounds, during which the Tropical Knights showcased their talent, and left no room for Squad 1 to score. The first game ended 7-0 in favor of the Tropical Knights. The second game of the day saw San Pedro Buccaneers Squad 2 (the older, more experienced members) take on the Tropical Knights. Squad 2 scored one goal, but they were no match for the Tropical Knights, who the game 8-1.

Ambergris Today

BTB Hosts Tourism Transportation Workshop for Taxi Tour Guides
At the conclusion of the workshop participants were equipped to:. Recognize the various roles played by taxi drivers as Tourism Ambassadors for the country. Explain the importance of tourism to Belize’s economy and the Caribbean. Understand the importance of customer service and service quality. Define customer service excellence and understand it’s importance in tourism. List and explain the principles of quality customer care. Discuss tourism trends as it relates to today’s tourism consumer. Share accurate facts and information about the country and its tourism products. Explain how to develop and deliver an effective commentary as a tour guide. Design and put into practice a personal action plan to improve the quality of services to the visitor. Demonstrate best practice as it relates to the delivery of quality service in taxi operations.

Belize Receives Equipment to Fight Forest Fires
On Wednesday, 8th February 2017, the Forest Department and five of its key partners in Forest Fire Prevention and Management received essential fire-fighting safety gears and equipment through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project (also known as the KBA project). During the handing-over ceremony, Minister Omar Figueroa distributed the fire-fighting gears among the Forest Department’s ranges, Toledo Institute of Development and Education (TIDE), Ya’axche Conservation Trust (YCT), Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), the Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group limited and Programme for Belize (PfB).

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow traveled to Vienna, Austria
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow traveled to Vienna, Austria where she took part in the IAEA's World Cancer Day event on February 3rd, 2017. At the event, Mrs. Barrow sat on a distinguished panel that included Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, Amadou Diarra of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Director of Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) Nelly Enwerem-Bromson.

Galicha & Silas Full Moon Concert
The SISE House of Culture is having a Full Moon Concert tomorrow, February 10th, at the CWC. Galicha & Silas are the main event, and DJ Moz will be there to fill in the gaps. Thanks, NICH! "FREE FULL MOON CONCERT: HAPPENING THIS FRIDAY FEB 10TH, CAYO WELCOME CENTER, 7;30 PM. ALL ARE INVITED!"

Glover's Reef 2017
Belize is blessed to have three of the Caribbean's four atolls in its marine environment. This is our Belize. This is the time to love and protect our marine resources.This is the beauty and wonder of the Glover's Reef Atoll, which forms part of the outermost boundary of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. The Atoll comprises of four islands: Northeast Caye, Long Caye, Middle Caye and Southwest Caye.

Maya: Hidden World's Revealed has been installed at the Perot Museum!
Can you spot the Belize Maya artifacts??

Director Salazar & Technical Director Jones with Grupo Pakal at the Maya Hidden World Revealed exhibition

Spelling Bee champs! Well done
A big CONGRATULATIONS to these two little beatuies who both tied for first place for the Spelling Bee contest today, Karina Sotz and Emily Requena!! These girls will be representing CAYE CAULKER RC SCHOOL in San Pedro in the next coming weeks. If they win there they will be going to Belize City for the finals!!! This is the yearly Bowen n Bowen Spelling Bee contest held for primary schools. If you happen to see the girls congratulate them and encourage them for the next step

NICH Launches “Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed” Exhibit
Today, February 9th, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Science Museum of Minnesota held a press conference to launch an exhibit entitled "Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed". This press conference was followed by a VIP opening ceremony at the Perot Museum of Science. This travelling exhibition is a collaboration between the National Institute of Culture and History and the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibit contains 235 artifacts, of which 80 percent are from the National Collection of Belize. This includes small jade items, chert artifacts, obsidian blades, as well as more recognizable pieces such as the Buena Vista Vase. The collection was installed in Dallas by Deborah Lin of Linn Conservation Services, Rebecca Newberry of the Science Museum of Minnesota, Sylvia Batty from the Institute of Archaeology, and Sherilyne Jones of the Museum of Belize.

His excellency Charles Liu in San Pedro
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize, his excellency Charles Liu, made his courtesy visit to Mayor Daniel Guerrero of San Pedro Town and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. He expressed his excitement to working with the people of San Pedro.

Tents for San Pedro
Frank Casares of Skydive San Pedro presented Mayor Daniel Guerrero with two (2) igloo-shaped tents measuring 12 ft. in height, 20 ft. in width and 30 ft. in length. These tents will be of great use for the town, especially for emergency cases. Thank you Mr. Frank! Also, thank you to Brittney O'Daniel for helping out in getting the tents/

Archaeology in the Community Program
The U.S. Embassy has teamed up with NICH to create their Archaeology in the Community program, and they are visiting primary schools all over Belize teach the kids more about it. They visited San Antonio this week. Hey, that's Antonio there doing some educating! "The Embassy's Archaeology in the Community program is making its way around Belize! Today, Dr. Jones and Sarah of the U.S. and Dr. Moore and his team of the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize visited the village of San Antonio in the Cayo district. The principal and the teachers wholeheartedly welcomed us to the San Antonio United Pentecostal Primary School. The excitement among the students was contagious!"

Archaeology in the Community program
Today, we traveled to Benque Viejo, where Mount Carmel Primary School students learned about archaeology, the importance of protecting Belize's cultural heritage, and what to do if and when they see someone looting or destroying the country's national treasures. What an amazing group of motivated, curious, and eager to learn students! Thank you, Archaeology in the Community program and the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize, for such a great program and partnership!

Nominations for the "Woman of the Year 2017" contest
International Women's Day and Women's History Month is in March. The Embassy will recognize an outstanding Belizean woman for her inspirational accomplishments and positive contributions to her communities. We are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the "Woman of the Year 2017" contest. Please visit the Embassy's website for more information and the nomination form: Deadline for submission is February 28, 2017.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Hacksaw Ridge, Bad Santa 2, Nocturnal Animals, Manchester by the Sea. Dari-Dari performing live Saturday at 7:30 and 9:30 $25. *Please Note Bad Santa 2 plays at 9:15 this weekend.*

Juan Carnaval, Queen Elizabeth Park
Feb. 26, 4pm. We are dedicated to safeguarding and promoting our intangible cultural heritage. We take this opportunity to invite the entire Orange Walk community to observe and participate in the Re-enactment of Juan Carnaval. See you all at the Queen Elizabeth Park on February 26th, 2017!!!

Archaeology in the schools
Since Monday, the Institute of Archaeology, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy Belize have visited St. Martin de Porres Primary School in Belize City, United Pentecostal Primary School in San Antonio, Cayo, and Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Visiting archaeologist, Dr. Jones and her team as well as personnel from the IA not only imparted to the children the importance of history, culture and heritage, but let them become junior archaeologists for the day. On Friday the team heads to beautiful Dangriga!

Channel 7

Alrick August Hospitalized After Shooting
A man is battling for his life in the hospital after he was shot at on Western Avenue last night. 25 year old Alrick August was walking down Western Avenue - heading home around 9:00 when a gunman shot him several times. August was hit to the chest, neck and arm. He survived the attack but he is still critical. Today August's younger brother gave us more details about the shooting and Alrick's condition at this time. Randy August, Younger Brother: "Well those guys came and just shot my brother for no apparent reason, like I'm saying for what did they do it, but my brother isn't a trouble guy like that my brother..yeah, just does his job and follows girls and yeah, my brother won't go shoot people on the street for anybody to kill my brother cold blooded in the street like that, well shoot him because he is critical right now in the hospital, you know what I mean? Yeah" Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "What are the doctors saying right now? How is he doing?" Randy August: "Well they said like right now he got about 8 shots in the chest, back and neck, he did surgery already, he needs blood right now , they said he must be critical, they are trying to wake him out of a coma."

PUP Defends Senator Eamon
Last night we showed you how the UDP is now hammering PUP Senator and Ashcroft Attorney Eamon Courtenay. Well, the PUP has announced today that they are standing by him. Courtenay is considered the closest personal advisor and friend of Party Leader John Briceno, so it wasn't surprising to see a staunch defence of the Senator in a PUP press release today. So how does the opposition justify his acrobatic flips between the Senate floor and the courtroom? Well, they don't really. The release is boldly headlined "PUP SUPPORTS HON. SENATOR EAMON COURTENAY" but after that, the 506 - word press release only makes a single mention of Courtenay. It says nothing of his acrobatics, and simply states, quote, "Senator Courtenay has done a stellar job…highlighting the wrongdoings of this government and continues to enjoy the full support of the Leader of the Opposition." This is after the UDP called on the PUP to remove him immediately.

GOB Met With Business Community About Budget
Will there be new taxes? That what officials from the Ministry of Finance discussed with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and other private sector partners today in a closed door session at the Biltmore. It's the first in a series of consultations regarding the upcoming budget. They discussed strategies that could be employed to get public finances under control. Late last month, the Chamber held a conference of their own to discuss the national budget and prepare for the consultation. Chamber president, Nikita Usher told us that they would be recommending ways to balance the books without increasing taxes, but by cutting government spending. Our news team waited outside the meeting to get a comment, but Financial Secretary Joe Waight declined. The Ministry of Finance is expected to meet with the labor unions tomorrow for further consultations.

BNTU Wants The Government To Re-Register Voters
Last year, the BNTU forced government to introduce transparency reforms with an 11 day strike. And this year, the union is now complaining about that dirty voters' list and the need for re-registration. The BNTU says it is, quote, "tremendously concerned" about voter registration after details became known of, quote, "the wanton distribution of questionable Belizean nationality certificates", end quote. The BNTU says "democracy has been compromised" and is calling on government to immediately address the clean up of the voters' list through re-registraiton. The union calls on other unions, civil society and the general public to join them in calling for an urgent re-registration exercise.

Maya, Hidden Worlds Revealed In Dallas
We first told you about the exhibit called "Maya, Hidden Worlds Revealed" in 2014. The show features a majority of Belizean artefacts and is the largest collection of Mayan antiquities to ever be included in a single travelling exhibit. In the past 4 years it has made five stops: Minnesota, Denver, Boston, San Diego, San Antonio, and tonight - at this hour - it is opening in Dallas, Texas. Our News Director, Jules Vasquez, and camera man Codie Norales travelled there yesterday, and they're attending the opening at this hour at the Perot Museum of Natura and Science. They did managed sent us a black a small slice of why this show is creating such a buzz in Dallas:...

Guilty Of Lurking At Court With Gun
Last year December, we told you about 20 year-old John Orosco who was caught lurking outside the Belize City Magistrate's Court with a loaded gun. That was a grave security concern for the police and the court security, especially given that the June 2010 slaying of gang Leader Andre Trapp proved that predatory gunmen lurk outside the court house because it is one of the only places that they can catch major street figures. Well tonight, Orozco is at the Belize Central Prison serving a 3 year prison sentence after decided to plead guilty to the charge. Viewers will remember that on December 7, 2016, the cops saw him acting suspiciously, fidgeting with his pants waist. The officers decided to search him, and that's when they found a .38 double barrel revolver, which was loaded with 2 live rounds.

Victoria Street Blaze Leaves Family Homeless
A Victoria Street family lost about $10,000 worth of belongings in a fire last night, but they are grateful no one was hurt. That's because 78 year old Elda Card was inside the home by herself when the fire started. She had just come out of the bathroom when she saw the smoke spreading throughout the house. Card told us that as soon as her daughters got her of the house, she heard an explosion. The fire fighters got there in time to put out the fire before it consumed the entire house. Station Manager at the Fire Department told us they still have not confirmed the cause of the fire. Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "On Wednesday the 8th of February 2017, approximately 7:17pm the National Fire Service received and responded to reports from the police of a structural fire at number 17 Victoria Street, Belize City. On arrival on the scene was heavy smoke and flame seen coming from the rear of a 25 by 30 plycem structure elevated approximately 3 feet off ground. As a result of the fire the underside flooring on the north of the structure, a portion of the north wall and a section of the kitchen received fire damage. The building is own and occupied by 2 female; a mother and a daughter. At the time of the fire only the mother was at home. Preliminary investigation revealed the fire originated on the north exterior of the structure. Determination of the cause is still under investigation."

San Pedro House Fire Was Arson
While the fire department still has to tie up a few loose ends in that Victoria Street fire, they are certain that Sunday's San Pedro Blaze was arson. As we told you, Calvin Young's San Juan home was completely destroyed by fire. Neither he nor his sons were inside at the time of the blaze. Fire Station Manager Orin Smith told us what he knows in this case. Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "That fire was classified as incendiary." Reporter: "Are you aware if anyone has even charged in that incident?" Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "No I am not." Reporter: "Could you talk to us terms of what the investigation turned up to make you conclude that it was incendiary?"

Former CEO Saldivar Says Immigration Officers Need To Be Disciplined For Breaching The System
Last night, we showed you a small portion of the testimony from Candelaria Saldivar-Morter in yesterday's Senate Inquiry. She was taking questions from the Senate Select Committee about the irregularities revealed in the Auditor General's report on Immigration. Well tonight, we have a bit more for you from the former CEO who was once in charge of that Department. She shared her perspective on what went wrong, and how no amount of revised guidelines and procedures can keep that department honest, if the Immigration Officers don't follow the rules do their jobs properly. Viewers who have read the Auditor General's reports know very well that there are visitors who turned into Belizean Citizens in a few days, weeks, or months after arriving in Belize. Some of them got nationality even before their visas were approved. So, if you're wondering why there aren't more officers who are facing criminal or disciplinary charges before the Public Services Commission, thats where Senate Inquiry ventured yesterday. Here's that careful examination that the Senate did with the Former CEO on that topic:

Former Immigration CEO Defends Her Reputation
The Former CEO also had to defend herself in yesterday's hearing as well because the Auditor General names her as one of the Government officials who intervened in a questionable way for applicants trying to get immigration documents. As soon as the Senate brought that topic up, she jumped at the opportunity to point out that the Auditor General's team got it wrong with her because she was simply doing her duty as the supervisor of the Director of Immigration. Here's that back and forth with the Senate Senate Select Committee: Hon. Elena Smith, Senator: "Miss Morter, on page 9 at paragraph 8, it identifies you as one of the persons who made request for applicants to be facilitated with Belize Visa. That's on page 9. Could you say whether that is so?" Candelaria Saldivar-Morter - Former CEO In Charge of Immigration "Again, I mentioned earlier that as the CEO I am the supervisor for the director of immigration. And so as the CEO, if any document, if any application whether it is for visa, for passport, for nationality by some way ends up on my desk, it is my responsibility to forward it, because I am not the person that deals with it. So it is my responsibility to send the document over to Miss Marin and say 'these are for your necessary action.'"

The Recipients Of the Ride Across Belize Funds
Last June, 120 people cycled across the country to raise money for the Social Security Board's Ride Across Belize initiative. Today, several raffles, donations and exhausted cyclists later, the SSB handed over the funds raised to feeding programs throughout the country. The SSB's Chandra Nisbit-Cansino and St. Peter's Anglican School's Principal Rosanna Briceno told us how much donations like this matter to the children who benefit from them. Each feeding program received over $6000.

Getting Rid of Belize's Chemical Waste
Today the Department of Environment held a training workshop for partners involved in the production and removal of chemical waste. For the past few years the Department has been working to get rid of chemical waste leftover in the country. That's where POLYECO comes in; the Greek company has been contracted to identify, collect, remove and dispose of our chemical waste in an environmentally friends manner. Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria and the POLYECO consultant told us more about the project. Martin Alegria - Chief Environmental Officer "Today we have a 2-day training seminar, first day theory, and second day practical in Cayo District. It's targeting chemical and hazardous waste, management and disposal. Starting first with this initiative in terms of today's training, it's a part of a project we started last year to look at those chemicals we had in inventory far back as 2006 and 2010/2012, that we knew were in Belize and disposal in an environment friendly manner, these include for example DDTs that had been there for over 20 years, BCBs soils that are very hazardous in terms of cancer causing. Obsolete pesticides, that people have either expired or lost labels and don't know what it is.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Issues Message of Support for Senator Eamon Courtenay
The People’s United Party today issued a statement strongly supporting its lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay in the wake of a full-fledged U.D.P. campaign to remove Courtenay from the senate. The [...]

Government ‘Misleading’: Courtenay Says Belize’s Foreign Reserves Cannot Be Touched
The crusade by the U.D.P. started with their call on Wednesday for his removal from the Senate. It has to do with the ongoing fight over arbitration awards granted to [...]

Why Constitutional Challenge is Personal for Courtenay, Coye LLP
As we said, a constitutional challenge has been filed in the Supreme Court by principals of Eamon Courtenay’s law firm against the Central Bank (International Immunities) Act and Crown Proceedings [...]

Teacher’s Union Calls 2012 Nationality Rush “Illegal”
Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan has admitted that thousands of persons who did not qualify were granted nationality in the mad rush to get them on the voters list for [...]

G.O.B. Must Act on Nationality Question, Says B.N.T.U.’s Palacio
The B.N.T.U., through Elena Smith as the Senator for Trade Unions and Civil Society, has representation in the Senate Select Inquiry where the details of the rot in the system [...]

Why Was Alrick August Shot on Western Avenue?
On Wednesday night there was more gunfire in the relentless violence gripping the City.  Twenty-three-year-old Alrick August of Belize City was shot up to eight times on Western Avenue.  He [...]

Ex-Puerto Azul Investor Daniele Pistolesi Tells News Five About Turning Point in Scam
Tonight, News Five has further details of an exclusive interview with former investor in the failed Puerto Azul project, Italian national Daniele Pistolesi. News Five has learned that the local [...]

Gordon Wade Vs Maria Marin: Who is Telling the Truth About Won Hong Kim Involvement?
Turning to the senate hearings…Did former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, act alone in granting both passport and Belizean nationality to South Korean businessman turned fugitive [...]

Why Public Service Commission Challenge Failed
As a result of the Won Hong Kim passport and Belizean nationality scandal, the Immigration Department was nearly turned upside down as both Police and internal probes took place. In [...]

Lessons Learned from Missing Visa Foils in West
In Wednesday’s coverage of the Senate Special Select Committee, we highlighted the comments of former head of Services for the Immigration Department, Edgar Cano, who also served for a brief [...]

The Broken Immigration Department: Can We Fix It?
Perhaps the most depressing bit of information coming out of the Senate’s public hearings is how easily the Immigration Department’s plans and schemes were broken by just about anyone with [...]

No Evidence Against Urbie Alamilla in Bar Shooting
Interdicted police officer, Urbie Alamilla, who back in June 2016 was charged with discharging a firearm in the Jade Restaurant located between miles eight and nine on the Phillip Goldson [...]

Social Security: Pay More to Get More?
In January, the Social Security Board announced that they would be going on a country-wide public consultation to discuss increase in benefits; for those making contributions, it means that those [...]

Fire Takes Down House on Victoria Street
Just after seven on Wednesday night, a fire broke inside a wooden house on Victoria Street in north side Belize City. Inside at the time of the blaze was an [...]

Somebody Burned Down Calvin Young’s House in San Pedro
While investigations continue into the cause of the Victoria Street fire, what of the San Pedro fire in the San Juan area on Ambergris Caye? Calvin Young and his two [...]

Ride Across Belize Donates to Feeding Programs
Today, eight feeding programs received cheques from the Social Security Board under its annual Ride Across Belize program. The funds collected during the 2016 Ride will be used to feed [...]

How to Get Rid of Hazardous Material
The Department of Environment is executing the project called Belize Chemicals and Waste Management (BCWM) Project. One of goals of this project is the management and disposal of existing stockpiles [...]

Healthy Living: Stress and Your Health
It’s common knowledge that too much stress is bad for your health. Just last month scientists were able to identify the biological link between specifically the heart and stress. They [...]


Saldivar Throws Officers Under The Bus
Prior to Saldivar-Morter’s testimony on Wednesday, four key senior Immigration officials including former Directors Maria Marin and Ruth Meighan and Senior Immigration Officers Gordon Wade and Edgar Cano had testified before the Committee declaring that their responsibilities as Directors and Officers in Charge of Nationality and Visa Sections did not include vetting of documents they received. But yesterday, the former CEO who sat in a much higher management capacity had a different message. She said it was the final officers’ responsibility to ensure that all requirements were met by the applicants. Senator Elena Smith, Member, Senate Select Committee: “These persons, the final persons receiving the files that these persons should ensure that all the steps were done before it got to them or should they have verified the documentation that was given to them for their recommendation or approval?”

David Schitnzer's Face Immigration Documents Leaked To The Media
One of those scandals not mentioned by Former CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Morter but which can be linked to her term in office is that of the fraudulent nationality and passport documents issued to head of Mexican Ponzi scheme David Nanes Schitnzer. Schnitzer was living in Belize for a number of years under the name David Banes before he absconded the country after receiving bail. There is more to report on tonight after Schnitzer’s, or in this case, Banes’ fake documents were leaked to the media. As you may already know, you are required to live in Belize for five years before you can be granted nationality. Well, Nanes was here for less than that time and on December 17, 2012 he received his Belize nationality certificate with no. 28293 duly signed by Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse.

A Look At A Small Mayan Cave In Caledonia
Earlier in the week we reported on the discovery of a Mayan cave in the village of Caledonia. There were reports that artefacts were found and that there was some evidence of structures inside. Today we went to the community and to the site of the discovery to see if the reports were true, and found out that the earlier reports going around were a bit exaggerated. According to members of the family on whose land the discovery was made, they had hired an excavator to assist in digging their backyard for the construction of a septic tank. On Sunday February 5th while digging, they noticed that along the wall of the space they had dug out, a small passage was opened. The construction workers got curious and cleared the opening more, only to discover that it led into a small cave, undoubtedly from the Mayan civilization era.

PUP Says Belize's Foreign Reserved Were Never At Risk
Last night via a press release the United Democratic Party called on the People’s United Party to strip its lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay, from his Senatorial seat after Courtenay had filed a constitutional challenge requesting for the Court to strike down the Central Bank International Immunities Act and Crown Proceedings Amendment Act on behalf of Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited. The UDP described Courtney’s move as an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interest which comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. But even before the ink on the release could dry, Courtney fired back at the UPD stating that he will not be intimidated by Prime Minister and will proceed to file the challenge in an attempt to correct his unlawful actions. And while the UDP called on the Leader of the Opposition to act swiftly to remove Senator Courtney, who is currently out of the country, that is not going to happen because the PUP is in full support of Courtenay’s decision and in a release issued this afternoon made it very clear that Belize’s foreign reserves were never at risk.

BNTU Calls For Cleaning Of Registration Of Voting List
Last year the Belize National Teachers Union organized an 11 days industrial strike action against the Government as they fought for good governance. As a result of the strike, the union had managed to successfully gain the appointment of the 13th Senator, the signing of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Integrity Commission. But it seems that the BNTU is hungry for more reform as tonight they are demanding that Government cleans the country’s existing voting list. In their release issued today, the BNTU announced that the union had been closely following the hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee as it relates to the investigation of irregularities at the visa, nationality and passport departments as stated in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report. And while it had recently been exposed in one of the hearings that there was a major fraud in the 2012 general elections, the matter has raised serious concerns among members of the union who are now calling on the GOB to conduct a re-registration of voters.

CEO Exasperated By All Th Scandals At Immigration
In yesterday’s newscast, we showed you parts of the testimony by Former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, who was in charge from March 2012 to December 2013. In her statements, Saldivar-Morter accepted that there were very unusual things taking place at the Immigration Department. In one of her comments, Saldivar began recalling the scandals which surfaced and it was clear that they were more than they could handle. Senator Mark Lizarraga - Member, Senate Select Committee: “All these irregularities taking place besides the final report did you play a more active role in trying to look at the internal controls because these things didn’t happened overnight, were there any other steps that you tried to take as CEO?”


Issue of Belize’s Foreign Reserves Mixed with Political Overtones
One of the major national issues currently on the front burner for Belize is that of our foreign reserves and the uncertainty as to whether it can be seized in the matter of the arbitration award for BCB Holdings Limited. Yesterday, the United Democratic Party called for the resignation of PUP’s Lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay […]

BNTU Makes Call for Re-registration Exercise
The Belize National Teachers Union has joined the call for a re-registration exercise to take place this year. The BNTU says it has been closely following the ongoing Senate Special Select Committee hearings into the Auditor General’s special report and they are tremendously concerned regarding the matter of voter registration as what can only be […]

Former Immigration CEO Says Delays in Reports to AG Were Unintentional
The first person to appear before the Senate Special Select Committee was the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley. The Auditor General’s Special Reports on Visa, Nationality and Passport covers only about twenty five percent of all the available records at the departments. Bradley told the committee that during the audit, the officers at the department were […]

Former Immigration CEO Says the Department Was to Be Restructured
In a release issued today by the Belize National Teachers union, a reference was made to the certain ‘culture’ observed within the Department of Immigration. The BNTU writes, “Revelations made through the interviews and discussion held at the Senate Special Select Committee hearings, have signaled that the imbedded “culture” of the Passport, Immigration and Nationality […]

Senate Inquiry Questions Minister Mena’s Letter on Visas for Five Asians
Former CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar Morter was also questioned about a letter sent to the former Immigration Director, Maria Marin by UDP Area Representative Frank “Papa” Mena. The letter contains a list of five Asian nationals who had applied to obtain a visitor’s visa from Belize. Mena states the letter quote, […]

Missing Visa Foils Go From Tench to Wade to Middleton to Eric Chang
Yesterday, the port commander at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, Edgar Cano appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee. Before being transferred to the PGIA, Cano was in charge of the Western port of entry in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Cano was questioned about the disappearance of eight visa foils. It was later determined by […]

30 Plus Years of Accumulated Chemical Waste Remains Undisposed in Belize
Unless you are directly involved with environmental agencies, the issue of chemical waste may not peak your interest and so with that you may not know that Belize has tons of chemical waste accumulated on our terrain from way before our country’s independence. There have been two attempts made in getting this waste shipped out […]

Cancer Kills 200+ in Belize for 2016
For the year 2016 there have been more than two hundred deaths in Belize due to cancer. According to the Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero, cancer is second to heart disease when it comes to the leading causes of deaths in Belize. DR MARVIN MANZANERO “We reviewed some of the data leading up […]

Private Sector to GoB: Cut Expenses … Enhance Revenues
Members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Better Business Bureau met with Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Carla Barnett and Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. The meeting focused on government’s budget process for Fiscal Year 2017/2018. According to President of the BCCI, Nikita Usher, the consultation allowed the […]

BDF Volunteer Clears His Name Following Dismissal of Drug Charges
Drug related charges were dropped against a family of three in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “42 year old Dayton Longsworth is a corporal in the Belize Defense Force as a volunteer here in Dangriga. His home was searched by police on Thursday December 8th and he and his family were subsequently charged […]

Re: Today's Belize News: February 10, 2017 [Re: Marty] #521513
02/10/17 01:12 AM
02/10/17 01:12 AM
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The Guardian

Michael Ashcroft continues to attempt to bleed the country of Belize on multiple fronts using the same suspects doing this. In Belize, he is using Eamon Courtenay who after voting as the Opposition’s lead Senator on Monday, January 30, to pass laws to secure the country’s assets from Predator Ashcroft, he has now turned around and filed a suit in which he is challenging the legislation which he helped to pass. Courtenay filed an application to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation. The Guardian got a copy of the document which Courtenay filed on Friday February 3 where he is challenging the legislation. Claim 66 of 2017 was filed by Courtenay and Coye LLP where Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited is taking the Attorney General to court claiming that: 1.) ‘both the Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act, 2017 (the “CPAA) and the Central Bank of Belize (International Immunities) Act; 2017 (the “CBIIA”) are void for being inconsistent with Sections 2,3,5,6,12,17 and 68 of the Constitution.

Remove Senator Courtenay immediately!
The United Democratic Party condemns the recent action taken by PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay. We believe that his action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. We therefore call for his immediate removal from the Senate. On February 3, 2017, PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay filed a constitutional challenge on behalf of the Aschcroft group. PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay, by virtue of his challenge, is asking the Court to strike down the two emergency national interest legislations that he had just convincingly supported in the Senate four days prior. In the sitting of the Senate of January 30, 2017, where there was unanimous support for the Bills, Senator Courtenay stated that “…absolutely no one in this chamber, myself included, will vote against a bill that seeks to give further immunity to the assets held by the Central Bank. No one.”

Hon. Elodio Aragon doing Kevin Bernard’s Job!
Mayor Kevin Bernard ,it seems is upset with, the Hon Elodio Aragon Jr . The cause of his anger is the repairs being done to some streets in the Louisiana area of Orange Town. Apparently those streets have not been repaired for many years and those streets have become a pain to traverse. The residents of that area turned to Hon. Aragon after complaining to Mayor Bernard for many years. Hon Aragon who happens to be the Area Representative for that area, heard the cries of those residents and took it to cabinet. After his lobbying at cabinet, monies have been made available and those repairs started, under the stewardship of the Ministry of Works.

Hon. Edmond Castro tours Port of Big Creek and boat transportation facilities in Independence Village
Hon. Edmond Castro, who has ministerial responsibility for the Belize Port Authority, has conducted a tour of port and boat transportation facilities in the South. Accompanied by Ports Commissioner Mrs. Merlene Bailey Martinez, Port Authority Operations Manager Mrs. Sherlett Martinez and Big Creek Officer in Charge (Belize Port Authority) Ms. Jessica Godoy, Hon. Castro first visited boat transportation facilities operated by Independence businessman Carroll Burgess, owner of Hokey Pokey Water Taxi, which transports customers between Placencia and Independence.

Anwar leaves after launch of “Most Advanced Network in the Region”
Anwar Barrow had his mic dropping moment on December 16, 2016 when the Belize Telemedia Limited launched what international experts are calling the most reliable and advanced network system in Central America and the Caribbean (Benoit Coulumbe, HAUWEI), 4G LTE Advanced. By that time, Barrow had already made the decision to move on from the post of Executive Committee Chair but it was of great importance for him to see the successful launch and roll out of the second major network upgrade under his stewardship. With that out of the way, and his legacy cemented, on Friday, February 10, Anwar Barrow will step aside for someone as motivated and with fresh ideas of how to move the state owned company further into the future.

City Council assisting 8 primary schools for PSE
The Belize City Council through the portfolio for Women and Children is making donations to eight primary schools across the city. The first school to benefit was St John’s Anglican when Councilor Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar presented a cheque to Standard 5 teacher Rashid Murillo. Murillo accepted the donation on behalf of the students who are the intended beneficiaries. He says the donation will be used to purchase a cupboard, bristol boards, white board markers, permanent markers, educational games and colored paper for the students. The Council will hand over funds to seven other schools throughout the months of February and March. The other donations will be given to help Standard 6 students in preparation for the Primary School Examinations set for March and May. The total amount to be donated is just over $6000.

Is Eamon Courtenay violating the Constittuion?
We at the Guardian have some questions for the Leader of the Opposition. These questions are in regards to his Lead Senator Hon Eamon Courtenay. Eamon is not only one of Johnny's Senatorial appointees, but he is a ranking member of the People's United Party. He has also served under previous PUP Party Leaders before. Serving as Senator and Minister in the past. Eamon is also a close personal friend of the present PUP Leader Johnny Briceno and according to what we have heard maybe his confidant / advisor. Now our questions are the following. Did Eamon by his recent actions violate the Belize Constitution? • Is Eamon fit to hold the office as a Senator? • Do Eamon's actions signify what will be the Modus Operandi , of a future PUP Administration? • Does the PUP sanction Eamon's action in regards to his interaction with the Ashcroft related companies? • Will Eamon be removed as Senator and if NO, WHY NOT?

Ministers of Environment for Central America meet in Costa Rica
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, attended the meeting of the Ministers of Environment for Central America, held in Costa Rica on February 2 to 3, 2017. The objectives of the CCAD Ministers meeting were: 1) The handing-over of the Pro-Tem Presidency of the Central American Commission of Environment and Development (CCAD), from Nicaragua to Costa Rica; the Presidency rotates among its member states every six months; and 2) To review several regional project proposals currently being developed or implemented in the Central American region, some of which have strong emphasis on the marine environment.

Stiffer penalties for forest offences
Belize’s new amendments to the Forest Act replace outmoded sections of the forest legislation and impose increased fines and stiffer penalties for forest offences. The changes are part of the Forest Department’s on-going efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity to reduce increasing illegal forest activities, deforestation and degradation of our forest resources. Illegal and unsustainable timber and non-timber extractions undermine Belize’s on-going efforts to curb deforestation and biodiversity loss. In light of this, the new amendments act as deterrents and help to strengthen the department’s legal capacity to tackle illegal logging and other related crimes. The Amendments specifically impose the following changes:

Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar begins National Tour of Belize Coast Guard facilities with visit to Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye
Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar and CEO in the Ministry of Defence Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Felix Enriquez have commenced a national tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, starting with the South Sector. Accompanied by Commander of the Belize Coast Guard Admiral John Borland, they visited Hunting Caye in the South (Toledo District) where a Forward Operating Base is under construction and is expected to be completed by the middle of April. Prior to that, the Minister and his team stopped at the Port of Big Creek in the Independence area of Stann Creek, where a new site is being prepared for the Coast Guard Sector South Headquarters. Before returning to the mainland, they travelled further south to the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, where members of the Coast Guard provide law enforcement support for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) which operates a Ranger Station on Abalone Caye.

Another Session of the Special Select Committee held in Belmopan
Another meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee got underway in earnest Wednesday morning within the National Assembly Chambers in Belmopan. The session was to continue to find facts in reference to the Auditor General Report on Immigration 2011 to 2013. First to appear this morning was Edgar Cano, Senior Immigration officer-- now posted at the International Airport—who was accompanied by his attorney Richard Dickie Bradley. Edgar Cano reported that he has served the Government of Belize for 31 years and could only answer questions relating to the Auditor General Report for the two months time interval that he was on duty and covered by the Report. During his time at Immigration, Edgar Cano was in charge of the Services Section, that received visa applications, application for visitor extension and student permits. He also said that he was on vacation leave from 12th December to January 4th, during the time when visa stickers had gone missing.

New shark specie found in Belize
The Belize Fisheries Department is pleased to announce the discovery of a new shark species in Belize. The new shark species has not been officially named as yet but it closely resembles the Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) and was discovered in samples taken from a landing site in Belize through an ongoing shark data collection, monitoring and research program and collaboration between the Fisheries Department and Dr. Demian Chapman, a shark specialist of Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Demian Chapman has been conducting research on several shark species in Belize since 2008 with a focus on Hammerhead shark species, whose international trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.

It has taken five years to reach this stage, but the bi-lateral friendship between Taiwan and Belize has Taiwan hands over tilapia hatchery to the Government of Belize
once more paid off with the delivery to the Government of Belize of a modern Tilapia Hatchery Center near Central Farm in the Cayo District. The facilities were handed to Government Officials on Friday February 3, ushering in a new age of producing and delivering protein rich tilapia throughout Belize. On hand to deliver the facilities on Friday was His Excellency, Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, Charles K.Y. Liu. “Taiwan and Belize, we are brothers and sisters in a family, we share our experiences, we work hand in hand with each other and most importantly we help each other just like one family,” said Ambassador Liu. Even the Governor General, Sir. Colville Young was impressed with the power point presentation delivered by Project Coordinator Miguel Sosa, who surmised the achievements under the Government of Belize and Republic of China and Taiwan Project. “I am impressed and I am not easily impressed, we say we should grow what we eat and eat what we grow and that applies 100% to tilapia…but I want to congratulate the people who carried out this project, I want to thank our friends, the Republic of China and Taiwan, once again they are helping Belize and teaching us how to help ourselves, thank you very much”

Aids activist killed in San Pedro
The family, friends and residents of San Pedro have laid Jose Felix Ayuso to rest. The well-known and well-respected AIDS activist and carnival aficionado was found stabbed to death inside his island home. He was last seen alive on Wednesday, February 1, at his business place, JoSe’s Salon on Laguna Drive. That was at around 4:30 p.m., and when he didn’t show up for work on the following day, a friend went looking for him at his home, located at the corner of Jew Fish and Seaweed Streets. At around 6:30 p.m., she found his lifeless body inside the house; someone had stabbed him multiple times all over the body and left him to bleed out. Police say that evidence on the scene suggests that he was killed on Wednesday night, and there were no signs of forced entry. Also, the door was left opened, most likely used by the killer after he or she took Ayuso’s life. San Pedro residents continue to mourn Ayuso’s passing as he was known for his selfless kindness, and for his involvement in community work. He was the founder of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, an organization he put a lot of effort into, so that persons living with the disease could get the medical care they needed, and a support structure to work through the emotional toll of being HIV positive. His peers in the Commission proudly saluted him for his kindness and the effort he put in, mostly by himself to get island residents help.

Charged upgraded to Murder for Keimar Nicholas’ accused killer
Enfield Fitzgibbon, 27, was escorted by police from the Belize Central Prison to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Tuesday, February 7, to be arraigned for the murder of 19-year-old Keimar Nicholas. On Friday, February 3, Nicholas succumbed to injuries sustained from a shooting incident on Monday January 23. According to police, around 8:40 p.m. on January 23, Nicholas was socializing with friends on a basketball court in front of his house near Lindo’s Alley when a gunman rode up on a bicycle and opened fire on them. Nicholas was hit by a single bullet to the neck. He was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for medical treatment. The doctors managed to save his life but even with a successful follow-up surgery the following day he remained in a critical condition at the hospital. The family arranged fundraising events with the hopes of getting him out of the country for specialist care but even then they knew that his chances of survival was less than 50 percent. He died on February 3.

Bail granted to cop accused of attacking teenager
After two nights on remand at the Belize Central Prison, Kenrick Steven Gamboa, 28, is out on Supreme Court bail after he applied to the Supreme Court on Friday, February 3. Bail was granted by Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh. There was no objection to bail which was then granted in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Justice Hanomansingh ordered him to report once a week, every Monday, to the Mahogany Street Police Station until the case is disposed of. He was ordered to not interfere with the accuser, surrender his passport to the Clerk of Court and attend all court adjournments or bail will be revoked.

Accused pedophile gets bail
A 71 year old man of Santa Elena, Toledo District is home after more than 6 months on remand at the Belize Central Prison accused of having sex on more than one occasion with a child from the age of 8 until she was 11 years old. He is Pedro Pop Ico, who appeared this morning before Supreme Court judge, Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh where he was granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He was given stringent conditions in which the elderly man must report to the Bella Vista Police every Friday of the week, effective Friday, February 10, 2017. He must remain living in Bella Vista while his case is before the court, and he must attend all his court adjournments and he must also stay away from his young victim.

Two men charged for killing Mark Jones
Deandre Adolphus, 19, and 33 year-old Bruce Reneau, 2 residents of Iguana Street Extension in Belize City, have been charged for the murder of 29 year-old Mark Anthony Jones. The Victim’s family is also from the Iguana Street Extension area, and police believe that these 2 men shot and killed him while he was about to enter his mother’s yard. The fatal shooting happened on Thursday, February 2, 2017, sometime after 8 p.m. Jones was returning after walking his girlfriend home for the night, which was something that he did regularly. According to police, he was just about to enter the yard when a gunman waylaid him, and fired several shots at him. One of the bullets struck him in the left arm, and it made an exit wound to the left side of his back. First responders rushed him to the KHMH, hoping to get him medical attention, but most unfortunately, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Mexican could lose 3,465 pounds of ham
Mexican businessman Manuel Pastor Gomez Diaz should be celebrating his 56th birthday on Thursday, February 9, but there is little chance that he will be in a celebratory mood since his shipment of over 150 cases of ham may be confiscated by the Government of Belize for importing the product illegally. The shipment has been in Belize since December 12 and in 15 days Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser will decided if it will remain in the country to be distributed as Government sees fit or if it will be released to Diaz to take home to Mexico. A 20-feet container arrived in Belize with 3,465 pounds of ham on December 12, 2016 without import permits. BAHA gave the importer the option of returning the product from where it came by December 18 but he ignored the order. The case was then turned over to the Customs and Excise Department as the container has remained at the compound of Port of Belize since December 12. Diaz is the Director of a company located in the Corozal Free Zone named Coral’s Company Ltd. The Customs Department has opted not to charge him for failure to have an import permit. Instead, they have applied for the product to be forfeited to the Government.

Robbery leads to the death of John Ortiz
Police continue to investigate the death of John Ortiz, a 44 year-old resident Gardenia village, who they found dead at the side of Phillip Goldson Highway. All indications at this time are that he was murdered in a robbery gone bad, and that his killer took his life for $15. Cops from the Rural Eastern Division were first alerted of the presence of his body in the early morning hours of Monday, February 6. That’s when they responded to reports of a man lying motionless in the bushes on the shoulder of the road between miles 19 and 20. That man was later identified to be Ortiz, and police realized that he had died. They observed that Ortiz had a cut wound to the right side of the chin, another one between the right eyebrow and the right eye, and an abrasion to the right side of the head. The police also saw what appeared to be a partial shoe impression of blood to the right side of Ortiz’s head.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks remains only unbeaten team in NEBL championship
The National Elite Basketball League 2017 campaign continued over the last week with three games on the schedule. On Friday 3rd February at the St. Catherine Academy Auditorium in Belize City, the defending champions the Smart Belize Hurricanes won over the Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 86-77 to pick up its first win for this year’s competition. The top scorer for the Belize City based Smart Belize Hurricanes was Leroy Louriano with 22 points to go along with his 4 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal. Louriano had support from Akeem Watters who scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, an assist and 5 steals and Andrew Ortiz scored 16 points and had 6 rebounds. For the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz, the top scorers were Darwin Leslie with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and James Milton with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

St. Catherine Academy, Ladyville Technical, Gwen Lizarraga and St. John’s in the finals of high school football
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football competition is fast winding down at the MCC Grounds. By the time we hit the streets on Thursday morning, the Central Region would have crowned a champion in both the female and male categories. On Monday 6th February, in game one of the female championship, St. Catherine Academy defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 2-0 to take a one game lead in the best of three series. The goals for St. Catherine Academy were scored by Jodi Pott and Gabriella Mendoza. Meanwhile, in game one of the male championship, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated St. John’s College by the score of 2-0 to take a one game lead in the series. The goals for Gwen Lizarraga High School were scored by Keron Patness and Michael Deshield.

Softball Federation to hold open male invitational tournament
The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting an Open Male Invitational Tournament on March 4-5 and 11-12, 2017 respectively at Rogers Stadium. The Open Male Invitational Tournament will serve as the selection process for the pool of 36 players from which the final seventeen players will be selected to represent Belize at the X Pan American Male Softball Championship scheduled for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic September 14-25, 2017. The Pan Am Male Softball Championship will serve as the qualifying tournaments for the Pan Am Games scheduled for 2019 in Lima, Peru and the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquillas, Colombia in 2018. Interested teams must register with Ms. Tiffany Heusner, Secretary General Belize Softball Federation by Wednesday 1st March, 2017.

Khalil Noralez is the player of the week for Ahmadiyya U-19 Basketball Tournament
The Ahmadiyya U-19 Basketball Tournament continued on Sunday 5th February, 2017, at the Gateway Youth Centre here in Belize City. In the 1st game played, New Road Ballers won over Police Street by the score of 57-34. The top scorer for New Road Ballers was Holden Swazo with 15 points while D Andre Arana top scored for Police Street with 12 points. In game two, Belama Gators defeated Bombers by the score of 39-26. The top scorers for Belama Gators wereJason Philips with 8 points and the top scorer for Bombers was Jaron Alvarez with 9 points. In the third game of the day, Chiefs won over Raising Stars by the score of 31-20. The top scorer for Chiefs was Shaquille Crawford with 12 and for Raising Stars Ace Young was the top scorer with 6 points.

Softball Federation to holds Umpires’ Training Clinic
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 Chief Umpire since 2008 and has led over 40 Certification Seminars for umpires. The training will include theory (classroom) 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. Those interested can contact their respective association presidents Ms. Jerjett Thompson (Cayo), Mrs. Elizabeth Zabaneh (Stann Creek), Mr. Edision Parks (Belize Rural), Mr. Peter Castillo (Toledo) and Ms. Tiffany Heusner – Secretary General Belize Softball Federation for registration forms.

WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
As we continue to learn about the Christian lifestyle from the letter the Missionary Paul wrote to the Church in Rome, this week we look at more love in action. In Romans 12:14-16, Paul wrote: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position (or be willing to do menial work). Do not be conceited.” The follower of Jesus the Messiah is to be forgiving, truly sympathetic, reasonable and humble. As Christians, we are under a blessing. That’s why we can’t curse anyone, but only pass on the blessing! The Lord God blessed us when we were His enemies, when we were disobedient to our Heavenly Father. In the same way, we should bless and do good things to those who oppose us, or persecute us.

Democracy hopes that by each and every eligible voter going to the polls and casting a vote, the best candidate is chosen. Well, as you and I know, many voters stay home on Election Day and then from the small group that do go to the polls some of them vote against their very own interest! Bear in mind that this essay is in no way trying to step on the rights of the voter. I do want to say however, that sometimes voters make the wrong decision. Not unthinkable, since voters after all are human beings; prone to making mistakes! In this work I want to look at three recent major examples of how very smart voters messed-up: There are very few individuals who will say much good about Adolph Hitler. In fact the opposite would be true – he would be roundly condemned. He was responsible for the death of some 150,000,000 human beings; and after all that, he “was sorry that there were not more Germans willing to sacrifice their life” for his crazy scheme. Do not miss the very important point: the very, very smart German Citizens voted the stupid, dunce - Adolph Hitler into office!

The cat in the hat
There is a political commentator on MSNBC, Chris Hayes, who, during his nightly presentation, uses two characters from the children’s book, “The Cat in the Hat” written by American writer, Theodore GEISEL, aka Dr. Seuss. In this book these two characters are named “Thing One” and “Thing Two”. In Belize we behold the appearance of our own two “things” each week. Last week our “thing one” and “thing two” were. Courtney and K. Musa. This Monday night they were K. Musa and G. Brackett. The common denominator it seems is K. Musa. This validates the speculation that the young Musa is positioning himself for the “Golpe” which is being planned to overthrow Juan Antonio and replace the latter gentleman as PUP Party Leader. K. Musa loses no TV opportunity and The Fox/ Love combination is always so willing and ready to accommodate each special “interview” with the young prince from Neverland so he can spew incontinently into the Microphone about all the so-called ills of the UDP Government. Ills, I may add, planted by his serpentine father and wicked step father Fonseca. Regrettably, it is the Belizean people who are reaping this rotten harvest which these two men sowed without let or hindrance for ten solid years. Group of gangsters…. All of them.

New equipment to fight forest fires
The Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) project management unit participated on Wednesday in an important handing-over ceremony at the Forest Department on Forest Drive, Belmopan. Key Biodiversity Areas stakeholders, such as Programme for Belize, who play a significant role in Forest Wildland Fire Prevention and Management, received safety gears and fire-fighting equipment procured under the KBA Project. The distribution of the equipment form part of the Fire Incidence Rapid Response Team activity that will support stakeholders with their respective fire prevention and fire-fighting programs. A press release issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment & Sustainable Development and Climate Change states that since the dry season is here, this timely distribution of the much needed equipment will assist the beneficiaries to control fires and mitigate the damages to our forest systems.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BNTU concerned over voter registration list
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is calling on the Government of Belize to hold a voter re-registration exercise, to ensure that Belize’s democracy is preserved. The BNTU issued a statement this week, saying that it became concerned, after following the Senate Inquiry into the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report of the immigration and Nationality Department from 2011-2013. The union said that the testimonies at the inquiry revealed a wonton distribution of Belizean nationality certificates that it feels are both questionable and illegal.

PUP supports Senator Eamon Courtenay
The People’s United Party (PUP) today issued a press release stating that they voted in favor of the Central Bank (International Immunities) Act, and the Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act brought to the National Assembly because the PUP believes in defending the national interests and specifically the foreign reserves of Belize. “Belizeans will recall that the Hon. John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, brought to light that no notice was given by the UDP regarding the details of the legislation so that proper research and consultation be done,” the release states.

Man in hospital after being shot in Belize City
According to reports, Alrick August, 23 of a Belize City address was walking on Western Avenue last night around 8:55 when he was approached by a male person who fired several shots at him.

Welcome home Miss Belize Universe
Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath arrives home tomorrow, February 10, 2017. Rath received overwhelming support from Belizeans at home and abroad throughout the 65th Miss Universe Pageant in Manila, Philippines. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), NICH, Queen of the jewel, among others have teamed up to warmly welcome Ms. Rath at the Phillip Goldson International Airport which will be followed by a motorcade through the principal streets of Belize City.

San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council to get new administration building
Yesterday, a ground breaking ceremony was held at the old hospital site in San Ignacio Town which will be transformed into the new administration building for the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The administration building was previously located at a building which was considered unhealthy for living, so it was moved to the San Ignacio commercial building where it currently operates from.

UDP calls for the immediate removal of Senator Courtenay
The United Democratic Party (UDP) issued a press release yesterday afternoon condemning the recent action taken by PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay. The release states, “We believe that his action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. We therefore call for his immediate removal from the Senate.” The party says that on February 3, 2017, PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay filed a constitutional challenge on behalf of the Aschcroft group asking the Court to strike down the two emergency national interest legislation that he had just convincingly supported in the Senate four days prior.


Travel professional flock to Belize for BETEX Travel Expo
Travel industry professionals from all over the world are getting ready for the Belize Tourism EXPO (BETEX), Belize’s signature tourism trade show. The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) officially announced that the event will be held in Belize City from May 3-5. The event starts off with an opening night, where participants will have the opportunity to break the ice and meet in a more social setting, before heading into scheduled appointments for the following two days. The bi-annual event will gather more than 300 registered participants, and give them the opportunity to showcase the very best in Belizean accommodations and products to international buyers, from places such as the United States, Europe, and South America. Wholesalers, travel agents, group travel organizers, corporate travel buyers, event planners, conference organizers, online travel companies and airlines, will get the opportunity to have one-on-one sessions with some of the country’s award winning hotels and tour operators. For those who want to immerse themselves further in the Belizean experience before making a decision, they can participate in familiarization trips, which will be held from May 5-8. During the post session tours, buyers will get to travel to Belize’s pristine jungles, majestic beaches, and other popular destinations, for a first hand look at the many glorious sights, sounds, and tastes that Belize has to offer.

Sea Kayaking Adventure at Glovers Reef Atoll - Belize Adventure
I recently spent two weeks in Belize and I had the most incredible experience. My favourite part was going on a 3-day island adventure where I explored Glovers Reef Atoll by kayak and stand up paddleboard, snorkeled amazing patch reefs, went deep sea fishing, and enjoyed the best beach “camping” experience in Belize. kayaking in belizeFor some context, Glovers Reef Atoll is an amazing and beautiful atoll that is comprised of 5 Cayes – Long Caye, Northeast Caye, Middle Caye, Southwest Caye and Manta island – and is 36 miles off the coast of Southern Belize. Most Belizeans have never been there – I may be making a general assumption based on the group of friends I have but since Belize is small and I’m super popular (Kanye West’s tone of voice), my thesis is not without merit. See, the one friend of mine that has been to Glovers Reef, went there because his father was once the Minister of Fisheries and they visited Middle Caye, which has a Government fisheries base and a research centre owned by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Getting to Glovers Reef Atoll is an adventure, however, my adventure started before catching the early morning boat charter. The night before the trip I was in San Ignacio hanging out with friends I had not seen for 2 years. They easily convinced me to stay up all night partying with them, which to my detriment, made me only get an hour sleep before heading to Dangriga. I left at 4:30 AM, making a quick stop for breakfast in Belmopan and then jetting off along the meandering Humming Bird Highway. A quick note on the Humming Bird Highway, I highly recommend driving it, it has so many beautiful scenes.

The Placencia Casino & Sports Bar in Southern Belize
Located just south of the Placencia Hotel nine miles northeast of the Placencia Village, the Placencia Casino and Sports bar offers world-class entertainment in a lovely upscale setting. Opened in 2016, the Placencia Hotel & Casino features a lounge, five-star restaurant, nightclub, and all of popular games that you’d expect to find in upscale casinos around the world. Built on the grounds of the fabulous Placencia Hotel and Residence, the Placencia Casino and Sportsbar is your one-stop full-service entertainment venue on the peninsula. The Placencia Casino’s ultra exclusive VIP room has over 100 slot machines and 6 gaming tables, including: Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Roulette, Video poker, Keno, Las Vegas-style sports book. The sports bar has 17 televisions, including 4 huge HD TVs to ensure that you can enjoy the finest sporting events from around the world. The Placencia Casino offers free shuttle service throughout Placencia peninsula. The shuttle operates on a regular schedule but casino visitors can call ahead and arrange for door-to-door complimentary service.

International Sourcesizz

Students headed for Belize
Crawfordsville High School students will have the opportunity to study in Belize in 2018. The Crawfordsville Community Board of Education unanimously approved a 2018 spring break trip to Belize. First-year Science teacher William Hiatt, who teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science and AP Biology, said that students will learn about biodiversity — or more specifically the different types of plants and animals living in Belize — through the trip. Hiatt told the board that a travel company he used for school trips in the past reached out to him about the Belize opportunity. There were other trips that they could take, but the Belize trip fit in their Spring Break travel window.

Belize Tells DC Circ. Arbitrator's Conflict Nixes $38M Award
The government of Belize urged the D.C. Circuit Thursday to upend a “rubber-stamped” lower court confirmation of a $38 million arbitral award won by a Central American bank, arguing the judge never properly scrutinized a conflict of interest involving one of the arbitrators. Had the judge applied U.S. ethics rules as required, Juan C. Basombrio of Dorsey & Whitney LLP said during oral arguments, he would have properly upended the 2013 London arbitration award won by Belize Bank Ltd., the former British colony’s leading financial services...

Winter break in the tropics
Ten students of LU’s Reaud Honors College are taking on the spring semester with a new perspective thanks to their studies on sustainability in Belize over the winter break. “It was really eye opening,” said Taylor Marshall, a junior biology major and Spanish minor from Saratoga. “The culture and the wildlife and the challenges that Belize faces were all so new to me, but those same issues affect a lot of people.” The trip was part of a fall 2016 honors seminar course offered by the Reaud Honors College titled “Tropical Sustainability.” The class introduced sustainability challenges in developing nations to students of diverse majors to promote systems literacy, or the ability of people from distinct disciplines to collaborate for effective global solutions.


  • Belize 2017, 3.5min.

  • Flying south over east coast of Belize in B737, 2017-02-08, 1min.

  • Belize 2017, 4.5min.

  • Kaya - Marine Conservation in Belize, 2min.

  • Couter Cher Salon and Cosmetics Belize City, 1.5min.

  • Tribute to Joseph B by Evan Belize, 12min. Evan Belize "On The Jukebox" composes and rehearses a tribute to Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges and another to Saint Nelson Diamond of Belize


  • Rastafarian History & Culture in Belize, 37min.

  • Ministry Of Health - Follow up to HIV Rollout, 28min.

  • Understanding the Superbond - The Way Forward, 46min.

  • Belize Cave Tubing and tour, 2min.

  • Chaa Creek, Belize, 6min. A brief look into our trip to Chaa Creek. This place was amazing! Great accommodations surrounded by "Nat Geo" wildlife.

  • Belize trip, 10min.

  • Jankunu performers in Hopkins, Belize, 4min. Jankunu (aka Junkanoo, John Canoe, etc.) performances are common on major holidays in Belize, and this one took place on New Year's Day 2017 at Jalapeno's BBQ & Grill at the main junction in the Garifuna village of Hopkins, Belize.

  • Belize Estuary, 2.5min. North end of Caye Caulker Belize- 110 protected acres to preserve habitat for crocodiles, birds and other wildlife.

  • Monitoring-Projekt in Belize: Aufbau Kamerfallen, 6min. Seit bald dreissig Jahren unterhält die Papiliorama-Stiftung Schutzgebiete in Belize. Ein neues Monitoring-Programm zeigt positive Resultate. Zusammen mit der Regierung und der Universität in Belize soll das Programm nun intensiviert werden. Papiliorama-Direktor Caspar Bijleveld besuchte im Februar 2017 die Schutzgebiete um die bereits getroffenen Massnahmen und den Ausbau des Projektes vor Ort mit Wissenschaftlern und Regierungsvertretern zu besprechen und weitere Daten des Testbetriebs auszuwerten. Auf diesem YouTube-Kanal berichtet Caspar Bijleveld in Form eines Videoblogs über seinen Besuch in Zentralamerika.

  • , 1min. Found this gem digging through our historical records. A chance encounter with on one of the Antillean #manatees found at Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve. Belize boasts a healthy manatee population but these gentle giants are being threatened by increased boat traffic and their propellers and fishing gear like gillnets. Support efforts to protect them by encouraging mariners to slow down in manatee hotspots and the call of fishermen to stop the use of nets in Belizean waters.

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    Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
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