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Today's Belize News: February 18, 2017 #521735
02/18/17 01:09 AM
02/18/17 01:09 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,820
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

The SPTC launches second phase of its artisan market project
With support from the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) was finally able to launch the second phase of its Artisan Market Area project on Tuesday, February 14th. This second phase aims to relocate artisans/vendors that continue doing business on the beaches of the island to the area around the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. In the first phase of the project, artisans were relocated from the Central Park to booths in an open area on Angel Coral Street. This time, the other artisans will be provided with colourful kiosks with display windows, lockers and proper wiring for lighting. The official ceremonies of the launch saw the presence of students from the Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Mayor Daniel Guerrero, representatives from CARILED, staff from the SPTC and members of the Ruben Gonzalez, Councillor of local development at the SPTC gave the welcome remarks, emphasizing the importance of the tourism industry on the island. He claimed that the new phase of the project will enhance the image of the tourism product on the island. “Everything that we do, from the fruit vendor, tour operators, the receptionist, influences the tourism product on Ambergris Caye,” said Gonzalez. “If we are to remain an active player in the regional tourism destination, we at the local level must do everything within our jurisdiction to refine our tourism product.” He mentioned that the SPTC has been actively engaged in the local development of the island, following the process introduced by CARILED in the region.

Architect Stephen Mouzon presents “Smart Dwellings” talk at Mahogany Bay Village
Known around the world as a New Urbanist, architect and designer Stephen Mouzon presented a fun, informative talk at Mahogany Bay Village (MBV) to guests willing to learn more about ‘smart dwellings’ – the primary design concept at MBV. As one of the three architects who designed MBV, Mouzon shared the ideas that went into the concept, design and building of the homes at the village. Mouzon’s expertise in neighborhood and city planning – in a style called New Urbanism – led him to working alongside a team of experts in crafting the Katrina Cottages. These cottages were to be used as emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the New Orleans area of Louisiana USA in 2005, and were designed to be incorporated into neighborhood rebuilds.

Belize disposes of 35-year-old chemical hazard
Thanks to the efforts of the Department of Environment (DOE), Belize’s wildlife and environment have been protected from the harmful effects of over 30 tons of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that have been stockpiled for over 30 years. POPs are recognized as causing adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem, and include toxins such as pesticides, industrial chemicals and industrial by-products. A Greek firm, POLYECO, has been contracted by DOE to remove these pollutants from Belize and to destroy them safely by burning them in France. The DOE hosted a training workshop at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City last Thursday, February 9th, where POLYECO’s representative George Chrysanthopoulus instructed 44 participants in the proper handling and disposal of such dangerous toxic substances. The workshop participants included Forest Rangers, DOE inspectors, members of the Police, Health and Customs Departments, conservation non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties from the private sector.

Mayor Guerrero approves temporary beach fence
When a beach fence suddenly appeared at Xanadu Island Resort, a number of people were shocked. Since its construction, residents have been complaining that the fence makes the beach less accessible, while Xanadu claims its intention is to protect their guests. Residents have reached out to the Ambergris Caye Building Authority (ACBA) to ask them to enforce the 66 feet rule, which is the law that applies to beachfront property. According to Fidel Ancona of the ACBA, the resort did not obtain a permit to build the structure, but Mayor Daniel Guerrero gave them special permission. “We received some calls from people concerned about this new fence on Xanadu’s beachfront, and there’s a lot of frustration. We did not authorize or issue out a permit for them to build the fence, but Mayor Guerrero is fully aware of the fence” said Ancona. Mayor Guerrero stated to The San Pedro Sun that the fence it is only temporary. “The fence is temporary until the construction that is happening there is completed. Xanadu actually wanted a higher fence, but we told them they cannot build higher. It is illegal to block the beach side, but they have obtained special permission to do so. There’s no exceptions, the fence will have to be removed as soon as the construction is done in the area,” said Guerrero.

Broadway Sean McDermott visits Isla Bonita Elementary School
After arriving in San Pedro Town, international Broadway star Sean McDermott, along with Eve Dirnback of the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation, paid a visit to Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) on Monday, February 13th. Since the Foundation’s upcoming fundraiser benefits IBES, and stars McDermott, Dirnback led a tour around the school, and introduced McDermott to Principal Ady Martinez, along with their administrators. McDermott was warmly welcomed by the school’s drumline, who showcased their talent and skills, to the delight of McDermott. He said he is looking forward for the drummers to open up his show on Wednesday, February 22nd at The Palapa Bar and Grill. McDermott explained the necessity to focus on special needs. “Special needs kids don’t do as well in public schools. It is important for these kids to get a quality education so they could be productive citizen in the future and do good things for the island. I am dyslexic and my teachers didn’t know what that was when I was in fourth grade. I struggled to read, and it’s still a challenge for me, but I applied myself and pushed through it. And that is why this initiative is so close to my heart because I didn’t have much options in my school years. I love that I can help students in need,” said McDermott.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

GOB Expresses Condelences on Passing of Bishop O.P. Martin
The Government of Belize wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic community on the passing of the Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin. Born in Dangriga on December 4th, 1930, Bishop Martin served the Roman Catholic community for almost 40 years, beginning with his ordination to priesthood in 1959. He served as a Pastor for many years in several districts. In 1982, he was elevated to Bishop and in 1984 he was named Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan. Bishop O.P. Martin served the Catholic community with great dedication, faithfulness and apostolic vision.

The Late Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, a Champion of Belize’s Sovereingty and Territorial Integrity, Granted Order of Belize
The Government of Belize regrets to learn of the passing of Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, CBE, QC, July 13th, 1926 to February 8th, 2017. Sir Eli, as he was affectionately called, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University where he earned First Class Law and the Masters in International Law First Class and a doctorate in laws. He was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn in 1950. Sir Elihu has had a distinguished career both as a professor and practitioner of International Law. He became a Law Fellow at Trinity College at Cambridge University and first appeared before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Nottebohm case in 1951. Since then he served as lead Counsel for several countries before the ICJ. In 2004, he was Counsel for Barbados before the arbitration tribunal that settled its maritime border dispute with Trinidad and Tobago. He also served as an arbitrator in several international Tribunals and as an advisor to some thirty governments over his long career.

"Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child" Initiative
Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children and Ms. Judith Alpuche, CEO in the Ministry of Human Development are currently in Georgetown, Guyana where they are a part of the "Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child" Initiative (ECWECC), a two-day forum for CARICOM First Ladies and Spouses. The initiative, which evolved from the United Nations’ Every Woman, Every Child Initiative launched in 2014, focuses on four priority issues: teenage pregnancy, violence against women and children (including trafficking in persons); cervical cancer and mother to child transmission of HIV in the Caribbean. The forum is funded by Gilead Sciences Inc and organised by the Office of the First Lady of Guyana in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the CARICOM Secretariat. CARICOM leaders endorsed the ECWECC initiative at their 2016 Summit in Guyana.

Professor Clement K. Sankat appointed President of the University of Belize
Professor Clement K. Sankat, former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad has been appointed the seventh President of the University of Belize.

Creole Bread for sale on Caye Caulker Saturday
Tomarrow Saturday I will be having Creole Bread for sale at $1.00 each. Send me a message on Facebook or tex me at 600-8482. I will only be doing by orders. Yesterday I almost didn't have much left for home. :( So please send me a message no later than 12.00 p.m. Tomarrow. It will be ready around 5.00 pm or so. I deliver.

University of Belize has a new President Professor Clement Sankat of Trinidad and Tobago
Professor Clement K. Sankat, former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies (WI), St Augustine Campus, Trinidad has been appointed the seventh President of the University of Belize (UB). His appointment took effect February 15th 2017. Professor Sankat succeeds Mr. Alan Slusher, who has held the post since June 2014. This announcement was made by Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, Chairman of UB's Board of Trustees during UB Graduation Ceremonies on February 11th. It comes after the Board, acting in accordance with the UB Act of 2000, undertook a wide and comprehensive search, employing a transparent, albeit robust selection process for the President. Prof. Sankat, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago received his early education at Queen's College in Georgetown, Guyana, his birth place. He is a Chartered/Professional Engineer (CEng) by training with degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The UWI and a PhD from the University of Guelph in Canada. He has had a long and distinguished career at The University of the West Indies as a scholar and administrative leader.

NSSSA Football National Tournament in San Pedro
The National Secondary School Sports Association’s (NSSSA) Football National Tournament is being hosted in San Pedro for the first time ever. A total of eight male and female football teams representing the North, Central, and South regions are vying for the championship trophy. On Friday, San Pedro High School’s female football team take on Saint Catherine’s Academy at 5:30PM at the Ambergris Stadium. The entrance fee is $3, and snacks/drinks are on sale. Don’t miss out on this two-day event! Games resume today, Saturday, February 18th at 9AM. See you there!~~

SAGA Taco-Tostado-Tequila Tuesday
Tuesday, February 21 at 5 PM at Caliente Restaurant

Xaibe village R.C. school presents to you: Bringing Back Culture Life; Culture presentation
On February 17, 2017 The R.C. School from Xaibe village, Corozal, District held its annual Cultural Business EXPO 2017. The Theme for the event was "Bringing Back The Culture's Life". The school did an excellent job showcasing their presentation about the culture of Belize. All classes From Beginner's to standard 6 did a cultural show about their theme presentation. Even one of the Pre-school from Xaibe village was at the event. The booths that I saw where: Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, East Indians, Ketchi maya, Preschool Yucatec Maya, Smart, Belizebank, Youth Cadet Police booth, BIC, Magil's Mexican Products where the main attraction at the event. And, all the booths I saw had their display about their clothing about which culture they where presenting. When I finished taking picture's, the host stopped playing music and announced that the Opening Ceremony will commenced. Anxiously, waiting for the opening ceremony the event began at 11A.M... First was the Belize national Anthem was Sang, Prayer, Vice Principal, Invited guests, took the stage to open the ceremony. Then, at 2pm children from Beginner's to standard 6 presented their cultural theme about their THEME CULTURE. They all came presenting about Andy Palacio, Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, Belly dance, and more. It was fun watching this event for the first. What a fun day to witness this excellent Cultural event. What I really liked about this Cultural Business Expo was the information I was feedback with our Culture we have in Belize. And, many are taking it as an advantage. we do really need to promote our culture. Thanks to this event I learnt a lot of history about Belize.

Belize Band Fest 2017
Its official Belize Band Fest 2017 will be in Orange walk people's stadium! On the 8th of April! Win lose or draw we are a band of fun.. SEE YOU THERE!!!

Xaibe Business Cultural Expo 2017
"Bringing Culture Alive" - This is what resonated, as this year's theme, at the Xaibe Business Cultural Expo 2017" - Xaibe is a very heart warming and welcoming village and is one of the 20 plus villages that make up our Corozal District. Today, the people of this quaint little village came out in grand style to celebrate their Business Cultural Expo leading with many displays, attire, cultural presentations and dances representing the various ethnic groups that have made Corozal their home. Various businesses, including our own St. Francis Xavier Credit Union were present, giving away goodies and treats to the children in attendance. We want to wish the best of luck and success to the organizers, Xaibe Roman Catholic School, students, teachers, other schools that visited but most of all, we thank the entire village of Xaibe for putting such a wonderful show for all of us to enjoy!

Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday Feb 19, portion Cayo District
Unitedville to Benque Viejo including San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Unitedville, Duck Run 1 & 2, Billy White, Georgeville, Central Farm, Esperanza, San Miguel, Cristo Rey, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Bullet Tree Falls, Branch Mouth, Santa Familia, Calla Creek, Corozalito, Succotz and Arenal. BEL to replace poles on the transmission system and conduct critical maintenance and testing of equipment at San Ignacio Substation.

Education Month Theme Competition
The MoE is having theme competition for Education Month. You could win $500 if you come up with the best theme. The theme of the theme is Partnership in Education. "The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture extends an invitation for you to participate in this year's theme competition"

Dr. Andrew Cohen explores Belize's archaeological sites
Cultural heritage protection specialist Dr. Andrew Cohen explores Belize's amazing archaeological sites together with Dr. Alan Moore, Antonio Beardall, and Josue Ramos of the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize. Belize is truly blessed with rich cultural heritage and it's everyone's job to protect and preserve it for future generations!

Channel 7

CDB Shares Perspective On Superbond Restructuring
On Monday, a 26 million Belize dollar Superbond payment is due - but, best indications to this newsroom tonight are that government will not pay. That's right, all indications are that government is getting ready to default on its Superbond debt. This is after the Prime Minister and his finance team engaged in a week of intensive discussions with bondholders in New York. It seems there was no breakthrough, likely because government is not prepared to budge from its position: that the interest rate of 4% offered to creditors is fair, as is the adjustment of the amortization payment to move the bullet payments back to 2036. The bondholders have rejected that saying it's too much of a financial hit; they want government to propose a structured program to manage its financings going forward. But the two sides haven't been able to hammer out a compromise, it appears. Today Jules Vasquez got some-perspective on this issue from the Caribbean Development Bank in Barbados. He's there for the Bank's Annual News Conference where they discuss all the regional economic trends. The Banks Director of Economics said that Government should offer bondholders some structured program:

Belize's Economy Contracted, Contrary to CDB Projections
And, the private sector is important because the CDB says they have to lead any economic recovery. Belize is one of only three Caribbean nations - who are members of the bank - to show negative economic growth in 2016. The original forecast from the CDB said Belize's economy would grow, but it did the opposite. Today in Bridgetown Barbados at the CDB headquarters, Jules Vasquez asked why: Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "2016 proved to be a difficult year for economies around the world. Advanced economies' output growth decelerated, while emerging markets stagnated and the Latin American and Caribbean region declined. Collectively this amounted to a slight deceleration in global growth. Most of CDB's borrowing member countries' economies grew in 2016 but there were contractions also. The mainly serviced oriented economies of the banks BMC's recorded positive growth in 2016. While the predominant commodity exporters, except Guyana I should add, contracted. Belize recorded a modest decline while significant contractions were recorded in Trinidad and Tobago, where that economy declined by 5%, and Suriname, which declined by further 9%. Average growth across the region, therefore, was -0.9%, compared with -0.4% in 2015."

Trinidad's Economic Hit Influenced Caribbean Figures
But, while only three of the bank's member countries showed negative growth - overall the region was down almost one percent. That's because Trinidad's economy had a major downtown, and that island nation accounts for a third of the entire Caribbean's economic output. Dr. Ram said that it's part of a global decline last year: Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "My sense though, is that over all, economic growth across our region remains somewhat uneven, and that fragile recovery, especially in the larger borrowing member countries, will continue into 2017. Regional fiscal performance is, however, caught in a vicious cycle."

CDB: Governments Need To Keep Cutting Expenses
President of the Bank, Warren Smith, noted that because so many regional governments are spending more than they earn, they are trapped in a cycle of expanding debt: Jules Vasquez - 7News "Last year's forecast had Belize at, I believe, 2% percent growth for 2016, or a little over 2%, and we see that the outturn for Belize is -1.2%, are you able to speak about what accounts for the disparity between forecasts projected and real." Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "So yes our forecast for Belize earlier in 2016 was positive, however a number of events occurred throughout the year. Number one of those, well the effects of the hurricane as well provided some damper to the overall growth prospects; in addition to that there were disease effects in the agricultural sector which also affected shrimp farming as well in Belize. So that meant that production and those particular sectors were much less than we were actually predicting. In addition to that, the government of Belize also had to intervene in two state owned enterprises, as you would be aware, and that also had some negative effects on overall government expenditure and has actually now led to a massive increase in governments overall debt burden."

BDF Sergeant Jailed For Spousal Abuse
A soldier is going to jail for beating his wife. BDF Staff Sergeant Darrell Hemsley was found guilty of wounding today in court after he attacked his wife last year November. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith sentenced Hemsley to 3 months imprisonment. Magistrate Smith told him that he was a disgrace to the Belize Defense Force and that she is going to make an example out of him. The incident happened on November 25th, 2016. Hemsley's wife Trecia Hemsley, testified that he came home from work that night and accused her of having his social security card. She said Hemsley attacked her and began to punch her and kick her. She was cut to the forehead.

Inside CARICOM's 28th Heads Of Govt. Meeting
Last night, we told you that Foreign Minister and 4 other representatives from the Belize Government are in Georgetown, Guyana for the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government. Viewers will remember that the 27th Inter-sessional meeting happened last year in Placencia, Belize, when Prime Minister Dean Barrow was the Interim Chair. Well, as we told you the chairmanship rotates every 6 months. This time around, the current Chairman of CARICOM is the Guyanese President David Granger and it is he who is hosting his fellow heads of Government for this meeting. They held the opening ceremony last night, and with video provided by CARICOM, we bring you coverage of that event in Georgetown. Here's that story: The Meeting ended today.

The Mexican And Belizean Militaries' Continued Friendship
Today Mexico celebrates the anniversary of both it's Army and Air Force, both of which are over a century old. Diplomats and Mexican expats gathered in the Mexican Institute in Belize City to honor the two longstanding branches of the military. The Counselor of the Mexican Embassy, Hugo Juarez Carrillo, gave us a brief history of the Mexican military and how they have and will continue to support Belize... Jugo Juarez Carrillo, Counsellor for Legal Affairs and Press "We are celebrating the 104th anniversary of the foundation of the Mexican army and the 102nd anniversary of the foundation of the Mexican air force." Reporter: "Can you talk to us about some of the strides that have been made to both organizations over the years?" Jugo Juarez Carrillo, Counsellor for Legal Affairs and Press: "I can tell you that Mexico is much older than his army. Mexico just celebrated more than 200 years of the beginning our independence war in 1910 and what happens is that 104 years ago, the Mexican revolutionary army that were fighting for democracy and to respect the constitution of 1857 won the war against a general that have a coup d'état against the elected president of Mexico of that time, Francisco Madero and then they won the war and the old army that supported the dictator and then we created a new army, not that the old army in that time was very elite army, but an army of the people that now have Mexico and an army of the people."

Belmopan Got Major Infrastructure Upgrade
There has certainly been an aesthetic transformation in Belmopan. There are now 3 roundabouts - including the grand and colorful one at the entrance, a number of streets have been paved and the ring road now has a smooth track all around for those who like their early morning or evening run. Well, the work continues in the Capital. A number of other streets have been paved including Roaring Creek, Mussel Creek, Haulover Creek, Garbutt Creek, and a section of Barton Creek Street. A drainage system has also been installed in the Water Reservoir area. There was a short ceremony on Wednesday night in Belmopan to commemorate these recent infrastructural improvements. Here are a few clips.

A New UB President
In June 2014, at a graduation ceremony, Allan Slusher was introduced as the new president of the University of Belize. In his speech, he had expressed his vision to re-energize the institution. Well, while the jury is very much out on whether he fulfilled that goal, his contract as Interim President ended this week and a new president is taking over. Professor Clement K. Sankat has been appointed as the 7th President of the University of Belize. He is a former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad. His appointment took effect on Wednesday February 15th. In a press release from the University it states that "….The Board of Trustees ....undertook a wide and comprehensive search, employing a transparent, albeit robust selection process for the President."

Farewell Sir Eli
The Government of Belize is reporting tonight that British attorney Sir Elihu Lauterpacht has passed away. He has performed exceptionally for decades as one of the attorneys advising different Belizean Governments on how the handle the Belize/Guatemala Territorial claim. "Sir Eli", as he was also known, was a Queen Council who's had a very distinguished career both as an attorney, and as a professor of the Trinity College, Cambridge University. He specialized in international law has argued cases before the International Court of Justice. In 2004, he was the attorney for Barbados before the arbitration tribunal settled its maritime border dispute with Trinidad and Tobago. He has served as an arbitrator in several international tribunals, and he has also been an advisor to about 30 governments over his long and distinguished career.

GOB Remembers Bishop Martin
And, the Government is also noting the passing of another person who's provided extensive service to Belize. Yesterday we told you about the death of Bishop Emeritus OP Martin. Since passing in his sleep, Belizeans home and abroad have shared their prayers with his family. Today the government of Belize issued a press release giving their condolences and support to his family. The statement says, quote, "Bishop O.P. Martin served the Catholic community with great dedication, faithfulness and apostolic vision."

OP Martin: From Footballer To Bishop
And Bishop Martin was a revered church leader but he was also a standout athlete in his youth. We found that out in Easter 2009, Jacqueline Godwin visited him at his home in Dangriga where the then 78 year old reflected on 50 years as a man of the cloth:.. Jacqueline Godwin Reporting: On April fourth, 1959 Osmond Peter Martin was ordained a priest. Today fifty years later, at the age of seventy eight he gets around with the help of a walker, due to a severe spinal injury. Now the former Bishop of Belize spends most of his time at his family's home in Dangriga. The Most Reverend Osmond Peter Martin is the eldest brother of three sisters and the son of Justin and Cleofa Martin. As a young boy he was a member of the Holy Redeemer Scouts Group and noted as an avid athlete, even playing on the SJC soccer team. And this a strapping young man you see here at the age of twenty three was already studying to be a priest. He would later become the first Belizean priest to be ordained a bishop in 1982. But the Most Reverend Martin says it all started in high school when he was just 18 and received his first calling to the priesthood.

Mexican Artist Here For Street Art Festival
A Mexican muralist will be transforming city walls at next Saturday's Street Art Festival. Enrique Minjares Padilla is a seasoned and well respected Mexican artist. He is here in Belize to showcase his style of art and also to teach and guide kids to find their own. He plans to paint a mural on the back wall of the Institute of Mexico and one on Albert Street. Now, we have featured a number of Mexican artists but Padilla brings a more modern and energetic flair to his craft. Today we caught up with him at a session organized with the SJC 3rd formers. Padilla told us more about his artistic background and what this visit means for him: Enrique Minjares Padilla, Muralist: "I have been an artist since I was a child, I have been interested in representing stuff with drawings, I was a very encouraged kid to make art, I always wanted to be an artist, a painter, my grandmother was a painter, so I was always in touch with painting."

Expanding The Local MMA Scene
Mixed Martial Arts has been steadily growing in popularity for the last few years. UFC viewership is at an all time high, and many people, young and old, have started practicing it - including right here in Belize. Prevail MMA is one of Belize's leading clubs. It's coaches train everyone from beginners to seasoned veterans ready to take their talents outside Belize. Tonight and tomorrow, they are holding training seminars with professional UFC fighter, Nate Marquardt, for anyone wanting to participate. We spoke to Marquardt and one of Prevail's coaches Joel Meyer, about the event. Nate Marqardt - UFC Fighter: "It's for people of all ages and all skill and basically I'm going to do some striking, some grappling and technical seminar." Alex Courtenay, 7News: "So as you said it's for people of all skill sets. Is there anything people need to know beforehand so that they can come in with some expectation?" Nate Marqardt - UFC Fighter: "I will just cover some basic stuff from mix martial arts, I'll also cover some more advance stuff if there are some guys that fight so that they can use it in fights. Like I said it's for any skill level, so beginners are welcome and just bring t-shirt and athletic shorts or boy shorts.."

A Traditional Maya Dance In Dallas
And finally tonight, we take you back to Dallas Texas one more time. Our news team was there a week ago for the opening of the exhibit named "Maya Hidden worlds revealed." The show was opened by a Mexican Dance group that tries to keep indigenous dance and traditions alive. They told us more about their performance which kept audiences spellbound:.. RICARDO ALARCON, Grupo Pakal: "Well this a Mayan presentation representing the full directions of the planet by mother earth and representations of the moon - the jaguar representing the moon too, he creates the blessing ceremony for the four directions of the planet to get balance and harmony on earth." "The culture is still preserved. We need to rescue it. This is the purpose of Grupo Pakal."

Channel 5

Cayo Farmers Tell Story of Rotting Potatoes
Our news crew is just back from the fields in the west covering the very important story of the plight of local farmers whose livelihoods are being threatened by the [...]

Remembering Dr. Cecil “Chubby’” Reneau, Dead at 66
It has been quite a week during which well-known Belizeans and friends of Belize died. We have covered the passing of Doctor Robert Horwich, primatologist and founder of the Community [...]

Government Adds Condolences as Remembrances of Bishop O.P. Martin Continue
The Government of Belize has joined in with official condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic community on the passing of first native Bishop of the Church, the Most [...]

Will Government Default Superbond Payment?
Turning to economic news…Belizeans await the return of Prime Minister Dean Barrow from New York City, where he is meeting with Belize’s legal and financial team over the Superbond. But [...]

Supreme Court Frees Toledo Man Accused of Murder of Ex-Girlfriend
In late August 2015, Alberto Coleman—then fifty-five years old—was charged for the July third murder of his twenty-nine year old ex-girlfriend, Juana Cowo.  The decomposed body of the young woman [...]

Poor Investigation Cost Conviction
According to Bradley, the case fell apart because the murder was poorly investigated. And from evidence before the court, while he was smitten by Juana, there was no proof that [...]

Cops on Trial for Shooting Death of Runaway Prisoner
Also before Judge Denis Hanomansingh in the Punta Gorda Courts, two cops are on trial for the shooting death of eighteen year old inmate Rasheed Elijio. He along with Brian [...]

Convicted ATM Thieves Lose Proceeds to Belize Bank
A pair of Bulgarian nationals, twenty-eight year old Jeorji Petrov, and twenty-five year old Halid Yuksel Aptula, convicted of theft from a Belize Bank ATM, was back before the courts [...]

Orange Walk Cane Farmer Jailed for Theft in Belize City
A cane farmer from San Estevan Village up north, who moved to the City, is behind bars tonight for burglary. Thirty-six-year-old Rafael Yam claims he is suffering from stomach cancer. [...]

Dickie Bradley Praises “First-Rate” Denys Barrow as He Joins C.C.J.
The Caribbean Court of Justice officially announced today via press release that Attorney Denys Barrow will be joining Belize’s final court of appeal headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and [...]

What About Judges for Belize Supreme Court?
While on the subject of justices, himself a top notch criminal lawyer, Attorney Bradley reflected on the state of affairs in the Belize judiciary.   Bradley echoed the CJ’s statement at [...]

Mexico Marks Anniversary of Formation of Army, Air Force
Mexico is marking three important anniversaries in this month of February. On the fifth, it was one hundred years since the publication of the Constitution of 1917 during the Mexican [...]

Mexico’s Constitution Holds Up after 100 Years
The Mexican Constitution was created in the city of Queretaro and was widely acclaimed for its modern inclusion of a ‘bill of rights’ for the Mexican people. It has had [...]

U.B. Taps Guyanese-Trinidadian Engineer for President
The University of Belize has a new president. He is professor Clement Sankat, former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine Campus in [...]

Sir Elihu Lauterpacht Passes; He Supported Belize Against Guatemala
News Five notes the passing of British international law attorney Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, who died on February eighth. He has represented many countries in land and maritime boundary cases including [...]

Sports Council Makes Upgrades at Facilities in Belize City
The National Sports Council under the new leadership of Interim Executive Director, Charlie Slusher, and in conjunction with the Queen Square Community has given a facelift to a sporting facility [...]

Closing the CARILED Program in Belize


Belize’s Queen of Brukdown Needs Blood Donors
The queen of “Brukdown” Leela Vernon remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Vernon is suffering from chronic renal failure and she needs blood. According to family members, doctors are doing all they can to treat the iconic Belizean artist but she needs type A positive blood. Yesterday three persons donated blood to Vernon and today, Manish Chainani and his brother visited the blood bank to make their donation. You are willing to donate blood, you are asked to visit the blood bank near the KHMH to make your donation.

Re: Today's Belize News: February 18, 2017 [Re: Marty] #521736
02/18/17 01:10 AM
02/18/17 01:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,820
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Corrupt – from the very top to the very bottom!!!
In 2011, Teresita Castellanos, a public officer of 30 years, was transferred to the Immigration Department, where she served for three years as Finance Officer. However, she claimed that she was “thrown” out of the department in 2014 by former CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Mortis. Castellanos appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee today, Wednesday, and said she made every effort to fight the transfer, because she wanted to remain in the department until the Auditor General’s report was completed. That report, released last year, claimed that it was under Castellanos’ watch that revenues were collected for 8 visas issued without visa stickers. According to Castellanos, it was not her fault; instead, it was a culture of corruption among Immigration officers and a lack of political will by the Ministry which allowed for these irregularities to occur. However, she claimed that efforts were made to combat the corruption.Castellanos was today allowed by the committee to read a troubling analysis of her observations while she was at the Department.

Dr. Cecil “Chubby” Reneau, former Chief Education Officer, dead at 67
Belizean career educator, Dr. Cecil “Chubby” Reneau, who rose from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the education establishment in Belize, died this afternoon at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital from a stroke, family members told Amandala. Dr. Reneau was 67 years old. Heather Reneau, Dr. Reneau’s only daughter, told Amandala that her father had been ailing for some time and had suffered a massive stroke last August. “He had three strokes prior to this one, but this one was mild, compared to the one last year,” said Heather. Heather said that prior to Dr. Reneau becoming Belize’s Chief Education Officer, he was the principal of Belize Technical College for a number of years and served in various public service capacities. Heather said her father was a technical student and studied for his doctorate in education at Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the University of Western Kentucky. Dr. Reneau also studied at other universities in the United States and in England.

Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin passes
–Since Sunday, the country has been mourning the passing of a man of God and a great educator, Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin; and in Belize City, a famous businessman, Arthur “Pou” Francisco, and an educator and former politician, Dr. Cecil “Chubby” Reneau (both featured elsewhere in the newspaper). Bishop Martin peacefully passed away in the wee hours of today, Thursday, while sleeping in his family home in Dangriga. His death, just as his life, cannot simply be glanced over. He was a young Garinagu man from Dangriga who decided to walk so close to his God that he became the first native Belizean and Garinagu appointed as Bishop of Belize. After completing his studies at the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, he was ordained a priest on April 3, 1959. Twenty-three years later on October 7, 1982, he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop,

Danny Ku, 37, pleads guilty to manslaughter
Danny Elvis Ku, 37, who was accused of viciously stabbing his wife to death in December of 2006, was scheduled to go on trial today in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Instead of the court empanelling a jury of 12 to hear the evidence in the Crown’s case against Ku, however, the Crown Counsel representing the prosecution informed the court that they were withdrawing the murder charge and that the accused man was changing his “not guilty of murder” plea to “guilty of manslaughter,” the lesser charge. After the court accepted the guilty of manslaughter plea, attorney Bryan Neal, who represented Ku, asked the court to defer sentencing of his client for one week so that he could locate character witnesses for a mitigation hearing. Ku was accused of killing his wife, Anna Maria Magdalena Vasco, 27, during a domestic dispute at their Orange Walk Town home, on December 16, 2006. Anna Marie Magdalena Vasco, a nurse, had her throat slashed with a blade, and then she was stabbed multiple times in her chest. She suffered as many as 32 stab wounds.

Spanish Lookout powered by local crude
The only commercial oilfield in Belize has been found and developed in the Spanish Lookout community – the largest settlement by acreage in the country of Belize and home to roughly 2,000 Mennonites. Chairman of the village, Erwin Thiessen, told Amandala that the community has been paid royalties by the Government of Belize, but they also have an agreement with the producing company—Belize Natural Energy (BNE)—under which they are paid for the use of the community’s roads, which form a private network, as well as surface rent for lands which BNE uses to access crude and pipe it to its storage and distribution facilities.

Joel Borland (Elite) tops the field in 2017 Digicell Valentine Tour
According to the Technical Guide released by the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB), the Digicell Valentine Tour, which covered three days of racing – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 10, 11 and 12 – was for riders in the Elite, Under 23 and Masters categories; while Female and Junior/Youth riders participated only in the Valentine Road Race Classic, which took place on Sunday, the last day of the Tour. A grueling three-day affair, the Digicell Valentine Tour comprised of four Stages: Stage 1 was the Individual Time Trial, a 12-mile ride on Friday, from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 8 and back; Stage 2 on Saturday morning was a 50-mile ride from Leslie’s to Data Pro through the Boom Road and back to Leslie’s; Stage 3 on Saturday afternoon was a 48-mile journey from Sandhill junction to Altun Ha cutoff through Maskall road and back to Sandhill junction; and the big Stage 4 Road Race was an 88-mile trek from San Ignacio to Benque Viejo then back to Leslie’s Imports in Belize City. Accumulated times were recorded for each rider from Stage to Stage, to determine the leaders with the lowest combined times at any Stage of the Tour.

NEBL “In the Paint”
Boasting a league-best (4-0) record, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks will be looking to extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games in a row, as they take to the road against the (1-2) Dangriga Dream Ballers. The Tiger Sharks have been overpowering their opponents so far this season, winning games by an astounding 19.8 points differential. To put their dominance in perspective, they’ve won all their games by double figures; as a matter of fact, the closest game played so far was against the defending champs Hurricanes, and that game they won by 10. These same Tiger Sharks invade the Ecumenical High School Auditorium tonight, as they look to take a bite out of the home town Dream Ballers. On paper, this match-up does not look good for the Ballers; and it gets even more troublesome when you consider that they, traditionally, have not had much success against the Tiger Sharks. This, when coupled with their current two-game losing streak, makes for a tenuous situation, and one that could further be exacerbated with another poor performance. But, like they say, that’s why you play the game.

Verdes takes lead at Week 3 of PLB Closing Season
Verdes FC clinched a back match against Freedom Fighters FC last night at the Victor Galvez Union Field in Punta Gorda, and thus jumped to first place in the standings at Week 3 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2016-2017. Verdes got the 1-nil win on a goal by recently acquired (from Police United) striker, John King, at the 64th minute. The other Week 2 back match, between Wagiya and FC Belize, is tentatively scheduled for tonight at the Carl Ramos Stadium. In Week 3 scores for games this past weekend, it was Belmopan Bandits, 2-1, over BDF at the Isidoro Beaton; Freedom Fighters, 2-1, over FC Belize at the MCC; Verdes, 5-2, over Wagiya at the Norman Broaster; and Placencia Assassins and Police United, 2-2, at the Independence Stadium.

Cricket Corner – Satish, Man of the Game for Berlan
Hello, cricket players and fans! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the 2017 Harrison Parks Cricket Competition got underway with some very exciting games. Thanks to our kind sponsor of this year’s season, Bowen and Bowen! Lemonal Let’s first go to Lemonal, where three-time champ Easy Does It played against newly formed Summer Fever of Bermudian Landing. Newly formed, but the team is comprised of players that were from Berlan Cricket Club, but went under new management. Easy Does It took to bat first, and at the fall of the last wicket, the team put on the scoreboard a very impressive number of runs, 189. Last year’s MVP, Andrew Banner top scored with 55 runs, while the manager of Summer Fever, Conway Young took 4 wickets. When it was time for Summer Fever to try and best the score, they did fight, but no player was good enough to help Conway Young, who top scored with 54 runs. Summer Fever fell short, only reaching 135 runs. However, that score was very good, realizing it’s the champs they were dealing with. In that inning, captain Kenroy Reynolds took 5 wickets.

From honesty to dishonesty …
Prime Minister of Belize, the Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, came out of one of the old civil service families in British Honduras. The post-World War II scions of several of these families went to study law abroad, and they are prominent, not to mention wealthy, in Belize’s legal firmament – Courtenays, Barrows, Youngs, Elringtons, and so on and so forth. The old civil service families were Creole in ethnicity, and the patriarchs of these families had been trained by British colonial administrators. Exemplary honesty was mandatory in the civil service of British Honduras. If you became dishonest, you would inevitably be caught and indicted. You went to jail, and your family would be dishonored. When the nationalist, anti-colonial movement began in British Honduras in 1950, the civil service class, almost to a man, went against the anti-British People’s United Party (PUP). So that, the civil servants supported the opposition to the PUP which was organized in 1951 – the National Party. The National Party morphed into the National Independence Party (NIP) in 1958, but the NIP continued to enjoy the support of the civil service class which had supported the National Party.

From The Publisher
When my high school class at St. John’s College (SJC) graduated in December of 1963, our version of a graduation prom ended up as a house party at Eddie Lizama’s home on Vernon Street (between Mosul and East Collet Canal) in Belize City. I suppose there must have been record player music. A few of us took our dates to Eddie’s home, and what we ate for prom were “dungas,” which were basically panades stuck between Creole bread halves. We’re talking about the mighty SJC now, you understand. How did this feeble joke become the 1963 prom? In that last year before British Honduras’ school holidays changed in the summer of 1964, you still did four and a half years of high school, and took your Cambridge “O” Level exams at the end of the half year. When you finished your fourth year in April, say, you would come back for a half year from June to December. I’m explaining this in order to point out that our class had a class president from fourth form, before we went to “fifth.” His name was Roger Brian Anthony Silva, now deceased. We called him “Mousie.” I really can’t say what the nature or history of our student government was at Jesuit SJC in those pre-self-government days. I don’t know if the lower classes had student officers, or if it was only fourth and “fifth” forms. I’m not even sure if Mousie had been democratically elected. Honest. I know he was the student who seemed most interested in student government. Perhaps he was the only such student in our class.

Give the saint what is due
Dear Editor, In the Bible – MATTHEW 5:23-24 says, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and remember you have something against your brother, leave your gift at the altar and go and reconcile with your brother; then come back and offer your gift to God.” I would also like to quote from JOHN 8:7, “Let him or her who is without sin cast the first stone.” For over 46 years Evan X Hyde has been feared by many religious, elite, affluent, politicians in the country of Belize. Evan X Hyde is the Grassroots Godfather who truly takes his role of Godfather seriously and has adopted many grassroots people as his protégé, so why is he feared? Is it because of his powerful writing skills that can demonstrate that the pen is mightier than the sword? Evan X, our Grassroots Godfather, does not walk around like some Belizean Pharisees who praise themselves boasting, “I did this or I did that.”

Neri to Hilly
SUBJECT: Belize Olympic Selection Rio Dear Mr. President: I write to you as simply a man, a Belizean and citizen of the world. I come without medals, honours, positions, degrees and titles; just an ordinary man. A man and his nation who are being represented internationally by your organization and the picture I am seeing is not representative of me or the country we all live in. On July 4, 2016 I wrote to the President of the International Olympic Committee regarding the choosing of Katy Sealy over Kaina D. Martinez to represent Belize in Female Athletics (Track and Field) in Rio 2016. All indications are that this was a totally unfair decision which was not made in the interest of the nation of Belize or in the spirit of the Olympics. I am still convinced that Katy was the wrong choice and my opinion regarding the matter will not change. I will continue to advocate this matter at every level until Olympics representation in Belize is changed so that it reflects Belize, represents Belizeans, and works for the promotion of ALL athletes in Belize.

Big up, Lord Rhaburn: Alfonso C.
Dear Editor, It was with great joy that Belize welcomed the great news on a special edition to celebrate BELIZE MUSICIANS PAST AND PRESENT, their 22 years on the air, by our very own hero, Lord Rhaburn, who has decided that the time to tell his story has arrived!. He has chosen the young visionary writer, artist Yasser Musa, to do the honours. This news could not have come at a better time. Belize is at an all-time low in its history! We are faced with a breakdown in our social order, corruption in the government, economic downturn, and a feeling of hopelessness! To someone who has given his life and talent to Belize, your story will give us some hope. No one can steal or attach these treasures to anything.

Rt. Hon. Said Musa’s address on the Palestinian question
(Ed. NOTE: Rt. Hon. Said Musa (former Prime Minister of Belize) recently addressed a Roundtable in Managua, Nicaragua, organized by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people. Mr. Musa’s speech follows.) Beyond recognition: the role of Central American Governments in the search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The year 2017 marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration when the then British Foreign Secretary in 1917 declared Britain’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. The year 2017 marks 70 years since the UN General Assembly proposed a Partition Plan for Palestine into Jewish and Arab states with Jerusalem to be an international city. 2017 marks 50 years of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian homeland. 2017 is a time when the world seems to be upside down, when those who ruthlessly expel people from their ancestral land and kill those who resist are called victims, and those who are driven out and massacred are called terrorists. It is time to go back to basics.

The meaning of culture: Evan X Hyde honored by Pen Cayetano
On Sunday, 5 February, 2017 at 3 p.m., artist Pen Cayetano honored writer Evan X Hyde and his work at his Studio Gallery at #3 Aranda Crescent in Dangriga, Stann Creek, Belize with a ceremony of deep meaning, knowledge and love. (Please see an article about the event by poet and journalist Rowland Parks at the following link at Amandala online: bz/news/black-history-month- artist-pen-cayetano-honors- kremandalas-evan-hyde/). Evan X Hyde, born 30th April 1947, is a writer whose consciousness has travelled the development of the nation of Belize, the history of the world and whose brilliant erudition has illuminated the Belizean consciousness to the truths of its history in the local and global contexts, its African and Mayan roots, the machinations of power and the creation of freedom through words and actions. In poetry, plays, and over forty years of essays in Amandala Editorials and his “From The Publisher” column, Mr. Evan X Hyde speaks truth to power.

Spike in stomach flu grips hundreds in Stann Creek
Health officials issued an advisory this week warning of a spike in stomach flu or gastroenteritis in the Stann Creek District, after hundreds of cases were reported in January, mostly in children ages 5 and under, who mostly reported symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, with abdominal cramps and fever. Surveillance Officer Lorna Perez told Amandala that the Ministry of Health is urging precautionary measures to contain the spread of what they believe to be a rotavirus infection. According to Perez, the spike was first noticed in rural Stann Creek, but in more recent weeks, there has been an uptick of cases in Dangriga Town. The Ministry of Health says that, “As a result of an initial investigation for the month of January, a total of 242 cases have been reported in the said district. Of that number, 145 cases are among children of less than five years, and 117 among persons over the age of five. The communities most affected include Dangriga Town and Independence and Bella Vista Villages.”

The Reporter

Government issues condolence on the passing of Bishop O.P. Martin
The Government of Belize has issued a press release, expressing condolences on the passing of Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin (retired). The release issued deepest condolences to family, friends and the Roman Catholic community on the passing of the Bishop, who served the community with […]

Belize delegation in Guyana for regional conference
A Belize delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington is currently in Guyana, attending the 28th inter-sessional meeting of the CARICOM Conference of the Heads of Government. The conference is set for February 16-17, and will be attended by regional leaders who […]

Belly of the beast: More bombshells from Senate inquiry
“The Immigration Department has an entrenched culture of corruption and hustling, milking the cow, we say, from the very top to the very bottom of the ladder,” former Financial Officer of the Immigration and Nationality Department, Teresita Castellanos said this week. On Wednesday, Castellanos testified […]

Denys Barrow appointed to CCJ
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the highest court of appeal on civil and criminal matters in Belize and the Caribbean, has found a replacement for one of its judges scheduled to leave the organization in May. Denys Barrow, one of Belize’s leading attorneys, is […]

CCJ green lights Sixth Amendment
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled this week, that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of Belize, which set one-year appointments for Court of Appeal judges, did not violate the independence of the Judiciary. On Wednesday, a five-judge panel dismissed the Bar Association of […]

Overnight tourism projections for 2017 expected to rise
Despite the constraints on the global economy, overnight tourism in the Caribbean is expected to provide decent returns in 2017, following a year that fared well. More than four out of five (81 percent) of hoteliers in the region have an encouraging outlook for tourism […]

Courtenay flips the script
Following government’s call for his removal from the Senate, PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay countered by accusing the UDP of attacking his character to distract the Belizean people from national issues. Courtenay spoke at length on Tuesday, addressing several issues that the UDP had raised in their call […]

Belize poised to take Tilapia industry to new level, through help from Taiwan
A five-year long investment by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize’s aquaculture industry is now expected to bear fruit for well over 100 Tilapia farmers and 100 more unemployed people across Belize. The $5 million investment started in 2012 and involved […]

Catfish uses PM’s profile
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), this week, issued a release denounced a fake Facebook profile purporting to be that of PM Dean Barrow. The OPM says it became aware of the so-called “catfish” scheme, in which persons use fake profiles to gather sometimes very personal […]

Meat pie icon passes
Belizeans, in and outside of Belize City, joined in mourning the passing of one of the most respected meat pie vendors in the country, Arthur Francisco, better known as “Mr. Pou.” Known for operating Pou’s Meatpies on New Road for more than three decades, Francisco passed away […]

Every elected member of the House of Representatives and every appointed member of the Senate of Belize is required under the Constitution to subscribe to the Oath of Allegiance. In the Senate the oath is administered by the President, or by the Vice President if the President is unable or […]

Default and devaluation dangerously close
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in New York meeting with GOB’s financial advisors, currently in restructuring discussions with holders of the 2038 Bond, trying to finalize an agreement to avoid a default on the US $26.6 million Superbond payment due on Monday. Barrow’s departure underscores […]

Beloved Bishop O.P. passes
Belize’s first-born Bishop, Osmond Peter Martin (retired), passed away Thursday morning at his house in Dangriga. He had been ailing for a while, and had been suffering from a back injury for several years, which caused him to depend on his walking stick. Bishop Martin, […]

Shyne back with Popcaan collab
Chart topping rapper Shyne Barrow has signalled his return to mainstream music with his latest feature on the remix to Popcaan’s 2016 hit “We still ah win”. Shyne explained that the remixed version of the song was released in Jamaica last week and has been […]

Year’s sixteenth murder
A 21-year-old Belize City man of a Balan Street address was riddled with a hail of bullets as he walked along Western Avenue on Wednesday night. Police investigations have confirmed that on Wednesday night around 6:25 p.m., Jason Cortez was walking on Western Avenue when […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Olympic dream or just more of the same?
Elections are being held this weekend, 18th February, for the executive positions on the National Olympic Association or the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA) as the local organization is titled. Are we in for just more of the same or are we on our way to Olympic dream. The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Association is the local arm of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and according to the IOC’s website, “a National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOC’s are responsible for organizing their people’s participation in the Olympic Games” and related qualifying tournaments or competitions. National committees primarily act on behalf of local sporting associations or federations to access funds held by the IOC to either offset the cost of Olympic qualifying competition regionally or internationally in a sport or for approved development activities locally for that sport. The IOC’s website also indicates that the BOCGA has been recognized since 1968. However, this upcoming election will only be the second since the organization’s inception, the first was held in 2013.

One Idaho couple exchanged winter in Idaho for eternal summer in Cayo, Belize
According to US.News, three years ago a couple from Idaho moved to Cayo, Belize. David and Cathy Thayer had nine months of winter each year living in Northern Idaho. In Cayo, Belize, they have 12 months of summertime. Cathy said that she hadn’t traveled to anywhere other than Paris and when David told her that he had already bought tickets to travel to Belize, she was shocked. “I didn’t know anything about Belize at the time, but I knew one thing,” she says. “I knew that Central America is nothing like Paris.” Cathy agreed to take the trip because she thought it would be a nice vacation.

Letter to the Editor
Hi, is there someone who can be held accountable for the article posted yesterday titled: “A 15 yr old is raped while drinking and smoking weed”? Myself and many other subscribers to your page are simply offended at the implications of the title. We feel that, as a news outlet, you are influential and therefore responsible for spreading stories in a way that is true and unbiased. Our rape culture in Belize, as in many countries mercilessly place blame on the victims of rape rather than the perpetrator. This has made it very difficult for many women AND men to speak up about their rape, and as a result, harder to bring those responsible to justice.

“Senior Immigration officers did not follow the law” says former Immigration Financial Officer
The former financial officer of the Immigration and Nationality Department, Teresita Castellanos, gave an explosive testimony to the Senate Special Select Committee this week, detailing how public officers violated many of the established protocols in the commission of their duties. Castellanos testified that despite holding training workshops with officers to make them aware of the processes for issuing and monitoring the issuance of visa sales and distributions, the officers still kept on breaking the rules. She highlighted that memos were sent to the officers in charge, advising the staff that they were not allowed to pay for passports and other fees on behalf of the public as per Financial Order 79.

Queen’s Square basketball court in Belize City gets lights
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through the National Sports Council (NSC), today announced that they worked in conjunction with the Queen’s Square community in Belize City to enhance the safety of youth who wish to participate in sporting and recreational activities. Through a lighting project implemented by NSC, Queen’s Square residents are now enjoying brighter evenings and nights on their basketball court. The NSC also assisted the residents in fixing security lights in the area to deter violence and criminal activities. This is a part of a wider government initiative of promoting citizen security through sports and recreation.

GOB expresses condolences on passing of Bishop O.P. Martin
The Government of Belize (GOB) today issued a press release expressing its condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic Community on the passing of the Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin. Bishop Martin was born in Dangriga on December 4th, 1930, and served the Roman Catholic community for almost 40 years, beginning with his ordination to priesthood in 1959.

Denys Barrow to join CCJ as judge
Attorney Denys Barrow is set to leave the country in the next few months for Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. In June he is scheduled to to take up an appointment as a judge on the Caribbean Court of Justice, where he will replace Justice Rolston Nelson, who retires at the end of May.

Road traffic accident in San Ignacio Town
Reports reaching our newsroom is that there was a road traffic accident on Bullet tree road in San Ignacio town shortly before 6 p.m. yesterday. A black pick-up truck collided into a motorcycle causing the motorcycle to slide under the front part of the pick up truck. Fortunately, the driver of the motorcycle sustained only minor injuries.

Leela Vernon “Queen of Brukdown” needs your help
One of Belize’s favorite music artist needs your assistance. BBN has been reliably informed that Belize’s Bruk Down Queen, Leela Vernon was hospitalized last week Friday and is presently at the Intensive Care Unit in need of A+ blood . She is known for her unique Belizean cultural songs particularly the one titled “Ah wah know who seh kriol no gat no kolcha” which is loved by all Belizeans. Vernon’s family is asking the public for assistance in donating blood.


A new adventure awaits you during San Pedro’s Gran Carnaval
When most Belizeans think about carnival, images of elaborate costumes and festive floats come to mind. But for those who live in San Pedro Town, carnival is actually ‘carnaval’ and the traditional celebration is observed to usher in the 40-day Lenten Season. Unlike the highly anticipated annual Carnival Road March held in September during our country’s patriotic celebration, San Pedro’s Gran Carnaval takes place usually in February, four days before Ash Wednesday. This year, San Pedro’s Carnaval will take place from Friday, February 24th to Tuesday, February 28th. It will open with the annual Reina del Carnaval Pageant on Friday, followed by a block party on Saturday, three days of painting and comparsa (dance groups) dancing from Sunday to Tuesday, and will end with the burning of Juan Carnaval on Wednesday, March 1st. That’s quite a line up for some adventurous activities!

Placencia Arts Fest 2017!! Tons of pictures that will make you want to join us next year!
The Placencia Arts Festival gets bigger and more fun every year!! It is part festival, part local art, and always a really fun day of walking around. This year, Naia Resort added a really nice event for fundraising, where local artists were honored and there was a silent auction of their amazing work. Sunday also was crazy busy in the village....if you missed Barefoot Bar Sunday night, sorry to say you missed an amazing night!! See our pictures for a snapshot :)

International Sourcesizz

Striking Photos of Cultural Fashions You Have to See
Most global fashions aren’t fads. They arise from centuries of tradition and don’t go out of vogue when the seasons change: the bold beadwork of the Maasai in the Serengeti, the endless folds of a bright blue Tuareg head wrap in the Sahara, a Scottish tartan. Here are some of the world’s most notable fashions and the people who wear them—plus tips on borrowing the styles when you get back home.

Missing buoy washes up in Belize (at Portofino!)
A dive site marker buoy torn from its mooring during rough seas has washed up almost 450 miles away in Belize. 8-year old Alexander van Noord found the buoy washed up at the Portofino Beach resort in San Pedro, Belize, where he lives. It was used to mark DiveTech’s house reef at Lighthouse Point but disappeared after rough weather. Luckily someone had marked it with the dive shop phone number. Alexander and his mother reached out to DiveTech to make arrangements to get it back. Source:

More cheap flights to Chetumal expected in 2017
This year, tourism will be consolidated, with the possibility of another low-cost airline connecting the southern part of Quintana Roo with the center of the country. The head of Tourism, Marisol Vanegas, also said that there is great expectation for the opening of the archaeological zone of Ichkabal in Bacalar. Through its website, the airline Viva Aerobús announced the opening of new routes for this year, including the flight from Mexico City to Chetumal, three days a week, at a cost of 804 pesos, starting April 1. The airline specifies that it is still subject to government approval; That is to say that the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT), still has not granted the permission. This airline would join the service offered by Interjet and Volaris, also low-cost airlines, offering the route to Mexico City and vice versa, the first daily and the second three days a week. In addition, Mayan Air connects Chetumal with Cancun and Tropic Air with the country of Belize.


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