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Today's Belize News: February 23, 2017 #521890
02/23/17 06:48 AM
02/23/17 06:48 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,885
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy 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

Belize’s Queen of Brukdown ‘Leela’ Vernon passes away
Belize’s Ambassador for Creole Culture and Brukdown Queen, Lila ‘Leela’ Vernon passed away on Sunday, February 19th at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The cultural icon had been hospitalized at the Intense Care Unit since February 10th, where she was receiving treatment for chronic renal failure. Vernon was 66 years old. Her passing away leaves behind a rich legacy of empowering music celebrating the Creole culture at its highest level. Vernon was a Punta Gorda-born singer who greatly impacted the Creole culture of Belize. She gained local and international recognition for her popular song, ‘Ah Wah know who seh Kriol Nuh Gat no Culcha.’ She was also the vice-president and founder of the National Kriol Council, and even translated the Belize National Anthem into creole. Her music became synonymous with the celebration of Belizean and Creole cultural identity.

Senior Mechanical Engineer Averaldo Badillo recognized for 30 years of service at Tropic Air
Averaldo Badillo is the Senior Mechanical Engineer at Tropic Air Limited, and on Monday, February 20th, he was honored for THIRTY years of service to the airline. ‘Picho’, as he is affectionately known, has been with Tropic Air since 1987. Over three decades of work, has gained the trust and admiration of his employers. “The thing I like the most about Picho is that he looks at a problem from three dimensions,” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “While you and I may look at it two-dimensionally, he looks at the issue but is already crafting a solution.” Steve Schulte, CEO, chimed in. “Picho animates mechanical things. They aren’t just objects – they are alive to him, and he wants to fix it.” Both Greif and Schulte shared tales of Badillo’s legendary problem-solving skills. From figuring out how to revamp air ducts in Cessna Caravans, to building air stairs that are now used throughout Central America, all over Belize and even Mexico – all from a simple blueprint, he has managed to become an invaluable asset to Tropic Air. Apparently, the only time that parts end up in the trash is when Picho can’t fix or use them!

Tiger Sharks suffer their first loss in the 2017 NEBL season
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks experienced their first loss in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) season on Friday, February 17th against Dangriga Dream Ballers. The island boys travelled to the cultural capital of Dangriga in southern Belize, where after four quarters of intense battle against the home team, they fell short by five points, giving way to the Dream Ballers’ victory 57-52. Other games that took place over the weekend included Belize City No Limit against Smart Belize Hurricanes. The two Belize City based teams clashed in an action packed game on Saturday, February 18th at the Belize Elementary Gym. The Smart Belize Hurricanes started by dominating the match, but not for too long. At the end of an intense game, Belize City No Limit walked away with the victory in a final score of 75-70.

Saga assists in the rescue of injured ocelot
Saga Humane Society was recently made aware that an ocelot had been seen wearing an apparent collar and dragging its hind legs north of San Pedro Town. Saga was unsuccessful in capturing the wounded animal, as the wild cat escaped to the nearest mangroves whenever it was approached. However, on Monday, February 20th, it was captured by Norman Gutierrez and Gaspar Alcoser, and Justin Romsa transported it to Saga’s clinic for veterinary care. Saga’s Veterinarian Assistant Ingrid Lima gave the ocelot a thorough exam before it was stabilized. Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand, who is the CEO and founder of the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, was then contacted and arrangements were made with Tropic Air to fly the wild cat to the mainland.

Ambergris Today

Sargassum is BACK, Clean Efforts Pick Up
The nasty, smelly and unsightly sargassum is back! You can smell it in the air while walking through town and its blocking our beaches once again. Will the problematic sargassum wash ashore in abundance like it did last year? No one knows for sure, but we know that there is a lot of clean up ahead. Islanders are once again pulling out the rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows and heading to the beach to clean up. It's an arduous task, but if left untouched it becomes an even bigger problem. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as 2016!!!

Two Men Fined $10,000 for Illegal Entry into the Mayflower Bocawina National Park Protected Area
Carlos Palacios (35 years) and Donald Wewe (47 years) both pleaded guilty to illegal entry into a protected area in the Dangriga Magistrate court on February 20th, 2017. The men were charged under the National Protected Areas System Act of 2015 and were fined $10,000 each. Failure to make payment will result in a 1-year imprisonment. Authorities found the two men during a routine patrol within the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Stann Creek District in April 2016. They were found in possession of twenty-seven (27) pieces of prickly-yellow lumber and a chain saw. The Mayflower Bocawina National Park spreads over 7,800 acres of broadleaf forest and contains Mayan archaeological sites, three primary waterfalls and is home to a variety of wildlife species; however, it is fast becoming a hotspot for illegal logging operations and looting. Recognizing that the complexity of illegal logging and illegal timber-trafficking requires greater collaboration of all stakeholders, the Forest Department officers and rangers of the Mayflower Bocawina Environment and Development Group have stepped up patrols and monitoring to stem the illegal forestry activities in this area. Over the next months, the Forest Department will increase the number of rangers and patrols, improve collaboration with co-managers and join law enforcement officers in setting-up road blocks and inspection points at strategic areas.

Misc Belizean Sources


January 2017 Trade & Consumer Price Index
The latest figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize show that, on average, the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean Households were 0.9 percent higher in January 2017 than they were in January of 2016. The All-Items consumer price index stood at 104.1, an increase from 103.2 in January 2016. During the month of January 2017, Belize’s total imports were valued at $141.1 million, rising by 7.7 percent or $10.1 million when compared to almost $131 million imported in January 2016. The start of the year saw increased imports across most categories, with goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ recording the largest growth at $5.6 million. While this upswing was mainly the result of heightened purchases of cigarettes, greater importation of books, plastic crates and prefabricated buildings led to a $3 million rise in the ‘Other Manufactures’ category. Notably, the year began with an upsurge in world market prices for fuel, and despite seeing only a moderate increase in the quantity of regular fuel imported, Belize spent considerably more in January 2017 than it did in January 2016 on this product.

Mexico’s Ambassador to Belize H. E. Carlos Quesnel met yesterday in Belmopan with Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro. The Minister and the Ambassador discussed opportunities for cross-border operations for motor carrier services between Belize and Mexico. A memorandum of understanding is being prepared and should be signed shortly to establish the framework under which such services will be provided. Ambassador Quesnel described the meeting as “very productive”. Hon. Castro thanked him for the visit and says he is pleased with the deepening of the longstanding friendly relations between our two countries.

Western Ballaz Host Bandits
The Western Ballaz are hosting the Belmopan Bandits on Friday, February 24th. This is one of the big games this season. Go, Ballaz! "You can't miss out on the game that we've all been waiting for. Your Cayo Western Ballaz will be going up against Belmopan Bandits this Friday at 9 p.m. Keep your ticket stubs for the half- time give away of a cellphone and other great prizes. See you this Friday at SHC's Auditorium. Let's go Ballaz!!!"

Phoenix & LA Sales Presentations 2017
The Belize Tourism Board Team conducting country presentations in Phoenix and Los Angeles!

US Embassy's Woman of the Year award
Do you know a Belizean woman who deserves recognition? Nominate her for the Embassy's Woman of the Year award! 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.

Shark fishing is taking place again at Lighthouse Reef Atoll
We have been informed that shark fishing is taking place again at Lighthouse Reef Atoll and have been sent images of some of the landings. The shark fishers are refusing to vacate private land. We were informed that they hold shark fishing licenses and further hold the special Managed Access fishing licenses meant for long-time users and traditional fishers of Zone 7 / Lighthouse Reef Atoll. One year ago exactly, fishers using nets and longlines killed an estimated 1,000+ sharks (per accounts of several occupants of Sandbore Caye in Lighthouse Reef). See our FB post from 21 February 2016 for details. We were informed that the shark meat and fins were exported to Guatemala. The impact of this fishing was substantial: dive operators and our annual scientific monitoring both registered a significant drop in records of sharks following the shark fisheries discovered in February 2016. Belize was outraged that its long-lived marine wildlife that generates a conservative estimate of BZ$6.8 million in renewable income from protected area entrance fees and snorkel/dive tour costs from ONLY Lighthouse Reef Atoll should be fished unsustainably if at all. Belize is in a rare position worldwide of being able to benefit from sharks and rays for tourism and does not depend on these species for food.

Happy Birthday to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his twin sister Dalinda Guerrero!
Before the night ends, the Staff and the San Pedro Town Council would like to wish a Happy Birthday to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his twin sister Dalinda Guerrero! May God bless you always and fills you with great blessings.

Grand Raffle to benefit Lizette Alamina Gutierrez
Get your Numbers now to win this amazing Prize. $500 in retail purchases from Brand Shopping Wholesale...the home of your favorite Catalog Brands including Avon, Betterware and Tupperware..PLUS so much more! Prize is a Donation. All proceeds and earnings will go to Lizette Alamina Gutierrez to continue her ongoing Cancer Treatments in Guatemala City. Your kind purchase will be most appreciated!! Numbers go on Sale as of NOW!!

WWF Belize Saving our Shared Heritage!
This Thursday we get to spend the day with national treasure Rebecca Rath - Miss Belize 2016. How cool is that?! Join us LIVE at 11:40am from Laughingbird Caye, one of the beautiful protected areas that make up our Belize World Heritage site, and coincidentally, very near to where Bex grew up. Discover why these areas are so important and why we need your help to protect it. Tune in and join us in taking action at

Flock of Guinea Fowl at Belize Bird Rescue
There's a flock of Guinea Fowl living on the property. They can fly, but seem to prefer walking. They stay pretty close together, probably for security.

Carnaval photos
by San Pedro House of Culture

"El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro" book
As part of this year's Carnaval Celebrations, the San Pedro House of Culture will launch "El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro" book. The book is dedicated to the memory of el Rey del Carnaval, Jose Felix Ayuso.

Sacred Heart College Career Day
Today the Institute of Archaeology was present at the Sacred Heart College Career Day, and we are confident we spotted some junior archaeologists in the group.

Channel 7

David Nanes, And the Art Of Working Over The Immigration System
David Nanes Schnitzer is in a Mexican City jail, awaiting trail on charges that he defrauded investors in a Ponzi scheme. He was caught in Mexico after coming over form Cuba, in a bearded disguise. But, in Belize, a place that Nanes-Schnitzer is believed to have made his home for as many as three years, he needed no disguise. And that is because he - or his agents - worked the corrupt immigration system like a bag of tricks, coming up with one surprise after another. Nanes-Schnitzer applied for nationality in late 2012 - what you might call the "bad old days" when the Immigrant Office in Belmopan was over-run by irregularities - the kinds that we hear about every week in the Senate Hearings. But this case never made it into the auditor general's report. But, there was a report, done by then Director Maria Marin. The media has now obtained this internal document which provides a compelling insight into how easily the system was hijacked to produce a passport for a fugitive:

Inquiry Says They Cannot Go After Nanes Case
Those two public officers, plus former Director Ruth Meighan, and a UDP Minister are all Nanes called in the internal report. The Senate Select Committee can or have called these persons to testify. In fact, Gordon Wade was called back this evening, and we'll have more from him in tonight's newscast. But, the Committee Chairman says that he doesn't believe that the Committee can question them about the David Nanes Case. That's because the Nanes scandal was never covered in the audit period of 2011 to 2013, and so, the Chairman believes that they aren't allowed to bring up that topic in these hearings. Here's how he explained why: Daniel Ortiz: "Can you share your personal view on whether the committee is able to review cases that maybe outside the scope of the audit report but it demonstrates the same irregularities that the senate is trying to examine?"

A Casual Case Of Bribery At The Immigration Department
So, we turn now to the immigration hearings held by the Senate today in Belmopan. Teresita Castellanos, the former Finance Officer for the Department, was one of 2 witnesses called back to testify today. Her time on the stand was spent mostly on administrative matters, but close to the end of it, the Senators asked her about a very curious case highlighted in the passport Audit. It involves a 500-dollar bribe which the former officer in charge of the passport office was allegedly given to process the Belizean passport for a Asian woman. Now, instead of making a formal complaint and handing the money over to the police to investigate this bribery attempt. The Auditor General questions the decisions they took to instead collect the money and deposit it into the Government purse as regularly collected revenues. So, since Castellanos was part of the courier for payment, the Senators asked her about, it. That topic caused an interesting back and forth between Castellanos and the Committee, which would have been comical, if they weren't talking so casually about a crime. Here's how that went:

More Cutting Corners In The Elections Rush
Another of the witnesses who came back today for a second round with the Senate Committee was Gordon Wade, formerly the Officer In Charge of Nationality at the Immigration Department. PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay used that opportunity to get more information from him on that immigration rush heading up to the 2012 General Elections. Wade and former Director Ruth Meighan have told the Senate the same thing, that the rush compromised the Nationality procedures when over 2,000 applications were processed before that Election. The Opposition is accusing the UDP of using that feverish activity to steal two marginal electoral seats: Cayo North East, and Cayo Central. When we asked the Prime Minister about it, he said that was nonsense, and so, Courtenay asked Wade more questions to explore what exactly happened during the last 4 months before the 2012 General Elections. Here's how that conversation went:

PUDP Both Play the Immigration Game
Our archives show that in January 2008, before the March General Elections, the Musa Administration swore in over a 1,000 new citizens, in a closed door session, just in time to meet the deadline to register to vote. So while both sides of the political colour bar are guilty of the same thing, there is only one constant: and that is the misuse of the Immigration Department. Today, Gordon Wade confirmed as much to the Senate Select Committee today: Gordon Wade - Former OIC, Nationality Section: "Whatever year an audit would have been done in our department from a department when civilian - if any 2 years or 1 year would be chosen to run an audit we would be doing the same thing we are doing now with different people answering questions because that has been the norm ever since from I have been in the department that's the way it has been."

Eric and Patrick Will Be Required To Appear
But, one UDP who the Senate wants to question is former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang. He and Patrick Tillett, the former Financial Controller for the Belize City Council, are named in the scandal for involvement with 8 stolen visas. Chang is also named in the Won Hong Kim Passport scandal, and both men are refusing to show up to answer questions from the Senate. Well, it appears that both men will be compelled through the Legislative Assembly Powers and Privilege Act 1962. As we told you, this law allows the Committee to compel anyone, even private citizens to show up and give testimony. Today, Senate Committee Chairman Salazar told us how they will use it in this instance against both men: Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "Yes we have as far as I understand issued the summons. I'm not sure if it's on today's date or yesterday but we have issued it."

Audit Antipathy
And we have one more piece of Teresita Castellanos's testimony to the senate today. It's her condemnation of the way the Auditor General's team handled the audit, and she says, they made mistakes that they could have avoided. Here's how she explained it: Teresita Castellanos - Former FO, Immigration Department: "I need for them on the record to do a proper auditing. I think they should have sent in their best team, top team to do this investigation at the audit department because they are causing a lot of unnecessary confusion and wrong information and then I don't want to say I was not remembering because I remember things - certain things I remember in detail as if it was yesterday. But the thing is they should have sent in their top team to do this investigation."

Mother: Police Pepper Sprayed My Son
Tonight, Southside police are investigating a complaint of child abuse. This is after a cop pepper sprayed an 11 year old boy. Yesterday, we received a report that police were breaking up a fight within a group of boys. Anacelia Castillo of West Street told me that they pepper sprayed her son - even though he was not in the fight: Anacelia Castillo - Mother: "Like a little bit after yesterday evening, my baby came home on his bicycle, but when my baby reached home, like I notice my kids because in notice kids, I always notice my kids when they come home so when the little boy reached home, he said "mommy" …he didn't say Mommy, he said like Hmmm they chanced me, and I asked him who chanced him and he said it's the police and I said "What!" "The least he could have done was spank my son and send home my son, he didn't need to spray pepper spray in my baby's eye, I need for Chester Williams to do something about him." Courtney Weatherburne: "But what you understand happened? Why would police pepper spray your 11 year old son?"

PUP and VIP come Together To Call For Re-Registration
A strange thing happened today: the PUP and the VIP issued a joint press release. Strange because the VIP is an independent party and it doesn't usually team up with the main mass parties. But they have a common cause, and that's re-registration. The joint release says, quote, "leaders of the political parties inclusive of the PUP and the VIP met last week to call on the Government to comply with the rule of law and immediately begin the legally overdue re-registration of electors." Now, the PUP is as much a part of the overdue re-registraiton because they failed to do it when it first due in 2007. But now, it's a different issue. The release says, quote, "in light of the revelation that a number of persons were given fraudulent nationality certificates, which allowed these individuals to register and vote in elections in Belize…a proper re-registration exercise (is) the only way to ensure that future elections are free and fair. The leaders agreed that the current voter register is compromised and as a result illegal." End quote.

Are Your Prescriptions Hard To Fill? Here's Why
Recently, we've been hearing complaints that certain prescription drugs are scarce, and many have had to look over the border to find what they need. Well that is because the Ministry of Health is now enforcing strict standards for importation of pharmaceuticals across the board. While this new system may cause major inconvenience to those who depend on the regular supply of pharmaceutical products, the Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero told us via telephone today that these standards are for the publics own good. Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services, MOH: "There's not no real restriction in terms of medication once the medication meets the established requirements. As you will recall from last year in the middle of last year we faced a moratorium in terms of medications that can come into country or not which means all new medications coming into country would have to have a good manufacturing practice certificate or a certificate of analysis. This is across the board and if the new sender process that the government has sought to enforce that which means we want to be able to ensure to the public that whatever is coming into country is of good quality and it meets international standards."

SIB Says Exports went Up In January
The latest figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize show that exports in January of 2017 increased quite significantly, up 51.2 percent from January 2016. And most of it is thanks to sugar where earnings were up 10 million dollars compared to last year. The SIB reports that Belize's other major exports, banana, crude petroleum and marine products, also performed well in January. Banana sales shot up by $3 million dollars. but the news for citrus isn't quite so good. Citrus was the only major export to experience decreased earnings in January 2017, falling from $3.5 million to $1.6 million. The SIB says it is due to a drop in orange concentrate exports, but Citrus Products Chairman Doug Singh says it's a little more involved than that. He says, quote, "demand last year was high so we did not come into January with sufficient inventory for sale….Secondly, the damage caused by Hurricane Earl in August eliminated our first crop which would generally be processed in the last quarter of 2016 and sold in 2016-17."

GOB: Life Without Oil Revenue
And one part of the increased revenue from exports is an increase in sales of crude oil from $4.8 million to $7.8 million. That's a sharp increase, but it's because of world prices which are going up - it doesn't mean more oil is coming out of the ground. The SIB notes that the export volumes in January 2017 remained virtually unchanged from January 2016. So while there is an increase in revenue, the oil resource continues to diminish as the Mike Usher oil wells in Spanish Lookout are drying out. According to Dr. Justin Ram of the CDB, that is a big part of Belize's economic downturn, and the cocktail of crippling debt with revenue downturns: Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "We know that the government now is experiencing fiscal difficulties and a big part of that as they have rightly seen, is that their debt burden, about 34% of their debt burden is related to the super bond, and, of course, there is some requirement to look at how you're going to repay that."

City Paving Starts In Earnest
And a different kind of oil, known as bitumen, or tar, was going down today in the Belama Phase four area. It's the ongoing testing of new equipment acquired for the city council as part of the municipal drainage project. 10 days ago, we showed you the city council putting down the first layer of asphalt on Link road. Today, as they put down the final layer, two city councillors were beaming about the promise contained in their first success:… Phillip Willoughby - City Councillor: "We are doing the second coat to seal what we coated last week, so this is the first street since about I believe late 80s early 90s I believe the city council has paved its first street and it's a momentous occasion, it's historic. With that in mind we say again this is what the Belize City residence has to look forward to as we embark on tackling one street at a time." Jules Vasquez: "What I don't understand, you all are going two directions at one because the mayor he believes only in concrete streets but now you all are doing what I guess would be called chip and seal. So I'm not understanding what really is the direction of the council?" Phillip Willoughby: "Well it's two fold. Those heavily traversed streets will be concreted to give us longer usage and longer life."

Valentin's Drinking Session Leads To Morgue For Husband, Court For Wife
On Valentine's Day, Eric Moses and his common-law-wife, Genevia Estrada were drinking at their Victoria Street home, where Estrada allegedly pushed him down the stairway. Estrada was detained, and Moses was taken to the KHMH to receive treatment for his traumatic head injuries. Estrada appeared in the Magistrate's Court last week, where she was read a charge for the offense of dangerous harm. She was granted bail of $2000 despite objection from the prosecutor, and the case was adjourned for May. However, it seems that those charges will need to be upgraded, because last night, Moses succumbed to his injuries at the KHMH. Estrada has been detained and is expected to be brought back to court tomorrow, to be read a new charge of manslaughter.

Water Sports Enterprise Ready For Liftoff
Some time ago the Belize city council erected two wooden structures on Sandlighters' Promenade. They were for an eco project that never materialized and the two structures fell into disrepair and were abandoned. But now the project has been fully re-activated, it’s conceptualized a water theme park with wake boarding, and a high rope obstacle course among other fun water sports. We spoke to the developer about the project and what it means for city residents:… The department of the Environment has green-lighted the project. The developer says that there will not be any major re-structuring to the area. The budget is 2.2 million dollars and if you would like to learn more you can attend a meeting tomorrow night at 6:00 pm at the Sandlighters Promenade.

Finding The Grace Notes
Grace Kennedy is one of Belize's largest import and export businesses. 2017 marks the company's 35th year operating in Belize, so today Grace's executives held a press conference to review it's strides so far, and to discuss what's next. Grace Kennedy Belize's Executive Chairman, Gilroy Graham told us more... This year also marks the Jamaican company's 95th year in business.

Re: Today's Belize News: February 23, 2017 [Re: Marty] #521891
02/23/17 06:48 AM
02/23/17 06:48 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,885
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Channel 5

Lord Michael Ashcroft Makes Dire Predictions About Superbond
A News Five team is in Washington where an exclusive interview was conducted earlier today with Lord Michael Ashcroft.  A number of issues of national importance were discussed during the [...]

Lord Ashcroft Says Sale of Utility Shares May Help
Lord Ashcroft also commented on the possible privatization of the utility companies.  In his view, while it will be difficult to get investors to purchase minority shares; the sale of [...]

Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett Summoned to Senate Inquiry; Will They Appear?
It appears the Senate Special Select Committee is convinced that Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett can contribute to their investigation into the circumstances of eight missing visa foils that they [...]

Why Senate Cannot Investigate David Nanes Schnitzer
David Nanes Schnitzer – his name is back in the news in a big way after his recent re-capture by international authorities and return to Mexico to face fraud charges. He [...]

Police and Other Investigations Must Wait for Senate Report, says Chair
There are provisions in both the Senate and House of Representatives Standing Orders which effectively prohibit premature publication of evidence by those involved in Select Committees. As we have seen, [...]

Teresita Castellanos Says Few Records Were Kept for Passports
Former finance officer in the Department, Teresita Castellanos last week dared to say what no else would, at least publicly. At her second appearance before the Senate Special Select Committee [...]

Ministers Prevailed on Immigration Director to Tend to Constituents
Returning for his second time in the witness chair this afternoon was former officer in charge of the Nationality Section, Gordon Wade. In his previous appearance, he named several Ministers [...]

How Daniel Morris Fooled Immigration
American fugitive Daniel Rae Morris apparently wound up with a Belizean’s expired passport, although he didn’t get very far with it, as he was detained at the northern border and [...]

Time to Mend Broken Links at Immigration Department
As final vettor, Gordon Wade’s word was almost law when it came to recommendations for nationality. He gave the final word before the Director gave her stamp of approval. But, [...]

Gwen Lizarraga High Cracks Down on Tardy Students
There was uproar this morning outside of Gwen Lizarraga High School where tardy students were locked out and not allowed to enter the compound, essentially missing out on their first [...]

No Love: Manslaughter Charges for Woman After Partner Died Following Valentine’s Spat
A woman is in police custody tonight pending charges, following the death of her common-law-husband forty-six-year-old Eric Kent Moses.  It is expected that Genevia Christine Estrada will be charged with [...]

Coming to Agreement on the Law of the Sea
A three-day workshop concluded in the city today – two days were spent gathering information from regional and international specialists, including scientists and legal experts, on issues that are relevant [...]

Olympic Committee Goes to Elections; President Says Belize Wants to Win
Over the weekend, a new board was elected for the Belize Olympic Committee. The national committee holds elections every four years after the Olympic Games. It’s a requirement to be [...]

Olympic President Defends Accusations
The new board of the committee include: Hilberto Martinez who was reelected as President and Owen Meighan as Vice President. Meanwhile, Arturo Vasquez was voted in as Treasurer with Allan [...]

Preparing for the Street Art Festival 2017
The Institute of Creative Arts is asking the public to come and party with them for the seventh edition of the Street Art Festival. The event, which will be held [...]

N.I.C.H. Plans Celebration for Late Leela Vernon
Brukdown Queen Leela Vernon passed away on Sunday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The well-known Punta Gorda resident has received accolades locally and internationally and [...]

35 Years of Grace
It’s arguably the most visible brand in supermarkets across the country—popular for everything from pepper sauce to luncheon meat and everything in between, including condiments.  Today, Grace Kennedy (Belize) Limited [...]


Immigration CEO Confirms Malfunction of Passport Printer
It has been almost a week now since it was discovered that the passport printer at the Immigration Department was malfunctioning. It is a situation that does not have any immediate remedies and so the powers that be had to come up with an alternative system in honor to honor the applications coming in. Love […]

Second Victim Identified in February 20 Murder
Police are still working at putting the puzzle pieces together to solve the two murders that occurred in San Ignacio Town on Sunday night and early Monday morning. In the first incident, the victim was identified as 23-year-old, Alvaro Aldana. The second victim, however, who was killed on First Street was only just identified this […]

An Internal Ring of Corrupt Public Officers
Last week Wednesday, the former Finance Officer for the Immigration Officer, Teresita Castellanos dropped a bombshell during her testimony to the Senate Special Select Committee. Castellanos spoke of an entrenched culture within the department; a culture that was difficult to eradicate- a culture that still exists. Castellanos stated that the former Acting Director of Immigration […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize passport printer not in service
Operations at the Belize Passport Office are strained, because the passport printer stopped working. Minister of State responsible for Immigration, Beverly Williams, explained that the machine had been working ‘intermittently’ burning out its replacement parts only hours after it had been fixed. Williams said that the Ministry is in the process of procuring a new machine; however, the process takes time. In the meantime, she said that the office has already initiated its back plan, which involves issuing temporary passports for persons who have never had a passport before.

PUP and VIP demand re registration
A press release was issued today informing that the leaders of the political parties inclusive of the PUP and the VIP met last week to call on the Government to comply with the rule of law and immediately begin the legally overdue re-registration of electors. The leaders agreed that in light of the revelation that a number of persons were given fraudulent nationality certificates, which allowed these individuals to register and vote in elections in Belize, that a proper re-registration exercise was the only way to ensure that future elections are free and fair.

Shark fishing at Lighthouse reef atoll (again)
The MarAlliance today posted on its social media page that it has been informed that shark fishing is taking place again near the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. According to MarAlliance, the shark fishers are refusing to vacate private land. It is alleged that the fishers hold shark fishing licenses and further hold the Special Managed Access fishing licenses meant for long-time users and traditional fishers of Zone 7/Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

Mexican Ambassador and Transport Minister meet
Mexico’s Ambassador to Belize H. E. Carlos Quesnel met yesterday in Belmopan with Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Edmond Castro. Castro and the Ambassador discussed opportunities for cross-border operations for motor carrier services between Belize and Mexico.

Senate hearing continues
The Senate hearing is underway once again today and Teresita Castellanos, senior public officer of three decades has returned for her third appearance. Last week she told the Senate Select Committee that the Immigration Department was, “The Belly of the Beast” and it was corrupted from, “The very top to the very bottom”.

Belize misses Superbond payment
Belize did not make a scheduled US $13.3 million payment toward the 2038 “Superbond” on Monday, in the midst of stalled negotiations to restructure the bond for an “unprecedented” third time. Prime Minister dean Barrow, along with his team of financial advisor and negotiators, returned on Sunday following meetings with bondholders in New York. Barrow informed the nation that Belize would not be making the February 20 coupon payment due on the 2038 bonds.

La Ruta Maya Belize river challenge kicks off on March 3
The annual La Ruta Maya Belize river challenge kicks off on Friday March 3 at 6:00 a.m. Hundreds of canoeists will be paddling the Belize and Macal rivers from San Ignacio to Belize city, commemorating ancient Maya civilization’s legacy. This year will be the 18th edition of the canoe race. Every year many tourists and Belizeans come out to cheer for their favorite teams. It is also a family weekend event as many families travel along with the race and camp out. The multi-day canoe challenge is a major public and tourist attraction. The first canoes to enter Belize City are greeted by cheering crowds on the last day of the race which coincides with National Heroes and Benefactors Day; a public and bank holiday.

Cayo murders related?
Twenty two year old Chester Theus was the second person to be murdered in San Ignacio Town over the weekend. He is a Belize City man originally from the Long Barracks on Caesar Ridge Road. According to reports, Theus was allegedly hired to kill Alvaro Aldana who was shot and stabbed to death after 11 on Sunday night in San Ignacio Town.


Help preserve the species: go on a croc tour!
Ever had a live encounter with a crocodile? It’s really not that scary, especially when it’s for conservation. In Belize there are two types of crocodile – the salt water American Crocodile and the fresh water Morelet Crocodile. For years the non-profit American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) has been working to protect and preserve these apex predators in Belize. A unique method they have taken to preserve these species is through education via the tourism industry. ACES has trained several tour guides to provide eye shining tours in an effort to educate people on the importance of crocodiles to the ecosystem. The tours were initially offered only in San Pedro Town – ACES’ base for operations – but now they are also available in mainland Belize. While on the tour you join a team of trained crocodile experts as they capture crocs for analysis and tagging. In San Pedro, research is conducted on American Crocodiles, while in the mainland it’s Morelets.

Being Genuine
I recently spent time in the company of a very genuine man and it was refreshing. As my friend Sandie and I listened to Pastor Robert talking I could not help but feel like he answered wishes. We all agree that San Mateo kids really need a hand up to understand and attain all the most basic things that will take them far in life. We talked about, nutrition, a clean warm soft place to fall when they are tired, good manners and grace, life skills, creative skills, work skills and decent clothing. When opportunity knocks it is important to know how to act for success and look sharp. Pastor Robert and his wife Lavern are doing all they can to help the kids grow up to be their best, but it is challenging. Thankfully they are both strong and forward thinking to help them through this tsunami of a task. Often I learn something unexpected when going to San Mateo. This time we went with the desire to talk about a feeding program and help kids look good. I took away a desire to contemplate what being genuine means based on the Palacio family and specifically our interaction with Robert Palacio that day.

Belize’s Most Famous Jaguar Turns 10 Years Old at the Belize Zoo
Junior Buddy is the most famous jaguar in Belize for many reasons. He is an ambassador for Belize’s big cats – showing us how majestic, special and beautiful jaguars are and how important it is to keep them in our country. He is the only jaguar that was born and raised in the zoo. He’s incredibly gorgeous. So yesterday, the zoo held a party for him – to celebrate Junior Buddy turning 10 years old. I have attended more than one party for my favorite jaguar and I can tell you that physically, he has not aged a day. BUT he was a bit cranky yesterday! Usually he is lazing in the sun… But yesterday, in people years, he turned 40! (Jaguars live up to 20 years in the zoo…humans live about 80…I did my own math) So one can blame him for being scared. Little does he know that the 40s are his best years yet!

Tropic Air relocates in Corozal; Staff of Corozal Tropic Air had a reopening ceremony
Tropic Air relocated in the old Maya Island building in Corozal airport. The building was refurbished with new designed building to comfort their customers. Today, the staff of Tropic Air did a reopening ceremony. They had plenty of food, snacks, soft drinks at the event. This new building will give the customers a better and faster service in Corozal Airport. Tropic Air is one of the largest flight company in Belize doing a number of travel's around Belize and international.. Tropic Air's building is larger indoor office with a design to accommodate their customers while they are checking inside their office. Air-conditioning inside and when its time to board the plane the speakers will come on. Tropic Air is slowly upgrading their services, offices and staff to Challenge their Airflow go well. Today, the ceremony was to thank the public for the attendance of the event. With their new building and service relocation in Corozal they now promise to serve the public with an excellent service. They hope that the public supports the flight services.

International Sourcesizz

Bahamas Gets 3-0 Win Over Belize
LESLY St Fleur missed a hat trick but he connected on a pair of goals and Gary Joseph added the other as the Bahamas team electrified the crowd for the second consecutive night at the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship with a 3-0 victory over Belize. #The crowd in the new beach soccer stadium at the foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge grew larger than the opening night on Monday when the Bahamas knocked off Guyana 4-1 and once again they were entertained by a superb performance by the host team as they advanced to the quarter-finals. #With seven minutes and 34 seconds on the clock in the second period, Lesly St Fleur retrieved the ball after kicking in a side kick and booted in the first goal for the Bahamas for a 1-0 lead. The goal came after the Bahamas got off to a slow start after being more aggressive in the first third.Two minutes later, Kyle Williams got a crisscross pass to St Fleur, but he missed his second attempt at the goal. #It wasn’t until 7:01 left in the third third that Joseph faced the goal and connected with a shot up the middle for the Bahamas’ second goal.

Caribbean Investment Reviewing Strategy In Belize Government Case
Caribbean Investment Holdings Ltd on Wednesday said it is reviewing its strategy in regards to a long fought legal battle with the Belize government after recent legislative action taken in the country that it believes is "designed to intimidate" the company. The case relates back a settlement deed entered into by the company and the government of Belize in 2005, which was subsequently amended in 2006. This deed settled a dispute over the purchase and sale of shares in a Belizean company. Caribbean Investment said that in consideration for the termination of a pending arbitration, the government of Belize had promised, among other things, that the company would receive "certain tax treatment" in Belize and be indemnified for any breach of the Belize government's warranties. In July 2014 the company commenced proceedings in Washington DC to enforce a London Court of International Arbitration award for damages to Caribbean Investment for the breach of the settlement deed by the government of Belize.

CARICOM heads focus on regional strategy for tourism
Following a presentation, prepared in collaboration with the CHTA, and delivered by CTO secretary General Hugh Riley to the Caribbean leaders at their 28th intercessional in Guyana last week, the Heads of Government supported the advancement of a series of steps addressing transportation and the facilitation of travel, human resource development, building the creative industries, and the marketing of the Caribbean brand. They called for an urgent meeting of the Council for Trade and Development (COTED) to address air transport issues in particular, including those related to the tourism sector; and supported the establishment of an interim tourism working group to coordinate with regional public and private sector stakeholder groups, the development of specific solutions which can be advanced in priority areas.


  • National Aids Commission, 15min.

  • Wildlife Conservation Society - 2016 Spawinging Aggregation Review, 21min.

  • The Attorney General's Ministry, 37min.

  • Mayor Daniel Guerrero speaks of what San Pedro was like in the past, 5min. Last week Mayor Daniel Guerrero led a delegation to CARILED final sharing event in Belize. He had the opportunity to share a video that highlights some of the challenges, its effects on local economic development (LED) on the island and some of the steps that are being implemented. One of the projects highlighted was the San Pedro Artisan Market area. During the event, the Mayor was applauded and highly commended by regional representatives and other Mayors for the work that has been done by the council in LED initiatives. Here is the video that was put together by Visual Studio in San Pedro.

  • Madi was LIVE!!, 15min. We're here LIVE with @MadisonPearl the 11 year old blogger who snorkeled the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site

  • CARICOM Skills Certificate Offers Greater Opportunities for Belizeans, 4min. There is a wider pool of employment opportunities available to Belizeans; and the Ministry of Foreign Trade is urging Belizeans to take advantage by applying for their CARICOM skills Certificate.

  • Drone Anthropology in Belize, 1.5min. Researchers from the University of Maryland Department of Anthropology and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site use drones to study traditional farming practices in Belize.

  • GraceKennedy Belize Ltd 35 Years Serving Belize, 2min.

  • Sean McDermott live at Palapa Bar and Grill! Oh sweet melodies! Scholarship benefit for students in need!, 1min.

  • Belize Vs. Guyana, 75min. Belize National Football Team | Guyana Football Federation Inc. | #CONCACAF

  • Solo Backpacking Belize | Central America, 2min.

  • Miss Belize Rebecca Rath at Cayo welcome center, 23min.

  • Corry McDermott shares about Janet and his Journey to Belize Part 1, 9min. Belize Talk Radio goes to the Belize City airport to meet Corry McDermott, a long time Expat of Belize, San Pedro ( Ambergris Caye)

  • Corry McDermott shares about his Wife moving to Belize, 10min. Belize Talk Radio Joins Corry McDermott as he shares how he met his Wife, Janet. He goes on to share what a sport she is as to moving to Belize many years ago when Belize was much less developed.

  • Corry Mcdermott speaks in Belize about his Brother and Building San Pedro, 11min. Listen into Belize Talk Radio and meet Corry McDermott how as an Expat with his Brother, Jerry McDermott helped build up San Pedro ( Ambergris Caye) Belize. Corry shares about what your duty is as an Expat moving to a Country, like Belize. Also good insight into the locals of San Pedro Belize.

  • Belize Corry McDermott San Pedro Belize Long time Expat Part 1, 9min. Belize Talk Radio is honored to have the privilege to sit with long time San Pedro ( Ambergris Caye) resident Corry McDermott.

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