Today's Belize News: March 15, 2017
03/15/17 06:40 AM
03/15/17 06:40 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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
Jordanie Olivera collapses at Airport
The San Pedro Sun extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of 23-year-old Jordanie Olivera, who suddenly passed away today, March 14th. According to an official police report, Olivera was complaining of shortness of breath, and after seeking medical attention, collapsed while waiting for a flight to Belize City for further care.
A source from Tropic Air briefly told The San Pedro Sun that Oliveria sought treatment at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II and was released from the clinic around 2:55PM, after which she booked a flight to receive emergency care at Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. However, she was experiencing breathing complications, and moments before boarding her flight, she passed away.
SPHS student Angel Navidad recovering after attack
A San Pedro High School (SPHS) student and member of the school’s champion male softball team, Angel Jose Navidad is recovering in a hospital in Belize City after being attacked on Saturday March 11th. Navidad was on his way home when he reportedly received a severe blow to his head by his attacker. He was then taken to Belize City where he has been under observation. Initially it was reported that Navidad’s state was critical and a surgery was to take place. However, after being examined by doctors in Belize City, surgery was ruled out. Navidad was closely monitored and according to the latest update, his recovery has been swift. According to a social media post from his family, within 24 hours of the attack, he was already conscious and talking. “I am happy to report that Angel Jose Navidad is doing much better. We had long conversations and everything looks great.”
SPHS Male Softball team defends championship at Northern Softball Regional championship
San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted the 2017 National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) Northern Softball Regionals on Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th. In a total of eight matches played at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex, high school teams fought for a chance to represent the North at the anticipated NSSSA National Softball Championship. At the end of the tournament, the SPHS male and the Belize Rural High School (BRHS) female softball teams emerged as champs of the North. Outstanding players were given individual awards. Keena Pott (BRHS) and Angel Jose Navidad (SPHS male) won for Batting Champion; Indyra De La Fuente (OWTHS female) and Antholyn Vellos (CCC) won Best Outfield; Selena Banner (BRHS) and Javon Carrillo (BHSA) won Best Infield; Keena Pott (BRHS) and Lester Gamez (SPHS) won Most Wins; Britney Bijil (SPHS female) and Isaul Coba (SPHS male) won Most Run Batted In; Ada Cordova (SPHS female) and Alrick Quan (CCC) won Most Stolen Base); and Arumy Campos (ESTM) and Lester Gamez (SPHS male) won Most Strikeout.
Isla Bonita Elementary holds annual Science Fair
Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) had a full house on Friday, March 10th, as students hosted their 2nd annual Science Fair. Under the theme, “Knowledge is Power”, students from standards three to six were divided into groups and tasked with creating an experiment or science based project. Using creativity and unique talents, students successfully showcased their grasp of the scientific curriculum.
From 9AM to 2PM, the upper-class students presented their group projects on static electricity, electromagnetic spectrum of light, gravity, the nervous system, the skeletal system and the pinhole camera. The lower division students presented an experiment with Diet Coke and Alka-Seltzer, and how to make slime. All the groups were well-versed in their material, their hard work clearly visible to their teachers. Students were graded on their presentations, and many groups passed with flying colors.
Principal Addy Martinez was excited for her students’ performance.
Woman Collapses to Her Death While Waiting for Flight to Belize City
The Police Department has confirmed the death of Jordani Olivera, 23-years-old, today Tuesday, March 14, 2017. According their report, Jordani was complaining of shortness of breath and collapsed whilst waiting for her flight to Belize City. She was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic and was pronounced dead by a medical officer.
According to reports, Jordani had been battling health complications from a procedure she underwent at the Poly Clinic weeks earlier. She got really ill and after revisiting the clinic earlier today, she was advised to travel to the city for better medical care.
While she waited for the 4p.m. flight at Tropic Air, Jordani suddenly fell really ill and was reportedly in pain. It was during the time that the departure crew at Tropic Air rushed to prepare the flight a little earlier to assist Jordani on her way to the city that she collapsed. First Aid attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.
Southwest Airlines Launches Direct Flights Between Belize and Denver, Colorado
On Saturday, March 11th, 2017 Southwest Airlines and Belize launched its inaugural flight from Denver, Colorado direct to Belize connection. With two ceremonies held on that day to commemorate this event, the first was held in Denver, Colorado to mark the first flight departing to Belize. Those in attendance representing Belize included Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Mr. Anthony Hunt, member of the Aviation Development Committee.
Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation stated: “It is always a pleasure to welcome a new route to Belize and today’s inaugural flight from Denver, Colorado is no exception. Southwest Airlines continues to show its commitment to Belize by creating additional routes to Belize making us more accessible to US travelers. We are grateful to Southwest who believes in our destination and we hope that they will continue be a great partner for years to come.”
BWS Expands San Pedro Sewage While Residents Complain About Water Supply
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, met with members of Belize Water Services (BWS) on Thursday, March 9, 2017 to discuss BWS intentions of further expanding its sewage system along the Laguna Drive from San Pedro High School to Sir Barry Bowen Bridge in San Pedro Town.
An estimate of about $1.5 million dollars will be used for this project which will be funded by the Government of Belize and Belize Water Services. This project is to benefit approximately 62 residents and businesses.
CEO of BWS, Mr. Alvan Haynes along with Mr. Sanjay Keshwani (BWS Technical Services Manager), Mr. Dave Pascascio (BWS Operations Manager) and Mr. Jermaine Jones (BWS Operations Supervisor) were all present on site with Mayor Guerrero and Hon. Heredia as they visited the areas that will be connected to BWS’ sewage system.
Misc Belizean Sources
Caye Caulker signage
Yesterday our Council met once more with the STP 2 team who has been coming out to coordinate with us and the public on new signage that will be placed around our island. We are still deciding on the best ones that will capture the attention of the public. For our next public meeting, we will be consulting more with public before we make the final decisions. Please feel free to comment! Attached are just some of the many examples!
Caye Caulker beach lighting
The Caye Caulker Village Council is working on our beach lighting project to light up dark areas along our beach. We have currently installed one of the many Eco Friendly Solar Lights on the beach and will be installing some more of these solar lights this weekend. We ask the communities kind cooperation in taking care of these new lights.
Chiquibul Challenge Marathon Photos by Tony Rath
Photos from the first Chiquibul Challenge Marathon. Sorry I could not cover everyone, some runners were too fast, others too slow, so I could only cover those that were just right ;)
Corozal Community College Open Day
March 17th, 91m - 2:30pm
Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00 noon, Sunday, March 19: portion Philip Goldson Highway from Mile 1 to Buttonwood Bay Blvd roundabout at Mile 2 1/2
Two 15min power interruptions 8:00am to 8:15am and 11:45am to 12:00 noon will also affect West Landivar, Coral Grove, Buttonwood Bay & Belama Phase 1. BEL to install primary load switching devise on power distribution system in area.
Power interruption 4:45pm to 5:00pm, Saturday, March 18, portion Cayo District
Unitedville to Arenal including Benque Viejo, 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. BEL to replace poles and ground wires on the transmission system in the area.
Seatrade Global 2017
The Belize Team at Seatrade Global in Ft. Lauderdale.
Miss Teen Belize
With the official photoshoot scheduled for April 1st & pageant day set for May 27th, the final casting call will be held at the venues listed below. Due to the large amount of applicants , the committee would like to get to know you better. For those of you who have signed up and given us your information we look forward to meeting you, and those of you who want to be apart of the 2017 Miss Teen Belize edition, send us your information before it's too late! Thank you to everyone contributing to this exciting event!
Caye Caulker Ocean Academy: Last Batik class for this school year
Thank you Lee Vanderwalker for mentoring young OA artists and designers. You can see the batik work display on March 24th at our Ubuntu Mentor Appreciation Event. Come out 10-11:30 and 1-3:30 at the Beach beside Rainbow restaurant/palapas.
Official Inauguration of Rehabilitated Road & Drainage Infrastructure Project, Punta Gorda, Toledo
Residents of Punta Gorda and surrounding communities are now enjoying a safer and more pleasant street and drainage environment courtesy of the Government of Belize, which financed the project at a cost of $1,702,214.32 with funds through a loan from the World Bank, and counterpart contribution from Punta Gorda Town Board amounting to $51,066.43.
In this regard, the road and drainage infrastructure will be officially inaugurated at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Speakers at the event will include Hon. Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce; Mayor Fern Gutierrez, and the Executive Director of Social Investment Fund Mr. William Lamb Jr., among others.
The project is designed to improve the quality of life for all Belizeans traversing in Punta Gorda. It includes the rehabilitation of Robert Pennell Street, Lucille Melendrez Street, and Hopeville Loop, coupled with an extensive drainage system, street markings of finished chip seal surface, and installation of road signs.
The Special Envoy of Belize presents the "She for Belize" initiative.
Support the Rio Blanco Women’s Group in the Toledo District with the purchase of one of these handmade Jippi Jappa baskets--available at Mirab until April 1st.
Belizean Elected as a Waukegan Township Trustee
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Government of Belize, extends congratulations to Mr. Sylvestre Castellanos for his remarkable achievement as the first elected Belizean American to serve on the Waukegan Township.
Belizean Youth Ambassadors luncheon
On March 13, Chargé d'Affaires Adrienne Galanek and the Embassy staff hosted eight Belizean Youth Ambassadors and their mentors for a luncheon and discussion at the Chief of Mission residence. In just a few days, these energetic Youth Ambassadors will travel to the United States on a three-week long leadership exchange program facilitated by Georgetown University in Washington D.C. They will also travel to Alabama and Idaho as part of the exchange.
The Central American Youth Ambassadors (CAYA) program is a U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs's youth exchange program designed to strengthen leadership skills of young people from Central America and the United States. Upon return, the Youth Ambassadors will lead various community projects in their communities and inspire their peers to develop leadership skills.
2017/2018 Budget Presentation by Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Read and download the Budget
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!!!
Earth Hour 2017
Don't miss out!
Let the lights shine on Corozal the March 25th as we celebrate Earth Hour!
All are invited!!
RADiCAL Art Exhibit Launch
The RADiCAL art exhibit by the Belize Women's Art Collective will be launching at the SISE House of Culture on Friday, March 17th, at 6:00pm.
"You are Invited! Launch of Women's Art Exhibit happening this Friday March 17th at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at SISE House of Culture!"
Ride to the Reef 2017
Oceana's annual Ride to the Reef was held on Saturday, March 11th 2017. Some 100 cyclists took part in the event and averaged 16 miles per hour to make it from the steps of the National Assembly in the capital city Belmopan to the coast at the BTL Park on Princess Margaret Drive. We thank the sensational Belizeans for braving inclement weather to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to highlight the importance of our marine resources.
Burnt Female Body is Teenager
Yesterday we told you about a female body which was found at the dump site 4 miles outside of Belmopan; it had been burnt beyond recognition. Well, today police confirmed that the victim is a teenager: 18 year old Kerona Ara, a resident of Blackman Eddy Village. So, who killed her and why? Well, police haven't confirmed at this time, but we have received reports that a young Teakettle resident has been detained by police for his possible involvement. No one has been charged, but Belmopan police have also impounded a car which they believe was used in the crime. And police have confirmed that her murder is not connected to the murder of 66 year old taximan, Elbert Gillett, a possibility which investigators were looking into yesterday.
Easy Bail For Cop Who Ran
Last night, we told you about Police Corporal Darrell "Tutsi" Usher, who was charged with trafficking for 9 kilos of marijuana. Well, he's out on bail tonight after being taken to the Magistrate's Court.
He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where he pleaded not guilty. and even though he allegedly ran from the cops and eluded arrest for more than 48 hours, the police prosecutor had no objection to bail.
Chief Magistrate then granted him bail of $1,000, but he had to pay 500 of that in cash. The conditions of the bail are that he must surrender his travel documents, and he cannot leave the country without permission of the court. He must also sign in at the Hattieville Police Station once a week until his case is done. He returns to court on May 29.
Man Gets Off Conviction for Causing Child's Death Due To Jury Error
Two weeks ago, we told you about Lyle Harris, who was found guilty of knocking down and killing four year old Elisha Gilharry. As we reported on March first, the jury deliberated for 90 minutes before arriving at a verdict. Well, it turns out, that wasn't enough. Today - on the day he was supposed to be sentenced - Harris's attorney Simeon Sampson submitted that the jury of 6 women and 3 men did not deliberate for the mandatory 2 hours. Because of that error, trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas had to order a retrial. So that means the guilty verdict for causing death by careless conduct is thrown out, and he will have to face a while new trial in front of a new jury. It's a major disappointment for Elisha's family who was hoping to bring some closure to her death - which happened in 2010. The four year old was walking with her father when Harris ran over, and didn't notice so the vehicle was dragging her along the pavement.
Ashcroft And GOB Retire After Two Days Of Arguments, Wait For April 12th
Arguments concluded today in the case between the Barrow Administration and the Ashcroft Alliance. They were arguing over what the court should do with the injunction which prevents the Belize Bank Limited and the BCB Holdings Limited -now named Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited - from enforcing the 50 million US dollar judgment granted by a US court. Government wants the court to make it permanent; the Ashcroft Alliance wants it lifted.
Eamon Courtenay appeared for the Ashcroft Alliance, and Denys Barrow appeared for the government of Belize. They argued all day before the Chief Justice yesterday, and then continued again this morning.
When they finished at midday we asked them how it went, and they outlined their main arguments:...
Monster Croc Captured in Residential Neighborhood
Belama Phase 2 residents can finally walk about freely after a 10 foot crocodile was captured this morning. It has been terrorizing the neighborhood for months. But one resident couldn't take it any longer and made countless pleas on social media. Well, the Forestry Department and the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary answered her call. They teamed up and captured the crocodile before dawn. Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers told us how he roped up the reptile and restored peace in the community. City Councilor Phillip Willoughby also discussed some of the works that will be done in the area to ward off other crocs lurking in the nearby canal.
What the New Taxes Will Cost You In Real Figures
Last night, we gave you the broad outline of Prime Minister's Budget presentation for the fiscal year 2017/2018. That speech is titled "Bouncing back - A Bold Belizean Recovery," but it's also about contraction, and the coming year's budget is about 5% smaller than last year's budget. That's a stark contrast from last year's budget, which increased by almost 8% over the previous year.
But, while the Government is cutting spending, It intends to collect an unprecedented 1 billion dollars in taxes from you, the tax payers. To do this, the government is rolling out 88 million dollars in new tax measures, 80 million of which we already told you about.
Last night, we showed you the areas that the Government intends to tax, but we showed you those figures as percentages of the GDP. We've done some crunching of the numbers, and this is what we found.
Are Taxpayers Bankrolling High Cost Wage Increases In A Time Of Austerity?
But with so much revenue from new taxes, what's government doing on the expenditure side? Well, overall, that's coming down by about 60 million dollars with a freeze on expenditure, but there's one area that's going up sharply, and that's wages and pensions. Those are increasing by about 32 million dollars as government pays out the last tranche of its promised wage increase to teachers and public officers. Now wages are usually frozen during a time of austerity and cutbacks, and the IMF would even go further and recommend retrenchment. But, the Barrow administration is going in the other direction when it comes to teachers and public officers - and we asked the tough questions that naturally arise from that apparent contradiction:...
Jules Vasquez, 7News:
"Sir, are we the other tax payers being held hostage, being made to pay for these people when they are ruthlessly inefficient. 50% of our children failed PSE and more will fail this year because of the strike. So why are we, the tax payers, being made to bankroll that?"
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"Well its a point of view. It is not my point of view."
Taking A Bite Out Of Statutory Bodies
And in trying to raise revenue, government isn't only looking to you the taxpayer. They're also going into those big spending statutory bodies, to take a cut of their revenue. The PM announced yesterday that all statutory boards are required to contribute 10 percent of their 2017/18 income to the Consolidated Fund. Statutory bodies include places like the BTB, PACT, BAHA, The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), The Belize Social Investment Fund, known as SIF, BELTRAIDE, and the PUC, among others. The PM discussed how it will work:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"Which has to be cut at the statutory bodies and nobody, the ministries associated with the particular statutory bodies, including the ministry of finance - those ministries have not been doing the kind of monitoring, the kind of supervision that must be done and so there is this sort that let everything come into the consolidated revenue fund and we only give back as a budget what these people can justify and that would help to curtail some of the excessive spending."
Coming Up With A Relevant Curriculum
The high school curriculum hasn't been revised since the 90's. Now unless, everyone is comfortable with their kids being stuck in the 20th century, then it's about time for an education reform. That's what the Ministry of the Education has been working on and today stakeholders held a meeting to discuss ways to re-vitalize the secondary school curriculum. CEO in the Ministry of Education, Deborah Domingo discussed some of the focus areas that will be reflected in this new curriculum.
Deborah Domingo, CEO, Ministry of Education:
"Today's event is not a new initiative it is an ongoing one. The Ministry of Education has embarked on an effort to rationalize and diversify the curriculum at the high school level. So one of the first things we have done is to pull our stakeholders together to have us develop a profile of who the high school graduate for Belize should be, what attributes should they have. Having done that we have looked at, well how best do we deliver this through the curriculum."
Working Towards A National Trade Policy
Today the Directorate General for Foreign Trade hosted the first of a two day public consultation for the National Trade Policy. The Directorate introduced the framework for the new policy in July 2016 and is now working with stakeholders from the public and private sectors to further develop the legislature. The policy will be used to strategically stimulate trade and further integrate Belizean products in regional and international markets. The DGFT's Acting Director General, Andy Sutherland, told us more...
PM Had To Fight Mayor To Block Chang's Candidacy
Last week, former UDP City Councillor Eric Chang shook up the Senate Inquiry when he appeared before them calm, collected, and, he claimed to be candid, when he said he too was set up in the whole Citizen Kim affair.
And after the whole scandal below up, Chang - who was then an elected city councillor - stayed in Taiwan, while the saga of Citizen Kim played out with manic intensity back here in Belize. When he returned 12 weeks later, Chang had been stripped of his Deputy Mayorship and his portfolios. Politically, he was dead meat. Or was he? According to the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Belize City still wanted him on the slate. It's an interesting angle and a story we'd never heard which the PM as Party Leader shared with us yesterday:...
Finnegan On Political Rot
And as the Senate Inquiry lumbers on tomorrow, there could be more revelations which UDP did what in the great game of Immigration Irregularities. Indeed, as one officer pointed out, every corrupt politician needs a corrupt public officer to facilitate them in this game, and it seems there's no shortage of either. It's a cause of much sorrow for many UDP faithful who still wanted to believe that theirs was the honest and un-corrupt party, but there's ample proof that red lights were bring run rampantly on both sides of the PUDP political superhighway. We asked retiring UDP party whip Michael Finnegan how he feels about all the tales of corruption surrounding the political movement he joined in the 60's:..
Finnegan, An Improbable Ascent
And while decency may win out in some unforeseeable future, Finnegan won't be around. As he told us on Friday, he's retiring, for real this time. We asked him to reflect on his improbable ascent to power:..
Jules Vasquez, 7News:
"As you make this announcement of retirement from political life, from electoral politics, Mike, you are from Conchshell Bay. You are a boy with a primary school leaving certificate."
Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Rep, Mesopotamia:
"Do I have that? The last time I check I never see any hanging (laughing). Amazing."
Jules Vasquez, 7News:
"You grew up rough, but now as you retire, one of the strongest politicians the UDP has ever seen, probably top 2."
Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Rep, Mesopotamia:
"All that went on is that when you are coming up, you follow good people. You follow Dean Lindo, Evan X Hyde, Phillip Goldson, Manuel Esquivel - you grew up and raise as boyhood friendship with Dean Barrow. How can one go wrong?"
UNLMTED (Unlimited) is a Belizean dancehall and reggae artist who is trying to uplift at risk youths in Belize. He recently released a music video for his song "About Life", which brings to light the struggle many Belizeans face everyday. We spoke to UNLMTD earlier today about his music and his message...
Re: Today's Belize News: March 15, 2017
03/15/17 06:41 AM
03/15/17 06:41 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
18 Year Old Kerona Ara is Belmopan Dump Murder Victim
The identity of a female who was stabbed multiple times, her throat slit and then set on fire has been determined. Her body was found over the weekend at the [...]
87% of Bondholders Sign Up for Superbond; Late Payment Comes Due
On Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that Superbond Three point Oh was a done deal. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight this evening confirmed to News Five that some eighty-seven percent [...]
A Closer Look at the 2017-2018 Budget
News Five has begun its review of the 2017-2018 General Revenue and Appropriations Bill, also known as the Budget, which is scheduled to be debated on the second reading on [...]
Belize Bank Limited Hoping to Lift Injunction on Arbitral Award
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved judgment in the case of the Belize Bank Limited and the Government of Belize after hearing submissions from both parties. A second day of [...]
“Forum Shopping” Behind Trial of Belize Bank Case?
The question of whether or not the case is deliberately being retried is also central to the argument. According to Barrow, government decided at the eleventh hour to challenge the [...]
Will Judgment be Binding in the End?
Courtenay maintains that government took the decision of the CCJ to the U.S. jurisdiction and requested that the enforcement not be granted. Barrow, on the other hand, says that the [...]
Prime Minister Fights on Over B.T.L. Settlement
Is the Government conceding that the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited have triumphed in relation to the second payment of the B.T.L. settlement? It is due later this year [...]
O.A.S.’ Almagro Comes to Belize
It has not been officially announced, but the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro arrives in Belize this Thursday. This is Almagro’s second visit to Belize, [...]
The Ever-Changing Illegal Activities in the Chiquibul
The huge expanse of the Chiquibul National Park has been under continuous threat for all sorts of illegal activities over the years. The protected area has an abundance of highly [...]
Who Will and Will Not be Affected by Statutory Board Demand
As we first reported last week, the Government is demanding ten percent of the revenue of statutory bodies to go into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. A Cabinet committee is reviewing [...]
P.M. Gives Thumbs Down to Eric Chang, Patrick Tillett
Three witnesses are to be called for Wednesday’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee. But the testimonies of former Deputy Mayor of Belize City, Eric Chang, and former [...]
Manuel Heredia Jr. Ready for Senate Inquiry
It may be a while before any Ministers of Government are called before the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration, but quite a few, past and present, have had to [...]
Cop Charged Over Weed Interdicted
Interdicted police officer, Corporal Darrel Usher, who over the weekend was allegedly busted with a huge amount of cannabis, was today arraigned after a number of issues delayed his arraignment [...]
Man Convicted of Aggravated Assault
Austin DeCosta was found guilty of aggravated assault upon a woman. The forty-three-year-old resident of Caye Caulker appeared in court today to answer to the charge for an incident that [...]
Is Shyne the Right Choice for Music and Politics?
Exit Dean, enter Shyne? The entertainer-turned-aspiring politician has made no secret of his plans to succeed uncle and mentor Michael Finnegan, who recently announced plans to step down as area [...]
Why Re-Registration Cannot Happen this Year
Re-registration of voters will be put off until 2018, but the Prime Minister has committed to having it happening before re-districting of electoral boundaries and a referendum on the International [...]
How to Fix Education Curricula
The Ministry of Education kicked off its two-day consultation workshop with principals, heads of school boards, and other education partners to engage in a discussion on how curriculums can be [...]
Reef Challenge Gives New Awareness on Precious Natural Resource
Reef Week kicked off last week with a number of activities and it continued over the weekend with a ride, cleanup effort and a swim challenge. News Five tagged along [...]
Flying the Skies with Southwest Airlines
On Saturday afternoon, Southwest Airlines gave Belizean tourism officials a “Rocky Mountain High.” But it was not the kind induced by marijuana, though that is also legal in the state [...]
Burnt Remains Found = 18-Year-Old Keona Ara
The charred remains of a female found at the Belmopan dumpsite on Saturday has been identified. This afternoon, Shirley Mai, the mother of 18 year old Keona Ara, confirmed the identity of her daughter by the tattoos she has on the left arm and back of the neck. Her body was found by the security […]
Gov’t and Ashcroft Continue Argument Over Jurisdiction and Foreign Assets
The case involving the Government of Belize by Belize Bank Limited and Caribbean Investment Holding Limited, formerly Belize Caribbean Holdings Limited, came to a conclusion today in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The trial is in relation to the arbitration award granted to BCB Holdings for 27.4 million US dollars and Belize Bank […]
Superbond 3.0 Is a Done Deal
When we last reported on the status of the renegotiated Superbond, Belize was yet to achieve the 75% consent from the bondholders as is required. Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a press conference last week had noted that by March 10 they were expecting some finality to the renegotiations. Yesterday he confirmed to the media […]
Environmental Tax Increase Will See Trickle Down Effect
In the upcoming fiscal year slated to start on April 1, the Government of Belize is proposing to make just over fifteen million dollars in revenues from Environmental Tax. In the budget presentation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Environmental Tax will be upped by one percent, putting it at three percent. While there […]
Arriving at the Lowered Threshold for Taxed Electricity and Other Measures
Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the 2017/2018 budget entitled Bouncing Back – a bold Belizean recovery. Following the presentation, Prime Minister Barrow explained why certain measures were taken. DEAN BARROW “The question of trying to get at the objective but ensuring that there is minimal pain and that the pain is distributed in such […]
Statutory Boards to Aid GOB in Meeting Fiscal Target
While Government is hoping to earn an additional fifteen million dollars via the rise in Environmental Tax, they are also hoping to gain six to seven million dollars through the Statutory Boards. According to Prime Minister, discussions are ongoing to have these boards contribute ten percent of their revenue to the Government of Belize. DEAN […]
PM: Ashcroft Inflating Costs in Second Payment Due for BTL
During the budget presentation for 2017/2018, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that there are currently four arbitration awards against the Government of Belize. There is a second payment becoming due to Lord Michael Ashcroft in the Belize Telemedia Limited acquisition which Prime Minister Barrow says that he is having issues with as Ashcroft is reportedly […]
The Fiscal Burden of the Public Service
According to the Draft National Budget for 2017/2018 there are just under fifteen thousand public officers on the Government’s payroll. This is costing taxpayers just over four hundred million dollars on an annual basis. One question posed to the Prime Minister yesterday was whether Belizeans are getting bang for their buck when it comes to […]
Tourism Minister Says He Welcomes Interrogation From the Senate
Tomorrow, the Senate Select Committee will convene in Belmopan to continue its investigation of the results of the Auditor General’s Special Reports. Several witnesses and key persons of interest have appeared before the committee since the inception of the hearing. Last week Former UDP Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and former Belize City Council Employee, Patrick […]
Education Ministry Lobbies for Standardized Secondary Curriculum
A few years ago, the Ministry of Education decided to implement the Belize Education Sector Reform Project. One of the key components under that project is the Rationalization and Diversification of the Secondary School Curriculum in Belize. Basically, the Ministry is proposing to have all secondary schools implement a standardized curriculum. A workshop was held […]
Police charge Corporal Darrel “Tutsi” Usher with drug trafficking
The buzz around the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning was that police would bring Corporal Darrel “Tutsi” Usher to face a drug trafficking charge. The morning passed and the police did not bring Usher, for whom court reporters and his attorney were waiting.
Usher, in fact arrived in the afternoon, and was not put in the cell along with the other accused persons.
After he had spent more than an hour and a half at the court, Usher was taken back to the police station in the same van in which he arrived. The word is that there was an error on the charge sheet that needed to be fixed before the court could proceed with reading the charge to the accused cop.
Belizean murdered in Melchor
We have received confirmed reports that a Belizean man was killed across the Guatemalan border over the weekend.
According to our police sources, the victim has been identified as Amadeo Teck. He is in his early twenties and resided in the village of Bullet Tree Falls.
It is believed that sometime on Saturday he was in Melchor when he was fatally gunned down.
Details surrounding the cause of his death are at this time sketchy, but we do know that Guatemalan authorities have not located his killer and are struggling to identify a suspect.
Decomposing corpse of missing taxi driver found
The search for taxi driver Elbert Gillett, 66, of Belize City, who was reported missing after he failed to return home after leaving at about 11:00 Thursday night to work in his cab, came to an end when his body was found this afternoon off the George Price Highway, at Mile 4, in the area of Belizean Beach.
The body was in an advanced state of decomposition.
Later, between 7:00 and 8:15 tonight, a post-mortem was conducted on the body, and at the conclusion, the autopsy certified that his death was caused by a perforating gunshot wound to the head.
A billion dollars in taxes!
An $80 million menu of tax measures was formally unveiled in the National Assembly this morning by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, delivering his 10th national budget presentation since his party came to power in 2008 under the theme, “Bouncing back – a bold Belizean recovery!”
Just last month, Ministry of Finance officials in a presentation to social partners—the private sector and unions—delivered a starkly contrasting presentation under the same caption it had pitched to bondholders, signaling that the Belize economy is “imperiled.” The officials had outlined Government’s planned “fiscal consolidation measures,” but the details of tax measures were not unveiled until today.
Whereas Barrow’s budget speech forecasts an economic turnaround to coincide with the new budget year, spanning April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, it calls for an unprecedented BZ$1.033 billion in tax revenues, up from the BZ$937 million approved by parliamentarians last year, when the budget was propped up by a $50 million tax hike at the pumps. Further levies on fuel are included in the new mix of tax measures.
Bandits remain undefeated at Week 8
At the end of Week 8 in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season, it is again shaping up to be a rough ride for a number of teams in their quest of a spot in the Top-4 playoffs. Only the champs, Belmopan Bandits, seem assured of their playoff berth, as 5 other teams are in contention for the remaining 3 spots. (See standings below.)
In the only Saturday night game in Week 8, Verdes FC got a 48th minute goal from John King, and it proved enough to secure the 1-nil victory over hosts, Placencia Assassins at their home field in Independence.
Pigs of Belize …
On this Monday morning, March 13, 2017, we are minded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In that allegorical classic, the animals overthrew the oppressive Farmer Jones, and began to run the farm themselves. Things didn’t work out that well, however, because the pigs who emerged as leaders of the animals began to behave a lot like the drunken and much despised Farmer Jones.
As we await the reading of the Government of Belize’s 2017/2018 budget later today, we remember the optimism which prevailed in Belize in January of 1964 when the colony of British Honduras became self-governing. Orwell’s story was intended by the writer to cast the fictional animals as the real workers who had taken over the running of communist Russia after 1917, and the pigs as the Stalinist politburo who had emerged, post-Trotsky, as the political bosses of the Russian Revolution. In our situation in Belize in 1964, the British colonialists would have been Farmer Jones, and the honest native farmers, fishermen, and other workers would have been the ones taking over in Belize. There was already a Belizean politburo in place, however, in the form of the People’s United Party (PUP), which by January of 1964 had pushed aside the foundation of the General Workers Union (GWU) on which the PUP had been built.
Seeks Philip Lewis
I knew the artist Philip Lewis many years ago on Caye Caulker. I can’t find him now in Winterthur, Switzerland. I have returned to CC for a few days and would be so glad to make contact if he has returned to Belize.
Please! Let me know if he is around!
UDP’s “Pie Eating”
I watched with disgust an interview conducted by Channel 7’s Jules Vasquez with the Hon. Michael Finnegan on Friday night, March 10, 2017, in which they discussed his (Hon. Finnegan) impending retirement from electoral politics and the subsequent assigning/support of same to his nephew and son of the Prime Minister, Jamal Shyne Barrow.
His response, as shown above, was shameful, and should serve as an eye-opener for Belizeans as to how the minds of the ruling UDP fraternity thinks.
The Hon. Finnegan’s response represents their attitude, their way; the UDP way … the transferring of Belize’s electorate patrimony to family members and UDP insiders so they could enjoy a piece of the pie, so to speak.
Factors influencing children’s health: Immunizations
Hello everyone. Today we’ll share some valuable information about some of the factors that influence children’s health: Immunizations. Vaccinations are developed to guard children and adults against potentially lethal and previously prevalent childhood diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus (we call it “lock jaw”), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and so forth. The schools and hospitals require parents to start childhood vaccinations as early as two months. The medical profession states that vaccines are the safest and most effective protection against serious childhood illness and the community at large. Possible side effects of immunization include rashes, fever, diarrhea, sore arms, and even death (in extreme cases) have been considered to be minimal, when compared to the benefits.
Economy shrank 0.8% in 2016, but 3% rebound forecast for 2017
Last December, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported to the press that the Belizean economy had contracted by 0.7% for the first nine months of the year, signaling the first recession since 2007-2008. In his budget presentation today, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow announced that for the year 2016, the Belize economy contracted by 0.8%, citing the SIB as his source.
Barrow said that the Belizean economy has grown for 7 of the 9 years for which the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) has been in office and he went on to point to a forecast by the Central Bank of Belize that the Belize economy would rebound with growth of 3% to 3.5% this year, 2017.
The recession of 2016 was not forecast in Barrow’s 2016-2017 budget. The Prime Minister had said in his budget presentation last March that “…GDP growth will moderate to between 1.5 to 2.0 percent in 2016 as the primary sector contracts further and activity in the secondary sector flatlines.”
Police capture Mario Aguirre, 25, alleged killer of Marcelino Chan, 54
The police manhunt to capture Mario Aguirre, 25, a truck driver of San Roman, wanted for the murder of his cousin and fellow villager, Marcelino Chan, 54, a father of 11 children, came to a successful conclusion yesterday when he was captured in the village and charged with murder.
Aguirre has not yet been arraigned in court.
Police say that at about 8:30 Saturday night, March 4, in San Roman, Aguirre stabbed Chan 4 times — in the left side of the chest, behind the ears, and twice in the rib cage.
3 men arraigned for invading Burrell Boom home
Three residents of Burrell Boom were remanded to the Belize Central Prison this morning after they were arraigned on a charge of aggravated burglary with a firearm.
The three men, Ashley Haylock, 25, Brenton Flowers, 22, and Julian Gillett, 21, appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez, who arraigned them on the charge.
All three accused pleaded not guilty. When Magistrate Rodriguez asked his court prosecutor, Corporal Clarke, if he would be objecting to granting the men bail, Clarke informed him that the offence for which the men were charged falls under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act and as such, bail is automatically denied.
Breaking Belize News
Belizean killed in Melchor to be laid to rest
The body of Amadeoes Gaspar Teck, a Belizean citizen who was killed in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala on Sunday was transported back to Belize today and funeral arrangements are now being prepared by the family.
Body of burnt female identified as Blackman Eddy village resident
The burnt body of a female who was found near the Belmopan dump site on the Hummingbird Highway has been identified by her mother as 18 year old Keona Gabbi Ara from Blackman Eddy village in the Cayo District.
The tattoo that was released by the police was vital in assisting with the identification of the victim.
Chief Justice sets date for GOB/Ashcroft injunction decision
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, this morning, said that the Government of Belize (GOB) and Michael Ashcroft’s Belize Bank Ltd. will need to return to court on April 12 for his decision in their injunction hearing.
The Chief Justice set the date at the end of a two day trial, which discussed lifting an injunction that barred Ashcroft’s company from enforcing a US $50 million arbitration award, or making the injunction permanent.
GST on your B.E.L bill?
Prior to yesterday’s budget presentation many feared that GOB might have raised the General Sales Tax (GST) from 12.5 to 15 percent. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, however, assured that there would be no increase in the GST amidst a fiscal re-adjustment plan aimed at meeting a 2 percent annual GDP growth target for the next four years.
GST untouched; Gas, liquor and imports to increase
Yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made his budget presentation at the House of Representatives and among all the sophisticated expressions was the fact that fuel and cement prices will increase.
Barrow said that GST, however, will not be increased as many had feared it would because his administration champions the pro-poor and pro-people cause.
As a part of Superbond renegotiation, GOB has prepared a fiscal adjustment plan that is expected to yield an additional $80 million in revenue.
Ashcroft and GOB back in court today
Today Michael Ashcroft’s Belize Bank Ltd., and the government of Belize are back in the Supreme Court as the bank seeks enforcement on its US $50 million arbitration award, upheld by United States courts.
Denys Barrow, attorney for GOB; and Eamon Courtenay, attorney for Ashcroft will try to persuade Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to either lift the injunction barring the bank form enforcing a US $50 million arbitration award or make the injunction permanent.
Minor blackmailed and raped for sharing nude photos
Police are reporting a disturbing case of rape in which a 13-year-old girl claims she was blackmailed into having sex, fearing that her nude photos would be made public online.
According to police, the 13-year-old student and her mother made an official police report yesterday at the Belmopan police station. The girl claims that she had started communicating with a man from Camalote, Cayo District, online last October. He allegedly asked her to send nude photos of herself, which she admitted she did.
Belize City man arrested on marijuana possession, trafficking charges
A man in Belize City was arrested yesterday for drug trafficking.
According to reports, police were conducting patrol on Central American Boulevard when they stopped and searched Akeen Joshua Reneau, 27, a messenger of a St. Jude Street address who was riding a bicycle and had a knapsack in his possession.
Belize: Barrows its head in the sand!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow read the annual public sector budget for 2017-18 yesterday, saying it expects to increase taxation revenue by 2.2% of GDP while reducing public sector spending by 1.0% of GDD and growing the GDP by 3.0 – 3.5%.
This budget estimates summary does nothing more than fill-in-the-blanks to express the minimum requirements that Belize Bond holders placed on the government as condition for the recent, unprecedented third restructuring of the so-called US$547 million 2034 SuperBond…which became necessary due to poor performance of the economy, on the edge of going broke.
Tiffany Trump disfruta sus vacaciones en Belice
Mientras una fuerte tormenta azota a la costa este de Estados Unidos, Tiffany Trump, la hija menor del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, disfruta de las aguas cálidas del Caribe en unas cortas vacaciones en Belice.
Tiffany y su novio Ross Mechanic llegaron al país centroamericano el pasado 4 de marzo y de inmediato comenzaron sus aventuras en la jungla.
La joven de 23 años publicó en su cuenta de Instagram varias imágenes en las que aparece lanzándose del canopy y realizando snorkel en las playas beliceñas.
En otra de las fotos, aparece junto a un gigantesco árbol. 'Un poco diferente de mi jungla normal de concreto', escribió junto a la imagen, en referencia a su hogar en Nueva York.
La pareja también fotografió varios tiburones en el oceáno, según se observa en un video subido a su cuenta de Instagram.
Inseltipp Caye Caulker in Belize
Caye Caulker in dem kleinen mittelamerikanischen Land Belize galt lange als typische Insel für Rucksackreisende. Das ändert sich gerade, was einige bekümmert. Das Talent zum Müßiggang aber ist geblieben - ob am Strand, im Restaurant oder beim Tauchen.
Der Hai kommt von hinten und schwimmt mitten zwischen den Beinen hindurch. Es ist ein kurzer Schock. Von allen Seiten gleiten plötzlich Ammenhaie und Stechrochen dicht über das Seegras, unter und zwischen den Schnorchlern hindurch. Es ist Futterzeit am Hausriff von Caye Caulker.
BEST CARIBBEAN RESORTS TO VISIT BY LUXURY YACHT
There's nowhere quite like the Caribbean for an indulgent getaway. Whether you're luxuriating in the Bahamas, exploring the jungles of Dominica or diving the Great Blue Hole in Belize there's a place for everyone — and if you're wanting to spend some time on dry land, discover the best Caribbean hotels to visit by boat.
The Central American cocaine corridor, at full throttle
The US State Department has named seven Central American countries as havens for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking and organized crime. This is the first time since 2013 that the State Department has included Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama together in the list of primary money laundering countries in its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).
An important development in the 2017 INSCR - which refers to trends and statistics from the previous year - is that El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua have re-entered the list of "major money laundering countries," which the State Department defines as those "whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking."
Can't keep a good croc down in Belama, 1/2min. Ten feet long. Makes you wonder what it was eating
Belize Vacation, 4.5min.
Christian Workers Union, 19min.
World Rotaract Week, 13min.
Woman in Political Leadership - Experiences, 45min.
TALK AH DI TOWN MARCH 9, 2017, min.
Belize Canoe Build 2017, 15min. For La Ruta Maya
Belize Aggressor 2017, 5min.
Chan Chich Archaeological Project, min. Last month, a three-person recon team visited Belize to check out two locations where loggers from Yalbac Ranch had reported large mounds. One of those spots turned out to be a previously unrecorded, large ruin that may prove to be larger than Chan Chich! Mark Willis created this 3D model of the plaza at the site, which is the only area the team had time to visit and map. We have named the site Xma Ha Ak'al and can't wait to return to it in the near future to learn more about its size and layout. Already, we know it has some unusual features for northwestern Belize, including an east-west oriented ball court and a small courtyard connected to the plaza by a causeway. The tallest mound we mapped is a 20-m high temple-pyramid.
Women's Week Conversation - Rootsville Book, 17min.
Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute Coastal Awareness Week, 24min.
Undersatnding & Reporting thr National Budget, 38min.
San Pedro Sun 26th Anniversary Video, 1min. Born on March 14, 1991, The San Pedro Sun turns 26 today! Thank you our dear community, friends and family for your years of support! We feel the love!
Budget Presentation 2017/2018, 50min.
Tarpon jumping to grab its food, 15sec. Tarpon jumping out of water to grab its breakfast in Caye Caulker, Belize
Jungle Hike, Belize, 2min.
Trip To Belize, 6min.
Belize 2017, key Caulker,, 3min.
Lamanai trip!!! Belize, 2.5min.
HANDS Trek 2017 | Punta Gorda, Belize, 9min. In March of 2017, 97 men from various backgrounds embarked on a journey to the Machaca Outreach Center in Punta Gorda, a small town in southern Belize. Their goal was to serve Jon and Lisa Gotz, who run camps every summer at the center for children.
Hi from Belize, 6min. Rena and Ann's snorkelling adventures in Belize..
Sleeping nurse shark in Belize, 1min. Tour guide rubbed belly of nurse shark.
Marathon through the Chiquibul for Macaw Awareness, 6min.
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