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Today's Belize News: March 21, 2017 #522447
03/21/17 06:34 AM
03/21/17 06:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 59,052
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Thirty Nine Persons now Equipped to Take Care of the Elderly
he Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, is Belize’s leading centre for industry specific workforce development, providing effective, demand driven, user-friendly and value based programs that will develop, deliver and sustain a quality work force. Its’ mission is to develop a cadre of well-trained, marketable and self-sufficient individuals able to confidently compete in the marketplace. In keeping with its mandate, thirty nine persons, who are employed or seeking employment as caregivers in homes of the elderly or in assisted living facilities, received certificates at the conclusion of a five-week training on Basics of Caregiving during a brief ceremony was held on Friday, 17th March 2017 at 11:00 am at the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) on the ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City.

Back to back Championship: SPHS Male Softball Team wins nationals!
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) Male Softball Team returned home champions after winning the National Softball Tournament held over the weekend in Belize City. The tournament took place on Friday, March 17th and Saturday March 18th, and saw the island boys representing the north of the country, having won the Northern Regional competition earlier this month. The team won its qualifying game on Friday, March 17th, which allotted them to a spot in the championship game the following day. With spirits high, on Saturday afternoon, the island boys managed to win and bring home the coveted title, and were named the 2017 National Softball Male Champions.

GEM survey reveals major improvements in Belize’s entrepreneurial activity
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, through BELTRAIDE, is pleased to announce that a recent survey by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has revealed major improvements in Belize’s overall national entrepreneurial activity. The survey, which was conducted last year among 2,318 Belizeans (between the ages of 18 to 65, including males and females) countrywide over a one month period, rated Belize’s overall national entrepreneurial activity from a mere 7.1% in 2014 to a whopping 28.8%, in 2016, which placed Belize second behind Ecuador’s 31% for the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Region, and third globally.

Ambergris Today

Nadir Price Wins Oceana's Annual Reef Week Instagram Competition
Oceana is pleased to announce the winner of its annual Reef Week instagram competition, Mr. Nadir Price of Belmopan. Held under the 2017 Reef Week theme: “Turn the Tide, Respect the Reef”, Nadir’s video submission combined footage from the Hol Chan and the Silk Cayes Marine Reserves. His images showcased both the beauty and vulnerability of the Belize Barrier Reef. The Instagram campaign encouraged Belizeans to share their original photos and videos that exemplify the Reef Week theme as well as their unique perspective, stories and experiences of the Belize Barrier Reef. Nadir’s prize package includes a GoPro Hero 5 Black camera, Lexar 32 GB storage card; GoPole Bobber, a LowePro carry case and GoPro Dual Battery Charger and Battery; gear which this budding photographer can continue to capture beautiful Belizean images.

More Entrepreneurs Emerge And Contribute To Belize Economy
These dramatic changes can be attributed to the increased outreach and awareness programs, as well as all enterprise and entrepreneurial development activities being done nationwide by BELTRAIDE, through its Small Business Development Centre, Belize (SBDCBelize) and other key national partners. In the time between the two earlier surveys (2014 and 2016), there were two national global entrepreneurial week celebrations, four major seed capital start-up initiatives; SBDCBelize fully expanded its outreach to all six districts, with scheduled workshops in Belize City, Orange Walk and Belmopan, and participated in more national trade shows and events.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Second Annual Drug Run in San Pedro
Second Annual Drug Run coming up! Let's all show our support. "PUT A CAP ON DRUGS"

Cayo BTIA Strategic Plan Session
The Cayo BTIA is having a special strategic planning session on Wednesday, March 22nd, starting at 6:30pm. "Inviting our BTIA Cayo Chapter MEMBERS to an important consultation meeting being held next week Wednesday March 22nd, 2017 at the Cahal Pech Village Resort, San Ignacio Belize from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. Your presence and input is requested."

Aurelio...and the Garifuna Collective...
Friday, April 7th...Bliss Centre

The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
The Essay Competition gives nationals and residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories aged 18 and under an opportunity to express their views about the world, share their dreams for the future and develop their creative writing skills. Participants continue to demonstrate their ability to stimulate and provoke discussions about important issues like poverty, sustainable development, gender inequality and universal education.

San Pedro High School Male Softball team National Champions
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to congratulate the San Pedro High School Male Softball team on their triumph as National Champions for the NSSSA Male & Female Softball tournament 2017! Special mention goes out to our very own, Mr. Marion Mejia, for going the extra mile for the team and being an aspiring example and role model for these individuals. Great job guys! The entire community of San Pedro is proud of your accomplishment!

San Juan and Boca del Rio Clean Up Campaign
On Friday, March 17, 2016, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors along with the SPTC staff, went out to the streets of San Juan and Boca del Rio to inform the people of the Clean Up Campaign. Door to door, the residents were given bags and flyers, which explained how to maintain their environment clean. The Clean up campaign began today, March 20 and will run until April 7. Residents are asked to take out all their yard garbage and to dispose any water catchment containers/items.

BUMPY ROAD BE GONE!
The stretch between Las Terrazas and Journey's End has been fixed and it is now a smoother commute.

EXPORTBELIZE COLLABORATES WITH THE US EMBASSY FOR FDA WEBINAR
EXPORTBelize, a unit of BELTRAIDE, in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States of America facilitated a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Webinar on Friday March 17th, 2017, at the US Embassy in Belmopan. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety of Human Drugs, Vaccines blood products, medical devices and Food. The Webinar was presented by Mr. Allan Gonzalez, International Regulatory Analyst for FDA. Participants included to government stakeholders and private sector companies. Key topics covered were: Jurisdiction and responsibility of the FDA, FDA registration process, Facility inspections and follow-ups, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The aim of this session was to inform local companies on requirements to export into the US.

Mr. and Ms. Culture International Maya 2017
The SISE Town Council is having the annual Mr. and Ms. Culture International Maya pageant this Saturday, March 25th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. "Inviting the public to come out at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday, March 25th 2017. Come out and show your support to our Miss Culture Belize 2017, who will be representing our country in the Mr & Miss Culture International Maya 2017 pageant in Salvador. International Director and founder, Manuel Blanco, and Miss Culture Mexico 2017, Cielo Aguilar, will be there to present to the public, our Miss Culture Belize 2017. Five beautiful ladies will be modeling dresses from Mexican designer, Victor Franco. We'll also have performances by local an international artist, dancers etc..."

FCD gets donations from marathon
We wish to thank Dr. Isabelle and Justin Ford for the successful marathon. A donation of Bz$3,468.86 was handed over to FCD!!! Of course this was made possible due to the many supporters and all the marathon athletes. We are extremely grateful for this support. Funds are being earmarked for macaw conservation efforts this year.

Conchshell Bay Fish market
This is where you get FRESH fish in Belize city. Did you know that many BELAMS (Belizean /Americans) buy their fish in bulk and take to the states when they come home for vacation?

Channel 7

Brother Chopped Up Sister In Front Of Her Son; She's Dead, He's At Large
Last night a 29 year old mother was viciously chopped up by her own brother - and she died from her injuries this morning. After work on Sunday night at 6:00, Juliane Burke stopped by her home, and picked up her 6 year old son. She was about to take him for a walk, when she was ambushed by her brother, Elijiah Burke, who was reportedly hiding underneath a 'crocus' bag in her back yard. Burke chopped her several times, chasing Juliane and her young son out on the street. When she fell in a drain, he went after her with no mercy - all this happening within view of her son. Hearing the cries for help from Juliane and her son, her neighbors ran to assist, and called the police, but Burke fled the scene before they showed up. Juliane was rushed to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries late this morning. Her husband, David Funes was out of town during the brutal incident, but he told us the story he got from his now traumatized stepson...

Father Of Three Killed In No-Man's Land
A father of 3 was gunned down and killed at the Western Border on Friday night. 40 year old bus driver Carlos Manzanero was hanging out with his family at Larios Bar around 8:30. A gunman then came out of a car and shot Manzanero several times. Police haven'r provided much details on this case, and the family didn't want to speak, but a couple of his friends told us what they know. Since August 2016, Carlos Manzanero worked as a bus driver for the Marlin Espadas tour agency. Every morning at 10:00 he would pick up passengers coming from Guatemala at the Western Border and take them to Belize City. And those coming from Chetumal, he would bring right back here to the border. But on Friday night, Manzanero's life was taken at this border crossing which he frequented everyday.

Burnt Human Skull Found in OW
Orange Walk police don't know what to make of a burnt, partial human skull which was found at a dumpsite on Chan Pine Ridge Road. It was discovered on Saturday afternoon, at the garbage dump site on Chan Pine Ridge Road. But, no one is reported missing in Chan Pine Ridge, and police cannot link it to any report they currently have. So, the skull has been taken to the Northern Regional Hospital Morgue. Police say quote, "DNA testing will be done to confirm the identity." Of course, that would require a matching DNA sample from the person or their possessions - and right now, police say they don't know who that person might be.

Long Lines At Airport, Who Is To Blame?
Last week we told you about reports that some hotels are seeing lower occupancy rates in 2017, than last year or the year before. But the BTB has been reporting steady increases in overnight arrivals, and it seems the immigration department just cannot keep up. Very long lines of inbound and outbound visitors have been piling up at the airport recently - because there's not enough staff to process them expeditiously. This video was taken on Saturday when the airport is usually the fullest. Outbound passengers - 95% tourists - were stuck in a sprawling line that spanned the entire length of the expended Terminal two. Problem is, there are only two immigration booths to process all those outbound visitors. Similarly on the inbound side at the arrivals lounge, even a massive new arrival hall that's been built could not accommodate all the passengers, and last week they were seen lining up outside, all along the length of the building. Again, there are two few immigration posts to process them inside. Now, there are reports that the Immigration Officers may have been on g-slow and that accounted for the outlandish lines but form what we've seen and been able to find out, that is not the case: they're not going slow, they're just overwhelmed! We could not reach the Director of Immigration.

NTUCB's New Pres Says No More Toothless Tiger For Union Umbrella Group
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize elected a new president on Saturday. This happened at an Emergency General meeting - after the last meeting in December, 2016, elected a president who was no longer eligible to be on the executive. So, Saturday's meeting was mainly to elect a new president. First Vice President Jacqueline Willoughby had been acting president and she offered herself to be full time president. Her only challenger on election day was Floyd Neal, the General Secretary of the Christin Workers Union. To the surprise of some, Neal, who is a relative newcomer to the union movement, easily beat out Willoughby - who has been prominent in the PSU for many years. In the end Neal garnered 45 votes to her 21 votes. Today, Neal held a press conference to say that, under this leadership, the NTUCB - which represents 10 powerful unions - will take its rightful place as a social actor:... Floyd Neal, President - NTUCB: "Is a new chapter in my involvement with the labor movement in Belize, early days yet, but without a doubt the narrative out there, the image most Belizean workers have to TUC is of a toothless tiger. We need to change that. So my own thinking is that we need to get the word out that the days of TUC being a toothless tiger are behind us and we need to do things, we need to take steps, we need to forge partnerships, which will let the power that be recognize it's a new day."

GOB Resisting "Titanic" Judgment
A month ago, we told you how Bahamian Securities Traders Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach won an award against the Central Bank, which forces the Bank to fork over 1.4 million US dollars that it had seized from both men's bank accounts. That's in addition to 8.8 million dollars which the Supreme Court awarded them back in January of 2016. Well, right now, the Government is appealing that ruling at the Court of Appeal, in hopes of convincing the judges to set aside that award. As has been well reported, that 8.8-million-dollar judgment debt dates back to the September of 2014 when both men and their company, Titan Securities, were indicted by the US Government along with several others for securities fraud and money laundering. At the request of the US, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Anti-Drug Unit cleaned out their offices at the Matalon Building on Coney Drive. That raid was so extensive that the Belizean authorities removed all of their documents and equipment. They sued the Government and Justice Courtney Abel (ABLE) ruled in their favour that the search and seizure was excessive, unlawful, and in breach of their constitutional rights. He awarded the men almost 9 million dollars, but, in the Court of Appeal today, Government Attorney Denys Barrow was attempting to convince the Appeal Court judges that he came to the wrong conclusion.

Putting Coastal Concerns On Calendar
Today the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute kicked off Coastal Awareness Week. CZMAI partnered with businesses and other stakeholders, like the IDB, to help raise awareness for the sustainable development of Belize's coasts. We spoke to CZMAI's CEO, Chantalle Samuels, and IDB Country Representative, Cassandra Rogers, about this important initiative... Chantelle Samuels, CEO - CZMAI: "The Coastal Zone Management and Institute is observing the 3rd annual coastal awareness week and this year we have selected the theme "Business and the Environment - A foundation for Sustainable Growth." It is a week that will allow us to engage our stakeholders, impart knowledge, but also build awareness and have them assist us in informing how our coastal resources should be sustainably manage and develop over time. So, today we are at the official opening ceremony and we've had remarks from our parent ministry - the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, as well as the Ministry of Economic Development and we had a special invited guest Dr. Cassandra Rogers of the Inter-American Development Bank - Belize office and Belize is celebrating its 25th year of membership in the IDB and so they have partnered with Coastal Zone as an initial activity towards that celebration."

CDB Announces Poverty Reduction Funding For Belize
The Caribbean Development Bank today announced that it would be sharing 40 million US dollars in funding for poverty reduction across eight Caribbean countries. The money comes through the Basic Needs Trust Fund - which is administered by SIF in Belize. Countries that will benefit are: Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Suriname. Last month in Barbados, the CDB President told us why the CDB is always eager to partner with Belize for poverty reduction programmes: Jules Vasquez- reporter: "why is it that Belize is one of the top three countries with the CDB in terms of accessing loans?" Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "We are in that business, so that I think that that in part explains the extent of our involvement with Belize on the lending side. Their electricity sector also; historically that's one that CDB has given a lot of emphasis to."

Elmer Larios, His Lady, The "Joe" And The Judge
He claims to have found a man in bed with his girlfriend, and allegedly pistol whipped the "Joe,", but he was still remanded. 39 year old Elmer Larios was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and wounding. He said that at about 3 a.m. on March 18, he went to his girlfriend's house and found a man there with her. He said the man assaulted him and he knocked the man unconscious but he did not have any firearm. Larios pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault, but he was remanded into custody until May 25.

Waitress Stoned Police Truck
19 year-old Jahsell Flores, a waitress from the Elements Night Club is at home tonight after dodging jail time for stoning one of the Police Department's New Isuzu D-Max pickups, breaking the windshield. It happened on Saturday at around 3:18 in the morning. Flores claimed that she was attacked by 2 women while she was at work. She said that one of her attackers threw a pint bottle at her, which she picked up and threw back at the women. It missed, and ended up breaking one of the windows on the D-Max, and so police charged her for damage to property. She was arraigned today, and the police say that the cost to fix the vehicle is $231 dollars. She pleaded guilty and explained what happened, telling the court of the fight, and of the fact that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time. She told the court that she was sorry for what she did, but Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer was not particularly convinced of her remorse.

Kids And Karate
This weekend students from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy went to Chetumal to participate in the annual Wushu-Kung Fu-Karate tournament. The kids entered both form and fighting divisions, and performed exceptionally in their age brackets, most of them earning medals for their performances. We spoke to their Grand Master, Shihan Kelly, and Roberto Hoare, who brought home two gold medals... Apart from Hoare, three other students brought home medals. Kody Cuellar, Eion Anderson and Eleazar Orellana all placed third in the Children's Fighting Division, and Orellana also placed 2nd in the Children's Karate Form Division.

Real Recognition For Nestor Mendez
Last week Thursday, Belize's own Nestor Mendez, who is the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS received the Medal of Honor for Merit presented by the Sociedad de Estudios Internacionales of Panama, in recognition of his work to promote democracy, strengthening human rights, and fostering peace and security and integral development. The honor was presented to Ambassador Mendez during a ceremony in Panama City, Panama. On Friday, Ambassador Mendez held a meeting at the National Assembly of Panama with the Assembly leadership, committee chairs, and caucus members.

Almagro Visited Guatemala Villagers On The Edge of Belize
And while Ambassador Mendez was in Panama, his boss, Secretary General Luis Almagro was in Guatemala and Belize. We already told you how he did a flyover of Belize and what all he saw along the border, but what did he see in Guatemala? Well he visited villages along the border - those same villagers that pushed into Belize, and he was moved:... H.E. Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General: "The 15th we visited Guatemala. We were received by the minister of foreign affairs Carlos Raul Morales. We had a meeting with him and we talked about the different issues related to the, ah, the relationship between Guatemala and the Organization of American states. Ahm, as well, ehm the work in the zone of adjacency. With minister Morales we visited the communities of San Jose Las Flores Chiquibul, San Marcos, Monte Los Olivos, and Santa Cruz. We really appreciate the opportunity that we have to talk to the people of those communities. That was very important for us. It was very gratifying for me and i am extremely grateful to see these people how they work hard to overcome the difficulties and the problems that they have and they have to confront every day."

Sarstoon Protocol, Was It A Fleeting Fancy?
But what we didn't hear from Almagro was anything about that Sarstoon protocol. All progress on that seems to have stalled due to intransigence in Guatemala. And, so, even though so much effort was put into it, now it seems like the status quo ion the Sarstoon s good enough. Here's how Belize's Foreign Minister put it:... Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Things like that I like to think of as matters that we are working on continually. We don't have any definitive position on it yet, but we continue to work on it. The good thing is, the very good thing is that we have no incidents down there and that is exactly what we want."

Channel 5

Woman chopped to death in Belize City; did her brother do it?
Tonight there is a most disturbing case of fratricide to report involving a pair of siblings in the King’s Park community. A brother reportedly hacked his sister with a machete [...]

Out west, family grieves after father and brother is shot multiple times, fatally
The second murder over the weekend took place on Friday night in the West.  A father of three lost his life at Champon at the adjacency zone area when he [...]

Minister of Home and Foreign Affairs says Police will take charge
The hit on the well-known bus driver, as well as the vicinity of the deadly spray of bullets on Belize’s side of the Adjacency Zone, has raised serious concerns about [...]

No need for diplomatic note on murder, says F.M.
We asked Foreign Minister Elrington if there will be a protest note sent to the Guatemalan government in the wake of the fatal shooting. According to the F.M., it is [...]

G.O.B. argues to strip Titan Securities of multi-million dollar judgment
“We will appeal…we don’t think that judgment can stand.”  So said Prime Minister Dean Barrow on January twenty-first, 2016, upon hearing that the Supreme Court had awarded Titan International Securities [...]

Less is more; Police Minister says new media policy helps police investigation
As you would know by now, the working relationship between the media and the police, is somewhere at its lowest ebb.  Police are now only providing bulletins scanty of details [...]

Minister promises to work on ‘institutional strengthening’ for press queries
While Elrington is of the firm belief that commanding officers often misspoke during interviews, he also agreed that information channeled to the media via the press release is ineffective.  In [...]

With E.U. quota gone, cane farmers must be competitive
Will Belizean cane sugar remain viable on the European market in 2018?  A gradual shift to cheaper beet sugar produced within the European Union will force stakeholders in the local [...]

Agriculture C.E.O. pushes crop diversity
According to Alpuche, the effect of European producers boxing out the competition can be devastating to local farmers if they do not diversify their crops.   Jose Alpuche, Minister of [...]

Ministries can make do with 2017 budget, says Elrington
The fiscal year 2017 commences on April first and the budget for the upcoming financial calendar has been presented by the Barrow administration.  While the annual financial plan will be [...]

Human skull found in Orange Walk dumpsite
Investigations are ongoing in the case of a human skull found at a dump site over the weekend in the Orange Walk District. Police are providing only the minimal details [...]

Stabbing reported in Caye Caulker
A minor was stabbed in Caye Caulker over the weekend. Police report that the seventeen-year-old boy Ryan Saldivar was wounded in the shoulder on Sunday sometime after seven. Investigations revealed [...]

Shop lifter promises not to steal again, spared jail
A shop lifter who was caught in Public’s Supermarket on Saturday stealing a ball of Dutch cheese was charged with theft and was luckily sentenced to a three-month suspended sentence. [...]

Shopkeeper pleads not guilty to attacking boy in Ladyville
A nine-year-old boy who was harmed late last week was back in school today despite injuries he sustained allegedly inflicted by a Chinese businessman.  The child’s mother, Darlene Morris alleges [...]

Floyd Neal: Beware the NTUCB ‘tiger’
An extraordinary general meeting of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize took place over the weekend in Belize City, at the headquarters of one of its strongest member unions, [...]

Unionists can resolve differences, says Neal
Neal was most recently an aide to Audrey Matura while she was vice-president at OCEANA, and he started out in the Government Information Service with stints at old United Democratic [...]

Youngsters take over Bliss stage for Arts Festival
For the past week or so, Belize’s youngest performers in the districts have been on the stage giving of their talents in art, music, dance, and drama as part of [...]

Revised curriculum boosts arts in schools
Much like the heyday of the adult Festival of the Arts in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the various incarnations of children’s Festivals of the Arts have given Belizeans [...]

Sports Monday talks Basketball, Football and Cycling
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   [Highlights from the weekend sporting activities….]

CTV3

Human Skull Found At Dump Site In Orange Walk
The charred remains of a human skull was discovered here in Orange Walk over the weekend. CTV3 News understands that on Saturday at around 12:25 in the afternoon, police were called out to the garbage dump site located on the Chan Pine Ridge road after the skull was spotted by an individual who was in the area. Upon arrival at the dumpsite police processed the area but were unable to locate the rest of the remains. The partial skull was subsequently taken to the Northern Regional Hospital Morgue where it awaits a DNA test to confirm an identity.

EU Says Goodbye To Sugar Cane
Belize along with various other countries who belong to the European Union’s preferential market are now bracing for direct competition following the recent EU reform on world sugar prices. In view of the introduction of beet sugar in Europe, Belize will no longer enjoy the preferential rates on sugar it has experienced in the past, thus, a reduction in prices of the sweetener is inevitable for Belizean cane farmers. While Belize will continue to benefit from quota- and duty-free access for 1.6 million metric tons of mostly raw-sugar shipments to the EU, Belizean Sugar which stands among the highest production costs may struggle to compete against EU beet farmers who are boosting yields and increasing scale. And with eighty percent of Belizean produced sugar exporting to the EU the market is in no doubt facing troubling times.

Opposition Leader Comments On Taxes In Belize
Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that his Government will be implementing a series of revised tax measures to raise $88 million dollars in the new fiscal year that commences on April 1st. Taxes will be going up on fuel, on the departure fee for air travel, on environmental tax charged on all imported goods, on electricity bills above $100, and on beer, stout, soft drinks and cement. While GST will not see an increase generally, as feared, the revised tax measures will certainly increase the cost of living for Belizeans. PUP Leader John Briceno remains concerned that the tax increases will push individuals into tougher economic conditions.

Will Opposition Participate In Bilateral Discussions In Guatemala?
At a press conference held on Friday, Foreign Minister Wilfred Sedi Elrington commented on the Opposition’s participation in the bilateral discussions with Guatemala. According to Elrington, the Opposition has been invited to all events and encounters, and suggested that it is the PUP who has been absent from meetings. Today, PUP Leader responded, rejecting Elrington’s assertions and instead accusing the Government of not reaching out to them.

Former PUP Standard Bearer Lobbys For Free Internet For Primary School
As you heard in the interviews a number of local leaders also had an input in making today’s initiative a reality. These include former area representative for Corozal South West Ramiro Ramirez and elected Village Council members. We spoke to Ramirez and Councillor Rodolfo Lainez to find out how they believe the community will benefit from free access to Internet.


Re: Today's Belize News: March 21, 2017 [Re: Marty] #522448
03/21/17 06:34 AM
03/21/17 06:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 59,052
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

The Reporter

Two charged for girl’s murder
Investigators in Belmopan have been successful in cracking open the murder case of an 18-year-old girl whose body was found at the Belmopan dumpsite last weekend. Shaylon Santos, 20, a resident of Teakettle village and Jaime Patnett, 22, of a Star Apple street address will be arraigned in the Belmopan […]

Tourist drowns in Placencia
An American tourist who was vacationing with family members in Placencia, drowned unexpectedly late Tuesday evening. On Tuesday around 6:30 p.m., Steven Gail Wine, a 53 year-old American of Colorado was with his wife and other family members socializing at Barefoot Bar, when Wine left the group to go for […]

17 year-old dies after allegedly colliding into parked vehicle
A seventeen year old teenager of St. Matthews village succumbed to injuries he sustained after he was involved in a collision on the Franks Eddy village road this past weekend. Police Investigations have since revealed that on Saturday March 11, at around 11:30 p.m., Eric Ibanez was […]

Belizean executed in Guatemala, shot multiple times
A Belizean man was executed in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala last weekend just two weeks shy of celebrating his 24th birthday. The incident took place on Sunday March 12. Amadeoes Gaspar Teck, a Belizean resident of Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo was shot dead while in Guatemala. Reports […]

GOB’s new departure tax cut be bad for business says BTIA
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), said this week, that the new changes in the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) Act, could raise departure taxes detrimentally high for the tourism industry. Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the proposed changes to the PACT Act during his reading of […]

Bureau of Standards meets the public on World Consumer Rights Day
To commemorate World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) held a three-day public awareness drive, in three districts. The BBS began its tour on Tuesday, visiting Queen Elizabeth Park Orange Walk, on the actual celebration of WCRD, the bureau headed to the Battle […]

Growing Belize’s exports of services and goods
Belize’s exports have traditionally been raw materials from agriculture, forest and fisheries, but with tourism now its fastest growing service sector, the quest to expand Belize’s export of services has become a team effort. To this end, representatives of the Customs, Fisheries, Transport and Civil Aviation joined participants from BELTRAIDE […]

Keep your children close, Magistrate warns
A working mom has been ordered to pay a fine of $500.00 because the court found she had been negligent in allowing her 13 year- old son to be out on the street after 9 o’clock at night. She could have been fined $1,500, or sent to prison, Magistrate Norman […]

GOB hands out new computers
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, handed over 25 new computers to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) and the Hydrology and Agriculture departments, to assist them in improving their productivity. The ministry handed over the computers, a total value of $60,000, […]

Blood clots and their risks
A blood clot that is stationary, such as on the skin, or elsewhere, is generally not harmful, but if it is in a vein and breaks up and travels to your heart and lungs, it could become a serious health factor because it can get […]

10-foot “croc” removed from Belama Street
Residents in the Belama Phase 1 area can breathe a sigh of relief after learning that a 10-foot crocodile, large enough to kill a child, was safely removed from a street in the area at the break of dawn on Tuesday. It took the effort […]

Editorial
This week the Ministry of Economic Development broke out its first national consultation to create a National Trade Policy that will guide Belize on its development path leading to economic prosperity. The panel of presenters showed itself to be well informed and progressive in looking for new ways for Belize […]

Budget 2017: Spending cuts, Taxes up
Increased revenues from taxes, widening recurring expenditures, decreased Capital II spending, and a fulfilled promise to avoid retrenchment, are only some of the highlights of the Government of Belize’s 2017/2018 National Budget. Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the $1.18 billion budget on Monday, accompanied by […]

Superbond 3.0 is unsustainable, experts say
By Alexis R. Milan Editor The government of Belize, this week, officially announced the success of its consent solicitation with the new terms of the revised 2034 bonds on the heels of touting the restructuring as a national and political victory. Experts, however, don’t share Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s same […]

No info, no coverage!
Relations between the media and the Belize Police Department’s press office deteriorated this week after a policy introduced in January governing the method of information dissemination has effectively blocked the media from important details about criminal and police related matters. The media has collectively decided […]

Fire consumes elderly woman and house
Louise Berry, an 86 year-old woman who lived alone in a 10' by 8' wooden structure on Iguana Street, Belize City, died Thursday morning when flames consumed her while trying to get out of the burning place. Berry’s step-sister, Gretel Lopez told the Reporter that […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Police needs public help to find man who killed sister
Police are seeking public assistance in capturing Elijah Burke in relation with his sister’s death. Today BBN reported that a woman was hacked to death at her home in Belize City on Sunday. Police now suspect that Elijah inflicted the fatal wounds to his sister. He has since reportedly gone into hiding.

Belize the 50th Happiest country in the world
Despite the economic outlook and social ills, Belize is still the 50th happiest country in the wold, according to the latest World Happiness Report, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The UN released the WHR 2017, this month, which ranked the citizen satisfaction of people in 155 countries. The report sampled responses of an average of 3000 participants per country, asking them to evaluate their lives in six categories, from 0-10 (0 being the worst possible, and 10 being the best). The six categories are “GDP per capita”, “Social support”, “Healthy life expectancy”, “Freedom to make choices”, “Generosity”, and “Perceptions of corruption.”

Woman chopped multiple times in Belize City
A woman was chopped multiple times in Belize City yesterday. According to reports, police responded to information of a chopping incident and visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where they encountered Julian Burke, 29, suffering from multiple chop wounds.

Police find human skull at garbage dump in Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk District found the charred remains of a human skull this weekend. According to reports, on Saturday at around 12:25 in the afternoon, police visited the garbage dump site located on Chan Pine Ridge road in Orange Walk District when they made the discovery. The partial skull was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital Morgue.

San Ignacio man busted with 9mm
According to police reports, on Saturday around 4:05 a.m., San Ignacio Police were on mobile patrol on Bullet Tree road when their attention was drawn to 26-year-old Melvin Ray Charles Budna, a labourer of San Ignacio, who threw away a black bag upon seeing the police.

GOB to borrow $81.8 million to finance 2017-2018 budget
Last fiscal year 2016-2017, government projected needing $149,419,532 to finance the budget. The actual out-turn was $245,593,911. For the new budget for fiscal year 2017-2018, the Prime Minister is projecting the external financing needs for the budget to be $81,815,420. In his budget presentation, […]

GOB to collect $7 million GST from your electricity bills
Belizeans whose electricity bills exceed $100 will now have to pay General Sales Tax (GST) on their monthly bills. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in his budget presentation last week, introduced a tax package aimed at collecting more revenues while curbing expenditure. Barrow said that […]

Public officers’ 3 percent salary adjustment totals $15 million
dean In the Prime Minister’s budget speech last week, he reiterated government’s commitment to implement the third stage of the salary adjustment package for public servants and teachers. The increase was due to be implemented in the last fiscal year but was deferred after Hurricane […]

NTUCB elects Floyd Neal as new president
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held over the weekend, elected a new president and executive. Floyd Neal, who ran against Jacqueline Willoughby, was elected as the union’s new president. Neal will serve as president for the […]

Young’s law firm remains open
Young’s Law Firm hasn’t yet closed its doors, as had been previously speculated. The Young firm, however, has made it clear that offices are still operational though business is winding now. Deceased attorney at law, Michael Young, was the sole proprietor of the law […]

Santa Elena town gets new sign
Yesterday, the Mayor of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Earl Trapp inaugurated a new sign in Santa Elena town. The colorful sign is located at the round about on the La Loma Luz boulevard. The Cayo district is a large […]

Philip Palacio to be buried today
Attorney at Law, Philip Palacio, is scheduled to be buried today. According to reports, a bus will leave Dangriga at 9 a.m. for those wishing to attend the funeral service in Belize City. We are told that the funeral will be held at St. […]

Police investigating murder of Belizean killed in Champon
According to an official report from police, on Friday night around 9, police visited Larios Bar located at the Belize Adjacency Zone area (Champon) at the Belize Western Border where they saw Carlos Manzanero, 40, Belizean bus driver of San Jose Succotz Village, Cayo […]

Blogs

A GORGEOUS Day Out and About in San Pedro Town
Today is just the most glorious day on Ambergris Caye, Belize. I have little more to tell you… Chuck & Robbie's Dive Shop San Pedro Belize Well that’s not TOTALLY true. But I can not promise you anything of consequence. Here’s the beauty of this morning. Low 80s…cooling breeze…the westerly wind swept much of the sargasso off the shore. And the weather for the rest of the week is forecasted to be great. I stopped at Chuck & Robbie’s Dive Shop and decided to take a short walk – and take lots of picture in Boca Del Rio. The beach road just north of town. And a few things going on in town – I posted the photos to my Facebook page but I thought I would re-iterate if you aren’t one of the billion on FB. Our San Pedro High School Male Softball Team won NATIONALS! And I caught them on their victory parade this morning.

It’s Not All Fun and Games Living on Ambergris Caye Island
For many, living on Ambergris Caye Island presents a challenging paradigm. Being largely a ‘drinking island’ the results of alcohol on working and personal environments can often reach crazy proportions. What would not be the norm elsewhere is often overlooked in regards to drinking.I once had a friend tell me he knew where to buy beer at 6:00 am if he needed to. My first thought was, “buddy that is the last thing you need to know”. That was a few years ago, sadly he has been spiraling ever since. I have also heard tales of repeat black-outs from the same person. At 49, I do not understand how that isfun, I tried it once (at 16) and vowed never again. To this day 33 years later I have been drunk way too many times to count (sorry mom) but kept my promise to myself and never blacked out again. Living on a tropical island and you can always find friends to play with at bars. Plus there is a tendency to get instantly thrown on the vacation party mode ride when friends are visiting or simply because we can alltoo easily. It is an above average party place with a strong social bar culture.

MAYAN LEGENDS: BEDTIME STORIES OF AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION
Mayan Legends Mayan mythology emerged from the traditions and religion of a civilization as old as 3,000 years from a vast region called Mesoamerica: territories that are now the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatan, in addition to some parts of Central America. Even though many of the texts written by the Mayans were burned on the arrival of the Spanish, some legends have survived and continue to be told today. Mayan mythology is fascinating. The stories below serve a double purpose: to remember the traditions of a civilization that continues to be alive. To shed some light on a culture that we are immerged in. 1. The legend of the Aluxes: mystical beings that since the beginning of time take care of their owners. 2. The legend of Xtabay: a story that gives life to a liquor found in the Yucatan Peninsula. 3. The love story of Sac-Nicte & Canek: one of the many legends that explain the abandonment of Chichen Itza. 4. The legend of the Uxmal dwarf: an unlikely king who builds spectacular structures and made a city grow.

Reef Swim 2017 – What a Way to Create Awareness
You may have read about me joining a brave and very athletic group of swimmers during last year’s Reef Swim. We swam from the Amigo’s Del Mar Dive Shop to the reef and back. While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and promised to do it again, this year had to be a little different. A mere swim to the reef and back would not begin to create the awareness needed to understand the importance of our World Heritage Site. After snorkelling the Barrier Reef from North to South along with Madi, this means more now than it ever did. Luckily I have a few friends that share my passion for our Belize Barrier Reef. Kristin Marin, head of the group of activists leading the charge against offshore oil in San Pedro, was ready for reef week even before I was able to contact her. She had already printed “no to offshore oil” flags for the occasion. The next obvious contact to make was our pioneer of reef cleanups himself, Martin John Leslie. I knew he’d be excited at the thought of having a lot more Reef Angels in the water on Reef Week. A flyer, a few more calls for Kayaks and snorkel gear and we had ourselves a Reef Week event we could be proud of.

Morning Drive By: Wyndham Grand Belize on Ambergris Caye
This morning we were driving to town to run some errands. And about 3 miles north – at the property called The Venezia – a bit of Venice in Belize – I saw this peeking out… …and came to a screaming halt. A Wyndham resort? In Belize? WHAT? Apparently yes. I had to look it up to see exactly what Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are. Here’s what I found…the Wyndham Hotel Group includes TONS of brands. Days Inn, Howard Johnsons, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge and Dream Hotels – it also includes RCI, the largest timeshare company in the world. Wyndham Grand exists in over 40 locations – larger, luxury resorts. The website for the Wyndham Grand Belize is somewhat limited – and very similar to that for Venezia Del Caribe. So I don’t know if there is a new owner or a new investor or just an investment in a franchise. But I do know this will widen the exposure that Belize gets. Will turn up the spot light.

The Warm Allure of Naïa Resort & Spa
My idea of a perfect getaway is escaping to a quiet beachside resort, where you can explore secluded beaches, languish by a swimming pool, nap in a hammock and indulge in fabulous food and cocktails. Add having your worries massaged away by a skilled masseuse, while surrounded by peaceful serenity, and I’d say you had me at hello! Needless to say, when the nice folks at Naïa Resort and Spa invited me to a weekend of pampering, I couldn’t wait to pack my bags and head to Placencia! Known as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize, the Placencia Peninsula is centrally located in the Stann Creek District. This picturesque ribbon of land is blessed with 17 miles of sunrise beach front and a vast sunset lagoon with mountain views of the mainland. The length of the peninsula is dotted with sleepy communities, marinas and resorts, with the village of Placencia at the southern tip. Located between Maya Beach and the Garifuna village of Seine Bight, Naïa Resort and Spa is situated within the 200-acre Cocoplum Residence. On 19 acres of quiet beachfront and tropical landscapes, Naïa is the newest star in this resort community.

International Sourcesizz

CDB provides funds for poverty reduction in 8 Caribbean countries
The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it is providing US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight Caribbean through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). It said the resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9). The countries that will benefit from the initiative are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

Europe Is Waving Goodbye to Sugar Cane
Europeans’ taste for sugar transformed the world. West Indies plantations built from the 17th century to feed demand drove a nexus of commerce, capital and manufacturing that fomented the industrial revolution and modern financial markets. More than three hundred years later, Europe is set to deliver a crippling blow to a trade that once made up almost a fifth of its entire imports, and has sustained developing-country sugar cane farmers since. The European Union’s decision to remove limits on its own beet-sugar output from October means less demand for cane growers from Jamaica in the Caribbean, to the Pacific island of Fiji, and Swaziland in southern Africa. “Within a decade or so, I can see the EU market for raw sugar from the Caribbean being all but a matter of history,” said David Jessop, an adviser to companies and governments on trade and investment in the region. "The challenge from the Caribbean perspective is what they can do, if anything, to ensure the future of their industry."

Cops hunting Toronto man accused in Belize murder
Central American detectives believe a Toronto man wanted for the senseless slaying of a beloved athlete on a lonely road is hiding here. Jordan Bacchus, 27, is wanted in Belize for the May 6, 2016 murder of Melvin Almendarez. The San Pedro Sun reports that Bacchus was the prime suspect at the time of the slaying but was sprung after 48 hours. A week later a warrant was issued for his arrest. By then, he had fled to Canada despite surrendering his passport and other documents to police in Belize.

Marine Biology class travels to Belize over Spring Break
A Saint Mary’s marine biology class took in-depth learning to a whole new meaning. The class spent spring break in Belize at South Water Caye applying what it learned in the classroom life to the natural world. Saint Mary’s assistant biology professor Laura Kloepper said marine biology had not been taught in years, but the department now plans on regularly running the class. “For the past few years no one has been teaching that class,” Kloepper said. “So we’ve resurrected the marine biology class and we plan on teaching this every two years. This trip to Belize was part of the lab component for our marine biology class that we offer here for majors.” Kloepper said studying Belize was an obvious choice because of its diverse environment. She said it provided a unique opportunity to learn more about a field that is not as prominent in a landlocked state like Indiana.

S&P cuts Belize rating following announced debt exchange
On March 17, 2017, S&P Global Ratings lowered its long-term foreign currency rating on Belize to selective default ('SD') from 'CC'. At the same time, we removed the rating from CreditWatch with negative implications, where we had placed it on Feb. 21, 2017. In addition, we lowered the short-term foreign currency rating to 'D' from 'C'. At the same time, we affirmed the 'CC' long-term local currency rating and the 'C' short-term local currency rating. We revised the outlook on the long-term local currency rating to stable from negative. We affirmed our transfer and convertibility (T&C) assessment at 'CC'. We are also lowering our rating on the bonds included in the sovereign's debt exchange to 'D' from 'CC' (foreign currency bonds due in 2038).

Belize Budget Looks To Indirect Taxes To Boost Revenues
Belize has rejected International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendations to raise taxes across the board in favor of more selective reforms that it says will be less punitive to the country's businesses and poorest citizens. In his budget speech the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Natural Resources, Dean Barrow, rejected the IMF's "publicly rehearsed" advice to raise general sales tax (GST), ditch zero-rated treatment for certain products, cancel exemptions, and increase personal and business income taxes as "regressive and punitive to both citizens and enterprise." He instead announced a series of "pro-poor and pro-people" reforms, which he said would increase revenues by 2.2 percent of GDP. These include a 10 percent income tax on statutory boards of "quasi government entities;" increasing the excise levy on aerated water, beer and stout, cement, and fuel; increasing the environmental charge on imported goods by one percent; and raising stamp duty on foreign exchange permits by 0.5 percent.

When former ‘King Sugar’ is waiting to be pronounced dead
The news out of Europe this past week has not been good for cane sugar, a manufactured product that has been at the heart of the continent’s relationship with the English-speaking Caribbean for over 300 years and, at one point, was the mainstay of most regional economies, including Barbados. Bloomberg, the global financial and business news service, reported that the European Union (EU) is planning from this October to fully liberalize its market for domestic beet sugar, a move which is expected not only to reduce demand for cane sugar imports from former colonies like Barbados which make up the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group but also bring down prices close to what obtains on the world market where only the most efficient producers can survive. Jamaica, Belize and Guyana, which still export significant quantities of raw cane sugar to the EU, will be the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries hardest hit. In Barbados’ case, even though exports today are negligible compared with 25 or so years ago, they still bring in valuable foreign exchange which helps to boost the island’s stock of international currency reserves.

'Don't worry, be happy' seems to have bypassed the Caribbean
The fifth annual World Happiness Report, written by a group of independent experts under the aegis of the United Nations, was published on Monday, but the concept immortalised in song of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, often erroneously attributed to Bob Marley, seems to have bypassed the Caribbean. In fact, out of a total of 155 countries listed, the first four that could be considered part of the wider Caribbean are mainland countries: Mexico (25), Guatemala (29), Panama (30) and Colombia (36). The first island country listed, somewhat surprisingly given the rampart crime problems there, is Trinidad and Tobago (38). This is followed by two more Central American countries: Nicaragua (43) and Belize (50). The next Caribbean island is Jamaica (76), followed by Venezuela (82); another island, the Dominican Republic (86); and Honduras (91) also in Central America.

CDB announces US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight Caribbean countries
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight countries in the Caribbean region, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). The resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9). Countries that will benefit are: Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; and Suriname. “The participating countries share many common characteristics and face a number of challenges inherent to small, open economies. BNTF 9 will respond to the development needs of these countries, which face challenges associated with limited diversity in production and extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, which is now exacerbated by climate change and other external shocks,” said Daniel Best, director of projects, CDB.

MCC SQUAD DEPART FOR MEXICO & BELIZE
A squad from Marylebone Cricket Club left Lord’s on Wednesday 15 March ahead of a 14-day tour of Mexico and Belize. The 13-strong squad will be managed by former Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Toby Bailey and captained by Hampstead batsman George Adair. The Club will play the Mexico national team at the Reforma Club in Mexico City, before travelling to Belize to compete in the sixth Central American Cricket Championships. The tournament features twelve teams including Costa Rica, Aruba and Belize. John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “This is the first MCC overseas tour of the year and it’s a very exciting one.

Videos

  • Parade for the SPHS Male Softball Team , 2min. The Community of San Pedro is proud of the San Pedro High School Male Softball Team that displayed lots of dedication and discipline to bring the National Championship Trophy to San Pedro. Congrats.

  • Shark Ray Alley, Belize, 1min.

  • SCUBA DIVING IN BELIZE!! 2015, 11min.

  • Belize Reef off Caye Caulker UNDERWATER with TURTLES GOPR6460, 4min.

  • THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BUDGET AND SUPERBOND | BELIZE POLITICS, 1hr39min. Belize Progressive Party: Its high time Belizeans and true friends of Belize hear the the truth about the two abominations (the Budget and the Superbond), which are, undoubtedly, hallmarks of the PUDP.

  • Inside Belize's First Earthship, 4K 360 Honeymoon, 2min. In deepest, darkest Belize - the southern state of Toledo, if you get a bus far enough, you may eventually bump into the Atkinson family. They're a band of Brits who've 'escaped to the wild' and set up a homestead next door to the enchanting Mayan ruins of Lubaantun. But more than just build a few cabanas and growing some bananas, they embarked on a truly staggering, monumental project. These lovely nutters have decided to build an 'earth ship'; a building made completely from rubbish. Tens of thousands of bottles let the light in, tires, plastics of every description are packed into the earthquake-friendly walls to make a structure that's like a big breathtaking wedding cake. If you didn't know, 'Earth Ships' are a thing. An architect called Michael Reynolds is to blame, and these beautiful fortresses of trash are cropping up all over the place. But the Atkinsons' is the only one in Belize to date. You can find them and their progress on Facebook as 'Chaos Oasis'.

  • SPRING 2017 BELIZE STUDY ABROAD, 7min. AEC/CALS study abroad trip to Belize during Spring Break 2017.

  • Meet the Meat Pie Man of Belize City. They say his call is just as satisfying as his delicious treats, 1/2min.

  • Just passing by Ramon's Village Resort, 2.5min.

  • Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Missions Trip 2015, 11min. Restoration Temples 2015 missions trip to the Los Flores area in Belize.

  • Snorkeling with Fred Dodd, Founder of IZE Belize 1970 South Water Caye 2017, 6.5min.

  • Zero Tolerance Band playing at Jalapenos in Hopkins Belize, 3.5min. Zero Tolerance is a local band that is very talented. Check out this video shot at night


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