FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
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
On Sunday, March 19th, Caye Caulker Police received a report of a stabbing incident, and visited a clinic on Pasero Street, where they saw a male minor of a Belize City address suffering several injuries: a stab wound to the left shoulder, right hand, as well as abrasions to the head and right hand. Investigations revealed that around 6PM, the male minor was socializing at a bar, when he got into a fight with 22-year-old Charles Robinson of San Pedro, who then inflicted injuries on the minor.
While police attempted to detain Robinson, he tried to escape from police by jumping into a boat. However, in an effort to avoid being hit by the boat, the police fired a single shot at the engine causing a hole in the engine which is valued at $30,000.00. Police investigations continue.
SPTC is temporarily burning garbage at the island’s dump
To help reduce the massive amount of garbage accumulated at the town’s dump, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has once again resorted to the burning trash. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, following the Garbage Transfer Station’s temporary cease of operations in January of this year, this is the alternative until a solution is found. Mayor Guerrero has stated before that if operations at the station were to shut down permanently, the SPTC would go back to burning garbage. He told The San Pedro Sun that even though the station has resumed its day to day functions to get rid of garbage from the island, the amount is too big for them to get rid of. “We are burning trash again, but it is temporary as the transfer station cannot get rid of the garbage in a timely manner,” said Guerrero. “There is too much garbage accumulated there. But after we assist the transfer station in getting rid of the excess, we will stop burning.”
It is expected that in upcoming weeks, the old practice of burning will stop and the SPTC hopes not to return to it in the future.
Retirees voice concerns over issues with QRP program
The Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) incentive program was designed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) to make retiring in Belize easy. Once eligible persons have met the income requirements to permanently live and retire in Belize, recipients are able to enjoy various benefits, including the convenience of not stamping their passport every 30 days at the Immigration Office. Although the QRP program has attracted hundreds of foreigners yearly, many have recently encountered setbacks within the program and have expressed their concerns to The San Pedro Sun. There seems to now be an issue with one particular benefit: the QRP card. Many expats have complained that they have not received their QRP identification card, even after applying months ago. Many, like Mike McDonnell, are now threatening to leave the program. “With no cards, we can’t benefit from the program. People have paid their fees and submitted all the required forms with no results. We were told by BTB that Immigration was printing the cards, and I have never gotten any information from Immigration. BTB first told us the cards were delayed because they were out of printer ink,” said McDonnell.
Prime Minister Barrow pushes Re-registration to July 2018
Originally set take place in July 2017, the Elections and Boundaries Commission has decided that voter re-registration will now take place after the Municipal Elections in 2018. The opposition and social partners have demanded the Government of Belize (GOB) to conduct a voter re-registration after Ruth Meighan, former immigration director, revealed that the 2012 general elections were fraudulent. During an interrogation at the Senate Hearing into the Immigration Scandal, Meighan disclosed to the Senate Select Committee that a large number of unqualified individuals were issued fraudulent nationality certificates, allowing them the opportunity to register and vote in elections. The next municipal election is scheduled for March 7, 2018, and the opposition and the social partners have rejected this decision entirely. According to them, a re-registration is necessary because of voter fraud, and proper re-registration ensures that all future elections are fair and concise.
Belize Reef Week 2017 A Success
During Reef Week 2017 Belizeans celebrated the crucial role of coral reefs to our country’s economy, food security and cultural heritage under the theme, “Turn the Tide, Respect the Reef”. The national activities occurred between March 10th 2017 and March 17th 2017.
Since 2013, organizations from across Belize have come together to celebrate “Reef Week” by organizing activities that highlight the incalculable contribution of our marine resources and the Belize Barrier Reef System to the national economy and to the Belizean collective cultural identity.
This year, Belizeans across the country celebrated the contributions of the Belize Barrier Reef through a multitude of activities, including delivering more than 265,000 signatures from around the world to the Prime Minister’s office asking for a ban on offshore oil, hosting a bike ride from the National Assembly building in Belmopan to the Belize City coast to highlight that decisions made in the corridors of power have impact on marine resources, organizing informational fairs, concerts, swims to the reef, participating in morning show broadcasts live from Punta Gorda, holding art exhibits, executing clean-ups, lionfish culls and launching social media competitions and poetry contests.
San Pedro Nominated For Two Orvis Awards In Fly Fishing
The excitement for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this month is word that a local sports fisherman and fishing lodge have been nominated for the 2017 Orris Endorsed Awards for excellence in the fly fishing industry around the world.
Local sports fisherman and tour guide Carlos ‘Kechu’ Marin has been nominated for 2017 Saltwater Fly-Fishing Guide of the Year and El Pescador has been nominated for 2017 International Destination of the Year! How cool is that; we are all excited!?
Orvis is a retail and mail-order business specializing in high-end fly fishing, hunting and sporting goods which has been recognized as a leader in the industry. For more than 30 years, the Orvis Company has been recognizing excellence in sporting experiences through its Endorsed Lodges, Outfitters, and Guides program. The winners of this year’s coveted awards will be announced at a ceremony during the 2017 Orvis Guide Rendezvous in Missoula, Montana, on April 28.
Misc Belizean Sources
Ministry of Health Wants You to “Unite to End TB” on World Tuberculosis Day
The Ministry of Health will once again join the global community in observing World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24th, 2017.
This year’s theme is “Unite to End TB”. The idea is to have patients and their physicians or health care provider think of TB as part of the national efforts to increase the number of cases diagnosed and treated successfully in Belize.
This year, health regions across the country will be hosting various public information sessions including TB talks, ‘Morning Show’ appearances and booth displays to share information.
UNAUTHORIZED LAND DISTRIBUTION AND UNAUTHORIZED SURVEY AT MILES 42 and 43 GEORGE PRICE HIGHWAY
The Lands and Surveys Department has been informed that a person or persons are reportedly involved in unauthorized distribution and surveying of lots within Parcels 945, 946, 947 and 948 Mount Pleasant Registration Section,situated at the intersection of the More Tomorrow Road and George Price Highway between Miles 42 and 43 near Cotton Tree Village.
The Lands and Surveys Department hereby warns the general public and especially the residents of Cotton Tree and More Tomorrow Villages and surrounding communities that:
1. Parcels 945, 946, 947 and 948 are private lands.
Coastal Awareness Week Run 4 The Coast
Next week Saturday, we end Coastal Awareness Week with a Run For The Coast! Come out and run or walk to raise awareness of the sustainable use of Belize's coastal and marine resources! There will be prizes for top finishers in all age groups and several giveaways! Register early to be one of our first twenty participants who will receive a free Coastal Awareness Week T-shirt.
Belize International Film Festival - Tropical & Topical!!!
Thanks for the review Kevin Lally and Film Journal International!! We are now accepting submissions for the 2017 Edition of BIFF. Entry forms on website at www.belizefilmfestival.com. Deadline is April 30th, 2017
Please support the TREE OF CORTEZ initiative
@summerofgoldbelize is the username to quickly locate the Facebook page for "Summer of GOLD" project... which aims to plant 100,000 Cortez Gold trees across Belize, to create a natural man-made wonder when these trees bloom every March-April.
Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm on Sunday, March 26: Mile 2.5 to 35 along Philip Goldson Highway
Including Belama Phases 2,3 & 4, Bella Vista, Fuller’s Crescent, Driftwood Bay, Ladyville, Lords Bank, Green Estate, Dew Drop Estate, Los Lagos, Maxboro, Sandhill, Maskall, St. Ann’s, Corozalito, Chicago, Santana, Lucky Strike, Cowhead Creek, Rockstone Pond, Boston, Grace Bank, Gardenia, Biscayne, Crooked Tree and Rhaburn Ridge. BEL to conduct critical maintenance and testing of equipment at the West Lake Substation which supplies electricity to portions of the Belize District. In the event that there is a need to balance the load on the mobile substation, portions of Belize City may experience 3 hours of power interruption.
BTB hosts Agents from UK
Top Agents from the UK are currently in country conducting a Familiarization trip to experience Belize.
Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project Community Outreach Committee Meeting
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project invites the public to our Community Outreach Committee Meeting on April 1st 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the House of Culture.
We will be discussing up and coming events and will assess potential programs for the following months. These programs are a central component of long term museum program development..
Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Student Plans
Form 1 students are very entrepreneurial! Tuesday, April 4th come to the palapa garden beachfront, 10-3, to learn about student plans for a Teen Club, Island Gym, Coconut products, Baked Goods and much more.
Minister John Saldivar Keynote Speaker at Opening of Quality Poultry Complex in Belmopan
Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar was Keynote Speaker at a ceremony this morning marking the official opening of a brand new complex for Quality Poultry Products in the Capital City, which serves as a wholesale distribution and retail outlet, as well as a convenience store and restaurant.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Belmopan Deputy Mayor Ralston Frazer and Quality Poultry Products General Manager Raymond Barkman who gave the Area Representative and Deputy Mayor a full tour of the facility after they cut the symbolic ribbon for the official opening.
It's Cross Country Season!
3 GREAT races in 3 weekends
First in the series is the the 18th Edition of the Junior Cross Country to be held on Sunday April 2nd, 9 a.m from Succotz Ferry in Cayo to BEL Headquarters, Phillip Godson Highway in Belize City.
Second event is the 28th Annual Womens Cross Country to be held on Sunday April 9th starting at 9:00 a.m. from Columbus Park in San Ignacio to BTL Park in Belize City.
The grand finale is the 89th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic which will be held in Saturday April 15th, 6:00 a.m from the BTL Park in Belize City to Columbus Park in San Ignacio return to finish at the BTL Park.
Tryouts for the male U19 and U17 continue this weekend at SJC gym. Interested and talented U19 and U17 male athletes should come to tryouts this Saturday at 9:30 am and 3:00 pm and Sunday morning at 8:00 am at SJC gym.
U19 Males must be born 1999 and after and U17 males must be born 2001 and after. Athletes will continue with practicing during the week and weekends from now through September and October when the teams participate in the CA Championship. Players outside of Belize City will train in their area during the week and then come to Belize City on weekends to train together. Player evaluation continues this weekend.
Join us this Earth Hour at BTL Park on Saturday, March 25, 7:00pm for songs, stories, poems and a candlelight walk at 8:30pm to the Baron Bliss Lighthouse. Let your light shine and be a part of the movement towards building a better tomorrow for our planet and future generations.
Spread the word and bring a friend along! Together, we can unite to shine a light on climate action and Change Climate Change!
From its humble beginnings in 2007, WWF's Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest grassroots-led environmental movement for the planet, engaging more than 178 countries and territories worldwide!
Casino Mayan Princess of Chetumal closes
POR ESTO and PQ Newspapers from Mexico report that the Mayan Princess Casino of Chetumal called it quits today, as a result of unsustainable federal taxes being levied on them by the new government under Carlos Joaquín González.
As a consequence of today's closure, the casino terminated more than 60 of their employees.
Tal y como los diario POR ESTO! dieron a conocer de manera oportuna, el casino Mayan Princess de Chetumal cerró sus puertas desde este día, luego de ser “ahorcado” por las cargas tributarias impuestas por el gobierno federal y por el “gobierno del cambio” de Carlos Joaquín González.
Iciento a las erogaciones en juegos y concursos ordenado por el gobierno joaquinista se sumó al impuesto federal ya existente por los premios de loterías, rifas, sorteos y concursos, que es de aproximadamente un 7 por ciento en el caso de Quintana Roo.
CJC EXPO 2017
Corozal Junior College invites the community to its annual Expo and Trade Show 2017. Friday, 31st March 2017, from 9am to 4pm on the CJC campus.
Library Computer Courses in Corozal
Adults and Seniors, here’s an opportunity to enhance yourself with technology. Come and learn Basic Computers Skills. Don’t be left behind. Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30pm, beginning Wednesday 29th March 2017. Cost: $5 per session.
Space is limited, please contact the Corozal Public Library at 422-3751.
CEMJC Open Day 2017
YOU ARE INVITED! It is that time of the year again. It is time for the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College’s (CEMJC) Annual Open Day. We plan to bring you lots of surprises and give you many prizes. It all happens on Thursday April 6th, 2017, beginning at 9am. Be a part of this grand event highlighting the best of CEMJC. It’s all happening at the grounds in San Roman. Pin it down on your calendar and don’t miss out.
4th Annual Citrus Festival
4th Annual Citrus Festival coming up this Sunday. Come on out with the family for a fun day!
11am to 6pm at Blue Moon in Belmopan!
Shyne to partner with Group Hug
Group Hug is VERY pleased to announce that the Office of the Music Ambassador has offered to partner with Group Hug for multiple projects in the upcoming months!
The Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow, has proposed to sponsor and host the first ever Bright Lights Talent Competition' in Hattieville, to be organised later this year! This is in addition to his continued support for our Backpack Drive and Christmas Charity Event.
On behalf of our beneficiaries and members, we extend a big thank you to your dedication to our cause!
Child Advisory Body (CAB) of Belmopan cultural activity
As a part of its mandate to create child and family friendly educational initiatives, the Child Advisory Body (CAB) of Belmopan is hosting its first cultural activity. This will be held on Sunday March 26th, 2017 from 3pm to 6 pm at the Independence Park. CAB will be showchasing the CREOLE CULTURE
Easter Fest 2017
Apr 15 at 12 PM, Holiday Hotel,
Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro. In less than a month away for #Easter Fest 2017! JOIN this Belikin-Style Mega Madness 2-day event, Holy Saturday & Easter Sunday! Get those swimsuits ready!
Santa Elena Rabies Vaccinations
Rabies Vaccination Campaign underway in SISE. See flier below for the 4 locations in Santa Elena this Saturday, March 25th! Take your pet to the location nearest to your home for a FREE Rabies Vaccine.
Go Inside Belize’s San Ignacio Resort Hotel
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel was highlighted in Uptown Magazine. Their new look is amazing, inside and out, as they are currently putting the final touches on the exterior. Cayo's in town jungle. Keep up the great service, SIRH!
"San Ignacio Resort Hotel in San Ignacio, Belize underwent a cosmetic revamp for its 40th birthday, so it could continue offering guests unparalleled luxury in the jungle of Central America. The saw replaced the scalpel to give this luxury property a facelift that includes a new contemporary and Mediterranean-style lobby, complete with a new Baroque-themed bar; a formal dining room; extended outdoor seating; and an overhaul of existing suites. The 26-room hotel also added two new suites that are outfitted with in-room Jacuzzis."
AN EXPERIENCE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY: MARA SÁNCHEZ-RENERO
The Embassy of Mexico to Belize, in collaboration with the Museum of Belize and NICH, kindly invite all amateur / professional photographers and general public interested in the Visual Arts to participate in the FREE workshop:
AN EXPERIENCE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY: MARA SÁNCHEZ-RENERO
Dates: Thursday April 6th- 11th Daily Sessions from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 8th: 11:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.
East Indian Community Leaders and NICH Participate in Indian Diaspora World Convention
UK Travel Agents Familiarization Tour of Belize
More Pieces of Body In River Near Blackman Eddy
Yesterday we told you about the 'crocus' bag containing the amputated hands and legs of a human. The bag was found about a quarter mile downstream from the Iguana Creek Bridge, and was discovered by the brothers of 18 year old Kerona Ara, who was murdered over a week ago. Since then police have been working on identifying the origin of these dismembered body parts, and earlier today they got another clue.
This morning another bag was found a little further down the river. This bag contained a torso without legs, arms and head. And while police have yet to positively match it to the body parts found yesterday, eyewitnesses have told us that the body appears to be that of a female, which lines up with reports we received yesterday.
Another Mamaeyal Fatal
A Yo Creek Villager was killed in an accident at the notorious Mameyal curve on the Northern Highway. This morning around 8:00, 23 year old Matthew Bull was heading to Orange Walk on his motorcycle when he tried to overtake a cane truck at the curve. Bull slammed into an oncoming Ford Pickup truck and was flung violently off his cycle unto the pavement. 31 year old Hernan Cortez was driving the truck at the time. Police haven’t disclosed if Cortez will be charged. Over the years, there have been countless serious and fatal accidents at the Mameyal Curve – which is at mile 57 on the northern highway.
Santa Elena Fire Claims Two Houses
A blaze took down 2 homes this evening in Santa Elena. Gerald Gregory Vasquez was upstairs with his wife at their George Price Avenue home when their daughter, who lives in front of them alerted them of the fire downstairs. They rushed out of the house and tried to contain the blaze but it engulfed their home and spread to their relative’s house next door. this video captured by a passerby shows the house in free burn stage. The flames destroyed everything. Vasquez lost about $15,000 worth of belongings. Reports in the town suggest that it was arson, but the fire department has not released any official report as yet. If you would like to contact or help Vasquez and his family you can call 650 1579.
Man Accused of Chopping Sister To Death Appears Before Court Disoriented
Today Elijah Burke, who is accused of chopping his sister, Juliane Burke, to death appeared in the Magistrate's Court. Burke was scheduled to be arraigned for murder, but when Magistrate Carlon Mendoza called his name, Burke said that he wasn't Elijah, and that was the name of his brother who happens to look like him. Mendoza asked him again, and Burke again said no. This denial of identity led the prosecutor to believe that Burke was not in his right mind, and asked that the court have him examined. Mendoza obliged and ordered that a psychiatric evaluation be conducted. Despite his behaviour, the charge of murder was still read to him and he was remanded to prison, and is scheduled to appear again on June 21st.
COLA Crew Vindicated Of Tyre Fire Charge
In October of 2016, at the height of the teachers’ strike, unknown persons started a tyre fire on the Belcan Bridge. It was put out in a few minutes, and didn't lead to anything else, but police moved quickly to find and charge the persons responsible. Within a few days, they said that the activist group COLA and its allies were responsible. COLA President Giovanni Brackett, Perry “Stix” Smith, Clayburn Pascascio, Adrian Avaloy and two minors were charged with causing a bonfire to be set without police permission. They all pleaded not guilty when they first appeared in court five months ago. Southside Commander Chester Williams said it was a “methodical investigation” and that police had all the evidence. But, today in Magistrate’s court, the case fizzled and the charges were struck out against all 6 accused. That gave Brackett and his attorney an opportunity to do some chest-thumping against the government:…
Hunting Accident Causes Fratricide In Toledo
One brother has killed another in a hunting accident in the Toledo district. 31 year old Geraldo Cus and his 22 year old brother Leonardo went hunting yesterday evening around 6:00. They ventured about 10 miles outside of San Miguel. According to the younger Cus, he and his brother got separated, and a couple hours later he accidentally shot Geraldo in the chest. After realizing what he'd done Cus called his family and rushed Geraldo to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds late last night.
Police are still investigating, but at newstime, no charges and been finalized for Cus.
The Enduring Mystery Of “Mr. Middleton” Unravels
Since the first Wednesday of this month, we’ve been showing you how the mysterious character, known only as “Mr. Middleton”, was being brought up regularly in the Senate Hearings on Immigration. His name was first called by Immigration Officer Mark Tench, as the man who somehow managed to get his hands on at least 6 of the 8 stolen visas which went missing from the Immigration Department’s Western Border back in November of 2012.
Officer Tench then pointed fingers at Patrick Tillett, UDP insider and former Belize City Council employee, who was hired to perform a visa service for 6 Chinese Nationals. Tillett was trying to get their help to get back money they had paid to this “Mr. Middleton”.
The plot thickened even more when Tillett appeared before the Senate 2 weeks ago, and disclosed that he received a total of $36,000 from those 6 Chinese “clients” to try to get them Belize visas. He said $1,000 per visa was his fee to make sure that the application was in order. $2,000 was to go into the Government’s purse for the visa application. But, the lion’s share, $3,000, was being paid to this “Mr. Middleton” who was hired to take the visa applications into the Belmopan Immigration office and do whatever “follow-up” was necessary.
Casanova: Middleton Not My Man
So, while Immigration Officer Inez Casanova was able to positively identify Barton Middleton to the Senate Select Committee, she wanted to make clear that she has no relationship to him. In the Auditor General’s report on the the 8 missing visas, she was quoting a report from Immigration Officer Vernon Leslie. Leslie identifies Middleton as her common-law husband. But, that’s not right, and today while she had the nation listening in on the Senate Hearings, Casanova took the opportunity to make it clear that she has no relationship to Middleton.
She told the Senate Committee that this has hurt her reputation, and she wants the record cleared:
Inez Casanova - Immigration Officer:
"It is my understanding that I'm here to be of any possible assistance to the Honourable Senate Select Committee in relation to one matter and not because I am in any way a part of any wrong doing or irregularities at the immigration department. That one matter is mentioned of my name in relation to missing visas at the immigration department Benque Veijo station.
What Did Casanova Really Know About Barton?
Okay, so, Barton Middleton isn’t Casanova’s common-law husband, but what exactly is he to her? And how did she manage to convince him to show up and tell the truth about those 6 stolen visas?
That’s what the Senate Select Committee wanted her to explain today, and her answers just weren’t adding up. At the end, the Senators began suspecting that she knew more than she was willing to disclose, and so they grilled her for almost 2 hours on the topic. We’ll have the blow-by-blow account of that conversation in tomorrow’s newscast, but here’s an excerpt of the questions she was being asked about Barton Middleton:
Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator:
"I just wanted to know the circumstances of how you decided to say well get in contact with this Mr. Middleton."
Inez Casanova - Immigration Officer:
"I had called?"
Hon. Eamon Courtenay:
"As I understand it Mr. Venon from Benque came to Orange Walk and said we are looking for Mr. Middleton in relation to the missing visas. The question I am asking is according to you, you know two Mr. Middleton, Mr. Eugene and Mr. Barton. My question is how is it that you decided to refer them to Mr. Barton or why you called Mr. Barton and he came?"
A Tale Of Hacking
So, from skepticism in Inez Robinson’s testimony, the Senate appeared almost disbelieving of the answers that Erwin Robinson was providing them. He’s one of the Immigration Officers who went on suspension back in September 2013 for the Won Hong Kim Passport, which was a fraudulent production from start to finish.
They all faced a tribunal from the Public Service Commission. At the end he was restored to duty as a public officer, but he lost his job because it was determined that he, or someone using his profile in the Department’s passport took a picture of a picture of Won Hong Kim. This South Korean fugitive couldn’t have been in Belize to take a passport picture because he was in lock down in a Taiwanese detention center at the time. So, did Robinson do it? Well, when the Senate put that one to him, he categorically, denied, and he shared his surprising theory that the passport machine’s user computer was hacked, and that he was being set up as the fall guy. Here’s that part of today’s hearing:
Shyne Urges Artists To Protest Against Businesses Countrywide
Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow is the CEO of BSCAP (BEE-SCAP) the Belizean Society of composers, Authors and Publishers. He’s in the new news tonight because in a letter dated March 13th, he's urging music creators to protest against businesses who don't pay rights fees for using their music. Shyne says, quote, “be prepared to engage in protests of all businesses nationwide who are violating the copyright act and chancing our members….if all of our members come together and take action in the form of nationwide demonstrations our voices will be heard and businesses will comply.” End quote.
Here’s what he's talking about: under the copyright law, anyone who plays music in public should pay a royalty fee to the creator or publisher of that song. So, if you hear, let’s say, Supra G’s “Party Insane” playing in a nightclub, in a store, or on the radio, Supra G should get a few cents everytime it plays. Shyne is trying to get local businesses to sign license agreements with BSCAP to pay a monthly user fee, but so far only a literally handful have signed on.
And so, facing widespread noncompliance, he’s urging music creators to protest against these big businesses that want to sign. We asked him about it today when we found him in the Mesopotamia area:….
Corned Beef Concerns
Is your corned beef safe? Several Caribbean countries say that if it comes from Brazil, it’s not. The governments of Jamaica and Barbados have instituted a temporary ban on the widely eaten canned food, while several others are discussing whether or not they should do the same.
But why such extreme measures, and should you be worried too? According to reports, several major Brazilian meat processing companies have been selling rotten beef and poultry. And that's where Grace Kennedy, one of the largest distributors of corned beef in the Caribbean, gets their beef from. Apparently, many of these companies paid bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licenses.
Since the bans were implemented, Grace has confirmed that their suppliers in Brazil have consistently qualified for licenses from the British Retail Consortium, which sets global manufacturing and quality standards. The government of Belize has yet to officially acknowledge the situation, or give any information on whether they are making an evaluation.
”Water No Get Enemy”
Don’t waste water: we have all heard that phrase more than enough times but on World Water Day, it never gets old. Today a forum and fair were held at the Princess Hotel to celebrate water day. There were presentations on various topics including Water sanitation and hygiene, recycling wastewater among others. A number of government agencies set up information booths as well. Hydrologist Tennielle Williams told us more about this year’s theme.
Tennielle Williams- Hydrologist:
“Today is World Water Day indeed, it’s a day taken to highlight the importance of water and the role it plays. In the UN from 1993 they designated March 22nd as World Water Day where we take actions on water issues. Today is not really different from any other water day we’ve held, we just target different sectors or different issues concerning water management and this year the theme is Waste Water and the campaign that we are promoting is “Why waste it?” So the theme is waste water and we are saying why waste water? We want to impart that it is not just waste. It’s not to just to use it and you throw it away.
PUP Calls For Wilfred’s Removal (Again)
Last week Friday, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington held a press briefing where he made some controversial remarks. He likened Belize with the unresolved Guatemalan claim to a squatter without title for the land he's been occupying. He added that Belize’s maritime borders have never even been agreed upon. Well - not surprisingly - the PUP isn't happy with that and the opposition is again calling for his removal. In a release the party says it is, quote, “appalled and outraged” at the comments. The PUP says is is, quote, “unbelievable that the man who heads negotiations with Guatemala is seemingly unaware that our nation’s maritime borders are established.” The PUP has a different take. IT says, quote, “not only does Belize have definite maritime borders as described in the Constitution of Belize and the Maritime Areas Act, but further, that those borders are recognized and respected by all nations, and even by Guatemala which refuses to relinquish its claim to Belize.” It argues quote, “To describe Belizeans as squatters is not only despicable, but dangerous”. And it closes with a a familiar refrain, quote, “We demand that the Prime Minister remove or reprimand the Foreign Minister who continues to mismanage the situation with Guatemala.”
Granny With A Crack Pipe?
A 66 year old grandmother was taken before the court today for possession of a crack pipe. But she was quick to tell the court that she was merely fixing pipe for someone and that she does not smoke crack.
Pitts, who had to walk with a piece of PVC pipe as a cane was brought in the prison van and escorted into Court #5 to be read a single charge of possession of a pipe before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza.
But despite her denial of crack use, Marjorie Pitts pleaded guilty to possession of pipe and was fine $150.00, or in default, 2 months in prison.
Earlier this month, well known attorney and politician Phillip Palacio died after a valiant fight against cancer. Today his colleagues from at the Bar gathered for a special sitting of the Supreme Court in his honour. We spoke to Kareem Musa, who knew him as both and attorney and politician for the PUP, about the impact of the loss...
Hon. Kareem Musa - Attorney:
"Phillip was a very dear friend of mine and many of my colleagues not just in the legal fraternity but also in the political world. Mr. Palacio ran for us in the Mesopotamia position and he put up a valiant fight but we're talking about a true humanitarian, we are talking about a very humble individual who look out for the poor, who looked out for the marginalised and so it is a huge loss and I really just want to convey my respects. I want to convey my condolences to his family, he has a very young family, we all feel for him and it truly is a sad day for us."
Shyne Stayed The Course In Mesop
Now the man who wants to replace Finnegan for the UDP is also making news tonight. Earlier in the news, you heard Shyne Barrow talking about his advocacy as the CEO of the Belizean Society of composers, Authors and Publishers. But, we met him doing his political work in the Mesopotamia division. Two weeks ago, the incumbent in that area Michael Finnegan - who happens to be Shyne’s uncle - announced that he is retiring from electoral politics, and wants Shyne to succeed him. Today Shyne told us he's been waiting two years on that endorsement:…
Shyne Barrow - UDP Mesopotamia Hopeful
"I am grateful and honoured that my uncle favours me and has endorsed me and like to see me be his successor but ultimately as I believe he has said, the people of Mesopotamia will make that decision, the constituence will make the ultimate decision, I am here to work for them and to serve them so I am continuing to build my relationship with them so when the time comes for them to make that decision, hopefully I will be the person that they will choose but there is no automatic succession, it's certainly is a honour and a privilege and I had to work for two years for my uncle to favour me and to endorse me because you use to abstract me all the time and say bwai da man no say nothing, da man no say nothing, da man say he di run again, that was an ongoing joke between you and I. So finally I've worked hard enough, he pay attention to what people are saying in the division and he is confident enough that I can continue in his footsteps and secure that legacy and ultimately the people will decide so I am hopeful and I am definitely looking forward to getting the support of the people in Mesopotamia because ultimately they are the ones that will decide my fate."
Julius, Of Benchwarmers and Advice
And while Shyne hopes he’s chosen an able replacement for Michael Finnegan, he surely doesn't want to be a benchwarmer. That’s the dismissive term PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat has used for those unelected persons that his leader John Briceno has put at the forefront of the party and on the executive. Today in Cotton Tree we asked him to clarify his remarks:…
Hon. Julius Espat- Area Rep, Cayo South:
“It is not criticism, it is advice and there is a major difference between that. I fundamentally believe that the area representatives are the people that the people have put their trust in. We are figure heads; we are the voice of the people. So if we are the voice of the people and we live in a democratic system then I believe the voice of the people should at least be around the table. I no even the ask fu mek them vote. Just to be around the table so that you can listen to when decisions are being made and that you can on behalf of your people make wah lee advice and that when the decisions are made you can go back to your people to explain to them what the policies are. What I said, I stand by but it’s not to hurt the party. I’ve never been someone to hurt my party. I love my party and I know that my party will form the government. I just believe that you prepare for the worst and you no ride the wave; that’s been my firm you know, prepare for the worst and if the wave come well boss da gravy.”
Julius Ain’t Scared of Redistricting
The media also asked Espat what he thinks about redistricting. His large division of Cayo South is certainly going to get downsized, but he feels that the entire exercise is wrong-headed:…
Hon. Julius Espat- Area Rep, Cayo South:
“The fair way of doing it, let’s assume how many people should be in a constituency, I have presently going close to eight thousand. I think each area rep should handle more like ten thousand. With the proper resources you can do it, we dih do it with zero resources basically, so you can do it. So imagine you divide the country 150…how much we got? That’s more or less how much you have voting, you divide that by 10 thousand you a got 15 constituencies. Now, that would be more efficient but what deh wah do? They wah change it from 31 to 41, you a got 10 more Minista, 10 thieving minista more, with 10 vehicles more, with 10 staff more, with 10 miss use of money more. Is that what we want? In Cayo South it makes no difference. If they buss it up inna three ih a be three PUP seat, so to us it doesn’t matter.”
A Fence For Cotton Tree School
We met Espat today in Cotton Tree Village where he had installed a fence for the village school. As an opposition representative, he had to beg sponsorship and he told us how he did it:…
Feeling Festival 2016
And keeping it on the kids, we close tonight with highlights from night one of the preschool festival of the arts which took place on Monday at the Bliss center. Enjoy the Belize District presenaitons, and have a great night…
Kareem Riled Up For Budget
And keeping it on politics tomorrow is the first day of the budget debate. The PUP and UDP Representatives will go back and forth on the virtues and vices of the budget. The Opposition have called it "the Barrow bogus budget” and Today PUP Area Rep. for Caribbean Shores, Kareem Musa, gave us a preview of his angle of attack:
Hon. Kareem Musa - Area Rep, Caribbean Shores:
"It is a train wreck that is what it is. It is the debris after a train wreck that all of us as Belizeans are standing around debris looking at it. Essentially the train that Mr. Barrow has been driving over the last 8 years was an unsustainable one that can only be characterised by wasteful spending of the people's money and I'm speaking specifically of the petro-Caribe spending over the last 3 and a half years, some 350 million dollars. I'm speaking specifically about the 560 million dollars that he paid for BTL and if you listen to Mr. Barrow still blaming the PUP over a super bond when the payments for that super bond is only 50 million a year, 25 million US but in just two years Isani, in just two years he spent almost one billion dollars on petro-Caribe spending which has no accountability whatsoever. If you recall the month before the general election of 2015, Mr. Barrow brought another supplementary to the house where he spent 40 million dollars and you know what that said?
Forest Day At Sacred Heart
Taking a break now from politics, yesterday was the Forest for Life celebration at the Sacred Heart High School and Junior College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town.
More than 800 students focused on the dependency on forests. Keynote speaker Marcello Windsor explained that in 30 yearsBelize’s forest cover has gone down form 80% to 60%:…
Kenzle Hulse Arraigned
Last night, we told you how 27 year-old Kenzle Hulse, son of Agriculture Minister Godwin Hulse, was charged yesterday for harm. Well, what police hadn’t said was that Hulse was arraigned yesterday, and he’s out on bail tonight.
His case has been adjourned for May 18, 2017, but what is of concern to outsiders is he wasn’t charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. You’ll remember that he is being accused by Albert Santos Lopez, a cohune walk businessman. Lopez reported to police that Kenzle Hulse allegedly hit him in the face with a licensed firearm.