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
Senator Elena Smith is BNTU's new president
Senator for Labour and Civil Society Elena Smith was elected as Belize National Teachers Union's (BNTU) new president. Not only does Smith have a 20-year membership within the union, but she is also the first woman to become BNTU's national president. Held under the theme, "BNTU -Advocating for a Better Belize by Defending Collective Bargaining and Freedom of Association", the election took place during the second day of the 57th Annual BNTU Convention in San Roman, Corozal at the Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico's Auditorium. Out of 636 votes, Smith gained the majority with 349 votes, while her opponents, Mario Mesh (President of the Corozal Rural Branch) received 140 votes, and Troy Coleman (President of the Stann Creek Branch) received 147 votes.
Ana Barrera wins San Pedro Leos' scooter raffle
Lucky island resident Ana Magarita Barrera, 'La Mami', won herself a brand new blue scooter at the Lions Den on Saturday, April 15th. The raffle was drawn at the San Pedro Lions Queen Coronation/Dance, and on Friday, April 21st, several Lion and Leo members joined in handing the scooter to Barrera at the Lions Den.
Barrera was ecstatic to receive her new mode of transportation. She told The San Pedro Sun that she was in complete disbelief when she received the call, notifying her that she had won. "I was shocked�I have much experience coordinating raffles, and purchasing raffle tickets. I have been lucky in the past to win, but this is my biggest prize yet," said Barrera. Even more fun to her is that she only bought one ticket, for a mere $10.
Considered one of the San Pedro Leos' biggest fundraisers, the raffle was held to raise funds for travel expenses to the International Lions Convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA. As the first ever Lions Club originated in Chicago, the convention will take place on June 27th to July 4th, where Lions and Leos from across the world will join together to celebrate the Lions 100th year Anniversary.
Goodbye To Ana Maria Osorio
Ana Maria Osorio passed on this Saturday, April 22, and was laid to rest on Sunday. She died on Earth Day and was celebrated and buried during the Feast of Devine Mercy. Ana was born in Progreso Yucatan, and lived as a child in Majahual.
One of Chichi Ana's biggest qualities wad establishing friendships in any neighborhood where she lived. Ambergris Today and the Nu�ez/Zapata/Eiley families extend sincere appreciation to all who visited, brought gifts and wreaths, attended the funeral mass, and expressed warm words of consolation: Dr. Irvin and Alma Gabourel at Belize Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Center, Dr. Carillo, Dr. Ellington, Physiotherapist Smith, Nurses, Gaby Nu�ez and his team, Graniel's Construction, Father Reynaldo, Abel Guerrero Lay Minister, Eduardo Brown, Barbara Brown, Elida Brown Rodriguez, Cora Guillen, Julie Nu�ez, Cindy, and Letty Eiley.
Anna Barerra Wins Scooter From The Leo's Club Raffle
On Friday, April 21, 2017 The San Pedro Leo's Club handed over a Scooter to lucky winner Anna Barerra. The raffle was drawn on Saturday, April 15 during the Easter dance. Proceeds of this raffle will be used into helping keep the community clean and helping those in need. The Leo Club wishes to thank all those who bought a ticket or helped in any way.
Misc Belizean Sources
Trip to Lamanai
Great day out yesterday on a trip to Laminai up the New River with Tanisha Tours. Started off with a stunning sunrise and finished with a sundowner.
Filled with Boat Billed Herons, Spider Monkey, Kingfisher, Howler Monkey, Toucans, Woodpeckers, Mayan Ruins & more.
I want to thank the Village Council staff, clinic staff, Eli Gutierrez , all San Pedro Volunteers, Adventurers, Pathfinders, Master Guides and all volunteers from the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Caye Caulker who made it possible Attend to about 200 people and help them in health issues during the Expo-Salud 2017 free of charge that took place on basketball court last Saturday, April 22nd. 18 photos.
Divine Mercy Mass
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church celebrated the Divine Mercy Mass at a special congregation at Central Park in Downtown San Pedro, yesterday Sunday, April 23.
Comments on the CARICOM Regional Standards for White and Brown Sugar
Deadline for submission of comments on the CARICOM Regional Standards for White and Brown Sugar is this Friday, 28th April 2017.
Don't miss the opportunity to participate in the standards development process!!
World Immunization Week
This week is being observed as World Immunization Week. The Ministry of Health will carry out extra vaccination campaigns including health sessions in schools, industrial and construction sites, and a few tourist destination centers. A mini health fair will be held on Wednesday, April 26 at the Dangriga Polyclinic. For more information, please contact the Maternal and Child Health Unit at the Ministry of Health. [email protected].
Police Department statement
Recently the Belize Police Department has been wracked by a series of improprieties, committed by some of its members, which are of major national concern. The Ministry of Home Affairs, as part of it Zero Tolerance Policy for police improprieties, hereby assures the public that every report or knowledge of wrongful act committed by its members will be dealt with expeditiously and with utmost transparency.
The Police Professional Standards Branch's capacity is being enhanced and will now see its personnel take a pro-active role in ensuring that the Belize Police Department's professionalism is second to none. The public is encouraged to report any activity which they may perceive as improper to the Professional Standards Branch. Every report will be dealt with professionally and expeditiously.
The Ministry takes this opportunity to applaud the Police Commissioner for taking decisive action against those who reportedly were engaged in corrupted practices, unwarrantable use of force and other criminal acts that brought the integrity and professionalism of the department into question during those unfortunate and regrettable occurrences.
CYBER SECURITY SYMPOSIUM
Belize's top minds in the field of information technology and other stakeholders are meeting for a full week at the Belize Biltmore Plaza to address issues of cyber security and awareness.
The public sector, business, law enforcement, judiciary and others will work towards the drafting of Belize's first National Cyber Security Framework and Action Plan.
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte said that it must include a way to thread between issues of privacy and protecting victims while punishing offenders.
Meanwhile, former Government CO Michael Singh, who now is Chief Technology Officer in the office of the Prime Minister, committed to expanding and simplifying digital services by Government.
"Book Week" in Belize
This week is being celebrated as "Book Week" in Belize. We'll feature books written by Belizeans.
Have you read our first feature?
"Beka Lamb" (1982) is the first novel written by Mrs. Zelma "Zee" Edgell. It took ten years to write the novel from idea to publication and was the first book to be published in newly-independent Belize.
The novel won Britain's Fawcett Society Book Prize which is awarded annually to a work of fiction which contributes to an understanding of women's positions in society. The book received much international acclaim, making Zee Edgell the first Belizean author to achieve such success.
Hon. Edmond Castro and NEMO Respond to Victims of Freak Storm in Biscayne Village
Over the weekend, Minister of National Emergency Management and Area Representative for Belize Rural North Hon. Edmond Castro led a NEMO response team in the village of Biscayne where a freak storm, which struck late Saturday afternoon April 22, 2017 around 5:00 PM, affected nine (9) families.
Three (3) homes were destroyed beyond repair and six (6) others were significantly damaged, most of the families losing their roofs and much of their belongings. Fortunately, there was no loss of life or significant human injury resulting from the storm.
Hon. Castro and the NEMO team delivered immediate relief supplies to the families, including mattresses and food stuff. Meanwhile, the affected homes are being assessed to determine what kind of assistance is needed for rebuilding and repairs.
Also, as part of the immediate emergency response, damaged electrical lines were restored by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).
Mobile mortuary refrigerator and freezer system for San Pedro
On April 19th, 2017, the San Pedro Town Council joined a group of stakeholders in a meeting that was organized and coordinated by the National Forensic Unit of the Police Department in collaboration with the US Embassy in Belize. The purpose of the meeting, which was spearheaded by Chief Pathologist in Belize - Dr. Mario Estradabran, was to explore the idea of tapping into the United States INL/CARSI Project funds and to look at the possibility of acquiring a Mobile mortuary refrigerator and freezer system.
The acquisition of such system would be a temporary solution to the inhumane conditions in which dead bodies are stored on the island, before it can be transported for post-mortem or burial. In cases of violent deaths, in many instances, bodies that are exposed to the natural elements may sometime result in the loss of evidence. In such cases, it makes it difficult for the Forensic Unit of the Police Department to gather proper evidence to bring closure to some of the murder cases in Belize.
Are you ready for Fiesta Rama held in Orange Walk?
2017 Fiesta Rama bikers will showcase great rides in Orange walk town Belize..From food, to eating competition, to food eating contest, to rides, to baseball, and more the event keeps getting bigger and better. The tradition has lasted over the years and many Belizeans has enjoyed the event. This years event will take place at the peoples Stadium in Orange Walk, Belize. This years event everyone will gather on for the opening night which usually commence at 7pm. Throughout the weekend games like volleyball, Baseball, football was is an all day thing on Saturday and Sunday.
No more Guatemala and Dispute over Belize; Belize is for Belize
For centuries the question of the Belize/Guatemala territorial issue has hampered and stunted economic growth and development in Belize and retarded commercial relations between these two countries. A concerted effort has been made in the past to improve and normalize relations through diplomatic channels and negotiations.
Initially, these efforts were solely the work of the United Kingdom, the colonial power excercing defacto sovereignty over the territory of Belize which Guatemala claimed. Later on though, in the period after Belizean self-government, and especially since the early and mid-1970's, home-grown Belizean leaders played a critical role in shaping and promoting their country's interests in the controversy. The transition from colonial to local leadership, and the change in objectives from Imperial satisfaction to the pursuit of national sovereignty, was an important one. We shall therefore see, when we come to look at the strategy used by the Belizean leaders in their quest for self-determination, how certain developments in international relations favourable to developing countries enabled the Belizeans to advance their cause.
Illicit refilling of Crystal Water 5-Gallon bottles
Bowen & Bowen customers and consumers are advised not to purchase Crystal Water 5-Gallon bottles without the Crystal branded tamper evident shrink sleeve intact.
There have been several reports of illicit refilling of Crystal Water 5-Gallon bottles with inferior quality water. Please be aware and vigilant to not be fooled by imitation water.
To safeguard our customers and consumers and help ensure you are getting the Crystal Water you want and paid for, Bowen & Bowen Crystal Water 5-Gallon bottles have several safety measures as part of our standard packaging. Please be sure to check for these before purchasing and opening a Crystal Water 5-gallon bottle.
1. TAMPER EVIDENT SHRINK SLEEVES that cover all 5 Gallon Caps
2. BLUE CAPS with additional peel away tamper seal label
3. A Crystal PEEL AWAY TAMPER seal label on the top of 5-Gallon Caps
4. Bottles are embossed with Bowen & Bowen Crystal Logo
5. Crystal Water Labels are attached to the side panel of each bottle
Bowen & Bowen is pursuing the matter of illicit refilling of Crystal Water 5-Gallon Bottles expeditiously for consumer's safety. If anyone has information regarding someone illicitly refilling Crystal Water 5-Gallon bottles, please call us at our Toll Free Customer Service number and let us know : 0 (800) BOWENBZ, 0 (800) 269-3629
Introducing our first DJ and Official Sound System for this year's Caye Caulker Lobster Fest
Caye Caulker's #1 DJ Julian Blue Wave Pacheco and Blue Wave Sounds - Caye Caulker
Hummingbird Furnishings Sale
Its our 1st Annual Warehouse Clearance Sale with discounts up to 50% and as if that is not enough we will also be raffling one of our outdoor Dining sets on Sunday. Sale starts on the 29th and ends on the 30th April. Visit our Belmopan office or our booth at the Agriculture And Trade Show SP#177 for a chance to win.
The karst team monitored the third set of caves in the Chiquibul Caverns
No good news - this region nearby the western border is now actively being used for milpa farms and looting.
MAGISTRATE NORMAN RODRIGUEZ TO BE CHARGED WITH RAPE!!! FOR SECOND TIME!
It is being reported on social media and news outlets that the Director of Public Prosecution is reviewing a file to bring rape charges against Magistrate Norman Rodriguez.
A leaked police report is circulating on social media in which the alleged victim says Norman Rodriguez took her to his house in Dangriga, where he just assigned as Magistrate, took her clothes off and raped her.
Sources are telling ABP the alleged rape took place on April 11th, 2017. It is not clear why the DPP is only now considering rape charges.
This is not the first time that Rodriguez has been accused of rape. While a teacher at Excelsior high school, Rodriguez was accused of Statutory Rape of a 14 year old girl in June, 2004. After the young girl testified before a jury that she had sex with Rodriguez at his house on plues street in Belize city, Rodriguez was still acquitted at trial.
A Twister Tore Through Tiny Biscayne
This weekend Biscayne residents were left shaken after an intense thunderstorm wreaked havoc on their homes. It hit on Saturday evening around 4:30. Most residents were inside their houses and the weather seemed just fine until, all of a sudden, darkness blanketed the sky and there was a downpour. But that wasn't the end of it; residents say a miniature tornado whipped through and caused a whole lot of damages. Now we have reported on these types of storms before, one of the big ones hit Crooked Tree in August 2011. While Meteorologists say these storms are nothing out of the ordinary, it was very much so for Biscayne residents. Courtney Weatherburne has more details on the aftermath.
Ralph Gentle, Biscayne Resident:
"We just figured it was just normal, the wind just a bit blowing hard we didn't know it was to all that extent until we come outside and saw it , the trees ,we see the tress, the fruits them on the ground and everything so we realize that something strange went on."
Hon. Faber Says He Didn't Meddle in BNTU Election
Last week, we told you all about the election of a new national BNTU president, and the political intrigues surrounding that election. It's an election that almost didn't happen because the union leadership was so concerned about the possibility that the UDP was backing one of the candidates. Supposedly the ruling party favored Mario Mesh - who ended up coming in last, with 140 votes, not even half of what the winner Elena Smith got. So, if anyone was backing him it didn't help. But Education Minister Patrick Faber says he certainly wasn't involved; in fact, he congratulated the new President Elena Smith on his Facebook page on Friday. But, today when we met Faber at a Cyber Security Forum, we asked if that congratulatory post is just a front:..
Hon. Faber Responds To Union Busting Allegations
And so, while Faber disavows any knowledge of meddling in the teachers union election, he knows all about that million dollar honorarium that his ministry is paying to those teachers who didn't strike. Except it's not a million dollars - it's a little more than half that. Today, Faber told us he is mightily peeved that everyone - from the unions, to the chamber to the NGO's to the media - jumped all over him and his government for the payout - and no one even bothered to get all the facts:...
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education:
"Nobody, including the media, has ever written to us and said: can you give us the details of how things are going to be done here and what is it that is specifically being done? You would think that those things would be done before you put out a press release as an entire entity to say that we condemn; That is my issue with them. So I'm very disappointed at that. So that all those who have gone half-cocked saying: oh, it's a million dollars - are reallyâ��they miss read or they took it too far.
Chopping Murder Down South
For the second weekend in a row - there are no Belize City shootings or gang related murders to report tonight; in fact, we have not reported on a shooting in the city for two whole weeks - which is nothing short of remarkable. We hope the peace continues.
But there is still a murder to report tonight - this one happened down south in Trio village - which is in the Toledo district. On Saturday morning just before 11:00 police found 22 year-old Belizean Santiago Garcia suffering from chop wounds to the back of the head, the right cheek and the right wrist.
The cops tried to rush him to the Independence Poly Clinic, but he died before he could make it there.
Post Mortem Suggests Baltazar Killed By Blunt Force To Neck
It appears that a jaguar - or some wild animal may have caused the death of Progreso resident Baltzar Lino. As we told you on Friday, the 44 year old went hunting, but didn't return. When his family went to look for him, they found his body face down in a well - in an area between Caledonia and Progresso. His family notes that he had what looked like a claw mark streaked across the back of his neck, and a post mortem has confirmed that injury as being the cause of death. A picture from the area also shows the imprint of a jaguar paw near the well. That area is known to have an active jaguar population, but experts say that cases of wild jaguars attacking humans are rare.
Real Jail for Fake Cops
The alleged fake cops who were caught in Public's Supermarket on the northern Highway went to court today. Police saw the pair standing at the entrance of the supermarket in uniform like they were on duty. They were arrested on spot. That was Wednesday afternoon, and, today, five days later, they went to court for arraignment. 22 year old Dorian Blair and 39 year old Barrington Slusher, were charged with making a false pretense of an officer when they appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith.
Blair had an attorney, Oscar Selgado, who conceded to the court that Blair was on Supreme Court bail and by being charged for an offence whilst on bail he had violated one of the conditions of the bail.
Police Pick Up Weed In City
On last Friday's Newscast, we told you how the police found a bucket of weed in Ladyville. Well, over the weekend the cops found over 2 kilos more of marijuana in 3 separate operations in Belize City.
They found 1.706 kilos or 3.88 pounds of marijuana on Friday evening on Iguana Street.
A Pair of Home-made Guns Appear
Today a Belize City resident appeared in the Magistrate's Court for the possession of a homemade firearm. Thirty year old Fenton Reyes was charged for keeping a prohibited firearm, keeping ammunition without a gun license, and for the possession of a little more than 1/10 of an ounce of cannabis. According to reports, a police mobile patrol stopped and searched Reyes on Krooman Road yesterday where they found a homemade .22 pen gun with one round of ammunition and the cannabis.
Reyes pled not guilty in court, but no bail was offered because of the firearm and ammo charges. He was remanded to prison until June 16.
Taking Cyber Security Seriously
The Belize National Cyber Security Symposium - just hearing the name it sounds like a lot of high tech talk for computer types. But, this symposium is actually about regular folks, because, with so many Belizeans now accessing the internet through mobile devices, the issue of internet safety inevitably arises. And we don't just mean safety of your passwords and accounts - we mean, how safe is your child while accessing the internet, and what measures can be taken if you're the victim of revenge porn, or cyber - bullying? All that factors into this forum which is a first for the Caribbean:...
Bevil Wooding, Executive Director, CaribNOG:
"This is absolutely the first time such an ambitious undertaking has taken place in the wider Caribbean region."
Jules Vasquez reporting:
And while there are often meetings about cyber security - this is the first to have such senior representation from a cross section of lawmakers and decision makers:
Come Out To Talk Cyber Security!
But one of the real priorities is to engage the public - specifically regular folks. The symposium runs for four days and tomorrow, there's a public forum. Wooding says he wants you to come out:...
Bevil Wooding, Executive Director, CaribNOG:
"So today you are seeing suits and ties and people from different dimensions of society, but once we get into tomorrow's agenda where we break into specific forum, there is opportunity for the so called man on the street, the common member of society to come and sitdown and asks the questions that cannot be asked in any other forum. What does this mean for me? Not in technical terms, in practical terms. I have a child who I am concerned about in terms of how they use the internet. I have devices that I have brought into my home and I want to know how to secure it. I have these concerns and I want to understand how I can address it. Those are all parts of the structure of this week."
UNIBAM Broadening The Discussion
Today, at the Princess Ramada Hotel, UNIBAM, the gay rights activist group, and the National AIDS Commission completed the first day of a 2-day conference on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Since last year, August, when UNIBAM's Caleb Orozco got that landmark victory at the Supreme Court, the controversy over the lifestyle of the local gay community hasn't been making much news. But, UNIBAM insists that injustices against gay people continue every day.
This morning, the executive director of UNIBAM told us that the social exclusion and unfair treatment that gay persons in Belize experience is not only reserved for them. He pointed out that systemic marginalization can affect other groups such as the poor. Here's how he explained it:
Police Say Bainton Bashed Wall
Tonight, Sonia Bainton, a Ladyville resident, is out on bail after police say that she kicked down a piece of concrete wall that makes up the cell block are of the Ladyville Police Station.
On Saturday, She and Elward McKay were in detention at the station on a handling stolen goods case. That's when, according to police she stamped a part of the concrete structure that makes up the cell block, breaking a portion of it.
She was charged with damaged to property, and today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, she pleaded guilty. She was fined $300, and ordered to pay compensation of $500 to the Government of Belize.
Ministry Fesses Up To Police Corruption
Just last week, we told you about Woman Constable Ann Marie Anthony who was charged with theft and disciplinary charges for allegedly stealing $200 dollars from a grocery store. She is the sixth officer charged this month for corrupt or improper behaviour on the job, incidents which were all caught on camera.
The first 2 were Constable Norman Coye and Darnell Madrill from San Pedro for that incident of lawlessness on San Pedro Town. The next two were Constable Jose Ascurio and Voluntary Special Constable Alfredo Ismael Gongora, who were caught on camera in a contraband move at Botes, Mexico. And then there were those two runaway cops, Police Constable Elston Rojas and the Corporal Abner Marroquin, allegedly smuggling a "bulto" in a patrol truck.
A Teachable Moment For Climate Change
Today members of the Belize City Council, the UNDP and other stakeholders held the soft launch of a new community awareness campaign for climate change. The presentation was to seize upon a very visible problem affecting the community, and use that to illustrate the perils of climate change. We spoke to City Councilor Phillip Willoughby and the coordinator at the National Climate Change Office, Anne Gordon, for more...
The community awareness campaign will officially be launched the Wednesday with plans to spread the message to communities throughout the country.
Today Atlantic Bank and the Institute for Sustainability of Community and Environment joined together to donate several pieces of art to the Central Christian Primary School in Belize City. The donation was made to celebrate Earth Day, and fitting with the theme, each piece of art was made from old, reused tires. We spoke to Atlantic Bank Representative Denmar Villar, and the mastermind behind the recycled art, Alvaro Dominguez, for more details...
Earth Day was officially celebrated on Saturday under the theme, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle".
The BNE Beacon
"Beacon" That's the name of a new youth magazine that was launched today at SJCJC. The scholars from BNE's Energy 4 Life program produced the publication. Now, the name Beacon suits the magazine perfectly because the stories that are featured are full of hope and inspiration. One of the Director s of BNE's Energy 4 Life program told us more about the Magazine and also about the scholarship program.
Manuela Lue, Director, BNE Energy 4 Life Program:
"The youth magazine is being done by the scholars of the BNE's energy 4 life program and these scholars formed a youth group and it is called the energy 4 life youth group."
"The magazine is composed of several things but one of the major things are inspirational stories of youth all over the country of Belize and these stories compromise of youth who have overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve goals so a lot of them would be disadvantaged youth or at risk youth but it is more important to emphasize that they have overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve goals, a lot of them have won international awards some of them have won scholarships, some of them have started their own business, some of them have finished their education so it is just an array of stories in the magazine."
Princess Cruises and Belize
In December of last year, Princess Cruises, a cruise ship brand owned by Carnival, pled guilty to charges of illegally disposing of oil-contaminated waste and falsifying official logs to cover up the discharges. Princess was charged in a US Court and was fined a record $40 million penalty, the largest fine ever for deliberate ship pollution.
According to reports, the illegal activity was brought to light by a newly hired British engineer on the "Princess Caribbean" in 2013. The engineer told authorities that a "magic pipe" was used to discharge about 4227 gallons of waste about 23 miles off the coast of England, well within the country's exclusive economic zone. The engineer alleged that when the waste was being released, the other engineers would run clean water through the ship's sensors and distort the digital records.