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#523496 - 05/11/17 07:05 AM Today's Belize News: May 11, 2017  
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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

Canadian John DeShaines under investigation for Corozal double murder
Canadian national, John DeShaines remains in police custody as the main person of interest for the murder of 52-year-old Canadian national Francesca Matus and 36-year-old American national Drew De Voursney. The bodies of the couple were found on Monday, May 1st, on a road near a cane field in the Corozal District, northern Belize. DeShaines who was Matus’ tenant, was also charged for an unrelated incident of theft and handling stolen goods on Friday, May 5th at the Independence Magistrate Court in Southern Belize. He was taken back to Corozal Town where local authorities, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from the USA continue investigating the double murder.

Austin Castro wins annual Reef Week Trivia competition
Various students from different schools in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village participated in the 12th Annual Trivia Contest as part of the celebrations of Ambergris Caye Reef Week. The contest, organized by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, started at 9:30AM on Tuesday, May 9th, at the San Pedro Lions Den. Austin Castro of San Pedro Roman Catholic School proved most knowledgeable, and took the grand first place prize. Ten students from five different schools competed, showcasing their knowledge of the reef, while promoting marine life conservation through education. Terence Keating and Annelyse Perdue represented Isla Bonita Elementary, while Astrid Ruiz and Robert Bradley represented New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Alexandra Lausen and Tellen Smith represented Island Academy, and Austin Castro and Lindsey Williams represented San Pedro Roman Catholic School. From Caye Caulker, Annie Harris and Ashanna Welch proudly represented La Isla Cariñosa Academy.

Belize and UEA sign Open Skies Agreement
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), signed an open skies agreement with the Government of Belize on Saturday, May 6th. On behalf of UAE, Director-General of the GCAA, Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, and Belize, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Belize Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., signed the significant agreement that will eliminate all restrictions on international air transport movement. Laila Ali Bin Hareb Al Muhairi, Assistant Director General of Strategy and International Affairs, said that the agreement will guarantee sustainable growth for the national carriers of both countries. It will also help support plans and investments related to air transport, which are targeted by the national carriers in the UAE.

BTIA hosts 12th annual BETEX
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), in partnership with the Belize Tourism Board and other stakeholders of the tourism industry in Belize, hosted its 12th annual Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) on Wednesday, May 3rd to Friday, May 5th. Under the theme, “Savor your BELIZE experience”, more than 300 tourism professionals and industry partners gathered at St. Catherine’s Academy Auditorium for a chance to interact with international travel agents. BETEX remains a BTIA marketing initiative that provides a gateway to the world and an opportunity to partner local and international tourism professionals together. With the objective of promoting Belize as a great tourist destination, the two-day centralized trade exhibition was an exclusive opportunity for international travel resellers (trade visitors) to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business with local travel suppliers, learn more about Belize, and experience the destination firsthand.

Ambergris Today

Happy Mother's Day From Little Angels Pre School
Most Central American and Latin countries celebrate mothers day on May 10th. In San Pedro its celebrated on the second sunday of the month, however some still celebrate it Today, May 10th. Little Angels Pre School took the time to dedicate this day to their mothers. They celebrated with dances, singing, playing games and giving a special handmade gift to their moms. Ambergris Today wants to wish all mothers A Happy Mother's Day!

There’s A New Yoga Studio And Spa In Town And It Looks Cool
San Pedro’s newest yoga studio and spa, Science and Soul Wellness, just opened it’s doors to the public this past weekend with celebrations and a fundraiser held at its home location in Mahogany Bay Village. Owner, Paulette Hardwood, organized an enjoyable afternoon social that included health snacks, sangria and festivities that included complimentary massages, aerial yoga demonstrations, paddle board yoga, dance presentations, a fashion show and including a silent auction to help raise funds for the SHINE organization.

Why Did The Sheep Cross The Road On Ambergris Caye?
This is not a familiar sight in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize; maybe for the countryside, but definitely not in our 'metropolitan' island. That is why when Jessica Flores noticed this sheep casually walking down Sea Grape Drive south of downtown San Pedro. She had to take a picture and share it with us. It's not odd seeing dogs, cats, racoons, or even iguanas crossing the street on the island. We have seen a goat or two, but this one is new. So why do you think the sheep crossed the road? - Photo by Jessica Flores

Everything You Need To Know About San Pedro Polyclinic’s New ID Card
Still curious to know how truly painless the process would be, I visited the Nursing Supervisor, Nurse Marion Jones, to inquire about the cards. It really is as quick as providing a photo ID (Preferably Social Security Card). Searching my name, she found two Amber Edwards in the system. She then used my date of birth to identify me and proceeded to fill out the card with my assigned number. On future visits searching the number on my card will immediatly pull up my medical records as pictured below.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Governance Diversity for Belize
"Belize manages 36.6% of its terrestrial area and 19.8% of its marine area in protected areas." Ya'axché Conservation Trust plays a vital role in the protection of over 151,000-acres of forest spread across 3 protected areas in southern Belize. This article, authored by Brent A. Mitchell, looks at the protected areas system in Belize. Have a read! Belize is one of the smallest non-island states in the Americas, but a leader in protected areas designation and governance. Belize is one of only a dozen countries that have met Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) to conserve 17% of its terrestrial and 10% of its marine areas. Belize manages 36.6% of its terrestrial area in protected areas and 19.8% of its marine area. The size, scale and diversity of protected areas in Belize provide an informative case study of system management and governance that can offer a model for countries with expanding systems.

Banana Bank 40 Years in Belize Celebration!
Join us for our RUBY anniversary! Saturday - 13th of May. Events start at 2:30 pm Sunday - 14th of May, 2017, Events start 10:30 am. Banana Bank Lodge, Belmopan, Belize. Come and celebrate with John Carr & Bill Jaeger Familes. ORDER OF EVENTS ON SATURDAY: Starting at 2:30 pm: WELCOME & TOAST, HORSE EXTRAVAGANZA, STORY TIME / MUSIC SPECIAL, CAROLYN CARR PRESENTATION. ORDER OF EVENTS ON SUNDAY: Starting at 10:30 am: COWBOY CHURCH SERVICE, BBQ LUNCH (BBQ & drinks for sale), MARIMBA MUSIC, HORSE EXTRAVAGANZA.

Hands Across the Sand
Let us get together for a few minutes in show of solidarity against offshore oil drilling in Belize. Saturday, May 20, 2017, Central Park at 12p.m. SEE YOU THERE! Find your community's designated location on the flyer and join hands with Wavemakers across the country.

Nurses’ Week to Culminate with Visit to National Assembly
Nurses in Belize join the world in celebrating Nurses’ Week from May 6th to 12th under the International Council of Nurses theme, Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Nurses are the cornerstone of healthcare and function in the prevention of illness, promotion of health and the alleviation of suffering throughout our lifetimes. The actions of nurses are therefore vital in achieving the third goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Furthermore, nurses often times address other social determinants of health including poverty, nutrition, education and climate action which are also sustainable development goals.

Music Week 2017
The Office of the Music Ambassador in collaboration with the National Institute of Culture and History will be hosting the 2nd Annual Music Week May 15th – 20th 2017. The goal of Music Week 2017 is to focus on the important role music plays in the social and economic framework of Belize’s development. This year music week especially wants to focus on the discussion surrounding music and copyright and give artists a platform to participate in the discussion towards making changes that the Belize music industry needs. We take this opportunity to invite all musicians and music stakeholders to attend the activities happening at Music Week 2017 and especially invite the media to join us.

BNE Wins Getenergy Localisation Award
Belize Natural Energy has won Getenergy's Localisation Award...again! The award is based upon the contribution of a company to supporting local education and supply chain capacity building. Congratulations, BNE, and thanks for all the community support!

U.S. Embassy Belmopan Grant Opportunity!
The U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize announces a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) to strengthen government through civil society engagement. Alternatively, you can also visit www.grants.gov and search for “Belmopan.” U.S. Embassy Belmopan intends to issue three to five awards in an amount not to exceed $1,500,000 in total funding. Each award will be for an amount between $200,000 and $400,000. In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan will host a CARSI ESF Grants Question & Answer Session on Friday, May 19th at 1:30 p.m. If you are interested in joining us at the Embassy, please submit your name, your organization’s name, and your questions to BelmopanGrants@state.gov by Wednesday, May 17th for access to this event.

Today is 6 Imix' in the Maya Tzolk'in calendar
Imix represents the crocodile and the waterlily. The Classic Maya believed that an earth monster or primordial Crocodile floated in the ocean of the Underworld. He carried the Earth on his back, nourishing and protecting all life. Thus, Crocodile supplies humanity with the underlying primal feeling of our connection to nature and Mother Earth. The glyph itself represents a Waterlily, a symbol of beauty, abundance and growth, and the possibility of ascension out of the primordial soup of creation.

New docking facilities at Lamanai
In an effort to create a better visitor experience, the Institute of Archaeology continues to invest in the enhancement of infrastructure at our archaeological reserves, such as the docking facilities at Lamanai.

LOVE FM/MUSIC AMBASSADOR MAIN STAGE: AGRIC WAS A SUCCESS
The sweltering heat didn't stop droves of Belizean across the country from packing the National Agriculture Trade Show grounds Saturday and Sunday to take in the festivities. The sun wasn't the only heat burning as Cucunu Bwai, Positive vibes, Ty, C Wills, Di X band, Supa G, Dawgie, Deja, Prophit, Stig, Fuego, Mellow, the new sensation band and singing sensation Tanya Carter melted the stage with pure musical fire. This year the Office of the Music Ambassador sponsored the storied Love Fm main stage. Hopkins Dj boss said as a child he dreamed of one day performing on the Love FM main stage, well he and the paranda man C Wills didn't disappoint has they performed a set of hits from the award winning artist to close out Saturday night. Sunday's closers, Tanya Carter and Supa G didn't do too bad either as they brought down the house with their massive catalogues of hits. The crowd couldn't get enough. New comer TY performed his hit "di paper" and "any means" to the delight of the crowd whiles Cucunu bwai brought the bruk down dengue feva. Di X band, Don Papa John, Positive Vibes, Stig, Dawgie, 501 prince and so many more talented artists made the Love FM/Music Ambassador main stage unforgettable.

Presentation in San Pablo Community School
Ki'imak oolal tumeen u moots Mayaen , to'on taank taak'muk'tik ak miatsil. Presentation in San Pablo Community School today from Our Maya Masewal culture with Maya groups Toone Masehualoon from Patchakan and AK kuchkabal Maya from San Pablo, want to thank aj Kaan saj Mario colli colli, the group Toone Masehualoon and my wife for coming and supporting. Jach yuum bo'otik.

Cheers CEMJC!
A bit of mixology and Tourism Management Bartender training at Centro Escuela Mexico Junior College in conjunction with Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). Keep up the great work CEMJC. Tourism is the way to go!

Channel 7

Magistrate For Rape
Today, Magistrate Norman Rodriguez made history when he went from judge to accused in front of his boss, the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The news broke late last week that he would be charged for rape, and this morning the day for the Magistrate started at the police station instead of the courthouse. 7News was there:.. At 8:30 sharp, attorney Herbert Panton pulled up in front of the Queen Street station in his SUV, and the accused Norman Rodriguez calmly stepped out Norman Rodriguez: "What's Up" That's all he told our camera as he stepped into the precinct three police station cooly juggling his keychain. His attorney Hebert Panton parked and made a bee line to the station - refusing to comment to our camera.

Penner The Prevaricator?
Today was the most anticipated day in the Senate Hearings on Immigration so far. That's because Elvin Penner, the disgraced former UDP Immigration Minister of State, took the stand to talk for the first time to talk about Citizen Kim, and all those irregularities that happened while he roamed the corridors of the Immigration Department. It's been 3 and a half years since the scandal broke, and Penner's political fortunes tumbled, but through it all, he has maintained a determined silence. So, today was his first time he would speak, and answer the tough questions about whether he acted in a corrupt fashion. But rather than being freely forthcoming, Penner made it clear from the start that he wasn't willing to discuss his central role in the Citizen Kim debacle.

Penner On The Case Of Citizen Kim
From there, Penner took questions for about 2 hours on his role in the approval of visas for persons who may not have qualified. The Senate took a quick lunch break and in the afternoon session, the Senators interrogated him on the Citizen Kim application, even though he wasn't very forthcoming. Here's how he and the Senators butted heads while trying to discuss his role in getting a passport for the South Korean fugitive: Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "It's been said here in evidence I think at recently as last week; was said that you accompanied the applicant. We know it was impossible to have accompany the applicant himself but the evidence adduced before us is that someone posing as Wong Hong Kim or believed at the time to be Wong Hong Kim in a black suit visited the Immigration and Nationality Department along with you. I believe it was Mr. Phillips who said that last or week before. So he said you accompanied the man in the black suit and in fact you were the person who was primarily involved in having that application submitted to the department."

Faber Tells Penner, Don't Call It A Comeback
So as you saw, Elvin Penner's testimony was unremarkable. He didn't reveal anything substantial that could be used in the investigation. And he was careful, like most before him, not to expose too much. And if he seems to be going by the party playbook, there may be some truth to that because published reports suggest that Penner is contemplating making a political comeback for the UDP. He says he's considering it and will decide depending on how the re-districting goes in Cayo northeast. So what does Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber think of that? He will take over for the Prime Minister during this term of office, and today, he told us that he definitely doesn't want Penner as a candidate for his party:

Southside Commander Denies Gang Link In Murder Of 19 Year Old's
Last week 19-year-old Michael Bonilla was gunned down on Elston Kerr Street. His death was the second firearm related murder in the city after two plus weeks without incident. The peace in the city was attributed to the work of Southside Commander ACP Chester Williams, who spearheaded a peace march by the major gangs in Belize City. Williams gave us an update on that murder investigation today, and he reminded us that so far, there is no evidence to suggest that Bonilla's death is gang related...

Southside Commander Says Police Didn't Slack Off In Jane Usher Blvd Area
Williams also spoke to us about Monday's murder of Ludwin Lalin, another 19 year old who was shot not far from his home on Curl Thompson Street. Lalin was killed the day after police held a family day in the Jane Usher area to try to defuse growing tensions in the neighborhood. Williams updated us on this investigation while disputing claims that police had reduced their presence in the area prior to the shooting... ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside Police: "Mr. Lalin was shot and killed two night in the Jane Usher Boulevard area and again just like Bonilla we have no gang affiliation. Yes he might have friends who have gang affiliations and it could be that is one the reasons why he was targeted. We currently have two persons in custody we are interviewing in respect to that matter."

Commander Williams Says Peace Is An Ongoing Conversation
Bonilla and Lalin were killed just four days apart, and while police say neither murder is gang related, Williams made it a point to defend the peace being held by the city gangs. He told us about the work he and his mediation partners have been doing with the gang members on the Southside, and added that they plan to include other gangs, like the ones in the Jane Usher area, to bring stability back to the area... ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside Police: "I would just like to add that myself, Mr. Finnegan, Brother Nuri and Jawi have been busy working with a group of young men. As I said before you all would know that the area that was problematic to us was the George Street, PIV, Conch shell Bay, Banak Street and extension area."

Holdup And Shooting In Small Southern Village
There was a shooting in Bella Vista village in the Toledo District this evening. In an unusual crime for this quiet village, an armed man tried to hold up a Western Union Agent which is also the office for Charlton's cable. A female clerk was shot during the holdup. She survived but we do know know the extent of her injury and police are still on the scene. We'll have more on this tomorrow,.

Deshaies' Attorney Going For Bail For The Canadian
Canadian John Deshaies remains in the custody of Corozal police - and has not been transferred to the Central Prison where he was ordered to be remanded for a theft in Placencia. This was confirmed to us this morning by his attorney Steve Perrera. Reports to us are that Corozal police are no closer to making an arrest in the double murder of Francesca Matus and Drew Devoursney - in which Deshaies is a key person of interest. Deshaies was Matus's tenant and police believe he has information which can help in the investigation but they say he is not cooperating. His attorney Steve Perrera says that's because he knows nothing about the double murder. Perrera says that he will try and get a Supreme Court bail hearing for Deshaeis on Friday. Attorneys Kevin Arthurs and Dickie Bradley are expected to join him in making this application.

Days Of Grace Are Here Again For Primary School
In September, 120 Grace Primary School students will be sitting in their new classrooms on Fabers Road. The old building on Amara Avenue was overrun with 480 students. And so, now, the kids and teachers will finally be able have more breathing space, and running space after the new 3750 square foot school building was officially opened today on Faber's Road. Courtney Weatherburne was there for the ceremony and has the details . From this wooden structure erected for the ground breaking in August 2016 - to the fully completed 4 classroom building. Morna Sheppard - Principal, Grace Primary School: "It has been a long time over 20 years." That is how long these kids and their teachers have waited for this much needed upgrade; one that will ease the overcrowding at the school on Amara Avenue.

Many More School On-Line
And just as Grace Primary's new school building went up, 35 more schools are expected to be built around the country. It is the rollout of the second phase of the Belize Education Sector Reform Project, an ambitious but very necessary undertaking according to Education Minister Patrick Faber: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "This is a CDB loan that we are receiving; it is 70 million dollars, 35 new schools that are going to be built across the country. 22 of them are preschools, our focus we make no mistake, no apologies, we focus on early childhood education, we believe in children starting strong and then the rest of the monies will be spent on primary and a few secondary schools." Courtney Weatherburne: "When do you all plan on rolling out this very large project?" Hon. Patrick Faber: "Well the monies have been secured as you've heard, in fact it has been taken to the house, it is a loan and in fact we are identifying the land actually, that is the hold up. We need to make sure that we have in our possession the land certificates and so on before we can move and that process I am told is what is holding us up but as soon as we do that we're going to roll out and start construction across the country."

CEMO Conference Considers Conflagrations
Today, the Belize City Council hosted the 5th CEMO Symposium. The event brought together first responders and emergency relief agencies from around the country to review CEMO's efforts over the last year, as well as to discuss strategies for improving emergency response. This year, after a string of fires devastated the city, the symposium revolved around fire awareness and management. We spoke to Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, who acts as the Chairman of CEMO, as well as Fire Chief, Ted Smith, about the presentations over the next two days... Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City: "This is the fifth year that we've been having the CEMO symposium and the idea is that when we talk about emergency management a main aspect of it is actually capacity building and sharing information using best practices and really having a forum where first responders and emergency management practitioners and also policy makers and elected officials can convene together and to over two days share strategies."

Tension Between Neighboring Schools
There was a commotion at St. Joseph Primary school this afternoon after a dispute with students of the adjoining ITVET reportedly took a dangerous turn. Apparently, there has been some "over-the-back-fence" teasing between the two schools which are neighbors and today - it is alleged that it took a dangerous turn when one of the ITVET students displayed a BB gun. Police are investigating. ITVET is a secondary and skills training school.

Man Says The Devil Made Him Rob Woman
He held up a woman and robbed her, and, now, 48 year old Harrison Powell will spend 5 years in jail for it - even after he told the judge the devil made him do it. On the afternoon of May 9th, 57 year old Nazli D'Silva, arrived at Fisherman's Dock on Marine Parade, and was walking towards her parked car when she felt a sharp object in her back. When she turned around, she saw a man with a large knife, who sliced off the strap on her backpack and ran off with it. She screamed for help and a passing police mobile immediately apprehended Powell and retrieved her bag with all the items in it.

Meet, Greet, Jump Street!
Today police personnel, from Commanders to Constables took to the streets for their weekly meet and greet. As is now standard practice, the cops walked through the city streets and asked the residents about their crime and safety concerns. ACP Chester Williams, who led the Southside Police through Wagner's Lane and the surrounding areas, told us what the citizens had to say...

DPM Says No Surprises For House Sitting
And while the police did their meet and greet, on Friday, the House of Representatives will just plain-old "meet" for the first time in 7 weeks. But the Deputy Prime Minister says, don't expect any surprises. Some had rumored that that we all would be in for a surprise from Prime Minister Barrow but Faber put a rest to that rumor: We will have coverage of the meeting in Friday night's news.

Mayor Laments Planter Vandalism, But Vows To Keep Trying
LAST NIGHT we told you about one of Albert Street's new planters that was viciously vandalized only two weeks after it had been completed. When we spoke to Mayor Darrell Bradley today he told us that he expected it to happen sooner of later, but reiterated that all CitCo can do is appeal to the vandals to desist and then hope for the best... There are 18 planters designated for Albert Street and 55 for the entire city.


#523497 - 05/11/17 07:05 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 11, 2017 [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,724
Marty Online happy
Marty  Online Happy

Channel 5

Elvin Penner Talks to Senate, But Not About Won Hong Kim
Appearing at today’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee at the National Assembly in Belmopan was former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner.  This is [...]

Senate Chair Refutes Penner’s Application of the Law
The Committee disagreed. Chairman Senator Aldo Salazar told Penner that any questions put to him would not concern any action in court, nor that the Committee was in the process [...]

Penner Refuses to Discuss Appearance at Immigration Department with ‘Phantom’ Kim
And while that was Penner’s stance this morning, the Senate panel spent time on other matters before eventually returning to the Kim scandal in the afternoon session. What followed was [...]

Kim File Documents Were Complete; ex-Minister Does Not Remember What He Did with File
The thrust and parry continued with the panel’s Chairman, Aldo Salazar, scoring a point when he questioned Penner about the remarks of Gordon Wade, former Chief of Nationality at the [...]

Penner Met Real Kim But Hesitant to Discuss ‘Friends’
Chairman Salazar tag-teamed out to Senator Eamon Courtenay, who turned to the question of how Penner and Kim met in the first place. Here the former Minister was a little [...]

International Buddies Penner and Kim Met in Both Chinas
Penner was able to give further details of his meetings with Kim, which took place in both Chinas – the People’s Republic or Mainland China, and the Republic of China, [...]

Penner a U.D.P. Again? DPM Faber Says Chances Slim to None
There are reports that disgraced former Immigration Minister, Elvin Penner, aspires to return to party politics.  But his involvement in the Won Hong Kim scandal and the corruption at the [...]

Deputy Prime Minister Says Inquiry Must Get Serious
The testimony today of ex-Minister Penner was broadcast on this station and our social media page. The feed got reaction from Belizeans at home and those in the diaspora. But [...]

Penner Says His Recommendations Weren’t Meant to be Taken Seriously…
Back to the Senate Inquiry, which concluded just before four p.m. today…The issue of ministerial recommendations for visas in particular, especially to Asian nationals, has been a major thorn in [...]

…And There Weren’t “Hundreds” of Approved Visas
Penner also contends that some visas which he recommended for approval were not approved. But why was it necessary to go through it, especially if it was not intended to [...]

Penner Sticks by Yakut Sup’s Claim to Nationality
The panel turned to other questionable grants of nationality mentioned in the Audit Report. In the case of Yakup Sut, a Turk whom Penner met in Germany, it was clear [...]

What Happened to Peter Pang’s Passport?
Another infamous case is that of Peter Pang, whose nationality certificate was backdated; his file was missing despite being requested by the Auditors, and there was no evidence that Pang [...]

Alberto August Proves Distraction for P.U.P.’s Courtenay
While Senator Eamon Courtenay was grilling Elvin Penner on the issue of the reason for his writing recommendations, he was suddenly distracted by chairman of the United Democratic Party Alberto [...]

Michael Bonilla’s Murder Case Still Open
Last Thursday, nineteen-year-old Michael Bonilla was cut down in a hail of bullets as he rode his bicycle along Elston Kerr Street.  The incident transpired behind Gwen Lizarraga High School [...]

Ludwin Lalin Death a Result of Gang Ties?
Eighteen-year-old Ludwin Lalin, a Guatemalan national, was shot and killed in a senseless act of gun violence on Monday night.  The fatal attack on the teenager happened on Curl Thompson [...]

New School Extension for Grace Primary
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber was today inaugurating the extension to Grace Primary School within the Collet Division. The new facility will host upper division students and will improve significantly [...]

Industry Association Says Shrimp Farms Opted Out of ASC Certification
A recent report by IntraFish reported that the prestigious Aquaculture Stewardship Council, A.S.C., has suspended certification of four Belizean shrimp farms in April.  The farms named are Paradise Shrimp Farm, [...]

ACP Williams Says G.S.U. Must Have Some Respect
The Gang Suppression Unit, despite a standing agreement among various Belize City groups to hold the peace, remains on a sustained campaign to crack down on these elements.  Those sting [...]

CEMO Meets the Public in Annual Symposium
There has been a spate of fires since the beginning of the year.  Though there have been no fatalities, there has been concern that the fire department has not been [...]

CTV3

Elvin Penner Appears Before Senate Comittee..Refuses To Answer Questions In Relation To Wong Hong Kim Scandal
Former Minister of Immigration Elvin Penner appeared before the Senate Select Committee today in what many may say is a daring act considering the scandals that have piled up on him during his tenure as Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration. But while Penner did not snub the invitation to appear before the investigating committee or shy away from the questioning the real issue was what he was willing to talk about. Although he didn’t have legal representation beside him, Penner was very prepared to take on the Senate Committee and basically, suggest the limitations of what he was prepared to talk about. According to Penner, any matter which he has been acquitted of or may incriminate him was off the table. He read a prepared statement at the start of the session, laying out his ground rules.

Lead PUP Senator Demands UDP Chairman Be Removed From The Gallery
While today’s defensive posture by former Immigration Minister Elvin Penner made his highly-anticipated appearance before the Senate hearing somewhat anti-climactic, there was a moment during the Senate meeting when sparks flew. This has to do with what appeared to be the eviction of UDP Chairman Alberto August, who showed up at the Senate hearing just before midday, but who only stayed briefly. August, who appeared very bothered by Senator Eamon Courtenay’s line of questioning, seemed unable to keep his composure and began distracting Senator Courtenay.

Belizean and Mexican Authorities Block Old Bridge
Back in the month of January, we reported of a violent confrontation between Belize Customs and armed Mexican smugglers at the northern border. As reported the clash erupted when Belize Customs officials attempted to confiscate goods that were being illegally stockpiled near the Belize-side of the Rio Hondo River. The problem, as we understand it, started after Mexican border officials were in constant odds with Mexican smugglers known as fayuqueros over attempts to smuggle goods from the Commercial Free Zone. Because of a crackdown by Mexican officials, the fayuqueros started to hide the goods under the Subteniente Lopez Bridge. This prompted Belizean authorities to crack down on the situation, leading to January’s violent clash which resulted in one Corozal police officer to suffer an injury to the head.

PlusTV

Elvin Penner at Senate Inquiry
The long awaited discussion with former Minister of State of Immigration, Elvin Penner, happened this morning at the Senate Committee Inquiry in Belmopan. Penner lost his job as Minister following the Wong Hong Kim scandal where he allegedly recommended and pushed through a Belizean passport for ...

Magistrate Norman Rodriquez charged for rape
Magistrate Norman Rodriguez was charged today for rape before his boss, the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Rodriguez is accused of raping a 27 year old woman in early April, when he was on Magistrate’s duties in Dangriga town. It took over three weeks for the charges to be brought against ...

Woman stabbed in Belize City
Reports reaching our news desk are that a female was stabbed in Belize City. According to the report, the stabbing incident took place at the intersection of Freetown and Barrack Roads. She was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she is undergoing treatment. Police is yet to release a...

Robbery at Western Union in Toledo and female clerk shot
Reports reaching our news desk are that there has been an armed robbery at the Western Union in the Bella Vista Area in the Toledo District. Reports are that a female clerk has been shot. Police is yet to release any information on this incident though they have confirmed that it did happen. We wil...

Penner doesn’t want to talk about Kim
Earlier we told you about Elvin Penner’s debut at the Senate Select Inquiry today in Belmopan. The former Minister appeared unrepresented and was questioned about his role as it pertained to recommendations for visas and nationalities. However, as it came to direct questions on Wong Hong Kim, Penner...

CWU and SSB in meetings in Belmopan
Yesterday, we told you that a meeting between the Christian Workers Union and the Social Security board was held in Belmopan in an effort to come to an agreement over Social Security staff benefits. As we told you, this meeting follows a series of activities starting on April 21, when the Social Se...

Contraband crash in Orange Walk
There was a small traffic accident in Orange Walk town yesterday. As we have reported, the Immigration Department says they are now fully enforcing laws as it pertains to border crossings. This came after a police mobile was seen loading up at an Orange Walk unofficial crossing in Botes area of Oran...

Another teen gunned down in Belize City
Another teenager was shot and killed in Belize City on Monday night. Reports are that shots rang out on Curl Thompson Street in the Jane Usher area of Belize City and when it subsided, 18-year-old Ludwin Kivany Lalin laid on the ground dead. Lalin was shot to the head sometime around 6:12 p.m. on ...

Alleged middleman in land compensation scheme dropped from lawsuit
The former deputy Prime Minister’s son, Andre Vega, and another well known UDP supporter, Sharon Pitts, are being taken to court by the Government of Belize after much public pressure. The two defendants received 400 thousand dollars each in land compensations that occurred under very suspicious c...

Canadian on remand for theft charges; police question him in double murder case
Steve Perrera is also the attorney for Canadian John Deshaies. It has been reported that Deshaies is being questioned by Corozal police in relation to the double murder of foreigners 52 year old Canadian Francesca Matus and 36 year old American, Drew Devoursey. Deshaeis was the tenant at Matus’ C...

FBI assists police in double murder of Foreign couple
In relation to the double murder investigation in the north, while police are questioning a foreigner in that case, they do believe that even if a foreigner orchestrated the murder, a local must have also been involved. The vehicle and the bodies were found in cane fields that were about to be burn...

Seeking justice for murdered loved ones
Recently we have reported on several cases of loved ones not seeing justice for their murdered family members. We recently reported on the court case of William Gillett who walked from murder charges in the case of the murder of Belmopan resident Norval Belisle. The young man’s throat was slit with...

Retired teacher demands benefits after MOE loses all his records of service
Leroy Green is well known for his work in the creative arts and as an English and Literature teacher for over thirty four years. Most recently, Green had been working with the Ministry of Education to implement a creative arts curriculum into the formal education system but he retired in November ...

Man stabs sister to the head with screwdriver
A man was charged for stabbing his own sister with a screw driver to the left side of her head. Rayford Saldano pleaded guilty to the charge of wounding when he appeared in court on Monday. He told the court that he stabbed his sister with the screwdriver because they got into an argument about rent...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize celebrates Nurses Week
Nurses in Belize join the world in celebrating Nurses Week from May 6th to 12th under the International Council of Nurses theme, Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Nurses are the cornerstone of healthcare and function in the prevention of illness, promotion of health and the alleviation of suffering throughout our lifetimes.

Beyond the Horizon offers free medical services in San Ignacio
The United States Army South’s Beyond the Horizon 2017 program began offering free medical services at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio Town on Monday. The medical services do not require appointments. The San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council has prepared a schedule to include San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Benque Viejo del Carmen and surrounding villages.

Three Belize City men charged for public drinking
Yesterday morning at 8:00, police saw Shane Anthony Morgan, 40, of Western Avenue, Belize City, drinking from a Belikin pint while riding a bicycle. Morgan was informed of the offence committed and was arrested and charged for the offence of ‘prohibition of public drinking’.

Three busted for drug trafficking in San Pedro
According to police reports, yesterday morning around 5:30, San Pedro police were conducting operations in the Eiley Sub Division area of San Pedro Town. Police searched a room on the lower flat of the two story wooden apartment complex and three persons were present: Phillip Sealy, 21; Ernesto Lopez, 18; and Serahi Arias, 18.

Two men busted for drug trafficking on bus
Yesterday evening around 5:00, police were conducting a vehicle check point on the George Price Highway near the police booth in front of Rumors Resort in San Ignacio Town where officers searched a passenger bus with only four passengers on board, including the driver and conductor.

Two men charged for kidnapping
On Monday, Jason Espinoza, 23, and Elio Lopez, 42, were charged in the Corozal Magistrates Court for three counts of kidnapping and three counts of robbery. Last Wednesday, May 3, Eder Hall, Eliazar Hall and Emir Rosado reported to police that whilst doing a business transaction with Jeffrey Gongora and Brian Espinoza, they were abducted.

Belize to celebrate Music Week 2017
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) in collaboration with Belize’s Music Ambassador will be hosting the 2nd Annual Music Week May 15th – 20th 2017. The goal of the activities is to focus on the important role music plays in the social and economic framework of Belize’s development.

Alleged rape victim makes accusations of intimidation by magistrate
The alleged rape victim of Magistrate Norman Rodriguez, is making further claims that Rodriguez intimidated her before the trial. Rodriguez’s alleged victim told the media that despite the pending rape charge against him, Rodriguez showed up to her mother’s house on Sunday to have lunch.

CEMO hosts symposium on fire safety
The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) began the first of a two-day symposium on Fire Management, Awareness, and Preparation. The symposium, held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, gathered members of the Belize City Council, the National Fire Service, and Belize Port Authority, along with businesses such as Benny’s, Hyde Shipping and St. John’s Credit Union.

Former Minister of Immigration may face Senate inquiry
As disgraced former Minister of State in the Immigration Department, Elvin Penner is set to take the stand and face the Senate Select Committee investigating corruption this morning, another former Minister of Immigration may yet need to testify for being named dozens of times in the Auditor General’s Special Report.Former Immigration Minister Carlos Perdomo was named over 80 times in the Auditor General’s report.

My Mother, My All
By Richard Harrison: My mother is a teacher My mother a nurse My mother is a chef My mother a waitress My mother is a referee My mother a coach My mother is a policeman My mother a social worker My mother is a financial manager

Blogs

BLESSINGS IN BELIZE …….
There’s something about the cool ocean breeze, the sand in your toes and a long walk on the beach that put’s life into perspective. A “time-out” of sorts to reevaluate where you’ve been, where you’re going and to sincerely be thankful for these opportunities. Counting my blessings is a top priority at this stage in my life. I’m thankful for my children, my grandchildren and the love of my life who shares this journey. When you reach this “third” stage in life there seems to be a shift in perspective. The days are calmer, the worries are fading and “passing the torch” of parenting and responsibility have slowly eased into the background. It isn’t until we observe our adult children dealing with the challenges and obstacles, just as we did at that stage, do we truly realize and appreciate this cycle called life. We can now enjoy our children as the strong, capable young adults they are becoming.

Cave tubing in Belize
Just about every travel writer experiencing Caves Branch River tubing comes to the conclusion that this destination reminds them of sailing in and out of big hunks of Swiss cheese. One minute the sun is shining upon your head, and in the next, you’ve got jungle canopy shading your sail. But the fun kicks in once you slip into a surreal world of pitch black caves once explored and used by Mayans for rituals and secret ceremonies. Fun for all ages, there’s nothing quite like tubing. No matter how many excursions you book during your Belize visit, this one is unique and deserves a place on your must-see list. You’re perfectly safe in the company of other tubing travelers and your guide will make sure you are safe and well-informed by the time your tubing experience is done. No worries about the darkest sections of the caves: everybody will be outfitted with helmet lights.

Explore the Mayflower Bocawina National Park
Located in close proximity to Cockscomb Basin, expect to see more here simply because there’s much less foot traffic. Bocawina Falls is a first-class birding site, wildlife observation posts are scattered throughout the park, and most trails are well maintained so it’s easy to relax and enjoy a hike through the park. Co-managed by Friends of Mayflower Bocawina National Park, visitors wishing to be fully immersed in nature are encouraged to pitch tents and camp here. Bocawina sprawls across a vast tract of land, yet it’s located just 16 miles southwest of Dangriga and 12 miles northwest of Hopkins. Either starting point will get you to the park quickly, but you may not have to wait to get here to start your adventure: Black Howler Monkeys indigenous to this area are so “outspoken” you are sure to hear the park even before you reach it. Locate the Stann Creek District on a map to identify the park’s location. You can take the Hummingbird Highway to the Southern Highway. At mile 6, locate the 4.5 mile access road that leads to the park. Simplify your life by engaging a guide in Dangriga or Hopkins and letting him handle the logistics and the roads for a more pleasurable journey.

Rio on Pools - A Natural and Majestic Waterfall in Belize
The primary reason to visit is to grab a respite from your on-the-go schedule! You conquered the Big Blue Hole and tested your scuba diving prowess along Belize’s barrier reef; perhaps you visited enough Ambergris Caye hot spots to satisfy your inner party animal. Find tranquility at Rio on Pools and indulge all of your senses. Start by standing on the riverbank overlooking Rio on Pools before reaching your destination. The sound of water falling from great heights alone will quiet your racing pulse, and this Belize paradise is a photographer’s dream. Expect a grand time splashing in the pools, zipping over granite boulders and experiencing area waterfalls year-round. You’re going to stay perpetually wet anyway, so rain showers won’t spoil your fun. That stated, you could encounter muddy roads, so if you’re not a skilled driver, making this trip in a downpours could offer more adventure than you bargained for! Dare we again mention the wisdom of taking a guided tour?

International Sourcesizz

Singapore and Belize sign open skies agreement
Singapore has signed a new open skies agreement with Belize. The agreement allows their airlines to fly between both countries and to any third country, said the Transport Ministry in a statement on Thursday (May 11). Under the agreement, there will be no restrictions on capacity, frequency, aircraft type and routing schedules. Cargo carriers can also base their aircraft in each other's countries and use it as a hub for operations to any third country. Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan signed the agreement in Singapore with Belize's Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Jose Manuel Heredia. Said Mr Khaw: "The conclusion of this Air Service Agreement reflects the warm bilateral ties between Singapore and Belize. The fully liberal air services framework established will allow carriers from both countries to respond quickly to market opportunities."

ALL’S NOT SWEET
Guyana, the Caribbean trade bloc’s largest producer and exporter of raw cane sugar, is scaling back production and pulling away from the European market for the first time in nearly 400 years as Europe will from in the fall end a decades-old system that had guaranteed export quantities from its former colonies, officials said this week. The country has since the mid 1970’s been annually exporting nearly 170,000 metric tonnes of raw sugar to the European Union market under a special protocol with guaranteed prices and fixed quotes for production from Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific nations. But Errol Hanoman, chief executive at the Guyana Sugar Corporation said that the European Union will from September end the fixed quota system and throw open its market to exporters from around the globe, including making more room for its own beet farmers to thrive. The move will affect all countries still producing and exporting in the group including Jamaica, Belize and Barbados. Trinidad and St. Kitts quit that sector more than a decade ago when the European Union had slashed import prices by 36 percent, contending that sugar had become highly unprofitable and no longer made economic sense. Barbados has a single functioning estate. The end of the quota system now means that cane sugar from the Caribbean with its high production costs will be unable to compete going forward as beet farmers move into space left by departing regional producers.

US slams CARICOM as money launderers
In one fell swoop the United States government has condemned 14 of the 15 CARICOM states as major money laundering countries, and Barbados government minister, Donville Inniss, is calling for joint regional reaction. In its March 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of the US Department of State omitted only Montserrat in its broad brush across the region that hit every CARICOM member along with other Caribbean states, and Inniss noted that such charges carry severe consequences for financial operations of these countries. “This is an issue that affects the survival of each economy in the region,” he said recently in a comment on the issue.

A List of the Animals I’ve Jerked Off (For Science)
And they're not all mammals, either! Every time I go out, I play a fun game where I see how long it takes me to mention to a stranger that I’ve jerked off a dolphin. The topic has to come about organically, of course, which is what makes it so exciting. The responses I get are surprisingly similar: Most people immediately want to know how big a dolphin’s dick is. It’s as if my answer would somehow affect whether or not they’d leave the bar right then and there to go [#%!] one. I sort of get it — dolphins are very intelligent, athletic, and apparently upbeat. That’s about as great as a Tinder profile can read; a big dick would just seal the deal. Once we get past the thorough description of porpoise junk, the next question is, “What else have you jerked off?” So for everyone I might potentially run into at a bar, here is your list of answers:

A Global Effort to Save Coral Reefs
The latest news about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is not encouraging, and a slew of negative headlines tells the story: “Scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data,” says The Guardian; “Large Sections of Australia’s Great Reef Are Now Dead, Scientists Find” reports the New York Times. With news like this about the world’s most famous reef, it’s understandable for many people to conclude that saving coral reefs elsewhere is now impossible. Fortunately, this is not the case. We can still save corals. But to do so, we will need to take action and leverage an “all of the above” strategy of conservation that addresses both the local and global threats to their survival. Tropical, reef-building corals are animals which build skeletons of calcium carbonate and have symbiotic algae that live inside them. Deep sea corals are animals as well, but they don’t have algae since there is no sunlight to take advantage of. Both types of coral create structures on the seafloor as these skeletons build up over time, forming vital ocean habitats for fish and other sea creatures. This process of reef formation is incredibly slow: once damaged, reefs can require decades or even millennia to fully recover.

Sr Power Gym bodybuilding competition in Chetumal, Quintana Roo
In UNITY there is our strength! I'm proud of the guys for representing Belize in excellent manner at yesterday's Sr Power Gym bodybuilding competition in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. Spartan Gym's Rigo Menjivar topped his physique category, Oyinkro was 1st in his, followed by Erick with 3rd; meanwhile I settled with 2nd in Overall. Gracias por la oportunidad Power GYM Chetumal. Meffi de la Rosa, Marvin de la Rosa. Official BBBFF Belize Body Building & Fitness Federation.

Videos

  • Reef Week in San Pedro: Madi's EPIC Adventure , 5min. It's Reef Week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. We share iTravel Belize's video of Madi's EPIC Adventure as she snorkels/swims through the length of the Belize Barrier Reef to create awareness of its IMPORTANCE to the country.

  • Former Minister of State Elvin Penner appears at the Special Senate Select Committee Part 1, 2hr. Former Minister, Elvin Penner gives his testimony into the Immigration and Nationality audit with special emphasis on the Won Hong Kim passport breach.

  • Former Minister of State Elvin Penner appears at the Special Senate Select Committee Part 2, 2hr. Former Minister, Elvin Penner gives his testimony into the Immigration and Nationality audit with special emphasis on the Won Hong Kim passport breach.

  • Sailing Ambergris Caye, Belize, 1/2min.

  • Belize got talent (ghetto youths free style), 2min.

  • Belize got talent (talented young man), 3min.

  • Belize Don't Kill My Vibe 2017, 2min. Our trip to San Pedro Island, Belize.

  • Spinner dolphins jumping for joy in Belize, 4min.On our sail to Roatan on the Infinity, we were treated to the most incredible dolphin escort! Over 50 dolphins splashed and played around the bow of our catamaran for almost 30 minutes.

  • Belize Vacation Video 2016, 4min.

  • James Ewing Highlights 2017 (Belize), 5min. Forward for Orange Walk Running Rebels

  • Belize Cancer Society - Launch of Cancer Song, 23min.

  • Galen University - Introduction of Masters in Social Science & Executive MBA, 30min.

  • Belize Road Safety Initiative - UN Global Road Safety Week, 46min.

  • San Pedro Pre School Puppet Show, 2min. Students at San Pedro Pre School enjoy a Puppet Show as part of Reef Week 2017! The presentations at differents schools today educated students about managing access to fishing, the rights to fish certain areas, and sustainable fishing.

  • Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), 3.5min. CCJ and Five Cs are two organizations we often hear about in the media, but probably know very little about; so in celebration of CARICOM week last week, we featured both CARICOM institutions … Here's more on the Caribbean Court of Justice!

  • THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE YOU'VE NEVER BEEN, 13min.

  • Belize Sailing, 3.5min.

  • Air Belize Skydiving, 5min. Quick and dirty video complementing my feature story in the Placencia Breeze newspaper.

  • Belize 2016, 9.5min.

  • Hawkesworth Bridge San Ignacio Belize 2017, 3min. Suspended high above the Macal River, the Hawksworth Bridge is the only drivable suspension bridge in Belize. This suspension bridge reminded me of my beloved Golden Gate Bridge. To the locals, it is as special connecting Santa Elena to San Ignacio. The total length of the bridge is 480 feet and the main span is 280 feet, with an additional 100 feet on each side. It was a great day for the people of British Honduras as the bridge was the final link connecting San Ignacio and Belize City

  • Belize 2016, 9min. Denver KLife Belize 2016

  • Belize, 13min. February Break 2017.

  • Black Howler Monkeys in Belize, 3min.

  • 'I want to Belize' the movie / chriss vid/ yosemite, 15min.

  • Cornell College Off-Campus Studies Course in Belize, 5min. Cornell College students spent two weeks on an off-campus studies course in biology in which the students and their professor studied Fire Coral in the reefs surrounding South Water Caye at IZE Belize resort.


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