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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

SPTC celebrates island teachers and nurses
To commemorate Teacher's and Nurses Week, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. hosted the 13th annual 'Teachers and Nurses Banquet' on Thursday, May 11th. Island educators, doctors, nurses, and medical assistants were treated to an evening full of entertainment, drinks, food, and fun at the Angel Nu�ez Auditorium. Before protocol was established, attendees mingled and socialized, enjoying the musical entertainment provided by San Pedro's Rompe Raja Band. Around 8PM, master of ceremonies, Councilor Severo Guerrero Jr., welcomed the gathering to the event. After the singing of the National Anthem, Ariani Gongora, Principal at Brighter Tomorrow Preschool, gave an invocation.

San Pedro Town and Wilmington City celebrate 10 years of sister city relations
A special ceremony and dinner was held on Wednesday, May 10th to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sisterhood between San Pedro Town and the City of Wilmington, North Carolina USA. The event was hosted at Pineapple's Restaurant at Ramon's Village by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), and saw the participation of staff and Councilors of the SPTC including Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Gary Greif and special invited guests from the city of Wilmington. Representing the city of Wilmington were Margaret Haynes, Mayor Pro-Term and the President of the Sister City Commission Marilyn Cantarella. Mayor Guerrero thanked Haynes and Cantarella for their city's continued interest in partnering with San Pedro. In his brief remarks, Guerrero pledged to strengthen the relationship between both municipalities and invited the representatives from Wilmington to work together with San Pedro in projects and programs that can benefit their people.

Former Immigration Minister Elvin Penner questioned by Senate Special Select Committee
Former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality Elvin Penner made his appearance at the Senate Special Select Committee on Wednesday, May 10th, for questioning about his alleged involvement in an immigration scandal in 2013. Penner was questioned on several irregularities in the approval of Belizean visas, including the facilitation of a Belizean passport for fugitive South Korean national, Wong Hong Kim, who was in a Taiwanese prison at the time of his passport approval. At the hearing, Penner cautiously answered the questions posed to him; however, he refrained from responding to questions relating to Kim.

San Pedro Cancer Society receives donation from SPHS student
After winning a creative arts competition during San Pedro High School's Drug Awareness week, 15-year-old Jaye Wagner reserved a portion of his $175 prize to donate to the San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS). On Tuesday, May 9th, Blue Water Grill (BWG) owners Kelly and Mukul Kanabar, along with Wagner's mother, Janine Lopez, BWG's Manager, officially handed over the $100 check to the organization. After choosing to write a speech for the creative arts competition, Wagner discussed the issue of poverty and discrimination, while explaining its relation to drugs. "I saw some very important causes as to why the drug rate was so high in our country. I wanted to present these issues to the student body, while giving well-thought out solutions.

US Embassy hosts Town Hall meeting for citizens in San Pedro Town
On Thursday, May 11th, the United States of America Embassy in Belize hosted its Town Hall meeting at the Blue Water Grill in San Pedro Town. Along with National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the US Embassy shared beneficial information regarding consular services, security, and hurricane preparedness to more than 30 American citizens in attendance. Consular Section Chief Yomaris MacDonald welcomed guests, and spoke about the Embassy's Consulate Section. In order to stay informed and alerted, she encouraged all US nationals to sign up for the Smart Traveler Employer Program (STEP). It is a free service geared towards those traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Once registered, you'll receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, help assist the Embassy to contact you in an emergency or relatives and/or friend during a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

San Pedro FC wins Maclean Insurance U-17 football sub-champs
The San Pedro FC won the sub-champion's trophy at the Maclean Insurance Under-17 football finals, after they lost 0-2 in the finals against the Matus Bombers U-17 at the MCC garden last Saturday, May 6th. Dixon Paguada and Ian Pou led the San Pedro offensive, with the help of Arnold Flowers and Christian Medina on the wings, and Hakeem Smith and Henry Gonzalez at midfield, but the Bombers' defenders Godwin Neal, Gregory Fisher, Ahmad Brown and Jason Morales frustrated their attacks. Tyreek "Pippin" Muschamp and Maynor Hernandez led the Bombers' offensive with the help of Christian Gladden, Claishaun Lewis, Shemar Waight and Jason Crawford at midfield. San Pedro's defenders Jorge Castillo, Wilson Cruz, Edwardo Ack and Haseim Valerio held off the Bombers attacks, until Tyreek Muschamp found the back of the goal in the 12th minute.

Ambergris Today

Celebrating Nurses Week In Belize
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. Countrywide activities have been planned to recognize nurses throughout the week, which culminates with a nursing conference at the Muffles College Auditorium on Friday, May 12th; and a visit to the Meeting of House of Representatives to honor a nursing icon and the Speaker of the House, Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth.

Misc Belizean Sources


Day 4 Reef Week. Marine Fair
he event today went great. We had a large turn out from all the school. We want to thank the all those who took the time to come out and set up a booth. Thank You.

Lots of great photos

Reef Week Day 3. Puppet Show
Started off the morning with shows at ABC Preschool, and San Pedro Preschool. Kids where excited, and as usual Langostine and Tiger stole the show.

Day 2 of Reef Week 2017
Students from various schools around San Pedro and Caye Caulker got to participate in the annual trivia competition. Winners: 1st Place Austin Castro, San Pedro R.C. School. 2nd Place Terrence Keating, Isla Bonita Primary School. 3rd Place Tellon Smith, Island Academy School. Prizes: 1st Place - 1st place trophy; Laptop, printer, and flash drive bundle; school bag filled with school supplies 2nd Place: 2nd place trophy; Tablet with keyboard; school bag filled with school supplies. 3rd Place: 3rd place trophy; $100 gift certificate to A&R; school bag filled with school supplies. All participants received a small gift bag with Hol Chan stuff.

Agriculture and Trade Show 2017
Lots of great photos!

Miss Estereo Amor Belize
Auditions for Miss Estereo Amor Belize will be taking place in Benque Viejo del Carmen this Saturday at Wingz Benque and in Belmopan at E&L Sports Bar - both days are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you are between the ages of 18-25, unmarried and without children and you speak spanish - come out to the auditions for the opportunity to win BZ$5,000.00 on August 19.

2017 Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival
The Photo Essay displays the highlights of the 2017 Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival (GIFF) that will commence from Friday, May 12, 2017 and culminates on Saturday, May 27, 2017 in Venice, California.

On a warm and humid September evening in 1976 as Belizeans lined Albert Street in downtown Belize City to watch the citizens' parade, the crowd excitement visibly grew and people surged forward to get a glimpse of the approaching marching band - the legendary Minorettes. But the main attraction was one of the band's lead dancers who evoked the image of an enchanting and beautiful Nubian goddess. Like a statuette made of gold and bronze she took command of her elements and danced with a poise and grace that was punctuated with bursts of creative synergy and improvisation that captivated her audience. Unbeknown to them, Belizeans were witnessing the rise of one of their own daughters, the phenomenal ballerina Althea Sealy.

The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting in Belize City
Date: May 18, 2017 Place: The Inspiration Center, 1.5 miles George Price Highway, Belize City. Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. At the meeting, we will introduce staff from the Embassy who provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Belize, discuss the services the U.S. Embassy provides, and answer questions you may have about our services. Topics include: immigration requirements for U.S. citizens and dual citizens in Belize, security, hurricane preparedness, and information on renewing your passport via DHL. Limited consular public services will be offered.

Senate inquiry dash Penner's open statement was a news flash Reminding the party that he is to be whitewashed Faber hinting that he could be brought back If the party and the people felt that Belizean memory quash Just like Musa was whitewashed After his accusation he was brought back Like Florencio Marin before that�

Inauguration of the Iguana Street Basketball Court
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through the National Sports Council (NSC), worked in conjunction with the Iguana Street community to enhance the safety of youth who wish to participate in sporting and recreational activities. The National Sports Council continues to play a leading role, as a part of the Government's wider initiative of promoting citizen security through sports and recreation and assisted the residents in resurfacing and painting of the basketball court; installing and painting new backboards; renovation and painting of bleachers; and replacement of light bulbs. NSC hereby invites the media to the inauguration of the Iguana Street Basketball Court by the Hon. Patrick Faber - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture on Monday, 15th May 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

"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". "

BioDiversity and Investments - BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE Presents at BIOFIN 2017
On May 11th, 2017, the Government of Belize and UNDP Hosted the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) South-South Cooperation where BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE presented on Cases of the Sustainable Path for Investment in Belize's Priority Investment Industries along with the investment incentives available and the Belize Investment Portfolio initiative. The Government of Belize, as a participant of the Global Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), hosted the south-south cooperation exchange with representatives of other regional BIOFIN countries: namely Costa Rica, Colombia and Guatemala. This event was held from May 10 to 11, 2017 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. Through this engagement, Belizean stakeholders will gain insight on finance modalities developed by targeted BIOFIN countries, as well as the experience of other BIOFIN countries in the implementation of the BIOFIN assessments. The aim of the exchange is to ultimately strengthen BIOFIN implementation in Belize.

"EL COCOTAZO" at Princess Casino this weekend
Princess Casino Free Zone, Corozal will be featuring this weekend "EL COCOTAZO", a musical comedy show by popular Mexican comedian and entertainer, Oscar de la O. Laugh your heart out and also get a chance to win. Friday, May 12th and Saturday, May 13th starting at 10:00 P.M. FREE ADMISSION!

Uncle John Music Festival
The World Culture Band will be playing at the Uncle John Music Festival Saturday May 13th. It'll be at the Coze Grill in Santa Famila, and the fun starts at 4:00pm.

Mother's Day at House of Culture
Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation celebrating Mother's Day at House of Culture. On behalf of the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project, we would like to wish all Mothers a happy Mothers Day!

New housing for the staff at Actun Tunichil Muknal
The Institute of Archaeology recently completed new housing for their staff at the archaeological reserve of Actun Tunichil Muknal. Opening ceremonies for this structure will be held next week.

Ya'axch� Farmers' Expo activities!
TUNE IN to Ak Kuntan on 96.1FM Monday (May 15th) from 3-4pm to hear about Ya'axch� Farmers' Expo activities! Ya'axch�'s radio personalities Julio Chub and Maximiliano Caal will be providing details for the May 28th event at Medina Bank. Give-aways will be available during the radio shows! Make sure to tune in!

2017-2018 Miss San Pedro High School Maryurit Triminio was officially crowned by outgoing Queen Faith Noel
Congratulations Maryurit Triminio for winning the 2017 Miss San Pedro High School Pageant! Best of luck on your reign!

Happy Mother's Day from the Management & Staff of Castillo's Hardware Company Limited!
Their annual raffle was held on Friday, May 12th, and the lucky winners are: 1st Prize: Anita Carias (24" LG TV). 2nd Prize: Ruth Martinez (16-piece Corelle Dinnerware Set). 3rd Prize: Oscar Varela (32-Piece Tool Set). Congratulations winners!!

Defence Minister Concludes National Tour of Belize Coast Guard Facilities
This past Wednesday and Thursday, May 10 and 11, 2017, Minister of Defence Hon. John Saldivar concluded his National Tour of facilities operated by the Belize Coast Guard, the final leg of that tour being in the Northern Sector. That portion of the tour started at Consejo Shores in Corozal, where the Coast Guard operates a Forward Operating Base out of a temporary facility owned by the Customs Department. That facility will soon be developed into a proper Interagency Forward Operating Base involving the Belize Coast Guard, the Belize Defence Force (BDF), Customs Department and Immigration Department, providing law enforcement Security for the area of Consejo, Chetumal Bay and Corozal Bay extending to Sarteneja. At Sarteneja, the Minister visited a facility where Coast Guard personnel are currently accommodated by the Corozal Wild Life Sanctuary, one of the NGO's with which the Belize Coast Guard partners. That organization is in the process of constructing a permanent facility that will also accommodate the Coast Guard which will continue providing law enforcement support for their operations.

Productive encounter to foster academic cooperation between Belizean and Mexican institutions
Profesor Clement Sankat from the University of Belize; Mtro. Angel Rivero Palomo, Rector from the Universidad de Quintana Roo; and Dr. H�ctor Hernandez, Director of Ecosur - El Colegio de la Frontera Sur Chetumal

2017 CARSI Economic Support Funds Q & A Session and Web Chat
Friday, May 19 at 1:30 PM - 3 PM, U.S. Embassy Belize 4 Floral Park Road, Belmopan, Belize. Please join us at the Embassy or log-on online for an informative session on the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Economic Support Funds (ESF) grant opportunity to strengthen government through civil society engagement. This session will address: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) objectives; Criteria used to evaluate grant proposals; Information on budget requirements; Instructions on how to submit your application on, DUNS number applications & registration information; Any other questions regarding the grants process.

Channel 7

Deshaies Gets Bail, Answers Questions About Murder
After 10 days in police custody, Canadian John Deshaies was finally allowed to go home today after he was released on Supreme Court bail. Corozal police picked him up on May second for questioning about the double murder of Canadian Francesca Matus and American Drew DeVoursney. But while being investigated, Placencia police charged him with theft of equipment from the Placencia Casino. The sitting magistrate in Independence Village remanded him to the Belize Central Prison, but instead of going there, he was taken back to the Corozal police station for further interrogation into the double murder. He was also interviewed by FBI agents who flew down to assist the Belize police.

Magistrate Norman Rodriguez Suspended
On Wednesday, Norman Rodriguez became the first sitting Magistrate to be charged and arraigned for the offense of rape. But would he also be forced off the bench? Well, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission today announced that he is on interdiction with half-pay. The Commission's secretary sent out a notice today, stating that having been charged with this serious offense, he will have to sit out his duties as a Magistrate in Belize City and Stann Creek while he is on interdiction. His interdiction took effect on Wednesday, and will remain in effect until the Judicial and Legal Services Commission decides otherwise.

PM Says Bad Back May Force Him To Step Down Before Planned Exit At End Of 2019
The House of Representatives met today for the first time since March. It was a light meeting, without much vigorous or spirited debate - more or less, it was housekeeping. We'll tell you about the business of the House Sitting later on, but first to the media's interview with the Prime Minister when the meeting was finished. We asked him very pointedly about the timeline for him to step down - and here's how he explained that it all depends on his back: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I have already agreed with the party that I will go no later than the start of 2020. Let's say the end of 2019. I do have to keep under review the possibility of going earlier. Today has been a good day. My back has not been as bad as it normally is and I am sure Jules who have an eye for these things would have remark on the fact that face was not crease in pain as it sometimes is."

When Will Vega Return to House?
And while the PM has back problems - he's only missed one house meeting in ten years; compare that to his former deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who has missed 7 successive meetings since he resigned form Cabinet in October. We asked the Prime Minister if Vega will ever be back, and what happens if he doesn't return:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "As to his missing, that is something you should talk to him about. I don't know why it is that he has not been attending the meetings, but as to penalties, no. Because as I recollect you would lose your seat if you missed 6 consecutive meetings in a 3-month period. So I am sure he is aware of the rule and is making very sure that he will not violate the rule."

PM Says He Cannot Recall Immigration Reports Referred To By Penner
When he appeared before the Senate Committee on Wednesday, Elvin Penner referred to monthly activity reports from the Immigration Department that were forwarded to Cabinet while he was a minister of state. These supposedly listed the number of visas granted. But, today the Prime Minister said he has no recollection of that: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I don't remember that. I am not saying it's not so and if that were to have been so, it would have been for purposes of my wanting to know what was going on. Look, let us be clear, we all know, you can't get away from it. That's why there were all the scandals. Everybody knows what was happening at immigration. What the senate inquiry is showing to my mind is that while people want to focus exclusively on the politicians, I don't think the inquiry is showing up that sort of thing as the main ingredient."

PM Not So Sure Of A Penner Return
And so, if the Prime Minister careful not to say that Penner was lying, does it suggest that his position on the once wayward Minister of State has softened? We asked him about the possibility of a Penner comeback today:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I will not be around when that decision needs to be made. But I, speaking for myself, I don't see it."

PUP Blames Government For Integrity Commission Moving The Goalposts
And now to some of the action that actually happened on the House Floor. The Leader of the opposition challenged the Prime Minister on a position taken by the Integrity Commission. The Commission sent out a request asking elected representatives to furnish their accounts going back five years. But then they reversed their decision to ask for only one preceding year. It's the Commission's decision, but the Opposition blamed it on the government - and said it's a clear attempt to only go halfway on transparency. The media grilled the PM on it:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "The commission reconsidered the matter, I believe sought legal advice and concluded that in deed they could not go back, they could not have jurisdiction over a time when they were not in office, they were not commissioners and that's all that it is. And I pointed out to Mr. Briceno while initially the first decision was I believe a majority decision, when they reconsidered and they reversed that decision, it was unanimous in terms of all the members present and voting."

Another Ladyville Gas Station Robbed
Three weeks ago, on April 27th, we told you about an armed robbery at at the "24/7 Gas Station" right at the Lords Bank Junction in Ladyville. Well there was another robbery in that same village last night - but, this time, it happened at the Puma Gas Station - which is about one and a half miles north of the last robbery. I went to the Station today and got a first hand account:.. Kirk Cadle, Pump Attendant: "I the tell he I don't have no phone, I no have nothing then I see him biting his lip so I holler "I will get shot"." Courtney Weatherburne reporting: 18 year old Kirk Cadle was preparing for the worst when a gunman charged at him and his night shift crew at the PUMA Gas Station in Ladyville. Only a few seconds of the holdup was caught on the surveillance camera. After that vehicle drives off you see the gunman's leg as he steps back. Nothing much is seen after that until

Another day, Another Fire
Today another fire has left two Belize City families without a home. At around 1:00 this afternoon, a fire started in a shared town house on Quellos' Alley off New New Road. The Fire Department quickly responded and got the blaze under control, preventing it from spreading to nearby buildings. We spoke to Melony Bowen, one of the residents of the town house who was at work when the fire started. She told us what she knows... Melony Bowen, Fire Victim: "I don't even have an idea what happened, because I was at work. I work at Social Security Board and at the time I was sitting at the table and the receptionist said "Mel you have a call, its very urgent." I told her to put the call to the other desk, said that there is a fire at my house and I said no, how could there be a fire. I left my house good this morning and my kids were there. So I left work and this is what I saw my house burnt."

Pastor Fidel Not Guilty
Last night, we told you about the jury deliberating the fate of 53 year-old Pastor Fidel Lanza. He was accused of of causing death by careless conduct for driving over 3 year-old Ray-ja-knee McFadzean in his bus on December 9, 2011. Well, after 3 hours of deliberation, the jury of 9 unanimously agreed that he was "not guilty", and with that, he was set free. The 3-year-old was walking with her brother in Double Head Cabbage Village, when the bus knocked her down. Lanza gave a dock statement saying that he was driving 5 miles per hour. He said that he didn't know that the child was under the front wheel of the bus until he heard screaming, which when he stopped the bus.

Could There Be A Strike At SSB ?
Today, in Belmopan and Corozal, a number of social security employees walked out of their offices at 3:00 pm. It's an act of protest for the same issue we told you about two weeks ago: the trade dispute between Social Security Management and the Christian Workers Union, which represents about 70% of SSB employees. Well, it appears that this trade dispute may escalate to industrial action, and SSB is bracing if that should that come. A public service announcement from SSB says that the management reported the trade dispute to Hugo Patt, the Minister of Labour. That was done yesterday to comply with the settlement of dispute in the Essential Services Act. The announcement says that the dispute centers around the fact that SSB and CWU have so far been unable to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The Management informs that public some of the services at the SSB offices countrywide may be impacted if the CWU proceeds with any type of industrial action. They will do their best to maintain basic services if things should ever get to that point.

Three Car Collision On The Hummingbird
There was a serious accident on the Hummingbird Highway near the Agriculture Showgrounds this afternoon at around 3:00. It was a three vehicle collision between a Toyota Hilux, a Chrysler Minivan and a Prado Land Cruiser. We can confirm that no one was killed, but the vehicles were very badly damaged. It appears to have started with the van rear ending the government Hilux which was turning into the showgrounds. The led to another collision with the Land Cruiser. The road remained blocked for about an hour while police and the fire department cleared up the highway.

Venezuela's Instability Influences High Fuel Prices
As we told you last night the price per gallon of premium fuel has broken the $11 dollar mark. And this comes at a time when world oil prices are trending down. Now, a large part of the price - about half - are those new government taxes which have to raise 20 + million dollars this year. But another large part of it is the increasing cost of getting oil from Venezuela - which is going through a prolonged period of instability. The Prime Minister explained: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "However, in the case of Belize, because we are sourcing supplies from Venezuela and they are having problems with being able to deliver, we put in the order and then Puma ends up having to go and short notice somewhere else and they pay a little bit of the Premium. And I think even the question of the haulage, the freights then becomes more expensive so that's what's been happening to us."

Is Belize Compromised on Venezuela Issue?
And the fact that Belize sources fuel from Venezuela is part of the reason that prices are so high. It's the last remains of the Petrocaribe program, but it raises the question whether Belize is ultimately being compromised by its close relation to this troubled state? For example, three weeks ago the Permanent Council of the OAS approved a resolution to convene a meeting of OAS Foreign Ministers to consider the situation. Venezuela and its supporters sought to vote down the motion, describing it as an interference in their internal affairs. And CARICOM was very divided on the issue. The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia voted in favour, while Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti, Nicaragua, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Suriname voted against, while Belize, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador abstained. The Prime Minister says the government's position on Venezuela is evolving:

PM Says Hon. Campos Not Meddling In Free Zone
And from international affairs, to Corozal Free Zone affairs, we today asked the Prime Minister if he is keeping a close on the Zone, where his Minister of State in the Ministry of Health is accused of meddling in the affairs of the zone. And it's not the PUP accusing him, it's the President of the Free Zone Chamber of Commerce. The PM says he is not convinced that Dr. Angel Campos is meddling:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister: "I've raised it to the minister and when he explains what happened on the day when there was the walkout and the CEO having asking to assist in certain regards, I don't know that that is interference. So, I don't accept at all the premise of the question. The minister recognizes though that appearances are critical in politics and I believe that he is being very careful to do nothing that might be misinterpreted in the way some of his earlier actions were misinterpreted."

PM Says GDG Lawsuit "Unenforceable"
In other news from our interview with the Prime Minister, we got an update on one more piece of multi million dollar litigation against the government. That's the Glen Godfrey Case, where he is seeking to collect 22 million US dollars in a US court. Last month, the Prime Minister insisted that Glenn Godfrey had so far only won a minor victory in the US courts. Well, Godfrey won another victory on Wednesday from the 11th Circuit US Court of Appeal. The US Court refused an application from the Government of Belize to reconsider its decision in the case that Godfrey is pursuing against the Barrow Administration. This fight in court is over equipment that Godfrey's failed telecommunications company, Intelco, leased to the Musa Administration. Godfrey's claim asserts that the Government hasn't finished paying what it owes in the agreement that former PUP Minister Ralph Fonseca signed on behalf of Belize.

Mother's Day Homecoming for Rising Star Kendis Gibson
We've been tracking Belizean-American Television journalist Kendis Gibson from the early 2000's. He's been steadily rising - and reached new heights when landed the job as a news presenter on ABC's Good Morning America. That's pretty big for a boy born in Belize, and today I spoke with him about it when he arrived for a special mother's day visit:...

Identity Inconclusive but Family Mourns Pamela Lino
On Monday, we told you how the police sent DNA samples away for testing to confirm that the body found in the burnt vehicle is missing teacher Pamela Lino. That could take months to confirm, but it appears that her family and friends have all accepted that it is indeed her. This morning at 10, they held a memorial mass for her at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Belmopan. Seen here, the program for the mass lists her date of birth as December 1975, and her date of passing as May 1, 2017. That's only a few hours before police found her Kia Sportage vehicle on the highway on fire, along with the unidentified body.

Superbond 3.0 Fees 21.0 M
There's been much talk about how many millions the government spent as fees for refinancing Superbond 3.0. All told it adds up to cover 20 million Belize dollars and the Prime Minister broke it down today:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister: "We paid to City - City Global Markets, top drawer firm with respect to sovereign debt restructuring. We paid a one percent fee, one percent of the bond face value, we paid that as their success fee and that amounted to $5,265,021 US, paid to City Global Market...I'm sorry?...US, $5,265,021 US. We had to pay, as I said, the bond holders committee fees and expenses to engage them in the exercise under the indenture we were obliged to be saddled with their costs. And we had to pay them $2,785 US. We had to pay a bond holder consent fee in the amount of 25 bases points or a quarter of one percent of the face value of the super bond. And so that amounted to $1,316,255 US. We had to pay our local consultant Hallmark advisory, serving as the advisory on the overall debt team coordinator, 17 bases points or $884,000 US dollars."

GOB Plays Catch Up On Culture Project
And though you haven't seen it on the news so far, there were a number of pieces of legislation introduced today. One of them is the Natural Cultural Heritage Preservation Bill. It's the same one we told you about last night - where the government is trying to play catch up - so that it doesn't lose out on a 5.3 million US dollar project from the Taiwanese. The legislation should have been passed a while ago - but it was just done today, and the Minister of Culture took the lead:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education and Culture: "This proposed bill provides NICH through the Institute if Archaeology with the legal mandate of accessing, designating, restoring and managing historic property and landmarks that have historical value and are of cultural significance to the country and the Caribbean region."

FM Says Cops Have Full OAS Report
And in the question and answer session of today's meeting - the member for Fort George Said Musa, asked Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington if and when the government will release the full report into the April 2016 shooting of 13 year old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado in the Chiquibul. Elrington said it is a matter for the courts. Here is the back and forth:

A Nod To The Nurses
And finally, tonight, the House meeting did have some good spiritedness. That's because Nurses crowded the gallery as part of Nurses week. They were there to honor a nursing icon and the Speaker of the House, Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth. She said they made her nervous!:

Channel 5

John DeShaies, Accused of Theft and Suspect in Double Murder, Out On Bail
Fifty-four-year-old John Deshaies was granted bail this morning, but as soon as he met bail, he was rearrested and tonight remains in police custody. �The Canadian national was charged a [...]

Before Re-Arrest, Canadian National Denies Charges
The couple, a retired officer of the U.S. Marine Corps and his Canadian girlfriend, was found dead in a cane field off the Patchakan/Chan Chen Road after being reported missing [...]

DeShaies Offers Details of Relationship with Murder Victims
According to DeShaies, he has been fully cooperative with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who have been dispatched to Belize to probe into the murders.� He says that [...]

DeShaies Says He Has and Will Cooperate with Authorities
Since being picked up as a person of interest by Corozal police, DeShaies is being bounced around from one jurisdiction to another on a seemingly endless string of perp walks.� [...]

P.M. Gone? Not Yet, But He is Thinking About It
The House of Representatives met today in special session in Belmopan. Its main business was to introduce nine original and amended bills and two loan motions. We will get to [...]

P.M. Barrow Admits He Has Few Worlds Left to Conquer
According to the Prime Minister, today was a good day in terms of his back problems, but there are increasingly fewer of them. With his main goal of this term [...]

Government Washes Hands off Integrity Commission
In December, the seven-member Integrity Commission was appointed in Belmopan. Barely a few months into their tenure, they have decided that a clean slate is needed in respect of financial [...]

P.M. Says There Is No Legal Basis for Retrospective Decision by Commission
Outside the House, the Prime Minister refused to take blame for the delay in the appointment of the Commission, repeating that circumstances in that appointment were beyond his control. He [...]

Norman Rodriguez Interdicted from Magistrate Post
Embattled lower court judge Norman Rodriguez is at home tonight on half-pay, following a decision by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to interdict him.� The announcement comes on the [...]

No Way Back for Penner; Did Cabinet Review Visa Recommendation Reports
Former Cayo Northeast area representative and Minister of State of Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, resurfaced in Belmopan this week attending the Senate Special Select Committee's public hearings as a [...]

When is Ex-D.P.M. Coming Back to House?
For the sixth consecutive meeting of the House of Representatives dating back to his resignation as Minister of Agriculture and formerly National Resources, Orange Walk North area representative Gaspar Vega [...]

How Much Mark Espat's Firm Got Paid for Superbond Consultation
Around twenty-one million Belize dollars was paid out to settle the final costs of the re-arrangement of the Superbond Three point O, which took about five months to negotiate. The [...]

O.A.S. Report in Hands of Belize Police; Will It Be Publicly Released?
Last August, an independent investigative report commissioned by the Organization of American States cleared members of the Belize Defence Force who were part of a patrol in the Cebada area [...]

Why Fuel Prices Are So High and When They Will Come Down
Premium fuel has gone above eleven dollars for the first time in several years but there is no change in the price of regular gasoline and a slight reprieve for [...]

Emmy-Winning Belizean-American Anchor Kendis Gibson Touches Down in Jewel
Acclaimed Belizean-American journalist Kendis Gibson, an Emmy Award winning reporter and anchor for ABC, is visiting the Jewel for the first time in over ten years.� Gibson's jaunt is equal [...]

S.S.B. Workers Walk Out; Management Raises Alarm About Services
Social Security Board employees staged another walk-out this afternoon. Around three o’clock, employees started to exit the offices individually and some thirty minutes later the building was almost empty. In [...]

How New Loans from C.D.B. Will Help Belizeans
Inside the House, the Government introduced amendments to the Customs and Excise Duty; General Sales Tax; and Stamp Duties Acts to give effect to concessions promised to the Chamber of [...]

Fire Destroys Townhouse in Quallos Alley, Belize City
Two families are without a roof over their head tonight after a fire destroyed their home. The families lost most of their belongings and nothing was insured. As many as [...]

Glenn D. Godfrey Persists in U.S. Court Case, But Will He Succeed in Belize?
On Wednesday of this week, a court in the U.S. made a ruling that appears to uphold a lower court's jurisdiction in the GDG Acquisitions LLC versus Government of Belize [...]

Did Angel Campos Interfere in Free Zone's Business?
We have been reporting on the problems in the Corozal Free Zone, where C.E.O. Valentino Blanco has been suspended on the order of the Board of Directors. After about a [...]

Speaker Honors Fellow Nurses at House
This week is Nurses Appreciation Week and the Nursing Association and Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize have held various activities to honor the largest and most unsung portion of [...]

Hi Mom! Mother's Day Greetings from the Streets
Traditionally, the second Sunday in the month of May is celebrated across the world as Mother's Day. It's a time where we recognize mothers for their love and dedication to [...]


Belizean Anchor for ABC News Comes Home for Brief Visit
If you are a Belizean who enjoys not only local news but internationals news as well, chances are you are a follower of ABC News and have known for some time that a Belizean has risen to become one of the faces of that international news agency. If not, we can tell you a little [�]

Vega's Return to the House Pending
Notably absent from several of the House of Representatives proceedings is Area Representative for Orange Walk North, Gaspar Vega. He has been absent since his resignation as a Cabinet Minister on October 17, 2016 following a land scandal involving his son, Andre Vega. The media asked the Prime Minister to comment on Vega's consecutive absence. [�]

Jury Finds Pastor Not Guilty of Causing Death by Careless Conduct
A jury of five men and four women deliberated for over three hours yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas before it found 53 year old Fidel Lanza not guilty of causing death by careless conduct. The jury's verdict was unanimous. Lanza, a pastor of Christian Assembly Church, was charged in connection with death [�]

Border Security Exercise Redirects Motorists to Chactemal Bridge
There were some concerns earlier today at the northern border when both local and Mexican officials were redirecting motorists from the Subteniente Lopez Bridge to the Chactemal Bridge. Conflicting stories were reaching our newsroom surrounding this incident. In an effort to get some clarity on the matter, we spoke to the Public Relations Officer for [�]

Fuel Prices Adjusted Third Time in 7 Weeks
Consumers are experiencing the third adjustment to fuel prices since the start of the fiscal year 2017/2018. As at midnight last night premium fuel has jumped the eleven dollar mark going from ten dollars and fifty eight cents to eleven dollars and four cents. Regular fuel remains the same at ten dollars and twenty six [�]

Teachers Awarded for Excellence and Dedication
Tomorrow teachers will be observing Teachers' Day; but just before they get to take a day off from the classroom, the Ministry of Education hosted them at an award ceremony earlier today. Eight teachers were recognized for their exceptional work and contribution to education by the Belize Board of Teacher Education. They were recognized in [�]

Antigua and Belize's Education Minister to Discuss Digitizing Textbooks
The Education Minister of Antigua, Michael Brown will be in Belize later this month at the invitation of Minister Patrick Faber. A key part of his visit will be discussions on how to reduce the cost of textbooks in secondary schools. Minister Faber spoke to Love News on this initiative. PATRICK FABER "In next week [�]

Church State Commission to Conclude Report in June
The National Gender Policy coupled with the ruling on Section 53 by the Chief Justice had created some waves with the Churches and after several meetings with the Government of Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow decided that a Church State Commission would be put in place. Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber has been heading the [�]

Penner Says He Did Not Backdate Peter Pang's Nationality
Elvin Penner also answered questions relating to the Nationality certificate awarded to Peter Pang. According to the Auditor General, Peter Pang was given a fraudulent Belizean nationality. According to the report, Pang's nationality certificate was backdated. Penner approved Pang's nationality application and Senator Mark Lizarraga questioned Penner about Pang's eligibility MARK LIZARRAGA "So if he [�]

Penner Responds to Questions on Yakup Sut's Belizean Nationality
Yesterday, former Minister of State in Immigration, Elvin Penner appeared before the Special Senate Select Committee to answer to statements made in the Auditor General's report. In the nationality section of the report, the auditor general states that a nationality certificate was fraudulently issued to Yakup Sut. The certificate was signed by Penner. The report [�]

Canadian John Deshaies was released on bail this morning by Justice Antionette Moore. Deshaies has been named as a suspect in the double murder of Canadian American couple, Francesca Matus and Drew Devoursney. No charges have been levied against Deshaies in relation to that matter, however, on May 5, he was charged for theft and handling stolen goods for a separate matter. In that case, Deshaies is accused of stealing more than fifty thousand dollars worth of equipment from the Placencia Casino. It is for that matter that he received a bail of twenty thousand dollars. His team of attorneys includes, Estevan Perrera, Kevin Arthurs and Richard "Dickie" Bradley. Deshaies' bail conditions include that he must surrender his Canadian passport; he cannot travel outside of Belize without the court's permission, he is to report to the Corozal police station between the hours of 6am and 6pm every Friday commencing on May 19, he is not to interfere in any way with the complainant or witnesses, he is not to be rearrested for any reason during his bail and he is to reappear in court for his next court date on November 6, 2017.

Internal Conflict at Forestry Over Office of Chief Officer
Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry, Omar Figueroa confirmed today that the Chief Forest Officer will no longer be working out of the Forest Department building in Belmopan. Wilbur Sabido is being relocated to the ministry's office and we are told that he is not happy about it. Reports surfaced late last week the [�]

Convicted Armed Robber Gives Police the Slip
Police are searching for 48 year old Harrison Powell, aka Harrison Myvett, who escaped after he was sentenced yesterday to 5 years for armed robbery. After he received his sentence, Powell, who was limping with a swollen left knee, was taken to Belize Central Prison to begin to serve his sentence. When he got there [�]

Jury Deliberates Pastor's Case of Manslaughter
A jury of 5 men and 4 women began deliberating this evening in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of 53 year old Fidel Lanza, a pastor of Christian Assembly Church, charged with causing death by careless conduct. The incident occurred around 7;30 a.m. [�]

Police News: Robbery, Drugs and Firearm
A business establishment was robbed at gunpoint yesterday evening in Bella Vista Village, Toledo District. Police say that a man wielding a hand gun barged into Charlton's Cable Office which also provides services of the Insurance Corporation of Belize and Western Union. The man reportedly demanded that the cashier, 29 year old Leslie Williams, hand [�]

Singapore and Belize Sign Open Skies Agreement
International reports are recording that Singapore has entered into an agreement with Belize. The Open Skies agreement will now allow airlines from both countries to fly any number of services between the two destinations as well as beyond to any third country. According to an international publication, there are no restrictions on capacity, frequency, aircraft [�]

Pallotti High Prepares for Campus Darling 2017
The Campus Darling pageant is an annual tradition for the students and teachers at Pallotti High School in Belize City. It is an endeavour headed by the student council that is constantly working towards fundraising events for the school. This year's event, being held under the theme, 'Beautiful Belize' is geared at raising funds to [�]

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"The devil made me steal," man tells magistrate
A man who yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, pleaded guilty to committing a robbery while armed with a knife, and who told the court that he had committed the robbery because, in his words, "from I was a little boy, mi ma seh dem obeah me. The devil made me do it," has escaped from police custody. Yesterday, after pleading guilty "with an explanation," Harrison Powell, 48, who is also known as Harrison Myvett, told Magistrate Carlon Mendoza that he did not want to waste the court's time, so he was pleading guilty to the offense. He was sentenced to five years in prison for the crime. When he was being taken to prison yesterday to begin serving his sentence, however, prison officials did not accept his entry as an inmate, because he had complained about a medical condition and he was taken to the prison without any medical papers.

Magistrate Norman Rodriguez arraigned for rape
Belize City-based Magistrate Norman Rodriguez became the first judicial officer to be charged with a criminal offense in the history of Belize's post-independence judiciary. This morning, Rodriguez appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who read a single count of rape to him. Before a packed courtroom, Rodriguez, dressed in a long-sleeved white shirt and necktie, sat looking tense, avoiding eye contact with several reporters in the courtroom. After some minor charges were read to several accused persons, suddenly, Chief Magistrate Smith said, "Stand up, Mr. Rodriguez." Rodriguez did not hear the Magistrate's order to stand up, so Chief Magistrate Smith uttered the order once more: "Stand up, Mr. Rodriguez."

Elvin Penner shuts up about Won Hong Kim
Elvin Penner, former Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, today appeared before the Senate Select Committee to face the many accusations made against him in the Auditor General's Special Immigration Audit. Penner's long-anticipated appearance was not short of theatrics. He attempted to end his appearance even before the committee could ask any questions. However, he did not employ the same blunt tactic used by alleged visa agent, Barton Middleton, who, during his last appearance, immediately chose to "invoke his constitutional rights" and "shut up."

Pastor Fidel Lanza, 53, not guilty of causing death by careless conduct
A jury of four women and five men deliberated for a little over two hours before returning into the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas tonight to announce their unanimous not guilty verdict in the trial of Fidel Lanza, 53, who was indicted on a charge of causing death by careless conduct in a traffic accident that caused the death of 2-year-old Rajahnee McFadzean on December 9, 2011, in Double Head Cabbage, Belize District. The trial began on Monday and concluded today, when Justice Lucas summed up the evidence for the jury at the end of the three-and-a-half-day trial. The Crown's evidence was led by Crown counsel Sherigne Rodriguez, who called 5 witnesses to testify. Fidel Lanza, 53, a pastor at Christian Academy, was defended by attorney Leroy Banner.

Belize denied petition for rehearing of appeal over Glenn Godfrey's claim for US$22 mil plus interest
The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit yesterday flatly denied a petition from the Government of Belize to reconsider its recent decision in the case being pursued by former People's United Party Minister, Glenn D. Godfrey, a Belizean attorney, banker and former telecommunications businessman, in his claim for US$22 million plus interest for the rental of equipment for a wide area telecommunications network, said by the Government to have been dysfunctional and defunct for years. The terse order handed down on Wednesday, May 10, by a 3-panel judge said that Belize's petition for the rehearing (made March 21) was being denied. It added that Belize's petition for a full-court hearing to reconsider the February 2017 ruling handed down by a panel of the court had also been denied, since no circuit judge had requested that the Court be polled on that petition by Belize.

NEBL "In the Paint"
Game three of the NEBL's best-of-three semifinal round, scheduled to be played Sunday afternoon on the island of San Pedro between the favored home-town San Pedro Tiger Sharks and the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz, is filled with intrigue, amazing storylines, and when all is said and done, should go down as one of the league's best games of all time. The intrigue - will the Western Ballaz finally exorcise a ghost of the past, and finally take down their ultimate nemesis - the Tiger Sharks; a team which historically has had their number, winning ten of fourteen games played between the two franchises since the inception of the NEBL; and a team which has essentially stood between them and that coveted championship, dealing them blows after blows of team disappointments? Or, will this be the year that the Western Ballaz finally cross that proverbial hump?

Belizean cyclists win in Cozumel, Mexico
Over the weekend, some Belizean cyclists travelled to Cozumel, Mexico to participate in the "Carrera de Ciclista Cozumel 2017." Darien Anderson, Darnell Barrow and Byron Pope represented Benny's Megabytes; Herman "Hijo" Requena for Westrac Alliance; Brandon and Kaya Cattouse represented Smart C-Ray; Santino Castillo from Team Santino's; Gian Lino from Cabral/Marin Cycling; and Shawn Codd rode for Team Yapurlandia. In the Elite race, 70 miles, Byron Pope was in a 2-man break-away that survived all the way to the finish line. Pope edged out the Mexican to win the race. Darnell Barrow showed no signs of selfishness, when he gave Brandon Cattouse the perfect lead-out; Cattouse won the bunch sprint and was 4th overall.

Cricket Corner - Upsets all around!! Brilliant's spell is broken by Sunrise
To all my lovely and constructive readers and followers of cricket, hello to you! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks 2017 Cricket Competition continued over the weekend. Thanks to our sponsor, Bowen and Bowen! Only three games were played, but they are games that will be remembered for a long time. All three were very exciting and upsetting. Because of the rain on Friday night at some venues, only one game was played on Saturday. So, let's go to the beautiful village of Crooked Tree, the home of Brilliant Cricket Club. They will go up against Sunrise of Lords Bank. Brilliant at this time is undefeated. Sunrise is trying hard to get in a playoff spot; so they will try and see how best they could get there.

Dangriga sports stats
The Dangriga Mayor's Cup 2017 Football Tournament continued this past weekend at the Carl Ramos Stadium with Week 8 games on Friday night, May 5, and Sunday afternoon, May 7. In the opener on Friday night, YG United and New Site Tire Depot ended up in a 1-1 tie. Ryan Saravia scored for New Site, while Terence Murillo tallied for YG United. In game 2, the much anticipated Mayor's Cup Classico was won by Department of Youth Services (DYS) over Belize Coast Guard, 3 goals to 1. Leonard Valdez, Kyle Valerio and Freddy Flores got 1 apiece for DYS, while Coast Guard's only goal came from Eredito Valencia. The Stann Creek Football Association (SCFA) Smart Mundialito had semifinal games on Saturday, May 6, at the Carl Ramos Stadium. In game 1, Wagierale Young Bombers dropped Benguche DYFA, 2-0, with goals from Jaheed Gomez and Myrick Caliz. And in game 2, it was Silk Grass, 1-0, over New Site Tire Depot, on a goal by Ian Pixabaj.

The Penner questioning
There are two things which jumped out of us as we listened to the Senate Committee question former United Democratic Party (UDP) Immigration Minister, Elvin Penner, through the course of Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The first thing was that there was no need for the ruling UDP to tear down Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, personally and departmentally, the way they did in the weeks and months before public opinion forced an inquiry to be held into Belize's immigration matters. The UDP behaved in an abusive and dishonorable manner towards the Auditor General. The fact of the matter is that it was very well known, in political and business circles both domestic and foreign, that a huge demand existed and exists overseas, largely in Asia and especially in China and Taiwan, for Belizean visas, nationality documents, and passports. The United States of America, the most powerful nation on planet earth and a neighbor of Belize's, has noted and indicated that there is such a demand in terrorism circles. Washington has expressed great concern.

From the Publisher
His family, friends, and the football community in Belize and the United States have been celebrating the life and mourning the death of the championship Belize goalkeeper of the 1970s, Rupert "Canalate" Anderson. Canalate was a special brother, and I will tell you why, at least from my personal perspective. When my generation was growing up here in the 1950s and 1960s, the highest level of manhood in the streets of Belize City was represented by those brothers who knew how to fight with their fists. In the streets, it would be said of such a man, "Hin know ih hand." (He knows his hands.) Canalate was one such person. Incidentally, the famous softball coach and manager, G. Raymond Lashley, who has been ailing, also enjoyed such a reputation in the streets. You could develop a reputation for manhood by being willing to use so-called "edged tools," but this was not the highest level of manhood: fist fighting was. If, like myself, you could neither fight with your hands or was willing to resort to edged tools, then you had to develop a kind of-"Sicilian" mentality if you wanted to survive.

Open letter to churches
Dear Editor, and Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, (I am responding to an article reprinted from Counterpunch in the Amandala edition of March 24, 2017: "Stop protecting the criminality of the global pesticides industry".) Since its publication on March 24, the International Court of Justice Tribunal against Monsanto has issued its verdicts. The Tribunal concludes that Monsanto has engaged in practices which have negatively impacted the right to a healthy environment, the right to food, the right to health, and the right to freedom of expression, as well as the right to information. Further, the Tribunal assesses that international law should now precisely and clearly assert the protection of the environment and the crime of ecocide - willful destruction of the natural environment. The Tribunal concludes "that if such a crime of ecocide were recognized in international criminal law, the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of ecocide. Several of the company's activities may fall within this infraction, such as the manufacture and supply of glyphosate-based herbicides to Colombia in the context of its plan for aerial application on coca crops, which negatively impacted the environment and the health of local populations...

Open letter to churches
Dear Editor, Please publish this open letter to all our churches. I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You and your church are cordially invited to this year's Pentecost Revival at the BTL Park on June 4, 2017, 4:00 - 7:00p.m. The theme is "THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT"; ACTS 2:4-8. We would like to invite not only your attendance but your participation. The vision is to present powerful prayer, impactful and energetic praise and worship, dance, drama and uplifting messages. The aim is to reach all age groups, especially our youth. The opportunity to use this event to raise funds is encouraged�water, food, etc. can be sold. We look forward to hearing from you and what you would love to do in this outreach celebration. Our prayer is that the body of believers in Belize will all come together to worship our Lord Jesus Christ.

Penner approved nationality certificate
Former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Elvin Penner, was first accused of wrongdoing in September 2013 in connection with the "Citizen Kim" (Won Hong Kim) scandal that led to the eventual suspension of his political career. Kim, a jailed South Korean criminal, had never set foot in Belize, but was still issued a Belizean nationality certificate and passport. While public outcry against Penner was deafening, the month before, he was accused of committing fraud in a similar fashion in another case, according to the Auditor General's Special Audit of the Immigration Department. Penner allegedly backdated a nationality certificate for another man who, too, according to all indications, never set a foot in Belize.

Honduran man convicted of sexual assault in absentia; sentenced to 5 years
A Honduran man, who was charged with one count of sexual assault was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in prison when his case concluded before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. The man, Jose Gomez, 36, is now a fugitive from the law and if he is found anywhere in Belize's jurisdiction, he will be arrested and taken to the Belize Central Prison to begin serving his sentence. The incident of sexual assault upon an 11-year-old girl, for which he was convicted, occurred on December 4, 2014 at a house in Burrell Boom.

Zika takes root in northern Belize
Roughly a year ago, Belize confirmed its first case of Zika, an emerging mosquito-borne disease which quickly attained pandemic status. By September 2016, there were only 42 confirmed cases, but as many as 600 suspected cases within the span of those 4 months. The status of Zika in Belize has been off the radar for several months, but this week, the Belize Ministry of Health reported that there had been 124 confirmed cases of Zika in Belize since 2017 began. This reflects an upsurge of Zika cases in northern Belize around February 2017, with 94 cases cropping up in Corozal and a further 23 cases appearing in Orange Walk. Lorena Perez, Surveillance Officer, Epidemiology Unit in the Ministry of Health, told our newspaper that the number has since been tapering off.

House meets this Friday
The House of Representatives is due to meet at the National Assembly on Friday, when several bills will be tabled for consideration, including a bill for the long-awaited reform of the trade licensing regime. Other bills to be tabled include an amendment to the Customs and Excise Act, the International Business Corporation Act, the General Sales Tax Act, and the Stamp Duty Act, which enshrines further tax measures for real estate. A bill will also be introduced to establish the Economic Development Council, which should solidify the private sector-public sector partnership between the business community and the Government of Belize.

Premium gas shoots past $11 in the City
Two weeks ago, consumers saw the biggest price spike for regular gasoline since 2017 began, but the price of premium gasoline went the other direction - down from $10.79 to $10.58 on the gallon. That price reprieve was short-lived. At midnight last night, the price of premium gasoline increased from $10.58 to $11.04 in the City. Prices vary around the country due to added transportation costs. Whereas the price of regular gasoline did not change last night, the price of diesel did, edging downward by 3 cents on the gallon from $9.38 to $9.35. Speaking with Amandala this morning, Deputy Financial Secretary Marion Palacio said that this price change is solely due to an increase in acquisition costs - not an additional layer of taxes, as has been suggested in the public domain.

The Reporter

Pepsi delivery truck robbed in Belize City
Three thieves held up and robbed the occupants of a Pepsi delivery truck at gunpoint on Mahogany street in Belize City on Thursday afternoon. The thieves made off with a total of $2,479.50 after they held up 39 year-old John Gabourel and 31 year-old Raynard [�]

Robber targets Puma gas station in Ladyville
Ladyville police are searching for an armed robber who targetted a Puma Gas station attendant late Thursday night, relieving him of his cell phone, and shooting his friend while fleeing the scene. 18 year-old Kirk Cadle told police that on at 9:15 p.m., while he […]

Armed robbery in Bella Vista
An armed robber disturbed the peace in the usually quiet Bella Vista village, in Toledo late Wednesday evening when he held up and wounded a female cable company clerk. The daring gunman targeted Charlton Cable Company's office at 3:25 p.m., on May 10, seizing a […]

Multiple persons injured in three car pile up
A three car pile up that occurred on the Philip Goldson Highway on Sunday night has left several persons recovering from varying injuries while investigators are looking for the occupants of the third vehicle who fled the scene.   On May 7, sometime after 9:43 p.m., […]

Motorcycle fatality claims life
Around 7:00 on Monday morning police found the body of 51-year-old Anselmo around the Go Slow curve in Georgeville village.   It is believed that sometime after midnight Caliz was heading in the direction of Belmopan when he lost control of his motorcycle and ran […]

Two charged for kidnapping, robbery
A kidnapping and robbery last week ended up blowing up in the culprits’ faces when their victims freed themselves and quick police work resulted in nabbing three of the assailants red-handed.   Elio Lopez, 44, and Jason Espinoza, 23, face three counts of ‘kidnapping’ […]

Taiwan and its love for culture and the arts
When Belizeans think of culture, what comes to mind is our own country’s rich and diverse history and people; from the ancient Mayans and the temples they left behind, to the thriving Garifuna community, the growing number of talented artists and even the remnants of […]

"Business as usual,” says shrimp growers
The Belize Shrimp Growers Association, assured this week, that the recent loss of the�Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification by four of the country's shrimp farms will not impair the country's ability to export shrimp. The BSGA said on Tuesday that the farms which lost their certification, lost […]

Canada issues travel advisory against Belize
Belize is among a list of eight Caribbean countries that the Government of Canada has advised its citizens to avoid traveling to.   Canadians are being warned to exercise a "high degree of caution"� if traveling to Belize, saying that there is a high incident rate […]

Central Bank hosts "Know your money " workshop
The Central Bank of Belize (CBB) held a series of workshops last week, geared towards teaching participants the security features to look for when authenticating money.   The bank held the "Know Your Money" workshops at its office in Belize City, and invited financial institutions, the […]

Border bridge closed but no cause for concern, says Mexican embassy
A joint Belize/Mexico anti-smuggling exercise at the Subtiniente Lopez Bridge (the old bridge), which connects Mexico and Belize, has� closed the bridge temporarily� to vehicular traffic from Mexico to Belize. The Mexican press reported on Thursday that the effort had to do with “binational operations […]

Magistrate Rodriguez doesn’t show up to work, but still not suspended
Disgraced junior magistrate, Norman Rodriguez, charged with a sexual offense for the second time in 13 years, did not show up to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Thursday as he had reportedly said he would, but he has still not been formally suspended […]

Biodiversity workshop: How to care for a fragile environment
Where to source the funds to grow Belize's 'green' economy was the hot topic of discussions at the Biodiversity Financing Workshop hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture,and� Fisheries, Forestry, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme. The discussions were held at the Western Biltmore […]

IMPACT Justice workshop speaks on Garifuna land rights
More than� 100 people gathered at the Father Ring Parish Hall, in Punta Gorda Town, to learn more about Garifuna indigenous land rights, through a lecture hosted by the National Garifuna Council (NGC). The Council, in collaboration with the Improved Access to Justice in the […]

Meet and Greet conducted in Jane Usher hotspots
While there has been a spike of gun violence in the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City in recent weeks, police have assured the public that those instances were isolated. Still, the department took to the streets for the weekly meet and greet sessions […]

Road safety week focuses on "speed"
Belize joins the United Nations in celebrating the Global Road Safety Week initiative, scheduled for� May 6 to 14, 2017, focusing on speed. The events kicked off on Saturday May 6, with the 6th annual Ariel Rosado Memorial Ride which commenced at Galen University Central […]

In� his� address to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry as guest speaker last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow delivered one of his most illuminating speeches accounting for the last twelve years of his career as Prime Minister. Reviewing twelve years of tumultuous economic times, Barrow reminded the business […]

Gas up again! Dollar-fifty vans on the way?
As the price per gallon of fuel continues to rise, dollar van operators are contemplating raising the price of their service to remain in business. On Thursday, May 11, the Government of Belize, through the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), announced the changes to Premium […]

Penner: "Don't ask me about Kim"
Former Minister of State in the Immigration Department, Elvin Penner testified before the Senate Select Committee this week and refused to answer any questions regarding South Korean national, Wong Hong Kim. Penner told the Committee that he would only answer the questions he felt were […]

Magistrate Norman Rodriguez charged with rape; dodges media
After weeks of� rumours that a sitting magistrate was accused of rape,� the police Wednesday formally laid the charge against city magistrate , Norman Rodriguez, 47, for an incident that allegedly occurred at his home on Alejo Beni Street in Dangriga on April 11. But […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Happy Nurses and Teacher's Day from PM Barrow
The Office of the Prime Minister and the Government of Belize and the Press Office wishes a Happy Teachers' Day and a Happy Nurses' Day to all Teachers and Nurses in our country!

Police find weed and crack cocaine in Dangriga
Yesterday, between 3 and 9 p.m., a joint anti-drug operation was conducted consisting of SB/Dangriga QRT/SPU and K-9 personnel targeting known drug peddlers within Dangriga and surrounding villages.

Thieves net over $2,000 in daylight robbery
On Thursday, May 11 around 1:35 p.m., John Gabourel, 39, and Raynard Rhaburn , 31, were onboard a Pepsi delivery truck on Mahogany Street, Belize City, when they were approached by three men. One of the men pointed a gun at Gabourel and demanded money.

Police find weed and crack cocaine in Stann Creek
Yesterday, Stann Creek Police carried out special operations whereby they searched an empty lot in the Baka-a-Town area and found a black garbage bag which contained 1,233.9 grams of cannabis. As operations continued around 6pm, a search was conducted in Hopkins Village in on abandoned lot which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing a total of 262.2 grams of cannabis.

Murder suspect gets bail for handling stolen goods
Canadian national John Deshaies, who is a suspect is the murder of Canadian American couple, Francesca Matus and Drew Devoursney, is out on bail from charges of theft and handling stolen goods. While the police have Deshaies listed as a person of interest in the double murder, he has not been charged for it. He showed up to court this morning with a team of attorneys: Estevan Perrera, Kevin Arthurs and Richard "Dickie" Bradley.

Magistrate Norman Rodriguez placed on interdiction
In light of the recent accusations of rape by a woman against Magistrate Norman Rodriquez, he will suffer the consequences in his pocket. A statement issued today by Belize's Judicial and Legal Services states that on May 10, Rodriguez was formally arrainged for a serious [�]

Mexican authorities charge man for killing cousin in Chetumal
Last Thursday, BBN reported of a Belizean musician killed in Chetumal. Saul Pech, a 19-year-old Yo Creek, Orange Walk resident was stabbed and killed at his apartment around two a.m. Pech's cousin, Romario was accused of the brutal murder since the cousins were reportedly [�]

Premium gas jumps $11
At midnight on Wednesday the price of fuel saw another increase for the fifth time this year. Super gasoline, which was previously $10.58 per gallon is now 11.04 per gallon. Regular remains at $10.26 and Diesel at $9.35 per gallon. According to our sources, the cost of [�]

Belizean to graduate from Murray State University
Picture: Murray State University A young Orange Walkena will graduate from Murray State University on May 13 with a New York City internship under her belt. Giselle Hernandez completed her Associate degree at home and was seeking opportunities to further her education abroad. Hernandez [�]

St. Joseph student not shot, but stoned
There has been widespread speculation that a Belize City child was shot last week by an ITVET student. However, police have denied that rumor. According to official police reports, the child, a St. Joseph Primary school student, only received a small cut to the [�]

Missing Belizean girl found in Mexico
According to a report from the authorities of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, a missing Belizean minor from Chunox, Corozal was found with an adult. Belize's Jasmine Alert was immediately activated after the initial report was made. Police have ordered the arrest of the [�]

Penner mum on Kim Wong Hong case
Former Minister of State in the Department of Immigration Elvin Penner appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee yesterday. After he stipulated his own protocol for being at the hearing, Penner stressed that he is not obliged to answer any questions in relation to [�]

GSU must have respect, says Chester
Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has been working closely with Dianne Finnegan and the youths of Southside Belize City to assist in bringing a decrease to the crime situation in the area. The members of the different gangs have been cooperating and even participated [�]


BELIZE - SAN PEDRO: The Best Snorkeling Tour Of My Life with YOLO!
I am currently writing this post about the most incredible snorkeling experience ever in Belize, where I had the pleasure to meet up close giant turtles that instead of running away, were chasing me! I finally saw a massive amount of innocuous sharks, countless manta rays and a sea so bright and turquoise that left me speachless. Until I finish the post and tell you all about it, you can already check out the amazing company that organizes it. It' s called Island dream Tours, based in San Pedro (yes, like Madonna's song "La Isla Bonita"!) and - below- you can check out a few pictures, well actually they are just some screenshots I took of the footage taken with my GoPro. I posted them on Facebook and my friends went crazy (obviously). I will also try to put together a video with the footage on a later stage. All I can say is that, this tour is the absolute best I've ever been and I highly recommended!

For those heading here...or missing here...some shots from around Placencia Village today!
The weather has been beautiful this week! Although the sea has been a little rough, and is churning up some seaweed, the sunshine and bright colors in the village NEVER get old...

10 new restaurants, activities, and fun things to do in Placencia, Belize this season!
There are some activities and excursions here in Placencia that you can count on being around, indefinitely - the wonderful tours and excursions, the local, authentic, great food, and of course the unspoiled, rustic, funky atmosphere of the heart of the village. Some new businesses come and go, and so it is always a new experience for guests! Some of the new businesses we are sad to see close for a season or for good, but then there is always something new to be excited about. In the next year, as It'zana comes to completion, along with a few other surprises on the peninsula, there will be even more to look forward to, and the Ellysian Hotel has also now opened in the village, which provides a Miami-Beach style hotel experience. Here are some of the changes this season, and some new stuff to try when you get here!!

Amazing Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts
Did you know that Belize celebrates an annual Cashew Festival? While not the biggest festival in the country, the Cashew Festival and Agriculture Show is celebrated every year in the charming village of Crooked Tree (about 45 minutes by road from Belize City), and is quite the draw for locals and international travelers alike. Local farmers, artisans and vendors make their way out to set up booths that showcase their "Cashew Creations" including salted/sweetened cashew nuts, cashew nut oil which is great for cooking, wine made from the fruit of the cashew, cashew themed paintings, cashew fruit smoothies and several others. This year, the Cashew Festival will be held from May 12th - 14th and promises to be quite eventful with performances by local musicians The Gilharry 7 Band, The Love Vibration Band and Cocono Bwai. You can also expect cashew product demonstrations, a livestock and agriculture display, tasty local dishes on sale, mechanical rides, a Cashew Queen pageant on Friday night and a dance on Saturday night.

Why You Should Visit the Community Baboon Sanctuary
Belizeans put their own unique Caribbean spin on things, and so the Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) might be better described as a vast nature preserve that is home to black howler monkeys, known locally as "baboons". Belize is home to many national parks and nature preserves, but what makes CBS such a special place is how it is operated. A genuinely community-run, grassroots commitment to keeping Belize wild and beautiful, CBS is the perfect place for visitors to get introduced to native fauna. Measuring approximately 20 square miles of the Belize River Valley, CBS is much more than just a wildlife conservation area. Several indigenous Creole villages are located within the sanctuary and the entire community works to protect the forests and rivers. Years of grassroots conservation efforts have succeeded in attracting one of the largest Yucatan black howler monkey populations in the world. Tours of the CBS begin at the visitor's center. With many informative displays about the black howler monkey and many other indigenous wildlife species living in the sanctuary, the visitor's center also sells maps of trails that you can explore on the property. But most visitors choose the free 45-minute guided nature walk that includes a face-to-face introduction to the sanctuary's eponymous inhabitants.

MSN Lists 7 Amazing Adventures in Belize
The popular MSN Lifestyle website has once again published an article featuring Belize as a top vacation destination. In an article published on May 8, 2017, MSN Lifestyle put together a list of seven exciting adventures that vacationers can enjoy "beyond the beach." Known for its picturesque tropical islands and white sandy beaches, Belize is also home to an incredibly diverse landscape on the mainland that includes lush jungles, pristine rainforests, and majestic waterfalls. The MSN article extolled the wonders of exploring one of the many caves found in Belize, including the Caves Branch River where visitors can strap up to rappel down an enormous sinkhole in a cave floor known as the "Black Hole." Other remarkable caves include the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave known locally as the Cave of the Crystal Maiden. In the deepest part of the cave lie the remains of human beings sacrificed by ancient Maya priests more than 1,000 years ago, including a young woman whose bones have fused with the cave's minerals to take on a shimmering, ethereal appearance. Other exciting adventures that made the MSN Lifestyle article's list include canoeing and kayaking. Belize is a wonderland of pristine rivers, mangrove-lined lagoons, sheltered bays, and islands that make it a paradise for canoeing and kayaking. Adventurous paddlers can explore the inky depths of Barton Creek Cave or navigate the Macal River as it threads its way through the rainforest.

Visit Tikal from Belize
One of the most photographed sites on the planet, the soaring temples of Tikal in Guatemala were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Believed to have once dominated much of the region during the heyday of the ancient Maya civilization, Tikal is one of the best-preserved and largest Maya city-states ever discovered. Tikal is a Maya term meaning "City of Echoes," an apt name for this vast stone complex in the jungle that measures more than 21 square miles (55 square kilometers) in size. Most famous for its seven enormous temples, including Temple IV which rises more than 230 feet (70 meters) into the air, Tikal was once home to a population of more than 100,000 people. Other significant features include the "Mundo Perdido" (Lost World) ceremonial complex adjacent to the temples, ball courts, and enormous causeways. Today, Tikal is located in the rugged El Peten department of Guatemala just a short distance from the border with central Belize. The main land crossing from Belize into Guatemala lies west of Belmopan and it is easy to make a day trip to Tikal from most locations in Belize, including the Caves Branch Lodge.

Aerial Yoga, one of the many amenities at Science and Soul Wellness
Swathes of silky turquoise material hang from beams at the Science and Soul Wellness studio - Paulette Harwood's magnificent aerial yoga space located at Mahogany Bay Village. It's where I joined several others in my first attempt at suspended yoga.

International Sourcesizz

US Expected To Ban Laptops On Flights From Europe
"It's simply a matter of time before laptops are banned in the cabins of domestic U.S. flights." The U.S. is expected to broaden its ban on in-flight laptops and tablets to include planes from the European Union, a move that would create logistical chaos on the world's busiest corridor of air travel. Alarmed at the proposal, which airline officials say is merely a matter of timing, European governments held urgent talks on Friday with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The ban would affect trans-Atlantic routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year on over 400 daily flights, many of them business travelers who rely on their electronics to work during the flight. The ban would dwarf in size the current one, which was put in place in March and affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The group's CEO, Joe Leader, noted that airlines have reduced service by more than 1 million long-haul seats in the 10 Middle Eastern and North African cities affected by the March policy. If it spreads to Europe, "it's simply a matter of time" before laptops are banned in the cabins of domestic U.S. flights, he said.

Missing Belizean child found in Mexico
An Amber Alert Mexico and Jasmine Alert Belize that was recently triggered simultaneously in both countries (Mexico and Belize), regarding a missing 13 year old Belizean child identified only as "A.G" has resulted in some good news to a Belizean family. Mexican media in Veracruz have confirmed that Mexican authorities in Misantla, Veracruz, Mexico have arrested 43 year old Javier "N" from Chetumal and charged him for the crime of rape against the Belizean minor. Reports indicate that the minor appears to be in good health and has been handed over to her family in Corozal, Belize.

These are the '74 countries hit by 45,000 WannaCry cyber attacks
Belize is listed as being one of the countries targeted and effected. More than 45,000 attacks of the WannaCry ransomware have been recorded in 74 countries around the world, according to reports. Security researchers at Kapersky Lab said that Russia was the worst hit. Other countries that were in the top 20 worst affected included Ukraine, India, Taiwan, China, Romania, Egypt, Iran, Brazil, Spain and Italy. Around 1,000 computers at the Russian Interior Ministry have been affected by the huge cyber attack that hit countries including Britain and Spain today, a spokeswoman for the ministry told Interfax.

Belize leads Caribbean race to cyber preparedness
Scandalous Facebook pages carrying the name "Belizean Cheaters" sparked public uproar in the country, revealing sexually explicit details of adulterous affairs involving men, women and even children. The sleazy barrage also stoked nationwide concerns about cyber safety, and the country is now working urgently to finalize cybercrime legislation, train law enforcement agencies and raise awareness among its vulnerable public. By raising consequential questions about privacy, law enforcement, individual rights and cyber-protection, the sordid incident put a spotlight on the need for a wider public conversation about online safety and Internet governance issues. And the country's first-ever national cybersecurity symposium, which took place in Belize City from April 24 to 28, proved to be a timely icebreaker. Hundreds took part in the weeklong event, including judges, lawyers, businessmen, bankers, military and law enforcement officers, network technicians, government officials and lots of concerned citizens. Many were simply taking the rare opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of cybersecurity.

Caribbean nations miffed over US label as money launderers
The 15-nation Caribbean community is angry at the United States for labeling virtually all members of the regional trade bloc as money laundering jurisdictions and plans to mount a stiff lobbying effort in Washington, its leader said Friday. CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque said the United States's listing 14 member states in its 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report could have devastating effects on the region. Most of the countries have economies heavily dependent on tourism and financial services such as offshore banking and economic citizenships. "I think these unilateral blacklistings are not helping anything," he said, adding that "there ought to be some discussion and transparency on how these lists are arrived at."


  • SISTA FREDA: GARIFUNA BELIZEAN PRODUCER & THE GARIFUNA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (GIFF)!, 11min. It was an honor to have had the privilege here at Belizean Legends to interview for this feature, "Belizean Legends Shinning Stars", the awesome Garifuna Belizean Queen, Sista Freda Sideroff, the founder and producer of the Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival (GIFF). This promotional feature is a prelude to the full and complete interview with Sista Freda that has been a long awaited one on the Garifuna international activist and woman. We want to inform our Belizean Legends audience to look forward to the full documentary series of Sista Freda Sideroff and her dynamic work in the preservation of the Garinagu, its culture, language and people. As an cultural ambassador in her own right, Sista Freda has worked tirelessly since 2011, six years ago, to make the GIFF a success. Her awesome work in conjunction with other Garifuna cultural organizations in the Garifuna diaspora in the United Sates and abroad, has promoted the film festival to include most indigenous peoples from many different countries around the world.

  • Harvest Caye Zip Line, 15sec.

  • Bad Ideas in Belize, 3min. Rock jumping into the reiver

  • Belize NOW Episode 18 - Friday, May 12th, 2017, 25min. Belize celebrates UN Global Road Safety Week, Nurses Week culminates with visit to the National Assembly, and we found out more about the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds upgrades.These stories and more on this week's edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, May 12th, 2017!

  • Belize City Council Drone, 2min.

  • Island Paradise, Belize 2017, 1min. The beautiful Pelican Beach Resort in South Water Quay, Belize

  • Nicola and Stephen in Belize, 3min. Honeymoon clips from January/February 2017.

  • DRONE | Maya Beach, Belize, 1.5min.

  • Potential Impacts of Surrounding Land Use Activities on Swasey River, Belize, 6min. This video is in partial fulfillment of course work for an M.Sc. core course at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus: ENVT 6003 Field Practical. The video speaks on the various land use activities that exist along Swasey River, in Belize, and the potential impacts.

  • Museum Day Teaser, 1.5min. Our very own Curator Ilona Smiling is featured in Museumday video from ICOM. Don't miss this week's activity as we once again celebrate under the theme "Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums".

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