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Today's Belize News: May 17, 2017 #523602
05/17/17 07:15 AM
05/17/17 07:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Maya mound is partially cleared; residents plead for a stop order
A Maya mound, located in the San Pablo neighborhood south of San Pedro Town, was reportedly disturbed on Sunday, May 14th. The mound was once known to have a palapa, a Stela replica, and at one point, even picnic tables for residents to use the area as a park. Although investigations revealed that the mound is on private land, there has been public outcry to stop further development of the site, and instead, preserve its remains. The San Pedro Sun visited the site on Tuesday, May 16th, and noted a significant amount of Maya remnants scattered around the property. Both large and small pieces of red, black and beige pottery shards, plaster, and chalices were found, alongside pieces of conch shell. As it is alleged that the area will be developed into an apartment complex, the IA are the only ones who can issue a stop order. The San Pedro Sun contacted Director of the IA, Dr. John Morris, but he was unavailable for comment. We will update our readers as more information becomes available.

Alfonso Wiltshire back in jail
52-year-old Alfonso Wiltshire, San Pedro resident, is back behind bars after he was arrested on Friday, May 12th for additional charges of sexual assault and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Following additional testimonials from the victim, the Director of Public Prosecution ordered his immediate detention as the matter is being further investigated. During his appearance at the San Pedro Magistrate Court on Monday, May 15th, Wiltshire was denied bail, no plea was taken and was sent back to his cell. If he obtains a Supreme Court bail by Friday, May 19th, he will avoid being remanded to the Belize Central Prison until the disclosure of his case on July 14, 2017.

BTB meets with Airbnb to discuss impact to tourism sector
Online marketplace and hospitality service, Airbnb allows people to lease or rent short-term lodging, such as vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, and hotel rooms. After meeting several Caribbean government representatives in Barbados on Thursday, April 20th, Airbnb announced plans to expand tourism in the Caribbean, including Belize. On Tuesday, May 9th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hosted a conference with Airbnb representatives, where various stakeholders discussed the future of the overnight tourism sector, as well as guidelines that will help standardize the industry. Although Airbnb does not own any of those properties, it serves as a commercial agent that receives a percentage of services fees from both guests and hosts. With more than four hundred hosts advertising properties within the country of Belize, the issue of market share has been brought to the forefront. While BTB aims to regulate the growing sector, Airbnb says this sector of the industry will be a positive one.

WANNACRY RANSOMWARE
The Central Information Technology Office (CITO) would like to inform the public, and computer users in general, to be on the lookout for ransomware called Wannacry. So far, computer networks in over 150 countries have been impacted by the ransomware which takes over users’ files, demanding cash payments to restore them. We are pleased to report that no government systems have been affected by this malware since its detection last Friday, May 12th. Users of the Government’s computer networks managed by CITO benefit from security measures that safeguard our critical systems and protect them from malware intrusions such as these. The Central Information Technology Office uses a firewall to scan incoming traffic for any application that may intend to do harm to the network as the first line of defense. The Windows firewall installed on each workstation is also turned on to protect those machines from being infected.

The New Children’s Agenda
May 15, 2017 is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Families under the theme, “Families, education and well-being.” In commemoration of this day, Belize through the National Committee for Families and Children made this 15th day of May quite monumental and symbolic as both the Prime Minster Right Honorable Dean Barrow and Leader of Opposition Honorable John Briceno made their global proclamation with the signing of the new Children’s Agenda 2017 – 2030. The new Agenda focuses on the role of families and family-oriented policies in promoting education and overall well-being of their members. In particular, the agenda is to raise awareness of the role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and adolescences. This agenda will be achieved through a strategic action plan that includes six (6) transformational goals and outcomes.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks are heading to the NEBL finals!
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks Basketball team has netted a spot in the finals of the Pepsi National Elite Basketball League (NEBL). The two-time NEBL champions defeated the Cayo Western Ballaz 82-69 on Sunday, May 14th, at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The home team opened the scoreboard with the combined efforts of George Williams and Valley Douglas, and visitors Cruz Ray and Leslie Darwin teamed up to even the score on more than one occasion, making the first quarter quite exciting. However, the Tiger Sharks managed to dominate the next quarter, and by half-time, were leading 40-29. After the break, the game intensified, and the crowd roared in support of their favourites. Williams continued netting points for the home team, while Western Ballaz’ Darwin led his team in an attempt to even the score. The Tiger Sharks did not back down, and soon took control, ending the third quarter 58-40.

Ambergris Today

Belize Excels In Pilot Training In Jamaica
The Ministry of Defence wishes to inform the public that one of its Belize Defence Force Officers has excelled in a Pilot Training - code name Wings Course 1601- in Jamaica. Captain Francis Usher placed first in the course which lasted just over fourteen months. Officers from Belize and Jamaica participated in the course which was funded by the Canadian government. Ambergris Today joins The Ministry of Defence and the Belize Defence Force in congratulating Captain Francis Usher on his performance and wish him well in his career as a Pilot.

San Pablo Property Identified With Maya Mound Leveled By Developers
A “Maya Mound” in a parcel of land located in the residential area of San Pablo, south of San Pedro Town, as been partially leveled and disrupted as it seems that owners of the property are ready to develop on the property. What has raised concerns of the neighborhood of San Pablo is that, to the knowledge of the community, that parcel of land was designated a park when the area was being developed and it was discovered that it contained a Maya mound with rich historical and cultural significance for the island of Ambergris Caye. Needless to say, residents were shocked when they noticed that about half of the Maya mound has been moved and cleared. Upon closer investigations, that parcel of land was sold a few years back with Minister Manuel Heredia expressing the fact that the land should have never been sold.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

SBDC Workshop: BASICS OF GENERAL SALES TAX
FREE OF COST. Presented by: Mrs. Esther Mortiz, GST Officer, GST Department Dangriga Town. Location: Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College, Conference Room, Dangriga Town. Workshop Date: 25th May, 2017. Time: 9am to 12noon. Topics that will be Covered: * Registering for GST - application process, Voluntary registration information and the benefits of being a registered taxpayer. * Completing GST returns - GST payment due dates, Information to submit * Managing GST Obligation - Record keeping for GST, Tax invoices, Duplicate tax invoices and much more!

New Director for the National Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Council
The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture announces the appointment of Mr. Ian Jones as the new Director of the National Sports Council. Mr. Jones, who is pursuing post-graduate studies in Sports Management from the University of the West Indies, has many years of service in the sports industry in the Belize. He is well-known for his experience as the President of Verdes Football Club, which had a successful running in the Scotia Bank CONCACAF Champions League Tournament, boasting the first win for a Belizean Football Club in that tournament. He has also managed FC Belize and served on the management of BDF FC. Additionally, Mr. Jones has served on the Marketing Committee for the Football Federation of Belize and several other committees for the Premier League of Belize.

LAUGH OUT LOUD WEEKEND at the Princess Casino Free Zone
Tired of being tired? We never disappoint - Featuring Mexico's little giant comedian and entertainer "PIERRE DAVID". You have seen his popular shows on Televisa, Parodiando and Sabadazo. We invite you this Friday, May 19th and Saturday, May 20th beginning at 10:00 P.M. He will be imitating your favourite latin singers and entertainers. There is no other imitator like Pierre David.

Depictions of the Lost Exhibit
The Depictions of the Lost Exhibit will be this Saturday, May 20th, at the Soul Project. There will be art on display from Rick Galvez, and Kristcha DeGuerre will be reading poetry.

Notice To Operators of Guest Accommodations
Are you the owner or manager of any of the following types of guest accommodations, or any other type or category of accommodation used by guests? - Resort, Hotel, Lodge or Inn - Vacation Home or Guest Houses -Camp site or Bed & Breakfast facility -Motel or Condominiums, Time Share Units -Bungalows or Apartments - Villas or Beach houses - Home Stay Program facility - Community-based tourist - Religious/Educational & Research Facility establishments - Dormitory, Cottages or Cabins/Cabana If your answer is yes, then THIS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU!

CARSI ESF Grants
Learn about a great grant opportunity. Strengthen government through civil society engagement! We intend 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. We will also 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.

International Museum Day in Benque
International Museum Day is beginning at the Benque House of Culture (NICH). Come out and join us. Join us May 16 & 17th, 2017 for the annual International Museum Day Celebration as we walk through many historical and impacting moments in our community, the silent voices speak out through actions!

Open Panel Discussion on the death penalty, Museum of Belize
Did You Know? The last person to be executed was hung in the year 1985! On May 18th, 2017 from 9:30am - 12:00pm, Join us in a thought provoking Open Panel Discussion posing the question, "Should Belize resume the death penalty?" Come and Learn more about the History of Executions in Belize and the Legal and Social implications of this controversial question!!!

Caye Caulker Mother's Day Celebration
Thank you to all the mothers and public who attended our Mother's Day Event!!! We hope you all had a wonderful time!!! Thank you for supporting our event!! Thank you to all our sponsors!!! * We will be posting them later on! For now lets enjoy these pictures of a wonderful night!!!

The Placencia Municipal Pier to open to Harvest Caye Passengers
On May 30th, 2017, the Cruise Control Ltd. will officially start ferrying cruise passengers from Harvest Caye to Placencia Village and will be conducting a test run in the interim. Passengers will now have the opportunity to enjoy the beaches, food, craft and much more that the village of Placencia has to offer. In addition, Tour Operators will have the opportunity to take guests on marine tours. Tickets can be purchased on the cruise ship or at the visitors’ booth on Harvest Caye at a cost of $20USD round trip. The Placencia Village Council has collaborated with the Belize Tourism Board in the renovations of the pier, which now boasts a new tour sales desk for the independent tour operators to sell their tours. “We had a test run this morning the weather was perfect with a flat top sea, it was awesome seeing the ferry coming into the village. It is going to be a great experience for the villagers, town council, tour operators, and business people” shared village Council chairlady” Ilsa Villueva.

MOTHER'S DAY EXTRAVAGANZA 2017

Global Big Day in Belize
Just back from an amazing Global Big Day run in Belize where our team found 242 species in 24 hours! Many thanks to birder and conservationist Roni Martinez who was a key team member, helped orchestrate our run, and had the on-the-ground connections throughout Belize required to make the day a success. Also a tremendous thanks to both Chan Chich Lodge for hosting us during the event, and to Black Rock Lodge for hosting us for a few days prior--both are world class bird lodges dedicated to bird conservation and eBird. If you haven't been there, go soon! The guides at both places were tremendously helpful, and it was great to run into Isael Mai at Chan Chich again. The Maya Forest is an amazing place, under extreme agricultural development pressure, and in need of all our attention. We must protect what remains, as this place is home not only to an amazing endemic local avifauna, but represents the last intact forest for a huge number of wintering North America bird species! To help, first support the Cornell Lab and Belize Bird Conservancy, and then consider put some of your travel dollars toward the places that are focused on protecting the region, specifically in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. Thanks again to everyone along the way for the hospitality and fun!

Update on Incident in Chiquibul
This morning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed of the death of a Guatemalan in the Chiquibul National Park. The identity and cause of death have not been ascertained; and the deceased is still at the location. Belize and Guatemalan authorities will collaborate with a view to retrieving the body tomorrow morning, at which time a post mortem will be conducted.

Belize Social Investment Fund Inaugurates Gracie Rock Capacity Building Training Programs
Residents of Gracie Rock Village who successfully completed training in Capacity Building programs received Certificates of Completion at an award ceremony held at Gracie Rock Community Centre, Gracie Rock Village on May 13, 2017. Funding for the project was provided courtesy of the Government of Belize through the Caribbean Development Bank. The programs were designed to strengthen the capacity of the community to increase income from tourism and recreational activities aimed at taking advantage of the rich eco-tourism that Gracie Rock possesses. Training included Capacity Building facilitated by the University of the West Indies Open Campus; Tour Guide Training facilitated by the Belize Tourism Board; First Aid Training facilitated by the Belize Red Cross Society; and Food Preparation/Hospitality Management facilitated by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA).

Photographic Exhibit on Belizean and Panamanian cultures
The Museum of Belize and the Embassy of Panama in Belize will be launching a photographic exhibit on May 18th, 2017. As part of the celebration of International Museum Day 2017, the Museum of Belize is partnering with the Embassy of Panama in Belize in an effort to highlight the contrast between our distinct cultures – Belizean and Panamanian. The exhibit also highlights the intersection of our cultures and gastronomy.

CARICOM WEEK 2017
The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) extends special thanks to all stakeholders that contributed to making CARICOM Week a great success. CARICOM Week, celebrated under the theme “What CARICOM Means to Me”, highlighted the opportunities accessible to Belizeans as Nationals of the Caribbean Community. In 2006, 13 CARICOM countries, including Belize, established the CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME), agreeing that nationals of these countries could travel, work and do business within these Member States, and be granted the same access enjoyed in their own country of birth. However, research conducted in Belize has shown that lack of knowledge about the benefits, rights, and procedures among our nationals has stalled participation in the Single Market.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
Social Security Scholarships (High School, Sixth Form, Vocational-Technical) APPLY TODAY!

WANNACRY RANSOMWARE
The Central Information Technology Office (CITO) would like to inform the public, and computer users in general, to be on the lookout for ransomware called Wannacry. So far, computer networks in over 150 countries have been impacted by the ransomware which takes over users’ files, demanding cash payments to restore them. We are pleased to report that no government systems have been affected by this malware since its detection last Friday, May 12th. Users of the Government’s computer networks managed by CITO benefit from security measures that safeguard our critical systems and protect them from malware intrusions such as these. The Central Information Technology Office uses a firewall to scan incoming traffic for any application that may intend to do harm to the network as the first line of defense. The Windows firewall installed on each workstation is also turned on to protect those machines from being infected.

Corozal Bay Sailing Club Car Wash Fundraising Event
June 3, 8am-12pm

Belize National Festival of Arts 2017
Calendar of Events

Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday, May 21: entire San Pedro Town
BEL to conduct critical maintenance, testing and replacement of equipment at the San Pedro Substation and replace corroded hardware on the transmission system for reliability of power supply.

9th Annual Flowers Bank Festival
Saturday, June 3, 9am, Community Center. SAVE THE DATE: The Flowers Bank Festival is here again! Join us on 3rd June, 2017 for a day of fun activities for the entire family at the Flowers Bank Community center!

International Museum Day in Benque
The Institute of Archaeology was present at the Benque House of Culture (NICH), alongside the Institute for Social & Cultural Research, Oceana Belize and the Department of the Environment - DOE, to help celebrate International Museum Day for 2017. The students learned, at our section, about excavating, Maya hieroglyphics (much thanks to Jorge de Leon for his wonderful help in this) and also Actun Uayazba Kab and the wonderful historic imprints of hands. Tomorrow is day 2, so come on out!

Channel 7

Unconfirmed Reports Say Guat Soldier Shot
This afternoon, news went out in the Guatemalan press that a Guatemalan soldier had reportedly been shot in the head while in the Adjacency Zone. It's a very alarming report, which, if it is accurate, could be interpreted as an act of aggression by Belize. Now, we stress that this is unconfirmed, and there is the possibility that it is inaccurate, but the report came by way of this twitter post from the Guatemalan radio station, Radio Sonora. It claims that a Guatemalan soldier was shot in the head while in the Adjacency Zone between the two countries. It was made close to midday today, and since then, other Guatemalan media houses have picked up the report. "We have last minute information for you. As you see here in this tweet from Radio Sonora, 96.9 FM, where they inform us that a Guatemalan soldier was shot in the head in the Adjacency Zone with Belize. This information is being treated as urgent, because as you see, a Guatemalan soldier has ended up with a bullet in the head in an area located in the Adjacency Zone with Belize. We know that there is conflict in that zone area."

Good Samaritan Slain In South
Yesterday, a Guatemalan national was killed on the Coastal Road in Southern Belize. Eduardo Caal died trying to help the victims of a car accident, but unfortunately he did not know that those victims were criminals making a getaway. Our news team went down South to find out what happened, here's Alex Courtenay with the story... Edwardo Caal was just trying to do the right thing, when he was shot dead yesterday afternoon. Caal, was driving down the Coastal Road on the way to visit his brother, when he happened upon a car totaled on the side of the road. When he stopped to offer his assistance, the crashed vehicle's passengers shot him and made off with his vehicle. Voice of: a resident: "This vehicle crashed and he stopped and he stop to give assistance to the people and they killed him and they took his vehicle." Sr. Supt. Ralph Moody - Commander, Dangriga Police: "At about 1pm we received information about a traffic in the White Ridge area on the Coastal Road, Police responded to that information. On arriving at the location we saw a Ford Explorer vehicle involved in the accident - 4 wheel turned up and a Hispanic male person beside the said vehicle. Examination on the body revealed that Mr. Edwardo Caal suffered from one gunshot wound to the forehead."

Marvin Mora’s Mea Culpa
Today the fallout from that clandestine union recording continued. As we showed you last night, the recording is of a conversation between three union members about Garifuna members of the PSU and the public service in general. Claims are made by male persons speaking that Garifunas seek to control the PSU and the senior posts in the public service generally. We received 20 minutes of a conversation which we are told was about 90 minutes long. The National Garifuna Council put out a statement two hours ago saying, quote, "(The NGC) condemns and is disheartened to listen to the derogatory comments against Garinagu made by the President of the Public Service Union (PSU)." It continues, quote, "This is unacceptable, NGC supports the letter from the Concerned Members of Council of Management. Mr. Eldred Neal's remarks compromise his position and effectiveness as president in serving a multicultural organization as the PSU."

PSU President Eldred Apologetic
And while Mora says his membership knows him well enough, for PSU President Eldred Neal, its not that clear. The persons asking for his resignation are nine of 15 members of his council of management. And the Garifuna he was talking about in the recording are also leading members of his union. But today Neal came to our studio to say everything has been taken out of context:...

Mora Distances Himself From Overtly Racist Statements
And what technology did in this case was make available a recording that shows both men in a very unflattering light - with their guard down and speaking privately to another union member, Lorelie Westby about some very touchy cultural matters. But who exactly said what? Mora claims that certain, overtly prejudiced remarks we attributed to him in our transcription of the conversation were actually made by Neal. Here are the statements - which he says he did not make :...

Neal Hesitant To Point Finger At Mora
And while Mora was happy to kind of throw Eldred Neal under the bus, Neal wasn't quite so quick to point the finger at Mora. Where's what he had to say about the disputed statements:...

Mora Says He Was Supporting A Garifuna Female
Now, an important part of the entire narrative is that Mora and Westby were actually trying to get Neal as President of the PSU to support Faye Nicascio - who is a Garfuna - as delegate to the NTUCB - instead of Jacqueline Willoughby. Mora says that proves he wasn't being racist:... Marvin Mora - BEWU, General Secretary: "One of the biggest decisions that we made at that point in time was to try and identify somebody with the skills, the aptitude and the know-how with the educational background to hold the office of the president, because I was ousted as you recall. So we identified a young lady and you hear also that young lady being mentioned in that recording who we were endorsing and she is of the Gariguna culture and her name is Faye Nicasio. I guess you hear the female voice in there saying - we want her to be president and we want her to run." "Why would I be insulting the Garinagu people and at the same time I am asking him to put back somebody as a delegate to run and be the leader at the NTUCB from that very same culture."

How Did Mysterious Recording Surface?
But, while tonight there are all kinds of renunciations and righteous hand wringing, the first question is, how was the recording made, and then, why was it made, who leaked an edited version to the media, and what was it edited to reflect? Lots of questions and we asked Mora about the first today: Marvin Mora - BEWU, General Secretary: "The record that you guy have or the recording that you guys have, was a recording that was taken off a loud speaker, played from a cell phone on a mike. So you tell me the quality of that sound. To me the whole thing spin around. I am being honest with you guys: I was really vex when this whole thing came to light, because I thought that the recording was done on purpose. It so happens that I have knowledge now that the recording was done without the knowledge of anybody even the person who was recording it and at the end of the day, I'll be the first one to admit.."

Eldred Neal Says Mora Explanation Sad
And while Mora says that the recording leaked out sort of by accident - it was clearly edited to create an overall impression. Eldred Neal says that Mora's explanation is just sad:... Eldred Neal, President - PSU "My colleague Marvin Mora suggesting that he doesn't know who recorded it or that it was recorded and leaked." Jules Vasquez, 7News "He said it was accidentally recorded." Eldred Neal, President - PSU "Accidentally recorded, so accidentally leaked too then. Mein, that is sad."

Eldred Neal: “Don’t Call Me Brothers”
And apart from all the overtly racist remarks, what the recording really shows is a union fraternity that is at war with itself - especially within the PSU and in the NTUCB. Our intelligence suggests that like most wars, it is fueled by those who have ambitions for paying positions on government boards, and for control of union resources, including loans form the unions. We'll have more on that tomorrow, but for tonight we leave you with this chilling post script from Eldred Neal, who says the people he once called brothers and sisters can't be trusted:... Eldred Neal, President - PSU: "Don't call me your brother. I don't need an apology. I don't intend to seek your friendship in any kind of way. I just want for the record and for the rest of my life that you be held accountable for what you have lent and I am saying that I would do my best as to ensure that my name is clear to put something out there like this. Clearly edited, altered to serve an individual purpose. I am telling you had I seen this coming my way? No. Did I get the threats that it can happen? Yes. Have I live to face it? I have and I will continue."

PUP Says Mora And Neal Must Resign
So, while Neal and Mora continue to take heat for the contents of the recording, the condemnation of their comments just keep coming. Today, at a press briefing held on another matter, Opposition Leader John Briceno was asked to share his opinion on the content of the secret recording. He said that in there is no place for discrimination or racism in the Belizean society: Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader: "I can't go into the details as to what is happening with the public service union. I am not well informed. I have listen to little snippets of the recording which as I am told was done without the knowledge or consent of the people that were there. But that in no way excuses them from what they said. I want to make that very clear."

PUP, BNTU Say Integrity Commission Must Dig Deeper
But, the topic for which Briceno called the briefing was to keep up the pressure on the Integrity Commission and the Barrow Administration. The PUP want the Integrity Commission to dig deeper into the finances of all the elected politicians, but especially the UDP Ministers. As we reported, the Commission sent out a request asking elected representatives to furnish their accounts going back 5 years, but then, they later reversed that decision. After getting a legal opinion, the Commission decided that they would only look into last year's accounts, and the Opposition says that this isn't enough. In fact, they blamed the Government, even though this was a decision from the Integrity Commission. Today, Briceno broke it down, and he explained why his party believes that the decision is not a real attempt to keep the Government Minister's honest. Here's how he put it:

Alleged Pirates Testify To Coast Guard Brutality
In July 2015, six men, Giovanni Murrillo, Emiliano Camara, Jerome Bowen, Goldburn Goff, Everon Teck and Dion Usher were charged for possession of a firearm and ammunition without license. According to Coast Guard reports, they discovered the 6 fishermen on an island in the Turneffe Atoll after receiving information about piracy in the area. Apparently, when they approached the fishermen they allegedly saw one of them throw a firearm out the window. The alleged pirates were remanded to prison back in 2015 and were later granted bail. Today, only Goff, Teck and Usher appeared in the Magistrate's Court for the trial. Two of the other accused are presumed dead after being lost at sea, and one did not show up at court, but the trial still proceeded. After hearing the trio's testimonies, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith found them not guilty, stating that she found the evidence presented by the coast guard to be highly suspicious. She also mentioned that the testimonies caused her to further doubt the Coast Guard.

CITO: ”Wannacry” Ransomware Not In Belize
Today the Central Information Technology Office released a press release warning the public about a new ransomeware called Wannacry. After infecting a computer system, Wannacry takes over the users' files and demands a cash payment in order to restore them. The virus has allegedly impacted computer networks in over 150 countries, and has caused problems for various organizations and agencies including England's National Health Service, FEDEX and Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs. CITO has confirmed that no government of Belize system has been infected with the ransomeware as of May 12. They also warn PC users to install the latest Windows software update available, and to download reliable antivirus and anti-malware programs such as AVAST and Malwarebytes.

A New Vision For Sports
Former Sports Director Ritchel Dominguez left the Sports Council in mid January when his contract was not renewed. Charlie Slusherr was the Acting Director in the interim, but tonight, the Ministry of Sports has chosen a new Director. He is Ian Jones, known as a manager and president of various Semi-Pro sporting clubs. Jones is currently pursuing post-graduate studies in Sports Management from the University of the West Indies and today he told us what is his vision for sport sin Belize:...

Crooked Tree, Both Sides Now
Last night, we showed you the back and forth between former Crooked Tree Vice Chairman, Steve Anthony, and the Executive Director of the Belize Audubon Society. As we told you, the Audubon Society's Visitor Center burned down on Saturday morning, and there are residents within Crooked Tree who are saying, "good riddance". That's because the Belize Audubon and members of the community haven't exactly seen eye to eye, and this destruction has started a conversation on whether or not Audubon must go. Their concern is that the Audubon Society has been too strict in their enforcement against the villagers who depend on fishing, hunting and logging to survive. Well, today, APAMO came out in support of the Belize Audubon Society.

PM Not Worried About US Report on Money Laundering
In its March 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the US State Department classified 14 of the 15 CARICOM states as major money laundering countries, Belize included. A Caribbean news report states that one of the consequences of this blacklisting, is further fallout from correspondent banks, who will be increasingly unwilling to partner with indigenous banks. For Belize, which has been hard hit by the correspondent bank crisis, it's more bad news. But on Friday, the Prime Minister said that the local banks are getting by through relations with smaller correspondent banks.

Channel 5

Guatemalan ‘Good Samaritan’ Murdered on Coastal Road
A father of seven children was executed on Monday morning when he attempted to assist persons in a traffic accident.  The Good Samaritan was a Guatemalan national who lived with [...]

P.S.U.’s Eldred Neal Rails Against Garifuna ‘Takeover’ of Executive
The firestorm in the wake of a racially charged conversation involving the President of the Public Service Union, Eldred Neal, continues to burn fiercely tonight.  Various entities, including the Council [...]

Neal Says Recording Was Part of ‘Greater Conversation’
Turning to the voice behind the now infamous recording, this evening Eldred Neal stopped by our office for an extended sit-down, during which he attempts to explain his position.  For [...]

Neal Calls Out Mora; Says He Could Not Agree with Executive
Elsewhere in the newscast, you will hear Mora throw Neal under the bus for those unsavory remarks.  Neal, however, says that his counterpart has conveniently forgotten his role in that [...]

Neal Versus Palacio; He Appeals Over ‘Power-Seeking’ Ploy
The meeting of Eldred Neal and Luke Palacio this afternoon, when the Joint Unions Negotiating Team convened at the B.N.T.U. headquarters here in Belize City, was likely an awkward encounter [...]

Marvin Mora Discusses History of Garinagu in Belize City
The other persons to whom Neal was speaking in the recording were Marvin Mora, the current general secretary of the Belize Energy Workers’ Union and Lorelei Westby of the Belize [...]

Mora Apologizes; Insists He Did Not Know He Was Being Recorded
This afternoon, Mora issued a twenty-one minute defense outside the B.E.L. compound. He opened with an apology to the Garifuna people for any remarks he made in the incendiary recording [...]

Mora Wanted to Make Point About Garinagu Experience
According to Mora, he was doing two things: the first was to attempt to find out the reason why the P.S.U. did not support Fayne Nicasio, a Garifuna woman, for [...]

Mora Claims “Surprise” Over Neal’s Remarks
Mora claimed that the recording was done without anyone’s knowledge, including the person on whose device it was recorded, and then a portion of it was cut and given to [...]

Guatemalan Shot in Chiquibul; Was it a Soldier?
We can confirm that a Guatemalan national has been found dead in the Chiquibul National Park. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs late this evening confirmed the death of the national, [...]

Garifuna Chair of Belize District P.S.U. Disappointed with President
A letter demanding that P.S.U. President Eldred Neal stands down from contesting his seat during the upcoming Annual General Meeting has been signed by nine members of the union’s Council [...]

2nd Vice Prez Kenneth Mortis Can’t Solve P.S.U. Internal Fire
Also signing on the document dated May sixth, was Kenneth Mortis.  He is the second vice president of the Public Service Union and is a career fireman.  Mortis says that [...]

P.U.P.s Briceño Calls for National Unity
Leader of the People’s United Party, John Briceño, joined in with condemnation of the inflammatory remarks made by Eldred Neal. He pointed to the Father of the Nation George Price’s [...]

P.U.P. Says Prime Minister is Covering Up on Integrity Commission
This afternoon, the People’s United Party continued its assault on the Integrity Commission’s decision to look at only declarations of public figures for the year 2016. The Party argues that [...]

Integrity Commission Chair ‘Manipulated’ Vote
Briceño said that a Government he leads will change the Act to ensure that no political party has an overall majority on the Commission, which would also be expanded to [...]

B.N.T.U. Demands Politicians Adhere to Rules
The establishment of the Integrity Commission was on the front burner of the demands by the Belize National Teachers Unions last year.  Today, the B.N.T.U. lashed out rejecting the proposal [...]

National Garifuna Council Pours Scorn on P.S.U.’s Neal
Condemnation by the National Garifuna Council against the remarks by Eldred Neal has come fast and furious. This morning in Dangriga, News Five spoke with N.G.C. President Sandra Miranda. She [...]

N.G.C. Says Neal Must Go Now!
Miranda told News Five that the N.G.C. is demanding Eldred Neal’s immediate resignation and that he should not wait to be removed. She argues that picking on the Garifuna by [...]

John Briceño Says Ad Plays into Negative Sentiments on Faber Leadership
Prime Minister Dean Barrow told reporters after Friday’s House meeting that he is seriously contemplating early retirement depending on how much longer his back is giving trouble, though his present [...]

Stone Penner? P.U.P. Says They’ll See Him in Court
Elvin Penner testified without major incident last Wednesday in Belmopan at the public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee. But it appears authorities were ready for anything, as the [...]

P.U.P. Ready to Fight Municipal Elections
The countdown is on for the 2018 municipal elections. The People’s United Party is only defending one town council in Orange Walk, where Mayor Kevin Bernard is said to be [...]

APAMO Urges Dialogue Following Crooked Tree Fire
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations has tried to thread the needle between supporting member organization Belize Audubon Society in the aftermath of the fire at the Crooked Tree [...]


Re: Today's Belize News: May 17, 2017 [Re: Marty] #523603
05/17/17 07:15 AM
05/17/17 07:15 AM
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CTV3

PSU President Goes On The Defensive
The inflammatory comments by Public Service Union President Eldred Neal in a private conversation with former NTUCB President Marvin Mora and former NTUCB executive Lorelei Westby which was clandestinely recorded and has been leaked out to the public, has attracted a firestorm of criticism and public outrage. As we reported last night, Neal is facing an insurrection in his Union with 9 members of his Council of Management demanding his resignation. In case you are wondering what could be in the audio that has triggered such outrage, we will be playing some of the recording in which Neal claims there is a culture war in his union body and makes remarks directly on those members who are Garifuna. With his leadership under question, Neal has gone on the defensive, granting media interviews and responding to the view that his comments are a portrayal of bigotry. He claims the basis for such conclusion is fraudulent.

Opposition Leader Condems Remarks Made By PSU President
Today Opposition Leader John Briceno expressed his views about the comments heard in the audio recording. He said there is no room in Belize for the kind of remarks he has heard. Honourable John Briceno - PUP Opposition Leader: “I am disappointed that in this day and age that we have people that still believe and that still have those types of views, I think it was the father of the nation who had started out saying with the PUP that all of us are one and all of us are the same in this country and I’ve said it over and over it doesn’t matter if you were born in Orange Walk or Crickette Sarco we are all the same be it if you are rich or you are poor or you are smart or intelligent or whatever race you are we are all one and that is what makes us unique in this country this diversity that we have and we need to embrace this diversity and like everybody else I think we all need to condemn these kind of inflammatory language that is being used any sort of racism or any sort of looking down at any group of people, any category of people be it religion, be it sexual orientation be it by race or by economic standards we need to condemn and we need to condemn 100% that we cannot tolerate this kind of behavior and we in the PUP condemn that.”

Lack Of Jobs Takes Center Stage At Parliament
With the graduation season upon us, the question of jobs availability will become a main topic around social gatherings and dinner tables. On Friday, it was a hot button issue for two parliamentarians at the National Assembly. Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Patrick Faber got defensive when Caribbean Shores’ representative Kareem Musa asked: where are the jobs. Honourable Kareem Musa – Area Representative Caribbean Shores: “Is that they are graduating into a life of joblessness, into a life of hopelessness, because madam speaker, I have been a member of this house for almost a year and a half and I can tell you that this government has run through hundreds of millions of dollars; 557 million for BTL, 375 million for Petro Caribe another 20 million today well actually US 30 million dollars and yes while it is noted here that some of it is for students loans, madam speaker, the reality is that while this government is patting itself shoulder 50% of those young people will not have jobs...”

Mason's Case Adjourned
Accused killer William “Danny” Mason was in court in Belmopan today along with the four others accused of the murder of Llewellyn Lucas back in July of 2016. Mason was found with the severed head of the Pastor in his black Ford F150 pickup. They were in court today for the Preliminary Inquiry in relation to the charges of “Kidnapping” and “Conspiracy to commit kidnapping”. But the matter was adjourned to June 12th before Magistrate Anderson. That’s because Mason’s attorney could not make it to court today. Mason is being shuttled both to Belmopan and to Belize City courts given that the kidnapping is said to have happened at the Intelco Hill home of William Mason. The high profile case has seen the Belize National Teachers’ Union request an international investigation into the ties Mason had to several government officials, chief among them the then Minister of Police, John Saldivar.

LOVE FM

Guatemalan Dead in the Chiquibul; Officials Investigating
Reports reaching our news desk indicate that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence are looking into information given to Belize’s Attaché in Guatemala surrounding a fatal shooting that is said to have taken place in the Rio Blanco area in western Belize. It is an area that takes an estimated two days to get […]

Mora, NGC and PUP Weigh In on Recorded Conversation with President Neal
Yesterday we told you of a letter dated May 6, 2017 that was sent to the President of the Public Service Union, Eldred Neal accusing him of being racist and demanding that he resign immediately or be prepared to face repercussions. The letter referred to statements that Neal made in a private conversation that was […]

Barrow vs Briceno on Integrity Commission
Late yesterday evening the People’s United Party issued a statement on the interview given by the Prime Minister relating to the Integrity Commission and the change of having the elected representatives only submit their asset declarations for one year as opposed to the five year period that the commission had initially asked for. Prime Minister […]

London Article Says Belize Is In Debt Crisis
An online article from the London based Public Finance International organization has listed Belize as one of twenty seven countries in debt crisis. The publication is dated May 16, 2017 and speaks of countries that are not only in debt crisis but those that are at risk of falling into that category. The Jubilee Debt […]

Harvest Caye Extends Economic Opportunities to the Peninsula
The Belize Tourism Board today announced some good news for tour operators. The Placencia Municipal Pier will now be open to Harvest Caye passengers. In a statement, BTB said Cruise Control Limited will officially start ferrying cruise passengers from Harvest Caye to Placencia Village and will be conducting a test run in the interim. Tour […]

CSEC Examinations Transitioning to E-Testing
In the last decade or two we have seen several areas transition to online businesses ranging from reading to customer service to research and governance. While some aspects of education are already online there is the CSEC Examinations that some parts of the region are already engaged in via the internet. Antigua’s Minister of Education […]

From Paperback to E-Books in High Schools
Printed textbooks will soon be a thing of the past as Belize is looking to join other countries that have replaced secondary school books digitally. This initiative is one of several education topics that the visiting Antigua Education Minister, Michael Brown will be discussing with Education Minister, Patrick Faber. MICHAEL BROWN “It’s common knowledge that […]

Faber and His Ambitions for Prime Minister
Following the May 12th sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on his imminent early exit from his seat as Belize’s leader. He cited the primary reason being his health for such a decision. It has been rumoured for some time now that Barrow would not be completing his third term. […]

Faber Speaks Out On Personal Attacks
It is no secret that Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber has had a rocky past in terms of his personal relationship at home. It is a situation that has been used against him and as recent as last week there was an advertisement on local television condemning him and his personal life. Opposition Leader, John […]

Ian Jones Heads National Sports Council
The Ministry of Sports installed a new Director for the National Sports Council which became effective Monday, May 15, 2017. Ian Jones was named for that post. It was an appointment that went quietly as Ritchel Dominguez was replaced due to some internal challenges. Minister of Sports, Patrick Faber explains. PATRICK FABER “I don’t know […]

PlusTV

Guatemalan found murdered execution style on Coastal Road
A Guatemalan man was found murdered, execution style, on the Coastal Road. On Monday afternoon, an overturned vehicle was discovered near White Bridge area on the Coastal Road, Stann Creek District. Police say the Ford Explorer had its 4 wheels in the air. Beside it, was the body of 39 year old Gua...

Eldred Neal in hot water; NGC calls for his resignation
As we reported yesterday, the leader of the Public Service Union, President Eldred Neal is being asked to resign from that post due to inflammatory remarks he allegedly made against the Garifuna community. The remarks were made during a conversation between Neal and other trade union executives and ...

Marvin Mora tries to clear name in racial statements scandal
As you could hear, the controversial recording also has Marvin Mora in that discussion making statements along with Neal. According to the recordings, Mora also said that “Garifunas are greedy for power”. We also reached out to Mora for comment. Marvin Mora, Belize Energy Workers’ Union: I wan...

Danny Mason returns to court for Preliminary Inquiry Date
Heavily armed police officers stood around the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this morning as infamous and alleged “Pastor Killer”, William “Danny” Mason, made his way to court today. As the nation is fully aware, Mason and four other men from Roaring Creek, Ashton Vanegas, Keron Fernandez, Terrence F...

BNTU Rejects Integrity Commission proposal to give elected officials pass
The Integrity Commission was re activated on January 12th of this year following demands of the Belize National Teachers Union during its 11 day strike. It was a great victory for the BNTU and the nation when the PM acceded. However, as we reported last week, the Commission sent out a request askin...

Chinese businessman robbed of $38,000
60-year-old Chinese businessman, Wei Bin Chen of Santa Elena town was robbed of $38,000 dollars yesterday. Chen reported to police that at approximately 8:10am, he was leaving his residence to deposit the money in the bank, but before he was able to do so, he was accosted by two men in his yard. O...

House burglarized while owner slept; $57,000 worth of valuables gone
Thieves made off with another hefty loot, this time in Corozal. According to police reports, On Sunday, 14th May, 2017 around 11:30 p.m.; 66-year-old Elena Esperanza Sanchez, a retiree of Corozal Town, awoke to find her house burglarized. Stolen were an assorted amount of jewelry, laptop, cellphone...

Amandala

Guatemalan man found murdered on Coastal Road
At about 12:30 this afternoon, a man was found dead on the Coastal Road, near White Bridge. Police have identified the man as Samuel Caal, a 39-year-old Guatemalan resident of Hope Creek. Caal had a gunshot wound in the back of the head. He was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, where he was declared dead on arrival. Police said that when they went to the scene, they found a gold-colored Ford Explorer, which had overturned, with four wheels in the air. Caal was found on the ground, beside the vehicle.

PSU prez under fire on allegations of anti-Garifuna agenda
President of the Public Service Union (PSU), Eldred Neal, elected in 2015 to replace Marvin Blades, is under fire over allegations that he intends to “purge” the executive of the union of its Garifuna members and have them replaced because of their ethnicity. A recording of incendiary racial comments attributed to Neal, as well as a letter demanding his resignation was circulated among members of the press today. Nine of fifteen executive members have signed their names to the written demand hand-delivered to Neal last Thursday, calling on him to step down before the union’s annual general meeting slated for August and for him not to offer himself as a candidate in the upcoming elections—and Neal suggests that the terms of the demand should raise suspicion. Speaking with Amandala today, the PSU president denies the allegations levied against him, saying: “I am not offended with the individual [who lobbied the other executive members] for not wanting me as president, but for portraying me as a racist and a bigot.”

“We’re not sorry your building burned down,” Crooked Tree villagers tell Audubon
Over the weekend, all attention turned to the village of Crooked Tree for the annual Cashew Festival. However, before the start of the much-anticipated Cashew Fest, a fire of unknown origin burned the Belize Audubon Society’s building, located at the entrance of the village, to the ground. Amanda Acosta, executive director of the Belize Audubon Society, told our newspaper how her staff learnt about the fire. “We have two staff that live within the village and so they were getting calls in the early morning hours and then the site manager [Mr. Derrick Hendy] was actually going to do a birding activity in the early morning, so he was there around 3:30, and he called me about the fire. But by 3:30 the building was already engulfed in flames,” she explained. According to Acosta, she does not suspect that the fire started because of negligence on the part of her staff. “The building was opened on Friday. The normal procedure is we turn off everything — we don’t even have external lights on the building because there is a big street lamp right at the end of the corner,” she said.

Belize remittances to Guatemala totaled almost US $100 million in 2015
Data from countryeconomy.com revealed that in 2015, Belize had received US $74.6 million in remittances from the United States. Remittances refer to money received in payment for goods or services, or monies simply sent by friends and family members from one country to another. While the United States had sent the most in remittances to Belize, they were seconded by Canada, with approximately US $3.2 million and then Mexico with around US $3.0 million. Next in line was Guatemala, which accounted for around US $0.9 million in remittances to Belize. Astoundingly, however, remittances from Belize to Guatemala was almost US $100 million. In 2015, Belize sent a whopping US $95.3 million to Guatemala, while that country continues to have an unfounded claim to our territory. Guatemala was seconded by El Salvador, which received remittances of only $US 22.8 million.

Belize on alert for 23 escapees from Honduran prison
News outlets in Honduras are reporting that 23 high-profile convicted gangsters are on the loose following an escape from prison on Thursday evening. Twelve of them have been convicted of murder, among other charges, including extortion, drug trafficking and firearm-related incidents. Those men, all members of the Barrio 18 gang, had been housed in the special “Scorpion” unit at the medium-security Marco Aurelio Soto prison. That prison, according to Honduran news agencies, was built to house only 8,000 inmates, but currently holds around 17,000, making it very over-populated.

Vega misses 7 House meetings, but holds on to his seat and benefits
Former Deputy Prime Minister and United Democratic Party area representative for Orange Walk North, Gaspar Vega, missed his seventh consecutive House of Representatives meeting today, perhaps the longest running absence of any parliamentarian from the National Assembly. Three other parliamentarians were absent from today’s meeting: Belize Rural South representative for the ruling UDP, Manuel Heredia Jr.; Opposition People’s United Party member for Freetown, Francis Fonseca; and PUP member for Cayo South — Julius Espat. Vega has been absent from National Assembly meetings since he resigned from his ministerial post under pressure from Cabinet last October, in the wake of a shocking land compensation deal which allegedly played out while he held the ministerial portfolio for lands and which is now the subject of a legal claim to recover the funds from his son, Andre Vega, and Sharon Pitts.

Bandits 3-peat, again! 1-nil over Verdes for PLB 2016-2017 Closing Season championship
After a nil-nil finals game 1 at Norman Broaster Stadium the week before, defending Premier League of Belize (PLB) back-to-back champions Belmopan Bandits SC, sporting a Closing Season-long undefeated record, defended their home turf at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night with a late goal by right defender Ian Elvis Gaynair, a.k.a. Yellow, a perfectly placed header near the left goal post, off a corner from the right side, that gave the Bandits a 1-nil victory and the championship against a formidable Verdes FC.

Mano-a-mano in National Women’s semifinals game 1; decisive game 2 next Saturday, May 27
Both games in the National Amateur Women’s League football tournament semifinals this past weekend ended in deadlocked scores. Game 1 of the home-and-away semifinal series pitted the best two teams from the North and South groups going against each other, with the North #1, Belize City FC travelling to the South #2, Sagitun Strikers; and the South #1, Jewel Fury going to the North #2, Gladiators, both games being played yesterday, Sunday. And both ended with deadlocked scores. At the M.A. Stadium in Independence, home standing Sagitun Strikers struck first through Erica Vallecillo (36’); but, after Belize City FC responded with goals from Shanell Gentle, (67’) and Araceli Lambey (80’), Sagitun just managed to secure the 2-2 draw with a late goal from Karissa Rhamdas (88’).

San Pedro Tiger Sharks head to fourth straight Pepsi NEBL finals
The Pepsi NEBL semi-finals continued this past weekend, as a decisive game 3 was played today in San Pedro between Cayo Western Ballaz and San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The winner of this game would stamp their ticket to the finals, to face off with Belmopan Bandits. The home team, San Pedro Tiger Sharks was able to easily secure the 82–69 victory, as they took command of the game in the second quarter, and Cayo Western Ballaz was unable to cut the lead to single digits for the rest of the game. With the win, 2-time NEBL champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks are heading to their fourth straight NEBL finals, as they try to erase the bitter taste from their mouths, after last season’s disappointing ending. Belmopan Bandits, on the other hand, have been resting, and now have even more motivation to bring home both semi-professional championships to the capital city, since Belmopan Bandits football team were crowned PLB champs last night.

Tiger Sharks dominate, 82-69, in decisive game 3 to oust Western Ballaz
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks benefitted immensely from Raul Roches’ 10 first-quarter points, and consequently was able to jump out to the early 24-17 first-quarter lead in the third and decisive game of the NEBL’s semi-finals, played Sunday on the island of San Pedro. The Tiger Sharks would never look back, and would never surrender the lead, eventually winning by the score of 82-69, and in so doing, put an abrupt end to the Western Ballaz’ season. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it is. The Sharks just seems to have the Ballaz’ number, and on Sunday afternoon it was no different. Even with the league’s MVP, George Williams ailing from a leg injury, the Ballaz were still unable to take advantage of this disparity, as they struggled enormously from the field, hitting just 11 of their first 35 field goal attempts, while committing 5 turnovers, which indisputably allowed their opponents to take the big 40-29 lead at the half. This lead would balloon to 56-36 close to the end of third-quarter play, which, for all intents and purposes, spelled the expiration of the Western Ballaz’ season.

Religion, politics and Technical
When the Belize Technical College was opened in 1952, it was a revolutionary initiative in Belize, because it was a non-religious secondary institution operated by the Government of British Honduras. The other secondary schools in the colony were St. John’s College/St. Catherine’s Academy; St. Michael’s College/St. Hilda’s College; and Wesley College, run by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Methodist Churches, respectively. It is important to note that the Anglican Church is one and the same, where leadership is concerned, with the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The monarch of England, in the present case Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of the Church of England. In other words, since 1534 the British do not allow for a difference between their religion and their politics. Probably the most striking aspect of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain by the Thirteen Colonies of the United States in 1776 was that the Americans called for the absolute separation of the Church from the State, and that constitutional provision has been maintained until the present day. Religion and politics are separated in the governance of the United States, but the overwhelmingly Christian beliefs of the American people have a considerable impact on America’s foreign policy, such that the new American President, Donald J. Trump, has been declaring “radical Islam” to be America’s greatest enemy.

From the Publisher
48 years ago, when we had just opened our UBAD office at #45 Hyde’s Lane, two young ladies from St. John’s College Sixth Form visited us on two or three occasions. This would be in the afternoons after classes. There was some UBAD-related energy at the Sixth Form, I guess, but I’m not sure when it was that Zinkle actually began banning Afros and demanding that dashikis be tucked inside students’ trousers. One of the young ladies was taller, slimmer, darker, from Punta Gorda, and the other young student was shorter, chubbier, lighter, from Belize City. What I remember and what is of relevance to this essay is that the lighter-skinned sister had a problem with the word “black.” Because she didn’t look black, in the sense that she had previously understood the word, she couldn’t embrace the concept with reference to herself. Fate made it so that I was the one, having recently graduated from college in the United States, who did most of the introducing of the black power philosophy in Belize in 1969. This is how I was thrust into public life, and began speaking on rostrums. I never wanted to be a public speaker: I considered myself a writer, and a creative one at that.

–A Canadian man, John Deshaies, who was named as a possible suspect in the police’s investigation of a double murder in Corozal Town, but was remanded to prison on a charge of handling stolen goods, was freed this afternoon after he was offered and met bail in the Supreme Court of Justice Antoinette Moore during a bail application hearing. Deshaies was picked up by police on May 2 after the bodies of Canadian Francesca Matus, 52, and her American boyfriend, Drew DeVoursney, 36, were discovered in a cane field on the outskirts of Chan Chen, Corozal. The couple had been strangled. The discovery of the murdered couple attracted international media attention, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offered investigative assistance to Belize police in an effort to solve the murders.
–A Canadian man, John Deshaies, who was named as a possible suspect in the police’s investigation of a double murder in Corozal Town, but was remanded to prison on a charge of handling stolen goods, was freed this afternoon after he was offered and met bail in the Supreme Court of Justice Antoinette Moore during a bail application hearing. Deshaies was picked up by police on May 2 after the bodies of Canadian Francesca Matus, 52, and her American boyfriend, Drew DeVoursney, 36, were discovered in a cane field on the outskirts of Chan Chen, Corozal. The couple had been strangled. The discovery of the murdered couple attracted international media attention, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offered investigative assistance to Belize police in an effort to solve the murders.

Bishop Elect, Father Lawrence Sydney Nicasio, ordained
On Saturday, hundreds of Roman Catholic faithful made their way to the St. John’s College gymnasium in Belize City to witness the ordination of Bishop Elect, Father Lawrence Sydney Nicasio, the new Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan. Nicasio, the third native Bishop, succeeds Bishop Emeritus Dorick Wright, who formally resigned in January. Nicasio was born in Dangriga on September 5, 1956. Our research of his education background revealed that he graduated from the Belize Teachers’ College, where he received certification as a teacher. Thereafter he completed his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He went on to complete his postgraduate studies and received a Master of Divinity at the Kenrich College Seminary, also in St. Louis, Missouri.

Labour intervention begins today after walkout by SSB workers
Amandala is reliably informed that two disputing parties—the management of the Belize Social Security Board (SSB), on the one hand, and the unionized workers represented by the Christian Workers Union (CWU), on the other—are meeting at the Labour Department in Belmopan today, as they continue to be divided on proposed changes to vacation leave entitlements and vacation grants which would be applied to new workers. The union claims that the move is a form of union-busting which would create a disincentive for new workers to join the union if it compromises on the vacation issue now, and they also claim that the measure is a violation of the principle of equal pay for equal work—assertions which SSB’s management denies. Three Fridays ago, workers staged a sickout in protest against the proposed changes, and at 3:00 p.m. this past Friday, several SSB workers staged a walkout because of the unresolved issues.

Two multi-million-dollar loans approved by the House
Members of the lower house of Parliament today approved motions for two multi-million-dollar loans, one for a Government guarantee of a US$20 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) for on-lending to Belizeans and another for US$10 million for community level projects to be funded through the Belize Social Investment Fund. Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño asked the Government side why they were rushing through the money bills in Friday’s sitting, suggesting that the Government is doing so because of imminent elections. Prime Minister Dean Barrow replied to Briceño that there is a queue of DFC borrowers who are anxious to press ahead with the enterprises for which they need the financing.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Man remanded for cosmetic store robbery
On Friday night around 8, a cosmetics store was robbed of $2,900 in cash. According to police reports, the cashier was held up at gunpoint by two Hispanic men who stole the money out of the cash register. Yesterday, Christian Cal, 21, was charged […]

BTB launches Hotel registration campaign
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) this week launched a public awareness campaign to remind owners and operators of guest accommodation services of their obligations and requirements under the Hotel and Tourist Accommodation Act. Any owner or operator providing accommodation for remuneration purposes to any […]

Corozal retiree loses $57,000 to burglars
On Sunday, around 11:30 p.m. Elena Esperanza Sanchez, a 66-year-old retiree of Corozal town awoke to find her house had been burglarized. The culprit/s stole an assorted amount of jewelry, a laptop, cellphones and cash all to a total value of $57,062. Police are […]

“What is Barrow afraid of?”, PUP asks
The People’s United Party, in a statement yesterday, said it is greatly concerned but not surprised of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s adamant stance that he and his UDP Ministers and officials should not declare their assets and liabilities going back five years. “This, no […]

Blogs

Four things to do in Dangriga
If you love culture and not crowds then Dangriga is the place you have to visit. Located at the end of the Hummingbird Highway, Dangriga is the capital of Belize’s Stann Creek District and is home to the Garifuna, a cultural and ethnic group who are descendants of shipwrecked slaves and native Caribs. The town is a suitable base to explore the following Dangriga tours: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1986 as the first jaguar reserve in the world. Covering approximately 150 square miles of tropical forest, the park lies at the foot of Victoria Peak, the highest peak of Belize’s Maya Mountains. Hike through the jungle, splash by the waterfall, or float down the river under a sky of birdsong and green canopy.

23 Awesome Things To Do With Your Kids in Belize
Situated in Central America, the beautiful country of Belize is the perfect choice when looking for a family-friendly destination, as there are a plethora of things to do with your kids in Belize. As such, here’s 23 awesome things to do with your kids in Belize. No vacation to Belize is complete without a visit to the Maya ruins of Belize. These delightful archeological sites contain museums and tourist shops that your kids are sure to enjoy. For an experience your kids will never forget, hike the Belizean rainforest, where you will spot different jungle animals and birds.

International Sourcesizz

FIRST TITAN COLLEGIAN!
Belizean Football Athlete recruited by Colorado University to play soccer. Colorado Rush is excited to announce the Titan Program has graduated its first player to the collegiate level! The Titan Residency Program is made for players who want to come and learn the Rush Way, improve their soccer skills, and just have a unique experience! The House has been in operation for three years now and has seen players from Alaska to Japan come through its doors! Dmitri Fabro has been a stand out resident and one that latched on to the Rush immediately. Fabro has been living at Titan for the past two year and training with the Rush while pursuing the dream of playing college soccer. Dmitri is from Belize and played soccer the majority of his youth career there. He eventually found his way out to the Colorado Rush through a connection with the Rush club in Belize.

Survivor shares breast cancer awareness message on Belize trips
When Rena and Russell Rager’s son, Andy, was deployed to Afghanistan in January 2011 with the U.S. Army Reserves, Rena thought she’d go crazy worrying about her only son. “I was overwhelmed with all those feelings one has – anxiety, worry, fear – when a child is going into a war zone,” she said. “It was something all mothers dream about, but only in nightmare mode. I prayed God would give me a hobby or something to take my mind off the situation Andy would be in for the next year.” And, as always, God was listening. But instead of giving Rena a hobby, he gave her breast cancer. “Seven days after Andy left, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma,” she said. “I’d just started a new job as administrative assistant at Defiance College’s McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, my son had been deployed overseas and my world was spinning out of control.

IFSC Warns Against Belize Based Broker Due to Forged License
The International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) of Belize has released a statement warning locals and traders alike that Broker Fixed Star lnlvestment Inc. [sic] is operating under a fake license. The company falsely claims to own a trading in securities license from the Belizean regulator, going so far as to showcase the forged document on the website in an attempt to fool clients regarding its status. The IFSC further noted that none of the other local regulators have issued the broker a certificate to proceed with any online trading operations either. Fixed Star Inlvestment Inc. is also known as Fixed Star Group, and it claims an address at Withfield Tower Third Floor 4792 Coney Drive, Belize City. This broker promotes itself as a firm which trades forex, CFDs, energy, and precious metals. The false license raises quite a few red flags.

Belize’s Cockscomb Basin’s Howler Monkey Translocation Is Declared a Success
For 30 days in April and May, 2017, a team of researchers surveyed the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and its surrounding environs for Central American black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra). The Cockscomb monkeys are descended from animals that were first brought into the sanctuary 25 years ago in an effort to reintroduce howler monkeys to the area. Howler monkeys had disappeared from the Cockscomb in the late 1970’s due to a combination of factors, including: Hurricane Hattie in 1961, which leveled as much as 90 percent of the canopy in the basin; a yellow fever epidemic; and uncontrolled hunting before the area was protected. Between 1992 and 1994 the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Belize Audubon Society, and Community Conservation Consultants Inc. translocated 62 monkeys in 14 social groups from the Community Baboon Sanctuary in northern Belize to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, a 400-square-kilometer protected area 100 km to the south. The basin was first declared a protected area in 1984, but the high mountain ridges surrounding the basin and human activity at the entrance prevented howler monkeys from re-colonizing the area on their own. The monkeys were studied intensively from 1992 through 1995 and surveyed regularly until 2007.

Harvest Caye cruise port schedule 2017
Timetable for cruise ships scheduled to arrive in the NCL Island port of Harvest Caye, Belize 2017 including arrival and departure times. The cruise timetable data of the schedules showing which cruise ships are in Harvest Caye, is based on the cruise lines itineraries. All ships are linked to their complete cruise itinerary In order for you to see the next port of call just click on the specific vessel. Please note, cruise ship arrivals can be subject of change by the cruise operators. For creating this data itinerary of the following cruise lines was used: Azamara Club Cruises itinerary, Celebrity Cruises itinerary, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines itinerary, Norwegian Cruise lines itinerary, Holland America line itinerary, Regent Seven Seas itinerary, MSC Cruise lines itinerary, Carnival Cruise Line itinerary, Oceania Cruise lines itinerary, Princess Cruises itinerary, Seabourn itinerary, Thomson Cruises itinerary, Windstar itinerary, Aida itinerary, Costa Cruises itinerary, Saga Cruises itinerary, P&O Cruises itinerary.

Videos

  • Wagabari Dance Group - Annual Fundraiser, 12min.

  • Belize City Council & Association of Planners - Caribbean Urban Forum, 32min.

  • Sharks Belize, 4min.

  • Diving Turneffe Atoll, Belize (2017.May), 11min.A week of diving on day boats off the Yucatan peninsula at Belize's Turneffe Atoll with the women of Undersea Expeditions. The reef itself looked to be in typical Caribbean condition, but there was an amazing lack of fish! No big schools of small fish, medium-sized fish or big fish, mostly individuals here and there and several fat lionfish around. There were a few different species of crab and shrimp, and lobsters were plentiful. Three different species of moray eel (whitespotted, golden and green) poked their heads out of holes. The endemic striped toadfish made an appearance on several dives, as did also elegant spotted eagle rays, stingrays and sea turtles (hawksbill and loggerhead) gliding past.

  • Belize. Great Blue Hole, 4.5min.

  • HOT MAMAS OF BELIZE, 12min. Hot Sauce

  • Belize Offshore Fishing | Tuna & Mahi Mahi, 3min. May of 2017 we were in Belize for my brothers wedding. Family got together and went out for some offshore fishing with Ramons Village. We landed a Tuna and a Mahi Mahi and lost two other Mahi Mahi. Great times had by all!!

  • WAS MACHT MAN IN BELIZE?!? | Weltreise Vlog - Nr. 56 | Belize, San Ignacio, 15min. Was macht man in Belize? Belize ist weniger für Traumstrände berühmt eher für, naja, was gibt es in Belize? Wir waren in einem abgelegenen Ort im Dschungel von Belize, ohne Internet und ohne Restaurants und haben uns die Grenzstadt zu Guatemala, San Ignacio, angeschaut. Und wie reist man in Belize? Auch das seht ihr heute! :)

  • Beach view, 1.5min. We live in paradise! This kind of beauty should never know the reality of offshore oil!

  • Capacity Building for Strategic Planning & Management of Natural Resources Project, 27min.

  • Promoting Empowerment Through Awareness for les/ Bi Women (PETAL), 30min.

  • Lionfish Action during Reef Week. Fun Lionfish Fillet competition, 2min. The country of Belize hosts various Lionfish tournaments throughout the country (year) to promote the eradication of the invasive species from our Barrier Reef. The tournament is a fun way to teach everyone the importance of keeping the Lionfish population down in order to preserve other fish species vital to the survival of the coral reef.

  • Belize celebrates UN Global Road Safety Week, 2.5min. The Government of Belize has been active in the movement toward promoting road safety in Belize. Once again, the country joined in celebrating the United Nations Global Road Safety Week. Here’s more….

  • You Better Belize It, 14min.

  • Edward Young, Alpha Technology: Belize is "pretty cybersecure-aware", 2min. Interview with Edward Young, and ICT professional based in Belize, at the country's first-ever National Cybersecurity Symposium, held in Belize City from April 24 to 28, 2017.

  • Harry Noble Sr, Belize Police IT Unit, on using digital technology to detect and solve crime, 4.5min. Interview with Harry Noble Sr, Consultant with Belize Police IT Unit, at the country's first-ever National Cybersecurity Symposium, held in Belize City from April 24 to 28, 2017.

  • Belize GOPRO Blue Hole & Mayan temples. Synapson sound, 4min. Two weeks in Belize to see the Mayan temples, diving into the famous blue hole and live to the sound of Caribbean music.

  • Belize 2017 Belize Marine TREC short version 1080p, 7.5min.

  • Cave Tubing at St. Hermans Cave in Belize, 4min. St. Herman's Cave is part of Blue Hole National Park in Belize. The cave tubing is not real difficult.

  • Portofino Beach Resort - San Pedro, Belize - barefoot luxury & relaxation, 1.5min. Characterized by its warm and friendly hospitality, Portofino is the epitome of barefoot luxury, unpretentious and relaxing.

  • 2017-16-05 Police Check Point, 55min.


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