Today's Belize News: May 31, 2017
05/31/17 07:00 AM
05/31/17 07:00 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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
SPRCS students enjoy marine exhibit
In an effort to raise awareness on reef conservation, Carina Paz, 13 year-old Standard Six student at San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS), hosted a marine exhibit on Friday, May 26th. It was her second year hosting the exhibit, and Paz invited SPRCS’s Infant One through Standard Six classes to observe, learn, and interact with many species that live inside the reef.
During the exhibit, Paz explained the importance of marine life, as they contribute to the health of the reef. With the help of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the students had the opportunity to interact with a ‘touch tank’ filled with Belize’s native sea creatures like the Queen Conch, star fish, sea cucumber, pencil sea urchin and various mollusks. The children took turns holding the creatures, while learning important facts about the species.
The Island Academy Graduates 7
As the 2016-2017 school year comes to a close, The Island Academy (TIA) was the first educational institution to hold graduation ceremonies. On Friday, May 26th, TIA celebrated its 22nd commencement exercise, with a total of seven graduating: Tellen Smith, Wyatt Barenfanger, John Greif V, Collin Greif, Skylar Guerrero, Jamilet Garcia, and Alexandra Lausen.
The ceremony was held at the TIA campus, where students, family and friends gathered to celebrate the graduate’s academic achievements. At 10AM, the graduates proudly marched to the sound of Pomp and Circumstance, awaiting their Primary School Diplomas.
NDACC hosts Health Fair to highlight effects of tobacco
‘World No Tobacco Day’ is observed annually on May 31st, and the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) got a head start with their annual activities, hosting a Health Fair on Friday, May 26th. Under the theme, “Tobacco: A Threat to Development,” NDACC, along with Project Abroad Belize, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), and the Kidney Association of Belize converged at the San Pedro Lions Den to provide information of various diseases to community members.
Kristina Romero, NDACC representative in San Pedro, welcomed the gathering to the important event. Aiming to teach the students of the dangers of tobacco and its products, Romero reiterated that tobacco contributes to many diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes and tuberculosis.
Kiah Pastor is the new Miss Teen Belize
Taking the 2017-2018 title and crown of Miss Teen Belize, was 18-year-old Kiah Pastor from Belmopan City. She charmed the judges and audience in all four segments during the pageant held on Saturday, May 27th at the Mahogany Bay Village south of San Pedro Town. The title for Miss Congeniality and First Runner Up, went to Grace Brown from San Pedro Town. The title for the Best Costume went for Vineesha Price from Belize City for her depiction of Belize’s forest king, the jaguar. Miss Photogenic was Julene Garcia from Toledo District. Kiah Pastor from Belmopan City was crowned as Miss Teen Belize 2017-2018.
Pic of the Week: Just Hanging Around On Ambergris Caye
"Coconut Leo braiding his hair upside down on a Coconut Tree.... No Big deal!" - That is what Kristi Gonzalez shared on her Facebook profile this week after catching some snaps of the famous island tree climber. Coconut Leo doing what he knows best - climbing coconut trees and performing for the crowd below.
Accessory LED Lights Are Illegal On Motor Vehicles
The Department of Transport takes this opportunity to inform the public that affixing of LED lights (inclusive of other lights varying in size and color) on to a motor vehicle without the written permission from the Department of Transport is an offence under the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Regulations.
Regulation 159 of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Substantive Regulation, Chapter 192 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 1991 states:
“There shall not be fixed to the vehicle any lamps other than those required by these Regulations except with the written permission of the Department of Transport”.
Misc Belizean Sources
Reflections on Conservation in Belize
As I prepare to leave to further my studies in Conservation Biology, I cannot help but reflect on the conservation world that I have been a part of for the past 5 years. With the recent dominance of the voice of the social media world, it has been difficult to ignore the conservation efforts happening all across our country. Social media has been both a blessing and a curse in my opinion. My membership in several conservation pages including Creatures of Belize, Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, Manatee Eco Warriors, Oceana Belize, has given me a first hand look at how conservation fights play out in Belize, and how we as conservationists engage with the public. Here are some of my views on where we fall short and what we can hopefully do about it.
USE OF BELIZE COAST GUARD VESSELS
The Ministry of Defence hereby responds to the inquiries that have been made by some media houses with regards to the use of assets that have been donated to the Belize Coast Guard (BCG). The Ministry makes clear that the deployment of armed forces assets are the responsibility of the Commanders of the armed forces who are completely aware of the purpose of which they are to be used.
In cases where these assets are donated for the primary use of deterring and detecting illegal activities which are in line with the Defence Mandate, the commanders of BCG and Belize Defence Force (BDF) may deploy them for other activities as they see fit, providing that these activities do not contravene any local or international laws or military standing orders.
MAYOR OF THE CITY OF YEOSU, SOUTH KOREA VISITS SAN PEDRO TOWN
On Saturday, May 27, 2017, the Mayor of the City of Yeosu, South Korea, Mr. Ju Cheol-Hyeon, made a courtesy visit to the Mayor of San Pedro Town as part of his visit to the country of Belize. His itinerary involved a meeting with the Mayor and Councilors of San Pedro Town where they exchanged various ideas and similarities between their municipalities. A special topic they both agreed on and was definitely the highlight of the visit was how climate change is a major factor in each of their municipalities and countries. Another topic that was of great concern for both countries was the issue of traffic and its demand by the citizens.
After their meeting and discussion, Mayor Daniel Guerrero gave a tour to the Mayor of the City of Yeosu, South Korea and the other guests of San Pedro Town and some popular places. They visited the quaint and picturesque resort of Ramon’s Village where they admired the elaborately built cabañas and its pristine beach and they also visited the tranquil resort of Victoria House.
Kiah Pastor Wins Miss Teen Belize
"Miss Teen Belize 2017 is Kiah Lisani Pastor Miss Teen Belmopan! Congratulations and we have a long road ahead of us to Ecuador!"
Cayo Cancer Society 2017 Gala
"Its that time of the year again. We are preparing for our 4th Annual Gala. June 24th, 2017 starting 7pm at the Bedran Hall, San Ignacio Hotel. Live Music by Electro Sounds. $65 per person entitles you to dinner, dance, pictures by professional photographer and door prizes. Inbox if you wish to purchase. All proceeds go to continue helping Cancer Patients in every way possible."
U.S. Embassy Belize Spotlight on Volunteers!
Stann Creek district native Allyson Jones (center) has worked tirelessly to ensure school children are transported to the medical clinics and are screened by the medical teams and learn healthy habits like the importance of brushing teeth. Parents return with children for any necessary follow up care. THANK YOU to Allyson and all the dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to make the Beyond the Horizon: 2017-Belize partnership a success. “We’ve had overwhelming support and incredible team.
BHA 2017 Annual General Meeting
The Belize Hotel Association is hosting its 2017 Annual General Meeting on Monday, June 19, 2017 at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel starting at 1:30 p.m followed by a Cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. Our BHA members are invited to attend as well as all members of Belize's business and tourism sector.
The AGM will be preceded by a Marketing Seminar
starting at 9AM until noon. Mr. Alan Myers of Pinnacle Internet Marketing will be presenting this intriguing workshop titled Beyond Design.
Mr. Myers is the owner and founder of Pinnacle Internet Marketing, a company he started in 2002 in response to the growing needs of businesses. Prior to starting Pinnacle, Alan had a successful sales and management career in advertising media where he strategized with business owners to successfully market their products and services. Seeing a business have financial success as a direct result of putting their websites to work for them instead of against them, is one of the most thrilling and rewarding aspects of his work!
Fathers Day Extravaganza! Tempted To Touch
Nyanda, Linky First, Rupee, Marlyn Vansen, Unlimited and XBand LIVE in concert in Belize at Ramada Poolside on Saturday, June 17th. Hosted by Groove Master. Sound System will be provided by Blue Steel Sounds. Advance tickets are available at KREM Radio and Ramada Hotel & Casino.
Vacancy for Office Administrator, Caye Caulker Village Council
Notice: Deadline changed to June 1st 2017
Hard Rock University!
Rock hard university
Maestro Bennet used institutional memory
The love for music and melody
Creating a sound authentically
Youth who were not inclined academically?
His University was born out of necessity
Hard Rock saw a way to use his talent to save his community
Knowing our youth have multiple intelligence
Pedagogy should only be used as reference
Knowing our youth yarned for a holistic experience
3rd Annual Belize International Jazz Festival
The 3rd Annual Belize International Jazz Festival gets underway on Saturday June 3rd, with the Welcome Show and Jam Session at the Mexican Institute. This year’s festival will be showcasing performances and jam sessions in Belize City, and San Ignacio, Cayo and hosting workshops in Belize City.
Talents from Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and the United States of America along with a large assortment of our own Belizean artists will be invigorating the Belizean musical scene with not only the sensual sound of smooth jazz, but a harmony of musical styles including Rock, Reggae, Rap, Steel Pan, Salsa, Marimba, Merengue, Punta and Paranda.
Belize Fishing Report May 22th - May 28th, 2017
A bit windy this week but all of the bonefish anglers were successful with their efforts and as usual, landed multiple bonefish. Belize is the perfect place for the first time bonefish angler. Steve and Scott were the top rods this week boating over 130 bonefish in just three days of fishing. Excellent!
Ya’axché Farmers’ Expo
Over the weekend on Sunday, we hosted our Ya’axché Farmers’ Expo event at Medina Bank. We recognized Mr. Juan Tut of Trio village as the 2017 MGL Farmer of the Year for his exceptional farming methods. Mr Augustin Chub of Big Falls was second and Mr Miguel Choco of Silver Creek came in third. Farmers of the Maya Golden Landscape also sold farm produce at the event. The Race Against Fire bicycle race winners were Devin Velasquez for first place, Santiago Cus for second place and Charles Nunez for third place. Also for the bicycle race, various station prizes were won and up to the 10th place were given consolation prizes. Children participated in various games. The community hosted 14 teams at its football marathon, sold drinks and delicious food. Ya’axché thanks all sponsors, supporters, Medina Bank community and staff for a successful event.
UDP Minister Stripped Of US Visa
For months, rumors have been circulating that a member of the Barrow Cabinet would be stripped of his US Visa for involvement with shady immigration dealings. Well, tonight, we can confirm that Minister of Transport and NEMO Edmond Castro has been stripped of his US Visa. When the report first emerged, we called Castro to ask him about it, but he told us that he could not comment - and then hung up the phone on our reporter.
Well, 90 minutes later, a statement was issued form his office. It says, quote, "Castro has been given notification by the United States Embassy that his Diplomatic and Tourist visas have been revoked, and that no specific reason was stated for the revocation." end quote.
Coast Guard Defends Use of Vessels to Transport Defense Minister's Teams
Another UDP Minister who's earned the ire of the Americans is Defense Minister John Saldivar for his use of donated Coast Guard vessels for his sports teams.
Saldivar finally broke the silence by taking to Facebook yesterday, saying quote, "There is absolutely no misuse involved in using public resources to help a basketball team, and I absolutely prepared to go down believing that! It is acceptable to use BTL and BTB funds to sponsor a Machel Montano concert. How can it be a misuse of public resources to assist a basketball team with transportation to San Pedro?" End quote.
Wife Who Killed Husband, Freed of Murder Charge After One Day In Jail, DPP says Self Defence
Last night, we told you about the Seine Bight killing over the weekend, in which 31 year-old Glen Ramirez was fatally stabbed by his wife, 28 year-old Neshawn Martinez-Ramirez. She was charged for murder and remanded to the Belize Central Prison, but tonight, she is out and free of that charge.
That's because DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, does not believe that there is enough evidence against Neshawn to disprove her self-defense claim. And so, Neshawn Ramirez was removed from the Belize Central Prison today, and taken before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith for a court hearing. Crown Counsel Janelle Tillett, representing the DPP's Office, told the court that DPP Vidal has sent a memorandum to instruct the withdrawal of the murder charge against her. So, with that she was allowed to go free.
Noted Songstress Tanya Carter Robbed At Gunpoint In Belize City
Tanya Carter is one of Belize's most well-known international performers, who has touched stages all over the world with her hits such as "Ex Boyfriend". But last night in Belize City at around 8:00, all that fame and international renown didn't matter to a trio of thieves who were on the prowl. According to reports, she was walking on St. Thomas Street when the trio of men pounced, and held her up at gunpoint. They stole over a thousand dollars in cash, and drove off in a car. But, in an unexpected turn, the car ran out of gas not long after. Police found the car, and traced it back to the men at a Southside address. That's where the police arrested all three and recovered eight hundred dollars. Turns out, they HAD also tried to rob another female in the area around the same time, but she ran off. Tomorrow, they are expected to be arraigned on charges of robbery and attempted robbery. Carter told us that she didn't want to comment.
Corozal Resident Drowned
A body was found floating on the coast of Corozal Town this morning - but police say foul play is not suspected. 43 year old Anthony Pasos of Santa Rita Corozal was found floating in the rough waters of Corozal's Bay, in an area in front of St Francis Xavier Primary School.
Pasos was last seen on Monday morning, before midday. Relatives didn't become alarmed when he didn't come home because he is not known as a trouble maker.
However, they became startled at the news that Pasos' body was discovered in the waters by a resident around six this morning.
From Bees To Burglars, "Arms Of Love" Under Attack
Last week we told you about the vicious bee attack at Arms of Love Primary School in San Ignacio. A 60 year old grandmother died because of it. But just as the students, teachers and parents were slowly recovering from that terror, the school was burglarized over the weekend. As we told you classes resumed until yesterday because of that bee attack but when they arrived, the principal's office had been thrashed and 11 laptops were gone. The principal of the school Iris Garcia told us today that she got a call on Sunday morning from the school's yard cutter telling her that the wooden office door was open. The police were called out to the school. Garcia told us that the robbers got in through the roof of a classroom and pried their way into the office. They stole 11 laptops , $300 in petty cash all to a total of $8,500.
Orson Takes On Opal, Restores Rebecca Rath
The saga of Ms. Belize took another sharp turn this evening. First, on Friday Pageant Director Opal Enriquez sent out a release basically saying that Rebecca Rath's reign as queen was over. And then yesterday she rescinded that, sorta. And by then Rebecca Rath had already basically said goodbye. Well, today, two of Enriquez's partners in the Queen of the Jewel Pageant Venture, turned on her, and said her release was unofficial and bull and void. Orson Elrington and Reynaldo Malik who own two third's of Queen of the Jewel said that as minority owner, Opal Enriquez's statement was unauthorized and invalid.
Today, VIA PHONE, Elrington explained what the true position is:..
Critics Called It Alcatraz, Now It's All Opened Up
6 months ago, Norwegian Cruise Lines opened its 100 million-dollar Harvest Caye Cruise Port and Island getaway.
But, a major complaint has been that the island getaway was closed off from the rest of the Belizean tour operators in south. Also, once the Norwegian cruisers landed there, they couldn't leave, except on a mainland tour from H20 Tierra, which was the only company licensed to carry out mainland tours. Critics called it "Alcatraz".
And, Harvest Caye has gotten more than its fair share of negative reviews because some guests wanted to visit other parts of Belize, and they were basically being held on the island. So, the company worked with the Belize Tourism Board over the last few months to allow for Harvest Caye visitors to book mainland tours from the local operators on the Placencia Peninsula.
Animal Conservation Community Challenges Harvest Caye
And while that is a rare spot of good PR for the much maligned Harvest Caye, it's got another raging controversy on its hands. This time it's over a Scarlet Macaw named Big Red. The Belize Bird Rescue took it in about a year ago, and rehabilitated it for release. But last week, they say the Forestry Department and a Harvest Caye wildlife expert showed up at their headquarters and confiscated Big Red. It's reportedly now at Harvest Caye as part of their nature exhibit. But, a Macaw is a bird of the rainforest, not an island in the sun and slat spray. And that's what has the animal conservation community up in arms. Jamal Andrewin from the Belize Zoo explained:...
Convicted Murderer Pop Pleads Down to Manslaughter
In March 2012 Florencio Pop was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering Bladden Village resident, Felix Cucul Ich. Pop allegedly killed Ich by chopping him once to the back of the neck.
Today Pop returned to court seeking a lesser sentence. He appeared before Justice Dennis Hanomansingh, who handed him the sentence five years ago. Pop, under the advice of his attorney, Oscar Selgado, changed his plea from not guilty of murder, to guilty of manslaughter. Because of the change in plea, Hanomansingh deducted 5 years from Pop's sentence. He deducted 2 more years because Pop handed himself into police and cooperated with police throughout the investigation.
When Wheelchairs Are Lifesavers
Caribbean motors may be known as an up and coming car dealership where - they say - you can get the best deals on four wheels. But today, it was strictly a two wheeled affair - and the wheels weren't a deal, they were free! We're talking about wheelchairs, 90 of them handed out by a Missionary Group at the dealership's headquarters. I visited and found out how much of a lifesaver those two wheels can be.
Courtney Weatherbure reporting:
13 year old Ashley Meighan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy from birth and the journey has been challenging so far.
Stephanie Smith, Mother:
"Still can't get over it, still yet can't get over, yeah, very very difficult especially for bathing her, taking care of her too."
Paddlers to Puerto Rico
Today the Belize Canoe Association sent a delegation of 6 rowers to Puerto Rico to compete in the Puerto Rico Olympic Cup, which is a kayak racing event. The athletes will participate in kayak sprint races of distances ranging from 200 meters to 1000 meters. And while the Puerto Rico Olympic Cup is not the actual Olympics, the team's leader, Rudolph Gentle told us that the event is an important stepping stone to competing in the world's most famous sporting event...
Minister Edmond Castro Says U.S. Revoked Diplomatic, Tourist Visas
On the eve of the expected testimony at the Senate Special Select Committee of whistleblower on visas Alvarine Burgess, Minister of National Emergency Management and Transport and Belize Rural North [...]
Charges Withdrawn From Deshawn Ramirez; D.P.P. Says She Killed Her Husband in Self Defence
Deshawn Ramirez – she is the woman who was charged with her husband’s murder on Monday and remanded to prison. But tonight she is free, after the murder charge was [...]
Defence Minister Insists There Was Nothing Wrong with Bandits’ Trips on Coast Guard Vessels
While Castro is in the news tonight for the cancelation of his visa, Minister of Defence John Saldivar is pushing back heavily against claims of misuse of Coast Guard assets [...]
Body Found in Sea Near Corozal
This morning, the body of a man was found floating in the Caribbean Sea near First Avenue in the Bay of Corozal Town. The person has since been identified as [...]
About-turn: Majority Partners Assert Control; Say Rebecca Rath is Still Miss Belize
The plot thickens in the Miss Belize saga. Twenty-four hours ago, Miss Belize Rebecca Rath appeared to be stripped of her title by pageant director Opal Enriquez. Her family had [...]
Opal Enriquez Out as Pageant Director
Elrington and Malik take the position that the May twenty-sixth release was not authorized and nothing in it is official, and that as far as they are concerned Enriquez has [...]
New Belizeans Take the Oath
The hassle of applying for Belizean citizenship, in some cases several years in the making, has paid for a handful of immigrants who have found their home in the Jewel. [...]
Placencia Peninsula Readies for Harvest Caye Tourists
After years of back and forth, visitors to Harvest Caye will finally be able to enjoy the natural wonders of the peninsula. Local tour operators and other stakeholders had been [...]
Man Discharged from Littering Charge
Thirty-three-year-old fudge vendor Glenford Tillett has been charged with littering after a run-in with police on Saturday. However, he was discharged of the offense by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Tillett was [...]
Grandmother Charged with Shoplifting
Sixty-five-year-old grandmother Martha Parchue returned to court today on a charge of theft for shoplifting in a popular supermarket. Parchue is accused of stealing Celebrity brand boneless chopped ham valued [...]
Guatemalans Illegally Cutting Mangroves to Trap Fish
In addition to illegal operation in Belizean waters, Guatemalan fishermen have been guilty of several offences, including use of gill nets and other illegal methods to capture fish. Recently they [...]
B.T.V. Accuses Foreign Minister of Not Doing His Job on Incursion Threat
Three weeks ago it was reported that the village of Otoxha has been dealing with a takeover of acres of territory by Guatemalan farmers seeking greater pastures. The farmers left [...]
S.J.C. Has New Music Degree
If you were thinking of pursuing music studies in Belize, you will now have a chance to do so. For the first time a local school is offering a degree [...]
The Gift of Mobility for Belize’s Disabled
Caribbean Motors in Belize City today hosted a special donation ceremony by the Saint Paul Lutheran Church of Fort Worth, Texas and the Central American Lutheran Mission Society, in association [...]
Kaina Tops for Kingsville, But Will She Run for Belize Again?
Thirty-one-year-old Belizean Olympian athlete Kaina Martinez has completed her track career at Texas A and M University-Kingsville. She had three top finishes in the 2017 NCAA Division Two Outdoor Athletics [...]
Thousands Take a Walk Against Cancer
Over five thousand persons put on their walking shoes and trekked the nine-mile walk from Ladyville to Belize City in the annual Cancer Walk. Saturday’s walk saw families and friends [...]
CEMJC Celebrating Graduating Class Of 2017
This past weekend, Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College in San Roman Village in the Corozal District celebrated their 9th commencement exercise with the largest graduating class yet consisting of 129 students. The keynote speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony was no other than the 2016 Ms. Belize Universe Rebecca Rath who represented Belize in stellar fashion in this year’s Ms. Universe. In her message to the students, Ms. Rath spoke of preparing for the realities of life which will include challenges, surprises, victories and losses. She shared his stories of challenge and triumph and how she went from a rough and tough volleyball player and coach to mastering the catwalk on heels.
Corozal Town Resident Found Dead Along The Bay
The lifeless body of a Corozal resident was discovered this morning floating in the rough waters of Corozal’s Bay, in an area in front of St Francis Xavier Primary School. The individual has been identified as 43 year old Anthony Edwin Pasos, a labourer of Corozal Town.
CTV-3 News spoke to family member’s off-camera. They shared that Pasos was last seen on Monday morning, before midday. They did not become alarmed when he didn’t come home as he is no trouble maker.
US Revokes Edmund Castro VISA
There is major news tonight over actions taken by the United States Government against a Cabinet Minister in the Barrow Administration. Late this evening, we received confirmation on reports that the United States Embassy had revoked the tourist visa held by Minister of National Emergency Management Edmond Castro. This confirmation came from Minister Castro himself, via a statement he issued to the media.
Ministry Of Defense Supports Use Of Coast Guard Vessel
This afternoon the Ministry of Defense also responded to the use of Coast Guard vessels by the Belmopan Bandits. The Ministry, which coincidentally is headed by Minister Saldivar, methodically explains why shuttling the Belmopan Bandits Basketball team to and from San Pedro using coast guard vessels is not construed as misuse of public funds.
According to the release, ‘the commanders of BCG and Belize Defense Force (BDF) may deploy them for other activities as they see fit, providing that these activities do not contravene any local or international laws or military standing orders.’
Rebecca Rath Remains As Miss Belize
Tonight the Miss Belize Saga continues and it appears that Rebecca Rath is back in as reigning Miss Belize.
Viewers may remember that on Friday night, Belize’s National pageant Director Opal Enriquez issued a release cutting short the reign of Rebecca Rath as Miss Belize Universe 2016 and appointing the crown to Marcia Moody, 1st runner up in the 2016 pageant. In addition Enriquez informed Belizeans that there will not be a Miss Belize Pageant this year.
Belizean Receives International Diana Award
The International Diana Award is an award issued every year in Honor of the late Princess Diana of Wales to young role models from across the world who live an exemplary life by selflessly transforming the lives of others throughout their community. This year Belize was placed in the spotlight for the fourth consecutive time by the British embassy as one of Belize’s very own bright youngsters was chosen as recipient of the award. This year the Belizean awarded was no stranger to the award committee, Seventeen year old Elsia Pop from the Toledo district received the Diana Award at the St. James's Palace in the United Kingdom on Thursday 18th May 2017, making this her second Diana award.
COPS Cleared From Contraband Charge
In early April the Corozal Police Department suffered a black eye when two of its officers were seen speeding away in a newly donated Police vehicle, with Customs officers in hot pursuit. Customs officials claimed the cops were trafficking contraband items which had not declared at the customs check point at the Northern Border. In the Police vehicle were driver Police Constable Elston Rojas and Police Corporal Abner Marroquin who was also the vehicle commander. They were both charged and placed on interdiction from duty. Reports to our newsroom is that Rojas has been cleared from the charges. This leaves Marroquin with the heavy end of the stick and the only officer facing disciplinary charges for the stunt.
Re: Today's Belize News: May 31, 2017
05/31/17 07:01 AM
05/31/17 07:01 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
US Embassy Revokes Minister Castro’s Visas
The US Embassy has revoked the diplomatic and the tourist visa for Minister Edmond Castro. The news came via a press statement issued by Minister Castro late this evening. Castro, the elected representative for Belize Rural North noted in his statement that no reason was stated in the notice he received. The statement went on […]
Neshawn Ramirez Walks Free; DPP Says There’s No Arguing It Was Self-Defense
Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lyn Vidal has confirmed to Love News that the murder charge against 28-year-old, Neshawn Ramirez was withdrawn today. Ramirez was arraigned and remanded to the Belize Central Prison yesterday after she rendered one fatal stab wound to her husband, 31-year-old, Glenn Ramirez. The grounds for the DPP’s decision was based on […]
BCG Commander Says Transporting the Bandits Is Not Illegal
Belmopan’s Area Representative and the Minister of Defence, John Saldivar, owner of the Bandits Sports has been taking much criticism lately surrounding the use of the Belize Coast Guard vessels to transport the players to their games in San Pedro. Members of the opposition have referred to is as an abuse of his position since […]
World Bank Group Endorses 5-Year Partnership with Belize
There is a new framework endorsed today in Washington DC, USA that seeks to assist Belize in strengthening the economy’s resilience as well as promote opportunities for all its citizens. The framework is five year partnership with the World Bank Group which will help the Government of Belize in its efforts to reduce poverty and […]
Tourists Ferried from Harvest Caye to the Peninsula
This morning the Cruise Control Ltd. officially began ferrying cruise passengers from Harvest Caye to Placencia Village. The first ferry docked at the Placencia Municipal Pier at 8 o’clock. With this new arrangement, passengers will now have the opportunity to enjoy the amenities on the peninsula. Tour Operators will now have the opportunity to take guests on […]
Placencia Pier Came After Months of Meetings
The decision to build a welcome center at the Placencia Municipal Pier and to have NCL cruise ship passengers be ferried to Placencia Village was not a decision made overnight. This is the results of months of meetings held with stakeholders where concerns were raised that NCL was hoarding all the profits on the caye. […]
Big Red Is More Than Just a Scarlet Macaw; He Is A Prisoner
Last week Love News broke the story of Big Red- the scarlet macaw that was confiscated from Belize Bird Rescue, BBR, and handed over to Tony Garell of Harvest Caye. BBR has written to CEO Dr. Percival Cho but we understand that he has yet to respond. In that letter, BBR tells CEO Cho that […]
Corozal Resident Found Dead in Caribbean Sea
The body of a 43-year-old man was retrieved from the Caribbean Sea this morning near the Thunderbolt wharf in Corozal Town. Police in that municipality received a call just after six o’clock today and upon reaching the area near the St Francis Xavier Primary School, they found Anthony Pasos, half dressed and floating in the […]
Elrington and Malik Trump Opal; Rath Retains Title
Rebecca Rath keeps her title as Miss Belize Universe say Orson Elrington and Reynaldo Malik- the co-owners of Queen of the Jewel Limited. Through a statement, both men added that the release issued by Opal Enriquez was quote, “unauthorized and the summary dismissal of Ms. Rath was unsanctioned”. End of quote. Elrington and Malik say […]
Briceno Should Have Replaced Courtenay, Says Espat
When the Senate ratified the Bill on January 30, 2017 to protect the Central Bank’s Foreign Reserves from Lord Michael Ashcroft, the support was unanimous. The Bill was brought from the House of Representatives after the Prime Minister rushed through its three readings in one sitting following the threat to have a fifty US million […]
Kaina Makes Her Mark Again at Track and Field
Over the weekend Belizean Kaina Martinez participated in the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and earned the title ‘three-time All-American athlete’. The championships were held in Florida, USA, and there Martinez joined her colleagues, LaGae Brigance, Keandria Taylor and Plaserae Johnson. They ended the meet with a total of 16 points thanks to a group performance […]
Wife arraigned for stabbing husband to death
Glenn Ramirez, Jr., 31, a father of 5 children and a chef living in Seine Bight, and his wife, Deshawn Martinez Ramirez, 28, would have had their first wedding anniversary on Saturday, but according to police, at about 11:00 on Friday night, she stabbed him to death after they became involved in an argument, reportedly because he did not come home to give her money on time.
Glenn was stabbed once in the left side of the chest, and he died immediately on the road in front of a restaurant in Seine Bight. He was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital morgue, and she was taken into custody.
Today, Monday, Deshawn Ramirez was arraigned at the Independence Magistrate’s Court for murder. She was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until August.
UDP’s silence about Yellowman and August “deafening”
Almost two weeks ago, the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s “dogs of war” were unleashed at the Senate Select Committee investigating the Auditor General’s findings which were documented in a report that pointed to irregularities at the Immigration Department. The blistering, coordinated attack was led by the party’s chairman, Alberto August, and the House of Representatives Mace-bearer (Sergeant at Arms), Brian “Yellowman” Audinett.
Since the attack, there has been no official response from the UDP leader, Prime Minister Dean Barrow.
Audinett’s actions have been loudly condemned by a wide cross-section of Belizeans, including the Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Hon. John Briceño, who has written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Laura Longsworth, asking her to remove Audinett.
Audrey Wallace, PM’s CEO, falls ill
Audrey Wallace, Chief Executive Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister since 2008, was flown via air ambulance to Miami for emergency treatment on Friday, May 26, after she found out via a CT-Scan that a vein had spontaneously ruptured in her head.
Wallace, a former secretary general of the ruling United Democratic Party and the party’s current director of public relations, is expected to undergo minor surgery this week to remove the blood that has accumulated between the brain and its covering, but our sources describe her prognosis as good.
Dawson’s widow gets $45,000: Pakeman freed
The charge of causing death by careless conduct that was brought against Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Government Press Office, nine months after he knocked down and killed Gardenia mechanic Dean Dawson, 45, between Miles 22 and 23 on the Philip Goldson Highway, while driving his government-issued Isuzu D-Max pickup truck, was struck out this morning when the matter came up for a preliminary inquiry that was to determine if there was a prima facie case that could be submitted to the Supreme Court for an indictment.
Pakeman’s attorney, Bryan Neal, made submissions to have the charge struck out on multiple grounds — primarily, however, due to a lack of evidence. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser upheld Neal’s submissions after the court prosecutor, Corporal Christopher Smith, said that he would leave the decision up to the court when Magistrate Fraser asked him what was the prosecution’s position regarding Neal’s submissions.
A sour end to the “Crown Chronicles”: Rebecca Rath “dethroned”
The 13th volume of the Miss Belize “Crown Chronicles” brought sad news, with a statement from pageant director Opal Enriquez announcing that she is taking time off to pursue personal goals so there will be no Miss Belize Pageant this year, and that effective immediately, the official title of Miss Belize is being handed over to the first runner-up in the 2016 pageant, Marcia Moody—a move that is being interpreted as a clever dethroning of Miss Belize 2016-2017 Rebecca Rath, aka known as “Bexx,” after relations reportedly turned sour between the pageant director and the Raths following the Miss Universe Pageant held in Manila, the Philippines, this January.
“We will not be holding a 2017 Miss Belize Pageant. It is my understanding that several parties have applied for the 2017 Miss Universe Franchise and to date none has been confirmed,” Enriquez added.
Belizeans’ hearts swelled with pride on Saturday when the news slowly filtered in that our own Kaina Martinez had medaled in her first two events for the Texas A&M University, Kingsville team at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States) Track & Field Championships in Bradenton, Florida. Kaina and her TAMU Kingsville teammates placed third in the 4×100 meter relay; and she followed that up with an electrifying second place in the 100 meter dash.
After languishing in Belize for the best part of her youthful athletic career, Kaina landed a full athletic scholarship to Texas A&M University, Kingsville in 2013, thanks to the efforts of Belize’s former Olympian, Colin Thurton, then an athletic coach at A&M. Graduating in June of this year, this was Kaina’s farewell performance for her college, and her biggest stage in years, having missed the 2016 Olympic Games.
Belmopan Bandits defends home court to send Pepsi NEBL Finals to a decisive game 3
Game 2 of the Pepsi NEBL finals was played last night at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. It was do or die for the home squad, Belmopan Bandits, who was down 0–1 in the best-of-three series against San Pedro Tiger Sharks. San Pedro Tiger Sharks, on the other hand, was smelling blood in the waters, and came out to finish off the series, and to grab their 3rd NEBL Championship in 4 years.
The UB gymnasium had a huge crowd last night, as the finals intensity was palpable in the arena. From tip-off, the game was very close, and the intensity level was high, given that an NEBL championship was on the line. None of the 2 teams were able to stamp their names on the game, as Belmopan Bandits was nursing a 20–19 lead at the end of the first quarter. Belmopan was able to build on that lead in the second quarter, 28–22, as San Pedro Tiger Sharks was struggling to find any offensive rhythm. However, the visiting squad went on a 10-point scoring run to finish the first half strongly, and to grab the 34–31 lead going into intermission.
NAWL semifinals over
After both National Amateur Women’s League (NAWL) semifinals Game 1 were drawn, the decisive Game 2 were scheduled for this past Saturday, but only one semifinal was actually played. That is because Sagitun Strikers from Independence forfeited their scheduled game on Saturday night at the MCC, where Belize City FC got the victory by default, and will now move on to the best-of-2 games championship series.
The other semifinal Game 2 was played on Sunday evening at the FFB Stadium, where Jewel Fury FC of Belmopan came away with the 3-nil win over Gladiators FC from Orange Walk. It was a very well-played game, despite the few fans in attendance. The difference turned out to be the speed advantage of young Fury striker, Ashley Rodriguez over the Gladiators’ central defenders. Matching speed with tremendous skill,
National Over-40 Tournament 2017 to kick off this weekend
We’ve been hearing rumors for some time now about the start of a National Over-40 Tournament, and today we finally got some official communication, from Peter Alvarez of Belmopan, the “Chairman, National Over-40.”
According to Alvarez, seven teams are scheduled to participate in the tournament: BDF Veterans; Kulture Yabra; Belmopan Veterans; Benque Veterans FC; Mango Creek Veterans; San Ignacio Quintas; and San Pedro Veterans.
Now in its sixth year, the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito at the MCC Grounds in Belize City has been a big success so far; and indications are it could be heading for “higher heights,” as the level of play, and the intensity of competition increases. Indeed, with the most teams ever, 12 this year, now at Week 7 and 4 more weeks of games remaining, there are all of 8 teams still in contention for the top-4 playoff spots. We will have the complete official standings in our next issue, but from our unofficial numbers so far, Ladyville Rising Stars leads with 15 pts, followed by Heights FC with 14 pts, City Boys 13 pts, Hattieville Riverside Boys 13 pts, Brown Bombers 12 pts, Young Warriors 12 pts, Carlston FC 11 pts, Reality Youths 8 pts, Belize Elementary 3 pts, Collet Strikers 2 pts, Sampson Academy 2 pts, and Ladyville Jaguars 2 pts.
Editorial: Families, groups, and corporations
Today we want to do something different from what we usually do, and look at the politics of Belize from above, from the perspective of the wealthy, powerful families, groups, and corporations which finance the two major political parties – the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). (At this newspaper we are always considering Belize’s politics from the base of the socio-economic pyramid, because the base is from where we originated in 1969 and it is this base to which we are loyal.)
All the political chatter which takes place on the talk shows and in the social media involves exchanges and disputes between and among Belizeans at the socio-economic base. How important is this political chatter where the exercise of real political power is concerned? Real political power is exercised by the Cabinet of Belize, with the Prime Minister as its boss, and it has never, ever been the case in Belize’s modern political history that a Prime Minister has been moved by Belize’s base. Prime Ministers are influenced by the base, but they are never moved. This is because the two fundamental powers of the Prime Minister, his power of taxation and his power to deploy armed security forces, are derived from the constitutional system of Belize as supported by our power structure – our wealthy, powerful families, groups, and corporations.
From the Publisher
In independent Belize, incongruously enough, there is less public intellectual life than there was in colonial British Honduras. What I see in independent Belize is more party politics, and I see more denominational religion.
I do not consider the morning talk shows as constituting public intellectual life, nor do I consider the social media exchanges as such. The importance of public intellectual life is that it tends to restrain party politics from becoming religious in its fervor, while it provides a check on the inclinations of ambitious clerics to interfere in the political world.
A few months ago two relatively young professionals, one a dentist and the other an attorney, who were known members of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), died within days of each other. On the morning talk show run by the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), one of the hosts insisted on ascribing the untimely deaths to the supposed iniquity of the political party to which the deceased belonged. This was a theme he has referred to repeatedly, and no one in his party has put his over-exuberance under manners. When unfortunate incidents which affect your political opponents are interpreted as punishments for their sins, this is what I consider as seeking to move mundane politics into the religious realm.
Breaking Belize News
Minister Edmond Castro’s U.S. Visa revoked
Edmond Castro, Minister of National Emergency Management and Area Representative for Belize Rural North, issued a statement today to inform the public that he was notified by the U.S. Embassy, that his Diplomatic and Tourist visas have been revoked, and that no specific reason was stated for the revocation.
Rebecca Rath remains Ms. Belize Universe; pageant to be held
Queen of the Jewel Ltd., the company that owns the rights to the Miss Belize pageant, issued a press release today clarifying that its official position is that Rebecca Rath is still the current Miss Belize and will serve the remainder of her duties. It also said that in contradiction to the announcement made by former pageant director Opal Enriquez, there will indeed be a 2017 pageant.
Bandit Nation? We should not be!
The US Embassy says it is aware of reports of inappropriate use of the Coast Guard boats, gifted to Belize by the US government, and that it is gathering additional information in response to the allegations.
Ministry of Defense defends Bandits’ use of Coast Guard vessels
The Ministry of Defense, today, defended its use of Coast Guard vessels and fuel donated by the United States government to shuttle Minister John Saldivar’s Bandits team to San Pedro for games on the island. According to the ministry’s release, the deployment of armed […]
Man decapitated in Toledo
On Sunday night shortly before 8:00, Independence Police received information of a body found beside the highway in Bella Vista Village, Toledo. Police checked between miles 45 and 46 on the Southern highway where cops saw the body of Armando Alvarenga , 21, of […]
NICH distances itself from Miss Belize controversy
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), issued a press release yesterday distancing itself from the release and decision made by Opal Enriquez, former Ms. Belize pageant director, to cut Rebecca Rath’s reign as Miss Belize short. NICH said it is in no […]
Chiquibul and Forest reserves get 6 new vehicles
Yesterday, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) hosted an official vehicle handing over ceremony in Belmopan. Six new vehicles, valued at a total of $450,146.30 were handed over to the four beneficiaries of the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII). The CFII Consortium includes the […]
Missing Esperanza teen found
Avi Leannie Flowers, the 16-year-old student who was reported missing yesterday, has been found alive and in good health. Flowers’s mother, Stephanie Crawford, posted on social media that the teen had been found. “Just want to say to all that my daughter is home […]
GSU finds weed in Belize City
On Saturday around 11:00 a.m., members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) conducted searches in an apartment complex off Saint Jude Street, Belize City, in the “Back a Town” area. The unit found a black plastic bag containing 110 grams of Cannabis. The drugs […]
Belize – The Demographics of Migration and Graduation
The current population of Belize is realistically around 400,000…..although official estimates are only 374,651….there are a lot of undocumented people living in the country. For comparison, the population in 1981 was 145,859….and in 2000 was 243,168. The population has grown around 160% since Independence. […]
Body found floating in sea in Corozal
A body was found this morning floating in the sea in front of the St. Francis Xavier School in Corozal. The body was found in a short black pants. The unidentified person’s clothes was also found on the warf. Reports indicate he may have […]
Destination Placencia, Belize? Maya Island Air, Please!
By Giulianna Tonti. The good ‘ole proverbial fork-in-the-road had me momentarily disoriented, as I had never had to veer straight through the “Connecting Flights” swing doors at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport. As a creature of habit I had instinctively veered right to exit the airport where my ride to San Ignacio, Cayo would normally be waiting for me. However, this time around, I was surely in for a treat, as my travel itinerary called for a connecting flight with the renowned domestic airline Maya Island Air destined to the both untouched and untouchable Placencia.
I arrived at the Maya Island Air check-in counter and introduce myself. Before any of the staff even knew I was there to write an article for BelizeHub.com, I am greeted with the warmest of smiles and professional pleasantries. This is in fact a true sign of genuine, quality customer service. If you have the pleasure of checking in with Oprah, there is no doubt that you will feel like you are indeed in good hands.
Commentary: OAS dysfunctionality requires Charter review
By Sir Ronald Sanders.The spectacle, which was a complete breakdown of all the norms of diplomatic discourse, resulted from the dysfunctionality of the OAS; the antiquated nature of its governing Charters; and the long overdue need for a revision of its procedural rules.
On March 28, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) experienced a public spectacle of disarray that, in 36 years of diplomatic life in many international and multinational organizations, I have never witnessed. A similar observation was made by many other seasoned ambassadors.
A highly fractious and contentious public meeting – carried live via an Internet streaming – was brought to a premature end with some delegations on their feet, ready to walk-out. The occasion was a request by 18 member states, which included four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, to discuss the situation in Venezuela – a situation, described by governments, think-tanks and non-governmental organizations as dire.
Central American refugees turn again to Belize – but find it far less welcoming
The country was once a haven for victims of outside violence – but the government has recently taken a hardline approach amid anti-Hispanic feeling. pair of young farmhands wait for a ride at an idle junction under a coconut palm on a blistering day in south Belize. A short drive east is a fishing village of Garifunas – mixed-race descendants of African slaves and indigenous Arawaks – while along the highway to the west are clusters of Mayan thatched huts.
It’s too hot to walk the few miles to Bella Vista, a dusty Spanish-speaking migrant community whose inhabitants mostly work in the surrounding banana plantations and shrimp farms – part of the steady flow of seasonal labourers from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, drawn here by higher wages and plentiful work.
Belize has long counted on its neighbours to prop up its sugar cane and fruit farms, but in recent years, violence in the three countries has generated a surge in new arrivals searching not for work, but for survival.
Belize Accuses OneCoin Promoter of Illegal Trading
The government of Belize has issued a cease-and-desist order to one of the main promoters of OneCoin, a digital currency investment scheme widely believed to be fraudulent.
The International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Belize's financial markets regulator, accused One Life Network Limited of "conducting trading without first obtaining the required license" – an allegation that echoes one issued by BaFin, Germany’s top finance regulator.
In April, BaFin took a harsh stance against the investment scheme, ordering its organizers to dismantle trading facilities and to cease operating in the country. Other countries, including India, have also moved to curtail the activities of OneCoin promoters.
Belize: New WBG Country Partnership Framework to support economic and social resilience
Today, the Board of Executive Directors endorsed a new World Bank Group (WBG) five-year Country Partnership Framework in support of Belize’s efforts to strengthen the resilience of its economy and promote opportunities for all Belizeans. Belize’s economy relies on tourism and agro-business as its two main drivers of growth. Tourism employs 28 percent of the population and represents 21 percent of GDP. As a small and open economy, the country is highly exposed to external shocks and is vulnerable to extreme weather events — with average annual losses from natural disasters amounting to almost four percent of GDP.
CDB approves millions in loans and grants for ten borrowing member countries
On Monday, May 22, the board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), met in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. It approved the following projects in The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The CDB has approved a grant of GBP700,000 to the government of Belize to fund a feasibility study for the upgrading of the Philip S. W. Goldson Highway. The project is being supported through the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF), which is administered by CDB.
The Anglican Diocese of BelizeMedical Mission 2017
Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church, Pembroke Pines, Florida and its outreach organization, Friends Reaching Friends are organizing, in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Belize, their 4th mission trip to Belize, from June 10 to June 17, 2017. This year’s mission will be in the Cayo District and will include adult and pediatric health care. Persons interested in free accessing free medical care including blood pressure screening, blood sugar testing and vision screening may visit the Georgeville Community Center between June 12 and 16.
Master Tour de Santino 40 years & Older Cycling, 28min.
Precision 'n' Style Dance Group - A Modern Dream Dance Show, 17min.
Burke it Down Jenny Social Media & Relationships & Its Impact on Mental Health, 33min.
Belize Tire Depot, 1min.
Belize Diving 2016, 10min.
La Gracia Village receives first of its kind smart solar power system in Belize, 4min. In its effort to provide access to electricity for all Belizeans, the Government of Belize inaugurated a state-of-the-art Smart Solar off-grid rural electrification project in La Gracia Village in the Cayo District. Here’s more on this …
Congratulations to Elsia Pop, recent recipient of the Princess Diana Legacy Award! (1:28), 2.5min. Pop appears at 1:28 in video. Recognising 20 outstanding leaders, visionaries and role models changing the world as Princess Diana believed they could. These 20 young people received their awards from HRH Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry at St. James's Palace Thursday 18th May 2017.
Belize Resort - Couple, Las Terrazas, 5min.
2017 05 02 Esmerelda's Canyon with Belize Pro Dive Ctr, 13min. - Six nurse sharks waiting for us at drop-in. Video is mostly shark ...
Belize trip, 10min.
Miami - Belize, 12min. 2017 walkabout. Three days in Miami and two weeks in Belize......
MONKEY RIVER FEATURE STORY, 7min.
PLACENCIA PIER OPENS, 4min.
Disaster Management Focal Point, 18min.
The 9th Annual Flowers Bank Festival, 27min.
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the Belize Cancer Society (BCS), 28min.
Book - The Healing Circle, 24min.
The National Committee for Families and Children Agenda 2017-2030., 42min.
Belize SCUBA, 3min.
New Horizons Belize 2014, 6min. This program provides an overview of u.s. southern command-sponsored, joint foreign military interaction/humanitarian exercise. As part of New Horizons Exercise Program, troops specializing in engineering, construction and health care provided needed services to communities while receiving valuable deployment training and building important relationships with partner nations. Brief U.S. and foreign military and dignitaries on USSOUTCHOM sponsored exercise.
Scuba Diving Belize, 5min. Filmed at Turneffe and Lighthouse Reef Atolls in Belize with a GoPro Hero 2 w/ red filter.
Belize Day 3, 5.5min. Here we go from butterflies to San Pedro.
Police Check Point Talk Show, 63min.
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