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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
Lead changes in second week of Belikin National 8-Ball Pool Tournament
The Belikin National 8-Ball Pool Tournament continues. Friday, June 16th and Saturday, June 17th saw four action-packed games, as eight teams defended their standings in the second week of the competition.
Team Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars had been leading but after a fall to Team Legends, they are now in second place, along with Rack Dawgs. Team Amigos now lead the tournament with a comfortable score of 31. Games continue this weekend at Barrel Bar, beginning at 6PM on both Friday and Saturday.
SPTC’s Five-a-side Football nearing playoffs
After six weeks of action-packed games held, the San Pedro Town Council’s (SPTC) Five-a-side Football Tournament is nearing its playoffs. So far, four male teams have qualified: Rough & Tough, Jokers FC, Los Catrachos, and Terror Squad. This past week’s games took place on Wednesday, June 14th to Saturday, June 17th, in the Under-15, Under-13, and male division. As usual, large crowds came out to the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex to support their favorite players and teams. Games continue this week, starting on Wednesday, June 21st at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex, starting at 7PM.
SP Police Officers Behind Bars after Robbing a Tourist at Gunpoint
On Thursday night, June 15th, while smoking a cigarette with a new acquaintance outside of a popular downtown bar and restaurant, Timothy Braun, a 28 year-old tourist from Wisconsin USA, was apprehended by three San Pedro police officers. The officers, who were on a golf cart and dressed in uniform, accused him of smoking marijuana. Braun informed the officers that he was smoking tobacco, but was promptly told they were taking him in for smoking weed. He was handcuffed behind his back and placed on the back seat of the golf cart. According to Braun, the officers drove him to a dark area along the Boca del Rio River just before reaching the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge.
Public Service Officers recognized in Ambergris Caye
In commemoration of the upcoming United Nations’ Public Service Day, scheduled for Friday, June 23rd, several public officers on Ambergris Caye were treated to a social evening on Saturday, June 17th at the Great House in Mahogany Bay Village. Outstanding public officers who have been devoted to the government for 20 years or more were recognized, including non-governmental island residents who in one way or another have tremendously contributed to the island community. The special event was filled with music, great food, refreshments and fabulous giveaways via raffles held throughout the night.
Team Catrachos takes first place in SPTC Father’s Day Football Marathon
The San Pedro Town Council along with the San Pedro Sports Committee hosted a fun filled Father’s Day football marathon on Sunday, June 18th at the Ambergris Stadium. The marathon was the first of its kind, and despite the gloomy weather, a total of six teams, male and female, along with dedicated football fans, showed up. Participating in the male division were, Catrachos, United F.C, Joker F.C and Costa Boys, while the female teams were, Island Strikers, and San Pedro High School.
Open Day At The San Pedro Police Station
The San Pedro Police Department held its “Open Day Fair” today, June 21, to educate the community about the different departments and their regulations. They spoke about the Family and Violence Unit; how family problems are dealt with and what determines the consequences to wrong actions; what regulations are broken when violence takes place and what are the consequences of these actions.
Police Officers also spoke about revenue collection and administration services. They took the time to explain how information is gathered when an incident occurs and what information can and cannot be shared with the public. The fair was organized to educate the community and also create a closer relationship between residents and police officers.
Police Week Kicked Off In San Pedro
This week the Police Departments all over Belize are celebrating Police Week. In the best of their abilities to give back to their communities and surpass the inclement weather, Police Officers have taken time off their busy schedules.
The San Pedro Police Department has organized a full week of events to give back to the island community. On Monday, June 19, a clean up campaign and painting project at Boca Del Rio Park was held. The officers worked on beautifying the public bathrooms at the park that were ruined with graffiti.
Misc Belizean Sources
Interested in Opportunities in Belize – Apply for the Diaspora Look See Visits 2017
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is implementing its ‘Look See Visits 2017’ in Belize, which seeks to engage the Belizean Diaspora, interested in capitalizing on investment opportunities in Belize. One key strategy of the project’s delivery, is the encouragement of diaspora entrepreneur to pay a confirmative visit to Belize. The aim of this strategy is to generate business interest and confidence, which seeks to result in investments in new and innovative business initiatives.
This initiative is being done through the Effective and Sustainable Diaspora Engagement for Development in the Caribbean (ESDEDC) project which is designed to contribute to the region’s economy by providing and giving impetus to socio – economic programs and initiatives. It is envisaged that such programs and initiatives will generate a variety of economic alternatives and employment for low-income communities in Belize.
Public Service Day at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School
The Institute of Archaeology along with the Institute for Social & Cultural Research and the National Institute of Culture and History were present at Public Service Day at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School compound. Come visit us, play games and learn about fascinating Belizean cultures.
Lobster Fest Weekend Beach Party @ Secret Paradise Beach Bar
Sunday, June 25th. Bar opens around 9:30 and band will be there for the day until like 5:30 ish pm...dont miss out.
Letter: Response to Belizean Citizens Abroad
By Wellington C. Ramos. Dear President Belizeans Abroad Mr Mario Lara, Belizean Organizations, Professor Williams, Ms Muriel Laing-Arthurs, Belizeans living in Belize and all Belizeans living abroad,
I am pleased to announce that younger Belizeans in the United States are taking up the struggle to seek the rights for Belizean citizens abroad. However, I'm concerned about the ways and methods that are being used to get the two major political parties, namely, UDP and PUP to act on our behalf. I have come to the conclusion, that these two major political parties are afraid of the Belizeans who live in the United States and will not do anything to grant us our basic fundamental constitutional rights.
Sharks are worth more alive than dead!
These juveniles were documented at a fish market in Belize City getting prepped for retail to local restaurants for popular dishes like panades. Alternatives exist! As keystone species, sharks help to maintain the health of the entire ecosystem. Sustainability must drive managment to protect fishing livelihoods.
Police Week Open day at the Queen Street Police station
We had a wild day sharing information about our work with many students. Here are some highlights of Police Week Open day at the Queen Street Police station where approximately 450 students visited the booths! A great day sharing with the students the work of the Belize Audubon Society.
Termite inventory was a success!
To our surprise we ended up collecting in 2 weeks twice more termite samples, than it was ever done in Belize. So, that is a major leap in learning about those fascinating creatures. Next step will be creating educational materials, creating hands-on activities and share it all with the primary school children. Final 2 days- cleaning all the 400 vials of collected termites, labeling, creating reference collection. Angela- our termite specialist - finished it all with the great mini workshop for us and even tested our knowledge- it was fun!
UB to Honour 530 Graduates during its June Commencement Exercises
The University of Belize will honour 530 Graduates during its June Commencement Exercises to be held on Saturday, 24th June, 2017, and Sunday, 25th June, 2017 at the City of Belmopan and Punta Gorda Town respectively. The ceremony will commence at 10:00 am at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan while in Punta Gorda it will commence at 2:00 p.m. at the Toledo Community College Auditorium. The keynote address in Belmopan will be delivered by the Mayor of Belize City, His Worship, Mr. Darrell Bradley. Belizean Educator Dr. Elizabeth Cardenas will be the keynote speaker for the Punta Gorda ceremony.
"Police Week 2017 ." in full swing at the Raccoon Street Compound
d. "The Police and The Community Working in Partnership for a Safer Belize."
Farmers in the Vaca plateau are helping produce bokashi (organic fertilizer) to use on their crops thereby reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers. We are thankful to the British Embassy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service for their support.
Panerrifix Steel Band at San Pedro Lobsterfest
Catch us once again at the San Pedro Lobster Festival Block Party this Saturday June 24th,2017! As always it promises to be a great show! So bring your dancing feet and lets meet up at the Block Party! See you there!
3rd Annual Soca Fete 2017
Official ribbon cutting of Slingshot Signs and Steve Perera donation to the city of Belize. With Mayor Darrel Bradley, City Admin Candice Miller, Councilor Philip Willoughby, and our esteemed attorney Steve Perera.
Official ribbon cutting of Slingshot Signs and Steve Perera donation to the city of Belize
With Mayor Darrel Bradley, City Admin Candice Miller, Councilor Philip Willoughby, and our esteemed attorney Steve Perera.
San Pedro Lobster Fest Block Party - Saturday, June 25th! PARTY LIKE A LOB-STAR!
Belize Sugar Industries Reaffirms Environmental Commitment
The health of New River is very concerning to everyone in the north of Belize, including to our team at BSI. As a socially and environmentally responsible company, we have an established, comprehensive and transparent process to actively test, monitor and report water samples from New River. We work in collaboration with DOE and remain compliant to our Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) requirements relating to the New River. At BSI, we are proud to proactively uphold our value of care for the environment and conduct our business in a manner that is sustainable and environmentally responsible.
Corozal Public Library - Police Week
It was a long day indeed but a successful and educational one. Thanks to the Community Police Staff of the Corozal Police Department for inviting us to display our Library booth at their open day. Together, we are happy to celebrate Police Week under the theme "THE POLICE AND THE COMMUNITY WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP FOR A SAFER BELIZE"
The organization "Toone Masehualoon" recognized as an NGO
Officially recognized as a group focused on its objectives. The organization "Toone Masehualoon" is an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) in Belize Central America. It is organized to preserve and to promote the rich maya culture in northern Belize by focusing on the rescue and preservation of the Yucatec Maya language, the maya culture, spirituality, traditions, dances and ancient story telling.
Latin America Clothing Drive
The Rotaract Club of Benque distributed clothes to needy people in Arenal.
"La actividad Vistiendo Latinoamérica nace después de una exitosa jornada durante la semana Rotaract 2015, en la cual se hizo entrega de algo de ropa a personas necesitadas. Se decidió hacer la actividad mucho más grande. Gracias a un generoso patrocinador, conseguimos donación de múltiples pacas de ropa, las cuales resultaron ser hasta más de lo que nosotros mismos podíamos entregar. La actividad creció al decidir coordinar una entrega masiva de ropa a personas desafortunadas a nivel Latinoamérica, con muchos contactos de otros clubes Rotaract que hicimos durante la Semana Mundial. Tuvimos la participación de 22 clubes Rotaract a nivel latinamericano. Más de 1,500 personas beneficiadas en Honduras y más de 3,400 beneficiadas por los demás clubes a nivel latinoamericano."
Caribbean Countries Convene in Belize for Green Climate Fund
"Representatives from countries in the Caribbean region are in Belize for a four-day Green Climate Fund (GCF) regional meeting to advance collaboration with the Fund and accelerate access to its resources. Organized in partnership with the Government of Belize and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the GCF Structured Dialogue with the Caribbean kicked off on 19 June with a high-level session to put a spotlight on countries’ climate action plans with the Fund.
Today, the U.S. Embassy held a Flag Raising Ceremony in Belmopan in honor of LGBTI Pride Month and the LGBTI community
The flag will be proudly flown at the Embassy until the end of June. This is our second consecutive year raising the flag to show the Embassy’s continued support and commitment to the LGBTI rights and the LGBTI community.
The ceremony featured the following speakers: Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the U.S. Embassy Ms. Adrienne Galanek and Executive Director of UNIBAM, Mr. Caleb Orozco. Also present at the event were members of the civil society, People’s United Party Senator and Diplomatic Corps. LGBTI pride month celebrates the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals, friends and communities have today and have had throughout history on a local, national, and global scale. LGBTI Pride Month is celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in New York which served as a tipping point for the gay liberation movement in the United States. The last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but in major cities across the United States, the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events.
This Day In History
June 21st, 1819 .. The Criminal Court of Belize established by Act of Parliament.
A Pedophile Principal?
The staff, students and parent community of the Monsignor Roman Catholic Primary School in Valley of Peace are on edge after the Principal Johnny Valencia was charged with sexual assault last Thursday. The case involves a 13 year old girl who alleges that the Principal touched her inappropriately. But what is disturbing is that another student has reported that she too was assaulted by Principal Valencia. It is a troubling and very sensitive case and Courtney Weatherburne spoke to both girls and Principal Valencia yesterday in Valley of Peace. To protect the identity of the children we interviewed them off camera and distorted their voices as well as the voices of their parents. Valencia also asked to appear off camera. Here is that comprehensive story with both sides of these allegations.
Education Minister Says It Won't Be Tolerated
We also asked Education Minster Patrick Faber to comment of this case. He didn't have any details but he stressed that the Ministry will not tolerate it.
Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education:
"I have not received an official report of that so I don't feel comfortable commenting on it but in so far as you want to comment on our position on any kind of abuse, including the use of corporal punishment; I've gone on record recently reminding people that our ministry has a zero tolerance for corporal punishment in our schools and it has a zero tolerance for sexual abuse especially in our schools. If it is that there are culprits who are found guilty of this kind of practice, whoever it is around our school community that the ministry will not tolerate that and in fact we will move with whatever swiftness we can find, we can muster and also whatever strength we can muster to deal with those who are guilty."
Ady Pacheco and Citizen Kim
The Weekly Senate Select Hearings on Immigration continued today, the Senate Select Committee called Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco to testify.
Her name started getting called as far back as October 2013, when the Won Hong Kim passport scandal broke. She was one of the officers who handled the Won Hong Kim file, which led to a fraudulent passport being issued for this South Korean fugitive.
She has been mentioned dozens of times in the Auditor General's Report on Immigration, and she was even mentioned in connection with the fraudulent documents granted to the Mexican-American fugitive David Nanes-Schnizter.
Ady Felt Intimidated By Ministers
That conversation on Won Hong Kim led the Senate to start questioning Ady Pacheco on why she accepted the nationality file for the South Korean fugitive, knowing that it was incomplete, and that it should not have been processed.
And that takes us to those famous letters of recommendation from Ministers of government. Today, Pacheco suggested that she felt coerced into doing certain things.
The Audit team had already asked her about the incomplete Citizen Kim file that Penner gave to her. According to her, Penner allegedly promised to bring in the rest of the supporting documents at later date, and that she felt intimidated by Penner, who was the Minister in charge at the time.
Pacheco And The Role She Played in Nanes - Schnitzer
So, while Pacheco claims that she felt pressured in that case, her former superior, Maria Marin, investigated her for the David Nanes-Schitzer scandal, concluding that she played a key role the production of fraudulent immigration documents.
He's the Mexican-American fugitive who fled to Belize and lived here under an alibi for 3 years after he was named in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. But, he didn't have to hide because either he or his associates managed to get around the corrupt Immigration Department to get Nationality and passport, becoming the imaginary Belizean, "David Banes."
Chebat and Pacheco Spar
That wasn't the only time that Chebat challenged Pacheco's story. There were a few other instances where he appeared to downright disbelieve her answers. Here are a few other instances in the Senate Hearing, when the two became adversaries:
Michel Chebat - PUP Senator:
"Were you ever offered any money for the processing of Wong Hong Kim nationality?"
Ady Pacheco - Named in Auditor General's Report:
"Minister Penner never offered you any money?"
"Neither did Mr. Wade?"
City Slaying At 6:30
There was a murder in Belize City about forty minutes ago at 6:25. It happened on King Street where a person was shot and killed in front of Teddy's Store. He was shot in front of the door of Teddy's and that's where the body remains at this time. Police say the person is unknown to them. Our team is on the scene, and we'll have video for you later on in the news.
MIT Makes Major Weed Bust in Cattle Truck
Today in Western Belize the Police Mobile Interdiction Team made a large marijuana bust - totaling about 70 pounds. And while the weight is significant, what's more interesting is how the drugs were being smuggled. 37 parcels of weed were neatly packed into a hidden compartment in the bed of a cattle truck. The MIT made the bust near Ontario village - and Superintendent Leslie Wade says they had to take the truck back to their base to find the hidden compartment:
Cops Caught For Extorting Tourist In San Pedro
San Pedro police were quick to criminally charge two of their own - after a tourist complained of callous cop extortion. 28 year old American Timothy Braun alleged that on the night of Thursday, June 15th, he was in downtown San Pedro, cooling off with a new friend, and smoking a cigarette. That's when three uniformed police officers pulled up in a golf cart and accused him of smoking marijuana. He protested and said it was only tobacco, but the cuffed him, slapped him unto the golf cart and told him they were taking him into the station. But instead, Braun alleges that the cops drove him to a dark area along the Boca del Rio River. That's where they took off his cuffs, and took him to the water's edge, where one of the officers allegedly put a gun to his head and told him that if he did not give them all of his money, he would end up in the river.
US Hoists Rainbow Flag
One year ago, the US Embassy in Belmopan raised the Rainbow or Gay Pride flag on the Embassy Compound. At the time, there was a great big uproar and outrage by the Christian right and many regular folks who felt it offended Belizean cultural norms. Today, one year later - in observance of Gay Pride Month, the Embassy did the same - and it barely even made a blip on the radar screen of current affairs. Now, you can view that either as a sign of progress towards tolerance, or a general state of apathy, but to hear Caleb Orozco tell it, it's a step forward. Here's our report on today's event:
Mixing Morality and Sexual Politics
Orozco and Senator Woods also had some choice remarks for the Church-State Morality Commission. As we told you the church side of that group has come to a deadlock - because the Anglican and Methodist Bishops pulled out of the group. Orozco says that is the least of the faults with this commission - and Senator Woods backed him up:
Caleb Orozco - LGBTI:
"The problem with the morality commission or as Minister Faber say it the church state commission is that it not only legitimize extremism, it also excluded the marginalized group in that discussion and did not uphold the values of natural justice which require government arbitrate the issue by bringing both parties at the table and what has happened to the commission is that it shows that as Belizeans we are not a society of extreme thinkers, we are open to constructive and logical responses and that is the way we move forward."
GOB Says No To IMF Tax Hike
Last week Friday, the IMF issued the customary statement after its Article IV consultation. Noting the projection for lackluster growth and stifling debt, the IMF advised the government to increase the raise the GST rate from 12.5% to 15%, along with limiting zero-rated items and cutting public sector jobs. Today, we spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber about the report, and whether we should expect to see an increase in taxes anytime soon...
Hon. Patrick Faber - Deputy Prime Minister:
"Well you will always find that these recommendations coming from the IMF are stern and stiff. Traditionally under the leadership of our current prime minister, we have tried to address the problems in our economy by not always following the prescription from the IMF. Those are often very stern and in fact we have had occasion in the past to learn very difficult lessons politically from following tee tie toe what the IMF recommends."
Deputy Party Leader Faber Says UDP Ready
Faber also spoke to us about next year's municipal elections. is the deadline for potential candidates to submit their names to the UDP secretariat, so we asked the Deputy Party Leader about the candidate selection process, and his hopes for the upcoming elections...
Hon. Patrick Faber - Deputy Prime Minister
"We invite people who are interested all over the country for the - I think we have 9 municipal bodies for them to put in their applications. Once those applications are in there is a vetting process that is a part of the way we operate in the UDP, there is a nomination's committee that will look to all of these applications to make sure that those who have applied are suitable candidates and by suitable we mean they meet the criteria of us in the UDP who believe in putting forward righteous candidates and then once those candidates are accepted, the party will move to hold its conventions."
Councillor Dion Says Fourth Time's The Charm
Dion Leslie is one of the eight UDP Councillors who submitted his name today. even though it's his fourth go-around, he told us that it still feels like the first time:
Dion Leslie - UDP City Councillor:
"Well 8 of the 10 incumbent councillors, we had to hand our application forms formally to the secretariat basically showing our intention to contest the 2018 municipal elections again for Belize City. 8 of us went but we're still 10 strong, I know for reasons Alifa was not able to make it and Phillip Willoughby was not able to make it this morning as well but we still went ahead and we did it. The deadline is next week Friday, the deadline for everyone to submit their applications if they intend to seek office or intend to run or intend to contest a seat in the convention but this morning all of us we went in this morning to officially hand in and to show our intent to run again."
Faber Comments On Castro's
Minister of Transport and NEMO Edmund Castro's sons, Wasani and Jafari, have dominated the news this past week.
This is after an eventfulFriday when they were involved in multiple criminal allegations. In just 16 hours, the Castro boys were allegedly caught driving without driver's licenses in an unlicensed vehicle, allegedly threatening and assaulting the officer that busted them, then allegedly getting beat up by police, then allegedly attacking another officer in a police station, and, then, 16 hours later, caught with 89 cases of contraband beer in Orange Walk.
Since then, the Castros have agreed to settle the contraband matter out of court, and the officer that busted them in the unlicensed vehicle has agreed not to pursue the charges because he instigated the situation.
Awarding PSE Excellence
The official results of this years Primary School Examination came out earlier this month. And while there wasn't much noticeable improvement from last year's failing performance, as always there were those hundreds of bright stars - brilliant students who excel. Today, an award ceremony was held to honor this year's Top 25 performers. We spoke to Minister of Education Patrick Faber about the event, and how the Ministry plans on working with schools to improve the performance of our students...
OAS 47th Over
The 47th Organization of American States General Assembly concluded today. Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington joined dignitaries from 34 other member nations in Cancun, Mexico to discuss necessary methods for developing the region, and establishing strategies to address issues concerning human rights and citizen security. This year's General Assembly was held under the theme "Strengthening Dialogue and Concentration for Prosperity".
They Got Gotoy
Today 42 year old Michelle Gotoy appeared in the Magistrate's Court where she was charged with drug trafficking. In December of last year, Gotoy was allegedly standing on on the corner of Hondo and Sibun Streets in Belize City when a police mobile patrol stopped and asked her if she had anything to declare. Gotoy handed over some cannabis she was keeping in her purse, but the cops noticed a transparent plastic bag in her other hand. When they checked the bag, police found 15 aluminum foil wrapped parcels containing crack cocaine. Together the parcels weighed about half an ounce.
Police Hold Open Days Countrywide
Police formations across the country held open days today. It's a huge undertaking where scores of police officers organize the exhibits and invite partner agencies to join them. And they do it all in their spare time - for which they don't get paid overtime. Press officer Douglas Hyde told us more:
King Street Killing Confirmed
And while the police are putting their very best foot forward this week, the criminals aren't cooperating. There was a murder in the downtown area of Belize city a little over an hour ago. Police just moved the body of a victim who was shot right in front of Teddy's Store at about 20 minutes after 6:00. He died on the spot. The scenes of crime team spent over an hour processing the scene. Police have not released his name yet, but we'll have full details tomorrow.