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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

Employees of Norwegian Escape Cruise Ship busted with drugs
After the Norwegian Escape Cruise Ship (NECS) made a port of call at their Harvest Caye Island getaway on Tuesday June 13th, three employees of the ship, two nationals of St. Lucia and one from St. Vincent, were charged with two counts of 'Drug Trafficking". According to the official police report, NECS security officers initially reported that they found suspected cocaine in a cabin, which was occupied by 30 year-old Derson Frank of St. Vincent. The Placencia Police were called to the ship docked at Harvest Caye around 8:45AM, and escorted Frank to his cabin. While conducting a search within, they found controlled drugs. The total amount of drugs weighed was a little over two kilograms, or four and a half pounds. During the investigation, it was revealed that two other men were involved: Renaldo Kerron Roberts of St. Vincent and Jamal Nathus Celise of St. Lucia. All three men were arrested and jointly charged with two counts of 'Drug Trafficking' and were remanded to the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville, Ladyville.

Caye Caulker team stars in Beach Football Tournament
Caye Caulker's The Lazy Lizard Restaurant' kicked off its first annual Beach Football Tournament on Saturday, June 17th. Five teams from across Belize took part-San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belmopan, Belize City, and Corozal. While only one team from each region was able to participate, Los Catrachos FC team of San Pedro represented the Caye Caulker team. From 9:30AM to 4PM, all teams put their football skills in full motion, hoping to claim the grand prize and bragging rights. After several matches, the Caye Caulker team was crowned the champions. Tony Maldonado, coach and player of the Caye Caulker team, told to The San Pedro Sun that he was thrilled for his team's victory. He stated that determination was the key to his team winning. "We always aim to win, but this was not easy. It was tough game, but with dedication and determination, we always persevere," said Maldonado.

Works to begin soon on Ambergris Caye morgue
Ambergris Caye is one step closer in starting the construction for a morgue on the island, after a follow up meeting on Thursday, June 15th. Officials from the Ministry of Health, the police, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and members of the Embassy of the United States of America met at the office of Mayor Daniel Guerrero, to discuss the morgue building plans, and the commitment of the Embassy to have the facility ready in the upcoming months. The San Pedro Police Formation believes that a morgue on the island will greatly assist them in solving major crimes. They currently struggle when it comes to homicide cases. Due to the lack of space to properly hold bodies, their work is jeopardized at times.

Misc Belizean Sources


Various government departments from Corozal are today disseminating information as it relates to their portfolios. If you have questions relating to BAHA, Immigration, Customs, Income Tax, Traffic & Transport, Fire Department, Police, Ministry of Works, etc. please drop by and you will be attended very humbly.

BEL Reports on 2016 Performance to Shareholders at Annual General Meeting
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 to report to shareholders on the Company's performance and achievements for the year 2016 as it pursues its Vision to become A Model of Excellence. BEL outperformed its 2016 financial targets, following four consecutive years of stellar performance, with net earnings of $27.3 million. Shareholders were rewarded for their confidence in the Company with dividends declared of $0.29 per share or $20.3 million. After five consecutive reductions, electricity rates increased marginally. However, the prudent management of energy purchases from Independent Power Producers (IPP) was critical to maintaining low electricity rates. Local renewable sources were utilized for 56% of the electricity provided by BEL in 2016 and the aim is to increase to 80% by 2025. The Company will continue its ongoing negotiations with potential IPPs, in its efforts to maintain low electricity rates.

RET International promotes prevention youth of engagement in criminal activities
The U.S. Embassy in Belize is happy to support RET International in its efforts to prevent youth engagement in criminal activities through providing employment and leadership opportunities. A component of this project is the Quick/Quality Impact Projects (QIPs) initiative which engages student groups from Sadie Vernon High School and Sacred Heart High School in the development of projects that will help to improve the neighborhood. Students from Sadie Vernon are working on video productions for awareness campaigns entitled, "Give Respect to Get Respect" and "Behind the Walls." The first campaign aims at improving the interaction between police officers and the public during a stop and search encounter. The second campaign reveals what life is like for detained young persons at the Wagner Facilities.

Grand Caribe Belize to Host 1st Annual International Deep Sea Classic Fishing Tournament
Grand Caribe Belize is excited to announce the launch of their first annual fishing tournament at Ambergris Caye, Belize, on July 7th through July 9th, 2017. Fisherman/women of all ages are invited to the 1st Annual International Deep Sea Classic Fishing Tournament sponsored by Grand Caribe Resort this July 7th-9th in Ambergris Caye, Belize. This tournament is offering Belize dollar prizes totaling $44,000 in cash with 1st place receiving $15,000, 2nd place receiving $10,000, 3rd place receiving $7,000, 4th place receiving $4,000 and 5th place receiving $1,500. There will also be a series of prizes offered for the heaviest fish by type and the top angler overall, top female and top junior. With regards to accommodations, Grand Caribe is offering amazing discounted rates making accommodations affordable for all participants.

The Government of Belize Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today between the Government of Belize (GOB) and Microsoft Service at an official ceremony held in Belize City. This agreement marks a new step in a long-term relationship between Belize and global technology giant (Microsoft LLC) to help in meeting government's National Digital Transformation Goals. At the last Annual General Meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (April 27th 2017), Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced GOB's plan to combat government inefficiency and corruption using digital technology. Microsoft intends to help the Central Information and Technology Office (CITO) develop and deliver on its National Digital Transformation Improvement plan by: consolidating all its existing agreements into one holistic agreement for improved control and better pricing, helping the CITO team towards developing and adopting a cloud strategy and policy, and deploying a solution that will provide a single platform for a more connect, cohesive, collaborative government.

COMISCA Meeting of Ministers of Health
COMISCA Meeting of Ministers of Health of Central America & Dominican Republic currently meeting in Costa Rica to discuss and address regional health topics. Belize is represented by Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin.

Employment Opportunity
The Statistical Institute of Belize invites applications for the following TEMPORARY POSITIONS for three to four months, starting August 2017.

PACT's Environmental Fellowship Award 2017
Apply now for PACT's Environmental Fellowship Award 2017. This Award is valued at BZ $50K and is designed to provide financial assistance to mid-career and/or senior professional Belizeans. DEADLINE: August 11.

4th Annual Spartan Bodybuilding Classic
Introducing the date for the 4th Annual Spartan Bodybuilding Classic organised by Spartan Fitness Gym in Corozal Town. This event has become a much-anticipated bodybuilding and fitness competition and event in our town. This is where champions are made.

Corozal Animal Program
My name is Sue Paoletti and I work with the Corozal Animal Program (CAP). I wanted to give you an idea of the work we are doing with the animals in Corozal. So far this year we have had 24 dogs and 5 cats fixed and found homes for 17 dogs and 4 cats. We are looking at putting on another spay and neuter clinic in the near future and are very proud of the difference we are making in our animal community. Here are ways you can help: 1. Become a member of CAP for only $20 and receive discounts for local businesses - see the attached flyer for our June specials. 2. Foster or adopt one (or more!!) of our puppies and dogs. We currently have 6 four month old puppies - 2 boys and 4 girls who are looking for a temporary or permanent home. See pictures below of two of them.

Manakin 10/20km Maya Mountain Race
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is having the Manakin 10/20km Maya Mountain Race on Sunday, July 16th. The race course is from Cristo Rey to San Antonio. "Ready, set and go... get started to train for this: Enjoy nature's beauty, join the race for conservation and challenge yourself and run 10 or 20 km in the gorgeous Maya Mountains between Cristo Rey and San Antonio, on July 16th 2017 starting at 5:30 am. Walkers welcome for the 10 km distance. More information on registration coming soon."

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Kong: Skull Island, Song to Song, The Zookeeper's Wife, Smurf's: The Lost Village. CLOSED SATURDAY NIGHT.

Belize Association of Museums is now incorporated!
It's official.... The official signing ceremony took place today at the Museum of Belize. Special thanks to all the museums and collectors who have pledged their commitment to protecting and preserving Belize's cultural and historical heritage.

Meet Miss Costa Maya 2017 Delegate - Miss Mexico, Ximena Cardoso Guti�rrez
Age: 24 years old. Height: 5'9″. Profession/Profecion: Degree in International Affairs and TV Host. Hobbies: Read, travel, ride a bike, do exercise, modeling. I enjoy a deep conversation, read the news at the morning, my best part of the day is to be alone,meditate and do some yoga. Stay on touch with the nature. Go shopping, spend time with my family.

Channel 7

Killed On King Street While Buying DVD
During last night's news, we told you about the murder that had just happened on King Street. The victim is 36 year old Jermaine Franklin, and tonight police have the alleged gunman. Today, our news team spoke to police and Franklin's sister about about the murder which really came out of nowhere. Here's Alex Courtenay with that story... 36 year old Jermaine Franklin was buying a few DVDs on King Street when he was gunned down. Just after Franklin walked into the DVD store, the assailant ran in after him and fired several shots at his back. Franklin collapsed on the street, and the gunman fled. When the police responded it was to pick up the body and process the scene - which took over an hour.

PM Puts the Brakes On IMF, Fast
Yesterday we showed you what the Deputy Prime Minister had to say about the IMF's recommendations to raise GST from 12.5% to 15%. The advice came in the IMF's required Article IV Consultations. Deputy PM Patrick Faber told us that the government will reject the suggestions and find a way to grow the economy in its own way. In an interview this afternoon, Prime Minister Dean Barrow put it even more emphatically... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "You know I made the point to the IMF in the wrap-up meeting we had that when we first re-engaged with the bondholders trying to restructure again the super bond, initially they had sought to insist that a pre-condition to our discussions ought to be Belize's entry into an IMF program. We absolutely rejected that and we proceeded on the basis that Belize is quite capable of writing its own prescriptions and going its own way."

PM Restoreth Pakeman
Barrow also gave us an update about the status of Government Press Office Director, Dorian Pakeman, who has been on suspension since September 2016 for knocking down and killing Dean Dawson. Pakeman was driving a government issued Isuzu D-Max at the time. Pakeman was charged for causing death by careless conduct, but one month ago, the case fell apart when the judge found there wasn't enough evidence to go to trial. And, now Pakeman is back in his senior post at the Press Office, but not after a soft warning from the Prime Minister...

PM Says Castro Brothers Controversy Overblown
The Prime Minister also gave us his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Cabinet Minister Edmund Castro's sons, Wasani and Jafari and their eventful Friday the 16th. The Castro boys were caught driving without licenses, allegedly assaulted the police, and also allegedly beaten by the police, and then 16 hours later, busted with 89 cases of contraband beer. And after all of that, they didn't appear in court to answer to any charges - all the matters were settled one way or another. Barrow told us that while unfortunate, he doesn't think the actions Castro's adult sons should be as controversial as they have been...

More Accusations From Monsignor Romero Primary
Tonight we have more on the Valley of Peace case where the Principal of Monsignor Romero Roman Catholic Primary School was charged for sexual assault. The allegation is that Principal Johnny Valencia kissed a 13 year old student on the lips and tried to grab her buttocks. While Valencia was only charged for that case, an 11 year old student has come forward to say that Valencia allegedly kissed her on the lips in February. Tonight we start off with the 13 year old's allegation again followed by statements from the girl's mother. After that Valencia comes in denying the allegations and we also spoke to one of Valencia's colleagues who supports him. Here are those comments:

Cayo Police Have Another Murder To Investigate
From simply a 'body found' case to a murder investigation: 52 year old Jorge Lemus's post mortem has been released. Lemus was found dead in a drain in Unitedville on Saturday morning. He had bruises on his left eye and the left side of his face was swollen. As we told you, police were treating it as just a body found at that point but the post mortem results say that the cause of death is cardiac thrombosis due to brain hemorrhage, which is as a result of head, neck and chest trauma. Police say that they now suspect that foul play was involved and they will treat this case as a murder investigation until proven otherwise. We will keep following this case.

Lemus Charged For Trafficking 72 Pounds
Another Lemus who was in the news recently is Jason Miller Lemus. He's the cattle truck driver who was behind the wheel when police found 37 parcels of marijuana in a secret compartment under the truck bed. He has been charged for drug trafficking. Police believe Lemus took cattle into Guatemala at an illegal border crossing and then came back out with 72 pounds of marijuana to be distributed in Belmopan and southern Belize.

Mayor says The Late Night Partying is Over On Entertainment Strip
BTL Park - it's Belize's most popular social hub, a virtual entertainment strip - and many bars and restaurants have sprung up around it to feed into the stream of party-goers who throng to the area. And while those good timers go there for the freedom to float from maybe a casino or movie theater, to a restaurant, to a bar, to a nightclub, to the seafront - all within quarter mile of each other - in the late night and early morning hours, for residents of the area, the whole scene is just one big noisy nuisance. The mayor and his councillors were squarely confronted with that complaint last night at a consultation, and like Saul on the Road to Damascus - Mayor Darrell Bradley had a revelation: the partying until all hours has to stop! He told us why today:...

Where Will Concerts Go Now?
So, if the Mayor has now put a block on concerts at the Hour Bar Field - where will all the major performers play? That sea front field has hosted artists from Machel to Damian Marley, to Kes, to Taurus Riley�you name it - and that's where they play. But, the Mayor in his letter to the council says, "no more". Today he discussed the reason and the possible alternatives:... Darrell Bradley- Mayor, Belize City: "A lot of this had precipitated because really and truly there is not an adequate indoors facility to house concerts. When we had the old civic center we didn't have this kind of issue. I think when we have the new civic center some of these problems will be allayed because there will be facilities to deal with it. If you have these open air facilities and you are playing music, even if you are permitted to play the music to 10 o' clock or to 12 o' clock, you have a certain obligation to keep the noise within acceptable limits. But I think it is unreasonable to have an open air activity going up until 4 o'clock in the morning, and some people say that it goes for beyond 4 o'clock."

GOB Strikes Deal With Microsoft For E-Government
Today the Government of Belize and Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at helping the government to meet its National Digital Transformation Goals. Microsoft will help to address problems with government inefficiency and corruption by incorporating more advanced technology. Government plans to integrate cloud storage and computing, as well as train Public Officers to properly use the new technology. Representatives from both the GOB and Microsoft gave presentations about the soon to be improved government systems...

PM Says Party Ready For Municipals
With months to go until the 2018 Municipal Elections, the UDP is getting ready to choose the candidates who will represent them. When we spoke to him earlier today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave us an update on how his party is gearing up for the elections... Reporter: "Where is the United Democratic Party when it comes to the preparation for the municipal election 2018 team setting up?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Starting off on the process of trying to arrange dates for the various conventions, identifying potential candidates and that sort of thing. We hope to complete the internal processes by October, certainly November at the very latest and some municipalities are going rather earlier than others but the whole thing should be done at the very latest by October, November and then we'll spend the next few months campaigning in earnest to see if we can in fact persuade the good Belizean people to give us another victory."

Bradley and the "Bad Marriage" Running Mates
And while the PM says his party is "revving up" for the municipals, is the Belize City Mayor ready to give it another go with many of the same councillors he's served two terms with. Recently, he called it a bad marriage - and yesterday eight of them went to the UDP secretariat - asking to renew their vows with Dearest Darrell. We asked him how he feels about that today:.. Jules Vasquez: "So then if it is like a bad marriage, are you disappointed to know that 8 of the 10 councilors are seeking to contest the election and it would be like asking for a renewal of vows."

Philloughby Not Sure He'll Run Again
And one of the councillors the mayor seems to work best with is Phillip Willoughby. But the man, the event called "Philloughby" seemed to be playing cagey with his colleagues when he accompany them yesterday to the UDP Secretariat to put in their names as candidates for the municipal convention. Today we asked him why:... Jules Vasquez: "Will you offer yourself as a candidate for Belize City council for the upcoming election?" Phillip Willoughby: "Jules, for various reasons I wasn't with my colleagues when they went to sign in. Over the past year and a half I had to go through 3 major surgeries. It's no big news, but then again because of the nature of those surgeries I need to consult with my medical physician here and one abroad that did the surgery and just to do a personal evaluation of myself to see how well I've progress since the operation. It's not to say it's out there like that and what have you or try to be a male chauvinist or wanting to say 'hey what happen to Phillip?.' No, it's nothing like that."

Making Sense of MICS
On Tuesday, we showed you, the media soft launch of the final report for the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, or MICS. It's an intensive study of Belizean citizens to find out about the quality of life of the country's women and children. This survey represents months of hard work between the Statistical Institute of Belize and UNICEF. And, to ensure that it doesn't just sit and gather dust on a desk, there was a multi-sectoral launch so that all the relevant government departments can get a compressed, tailor-made version of the results. Here's a summary of the results in report which shows that the lives of Belize's women and children have been improving. The Ministry of Health's CEO discussed them in his keynote address:

"Dolly" Therapy
And, NICH is finding a creative way to reach out to those children who that same MICS report would have found to be troubled, or in trouble. It's a set of dolls - and we don't mean barbie dolls, these ones are life size puppets. Courtney Weatherburne stopped by to find out what's so special about these dolls. This may seem like just a fun one on one puppet show to entertain little Avian. But really, this sassy curly haired dummy called Jazz, along with her friends are more than just toys - they are therapy dolls. And today to end off a two week training on the use of these special dolls, NICH handed 4 of them over to the Department of Human Services - where they will act as the Rover's adorable little helpers.

Major Project Planned For City Canals
For weeks now, we've been covering the situation with the Yabra canal which is silted up at the mouth. The City Council has been trying valiantly to clear out a channel and restore the normal flow, but the siltation just keeps coming back. That's why today we were surprised to hear that - instead of returning to that same solution they have a whole new approach to rehabilitate the entire Collet and East Canal systems - and it uses some very high science! Engineer Lucien Chung explained: Jules Vasquez: "Explain to me how this phenomenon that we see and we think: bway well, we could solve it, just trench out this area; it's not that simple."

City Flooding Persists
But, if you live in Belize City, and you cannot even get out of your house without getting wet up to your ankles - even after just the slightest rain, then all that high tech talk about sluice gates, and special pumps is just "yakkety-yak". That's what regular folks in our neighborhood on Dean And King Streets have been putting up with this week with the recent rains. Again, we asked the mayor for answers. He said the big truck is coming soon:... Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "We were supposed to have this week the transfer of equipment which includes a pump truck and that should have happen this week. That's going to happen next week, because we have to do more renovations at our mile 4 facility just to accommodate the access into our premises for these various equipment."

Ady on Those Absentee Applications
Last night, we showed you portions of yesterday's Senate Hearings on Immigration in which Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco answered questions publicly for the first time since her name started getting called in immigration scandals 5 years ago. Her testimony lasted for just over 3 and a half hours, and during that time, she took a lot of questions from the Senators. And it was right that she did because her name comes up 96 times in the Auditor General's reports - many times for questionable actions as an Immigration Officer. One topic which we didn't get to show you yesterday was the conversation the Senate Committee had with her about persons dropping off nationality applications on behalf of an applicant. The Auditor General says that all nationality applicants must drop off their applications files in person. That means that Immigration Officers shouldn't have been accepting the files from someone else. But, it was a common practice, and when Pacheco was asked if it is against procedure to do so, she sort of flip flopped.

Did Ady Inspect Correctly?
Another part of the report which caught the Senate Committee Chairman's attention was the Audit team's extensive investigation into nationality certificates granted to 2 Chinese nationals. We've already told you about Jin Chen An, who used a fraudulent Chinese passport to get a Belize Visa, then Nationality less than 6 weeks later, and then a Belize Passport, 5 days after that. Well, the Audit team says that another applicant Zhengjun (Zeng Jun) An turned around and used this same fraudulent Chinese passport to apply for a Nationality Certificate. It is unclear if the Nationality was granted, the Audit Team also couldn't verify if he either attempted or succeeded in getting a Belize passport. They did find out that he was granted a fraudulent permanent residency permit.

Making Museums Matter
The Belize Association of Museums has been formed. It brings together all those small personal or community museums, from the Macoby Collection Creole Museum, to the Windows of Belize Museum into one group, under the NICH umbrella. We found out more at the launch today:... The group first started to come together in March of 2016.

Chuc Appeals to Court of Arbitration
He's been barred from running for President of the FFB, but Sergio Chuc has formally lodged his appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. He is asking that body to install a 3-person international arbitration panel in New York to rule upon Chuc's Appeal of the FFB's Electoral Appeal Committee's denial of his right to be nominated for president of the FFB in the 2017 elections, and Issue a stay of the FFB election scheduled for Saturday June 24 2017, postponing the election and leaving the interim president in office, until such time as Mr. Chuc's Appeal to the CAS is heard in full and decided by them as binding arbitrators on the merits.

Channel 5

P.M. Maintains It's No to IMF Prescriptions
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has emphatically rejected the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund to increase the General Sales Tax to fifteen percent.� That proposal from the UN financial agency [...]

Belize Will Go its Own Way
The annual assessment by the IMF seeks to forestall future financial problems that member countries may face; however, its conditions have been broadly debated.� It is argued that the IMF's [...]

Personal Motive for Jermaine Franklin Murder; Suspect in Custody
Thirty-six-year-old Jermaine Franklin was shot and killed while shopping for new movies inside Teddy's on Kings Street on Wednesday night.� Sometime around six-thirty, Belize City police responded to reports of [...]

Did Ady Pacheco Facilitate Visas?
Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco spent most of Wednesday's appearance at the Senate Special Select Committee pointing the finger at her bosses in the Immigration Department, as it relates to the [...]

Immigration Officer Says She Was Directed to Take Applications by Boss
According to Pacheco, it was not uncommon during her time in the visa section for her officer in charge there, George Reynolds, to receive applications for visas from ministers of [...]

Castro Brothers Off the Hook; P.M. Says it's a Family Matter
Brothers Wasani and Jafari Castro made headlines on Monday when it was reported that the siblings were arrested last Friday in connection with several traffic offenses, as well as a [...]

Dorian Pakeman Back on the Job, But Warned to be Careful
Press Office Director Dorian Pakeman is back on the job, after being suspended in the wake of a fatal traffic accident that claimed the life of Gardenia resident Dean Dawson [...]

Will New CitCo Restrictions Cost Revenue on Barracks Party Strip?
The Barracks area has been the site of many outdoor concerts featuring local and international artists and music accompanies many events in the area. But following concerns raised by residents [...]

B.E.L. Announces Modest Earnings for 2016-17
The Annual General Meeting of Belize Electricity Limited took place on Wednesday night and the news is that the company continues to perform well for shareholders. �With electricity rates largely [...]

Warning to Avoid Manatees for Boaters
A female manatee that was mating was killed over the weekend. It appears that a number of manatees are at the peak of their mating in the summer time and [...]

US $8 Million and 2 Years to Fix Collet Canal
Over the past few months, we have shown you the massive silt build up in the Yabra Canal. The City Council and other partners have been doing the ground work [...]

Municipal Elections? U.D.P. [Getting] Ready
With the 2018 municipal elections only several months away, the UDP Belize City Council slate is already shaping out.� On Wednesday, eight councilor candidates submitted their names ahead of the [...]

Philip Willoughby's Run Threatened by Health Issues
Is Belize City Council's Superman Willoughby in or is he out of the U.D.P. Municipal? Last night, you heard Councilor Dion Leslie say that the current U.D.P. city councilors are [...]

19 Certified as Caregivers
Nineteen women today graduated from a certificate course in the basics of care giving, an important job as the population of Belize ages. The Belize Training and Employment Center collaborated [...]

Museums Unite in New Association
The Museum of Belize is leading an initiative that will see small museums enter into an association. Today, they officially signed the article of association that will see them better [...]

Helping Special Populations with Puppetry
Last week, a group of roving caregivers attended two training workshops to learn how to use puppetry in childhood simulation, as well as educational and therapy work. Mexican Puppeteer Raquel [...]

Windows on the World: Microsoft to Assist G.O.B. with Going Digital
A long-term relationship between the Government of Belize and Microsoft Service has been struck, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding earlier today.� The partnership with the leading technology [...]

Team Belize Heads to World Series of Poker
Starting on Saturday, a group of Belizeans will once again participate in one of the prestigious poker tournaments at the Annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas Nevada. The [...]


PM Weighs In On Castro's Sons Contraversy
There's been public condemnation for the authorities' handling of the criminal matters involving the two sons of Minister Edmond Castro. Prior to being busted in Orange Walk with over $6,000 in contraband beer last Friday, the Castro boys, Jafari and Wasani, were held under detention at the Belize City Police precinct for traffic violations and allegedly assaulting a Police officer. The duo was eventually released, and since then there has been credible indications that high-level intervention stopped the laying of charges on the Minister's sons. This has been flatly denied by Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams and today Prime Minister Dean Barrow chipped in, opining that the entire affair is simply a personal family affair for the Minister.

PM Rejects IMF Recommendation To Increase GST To 15%
Last week we told you about the IMF's Article IV consultation statement on Belize which called on the Barrow Administration to seek further fiscal consolidation for the country's long term sustainability. Among the measures the IMF recommends increasing GST to 15%, downsizing the wage bill, introducing a fiscal rule which would see the Government introduce legislation that target reducing debt to GDP ratio to 60% by the year 2025, implementing stronger management and controls for tax collection, phasing out Central Bank Government funding, and improving the business environment to attract investors. Today PM Barrow spoke on the IMF's recommendations, saying he's basically not listening to them.

Pacheco's Speaks On PM And Kim Simplis' Recomendation
At yesterday's Senate Select Committee hearing, Prime Minister Dean Barrow's name came up during the questioning of Ady Pacheco, the former assistant to the Officer in Charge of the Nationality Section. The matter raised has to do with a Belize passport that was issued to the brother-in-law of Kim Simplis-Barrow which the Auditor General's special audit flagged as not meeting the appropriate requirements by law. The PM and his wife had both signed the document as referee's. Pacheco, who had processed the documents, said she had been advised that the documents were all in order.

Officer Not Complying With Minister's Request Had Bad Results, Says Pacheco
In last night's newscast, you also heard Pacheco' testifying to the Committee that she felt intimidated by the presence of Ministers at the Immigration Department. The Immigration officer explained that when a Minister was involved with applications, officers are almost forced to comply because otherwise it could result in bad repercussions. She also pointed out that Ministers were involved in requesting immigration files from the Department, which was a highly questionable practise.


Education Minister Frowns on Sexual Misconduct by Teachers
Last week we reported on a case of sexual assault brought against the Principal of Monsignor Romero RC School in Valley of Peace, Cayo District. The Principal, Johnny Valencia appeared in Belmopan Magistrate Court where he was read a single charge of sexual assault. The report was filed by a twelve year old student who [�]

US Embassy Hoists LGBTI Flag for Pride Month
The United States Embassy in Belize hosted members of the LGBTI community and supporters for a Flag Raising Ceremony in commemoration of LGBTI Pride Month. Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay [�]

Caleb Says LGBT Wants a Voice on the Church State Commission
Anglican Bishop Phillip Wright and Bishop Roosevelt Papouloute of the Methodist Church both decided to break away from the Church State Commission, dubbed the Morality Commission. The church leaders' withdrawal has to do with the final proposal which is expected to be made to the Government of Belize. Wright and Roosevelt believe their views are underrepresented by [�]

Opposition Senator Says Church State Commission Is a Sham
Also speaking on the Morality Commission was Valerie Woods. The PUP Senator was at the US Embassy's pride flag raising event. She told the media that the quote, "the so called Morality Commission" is a sham. VALERIE WOODS "It is a farce when you have a commission by whatever name that has been established for [�]

Hopkins' Chairman Wants Unsanctioned Construction to Stop
The Hopkins Village Council along with residents in the area are concerned over two parcels of land that the Council's Chairman, Ted McKoy says is being unlawfully constructed upon. Unlawfully, because McKoy says no lease has been issued on the parcels nor is there any building permit granted. TED MCKOY "These are two pieces of [�]

Mace Bearer - Persona Non Grata at Senate Hearings
In a previous newscast we told you of the decision of the House Committee to not terminate the services of Brian Yellowman Audinett following his outburst during the Special Senate Select hearing on May 17, 2017. The committee did take some harsh criticisms due to their decision as the Speaker of the House, Laura Longsworth [�]

Minister Castro Not to Be Judged By Sons' Actions
The run-ins of the Castro brothers, 23 year old Wasani Castro and 21 year old Jafari Castro, with authorities on Friday have once more placed the name of Minister Edmund Castro, their father, in the spotlight, and not for very positive reasons. After having escaped official charges for not producing a valid driver's license or [�]

260 Days to Belize's Municipal Elections
The recruiting of candidates for the upcoming municipal elections is ongoing as we are less than nine months away from going to the polls. There is, however, a deadline to submit applications of interest to either political party which is at the end of this month. Today, the Belize City Council announced the submission of [�]

Former Law-Enforcement Man Convicted of Burglary
An ex-Special Constable from Placencia is also in trouble with the law tonight as he was arrested and charged and convicted of burglary. Alry Augustine was tried for breaking into a home in Placencia and was caught on security footage which he had attempted to destroy. Augustine has been sentenced to five years for the [�]

San Pedro's Officer of the Month Now Incarcerated for Extortion
A police officer who was recently awarded Officer of the Month in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye is now incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison after he allegedly pulled a gun on a tourist and robbed him of one thousand Belize dollars. Police Constable Denfield Ramos has been attached to San Pedro Police for over [�]

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7 years for burglarizing Spoonaz Caf�
Derrick Garbutt was sentenced to 7 years in prison on Tuesday. Garbutt was charged for the burglary of Spoonaz Cafe on North Front Street in Belize City in May of last year. Garbutt was caught on security cameras and so prosecution had clear, visual evidence of Garbutt breaking into the cafe and st...

DPM Faber speaks on Castro's sons' brushes with the law
Earlier today, the Deputy Prime Minister was asked for his opinion on the recent news regarding the escapades of the two sons of Minister Edmond Castro. The young men had a double brush with the law over the weekend with their unlicensed white Wingle; one in the Belize District and the other in Oran...

DPM Faber says home grown measures over IMF recommendations
As we have reported, an International Monetary Fund team visited Belize from June 6th to the 15th and then published a Concluding Statement in which it said that while the economy is expected to return to positive growth in 2017, the medium term outlook remains weak. It stated that despite Governmen...

Public Service Fair 2017
This week is being observed as Public Service Week and today, the 10th annual Public Service day fair was held in Belmopan at the Belmopan Comprehensive School. We spoke to Julia Lewis who told us more about today's event. Julia Lewis, Ministry of Public Service & Information: Today we are celeb...

Police open day as part of Police week
Police week is being observed and as part of the activities, police formations across the nation held open days today to highlight the services offered by the police department. In Belmopan, the police took their showcase to the Belmopan Public Service day. We spoke to Officer Jaime Gonzales who tol...

Shepherd's Academy PSE Motorcade
Today, the Shepherd's Academy Primary School in Belmopan held a motorcade in honor of their standard 6 student, Ashton Daniels, who placed first in the 2017 Primary School Examination (PSE) for the Cayo District. Ashton finished 8th overall in the country. We spoke to Ashton who told us about his pr...

The Guardian

Three men charged while family demands justice for senseless killing in Cayo
A trio, composed of Steven Manzanero, Armando Coleman and Reginald Patt from Santa Familia Village are now in their holding cells at the Hattieville Central Prison after being processed by the Belmopan Magistracy on Monday, following their unprovoked attack on a young couple in that closely knit village on Friday night. The three have been charged with murder, with Steven Manzanero additionally charged for the attempted murder of Eliseo Bacab, who from his bed at home he has provided crucial evidence on the murder of his girlfriend Amy Guerra. A postmortem on the body of Guerra, whose body was found in the Belize River at about 2:00 pm on Saturday, has revealed that the teenager's death was due to asphyxiation by drowning due to head and neck trauma. Assistant Superintendent of Police Daniel Itche, has now confirmed that sixteen year old Amy Guerra was with her friend Eliseo Bacab at the football field in Santa Familia when three prowling males approached them.

Ashcroft Alliance fails to unseat judge
The Ashcroft Alliance has been blocked from meddling in the affairs of the Belize judiciary, for now. Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich, who Lord Michael Ashcroft himself was attempting to get removed from the bench, will stay where he is. The Court of Appeal has ruled that the complaints from the Alliance against this sitting judge have no real merit. The appeal is of another case which Justice Courtney Abel heard in the Supreme Court. The Alliance complained to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC), asking them to seriously consider their opinion that he was unfit for the Appeal Court bench. Their premise was that he performed inadequately as a judge of the Supreme Court. Among other things, they asserted that he delayed for unreasonably long periods of time when delivering judgments on cases he had heard.

Customs was discreet with Mai and Mark Lizarraga when they were caught
The Guardian Newspaper has confirmed that two high profile individuals who were caught illegally importing items into the country were able to settle their problems with the Customs department in a relatively quiet manner. Readers will recall that back in December of 2012, Jose Edilberto Mai, Orange Walk South Area Representative was caught with 15 cases of Miller Beer at a check point on the Chan Chen cut off. Being an area representative does not allow for special privilege for beer to be illegally imported into the country and as a result, Mai was taken in and processed by the Customs department.

Ady Pacheco testifies before Senate
Ady Pacheco, the veteran Immigration Officer who was named in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal, had a tough day on the witness stand before the Senate Select Committee. She's one of the public officers whose name keeps showing up in the Auditor General's Reports on Immigration from 2011 to 2013. She has all kinds of explaining to do, and on Wednesday, June 21, she began pointing fingers at other people. When she was working at the Services Section of the Immigration Department, she claimed that she accepted visa applications as one of the front desk personnel, which then went to the officer in charge of that section. From there, the applications were sent to the investigation unit, which inspected the contents of the file, and it was sent back to the officer in charge (OIC). The OIC then sent it to the Director for inspection, and if it passed her scrutiny, then it was sent back to the OIC, who then passed it back to the accepting desk for approval and issuance.

UDP readies for municipals
Eight current Belize City councilors stepped into the UDP's secretariat to officially tender their applications for them to contest the upcoming Municipal elections in March of next year. The gesture is proof positive that the United Democratic Party is well underway to getting its slates together to contest all municipalities. Already the UDP has the full slate in place in San Pedro and the same is now being done for all the other municipalities. Currently the UDP is accepting applications from interested persons from every city and town. When that process is completed, the party will go through the process of holding conventions either to elect slates or to endorse them.

A familiar local saying is that you can take a hog out the mud but one cannot take the mud out of the hog. There are those amongst us whom are attention seekers, and would go to any lengths to receive attention. Self promoters and aggrandizers they are. One such person has been recently dubbed the Facebook bully. This person lurks around on social media looking for any opportunity to invade and literally take over conversations. The individual could be very opinionated and obnoxious in a very partisan and rude manner. Some are of the opinion that because of a lack of court room appearances, the bully tries to remain in readiness form by honing argumentative skills of social media.

Work to upgrade Commercial Center to start soon
After what seems like a very long period, the loan with which the Commercial Center will be repaired has finally been approved. The repairs, as part of the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project, were approved in 2014 and officially launched in 2015. The funding for the project expires in February 2018 and just in the nick of time, the Mayor got the approval letter for the loan from the Heritage Bank.

Had to be told he is not a doctor
In the last General Elections, a candidate appeared in the Albert constituency claiming to be a doctor. At the time the fellow went by the name of Doctor Jose Espat and nobody questioned the veracity of his claim to be a doctor. In fact he was even employed at the KHMH under the assumption that he was a real MD. Low and behold, research done by the Belize Medical Council verified this man's credentials or lack thereof, and it was found out that he did not possess a doctor's degree. With that he was dismissed from the KHMH and told he would not be able to practice medicine in Belize. He sulked for a bit and then somehow wiggled his way to work alongside one of Belize's pre-eminent pathologists. Again the Medical Council caught up with this fellow who by now was going by the name Jose Espat Uc or Jose Uc Espat or some variation of the combination of those names. Again he had to be reminded that he was not an MD and again he was told he could not practice in the medical field.

Beyond the Horizon 2017 closes $11.5 million dollars in projects
The closing ceremony of the Beyond the Horizon 2017 collaborative training took place on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at the Price Barracks in Ladyville. The exercise came about due to the collaborative effort of the U.S. Embassy in Belize and the U.S. Army South, the Belize Defense Force, the Ministries of Health, Education, and Defense, as well as partner nations such as Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia. There was also the involvement of NGOs and private companies from both the U.S. and Belize. The U.S. Government's commitment to the Government and people of Belize in the field of humanitarian assistance was further continued.

Mayor Bradley says Belize City is ready for rainy season
The hurricane season in the country has already begun and Mayor Bradley says that we are better prepared for flooding that is expected to happen this season. Mayor Bradley in an interview on June 19, 2017 recalls the effects of hurricane Earl. He says that the city saw improved levels of runoff as a result of the flood mitigation projects funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and some of the works that the City Council has been carrying out in terms of drainage and infrastructure. The council has taken up the initiative of marking flood prone areas and hopes that because of their responsiveness and continuous efforts, we will see continuously improving levels of drainage. Quite recently, there has been the development of a unit that will be focused on a 24-hour drain clean up and flood mitigation to better respond to real-time situations.

New sign for downtown Belize City
Throughout the North side of Belize City, there are beautiful and interactive monuments and areas where tourists and residents alike can take pictures. Those areas have even become popular hangout spots in the city and the Belize City Council, with the help of very dedicated private citizens, has taken on the task of making the downtown and Southside areas just as beautiful and engaging. On Monday, June 19, 2017, the first of such signs was officially given to the Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City, not without the help of Karim Berges' Slingshot Advertising and Signs and attorney at law Steve Perera.

Orange Walk Central Ready
Johnny Brice�o is shaking in his boots after he got the message that theOrange Walk Central UDP Standard Bearer Denny Grijalva held a meeting with his working committee on Friday June 16 at his residence. You see he has a right to be shaking because when the bell was sounded, some 250 persons answered the call. These are the core campaigners of the Orange Walk Central Division and they assembled at Mr. Grijalva's residence in preparation for the upcoming municipal elections. In attendance at that meeting were Deputy Party Leader, Honorable Patrick Faber, Hon. Dr. Angel Campos, Hon. Elodio Aragon, Mrs. Lupe Magana Dyck, Party Chairman Alberto August and other stalwart UDPs too numerous to mention.

Police celebrate this week
The Belize Police Department's work seems to never end but on Sunday, June 18, 2017, it was the start of a week of recognition for the officers. The Police Week started with church services at the St. Martin's De Porres Church for the Eastern Division South and the Eastern Police Division North and at the Our Lady of the Way R.C. Church for the Ladyville Police Precinct. What followed were a number of media appearances as well as community cleanup campaigns on June 19. Areas that were cleaned and beautified included the Ladyville area, the area from the Haulover Bridge to the entrance of Ladyville, Kraal Road, West Street, Flamboyant Street, North Front Street, and Allen Burgess Crescent as well as several parks, and the Lopez Mateos Park in Belize City and the Boca Del Rio Park in San Pedro.

Rapid improvements at the Western Regional Hospital
Huge improvements in concrete and other works at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan over the last ninety days have been widely welcomed by both managers and the clients that are served. Works done by a multinational team, which included twenty Belize Defense Force soldiers from the light engineering company, have increased the hospital's capacity to respond to a larger number of clients. Chief of Staff at the Western Regional Hospital Dr. Rene Godoy maintains that the hospital saw some four to five hundred patients per month on average last year, but that number has jumped to nine hundred to a thousand patients per month this year. Also, the population that the Western Regional Hospital serves has also jumped from 60,000 to over 100,000 in just a short time.

Red Creek check point in Cayo improved
The security of the Towns folk from Santa Elena in Cayo has been enhanced. As a result of a unique partnership between the San Ignacio (Police) Formation, Chaa Creek Resort, The Fire Department and the Community Oriented Policing Program COPP, the Red Creek Check Point Building has been improved and painted. This Building will now be operational, on a daily basis and will house the newly formed motorcycle patrol team ( 4 Police Officers and 2 Volunteer Special Constables) along with two traffic Police officers. This team will now act as a quick response team to police the Santa Elena Town area.

Sulphonomics makes no sense
On Saturday morning, the Belize Leaders for Social Justice, (BLSJ), organized a public protest demanding that the government raise the minimum wage. BLSJ is supported by the Belize Progressive Party, Belize Territorial Volunteers and Days of Healing Committee. They started the march at Constitution Park on Cemetery Road and ended, at Battlefield Park. With so much support it is amazing that only 20 persons came out. According to the information, we have gathered so far, Moses Sulph, who appears to be the leader of the group is suggesting that the minimum wage be almost quadrupled from $3.30 per hour to $12 per hour. That was what we saw in a particular publication. After seeing that sort of PIE IN THE SKY THINKING, we now understand, why this fellow was attending UB for so long. He perhaps holds the record for having attended UB for the longest period. Some of us were starting to mistake him for pieces of furniture at UB. By the way was it not ECONOMICS or BUSINESS he studied?

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.

UDP Family mourns death of San Ignacio/Santa Elena Councilor
Chairman of the United Democratic Party Alberto August has announced profound sadness at the passing of Councilor David Morey, which occurred on Monday, June 19, 2017 in Guatemala where he was undergoing medical treatment. "On this very sad occasion, we join hands and hearts with our Party Leader Rt. Hon Dean Barrow, Deputy Leader Hon. Patrick Faber and other leaders of our Party in the expression of Deepest Sympathies to the Family. "The loss of a loved one is NEVER easy. We pray for strength for the family during these very difficult times. May the soul of this dearly departed Brother, Colleague, Friend and True Soldier of the United Democratic Party rest in eternal peace."

UNICEF says Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey shows gains and shortfalls for children in Belize
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) in collaboration with the Government of Belize and UNICEF conducted a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey between 2015 and 2016 (MICS 5). During the survey trained interviewers visited 5,242 households of which 4,900 were occupied and individuals from 4,636 homes agreed to grant interviews. 8,272 men and women were interviewed during the survey. According to Jacqueline Small who is a demographer with the SIB, the survey is key to ensure that national and international development goals which the Government of Belize has signed on to can be tracked. She adds that findings from the MICS looks at where we are in the development goals and what has been achieved from the last time the exercise was done; that was in 2011. "It's a development tool providing a base line to see how much progress is made and to determine how much more is needed to achieve the goal," says Small.

David Arnold arraigned for the murder of "Hard Rock"
21 days after well-known disc jockey and personality Andrew Bennett, aka "Hard Rock", was gunned down in Belize City, police arrested and charged one man after an eyewitness has come forward and given a statement. On June 15, 2017, CIB personnel arrested the alleged gun man, 25-year-old David Arnold, for the murder. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read a single charge of murder for the May 24, 2017 killing of Bennett. In court, Arnold was represented by attorney Michelle Trapp- Zuniga. No plea was taken from him and no bail could be granted due to the nature of the offense. Arnold was remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until August 9, 2017.

Attempted murder on Jasmine Street
On June 15, 2017, police received information of someone being shot on Jasmine Street, Belize City. They visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 24-year-old Wasani Avila suffering from gunshot wounds to the right upper back and right arm. Avila stated that he was socializing with a friend on Jasmine Street when they were approached by two male persons on bicycles. One of the male persons pulled out a hand gun and fired several shots in their direction. His friend managed to escape unhurt. Police are investigating.

Raid on bars for human trafficking victims
For the past few days, the Immigration Department has been conducting raids all over the country to investigate female immigrant workers employed at bars all over the country. On Tuesday, there were a total of 31 of these "bar girls" who were detained and being held at police stations in Dangriga and Punta Gorda. 3 of the bar owners visited have been also been held. Immigration Director Diana Lock has confirmed that these are part of four operations being undertaken countrywide to crack down on this so-called "bar girl" phenomenon. None of the women have since been identified as human trafficking victims, but they are in Belize illegally. Additionally, they have been working at these bars without temporary work permits, and several of the detainees have admitted to being in Belize illegally. Most have already been arraigned at the PG, Independence and Dangriga Magistrate's Courts.

Bail for alleged drug dealers
Two men were arraigned for a very large amount of weed busted in Belize City. They have been identified as 32-year-old Noel Leal Jr. and 21-year-old Rudolph Belisle, both of #72 Vernon Street, Belize City. Both men had been in police custody since the morning of June 14, 2017 shortly after the bust. Late on Thursday, June 15, 2017, the men were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on a single count of the possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to another person or persons for the purpose of drug trafficking, an amount of 6,713.5 grams. In court, the men were represented by attorney Herbert Panton.

$10,000 fine for drug trafficker
Emerson Williams, a 37-year-old resident of the Old Northern Highway Road, is in debt to the court in the sum of $10,000 imposed on June 15, 2017 after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking of 189 grams of cannabis. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he pleaded guilty to possession since he claimed the weed was for his personal use and not to sell. Prosecutor Inspector Hector Rodriguez rejected the plea for possession and with that, Williams was forced to plead guilty to the charge of drug trafficking.

Drugs found on Norwegian cruise ship
On the morning of June 13, 2017, Placencia police were called to a Norwegian Escape Cruise Ship that was docked at Harvest Caye. Security Officers reported that they found a suspicious package in a cabin on the ship. The cabin was being occupied by Derson Frank, a 30-year-old St. Vincent man. Frank was escorted to his cabin where a search was conducted by police. The substance in the package was found to be 2 kilos of cocaine.

Arson at Dorothy Menzies' Children's Home
Acting on information received of a house fire, police visited Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center in Belize City and observed a sofa and an AC unit completely damaged by fire at the back of the building. Kisha Coye, a 35-year-old foster mother reported to the police that she was sitting under a shed located in the compound when she was alerted by the security officer of smoke coming from behind the main office. She then proceeded up to the office and noticed a huge fire at the back of the building. She called 911 and informed them of the incident. Shortly after, the Fire Service arrived and extinguished the fire. All damaged items are property of the Government of Belize. Estimated value of damages is yet to be ascertained.

$15,000 bail for alleged sexual assailant
Francisco Levi Figueroa, a 65-year-old Guatemalan who has been on remand since June 2, 2017, 18 days after being denied bail and being remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly fondling a 6-year-old girl, took his bail application to the Supreme Court. With the help of his attorney Leroy Banner, he was successful in securing bail on Friday, June 16, 2017. There was heavy objection by Crown Counsel Jacqueline Willoughby based on the nature of the offense and that there is the likelihood that he may commit a similar offense if out on bail. His attorney submitted that he is not a flight risk and that the likelihood that his trial will come up sooner than 2 years from now is next to impossible.

Seven years for burglary
In May 2016, the Spoonaz Photo Caf� & Bar was burglarized and the culprit was caught on a surveillance camera. After more than a year, the police have indentified the burglar as 39-year-old Derrick Garbutt, an unemployed resident of Ladyille. In court, Garbutt pleaded guilty but not before claiming that he was drunk when he committed the burglary. Given that he has already spent a year in prison, he was only sentenced to seven years in prison by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on June 20, 2017.

Self employed businesswoman convicted of drug trafficking
A Belize City businesswoman was convicted for the offense of drug trafficking for 14.6 grams of crack cocaine and for possession of a controlled drug, 0.2 grams of cannabis, before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on June 21, 2017. That woman is 42-year-old Michelle Gotoy of Belize City. The bust was made on December 6, 2016 at the corner of Honda and Sibun Streets in Belize City. Allegations made by the crown are that police found her in possession of both illegal substances despite her version of the story. She admitted to being in possession of the cannabis but as it relates to the crack cocaine, she claims to have no knowledge of that.

Attempted robbery and unlicensed firearm lands Jamaal Jackson in prison
In the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, 32-year-old Jamaal Jackson learnt his fate after being on remand for 15 months for the offense of kept unlicensed firearm and ammunitions. He was sentenced to 3 years for each charge set to run concurrently on June 20, 2017 after his mother begged for leniency in mitigation.

Man found dead in Unitedville Village
Fifty two year old Jorge Lemus was found in a drain on Saturday morning in Unitedville in the Cayo District. He was observed by Police with a bruise on the left eye and transported to the Western Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators have so far learnt that Lemus was at a bar in Unitedville sometime after midnight on Friday. Victor Lemus, a brother of Jorge, maintains that he was a heavy drinker and was last seen counting money at the bar.

Remanded after pleading guilty to wounding
A Belize City man who claimed that he was drinking when he attacked a man he knew and stabbed him for no reason pleaded guilty to wounding in trial on June 20, 2017 before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. The man, 33-year-old Danny Maskall, has been remanded to prison until June 29, 2017 and is awaiting sentencing. In trial, the victim, Clive Sutherland, was present to testify against him when he changed his plea.

Money lender in Benque shot
A popular money lender from Benque Viejo del Carmen is now recovering from gunshot wounds he received last Thursday. Fifty-one year old Erwin Cocom was at home unloading pipes into his yard from a pickup truck being helped by his nephew at around 11:00 am on Pedro Guerra Mena Street in Benque. As Cocom and his nephew carried on their work, two men came up to the house on a motorcylce. One of the men got off the cycle and approached Cocom and pulled out a firearm.

Calm in the City broken by murder on King Street
The relative calm in violence in Belize City over the past few weeks was broken on Wednesday Night. Sometime around 6:20 gunshots rang out on King Street when a man identified as Jermaine Monsanto was shot and killed. Reports to the Guardian suggest that Monsanto had gone to Teddy's music outlet on King street and as he exited the establishment someone opened fire on him killing him on the spot. Very little else is known about the incident at press time.

Malcolm Myers in jail for using deadly means of harm
Malcolm Myers, 25-years-old, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison pending sentencing which has been delayed after he was found guilty of use of deadly means of harm. He was found guilty on June 20, 2017 before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith Myers is a Belize City resident, who is accused of shooting 20-year-old Freetown Road resident Trevor Yarde on November 4, 2015. Myers was initially charged with three indictable offenses, attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm but instruction from the DPP asked the court to drop the first two charges hence he was tried at the lower court.

Orange Walk man not guilty of theft
An Orange Walk man is free of the charge of theft after his trial concluded in the Supreme Court on June 16, 2017 after a jury of 9 found him not guilty before Judge Adolph Lucas. That man is Juan Angel Mu�oz, a 31-year-old resident of Orange Walk Town. The allegation made against Mu�oz is that between the period of June 19 and October 10, 2010, he stole $137,916.46 from Caye Supplies, an appliance company located on San Pedro. At the time, Mu�oz was the manager of the company.

Principal charged for inappropriate behavior
The Principal of Monsignor Romero RC School in Valley of Peace has been charged for sexual assault. Johnny Valencia appeared in Belmopan Magistrate Court on June 14, 2017 where he was read a single charge of sexual assault. According to reports, a 12-year-old student was feeling unwell and was sent to the principal's office. According to the child, the principal kissed and attempted to fondle her while they were at his desk. The matter was reported and Valencia has since been charged. He is to reappear in court on August 21, 2017.

Bail for Joshua Ramos, accused of obtaining property by deception
A Chinese businessman is the latest victim of theft by deception. His claim is that a Belize City man has cheated him of $1,000, a payment for a Ford Escape vehicle which he never got. The man accused of the crime is Ladyville resident, 28-year-old Joshua Ramos, a construction worker. In a report to police, Xiaohong Zhu reported that on Saturday, June 10, 2017, he spoke with a man by the name of Joshua Steven Ramos, regarding purchasing a vehicle. Zhu claimed that Ramos requested that he deposit $1,000 to the Western Union in Ramos's name as payment for the vehicle.

Armed robbery in Dangriga
On Wednesday June 14, 2017, police responded to an armed robbery report at Southern Quick Loan on Chatuye Street, Dangriga. There they spoke to 29-year-old Felecita Murcia, cashier of Southern Quick Loan, who reported that while at the business place, a male person entered the office with a manila envelope in his hand and immediately pushed her inside the office, closed the door, and took out what appeared to be a firearm. He pointed the firearm at her and demanded money. She handed over $412.00.

Titan's appeal against government fails
The Court of Appeal has vindicated the Barrow Administration's position, and it has lifted an 8.8 million dollar judgment that the Supreme Court said was owed to Bahamians Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach. The panel of judges agreed that the police department went too far with their search and seizure at their Titan Securities International Office, but not so far that an award of damages are owed. As readers will remember, in September of 2014, US officials unsealed an indictment naming Knowles, Leach, their company, and other defendants. They were being accused of participating in securities fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering in which US government was owed 1 billion dollars in tax revenues.

Vehicle fire in Belmopan
On June 19, 2017, acting upon information received of a vehicular fire at Scotches Restaurant and Bar located on the Hummingbird Highway, police visited the location. Upon arrival, they observed a 2002 white Mitsubishi Montero SUV engulfed in flames. The fire personnel arrived shortly and extinguished the flames.

San Pedro cops charged for robbery
an Pedro police have arrested and charged two of their own following reports by a tourist who says he was robbed by the cops. According to 28-year-old tourist Timothy Braun, on Thursday June 15 he was smoking a cigarette near to a restaurant and bar on the island of San Pedro when he was approached by three police officers in a golf cart. The officers accused him of smoking marijuana and as a result handcuffed him and placed him on the cart but instead of taking him to the police station to be processed he was instead taken to the northern side of the island. When they arrived near the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, the policemen took Braun to an area near the water's edge with one of the men placing a gun to Braun's head. The cops demanded money to which Braun replied he had non on him but instead told the cops that he had money at the AirBnB apartment he was renting.

Holy Family RC School boys are national primary schools basketball champs
The National Primary Schools Basketball championship came to an end of Thursday 15th June, 2017, at the St. John's College Gymnasium in Belize City. In the boys' championship game, Holy Family RC School from Hopkins Village, representing the Stann Creek District edged out St. Andrews Anglican School from Santa Elena, representing the Cayo District by the score of 29-28 to capture yet another primary schools basketball title. The top scorer for Holy Family RC School was Aaron Nasario with 18 points while the top scorer for St. Andrews Anglican School was Kelvin Garnett with 14 points. At the end of the championship, Aaron Nasario of Holy Family RC School of Hopkins Village was named the Most Valuable Player.

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St. Joseph RC School of Belize City is National Primary Schools Girls Basketball champions
The 2016-2017 National Primary Schools Basketball championship came to an end on Thursday 15th June, 2017, with the games being played at the St. John's College Gymnasium in Belize City. In the girls' championship game, St. Joseph Primary School representing the Belize District defeated Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District by the score of 32-4 to capture its first ever National Primary Schools Basketball championship. The top scorer for St. Joseph Primary School was Briah Clarke with 18 points while the top scorers for Louisiana Government School were Kiara Chimilio and Rica Gentle with 2 points each.

Tarique Flowers is Individual Time Trial champion
The Cycling Federation of Belize sponsored its Individual Time Trial National championship on Sunday 18th June, 2017, on the Boom Circuit. The Individual Time Trial had participation from cyclists in the Elite, U-23, and Masters in the male division, while in the female division participation were from Elite, Junior and youth riders. Tarique Flowers of Benny's Megabytes captured the Individual Time Trial title in a time of 00:43:37. The second rider to finish was Nissan Arana of Westrac Alliance in a time of 00:44:05, third place went to Giovanni Lovell of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team, fourth place went to Shane Jones of Westrac Alliance and the 5th rider to finish was Robert Liam Stewart who is unattached.

The Hope Run Project will launch 1st Annual Hope Run in Dangriga on July 8th 2017
This Non-profit Organization aims to foster the running culture in the South. Dangriga, Belize: The Hope Run is a competitive and participatory 5k event that encourages its participants, be it professional or otherwise, to run, jog or walk on behalf of causes/charities that hold personal significance to them. Today marks the official launch of the campaign to bring widespread awareness of this initiative to the public. A registration fee of $30 is required for competitive participants and optional for participatory runners. The run plans to commence at the 3 mile mark on the Stann Creek Valley Road and conclude at the Belize Telemedia Princess Royal Park.

National Road Championship set for Sunday 25th June
The Cycling Federation of Belize informs the General Public and cycling fans that the National Road Championship is scheduled for Sunday June 25th, 2017. Managers of cycling teams and riders who are unattached, please note that the deadline for submission of registration is Thursday 22nd, 2017 for the Road Race. Failure to comply will result in late fee penalty of an additional $20 per rider after the Technical Meeting.

Independence United maintains lead in Stann Creek Softball competition
The 2017 Stann Creek Softball competition continued on Sunday 18th June, out in Sittee River with two more games on the schedule. In the first game played, Independence United behind the steady pitching of Shalini Zabaneh continued its mastery of the competition when it blasted Seine Bight Flames by the score of 17-2. The winning pitcher was Shalini Zabaneh who gave up the 2 runs on 1 hit, she walked a batter in the process while striking out 3. The losing pitcher was Delvoreen Garacis who gave up 17 runs on 9 hits, she also walked 8 batters and struck out 4 in taking the loss.

Brutal honesty is vastly superior to deception
I do not believe that the people who created the term 'political correctness' have a handle on exactly what it is that they are trying to discourage. I prefer to identify the real, cold, hard facts that are manifestations of evil schemes! I then try my very best to defeat all such schemes. Let me give you a few examples: 1) Mose, totally ignorant of the simple word 'artificial' went berserk, his not-so-many followers fell right in line behind him, and they marched into the gutter. Their evil scheme was about bringing down a man who is truly a wordsmith and a first rate patriot! Kremandala contributed radio, TV and newspaper to the uneven fight.

Words of Life with Pastor Barry Fraser
People's last words are considered to be their most important. In the Gospel of John, the apostle writes about what Jesus said before His crucifixion. What Jesus spoke about included the subject of love and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us in John 15:9 that, "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love." Jesus knew that there will be many things which can distract us from our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Young motorcyclist looses life in Cayo
A female football player and motorcyclist from Young Bank lost her life in a fatal traffic accident in the early hours of Sunday whilst riding along the Valley of Peace Road in the Cayo District. Twenty six year old Fabiola Velasquez was observed by Police lifeless and an ambulance service was called in. Vasquez was pronounced dead on arrival at the San Ignacio Hospital. Subsequent visit by investigators concluded that speeding on the loose gravel road may have been a factor in the demise of the young fast food vendor's death.

Dangriga teacher loses her life in road traffic accident
On Thursday June 15th, 2017, police responded to a road traffic accident on Ecumenical Drive in Dangriga where they saw 26-year-old Naomi Abigail Taylor, Belizean teacher of Kids First Primary School and resident of Dangriga, lying motionless on the road with a red male beach cruiser bicycle beside her. Investigation reveals that Taylor was riding her bicycle to her mother's residence when a motorcycle driven by 22-year-old Michael Estero accompanied by 17-year-old Calvin Williams collided into the rear wheel of her bicycle. The collision caused her to fall on the road. Naomi was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital for medical treatment where she was pronounced dead at 5:30p.m.

Drowning in Punta Gorda
Acting upon information received of a drowning in Santa Elena Village, Toledo District, on June 19, 2017, police visited the village. Upon arrival, they observed the body of 85-year-old Anuncion Choc, farmer of Santa Elena Village, Toledo District about half mile off the right hand side of the main road in the village by the riverside. Investigation reveals that about 12:00 p.m. on the same day, Choc went to take a bath at the river which is located about 200 yards from his home. When he didn't return, his granddaughter went to look for him but only found his clothes and soap near the river bank. A search was conducted in the area and about 250 yards from where his clothing was discovered, Choc's body was discovered. His body was retrieved from the river and transported to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Just My Luck
Are you one of the lucky ones? Are you one of those fortunate people who just seem to have all the luck in life? They are successful in love, in their careers, in their finances, and in leading happy and meaningful lives. Thomas Jefferson once said "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." What, though, is luck? The dictionary defines luck as the "events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual." But if we analyze Jefferson's statement, luck then has nothing to do with something operating for or against you. Luck becomes less of a matter of chance and more a matter of being open to new experiences, perseverance, hard work, and positive thinking.

The Belize Times

If Dah Noh Soh
My God� The monster who murdered 16-year-old Emy Guerra has killed before. He murdered a student in 2005, stabbed him to death. He was convicted of manslaughter in 2008 and sentenced to 15 years. That same year the Court of Appeal overturned that conviction on a technicality and ordered a retrial. That was 2008. This is 2017 and still no retrial. If the system had worked, Steven Manzanero may have been behind bars and a sixteen-year-old child would have had the opportunity to have a life. This is frigging unacceptable. The system failed Emy Guerra and she is dead. Mark� All of a sudden, out of the blue (or red as the case certainly is), Mark Espat has been resurrected in the Amandala. The fact that the nation's largest newspaper contains a fluff piece on the man considered Judas by the PUP and Jesus by Dean Barrow isn't just happenstance.

CASTROS AND COPS CLASH! - 'Uncle Chester' To The Rescue
At around 3:30am Friday morning, Jafari Castro, 21, and Wasani Castro, 23, both sons of Minister Edmond Castro, were involved in an altercation with Police in the Conchshell Bay Area. That altercation led to their detention, along with a friend identified as Dedric Ramclam, by PC Shelrick Caliz and members of the Southside Strike team called in as reinforcements when the men resisted arrest. While being processed at Precinct 1, Wasani Castro assaulted PC Donescio Coc, punching him to the right side of the head before he was subdued with assistance from other officers. Both the initial altercation and the altercation in the Police station were documented by the officers, and both officers requested Court action, yet within hours the men were freed, without charges levied against them.

Ady Pacheco, one of the most scandalized immigration officers of recent memory, and long believed to be one of the most criminally culpable in Immigration corruption with the possible exception of UDP Ministers, testified yesterday that on many occasions applications were brought in by Ministers, their drivers and even their secretaries. Under intense examination, Pacheco, whose name was called approximately 90 times in the Auditor-General's Nationality Report, claimed that she and others processed whatever UDP Ministers brought in because they were intimidated and afraid of repercussions. According to Pacheco, they received those applications, many incomplete, "From Minister Penner and from all the ministers that came. I mean this is Belize. This is how it works sadly but it's the truth. If an officer does not comply with the request made by a Minister, they simply just move you to somewhere else."

Barrow RAISES Gas Prices AGAIN!
Without warning, and with not a care for Belizeans who are suffering from severe GAS-tritis, the Barrow Administration at midnight Tuesday raised the price of Regular Fuel, used by a vast majority of consumers, by a whopping 31 cents per gallon. In Belize City, the cost of a gallon of Regular Fuel is now way past the $10 mark, at $10.18, and higher in the districts. As a sick joke from this diabolical dictator, the price of Diesel Fuel, the stable of the transportation and productive sectors, went down - BY ONE CENT. The price of Super Fuel remains the same, but there are reports that at midnight tonight that will go up as well.

Monsters Charged for Bizarre Murder
On Monday, June 19, Steven Manzanero, Reginald Patt, and Armando Coleman were charged for the murder of Emy Guerra, 16 and the attempted murder of Eliseo Bacab, 22. The unexpected and senseless attack which took the life of the teenager from Santa Familia Village, Cayo and left Bacab grievously wounded can only be described as a monstrous act, perpetrated by monsters. On Friday night, Guerra and her boyfriend Bacab were hanging out at the football field in Santa Familia Village when they were attacked by three men that they knew. According to Bacab, the men were drinking, and all Steven Manzanero said was, "Hey guys the thing that I will do right now, I don't want nobody to say anything." With his neck covered in bandages and lacerations and cut wounds on his back, Bacab explained to the media early this week, "me and Amy were sitting but when I hear that I tried to stand and then the boy grabbed by my neck with his hand and he had a knife and he stabbed me like 6 times right here."

Complete and Utter Bullshit
Over the weekend a 16-year-old girl was brutally murdered, her throat cut before she was thrown into the river. Her boyfriend's neck was also cut, and he was thrown in the river but survived. Old man in the media that I am, cold and callous even, I watched near tears as a mother spoke about her child. I watched her eyes. They lit up with pride when she spoke about her daughter going looking for jobs so she could save up her money to go to CET to study to be a chef. And then I watched as reality dimmed that pride and she understood that these memories are all she will ever have of her child. It was damned sad. I went into the archives today to check the name of one of the persons who viciously and cold-bloodedly attacked this boy and girl. Steven Manzanero was fifteen when he killed for the first time, in 2005. His victim that time was a high-school student. Manzanero stabbed him in the stomach, and from my research I learned that the young man died screaming in horrible agony.

Barrow's Cross to Bear
In October, 2016, Dean Oliver Barrow rewarded Edmond Castro, always a Cabinet bridesmaid and never a bride, with the portfolios of Transportation and NEMO. The unexpected anointing of the integrity-challenged UDP representative was the result of tumultuous times in the UDP. Two of Mr. Barrow's go-to Ministers, Gaspar Vega and John Saldivar, had seen their stars blown out of the sky by explosive charges of corruption, and even with the liberal use of Senators at his disposal, the PM had no more tricks to pull out of the hat. But Mr. Castro has a problem, and his problem has long created problems for Mr. Barrow who dearly loves to pontificate about his double-sided machete even though he hasn't laid eyes or hands on that rusty old implement since 2008. The man from Maskall, who is now remembered for all manner of things other than clearing the land, is known as a very shady fellow.

Tarique Flowers & Alicia Thompson Win CFB Road Championship Individual Time Trials
Team Benny's Megabytes' Tarique Flowers was 1st Elite rider while Team Belize Bank Swoosh's Alicia Thompson was 1st Female rider in the Cycling Federation of Belize's individual time trials leading up to the National Road Championships, held on the Burrell Boom bypass on Sunday morning. The national championships 102-mile road race starts from the "Drums of Our Fathers" monument in Dangriga, to the finish line at the Leslie's Imports on the George Price Highway in Belize City on Sunday, June 25.

Hopkins' Boys Win National Basketball Championship
The Holy Family RC School boys from Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District won the national primary schools basketball championship hosted by the National Sports Council at the SJC gym last Thursday, June 15. In Game 1, the Cayo champs, the St. Andrews Anglican boys of San Ignacio ran over the Toledo champs - the Punta Gorda Methodist boys 37-13; led by Kelvin Garnett scoring 16 pts. P.G.'s Lazaro Barrientos scored 7pts. In Game 2, the Belize City champs - the St. Ignatius RC boys had stomped the Corozal champs, the Libertad Methodist boys: 53-3; led by Kevin Peters with 10pts. Corozal's Jesey Leslie scored 3pts.

St. Joseph's RC Girls Win National Basketball Championship
The St. Joseph's RC School girls won the national primary schools basketball championship hosted by the National Sports Council at the SJC gym last Thursday, June 15. In Game 1, the Cayo district champs, the St. Francis Xavier RC School girls from Esperanza Village blew out the Toledo champs, the Punta Gorda Methodist girls: 24-0 led by Allyeisha Bowman with 8pts and Hadie Vernon added 6pts. In Game 2, the St. Joseph's girls ran over the Corozal champs, the Libertad Methodist girls: 60-0; led by MVP Briah Clarke with 34pts, and Afeni Lamb added 20pts. In Game 3, the Stann Creek champs, the Holy Family RC girls from Hopkins Village blew away the Toledo girls: 20-5 led by Shendra Casimiro with 16 pts. Toledo's Jasmin Griffith scored 3pts.

Where is the Promised Development in Cayo Northeast?
There is currently flooding in Billy White Village, and no help from the Ministry of Works or NEMO. Every year during the rainy season the village of Billy White gets flooded. Every year for the past 9 years we have been asking for the assistance of the Government to build adequate storm drains, put in culverts and dump materials on low areas. Nothing has been done. Billy White is a low-lying flood prone community in dire need of GOB intervention. However, the small community in Cayo Northeast comprised of about 50% Belizeans and 50% non-Belizeans has been abandoned by this government. Currently the road that leads to Santa Familia and into Bullet tree and the road to Spanish Lookout is in a disastrous condition.

Thinking Out Loud
By: Mayor Kevin Bernard. As I write this at the start of the week, I feel that we have reached a critical stage in our democracy where as a people we need to decide if we are really willing to do away with every concept of right and wrong ingrained in us. I can tell you that now, more than at any time in my political career, I am ashamed of what politicians are doing to our people and to this country. Whatever happened to serving the people who elected them into office? Whatever happened to placing a hand on the bible and swearing an oath to serve the country faithfully and well? Whatever happened to being moral and good persons of integrity who can be trusted to always be on the side of right? I have said it before and I will say it again - sometimes I am ashamed of where we have come.

How do you parse or analyse the events that have unfolded concerning the brutish attack in the National Assembly by UDP operatives, which included the one known as Yellowman? Some very curious things have happened leading to the so called reprimand of the Sergeant at Arms/Mace Bearer for his criminal acts done inside the National Assembly Chamber and during the Senate Inquiry into the findings in the Auditor General's Report. It is trite knowledge now that the political party chairman and his associates made attempts to and in reality did indeed disrupt the hearing on the occasion of their "sortie," to use the term from the Amandala editorial. Apt term, because in my mind I was seeing the little airplanes launching their forays into enemy territory, and cheering at their success in disabling the victim. ...

Franklin Gunned Down on King Street
Shortly after 6 p.m. on Wednesday night gunshots rang out on Belize City's volatile southside. When it was done, Jermaine Franklin, 36, was left dead at #16 King Street, in the doorway of Teddy's Music. Information to the Belize Times is that Franklin had just gone to purchase a DVD at Teddy's Music and DVD Rental when a man up and opened fire, hitting him multiple times in the body. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was certified dead by medical officials.

Gough Under the Scalpel in Negligence Lawsuit
For two days in last week's Court of Appeal Session, a panel of judges heard an appeal brought by UDP appointed Chair of the Belize Medical Council, Dr. George Gough. He is trying to reverse a judgment from the Supreme Court that he was negligent in the performance as a surgeon, and that he owes the aggrieved patient an award of $52,520. Readers may be aware of what the case is. The patient was Alice Arana-Gillett, and back in October 2009, she began experiencing severe pains. She was rushed to a private hospital. Dr. Gough became the doctor who attended to her, and he diagnosed that she needed to remove her gall bladder. He recommended laparoscopic surgery, and assured her that it would be minimally invasive. This type of surgery was supposedly low impact, that she would make a speedy recovery.

Family of Slain Teen Demands Justice
On Tuesday morning, family members of murder victim Emy Guerra along with Santa Familia villagers and residents from the twin towns gathered in front of the San Ignacio Police Station awaiting the arraignment of the Steven Manzanero, Armando Coleman and Reginald Patt. The outraged protesters held banners stating "Life imprisonment is what they deserve," and "lock them up and throw away the key." Kathy Guerra, the mother of Emy Guerra, says she was told by officers that the men had been arraigned on Monday in Belmopan Magistrate's Court since no Magistrate was available in San Ignacio Town - "The Police told me that they are not here right now - yesterday they took them to Belmopan and they charged them already."

US Raises Rainbow Flag
For a second time in Belize's history, the United States Embassy which promotes LGBTI rights has raised a pride flag at its Floral Park Road compound in Belmopan. Present as guest speakers were Chargé d' Affaires, Adrienne Galanek and UNIBAM's executive director, Caleb Orozco. With 8 stripes of different colours, the rainbow flag honours the LGBTI community and will be flown at the Embassy until the end of June which is designated as LGBTI Pride Month. As explained by Galanek Pride Month honours the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village in New York which served as a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the US. Among all the activities planned throughout the month in major US cities are memorials for those who have been lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS. Galanek lamented, "unfortunately, even today in 2017, the struggle for LGBTI rights and security continues, as tragically do the attacks on the LGBTI community."

Minister's Sons Busted with Contraband
On Friday afternoon Jafari Castro and Wasani Castro, sons of Minister Edmond Castro, were inexplicably freed despite assaulting two Police officers assigned to Precinct 1, PCs Donescio Coc and Shelrick Caliz, and committing various traffic and other offences. Less than six hours after, the two boys would be in the custody of Customs officials after they were busted transporting 89 cases of contraband Corona beers in the Orange Walk District.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Another Castro Scandal: Cayo businessman claims Minister is covering up for son
Amidst a wave of bad press for Minister Edmond Castro, first because of the revocation of his diplomatic and tourist visas a couple weeks ago and again this week because of a series of shenanigans involving his two sons, contraband and police; a Bullet [�]

6.8 Quake Hits Pacific Coast of Guatemala
Photo: CONRED Guatemala This morning, a magnitude 6.8 Earthquake hit the pacific coast of Guatemala. Around 6:31 am, Guatemalans reported feeling the tremor. According to the Geological Survey, the quake was centered about 24 miles (38 kilometers) southwest of Puerto San Jose and 6 miles [�]

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 [�]

"Police bad minded" says Castro brothers' attorney
Herbert Panton, attorney for Jafari and Wasani Castro, is insisting that the leaked information about their criminal charges were the work of a malicious police officer. Panton, a former magistrate, explained that the latest evidence, a court book log which showed that Jafari Castro [�]

Regular fuel goes up, other fuel go down by one cent
By BBN Staff:Fuel prices have been adjusted several times since January 1, 2017. Effective today, regular fuel has increased by 31 cents per gallon. So instead of paying $9.87 per gallon, consumers will now pay $10.18. However, the cost of diesel and premium fuel will be reduced by [�]

Over 30 women detained in immigration crackdown
Over 30 women have been detained following a joint operation between the Belize Police Department and Immigration officers. Authorities detained the women after conducting immigration checks at various bars in Stann Creek and Toledo, where many of the "workers" did not have the proper [�]


San Pedro Lobster fest Block Party 2017 will be held on June 24th, 2017
The San Pedro Lobster Festival is an annual event that celebrates the reopening of lobster season in Belize. The first festival was held in 2007 with a week of nightly events leading up to one epic block party. Over the past 10 years the festival has evolved into a 10 day festival filled with over 20 great activities and incredible lobster themed foods! 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! Each guest attending the Lobster Crawl is given a Lobster Festival "Passport". In the passport there is a page for each of the day and night Lobster Festival events; for each page that guests get stamped by the participating venue they are entitled to a raffle ticket. Then on June 24th, guests bring their "Passport" to Central Park to the Lobster Festival's official sponsor's booth. One lucky participant will win a vacation package for 2 to attend the San Pedro Lobster Festival 2018!!

Why visit the Marco gonzalez Mayan Site in San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Marco Gonzalez Mayan site dates back from 100BC. It is located five miles south of San Pedro small area south of Laguna de Boca Chica. Today San Marco Gonzalez is recognized from visitors around the world and on an 8 acres on a small area of elevated terrain. Over 2,000 years ago it could have been more noticeable from the evidence of the Maya that came to the island. Their are 19 Maya sites that are recognized in San Pedro Ambergris Caye but no dedicated attempts had been made to preserve any of them. Their the water rises approximately 2 feet and is surrounded of swamp here in Marco Gonzalez site.. to learn more visit : On Saturday June 21st the public of San Pedro where invited to join the San Marco Gonzalez Ancient Maya Ceremony at 10am. Through swamp, through jungle, through the palms view up above the site is very evidence of natural soil and from different kinds of animals and pottery on the land when you enter the site. each step is like going back in time. It all started when Jane Brown introduced herself thanking each and everyone that showed up.

International Sourcesizz

SPMAGTF-SC Marines hold opening ceremony for Honduras school projects
U.S. Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Southern Command held an opening ceremony at Taufick Bendeck Elementary School in Trujillo, Honduras, June 15, to signify the start of several renovation projects in the local area. In addition to the infrastructure improvement projects in Trujillo as well as in Guatemala, the Marines with SPMAGTF-SC are conducting security cooperation training in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and, should the need arise, are on standby for disaster relief efforts in the region at the request of the host governments.

CATS program to protect Caribbean ecosystems
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is aiming to reduce pollution and restore the health of Caribbean ecosystems, under the Caribbean Aqua Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) Program. The program focuses on managing natural resources and building resilience to climate change. Lyndon Robertson, Head of CARPHA's Environmental Health Department provided insight into the CATS program. "The CATS program is an initiative of the Federal Republic of Germany and the CARICOM Secretariat. It focuses on the management of natural resources and building resilience to climate change. It was conceptualized in 2012 and started in 2013 as two components. Component one looked at adaptation to climate change and agriculture in rural economies, and component two focused on the conservation of coastal resources and bio-diversity."

Mingo teacher joins Belize mission trip
This summer, long time Mingo County educator, Theresa Hanshaw will return to the impoverished country of Belize with the mission group Pathlight International to train teachers, raise the level of education, and ultimately, work toward overcoming poverty while incorporating the teachings of Christianity. Hanshaw, who has experience in both teaching and administration, will return once again to Belize this July to train Belizean teachers that work with impoverished students. Another focus of the trip will be integrating Christian principles into the training. Hanshaw explained this to the Williamson Daily News stating, "I will also be integrating the Bible.


  • Belize Cultural Celebrations Vol. 3: Christmas Bram - A Kriol Christmas, 16min. This educational video is the third in a series of documentary videos and accompanying posters which highlights Belize's Cultural Celebrations, and forms part of a broader initiative to implement the UNESCO 2003 Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Belize. The documentary presents the history and origins of the Christmas Bram, as well as descriptions of the Bram as it is currently practiced. It includes interviews with community elders, musicians, dancers, and cultural resource persons, along with the sound of the brokdong music.

  • Spanish Recording Belize 2017, 16min.


  • Toledo Residents Get Solar Lights, 4.5min. The Grid Earth Project is a charity launched in 2008 by couple Jack and Audrey Cochran, members of Rotary District 5870 in Texas. The goal of the Project is to provide solar powered lights to communities living without electricity. We spoke to the Cochrans who were recently in the Toledo District for their annual distribution.

  • Stimulationg National Development, 4.5min. Belize Electricity Limited is committed to its Mission "to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.

  • My Travels - Belize, 4min. So this is my follow up video to an absolutely amazing engagement/engagement location in Santorini. I was fortunate enough to marry my soul mate/best friend in Belize! This is an awesome place that I can not wait to go back to in the future!

  • CSMA Mission Trip to Belize 2017, 7min. Christian Sports Medicine Alliance mission trip in Belize.

  • 10 days in San Pedro, Belize, 4min. thank you San Pedro, you will always have a place in my heart.

  • Summer 2017 Belize, 3min.

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