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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

San Pedro participates in Regional HIV Testing Day
Several organizations in San Pedro gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den to host a “Regional HIV Testing Day” health fair on Friday, June 30th. From 9AM to 3PM, the National AIDS Commission (NAC), the San Pedro AIDS Commission, Projects Abroad Belize, Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, and the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) welcomed all community members, offering free glucose and rapid HIV testing.

Islanders honour their Patron Saint during Dia de San Pedro
Over the course of five days, San Pedro Town honoured its Patron Saint via El Dia de San Pedro festivities. From Wednesday, June 28th through Sunday, July 2nd, celebrations were held at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. The annual celebration began on Thursday aiming to promote unity, history and the island’s culture and tradition. The different events during the week-long festivities embraced San Pedro’s beginnings as a small fishing village and the importance of Saint Peter, the patron saint of the fishermen.

“Justice for Felix” Walk brings community together
In honor of island activist Felix Ayuso, who was brutally murdered at his residence on February 1, 2017, family and friends organized a “Justice for Felix” Walk on Sunday, July 2nd. Nearly five months after Ayuso’s death, the San Pedro Police Department officially released a wanted poster for Vildo Westby, who is believed to be connected to his death, on Wednesday, June 28th. Family members hope the walk will sew as a reminder that we need justice for him and others, and that it will speed up the process of capturing Westby. At 11AM, dozens of participants, many dressed in “Justice for Felix” t-shirts and brought posters, converged at the Central Park to plead for justice. As Alex Noralez guided the walk with music and positive messages, walkers made their way north to Boca del Rio before returning to Pescador Drive, then back at the park. During the walk, participants shouted “Justice for Felix”, while family members distributed wanted posters of Westby throughout San Pedro Town. The walk also highlighted justice for victims whose murder cases remain unsolved, including Jeffrey Eiley and Melvin Almendarez. After short remarks from Ayuso’s family members and supporters, the walk ended.

Locals and visitors celebrate Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2017; Aaliyah Elijio is the new Miss Lobster Fest
Since 1994, the Caye Lobster Fest has been one of the favourite beach festivals for both Belizeans and visitors alike. This year was no exception, and the celebration of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster did not disappoint, as thousands of visitors from around Belize and abroad convened on La Isla Cariñosa from Friday, June 30th through Sunday, July 2nd, for a weekend of fabulous parties. The event kicked off on Friday night, with the long awaited Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Pageant. Four contestants competed for the coveted title; Aaliyah Elijio, Aleizy Durantes, Annabella Requena, and Katleen Cutkelvin. Master of Ceremonies was the effervescent William Neal, and he welcomed everyone to the pageant held under the theme, ‘Flora and Fauna of Belize’. The stage came alive as the four young beauties sashayed onstage for their official introduction. They radiated confidence, garnering applause from the audience as they enthusiastically introduced themselves.

Ambergris Today

Island Residents ‘Walk For Justice” As Murder Cases Remain Unsolved
Nearly five months after the brutal murder of island resident/activist Felix Ayuso Jr. that shocked the community, family, friends and residents are still angry and upset that nobody has been charged for his murder and that his killer is still free Sufficient evidence has been obtained by the Police Department to arrest Vildo Westby who is now wanted in connection with Felix Ayuso’s murder; yet the department has failed to locate and capture lead suspect in the case. Family members of Felix are frustrated and in dire need to put closure to this tragic case. Flyers have been given out, notices have been released on national news and still no justice has been served. The community is mad as this is not the first murder on the island that that remains unsolved or left inconclusive.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Faster Internet coming to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
On Friday, June 23, 2017, the CEO of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), Mr. Rochus Schreiber and his team were in San Pedro Town, where they made an official visit to Mayor Daniel Guerrero to coordinate future works that will be taking place for the installation of Belize Telemedia’s new service, DIGINET. DIGINET is a new service that promises to offer Superfast Fiber-based Internet up to 100Mbps for your home or business, and the island of Ambergris Caye will be the first in the country of Belize to experience it. If everything goes as planned, San Pedro Town will be fully connect by August 2017. The BTL team will be out in San Pedro Town in the upcoming month to promote its new service prior to the official launch. The CEO, Mr. Schreiber expressed his excitement for the launch of this new service and stated that the island of Ambergris Caye will be the first to experience DIGINET because of it is the top destination for tourism for Belize. He asks for the community’s support during the time of installation as works will be very aggressive in order to fully execute the service as planned.

Celebration of Dia De San Pedro this past Weekend!

A tanker truck spill oil in the Sarstoon

CLOSURE OF CONCH FISHING SEASON
The Belize Fisheries Department informs the public that the conch fishing season is officially closed from July 1st, 2017 to September 30th, 2017.

Belizeans Take Advantage of BTEC Barbering Course
From June 15th to 23rd, the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) – a unit of Beltraide tasked with properly equipping and preparing individuals to confidently compete in the marketplace - hosted a Basics in Barbering Training at the ITVET in Belize City. Last week, our team caught up with some of the barbers who participated in the course to hear about their experience.

Philip Goldson Highway Gets Major Rehabilitation
Back in 2015, the Government of Belize announced that it had secured a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank for the upgrading of the Philip Goldson Highway Project. The works are well underway, and our team got an update on the progress ...

BTB hosts third digital summit
For the third consecutive year, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) will host its annual Digital Summit on Friday, 14th July at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The one-day-event is the premier and only Digital Summit in the country that provides a unique learning experience for tourism stakeholders. This enabling marketing environment will provide opportunities for information sharing and insights by some of the top professionals within the digital marketing business, in the field of Content Marketing, Social Media “Best Practices”, Travel Trade in Tourism and Digital Trends.

Guess which Circus comes to Corozal?
The "AMERICAN CIRCUS" from Mexico will be making its debut this Friday, July 7th with two performances at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Andres Campos Football Field in COROZAL opposite the Civic Center. The shows will feature international and Mexican performers and for the children, they will feature the "Pepa Pig and Frozen Shows". Have a Laugh Out Loud weekend with family and friends. Please check the prices at the show grounds.

Channel 7

Cabinet Ministers Will Appear Before Senate Select
Tomorrow, the Senate Hearings on Immigration will continue, and for the first for first time sitting UDP Ministers of Government will be called to testify as main witnesses. Those Ministers who will answer questions from the Senate are Anthony "Boots" Martinez, who did not get his chance from last week, and Edmond Castro. They have been accused in these hearings by the former immigration agent turned whistleblower, Alvarine Burgess. You'll remember that she said that back in her days as a fixer, she paid $2,000 in bribe money to both Ministers so that they would write recommendation letters for Chinese visa applicants. She asserted that those letters guaranteed that the applicants would get their visas approved.

Pastor and Media Personality Luis wade Cleared of Charges Against Minister's Son
In May, pastor and media personality Louis Wade was charged for common assault and using insulting words. The police said his victim was Robert Montero, the son of Minister Rene Montero. Wade says he was the victim - who was intimidated and almost run over by Robert Montero while he was doing his job - reporting on a matter of public interest. But, the police thought otherwise, and confidently brought a case against Wade as the aggressor.

Johnny Valencia, Principal Pedophile?
Valley of Peace Principal Johnny Valencia has been charged with another count of sexual assault and police are already looking into a third complaint. The Monsignor Romero principal was taken to Belmopan Magistrate's court today. It is damning case with mounting evidence, and today when we spoke to the Cayo District Education Officer he told us that Valencia has been placed on Administrative leave since June 20th. He explained that although a panel has been formed to do an internal investigation into these complaints, everything ultimately depends on the results of the court case since it is now a criminal matter. Valencia returns to court for both matters on August 21st.

Alleged Coro Killer Caught
Last week Thursday, we told you about the chopping murder of 21 year-old Amilcar Omar Moralez Gonzalez, the Salvadoran from San Joaquin village. Police were looking for 33 year-old Arturo Tamai Tzul, and they were concerned that he had fled back to Mexico. Well, he didn't; he was caught in Belize and yesterday, he was charged with one count of murder. He will now be arraigned and remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Ladyville Shooting Victim Crawled To Safety
27 year old Elward Mckay is recovering in the hospital tonight after he was shot near his home in Ladyville. Last night after 9:00, Mckay was heading back home on his bicycle after buying food when a gunman opened fire on him on Pigeon Street. Mckay was hit to the back - the bullet exited his chest. He fell off his bike and dashed as fast as he could to the nearest home. I went to Ladyville today and the blood trail he left behind as he dragged himself to residents' front door was still there. We spoke to the resident who told us she simply couldn't do anything for him because she had to keep her kids safe.

Convicted Police Firearms Examiner Orlando Vera
3 weeks ago, we told you about how the convicted police firearms examiner Orlando Vera was attempting to get bail. He's currently serving a 2-year sentence for abetment to pervert the course of justice. He has a pending appeal which the Supreme Court believes that it can dispose of urgently, and so his first attempt to get bail failed. The DPP's office committed that it would be ready to proceed against him, but, it seems there are some administrative difficulties. The records for the case, from the Magistrate's Court have been slow in arriving to the Supreme Court, and that means that the deadlines for Vera's appeal have been pushed back.

Destra Making Int'l Headlines For Bladder Bursting Dance Move
Since 7News broke the story last night, the news of Soca superstar Destra Garcia has gone viral. It is being reported in news outlets all over the Caribbean that the Supreme Court of Belize has ordered her to pay Belizean Fernando Oliva just over $14,000. That's for rupturing his bladder when she called him up on stage and body slammed his midsection. You might think folks would be sorry for the guy, but back in Belize - on social media outlets - the more attention the story gets, the more hate Oliva gets.

Sarstoon Tributary Contaminated On Guat Side
Tonight, not much more is known about the oil spill in Guatemala which has reportedly made its way into the Sarstoon River that forms the southern boundary between the two countries. We do know first that thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled out of a tanker truck into the Gracias a Dios river, which feeds into the Sarstoon River - on the Guatemalan side. According to Guatemalan media reports, it happened near the village of "Arenales" - which is not very far from Belize. One Guatemalan news outlet says"the oil spill ... could destroy the aquatic life of the rivers Chocon and Sarstun..."

Pastor Humes Clears His Name
Last night we told you about the Pastor and Cab Driver, Mark Humes - who was charged for drug trafficking. This is after he took a taxi job to drop off a 16 year old who was carrying 10 pounds of weed in a suitcase. Humes said that on Friday he was just outside the bus station doing his usual runs when the 16 year old came off the bus. Little did he know that the events of the next few hours would see him end up in police lockdown for 72 hours, sleeping on the floor with common criminals. And by last night - he was being labelled on another media house as "a church pastor turned drug trafficker." Today, the father of four told us what the past few days have been like:...

A Workshop To Tackle The Complex Problem Of Suicide
Men and youths, those are the two groups most at risk for suicide according to the Ministry of Health. Today, health planners and social sector stakeholders sat down at the Biltmore with PAHO for a suicide prevention plan workshop. I was there and found what's being done to reach out to these at-risk groups:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting: 117 Belizeans committed suicide between 2012 and July 3rd 2017. 94 of those suicide victims were men. Lorna Perez, Surveillance Officer, Epidemiology Unit: "When it comes to actually men dying from suicides we have them dying 5 times more than women."

Why Do Men Kill Themselves More Than Women?
So as you heard, more men are killing themselves than women but why? And is there a difference with how men and women commit suicide? Nurse Bennett elaborated on this complex issue. Eleanor Bennett, Nursing Administrator, Mental Health: "From what we observe with suicide behavior is that when a man attempts to kill himself he would usually use very lethal means and a lethal means that he would use a mean that would prevent him from getting assistance. So that would mean he would try to hang himself, he would try to use a gun, he would try to jump off a bridge - something that might sure to cause his death. But we also notice that when women attempt suicide, they would do so by less lethal means which means that there is a window to get them help and that might be by drinking poison which is an issue for us, drinking over the counter medication and overdosing on other substances and so that creates that statistic that we have less men attempting, but more men dying and more women attempting and less women dying."

Kyle Carter Charged For Home Invasion
Twenty year old Kyle Carter today joined a group of men accused of barging into the home of businessman Mario Galvez and stealing $600 dollars in cash at gunpoint. He was charged with aggravated burglary when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Carter pled not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody where he joins his alleged accomplice, Nicoli Rhys.

Police Disclose Names In Ladyville Motorbike Accident
Tonight, more is known about that accident we first told you about last night. Just after 5:00, 35 year old Eric Gordon, a customs broker of Gardenia Village, was driving his Honda "600 CC" Ninja from Belize City to Lord's Bank Village. At the airport junction, he collided into a smaller 150 CC Honda owned by Bowen and Bowen coming from the opposite direction. Both drivers fell to the pavement where Gordon received a minor abrasion while 21 yr old Orlando Cowo had a broken right foot.

Pulled Up To His Bumper
There was a minor accident in downtown Belize City which held up traffic on Albert Street. A Nissan Maxima driver appears to have been focusing on something other than the road today when he rear ended a Tourism Police Unit Mazda Pickup. The Mazda didn't get much damage, but the entire hood of the Maxima was crushed under its rear bumper.

Cyber Security For Internet Service Providers
On this newscast, we've told you a lot about cyber security and the efforts of the Public Utilities Commission in raising public awareness. And now they're doing so with Internet Service Providers - to make sure that end users like you don't run into security snags on the internet. I found out more today:...

Did PM Just Call Mayor Bradley A Liar?
The past few days - we've heard the PUP's Monchie Cervantes say the Prime Minister wasn't being truthful when speaking about him. And across party lines, that sort of thing happens all the time. But, to have one UDP elected official refer to another UDP elected official as a liar? That would be very odd - and even more so if the one making the accusation is the Prime Minister. But that's just what happened. We have to start with the comment from the mayor which triggered the Prime Minister:

Caribbean Shores Rep and PM On The Politics of The Entertainment Strip
That talk about zoning came up when The Prime Minister responded to Caribbean shores area representative Kareem Musa. They were talking about the BTL part entertainment strip. Here's that back and forth in Friday's house meeting. Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP - Caribbean Shores: "But I think he may have over - reacted in going from one extreme of allowing all these open air bars, to now shutting down some of these establishments. So, now, before the residents are misconstrued, let me just make it clear for the record what their concerns were. First of all they no longer wish to have the Carnival there. I don't know if it's Mexican or Guatemalan, but it's a real nuisance. So, if it is that he is no longer going to allow the Carnival to come there, we applaud that initiative. Two, the residents, Madam Speaker, complain that they are locked into their homes, because the parking situation is a disaster. And so you have the patrons of these establishments, parking right in front of the constituents' homes and they cannot get out."

Channel 5

Court dismisses case against Louis Wade
Back in May, journalist and owner of Plus TV Louis Wade was taken before the Magistrate Court in San Ignacio and arraigned for common assault and use of insulting words. [...]

Orlando Vera wait continues; court pushes decision on bail to Friday
A ballistics examiner employed with the National Forensic Science Service is still awaiting the result of a second application for bail following his conviction for abetment to perverting the course [...]

Why Vera could not get bail the usual way
But why can’t Vera apply directly to the court as a result of appealing his conviction? The answer lies in a change to the law that in fact limits his [...]

“Person of interest” sought in Abdush Salam murder
Police are actively looking for a person of interest in the murder of Bangladeshi national Abdush Salam. The nude body of Salam was found in his Orange Street apartment by [...]

Accused San Joaquin killer, Arthur Tzul, charged
He was wanted by Corozal Police for last Thursday’s chopping murder of Amilcar Omar Morales Gonzalez and the attempted murder of Doniver Ruano, but on Monday, police formally arrested and [...]

The Ministers are coming to Belmopan on Wednesday
Wednesday’s Senate Special Select Committee public hearing in Belmopan is expected to turn up the heat on the Government of Belize. For the first time, sitting Ministers in Cabinet will [...]

The reality of the employment situation
At least nine percent of the population is jobless. The latest figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize also show that as of April 2017, almost two thousand persons [...]

OCEANA, SATIIM et al. to follow up on Sarstoon oil spill
A team of environmental watchdogs led by OCEANA inBelizeis headed to the site of a waterborne oil spill along theSarstoonRiveron Wednesday.  As we’ve reported, a tanker traveling toward Chahal, Alta [...]

Premium gas goes up again
Effective today, drivers saw another increase at the fuel pumps, this time for premium gasoline. It had gone untouched when the last increase came in for regular gasoline which is [...]

The real reason why Gaspar Vega returned to House
Friday’s appearance in the House of Representatives broke a personal streak for Orange Walk North area representative Gaspar Vega which dates back to August of 2016.  He lost his powerful [...]

Motorbikes clash and crash at Airport Road junction
Two persons were injured following the collision of two motorcycles on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Just after five p.m. on Monday, police were called out between miles eight and nine [...]

Police catch shooter of Elward McKay in Belize City
Ladyville police have one person in custody following a shooting on Monday night. Around nine-thirty p.m., shots rang out on Pigeon Street as a gunman took aim at twenty-seven-year old [...]

Everal Gray makes plea in drug trafficking case
Belize City resident, Everal Gray, was convicted this morning in the Belize City Magistrate for drug trafficking. Gray, who is no stranger to the court, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon [...]

The plan to prevent rising suicide and depression
From 2012 to 2016, one hundred and thirteen persons died by their own hand, and three hundred and eighty-two others attempted to do so. There have been three more suicides [...]

What started Holy Emmanuel arson?
The Fire Department says that the fire that happened on Holy Emmanuel Street in Belize City seems to be a case of arson. The twelve by fourteen wooden structure was [...]

Central Bank builds cheque processing system to supplement national payment
The Central Bank of Belize launched today a new Automated Cheque Processing, which paves the way for the electronic processing of cheques. It means that clearing time will be reduced [...]

Internet operators told to set minimum security standards
This April’s National Cyber Security Forum, hosted by Packet Clearing House and the Public Utilities Commission, featured a host of participants working to create a National Cyber Security Strategy and [...]

Thirteen continue road to KTV Remix title
Shortly, we head over to the Bliss Institute for another exciting round of competition in this summer’s hottest entertainment show, KTV the Remix.  Fifteen performers took to the stage last [...]

Amandala

A pastor’s nerve-wracking experience with a dangerous law
A pastor who makes his living as a taxi driver operating out of the Novelo’s Bus Terminal, located on East Collet Canal, had a horrifying experience Friday evening when he accepted some passengers for what he thought were two routine runs in the city. Instead of going home to his wife and family in Burrell Boom after work, he ended up spending the weekend in police lockdown and is now facing a serious criminal charge, which can be punished by three years in jail and a $10,000 fine. This morning, Pastor Mark Humes, 45, and a 16-year-old youth appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza to answer to a charge of drug trafficking.

PUC approves marginal rate reduction but consumers will pay the same rates
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which regulates electricity tariffs charged by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), has disapproved the April 1 recommendation made by the company to keep the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) at 36.99¢ per kilowatt-hour. In its final decision issued today, the PUC announced that the rate should be reduced to 36.92¢ per kilowatt-hour—a marginal decrease of 0.19%. The new mean rate is effective as of Saturday, July 1, 2017; however, the Commission, chaired by John Avery, said that the reduction “is too insignificant to have any impact” on electricity rates, so consumers will continue to pay the same rates.

Tied up, naked and dead
A Bangladeshi man who has been living and working in Belize for a number of years, at first in the Orange Walk District and later in Belize City, was found dead on Saturday, tied up with his hands behind his back. Abdush Salam, 29, was last seen alive at Al Rafa Mini Mart, the shop he operated inside the Novelo’s Bus Terminal on East Collet Canal. Salam closed up his shop around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and went home to his apartment at 4 Orange Street to have lunch. Salam had no family in Belize and lived alone in his apartment.

Gapi back in the House
Former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar “Gapi” Vega returned to Parliament on Friday, June 30, after an astounding 10-month absence marked by his resignation from Cabinet in the wake of a land scandal involving his son, Andre Vega. At last report, Vega had missed seven consecutive meetings since the meeting of December 9, 2016, but because those meetings spanned more than three months, he was not subject to the provision in the House standing orders that would have resulted in his seat being declared vacant.

While pastor preached, thieves raided his office in the same building
The Church of the Kingdom of God situated on Queen Street in Belize City, just beside the Queen Street Police Station, was burglarized during a church service on Friday. Pastor Wesley Ruiz, 30, told police that between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., someone entered his office and made off with a black Dell-brand backpack valued at $30, which contained a 13-inch Apple-brand laptop valued at $6,000. Burglars also took a 9-inch black LG tablet, valued at $300, and a 9-inch white Alcatel tablet, valued at $250. The pastor’s wallet, valued at $10, was also stolen.

Toledo and Stann Creek Districts suffer from weekend’s tropical wave
–The southern districts of Toledo and Stann Creek got the worst of heavy rains from a tropical wave that passed over the country over the weekend. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) had to spring into action, because the torrential rains caused numerous rivers and creeks in the south to overflow across their banks, threatening the lives and properties of hundreds of villagers. Three advisories were issued in less than 24 hours as the organization worked to keep Belizeans in the areas affected, up to date with the situation.

City Boys – champions, and Heights FC – sub-champions of Smart 13 & Under Mundialito 2017
We don’t have the details yet; but it’s official, City Boys won, 1-nil, in the championship game yesterday over Heights FC, who settled for second place in the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito at the MCC. Hattieville Riverside Boys took third place by defeating Ladyville Rising Stars. We’ll have more details and the individual awards in our Friday issue.

C-Ray Youth Summer Series 2017 under way; Week 1 results
–The 4th Annual C-Ray Cycling Club’s Youth Summer Series kicked off yesterday, Sunday, July 2, on Marine Parade Boulevard. Despite the rainy weather conditions, some 48 youths (34 male and 14 female) from as far as Georgeville, Cayo, showed up to race in 10 different categories. Included here are the Week 1 results with some pictures. There is a special picture with all the females who raced yesterday. A little progress each day adds up to big results. I definitely can’t change the past, so I’m focusing on making a great future for female cycling in my country. These are the faces that will take over from me.

Mayors Cup quarterfinals, 2 games played, 2 more this Friday
The Dangriga Mayor’s Cup Tournament 2017 had knockout quarterfinal playoffs scheduled for the past weekend on Friday, June 30, and Sunday, July 2, at the Carl Ramos Stadium; but only the Friday night games were played, as the Sunday games had to be called off due to weather conditions. In the opener on Friday night, DYFA dropped Wagiya, 3-2, with a goal apiece from Eugene Martinez (22’), Davis Marshall (78’) and Jonard Castillo (85’); while Wagiya got a goal each from Krisean Lopez (70’) and Horace Avila (90’). And in the nightcap, it was Coast Guard, 2-1, over New Site Tire Depot. Brian Martinez (9’) and Kyle Budna (79’) shook the net for Coast Guard, while Shawn Caliz (40’) got the lone goal for New Site.

Performance Report on Central American Senior Championships in Honduras
Belize was represented at the Central American Senior Championships, hosted in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from Friday, June 30, to Sunday, July 2. 17 athletes and 5 officials represented Belize. Once again, we were able to be the star country of the competition, winning an impressive six (6) Gold medals. Samantha Dirks was awarded the MVP and Best Female Athlete of the competition with an amazing three (3) Gold medals.

Southside apprehension
This Monday morning, July 3, Marco Vidal takes over the top police command from Chester Williams in Belize City’s troubled Southside. Vidal, who was the first commander of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), has a heavy-handed reputation, to put it mildly. Chester Williams, who was “discovered” by Ralph Fonseca when he was Minister of Police in the Said Musa years, was also considered heavy-handed until he went to qualify himself in law and, upon his return, began to dedicate himself to “community policing.” It is sad that the academics in Belize are so intimidated that sober, focused public discussion on serious issues is seldom held. Party politics makes everything so prickly in Belize; Belizean citizens allow Gordian knots to exacerbate matters in Belize, even when a proven solution emerges.

From the Publisher
I went to St. Ignatius Church on Saturday morning for Lois Lightburn’s funeral, and a lot of memories ran through my mind. Lois had lived in Chicago with her two daughters (one of her daughters, Alva, had been a New York City victim of the 9/11 terrorist disaster at the World Trade Center in 2001), and it occurred to me that Lois must have asked to be buried in Belize. It is an expensive proposition, you know, to bring a body home from America for burial. Between 1975 and 1977, I was like an adopted son of Ms. Lucille Eusey, mother of Stretch, Ray and Pulu Lightburn. Ma Luz was like a stepmother to Lois, who was a daughter of Bill Lightburn, the father of Stretcher, Ray, and Pulu, through another lady. I will always treasure the closeness of the relationship between Ms. Luz and Lois. It was beautiful. They were like blood.

BELIZE’S CYCLING “DAREDEVIL” RUDY MIGUEL & THE HOLY SATURDAY CROSS COUNTRY!
Two years ago this feature on the two-time Belize Cross Country Cycling champion, Rudy Miguel, should have been done. But it appears that at this late date, after the 2015 Belize Cross Country victory of Miguel’s American-born grandnephew, Justin Williams, that the story of the triumphs of the Miguel brothers’ cycling dynasty was worth the wait. At this present time also, yours truly can surely say that soaking up the facts and information about this daredevil of a Belizean cyclist name Rudy Miguel over the last two years has been most rewarding, it being the case that Miguel extended a warm invitation to Belizean Legends (BL) to come and explore his archive of cycling greatness that he had compiled on his career in photographs, oral history, and his own personal memoirs. Thanks to Belizean cycling activist, Yvonne Robinson. We chatted about his career as a cyclist before his acceptance of an interview, and it was a chance for me to get to know him for the first time, since I was only a boy when he won his two Belize Cross Country Cycling Classics, and for him also to get to know me and the story he wanted to tell.

“AYO DA” TO DANA MARTINEZ & HER DANCE OF LIFE!
The loss of the legendary Garifuna Belizean dancer and artist, Dana Martinez, in the Los Angeles Belizean community has been irreplaceable. Since her death and departure from the Belize artistic scene both at home and abroad, Belizean dance performances have never been the same. Dana brought a new vibe to Belizean dance and performance. She incorporated like no one else did Garifuna dance rhythms into Caribbean art forms that would even make Bob Reneau blush. Dana was not only a dancer but an awesome musician and percussionist. She carved out a style of dancing while playing the harmonica prolifically, or playing the two-handed Shaka as she glided like a python across her space on the stage. She also did many performances to the drumbeat of Garifuna drums in real time. She was a sight to see, an almost flawless performer, that carried the beat of Africa in her Garifuna bones. She was a spectacular performer who would illuminate the show and bring an audience to its dancing feet.

Crude oil spill in bordering Guatemala could threaten the Sarstoon
An oil spill in the vicinity of the Sarstoon River in southern Belize has sparked outcry from the Guatemalan environmental agency, Centro de Acción Legal Ambiental y Social (CALAS), which has called for immediate action to mitigate the devastation caused by the spillage of an estimated 4,000 gallons of crude petroleum into the adjacent Gracias a Dios River, in the village of El Arenal, Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala.

Special police protection for Vega
The political rivalry between Orange Walk North area representative, Gaspar “Gapi” Vega, former deputy prime minister, and his challenger, Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes of the Opposition People’s United Party, is no secret, and it was most pronounced after Vega was publicly fingered by the alleged hit man in the disappearance and murder of Cervantes’ father back in 2014—an allegation which sparked the threat of a lawsuit from Vega. On Vega’s return to Parliament on Friday, June 30, after an extensive 10-month absence from House meetings, Orange Walk South rep for the PUP, Jose Abelardo Mai, said that Vega, notwithstanding his exit from Cabinet in 2016, was enjoying special police protection—cops on around-the-clock guard at his home in Orange Walk.

Belize gets woeful grades on 2017 Reef Scorecard
Belize has been lauded for putting a large portion of its territory, and in particular its maritime spaces, under protected status, but even those protected areas would be threatened if Belize were to explore offshore oil and if something were to go wrong, as was the case with the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, which devastated the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The threat of oil was the first red-flag raised in Belize’s 2017 Reef Scorecard, produced by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Belize Audubon Society, Oceana, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO), and the Belize Tourism Industry Association.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize listed among most terrifying places in the world
An article on MSN Lifestyle listed Belize among some of the most terrifying places in the world. The list features mainly tourist destinations for the adventurous traveler. It includes a volcano in Turkmenistan named “The Door to Hell”, a creepy town in Japan where […]

Central Bank introduces new cheque processing system
The Central Bank of Belize, at a press event on Tuesday morning, announced the launch of its new Automated Cheque Processing system which is one component of its larger Automated Payment and Security Service System (APS3), which the financial regulator says will significantly improve the […]

GOB and Ashcroft clash in court
The government of Belize and lawyers representing the Michael Ashcroft are set to face off for another round of battle in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) over a US $92 million legal cost claim from Ashcroft over the 2015 settlement of the Belize Telemedia Ltd. […]

Pastor Lucas’ head exhumed for forensics test
The decapitated head of slain Pastor Llewelyn Lucas was exhumed from the Belmopan cemetery last week to take samples for forensic testing, according to reports from multiple media houses.Love FM reports that the samples could be crucial for the prosecution’s case against William Mason, […]

Ralph Fonseca in hot water
Controversial former Cabinet Minister and businessman, Ralph Fonseca, considered the ultimate achilles-heel of the 1998-2008 Said Musa regime, is back again in the news. This time it is in relation to the issuance of a Belizean Nationality Certificate to another business man who didn’t […]

Magistrate throws out Wade’s case due to “executive manipulation”
This morning, Plus TV’s Louis Wade appeared at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court to answer charges of ” common assault” and “indecent words”. Robert, “Bobby” Montero, the son of Cayo Central Area representative, Rene Montero had accused Wade of assault and indecent words. Today, […]

Soca queen Destra Garcia sued in Belize
World renowned Soca artist, Destra Garcia, lost a negligence civil suit in Belize, for injuring Belizean, Fernando Oliva, during a September 2015 concert. The Supreme Court accepted Oliva’s claim that Destra was negligent when she jumped onto his torso while on stage, rupturing his […]

Said Musa challenges Faber on student subsidies
During the last sitting of the house, former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa rose to discuss the issue of education subsidy. In previous years, each Opposition member had received $10,000 of tax payers’ dollars to assist students in the upcoming school year. So […]

“Monchie” wants Vega recalled
Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North, said this week that he is looking into having UDP area representative Gaspar Vega, recalled. Cervantes told the media this week that he is looking into gathering the resources to call a bi-election and […]

Pastor charged for drug trafficking
Yesterday, a pastor who is also a taxi man appeared in court for drug trafficking charges. Pastor Mark Humes alleges that he picked up a teenager who had with him a suitcase filled with weed, and as a result, Humes and the minor were […]

Blogs

Passports to the Future
Tropic Air recognizes the value in education and has made it a priority to step up and help staff provide for their families future. Yesterday, Tropic Air presented education grants totaling $13,000 to the dependents of 21 employees. Recipients were chosen from a large group of applicants from Tropic Airlines 11 flight destinations countrywide and based on academic ability and merit. Since the inception of the education grant program more than three years ago, Tropic Air has given more than $50,000 in education grants to the dependents of its team members.

International Sourcesizz

Franklin Township: Sisters in Training for Life (STFL) Travel to Belize
STFL recently made its presence felt thousands of miles away from home. Two days after Franklin High School’s (FHS) graduation ceremony, five members of STFL along with FHS Students Assistant Coordinator, Stacy Hale, an STFL Advisor and a parent chaperone flew to Belize. The trip to Belize was completed through an Education First Educational Tours program (EF). Over the course of the trip, the group was able to explore Belizean culture, participate in adventurous activities, and give back to the community.

Honduras president urges Central American neighbours to join customs union
Last week, while attending the Central American Integration System (SICA) Summit in Costa Rica, Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández proposed expanding the Honduran-Guatemalan customs union to include other Central American nations. "Guatemala and Honduras would like to invite our neighbours to share in the growing market that our countries are creating," Hernández said. "The customs union is a boon for the economy, benefiting consumers, producers, and businesspeople alike."

Videos

  • Public Service can help reduce corruption and foster good governance., 60min.

  • The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 32min.

  • Belize NOW | Episode 25 - Friday, June 30th, 35min. In tonight’s headlines: Belizeans Take Advantage of BTEC Barbering Course, Philip Goldson Highway gets major rehabilitation and Operating Theatre Officially Opens at the Northern Regional Hospital. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, June 30th, 2017!