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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

Ministry of Natural Resources reiterates policy on use of the Seabed and 66 Feet Reserves
The Lands and Surveys Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources hereby informs the public that national lands, which are the property of the State, include the seabed and all reservations along all water frontages including rivers and the sea, commonly referred to as the 66-feet reserve measured from the high-water mark. The public is accordingly reminded that any occupation of the seabed and 66-feet reserve, including occupation by way of piers, jetties, wharves, seawalls, cabanas, beach umbrellas and chairs for patrons, etc., without the requisite permission from the Minister of Natural Resources is unlawful and illegal and subject to civil action and/or criminal prosecution.

Wings of Hope gives BERT a new air ambulance
The Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) celebrated its 19th anniversary on Tuesday, August 1st with the acquisition of a new air ambulance, a US$155,000 gift from the Wings of Hope organization based in St. Louis, Ohio USA. Part of the acquisition cost was paid for by the Wagner Foundation of Wisconsin, USA. Wings of Hope pilots flew the new Piper Cherokee 6 air ambulance into the Philip Goldson International Airport, touching down around 3:45 on Monday afternoon, July 31. After clearing Customs, the aircraft was flown to the BERT hangar at the Belize City municipal airstrip on Tuesday afternoon, where Wings of Hope veteran pilot Ed Schertz and Jim Mallette formally handed over the new plane to BERT's national coordinator/general manger Andre Carillo.

Tropic Air announces suspension of service to Chetumal, Merida, Mexico and San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Tropic Air announces today that it is suspending scheduled flights to Chetumal, Merida, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Miss Belize Michelle Nunez Captures Miss Costa Maya 2017 Crown
Since the first time she stepped on stage to compete for the title of Miss San Pedro in 2014, Michelle Estrella Nu�ez has had the support of her humble town, San Pedro. In 2016 she represented Belize in the Miss America Latina del Mundo pageant, gaining even more experience and growing her fan base to include the rest of the county. Last night Belize was rooting for their queen and they were not disappointed. Michelle took to the stage with admirable confidence and portrayed the best version of herself in her smile, in her walk and in her words. Her vision for empowering the young women of our community was evident even in the presentation of her cultural costume. She personified the Mayan Godess of Fertility, Motherhood and the Moon, Ix Chel, in a vibrant ensemble that embodied the feminine light she dreams of seeing in all Belizean women.

Social Security Board to increase contribution wage band in 2018
An increase in the amount of contributions towards Social Security (SS) for 2018 was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer in the SS, Doctor Colin Young on Tuesday, July 26th. The SS has been reviewing the process and holding public consultations countrywide on the benefit structure, to address a mandatory increase in the wage band. The SS holds that currently, employers and employees collectively share an 8% contribution rate to the SS, which is the lowest in the CARICOM community. Dr. Young indicated that the increase is primarily to meet to the demands of the volume of pensioners. He added that in order to keep the sustainability of the fund, the increase is imperative. Young mentioned that there is a debate ongoing regarding who is going to take most of the burden; will be a fair 50-50 split, with employers and employees, or is there going to be a different allocation? "That is the discussion that has to be made� ultimately we will need to see the wage band increase no later than next year," said Young.

Island businesses going Green and switching to Biodegradable products
The owner of Hidden Treasure restaurant, Ruben Mu�oz, has also taken to bio-degradable products. "We do a lot of takeout food, but we decided to go biodegradable for our delivery containers. We purchase most of our products from Ecofriendly Solutions Limited in mainland Belize. It's just a matter of trying to reduce our carbon footprint on the island. This is our way or doing our part. We don't want to contribute to the problem," said Munoz. "The costs are a little bit more, but overall, it will definitely be a help to the environment. I wish that other companies do the same. It would really cut back on a lot of waste material that ends up on our island and in our waters. It would be a win-win situation." Mayor Daniel Guerrero told The San Pedro Sun that he supports all businesses who do their part in helping to eradicated garbage. "I think our entire island has to go green. We as humans need to appreciate the environment and we need to be more positive towards our planet. San Pedro is the youngest municipality in the country, but is the fastest growing and produces high quantities of trash," says Guerrero.

Misc Belizean Sources


Painting under way at the old Cayo Hospital

Congratulations to Our New Miss Costa Maya International 2017, Michelle Estrella Nu�ez, Miss Belize
The International Costa Maya Festival Wishes to Thank Everyone for Their Support! The Fun Continues...

Captain William Edward Eiley passes away
Our family wishes to announce the peaceful passing of our dad, Captain William Edward Eiley formerly of Placencia who resided in Belize City at the time of his passing today Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017. He was predeceased by his parents Miriam Eiley nee Wagner and Edward Eiley; his wife of 60 years Mrs. Gladys (Dena) Eiley nee Muschamp; Their infant son: John Wayne Eiley; His sister: Sylvia Eiley; Brothers: John and Harry Eiley and granddaughter, Gianni Gennine Taylor. Captain Eiley leaves behind his 8 children: Sandra Sarsby, Marion Sarsby, Noel Eiley, Wayne Eiley, Carmita Garbutt, Denise Eiley, Melanie Eiley and Sybil Ozaeta. Numerous grand and great-grand children nieces and nephews; His Sisters: Joyce Eiley, Irma Godfrey, Daphne Davis, Jessie Eiley, Alice Halvorsen and Rose Chavarria. His caregivers: Cruz Lino, Abby Contreras and his grandson, Wayne Albert Eiley. Funeral arrangements will be announced later. May his soul rests in perfect peace! Into God's hands we place his soul. 23rd Psalm: "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want....." Sunrise: Nov. 15, 1932 - Sunset: Aug. 2, 2017 (dead at the age of 84)

The expose comes as a serious reminder of the silent genocide happening among Belizean black males that has been occurring silently for decades now in Belize City, and across the districts of the country. We here at Belizean Legends would like to shed some light on this crime against the Belizean people in commemoration of Emancipation Day celebrated in Belize through the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) on August 1, 2017. The feature shares the message of one of Pan Africanism most brilliant university scholars, Molefi Kete Asante, Professor of "Africology" at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. Here, Dr. Asante presents the work of the distinguish Pan Africanist scholar of African-centered Social Work & Worldview, Dr. Mekada Graham.

We here at Belizean Legends want to send a big shout out to the National Belize Softball Team who participated in the recent softball tournament in Panama, Central America. Though this team may not have made big wins, it is not the big wins that count all the time, but the passion that these dynamic Belizean female athletes still have for the game of softball that was given to them by the legends and the "Golden Girls of Softball" that won the CAST Games Championship in 1969, the "Gold Medal Team" that won the 1974 championship in the Central American & Caribbean Games in Santa Domingo winning Belize's first ever gold medal in 1974, and the Belize national softball team that won the bronze medal in the 1979 Pan American Games, beating the greatest softball team in the world, the United States "Orlando Rebels."

Emancipation Day
Leonides Sanchez the Belizean artist extraordinaire is no typical Belizean artist relative to those like the legendary George Gabb and those among the likes of his own father, Peter Sanchez, who taught him this master builders' skill. His genes are the replica of those renowned African scholars of Mali, Timbaktu, Ghana, Egypt and Moorish Spain. His "Black Star Line" artistic phenomena in shipwright are a perfect artistic feature that reminds Belize of what its vision for freedom could have been. He is the Cheik Anta Diop of southern Belize pulling from a base of multi-disciplinary body of work that includes the arts, shipwright, engineering, botany, animal husbandry, architecture, and of course Afrocentric sciences. Belize though his home is just a cosmic reality of who he is that cannot be confined. He is a global citizen that creates his art in remembrance of his Garifuna ancestors who were brilliant shipwrights. And he creates art as we see here as a sacrificial symbol in honor of those African liberators of old like Marcus Garvey and Frederick Douglas.

(FINAL PART) by Bilal Morris. We here at Belizean Legends celebrate the formation of the Consortium for Belizean Development thirty-two years ago in Los Angeles, California. We honor those legendary Belizeans who stood the test of time and organized for Belize's development at home while resisting the backlash of vicious immigration laws since then that was imposed by one United States president after the next. Now as the new president of the U.S., Donald Trump, has imposed more aggressive and draconian immigration laws, it is unclear what the Belizean diaspora agenda have become almost two decades after the demise of the Belizean consortium.

The late Dedan Kamate was a good friend of Belize and the Belizean people. The African-American activist from the "All African Peoples Revolutionary Party" (AARP) had championed the right of the Belizean people to their self-determination and territorial integrity, and assisted the resistance of the Belizean people in the diaspora against the Guatemalan military oligarchy claim of Belize. A Pan-Africanist who had championed the rights of black and indigenous peoples in Central American, the Caribbean and Africa, Kamate visited Belize several times in the 1980s as a speaker at the invitation of the Belizean organization, S.P.E.A.R, headed by Belizean nationalist, Assad Shoman.

The third and final show of Belize Music Hour hosted by the legendary David Buddan on December 20, 1986 in closing of that very prospective year that Buddan rose to such national acclaim in California as a Belizean broadcaster in the diaspora that touched thousands of listeners who tuned into the show. In this episode, he speaks with the late UBAD member and then BREDAA representative, Edgar X Richardson, and Urban Reyes of the Belize based grassroots organization, Isiah Morter Harambee. He also discussed music with the legendary Belizean artist, Patrick Barrow of Caye Records, and the Belizean reggae band of the 1970's and 1980's, Babylon Warriors.

After a great show, Alison Hinds had a meet and greet session with her fans
They even had a chance to take a picture with the Soca Queen!

Use of the Seabed and 66 Feet Reserves
The Lands and Surveys Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources hereby informs the public that national lands, which are the property of the State, include the seabed and all reservations along all water frontages including rivers and the sea, commonly referred to as the 66-feet reserve measured from the high-water mark. The public is accordingly reminded that any occupation of the seabed and 66-feet reserve, including occupation by way of piers, jetties, wharves, seawalls, cabanas, beach umbrellas and chairs for patrons, etc., without the requisite permission from the Minister of Natural Resources is unlawful and illegal and subject to civil action and/or criminal prosecution.

Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Presents Draft Update to the National Tourism Policy
Over 90 public, private and civil sector tourism stakeholders attended a presentation of the draft update to the National Tourism Policy held in Belize City on August 3, 2017. Dr. Richard Denman, the consultant contracted for the revision process, presented the draft revised National Tourism Policy, which will guide the sustainable and resilient development of tourism in Belize for the next ten years. The revised National Tourism Policy was drafted after extensive consultations with tourism sector stakeholders in February and May of 2017. The policy is a deliverable of the Sustainable Tourism Program II, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, through the support of the Inter-American Development Bank. During the forum, stakeholders were able to provide recommendations to further refine the draft policy.

Belizean Patriot: Captain Monrad Siegfried Metzgen, OBE, JP, VD
Ask any cycling enthusiast who came in first in the first Annual Cross Country Race in 1928 and they will probably tell you Elston Kerr. If you asked them who came in second, you might just get a blank stare because no one remembers who came in second and so if you asked who came in third, now that is asking for trouble. In this case, third place is signigficant because it was Captain Monrad Siegfried Metzgen. He not only organized the race, but he completed the race in 30 and a half hours. He was also an accomplished public servant, but because of space, we will only focuss on the Cross Country Race aspect of his public service contribution. You may read more about his considerable public service accomplishment at the link below. And now, here is his story. Born in Belize City in June 1893, he was a Belizean Creole of humble parentage. Monrad was the son of Carl Alexander Metzgen, the former Auditor General (1911) of Belize, British Honduras.

Cayo Fight Night 2017
The 2017 Cayo Fight Night will be next Saturday, August 12th, at the Sacred Heart auditorium. There will be 4 WBC fights, and 4 amateur fights. "The public is invited by the Belize Boxing Development Council, to come enjoy an exciting and inspirational boxing event being held at the Sacred Heart Auditorium in San Ignacio Cayo, on Saturday August 12th."

Channel 7

A True Tragedy: Father Runs Over Young Daughter In Spanish Lookout
Another Spanish Lookout family has lost a child in an accident. We have reported on a number of cases in Mennonite Communities where young children are accidentally run over by a relative in their own yard - oftentimes with heavy equipment. Stephen Hochstetler is now burdened by that heartbreak after he reversed over his 1 year old baby girl yesterday evening around 4:00. We traveled to Spanish lookout to find what happened and how this family's life was shattered in just a couple of minutes. Here is more on this sad story. The Hochstetler's moved into this Iguana Creek Road trailer home just six months ago. They came over from Stann Creek with their 3 kids and they have settled in pretty well. But living here will never be the same without their 1 year old baby girl, Hannah. She was crushed under her father's vehicle in the yard as he reversed.

Will Hochstetler Face Charges For Causing Death of His Own Daughter?
So while Hochstetler has to cope with the grief and anguish of losing his little girl - he may also have to face charges. But that all depends on the advice of the DPP. Police told us more on how these cases are handled. Supt. Richard Rosado, O.C., San Ignacio: "He arrived home in his vehicle on the said date and time to discharge some supplies. Upon finishing unloading the supplies, the father reported that not seeing anyone around his vehicle he decided to reverse and upon doing so he heard a knock behind the vehicle where he subsequently came out of the vehicle and notice his 14 months old daughter Hannah Grace Hochstetler was hit by the vehicle. The toddler was transported to the Western Regional Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. At this moment a postmortem is being conducted at the Karl Heuser Memorial Hospital. A notice of intended prosecution was serve on Mr. Hochstetler and the file is being compiled and will be forwarded to the director of public prosecution for advice."

Another "Viejo" Brutally Killed In Ow District, This One is 85!
And while an infant girl lost her life in Spanish Lookout, in Orange Walk an elderly man was killed. 85 year old Gregorio Leon was murdered in his home between last night and this morning. Jules Vasquez has the story:... This morning, family members found 85 year old Gregorio De Leon dead in his house here on San Estevan Street in Orange Walk town. His family found him at 7:38 AM, and at 11:00 police were still combing his small shack and the yard for clues. Family members looked on, stunned. Police made an effort to give the family some dignity and then for the hardest part, seeing this innocent senior citizen carted out on a stretcher - his death not due to natural causes but at the hands of callous killers:

Area Rep Gives Police Platitudes
Deleon is the second elderly man killed in the Orange Walk District in 7 weeks. Shopkeeper Pablo Pol was beaten, tied up and robbed, by two men in august Pine Ridge Village on June 15th. He died hours later. But why all this violence against these innocent and defenseless old men? And what are police going to do about it? We asked the police minister - who is an Orange Walk Area Representative - and he didn't say much in terms of specifics - only, basically, that police would do their best:..

What Is Significance of Taiwan's Megabucks Road Deal With Guatemala?
Turning now to Belize - Guatemala relations. It made major news earlier this week when we learned that the Taiwanese had agreed to a 650 million US dollar support package with the Guatemalans. The money will be used to extend the "Jacobo Arbenz" 4-lane freeway to Puerto Barrios - which happens to be a fulfillment of the commitment in the 1859 Aycinena-Wyke Treaty between Guatemala and Great Britain. The British never fulfilled their end of the deal - which was to build the road - which is the basis of today's territorial dispute. And now, in an odd twist of history, the Taiwanese will do so, almost by accident. But, there's no direct benefit to Belize - because it does nothing to change Guatemala's territorial claim to half the country.

Should Belize Be Looking to China?
And if it seen as a threat - should Belize then seize on the opportunity to befriend mainland China. It's like the "third-rail" of Belize's foreign policy - since Belize is so beholden to Taiwan for the various support projects. But, we did get CEO Andrews to answer our question about whether Belize should be considering making friends with the mainland:... Jules Vasquez, reporter: "Shouldn't then Belize investigate if China, mainland China wants to be friendly with Belize? Might it not be time for Belize to say well the Taiwanese care more about our neighbors, we need to look more vigilantly after our own protection?"

Guatemala Getting Ready To Run The Referendum
But the talk of juggling alliances is in the abstract right now. What's real is that the Guatemalans are moving ahead to a referendum on whether the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute should go to the ICJ. The congress of Guatemala voted overwhelmingly two days ago that their supreme electoral tribunal, should proceed with calling a referendum. Ambassador Rosado says we should expect that to happen within the year:.. H.E. Alexis Rosado, BZ Ambassador to Guatemala: "The supreme electoral tribunal had said before that they needed anywhere between 90 days and 6 months to be able to put the things together, put in place everything necessary to hold the referendum. So, it's a matter now for them to decide when they will call it. I understand that the current administration has been saying that they wish, that, ahm, it could be held this year. We also know that they have budgeted sufficient funds for them to be able to organize such a public consultation."

Will a "No to ICJ" Vote in Guatemala Kill The Effort?
But, since Guatemala will have its referendum first, what happens if their citizens vote "no" to the ICJ? That might seem to be the end of the matter - since the referendum has to pass in both countries. But, Ambassador Rosado says a "no" vote doesn't solve anything:... H.E. Alexis Rosado, BZ Ambassador to Guatemala: "Should a "no" (vote) arise in any of the two countries, the problem of the Guatemalan claim would remain. So, we would still have to find a way of resolving it. What will be done then is anybody's guess. It will be for the government of the time to deal with it. But, there's no doubt, we should never be left with the view that ends the claim, it doesn't end. We still have to find a way to resolve it."

CEO: Referendum After Re-registration
And - assuming that the referendum were to pass in Guatemala - the "will of the Belizean people" won't be known until after next year's re-registration exercise. The CEO explained: Pat Andrews, CEO - Foreign Affairs: "I think since we have municipal elections coming up next March, it would be right immediately after that, a couple months after that the re-registration would commence and then the thing would be how to see how fast we could turn it around and complete it. So, that would be left up to the Elections and Boundaries Commission to look into that. We are hoping that it will move swiftly and we are hoping that we would then be ready to proceed to referendum."

Whatever Happened To The Sarstoon Protocol
But, all the talk of proceeding smoothly to a referendum is kind of wait and see, because the history of this dispute tells us that many things which are supposed to happen, never really do happen. Case in point: the Sarstoon Protocol. Major international meetings were held and over a year later, there's still no protocol. The Ambassador discussed the difficulties with that: H.E. Alexis Rosado, BZ Ambassador to Guatemala: "Well where we are on that it that we're on a standstill basically. We launched negotiations I think it was last May, in, as you correctly pointed out, we, we went to Istanbul and we said we were going to start negotiations on a mechanism for confidence building with the Sarstoon River. We went to Washington subsequently to start the first table of negotiations, ahm, after the incidents took place. And since then, really, those talks, ahm, were suspended by our neighbor, and since then we've been trying to sit down with them to continue but they still resistant."

SUV With Family of Tourists Plunges Off Bridge
At 12:30 today, a family of tourists from the US got a death-defying adventure they never expected on their Belizean vacation. 47 year old American Benjamin PAUL was with his family driving a Jeep Liberty rental on the Hummingbird Highway from Dangriga to Belmopan when he missed the the bridge at mile 28 and plunged into the stream below. That is the first one lane bridge on the Hummingbird and it comes at the bottom of a hill. The jeep plunged about 10 feet into the water below. Paul's three family members including a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old girl who all sustained body injuries and were admitted to the Dangriga Hospital in a stable condition. Police say their injuries are classified as wounding - which are generally minor.

Hon. Elodio, Who Gave The Order?
Earlier this week, we told you about the murder case involving Hilmar Alamilla, a man closely connected to former Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega. Alamilla was charged for the murder of Daniel Sosa, who he allegedly shot in the head last weekend. Bringing a murder charge against a politically well connected figure like Alamilla was big news, but the press couldn't witness the arraignment because police denied them entry to the court room. That's very irregular, and the Magistrate has denied having anything to do with the situation, and so did the OC of Orange Walk Police. So, who gave the order to the police at the courthouse to keep the press out of the arraignment? Well that's what we asked Police Minister of State, Elodio Aragon today. Here's what he had to say...

Will Vega's Scandal Hurt The UDP In OW?
Hilmar Alamilla isn't the only person closely related to the former Minister of Natural Resources that was in the news this week. Yesterday we showed you several leaked land documents detailing the unusual way Vega's relatives acquired land at Ramsey Caye, located a few miles South of Belize City. Former Lands Minister Vega has been the target of several political attacks in the last year, most of them involving dubious acquisition of land by his family members. As the former UDP Captain in the North for the last decade, its not a stretch to conclude that all the negative press would cause his party's popularity in the area to decline in the north. We asked Aragon, who is now the ranking UDP Minister in Orange Walk about his thoughts of the political cost of the controversies...

UDP Want to Take OW
Aragon's confidence in his party will be tested early next year, when municipal elections are held. The Orange Walk Town Council is the only municipal stronghold for the PUP, but Aragon says that the UDP is ready to oust the Opposition and effectively take control of every municipality in the country. He told us about how preparations for the upcoming elections are going... Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Home Affairs: "The transfers are ongoing right now. We are working on that and likewise we will be putting our slate together for the municipal and we will definitely without a doubt put a slate that will appeal to the public of Orange Walk and I am confident that with the support of the community we will have victory in Orange Walk and I'm not going to say it's going to be a walk in the park, because it's a tough fight, but I am confident that the people that we have, the people who will be running are people who are credible, are people who are there for the community and I am confident we would be able to harness that support from our community."

UWI Says It Won Some, Lost Some In Bain Case
On Monday we told you how the Jamaican Supreme Court ruled in the favor of the former UWI Professor, Brendan Bain. The court ordered the University to pay him $32,000 US because they wrongfully terminated him in May of 2014. You'll remember that the University fired him for his supposed "anti-gay" testimony against UNIBAM and Caleb Orozco in 2014. Well today, UWI's Vice Chancellor, Hilary Beckles, released a statement making the point that while Bain was successful in his lawsuit, the university had its own victories as well.

Customs Trusted Traders
For the last few years, the Customs and Excise Department has been piloting a Trusted Traders Program. The new system will be replacing the Voluntary Compliance Program, and is aimed at building stronger relationships with clients and customers. The TTP - as it is called - will reduce the time it takes to clear containers of goods by putting the responsibility of reporting and declaring goods on the part of those bringing them into the country. The Program officially launched today, and the Customs Department's risk management supervisor told us about the changes... Raquel Waight - Supervisor, Risk Mgmt., Customs Dept.: "The transformation from the VCP to the TPP wasn't much of a transformation because like I said it was just a name change. The reason being, is that when you think of voluntary compliance its sounds more enforcement so we decide, let us use a more friendlier name like the trusted traders whereby traders would feel more a part of a business relationship per say with customs and themselves and like we said the trusted traders speaks for itself. When you say trusted traders then people don't have to wonder what is trusted traders because the name says it all."

Benefits Of Those Trusted Traders
The TTP is also being closely observed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - known as UNTAD. That agency has spent the last few weeks analyzing the benefits of the new system. We spoke to one UNTAD representative, who told us that the TTP seems to be working so well that the UN will try to implement it in other countries in the region... Terrance Lennard - UNTAD: "As I said before during the ceremony we were very impressed with the results of the analysis that we did here. Some of the figures are really staggering for example the VCP members, those who were chosen to be a part of the program when we looked at the value of the goods that they imported over that 2 year pilot period and the revenue they pay, they recorded a 78 percent increase over the previous period for that and that's pretty impressive..."

Tropic Air Drops Flights Due To High GOB Taxes
In January, we took you to Chetumal for the new flight that Tropic Air established from the PGIA. Well, the company is announcing that this and 2 other flights are being suspended for now because the airline isn't making any money off them. In all, the flights to Chetumal Mexico, Merida, Mexico, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras are being suspended, after September second, 2017.

An Ugly Case Of Sexual Abuse
A 13 year-old boy is out on bail for a sexual offense, after he was accused of sodomizing his 5 year-old female cousin. It happened at a rural village in the Belize district where they both live. We cannot give details of which village it is, because we don't want to share any information that might identify either child. The 13 year-old minor was arraigned in Family Court yesterday afternoon, on the single criminal charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. He was granted bail of two thousand dollars.

Senior Cop caught With Contraband
7News has confirmed reports that customs caught a Superintendent of Police today in the Cayo district with contraband. But, it wasn't beers or cigarettes; Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson was reportedly transporting pharmaceutical products. We understand that he was caught in Arenal on the Western Border. According to reports he has settled with the customs department for an undisclosed figure. When we called him this evening he told us to call back; when we did we got voicemail. Thompson is assigned to the Eastern Division.

Queen's Baton In the Bush
On Wednesday, the Queen's Baton, a symbol of the Commonwealth Games arrived in Belize. It passed through the City, and yesterday it made its way to the Chiquibul National Park. This is of special significance, because the Chiquibul is one of several nation parks protected under the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, a royal initiative aimed conserving precious natural resources. Today the Baton is making its way to Orange Walk where it will stay until Sunday, when it will be transported to Guyana.

A Program For Gang Members
Very regularly on the news, we have featured the Youth Apprenticeship Program. It's an effort by Dianne Finnegan and her team to provide at-risk youths with a second chance program, teaching them skills to become employable, or to start their own business. The program is currently ongoing where the 10th intake of apprentices are going through the 5th week of their 6-months course. But this week, the program made a special addition where there were 25 young men from the gang neighbourhoods of Antelope Street, George Street, PIV and Backaland sat in on the classes. These were young men who Finnegan met while acting as a civilian mediator in the gang interventions.

Hola, Pat!
Earlier on in the news we showed you Pat Andrews, the former banker who's now the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is after seeing as Ambassador to the OAS and the USA for two years in Washington DC. Now, Andrews, who spent 42 year at Scotia Bank is having his first stint in the heart of the public service. He told us how he's managing: Pat Andrews, CEO - Foreign Affairs: "Transitioning to the public sector has been very interesting. I think that I made it very clear to the people in Foreign Affairs when I joined with them, with the team, that I would be focusing on people, I would be focusing on people and trying to see how I could elevate careers, how I could elevate service, how we could be viewed differently. I think that I continue to work assiduously to see how we can join hands with our team players to serve the public better to be able to represent Belize internationally and locally."

CEO Says Mistakes Were Made During Taiwan Visit
But, that local representation took a bit of a bad turn last week when the Taiwanese Foreign Minister, Dr. David Lee came to Belize and the press didn't even know that he was coming. And we found out hours later that he had signed a major 60 Million US dollar Memorandum of Understanding with the government. CEO Andrews conceded that there were mis-steps during that week which they have sought to correct:... Pat Andrews, CEO - Foreign Affairs: "Look, I will be very frank with you i think there was a little mis-step that occurred there. And with everything that we had on the plate going on - we might have been a little bit slow in getting out the news to you and that was what I was referring to and I said that we need to do a better job there."

A Gift From Cops To Kids
Today Southside Police and Angelus Press Limited partnered up to donate 300 backpacks to at risk youths in the South side. The community policing initiative will serve as a way to improve police relationships with the residents in the area, and to ensure that children have no excuse to be out of school. Minister of State of Police, Elodio Aragon, told us about the importance of the event... The backpacks were given to the most vulnerable kids in the South side community.

BBF Bex About Civic Private Management
2 weeks ago, we took you into to the newly built "Civic" Center that is in the final phase before it can be opened to use as the only "state-of-the-art" indoor sporting facility in Belize City. It's the most expensive public or private structure ever built in Belize, and the designers think that to preserve all its features, it should be privately managed. Well, the Belize Basketball Federation is hoping that the Government won't go that route. The Federation wrote a 3-page letter to the Prime Minister yesterday asking him to make several considerations before making a decision. The Federation's executive reminded the Prime Minister that for the past 8 years, the lack of adequate facility and playing surfaces has posed challenges to the development of basketball. Belize was unable to host regional tournaments, and will only now be able to do so after the Civic is complete.

Bandits Lose In Nicaragua
And in other sports news, the Belmopan Bandits didn't do so well in their opening match of the Scotiabank Champions League. Playing in Esteli Nicaragua against home team Walter Ferretti, the Bandiest lost four to one. They kept the score respectable for a large part of the match, and did play aggressively - but collapsed in the last twenty minutes of the game and let the score get out of hand. The return match will be played din Belmopan next week when the Bandits hope for a better outcome.

Dara Hops To Be Lucky
Last Sunday, the grassroots philanthropist, Joel "Dara" Robinson, held his 6th Annual Ride for Hunger. And, this Sunday, it's his 10th Annual Lucky Dube Tribute Concert. It's an event that's all about reggae, and "Dara" is hoping that those roots fans will come out, enjoy themselves, and support a worthy cause. This evening, he told us why he's hoping that the tribute concert will be a success: The concert happens at Birds Isle, this Sunday. It starts at 4 p.m. and will continue until late into the night.

Channel 5

Toddler Hannah Hochstetler Run Over by Dad's SUV
Two persons lost their lives in separate road traffic accidents on Thursday. Perhaps the more heart-wrenching of the two occurred just after four p.m. on the Iguana Creek Road in [...]

Cop Killed after Losing Control of Motorbike in Camalote
There was another fatal accident overnight in the west. Sometime after nine p.m. on Thursday night, Police Constable Edgar Coh, who is attached to Roaring Creek Police Station, was on [...]

Family of 4 in Hospital after Accident on Hummingbird
A family of four is admitted to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga in stable condition following a traffic mishap. Forty-seven-year-old Benjamin Paul, an American national, was driving a black [...]

Who Came for 85-Year-Old Gregorio de Leon in Orange Walk?
For the second time this week a murder has been reported in Orange Walk Town. While involving less drama than the sensational shooting between friends Daniel Sosa and Hilmar Alamilla [...]

O.W.'s Minister Aragon Says No Preferential Treatment for Comrade Hilmar Alamilla
The sensational story of the murder of Daniel Sosa in Orange Walk over the weekend has left many with questions - particularly as it relates to the alleged killer. Forty-two-year-old [...]

Nevis Betancourth Still Hospitalized as Charges Mulled
San Ignacio Police say that investigators continue to gather evidence in the shooting death of Jose Castellanos, as the shooter, Nevis Betancourth remains hospitalized in a stable condition after being [...]

Roger Bradley Free of Burglary Charge
Roger Bradley has several previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty, but tonight he is a free man, after Justice Denis Hanomansingh set him free on Thursday from a burglary charge. [...]

Foreign Affairs C.E.O. Commits to Working with People
Chief Executive Officer Patrick Andrews, who recently assumed that post with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, formally introduced himself to the media this morning during a brief press conference here [...]

Guatemala to Proceed with Referendum on I.C.J.
There have been new developments in Guatemala over the past two days in respect of referendum proceedings on whether its age-old territorial dispute with Belize should be taken to the [...]

If it's a No, Guatemalan Claim Lives On
According to Ambassador Rosado, at the moment there is nothing on Belize's table of events insofar as the pending referendum.� He says that while the Special Agreement contains a clause [...]

Can Taiwan-Funded Guatemala Road Help Belize?
Guatemala, with significant financial assistance from the government of Taiwan, is proceeding with the construction of a road that will span the length of that country all the way to [...]

Customs Builds Trust with Belizean Importers and Brokers
There was once a local political campaign slogan that read, "It's all about trust." But with a less-than-stellar reputation for corrupt practices and a poor record for ease of doing [...]

Ex-Gangsters Renounce Guns for Business
Twenty-five gang members received certificates for having attended a two-day course in introduction to entrepreneurship. The men joined seventy-five other apprentices to learn the basics of what is required to [...]

Police Help Out School Children on Southside
The Police Department's Eastern Division South partnered with the Angelus Press to give three hundred school bags to deserving kids on the south side. The initiative stems from its community [...]

Panamanian Teaches Belizeans How to Act
A two-week acting workshop wrapped up today in the city. Panamanian actor and stage coach Jaime Newball teamed up with the Bliss to offer the training. The facilitator trained about [...]

San Pedrana Reigns over Costa Maya Festival
San Pedrana, twenty-six-year-old Michelle Nunez won the coveted title of La Reina De La Costa Maya 2017. Nunez also walked away with the title for Best Costume for the night, [...]

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Abducted Baby Returned Home; Father Evades Police
Baby Tereak Palacio Junior is back at home with his mother but police are still looking for his father, eighteen year old Tereak Palacio. Palacio had abducted his one year five month old baby on Monday afternoon while he played with his cousins in the yard of his mother's house. Police say Palacio is also [�]

Guatemala, Unlike Belize, Financially Equipped for Referendum
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado hosted the media at a briefing this morning in Belize City. The one-hour conference saw both officials responding to various questions mostly regarding the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute and the way forward. As we have been reporting this week, the [�]

Foreign Affairs Says Mediation/Negotiations Have Been Exhausted
The Belize Territorial Volunteers is not keen on going to the International Court of Justice to settle the Belize/Guatemala dispute. They are actually suggesting that mediations or discussions take place. We asked Ambassador Alexis Rosado and CEO Pat Andrews to respond to Wil Maheia who made the statement yesterday for the BTV.

Inclusion of Belizean Diaspora in the Referendum
With thousands of Belizeans living abroad there has been the call to have those persons be heard on the issue of whether Belize should go to the International Court of Justice to reach a final decision on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. While representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were taking questions on the pending [�]

19 Months Later and Still No Sarstoon Framework in Place
Perhaps with the absence of incidents at the Sarstoon in recent months, the agreement to have a formal protocol for the Sarstoon has been placed on the backburner. It has been about nineteen months since the development of a Sarstoon Framework was agreed upon in Istanbul, Turkey. According to Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado, Belize [�]

Referendum to Follow Re-registration
Recently, we reported on the Statutory Instrument that was signed by the Governor General to have the re-registration process delayed until July 2018. With Guatemala heading into their referendum sometime this year, Love News asked the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pat Andrews whether the referendum will take place before or [�]

Elderly Man Found Strangled in Northern Belize
Orange Walk police believe that an 85 year-old man who was found this morning in his home was murdered. Police report that Gregorio De Leon was found motionless in a house on San Estevan Street in Orange Walk Town. In a phone interview, Deputy Commander of the Orange Walk Formation, Inspector Jose Mendez told us [�]

Aragon Says Politics Will Not Interfere with Alamilla's Case
Forty two year old Hilmar David Alamilla remains behind bars for the fatal shooting of 24 year old Daniel Sosa. Both persons were inside Alamilla's car when he allegedly took out a fire arm and fatally shot Sosa to the head. Sosa's body was found beside a garbage bin early on July 29. On Monday, [�]

Belmopan Commander and Lands Commissioner Meet
Officer in Charge of Belmopan Police, Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett today met with the Lands Commissioner. Correspondent Pauline Soberanis Tillett has more in this report. POLICE LANDS IN OUT

Basketball Federation Opposes Private Concession of the Civic
The Civic is seeing an extraordinary transformation with an investment of millions of dollars. It is a facility that will undoubtedly attract numerous events and audiences. There seems to be one hiccup foreseen once the construction is completed and the facility becomes functional; that is, the management of the structure. Recently, the Belize Infrastructure Limited [�]

$650M US From Taiwan to Guatemala
If you have been following the history of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute, you will know that as far back as 1859 there was the commitment by the British to construct a road to Puerto Barrios. Had it not been for the British reportedly reneging on their agreement the dispute would perhaps be non-existent. Fast forward [�]

BTV Wants Mediation Instead of the ICJ
Yesterday, we reported that the Guatemalan Congress approved for its government to hold a referendum in which its citizens will decide whether or not to take the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice. Here in Belize, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have long since embarked on an education campaign [�]

Faye Lin's Dad Fights for Full Custody of Her Siblings
While David and Anke Doehm are out on bail, the adoptive father of 13 year old Faye Lin Cannon, David Cannon, is fighting to acquire legal custody of the three remaining girls. The three other girls are in the care of the Department of Human Services and are expected to remain their care for about [�]

PRIDE Week Coincides with Anniversary of Section 53 Judgement
Next week Thursday will mark one year since the historic judgment handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The UNIBAM Judgment was handed down on August 10 in favor of Caleb Orozco and members of the LGBT community in Belize. Orozco launched a case challenging Section 53 of the constitution of Belize six years before [�]


Prof. Brendan Bain wins lawsuit against UWI
Former professor at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Brendan Bain, has emerged victorious in a lawsuit against UWI. Jamaica's Supreme Court has ruled that his termination was in violation of his right to freedom of expression. According to the Jamaica Gleaner, the court has ordered UWI to pay Bain 4.72 million Jamaican dollars or about US$40,000 for the unlawful termination. At the time he was terminated, Bain had nine months remaining in his contract, and so he is also asking the court for compensation for those months during which he would have continued to collect a salary from the university.

Belizean Grace Frazier, 22, killed in Southwest Miami-Dade shooting
Grace Frazier, 22, the daughter of Belizean Andy Frazier, a first cousin of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, was killed in Southwest Miami-Dade over the weekend. US authorities have reported that at around 9 o'clock on Friday night, Frazier, who lives in the US, and her friend, Brittany Clay, 20, were in a silver Nissan Altima when, in the 12200 block of SW 218 Street, Miami, the vehicle was sprayed with gunshots. The driver lost control of the vehicle after the shooting and crashed into a tree. Frazier was shot in her abdomen and died later that night at the Jackson Memorial Hospital. Clay was shot in her left leg and is listed in a stable condition.

Keith Arnold, former Governor of Central Bank, dead at 72
Keith Arnold, 72, who has served Belize in several high-profile managerial capacities over the course of his career, including Financial Secretary; Governor of the Central Bank of Belize; Chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL); and Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), passed away in Belize on Saturday. After he left the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), where he oversaw some important legislation to combat financial crimes, Arnold relocated to the United States and set up a business in Florida. Information to Amandala is that Arnold was involved in a traffic accident that left him injured, and he decided to return home this past Saturday.

Tragedy in Spanish Lookout
A baby, 1 year and 6 months old, died in a terrible accident this evening. Her father, Steven Hochfteter, a farmer, was reversing out of the yard in a pickup and did not see the child. His vehicle rolled over the child. She was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan by her devastated father, but died on arrival. The devastated Hochfteter told police that his daughter had been playing behind the truck and he did not see her.

Mayor Darrell Bradley won't run again; UDP mayoral fight begins
Darrell Bradley, twice elected mayor of the Belize City Council, has told the press that he will not seek re-election, citing personal reasons. "I think the biggest concern is personal reasons," he said. "I've made it no secret. I've spoken to many people both in the party and outside of the party, and a person's major priority has to be their family. It has to be personal and professional goals that they make for themselves." "I want to make it clear that it is not that I am leaving politics," he added. "I aspire to hopefully someday serve in the House of Representatives. That is something that continues to be a wish of mine. I don't know of the step-by-step processes with relation of that because that's several years down the road�I think that when one signs up for a position like serving as mayor, one has to know that their heart will be one hundred percent there; their focus will be one hundred percent there," he remarked.

UEF observance of Emancipation Day ends with Dr. Patricia Rodney speaking on Afro-Belizean health
About 75 persons turned up at the Gateway Youth Center this evening for a presentation on the health of Afro-Belizeans by Dr. Patricia Rodney - the key event marking the UBAD Education Foundation's (UEF) observance of Emancipation Day this year. Emancipation Day, August 1, is celebrated in many Caribbean countries. Participation in activities in Belize in recognition of this historical event has been increasing steadily since the UEF began commemorating the day four years ago. Dr. Rodney, a retired nurse and sociologist, is the head of the Dr. Walter Rodney Foundation, in Atlanta, Georgia, a foundation dedicated to keeping the legacy of her late husband, Dr. Walter Rodney, alive. Dr. Rodney, a ranking scholar and Guyanese historian, was assassinated with a car bomb by Guyanese security forces in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city, in June 1980.

Bandits fold in last minute, 4-1, to Ferretti in Nicaragua
Trailing 2-1 in the final minute tonight in Nicaragua, the prospects looked good for Belize's Belmopan Bandits in the return match next week at home in their Scotiabank CONCACAF League series with Nicaragua's CD Walter Ferretti. But, after a defensive substitution at the 89th minute, things suddenly fell apart, as an own goal by second half substitute Norman Anderson at the 90th minute was followed a couple minutes later in injury time by another Ferretti goal by Jose Laureiro. In other CONCACAF League games earlier in the evening, Panama's Arabe Unido won, 2-1, over Central FC of Trinidad & Tobago; and Olimpia of Honduras dropped Alajuelense of Costa Rica, 2-nil.

"In the Paint" - Sugar City hooping it up!
Last weekend saw the grand opening of Orange Walk Town's "2017 Sugar City Hoops Basketball Tournament," which got under way at the Multi-Purpose Complex, featuring both U-18 and Senior male categories. In the opening U-18 match-up played on Friday night, "Above the Rest" won handily over "Knightmare" by the final score of 63-42. Clinton Shaw had a game high 25 points 7 rebounds 3 assists in the win. His teammate, Rasheed Reneau also contributed, totaling 16 points 8 rebounds 2 assists, followed by Guermo Roland 10 points 5 rebounds 1 assist and 5 steals.

Belikin 8-Ball Tournament 2017 updates
The top 4 teams heading to the semifinals in the 2017 Orange Walk Belikin 8-Ball Billiards Tournament are as follows: Team Picame with 81 points and one game remaining; Eagles with 73 points and no games left; Infierno with 67 points and no games left; Chatta with 60 points and one game remaining. The semifinals start this Friday at 7:00 p.m. with Infierno vs Eagles; and on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., it is Team Picame vs Chatta's. Both games are home-and-away, as Sunday's action sees game-two starting at 1:00 p.m. with Eagles vs Infierno, and at 4:00 p.m., it will be Team Picame vs Chatta's. Any team with 6 individual player victories, advances to the Finals.

Kremandala Raiders' Nathaniel Pou visits the Zinc Fence
On a short visit back to the Jewel is one of the original Kremandala Raiders, Nathaniel Pou, who left for the U.S. following the first Raiders championship in 1993. Nathaniel said he now lives in Miami, and is enjoying his visit back home, meeting old friends and relatives. A giant of a man, with limbs "like tree trunks," Pou was an intimidating force "inside the paint" on the Raiders basketball team that reached the semipro finals and lost to Penta Lakers in their first year, and then went on to take the championship the following year, 1993. Big-up Nathaniel Pou!

Before the UDP was hatched�
In our editorial last Friday, we said that we did not take ourselves too seriously, because Belize's changing demographic made it so that we could not be sure for whom we spoke editorially. We should point out at the same time, nevertheless, that this newspaper's longevity gifts us with credibility, and some confidence. On August 13, 2017, Amandala will mark 48 years of publication. By contrast, the Opposition People's United Party (PUP) will celebrate 67 years of existence in late September, while, also in September, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) will record 44 years of formal organization. Two weeks ago, an editorial in our newspaper explained that the ruling UDP, bursting with pride in their new Civic Centre, needed to look to their own media organs, to which they have directed millions in unaudited public funds over the last nine years, for the congratulations for which their leadership so thirsted. We said that, for Kremandala's part, we held the present leadership of the ruling UDP, primarily Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Defence Minister John Saldivar, and Housing Minister Michael Finnegan among those responsible for the destruction of the Kremandala Raiders, an iconic semi-pro basketball organization we had built with private funds and labor, and we held them responsible the destruction of the semi-pro basketball league of which the Raiders had been champions for four consecutive seasons, from 1993 to 1996.

From The Publisher
You know how small Belize is. My wife's older sister is married to Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright's maternal uncle, Joe Purcell. On a recent visit home from California, my sister-in-law visited Bishop Dorick, and afterwards told me he had asked for me. Bishop Dorick and I were close friends in Sister Mary Francine's Standard VI class at Holy Redeemer Boys School in 1958/59. He and I went separate ways in life. In fact, Bishop Dorick became the highest ranking prelate in the Catholic Church in Belize, while most of the Catholic faithful have considered me an enemy after I began rebelling against their school curriculum with reference to African and Mayan history. I lost most of my Catholic friends, including black ones. Visiting Dorick recently, there was a certain poignancy for me as I turned left from North Front Street into the Holy Redeemer yard. Bishop Dorick is on the top floor of the relatively new, huge three-storey building constructed where the Standard I to Standard VI classrooms used to be. That's in the corner of the Holy Redeemer yard which is bordered on the east by Queen Street and on the south by North Front Street.

My life-changing internship experience with Ya'axche Conservation Trust
Editor Sir, Last June, Ecology Project International (EPI)-Belize selected two of its most active alumni to participate in a two- week internship to work on the Human Jaguar Conflict Project with Ya'axche Conservation Trust (YCT) in southern Belize. Following our marine ecology course with EPI earlier this school year, both of us - Juan Guerrero, from St. Viator High School, and I from Ocean Academy - continued to share a passion for learning more about the environment and have been very active in conservation efforts in our home communities - Sarteneja and Caye Caulker. We were excited to participate in this project, this also being our very first time visiting the Toledo District. The internship was from July 9 - 22..

Tough times for Canadian expats - can't get cash from Toledo ATM machines
Dear Editor, I was wondering if your newspaper would be interested in printing a story about Canadians scrambling to access money to buy food and pay for everyday living expenses in the Toledo District. Since about April of this year the local ATM machines at both the Belize and Scotia Banks have stopped working for us here, yet work fine in all other parts of the country. Back in April when we first complained to the bank, we were told our card chips were most likely damaged and the cards would need to be replaced. In May I ordered two new debit cards (the old ones were only 8 months old) from two different banks in Canada. The new cards also do not work. The irony is that Scotia Bank flies the Canadian flag but won't take our cards. I have stood in line at the bank here and watched two American women take money out without any issue. Something is surely not right here.

Sometime after I retired from the Office of the Ombudsman of Belize in 2008, Bishop Dorick Wright appointed me to serve on his Commission for Education. At about the same time he chose me to be one of his representatives on the Belize Council of Churches. Shortly thereafter a charismatic black leader arose in America and became President. There was almost universal rejoicing in Belize, a very small but multiracial, multi-ethnic society. In 2009 Bishop Dorick, to prepare us for the cultural and civilizational challenges to be thrust upon us issued to his Education Commission a certificate of appreciation for our contribution to education while we were engaged in negotiations to update the Education Legislation to formalize greater control by the government over education.

Where our icons go!
I first met Andy Palacio back in the mid-1990s. He was personable and obviously talented with a quick smile. After many performances, recordings and general hard work, his final musical contribution along with the Garifuna Collective, "Watina", was the pinnacle of arguably Belize's greatest artist. I listen to it repeatedly unwilling to accept that he is gone, way too early at age 48. Having decided that it is important to visit Barranco, the last coastal settlement of Belize, and Andy's home village, I talked a friend into driving. I was undeterred by the distance, the rain and the poor quality of the road once off the Southern Highway.

The Judas deal
And just like that�Poof!!!! We have reinforced the grip of the Asian master with $60 million of grants and loans to Belize over the next four years. In a letter dated July 5, 2017 in which the Taiwanese Embassy responded to me to a correspondence I had sent to them regarding the negative Asian influences in Belize, the embassy quoted as follows, "There are approximately 600 Taiwanese currently living in Belize." If you do the math, this works out to about $100,000 per person. In 2017, diplomacy has come down to dollars and sense and a value can even be placed on people. This agreement was sealed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation between Taiwan and Belize. For the man on the street, what this means is pretty much that Taiwan has bought Belize's support for the next 4 years, YES, bought! If you notice the length of the agreement is carefully picked since it corresponds with the length of time this current administration has in office before the next general election. In other words, expect nothing to change as it relates to the Asian domination dilemma in Belize.

RIGHT TO THE POINT: Emancipate yourself�.
I don't know how many people have any regard for the fact that of all the public and bank holidays we celebrate in Belize, the one we should be commemorating is August 1. This should be especially so for all of us who have some "tinge" of African descent in us! However, in Belize there is no national public and bank holiday on August 1, and maybe our people don't even know what's so special about this day. I wonder how many understand the significance and importance of this day? 1833 - less than 200 years I am ashamed to think that at school we were never taught about the importance of Emancipation Day, despite Belize's being one of the slave colonies of the British Empire. It took me until my 20's to comprehend and appreciate the importance of this day, when I had the opportunity to do courses in history, political science, and the like at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Hit-and- run accident leaves girl, 16, in a coma
Monique Morey, 16, a student of Belize City, is presently in a coma in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was knocked down by an unknown driver in Orange Walk Town while she was standing by a bus stop on Dangriga Street, waiting to board a bus to come back to Belize City. Morey was found unresponsive at the side of the road at about 5:00 yesterday morning by a woman who alerted her mother. She was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, where she was given initial treatment, after which she was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment.

Girl, 16, from Billy White, reported missing
Melissa Jeanette Hernandez, 16, of Billy White, Cayo District, has been reported missing from home since last Friday, July 28, when she left that morning to get a Humes Bus to go to school in San Ignacio. Hernandez has not been seen or heard from since. Hernandez is described as being of fair complexion, and five feet tall. She is slimly built with straight brown hair and light brown eyes, and has a scar behind her left leg.

Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith demits office
Ann Marie Smith, a Jamaican national, was appointed Chief Magistrate of Belize, and took up her appointment on September 1, 2011. After being on the bench for six years, however, Chief Magistrate Smith demits office today. Smith, who turned 55 earlier this year, has been appointed as a judge on the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, where she will join Belizean Godfrey Smith, who was recently appointed to serve in that jurisdiction. While serving as Belize's Chief Magistrate, Smith came to be viewed as a no-nonsense magistrate. She also stiffened the rules for persons signing as surety for accused persons released on bail. Smith, implemented the rule that persons who sign bail must prove that they are employed by presenting the court with a current job letter.

Tropic Air drops flights to Chetumal, Merida and San Pedro Sula
Earlier this year, the administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced new taxes to meet the 80-plus million-dollar deficit it had in its proposed budget for 2016/17. One such tax measure is a hiked-up departure tax of $55 US that tourists must pay before leaving the country. The move by the Government of Belize (GoB) was condemned by key stakeholders in the tourism industry, including the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), which had indicated that Belize was already one of the most expensive countries to visit in the region.

The Reporter

Policeman suffers head injuries in traffic mishap
A police constable attached to the Roaring Creek police station is recovering from severe head injuries he sustained during a traffic mishap on Thursday night. The officer identified as Edgar Coh, 24, was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in a coma after he lost [�]

Murder in Orange Walk!
Orange Walk police are investigating the murder of an elderly man, whose body was discovered early this morning. The deceased, 85-year-old Gregorio de Leon, was discovered just after 7:30 a.m., lying face up with several open wounds to the back of his head. The discovery [�]

Father accidentally crushes toddler to death
A father from Spanish Lookout, Cayo, is in trouble with the law after he accidently reversed his vehicle over his daughter, crushing her to death on Thursday evening. The baby, one and a half-year-old Hannah Hochstetler, was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital for treatment, [�]

Historic Pallotine convent set for demolition, sisters asking for assistance
The Pallotine convent, located on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City, after serving over 64 years within the Catholic order, has now run its course and according to various inspections, the historic building is unsafe for occupation and needs to be demolished as soon as possible for […]

Guatemalan panners depleting gold resources in Chiquibul reserve
Authorities need to do more to prevent illegal Guatemalan gold panning in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, according to the NGO that co-manages the area, Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD). FCD Director, Rafael Manzanero, explained this week that Guatemalan gold panners are relentlessly panning in the area, […]

Belize welcomes Queen's Baton Relay for 2018 Commonwealth Games
Belizean athletes from the disciplines of athletics, cycling, karate, table tennis, fencing and shooting will compete at the XXI Commonwealth Games to be held in the Gold Coast City of Queensland, Australia from April 4 – 15, 2018. The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association welcomed the Queen's Baton Relay, […]

Not getting enough sleep could lead to heart problems
A new research has shown that getting less than six hours of sleep a night may pose even more risks for people who already show signs of heart disease and diabetes. The findings suggest that diabetics and heart patients who have problems sleeping at night […]

BTEC partners with Mental Health Association
The Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC), partnered with the Belize Mental Health Association this week for a two-day workshop, training community leaders to be mental health facilitators. The organizations held the workshops at the BTEC office on Freetown Road, on Tuesday and Wednesday, gathering representatives from […]

Mayor Bradley stepping aside, making way for Dion Leslie
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has officially announced that he will not be seeking re-election as Mayor in the upcoming 2018 municipal elections, however, he has publicly endorsed councillor Dion Leslie. Bradley, at an event on Tuesday, confirmed that he will be stepping aside due to personals […]

SSB donates computers to KHMH Emergency Unit
The Social Security Board (SSB) donated three new desktop computers to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) last Friday. The computers are valued at $5,000 and will be used for the efficient processing of patient data, leading to improved healthcare within […]

University mural sparks controversy with town council and sponsor
A mural that Galen University art students painted in San Ignacio town has caused controversy with the town council and BTL, the company that provided the painting space – a wall; but the students say they will not take down their work. The students got […]

Man killed in OW, accusations of political interference
The arraignment of Hilmar David Alamilla, accused of killing 24-year-old Daniel Sosa, has caused public criticism of political interference in the case. When Alamilla, a known associate of former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, showed up to the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court for arraignment on Monday, members […]

Violence prevails during Venezuela referendum; Official says sustained unrest won’t affect diplomatic relations
The government of Venezuelan President, Nicholas Maduro has sought to clarify its position following Sunday’s referendum, which saw sustained violence throughout that country, amidst reports of inflated voting results. Despite the uprising, Venezuela has assured its diplomatic allies, including Belize, that the situation at home […]

Man shot dead after attacking security guard
Independence police have detained a security guard pending investigations for a fatal shooting at a shrimp farm in that community late Saturday night. The incident happened at pond #14 at Aqua Mar shrimp farm in Independence village, Stann Creek sometime around 11:30 Saturday night. The […]

Security guard killed while cleaning yard in Belmopan
Early on Monday morning, multiple shots rang out on Cost Rica Street in Salvapan, Belmopan, which left a 21-year-old security guard dead. The victim, later identified as Samuel Mendez, a resident of Rivera, Belmopan, was in the process of cutting a yard around 7:30 a.m. on July […]

Suspect charged for murder 3 months ago
Almost three months after the brutal murder of Guatemalan businessman, Carlos Pop Xol, Punta Gorda police have finally arrested and charged the man believed to have committed the crime. Elmer Javier Carillo, 27, a naturalized Belizean of Creake Sarco village was charged by Punta Gorda police with […]

Belize City man shot in San Pedro
A Belize City resident is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital from gunshot injuries he sustained last Monday night while he was in San Pedro town. The victim, identified as 29-year-old Lloyd Martinez, was shot multiple times to his abdominal area around 6:30 p.m. on July […]

Man hospitalized after kiling man who violated his mother
Cayo resident, Nevis Betancourth, remains hospitalized this week after he was chopped in an altercation, where he fatally shot his attacker. Betancourth’s injury was so severe that police have not detained or charged him in connection with the shooting death of 37-year-old Honduran construction worker, Jose Nunez […]

The dispute which has flared up between the Belize Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries should not be allowed to esclate out of control. . BSI's top management has threatened that unless the Association signs on to a new agreement, one which other associations have already endorsed, Belize […]

Taiwan gives Guatemala big money for freeway!
The Taiwanese government has given Guatemala a whopping US $650 million to construct a freeway that some media houses say is the same road that Britain had promised to build for Guatemala, but failed to do, and which has led to the territorial dispute that […]

Tourism industry suffers under departure tax increase
Tropic Air has suspended three of its international flights as a direct result of the departure tax increases implemented by the government of Belize in May, which at the time caused tourism stakeholders to voice concern over the negative effects it could have. Tropic Air announced on Thursday that as […]

Wild night between drinking buddies ends with one shot, one accused of sexual assault
An Orange Walk man is recovering from a gunshot wound after a wild Tuesday night with a friend, which included liquor, allegations of sexual assault and robbery, a car accident and a shooting incident. The gunshot victim, 22-year-old Abdi Aban and the other man involved […]

Sugar industry facing another crisis
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), owned by the American Sugar Refineries Group, are again in conflict, one which could jeopardize the entire sugar industry. ASR/BSI said that the two organizations have a cane purchase agreement that is valid […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Opposition leader warns of scammer using his name
Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno today issued a statement informing the public that there is a person going around soliciting donations using Briceno's name.

Verge of Umbra makes top ten at Waken Open Air festival
Belizean new-metal band, Verge of Umbra, has ranked in the top ten at the Waken Open Air festival, one of the largest music events in the world. Verge of Umbra represented Belize and all of Central America at the festival, placing 6th of 28 contestants.

New BBN app for Apple and Android users
Breaking Belize News, Belize's leading and most recognized online news source, has now launched a new app available for Apple and Android users. The BBN app is available for download now on Apple devices in the App Store and for Android users on Google Play. With the new BBN app, Belizeans at home and abroad can stay up to date with all the latest happenings in the country.

Tourism Ministry presents Draft Update to the National Tourism Policy
Over 90 public, private and civil sector tourism stakeholders attended a presentation of the draft update to the National Tourism Policy held in Belize City yesterday. Dr. Richard Denman, the consultant contracted for the revision process, presented the revised National Tourism Policy draft, which will guide the sustainable and resilient development of tourism in Belize for the next 10 years.

Hurricane Center monitoring two tropical systems
The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor two tropical systems in the Atlantic. A broad and elongated area of low pressure is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity several hundred miles south and southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Environmental conditions appear conducive for this system to consolidate and develop during the next few days, and a tropical depression is likely to form by the early or middle part of next week while moving west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph across the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

PRIDE week to be celebrated in Belize
Internationally, PRIDE is the celebration of gay rights. It is celebrated annually in different parts of the world. On Tuesday, Jamaica celebrated PRIDE with a Pride parade. It is the third annual event of its kind in the country. The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and partner organizations in Belize now plan to do the same.

Errol Smith gets bail
Yesterday, Errol Smith was granted bail of $5000. He was granted bail by Justice Denis Hanomansingh with the condition that he does not interfere with the witnesses for the Crown. Smith was also ordered to report to the San Ignacio Police Station every Friday and to attend San Ignacio Magistrate's Court on every other adjournment date.

Vega land scheme nets a chunk of Ramsey Caye
Family members of former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega own over 13 acres of land on Ramsey Caye, located just south of Belize City through suspicious land transactions. As reported by 7 News, over 100 land documents surfaced, showing a pattern where private citizens [�]

"No changes at Belize Airport Authority," says General Manager
General Manager of the Belize Airport Authority (BAA), Nicholas Ruiz, has assured that there are no pending changes to staff, amidst rumors of irregularities in the authority's accounts. Ruiz told the media that it is "business as usual" with his office, but conceded that [�]

Baby found; father wanted by police
On Thursday around 10 pm, a family member took Baby Tereak Palacio Jr to the Domestic Violence Unit in Belize City. Baby Tereak had been missing since Monday when his dad, Tereak Palacio Sr.,18, abducted him from his home in Belize City. The father of the child [�]

Police issue official report on fatal accident in Spanish Lookout
Yesterday around 4, Stephen Hochstetler ,33, a supervisor from Iguana Creek Road in Spanish Lookout reported to authorities that he was driving his 4runner SUV that was parked beside a building in his yard to discharge some pipes . Hochstetler says that he then [�]

Orange Walk retiree found dead
This morning around 7:38, Orange Walk police visited a San Estevan Street address in Orange Walk Town where they observed in a house the motionless body of a man. The victim was identified as Gregorio De Leon, 85, retired Belizean lying face up with wounds to [�]

Queen's Baton arrives in the Chiquibul National Park
The Queen's Baton reached the Chiquibul National Park yesterday with a group of young people from Belize City, staff from the Olympics Committee, FCD staff and staff accompanying the baton internationally. The Queen's Baton Relay in the Chiquibul had a special significance due to [�]

Belize takes Miss Costa Maya International 2017 crown
Last night, the annual Miss Costa Maya International Pageant was held in San Pedro town. Delegates from Mexico, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua vied for the crown. Residents were out cheering and celebrating for their favorite contestant of El [�]


Belizean Smiles: The Merry Makers of Celi's Deli
It's not unusual to step into Celi's Deli on Barrier Reef Dive and hear a chorus from the busy kitchen of ladies singing along with the radio. They laugh and joke with each other while they prepare the food, and when they welcome you at the counter, you are greeted like you were just there singing along with them! How can you not love a person who feeds you breakfast with a smile and calls you sweetie? These gestures of love are from the core crew of Rosi Lanze, Yessi Perez and Estelita Lamb, who has been winning over the hearts (and tummies) of customers at Celi's Deli for years! Ms. Rosi, who is originally from Libertad Village in the Corozal District, has worked there since 1994, and she affectionately calls her customers "coch".

Tropic Air Yucatan and Central American Flights Schedule Change
Tropic Air regrettably announces suspension on three Yucatan and Central American flights. An in-depth analysis of their performance over the past few months, shows there is no clear path to sustainably serving these markets under current economic conditions. The May 1, 2017 departure tax increase was a factor as well.

Your Travel Guide To San Ignacio Belize
San Ignacio Belize, the land of hills, Mayan ruins, awesome rivers and some of the best food in all of Belize! Hitting up San Ignacio in your search engine will bring up more locations, pins, and attractions than you can shake a stick at - despite all there is to do, and you should try all of it, there are a few that should go before anything else. Breakfast, we've been told, is the most important meal of the day, and that makes sense. How else will you have the fuel you need to take you through all your cool adventures around town? Obvious benefits aside, you really need to try these San Ignacio mainstays for a first meal to totally brighten up your day.

5 Scientific Reasons A Belize Beach Vacation Is Necessary For Your Health
Many people mistakenly think that a beach vacation or trip to a jungle lodge is simply a way to enjoy time off from work or school. But scientists have proven that visiting pristine natural locations like in Belize are actually good for your health. Not only are our bodies more than 75% water, but even our bones are one-third water. When you come to Belize and swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in the warm waters of the Caribbean, the ocean will trigger an immediate response in your brain, telling you that you're "in the right place."

Statue of St. Ignatius
St. Ignatius of Loyola

International Sourcesizz

SC Marines hold opening ceremony for Price Barracks hospital project
U.S. Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Southern Command held an opening ceremony at Price Barracks in Ladyville, Belize, July 21, to signify the start of a hospital renovation project. Marine combat engineers, electricians, foremen, and water technicians from the Logistics Combat Element, SPMAGTF-SC, will be working to renovate the Price Barracks hospital in order to better the medical readiness of the Belize Defence Force. "The purpose of this build is to support the host nation government in providing medical support to their personnel and civilians," said U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Ryan J. Gibbs, the Belize site officer in charge, LCE, SPMAGTF-SC.

Many US cities to Belize for only $262 roundtrip
Cheap airfares from USA to Belize. Fly from many US cities to Belize City, Belize for only $262 roundtrip with American Airlines.

Nine International areas real estate investors should give a look
Thanks Forbes! - - Belize #2


  • Verge of Umbra places 6th place in the Wacken International Metal Battle, 7min. 28 metal bands from around the world who beat out many other bands in their own region. Verge of Umbra won the Central American vote and went in overdrive. Verge of Umbra placed 6th place in the Wacken International Metal Battle.

  • BELIZE WINS! Costa Maya 2017!, 8sec.

  • A Window Into the Blue Sea | Belize, 1min. A tiny remote island off the Caribbean shores of Belize, the natural beauty of Goff's Caye alone will leave your soul singing, and not just because of its guitar-shaped aerial overview. Just a short trip out from Belize City, the uninhibited islet is peppered with coconut palms and lush green scenery overlooking the sparkling sea which sets the stage of the lost island everyone dreams about getting stranded on.

  • Scuba diving a swim through tunnel at Punta Arena Canyons Belize, 4min. Scuba diving in Belize with Chuck and Robbie's acting as the dive operator. Giovanni, in the baseball cap, was out dive master. He took us through a tunnel on our descent down to our max depth at 100 feet. Also known as Small Cut, the Punta Arena Canyons are famous for their tunnels, which are covered in brilliant red algae growth. The reef begins sixty feet beneath the surface here, and is covered in splendid gorgonians, some of which are very large. Stands of elkhorn and staghorn coral, swirling heads of lettuce coral, and beautiful specimens of brain and star coral can be found, all with small crabs, shrimp, fairy basslets and wrasse in attendance. As you make your way through these magnificent canyons with their vertical walls, you'll find the most popular swim through of all, which has a triangular opening. Approximately seventy feet long, it exits at a depth of 100 feet, and inside, you can experience complete darkness if you turn out your light for a moment. You can come back through the tunnel if you like, or you can make your way back up to the reef top along the wall, which is covered in soft corals, sea fans, and sponges. Along the way, watch for Nassau groupers and pompano, spadefish, jacks, and some large pairs of angelfish.

  • Take me to Belize please..., 35min. A recap of a great week of Diving from the Live Aboard - Belize Aggressor III with We-B-Divin.

  • Closeup Lizard in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Costa Maya 2017 - Reef Radio/TV Interview with Michelle Nunez - Miss Belize, 8min.

  • Costa Maya 2017 - Reef Radio/TV Interview with: Maria Fernanda Jaspe - Ms Panama, 5.5min.

  • Costa Maya 2017 - Reef Radio/TV Interview with: Gabriela Salazar, 7min.

  • Chumming The Water Attracts Wrong Kind Of Sharks, 1.5min. Reef sharks are an extremely rare sight in Belize. Typically, docile and harmless nurse sharks inhabit these waters. When a group of divers chummed the water with fish remnants, they were hoping to attract jacks and nurse sharks. This is almost always the result. What they got this time was totally unexpected. A pack of hungry and curious ten foot long Caribbean Reef Sharks showed up and closed in on the bait tube and surrounded the divers. Their appetite brought them in very close to the group.

  • Belize road-stop clips, 1.5min. Our host allowed us to get a few clips on the road to Orange Walk, Belize. Needed more wax but it was fun

  • The Queen's Baton Relay has been in existence since 1958, 4.5min.

  • Orange Walk Police are looking at another murder to solve in Shuga City., 5min.

  • BELIZE NOW | Episode 29 | Friday, August 4, 2017, 30min. In tonight's headlines: A new conservation post is opened in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, the strengthening of Belize's Citizen Security Policy is discussed at workshop held in Placencia, and the National Agriculture and Show Grounds becomes home to a new weekend market. These stories and more on this week's edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, August 4th, 2017, I'm Charlee Hutchinson.

  • Visiting the butterfly farm from Chaa Creek Belize, 5min. We had a great second day in Belize Chaa Creek Resort where we finally adjusted to the jungle. We relaxed at the pool in company of some delicious cocktails. The butterfly farm allows you to see Blue Morphos and other beautiful butterflies from up close, perfect to take pictures and movies!

  • Landing at Belize International, December 29th, 2015 (AA 269 DFW-BZE), 15min.

  • My trip to Belize, 5.5min. This was the best trip of my entire life, and I'm so happy I could share this with you.

  • SUV crashes into river along Hummingbird Highway. , 1min. On the 4.08.2017 about 12:45pm Belmopan Police visited an area between miles 28 and 29 on the Hummingbird Highway upon their arrival they observed a black Liberty Jeep about 15 feet below a bridge. 47 year old Benjamin Paul, an 47 year old American National was driving a rented Black Jeep Liberty L/P. # CY.C.36869 on the Hummingbird Highway travelling from the direction of Dangriga towards Belmopan City and upon reaching between miles 28 and 29 on the Hummingbird Highway he lost control of his vehicle and ran off the bridge and his vehicle fell into the creek below. Paul was accompanied with family members; 36 year old Kathrine Obrian, 6 year old Rafael Paul and 3 year old Carmelita Paul.

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