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Today's Belize News: September 16, 2017 #525877
09/16/17 07:06 AM
09/16/17 07:06 AM
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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

72nd Queen of the Bay Coronation ends up in double crown controversy
On Sunday, September 10 th, the official crowning ceremony for Queen of the Bay (QOB) was held at the Fort George Memorial Park. The event was mired in controversy, however, as for the first time in 72 years, two young women were crowned simultaneously on the same stage. As Miss Stann Creek Aliyah Ysaguirre was being crowned the 72nd National QOB, Zenaida Moya, National QOB Committee Chair walked up and crowned Miss Orange Walk Esmeralda Cal as well. The Mistress of Ceremonies immediately called on police to escort Moya off the stage, as the official 72nd National QOB is Miss Stann Creek Aliyah Ysaguiire. What transpired onstage was a result of conflicting announcements, which all began when Moya allegedly requested a second round of judging, long after Ms. Ysaguirre had been declared the winner. The National Queen of the Bay Committee issued a press release on Friday, September 8th, informing the public that on Thursday, September 7 th, Orange Walk Queen of the Bay Committee formally requested an investigation into the final scores, in which their candidate was named first runner up in the 72nd QOB pageant held on September, 2nd. The release stated that the judges held a meeting immediately, and reviewed over their scores as requested by the Orange Walk Committee.

Conservationists call for the ban on gillnets after female Tiger shark found tangled in one dies
The death of a female Tiger shark is being linked to the irresponsible use of a gillnet. The discovery was made by a local San Pedro Town tour operator, who was travelling back to the island after a trip to Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Despite their efforts to assist the shark entangled in the net, it was too late to save the magnificent animal. This latest incident has conservationists calling on the government to ban gillnet and long line fishing in Belize. According to MarAlliance, a non-governmental organization based in San Pedro Town, the net had no tag, indicating that it was not registered and therefore, illegal. The net was also far longer than regulation, which reveals that shark fishing is taking place, despite the fact that the shark fishing season is currently closed. “Nets are difficult to enforce and they indiscriminately kill both protected and unprotected species,” said MarAlliance. “Live sharks are worth so much more to Belize, marine health, and so many Belizean families and businesses through the tourism dollars they bring. Dead sharks are generally exported as fillet and fins by a handful of fishermen.”

Former San Pedro Police Officers charged with extortion
Two police officers attached to Precinct Three in Belize City were arraigned on extortion related charges on Friday, September 8th. The duo, identified as Sergeant Lenancio Bol and Police Constable Daniel Requeña managed to meet a $2,000 bail after appearing before Magistrate Aretha Ford and were set free. This is the second time Requeña has been in trouble with the law for the same offense. The official report states that the accused police officers, on Tuesday, September 5th, demanded a sum of $800 dollars from one Estefania Gomez. According to Gomez, she visited the Queen Street Police Station at around 11:30PM and reported that hours earlier, while at work, she received a call from a friend who informed her that three of her female friends were being detained by police. Gomez was told that they were being held for not having legal papers to remain in Belize. When Gomez arrived at the Precinct, Bol told Gomez that he would be handing over the women to the Immigration Department.

Ambergris Today

Children Participate In River To Reef Ambassador Program On Ambergris Caye
Children from The GREENE (Guinea Grass Response for Education & Enforcement of the Natural Environment) Project were provided a firsthand experience to learn of the primary ecosystems of the coastal and marine environment and to observe how garbage affects marine life at Bacalar Chico National Park. Twenty-five (25) children of the River to Reef Ambassador’s Program travelled to Basil Jones camp from August 28- September 1, 2017, to learn about the conservation and threats to Belize’s Barrier Reef. This training course also included the life history of sea turtles, visit the coral reef, littoral forest, mangrove ecosystems, and threats to coral reef and marine life.

Mrs. Julia Martinez passes away
Our community is saddened to learn about the passing of Mrs. Julia Martinez. She was a hard working woman, inspirational and admirable. Ambergris Today shares deepest condolences to her family. This article published in 2011 depicts Mrs. Julia's perseverance, strong will, dedication and love. May she Rest in Peace.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Mr. Pedro Salazar Sr. honored at the Tribute to Belizean Patriots award ceremony
Outstanding Belizeans were honoured on Thursday, September 14th at the annual Tribute to Belizean Patriots ceremonies. Among the honorees was Ambergris Caye’s very own Pedro ‘Pete’ Salazar Sr., who was bestowed with the Meritorious Service Award. The award ceremony is part of the September Celebrations, and was held at the Bliss Centre for Performing Arts in Belize City. 21 other Belizeans were also awarded for their work towards the betterment and development of their communities and the country. Presenting the awards to the recipients was Governor General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Young. We join the island community in congratulating Don Pedro Salazar Sr.!

Partnering with Belize Fishermen to Protect Livelihoods through Climate Adaptation
More than 30 officials from government institutions and NGOs attended a 2-day training on climate adaptation measures to improve livelihoods for the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Belize. This course was sponsored by the USAID - US Agency for International Development and the Organization of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Central America (OSPESCA). The training helped participants define adaptation measures and local actions in fisheries and aquaculture ecosystems. The participants also learned how to use “Clima Pesca,” a free digital tool for managing climate information that was developed by #USAID. This training is one of many examples of partnership with Central American countries and the Dominican Republic in adapting more easily to climate variability.

Missing Person
Twelve year old Lucera Constantino has been missing since last week Friday. Her mother Rosa Rivero says that she was kidnapped by a man she knows as Luis Cinteron. Friends and family have been searching for her since last week. If you have any information regarding her whereabouts please contact the nearest police station.

Caye Caulker Humane Society closed next Saturday?
Hello Caye Caulker pet owners, it is POSSIBLE that the CC Humane Society will be closed next Saturday, 23 September, due to shortage of staff. In case of an animal medical emergency please contact Animal Medical Centre in Belize City: 223 3781 or 501 223 5847, Emergency # 610 3481. If we do have to close on the 23rd, we will be back open for our usual hours of 9AM - 11AM on 30 September. We will also be open today, 16 September. Thanks for your understanding!

Belizean Patriots Awards Ceremony
The Tribute to Belizean Patriots Awards Ceremony 2017 was held on September 14th at the Bliss Institute for Performing Arts in Belize City. The event is held every year as a part of the official September Celebrations activities. It's an occasion to honour Belizeans who have dedicated their lives to serving the country. Twenty-two Belizeans were honored for their service to Belize over the years. Twenty of the honourees received a Meritorious Service Award, while two received the Order of Distinction.

Attorney General’s Ministry Reports on the status of the Implementation of UNCAC
Since acceding to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on the 12th of December, 2016, significant preliminary steps have been taken towards implementation. The Government of Belize through the Attorney General’s Ministry, the designated Focal Point for UNCAC, has made a concerted and devoted effort to assess the legal and institutional framework in Belize, with the aim of identifying and strengthening anti-corruption regimes in Belize. Contextually, Belize is considered as a country with an economy in transition, as such, any plans and programmes to combat corruption have to be measured in line with Belize’s capacity financially, technically and otherwise. Nevertheless, the Government of Belize on a voluntary basis has subjected Belize to the implementation review mechanism established by the Conference of the State Parties to review and monitor implementation of the UNCAC (the Mechanism). The Mechanism includes a review process that is intergovernmental in nature.

Flying Piñata in San Pedro!
Don't miss the Flying Piñata after the parade at the Central Park! It's going to be fun!

Claudia Arana passes away
The Corozal Sports Council is in its deepest agony for the loss of an extraordinary Sports Athlete her talent extended beyond frontiers as she was well known on her position of play ,her love for volleyball was a day to day life as she always made her presence in female volleyball being part of the Lady Devils and also playing in the Coed Volleyball. Interoffice tournaments in 2015-2016 she captured the MVP in her category she continued the love of her sport by leading her Daughter in achieving the FEMALE MVP in the District Primary School level with the Guadalupe. RC.Its breaks our heart to accept that you will no longer be with us my Dearest Claudia Arana the sets are over and the game has ended as we extend a heartfelt sympathy to the Arana family not to say goodbye but to say until we meet.RIP_#1volleyballqueen

Power interruption Stann Creek and Toledo Districts, on Saturday, September 16 from 6:00am to 2:00pm
Affected areas: entire Placencia Peninsula including Plantation, Maya Beach, Forest Lagoon Estate, Seine Bight and Placencia; Red Bank, Maya Mopan, Santa Rosa, San Roman, San Pablo, Georgetown, Santa Cruz, Maya King, Cowpen, San Juan, Independence, Savannah Road, Big Creek Road, Monkey River, Bella Vista, San Isidro, Trio and Bladen. Other portions of the Toledo District will experience a brief power interruption from 2:00pm to 2:15pm. BEL to conduct maintenance and testing of equipment at the Independence Substation, Savannah Switching Station and Placencia Substation; and to relocate controls for voltage regulators at the Placencia Substation.

Xate stock assessment
The third xate stock assessment will be conducted in the Chiquibul Forest thanks to a grant provided today by the Belize Nature Conservation Foundation. The results will help us know what is the status of xate populations in the Chiquibul.

San Pedro: Work in streets over the weekend
Public notice: Please be advised that Saturday the 16th Sept, workers will be on Caribena St early in the morning starting at 5am for about 3 hours. Then on Sunday the 17th they will be running lines under the street. This work will slow down traffic flow so please be patient and watch out for the workers. Thank you.

This Day In History
September 15th, 1779 - Notwithstanding the Treaties of 1667, 1670 and 1763, His Majesty's Subjects, without any provocation having been offered on their part, and without any notice having been given on the part of Spain, of any difference or War existing between the two Crowns, were attacked at St. George's Key, in the most hostile manner bv His Catholic Majesty's forces, and subjects; and not only robbed of all their property, and effects; but their persons seized and treated in the most ignominious manner; some were blindfolded, others put in irons, and all of them who were captured, were marched up the country to Merida, and afterwards countermarched, and shipped off to the Havana in Cuba; and there detained as prisoners until the month of July 1782, when the survivors were permitted to return to Jamaica. Such of the Settlers that escaped on board His Majesty's ships Badger and Racehorse, that fortunately appeared in the evening, were taken to Jamaica, but the greatest number settled at Ruatan.

Channel 7

ACP Chester Sends Lawyer Letter To Sr. Supt Vidal Threatening Suit
All this week we've been reporting on the serious beef between the two senior police officers: Chester Williams and Marco Vidal. ACP Williams is the former Southside commander, and "Senior Supe" Vidal took over from him two and a half months ago. Williams had forged a gang truce in April, and crime in the city - especially gang crime - had taken a sharp downturn. And then in August, it all flared up again. So, the finger was pointed at Vidal. Had the former GSU commander riled things up in the street again with his hard charging tactics? Vidal has rejected this narrative as bogus and oversimplified. And, on Tuesday at a press briefing he went a step further when he said that the apparent peace created under Chester Williams command - was not peace at all, but an accommodation to the criminal element. Here's how he put it:

DPM Faber: "All Is Not Well In the UDP"
"All is not well with the UDP" - that's what the Deputy Leader Patrick Faber had to say today when we asked him about the prospect of Gaspar Vega running again for the UDP in Orange Walk North. Vega, flanked by Minister John Saldivar and Minister of State Dr. Angel Campos made the blockbuster announcement one week ago in Orange Walk. That prompted Faber to post a not-so-subtle message on his Facebook saying, "I do not support or defend corruption...". Today - in his first interview after making that eyebrow-raising post - we asked him to expand on his thoughts about a possible Vega comeback... Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Leader - UDP: "For me, all is not necessarily well in the UDP. I think that is no secret to anybody. I am not telling any tales out of school there. There are, ah, many of us in the UDP who are not satisfied with some of what has happened, a lot of what has happened. And, ah, not to create any kind of disunity but, we have always been a party that boasts our integrity and our honesty, and where that is not found, ah, I feel, ah, compelled, to, to, ah make sure that that is flushed out."

Barrow Admin Says It Must Part Ways With Unreliable Venezuelan Fuel Supply
And while the UDP will continue to publicly ventilate those inner divisions - the position on Petrocaribe is much more reserved. As we told you last night, APBEL - short for ALBA Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited - announced that it is immediately suspending purchases of petroleum products from Venezueala's national oil company, PDVSA (pede-vesa) under the PetroCaribe Agreement. Today, Deputy PM Faber explained that with the difficulties in Venezueala, it's just become too difficult to use PDVSA as a reliable source of fuel. Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: "Venezuela as a source for petrol is now very problematic, so much so that in fact on quite a few occasions now we have had to import fuel by road and of course this causes the price to fluctuate and we're not able to have as great a control as we would normally have. So if that supply, is unsteady then it's not the most reliable thing for us to rely on."

DPM Faber: Call It A Wrap On Senate Hearings
Deputy PM Faber also commented on the Government's plan to end funding for the Senate hearings after November. It has provoked sharp criticism from the teachers union - which pushed for the hearings in the first place. Today, DPM Faber re-iterated the position he first put out there months ago - that the hearings must have an end, and it's about that time: Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister : "Whatever could have been achieved out of it has been achieved. There is no reason as I have said on the record before for us to continue with this issue. Let us now see how we could make improvements, and you know those improvements in terms of immigration as you saw with the bringing of the Director of Immigration to the inquiry, those improvements have already been started. We need to continue and make sure that we fix things."

Faber Makes Allegations Against Moya
And Faber also discussed the recent Queen of the Bay crowning controversy. As minister of Culture, he's the chairman of the September Celebrations Commission - and he's also the person who chairperson of the Queen of the Bay Committee Zenaida Moya has implicated as the trouble maker leading up to the fiasco on the Tenth. Today Faber said he won't respond to the insults - except to say that the Queen of the Bay is for everybody, not Ms. Moya:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Chairman - September Celebrations Commission: "I stress that in fact we did not decide on who the Queen of the Bay was; the judges ultimately did that, along with the then reigning queen. It is unfortunate the circumstances that have happened. In fact, you know that there were personal attacks made against me, I will not get into that. I think we should rise above the fray."

Moya Rejects Faber Allegations
Just before the break, you heard Chairman of the September Celebrations Commission Patrick Faber allege that chairperson of the Queen of the Bay Committee Zenaida Maya is trying to register the Queen of the Bay name as her own. Well, Moya called us in the news to say that's completely false. She says that it's an attempt being made by former queens and her Committee only became aware of it this week. She says she has nothing to do with this effort and she showed us messages which express the wish of Pageant Coordinator Emma Boiton that it not be registered because it is a patriotic entity.

Mother Of Two Dies After Accident
A 40 year old mother of two died this morning six days after she was knocked down along with her 8 year old son. On Saturday evening at 6:45, Corozal resident CLAUDIA MARTINEZ ARANA and her son were passengers on a motorbike when a car knocked the bike from behind. All three persons on the bike were violently flung unto the pavement. MARTINEZ had no helmet on and suffered major head injuries. She was almost immediately transferred to the KHMH where her brain was swollen and she did not regain consciousness. She died early this morning. Her son was released from the Northern Regional Hospital earlier this week and his prognosis is good. Police have not reported the accident and could not say if the driver will now be charged for manslaughter and other offences.

GOB Says UNCAC On Target
For the past few weeks, the social partners have been grumbling about the slow progress with UNCAC, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. It was signed in December of last year - but the unions and the Chamber say they have yet to see any convincing follow up. Well, today the Attorney General's Ministry sent out a release that's over a thousand words long to say just what they've been doing with UNCAC. The release recounts in lavish detail every inch of progress towards implementing a technically complex convention. The bottom line? Belize will be reviewed in what's known as "the First Cycle," by Haiti and from the regional group and Tuvalu from the international group. That review started on July 25th., and over the last 6 weeks the Attorney General's Ministry has been engaged in, quote, "a rigorous analysis of the legal and institutional framework of Belize." The due date for a Self-assessment Checklist is in ten days. A press release says, quote, the Government of Belize has made several successful steps towards the implementation of the UNCAC."

K9 Makes Busts On Partridge
Multiple police units continue to operate on the southside, and this morning it was the Special Assignment Team, the K9 unit, and the Gang Suppression Unit on Patridge street extension. The K9 named Bosco made the big find when he picked up a scent on an abandoned red Nissan Frontier Pick Up. Inside police found a 9 millimeter Ruger handgun with 13 live rounds. The firearm will be sent for ballistic testing to see if it was used in any crime. A black plastic bag with 87 live rounds was also found under the spare tire of the vehicle. An additional search was also done on Partridge extensions where the cops found over a pound of weed.

Revolver Off Streets
And yesterday, the police were on Iguana Street where they found guns and ammo. At 5:15 the Special Assignment Team searched an abandoned lot located on Iguana Street where they found thirty-two rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition. The team also searched the gang hotspot of Banak Street at 6 this morning where they found one 38 revolver.

Hattiville Hydro
And, rural police found 8 pounds of weed in Hattieville yesterday evening. A team searched through some bushes in the Windmill area and found the big stash wrapped in plastic. All these items we've reported on were deposited as found property.

Hilux For Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the Chiquibul National Park, has received the donation of a brand new, 2018 Toyota Hilux pickup. It was donated to the FCD by a group of private citizens and companies, who want to help them in the battle to curb Guatemalan encroachments and poaching of the park's natural resources. So, these concerned individuals and corporate entities began their fundraising efforts with a site visit to the Chiquibul for themselves. And after weeks of putting the money together, the local Toyota dealers, Belize Diesel and Company matched their funds to bridge the gap, so that they could hand over the 80-thousand-dollar vehicle to the committed conservationist group. That happened today at Belize Diesel's Belize City office, and we got a chance to speak with both the donors and the recipients. Here's what they told us about how the pickup will be used:

Broward Businessmen In Belize
For the next 3 days, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BELTRAIDE, will be meeting with the Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, and potential international investors who are looking to do business in Belize. The Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida comprises Belizean Americans who want to contribute to the country's economic development. It was formed 4 year ago, and they've been vetting entrepreneurs out of Florida, who would like to inject foreign direct investment in Belize. So, the Belize American Chamber of Commerce is acting sort of like the matchmakers, pointing these business owners to the right authorities in Belize to bring potential investments closer to becoming reality. It's all a part of the Broward-bound Belize Trade Mission, and today, the local and American trade officials met for the first of the 4-day round-table session, and 7News stopped by. We got a chance to speak with a few of the leading personalities of the Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida. Here's what they had to tell us:

Police Pulled Up To His Bumper
This morning during the hustle and bustle of the morning traffic a fender bender occurred right here on Albert Street. A cop driving a white Tourism Police truck rear ended Luke Collymore's car. Collymore said that it was not your usual kind of fender bender. He claims the officer seemed to have done this intentionally. Collymore gave us his account of the accident:... Luke Collymore, Rearended by cop: "Dropping my children to school as I do every morning. Upon reaching here there were three vehicles in front of me. I couldn't move and the police got behind me. The first thing they did was they blew the horn and I lift out my hand and I pointed in front of me and the guy put on the siren when he put on the siren he decided you are not going to move so he ran into me." "My child was in the car, my baby." "He got upset and then this lady came and I was cussing because listen to me when you just hit my car that my child is in intentionally, he was lucky I was just cussing because that is how I get."

Toledo Women's Groups Get Money Training
This week, the Ya'axche Conservation Trust is offering training to 12 members of established women's groups in Indian Creek and Golden Stream villages. They're learning about financial management and book-keeping to increase the capacities of their groups which currently provide catering services and sell arts and crafts. Here's how the trainer and two of the participants explained it:.. The training is funded through a 4-year project from EuropeAid. More training workshops will continue into next year, involving other community-based organizations in the Toledo District.

School Rally And What September Means
All across the country this morning, School Rallies were held for primary school children. It's the largest collective celebration of patriotism that we have in the country, and we wondered what knowledge and patriotic sentiment really lies behind those bright smiles and waving flags. Sahar Vasquez asked a few of the kids about what September means to them. Sahar Vasquez, reporter: "What is your favorite part about September?" Sincere Arnold, Trinity Methodist School: "That we get to wave our flag and we get to celebrate our beautiful country." Sahar Vasquez: "How do you feel about celebrating Belize's 36th birthday?" Jude Williams, Queen Square Anglican: "I feel great about it and I feel awesome because nothing bad didn't happen this year."

Belizean Honored
And also, last night there was adult patriotism on display at the tribute to Belizean Patriots. The annual event held at the Bliss Center recognizes outstanding - (and ruling party friendly) - Belizeans with medals denoting the order of distinction and the meritorious service award. Here are this year's 22 recipients as read by the Cabinet Secretary and representative of the Governor General: The National Awards and Honors Committee chaired by Phillipa Bailey makes the selections.

Taiwan Donates To NICH
A week ago, Taiwan donated $100,000 to the police department. Well they gave another 100 grand to NICH today. Now the money will certainly go a long way during the September celebrations with the host of events that NICH has organized. But the donation goes beyond just helping out with events. NICH will use the money to enrich a number of musical and cultural youth programs. We dropped by to find out about the significance of this donation. H.E Charles Liu, Taiwanese Ambassador, Belize: "On behalf of the Government of the Republic of China/Taiwan, I feel very great to present a contribution of the sponsorship of $100,000 Belize dollars for the project that NICH has been working on. This contribution is only the symbolism of the friendship between Taiwan and Belize."

Sing It For Soundfest
And Taiwan and NICH aren't the only ones trying to keep Belize's music and culture alive. Tony Wright and the Association for Belizean Artists First are hosting the 16th Sound Fest tonight at the Birds Isle. The event was designed all those years ago as the antidote to all the soca music that takes over Belize during this festive month, so, of course it's all about Belizean music. Artists like King Rancho, Lady Zoila Clark, Kurly Miller and Ben Mckoy among others will be taking the stage tonight. We spoke with Wright earlier about the purpose of the fest. Tony Wright, President - Belizean First Assoc.: "We had some people over there for the September Celebrations back in 2002 and they had a program for the event. And when they showed me the program it had nothing for Belizean artists and so when I pointed out to the ladies they said if you are so passionate about it why don't you do something about it. And so I met Leroy "Bass" Castillo right after that and I talk to him and we started the first Soundfest. We felt that Belizean artists are not getting what they really due. I grew up in a Belize where when September comes around, every pan that was knocking and every drums that were beating was for us."

They Wowed The Kids
And keeping it on music today the Children's Rally, we saw Gariff and Jamir Valentine performing and the kids went wild for these young stars. They were the runner-ups for the national song competition and after their performance, we got to speak with them and their dad about the hit song. Sahar Vasquez, reporter "What was your song named?" Jamir Valentine, Second Place National Song Competition 2017 "Belizean Brukdown." Sahar Vasquez "How do you guys feel about performing on stage, do you get nervous or do you enjoy it?"

Frankie Eena Classical Style
And that's all we have for you tonight - thanks for joining us - with your news I am Courtney Weatherburne… We leave you tonight with highlites of Wednesday night's "Evening of Folk and Classical Unit" featuring Frankie Reneau and the "Project Orchestra String Quartet".

Channel 5

DPM Says Suspension of Petrocaribe Will Not Hurt Belize-Venezuela Relations
Tonight, the Petrocaribe initiative remains in limbo following an announcement of the immediate suspension of the program.  A meeting between two officials representing the Venezuelan government and Petroleos de Venezuela [...]

Opposition Leader Says Venezuela May Be Backing Away from Belize
Meanwhile, APBEL General Manager John Mencias has told News Five that the problems with shipments have been ongoing for months now and provoked much complaint from the Government to both [...]

Is Your Social Security Money Compromised by Government Investments?
The Social Security Board – it’s the safety net for Belizeans in time of need, whether through sickness, pregnancy, injury or even death. In recent times S.S.B. funds have been [...]

P.U.P. Proposes Some Modest Reform to Social Security
Briceño described the Government’s treatment of the S.S.B. as a piñata, always available for ready cash on demand. But with calls for increased contributions from workers, what, if anything, can [...]

Queen of the Bay is for All
The spectacle that was the simultaneous coronation of Aaliyah Ysaguirre and Esmeralda Cal as Queen of the Bay 2017 endures as the topic of choice in just about every forum.  [...]

September Celebrations Commission Not Behind Termination, Appeals for Unity
The humiliation playing out onstage at the Fort George Memorial Park on Sunday ended in Moya’s immediate termination on live television, though she says she cannot be fired.  Today, Faber [...]

Senior Lawyer Makes Case Against Franz Parke for Court of Appeal
Information reaching News Five is that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has formally advised Governor General Sir Colville Young to appoint Franz Parke as a Justice of Appeal, although the appointment [...]

Michael Modiri Headed Back to Court in Land Dispute
Justice Shona Griffith has set a date for trial in October in the long-running case of businessmen Michael Modiri and Bradley Paumen over access to land in the Franks Eddy [...]

Chester to Vidal; Apologize or Face Legal Action
Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal has been served with a letter from attorney Andrew Marshalleck on behalf of Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams for alleged slanderous comments made during a [...]

U.D.P. First Deputy Admits ‘All is Not Well’ Following Vega Scandals
Former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his family are embroiled in a seemingly endless land scandal, a different episode surfacing in the media virtually every week.  The excessive land [...]

Faber Warns: Don’t Drag Out Senate Inquiry
Funding for the ongoing senate inquiry into findings contained within the Auditor General’s Special Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department comes to an end in November.  That follows an [...]

John Briceño Accuses Government of Hypocrisy over Allocations
The Prime Minister’s decision to stop allocations of funding to the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration past November appears to be final. But not if the social partners and [...]

Still No Word from P.M. on Land Reforms
Two weeks ago Opposition Leader John Briceño wrote Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the wake of the Amy Forte/Darlene Padron argument over the deed of conveyance for land on Caye [...]

Education Minister Says Threats to Schools Treated Seriously
The faculty and staff, as well as the student body at Saint Martin de Porres School, returned to the compound this morning, following a bomb threat on Thursday.  The ominous [...]

“Nine” and Rounds Removed from Partridge Street
A nine millimeter and one hundred live rounds of ammunition were taken off the streets this morning. A joint operation by the Special Assignment Team, K-Nine Unite and the Gang [...]

Annual Taiwan Contribution Comes for September Celebrations
NICH got a hundred thousand dollar boost today. The Taiwan Government handed over a cheque to help with cultural and artistic development. The monies will be used for a number [...]

Brand New Hilux Headed to Chiquibul
Today, Executive Director of Friends of Conservation and Development, Rafael Manzanero was handed the keys to a brand new 2018 Toyota Hilux pickup truck. The handing over took place this [...]

F.C.D. Steps Up Patrols for Gold Panners
It is no secret that incursions into the Chiquibul by Guatemalans have been denuding our rich forest. While harvesting xaté is now almost non-existent, Rafael Manzanero says that the issue [...]

Saving the Scarlet Macaw
There have been active efforts by the FCD and other environmental organizations to replenish the scarlet macaw population in the forest. Earlier this week, the season for scarlet macaw closed [...]

Beat the Pan in City, Belmopan
September is not complete without the sweet sounds of the pan at PanYaad.  The annual highlight on the celebrations calendar will take place on Saturday night at seven-thirty inside the [...]

Best Deals at Expo this Weekend
The 2017 Belize Expo Marketplace takes place over the two-day weekend. Annually thousands of Belizeans converge in the Old Capital at the ITVET Compound on Freetown Road to take advantage [...]

Sound Fest Reunites Top Belizean Artists
The annual Belize Sound Fest has been ongoing since 2002. The brainchild of musical icon Tony Wright brings together Belizean musicians and artists for a night of bram and patriotic [...]

Nation’s Youngest Salute Belize
Primary school students from across Belize City converged on the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall this morning for the annual Children’s Rally.  The event is a fixture on the September Celebrations [...]

LOVE FM

BNTU criticizes Government decision to end Senate Hearings
When the Government of Belize announced that it would no longer finance the Senate Hearing past November, citing budgetary constrictions due to the newly reconstituted Integrity Commission and implementation of UNCAC, the Belize National Teachers Union fired off a release criticizing the Government’s decision, saying that no works or results have been seen as it […]

BSI will make big payout
The Belize Sugar Industry/ASR group will be paying well over six point five million dollars in dividends to employees in the coming weeks. Love News has confirmed that report and understands that this is the first payment made to BSI employees since American Sugar Refineries took over a majority of the shares in the company. […]

Faber says the suspension of PetroCaribe is timely
In yesterday’s newscast, we told you that the Government of Belize has decided to suspend all purchases of petroleum products from Petróleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, under the PetroCaribe Agreement effective immediately. Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber spoke to the media about the matter. Patrick Faber – Deputy Prime Minister “Well what I understand to be […]

Faber says Senate Hearings have served its purpose
This week the Senate Select Committee resumed its duties in Belmopan after taking a break. It has been reported that the Senate Hearings might soon come to an end, after Prime Minister Dean Barrow sent a letter to the clerk of the National Assembly in which he indicated that the Government is unable to financially […]

Faber comments on Vega’s announcement of returning to politics
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega, resigned as the Deputy Prime Minister in October 2016, after a land scandal revelation came to light. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, broke the news during a press briefing on October 17, 2016, and expressed regret over Vega’s resignation. From then […]

Patrick Faber comments on Queen of the Bay Drama
The drama that unfolded on Sunday during the installation of the 72nd Queen of the Bay is still being talked about. The events which played out in front of dignitaries including the Governor General and the Prime Minister, saw the former national coordinator, Zenaida Moya go head to head with the September Celebrations Commission chaired […]

Executive Director addressed the illegal activities in Chiquibul
Over the past few weeks rangers of Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, with the help of BDF Soldiers, have managed to capture and arrest a number of Guatemalans who have illegally entered the country. These Guatemalans set up camp within the Chiquibul Forest and conduct gold panning. As of recent, FCD has changed its […]

Friends for Conservation gets new ride to assist in their conservation works
Friends for Conservation and Development is a non-governmental and a non profit organization, which means that most of its funding is generated through sponsorships and fundraising. Belize Diesel and Equipment Limited realizes the important work that FCD does. With that in mind, the company led a fundraising campaign to have a 2018 Toyota Hilux donated […]

BACCOF meets with Stakeholders in Belize
The Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida is meeting with representatives of BELTRAIDE, BCCI, US Embassy, Belize City Council and persons seeking to invest in Belize. The BACCOF is an NGO that creates opportunities for persons interested in doing business in Belize. Michael Young, Executive Director and Rishma Eckert, General Counsel, both with the […]

Minister of Education addresses bomb threat at St. Martin’s School
In yesterday’s newscast, we told you that most of the students who attend St. Martin’s De Porres Primary School stayed away from classes due to an inferred threat on social media. The Principal of St. Martin’s De Porres Primary School, Anne Palacio said that as soon as she got the message, she immediately took action […]


Re: Today's Belize News: September 16, 2017 [Re: Marty] #525878
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Amandala

Marco takes on Chester!
A legal battle between two senior police officers looms over the Belize Police Department after Southside Commander, Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal, made some scathing comments about the work ethics of his predecessor, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Chester Williams. ACP Williams on Tuesday posted to social media, “I am appalled by the comments aimed at discrediting me in the news today. Before and after my transfer from southside, I have refrained from saying anything negative about my successor, and I intend to maintain that.” He continued, “I serve in an organization in which professionalism is paramount and do not intend on venturing into no personal attacks on my successor, who happened to be my subordinate, or anyone else.”

Belizean-American, Georgia Barnett, survived the World Trade Center terrorist attack on 9/11
In the United States, today marked the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack in which 17 terrorists, whose affiliations were traced to the extremist terror network of al-Qaeda, used four commercial airliners to crash into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the US Pentagon building in Washington, DC., killing almost 3,000 persons, and changing forever the lives of those who were inside the buildings and survived the attack. Among the survivors of that unprecedented terror attack on the US was Belizean-American Emma “Georgia” Barnett, who escaped from the north tower with some of her co-workers, before the edifice that decorated the New York City skyline came tumbling down in a heap of dust, rubble, and mangled steel, sending hundreds of people fleeing from what later became known as “Ground Zero.” Barnett, now 65, was 49-years-old at the time.

“In the Paint” Kobe to Jarrell – “Keep shooting that thing, young fella; you putting Belize on the map.”
Those are the words of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, ordinarily known in basketball circles as the “Black Mamba,” to Jarrell Velasquez, 25, one of Belize’s brightest and rising basketball star, following a friendly basketball game played Wednesday night in Shen Zhen, China between Jarrell’s team, Five-Star Sport, and a friendly opponent. In that game, Jarrell exploded for 40 points, and his impressive performance did not go unnoticed under the watchful eyes of the Mamba, who after the game could not help himself in acknowledging the exceptional skills displayed by the youngster. His compliment, according to Jarrell, was reinforced further, as he was fortunate to have dinner with Kobe after the game. Jarrell is in the first year of a three-year contract with the foreign company, Five-Star Sport, which offers training in basketball to kids and youths on a global front. “I did so well on my first one-year contract, that the company signed me up to a three-year extension,” said Jarrell. He continued, “I have about 10 to 15 kids in my group, and aside from teaching just basketball, we also teach them to speak English.”

Dead man found in river identified as Dean Bennett of San Ignacio
Yesterday, an unidentified corpse was recovered from the Macal River not far from the new bridge (which is unnamed) in Santa Elena. Police said that when the corpse was recovered, it was in a state of decomposition and had stab wounds in the chest, abdomen and back. A post-mortem exam was conducted, which certified that the death of the unidentified man was caused by stab wounds to the left side of the chest. Police believed that the man was murdered and disposed of in the river. Police saw the name “EMMANUEL” tattooed on his hand and the name “DEANE” tattooed on his shoulder, and images of a rosary and a cross were tattooed on the dead man’s chest. Public assistance was solicited to identify the unknown person.

Virginia Garnett has triplets: Marlon, Malrick and Miracle
Triplets are very rarely born in Belize, and a young single mother, Virginia Garnett, 20, considers herself blessed to have given birth to two boys and a girl: Marlon, Malrick and then Miracle. The babies were born healthy at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Amandala visited the home of Garnett and her babies, where we learned more about her experience. The happy mom told us that back in April, she went to the clinic to get a check-up and that is when she found out that she was pregnant. However, her mom, Luwiena Garnett, had already suspected that was the case. Virginia used to help her mom prepare food at their shop in the Gungulung area, but business slowed down a lot and so the shop is no longer in operation.

Lake draws, 1-1, with Kulture in Over-40 back match; semifinals begin this weekend
Kulture Yabra Veterans were almost upset on Sunday at the MCC in their back match against Pickstock Lake-I, who held a 1-nil lead until late in Sunday’s match to draw the curtain on regular season. Lilly White (Edward Charles Rubio) reports are that Jermaine “Bowfoot” Zuniga gave Lake the go-ahead goal in first half; and could have made it 2-nil, but failed to convert a penalty after Lilly White was fouled in the area. With about 4 minutes remaining in regulation, Magic (Maurice Francis) came through for Kulture to secure the 1-1 draw. The 1 point gained from the draw by Kulture assured them “home court advantage” over third-place Mango Creek Veterans, who were tied in points with Kulture before the back-match draw.

A different world; Belize’s “Greek” returns from USA
We had received reports that former Belize City 1st Division football star of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Christopher Luben, known to fans as “the Greek,” was back in his old home town some 34 years after leaving the Jewel; and on Saturday, after watching the BDF vs Bandits game at the MCC, we met and had a long chat with the Greek. We had gotten the impression that all his 34 years away had been spent locked up, but the Greek told us that, after leaving Belize in 1983, he played ball in Los Angeles, while he was getting involved in the drug business, to which he had been introduced by a Belizean elder. His major crossroads with the law occurred in 1988, when he began what turned out to be 29 years in an American penitentiary. It has been said that home is a place where, when you go there, they have to let you in. And for sure, the Greek is glad to be back on Belizean soil where he is free, as opposed to being confined to an institution in the U.S. But it will not be easy for the baller who was once a young star on the local football scene.

OWFA 1st Division Amateur semi-finals results, finals schedule
The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) 1st Division Amateur Opening Season has completed its best-of-two games semi-finals series at the Louisiana Field over the past week. Round 1 of the semi-finals took place on Wednesday and Thursday, September 6 and 7; and Round 2 games were held on Sunday, September 10. Round 1 results In Round 1 on Wednesday, it was Sinbad FC with the 3-2 victory over Progresso United FC. Shaking the net for Sinbad were Jason Williams (20’ & 35’) and Jevon Ico (53’); while Progresso got one goal from Alex Diaz (45’) along with an auto-goal by Sinbad’s Alejandro Carrillo (80’ auto goal).

BDFA Interoffice Football final reg. season results; knockout playoffs this week
The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) Interoffice Football Competition 2017 competed its regular season schedule last week with games on Wednesday and Thursday, September 6 and 7, at the MCC Grounds. In the opener on Wednesday, Brodies won, 2-0, over Tourist Village/Transparent BPO with goals from Travyon Martinez (10’) and Alex Salvida (47’). And in the nightcap, Ramada Eco Nature bombed KHMH, 8-0, with goals from Steven Baizer (8’, 13’, 40’ & 52’), Elber Perez (67’), Carlos Castro (29’ & 60’) and Antonio Barrera (65’).

Editorial: The facts versus the arguments
The administration of justice was tight in colonial British Honduras. There was never any doubt in the mind of a witness who testified in a Supreme Court trial that he or she was safe, protected by the power of the colonial government. When it came to the republics immediately around us — Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west, and Honduras in the south, our grandparents and great grandparents were convinced that their justice systems were inferior, at times actually haphazard. In more remote communities in these republics, the people were known to take the law into their own hands on occasion. In fact, we know such community justice is still the order of the day sometimes in Guatemala, and, we suspect, in Mexico and Honduras. There was no community justice or vigilante justice in British Honduras in the twentieth century. Way back in the nineteenth century, justice was dispensed by an established team of magistrates. There were no attorneys in the settlement of Belize in the nineteenth century. But, justice was organized, never spontaneous or gratuitous. We are not saying colonial justice was fair. There were laws on the books which were discriminatory and oppressive, in the first instance. But, we are saying justice was organized.

From The Publisher
My first reaction was to have them take me to court so that I could have a public forum to explain just how unjust AMANDALA had found the social security laws to be; but as an older and less aggressive person, I last week made a verbal commitment to begin payment. I feel more than ever that the law is cruel and oppressive, nevertheless, especially to a small business like AMANDALA, and I will now tell you why. Ever since the law was implemented about 8 or 9 years ago, our workers and the newspaper began to pay our fees. The first time there was a claim from one of our workers, it had to do with pregnancy, and the benefits were not huge, but we could live with them, as I remember.

Angry woman
Dear Editor, I am a Belizean woman. Sometimes I’m an angry woman. But I’m not as angry as I should be watching a policeman manhandle a woman journalist, grabbing her by the waist, dragging her by her breasts and forcing her to the ground. For God’s sake, stop it. I’m not as angry as I should be watching policemen brutally go after the only woman journalist on the scene and not even a “knack seh” on the large, robust men journalists. I’m not as angry as I should be when a high ranking police officer will put on Facebook that he hopes Marisol learns her lesson, a flashback for all those women who had been beaten to their senses and “learnt” their lessons too. No, I’m not as angry as I should be. I’m not as angry as I should be with the Prime Minister defending Yellowman when he assaulted Marisol. The silence of the women Ministers in government, the Women’s Commission and the Women’s Department remains deafening.

Franz Parke – What it is, is what it is!
The Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon Dean Barrow, has advised the Governor General to appoint Franz Parke to be a judge on the Court of Appeal of Belize. As I write this, he has not yet been appointed. There is still time for the Prime Minister to withdraw his advice to the Governor General, and stop the proposed appointment. Who is Franz Parke? Mr Parke is a Jamaican who has been living in the United States of America since 1980 – 37 years. He graduated with Prime Minister Barrow from law school way back in 1975. He served as an entry level criminal prosecutor in Jamaica from 1975 until 1980 when he migrated to the USA. Since then he has never practiced law in the Caribbean or any Commonwealth country. In the United States, Mr Parke worked in the accounting field from 1980 until 1987. Since 1988 he has been a licensed mortgage broker. So between 1980 and 1990 he did not practice law anywhere. In 1990, he qualified to practice law in the United States of America. He then practiced as Assistant State Attorney in Florida from 1990 until 2001 – prosecuting criminal cases. He started practicing privately in 2002 and has been doing so in Florida up until now.

A tale of three strikers – Amandala FLASHBACK!!!
In the year 1973, the St. Martin de Porres Primary School football team won the Belize City competition sponsored for primary schools by the Belize City Football Association. When football is vigorous in the city, it is reflected in well organized and competitive primary school competitions. 1973 was such a year, and that St. Martin de Porres team, managed by Lloyd Flowers, was a historic team primarily because the two young men who are today the greatest rivals for the city title of Superstriker no. 1 played together as teammates on that championship squad. Yes, fifteen years ago Ricky Gongora and Turo Leslie were teammates. Today heated arguments rage amongst their supporters as to who is the superior striker, and the arguments become more heated when they include, as they generally do, the question as to which is the better team – Gongora’s City Champions Duurly’s, or Leslie’s National Champions Coke Milpros. The atmosphere of emotional opinion which surrounds the two, still young men, is so intense it threatens to engulf the two men, and affect the way they view each oth4er and their respective talents.

SSB can do better
Otto von Bismarck, the German chancellor who introduced a welfare system for the working classes in 1883 (Wikipedia), deserves respect for recognizing the need for this safety net within the callous capitalist system. Without social security, most elders in a capitalist country would be at the mercy of the world. Equally as important as the relatively small retirement pension it guarantees, social security gives dignity to employed people (employees) during their working years. An injured or sick person doesn’t have to beg their employer to help them survive until they are fit to work again. The social security system, like the credit union, is there to take care on rainy days. It has been a pleasant run for our SSB since it came into being on June 1, 1981. But there are a few rocks in the road ahead. An actuarial performance analysis of the scheme (as at December 21, 2015) done by Hernando Pérez Montás of ConsultoresActuariales, S.R.L. (hereafter referred to as CASRL), and a report by the IDB (prepared by Waldo Tapia), have shown our SSB where the rocks in the road are, and made some suggestions about the way forward.

RIGHT TO THE POINT: Pro-corruption supporters emboldened
“Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs,” says Transparency International. Interestingly, I have seen some posts and comments about the PUP standing up against corruption, and those who just can’t see beyond the political parties, shy away from accepting the corruption of this government by quickly pointing the finger at the PUP’s past corruption as if to justify this government’s own corruption by overshadowing it with the previous government’s corruption. But I pause here to say several things: 1. The PUP was voted out because of this very corruption, Said Musa was even taken to court for at last one case involving Venezuela money; 2. The UDP took government and is yet to investigate any corruption against the PUP despite while in opposition revealing many such claims; they have refused to bring them to justice for us the people;

Witness to Daniel Sosa’s shooting death in Hilmar Alamilla’s vehicle executed on San Antonio road
UDP henchman Hilmar “David” Alamilla, 42, was charged for the July 29 murder of Daniel “Danny Boy” Sosa, 24, who was shot once in the head inside Alamilla’s vehicle. The shooting incident, which occurred just after the men left a popular night club in Orange Walk Town, was witnessed by two persons, who gave statements to the police in Orange Walk Town about what they saw that fateful night. Gustavo Hernandez, 21, was one of those two persons. However, he was executed on Sunday, September 10. Now there is only one witness left to tell the tale.

Case against accused murderer will crash if key witness is not located
An accused murderer who has been on remand for over six years will most likely go home if a key prosecution witness is not located by next Tuesday, when the case is scheduled to continue. The trial of Nelson Leroy Henry, 30, accused of the June 29, 2011 murder of Edward Emmanuel Lord, Jr., was scheduled to begin this morning in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, who is hearing the case without a jury. Henry is being defended by attorney Oscar Selgado, who did not have to say anything this morning because the prosecution’s case, which is being presented by Crown Counsel Janelle Tillett, ran into early difficulty when its main witness was a no-show at court. Tillett told Justice Lucas that her main witness could not be located.

PM Barrow announces “death knell” for Senate Select Committee
Operatives and officials of the United Democratic Party (UDP) have long clamored for the discontinuation of the Senate Select Committee hearings. The hearings have been so distasteful to the ruling party that their chairman, Alberto August, along with Brian “Yellow Man” Audinett and other party supporters, had disrupted one of the sittings in May. It has indeed been uncomfortable for the party that came to power on a mandate of transparency and accountability, to see its own, prominent UDP figures like Elvin Penner, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, and Edmund “Clear Di Land” Castro, squirming before the committee as massive irregularities and illegalities documented in the Auditor General’s special audit of the Immigration Department for the period 2011-2013, were discussed.

http://amandala.com.bz/news/bar-opposition-oppose-appointment-franz-parke-court-appeal-judge/
With the departure of Court of Appeal justice Christopher Blackman, there is a vacancy for a new judge, and reports to our newspaper indicate that the Government wants to appoint Jamaican lawyer Franz Parke to the post. Parke was appointed to the Court of Appeal back in June 2015, but indications are that the appointment was temporary. At the time of his swearing-in, it was reported that he had been admitted to practice law in both Jamaica and the United States. We have not found any record of anyone publicly raising any objection then, but the Bar Association of Belize and the Opposition People’s United Party are now opposing his new appointment, as questions are being raised over whether the attorney is qualified to sit on the Belize Court of Appeal.

The Reporter

Belize listed by US president as major drug transit country
Belize as well as several Caribbean and Central American countries have been listed by the President of the United States as a Major drug transit or Major illicit drug-producing country for the 2018 fiscial year. President Donald Trump made the indication earlier this week via […]

Elderly woman found dead near dump site in San Pedro
A search conducted near the old San Pedro dumpsite on Thursday evening resulted in the discovery of the badly decomposed body of an elderly woman who was reported missing. The body of Mrs Julia Martinez was recovered by a search party maze up of members […]

Zenaida outshadows Queen of the Bay
Queen of the Bay designate Aaliyah Ysaguirre was crowned the 72nd Queen of the Bay at the annual St. George’s Caye Day ceremonies at Memorial Park on Sunday morning, September 10. Her coronation effectively quashed the unprecedented storm of controversy sparked when Queen of the […]

Key witness in high profile murder trial executed
Gustavo Hernandez, a key witness in the July murder of Daniel Sosa, was gunned down over the September celebrations weekend. Hernandez, one of two people who were in the vehicle along with Sosa on the night he was killed, got shot around 5:15 a.m. on […]

KHMH’s triplets showered with gifts from corporate sponsors
A Belize City resident and first time mother who birthed triplets last week was showered with gifts and donations during a small handing over ceremony at the Karl Heusner Memoral Hospital (KHMH) on Wednesday. The KHMH staff, after realizing that the family was in need […]

Irma causes multil-billion-dollar damage in Caribbean
The islands devastated in the Caribbean by Hurricane Irma could be facing a whopping US$10 billion-plus repair bill. Disaster risk experts from the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) in Germany have reported that Irma has caused more than US$10 billion in […]

Elrington and Aragon say Vega’s constituents will decide his fate
At last week’s United Democratic Party’s (UDP) rally in Orange Walk, two Ministers of Government, John Saldivar and Angel Campos turned out to support Gaspar Vega, when he announced he would run again for his party in the Orange Walk North division. The former Minister […]

Belize DOE gives 18 refrigeration A/C scholarships to ITVET students
Belize continues to fulfil its commitment to reduce and mitigate Climate Change and to protect the ozone layer against ozone-depleting refrigerants, by awarding 18 scholarships to refrigeration and air conditioning student technicians to complete their second year of training at Institutes of Technical Vocational and Employment Training (ITVET) centers across […]

The Billion-Dollar Question: How to fill Belize’s Credit Gap? Part 2
In the last “The Business Perspective” we commenced a discussion on the seemingly perennial constraint to small businesses, that is, the limited access to finance. As underscored last week, while the financial system is still characterized by excess liquidity—albeit somewhat reduced due to the issuance of treasury bills and notes—bank […]

Guatemalan congress votes for president keeps immunity
Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, has managed to keep his immunity from prosecution following a vote by his country’s congress on the matter. On Monday, legislators overwhelmingly voted for Morales to keep his immunity – a measure that protects him from an investigation on campaign financing […]

Honorary Consulate of Belize in Chetumal officially re-opened
The Government of Belize, via a press release on Wednesday, announced the official re-opening of the Honorary Consulate of Belize in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The release also serves to inform the public that Mr. Luis Montero Maldonado has been appointed as Honorary Consul of […]

Belmopan police investigate traffic fatality
Belmopan police are currently awaiting directives from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether to lay charges against a Camalote woman who allegedly knocked down and killed a cyclist in that city on Tuesday afternoon. The accused Katherine Penner, told police that […]

Authorities foil suspected human trafficking attempt
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Belize Immigration Department were called into action last Wednesday after Orange Walk police stopped a cab, that was ferrying three undocumented Guatemalan nationals and a load of unaccounted US currency. On September 6th, the FIU confiscated approximately US […]

Sophisticated remote explosive device discovered in Corozal
A sophisticated remote explosive device which surfaced over the weekend in Corozal Town, has raised serious safety concerns, as officials have confirmed that the deadly contraption is the first of its kind to surfaced in the country. While details of the discovery were not made […]

Editorial
The tidal wave of criticism, the hoots and jeers which have exploded around former Mayor Zenaida Moya for her role in the September Tenth crowning of a rival Queen is well deserved. She had no authority whatsoever to do any of the things she did: that is, create an unauthorized […]

BNTU threatens strike if Senate investigation ends
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) warned Prime Minister Dean Barrow this week that it may resume strike action if more funds are not allocated to the Senate Special Select Committee to continue its investigation. BNTU President/Senator Elena Smith, explained that the strike action instituted […]

Murder victim dumped in river identified
A man who was fished out of the Macal river in an advanced state of decomposition on Tuesday has been identified as Dean Emmanuel Bennett, 20. Police say he was stabbed multiple times and likely thrown in the river. The news has left his family […]

Elderly man perishes in fire
An elderly man died inside his Gordon Street home in Belize City on Thursday morning as a deadly blaze swept through his wooden house, even as showers drenched the city. Santiago Gonzalez, 68, was pulled lifeless from the remains of the burnt building sometime after […]

PetroCaribe all dried up?
Belize has suspended buying fuel from Venezuela with immediate effect, leaving the often controversial and politically polarizing PetroCaribe treasure trove, all but dried up and far from its glory days of “rolling”. Alba PetroCaribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL), the company in Belize that buys fuel […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Well known businessman murders employee; commits suicide afterwards
A well known business man killed his employee tonight and then turned the gun to himself. Robert Godfrey, the owner of AAA security company on the Philip Goldson Highway has died. According to reports, shortly before 9 tonight, Godfrey shot his senior supervisor, a female employee and then took his own life.

Belmopan police launch their breakfast school program in Cotton Tree Village
Today, the Belmopan Police Formation began their breakfast in school program at St Joseph RC Primary School in Cotton Tree Village. About one hundred and forty students will benefit from this new initiative receiving breakfast (cereal) before class time.

Belize City police find 32 bullets
Yesterday evening around 5:15, members of the Special Assignment Team conducted searches on an abandoned lot on Iguana street, Belize City.

Belize City police remove another gun off the streets
This morning around 6, the Special Assignment Team conducted searches in the Banak Street area of Belize City. The officers found a .38 revolver.

Former police officer refuses to cooperate in murder case
In June 2011, Edward Lord Jr was gunned down on Mahogany street, Belize City. Police had apprehended Nelson Henry,30, and at the time Magistrate Sharon Frazer believed that they had sufficient evidence to charge Henry for the murder. The trial began in April 2012 at the Supreme Court. Yesterday morning, Henry appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas but things changed since former police special constable Catherine Parchue,33, refused to testify.

US Marines donate to needy students in Southern Belize
Yesterday, the United States Marines stationed in Belize met with representatives from Bella Vista Primary School in the Stann Creek District. The purpose of the meeting was to donate 245 footwear and 100 school bags to needy students.

Senior BDF officer humiliated by Guatemalans
Information to our newsroom is that Belize’s Military Attache to Guatemala, Lieutenant Colonel Ricardo Leal was detained by Guatemalan soldiers last week. We understand that he was in his Toyota Rav4 when he was pulled up to a check point in Peten. The officers manning the checkpoint accused Leal of being intoxicated.

Blogs

Celebrating Independence Day the Belizean Way
Each year, 183 countries across the globe celebrate their own unique day of independence. For each country, their respective independence day commemorates the anniversary of their independence or statehood, usually after ceasing to be a group or part of another nation or state. Most countries observe their respective Independence Day as a national holiday, each reveling the occasion with rich, cultural diversity that is uniquely their own. Should you be visiting a new land during such festivities, chances are you will experience ethnic merrymaking at its best. Belize is no different when it comes to Independence Day, and you are in for a real treat if you’re here to celebrate our special day! In Belize, September 21st celebrations also include pomp and circumstance, a 21-gun salute, special ceremonies, parades and fireworks, but wow, I’m willing to bet you’ve never seen anything as energetic as a Belizean Independence Day ‘Jump Up’ Parade before! Colorful floats, beautiful costumes, booming Soca music and spirited revelers dance through the streets of towns and villages across the country. There’s no denying this is our favorite time of year, and the music and cheer in the air is infectious. Parties the night before, and throughout the day include live music, entertainment, great food and fun for everyone.

Getting the Scoop: A Mediterranean FEAST in Belize City
While the city does have sights – like historical though slightly crumbling Fort George area – and exploding cultural energy, to the first time visitor (and sometimes to those who have visited for years) it can definitely seem a bit chaotic and very overwhelming. Just this week I was introduced to Chef Roger – a Lebanese chef and caterer who is making AMAZING Mediterranean foods in his home in the Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City. He started doing take away shwarma or gyros on Saturdays for friends and family. Fresh homemade cheese and tabouleh, nuts and pickled vegetables, falafel and pita and kebabs of all sorts, pita, hummus and babaganoush and the piece de resistance – a garlicky spread, just oil and garlic and lime…whipped together into something that I want to eat on EVERYTHING.

TOP THREE THINGS TO DO IN BELIZE
Located in Central America, the tropical country Belize is famous among travelers for its beautiful beaches, picturesque islands, and its mysterious ancient Mayan ruins. From travel-bloggers, backpackers to luxury tourists, thousands of people from all over the world flock over to the tropical paradise of Belize every year. The plethora of activities that you get to experience when you travel to Belize makes it one of the go-to destinations of Central America. Belize is the perfect destination to spend a vacation experiencing the ancient culture and rich history of Mayan civilization. And after you have got your archeological-fix, take a long walk into the sunset along the coastline, explore the deep blue sea while scuba diving or spend some relaxing days in one of the Garifuna villages. Here are the top three activities which you must indulge in when you travel to Belize.

Caye Caulker, Belize
Caye Caulker, a five-mile long island off the coast of mainland Belize, is a charming Caribbean island where “go slow” is the motto. This island is known for its stunning seascapes, diverse water sports, eco-tours, and friendly community. It takes only 30 minutes by water taxi to reach Caye Caulker from its big sister Ambergris Caye. While it is much smaller, with less than 2,000 residents compared to Ambergris’ 20,000, it’s just as beautiful on this island and the pace is much slower. Caye Caulker is 10 years behind Ambergris Caye. The streets are still composed of packed sand, and you won’t need to dodge traffic here. You’ll see a few golf carts, but no cars or trucks. This charming island is graced with pastel-colored B&Bs, bars, and cafés. The lifestyle is laidback and low key. It’s a perfect spot for those who wish to live on the Caribbean Sea, surrounded by nature… Artists and writers, who seek creative inspiration, will find plenty here, given the spectacular natural environment.

The Maya Culture of Belize
For more than 4,500 years, the Maya people have lived in Belize. Although their origins are lost to the mists of history, the great Maya civilization that emerged around the year 250 AD stretched from Mexico all the way down to El Salvador. Long before the arrival of the Europeans, the Maya built an advanced civilization, creating complex calendars, building enormous stone cities in the jungle, and building a society with millions of citizens. The Classic Period of the Maya civilization lasted until around the year 1000 AD. After that, the civilization fell into decline for reasons that are still unclear. Some archeologists believe that climate change led to crop failures, flooding, or other natural disorders. What is known is that most of their biggest cities had been abandoned by the time the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, although the remaining Maya offered stiff resistance to colonization.

Pelicans & Belikins – Belize Weddings
Before we share this simply adorable wedding on the adorable island of Caye Caulker, in the adorable country of Belize, we thought we should explain what a Belikin is. Quite simply, Belikin is the beer of Belize. The fact that it rhymes with pelican means that you’ll see both in this blog. The dress. It’s almost like it decided to visit Belize on its own and hang out on the beach. As dresses don’t drink and we couldn’t risk getting bird poop on it for the sake of a photo, we’re sorry to disappoint you with no birds or beers quite yet. Be patient. We’ll get to them soon enough.

The West India Regiment
The British army was the biggest purchaser of slaves. These men formed and served in the West India Regiment. In the late 1790s, Britain was defending several of its territories around the world and they were stretched thin. Between the years of 1775 and 1783, there was the American War of Independence, Anglo French War, Anglo Spanish War and the 4th Anglo Dutch War. Britain was having difficulty in the Caribbean as well. Many of the infantry men that were shipped from Britain had not adjusted well to the climate and were dying from heat exhaustion and deceases like yellow fever. The high mortality of troops led that army to form the West India Regiments in Jamaica in 1795, just prior to the Battle of St. George’s Caye. From there, they were deployed to various parts of the Caribbean. There were several regiments formed. Members of the regiments 1st through 6th were garrisoned in St. George’s Caye. These were comprised of white officers while the infantry was comprised of black slaves that were purchased for that specific purpose. Between 1795 and 1807, estimates suggest that some 13,400 slaves were purchased for the West India Regiments.

CHAA CREEK CARES: SEPTEMBER PACK-A-POUND
Everyone’s heart is warmed up by something, be it cute puppies, or people in love, we all have something that upon seeing it fills us with joy. Here at Chaa Creek, it’s hard to peg down a single thing that makes our souls soar, but one of them is definitely the look of surprise on a child’s face after an unexpected act of kindness. Thinking ahead of the curve, the Pack-a-pound team at Chaa Creek collected and stowed away school supplies all summer in order to set out as soon as the school year starts. The school selection process is on a need basis and the school visited this time was a new school the team discovered just before the start of summer. The last words said in the conversation were “We’ll be back, so expect us soon”.

The Atolls and Outer Cayes of Belize
One of the most beautiful and picturesque areas of the Belize Barrier Reef is the outer cayes (in Belize, islands are called "cayes," pronounced "keys") and atolls. With over 450 islands on the outer part of the great Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest barrier reef in the world, this part of the reef is home to some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling sites on the planet. Atolls are ring-shaped coral formations that are located on the upper slopes of gigantic submarine volcanoes, many of which have islands in their interior. These formations and the dozens of islands strung along the outer portion of the Belize Barrier Reef are home to exclusive resorts and some of the most popular destinations in the country, including Glover's Reef, the Turneffe Islands, and Lighthouse Reef.

Celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize
Since 1943, the entire nation of Belize has celebrated Garifuna Settlement Day on November 19, a festive and joyous celebration of the Garifuna culture. More than 200 years ago, the Garifuna began arriving on the shores of Belize in dugout canoes, fleeing westward from British persecution in their original homeland on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Formed after the intermarriage between enslaved Africans and indigenous islanders, the Garifuna were recognized by the United Nations in 2001 for their unique contributions of language, music, and dance to the intangible heritage of humanity. Garifuna Settlement Day begins at the break of dawn with recreations along the coast of their historic canoe landings. The black, white, and orange Garifuna flag is proudly hoisted, accompanied by plenty of drumming, music, food, and parades in Garifuna centers like Dangriga, Hopkins, and the village of Seine Bight. There are also performances by Garifuna elders, keepers of their people's long oral history.

Rum, Rice and Ribs (Bone Crunch Competition) Held in Corozal
This event was sponsored by the Corozal Sailing club. This nonprofit is to raise funds to upgrade the Civic Center and for Scholarship's ages 6-12. It's once again here in Corozal, one of the exciting event Rum, Rice, and Ribs (Bone Crunch Competition) Held in Corozal. On, September 15, 2017, everyone gathered at the Corozal Civic center to attend the first ever Rum, Rice and Ribs. It commenced at 5pm, Surprisingly, the Civic Center was well attended by locals. More than 15 booths came this night to participate in a competition to showcase their products in Corozal. This was to promote the best meat in the house. Here' how it worked. At the entrance, you had to buy a 5$ ticket, and you have 20-25 booths to sample each of their products and score them from 1-10. At the end of the event, whoever gets the most points is the winner. This event is about a chicken foot eating competition. Competitors will have to eat as many feet as they can in ten minutes. However chicken foot is not the only thing on the menu. Other, sampling such as Chilli beans, Cold Frappe, Cheese Dip, Northern Heat, Marry Sharp, Corozal Animal Program, Travellers, Caribbean Rum, Magil's Mexican Products, Pastries, Madisco, and many other locals were giving out free samples to the public. This was the first ever Rum, Rice and Ribs chicken competition for everyone to enjoy.

The bright side of rainy days in San Ignacio
One of the many reasons to love Belize is the variety of activities available. Not only to different ages or sense of adventure; but also, on weather changes. You don't need to be disappointed on rainy days, in fact you might just end up lovin' it. Cozying up with a hot cup of (can't-start-the-day-without) coffee sounds enticing but these activities just might tempt you to get out of bed: Keeping it cozy… Take your partner [or your reading] to a livelier ambience while enjoying delicious cocktails, appetizers or choosing from the irresistible menu at our on-site restaurant & bar. The views are a bonus!

International Sourcesizz

Belize government imposes moratorium to protect world's second largest reef
Marine conservationists and environmental activists in the Central American country of Belize are celebrating the promise made in August by that country's prime minister to enact legislation banning offshore oil activity around the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to more than 500 species of fish and 60 species of coral. The announcement of legislation to enforce a moratorium by Prime Minister Dean Barrow follows public outrage and mobilization by the NGO Oceana Belize, after a ship owned by the multinational firm TGS was spotted conducting seismic soundings for oil around the barrier reef late last year, according to an Oceana press release. TGS has its operational headquarters in Houston, Texas, and conducts seismic surveys and gathers data for oil and gas companies worldwide

Caribbean Photo of the Week: Sunrise on the Sittee River
The latest Caribbean Photo comes from Caribbean Journal reader Steve Lefler, who sent in this stunning shot of sunrise from his home on the Sittee River in Belize.

Belize Independence day celebration-Inglewood Ca. on Sunday the 17th of Sept 2017 at noon
Belize Independence day celebration will be Held this Sunday Sept.17th, 2017, in the City of Inglewood- Nutwood street, between Labrea and Market.. All Belizeans and friends of Belize are urged to attend.. We are projecting record breaking attendance, so please be early...

OAS appoints independent panel to investigate possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela
Organisation of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro has appointed three international experts to assess whether the situation in Venezuela should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for consideration. The General Secretariat will gather information impartially through a process supervised by former prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo. The process will include public hearings to be conducted at OAS headquarters and information submitted by more than 50 organizations that have been conducting research and/or investigating circumstances of the crisis in Venezuela. The information obtained will contribute to a final report, to be reviewed by the independent panel for recommendation to the secretary general.

Venezuela publishes oil prices in Chinese currency to shun U.S. dollar
Venezuela published the price of its oil and fuel in Chinese currency on Friday in what it called an effort to free the socialist-run country from the “tyranny of the dollar,” echoing a plan recently announced by President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro last week said his government would shun the dollar after the United States announced sanctions that blocked certain financial dealings with Venezuela on accusations that the ruling Socialist Party is undermining democracy. The global oil industry overwhelmingly uses the dollar for pricing of products.

Videos

  • Children rally 2017 in Corozal., 7min. After the parade everyone went to there respective schools.

  • Children rally in Corozal, 2min.

  • Video from itravelbelize, 1min. We love our home and that's why we've made it our mission to share Belize with YOU and the world!

  • I Am Belize, 1min. Infant 1 students of Sacred Heart infant School dance "I Am Belize" @ their School Rally 2017 as part of the September celebrations

  • Belize Battle of Saint George's Caye Celebration, 3min. Belize 10th of Sept. Celebration, Inglewood Cal. 2017 Starring Michael Wagner.

  • Belize's 10th- of Sept. Celebration in Inglewood Ca. 2017, 5.5min. Belize 10th of Sept. Celebration in Inglewood 2017, Dell on stage..

  • CARNIVAL IN THE CITY! Belize Carnival 2017, 8min. Check out some cool highlights from the carnival in Belize City from over the weekend. We went to Belize City to enjoy the carnival thats held as part of Belize's Independence activities. I was there to catch it on film. Enjoy

  • BREDDA DAVID---THE REAL STORY!, 25min. No other Belizean artist in the entire scope of Belizean music history has done what the legendary Belizean musical icon, bredda David has done for music in Belize. bredda David has become the quintessential Belizean artist whose migration out of Belize in the 1960's to the United States to established a credible musical accomplishment, and later returned to Belize after many years to developed a pulsating Afro-Belizean style of music called Cungo. In this Belizean Legend expose, the talented Belizean artist explores the realms of Cungo music with Belizean Legends host, Bilal Morris, and takes his viewers through memory lane of the Afro-Belizean struggle to survive slavery and colonialism into the British Mahogany Camps in the former British Honduras where the music of Sambai created by runaway slaves were established in a village called Gales Point Manatee. bredda David makes a striking distinction between the music of Belize's other Afro-Belizean people, the Garinagu, and that of the Afro-Belizean people the Creoles whom have become the originators of the Sambai that later merged into the Brukdong. He credits the renowned Belizean Brukdong artist, Mr. Peters, whom he worked with on his repatriation back to Belize, for assisting him in the development of the Cungo sound, and being the Father of Afro-Belizean (Creoles) music.

  • BELIZEAN BRUKDONG "PREACHAMAN" MICHAEL NAVARETTE, 25min. This feature on the Neo-Brukdong Belizean artist, Michael Navarette, aka "Preachaman", comes at the right time and on the right place right here on the "Belizean Soul" we call here Belizean Legends. Not only was it most appropriate for a Belizean of East Indian heritage to have been embracing his Creole culture and music we Belizeans called "Brukdong", but that Navarette chronicles in this documentary series on his music how he has embarked on a journey to bring together through music and culture the unity between Belize's two black groups, the Belizean Creole and Garinagu.

  • "ELJAI" RISING! (PART ONE), 27min. As Eljai continues to break down barriers in reggae music through his many world tours in the U.S., the Caribbean, Africa, and now into Europe next year on a 2017 world tour, the Belizean reggae superstar discusses his musical life with Belizean Legends Bilal Morris, and brings a special message to his many fans in Belize, Los Angeles, Africa, the Caribbean and other cities in the U.S.

  • "ELJAI" RISING! (FINAL PART), 11min. The long awaited exclusive interview with the soulful Belizean stylist of reggae music, Lloyd Carlton McFarlane, aka Eljai is here. The two part feature on the Belizean reggae artist is a must see that chronicles the talented Belizean musical artist's transformation from the Belizean ballad singer for the bands "The Dominators" and "Belize", and onward to become one of reggae music's most rising musical artist today in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.

  • CLASSIC DELL SMART, 30min. The silky alto touch of Belizean vocalist and balladeer, Dell Smart of Dell & The Sensations has touched the spirit of many a Belizean music lovers over the years. Dell's popularity grew as he sang lead for the legendary Belizean band in Los Angeles, Dell & The Sensations, to become one of the first Belizean bands ever to pioneer Belize's musical prominence as a band in the Los Angeles Belizean community and the Belizean diaspora in the United States. Dell's vocal pitch and quality is rare, and his melodic and harmonic voice has captured a unique sound ever since he began to sing covers in Belize as a youth growing up in one of Belize's prominent villages, Gales Point Manatee.

  • Belize Dual Citizens Rights, 1min. Dual nationality and Belize

  • THE HIGHLIGHTS OF CHILDRENS RALLY ON INDEPENDENCE DAY FESTIVITIES, 7min. Today, students, parents and teachers from across the country got a jumpstart on Independence Day Festivities, and with displays of patriotism and pride the annual school rally was in full effect. Here in Orange Walk the streets of town were invaded by a sea of red, white and blue as hundreds of students celebrated the jewel’s 36th birthday. Our news team was present at today’s celebration capturing all the highlights.

  • Pan Yaad 2017 - September 16th Marion Jones Complex, 19min.

  • Digital - Promotional Segment, 18min.

  • Bruk it Down Jenny - Alcoholism in Celebration Season, 36min.

  • Embassy of Mexico to Belize - Mexican Independence Day, 21min.

  • Belize Now | Episode 34 - Friday, September 15th, 2017, 29min. In tonight’s headlines: Belizean patriots are honored for their contributions to the building of our nation and the Ministry of Defence talks about its new show, “Belize’s First Line of Defence”. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, September 15th, 2017!

  • A Tender Operation, 1min. Tenders run between Carnival Glory, Carnival Magic (left) and Carnival Breeze (right) and Belize City to the west.

  • Belize Carnival 2K17, 5min.

  • Belize National Carnival - 2017 Junior King and Queen Competition, 7min.

  • 36 balloons for Belize's 36th birthday, 1min. In commemoration of Belize's 36th birthday, the children of Infant 1 @ Sacred Heart Infant School release 36 balloons during the school's rally September 15, 2017.


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