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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
Bernadette Damper’s art exhibit opens at San Pedro House of Culture
On the evening of Thursday, November 9th, the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) debuted a new art exhibit, featuring the work of talented island resident Bernadette Damper. The art collection includes a variety of paintings depicting nature, the island and its many aspects of life. Damper warmly welcomed guests, mingling and pleased to share words about her work. She maintains that she will continue painting and donate the originals to San Pedro’s fundraising events as her contribution to her beloved island people.
Beechwold Christian Church donates fire truck to Caye Caulker
The Caye Caulker Fire Department will be the proud new recipient of a fire truck thanks to a generous donation from the Beechwold Christian Church in Columbus Ohio, United States of America. The much-needed vehicle arrived at Belize’s Philip S.W. Goldson International around 12:30PM on Wednesday, November 8th, aboard a U.S Airforce C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Local authorities on La Isla Cariñosa, along with the island’s fire department are now making arrangements to transport the truck to the island.
The fire truck is a 1981 Pierce Arrow model, very common in fire trucks, and according to James York III, a former firefighter and member of the Beechwold Church, it is in excellent condition, with just a little over 50,000 miles. York told The Sun that the truck also comes with some hoses and a 1000 gallon tank.
Caye Caulker resident fined for possession of illegal wildlife
A resident of Caye Caulker Village, Jacob Emmanuel Cabral, was fined $2,000 for Unlawful Possession of Forest Produce on Tuesday, November 7th. Cabral appeared before Magistrate Janelle Villanueva at the San Pedro Magistrate Court, where he was ordered to pay the fine by March 30, 2018 or face imprisonment of up to six months.
According to the official report from the Forest Department, on August 15th of this year, police officers visited Cabral’s business place on Caye Caulker, where he was found in the possession of three raccoons. When he was questioned, Cabral responded that the raccoons were awarded to him as a gift and was reportedly using them for wildlife tourism. The raccoons, who were five weeks old, were then confiscated by the Department and transported to the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic for rehabilitation with the hope that they will eventually be returned to the wild.
Amended Stamp Duties Act comes into effect
On Wednesday, November 1st, the Government of Belize’ (GOB) Amended Stamp Duties Act came into effect. The amendment sees the stamp duty transfer tax increasing to 8% on all foreign purchased properties on a value of land in excess of $20,000BZ. However, the rate remains at the original 5% on transfers of land to all Belizean or CARICOM nationals. Belize is currently considered a prime real-estate market, however, many realtors believe “such an amendment to the law will serve as a deterrent for any investor to consider Belize as a potential option.” Many are concerned that the real-estate industry in Belize might shrink due to the increased tax. The new raise, according to them, might force an exodus due to the loss of sales. According to GOB, this new amendment will assist in deterring fraud and promote healthy real-estate transactions in Belize.
Michael Ashcroft accused of tax evasion in leaked Paradise Papers
British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft is once again in the headlines after being linked to another tax evasion scheme dubbed ‘Paradise Papers.’ Over 13.5 million leaked files reveal the offshore activities of some of the world’s richest, most powerful people, and names Ashcroft for major tax-evasion in the United Kingdom (UK) after he listed Belize as his permanent residence. The British magnate has been enjoying tax-free benefits despite pledging to give up his ‘non-domiciled’ or ‘non-dom ‘ status, which under British law is a person living in the UK, but considered a resident in another country, with significant tax advantage for the wealthy. When Ashcroft was confronted with these new allegations, he was quick to deny them and has since abstained from further commenting on the matter.
Misc Belizean Sources
Punta Gorda Multi-Sport Sports Complex
Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), hereby issues this press release to notify the general public that the Punta Gorda Sports Complex has now reached substantial completion and will be in use this weekend, Friday November 10th and Saturday November 11th, 2017 to welcome and host the return of Battle of the Drums to its original home.
The team concluded an extensive site visit on November 9th coordinating with Punta Gorda Mayor Fern Gutierrez, and the Local Sports Council Management Committee to ensure the facility is well prepared to host this event. The Government of Belize welcomes the opening use of this facility highlighting the multi-purpose functions of the projects now being delivered by BIL extended to culture, entertainment, and sports.
While works on the grounds do continue for civil works to complete site filling and drainage, the building is now complete and ready for use.
BTIA's 32nd Annual General Meeting
SAVE THE DATE: BTIA's (Belize Tourism Industry Association's) 32nd Annual General Meeting is coming up! Dec 7 in Belize City.
Methodist Eye Clinic in Corozal
The METHODIST EYE DOCTORS
will be at the METHODIST EYE CLINIC, COROZAL TOWN
on Sunday, January 7th through Thursday, January 11th, 2018.
PERSONS WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE DOCTORS DURING THESE 4 DAYS ARE BEING ASKED TO MAKE THEIR APPOINTMENTS IN ADVANCE.
To make an appointment in person, please go to the Eye Clinic on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning November 21st, 2017 (in lieu of the 20th which is a holiday).
Time for appointments: From 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon or call CALL 422-2887
NOTE: LAST DAY FOR APPOINTMENT IS TUESDAY DECEMBER 12th, 2017.
International Diabetes Day in Corozal
Next week Tuesday, November 14th will be viewed as "INTERNATIONAL DIABETES DAY". The theme for this year is "Women and Diabetes". The Corozal Community Hospital, the Corozal Diabetes Education Resources in collaboration with the Corozal House of Culture will be hosting an education session about Diabetes between the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on November 14th at the Corozal House of Culture. Everyone is invited to attend. This is a very important topic to discuss. We encourage you to take part.
BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of Oct. 30th thru Nov. 5th, 2017
The permit bite is remaining productive, but as usual can be challenging to keep on the line. More fish hooked than landed, and anglers are coming back to the lodge with stories of the one that got away. Mike and Brian did, however, manage to land some and Brian landed two during his stay. Good job Brian and Mike!
FCD Wildlife trafficking poster
Illegal wildlife trafficking threatens many species worldwide. FCD’s most recent poster addresses this challenge. This material is made possible through the UKAid/DEFRA/WCS Project
Chiquibul Cave System: Management & Challenges
Yesterday was planning in the jungle. Today we are sitting with IDAEH, Guatemala counterpart to the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize and Friends for Conservation and Development - FCD Belize
Celeshia Guy awarded Environmental Youth Award
On November 9th, 2017, Oceana’s Belize District Field Representative Celeshia Guy, was awarded the Environmental Youth Award at the annual Belize National Youth Awards. This year’s event was held during the closing ceremony of the World Youth Conference 2017. The 2017 World Youth Conference was celebrated under the theme “Globally Running to 2030, becoming Sustainably Strong!”
Guy was awarded the Environmental Youth Award for her tremendous contributions to increasing awareness of our natural environment as well as promoting active youth participation in the decision-making processes for sustainable management and development of our marine ecosystems. “Oceana is proud to work with and support dynamic young Belizean leaders and all our sensational volunteers, our wavemakers,” shared Oceana Vice President Janelle Chanona. “As Celeshia continues to realize her potential and that of her peers, her hard work and determination to excel represents just how bright, promising and sustainable Belize’s future can be.”
Museum of Belize campaign against gender-based violence
Please join us in supporting the campaign against gender-based violence. You may order your shirts at 223-1941 or 223 - 1942.
Corozal House of Culture celebrates sacred Maya tradition of Biix
The beautiful and sacred Maya tradition of Biix which took place in Xaibe Village last night. November 9th is the last day of Hanal Pixan when souls return to the spiritual world. The Maya place candles in front of their doors, yard entrances and cemeteries to guide the souls of their dearly departed back to the spiritual world. A gracious thank you to the villagers of Xaibe for giving us the opportunity to document this sacred cultural tradition.
BATTLE OF THE DRUMS 2017 and Belize Garifuna Musical Festival
The night commences with the 12th Annual Battle of the Drums Competition and Show. This is a Competition and Show that allows groups to compete and display their musical artistry in playing five (5) different categories of Garifuna drumming. The first Battle of the Drums was held in Punta Gorda Town on November 17, 2006 and was well received by spectators from home and abroad. In 2007, there was even a bigger audience and greater enthusiasm. As of 2008 the event has evolved into an international drumming competition and show involving drumming groups from various parts of Belize as well as from neighbouring Guatemala and Honduras. This competition and show has become a major local and tourist attraction and a catalyst for significant economic activity in the Punta Gorda Area during the period when it is hosted. The Battle of the Drums Competition and Show is held every year on the Saturday immediately preceding the 19th day of November.
The Caye Caulker Humane Society is happy to announce that Dr. Dale Wilson will be at clinic today
Caye Caulker is very fortunate to have the services of this excellent visiting vet. If you have a sick pet, now is the time to bring it in for a check.
Fitness Park at Rainbow Beach opens!
Today was a very great day for the citizens of Corozal...the Fitness Park at Rainbow Beach was officially opened with a ribbon cutting! This park is for all who want to achieve a better self! Thank you Rigo Vellos for participating in the ribbon cutting. Your commitment to physical fitness is appreciated and obvious! Enjoy Corozal citizens and use with good judgement!
Streets being upgraded in Corozal
SHC La Tarde Cultural 2017
Sacred Heart College is having their annual La Tarde Cultural on November 24th. Students present on Latin American culture, and it's always a fun experience.
"La Tarde Cultural is an annual Spanish Project for third form students at Sacred Heart College that allows them to learn about the culture of the Latin American countries."
Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Birth of the Dragon,
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature,
Brawl In Cell Block 99,
Zheng Given OTL, Leaves On His Own
7News has confirmed that Yuanran Zheng, the Chinese National who tried to get a Social Security card with a bogus nationality document, has left the country.
As we told you last night, the Immigration Department issued an order to leave after he pleaded guilty at the Magistrates Court to Immigration and Social Security offences. Well, that OTL was activated today, but we are told that he was also ready to leave. The Director Of Immigration confirms that that he flew out of the country to Canada, instead of going to the US. It appears that he wanted to avoid any possible legal troubles in the US.
As we told you, immigration records show that he arrived in Belize for the first time on Sunday, November 5. One day later, he showed up to the Belmopan Social Security Board Office with a translator, Zheng Hui Lin who is a well known Taiwanese Belizean from Camalote.
From Press Conference to Protest, Yohny Can't Pay
Two weeks ago tour operator Yohny Rosado held a press conference in collaboration with COLA to sound the alarm about a business crisis he's facing.
Rosado was assessed by the General Sales Tax Office for owing $700,00 in arrears.
At the time, he said the bill was outrageous, unfair, and untrue and said it had trend his life and his business upside down.
He says he cannot pay the bill - so he's going to keep up the social pressure.
Today activists and Rosado spearheaded a protest outside the GST office at the Complex Building not just condemn the six-figure bill, but also to rage, generally, against corruption. 7News was there, and here's what Rosado and two other Social Activists had to say.
Alleged Roaring Creek Rapist Caught in Belmopan
Justin Austin Williams was charged for rape in Belmopan today. The 29 year old Roaring Creek Resident is accused of raping a woman in her 20's in the Cohune Walk area early this morning.
Police say that after 1:00 this morning, the woman was accessing the road that leads from Cohune walk to near the Roaring Creek junction when she was raped. Capital cops caught him almost instantly and charged him for rape by this afternoon. They say he sustained this injuries during detention and when he was caught in the act.
He was arraigned this evening.
Late Evening Fatal Accident on Southern Highway
And this just in to 7news: There has been another fatal accident on the southern highway. According to reports, this one happened near to Beefmasters at mile 12. Details are very scarce and all we know at this time is that two vehicles were involved.
And we have an update to that fatal accident we told you about earlier. We can confirm that two people are dead after a head on collision. It happened between miles 12 and 13, which is right after the Beefmasters facility.
One of the vehicles is burnt to nothing - and the other is in the bushes. Multiple people with serious injuries have been rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital. Again, two people have died. We'll tell you more as information becomes available.
Bucket's Sentence Delayed
Police provided armed security at court today for 46 year old Glenford "Bucket" Bermudez. The convicted wife-killer pleaded down from murder to manslaughter 10 days ago, and he was supposed to be sentenced today. He was previously serving a life sentence.
But, seems someone still had that death sentence in mind, because the added security was on hand because there was reportedly a "hit" out on Bermudez.
But after all that buildup, the day ended in anticlimax because the sentencing did not take place as scheduled. Justice Adolph Lucas deferred it until Monday, November 13 so that both the Crown and the defense can make adequate representation on the range of sentencing to be passed, including deduction for any and time already served. Bermudez has been in jail for ten years.
Tech Savvy High Schoolers
Last year in March, we showed you the tech savy high schoolers who participated in the first annual Raspberry Pi Jam. It's a competition which the Public Utilities Commission put together in partnership with the Ministry of Education to try to encourage bright young students to immerse themselves into the world of computer technology.
As we told you, the PUC invested a quarter million dollars to acquire Raspberry Pi computers, which they distributed to high schools all across the country for free. These miniature computers make great teaching tools, allowing students to disassemble and re-assemble them as they see fit, so that they can improvise and invent.
Well, since the students had a year of experience with the devices, the organizers of the Raspberry Pi Jam were hoping that they would show up with inspiring creations. And, the competitors did not disappoint. Our news team was there, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Immigration Minister Wants to Make it Easier For Belizean To Get Passports
And, while that bogus nationality document has been making headlines all this week, business as usual continued today for the Immigration Department. 57 new citizens were sworn in at a ceremony at the George Price Centre. That's where our colleagues at PLUS TV got a chance to speak with Minister of State Beverly Williams about that bogus nationality certificate. She handed out many of the newer type today -with its added security features - but says she feels there are many fraudulent older types out there:...
Hon. Beverly Williams, Minister of State - Immigration:
"Really there are many certificates out there that I firmly believe were duplicated before. We changed it and now they are trying use them to get a social security card and to also then move for a Belizean passport. We are in partnership with all the departments; the vital statistics, social security board - sometimes Election and Boundaries, so that we share information and it was in deed social security who look at it and said it doesn't look right and brought it to the immigration department."
What About A National ID System?
And while the passport is difficult - apparently the Social sEcurity Card is not so difficult to get. That's why Yuanran Zheng was likely directed by his illicit immigration agents to go and try to get that with a fake nationality certificate.
He was caught in the act, but his attempt demonstrates how susceptible key national identity systems can be to fraud and forgery. And that's because the different departments who manage Belizean identification documents are disconnected.
But, there is a plan to create a national ID system.
Government's Chief Technology Officer Mike Singh discussed it last week, and yesterday the CEO of the Social Security Board told us that such a system would help SSB to ensure the integrity of this critical national identification document:
PAC Meeting Quietly Convened Without Kerfuffle
2 weeks ago, we showed you how Julius Espat, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, was calling the UDP Government out for the canceled meeting that they were supposed have. He was accusing them trying to frustrate the examination of Auditor General's Annual Report for the year, April 2012 to March 2013.
So, going into yesterday's meeting, it appeared that the Government and the Opposition members of the committee were at odds.
But, yesterday's meeting went off without incident. Today, when we got a chance speak with ranking UDP member, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber he told us that both sides engaged in a mature conversation about what is wrong with the checks and balances for public spending:
BDF Beef: Complaints from Senior Ranks About Officers "Past Retirement Age"
We always look to the the BDF to put its discipline on display - but tonight we can confirm that there is growing frustration in the middle to upper ranks of the army because of differences over the retirement age.
Up until recently, the retirement age was 45 for the most senior officers, or 42 for majors. Government recently revised that law with this Statutory Instrument which came into effect a year ago on August of 2016. It changes the retirement age to 55 for a commander, 52 for a Colonel and 50 for a Lieutenant Colonel or Major.
But, now there's contention within the senior ranks because some officers who are stuck at major are seeing the promotion of two men who they believe should have already been retired.
Getting Into The ACT
The ACT police operation has come up with two drug and ammunition busts recently.
Yesterday at noon, police searched a swamp in on Patridge Street Extension where officers found a bucket with 19 parcels of compressed cannabis, weighing in at 2.2 kilos, or 5 pounds.
At almost the same time today, officer in the ACT operations conducted two searches that resulted in busts.
On Oleander Street they found ten live rounds of .380 ammunition along with 4 bags of cannabis weighing 1.1 pounds.
Another Charged For Pizza Heist
Last week Wednesday we told you about pizza delivery man Yonardo Rash who was robbed and held at gunpoint while making a delivery on Mayflower Street.
21-year-old Norman Vernon Jr. was charged with the robbery the next day. He pled not guilty and was remanded in custody until December 19th. Today another man from Mayflower, 26-year-old Ian Jenkins was also charged. He pled not guilty as well and he was remanded into custody until December 21st.
What About Child Labour?
In September, the US Bureau on International Labour Affairs listed Belize as a country that made minimal advancement in eliminating child labour. And one of the major areas where this happens is the sugar cane industry. The report noted that, quote "Children in Belize perform dangerous tasks in agriculture."
And so, today a consultation was held with government and non-government stakeholders to talk about the issue. The aim of the consultation was to develop a hazardous work list along with a light work list for the sugar cane industry. Diana Shaw of the Child Development foundation told us more.
BIL: Mission Accomplished?
Last night we showed you the spanking new Punta Gorda Sports Complex. It's one of the last major projects that Belize Infrastructure Limited has spearheaded.
General Manager Christ Mastry says that they have all but fulfilled their mandate:
Christy Mastry, General Manager - BIL:
"BIL's sporting mandate included basically the facilities that we've been opening over the past three to four years now really with the completion of the Belize city center we will have completed the mandate of Belize Infrastructure Limited, which was the initial portfolio of the sporting facilities and a package of 60 million,
"60 million Belize dollars to be spent throughout the country."
Of course, a major hole in the BIL matrix is in Benque Viejo where the death of the contractor has left that football stadium in the lurch.
Sports Minister Promises Open Day At Civic
Today, the media also asked Sports Minister Patrick Faber about the Civic.
As you just heard, there are concerns about who will manage it, and who will get to use it, and at what cost. He said that once the Civic is officially opened, BIL and the contractors will have an open day where all will be illuminated:
Hon. Patrick Faber - DPM/ Minister of Education:
"Because of the buzz on the social media about the cost of the Belize Civic Center, we will do an open day. We will announce the date of that shortly, and we will invite anybody who is concerned - and when I say anybody, that means anybody who wants to come - to special day that we will set aside, and we will do hourly tours and explain. But, we will hold a special briefing by the BIL officials, and also the engineers, the contractors, to explain just as much as in layman's terms as possible, why it is that the Center is costing what it is costing. And so that Belizeans can see for themselves, what is in it, which we are sure of in our minds, is value for money. We will also at that time try to share with the Belizean population as best as we can, why we feel there is the need for a management company take on the running - the day to day running - of the Belize Civic Center."
FFB President Kuylen Calls Out Many
He's the president of FFB, bit could Marlon Kuylen be the fish from rivabottom? He has written a sweeping and often scathing review of the organization he was forced to lead after an election deadlock.
Kuylen writes, quote, "In my opinion, fixing the problems plaguing the FFB is achievable, but not a quick fix, and will take a complete change in culture. As it now stands, with the current mentality of some of the elected officials in the organization, they are part of the problem, instead of part of the solution. "
And that's only for openers. He goes on to suggest, quote, "The Statutes and Codes need a complete review and revamping. Currently, the articles are too vague, and can be easily manipulated and abused. In fact, in this upcoming election, I could have placed myself at an advantage to win the presidency; and although it would not have been illegal, it would have plunged the Federation into serious discordâ€¦"
Talking to Tirso
Senior Transport Officers from all around the country were in Belmopan yesterday for an important meeting with their new boss. He's Chief Transport Officer, Tirso Galvez, who was recently appointed to the post after months of holding over as the Acting Chief.
In the afternoon, senior officers from all districts were afforded the opportunity to raise specific matters affecting their areas of responsibility.
Galvez explained that he is well aware of the many challenges confronting the department:
Arrest for Castro
And from Transport to traffic. Much has been made on this newscast of the Castro brother, Dasani and Jafari who escaped a number of criminal charges after a scrape with Belize City Police. They were taken into custody but ultimately release. Well, one Castro brother, the elder Jumoke was not so lucky. On Wednesday night Precinct one police caught him in a traffic offense and they did take him in without anyone stopping them:...
Supt. Alejandro Cowo - CIB, Belize City:
"He was driving a vehicle by East Collet Canal where he was intercepted by a regular police patrol. They inspected the vehicle and it did not have any license, so he was arrested and charged last night and he was given bail to appear in court. He was charged with driving motor vehicle without a valid drivers licensed and failed to display the licensed sticker. Those were the 3 offences that he was charged for last night. He was granted bail and he is to appear in magistrate court at a later date."
BATSUB & B.D.F. Stop a Wedding on St. George’s Caye
Gunfire and explosions at Saint George’s Caye crash a wedding party in progress as armed soldiers storm the beach. It happed on Thursday night as a group of twenty-six guests, [...]
Defence Force’s Top 3 Officers Past Retirement, Juniors May Sue
The leadership of the Belize Defence Force is under fire tonight, but not from Guatemala. Internal information forwarded to News Five indicates that several senior officers may be in violation [...]
PAC Meets after Extensive Delay
The House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee’s last two meetings wound up canceled. One was by its chairman Julius Espat because Auditor General Dorothy Bradley was not able to attend. [...]
Why Government Can’t Agree to “Public” Accounts Committee Meetings
One of the contentions raised by Espat and echoed by the social partners is that Public Accounts Committee meetings should be held in public as the name suggests. But Patrick [...]
Chairman of P.A.C. is Cautiously Optimistic
This evening, we sought a response from the Committee’s Chair, Julius Espat. For the most part, he said, the meeting was an education in the role and responsibility of the [...]
Julius Espat Says ‘No Excuses’ to Miss Meetings; Continues Fight for Public Hearings
Espat told us that with respect to the past absences, he has made it clear to his fellow parliamentarians that he will tolerate no excuses for future absences from meetings. [...]
Education Minister Doesn’t Buy Theory against Decriminalized Weed
A primary argument for those opposed to the recent decriminalization law is that Belize already has high rates of students smoking marijuana fairly regularly. They argue that decriminalization would increase [...]
Teachers’ Union and President Have Lost Their Way
One week ago, Minister of Education Patrick Faber called out the Belize National Teachers’ Union. During an interview last Thursday, Faber said the leadership of the union is neglecting its [...]
The Raspberry Pi Jam Takes over the Princess
It was created in 2008 and first brought to Belize seven years later. But the Raspberry Pi computer has become the base of the Public Utilities Commission’s Young Innovators Program. [...]
Yhony Rosado And Friends Protest “Corrupt” G.S.T.
A small protest against corruption was held this morning in front of the Complex Building on Mahogany Street this morning. It was organized a group of very vocal activists and [...]
Leon Usher Tells Story of Domestic Shooting from Hospital Bed…
Shooting victim Leon Usher tells News Five that Ladyville Police are lying on him. He says they fabricated a report that he threatened, aggressed and attempted to take away a [...]
…Accuses Police of Lying, Unjustly Shooting him
Police have since launched a criminal and intern investigation into the shooting incident. Usher says that the cop who shot him should be held responsible. He told us that his [...]
Partying, Arguing, Stabbing in O.W.
Twenty-seven-year-old Llamont Wade is in the hospital in a critical condition after he was stabbed multiple times. According to police, sometime after four this morning, they were called out to [...]
Wrapping Up the World Youth Conference
Belize hosted the World Youth Conference 2017 this week and it concluded on Thursday night. More than one hundred and fifty youths from across the world gathered in Belize to [...]
Channel Five’s Informed Teen Reporters at the WYC!
Tonight we introduce to you a new feature to our News Five line up. Over a decade ago, Channel Five partnered with the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) [...]
Lights, Camera, Action for International Film Festival
The 2017 Belize International Film Festival officially opened on Thursday night at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Professionals in the audio and visual art industries walked the red [...]
Working to Reduce Child Labour in Belize
Youth Empowerment Services and the Child Development Foundation partnered today to find out the status of children in the work force, particularly in the sugar industry. Available data shows that [...]
New Fabers Road to Get “Olympic” Football Stadium!
Collet area representative and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber announced in April that some one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars would be spent on upgrades to the football field adjacent [...]
The Drums Will Sound in B.I.L.’s P.G. Sporting Complex this Weekend
There’s a massive pre-Battle of the Drums event scheduled to kick off at the Punta Gorda Multipurpose Complex shortly. After two years of work, the facility is finally completed and [...]
Lake I residents protest against corruption
Lake Independence residents joined the Belize Leaders for Social Justice in a demonstration against corruption and crime. The protest was held in front of Charles Bartlett Hyde building. Hipolito Novelo reports.
$641,000 worth of land titles wrestled from Sedi
A protracted legal battle neared its end today when the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that the Registrar of Lands is to publish the 16 land titles that it had ordered Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington to return to his former business partners, Lawrence and Adam Schneider of Progresso Heights Limited.
The lands, together, are valued at over $641,000. Elrington had failed to carry out the court’s order in August, and continues to insist that he does not have the land titles.
The legal battle between Elrington, who was Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time as well as a business partner of the Schneiders, an American father and son team, has been going on in the courts for almost 7 years. The fight began after the company acquired 2,000 acres of land in Progresso, Corozal District.
GOB pays US$78 million to Ashcroft Alliance
–Last Wednesday, the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered the Government of Belize to pay US$78 million dollars to the Ashcroft alliance as final settlement for the acquisition of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) on or before November 10. Failure to adhere to the court’s deadline would incur interest of 8.34%.
Amandala understands that the government paid the US$78 million dollars today, Thursday. That money represents the final payment for the BZ$557 million settlement with BTL’s former owner negotiated in September 2015 in Miami.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow had stated last week during his press conference that the government has the money, but it is in Belize dollars. The interpretation of that is that the country would have to dip into its foreign reserves to come up with the US$78 million, a figure that amounts to about 25 percent, or one quarter, of the country’s foreign reserves.
Alleged robbery of truck and $60,000 leads to human trafficking case
On September 13, Jack Charles, a businessman, sent an employee of his in his Chevy Equinox to pick up $60,000 from a business in Dangriga.
However, instead of returning with the vehicle and the money, that employee, Keyur Barot, 23, fled the country. Barot allegedly met up with his colleague, Jitendra Kumar, 29, and they both headed into Guatemala, where they abandoned the vehicle.
Guatemalan authorities have since returned the vehicle.
On September 23, Barot and Kumar were seen in Mexico. Mexican officials intercepted them with US $13,000 in their possession, and returned them to Belize in October. They have not yet faced any charges, however, because according to our sources, they alleged that they were the victims of human trafficking.
Daynah Marin is Miss Garifuna Belize 2017/2018
Seven beautiful Garifuna young ladies, each representing their respective Garifuna communities, were contestants in the annual Miss Garifuna Belize Cultural Pageant, which was held at Birds Isle at 6:30 Saturday evening, November 4.
The confident and entertaining ladies were Ms. Peine (Punta Gorda): Tyrese Bermudez; Miss Seine Bight (Sein Bide): Enmesh Cruz; Miss Georgetown: Anita Augustin; Miss Hopkins: Aaliyah Augustine; Miss Dangriga: Daynah Marin; Miss Belize City: Ruth Nunez; and Miss Belmopan: Moira Arana.
In its International Court of Justice (ICJ) education campaign, Guatemalan leaders have resorted to the use of a map which depicts Belize as a part of Guatemala and it is demarcated by means of a dotted line as “disputed territory.”
Under the terms of the 2008 compromis that the Governments of Belize and Guatemala signed, referenda are to be held in both countries and the electorates have to give their approval before the old colonial territorial dispute could be submitted to the ICJ for a final juridical determination.
On Sunday, March 18, voters in Guatemala will go to the polls to vote in a referendum on this question: “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determines finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?”
New City Council regulations lead to parking woes for Belize Ex-Services League
The days leading up to Remembrance Day have been difficult for the National Office Manager at the Belize Ex-Services League, because, not only has she been busy with the preparations for the big day on Sunday, November 12, but traffic officers from the Belize City Council Traffic Department have been ticketing her vehicle, which she has been parking in front of Canada House, the league headquarters, on Newtown Barracks, for many years.
Valerie Richardson, J.P., the league’s National Office Manager, has resorted to writing to Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, because the new parking regulation for Newtown Barracks that the city is implementing is a major inconvenience to her.
A long time coming; 2014-15 softball champions finally receive trophies
At a quiet ceremony last night near home plate at Rogers Stadium, with hardly any fans in attendance, the 2014-2015 Belize City Softball Champions, Belize Bank Bulldogs players finally received their long awaited “hardware,” courtesy of Reginald Jex of Jex Trophies, who presented the individual trophies, as well as a big team trophy, to appreciative softball ladies.
For whatever reasons, the Softball Association at the time had failed to give individual trophies to the champions, and when Reggie got wind of their plight through various Facebook posts, he endeavored to rectify the situation. Some people take it for granted, Reggie observed afterwards, but as time goes by, that little piece of memorabilia becomes more and more precious to athletes as a record and reminder of their achievement.
Updated PLB Week 14 schedule
The Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2017-2018 Opening Season regular season ends this weekend with Week 14, after which the top 4 teams in the standings go on to the semifinal home-and-away playoffs. Standings rank is determined first by points total, then goal difference, then total goals scored.
Note that the start times for the three Sunday games below, previously 4:00 p.m., have been moved back to 3:30 p.m.
Hogan’s football story – Part 10 – the finale
(Hogan gives his opinion, advice and an offer for the Belize National Team.)
Amandala (A): Hogan… It has been a good opportunity to get to hear from you personally… after hearing about you so much over the years… You’ve seen a little bit of football here since you’ve been in Belize… you have any little word of advice for the youths you see about?
Hogan (H): Well, I mean… I’m thankful for this opportunity… and I’m glad you asked me that question… because, you know, I’m excited right now with all the… being here… and all the questions… because you know football is my life…
Part 10 – the finale
H: Okay, now I want to talk about what I’ve seen so far…. I’m talking to all the football players… and to the management… you know, because I… in the States we have done things our way for so long… and I think…. with all this fighting among the leaders… they are holding back players…
Dangriga sports stats
Tex-Bel Farm and the Dangriga Town Council, along with the Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association, will be hosting the First Annual Coconut Fest Race this Saturday, November 11, starting at 1:00 p.m. This race was postponed from October 28 because of rain.
This race will start (and finish) from in front of Eldrid Martinez Park on George Price Drive, right across from Dangriga Bowen & Bowen Distributors, and head on the Southern Highway to Maya Centre and back, a total of 40 miles. For Juniors and Masters only, prizes remain the same for both Juniors and Masters categories; also, there will be station prizes, and a special prize for the first Dangriga rider who passes the finish line first. Registration per rider is $10.00.
Natural and supernatural
There are natural explanations for almost all earthly phenomena, but very many Belizeans prefer supernatural explanations. What we see on the Southside of Belize City is a once vibrant community which has become self-destructive where a significant proportion of our young people are concerned. The unraveling of the Southside human fabric does not have anything to do with God or supernatural forces, in this newspaper’s opinion. And the partial solution which was offered a few months ago, a partial solution which was working quite well, did not have anything to do with God or supernatural forces.
At the same time, it is a frequent sociological development among populations which experience traumatic reverses of various kinds, for those populations to become more deeply immersed in religious activities. In the Yucatan in the second half of the nineteenth century, this is what happened to the fierce Santa Cruz Maya after their Caste War opponents began to gain the upper hand. The Santa Cruz Maya then developed the religious cult of the Talking Cross, which apparently assisted their community in the continuation of their resistance to oppression.
From The Publisher
Next year June will mark fifty years since I returned from college in America. It is difficult for me to imagine that there could be any other place on planet earth which has changed so much over that half century as Belize has. Even our name has changed. In 1968, we were still “British Honduras.”
I missed my home every day of the three years I was away. To this day, I read eagerly any material published here between 1965 and 1968, and whenever people start to talk about the sports, music, politics and personalities in my home while I was away, I always listen attentively.
I would say that Belize reached a high point of socio-political confidence between 1965 and 1968, but my perspective would be very much confined to Belize City, still the capital back then. Between ’65 and ’68, our road system was still quite primitive. City people didn’t travel much to the Districts.
Letters of June 16, 2011, and June 23, 2013, on nationalization
My exposure to World history and events started at a very early age. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s my brother worked at the Punta Gorda Post Office and had a subscription to both Times and Newsweek magazine from the United States. He would get his subscription every month and after reading them, he would store them in a box next to his room. I was always intrigued by them because it had colourful pictures — something that we seldom saw during that time, since all the pictures were in black and white and also because the people in them from far away reaches of the earth looked so strange and different from us in little 1970’s PG.
Two distinct cover stories that I can always remember was Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini January 1980, Time Magazine Man of the Year. The reason was because he was a man that in my young mind looked like Santa Clause but wore what to me looked like a dress. The other one was the Newsweek cover story in October 1981 which covered the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat and the headlines read ‘An Act of Infamy’.
ICJ ruling on the Bakassi
In 2002, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the Bakassi, a strip of land between Cameroon and Nigeria, was properly the territory of Cameroon. On the purely physical level, to any impartial observer the Bakassi’s geography puts it squarely for Cameroon. If you draw a line down the middle of the Akwayafe River, which forms a portion of the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, the Bakassi is on the south side. Nigeria is on the north side; Cameroon is on the south side.
The countries we are discussing here did not exist prior to the invasion of the African continent by various warlike European tribes. The African continent, at the time of the invasion, was a land of many, many tribes, and many, many languages. Interesting-africa-facts.com lists over three-thousand tribes, and nationsonline.org says that 1500-2000 languages are spoken. In the African continent of the present there are only 54 countries, and the people, while they still speak tribal languages, they conduct much of their business in the languages of the European tribes.
Cow noh belong in haas race
You can get bored with some old sayings, but be advised to not dump them. They are the lessons from the ages, to keep one out of harm’s way. You know them—be careful what you wish for—neva trouble trobl—every bully gat ih kecha—let sleeping dogs lie…Madabog, what was AG Pere thinking when he challenged the religious crowd? He couldn’t have been cerebrally engaged when he misfired so badly.
There are so many ways to effect change in a country. You can vote for the people who have ideas that are similar to yours. You can go slow, or strike, when your leaders have head tek. You can start a revolution and throw the bohgaz out. Of course, if you think people like you, you can enter the political race. That last one, it is so much like a beauty or a strongman contest.
Awu le wuguri
The Caribs lived on the Island of St. Vincent. Numerous attempts to enslave them by the English, French and Spaniards had failed because the Caribs resisted so fiercely. Columbus first encountered the Carib Indians on his second voyage to the West Indies on November 3, 1493. After discovering Dominica, and other islands, he landed at Santa Maria de Guadeloupe, where he found twelve Indian women and two young boys, who said they were prisoners of a man eating tribe of Indians. Columbus immediately dispatched Alfonso Flores, a soldier who had experience in fighting the Moors in Spain, to investigative their claim. Alfonso set ashore with fifteen men and he was immediately set upon by the fierce Indians and slaughtered.
Guardian’s Alfonso Noble settles with family of man he killed in traffic accident
On Christmas Eve last year, Alfonso Noble, the editor of the ruling United Democratic Party’s newspaper organ, The Guardian, and co-host of the government-owned radio station WAVE, allegedly knocked down and killed Gilbert Myers as he was riding his bicycle toward his home in Hattieville. Noble was traveling in the same direction, heading to his home at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway.
Neither of them made it home for Christmas. Meyers died from the impact of Noble’s pickup truck, and Noble, because he failed to provide a specimen to police, spent the long holiday weekend in police custody at the Racoon Street Police Precinct.
Today, Noble reportedly settled with the wife of his accident victim, Andrea Meyers, who reportedly will be paid a six-figure sum by Noble’s insurance company, RF&G.
Senate showdown looms over the PUP’s proposal to amend the Maritime Areas Act
The next showdown between Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s United Democratic Party (UDP) government and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) is expected to take place at the next meeting of the Senate, when the PUP will be allowed to introduce a motion to amend the Maritime Areas Act.
If this actually happens, Belize will then be able to claim its 12 nautical miles of sea in the south, instead of the 3 nautical miles the Maritime Areas Act makes provision for.
In 1992, the Belize parliament passed into law the Maritime Areas Act which delimited the sea boundary of Belize in the south to 3 miles, instead of the 12 miles Belize was entitled to claim under current international law.
Chinese national, Yuanran Zheng, and accomplice, nabbed for immigration fraud
The special audit of the Immigration Department revealed that thousands of foreign nationals fraudulently received Belizean nationality certificates, passports, and visas between 2011 and 2013.
While those persons have escaped the arm of the law so far, Chinese national, Yuanran Zheng, was not so fortunate. He was busted in an attempt to use a fraudulent nationality certificate to obtain a Belizean Social Security card, and thereafter, a passport.
Director of the Immigration Department, Diana Locke, told Amandala that Zheng entered the country on Sunday, and on Monday he visited the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) headquarters in Belmopan, to apply for a Social Security card.
Police legal adviser makes clarification about the legal possession of 10 grams of cannabis
Members of the public are no longer at risk of being charged or arrested if they are found with 10 grams or less of marijuana. They can now smoke marijuana in their homes or in other buildings where approval has been granted by the building owners.
However, according to the new law which decriminalizes possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, it is still illegal to be found with cannabis in schools or other places of education. Senior Superintendent Bart Jones, legal adviser to the police, in an interview with us today, calls on policemen to be professionals: 10 grams, no charge.