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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
PUP to seek court action for a re-election in San Pedro
The controversy surrounding the results of the 2018 Municipal Elections in San Pedro Town continues to brew as the People’s United Party (PUP) disputes the election results that favored the United Democratic Party (UDP). On Thursday, March 8th a day after the elections, San Pedro PUP Mayoral Candidate, Andre Perez along with members of his party began seeking legal options regarding the alleged discrepancies in the electoral process that declared UDP Mayoral candidate Daniel Guerrero and his team winners of the elections. The PUP alleges that they are in possession of legal documents, including official documents from the Elections and Boundaries Commission that show over 200 unaccounted ballots. The next legal action, according to PUP Senator and attorney Eamon Courtenay, will be to demand a new election in San Pedro after challenging the recent results at the Belize City Supreme Court in the upcoming days. The PUP claims that there was a strong swing for their party during the election process on the island. Party officials also said that they were told of certain movements inside the counting room and perhaps due to that they now have significant discrepancies with the results.
Courtenay stated that the PUP will continue fighting for what is right. “We believe that the PUP won San Pedro and we are going to court to establish that,” said Courtenay. This is about the San Pedranos who voted and that is what we are fighting. We are fighting for every single vote and expect the PUP to be triumphant.”
UDP wins Municipal Elections in San Pedro Town; PUP questions results
Daniel Guerrero and his six United Democratic Party (UDP) Councillors have been declared winners of the 2018 Municipal Elections held on Wednesday, March 7th. However, that victory is being questioned, with allegations of discrepancies in the election’s official results. The People’s United Party (PUP) and its supporters are disputing the results based on the total number of voters recorded, which, according to them, do not match the total number of ballots counted. The PUP has since sought legal advice in an effort to find a fair solution and perhaps even a recounting of the votes. However, the idea of a recount was never confirmed by Returning Officer of the Elections and Boundaries Department, Catherine Cumberbatch, during a meeting the PUP and UDP representatives had on Thursday, March 8th in downtown San Pedro. At press time, the declared victors were the full UDP slate, consisting of 3-term Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councillors Hector Alamilla, Flora Ancona, Ruben Gonzalez, Gary Greif, Gabriel Nuñez, and Severo Guerrero Jr,.
Minister Heredia assures hospital in San Pedro by 2020
A hospital in San Pedro Town has been perhaps one of the most anticipated infrastructural projects islanders have been long awaiting. The rapid growth of the municipality has many island residents wanting a proper medical facility, which Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., hopes to complete by the end of his term in 2020. Heredia has not provided further details on the hospital, in the recent times but the project was a promise made in the UDP manifesto prior to the general elections in 2015. It is unknown and Heredia has not confirmed if the government is going to make a loan for such project as it is unclear if it will be included at the upcoming budget presentation on Friday, March 9th. Back in 2015, it was revealed that a $20 million investment would be needed to erect the hospital and Heredia announced that same year that Central Government was moving one step closer to completing a loan application to fund the hospital building. According to Heredia the MOH had done its due diligence to get the ball rolling regarding such project.
ECGO and Quality Reef to face-off in Co-Ed Softball finals
The San Pedro Co-Ed Softball Tournament finals began at Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex on Sunday, March 4th. The day saw the four participating teams taking part in three intense matches to determine the champions of the tournament.
In the first round of the championships, Quality Reef went up against RCGO. At the end of the five innings, it was a clear victory for Quality Reef with 11-2 score point. Everyone is invited to come out and enjoy the last match of the San Pedro Co-Ed Softball tournament on Sunday, March 11th, starting at 9:30 AM. Foods and drinks will be on sale during the games.
PUP Taking Court Action For New Election In San Pedro
In a statement released by PUP Belize Rural South and PUP Mayoral Candidate Andre Perez, he made it clear this afternoon, Friday, March 9, 2018, that his party cannot concede defeat at the municipal elections that were carried out on Wednesday, March 7, 2018.
Attorney at Law Mr. Eamon Courtney stated that after reviewing the official papers that were signed off by the Elections and Boundaries Commission that there are 275 ballots that cannot be accounted for, at minimum. He stated that 275 missing ballots puts the elections at dispute and thus the party will go to court.
Beach Volleyball Contingent Off To Youth Olympic Games Qualifier in Costa Rica
The Belize Volleyball Association is pleased to announce that a Belize contingent departed country on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, to Puntarenas, Costa Rica to compete in Beach Volleyball at the Youth Olympic Games Qualifier to be held this weekend, March 10 & 11. This tournament also serves as the U19 Central American Beach Volleyball Championship. The Youth Olympic Games is set to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 1-12, 2018.
Misc Belizean Sources
Free Self defense Training on Caye Caulker
March 23, at the Caye Caulker Community center, 10am-2pm.
20,000 Strong Rally
Friday March 16, parade starts 8am at the Memorial Park to The Marion Jones Sporting Complex for the Rally at 9am-2pm.
THE ICE CREAM BAR reopens on Caye Caulker
*THE ICE CREAM BAR**
( formerly Scoop Dis) ,
Will be reopening TODAY at our new location: On the beach in front of Ocean Ferry & Fantasy Dining.
Great spot to sit and cool off while licking your favorite icecream and eating a slice of my Belizean rum cake
Chiquïbul Challenge Marathon 2018
Join the race for conservation and participate or sponsor the second Chiquibul Challenge Marathon - CCM 2018!
Location: Las Cuevas Research Station, Chiquibul Park, Cayo, Belize.
Date: February 17th-18th, 2018.
This event is requires registration for all attendees and is not open to the public.
BTB at ITB Berlin 2018
Confiscated Conch delivered to St. Alphonsus Primary School
Senior Ranger with responsibility for Enforcement, Serapio Chun delivered conch confiscated in the recent bust on Jacks Caye near the Gladden Spit Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, to the Feeding Program of the St. Alphonsus Primary School, Seine Bight Village. The Feeding Program feeds over one hundred students with healthy lunches every school day.
The Principal, Ms. Moreira, expressed gratitude at SEA's gesture.
SEA would like to thank the Fisheries Department for permitting SEA to make the donation and the Belize Coast Guard for their support with joint patrols.
Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta
Sunday, March 11 at 9 AM - 3 PM,
Newtown Barracks, Belize City. Come out and see the 90th Baron Bliss Harbour regatta featuring youths from across the country sailing in the Optimist Dinghy and Lasers. Also the two remaining sand lighters: United and Radio
Commentary: Municipal elections in Belize are a wakeup call for the current government
By Wellington C. Ramos.
Since the 2006 municipal elections, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has won and controlled all the municipalities in the country of Belize except for Orange Walk Town, which has since been under the control of the People’s United Party (PUP). The municipalities include Belize City – a mayor and ten councilors; Belmopan City, the capital – a mayor and six city councilors; Punta Gorda Town – a mayor and seven councilors; Dangriga Town – a mayor and seven councilors; San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town – a mayor and seven councilors; Benque Viejo Del Carmen – a mayor and seven councilors; San Pedro Ambergris Caye Town – a mayor and seven councilors; Orange Walk Town – a mayor and seven councilors; and Corozal Town – also with a mayor and seven councilors.
When this is all added it comes up to nine mayors and 67 councilors.
In the elections that were held on Wednesday, the PUP won Belize City, Orange Walk Town and Corozal Town. This gives them three mayors and 25 councilors out of 67 because a PUP counselor also won in Dangriga Town. Now the UDP has six mayors and 42 councilors which is still the majority, but losing Belize City is a major shock to them. Why? Because, since the UDP came to power in Belize City in 2006, they have spent millions of dollars on infrastructural development in Belize City compared to the other municipalities. Yet, despite all this spending, Belize City has the highest amount of gangs, crimes and murders in the entire country of Belize.
Sarteneja Easter Regatta 2018
It's once again that time of the year!!! Sarteneja Easter Regatta 2018. Don't miss out; come and be part of this great event!! To all our friends from outside; start reserving your hotel rooms!!!
TEAM NICH WINS FIRST LEG OF LA RUTA MAYA BELIZE RIVER CHALLENGE!
CONGRATS TEAM NICH!
SISE Town Council Swearing In
The SISE Town Council will be re-sworn in on Sunday. They are having a victory parade and rally at the Macal River park, and the celebration starts at 11:00am. Grupo Jade will be performing. Congratulations, Mayor Trapp and SISE Councillors!
"Residents of San Ignacio/Santa Elena are all invited to our Grand Victory Parade/Rally to be held on Sunday, March 11th 2018.
A motorcade will leave the Macal River Park at 11am and parade through the three constituencies ending at the Macal River Bank. At 2pm swear in of Mayor Earl Trapp Jr. and Councillors followed by jump up with music provided by the Youth Connection and Jade Band."
Binational watershed alliance review
19 communities form part of the Binational watershed alliance. The review conducted last weekend proves that the leaders have generated community participation in safeguarding the rivers. But the effort must continue. FCD is thankful to the British high Commission Office in Belize for the support.
Heroes and Benefactors Day
While the Public & Bank Holiday is on Monday, we'd like to wish all Belizeans a Happy Heroes and Benefactors Day. Be safe over the long weekend.
Another Awful Case of Child Abuse
Tonight, a 4 year old girl from Bella Vista village in the Toledo District is in critical condition at the KHMH. She's there because of a congenital heart condition - the child has a hole in her heart. But when they examined her, doctors found that she has also been sexually molested - both vaginally and anally.
She's been hospitalized for some time - but the molestation only became known this week. Presently, police from the Independence Southern Formation don't have a clue as to who may have done it. They are in the village interviewing relatives and talking to neighbors, but so far no suspect has emerged.
The child's 52 year old mother is the one who made the report to police. We'll keep following the case.
Ugly Accident At Western Border
There was a very gruesome accident this morning at the Cargo area at Belize's Western Border in Benque Viejo.
An 18 wheeler ran over 38 year old Guatemalan Marcus Zabaleta and he got mangled between the wheels. Reports say that Zabaleta may have been sleeping under the truck in the cargo section and the driver - also a Guatemalan - started driving off without even knowing he was underneath. He dragged him for a few hundred feet, leaving a trail of blood in the loading area.
Police and fire department personnel had to remove his crushed remains from between the wheels and put the body - or what remained of it - on a stretcher for transport to the morgue.
Budget Presented: Sugar Plums to Sour Plums?
Turning now to politics - today was Budget day in Belmopan. It's the biggest day on the Parliamentary calendar - but the usual energy of the day was diminished because the election seemed to have sapped up the week's political energy.
The Prime Minister called it a steady as she goes budget - and we found out why:...
Jules Vasquez reporting:
Rounding out what he called a UDP Decade - Prime Minister Barrow presented what might be his leanest budget yet - bereft of goodies and giveaways - it's austerity turned into a hardened fiscal conservatism.
And, while nothing new was offered - the best that he could do was promise that what has been given will not be taken away:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"We grasp the nettle with both hands, we rise to meet the challenges, and we will overcome them. This year's budget is structured accordingly and there therefore can and will be no retreat from our signature pro-poor policies: BOOST and Food Pantry; the Apprenticeship Program; the High School Subsidies; the Payment by GOB for students' CXC exams."
Leader of The Opposition Says “No Glitter, No Substance” In New Budget
The PM called the budget Maintaining Steadiness; Consolidating Stability; Advancing Growth. Here's the reaction from the leader of the opposition:
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"Orange Walk East in the next general elections..."
"Prime Minster is saying though that they will have a 4th term."
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"Ahh he could say a lot of things. It's like his budget. The Prime Minister was known as always talk about all glitter and no substance. Well today it's no glitter and no substance because there is nothing in that budget. It's lifeless. You see nothing. He talks nothing about crime, about the social ills that are affecting us. He is talking about him being the enabler. The only enablers that he has done are some UDP millionaires that have been profiling on television. There is nothing. The very same that that remember he use to criticize the PUP about this below the line items now, now the BTL settlement he is treating it as below the line. Something that we paid from the budget. If we were to include that we wouldn't have enough money to pay the rent, pay light bill and to pay teachers. That is why he has been living on borrowed money. Issues those treasury bills and treasury notes, sucking up all the liquidity in the banking system. I don't know what the Prime Minister is talking about - a fourth term. Well if they are so confident, bring it on."
PM Says Mobile Data Tax Corrective, Not Punitive
And here's what the Prime Minister had to say in defence of his budget and that data tax:..
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"The adjustments overall are extremely mild. I think this is a steady as she goes budget. With respect to the GST now on data services, it is as I explained, we all know that there has been a shift away from voice or the regular voice calls to data and as a consequence the GST collections have fallen steeply. We have to replace that loss and this is the logical way to do it."
Jules Vasquez, reporter:
"How much revenue do you all hope to raise with this new measure?"
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister:
"That I think is about 6 million dollars. Overall as I said the new measures including having government pay its GST with raise about 20 million. I think there is no way we would sacrifice Southside poverty alleviation phase 3."
Leader of The Opposition Says PUP Making Major Gains
Last night on the news, you heard from the Prime Minister and UDP Party Leader Dean Barrow - who said he felt energized by the outcome of the Municipal Elections - even though his party lost critical ground.
Today we got the reaction from the PUP Party Leader - who says he's the one who really has a reason to celebrate since his party stole the UDP's crown:.
Jules Vasquez, reporter
"What's your emotional reaction to the outcome of the municipal elections? The PM said he is inspired and motivated."
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"I don't think the Prime Minister believe that himself. But certainly from my end, we in the People's United Party we are very happy with the results and I want to assure the Belizean people that we will be working very closely with all 3 municipalities to ensure that we deliver on what we promise and that there can be open and transparency on how we are going to control the people's finances in those 3 municipalities."
UDP’s “Boots” is Happy That PUP Won
And one politician who has no plans to turn anything around is Anthony Boots Martinez. He says he's retiring after Wednesday's disappointing outcome in his division. He failed to deliver in his Port Loyola division and that was a big part of the UDP's consequential loss in its home base of Belize City. But today we saw him singing at the House of Representatives and being chummy with John Briceno.
He told us he is happy at the outcome:...
Jules Vasquez, reporter:
"Mr. Martinez, a very disappointing outcome for you in Port Loyola."
Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Port Loyola Area Rep.:
"One thing I could say it's a joyous day for me."
Man Says Cops Beat and Robbed Him
A Belize City man is complaining tonight that a group of police officers from one of the strike teams in Eastern Division abused its authority. He says they beat him badly, confiscated over $2,000 from him, and when they released him, they only returned $300.
So, how did he come in contact with the cops? Well, he says that he went partying last night at the bar, Sit and Sip.
From his accounts, he was enjoying himself, and the police officer acting as security at the establishment had no problem with his conduct or behavior. He claims that officers from this strike team entered the bar, and after they observed him, they started harassing him.
He explained what happened, and why he thinks that that the officers stole from him after the beatdown. Here's what he had to say - he asked to speak off-camera, and that his name be withheld:
Boy in ICU, Mom Blames Neighbors
Tonight, 11 year-old Alexander Montejo, a resident of the Lake Independence area in Belize City, is at the Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. His mother says that his health is severely compromised, and that he is at risk of dying.
She has shown us a letter from the doctor, which says that Alexander's illness is caused by smoke that wafts into his house from a tortilla factory next door. She says that she also has another neighbor who has been improperly disposing of fecal waste.
For legal reasons, we can't tell you exactly where this family lives, and we cannot show you the tortilla factory, or the neighbor's house. At this time, this is only an allegation, and neither of these 2 neighbors have responded to our requests for comment. But, Alexander's mother, Jennifer Arana, came to us complaining that she has nowhere else to turn to, for help.
Remember The Reef
We all know about legendary Belize's Barrier Reef - but you probably don't think too often about all the human and marine lives who depend on it for a living. That's why Oceans created Reef Week - to highlite all those issues.
The years' theme is "Protect It Not Neglect It." We dropped by the launch this morning and VP Janelle Chanona shared more about the week.
DIfferent activities to share eco-friendly tips and more will be taking place over the course of next week. We also asked Chanona about those False Killer Whales we told you about last week.
She said that the dolphins were not found so they are hoping that the sea mammals made their way back to deeper waters.
PUP’s Musa Challenges PM On Municipal Equity
As we told you earlier, it may have been budget day, but the political chatter set the tone for today's house meeting. PUP Caribbean Shores Area Rep. Kareem Musa called out Prime Minister Barrow for suggesting that UDP councils may be treated favourably when it comes to resource allocations from Central Government. And from there it turned into a discussion about Belize city council finances. Here's how that went.
JB and DOB Find Common Ground In Women
And while there will always be political tension across the house floor, rarely, very rarely, the two sides can share a grace note. Today was one such occasion. Near the end of the House Meeting, Leader of the Opposition John Briceno and PM Barrow had a courteous and heartfelt exchange - both honoring women on International Women's Day which was observed yesterday. But of course house meetings wouldn't be house meetings without the usual jabs - but this one between Barrow and Briceno was laced with good humor.
Hon. John Briceno, PUP Party Leader:
"I want to take the opportunity to greet all Belizean women and our Belizean women are quite outstanding human beings in Belize. So any of them single mothers who are out there toiling every single day working, trying to make ends meet for their children. We have some very strong women and I will use the Prime Minister's wife as an example when she had cancer she made it public and to show that you can fight and don't give up, just like my mother when she had cancer unfortunately she did not make it but I remember one day when I was all broken up she looked at me and said she is okay, she is not...
PUP Kareem Says He Feels No Way About Executive Snub
And while both leaders could be magnanimous for a minute - while both claiming victory - turning back now to the election, a few interesting issues emerged which are worth reviewing.
Caribbean shores rep Kareem Musa, was thought to be sitting back on this municipal election - because he felt jilted that John Briceno had replaced him with Anthony Mahler on the PUP Executive.
But, when we asked Musa about it on election night, he said he doesn't need any title to do his job.
"There is always controversy going into an elections, you did not maintain the seat as deputy party leader. Did that take away any momentum from you going in to deliver the seat?"
Pickstock, Politics and The People
Anthony Mahler didn't have any political bonafides when he took up the post of Deputy Leader - replacing area rep who had already won an election. So, he had a lot to prove on election day. He worked in the Pickstock Division where he pulled off a major upset against three term incumbent Wilfred Elrington. In an interview on election day, Elrington said Mahler knows nothing about politics.
But he proved that he did when the votes were counted. He said he may not know about politics but he does know about people.
"The incumbent which is minister Elrington, he had some choice words. He said actually you knew nothing about politics."
Anthony Mahler, Eastern Caucus Deputy Leader/Belize City:
"Alright so I don't know anything about politics but I know about people and he doesn't and that is the big difference between the incumbent and myself."
Rt. Hon. Said Senses Cynicism
And while Mahler is an up and coming PUP candidate in Pickstock - Said Musa is the old general in Fort George. He told us (like 2 elections ago) that he was retiring but, at 73 - and four decades in the division, he's still in the game.
On election day only 43% of the registered voters in Fort George came out - and a reticent Musa said it is the cynicism of the electorate that's to blame:..
Sahar Vasquez, reporter:
"What do you think attributes to the low voter count? Do you think it is the murders or just everything that has been happening?"
Torres Talked About An Upset
And while the PUP won handily in Musa's area, despite the poor turnout - we can't say that the third party or independent voters had any luck whatsoever.
Across the country - only two third party candidates were able to get even 1% of the vote. That's in PG where Ronald "Cucu" Maheia and Linston "Blues" McKenzie did it.
In Belize City Ernesto Torres fared the worst of all the independent candidates. He only got 240 votes or point 1 (.1) percent of the total.
He's seen that kind of outcome, or close to it before - but undeterred, he made his third run for mayor on Wednesday.
Cocono and Pango
And that's it for politics tonight - we turn now to entertainment. Cocono Bwai is one of Belize's most popular musicians - and one of the most eager self promoters. Today he came by our studio to share his latest tune called "Pango." What does it mean? Don't worry Cocono Boy explained it all to us.
You can find the song on his Facebook page.
Festival Of Friends
And we close what has been a hectic week on an up note with highlites of the pre-school festival of the arts - courtesy NICH.
We hope you enjoy, and have a great long weekend celebrating Belize Heroes and Benefactors...
I'm Courtney Weatherburne - have great night, and join us back here on Tuesday:...
Budget Addresses National Stability; Belize Still Short of National Fiscal Targets
The long-awaited first and second reading of the General Revenue and Appropriation Bill dominated today’s proceedings at the House of Representatives. The budget for the 2018-2019 financial year is for [...]
Debt Nears 100% of GDP
In the last few weeks, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, in a memo to C.E.O.’s of government ministries, suggested that national debt had reached one hundred percent of GDP. The official [...]
New Measures, Including Tax on Data Services, ‘Extremely Mild’
Outside the House, the Prime Minister referred to the proposed budget as being a case of ‘steady as she goes.’ But in the case of the new taxes, did he [...]
Opposition on Budget: ‘Lifeless, Bogus…No Glitter and No Substance’
If the Prime Minister sounded somewhat lukewarm concerning the new Budget, Leader of the Opposition John Briceño is downright cold. Offering his first impressions ahead of the debate in two [...]
The Final Price for B.T.L.
The Government of Belize’s acquisition of Belize Telemedia Limited was also a feature of the Budget speech. A figure of more than half a billion dollars was widely quoted, but [...]
P.M. Hopes Venezuela Gets It Together on Fuel
For those worried about imminent increases at the pump, the Prime Minister quickly said that lesser used fuel oils, including kerosene, are the products affected by the G.S.T. re-balance. But [...]
The Rape of a 4-Year-Old Girl Reported in the South
Another child has been sexually abused in a disturbing incident involving a four-year-old little girl in the south. On Thursday, a fifty-two-year-old mother reported to police in Bella Vista, Toledo, [...]
O.W. Grandfather Charged for Assault of 7-Year-Old, Gets Out on Bail
In another case of sexual abuse, but in the north, a sixty-six-year-old man has been charged for the sexual assault of a seven year old girl, who she knew as [...]
Melchor Trucker Gets Crushed under 18-wheeler at Border
Guatemalan trucker Marcus Fernando Zabaleto lost his life at the western border earlier today when an eighteen-wheeler ran him over. According to police, they were called out to the cargo [...]
P.U.P. Going the Right Way, Says Leader John Briceño after Elections
The People’s United Party has won three of nine municipalities during Wednesday’s elections, including Belize City which is considered the most valuable asset of the ruling United Democratic Party, and [...]
Briceño: We Have Not Given Up on San Pedro
As for the situation in San Pedro, Briceño says that contrary to what the prime minister said on Thursday, that the P.U.P. had signed off on the reconciliation sheet, as [...]
Eamon Courtenay Confirms Court Challenge
Following the interview with Briceño in Belmopan, the P.U.P.’s legal advisor, Eamon Courtenay, in an interview with Ambergris Today this afternoon, confirmed that the party will take court action on [...]
P.U.P. Makes Biggest Election Heist in Belize City
The taking back of the Old Capital by the Blue Tsunami is compared to a repossession of the most valuable timepiece in the prime minister’s prized collection. He is still [...]
“Boots” is Really Happy for City Residents. No, really.
Port Loyola area representative Anthony “Boots” Martinez swears he has no hard feelings after Wednesday’s municipal elections victory for the People’s United Party in Belize City. He kept insisting to [...]
Port Loyola Rep Confirms He Will Not Seek Fifth Term, but When Will He Go?
As he alluded to, Martinez is headed to retirement as a four-time area representative and will not seek a fifth term. Whether he goes right away or serves out his [...]
New Bills Tackle Gangs and Protecting Witnesses of Crime
The Budget was not the only major news coming out of today’s meeting in Belmopan. Three amendments to substantive legislation and a new bill were introduced which had to do [...]
U.D.P. to Make Plans in Wake of Municipal Result
Going back to Wednesday’s election, Prime Minister Barrow has announced time and again that he is stepping down as party leader and head of government in advance of the 2020 [...]
Party Leader Admits Downfall Due to Lack of Presence in Key Constituencies
The People’s United Party previously held five seats and following Wednesday’s election, now claims a total of twenty-six, including eleven in Belize City. The United Democratic Party’s shocking loss here [...]
First Day of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
Fifty-three teams paddled away at the start of the annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Canoe River Challenge in the Macal River in San Ignacio this morning. Over the next four [...]
Our Reef Rocks! Celebrate with Reef Week
Reef Week started back in 2013 as an initiative to celebrate Belize’s Barrier Reef through a week of events across Belize. Today, the conservation community launched the fifth staging of [...]
UDP wins majority of municipal seats; PUP gains ground
Municipal Elections 2018 are over and there have been some changes. Going into the elections, the UDP held 8 of the 9 municipalities. Following the counting of the votes yesterday, March 7, the UDP still has control over the majority of the municipalities but the PUP has made some significant gains....
San Pedro election results being questioned
While the UDP have claimed victory for the San Pedro Town Council, there are still uncertainties lingering. At a press conference today, while the Prime Minister presented UDP Incumbent mayor Daniel Danny Guerrero as the victor in that municipality, at the same time, in San Pedro, Returning Officer ...
UDP stronghold, Belize City, goes Blue
The Belize City win has been a huge upset for the United Democratic Party. The People’s United Party won all 7 seats: Mayor Elect Bernard Wagner and Coucillors Elect Oscar Arnold, Delthrude Hilton, Micah Goodin, Albert Vaughan, Aisha Gentle, Ryan Elijio, Javier Castellnaos, Allan Pollard Jr., Michae...
No surprises in Orange Walk
While Belize City may have been a surprise victory, there was no surprise for the Blue party in Orange Walk as the PUP Mayor and his slate of Councilors were re elected. Mayor Kevin Bernard was once again victorious but this time, with a significant lead over his opponent. Bernard’s slate includes R...
Corozal goes Blue
Corozal followed its neighboring municipality and made a change from red to blue. PUP Mayoral candidate Rigoberto Vellos beat out his opponenet Richard Quan with a total of 2, 744 votes. The full red slate garnered the highest votes. That includes Shamir Alpuche, Dylan Casanova, Hilberto Clarke, Rod...
The Red, Red West
The West has remained red in yesterday’s municipal elections; Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque. The United Democratic Party has been the dominant political presence in these Municipalities for over the past decade and that did not show much sign of changing during yesterday’s Municipal Elections. We...
Twin Towns Rivalry
The twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena are known for their passion in politics. Such passion was evident at the Santa Elena Primary School polling station. Rival parties UDP and PUP made it very clear in Santa Elena that they were there to win. The atmosphere remained tense as squabbles and a...
Another win for UDP in Belmopan
Today, the United Democratic Party is celebrating what they call an expected win in the City of Belmopan. The Capital City has been under the administration of the United Democratic Party since Mayor Simeon Lopez’s win in 2006. Mayor Lopez served three terms under the UDP before handing the reins over to Khalid Belisle who won for the UDP in 2015.
PG remains red
Punta Gorda also remained red in this Municipal Elections. Ashton Mckenzie ,mayor Elect, garnered 1,181 votes. The UDP Councillors will be Kevin Choc who received 1,083 votes, Winston Chun with 1,105 votes, Joicelyn Dawson with 1,093 votes, Cindy Martinez with 1,152 votes, Franklin Polonio with ,1264 , he had the most votes in that municipality, and Raynel Tate with 1145 votes.
Prime Minister Visits South, Central and West during Elections
The Prime Minister was on the road visiting polling stations across the country during yesterday’s elections. Plus News caught up with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in Benque Viejo after he had made stops in Belmopan and San Ignacio. We understand that he was coming from Dangriga Town where he spent an overnight attending a UDP rally and encouraging voters down south.
Split council for Dangriga
The only municipality with a split council was in Dangriga. UDP Mayor Francis Humphreys was re elected along with 5 UDP Councillors: Earth Lopez, Chery Molina, Aaron Gamboa, Alexander Joseph, and Gary Francisco. The only UDP candidate in Dangriga who did not make it was Yadira Diego.
UDP confident of 4th consecutive win come General Elections
As we have said, the UDP have won the majority of the seats for these municipal elections, however, the loss in Belize City ha been particularly stinging. Even so, at today’s post election press briefing, the UDP Party Leader says that they are confident that come the next General Election, they will win a fourth consecutive term in office.
Teen arrested in connection to car used in murder of 4 year old
A teen suspected to be involved in the murder of 4 year old TreyShawn is in Police custody today. Police reports are that on the evening before the fatal shooting, 18 year old John Edwards Linarez Jr. took a black Toyota belonging to Jose Ayala, without his permission. The Toyota is allegedly the ...
Two men shot on eve of elections
There was a shooting incident on the eve of elections. It happened at around 8:20 p.m., on Tuesday March 6 in Belize City. 27 year old Car dealer Kadeem Myers, was shot to the leg, while 49 year old Jerilin Flowers, aBelizean Teacher , was shot to the left foot. According to police reports, Myers,...
Contracts signed for works on George Price Highway
The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, has signed two contracts to carry out rehabilitation works on the George Price Highway between the City of Belmopan and Blackman Eddy Village. These works entail the construction of a new bridge in Roaring Creek and rehabilitation works along...
International Women’s Day 2018
Today, March 8th, is being observed as International Women’s Day. Kim Simplis Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and children, issued a video statement in commemoration of the day. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children: It is a time of women empowerment but it is also a time of ...
Four year old shot to the head; dead
A four year old child was shot to the head in Belize City last night. Sometime around 7:30 p.m., 24 year old Ian Abraham Jr. and a family member were fixing a car in front of their residence on Nurse Finley Crescent. A car approached and several shots were fired. Abraham was shot to the back while ...
Leader of Opposition says Crime rate is a national crisis
Leader of the Opposition John Briceno also spoke today on the recent killings at a press briefing held today. Leader of the Opposition John Briceno Our peaceful way of life as a society is under constant attack the violence and despicable attack even against our innocent children is symptomatic of ...
Catholics no longer appealing Section 53; will GOB back down?
The Catholic Church in Belize has withdrawn itself from the appeal of the decriminalization of Homosexuality; Section 53 case. Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled that section 53 was unconstitutional. The Government of Belize filed an appeal after pressure from the public while the Catholic Church remain...
Opposition Leader discusses Montero family’s questionable compensations
As we told you earlier in our newscast, the Leader of the Opposition called a press briefing to address certain issues including that of crime. Hon. John Briceno said that tomorrow’s municipal election is a referendum on national issues and besides crime, the issue of corruption is also of importanc...
Attempted Murder Case Dismissed, Man Walks Free
The attempted murder case of 30 year old Mason Pattnet was dismissed today in the Supreme Court. Patnet is a free man tonight because the prosecution lacked evidence to prove their case against him. The Victim, 21 year old Marvin Bul went missing in 2014, 2 years after he pressed charges against Pat...
Toni Pasos wants lesser sentence for stabbing man 50 times
32 Year old Toni Pasos, a laborer of Orange Walk Town, who was sentenced to 17 years for Man Slaughter, in 2016, appeared before the Court of Appeal yesterday to appeal for a lesser sentence. Pasos conviction was for the killing of 51 year old Miguel “Chino” Medina, a resident of Orange ...
Bus loads of Belizeans from Salvador coming in for election
This morning PusNews was alerted to the presence of a convoy of Buses at the border. With just one day before municipal elections in Belize, such arrival at the western border was sure to raise eyebrows. A concerned individual who was at the border submitted this photograph of the 5 buses bearing Sa...
The People have decided UDP 6 municipalities, PUP 3
The voters across the country in all municipalities came out on Wednesday March 7 to decide who it is that will lead them for the next 3 years. After much consternation the results began to come in early and it was evident that the UDP would not be able to maintain the dominance which it had. Corozal was among the first municipalities where it was clear that the PUP would claim a victory. And they did so by a margin of just over 200 votes.
And while the UDP now control 6 municipalities, in all those where we were unsuccessful, the split votes played a major role in how the votes ended up.
Twenty-five students of Escuela Secundaria Mexico receive scholarships
The visit of Undersecretary, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba Gongora, and Executive Director of AMEXCID, Agustín García-López Loaeza, saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, AMEXICD.
In this MOU, 25 needy students of Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico, in Corozal, received half-scholarships to the school. In this part of the morning’s event, Ambassador Carlos Quesnel, Ambassador Patrick Jones, Deborah Domingo, CEO, Ministry of Education, and Carlos Castillo, Principal of Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico, sat at the head table which was surrounded by the recipients of the half-scholarships.
Baby beaten to death
Amidst the public outrage and fiery protests, Police have arrested and charged 21 year-old Everal Martinez with attempted rape and attempted assault. The victim who he is charged in connection with is 17 month-old Alyssa Nunez, an infant from Maskall Village, who suffered sexual and physical abuse, and who passed away at the KHMH after spending several days in a critical condition.
Baby Alyssa passed away on Sunday, March 3, at around 3:40 a.m., after suffering on life support for about 4 days. A post-mortem has certified that she died from “massive brain hemorrhage, due to head trauma”. The doctors also found signs of sexual abuse as well.
Catholic church withdraws from case against UNIBAM
The Roman Catholic Church has decided that it will no longer participate in the appeal of the Section 53 Judgment, which makes anal sex between consenting adults legal. That ensures that the August 2016 decision from Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is now final, and binding. The Anglican Church, which was an original interested party in the Supreme Court case, informed the nation very early that they would not be participating in the appeal. The National Evangelical Association of Belize was not able to join the litigation because they were not a party to the original case. So, all the religious organizations were throwing their support behind the Roman Catholic Church, which indicated that they would take up the Government’s offer to appeal the entire judgment.
Belize and Mexico discuss Disaster and Risk Analysis and Management
Minister of National Emergency Management, Hon. Edmond Castro, met with a delegation headed by the Director of Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED), Doctor Carlos Miguel Valdes in Belmopan on Friday, March 2, 2018. The meeting saw the discussion of Training, Data Sharing, and Regional Collaboration in Disaster and Risk Analysis and Management.
Hon. Edmond Castro was accompanied by Belize’s National Emergency Coordinator (NEC) retired Colonel Shelton Defour. Col. Defour held discussions with a technical team accompanying Dr. Valdes.
Ministry of Defence Hosts First WPS Policy Development Workshop in Belize
The Ministry of Defence has hosted the first ever Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Policy Development Workshop in Belize. The event took place from February 27, 2018 to March 2, 2018 at the Belize Coast Guard Headquarters at Mile 4 ½ George Price Highway.
The main objective of the workshop was to lay the groundwork as to how the Government of Belize can increase women’s participation in efforts to promote security, maintain peace, and prevent conflict. This is in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and in support of Belize’s national security goals (National Security and Defence Strategy 2017-2020).
Major environmental symposium held in Belmopan
The University of Belize hosted the 11th annual Natural Resources Management and Research symposium on Thursday and Friday of last week, inside it’s Jaguar auditorium. The resounding theme for this year is making scientific data available to managers.
In keeping with the theme, March 1st, started off with a keynote talk by Dr. Elma Kay from the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute. Her talk related to bridging the gap between science and management in a small country like Belize. Also during the first day, highlighted were charismatic species and their current threats, so too were marine conservation projects and initiatives.
Mexico Sports Center at Marion Jones
In continuation with our good standing and cordial relationship with Mexico, Mexican representatives arrived in Belize on Friday, March 2, 2018 to meet with Belizean government officials.
During the visit, the delegation witnessed the presentation of the final project of the “Pavilion Mexico” Sports Centre within the Marion Jones Sports Stadium, just one part of a USD $5 million-dollar project which will be drawn from the Yucatan Fund. Executive Director of AMEXCID, Agustín García-López Loaeza, spoke to those in attendance saying, “The Yucatan Fund for infrastructure has been working for bilateral cooperation and we were able to come here thanks to one of the first projects in 2012, the road that allows the Chactemal Bridge between the two countries to function.
New Justice of the Court of Appeal Sworn In
Justice Lennox Kirkwood Campbell was sworn in as a new Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal on Monday, March 5, 2018. He was sworn in by the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in the Belmopan.
Justice Campbell, who is a 72-year-old Jamaican national, is a retired Supreme Court Judge with a long and distinguished legal career. His legal service includes criminal practice (1975-1983), Resident Magistrate in the Parishes of Portland and St. Andrew in Jamaica; Judge of Family Court and Traffic Court; Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Crown Counsel and Assistant Crown Counsel.
The Belize Police Department working with partners in development
Any efficient deployment of human and other assets to fulfill the security needs of the Belizean citizenry across Belize requires a particular skill set and a desire to work collaboratively with as many partners in development as possible. In this regard, Belize’s Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has recently expressed a willingness to continue to work in partnership with the community for a safer Belize.
Currently, the Belize Police Department is working productively with the United States Embassy via the Central American Regional Security Initiative, security counterparts in Mexico, the International Criminal Police Organization INTERPOL and other partners to execute its work plan.
Police Officers awarded in Belmopan
The time to recognize our police officers and community members for their great security efforts is now. In the Belmopan Police Jurisdiction that was precisely done as several persons were awarded on Thursday of last week at the popular Scotchies Restaurant.
Thus; in Belmopan the Police and Community working in partnership for a better Belize has gathered a new tone. Police officer Javier Alvarez (number 743 ) was recognized for being the Officer of the Month For January 2018 and Police officer Durham Gonzalez (number 1468) for February 2018.
Rehabilitation of Portion of the George Price Highway
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Works has recently signed two contracts to carry out rehabilitation works on the George Price Highway. These works will be carried out between Belmopan City and Blackman Eddy. The works entail the construction of a new bridge in Roaring Creek as well as rehabilitation works along the route which includes the replacement of culverts, construction of new drains, paving, signage, and earthworks. The estimated duration of works in this area is 3 months.
Youth RISE Provides Partner Agencies with Computers for Literacy and Life Skills Training
The Youth Resilience and Inclusive Social Empowerment (Youth RISE) Project has provided a total of 53 desktop computers to four partner agencies in the Stann Creek and Cayo districts. The equipment will be used to strengthen the competence of the agencies as it pertains to providing more effective literacy and numeracy training sessions to youths.
Delille Academy in Dangriga has received 15 desktops; St. Ignatius High School in San Elena received 20, Cornerstone Foundation Belize in San Ignacio received 10, while the Department of Youth Services in Santa Elena received 8.
Another case of attempted murder stalled
Another case of nolle prosequi occurred in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas at the Supreme Court. This time, Mason Patnett, a 30-year-old who has been behind bars for some time serving a prison term, got the news that he is now a free man.
Patnett along with Raheem Crawford, now deceased after being gunned down in August 2014, were charged in connection with the attempted murder of 21-year-old Marvin Bul, who remains missing since 2014. Bul was shot and injured on December 1, 2012 in the Ladyville area. It is alleged that Patnett instigated the late Crawford to shoot Bul over an old dispute.
Jermaine Carr killed and 1 year old baby shot in the foot
Gregory Mena, a 1 year-old baby, continues to recover at the KHMH, after getting shot at his Belize City home during the street assassination of 32 year-old Jermaine Alexander Carr, the father of his older sister. His family, which includes women, and other innocent children, could have been injured in that frightening attack.
The incident happened just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday February 28, at the yard located at #96 Neal Penn Road in Belize City. That’s where an extended family lives together in 3 separate houses in the same yard. The family told the press that Jermaine Carr was there to visit his 12 year-old daughter, like he always did, every night after work. They say that both father and daughter looked forward to these nightly visits when they would socialize and enjoy each other’s company.
Brothers on remand for use of deadly means of harm
On Sunday, February 25, 2018, police responded to a shooting incident at mile 7 ½ on the George Price Highway. Two men were heading to Belize City when a white car approached them from the opposite direction and opened fire on them both.
The men that were travelling on the motorcycle were Darnell Domingo, an 18-year-old student of Western Paradise, and Francis Parham, a 29-year-old. Parham received three gunshot wounds.
Robbery at Golden Bay
At 5:55 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, police visited Golden Bay Limited at No.1169 Marine Parade where they spoke to, Rong Xiao, a 27-year-old naturalized Belizean businesswoman of a Belize City address. Xiao reported that about 5:50 p.m. that evening while arriving at Golden Bay, she was walking with three co-workers when a male person approached her. That man drew a black pistol and hit her to the left side of the head which caused a cut wound.
Nicoli Rhys shot on Prince Street and Aaron Avilez shot in retaliation
At 6:40 p.m., on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, police visited the K.H.M.H where they observed Nicholi Rhys, a 26-year-old unemployed Belizean of a Belize City address, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the top of his head. Initial investigations revealed that earlier that night while Rhys was walking at the corner of Prince Street and East Canal, he heard several gunshots and later discovered that he was shot.