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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
Prime Minister Barrow to Remain in Office Until 2020
Cabinet at its meeting, November 27th, discussed the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) current trajectory heading towards the 2020 general elections.
Ministers expressed great satisfaction at the evidence of support for the UDP, as measured by the large voter turnout at the UDP contested standard bearer conventions taking place every weekend since November 4th. Cabinet took note of the fact that these contests have been as fierce as the turnouts have been huge. In that context, Cabinet felt that once the standard bearer conventions conclude in mid-December, there should be a break in the remaining convention schedule to allow for healing and an organizational reset to take place at the individual constituency level.
Regular Gasoline drops to the lowest price of the year
Following a number of increases in 2018, the price for regular gasoline has dropped to its lowest figure of the year. The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) informed that effective Friday, November 23rd, regular gasoline went down from $10.63 to $9.95. While this price will be reflected only on mainland pumps, the price for fuel here in San Pedro will see a slight reduction as well.
While the price for regular gasoline went down, other fuels saw an increase. Premium gasoline went up from $11.49 to $11.50, Diesel went up from $11.15 $11.16, and Kerosene went up from $8.69 to $8.70. The one-cent increase in these prices are the smallest increases recorded in the entire year. This last price change is fuel in the 25th adjustment observed for 2018.
GOB introduces an amendment to block tax refunds for tour operators
To ensure the Government of Belize (GOB) has enough funds to cover their bills, Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented a bill to the House of Representative to amend the General Sales Tax (GST) Act. The amendment would see local tour operators not being able to collect their tax refunds as dictated by the law. The tourism sector is one of the single largest contributors of GST, and the petitioned amendment could result in financial issues for many businesses. Barrow introduced the bill under the grounds that tour operators are “invalidly collecting” tax refunds. According to Barrow, the amendment is needed to prevent issues such as the recent Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruling between Cruise Solutions and Discovery Expeditions and the Commissioner of GST.
3rd Belize International YOGA Festival to be held in Belize City
On Saturday, December 1st the 3rd Annual Belize International YOGA Festival will be held in Harbour View Greens, Belize City. The Belize International Yoga Festival (BIYF) is a non-alcoholic, family-friendly annual event bringing together yoga practitioners from all over Belize and beyond introducing the relaxation, reflection and healthful benefits of yoga and holistic healing practices to the wider Belizean community. The festival will include over 30 free yoga classes ranging in health workshops and lectures, kids’ classes, yoga nidras, kundalini and breath work classes, and guided meditation. Healing therapies and massages, henna tattoos, jewelry, artwork and great eats will also be on sale at the festival.
San Pedro Belize Express begins to pay for using Municipal Dock
After over a year without paying docking fees to The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), water taxi company, San Pedro Belize Express has reportedly started paying for the usage of the municipal dock. The company had relocated following Hurricane Earl in August of 2016 but was not paying anything to use the public pier. Mayor Daniel Guerrero confirmed that after much pressure, as of May of 2018, the water taxi carrier began paying a flat monthly fee of $2,000. However, Area Representative Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. is at odds with the SPTC, as he claims that the facility is being used by a small sailing boat called ‘La Gaviota,’ whose owner is not paying any fees. This is the alleged reason why the water taxi company had not been paying for the past months, as Heredia reportedly instructed them not to do so until the SPTC began charging the owner La Gaviota for using the said docking facility.
Will Coconut Drive Become A One Way Street?
For weeks now, mysterious covered signs along Coconut Drive have San Pedro Town residents speculating what said signs will indicate. At a couple intersections residents have gone as far as creating tares in the plastic bags covering them. Exposed sign at the intersection where Island City Supermarket is located, on Coconut Drive, says “Do Not Enter” indicating that Coconut Drive would be made one way with traffic flowing south to north. Remaining covered signs would suggest the this would start at the Caribeña Fuels south gas station on Blake Street.
Queen Elizabeth Commends Belize On Progress On Tackling Blindness In Diabetics
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust commends progress achieved in Belize to tackle blindness caused by diabetes The Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (the Trust), Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, met with the Government of Belize and leading eye health experts on Mnday, November 26, 2018, to thank and commend them for their efforts to prevent blindness caused by escalating rates of diabetes across Belize.
Misc Belizean Sources
Closing of 2018 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season
Friday 30th November marks the closing of the 2018 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was forecasted to be normal to slightly above normal in the Atlantic Basin (North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico) this year. The season turned out to be above normal, but more specifically above normal in the North Atlantic and normal over the other areas of the basin. A total of fifteen named storms and one tropical depression formed. Of these fifteen named storms, eight (8) became hurricanes and two (2) reached major hurricane status - category three (3) or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Jenelli Fraser- Ms.Universe Belize 2018
I trust my new journey. Pray for me! Here I go...
Nassau Grouper Is Now Critically Endangered
The Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) is now a critically-endangered species. That’s according to a new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN.
This means that populations, including spawning aggregations, have declined by more 80% over three generations (1980-2018), for Nassau grouper fish, which live approximately 16 years. Nassau grouper now face an extremely high risk of extinction.
The main threats, according to IUCN, are over-fishing due to heavy fishing on spawning aggregations; and loss of quality coral reef habitat.
SOFT LAUNCH - MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION & LICENSE SYSTEM
“A project whose tremendous benefits could never be overstated, and which represents yet another great example of what can be achieved through the deepening relations and cooperation between our two countries”. That is how CEO in the Ministry of Transport, Ruth Meighan, described the Belize Motor Vehicle Registration and License System executed in partnership with the Government of Taiwan.
Elaborating on the benefits of the project whose first phase is nearing completion, CEO Meighan explained, “This first phase enables Department of Transport branches countrywide to share information in real time, and to apply standards that have been reviewed and updated in our laws. By the time the project is fully rolled out, other objectives that will be achieved include, interconnectivity with other supporting agencies (public and private)..."
Mrs.Kim Simplis Barrow in Chile
Mrs.Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, is currently in Chile alongside Sole Meighan, President of the Children’s Advisory Body in Belmopan and youngest youth ambassador attending the conference, Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean , Sandra Granger, First Lady of Guyana, Henrietta Ford, Executive Director at UNICEF, Dr. Carla Barnett, Senator of Belize, Maria Cristina Perceval, Regional Director for Latin America and Caribbean UNICEF and Jared Cain, also a youth delegate of Belize. The Regional Dialogue is themed “On the Road to Equality”: 30 Years of the Convention of the Rights of a Child.
IV Meeting of the Belize – Guatemala Joint Commission
Office of the OAS in the Adjacency Zone. November 29, 2018. The IV meeting of the Guatemala-Belize Joint Commission was held on Wednesday, November 28th in the Office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Adjacency Zone. The meeting was headed by the Commissioners of both countries, the Ambassador of Belize in Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado and the Ambassador of Guatemala in Belize, H.E. Georges de La Roche. The Commissioners were accompanied by Mr. Manuel Washington Abdala, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the -OEA- for Guatemala-Belize matters.
This meeting focused on the implementation of the Agreement between both countries for the Protection of the Environment and Sustainable Use of Resources that was signed in December 2014, and it included participants at the technical and official level of relevant ministries and departments of government from both countries.
Belize Among National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019
Belize’s growing popularity as one of the best vacation destinations in the world and the recent efforts to protect Belize’s Barrier Reef System has won the country an important accolade from National Geographic, which has placed Belize among is Best Trips 2019 list. In making the announcement National Geographic praised Belize for making big waves in marine conservation. “In June 2018 the Belize Barrier Reef System, which Charles Darwin deemed “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies,” was removed from the UNESCO World Heritage site danger list.
Twin Town Annual Tree Lighting ceremony
It's the Twin Town Annual Tree Lighting ceremony on December 7th, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. Don't Miss it!
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Belize Attends 52nd Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Parliamentary Assembly
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Laura Tucker Longsworth, is in Cotonou, Benin, attending the 52nd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the 36th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which is being held from the 28th November to the 5th December 2018.
The Honourable Madam Speaker attended the meeting of the ACP Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment which was held today, 29th November. At the meeting, participants reviewed and discussed proposed amendments to the Committee’s Draft Report on Combatting the Destabilizing Effects of Wildlife Trafficking in ACP countries and the Draft Report on Reducing the Global Number of Out-of-School Children, Adolescents and Youth in ACP countries.
Training for Trainers: On Child Labour for Labour Inspectors
The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development has been collaborating with the United States Department of Labour-Funded Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labour II Project (CLEAR II), implemented by Winrock International, Verité and Lawyers Without Borders, to strengthen systems to address child labour.
As a part of these efforts, a Curriculum for Labour Inspectors was developed, and a Training of Trainers Workshop was held from the 26th – 29th of November, 2018 at the Ramada Princess Belize. The training was designed to train labour inspectors and officers of the Immigration, Education, Police, and Human Services Departments, and the Social Security Board which are responsible for monitoring and enforcement of child labour law. It was also to introduce these individuals to the methodology and content of the curriculum and allow them to practice delivering lessons and leading exercises.
Office of the Auditor General receives training with IDB support to enhance service delivery
As part of its support to strengthen public financial management systems in Belize, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Office of the Auditor General partnered to host a three-day training course on new and innovative methods for effective communication and report writing for enhanced service delivery.
The course, which was held from November 26 to 28 in Belmopan, was facilitated by communications expert, Ms. Sarah MacFayden of the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation and attended by 23 staff members of the Office of the Auditor General.
The course is expected to enhance the communication skills of the staff and to improve the performance of the Office of the Auditor General in conducting its oversight of public spending.
Belize Police Department Receives Donation of Bullet Proof Vests
he Belize Police Department is the proud recipient of 500 intact pre-owned bullet proof (ballistic) vests that were generously donated by the Miami-Dade Police Department under the leadership of Chief Juan Pérez. The handing over ceremony took place today, November 29th at the Eastern Division Region One Headquarters in Belize City.
This donation is a result of the collaboration between the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police of which the Belize Police Department is a member. This is the second donation of vests made to the Belize Police Department through this partnership. In 2017, 200 bullet proof vests were received and distributed to police officers countrywide.
Statement on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
The Government of Belize today joins in the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
On this day, Belize reiterates its support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people who struggle daily to maintain their dignity in the face of violence, lack of access to basic services, and denial of their fundamental human rights, including the right to free movement. The Government of Belize remains concerned about the incremental and steady loss of Palestinian territory in contravention of United Nations resolutions including Resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine, which was adopted on November 29, 1947.
FREE LEGAL ADVISE AND ASSISTANCE
Do you need FREE legal advise and assistance in one of the following?
* Criminal Law
* Family Law
* Immigration Law
* Labor Law
* Domestic Violence
* Landlord and Tenant
The Bar Association of Belize will be providing a FREE legal clinic in Corozal Town on December 15, 2018 at the Magistrate Court.
65 Hospitality professionals from various properties receive certifications
CONGRATULATIONS! 65 Hospitality professionals from various properties received certifications from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI).
This past week the Hospitality Training Services of Belize had a visit from Carlo Novelo, Vice President of international sales at AHLEI. Mr. Novelo was here to participate in our first certification ceremony in which 125 Belizeans received professional certifications from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute in various fields.
Their first day started on Sunday 25th November in San Pedro at Banyan Bay Suites where 26 staff members were certified as guest service professionals.
BHA Biannual Meeting
Join us on Friday, December 7, 2018 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel for our Biannual Meeting in partnership with Travalliance Media, where you can hear what the Association has been doing for you for the past few months. Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Mrs. Stacy Cox will be discussing Best Practices and Tourism Trends in the Caribbean Region. Morning seminar to be hosted by Travalliance Media, talking about new marketing strategies that can improve the way you do business. Call us at 223-0669 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your attendance.
"The morning started with an emergency delivery by the rangers of the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD) - these guys are super-committed in ensuring the viability of the marine life of the Corozal Bay seascape...and work in partnership with the fishers to keep wildlife safe.
This turtle, weighing in at about 200 lbs, was rescued by one of the Sarteneja beach trap fishers. Seeing it had injuries, he brought it to SACD, who then brought it to Wildtracks. We are now working with Hol Chan Marine Reserve to seek the best solution for this amazing reptile.
It is collaborations and partnerships like these that make wildlife conservation in Belize work."
Corozal Tree Lighting Ceremony
The show must go on. Everyone is invited to join our Corozal Community for the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Corozal Central Park on Saturday, December 8th at 7:00 P.M. Merry Christmas!
Placencia Power Outage next Tuesday
Power outage scheduled for 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 midday on Tuesday, December 4 to affect entire Placencia Village and Malacate area of Independence Village. BEL to replace utility poles on Malacate Beach and repair hotspots in the area.
Cayo Christmas Tree Lighting 2018
The SISE Town Council is having the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony next Friday, December 7th, at 6:30pm, at the Cayo Welcome Center.
"Twin Town residents you are all invited to our Annual Tree Lighting ceremony on December 7th, 2018 at 6:30 p.m."
ICJ Lecture Series in Benque
Want to know more about the ICJ and upcoming referendum?
Come out to hear presentations by Assad Shoman, the Belize Peace Movements and others at the Mount Carmel Auditorium in Benque Viejo Del Carmen
Everyone is invited!
How does the ICJ dispute affect Belize?
The longer the dispute continues, the more problems it will cause. The image shows how population growth in Guatemala, transnational crime and developmental pressures have led to deforestation in Peten and is already affecting Belize. Fully demarcated borders and better cooperation with our neighbor can help alleviate these harmful trends.
Paradise Theater playing this weekend
The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Venom, The Predator, The Nun
Cops Charge Man for Marta Gonzalez Murder
Police have cracked the Marta Gonzalez murder case. They have arrested and charged 21 year old Christopher Bradley. Police picked him up in Pomona and according to the family, Bradley was actually at the house on Tuesday when the police arrived to search for Gonzalez’s body. But he left for work shortly after. When we spoke to Gonzalez’s son in law today, he said he can’t say for sure if Bradley owed her and was just trying to get out of the debt by killing her or if he just wanted to rob her. Based on his information Bradley is known to be violent in the village and has gotten off previous assault charges. Today at the press briefing the police told us it is a case of robbery turn murder. Here is more.
Montenegro’s Want Closure for Loved One Nerry
The family of Nerry Montenegro is desperate. They want to know if the body that was found in the New River near the Orange Walk bypass is his. But there are no concrete answers at this point because the post mortem is inconclusive. We will get to the police report on this case but first, to Montenegro’s mother. Our colleagues at CTV-3 went to speak to her at the family’s August Pine Ridge home. She says she reported him missing on Monday and since then she hasn’t heard anything from him. The family just wants closure.
Police Still Can’t Confirm Identity of Orange Walk Body
As we told you, the post mortem could not reveal the cause of death because of the advanced state of decomposition. The only detail they could get from the examination was that the man died 4 days ago. Here is more from police.
ACP Joseph Myvett - Head, NCIB:
"Orange Walk police responded to information of a body floating in the New River. As a result they were able to secure a boat where an area was visited 1.8 kilometers northeast of the Orange Walk bypass bridge where upon arrival the body of a Hispanic male was seen floating as a result, the body was moved to the side of the river where it was observed that it was missing both arms as well as the face was severely disfigured as well as the abdomen..."
BPO Bus Burnt up on Highway
About 45 Transparent BPO employees are fortunate to be alive after their bus burst into flames on the way to work. It happened around 6:45 this morning between miles 8 and 9 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Courtney Weatherburne was on the scene. Here is her story.
A routine trip to work turned into a ride to hell when this Transparent BPO bus caught on fire.
Insp. Wilfredo Ferrufino - CIB Investigator:
"Ladyville police responded to a bus fire between 8 and 9 miles on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Upon arrival they discovered a bus that is owned by Transparent BPO on fire."
According to the bus driver, Branson Rhaburn, he was heading to Belize City from Orange Walk. It was a smooth ride until he picked up a passenger at this Ladyville bus stop.
Donald Trump Sends Stern Message to Belize on Human Trafficking Laws
Belize continues to be ranked as a tier three human trafficking nation by the US, and US President Donald Trump sent a powerful and angry message to the Barrow Administration today: no more non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance to Belize until it makes what the US deems to be significant efforts to comply with US Trafficking in Persons regulations.
The decision is contained in a Memorandum for the Secretary of State from President Donald Trump. It is dated today and is posted on the White House website.
The decision also targets 16 other countries, and the list includes only 3 countries in the America’s: Belize, Bolivia, and Venezuela.
Prison CEO Gives his Side of the Story in Lawsuit Case
Earlier this week, we told you about the start of lawsuit that Orel Leslie has brought against the Belize Central Prison. He’s suing the prison authorities for alleged ill-treatment, which he says he was subjected to for several months while he was remand, awaiting his retrial for murder.
As we told you, it’s the first case in Belize where a former inmate is suing the management of the country’s prison for inhumane treatment and a violation of his constitutional rights. Earlier in the week, he took the stand to give details of about this alleged ill-treatment.
Well today, it was Virgilio Murrillo, the Prison CEO, who took the stand as one of the main witnesses for the defense. In his evidence, he provided the court with the prison’s account of several incidents that Leslie has brought up as proof of this poor treatment.
Court Clerk Walks off Theft Charge
A 30 year old first class court clerk is free from a theft charge tonight. He is Sean Lord and he was accused of stealing $2,010 dollars from his workplace, the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. The money Lord allegedly stole was said to have been paid to the court by two immigrants convicted of illegal entry. They were ordered to pay their fines immediately. Lord was tried in Belmopan. But Senior Magistrate Merlene Moody upheld a submission from his attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley who convinced her that the prosecution failed to prove the case.
Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Attorney for Sean Lord:
"There are two Government receipt books for which cashiers collect money. One day at the end of that day, that receipt book and all the monies collected are paid into the treasury department, which is done all over the country. When the treasury is using that book..."
Police Shoot Rowdy ‘Griga Resident to Subdue Him
Dangriga police had to shoot a man in leg to get him to simmer down. The incident happened on Tuesday night. Police told us more.
ACP Joseph Myvett - Head, NCIB
"Dangriga police responded to a disturbance at a Chinese store where upon arrival one Nelson Jackson was observed behaving boisterously and as a result he was approached by officers in order to calm him down and remove him from the area but he kept on behaving in that fashion and at some point during his confrontation with the officers, he made a motion to go towards his pants waist with his right hand and as a result an officer took out his service firearm and fired one shot which caught him on his right upper leg. He is admitted at the Southern Regional hospital in a stable condition."
No Leads in 8 Miles Shooting Investigation
Police say they don’t know what to make of the back to back shootings at the couples 8 miles home. As we have reported, 48 year-old Vilma Robinson and 38 year-old Erick McLarly were asleep when a gunman or gunmen came to shoot up their house two nights in a row. Police say they have no leads in this case.
Insp. Wilfredo Ferrufino - CIB Investigator:
"We did receive information that there was another shooting the following day if I'm not mistaken in regard to 8 miles. No one has come forward to make an official report, police did look into the area however like I said, there was no one who made an official report, however police have stepped up their patrols in the area and that area will be looked at closely."
Maniac Husband Charged for Knocking Down Wife and Relatives
A man has been charged for knocking down his wife and her relatives in Belmopan. He is 32 year old Darrell Usher. He has been charged with 5 counts of attempted murder, 5 counts of use deadly means of harm, 5 counts of aggravated assault, 2 counts of grievous harm, 2 counts of harm and 1 count of wounding. He was arraigned before the court and was remanded until February 15th, 2019.
As we reported on Tuesday, Darrell Usher and his common law wife Yessica Sagastume had a dispute. Sagastume left their Kiskadee Avenue home with relatives en route to her parents’ Maya Mopan house. That is when Usher came and rammed into them with his vehicle. Police told us more.
Protected Police Protect the Streets
And before we could get to all those police stories, the police held a short briefing about a special donation they got from their counterparts, The Miami-Dade police department. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie told us about the 500 bullet proof vests they got.
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police:
"We have been the beneficiaries of a very large donation of exactly 500 bulletproof vests for the Belize police department which was donated to us by the Miami Dade police department through Chief Perez as well as through the initiative of the association of Caribbean commissioners of police and in particular the secretariat manager, Ms. Manning..."
Giving Cops a Break with Drugstore Deals and Discounts
And in more police news, in April, we showed you how Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett, the commander of Eastern Division Region 1 managed to convince UNO to give police officers a discount on fuel for police officers countrywide.
He’s trying to incentivize them to step-up their performance in the service of the general public, well today, he signed a 1-year agreement with representatives of the Central Drug Store. This agreement includes 10% off general purchases, 10% off medications, $5 off all prescription refills costing less than $50, and $7.50 off all prescription refill purchases costing more than $50. Also, the cops get access to free delivery available to both the Queen Street and the Raccoon Street Police Stations.
No Storm Scares for this Hurricane Season
Tomorrow, November 30th, marks the close of the 2018 Atlantic Basin Hurricane season, and thankfully, Belize was spared of hurricane activity.
The authorities say that the 2018 season was forecasted to have between normal, and slight above normal storm activity. For the most part, that forecast was fairly accurate with the above-normal activity taking place in North Atlantic.
There were a total of 15 named storms and 1 tropical depression. Of the 15 named storms, 8 became hurricanes, and 2 reached strengths of major hurricanes. The strongest storms this seasons were Hurricanes Florence with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, and Hurricane Michael, which had maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour.
Leiden Law Professors on Belize-Guatemala Dispute
The media’s visit to The Hague continued today with a visit to two experts in international law. They are professors at Leiden University in the Netherlands - and spoke as academics and scholars who have no vested interest in the outcome. They had some interesting perspectives on the Belize Case. Jules Vasquez has the story:
Leiden - where they are both professors - is one of the top universities in Europe and is over 500 years old.
ICJ Ruling Could Help with Sarstoon Confrontations
One other issue which we discussed with the Professors was their opinion on whether Guatemala had annexed the Sarstoon. It’s been three years since the Guatemalan military has been behaving aggressively on the river that forms the southern boundary between the two countries. And by aggressively we mean using the Belize sider of the river, and menacing - even detaining - Belizeans or the BDF when they traverse the Sarstoon.
The professors wouldn’t call it annexation - per se - but said that it is a situation where going to the ICJ could help:…
It’s all about the Environment: Joint Commission Meet at OAS Office
So while the Belizean media is on an intense ICJ crash course in The Hague, here in Belize, discussions on other matters related to Belize and Guatemala were held. Yesterday top diplomats met at the O.A.S. office in the adjacency zone. This was for the fourth regular meeting of the Joint Commission on Belize-Guatemala. They discussed environmental issues; specifically, implementing the bilateral agreement on protection of the environment and sustainable use of resources signed almost four years ago. With help from each country’s top technical and official representatives, they hammered out plans to combat forest fires; explore the possibility of a bi-national technical mechanism for the monitoring of water quality...
Cayo Gets Fancy Multipurpose Center
San Ignacio Town is getting a $1.6 million dollar multi-purpose community center. This is through a partnership between the Governments of Italy and Belize and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center. It will be designed to incorporate renewable energy in order to stay in operation during a hurricane or other disasters. It also incorporates an independently powered hybrid grid-connected PV renewable energy system; a rainwater storage system; and an emergency communication system. Groundbreaking took place on Wednesday in the Twin Towns, where 5C’s executive director Dr. Kenrick Leslie spoke of the genesis of the project. We also hear from area representative and environment minister Dr. Omar Figueroa on the benefits to Cayo residents.
Keeping Auditors Accountable
The Office of the Auditor General, are the arbiters of government service and in recent years their reports have drawn much scrutiny and occasionally controversy. As part of its plans to strengthen effective communication between staff as well as outwardly to the public, a three-day training on effective communication and report writing was held in Belmopan, facilitated by communications expert, Ms. Sarah MacFayden of the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation. We hear from the trainer as well as senior staff of the office on what they learned.
Workshop to Tackle Child Labour
For the last 4 days, officials from several government agencies in Belize have been attending a workshop training on child labour.
The Government wants to ensure that the relevant public officers are better able to detect child labour in the workplace, and so, the Ministry of Labour sought the assistance of the United States Department of Labour.
American officials designed the workshop to prepare the Belizean officials to be able to train their colleagues in the curriculum from the US Department of Labour.
At the closing ceremony, we asked the Labour CEO to share more details on the initiative, and how it helps the participants to be better at their jobs:
House Speaker in West Africa for High Level Meeting
Right now, House Speaker Laura Tucker Longsworth is in Cotonou, Benin, where she is attending the 52nd Session of African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States’ Parliamentary Assembly, and the 36th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
These events started yesterday, and continues until December 5th. As part her trip, House Speaker Tucker attended the meeting of the ACP Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment, which was held today.