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Today's Belize News: January 11, 2020 #540010
01/11/20 06:57 AM
01/11/20 06:57 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 70,392
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Liquor License Board discusses license regulations

Blue Water Grill donates nearly $11K to Hope Haven
Hope Haven Children’s Home was the recipient of a monetary donation from Blue Water Grill (BWG) on Wednesday, January 8th. The donation, totalling $10,989.90, was collected from July through December in 2019 via the efforts of BWG and their sister companies, Wine de Vine, Red Ginger in Belize and The Phoenix Resort, including patron contributions. These funds will go towards the operating costs of the non-profit institution.

Anthony Coleman returns to Ambergris Caye with prosthetic arms
After losing both arms in a terrible electrical accident at a construction site in 2017, 15-year-old island student Anthony Coleman received the best Christmas gift of his life almost three years later; a pair of brand-new prosthetic arms. He underwent treatment at Shriners Hospital for Children in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, where he was successfully evaluated and equipped with his new arms. Coleman returned to San Pedro Town on Saturday, January 4th just in time to start classes at San Pedro High School.

20 Water Tanks donated to Caye Caulker
On Thursday, January 8th a short ceremony was held in Caye Caulker Village for the official handing over of 20 Rotoplas Water Tanks. The donation was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Belize Rural South (BRS) People’s United Party (PUP) Standard Bearer, Andre Perez, and the business community. The short ceremony saw the attendance of members of the BRS PUP Executive Committee, members of the Caye Caulker Village Council, local representatives of the Police Department, Fire Department and Polyclinic, as well as representative of three Caye Caulker schools.

Ambergris Today

Equal Opportunities Bill In Belize - Public Consultation
The National AIDS Commission, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and with multi-sectoral collaboration through the Anti-Discrimination Steering Committee will launch a series of public consultations starting Saturday, January 11th and ending on January 18th throughout Belize to discuss the Equal Opportunities Bill.

Various Belizean Sources


Caye Caulker Building Committee Coming Soon!
Yesterday, our Area Representative, Hon. Manuel Heredia and Mr. Noel Harvey, chairman of Central Building Authority held a meeting with Caye Caulker Village Council. The meeting was to discuss the adherence and enforcement of the building codes on Caye Caulker. The meeting ended with the decision of implementation of Caye Caulker's very own building committee in the very near future. The Caye Caulker Village Council express gratitude to our area representatives for coordinating the meeting.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Uncut Gems, Frozen II, Countdown, Bombshell. . *Saturday night we'll be hosting a New Years Live Symphany Orchestra With compositions by over 8 Musicians playing (but not limited) Piano, Violin, Double Bass, Cello etc. The show will start at 7pm.*

Museum of Belize digitizing Artifacts
Today IA personnel, Sigourney Allen, visited the Museum of Belize (NICH) to assist MOB staff in the digitization of artifacts to create a virtual tour for the museum to allow the museum to become more accessible.

Museum of Belize working on digitizing Artifacts
There's been a lot of exciting things going on at the Museum of Belize this week! Mrs. Sara Clark-Vivier and Mrs. Raven Bishop are joining us from Washington College in Maryland. Their mission is to assist the museum staff in creating a 360 virtual tour of the Museum of Belize. They are also assisting us in digitizing our collections! We have had so much fun learning and are abundantly grateful for their assistance. Special thanks to Dr. Eleanor Harrison-Buck for making this happen!

Manhunt for man who attacked kids
Kenrick Longsworth is wanted for attacking three step children which resulted in the death of death of a 3 year old. The incident occurred on Lovely Lane in Belize City. The allegation is that Longsworth sexually assaulted as well as bludgeoned at least one child with a hammer. The two other children remain hospitalized.

Groudhog Day Boat Poker Run
Boats! Poker Run! Beach Bars! Charity Fundraiser!

A Caye Caulker Resident Needs O-negative Blood
Caye Caulker Resident, Damien Alamina needs O-negative blood to stay alive. It's very scarce in Belize. Can you help him by donating?

See Belize Channel Listing
You can enjoy 24/7 access to our thrilling programming wherever you are in Belize! The guide below shows which channel you can turn to in order to enjoy nonstop, extraordinary Belizean content!

Belize Supports Mexico as CELAC PPT 2020-2021
he inauguration of Mexico’s Presidency Pro Tempore (PPT) of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeńos; CELAC) for the period 2020-2021 took place in Mexico City on 8th January with the participation of 29 Latin American and Caribbean states. During the ceremony, Mexico´s Foreign Secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, presented Mexico’s work plan which is designed to strengthen the region in several key technical cooperation areas. These include space and aeronautical cooperation, science & technology, tertiary-level education, bulk purchase of supplies, microbial resistance monitoring, and anti-corruption measures, among others.

Juice Co. Opens in Corozal
Brand New place to come visit in town. It's called the Juice Co. located on 7th Avenue e next to White's Deli. in Corozal. Today was their Grand opening, and, this morning, I got the opportunity to visit the place. Here are some pictures when I went this morning. Contact their page:

Corozal Foitball Association - First Division Amateur Semifinals Schedule for Sunday, January 12th, 2020
It all happens at the Carolina Football Field. Entrance fee $3.00

In all of these buildings and renovations, we took on another project that was not on our workplan as part of the Downtown Rejuvenation Project and that was to restore the Supreme Court Clock. Our Director, Mr. John Arana, thought that the project would not be complete if we did not get the historic Supreme Court clock working once again. It seems that when the clock ceased working many years ago, time had stopped in downtown and downtown went into a quandary, so to return downtown into the present and ready for the future and our destiny, It has become paramount that we get the clock working again, or else, we will be stucked in the past.

National Type Collection of Ancient Maya Ceramics
Today, it was also all about ceramics at the Institute of Archaeology. Dr. Laura Kosakowsky, a ceramicist with over 40 years of experience working in Belize has been revisiting the National Type Collection of Ancient Maya Ceramics. Today she sat down with Cherisse Ewens Halsall of Channel Seven Belize to share more about her work.

FCD Delivers Seedlings
Our team delivered over 350 seedlings to schools and farming families at Blue Creek, San Lucas and Otoxha! This is part of a Tree Planting Mission between Barefoot Children Ministries and the Nursery under the Ya’axché Institute for Conservation Education — the sustainable financing arm of Ya’axché. Up to date, over 1,000 seedlings — fruit and timber tree species — have been distributed to 6 communities in the Toledo District.

Yo' Sayab dance group of Yo Creek for Tecuani and the Duende movie at Orange walk town

Orange walk tecuani and the Duende movie
We had wonderful stories about the Tata Duende (Nukuch Tat) tonight . Three story tellers Mrs Carmen Carrillo , Felicita Cantun and Libertad Cal . Also Andy Chuc talking about the importance of the Nukuch Tat in the Maya Spirituality .

The prophecy of Ah Kuil Chel, the priest
When the end of the katun shall come, lord, ye shall not understand when it comes. Who shall believe it at the rolling up of the mat of the katun? The end shall come because of misery. It comes from the north, it comes from the west at that time when it shall be, lord. Who then shall be the priest, who then shall be the prophet who will declare truly the word of the book, lord, in Katun 9 Ahau? Books of Chilam Balam (Holy books of the Yucatec Maya)

Channel 7

Surprise Judgement: GOB Gets Off The Hook For UHS 95 Million
Tonight, the government is breathing a big sigh of relief after a surprise judgement from the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice today ruled that the court cannot force the Government to pay the 95 million dollars it owes the Ashcroft Alliance for Universal Health Services. We are told it was a preliminary ruling on whether Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow is in breach of his duty to pay the UHS debt. The CJ Kenneth Benjamin today ruled that he is not, because the National Assembly did not approve payment. The CJ agreed with government that only the Parliament could appropriate monies and, without that, he could not issue an order which would have forced the Minister of Finance to pay up.

Bar Will Boycott Supreme Court Opening
In other court news, the second Monday in January is reserved for the ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court - a day of proud judicial pageantry. But, this year, it will be more like the sound of one hand clapping - because the senior members of the Bar Association will boycott the ceremonial highlite of the judicial. calendar. What's behind it? Well, plenty. First, the Bar is suing the Chief Justice because he is keeping the bar president Cheryl Vidal, from taking up her seat on the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

CJ In an Storm Of Controversy, Will Gov't Renew Him?
So, the last few months of the Chief Justice's tenure is becoming contentious. He reaches the age of retirement in March, and both he and the Government will have to decide if his contract should be extended. Here's what the Attorney General had to say when we asked if there will be a renewal. Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney General: "We have to determine if the chief justice would even want to stay on. I can't assume that everybody is complete workaholic like myself..."

UDP Min To UDP Candidate: "Most Unfortunate"ť
Switching gears now to politics and government, the Minister of State for Immigration, Beverly Williams has lashed out at yesterday's immigration excitement at UDP hopeful Dianne Finnegan's divisional office in Lake Independence. In a statement to the press today, Williams said, quote, "I want to make it categorically clear that the Departments of Nationality & Immigration Services is not embarking on an Amnesty Program.

Opposition Blasts GOB For Politics and Immigration
But, the immigration scene in Lake-I has started a firestorm of public debate, and the PUP tried to fan those flames today. A press release says, quote, "The PUP denounces the shameful exploitation of these immigrants, many of whom have lived in Belize for years and call the Jewel their homeSuddenly immigrants, who have been unable to access the system for more than ten years, are now being pushed through the system, purely for political reasons."

Dauntless Dianne
And, we'd guess, that the person probably most unfazed by all this noise is Dianne Finnegan. She's used to courting controversy with her plain spoken comments - even if they mash a few political toes. In fact, yesterday, she may have done that to her own husband, Housing Minister Michael Finnegan. She spoke about the lessons learned on the campaign trail in Lake Independence, and discussed poor living conditions and the inadequate housing stock in the area:

Teen Charged For Placencia Murder
Last night we told you that a pair of brothers, one of them minor, was about to be charged for the heinous murder of 46-year-old Mexican property Manager Alejandro Guzman Cruz. Well, 19-year-old Deandre Guiffero has indeed been charged with murder while his 16 year old brother was charged with burglary for the incident.

Nevis Gets 20 Years For Murder
Nevis Betancourt made headlines in 2017 when he killed 37-year-old Jose Nunez Castellanos. At the time there were questions about whether he acted in self - defense. Nonetheless, he was charged for murder, and convicted for it in April of 2019. Today in Belmopan Supreme Court, Justice Antionette Moore sentenced Betancourt to serve 20 years in prison. In a sentencing hearing today, 5 character witnesses spoke on his behalf, and Justice Moore said she walked into the courtroom with one impression of the defendant and left with another.

No Bail For Alleged Cop Assaulting Cal Bros.
Last week we showed you the cellphone footage of a New Year's Day neighbourhood dispute in which PC Edgar Teul was viciously chopped. Police were in the area and responded immediately; they detained the men on the spot and, two days later four men including three brothers were charged for attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and aggravated assault.

AG Advises GOB on GST Vs. BTL
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte is preparing to advise the Financial Secretary on how government should proceed with BTL in a case involving 25 million dollars in taxes. The dispute surfaced in July when documents leaked indicating that the GST department had prepared an audit on BTL. The figures said that BTL owed 25 million in GST. Well, in today's edition of the Reporter Newspaper, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight is quoted as saying that the audit has been completed by the Belize Tax Service Department and, from their end, it shows that BTL does owe the money.

Mike P, Chairman Designate
And while Peyrefitte has to keep a fixed eye on the legal matters coming at the ship of state, he's got his other eye on political affairs. As we told you last night, Peyrefitte will ascend to the powerful post of UDP Party chairman unopposed. that;That's after his would be rival candidates, Dr. Carla Barnett and John Castillo both pulled out. But, is it all a hand set play, to see Peyrefitte ascend? Since he's recently emerged as a favorite of the Prime Minister. Today, he rejected that theory:

Peyrefitte Scolds John B
And keeping the conversation on politics, Briceno heaped more criticism on opposition leader John Briceno. As you heard one week ago, Briceno alleged in his New Year's message that he had credible evidence that high ranking officials in the UDP government were involved in the landing of drug planes.

Palmar Voter Vex
And, keeping it on politics, a couple in the village of San Jose Palmar says the PUP candidate for that area did them a low when he accused them of voter fraud on facebook. David and Pauline Brown went to register as Orange Walk East voters earlier this week.

Maya Ceramics Tell A Story
She's been studying Maya ceramics for four decades and in that time Dr Laura Kosakowsky has learned that the Maya could have set their famous calendar by the ceramics their civilization produced. Cherisse Halsall travelled to Belmopan today for a first-hand look at the ancient pots of the Maya. Laura Kosakowsky, Ceramicist : "This is an example of the earliest Maya pottery we find in Belize. It dates to somewhere probably between 1000 and maybe 600 B.C. and you can see it's a fairly simple bowl but It is also well made and well preserved in this case, it's been in the ground since 2000 years before it was found..."

An Unspeakable Crime
And, there is some very disturbing breaking news tonight. 7News has received initial information that a child is dead, and two others are seriously injured in the Lovely Lane area of Belize City. It appears to be a mass act of violence carried out three children within their home - possibly by the man of the house. At least two children have been rushed to the KHMH, and reports suggest their stepfather is wanted. We'll have more on this on Monday's news.

The AG and Equal Opportunity
During last night's news, we showed you what the National Aids Commission had to say about its draft piece of legislation called the Equal Opportunities Bill. The NAC has partnered with the Caribbean Partnership Against HIV & AIDS, the Human Dignity Trust, and the Special Envoy for Women and Children, to create the bill. It's an ambitious piece of draft legislation that seeks to provide protection against discrimination to minority groups with 19 different characteristics such as race, religion, and gender.

AG And The Same Sex Story
The press also asked the Attorney General for his thoughts on same-sex marriages, and the possibility that the local gay community may sue for that right.

Stefan Somehow Survived
26-year-old Stefan Kerr suffered a brutal beatdown in Independence village Last night. Kerr says that he was hanging out at Forestero Bar when three men came up to him and started accusing him of reporting their alleged drug activity to the police. An argument ensued which lead to Kerr being beaten by the men.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Says “Election Manipulation Must End Now”
For three days this week, hundreds of immigrants from Central America, and elsewhere, turned up at the political office of U.D.P. standard bearer Dianne Finnegan with immigration documents in hand.  [...]

Supreme Court Upholds G.O.B.’s Position on U.H.S. Debt
This morning, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin handed down a summary decision in a matter involving the ever-increasing U.H.S. debt that has been before different courts for long years from the [...]

Will Government Ever Vote to Pay U.H.S. Debt?
While the matter has been voted down in the National Assembly, during a move in which the opposition walked out of the House of Representatives and abstained from the process, [...]

Bar to be Absent from Ceremonial Opening of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court opens this coming Monday. The ceremony has traditionally been one of pomp featuring a full turnout of the Judiciary as well as the Bar.  But that will [...]

AG Tapped for Legal Opinion on B.T.L. Tax Woes
An audit on whether B.T.L. owes twenty-five million dollars in taxes to the government has been raised time and again.  Last year, it came to light that the General Sales [...]

Equal Opportunity Bill Being Pushed by National AIDS Commission
The National AIDS Commission is championing the drafting of a new piece of legislation which seeks to address the issue of discrimination in and around the workplace.  Discussion around the [...]

UNIBAM Weighs in on Equal Opportunities Bill
Executive Director Caleb Orozco of United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, also chimed in on the Equal Opportunity Bill.  He admits that while the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will [...]

P.U.P. Supports Equal Opportunities Bill in Principle
P.U.P. Leader John Briceńo also spoke briefly today on the proposed Equal Opportunities Bill for which consultations start over the weekend. While he says that a draft copy of the [...]

M.O.H. Responds to Reports of Medical Waste Dump in San Antonio
Earlier this week, you heard a resident of San Antonio Village complain about the burning of medical waste in the village. That resident told us that the matter has been [...]

HIV Meds Available in Belize
Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero told News Five today that the final batch of anti-retroviral medicine will arrive in the country by the end of the month.  This [...]

Director of Health Services Responds to Nursing Task Force
The Nursing Task Force has given the Ministries of Health and Public Service less than a week to respond to their concerns to stop the escalation of tensions. On Thursday, [...]

M.O.H. Will Respond to Nursing Task Force
The Public Service Union has weighed in on the matter.  The union expresses solidarity with the Nursing Task Force and the Nurses Association of Belize. The P.S.U. says that the [...]

Deandre Guiffero is Charged for Murder of Mexican National in Seine Bight
Three days after the gruesome murder of a Mexican national, police have levied murder charges on nineteen-year-old Deandre Guiffero.  Gabriel Alejandro Guzman Cruz was brutally hacked and set on fire [...]

Is the P.U.P. Ready for General Elections?
General elections are to take place sometime this year so there is a guessing game as to specifically when. While we were with P.U.P. Leader John Briceńo today, we asked [...]

Mike Peyrefitte to be Endorsed as U.D.P. Chairman
The chairmanship of the United Democratic Party goes to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte after challengers Doctor Carla Barnett and John Castillo withdrew from the race ahead of the February ninth [...]

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires on Plans for 2020
In 2018, Keith Gilges assumed duties as Chargé d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Belize. The career Foreign Service Officer has been working closely with government agencies and groups to [...]

The Implications of Sending Asylum Seekers to Peten, Guatemala
Gilges also spoke about the U.S. proposal to transfer rejected asylum seekers to Peten, Guatemala. This he says could have negative implications on Belize and as such has been communicated [...]

Luthiers Without Borders Assist the Pallotti School of Music
Luthiers without Borders is an international organization that began with a violin repair project run by two violin makers in schools in Havana, Cuba. It quickly expanded to other countries [...]

Museum Association of Belize Learns How to Digitize Collections
The Museum Association of Belize received four-day training to learn how to use technology to preserve and make cultural assets more accessible. The owners and curators of the museums received [...]


One child died and two critical at KHMH
Police are looking for the children step father Kenrick Longsworth. Anyone with information or knows his whereabouts is asked to contact the nearest police. According to information received three children were assaulted and one died in a house on Lovely lane in Belize City. The other two are reportedly in a serious condition at the KHMH. More on this developing story as police investigates.

Immigration déjŕ vu at UDP Lake I political office
The inclement weather this morning was no deterrent for scores of Belize City immigrants. They began gathering outside the political office of United Democratic Party (UDP) Lake Independence standard bearer, Dianne Finnegan, on Partridge Street. Some of the immigrants were seen clutching manila envelopes; others were seen diving inside the nearby Ferguson Photo Studio, only to emerge and join the line which soon swelled from the sidewalk to the upstairs verandah of the house where Finnegan’s office is located. This morning, just in case anyone missed it, this was the opening curtain for Belize’s 2020 political season.

Nurses Task Force and GOB on collision course
The Nurses Task Force issued a press release today which “demands action from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Public Service.” In a telephone interview this evening, the president of the Belize Nurses Association, Darrell Spencer, told Amandala his association started discussion with the government from as far back as last September, but to date they have not made any progress. “We feel that the emphasis on resolving those issues are being ignored: nothing is being done,” Spencer stressed.

Cruel murder in Seine Bight
Thurs. Jan. 9, 2020– Two men have been arrested for the horrendous murder on Tuesday of Mexican national Alejandro Gabriel Guzman Cruz, 46, the caretaker of Hannas Retreat in Seine Bight. The murder occurred in his room at the retreat. Cruz’s murderers also stole some of his belongings. The announcement was made today by ASP Alejandro Cowo of the Police Department during the weekly police press brief, held at the Raccoon Street Police Station this morning.

Drought sends sugar production down by 30 percent; late start for season
Last year some areas of Belize were hit by a prolonged drought that has wreaked havoc on the agriculture sector of Belize’s economy. One such area that was hit hard by the drought was the Orange Walk District, where cane farmers have lost millions of dollars. This year’s sugar cane harvest has been projected to be 30 percent less than last year’s harvest. This is a loss to farmers that is in the millions of dollars, not to mention the effect it will have on the national economy. Notwithstanding the setback, this week the BSI/ASR factory at Tower Hill, Orange Walk, is scheduled to start grinding cane on January 15.

Police to target persons in public who have knife blades at night
In his address to the nation for the New Year, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that in 2019 criminals used firearms, knives and machetes to commit murders. He said that machetes and knives fall under the Edge Tools Legislation, which will now be enforced. People found with a blade measuring over 3 inches between 8:00 at night and 5:00 in the morning, will be immediately charged with possession of an article with a blade, under the Criminal Control Act.

Prisoner was raped due to prison authorities’ negligence, says Supreme Court
An accused man who was on remand at the Kolbe Foundation-managed Belize Central Prison in 2017 was raped twice by another inmate. That inmate was subsequently charged and convicted of two counts of an unnatural crime. The rape victim, whom we will refer to as the Claimant, in accordance with the directive of the court, filed a lawsuit alleging that it was the negligence of prison authorities that caused him to be raped. Evidence in the case was heard early in December and this morning, Supreme Court Justice, Shona Griffith, delivered her judgment.

22-year-old man found guilty of shooting at 16-year-old student
At about 11:00 Monday morning, January 6, a 16-year-old student of Gwen Lizarraga High School who was visiting his grandmother on Man of War Street in Port Loyola, carried garbage out to the nearby trash dump, and as he was going back into his grandmother’s yard, a gunman came up and fired multiple times at him. The gunman then escaped. Luckily, the student was not hit. Neighbors said that at least 9 shots were fired at the teenager.

Cab driver shot, his car stolen, in San Jose Palmar
At about 6:30 yesterday, Ricardo Uk, 46, a cab driver of Orange Walk Town, was driving his cab in San Jose Palmar accompanied by a passenger when an SUV drove past him. After continuing a short distance, the driver of the SUV parked the vehicle across the road, contrary to the flow of traffic, forcing Uk to stop. When Uk stopped, an occupant of the SUV got out of the vehicle with a firearm and fired into the car, hitting him in his chest. After Uk was shot he and his passenger jumped out of the cab and ran to safety in some bushes behind a house.

BDF officers to repay over payment of salary adjustment
Last June, a salary adjustment exercise was carried out by the Ministry of Finance for soldiers of the Belize Defence Force, to bring their salaries up to par with that of the Coast Guard and police. After the increments and adjustments were made and the soldiers paid, however, it was found that the salaries had been incorrectly calculated, which resulted in an overpayment of salaries.

Fire destroys house in Cotton Tree; 11 homeless
A house in Cotton Tree was completely destroyed by fire, leaving 11 persons homeless. An investigation into the fire concluded that the cause of the fire was an extension cord that overheated and began to burn, and the fire spread quickly and engulfed the house. In speaking to the media, Anthony Mortis, Station Supervisor at the National Fire Service, strongly discourages the public from using flimsy extension cords for appliances for extended periods. He advises members of the public to make the investment in proper electrical wiring and installations to protect their homes and investments.

Editorial: Beginning the scrutiny of two men who would lead our country
It is wise to look inside the souls of persons whom you put in positions of leadership. It is not possible to know everything about anyone, but leaders play such critical roles in our lives that we are remiss if we hand them power over our country’s resources, and to an extent our lives, without doing the due diligence to find out who they really are. In a month’s time, the highest ranking members of the United Democratic Party (UDP), which has been the party in control of government for three consecutive terms, will be deciding on a new Leader. The leadership convention date is set for February 9, 2020; a venue for the event has been selected — Belize Civic Center; and the delegates who will vote in the election have been chosen.

Second phase of Social Security increase comes into effect
Last June the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) proposed an increase of the social security contribution paid by employees. SSB’s chief executive officer, Dr. Colin Young, in his presentation of the rational for the increase from 8 to 10 percent, explained that the Social Security fund was running out of money and if contributions from employees are not increased, the fund will eventually dry up, leaving nothing for retirees in the future. This information was communicated to the Dean Barrow-led cabinet, which gave its stamp of approval for a phased increase in Social Security contributions from both employees and employers.

Murders and major crimes decreased in 2019
There were 134 recorded murders in 2019. According to police, this constitutes an 8% decrease in the number of murders in comparison to the number of murders in 2018. The murders were committed mostly with guns, and the crimes have mostly shifted to the rural areas. The announcement was made by Commissioner of Police Chester Williams yesterday. The Compol said that there was a reduction in crimes in Belize City, but in Ladyville, there was a 100% increase in crimes, resulting in a much higher crime rate for the Belize District than there otherwise would have been, since the crime rate in Belize City is lower than it has been for the last four years.

Belize will need to appoint 5 Supreme Court judges shortly
This year, at least 3 Supreme Court justices are scheduled to demit office, and this will create a serious shortage of judges for the court, unless they are replaced in a timely fashion. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Justice Courtenay Abel will reach the mandatory retirement age of 65 later on this year. Additionally, Justice Shona Griffith is leaving the Belize bench to take up an appointment at the Supreme Court of Barbados. Both Justice Griffith and Justice Abel are from the Civil Division of the Supreme Court.

Eight Belizeans on the Queen’s New Year’s Honors List
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the London Gazette have released the names of 8 Belizeans who have been honored by the Queen in her New Year’s Honor List, for their outstanding contribution to the development of Belize in their respective fields. Queen Elizabeth II, acting on the advice of Belize Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, has named Ralph Gregory Feinstein, O.B.E. as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (K.B.E.). Mr. Feinstein’s contribution to Belize is in entrepreneurial leadership.

Cricket Corner
To all cricket players, fans and supporters, Happy and Blessed New Year to you all! Please be informed that on Sunday, January 12, at 10:00 in the morning, the Belize National Cricket Association will be conducting a meeting session with captains of all interested teams. This meeting is to discuss playing conditions for this year’s season. To be discussed, among other things, are: conduct of players on or off the field of play, respecting umpires’ decisions, respect of opponents, penalties for playing against the spirit of the sport, prizes and trophies, and much more.

Pedal by Pedal report – Weekend Warriors New Year’s Race of Sunday, January 5
This past Sunday, January 5, just 4 days after the Krem Classic dust had settled, the Weekend Warriors had their New Year’s Cycling Race. In fact, many of the Weekend Warriors had taken part in the Krem Classic, including yours truly; so it was déjŕ vu for some of us, except, of course, in a much easier setting. The “A” Category started at the Caribbean Tire Roundabout in Orange Walk; while the “B” Category started in Carmelita, O.W.; and the “C” Category, at Mile 40. The 3 separate races rode to Belize City, turning at the NAPA Roundabout, and finished at M&M Engineering, directly across from the Buca Shell on the Northern Highway.

San Pedro Town Council Co-ed Softball Tournament continues
The San Pedro Town Council Co-ed Softball Tournament 2019-2020, which commenced on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at the Hon. Louis “Cuz” Sylvester Sports Complex in San Pedro, continued on Sunday, January 5, with 2 games played. Five (5) teams are participating in the tournament: San Pedro High School Sharks; Extreme; Rusties; RCGO; and Beer League. In the opener on Sunday, San Pedro High School Sharks defeated Extreme, 7-5. Winning pitcher was Armin Badillo, and losing pitcher was Christian Logan. In the nightcap, RCGO won, 6-2, over Beer League. Christian Orellano was the winning pitcher, and the loser was Christian Garcia.

Reform: no plantation voter
I am pretty sure that no human action is completely, absolutely bad with no aspect of good a constituent part of it. There is no purely evil act. This is perhaps the reason that immoral behaviour is so popular. Even at the beginning of time when Eve in the Garden of Eden saw this beautiful fruit that looked very good to taste, she ignored the warning that that fruit contained a poison that would kill her. She considered and wanted only the pleasure of the taste. Moralists and philosophers, the greatest of them, have concluded that the human will cannot, will not, choose what the conscience sees as bad. Human beings choose the good that they see, ignoring the wisdom that the juices of the fruit are deadly.

Waiting for Guatemala
One argument that our technocrats at the ambassadorial level offered for Guatemala wanting to go to the ICJ to settle their claim against us was that Guatemala wanted to put their ugly genocidal past further in the past. They said that Guatemala wanted to step out on the world stage as a leader in their sphere. Our top diplomats noted that Guatemala had tried to get support in the international arena from countries in the Caribbean, and they always failed because of their claim that Belize’s land was theirs. Some Guatemalan diplomats did forward that their leaders couldn’t go to their people after all these decades and decades of claiming Belize and tell them it was a mistake, so they needed a recognized body like the ICJ to help them put away their claim.

Amandala’s front page headlines in review for 2019 – July – September
- Cop gets “Woman fum-fum” aboard water taxi. Police have launched investigations, both criminal and internal, into the incident. All hell broke loose on a water taxi between a PC Ralph Gillett and a number of women onboard a boat that was about to depart for Belize City with passengers coming from the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest. - Rochus Schreiber, BTL’s CEO, resigns. Schreiber cites personal reasons for his resignation from Belize Telemedia Limited.

Lindbergh Goldson and Seditious Intent in 1951
Readers of the Belize Billboard were greeted on the morning of 14th October 1951 with the ominous headline, “All Billboard Owners on Sedition Charges: Trial Tuesday Afternoon.” The “owners” referred to were all young men in their 20s. Philip Goldson at that time was the oldest at age 28, Leigh Richardson 27, Lindbergh Goldson 23, and Armando Diaz 22. While one year earlier, only Philip Goldson and Richardson as editors of the Belize Billboard had been charged with seditious intent, and had the charges dropped after they apologized, the other two owners who had joined the paper as proprietors were now similarly charged.

Jewel with her Afro in the capital
In October of 1962 an incident had occurred which had started my friend Lucille’s daughter, Jewel, then fourteen years old, on the road which would bring her to the capital the following year to start nursing training. In September of 1960 she had entered Standard Six at age 12, completing her primary school education by June 1961, before her thirteenth birthday on August 14th that year, sharing the same birth date with my Victor. There being no secondary school in the district yet, she had gone back to primary school and spent another year, there being rumours that the Roman Catholics would soon be opening one, and Lucille and Abelino wanting to “keep her brain active” until then, as they put it.

The United States’ downward trajectory
Sir, As I look at the news and see the increased tension between the United States and Iran due to the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian general, on 3 January, 2020 in Baghdad, it allowed me to decipher the nature of the new “Cold War.” The US struggle with Iran is part of its struggle to maintain global dominance. There are two aspects of war – propaganda and operations. Most societal changes fail because the ideology and ethics did not change. They win the operations but lost because the new values were not internalized.

Rand Paul: Trump ‘got bad advice’ on killing of Soleimani
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that President Trump ”got bad advice” on his decision to kill top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a strike last week. Paul said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” that “it’s now a certainty” there will be more attacks on Americans in revenge for Soleimani’s killing, as the general’s replacement is a “hard-liner.” The Kentucky senator also mourned the loss of a chance for diplomacy with Iran.

The Reporter

Serious Rumblings In The Judiciary: How Did We Get Here ?
There are many ways that an organization can vent their feelings about a situation that they disapprove of, or in this case ‘The Bar Association’ is venting their dissatisfaction and displeasure with one of the highest legal entities in the country.

The Quality Of Leadership
Dennis A. Muilenburg led the Boeing Corporation as its CEO from 2015 to 2019 and was considered one of the most influential persons in the global aviation industry. Boeing, an aviation behemoth with over 100 years of doing business and with an estimated revenue of $101.12 billion is probably more powerful and richer than most Third World countries.

Kolbe May Appeal Court Ruling on Inmate’s Rape
The Kolbe Foundation is awaiting the advice of their attorneys regarding the Supreme Court ruling on Monday, January 6, which holds them liable in a civil suit brought by a former inmate who accused the prison of negligence, alleging he was raped twice by his cellmate, 43-year-old Kenroy Cooke, in 2017.

U.D.P Announces Nomination Of New Chairman
The United Democratic Party (U.D.P.) has announced that after both Senator Carla Barnett and John Castillo withdrew their candidacy for Chairman of the Party, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte will be endorsed as Chairman at the U.D.P. National Convention on February 9th.

Re: Today's Belize News: January 11, 2020 [Re: Marty] #540011
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Beverly Williams, Confident in her candidacy
Today we can unofficially tell you that Michael Peyrefitte will be the next Chairman of the United Democratic Party. Peyrefitte was being challenged by Dr Carla Barnett and John Castillo but the two backed out of the race, leaving Peyrefitte to be endorsed as Party Chairman

Neal recaptured and charged
28-year-old Christian Neal pleaded guilty for the charge of escape before Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson yesterday in Court. In May Neal had escaped from the Belize Central prison with two other inmates 31-year old Rafael Mencias and 23-year-old Wilser Echeverria

Minister of Immigration claims simply an “Advisory session”
‘Silly Season’ – that is the term used when a major election is approaching, the campaign amps up and political strategies unfold. Yesterday we saw, what was perhaps the start of the season, when dozens of Central American migrants gathered at the office of UDP’s Standard Bearer, Dianne Finnegan, in the hopes of getting their nationality papers expedited.

PSU in solidarity with the nurses
The management of the Ministry of Health is once again being called into question as the Public Service Union expresses support for the nurses and their demands. The union sent out a press release earlier today referring to the situation as a shame and disgrace.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Trio accused in attack of policeman denied bail at Supreme Court
Brothers Magdalen Cal, 23; Avellino, 21; and Irvin, 18, have been denied bail on charges in […]

Disturbing reports of abuse in Belize city
BBN has received disturbing reports of an incident on Lovely Lane in Belize city tonight […]

Belize People’s Front condemns Dianne Finnegan’s immigration efforts
Political third-party, the Belize People’s Front (BPF), has condemned United Democratic Party Standard Bearer for Lake […]

Immigration Select Committee chair reports work still ongoing on report
Chairman of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration, Senator Aldo Salazar, tells us he […]

The Bar to boycott the ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court
The Bar Association of Belize says via press release that it will not participate in […]

Chief Justice upholds right of Parliament to vote funds for U.H.S. debt
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has ruled that the Ministry of Finance is not in breach […]

Public consultation for ‘Equal Opportunities Bill’ to be held in San Ignacio Town
The National AIDS Commission (NAC), in collaboration with the Office of the Special Envoy for […]

Belize supports Mexico as Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC
The inauguration of Mexico’s Presidency Pro Tempore (PPT) of the Community of Latin America and […]

Deandre Guiffero,19, charged for murdering Mexican national
Police have arrested and charged 19-year-old Seine Bight resident, Deandre Guiffero for the murder of […]

Police investigating armed robbery in Belmopan
Authorities are investigating an armed robbery in Belmopan. Salesperson, Ching Yu Chiu, told police that […]

Belize takes over presidency of regional development project
Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced that Belize has taken over the Pro Tempore […]

Contract term allows former SSB CEO to walk away with Prado
A term in the employment contract of Dr. Colin Young, former Chief Executive Officer of […]

Immigration Minister: Departments of Nationality& Immigration Services is not embarked on an Amnesty program
Ministry of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Beverly Williams issued a statement this morning […]

Gaspar Vega makes it official, backs John Saldivar
Former United Democratic Party deputy leader and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega made his choice […]

UDP Lake Independence office being used to assist migrants?
The office of UDP Lake Independence Standard bearer, Dianne Finnegan was observed with long lines […]

Julius Espat comments on Christmas spending ahead of court judgment
Cayo South area representative Julius Espat is anticipating a sharp rap on the knuckles by […]

Peyrefitte to be endorsed as UDP Chairman
Current Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte, is expected to be endorsed as the United Democratic Party’s […]

Regional organization rejects judicial activism by Belize Court of Appeal
The Caribbean Cause, a regional group consisting of individuals and groups from 14 Caribbean territories […]


Belizean Smiles: Frank Varma
The Head Chef at Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace, Frank is a young, passionate member of the Belizean Culinary World. Professionally he has worked in a kitchen for eight years, but as he says, “I’ve been playing with fire and food since I was a little kid.” Favoring cuisines that taste like home, through his culinary journey Frank has grasped the skills of fusing local and cultural flavors with international techniques to recreate dishes that reminds him of everything he grew up eating.

Admiral’s Bar – A New Bar in Town
Heidy Andrade is a gentle, soft-spoken lady who owns and manages a very special eatery and watering hole…Right on the Municipal Airstrip. Her story is a true example of what one can achieve with hard work in this country of ours. She hails from Honduras and has been in the country for 14 years, now a naturalized Belizean. As providence would have it, the airstrip underwent massive reconstruction and Heidy had to take a break. In September of 2019, the new Admiral’s was ready to re-open. All the former patrons came back. The place has the feel of a deck on a ship. The food is good, to go or to stay. It is all gleaming wood and white, with a verandah-like space to watch the planes come and go, and enjoy the beautiful sea and sky.

Belize has always been a country with a healthy respect for Education. There are schools everywhere, in towns and villages, and accessible to all. Still, it is widely recognized that some young people may slip through the cracks. This is where the Institute of Training and Vocational Education comes in. Their primary mandate is to equip our youth with skills, knowledge, work ethic and credentials that will allow them to be gainfully employed. The focus is on High School Graduates—Primary School Leavers—Customized Training and Skilled Tradespersons seeking skills upgrade. The training they receive will arm them with skills and training that will enable them to make a living. Open House takes place once a year where the community is welcomed. Trips and Projects, as well as Sports, are also included.

Plan a Big Year birding in Belize
Clocking in at 180 miles long and 68 miles wide, challenge yourself to a Big Year birding Belize to see as many bird species as possible within a single calendar year! Dedicating an entire year to see as many of the 590 bird species recorded in Belize is an exhausting, eye-opening, and addictive chase with a big reward for those willing to go the distance. With an estimated 600 bird species and six internationally recognized Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), Belize is one of Central America’s premier birding destinations. As a friendly endeavor, a Big Year birding will introduce you to new friends, new experiences, and a new perspective on birds, conservation, and Belizean ecology.

Why YOU Should Visit Belize in January
If you are looking to get away from cold weather, Belize in January is perfect. In fact, for sun, a light breeze and slightly cooler nights (think high 70s F), the first few months in Belize are IDEAL. January through April generally promises the best weather – and it also means the most visitors. Dock North Ambergris Caye Here are few things you can expect if you visit Belize and more specifically Ambergris Caye in January.

Guanacaste National Park
A secondary broadleaf forest, Guanacaste National Park is an urban green space rich with natural and cultural features of Belize in the capital city of Belmopan. Connecting the highlands and the Caribbean coast, the Belize Old River was a major transportation route for the Maya people. Maya pottery and other artifacts were found during trail development, with a suspected chultun (underground storage chamber) within the park. The river was also used to transport logwood and mahogany to the coast for export to Europe. Prior to its designation, the actual area of the park had been cleared for cattle pasture and was used by locals as a recreation, fishing, and hunting area. Now co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society (BAS), GNP is symbolic of the balance between people and the environment – the organization’s tagline.

International Sourcesizz

25 Things to See and Do in Belize
Belize is a beautiful Central American country set on the Caribbean coast. It's location, great weather and kind locals make it a wonderful destination for all types of travelers. We've put together our top favorite things to see and do in Belize, because "Belize-it" or not, we want you to have the best trip to this tropical destination.

Belize addressing power sector’s vulnerability to climate change
Studies are scheduled to begin this year in Belize as part of a climate adaptation energy resilience project to mitigate the impact of adverse weather and climate change. To this end, Belize Electricity (BEL) is accepting expressions of interest to provide consultancy services for a 12-month contract to develop a hydrological model for the Macal River basin.

Search for Big Cats in the Jungles of Belize
Only six miles into the 28-mile, three -day out-and-back to the spiritual high point of Belize, I spot a solitary paw print. Four oval toes above a broad base nearly 5 inches wide—could it really be the sign of a jaguar, so early in the hike? I call out to Leon Seguro, my local guide and sole companion, and with a quick glance he confirms: it’s a jaguar print. My heartbeat spikes. We’re headed into the core of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the best place in the world for spotting jaguars, and this print is a good omen. This protected forest in southeast Belize lies adjacent to Bladen Nature Reserve, which doubles the total protected area to 225,000 acres of perfect habitat for this elusive predator. Leon and I hold the season’s first permit to climb the country’s most revered mountain: 3,675-foot Victoria Peak, a limestone-capped granite promontory in the Maya Mountains.

From January and under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belize takes over the Mesoamerica Integration and Development Project (PM) Pro Tempore Presidency corresponding to the first semester of 2020, to hold two regional high level meetings of the Executive Committee of the PM, to promote the definition of the 2020 Mesoamerican Business Agenda and the fulfillment of the following relevant ministerial meetings for Health, Environment, Energy, Transport as well as of the Commission for Promotion and Financing (CPF) work plan. This is the second time that Belize has held the Pro Tempore Presidency of the Mesoamerica Integration and Development Project (PM) since the mechanism was established in 2008. During this first half of 2020, the country will hold two Executive Commissions to continue complying with the mandates of the XVII Tuxtla Summit of 2019.

Drought situation could impact several Caribbean countries
The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology is reporting that long-term drought might possibly develop or continue in several Caribbean countries. The centre warned that areas ending up in long term drought may experience significantly reduced water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers, and groundwater during the upcoming dry season. It said that as the region continues through the rest of the 2020 dry season, concerns exist for short-term drought which can impact soil moisture, streams and small rivers, particularly in Barbados, Belize, Guadeloupe, the ABC Islands of Aruba Bonaire and Curacao as well as eastern Puerto Rico.

Sanctuary Belize Case Update – Grab a Beverage and Put Your Feet Up
The case involving Andris Pukke and Peter Baker that started with Ameridebt is still grinding on regarding Sanctuary Belize. The FTC summary of the case reads like a movie script. It involves international intrigue, deception, Orange County companies, prison jumpsuits, and back-stabery. Buckle up. This is going to be a long wild ride.


  • Stingrays and sharks in Belize, 2min. Stingrays and sharks / snorkling in Belize.

  • Fishing in Belize-Travel to Carribean Side, 17min.

  • Channel 5 Obituaries - DWIGHT COYE, 2min.

  • Foodie Tour - Yok Ha Resort Dangriga, 23min. Today our foodie tour made a stop in Dangriga to sample the food at the Yok Ha Resort. Our visiting guest made homemade corn tortillas and shrimp tacos and a hot pot nachos recipe. On set: Anici Reyes - Travel Specialist, Yok Ha Resort. Rosa Melendez - Cook, Yok Ha Resort. Abigail Pascascio - Owner, Yok Ha Resort.

  • Effective communication - Institute of Professional Development, 39min. Effective communication is at the heart of all you will aspire to achieve for 2020. We invited Paul Lecky, President & Lead Trainer at the Institute of Professional Development to share tips on how to improve the way you communicate for better professional and personal relationships.

  • The Belize Tourism Industry Association - 21st Edition Destination Belize, 29min. The Belize Tourism Industry Association is launching the theme for the 21st Edition Destination Belize. We talked with their representatives about the features of this year's book and how the publication markets the country both locally and internationally. This year they will print 50,000 copies and will also have a Spanish version available online. On our couch: John Burgos - Executive Director, Belize Tourism Industry Association. Gale Malic-Ozaeta - Project Manager, Destination Belize.

  • Belisle’s Take Belize 2019, 3min. Belize Vacation Dec, 2019. Caye Caulker, Placencia and Lamanai Ruins

  • Belize 2019, 13min. Two dives in Belize, Fish Trap & Finger

  • Skydiving Great Blue Hole Belize POV FPV, 7min. POV Point Of View Skydiving Great Blue Hole Belize First Person View

  • Coconut Hut, 4min. The Coconut Hut In Corozal Belize

  • Yoga Class & Celebration @ Coconut Hut, 10min. The place in Corozal Belize that is created to service Customers with special needs. 1. NEEDING A PLACE TO HAVE THEIR MEETINGS, WORKSHOPS, PARTIES, ETC. 2. NEEDING TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT LIKE HOW TO MAKE ART FROM COCONUT FROND OR HOW TO BUILD FURNISHINGS FROM WOOD PALLETTS.

  • Island Fight Championships | Weigh In Announcements & Faceoff/Staredowns, 12min.

  • Island Fight Championships | Weigh In Announcements & Faceoff/Staredowns, 18min.

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    Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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