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Today's Belize News: January 25, 2020 #540239
01/25/20 07:10 AM
01/25/20 07:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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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

Search and rescue operation for missing American tourist at sea called off; FBI offers help
The search for American National 43-year-old Alison Mackenzie, who was reported missing on Saturday, January 18th at Rendezvous Caye, has been called off by the Belize Coast Guard (BCG). As investigations continue into her disappearance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States of America (USA) has offered Belizean authorities their help and will be joining their efforts to solve the case.

BTB statistics say tourism in Belize is booming; Ambergris Caye says ‘not here.’
Despite the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) announcement of a record half-million plus overnight visitors to Belize in 2019, Ambergris Caye’s tourism sector says it is struggling with an extended slow season. Over the last several weeks, island stakeholders have been reporting a decline in the tourism business, even resulting in the closure of some establishments. Many are speculating that this downturn is associated with the changes Ambergris Caye has been undergoing over the years. Massive developments are alleged to have overshadowed the once-charming island, coupled with the lack of proper infrastructure, and seemingly unplanned growth; some fear that Belize’s golden goose of tourism has lost her appeal.

John Saldivar named in US court documents regarding Lev Dermen’s fraud case
Belize’s Minister of National Security, Honourable John Saldivar, has been named in alleged court documents associated with a fraud court case set to start on Monday, January 27th in the state of Utah, USA. California USA businessman, Lev Aslan Dermen, alongside Isaiah and Jacob Kingston, are being charged with money laundering and fraud. Part of the court documents contains testimony from Jacob Kingston providing evidence against Dermen and alleges that a Belize government official ‘routinely’ received money from Dermen.

SPTC to implement parking restrictions on Pescador Drive
Effective February 1, 2020, drivers will be required to parallel park on Pescador Drive. This new measure, implemented by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the island’s traffic department, seek to ensure the safety of all pedestrians, particularly children, who used the narrow street on their way to school. Pescador Drive, also known as Middle Street, is one of the busiest streets in downtown San Pedro. The long narrow stretch is lined with residencies and businesses, and during peak times of the day, the many vehicles and golf carts parked diagonally the width of the street, slowing the flow of traffic. This poses potential danger to pedestrians and bikers who also use the street on a daily basis. The new regulation has received positive feedback from many island residents, who said that the previous parking posed a danger for everyone as traffic conditions on the island continue to worsen.

Ambergris Today

Land Trust To Conserve Mangroves On Remaining National Lands On Turneffe Atoll
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration and the Ministry of Natural Resources embarked upon a joint initiative to protect important mangrove ecosystems covering approximately 17,000 acres of national lands remaining on the Turneffe Atoll. The lands have now been set aside for conservation under the ‘Turneffe Land Trust’ signed between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Turneffe Atoll Trust, a registered not-for-profit entity residing on Northern Bogue, Turneffe Atoll.

Belize Ministry Of Health Monitoring New Strain Of Coronavirus
The Ministry of Health is aware of a new strain of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has been linked to cases of respiratory tract infections originating in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China - some of these cases have evolved to more severe cases. On Thursday, January 23, 2019, the National Surveillance Team, headed by the Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero, participated in a virtual meeting hosted by the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA) to discuss the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak. Twenty other Caribbean member states also participated in the meeting.

Various Belizean Sources


Equal Opportunities Bill
Things you should know about the Equal Opportunities Bill. Be informed!

The Art Shack is coming to Belmopan
Official Art Gallery and Art supplies "The Art Shack" to make grand opening in Belmopan. Soon to be the most prominent and choice location for the best Belize has to offer in different genre of Art. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting development!

Theater In Belize
The Belize National Library Service and Information System will be an open discussion on Theater in Belize Saturday in Belmopan. Discussion of past and present theater activities in order to identify persons, venues and resources available in Belize.

Small Business Entrepreneur Seminar in Orangel Walk
Feb. 1 & 2. Are you a local artisan interested in expanding your small business? Well this seminar is right for you! All local artisans are invited to attend this informative seminar, free of cost! Be a part of this two day event that will help your product reach the next level. Simply send us a message to register for the seminar.

Pediatric Plastic Surgery Mission in Dangriga
World Pediatric Project is hosting its annual Pediatric Plastic Surgery Mission in Dangriga on Sunday.

Amazing Race at The Truck Stop TODAY
1pm...the Amazing Race at The Truck Stop. If you aren't there to watch. They always have a fun opening challenge. See you there.

San Pedro Town Strong with Team John Saldivar!
The United Democratic Party of San Pedro greatly appreciates the cordial visit from Hon. John Saldivar, Hon. Hugo Patt, Hon. Beverly Williams and Hon. Gaspar Vega.

Corozal 2020 Graffiti Festival
Happening this Sunday, January 26th at Miami Beach beginning at 10:00 a.m. Theme "Ancient Chactemal"

Wildtracks Update: Life in the Nursery - Rea's Story
Rea, a young Yucatan black howler monkey, arrived at Wildtracks in April, 2019 after being rescued while crossing a river near the border with Mexico. At around 15 months old, she was too young to survive on her own in the wild, so was transferred to Wildtracks, where she was integrated with an adult female and a younger male around her age. The integration did not go well, proving that, just like people, not all monkeys like each other! Rea has since been successfully integrated with the Nursery Troop, where she acts as a "big sister" to her younger companions....particularly Leah, who follows her everywhere She has taught the other nursery howlers how to eat browse - and really regularly opens Leah's mouth to check that she is doing it right!

Register to be a vendor at the 17th Annual Placencia BTIA Sidewalk Art Festival 2020
For more info on how to be apart of this year's art festival please contact Placencia Btia at 523-4045 or send an email to [email protected] deadline to register is January 31st 2020.

FCD’s Park Manager gives GPS sets to Benque Viejo Police
The Police Department is a partner institution that forms part of the Chiquibul Joint Forces Unit aimed at safeguarding the Chiquibul and Vaca ecosystems. Earlier this week, FCD’s Park Manager provided GPS sets to the Police at Benque Viejo as part of our joint collaborations.

Belize Tourism Board at FITUR 2020 — in Madrid, Spain
FITUR is the first appointment of the year for the world’s tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound markets in Latin America. FITUR offers: a unique forum for promoting brands, presenting new products, learning about the latest trends and filling your agenda with new contacts and opportunities.

Annual Street Art Festival! Feb. 29
Come out and join in on Celebrating 10 years of Belize's most prestigious Creative event— the annual Street Art Festival! February 29th on Albert Street, Downtown, Belize City. A day filled with Art, Live Music, Fashion and a bunch more activities for the entire family. Come out and party with us, as we celebrate Belize's Art Culture and many more!

Channel 7

COMPOL Says Police Will Look At Former Minister Herman Longsworth
The Commissioner of Police says his department will investigate former UDP Area Rep for Albert Herman Longsworth. As we've been reporting, Longsworth has been named in the Auditor General's report for diversion of public funds to the Albert Committee bank account. The auditor found that the Sports Council hired Go Enterprises - a company controlled solely by Longsworth - to do some work at the Marion Jones Stadium. On 27th October, 2015 - a week before the general election, the company received $75,000 in mobilization fees. Longsworth - the report says - diverted $35,000 to the UDP/Albert Committee account and $5,000 into his personal account.

Hon. Saldivar: How Many Degrees Of Separation With Lev Dermen?
Turning now to a current UDP Minister who's in hot water, tonight we'll look more closely at what is known about the relationship between John Saldivar and Lev Dermen. Dermen is the Armenian-American accused of defrauding the US government of half a billion dollars in biofuel tax credits. He is in a jail in Utah waiting trial, while his former associate Jacob Kingston goes to court on Monday. In July of 2019, Kingston entered a plea deal with authorities in the US - and has given evidence against Dermen - and some of that has to do with John Saldivar.

Late Evening Murder In Griga
There has been a murder this evening. It happened a short while ago in Dangriga Town where a man was shot to the head and killed inside his business place on Melinda Road, in Dangriga town.

Cops and Bandits "Kech"ť Da Border
At the end of 2019, we told you about a spate of carjackings that had occurred on the Arenal Road. At the time it seemed that cross border bandits were pressing into Belize and taking advantage of border communities. Well, it happened again this morning, but, this time the police were ready, guns blazing. This morning at 9:10am, 60 year old Karl Nelson Bachmann was at his home in Arenal washing dishes when he heard his sheep making noise. As he was about to walk out of his house to make checks, five masked men, two of them with rifles, and two with revolvers, forced him back into his house. They held him at gunpoint and then ransacked his house asking Bachmann where ehe kept his firearm.

A Missing Man, A Burnt Truck, And No Answers
Last night we told you that two men had died under tragic and mysterious circumstances. The cops found their bodies in an abandoned delivery truck on Farm Four Road in San Juan Village - which is just outside Independence. And today after the results of an inconclusive postmortem, the family and employer of that delivery truck driver are desperately trying to locate him. He drove down south unaccompanied and tonight is unaccounted for.

Drug Plane: Is The Stash Gone?
Two days ago, Commissioner Williams said that he suspected the contents of a drug plane found in the the remote reaches of Orange Walk District were still in country. But, almost three days later, the police haven't found anything. And today Williams told us he's not so sure anymore:

Claver Cuts Ties With Evening Extension
20 years of coexistence are on the line as the Management of St. Peter Claver Primary School in Punta Gorda has written to the Claver Adult and Continuing Education management team notifying them a move is necessary. The letter seeks to evict the extension education programme and gives them until June 30, 2020 to find a new home for the students, teachers and programmes. The letter has left the programme's management a bit dumbfounded and they now hope the public can help. Today, via telephone we reached out the Director of the Adult and Continuing Education programme in Punta Gorda. He told us that the letter dated May 20, 2019 has found them trying to dialogue with no solution as yet.:

Pompeo to CARICOM: Pass On Communist Cash
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Jamaica and met with with six selected CARICOM foreign ministers. His basic message: be wary of China and their big money deals. Pompeo met with the Foreign Ministers for Bahamas, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia. Pompeo made a sales pitch for the US to remain the ally and partner of first resort for the region.

From Cops to Detectives
30 Police Officers have completed a 3-week Crimes Investigation Branch training course at the police training academy today. The purpose of the course was to make the cops into better detectives, capable of compiling airtight cases that result in convictions. We spoke to COMPOL Williams after the passing out ceremony and he told us that while the department believes that the performance of their investigators has been satisfactory, there is always room for improvement.

Fingerprint Led To Arrest
And enhanced investigative skills may have recently led to an arrest in a city home invasion. 24 year old Demas Zelaya was recently charged for a city home invasion after police found his fingerprints at the scene. Williams said they are confident this can lead to a conviction:

Chester's Obsession: The Murder Count
Keeping it on the police, as we reported earlier, a businessman was killed inside his business place on Melinda Road, Dangriga town about an hour ago.

Top Cop Didn't Hear Luwanna's Lament
And, finally in police news, Last night, you saw grieving mother Luwanna Hines in Punta Gorda railing against police. That's because they shot after her son, before they detained him. For this mother, who lost a son in December, it was too much.

B&B Gift To Liberty Home
Over the years, the Liberty Children's Home has enjoyed the support of several private sector entities and big hearted citizens. The latest to join this list of sharing and caring entities is the Bowen and Bowen Group which has pledged support for 2020 in the form of monthly donations of food items, cleaning and hygiene products and drinking water. LIBERTY provides a safe and nurturing environment for 31 children.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Murder in Dangriga
There is breaking news tonight. News Five has confirmed that a murder occurred a short while ago in Dangriga. We are told that the victim was shot in the head [...]

Former U.D.P. Minister Herman Longsworth Being Criminally Investigated
Former U.D.P. Albert area representative Herman Longsworth is the subject of a criminal investigation.  Longsworth was fired by Prime Minister Dean Barrow after his name surfaced in the Auditor General’s [...]

Pics in Longsworth’s Release Recently Taken
But here is a kick; Longworth’s release was accompanied by a set of photographs showing clean and completed facilities at the Marion Jones Sports Complex. But just before news time, [...]

Sedi Says Longsworth Should Not Have Deposited Money into Private Account
As you heard, the former minister says the establishment of the company, Go Enterprises, was undertaken to facilitate the completion of work at the Marion Jones. Longsworth states that work [...]

Factual Guilt Versus Legal Guilt
As to the firing of Longsworth for the allegations made in the Auditor General Report, the Foreign Minister offered a lawyerly explanation, saying that it is for the court to [...]

Sedi Weighs in on His Scandal-ridden Party
The United Democratic Party, in the final year of its three-term administration, is plagued with scandal after scandal. The most recent involves both leadership candidates and the prime minister has [...]

No Turkey or Nevada Appointment for Lev Dermen Says Sedi
Amid the Lev Dermen/John Saldivar fiasco is a claim that ambassadorship for Turkey was being sought on behalf of Dermen through various U.D.P. ministers.  Those appointments, as stated at his [...]

Criminal Complaint Made Against Ivan Ayuso
Another person named in the Auditor General Report is Ivan Ayuso from the National Sports Council. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says a senior investigator has been assigned to delve [...]

Guatemalan Bandits Exchange Fire with Police in Arenal Village
Turning to other crimes…a shootout between Belizean law enforcement officers and four Guatemalan bandits occurred this morning in the border village of Arenal.  The men targeted a Belizean residence, holding [...]

Charred Remains Unidentified; Cause of Death is Undetermined
Police say they don’t know how two persons were murdered inside a Belize City delivery truck found off the Farm Four Road in San Juan, Stann Creek District. The post-mortem [...]

Where are the Drugs? Police Still Searching
A drug plane landed in an area in Crooked Tree Village, Belize District, earlier in the week. When law enforcement officers arrived at the scene, the HS 125 Hawker jet [...]

ComPol Williams: “We Will Never Be Able To Stop It”
Commissioner Williams has given the directive for the illegal airstrip to be destroyed by bombing. He says that all efforts are being made by the department to intercept these drug [...]

Guatemalan President Extends Invitation to Meet PM Barrow
Shortly after he was sworn as president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei announced his intention to meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to forge a more cordial relationship between with the [...]

Sedi Chooses Education in Discussion with Mike Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo met with high level government officials and prime ministers from across the Caribbean earlier this week in Kingston, Jamaica.  Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago [...]

To Pay or Not To Pay – SMART and P.U.C. to Settle Money Matters before C.C.J.
This morning in the Court of Appeal, Speednet Telecommunications Limited, the parent company for SMART, filed a leave to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice.  The matter is to [...]

Dangriga Businessman Accused of Rape Gets Supreme Court Bail
Dangriga businessman, Wilfred Pascacio, through his attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, today acquired bail from Justice Marilyn Williams in Belize City Supreme Court.   Pascascio, who is the proprietor for an island resort in [...]

Akeem Baptist is Committed to Stand Trial
Magistrate Aretha Ford today committed Akeem Baptist to stand trial in the Supreme Court’s February session.  Baptist is charged with Using Deadly Means of Harm and Wounding upon Amira Fernandez [...]

Police Fire Warning Shots at Suspect
Shots were fired on Thursday morning in Punta Gorda Cell phone footage shows police arresting a man on Far West Street. According to Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, a suspect [...]

Chester on Murder Stats
Police in Dangriga are investigating a fatal shooting that claimed the life of Darrel Bermudez this evening. Bermudez was inside a store on Melinda Road when he was targeted by [...]

30 Police Investigators Successfully Complete Training
Thirty police officers completed basic training in criminal investigation.  The course spanned a period of three weeks during which officers were training on professional and effective investigation in skills, attitude, [...]

MOH’s National Surveillance Team Activated to Monitor Coronavirus Outbreak
There’s a virus linked to respiratory tract infections that has killed several persons and sickened hundreds more. The new strain of the coronavirus was first detected in China. Today, the [...]

International Customs Day is Celebrated in Belize
One of first agencies you meet at the border points is the Customs Department. At the Philip Goldson International Airport, you will see them checking luggage as well as collecting [...]

Tackling Contrabandistas in the North
Hostility while patrolling the borders can result in crossfire between law enforcement officers and contrabandistas in buffer communities along the Belize/Mexico border. The enforcement officers of the Customs and Excise [...]

World Pediatric Project Hosts Plastic Surgery Mission
The World Pediatric Project is hosting its annual plastic surgery mission on Sunday. A team, made up of two surgeons, is arriving  from Richmond, Virginia this weekend and will be [...]

“Send a Message; Stay Drug Free”
A week-long of activities promoting drug awareness at Canaan High School on Coney Drive in Belize City concluded today with a parade through the streets of the city. One hundred [...]


John Saldivar on the hot seat!
Since it was revealed that a Cabinet minister in the Dean Barrow-led United Democratic Party government was receiving US $25,000 per month from a U.S. businessman, who has been indicted in the US for fraud, Belizeans have begun to pay attention to the case, which has been going on for more than a year in the state of Utah. Today, court documents surfaced on social media, which indicate the existence of text messages between Minister of National Security John Saldivar and one of the convicted men, which are part of new evidence that the prosecution intends to present when the trial resumes on Monday, January 27.

Herman Longsworth terminated
Herman Longsworth, the former Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, has become the first person to face disciplinary action from Prime Minister Dean Barrow for financial impropriety contained in the Auditor General Report on the National Sports Council. Longsworth was terminated from his job as Belize Consul General to New York. Longworth’s termination was announced today in a press release from the Belize Press Office.

Unbelievable corruption at Julian Cho Technical High School
Julian Cho Technical High School (JCTHS), located on the San Antonio Road in the Toledo District, had its finances and budget allocation for capital projects audited by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and her staff, and the resulting audit report, which covered the period April 2014 to September 2016, documented a lengthy catalogue of financial misdeeds that were in violation of the 2005 Finance and Audit Reform Act and the government’s Financial Orders.

2 charred bodies found in burnt truck at Farm 4
The charred remains of two persons were found this morning in an area behind Farm 4 in San Juan, in a burnt truck. The two persons were burnt beyond recognition. During the weekly police press brief held at the Raccoon Street Police Station, Senior Superintendent Hilberto Romero said that at about 6:30 this morning, they were called to the area, where they found a delivery truck that was completely destroyed by fire. Romero said the truck was still smoldering when the officers arrived, and the two charred corpses were found in the front of the truck.

Mother fined $2,500 for wounding son’s teacher
Valine Rose Martinez, 27, the mother of a 9-year-old boy, pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding when she appeared today before Magistrate Khadeem Palmer. She was fined $2,500 and given until August 30 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve eight months in prison. The charge arose from an incident that occurred on January 21 at Salvation Army Primary School, located on Orange Street. Brittney Thompson, a teacher at the school, reported to the police that while she was in the office of the principal, she was attacked by Martinez, who punched her in the mouth.

Search for missing American tourist suspended
After 5 days of intense searches at sea, Coast Guard efforts to find missing American tourist Alison MacKenzie, 43, of Arizona, have been suspended as of this morning. MacKenzie, who went with 15 other tourists on a Raggamuffin catamaran tour from Caye Caulker to Rendezvous Caye, Belize District, which should have been a two-night, 3-day tour from Friday, January 17, to Sunday, January 19, disappeared from the small island sometime during Friday night.

Spurned lover, charged with murder, pleads guilty to manslaughter
Noewellyn Williams, 46, a construction worker of Sandhill who was charged with the murder of his ex-common-law wife, Roxanne Pop, 33, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter when he appeared today before Justice Colin Williams. His sentence was deferred until February 6 in order for the court to hear pleas for mitigation and to get an impact assessment report from the family of the victim.

Police seek Shane Bennett for allegedly shooting Anthony Parks
Shane Bennett, 38, a laborer of Independence, is on the run from Independence law enforcement, who are seeking him in connection with the shooting of his former friend, Anthony Parks, 37, that occurred at about 6:45 this morning at Parks’ house in Independence. Police said that Parks was in his house when someone came up and called his name, and when he opened the door to see who was calling him, he saw his friend, who then shot him multiple times.

Elden Flowers, 22, gets second murder charge in 2 years
A charge of attempted murder against Elden Flowers, 22, was upgraded to murder today because the victim, Richard O’Neal, has died. Flowers was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson. He was further remanded until March 31. On November 27, 2019, O’Neal, who resided on Ordonez Street in Belize City, was kidnapped and was taken to an area on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. He was then shot and dumped on the roadside and left for dead.

Fisheries finds 400 pounds of illegal Nassau Groupers
Approximately 400 lbs of the out-of-season Nassau Grouper was found locked away in a container in two ice boxes in a yard in Dangriga. The Fisheries Department said that the closed season for Nassau Groupers commences on December 1 and ends on March 31. The Groupers caught within this period are out-of-season catch, which is illegal. Police and enforcement officers from the Fisheries Department said that they were conducting patrols in Dangriga to enforce the Grouper closed season, when they made the find at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon.

Editorial: Our democracy could become less stable after February 9
On February 9, 2020, the United Democratic Party (UDP) will hold a convention at the high-priced Belize City Center to fill a number of executive posts, the most important of which is for leader of the party. The post for leader of the UDP has to be filled because the party’s present leader, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, the Prime Minister of Belize, is nearing the end of his third term as prime minister, and the Constitution does not allow for an individual to serve four terms as leader of the country. The life of a Belize government is not fixed; a government can call for a general election at any time within five years after it takes office. Within three months of the dissolution of the National Assembly, the general election has to be called, and the life of a government can only be extended if Belize is engaged in a war.

“Now is not the time to ignore us,” BNTU tells MOE
Once again there is contention brewing between the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and the Ministry of Education. BNTU president Senator Elena Smith shed further light on the matter this week, reiterating the teachers’ concerns regarding the recent changes in teaching policies governing the teachers’ vacation periods, contract periods, and other benefits. Since the union got wind of these proposed changes earlier this month, teachers were encouraged to wear their green T-shirts every Friday since the re-opening of primary schools after the Christmas holiday.

4th liquidator appointed by Central Bank for the defunct Choice Bank Limited
Many of the customers who had deposited money in Choice Bank Limited, an offshore bank that went belly-up when its license was revoked by the Central Bank of Belize in 2017, have still not been able to settle their accounts with the Central Bank of Belize-appointed liquidators. Last July, the Central Bank appointed its third liquidator for Choice Bank in the person of Kareem Michael, a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, whom the bank had extolled as having the necessary skills to bring the liquidation process to a close.

Jareth Herrera’s family wants her to return home
The family of 16-year-old Jareth Herrera says that the last time they saw her was at 7:00 on Friday morning when she left her home in the Marcus Canul Area of Orange Walk Town, to go to school. She was last seen wearing long blue jeans pants and a blue blouse, and she was carrying a black school bag. Her family said that they were told that she did not arrive at school, and they became worried when she did not come home that day, or in the night.

Drug plane lands; cargo disappears; police play catch-up
A suspected drug plane, a Hawker jet-HS 125, flew over Mexico, and unable to land there, landed in Belize yesterday morning. Villagers in the northern area of the Belize District heard the plane circling, until it eventually made a safe landing. It was discovered on a stretch of road in the northern area of the Belize District. After the plane landed near Lemonal Village and traffickers were able to discharge its cargo, police arrived on the scene to find the empty jet that flew in from Venezuela.

Belize will be guided by international alerts on coronavirus
A statement that was posted on a Facebook page of the Office of the Director of Health Services addresses concerns about the newly-discovered coronavirus by stating, “The Ministry of Health is aware and is monitoring the international alerts in relation to a new strain of coronavirus that has been linked to severe cases of respiratory tract infections.” The office of the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, stated on the Facebook page that the coronavirus has now spread to at least 3 countries and is being transmitted through human-to-human contact.

From The Publisher
I have two younger brothers who dabbled in professional fishing back there in the 1970s, and perhaps even in the 1980s, but there was relatively little tourism in Belize back then, and the demand for fish and other marine products was not as overwhelming as it is today. We brothers came from sea people on both sides of our family, and even yours truly used to think I was a passable fisherman back there in my teenaged years in the 1960s, but after checking out the professionals of these days, such as the fishermen from Sarteneja, for sure I know I could not have competed with them.

Corozal F.A. Opening Season Week 15 final report
We start off this week’s football report by giving thanks to the Almighty Father for His continued blessing and guidance throughout the past fifteen weeks of our tournament. Secondly, thanks to Amandala for allowing us the space in their sports section to keep you all well informed about our tournament. Thanks to all the fans and clubs owners; it is because of you all that we managed to deliver a successful tournament. It was very pleasing to see the big smiles in each and every player, from the U-10 to First Division; that smile gave us the reassurance of a job well done.

C-Ray D. Banner Thursday Race
This morning, the C-Ray D. Banner Thursday Race started as usual in front of Data Pro on the Boom Hattieville Road, headed towards the roundabout in Hattieville, and returned, for a total of 23.8 miles. This morning, the race averaged 25.4 mph and was completed in a time of 55 minutes 36 seconds. Darien Anderson of Team Smart picked up the first station prize at the Hattieville Prison, and Jafari Castro of Clear the Land Cycling Team picked up the second on the return at Fresh Pond Village.

Murder in Dangriga
A murder occurred a short while ago in Dangriga. The victim was shot inside a store located on the Melinda Road.

John Saldivar and his relationship with Dean Barrow
I got the opportunity to be a card-carrying member of the United Democratic Party in 1998, after their massive defeat by the People’s United Party in a landslide victory that saw only three UDP ministers hanging on to their constituency. Those were: Dean Barrow of the Queen’s Square Division, who took over leadership from Manuel Esquivel; Michael Finnegan for the Mesopotamia area, and Erwin Contreras of Cayo West. I was courted to join the party, as they were in shambles after the voters turned against them because of massive corruption amongst the ministers. Manuel Esquivel, who I believe was our best Prime Minister yet, because of his sound approach to economic policies, sadly did not know how to keep control over his Cabinet.

Economic reality in today’s Belize
Recently I have been writing articles in Belize’s leading newspaper – Amandala, in which I have been trying to educate Belizeans that the reason why first the United States of America, and later Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and today’s China, have been able to supply a high standard of living for their citizens was because every one of them followed a version of capitalism that was known during the nineteen century as the American School/System of Political Economy. In Belize we known it as George Price’s Mixed Economy.

Reform: more Belizean, less foreign
The three greatest political geniuses of my time are George Price, Dean Barrow and Net Vasquez. I believe that through the vast spaces of historical time there have been truly great men who expressed their true excellence by stepping aside to let history continue on its course without their active input, because they dreaded the Mephistophelian experience of losing their souls.

Work on our walkway started, and stopped
You see all those infomercials running on road safety, and then you drive through the village where I live, Camalote, and you wonder if you just entered a different country, a country different from the one where you saw all the road safety infomercials on television. How do you spend millions and millions of dollars on a highway and forget to include a pathway on the side of that highway so that children going to and from school, and pedestrians, don’t have to share space with motor vehicles?

Jerome whispers in Jewel’s ear!
Most mornings while we bathed in the sea the fellows were out fishing, appearing after we came out of the water and were on our way to prepare breakfast. That morning I had noticed that both Nigel and Jerome had taken quick, questioning glances at the bathing suits Alida and Jewel were wearing. Lloyd and Victor had made appreciative comments about them to the girls, but had not dwelt on the subject. We had rinsed off with rain water and afterwards covered our suits with blouses and pedal pushers, or shorts in Alida’s case, before going to work getting breakfast.

Sailing Association responds to article by Roberto Pott
Reference news article authored by Roberto Pott, entitled, “Roberto Pott raises alarm that Belize Sailing Association is taking on water,” dated Saturday, January 18th, 2020 attached for ease. We would be grateful if you would allow us the opportunity to right some of the inaccuracies therein. The Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) is a voluntary organization doing its best to promote youth sailing in our country with limited resources. The article presents a bleak picture of our association, and gives no merit to those that volunteer and give their time freely.

The devil in me
Dear Editor, The Devil loves no man or woman. He doesn’t want you as his servant. He doesn’t want you as a soldier of his army or a guard at the gates of his palace. He does not respect your intellect or appreciate your creativity. He doesn’t care about the riches that you have acquired. And he doesn’t want to hear your singing or music or poetry, because those are gifts God poured into you. All the Devil wants is to destroy you.

Antigua’s Agriculture Minister fired over bad decisions and toxic relationships
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has kicked Agriculture Minister Dean Jonas from his Cabinet but has given him a chance to return in six months, once he can make some changes, including improving the “toxic” relationships he has had with staff and farmers. Browne, who said he had been impressing on Jonas the need to do better since about mid-2019, wrote a letter to the embattled minister yesterday, informing him that his termination would take effect that same day.

Re: Today's Belize News: January 25, 2020 [Re: Marty] #540240
01/25/20 07:10 AM
01/25/20 07:10 AM
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Posts: 70,171
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Turneffe Atoll Trust raises concerns
The Turneffe Atoll Trust has been given authority over seventeen thousand acres of national land at the Turneffe despite being a reserve. The matter has created a stir among environmentalists, stakeholders, and the opposition, PUP. According to Opposition Leader, John Briceno, this move was made with the knowledge and approval of multiple government ministers.

Whats your thought?
It has been thirteen days since we broke the Lev Dermen scandal in Belize. Since then we have heard the comments by the Prime Minister Dean Barrow as well as other Ministers under his administration and those in opposition. Today our news team took to the streets of Belize City to find out what those in the public arena are thinking about the case and the possible involvement of Minister John Saldivar.

Police undergo training
Several members of the Belize Police Department concluded a training today in Belmopan, Cayo District. The training focused on investigations and was aimed at building the capacity of those in the Criminal Investigative Branch, as explained in the following report from our Cayo Correspondent, Fem Cruz.

Alliance of Ministers and Leaders reject Equal opportunity Bill
The feedback and input on the Equal Opportunities Bill has been overwhelming. Some are in favor and some are in opposition and neither will back down.

Another delay in PetroCaribe Case
The Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin has delayed his judgment on the PetroCaribe case between People’s United Party leader, John Briceno and Prime Minister, Dean Barrow. The case has to do with the government’s use of 1.3 Billion Dollars of Petrocaribe monies for what the PUP feels there was inadequate accountability to Parliament.

No need to panic over coronavirus
Belize’s health officials have activated their national surveillance team after keeping a close eye on the Coronavirus. The virus originates from Wuhan, China and has infected over 500 people and killed 17 in China.

Corozal Graffiti Festival 2020
Graffiti artists in Belize will be showcasing their talents using various forms of paint, brushes, artistic tools and colors at this year’s Corozal Graffiti Festival 2020. For those who might not know Chactemal, it was a Maya region that encompassed southern Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Corozal. According to Debra Wilkes, Coordinator of the Corozal House of Culture, the artist will be honoring our ancestors with their art pieces and will encourage cultural exchange within the participating artists.

Non-fatal RTA in the south
There was a road traffic incident last night in southern Belize. Stann Creek Correspondent, Harry Arzu reports.

Akeem Baptist back in court
24-year-old Akeem Baptist was in court today for the preliminary inquiry stage of his trial. Baptist is facing charges of use of deadly means of harm after he allegedly brought harm to his estranged common-law-wife. Baptist was initially charged with aggravated assault with a knife; that charge was later upgraded, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Jasmine Alert signs MOU with Police Department
The Jasmine Alert was founded in 2012 after 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe was abducted in the Cayo District. Lowe’s body was eventually found in a pasture in Cristo Rey. The alert, which mimics the Amber Alert in the US, serves to help children like Jasmine, who are missing and in imminent danger.

Old man charged for sexually assaulting a child
57-year-old Balthazar Vasquez will also be standing trial at the Supreme Court in April after his preliminary inquiry ended in paper committal earlier today. Vasquez is being charged with sexual assault of a child under...

Melendez charged for attempted murder
34-year-old David Melendez is having his day in court, eight years after being charged with two counts of attempted murder. Melendez’ case is before Justice Colin Williams and is being represented by Attorney Leeroy Banner. ...

PUP leader lobbies for campaign funding
One of the highlights of last week’s conference hosted by the Prime Minister was the fact that receiving campaign funding for politicians or political parties is not illegal in Belize. It is an eye-opening statement...

Youth Ambassadors to travel to the US
Back in September, 11 youth ambassadors travelled to the US for a program that would allow them to be immersed in different cultures. This month, another set of 9 high school students and one mentor...

Saint Vincent Pallotti Day 2020
Pallotine sisters in Toledo are celebrating Saint Vincent Pallotti Day. Correspondent Paul Mahung told us more.

Youth Ambassadors to travel to the US
Back in September, 11 youth ambassadors travelled to the US for a program that would allow them to be immersed in different cultures. This month, another set of 9 high school students and one mentor will be travelling to Florida for the program.

Saint Vincent Pallotti Day 2020
Pallotine sisters in Toledo are celebrating Saint Vincent Pallotti Day. Correspondent Paul Mahung told us more.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Third shooting incident tonight leaves one injured in old capital
A third shooting incident has been reported tonight, this time on South Creek in the […]

Second murder reported tonight – Man shot and killed in Belize City
Reports to BBN are that a man was shot and killed a short time ago […]

Guatemalan bandits shot by Belizean authorities; police recover stolen vehicle and items
Quick response by Belizean authorities today led to the recovery of a stolen vehicle and […]

US confirms second case of deadly coronavirus; monitors other potential cases
The United States today confirmed the second case of the rapidly spreading and deadly coronavirus. […]

Murder reported in Dangriga
Reports from Dangriga indicate that a murder happened a few moments ago. One person was […]

Turneffe Land Trust to protect Turneffe Atoll
Turneffe Atoll Trust, a registered NGO in Belize, today announced the establishment of the Turneffe […]

Prison trustee to serve 30 months after convicted of attempted sex assault on female employee
Already serving eleven years for burglary, 32-year-old David Rosalez, a prisoner with status as trustee […]

Court hands down fines and compensation for fatal road accident
David Zetina, 59, a specialist with the Social Security Board, must pay a total of […]

Jasmine Alert signs MOU with Police
This week the Belize Police Department and the Jasmine Alert Program signed a Memorandum of […]

Wilfred Elrington: After U.S. rejected Dermen; Saldivar inquired further
In an interview with Belizean media, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington says that National […]

Coronavirus spreads to eight countries; may be linked to Wuhan bat soup
The deadly new virus that originated in Wuhan, China is believed to have stemmed from […]

Man remanded for allegedly stealing from estranged wife
Hollis Williams, 37, a construction worker of the San Mateo area, San Pedro Town, was […]

Noewellyn Williams takes plea in death of ex-partner who he couldn’t let go
When she refused to resume their relationship last August, 46-year-old Noewellyn Williams of Sandhill, Belize […]

Colin Francis receives disclosure in attempted murder case
Twenty-eight-year-old Colin Francis is a step closer to facing trial for attempting to kill senior […]

Department of the Environment drops case against Primrose Gabourel but not her son
The Department of the Environment (DOE) has been before the court since last August, charging […]

Ministry of Health activates national surveillance team to monitor new strain of coronavirus
The Ministry of Health informed today that it is aware of a new strain of […]

Police find charred human remains in burnt truck
Earlier today we reported that two bodies were found burnt inside a vehicle, however, in […]

“Prime Minister needs to fire John Saldivar,” says Briceno
As more evidence of Belizean involvement comes out in the international fraud case of Lev […]

John Saldivar on surfaced documents: “Nothing has changed”
Minister of National Security and aspiring UDP leadership candidate, John Saldivar, issued a statement today […]


Guidebook: Fifty Big Experiences on Ambergris Caye, Belize
If you’ve ever searched online for what it’s like to live or visit San Pedro in Ambergris Caye, it’s very likely you’ve come across San Pedro Scoop. The blog is part travel guide, part daily journal of Rebecca Coutant, an expat from New York that moved to Belize about 12 years ago. For her latest project, Rebecca has written the travel guidebook: Fifty Big Experiences on Ambergris Caye, Belize. As it says on the title, the guidebook is about what she considers some of the best experiences to have when vacationing in Ambergris Caye. Today, I’ll be asking her a few questions to get to know her better and unpack some of what’s in her guidebook.

Reel fun fishing in Belize…so many ways!
Fishing is so popular that it has gone from beyond a means of getting food to a form of entertainment and for us in the tourism industry, a way of life. What can you expect when fishing in Belize? Here are some of the many ways you can enjoy this top activity while visiting our country. Arguably the most popular form of fishing in Belize, reef fishing is fun and relaxing. A day out on a boat over the calm waters inside the Barrier Reef, Reef Fishing is best done with a beer in hand. Snappers and Jacks are a common catch and best of all, whatever you catch makes for a delicious meal later that day.

But the Weather Forecast Says???
Of course, it is only natural to be checking Belize weather before your trip. I sometimes get emails from people commenting on feeling like they are going to be slammed with rain on vacation because of what their weather app shows. Often our fast heavy rain can come more so at night or earlier in the morning although sometimes they hit in the afternoon. Being able to waterproof your electronics and wallet is something you will be glad you did just in case. A friend recently got both his money and phone soaked on a boat ride and learned the hard way. Even a ziplock bag can save you during a sudden downpour or in my friends’ case high winds and choppy waters.

International Sourcesizz

Best Travel Hot Spots For An Adventure Seeker In Belize
Are you an adventure seeker? If adrenaline is your thing, Belize is the spot for you. Check out our recommendations for things to do in Belize as an Adventure Seeker! Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, Waterfall rappelling at Bocawina National Park, The Belize Barrier Reef, Hike Victoria Peak.

Easter in Belize
On Good Friday, Boil Up is a must to eat, especially if you’re in the south. This dish is a combination of healthy and non-healthy starches. Every item is boiled from ground foods (yam, cassava, sweet potatoes, plantain), to the meats (fish and pigtails) to the cake dough and eggs. This meal is topped with tomato sauce, coconut oil, and sautéed onions. Boil up can be bought at local restaurants for $10-15 Belizean dollars.  Legend has it that you shouldn’t swim until after 5 pm on Good Friday or else you would turn into a mermaid.

Caribbean bristles over US drive to oust Maduro
Caribbean countries are bristling over a US campaign to marshal support for regime change in Venezuela following a visit to the region by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo this week. Pompeo's 22 January meeting with a few Caribbean foreign ministers in Kingston shed light on a rift among small nations that once benefited from Venezuela's subsidized oil supply program known as PetroCaribe. The program has mostly dried up because of Venezuela's eroded domestic production and refining, but political and commercial ties in some prominent cases have endured. "PetroCaribe is fading into the sunset as the Maduro regime will do," Pompeo said after the meeting.


  • Old derelict Libertad Sugar Factory, 2.5min. As chance would have it, we prepared a compilation, with a short video of the old derelict Libertad Sugar Factory. Some of the information has come from various sources. The Corozal Sugar Factory sandwiched between Libertad Village and Estrella, began operating in 1937 in Pembroke Hall, (present Libertad Village), Belize. The old grime, abandoned factory with its rusty and towering boilers are a brutal reminder of what was. The factory rises an empy wreck. Could it be today what it was?

  • Big Rock Falls, 1min. Not all who wander are lost, some just rely on the best tour guides in the business.

  • Eagle Rays in Belize, 1/2min. Diving off of Turneffe Atoll on the 2019 Belize trip.

  • Belize Drone Shot, 7min. This is a quick tour from the Dock at Ramon's Village in San Pedro, Belize to the Meso American Reef. We Dive with Ramon's every fall.


  • International Lego Competition, 30min. An International Lego Competition is coming to Belize this weekend at the Belize Elementary School Gym. The competition uses lego and robotics to teach skills in engineering and creativity with a fun twist. The event is opened to the public to enter and participate. The winning team will represent Belize in the world competition in Houston. Our guests shared all the details. On our couch: Jamie Usher - Principal, Belize High School. Marcelli Young - IT Teacher, Belize High School. Fabiana Pedrini - Plan Ceibal.

  • Kolbe Foundation a model prison for Central America, 36min. Dr. Jarrod Sadulski, is a visiting researcher and University Professor who has assessed Kolbe Foundation a model prison for Central America. Today he was our guest along with Virgilio Murillo, CEO of Kolbe Foundation, to discuss the reasons he has assessed it that way. He listed the top three reasons: 1. Faith-based operations. 2. Mutual respect between the staff and inmates. 3. The diverse rehabilitation program.

  • Equal Opportunities Draft Bill - Father Brian Christopher Perspective, 30min. Father Brian Christopher of St. Martins de Porres Parish was our guests to talk about his take on the Equal Opportunities Draft Bill. He shared that he advocates for respecting the diversity of all persons and that the dialogue between the church and the state actors requires everyone to be open and honest understanding that protection from discrimination is a right of all persons.

  • Grace Flava With a Beat - Grace Coconut Curry Vegetables & white Rice, 19min.

  • Chinese New Year - Ink Painting / Traditional Song, 13min.

  • The Soul Project had an amazing open mic night, 8min. The music at the Belize Soul project, space for the arts & productions tonight was spectacular. Eddie, Aldo, Santos, and...the Australian singer who belted it out.

  • Mexico - Belize - Guatemala, 24min. Tulum - Chetumal - Altun Ha - Belize Zoo - San Ignacio - Xunantunich - Flores - Tikal - Yaxchilan - Palenque - Campeche - Kabah - Uxmal - Merida - Chichen Itza

  • Scuba Caye Caulker Belize, 4.5min.

  • The Inside View - Episode 2 - Belize Hotel Association, min. The Inside View explores the work of industry insiders and features key stakeholders driving Belize’s growing tourism industry.

  • The Garifuna Collective - Mongulu (Wave Punta Fest 2019), 4min.

  • The Garifuna Collective - Weyu Larigi Weyu (Wave Punta Fest 2019), 5min.

  • NEW FEATURE OF THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE PROPERTY - PARKING, 1.5min. The Government House property has a new and very large parking area where tourist vans and small busses will be able to park and wait for their passengers. One of the features of the parking area is to ACCOMMODATE any and all means of transportation including our iconic Calypso Train. We were sure that the parking lot would have been able to ACCOMMODATE most vehicles except the Calypso Train. So, to make sure we could ACCOMMODATE the train, we had a dry run with the train yesterday to see if it would be able to enter and exit without making any changes to what we had already constructed.

  • Links
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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
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    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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