I will not be doing the news tomorrow morning, Sunday February 23rd. I will return on Monday morning!


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

Design Phase Launches for Three of Belize’s Health Facilities to Become Safer and Greener
On Wednesday, 12th February 2020, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) hosted the kick-off meeting to officially launch the design phase of three health facilities in Belize. PAHO project coordinators, engineers, check consultant, with the Ministry of Health officials, and the contracted design company met to discuss timelines, scope of works and project design standards.

PUP inaugurates office in Caye Caulker
An official ceremony was held in Caye Caulker Village on Thursday, February 13th for the inauguration of the People’s United Party (PUP) Office. PUP supporters gathered on La Isla Carińosa for the momentous occasion alongside the party’s Standard Bearer for Belize Rural South (Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker) Andre Perez and its Secretary-General Linsford Castillo and media personality Wendy Castillo.

New Passport regulation goes into effect
A new amendment to the process of obtaining a Belizean passport has come into effect after the approval of a Statutory Instrument (SI), which excludes the input of a Justice of the Peace (JP). The SI mainly focuses on the recommendation section of the application process. The previous system asked applicants to include two recommenders, one from the private sector and another one from the public sector. A JP and a licensed teacher were the most common recommenders, but the new regulation has now removed this item from the application process.

More Aerated Septic systems installed at resort developments in northern Ambergris Caye
Stakeholders in northern Ambergris Caye are complying with the recommendation to adopt aerated septic systems to better treat sewage and wastewaters. The investment in this environmentally friendly upgrade is believed to be the best option in order to co-exist with the surrounding sensitive environment supporting the island’s tourism industry. The new infrastructure has been seen at the island’s popular Secret Beach area and is now been installed at a well- known development called Mara Laguna (formerly known as Barrier Reef Resort) north of San Pedro Town.

San Pedro Smile Clinic is back offering free dental services at Holy Cross
The San Pedro Smile Center Dental Clinic, located at the Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS) in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town, is hosting its annual free dental services to Belizean children and other members of the community. Doctor Mark Johnson of Annandale, Minnesota founded the clinic in 2005 and has continued this volunteer effort along with his wife, Dr. Joan Johnson ever since. The first of three sessions commenced on Tuesday, February 18th and will conclude on Friday, February 21st. The visiting volunteers, Dr. Richard Treharne and Dr. Judy Treharne are from Rosemount, Minnesota and it is their second year volunteering with the Smile Center.

Ambergris Today

Belize Ministry Of Health Officers Trained In Mexico For Coronavirus Testing
Tthe Belize Ministry of Health can confirm that they now have the capacity to do initial screening for COVID-19 as they now have primers and probes to test in country.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Belize Attends the 31st Intersessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington represented Belize at the 31st Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community held in Barbados on February 18-19, 2020. CARICOM Heads of Government reviewed the state of play of the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. In that context they exchanged views with regional private sector representatives on the opportunities and challenges for business and investment in the region.

Clothes Swap & Wine for the time to rid of all those clothes that you no longer wear and that are just stored up in your closets. This event is a clothes swap that will be at Soul Project. Gather the clothes that no longer fit, you don't like or you don't need anymore (Pieces must still be in good conditions) & let's swap

The Corozal House of Culture to Celebrate Their 8th Anniversary
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), through the Museum of Belize, kindly invites the public to the 8th anniversary celebration of The Corozal House of Culture. This year's celebration will honour and highlight the historical landmarks of Corozal Town. The Corozal House of Culture has partnered with Corozal Junior College’s 2nd-year tourism students who will be eagerly awaiting your arrival to tour you through the Corozal Town Historical Walk. The Historical Walk was inaugurated in 2017 as an initiative of the Corozal House of Culture showcasing landmarks from the 1800’s and early 1900’s, it has become a great educational activity with visitors and residents.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
The Night Clerk, Dark Waters, The Good Liar, Timmy Failure

Belize Attends the 31st Intersessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington represented Belize at the 31st Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community held in Barbados on February 18-19, 2020. CARICOM Heads of Government reviewed the state of play of the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. In that context they exchanged views with regional private sector representatives on the opportunities and challenges for business and investment in the region.

Orange Walk annual Juan Carnaval Exhibition
Orange Walk Banquitas House of Culture will be hosting their annual Juan Carnaval Exhibition on February 22nd 2020. The celebration will commence with a Parade at 8:00 a.m from the Banquitas House of Culture, down Queen Victoria Avenue, a right into Bakers Street, through Lovers Lane to culminate at the Central Park for the start of the Comparsa Exhibitions.

Lots of water outages
Dear Belize Water Services, a press release explaining what’s going on would be highly welcome. This is the high tourist season, and your service really sucks!

Our second signature sign for Corozal is looking spiffy
Located at the entrance of Corozal in-front of the old Social Security Building. Will be a great photo opp for everyone visiting our beautiful town.

BWS apologizes to customers in Caye Caulker and San Pedro for ongoing low pressure and water interruption
marketing strategies, which have resulted in a healthy growth in the occupancy rate, especially in San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Unfortunately, this Increased occupancy and an early dry season has led to a continued and consistent increase in water demand, which is challenging the capacity of our current treatment plants and storage reservoirs on these two islands. As a result, BWS informs customers in San Pecks and Caye Caulker that the company will commence implementing reduced pressure and planned late night interruptions in order to maintain minimum storage levels to allow supply during peak hours.

Call for Applications for Taste of Belize 2020!
To apply kindly complete the form-https://forms.gle/3bY7zStSRtLjsR8S9. To review the Rules & Guidelines- http://bit.ly/38QxclL

THE STREET ART FESTIVAL
Mark your calendars! Downtown comes alive once again with the annual Street Art Festival happening on February 29th on historic Albert Street and Battlefield Park. The Festival starts at 12:00 noon. Lots of food, drinks and entertainment. This Downtown Festival has been getting larger and larger every year, you don't want to miss it!

Channel 7

The Investigation of John Saldivar
In just a few days last week, John Saldivar went from the powerful Minister of National security, to the subject of a police investigation.  Now, Saldivar has said publicly that he did nothing wrong when he went to Miami to pick up what he says was a campaign donation from Lev Dermen and Jacob Kingston.  Our read of the test messages say that it was a donation of fifty thousand US dollars.  Saldivar has said that he did not travel with the donation but used the funds in the US to buy sports equipment.   But police today confirmed that they are investigating - and will invoke the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to obtain the court records from Utah.

We Say Crisis, Elodio Says Transition
Indeed, the first two months of 2020 have been rough for the UDP.  And now, the party has made a clumsy U-turn and is heading right back to another national convention.  It's an embarrassing scramble and reversal for the political party that has won five of the  eight general elections since independence.  And now they can't even agree on a leader, after the last one was forced to step down ignominiously after less than 72 hours.   Today, Orange Walk East Representative Elodio Aragon - who opposed Saldivar - and paid the price for it as his Minister of State - tried to put a positive spin on the UDP's thick troubles; he said it's just a transition:..

Will the Buck Stop At Bradley?
A transition, but not an orderly one.   After an inconclusive meeting yesterday in Belmopan, where the 31 UDP area reps, ministers and standard bearers were unable to agree on who should lead, UDP optimists - like Aragon - are trying to see the "reset" as a as a chance for renewal.  Any member of the national assembly can put in his name as a candidate for leader.  We already told you that Cayo North's Omar Figueroa is being urged to do so, and now we are reliably informed that President of the Senate Darrell Bradley is feeling out the waters.  He made an appearance earlier this week on one of the morning talk shows - and today we saw this little flier going around, again floating his name as a possible candidate.

Cops Say Gamboa Was On a Cross Country Rampage
Last night night we told you about an armed robbery at 128 Chinese Store police caught the suspected culprit with a firearm, plus cash and a cell phone he had just stolen. Today police announced he is 20 year old Kenroy Gamboa and he has been charged for kept ammunition without a gun license.    But, the cops say he could be charged for a whole lot more. Gamboa, we have learned is also a persons of interest in two murders, which occurred across two districts, over two days earlier this week. 

Student Union Snaps Back At UB
Last night we brought you the story of the UB students who walked out of class to protest in solidarity with the NTUCB. That was after the University decided that the government-mandated Non-School day does not apply to the university.  And while the students got to attend their rally, the University sent out their own memorandum stating that in the future any Ministry of Education memorandum that does not specifically mention the University and is not endorsed by the University's President can have no effect.

Hyde Brothers On Lockdown
The Hyde brothers, 24-year-old Christopher and 25-year-old-Benjamin were roughed up and detained by police yesterday.  The cops detained both men after shots were allegedly fired near a construction site where they were working. 

COMPOL: It's Hard Out Here For Police
Today, speaking in Orange Walk very generally about crime suppression and community engagement, commissioner Chester Williams said that these are tough times to police in:

Guinea Grass Gets Substation
The Ministry of National Security and the Police Department has re-opened the police sub-station in Guinea Grass Village. It's one of the biggest villages in the Orange Walk District, but for 3 months, its residents had to go all the way to Orange Walk Town because the substation was in a state of disrepair. The Police Department is trying to improve its service delivery to the rural parts of the country. And so, the top Brass and the Department held a ceremony at the newly refurbished station today to make the point that other remote communities will be seeing upgrades like this one. 

Peyrefitte Powers Up Elodio
And, for the Orange Walk East Area Representative, Elodio Aragon it's a happy coincidence that in the week he gets a new minister and is named by the prime minister's office as responsible for the supervision of the Ministry's day-to-day management...

Family Of Murder Victim Seeking Suspects
And, the relative ion a murder victim is asking the Ministry of National Security to press for closure in an open murder investigation.   On January 7th we told you about the brutal killing of Mexican property manager 46-year-old Gabriel Guzman Cruz. It's a harrowing story, one that greatly disturbed the residents of Seine Bight and neighbouring Placencia. At the time Police classified the murder as a robbery gone wrong and yet the brutal nature of Guzman's killing left many to think that something more sinister was at play. Chief among those critics are the Guzman Cruz family.

Cannabis Like A Candy Store
An American retiree was arrested and charged today after she was caught in Eldridge Ville Toledo with a bit more than 10 grams of weed. In fact, it look like she looked like she was storing cannabis like candy.  

"Wiz"ť Found Guilty Of Murder
37-year-old Luis Manuel Carter, the man who police charged with murder for the 2016 San Pedro shooting death of 30-year-old Dwayne Hyde, is guilty. That was the decision that Justice Colin Williams handed down today after carefully considering the case for both the prosecution and the defence.
Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell called an eyewitness to testify against Carter, who she knew as "Wiz". She told the court that at around 12:30 a.m. on July 13th, 2016, she heard someone knocking at her front door. She said that Hyde entered, and he was in a panicked state, saying that someone was after him. 

Pacheco Says It Was Self Defence
Last night, we told you about the latest in the trial without jury of 57-year-old Manuel Pacheco. He's the well-known Belize City jeweler who was charged with murder for the shooting death of his neighbor, 50-year-old Jose Villanueva. Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell closed her case yesterday, and she has led evidence in the trial that on June 14th, 2018, Pacheco shot and killed Villanueva, because of a dispute about a dog. Well, today, Pacheco and his attorney, Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold, presented his defense. He chose not to take the stand to give testimony under oath.

SUV Into The Sea, Man Survives
A white SUV was driven into the sea near the Port of Belize on Wednesday night when driver, 61-year old Ulrick Young, lost control behind the wheel. Fortunately, a trained lifeguard was nearby and managed to resuscitate Young. We caught up with him today and he told us that he and other onlookers watched Young trap himself inside the car while attempting to escape. This was the scene on Wednesday night when a Honda SUV plunged into the sea near the Port of Belize. Inside was 61-year-old Ulrick Young who had lost control of his vehicle after experiencing a stroke.

Senior Counsel Condemns AG's Office
On Wednesday's news, we took you to the Supreme Court for the lawsuit that the Bar Association filed against Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and the other members of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.
DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal is the sitting President of the Bar Association, but for 2 years now, the Chief Justice, as the Chair, has refused to allow her to take her seat at the Commission's meetings. He interprets the Constitution to mean that since she is a public officer, she is disqualified from taking the seat. 

Will PUP Pull 10K?
Last night, we showed you the good governance demonstration that the National Trade Union Congress of Belize staged in Belize City. It was part of their "Only the People Can Save the People" Campaign, and they wanted to make a strong statement against corruption in public life. The unions were able to mobilize hundreds of demonstrators with only a few days' notice, but as you saw last night, Opposition Leader is claiming that his party will be able to mobilize 10,000 supporters for their anti-corruption march on this coming Sunday.

He Burn, She Burn
A couple from Lord's bank was separately charged for arson in the court of Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson.  That's after 31-year-old Jerome Swift and 30-year-old Renisha Ortiz each burned the others clothing, shoes, and other assorted possessions.  Ortiz told Police that On Tuesday night around 9:20 she and Swift got into a domestic dispute when he entered the house and began to insult her.

Special Constable Charged For Heinous Abuse
A special constable is in jail tonight, charged for 8 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.  31 year old Jeremy  Bermudez, allegedly had sex with a minor from she was 13  years until she was almost 15.

Channel 5

ACP Marco Vidal is Assigned to Investigate Former Minister John Saldivar
The new Minister of National Security Michael Peyrefitte told the media on Thursday that an investigation has been launched into the allegations of wrongdoing by embattled former minister John Saldivar. [...]

Police Investigation Can Also Free John Saldivar of Any Wrongdoing
According to ComPol Williams, the police will be working with various agencies and government departments, including the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, in [...]

Unions Say We Are the Boss!!
The ten unions of the National Trade Union Congress that took to the streets on Thursday were united in the fight against the rampant corruption that has invaded the government.  [...]

Elena Smith: “This is the start of a revolution”
Senator Elena Smith, who leads the Belize National Teachers Union as President, has indicated that Thursday’s demonstration is only the beginning of major changes to come in respect of good [...]

Mose Gaan Off on Corruption and Lost Belizean Patrimony
The scourge of corruption that continues to permeate all facets of Belizean society is not lost on ‘Mose’ Hyde who took the opportunity while addressing the masses of teachers and [...]

P.U.P. Prepares for Anti-Government Demonstration
On the heels of a successful demonstration staged by the unions, this Sunday the People’s United Party will descend on the Old Capital for a national demonstration against Prime Minister [...]

Opposition Party Ready to Take on the U.D.P.
Briceńo says that Sunday’s march should send an unequivocal message to PM Barrow that Belizeans have had enough with corruption.  The Opposition Leader says that the People’s United Party is [...]

John Briceńo Says He Doesn’t Believe Michael Peyrefitte
The embattled John Saldivar continued with his media rounds this morning appearing on the U.D.P.’s morning talk show, where he not only defended his integrity, but called the media a [...]

John Briceńo: “The Prime Minister is spinning”
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on January thirty-first ruled against the government, handing down a much anticipated verdict in which he declared that over one billion dollars were spent illegally and that [...]

Minister Aragon: No Crisis in U.D.P.; Normal Process of Selecting New Leader
Tonight, the United Democratic Party finds itself in a conundrum and without a clear leader to succeed Prime Minister Dean Barrow.  Merely two weeks ago, John Saldivar emerged as leader-elect, [...]

Elodio Aragon’s Unwavering Support for Patrick Faber
While we had Junior Minister Aragon on hand today at an event in Orange Walk, we asked him who is likely to emerge as the head of the party. All [...]

Kenroy Gamboa, Charged for Robbery, but Wanted for Murders in Corozal and Hattieville
There have been two recent, but separate murders in Hattieville in the Belize District and another in the Halls Layout area of Corozal Town. And in what seems like a [...]

Louis Carter Convicted for Murder
San Pedro resident Louis Carter was found guilty of murder today by Justice Colin Williams. Carter was on trial for the murder of Dwayne Hyde, a mechanic also of the [...]

Manuel Pacheco Says He Killed Neighbour in Self Defense
Belize City jeweler, Manuel Pacheco, who is on trial for the murder of his next-door neighbour, today pleaded with the court that he killed Jose Manuel Villanueva in self defense.   [...]

An Update on the Investigation of the NSC Audit
While the investigation on the alleged wrongdoing of former National Security Minister John Saldivar is yet to begin, ComPol Chester Williams says he is digging deep into another investigation; that [...]

Banking Information to be Obtained, as Major Crimes Unit Investigate Julian Cho High School Audit
The Commissioner of Police also shared an update on the investigation of the Julian Cho High School in the south, where huge contracts were awarded to teachers for construction work. [...]

What’s Up with the Succotz Cancha?
The Succotz Cancha has fallen to ruins. Residents say that for past twelve to fifteen years the once popular, public venue in the village has been abandoned. They report that [...]

Belize Capable of Detecting COVID-19
The number of deaths due to the coronavirus continues to climb and it is reported that at least one thousand one hundred persons have died, while far more, about forty-five [...]

Protocol Launched to Improve Protection of Children during Disasters
On Wednesday, the Government and UNICEF launched the “National Protocol for Integrated Protection for Children and Adolescents during Emergency and Disaster Situations.” It’s a disaster risk reduction document that researchers [...]

A New Police Station for Guinea Grass Village
Minister of State for the Police, Elodio Aragon Junior says two police stations are to open in the Orange Walk District.  The first is in Guinea Grass where residents can [...]

ComPol Tour 2020 Heads North to Orange Walk
Earlier this month, the Commissioner of Police commenced a nationwide tour of the regions. The first stop was in San Pedro and today he travelled up north to Orange Walk [...]

Minister Aragon on New Responsibilities
While there is a new Minister of National Security, Elodio Aragon Junior remains as junior minister in the ministry with responsibility for police. But he is also now tasked with [...]

Amandala

Message to Barrow – wi tired ah corruption!
On Monday, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) released its 6-point agenda to combat government corruption and bring about good governance. The 6-point agenda was released under the theme, “Only the people can save the people.” Those demands were backed up today with a massive demonstration which saw thousands of union members march through the streets of Belize City. The march culminated with a rally at the Memorial Park, where NTUCB executive members and union leaders addressed the nation.

UDP still in search of new leader
This morning, the National Trade Union Congress demonstrated against corruption in government under the theme “Only the people can save the people,” in the streets of the old capital, Belize City, but in the new capital of Belmopan, the administrative center of the country, the governing United Democratic Party was meeting to try and come to some consensus about getting a new leader. Prime Minister Dean Barrow will not contest the upcoming general elections slated for later this year. When the meeting between Prime Minister Barrow and his party’s standard bearers ended, there was only an agreement to hold a UDP Party Council meeting next Saturday to begin the process of electing a new leader who will replace retiring Prime Minister Barrow.

Chief Justice allows Lord Ashcroft to join redistricting case
Belize’s 31 electoral constituencies do not have an equal number of registered voters. Some constituencies have double the amount of registered voters that are listed for some other constituencies, and this is not in keeping with what the Constitution of Belize mandates should be the case. The Belize Peace Movement, the Belize Progressive Party and Vision Inspired by the People filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court to force the Elections and Boundaries Commission to address the disparities in the constituencies, according to the Constitution.

Barrow in trouble!
General elections are scheduled for later this year, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) is now embarking on a pre-election agenda aimed at tackling corruption in order to ensure more transparency in governance. Seated at the head table were the National President of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), Senator Elena Smith; NTUCB president, Marvin Mora; and Southern Christian Workers Union executive, Hubert Enriquez. Apart from the trade union leaders at the head table, all members of the NTUCB were present for today’s launch.

Missing Robert Nunez, 24, found dead in Benque Viejo
Robert Nunez, 24, a laborer of San Ignacio, left his home in San Ignacio on Sunday, February 16, and when he failed to return, he was reported missing by his mother yesterday, Tuesday. Nunez’s body was found in an advanced state of decomposition at about 10 o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, February 19, in a bushy area at the Western Border near Benque Viejo Del Carmen. His body was seen with stab wounds in the chest, and his throat was slit. Police said that an onsite post mortem will be conducted to certify the cause of Nunez’s death.

SUV plunges into the sea
At about 9:30 last night, an SUV plunged into the sea in an area near the Deep Water Port, on Caesar Ridge Road. Luckily, the driver of the vehicle was not killed, but the circumstances that led to the vehicle falling into the sea are not yet known. Residents in the area said that the driver, Ulric Nelson Young, a taxi driver of Belize City, was recovered from the vehicle and an ambulance took him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a stable condition.

Barracks destroyed in Seine Bight; 30 homeless
Fire completely destroyed a barracks in Seine Bight comprised of 14 rooms, and a house near the barracks, at about 2:30 this afternoon. As a result, about 30 persons are now homeless. Those persons are now being housed at the Seine Bight community center, and an investigation has been launched to ascertain the cause of the massive fire. Luckily, no one was injured. Kirwin Ramirez, the Seine Bight Village chairman, told the media that he was coming from Placencia when he saw smoke coming from the timber barracks, which measured about 35 feet x 45 feet, and was owned by Mary Palacio, 53, of Punta Gorda.

In Barrow’s post-scandal Cabinet reshuffle, AG Peyrefitte gets big muscle
Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow called an “emergency Cabinet meeting” in Belmopan, in an effort to mitigate the major embarrassment suffered by the ruling UDP when Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar (Belmopan), was implicated in the Lev Dermen fraud trial in Salt Lake City, Utah. Just the day before text messages were made public in the Utah US$500 million plus fraud trial, Saldivar was elected UDP party leader and was sworn into that office on Sunday, February 9, after he defeated Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber (Collet), in an acrimoniously contested party national convention.

Two workers fall off scaffold while working on the new Belize Heritage Plaza building
At about 8:30 this morning, two masons working on the outside wall of the new building called the Belize Heritage Plaza, which is being constructed at the corner of Queen and North Front Street, were standing on a platform elevated on a scaffold to a height of about 20 feet above ground and were working on the wall, on the Queen Street side of the building. It is believed that one of the men was standing at the edge of the platform and missed his footing, and slipped, but grabbed onto his co-worker for support, causing the platform to become dislodged. The two workers then fell off the platform to the ground below.

BDF soldier, 18, survives gun attack
Wayne Perry, 18, a Belize Defence Force soldier who resides on Violet Lane, survived after being shot several times, after which the gunman rode away on a motorcycle. Perry was hit in the arms, abdomen and leg. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Belize’s labor unions (and the PUP) take to the streets
The ruling United Democratic Party’s mismanagement of the resources of this country and their failure to improve our democracy have to be considered among the worst betrayals. The labor unions and people of Belize gave their all for a change of government in 2008, and then the UDP stole it. No political party ever got an easier ride to power than the UDP got in 2008. The ruling PUP government, 2003 to 2008, couldn’t resolve a major rift inside the party that was primarily caused by its economic policies.

Attorney Payal Ghanwani appointed new UDP Sentor
Payal Ghanwani, an attorney employed at the law firm of attorney Steve Perrera, has been tapped as the new United Democratic Party Senator, according to a government release from the Office of the Prime Minister. The appointment of the new Senator became necessary after another UDP Senator, Steven Duncan, stepped down following the scandal involving the former Minister of National Security, John Saldivar.

Redistricting cannot happen yet, says Doug Singh
The legal battle between the Elections and Boundaries Department and the Belize Peace Movement, the Belize Progressive Party, the Vision Inspired by the People, and as of late, Lord Michael Ashcroft, continues. As previously reported, this case regarding the redistricting of the thirty-one electoral divisions has significant implications for the upcoming 2020 general elections. The concern of the claimants (i.e. the Belize Peace Movement, et al.) is that the disparity in the size of the constituencies breaches the Constitutional requirement that they must be as close in number of constituents as possible, which is far from the case.

Michael “Chips” Norales is new Deputy Mayor
Michael “Chips” Norales is the Belize City Council’s new deputy mayor. He replaces Councilor Oscar Arnold, who has been serving in the capacity for almost two years...

Chief Justice allows Lord Ashcroft to join redistricting case
Belize’s 31 electoral constituencies do not have an equal number of registered voters. Some constituencies have double the amount of registered voters that are listed for some other constituencies, and this is not in keeping with what the Constitution of Belize mandates should be the case. The Belize Peace Movement, the Belize Progressive Party and Vision Inspired by the People filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court to force the Elections and Boundaries Commission to address the disparities in the constituencies, according to the Constitution.

The Mennonites have what most of our tribes want. But do they have too much?
There is no place in Belize that is exclusively Garinagu, no land where that tribe’s traditions and race are insulated from the rest of Belize. There are Garifuna villages, and relatively large pockets of the tribe in Punta Gorda, Dangriga and Belize City, but nowhere do they live completely insulated from Belizeans who belong to distinctly different tribes. If the Garinagu will keep their language, their traditions, and their race, yes, they might want to find such a place. The Maya of the North and West are very much Mestizo-ized, but the Maya who live in the villages found particularly in Toledo West are pretty much insulated from the influence of the other tribes of Belize.

Corozal Community College girls and Mount Carmel High School boys are 2020 NSSSA football champions
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its 2020 national high schools football championships over the weekend with male and female games on Friday and Saturday, February 14 & 15, at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City, where this year’s Nationals were hosted by Pallotti High School. The four regional champions – North, Central, West and South – in both male and female categories, played a simple knockout format, whereby the losers on Friday afternoon played the consolation third-place match on Saturday morning, while Friday’s winners clashed for the championship on Saturday afternoon.

Cricket Corner – “Cow know weh paat weak fence deh.”
Hello, my lovely Cricket Corner readers, players and enthusiasts! The past weekend was such a pleasant time for our sport. Heartaches for some and happiness for others! But, that’s the way the game is played. So, please don’t be mad with anyone when you lose or in a situation when you’re losing. (“IT ONLY HURTS FOR A LITTLE WHILE.”) With that said, congratulations to all winners; and best of luck next game-day for the not so fortunate ones! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Bowen and Bowen/ Harrison Parks 2020 Cricket Competition continued over the weekend with some very interesting matches.

Ahmadiyya Basketball Weeks 2 & 3 results
The Ahmadiyya Basketball League (ABL) Youth Tournaments 2020 continued with games for the past two Sundays, February 9 & 16, (Weeks 2 & 3), at the SJC gym. We apologize for the late report for Week 2, as we tried to secure some missing data. Below are the results received for Weeks 2 & 3:

Yu name stink dah road!
One of the moves taking place as I pen this article is the massive protest by the unions, which was called for and spearheaded by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB). There was full union force behind the impetus which led to the protest, because it seems that the recent disgrace surrounding John Saldivar has unleashed a series of events. Saldivar’s disgrace is only the culmination of the festering of political corruption of an administration ushered into office on a promise of transparency and accountability and institution of anti-corruption laws and policies — none of which have been carried out thus far! Gazette!

The greatness of the fabled RedACB
Oh, those desperate days of yore. Wait, it’s just 12 plus years ago — could it be such a short time back that multiple balls were in the air and all over the place, and the worst skullduggery mi di blow over like lee breeze, and seven of Said’s prized Ministers couldn’t shake the love he had for one, Ralph Fonseca, the Minister of Italian projects who had businesses going all the way to Montevideo and who had a midnight vesting bill handover of the golden share? Ah Ralph, he had such grand ideas to turn every living room in our country into a factory and, according to Avery and Ambrose and Ashcroft, to help facilitate a retirement plan for the select big boys.

Musings by the Curious Nonconformist
This piece was first published on Facebook using its Notes feature on February 19, 2020. It is entitled “An Open Letter to Belizean Youth”. The first time it was published, it featured a photo of the 2005 civil unrests in Belmopan in which a protester was seen holding a Belizean Flag in the face of the Belize Police Department’s Riot Unit: It is a very charged time in Belize, and some may think it is because it is an election year, but I beg to differ. I believe it is because times are ripe with raging inequality and lack of opportunity; our nation is being brought to its knees because of the painful bite of corruption and all its tentacles.

Reform: let’s just do it
RED SPOKESMAN: Yeah, there is suspicion of corruption by Saldivar, but Briceńo gave himself and family acres of land. Oh my God! When are we going to grow up? Don’t they already know that demonization will help them naught to win the election! Reform! Reform is what the country needs, and I believe what we shall vote for. Bring back all the discredited and exposed concerned Belizeans. Their words will count for naught but laughter and ridicule. Has not time shown us that what they were concerned about was their own personal enrichment?

Trouble in the surgical ward …
Apparently he had turned questioningly to Gertrude, as the spokesperson, and she had launched into an account which had left out such details as she thought might be damaging to herself, and had inserted a fictitious quote from Jewel to the effect that Dr. St. John would probably soon be checking on his patient, which, in her mind had served to lessen the urgency to make the call to him when she could not find the staff nurse.

Richard Harrison ran in by-election due to resignation of PUP’s Joseph Mahmud
Dear Editor, In reference to your story of Friday, February 7, 2020, captioned, “Businessman Richard Harrison, 55, dies …. “, please note an inaccurate statement on the last paragraph of page 2, which states: “Harrison ran in the by-election in Cayo North … following the death of the PUP’s Agripino Cawich in 2015.” That by-election in 2015 was due to the resignation of the PUP’s Joseph Mahmud from the House of Representatives.

China is disinfecting cash due to coronavirus, but can money make you sick?
The Chinese government has taken extreme measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, like banning travel and building a new hospital in 10 days. But now, Chinese banks are deep-cleaning and even destroying potentially infected money, according to a press release from the Chinese government. Under current law, Chinese banks must disinfect their money with ultraviolet light and high temperatures and store it for seven to 14 days before it can be released to the general public.

American woman busted with weed
A 55 year old American woman was arrested and charged for possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply. Police search the residence of Linda Elder in Eldridgeville Village, Toledo District. In her presence they found one thousand nine hundred and fifty three grams of suspected cannabis.

The Reporter

Innocent Looking American Grandmother Selling Weed
Police have charged Linda Louise Elder, 55, American retiree of Eldridgeville, Toledo with possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.

LOVE FM

Is there an investigation into against John Saldivar or not?
Tonight, there are mixed reports on whether the criminal investigation against the former Minister of National Security, John Saldivar has begun. According to Saldivar’s recently appointed successor, Michael Peyrefitte, the investigation has started but Police Commissioner is saying otherwise.

John Saldivar says not because he lied means he is corrupt
And while all these allegations remain somewhat alive, the question on many minds is whether Saldivar will try again for UDP Leader. Earlier this week on The Morning Show he indicated that he is waiting to see what the party will decide on that issue. Today he was on the UDP’s Morning segment where he explained that right now he is on a mission to clear his name.

Elodio Aragon says the UDP is in a transitioning phase
Some people would say that the United Democratic Party is currently in turmoil with no clear direction for its future. The Minister of State in the National Security would beg to disagree, however.

Seine Bight fire victims plead for assistance
Tuesday’s fire in Seine Bight Village, Stann Creek District has left over twenty-five persons displaced. The fire victims are currently being sheltered at the Multi-Purpose building and are hoping and appealing for assistance. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story.

Elodio Aragon discusses changes in the MoNS
The Ministry of National Security has seen quite a change in the past few weeks with John Saldivar resigning and succeeded by the Attorney General Michael Peyrifitte. While Peyrefitte is the substantive Minister of National Security, Elodio Aragon will oversee the day-to-day operations as the Minister of State.

Investigations well underway for National Sports Council
The Auditor General’s report was released over a month ago, revealing financial discrepancies to the tune of over $400,000 at the National Sports Council. While many believe this would have been swept under the rug, the Commissioner of Police reassured the media today that the investigation is well underway.

AG Michael Peyrefitte says he has responded to the unions
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte says he has responded to the unions regarding the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The finalization of the first phase of UNCAC and the start of its second phase was one of the six demands that the NTUCB placed on the Government.

Former Belize City mayor talks about several issues in Belize
Former Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley was a guest on The Morning Show yesterday. Bradley who stepped away from the forefront of politics after serving for two consecutive terms as Mayor, spoke on several issues including governance, politics and campaign legislation.

Linda Elder charged for possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.
A 55-year-old female American national was arrested and charged yesterday just after ten o’clock for possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.

Luis Carter convicted for murder
The murder trial for 26-year-old Luis Carter ended in a conviction this morning before Justice Colin Williams. This morning, the murder trial against Carter, ended in a conviction but Justice Williams has deferred sentencing of the convict for next week, Friday, February 28

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize Red Cross hosts volunteer recruitment drive
The Belize Red Cross is hosting a series of volunteer recruitment drives this weekend. Anyone […]

Happy International Mother Language Day, Belize!
On February 21st of each year since 2008, the United Nations (UN) member countries celebrate […]

Corozal House of Culture to celebrate 8th anniversary
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), through the Museum of Belize, is inviting […]

Local lifeguard hailed as hero for saving life of elderly man who drove into the sea
Belizean lifeguard, Shane Pascasio is being hailed as a local hero after he reportedly sprung […]

Belize attends 31st inter-sessional meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington represented Belize at the 31st inter-sessional Meeting of the […]

American national charged for possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply
Authorities have detained and charged, retired American, Linda Elder of Cux Ling Ha in Toledo […]

Universal Hardware’s Family and Friends Day kicks off in Spanish Lookout
Today marks the launch of the 10th Annual Family and Friends Day, hosted by Universal […]

US scientists claim to have developed coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
A number of international media outlets have reported that scientists at Greffex, a Houston, Texas-based […]

John Saldivar: “My career is about helping my country,” plans to run in next election
When asked about his prospects for the next general election this morning on Wave Radio […]

John Saldivar: ‘I spoke to UDP delegates directly’
Former UDP Leader-elect, John Saldivar, appeared this morning on Wave TV and Radio to speak […]

John Saldivar says “ Media is a bunch of hypocrites”
This morning, disgraced former UDP leader-elect and Minister of National Security, John Saldivar appeared on […]

Blogs

BEAUTIFUL North Caye Caulker: Exploring for the First Time
The small island of Caye Caulker, located just a few miles from Ambergris Caye, is more like two islands. There is the south side – or Caye Caulker village – and the north side or north island. They are separated by The Split. A few years back I visited a very cool spot close to the northern tip and a very interesting character at a spot called The Estuary. And more recently I’ve visited KokoKing – possibly the very best beach in Belize. A beach club/hotel/restaurant/hot spot on North Caye Caulker. My first trip in 2016. STUNNING.

Colors and Culture: Corozal’s Graffiti Fest
It didn’t matter that the sun was beating down along Miami Beach in the Corozal Bay. People were out and about, and all along a stretch of concrete walls, the sound of spraying, the smell of paint and the sight of colors came together. Artists from as far as Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador and of course, Belize, took turns creating masterpieces in graffiti style at Corozal’s second annual Graffiti Festival.

Historical & Archaeological Itinerary in Belize
The country of Belize evolved from a rich history; from North to South you’ll find interesting back stories behind the people, sites, and monuments in each district. So, if the purpose of your trip is to learn and see the deep roots from which Belize was made then this itinerary is just for you. Here are some of our top picks for historical and archaeological sites in Belize.

Babymoon Bliss in Belize
Your little bundle of joy is on the way and you’ve decided to go on a babymoon as a final hurrah before the big arrival! You know exactly what you’re looking for in a vacation-quality time with your partner, relaxation, comfort and a great place to spend your days reading books and catching up on the little pleasures you soon might not have time for. But where exactly do you choose to go? Belize is a perfect babymoon destination and here’s why! Firstly, you don’t want to travel too far and, where possible, you should keep flying time at a minimum when pregnant. Belize is an easy flight from many major North American destinations, with flight times of approximately 2-3 hours on average. This gives you more time to enjoy your pre-baby escape with less travel stress.

International Sourcesizz

Marine construction to start on Port Coral (formerly Stake Bank)
The Feinstein Group of Companies contracted Intercoastal Marine Inc. to handle marine construction at Port Coral, a new cruise ship docking facility near Belize City. Equipment is being mobilized and construction will start shortly, principal Michael Feinstein told Seatrade Cruise News.

Videos

  • San Pedro Carnaval History, 10min.

  • Belikin La Ruta Maya Recce, 6.5min.

  • Belikin La Maya Recce 2, 3min.

  • Belikin La Maya Recce 3, 3min.

  • Experience Ray Caye Island Resort, Belize, 1min. Come experience the newly reopened Ray Caye Island Resort and see for yourself what's new at our Belize private island resort.

  • Belize Now - February 21, 2020, min. In the headlines: We hear more from the Department of Nationality and Passports, RESTORE Belize discusses new draft National Citizen Security Policy and Plan, and we take a look at the work of the Medical Examiner’s Office in our Forensics Series. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, February 21st, 2020

  • Flavio and Daisy in Belize and Tikal 2020, 22min. An interesting one week long trip.

  • Channel 5 Daily Obituaries - STEPHEN JOSEPH BISHOP, 1.5min.

  • El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro photo exhibit at the San Pedro House of Culture!, 3min.

  • The Truck Stop, 2min. Welcome to The Truck Stop, Belize's first shipping container food truck park!

  • Belize dive trip 2020, 31min. Dive trip on the Belize Aggressor IV. January 4th to 11th 2020.

  • Belize - Cockscomb Jungle Hike Part 3, 16min.

  • Cave Tubing In Belize, 5.5min.

  • Maya Cooking Experience, 23min. Great video of the Maya women group from the Yucatec Maya village of San Antonio Cayo. In this Maya Cooking Experience you will learn to make tortillas and more! Watch Ger Sosam and Sean Kuylen grind their own corn and make their own fresh tortillas!

  • Hand Crafted Pottery Making, 20min. Hand crafted pottery making in San Antonio Village, Cayo. Tune in and check out what makes this activity a one of a kind experience.