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Today's Belize News: February 29, 2020 #540830
02/29/20 06:34 AM
02/29/20 06:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,259
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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

CDB, UK to improve safety and climate resilience along arterial road on Belize’s east coast
The Governments of Belize and the United Kingdom and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on February 24th launched the Coastal Highway Upgrading in La Democracia, Belize. “The Coastal Highway Upgrading will improve access to social services and economic opportunities for 1,700 residents along the road, while incorporating enhanced safety for 2,500 road users in vehicles every day in addition to vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. A paved and raised road with improved bridges and better drainage will make the corridor more climate resilient and reduce significantly time lost through road closures due to flooding,” said CDB Director of Projects, Daniel Best.

Santander offers Cayo farmers sweet deal
Cayo farmers have been offered a sweet deal from the Santander Group, to get into the lucrative sugar industry without any initial investment by the farmers. Santander’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jose Rodriguez says they can enjoy a secure income growing sugarcane while also increasing Belize’s exports and helping the country become self-sufficient in green, clean energy production.

Lima Lama Central American Federation Founded; Martin Dawson represents Belize
Representatives from five Central American countries, including Belize, convened in San Salvador, El Salvador on Saturday, February 22nd to pen the foundation of a Lima Lama federation for Central America. Lima Lama is a Polynesian type of martial arts that teaches self-defense and highlights confidence, respect, and discipline.

Museum of Belize presents Women in Art 2020
The Museum of Belize has two exciting exhibitions coming up in March, highlighting female artists of all ages from around the country. The first exhibit entitled, “Little Women in Art,” will open on Friday, March 13th at the Museum of Belize in Belize City. Curated by Adriana Smith, it will feature artwork from female artists 18 years and younger. The work selected will range from paintings, poetry, dance performances, and more.

Ambergris Today

UNICEF Hosts Right To Happiness Program In San Pedro
On Friday, February 21, 2020, over 20 participants received their certificate of completion from the Return to Happiness Program (RTH Program) which was carried out by UNICEF, the Ministry of Local Government and the San Pedro Town Council. The RTH Program is a three-day training course that capacitates individuals to assist children, from age ranges 5-12, with psychosocial problems, which are usually caused by traumatic experiences, i.e. fires, natural disasters, etc.

Ministry Of Agriculture Hosts Workshop For The Development Of Belize’s Tilapia Industry
The Ministry of Agriculture hosted a half-day workshop for fishers, buyers, retailers, and other relevant government agencies to examine a value chain analysis and proposed strategy to develop Belize’s tilapia industry. The workshop was held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan.

Various Belizean Sources


Office of Director of Health Services COVID-19 UPDATE
We are aware of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Mexico City, the case is an imported one of a Mexican national who was in Italy. The patient doesn't have any previous health risk factor and given the symptoms (same symptoms as the seasonal flu) he currently has, he is being classified as a low risk patient. Mexican authorities have asked the population to not panic and to avoid spreading rumors which can be detrimental in any containment of cases.

Miss Universe Belize, Destinee Arnold Returns to Belize
On Friday, Belize welcomed back its very own Miss Universe Belize, Destinee Arnold, from the USA! Ms. Arnold represented the Jewel in the Miss Universe pageant last year and Belizeans all over the country united in pride as they cheered from back home. The BTB caught up with Destinee to ask her a few questions about the experience before she headed off to start her Belize vacation.

Mrs. Vilma Romero passes away
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs. Vilma Romero; the mother of Art in Belize. Sculptress, artist and one of the kindest souls who devoted her life to creating art up until her time of passing. On behalf of the National Institute of Culture & History, we send our deepest condolences to the Romero family. Her great legacy will live on through her sculptures which are on permanent display throughout the country of Belize. For those who are not aware of her accomplishments please read her biography below. Rest in Peace Vilma you will be dearly missed.

Numeracy After School Program
The Hub will be kicking off its literacy and numeracy after school program on March 11th. Register now!

Female Volleyball Marathon
The Fountain of Youth Foundation's Female Volleyball Marathon is Sunday at Falcon Field. March 1st, 2020 starting at 9am.

Ministry of National Security Confirms the Crash Landing of BDF Helicopter
The Ministry of National Security is saddened to confirm that the Belize Defence Force (BDF) U1H1 Helicopter and its crew of two pilots and two crew members of the BDF Airwing crashed landed yesterday morning in the area of Gales Point. According to the BDF Operations Cell, the aircraft left the BDF Airwing early Thursday morning as part of the response to the drug plane that was captured yesterday.

Ministry of Health Advisory No. 5 – COVID-19
The Ministry of Health is aware of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico. Both cases in Mexico were imported and have a history of travel to Italy which has ongoing cases of COVID-19. Mexican officials have confirmed that both individuals are well and seem to have mild cases of the disease. One patient is isolated in a hospital while the other is in isolation at a hotel. Mexican health authorities have asked the population to remain calm and avoid spreading rumors which can be detrimental in the containment of the cases. To date, Belize remains free of any cases of COVID-19.

Belize and Honduras Sign Air Transport Services Agreement
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is pleased to inform the general public that today, February 28, 2020, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Belize, and Ms. Nicole Marder, Secretary of State in the Office of Tourism of the Republic of Honduras, signed the Air Transport Services Agreement Between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of Honduras. This agreement comes to formalize the existing commercial and economic relationship between the two countries and is expected to boost regional air connectivity, facilitate international air travel, and gain access to other key aviation markets. Besides opening additional routes, it is expected that this new arrangement will also provide Belizeans and future visitors with travel alternatives at more competitive prices.

Office of the Prime Minister Issues Condolences to Families of BDF Soldiers
On behalf of the Government and People of Belize, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) offers deepest condolences to the families of the members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) killed in the horrific air disaster that brought down a BDF helicopter. On behalf of the entire nation, the OPM records its gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice these brave men of honour made in laying down their lives in service to our country. The OPM also offers condolences to the Commander, Officers, and all the men and women of the Belize Defence Force.

Belize Network of NGOs Stands in Solidarity with the Families of the lost BDF Airmen
The Belize Network of NGOs (BNN) joins the entire country in mourning the four BDF airmen lost in the tragic U1H1 helicopter accident in the Belize District. The BNN calls for a national day of prayer and mourning to honour the service of pilots Major Adran Ramirez and Major Radford Baizar and crew members Corporal Yassir Mendez and Corporal Reinaldo Choco to Belize.

Channel 7

Four Soldiers Dead in Unprecedented Accident
Tonight a heavy air of mourning and mystery hangs over the BDF and the nation as four soldiers are dead in the second worst air disaster in Belize's history. The helicopter the soldiers were in went down in the Western Lagoon near Gales Point Manatee before dawn on Thursday. The four soldiers, two majors and two corporals were responding as air support to the interception of the drug plane which landed off the Coastal road. But, there's mystery because no one knew when the helicopter went down - and in fact, no one in the BDF knew it was missing until last night!

BDF Helicopter and Crew At The Bottom Of Western Lagoon
This is all that could be seen of the U1H1 helicopter - it's tail jutting out of the Western Lagoon. Just beneath the surface you can make out the blades of the chopper - and from this we can conclude that it was face down in the Lagoon. We got to a clearing on the banks of the lagoon at the same time of two BDF deployments, in the background - about a thousand feet away, the chopper lay submerged with the bodies of four of their fellow soldiers. Those bodies, their souls were surely on the mind of the BDF commander, General Steven Ortega as sat at the front desk today, in a daze:

Ministry: Helicopter Was On Approved Mission
Indeed, this unprecedented tragedy has overshadowed yesterday's record drug bust of over five thousand pounds. And to answer the many questions puzzling the public, the Ministry of National Security and the commanders of all the armed forces held a joint press conference at the Coast Guard headquarters. Minister Mike Peyrefitte first explained the mission that the helicopter and its crew were on near the Coastal Highway, between Northern And Southern Lagoon:

No Night Vision Equipment Or Training?
A sanctioned mission, but might it have also been a suicide mission, to fly out into the pre-dawn without night vision equipment or training? It's a tough question, but a very valid one - and here's what the commander had to say: Reporter: "Are the helicopters equip with night vision or are the pilots equip with night vision equipment?" Brig. General Steven Ortega, Commander BDF "The helicopters aren't equip, however the pilots do conduct night flying especially along the coast." Reporter: "Is there preliminarily from a cursory inspection of the craft, I know its still in the water, but is there any indication if the helicopter was fired upon or if it just apparently ended up in the lagoon?" Brig. General Steven Ortega, Commander BDF: "I don't know. We haven't seen anything. We await the investigation to confirm whatever, because it's still partially submerged."

When did Chopper Take Flight?
So, no distress call was received, but was the helicopter in the air much earlier than announced? Multiple reports tell us that a chopper was heard in the Ladyville/Hattieville area at 2:00 am, not 4:00 am as the BDF reports. We asked about this today: Reporter: "The commissioner told us yesterday the intercept was made just after 4am, between 4am and 4:30am, but I have multiple accounts of people who live in the area Ladyville, Hattieville, who heard the helicopter up at 2am..."

Admiral Borland Leads Investigation
And, now an investigation will have to put together all these disparate threads of information to come up with the answer as to what went wrong in the air on Thursday morning. The man tasked with doing all that is the Chief off Defence Staff, John Borland - who gave the press an outline of his investigation: John Borland, Chief of Defense Staff: "There will be 3 investigations running parrallel to each other; the air accident investigation to investigate the causal factors of the accident itself, but also the internal investigation to investigate the procedures and protocols to see if those were followed and what was breached..."

Pilot's Mother Says BDF Didn't Contact Her
So, while the authorities get ready to conduct an investigation into this deadly helicopter accident, the family members of one of the victims were complaining that up until late this evening, they were having a lot of difficulties trying to get information about what exactly happened. The family of Major Radford Baizar says that they have been worried sick about him for about a day now, and they had to learn about his death through rumors on the street. This evening, we met his mother at the entrance of the BDF's Price Barracks Compound. Here's how she explained why the lack of direct communication between her son's superiors and his family members is causing them to get suspicious about his death:

Judge Says Jeweller Not Guilty
Last week, we told you about all about the murder trial without a jury of 57-year-old Manuel Pacheco. For about a little over a year, the well-known jeweler from Belize City had been on remand for shooting and killing 50-year-old Jose Villanueva. Well, tonight he is a free man after he was acquitted by Justice Colin Williams. As we told you, Senior Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell called an eyewitness who told the court that she saw when Pacheco gunned Villanueva down after they got into some hard-talk over Villanueva's dog.

KHMH's Resident Raccoon
A racoon in The KHMH - and he wasn't there for a checkup! The pictures and videos of the vile intruder have been making the rounds on social media all day. It's even been memed, but it's no joke. A racoon fell from the ceiling of the emergency ward last night frightening patients, visitors, and hospital staff. And this afternoon Cherisse Halsall caught up with a man who says he had to slap the critter off his mother's hospital bed.

Electrical Fire Engulfs Family Home
A couple from the Saint Martin's area of Belize City is homeless tonight after their wooden house was completely destroyed by fire. The fire department says an illegal electrical connection is to blame.

30 Years For Murder
37-year-old Luis Manuel Carter is at the Belize Central Prison tonight. That's after the judge handed him a 30-year prison sentence for murder. As we told you, the judge has found him guilty of the 2016 shooting death of 30-year-old Dwayne Hyde. He listened to Carter's mitigation plea for leniency today, and Carter called one character witness to testify on his behalf today.

Covid-19 In Mexico, What Next For Belize?
The first cases of coronavirus, in our neighboring country of Mexico, have been confirmed. Both cases were imported and have a history of travel to Italy. Mexican officials have confirmed that both individuals are well and seem to have mild cases of the disease. A 35-year-old man is isolated, along with family members, in a hospital while a 41-year-old man is in isolation at a hotel, as is a colleague he traveled with, who hasn't presented any symptoms.

Cocaine Cargo Carries New Record
At the top of the news, we told you all about the air tragedy in which four soldiers lost their lives. They are pilots: Major Adran Ramirez and Major Radford Baizar along with crew members Corporal Yassir Mendez and Corporal Reinaldo Choco. Ministry of National security officials say they were providing air support to a ground operation which intercepted a Gulfstream G2 jet with over two tonnes of cocaine. We have been reporting that it is the biggest drug bust in Belize's history, but that is under some dispute tonight.

Senator Smith Scoffs At Senator Salazar's Story
Last week Monday, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize announced 6 demands it was making of the Barrow Administration for good governance. These were hardline positions that the umbrella union and its 10 affiliate members were taking as a statement against corruption in public life. You'll also recall that the Unions took to the streets of Belize City to demonstrate to the Barrow Government that they are serious. Well, among those demands was a call for the completed report from the Senate Special Select Committee.

Immigration Probe's First Draft
And while Senator Smith is calling out Senator Salazar on making excuses, she can't say that any more - because, we learned today, that the first draft of the report is finally in. That's right. We learned it from Business Senator Mark Lizarraga who was discussing another issue that came up in the NUTCB meeting with the Prime Minister, and that was the report that no PUP had been named to replace Eamon Courtenay who is no longer in the Senate. He says it's just gamesmanship:

Leaked Minutes Lead to Misgivings
And, so now while the NTUCB minutes have passed into the public domain - and have been fully ventilated in the press, Senator Smith says she would rather that it hadn't happened like that. She says the leak put her in trouble with her membership: Hon. Elena Smith - BNTU President: "Those minutes were leaked before we were even able to inform our own members. So, we have not had a chance to really sit down, for those persons who weren't at the meeting..."

NTUCB Speaks With Silence
In those leaked minutes of the meeting between the Prime Minister and the NTUCB, there are indications that the Prime Minister is not willing to concede to several of their demands. Those include the NTUCB's call for a restructuring of the Public Accounts Committee and the Integrity Commission. The Unions say that these bodies will never be able to fully police public spending by the Government of the day if they continue to be dominated by the ruling party.

Chiquibul Continues To Be Cleared for Cattle
The Friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the Chiquibul National Park, is reporting tonight that a joint patrol of FCD rangers and BDF soldiers arrested a Guatemalan cattle rancher, who had illegally set up operation in the Park, and inside Belizean territory. He has been identified as Jose Ruben Vega Suchite, a resident of the village of Nueva Armenia, Peten Guatemala. According to the FCD, he was found in an area approximately 150 meters inside the Chiquibul. He had approximately 60 heads of cattle that was grazing in a part of the national park that was cleared.

Channel 5

B.D.F. Helicopter Crashes into Lagoon; Four Soldiers are Killed!
The entire nation mourns tonight the worst air disaster in which two pilots and two crews of the Belize Defense Force perished.  The four died in a helicopter crash sometime [...]

Brig. General Ortega Fields Media Questions about Fatal Crash
The B.D.F is still reeling from the fatal crash that claimed the lives of four of their own. But tonight there are still many questions and at today’s press briefing, [...]

More on B.D.F.’s Fatal Helicopter Crash from the Ministry of National Security
As we reported tonight, the deaths of four offices comes directly on the heel of the seizure of two tons of cocaine.  As we showed you on Thursday, the Belize [...]

A Reflection on the Lives of the Four Officers Killed
As you’ve heard earlier in the newscast, four of the B.D.F. soldiers are dead following the helicopter crash in the lagoon just off the Coastal Road. Two pilots and two [...]

Radford Baizar’s Grieving Mother Slams Ministry of National Security
Up to news time, the families of the crash victims are at Price Barracks and still there was no word on the bodies of their loved ones. Thirty-four-year-old Radford Baizar, [...]

Major Adran Ramirez Dies in Helicopter Crash
The news of the soldiers’ demise sent shockwaves into the public as family and close friends remain in disbelief. Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar and her family are close friends with Major Adran [...]

How Does Belize Effectively Mitigate Drug Plane Landings?
In Thursday’s bust of a Golf Stream narco plane off the Coastal Road, sixty-nine bales of cocaine were found, amounting to two thousand and seventy parcels with a huge street [...]

Elena Smith: Chairman is Responsible for Senate Inquiry Report
In leaked minutes of a meeting held last Friday with the National Trade Union Congress, the Prime Minister tells the unions that Senator Aldo Salazar, in his capacity as chair [...]

Senator Elena Smith She Expected to be Attacked
Thousands of union members are said to have come out in the anti-corruption demonstration staged by the N.T.U.C.B. in Belize City last Thursday. It is no secret that of the [...]

A Draft Report of Senate Inquiry on Immigration Finally Produced
Finally, there is a draft report from Chairman Aldo Salazar on the Senate Inquiry on the Immigration and Nationality Departments. At a press briefing today Senator Elena Smith was joined [...]

G.O.B. Cannot Police Itself; Senators Ask for Independence & Transparency
According to the notes of the N.T.U.C.B. meeting, the Prime Minister is not yielding on the composition of oversight bodies, such as the Integrity Commission and the Public Accounts Committee. [...]

Senator Says PEP Should Extend to Certain Public Officers
The Integrity Commission is tasked, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, to investigate declared statements of assets and liabilities of persons in public life. Those politically exposed persons, identified as [...]

Raccoon Inside the Emergency Room of the K.H.M.H.
First it was rats found inside an incubator of the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan and today, it was a huge raccoon that made itself into the emergency ward of [...]

Jeweler Manuel Pacheco Gets Off Murder Charge
Belize City jeweler, Manuel Pacheco this morning walked out of the Supreme Court a free man after he was found not guilty of the murder of his next-door neighbour, Jose [...]

Louis Carter Gets 30 Years for Murder
San Pedro resident, Louis Carter today received a thirty-year prison sentence for the murder of mechanic, Dwayne Hyde.  Justice Colin Williams handed down the sentence after Carter told the court [...]

Carl Reneau on Trial for Murder
The murder trial of Carl Reneau adjourned this afternoon after defense attorney Baja Shoman informed the court that she intends to make a no case submission.  The crown, defense, accused [...]

Tracking COVID-19
As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the world, two cases have now been confirmed in neighbouring Mexico. Belize continues to be spared of an outbreak but local health [...]

Coronavirus Targets Immune System
The public is strongly advised to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of transmission.  When coughing or sneezing, cover the mouth in the inside of the elbows or inside [...]

Illegal Electrical Connection Causes Fire on Emma Street, Belize City
A couple is displaced after a fire destroyed their home on Emma Street in the Saint Martin’s area. The fire started in the living room and spread quickly to engulf [...]

Destinee Arnold Returns Home
Miss Universe Belize Destinee Arnold is back in Belize after having competed on the international stage of pageantry back in December in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.  The twenty-seven-year-old did not make [...]

Condolences Pour in for Fallen B.D.F. Soldiers
Condolences are pouring in on the tragic loss of life of the B.D.F. pilots and crew members and News Five sympathizes with the families of the victims.  This afternoon, the [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: February 29, 2020 [Re: Marty] #540831
02/29/20 06:34 AM
02/29/20 06:34 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,259
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Ministry of National Security confirm BDF helicopter crashed yesterday
A press release issued by the Ministry of National Security earlier this afternoon has confirmed that a Belize Defense Force (BDF) U1H1 helicopter crash landed yesterday, in the vicinity of Gales Point. On board the helicopter were its pilot, Major Adran Ramirez and Major Radford Baizar, and two crew members, Corporal Yassir Mendez and Corporal Reinaldo Choco.

Belize’s biggest cocaine bust
A jet plane that was tracked from Venezuela landed on an off-road off the Coastal Road at about 4:00 this morning, and a composite patrol consisting of police officers and soldiers of the Belize Defence Force managed to find the jet before the cocaine inside it could have been unloaded and the plane destroyed, as is usually done when drug planes land on clandestine airstrips. The crew, however, managed to escape by vehicle out of the area.

PUP will introduce Motion of No Confidence in the House
In the wake of a number of scandals and a major court judgment that have buffeted the United Democratic Party (UDP) government of Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow, the Opposition, the People’s United Party (PUP), has drafted a Motion of No Confidence that it is planning to introduce in the House of Representatives at its next sitting on Thursday, March 5. The Motion of No Confidence, which is a first in the post-independence parliamentary existence of Belize, would require the support vote of some members from the government side of the House.

Police investigation of Herman Longsworth still in doubt
The former Belize Consul General to New York and former Albert constituency area representative, Herman Longsworth, who served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, had until February 20 to wrap up his business in New York after he was terminated from his post by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Longsworth’s name was mentioned several times in an unfavorable light in the Auditor General’s Report on the National Sports Council for the period April 2015 to March 2016.

PM Barrow to introduce his final budget at next House meeting
There will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives in the National Assembly chambers in Belmopan on Thursday, March 5. At this House meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow will introduce his government’s budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021. This will be Barrow’s last budget before he demits office sometime later this year, ahead of the general elections, which are scheduled to be held in November.

BNTU “mum” about meeting with PM Barrow after demonstration
Last Thursday, February 20, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) had a successful demonstration and public rally, and once more, it trumpeted its 6-point set of demands that it is making of the Dean Barrow-led government, for good governance, ahead of this year’s general elections. The next day, Friday, February 21, BNTU leaders met with Prime Minister Barrow, but did not update the media on what progress, or lack thereof, had been made in discussions regarding the 6-point set of demands being made by the BNTU for good governance.

Dion Zabaneh freed of all charges
Businessman Dion Zabaneh, who was charged for multiple offenses that he allegedly committed against the Department of the Environment (DOE), was freed of all charges today when Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford upheld a submission from his attorney, Emil Arguelles, that he had no case for which to answer. Zabaneh was charged with aggravated assault on a DOE officer in the execution of his duty, 4 counts of failure to comply with an oral direction given by a designated officer, and proceeding with an undertaking, project, program or activity without signing an environmental compliance plan and receiving environmental clearance.

Two 19-year-olds remanded for Shane Budram murder
This afternoon in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, Raheem Budram, 19, was jointly arraigned with Kareem Eagan, Jr., 19, for the murder of Shane Budram, 43, Raheem’s uncle, who was gunned down in cold blood on Friday night, February 21, on Wagner’s Lane. The two accused men appeared before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford, who, before reading the murder charge, informed them that she would not take a plea from them because the offense is indictable and will not be heard by her court.

Disgraced John Saldivar will be questioned by police
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has instructed the Police Department to begin an investigation of former Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, to find out if he accepted money from US accused fraudster, Lev Dermen, in exchange for political favors. Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, last week indicated that the police will rely on the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Belize signed with the United States to obtain a transcript from the money laundering and fraud trial of Lev Dermen, which is taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah.

James Slemp’s murderer believed to have fled home to Guatemala
James Slemp, a 79-year-old Canadian national who lived on a farm in the Fresh Water Pond area on the Hopkins Road, was found dead yesterday in the lagoon with machete wounds to his head and body. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that police are looking for Slemp’s neighbor, a Guatemalan national who police believe murdered Slemp after a misunderstanding over tools. After committing the crime, the neighbor fled to his country.

Guinea Grass gets new police station
Guinea Grass, one of the largest villages in Orange Walk District, did not have a police station and villagers who needed the help of police had to travel to the Orange Walk Town Police Station to make reports and for other necessary police services, and, in many cases, they faced a number of difficulties in doing so. The village now has a new police station, which will be manned by no less than two policemen. The Guinea Grass Police Substation was officially opened on Friday afternoon.

GoB bloats contracts for projects and invests little in the people
Belizeans appreciate that a new bridge over the Haulover Creek and improvement of the Coastal Road are worthy projects, and they would praise the government without reservation if they weren’t staggered by the cost of the contracts. One report is that the new bridge will cost a fantastic $49 million, and the government says improvement of the Coastal Road will cost a whopping $133 million. The last report we have received is that two contractors qualified to build the bridge, but only one bid was received, and it was over the budget. One contractor is an Italian firm, and the other is a Belize-Mexico company that is believed to include a government favorite, Mr. Imer Hernandez.

Who advised Belize on this?
Let me list (1 to 10) what I want to say, clearly, because this is not about me. It is about Belize, it is about the nation’s health, and I’m not sure who is advising them: 1. While, as we see (as in my previous post), there was a cruise ship that was turned away (due to Coronavirus fears) and heading towards Mexico, I scanned the local Belize news but saw no mention of this. I am not sure why. 2. Expert epidemiologists and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project that it’s JUST A MATTER OF TIME before most countries are affected to some degree – especially countries with significant exposure due to air travel, tourism, and otherwise.

Belize in rough economic waters, and it’s getting rougher
Prime Minister Barrow will be leaning on all the genius that resides at the Central Bank and all of his immense oratorical skills to paint a picture of a half full glass when he faces the nation in the first week in March to make his final budget presentation to the nation. Things have not been looking good in Belize’s economy for some time, and the reports keep getting worse. Our economy has contracted in three consecutive quarters. In the second quarter of 2019 the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported that our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was down 0.8%, in the third quarter of 2019 it was down 0.4%, and in the fourth quarter of 2019 the fall in our GDP was 2.8%.

Sean Taegar publishes Spirit Fire Light, an extended poem
Spirit Fire Light is the longest poem ever to be published by a Belizean poet. The over 600- page book was self-published by Sean Taegar and can be summarized as his spiritual journey of becoming one with the universal spirit of creativity. Spirit Fire Light is a brilliant poem, loaded with powerful imagery in its celebration of nature and the universe, which Taegar stripped bare analytically time and time again, in the decade that he spent creating the poem. In an interview with Taegar, Amandala asked the poet what led him to select the title “Spirit Fire Light”.

My listening to Sean Taegar’s Spirit Fire Light
There’s a call and response that I’d like to invite all to participate in during my presentation. It’s inspired by Sean’s own joyful tune – a song, a rhythm. It goes like this: When you hear me call the word “Listen” and point in your direction, respond with this tune: Spirit Fire Light, Spirit Fire Light, Spirit Fire Light, It’s the Spirit Fire Light. From the early, joyful and innocent Holy Redeemer years of uniformed children: marble, hopscotch, ketch, sweat, scraped knees, report cards and yes, some lashing; through to the SJC adolescent years of teenage desires, goals, anger, impatience, doubt, rebellion, fear, tears, hard lessons learnt, grit and dreaming, always dreaming. Sean has been there. Sean was the best man at my wedding and is the godfather of my first child. Sean is family. Sean is love.

Government is breaking the law, Opposition Leader tells CDB and British High Commissioner
On Monday, there was a ground-breaking ceremony for the 130-million-dollar Coastal Road Project that the UDP’s “favorite contractor,” Imer Hernandez will be spearheading. The project was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership, and the Government of Belize. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the contractor, Imer Hernandez, due to his ties to the governing United Democratic Party, amid allegations by the Opposition that his previous work has not been of the best quality.

Belize District Primary School Basketball Finals results
The Belize District Primary Schools 2019-2020 Basketball Tournament Finals were played today, Monday, February 24, at the Swift Hall Gym in Belize City. There were 3 Belize City teams in the Female (F) category (St. John’s Anglican, Queen’s Square Anglican and St. Martin De Porres); and 4 Male (M) teams, comprising 2 from Belize City (Wesley Upper and Holy Redeemer) and 1 each from the Belize River Valley area (Belize Rural Primary) and 1 from San Pedro Town (San Pedro RC). With only 3 teams, the females played a double-elimination first round, while the 4 male teams played a simple knockout first round.

Cricket Corner – Your mistake is another man’s gain
To all cricket enthusiasts, Good day to you! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Bowen and Bowen/ Harrison Parks 2020 Cricket Competition is in full gear. Who will be victorious in the end? Hard to tell at this time; in no particular order, I give to you the best I can possibly do for you to get the feeling of our cricketers on the field of play this past weekend. I start with Western Eagles vs Brilliant at Crooked Tree. The home team went in to bat first. The Eagles bowling was not that bad at the start of the inning.

Belize lost 2 games and won 1 in CONCACAF U-20 Qualifiers in Curacao
A 20-player strong Belize U-20 male national selection travelled to Curacao last week Sunday, February 16 to participate in CONCACAF U-20 Qualifiers under head coach, Dale Pelayo, assisted by Jonathan Hooper. Our boys reportedly played 3 games, as the team was placed in a group of 4, including the host Curacao along with Guadeloupe and Saint Marten. The team reportedly returned on Monday, February 24, but we have received no details on the games, except a Whatsapp report that we lost, 6-0, to Guadeloupe in our first game on Tuesday, February 18; we lost in a tough battle, 2-1, to host Curacao on Thursday, February 20; and we won by shutout over Saint Marten, 4-0, on Saturday, February 22. We await word from the Football Federation of Belize on our U-20 National Team’s status in the Qualifiers following these results.

From the Publisher
I don’t move around a lot, but when I do so in the old capital, I have gotten the impression that the result of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) referendum last May has been a depressing development for most adult Belizeans. Perhaps I am only judging from my own disappointment at seeing our country’s territorial sovereignty, which we considered sealed and sacrosanct on September 21, 1981, becoming subject to the judgment of a panel of international jurists, this being a decision made by a majority of adult, registered Belizeans in a free and fair poll, but one highly influenced by extraneous and external sources.

It’s tough to become a Spanish Lookout member (Mennonite)
I don’t think the following document, which contains the membership rules of Spanish Lookout, is exactly classified, but it is for sure not disseminated for the consumption of Belizeans who live outside of the Spanish Lookout community. In two articles published in the Amandala recently, it was mentioned that there are a number of members of the community who are not happy campers, members who would like to see some changes made. The document was shared by one such person. At the bottom of the document there is mention of New Rules, with the clarifying point that rules can be expanded and developed. We are aware of rules in the community that have been taken off the books over the years.

And the battle for leadership continues
It should be a concern for all — not just for the die-hard United Democratic Party members —who becomes the next party leader of the UDP. In a similar way, we all had much to opine about the leadership of the People’s United Party when they were dealing with their own internal crisis. Remember how we zealously followed the removal of Francis Fonseca and the ascent of Johnny Briceno? Likewise, we want to ensure that neither John Saldivar nor any of his minions, whom he can control, will take leadership of the UDP. Until we know who is voted to be leader and how that story ends, we very much need to have our ears and eyes open and express our views, since it is we the voters who will have to choose the better of two evils, which is still evil!

A US leader who doesn’t altogether hate Fidel, and Belizeans who do
American presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, told Anderson Cooper in an interview on the CBS Show Sixty Minutes that it’s unfair to say everything about Fidel Castro was bad, and across the political spectrum in America they are raining blows upon Sanders’ head. Really, is there anything or anyone under the sun who is all bad? Sanders pointed to the massive literacy program in Cuba as a good thing when he was challenged to explain remarks he made many years ago, that Cubans on the island didn’t rise up against Fidel, because he transformed their society.

UDP: The United Dependency Party
I have never personally met Mr. John Saldivar. However, unbeknownst to himself, he some-what established an affinity with me by calling himself John Berchmans. He lived about four hundred years ago, and is part of a trilogy of youths who died very early as they were pursuing their vocation to become Jesuit priests. The other two are Aloysius Gonzaga and Stanislaus Kostka. If you are not Catholic, please don’t get nervous. We Catholics believe that they are not dead but very much alive in Heaven; and this is why we refer to them as Saints, to whom we pray for spiritual guidance.

The Valentine’s Day fundraiser dance
In the charged political climate of our country in the Seventies, there had been continuing dissatisfaction with the slow progress we were making in the development of our social institutions since self-government in 1964, in spite of much political activity – public meetings, endless speeches, demonstrations, protests, etc.; and Jerome, in particular, was becoming more and more frustrated over what seemed to be a standstill to services provided by the hospital in response to the needs of an expanding population.

May they rest in peace and rise in glory
Dear Editor, So sad to read about the demise of Mr. Alfonso Ramirez, he did not know me, but I felt a little affinity towards this gentleman because he and I grew up in similar circumstances. His family had Democratic Bar, which was famous for its “Democratic Gin”, and we had Hi-Lite Club, with its “Rum & Gin”. Both were immensely popular products with their clientele. This was before the big producers started mass production of Caribbean Rum, Travellers, Old Master, etc.

Artist from Belize comes to LA to honor Kobe Bryant with his paintings
Vendors swarmed Figueroa Street selling souvenirs in honor of Kobe Bryant. There was one man’s stand in particular that stood out to people walking by as he painted. Only thing was, that his paintings are not for sale to the public. “I have no intention of selling it to the public. This gotta end up at the right place because I have too much value for it. It’s not about money or fame, it’s about leaving a legacy for my number one team, which is Lakers and let them also enjoy,” said Alex Sanker, an artist who travelled from Belize to paint outside of the memorial for Kobe Bryant.

The Reporter

Louis Carter Gets 30 Years For Murder
Supreme Court Judge, Justice Colin Williams today sentenced Louis Carter, 26, a San Pedro resident to 30 years in prison for the murder of Dwayne Hyde, 30, a mechanic also of San Pedro.

4 BDF Soldiers Perished in the Helicopter Crash
These are Major Adran Ramirez and Major Radford Baizar, the pilots who were killed in the BDF helicopter crash on Thursday in the sea near Gales Point Manatee.

B.D.F Helicopter Crash Landed, Pilots & Crew?
The Ministry of National Security has issued the following press release in relation to the helicopter crash that we reported on earlier. We reproduce that release in its entirety.

The Mexican government, (Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell Ramirez) has told reporters that they have detected the first cases of coronavirus infection.


PUP expresses condolences to BDF soldiers family and colleagues
There was a late release from the People’s United party also expressing condolences to the families of the BDF soldiers. They also added that they are equally concerned about all the questions surrounding this accident. According to the release the press conference held by the Ministry of National Security has left many questions unanswered.

Homeowner says arson, Fire station proves electrical overload
One man has been displaced following a house fire in the Lake Independence Area in Belize City. The fire began in the wee hours of Friday morning. 54-year-old Edgar Richards fell asleep on his couch and minutes before the fire he reportedly heard noises at the back of his home.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

“BDF soldiers died serving their country,” says Ministry of National Security
The Ministry of National Security held a press conference today in the wake of a […]

Condolences to Families of BDF Soldiers Lost in Helicopter Crash
Breaking Belize News would like to express our sympathies to the families of the members of […]

Ministry of Health issues advisory on coronavirus measures in Belize
The Ministry of Health issued a statement saying that it is aware of the first […]

Leader of Opposition extends condolences to families of victims of helicopter crash
Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño and the People’s United Party are deeply saddened by […]

Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry joins nation in mourning death of BDF officers
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)’s Executive Council and Secretariat issued a statement […]

Galen University joins in mourning death of BDF airwing members
Galen University issued a statement extending condolences on the passing of BDF airwing members Major […]

FCD personnel detain Guatemalan cattle rancher inside of Chiquibul
On February, 27, the Joint Forces Unit based at Cebada Conservation Post, consisting of Belize […]

US Embassy extends condolences to families of victims of helicopter crash
The United States Embassy in Belize issued a statement extending their heartfelt condolences to the […]

Manuel Pacheco found not guilty of murdering his neighbor
Today Justice Colin Williams found Manuel Pacheco, 58, not guilty of murder. With today’s verdict, […]

Prime Minister extends condolences to Families of BDF Soldiers
On behalf of the Government and People of Belize, the Office of the Prime Minister […]

KHMH apologizes for raccoon incident last night
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority (KHMHA) has apologized to the public following an incident […]

Coronavirus hits close to home: two cases confirmed in Mexico
When BBN first reported on the novel coronavirus strain back in 2019, cases were only […]

Ministry of National Security to host press conference on helicopter crash
The Ministry of National Security has called a press conference to be held today at 3 […]

BDF helicopter reportedly crashes
BBN has received reports that a Belize Defense Force helicopter crashed with two soldiers on-board. […]

Drug bust valued at over $100 Million!
Shortly after midnight on Thursday, Belize City police received information that a drug plane had […]

Police officer, Allen Bonner, in trouble for harassing citizen who refused to fist bump
Over the weekend a video clip went viral of a police officer aggressing a citizen. […]


Our Soggy Adventure to Isla Marisol
We were headed to the Isla Marisol Dive Resort on the Southwest Caye of Glover’s Reef Atoll some 36 miles west of the Dangriga coastline. After flying to Dangriga from Belize City we were transferred to an open-air boat for our voyage to paradise. More than an hour later, after passing a handful of tiny islands, some dotted with colorful cabañas, we reach our picturesque destination. Managers Mora and Letty welcome us at the dock and give a briefing about our island home. Power by day is solar and wind, while in the evening a generator takes over.

The Iconic Jets Bar At Belize’s International Airport
If you have been to Belize before through the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) you already know who and where we are talking about. Jets Bar is a tiny little cozy corner bar in Terminal 2 in front of the Southwest and United Airlines boarding gates. On a crowded day, it might even be hard to find, but its size doesn’t matter because the spirit and charisma of Jet is larger than life. His energy and positive spirit is contagious and he loves to meet new people. It’s been the joy of his life day in and day out to meet so many people passing through the airport for which he thanked many for visiting Belize.

Reef Week 2020
It’s that time of the year again to celebrate the Barrier Reef. The theme of reef week 2020 is “true true reef love means yuh stay involved!”. Reef week has been on since 2013 and will continue to be celebrated for a week of the year. Organizations come together to celebrate “Reef Week” by hosting a series of events. This fun week is filled with activities ranging from intense to relaxing, guaranteeing an enjoyable time.

Cultural Cooking Classes in Belize
They say that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach; I can guarantee that on your trip here you will fall in love with the food. Belizean food is just one way to enjoy the variety of cultures – East Indian, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Creole and Middle Eastern. Each culture has its signature dishes that you won’t be able to get enough of. So, if food is the key to your heart and cooking is something you enjoy; then why not try a few cooking classes in Belize and learn to cook authentic Belizean cuisine? Here are some cultural cooking classes offered throughout Belize. Cook Local: Located in the fun-filled island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, across from Fido’s, here you will learn to cook a three-course meal of Belizean favorites. This includes fry jacks, fresh seafood ceviche, potato pound, panades, and salbutes. They are open from Thursday to Saturday and host over four guests for US 100 per person for the class.

International Sourcesizz

Mexican authorities detect drug plane over Belize
Personal from the Departamento de Defensa de Belice report the discovery of another plane loaded with drugs, which they say, landed along the Coastal Road of Belize next to Quintana Roo. The latest plane seizure was made with assistance of the Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (Mexican Air Force) who detected the illegal jet over Belize territory. The Belize Department of Defense headed to the Coastal Road where the located the jet carrying a drug shipment. The crew of the aircraft were arrested.

Belize now attracting European expat retirees to its Caribbean shores
If white sand beaches, virgin rain forests and year-round sunshine are an essential requirement in your retirement strategy, Belize might be the perfect place. Already popular with American retirees, the seductive beauty of Belize is now attracting an increasing number of European retirees looking to a Caribbean lifestyle as an antidote for years spent focusing on a career. It’s not the world’s cheapest retirement destination by far, but it’s certainly one of the loveliest. Establishing residency is far easier than in many other countries, and everyone speaks the English language.


  • Healthy Living: Covid-19 Personal Prevention Plan, 4min. The Ministry of Health’s surveillance efforts continue at the major ports of entries, and there is, to this date, no confirmed cases in Belize. But the situation remains changing, and everyone needs to be vigilant in controlling the spread of disease. Tonight in Healthy Living, we review the prevention practices that will help keep you safe.

  • Diving in Belize, 6min. This is what I saw in 2010 on the NCL Pearl

  • 2010 NCL Pearl scuba diving Roatan and Belize, 32min.

  • Birding at the marsh in Hopkins Village, Belize, 4min. Sue and I were doing some birding at the marsh in Hopkins Village, Belize. We were able to spot Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Black-necked Stilts, and some Blue-winged Teals. It was only about a 20 minute bike ride from the Hamanasi Resort.

  • SNORKELING BELIZE, 34min. Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley

  • Belize: le "Great Blue Hole", 3.5min. Un petit paradis de nature au Belize. Le tout petit pays des Caraibes abrite une incroyable formation geologique au large de ses côtes : un gigantesque trou bleu parfaitement circulaire. Une curiosite joliment dessinee par la nature au coeur de la 2e plus grande barriere de corail au monde. Plongee dans le "Great Blue Hole"...

  • Look at the tide Today Friday in Corozal, 3min.

  • Channel 5 Obituaries - Gilbert Clinton Arnold, 3min.

  • Belize Now - February 28, 2020, 37min. In the headlines: The Ministry of Health discusses COVID-19 and Belize’s Response Plan, the Government of Belize breaks ground for the upgrading of the Coastal Highway and we wrap up our Forensics Series with a look at the Forensic Laboratory Unit.

  • Ministry of National Defense Press Conference, 36min.

  • At day it's called Police 'meet and greet" at night "meet and beat", 5min. A man, Jimmy Robinson innocently stands near a food vendor and a a police officer in plain clothes insists he greets him with a physical touch of knuckles. Robinson who doesn't know the man and refuses to "buck" his hand with him. The police officer then approaches him and attempts to stab him.

  • Major Adran Ramirez, the BDF pilot who passed away in the crash,1 min.

  • Raccoon inspects wards during successful KHMH Tour, 10sec.

  • Raccoon takes tour of KHMH, 1/2min.

  • Morning Matters at Caves Branch, 61min. Ian Anderson tells a little about his life's journey

  • Chase The Ace San Pedro, 1/2min. Congrats to the winner of our biggest Chase the Ace jackpot EVER! He took home over $41,655 for drawing the ace of spades, and the San Pedro AIDS Commission received $11,108!

  • Great Belize Trail Rides!, 5.5min. Some trail rides take you up a mountain. Some take you across a river. Others may take you through a rain forest and into the world of archeological history. This ride at T'initz Tours Belize does all that, and more. Start from the beautiful & serene Morningside Stables, and head up a jungle-covered mountain into the world of yesterday!

  • Wisata Ke Negara Belize Bocah Amerika, 10min. Belize adalah sebuah negara kecil di pesisir timur Amerika Tengah dengan sistem Pemerintahan Monarki, berbatasan dengan Meksiko di sebelah barat laut dan Guatemala di barat dan selatan. Honduras terletak 75 km ke arah tenggara. Dalam bahasa Spanyol, Belize seringkali disebut Belice. Dahulu disebut Honduras Britania hingga 1973, Belize adalah bekas jajahan Britania Raya selama lebih dari satu abad. Nama "Belize" diambil dari Sungai Belize.

  • Belize - Hamanasi Dive Resort, 13min.

  • Miss Universe Belize, Destinee Arnold returns to Belize, 3.5min.

  • 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
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
    First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

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