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Today's Belize News: March 7, 2020 #540932
03/07/20 06:58 AM
03/07/20 06:58 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Air conditioning and refrigeration technicians undergo training in San Pedro Town
In order to facilitate heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians who need to be licensed for 2020, the Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians (ARACT) of Belize hosted a four-day training workshop in San Pedro Town. The training was held at the Sunbreeze Hotel conference room, where a large number of HVAC technicians attended the sessions from Monday, March 2nd to Thursday, March 5th.

Long-time Island Visitor William McQueen makes donation in honor of Nurse Natalie
US retiree and long-time island visitor William McQueen presented a BZ$7,500 donation in honor of Nurse Natalie Palen to Ambergris Hopes Medical Clinic, located in San Pedro Town on Friday, February 28th. McQueen said that after reading about Nurse Natalie’s life, he felt that, “she was always there for people” and recounted that in the aftermath of Hurricane Keith, which ravaged Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker when it made landfall in October 2000 Nurse Natalie was on the ground immediately, assisting with relief efforts. “She worked very hard to get people patched up and on their way without thinking about the expense,” he said. “She paid for a lot of things out of pocket.

Ambergris Today

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Position On Cayo Rosario Situation
The Cayo Rosario Island is located within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) conservation area of Zone E. This island was privately owned prior to the 2015 expansion of the reserve. In May 2018, an Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) was granted to the Cayo Rosario Development Limited by the Department of Environment (DOE). This was an environmental clearance to proceed with development, provide that they obtain the necessary permits from the relevant government departments. While we do recognize that a developer has a right to develop within his property limits, HCMR’s jurisdiction begins outside the property limits.

MOH budgets $900,000 to fight COVID-19, but No Travel Ban
The worldwide travel industry has been hard hit by COVID-19, a new type of coronavirus first identified from a pneumonia strain by Chinese authorities in Wuhan City in Hubei province China on January 7th. Since then the virus has spread to 74 countries, including our neighbor Mexico. In Belize, our Ministry of Health (MOH) admits it’s just a matter of time before we confirm our first case of this new and deadly disease. With the reduction in demand for fuel for transportation and other services offered by the hospitality sector, COVID-19 has also hit the petroleum industry hard, with oil-producing countries being forced to curtail production or accept a steep drop in oil prices from a supply glut.

In Memoriam: Natalie Palen
A gentle soul with a soft voice and an innate kindness that enveloped and drew you to her, no matter the circumstances, Natalie Palen was the embodiment of love. She bore the title of a beloved daughter, wife, Mummy, Granny, Tia Nats, and most of all, Nurse Natalie. Ah yes, Nurse Natalie was a much-beloved member of the San Pedro community. Her passing is felt by many on this island, who witnessed her tireless, giving nature as the community nurse who lovingly delivered and cared for hundreds of babies – some would say a couple of generations of babies!

San Pedro Fishermen Protest At Cayo Rosario
Development activities at Cayo Rosario, a small island within the Local fishermen, stakeholders, island residents and even tourists were out on boats at Cayo Rosario to voice their concerns and hold a peaceful demonstration against the development taking place in hopes to bring awareness to local authorities on the negative impact that this development is creating.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Mr. Carlos Edward Herrera Rubio Passes Away
The voice of Caye Caulker extends our sympathies to the family of Mr. Carlos Edward Herrera Rubio A wake will be held in the village of Hopkins on Wednesday March 11th. Funeral services will be held on Thursday March 12th at 1:30pm. There will be no transportation from Caye Caulker to Hopkins, but should you wish to attend and need accomodation, you can contact Mr. Charles Rubio.

Influential Women on Caye Caulker: Kimberly Cuthkelvin Rodriguez
Miss Neidi Marin is amongst the women who have made a difference in our community. She genuinely cares about the good fortune of our people. In November of 2004, she opened the first official pharmacy on the island now known as Emars Pharmacy. Her work has been vital for the health of the islanders, in providing for their pharmaceutical needs. She is very fond of serving the people, and does so with the utmost grace and satisfaction. Miss Neidi doesn't view her work as a business, but rather her own contribution to making a positive change for Caye Caulker.

Amiri Prince Gentle Recognized at the Annual Children’s Advisory Body Meeting
Amiri Prince Gentle, National Song Competition winner from Punta Gorda was recognized at the Annual Children’s Advisory Body (CAB) President meeting in San Ignacio/Santa Elena Towns. It goes to show that Belize has talent and we must support our children to develop their talent to their fullest.

COROZAL INAUGURAL FOOTBALL PARADE ON SUNDAY - NSC & FFB Youth Tournament 2020
We invite all football fans, parents and the entire Corozal community to our Clubs' Inaugural Football Parade. Come join us this Sunday, March 8, 2020. Please ensure your club reaches at the Central Park by the Town Hall by 9:15 a.m. Mayor Rigo Vellos, CTV3 News, and the Amandala News will be invited guests leading the parade.

Church makes directives to limit the spread of COVID-19
DIOCESE OF BELIZE CITY AND BELMOPAN: To take precautions to limit the potential spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan City issues temporary directives to take effect immediately. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to reach out to love God and Neighbor especially those who are sick and the elderly. In this spirit, I find it prudent to share these directives/ precautionary measures with you for the celebration of Mass in our Church during this time.

Ministry of Health Advisory No. 7 – Update on COVID-19
The Ministry of Health is aware of the upgraded risk of COVID-19 to 'very high' for the Caribbean as published by the Caribbean Public Health Agency. The Ministry assures that its preparation process continues in this regard. The upgrade was determined based on the increasing number of confirmed cases expanding worldwide to approximately 84 countries to date. The threat for a case to be confirmed in Belize is now more imminent with cases now in the Caribbean, confirmed imported cases in Mexico, and Costa Rica confirming their first case today, March 6th.

Port of Belize Operations Returned to Normal
The Ministry of Labour hereby informs that the industrial action has come to an end. The stevedores began to protest on Monday, March 2, 2020, and continued with a strike by the staff of Port of Belize on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. On March 4th, Minister of State for Labour, Dr. Hon. Carla Barnett met with representatives of the Christian Workers Union (CWU) and the Port of Belize Limited (PBL) as a result of industrial action being undertaken by the two bargaining units represented by the CWU at the Port.

Taiwan Funds the Relocation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters
Today, March 6th, the Republic of China (Taiwan) provided support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Belize with its preparatory efforts to begin the relocation of the MFA office from the NEMO Building to the newly constructed MFA Headquarters. This support will ensure minimal disruption of provision of services to the public during the Ministry’s relocation. This support emanates from the “Strengthening of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Central American Countries” provided through the XVII Meeting of the Mixed Commission of the Allied Countries of the Isthmus of Central America and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Change in the Pump Price of Fuel Effective March 7, 2020
The Ministry of Finance announces that on March 7, 2020, the pump price for regular gasoline will increase by 50 cents from $9.73 to $ 10.23 per gallon. The prices for premium gasoline, kerosene and diesel will remain unchanged at $10.40, $6.62 and $9.84 per gallon, respectively.

Mutilated Manatee Carcass found in Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary
A carcass of an Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) was found and reported on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 by the Friends of Swallow Caye. An assessment of the carcass was conducted by researchers from ClearWater Marine Aquarium Research Institute which revealed visible signs of cut marks, presumably from a knife, indicative of some level of hands-on human interaction. The Antillean manatee is listed as endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature, making it vulnerable to extinction.

Children cleanup on Caye Caulker
TODAY (Saturday) at 10 AM a group of children, along with Frontier volunteers, are doing beach clean up. They are starting at Tropical Paradise cemetery and working their way North along beach front/Front Street. TOMORROW (Sunday) also at 10 AM, the same group is planting baby mangroves. Thought maybe your kids would be interested in joining.

BTIA Reef Week Beach Cleaunp on Caye Caulker
Reef Week 2020 Activity #1 Beach Clean Up

Ms. Anselma Yam passes away
On behalf of the Northern Maya Association of Belize, we send our sincere condolences to the Yam family for the passing of Ms. Anselma Yam from Patchakan Village. She was 104 years old. She was a maya woman who passed on heaps of knowledge to her family generations. We stand with you Mr. Faustino Yam in this time of grief.

Rest in Peace to Mamita Anselma Yam
It is with deepest sadness that we have to say good byes to our beautiful and powerful matriarch of Patchakan village, Corozal District, Belize. Chichi Anselma Yam passed away on March 6th 2020 at the age of 104 years old. She has left a wonderful example of a life well lived in the service of her community and family. She will forever be missed. RIP abuelita Anselma Yam.

Channel 7

Port and Stevedores Reach A Tenuous Compromise
The industrial action is over and operations at the Port of Belize are expected to return to normal. This is according to the Ministry of Labor. On Wednesday, Minister of Labour Carla Barnett met with representatives of the Christians Workers Union and The Port of Belize Ltd., during the meeting the two groups came to a number of agreements. Those agreements were summarized today morning and signed by both groups as well as the Minister. And yesterday the CWU served PBL a 21-day notice to return to industrial action if the negotiations do not proceed as expected.

Remembering Radford, A Major Extraordinaire
This evening, the nation paid its respects to Major Radford Baizar, the last of the 4 BDF soldiers who died last week in that helicopter crash. It had been an entire 8 days of sadness and mourning, and a week of funerals, but, nontheless, at today's ceremony, funeral goers found it no easier to say goodbye to Major Baizar.

20 Year Old Charged for Killing Grandfather
52 year old grandfather Micheal Barrera was murdered on Tuesday, just because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Today, police have charged his alleged killer. He is 20 year old Alden Lara, a construction worker from Antelope Street Extension - which is very near to the murder scene on Central American Boulevard.

Lake I Rep Speaks On Murdered Neighbour and Peer
Yesterday in the House of Representatives - Lake Independence Area Representative Cordel Hyde spoke on the Tuesday evening murders and shooting. Two of the events happened in his division and he lamented the attacks on three older men in less than two hours:

Capital and Labour Come Out Swinging Against GOB
Capital and Labour have come together to make a decisive statement on the government's state of affairs. A strongly worded release is coming out of a joint meeting today and it outlines what is called a resolution for action. The release says, quote, "As a result of the appalling circumstances facing our nation, coupled with the Government's flagrant disregard for the Rule of Law, representatives of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belize Network of NGOs, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize held the first of a series of joint meetings to develop strategic actions to address pertinent issues.

KHMH Union Says National Referral Hospital Not Ready For COVID-19
Tonight there are worrying signals about COVID 19 coming from the country's biggest hospital, the KHMH. A release from the KHMH Workers Union warns, quote, "The general consensus from the KHMHA's staff is that the safety and wellbeing of those on the forefront were never taken into consideration when implementing theplan of action." End quote. The release says that the Healthcare Providers which includes all Auxiliary and Support staff have expressed their genuine concerns in the following areas; i. Some areas in the hospital are under less than favourable working conditions; we are understaffed, over worked and lack the necessary resources/equipment to work with.The staff morale is at an all-time low.

Redistricting Lawsuit Waits for Ashcroft
After a 2-and-a-half week adjournment, the redistricting lawsuit resumed today in the Supreme Court before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. That's the Supreme Court claim that members of the Belize Peace Movement and other allied Belizeans have brought against the Government and the Elections and Boundaries Commission. They're trying to trigger a redistricting exercise before the next general election is called. As we've told you, the 31 electoral divisions countrywide are currently disproportional, and they have been that way for years. Some constituencies, like the Fort George Division, are too small, while others, such as Belmopan or Stann Creek West are just too big.

The Two Sides of the Re-Districting Argument
Today's case management conference gave us an opportunity to talk with Bobby Lopez, the Chairman of the Belize Peace Movement, about a few of concerns that the Doug Singh, the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, has raised about their lawsuit. 2 weeks ago, Chairman Singh granted us an extended interview, discussing why he thinks the claimants have unfairly criticized the Commission for the fact a redistricting exercise still hasn't been done. Tonight, we have the point and counterpoints that both men have made about Chairman Singh's assertion that the Claimants are partly to blame for the delay in carrying out a redistricting. Here's what they had to say on that topic, as well as their disagreement about the length of time it would take to actually carry out the exercise:

No Confidence Vote Soundly Defeated, Yields Marathon Debate
Last night we had extensive coverage of the Budget Presentation and the other business at yesterday's House Meeting. But what we couldn't wait around for was the marathon debate on the no-confidence motion. That went for just about 7 hours! As we told you the PUP brought the motion - with very little prospect of success since they would need support form across the floor - and they had none. So, it was kind of a stunt, but a very use one - because the PUP members got to expound at great, great length on all the reason why they felt the Barrow administration has to go. So, it was kind of like therapy for the opposition, and here are a few excerpts:..

John Saldivar Says Dermen's Was An Innocent Donation
And, while Julius Espat was the longest on the mic, the most interesting intervention came from John Saldivar. He's gone to the back bench but that hasn't quieted him. He came out and made a robust rebuttal of the no confidence motion, but had to spend a good deal of time defending himself and that tranche of funds he got from Lev Dermen:

Manatee Butchered For Its Meat
Yesterday when an endangered Antillean manatee was found dead in the Swallow Caye wildlife sanctuary, she became the fourth member of her species to be found dead this quarter. And it looks like someone was hunting manatee meat! The nine-foot adult female's flippers and a large part of her shoulder area had been removed. The carcass also displayed cut marks presumably from a knife, indicating some level of hands-on human interaction.

Les/Bi Women Discuss Ageism, Sexism, And Diverse Abilities
Sunday is world International Women's day and this morning P.E.T.A.L held its annual women's forum. The NGO's mission is to promote empowerment through Awareness and it brings lesbian and bisexual women, and other allies together to discuss topics of national interest. This year that meant a discussion about ageism, sexism, and diverse abilities. And Petal's co-founder says that this discussion forum is essential because women are often most heavily impacted by the issues of the day.

Speaking Solutions Into Existence
And in another event ahead of international women's day, conflict resolution trainer Priscilla Danes has brought her domestic violence Summit to Belize. The event titled "Wings on Women" focuses on best practices and challenges in battling issues surrounding domestic violence and invites participants to learn from each other's experiences while building each other up.

Catholics Announce Mass Changes
COVID-19 is a a major international health scare - and, even though it hasn't been detected Belize yet, tonight, the Catholic Diocese of Belize and Belmopan has announced heavy precautions to limit the potential spread of COVID 19. A facebook post with the letterhead of the Roman Catholic Chancery Office and bearing the signature of Lawrence Sydney Nicasio outlines some quite austere temporary directives to take place immediately.

PUC Announces Major BEL Decision
The PUC has announced its Initial Decision on the 2020 Full Tariff Review Proceeding for BEL. Basically, BEL made a submission for an Annual Review Proceeding in January, in which it recommended to increase the current rate of 41.5¢ cents per kilowatt-hour to an average 45.33¢ cents per kilowatt-hour for the Full Tariff Period, which runs from July first, 2020, to June 30th, 2024.

Regular Gas Going Up
50 cents: that is how much the pump price of a gallon of regular gasoline will increase by at midnight. So, effective tomorrow, you will be paying $10.23 instead of $9.73.

Nat'l Heroes & Benefactors
And, as we end the news for this March 6th, we look to Monday's Holiday for National Heroes and Benefactors day by reprising last year's wreath laying at the Baron Bliss grave in Belize City. Wreaths were also laid for National heroes George Price and Phillip Goldson. This year's ceremony will be held at the grave - slash - lighthouse on Monday.

Channel 5

PM Barrow’s Final Budget Speech
Prime Minister Dean Barrow proceeded to deliver his final budget estimates on Thursday, but the Opposition side of the aisle was empty, as the area representatives had vacated the chambers [...]

Stevedores Back at Work: C.W.U. and P.B.L Sign M.O.U.
Operations have normalized at the Port of Belize Limited with stevedores resuming work. Both parties came to an agreement after days of industrial action on the part of the stevedores [...]

Strike Action by Port’s Staff Called Off
The staff of the Port of Belize Limited also had issues with P.B.L.’s management and joined the stevedores.  For the staff, the most serious issue is the lack of progress [...]

P.B.L.’s C.E.O. Says There is No Dispute
Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Belize Limited, Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez says that the Port, which is in receivership, has suffered financially and the decision by B.S.I. to use [...]

Major Radford Baizar is Laid to Rest
The last Belize Defense Force soldier who died in the helicopter crash was buried today. Major Radford Baizar, a highly trained and accomplished pilot and instructor of the B.D.F. Air [...]

“It is perfectly permissible” – PM Barrow on Supplementaries
The debate on the motion of no confidence tabled by the Opposition was the final agenda item during Thursday’s Special Sitting of the House of Representatives.  Debate lasted until ten [...]

Julius and Johnny Blame Government for South Side Poverty
Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat, who also chairs the Public Accounts Committee, slammed the Barrow administration for failing the people of Belize after twelve years in office.  That point [...]

John Saldivar’s Turn at No Confidence Motion
Sitting way to back after leaving Cabinet, Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar also weighed in on the no confidence motion by drawing comparisons between the present government and the P.U.P. [...]

“You failed the south side of Belize City” – Cordel to Barrow Administration
Deputy Party Leader Cordel Hyde also took the opportunity during the debate on the no-confidence motion to chide the south side area representatives of Belize City for the conditions being [...]

Regular Gas Goes Up at the Pumps
At midnight, the pump prices for regular gasoline will go up by fifty cents per gallon, which means that it will now sell at ten dollars and twenty-three cents per [...]

Abel Lara Junior is Arraigned for the Murder of Michael Barrera
Today, police escorted Abel Lara Junior before Magistrate Kadeem Palmer to face a charge of murder.  Lara is accused of Tuesday evening’s shooting that claimed the life of Michael Barrera. The [...]

Redistricting Case Adjourned
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today adjourned the redistricting case until next Friday to allow Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, on behalf of Interested Party in the case, Lord Michael Ashcroft, to [...]

Bobby Lopez Responds to Elections & Boundaries Chairman
When he appeared last on the media, Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, Doug Singh explained that it would be too time-consuming to conduct a redistricting exercise before the [...]

Edgar Orellana, Charged With Sexual Assault of Minor, Gets Bail
Supreme Court Justice Francis Cumberbatch today granted bail to twenty-eight year-old Edgar Orellana. Orellana is charged with sexual assault upon a minor.  The incident allegedly happened in the month of [...]

Mauricio Lemus Charged With Aggravated Assault upon His Mother
A Belize City man was taken before Magistrate Aretha Ford this afternoon to face a charge of Aggravated Assault upon his mother, after he allegedly raised a pickaxe with which [...]

The Evolution of the La Ruta Maya River Challenge; Day One Complete
Sixty teams registered and competed in the first leg of the Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge. At seven a.m. sharp, the canoes paddled down the winding Macal River for [...]

Santa Cruz Villagers Picket House Meeting
Residents from the community of Santa Cruz in Stann Creek District journeyed to Belmopan on Thursday morning where they picketed government over a land dispute in their village.  At the [...]

Exploring the Economic Benefits of the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem
A four-year project to spur greater benefits from the ocean was launched in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility and the Food and Agricultural Organization. The initiative is called the [...]

K.H.M.H.A. Workers Union says Hospital Not Prepared to Deal with COVID-19
The worldwide death toll of COVID-19 continues on the rise and health officials at the K.H.M.H. have a plan of action to be activated immediately when a case is confirmed [...]

Wash And Sanitation Hygiene Stakeholders Meet
The Ministry of Health, along with UNICEF, Ministry of Education, SIF, Belize Red Cross and other partners, has held a national consultation for the Wash And Sanitation Hygiene initiative, for [...]

UNICEF Champions WASH in Belize
UNICEF has been championing the WASH initiative, as clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are needed for survival and development of children. The WASH team works in over [...]

The Importance of Defensive Driving
As part of the Second Road Safety Project, the “Building Capacity in Drivers through the Defensive Driving Training” course ended today in Belize City. Led by Dennis Molina of the [...]

Catholic Teaches Discuss Equal Opportunities Bill at Bi-Annual Conference
More than five hundred teachers from eleven Catholic high schools countrywide today gathered at the Saint Catherine Auditorium for a Catholic Educators Conference. The conference is the culmination of Catholic [...]

National Primary School Basketball Championship 2020
Today, the national primary school basketball championship 2020 was held at the Mexico Sports Center in Belize City. Six schools, one from Corozal, one from Orange Walk, two from Stann [...]

Amandala

PM Barrow presents $1.3 billion budget
The House of Representatives met this morning in the National Assembly Chamber, and during the first hour of the meeting, when Prime Minister Barrow was about to deliver his budget speech, the Opposition People’s United Party walked out. So, in essence, PM Barrow’s last swan song, “Make Every Dollar Count” — the budget that the PM prepared for this parliamentary session — was played to only his supporters. Barrow devoted the first few minutes of his budget presentation to lamenting the ills of the then People’s United Party government that his United Democratic Party government replaced in 2008, in a massive landslide victory on the promise of transparency and zero tolerance for corruption.

Opposition Motion of No Confidence fails
One of the highlights of today’s House of Representatives meeting was a Motion of No Confidence in the United Democratic Party Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The motion was sponsored by Opposition Leader, Hon. John Briceño (Orange Walk Central) and Hon. Julius Espat, (Cayo South). Before the No Confidence Motion was debated, however, the government introduced and passed its Contract Validation Bill 2020, through all of its stages at today’s sitting. The Opposition wasted no time and immediately tore into the Bill, which Hon. Kareem Musa (Caribbean Shores) said was an admission of guilt on the part of the Prime Minister.

Christian Workers Union declares strike in 21 days
The Christian Workers Union (CWU), through a press release issued today on behalf of the stevedores and staff of the Port of Belize (PBL), stated that they would be making a shift from their current actions of protest to an official strike against the Port of Belize (PBL), and to set the stage for that, it declared a “twenty-one days’ notice of intent to strike.” The release said that the notice of intent to strike was being made under Section 11(1) of the Settlement of Disputes in Essential Services Act, Chapter 298 of the Laws of Belize.

Keith Courtenay, 46, executed in front of his grandchild
The never-ending gun violence in the city claimed the life of a hardworking man, who is not known to be violent or to be involved in gangs, at about 5:15 yesterday evening at a basketball court in front of the Ebony Street Long Barracks. Keith Courtenay, 46, an employee of the Belize City Council and a father of 6 children (1 adopted) and grandfather of 4, was shot 8 times in the back while protecting his 5-year-old grandson from gunfire.

After 3 days of stevedores’ protest, is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Tension increased today at the Port of Belize Limited (PBL) between stevedores and the management of PBL, but by the end of the day, both sides made it to the negotiating table to begin talks on working their way out of their impasse. The morning began with the PBL management taking steps to start the off-loading of a ship that was at the pier head. The stevedores of the port, who began their protest under the umbrella of their union, the Christian Workers Union (CWU), were not having it.

Government outlines coronavirus plans for Belize
As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread across regions of the world and has become a major public health concern for many countries, the Government of Belize rolled out its plan to combat the virus if or when it arrives in Belize. The Belize Ministry of Health’s coronavirus plan was presented yesterday afternoon at a press conference in Belmopan. There, Minister of Health, Pablo Marin (Corozal North), announced that Prime Minister Dean Barrow had approved a budget of almost one million dollars for Belize to combat the coronavirus.

Michael Barrera, 52, murdered on Central American Boulevard
Michael Barrera, 52, a former counselor and youth activist at the CYDP (Conscious Youth Development Program) who was a father of 7 children, stopped at a Chinese fast-food restaurant at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Iguana Street at about 4:30 Tuesday evening and ended up losing his life. Barrera was riding his bicycle on his way to his home on Raccoon Street Extension when he stopped at the restaurant. While Barrera was standing outside the restaurant, a gunman who had failed in his attempt to kill a man he had been pursuing, turned toward Barrera and shot him in the head.

Barber escapes death in his shop on Zericote Street
A barber of Zericote Street, John Crawford, 52, is in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was shot in the cheek. Luckily, the slug exited the side of his neck. The shooting occurred at about 5:15 p.m. yesterday at a barbershop on Zericote Street. An eyewitness said that while he was in the shop awaiting his turn to get his haircut, a man came to the door, pulled out a gun and fired into the shop.

7 traffic accidents over the weekend
On Friday morning, a Ford Escape, being driven on the Old Northern Highway, from Maskall to Sandhill, Belize District, slammed into a lamppost. As a result, the front portion of the SUV, in which Julie Zerimar and her son were traveling, was extensively damaged. Zerimar suffered a broken rib and received abrasions to her body, while her son suffered minor injuries and was said to be okay. According to Zerimar, her son was not driving fast or carelessly, but the curve where the collision occurred is dangerous.

Nephew found guilty of uncle’s murder
In a verdict she delivered today, Madam Justice Marilyn Williams found Sydney Bucknor, Jr., 26, guilty of the murder of his uncle, Michael Bucknor, 61, who was shot and killed at about 8:35 p.m. on June 27, 2013. Sydney Bucknor, Jr., will be sentenced on June 29. Michael Bucknor was walking on Fabers Road when, as he reached near Tony’s Shop, Sydney allegedly shot him in the back of the head.

Editorial: Workers should get shares/ownership of PBL
In a week when Belize is still reeling from the loss of four soldiers in circumstances that are not yet clear, a week of unabated violence in the streets and other tragedies, a week when Belize worries about what kind of budget the government will present in these very difficult times and frets about Covid-19, Belize’s workers must keep their focus so that opportunities don’t pass them by. Labor had been losing ground in Belize for years, but in the 1980’s Belize’s different governments threw off any cover of being cozy with the working class.

BCCI gets serious about governance and integrity in government
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), at a Special General Meeting on March 3, 2020, overwhelmingly passed three resolutions with amendments that will have direct impact on governance and the conduct of elected representatives. The BCCI insists that a Campaign Finance Bill be urgently introduced to the Senate, that a thorough investigation be done to follow up on evidence presented in the United States v Dermen case in Utah, and that the implementation of e-government is expedited so that the performance of essential government departments improves.

Boxing icon Leopold “Poly” Smart passes
Amidst the tension and drama grabbing the news with waterfront workers demonstrating at the port today, we belatedly received the sad news at this sports desk of the passing last week of an icon in the Belize boxing community, brother Leopold “Poly” Smart, whose Smart Boxing Gym has groomed many a young boxer over the past couple decades and more. Himself a long serving waterfront worker, Poly dedicated most of his off-work time to the sport of boxing, conducting daily training sessions for all comers, male and female, at his gym on the third floor of the ITVET building at the corner of St. Thomas and St. Joseph streets in Belize City.

2019’s fourth quarter earnings down 2.8%
Data compiled by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) for October to December 2019, show that “the total value of goods and services produced within Belize were valued at $669.9 million, down $19 million from $689 million during the fourth quarter of 2018.” The SIB says this is the first fourth quarter decline since 2011, and the institute put most of the blame on the extraordinary dry weather last year. In the primary sector, there was a decline in sales of the three major crops —sugarcane, banana, and citrus —during the period, leading to the primary sector contracting by 6.6% compared to the previous year.

January 2020 imports down 0.6% compared to January imports for 2018
Data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) shows that Belize imported goods valuing $160.8 million in January 2019, $1 million less than the $161.8 million worth of goods that was imported in January 2018. An increase in world market prices saw imports in the ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category go up by $4.2 million during the month, from $18 million in January 2019 to $22.2 million in January 2020; larger imports of handbags, cigarettes, and clothing saw imports for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ go from $24.8 million in January 2019 to $26.9 million in January 2020; and more purchases of gold jewelry, steel structures, electric lamps and lighting fixtures saw the value of imports in the ‘Other Manufactures’ category increase by $1.6 million.

$2.5 million to throw away gillnets
Local conservation groups in Belize have appeared on the news several times over the past years as part of their rigorous campaign for the immediate and total ban of gillnet fishing in the country. The main participants in this initiative include Oceana and The Coalition of Sustainable Fisheries, an organization of multiple NGO’s who have tasked themselves with educating the public on, and promoting the use of, environmentally safer fishing methods. In December, the Government of Belize did acknowledge the harmful effects of gillnet fishing; however, they argued that the livelihoods of the fishermen would be jeopardized by an abrupt restriction on the use of this equipment.

From The Publisher
To a certain extent, the late Odinga Lumumba, Rufus X, and I “made” the new United Democratic Party (UDP) Leader, Manuel Esquivel, in the streets of Southside Belize City in 1983 and 1984, enabling his ascension to the Prime Ministership in December of 1984. We really had no idea how deeply Esquivel was committed to the major merchant forces in Belize, especially Santiago Castillo, Ltd., and how much he believed in free market capitalism, foreign direct investment, and all the other aspects of what people now call neoliberalism.

Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta on Sunday, March 8
The Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta Committee (BBHRC) announces the 92nd Regatta to be held in the Belize City Harbour seaward of the BTL Park on New Town Barracks on Sunday 8th March 2020. This regatta qualifies for national ranking as approved by the National Authority.

Cricket Corner – Some strong muscles getting weak
Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Bowen and Bowen/Harrison Parks 2020 Cricket Competition is kicking up dust. For an acknowledgement of the past weekend matches, here we go. Bandits gobbled up Easy Does It, 52 to 199. For Bandits, Glenford Banner scored 113, and Orlando Banner took 5 wickets. For Easy Does It, J. Banner scored 28, while Garrett Banner and Kenroy Reynolds took 3 wickets each.

San Antonio Gov’t girls and Wesley Upper boys are Northern Zone primary schools basketball champions
Last Friday, February 28, the Northern Zone primary schools basketball championships were held at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town, under the auspices of the National Sports Council. The Belize District champions and sub-champions in both female and male joined the top two primary schools from Corozal in a simple knockout format.

Four fallen heroes
An entire nation has been in mourning at the confirmation that four soldiers of the Belize Defence Force died in a helicopter “crash” on the 27th of February, 2020. Maj. Adran Ramirez; Maj. Radford Baizar; Cpl. Reynaldo Choco; and Cpl. Yassir Mendez met their tragic deaths in the shallow, cold waters of Western Lagoon off the Coastal Road, in the Belize District. The saga of what resulted in the announcement of their untimely death, more than twenty-four hours after their passing, is one for which the final script is yet to be written.

Dean Barrow mek Troy Gabb luk smart
It is clear to anyone who doesn’t have blinders on that Mr. Troy Gabb is an unabashed Ashcrofite. Brother Rufus X said, many years ago, that Dean Barrow was also an Ashcrofite. If Barrow is an Ashcrofite, and Gabb is an Ashcrofite, it follows that Gabb should not be throwing barbs Barrow’s way. Hmm, let’s see, the friend of my hero should be my, hmm, hmm … there’s a string and a handler somewhere in this story, but let’s confine ourselves to the currents on the surface and stay out of trouble.

Belize and the world in early March 2020
Wow!! Today is very interesting to be alive. In Belize, our economy has tanked: it’s in a recession – agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are all in retreat. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) is in a mess. No leader to replace outgoing PM Barrow, with about 7 of 19 members of the House of Representatives threating to resign if Hon. Patrick Faber is made the new Leader of the UDP. The UDP, the only political party in Belize’s history, to win 3 general elections back-to back-to back since Independence, is now looking to disintegrate before our very eyes. Meanwhile, the Opposition party, the People’s United Party (PUP) recently held a massive demonstration of over 10,000 against the UDP government. The last time the PUP had this much support in the streets was in 1995.

Belizean Legends Shining Stars! Brown Man! Belizean Transport Made Simple!
The click-clack sound of the mule’s hooves fills the fresh early morning air on the sunny city streets of Belize City during the hustle and bustle of the 1960s and 70s Belizean daily life. From Monday to Saturday of the week, the Belizean mules and carts driven by hard working Belizean men like the legendary “Brown Man”, Mr. Ramsey, and others, hold their lanes in the crowded Albert Street traffic, delivering goods and services to the merchants of Belize City, the nation’s commercial center and once its capital before the coming of Hurricane Hattie.

First — increase, multiply
Christian preachers who make commentary on serious, timely secular issues should be very circumspect and do so only after careful study of relevant facts and documents. If legislation is involved, even legal consultation should be sought, for when a preacher speaks, he is understood to be doing so with the authority of centuries of a respected moral tradition. Furthermore, a clergyman should seek to avoid seeming sentimental and to be promoting false mercy and compassion, because law is about what is right and just.

BEL could do with a little heart
Dear Editor, I am one that is glad that our government had the courage to reacquire our essential services: water, electricity, and telephone. We might have paid a wee bit but the end result is that they are all owned and managed by Belizeans, and I dare say competently so. Now, my main point for penning this article is that we, in Belize, practice a raw type of capitalism that is practiced by some countries, and I am hoping it will get to the conscience of the CEO and Board of Directors of BEL, all of whom are enjoying “the good life”, that we need to have a little more heart in our business practices.

“No evidence of fraud” in Morales poll victory, say US researchers
A row over the legitimacy of Bolivia’s longest-serving leader, Evo Morales, has been reignited after researchers in the US questioned allegations that fraud was used to help the country’s leader of 14 years win the last election. Writing in the Washington Post, the researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s election data and science lab have entered what has become a fraught debate about Morales’s legacy and whether he was forced to step down due to an attempt to manipulate the vote or, rather, pushed out as part of a military coup.

Two men shot in Belize City
There are reports that two men were shot tonight on Central American Boulevard. One of the victims is hospitalized and the other reportedly succumbed, however that has not yet been confirmed.


Re: Today's Belize News: March 7, 2020 [Re: Marty] #540933
03/07/20 06:59 AM
03/07/20 06:59 AM
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LOVE FM

English football coach in Belize
A football coach from England is in Belize hosting a football clinic for youths in Western Belize. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz has that story.

Women and men speak about methods to tackle domestic violence in Belize
Wingspan Seminar along with No More Breaking hearts held a domestic violence seminar with men and women in Belize. The purpose is to bring together representatives from No More Broken Hearts and other local organizations to discuss best practices and common challenges they face as it relates to domestic violence.

Opposition leaders says no to rushing the Validation Bill
The Validation Bill went through its three readings yesterday in the Sitting of the House which concluded at around ten o’clock last night. As a correction to our story yesterday, the Validation Bill has only to do with the six contracts that were not tabled in the House of Representatives within the 30 days as is required by Section 19 Subsection 6 of the Substantive Laws of Belize.

PUP’s No confidence motion fails in the House of Representatives
The Budget Reading at the House of Representatives concluded last night at around ten o’clock. The Parliamentarians looked at not only the proposed budget but also at several Bills and Papers taken before the House.

Prime Minister says no new taxes proposed in the new fiscal year
Belize’s new fiscal year starts on April 1. For this year the Barrow administration has estimated that there will be a total expenditure in the country of one point three-six-two billion dollars. For revenues and grants, the Government estimates that for the new fiscal year it would amount to one point two-three-nine billion dollars.

Major Radford Baizar receives full military send off
Major Radford Baizar was laid to rest this afternoon with full military honors. Baizar is one of the four men who were killed in a helicopter crash on Thursday, February 27.

At what cost ?
Since the strike began with the stevedores, there have been trickling effects on other parties including the Port of Belize and other shipping companies. Love News spoke to Arturo Vasquez and he explained the domino effect that the strike has caused leaving the companies crippled.

MOU signed by the PBL
Though progress has been had between Port of Belize Limited (PBL) and the Christian Workers Union(CWU) following a five-day strike, members of the Belize National Teacher’s Union and of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Belize Peace movement showed up in full support for the CWU at the Port.

Are Santa Cruz villagers residing or squatting?
Yesterday, we showed you a group of villagers gathered outside the National Assembly to protest the leasing of land in Santa Cruz Village, Stann Creek District. The leases were reportedly granted by the Ministry of Natural Resources to Belize Wind Energy Limited.

Catholic Church puts a halt on mass practices as precautions of COVID-19
The Catholic Churches in Belize are implementing a plan that seeks to lessen the potential spread of COVID-19. A release from the Roman Catholic Chancery Office went into circulation on Wednesday cautioning church members to stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms of illness.

Gasoline Increases By 50 Cents
The Ministry of Finance announced that as of midnight, the pump price for regular gasoline will increase by 50 cents from $9.73 to $ 10.23 per gallon.

KHMH Union Activates With Demands And A Threat Of Possible Strike Action
Just as one union has managed to calm the plight of the stevedores, there is another fire ignited, this time with the KHMHA Workers’ Union. A release was sent out today by the union, expressing...

Manatee Carcass Found With Cut Wounds
Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute (CMARI) stated yesterday that the carcass of an Antillean manatee was reportedly found dead on Tuesday by Friend of Swallow Caye.

Airwing Pilot Laid To Rest
One week after a BDF helicopter crashed into the Gales Point Lagoon in the Stann Creek District, three of the four soldiers who perished have been laid to rest. Major Adran Ramirez’s funeral service took...

Day Three And The Stevedores Continue To Protest
It has been 57 hours and counting since the Stevedores at the Port of Belize began protesting. Today, they were joined by truckers and other union members. The truckers reportedly joined in when they arrived...

No Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Belize
Amid the many rumors circulating in the country on the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health has issued a release. The Ministry of Health notes that there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Belize

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Friday night murder in Belize City
Reports reaching BBN is that two (2) persons were shot earlier tonight on Central American […]

Sister unions, chamber meet to develop strategic actions to address issues relating to governance in Belize
The Belize Chamber of Commerce (BCCI) says that as a result of the appalling circumstances […]

Galen Eagles participate in La Ruta Maya Belize River challenge
The Galen Eagles team took off this morning in the annual La Ruta Maya Belize […]

Teen victim in Bullet Tree hit-and-run crash dies
Earlier this week, BBN reported of a victim of a hit and run accident in […]

Regular gas goes up by 50 cents
The Ministry of Finance today announced that on March 7th, 2020, the pump price for […]

The coronavirus (COVID-19) in perspective
Belize has begun to see cancellations for hotels associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) despite not […]

Last of “Airwing Four” to be laid to rest today
Today Belize Defence Force Major Radford Baizar, the last of those killed in a helicopter […]

Blogs

Happiness is a day sailing with Xsite Belize
From sunset sails to half-day and full-day adventures to over-night trips for several days of island hopping, there are a variety of options. On Ambergris Caye, Xsite Belize offers them all, served with the warm hospitality and charm of a small, family-owned and operated business. Our day on the Miss Faith catamaran begins at their dock in downtown San Pedro. Here we are greeted by Captain (and co-owner) Nef, first-mate and guide Caesar, Caesar Jr. and Joshua. As we get situated on the boat, Caesar, a super friendly real deal fisherman from the village of Sarteneja, gives us a briefing on what the day entails before we launch.

5 Must Eat Foods in Belize
Traveling to a new and foreign country might entail trying and eating foods that are different from what you are used to. But, take a chance and open your eyes and taste buds to a whole new range of authentic flavor profiles and foods. Here are the 5 Belizean food favorites that are a must eat when visiting Belize: Rice and Beans, Chimole or ‘Black Dinna,’ Escabeche, Tamales, & Cochinita Pibil.

A Growing Demand For Coconut Products In Belize
With the ever-growing demand for Coconut and all its by-products on the global market, Coconut farming in Belize is growing steadily, and it can only get better. It could be said that coconuts are ‘trending’: coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water, dried, in candy, as a beauty booster, in cooking and in cocktails. In Belize, the production has been developing and continues to grow. The very mention of the Caribbean immediately conjures images of swaying palms.

Belize: A Solo Travel Destination
Wondering if Belize is a great destination for traveling solo? The answer is yes! In this small country, you will find countless amazing adventures and friendly welcomes. There are endless opportunities to create lifelong memories. Whether you are looking to relax, meet new people, go on amazing adventures Belize has it all.

What to Do in Hopkins, Belize
Over the years, this charming and cultural beachside village of Hopkins has been a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. It is not a surprise since it has so much to offer: culture, delicious food, friendly locals, some of the best resorts, and extremely fun tours. So, if you’re planning a trip to Belize make sure to include Hopkins as one of your places to visit (even if it’s just for one day). Here is a list of things you can do at Hopkins.

Corozal vs. Orange Walk: Which Belize Destination Is Right For You?
Are you looking for a Belize destination that’s not on an island or a beach? You may have heard about Corozal and Orange Walk as good alternatives if you want to spend your time inland. Which one is a better choice for you? With a location just over the Mexican border, Belize’s most northern district has a strong Mexican influence. You’re likely to hear Spanish spoken as often as you hear English in the city. Orange Walk is rich in history and culture. Many Belizeans consider it the best place to eat street tacos in the whole country. The district is home to important Maya ruins such as La Milpa and Lamanai.

International Sourcesizz

Powerful earthquake strikes between Cuba and Jamaica, felt in Miami
A large earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between Cuba and Jamaica on Tuesday — and prompted buildings as far-off as Miami to shake, prompting a number of evacuations. The 7.7 magnitude quake hit 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 87 miles southwest of Niquera, Cuba at 2:10 p.m., the US Geological Survey stated. There was no quick phrase on casualties or main harm. Tremors had been felt greater than 500 miles in Aventura, north of Miami. Movies taken inside a high-rise in Aventura confirmed blinds swaying.

Videos

  • Live coverage of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2020, min.

  • SPEAKING WITH PHARMACIST MISS SELENY VILLANUEVA-POTT ON WAYS TO HELP PREVENT THE COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS, 18min.

  • Best Waterfall in Belize! Big Rock Falls, 1.5min. Is a 150-ft waterfall enough to cool you down on a hot Belizian day? If so, got yourself to the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve in the Cayo District of Belize, where Big Rock Falls is waiting!

  • Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2020, 2.5min.

  • Wings on Woman Summit, Belize 2020 Theme: Domestic Violence, 10min. Priscilla Dames, CEO of Wingspan Seminars inaugurates Wings on Women Summit in Belize City, Belize. The slideshow depicts Aarti Sooknandan, Miss Belize Congeniality, the Women's Department Belize and No More Broken Hearts and Wingspan Seminars, (both from Florida, US) each with a history of working with women. The 2020 summit theme is domestic violence.

  • La Ruta Maya Belize 2020, 5.5min.

  • Coverage of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 2!,

  • Horsing Around has a nice video of the Ruta Maya going by Gilly's Landing, 19min.

  • The 2020 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge start Friday morning, 1.5min.

  • Belize Hamanasi Scuba Dives 2020-02-11, 8min. Reef diving with the Hamanasi Team on February 11, 2020


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