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Today's Belize News: March 21, 2020 #541172
03/21/20 07:07 AM
03/21/20 07:07 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 67,576
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Public Transportation Protocol for COVID-19
The Department of Transport has been working closely with the Ministry of Health to address the challenges of COVID-19 in order to safeguard and protect the health of the public. The following protocols have been put in place by the Department of Transport: 1. The public is advised to report over-crowding of public transportation, including buses, busitos, “dalla vans”, taxis, and water taxis. Report all cases to 610-8163. 2. Daily commuters are encouraged to take alternative buses in the morning and evening to avoid travel during rush hours. Employers are encouraged to be flexible with working hours to accommodate their staff as this situation continues to evolve.

Ambergris Caye students observe National Hand Washing Day
Thursday, March 19th was declared National Hand Washing Day in Belize. The Ministry of Education reportedly sent out soap to all the schools countrywide for students to wash their hands. The activity is expected to sensitize the general public to continue practicing proper hand washing in order to avoid the spread of diseases. Students at the Ambergris Caye Elementary School cheerfully celebrated the occasion and washed their hands with the soap sent by MOE.

Brads Gaming Group donates golf cart to San Pedro Police; new Police Constables receive bicycles
While a surge in crime activities in south side Belize City has prompted the Ministry of National Security to declare a state of emergency, San Pedro Town continues to register low levels in major crimes. This achievement has caught the attention of the business community on and off the island. As a result, on Wednesday, March 18th the San Pedro Police Formation was the recipient of a brand new golf cart courtesy of Brads Gaming Group from Belize City. The island police department was also provided with eight bicycles for its newly installed constables to support the current bike patrol. The bicycles were donated by the Embassy of the United States of America in Belize.

KHMH union wants COVID-19 Isolation Unit located apart from KHMH
The Government of Belize’s (GOB) recent edict banning any assembly of more than 100 persons, obliged the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) workers’ union to postpone a protest demonstration they had planned for Tuesday, March 17th. The KHMH workers are concerned that GOB and the Ministry of Health decided to set up a COVID-19 Isolation Unit inside the KHMH, without first consulting with the staff, as to whether this would be the best approach. The Union feels that they should have been consulted first, rather than merely having a decision made without them.

Ambergris Today

Belize Tourism Board Advises Stakeholders On Airlines Flight Suspensions To Belize
The Philip Goldson International Airport and the Santa Elena Border (Northern Border with Mexico) remain open. Belize's Western Border with Guatemala will be closed for 15 days effective immediately, as are all other small ports of entry. The border closure does not apply to our sea ports; these remain open for cargo traffic. United Airlines - Effective April 1st, 2020, United has announced that there will only be one daily afternoon flight from Houston. Avianca - Effective immediately, Avianca has suspended its operations to Belize at the direction of the Salvadoran government for fifteen (15) days in the first instance.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Philip Goldson International Airport Closing Monday March 23
Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize (March 20, 2020). The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19. The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Belize, the COVID-19 National Oversight Committee announced today additional border closings as outlined below. The Philip Goldson International Airport will be closed effective Monday, March 23rd, after the last scheduled flight departs. Again, these measures only apply to the movement of people and do not apply to cargo trucks or cargo planes. U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.

CCVC action plan to minimize potential spread of COVED-19
The Caye Caulker Village Council and The Caye Caulker Traffic Department continues to closely follow the developments concerning the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019). The health and safety of our members, staff, visitors and community members are of great importance to us. Therefore, we are working on an action plan to help minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 by minimizing person to person contacts. We are kindly asking customers/community members/visitor, to be pro,ti5 with the following measures:

Notice to Belizean students abroad
Belizean students abroad are advised to submit their name, contact details (email/mobile) and study information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the email address provided below. Please also include an emergency point of contact/family member in Belize. Students are further advised to contact their universities for guidance and to observe the Ministry of Health recommendations in the countries where they reside.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 4, HOW COVID-19 WILL AFFECT IMMIGRATION AND BORDER CONTROL
Which borders have been closed? • The Belize Western Border Station with Guatemala is closed. • The Belize Southern Border Station, including Hunting Caye and Jalacte, is closed. • The Belize City Seaport is closed with the exception of cargo vessels. • The San Pedro Seaport is closed. • The Dangriga Seaport is closed. • No informal border crossing in Blue Creek and Santa Cruz in Orange Walk is allowed. Which borders remain open? Only two major ports of entry remain open. • The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport ; • Belize Northern Border Station at Santa Elena

PHOTOS OF THE DAY: GOVERNMENT HOUSE
The Government House is 206 years old this year and doing well. Lots of important meetings and decisions were made inside those walls. Many people have walked up and down that grand stairway from common folks to monarchs.

Ryoya Oyama's environmental initiative to keep Corozal clean!
Congratulations to JICA volunteer Ryoya Oyama with his environmental initiative in keeping Corozal clean! Last year we collaborated with paint, materials and a location for children to be creative! Thank you to students from St. Paul's, Corozal Nazarene, St. Francis Xavier and Marry Hill for participating in the poster competition and creating beautiful art work with an important message. Special thanks goes out to our community member Mr. Lester Hudson who donated the plywood and Tilt a Dock Resort for donating the 4x4 posts. Town Council supplied the accompanying garbage cans and installation.

Tropic Air Suspends Flghts to San Ignacio & Belmopan
Tropic Air has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to Belmopan and San Ignacio. The last flight for Belmopan will be on Saturday, March 21st. The last flight for San Ignacio will be on Sunday, March 22nd. Cargo service for both stations is suspended immediately. Unfortunately, these cuts have become necessary due to the extraordinary circumstances being brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing to serve Belize as we recover from this worldwide challenge.

Tropic Air Suspends Flghts to Cancun
Due to the extraordinary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tropic Air has taken the difficult decision to suspend service between Belize City & Cancun, Mexico from March 23rd through May 3, 2020. This suspension has become necessary due to the extraordinary circumstances being brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our last flight will be on Sunday, March 22nd and we expect to resume daily service on Monday, May 4th, 2020

Labour Advisory: Attention Employers
The Ministry of Labour informs all employers, employees and the public that ALL EMPLOYERS are required by section 45 of The Labour Act Cap 297 of the Substantive Laws of Belize (Revised Edition 2011) to inform the Labour Commissioner prior to terminating the employment of any worker. The Office of the Labour Commissioner is available to address employment concerns and queries that may result because of the current and unprecedented circumstances facing Belize in relation to COVID-19. It is very important that there be full legal compliance for the benefit of all, especially during this time.

COVID- 19 Follow-up Risk Mitigation Actions
he Ministry of Natural Resources informs the public that offices countrywide will reopen for business on Monday, March 23, 2020. The Ministry, guided by the recommendations outlined by the Government of Belize, will implement social distancing measures and encourage customers to take full advantage of its online services. The Ministry also informs the public that effective Monday, March 23, 2020, all services offered by the following departments and units will be available online:

Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing the Transmission of the COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Recognizing that persons carrying the virus may not be presenting symptoms, the Pesticides Control Board (PCB) is taking the following measures to protect its personnel and the community from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Press Release from Pesticides Control Board
The COVID-19 National Oversight Committee held its second meeting today, March 20th, and agreed to take additional measures to further protect the health of Belizeans and reduce the threat of transmission of COVID-19 in Belize. As of today, March 20th, Belize does not have any confirmed case of COVID-19. The developments on the international and regional fronts, however, have informed the Committee’s decisions.

Notice for Official Information on COVID-19
The Government of Belize reminds the public that ALL official information concerning COVID-19 (coronavirus) will come from the Government of Belize Press Office and the Ministry of Health. Information from any other source is not advised to be relied on. Information can be verified on the Facebook pages of the Government Press Office and the Ministry of Health as well as the Government Press Office website www.pressoffice.gov.bz. If there are any queries regarding COVID-19, kindly contact the Ministry of Health’s hotline at 0-800-MOH-CARE or info@covid19.bz.

Rumour Cargo to be Stopped is Incorrect
The Belize Port Authority has become aware that a recording is circulating via social media that cargo vessels will cease calling to Belize as of 22 March 2020. This is false and an irresponsible rumour, and is to be rejected as such. The Belize Port Authority hereby confirms to the public that cargo ships shall continue their calls to Belize and that there has been no indication of any interruption of cargo coming into Belize. The ports remain open for ship calls for importation and exportation of all types of cargo, including petroleum. The shipping agents have also confirmed that these vessels will continue their scheduled voyages to Belize.

Ambassador Nestor Mendez Re-elected as Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States
The Office of the Prime Minister of Belize is pleased to announce that H.E. Nestor Mendez, former Ambassador of Belize to the United States, was today re-elected as the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the period 2020-2025. Today’s elections mark Ambassador Mendez’s second term as he was previously elected in March 2015. The post of Assistant Secretary General is the second highest office in the OAS and holds senior responsibilities in that hemispheric organization.

Message to German citizens not resident in Belize
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND ALL NON-RESIDENT GERMAN NATIONALS TO CONSIDER LEAVING THE COUNTRY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Dear German compatriots in Belize, As you know, Belize, like rnany other countries, has progressively expanded its measures to contain further spread by classifying the coronavirus crisis as a pandemic. As Embassy, we strongly encourage you - all German citizens not resident in Belize - to consider leaving the country as soon as possible due to the travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). If you do not act now, you may not be able to return home for the foreseeable future.

From our San Pedro Town Council
They have amended their statement to include the following: "UPDATE: We apologize for the oversight: bars and clubs will be forced to closed today; however, bars that sell food are allowed to operate, this includes restaurants as well."

SAN PEDRO TOWN COUNCIL UPDATE ON PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TOWARDS THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council hereby informs the general public that new preventative measures will be applied, along with the previous measures that were established, in order to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors from the coronavirus (COVID-19). In agreement with the latest updated release from the Government of Belize, social gatherings will now be limited to twenty five (25) people. In this regard, the SPTC and the Police Formation will be closing bars and clubs, effective immediately. Only bars that sell food are allowed to operate, this includes restaurants as well.

Corozal Public Notice
Please be advised that effective Sunday 22nd March 2020 the Chinese Community has agreed to close iron doors at 6:00 pm but will still be selling up to 9:00 pm. This is a preventative measure and will change de-pending on further instructions by the Government of Belize. The Corozal Police Department will increase patrols in the community effective immediately. The Corozal Town Council working hand in hand with the Business Community and the Police to ensure your continued safety.

PRINCESS CASINO FREE ZONE CLOSES FOR 30 DAYS
PRINCESS CASINO FREE ZONE regrets to inform its customers that effective Saturday, March 21st at 8:00 P.M. it will be closing to the general public for a 30 day period. We apologize for any inconveniences.

COROZAL BORDER TO BE CLOSED
Through a Government Press Release effective midnight Saturday, March 21st, our Corozal Northern Border of Belize will be closed for traveling but will remain open for cargo transportation. This means that only Belizean nationals, residents, and diplomats residing in Belize will be allowed entry into Belize subject to inspection and possible quarantine for 14 days. Similarly, the Northern Border will be closed for nationals and residents wishing to travel outside of Belize except for emergencies. Additionally, our Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport will be closed effective Monday, March 23rd after the last scheduled flight departs.

Roaring Creek Bridge Opens
The new Roaring Creek Bridge is open! The first vehicle to cross the new Roaring Creek Bridge this morning, as it was opened for the first time to traffic, was driven by Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Errol Gentle. The bridge is built 12 feet above the old one, and has two full lanes for vehicular traffic, as well as two pedestrian paths. Higher, wider and stronger, this massive new structure is a landmark that puts an exclamation point on twelve years of infrastructure transformation by this UDP Dean Barrow Administration. It was constructed by M&M Engineering of Belize, with supervision by IMC International based in the United Kingdom.

BTB NOTICE TO TOURISM STAKEHOLDERS COVID-19 Update
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) assures our partners and tourism stakeholders that we remain vigilant in monitoring the situation in order to provide the most up-to-date information available: Status of COVID-19 in Belize: As of today, Friday, March 20, 2020 Belize's Ministry of Health (MOH) indicates that there are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize. Travel Restrictions: At present, Belize is prohibiting entry into the country by nationals of the following countries and persons who have traveled within the last 30 days from:

Ya'axché Conservation Trust Covid-19 Notice
In response to the evolving situation with COVID-19 worldwide and in Belize. Ya'axche is following closely the recommendations communicated by the Government of Belize to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Ya'axche is taking the necessary precautionary measures to keep staff safe during this time. Ya'axche's Main Office on #20A George Price Street. Punta Gorda, will be closed effective as of Monday March 23, 2020 with reopening of the office subject to an all clear from the relevant authorities. All administrative operations will be conducted remotely during this period. All field operations will proceed as normal with restricted visitor access to field facilities at our managed and co-managed protected areas.

1962 NORTHERN MAYA HISTORY OF BELIZE
After the Maya Social war (Caste war) many Yucatec Maya rebels became Cane farmers in Belize . The Maya milperos and Cane cutters own no land. All the land was own by the company and the Mayero peasants where simply cane cutters . In 1962 around 80 arm men stop the tractors from working and they telegram George Price asking for land . THE 1962 STRIKE: In 1962 Yucatec Maya villagers of San Pablo,Buena Vista,San Jose and Douglas decided on their own to strike . These villagers went to other villages which provided the bulk of BSI's plantation labor and told them that if they agreed to strike . They will provide them food for the duration of the strike . Jesus Ken learn of the plan and went along the workers plan.

Blue Water Grill in San Pedro Closing
We are officially closed after dinner tonight. We need to protect the health and well being of our team, our customers, and our community. We plan to reopen in May or when it is safe to do so. Don't worry, we will not fire or layoff any of our 35 staff. We will pay them 50% of their salaries every week until we reopen. Why? Because reputations are built during tough times. Love always, Kelly and Mukul

Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant Notice
Due to recent events concerning the COVID-19 virus, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety and health of our customers and staff. Effective immediately, free deliveries will be provided for ALL meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our delivery service is available daily until 11:45pm. Please note than unless mandated by the GoB, we do not have any immediate plans to close our doors! Regarding our dining room, bar, front desk, and facilities, all surfaces, countertops, lounge chairs, door handles and sink faucets will be sanitized regularly. Our barstools, tables, and deck chairs have been rearranged with at least 6-feet in between them in order to practice social distancing.

Children's Drawing Contest
We invite children from Belize to put their imagination in motion by participating in this edition of the Children's Drawing Contest with the theme "Alebrijes," fantastic figures around the world.

Channel 7

Tourism Board Layoffs
Tonight, Belize is still free of the Coronavirus - one of about 19 countries in the whole world where its presence has not been confirmed.   But, even though it isn't here yet, the effects are being felt on a massive scale - especially in the tourism industry where layoffs have already started.   Today, the Belize Tourism Board reportedly sent home a number of staffers in a cost cutting measure -  reportedly as much as 50% of the staff. Director of Tourism Karen Bevans declined an interview, but told us this via text message this afternoon: quote, "We are still meeting by Departments but the team is quite pleased. We have an agreed separation with a few of them for now, until Tourism picks back up." End quote.

COVID-19 Shutdown, Belize Moves to Close Borders And Airport
And tonight the national response to COVID-19 has taken a much more sharper focus; Belize is isolating itself and closing borders completely.  The COVID-19 National Oversight Committee held its second meeting today and made a bunch of big decisions that are sure to affect every Belizean's way of life.  First off, on Saturday at midnight, the Northern Border including the Corozal Free Zone, will be closed to visitors and will remain open only for movement of cargo.  Only Belizean nationals, residents, and diplomats residing in Belize will be allowed entry into Belize subject to inspection and possible quarantine for 14 days. 

Guatemalans Continue to Be Repatriated Through Belize
And for many Belizeans - the airport can't close too soon. And why is that?  Because Guatemalans keep coming through to get back to their own country!   Guatemala suspended all international flights from March 16 to 30 except for cargo. And, so, many Guatemalans trying to return home have decided to come through Belize, and head straight to the Western border.  It's not illegal, since Belize has not banned the arrival of Guatemalans.   That made big news yesterday - after a taxi driver had to be quarantined.  And, tonight it's news again after a SILVA's bus was taken unto the tarmac to whisk off 27 Guatemalans two had arrived on a COPA flight from Panama.  

Cargo Supply to Belize Uninterrupted
But, that repatriation of Guatemalans is going to end of Monday when the airport closes - along with all other borders.  But they will remain open to cargo - and so does the Port of Belize where ships will continue to arrive - and two are expected this weekend.   But while shipping and cargo operations remain as normal as they can be in the current global climate, the panic mongers just keep at it.   This morning a panic voice message went viral. It claimed that Belize is in for something serious the shipping from the United States would be halted effective Sunday, March 22nd.

FECTAB Fulminates Against National Covid Response
And if you want to talk about panic, it was writ large today at a FECTAB press conference.   And, quite understandably, FECTAB is the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, and its members are the small to medium sized operators servicing a cruise industry that has disappeared overnight. So, for them, the COVID-19 pandemic means that their livelihoods have disappeared for an indefinite period.  And, today, FECTAB publicly reminded the government of this stark reality at a press conference. 

Six Charged For Murder
Belize City Police have arrested and charged 6 men for two recent murders. The first incident that they have made an arrest for is the killing of 46-year-old Keith Courtenay. You'll remember that the shooting which happened 2 weeks ago on Sarstoon Street in the Long Barracks area. Courtenay was attempting to shield his 6-year-old grandson from the sudden spray of gunfire, and he was fatally injured. Investigators have also arrested 4 men for the brazen broad daylight shooting 3 days at the corner of Orange and West Streets. You'll remember that 21-year-old Derrick King and another Bowen and Bowen delivery man were conducting their company's business when they came under attack.

State Of Emergency Detains 102
Police Commissioner Chester Williams also spoke with the press about the ongoing state of emergency that was declared 2 days ago for 8 areas in Belize City. That's after a 48-hour crime wave struck the City, and resulted in 6 murders, including the killings of  those precious 5 year old's Kia Herbert and Dominique Rhamdas - as well as his mother. This evening, police announced that they have detained 102 persons who they strongly believe are gang members. Among the detained persons include 25-year-old Adrian Pook, 31-year-old Aaron Lindo, 36-year-old Edwin Flowers, 20-year-old Phozhaun Lewis, 21-year-old Israel Usher, 23-year-old Brandon Young, 27-year-old Raheem McGowan, 26-year-old Byron Jeffords, 19-year-old Adam Ferguson, and 26-year-old Terrel Moreira. Here's what the Commissioner had to say this evening about the rounding up of all these suspected gang members countrywide:

SOE Detainees Go Defiantly To Prison
And, it's been a whirlwind of activity today for the police department.  They also took hundred plus detainees to prison.  That created quite a scene outside the Queen Street Police Station and 7News was there: It was very busy inside the compound at the Queen Street police station around 11:00 this morning.  Paramilitary police were there in numbers ad they processed detainees to be placed on the prison bus.  We saw the detainees brought out of the holding cell, searched and then directed to the bus.

Former Williamson Exec Detained on Remand Offence
He's the well known former country manager for Williamson Industries, but yesterday 78 year old Lawrence Maclaren was arrested for trying to board a flight with a gun in his bag.   In what was likely an oversight for the senior citizen, Macalren was searched at the airport screening area and the Security found a 22 revolver with 6 live rounds in his travel bag.

Keeping Kia's Memory Alive
Imagine you're five years old, and your little classmate, the one who you played with in the yard, the one you sang with, and learned to read withis suddenly killed, shot dead in her sleep before dawn.  And on Tuesday, she just isn't there at school - and she'll never be there again.  A young life snuffed out, erased, just like that.  

Nestor Mendez, Re-elected To ASG Post By Acclamation
Belizean Diplomat Nestor Mendez has made us proud again.  The former Ambassador of Belize to the United States, was today re-elected as the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States for another five year term. And, he was elected by acclamation, which means he was unopposed and enjoyed the support of all 33 Member States present.  

Why Not Cancel The PSE?
The Ministry of Education held a press conference on Wednesday to announce that schools would be closed today for COVID 19 concerns, but that students should take schoolwork home.   But, what happens when they get home?  Many parents will struggle to find or pay for babysitting especially or young ones.  And, as of tomorrow, daycare centers will also have to close. So, will there be any kind of provision to help parents pay for babysitting? We asked the minister - he was not encouraging:

Courts Shows Compassion In A Time of COVID
Unicomer Belize Limited, the company which owns Courts Belize and Tropigas, has announced today that they are waiving late fees for their credit customers, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which is halting a lot of commercial and business activity. A press release from the company says that they are reaching out to their customers to offer relief. Anticipating that their "ready-finance" customers won't be able to make payments on their accounts on time, the company has decided to wave late fees.

Channel 5

Belize Remains Free of Covid-19; New Measures Announced
As the weekend gets underway, there are zero cases of coronavirus detected within our borders but new measures are being put in place beginning this Saturday.  The Oversight Committee on [...]

Alleged Gang Members Imprisoned
As the crackdown of suspected gang members continues, police today hoarded away a first group of affiliates.  The men were picked up at different times and places and kept in [...]

Police Department Publishes Wanted Persons List
The full force of the law to crack down on crime came down as early as three o’clock on Wednesday morning when the round up began in neighbourhoods in the [...]

Police Make Several Arrests Following Belize City Bloodbath
Several persons were arraigned this evening in the lower courts after being charged for crimes ranging from attempted murder to murder.  On Tuesday afternoon, twenty-two-year-old Derrick King, an employee of [...]

An Update on the State of Emergency
At a press conference this evening, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams provided an update on operations being conducted under the existing state of emergency, beginning with an increase in the [...]

Measured Progress in Solving Homicides Involving Two Infants
Investigators are closer to making arrests in at least three of the murders that occurred earlier this week.  According to Commissioner Williams, they have made significant inroads in cracking the [...]

What’s Ahead for Citizen Security this Weekend?
ComPol Chester Williams stopped short of divulging operational details of police activities that are scheduled for this weekend, suffice to say that the ramped up presence of officers in the [...]

COVID-19’s Devastating Effects on the Tourism Industry
Tourism industries across the world continue to crumble due to the devastating effects of COVID-19. While Belize remains without a confirmed case, the tourism industry here is still feeling the [...]

Employees in Tourism Industry Feeling the COVID-19 Effects
Tens of thousands of persons rely on the tourism industry and with COVID-19 negatively affecting the industry many businesses are left to lay off employees. Hotels across the country are [...]

How Can G.O.B. Assist Hotels and Employees?
According to Tejada, the Belize Hotel Association is working with the COVID-19 National Oversight Committee to mitigate the effects of the deadly disease. A survey is being carried out and the [...]

FECTAB Demands a Seat at the Table
The first case of coronavirus is yet to be confirmed in Belize and while many are hunkering down in fear of contracting the illness once it makes landfall, stakeholders in [...]

FECTAB: “Something’s Require Wahn Dictatorship”
FECTAB’s demand for equity in the distribution of tourism relief is in the interest of small and independent tour operators who they say are constantly overlooked by government and industry [...]

CJ Kenneth Benjamin Retires; Who Takes Up the Post?
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has retired from the Judiciary, having reached the mandatory retirement age of sixty-five years on Thursday.  This leaves the post vacant.  When News Five contacted Attorney [...]

Luis Almagro & Nestor Mendez are Re-elected as Sec. Gen. & Asst. Sec. Gen. of the O.A.S.
At the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington today, the anticipated elections took place for Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the O.A.S.  Secretary General Luis [...]

COVID-19 High Risk Groups
While some cases of the novel coronavirus are mild, there are some underlying conditions which make people more likely to catch it or suffer a more severe infection. The high risk group [...]

COVID-19 Tips
Tonight we bring you more information on how to prepare and protect yourself in light of the novel corona virus. Earlier this week we spoke with critical care doctor and [...]

Belize Port Authority Sets the Record Straight: Cargo Ships Continue Calls to Belize
False information has been spreading as fast as the virus elsewhere in the world and fact checking has become even more critical as is the reliance on official information. Today, [...]

K.H.M.H.’s C.E.O. on COVID-19 Preparedness
The Ministry of Health has been preparing for COVID-19 since January of this year when the first cases were being reported in China.  It has acquired additional testing kits and [...]

Central Health Region Plans for COVID-19
In respect of the Central Health Region, several institutions have been identified and will be equipped and converted for various levels of care that will be needed in the event of a large [...]

Ministry of Health Screening Points
During Thursday’s Ask the Experts session, Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero also shared that new screening points are now in place around the country. He says that they [...]

Corporal Kent Martinez is Committed to Stand Trial for Manslaughter
A police corporal, who allegedly shot and killed a teacher as he drove in a vehicle in downtown Belize City last July, was today committed to stand trial in the [...]

Bail Denied for Accused Murderer George Bull
A man, who is charged with a murder that occurred in 2017 and for whom a preliminary inquiry has still not been completed, was denied bail today in the Supreme [...]

Female Chef Charged With Illegal Gun Possession
A woman, who claims she is a chef in San Pedro, was today arrested and charged with possession of an illegal firearm and sixteen rounds of ammunition. Ana Herrera, represented [...]

Internal Investigation Ongoing into Fatal B.D.F. Helicopter Incident
We’ve been reporting on the latest reports on the B.D.F.’s fatal helicopter crash.  The Honduran Air Force conducted the first investigation and has shared their findings. The Civil Aviation Department [...]

The Tale of the B.D.F. Heli Crash and the Postmortem
As you heard just now, the team is still carrying out the internal investigation. But one other point that stuck out during at Wednesday’s press conference relates to the autopsy. [...]


Re: Today's Belize News: March 21, 2020 [Re: Marty] #541173
03/21/20 07:08 AM
03/21/20 07:08 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 67,576
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Amandala

Gun violence triggers State of Emergency
Between Friday night and Tuesday afternoon, Belize City experienced a deadly surge in gun violence that left 7 persons dead, including two 5-year-olds, who were shot while they slept in their homes. Apart from the fatal shootings, at least 8 persons suffered from gunshot injuries and had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. By the early hours of yesterday, Wednesday, authorities responded to this spike in violent crimes by declaring a state of emergency in eight areas on the southside of Belize City, where the most intense gang rivalries occur.

Belize remains free of COVID-19
Belize remains the only country in Central America where there is no confirmed case of the COVID-19 pandemic that has been wreaking havoc and death around the world in more than 140 countries on all continents. On Wednesday, in preparation for COVID-19, the Government of Belize via the National Coordinating Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceno, announced a series of measures to prepare Belize for the expected arrival of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana will act as Chief Justice
Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana has become the first female judge to act as Chief Justice of Belize. Justice Arana has become the head of the Belize Judiciary after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin reached the mandatory retirement age of 65. Justice Arana was also the first female judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court bench in January 2006. Justice Arana has served in a number of judicial appointments, including Registrar of the Supreme Court, Magistrate, and Crown Counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

Guatemalans allowed to transit through Belize
The Government of Belize came under intense criticism today in social media after it was learned that two Guatemalan officials were allowed to transit through Belize yesterday from the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), from which they traveled by taxi to the Western border. The Western border has been closed since Monday. Reporters caught up with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, who told them that he was unaware of any agreement to allow the PGIA and subsequently the western border to be used as a transit point for Guatemalans.

Key questions about fatal BDF helicopter crash remain unanswered
This afternoon, senior officials of the Ministry of National Security held a media briefing at the Belize Coast Guard Headquarters to highlight two of the latest reports about the ill-fated Belize Defence Force (BDF) UH 1H BDF 12 helicopter which crashed, killing 4 BDF soldiers who were on a secret mission involving the interception of a drug plane in the early morning hours of Thursday, February 27. These two new reports on the helicopter crash, one from the helicopter manufacturer, Bell, and the other from the Belize Civil Aviation Department, come on the heels of the first report that was done by the Honduran Air Force, which pointed to pilot error as the cause of the accident.

Craziness in the city —7 murders in 5 days
A spate of shootings has left 7 persons dead, including a little girl and a little boy, both 5 years old, who died while sleeping in their homes with their mothers. The two children were killed within 48 hours of each other in separate shooting incidents. In one of the shootings, a 2-year-old girl was also grazed.

US Embassy suspends its visa services
The global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) has placed many cities and counties around the world under lockdown, as preventative measures are enforced to stem the spread of the disease. Yesterday, Monday, the United States extended its travel ban to some 26 European countries, including the United Kingdom, which was exempt last week when the travel ban was first introduced, in response to the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the continental US.

Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa will run for UDP leader post
The United Democratic Party (UDP) has been in limbo, regarding whom will be selected to fill the post of party leader, which will soon be vacated by the retiring Dean Barrow, who has been at the helm of the party for over two decades. This week, the race for UDP leader took a new turn when the Cayo North area representative, Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, submitted his name in a bid to seek nomination to the post. Dr. Figueroa, a relative newcomer to party politics, was first elected to the House of Representatives in a by-election in January 2015, when the Cayo North seat became vacant after the PUP’s Joseph Mahmud suddenly resigned. Dr. Figueroa also won the seat in the general elections of November 2015.

50 foreigners refused entry to Belize on COVID-19 fears
About 50 foreigners, many Europeans included, attempted to enter Belize from Chetumal on a water taxi, but were prevented from doing so out of concerns about the possible transmission of COVID-19. The water taxi entered Belize’s waters from Chetumal, Mexico, on Saturday, March 14, and was anchored off the coast of San Pedro. The passengers indicated that they wanted to remain on the boat overnight and were refusing to leave Belizean waters. They were eventually escorted out of Belize territorial waters by the Belize Coast Guard.

KHMH Workers Union abandons protest
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Workers Union was scheduled to hold a demonstration yesterday evening to protest government’s decision to put an isolation unit for treating COVID-19 patients on the KHMH compound. When we checked with the union’s vice president, however, we were told that the protest was not going to occur because the necessary police permit could not be obtained. Vice president of the union, Andrew Baird, told us that the union would instead write a petition to the National Referral Committee, which is chaired by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and co-chaired by the leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Hon. John Briceño.

Editorial: Maintaining the status quo will not save us
It is not impossible that COVID-19 (new coronavirus) could lose some of its sting in the very near future. Most experts are saying it is likely that the disease will continue to be a major worry for quite some time, but there are good examples of containment in some countries — in Singapore, in Taiwan, in South Korea, and in Mainland China where the first outbreak was recorded. The medical world knows a lot more about controlling the spread of influenza-type viruses than it did when the so-called Spanish Influenza broke out during and immediately after WWI.

UDP 2nd leadership convention – a new circus
The last party council meeting that the governing United Democratic Party (UDP) held, ended in major disarray after April 5 was set as the new date for a national convention for the selection of a new party leader. UDP chairman, Attorney General and new Minister of National Security, Michael Peyrefitte told reporters after the meeting that if applications were received from more than one aspirant to the post of leader, they would proceed to a contested convention. At the UDP’s last national convention on Sunday, February 9, John Saldivar (Belmopan) soundly defeated Patrick Faber (Collet) and was sworn in as “UDP-Leader elect.”

Belize and the COVID-19 in March 2020
Wow!! Today is very interesting to be alive. In Belize, our economy has tanked – It’s in an official recession – agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are all in decline. Meanwhile, a coronavirus (COVID-19) is threating to kill millions, is already destroying the global economy and has become the trigger to bring down the global financial system. As at Monday, the pneumonia outbreak has infected 167,000 persons globally with 3,218 dead in China, 1809 in Italy, 852 in Iran, 77 in South Korea, and 292 in Spain; or a death total of 3,170 persons outside of China. Panic buying is now occurring in Belize, Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, Australia, and most other cities in the world.

No more police checkpoints; police will instead institute area patrols
This afternoon, an order issued by Commissioner of Police Chester Williams set in motion the removal of checkpoints that are operated in hot spot areas of the city. Instead of checkpoints, police officers assigned to the area will conduct area patrols, and also, a policy of cell phone control will be put in place for officers on duty. The aim is to have effective police patrols in the communities without officers being distracted by their cell phones. Compol Williams said that a policy of limiting cell phone usage while on duty will be signed today.

Our sporting world comes to a stand-still due to COVID-19
It’s an eerie feeling this midweek, as we chronicle the remaining events of the past weekend in sports, following our Tuesday issue report on a few of them. What will be different in this Friday’s sports pages, is that for now and for weeks to come, we can look forward to no more weekend excitement from sports, that unpredictable avenue of human endeavor that brings thrills and distraction to a hard working populace in need of relief from the stress of work and the pain of lost loved ones in the spiraling orgy of reckless violence being perpetrated by a handful of lost and desperate youths in their own form of battle for survival, which has spelled the heart wrenching loss of innocent lives in our community.

Belizean Legends Shining Stars! Oscar Lamb! Providing Through An Honest Living!
My own father, like Oscar Lamb here, was one of the many Belizean vendors and independent business people around Belize City, Belize who were one of the few Belizean black men in the 1960s and 70s that were self-employed. Just watching how neat and well-dressed Mr. Lamb was on this classic and historic photo here, erupts the nostalgic juices of pride and spirit that had embodied these constructive Belizean men that appeared to have not been affected by false pride and ambition.

From The Publisher
My generation of Belizeans, those of us born after World War II, have been here before, and I am referring to the present threat of coronavirus Armageddon which is frightening, in some cases terrifying, Belizeans. The difference between back then and now is that when planet earth was faced with the terrible possibility of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia in October of 1962, we teenaged Belizeans had no idea what the hell was going on. We were living in ignorance. Perhaps, as they say, ignorance is/was bliss.

E.P. Yorke girls and Wesley College boys are Central Zone high school softball champions 2020
Last Friday at Rogers Stadium, the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) held its female and male softball championships. Emerging victorious for the females was Edward P. Yorke High School, who defeated Ladyville Technical High, 24-9, in finals; while for the males, it was Wesley College winning, 10-0, over Ladyville Technical for the championship.

Cricket Corner
A pleasant time of the day to all cricket enthusiasts! What a wonderful weekend it was for cricket! These playing teams made much of it, as the body of my report tells. Before getting into specifics, may I say, thanks to the sponsors of this year’s season, Bowen and Bowen. Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Bowen and Bowen/Harrison Parks 2020 Cricket Competition continued over the weekend.

“NSC & FFB Youth Tournament 2020” Week 2 report; and CFA 1st Division Closing Season kicks off
Our games continued as per scheduled this Sunday, March 15. All games are being played at the Ricalde Stadium for the U11, U15, U17 M/F. This week we introduced our U17 Female tournament; a total of 4 teams are participating, i.e. Top Cats-CCC, BDF Cadets, Bacadia Warriors, and Cristo Rey. We are grateful to the club owners/managers for being very supportive to female football. BDF Cadets U17 Female team – Sgt. Derrick Palma, Manager. Corozal Football Association (CFA) thanks you, Sgt. Palma for your continuous commitment to youth development and keeping our future leaders in positive recreational activities. We applaud you for your efforts and being a true role model to others.

Two viruses affecting Belize
Let me quickly address the virus of crime, corruption and killing. This virus has grown, and no vaccine seems to exist for it. It is a full pandemic, but we cannot get it addressed, because the very people who are supposed to address it have mutated into the virus. And the very people who are supposed to recognize the virus of crime, corruption and killing are embracing it. In Belize, sadly, we the very people who suffer when there is crime, corruption and killings, actually promote it, propagate it, and embrace it. We have double standards, so no simple pill, or a vaccine will help us.

Jesus took our ancestors through their worst days
There is a school in the black community that keeps singing lyrics that the Europeans came with the Bible, and we accepted the Bible and in exchange we gave them our land. The truth in the Americas is that the Europeans got the land through the barrels of their guns, and the spread of diseases they brought. I want that school to ponder on how our slave ancestors survived for 300 years of the worst punishment imaginable. Our ancestors were stolen from Africa, and they and their children would not breathe God’s wonderful air in its purest form for all of three centuries.

Mystery: common good
“Out of evil cometh good.” May we contribute this most profound idea of perhaps the greatest Christian missionary who ever lived and travelled to the ends of the earth to spread the message of Christianity? Wherever he preached he proclaimed the wisdom of the cross, crucifixion then being regarded by the Romans, the rulers of the world, as the worst penalty for the most wicked enemies of their system. Less than a century before, they had crucified Spartacus and countless other gladiators who had rebelled against Roman slavery.

Cuba rejects the pretexts of Bolivian putschist authorities to suspend diplomatic relations
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the plurinational State of Bolivia announced the decision of the putschist government to suspend diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba, claiming that the Cuban Government has systematically affected bilateral relations and has been hostile towards the Bolivian authorities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba strongly rejects the unfounded allegations of Bolivia’s de-facto government.

Jerome, Jewel, and the machinations of politicians …
Either late November or early December, things had started to move briskly, first with an interesting little incident involving Jerome and, eventually, Jewel and Victor, indicating some relaxation of the tension surrounding their relationship. I should give some background concerning a subject not directly related but which will help to explain the circumstances. It had to do with the fishing industry and, especially, the export of the roe (eggs) of the Red Grouper, a great delicacy and one particularly appealing to my dear mother, who spoke of the deprivation caused by a moratorium on fishing for this item imposed by the government Fisheries Department.

Belizean from Italy writes
Fellow Belizeans, I write to you from Italy. You have probably seen Italy on the headlines fighting to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The hope is that health providers will not find themselves in a situation where people who need urgent hospitalisation will be refused because the facilities just cannot cope with the number of patients. Since the first identified infected person on February 21, in just over three weeks, Italy now has about twenty-six thousand cases and there have been about two thousand five hundred deaths in the country due to the virus. The entire country is in total lockdown. The only places open to the public are pharmacies, newspaper stands and shops that sell food stuff.

The sad case of Shadwan of Punta Gorda!
Dear Editor, Shadwan’s community failed him. Where are the social safety nets to catch our at-risk children? What services does the Ministry of Health provide to mentally ill children and youth? “Our friend died way too soon”, said Father Andrew Kirschman at the St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic Church in Punta Gorda Town. Father Kirschman was eulogizing 19-year-old Shadwan James Guzman on Friday, January 24, 2020.

The Covid-19 virus pricked the bubble
Dear Editor, The Federal Reserve took its rate to zero and additional $700 billion in stimulus on 15 March, 2020. The Federal Reserve balance sheet will be at its peak of $4.5 trillion. This will be done by purchasing assets — in this case, $500 billion in Treasury securities and $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities. The purchases will begin right away, with $40 billion in purchases set to take place on Monday, 16 March, 2020.

Barton Creek Mennonites want more government protection from robbers
Dear Editor, In regards to an article that appeared in the Amandala last year, we in the village here in Lower Barton Creek feel compelled to respond. We feel that the public deserves a more accurate account of what happened during one of the most terrorizing acts of robbery from two policemen this young couple has ever experienced.

The COVID-19 Outbreak: Implications for Tourism-Dependent Caribbean Countries
The COVID-19 outbreak could have considerable implications for Caribbean citizens and their economies. The magnitude of this impact will depend crucially on the spread of the virus, the duration of the outbreak, and measures countries in the region and elsewhere undertake to insulate themselves. It will also have much to do with country economic structures—particularly tourism dependence.

The Reporter

Follow-Foot ‘Belize Does Not Deserve Social Distancing, YET!
The following is the latest press release issued today by the Government...

THE SOCIAL DISTANCING CHALLENGE
By: Dr. Abigail Joseph It is natural to be concerned about the things we hear and see around us. For the moment I think the one...

H.E., Nestor Mendez re-elected as OAS Assistant Secretary
His Excellency, Nestor Mendez, former Ambassador of Belize to the United States, has been re-elected as the Assistant Secretary General of the...

Belize Free Of COVID-19, But Illegal Border Crossings Is A Problem
Belize, up to Thursday morning, was the only country in the mainland Americas that has not yet confirmed a...

LOVE FM

Roaring Creek Bridge opened for vehicles
This morning, a temporary opening for the Roaring Creek Bridge was held. Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

Four men arrested for Derrick King
Today, the police gave updates on persons who had been arrested and charged for various murders. The first was the murder of 46-year-old Keith Courtenay that occurred on Tuesday, March 3.

ComPol gives update on State of Emergency
Belize City’s second State of Emergency in two years commenced on Wednesday, March 18. Eight zones were designated as hotspots and police patrols in those areas have stepped up immensely.

FECTAB demands government help those in the tourism sector amid COVID-19 crisis
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) is up in arms with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Government again and this time it’s about the crisis tour guides are experiencing. Today, the Association held a press conference where they highlighted the issue of relief funds being mishandled by the BTB and the Government.

Seaboard Marine states that they are open and functional
The Seaboard Marine wishes to advise that our cargo terminal at PortMiami and that Jacintoport terminal in Houston remain open and are functioning normally. Although neighboring cargo terminals have announced partial closures, the Seaboard facility at PortMiami is fully operational and open.

Three persons injured in accident
Three persons were injured in road traffic today in Western Belize. Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

German tourists in Belize urged to return
The German Honorary Consul is urging Germans who are not residents of Belize to consider leaving the country as soon as possible. This is due to the travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

Nestor Mendez re-elected as the OAS Assistant Secretary-General
H.E. Nestor Mendez, former Ambassador of Belize to the United States, has been re-elected as the Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the 2020-2025 period. The elections held today marks Ambassador Mendez’s second term as he was previously elected in March 2015.

Quintana Roo has 11 cases of COVID-19
As of 6 o’clock today, the Mexican State of Quintana Roo has confirmed 11 cases of COVID-19. They had tested 86 suspected cases, and of those, 52 were negative and 23 are still under observation.

San Ignacio Community Hospital prepared for the onset of COVID-19
The San Ignacio Community Hospital in the Cayo District are prepared as they could be with a quarantine area identified on the grounds of the hospital. Correspondent Elaine Berry spoke with Dr. Fidel Cuellar on the preparations they have in place.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Social Security Board says covid-19 doesn’t qualify as employment Injury
Earlier this week, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) met with representatives of the Social […]

“Courts announces support for credit customers”
Unicomer (Belize) Ltd. is reaching out to its credit customers to offer much-needed relief during this critical time. […]

Ministry of Natural Resources to reopen on Monday
The Ministry of Natural Resources issued a release this evening informing the general public that […]

Social gatherings in Belize now limited to 25 people
Today, the Government of Belize informed new measures amidst the covid-19 threat to Belize. Social […]

Belize remains covid-19 free; PGIA and Northern border to close
The COVID-19 National Oversight Committee held its second meeting today March 20th and agreed to […]

Belize City Council Covid-19 risk mitigation
As all residents are aware, 2020 has introduced a pandemic known as the COVID-19 Virus and the entire […]

Tropic Air suspends flights to Belmopan and San Ignacio
Tropic Air informed today that it is suspending all flights to Belmopan and San Ignacio. […]

Tropic Air suspends flights to Cancun, Mexico
Tropic Air informed today that due to the extraordinary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tropic […]

Clarifications issued on border closures and cargo passage
The Corozal Free Zone and Port Authority have issued separate but similar circulars regarding operations […]

German officials urge nationals in Belize to leave the country ASAP
A message sent by the German Ambassador Harald Klein and addressed to all German nationals, […]

Ambassador Nestor Mendez re-elected as Assistant Secretary-General of OAS
Former Ambassador of Belize to the United States, Nestor Mendez was today re-elected as the […]

Belize Tourism Board surveying hoteliers to seek those willing to share facilities as quarantine centers
While Belize has no confirmed case of COVID-19 as of today March 20, as indicated […]

New Roaring Creek bridge opens to traffic
The first vehicle to cross the new Roaring Creek Bridge this morning, as it was opened for the first time to traffic, was driven by Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Errol Gentle. […]

Annual Cancer Walk postponed
Today the Belize Cancer Society announced the postponement of its annual Cancer Awareness Walk, which […]

Ministry of Natural Resources closes offices amidst covid-19 threat
In the interest of public health and safety and due to circumstances regarding COVID-19, the […]

Police Commissioner warns against harboring wanted persons
As the Belize Police Department continues its upscaled operations during the declared State of Emergency, […]

Blogs

Are you ready for the Easter Holidays?
From Thursday, April 9th to Monday, April 13th, the Easter holidays in Belize’s coastal communities bring in the crowds. The holiday is one of the busiest times in the tourism industry for Belize, as a bustling number of visitors from around the world seek out a tropical destination. With plenty of fun entertainment and the usual ‘sun, sand and sea’ attraction, places like Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and the Placencia Peninsula are key destinations. To make the most of your holiday getaway, we recommend some early planning.

VICTORIA HOUSE TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE UNTIL APRIL 25TH
With travel restrictions tightening and many carriers temporarily suspending flights to and from Belize, we’ve decided to temporarily close the resort to guests between now and April 25th. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize, our number one priority is the continued safety of our employees and guests. With a large staff, Victoria House Resort & Spa supports over 90 families on Ambergris Caye. Rather than remain open right now, we want our employees to practice social distancing and be at home with their families until travel restrictions are lifted and the risk of infection has passed.

Marie Sharp Hot Sauce
The Marie Sharp Hot Sauce phenomenon started in 1981, the year of Belize’s Independence. Since then the country, as well as the hot sauce, have evolved and flourished together. It seems like there is a bottle of Marie Sharp’s hot sauce on every table in every home and in every restaurant in Belize. Today Marie Sharp Hot Sauces are known all over the world. Marie Sharp is from the Stann Creek Valley of Southern Belize. Since the Habanero Pepper, also known as Scotch Bonnet was so abundant and being from a family who worked the land, Marie started to experiment in her own kitchen. She used fresh habanero peppers, combining them with fresh vegetables and fruits from her own farm. This was the humble beginning of the building of her food empire which now includes chutneys, jams, jellies, dressings, and more recently, barbecue sauce.

International Sourcesizz

National Geographic: Baird's tapir, facts and photos
Baird’s tapirs are large, long-nosed mammals that may look like they’re relatives of elephants, but they're actually closer kin to horses, donkeys, zebras, and rhinoceroses. Baird’s tapirs are the largest animals native to Central America. They are slightly smaller, however, than their South American cousins, the lowland tapirs. Like all tapirs, this species has a prominent proboscis, or tube-like nose. It's made up of soft tissues, which makes the organ extremely flexible and allows it to be used to snatch leaves and stems that would otherwise be out of reach. In Belize, where the Baird’s tapir is the national animal, the species is known as the “mountain cow.” This nickname, however, might not reflect just how agile these creatures can be. Baird’s tapirs move swiftly across the land, can swim well in streams and rivers, and have no trouble hoofing it up steep slopes. When disturbed or frightened, Baird’s tapirs often head for the safety of water.

Videos

  • Belize (March 2020), 3.5min. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

  • Social Distancing in Maya Beach Belize, 11min. Week 1 of this new life as we know it. Staying away from crowds and reconnecting with ourselves and nature.

  • Belize: South Water Marine Reserve, 2min.

  • Belize Snorkeling, 3min. Snorkeling in Hol Chan and Shark Ray alley, Belize

  • Scuba Diving Lighthouse Reef, Belize March 14, 2020, 12min.

  • Drone footage of Carrie Bow - Belize, 1min.


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