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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

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow Updates Nation on the Existing State of Emergency
My Fellow Belizeans, I take this opportunity to update you on the most recent developments in our ongoing struggle against COVID-19. Thankfully, we are holding steady on the health front. Thus, there has been no new positive since Monday, April 13th. There were the two lamentable deaths; but no other of the 18 cases originally […]

Government of Belize considers easing restrictions in National State of Emergency
Thursday, March 23rd marks one month since Ambergris Caye was placed under a mandatory quarantine, after the government announced the first case of COVID-19 on the island. The rules restricted people from leaving or traveling to Ambergris Caye, as the island went into a complete lock down for 72 hours. The island quickly became a ghost town as islanders remained home to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Following a surge in new cases on the mainland, additional restrictions to protect Belizeans were introduced via an updated Statutory Instrument upon the declaration of a National State of Emergency.

Tutoring group formed to help during COVID-19 education interruption
A small group of undergraduate students at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will be tutoring secondary school students in Belize affected by the COVID-19-related school closures. Tutoring will take place online, and instructors are eager to start as soon as possible, running the program at least until the end of May. All tutoring will be fully subsidised by the tutors themselves, and Sea Alms, a small spa and skin care company recently formed in Belmopan.

Ambergris Today

All Three Lobster Festivals in Belize Have Been Cancelled for 2020
At the beginning of April, the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest committee officially announced the cancelation of their lobster festival for 2020; this is in light of the current situation our country is facing with COVID-19. “No one knows how long this will last and the community will slowly take this time to recover from all loses incurred,” posted Caye Caulker Lobster Fest committee on their Facebook page. “To those businesses who had already sponsored us, please know that it will be carried over to the next festival. Thank you for your continued support and we hope to once again bring life to our little island.”

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Prime Minister Rt Hon Dean Barrow: Update to the Nation On the State of Emergency in force
My dear Belizeńos, I take this opportunity to provide you updated information about our fight against COVID-19. Fortunately, we remain stable in the field of health and have not reported any positive cases since Monday, April 13 Unfortunately two people died, but luckily none of the 18 originally diagnosed patients remain hospitalized. In fact, we now have 5 patients recovered and the rest are recovering at home. The tracking and mapping exercise carried out in San Pedro, San Ignacio, Corozal and Belize City is about to end, but sampling continuously. We are also waiting for a resupply of reagents this Saturday that will allow us to proceed with the full scope of the necessary tests...

The Virtual Tool to Verify Application Status for COVID-19 Relief Fund Is Under Repair
On Tuesday, April 21, an additional tool was loaded on the online portal of the COVID-19. Unemployment Relief Program. This tool allows applicants to connect to the Internet to verify the status of their financial aid application. Many applicants have used this to verify their applications and has largely been effective. However, several people have mistakenly received a message indicating that their application does not meet eligibility requirements. That message has been deleted until its functionality can be corrected. All applicants who received that message should note that their applications are being reviewed.

San Pedro Lobster Festival Cancelled
It is with regret that the San Pedro Lobster Festival Executive Committee must inform you that the event for this year has been cancelled. We are disappointed and know that you are too but in light of the current world events it is impossible for us to proceed this year.

From the British Army Training Support Unit Belize
BATSUB and the UK Government have donated one thousand 24 Hour ration packs to the Belizean Ministry of Defence, to aid in the fight against COVID-19.

Vistro updated
Vistro has updated their app with some new functionality. You can scan barcodes, and have it delivered. Great idea.

"Dive Into Tourism" Monthly Newsletter
Dive Into Tourism Vol. 2 is now available on the Ministry's website! Visit http://tourism.gov.bz/diveintotourism/ (Issue #1 is on the same URL under "Archives")

Virtual Meeting Financial,Tech Support Needs For Tourism Industry
To all Stakeholders: Kindly take note of the virtual meeting on financial and technical support for the tourism industry.

Belize Ma'alob k'iin
Kinich Ahau has come out to enlight our day . Kinich Ahau (Kinich Ajaw) is the representation of the sun and it manifest to us every day .

"Art & Soul," Vilma Romero
Today we begin the weekly series "Art & Soul" showcasing Corozal artists. And, without a doubt we must inaugurate the series with our Mother of Art - the late, great, Vilma Romero who impacted so many in her lifetime. Corozal was blessed to have such a kind, generous soul who always was there to assist, support and encourage others. We went a bit overboard with images today but really, just made a dent into her massive collection. Enjoy...

Online Training Opportunity
The Government of the United Arab Emirates is offering an online training course entitled " Let's Break the Chain of COVID-19 Infection." This program will provide you with rapid training on key aspects of infection and immunity to empower you in your community-based advocacy on how to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. The course covers the chain of infection, how infectious diseases are transmitted and how to break the chain of infection through concrete preventive action.

COVID 19 UPDATE
Note that the change this time around is in the line item ' persons under investigation' and this is made up for now, exposed health care workers who are going to be tested after the 14 day exposure. Exposed staff would routinely be re-swabbed at day 14 or if they become symptomatic prior to the 14 days, to date all exposed staff tested have been negative. We also need to bear in mind that this weekend will represent the 14 day time period since the last identified cases so that we can anticipate a higher number of tests from Saturday through to Monday.

USA Donates Communication and Boston Whaler Parts
On April 23, the United States Government donated over $400,000 USD worth of communications equipment and Boston Whaler sustainment parts to the Belize Ministry of National Security. The donation is part of the U.S. Southern Command’s continued partnership with Belize and was funded by the U.S. counternarcotics program. The communications equipment is part of a program started in 2014 to provide interoperable secure communications within most of the country for the Ministry of National Security. The material includes 55 Falcon III multiband hand-held radio transceivers with internal GPS, valued at nearly $295,000 USD. The Boston Whaler parts and equipment will help sustain the Belize Coast Guard’s primary patrol vessels. The donation includes two spares kits, two diagnostic computer packages, engine shop tools, and 22 service kits valued at over $116,000 USD.

BEL continues to manage the effects of environmental conditions on power system
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) teams continue to manage the effects of extended drought and seasonal dry weather conditions on our electric infrastructure, which have resulted in an increase of dust. smoke and soot contamination on power line equipment. Over the past few days, there has been an increase in pole fires due to excessive contaminants on insulators that cause them to fail, and bush fires that damage poles. One such failure occurred early this morning on the 115kV transmission line that connects the national grid to the Mexican grid. At the time, the Mexican grid was supplying most of the energy being used in Belize. which resulted in a temporary system collapse.

Mr. Andre Perez donated 400 loaves of freshly baked bread and 150 buns to the community of Caye Caulker
Fresh bread is a staple in most households, and it is not available to food bank clients as often as we would like because of the limited shelf life. The donation was stationed at the community center where the islanders recieved the delivery.

Message from BTIA Executive Committee and Management
BTIA Executive Committee and Management share updates on the current efforts of the Association.

Festival of Arts 2020 Online
"Creative Resilience - Social Media is My Stage". Call for Entries! Open to children and youths ages 3 to 21!

Chart: Coronavirus and the Belizean Labor Market

URGENT CALL FOR FOOD ASSISTANCE IN RANCHITO VILLAGE
From Doctor Michael Parish and Shelley Falk: Our little Village of Ranchito needs help very quickly! Shelley and I actually live in Ranchito. Our population is around 1,500. Today, we met with the Village chair and vice chair. We have over 600 people starving. The government is struggling with money and they are getting zero assistance that was promised. PLEASE DONATE ANY NON-PERISHABLE FOODS OR CANNED GOODS YOU CAN. You can bring these to my office just south of Atlantic Bank in Corozal. Rice, beans, flour, anything! I am open Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. during the shutdown seeing patients. Please help Our village. Even one item is needed. Check the cupboards and pantry. I will deliver the food goods. We will pass along any cash donations too. God Bless.

Youth Chat on Covid19 Pandemic:Beyond the Horizon Public
Hosted by The National Student Union of Belize. The NSUB is having an online youth talk on Monday and Tuesday, at 2:00pm. The global pandemic of Sars- Cov-19 has reached the shores of Belize as anticipated and has affected us in both palpable and tangible ways ranging from the sociocultural, to the political and the economic. The National Student Union of Belize is grounded on the preamble of “Whereas students need a student-centred and student-led forum to exchange ideas, views and suggestions through regular meeting with purpose to achieve goals”and it is on that basis that we host a meeting of youth from all levels of the education system to evaluate and interrogate but also to propose recommendations for the way forward using a framework approach of Youth Mainstreaming in Development Planning.

Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation needs short-term consultant
Cluster facilitator, Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) Cluster Development Plan (CDP) in Belize Background: In 2017, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Canada, and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have established a co-financing facility called “The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility” (GN-2851), which is a continuation of the Compete Caribbean Program that funded over 100 private sector development projects over the period 2010-2016 in the Caribbean. These projects generated nearly 12,000 jobs, a 23% increase in exports (USD $37M) and a 41% increase in the revenue of participating firms and clusters (USD$153M), as well as an improvement in the business climate for some countries through policy or regulatory reforms.

U.S. Embassy looking for Security Investigator
The U.S. Embassy is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for the following position: Security Investigator (Foreign Service National Investigator) Basic Salary: BZ $41,816.00 Extended closing date: April 20, 2020

U.S. Government to Donate Equipment to Ministry of National Security to Assist Counternarcotic Efforts
On April 23, the United States Government donated over $400,000 USD worth of communications equipment and Boston Whaler sustainment parts to the Belize Ministry of National Security. The donation is part of the U.S. Southern Command’s continued partnership with Belize and was funded by the U.S. counternarcotics program. The communications equipment is part of a program started in 2014 to provide interoperable secure communications within most of the country for the Ministry of National Security. The material includes 55 Falcon III multiband hand-held radio transceivers with internal GPS, valued at nearly $295,000 USD.

Relief to the Belize Cultural Sector is Ongoing
To all our Creatives and Cultural Workers, we know that the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on our livelihoods and industry. As of now, 196 citizens in the culture and creative sector have received relief through the Government of Belize Financial Relief Program. This number should increase as the COVID19 teams are still processing incoming information. Therefore, if you are in need, we encourage you to apply to the Financial Relief Program at this link: https://covid19.bz/

SANTIAGO CASTILLO GROUP DONATES TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Belize Police Department, Eastern Police Division (E.D.) received a generous donation of sundries from Santiago Castillo Group of Companies. Items received included assorted cookies, coffee, chocolate mix, tea, paper napkin, toilet paper, and Dutch Lady powder milk. These items will be distributed between the four Precincts, and the Coastal and Rural, Sub-Stations within Belize District.

Channel 7

Only 11 COVID Cases in Belize
Tonight, only 11 Belizeans have active COVID 19 infections.  And finally, the government is going to start relaxing some of the lockdown restrictions.   More on that in a minute, but first to the latest results released after 8:00 last night.  It shows three more recovered patients - bringing the Toal number to 5, and no one in the hospital. In an address this afternoon, the Prime Minister outlined the encouraging news from the testing results so far:

Government Lifts Sunday's Complete Lockdown
And while the state of awareness needs to remain high, the Prime Minister today announced that some of the additional special measures, the strictest ones that went into effect 6 days ago will now be relaxed slightly now that the clusters have been contained.   This starts with the full lockdown on Sundays - which is now being removed while limited public transport is being re introduced:

Relaxed State of Emergency Adjustments Coming May 1
So, the limited lockdown continues, so then why, as we reported last night, is the government going back to the house to extend the state of emergency for two months? Well, as he explained today, that extension will provide for new, more relaxed regulations starting on May first. "The original State of Emergency Proclamation will itself expire on April 30th, 2020. An extension is clearly needed but that can only be done by way of a Resolution of the National Assembly..."

Unemployment Assistance Programme Still Rolling Out
Of course, even when those restrictions are relaxed, don't expect those tourism jobs to be magically re-appear anytime soon!  Withe Belize's major tourism market being the United States, regular cruise or air travel from that country is a long ways off.   So, continued assistance to the jobless remains a priority - and the PM had an update on disbursements from the COVID 19 Unemployment Relief Fund:

In Case Of COVID Complaint
The Government is also reporting that the online portal for the Unemployment Relief program has been updated to allow applicants to review their applications make the necessary corrections for missing or incorrect information. We told you on Monday that among those 72,213 applications that were submitted for the assistance, were a large number of applications with incorrect information. The information technology team was hard at work to create an addition to the web portal to allow applicants to go online and review the status of their applications.

Re-Agent Getting A Re-up
And, in one more small aside from today's statement by the Prime Minister, he discussed the state of testing supplies - more of which are on the way.  We have been hearing consistent reports that a critical component, known as a "re-agent" was running low.  We note also that 187 tests were done in the week from April 15th to the 22nd, but we saw that testing kind of tapers off between the 17th and the 22nd, with only 82 tests being done.  

Teachers Salary Will Be Late
The COVID-19 crisis has negatively affected all Belizeans, some more than others, but new realities have now come knocking on the door of the nation's teachers.  Normally, the Government of Belize would have paid teachers their monthly salaries tomorrow. The practice has been that teachers receive their pay on the last Friday of the month. But because the economy is at a standstill due to the State of Emergency, teachers aren't going to be paid until next Wednesday.

Agriculture CEO Will Quit
As we've been reporting, Belize's cattle and livestock industry is in a crisis - because the informal crossing through Bullett Tree is closed off - and cattle is not going over to Guatemala.  Farmers are desperate and stand to lose animals, and could lose their farms and livelihoods.  It's a crisis which government just can't solve - and now the most senior man in the Ministry of Agriculture is walking away - sources say in frustration.

Caught An M4 Carbine
CIB and Special Branch in Belize City took a dangerous weapon off the streets today. It's this M4 Carbine, a military grade rifle with more than a dozen live rounds and a magazine.  

Out Of Season Conch Caught
And, while police caught that big gun, the Fisheries Department and the Coast Guard caught hundreds of out of season conch.   Yesterday morning, the joint operation was in the vicinity of Twin Caye in the South Water Caye marine reserve.   Compliance Officer Hampton Gamboa told us more: "They were 3 fisheries officer and 2 coast guard officer on that operation when they came across a vessel and upon trying to search the vessel, the vessel ended up running away, drove off and threw bags in the sea and the officer had to pursue. While pursuing, couple of the officers went overboard to retrieve the product..."

Out of Season Lobster Fishers Prosecuted
Those men could face substantial fines - the kind which ere levelled off another finisher caught three weeks ago with out of season lobster.  4 fishers were caught with 2 large crocus sacks of out-of-season lobster also in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.  Gamboa says it resulted in a successful prosecution: "In that matter, that has concluded and one of the individuals pleaded guilty of the 4 that was charge, one of the individual pleaded guilty, so hence the reason why they were charged for possession during the close season..."

Slingshot's Testing Booths
Earlier in the month, we showed you Face shields and medical Cubes designed by Slingshot.  It's part of the COVID-19 switch up that has forced the sign maker and others to adapt to remain relevant and viable in the midst of the pandemic. But they've also been hard at work on testing booths. They're similar to the ones built by Gallardo Services and Hardware in Belmopan but Slingshot received a massive government order and had to produce 12 of them in a ten-day period. Cherisse Halsall was there for two Belize City installations.

Sanitizing San Ignacio Police Station
The San Ignacio Police station got a free deep clean this morning - and we don't mean with "Flash". It's a virus grade sanitization donated by Jose Canul of Green Wave Industries. Canul says the disinfection he offers meets the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Garden City Struggling, Like All Municipalities
Yesterday we spoke to the Mayor of Belize City about how his council is struggling to provide basic services with reduced staff on reduced wages. It's much the same for Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle - who, though he hasn't cut his employees wages - says that the council's revenue has been cut to almost zero.  He spoke to Feste Films about the situation all councils - red and blue - are facing:

Blackouts Caused By Drought
There was a wide area blackout early this morning, and BEL says that it was caused by a damaged transmission structure near San Estevan in the Orange Walk District.  The failure happened sometime after 1 a.m., about an hour and a half later, a BEL crew was able to make the necessary repairs to restore power to most of the communities in the Corozal and Toledo Districts. Portions of the Orange Walk and Stann Creek Districts also had their electricity restored. Several hours later, they were able to restore power to the rest of the Belize Cayo and the Stann Creek Districts.

Lab Weeks Celebrates Precision
It's Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, a time to celebrate and encourage clinical laboratory personnel while increasing public understanding of and appreciation for all the work they do. And in our second look at the Central Medical Lab, we'll feature the wider work being done by the Heroes in Lab coats who quietly and competently go about their duties. Medical Technologist Michelle Escobar who shared what it is about her job that keeps her motivated. 

Chester Still Wrasslin' The Police Association
It seems like ever since he became commissioner 15 months ago, Chester Williams has been at war with the Police Association led by Corporal Eldon Arzu.  And now, Arzu and 6 executive members who've been nominated can't get endorsed or elected to their posts because Williams doesn't want to accept it â€" even though they are the only ones nominated. We asked him about this yesterday and his exasperation was apparent: There's no indication when this matter will be settled.

Imperial Donations
Belize's U.S. and U.K. allies today made much-appreciated donations to our National Security forces. BATSUB and the UK Government have aided in the COVID-19 fight by donating one thousand 24 Hour ration packs to the Ministry of National Security.

SJCJC Students Come Up With A Clear Vision
After more than 20 days of the restricted movement in observance of the State of Emergency regulations and the curfew, you may be craving a bit of freedom from your homes. But, a group of students from Saint John's College Junior College has put that time to such productive use, that they've come up with a creation that has impressed their instructor, Yasser Musa. He gave them a project for their design course, in which they were supposed to create a magazine.

The Difficulty With Distance
So, viewers will definitely note that all forms of productivity, including the pursuit of education, are now taking place on the internet.  Face-to-face meetings and interviews, for example, are now taking place via video conferencing. Businesses have bolstered their online presence to adapt to the COVID-19 threat. But we've been wondering can students make the adjustment to online learning for the duration of this threat? For many years, the routine of a scholar was a rigorous week-day schedule of waking up early, attending classes for many hours, and then heading home where assignments and homework happens.

Fewer Fires Most Smoke
Nasa Satellites saw fewer fires today, reporting only 42 in the San Ignacio area, that's a 77% reduction. But those stats could be due to the overcast. And if you ask San Ignacio residents it surely was. They say the smoke was the worst ever with many blaming Guatemalan farmers and Cattle ranchers operating in the Chiquibul.  And in a Press release today the Friends for Conservation and Development say that a PACT supported overflight conducted today reported forest fires to be quote: "ominously visible throughout the landscape with a blanket smoke descending over and covering the towns and villages." 

CORRECTION ON CHETUMAL
Last night we told you that Mexico had entered what its government calls "Phase 3" of the spread of the coronavirus, the most serious stage, as transmission of the virus intensifies.  We also provided numbers for Chetumal, which were unfortunately erroneous. What we provided were Quintana Roo's statistics which stand at 426 confirmed cases with 63 cases under investigation.

Channel 5

Late Pay for Teachers Sparks Concerns About Salaries
April twenty-fourth is the last Friday of the month and across the country several thousand teachers were expecting that their salaries would have been deposited in their accounts going into [...]

No Guarantees that Teachers Will Receive Full Pay Going Forward
In a meeting with Financial Secretary Joseph Waight back in March, assurances were given that teachers would be paid at the end of each month, notwithstanding the financial constraints.  The [...]

PM Updates the Nation on COVID-19 Response
Three more persons have recovered from COVID-19. This brings the number of persons who have recovered to five, leaving eleven persons still battling the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, two Belizeans died [...]

Sunday’s Total Lockdown to Disappear
PM Barrow says that the relaxation of the quarantine measures is because of the containment of the cluster spread of the novel corona virus. Local public transportation by land, air, [...]

Five COVID-19 Patients Have Recovered, Belize Still Not in the Clear
Earlier, in a recorded statement, the PM said reagents which are on order are expected this weekend. That comes on the heels of reports that health supplies ordered by Belize [...]

Blue Creek Cattle Producers are Taking a Serious Lick
The situation in agriculture, particularly for livestock producers, is dire as thousands of heads of cattle are grazing in pastures that are quickly drying up amid the drought.  The Ministry [...]

Not Enough Consumers for Locally Produced Beef
The COVID-19 state of emergency, along with the abrupt closure of the unrecognized trading route at Bullet Tree Falls, has left many farmers holding on to livestock that cannot be [...]

Three Dangriga Residents Charged for Out-of-Season Conch
The early closure of the conch season and the coronavirus pandemic have also had an impact of fisherfolks. While they are still allowed to harvest finfish within the non-curfew hours, [...]

Almost $4500 for Fisherman Caught with Out-of-Season Lobster
Conservation and Compliance Supervisor at the Fisheries Department, Hampton Gamboa also gave an update on another case, which occurred on March twenty-ninth.  In that incident at sea, also in the [...]

23,680 Unemployment Relief Payouts
The government is not discounting the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus.  With a soft reopening of the economy, the preservation of life and health remains a priority and [...]

Chester Willing to Take Pay Cut to Keep Police Officers Employed
The Public Service Union, the Belize National Teachers Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers are in consultation with Government over cost saving measures to lessen the financial [...]

Harvard Students Offer Free Tutoring to Belizean Students
A group of Harvard students and one from Emory University have joined efforts to provide free tutoring service for fourth and six formers while classes remain suspended. The services are [...]

Belize’s Forests Burning Out of Control
We have been reporting on the growing number of fires which have been sparking all over, and there are now regulations to fine persons who start these fires. Tonight, we [...]

Police to Enforce New Law on Lighting of Fires
A new statutory instrument signed on April twentieth prohibits the lighting of fires during the State of Emergency. Concerns grew after the number of fires recorded across the country soared [...]

Belize City Youths Charged for Gang-related Videos
The state of emergency for feuding Belize City gangs was lifted last Thursday and over a hundred and forty-two presumed gang members are back on the streets of the Old [...]

How is the Country Managing HIV/AIDS?
The death of Ulysease Roca has sparked debate on the treatment of persons who are HIV positive. The statistics show that only half of the persons confirmed as HIV positive [...]

NAC Chair Gives Update on Progress of Equal Opportunities Bill
In a telephone interview with the Chair of the National AIDS Commission, News Five got an update on the status of the controversial Equal Opportunities Bill. Public consultations have concluded [...]

World Book and Copyright Day is Celebrated in Belize
Across the world, April twenty-third is recognized as World Book and Copyright Day. It is used to recognize the literary works of poets, authors and writers. But in the wake [...]

Healthy Living: Blood Bank in Pandemic
It’s Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Week – a time set aside to recognize and show appreciation for the medical laboratory technologists who are an integral part of the healthcare system. They [...]

The Reporter

Fires in the West
A release sent out by Friends for Conservation and Development, has revealed that on the 23 of April an overflight supported by PACT was conducted covering 90 kilometres of the western border with the aim of documenting the extent of forest fires in the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains. Using VIIRS Fire Alert Data a total of 286 hotspots have been registered in the Vaca Forest, while in Caracol a total of 89 and in the Chiquibul National Park a total of 125 hotspots.

LOVE FM

Guatemala denies Belize in cattle exportation
Belize made its first export of cattle to Guatemala in February 2017. Since then there has been an informal passage used via Bullet Tree Village, Cayo District, in getting the hundreds of heads of cattle over to the Peten area. Within the last week, however, challenges arose as it was reported that the Village Chairman was blocking the passage of the cattle unless a fee was paid to him.

33,771 persons approved for the Unemployment relief program
Since the first case was confirmed in Belize on March 23, the Prime Minister came out and spoke of the country’s plan to assist those who would be losing their jobs and sources of income due to the pandemic. Millions of dollars were sourced in this regard and to date, thousands of Belizeans have received the aid promised by the Government.

CEO in the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Immigration resigns
Chief Executive Officer, Jose Alpuche has resigned from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. He tendered his resignation last week with 90 days’ notice. According to Minister Godwin Hulse, Alpuche was vital in implementing several systems at the ministry.

Dry weather creates several challenges for BEL linesmen
The linesmen of the Belize Electricity Limited were called out just before two o’clock this morning when the country experienced a power outage. The unscheduled blackout stemmed from some challenges that the utility company has been facing in recent weeks due to the weather.

Government pursues a twenty five million dollar loan to address drought and agriculture
2019 saw dozens of farmers impacted by the drought that occurred. Crops were destroyed and millions in revenues were lost. The Government stepped in and according to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Godwin Hulse, over one million dollars were distributed to farmers and agro producers.

GOB looking to extend State of Emergency for another sixty days
We’ve heard the Prime Minister talk of the reopening of business and the running of public transportation. It is important to note that this is not an indication that the country is still not in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a matter of fact, the Government is looking to extend the State of Emergency for another sixty days.

Five of the eighteen COVID-19 patients have fully recovered
An official announcement from the Ministry of Health late yesterday evening is that five of the eighteen COVID-19 patients have fully recovered. Up to yesterday at 3 pm, health officials had conducted eight hundred and sixteen tests and forty-six were under investigation.

Government announces an ease in State of Emergency regulations
The announcement of five recovered patients and the conclusion of the mapping of the eighteen positive COVID-19 patients has prompted Belize’s National Oversight Committee to review the current restrictions and regulations in place around the country. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who chairs the oversight committee issued an address earlier today informing the public that effective Sunday, April 26, some measures will be lifted while others will be relaxed.

Fishermen busted with illegal conch
Three men from the south were found in possession of two hundred and thirty seven illegal conch. These men were caught in the Twin Caye Area in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.

Harvard students explains tutoring initiative
Yesterday, we reported on an initiative organized by a Belizean studying at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The initiative would be for other Harvard undergraduates to tutor Belizean students in this time when they cannot learn inside the classroom.

UB Implements New Measures
The president of the University of Belize, Professor Clement Sankat, issued a statement to the faculty and students of the school to address how they will move forward in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While...

Principals Discuss Their Plans For Home-Based Learning
Belize is not alone in trying to make the best of the global crisis being faced. In the education sector, classes have been cancelled since March 20 and teachers quickly worked at adapting a home-based...

Bishop Dorick Wright Laid To Rest
The fourth Bishop of the Catholic Church was laid to rest today. Our Reporter Alisha Valentine has the story.

More Details Surface On The Bullying And Abuse Of Ulyseas Roca
25-year-old Ulyseas Roca died this past weekend of multiple organ failure. The results of the post mortem left more questions and answers.

Principals comment on auto-promotions
Apart from ensuring that students are learning outside the classroom, their concerns also include the promotion of students, especially considering that schools were to be entering their third term. On Monday, the Education Minister announced what could be called automatic promotions, but urged schools to assist those who had been falling behind to meet the promotion requirements.

Principals discuss their plans for home-based learning
Belize is not alone in trying to make the best of the global crisis being faced. In the education sector, classes have been cancelled since March 20 and teachers quickly worked at adapting a home-based learning method.

Bishop Dorick Wright laid to rest
The fourth Bishop of the Catholic Church was laid to rest today. Our Reporter Alisha Valentine has the story.

More details surface on the bullying and abuse of Ulyseas Roca
25-year-old Ulyseas Roca died this past weekend of multiple organ failure. The results of the post mortem left more questions and answers.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Dr. Manzanero says ‘More tests for exposed health workers’ in COVID-19 Update
While Belizeans are comforted by the news of the easing of restrictions starting this weekend, […]

Teacher’s salaries delayed but Ministry of Education confirms full salary for April
On the last Friday of every month teachers across the country normally collect their salaries. […]

Blackout caused by fire on contaminated key transmission line says BEL
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has confirmed that a burnt cross-arm on a transmission structure in the […]

Friends for Conservation and Development recommend proposals to mitigate forest fires
Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) informed that on April 23, an over-flight supported by […]

Councilor Candice Pitts opens a soup kitchen in Mesop!
Belize City Councilor, Dr. Candice Pitts, has been busy at work for the people of […]

World Book and Copyright Day celebrated today, events in Belize moved online due to social distancing
Today, countries around the world are paying homage to the impact that books have on […]

Let’s Break the Chain of COVID-19 Infection – Free Training Course
The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) has shared information regarding a training course entitled ” […]

US Government provides equipment for Belize to fight international criminals
The United States (US) Government has donated over $400,000 USD worth of communication and boat […]

Prime Minister Dean Barrow updates the nation on existing State of Emergency
My Fellow Belizeans, I take this opportunity to update you on the most recent developments in our ongoing […]

Hiding From A Pandemic In Paradise
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize […]

Status tool for COVID-19 Unemployment Relief online portal under repair
On Tuesday, April 21, an additional tool was uploaded to the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program […]

Blogs

South Water Caye
Just a 35-minute boat ride from Dangriga, South Water Caye is an idyllic escape in Southern Belize. The 15-acre coral island is found within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve (SWCMR), Belize’s largest marine reserve at 117,875 acres. Additionally, the SWCMR is one-sevenths of Belize’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Practically atop Belize’s barrier reef, South Water Caye has vast marine fauna, coral mounds, and vertical dive drops just minutes offshore. While its location makes it perfect for day trips from nearby coastal towns, South Water Caye’s quiet and peaceful atmosphere is best experienced for an overnight (or three).

International Sourcesizz

Here’s how the coronavirus could change supply chains
The novel coronavirus pandemic is forcing factories around the world to slow or cease production. This reduced output is disrupting global supply chains that normally keep countries supplied with everything from medicine to garlic to socks. Part of the problem, economists say, is that today’s supply chains aren’t diversified enough. “There are a lot of choke points where production of certain goods is highly concentrated in one country, sometimes in one city or in one company, and that creates vulnerability,” says Geoffrey Gertz, a fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. “We certainly see that with China. The pandemic is really driving home the need to invest more in supply-chain resiliency.”

World Digital Library
Check out the World Digital Library: thousands of books, documents and photographs available from all countries and cultures.

China to prosecute Belize national for Hong Kong 'interference'
A Belize national detained in China will be prosecuted on charges of colluding with foreign forces in protest-wracked Hong Kong and funding "hostile elements in the United States", Chinese authorities confirmed Friday. It follows a roundup of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, which last year was rocked by months of massive demonstrations and clashes with police.

David Falcke gives a round-up of recent military activity
n On 17 Mar 20, sappers deployed on Ex SAILFISH 20/1 conducted defence engagement with the Belize Defence Force (BDF) Light Engineer Company. 7 Tp’s Belizean national, Cpl Pinks, took the lead and taught a section of BDF light Engineers the principles and skills of basic field force protection. This skill was then put to practice as the BDF section along with three sappers from 33 AES completed a 200m type 1 concertina fence.

The Caribbean Needs A “Differentiation” Plan
For too long, many countries in the Caribbean have been content to tango solely with one fiscal partner – tourism. Sadly, COVID-19 has slammed dunked that dance partner and left it struggling to breathe, as many Caribbean nations now clamor for an economic ventilator to keep them breathing. It is very bad, no matter what some who say the region has bounced back from hurricanes and more, claim. Hurricanes cannot be compared to COVID-19 as no hurricane has ever taken a wrecking ball to an entire world or regional economy at once.

Strengthening Caribbean Internet Capacity to Support Local Online Services
The Caribbean needs more robust infrastructure to support the delivery of local online services during the COVID-19 pandemic and for crises to come. Public health and safety mandates, from social distancing and quarantines to stay-at-home orders and curfews, have confined an estimated one billion persons to their homes globally. The sudden restrictions on social movement have created a reliance on the Internet and technology-enabled services.

Videos

  • WORLD BOOK and COPYRIGHT DAY, 2.5min. Today, Thursday, April 23rd is “World Book and Copyright Day”. The Belize Book Industry Association (BBIA) will share content from Belizean authors on Instagram @belizenationallibrary on the National Heritage Library account and also here o the Belize Writers Guild Facebook page. The following adddress is by BBIA President Felene Cayetano.

  • The Bottle, 1hr20min. The Bottle, the movie filmed entirely in Cayo, has been released on Youtube. It's a great art movie, and you'll see a lot of familiar faces and places. "A young writer, Jon, is in a creative rut and a three day drinking binge that is making him suicidal, his girlfriend Helen is desperately searching for him."

  • Walk in the Rainforest, Belize 2019, 3min.

  • Explore Belize Cayes in 1 Min, 1min. I hope you enjoy this quick video of the Belizean life.

  • Stay @ Home Concert with Sandy Bradshaw and Shanya Garnett, 1/2min. Musical treat for this weekend.Tune in! This Saturday 7:30pm.

  • Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow Updates the Nation on COVID-19 Response, 9min.

  • 5 recommendations for Netflix and YouTube Shows, 22min. Netflix and YouTube continue to provide great content that both entertain and educate. If you're looking to binge watch new shows Tomas Gongora shared his top five recommendations for Netflix and YouTube.

  • Earth Day - 50th celebration to recognize the importance of protecting the earth, 26min. Today is recognized as Earth Day. This is the 50th celebration of the day we pause to recognize the importance of protecting the earth and all it provides. The Placencia Ambition Forum also concludes today. The forum was held virtually to respect the social distancing in light of COVID-19. Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center talked with us about objectives of the forum. He also explained how COVID-19 has impacted the climate.

  • Belize National Teacher's Union - update on current union developments, 47min. Elena Smith, President of the Belize National Teacher's Union (BNTU) shared an update on current union developments.

  • Channel 5 Obituaries - BEATRICE ARJONILLA NEE BARDALEZ, 1.5min.

  • Mr. Lachman on Caye Caulker laks about Covid-19 situation, 1.5min. The COVID19 pandemic is raging all across the world, Many countries, including Belize, have been placed under a State of Emergency. As a result, many people have lost their source of income and their livelihoods, and are at the mercy of the state to provide food. Pre-Covid, Mr. Lachman was a day labourer. In this episode, he speaks candidly about the challenges he faces under the State of Emergency which has restricted his ability to earn a living.

  • Gerson is featured on The Belize Zoo's Bringing the Zoo to You series, 2min. To start off our “Bringing The Belize Zoo To You” program, we’ll be introducing you to our wonderful zookeepers who have been here every day during our temporary closure to care for our 200+ animals as they always do!

  • Volunteer Sports Coaching in Belize, 1min.

  • Loosing a Sailboat Rudder in a Remote Belize Atoll (Ep.110 Sailing w/the Litzenbergers), 14min. When you are sailing in remote locations the last thing you want is something major to go wrong. We are traveling with a buddy boat that just such a thing occurs. He looses his rudder. Luckily everyone in the anchorage is quick to jump in and lend a helping hand. The reward that night was VERY unexpected!

  • , 4min. Belize has some of the best diving in the world.

  • Belize: My dinosaurs or Iguanas battling gladiator style, 2.5min. Belize: Iguanas or Gorobos (Wishwilly) vicious fighting in wild

  • Belize- Carnival Cruise Altun Ha & Wildlife Riverboat Excursion, 7min. We took the Altun Ha ruins and wildlife river boat cruise with lunch excursion from carnival cruise in Belize! Join us on at our adventure to these ruins and join us for spectacular views!

  • Rastas of Belize, 10min. Cayo Film Festival

  • Webinar with Daryl and Ms Perlita - Belize, 35min.

  • Belize Tourism Information, 1.5min. Curious about traveling to Belize? Placencia, San Pedro, Amberdris, the Barrier reef, the Blue hole, he Maya temples, ... world class fishing and diving

  • Carsi Grants, Informational Session, 63min.