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Today's Belize News: May 23, 2020 #542545
05/23/20 06:33 AM
05/23/20 06:33 AM
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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

Belize ratifies UN treaty banning nuclear weapons
Belize ratified a landmark United Nations treaty outlawing nuclear weapons on Tuesday, following a decision taken by its Senate in March. Belize and other nations across the Caribbean have long been vocal critics of nuclear weapons, warning of grave danger they pose to humanity. Despite repeated calls for nuclear disarmament, more than 13,000 nuclear weapons still exist in the world, each capable of causing destruction on a massive scale. Caribbean nations were instrumental in negotiating the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017, which 122 governments voted to adopt.

Minister of National Emergency Management feeds Doctors, Nurses and Support Staff at Cleopatra White Polyclinic
On May 20, 2020, Minister of National Emergency Management Honorable Edmond Castro visited Cleopatra White Polyclinic in Belize City where he provided meals for doctors, nurses and support staff at that public health institution. Honorable Castro personally participated in the preparation, delivery and distribution of the meals, a key ingredient in which is ‘Papa Jeff Smoked Beef’ produced at Castro’s own farm and processing facility.

Hol Chan Channel to remain closed till June 16th due to Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease
While the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) re-opened on Wednesday May 20th 2020, the Hol Chan Channel will remain closed until June 16th 2020, due to the following: The HCMR has been monitoring the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) which has now been spotted in several locations within the reserve.

Ambergris Today

Yogabean Closes in San Pedro
Sad to see another business close down on Ambergris Caye. It’s getting really tough on the island.

San Pedro High School graduation
Pictures of San Pedro High School seniors emerged on Facebook all day today as graduation announcements were made. Proud parents celebrated their son’s and daughter’s accomplishments with posts of joy. Add a picture of your graduating senior on the comments and celebrate with all proud parents. Congratulations Graduating Seniors.

Hol Chan’s Corals Are Sick, Locals Administering Antibiotics
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) has been monitoring the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) since last year, which has now been spotted in several locations within the reserve on Ambergris Caye, Belize. This week the management team of the marine reserve made the announcement to the general public that the Hol Chan Marine Reserve re-opened on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. However, the Hol Chan Channel will remain closed until June 16, 2020 due to treatment being administered to the coral at the Channel.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

International Day for Biological Diversity!
We join the United Nations under the theme: Our solutions are in nature Nature provides us, humans, with the fundamental needs for a living; clean water, air, shelter and food. In times of global crisis, despite all technological innovations, humans are entirely dependent on a healthy and biologically diverse environment.

CASTE WAR STORIES: SAN PABLO ORANGE WALK
Pedro Marin is said to have fled to Belize from Chan Santa Cruz, Quintana Roo with his wife Paula Acosta shortly after the turn of the century. Before coming to San Pablo he lived in Corozal Town and Louisville where he worked as a laborer on sugar ranchos. Many of the Mayeros who settled in the Douglas-San Pablo area during the 1920s came from sugar ranchos in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts ( San Juan Saltillo, Louisville, and Caledonia; and Louisiana Farm, and San Lorenzo) while others had moved away from BEPC-owned villages (San Estevan, San Felipe, Libertad, and San Joaquin) get out form under company control.

Artist of the Day - Jamie Thompson
A native of Belize, Central America, Jamie J. Thompson is internationally known and respected for his vision, professionalism and commitment to excellence. He spent his formative years on philanthropic endeavors through the arts. A highlight from those experiences was serving as director and choreographer for productions presented by the Rotary Club of Belize (2005-2009). In addition to his volunteerism, he began formal dance training with the Belize National Dance Company and The Dramatic Forces School of Dance. His passion for dance, stirred by the tutelage of the two institutions, led him to a successful pursuit of earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Belize Establishes National Biodiversity Office
Today, Belize joins countries around the world in celebrating the United Nations’ International Day for Biological Diversity. The Day was declared under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year, this important day is being celebrated under the theme, ‘Our Solutions are in Nature’ to highlight the intricate link between human health and safety and wellbeing of the environment. To mark the occasion, Belize today established its National Biodiversity Office under the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development.

Changes in the Pump Price of Fuel Effective May 23, 2020
The Ministry of Finance announces that on Saturday, May 23, 2020, the pump price for regular gasoline will increase by $0.36 from $7.26 to $ 7.62 per gallon. The prices for premium gasoline, kerosene and diesel will remain unchanged at $10.92, $5.43 and $7.89 per gallon, respectively.

Vacancy for Engineering Consultant with Ministry of Tourism and Aviation
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is currently executing the “Sustainable Tourism Program II” with a loan funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Counterpart funding by the Government of Belize (GOB). The Ministry intends to apply a part of the proceeds towards payments for the consulting services of an Engineering Consultant. The purpose of this consultancy is to provide expert engineering guidance and conduct Inspections on the infrastructure investments carried out by the STPII and to provide reports on-site inspections.

Webinar “Learning the Mayan Number System”
The webinar “Learning the Mayan Number System” is scheduled to take place on May 26, 2020, at 2 p.m. Kindly register here: https://bit.ly/2WScluT

FECTAB DIVIDED, MEMBERS REJECT ALLEGIANCE TO FINSTEIN GROUP MONOPOLY WITHOUT ANY CONSULTATION OR VOTE
FECTAB is a house divided as a recording of newly anointed President David Almendarez hurling obscenities at members who object to their executives unilaterally aligning with the Finstein group who wants to have a monopoly on port facilities thus has started a campaign against Lord Michael Ashcroft’s proposed $200 million Portloyola Port Facility. Members feel used and are unhappy with the dictatorial manner in which decisions are being made by their executive who staged a sham of protest last week in the FECTAB not being consulted but was really about the Feinstein Group’s desire to secure a monopoly on Belize City Ports which Ashcroft’s Portloyola Port upends.

Channel 7

Double Murder Claims American and Belizean
Two men are dead under somewhat mysterious circumstances in Hopkins village. Well - known Belizean tour guide and dive master, 55 year old Quentin Espinoza, and 70 year old American Roman Burley were both found dead at a farm near the Hopkins junction. Reports at this hour are that they were found at around 9:30, and Espinoza had been shot to the head, while Burley was chopped.

Commissioner Condemns Cops
We caught up with the commissioner today on the banks of the Rio Hondo at San Victor Village where he was doing a border enforcement tour. We'll have that full story later on, but the outing gave the media the opportunity to press him on a number of current affairs involving police. And one of them is story of Santa Elena resident David Galindo who yesterday claimed that he was tortured by the GSU. The cops held him down and took a lighter to his nipple. Today, the COMPOL said there could be no justification for such an act:

In Tale Of Two Cops, Compol Takes Sides
Another police issue of burning public interest is last weekend's clash between two cops, a constable and and an ASP. Constable Mark Rodriguez and ASP Aaron Gamboa had an encounter in Teakettle - which left each man saying that the other had abused him. Now, this would be just a petty, run of the mill dispute, but these are cops and they are supposed to be members of a disciplined force. And they even broke with police regs and each gave multiple media interviews. And whole lot of irregularities with this one, and today the Compol made it clear that - from his point of view - the constable was out of line:

Late evening Collision Leaves 5 Injured
In other news, there was an accident at mile 13 on the Phillip Goldson Highway a short while ago and as many as 5 persons, including a 10 year old minor was injured. Preliminary reports say it happened curve by Zeta Gas before the Boom junction where two vehicles a sedan and a pickup collided, and one of them flipped.

Charged For Being In Gym
17 days ago we told you about the arrest made at the Body 2000 gym, which was opened against the state of emergency regulations. Today the owner, manager and four others appeared in court, charged for keeping a business open when it is required to close and unable to provide a reasonable explanation for movement outside of curfew.

FECTAB Finds New Leader
For over 15 years now, Tom Greenwood, the firebrand president of the FECTAB, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, has established himself as a controversial, household name. In all that time, he's been fighting for equal opportunity on behalf of the members of the Federation, who often have to settle for the crumbs of the cruise tourism industry. But, the news tonight is that he is stepping down as President of FECTAB, and he's passing on the leadership of the organization to the Vice President, David Almendarez.

Almendarez Vs. Ashcroft
And from that platform, FECTAB's new president kept up the public pressure against Ashcroft's proposal for a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Port. As we told you, his company, Waterloo, wants to improve the Port's shipping facilities, but there is the contemplation of a mega Cruise Port being added to the Port of Belize. You'll remember that FECTAB took offence because according to them, the Waterloo group hasn't consulted them as major stakeholders in the industry. Today, Almendarez said that Belizeans ought not to forget that past Ashcroft-related business deals with the Government have not ended well for the country:

FECTAB for Feinstein Development
While FECTAB has publicly criticized the Ashcroft's Waterloo Project for the Port of Belize, they are continuing to show support for the Belizean Developer, Mike Feinstein, and his Stakebank Cruise Port project. You'll remember that in February of last year, Feinstein and the Barrow Government broke ground for his multi-million dollar cruise port project. All indications are that this development will take place finally, after many years of delays, and today, FECTAB reiterated that it still has their backing.

San Victor, the Smuggler's Haven
On Wednesday we showed you the scene in San Victor village when customs pulled up on a contraband move in progress and they were threatened with stone. San Victor is known as one of the epicenters of contraband smuggling and while authorities have often turned a blind eye to village activities, because of the violent pushback from villagers, COVID-19 has elevated them from minor infractions to actions that can jeopardise the entire nation's health.

Mexican Border Hopper In Custody
And two days ago, when police were on patrol in that same Santa Cruz - they came across a Mexican who had hopped the border and come into Belize. He was put into quarantine and today the Commissioner told the press his fate is in the hands of the court. "The Mexican is in quarantine in Corozal at the ITVET building; those that were captured yesterday are also in the quarantine center. Once the quarantine period is over which is 21 days they'll be charged and taken before the court and then the court is going to decide what will happen to those persons."

Police Can't Help BDF Guard Quarantine Centers
And - as we have reported - the BDF are guarding those quarantine centers. And embarrassingly, three Mexicans slipped out under their watch 12 days ago.

Major Defour Recovering
NEMO's national coordinator, 55-year-old Major Shelton Defour, is lucky to be alive after a major accident yesterday evening that left him and his passenger BDF soldier Malcolm Santos injured and his vehicle with extensive front end damage. It happened around 6:00 near the Orange Gallery. Defour was westbound in his white Isuzu pickup when he crashed into a pile of sand that was haphazardly placed in the middle of the road. Both men were taken to the Western Regional Hospital for treatment. He is recovering tonight.

Caye Talkers Puts Money Where Mouth Is
The call centers in Belize, also known as business process outsourcing or BPOs for short, are trying to weather the economic crisis from COVID-19, like all businesses in the country. But, just before the coronavirus pandemic hit Belizean soil, they pooled their resources together to make an 82 thousand-dollar-donation to the Ministry of Health. They say that they had been tracking the pandemic in its early stages, and when they realized that Belize would also be hit, they reached out to the Ministry of Health to find out how they could offer a helping hand.

BPO's Thriving During COVID Adversity
The press took the opportunity to engage in some COVID talk with the executives of these major BPO companies which made this donation. The pandemic has forced many businesses to transition to a work-from-home plan, where employers and employees are using web-portals and video conferencing to remain productive. You'll remember that the Ministry of Education is also concerned that the nation's students are disadvantaged because they have to study from home, using the internet. Well, the BPOs and their employees are having the opposite experience; their businesses are actually thriving in this COVID-19 world.

BTL Says Internet Traffic Up, But Revenue Down
And, it would be good if some that increased business went the way of Digi whose revenue has declined sharply. As we told you last night, Belize's biggest telecoms provider is cutting salaries across the board. That's on a three month provisional basis after which the company will review its position. And a large part of that review will be based on how Belize's economy is doing. Yesterday the CEO told us that since the COVID shutdown and state of emergency, their sales of phone credits and data have dropped sharply. Now you might have thought that data sales went up because during the lockdown there were so many video calls being made, and so much streaming of YouTube and Netflix. But the CEO says most of that happened at home where users have fixed - not mobile - internet:

Zone Board Member Busted
Tonight, 7News has received credible information which says that a member of the 5 man Corozal Free Zone board of directors has been caught coming-out the zone with contraband cigarettes. Reports are that he was caught at a checkpoint just a short distance form the border where Customs has an operation. A customs official told us several vehicles were stopped, and several of them had liquors & cigarettes concealed in the panel of their vehicles.

Chester Vs. Arzu, The Saga Continues
For some time now we've been reporting on the friction between the Commissioner of Police and the former Police Association president Corporal Eldon Arzu. Williams has challenged his legitimacy as president, his actions - or inaction - as president, and his suitability to run for the post again. Arzu is heading a slate that is offering itself for the election. They are being challenged by a slate led by Sergeant Jane Usher - which is perceived to have the implicit support of the commissioner.

Popular Entertainer Arrested For Lack Of Face Mask
On Tuesday we told you about the hard time musicians are facing due to COVID-19 and the state of emergency. And tonight Brukdown artist Cocono Bwai, whose legal name is Cecil Jenkins has fallen on even harder times after being charged for what is quickly becoming the most common state of emergency crimes, failure to wear a mask. It's the daily fear of every Belizean and one that the artist whose government name is Cecil Jenkins faced head on this morning on a routine trip to refill a 5-gallon water bottle. Jenkins admits that he left the house without a mask and says that he was spotted by an officer on patrol in a police mobile but he says the officer said nothing to him and drove off.

Dengue Strikes At Most Vulnerable
As we told you last night - the Dengue threat facing Belize this year, could loom just as large as COVID-19 from a public health perspective. That's because after a record number of confirmed cases and 10 deaths in 2019-2020 started off with an even greater number of cases locally and regionally. But, then, the quarantine lockdown happened and everybody stayed home, which greatly slowed transmission of the dengue virus. But now, as the rainy season approaches and quarantine measures are being rolled back - the threat is real and present.

Empty COVID Beds is
In these parts, people - especially politicians - are fond of quoting that line from the national anthem, that Belize has wealth untold. Well, that's a little bit simplistic, but one thing of great value that we do have right now is something the whole world would want - more valuable than oil, or precious stone. And that's empty hospital beds in COVID-19 units. Now, that may sound odd, but all over the world, hospitals are overrun with COVID-19 cases, and often times the doctors and nurses don't have anywhere to put the sick not to mention the dead.

Channel 5

Double Murder in the South, Two Men Are Executed
The state of emergency has curbed the number of murders and other violence. But in the south today, two men were found murdered. The bodies of the men had gunshots [...]

FECTAB Wants 40/60 Split for Sales on Mainland Tours
A week after its leaders were arrested for holding an illegal protest, the FECTAB executive held a press conference in Belize City. And because of social distancing and the size [...]

FECTAB Sides with Stake Bank Cruise Port
As we reported on Thursday, FECTAB was founded in 2010 by Tom Greenwood, Yhonny Rosado, Troy Gabb and two others who have since defected from the organization.  Gabb is now [...]

Why Hasn’t FECTAB Fully Registered its Organization?
Is FECTAB a legally recognized organization, despite not submitting its articles of association and its by-laws to the Companies Registry for over ten years?  Since its establishment in 2010, FECTAB [...]

Chester Curving the Contraband Culture During COVID-19
The Village of San Victor which is located off the Philip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District is a well-known hotspot for the contraband of goods. Its proximity to the [...]

Santa Elena man says GSU tortured him!
Thirty-six-year-old David Galindo says he was beaten by law enforcement officers on Thursday morning. Galindo says that several G.S.U. officers arrived at his home in Santa Elena around six-thirty that [...]

ComPol Williams Says Police Officers Were Wrong
Complaints of police abuse have been persistent and Commissioner Chester Williams spoke of the incident while in the San Victor area.  He says the Head of the Professional Standard Branch [...]

ComPol Williams Says PC Rodriguez’s Statement was not True
In another case involving the cops, P.C. Mark Rodriguez found himself on the wrong side of the law after his fellow officers arrested him on Saturday night. Rodriguez got into [...]

Twelve year old dies in a Road Traffic Accident in Spanish Lookout
A twelve-year-old boy is dead following a road traffic accident in Spanish Lookout on Thursday afternoon around three-thirty. The boy, Widel Garcia, was travelling with his father Pedro Garcia on [...]

Two injured in traffic accident when their vehicle overturns
There was another traffic accident in the west and fortunately there were no fatalities. Two persons, however, had to be hospitalized. The Coordinator of NEMO, Lieutenant Colonel Shelton Defour was [...]

Regular Fuel Going UP
The price of regular gasoline went down in April by just under three dollars per gallon when crude oil plunged to historic levels on the international market. But the savings [...]

Two Years of Recovery for Bus Industry
We have been reporting on the economic woes of the transportation which has been battered by the COVID 19. A full recovery for the industry is a few years away, [...]

Bus Operators Aren’t Breaking Even
As it stands, the state of the bus industry will get worst in the weeks ahead before it gets any better.  In the summer months passengers commute less than they [...]

ComPol Williams Says He Won’t Campaign Against Cpl. Eldon Arzu
Voting will take place on June seventeenth for the Police Association of Belize. Long time president Corporal Arzu is seeking re-election and his opposing slate is being led by Sergeant [...]

Kafele Garcia Murder Trial Nears End
The murder trial of Lords Bank resident, Kafele Garcia, lost steam today for the Prosecution, after trial Judge, Supreme Court Justice, Colin Williams ruled that the caution statement given by [...]

Lynden Parham – Granted Bail on Gang-Related Activity charge
A man who was charged last month along with two underage brothers for gang-related activity is out on bail tonight after attorney, Oscar Selgado convinced Supreme Court Justice, Herbert Lord [...]

BPOs stand strong during COVID-19 economic impacts
Today, five of the BPOs in Belize shared their experience on how; they have been able to navigate the turbulent COVID-19 business climate. A few of the call centre lost [...]

BPOs donate 80K for COVID-19 response
Representatives of five of the biggest call centers in Belize officially did a handing over of donation to the Ministry of Health. The players in the BPO sector got together [...]

The new normal at N.H.I.
It is not business as usual in most places around the world. And here at home we know this all too well. With COVID-19 prevention measures such as face masks [...]

The Belize Zoo to host a soft re-opening this weekend!
The best little zoo in the world will re-open with a bang – for a soft launch this weekend. Three new educational ambassadors will make their debut this weekend. Today, [...]

Amandala

The unemployment crisis in Belize
While Belize and the rest of the world at large continue to battle with the crippling effects of COVID-19, unemployment has quickly risen to crisis status in the country. The tourism sector was forecasted to bear the heaviest loss, as Belize entered a State of Emergency on March 23, 2020, and our borders and ports were closed off. As early as March 25, the UDP’s “Economic Czar,” Dr. Carla Barnett, said at a press conference that more than 80% of all hotel staff in Belize and 100% of all tour operators would be without work. This alone would amount to nearly 14,000 Belizeans being jobless, not to mention those who work at the free zones and in the agricultural sector, which provides food to hotels and resorts across the country.

Security guard found dead in Princess bathroom
Earl Underwood, 24, of Belize City, a security guard who was on duty at the Princess Hotel and Casino, was found dead with an apparent gunshot wound in a bathroom in the hotel at about 11:30 this morning. His body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was officially declared dead. Upon our arrival at the Princess Hotel, we were told that it had not yet been established if Underwood was shot by an unknown person, or if he died by his own hands. An official told us that Underwood was seen going into the bathroom and shortly after, a gunshot was heard.

GoB and public service unions reach accord
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Belize’s economy and created a major financial headache for the Dean Barrow-led United Democratic Party (UDP) government. Apart from the shocks to the economy as a result of the pandemic, the government was deadlocked in negotiations with two public service unions over its insistence that public officers forgo increments for the financial period 2020-21. When the Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) would not budge from their position that the increments should be deferred, Prime Minister Barrow threatened to amend the Public Service Regulations to give himself (as Minister of Finance) the authority to adjust public officers’ salaries.

Former Central Bank Governor and his son say Cotton Tree land is privately owned
Many aspiring first-time land owners are unable to get a piece of land. On Sunday, May 17, a large group of landless Belizeans braved State of Emergency regulations and journeyed to Mile 44 on the George Price Highway to get their names written down in a bid to secure a piece of land out of a large plot that was said to have been abandoned by its owner, who had died as an intestate person. The move on Sunday was spearheaded by the Harmonyville land activist Nigel Petillo. Police eventually dispersed the crowd, which had gathered in the hopes of securing a piece of the 2,500-acre piece of land.

Editorial: The UDP always attacks the messenger
Last week the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) devoted much space in their newspaper, the Guardian, to attacking Mr. Dean Flowers, the first vice-president of the Public Service Union (PSU). Mr. Flowers had been keeping the nation informed about negotiations between the public sector unions and the government in respect to a request/demand by the government that they give up their increments for this fiscal year. Reports are that the public sector unions have since yielded to the government. The author of the article, titled “PSU executive fleecing government?”, while accepting that there might be some validity to the unions’ position that certain practices of government result in waste of the people’s monies, singled out Mr. Flowers as one who has benefited immensely from government’s largesse, and went on to suggest that he has been railing about government’s waste because he is disgruntled over a cleaning contract his sister had with government that was not renewed.

From the Publisher
This May 24 was always one of those strange colonial holidays, it seemed and seems to me. I think today they say it is Commonwealth Day, but back in my youth it may have been the Queen’s Birthday, or something like that. The long and short of it is that we British subjects in British Honduras were given a day off and told to celebrate. Straight up. In my youth, there always used to be a big horse race in Orange Walk on May 24. I never attended any of these events, but they must have been special. You see, back in those days the richest man in Belize, after Bob Turton died in 1955, was Mr. Santiago Castillo, a native of Orange Walk who owned the famous Louisiana Farm. Mr. Castillo, who became rich importing foodstuffs, in the first instance, was a horse racing fan.

Belize – the only COVID-19 free country in the Americas
Besides being the last country in the Americas to report its first coronavirus case on March 23, 2020, Belize also becomes the first in the Americas to report no active COVID-19 cases. Belize, since Tuesday, May 5, reported its last two of 18 cases testing negative and officially declared recovered. In the Caribbean, Belize now joins Suriname and Anguilla to report any active cases of infection, hospitalization, or new deaths.

PSU and Belmopan City Council settle dispute over Hilltop property
The Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belmopan City Council have reached an out-of-court settlement that is expected to be signed in a matter of days, bringing an end to the dispute between the two after Belmopan mayor Khalid Belisle brokered the sale of the Hilltop property that was the headquarters of the PSU. In November 2018, PSU leaders were shocked when they discovered that the land on which their headquarters have been located for 30 years had been sold right under their noses to an Asian businessman.

Tropic Air to lay off half its workforce
The government’s lifting of some of the national state of emergency restrictions in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic was recently announced, along with a declaration by the government that it aimed to encourage local tourism to move the Belizean economy along, after more than one month of lockdown. Grim news came out of the air travel sector of the local tourism industry, however, when it was reported that the local air travel company Tropic Air had announced that it will lay off more than 200 of its employees by the end of this month.

Salvadoran workers jailed for illegal entry into Belize
ose Sosa, 25, a Salvadoran national who is a construction worker working in Belize City, has been sentenced to six months in jail, after which he will be deported back to his country. Sosa was today taken to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where he appeared before Magistrate Tricia Pitts Anderson on a charge of illegal entry. Sosa had been apprehended after he was approached by police, who requested that he show them legal documents (a visa, work permit or visitor’s permit) that authorized his presence in Belize.

San Victor villagers defend contrabandistas— Customs officers retreat
This afternoon, Customs Department officers conducting patrols in San Victor, a village located just across the Rio Hondo River from San Fransisco Botes on the Mexican side, a known hot spot for contraband activities, came under attack from villagers when they tried to arrest the drivers of two vehicles that were entering the village, loaded with goods believed to be contraband that was smuggled in boats from Botes. The Customs officers said that when they tried to arrest the contrabandistas and confiscate the goods, they were confronted by persons in the village, who gathered stones and other objects to throw at them, causing them to retreat before they were injured.

Update: Boat collides into San Pedro wharf; two injured
At about 5:45 on Sunday evening, a boat in which five persons were traveling slammed into a wharf owned by the San Pedro International Water Taxi. As a result, three of the passengers were flung into the sea, while the captain of the boat, identified as Horace Bladen, 35, of San Pedro, suffered injuries to his face and left arm, and a passenger, Roy Bradley, 24, suffered a cut wound on his head and an abrasion on his face.

Ras Bano tells Krem Plus: It’s time to plant
David “Ras Bano” Barnett, one of the founding members of Harmonyville, which lies between St. Matthew’s and Cotton Tree villages on the George Price Highway, told Evan Hyde, Jr., in the 10th episode of the YouTube show “Talk To Mi” on Krem Plus, that the group has given out over a thousand 1-acre plots on their 1300-acre parcel, and he wants to encourage Belizeans who own plots and are not presently cultivating it, to come out and plant.

Belize among 7 countries to share CDB loan of US $66.7 million for COVID-19 relief
An emergency loan for seven Caribbean countries has been approved by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) this week, the bank said in a press release on Monday, May 18. The purpose of the loan package, which totals almost US $67 million, is to finance the COVID-19 response.

Eight injured in four accidents on highway
Four road traffic accidents which took place on the Philip Goldson Highway, the Hummingbird Highway and the George Price Highway resulted in eight persons suffering varying degrees of injury. Luckily, there were no fatalities, but some persons remain hospitalized for their injuries. The first accident occurred at about 4:00 Saturday evening on the George Price Highway near the entrance to Mahogany Heights, at Mile 37. Police said that a pickup was traveling from Belize City to Belmopan, and on its arrival at the entrance to Mahogany Heights, the vehicle ran off the road and overturned in the bushes.

State of emergency helping to keep lid on crime, Compol Williams says
Belize has been in a national State of Emergency in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since April 1. One of the components of the country’s emergency measures has been the 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew. Last Thursday, when he appeared on the government’s webcast Ask the Experts, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte said that the curfew would continue until the end of June, when the present State of Emergency Proclamation would have run its course.

1,360 persons charged so far for violation of Emergency Powers Regulations
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact the country in March, Emergency Safety Regulations have been in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Among the many measures and regulations in place to protect people in the country from contracting the deadly disease, are social distancing and the wearing of masks, which are now mandatory. Also, two curfews were enacted under the State of Emergency — a curfew for children that commences at 6:00 in the evening (initially it commenced at 4:00 p.m.) and continues to 6:00 in the morning, and the curfew for adults that goes from 8:00 at night until 5:00 in the morning.

Football Flashback 7 – our latest list for the 1980s
Below is our latest list of 1st Division football players during the period of the 1980s up to the start of semipro football in 1991. Early-1980s to Semipro 1991: Albert “Lizard” Ferguson, Alberto Yam, Alfred “Fredo” Usher, Allyson “Sugar” Gentle, Alvin Pennel, Amin Cano, Anthony “Telos” Usher...

The disparity in application of the law
It is indeed a rather frightening phenomenon that needs to be recorded in history, how the State of Emergency has shown more blatantly the disparity of the application of law and the selective interpretation of the law to accommodate the select few. There has not been a more flagrant example of blatant disparity in the application of the law than that of the case of Jules Vasquez, news director from 7News, and Arthur Saldivar, the attorney/politician of Belmopan. To appreciate the flagrant disregard of equity, one needs to know the sequence of events and the pronouncement by the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams.

The river is full of silt already
May is usually a dry month in Belize, at least until we’ve completed the first fifteen days, but this year we got some rain, some welcomed rain, very early in the month. The last half of last year was very dry, and there wasn’t that much rainfall in the first part of this year, so it is unlikely there was one person with a mature mind in our country who didn’t say, “Praise the Lord, God is great!”, when showers of blessing fell on our parched earth. The showers put out a lot of fires that were burning across the country, some in the forest reserves in the west and south. Some farmers showed their burned-out fields to the media, fields where their valuable crops of pineapples, plantain, and ground food were destroyed. It seems the pastures made it through without mishap, because we didn’t hear of any starving cattle breaking fences to go search for feed.

The story of Dr. Simon Serrano …
With all parties putting their shoulders to the wheel, and “with God smiling on their efforts,” as Abel put it, all the enterprises with which our extended family and friends were involved thrived slowly but surely. Under the guidance of Virgil’s expertise, new ventures were being undertaken jointly by the Atkins’ group, with contribution from Teacher Bertram’s estate, which continued to operate under the management of Mr.Solis’ eldest son, Andrew, and the Choc-managed cooperative, including the exporting of staples along with other produce to some of the nearby countries, as well as continuing to supply the local market.

Vision
We are all in this together as a family some of us need to calm down, in order to avoid too much pressure, stress and additional sickness coming. As a people we must thank all the good and kind people who donate the testing for Coronavirus in and out of the hospital. Aunt Grace don’t believe, Grace know, people who come up with the symptoms some may not want to admit they have the symptoms, because of fear.

Vietnam emerges from its harsh quarantine without death: how did it do it?
Vietnam began this weekend to lift its quarantine, one of the strictest in the world, but which appears to have contained the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to official data, the Asian country bordering China had just under 300 infections and no deaths. Although the gathering of crowds of people continues to be banned and the use of masks and social distancing are encouraged, the communist regime allowed some companies to reopen, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

If we go to the IMF…
Dear Editor, In March 2017, Belize renegotiated its US $526.5 million bond (BZ$1.053 billion). The interest got reduced from 5% to 4.9375 %, and was to increase to 6.767 %. The maturity date was changed from 2038 to 2034. Belize makes two US$13 million (BZ$26 million) payments annually — one in February and the second in August, for interest only.

Letter: Supports Amandala initiative for Belize Football Hall of Fame
Fri. May 15, 2020– First, on behalf of our organizations, namely: the Belizean American Caribbean Football Association Inc. (B.A.C.F.A.) and the Belizean American Football Hall of Fame (B.A.F.H.F), we hereby extend our appreciation and gratitude to you and your organization for advocating on our behalf for the Belize Football Leagues, to establish a Belize Football Hall of Fame as one of their affiliated organizations.

What is Belize’s plan?
Dear Editor, The US Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, said in a 60-Minute interview that a recovery won’t happen until the end of 2021. He expects US GDP to shrink in the second quarter by around 30% and unemployment to be around 25%. These numbers are similar or worse than the Great Depression, but Powell said it will not be a depression. Fishermen do not say that their fish is stink. The situation is likely worse than he said.

BIG BOOTS
On Friday night I read Bilal Morris’ piece in the Amandala of 3/23/2020 on the legacy of George McKesey. While I read, George Jones was crooning his 1985 C&W song, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?” The song is about the likely vacuum to follow departed/ing giants of the C&W genre, but as I listened I realized the question could be posed regarding a swathe of other talents.

The Reporter

Fatal road traffick accident results in death of one person and injury of two others
Reports are that Venus Penner was driving a red tractor with a trailer fulll of logs down a hill at 3:30 this morning, when he lost control in the Green Hills area of Spanish Lookout. The overturned trailer claimed the life of Widel Garcia. Penner and his father sustained injuries.


Re: Today's Belize News: May 23, 2020 [Re: Marty] #542546
05/23/20 06:33 AM
05/23/20 06:33 AM
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LOVE FM

MOH to negotiate with BMDA over private clinics
The Belize Medical and Dental Association (BMDA) has expressed their concerns about doctors employed in the public sector who are not allowed to operate in their private facilities under the current State of Emergency regulations.

Media tour into illegal crossings
Several persons caught illegally entering into Belize compounded their infractions when they were caught in possession of contraband beers. The illegal crossings are posing a problem for the authorities amid the Covid-19 pandemic as even locals are sneaking across into Mexico and coming back home via the informal routes.

FECTAB explains their future plans
With the announcement of tour guides and tour operators now being able to function, as well as the reopening of archaeological sites, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) held a press conference to discuss their plans and ideas.

Two men found dead in Southern Belize
The quiet of Hopkins Village was broken this morning when it was discovered that two men were murdered in that area. 55-year-old Quentin Espinosa and 70-year-old Roland Burley, an American national were found with stab wounds and gunshout injuries. The incident occurred at around nine thirty this morning near the village’s dump site. Love News spoke with Espinosa’s girlfriend, Rosalinda Mas, who says the last time she spoke with him was around seven o’clock last night.

FECTAB expresses their concerns
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) has stated that over 80% of their members are yet to receive help from the government through the COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Programme.

Mental illnesses in Belize: Depression
The second most prevalent mental disorder in Belize is depression. Chances are, you or someone you know may be suffering from this disease.

Call centers donate to NHI
Several call centers around Belize have come together to contribute to the COVID-19 relief efforts. Aside from ensuring that as many Belizeans that they employ would be able to keep their jobs, they also decided to donate money and equipment to the National Health Insurance (NHI) arm of the Ministry of Health.

NEMO coordinator involved in traffic accident
The Coordinator of NEMO, Lieutenant Colonel Shelton Defour along with a BDF soldier were taken to the Western Regional Hospital last night following a traffic incident. The two men were heading to San Ignacio yesterday evening when Defour lost control of the vehicle.

David Galindo burnt at the nipple by cops
It started as a regular police search at a residence in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, but within minutes things got weird and a man’s nipple was burnt, allegedly at the hands of police. According to reports the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) was looking for drugs and ammunition at the home of David Galindo. They conducted a search at the house at around six o’clock yesterday morning and ended up assaulting Galindo and burning his nipple leaving only burnt flesh. The incident has reached the ears of the Police Commissioner who says there is absolutely no justification to what was done.

MOH not aware of any terminations at KHMH
Earlier this week, there were reports of two doctors on contract being terminated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Yesterday, we sought confirmation from the Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero, who told us that he is unaware of any contract terminations.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Courts celebrates its “Road to 25” with massive pre-anniversary sale
In June, Courts will be celebrating 25 years of operating in Belize, but the company […]

FECTAB gets new president, will hold elections later
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) announced today that it has a […]

NEMO Coordinator and BDF officer injured in traffic accident
An officer of the Belize Defence Force was injured in a road traffic accident yesterday […]

Double murder reported in Hopkins
Reports to BBN indicate that the bodies of two people were found near the dumpsite […]

Regular gas goes up by 36 cents
The Ministry of Finance announced today that at midnight, the pump price for regular gasoline […]

Police descend on San Victor, Corozal ahead of anti-contraband operation
The quiet of a Friday morning in San Victor Village, Corozal was disrupted by the […]

BPO’s donate to COVID-19 relief
Five Business Process Outsourcing Centers (BPOs) made a donation to the Ministry of Health (MOH) […]

Let us fix the roof while the sun is still shining
SELF-RESPECTING PARENTS, EVEN BEFORE THEIR CHILDREN ARE BORN, and thereafter, constantly ponder their children’s well-being and future. […]

Santa Elena man claims police burned his nipple, ComPol: officers ‘out of order’
Belize is in a current state of emergency (SOE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic and […]

Ministry of Health says 8,000 tests kits are in stock
The Director of Health Services, Marvin Manzanero informed on Ask the Experts yesterday morning that […]

Organization of American States considering scholarship applications for online studies
The Organization of American States (OAS) has informed that due to the current COVID-19 situation, […]

CDC now says coronavirus ‘does not spread easily’ on surfaces
The New York Post, via Fox News, is reporting that according to the American Centers […]

Ministry of Health: Entire education system may change due to COVID-19
Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero explained on Ask the Experts yesterday that there […]

KHMH cost-cutting? Doctors dismissed
The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected employment in Belize at all […]

Is Brazil the next COVID-19 hotspot in the Americas?
COVID-19 has marched westward from China since last December wreaking havoc and destruction. First it […]

DJ’s team up for San Ignacio and Santa Elena food drive fundraiser
DJ Mesmerize and DJ Blue have teamed up to conduct a Facebook Live food drive […]

World Health Organization to set up independent inquiry into COVID-19 pandemic
With more than 4.5 million infected and 300 thousand dead, the COVID-19 pandemic is among […]

Boy crushed and killed in lumber truck accident in Spanish Lookout
BBN has received reports that a 12-year-old boy was crushed and killed in an accident […]

Blogs

Win a Belize Vacation with #DearBelize!
Staying home and our days in isolation has given us a lot of extra time to daydream. Dreaming of a vacation to Belize? Belize Tourism Board is giving you the opportunity to turn your dreams of Belize into reality. The Belize Tourism Board have launched a “Dear Belize” campaign which give the opportunity for two people to win a dreamy 8 day – 7 night trip to Belize. Enjoy an all-inclusive vacation including flights, hotel, and ground transportation. Entering is easy! Send in a 60-second video starting with “Dear Belize” followed by why you would like to visit Belize.

Gaia Riverlodge offers you an escape to the mountains!
While many mainland residents plot and plan a getaway full of sun, sand and beach, islanders make their way off the sandlot and head for the hills. With the world currently on pause, Belize is currently only open for exploration by her own people. Resorts are now open to business, catering to those who may have been too busy to take a moment and enjoy the natural wonders of their own backyard. One such resort is Gaia Riverlodge, nestled in the Maya Mountains of Belize, and boasting the beautiful Five-Sisters Falls on her property. At $99BZ per person a night, complete with welcome drink and breakfast, one can unplug and unwind in one of the more stunning locations in the Cayo District.

Turbulence in the Airline Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic has, with sudden shock, altered the landscape of our global business community. It’s economic reverberations have forced many business owners to make very tough decisions. The economic effects has spread faster than the coronavirus and no one knows to any certainty how this all ends. Belize, always seemingly tucked away from the cares of the wider world, is no different. This includes the downsizing of teams, alteration to work hours, and even the surrender of coveted office space. The correct and proportionate response to this evolving reality is the great dilemma to so many business managers, having long participated in the growth and evolution of its workforce.

United Airlines to bring 20 Belizeans Home
The first 20 Belizean who have asked to be repatriated home to Belize after being stuck abroad because of the closure of our borders and airports due to COVID-19, will start arriving tomorrow May 22, 2020 onboard a United Airlines flight that is scheduled to arrive at 10:00am the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA).

International Sourcesizz

Guatemala Angry Over Coronavirus-Infected Deportees, President Says US Not Acting ‘Like Allies’
Guatemala’s president on Thursday questioned his country’s relationship with the United States, revealing frustration over the US continuing to send deportees infected with COVID-19 to a country struggling to manage the crisis. “This of allies with the United States isn’t true,” President Alejandro Giammattei said. “Guatemala is an ally of the United States, but the United States is not Guatemala’s ally. They don’t treat us like an ally.”

CDB: Many Caribbean countries will fall into recession
Many Caribbean countries will experience a general decline in economic activity in the coming months in light of COVID-19’s impact, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has stated. In a release on the CDB’s website, the institution noted: “Many of these countries, including those, which will be supported with emergency loans, will fall into recession this year.” The CDB indicated that Caribbean countries are especially vulnerable to the global outbreak due to their heavy dependence on tourism for income and employment.

UK gives PAHO $3.8 million for Caribbean COVID-19 fight
The United Kingdom is giving US$3.8 million to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to help eight countries of the Caribbean contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and mitigate its impact on their populations. The beneficiary Caribbean states are Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Videos

  • John Burgos - Executive Director, BTIA, 58min. BTIA discusses the new normal in the Tourism Industry.

  • Raphael Manzanero - Executive Director, FCD, 28min. Friends for Conservation and Development updates on state of protected areas.

  • Fun Time with Ozzy The Clown, 6min. Ozzy stops by our studios to bring some fun and tricks to promote his show.

  • Healthy Living: Dengue – Another Potential Outbreak, 6min. Since the start of 2020, we’ve all been focusing on COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only health issue you should be concerned about. There’s another potential outbreak that may be coming and we find out more in tonight’s Healthy Living.

  • Peter Lawrence on ReefTV, 1hr20min.

  • ACES Relocates Another Croc, 2min. The American Crocodile Education Sanctuary on Wednesday night relocated an American crocodile. The feisty young five-foot croc got lost on the grounds of a developing resort on Ambergris Caye. According to Chris Summers of ACES, the croc was taken for a health inspection and data collection before it was released into the wild. Summers says that the croc did not pose any danger to the residents in the area.

  • Victoria Arts shows how to make beautiful string art, 7.5min.

  • Happy Iguana in Belize, .5min.

  • Windsurf Shop in Belize, .5min.

  • Swim up beach bar in Belize, .5min.

  • The Belize Sailing Vacations Experience, 1min. We are daydreaming of sailing along the world’s second largest barrier reef, discovering uninhabited islands and exploring the plethora of marine life in Belize. Our private sailing charters will take you to some of the world’s best snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and kayaking sites. Embellished with 5-star dining, tropical cocktails and elaborate hospitality, BSV and Belize awaits!

  • The Adventure of a Sailing Trip with Belize Sailing Vacations!, 3min.

  • Strategic Planning for Tour Operators, 60min.

  • OCEANA: Coral reefs, min. Coral reefs are believed by many to have the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet—even more than a tropical rainforest. Occupying less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to more than twenty-five percent of marine life.

  • Channel 5 Obituaries - ELVIS TILLETT SR., 2min.

  • Provide Consistency Part 1, 15min. In this video Alex Vega, Safe Schools Coordinator at RESTORE Belize, discusses consistency as it relates to creating safe classroom environments.

  • Friday Night Music Fund Raiser for Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen, 3hr.

  • Invest in the Agriculture Sector of Belize, 2.5min. Amidst the economic shifts brought about by the COVID19 pandemic, the Belize Agribusiness Sector is a constant reminder of continued resilience, innovation and Sustainable Development. Investment in Food Security and Agricultural Value Chains will remain at the forefront during these uncertain times, proving once more the critical importance of the Agricultural Sector as the backbone of Belize's economy.

  • Spiderman and his Tarantulas in the Jungle of Belize, 4min.

  • Seaside view Corozal, Belize, 3.5min.

  • Marques Johnson talks about coaching in Belize, 1.5min. Former NBA great and current Milwaukee Bucks analyst, Marques Johnson, spoke to Jamaica National Team Head Coach, Rick Turner and co-host Rich Miailovich about his experience coaching for Belize.

  • Snorkeling at San Pedro, Belize, 1.5min. Escape for some sun, snorkeling and family fun! The Belize barrier reef is a vibrant marine region that stretched over 187 miles and is home to over 65 species of stony and soft coral and over 500 species of fish

  • I AM Belize Scholarship Program, 3.5min. OVER THE YEARS RESTORE BELIZE HAS INVESTED IN THE YOUTH POPULATION OF BELIZE CITY. THIS IS ONE OF MANY STORIES.

  • BEST VIEW IN BELIZE DRONE, 1.5min.

  • Acción Deportiva - Sports Action, 26min.

  • U Kuchil Maya Uchben Baalob Museum in Cristo Rey Village, 4min. Today we are delighted to take a tour of the soon to open U Kuchil Maya Uchben Baalob(A place for old Maya things) Museum in Cristo Rey Village. The Museum is curated by Mr. Faustino Yam, a retired educator and a member/spiritual advisor of the NGO To'one Masehualo'on. Maestro Yam is more than happy to share his culture with all ofus. Thank you to To'one Masehuelo'on for producing and sharing the video (part 1). If you are interested in visiting the U Kuchil Maya Uchben Baalob Museum in the future, please contact the To'one Masehualo'on facebook page. Let's take the tour!

  • Part Two of our tour at the U Kuchil Maya Uchben Baalo'ob Museum in Cristo Rey Village, 3min.


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