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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

Government’s easing on SOE restrictions allows for more movement; clubs and bars to remain closed
On Friday, June 12th, a further relaxation to the restrictions under the current State of Emergency (SOE) took effect with adjustments on the curfew, restrictions on social gatherings and recreational events. The easing on the restrictions, however, still orders clubs, bars, and rum shops remain closed. The new changes in the SOE came after a meeting of the National Oversight Committee, where it was noted that Belize is nearing two months without any cases of community-spread COVID-19. This decision to further relax the restrictions, was also supported by Cabinet, thus it became official on Thursday, June 11th. Here are some of the new changes Belizeans can notice/enjoy as of Friday, June 12th:

Economic Oversight Team provide Summary Report of Unemployment Relief Program
Up to June 5, a total of 44,552 applications have been approved by the Economic Oversight Team and have been passed to CITO for transmission to SSB for payment. Of these, approximately: 45% were recently laid off persons; 24% were self-employed persons who lost their work; and 31% applied as long-term unemployed persons. About 94% of all approved applications have been successfully paid. The remaining 6% have been returned as “unpayable” due to bank information problems and attempts continue to obtain correct payment information from applicants. These approximately 3,000 applicants have been offered access to TopUp cards and they are sending in their acceptance of this offer.

Belize signs Revised Georgetown Agreement for the OACPS
Belize officially signed the Revised Georgetown Agreement on June 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The signing was done at the headquarters of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was H.E. Dylan Vernon, Ambassador of Belize to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union and Belize’s Representative to the OACPS. The requisite number of signatures by Member States for the Agreement to enter into force was achieved in April 2020. Belize is now the 38th of the 79 Member States of the OACPS to have signed the Revised Georgetown Agreement.

Ministry of Food and Agriculture Imports Cabbage Due to National Shortage
With the recent drought and now the excessive rains experienced over the past few days, cabbage fields in the community of Valley of Peace were almost destroyed. This has further affected cabbage production, which according to the bi-weekly Food Stock Availability report, has been very low for the past five weeks and has not been meeting the market demand.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Statutory Instrument No. 85 of the Belize Constitution (Emergency Powers) Regulations, 2020

Summary of Statutory Instrument No. 85 of 2020
1. IS CURFEW STILL IN EFFECT? Yes, curfew is still imposed and in effect for the entire country for BOTH Adults and Minors, 16 years and under from: o Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. o Friday to Saturday from 12:00 a.m. to 4:59 a.m. However, minors, 16 years and under, MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian during: · The mornings from, o Sunday to Saturday from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. · The evenings from, o Sunday to Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:59 p.m.

Statutory Instrument No. 84 of the Families and Children (Protection of Children) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations, 2020

Saturday Jam Session
To celebrate the re-allowing of live music, The Bluffs will be having a Saturday Jam Session with Barefoot Skinny, Eddie Allen, Aldo Pineda. It's free, and they only ask that you bring a food item to help the local feeding program. "In lieu of a cover charge we ask that you bring a donation ( dry goods) to be distributed by Libby's Soup Kitchen!"

THE YARBOROUGH FOOTBALL FIELD RESTORATION AND UPGRADE PROJECT
The Downtown Rejuvenation Project continues to work on the Yarborough Football Field and surrounding areas. The bleachers and restrooms including the restoration to the police station hut has been completed (in the distance). Currently, Bermuda sod grass is being planted and the field is being levelled. The concrete walkway around the field has been completed as well. The new walkway will be a great area for residents to run or walk around (1000 feet) to get exercise and stay in shape.

Artist of the Day - Vianay Bautista Vivas
Vianay was born in 1991 in Corozal Town. She began drawing at an early age, her mother took notice at about age eight of Vianay’s talent. During her years in primary school she mostly enjoyed drawing animals. It wasn’t until 2011, after falling ill and being housebound for a year, that Vianay began to experiment with her artistic talent in paint, pencil drawing, portraiture and poetry. In 2015 Vianay had her first exhibit - Healing Wonders of Art, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where twelve pieces of her artwork were displayed. Life has been very busy for Vianay over the past few years, beginning with learning the skills of mural painting and graffiti art through workshops offered by the Corozal House of Culture.

The Change Dah Story Winners!!
Congratulations to our Belizean winners! We look forward to the creation and implementation of the Animation and Graphics Design Learning Center!

Creation of Humans
According to the Popol Vuh, the Sacred Book of Counsel of the Maya, the Maya gods tried to create humans three times. In the first creation, they tried to create humans out of wood but that did not work because they could not bend and they had no feelings. In the second creation, they tried to create humans out of clay but that did not work because when it rained on them they disintegrated and washed away. In the third creation, the Maya gods tried to create humans out of the kernel of the corn and that did work, so that the Maya consider themselves to be children of the corn. Corn is very important in the Maya diet; corn is very sacred in Maya culture.

COVID-19 update
A record number of SARS-CoV2 tests were completed earlier today - a total of 120! They were all negative and this batch included some repatriated Belizeans. Our work continues.

SACD would like to announce their latest opportunity!
Are you interested in increasing your career prospects and employability? Would you like to gain a greater insight into the inner workings of an NGO and conservation management? Are you dedicated and committed to making a difference with your career? SACD are now offer 1-3 month internships in any of our 4 core programs ('Natural resource management', 'Research and development', 'Education and outreach', and 'Communications and marketing').

Free Soup Project
On Saturday, June 6th, many people from around Cayo came together to cook soup for the Free Soup Project, a local feeding program. A huge thanks to everyone involved, and Running W, which provided the meat. It was delicious! They are still raising funds for more community feedings: https://www.gofundme.com/f/soul-project-soup-kitchen

The Belize Zoo will be open on weekends
Open hours will be Saturdays and Sundays only, from 9am to 4pm, with last admission at 3:15pm. We are closed Monday-Friday. Admission will be $7BZ for adults and $2BZ for children (ages 3-12) The Harpy Café will be open for both dining in and takeaway orders. All visitors must wear a mask and practice physical distancing of 6 feet at all times.

BWS to resume to normal working hours on Monday, June 15, 2020

Ya’axché is securing the services of a Business Management Consultant
The consultant will develop a cacao agroforestry and business management plan. The consultancy is for a period of 12 months for the project IDB-funded project entitled “Enhancing Conservation in Belize Protected Areas Through Disruptive Technologies”. The closing date for submission of your consultancy bid is extended to Friday, June 19, 2020.

Corozal Art Classes
We are looking forward to July in offering some summer programs for our community! First up is an art class by educator and artist Hilberto Trujillo. We invite intermediate level children to take part! Social distancing and masks will be mandatory.

Gilharry 7 Band Virtual Concert
Another great opportunity to attend the Gilharry 7 Bands's virtual concert, this one is dedicated to Fathers. Tune in this Sunday June 14th beginning at 2pm!

Ya’axché is securing the services of Farm Mapping (GIS) Consultant
The consultant will develop farm maps for farmers practicing climate-smart agriculture in the Maya Golden Landscape. The consultancy is for a period of 6 months for the project IDB-funded project entitled “Enhancing Conservation in Belize Protected Areas Through Disruptive Technologies”. The closing date for submission of your consultancy bid is extended to Friday, June 19, 2020.

Channel 7

Briceno Backs Off From Oversight Cmte.
PUP Leader John Briceno has resigned as co - chair of the National Oversight Committee. He did so on Wednesday in a letter to the Prime Minister. And he was supposed to announce it at a press conference that same day - but he never said in there that he was actually resigning! He opened the virtual press conference with a reflection on his service to the Committee, which he has co chaired along with the Prime Minister since it was formed in mid March. "I am fully satisfied that the People's United Party's presentation on the Nation al Oversight Committee and on the other committees contributed significantly to our country's successful efforts to contain the Corona virus..."

The Cattle-man/Cop Standoff At Arenal
For months, we've been reporting on the desperate situation with the cattle trade with Guatemala. For years, cattle had been going over to Guatemala illegally through Calla Creek and Bullet Tree in the Cayo District. But, the chairman of Bullett Tree shut that down once the COVID threat appeared - and so did the Guatemalan government. But, there's still a market for Belizean beef in Guatemala, and where there is demand, the supply will find a way in. So it seems, certain cattle interest have found another backdoor - this one in Arenal Village - half of which is in Belize, the other half in Guatemala.

Chester’s Westworld
Commissioner Williams also discussed the larger context of his tour of the west Wednesday. He went to see first hand the smuggling patterns and cross border movement patterns on the western border with Guatemala. He made this tour two weeks after his trip to border communities up north. Today, he told us that what he saw out west was more worrying than the north - where a river runs through the border: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: "To me, there is a greater risk in the west."

BTS On the Road To Hell
We also asked the commissioner about the situation with the Belize Transit System bus operation. As we reported last night, that bus service is commissioned and subsidised by the police department to pick up and drop off police officers who live in the north. But, it's been causing chaos for other bus operators on the northern corridor. They say, BTS is sniping their passengers on what should be a police only run. Today, the commissioner of police said that it's a bad situation, but the police will have to live with it until they can do better:

Babylon Buys Bus
And, Commissioner Williams says that he will be doing better soon - when he gets the police their own bus. He told us about the plan to use police funds to buy a bus: "What I want to do for the north is to do something that we have on the west where I have said that I want to take $65 thousand from the police trust fund and $65 from the police reward fund. Put that together is $130 thousand and with that we buy a brand new bus for the north so that we will be able to bring our officers who come to work at the night time and take those who come off at midnight to the north."

Big Bucks Breakaway From BTIA
Earlier this week we told you about the position taken by the Belize Tourism Industry Association, that it would not demand that the government of Belize open the PGIA on July 1st. This came after the organization took a poll of its membership. The result was split 50/50 with half the members in favor and half opposed. That's why BTIA said it would leave the decision up to the government in its wisdom. Now, this decision has created a deep rift in the industry association. The BTIA today sent out a letter announcing that many of its large and powerful members had withdrawn. The BTIA sent them a letter today saying, quote: "Thank you very much for your past support. We will continue to do everything within our reach to ensure that our industry gets back on track for the benefit of our current members and, by extension, the entire industry, which includes you. You are always welcome at the BTIA." end quote.

Streets Remain Shut-In
Last night we told you about the further easing of the state of emergency regulations. Effective today, the weekday curfew has been extended to 10:00 pm and the weekend curfew to midnight, and social groupings of 100 persons are allowed; and you are allowed to go hang out at your friends' house. It's a relaxation that might actually allow for something like life as we knew it before the coronavirus changed the world.

COMPOL Breaks It Down On FB
But before you head out to revel in those four extra hours on a Friday night, we have a word of caution from the commissioner of Police. Williams reminded business owners, and parents that while rules have been relaxed they must continue to do their part to ensure that they and those they are responsible for are complying with the extended curfew. Williams posted a concise breakdown of the new regs in a Facebook post today - and he discussed it with us:

Managing The Rising Tide Of Lawlessness
We also asked the Commissioner how his department is policing this latest set of changes, and how it is managing the rising tide of lawlessness: "We will do what we can with a view to ensure that the citizenry are safe. But at the same time we want to ask the citizenry to do their best to ensure that they remain calm that they maintain law and order and try not to get too drunk to the extent that they do or say things that they may regret or that might antagonize somebody that may lead to a stabbing or a murder."

SOE Eases, School Rule Increases
New regulations are also coming into effect for schools. But, these have nothing to do with what's written in the state of emergency laws. The new rules for school are contained in a lengthy set of guidelines which was released today. They delineate the specific regulations for all schools countrywide. Jules Vasquez had a look today: The 27 page document provides detailed guidelines for school operation. It outlines what is called a hierarchy of controls, to create an education system that is safe, and where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced.

Best Practices For Best Schools
This morning, we got a chance to speak with Dr. Carol Babb, the Chief Education Officer, about the guidelines to keep schoolchildren as safe as possible. She discussed the best practices that the Ministry is recommending for the opening of schools in the midst of a pandemic: Dr. Carol Babb - Chief Education Officer "We have a survey that we have sent out to all schools, and I can share that with you. We're asking schools about how many children are in a classroom because they need to bear in mind that social distancing must be 3 to 6 feet. We need to ensure that there are enough hand-wash basins in schools, that there is clean water for children to wash their hands, that there is soap, paper towel, or some kind of towel for children to wash their hands. We're advising schools to ensure that children wash their hands at like every 2 hours, 2 or 3 times for the morning, maybe as soon as they come in, before the break, after the break, and before going to lunch. So, we are going to provide training to teachers on how to properly prepare for the opening of school. They must sanitize. They must clean and mop regularly. They must use some kind of bleach."

Virtual Graduation, Real Fees
We also asked the Chief Education Officer for her thoughts on how high schools may now handle the graduation ceremonies for its students, in light of the amendment to the State of Emergency regulations which now allow for gatherings of 100 people. That change took effect today, and so, we wondered if the schools may adjust the scale of their plans for graduation. Dr. Babb told us that the schools may still follow through with their plans for virtual graduation ceremonies:

Gas Station By The Sea
If you're a regular visitor to Punta Gorda you'll know the joy and wonder of the salty sea breeze on your face as you roll through the curve to enter the town. It's a welcoming experience that could shift as seaside restaurants and quaint hotels are replaced by something a bit more practical. That's because Belize's southernmost town is set to receive a new gas station. The trouble is it's proposed location at a prized location. Cherisse Halsall has the story thanks to footage courtesy PGTV.

COMPOL Says No To Commercial Sex Work
All through the newscast we've been telling you about the easing in the state of emergency regulations which took effect today. The curfew comes into effect at midnight while bars, nightclubs and rum shops remain closed. But, what about commercial sex work? The statutory instrument laying out the regulations are silent on this - what is commonly called the world's oldest profession. And there has been a not so subtle lobby for working girls to get back to work. Today, the Commissioner said the law is silent, simply because commercial sex work is illegal:

Armed Robberies Rise
And so while it is a permanent speak-easy basis for commercial sex work, the robbers have been having their way with grocery stores owners. This week alone we have been telling you about multiple, armed violent assaults at grocery stores. The commissioner says they are doing what they can: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: "Again, it is difficult, for the simple fact that the law requires that people must wear a mask. Now we are seeing that some people are over doing it and every time we look at the cases of robbery, we are seeing that the perpetrator is wearing beyond a mask..."

No Knee On Neck Holds In Belize
Last night we showed you images of the Belizeans who participated in a virtual Black lives matter protest. It was an initiative spearheaded by activist Ya Ya Marin Coleman, a woman who maintains that Belizeans, who share a common ancestry with African Americans, must stand in solidarity with them. And while many support that move for solidarity others questioned whether it was misplaced noting that police civilian relations in Belize are of a different character.

Youth Changing The Story
For most of today, students from 6 high schools countrywide have been participating virtually in the Youth Innovation Challenge. This competition is part of the Peacework initiative from the international accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which receives support from the Ministry of Education. Since 2007, PWC has been sending thousands of its employees to Belize to teach financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The Youth Innovation Challenge was crafted 7 years ago to test the ingenuity and creativity of high school students. In this competition, students are given a real-world problem to tackle, and they must come up with the best ideas on how to address it.

PBL Rejects CWU
Last night, we told you how the Christian Workers Union rejected the pay cuts proposed by the management of the Port of Belize. As e told you, the Port is recommending pay cuts of 20% for executives, 15% for middle management, and 10% for full-time PBL staff. The Christian Workers Union responded saying that they cannot support any pay cuts for its membership unless the receivership management shows them the Ports accounts, to properly justify the pay cut. Well, the Port's management responded today that despite the CWU's objection, it is going to implement the pay cuts as planned.

A Gym For Heavy Cops
Earlier in the news, you heard how Police Commissioner Chester Williams wants to purchase a passenger bus. He is hoping to provide safer and more reliable transportation for police officers who have to travel between districts to go from their homes to the police stations that they are assigned to.

Channel 5

Opposition Leader Withdraws from National Oversight Committee
Opposition Leader John Briceño has written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow informing him of his immediate withdrawal from the COVID-19 National Oversight Committee. Briceño sent the letter on Wednesday, the [...]

Removal of Bar President from J.L.S.C. was Unconstitutional
Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana rendered an oral decision this morning in a claim brought against the Judicial and Legal Services Commission by the Bar Association.  During his tenure as [...]

Does No Consequence Means That It’s Okay to Flout the Law?
According to attorney Andrew Marshalleck, the notion that the timeliness of the complaint has a bearing on the consequence sends a wrong message to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. [...]

P.G. Residents Concerned Over Construction of New Gas Station
Residents of P.G., along with business owners, met outside of the Punta Gorda Town Council building on Thursday evening to raise serious concerns over the construction of another gas station [...]

15 Repatriated Belizeans Arrive at the P.G.I.A. onboard United Airlines Flight
A number of repatriation flights on United Airlines are scheduled for the month of June.  U.S. nationals board the United flights to return to the U.S., but Belizeans are also [...]

B.N.T.U. Expresses Concerns Regarding Reopening of Schools
The Ministry of Education has tentatively set August tenth as the date when schools are expected to reopen. With the current school year coming to an end this month, Minister [...]

B.N.T.U. President Questioning Legality of Reopening Schools
President Elena Smith is also questioning the legality of the reopening of schools. Smith contends that the recently enacted statutory instrument does not specifically address to the reopening of schools. [...]

Teachers Will Decide if They Feel Comfortable Returning to the Classrooms
According to Elena Smith, given the present conditions and unanswered questions, the decision to return to the classroom will be left for the individual teacher.  Smith says that teachers should [...]

Belize City Man Charged for Rape of Minor
A man was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford in Belize City today on a charge of rape upon a fifteen-year-old girl. The man is accused of forcibly having sexual intercourse [...]

Gregg Scott is Given Bail with Conditions for Unlawful Sex Charge
A man who is awaiting trial for unlawful sexual intercourse has been granted bail, provided that he abides by three conditions stipulated by the court. Gregg Scott was granted bail [...]

Belize Tax Service Employee Charged for Possession of Controlled Drug
A second class clerk of the Belize Tax Service, who is charged with two counts of Possession of a Controlled Drug with Intent to Supply and who is attached to [...]

Small Business Owner Gets Creative to Survive COVID-19 Impacts
Last week we told you about enterprising chocolatier Julio Saqui of Che’il Mayan Chocolate in Maya Center Village.  Tonight, Saqui shares his experience on the hardships COVID-19 has created for [...]

Lobster Season Opens June 15th
Lobster season is set to open on Monday, June fifteenth and already fishermen are saying that the lobster will not fetch a good price on the market.  We reached out [...]

Celebrating Fisherfolks in June
The lives of fisherfolks are usually celebrated with several events throughout the year, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fisherfolk Planning Committee was forced to scale down its activities. [...]

Visit the Blood Bank, Help Safe Lives
“Safe Blood Saves Lives” – it’s the theme used to celebrate this year’s World Blood Donor Day.  In Belize, the National Blood Bank is encouraging residents to donate blood, which [...]

Galenia Hospital: The Only Hospital in Mexico of High Specialty
With Belizeans allowed to cross the border to seek medical assistance in Mexico, there is one hospital that is getting a lot of attraction – the Galenia Hospital in Cancun, [...]

Amandala

Ex-common-law murders new common-law
According to police reports, at about 1:00 this morning in San Ignacio, David Valencia, 44, the ex-common-law husband of Sheldeen Evans, killed Evans’ new common-law husband, Robert Hurley, 69. Valencia was working as a maintenance worker at Evans’ and Hurley’s house on the George Price Highway, located between San Ignacio and Benque Viejo. He lived in the lower flat, while Hurley and Evans lived upstairs, in what looked like an unfinished flat.

Two cops charged with extortion
Corporal Reymundo Carrillo and Constable Marlon Triminius were jointly charged with one count of extortion this afternoon at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. The two cops were each offered bail of $8,000 and two sureties of the same amount. They were able to meet bail and were ordered to return to court on October 28. Police said that the two officers extorted $100 ($50 each) from a man who was driving a motorcycle without his driver’s license, who they ordered to give them money so that they would not arrest and charge him.

GoB relaxes more State of Emergency restrictions
A government press release issued this morning announced a further lifting of State of Emergency restrictions. The release explained that Cabinet has supported the recommendations of the National Oversight Committee, which met on Monday and made the recommendations to further relax the measures that had been imposed under the State of Emergency. “Though there has been no sign of community transmission of COVID-19 for over 50 days, the Government continues to take a phased and balanced approach to reopening. The new relaxation measures will allow more people to return to work and more businesses to open,” the press release said.

Belize’s 20th case of COVID-19
A 22-year-old Belizean woman who entered Belize illegally somewhere in the south, on Sunday, June 7, tested positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health announced today in a late afternoon press release. This brings to 20 the number of confirmed cases in Belize. The Ministry of Health press release, however, did not disclose the nationality of the young woman, who was said to have been found with a one-year-old child and a 63-year-old woman. Neither did the press release say in what village in the south the trio was found.

GOB ambivalent about Guatemalan students returning for new school year
Recently, the Government of Belize was paying keen attention to the spike of COVID-19 cases in the neighboring countries, particularly Mexico and Guatemala, with which Belize shares land borders. According to Reuters, as of today, June 10, Guatemala has 8,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there have been 316 deaths, while Mexico has 129,184 confirmed cases and there have been 15,093 deaths. With the opening of pre-schools, and primary and secondary schools, scheduled for August 10, the Government of Belize is faced with a very real dilemma regarding the republic next door.

Ministry of Health revisits testing protocol, after experience with patient #19
A number of Belizeans who have been left stranded overseas due to the global lockdown are trying to get home. To do so, they must be willing to undergo processes which the government has mandated. That process begins with the filling out of an application that is available at the government’s COVID-19 website. Last Friday, the 53-day period that the country has enjoyed without anyone testing positive for the novel coronavirus was broken when a repatriated Belizean man who arrived on a cruise ship tested positive for the virus.

Two Guatemalans caught entering Belize illegally
Despite the fact that Belize’s borders with Guatemala and with Mexico are closed because of the COVID-19 virus, people are still coming into the country illegally. This evening, while officers of the Customs Department were conducting routine patrols along the western border, they saw two Guatemalans, whom they stopped, and they discovered that the men had come across into Belize illegally.

Mexican man, Abel Barron, busted crossing illegally into Belize
Mexican national Abel Galvan Barron, 45, a butcher of Subteniente Lopez, Chetumal, Mexico, who is now living in Calcutta, Corozal District, was caught crossing into Belize by a BDF/police patrol that is stationed in Santa Cruz to prevent illegal border crossings into Belize from Botes, Mexico, which is just 5 minutes away, across the Rio Hondo River. The incident occurred yesterday evening in Santa Cruz. Barron had just crossed the river in a boat into Santa Cruz when he was caught by the patrol.

After 2 years, DNA results say dismembered legs in river belonged to boy, 17
Gerardo Vasquez, 17, a resident of Ontario, Cayo District, was reported missing on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, and extensive searches were conducted in an effort to locate him. Late on Friday, September 28, a dismembered leg was found floating in the river that flows behind Ontario, Teakettle, and Blackman Eddy, in the Cayo District, and there was speculation that the leg could belong to Vasquez, but this was not confirmed.

Editorial: Belize supports Black Lives Matter protests in the USA
Despite the claims of the USA that it is a just democracy, police officers in that country, many white, systematically abuse and even kill unarmed black men with impunity. What is happening over there is intolerable, and after the recent death/murder of another unarmed Black American, George Floyd, by American police, there have been protests across the USA (United States of America), and in many countries in the world.

You can’t attack Petillo’s cause, says Hon. Cordel Hyde
Early Sunday morning, many supporters of land activist Nigel Petillo gathered by the George Price Highway, near Mile 44 in Cotton Tree Village, where Petillo had identified another parcel of land, located next to the land that is said to be owned by the Belmopan Land Development Corporation, represented by Glen Ysaguirre and his son Jarrad. The number of landless grassroots people who attempted to attend the meeting highlights once more the plight of landless Belizeans and the absence of a comprehensive policy to address their situation.

BPP announces its first 9 candidates for general elections
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) announced today, via a press release, that the party has nine candidates who will contest the general elections that are scheduled to be called this November. BPP made the announcement following what it referred to as a “very successful meeting” which lasted some six hours and was attended by “patriots from all across the jewel.” The meeting was held in Belmopan.

Spanish Lookout divided over Herrera
Spanish Lookout is one of the wealthiest and most peaceful communities in our country, but like everyone else, they have their share of problems. There is food aplenty in Spanish Lookout indeed, and there is peace, but many of the folks who live there are finding that some of the rules that govern the community are stifling. On 22 May, 2020, Mr. Lyndon Herrera, of lot # 350294, in Spanish Lookout, was accused of “illegally living in Spanish Lookout Community.” In a letter sent to him by the lawyer(s) of the leaders of the Spanish Lookout community, Herrera was advised that since his marriage to a Mennonite woman had been dissolved, he no longer satisfied the revised Membership Policies of November 2019, so he would have to leave. He was advised that legal proceedings would be brought against him if he did not move by June 23, 2020.

456 Belizeans registered for government’s repatriation program
When the COVID-19 pandemic began to lock down the world and Belize followed suit, closing its borders and then declaring on March 23 that not even Belizeans would be allowed entry, hundreds of citizens of the country were legally locked out under the national State of Emergency that was declared. Since the country had a lengthy respite from any active case of the novel coronavirus, the Government of Belize activated a repatriation program to allow Belizeans to return home.

30 million dollars? Chump change to Ashcroft
We were told that we should be unconcerned about devaluation because our foreign money position was strong, but that 30 million US dollar Treasury Note has to make us suspicious. Hmm, if it is really so that we have to shore up our foreign exchange position, then we have to do what we have to do, but we have to ask why we took the expensive route when we have Lord Ashcroft right here, right now. No less than the present PM, Mr. Dean Barrow, told us that that gentleman had the milk of the Good Samaritan flowing through his veins, and the proof of that is that he saved our exposed butts by buying BTL from an American philistine who couldn’t meet his IOU.

Mrs. Dora Webster, from the Brooklyn diaspora …
That month had been one of the busiest of the year, from confirmation of Jewel’s pregnancy to commencement of construction work on the school building expansion. The administration had applied to the government and received permission to close school a week earlier, Friday the 20th rather than the 27th, in order to maximize the time available to complete the major aspects of concrete foundation, floor, columns, sills, verandas and stairs of the ground floor of the building in the limited time before the official opening of the next school year.

Belize needs to adapt to the new reality
Dear Editor, There have been 14 global recessions since 1870: in 1870, 1876, 1885, 1893, 1908, 1914, 1917-21, 1930-32, 1938, 1945-46, 1975, 1982, 1991, 2009, and 2020. This present global recession will be more than 90% compared to 85% in the Great Depression of 1930-32, according to a recent World Bank report. What is troubling is a decline in global per capita income by 6.2%, which is unprecedented. This means millions will be pushed into extreme poverty globally, and thousands locally.

Belize’s Major Eric Neal excels
Dear Editor, Today, I had the honour and the pleasure of attending, virtually, the Canadian Military’s 46th Joint Command and Staff Programme Graduation at the invitation of Colonel J.A.P. Vien, A/Commandant, Canadian Forces College, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Several Canadian senior military personnel graduated, as well as some senior military officers of foreign countries, including Belize, who were selected to attend the 46th residential “Joint Command and Staff Programme (JCSP).”

For the US to get into a Cold War with China, Russia, Iran and Venezuela is unwise
Dear Editor, The United States’ national debt has reached 26 trillion dollars and is expected to reach 30 trillion in 2021. The US’s total tax revenue is 3.2 trillion. Interest rates on its debts are close to zero percent. If interest rates were to go up to 10%, the US will not be able to service its debt. In the 1970s, the US interest rate went to about 20%. This year, the US plans to create trillions more in US debt.

Yes, I know
Yes, I know who Dr. Harold Young is, and I like his idea of a national rainy-day fund. Like the one we could have created by saving a percentage of the BNE petroleum revenues. May I add the idea of returning to villages and the food security and special social strengths their existence gave to Belize. But it’s not like I think this return will be easy. Government may need to invest a ton of money to revitalise old villages and create new ones. I don’t know how to do it. However, Menonites and Israelis are experts, I believe.

LOVE FM

Court rules against former CJ
The former Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was found to have acted unlawfully when he decided to exclude the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal from the Judicial Legal Services Commission which he (Benjamin) chaired. The commission is made up of several key persons in the judiciary including Vidal in her capacity as the President of the Belize Bar Association.

World Blood Donor Day celebrated at Blood Bank
Today, dozens of people volunteered to donate their blood to the blood bank in Belize City. The Blood Bank is celebrating World Blood Donor Day and gave donors a token of appreciation for their donation.

Ocean Academy wins Youth Innovative Challenge 2020
Ocean Academy High School in Caye Caulker is the 2020 Youth Innovation Challenge. They won first place with their project, Purchase with Purpose, a website where students can sell their products and services in order to raise funds to assist with school tuitions.

The Pink Tax explained
Women are faced with many injustices throughout their lifetimes, including wage gaps and inequality in the workforce. Another form of discrimination that they may not even be aware of is The Pink Tax.

PBL calls out CWU for being disingenuous
The Port of Belize has responded to the Christian Workers Union demand that their record be reviewed by a financial expert before salary deductions are made. The CWU stated in their press release yesterday that 64 out of the 85 members voted in a secret poll to not accept the 10% reduction.

Summary Update on the Relief Program
Up to the end of May, a total of $15.8 million including approximately $133,000 in bank charges were paid out to persons in the Unemployment Relief Programme. The Government of Belize issued an update on the unemployment relief programme stating that up to June 5, a total of 44,552 applications have been approved by the Economic Oversight Team.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Leader of Opposition resigns from National Oversight Committee
In an unprecedented move at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Dean Barrow […]

Tourism Industry Association loses support from some members following split on decision to re-open airport
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) issued a letter to its members today, affirming its […]

National Hydrological Service informs of flooding on the Rio Hondo
The National Hydrological Service of Belize informed today that flooding is occurring on the Rio […]

Councillor Micah Goodin and the Belize City Council replacing fallen home for Lake I resident
This week Belize City Councilor Micah Goodin, backed by his council, laid the foundation for […]

Flood forecast for weekend
The National Hydrological Service of Belize informed today that flooding is occurring on the Rio […]

Going inside the Unemployment Relief Program (Part 1): Conclusions and what happens next
The Government of Belize appears to be giving strong consideration toward extending the Unemployment Relief […]

“I’m here because I can win,” says Allan Pollard
This week, the People’s United Party (PUP) announced that Allan Pollard, 25, an entrepreneur from […]

Going inside the Unemployment Relief Program (Part 2): Social Security hurting from the drop in employee contributions
The report by the Economic Oversight Team on the Unemployment Relief Program (URP) introduced in […]

Commissioner of Police tours Western communities
On June 10, 2020, Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams toured the rural communities of Arenal, […]

No ferry operator at Baking Pot Ferry
On May 20, BBN reported on the inconveniences reported by many workers heading to Spanish […]

Lord Ashcroft Relief Fund makes $60,000 donation to Rotary Club and Kolbe Foundation
This week the Lord Ashcroft Relief Fund (LARF) donated $60,000 to the Rotary Club of […]

Blogs

Make new Thanksgiving Traditions in Belize
This year, by no stretch of the imagination, has been singular. Globally, many spent the better half of the year in isolation, away from both family and friends. With travel slowly starting to reopen across North America and the Caribbean, here’s why you should choose to make new Thanksgiving traditions in Belize. With a large expat population in Belize and 67% of Belize’s international visitors arriving from the U.S., there’s more than enough options for a Thanksgiving feast – without lifting a finger. Each year, resorts and restaurants across the country offer easy lunch options and 3-course dinner specials. Often, honouring the tried and true traditional dishes with fresh, local Belizean flair.

Photos in Sleepy San Pedro Town with Belize Borders Still Closed
Almost a month ago, some of Belize’s Pandemic State of Emergency restrictions eased and while the borders and the International Airport remain closed, the internal economy has re-opened. Yesterday, June 11th, we saw further easing to allow spas and gyms to re-open, larger gatherings (up to 100) and the curfew was again eased though not removed completely. Daycare centers, bars and nightclubs will remain closed. (Newest press release at the bottom of this post from the GOB’s Press Office) I decided to head to town to take some photos on what was turning out to be a HOT GORGEOUS day. Internal economy and domestic tourism are the economic focus for the country right now. But Ambergris Caye’s economy is almost solely driven by international tourism.

Why Visit Orange Walk District, Belize
Only an hour north of Belize City, Orange Walk, affectionately known as “Shuga City”, for its sugar cane production, is home to the majority of the country’s Mestizo population. Beyond the tempting rum factories, Orange Walk is both rustic and authentic. This is a place where it is not far-fetched to go for a morning rainforest run and spot an ocelot stealthily crossing jungle trails. Traveling on the New River Lagoon-Belize’s largest freshwater body, at 28 miles long- is a veritable safari. You will be scrutinized by Morelet crocodiles, while above, drooping of the trees are bird nests, and gliding black vultures hunting from the sky.

HandMade Bags Sewed By: Chill's Creation in Corozal Town
I have been attending ''Corozal Art In The Park'' for quite some time in the past in Corozal Central Park. I chanced upon a booth called "Chill's Creation" that contained an array of colorful, eye-catching handmade purses and bags. From cell-phone carriers, wristlets, funky envelope-style bags, makeup bags, diaper bags, and pretty handbags. Owner of Chill’s Creations Cecelia Lanza showed me how she does her sewing bags when I last attend Corozal Art In Park.

Father’s Day Activities in Belize
Here’s your gentle reminder that Father’s Day is just around the corner! This special day, celebrated on June 21, gives us the opportunity to celebrate the special man in your life – whether that be Dad, Granddad, a friend or father figure. These men make us feel special every day, so it’s important to let them know how much we appreciate and love them. Here, we have rounded up all the ways to show the #1 guy in your life how much you care. Whether he loves outdoor adventures or a delicious Father’s Day brunch, these Belize activities are guaranteed to bring a day of fun and memories.

Clean Up The Cayes: Volun-tourism Trips to Belize
Clean up the Cayes is a a nonprofit based in Lake Tahoe and Belize. Its mission is to fight back against plastic and all forms of pollution in our global environment, both on land and under the surface, starting with Lake Tahoe and the Cayes in Belize. Belize is where the founder of Clean Up the Cayes was originally inspired to clean up plastic. They are currently working on the initial concept of voluntourism clean up trips with an estimated launch of 2022. You can spend 7 or 10 days at a beautiful, beachfront, extremely inclusive yoga get away. Includes daily yoga, meals, fun adventures and of course volunteer time cleaning up the beaches in Belize.

International Sourcesizz

It's time for Britain to think seriously about reparations for slavery
The Caribbean island where my ancestors were forced to work still bears the scars of slavery - they should be recognised. he fall of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol on Sunday has quickly become the defining image of the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests across Britain. These protests were initially prompted by the killing of George Floyd in the US and systemic racism everywhere, but they may finally force us into a thorough examination of the British empire and its role in slavery.

When Will Latin America Reopen For Air Travelers?
Currently, Latin America is the fourth epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, after China, Europe, and the US. Because of this, most of the countries in the region are entirely shut to international and domestic travelers. But, when will the borders open up in the area? Let’s find out. Today, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published an interactive coronavirus travel regulation map. In this map, IATA regularly updates the restrictions imposed by Governments worldwide.

Videos

  • Peter Lawrence on ReefTV, min.

  • The Voice Of Caye Caulker, 30min.

  • RESTORE BELIZE - Model Relationship Repair, 5.5min. Developing Safe Schools: Trauma Informed Practice in Schools. PILLAR 1: Creating Safe Classrooms Environments.

  • Channel 5 Daily Obituaries - EDGAR RENE YOUNG, 1.5min.

  • September without Carnival! No Money and No Time to Get Ready, 5.5min. In years past, the construction of carnival costumes and dance rehearsals would be in full swing at this time of the year. But the coronavirus has thrown a wrench into this year’s carnival season, which is one of the most followed events during the September celebrations. That bacchanal is normally held the second Saturday in September and even though, there is no telling what it will be like in September, bands have not been able to prepare. Even more compelling is the reality that the private sector will not be able to afford sponsorships. Organizers believe that Carnival 2020 is on hold for this year. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody.

  • National Virtual High School Innovation Challenge 2020!, min. Teams include: *Ecumenical College *Excelsior High *Ocean Academy High School *Belmopan Baptist High School *Sacred Heart College *Edward P. Yorke High School

  • The Cayo Music School performed a beautiful rendition of Pachebel's Canon last night for the Belize National Festival Of Art, 3min. And now to change the pace and switch up the vibe!! From Cayo Music School...a recorder ensemble performance of one of the most popular pieces of classical music, Pachelbel's "Canon in D". The ensemble is comprised of 12 year old Jayden Magana, 13 year old Davina Sosa and 17 year old Ranai Gonzales. A special note is made of Ranai who has performed ELEVEN consecutive years in the Festival of Arts...from primary through secondary school! Not even a worldwide pandemic broke her participation streak. We say "Bravo"!

  • Webinar, “Strategies to survive COVID-19 for tour guides”, min.

  • In It Together - Belize, min. Learning in the classroom is a thing of the past, at least for now. Thanks to technology, learning can take place ANYWHERE, and that's exactly what we'll do together. We're In It Together!

  • Healthy Living: Donate Blood, 4min. Across the world, blood is a precious resource. Even in modern medicine, there is no substitute for blood. By donating blood, you can save as many as three lives. Complications in pregnant women, anemic children, victims of traumatic injuries, and people getting surgeries are just some of the populations that regularly need blood.

  • AREA REPRESENTATIVE HONOURABLE MANUEL HEREDIA JR BRINGS RELIEF TO CAYE CAULKER DURING COVID 19, 1.5min.

  • UNCOVERING COVID-19 Pandemic - A Channel 5 Special. (Episode 10), 2hr.

  • Good live music from Caye Caulker, with Gregory Michael Musicman and friends., 3hr. Benefit for the Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen.

  • Solist Eladio in Belize, 5.5min.

  • Papa Churros - San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize, 2min. Welcome to day ELEVEN of my 30 in 30 days challenge to explore San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize.

  • Mayan legend: The tragedy of lovers, 2min. A friendship of two children who over the years transforms into a passionate love story, and who, although forbidden, manage to be together even after death.