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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
Hospital for Ambergris Caye on hold says Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Residents of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, have, for many years, been promised a proper medical facility on the island. To date, during emergencies, islanders and visitors remain vulnerable. Apparently, this delay will continue as Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow stated on Thursday, June 25th, via a virtual press conference that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the strain on funding, the plans for a full-service hospital on Ambergris Caye will remain on hold for an indefinite time.
Dengue cases in the Americas top 1.6 million, highlighting need for mosquito control during COVID-19 pandemic
More than 1.6 million cases of dengue have been reported in the Americas in the first five months of 2020, drawing attention to the need to continue eliminating mosquito vectors of disease even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Belize Presents at the United Nations’ Recover Better Together Action Forum
Minister of State for Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Hon. Carla Barnett was invited by the United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed to participate in the “Recover Better Together Action Forum,” which took place today, June 26th. A key objective was the raising of resources for the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Trust Fund to implement the United Nations Framework for Immediate Socio-economic Response to COVID-19.
San Pedro Tour Operators Association continues to assist members in need
Over the past nine weeks since the start of COVID-19 in Belize, the San Pedro Tour Operators Association (SPTOA) has been helping their members, including staff/crew, boat captains and tour guides, with food items. On Wednesday, June 24th, the SPTOA handed out about 150 bags full of groceries to their members affected by lost jobs/revenue due to the pandemic.
The grocery items include basic staples such as rice, beans, cooking oil, meat (chicken), bread, flour, and some hygienic products as well. The program has been running with the Association’s assistance and the generous contributions of donors that have helped via their GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-feed-our-guides.
Various Belizean Sources
KEEPING LA ISLA BONITA CLEAN!
Our team has been hard at work this week, check out our daily works in keeping our community clean.
Belize Presents at the United Nations’ Recover Better Together Action Forum
Minister of State for Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Hon. Carla Barnett was invited by the United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed to participate in the “Recover Better Together Action Forum,” which took place today, June 26th.
A key objective was the raising of resources for the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Trust Fund to implement the United Nations Framework for Immediate Socio-economic Response to COVID-19.
Ministry of Works Addresses the Collapse of St. Matthew’s Culvert
The Ministry of Works is aware of the misinformation that has been circulating on social media and within the public as it relates to the collapse of the culvert at St. Matthews Village on the George Price Highway.
The culverts that were damaged were not recently replaced as was erroneously reported in the media, but have been in place for well over 40 years. Contrary to what was also reported, that section of road (Belize City to Belmopan) was not rehabilitated within the last 12 years. The Road Safety Project along that portion of the highway dubbed the “demonstration corridor” sought to address the many accidents resulting in the loss of lives. It entailed the widening of road shoulders, placement of road signs, safety barriers, bus lay-bys, road markings and resurfacing of a slippery portion of the road. Ambulances and patrol vehicles were also provided under this project. Works contracts were signed with four local contractors, none of which was Imer Hernandez.
Stela 15 of Nim Li Punit, which translates to “Big Hat”
Located 40 kilometers north Punta Gorda Town in the Toledo District, Nim Li Punit’s stela 15 has one of the longest hieroglyphic inscriptions of Nim Li Punit and is known to be one of the earliest monuments carved at the site.
The scene consists of a female to the left, dominant male in the middle and a subservient male to the right. All three can be seen to be in the standard scattering position. Given the absence of a perforator or knife and the three being fully clothed; this scene seems to be showing the process after the blood had been released on a paper strip, since the strips were already in a bowl being burnt.
The giant hat on the king’s head is a local adaptation of a special class of headgear favored at the Maya site of Copan in Honduras. The ruler can also be seen bearing a jade pectoral with the hieroglyph ik, (featured in a previous Finds Friday) a design also favored by the kings of Copan.
Protecting our Forests
Forested landscapes are important ecosystems that are inhabited by wildlife and communities that depend on essential resources for their survival. Deforestation continues to be the greatest threat to standing forests. The enforcement of the Belize Forest Act, hence becomes of critical importance to maintain forests intact, ensuring a global collective effort towards a sustainable environment.
As a logging product, timber is widely used for furniture and housing. Non-timber forest products are nonwoody essentials obtained from plants for medicine, thatching, food and other by-products of cultural importance. The illegal extraction of trees for either timber or non timber products aggravates deforestation.
COVID-19 Update **CASE #24**
A further 87 samples were processed today for SARS-CoV2.
This has allowed us to identify a new case of COVID-19, case #24. This is in a Honduran national who had been caught in Belizean waters and is currently under mandatory quarantine in Dangriga. The person is asymptomatic.
We currently have another recovered case for a total of 3 active cases. These tests also include a second negative test foe those completing their 14 day quarantine and they are being released today.
Re-imagining Travel in the New Norm
We are pleased to share with you the National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector approved by the Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation. These guidelines are based on established international procedures and protocols and serve as the overarching framework applicable for the industry. The recently released hotels and restaurant protocols and the tour operations procedures scheduled for dissemination next week complements these national guidelines.
Sea Cucumber Season Closure
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishers and the public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 67 of 2009 under the Fisheries Act Chapter 210 Revised Edition 2003 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize, the Sea Cucumber fishery will be declared closed effective July 1, 2020.
Regulation 10 of SI No. 67 of 2009 reads as follows: No person shall fish for, or harvest, at any time in the waters of Belize, or buy, sell, have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th, 2020.
Ministry of Health Commemorates International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
By resolution 42/112 of December 7, 1987, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated June 26th as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The day is an expression of the UN’s determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. Supported each year by individuals, communities, and organizations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs present to society.
This year’s theme is “Better Knowledge for Better Care”, which emphasizes the need to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and how, in turn, better knowledge will foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance, and security.
Belize Announces Phased Re-opening Plan for Tourism
Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Belize made the official announcement that Belize's international airport (BZE), the Philip Goldson International Airport will be opened on August 15, 2020, as part of the country's five-phase re-opening strategy for tourism. The opening of the international airport will kick-off Belize's third phase of re-opening, allowing for further travel relaxation and open entry for chartered flights, private aviation and limited re-opening of international leisure travel with approved hotels only.
New Plants at San Pedro Town Hall
WE LOVE OUR NEW PLANTS!
Our garden master, the guy with the green thumb, Mr. Peña added a few plants on the planters of the Town Hall and they look great! We can't wait for them to grow and be lusher!
Re-Election of a New Land Advisory Committee in San Jose Nuevo Palmar Village
The Ministry of Natural Resources informs the residents of the San Jose Nuevo Palmar Village in Orange Walk East of its first meeting to discuss the process of electing a new Land Advisory Committee.
In 1936, a trust was created in support of the descendants of San Jose Nuevo Palmar and pursuant to the terms of the trust. The Government of Belize has been entrusted with the authority to dispose of the trust in accordance with the advice of a Lands Committee, which will be appointed by the villagers of San Jose Nuevo Palmar.
Caye Caulker: BWS now down to one day a week
FAMILY PLEADS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR BABY ROBERT
If you would like to make a donation to help my baby nephew Robert; you can deposit to his dad's account.
Feast of our Patron Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Hosting La Bajada de La Virgen del Carmen as the commencement celebration of the Benque Alboradas in celebration of the Feast of our Patron Our Lady of Mount Carmel July 7th- 16, 2020 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.
Time details are uncertain as we await the updated guidelines, to be shared next week.
Confirmed: Waterloo DOA
Today was House Meeting Friday in Belmopan - and while enough sparks flew across the floor, we start outside the house where we interviewed the Prime Minister about a number of matters of pressing national interest.
First, there's the proposed investment at the Port of Belize by Michael Ashcroft's Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited. That 200 million US-dollar proposal is for a Port of Belize makeover, expanding bulk handling and building a cruise terminal with on shore berthing
Two nights ago we told you about reports that Cabinet had rejected the proposal. The Prime Minister confirmed it today.
Registry Judgement: Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay
And while the PM was careful not to say too much on that one, he didn't have to say much at all on the other Ashcroft-related matters. That's the judgement from the Caribbean Court of Justice on government's 2013 acquisition of the IMMARBE AND International Business Companies Registries, one of them formerly owned and operated by the Ashcroft alliance, the other by Morgan and Morgan out of Panama.
The matter has been in court for years, and the final judgement is expected from the court of final appeal next week. If government loses, the damages could be in the tens of millions of dollars, possibly close to 100 million, we are told.
PM Sorry To See Scotia Go
On the other Ashcroft related matter, we asked the Prime Minister about the Belize Bank's acquisition of Scotiabank Limited. That makes the Belize Bank the largest commercial bank by far in Belize, and takes the last global brand out of the sector.
The Prime Minister discussed the significance and the implications:
"I'm sorry to see Scotia go. I think their exit deprives us of an institution that was particularly stable and that had global reach. We've had our difficulties with corresponding banking. At no time could that a sort of potential calamity have overtaken Scotia, because of their global brand. So we lose that. The acquisition by Belize Bank will mean that that particular shield has now been lost to us."
Opposition Leader Blasts PM For Bringing Relief Loans to House
In January the Chief Justice delivered a decision saying that Prime Minister Barrow, acting as Minister of Finance was responsible for 1.3 billion dollars in budgetary spending that was not approved by Parliament.
But, while the judgement was read out in court, he never put it in writing, and he is now retired. And according to the PM that makes him "functus officio" legal talk for "of no further official authority or legal effect."
So he can't finalise the judgement now.
J. Espat Alleges Lawlessness - PM Slams Back
The debate continued outside the house chamber where Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, and one of the claimants who brought that law suit in court, asked for time to address the media. Julius Espat said he wasn't afforded that in the house. Espat says the PM's dismissal of the entire case suggests a worrying kind of lawlessness:
"What was alarming was what the prime minister said. He says that the chief justice gave an oral decision in court, but he didn't give a written judgement. We have documentation where our attorneys have been back and forth with their attorneys and also with the chief justice to be able to make sure that that judgement was given. What is alarming to me is the prime minister is now saying because his chief justice is now retired that the decision is non-decision."
Can GOB Slip Superbond Payment Without Penalty?
We also asked the Prime Minister about the next Superbond Payment due in late August. Government announced this week that it intended to seek the consent of bond holders to capitalize the interest payments falling due on the Bonds through February 20, 2021.
Why Belize Didn’t Sign An IMF Agreement
And you heard the Prime Minister allude to not wanting to show a bad face to the "IFI's". Those are the international financial institutions like the IMF, the CDB, and the IDB.
But, has government already gone crossway with the IFI community? We asked because while many other countries are tapping into low interest, COVID relief funds from the IMF, Belize has not received any.
Police Presence Averted A Bus Brawl
Taking a break now from all that house news.There was a tense gathering at the Belize City bus terminal this morning. Bus operators from Silva's, Maria's, and BBOC bus lines met up to confront the now-infamous Daisy Marroquin of Belize Transit System.
Marroquin made the news two weeks ago during another BBOC protest that, like this one, didn't quite get off the ground. Back then BTS had gotten in hot water for blatant disregard of their subsidized and contracted police runs in favor of civilian passengers, actions that prompted the police commissioner to say that he'd buy the cops their own bus.
Cruise tour Operator Lukewarm About PGIA Opening
Last night, we showed you the announcement from the Barrow Administration that the Philip Goldson International Airport would be re-opening on August 15th.
The re-opening is part of a phased recovery plan for the rebooting of the tourism industry, which has been on a hiatus for 3 months now. With no work and no revenue source, they have been waiting for a definitive answer on the re-opening of the airport.
Last night, you saw how both the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the Belize Hotel Association are hitting the ground running. They want to productively use those remaining 7 weeks to prepare for the slow return of tourists.
House Debates CDB Debt Relief Loan
Back now to today's House Sitting. Included in the meeting was a loan motion from the Barrow Government to borrow 30 million dollars from the CDB.
Its official name is the Caribbean Development Bank - COVID-19 Emergency Response Support Loan Motion of 2020. According to the Government's description, the purpose of the loan is to provide funds to assist the Government in meeting its debt service obligations to the bank over the period of July to June 30th, 2020. This proposed loan is supposed to allow the Government to, quote, "preserve fiscal space and redeploy its financial resources to be able to finance immediate and essential emergency COVID-19 related health expenditure for Belize."
Relief For Cane Famers Not Enough PUP Says
In today's House meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow also tabled another loan to provide relief to the cane farmers in the north. Viewers are aware that the sugar industry, like the country's other agricultural sub-sectors and industries, has been devastated by 2 consecutive years of drought. So, the current economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is but another problem layered on top of their ongoing production worries.
The Barrow Government wants to offer them aid, and that's why the PM tabled the CDB Enhancing Sugarcane Famers Resilience to Natural Hazard Events Loan Motion of 2020.
Rt. Hon. Musa To Be Flown Out
And on the softer side of today's contentious house meeting, we asked Caribbean Shores Representative Kareem Musa about his father, Said Musa, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered on May 7th.
It was described as a mild stroke, and indeed it is, but it is also a rare type of stroke, affecting the senior statesman's throat muscles and his ability to swallow.
Auditor General Curious About Ministry of Housing
Why is the Auditor General looking into home improvement grants at the Ministry of Housing? We understand that the auditor general has written to the Ministry querying cases where grants were given to staffers at the ministry.
Finnegan On Football Fights
And while he had no apologies at all for that, Finnegan also minced no words when he spoke about his passion, which is football.
In the heyday of the sport in Belize back in the 60-'s and 70's, Finnegan was a fan, first, and then a manager of some of the top teams of the era. That's when football was BOSS.
FFB, The Right to Fight
And while Finnegan has his own take on his favourite sport, the facts on the ground tell their own convoluted story.
As we've reported President Sergio Chuc and his administration are about to conclude their first term in office as the executive of the Football Federation of Belize. Their opponents are pointing out all kinds of reasons why they feel that they should not be re-elected. Those opponents have made all kinds of accusations of mismanagement of funds, and the supposed use of dirty tactics to hold on to power.
For the most part, Chuc and his administration, which managed to stay mostly scandal-free for the majority of their term, have responded that these complaints are nothing more than political mischief, calculated to unfairly malign the FFB's reputation.
St. Matthew’s Road History
The Ministry Of works is defending contractor Imer Hernandez against a series of social media smears that have cast him as the man responsible for the collapse of the culvert at St. Matthews Village on the George Price Highway.
And this morning in a press release the Ministry attempted to clear up some false narratives that have been circulating on social media and elsewhere, saying quote: "The intense rains countrywide, exacerbated by the negative impacts of deforestation, contributed to the failure of the crossing known as St. Matthew's Bridge." End quote.
PM Dean Barrow Says Ex-CJ’s Ruling Against G.O.B. is a Non-Decision
“It is a non-decision” – that is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow stunningly said today during the Sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan. PM Barrow was speaking on [...]
P.U.P. Says All Legal Means Will Be Exhausted to Uphold Ex-CJ’s Ruling
The People’s United Party is not sitting down on this matter and says it will take the legal fight to the Caribbean Court of Justice if they have to. When [...]
Four Loan Motions Tabled in the House
At today’s sitting of the House of Representatives, four loan motions were tabled for approval, including the twelve million U.S. dollars from the I.D.B. for COVID-19 relief. The government had [...]
Bondholders Form Creditor Committee to Consider Barrow’s Request
Belize’s bondholders have formed a creditor committee which will work with the Belizean government after they were asked to agree to defer payment of interest on the thirteen million U.S. [...]
PM Barrow Comments on IMF Loan
Prime Minister Dean Barrow also asked about the International Monetary Fund and why is it that the government did not seek the IMF’s assistance for COVID-19 relief in the first [...]
Lord Ashcroft COVID-19 Relief Fund Issues Cheque to Customs Department
The Philip Goldson Airport is set to reopen on August fifteenth; as such a number of safety measures and protocols are being put in place to get the P.G.I.A. safe [...]
Barrow Says Belize’s Acquisition of Scotia Bank ‘Consequential’
Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that Belize Bank’s acquisition of Scotia Bank is consequential. Caribbean Investment Holdings, the parent company for the Belize Bank is buying out Scotia Bank at [...]
PM Barrow Says “Won’t Pay, Can’t Pay”
Earlier in the newscast, you heard the PM say that a ruling by the former C.J. Benjamin earlier this year is a non decision. Outside the house, the PM was [...]
Cabinet Rejects Waterloo’s Cruise Ship Facility Project
Another matter that the Prime Minister dealt with had to with a proposal by Waterloo, for a two hundred million dollar cruise ship facility in the Port of Belize. That [...]
Sand Hill Village Council, NAVCO Reject ‘Mesop Land Distribution’ in Maxboro
A plan to distribute land in the Maxboro area of Sand Hill is being met with fierce opposition. Over the past weeks, Shyne Barrow, the U.D.P. standard bearer of the [...]
Are Accommodations Ready for the August 15th Reopening?
August fifteenth – that’s the day the P.G.I.A. is reopening as Belize opens back up for international tourism business. As we’ve been reporting, tourism stakeholders were divided about the reopening [...]
Fewer Flights; Hotels Need to Step Up Health and Safety Protocols!
But as hotels and other accommodations get ready for tourists to return, what will it look like for Belize? Considering that the reopening date is within the slow season, the [...]
Hotels Are Investing for Reopening!
So, as you heard from Tejada, the accommodations sector is implementing a series of protocols that have been developed. As General Manager of the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, he [...]
Said Musa to Received Minor Surgery Overseas
Right Honorable Said Musa is on the road to recovery. The Musa family is preparing to fly him out of the country for a minor procedure to rectify his throat. [...]
A Backyard Farm for Food Security During a Pandemic!
COVID-19’s impact on food and agriculture has been felt across the country – putting lives and livelihoods at risk from this pandemic. While the spread of virus is contained in [...]
Another Group of Repatriates Arrive in the Jewel
Today, another group of repatriates arrived in Belize via the Philip Goldson International Airport. It is part of the phased repatriation process to get Belizeans, who were stranded during the [...]
Some People Don’t Want to Pay Hotel Quarantine
Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero says that repatriated persons are not a cause for concern once due process is followed. What is worrisome, says Doctor Manzanero, are those [...]
Will Tests Return Negative for Group of Repatriates?
Doctor Marvin Manzanero also says that a second round of swabbing has been done on a group of repatriates, who returned to Belize two weeks ago via a United Airlines [...]
Murder Case Falls Apart
Turning to the courts, earlier this week, the murder trial of twenty-two year-old Deandre Adolphus fell apart at the Supreme Court level when the Prosecution withdrew the charge from against [...]
Jeremias Guerra Out on Bail
A man who is awaiting trial for the murder of his common-law wife was today granted bail when he appeared before Supreme Court Justice Colin Williams. Construction worker, forty year-old [...]
Anthony Reyes Gets Bail
Twenty-two-year-old Anthony Reyes, a barber of Mahogany Street in Belize City was also lucky to get bail of twenty-five thousand dollars today. Reyes is charged with the murder of forty-four-year-old [...]
What’s Up with COVID-19 Healthcare on La Isla Bonita?
As Belize gets ready to re-open to international tourism in August, there are many details still left to iron out. One of those concerns is regarding healthcare on Belize’s largest [...]
Will Tourism Sector Get Financing Through D.F.C.?
The downturn in tourism activity has left stakeholders in a financial mess. During the Prime Minister’s Press Conference on Thursday, he was asked about the tourism sector’s need for capital [...]
PGIA will reopen August 15
The Belizean economy (and government’s finances in particular) has been hemorrhaging due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequent halt of global tourism for the last few months. COVID-19 has infected almost 10 million persons worldwide and spikes are being reported in over twenty North American states and in Central and South America, and it is against that background that the Government of Belize has been contemplating and planning the reopening of the country’s tourism industry.
This morning, Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow, flanked by officials which included Director of the Belize Tourism Board, Karen Bevans; Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero; CEO in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation, Judith Alpuche; Chief Technology Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister, Michael Singh; and the CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. George Gough, announced the scheduled re-opening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), which is set to take place on August 15, 2020.
The mighty Saharan dust plume
The Caribbean has been experiencing yet another intense natural phenomenon that could negatively impact people in the region. This most recent phenomenon is known as the Saharan Dust Plume. Since Tuesday, June 23, skies in Belize have been noted to have a milky-grey/ashen color as the plume arrives from Africa across the Atlantic.
The blanket of dust is an annual occurrence; however, this year’s cloud has been labeled the “Godzilla Dust Cloud” for its abnormally large size and volume. Notably, a dust cloud of this size hasn’t been seen in the past 50-60 years.
Arson suspected in burning of pastor’s van
At about 2:30 this morning in Gales Point, Manatee, a van belonging to Kenneth Welch, the pastor of a church in the village, which was parked in his yard near his concrete house, was completely destroyed by fire.
A butane gas tank that was filled with gas, which was in the van at the time, exploded. Luckily, no one was injured, because Welch’s family and their guest were sleeping in the house at the time.
Police have begun an investigation into the destruction of the van. Arson is suspected.
House of Representatives to meet on Friday
The House of Representatives will be meeting on Friday, June 26, at 10:00 a.m., and at that meeting a series of motions will be introduced and discussed. These motions include:
(i) Caribbean Development Bank – COVID-19 Emergency Response Support (US$1,000,000) Loan motion 2020. This loan agreement between the GOB and CDB will seek to assist the government of Belize in its efforts to bolster economic and social recovery from the effects of COVID-19.
Defeated president of Police Association files for judicial review of election results
Corporal Eldon Arzu had been at the helm of the Belize Police Association for six consecutive terms until last week when new elections were held and he and his team, which campaigned under the theme, “Negative propaganda is not the way, choose the A-Team to stand up for your welfare,” were soundly defeated by Sergeant Jane Usher and her team.
Before the Belize Police Association gets underway with taking care of the welfare of its members, however, a legal hurdle has been placed in their way.
Woman accuses cops of stealing $6,000 from her house
A house in Cotton Tree door had its door damaged when it was forced open, and the house was ransacked and $6,000 was stolen, along with other valuables. The house owner was not at home, and on her return, she found her house in disarray and when she checked her security cameras, she saw that about 18 policemen had driven into her yard, and entered and searched her house.
Maude Blancaneaux, 27, of Cotton Tree, told the media that at about 2:00 Thursday afternoon, she left her home to go to Belmopan to do some errands.
Patient 23 flew in on repatriation flight from US
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that there has been the largest single-day spike in COVID-19 around the world, with 189,000 new cases. Most of the new reported cases are in the so-called developing world.
WHO, however, warned the developed countries, which are now opening up their economies, to be on the lookout for a second wave of COVID-19.
Shortage of premium fuel after price dip, increased demand
Weeks after oil prices fell on the world market, Belizean consumers have begun to get some ease at the fuel pumps.
The price for premium fuel finally went down on Tuesday, after weeks of anticipation of the price drop following the reduced price of regular fuel. The price drop in premium fuel, however, created another problem for consumers—a shortage.
Carlos Chan, 25, injured in hit-and-run
Carlos Chan, 25, was walking on the Yo Creek Road at about 8:00 last night when a vehicle knocked him down from behind, and the driver sped away, leaving him injured on the road. Chan received both head and body injuries, including a broken left arm.
A driver that was traveling on the road shortly after, stopped to help Chan, who was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, where he was admitted in a serious but stable condition.
Esau Ramirez Lopez, 36, captured
The manhunt for Guatemala national Esau Ramirez Lopez, 36, of San Jose, who was wanted on charges of stabbing of his common-law wife, his son and his stepdaughter, came to a successful conclusion today.
Lopez, who had been on the run, was captured without incident in Orange Walk. Pending are three counts of attempted murder, three counts of use of dangerous means of harm, and three counts of grievous dangerous harm. He has not yet been arraigned at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court.
Editorial: Lord Ashcroft buys a greater share of Belize
News of a pending sale of Scotia Bank Belize, which had been operating in our country since 1968, has been floating around since last year, and with the bank selling off assets in the Caribbean, and also closing their branches in Spanish Lookout and Placencia in 2018, it was clear that a sale was imminent.
Geoff Zochodne, in an article titled “Scotiabank to exit nine countries in Caribbean shake-up,” which was published on November 2018 in the Financial Post (a Canadian newspaper), said that the bank’s operations in Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia had driven up its international earnings by 17%, and cited a press release from the head of international banking at Scotia Bank, Ignacio Deschamps, which stated that “due to increasing regulatory complexity and the need for continued investment in technology to support” the bank’s “regulatory requirements,” the bank had decided to focus its “efforts on those markets with significant scale in which we can make the greatest difference for our customers.”
Recollections from a Granddaughter
Thank you for the garden.
Your impact has helped us all bloom,
I remember your table set to eat mornings, nights, and noon.
I remember the pretty dresses you sewed and all the scraps of cloth I used to play with in your sewing room.
I remember you humming sweet musical tunes.
I remember your extremely long puzzles—your commitment, your patience.
I remember the puppets you gave Julius and I so we could remain friends.
Thank you for the ginger snaps and sweets,
Thank you for letting me play in the garden on West Canal Street.
With the wind in the petals and the dancing of my ponytails, it was my favorite place to go...
In memory of Mrs. Elinor Hyde
Elinor (Lyn) Hyde was a virtuous woman, a noble woman.
The mother of an ancient king advised him:
Son, in choosing a wife, seek a virtuous woman, a noble woman.
But, queried the king: a virtuous woman, a noble woman, who can find?
Continued the mother: she will not be on display, arrayed in glamour;
such is like a priceless gem of purest ray serene,
the dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Like a rainbow-hued desert flower, born to blush unseen;
Diligently seek and you will find...
Summer camp for children at home because of COVID-19
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Belize and on the world, many programs which were scheduled to take place in the country this year were postponed or cancelled. Among those programs which were cancelled was the Annual Summer Camp for Children, sponsored by the Belize Camping Experience (BCE), a Christian group that sponsors yearly camps for children in different parts of the country.
This year, BCE has created a camping experience for children to enjoy at home with their parents and/or their guardians, through the preparation of a video and a curriculum for the parents.
Investigation into how 6 Guatemalans escaped from a quarantine center
Since government established the COVID-19 quarantine centers across the country to hold persons who enter the country either legally or illegally, there have been a string of escapes from at least three of these centers, beginning first in the Corozal and Stann Creek Districts. The latest escape occurred over the past weekend in the Cayo District.
The Victor Galvez Stadium is being used as a quarantine center in the Cayo District. On Saturday night, June 6, Guatemalans managed to escape from quarantine and are believed to have high-tailed it back across the border to their country.
From the Publisher
While it is almost never applicable or relevant to compare situations in our little Belize with those in the superpower United States of America, the recent acquisition of the Bank of Nova Scotia by the Lord Michael group of companies would not be allowed in the United States because it is in violation of their anti-trust laws. What I mean is that control of Scotia, in addition to his ownership of the Belize Bank, places too much power in Lord Ashcroft’s hands where Belize’s critical banking sector is concerned, and there are laws in the U.S. to prevent this sort of situation from developing in the republic.
PLB Election shenanigans; strife returns to football family
In the midst of a stalemate in the proceedings of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Elective Congress on Saturday morning at the Marion Jones Sports Complex conference room, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Electoral Committee representative walked out of the meeting before the election votes were cast; so that any continuation of the election procedure was effectively unconstitutional. The PLB Elective Congress will therefore have to be reconvened at a later date following an investigation by the FFB.
No date has been announced yet for a reconvening of the PLB Elective Congress, but PLB elections must be completed in time to select delegates for the upcoming FFB elections.
Jerome becomes Chief Medical Officer!
The month of September had been spent in celebration of the country’s Independence, which entailed Jewel’s travelling to the capital with baby Neville on two occasions in order to accompany Jerome to obligatory official functions of both the “retiring” and the “new” governments, all of which we had attended together, with Safira doing duty as baby sitter at Lloyd and Sonia’s home, Mr. Reg and Matron also having been invitees to the same functions.
Ancestry.com would start a revolution in Belize. Imagine a gathering in Government House on 21st September 2020 after each person in one room is handed a report stating that everyone there is descended from a king from all over the world. The room would explode with shouts of universal jubilation, except if my grandson Matthew is in that gathering.
Last week Monday he and his sister Mariette visited while I was having breakfast.
A call for help
Recently, the Ministry of Education announced its intentions to reopen schools by August 10. That is a little over a month away, and in the midst of these trying times, schools (particularly primary schools) all over the country are scrambling to put the adequate procedures in place and set up the requisite infrastructure in order to meet the current standards brought on by the global pandemic, COVID-19.
Evidently, primary schools are strapped for cash, as the collection of tuition and fees ranges from sluggish, to non-existent. As a consequence, primary schools are facing difficult times and are currently engaged in a race against time to ensure that schools will be ready for the proposed August 10 reopening.
TO OBSERVE and PROTECT: Community Alert Patrol and the Fight Against Police Terror
My name is Ron Wilkins and I headed the civilian police monitoring group in Los Angeles known as the Community Alert Patrol (CAP) founded in June 1966. CAP volunteers constituted the first community organization in the U.S. whose members put their lives on the line to Police-the-Police in an effort to end law enforcement’s campaign of terror against Black people.
CAP’s efforts did not go unnoticed by local police or fellow movement activists across the country. Most notably, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, founded in Oakland in October 1966, came to model their policing initiatives after CAP. Wherever police were seen interacting with our people, we emerged from our vehicles with camera in hand to prevent foul play.
Ministry of Works clarifies situation at Mile 38
The Ministry of Works has clarified some misinformation that has been circulating on social media as it relates to the collapse of the culvert at St Matthews Village in the Cayo District. According to the release, the culverts that were damaged were not recently replaced but have been in place for well over 40 years.
FFB threatens lawsuit over defamatory comments
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) was threatening a lawsuit over defamatory comments made on Facebook by one Jesus Castillo Senior. Castillo reportedly suggested that misconduct and corruption were taking place within the Federation.
NAVCO against giving away land in rural Belize
A land issue is currently brewing in rural Belize. Last week, we reported to you that the Area Representative for Mesopotamia, Shyne Barrow, pledged to provide land for his constituents in order to assist their current financial situation.
Guidelines for reopening of tourism sector
With the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport comes enhanced health and safety protocols. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has announced these protocols, approved by the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr.
Breaking Belize News
Ministry of Health confirms 24th case of COVID-19
The Ministry of Health has confirmed a 24th case of Covid-19. According to a statement […]
Sea Cucumber season closes
The Belize Fisheries Department informed all fishers that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 67 of […]
Former BDF captain won’t back down from legal threats, calls out abuse of women in the force
Former Belize Defense Force Captain, Derricia Castillo, says that despite threats of being taken to […]
Jesus Castillo Sr. apologizes for defamatory and untruthful comments about the FFB
On Sunday, 24th May 2020, President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Sergio Chuc […]
Belize to get 3 million to restart football
FFB executive member Marlon Kuylen confirmed on Thursday that Belize is receiving US$1.5 million to […]
Flood levels continue to recede
The National Hydrological Service informs that the flood water levels continue to recede slowly. Flood […]
Ministry of Health commemorates International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
By resolution 42/112 of December 7, 1987, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated […]
Football Federation Congress postponed again
The Football Federation of Belize Congress has been postponed again, until August 22. We are […]
Three Valedictorians? Parent fumes over graduation dilemma in Cayo
It is graduation season and one primary school in San Ignacio made history today when […]
Re-Election of a new land advisory committee coming up in San Jose Nuevo Palmar Village
The Ministry of Natural Resources today informed the residents of the San Jose Nuevo Palmar […]
House to discuss almost US $30 million in COVID-19 related loan motions
Nearly BZ $60 million in loans, either directly or tangentially related to the ongoing COVID-19 […]
Belize collects on insurance for excessive rainfall
Belize has received a payment of US$203,136 due to excess rainfall in the last few […]
Belize stays on Tier Two U.S. Trafficking In Persons Watchlist
For the second straight year, Belize has been ranked with other regional nations in the […]
Weather experts say second wave of Saharan Dust nearing Caribbean
The National Hurricane Center’s Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch informed that a second wave of […]
Belize joins global community in commemorating International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
Today, Belize joins the international community in commemorating international day against drug abuse and illicit […]
Ministry of Works: Damaged culvert in St. Matthews was caused by intense rains
The Ministry of Works issued a statement today regarding the collapse of the culvert at […]
Port Authority battles through COVID troubles
Recently the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) had praise for the Belize Port Authority (BPA) for […]
Supreme Court finds Orange Walk man guilty of murder
Mario Aguirre,29, of San Roman, Orange Walk District, potentially faces the rest of his life […]
U.S. Belize Treasury notes raise $22 million
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow briefly confirmed during Thursday’s press conference that […]
Belize Resorts Reopen for Staycations
Starting to feel cabin fever after being indoors too long? We can relate. Now, more than ever, local hotels need your help amid COVID-19. And with a local vacation, you can support Belize’s tourism industry and explore your own backyard without the hassle of travel plans. A local staycation means there’s no stress of airports, visa renewals or passports. Belize’s tiny but mighty size makes one half of the country just a 1/2 day’s road trip away. So while international travel remains on hold, its time to be a Belizean traveller with a staycation!
Mandatory Belize Travel COVID App and PGIA Reopening in August
So many of you have been waiting for the news of when the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) is reopening so that you can reschedule or start planning.
Barring any unforeseen dramatic events, our Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced yesterday that PGIA will reopen Aug 15th. At this time, a decision regarding the reopening of land borders is still off the table. The current primary focus with the opening of our international airport is ensuring the health and safety for all. As a result, travel will be tightly monitored.
Tourism in Belize to begin via phased re-opening
As part of the country’s five-phase re-opening strategy for tourism, on Thursday, June 25th, the Prime Minister of Belize made the official announcement that Belize’s international airport (BZE), the Philip Goldson International Airport will be opened on August 15, 2020. The opening of the international airport will kick-off Belize’s third phase of re-opening, allowing for further travel relaxation and open entry for chartered flights, private aviation and limited re-opening of international leisure travel with approved hotels only.
A Belizean Happy Hour at Home: Citrus Margarita
Happy Hour – the time of day we look forward to at the end of the week. It is a time to unwind and connect with friends, family or colleagues after a long week. Whist we wait to reopen our doors and for travel to resume again, we transport you to experience Belize through taste. Try this Citrus Margarita from our Flavours of Belize Cookbook, put on a Belizean-inspired playlist and cheers to future adventures in Belize to come! We look forward to seeing you soon.
Rugby Belize founder sets ambitious target of country qualifying for Paris 2024
Rugby Belize founder Tony Gillings has set an ambitious target of the country qualifying for the rugby sevens tournament at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Gillings, a Briton who previously served for the Royal Air Force and who established Rugby Belize in 2015, admitted the aim "might sound like a pipe dream" but believes the Central American country can follow the example of Fiji.
The country has sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games 1968 - save for Moscow 1980, which it did not compete at owing to an American-led boycott of the event - but is yet to win a medal of any colour.
UnCruise founder and CEO Dan Blanchard on restarting tours
UnCruise Adventures, whose small ships navigate waters in the U.S., Mexico and South America, will resume its Alaska tours Aug. 1 with a seven-night roundtrip Glacier Bay National Park Adventure itinerary starting in Juneau. UnCruise owner and CEO Dan Blanchard spoke with destinations editor Eric Moya about the changes guests can expect and how they should prepare before departure, and discussed the company's outlook for its other destinations.
Q: What's the outlook for some of your other destinations?
A: We believe Alaska and Hawaii have done a really wise thing, so we're bullish on Hawaii. We don't start operating there until December, but we're very bullish on that operation. Other areas, we're still waiting. We operate down in Belize and Panama and Costa Rica, and we're watching that closely and trying to understand what all those countries are coming up with for their own policies.
Peter Lawrence on ReefTV, 1hr49min.
Sitting of the House of Representatives, 3hr43min.
U ku'uchil U'uchben Maaya Ba'alob Museum, 2.5min. A little view of the first Yucatec Maya museum in the Corozal District . U ku'uchil U'uchben Maaya Ba'alob Museum is found in the Maya village of Cristo Rey(Corozal).
UNCOVERING COVID-19 Pandemic - A Channel 5 Special (Episode 12), 2hr.
Healthy Living: Masks Fact Check, 4min.
The Cayo Music School's final performance on the Belize National Festival Of Arts, 2min. To close off tonight's program and the performing arts section of Festival of Arts 2020, here is Cayo Music School with a recorder ensemble rendition of the Caribbean folk song "Long Time Gyal"!
Ms. Velasquez does a nice rendition of "I Think I See Wa New Belize" from different spots around Cayo, 1min. Here's a bit of drama in our program!! Kathryn Velasquez dramatizes the classic Belizean poem "I Think I See Wa New Belize"!!! 12 year old Kathryn has participated in music, drama, dance and visual art across this year's Festival of Arts!
PPAM-PCM: Voices of the Participants - Marcelino Choco, 2min. Marcelino Choco, Director of Human Resource Management in the Ministry of the Public Service in Belize talks about his country's experience with the programme.
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, Belize, 11min. We are taking you to the Xunantunich ( “sculpture of lady”) Mayan Ruins in Belize. It was an incredible adventure that anyone would love to go on. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins are old temples near the border of both Mexico and Guatemala. While we were at the ruins, we had the opportunity to see and hear a howler monkeys resting into the trees on the pathway up to the pyramid. It was very fascinated. Manu had the courage to climbed to the top the pyramid of El Castillo. Once on top of El Castillo you can see the countryside of Guatemala.
Lupe's Fast Food - San Ignacio Town, Cayo, Belize, 1.5min.
Belada Magazine interview at KREM Television, Belize, 28min.
Made in Belize - Nari's Self Care, 14min. In this interview, SBDCBelize speaks to Sheena Gentle, owner of Nari's Self Care, about her skin care line, which is produced in Belize and caters to customers' needs given Belize's climate and limitations during COVID-19
It's time to put on our dancing shoes, 1min. Dance is a reflection of our culture, whether its traditional or modern dancing, it reflects who we are.
Check out how Jaylan Craig promotes dance education to students through technique and performance right from home.