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Today's Belize News: July 18, 2020 #543583
07/18/20 06:12 AM
07/18/20 06:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,255
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

President Donald Trump nominates Andre Bauer as new ambassador for Belize
On Friday, July 17th, United States (US) President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, and a recent CNN contributor to be next ambassador to Belize. Bauer, 51, served as the state’s lieutenant governor from 2003-2011 under then-Governor Mark Sanford. He also served as a Major in the South Carolina State Guard from 2010 –2015. His professional profile shows him being involved in real estate development since 1991 and is currently the proprietor of Bunk Aviation, a real estate holding company in Charleston, South Carolina.

PC Nelson Ramos, formerly assigned to San Pedro Town, remanded for sexually assaulting a minor
39-year-old PC Nelson Denfield Ramos is once again in trouble with the law, after being arraigned for one count of rape, one count of sexual assault and two criminal offenses on Thursday, July 16th. Ramos, who was attached to the Independence Police Formation in southern Belize, was accused by a 17-year-old minor of rape. According to the victim, on July 6th, she was detained by two police officers for traffic offenses (driving without a valid driver’s license). Between the hours of 11:30AM and 1PM, while in police custody, the minor alleged that Ramos asked her if she had anything to offer in exchange to avoid any traffic-related charges.

Labour Complaints Tribunal Established
The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development hereby informs of the establishment of the Labour Complaints Tribunal. In accordance with the Labour Act, Chapter 297 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011, Section 200, “A Labour Complaints Tribunal shall be established for the purpose of providing a fair and impartial appeal process arising from complaints of unfair dismissal or wrongful termination.”

U.S. Government Delivers Emergency Kits to NEMO
The United States Embassy delivered US$20,000 in supplies to Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) at a July 16 handover ceremony in Belmopan. U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Keith Gilges presented the food packs and hygiene kits to NEMO Director Shelton Defour.

Various Belizean Sources


New Chairman Sworn-in for the Elections and Boundaries Commission
This morning at the Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Estevan Perera was sworn-in as the new Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission by the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young. Estevan Perera is an Attorney-at-Law. He received a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of West Indies in Jamaica and a certificate in Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago. He also earned his degree in Criminology from St. Mary’s University in Canada.

Photo credit: Amanda Syme. San Pedro Ambergris Caye is the host of the 4th Annual Grand Caribe Deep Sea Classic. The 3 days fishing tournament began early this morning and will run from today July 17th to 19th. $25,000 plus in cash and prizes will be awarded.

"A New Tourism Vision for Belize"
BTB's Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans, will be among the knowledgable speakers of Panel 5 for BTIA's Tourism Forum! This panel will focus on "A New Tourism Vision for Belize."

Flood Forecast for July 17, 2020 from the National Hydrological Service

Belize Children's Assistance Organization Donations
Today, we welcomed Yamilett Tzib and Amy Loofbourow from Belize Children's Assistance Organization to share on their group that is helping families on the island. Donations received by them has been providing food, baby items, and school registration fees and supplies. Please free free to contact them on their facebook page.

COVID-19 Update from Office of Director of Health Services
This is our data for today. A further 106 samples processed today, with this batch we have cleared all the samples processed from the contact tracing in both San Felipe and Blue Creek. We have also processed the initial samples from the immediate contacts of patient #39 and out contact tracing for this particular case is ongoing. For now we are able to establish links to a Mexican community on the Northern border and details of this are evolving but for now, we are unable to document any community spread. All samples processed today are negative.

International Airport Testing
Part of our work took us to the International Airport to review process flows and on the ground activities for arrival of another repatriation flight today A total of 60 persons arrived on the flight today. Samples are routinely collected from all passengers for eventual transportation to the Central Medical Laboratory for processing. The work is meticulous and had 11 staff on the ground, the team includes nurses, medical officers and public health officers.

Approval for Extension of Timeframe to Implement the Pollution from Plastics Regulations
The Department of the Environment (DOE) has received Cabinet's endorsement for the extension of the timeframe for the implementation of Regulation 33 (1) (b), (c) and (d) of the Environmental Protection (Pollution from Plastics) Regulations, 2020. Due to preparations to address the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, and subsequent National State of Emergency to address the health crisis caused by COVID-I9 in April 2020, actions to implement the permitting and licensing systems required in the legislation was disrupted. As such, a transitional extension period is required to implement the above-mentioned sections (b), (c), and (d) of the Regulations.

Permitting Process for Restricted plastic products

Ambassador Nestor Mendez Assumes Second Term as Assistant Secretary General of the OAS
Today, during a virtual meeting of the Permanent Council, Ambassador Nestor Mendez assumed his second term in office as the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the period 2020-2025. Ambassador Mendez was reelected by acclamation at the Organization's 54th Special General Assembly on March 20, 2020. Assistant Secretary General Mendez noted that this second term is a “mandate that I embrace with full knowledge of the enormous challenges that lie ahead as our Organization not only adjusts and evolves in tune with the new conditions imposed by the pandemic, but more importantly, as we institute the necessary retooling to continue to respond to the needs and mandates of Member States.”

Change in Pump Price of Regular Gasoline Effective July 18, 2020
The Ministry of Finance announces that effective Saturday, July 18th, 2020, the pump price of regular gasoline will increase by 14 cents from $8.57 to $8.71 per gallon. The prices for premium gasoline, kerosene and diesel will remain unchanged at $9.21, $5.43 and $7.61 per gallon, respectively.

List of over the counter medications for Pharmacy Sale
For More Information contact the Pharmacy Unit, Ministry of Health

List of Over the Counter medication for General Sale
For more information on this list, contact the Pharmacy Department, Ministry of Health.

Belize Sugar Industries Limited invites qualified and self–motivated individuals to submit applications for the following positions at Tower Hill, Orange Walk.

Chanlacan was one of the epicenters of the great Mayan rebellion of 1546-47, an uprising between various villages and cuchabales from the east of Mayab to expel Spanish colonists and their indigenous allies. Despite the importance of this settlement, Chanlacan's exact location is unknown. We know he was in the Uaymil-Chetumal cuchcabal. Robert S. Chamberlain, historian of the conquest of Yucatan, wrote that it was a ′′ fortress population ′′ located in the lagoon of Bacalar and that its island position meant that it could only be attacked with canoes in addition to being well fortified.

Channel 7

Border Jumpers Become National Security Priority #1
Border Jumpers - they're currently the biggest threat to Belize's public health - vectors for the Coronavirus who slip under radar along Belize's porous borders. And they just seem to keep coming. And now, this dire public health threat has become a nation security issue; the cops have to find and arrest these border jumpers and contraband smuggler before they make contact with the general population. It's a herculean, if not impossible task, and the only way they can do it is with help from the public. That's why this morning Commissioner Chester Williams pulled out all the bells and whistles when he launched 3 toll-free hotlines as well as a Facebook Page where the public will be able to report cross border movements.

Police Minister, Toy Soldier?
And the Minister of National Security looked like he was the one going border patrolling today. He appeared at the hotline ceremony dressed in full military fatigue - or what is known as a battle dress uniform. In his usual self-deprecating style, he told the crowd that his mother thought he had dressed like a toy soldier:

Police Want Drones All Along The Border
But even a combat ready minister can't catch all the jumpers; truth is, no army or force of men and women can. That's why the cops are looking to drones to help police the border. This morning the Commissioner appealed to the business community for a donation of two industrial grade drones. He shared his wish list: Chester Willams, Commissioner of Belize: "I can tell you that we are trying our utmost best to get two drones but you would know the financial strain the government is in..."

Prison Not Taking COVID Cases
And while those hotlines and drones hope to capture more border jumpers, eventually they will all end up at the Kolbe Central Prison. And because of an increased number of illegals being sent to prison in the time of the pandemic, the prison has instituted a new policy: "All Inmates admitted for immigration offences must present formal documentation indicating COVID free status before approval for admission." We spoke to the Prison CEO this evening and asked him why this is now necessary:

Cayo Cops May Have Stopped Robbers On A Move
Robberies continue to be very much in the news. Just this afternoon in Belmopan three men held up Aldana's Shop on Costa Rica Street, put a gun to the female proprietor, threw her to the ground, stole her ring, and raided the cash register. And while those thieves are at large, CAYO police caught two men who may have been planning a holdup. Yesterday evening, cop in Santa Elena received information that two men on motorbike had been circling a Puma Gas Station.

COMPOL Ready For Supreme Court
Last night we told you that Police Corporal Eldon Arzu had won a small victory against the commissioner of Police in the Supreme Court. He convinced the Supreme Court to entertain him in a judicial review claim against the Commissioner. Today the Commissioner said this it's no big deal, and said it was expected. He notes also that no injunction was granted:

COMPOL Defends Inspector Jane With Credentials
And while the dispute at this point is a matter for the court, in real terms it is a battle for control of the Police Association - and that's a contest Corporal Eldon Arzu lost weeks ago when the election was held. Sergeant Jane Usher defeated him handily, by a margin of almost three to one. And four weeks later, we learned that Usher has been promoted form Sergeant To Inspector. Today the press asked the COMPOL if this suggests that he has promoted his favoured candidate to lead the police association.

Pres Trump Nominates US Amb. To Belize
And while Inspector Usher's term will run for 2 years, who knows how long a new US ambassador will get to serve in Belize? That's if he makes it here at all! The announcement came this afternoon from the White House that President Donald Trump has nominated former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer to become the U.S. ambassador to Belize.

Steve Sworn In
Attorney Estevan "Steve" Perrera is now the new Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. He was officially sworn in today at the Belize House in Belmopan, by Governor-General, Sir Colville Young. He was joined at the ceremony by his family and his law partner, Senator Payal Ghanwani, who supported his appointment at Wednesday's Senate Meeting. And while Perrera's ascension could have been foretold, during the Senate's confirmation of his appointment on Wednesday, several concerns were raised about whether or not he would be able to sufficiently distance himself from the ruling UDP.

Education Brass Explains Reason For Opening School
But those elections are months away - what's just weeks away is the opening of school - and that is a case of much anxiety in, parents, students, adminsiterathos and teachers. And while there are many doubters and naysayers, the top brass from the Ministry of education appeared on Ask The Experts today to say that opening schools is a must at this time:

Cleanliness In Schools
And a big part of the new reality at schools is that they will have to be stringently cleaned and on a daily basis to eliminate any appearance of the virus. And apart from classroom cleaning, washing hands will be a part of the daily routine for students. The Chief Education Officer explained: "There are 3 important measures that parents must keep in mind: regular hand washing, physical distancing and the wearing of masks. And so for schools what we are recommending to ensure that there are enough hand wash basins in schools that there must be 1 basin for at least 50 students..."

Safety Before Schooling
And while we hope that there are enough cleaning supplies to go around to schools in both urban and rural areas, the fact is, cleaning can only do so much. If there is community spread of the virus in Belize, cleaning won't make it go away, and schools will likely have to be closed. That's what the CEO in the Minister of Education discussed: "There is to be no sacrifice of lives to get an education. The life comes first and so our challenge and the challenge to managements..."

Big Shift For Big Schools
And those learning plans will also have to include teaching students by shift systems. That means your child may not go to school every single day, but he or she may do so on alternate days. And the bigger the school, the bigger the shift. Babb explained: Deborah Domingo, CEO, Ministry of Education: "Should parents generally expect their children to be in school Monday to Friday?"

August Is Catch-Up Month
And the first month of school will be dedicated to catching up. One hundred thousand pre-primary, primary and secondary school students have been out of the classroom for four solid months. Babb says they have a lot of catching up to do: "So because children have been out for so long we are very concern about the gap. We want to know what they know and what they don't know. So what teachers will do during the month of August they will do assessment to determine where children are..."

Homeschooling Not As Simple As You Think
And if all that seems a little too much - that's why some parents are saying that they prefer to home school. But, it's not that simple. Babb explained that you need permission and supervision, or you'll be breaking the law:.. "I see on facebook a number of parents and others saying that they will homeschool their child. Saying that you will homeschool your child is not enough..."

Second Police Suicide In A Month
On June 18th, we told you about the suicide of 27 year old Police Constable Jerman Millian. On Wednesday night, another police officer apparently killed himself. 48 year old Police officer Brenton Garcia shot himself to the head and died in his bedroom. A police report says he had arrived home under the influence and stated that he was stressed out. He is a veteran officer, and today, we asked the commissioner to comment on this second cop suicide in less than a month. He said they were childhood friends:

Counselling For Cops
Indeed, Garcia was a well loved community cop in PG, which is why many find his death so inexplicable. But, it's an incredibly stressful job, and the commissioner says they have to get more active counselling interventions for their officers: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Belize: "We need to look at our officers more closely with a view to see when they're going through difficult circumstances and try to intervene before things like this occur and so moving forward there is some work that needs to be done..."

Lifeline, More Life To Needy Students
Turning now to education - as you heard in our last segment the opening day for school is fast arriving. It's a cause fo anxiety about COVID, but it's also a cause for panic in cash strapped parents who have to scrape together funds for books, supplies, uniforms and fees. And while that's true for most families it's not the case for 2,452 lucky kids from rural and underprivileged schools whose entire 2020-2021 tuition will be covered by Kim Simplis Barrow's Lifeline Foundation. Taking the stage at Wednesday's announcement ceremony, education CEO Carol Babb said that schools are in need of support.

And in other news of assistance. Belize has received emergency COVID-19 aid from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, known as CABEI. It's a donation that comes as a response to a request from the presidents of The Central American Integration System. It includes medical supplies including swabs and Korean testing kits geared at expanding Belize's testing capacity and complements the Bank's April 2020,1 million USD donation to Belize's COVID-19 response. Here's more:

Why BEL Objected to the PUC’s FTRP
And, going back now to a story that's been making news for the past two nightsBEL and its regulator, the Public Utilities Commission are tangled in disputes on multiple fronts. We've been telling you about the power purchase agreement with Santander, and the PCUS's claim that BEL was averaging out meter readings, but there's also the Full Tarriff Review. BEL is challenging the PUC's conclusions in that process - which means an independent expert will have to be appointed.

Senate Report Points to Penner
On Wednesday's news, we told you how the Senate passed a motion to adopt the final report from the Senate Special Select Committee on the Immigration Department. As we told you, that report is 160 pages long. It represents the careful perusal of sworn testimonies and evidence-taking that the committee members carried out in the 13-month-long Senate Hearings on Immigration, which ended in December 2017.

The Book of Godwin On Immigration
During Wednesday's motion at the Senate to adopt the findings of the Special Select Committee, Godwin Hulse, the substantive Minister of Immigration, made sure to remind his colleagues that years before the Senate Hearings on Immigration, there was a raft of legislative reforms that the Barrow Government undertook to address the weakness in Immigration.

Chamber Takes Up For Its Senator
And, keeping it in the senate, the Belize Chamber of Commerce is calling foul on what it characterizes as "disrespectful treatment" of its Senate representative, Mark Lizarraga, on Wedensday. The particular instance they are referring to is an exchange between Lizarraga and Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte. Lizarraga was among the senators who expressed concern about new Election and Boundaries Chairman Steve Perrera's ability to act as a fair and impartial leader of the Commission.

Creating Opportunity Out of A Garbage Dump
And, finally tonight, we take you down Albert Street, not far from our newsroom where yesterday we saw the city council and the aspiring PUP standard bearer cleaning up Simmon's Alley. That's where a whole empty lot was over-run with garbage, a breeding ground for disease and a feeding ground for rats. This alley connects Albert Street to Wagner's Lane - and Paul Thompson said cleaning it could create economic opportunity:

Channel 5

More Details Emerge on Strange Case of COVID-19 Infection in Cayo
Tonight Health Officials are baffled and continue to investigate the case of a man in his early fifties who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The case was detected at the [...]

Health Officials Inspect P.G.I.A.
A United Airline flight arrived today as part of the repatriation process which may lead to more cases of COVID 19.  We say may because testing will confirm new cases. [...]

Estevan Perera sworn in as Chairman of Elections & Boundaries Commission
Attorney, Estevan Perera was sworn-in as the new Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission this morning. In the Senate on Wednesday his appointment came under fire because some senators [...]

E&B Chairman responds to criticism of appointment
And what does the new chairman make of the opposition to his new role expressed during the Senate debate? Estevan Perera was asked about the comments that question his ability [...]

ComPol on Corporal Eldon Arzu’s Supreme Court case
On Thursday, we told you about the Corporal Eldon Arzu versus the Commissioner of Police case that’s before the Supreme Court.  Arzu’s claim is that the Commissioner of Police didn’t [...]

Preparing for a New School Year Amid COVID-19
A new academic year is set to begin on August tenth, after five months of leave from school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ahead of the reopening of schools however, [...]

All Schools will have Sanitization Sessions
Among the measures that will be implemented at the classroom level is a daily sanitization of individual seating areas.  According to Dr. Babb, there will also be someone stationed at [...]

Fewer Students in the Classroom in New School Year
COVID-19 has also prompted school managements to put in place specific protocols that relate to children coming down with the seasonal flu.  Aside from those procedures, Chief Executive Officer, Deborah [...]

Face Shields When Teaching Phonics
For children in the lower levels, those in kindergarten and the infant division, the Ministry of Education is advising teachers to wear face shields in instances where certain subjects are [...]

Santa Cruz Village Council’s Land Woes Continue
Santa Cruz Village Council continues to fight to maintain control of the village’s land expansion project. Issues for the council arose back in January 2019 when they received word that [...]

Chairman Scott says Land Commissioner Not Answering Questions
According to Scott, he has attempted to clarify the matter with Commissioner of Lands and Surveys, Wilbert Vallejos. Scott says that Vallejos has not responded to any of his queries. [...]

Government Asks Ministries to Cut Down on Rental Cost
Government continues to cut costs as it struggles with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its latest austerity measure is cutting down on rental costs. A memo dated July [...]

Christian Bailey granted Bail
A construction worker of the Mile eight community on the George Price Highway, who is accused of breaking into a man’s home and removing home appliances and other possessions amounting to [...]

George Bull is freed of murder charge
Another murder case fell through the cracks for the prosecution this week when the Crown in the trial of George Bull indicated to the Court that they were withdrawing the [...]

Simon Leary gets bail for attempted murder
Attorney Hurl Hamilton was successful today in arguing for Supreme Court bail for a man who is before the Court on an attempted murder charge. Simon Leary, a construction worker of [...]

Compensating the Families of Four Deceased BDF Airmen
The Government of Belize, in compensating the families of four Belize Defense Force airmen who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash on February twenty-seventh, says it has made [...]

ISF cop charged with rape placed on interdiction
In Thursday’s newscast we told you about Police Constable Nelson Ramos of the Intermediate Southern Formation who was arraigned on a count of rape of a seventeen-year-old girl. Today, Commissioner [...]

Dissecting the PUC/BEL/Santander Quagmire
The Public Utilities Commission is enforcing an order which makes it compulsory for Belize Electricity Limited to sign on to a power purchase agreement with Santander Sugar for the supply [...]

Was Your Monthly Light Bill Being Averaged During SOE?
Over the past few weeks, consumers have been complaining of exorbitant electricity bills, particularly during the three-month state of emergency when many were at home for the mandatory lockdown. B.E.L. [...]

Belize Receives Sample Collection Kits and RNA Extraction Kits from CABEI
Belize, as part of the Central American Integration System, received an emergency aid to complement national efforts for the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. The aid comes courtesy of [...]

Hotlines activated to report border jumpers and contrabandists
The Police Department is counting on the public to prevent border jumpers and contrabandistas from entering the country. Five phone lines and an online social media messenger programme were activated [...]

ComPol says that the BPD needs a counseling unit
A police officer in Punta Gorda committed suicide earlier this week. On Wednesday evening, Police Constable Brenton Garcia shot himself inside his home. The circumstances that triggered the suicide are [...]

CITCO calls for applications for Youth Shadow Council
If you are between the ages of fifteen to twenty-one, living in Belize City and are a youth leader, the Belize City Council would like you to apply for its [...]

4UBYME Productions – the Customised Items of an Enterprising Woman
COVID 19 has caused the unemployment lines to grow longer and longer as many persons became jobless. Today we found a woman who lost her job but turned that around [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: July 18, 2020 [Re: Marty] #543584
07/18/20 06:13 AM
07/18/20 06:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,255
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


CWU members under attack by Port of Belize
The situation of the workers at the Port of Belize (PBL) is at a crisis stage. On July 1, 2020, the Christian Workers Union (CWU) and its membership from both of its units began lunchtime protests against PBL’s receivership management’s decision to reduce its staff’s wages by 10 percent across the board and put a halt on their 5% bonus. That first cut was done on June 16, 2020, and according to CWU president Evan “Mose” Hyde, Jr., it is an illegal act, since it happened without consultation with the legal bargaining agent for members of staff and went squarely against Article 25 of the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the parties.

Gaspar Vega steps down
In a letter dated July 14, 2020, Gaspar Vega formally announced his resignation as area representative for the UDP Orange Walk North division. His resignation comes just days after Patrick Faber’s rise to the position of leader-elect of the United Democratic Party. In his letter, Vega said, “It was not an easy decision, as I truly love and value the people of Orange Walk North.” While this resignation letter clearly confirms his departure from the forefront of electoral politics, he said that his involvement with the UDP and politics in Orange Walk North will not end there.

More farewells in the UDP
The election of Patrick Faber as party leader-elect of the UDP has seemingly triggered a number of departures in the party. Since the UDP convention on Sunday, July 12, at which Faber was elected, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and area representative for the Pickstock division, and Ashton McKenzie, mayor of Punta Gorda, have announced their resignation from electoral politics. Also, Pearl Stuart, secretary-general of the party under the Barrow administration, tendered her resignation two weeks ago.

Full salaries reinstated for Belize City Council employees
This week’s payday was a notable one for Belize City Council employees, as they all received a full salary after three months of collecting a reduced salary due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the council’s revenue stream. At the start of the government-instituted State of Emergency, with the exception of the council’s Sanitation Department, which worked throughout that period, all employees were asked to accept a 50 percent salary reduction. That salary reduction was also applied to the Deputy Mayor and City Councilors, while Mayor Bernard Wagner had forgone his entire salary in light of the circumstances.

Belize Chamber severely criticizes GOB over questionable contracts
On June 30, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) publicly expressed its concerns over the Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited’s purchase agreement with Belize Bank to acquire Scotia Bank Belize, and its potential effect on the country’s economy and banking sector. The press release called upon the GOB to “introduce competition laws to ensure that market dominance will not adversely affect any industry.” A mere two weeks later, the BCCI has once again called out the government for its questionable procurement practices and policies. In a statement dated July 13, the BCCI called upon the GOB to “adhere to the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance.”

Appeals Court must consider DPP’s request to try Calaney Flowers again for murder, says CCJ
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) issued an order on July 14 to allow the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, to ask the Court of Appeal to set aside the verdict of the trial judge in the Calaney Flowers murder case. In November of 2019, the Court of Appeal dismissed the DPP’s appeal after the attorney representing Calaney Flowers successfully argued that the DPP had no right to appeal an acquittal in cases where a full trial had taken place.

Camalote store owner shot during robbery attempt
Nigel Gideon, a store owner, is recovering at the Western Regional Hospital after he was shot in his hip during a struggle with a robber at his store in Camalote yesterday. The robber then escaped empty-handed. Luckily, the injury was not life-threatening, and Gideon was rushed to the hospital, where he was admitted in a serious but stable condition. Gideon told police that while he was in his store in Camalote yesterday afternoon, a man of Hispanic descent who was wearing a mask came in and said that he wanted to buy some cigarettes.

Corozal musician found hanging in detention cell
Rayford Anderson, 32, a musician of Corozal Town, who was detained by police on Thursday after a complaint was made about his conduct during a domestic dispute, was found hanging in the cell where he was being detained at about 11:00 that same Thursday night. He was found hanging from the cell bar by strips of a sheet that was tied around his neck. Anderson was rushed to the Corozal Town Hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival.

No evidence that Mark King fired gunshot, police say
Police investigated an allegation that Mark King, a businessman and former UDP Lake Independence area representative, had fired a shot outside a building in the Belama area in Belize City, at about 1:00 o’clock this morning. Police searched the area, but nothing was found to prove that a shot had been fired. No one was reported as being injured, nor was any expended shell or bullet hole found anywhere. Police said that an investigation has been launched into the matter.

Madisco van jacked; $20,000 stolen
A delivery van of the Madisco company of Santa Elena was robbed this evening. The driver of the van and his side-man were held up at gunpoint in the van by a lone-wolf thief, who escaped with around $20,000 in a money bag. The robbery was caught on a camera mounted on a nearby store. So far, the thief has not been found, and the money stolen from the company has not been recovered.

Editorial: The story behind the 2008-2020 UDP’s massive trail of debt
Many people believe that the present Republican Party administration in the USA, led by Mr. Donald Trump, set out on an agenda to undo as many of the signature accomplishments of the previous Democratic Party administration, which was led by Mr. Barack Obama, the first president of that country who isn’t Caucasian, as it could. It is argued by many that the agenda in the US was motivated by racism. One major achievement of the Obama government that the present Trump government has pulled out all the stops to try to dismantle is a health law that was intended to make healthcare more affordable for the less well-off in that country.

Senate Select Committee report confirms corruption in the Immigration Department
There was a special sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, July 15, at which multiple orders of business were addressed. Probably the most consequential of these was the tabling of the long-awaited majority report from the Senate Select Committee. The report delves into the findings of the Committee after it conducted an investigation into the revelations that were made in a special audit report by the Auditor General concerning corrupt activities in the Immigration and Nationality Department for the period of 2011 to 2013. The 160-page report was presented by the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, Aldo Salazar, and revealed a pattern of improper and, in a number of cases, illegal practices within the Immigration Department.

GOB cuts ministries’ rent budget
On 15th July, 2020, via Circular Memorandum No. 26 of 2020, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, Dr. Peter Allen, informed the different government ministries of more cost-saving measures that the Ministry of Finance has decided they must put into effect as a result of the harsh effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the economy of Belize. The cuts are to be made in the amount of money spent by the various government ministries for the rental of office spaces and dwelling quarters, and these ministries will be expected to negotiate a percentage cut with property owners for fiscal year 2020/21.

National Appreciation Day conducted at all police formations
Police announced that the Annual Police Week events that are usually held in July have been cancelled due to financial cuts, and a National Citizen Appreciation Day was instead observed today at all formations countrywide. The day had been set aside to give police the opportunity to honor all those who partnered with police to ensure a safer community. The theme of the National Appreciation Day 2020 is “Honoring and partnering with us for a safer Belize.”

Criminalising Poverty: The High Cost of Security
Citizen security remains a contentious topic in Belize as views increasingly coalesce toward the alienation of our young black men from society. We are being asked to barter our voices and displeasure for silence and security without discussing important social, economic, and political issues that affect their daily lives. Recently, this discursive process of “othering” has reduced complex social interactions to a rudimentary contrast of ‘us’ (the perceived law-abiding citizens) and ‘them’ (the monsters) by stigmatising them at every chance.

Mary White’s Playground Legacy
Mary, my tatarabuela, left her name to miles of river frontage along el Río Hondo, now the playground for border jumpers. The mahogany and logwood are gone. In her time, the challenge was keeping the Mexicans out. Today, we battle COVID-19 brought in from México by Belizeans who move easily back and forth across the river. The motives, largely historical, are: family, commerce, healthcare and el disfrute.

Legends on the mend – Palma, Coro, Turo…
We’re glad for the news that some of our legendary football stars are in a good state of recovery, following some serious health issues. One of Belize’s most prolific strikers on record, Arthur “Goatman” Leslie, who was the hottest striker in the 1980s, underwent open heart surgery in New Jersey in February, and returned home to his residence in Sandhill, Belize District, just prior to the Covid-19 lockdown in March of this year. This morning, Turo reassured us by phone that he is following the recovery plan formulated by his doctor, and is thankful for the operation that effectively saved his life.

Cricket Corner
A pleasant time of the day to all cricket lovers! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Sir Barry Bowen/ Harrison Parks Cricket Competition got underway this past weekend with some very exciting games played. To get in full gear, let’s go to Boom, where the home team Brave Union went up against Surprise of Lemonal. Because of the long break caused by the pandemic, it was very hard to get players together; so, when the toss was spun, Surprise could only muster 8 players to start the game.

Ladyville Jaguars FC to host Open Football Marathon on August 2
Football is slowly coming back to life in the Jewel, and the Ladyville Jaguars Football Club under coordinator Michael “Wataplat” Flowers is planning an Open Football Marathon, to be held at the Ladyville football field on Sunday, August 2, beginning at 9:00 a.m. sharp. “We are looking for 10 to 12 teams,” said Flowers, who offered that his club has stepped up its organization with the assistance of its new manager, Ms. Leticia Gomez.

Anti-corruption must be the platform
It seems that there is a major faction in our society who are adamant that this is the time for those in governance to take a clear decisive and unequivocal position on the issue of corruption in our country. And, of course, there are those that seem to be clueless about how steeped in corruption our country finds itself or are just outright complacent and complicit. It’s like it has become such an everyday way of life that the average person sees no wrong with it, or fails to recognize it, or benefits from it, so they support it and justify it.

“Paternalistic arrogance & racist punitive attack upon Black leadership must end”
Whenever the mass media and various commentators pontificate regarding powerful special interest groups on Capitol Hill, they point to the gun lobby or NRA (National Rifle Association) as an example; however, nothing can be further from the truth. The most powerful and influential lobby in Washington DC, with both domestic and global implications, is AIPAC (the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee). Between 1976 and 2004 the state of Israel has received an estimated $142.3 billion, with an annual $3 billion of taxpayer money since 1985. In addition to the above financial pipeline to Israel, these numbers do not reflect direct investments and strategic military aid that numbers in the billions.

For Belize, let’s do it!
History has finally caught up with Belize: George Price, our Independence leader, had made it obvious that our nation was a CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY. What was plainly expressed in the PREAMBLE was repeated in a prayer dubbed “The National Prayer”. It said: “Almighty and Eternal God, who through Jesus Christ, has revealed your glory to all nations, please preserve and protect Belize our beloved country… “ Chapter 2 of the Constitution had made it abundantly obvious that our country could not descend to become a cheap dictatorship, by a most thorough dissertation on Human Rights — the clearest, most concise exposition I have ever read.

They could have come to me: Minister Hulse
On Wednesday, four years after the Senate Special Select Committee first met to investigate the Auditor General’s findings on irregularities at the Immigration and Nationality Department between the years 2011 and 2013, their report was tabled and accepted by the Senate. The Senate Special Select Committee was formed after considerable pressure was put on government by the social partners, particularly the BNTU, and the country’s main opposition party, the PUP.

Blessed be the name of The Lord …
It is with a heavy heart that I start this final chapter, but I am relieved to predict that, like mine, your spirits will be lifted by how it ends. Lucille called me the following afternoon to admit that she was worried by Jewel’s behaviour, as she had withdrawn from the company after most people had left the house the night after the funeral and locked herself in her bedroom, leaving she and Aunt the task of putting the children to bed.

A committee that is innovative, with radical solutions, is needed
Dear Editor, In June, the international Monetary Fund projected that the world economy will contract by 4.9%. Two-thirds of the world’s governments borrowed US $11 trillion in June alone. The IMF forecasts that 12 trillion dollars will be lost within the global economy in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is beginning to reopen, but the rate of infection is increasing in the US, Brazil and India, which collectively produce over 20% of global GDP.

An experiment without a rubric
Dear Editor, In a matter of weeks, schools across the country will be reopening and welcoming students for the new school year. This comes on the heels of having been forced to close down schools some months ago as a direct result of the global pandemic, COVID-19. Ironically, the inherent threats of this pandemic have not totally dissipated, but instead have proliferated. Notwithstanding that, we are about to embark on an experiment of incalculable proportions in opening schools come August 10.

The Constitution of Belize is a con job, a sham and a deadly joke
Dear Editor, A privilege is a special right or immunity granted or available only to a particular group or person, such as a right or immunity attached to a position or office. For example, parliamentary privilege is a legal immunity enjoyed by members of certain legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties.

Leopold II: Belgium “wakes up” to its bloody colonial past
Inside the palatial walls of Belgium’s Africa Museum stand statues of Leopold II – each one a monument to the king whose rule killed as many as 10 million Africans. Standing close by, one visitor said, “I didn’t know anything about Leopold II until I heard about the statues defaced down town”. The museum is largely protected by heritage law but, in the streets outside, monuments to a monarch who seized a huge swathe of Central Africa in 1885 have no such security.


Estevan Perera refutes statements of political bias
Attorney Estevan Perera was sworn in today as chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. A short ceremony was held in Belmopan this morning, and by this afternoon, Perera was more than ready to tell the media of his upcoming plans in his new position.

Students receive donations in the west
Several students received much needed donations that will assist them financially in the upcoming school year. Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details.

60 repatriates arrive into Belize
Another set of 60 repatriates arrived into the country this afternoon on a United Airlines flight. As per normal, they were screened and placed on a bus which took them to their designated hotels, which is either The Ramanda or Radisson Fort George and Marina.

Two men and a minor charged for cattle theft
Last night at around 7:30, a man reported to police that his cows were missing from his pasture at mile 41 in Cotton Tree Village, Cayo District. He began to search for them and eventually recovered 14 of them.

New US Ambassador to Belize announced
A new US Ambassador to Belize has been announced. US President Donald Trump has nominated Former South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Contact tracing continues for Santa Elena COVID-19 patient; samples from Northern villages return negative
The Office of the Director of Health Services informed today that 106 samples were processed […]

Government of Belize Announces Commencement of Consent Solicitation of Superbond
Belize is moving to the final step of recording temporary savings on interest payments to the […]

Department of the Environment issues advisory on the permitting process for biodegradable plastic products to importers and custom brokers
The Department of the Environment has issued an advisory on the permitting process for biodegradable […]

Santa Familia resident busted with 65 cases of contraband beers
Santa Familia resident, Pedro Aguirres of the Cayo District was busted this afternoon with contraband. […]

US President Donald Trump nominates Former South Carolina Governor, Andre Bauer for Belize Ambassador
Today, the White House informed that Former South Carolina Governor, Andre Bauer has been nominated […]

Ministry of Education: Almost 100,000 students out of school due to Covid-19
The Ministry of Education acknowledged today that there are safety concerns with reopening schools on […]

Police Department launches hotlines to report border jumpers
Today, the Minister of National Security, Michael Peyrefitte and Commissioner of Police Chester Williams recieved […]

60 people arrive on repatriation flight today
Today, the Ministry of Health informed that 60 people arrived on a repatriation flight. The […]

Regular gas goes up by 14 cents
Regular gasoline will see a 14 cent increase at the pump at midnight tonight from […]

Nestor Mendez sworn in for 2nd term as OAS Assistant Secretary General
In March, fоrmеr Аmbаѕѕаdоr оf Веlіzе tо thе Unіtеd Ѕtаtеѕ, Nеѕtоr Меndеz wаѕ rе-еlесtеd аѕ […]

PUP Leader celebrates 60th birthday
Тоdау, lеаdеr оf thе Орроѕіtіоn оf thе Реорlе’ѕ Unіtеd Раrtу (РUР), Јоhn Вrісеnо сеlеbrаtеѕ hіѕ […]

Tourism sector divided on re-opening the Belize International Airport
The Government of Belize’s decision to reopen the Philip goldson International Airport (PGIA) on August […]

Estevan Perera sworn-in as the new Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission
This morning at the Belize House in Belmopan, Estevan Perera was sworn-in as the new […]

Ministry of Health awaiting results of contact tracing samples for Santa Elena COVID-19 patient
The Ministry of Health continues contact tracing for the 50-year old COVID-19 patient from Santa […]

Police officer charged for rape
A police officer was arrested and charged for the crime of rape. A minor reported […]

Chamber says “We support our senator”
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued a release yesterday expressing its full […]

Belize monitoring 16 active cases of COVID-19
Belizean health officials are monitoring 16 active cases of COVID-19. Yesterday, Belize registered its 40th case. […]


Solitude in Hiking: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Are you planning a visit to beautiful Belize? Consider a visit to for hiking the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This lovely park was established for the protection of jaguars and other species in 1986. It is located on the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains and is approximately 400 square miles in area. Historians believe that the ancient Maya may have lived in this area hundreds of years ago. The first Europeans to explore the area did not arrive until the late 19th century. They named the Cockscomb Mountain after the resemblance the ridge has to a rooster’s comb.

Placencia Airport Closure – July 17th, 2020
Traveling to Placencia later this year? Keep in mind that the airstrip in Placencia (PLJ) will be temporarily closed between July 17th to November 17th, 2020. The latest delay in the recent closure, according to the Belize Airports Authority (BAA), is to facilitate a revamp of the runway. Revamping, lengthening, widening and the installing of runway lighting will all be done. Alternatively, the Riversdale airstrip will be used as the temporary airstrip used during the closure.

International Sourcesizz

Fmr. SC Lt. Governor Andre Bauer nominated to be Belize ambassador
Former South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer has been nominated to be the next U.S. ambassador to Belize. The White House announced Friday he's been chosen for the position. He must be confirmed by the United States Senate. The job has been vacant since the Obama Administration. Bauer, 51, was a state representative and senator representing an area near Irmo and Chapin beginning in 1997 through 2003. He was then elected as lieutenant governor, serving from 2003 to 2011 while Mark Sanford was governor.

Marymount University is supporting Belize’s students and protecting wildlife
Hawksbill Hope is educating Belize's students with beach and village cleanups, lessons about sea turtles and native plants. Since 2005, Todd Rimkus and other Marymount University faculty members and students have been protecting Belize’s sea turtles as part of the university’s Hawksbille Hope foundation. In 2017, Rimkus, chair of the Biology and Physical Sciences Department, met a boy named James who wanted to go to high school. High school costs $300 per year in Belize.

DIVE Travel Awards 2020 | Two Weeks Left to Nominate
The response to this year's DIVE Travel Awards has been somewhat overwhelming, with a total now of 103 destinations, 281 liveaboards and 782 dive centres and resorts having been nominated... and there are two more weeks to go.

Birds of the 2020 Audubon Photography Award
Calling all birders and bird lovers! This year’s 2020 Audubon Photography award brings us from Alaska to Australia, and all the parks in between, to commemorate some of the best avian photography taken of birds in their natural habitat.

CDC bans U.S. cruises through September, citing ‘ongoing’ coronavirus outbreaks on ships
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday extended its ban on passenger cruising from U.S. ports through Sept. 30, citing “ongoing” coronavirus outbreaks aboard ships. The CDC’s no-sail order was previously due to expire on July 24. The Cruise Line International Association, which represents the largest cruise lines in the world, announced last month that its members had agreed to suspend operations until Sept. 15.

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Individuals to Key Administration Posts
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration: André Bauer, of South Carolina, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Belize.


  • Friday's "Ask the Experts", 58min. Tune in at midday today, Friday, July 17th, for another webcast of Ask the Experts. Joining us today is the Ministry of Education to discuss the reopening of schools.

  • Galen Virtual Economic Summit, 57min.

  • The Benders In Belize, 4min. My Dad and I took a week long trip to Belize in July 2015. We landed in Belize City and made our way up to Corozal Town and Orchad Bay. Then we headed over to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.

  • Channel 5 Obituaries - CLEVELAND CECIL GILLETT SR., 2min.

  • The Belizean Student Delegation - Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, 31min. The Belizean Student Delegation presently attending Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina talked with us about their COVID-19 experience. They explained how the adjustment in their financial assistance has changed their standard of living.The students are making a plea for support from the authorities and Belizeans to assist with food and personal hygiene supplies.

  • The Belize Police Department - improving its relationship with the community, 17min. The Belize Police Department is setting aside a day to show appreciation to the citizens that support their work. We talked with Dehanne Augustine, Supt. OC Precint Two, of the activities taking place. She explained that the Police Department is working to improve its relationship with the community and that this is part of this process.

  • UWI Open Campus - priority should be placed on ensuring education continues, 28min. Dr. Luz Longsworth is the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus. We had a conversation with her about the role of universities in times like these. She explained that the priority should be placed on ensuring education continues. She also talked about the need to move from online learning that is emergency remote based to a model that is more robust and embedded into our educational system.

  • 25th Anniversary of Bilateral relations between Belize and Cuba, 38min. Cuban Ambassador to Belize, Her Excellency Lissette Perez Perez spoke to us to reflect on the 25th Anniversary of Bilateral relations between Belize and Cuba. Ambassador Perez talked about the many ways the relationship has been beneficial to Belize and in education and health.

  • Special Select Committee Report on Immigration Scandal, 50min. The Senate convened yesterday and discussed the tabled Special Select Committee Report on Immigration. Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Private Sector, unpacked the details of the report and what it reveals about the infractions that occurred in many approvals of passports and nationality certificates.

  • Bruk It Down With Jenny - keep these relationships stable in these tumultuous times, 27min. The impact of COVID-19 has been a strain on a lot of relationships. In today's episode of "Bruk It Down With Jenny" we talked about how to keep these relationships stable in these tumultuous times. Jenny Lovell, Mental Health Therapist, walked us through the key steps to helping your relationships survive the current conflict and stress.

  • Grace Flavor With A Beat - Grace Coconut Lobster Fritters recipe, 26min. "Grace Flavor With A Beat" featured a Grace Coconut Lobster Fritters recipe. Resident Chef, Duane Lizama, prepared the savory treat using all Grace products and shared a few tricks for making perfect fritters that are fluffy and tasty.

  • Basketball from Benque, 40min. U21 Finals

  • Uber Driver / Taxi Driver Talk Of Do's & Dont's in Belize City, 6min. The development of conversational skills in a new language is a frequent focus of language teaching and learning. One could never tell that Uber/Taxi life is ruff gig, learning alittle about taxi / Uber man hardship in life.

  • Alkaline in Belize, 35min.

  • Manatee Calf Rescued in Belize, 1min. This week Jamal Galves, Associate Research Biologist from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, rescued a male orphan manatee calf in Belize that is estimated to be two to four weeks old. Manatee calves are known to nurse from their mother for one to two years and would not have survived on its own. He is now at Wildtracks for rehabilitation before his eventual return to the wild.

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