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Today's Belize News: August 5, 2020 #543936
08/05/20 06:30 AM
08/05/20 06:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,952
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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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

Police Officers restricted from traveling to and from Ambergris Caye
To safeguard members of the Belize Police Department (BPD) following a spike in cases of COVID-19 countrywide, with a possible increase on Ambergris Caye the Department issued a memo on Tuesday, August 4th stating that no police officers will be allowed to leave or visit the caye. The memo explains that if officers assigned to the island are on day off or leave, they will be allowed to return to work. This restriction in movement to and from Ambergris Caye is with immediate effect and will remain in place for the next 14 days.

San Pedro Town residents await results of COVID-19 mapping tests; will there be another lockdown?
Several island residents have been summoned to the San Pedro Care Center (Flu clinic) in the Mar de Tumbo area to be swabbed and then tested for COVID-19, while an extensive mapping continues to take place on the island following positive case #57 on Sunday, August 2nd. The Ministry of Health offered a virtual press conference on Tuesday, August 4th, indicating that around 50 samples from San Pedro will be processed and results are expected to be available Wednesday, August 5th.

U.S. Retiree robbed and injured during a home invasion on the island
Investigations continue into an aggravated burglary that reportedly occurred on Saturday, August 1st, in the San Pablo area of San Pedro Town. Police visited the residence of U.S. National, retired 75-year-old John Wallace, who was observed with a bloody face and body. He told police he was held up by an armed Hispanic male person who stole over $4,000 BZ that he had in his house. According to the victim’s report, around 2:30 PM on Saturday, while sitting on a chair inside his house in San Pablo, with his front door open, a male person of Hispanic descent showed up with what appeared to be a 9mm pistol.

Conquerors F.C. are Copa San Pedro’s 2020 Closing Season Champions!
It was an easy win for Conquerors F.C. on Saturday, August 1st, when they crushed San Mateo F.C. 7-1 and took home the Copa San Pedro 2020 Closing Season Football Tournament championship. The anticipated final match of the season took place at the Ambergris Stadium. Conquerors dominated the game from the beginning, giving San Mateo no opportunity with the ball. With full control, Conquerors began scoring one goal after the other. By the time the first half ended, Conquerors were ahead by five goals to nothing.

Ambergris Today

Fifty Samples From San Pedro Being Tested For COVID-19
During the mapping process for COVID-19 patient #57 identified in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, on Sunday, August 2, sixty (60) individuals were identified of having contact with the 31-year-old female. Out of those, 50 individuals were swabbed and samples have been taken for testing. Results of those samples are expected to be released tomorrow midday, Wednesday.

Various Belizean Sources


Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location
Wednesday, August 5th Meal Pick ups: Location: Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill. Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am. Bahia: 11:45am - 12:30pm.

Auxiliary Flu Clinic by Mar de Tumbo reopens in San Pedro
If you are feeling unwell with flu-like or respiratory illness symptoms (cough, fever, body aches, loss of smell/taste, etc.) or have had contact with someone with COVID-19, call 672-0911 any time. Effective immediately, The San Pedro Care Center and flu clinic, located in the Mar de Tumbo area, as show on the map below, is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm to serve you if you have flu-like or respiratory illness symptoms.

The Heritage Education Network Belize is having a fundraiser
For a limited time while supplies last, every donation of $15 or more to HENB will receive a copy of "To the Mountain!", a trilingual, fictional children's story based on actual archaeological research in Belize. If you donate, remember to include your address in the "Notes" so we can mail it to you! All proceeds will go towards education, capacity-building, and skill-building for individuals and small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Thank you for your consideration.

Madisco Product Show Photos

The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union sent out a release indicating that they continue to engage the University of Belize's administration in mitigation measures. The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union (UBFSU) continues to engage the University of Belize's Administration as it pertains to mitigation measures proposed by the UB Administration, brought upon us as an effect of the current global pandemic. The University has endorsed and recognized UBFSU as the sole bargaining agent for its members. As such UBFSU will continue to negotiate with the Board of Trustees and University of Belize Management team as the certified union UBFSU for its bargaining units.

Ministry of Health Identify 15 COVID-19 Cases
Fifteen (15) new COVID-19 cases were identified today as a result of tracking case contacts identified over the weekend. These cases are part of a record number of 148 samples processed in one day. New cases are as follows. Seven (7) cases have been identified in Corozal. Seven (7) cases have been detected in Orange Walk. San Pedro now has a (1) new case.

Minister of National Security Visits Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve
Minister of National Security Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, accompanied by the Belize Coast Guard, visited an extensive coral reef complex known as the Corona Reef located south of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve just within our maritime border, which is now a protected area. The initiative to reserve this area was put forward by the Belize Coast Guard and taken to Cabinet for approval by the Minister of National Security.

Motorcycles Donated to Corozal
Today Mayor Rigo Vellos Deputy Mayor Hilberto Clarke and Councillors presented to our municipality two equipped 2020 Kawasaki Motorcycles provided through the Road Safety Initiative to all municipalities. These are to be utilized by CTC’s Municipal Transport Authority. Four transport officers also underwent training, learning new traffic rules and learning to disassemble and reassemble the motorbikes for proper maintenance. This addition to our Transport Authority is an investment in assets and human capacity.

Aspiring Youth Empowerment Program
HEY YOUTH! Are you interested in being a part of a youth webinar series hosted by CARICOM? The Aspiring Youth Empowerment Program begins August 27, 2020 and applications are now open! They’ll remain open until the 12 August 2020 so click the link and sign up now!


Working with the OK Tourism Market Webinar
There's still time to register! Want to learn more about the UK Market as it relates to tourism for Belize? The BTB is hosting a free one-hour session with Carol Hay, CEO of McKenzie Gayle Limited, to provide stakeholders with a greater understanding of UK consumers’ and their needs. Click here to register:

Phase Two Relief Fund Form
Here's the Phase Two Relief Fund Signup Form. Click the link to sign up.

Channel 7

San Pedro’s COVID Concerns: 60 Samples Taken
San Pedro is again ground zero for COVID 19 in Belize - and tonight, health authorities and anxious townspeople are awaiting the test results from 60 samples collected in a first round of contact tracing. That's after a single positive test from a socially active woman, an expatriate with a prominent name, who was confirmed as positive for COVID 19 on Sunday. She is case 57, and her contacts range throughout the island, and could even extend to Placencia. More interestingly, she could have contracted it from her husband, who is a major developer on the island. At a press conference today - the first since March - the Directors of Health Services and the Epidemiology unit told us what is known about case 57, her family and her contacts:

Lining Up to Leave The Island
So, the virus may have appeared on the island from earlier in the month - and it may have come across from Orange Walk. And reports say that as more than 6 persons on the island are being watched closely for possible COVID symptoms. Of course, we won't know if there are any more positives until test results are released tomorrow, but the swirl of sickness and speculation has shaken San Pedro. We are told that everyone is wearing a mask, and as many as 40 businesses shut down and sanitised today - including the Scotiabank branch. A release from SCOTIA says the branch has temporarily closed to facilitate a deep cleaning and sanitisation process. The release adds, that the measures were taken after a number of staff members started exhibiting flu - like symptoms. They are now being treated and evaluated.

OW Case Linked to Contraband
"Where you gonna run to?" - that's how Dr. Manzanero put it - and for sure right now running to Orange Walk or Corozal is not a good move. As we told you last night, the case in Orange Walk is a Santa Marta village farmer, whose wife and family works in the Orange Walk Town market. And while this was an unsourced case at first, the COVID link may prove to be through Mexican contraband, which the infected man purchased from his neighbor.

Possible Exposure At NRH
And that 25 people could include health workers at the Northern Regional Hospital. That's because the farmer who tested positive was reportedly in the general ward for two days as a regular patient before he tested positive for COVID. And, while healthcare workers should - as Manzanero always says - treat everyone as if they have COVID - apparently this wasn't done in this case. The highest standards in personal protection were not adhered to, according to our information.

That Case In Corozal
And that brings us to the other case of concern - the one of a woman police constable in Corozal. Health authorities have not found out where the Ranchito resident contracted the virus - but they do know that she had gone to San Pedro on work duties in the middle of last month. Dr. Russell Manzanero, Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health:"In the case of Corozal, this is being presented in a law enforcement officer. She is twenty-eight years old, resides in Ranchito. When we look at the dates and symptoms being presented, it is quite classic about what we expect - the shortness of breath, fever, joint pain and loss of appetite.

Port On the Precipice Of...?
Tonight, negotiations between the Port of Belize and its staff have been stalled. It's a precarious situation that could mean another complete shutdown because the staff returned to work on Friday, July 31, 2020. Their Rep Will Lambey, during the workers march on Monday, told us that no negotiations by Wednesday would mean a collective decision on the staff's next move. Well, talks were supposed to start today, but the Port put it off until next week. The union's agenda includes six points including: Reinstatement of wrongfully terminated members by Wednesday August 5th 2020.

Getting Rural Newborns Registered
This morning, The Vital Statistics Unit officially launched its new birth registration campaign. They are trying to urge Belizean parents to register their newborns so that the Government can ensure that every child gets access to education, healthcare, and any form of government social support.Whenever children are not registered at birth, they are at risk of becoming stateless in their adult lives, since there is no official record to track their citizenship. The experts say that in Belize, 96% of all children from ages of zero to 5 years-old are routinely registered by their parents. But, it's that 4%, who are from families living in rural communities, that fall through the cracks.

Peyrefitte On Southern Seas
Today, the National Security Minister Michael Peyrefitte, accompanied by the Belize Coast Guard, made an official visit to the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. He was there to inspect an extensive coral reef complex, known as the Corona Reef, which is located in Belize's maritime borders, south of Sapodilla. This coral reef complex is now a protected area.A government press release says that the initiative to turn this area into a reserve was put forward by the Belize Coast Guard, and it was taken to Cabinet for approval by Peyrefitte as their Minister. On July 30th, Omar Figueroa, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment, and Sustainable Development, signed the statutory instrument that enshrines the protected status of this ecologically important marine system.

More Returning Belizeans Than Tourists Booked On First Flights
As we told you in our top segment, fear of COVID spread are blanketing Belize tonight - but, it's still full speed ahead to the airport opening on August 15th. But, while everyone is worrying about those American tourists coming out of Houston and Miami, the real concern will be the Belizeans returning. Manzanero said the flight manifests will be filled with familiar names:

The Practicalities of PCR Testing
Belizeans arriving will now be required to quarantine at a hotel for one night while that PCR test is being processed. Originally, they were to wait some hours at the airport while this was done. But, it turns out, that solution is not practical, Manzanero explained why, and what's the change: "In terms of what's happening at the airport, we were particularly looking at doing the Gene Expert because that gives you four tests every 30 minutes..."

Belize Travel App Not Ready Yet
Belizeans who are returning on August 15th and after, still have to fill out the form for the controlled repatriation process before they arrive, and also self quarantine at home after they reach. They are also supposed to download and follow the steps on the Belize Health App - which is mandator for all persons arriving. But, the app won't be ready for rollout at that time. Dr. Russell Manzanero told us more: "The app will be ready, but I'm understanding that the approval of the apps is another process, so that there would be the process and the time to take to actually be ready for use would be in a couple weeks..."

Dr Manza Not Losing Sleep About The Airport
So with the app not ready, and the tracking bracelets not really ready, some folks would just say run for cover and keep the airport closed. But today when we asked Dr Marvin Manzanero squarely, he said that he loses much less sleep about the regulated process at the airport than he does about border jumping in the hinterlands: "If you have a plane load of people coming in, you have 100 Belizeans arriving on Saturday August 15th, the concern you will understand and appreciate are the Belizeans coming back to their families and their communities, so from the health standpoint those are the ones we have to be concerned about and I kept saying that and I know that people are really jelling with the message, I think they are buying into the message, because they want to seem to blame tourists for coming in..."

Could Community Spread Close Schools?
Belize's schools are in a frenzy this week preparing to re-open and finally return to educating children in a strict, caution filled, and resource-demanding environment. And that's just the school's outside of the districts that, over the weekend, had spikes in suspected cases of COVID-19.

What Should Schools Do with A Sick Kid?
But what should teachers and principals do when dealing with students who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms? Babb and her deputy Cecelia Ramirez Smith outlined these guidelines today.

Home School’s Ground Rules
And while those instructions might offer some small comfort to teachers it's a scenario that many parents don't even want to contemplate. That's because one confirmed case in a primary school could have far-reaching consequences for multiple families and entire communities.

Beating The Virus, Not The Heat
The kids who do return to school can add sweltering temperatures to their educational challenges. That's because Ministry guidelines have banned the use of standing fans in classrooms as an aerosolization risk.

Dr Manza Says Opening Schools In January Will Likely Be Worse
And what does the Director of Health Services have to say about opening schools next week? He says there's no time like the present because the future is likely to bring more COVID cases: "We have to understand that these are new norms because I hear people just saying well don't open the school until January..."

Justice League of Former Foreign Ministers?
When five former foreign ministers came out in January of 2019 saying yes to the ICJ, we called them the Fantastic Five. Well, now they're more like a justice league, but the old group - plus Eamon Courtenay who's been subbed in for Dean Barrow - is back with a letter to the Prime Minister. Assad Shoman, Said Musa, Lisa Shoman, Eamon Courtney, and Godfrey Smith, have joined other Belizeans in denouncing the kidnapping of 5 prominent members of the Garifuna Community in Honduras, which occurred about 3 and a half weeks ago.

Belize Zoo Raised Enough Funds
On Friday, we told you about the telethon that the Belize Zoo had planned as a fundraising event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the trickle of visitor traffic, the Zoo is suffering from a financial crisis. The telethon was a sort of emergency measure to get funding to keep feeding the animals that call the zoo home.The Zoo's administration was hoping to raise $25,000 from that telethon on Saturday afternoon, and they are reporting tonight that the generosity of Belizeans allowed them to exceed that target.

Slaughter of the Peccaries
And while that is good news for wildlife, there's some troubling news coming out of the south. There was an unexplained pecarry kill in the area of Maya Center village. the cause of death for the very many dead peccaries is unknown, but the Ministry of Environment has been investigating since yesterday and should have answers soon.

Agg. Assualt on San Pedro
And in a weekend crime story that we didn't have space for on the news last night…San Pedro police are currently investigating a home invasion that occurred in the San Pablo area of the island. An armed thief broke into the home of a 75-year-old American retiree, assaulted him, and robbed him several thousand dollar cash, which was being stored in a safe.At around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Johan Wallace, a retired US soldier, was sitting inside his home with his front door opened when a masked gunman barged in.

A Robbery Out West
So while the island cops continue to search for those suspects, investigators from the Cayo District are trying to track down 2 known robbers who have been operating in the twin towns. It is believed that they struck again on Friday night at 28 Supermarket, on the Bullet Tree Road.

Salvadorean Criminals Caught in Belize
Two Salvadoran criminals are back home tonight after Belizean Interpol handed them back to their Salvadorean counterparts. They are 34-year-old Simon Balthazar Lopez Vales and 26-year-old Franklin Lopez Mendoza both of whom have served prison time in Belize for immigration-related offenses. Vales has been wanted in El Salvador for Aggravated Extortion whilst Mendoza was wanted for Aggravated Homicide.

BPM to Barrow
Last week at his press conference, the Prime Minister suggested that the PUP - through attorney Andrew Marshalleck was somehow trying to delay the elections by taking a re-districting lawsuit to the Supreme eCourt. Now, the PUP have no hand in the suit, but out is led by the Belize ePeace movement and now, Lord Ashcroft. Yesterday in the House, John Briceno said his party has no part in it:

Channel 5

Persons Leaving San Pedro Amid Fear of Lockdown of Island
The Ministry of Health confirmed today that there is no community spread of the novel coronavirus. It is awaiting results of more than a hundred persons tested for the virus, [...]

The Worrying Case of San Pedro’s COVID-19 Patient
Up to news time, Belize has recorded a total of fifty-seven COVID-19 cases. Of those cases, twenty-four are active.  As you know, nine cases were confirmed over the weekend, with [...]

Is There Community Spread of COVID-19 on La Isla Bonita?
So, health officials say there is widespread concern. But is there a case of community spread on that island?  The Ministry of Health is not ready to call it that [...]

COVID-19 Patients in Corozal
The Ministry of Health also spoke on the cases in Corozal. The three latest cases in the north are from two persons of one family, who entered the country through [...]

Status of the Latest COVID-19 Patients in O.W.
Moving from Corozal to Orange Walk, two males from that district were among those who tested positive over the weekend. One is a person who entered the country illegally; the [...]

Police Officers Not Allowed to Travel to San Pedro
Back to San Pedro….there is no community spread of the virus, but a number of persons are being tested.  As you heard, a female police officer from Corozal is hospitalized [...]

Scotia Bank Closes Temporarily on San Pedro; Staff Exhibiting Flu-Like Symptoms
Today, Scotia Bank issued a notice to say that it has temporarily closed its branch in San Pedro.  The release says that the reason for the closure is to conduct [...]

130 COVID-19 Samples Being Processed
The Ministry of Health is on a massive contact tracing exercise across the country, following the troubling cases where persons are not able to determine where they were exposed and [...]

M.O.E. on Schools’ Preparedness
Turning to the Ministry of Education and the state of schools, the ministry says that schools are in high gear preparation mode for the re-opening of schools on August tenth. [...]

Homeschooling is an Option; Parents Must Meet Requirements!
As the COVID-19 cases continue to grow – the concern among many are that schools are not ready and they fear sending their children to school to be exposed to [...]

Family of Keona Ara Fears that They Won’t Get Justice for Her Murder
The family of murder victim Keona Ara is crying out for justice tonight. The eighteen-year-old was killed in a most savage way and her body set on fire and later [...]

No COVID-19 Assistance Programmes for Blackman Eddy Village?
Today, while a News Five crew was in Blackman Eddy Village, located on the George Price Highway near the cut-off to the Iguana Creek Bridge, they caught up with the [...]

Road Works on George Price Highway Affecting Blackman Eddy Village
Road works continue on the George Price Highway in the west where at the cut off to the Iguana Creek Bridge a roundabout is being built. While the much needed [...]

Stevedore Vex with Christian Workers Union
The C.W.U. has just signed a C.B.A., but not all is well in the union.  Two outspoken stevedores came forward today to highlight issues they have been having with the [...]

Stevedore Disappointed with President Evan “Mose” Hyde
According to Fuller, several discussions were had with C.W.U. President Evan “Mose” Hyde regarding his concerns. Fuller says that he had hopes that Hyde would address his concerns, but that [...]

Belizeans Want to Travel; Will They Get a Test?
The Director of Health Services touched on a wide range of issues today. Now, as the P.G.I.A. gets ready for reopening on August fifteenth, the Ministry of Health says that [...]

M.O.H.’s Preparation Continues…
The Ministry of Health says that they have acquired a stock of geo-bracelets that, in the coming days, will be tested out.   When it comes to the health app, its [...]

PM Says If Tourist Won’t Follow Law, then ‘Don’t Come’
As for the tourists who will be coming into the country on August fifteen and thereafter, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says they will have to follow the laws that have [...]

John Briceño and Patrick Faber Spar in the House
On the matter of the Philip Goldson International Airport, the debate got heated on Monday between Leader of the Opposition John Briceño and leader elect of the U.D.P., Patrick Faber. [...]

Opposition Leader Corrects Prime Minister
The Supreme Court last month ruled in favour of Lord Michael Ashcroft to provide expert input in the case of redistricting.  He is an interested party in the case by the [...]

Ensuring Birth Registration for the Prevention of Statelessness
Four percent of the population in Belize is not registered at birth. An initiative to change that was launched today. The Belize Vital Statistics Unit, in partnership with the UN [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: August 5, 2020 [Re: Marty] #543937
08/05/20 06:30 AM
08/05/20 06:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,952
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Southside State of Emergency extended for 2 months
In the House of Representatives in Belmopan today, the government declared that the State of Emergency (SOE) that is currently in place on the Southside of Belize City, and which is slated to expire on Thursday, August 6, 2020, will be extended for a further two months. “We are satisfied that a period of public emergency persists in the Southside, and the House hereby extends the period of public emergency for a further period of 2 months. The motion has the recommendation of the Cabinet,” said Prime Minister Barrow. And with those words, the State of Emergency for the City’s Southside had a new expiration date, on October 6, 2020, except if the government chooses to end it sooner.

Impasse between Port and stevedores ends
After weeks of an arduous process involving proposals and counter-proposals, as well as industrial action, the stevedores of the Christian Workers Union and the Port of Belize Limited have finally signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). On Sunday, August 2, 2020, representatives of the two entities, along with the Labour Department, convened at Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza to sign their first CBA in sixteen years, which took effect immediately and is valid for the next three years. This agreement was arrived at after a series of extensive meetings that began on Thursday, July 30. The negotiations were headed on the stevedores’ behalf by the president of the CWU, Evan “Mose” Hyde, along with a number of stevedores and attorney Anthony Sylvestre.

“We are preparing for the worst”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in the House of Representatives this afternoon, said about the one positive COVID-19 case on Ambergris Caye, that, “We are preparing for the worst.” He said that one institution on the island has called to indicate that 4 persons are showing symptoms classical of COVID-19, like loss of their sense of taste and smell. They are to be tested today. The PM added that the contact tracing exercise for patient #57 has yielded some 40 samples so far. He explained that the woman is in an occupation where she has to deal with a host of people, and he therefore expects that the Ministry of Health’s mapping exercise will likely produce several additional positive cases.

Bredda O buried with love and respect
Funeral services were held for Orin “Bredda O” Velasquez, 38, who was fatally shot during a robbery of his popular pizza store in Ladyville on Monday, July 27, 2020. Velasquez was closing his pizza shop along with his son, 14, at about 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 27, when two thieves rushed into the pizza shop to rob him. There was a struggle with them and in the process, Velasquez’s son was able to run out of the shop. During the struggle, however, the thieves fatally shot Velasquez in the chest. They then stole the day’s sales, which was about $200, from the pizza shop’s cash drawer, and the two thieves then ran out of the store.

COVID-19 cases spike over the weekend
As of Friday, July 31, the Office of the Director of Health Services had reported a total of 48 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Belize, with 19 of them being active. The following day, it was reported that three of those patients (all of whom were from the Orange Walk District, which has had the most active cases in the past three weeks) had recovered. In a matter of hours, however, Belize recorded its highest number of additional COVID-19 cases in any single day, as eight cases were detected in a subsequent batch of tests, which brought the total number of confirmed cases in Belize to 56, with 24 of those cases being active.

Belize surrounded by COVID-19 hotspots
Latina America has been declared the new epicenter of COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. To date, cases have been steadily increasing across the region, with Brazil and Mexico seeing the highest number of deaths. A total of 4.7 million cases of the virus have been recorded across Latin America, and according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, over 190,000 persons in the region have died. Zoning in closer to home, the virus has spread like wildfire in Mexico, with over 439,000 confirmed cases and over 47,500 deaths recorded.

PM Barrow presents Economic Recovery Strategy
On Friday, July 31, members of the media attended a press conference at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, at which Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Minister of State in Investment, Trade and Commerce, Tracy Panton; and Minster of Food and Agriculture and Immigration, Godwin Hulse, discussed the launch of the Economic Recovery Strategy for Belize. The plan is a collective effort on a national scale to safeguard livelihoods, provide stimulus for business continuity, support existing and new enterprises for job retention and job creation, and strengthen and diversify our local economy in spite of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IOM Belize organizes flight for stranded migrants
On July 30, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Belize organized its second humanitarian chartered flight under the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) program. Fifteen stranded Honduran nationals were taken back home to Honduras, and eighteen Belizeans who were stuck in Honduras were repatriated back to Belize. The IOM staff in Belize has been providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups in Honduras and Belize in the form of medical assistance, lodging, food, and protective gear to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Shaniqua Peters, 21, arraigned for setting fire on Wagner’s Lane
An investigation into a fire that completely destroyed a house on Wagner’s Lane that was occupied by 4 persons, and gutted a nearby house occupied by 5 persons, led police to a resident of West Street, Belize City — Shaniqua Peters, 21. Peters was charged with 2 counts of arson and was arraigned at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday by Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford. The charge was read to her, but no plea was taken from her because the charge is an indictable offense and must be tried at the Supreme Court after the magistrate has established that there is a case against her.

Editorial: Recovery Plan: there’s hope — maybe
The Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, called a press conference on Friday to outline an economic recovery plan for Belize, and throughout the session he was upbeat, a far cry from the man who, not so long ago, at a virtual press conference, agonized for the next government and the future of the people of his beloved Belize. There was a spring in the Prime Minister’s step on Friday, and indeed it takes bravery to go down to debtor’s prison with fight in our hearts and a joyous song on our lips, than to fade away in a whimper. Let the young people of Belize know that their ancestors did not give up when the country faced a pandemic and the worst of economic times.

Belmopan turns 50!
It was early in the morning on Tuesday, October 31, 1961, that Belize City lost a battle to Mother Nature as the tropical cyclone called Hurricane Hattie devastated the old capital. Over three hundred people lost their lives. The damage to property was in the millions. “Out of this disaster arose the opportunity to build a new capital city. A committee was assigned to choose a site. There were three proposals: (1) a site at about mile 30 to 33 on the Western Highway (2) at the junction of the Western and Hummingbird Highways and (3) somewhere in the Mountain Pine Ridge. Proposal 2, the present site of Belmopan was accepted. With the cooperation of London, plans and financial arrangements were completed in 1967; work began on land donated by the Melhado family.” (Price, G 1995)

600 UB students approved for graduation
The Board of Trustees of the University of Belize approved 600 students for graduation at a meeting on July 29, 2020. Like many other universities globally, UB had to respond to the COVID-19 restrictions by implementing online learning to ensure that students met their graduation requirements. The graduates come from the various campuses across the country, with 341 from Belmopan, 167 from Belize City, 53 from Punta Gorda, 26 from Central Farm and 12 from the outreach location in Corozal Town.

UEF celebrates Emancipation Jubilee Day 2020
August 1, 2020 marks 182 years since the abolition of the slave trade within the British Caribbean. In 1807 the United Kingdom parliament enacted the Slave Trade Act, which prohibited the slave trade in the British Empire, and in 1833 the British parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act to quell major slave revolts and abolitionist education campaigns. The UBAD Education Foundation (UEF) has been actively engaged to enlighten the Belizean masses on the importance of recognizing Emancipation Day in Belize.

The parable of the rich young man
And as Jesus was going forth on his journey, a certain young man running up fell upon his knees before him and asked him, “Good Master, what shall I do to gain eternal life?” But Jesus said to him, “Why dost thou call me good? No one is good but only God. Thou knowest the commandments. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not defraud. Honor thy father and mother.”

Pastor Lucas’ family satisfied with Mason’s sentence
After Justice Antoinette Moore issued a life sentence on Thursday to William “Danny” Mason, 54; Ashton Vanegas, 27; Ernest Castillo, 23; Keiron Fernandez, 32; and his brother, Terrence Fernandez, 28, for the decapitation/murder of Belmopan resident Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, 47, also known as Pastor Lue, the pastor’s family expressed to the media their satisfaction with the sentences that the convicted men received. The high-profile case was prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lyn Vidal.

From the Publisher
On Sunday morning, I watched the new Henry Young documentary, produced by Sherone Hope, in which Mr. Young is interviewed by Nuri Muhammad, basically about his very successful Bird’s Isle idea/project. There is much to write about where my experiences and interactions with Mr. Henry over the decades are concerned. (Note that he was also an undefeated United Democratic Party politician in the Port Loyola constituency between 1984 and 1998.)

Belize 1940s football star, Eric “Wappa” Gill passes
Last week Thursday, his grandnephew, Jason Guild, informed our sports desk of the passing in Chicago on June 15 of Belize City football star of the 1940s-50s era, Eric Gill, who had migrated to the USA in 1954. Younger generations of Belizeans will have no knowledge of Eric Gill, but a sizeable community of Belizeans in the Chicago area were apparently touched by his personality. Our sincere condolences to his family.

Those two judges are troo-troo advocates
On Friday at a press conference PM Barrow said, about NEAB’s cry against Ms. L. Shoman and Mr. W. James becoming judges, that the churches don’t understand. He suggested that the smart journalists should enlighten them about people in the law profession, how they approach their jobs. The truth is that Ms. Shoman and Mr. James are troo-troo advocates. We have their words in print. After the UNIBAM Section 53 case, Mr. James told a Caribbean radio station “it is widely recognized that the buggery laws on the books in regional jurisdictions, save for the Bahamas, constitute a breach of an individual’s fundamental rights.” That is a man who believed in his client’s case. After the UNIBAM victory Ms. Shoman said, first thing off her tongue, that we should move for gay marriage.

Belizean artist Katie Numi Usher’s new book questions norms
Katie Numi Usher, a Belizean artist who studied the arts in Mexico and who is an affiliate of the Image Factory of Belize, has launched her new book, entitled “Kathie Numi Usher”. In the book, which is a collection of photos and commentaries that span her career, she explores the correlation between art and history, and she challenges readers to question existing norms.

Flag days & statesmen
Dear Editor, There are things best left for the politicians to handle. True! Also true is that the best politicians engage the public in issues of governance that are likely to outlast their own tenures. We call those, “statesmen.” All Belizeans felt that we would, by now, have joined Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and most nations of the world in having a Flag Day. Looks like the gears got stuck in “park” after NICH announced that the search for a standardized flag and coat of arms was underway.

Clinton Canul to Brother Colin
Dear Editor, On Friday, July 24, 2020, I was honored in Brother Colin Hyde’s essay under the Title “Hart Like a Savior”. Thank you, brother Colin Hyde, for mentioning my name. Probably you may not know or have not noticed that there are those who find it very difficult to mention my name and others who are prohibited from doing so. Could it be because I am a socialist or I am not of the Baymen Clan team? I cannot be convinced of a story written from the colonial apologists’ viewpoint because made-up things bring along with them a lot of unanswered questions.

Ministry of Education pushing “2 mommy, 2 daddy” LGBT agenda in our schools
Dear Editor, For some time now I have been suspecting that the Ministry of Education was looking for a way to push the LGBT agenda in our schools through an HFLE manual. I know that it was their goal to teach our students that it is okay to choose their gender, even though they are born male or female. Before I left school, this kind of thing had not been happening. During the COVID-19 shutdown, MOE would broadcast educational activities live, and one of those was “The Story Time.”

Romel says no to opening the PGIA and the schools
Dear Editor, We are in the middle of a full-blown, planet-wide pandemic, with all the First World countries hurriedly looking for a vaccine for this virus. Here in little Belize, we have been blessed that it has not hit us hard, but it is still ravaging most countries around us like wildfire. There is as yet no treatment, cure or vaccine for this invisible monster. But yet, GOB wants to open the airport and the schools, both feasting grounds for the virus.

The Reporter

Letter over Systemic Abuse of Garifuna Commmunities in Honduras
Former Prime Minister, Said Musa, Eamon Coutenay, Lisa Shorman, Assad Shoman and Godfrey Smith have all penned a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, requesting that the GOB send a letter to Honduras explaining the deep concern over the systematic abuse of Garifuna communities. International press reports confirm that armed men arrived in Triunfo de la Cruz, a Garifuna village on the Honduran coast, on 19 July, forced five Garifuna fishermen into vehicles at gunpoint and took them away.

Scotiabank Closes Temporarily due to employee flu symptoms
Scotia Bank has just announced a temporary closure of its San Pedro Branch to allow for deep cleaning and sanitization of the establishment due to an increase of staff members that are exhibiting flu-like symptoms. The bank is expected to reopen its doors on Thursday, August 6th. Below is a press release from the management.

BBB supporting teachers who don't want to return to work
The Belize Business Bureau has issued a release pledging support to teachers, should they decide not to return to school on Monday, "fearing for their safety and that of the children due to the hovering threat of the opening of the PGIA."

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Fort Cairns market to remain closed following 7 new COVID-19 cases in Orange Walk
Earlier today, the Orange Walk Town Council (OWTC) had announced that the Fort Cairns market […]

A record 15 new cases of COVID-19 identified in Belize
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that 15 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified today […]

“No officers allowed to visit or leave San Pedro,” says Police Department
Today, the Belize Police Department issued a memo to its officers restricting their movement to […]

Chabil Mar takes home two Tripadvisor awards
Chabil Mar’s place among the best resorts in the world was solidified this week when […]

130 samples being processed today as part of COVID-19 contact tracing exercise
Today, the Ministry of Health informed that 130 samples will be processed today. Director of […]

“Associate degree level required for home schooling,” says Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education says that parents or an adult of their choosing are required […]

Schools will be able to reopen safely on August 10 says Ministry of Education
In today’s episode of Ask the Experts, Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer, said that […]

Punta Gorda to get synthetic five-a-side football turf
This past Friday, July 31, Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Sergio Chuc and Punta […]

Dozens of peccaries found dead near Maya Center Village
Picture courtesy: PGTV Our colleagues at PGTV reported that on Sunday, residents noted dozens of […]

PUP leader suspends countrywide tour due to COVID-19
Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), John Briceno had been engaged on a countrywide […]

Ministry of Health says it may need to revisit limit to the number of people in social gatherings
The Ministry of Health is gravely concerned about the public not adhering to the social […]

Dr. Marvin Manzanero; consider that the virus is circulating way before August 15
Today, Dr. Marvin Manzanero urged the public to consider that the virus may have been […]

Dr. Marvin Manzanero: Orange Walk COVID patient purchased contraband goods
Today, the Ministry of Health informed that 130 samples will be processed today. Director of […]

Kentucky man sentenced to nine years by London court for US $2.2 million oil concession scheme in Belize
Rodney Scott Phelps of Somerset Kentucky was sentenced to nine years in prison by a […]

Office of Director of Health Services: Flags raised after patient had no documented travel history
Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero said that flags were raised after 3 patients […]

Ministry of Health: No concrete evidence of community spread
Today, the Ministry of Health hosted a press conference to update the nation on the […]

Scotia Bank on Ambergris Caye temporarily closed due to flu-like symptoms among staff
As of Monday, August 3, 2020, the Scotiabank branch on the island of Ambergris Caye is […]

UB Faculty and Staff Union continues to engage UB on mitigation measures
The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union (UBFSU) issued a statement informing that it […]

Cordel Hyde-The People’s Champion in Lake I
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize […]

Ministry of Health to host press conference today to provide update on COVID-19 Cases in Belize
Today, the Ministry of Health will host a press conference to update the nation on […]Scotiabank Closes Temporarily due to employee flu symptoms


Belize & CoVid-19: Changes in Last Few Days
I’ve been working on my monthly newsletter for July but things just keep changing…so I thought I’d send out a quick note to the World Wide Web. (You can sign up for mailing list – daily posts – and/or monthly newsletter below) Since the closing of borders and the airport at the end of March, Belize has been incredibly fortunate. Almost all cases (which numbered in the high 20s by the end of June – including two deaths), were traced and contained. But in the last month, cases have risen sharply – primarily through illegal border crossings over our northern border with Mexico. (Historically there has been a pretty robust trade in contraband…anything from cigarettes to avocados)

Manatee Calf in Belize rescued by Jamal Galves: Belizean ‘Manatee Man’
Mid-July, a male manatee calf was rescued off the coast of Belize by the country’s very own “Manatee Man” Jamal Galves, now a scientist with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute in Belize. With an estimated population of 1,000 individuals, Belize boasts the highest density of Antillean manatees in the world. For nearly 20 years, scientists at Sea to Shore Alliance have been studying Belize’s manatees, through a long-term monitoring campaign. While the team estimates that Belize’s manatee population increases each year, threats amplify as well. Belizean Jamal Galves, a Belize native, rescued the orphaned male manatee calf, estimated to be approximately 2-weeks old.

Work Hard, Play Harder in Belize
Amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have to stay away from the traditional workplace. With a computer and a stable Internet connection, you can get anything done virtually anywhere. Why not make that “anywhere” be in Belize? Work from home is nothing like working in a tropical paradise like Belize! Belize isn’t known for business travel, but it’s about to be. Belize offers beautiful scenery, a relaxed atmosphere, and a quiet environment perfect for working remotely.

International Sourcesizz

The Caribbean Dilemma
Many islands are open to American travelers. Going could mean bringing coronavirus to places ill prepared to deal with it. Not going could mean deepening economic woes. How do you choose? Last year, more than 31 million people visited the Caribbean, more than half of them from the United States. I was one of them. Together, we contributed $59 billion to the region’s 2019 gross domestic product — accounting for a whopping 50 to 90 percent of the G.D.P. for most of the countries, according to the International Monetary Fund. I admit that in moments of pandemic weariness I have been one of those people eyeing cheap tickets to the Caribbean, wondering when I might feel ready to jump on a flight. Now, though, our business comes with a mortal threat — that for the sake of a vacation we will bring the coronavirus to islands that are ill prepared to handle a major outbreak. But staying home could be equally ruinous.

Travelers' Choice Best of the Best
Congratulations to Coco Plum Island Resort Belize for winning Most Romantic Hotel in the World by Tripadvisor's Travelers' Choice Awards!

CARICOM Sugar – A Limping Industry
Sugar is primarily the reason the Commonwealth Caribbean commemorated Emancipation Day over this weekend, August 1, 2020. A few countries marked it on Monday, August 3. With the coming of the British into the Caribbean in 1625 to Barbados, and later to Jamaica in 1655, the production of sugar increased, as did the number of enslaved African people to provide chattel labour. Sugar has been the oldest integrated industry in the Caribbean, from the cultivation of sugar cane to the production of brown sugar, molasses and rum. The only stage that did not take place in the Caribbean was the refining of sugar, which was done in Britain, where there were 120 sugar refineries by 1750, and Canada, in Halifax, from 1818. The best-known refinery now is Tate and Lyle, established in 1859.

Blue Hole Allows Researchers to Tap Into 2,000 Years of Storms in the Caribbean
The hurricanes in the Caribbean became more frequent and their force varied noticeably around the same time that classical Mayan culture in Central America suffered its final demise: We can gain these and other insights by looking at the climate archive created under the leadership of geoscientists from Goethe University and now presented in an article in Nature journal’s Scientific Reports on July 16, 2020. Tropical cyclones in the Atlantic (hurricanes) are a substantial threat for the lives and property of the local population in the Caribbean and neighboring regions, such as the south-east of the USA. The storms’ increasing force, described in Chapter 15 of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC Report), raises the probability of ecological and social catastrophes, as the occurrence of such cyclones over the past 20 years, which caused devastating damage, has shown.

Actor Morgan Freeman narrates Google-funded film about plastic waste in ocean
Plastic waste floating, spiraling and gently drifting toward the ocean floor is lovingly filmed as if it is a treasured species of underwater life in a nature documentary aimed at putting a stop to water pollution. The short film, created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) and funded by Google, is an homage to one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It made its online debut on YouTube and is being promoted digitally with a series of teaser spots. The film, a medley of translucent sapphire and piercing rays of light, was shot in Belize over four days by cinematographer Chris Bryan, who worked on the BBC Earth series Blue Planet II. It was directed by Tribeca-affiliated filmmaker, Brian Schulz.


  • Monday's "Ask the Experts", min. Officials from the Ministry of Education joined us.

  • Update on Covid-19 Cases in Belize, min. Ministry of Health hosts press conference today to provide update on COVID-19 Cases in Belize.

  • Applications for the MSME Support Program are now open!, 1.5min. If you are feeling unwell with flu-like or respiratory illness symptoms (cough, fever, body aches, loss of smell/taste, etc.) or have had contact with someone with COVID-19, call 672-0911 any time. Effective immediately, The San Pedro Care Center and flu clinic, located in the Mar de Tumbo area, as show on the map below, is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm to serve you if you have flu-like or respiratory illness symptoms. For prescription refills, vaccinations and non-flu like illness, The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic is open and available to serve you.

  • Veined tree Frog. [ Trachycephalus typhonius ]., 1min.

  • Belize 2015 - Day 2, 7min.

  • Belize 2015 - Day 3, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 - Day 4, 6min.

  • Belize 2015 - Day 10, 2min.

  • Stanford Belize Vision Clinic: A Unique Model, 15min. Presented by Ann Caroline Fisher, MD, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University.

  • Walking in Belize (Buttonwood Bay) sea front, 18min. The Caribbean Sea is one of the world largest at over 1,063,000 square miles in size. The Caribbean Sea is the home to the second largest Barrier reef in the world. So our walk takes us right in front of the Caribbean Sea. And yes the second largest Barrier reef is part of Belize.

  • The National Channel Content Providers Partnership, .5min. Content Providers, Film Makers and Editors get your Shows, Videos and Programming on our Platforms! for more info contact us at: 678-6210, [email protected] & [email protected], or visit us in our studio on Mile 67 George Price Highway | Red Creek, Cayo District

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