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Today's Belize News: August 12, 2020 #544152
08/12/20 06:23 AM
08/12/20 06:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,862
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

Ambergris Caye monitoring 62 cases of COVID-19; overcrowding an issue while quarantining
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, is currently monitoring 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Health personnel on the island are doing their due diligence, but numbers are increasing. None of the infected persons have required hospitalization, but health staff is concerned about overcrowding in some homes where patients are quarantining. With such living conditions, the risk of spread is high, and the current situation on the island can become out of control.

Officers at the San Pedro Police Department test positive for COVID-19; routine policing continues
The San Pedro Police Formation has fourteen of its officers off duty after five tested positive for COVID-19, and another nine recently presented flu-like symptoms. Officer in Charge, Superintendent Christopher Noble says the officers have been quarantined, while the rest of the formation continue the routine policing of the island.

Ambergris Today

Thirty One Of 33 New COVID-19 Cases Are In San Pedro
The Ministry of Health has just release its new numbers pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and the numbers remain high for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. A total of 84 samples have been processed, the last remaining batch will be processed throughout the night. In this batch there are a total of 33 positive cases with the breakdown as follows: - 31 cases in San Pedro (related to the three active clusters) - 1 case in Belize City (related to a previously identified cases in Belmopan)

Various Belizean Sources


Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location
Wednesday, August 12th, Meal pick ups. Location: HAPPY LOBSTER. Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am. Bahia: 11:45am -12:30pm.

Food Assistance for Areas Under Lockdown For persons in other areas of the country who need emergency food assistance, please call or visit the Ministry of Human Development Office in your district.

Western Union Caye Caulker Branch opening hours
Customers are required to be wearing their Face Masks at all times while in the establishment and performing transactions. Mask must cover your Mouth and your Nose. Only a maximum of 5 people will be allowed to be in the establishment. Please note that if you are not there to perform a transaction or have business in the establishment then you will be asked to leave and wait outside. (If you noh need fu d deh stay home)

Laff It Aff Live
Jankunu Productionz has their online comedy show, Laff It Aff Live, on Friday the 21st, 7PM BZ/8PM CT.

Forest Department Covid-19 Notice
The Forest Department would like to inform the public of its precautionary measures and procedures while continuing to provide services to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic in Belize.

Book an Online Appointment to Apply for a Social Security Card
In an effort to reduce your risk of contracting/spreading COVID-19 the Social Security Board Belize is now requiring that you book an appointment online to apply for a new card or renewal. SSB is continuously putting precautionary measures in place to fight the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of their staff, customers and stakeholders.

Covid-19 Case on Caye Caulker
Please call or send and email before you come to our office. We are trying our best to minimize person to person contact. Caye Caulker Village Council

33 Additional COVID-19 Cases Detected Today
This is our data for today, a total of 84 samples have been processed, the last remaining batch will be processed throughout the night. We have a total of 33 positive cases with the breakdown as follows: - 31 cases in San Pedro (related to the three active clusters) - 1 case in Belize City (related to a previously identified cases in Belmopan) - 1 case in Belmopan (related to a previously identified case in Belmopan). We currently have two hospitalized cases.

Formal Cattle Export to Guatemala
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is pleased to announce that the first formal exportation of cattle to Guatemala was done on August 10, 2020 through the Western Border. A total of 27 animals for fattening were exported. The exportation was successful as a result of the collaboration between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Spanish Lookout Livestock Farmers, the Livestock Marketing Association, the Cattle Export Committee, the Belize Agriculture Health Authority and the Belize Livestock Producers Association.

The Children of Ambergis Caye, Belize
The "Children of Ambergris Caye Go Fund Me Page will be assisting families on the island again and is accepting donations at the moment. Any assistance, Large or Small, helps. Thank you.

Commissioner of Police says people still refuse to wear masks or wear them properly
I drove around the city tonight and the anount of people I had to tell to put on their mask or to wear it properly is no joke. I could have easily arrest over 100 persons. I cannot understand why some among us just don't listen or don't give a darn. What will it take for them to understand the severity of this virus and the importance of wearing a mouth and nose covering?

The Post Office deserves commendation
The Belize Postal Service parcel section on North Front Street in Belize City has very good Covid-19 measures in place for the public. When you enter, an attendant prompts you to open your hands to get a sanitizer sprayed into your palms. Regularly, an office assistant will sanitize the counters and surfaces. They are helpful over the phone and more so in person. They work in tandem with the Customs Department and the service by the representatives of that department is also professional, cordial and welcomed. Your only physical contact is with your package and the signing of the transaction. Everyone is wearing a mask. Upon leaving, the attendant will also open the door for you and if you want it, you can also receive additional sanitizer in your palm and you don’t have to touch anything.

Check out these amazing art works created by a very talented young artist - Dahlee Tyrell
Miss Dahlee gets inspired to paint from the different views of Belize, and she shares her thoughts with us, “My homeland had cultivated my artistic passion from an early start. From the lovely rainfalls, breath-taking views and the exquisite the background of a natural setting nurtured my passion to paint and draw the beauties of nature.

Vacancies at Escuela Secundaria Mexico (ESTM)

We are very happy to say that this Sunday we are traveling “Virtually “ to the Annual San Joaquin Fiesta 2020. Yes, 54 years of Historic Celebration and we are happy to Join with our beloved people of San Joaquin with their Fiesta. See you all on Sunday on our Facebook page from 6-8pm. Lets make it a family affair as we continue keeping safe

Waturugu Dance Troupe Youth Day celebration
The Waturugu Dance Troupe is having a Youth Day celebration Wednesday at 2pm. The Waturugu Dance Troupe is An Afro-Belizean entity who's mission is to reconnect Afro-Belizeans to the continent of our origin. Promoting Africanism: Using our African Heritage to Connect the Dots and Change the African Narrative from Pessimism to Optimism by Showcasing African Traditional and Modern Dances, Music, Poetry, Songs, Fashion, Film Music and Cuisine at home and abroad.

Summary of Belize's Controlled Repatriation Process
Application Form:

BTB Announces Winners of the Outstanding Essential Workers Competition
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the winners of the Essential Workers Competition, the zenith of the second phase of the Belizean Traveller Campaign. The aim of this competition was to recognize dedicated and hardworking essential workers who have gone beyond the call of duty to serve Belize during the fight against COVID-19. The Ministry of Health and the Belize Police Department submitted a total of eight nominations and the winners were selected by the general public through a voting process which ran from July 23 to August 5, 2020 via the Belizean Traveller Facebook page. Over 6,000 votes were registered. Each winner will be awarded a Belize Staycation Prize Package, including a cash prize, as follows:

Retirement of the Statistical Institute of Belize’s Director-General
The Board of Directors of the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) hereby informs its stakeholders, international and local partners, clients, and the general public that, effective August 1, 2020, Dr. Leopold Perriott, Director General, proceeded on retirement. Ms. Diana Castillo-Trejo, Deputy Director-General, will now be acting in the position of Director-General until further notice. Dr. Perriott was an integral part of the SIB’s senior management team since 2012, when he joined as the Institute’s Deputy Director-General.

Channel 7

Shame!: Immigration Staffers Do Perp Walk
Last week Wednesday, we told you about the major bust police made near the Orange Walk toll bridge. Special Branch police intercepted an Immigration department pickup, a Mahindra, allegedly smuggling over 7 pounds of weed. Inside were three immigration department staffers, comprising two officers and one driver. Well today after a few days quarantine ending with a negative test for COVID 19, al three men were take to Orange Walk Magistrate's Court. 36 year old driver Stephen WILLIAMS, 41 year old immigration officer Albert Llewelyn MUNNINGS and 26 year old Wilmer Justin COCOM were arraigned on charges of Drug Trafficking.

Latest COVID Figures Show 9 Cases in 5 Days in Belize City
When we left you last night, the nation was waiting on the results of the 300 COVID tests that had accumulated over a weekend when the testing units at the Central Lab were being calibrated. In the end, though, only 144 samples were processed and they turned up 23 new positive cases which show the virus is gaining ground in Belize. There are 3 new cases in Belmopan - 2 of them are linked to the previous identified cases at the Belmopan Medical Center - and the other case is linked to San Pedro.

Two More Medical Staff Infected At Belmopan Medical Center
As we noted, two of last night's cases are from the Belmopan Medical Center. You'll remember BMC as the clinic that on Sunday released the name of their first case, Internist, Dr. Hector Cisneros. Well, today in a press release the clinic announced that two additional staff members: Elroy S. Franco who is a registered Pharmacist, and Jesser N. Leon, a Medical Laboratory technician, have also tested positive for COVID-19.

But Belmopan Medical Center isn't the only workplace to confirm a positive case. That's because Protel BPO, a call center in Belize City is also among those businesses who've confirmed a positive case. And while the dangers of closed quartered workplaces has been a concern since the pandemic's onset, PROTEL says the case judiciously managed. The company says that the employee, who picked up the virus in San Pedro, was only on the premises during one workday - which was Monday August third, and while there this employee was confined to one specific area.

PUP Says Health Monitoring System Collapsed
The leader of the opposition issued a stinging statement today, blasting the government for mismanaging the COVID outbreak. He says, quote, "We are faced with a disastrous second waveour health monitoring system has for all intents and purposes collapsed. We are unable to muster the resources to continue adequate contact tracing - we must now ask persons who feel that they have been infected to call in. The reality is this.

Cattle Going Across to Guatemala, Legally!
For years, Belizean livestock interest had been engaging in a lucrative illegal trade of cattle to Guatemala through Bullett Tree. But, with the rise of COVID that came to a halt when the Bullett Tree backdoor was slammed shut, and it has put a hurting on the economy. But, through steady negotiation, a cattle compromise with the Guatemalans has been worked out.

Chicken Run...Out?
Chicken was scarce over the weekend - interrupting many - a - Sunday - dinner menu. It's a shortage that's been coming on for weeks now starting with scarcity of chicken parts. But it finally hit grocery stores nationwide in the last few days. This morning we found out the good news and the bad for poultry futures. Cherisse Halsall reports. It's here! a dreaded Chicken shortage threatening 5 dollar plates and Sunday dinners everywhere. And with many spending the weekend clamoring at their grocer for the all essential national meat only to find empty coolers and scanty crates.

Quarantined Shipyard Village is Poultry Producer
And one reason for the shortage could be the fact that a major producing community, Shipyard, is under quarantine and effectively cut off from the rest of the country. It's a reality that makes the export of the farming community's produce difficult if not impossible, and only adds to the scarcity of poultry nationwide. We got some more details from Poultry Association Manager Armando Cowo.: "Remember that one of our producing communities is under lockdown, Shipyard, but notwithstanding that we're still trying very hard to get their produce out to the market..."

MOE Tells Teachers To Get Back Into Classrooms, Safely
Schools should have opened countrywide yesterday - but that was postponed indefinitely due to the rise in COVID 19 cases. But, a memo from the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education makes it clear that while school is out, teachers should be in. The memo says teachers are expected to report to work daily during normal working hours. IT says the teachers are to use this time to work on their preparedness plans and learning continuity plans. The learning continuity plans are to engage students meaningfully during the lockdown.

Manzanero Says Infected Nurses In Public Health System Didn’t Get COVID At Work
A group of nurses at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk has complained to their colleagues in the Nurses Association of Belize. These professionals feel they are being forced to take unnecessary risks as frontline medical workers. In a memo, dated Friday, August 7th, 2020, Felix Rhaburn, the President of the Nurses Association Orange Walk District, wrote to the executive members of the Nurse's Association of Belize. Rhaburn says, quote, "Several nursing staff and support staff have voiced their concerns regarding the current administration response, with respect to; exposure to COVID 19 infected individuals; staff displaying flu-like symptoms who are required to report to work and inadequate staffing and poor facility for triage and housing of COVID 19 clients." End quote.

DHL robbery Report Suspicious
A delivery truck belonging to DHL was allegedly robbed yesterday of approximately $10 grand in cash - but police have their doubts about the theft. A driver for the company, and an assistant deliveryman, reported to police that at around 6:00 they were parked on the shoulder of the George Price Highway at mile 43 with mechanical difficulties. They claim that while trying to fix the vehicle, they were ambushed by 2 Hispanic men, one of whom was armed with a handgun.

Octogenarian Knocked Down and Killed
An 80 year old man was knocked down and killed on Friday evening in Corozal. It happened at about 5:50 in front of Frye's Store in the Town. Anderson was crossing the road when he was knocked down by a motorcycle. The bike then drifted to the middle of a road divider where the rider fell off onto the street. Anderson fell to the ground unconscious and was later transported to the Corozal Community Hospital by a friend who was passing. He would pass away whilst undergoing treatment.

PM Writes to Honduran Prez
A week ago, we told you about the request from 5 former PUP foreign ministers who were urging Prime Minister Dean Barrow to write to the Government of Honduras. The former foreign Ministers urged him to formally take up the reports coming out of that neighboring country that 5 prominent Garifuna leaders were kidnapped from their homes. Well, PM Barrow yesterday sent a letter to Juan Orlando Hernandez, the President of Honduras. It reads, quote, "At least five Garifuna leaders have been killed since September 2019 according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras.

Prisons Puts Public Visits On Pause Due To COVID
As the headlines remind us nightly, the COVID threat is real and growing, and that's why the Belize Central Prison has announced that it is suspending all prison visits. A release says, this change is a direct response to the community spread of the coronavirus in San Pedro and the Orange Walk district. The suspension starts this Friday, August 14th, 2020, and it will remain in place until further notice.

San Pedro Strong - Even Under Lockdown
And while the Central prison isn't accepting visitors, neither is San Pedro. As has been widely reported, that community is under state enforced lockdown. Yesterday, the press asked the officer commanding what the crime situation has been like with desperation setting in for many who have lost their jobs or have no income: Supt. Chris Noble, OC, San Pedro: "If you find one out of a hundred persons not wearing his mask, it is not wearing it properly. Everybody here has been abiding since we saw the rise in the cases and clusters being advertised..."

Coast Guard Keeping San Pedro Locked Down
And while Noble is responsible for keeping residents calm and under control, the Coast Guard, has to make sure nobody leaves the lockdown island by sea. Last week, we asked the Coats Guard commander to outline their efforts: "We have deployed additional units and teams to the San Pedro areas of operation. And it's simply to ensure that vessels that are not authorized to leave or enter San Pedro that that does not occur..."

How to Enforce Against Corrupters?
We also asked Soberanis about how the Cost Guard tries to keep its unit corruption free. It's a fact of life that as borders close - late enforcement is under severe pressure to enforce but also to not enforce by smugglers who will pay for a little "bly", or looking the other way. We asked him how they manage that push and pull between law enforcement and outlaw pressures: "We constantly engage our people and remind them that operational integrity is important because we have a duty and an obligation to the citizens of 09:45 this country, that the citizens of this country expect the Coast Guard to operate at a high standard."

How Many Private Planes Flew Into Belize in July?
We all know about the community spread don san Pedro - but we don't know where it really started. Last week, the Prime Minister floated a story that an investor form Texas may have flow into Belize on July 10th to visit the person who has been called the "index case". That was immediately denied, but it has raised questions about private flights coming in and out of Belize in July. And today, A news outlet called Habanero News displaying flight charts claimed that on on July 10th a Jet landed at the PGIA with one passenger.

Dump Truck In A Black Ball Of Smoke
If you were traveling on George Price Highway near Hattieville Village this evening at around 2 p.m., you would have definitely seen this dump truck which was on fire on the shoulder of the road. Motorists had to wait in a long line of traffic, while the authorities put out the blaze...

Channel 5

23 New COVID-19 Cases as of August 10th; 9 Healthcare Workers Now Infected
The news is grim tonight in respect of the COVID-19 situation in Belize. There are over one hundred and sixty samples being processed at the Central Lab and later tonight, [...]

More Positive Cases Expected Out of Active Clusters!
On the upside, only one person remains hospitalized and that patient is in Orange Walk.  But as the Central Lab processes more samples tonight, it is anticipated that there will [...]

A Positive Case of COVID-19 Detected on Caye Caulker
As the number of positive cases continues to spike on Ambergris Caye, on Monday night, Caye Caulker recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus. Travel to nearby San Pedro [...]

No Rush to Get Off Caye Caulker
When San Pedro began seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, a number of persons fled from the island to the mainland to escape not only the virus, but what would [...]

Economic Inactivity on Caye Caulker Persists
Caye Caulker, like Ambergris Caye, has been severely affected by the pandemic because these island towns are highly dependent on tourism.  Since the beginning of the year and more so [...]

3 Positive Cases in Belmopan Are Staffers from Belize Medical Centre
Among the samples that have tested positive from the Belmopan area are three staff members of the Belize Medical Centre.  That particular business is one of government’s top pharmaceutical suppliers. [...]

P.U.P. Leader Queries Real State of Healthcare System
The Leader of the Opposition today issued a statement on the spike of cases of the coronavirus.  In the statement, John Briceño queries the real state of the healthcare system [...]

The Unexplainable Chicken Shortage Lingers
Chicken, the mainstay on dinner tables, is in short supply and producers are baffled about the scarcity. For weeks now, the amount of chicken in the freezers has been dwindling [...]

Chicken Shortage Phenomenon Baffles Association
The Belize Poultry Association is also seeking answers to explain the chicken shortage.  Manager, Armando Cowo says that for July more than one million birds were placed in the barns [...]

A Formal Export of Cattle to Guatemala is Realized
But there is some good news from the west; that is because the first formal export of cattle to Guatemala was realized on Monday via the western border. The report [...]

Immigration Officers Plead Not Guilty to Drug Related Charges
Three immigration officers were today escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrate court for drug related charges. They are thirty-six-year-old Steven Williams, forty-one-year-old Albert Munnings, and twenty-six-year-old Wilmer Cocom.  The trio [...]

Corozal Free Zone at a Standstill Months after Pandemic Induced Closure
The borders in the north and west are closed indefinitely.  To the north, Mexico is placed at number three globally for the explosion of the corona virus. Quintana Roo is [...]

Micro and Small Businesses Need Help to Rebound from Economic Hardship
COVID-19 has disrupted commercial activity for many entrepreneurs at micro, small and medium levels.  A majority of those are part of the cross-section between tourism and agriculture and as many [...]

La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital: Always Caring, Always Here for You
Tonight, we head west for a visit to a unique healthcare facility. Nestled in western Belize, La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital has been providing optimal healthcare as a non-profit institution. [...]

The Impact of COVID-19 on Protected Areas Management
How are organizations working on environmental protection handling the COVID-19 situation?  Well, across the world, conservation N.G.O.s are feeling the pressures. And it’s no different here in Belize.  These N.G.O.s [...]

San Pedro Cops Can Use Counseling Services
Five cops have tested positive for COVID-19 and nine others are in isolation with flu-like symptoms. Superintendent Christopher Noble of the San Pedro Police Formation says that the department was [...]

San Pedro Residents Abiding by S.O.E. Regulations!
And one issue that the police officers in San Pedro do not have to deal with right now is disregard for the S.O.E. regulations.  According to Christopher Noble, San Pedranos [...]

B.T.I.A. Reacts to G.O.B.’s Decision Not to Open P.G.I.A.
The reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport was scheduled for this Saturday, but was delayed after cases of COVID-19 surged.  A survey shows that the majority of members of [...]

OW East Area Rep., Pledges to Assist Santa Marta Villagers
Santa Martha Village in the Orange Walk District remains under lockdown tonight, where there is a community spread of the COVID-19 virus with an additional case being recorded on Monday. [...]

Guinea Grass and Shipyard Remain under Lockdown
Two communities in the Orange Walk South constituency have also been placed in quarantine. Positive COVID-19 cases have been indentified in Guinea Gras Village and in the Shipyard Community. Area [...]

Deejays Need Unemployment Relief Too
The rash of new COVID-19 cases has resulted in nightclubs and other establishments being shuttered once again and deejays, as well as other entertainers, are presently out of a job.  [...]

COVID-19 Forces Innovation and Ingenuity in Small Businesses
While many are in the unemployment line, COVID-19 has also forced others to innovate, particularly for small businesses, including barbershops and salons where proprietors have branched out into selling other [...]

Re: Today's Belize News: August 12, 2020 [Re: Marty] #544153
08/12/20 06:23 AM
08/12/20 06:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 74,862
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


Belize confirms 150+ COVID-19 cases
The Office of the Director of Health Services has announced that a total of 153 positive COVID-19 cases have been identified in Belize as of August 8, 2020. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been engaged in enhanced surveillance and contact tracing in an effort to locate and test persons who may have been exposed to any of the clusters found in San Pedro, Orange Walk and Corozal. On Friday, a total of 214 samples were processed, and from that batch, a total of 32 positive cases were confirmed. Saturday’s testing revealed 7 new cases. Currently, the majority of the cases are in the Belize District — 75 in total; this is due to two clusters on Ambergris Caye.

Top cops —Dawson, Arzu and Lorenzo—suspended for 2 months
Letters of Suspension from duties for 2 months were issued today to three high-ranking police officers by Commissioner of Police Chester Williams. The officers are ACP Alden Dawson, Regional Commander, Belize District; Sr. Superintendent Daniel Arzu, Region 1 Commander; and ASP Edlin Lorenzo, Commander of the GSU. The announcement was made by Commissioner Williams today. Commissioner Williams said that before the 5-day administrative leave on which the officers had been placed expired, a letter concerning the 60-day suspension was sent to the CEO in the Ministry of National Security and the National Services Commission for approval so that the suspension of the officers could go into effect immediately after the 5-day administrative leave had expired.

OW nurses reveal COVID-19 dangers to Nurses Association
In the wake of the steep increase in COVID-19 infections in the country, which has led to a State of Emergency, particularly in 4 areas — San Pedro Town, Santa Martha, Blue Creek, and Shipyard – which are currently under complete lockdown, the nurses of the Northern Regional Hospital have written to the Nurses Association to highlight their concerns and to request guidance and leadership to address the situation they (the nurses) are facing. The letter written to the association was leaked to the press, and it went viral.

San Pedro under complete lockdown for 14 days
At a virtual press conference held this evening, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that because of an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections, the island of San Pedro will be under a complete lockdown for the next 14 days. Things have been bleak on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, since last Sunday, August 2, when a mysterious case of COVID-19 was discovered. As reported, this case originally had no known source of infection, as the patient claimed that she had not traveled internationally; however, her entire family had suffered flu-like symptoms prior to the release of test results which confirmed that she was infected with the coronavirus.

Teacher tests positive for COVID-19
On Saturday, August 8, the Diocesan Education Board – Managing Authority with responsibility for All Saints’ School — notified the public via a press release that one of their educators had tested positive for COVID-19. According to the release, the teacher was showing symptoms, but was remaining calm and self-isolating. The Diocesan board also contacted other educators who were in contact with the teacher during the prior week, and have reportedly made arrangements to sanitize the school based on guidance from health officials.

Galindo brothers arrested for masterminding San Ignacio shooting
An investigation into the shooting of five persons — 4 men and a woman — at about 1:30 Sunday morning, July 18, in the parking lot of CK Sports Club in San Ignacio, initially led police to John Alexander Hendy, 33, an unemployed resident of Santa Elena Town, and Travis Tyler Navarro, 26, a self-employed resident of Gaol Lane in Belize City. Police announced today, however, that a further investigation into the shooting led to two men who are believed to be the masterminds of the shooting. Minor Galindo, 31, an unemployed Santa Elena resident, and his brother, David Galindo, 34, a self-employed Santa Elena resident, have been charged jointly with conspiracy to commit murder.

Thousands of Belizeans confirmed for repatriation
The Philip Goldson International Airport remains closed to visitors until further notice; however, the repatriation process is still well underway. As of Friday, August 7, 2020, a total of 453 Belizeans had been brought home, while a remaining 1,032 are in the process of being returned. Since the start of the program, there has hardly been a repatriation cohort that has returned with no active cases of COVID-19 onboard the returning flights.

Which way to Middlesex?
I enjoyed Mr. Morales’ well-researched historical piece “Belmopan Turns 50” (See: Amandala, August 4, 2020), commemorating Belmopan’s 50th anniversary. I’ve lived here for 42 of those years and feel qualified to add a bit of personal flavor to his review. In 1978 I got a job with the DFC in Belmopan and set out on our New Capital sojourn. We rented a duplex on Oriole Avenue. The water from the shower was Río On cold, even at midday. Our neighbors included a retired chief justice, the nation’s premier and a nationally acclaimed electrical engineer. We were already on our way up.

Belmopan man busted with over 12 lbs. of weed
Michael Anthony Neal, 25, of Oriole Street, Belmopan, has been charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply after 12 pounds of weed was found in his house during a search by police this morning. Neal was at home when the search was conducted. Neal was taken, along with the marijuana, to the police station, where he was booked and the drug was deposited as an exhibit. He has been detained pending arraignment at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court.

Vildo Westby found guilty of murder for the death of Jose Ayuso of San Pedro
A police manhunt that lasted over 18 months came to an end when Mexican authorities in Vera Cruz, Mexico, found Vildo Lorenzo Westby, 30, a baker of San Pedro, who was wanted by Belize police for the murder of Jose Ayuso, 44, the owner of a unisex salon in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, who was found dead in his home on February 2, 2017. Westby was handed over to Belize authorities and arraigned on a single charge of murder when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford on December 17, 2017. He was remanded into custody. He was represented by attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley.

US issues DO NOT TRAVEL advisory for Belize
Last Thursday, August 6, the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, issued a Level 4 – DO NOT TRAVEL advisory for Belize. Health and crime are the reasons cited by the State Department. American citizens are advised that “violent crimes – such as sexual assault, home invasion, armed robberies, and murder are common even during daylight hours and in tourist areas.”

147 arrested for COVID-19 violations
Despite the fact that members of the public are urged to do all they can to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has been spiking and is now an issue of national concern, there has been an increase in the number of persons disobeying the protocols and ignoring both the practice of social distancing in public, and the requirement that they wear a mask to cover their faces and noses in public. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams announced that 147 persons have been arrested for various violations of these COVID-19-related regulations countrywide.

SI no. 111 of 2020 – what’s in it
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has clarified Statutory Instrument No. 111, which governs the State of Emergency now in effect to combat the spike in COVID-19 infections. Williams said that the SI has two provisions: one that applies to the four areas that are on lockdown; and the other, to the rest of the country. The lockdown areas are San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; and the following villages in the Orange Walk District: Guinea Grass, Shipyard and Santa Martha. In these locked-down communities, the following applies: no one will be allowed in or out of the lockdown areas, except for emergency medical reasons or if those persons are essential workers going in to perform an essential service.

Mayor of Orange Walk tests negative for COVID-19
Orange Walk has been at the center of the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Belize for some weeks now. As reported, the district is the location for a number of cases that continue to multiply due to the illegal crossing of the northern border as well as contraband transactions in which a number of the residents have been partaking. One such example of this is case #55, a male whose origin of contraction of the virus was initially unknown until his wife later revealed to the Department of Health Services that he, too, had purchased contraband goods from a neighbor in Santa Martha village.

Belize Coast Guard commences Operation Blue Lightning
The Belize Coast Guard has commenced an operation called Blue Lightning, which is designed to secure Belize’s territorial waters, and to ensure that our maritime borders remain secure, and also, to stop illegal activities in our seas. River patrols to apprehend contraband runners, border jumpers and illegal entries into the country will also be carried out. Operation Blue Lightning was rolled out with a toll-free phone number, 999, that can be dialed anytime to seek assistance or to provide information to the Coast Guard on any illegal maritime activity.

From the Publisher
Elsewhere in this issue I’ve included an insert from Cedric Grant’s book on “Modern Belize.” The insert gives you an idea of the almost absolute nature of white supremacy in the colony of British Honduras during the 1930s. Belize became a self-governing colony in 1964, and achieved political independence in 1981. Our electoral politicians, however, after the eras of Rt. Hon. George Price and Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel, started to depend on the huge financial donations of people like Sir Barry Bowen and Lord Michael Ashcroft. And so, today we have to wonder if it is not the case that we Belizeans have returned to a status where we roots are almost as helpless as we were in the 1930s.

Dale Pelayo appointed Head Coach for Male Senior National “A” Team for Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is proud to announce that Coach Dale Pelayo has been appointed as Head Coach for the Male Senior National “A” Team for the Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. Following the new format announced by Concacaf earlier this week, Belize is scheduled to play four matches, two home and away in October 2020, and two matches in November 2020. The qualifiers are scheduled for 5th & 13th October and the 9th and 17th November 2020. The Football Federation of Belize has been meeting to develop a well sought out plan for the “A” National Team.

The making of a legend – piecing together the “Paama” Davis story – Part 1
When you start talking with an old timer, a legend in Belize sports, you don’t exactly know where you are heading; the conversation takes twists and turns, and what seemed simple at first, starts becoming more complicated; and soon you find that you need to understand and explain a lot more to get a complete picture and wholesome background to events that unfolded, and eventually became, as we sometimes say, “the stuff of legends.” Wilfred “Paama” Davis, the legendary Belizean sportsman (football/basketball/baseball), was not born inside the Jewel.

Brother Clinton, Samuel Haynes is a great hero
I think the capitalists, socialists, and communists are similarly crafty when they take snippets from a person’s life to make a story to suit their ends. I understand why that is done, the necessity to satisfy an objective, but it is very unfair, and when we get a chance we should tell the full truth about a brother. I think a lot of brown people don’t understand that they don’t know what it means to be black. We brownies can identify with the cause, we can have family who are in the middle of the struggle, we can try to put our feet in the shoes of our brother, but if you aren’t black you can never know the full experience.

Slavery and the Oligarchical System – Belize
On Monday, June 22, it was announced that the holding company that owns the Belize Bank Ltd. was in the process of buying out the assets and liabilities of Scotia Bank (Belize) Ltd. Then, one month later, on July 22, a peaceful demonstration by the Christian Workers Union at the Port of Belize Ltd, which is under receivership under the Ashcroft alliance (Private Investment Ltd. and British Caribbean Bank Ltd.), erupted in violence. Emotions, frustration and disbelief are still running high, and truth and insight have taken a walk.

Clinton says he invented the term “PUDP”
There have been a lot of wrongful behavior in Belize from its inception. One example would be the hypocrisy of many leaders and members of the religious organizations. From the beginning, religion has served to dominate the minds of others and also as a weapon for wars, self-enrichment and the acquisition of power, which leads to arrogance. The Cross and the Christian Holy Bible that were brought to this continent and were introduced in Africa, were forced, with the sword and the whip, unto the people as the absolute truth. Today, such a belief system is not practiced among the majority of Europeans. Instead, it is used as the means to accomplish conditional power. Religious fanatics have been one of the most effective and strategic weapons of war of all time.

Musings by the Curious Nonconformist
I’ve long had discomfort with receiving gifts from people — not the thoughtful ones that make you warm and fuzzy inside; I love those. I’m talking about the ones that you know must be repaid sometime down the road of life. With that perspective and life principle you can deduce that I have a problem with many things in Belize: the way scholarships are awarded, paying for votes, and corporate philanthropy. Today’s thoughts will focus on the last of these three. If you were educated here in Belize, you know what philanthropy is, because we’ve had a March holiday to celebrate the person who we are told is our greatest benefactor, Baron Bliss — a man who left a huge chunk of his bequest to Belize after never stepping foot on our mainland.

Brian Plummer quotes virologist David Marchant
Dear Editor, We must learn to live with COVID-19. On August 9, 2020, there were 20,024,263 cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 773,995 deaths. University of Alberta virologist David Marchant, who has spent his research life looking for a treatment for the dangerous respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), said that adding vaccines aren’t a certainty. “I’m not optimistic that we’ll find a vaccine in the next few years because we have so little data on the coronavirus,” said Marchant, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Viral Pathogenesis.

Rogelio “Rojas” “Chi-chi” Cuellar passes
Dear Editor, Just found out through Facebook that Rogelio “Rojas” “Chi-chi” Cuellar, my friend and neighbor from many years ago, has passed away. The Cuellar family was a staple for many years on Main St. in Orange Walk, where they resided directly in front of Hi-Lite Club. They had a boarding house and restaurant, referred to as “The Dungeon”, because the rooms were below street level, where many of Hi-Lite Club’s customers and employees of B.S.I. lodged.

The Reporter

Two Belmopan Medical Center Staff Members Have Covid-19
The Belmopan Medical Center has just issued a release informing the public that two additional staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the press release both patients including registered pharmacist Elroy S. Franco and lab technician Jeser N. Leon have agreed to release their names to the public. The release went on to say that the results were released last night and that both patients recollect having practiced proper hygiene and etiquette while they were serving customers at the facility. In total three employees of the Belmopan Medical Center have tested positive for COVID-19.


The relation between illegal wildlife trading and pandemics
Crocodiles are a protected species in Belize, but like many others, it is hunted illegally, and its meat is sold in markets around the world. While this act greatly damaged ecosystems, it can also be harmful to human lives if unhealthy meat is consumed.

Chicken flying off the shelves
Several residents and business owners are being inconvenienced as there is an apparent shortage of chicken at the stores and retail outlets. The coolers at Caribbean Chicken are next to bare while the shutters at Quality Poultry Products are closed today.

CXC explains new grading system
The covid-10 pandemic has had a great effect on the way the CSEC exams were administered, including the proposed date that students should have taken them. With the changes the Caribbean Examinations Council has gotten innovative with a new grading system to accommodate them as well as to ensure that performance is at the same level of previous years.

Student union joins NTUCB
The National Trade Congress Union of Belize has accepted the National Student Union of Belize as a member of the NTUCB. On August 5 the Student union sent a letter to the NTUCB expressing their interest in becoming a member of the NTUCB.

Mose denies allegations of corruption
Was someone paid to block the gates at Port of Belize Limited three weeks ago? That is the question that still remains. On July 22 GSU officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at workers of PBL while they were protesting.

CWU president addresses concerns of stevedores
We have been closely following the story between two stevedores and their issues with the Christian Workers Union. The two stevedores have been saying that 4% of their salaries is deducted and placed into a stevedore fund due to an intermediate agreement that was signed back in 2017.

BPP fighting to legalize Hemp and Marijuana
The Belize Progressive Party is calling for the legalization of marijuana and hemp. The third-party issued a statement on social media last night indicating that the legalization would increase tax revenues, provide more jobs, and create investment opportunities. The BPP has not fleshed out its proposal on the issue but has noted that Belizeans currently spend twenty million dollars per year on marijuana for recreational use. Today we sought a preliminary statement from the Party Leader, Patrick Rogers on the movement.

The new norm; Masks and social distancing
The new norm under Covid-19 entails the wearing of masks, social distancing, and washing hands frequently. With a community spread happening and several clusters identified, we set out to the streets of the old capital to see how abiding residents are of these Covid-19 precautions. Key areas of concern were public transportation including buses and boats. Unlike several photos that have popped up on social media, our newsroom was unable to spot anyone person not wearing a mask. Love News visited the Novelo’s Bus terminal, San Pedro Belize Express, and Ocean Ferry Water Taxi terminal and we were able to speak to a Security Officer at Ocean Ferry, tasked with enforcing the measures.

PUP comments on Health Sector in Belize
Tonight the People’s United Party (PUP) is saying that the health monitoring system in Belize has collapsed and that the Government has mis-spent resources over the last five months. It is quite an accusation against the Barrow administration and those at the forefront and behind the scenes at the Ministry of Health.

Negotiations between PBL staff and CWU continue
The situation between the Port of Belize Limited and the Christian Workers Union has relaxed significantly and both parties have been having regular meetings to chart a way forward. Currently they are in negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the PBL staff.

Another Day, Another Case
Since March 20 when the first Covid-19 case was confirmed there have been one hundred and seventy-six more confirmed cases around the country. The latest information out of the Ministry of Health came last night indicating that twenty-three new cases were uncovered yesterday.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

33 new cases of COVID-19 identified; 2 patients hospitalized
The Office of the Director of Health Service has informed that 33 new cases of […]

Domestic incident ends in man chopped in downtown Punta Gorda
Police are investigating a fight and chopping incident that happened this afternoon in downtown Punta […]

Machete-wielding madman beaten and chopped up with own weapon in PG
Police in Punta Gorda are investigating an incident in which a man allegedly wielding a […]

The United Kingdom reports near 100 percent drop in deaths, hospitalizations from COVID-19
While still among the top five nations in the world for cases (312, 789) and […]

Russian President greenlights COVID-19 vaccine after only months of testing: uses it on own family
The BBC reports that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has approved the mass production of the […]

Teen, 19, accused of raping 11-year-old boy
A teenage labourer from Northern Belize has been accused of a disturbing crime – raping […]

National Student Union becomes latest member of Trade Union Congress, pledges to uphold social justice advocacy
Today, the National Students’ Union of Belize (NSUB) officially announced becoming the 12th member of […]

Kamala Harris can become first black vice president of the US
Presidential candidate, Joe Biden announced today that he has picked Senator Kamala Harris as his […]

New tropical depression forms in Atlantic Ocean
The National Hurricane Center is closely monitoring a new tropical depression that has formed in […]

Belize registers 177 cases of COVID-19
The country has now registered 177 confirmed cases of COVID-19. On Monday, the Ministry of […]

Central Prison suspends inmate visits due to COVID-19 spike
The Kolbe Foundation Central Prison at Hattieville has announced it will temporarily suspend visits to […]

Health officials monitoring 143 active cases of COVID-19
Health officials are now monitoring 143 active cases of COVID-19 in Belize. The Ministry of […]


Will Belize’s Airport Reopen in September?
At time of writing, there is no official date for when Belize will reopen its international airport. However as Belize takes a cautious approach, the Prime Minister Rt. Dean Barrow highlights the current stance is but a delay – not an infinite postpone. Regarding airlines resuming service to Belize at reopening, PM Barrow stated the following at two virtual press conferences: “We are only talking at this point about a delay in the reopening. There is no date for certain when PGIA will reopen. Of course, when the new date will be depends on a number of things. Firstly how quickly the situation, which has literally exploded on us in a matter of the past few days, is under control. Delta, in any event, was not coming until September 3rd. We’ve already reached out to United, who is prepared to push that back to September 3rd or thereafter. ”

How To Get Belize Residency
Living in Belize is a dream for many people. You can make that happen by getting official residency here. Thousands of expatriates and retirees have made their dreams come true in Belize. Here’s how to get residency so you can live here. When you enter Belize as a tourist, you’re legally allowed to stay for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, you must renew your tourist visa for another month. To do this, you must visit the immigration office in Belmopan or Belize City. If you do this for 12 months, you’ll have official residency. During that time, you cannot spend more than 14 days outside Belize. Each month you renew your visa, you must pay $25US monthly for the first six months. You must pay $50US for the next six months. After the year is over, you can apply for permanent residency. The cost for US citizens is $1,000.

International Sourcesizz

EU-LAC Essay Contest on the Bi-Regional Partnership
The EU-LAC Foundations has launched the first EU-LAC Essay Contest on the Bi-Regional Partnership. It is a call for essays focused on the theme "The New Multilateralism in the Age of COVID-19 from the perspectives of European Union-Latin America and Caribbean relations". Applicants must be researchers or members of academic or civil society organisations, and nationals of one of the 61 member countries of the EU-LAC Foundation (Belize is a member country). Each applicant may submit a maximum of one essay to this contest.

First Case Of COVID-19 On Caye Caulker
More than four months after closing the Belize borders the first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed on La Isla Carinosa Caye Caulker. The Ministry of Health (MoH) has not yet linked the case in Caye Caulker to any of the previously confirmed cases. To go for months without any COVID cases, shows that most residents were very disciplined from the beginning of the pandemic. And together Caye Caulker can do this again! “Now, more than ever, we have to be diligent with the recommendations of wearing the mask properly, self distancing, washing our hands, not touching our faces, and not leaving our houses unless we have to,” a Caye Caulker resident says.

The Dark Side of Being a Female Shark Researcher
I was 21 years old when I encountered the place where sharks and television intersect. It was my first research internship, working with a famous shark scientist I had long admired but only just met. My second week, I was on a boat with a film crew, chumming for sharks in the background while the senior scientist dispensed expertise in the foreground. At one point, the film crew suggested I sit next to my hero on camera and repeat the prompt: “So, [Dr. Hero], why did you become a shark scientist?” For the beautiful green-eyed assistants, of course,” he replied, gesturing at me. I froze, silent, a nervous half-smile on my face.


  • Turtles, lionfish & volunteer life in Belize, 4min. Volunteers joining our Reef Conservation project in Belize live on an idyllic private island in the Caribbean and help local staff by collecting data, monitoring species and documenting sightings.

  • House Of Culture NEW Compound, 2min. The BCHCADRP started in 2014 and will conclude on October 9th, 2020. Our signature or primary restoration sub-component which is what our project was built around, was the rehabilitation and construction on the Government House property. in this component we rehabilitated the Government House, constructed a new House of Culture, rebuilt the Carriage House, installed a new parking lot, rehabilitated the grounds and sea wall areas. This sub-component project in the greater Downtown Rejuvenation Project was where a considerable portion of the total funds was invested.

  • The Government of Belize - Unemployment Relief Program Update, 39min. The Government has rolled out the second phase of the Unemployment Relief Program in the form of the MSME Support Program. It seeks to offer different levels of support to employers and entrepreneurs. Our guests shared the details of the different options and who qualifies to access the support. Dr. Leroy Almendarez - Executive Director, BELTRAIDE. Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett - Minister of State, Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development.

  • Ministry of Education - process of applying to home school children, 30min. We do not yet know when schools will reopen for the upcoming academic year. However, parents will be able to home school children if they prefer to avoid the normal face to face instruction. We invited Cecilia Smith, Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, to walk us through the process of applying to home school children for the upcoming academic year. She clarified important details about the requirements for interested applicants.

  • International Women's Commission - Spotlight Initiative in Belize, 30min. Cynthia Williams, Executive Director of the National Women's Commission was our guest to talk to us about the Spotlight Initiative in Belize. This program is being supported by the European Union and the United Nations. The goal is to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls through changing laws and national policies and strengthening institutions that are tasked with protecting women and girls. Our guest talked with us about why this program is important to changing the situation for women and girls in Belize. She explained that it takes a proactive approach empowering women and girls in the process to be their own advocates.

  • San pedro Belize, 11th August, 2020, 3min.

  • "Belize inna time of Covid" -19 episode 3, 18min. In this episode we joined Philip Bedran as he gives us a tour of the pine ridge area he manages and shares with us his plan for sustainability after wild fires. We also visit with BWRC and the displaced wild life from the wild fires that hit around the same time as Covid-19 in Belize, and we hear of there challenges " Inna time of covid-19.

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