Today's Belize News: August 15, 2015 - 08/15/15 11:39 AM
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
Exploring the unchartered water on the western coast
Ambergris Caye is known for its beautiful coastlines overlooking the Belize Barrier Reef- longest living reef system in this side of the world. But if you are looking for untouched, pristine and isolated marine environments, then the leeward side is the place to be! Where the sun sets on crystal clear waters, the western coast of Ambergris Caye is truly glorious! Here you can find several sand bars that are only accessible through boat and appear only during low tide- the minute the high tide rolls in it disappears just like Atlantic City. Not to mention all the secret beaches! This prime beach spot is located at the western entrance of Grand Belize Estate and go you can get there through both land and sea. This place was once considered the top secret destination, as only a few local knew about it. But today, this white sand beach is no longer a secret! As hundreds of locals and visitors flock to the site every week to get their healthy dose of sun, sand and sea!
“Kick it off” U-15 Football camp is underway
The San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC), through the sponsorship of the Government of Belize (GOB) is holding a football camp under the name “Kick it off” from August 3rd to August 14th. The camp is open for children ages 5 to 15 at the Santiago Castillo property on Blake Street. The training is being conducted by Brazilian “Profe” Jerson Voss along with Councilor Hector “Tito” Alamilla and Alex Sansorez. The camp concentrates on teaching the participants the fundamentals of football in order to further develop the sport in the country. As part of the camp, a local Under – 15 team will be trained in preparations for the National Tournament taking place from August 20th to the 24th in Belmopan City. Alamilla, Councilor in charge of Sports, indicated that the camp is a great way to discover and develop the skills of talented players, and so far the training has motivated many children. “These young players are the future players of our national selection. This is where it begins, and this is the foundation of the Belizean football sport. If we start training our future players from when they are very young, chances are that we will have a good yield of great players to represent us,” said Alamilla.
Blue Water Grill Donates to the San Pedro Polyclinic
The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II was the recipient of the monthly donation program from the Blue Water Grill (BWG). Every month, BWG raises funds to support different organizations on the island. For the month of July, Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II was chosen as the beneficiary of a $1,630 contribution, which will assist the clinic with its daily needs. This month around, the donation not only came from BWG, but also from The Phoenix Resort, who has joined the initiative. The customers at the BWG donated $705 which they matched, while The Phoenix Resort collected $110 from their guests which they also matched. At first, the donation was intended to be for the acquisition of an EKG Machine for the clinic; however, there are major needs at the clinic presently, thus, the donation will be used to buy spirometers, pulse oximeters and thermometers among other needed supplies.
Heritage Bank Limited moves to purchase First Caribbean assets in Belize
On Monday, August 3rd it was officially announced that Heritage Bank Limited (HBL) is in the process of buying over all assets from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)’s First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB). While the deal is expected to take a few months to be completed, HBL believes that this move will secure their place in Belize’s banking industry. But the news sparked controversy, as approximately 60 workers face possible employment termination due to the transaction. Since the transaction is an asset sale only, HBL is not mandated to hold on to employees under the previous administration. “The bottom-line is that CIBC is leaving Belize and once all the statutory and regulatory obligations to effect the sale are finalized, all employees will become redundant. As Rik Parkhill, Chief Executive Officer of First Caribbean International Bank explained, all current employees will be terminated as this is an asset sale only.
Wildlife Conservation Education Workshop Offered for Tour Guides
The focus of the workshop will be wildlife natural history, education, and conservation, with a special emphasis on the species housed at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. The goal of this workshop is to give the guides the opportunity to empower their knowledge base of Belize's iconic wildlife species, and to gain insight into some of the Zoo's most important wildlife conservation efforts. As a result, they may provide better naturalist tours for their visitors, and be inspired to help conserve Belize's natural heritage for future generations. Course Name: Wildlife Conservation Education Audience/Participants: Licensed tour guides (25 Guides per session) Instructor(s): Jamal Andrewin-Bohn Training Location: The Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Center Date/Hours: August 28th, 2015 (9:00 am - 4:30 pm) AND TENTATIVELY September 4th, 2015 - Based on Demand Pre-requisites: N/A Cost: $30.00 (Includes Lunch) Textbook and Course Materials: N/A Course Requirements: Laptop, project, animal artifacts, writing materials, classroom space.
Community Donations Help ACES Special Needs Program and School Repairs
During the summer break, Ambergris Caye Elementary School (A.C.E.S.) came across some unexpected repairs. When the school was in need, Grand Caribe Belize, a luxury resort specializing in condo rentals, came to the rescue. Grand Caribe Belize aided A.C.E.S. by donating almost 30 gallons of exterior paint and 15 gallons of acrylic and oil based paints. Earlier in June, Blue Water Grill presented a check of $1,484.00 towards Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES)'s scholarship program for children with disabilities. This was as part of the restaurant’s ‘Monthly Donation Program’. During the month of May, the restaurant’s customers donated $782.00 which BWG matched 100%. Blue Water Grill also announced that an anonymous donor from Houston made contact with them, pledging to donate an additional $3,000 to the ACES program for special needs children.
Misc Belizean Sources
BASICS OF LABOUR LAW Workshop provided by SBDCBelize
Workshop Date: August 20th, 2015 9am to 12pm. This session on Basics of Labour Law will cover various acts under Labour Legislation which includes: Chapter 287- SHOPS ACT Chapter 297- LABOUR ACT (including Amendment #3 of 2011) Chapter 298 - SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES IN ESSENTIAL SERVICES ACT Chapter 299 - TRADE DISPUTES (ARBITRATION AND INQUIRY) ACT Chapter 304 - TRADE UNIONS AND EMPLOYERS' ORGANIZATIONS (REGISTRATION, RECOGNITION AND STATUS) ACT The Labour Department's mandate, among many others, is enforcement and compliance with these legislation's. This will all be related to Belize's international obligations as a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Additionally, the session will provide an overview of as it relates to the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. LOCATION: BTEC Building (Innovation Room) ITVet compound. Includes - Refreshments only
Placencia Lagoon Fieldtrip
Yesterday's science camp took us out to snorkel in the mangroves of the Placencia Lagoon. We found some amazing flora and fauna on the submerged mangrove roots. Everyone was amazed at the diversity of this important ecosystem!
Saga Humane Society's BBQ Blast at Estel's!
Come enjoy a huge plate full of Charles' world famous BBQ while helping the homeless animals of San Pedro. Your plate will include Estel's baked beans and vegetable kabobs, as well as a delectable dessert! We will have live music to listen to while enjoying your meal. As always, we will also have some great raffle prizes! Tickets are $60 BZ each, and will be pre-sold at Estel's, Pampered Paws, and the Saga clinic. These will go quickly, so come reserve your seat today!
SAGA HUMANE SOCIETY TO HOST FIRST EVER INTERNATIONAL HOMELESS ANIMALS DAY
Saga Humane Society Recognizes Homeless Animals Throughout The World With An Adoption Extravaganza on Saturday August 15th From Noon To 5p.m. At Ford Dog This Saturday afternoon from noon until 5p.m., volunteers, friends and staff will host the first ever International Homeless Animals Day at Saga Humane Society Fort Dog on Sea Grape Street in San Pedro. To honor homeless dogs, Saga will be showing all of their Dogs, Cats, Puppies, and Kittens who are available for adoption. Saga Humane Society Chairman Kevin Smith commented, “Saturday’s adoption event is a great way to celebrate International Homeless Animals Days. Potential adopters can come to Fort Dog, see all of the dogs, talk with Saga staff and volunteers and hopefully go home with their new Best Friend”. Adoption councilors and Saga volunteers will be on hand Saturday to interview potential adopters. The adopters can interact with the dogs and cats, ask questions about the animals, learn about activity levels and behavior and get matched with the perfect Best Friend.
H.E. Patrick Andrews Presents Credentials to the Organization of American States
H.E. Patrick Andrews presented his credentials today, August 14, as the Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C. H.E. Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, received the credentials as head of the Organization. In his remarks, H.E. Almagro commented that the organization was honored that Belize has selected such a distinguished ambassador who has had such an accomplished career. He emphasized the good relations with Belize and expressed warm wishes and congratulations on Ambassador Andrews' new post. In his remarks, Ambassador Andrews highlighted Belize's privileged position in the region as the link between the two sub regions of Central America and the Caribbean. He reiterated Belize's commitment to the OAS and its basic principles of supporting democracy, integral development, multidimensional security, and human rights in the Western Hemisphere.
Annual Traditional San Joaquin Fiesta
Aug 14 - Inauguration of the Annual Traditional San Joaquin Fiesta starts tonight at the San Joaquin Fair in Central Park with the Inaugural Ceremony along with the Coronation of Miss San Joaquin Fiesta 2015 and presentation of the Hogs Head dance(Mayan Dance) 7:30 PM 10:00 p.m. Dance with Techno Band. There is also great food, cultural events, and carnival rides and games for the children and adults to enjoy. So what are you waiting for, come show your Belizean Pride. Sat. Aug. 15th San Joaquin Fair Schedule: 3:00 PM - San Joaquin Vs. San Pedro Ambergis 7:30 PM -Noche de Talento con Estrellas de San Joaquin Talent Night 9:30 PM -Dance the night away with the music Gilharry Seven Gilharry. Sunday Aug. 16th End of the San Joaquin Fiesta 4:00 PM - Novena al Patron San Joaquin 5:00 PM- Misa al Patrono San Joaquin 7:30 PM- 9:00 PM- Surpassing Silence Rock Band Dance along with the music of Gilharry Seven Gilharry
National Security Council Meeting on BTV Excursion to Sarstoon Island
The National Security Council (NSC) of Belize met in a special session this afternoon to consider the security and citizen protection issues arising out of this Sunday's planned expedition by the civilian group Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) to the Sarstoon River Island in Southernmost Belize. Arising out of that meeting, the NSC makes the point that Belize's military has been asserting sovereignty over our side of the Sarstoon on a continuing basis. This is done operationally by the ferrying of our troops on a regular basis up the river to our outpost at Cadenas. The changing of the guard there occurs on a weekly basis, and soldiers going in and those coming out are transported by our military boats. This exercise gives rise to countless encounters with the Guatemalans since they dispute our ownership of the river and claim it to be a recognized part of their national territory, but we maintain and act upon our sovereign position.
PRESS RELEASE: THE BELIZE SHRIMP INDUSTRY PLOTS ITS WAY FORWARD
The shrimp industry in Belize is this week more certain of the way forward to addressing some of its challenges and how the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) can help producers, processers and distributors improve quality and possibly increase exports. This follows an intensive three-day CALIDENA Diagnostic workshop that was the result of collaboration on the shrimp industry between the BBS, its regional umbrella body – the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and funders, the International Technical Cooperation Department of the German Metrology Institute (PTB). The CALIDENA methodology under the CROSQ-implemented and PTB-funded project – Establishment of a Demand-Oriented and Regionally Harmonized Quality Infrastructure in the Caribbean (RQI 4), has been focussed on improving the quality infrastructure in agriculture-related value chains among the CROSQ Member States. The term “value chain” is based on the concept that the value of a product is created at various stages in production, and looks at all the steps from creation to market, as well as the relationships behind the companies involved in developing the product.
The National Security Council (NSC) of Belize met in a special session this afternoon to consider the security and citizen protection issues arising out of this Sunday's planned expedition by the civilian group Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) to the Sarstoon River Island in Southernmost Belize. Arising out of that meeting, the NSC makes the point that Belize's military has been asserting sovereignty over our side of the Sarstoon on a continuing basis. This is done operationally by the ferrying of our troops on a regular basis up the river to our outpost at Cadenas. The changing of the guard there occurs on a weekly basis, and soldiers going in and those coming out are transported by our military boats. This exercise gives rise to countless encounters with the Guatemalans since they dispute our ownership of the river and claim it to be a recognized part of their national territory, but we maintain and act upon our sovereign position. The incidents arising from this usually take the form of Guatemalan shadowing and sometimes attempted interceptions of our military boats, but the Belizean military have handled and will continue to handle all these encounters. They are trained and skilled in doing so. They have thus succeeded in maintaining our sovereign, operational use of our side of the river, and they have done so without having to fire a shot. They are the ones, and the only ones, to continue successfully to do this. Civilians for all the reasons that are so obvious and overpowering, have no business placing themselves in harm's way and complicating and endangering our military's accustomed, tried and true way of dealing with Guatemala's claimed ownership of all of the Sarstoon.
Sunday Sarstoon Showdown
The Belize Territorial Volunteers are heading to Sarstoon Island for a patriotic party on Sunday - but, the way things have been going, the Guatemalan Navy could just end up crashing that party - which could turn ugly. We say that because in the past few months the Guatemalans have given every indication that they consider the island to be disputed territory - even though it is recognized in Belize as the southern boundary of Belize. The Guatemalans recent hostility towards the Coast Guard and the volunteers suggest that Sunday could be another showdown in the Sarstoon - and, we gather, this is causing some anxiety in Belmopan. That's why the Prime Minister called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council this evening. The PM chairs the council and their statement issued half an hour ago says, quote, "The National Security Council (NSC) of Belize met in a special session this afternoon to consider the security and citizen protection issues arising out of this Sunday's planned expedition" It continues, quote, "Belize's military has been asserting sovereignty over our side of the Sarstoon on a continuing basis. This is done operationally by the ferrying of our troops on a regular basis up the river to our outpost at Cadenas. The changing of the guard there occurs on a weekly basis, and soldiers going in and those coming out are transported by our military boats. This exercise gives rise to countless encounters with the Guatemalans since they dispute our ownership of the river and claim it to be a recognized part of their national territory, but we maintain and act upon our sovereign position." End quote.
Coast Guard Will Stand Down, Advisedly
And so, now that the government has announced that it has, quote, "a contingency plan to try to deal with all possible consequences" - what does that mean for the Coast Guard? They're the ones tasked with keeping Belizeans safe on the sea - but as you just heard, it's the BDF that knows how to handle the Guatemalans in the Sarstoon. The Commander of the Belize Defence Force has already said that they cannot accompany these civilians because their presence could be an aggravating factor. And what about the Belize Coast Guard? That's what we asked the commander, Admiral John Borland today: Admiral John Borland, Commander, Belize National Coast Guard "I've seen that latter and as you've said you were hoping that I would entertain you. Unfortunately I can't. The government of Belize has given its position on this matter, on this issue. I go with what my civilian leadership decides. As you know we are a discipline armed organization, we follow orders and we go by the policies of those that we have committed to support in our duty as a member of a military force." Reporter "Sir, do you know whether or not the government had decided to send the coast guard along?" Admiral John Borland "The last I have heard when I saw the news last night, there hasn't been any decision to send the coast guard on any mission to support in escorting or providing cover for those people going in on that expedition. I believe that there may be a need to provide for maritime safety, as we saw the last time a expedition went where they went despite a small craft warning and those vessels were overloaded.
Bishop Blesses Expedition
Of course, that refers to earthly contingencies - the Bishop of the Catholic Church did his best to take care of the divine ones today. Bishop Dorick Wright, was invited to bless the expedition at the departure point in Barranco, but his health doesn't allow him to make such an arduous trek. So, instead of doing the blessing on site, he invited BTV member Orlando De La Fuente to his office in Belize City so that he could pray for the Belizeans going on the trip. We dropped by and spoke with the Bishop to see if he supports those going. Here's what he said: Orlando De La Fuente, member - BTV "Bishop Wright was once posted in Orange Walk and so he has spoken over the last few weeks, but I was not aware that his health was deteriorated so much and so he agreed that he will say a prayer for us and blessed this expedition that he will not be able to make the expedition himself physically. That's what we were here to do this morning. I was here to receive the Bishop blessing on behalf of the Belize Territorial Volunteers and it means a lot to us that he did this and he took the time to do it."
Bishop Speaks On Earthly Disputes
But, in his session today, the Bishop didn't confine his functions to the divine, he also commented on matters earthly. He gave the press his views on the territorial dispute: Bishop Dorick Wright - Leader, Catholic Churches In Belize "From I was small I've been hearing about this Guatemalan claim. I don't know if it was ever done to land before, but they were claiming. But its something I think they enjoy hanging over our heads. I don't care for it. It's going to hurt us in the end." When the Bishop was asked about his opinion of going to the ICJ, he said that he will choose to trust that the Civilian leaders have the country's best interests at heart: Bishop Dorick Wright - Leader, Catholic Churches In Belize "We heard so many things about the ICJ. I am not certain I know which, because I've heard some say if we go we will lose and some say if we go we will win. Some say we shouldn't go because they have no right to make decisions for us. Others say that decision has been already made, so if all that is true then I don't think we should go. If that decision was made at Independence, maybe we should not go. But I leave it up to the government and hope that in their prudence, they will make the right decision. But I really would not like them to just run into this. Listen to everybody and see what can be a sensible decision that can be made."
New OAS Ambassador Sworn In
And while the Bishop blessed De La Fuente, Belize's new Ambassador to the OAS may have a baptism by fire after Sunday's expedition. PAT ANDREWS may be pressed into service early in his term to smooth out frayed post expedition relations between Belize-Guatemala-and the OAS. The former Scotia Bank Manager presented his credentials today as the Permanent Representative of Belize to the OAS in Washington, D.C. Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, received the credentials and described Andrews as distinguished with an accomplished career. Andrews takes over from Nestor Mendez - who was elected as the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS.
Finnegan Market Madness
The Michael Finnegan Market on West Collet Canal in Belize City is probably the busiest market in the country, and on Friday and Saturday mornings, it's always bustling with shoppers, vendors, and wholesalers. Today, though, there was something else added into the mix, and that's police and city constables. They were clearing the street side of wholesalers - who, the city says, sell to the vendors and then turn around and sell to regular buyers as well - for a wholesale price. That's why the city was moving them today - but it didn't go down well with the vendors who have their own story. They called us out there at 5:00 am - and here's what we found:.. Luis Cocom, Driver "They want to take the key from the small truck. The police with 2 motorcycle came to move us." Sebastian "Sabe" Nunez, Works with Importers "But we are the wholesalers Jules. They have their costumers, they have restaurants, they have little shops and things. It's so good that they are selling their things the same price as the market for. So the people from the market don't need to get angry by dropping a 25 cents, or a 5 cents less and their things can't be sold the same price we sell the market people for, we are also selling our customers that we have at the truck.
Cops Sweep Into Market, With Force
But when we left at about 5:45 am - all the wholesalers were still there on the streetside -just not directly in front of the market. Well, by 6:30 - that would change as police swooped in to completely move them from Collet Canal - and that's when things got a little tense. We went back out there - and here's what we found:.. Today the mayor commented via text message; he told us that the wholesalers were moved because they do retail sales without a trade license and unfairly compete with the market vendors. He says the council has been trying to work with them, but they do not cooperate. He says they have been relocated to Hicattee Street, not Bocotora as was mentioned in the story.
Two Killed In Northern Highway Accident
There was a fatal accident between miles 5 and 6 on the Northern Highway this evening. A total of five persons were injured and two were killed when a white Mercedes Benz crashed into a pickup truck. We spoke to Officer Commander Eastern Division Rural about the accident:.. Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Commander, Eastern Division Rural "Preliminary investigation has thus far revealed that we had two vehicles overtaking the line of traffic, one managed to squeeze in to the lane while the white Mercedes failed to get in the lane and then collided into the white pickup truck. As a result of that we had two fatality from the pickup truck. The driver had been escorted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital along with 4 others from out of the white Mercedes." Reporter "Can you confirm to us, the white pickup was heading down into Belize City?" Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster "The white pickup was heading towards Belize City, while the white car was heading towards Ladyville." Reporter "Can you say who the persons within the white car were?" Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster "Like I said, preliminary investigations reveal that 4 persons were in the white car while 3 were in the pickup. The two fatality we have was from the pickup truck."
Bryan Hyde Arraigned For The Florida Triple Homicide
We have more details tonight on the Belizean triple murder in Lehigh Acres Florida - a case US authorities are calling "Unimaginable". As we told you last night 19 year old Camalote resident Bryan Hyde has been charged with 3 counts of 2nd degree murder and 1 count of killing an unborn child by harming the mother. Roaring Creek native Dorla Pitts, her pregnant daughter Starlette Pitts and her boyfriend Myke Kelly were found stabbed to death in their home on Tuesday morning - the only survivor: Starlette's and Myke's 1 year old baby girl. Today was Bryan Hyde's first day at court and we have a clip from NBC 2 news in Lehigh outlining the proceedings. In terms of the case, Bryan Hyde was brought in for driving without a license hours after the incident but turns out blood was also found on his pants, fingers and there was a palm print at the scene as well. Now while his next court date is set for next month, the mother of Myke Kelly and other family members have to deal with this shock. We have another clip from NBC 2 news in which the family describes their utter dismay in this latest update.
A Tale Of Terror In Teakettle
A mother and her daughter in the Cayo District are fearing for their lives after a man threatened to kill them at their home. Last night at around 10:30, 23 year old Jenny Baide was with her mom at their Teakettle home when they heard the dogs barking outside. When they checked they saw a man hiding behind their neighbor's vehicle in the yard. We spoke with a shaken Jenny Baide about the frightening encounter that followed. Jenny Baide, Pulled a machete to defend herself "We had an intruder in our home. Well, he trespass in our yard by jumping the fence and it was so scary because it's just me and my mom and as females we have no one to defend us. So I had to do my next best. He came from through the back of the fence. He jumped in the back yard. He came around but we heard the dog barking. It's the little Chihuahua inside the house. So that alerted us. I actually saw a shadow at my window. My window is the middle room and I thought it was just my mind. My mom came up and said no she saw someone. So we cut off all the lights. So if we looked out no glare in the house would affect our vision but when we looked through our kitchen window, we saw nothing.
It made big news in May when Efrain Alpuche, the security guard of PUP Politician Ramon Monchie Cervantez, was jointly charged with Orange Walk resident, Saulito Vasquez for allegedly setting fire to BSI's cane fields on the San Lorenzo Road. Well tonight, the news is that the arson charges against both men have been withdrawn. We've been trying to find out why such a drastic change, because 3 months ago, the police were sure that they had enough to successfully prosecute the case. Well, both Alpuche and Vasquez showed up to court for their adjournment, the police prosecutor informed the sitting magistrate that the prosecutors from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has issued a directive to them that these charges must be withdrawn against both men due to a lack of evidence. So, they're free, and Efrain Alpuche told us this evening that he is of course happy that this criminal charge is no longer hanging over his head. He said that absolutely no explanation was offered for his sudden acquittal, but he was sure that this would be the eventual outcome.
Security Minister Saldivar's Facebook Snap
At the top of the newscast, we told you about the emergency meeting of the national security council to discuss contingencies for Sunday's trip to Sarstoon Island by the territorial volunteers. That release spoke about the routine harassment and intimidation from the Guatemalan military that the BDF has to endure when they patrol the Sarstoon. Well, National security minister John Saldivar has also weighed in with a facebook post that went up an hour ago. It says, quote, "Who is promoting this foolishness that we have not been asserting our sovereignty over the Sarstoon Island and River? …every week our Belize Defence Force patrols the Sarstoon River on the way to our permanent outpost up that same river called Cadenas." Saldivar adds, quote, "On many occasions when the BDF enter the Sarstoon they are confronted by the Guatemalan Navy who have made numerous attempts to stop the BDF from patrolling the river and proceeding to Cadenas. On every single occasion the BDF have asserted that they are in Belizean territory and on every occasion they have proceeded to carry out their mission.
The Few, The Proud, The Coast Guard?
In recent months, we've shown you how the Belize National Coast Guard has been working to improve the capacity of its officers to deal with the evolving challenges they face while carrying out their duties as the protectors of Belize's territorial seas. Well, 16 officers attached to the fleet squad participated in specialized training conducted by the United States Marine Corps. It was 6 weeks of intense training, but these officers managed to impress their trainers and graduate with flying colors. We spoke with their Commander and the facilitators this morning: Admiral John Borland, Commander BZ National Coast Guard "The coastguard is going through a transformation process where we were now evolving to develop the fleet that was once referred to as the coast guard fleet. It will now be transferred to the coast guard infantry marine division. So all of these men and women that are standing behind me now have to be transformed into becoming marines. They will still do their coast guard training, but that takes place at a different time.
De-Risking Banks And The Investment Climate
Yesterday, the media had an opportunity to speak with Trade Ministry CEO Mike Singh in his role as co-chair of the Economic Development Council - which held a meeting to discuss improvements to the business climate. Well, it also gave the press an opportunity to ask him about the de-risking that banks from the US and the European Union continue to do. In the process, they're terminating correspondent banking relations. Belize Bank, Belize Bank International and Atlantic International Bank have all been had their ties with Bank of America severed. So, the press asked Singh about the efforts that the Government is making to try to assist the principals of these banks. Here's what he had to say on the difficult issue: Mike Singh, Ministry of Trade "We spoke about the issue of the AML issues which is where the corresponding banking issue came up. I think the deputy governor of the central bank did a presentation explaining that this is not a phenomenon that is only affecting the Belize, it really is a regional phenomenon. Bank of America and many of the larger banks are undergoing what we call de-risking and that is through the requirements for reporting to the anti-money laundering authorities, globally, has forced them to start looking at the customers that they have and in reality the customers of their customers. So the issue that happens with these large banks is very simply that if a small country like Belize that has customers that they are unable to verify.
And putting back on his hat as Co-Chair of the Economic Development Council, Singh discussed taxation - which is always a sore point between government and the private sector. Mike Singh, Ministry of Trade "The issue of taxation, there's a feeling on one side that perhaps we over tax and there's a feeling on the other side that the private sectors are under paying. and some of the issues that we brought up is really in need of more efficient collection, reporting and perhaps relooking at our tax system to see how we can divide it and examine it better so that we can look at what the true costs of taxes are for businesses and maybe come up with a system that would be more promoting of businesses as opposed to preventing business. So taxation I think is a good area where we saw the difference in the point of view. As you might imagine, as public officers, we have to think about how we're going to run the country, pay public officers, how are going to pay for infrastructure, security and all those things. On the other hand businesses will look at taxation as how it is impacting, because if you're taxing me too much I can't make a profit. So that I think, was a really good example of how we saw a meeting of minds."
Celebrating World Youth Day
United Nations International Youth Day was celebrated on Wednesday around the world, but celebrations continued in Belize today with a National Youth Day Expo. Youths across the country were invited to the ITVET to engage and participate in positive activities and entertainment. We stopped in and found out more from Sabrina Daly, the public relations officer in the Department of Youth Services: The 2015 International Youth Day theme is Youth Civic Engagement.
VERDES FC: A Chance To Be Champions
Last night, we showed you a small portion of the press conference held by the Verdes Football Club, this year's Champions of the Premier League of Belize. They will be the first to participate in the 2015-2016 CONCACAF Champion's League since 2008. We have a bit more tonight from Verdes FC in which the principals of the football club explain why you should support them as they represent the country in this tournament. That's because on Tuesday, Verdes will become the first Belizean team to play a Champion's League match at home. Here's what the other speakers at the head table had to say about that: The reason Verdes gets this opportunity is because the Football Federation of Belize finally managed to complete the FIFA funded upgrades to FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The Bandit Football Club was supposed to have had the distinct honor last year, but they got yanked out of the tournament last minute because the football pitch had not been completed in time.
In June of this year four hundred and sixty four Belize City students graduated from the police department's Gang Resistance Education and Training Program. It is a life skills program facilitated by police officers in an attempt at intervention in the lives of at risk youths. A part of the program involves motivating the youngsters to do well and rewarding them for their actions. Today 11 year old Jayden Herrera was one of those rewarded with five hundred dollars to help with his education. Here's how he earned that money. The GREAT program first started out as a pilot project in 2011 and quickly expanded.
Belize and Guatemala Asked the O.A.S. to Observe the BTV Expedition
The Belize Territorial Volunteers are in full gear for this weekend’s Sarstoon Island trek and have received the blessings of Bishop Dorrick Wright. One person whose blessings they don’t have [...]
BTV Asked for Coastguard Presence
The Belize Territorial Volunteers have formally requested the presence of the Belize National Coast Guard on their mission to Sarstoon Island this weekend. The call is for personnel from the [...]
Coastguard Cannot Entertain BTVs Request
Sunday’s expedition to Sarstoon Island will see a rather large civilian contingent representing various organizations, including the Northern Territorial Volunteers and COLA. The maritime leg of the journey, from Barranco [...]
BTVs Expedition Blessed By Bishop Wright
Notwithstanding stern warnings from government and its military branches, the BTV will be heading to Sarstoon Island on Sunday morning. But before doing so, Northern Territorial Volunteer Orlando de la [...]
Bishop Wright Weighs-In On Belize/Guatemala Dispute
The usually reserved Roman Catholic Bishop also chose to speak on the Guatemalan claim on Belize which is obviously close to his heart. He told media personnel that as far [...]
BTV Welcomes Senator Shoman on Expedition
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current P.U.P. Senator Lisa Shoman announced on Thursday that she would be on the expedition to Sarstoon Island. That resulted in an immediate government [...]
Fatal Traffic Accident Claims 2 Lives
There was a double fatality this evening at around five-thirty p.m. near miles seven and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. A total of five persons were injured in [...]
Coastguard Recruits Graduate
A cohort of naval officers attached to the Belize National Coast Guard graduated earlier today after completing an intensive curriculum geared towards promoting them to marines. For the past several [...]
Belize Jaguars Training for Canada Match
Talking about the Belize Jaguars…it’s been a while since we’ve heard about the team and their preparations for the third qualifying round of the World Cup 2018 Games. Late July, [...]
Belize Jaguars Need Your Help
This past week, the Football Federation of Belize has been ensuring that the players and the delegation heading to Canada were able to get their visas and required documents to [...]
Inspiration Center Celebrates With Belize Jaguars
Today at the Inspiration Center in Belize City, children who access the services of the center were treated to a family fun day. Along with their parents, the staff and [...]
Cop on Interdiction Gets Bail
Twenty-eight-year-old Dean Perez, a police officer on interdiction, is out on bail after his attorney Leeroy Banner was successful in applying for a stay of execution of his prison sentence. [...]
Sargassum in San Pedro: San Pedranos Respond
The Caribbean Tourism Organization has issued an official release on a seasonal visitor which has overstayed its welcome in the region. Sargassum seaweed originates in the Sargasso Sea and because [...]
Children on Pickstock Learn Puppeteering
A summer camp in the Pickstock Division taught over twenty students the art of puppeteering. The children spent a couple weeks learning how to make puppets and how to manipulate [...]
Expo for the Youths in Celebration of International Youth Day
International Youth Day was observed on Wednesday under the theme Youth Civic Engagement and today the Department of Youth Services led the charge with a youth expo at the ITVET. [...]
Soca Madness is Going Down, Carnival Style, on Saturday
One of the biggest events for the carnival season will be held this Saturday at the ITVET. It’s the seventh annual Soca Madness…the longest running dance competition associated with the [...]
YOUTHS CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY
Hundreds of youths from across the country today participated in a youth expo organized by the Department of Youth Services. The activity was a part of the celebration of international Youth Day which was held under the theme “Youth Civic Engagement”. Youth Officer Adrienne Young told us about the expo. Adrienne Young – Youth Officer […]
BELIZE’S OAS REPRESENTATIVE PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
Belize’s permanent representative to the Organization of American States today presented his credentials to the Secretary General. We hear more in this report from Pat Andrews – Belize’s Permanent Representative, OAS “The alliances we seek through the OAS with fellow member states ,with observer states, NGOs and civil society is crucial.” Kerne Stanley – OAS […]
HEAD OF ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SHOWS SUPPORT FOR BTV
Before heading off to Sarstoon Island on Sunday, Orlando de la Fuente stopped by the offices of Belize Roman Catholic Bishop, Reverend Dorrick Wright. He did so to receive blessings for a safe journey for him and all those who will be making the trip. Bishop Wright prayed over de la Fuente and several members […]
SECURITY PERSONNEL SAY THEY WILL NOT BE A PART OF EXPEDITION TO SARSTOON ISLAND
On Thursday Senator Lisa Shoman said you will be a part of the expedition to Sarstoon Island. As we reported, the Belize Territorial Volunteers has planned the expedition however national security personnel have advised against the undertaking. Yesterday Shoman said she wrote to the Ministry of National Security as she will be making the trip […]
TWO PERSONS DIE IN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
Two persons died in a road traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway. Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster “Preliminary investigations so far revealed that two vehicles were overtaking the line of traffic, one managed to squeeze into the lane. The white Mercedes failed to get into the lane and collided into the white pickup truck as […]
Bryan Hyde Charged for Triple Murder
Roaring Creek Resident19 year old Brian Hyde, the nephew of the now deceased Dorla Pitts, was charged today with three counts of second degree murder and one count of killing an unborn child by harming the mother. This is after the bodies of 37 year old Dorla Pitts, her pregnant daughter 17 year old...
Senator Lisa Shoman heads to Sarstoon Island
The Belize Territorial Volunteers have continuously defied the pronouncements of local and foreign authorities against their visits to the southern and western border markers. Those warnings have been repeated this week ahead of the Sunday, August 16 expedition to Sarstoon Island, even as there was ...
BTV’s latest Run-in with Guatemalan Military
On Tuesday the leaders of Belize Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia and Orlando De La Fuente stopped by our studios to speak about their planned trip to the Sarstoon Island this coming Sunday. It has been a topic of much conversation and as the date of for the trip nears, emotions are starting to bui...
All Belizeans Welcomed to go to Sartsoon
As you heard earlier in our news cast, Lisa Shoman has intentions of going on board the trip to the Sarstoon Island on Sunday August 16th. We asked Wil if having a former Foreign Minister and a current Senator, boosts their spirits and gives them an added sense of security moving forward with this h...
Young Innovators Programme in Belmopan
We reported last week on the battle between Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and concerned citizens led by Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, who complained about negative images of women depicted in various billboards and on Facebook that appeared to be endorsed by the company. The company’s apology l...
Chairman of Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers Association shot
The chairman of the Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers Association 34 year old Abizor Loza was hospitalized after being shot several times to this his right arm, reportedly, from a shotgun. Details are still sketchy as the incident was never reported to the Corozal police and the family members remain t...
21 year old man charged for sodomizing 6 year old boy
A 6 year old boy was sodomized by a 21 year old male in the Toledo district. On June 9, the 6-year-old male child of San Marcos Village, along with a parent, reported that he was sodomized by 21-year-old Samuel Choc of San Marcos Village. Today, police say their investigations into the allegations...