Today's Belize News: May 4, 2019 - 05/04/19 12:59 PM
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
Kids in Action 2019 Youth Summer Diving Program receives donations
Preparations for this year’s Kids in Action summer scuba diving program are underway with the San Pedro Tour Operators Association (SPTOA). The annual summer program is possible thanks to the contributions of different institutions on the island, and so far it has received its first set of donations. A $3,300 cheque from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) will go rowards purchasing material for the activity, while the Diver Alert Network-DAN has confirmed their contribution by providing insurance to the participants of this year’s event.
Child Development Foundation hosts domestic violence workshop in San Pedro Town
Child Development Foundation (CDF) held a domestic violence workshop for police officers, government agencies and community leaders of Caye Caulker and San Pedro at the Hope Haven Center in San Pedro Town on Tuesday, April 30th. The workshop aimed to provide sensitization on the legal framework, understanding the dynamics of intimate partner violence amongst law enforcement and other state agencies to establish adequate support systems and response protocols.
The Future Of Work: Opportunity Or Threat For Belize?
Article by Carmen Pages-Serra - There is no longer any doubt that we are facing what some scholars have called the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by new technologies that are transforming the world of work. It is a full-fledged technological tsunami, due to technological advances that are rapidly penetrating society and expanding across the globe at an unprecedented rate in the history of humanity. The aging of the population has also accelerated, especially in the Caribbean and Latin America. As an example, witness this statistic: it took the United Kingdom 75 years to double the percentage of people over 65 years old in its population, from 10% to 20%; this process took over 60 years in France and the United States; meanwhile, in Latin America and the Caribbean, it will only take an average of 30years.
Misc Belizean Sources
Becky G will perform at the 2019 International Costa Maya Festival
Becky G has been confirmed by the International Costa Maya Festival to be the Highlight Performer on International Night in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Festival runs July 26, 27, and 28, 2019! The announcement was made this morning at the Reef Radio Morning Show.
2019 Corozal Queen of the Bay Nominations
We are looking for the next Corozal Queen of the Bay. it's time to Nominate your sister, cousin or your best friend. If you are 17-24 years old this is your opportunity to embark yourself in one of the most prestigious pageant of the year!.
CFA FOOTBALL INCOROZAL ON SUMDAY
CFA FOOTBALL ACTION SEMI-FINALS for all Under 10, Under 13, Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 categories will be played this weekend ONLY on Sunday May, 5th at the Ricalde Stadium. Don't Miss Out. See the Schedule we shared earlier on this page. Bring out the entire family and enjoy this sizzling football action. Let's support our Corozal Youth. IT'S AN ALL DAY EVENT. Gate $3.00
Cashewfest 2019 & Agricultural Show
The Belize Tourism Board is a proud sponsor of this year's Cashew Fest & Agriculture Show. Come out and enjoy everything cashew at this fun family occasion on May 11 & 12!
SBDC Workshop: Customer Service for Managers & Business Owners
Presented by: Mrs. Lorraine Herrera-Montejo, Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Building, ITVET Campus, Belize City. Workshop Date: May 09th, 2019. Time: 9am to 3pm. This training seminar will assist in providing good customer service and gives you the skills you need to communicate professionalism, gain respect, enhance customer relationships and secure an overall competitive advantage through customer service excellence.
Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Cold Pursuit, Fighting with My Family, What Men Want, Prodigy. Game of Thrones episode 4 of 6 Sunday @ 7pm and 9pm
MINISTER WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR POSTAL SERVICES AND POST MASTER GENERAL MEET WITH TAIWANESE AMBASSADOR TO DISCUSS MATTERS OF MUTUAL INTEREST
In Belize City, yesterday, May 2, 2019, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Remus Li-Kuo Chen hosted Belize’s Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management (with responsibility for Postal Services) Hon. Edmond Castro and a delegation headed by Post Master General James Gabriel at a luncheon, where they discussed matters of mutual interest relating mainly to Postal Services. The main item discussed was preparation for the release of a series of stamps in commemoration of 30 years of diplomatic relations and strong friendship between the governments and people of Taiwan and Belize.
Lionel Arzu Sworn-in as Ombudsman for New Term
Mr. Lionel Arzu was sworn-in as the Ombudsman for a new term during a brief ceremony held at the Belize House this morning. The Office of the Ombudsman is tasked with receiving and investigating complaints by any person or body persons who claim injustice, injury or abuse or other wrongdoing by any authority. Upon completion of an investigation, the Ombudsman forwards in writing his findings and recommendations to the Principal Officer at the ministry, department, government agency, local authorities or public corporation as applicable. The Office also has the legal authority under the Freedom of Information Act, 1994, to review the decision of a public authority denying or deferring access to public documents.
MOTORCADE HONORING AND CELEBRATING THE BELIZE NATIONAL CRICKET TEAM
The Belize National Cricket Association (BNCA) announces that, in conjunction with Belize Rural North Area Representative Honorable Edmond Castro, Minister of Sports Honorable Patrick Faber, and the National Sports Council, is organizing a motorcade for today, Friday, May 3 honoring the Belize National Cricket Team and celebrating their recent accomplishment in Mexico where they won Gold in the 2019 Central American Championship Tournament. The motorcade starts in Bermudian Landing at 12:30 P.M. and the route is as follows...
Made in Belize June 1st
Agricultural Show Grounds, Belmopan City, 10am-5pm
Mother's Day 2019 Extravaganza!
Sunday May 12, Gates open at 5pmm, Show Starts at 7pm at the Hon. Louis Sylvester Sports Complex. Yeka Rosales from La Parodia all the way from Mexico! Will & Dale and Other Surprises!
World Pok Ta Pok Championships
Our Belize Ek Balam pok ta pok team has just defeated the mexican champion 46 to 8. Very proud of our team!
South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Yard Sale! Tag Sale!
Mark your calendars! Saturday, May 11th, 2019, Behind gas station next to Island Pool Supply. The first annual giant yard sale to raise money for SACNW. Donated from people all over town - furniture, tools, clothes, jewelry, art, books - you name it - we're selling it! All items priced to GO! ALL proceeds go to support the 100% donor funding South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch. We have had donations of all sorts of items come in from our neighbors. Signs have been hung all over town. All items priced for quick sale - GREAT prices.
The Alan Baker British\Belize Stamp Collection
Inside Corozal House of Culture.
Corozal training session conducted by BELTRAIDE
It was a successful day for local business persons and entrepeneurs at the training session conducted by BELTRAIDE. DFC in collaboration with the Corozal Town Council. Our local business persons were pleased to learn of the facilities offered by the DFC to materialize or expand their businesses. The Corozal Town Council fulfilling one more of its pledges to the Corozalenos!!!
Ambergris Hope Clinic issues cautionary letter to the Belize Diving Community and potential scuba divers visiting Belize
TO THE BELIZE DIVING COMMUNITY We feel that it is important to advise you of our concerns regarding Mr. Abner Bacab, specifically his actions since leaving the Belize Chamber Project_ During his time with BCP, his behavior became increasingly demanding, erratic and unacceptable, leading to his own resignation. Since then, Mr. Bacab has on numerous occasions, resorted to social media to defame and malign BCPL's management.
San Ignacio Festival
The SISE Town Council is having the San Ignacio Festival Saturday at Galvez Stadium. They'll have fun for the entire family. "THE SAN IGNACIO/SANTA ELENA TOWN COUNCIL PROUDLY COLLABORATES WITH THE COLORADO COMMUNITY OUTREACH GROUP FOR A FUN-FILLED FAMILY DAY ON MAY 4TH, 2019. LOTS OF PRIZES AND SURPRISES! FOR MORE INFORMATION KINDLY CONTACT COUNCILLOR SHARY MEDINA AND COUNCILLOR O'BRIEN!"
There are 3 job opportunities available at Ya’axché for Belizeans
This is your opportunity to join our team as Administrative Assistant, GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist or Development Director. Learn more about job specifics, application deadline and how to apply on Ya’axché's website!
The April 10th Referendum - In The Ashbin of History
The Elections and Boundaries Department and hundreds of public officers are getting ready for Wednesday, May 8th when all systems go live for the ICJ Referendum. But getting ready for that date means destroying all the tens of thousands of ballots that had been printed for the failed April 10th referendum. So, the Elections and Boundaries office had to set aside today to make an orderly destruction of all these papers - and they invited the media. Here's what the cameras saw: It might have been mistaken for a drug cargo, or some illicit product, seized and then burned here at Pine Lumber, mile 61 on the George Price Highway. But, these are actually voters ballots, numbered, bound, and assigned to constituencies, and then Condemned to history for a referendum that never happened. Today, the Chief Elections Officer oversaw the destruction along with the Chief Magistrate and a fleet of public officers. As they copiously annotated by series. The dismemberment and destruction of over 150 thousand ballots.
PUP and GOB Back To Court of Appeal
And the court case which forced the postponement of the April 10th referendum, turning all of these ballot papers into ash, was the PUP's lawsuit against the Government for the 2008 Special Agreement. We reported on that case on Monday, when it went back before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for case management. Lisa Shoman, the attorney for the Government, made an application to have the injunction he granted to the PUP lifted. It is currently not restraining the Government from following through with next week Wednesday's referendum, and so the Government considers it a formality that they wanted discharged. The PUP went to court last week to make an objection that the issue is no longer in his jurisdiction to resolve since the two sides have filed an appeal.
UDP Deputy Party Leader Lays Out Referendum Day Plan
But, all that litigation is on the event horizon.there are no court matters to be heard before May 8th; so, it should be smooth sailing to referendum day. And that means the political parties are warming up their engines. Earlier Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai acknowledged that the major political party machinery increases the voter turnout. Today, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber made no apologies when he said the UDP will be on the ground on referendum day getting voters to the polls. Here is how he put it. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "Well firstly it is not a red or blue issue, it is not a political, a party politics issue as is normally the case for the elections and so to begin with inside the counting room while we will have representation from the two major political parties...
Iconic Wadani Shed Burns
Tonight, Dangriga Town has lost a landmark after the legendary Wadani shed burnt down at 1:00 this morning. It's just a thatch roof structure on St, Vincent Street, but it's one of the leading night spots in town where many a game of dominoes, cards and dice is played. And on the 19th it rises to even greater prominence when it becomes the venue where all the drumming takes place. But, early this morning, the fire started mysteriously and spread quickly, devouring the very vulnerable building in less than 20 minutes. The Fire Department hasn't yet gotten a report on what caused the fire. Many in the town feel it might be a case of arson - but at this time there is no confirmation of that.
Police Charged Requena's Killer
The family of murdered Steadfast Villager Alberto Requena is still grieving his loss tonight, but they can be somewhat comforted to know that police have charged the man who allegedly knifed the 24 year old to death. He is also a 24 year old, named Emort Pineda and police have charged him for Murder. He is also form the village. Requena was riding his bike on the night of May first when a group of men attacked stabbed him multiple times. No motive is known for the murder.
Protesting For A Living Wage
Today a small group of about 50 protestors marched thought the city streets demanding a higher minimum wage and lower fuel prices. The group was led by Moses Sulph of The Belize Leaders For Social Justice. It's not the first time the group has organized a march - and not the first time either that the crowd has been less than overwhelming - but Sulph says the issues cut to the bone of social desperation so prevalent in society: Moses Sulph - Bze. Leaders for Social Justice: "What I'm concerned about is that we live in a country where we have 151,000 of our people living in poverty. That means every day; these 151,000 Belizean humans will be struggling to provide for themselves and their family..."
The PSE, Easy?
Social Studies and Math - those were the subjects that over 7 thousand primary school students tackled today in Day 2 of the PSE at 30 Examinations Centres across the country. Most of those centers are high schools and we passed by a few of them this afternoon when it was all over to ask them how it went. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "We are hoping that all will go well, we are hoping for some indication of improvement this year we have been working diligently especially as it relates to our Math and Language Arts curriculum and we are hoping this year we can see some of those changes coming into effect."
Only So Much Ministry Can Do For Teacher Victimized By Nude Pic
The case of the Muffles College High School teacher whose nudes were leaked has been in the news since the beginning of this year. She had been placed on administrative leave but the Teaching Services Commission got involved and ruled that the teacher be re-instated. Well, she did not get a pleasant welcome back from the school, instead, reports are that the principal made an announcement over the school's intercom, further shaming the teacher. We asked Minister of Education Patrick Faber about this case and he said while he condemns re-victimizing the teacher, the Ministry can't get involved in school affairs and that the decision of the Teaching Services Commission must be respected.
Hon. Faber Congratulates Union President
President of the Teacher's Union, Elena Smith also mentioned this case in the Senate - causing a sensation when she accused one of her own colleagues in the upper house of sharing pictures of the teacher. For what it's worth, all the senators gave a firm denial of any involvement in that business. But, Smith is no stranger to provocative statements at the highest level and she has made many of them against Education Minister Faber. She also got him in trouble with Cabinet late last year over a proposed change in Teacher allowances. In that case, the Prime Minister had to go over Faber to assure President Smith that the allowances would be normalized. So, she's caused Faber quite a bit of stress and embarrassment, but - as we told you a week ago - Smith isn't going anywhere. She's been elected unopposed to serve another term as Teacher's Union President. And the Minister was gracious in welcoming her back to that role today:
PUC Plays It Safe With Electricity Rates
The Public Utilities Commission has decided that for the next few months, consumers will not have to worry about any consequential increase in light bills. It's their initial decision for the 2019 Annual Review Proceeding, where the regulator tries to balance the scales by allowing BEL to continue making a reasonable profit, while protecting consumers. The PUC's findings are consistent with BEL's request. Even though the cost of power is currently very high and increasing, the power company asked the regulator to keep your bill at the same rates for the time being. It is estimated that by June 30th, 2019, the high cost of power is likely to exceed 40 million dollars over the amount that the PUC had approved for BEL.
New Building For Maud Williams
After a year of construction, the new building at Maud Williams School was officially opened to students today. It was fully funded by the US Embassy Security Cooperation Office. The building has 6 labs for food and nutrition, sewing and other practical courses. The school was in desperate need of a new facility and we were there for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Here's more. The cost of the building is 1 million US dollars.
Raider Wasani Castro Will Challenge Disqualification
Earlier this week, we told you how Wasani Castro was disqualified from the cross country and stripped of his 12th place finish. The Belize Cycling Federation cited him for holding on to his team's vehicle between Mile 48 and 47 leaving Belmopan City". Well, Castro isn't taking the punishment lying down; he's lawyered up because he says he was unjustly disqualified. Attorney Hector Guerra has written the Federation saying that his client was denied due process. He says the Disciplinary Committee was required to hold an inquiry into the complaint before any sanction was imposed on Castro.
Since December 2012, Lionel Arzu has been serving as Belize's Ombudsman, and this morning at the Belize House, Arzu was sworn back into office. Arzu is the third Ombudsman to be appointed to the office since the office was first created in 1999. His predecessors were Paul Rodriguez and Cynthia Pitts. The office of the Ombudsman is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints by members of the public who claim injustice, injury, abuse or any other wrong doing by any public authority.
Hon. Aldo, Rolling In the Deep With the FTC
UDP Senator Aldo Salazar is in trouble with the US Federal Trade Commission. The attorney was returning form an official rip to Taiwan last week Saturday when he was stopped in Houston and questioned by US Authorities for at least an hour, we are told. He is on the radar of the Federal Trade Commission for his involvement as an attorney for Atlantic International Bank - which was forced to wind up operations after it was named in a suit by the Federal Trade Commission - known as the FTC. The FTC alleged that Atlantic International had been complicit in the Sanctuary Belize land scam.
Veteran reggae and dancehall artist Ras Indio has a powerful new song. It's a call to unity for Belizean artists - demanding more air time on the radio, locally and internationally. It's a catchy tune with a conscious message and he told us more about it today: The song is available on all streaming services and you can see the video on youtube.
Classical Music Meets Contemporary Art
The Mexican Embassy is taking art and performance to a whole new level: they're combining musical performance and art. And not just music, it's classical played by accomplished European musicians. The event is called: 3 Classical Concerts on 3 Fridays, headlined by an Austrian vocalist & Cellist, along with a Czech violist. While they play, Belizean/Taiwanese painter Yaoling Lee will display 13 paint installations. We found out more about the interesting interdisciplinary event when we visited during rehearsals today:
Alleged Knife-Knife-Man To Court
Last night, we told you about the Monday evening stabbing of 23 year-old Malique Stuart, a laborer of Maskall Village. He was walking through Majestic Alley in Belize City, when he was reportedly attacked by 3 men who stabbed him multiple times. Well, one of the men who police believe were his assailants is at the Belize Central Prison Tonight. He's 22 year-old Devone Gillett, a sanitation worker for the Belize City Council, and he was arraigned in Magistrate's Court today on the offenses of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm. When he appeared before Senior Magistrate Tricia Pitts-Anderson, he was informed that these offenses are indictable, and so no plea was taken from him, and neither could he be granted bail. The Senior Magistrate remanded him into custody until July 7th.
The Boys of Summer
If you are a kid baseball fan you can head over to the Rogers Stadium tomorrow morning for an open event hosted by the Belize Baseball League. The league wants to take baseball to another level and are looking for kids ages 8 to 16 who are passionate and skilled in the game. We spoke to the league president today . If you would like to find out more about the event you can call Crawford at 607-9432.
The Norman Plan
By now, all Belizean voters should have a basic understanding of the Belize/Guatemala territorial claim, its history, and why it is that you are being asked to vote in next week Wednesday's referendum. Each voter has to make up their mind on whether or not they support taking Guatemala's claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice. But in case you haven't or you're still confused, Norman Rodriguez, the magistrate who's returned back to private practice as an attorney, has written a book to provide a sort of cliff notes version of the claim. It's called "To Go or Not To Go. Is it the Solution to the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute?"