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Today's Belize News: July 1, 2020

Posted By: Marty

Today's Belize News: July 1, 2020 - 07/01/20 12:01 PM


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

State of Emergency expires; certain restrictions remain
As of Wednesday, July 1st, the State of Emergency (SOE) in Belize ends, and with it goes the curfew that had been enforced across Belize because of COVID-19. The Attorney General of Belize, Honourable Michael Peyrefitte, cautioned via the online forum Ask the Experts that it does not mean life will return back to normal, as COVID-19 is still out there and the country still has to contend with the potential danger. This major relaxation that abolishes the State of Emergency will now see businesses opening and people enjoying more freedom. However certain restrictions will still remain in place.

Belizean Arts Gallery holds successful Children’s Art Competition
The lock-down caused by the global crisis of COVID-19 affected all sectors in Belize, including education. As schools remained closed, Belizean Arts Gallery in San Pedro Town set up a Children’s Art Competition to encourage children to test their creativity during the lock-down. The competition was geared for children ages 4-10 and 11-16 and submissions were done virtually for safety reasons. Top winners were awarded cash prizes.

Belize Tourism Board office in San Pedro Town closes down
The office of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in San Pedro Town has reportedly closed down. On Monday, June 29th, all items were taken out of the office located inside the San Cas Plaza on Coconut Drive. The BTB has not officially commented on this closure, but it is believed that it is due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has the tourism industry on indefinite lockdown.

Ambergris Today

Diddy Congratulates Shyne Barrow As He Runs For Politics
According to published reports, on Sunday (Jun 28) Diddy took to Instagram, to offer his support for his former artist, by announcing that Shyne was running for the Belize House of Representatives. “BELIZE I’m so proud of my brother @shyne_bz and the journey he is on,” Diddy wrote on Instagram. “He is running for the House of Representatives and needs your support. #BadBoy4Life”

Belize's Plan For Tourism As International Airport Opens Aug 15
Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Belize made the official announcement that Belize’s international airport (BZE), the Philip Goldson International Airport will be opened on August 15, 2020, as part of the country’s five-phase re-opening strategy for tourism. The opening of the international airport will kick-off Belize’s third phase of re-opening, allowing for further travel relaxation and open entry for chartered flights, private aviation and limited re-opening of international leisure travel with approved hotels only.

New Rules As State Of Emergency Lifted In Belize
On, July 1, 2020, Belize will no longer under a State of Emergency that was implemented in March as the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed. After being in complete lockdown, then moving on to phased relaxations of emergency lockdown measures, Belize will now enter a “Post State of Emergency” in which the Ministry of Health signs a Statutory Instrument to bring into effect the Quarantine Authority. Under this Quarantine Authority all businesses are free to open and the curfew has been lifted, but social distancing and the wearing of masks are being strictly enforced by the law. Land borders will remain closed until further notice, while the Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport is scheduled to open on August 15, 2020.

Various Belizean Sources

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Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location
Wednesday, July 1st (Happy Canada Day!) Meal pick ups. Locatoin Happy Lobster. Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am. Bahia: 11:45am - 12:30 pm.

Participate in a fully Virtual 48hr Hackathon Competition on "Open Data: Enabling Belize Tourism Post COVID-19"
Date: Wednesday 8th July @9:00AM - Thursday 9th July, 2020 @9:00PM (BZ Time). Duration: 48 hrs. Venue: Online. Theme: "Open Data: Enabling Belize Tourism Post COVID-19." We invite and encourage innovators from the public sector, civil society and civic tech, and anyone interested in the topic, to participate in this online Hackathon competition and explore ideas staged under the theme “Open Data: Enabling Belize Tourism Post COVID-1

10 high school scholarship recipients
Belizean American Businessman Roman Palma has committed funds to 10 high school students for tuition and uniform. He had accepted entries via an email address and all emails were vetted and selected by Belizean professionals living in Europe for transparency and no interference was made by friends or family members. However in addition to the 10 on the list, Mr. Palma has still committed to assist two additional persons who were not selected.

Mr. John Thomas is Fisher of the Year 2020
FISHER OF THE YEAR 2020 ANNOUNCED ON CARIBBEAN FISHER FOLK DAY, YESTERDAY. Thomas has been fishing for over 30 years, and is member of three fishing committees. He says he has been fishing since the age of 16 years, and was inspired by his father, who was also a fisher. Congratulations to John Thomas.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OUTSTANDING FISHERS OF THE YEAR 2020
We congratulate Mr. Lennox Leslie and Mr. Dermin Shivers, both of Placencia, who were selected as outstanding fishers for 2020. Mr. Leslie, who has been fishing for over 35 years, is an active advocate for sustainable fishing, and a member of the Placencia Cooperatives. Mr. Shivers a sports Fisher, turned commercial fisher, was nominated by his common-law wife, who describes him as an all-around fisher. Due to the COVID-19, Mr. Shivers has moved into commercial fishing in order to take care of his family and provide for consumers in southern Belize.

VACANCES AT ESTM (MEXICO SECONDARY SCHOOL)

Virtual Violin Camp
Allegro Music School will be having a virtual violin camp. Cindy's an amazing violinist.

COVID-19 UPDATE, Four More COVID Cases - All Returnees
Our active surveillance in terms of COVID-19 continues, particularly as we follow the established protocols in terms of the repatriation process. Today, a further 95 samples were processed and that has allowed us to identify 4 more cases of COVID-19. The 4 persons identified came into the country last week, 2 through the Northern Border entry point and 2 on the flight on Friday, all as part of the repatriation process. All 4 persons are asymptomatic and went into immediate mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival.

BCCI CONCERNED ABOUT INEVITABLE ECONOMIC AND CONSUMER IMPACT OF SCOTIABANK (Belize) Ltd’s ACQUISITION
On Monday, June 22, 2020 the Belizean public was notified of a share purchase agreement by which Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (CIHL), the parent company of The Belize Bank Limited, would acquire the shares of Scotiabank (Belize) Limited, pending regulatory approval. This acquisition leaves 50% of the commercial banking sector under the control of one institution and reduces the number of commercial banks in Belize from five to four. The impact of this transaction will be felt across the entire spectrum of personal and business customers seeking credit, finance, foreign exchange, correspondent bank services, and much more. It is therefore imperative for the BCCI to express its views and concerns.

Statutory Instrument No. 94 of 2020
QUARANTINE (PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE) (COVID 19) REGULATIONS, 2020

Statutory Instrument No. 95 of 2020
PUBLIC HEALTH (PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE) (COVID-19) REGULATIONS, 2020

Tropic Air Resumes Placencia Flights
Tropic Air has been informed that intended work on the Placencia Airstrip has been postponed. This will allow us to resume flights to the Peninsula effective tomorrow, July 1.

Monthly Weather Summary, May 2020
Climatologically May is the warmest month of the year in Belize. The first part of the month is typically characterized by warm, dry and hazy conditions. However, this month is also the transition month from the dry to the wet season across the country. Therefore, the rains usually start in the south after the first week of May and gradually make their way northwards.

MESSAGE FROM BELIZE MINISTRY OF HEALTH:
For those who CANNOT obtain a Covid test result within 72 hours of arriving in Belize when the airport opens on August 15, you can get your Covid test upon arrival at Belize International Airport at NO CHARGE. As soon as it's available, in the near future, you will need to download the Belize Health App to your phone. At the airport they will scan that into their system, along with all the details filled out on the required health form, including exactly where you are staying. You HAVE TO remain in place at that location UNTIL they advise you of your test result. If it's positive, you have to remain in quarantine at your location for 14 days...

The bathrooms at Billy White Primary are almost finished!
Thanks, Rotary! The bathroom project at Billy White Primary is almost completed. There was extra money in the budget so we added a covered walkway. Thanks again to our partner Rotary Clubs for crearing this Global Grant for Belize's children. This modern toilet buildings reduce illness and absentee rates drop significantly.

FCD EYG Nursery
Today members of FCD Environmental Youth Group and DYS Staff rehabilitated the nursery located at Department of Youth Services Benque Center. Given to the lack down, Covid-19, the resent heavy rains and winds the nursery and plants were affected. They planted new seeds and prepared another portion of the yard for it to host another portion on the ongoing backyard gardening project at DYS. The nursery is part of an ongoing project DYS and FCD EYG have through an MOU for joint reforestation projects. The nursery will also host a backyard gardening project to teach young people about subsidies farming.

THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE BATTLE OF ORANGE WALK 1872
The British authorities had agreements with the Yucatec Maya(Máasewal) group known as the Icaiche Maya about the interchange of prisoners. So if some one from one part did a crime or something wrong. The person would be remited to the judge or leader so they can give a punishment. Jose Maria Manzanero a Maya captain of Marcos Canul was detained and was captive along with his wife in Orange Walk town. According to the Maya Leader Marcos Canul the event went against the agreement and, Manzanero was imprisoned without a formal judgment. Canul Presented his claims but the British ignored him.

Channel 7

CCJ Administers Withering Rebuke To Barrow Admin On Registries’ Takeover
Belize, like the rest of the world is currently in the midst of an economic crisis created by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and tonight, the Barrow Government is bracing for another body blow. That's after the Caribbean Court of Justice has ruled that GOB owes many millions more in damages to the Ashcroft Alliance. As we told you, the Government and the Ashcroft company, Belize International Services Limited (BISL), has been waiting for a ruling the Government's 2013 acquisition of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) and the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry.

Ashcroft Alliance Attorney Expresses Satisfaction
This afternoon, we spoke with attorneys for both sides. We start first with the preliminary comments from Eamon Courtenay, the attorney for BISL who has been pressing this case on behalf of his clients for 7 years. "The court has found that the government acted unconstitutionally and illegally in a high-handed way in taking over the registries without any court order permitting them to do so. They have remitted the matter to the supreme court for the supreme court to calculate the amount of damages that should be paid..."

AG Says CCJ Emotional
Here now are the comments from government's lawyer, the Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte, reacting to the judgment which issued a withering rebuke to his government : "I am not going to be emotional like the CCJ, they made a decision, they are the final appellate court and we are bound by that decision. They said that even though they admitted that in the judgement, when the PUP entered into the contract with Michael Ashcroft in 1993 and when the PUP extended the contract from 2005 to 2020, that it was basically illegal, that they believed that nevertheless there was a breach of contract by the government..."

Chamber Urges Central Bank To Review BBL/SBL Merger
And while the Ashcroft Alliance is surely doing a celebratory dance tonight, the Chamber of Commerce is throwing a little rain on their parade. The Chamber says it is concerned about what it calls "the inevitable economic and consumer impact of Scotiabank's acquisition" and says the Central Bank should review the acquisition. The release notes that the acquisition leaves 50% of the commercial banking sector under the control of one institution and reduces the number of commercial banks in Belize from five to four.

COMPOL Says Firearms Clerk Was Running Fraudulent Gun License Operation
Tonight police Corporal Oscar Itche is in serious trouble. He's the firearms clerk posted at Headquarters in Belmopan and the commissioner of police is alleging that Itche was running a serious scam out the backdoor of the police station. It's a case of alleged mass fraud - where Itche was allegedly selling gun licenses for as much as three thousand dollars each. Now, gun licenses are free - and gun owners pay an annual fee to keep their weapons licensed.

PUP Pol to Be Charged For Failure To Give A Blood/Urine Sample
Last night on the news you saw PUP Standard Bearer for Belmopan Oscar Mira talking about the accident he got into on Friday night. Mira says a policeman was sleeping in a car that was parked on the George Price highway at mile 45. Mira says he couldn't avoid rear ending the car The PUP politician says it was the sleeping cop's fault - but tomorrow Mira is the one going to court. He's going to be arrested and charge for failure to provide a blood or urine sample for testing his alcohol level. Today Mira confirmed to us that he did not give a sample, saying, quote: "I spoke to my attorney as soon as it happened - I was advised not to give a sample and that's what I did."

COMPOL: "Apparently Drunk Is Not Drunk"
Mira told us that he doesn't believe that any sample was taken from the police officer who he crashed into either. He claims the officer was sleeping in the car in his police trousers and a t shirt, and that his car was parked in the way of approaching traffic Mira suspects that alcohol was involved but that is just an allegation. Same as it is out in San Pedro - where early on Friday morning a police officer ran a patrol pickup unto the concrete barrier between the road and the sidewalk.

Bedlam On Balam Street
The Commissioner was able to speak far more conclusively about an incident captured on Balam Street in Belize City over the weekend. An off duty police officer is accused of obstructing a team of officers seeking to make an arrest. The Commissioner today said his obstruction was not acceptable - even if the officers showed up to make an arrest for a petty bicycle offence:

Officer Criminally Charged For "Working With" Prisoners' Stuff
And, in another alleged act of misconduct involving a police officer - a police officer assigned to the San Ignacio Formation has been accused of stealing $400 dollars in property from prisoners at the station. The Commissioner says he has instructed that criminal charges be brought: "We have a police in San Ignacio I believe its PC Roy Zuniga. There was a prisoner who was detained in San Ignacio and, police as would the norm, took possession of the prisoner's property which included some money..."

Four More COVID Cases - All Returnees
And, we take a break from police news for the latest COVID report. There are four new cases to report tonight, all repatriates who returned on Friday. They were repatriated last week, 2 through the Northern Border entry point and 2 on the flight on Friday. All 4 persons are asymptomatic and went into immediate mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival.

Burning After Bust
Last night we told you about a weed and weapons bust at a house on Iguana Street Ext. That led to three arrests. Today that house is completely destroyed, having burned to the ground. The question now is whether it was burnt. Cherisse Halsall went looking for answers. This was the house at 180 Iguana Street when the police made a bust of drugs, a weapon, and ammunition. They also arrested and charged three occupants for possession of drugs and unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Police after Minister's Payslips
John Saldivar is gearing up for the UDP convention, but he could be running into a headwind. On Friday the Reporter Newspaper broke news, saying quote, "a formal request has been sent to the relevant government agency for copies of payslips for former Minister of National Security John Saldivar and his affiliates Douglas Grant Jr., Jason Neal and Ismael 'Miley' Garcia as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged improprieties." end quote.

Still No Answers In Roadside Murder
And while the cops wait for answers on those payslips, another investigation is also yielding limited information. It's the case of Bullet Tree villager Isaias Oroman who was found yesterday morning shot to the chest and cruelly discarded on the side of the road. This morning we got an update on Oroman's case from Sr. Superintendent Hilberto Romero. He says that while a suspect had been detained he was later released. Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero: "One person was in custody for questioning, but has since been released and the investigation continues."

Motorcycle Rider Died While Overtaking
And while there are no developments in Oroman's case, police have served a Notice Of Intended Prosecution to the driver that collided with 27-year-old Kemel Espat. It was a collision that resulted in Espat's instant death, a tragedy that as we showed you has left a family and a community in mourning. This morning Superintendent Romero gave us the police's play by play of the accident.

Robbers Rode Motorbike From Village To Village
Romero also told us about a pair of robberies that seem to be related. They happened yesterday in the adjoining village son Frank's Eddy and St, Matthews where tow men stole a motorbike and then went-a-robbing:

Property Taxes For Food In Foam Plates
Lee Mark Chang is threatening to sue the Belize City Council over $18,679.00 owed to his restaurant Chon Saan Palace by the previous Council's administration. Chang says that an agreement had been made with the council to trade-off property taxes against restaurant orders made between September of 2016 and October of 2017. But to date, that agreement has not been honoured. Chang through his attorney Mikhail Arguelles is now pressing the present council to see if it intends to pay the bill in full or honor the agreed-upon trade-off. Here's what Chang told us earlier today:

Growing Pains With New Video System At Nat’l Assembly
The National Assembly has a brand new 60 thousand dollar video switching and streaming system - which will radically change the way the media covers house and senate meetings - and how you see it on TV, the internet and the news. Channel 7 has been covering these meetings since 1994, and it's been pretty much the same: a whole bunch of cameras jammed up on the balcony, all jostling to get the same shot. But this new system - which went into effect on Friday - changes all that. Now, remotely controlled cameras - which need no camera operator - capture it all - and the signal is streamed to you on facebook and tv, and also sent to the media.

Post Curfew Policing
The state of emergency ends at midnight tonight - but the curfew is still in effect for 10:00 pm tonight. The odd part is that you have to go indoors at 10:00, but, if you're that type you can then come back out at midnight - 'cause there's no more curfew. IT's an idle example, but, it's also an illustration of how tough enforcement has been for police where the rules of social living are constantly changing. Today the Commissioner discussed the challenges:

Police Dissuading Public Drinking
But, just as the Minister of National Security said yesterday, the police will be cracking down on quality of life laws. And that starts with public drinking: "You would know, under the intoxicating liquor licensing act, they have the offense of public drinking. Which again, we have seen has picked up back across the country. People are hanging out in front of the store drinking all day or all night. These are issues that we must enforce. And going forward we are going to be extremely stiff, particularly with the sale of alcohol and liquor establishments..."

Chester Vs. Arzu, Round 949
Last night, we showed you the brief court hearing that Justice Sonya Young held yesterday to start addressing another application that Corporal Eldon Arzu has brought against the Commissioner of Police. He is attempting to convince the Supreme Court to allow him to bring a claim for judicial review. According to Arzu, the Commissioner did not follow the rules of the Police Association's election process, when he delayed in setting a date for the election, until 6 months later.

Duct Taped Bandits In South
And our final crime stories tonight took place in the south. It was 4:45 on Friday evening when 4 men in a dark Blue SUV pulled up at the Uno Gas Station in Santa Cruz Village. All them but the driver entered the convenience store armed with hand guns and the Deputy Commander of National Crimes Investigation told us what happened next:

American Couple Held Up In South
And also in the south, an elderly American couple was robbed during a home invasion in the village of Seine Bight on Sunday night. Romper told us more:

Channel 5

C.C.J. Rules that Government Unlawfully Acquired IMMARBE in 2013
A major decision was handed down today by the Caribbean Court of Justice in a one hundred and forty-eight page judgment. The  judgment from the highest court of Belize is [...]

Eamon Courtenay Calls IMMARBE Takeover Roguish and Thuggish
The comprehensive judgment included the views of every judge of the C.C.J., who came to the same unanimous decision.  Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents B.I.S.L., spoke with News Five [...]

Eamon Goes In on PM Barrow for “Won’t Pay, Can’t Pay” Remark
The government now finds itself on the hook for as much as ninety million Belize dollars, plus interest which has accrued on that quantum since 2013.  On Friday, Prime Minister [...]

PM Preempts C.C.J. Ruling; He is Chided for Those Remarks
PM Barrow told reporters that they need not seek a response from him in respect of the outcome of the B.I.S.L. appeal.  He famously said, “I am telling you from [...]

C.C.J. Judge Rips G.O.B. a New One
Of the five judges who presided over the appeal, the written judgment rendered by Justice Peter Jamadar is perhaps the most cutting and a scathing rebuke of the government.  In [...]

PM Barrow Chided Over Non-decision Comment
Aside from the ‘won’t pay, can’t pay’ statements from the PM, there is also the matter of non-decision.  When PM Barrow dismissed former Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s ruling that he, [...]

Lee Mark Chang Challenges City Hall for Unpaid Food Bills of $18,000 Plus
A letter was leaked today in which businessman and U.D.P. standard bearer for Caribbean Shores, Lee Mark Chang is threatening legal action against the Belize City Council for unpaid food [...]

Chang Says it is Not Political, it’s Business
The letter has been released within weeks of the July leadership convention of the U.D.P. where Darrell Bradley is seeking to be leader. Political pundits believe that the timing of [...]

Police Corporal Busted for Gun Documents Fraud at Police Headquarters!
Tonight a corporal of police is detained for operating a fraudulent gun license approval scheme.  Corporal Oscar Itch who was stationed at the Police Headquarters in Belmopan issued nearly thirty [...]

P.U.P.’s Oscar Mira to be Charged for Failure to Provide Specimen
Tonight, a cop is in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident and the police department is getting ready to charge P.U.P. Belmopan Standard Bearer Oscar [...]

PC Zuniga Steals $400 from Man in Detention at Police Station
Another cop is in hot water tonight and this time he’s from the San Ignacio Formation. Police Constable Roy Zuniga reportedly stole four hundred dollars in cash from a person [...]

Were San Pedro Cops Drunk on the Job?
More news on cops who apparently were not behaving like cops. This time it is about two policemen in San Pedro who were filmed slurring, walking, and acting like they [...]

ComPol Says Investigation into Saldivar and Longsworth Progressing Slowly
Last week news broke that the Belize Police Department had lodged a formal request with relevant government agencies to get documentation as a part of investigation into Belmopan Area Representative [...]

4 New Cases of COVID-19 Detected in Belize
There are more COVID-19 patients bringing to total number of positive cases for the country to twenty-eight. The office of the Director of Health Services has just released the data, [...]

Cops to Come Down Tough on Night Clubs and Rum Shops!
A new S.I. will come into effect as the country’s state of emergency ends. The Belize Police Department will be enforcing the measures that remain in place, such as the [...]

Robbers in Franks Eddy and Saint Matthews!
There were two robberies in villages along the George Price Highway on Monday. Police say that two thieves robbed a supermarket in Franks Eddy Village, while a resident of Saint [...]

Robbers Target Gas Station in the South!
….moving south, robbers also hit a gas station last week Friday. Police say that a gas attendant reported that some time after five that evening, four men visited the UNO [...]

Cpl Eldon Arzu Back in Court Attempting to Overturn Election Results of Police Association
Corporal Eldon Arzu is before the courts again attempting to overturn the results of the recently elected executive of the Police Association. Those elections concluded two weeks ago and Sergeant [...]

No Suspect and No Motive for Bullet Tree Murder
Tonight police say that they have released the man who was being questioned about the murder of fifty-two-year-old Isaias Oroman of Bullet Tree Village. Senior Superintendent Hilberto Romero says that [...]

Land Issue Brewing in Jacintoville
On Monday, we showed you a land situation in Red Bank Village that has divided the village council and residents of that southern community.  Tonight, another land situation is brewing [...]

Belizean American Businessman Gives 10 High School Scholarships
Belizean American businessman, Roman Palma is gifting scholarships for tuition and uniform to ten high school students from around the country. The Roman Peace Scholarship Fund was created by Palma [...]

New Video/Audio System Installed in National Assembly Chambers
A modern system has been installed in the National Assembly. It will facilitate the broadcast of live proceedings of the House and Senate by media houses who will be able [...]

Amandala

State of Emergency, curfew ends June 30
Appearing on the government’s webcast Ask the Experts this afternoon, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte said that as of June 30, the State of Emergency will end, but it’s still not a free-for-all, because new measures under the Quarantine Act will come into effect the following day, Wednesday, July 1. The Statutory Instrument that will give legal effect to the rules under the Quarantine Act will be signed by the minister before July 1.

Cabinet rejects Ashcroft company’s proposed $200 million port investment
It has been churning in the rumor mill for a few days now that Cabinet did not give the green light to one of Lord Michael Ashcroft’s companies, which had proposed an expansion of the Port of Belize Limited. Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited had proposed a $200 million expansion on lands owned by the Port of Belize Limited. The Waterloo expansion would have included a cruise terminal with multiple onshore berthing capacities, and the cargo-handling capability of the port would have been modernized with bulk-handling facility.

Government passes relief loan motions for $60 million
Earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Dean Barrow revealed that government’s revenue was completely dried up and that “I would have to borrow until I can’t borrow no more.” In his capacity of Minister of Finance, PM Barrow introduced and steered four loan motions, totaling $60 million, through all their stages at the sitting of the House of Representatives today.

PGIA will reopen August 15
The Belizean economy (and government’s finances in particular) has been hemorrhaging due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequent halt of global tourism for the last few months. COVID-19 has infected almost 10 million persons worldwide and spikes are being reported in over twenty North American states and in Central and South America, and it is against that background that the Government of Belize has been contemplating and planning the reopening of the country’s tourism industry.

Illegal Honduran is COVID-19 case #24
The Director of Health Services (DHS), Dr. Marvin Manzanero, reported today, Friday, that another positive case of COVID-19 has been identified after the results of another batch of tests were issued. While information on the person who tested positive has not been forthcoming, the DHS confirmed that the individual is a Honduran national who had entered Belizean waters illegally.

Human trafficking in Belize remains at Tier Two
As of June, Belize remains a Tier Two country on the U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report. In 2018, Belize had finally been upgraded from a tier three status; however, in the report for 2020, the country’s status has remained consistent because the “government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making efforts to do so.”

Former Prime Minister Said Musa to receive specialized surgery overseas
The absence of the former People’s United Party (PUP) two-term Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa, from today’s House of Representatives meeting, was noticeable. The senior parliamentarian and area representative for Fort George has been recovering from what family members have described as a mild stroke that he suffered on May 17, 2020. After the House meeting, the media inquired about the health condition of Rt. Hon. Musa, while interviewing his son, Kareeem Musa (Caribbean Shores).

Vehicle crashes into lamppost on Philip Goldson Highway
A non-fatal traffic accident occurred on the Philip Goldson Highway at about 6:30 this evening near Mejia’s Construction, which resulted in extensive damages to a car, which was traveling to Belize City from Ladyville.

Barrington Moss drowns in Caye Caulker
Barrington Moss, 31, a security guard of San Pedro, drowned while swimming in the sea in the Split area of Caye Caulker, which is a popular swimming area. He reportedly went swimming yesterday morning and disappeared.

Man detained for firing 9 shots at squirrel in his apartment
A man has been detained pending charges of discharging his firearm in his apartment, and his licensed 9mm pistol has been deposited as an exhibit. At about 12:30 this morning, the man fired 9 shots at a squirrel that “spooked” him in his apartment, located at Mile 3 on the Philip Goldson Highway.

Editorial: Belize has 45 days to tighten our defense
The Government of Belize, in what might be considered a desperate move to gain US dollars, has announced a plan for a limited reopening of the tourism industry. The Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) will be opened for traffic on August 15, but at that time the only hotels that will be allowed to receive guests are those that have the Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition and have the capacity to provide full service. Some owners of the hotels that are not qualified to receive guests from abroad are understandably not happy.

Opposition members blast Government’s $60 million loan motions
At one of his early press conferences, when the country was just getting ready to do battle against the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Barrow assured the nation that “we have millions of dollars in our coffers.” “You will begin to see spending like you’ve never seen before,” he said. That did not happen. In fact, shortly after making that prime ministerial declaration, PM Dean Barrow told the country that “government revenue sources had dried up.” The government was broke.

Belize City Council commences Belize Acceleration Program
Mayor Bernard Wagner, the Belize City Council and collaborating partners today made history with a one-of-a-kind program to help people become self-reliant entrepreneurs by giving them training and support. The program, called Belize Acceleration Program, was launched today, and Cohort 1 of the program, comprising of 20 candidates, received their certificates, issued by Mayor Bernard Wagner and Councilor Javier Castellanos during a ceremony at City Hall on Regent Street this morning.

Imports down 39.7% in May, says SIB
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported that Belize’s imports for May 2020 saw a dramatic decrease of $67.3 million, down 39.7% from the $169.4 million worth of goods we imported in May 2019. The SIB attributes most of this decrease to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in an economic slowdown. “Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ dropped substantially by 47 percent or $16 million, from almost $34 million in May 2019 to approximately $18 million in May 2020, as the country purchased less vehicles, parts for food processing machinery and telecommunications equipment

Doug Singh and Aaron Humes
Ah, I knew one day I’d get to this interview that led to the fall of a UDP favorite. Of course I know that being current is best, but I also know that late is better than never. Sometimes it can be worth the wait. Fish kud kom frahn riva batam with a whole new perspective. It can happen. Bah, nothing new came up on this one, but maybe I have a good reason for being late. People who know I write this column, sometimes I have to tell them that I’m an opinionist, not a journalist.

Eulogy for Elinor Wilson (Belisle) Hyde (1)
A thing of beauty is a joy forever; and there is nothing on earth more beautiful than a mother’s love. To all you wonderful mothers out there, both present and in spirit only by your special nature of love and giving, we say thank you. Thank you all! And today, most specifically, we say thank you, thank you, and thank you, Lord, our Father in Heaven, for giving us our own exceptional mother, Elinor Wilson (Belisle) Hyde.

Eulogy for Elinor Wilson Hyde nee Belisle (2)
Writing a eulogy for my mother, Elinor Wilson Hyde nee Belisle, is a tall task. A tall task indeed. This is the opinion of my father, a man who has written some outstanding eulogies in his time and who knew my mother longer than any of us and as well as it is possible to know someone you have been married to for almost 75 years. They met when she was sixteen years old and he courted her for five years before they became man and wife.

Eulogy for Elinor Wilson Hyde nee Belisle (3) Reflections of a niece
E-L-I-N-O-R (Elinor) Wilson Belisle, the youngest of Eva Lindo Belisle and Wilfed Belisle four children, was born on September 16, 1924. She married Charles Hyde October 13, 1946 and together they produced 9 children, 7 boys and 2 girls. She took her marriage vows very seriously and devoted the rest of her life to her husband and subsequently her children. She literally waited hand and foot on him and much to the consternation of her brothers defended him at all time. My father Buck, to his dying day, remembered her telling him she had to “stand by her man”.

The surprise wedding of Virgil and Safira …
During 1981/82 while Alida was doing her residency, two significant developments had taken place in the extended family. Firstly, Kiah had left in August for Canada to start his degree in Geography, and Safira had been transferred back home to set up a branch of the National Library Service in the town.

Andy Jones writes on farming
Dear Editor, I would like to start off by first thanking you for keeping us informed during this COVID pandemic. Your newspapers were hard to find, so I assume other people out there were as grateful as I was for you timely news items. I’ve been reading and listening to the news out there, as they finally start pushing to get our farming industry back up again. While this is great news I would like for people to realize that contrary to what they are saying on the radio and television, farming is something you must dedicate yourself to.

THE CULTURE OF TIPPING IS A LEGACY OF SLAVERY
Dear Editor: Life is a constant struggle. It is said that we are the ones who decide what kind of life we want to live, while there are others who say that it’s destiny — that before we were born it was already written. After over three quarters of a century living on this planet earth, I must accept that I don’t know; probably there is some truth in those ideas. Life has taught me that not everything we plan is accomplished. However, there are certain objectives that we can only achieve if we are determined, even though other factors will intervene because of reasons which are out of our control.

The Reporter

Do All Black Lives Matter in Belize?
by: Adrian P. Torres The day after Prime Minister Dean Barrow was elected in February 2008, an American classmate texted me, “Just read that your country elected its first black Prime Minister!” It was a peculiar message for a few reasons. By that point—a mere 27 years since becoming independent—Belize had only been governed by three other Prime Ministers, and so to the extent that Dean Barrow’s election was an accomplishment, we had achieved it in a relatively short period of time, beating the most progressive country in the world by over 200 years. Moreover, Dean Barrow had been involved in electoral politics since the early 1980s and he served as a high-ranking Minister during the UDP administration elected in 1993, making his ascendancy to Prime Minister rather unremarkable.

LOVE FM

US Embassy hosts discussion to commemorate Caribbean American Heritage Month
The month of June marks the Caribbean American Heritage Month, which is designated to recognize the significance of Caribbean people to the history and culture of the US. While this is mainly celebrated in the US, a panel discussion was held here in Belize at the US Embassy.

WATCH: Valley of Peace farmers fight for their farmlands
In March of 2020, the farmers in Valley of Peace, Cayo District, staged a protest after their farmlands were sold to Valley of Peace Limited (VOPFL). While the company may bear the name of the village, the farmers in that area have no shares in the company.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

4 more cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Belize
The Ministry of Health informed a short while ago that four (4) more cases of […]

Oscar Mira to be arraigned for failure to provide blood specimen
Today, Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams told the media that Oscar Mira will be charged […]

Tropic Air resumes Placencia flights
Tropic Air has been informed that intended work on the Placencia Airstrip has been postponed. […]

Lifting the Veil from today’s Belize – Part I
By Bill Undo: Belize's economy has effectively collapsed since the lockdown at the end of March. The extent of that collapse is worrying for many of us but we should also admit that Belize's economy has been struggling for the last fifteen years. […]

Outstanding fishers of 2020 honored
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) congratulates Lennox Leslie and Dermin Shivers, both of Placencia, who […]

Chon Saan Palace takes on City Council: claims nearly $19,000 in ‘food for tax’ arrangement
Chon Saan Palace and its owner Lee Mark Chang is claiming some $18,679 from the […]

CCJ rules against Government in registries case; Supreme court to determine damages
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), as anticipated by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, ruled against […]

Belize signs US $10 Million agreement for phase 2 of Caracol Road Project
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has reportedly signed a US $10 million public […]

European Union bars US travelers over COVID-19
The European Union (EU) is scheduled to re-open borders tomorrow and since the COVID-19 cases […]

Micah Goodin pays tribute to Mayor Wagner’s handling COVID-19 economic storm
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize […]

Belize and bondholders to meet today
At 10 a.m. this morning Belize time, Belize’s financial authorities will be discussing, in a […]

Belize plans Economic Recovery Program: No to IMF, default on Superbond on the table
The Government of Belize says it has a plan for economic recovery, according to a […]

Petrocaribe marks quiet 15th anniversary
Monday, June 29th was the 15th anniversary of the formation of Petrocaribe by late Venezuelan […]

Belize City Council to upgrade 23 streets with Municipal Bond funds
A few weeks ago, the Belize City Council was worried about having to potentially merge […]

High School scholarship recipients announced
Last week, we shared with you the story of Belizean-American businessman, Ramon Palma who had […]

Global COVID-19 prevention trial of hydroxychloroquine to resume
Reuters reports that the British health regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), […]

Daycares allowed to open; children under 6 not required to wear masks
On Ask the Experts yesterday, the Attorney General Micheal Peyrefitte informed that daycares will be […]

Blogs

Getting to Secret Beach in San Pedro, Belize
Although it’s name is Secret Beach, this popular beach is gaining traction as a popular, not-so-secret chill spot. Essentially, it is an inland beach that’s surrounded by white sand, swaying palm trees and everything else that creates the perfect tropical setting. You can only get there by boat or golf cart while on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. While San Pedro has been popular for decades, travelers have only discovered Secret Beach 10 years ago, when a developer built the first road that went from the eastern side of the island to the western side.

International Sourcesizz

Intra-regional travel in focus as Caribbean re-opens
Intra-regional travel in the Caribbean has taken a serious blow with LIAT reportedly wrapping up operations. The news concerning the regional carrier, which was announced by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, comes at a time when many in the Caribbean don't want to travel to the United States or Europe. As countries in the region begin to re-open their borders to international travellers, it is the tourist from the United States who is being targeted despite that country’s rising COVID-19 rate, with over two million cases to date.

Videos

  • Tips when visiting the markets, 1min. Message from the BMDC, Ministry of Health and Market Managers.

  • Foodie Expo Held in Belize City, 4min. A gastronomic event took place this weekend; it was a Foodie Expo that brought together persons in the food industry. It was staged at 501 Hub in Belize City on Saturday. Due to the lookdown and the closure of restaurants and food vending, these businesses have taken a hit, so the expo presented them with the opportunity to showcase a wide variety of authentic food available throughout the country. There were sweet, vegan and savoury treats including vegan nachos, sushi, and even wines.

  • Belize International Services Ltd v The Attorney General of Belize, 61min. This is judgment delivery for a matter involving an alleged breach of contract by the Government of Belize. In June 1993, Belize International Services (BISL) entered into a Management Services Agreement with the Government of Belize.

  • Belize Adventist Junior College Live Graduation, 1hr42min.

  • Beachfront Bargain Hunt S27E01 Paradise in Belize, 23min.

  • TOP 8 Visually AMAZING places in BELIZE, 4min. Take a visual tour around the beautiful country of Belize. Explore the following places: Caracolmayan ruin, the 1000 foot falls waterfall, Big Rock Fall, Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye, Secret Beach, Turneffe Atoll, Rio Frio Cave & more.

  • Caribbean American Heritage Month Panel Discussion, 1hr42min. A discussion entitled “Our Shared History, Our Shared Future: A Candid Discussion on Race, Equality, Compassion and Justice”, cosponsored by the Government of Belize Press Office and the Love Foundation Belize.

  • Belizean dancer - Experiences and the impact of COVID-19, 22min.

  • Social Work lecturers - Importance of the profession, 33min.

  • Deputy Director General of the Statistical Institute of Belize, 42min.

  • Musical Guest - Ras Indio, 14min.

  • Philip Goldson International Airport will re-open - August 15th, 65min. August 15th has been officially announced as the date the Philip Goldson International Airport will re-open. A phased approach was introduced yesterday that details the protocols that will be in place to ensure the safety of both passengers and nationals. We invited representatives of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) to speak on the re-opening and how the industry is preparing to meet the new requirements.

  • An update from San Pedro, 23min. Coming to you live from Ambergris Caye, Belize, talking today about Belize celebrations, weather, best time to visit, airport reopening, and more! Thanks to Melody Sanchez Wolfe from Dulce Belize Weddings and Belizean Melody Art Gallery who is assisting me in talking about the history behind some of Belize's biggest celebrations!

  • Restore Belize continues with Building Relationships & Connections in the classroom, 31min.

  • Belize Adventist Junior College Live Graduation, 1hr42min.

  • Fishing in san pedro Belize, 3.5min.

  • Belmopan City - Belize - B Roll - DJI Mavic Pro, 1.5min.

  • Vivian's Cafe - San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize, 1.5min.

  • Driving in Belize city(Narrated): East Collet canal to Princess Margaret Drive, 23min. Belize city became a Town in 1638 by the lumber harvesters. Before it became a Town it was a small Maya City called Holzuz. It was a post for the English because it was on the sea and a natural outlet for local rivers and creeks which the British used to shipped Logwood and mahogany. Belize Town was the home of thousands of African slaves that were brought by the English. As of 2019 the population of Belize city is 124,096, and for the whole country it's 408,487.
  • © 2020 Ambergris Caye Belize Message Board