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8/11/2016 to 8/20/2016
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Today's Belize News

August 20, 2016


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Police United FC falls to Olimpia Club Deportivo in CONCACAF Champions League

Section 53 amendment – “a shield, not a sword” says P.M. Barrow
“A shield, not a sword” is how Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow interpreted the Supreme Court decision handed down last Wednesday, August 10, which in effect decriminalized same-sex intercourse between consenting adults. Barrow said it was the role of the Judiciary to interpret the Laws of Belize, and what Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin had done was to amend Section 53 of the Criminal Code to exclude sexual acts between consenting adults from attracting criminal charges. Barrow was speaking at a press conference at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City on Wednesday afternoon, August 17. Benjamin had upheld the challenge brought by the plaintiff, Caleb Orozco, that Section 53 was a breach of his human rights to dignity and as such was unconstitutional. Those parts of the Criminal Code that pertain to sexual abuse of minors, or bestiality with animals remain unchanged.

Chetumal City embraces Miss San Pedro delegates
As part of the Miss San Pedro activities, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) hosted a trip to Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico on Wednesday August 10th, and returned on Thursday August 11th. The purpose of the trip was for the six delegates to get a jump-start in purchasing items for pageant night, such as their dresses, accessories and shoes, among other items. Iris Salguero currently holds the title of Miss San Pedro, and this years’ candidates for 2016-2017 are: Marisha Thompson sponsored by Jaguars Temple Night Club, Beverly Rodriguez, sponsored by Captain Shark’s, Karina Requena, sponsored by Castillo’s Hardware, Lisandra Novelo, sponsored by Ramon’s Village, Marleni Diaz, sponsored by Fidos Courtyard and Pier, and Heidi Sorto, sponsored by La Sirene Resort Spa and Marina. Upon their arrival, the girls were greeted by Belize Consulate in Chetumal, Jorge Valencia, who had arranged a tour to the Zoologico Bio Universo. The girls had a unique experience, and they were able to view some of their favorite animals, including tigers, jaguars, and hippos.

Boat Captain liable in accident involving tourist minor
After extensive investigation by the Belize Port Authority (BPA), San Pedro Resident Captain Carlos Franco has been found liable for the June 14th boat accident involving a tourist minor. The accident happened near a beach resort south of San Pedro Town where the minor sustained deep cut wounds to her face after being ran over by the boat. As a result, Franco will be facing court actions for negligence and for operating his vessel undermanned near a residential/hotel area. According to the statement provided by the BPA, it was revealed that the vessel Phanny was the sole boat in the area when the accident took place. It further stated that the captain was not cautious enough and to support this allegation, the law was quoted. “So to navigate such boat as to avoid collision with or injury to any ship or person present in, on, or under the water in the area occupied by or disturbed by the said boat was not carried out and neither did ‘he’ navigate such boat with due care and consideration for other persons having in regard to the prevailing conditions,” end quote.

Ambergris Today

SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS: Playbill for Events Around the Country Available August 24
The National Celebrations Commission is pleased to announce the release of the 2016 Playbill and Calendar of Events, which includes celebrations, commemorations and other programs around the country. On Wednesday, Aug. 24, the free booklet will be distributed throughout the districts, and is also available at the NICH Administration office in Belize City, as well as the Bliss Center and the Belize Tourism Board. The calendar covers events taking place in August and September, and includes programs sponsored by a wide variety of organizations and businesses. One major change in the 2016 lineup is that there will be no St. George’s Caye Official Opening Event due to damages related to Hurricane Earl. Instead, there will be an address by Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., Chair of the National Celebrations Commission. This address will be broadcast nationwide.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Bus busts up the Terminal in Belize City
Photo courtesy of Jeran Funez

Vacancy at BEL
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Accounting Clerk III in the Finance Department.

Cassava Processing and Baking Workshop August 22-26
Sabal Farm. We kick off on Monday. If you are interested contact the coordinator of The Stann Creek House of Culture Joshua Arana at 632-0147. Bus will pick up participants at the bus terminal in Dangriga at 8:30 am Monday, we leave the farm at 3pm.

Belize National Song Competition
Here are a few of the photos of the winners that we took for the Belize National Song Competition that happened this past weekend.

Trashy place in San Mateo on Ambergris Caye
This is an area adjacent to the lagoon on the backside of San Mateo. It's a small flooded area where crocs reside just steps from where children play.

Power interruption 5:00am to 5:30am, Sunday, August 21: entire San Pedro Town, and Bomba Village
BEL to conduct switch over from mobile substation to newly installed transformer at Maskall Substation.

Two 20 minute power interruptions 6:00am to 6:20am & 4:40pm to 5:00pm on Sunday, August 21: entire Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
BEL to replace insulators and downguys on transmission system between Maskall & Buena Vista Substations.

September Celebrations Playbill and Calendar of Events
The September Celebrations Playbill and Calendar of Events will be out next week, but here's sneak peak

The U.S. Embassy has an opening for an Electrical Technician position
Performs regularly scheduled and comprehensive maintenance on all facility electrical equipment and systems as required by the Overseas Building Operations (OBO) Global Maintenance Management System (GMMS). Diagnoses, disassembles, adjusts, programs, re-programs, repairs, installs and replaces defective parts or components on all facility electrical equipment and systems. Maintains controls systems on compound to include programmable logic controllers (PLC), sensors, control panels, and some building automation system components.

Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project's History and Culture Summer Camp 2016
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project's History and Culture Summer Camp 2016 came to an end today. We were sad to see the kids leave, but we know that they are leaving with a better knowledge of our history and culture. Today, they went on a city historic tour and visited the Old Prison Museum. During the other days they listened to folklore stories, learnt techniques to play the drum, played traditional games, danced to traditional songs and learnt how to conduct oral history interviews. All the kids received a certificate of achievement.

Channel 7

Mechanic Crushed In Industrial Accident At ASR/BSI's Tower Hill Factory
A worker at the Tower Hill Sugar Factory in Orange Walk was badly injured on the job today, and he died two hours ago. At 1:30 this afternoon, Ismael Jimenez - who has been a mechanic for Belcogen since 2012 - was working on pieces of heavy equipment. Something went wrong - and he got pinned between two of those pieces of equipment. He suffered major injury to his internal organs. He was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital where doctors performed emergency procedures to try and stop the internal bleeding. But they had only limited success, and they took the decision to send him to Belize City for critical care, but, Jimenez never made it and he died at 4:45. ASR/BSI says it is conducting an investigation to determine what went wrong.

US Ambassador Cheers Supreme Court Sodomy Ruling
Belize, the Caribbean and the rest of the world continue to digest the Chief Justice's landmark decision in which he decriminalized sodomy after hearing Caleb Orozco's lawsuit challenging Section 53 of the criminal code. We've shown you the excited reaction from Orozco and the LGBT Community after sitting in court to hear the judge deliver it in person last week Wednesday. We've also shown you the disappointment from the Churches who interpret the ruling as the beginning of the country's moral downfall. So, what does the US Ambassador think about the ruling? Well, as viewers are aware, he's a former US High Court judge, and the country he represents is on a global mission to encourage acceptance for LGBT communities. As proof of this, a few weeks before the ruling was handed down, the US Embassy hoisted the rainbow flag on its compound, which is considered US soil.

PM's Wife supports CJ Decision
Now, the Prime Minister's wife, Kim Barrow may share some of Ambassador Moreno's enthusiasm, but she's in what might be called a "cute" situation, politically. She is the Prime Minister's wife, and so she isn't expected to be seen cheerleading for the gay rights activists on such a divisive issue. But when Caleb Orozco, UNIBAM and their legal team held a press conference shortly after the decision last Wednesday, they disclosed that Mrs. Barrow immediately came out in support of the judgment. So, today when we caught up with her at another event, we asked her to confirm. Here's how she explained it: Kim Simplis-Barrow - Special Envoy For Women And Children: "I applaud the Chief Justice's decision. I think we all have rights and court rulings must be respected." Daniel Ortiz: "A lot of people are disappointed that the decision has been made and it has caused a lot of venom, from the more conservative persons in society. Is it something disappointing to you to see that some people are close-minded?"

Will/Can the Churches Appeal?
So, the matter lies now with the churches - will they appeal the section 53 judgment, or can they even launch that appeal? Well we spoke to Pastor Lance Lewis of the National Evangelical Association of Belize today and he told us that his group had just met, and will meet with the other churches next week Thursday to plan their next step. Now, there is some deadline pressure, since they have three weeks to file an appeal after the written judgment is issued. But, our understanding is that the three weeks commences after the judgment is perfected - which still hasn't happened. But, timeline aside, legal opinion is still split on whether the churches can appeal. That will be a matter for the Supreme Court to decide - since the Court will have to give them leave for appeal. That's when it will be determined if the churches as interested parties have the standing to launch an appeal. And while the churches are passionate about the issue, some legal experts say that only the Catholics and Anglicans may have standing since they work the "church-state" school management system. Those churches have not arrived at a position yet, so it's too early to tell if they will go ahead and try an appeal.

16 Year Old Sibling Arrested For Sodomising 11 Year Old Brother
In an update to the ugly case of incestuous sodomy we've been reporting on all week, a 16 year old Santa Elena resident has been charged for sodomising his own little brother. The teenager was taken to court where he was charged for an unnatural crime and he was remanded for the weekend. He will re-appear in court on Monday 22nd August when bail will be considered. As we've been reporting, one week ago, the 16 year old allegedly molested his 11 year old brother who was asleep. PLUS TV's Louis Wade - who's in touch with the family - reports that the 16 year old was heard to taunt his younger brother by saying that since section 53 was struck down, nothing can be done to him now. Well, he has been charged - since the change in section 53 change deals with consenting acts between adults; the 11 year old is not an adult and could not consent.

Unhappy Ending For Loose Masseuse At Dirty McNasty
"Dirty McNasty's" - it's name would seem to suggest all kinds of funky stuff, but in fact, Mcnasty's a popular hostel on Caye Caulker with a colorful clientele of backpackers. But, one male visitor got a lot more than he asked for when a local masseuse crossed the line. The tourist alleges that 38 year old Javier Nabet, was giving him a massage, but tried to turn it into something else when he attempted to perform oral sex on him. It happened on July 7th and Nabet was remanded to prison on a charge of sexual assault. Today he applied for Supreme Court bail, and Justice John Gonzalez offered him bail of five thousand dollars. We called Dirty McNasty for comment, but they didn't get back to us.

Bail, Not Jail For Ryan Rhaburn
Ryan Rhaburn is alleged to be one of William Danny Mason's crew but tonight he is out on bail. Rhaburn, was remanded to prison on 2 counts for allegedly kidnapping Lloyd Friessen and his wife. Friessen had allegedly gone to Mason to ask him to return three hundred thousand dollars that Friessen had advanced him to purchase corn. Today, Rhaburn was released on bail of $8,000 that was offered to him by Justice John Gonzalez. Rhaburn must surrender all his travel documents to the clerk of court, reports to the Belmopan Police Station every Friday, and not interfere with witnesses for the prosecution. Rhaburn was represented by attorney Herbert Panton while the Crown Counsel Rene Montero appeared for the crown.

Two More Million Dollar Babies
On our newscast right after the Christmas Holiday, we told you about newborn Shamir Aban. He was the so called "million dollar baby" who the World Pediatric Project in Belize managed to get flown out of the country for emergency million dollar surgical procedures not available in Belize. He was born with esophageal atresia, a birth defect where he had no tube connecting his mouth and his stomach. He got the million dollar gift of life when the doctors at the Virginia Commonwealth University came to Belize for him in a private jet, took him to their hospital, gave him life-saving medical surgeries, nursed him to full health, and then sent him back home. That came all free of charge, now 2 other babies are getting the same treatment after they've been identified as emergency cases that the US Doctors have volunteered to take on. Our news team was at there today when they were transferred from the KHMH Neonatal Unit to the PGIA. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

UNDP Gives Relief Funding
Today another round of hurricane relief donations were handed over to CEMO, this time it's from the United Nations Development Program. It's a $50,000 US dollar contribution of mattresses and building supplies for those who lost their homes. The donation will be split in 2 parts, half of the donation will go to storm victims in the city and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR will distribute the other half in Valley of Peace and Armenia. Today we found out more at a short handing over ceremony at Militia Hall. Phillip Willoughby - City Councilor - CEMO: "We got mattresses, windows, Plycem and other 2x4 type lumbers and so forth to assist with home repairs basically." Courtney Weatherburne: "You know that several organizations or international agencies have contributed. We know that we need all the help we can get because it is still not enough but how long or how far will this donation go in terms in reaching out our hurricane survivors or victims?"

The City Continues The Cleanup
While residents will be building new homes with these supplies and bringing in their new mattresses and other furniture, they will also be getting rid of all their damaged belongings, and that means more rubbish for city council to pick up. Today we asked Councilor Willoughby how the garbage collection is going. Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor, CEMO: "In its initial stage NEMO afforded the city some assistance. That afforded us since Thursday to the following Tuesday for some contractors to do work across the city. Since then you may know that a lot of additional debris waste came out. That had its toll on the city. We opted to say well let's put it on hold and then have everyone put out their waste and then we started to pick up these waste and debris. So that process to this end in ongoing."

Sam and Earl
Another friendly country which will try to provide some hurricane assistance is the US Government. We've heard so far of relief donations from the Taiwanese and the European Union, but what about good old Uncle Sam? Today the Ambassador told us that he has made requests, and that immediately after the Hurricane passed the US Military was instrumental in making some of the damage assessment fly-overs possible: Daniel Ortiz: "Has the Government of Belize approached your government for trying to seek assistance for those affected?" H.E. Carlos Moreno - US Ambassador to Belize: "Yes it has and we are in the process of compiling the various forms of assistance, some of which I believe will come from this very unit that organized this event today, military liaison office of Southcom. They will be with proposals going forward to provide hurricane assistance and initially USAID the office of foreign disaster assistance have provided the necessary funds for the day after fly over that were conducted."

BTL Still Bringing Back Services
And while we mostly talk about the damage Hurricane Earl did to residences, but what about businesses which lost phone and internet service? Chair of the Executive Committee Anwar Barrow told us today that they are working to restore those services as quickly as possible. Anwar Barrow - Chair, Executive Committee, BTL: "In terms of our performance throughout the hurricane most of our network assets are above ground and were resilient during the hurricane. However, we did have a lot of individual connections that went down with copper lines into people's homes that have been water logged or that have been destroyed. We had several thousand around 4 thousand faults in our system after the hurricane on a day to day basis and we have been working to resolve those. We prioritize them first because certain customers who are doing business over those lines, employing people, we try to give priority to and then those who maybe just be using their home phone or just be using internet at their home have some alternative source come a little later."

Man-Man Business In Court
A man ended up in court today because of a domestic dispute - but it's news because the complainant isn't a woman; it's a man! 39 year old Noel Garcia reported that his partner of 6 months, 23 year old Justin Arnold slapped him during a domestic dispute. This morning, after an overnight in lock down, Arnold appeared before Magistrate, Carlon Mendoza where he was read a single charge of common assault. Arnold pleaded not guilty and Magistrate Mendoza offered him bail of $500 dollars. Garcia told Police that it happened at their North Front Street home on Wednesday night at 9:00. He says Arnold asked him to help pull down a door. Garcia told Arnold he was too tired to help, and alleges that's when Arnold slapped him.

US Ambassador says OAS Investigation In Child Shooting Finished
A month ago, we told you that Both Belize and Guatemala requested that the OAS investigate the BDF's fatal shooting of 13 year-old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado. That's the shooting which the Guatemalan Government condemned as murder, but which the BDF maintains was self defence, since they were fired upon inside the Chiquibul, under the cover of darkness. The Mexican Government dispatched a highly trained forensics specialist to make up a part of the OAS's independent investigation team. So, did the US Government, and today when the media asked US Ambassador Carlos Moreno about it today, he said that he understands that the investigation is complete. He said that it is for the OAS to decide when to disclose the results to the two Governments after the formal report is completed:

BTL Scholarship Program Continues
Many kids won't be able to go back to school next month, and if they do, they will be missing books or start off late until they can recover all their school supplies after Hurricane Earl. But there are others who can't even afford to pay the tuition to be enrolled, let alone buy their class materials. Well, 25 of those deserving kids got full high school scholarships from BTL and a ceremony was held at the Radisson today to recognize the recipients. The Chair of the Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow told us more about the scholarship package and the kids described how this opportunity will help them realize their dreams. Since the scholarship program began in 1991, BTL has awarded scholarships to over 300 kids from all over the country. They are planning on expanding the program.

US Military Trains Bze Firefighters
Today at the Ladyville Fire Station, over 70 fire fighters from across the country were finishing up a 5-day training supervised by US Military firefighters. It's an intense real-time simulation of a raging fire that the firemen had to take on in full gear - resembling conditions very much like those infernos which have made it regularly on our newscast. Our Daniel Ortiz was placed in the training area to experience what those firemen were putting themselves through and within 5 seconds, he ran out unable to take it. So, today, we asked the Fire Chief why they would punish themselves to train under these conditions. Here's what he told us: The training was done with the million dollar equipment donation that the US Embassy provided to them last year.

Family Day For Disabled
At the top of the news, we showed you our interview with Special Envoy Kimplis-Barrow. We got that opportunity today at the Inspiration Center's 3rd annual family day. It's the small social event which the staff holds with the families of the disabled children who they work with everyday. The Executive Director told us more:

Jazzfest Sweet!
And we close tonight as we did on Monday, with some clips from the Belize Jazzfest 2016. First is Tuesday Night's Classical Concert, and, second, you'll see Thursday's Piano Concert. Enjoy, and get out and see it for yourself tonight at the Pickwick Club with the Tribute To Lord Rhaburn. Have a good night, and a great weekend, and join Indira Craig back here on Monday...

Channel 5

Ryan Rhaburn Arraigned, Makes Bail on Friesen Kidnapping Charge
Another of William Mason’s alleged henchmen has been brought before the court where he was indicted on charges of kidnapping.  After previous issues stymied attempts to charge ranch manager Ryan [...]

BELCOGEN Mechanic Crushed to Death at Tower Hill
Forty-one-year-old Ismael Jimenez Junior, a mechanic employed at BELCOGEN, lost his life this afternoon after being pinned between two vehicles at the energy plant on Tower Hill.  It is unclear [...]

16 Year Old Arraigned for Sexual Assault of Younger Brother
Earlier this week, we reported on the shocking news coming out of the Cayo District; that an eleven-year-old boy of Santa Elena had been sodomized, allegedly by his sixteen-year-old brother [...]

B.P.P. Treasurer Has a “William Mason Story”
Weeks after he first made headlines, the threads continue to unravel in the story of accused con man turned alleged kidnapper and murderer, William “Danny” Mason. And the staggering scale [...]

Put Hurricane Relief Funds into Productive Sector, B.P.P. Tells Government
The Government has collected millions of dollars in hurricane relief funds since the passage of Hurricane Earl. Much of it will go to rebuilding efforts for the hardest-hit communities. But [...]

U.S. Ambassador: Section 53 Ruling is “Victory for All Belizeans”
Earlier this week, the Government of Belize announced that it will not be appealing Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s decision that Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code was unconstitutional. The landmark [...]

Carlos Moreno Calls for Ventilation of Decision in Local Forum
According to Ambassador Moreno, the decision sets a precedent that is being observed by Caribbean and Latin America.  The legal system and the people of Belize, Moreno says, should be [...]

Ambassador Moreno Advises Churches to Seek Permission to Appeal
Today, a closed meeting among church leaders with an attorney took place to discuss the way forward and a possible appeal of the decision by the Chief Justice that decriminalized [...]

V.I.P. Maintains Support for Section 53 Despite Court Decision
The political party Vision Inspired by the People says it stands in full support of Section Fifty-three of Belize’s Criminal Code and still wants the Government of Belize to appeal [...]

Gay Man Accuses Partner of Violence in Lovers’ Quarrel
In court news, twenty-three-year-old Justin Arnold of Sandhill village has been accused of domestic assault on his partner.  Interestingly, the accuser is a male, sixteen years older than him, and [...]

B.T.L. Awards 25 Scholarships in 25th Anniversary of Scholarship Program
The country’s largest telecommunications provider also runs one of its biggest scholarship programs. Established in 1991, Belize Telemedia Limited’s scholarship program has helped hundreds of Belizeans gain access to secondary [...]

U.N.D.P. Hands Over Construction Material
Relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Earl are ongoing.  Contributions in the form of cash and other resources needed for victims to repair homes and properties continue to be [...]

How Will Assistance Be Given to Hurricane Victims?
According to Councilor Phillip Willoughby, who also heads the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, there is a strict process in place to assist disaster victims.   Phillip Willoughby, CEMO “What [...]

Chetumal Chamber of Commerce Chips in with Hurricane Donation
The Chetumal Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism, CANACO Servytur Chetumal, has also stepped up to assist victims of Hurricane Earl.  At midday, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry [...]

Firefighters Train to Respond to Major Disasters
There was a fire and an accident in Ladyville and firefighters had to be called in to out the blaze, rescue victims trapped in the fire and extricate a critically [...]

New School Year, New Haircuts Offered to City Kids
The annual drive to prepare primary school students for the start of the academic calendar by grooming and offering haircuts is just around the corner.  On September third and fourth, [...]

Haircut Drive is Giving Back to Local Community
Another of the event’s organizer, Edmond Staine says that it is their humble way of giving back to the Fabers Road community. Staine says that this year, they are doing [...]

Mexican Embassy Hosts Exhibit on Yucatan Art
An art exhibit has been launched at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. Entitled “Three Generations of Graphic Art in Yucatan,” the exhibit will showcase the work of three talented [...]

Channel Five’s Summer Fest 2016 Was Better Than Ever!
Music, song, dance and poetry – it all took place this morning on Channel Five’s annual Summer Fest. Children from across the country converged on our outdoor stage here on [...]


Machine Operator Crushed at Sugar Factory
A tragic accident at the Belize Sugar Industries has left an employee dead today. William Neal, the Communications and Government Affairs representative for ASR/BSI confirmed that Ishmael Jimenez Junior who has been employed by BELCOGEN as a mechanic since February 2012 was working with heavy duty machinery when he was pinned between two machines just […]

VIP Wants Sodomy Ruling Appealed
Vision Inspired by the People has joined the voices of those speaking out against the recent ruling of Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin on Section fifty three of the criminal code. The VIP says the Government should appeal the decision. The VIP says they have taken the stance because natural human procreation serves as the bedrock […]

US Ambassador Commends Chief Justice on His Ruling of Sodomy Law
On May 29, 2016 the LGBT flag was hoisted on the compound of the US Embassy. It was done as a consequence of the White House sending out a Presidential Proclamation declaring the month of June to be the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. Almost three months later Belize’s Chief Justice, Kenneth […]

NEMO Gets $100K of Supplies from UNDP
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) along with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) donated one hundred thousand Belize dollars worth of materials and supplies to the National Emergency Management Organization and the City Emergency Management Organization this morning to aid in hurricane relief efforts. Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP, Karen Bernard spoke […]

$40K Courtesy PACT for Hurricane Relief
On Thursday the Belize Red Cross received a donation to continue the work they have been doing to provide continued relief to victims of Hurricane Earl. The forty thousand dollar donation was from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT and was handed over by Chair of the Board, Dr. Colin Young. Director of the Belize […]

PetroCaribe Chips In the Hurricane Relief Efforts
Petro Caribe gave a donation to two agencies this afternoon to help with Hurricane Relief Efforts. The Belize City Council received an amount of twenty five thousand dollars and the Belize Red Cross received seven thousand five hundred dollars. Chairman of Petro Caribe, John Mencias, stated that they want to assist the people in need […]

USA Contributes to Recovery Efforts Following Earl
It has been fifteen days since Hurricane Earl wreaked damages upon lands and structures especially in the Belize District. Since then we have had several agencies and countries extending a helping hand to Belize via monetary donations or in-kind contributions. Today, the US Ambassador Carlos Moreno told the media that the embassy is in the […]

Baby Liam Gets First Class Travel for Medical Attention
Esophageal atresia is a disorder of the digestive system in where the oesophagus is not fully developed which therefore disrupts the linkage from the mouth to the stomach. It is a congenital defect, meaning that it occurs before birth. Cassia August and Shaheed Ritchie are the parents of twin babies that were born recently. One […]

3-Days Into the Fire with Belize and Puerto Rico
Over six dozen firemen from around the country concluded a 5-day training in collaboration with their counterparts from the Puerto Rico National Guard Fire Team. This training was the second phase of the partnership between both agencies under the US Embassy Belmopan Mission Strategic and Resource Plan as well as the US Southern Command Theatre […]

Fun Day for the Special Children
The Inspiration Center is holding its family fun day today at their resource center where they provide services for children with special needs. There were fun events for the parents and children that attend the center. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow spoke of the beneficiaries of the centre. Special Envoy for […]


Fradulent pyramid scheme hurting poor Belizean women
Before a store attendant in Belize City could ask her customer how she could assist her, she launched right off into trying to recruit the customer into the “dream catchers” pyramid scheme that has become rampant across Belize, although it has been banned in places like the UK, where organizers and promoters could face jail time as well as orders to pay fines. The scheme, commonly known as “dream catchers,” “give and take,” and “gifting circles,” is often promoted under the guise of a women’s empowerment circle. It has been propagated on the cayes, and other parts of the country, taking root faster than the “Charlie, Charlie” craze which hit Belize schools last year. The truth is, the scheme has been around for much longer, and it has taken various forms in places such as Mexico, Canada, and the US. It is commonly perpetuated by well-to-do socialites who plan parties to promote it, and in Belize it is no different, as we have heard of ranking educators and even persons in the legal profession being a part of the scheme.

Westline bus crashes into store at terminal!
Commuters fled for their lives as a Westline bus crashed into the waiting area of the Belize City bus terminal without warning. Sometime close to 5 p.m., the bus pulled up into the terminal in preparation for its regular 5:15 express run to Cayo. However, that run had to be cancelled following the incident. When Amandala spoke to Muhammad Kwasr, 23, who owns Reliant Store, which is located inside the terminal, he told us that if he had not dived out of his shop, he would have been directly smashed by the bus. According to Kwasr, who is the only person authorized to sell tickets for the Mexican-owned Ado bus, there were several tourists inside the terminal at the time of the incident. The store also sells sodas and other food items.

Rene August, 50, dies in traffic accident in Vera Cruz
Belizeans Rene August, 50, a tour guide operator and vehicle dealer of Santa Elena, Cayo District, and Juan Rudon, 67, were travelling back to Belize from the United States through Mexico when on their arrival in an area called Jamapa in the city of Vera Cruz, August, who was driving a Ford Escape, lost control of the vehicle and it overturned. August suffered serious head and body injuries. According to reports in the Mexican newspaper, Diario de Vera Cruz, rescuers had to cut August out of the wreck, but he was declared dead on the scene. However, his partner, Juan Rudon, escaped unhurt. Mexican authorities report that August was towing a Jeep SUV behind the Escape, but it is not yet known what caused him to lose control.

Barrow says “yes” to the LGBT!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has roundly rejected a call from the Roman Catholic Church in Belize, the largest and most influential Christian denomination in the country, as well as the Evangelical community in Belize, to appeal the hotly debated ruling handed down on August 10, 2016 by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, saying that criminal sanctions could no longer be applied to consensual sexual acts which were categorized as “unnatural,” such as anal sex between men. Barrow’s decision may be testing the church-state partnership that has traditionally existed in Belize. In his Independence speech three years ago, after hearings on the constitutionality of Belize’s sodomy law, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that, “…we cannot afford for Government and the Churches to be at odds;” as he spoke in the context of the “culture war” which was emanating from the legal battle waved to secure LGBT rights in Belize.

Tough times: teachers and public servants consider delay in salary adjustment
Teachers and public officers who were anxiously awaiting the final tier of their three-year salary adjustment package last month—amounting to a 3% salary increase—are being asked to hold off until next April, the start of the next budget year. Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with leaders of the three unions representing them to formally ask them to delay the salary adjustment. Barrow said that the request was made as a consequence of Hurricane Earl, which two weeks ago caused individual property losses of upwards of $15 million and losses to agriculture and tourism of over $100 million. On Monday, Barrow shared the preliminary damage assessment with the members of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers.

Voters in 2020 may find themselves in different divisions
Belize has a pool of nearly 200,000 voters spread across 31 constituencies or electoral divisions, and official information from the Elections and Boundaries Department indicates that roughly 73% of them voted in the last general election held on November 4, 2015. The next election is not due until 2020, but by the time that election comes around, many voters could find themselves voting in a different constituency altogether. That is because the Government intends to embark on a national redistricting exercise, as well as re-registration of electors. Apart from the mandate to ensure that the voters’ list is genuine, the Elections and Boundaries Commission is also tasked with ensuring a fairly even distribution of voters across divisions. The Belize District has 13 electoral divisions, but 10 of them are concentrated in the few square miles covered by Belize City.

8-Ball National Tournament – 2016 in Sugar City!!!
The 19th National Belikin 8-Ball Tournament commenced in June at the district level, and will finish with a bang, or like a slice of cake, on August 20 & 21 in Sugar City at the Civic Center by the People’s Stadium, with champions from north, south, east and west, to see who is the best on the billiards table. From the north, we will see Miramar of Corozal and Hi5 of Orange Walk; from down south, it will be Anaconda of Toledo, and SFB from Steadfast Village, Stann Creek; from the west, it’s CK Shooters of San Ignacio, and Las Flores of Belmopan; and from the east, it will be Long Island of Belize City, and One Shot One Kill of the beautiful island of San Pedro, who is participating for the first time.

Cricket Corner: Easy Does It wins over Excellence
Well, on August 13, fans and supporters of the game headed to the beautiful village of Lemonal to watch the first of a three-game series for the championship between home team Easy Does It and visiting team Excellence of Double Head. The game should have started at 10:30 a.m., but, because it rained earlier, play time was put off ‘till about 12:30 p.m. Before I continue, I want to refresh your mind about team Easy Does It. Looking at the members of the team, if you are not familiar with the team, you will not believe that they are back-to-back champions. The players are in no way boastful. The manager/coach, Mr. Michael Muslar told me one day that his team does not talk cricket. They play cricket. That statement must not be taken lightly, because this information, put in a nutshell, speaks highly of their performance and achievements. In 2014, Easy Does It defeated Brilliant in two games to win the championship. In 2015, they defeated Wicked 11 in three games to win the champ. In 2016, they are one win away from making them a three-peat.

Dangriga sports stats
This Sunday, Carl Ramos Stadium will explode like never before with the big PLB match-up opening tournament 2016 – home team Wagiya vs Verdes. Kick-off time is set for 3:30 p.m. General admission will be $8.00 for this weekend, since there will be a big performance by a Kulture band and artist. Everybody down south is waiting to go to the Carl Ramos Stadium after it has been newly refurbished. So, this Sunday’s PLB game will have a big attendance. Wagiya Football Club would like to apologize to all their fans, because the game price was set for $7.00; but, since a band and artist will perform, it will be $8.00 only for this Sunday. Here are results from the Pomona Village Council Sporting Committee Mundialito games over the weekend at Pomona New Site football field. Spain from Pomona won over England from Mile 25 by a score of 2 goals to nil, both goals scored by Ornell Reyes. In game two, Brazil, also from Pomona, won over Germany from Valley Community by a score of 3 goals to nil. Kevin Herrera got 2 goals and Dorain Pabon scored the other. These were the Saturday games.

FFB to the rescue; BDFA 1st Division final this Sunday at MCC
After a long delay, reportedly due to difficulties in securing the promised prize money for the winners, the Belize District Football Association (BDFA) will finally hold its First Division Championship final this Sunday, August 21, at the MCC Grounds, starting at 3:30 p.m. It will be the much anticipated clash between Eiley FC and Lake I Bombers. A release today from the BDFA said that the champion takes home a cash prize of $2,000.00; while the sub-champ gets $1,000.00. According to reports, the FFB bailed out the BDFA this week with a check for $3,000.00.

Carnival, cable television, and the churches
It does appear that in Belize we have been moving from crisis to crisis to crisis for many months now, perhaps years. We think that there are battles going on to win and control the hearts and minds of the Belizean people. There are wealthy, powerful forces on the regional and international landscape which have a special interest in The Jewel, and one of the reasons things appear so hectic, explosive sometimes, in Belize is because the Belizeans you are listening to are speaking with the voices of the region and of the world. Everything is now larger than Belizean life, as it were. Everything is louder than loud. The evangelical pastor Louis Wade has been claiming on his television station that the homosexual lobby in Belize, known as UNIBAM, received US$3.4 million in funding from abroad shortly after the Supreme Court verdict favorable to the homosexual agenda was read last week in Belize. He also says that $1 million in Belize money has come for UNIBAM from local donors, and he pointed the finger at the Government of Belize.

From the Publisher
We have a habit in this country of belittling our own. That is a bad habit, and it is one of the reasons why those who are responsible for sending our youth and other citizens to participate in any competition with nations of the region and of the world, should be held to account when our representatives are not transparently selected, properly prepared, and adequately financed. It’s terrible when the choices to be our representatives are biased choices. But this is not about that in this column. I mentioned this very bad habit we Belizeans have, because there are situations in which, if you are someone who is immature or unschooled, I suppose you may be justified in finding humor in Belizean shortcomings. We are a young nation, and as a people we don’t always take things seriously. On Thursday afternoon, April 21, a very, very serious proposition was presented to us by Jimmy Morales, the President of Guatemala, and if you found anything funny about his rhetoric, then you would have been a candidate for the mental hospital.

An open letter for Hurricane Earl Relief funds from Belize corporations
Dear Hon. Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Hon Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance I am bringing to your attention a need at the highest level to foster the rebuilding of Belize after Hurricane Earl by including the local large corporations. There is a global effort called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on environmental and social wellbeing that benefits society. CSR involve setting a good example, which is one of the greatest benefits, in that corporations involved in CSR inspire other organizations, companies and individuals to “up their game” when it comes to social and environmental responsibilities. This in turn encourages further inspiration in the community leading to a more enlightened perspective on how to run one’s business or lead one’s life.

Neri O. Briceño writes Olympic President
I write to you as simply a man, a Belizean and citizen of the world. I come without medals, honors, positions, degrees and titles; just an ordinary man. A man and his nation who are being represented internationally by your organization and the picture I am seeing is not representative of me or the country we all live in. On July 4th, 2016 I wrote to the President of the International Olympic Committee regarding the choosing of Katy Sealy over Kaina D. Martinez to represent Belize in Female Athletics (Track & Field) in Rio 2016. All indications are that this was a totally unfair decision which was not made in the interest of the nation of Belize or in the spirit of the Olympics. I am still convinced that Katy was the wrong choice and my opinion regarding the matter will not change. I will continue to advocate this matter at every level until Olympics representation in Belize is changed so that it reflects Belize, represents Belizeans and works for the promotion of ALL athletes in Belize.

Alexander Vasquez, the legendary Belizean Cross Country cycling champion of the 1980 Belize Cross Country Cycling Classic, has died. Vasquez, who rode to prominence in winning the most popular Belizean sporting event – the Belize Cross Country, was found dead in his sleep according to family sources in Los Angeles, California where the former Belizean cyclist lived since his migration from Belize in the 1980’s. Belizean Legends wishes to expresses its condolences to the family of Alexander Vasquez, who throughout his life and his struggles have always been a very kind and beautiful brother in the Los Angeles Belizean community where he lived and became an activist at one time in the Belizean organization called, “The Winners.” Yours truly spent some quality time with Vasquez in 2014 while trying to make a documentary on his life as a Belizean Cross Country champion. Though it didn’t materialize, my many conversations with the legendary Alexander were refreshing as he chronicled the highlights of that very race in 1980 when he went against some of the best, including the legendary Kenrick Halliday and won.

I consider this issue of Internet Speeds and Pricing critical for Belize’s development in the educational, business, and global health arenas, among others. Therefore, to me, it is a national issue for which Belizeans must insist on solutions to these bottlenecks. This is not a zero sum game. Utility companies often fail to realize that people use (and pay) more when they get more value for money. According to my reading of this article, Belize pays 10 times as much as Barbados for the same internet speeds (For 15MB Barbados pays $32.50, while Belize pays US$350.44 for 16MB). Additionally, the highest Internet speed available to Belizeans is 16 MB while Barbados enjoys 1G (1000MB)—or almost 70 times faster download speeds. For this (1000MB) download speed Barbados pays US$297.50, which is less than the US$350.44 that Belize pays for speeds almost 70 times slower.

Three charged for robbery at Chef Ainsley
Three men appeared at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning to be charged in connection with the robbery of a popular chef, Ainsley Castro, Sr.,who was held up at gunpoint at his businessplace, located in the Lake Independence area, last Friday, August 12. Kareem Betancourt, 31, a tour guide; Jermaine Wagner, 20 a fisherman, and Lemar Lamb, 18, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Police charged Wagner and Betancourt with handling stolen goods, while Lamb was charged with burglary and robbery with a firearm of the businessman, popularly known as Chef Ainsley.

Tough times: teachers and public servants consider delay in salary adjustment
Teachers and public officers who were anxiously awaiting the final tier of their three-year salary adjustment package last month—amounting to a 3% salary increase—are being asked to hold off until next April, the start of the next budget year. Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with leaders of the three unions representing them to formally ask them to delay the salary adjustment. Barrow said that the request was made as a consequence of Hurricane Earl, which two weeks ago caused individual property losses of upwards of $15 million and losses to agriculture and tourism of over $100 million. On Monday, Barrow shared the preliminary damage assessment with the members of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers. “They naturally have to consult their membership, so they are not able to give me an answer,” Barrow told us.

The Reporter

Bus crashes into shop at the terminal
Travelers and a shop owner at the bus terminal in Belize City had to run for their lives on Thursday evening as a Westline Bus drove unexpectedly through the security railing and into a shop. Eye witnesses say the incident happened shortly after 5:00 p.m. when the […]

Faber’s Government-issued SUV driven into the Caribbean Sea
Police are investigating how the 2013 white Prado that the government assigned to Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber got from where he said he left it to where it was later found submerged in the Caribbean Sea Sunday night. Faber told reporters that between 5:30 […]

Mason’s wife gets bail
Melissa Ferguson, common-law wife of accused murderer William “Danny” Mason, is out on bail after being charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Ferguson, a 51-year-old Canadian citizen, got bail of $12,000 and two surities from the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon. As a condition of her bail, […]

Foundation up for new Belize City Centre complete
The structure that will be the old capital’s City Centre is taking shape, with the foundation of the facility now complete. Since the signing of the contract late last year, 477 piles were driven into the earth’s crust. Part of phase one of the project […]

Belize a sponsor in the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards
Belize is sponsoring the overall winner of the 2016 Responsible Tourism Awards. The award ceremony, organized by the organization Responsible Travel, is geared towards organizing tourism initiatives, be they niche to mainstream, in such a way that they preserve respects and benefits destinations and local people. There […]

BECOL donates hurricane relief funds to the Red Cross
The Belize Electric Company Limited (BECOL), this week, donated some $200,000 in funding to the Belize Red Cross to assist with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. Lynn Young, president and CEO of BECOL handed over the cheque to Lilly Bowman, executive director of the […]

IDB donates US$200,000 to Belize for hurricane relief
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, will give the Government of Belize a US $200,000 grant in order to assist hurricane victims. The IDB is giving the grant to support the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) […]

PACT donates $40,000 for relief efforts
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) made a donation of $40,000 to the Belize Red Cross Society’s disaster relief effort on Thursday morning at the Red Cross office on Gabourel Lane in Belize City. Sympathizing with the thousands of Belizeans who were affected by Hurricane Earl, PACT […]

Eleven-year-old found hanging in his room
An 11-year-old boy was found hanging from the ceiling of his room in Orange Walk Town on Tuesday night. According to what the boy’s uncle told police, he went out and left the 11-year-old home alone along with his four year old brother. When he got home […]

Man Massacred at La Pasidita Bar
Thirty-seven-year-old Ever Miranda, a resident of Duck Run 2 Village, was shot and chopped to death after a dispute with a group of men at La Pasidita Bar near Spanish Lookout on Sunday. According to San Ignacio Police, the dispute was not the ordinary bar fight. Police […]

Two brothers chopped up in Belmopan, one dies
Two brothers from Belmopan were brutally attacked with machetes this week, and one of them died from the incident. Santiago Patt, acting officer commanding at the Belmopan Police Formation, explained that police are seeking three men from the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan, in connection with the […]

Mother-daughter duo charged for assault
A 40-year-old woman along with her 17-year-old daughter were charged for assaulting Shantae Gabourel at the National Song Competition last Saturday at Memorial Park in Belize City. According to Gabourel, she was enjoying the performances at the event when suddenly a fight broke out between her sister and another individual. […]

Three persons charged for Chef Ainsley’s robbery
Police have detained and charged three men for the robbery of popular chef, Ainsley Castro, at gunpoint at his restaurant on La Croix Boulevard last Friday afternoon. According to Castro, the incident occurred sometime around 1:30 p.m. when two men entered the establishment through the gate and […]

It was Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, who in a speech dedicating the new Ave Maria School of Law in 2002 rationalized the relationship between law and culture. “Culture,” he said, is the world which people in a given society make, by what they do and why they do […]

Churches plan to appeal Section 53 decision
The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) announced this week that it will meet with other churches in an attempt to challenge the Supreme Court’s ruling to amend Belize’s sodomy laws. Pastor Lance Lewis, president of NEAB, explained that it was the churches’ initial understanding […]

Boy sodomizes brother; Human Development investigates
The Department of Human Services has taken over the custody of an 11-year-¬old boy who was allegedly sodomized by his 16-year-¬old brother last Friday night at their house in Santa Elena town, Cayo. The child is being provided care by the state after the Department […]

Truck flips after high speed collision
A serious traffic collision happened around mile 3 of the George Price Highway around 12:30 p.m., on Thursday, in front of McKoy’s Transmission Repair Shop. According to witnesses on the scene, a black Ford F¬-150 pick-up truck was travelling from the City, when the driver, […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BSI employee dies after tragic accident
BSI worker, Ismael Jimenez Jr. has passed away while receiving treatment for his injuries sustained earlier in the afternoon at the BSI compound. Jimenez worked as a mechanic for BELCOGEN. Reports are that he was pinned between two vehicles and sustained severe injuries. He […]

Ryan Rhaburn makes bail on kidnapping charge
After previous issues stymied attempts to charge manager Ryan Rhaburn with kidnapping of Canadian-Belizeans Lloyd Friesen and his wife, police were able to lay charges earlier this week. Today the Crown did not object to Supreme Court Justice Troadio Gonzalez granting Rhaburn, represented by […]

Gay partners in domestic dispute
23 year old Justin Arnold of Sandhill village has been accused of domestic assault on his partner; however, the accuser is a male 16 years older than him and they have been in a committed relationship for six months. It comes after last week […]

VIP: We support Section 53
The political party Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) says it stands in full support of section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code and still wants the Government of Belize to appeal the decision to strike down the section, despite Government saying it will not. […]

Simone Biles plans Belize vacation
Pint-size Olympian gymnast Simone Biles has told ABC News that she and her teammates are planning to visit Belize on vacation – once she’s gotten back to normal life. “We all want to go on vacation, not just one probably a couple of them. […]

BSI worker rushed to hospital following accident at the sugar mill
A man has been rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital and is expected to be transferred shortly to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City after he was involved in an accident at the BSI factory this afternoon. William Neal, the Communications and Government […]

BPP may expel member in social media fight
The Belize Progressive Party is approaching its first anniversary of formation; but as with any political party there is internal turmoil. In this case, at least one member may face internal discipline up to possible expulsion as a result of alleged misrepresentation of a meeting […]

Citrus Industry loses 16.5 million dollars following Hurricane Earl
The citrus industry in Belize suffered another blow after final estimates have placed losses at 16.5 million dollars due to Hurricane Earl. According to 7 News, the industry stakeholders have asked the government for assistance as losses have left them in need of financial assistance. […]

PUP “respects” all sides of Section 53 debate
After a firm statement from party leader John Briceno that it is not Belizean to hate and be divisive, the People’s United Party has stated that it is trying to see all sides of the heated debate – and not pick a side. Acknowledging […]

Belize continues to receive commendation for section 53 ruling
The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) has indicated its support to the government of Belize for not appealing the section 53 ruling. CVC said that Cabinet has a duty to regard and accept the court as the ‘Guardian of the Constitution of Belize’ and […]

25 for 25: BTL delivers complement of scholarships for students
Belize’s largest scholarship program today delivered another 25 scholarships for students in its 25th year of operation. Executive Chair of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), Anwar Barrow, said that as BTL has evolved in its services, these future leaders have an opportunity to evolve their […]

Fair weather expected to continue
The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy tonight. Showers or thunderstorms will be generally isolated across the country, except in the south where a few more showers or thunderstorms are likely to occur. The […]


What to expect from the range of hotels in Placencia, from $25-$700 a night - (an analysis of why hotels charge what they do, here!)
This is a long over-due post! The range of questions I get from potential guests tells me that there is a lot of understandable confusion when it comes to picking the right hotel in another country, where there isn't the AAA-star ratings and basic agreement on expectations of what you get with a certain price. We know what to expect from a Motel 6 vs. a Hilton, and the prices reflect that. When you take the chains out of it, and you are basically dealing with resorts or mom-and-pop places, it is very confusing, and picking a place based on the price you'd pay in the US can lead to expectations that may not be correct. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up... (I would like to note something....if you check out the TripAdvisor reviews for Placencia hotels (don't forget to check the b&b listings and the specialty lodging listings!), you will note something important - they are mostly ALL good! Placencia is known as a clean, tourist-friendly place. ALL the places I mention here, are places I would happily recommend as being clean, safe, and tourist friendly. There are very few if any "bad places" and I don't even know of any!)

Sustainable Development in the Tourism Industry of Belize
When it comes down to Sustainable Development in the Tourism Industry, Brundtland’s statement and beliefs goes in conjunction with the existing tourism focus by our country Belize. In our tourism sector, having a Sustainable Development plan is key and stakeholders must maintain and preserve the existing tourism product in such a way that it does not disrupt the flow of our existing natural resources and their livelihood. This will ensure that future generations can also benefit from it and continue to sustainably manage. Bottom line is that if we use up all the natural resources that are now readily available in the tourism sector, the children and tourists of tomorrow will have fewer resources to enjoy. Why is that important to you and Belize’s tourism industry you may ask? Well here’s how. In the context of international development projects, sustainable development can mean those activities designed not to exceed the socio-ecological capacity of the community to carry on from within. In forestry, sustainable development can mean the harvesting of trees and other forest products at a rate that does not exceed the capacity of the forest to regenerate itself. The same can be said for our ever popular tourism industry. If we use up or exploit all our tourism resources, then there will not be a value based tourism product in the years to come.

International Sourcesizz

Simone Biles Reveals How the ‘Final Five’ Is Going to Celebrate Together
They’ve put in the hard work. Now it’s time for Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and the rest of the Final Five superstar Olympic gymnasts to reap the rewards of their gold-medal success. First priority? They’re going to fit in some hard-earned time off. Biles told ABC News that they’ll go on “a couple” vacations. And there’s one place that’s already on their list. “We all want to go to Belize together and then after that, we’ll probably do family vacations,” she said. Belize isn’t a random choice; Biles is actually a dual citizen of the U.S. and the small Central American country, and has visited many times before. But the Belize Tourism Board went above and beyond during this Olympics, offering to host the whole group after the Games.

Belize PM says no change in 'gender policy' to result from court ruling
The Belize Government says there will be “no gender policy” as a result of a recent ruling by the Supreme Court that overturned the country’s sodomy law, ruling that Section 53 of the Criminal Code which criminalises consenting intercourse between adults of the same sex contravenes the right granted by the Constitution. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “No gender policy will emerge in consequence of the chief justice’s ruling and do or set out some of the things that the churches seem to fear are inevitable consequences. It won’t happen. Nothing will change except, as I said, in this narrow regard." Earlier this month, the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) activist Caleb Orozco and his United Belize Action Movement (UNIBAM) expressed satisfaction with the ruling by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruling that Section 53 of the Criminal Code contravenes the right granted by the Belize Constitution.

Balloons Blow, Don't Let Them Go!!!
Balloons Blow provides information to educate people about the destructive effects released balloons have on animals, people, and the environment, and strives to inspire and promote an eco-conscious lifestyle. All released balloons, including those falsely marketed as “biodegradable latex,” return to Earth as ugly litter. They kill countless animals and cause dangerous power outages. Balloons are also a waste of Helium, a finite resource. Balloons can travel thousands of miles and pollute the most remote and pristine places.

Belize decision a significant human rights landmark, says UN special envoy
The decision of the government of Belize to accept the judgment of the High Court to decriminalise consensual sexual acts between adults in private has been described as a significant human rights landmark. Dr Edward Greene, United Nations (UN) secretary-general’s special envoy for HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean congratulated the government and parliament of Belize following the judgement last week, which amended Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code. The National Evangelical Association of Belize and the Roman Catholic Church had urged the government to appeal the decision for a number of reasons. “This decision … is as important as the judgment of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in taking the understanding and application of human rights to a level that recognises the inalienable rights, dignity and respect for all regardless of race, class, gender and sexual orientation,” Greene said.


  • PACT donates to Belize Red Cross, 2min.

  • Belize Snorkling, 11min.

  • BELIZE // Snorkeling with Sharks & Stingrays [Days 6 & 7], 8min. Hands down my favorite day while visiting Caye Caulker was the time I signed myself up for a snorkeling trip with Raggamuffin Tours. If you're looking for a fun group to go check out the second largest barrier reef in the world with, be sure to go with them! I'll never forget the magic of seeing this underwater world, laughing with strangers who felt like old friends, dancing awkwardly on a rocking boat, and realizing I absolutely love reggae music.

  • Belize Study Abroad 2016, 3min.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Introduction, 1.5min.

  • Welcome To Belize (#Mikey_Mike), 2min. Beautiful Country Of Belize.

  • Belize: Allen's Woodcarvings, 1.5min. There are so many wonderful artisans in Belize. The hardwoods found in the jungle are such beautiful woods and it was a pleasure to be able to watch wood being transformed into a work of art!

  • Belize: I'll Just Have Street Corn, Please, 2min. I've read about street corn. I've seen glorious pictures. I even had my first taste this summer. I'm sure there are different variations to this delicacy, but this one so far is my favorite! I wonder what the secret ingredient is...

  • Belize, 5min. País Caribenho que fica entre a Guatemala e o Mexico, possui a segunda maior costa de corais do mundo! Praias lindas e biodiversidade marinha, perfeito para mergulhos e snorkel... Na ocasião, o vídeo é passado em Belize City e a ilha de Caye Caulker, alem da reserva de Hol Chan!

  • Belize mission trip July 2016, 4min. This summer I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Belize with my church. We spent 5 days in Yo Creek village working wiht a church there, we got to go visit some Mayan ruins in Lamanai, and we spent our last day on the island of Caye Caulker.

  • Lime Caye, 1min. Drone footage

    August 19, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Queen of Bacchanal Contestants announced
    The second annual Queen of Bacchanal Pageant is fast approaching, and six lovely ladies from across the country will be vying for the grand title on Saturday, September 10th at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. The theme for this year will be “Breaking Down All Barriers: One People, One Nation.” Held as a fundraiser for Mystic Mas Band, the pageant already has following. Hoping to win the pageant are contestants Vanessa Williams, Princess Acosta, Cristal Ruth McCullough, Felicia Gladden, Kristen Igner Fuentes and Shayna Ariola. The pageant will focus on excitement and energy with a centralized Caribbean Carnival theme, and contestants will be judged on swimsuit, talent, and carnival presentation.

    Volunteers help rebuild San Mateo
    Thanks to the commitment of the San Pedro Lions Club Vice-President Brittney O’Daniel, relief efforts have been geared at rebuilding homes that were completely or partially destroyed by Hurricane Earl, especially in the San Mateo area. With a goal budget of $20,000, O’Daniel is asking for monetary donations to help purchase materials such as plywood, zinc, lumber and nails needed to repair the homes. The building project is being led by co-owner of The Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant, David Jenkins, and a crew of volunteers lending their hands to help. The first phase of construction took place on Saturday, August 13th, where volunteers dedicated their time and labor to rebuilding. Although homes in San Mateo are built on top of mangroves, volunteers still managed to overcome the challenges of the stagnant water and limited electricity.

    Kids 4 Clean Water Camp returns to San Mateo
    The fifth annual “Kids 4 Clean Water” camp took place on Monday, August 15th and culminated on Friday, August 19th at the Faith Bible School in San Mateo. The program saw about 25-35 children a day, and served as an eye-opener to some of the issues that plague San Mateo’s water reserves. Since contaminated water has been an alarming concern for many years, the week-long adventure was aimed at teaching children about water safety, environmental conservation, and health issues. The main focus during the program has been sanitation and hygiene. Children, along with their families were also taught about coral reefs, mangroves, and wildlife, as well as the importance of protecting these areas and animals. The children enjoyed every segment of the program, in which they learned about the water cycle, benefits of proper handwashing, took a bird walk, were educated on crocodiles and mangroves conservation.

    Ambergris Caye is represented in international Olympic Regatta
    San Pedro sailors continue to put our island and country on the map. This time, two sailors from the island, Kevin Velasquez (14) and Caroline Sersland (12), participated in the 2016 Canadian Olympic Regatta taking place in Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston, Ontario Canada. The young athletes have been sailors for quite some time now, and have been training at the San Pedro Belize Sailing Club, which facilitated their participation in the event. Both Velasquez and Sersland were top finishers in the National Optimistic Championship Regatta in Corozal Town last year. Velasquez captured first place along with the Sailor of the Year award, while Sersland won second place. Due to their excellent showing in the 2015 sailing season, both sailors were ideal candidates for the 2016 Canadian Olympic Regatta.

    Ambergris Today

    Hurricane Rebuild is Underway, Donations/Volunteers Needed
    This is one reason why Ambergris Today honored Brittney O’Daniel with the Person of the Year award, she has a big heart. Just concluding with her fundraising/humanitarian efforts along with the Lions Club/Food Bank for the fire victims of San Pedro, she takes on another challenge to rebuild San Mateo homes damaged by Hurricane Earl. There are 52 homes in the San Mateo neighborhood (one of the poorest on the island) that were severely damaged by Hurricane Earl; six of them are complete rebuilds. Much needed supples are needed to help families rebuild there homes; most of them don't have anywhere else to go and cannot rebuild on their own. “No need to be a master builder (or novice builder for that matter). I just need AS MANY people as possible who don't mind getting a little dirty. These people truly NEED our help! If you can't make it but have some tools we can use that would be a big help as well! Let's step up people!” posted Britney on her Facebook post.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    CALLING OUT ALL ENTREPRENEURS, ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS OWNERS This Workshop is for you!!! Through this workshop you will learn how to write an actionable targeted marketing plan, how to develop your expenses and sales budgets and how to develop your marketing communications strategy and marketing communications mix. Presented by: Mrs. Vicky Heredia. Post/Teaching Description: Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Building, ITVET Campus, Belize City. Workshop Date: August 25th, 2016. Time: 9am to 12 noon.

    Bring Jerry the Crocodile to BLES
    Jerry the crocodile's owners approached BLES a few weeks ago, hoping to re-home their six-foot long Siamese Crocodile. Since seeing his bleak, barren enclosure for myself, I have been determined to turn his life around. Jerry was given as a gift to the head of a neighbouring village over four years ago. He has been sitting, day after day, in murky water, waiting for his weekly meal of a single, live catfish to be tossed into his space. After corresponding with welfare and conservation organizations, it seems like an animal in Jerry's position would be destined to be used for research, breeding, tourism, or to be transferred to a goverment holding facility where we can not guarantee an improved environment. The decision has been made to move him to Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary - BLES, where he will have an enclosure that offers everything he needs to live out the rest of his life in peace.

    Seven Houses of Culture around Belize
    Did you know? We have seven Houses of Culture around Belize! Use this interactive Google Map to find out more about them: 1) Click here for the map: 2) Click each house icon to learn about each House of Culture (PS Punta Gorda-Toledo House of Culture is in the works)

    3 Generaciones en la Grafica actual de Yucatan
    This free exhibit opens TONIGHT (Thursday, Aug. 18) at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City.

    Belize Bird Rescue: We are still seeing the aftermath of hurricane Earl
    We are still seeing the aftermath of hurricane Earl. These baby Emerald Toucanets were found by the Forest Department having been displaced by the storm, they went to the Wildlife Clinic for a couple days and then were transferred to us for rehabilitation. The first day that they were here neither of them had figured out how to fly yet, by the second day one of them had. He would fly all around their terrarium while his sibling watched in wonder, flap his wings a little and not take off like his brother, which baffled him. Within a couple of days though he was up and flying around and now they both fly with the same ability. Yesterday they had their first day outside in one of our big enclosures, joining our baby toucan who is very close to release. They came in for the night and this morning were very eager to get back outside.

    The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a non-profit organization, saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. The primary purpose of WCS in Belize is to develop and implement science-based conservation and management programs that will conserve Belize’s ecosystems in the long term. The WCS Belize Program is seeking to recruit a suitable Conservation Science Director to lead the scientific and technical aspects of their marine program in Belize. Objective: The Conservation Science Director, will directly supervise the Technical Coordinator, and other staff as may be assigned, and manage the science and education programs conducted at the Glover’s Reef Marine Research Station. S/he will also provide input on grant proposals and reports. Status: Full-time Reports to: WCS Belize Program, Country Director.

    Ocean photography workshop
    Checkout the GREAT students receiving their cameras for the ocean photography workshop today! During the workshop they will learn the mechanics of the camera and photo taking techniques before testing out their new skills. Participants are being given the cameras as part of the program so that they can continue to implement the skills they learn long after the program.

    Today and tomorrow the U.S. Embassy has joined forces with the famous Belize photographer Tony Rath and students from the Dangriga Gang Resistance Education Training (GREAT) to learn about photography and the impact of climate change and pollution on the ocean. As a culmination to the ocean photography workshops being conducted the U.S. Embassy, in partnership with NICH and the Garifuna Council, will organize a month long photography exhibition in November as part of the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations. More info. and photos from the workshops to come!

    Poets Corner: Challenge
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Now that the door is open Believers need to mount a challenge I invite all Muslims Especially our sistrens We have the Quran and Sunnah to defend We have women and children That needs men to honoured and defend Hence the “Bigamy law” needs to be challenged The Domestic Act has been widened To include “common law unions” After five years they have the rights Why not just make them wife? Since government will not appeal This shizz has just gotten real They opened one of the seven seals So here’s the deal

    Jazzfest 2016 Opening Ceremonies
    The CAYO Welcome Center was the perfect place for the opening of the Belize International Jazz Festival. 3 stages, all with wonderful music, and every different kind. Ascenthium rocked!

    Certificate in School Leadership Program Ceremony
    "Today August 12, 2016 marks the achievement of Sacred Heart Junior College third cohort of the Certificate in School Leadership Program (CSLP). The Coordinator of the program, Janeen Quiroz, was noted saying that this cohort excelled, as all the participants competed to be the best in mastering the principles of the program. Two who stood out from the 26 graduates were Ms. Feng-Ting Chiu and Ms. Pauline Gilharry who tied for the highest GPA. The atmosphere during the graduation ceremony was one of celebration with a touch of the spiritual, as the group gave thanks through the praise and worship songs Alive and This is the Day, lead by Mrs. Tharine Gabourel. Entertainment which brought a smile to everyone’s face was provided through the vocal talents of three of the males graduates: Mr. Magnu Sanchez, Mr. Benedicto Menjibar and Mr. Abimael Waight, who did a heartfelt rendition of Wings of Change.

    Corn Husk Doll making Workshop
    It is already day #3 of the Corn Husk Doll making Workshop and the participants have grasp the concept of the craft quite well. Attached are some pics of their dolls.

    The Belizean-American world class sprinter and Track & Field icon, Marion Jones, who captured the hearts of thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad continues to be talked about by Belizeans as this 2016 Olympics showcase the fastest woman who is from the Caribbean, Jamaican Elaine Thompson. After becoming the fastest woman in the world and making her mark as a world class athlete, Marion Jones visited Belize in 2001 which is the country of her mother's birth to a warm homecoming Belizean audience. Belizeans from all walks of life lined the streets of Belize City to see the athletic phenom that made Belize proud and captured the hearts of government and people alike. Fifteen years later, with the likes of Kiana Martinez who was robbed of her opportunity to represent Belize in the 2016 Olympics in a controversial issue surrounding the Belize Athletic Association and the Belize Olympic Association, the memory of Marion Jones comes to many a Belizean who remembered how the dynamic world class track athlete gave Belize's athletic program a booster shot that should have produced many Belizean track stars that would have been shinning now at the world games in London, and now at these 2016 Olympics.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    The Land, Me Before You, Ratchet & Clank, Infinity. New Projectors coming soon!

    Channel 7

    Overtaking Truck Flips In Dangerous Accident
    There was a terrible accident on the western Highway near Cisco Construction at mile four just before 1:00 this afternoon. A black extended cab Ford F - 150 double cab pickup truck was westbound when it was trying to overtake a white cargo truck. When the pickup veered into the lane of oncoming traffic, it drove into the path of an oncoming police pickup. The police driver had to run off the road to avoid a head on collision. But when the F150 finished overtaking, the driver got rattled and when he got back into his lane, he rammed into another pickup that was parked on the side of the road. That high speed impact caused the Ford pickup to violently flip - and at least one man was flung from the pickup and was seen on the road. We spoke to the passenger in the police pickup - Inspector Aaron Gamboa: Insp. Aaron Gamboa, Special Patrol Unit: "We were going towards Belize City and we saw a white truck ahead and a black 150 Ford Pickup overtook and it loses control on the side of the road and then it started to slide sideways into our Ford 150 police vehicle. When we saw that now, the driver said that he have to take one chance and go in the right hand side of the road into the savannah, otherwise it would have been a head-on collision. Definitely I wouldn't be talking to you today."

    Bus Ran Into Terminal
    And while that accident happened on the Highway, the commuters at the very crowded Novelo's Bus Terminal got a scare a little over an hour ago. It was due to an out-of-control Westline bus which ran through the metal barriers and crashed into one of the tiny shops inside the terminal itself. Nobody was hurt, but it made for quite a commotion when the bus lurched forward and knocked aside the metal barriers set up to protect passengers from harm. Best information to us says that the bus had only just pulled up to the barrier, and the driver was getting ready to allow passengers to disembark. He lost control of the bus when something caused it surge forward and slam into one of the stalls. Other reports suggest that the driver was not in the bus. Our news team was on the scene shortly afterwards, and we spoke to 2 of the business owners whose shops were wrecked because of the accident:

    BPP Wants Omnibus Referendum
    It's been almost 3 months since we last featured the Belize Progressive Party on our newscast. That's the independent party which wants to become Belize's third party, and a credible alternative to the PUDP two party system. They have adopted the ICJ referendum on the Belize Guatemala dispute as their flagship public issue, along with trying to get the Public to force the government of the day to sign on to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. And now, they've come up with a plan to try to get all that done in one fell swoop. They want to trigger a sort of "omnibus referendum" in which these 2 issues along with the questions of whether marijuana should be legalized, and whether the Government should accept the Chief Justice's amendment to the sodomy law.

    PM Says No Referendum
    Yesterday at this press conference, the media did ask the Prime Minister whether he would consider a referendum on the sodomy law - so that the electorate could decide the matter and not the judiciary. The Prime Minister made it clear that a referendum is not even being considered - because the judgment is self contained - and nothing more needs to be done:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "There is nothing that we contemplate as being any sort of necessary follow on from the Chief Justice's ruling. It is self-contained, it deals with Section 53, it removes the criminal stigma or possibility of sanction with respect of consensual sexual acts done in private, because another thing I hear people say 'oh, it mean now that people could go out and in public engaged in sex.' The law are still very clear that you can't do that. But there is nothing more that we consider needs to be done or ought to be done in consequence of the ruling. It does what it does and only that and as far we are concerned, it should not be taken any further."

    Is the Right To Gay Sex A Human Right?
    Those who lobby for a referendum say that society's right to live within the norms of mainstream Christian values must precede the lifestyle choices of a minority. But, those on the other side frame it is a human rights issue: that all Belizeans have certain inalienable rights - and no referendum can take that away. We asked the Prime Minister where he comes down on the issue - and he balked at the question:... Jules Vasquez: "Is homosexuality or the choice to live a homosexual lifestyle or a bisexual or queer lifestyle, is that in your mind a human rights issue? I ask, because the deputy prime minister recently expressed some uncertainly if that was a human right issue." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "Do I see homosexuality as human right? I'm not going to answer that sir. I am here sent by my cabinet to speak about the ruling and I was at pains to say to you that cabinet is united in so far as our determination not to appeal that ruling is concerned."

    PUP Weighs In On Section 53 Judgment, Wants To Appease All Sides
    And what is the PUP's position on the divisive issue? Well, we've told you about Leader John Briceno's Facebook posts which tended toward a more tolerant outlook. Today the party issued an official release, which seems to be trying to be all things to all people: urging tolerance in one breath, reverence for the churches in the other, respect for the decision in another, and the suggestion of support for a referendum in yet one more. The release opens by saying, quote, "Our nation…was founded on principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God and respect for the principle of social justice." And then it goes unto say, quote, "Enshrined in our Constitution is our "faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms." The release continues to try and have it both ways by saying, quote, "While we may believe that we the people should ultimately determine how we as a society should choose to live and be governed, we in the People's United Party respect the decision of the Supreme Court as the rule of law." And then it adds, quote, "we also respect the right of those who wish to challenge the decision of the Chief Justice in a higher court."

    PM Laments Emergence Of Prickly Issue
    And while oppositions is apparently contorting itself to appease all sides of the issue, the government doesn't have quite that same luxury. It duly opposed the constitutional challenge but after losing in court, Government has made it clear it won't appeal the judgment - vexing the churches, and many in the public who have expressed disgust at the Chief Justice's decision. And now, the prospect of the even more divisive gay marriage is on the horizon, which will truly test Government's mettle in the extend of its support for individual rights. Yesterday we asked the Prime Minister if he wished the LGBT community would have left well enough alone and not made the challenge:.. Jules Vasquez: "Is this a case that you would have prefer left well enough alone, in so far as people were doing what they were doing unprosecuted in the privacy of their lives and no one was being arrested or haul before the courts for having sodomy. My question then is would you have preferred that the status quo persists rather than having this case divide society as it has?"

    Citrus Damages: 16.5 Million
    16.5 million dollars - that's who much the citrus industry said it lost due to Hurricane Earl. All the industry stakeholders met with the Ministry of Agriculture where they totaled the loss at 569,444 boxes of oranges and 133,585 boxes of grapefruit. Growers say they need to re-fertilize groves to put back leaves that were lost due to "wind whip." And so now the industry sent a release today making it public that they are asking government for financial assistance to growers. They also want the Central Bank to make the commercial banks and lending institutions restructure loans. Back to government, they want a two year moratorium on land tax payments, duty free diesel, and faster GST reimbursements. There's no response from government yet, but we know that the equally devastated banana industry has asked for help and government's standing position is that it is strapped for cash and cannot help.

    Post-Earl Relief Funding Paltry
    With the losses to agriculture and infrastructure, official estimates of the damage put it at about 105 million - and that doesn't include all that money you spent on new appliances, replacement furniture, and damaged roofs. All told the cost of hurricane Earl is a staggering figure, but so far government has only received a paltry sum from multilaterals like the CDB and friendly nations like Taiwan and the European Union. How paltry? We'll let the PM break the bad news:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "If you have not gotten it yet, it certainly on the way. The CEDEMA man is coming in tomorrow. I think he is bringing $200,000 Euros, Taiwan is $200,000 Belize, the IDB has agreed to their grant of I think $200,000US, the damage assessment experts have been contracted I think they are coming in next week. That of course is for purposes of the loans that we will be trying to access via both CDB and the IDB. In terms of grant monies, I think we are just about tacked out or reached the limit of what we are going to get. So again, its CEDEMA, CDB, IDB, Taiwan. All together you'd be looking at what 1.2 million dollars."

    PACT Gives To Red Cross
    And while the appeal to international donors continues, locally, the disaster recovery efforts continues, especially for those who cannot find the funds to repair their homes. Sure enough, the storm left a long trail of wreckage in its wake. That is why the Belize Red Cross continues their relief efforts, helping storm victims. They got a boost today with a $40,000 donation from PACT. Today the chair of the PACT Board Colin Young told us about the significance of the donation and the Director General of the Belize Red Cross Lily Bowman detailed how the funds will be distributed. The Belize Red Cross team has assessed over 600 families and out of that, they have helped over 335 families. The Red Cross continues its relief initiatives. We note that BECOL also gave the Red Cross a substantial donation of two hundred thousand dollars.

    Herman Moved On Up! (But He May Move Back Down Soon)
    And while government is doing its best to roll out assistance through NEMO, as you heard, the government coffers are just about running on empty. That's why it struck a bad nerve when Belize's new Consul General to New York, the former UDP politician Herman Longsworth posted pictures of his new digs in New York. We haven't seen inside but from the view, we'd say he's moved into one of those "deluxe apartments in the sky." Yesterday the Prime Minister warned that he should enjoy it while he can:... Reporter: "I saw a picture he posted of his new office. He's been sent out already and some people feel that in these times of economic - you'd understanding, to be sending..." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "That was a decision made before the hurricane. I can tell you that we'd also thought of the opening of a consulate in Chicago. That's not going to happen. In other words what has not happened - no professional consulate will be open in Chicago. We don't have the money and in terms of New York, well as I said, they've been after us for a while to separate the consular premises from the permanent mission of Belize to the UN."

    Will Other Visas For Senior Barrow admin Officials Be Cancelled
    And while Consul General Longsworth doesn't have to worry about his US VISA, are other officials in the Barrow administration losing sleep about having their US visas cancelled. IT happened to the CEO of NEMO - and we asked the Prime Minister if it will or has happened to others:.. Jules Vasquez "We know that Ms. Ruth Meighan Visa was reportedly cancelled. We've heard that other senior officials in your government may be targeted. Have you received any such information?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "No. I did hear about Ms. Ruth Meighan and I believe that confirmed, because she did say to me that she would come to see me. But Earl intervene and she is the NEMO CEO and we haven't had a chance to speak yet. I in fact caused inquiries to be made of the US."

    Multifarious Mexican Art
    Tonight, 34 art pieces line the walls at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. The exhibit features 3 Mexican painters with distinct techniques and styles. 90 year old Mario Reyes celebrates the beauty and complexity of women in his work, 25 year old Adrain Bastarrachea experiments with abstract art and Jose Luis Rumbo produces surrealist works. Apart from highlighting their individual processes as artists, this showcase reflects an important link or sharing of ideas among men from 3 generations. We spoke to one of the artists today, Jose Rumbo and he told us more about the exhibit and invited us into his world of art. The exhibit is called "3 Generations of Graphic Art in Yucatan" . It opens at the INstitue of Mexico tonight at 8 and will remain open until September 8th.

    Company In Toledo Exports Turmeric
    Yellow Ginger - it's a spice much used in the East Indian communities of southern Belize - basically it's what makes curry yellow and tasty. And now one Toledo company called "Naledo" is exporting it to Canada as a paste. It's called "Truly Turmeric" - and it's described as a fresh yellow ginger paste. But it's not just for curry, the company says it can be used for cooking, smoothies, teas and as a healing paste. Turmeric is widely recognized as an anti-inflammatory and anti- oxidant. But what's novel about this product is that the company says it's a social enterprise about empowering Toledo youths, and to that end, they are training eight youths under the age of 30 to manage and create the paste. The company is founded by a Canadian mother and daughter team Umeeda and Nareena Switlo. Umeeda first came to Belize as a consultant and saw opportunities. Today, speaking via telephone from Punta Gorda, she told us more about how this business will improve the lives of Toledo youth and she also described all the great benefits of their turmeric paste.

    Resorts Falling Over Each Other To Host Gold Medalist Simone Biles And Team
    And just a while ago in the news you saw live coverage of Usain Bolt winning his second gold medal in the Rio Olympics. Simone Biles went home with four and now hotel and resort owners can't wait for her and her team to come to Belize. The BTB says it has been overcome by generous offers from tourism industry stakeholders who have offered to host the team while on vacation. The BTB says that when the games are done, it will begin coordinating their visit. They're asking for ideas on how we Belize can best host Simone and her team. If you would like to submit your proposal for hosting the Final Five, contact the BTB's Jana Puga at [email protected], or 227-2420. Simone's adoptive grandmother is a Belizean and she calls Belize her second home.

    Channel 5

    P.M. Barrow: Government Did Not Change Section 53
    Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code, its interpretation, as well as the ramifications of the newly modified piece of legislation, remains a trending topic in public discourse.  Chief Justice Kenneth [...]

    B.P.P.: Belize Will Not Look “Soft” on Gay Rights Issue
    While members of the clergy have opined on government’s stance on appealing the Supreme Court ruling, the respective political organizations are yet to fully weigh in on the matter.  So, [...]

    B.P.P. Leader Says Homosexuality is a Life Choice, Not a Human Rights Issue
    During a press conference on the Section Fifty-three decision on Wednesday, PM Barrow flatly refused to answer a question concerning his personal stance on LGBT issues, claiming that it was [...]

    LGBT Community Has Been Given a “Shield, Not A Sword”
    In a letter written by the Roman Catholic Church to Prime Minister Barrow earlier this week, bishops Dorick Wright and Christopher Glancy highlighted the urgent need for appeal.  They alluded [...]

    What Does Section 53 Law Now Criminalize?
    The sexual abuse of a minor by his sixteen-year-old sibling last Friday, during which the eleven-year-old boy was sodomized by an older brother is most unfortunate.  The timeliness of the [...]

    B.P.P. Says “Take It to the People!”
    Take it to the people! That is the advice of the Belize Progressive Party on issues ranging from the recent decision on Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code, to legalization [...]

    Would a Popular Referendum Hurt Court’s Responsibility to Protect the Law?
    Rogers noted that the United States uses referenda at the city, county and state levels to glean the people’s thoughts on important social and governance issues.  But given that the [...]

    Progressive Party Wants “Higher Standard” Applied in Patrick Faber Case
    Police continue their investigations into how Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s Toyota Prado ended up in the Caribbean Sea near Marine Parade on Sunday night.  The Minister says it was [...]

    B.P.P. Has Thumbs Down for Godwin Hulse as Police Minister
    In calling once again for the Government to sign the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention, B.P.P. Political Leader Patrick Rogers declared that they are not comfortable with former comrade in the [...]

    Will B.P.P. Member Be Expelled in Social Media Fight?
    The Belize Progressive Party is approaching its first anniversary of formation; but as with any political party there is internal turmoil. In this case, at least one member may face [...]

    2 Women Freed Of Drug Trafficking Charges
    Two women accused of trafficking one hundred and forty-eight pounds of cannabis found inside a vehicle at the La Democracia police checkpoint were released after Magistrate Deborah Rogers found they [...]

    Senate Discusses Appointment of Doug Singh to Elections Commission
    Former U.D.P. senator Doug Singh has been named chair of the Elections and Boundaries Commission.  His appointment was made formal on Monday, despite having assumed the post since January first.  [...]

    Opposition Wants Re-Registration Before Re-Districting
    Attorney Michel Chebat, who was sworn in as a temporary senator on Monday, sat in for Senator Eamon Courtenay.  He shared the opposition’s perspective on Singh’s appointment.   Michel Chebat, [...]

    PACT gives $40,000 for Hurricane Relief to Red Cross
    Hurricane relief funds were handed over to the Belize Red Cross today by an unusual donor. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust, an environmental N.G.O., handed over a forty thousand dollars [...]

    Funds Will Go to Getting Kids Ready for School
    It’s yet another donation to the Belize Red Cross and essentially for Belizeans across the country who were affected by the category one hurricane. The donation will get children prepared [...]

    Co-Managers of Protected Areas Also Get Assistance
    As to the other sixty thousand dollars; it is being used to assist co-managers, who manage protected areas and parks on behalf of the government of Belize. The winds associated [...]

    Healthy Living on Ways to “Love Your Heart”
    “Love Your Heart” – That’s the theme under which the Belize Medical Associates will be hosting its annual anniversary symposium. So many of us are at risk of heart disease; [...]


    BPP Demands Referendum In Four Matters
    The Belize Progressive party this morning held a press conference to discuss the Country’s economy, governance and Security. As part of their demands the party is asking for a comprehensive referendum on four matters which they believe are of national importance. The first, taking the unfounded Guatemalan claim to the ICJ, secondly, signing unto the UN convention against corruption, decriminalizing marijuana and lastly on the people’s perspective regarding the ruling on section 53. Today the party announced that the BPP is willing to spearhead that poll but in order to do so they need approximately three hundred thousand dollars. Party treasurer, Robert ‘Bobby’ Lopez says he has been given the task of raising the money.

    Prime Minister Talks About Patrick Farber's Fiasco
    As we had reported on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s government issued vehicle was plunged into the sea near Marine Parade on Sunday night. During a press conference held by the DPM he confirmed that his vehicle had been stolen from the residence of his girlfriend where he had left it, but even though his story was corroborated by the police, many are not swallowing that pill but apparently the Prime Minister is. Yesterday during his press conference, the media asked him about the Minster’s account of how his 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser ended in the Caribbean Sea. Here is what he had to say. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “He had called me from the Sunday night because when I first heard about it I thought that maybe he had been in the vehicle and I was concerned about his safety. He said no and from then he told me that the vehicle had to have been stolen and now clearly a question has arisen, stolen by whom? And the police have been told to try to get to the bottom of this and as I know that’s where things are.”

    BPP Leader Speaks On Masons's Case
    During their press conference earlier today, the Belize Progressive party also spoke about the conduct of government officials in the recent matter of William Mason, and the Party is not happy with their behavior. Here is what Party Leader Patrick Rogers had to say about the appointment of Senator Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police. Patrick Rogers – Party Leader BPP: “Look at Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, they want to stop it right at Mason kill the man when we are BPP are convinced that somebody is more culpable than whoever beheaded that man, do you think that unelected Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police can send his policemen after elected men to investigate elected member of that Cabinet, it won’t happen so we then don’t feel comfortable with Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police because he didn’t do anything for ministry of lands and I am sure as hell that he didn’t do anything at the Immigration department where we still see our documents are free for all on the world market.”

    Hurricane Relief Comes Pouring In
    Today marks exactly two weeks since Hurricane Earl made land fall in Belize as a category one storm bringing with it destructive winds and flooding rains, causing financial outlays to the Jewel estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In the wake of the disaster, relief efforts have been mobilized and include generous donations from various organizations including the EU and IDB, racking up roughly one point two million dollars in grants and related funding from international partners, which according to PM Barrow is just about the peak of what GOB will be receiving. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “We’ve gotten something from CDB or if we’ve not gotten it yet it’s certainly on the way. The CEDEMA man is coming in tomorrow and I think he’s bringing two hundred thousand Euros or about a hundred thousand U.S., something like that.”

    No Tax Increments Due To Hurricane Earl
    As previously mentioned initial assessments from damages caused by hurricane Earl was estimated at about 105 million dollars, which comes at a time where Belize’s economy is faced with substantial burdens from major blows like the BTL arbitration award and the second Superbond payments which is coming next year. So will this situation then translate to higher tax rates for the people of Belize? That's the question that was posed to the PM yesterday. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: "There will be no tax increases before certainly the next budget year. I'm not saying there will be tax increases then but if tax increases have to come they can't come until then. Especially it was not in my contemplation in any event but especially now with hurricane Earl. You don't respond to a disaster where lives have been shattered by increasing taxes on people."

    PUP Officially Speaks Out On Section 53 Ruling
    Immediately following the decision by the Supreme Court to amend section 53 of the criminal code of Belize, legalizing gay sex between consenting adults, leader of the opposition, Hon. John Briceño took to Facebook to provide his input on the ruling, proclaiming his respect for the ruling. Today an official statement was issued by the party concerning the amendment of Section 53 of the laws of Belize and in their release the PUP declares their support for Belize’s principles which respects the value of social justice and the fundamental faith and freedom of human rights, stating quote “While we may believe that we the people should ultimately determine how we as a society should choose to live and be governed, we in the People’s United Party respect the decision of the Supreme Court as the rule of law. At the same time, we also respect the right of those who wish to challenge the decision of the Chief Justice in a higher court. We firmly believe that governance ought not to be about our personal impulses or private domain, but should always be about honoring the will of the people. We remain steadfast in our belief in social justice and therefore maintain our position that there can be no room for hatred among Belizeans.”

    Protocol For Sarstoon Still In Negotiations
    The negotiation between Belize and Guatemala for a Sarstoon Protocol has been ongoing for several months, and the last that we heard from the discussions was that an agreement was expected to be drafted by the end of the year. During yesterday’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on the issue stating that the process to establish a protocol was halted by the Guatemalans who are awaiting the result of the investigation into the death of 13 year old Julio Alvarado, to return to the negotiation table. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “It does appear that matters in so far is trying to get in the formal Protocol are stalled and this is deliberate on the part of the Guatemalans, they had indicated that they wouldn’t do anything until the report comes out with respect to the death of the minor, it is my understanding that that report is going to be released fairly shortly my understanding, I would say as soon as that happens hopefully we can get the Guatemalans come back to the table and to some extend I suppose that will depend on what is contained in the report and I have no idea as to the contents but I can say with certainty that it is to be given to both governments fairly soon.”


    Evangelical Association Requests GOB to Appeal S.53 Ruling
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) is calling upon the Prime Minister of Belize to appeal the ruling of the Chief Justice on the Section 53 lawsuit. On August 10th, some three years after the close of the Caleb Orozco vs Attorney General case on the constitutionality of Belize’s...

    Catholic Bishop begs GOB to appeal
    Bishop Dorrick Wright of the Catholic Church also sent a letter to Prime Minster Dean Barrow dated August 15, 2016 in which he urges the Prime Minister, on behalf of the 120,000 people of the Belizean Catholic Church, to appeal the Supreme Court decision. The letter states that it is imperative to a...

    PM says GOB won’t appeal S53 ruling
    Well, Government has no plan to appeal the section 53 decision. That is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow, with his new Attorney General on his right and the Solicitor General who argued the case on his left, said today at a press conference called specifically to give Government’s response to the Se...

    Church leaders disappointed in GOB’s response on S53 appeal
    Several church leaders were in attendance at the press conference held by the Prime Minister today. After the Prime Minister made it clear that his Government has no intention of appealing the decision made on the constitutionality of the section 53 law, the church representatives gave their reactio...

    Belizean Man dies in Fatal Traffic Accident in Mexico
    A Belizean man was the victim of a fatal traffic accident in Mexico. 50 year old Rene August, also known as “Willie B”, a resident of Santa Elena, Cayo District died on Tuesday night in Vera Cruz, Mexico while driving down from the US to Belize. August was part of a caravan of Belizeans driving do...

    Minor in sodomy case to be guarded by State
    The Department of Human Services is intervening in the case of the 11 year old boy who accuses his 16 year old older brother of anally assaulting him in his sleep last Friday. While Police investigations continue, the Department, after speaking with the boy’s family, is taking charge of his ca...

    Many teachers out of job due to incomplete training
    In February of this year, the Ministry of Education announced that over one thousand three hundred teachers from primary and secondary institutions are expected to lose their jobs this coming school year because they did not complete education training. Back in 2008, the ministry notified teachers o...

    The Guardian

    GOB will not appeal changes to Section 5
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with government’s legal advisors, the Attorney General, Vanessa Retreage and Solicitor General Nigel Hawke held a press conference in which he announced that the government will not be appealing the decision by the Chief Justice last week to amend Section 53 of the Criminal Code of Belize. As it stood the section read as follows: ‘Every Person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.’ to this the Chief Justice added: “This section shall not apply to consensual sexual acts between adults in private.” The Chief Justice declared that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, Chapter 101 contravenes sections 3,6,12 and 16 of the Belize Constitution to the extent that it applies to carnal intercourse against the order of nature between persons.

    Put up $2,800 and receive $23,000 in 4 weeks - FIU says get rich schemes unsustainable
    For the past few weeks the Financial Intelligence Unit has been warning Belizeans about getting involved in pyramid schemes that have apparently taken root here. The FIU says that while the schemes are not illegal they do stem in fraud. Adding to those who are warning against the schemes is Dr. Albert Williams a professor of Finance and Economics in the MBA program at Nova Southeastern University in Miami. Williams says that the way the programs are structured they are simply unsustainable. They do not follow the definitions of an investment. Williams asks “If companies can only get 5%, 10% and 20% returns on investments how can anyone get a 700% return on an investment?”

    16 year old to be charged with sodomy of 11 year old brother
    Police in San Ignacio are investigating a case in which an 11 year old boy was sodomized by his 16 year old brother. The matter was brought to the attention of police by another older brother who reported that the 11 year old had been sodomized. Police and social workers are investigating the matter and have since arrested the 16 year old. Reports indicate that the 11 year old was asleep when his 16 year old brother sodomized him. Tests conducted on the younger brother have confirmed that he was indeed raped. Police are now preparing charges against the 16 year old which are likely to be laid on Thursday August 18.

    Attorney General sworn-in as New Senator and Minister of Natural Resources
    On Monday August 15, Attorney General Hon. Vanessa Retreage was officially sworn-in as a Senator and a Minister. Ms. Retreage was first sworn-in as a Senator before the President and other members of the Senate at the National Assembly Building during the Senate Meeting. Thereafter, the new Senator took her Oath of Allegiance, as the new Minister of Natural Resources, before H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House. Hon. Vanessa Retreage’s appointments come after the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s announcement of a Cabinet shuffle on Monday, August 1st, 2016.

    Taiwan contributes to hurricane Earl relief efforts
    On Friday August 12, the Government of Belize received a check for US $100,000 from the Republic of China on Taiwan. The check was handed over at a ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize City. Handing over the check on behalf of the Taiwanese government was H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho. In making the presentation he expressed his delight in seeing the resilience and solidarity of the government and people of Belize in the aftermath of the storm, which made landfall on Wednesday, August 3rd, destroying homes and causing serious damage to infrastructure and the agriculture and tourism industries.

    17 year old minor arraigned for murder
    A teenager, 17, will be celebrating his 18th birthday behind bars on December 19, 2016 after he was remanded to the Belize Wagner’s Facility located at the Belize Central Prison for the Friday, August 12, 2016 murder of Jason Steven Young aka “Packson” who was gunned down on Dolphin Street, in Belize City in front of Belize Dry Cleaners Ltd. The 17 year old minor was whisked to the Belize Family Court on Monday August 15 where he was read a single charge of murder for the killing of well known football player, 37 year old Jason Young, aka “Packson”. Packson met his untimely death on Dolphin Street shortly before 7:00 on Friday morning, August 12, 2016.

    William Mason’s wife granted Supreme Court bail
    Wife of William Mason, Melissa Ferguson appeared in Supreme Court on Monday August 15 before Justice Troadio Gonzalez on a bail application. Ferguson had applied for bail on Friday August 12 but the matter was adjourned until Monday. After hearing the application, Justice Gonzalez granted Ferguson bail in the sum of $12,000 which she met. Conditions to her bail are that she must surrender all her travelling documents to the Belmopan Magistrate Court clerk and she must report to the Belmopan Police station every Friday effective Friday, August 19, 2016.

    Egbert Baldwin charged for murder
    Egbert Baldwin, 18, who recently began residing in the Ladyville area after moving from Libertad Village, Corozal District was remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the murder of John Michael Williams which occurred on August 2, 2016 in the Ladyville area just days prior to hurricane Earl hitting Belize. Baldwin appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was levied a single charge of murder. Due to the nature of the offense no plea was taken and Baldwin was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 19, 2016 when he is due to be given his disclosure and on January 14, 2017 when he is expected to see his case go to PI for murder.

    Luis Carter charged for murder on San Pedro
    On Tuesday, August 9 of this week, 33 year old Luis Emmanuel Carter, the man accused of shooting and injuring 30 year old Dwayne Alexander Hyde on La Isla Bonita, San Pedro saw his bail application rejected at the Supreme Court by Justice Troadio Gonzalez in light of the death of the shooting victim who succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. On Thursday August 11, almost a month after the shooting of Hyde, Carter was officially levied a single charge of murder when he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. He appeared before Magistrate, Carlon Mendoza where he was read a single charge of murder for the July 27, 2016 killing of 30 year old Dwayne Alexander Hyde, who was shot on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 on San Pedro.

    Three charged for robbing popular TV Chef
    On Tuesday August 16, three men appeared in Magistrate’s court following the robbery of popular TV Chef Ainsley. 31 year old Kareem Betancourt, a Tour guide with Chukka Tours; 20 year old Jermaine Wagner, a Fisherman of #173 Neal’s Pen Road and 18 year old Lemar Lamb; appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where they were jointly charged with one count of handling stolen goods. Lamb was additionally charged with robbery. In court, Lamb pleaded not guilty to robbery but guilty to burglary while his other two accomplices charged with handling stolen goods jointly with him pleaded not guilty.

    Michael Modiri appealing $150,000 in damages granted to him
    On Thursday August 11, attorney for Michael Modiri, Nazira Myles of Chebat & Co., filed a notice of appeal challenging the amount of damages awarded to her client. The appeal was filed before Madam Registrar, Velda Flowers in the Supreme Court. Myles appeared at the court but the respondent, Bradley Pauman, the owner of Dark Night and Daylight Adventure Tour, was a no show in court. Nonetheless the matter was filed against Pauman.

    Another murder at La Pasadita in Cayo
    The motionless body of a Hispanic male was found at the entrance of La Pasadita Bar on the Iguana Creek Road in Spanish Lookout, Cayo at about 3:00 am on Sunday of this past weekend. The victim was observed lying face up in a pool of blood with three apparent chop wounds and one gunshot wound to the upper part of his body. A further inquiry by San Ignacio Police has revealed that the victim, 41 year old Belizean Hever Miranda, (resident of a Duck Run Three address) had an altercation with two men. Those two men, Gladimir Bartolo Shish and Carlos Antonio Rodriquez Mendendez have since been charged with murder.

    Police beating lands man at hospital
    Toledo Resident Mario Makin had to be transferred from the PG Hospital, to the Dangriga Hospital, then all the way to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He had to undergo a number of emergency life-saving surgeries after enduring a terrible beatdown, allegedly at the hands of the police from the Punta Gorda Station. The San Marcos resident was socializing with his friend near a store in the village. The allegation is that the cops were attacking another man, and when Makin and his friend came out to see what the commotion was about their ire was then directed at him. The young man managed to escape, and from there, the story gets a lot more bizarre. The family says that the cops turned their attention on Makin, and that’s when they put a beat down on him.

    Mother and daughter arraigned for stabbing incident
    Shirley Mejia/Smith, 40, a Domestic of #1 Pinks Alley, along with her 17 year old daughter appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday August 16 where they were jointly charged with wounding after Shantae Gabourel, a patron attending the Belize Sound Fest was stabbed during a brawl during the Belize Sound Fest. Both pleaded not guilty to the charge and since there was no objection to them being granted bail, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser offered them bail in the sum of $1,000 each plus one surety of the same amount with conditions in which they both must stay away from the virtual complainant.

    Ernest Stuart pleads guilty to escape but not guilty to drug trafficking
    On Wednesday August 17, 39 year old Construction Worker, Ernest Stuart, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he was read charges of drug trafficking and escape from lawful custody. Allegations are that on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, he was found in possession of 1.2 grams of crack cocaine which police claim they found in his left front pants pocket during a search at his yard, located at #15 Fredrick Street, Belize City. Further allegations being made against Stuartare that whilst he was being detained by PC #2026, Davis, he escaped.

    Groundbreaking for new Grace Primary School building
    Hon. Patrick Faber on Wednesday August 17 officially broke ground at the new Grace Primary School’s compound on Faber’s Road for the construction of a new school building. The new building will be built at a cost of $562,300.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank with counterpart funding from the Government of Belize and the Grace Primary Parent Teacher’s Association. They contributed 30 thousand dollars for landfill of the new site. The building will be a single storey reinforced concrete building measuring 121 feet long and 31feet wide. it will have four classrooms, male and female students’ bathrooms, teachers’ lavatory, administrative space, and an access ramp to accommodate students/visitors with diverse abilities. The new expanded structure will also be equipped with a verandah, reinforced aluminum louvered windows, security grilles and timber doors.

    Put thine money where thine mouth is
    For the past week or so ever since the court's decision on the challenge to certain parts of section 53 of the Criminal Code Chapter 101 of Laws of Belize, there has been a lot of opinions being passed around via talk shows and social media. Many of those interventions have come from Priests, Pastors, members or officials of various religious organizations and other persons who claims to be Christians. Very few of the views appear to have been well formulated. There have been some that appear to be contemptuous and may well cause the authors of those opinions to be taken before the court. Then there have been others that are just plain hate speeches. For clarity's sake let's give a little background of what we are discussing here. A Belizean, Caleb Orozco, had taken the government to court claiming that the aforementioned section 53 violated certain of his right as proscribed in the Belize Constitution.

    When the pyramid crumbles
    Every so often we would hear of people running scams on others by using some sort of GET RICH scheme and at this time it appears to be a PYRAMID SCHEME being called Dream Catchers that has been employed to con Belizean women out of their hard earned money. We think to do it at this time of the year was crucial for the promoters, because it is the time when the job of getting the children prepared to go back to school for the new school year, falls mostly on the shoulders of the women, many of whom are SINGLE PARENTS. The crunch to get the monies needed for those activities are sometimes overbearing on those women and they could easily be had by the lure of a get rich scheme .

    Hon. Patrick Faber launches program of celebrations in San Ignacio Town
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, the Hon. Patrick Faber officially launched the September Celebrations Program for the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday night of this past weekend. Hon. Faber was joined by Earl Trapp Junior, Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns. On Saturday, the Hon. Faber was also joined by the Queens, who will be vying for the Queen of the West Crown. In his main address on Saturday night, Hon. Patrick Faber referred to the theme for this year’s September Celebrations, Sovereign and Strong—Together as One. He said that it is in our young people that the future of our Country lies.

    Ernest Staine can no longer practice law in Belize
    The last time we reported on attorney Ernest Staine was at the end of March of last year when the Supreme Court ordered that his assets be sold in order for him to be able to pay a client whom he had collected 230 thousand dollars for but did not pay her. We now report that Staine has lost his privilege as an attorney. In quite an unceremonious manner the General Legal Council announced last week that Ernest Staine has been removed from the Roll of Attorneys-at-Law and is therefore no longer eligible to practice law effective June 30th. In mid 2014 Staine was involved in a transaction in which a property belonging to Rita McField was sold to Forward in Faith Ministries for 250 thousand dollars. The transaction saw the church organization give Staine the money for the property which is located on Douglas Jones Street.

    CYDP 5th Annual Peace Cup to commence
    The Conscious Youth Development Programme 5th Annual Peace Cup is scheduled to commence on Saturday 27th August, 2016, at the MCC Grounds. According to the organisers, there is no registration fee and space is limited. The Registration forms for the 5th Annual Peace Cup can be picked up at the Conscious Youth Development Programme Office at 117 North Front Street in Belize City. The winning team will receive $5000.00 cash plus individual trophies. The second place team will receive $3000.00 plus trophies and third place will receive $2000.00 plus medals.

    Vicious chopping murder in Belmopan
    Two men, brothers, were chopped on Tuesday night in Belmopan. The men 24 year old Walter Alvarado and his brother 33 year old Clerito Perez had gone out to buy food when they were attacked by a group of men who savagely chopped them. As a result of the attack Clerito lost his life while Walter ended up at the hospital receiving treatment for numerous chop wounds. Walter Alvarado has told police that he and his brother had gone to buy food in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan when 3 men confronted them. Alvarado says he had bought his food and was waiting on his brother as he had gone to buy two beers when the men started to harass him.

    Belizean dies while driving through Mexico
    Belizean diplomats in Mexico are working on having the body of 50 year old Belizean Rene August transported back home after he died in a traffic accident. Reports are that at around 6:45 on Tuesday evening August was travelling along the Autopista Teami Veracruz – Córdoba, when nearing kilometer 74 in the municipality of Jamapa, Veracruz he lost control of the vehicle he was driving. The vehicle, a Ford Escape with which he was towing a Jeep Patriot ran off the road killing August at the scene. Reports are that it took well over 8 hours to remove his body from the wreckage. Juan Rudon, 67 who was also travelling with August escaped unhurt.

    People’s Coalition of Cayo at the ready
    An important meeting of the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC was held at the Aguada Hotel and Restaurant in San Ignacio Town last Wednesday night to usher in new set of priorities for the organization. Chairing that meeting was William Butcher, who is also an avid Rotarian. According to Butcher, the PCC is in existence to help the police. In a report filed in by Superintendent of Police, Anthony Richard Rosado and who is also Officer in charge of the San Ignacio Police Formation, when compared to June 2016, other crimes decreased for the month of July 2016 by 21% and major crimes decreased by 38%. When compared to the same period last year, major crimes also decreased by 35% within an area encompassing 38 villages and the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.

    Lessons learnt in Western Belize with the passing of Hurricane Earl
    While Hurricane Earl has long passed and gone, there are lessons to be learnt from that experience; especially in Western Belize, where on rare occasions the area becomes susceptible to flooding. Just a few hours after the passing of Hurricane Earl, the Macal River had risen rapidly and it surprised everyone at the levels that it would reach. According to the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town, Earl Trapp Junior, “I think we have had a serious disaster here in our Municipality.” In addition to the blowing away of 12 roofs in the area, several businesses had lost thousands of dollars as a result of water damage from the Macal River as it rose past the Cayo Welcome Centre and neared to the Bismillah Store.

    Chinese national ends up in jail for unpaid debts
    Chinese national, David Wong, who is now a naturalized Belizean was apprehended last night at around 7:30 after he absconded from Belize and went to China. At the time he refused to pay money he owed to an accident victim after the Supreme Court made a ruling ordering him to initially pay $82,000. As a result of time passed that amount has now grown to $117,000 in lawyer fees, court costs and interest. On Wednesday August 17 Wong who was unrepresented appeared before Supreme Court Judge, Shona Griffith while the claimant, Levin Aguilar appeared with his attorney, Mark Williams as they made attempts to get the money owed to Aguillar for almost 2 years.

    Victor Mason Gibbs granted bail after knocking down and killing Emily Guy
    Victor Mason Gibbs the alleged drunk driver who on Saturday, July 30, 2016 caused the death of 54 year old Emily Guy appeared in magistrate’s court on Monday August 15 seeking bail. After hearing his application he was granted bail in the sum of 8 thousand dollars plus two sureties of 4 thousand dollars each. He also had to surrender all his travel documents to the Belize City Magistrate’s court and must report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday of the week and not interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses and not be arrested or charged with any other offense whilst out on bail.

    Special constable accused of rape granted bail
    On Friday August 12, Addison Gillett a special constable was granted bail at the Supreme Court by Justice Triadio Gonzalez in the sum of $8,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $4,000.00. Gillett was accused of aggravated assault with a gun and rape of a minor in Belmopan. He is accused of grabbing the minor at gun point in broad daylight then taking her to a hotel where he dragged her up the stairs and then at gun point raped her.

    Murder trial concludes against Curtis Lamb, judge reserves judgment
    A trial by judge concluded before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court against 22 year old Curtis Lamb, a Belize City youth who at the time of his arrest was only 17. Lamb had been accused of the August 3, 2011 murder of Justin Roaches who was shot whilst socializing on the Gwen Lizarraga High School Basketball court. Lamb’s trial began three weeks earlier and on Wednesday August 10 Judge Gonzalez heard closing arguments from sides. The crown was represented by Sheneiza Smith and the defence was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvester. After the arguments Judge Gonzalez reserved judgement to a later date. Allegations made by the crown against Lamb are that he shot and killed Roaches. Roaches was shot 3 times to the body but according to the crown’s evidence, Roaches was not the intended target.

    Bail granted then denied to Kimberly Lino because she is an American Citizen
    On Friday August 12, two Belizean/American sisters, Kimberly Lino and Samanti Louis, accused and charged with aggravated burglary after a woman’s house in Dangriga was invaded by 3 women and a 14 year old minor were both granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of $30,000 and stringent conditions. The women had to provide the court with copies of their passports, visas, green cards and identification should they not show up to the Dangriga Magistrate Court on their next court appearance in the matter. Before they could meet the bail, both sisters had to provide the judge with the documents for scrutiny and since their bail application was heard late Friday evening, they could not meet all the requirements as ordered by the court which forced the matter to carry on into Monday August 15.

    Accused of having sex with a minor
    A labourer of the Gungulung area in Belize City was remanded on Monday, August 15 after being charged with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse for allegedly having sex with a 15 year old minor. 26 year old Kenroy Timmons, was arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read the charges. The child reported to police that on June 27, 2016, at the age of 15 years and 6 months, Timmons had sex with her. She also alleged that on a second occasion, on July 1, 2016, 5 days later, Timmons again had sex with her.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BPP calls for comprehensive referendum on social issues
    Take it to the people! That is the advice of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) on issues ranging from the recent decision on Section 53 of the Criminal Code, to legalization of marijuana use, to signing the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention. In terms of […]

    UNDP joins hurricane relief efforts
    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is donating roofing materials and cleaning kits to Belize City residents who were severely affected by Hurricane Earl. The announcement was made late this afternoon via a press release. The materials are expected to help 125 families repair […]

    Belizean Student wins Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Children’s Essay Competition
    Belizean student Janae Elisha Rodriguez has won herself first place in the junior division in the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Children’s Essay Competition. The competition invited students from Latin America and the Caribbean to write about what they would like to see and […]

    San Narciso man dies of alcohol intoxication
    32-year-old Basilio Patt, a resident of San Narciso Village was found dead on Monday morning at the San Joaquin Fiesta Grounds in San Joaquin Village. Patt’s body was found around 6:00 a.m. by villagers who reported it to the police. The circumstances surrounding Patt’s […]

    Corozal man drowns in the New River
    Alberto Pott, 41, a resident and cane cutter of Caledonia Village in the Corozal District was found dead in the New River on Wednesday afternoon. According to Corozal police, around 12:30 p.m. someone who had gone to the river to fish saw Pott floating […]

    DFC sponsors the Belize Protectors Association
    The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has contributed $5,000 to the Belize Protectors Association. The Association is a team including personnel from the Belize Police Department, the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard. In March of this year they competed, for the first time, in the B2V race, a relay of 120 miles from Baker California to Las Vegas Nevada, USA. In their debut performance against over 8, 000 other competitors, the team of 25 ranked 14th overall and took first place in the mixed category.


    A Guide to Packing for Belize in the Rainy Season
    It has many names – the low season, the off season, hurricane season but around here on Ambergris Caye, it’s generally called the rainy season. August, September, October, often into November, like in much of the Caribbean, the weather and the sea are warmer, the air more humid and there is always a chance of rain. It’s the tropics…even the most gorgeous sunny morning can lead to dark storm clouds rolling by at mid-day, heavy rain that blows sideways for 20 mins and then back to bright sun. You definitely have the chance for rain at night…or a shower or two during the day…or possibly a run of a couple rainy days but by no means does the “rainy season” mean that your whole vacation is a rain-out. The weather is…spontaneous. So being prepared will ensure that your trip is much more comfortable. Keep in mind that there are GREAT reasons to visit Belize during this time.

    Belize Destinations: 7 Underrated Places To Visit
    There’s a small army of activities to participate in when you’re in Belize, some of our other posts can give you detailed guides of the wheres and how-tos of Belize’s most premiere destinations. Today, however, we’d like to bring you a few of the less known wonders that deserve just as much attention as the likes of Big Rock Falls and Victoria Peak. Here Are 7 Underrated Belize Destinations In No Particular Order: Doyles Delight: This is Victoria Peak’s direct western counterpart and the actual highest peak in Belize scraping past the aforementioned by just 4 meters (12 feet is an entire floor level anyway). Vaca Lake: Following the construction and commissioning of the new dam, the floodgates were shut and the reservoir began to fill. Vaca lake was born and today is a long stretch of filled river which unintentionally created beautiful swimming waters and created access to newly river-bank accessible waterfalls. Cockscomb basin: The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, unlike Vaca Lake, had nothing do to with people – we simply found a pristine eco-system and realized it was worth preserving! Cockscomb basin is home to many of Belize’s wildest and must elusive species, most famously of which are our very own Panthera onca (jaguar for short).

    Belize has talent: 2016 National Song Competition opens September Celebrations
    If you pay attention to the list of events between August and September each year, you will agree that Belize celebrates its official national days in grand style. One very popular activity is the annual National Song Competition, which is the breakaway of the celebratory season. It was my first time at the event this year, and let me tell you, I am a proud Belizean. Hundreds of revellers gathered at the Fort George Memorial Park in Belize City and joined in the singing and dancing. On stage, dancers accompanied the energetic performers, jumping around, exalting the name of Belize, and waving the Belize flag. It was truly a Belizean experience at a truly Belizean landmark, and I’d never felt so Belizean! The patriotic event is the beginning of a journey of festivities leading to the 218th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10th and our official Independence Day on September 21st ,which under the theme ‘Sovereign and Strong, Together as One,’ will bringing Belize’s 35th independence anniversary.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize blazes a trail
    TINY Belize is having a moment of global fame. Simone Biles, the United States’ spring-loaded gold-medal gymnast, is also a citizen of the Caribbean state. Human-rights advocates, meanwhile, are more excited about the decision by its high court to decriminalise homosexuality. Section 53 of the criminal code, which threatens people who engage in “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” with up to ten years in prison, is unconstitutional, ruled the chief justice, Kenneth Benjamin, on August 10th. The decision may set a precedent for a conservative region. It was a long time coming. Caleb Orozco, a leader of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, a gay-rights group, waited three years for a hearing after challenging the law in 2010. His campaign provoked attacks and insults. Churches fought it, both in the courtroom as “interested parties” and through the media. Lance Lewis, president of Belize’s National Evangelical Association, called the court’s ruling “an abomination”.

    Belize commended for not appealing sex act ruling
    The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) supports the government of Belize’s decision not to appeal the ruling that criminalising carnal acts, to include anal sex, is unconstitutional. CVC said the Cabinet had a duty to regard and accept the court as ‘Guardian of the Constitution of Belize’, that the ruling brings Section 53 in conformity with the Constitution since the case had been exhaustively argued and the issues fully ventilated. The group also views the decision of the government not to appeal as “an important and bold step forward”. “It is especially noteworthy that Prime Minister Dean Barrow denounced violence, including hate speech, and called for Belizeans to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of differences,” CVC said.

    Belize is recovering from the Tropical Cyclone Earl
    The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) grants from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) for immediate relief operations 143,828 Swiss francs to support the Belize Red Cross Society (BRCS) in assisting 2,200 people (440 families) affected by Tropical Cyclone Earl. The Tropical Cyclone Earl made landfall on 4 August, with wind gusts of up to 110 km/h, as estimated by National Hurricane Center of the United States. The cyclone was moving west at about 14 miles per hour. At its centre the hurricane was estimated to have wind speeds of 70 miles per hour. Major infrastructure and building damage were reported by the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO). Roads and streets were blocked in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, and Ladyville, Belize River Valley, Orange Walk, Belmopan and other affected areas.

    Soldier volunteers with Gold Star Teen Adventures
    Second Lt. Olivia Schretzman, D Company, 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently participated as a mentor with Gold Star Teen Adventures during the Advanced SCUBA Trip 2016 and Alumni Advanced Outdoor Adventure 2016 in San Pedro and Belmopan, Belize. The mission of Gold Star Teen Adventures is to enable healing, foster enduring relationships and develop character and leadership skills through adventure experiences in the surviving youth of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. Kent Solheim created the organization after being seriously wounded in Iraq in 2007. He wanted teens of fallen heroes to experience the same comradery he found in the service. Schretzman’s participation in the program has had a positive effect on the Gold Star Families, Soldheim said.

    Belize sodomy ruling could have sweeping impact in Caribbean
    Activists across the English-speaking Caribbean say last week’s Belize Supreme Court ruling that found the country’s sodomy law could have implications throughout the region. Donnya Piggott, director of Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination, described the ruling to the Washington Blade as “groundbreaking and extremely promising.” Barbados is among the countries in the English-speaking Caribbean in which consensual same-sex sexual conduct remains criminalized. Piggott told the Blade that authorities earlier this year used the island’s sodomy law to charge a man who allegedly had sex with a 15-years-old. The colonial-era statute is rarely enforced, but the man could face life in prison if he is convicted. “No change comes without initial backlash,” Piggott told the Blade, referring to the impact that the Belize Supreme Court ruling could have in Barbados. “So we have to brace ourselves for a stronger right-wing opposition, but apart from that I see (sodomy laws) tumbling like dominoes in the Caribbean.”

    A Belizean student has won a Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Children’s Essay Competition for students in Latin America and the Caribbean. FCCA Monday said that first place in the junior division was Janae Elisha Rodriguez from Belize, while Jacinth Hunkins from St. Maarten took the gold in the senior division. The competition had invited students from schools around the Caribbean and Latin America to submit essays and FCCA said that in total, this year’s contest provided nearly US$20,000 to the participating students and their schools. “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping children, and I am proud of all the ways the FCCA Foundation achieves this,” said FCCA president Michele Paige.


  • When you bring Marimba and Steel Band together!, 3min. Belize International Jazz Festival

  • Fireworks at San Joaquin Fiesta!, 4min. HAPPY 50 FIESTAS SAN JOAQUIN!!!

  • BELIZE 2016, 6min.

  • Dolphin and Spotted Eagle Ray during dive off Ambergris Caye, Belize., 4.5min. During a dive on the dive site "Mermaids Lair" off Ambergris Caye in Belize, a dolphin joined us as we descended to the bottom to begin the dive. He played with the nurse sharks that were swimming around and then swam off. Later in the dive a Spotted Eagle Ray allowed me to get close enough to get some good video.

  • Johnsen Belize Trip - May 2016, 12min. Blackbird Caye Resort


  • Belize Trip, 15min.

  • Belize 2016, 4min. Trip to Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Belize Trip (Long), 11min.

  • Climate Change Club Trip to Trio Village, Belize, 5min. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre's (CCCCC) Climate Change Club program took students from Belmopan Active Youths, Belmopan Methodist High School and Belmopan Comprehensive High School to visit an agro-forestry concession which was developed by the Trio Cacao Farmers Association, Ya'axche' Conservation Trust and the CCCCC. They learned about the organic growing of cacao, bee farming and had a home visit with a member of the village. The students, who were encouraged to interact with the other clubs took photos of their trip to be used in the creation of flyers to be used on social media to promote sustainable development and best practices.

  • Belize Zip Lining, 5min.

  • Trailer for Marion Jones: Pride of Belize, 1.5min. The trailer features an upcoming documentary on the Belizean-American world class sprinter and track & field icon Marion Jones who captured the heart of thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad. After becoming the fastest woman in the world and making her mark as a world class athlete, Marion Jones visited Belize in 2001, the country of her mother's birth to a warm homecoming Belizean audience who lined the streets of Belize City to see the athletic phenom that made Belize proud and captured the hearts of government and people alike.

    August 18, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Police Polaris destroyed by unexplained fire
    A routine patrol by members of the San Pedro Police Formation did not end well, as their Polaris vehicle suddenly became engulfed in flames. The incident took place around 9AM on Wednesday, August 17th in the Alta Mira Area of San Pedro Town. The Fire Department was notified and they quickly responded to the scene where they put out the fire. Little could be done to save the Polaris, and it was completely destroyed.

    National Song Competition kicks off September Celebrations!
    To kick off the 2016 September celebrations, the National Celebrations Commission along with the Institute of Creative Arts, hosted the annual National Song Competition. The event took place on Saturday, August 13th at the Fort George Memorial Park in Belize City, highlighting talented Belizean vocalist, much creativity, showcasing Belize’s diversity and national pride. This year, 19 competitors took on the challenge in two categories –National Song, and Carnival Song. After a long night of spectacular performances, Cecil Jenkins A.K.A ‘Cocono Bwai’ with his song ‘Border to Border,’ song took home first place in the National Song Competition 2016.

    San Pedro to get $12 Million Internet SEUL by BTL
    Sanpedranos will soon have twice faster Internet and access to light-speed bandwidth by July 2017, with the installation of the SEUL (Strategic Evolution Underwater Link) – a fibre-optic cable by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, through a Bze$12 Million contract signed by Belize Telemedia (BTL) at the Renaissance Tower in Belize City on Monday afternoon, August 15th. BTL has heard San Pedro customers and visitors requests for faster internet speeds and bandwidth, and Anwar Barrow and the company’s immediate response is to double the speed of the existing system by microwave transmission from a dish on the tower at Esquivel Telecom Center in Belize City, to a dish in San Pedro. Barrow said the present speed of 1.4 Gigabytes per second will be increased to 3.0 Gb/s within a month. This is nowhere enough to offer the speeds of 10Mb/s to 150Mb/s which visitors have become accustomed to at home in Europe and the United States, requiring the 32 Terabytes/second speed that a fiber-optic cable can offer. Barrow said this will meet Isla Bonita’s broadband needs for the next 15 – 20 years, allowing Sanpedranos to have all the Internet broadband width they could want or need. He said BTL is already beginning the underwater surveys for where the cable will be laid on the seabed, so that they can get any required environmental permits. Huawei’s Ma Yanfeng said the fibre-optic system will have a total capacity of 32 Terabytes/second, which will be more than a 10,000 times the 3.0 Gb/s capacity of the microwave link after it is expanded next month.

    Ambergris Caye to be represented at National Belikin Pool Tournament
    After winning the qualifying match in a local pool tournament on the island, Team “One Shot-One Kill,’ will be representing Ambergris Caye at the National Belikin 8-Ball Pool Tournament. The event will be held on Saturday, August 20th and Sunday, August 21st in Orange Walk Town, and will have teams from all over the country competing for the national championship. Team One Shot-One Kill, Team Amigos and Team Krush, were the favorites of the evening. Each team had seven players whose task was to win the best out of five games, and the team with the most wins would walk away with the victory. As the evening went by, Team Krush was soon left behind in third place, and Team Amigos, led by Jose Perez and Team One Shot-One Kill, coached by Talal Harmouch faced each other for the final match. It was a tight game, making the match longer and more exciting for the fans who cheered on their favorite team. However, only one could claim the championship, and with a clean shot, by Nestor Villanueva, the 8-ball sinking in, giving One Shot-One Kill the win. Team Amigos had to settle for the second place.

    BTB extends invitation to Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles
    Since the Rio Olympic Games commenced, US Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles has been the talk of the world. In Belize, the 19 year-old holds a special place in the hearts of Belizeans, as her mother is from Belize. The excitement grew more when the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) scored more than gold when they extended Biles, along with her teammates, an invitation to vacation in Belize, and they accepted. BTB tweeted on Thursday, August 11th: “Congrats @simone_biles! Belize is so proud of you. We’d love to host you and the entire #FinalFive on a vacation once you’re ready to relax.” Biles, who is no stranger to Belize, responded, “My second home, you betta belize we’re coming.” BTB’s offer is to host Biles and the US gymnast team for a five-day, all-expense trip to Belize.

    Ambergris Today

    Two Free Arts Camp by Augustana University!
    A group of college students from Augustana university in Sioux Falls South Dakota will be offering a free arts camp on August 18th & 19th at Boco Del Rio Park and at Central Park on August 23rd & 24th. Activities include percussion classes, crafts, dancing, drawing, singing and games will be offered from 10a.m. - 12p.m. and 1p.m. - 4p.m. / Ages 5-14. The group offering these workshops are five amazing university students from a liberal arts college called, Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD. They wanted to combine their love and expertise in the arts with their love of children.

    San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Belize Celebrates 40 years of Family Hospitality
    San Ignacio Resort Hotel, the longest standing hotel in San Ignacio Town celebrates its 40th anniversary, having officially opened to guests on August 17, 1976. To commemorate the event, the Hotel will launch several activities highlighting and celebrating its importance as a pioneer in the Belize hospitality industry. Built on 17 acres of lush Belizean rainforest, the 26 room Resort forever changed the landscape of the hospitality scene in San Ignacio over the years. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel has set the precedent for premier hospitality services and standards, and continues to lead the industry 40 years later. The anniversary also honors the vision and legacy of the founders, Mr. and Mrs. Escander and Paulita Bedran.

    Watch as Fire Engulfs San Pedro Police Vehicle
    Personal video footage of Alta Mar resident Kerian Azueta in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, shows how the San Pedro Police Department’s polaris is being destroyed by fire as the vehicle bursts into flames during a patrol of the neighborhood early this morning, August 17, 2016. According to reports, four police officers jumped off the polaris after noticing smoke coming from the vehicle. Soon after the entire polaris was engulfed in flames. The San Pedro Fire Department arrived at the scene and was able to extinguish the flames, but not before the vehicle was completely destroyed. The incident occurred around 9a.m.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Food Safety & Mosquito Transmitted Disease Presentation
    Notice to the PUBLIC: The Caye Caulker Village Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is hereby inviting the entire community of Caye Caulker and business community to attend a presentation that will be done on Food Safety and Mosquito Transmitted Diseases. When: Wednesday 17th August 2016 at 7:00 pm sharp at the Community Center. Please make all efforts to attend this very important presentation! Feel free to spread the word!

    Belizean Dies in Mexico
    Rene August, also known as Willy B. was part of a caravan of Belizeans driving down vehicles from the United States. He and others were in Veracruz, Mexico when a tragic accident occurred taking August's life on Tuesday, August 16th. The municpal aurthorities have said that at 6:45 pm, August 16, 2016, on Autopista Teami Veracruz – Córdoba, a la altura del km. 74+110 in the municipality of Jamapa, Veracruz a traffic accident occurred in which, Rene August, 50 years, a Belizean driver, died. He was traveling in the company of Juan Rudon, 67, who emerged unharmed. The two Belizeans were traveling in a red Ford Escape, driven by the deceased Rene August, with a black Jeep Patriot in tow bearing Texas license plates BY8N033. The driver lost control causing the vehicle to overturn.

    San Ignacio Resort Hotel 40th Anniversary
    Happy 40th anniversary to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The SIRH opened their doors on August 17th, 1976, and has been providing quality service ever since. They have a great video to commemorate the occasion. Keep up the great work. Here's to many more. "Attended the Jazz Fest in San Ignacio & stayed at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Great place, great service. The resort is celebrating it"

    Yoga in the Jungle at Macaw Jungle Lodge
    We are planning a fun yoga session on the new yoga deck at Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge. The owners of the lodge are hoping to get a few photos for thier website and have offered not only to allow us to use their deck under the jungle canopy but will also provide us with a vegetarian lunch after, plus the use of their tubes (river and weather permitting). I will not be charging any extra for this class so you can use your class card, otherwise it's $20bz (same as any other single class). I will ask for a small donation from anyone riding in my truck to cover gas and I have room for three people inside the cab and lots more in the truckbed :) Please sign up no later than Monday Aug 29th so that both Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge and myself can prepare for this fun day.

    Miss Belize pageant
    Lazy Lizard invites all our friends to attend the Miss Belize pageant, September 10th at the Bliss Center and support our very own delegate Miss Neidy Rodriguez, representing Belize City.

    Guatemala's attempt to annex any part of Belize will bring serious consequences
    By Wellington C. Ramos. Our September 10th and independence celebrations will be coming up next month and this is how I feel about my beloved country Belize. The government of Guatemala is trying to see how the government of Belize and its people will respond to the annexation of the Sarstoon and other parts of our country. Born in Dangriga Town, the cultural capital of Belize, Wellington Ramos has BAs in Political Science and History from Hunter College, NY, and an MA in Urban Studies from Long Island University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and History We must let Guatemala and the world know that Belize is our country that was accepted by the nations of the world on September 21, 1981, with all of its territory and maritime areas intact. Subtracting one inch from this total is unacceptable to all Belizeans living in Belize, the United States and the rest of the world because it will no longer be Belize. We the people, who are citizens of Belize living in Belize, the United States and abroad, will never grant consent to any political party now and in the future of our country to negotiate our territory with Guatemala or any other nation of this world.

    Palapa Bar will be back!
    To all of our friends and family, our beloved Palapa Bar and Grill was completely demolished by Hurricane Earl in August of 2016. But don't worry! We are currently rebuilding a bigger and badder Palapa Bar for your enjoyment and pleasure! As of late August, the cleanup phase has finished, and we are now working on the rebuilding phase.

    Illegal Wildlife and Timber Trafficking in Mesoamerica
    Panel discussion, August 22 at 1pm at the Ramada Princess

    Channel 7

    GOB Will Not Appeal CJ Decision On Sodomy Law, Here's Why:
    Last night we broke the news that the government of Belize would not appeal the Chief Justice's decision to legalize gay sex between consenting adults. Well, today that was confirmed in a press conference where the Attorney General Vanessa Retreage explained why the government will not appeal:… Hon. Vanessa Retreage - Attorney General: "The government has closely considered the option of appealing and has sought legal advice as to the possible merits and benefits of appealing. In this regard it is noted that there were 7 interested organisations which argued the case a part from the claimant and the government with no less than 15 attorneys representing them. Government is therefore satisfied that the case was properly argued and does not see any aspect of the decision that would benefit from further argument and as such has taken the decision not to appeal."

    PM Says Churches Should Appeal
    And while Cabinet goes on the strict legalities – as the attorney General says, the churches can freely pursue an appeal. They were only interested parties in the case, and have been advised that they cannot appeal – that's the sole prerogative of the respondent, which is the government of Belize. Today the Prime Minister and the Attorney General insisted that the churches can in fact proceed with their own appeal:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "No sir you are perfectly free to apply to court to be given leave to appeal. As I understand it you need not even been an interested party to be able to get leave to appeal as long as you can show that the decision of the court affects you; you are entitled for a leave to appeal. In this case because you were interested parties it strikes me that you are almost immediately and automatically there." Luis Wade - Plus TV: "Would any of you sight a legal precedence that we could follow on to ensure that this kind of appeal is permitted?"

    Churches Say they Cannot Appeal, GOB Must
    A press release from the National Evangelical Association of Belize says that over 132 pastors countrywide are calling on the government to launch the appeal. But now that PM Barrow has said they must because he will not – what will the churches do next? That's what we asked NEAB President Pastor Lance Lewis today: Jules Vasquez: "Prime Minister had said that you all are free to appeal on your own. He's given his knowledge and interpretation of the law; will you all now pursue that appeal?" Pastor Lance Lewis - NEAB President: "I think we should and I think we will but we need to do it in conjunction with all the church bodies. It's going to cost something I don't what yet we have to look at all the factors but I think we should do the appeal. It will be so funny for us not to do it when we are against what was done." Jules Vasquez: "Now you all sent out a release exhorting the government, asking the government please pursue this appeal. Are you disappointed in the prime minister, the government...."

    GOB Will Meet With Churches
    So, the churches clearly aren't impressed with Cabinet's decision – and government surely has to do some serious fence mending with this important demographic. That's why the Prime Minister announced today that government will meet with the churches to try and convince them that the judgement is confined to private activity between consenting adults.:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "It is government's job to sit with you and to try to persuade you that the ruling does not mean what you seem to fear that it means. That has to continue or that has to take place regardless of an appeal that you will no doubt lodge. I hope for your sakes that you will but that has to continue because... I don't know you all I thought was represented by senior council I don't know why they haven't explained to you what the limitations of the ruling are but any way is our job to respect you to understand that you feel absolutely strongly about this issue that in so far as you are concerned it is the voice of god speaking through you. We must therefore try our best to say to you while we can't change of you feel about the ruling could we agree that the ruling means only this and not that?"

    Caleb From UNIBAM Says PM Moving In The Right Direction
    And while the PM will reach out to the churches – it won't do the same for UNIBAM. As the claimant in the case, that gay rights organization got just what it wanted. And that winning streak continued today with the Government's announcement that it will not launch an appeal. Caleb Orozco who attended the press conference said it's the right course of action:… Caleb Orozco - UNIBAM: "He simply reacted constructively and responsibly as a government should to the need of its citizens; no more, no less." Jules Vasquez: "Now in so far as the process not being finished are you all prepared to go another round should the churches and they have given every indication they will if they can; are you all prepared for another round of legal battles and everything that entails?" Caleb Orozco - UNIBAM: "Church leaders must remember that as long as you don't pay taxes or they are not elected to government they don't have a handle on my fundamental rights as a citizen of this country. I stand my ground, I do not, do not believe that they are the ones governing this country and I have every right to challenge any position that they have in court."

    PM Says Judgment Is Not Greenlight To Gay Marriage
    And while the not-so-veiled references to "closets" is one thing – gay marriage is what all of this is really about. After the decriminalization of anal sex between consenting adults – is the next step going to be the push to legalize gay marriage? That's the primary concern of the various church groups but the Prime Minister said that he doesn't accept that interpretation one bit:.. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "I don't agree that that's an inevitable or even necessary consequence of the chief justice's ruling. In fact I hold the opposite view and cabinet is also convinced that this does not open the door for gay marriage. Nothing can stop the people who believe in that from agitating, from taking legal action but it is not fair to the chief justice's ruling in my view to suggest that ruling in any way opens the door to that. This was a matter of striking down or reading down a section of the criminal code that imposed criminal sanctions on what was even on actions that were consensual."

    PM Says Incestuous Sodomy Case Highlights Misconceptions About Judgment
    And while the PM earned applause on that declaration – he wasn't clapping for all the misunderstanding that has sprung up in the wake of that ugly case of sodomy we've been reporting on. On Friday night an 11 year old in Santa Elena was allegedly sodomised by his 16 year old brother. Police have been investigating and we'll tell you about that shortly, but today it came up when the Prime Minister addressed all the misunderstandings that have resulted from this case. First, it was reported by Plus TV's Luis Wade that the 16 year old told his younger sibling that he can't be prosecuted for it because of the Chief Justice's decision. If he did say that, it would be wrong, since, the Chief Justice's decision only refers to consenting acts between adults. Today the Prime Minister addressed the many misunderstandings that have resulted from the judgment:..

    Belizean Car Dealer Died In Accident In Mexico
    A Belizean was killed in a traffic accident in Mexico yesterday. He's 50 year-old Rene August, and the accident happened in the municipality of Jamapa, Veracruz. August was driving a red Ford Escape car, and 67 year-old Belizean Juan Rudon was in the vehicle with him at the time. Mexican police say that the Ford Escape had no license plates but they were towing another vehicle, a Black Jeep Patriot with Texas plates. It is uncertain what caused the accident, but August, who was driving lost control of the vehicle, and it flipped. August suffered serious injuries, and died. Rescue teams took hours to cut him out of the vehicle. His passenger, Rudon, escaped unharmed. The local authorities were on scene shortly after, and the Belize Embassy Personnel in Mexico, including Ambassador Oliver Del Cid, and his Deputy Chief of Mission have been working hard to get August's body back home. August had been driving vehicles down through Mexico for over 15 years.

    11 Year Old Boy Commits Suicide in OW
    An 11 year-old boy from Orange Walk Town was found dead last night at around 8:30 and it appears that he took his own life. The child, whose name we will not reveal at this time, was found with injuries around the neck, and a belt was found in his house, which police think he used to hang himself from the ceiling. Today, Orange Walk investigators briefed the press about the details they have at this time: Insp. Jose Mendez - OW Police: "Police visited the Northern Regional Hospital where they found the lifeless body of an 11 year old in the emergency room section who had already been pronounced dead upon arrival by Dr. Osorio. This minor had some type of injury around his neck. Police commenced an investigation into the matter where a 20 year old reported that upon arrival at his house at about some time about 6:45 pm or so he was informed that his nephew the 11 year old minor has committed suicide. Police visited the area where they found a belt where it is alleged that the deceased hung himself off the ceiling"

    Father Laments His Son Beatdown From Police, Hopes For Recovery
    Last night we told you about the alleged case of Punta Gorda Police brutality. The report is that 4 officers rode up to a store in San Marcos and started beating up a man who was near the store. Mario Makin was inside with his friend and he came out to see what was happening. That is when police allegedly grabbed Makin and started to beat him. Makin ended up in the PG hospital and just this morning had to be transferred to the KHMH due to the seriousness of his injury. Today Makin's father gave us more details about the alleged attack and about his son's condition. We also spoke to Makin's close friend who is pleading for justice. Andres Makin - Father: "He still in critical problem right now with his feeling; during the night he could hardly catch breath that's why he is in critical problem right now." Courtney Weatherburne: "He has undergone several surgeries, 2 surgeries I believe?" Andres Makin - Father: "2 surgeries; 1 from Dangriga and 1 from Belmopan."

    Faber Tells Teachers To Hold On
    Moving on to education, teachers and public officers have been waiting patiently for their 3 % salary increase. It was to have taken effect in April but government is pleading hard times and asking for their understanding. Today Education Minister Patrick Faber assured the teachers that they will be getting their increase, and the delay has nothing to do with the state of the economy but rather with Hurricane Earl. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "The delay that is being sought by the prime minister to the unions is not necessarily because of the economic situation. In fact you will remember that the unions and the financial secretary shook hands and signed off on what the payment would be. And so that was intended to have been payed; enters Earl and of course you know the difficulty we saw there."

    PM Met With Unions
    Today, the Prime Minister amplified that explanation when he said that he recently called in all the unions for a meeting to explain to them what is the situation after hurricane Earl:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "We did have a meeting, it's not just the teachers it's with the heads of the 3 unions, the APSSM, the PSU and the BNTU and I as I said shared the latest damage assessment report I had with them and indicated that were asking as it appeared were entitled to at least ask under the framework which I had for the collective bargaining agreement. It did say that if there was a change in material circumstances we could reopen the issue of the salary adjustment. So I've asked them if they would be good enough as part of the national solidarity and the fact that government had to find all this money now to try to help put things back together for a number of people including some of their members; if they would be good enough to agree to a deferral of the salary increase until next April; the start of the budget year. It's something they clearly have to consult on so I am awaiting their response."

    Will GOB Be Forced To Increase GST?
    Initial assessments from hurricane Earl put the cost of damages at about 105 million dollars. Add that to an already contracting economy, and the sharp increase in the debt burden with the BTL arbitration award, and then factor in the set up in superbond payments which is coming next year – and you've got a government whose finances are hanging by a thin thread. So does that mean that we can expect further increases in taxes – like maybe a GST increase? That's what we asked the PM today:.. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "There will be no tax increases before certainly the next budget year. I'm not saying there will be tax increases then but if tax increases have to come they can't come until then. Especially it was not in my contemplation in any event but especially now with hurricane Earl. You don't respond to a disaster where lives have been shattered by increasing taxes on people."

    Faber Says No Answers Yet On Stolen Prado
    And so, if government is really that pressed for cash – it brings into even sharper focus the possible loss of Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber's 2013 Toyota Prado – because a new one like that will cost about 140 thousand dollars. As we reported, the vehicle was stolen on Sunday night, and today we asked Faber for an update but he directed us to the police. Courtney Weatherburne: "Sir could you kindly give us an update on the vehicle; do the police know who the car thief is?" Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "Well as I mentioned to you I have no update and so the fitting person for you to ask or the entity for you to ask would be the police."

    PM Says Faber's Stewardship Of Gov't Asset Not Optimal
    And while we got no comment form the police, we did get one from Faber's boss today. Here's what the Prime Minister said:… Jules Vasquez: "Sir with the admitted that he left the key with a friend, that the friend subsequently left the key in the vehicle; is that optimal stewardship of public assets? A very expensive asset as well." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "I think you put that question to him and he confessed that it wasn't." Jules Vasquez: "You're his boss should he..." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "Who am I to disagree with that?"

    Grace Gets New Space
    About 475 kids will be rushing through the gates and cramming into classrooms at the Grace Primary School on Amara avenue in September. That's a lot students and it is becoming more of a challenge to cater to all these kids in a cramped urban environment. Well, there will be some relief for the next school year because 4 more classrooms will be built on Faber's Road, as an extension the school. We found out more about the project at the ground breaking ceremony this morning. Brenda Lee Hyde - Vice Principal, Grace Primary: "SIF is giving us 4 classrooms so initially we might just bring over the upper division; we have not cemented all that yet but that's our plan." Courtney Weatherburne: "So right now it's only going to be 4 classrooms to be built here on this lot?" Brenda Lee Hyde - Vice Principal, Grace Primary: "Yes 4 classrooms."

    Some Teachers Will Stay Home
    While those Grace Primary students have something to look forward to for next school year, some teachers can't even look that far ahead, because at the beginning of this school year, they will be out of a job. As we told you in early February, Minister of Education Patrick Faber announced that those teachers without a full license will be dismissed and replaced. Well, since that announcement many teachers have been scrambling to get their full license, but today Faber reiterated that time is up for those teachers who did not budge to get fully licensed and he makes no apology for it. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "There were some who felt that their case was not properly heard or the committee might have missed something and there was a process for them to make that appeal to the same committee to review it and so on; and that process as I understand is being completed."

    A group of professionals from within Belize's export and trade sector concluded a workshop on exporting today. This one was not about the export of goods such as agricultural produce, but the exportation of skilled labour which included Creative and Cultural Industries, Management Consultants, ICT providers, Marketing and Communications, Business Process Outsourcing, Professional Services, Business Services, Construction related, and Health and Wellness Tourism. The experts at the Belize Coalition of Service Providers say that there is a growing need for such a trade interaction, and today, we stopped by to talk with the coordinators. They told us that though it's an intangible asset, it is just as valuable as any other exported item:

    RESTORE Scholarships
    This evening, 32 high school students attended an award ceremony hosted by Restore Belize. They are receiving scholarships after being chosen through a rigorous selection process. We attended the ceremony and found out that these students were chosen because of their potential for excellence, but also because without the funding, they would not be able to attend school. The coordinator told us more today:

    Can PM Help Mount Carmel Accountholders?
    And finally tonight, we have an update on Mount Carmel Credit Union in Benque Viejo. As we told you three weeks ago, the Credit Union is bankrupt and is going to be closed down. The hundreds of members who had money in there will just lose their deposits – simple as that. Today we asked the Prime Minister if he can do anything as Minister of Finance to save them – and he didn’t seem very hopeful:…

    Channel 5

    Government Will Not Appeal Section 53 Decision; A.G. Cites Legal Advice
    The Government of Belize has announced that it will not appeal the landmark decision of the Supreme Court in respect of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code.  That statement comes [...]

    P.M. says Cabinet Split on Support for LGBT Rights
    According to Prime Minister Barrow, government’s decision was equally the result of a lively discussion among senior members of Cabinet who advise on policy.    Prime Minister Dean Barrow “The [...]

    Barrow Says Churches Can Appeal Section 53 Decision
    As we’ve mentioned, Bishops Dorick Wright and Christopher Glancy, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, wrote to Prime Minister Barrow urging government to appeal the decision of the Supreme [...]

    Gay Marriage Coming? P.M. Says Section 53 Decision Won’t Cause It
    Does the reading down of Section Fifty-three open the figurative door to gay marriage?  It’s a widely held belief among many, including the Roman Catholic Church.  In fact, its premise [...]

    Evangelicals Will Seek Support for Appeal
    Following the prime minister’s press conference, we got a reaction from the National Evangelical Association of Belize on government’s position on Section Fifty-three.  Needless to say, the organization is disappointed [...]

    Caleb Orozco Warns Churches Over Morality
    The protagonist at the center of the UNIBAM Challenge is gay rights activist Caleb Orozco.  Over the years, he has been the subject of scorn and disdain, as much as [...]

    Department of Human Services to Take Custody of Sodomy Victim
    As we reported on Tuesday, an eleven-year-old boy from Santa Elena Town, Cayo District was allegedly sodomized by his sixteen-year-old brother as he slept in his room early Friday morning.  [...]

    The Safety of the Child Remains Paramount
    We asked C.E.O. Alpuche whether their role has been simplified in handling cases under the now-amended Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code. She told us that their role remains much [...]

    New Police Minister Says “Crime Will Never Pay”
    The new Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse, has met with the brass of the Police Department. As you heard Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams say [...]

    Can Regulation Help Police Avoid Entanglements with Unsavoury Characters?
    And while the police are certain to double down on efforts to stop crime, the recent William Mason case shows that sometimes, the alleged criminal element is well-disguised. While senior [...]

    Hurricane Relief Funds Coming In Slowly for Government
    Today marks the second week since Hurricane Earl ravaged parts of the Belize District.  In the wake of the disaster, relief efforts have included generous donations from various organizations to [...]

    P.M. Says Deputy’s Prado Story Will Be Scrutinized By Police
    Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s assigned ministerial vehicle was plunged in the drink near Marine Parade on Sunday night as he socialized at Old Belize following, an outing to the [...]

    Grace Primary School to Build Extension in Faber’s Road Area
    A ground-breaking ceremony was held today on a three-acre plot of land on Faber’s Road extension. It is the construction site for an extension of Grace Primary School that will [...]

    Hundreds of Teachers Cut Due to Not Having Proper Training
    There are several schools for which the new academic year has already started, but most primary schools across the country won’t start classes until September fifth. Most of the education [...]

    Public Officers to Face Delay in Salary Increase
    At the last press conference held in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke briefly about having a discussion with the unions in terms of having a [...]

    Caregivers Trained to Handle Needs of Senior Citizens
    A team from the University of Indianapolis in Indiana is in Belize working with caregivers for senior citizens through HelpAge Belize and the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly.  We [...]

    Belizeans Asked to be More Understanding of Our Seniors
    How does one help a senior citizen, who is used to being independent, get used to having others do things with and for them? Volunteer chairman of the Board of [...]


    GOB Will Not Appeal New Sodomy Law
    This afternoon, exactly one week after the landmark ruling was handed down inside the Supreme Court in Belize City by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, which amended Section 53 of the Criminal Code, the government of Belize for the first time since the ruling provided its much awaited position on the matter. Among members of the Evangelical community, members of Government and a large group of the LGBT community, Attorney General, Minister Vanessa Retreage, announced Governments decision to refrain from appealing the controversial ruling.

    NEAB Disappointed With GOB On Not Appealing Section 53
    In the same room with Orosco this afternoon, were members of the National Evangelical Association of Belize who were also present at today’s press conference and without a doubt the news that GOB will not appeal Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s ruling did not sit too well with them. Even before the Prime Minister’s announcement today NEAB wrote to the PM requesting that the ruling be appealed. For NEAB the points used by the Chief Justice to carry out the controversial decision, violate fundamental beliefs and convictions of the religious community in Belize. Today we spoke with President of NEAB, Pastor Lance Lewis who expressed disappointment in the decision taken by GOB on the ruling.

    Salary Increase Delayed For Public Officers
    The Belize National Teachers Union have been in negotiation with the Government for weeks now as it relates to the third and final portion of the salary increase that teachers are expected to receive. However, as a result of Hurricane Earl which made landfall in Belize two weeks ago, it was publicly announced that the increase would be delayed until further notice. During An interview with the media earlier today, the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber stated that in order to shed some light into the matter, the Prime Minister met with the BNTU on Monday for the continued discussion. Honorable Patrick Farber – Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Education: “As far as I know the delay that is being sought by the Prime Minister to the Unions is not necessarily because of the economic situation in fact you will recall that the Unions and the financial secretary shook hands and signed off on what the payment would be and so that was intended to have been paid, enters Earl and of course you know the difficulty we saw there...”

    Orozco Ready For Second Round If Churches Would Appeal
    And in response to NEAB’s possibility of appeal on the amendment of section 53 of Belize’s criminal code, Caleb Orosco, who was the complainant in the case is of the belief that he has the fundamental right to fight his case in court. Caleb Orozco: “The church will try to appeal that is fine, I stand my ground that the church is not entitled to be guardian of my fundamental rights, I also stand my ground that the church must look in their own closet for their moral concerns and remember that their closet is as wide open as mine when they talk about moral grounds.”

    Eleven Year Old Commits Suicide
    Tonight the Orange Walk community remains in shock and disbelief as a family prepares to bury their eleven year old loved one who was found dead in his room with a belt wrapped around his neck sometime around 6:45 yesterday evening. The minor’s body was discovered by his uncle who reportedly tried to save his life, but all efforts proved futile. Since news broke last night about the death of the 11 year old several reports have surfaced as to what actually transpired and one indication is that the child and his four year old brother were allegedly home alone when the incident occurred. Today when we spoke to Inspector of Police, Jose Mendez, he told us what the investigations have revealed so far.


    Government of Belize Will Not Appeal the Amendment to Section 53
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has announced that the Government of Belize will not be appealing the decision of the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin as it relates to Section 53 of the Constitution. Chief Justice Benjamin rendered his decision on Wednesday, August 10 declaring Section 53 unconstitutional as it finds it criminal for consenting adults to […]

    Prime Minister Says No to Same Sex Marriages
    One of the arguments or fears of several pockets of society is whether or not this ruling is the start of other freedoms for the homosexual group including but not limited to same sex marriages. Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave assurances that it is will not be the case. DEAN BARROW ” In response to […]

    PM Encourages Church to Appeal; Pastor Stirm Says They Can’t
    Interested parties in the ruling of Section 53 have until the end of the month to submit an application for appeal of the Chief Justice’s ruling. Prime Minister Dean Barrow shared two correspondences from the churches’ association asking that he appeal on their behalf. Prime Minster reiterated their decision not to appeal but explained the […]

    AG and Acting Solicitor General to Make Media Rounds on Section 53
    During today’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained particularly to the religious community who have been in opposition of the ruling that the Government will be embarking on an education campaign aimed at clarifying several points that have been misconstrued in the entire discussion of Section 53 and the court’s ruling. DEAN BARROW ” […]

    PM Satisfied with Faber’s Explanation on the Stolen SUV
    Yesterday we brought you the story of Senior Superintendent Lynden Flowers appealing to the public with information on the Government SUV that was stolen on Sunday evening. Following today’s press conference, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow to weigh in on the incident. DEAN BARROW ” The vehicle was driven into the Caribbean Sea on […]

    Prime Minister Meets with Union to Delay Salary Increase
    In his last press conference held on August 5, 2016, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the possibility of having the implementation of the agreed salary increases for teachers and public officers. The thought was shared following the damages that Hurricane Earl left behind when it made landfall in the Belize District. Today, the Prime […]

    Ground Breaks for New School Building (GPS)
    For years the management of Grace Primary School has been working on plans to have an extension to their school built on a 3-acre parcel of land on Faber’s Road in Belize City. To date the school has just under five hundred students enrolled and each year they have had to turn down applications due […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Senior citizen caregivers in training
    This afternoon in Belize City, persons entrusted with caring for senior citizens were trained by a group of university professors and students from the University of Indianapolis. We spoke to professor Tammy Simmons who stated that caregivers must be careful not to take […]

    New Police Minister meets with top brass
    This week Senator Godwin Hulse, who succeeds John Saldivar as Minister of Home Affairs with responsibility for the Police Department, met with more than 100 senior officials to chart a way forward. This afternoon, he told us that there will be a renewed sense […]

    Minor in sodomy case to be guarded by State
    The Department of Human Services is intervening in the case of the 11 year old boy who accuses his 16 year old older brother of anally assaulting him in his sleep last Friday. While Police investigations continue, the Department, after speaking with the boy’s […]

    Belize says “no” to gay marriage
    With decriminalization of consensual acts “against the order of nature” complete, could gay marriage be next? Opponents believe yes, and are ready to fight it to the highest courts in the land. Government, on the other hand, does not believe that the effect of […]

    GOB: Churches can appeal Section 53 but we won’t
    The Government of Belize has declined to appeal last Wednesday’s ruling by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in respect of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code. Caleb Orozco successfully challenged the constitutionality of that piece of legislation. This afternoon, Attorney General Vanessa Retreage conceded that […]

    Post mortem for 11-year-old concluded; conflicting reports surrounding his death arise
    The 11-year-old child who was reportedly found hanging from a rope in his room died as a result of “asphyxiation by hanging” police reports. While it appears to be a suicide, Orange Walk police say they are not ruling out other possibilities and the […]

    PACT joins relief efforts in Belize
    The Board of Directors of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) have agreed to make “a significant donation” towards hurricane relief efforts in Belize. While the amount was not mentioned, PACT issued a release stating that “PACT is aware that among the many segments […]

    11-year-old found hanging from rope in his room
    Orange Walk police have launched an investigation into the death of an 11-year-old that was found hanging in his room on Tuesday night. The boy’s uncle told police that he had left the child along with his four-year-old brother at home and went out. […]

    GOB will not appeal Section 53 decision
    Attorney General Vanessa Retreage announced this afternoon at a press conference in Belize City that GOB will not appeal the Section 53 decision, but interested parties may. “GOB will not tolerate hate speech or actions against other people due to differences,” the Attorney General […]

    Weather forecasters keep an eye on potential Tropical Storm Fiona
    Tropical depression six, which is currently in the central Atlantic Ocean, is expected to become Tropical Storm Fiona by the end of the day. The system has maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour, with higher gusts, and the National Hurricane Centre in Miami […]

    SMART announces unlimited broadband
    SMART, via press release this morning, announced the launch of its new Broadband Unlimited Internet Service, which offers high quality, wireless Internet to Belizean homes and businesses. The company says it began rolling out its new service on August 1. According to the company, […]

    Innocent Police United loses in CONCACAF Champions League Debut
    Last night, Police United FC participated in their first CONCACAF Champions League match, and the first in their history. The night didn’t start well for the team, 90 percent of which is made up of local police officers. The first minute of the match […]

    Belizean man dies in fatal traffic accident in Mexico
    BBN has received reliable reports that Rene August, also known as “Willie B”, a man from Santa Elena, Cayo District died last night in a fatal traffic accident in Mexico. According to reports, August was driving down from the US to Belize and was […]


    Belize’s Only Floating KiteSurfing Operation: Ambergris Caye’s PassionKite
    I have heard it from kitesurfers and kiteboarders** (including Jill who wrote this kite guide to Ambergris Caye for me) – that the conditions on Ambergris Caye can be AWESOME for the sport. Good wind during much of the year, shallow WARM waters – no wet suits needed here – and the scenery – gorgeous barrier reef. So why, even at the windiest times, do we only see a handful (if that) of kites along our shores? Well a few reasons. It’s a relatively new sport, just developed in the 1990s and still growing. In Spain, California, Brazil, it is HUGELY popular. Belize has a few shops and is slowly getting on the radar. Also, the docks that line our island can make learning very tricky for beginners. Docks can be the perfect launching point for those with more expertise but it’s best for those just learning to have wide open, waist deep water to practice in. AND THAT IS WHY THIS NEW BUSINESS IS PERFECT. MJ Leslie and his two friends/employees/fellow kiters, built a transportable kite shop. PassionKite. And I’ve seen the pictures on Facebook for the last few weeks. But when I saw it being towed to the leeward side of the island, to Belize’s largest sandbar, to the knee to waist deep, sandy bottomed waters, I knew that I needed to visit.

    International Sourcesizz

    Here’s a Tropical Depression We Could Be Calling Fiona by the End of the Day
    Tropical Depression Six formed in the Eastern Atlantic late last night, but forecasters say that by the end of the day we may have to refer to it as Tropical Storm Fiona. The system has maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour, with higher gusts, and the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said this morning that “slow strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is likely to become a tropical storm today”. At 11 a.m., the centre of Tropical Depression Six was located 840 miles west of the Cabo Verde islands and was moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour. There is no threat to land at the moment, as the system is expected to remain over the open waters of the tropical Atlantic over the next few days.

    NOAA Outlook for Central America August 18 – 24, 2016
    Average to below-average rainfall expected to continue over Central America during the next week. From August 9-15, heavy rain fell over Guatemala, El Salvador and southwestern Honduras. This has helped reduce thirty-day rainfall deficits over many local areas of the dry portions of the region. Farther south, torrential rain was observed over the Southern Caribbean. Meanwhile, light to moderate rainfall was recorded over the interior of Honduras and western Nicaragua. Since mid-July to present, negative rainfall anomalies, with deficits exceeding 100 mm, have been observed over portions of southwestern and northeastern Guatemala, east-central Honduras, and much of Nicaragua.

    Francis Ford Coppola unveils private island hideaway in Belize
    If you really fancy getting away from it all, consider heading to this private island paradise off the coast of Belize. Film, wine and holiday resorts - is there no end to this man's talents? American screenwriter and film director Francis Ford Coppola has unveiled a new location in his hospitality portfolio, in the shape of a private island. Beach lovers can now castaway at Coral Caye, an idyll 13 kilometres off the coast of Placencia, Belize, that's only two acres, meaning a stroll around the perimeter would only take about five minutes. Groups of up to 12 can indulge their Huckleberry Finn fantasies with a stay at the island's two wooden-clad cottages.

    UNHCR distributes relief aid to Belize hurricane displaced
    The UN Refugee Agency and its partners are to provide relief and reconstruction assistance to the victims of Hurricane Earl, including asylum-seekers from the Northern Triangle. orge pulls the phone from his pocket and plays a brief video showing flooded marshland and the barely visible rooftop of his home in the distance, all but submerged under the surrounding expanse of water. “It’s all gone,” he says, staring blankly at the others who had gathered at a local office of a Belize NGO, Help for Progress, on the outskirts of the capital, Belmopan, seeking help to rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricane Earl. “Everything we had is already gone,” says Jorge, 42, who is one of around 10,000 people in the tiny Central American nation whose lives were devastated by Earl, which churned ashore on August 4, dumping up to 30 centimetres of rain and causing widespread flooding.

    Belize sodomy ruling could have sweeping impact in Caribbean
    Activists across the English-speaking Caribbean say last week’s Belize Supreme Court ruling that found the country’s sodomy law could have implications throughout the region. Donnya Piggott, director of Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination, described the ruling to the Washington Blade as “groundbreaking and extremely promising.” Barbados is among the countries in the English-speaking Caribbean in which consensual same-sex sexual conduct remains criminalized. Piggott told the Blade that authorities earlier this year used the island’s sodomy law to charge a man who allegedly had sex with a 15-years-old. The colonial-era statute is rarely enforced, but the man could face life in prison if he is convicted. “No change comes without initial backlash,” Piggott told the Blade, referring to the impact that the Belize Supreme Court ruling could have in Barbados. “So we have to brace ourselves for a stronger right-wing opposition, but apart from that I see (sodomy laws) tumbling like dominoes in the Caribbean.”

    Londoner's Diary: Sugar coating for Belizeans’ own Brexiteer
    A Brexit bonanza for Belize? Yesterday medal-winning cyclist Callum Skinner asked Leave.EU to remove footage of him from its campaign video, then the British Olympic Association told the Brexit group to stop using its logo. The Londoner spoke to Andy Wigmore, former communications director of Leave.EU, and stumbled across an interesting Central American story. Wigmore, who is half-Belizean, was in Rio as ambassador for the country’s Olympic team. He had been tipped to appear in the shooting competition but failed to qualify. Wigmore also works for the country’s high commission, promoting trade and investment into Belize. He has the right friends: Leave.EU’s major donor Arron Banks donated money after a recent hurricane. News outlet suggestions that Banks was to carry Belize’s flag at Rio’s opening ceremony were as wide of the mark as Wigmore’s shooting. The Brexit ties go deeper. Pro-Brexit Lord Ashcroft has large interests in the country, noted Wigmore, but started to expand on how he took Nigel Farage on a tour of Belize after last year’s general election. The ex-Ukip leader caught an eight-foot shark and found an unexpected fan. “A 70-year-old Rastafarian fisherman miles from anywhere almost wet himself when he met Nigel,” Wigmore told us. He “took him to meet his family and everything. He had watched Nigel for years and here was the man in his village — he couldn’t believe it.”

    The 10 indisputably worst flags in the world
    Flags are so hard to get right, you have to get the right blend of emblems and colours while still designing them in such a way that represents your country. Or someone else’s country if you’re an outside contractor on double time. But flags are really easy to get wrong. Really, really easy. Roman Mars, the man behind the incredible podcast 99% Invisible, did a fantastic TED talk on designing flags and I recommend you go and watch it. Maybe after you’ve read this article though. 3. Belize: If you’ve not watched the video of Roman Mars yet then *SPOILERS*, but if you have then you’ll know the main thing to avoid when creating a flag is a seal, or a coat of arms. Belize didn’t bother heeding that advice, and maybe they should be applauded for having a rebellious streak. But no, their rebellious streak caused this abomination to be created. ACTUAL FLAG FACT: The men on the coat of arms, along with their tools and mahogany, represent the logging industry. 2. United States of America:Food. Music. Netflix Originals. There’s some things the USA are great at. Flags aren’t one of them. It isn’t a bad flag per se, it’s more bad because of what it represents. Every film where the Americans come and save the day; Independence Day, Armageddon, Team America: World Police, the star spangled banner will be flying high and reminding you all how great America thinks it is. Stop pledging allegiance to this terrible flag, and pledge allegiance to BoJack Horseman instead. ACTUAL FLAG FACT: If a new state joins the Union, they must wait until the following July 4 for a representative star to be added to the flag.

    Evictions by Armed Men Rattle a Mexican Tourist Paradise
    TULUM, Mexico — By the time Renaud Jacquet arrived at his compound of rental beach villas, invaders were crawling all over the place. They were storming through the buildings, emptying out rooms and dumping furnishings and supplies in piles outside. One of the men was wandering around clutching a bottle of Mr. Jacquet’s wine. Similar scenes unfolded up and down the coveted stretch of Caribbean coastline in Tulum, Mexico, in June. Hundreds of men working for a security firm — carrying sticks, metal pipes and machetes, witnesses said — raided 17 properties, including hotels, private homes, boutiques and a beach club. They evicted everyone on the premises, including tourists, some of whom had been roused from their sleep. “It was like the mob,” Mr. Jacquet recalled. “It’s the French Revolution!” Yet the takeovers, which seemed to catch the property owners by surprise, were apparently legal, authorized by a judge’s order. Several police officers stood by and watched; they were there only, it seemed, to protect the court officers who had delivered the bad news. The evictions were the most recent, and by far the largest, in a series of court-ordered expropriations that have shaken this tourist town and stained its image as a laid-back, eco-chic retreat that has become wildly popular among tourists, particularly those from the United States and Western Europe.


  • Fire Engulfs San Pedro Police Vehicle, 1min.

  • San Ignacio Resort Hotel 40th Anniversary, 1.5min. Today the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, the longest standing hotel in San Ignacio, Belize, celebrates its 40th anniversary having officially opened to guests on August 17, 1976.

  • Belize Destination Wedding, 3min. Leigh and Jeff tied the knot in beautiful Belize with their friends and family by their side. With white sand under their toes, and crisp Caribbean water as their backdrop, they day could not have been more beautiful!

  • Costa Maya Pageant Contestants at Acquafino Resort in Belize 2016, 8min. Photo shoot, fashion show and amazing party with the Costa Maya girls at the exclusive Acquafino Island Resort and Spa on Ambergris Caye, Belize. An amazing time was had by everyone and all proceeds went to charity. See the highlights here. Swimsuits by Char Tolentino, Fashions by Top Notch, Carts by Unbelizeable Golf Carts. Video by Paradise Guy Productions Thanks to Costa Maya for choosing Acquafino Resort for this special event.

  • Excavations in Belize, 3.5min.

  • We are live in Belize in Golden Girl Gymnast Simon Biles' family, 12min.

  • Belize 2016, 4min.

  • Sea Turtles | San Pedro, Belize | Scuba Diving, 4min. This video is about Sea Turtles I encountered off the coast of San Pedro in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Most of the video footage was captured at Coco Beach and Hol Chan dive sites.

  • Trip to Belize | Vlog 2 | Mayan Ruins | Itze De Jesus, 14min.

  • Coco Plum Island Resort, 1min. island aerial

    August 17, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    Ambergris Today

    Denise Alfaro Celebrates Quinceaños with Grand Party
    Special Birthday Greetings are on hand for Denise Alfaro who celebrated her 15 Birthday (Quinceaños) on Saturday, August 13, 2016 with a grand 'Candyland' themed celebration. After her celebratory mass held at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, Denise hosted a one-of-a-kind party that featured special acrobatic performances, stilt dancers and plenty of candy, party favors and entertainment for her guests. Happy Birthday Denise from Ambergris Today!

    Belizean Olympic Athletes Instill Pride After Competing in Rio
    “Nervous doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling right now!! These girls are super fast! I'm going to give my absolute all. If I run a personal best time it will be my greatest achievement! So I'm going to go out there and get it!!” - Katy Sealy With this post on her Facebook profile the day before her Olympic run, Katy Sealy took on the 100M Hurdles this morning at 8:05a.m. at the Rio Olympic Games. Sealy did an amazing job at representing Belize, although not being able to qualify to the semifinal round; she knew she was up against some fast competitors. Similarly, Brandon Jones competed in the Men’s 200M this morning and Renick James represented in the Judo - 90kg category on August 10th; the support from Belizeans from around the world was unconditional.

    Submarine Fiber Optic To San Pedro, BTL to Improve Services
    Submarine network provider Huawei Marine Networks has announced a partnership with Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) to build an undersea cable system connecting Belize’s mainland with the island of San Pedro, Belize’s largest and fastest growing tourist area. The undersea cable, named Strategic Evolution Underwater Link (SEUL), is a key piece to BTL's promise to modernize its mobile and landline network to significantly improve broadband connectivity and quality across the country. The modernization project includes deploying LTE (4G) mobile service and fiber to residential and business buildings (FTTX) in San Pedro.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Groundbreaking ceremonies for new polyclinic in San Narciso and Chunox
    Groundbreaking ceremonies to officially commence the construction of a new polyclinic in San Narciso and Chunox were held on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. The Government of Belize steadfast in its continued commitment to address the basic needs of Belizeans, in the areas of water, sanitation, education and primary health care services is funding polyclinic project at an estimated cost of $900,000.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. Completion of the new polyclinics is scheduled for March 2017.

    San Ignacio & Santa Elen Creole Drumming Group
    Photos of he newly formed San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) Creole Drumming Group in action! It was indeed a delight seeing and hearing these 13 youths playing the Creole drums, at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday night for the launch of the September celebrations.

    MSBC Congress in Belize next week!
    Quite a complicated and very well-crafted work of pyrography in wood of Laurel, with almost all of the components species of biology and the main logo of the mesoamerican society for the biology and conservation, wood 15 pulgs wide x 21 Pulgs long and locks as components in total plus of flora, 15 species, 3 Birds, 5 mammals, 1 Butterfly, 2 bugs, 2 Orchids, 1 Frog, the names Of every member state, in end took 16 hours interrupted,

    Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation (Belize Chapter)
    Our congress program is jam packed with interesting talks and networking events. Now you can join us on Tuesday, 23rd August 2016 for a screening of the self produced and distributed film, Americas In Between-An Adventure In Nature. Synopsis of the film: “Isthmus that connects the North to the South, Central America is one of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of biodiversity of the planet. From Southern Mexico to Panama, Barbara and Julien led a 200-day expedition alongside those who act to protect nature in this region. Through encounters, discoveries and testimonies, the two biologists share with us their adventure, both scientific and human. This inspiring documentary, on a road movie tone, warns us to take urgent action, invites us to reconsider our relationship with nature and questions our answers in addressing the biodiversity crisis”.

    Girls Going Global in Belize
    Recently Ambassador Moreno and Embassy staff had the opportunity to host the AMAZING young women traveling with Girls Going Global, a nonprofit organization that exposes undeserved girls to travel and service, at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan. During their visit Embassy, staff briefed the young women on the operations and goals of an Embassy and provided an interactive tour. We hope to see some of these young ladies back at the Embassy in the future, maybe as future leaders and employees!

    The Belize Hotel Association recently attended Expovaciones in Salvador in July, where we received extensive media coverage from the local television and radio stations. As a result, a Salvador Film Crew, of five persons, headed by producer, Licenciado Jorge Alberto Cortez, was sent to Belize, from August 3-7, by one of the most viewed TV stations in Salvador. The crew was brought to Belize by Andreas Tours, a travel agency from El Salvador, who also brought a large tour group to the country for these three days. They arrived in Belize, on Wednesday morning and experienced Hurricane Earl here in Belize City. The crew lost one day of production, because of the storm and their itinerary had to be rearranged at the last minute. Extensive filming was done in Belize City on Friday August 5. On Saturday August 9, the crew traveled to Caye Caulker and shot some great footage on the beach. They also were very pleased to be granted an impromptu interview with the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr, and the Mayoress of the island, Mrs. Enelda Rosado.

    BHA in ASTA Network Magazine's Summer 2016 Edition
    The Summer 2016 edition of ASTA Network Magazine is out and the Belize Hotel Association is prominently displayed in a full page Ad, alongside a diving article where Belize is named as one of the Four Diving Hotspots of the world! This edition, will be distributed in print to a readership of over 55,000 US travel trade professionals. An E-blast version of the e-zine and this Summer 2016 edition will appear on the official ASTA website for one full year. ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) is the world's largest association of travel professionals. It's agents represent 83% of all travel sold through the travel agency distribution channel which totaled $122 billion last year. The mission of ASTA and its affiliated organizations is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism.

    New School Year at Ocean Academy
    Monday August 29th, Ocean Academy reopens for the 2016-2017 school year. We look forward to welcoming our new and returning students on campus! Note the revised dates for our first week due to storm recovery efforts, per Ministry of Education instructions. Clinton Canul Luna
    t is sad to see how our Corozal culture has been set aside to introduce one invented by those who are in charge of the preservation of our identity. There are so many things that can be mentioned which with time it had gradually been on constant changes and prohibition of our eating habits. For many years, from the time I know myself, we were already eating a fish we know here in the North as Macabi, commonly known as “bony fish.” Macabi has a special taste, unlike any other fish, because of the way it is roasted. We have been enjoying the delicacy of such sea food from time which I think there is no information of its beginning. Native and autochthonous Belizeans have been savoring the taste of this delicious fish in “panades” (empanadas) and fish balls. Nonetheless, for some unknown intelligent minds, it has been prohibited for Belizeans to taste their own food. Now, our dear readers, Belize has 174 miles of waterfront, straight into the Caribbean Sea, as far as your eyes can see. It is impossible for a little handful of people to put in danger the extermination of such sea food. But, it seems as if it is of more value for the tourists to use it as bait for their fishing sport. It won’t take too long when we will be STOPPED from cooking rice and beans, since it will be served to us from some unknown transnational corporations which will process and tin it for the Belizean population’s consumption. Of course, for it to be nice and juicy, you’ll have to get yourself a microwave for your rice and beans to be heated.

    Channel 7

    Tornado Tore Up Spanish Lookout
    Just like the rest of the country, the Spanish Lookout Community, in the Cayo District, continues to recover from the damage that Hurricane Earl did. But, on Sunday afternoon, another storm hit them; and this one was like a tornado. Now the experts say that tornados don't happen in Belize. Well, we went to the Cayo District to speak to those affected, and they say that what hit them can't be described as anything else. Daniel Ortiz reporting: The roof of this building on the compound at Plett's Home Building was not torn off during Hurricane Earl. It was torn on Sunday afternoon when a when a twister-like storm hit the Spanish Lookout Community. The residents swear that it was a tornado.

    Reports: GOB Won't Appeal CJ Decision
    Will the Government of Belize appeal the Chief Justice's landmark decision on section 53 of the criminal code? Six days ago the CJ ruled that it was unconstitutional to discriminate against homosexuals and re-worded the section to say it "shall not apply to consensual sexual acts between adults in private." Yesterday, you heard Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber suggest that the matter should be put to a referendum, while former Attorney General Wilfred Elrington told PLUS TV that he thinks the government should appeal it:... Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Former Attorney General: "Some sections of the public are not happy with the decision and I think that we should do all in powers to ventilate the matter as widely as possible, so that nobody can say or have any criticisms of the government." Well, tomorrow Prime Minister Dean Barrow will announce government's official position on the judgment. He will do so at a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza at 2:30 pm. Our sources say that the Government will NOT appeal the judgment - which will surely be to the dismay of many Christian critics of the Chief Justice's decision.

    A Sickening Case Of Abuse
    Last night we told you about the sickening Santa Elena Sodomy case involving a 16 year old boy and his 11 year old brother. The incident reportedly happened on Friday night at their home while the child was asleep. Police say another brother made the report after he noticed his 11 year old brother acting strangely. Investigators told us today that the medical examination confirmed that the boy's anus was torn. San Ignacio police along with social services are working on this case. More statements need to be recorded and once the file is complete it will be sent to the DPP. Police say the 16 year old is not known to be violent or abusive.

    A Case Of Cruel Cop Abuse Alleged In PG
    We usually hear about allegations of police brutality from city residents but this time, the allegation is coming from Punta Gorda. San Marcos resident Mario Makin is clinging to life at the Western Regional Hospital after he alleges he was attacked by police. The incident happened on Saturday night after 9:00 while Makin was at his friend's store. The report is that police rode up to the store and started to beat another man. Makin then came out to see what was going on and police grabbed him and allegedly beat up him too. The other person got away but it seems Makin got the worst of it. When we spoke to Makin's friend today, she told us that after the beat down police threw Makin at the junction of San Marcos and it's only until Sunday morning that some villagers saw him splayed on the road. Makin was then rushed to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he had to undergo surgery because his bowels were ruptured and he could not breathe properly.

    They Chanced Chef Ainsley
    Tonight 18 year-old Lemar Lamb, and 21 year-old Kareem Betancourt at the Belize Central Prison. That's after they were taken to court for an armed robbery of a well-known Belize City Chef. The victim is 38 year-old Ainsely Castro, who has his kitchen on Lacroix Boulevard. He told police that on Friday afternoon, at around 1:30 p.m., 3 men barged into his business place, one of them armed with handgun. Castro said that the men held him up and then proceeded to steal $3,800 dollars in cash, his thousand dollar gold chain, his cell phone and his wallet. Two days later, acting on intelligence, police went to house on Pelican Street, where they found Castro's stolen phone. As a result, Lamb was arrested and charged with Robbery, while Betancourt and 20 year-old Jermaine Wagner were charged with handling stolen goods.

    Men Charged For Spanish Lookout Slaying
    Last night we told you that 2 men have already been charged in connection to the Spanish Lookout murder of Ever Miranda. Those men are Gladimir Bartolo Shish and Carlos Antonio Rodriguez Mendendez. Both were charged with murder. They were arraigned this morning and remanded until October 17th. The incident happened early Sunday morning at La Pasadita Bar. Miranda was defending his cousin after Shish and Mendendez had a crass remark and that is what led to the confrontation. One of the men shot Miranda in the shoulder and the other chopped him in the face.

    Northside Cops Take On Mentoring Of Youths
    We've heard of community policing - but today northside police took it to another level when they sort of adopted a group of deserving kids. It's part of a larger mentoring program and today 10 police officers kicked it off with lunch and back to school shopping. We spoke to officer commanding northside, ASCP Dezeree Phillips:... ASP Desiree Phillips, OC - Eastern North Division: "What we have done here, we have identified 12 young persons who we believe are underprivileged, who are desirous of some assistance to get them prepared for back to school and so we would called it "Back to school shop with a Cop"." Courtney Weatherburne: "How are these kids selected?" ASP Desiree Phillips, OC - Eastern North Division: "They were selected in collaboration with the school's principals, teachers, counselor in support with our community policing officers who visit them every day. This is something that we have been planning from early May and so even before school closed, we already did a survey and we had our names."

    BTL Wants To Take Fiber To Homes
    Last night we told you about BTL's plan to run a 13 million dollar submarine fiber optic cable to San Pedro Town. That won't land on the island until July of 2017, and during that 11-month window BTL has to try and lay out fiber optic infrastructure on the island - otherwise, it'll be like having a racecar, without a racetrack. Chairman of the Executive Committee Anwar Barrow said that fiber is the future of internet to your home and business, and the company is starting a new programme of residential fiber connection:... Anwar Barrow, Chair, Executive Committee - BTL "We have a series of fiber to the home projects that we are going to be inaugurating at the end of this month starting off and we also have one in San Pedro which goes hand in hand with this link and what that is that we are building out fiber throughout the island and throughout the country to connect people's home directly by fiber connection. Right now most of the homes are connected by copper wires which are old, which have been degraded and we are replacing that.

    142 New Belizeans
    142 new Belizean citizens were sworn in on Friday in Belmopan at the George Price Center. The highlight of ceremony was an oath and the handing out of nationality certificates. Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration Beverly Castillo presided over the event, along with new Director Of Immigration Diana Locke.

    150 Guatemalan Workers Without Work Permits Turned Back
    In other Immigration news, the Department put down the hard line yesterday and turned back 150 Guatemalan workers. These persons cross daily from Melchor into Belize without hindrance, but for a month they have been warned that they have to get, or show a work permit. Yesterday was the deadline, and those who did not have a permit to show were turned back. We're told that they returned back to Melchor very upset that they were not being allowed into Belize, and an impromptu protest was to have taken place. It didn't but local reports suggest that they have approached the Melchor Mayor to have him intercede on their behalf. Since then, a number of them have realized the Belizean law is not on their side, and they have moved to get work permits. The other side of this story is that many of them have work permits but they don't want to use it because that would mean getting their passports stamped, which would disqualify them from earning permanent residence status which requires un-interrupted residence in Belize.

    Belize Track And Fielders Brought Up The Rear In Rio
    Belize sent a contingent of three athletes to the Rio Olympics and today, two of them, Katy Sealy and Brandon Jones competed in their track and field events. Katy Sealey was slated for the 100m Hurdles and Brandon Jones ran in the 200m. They both came dead last - with no chance of advancing. Not a stellar day for sports, not at all, but since the races happened at 8:05 am, and 9:50 am when most were at work, just for the record, here are their performances:...

    Reuters Turns To Johnny Zabaneh
    We've told you all about the residential damage caused by hurricane Earl, but the substantial damage to Belize's crops has gotten far less attention. For bananas, many farms were completely wiped out, except - by some strange act of providence - for Meridian Farms - the one linked to Johnny Zabaneh. It's a fact, while farms right next to Meridian suffered 100% crop losses, Meridian had only about 1% loss due to Earl. Bad news is, because of the Zabaneh's Kingpin designation, Meridian has no one to sell to - so the bananas are just there rotting or waiting for someone to come along and cut them down. It's put a hurting on Belize's economy, and today the international news agency Reuters did an extensive story to show just how much it's hurt the economy. The article points to the steep 42% drop in banana shipments since Fyffes stopped buying from Meridian farms - and that drove "a two percent drop in economic output in the first quarter."

    The Best Songs Of The Celebration Season
    The 2016 Song Competition was held on Saturday at Mrmorial PArk. That's the event which opens NICH's September Celebrations Calendar every year. That competition happened on Saturday night, and at the end of over 3 hours of performances, the judges chose the winners, Cecil "Cocono Bwai" Jenkins Jr., Wilson Grinage, Jeanie Brooks, and Leslie "Bastic" Jenkins. Here's a short excerpt of their winning performances: You can hear all the songs from finalists at

    A New Senator/Minister
    And finally tonight, we note the swearing of Attorney General Vanessa Retreage as a Senator and a Minister. She was sworn in as senator yesterday, and then shuttled over to the Governor General's residence for her ministerial Oath of Allegiance, as the new Minister of Natural Resources. Retreage becomes the first female Minister of Natural Resources in memory, and the first attorney.

    Channel 5

    An eleven year old is allegedly sodomized by sibling
    There is a despicable report coming out of the Cayo District involving the sexual assault of an eleven-year-old boy in Santa Elena. Even more disturbing is that the minor was [...]

    2 Cayo men charged for murder at a bar
    Two persons have been charged in connection with the murder of Duck Run Two resident, forty-one-year-old Hever Miranda. Late Monday evening, after twenty-four hours of investigation, San Ignacio police charged [...]

    Will William Mason surveillance tapes catch Ministers doing wrong?
    On Monday, Senior Counsel Richard “Dickie” Bradley, attorney for Melissa Ferguson, accused of conspiring to kidnap Pastor Llewellyn Lucas and David Dodd, all but assured the press after her bail [...]

    New Police Minister meets top brass in Department
    On Monday afternoon, a meeting was held at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan between the top brass of the Belize Police Department and the new Minister of Police Godwin [...]

    “Amateur” investigator in William Mason case to get guidance from superiors
    But on the investigation of William “Danny” Mason, as we’ve reported in the past, several high ranking officers are of the opinion that the lead investigator for the crime involving [...]

    Deputy P.M. sober in analysing Saldivar’s fall from grace
    John Saldivar’s fall from grace as Minister of National Security, a consolidated portfolio which at the time included the Belize Police Department, the National Coast Guard and the Belize Defense [...]

    Trio arraigned for robbing Chef Ainsley at home
    A trio of men was charged with robbery and handling stolen goods and they were arraigned this morning before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser.  Thirty-one-year-old Kareem Betancourt, a tour guide with [...]

    Judoka Renick James speaks about Olympics experience
    Belize is being proudly represented at the Olympics by Belizeans Katy Sealy, Brandon Jones and Renick James.  James, who competed in judo, lost his ninety-kilogram or hundred and ninety-eight pound [...]

    James says Belize can win medals in Judo
    James, an instructor with the Belize Judo and Jiujitsu Academy, is proud of completing the match and representing his country. He says that Belize can look forward to medals in [...]

    Belizeans cheer on Simone Biles as she wins gold again
    Eleven Miss Belize pageant contestants and their director; the Special Envoy for Women and Children; the Vice-President of OCEANA in Belize; the Music Ambassador and son of the Prime Minister, [...]

    Is cheering for non-Belizean athletes hurting our own?
    Biles, who has Belizean parentage, has accepted an offer of a visit for her and her teammates to the Jewel by the Belize Tourism Board, although details are to be [...]

    Minister of Immigration addresses border issues…
    On Monday, tensions ran high at the western border with Guatemala in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Police and immigration were stationed at the border stopping Guatemalan laborers who travel to [...]

    Hulse Says work permits a privilege, not a right
    According to Hulse, they were unaware of the illegal practice and it must be corrected. But Hulse says that work permits are a privilege not a right.   Godwin Hulse, [...]

    For Back-To-School, Shop With A Cop!
    Back-to-School preparations continue for most families with children of school age.  For those who are in dire need of financial assistance, particularly in light of the recent hurricane, members of [...]

    High Schooler In Program No Longer Afraid of Police Officers
    Fourteen-year-old Aaliyah Tzul is among the twelve participants.  As a second form student at E.P. York High School, she has been paired with Inspector Martha Rhys of the Domestic Violence [...]

    Anti-Drug and Life Skills Summer Program Closes in Belize City
    Today, the Eastern Division South Police Department hosted a closing ceremony for a second summer program hosted by its community policing unit at the Gateway Youth Center on south side [...]

    Red Cross Receives Hurricane Earl Donation from BECOL/FORTIS
    The Belize Red Cross continues to receive donations to assist with hurricane relief in the aftermath of Earl.  The Category One storm wreaked havoc primarily in the northern section of [...]

    More Than 300 Families will receive cash transfer
    While the donations will be paid out using a cash transfer system, the focus at the moment continues to be areas hardest hit by Hurricane Earl, including the Vista Del [...]

    Belize International Jazz Festival continues with concerts
    A classical concert is underway at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts as part of the Belize International Jazz Festival.  That event will be followed at ten o’clock by a [...]

    11 Belizean beauties to vie for Miss Belize
    The journey begins for eleven Belizean beauty ambassadors from across the country as they vie for the title of Miss Belize and an opportunity to represent the Jewel in the [...]


    Postmortem Revealed That San Narciso Resident Died Of Natural Causes
    Last night we reported about the lifeless body of thirty two year old Basilio Patt, a resident from the village of San Narciso that was discovered at about 6:00 a.m. yesterday at the location where the annual San Joaquin Fiesta had been held. While we had told you that authorities did not find any visible signs of violence on the thirty two year old to suspect foul play….the family of the deceased believe that their loved one might have come under attack. Angelina Patt – Voice of Mother: “Mi hijo venia de trabajar y un amigo salió y dijo que lo pegaron y mi nuera estaba trabajando adonde ellos trabajan y que una amiga lo llamo que Chilo lo pegaron y ella no lo creo y llamo a mi hijo que es su marido y le dice que mataron a Chilo pero no le digas a tu mama porque ella se va altera, pero si mi mama ya lo escucho; pues no, no me espanto porque para mí yo no pensé que él está muerto porque él no anda peleando y mi esposo estaba yendo a su trabajo cuando una vecina salió y le dice, señor usted sabe que Chilo lo mataron dice el así no lo sé, pues si están diciendo que ya lo mataron y hasta cuando vino su papa de la doctora confirmo que si lo mataron entonces yo vine a creer que si lo mataron y hasta ahorita nadie me han avisado solo por los amigos yo supe que él está muerto y mi hijo el que anda en las vueltas fue a verlo es cuando a mí me vinieron avisar y después él dijo que si lo están llevando en Orange Walk porque acá no hay morgue lo tuvieron que llevar haya no se de policía nada, nada, nada.”

    Sodomy Law Caused Controversy
    It’s been almost one week since the Supreme Court of Belize passed a historic ruling, legalizing gay sex between consenting adults. The ruling made by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was met with mixed response by the Belizean population. And while the Government of Belize is yet to state their position on the ruling, yesterday during a press conference called by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, he was asked for his opinion on the ruling. Honorable Patrick Faber – Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “In that instance then I would act as an agent for the people who I served as opposed to giving my own personal view, how is it that I determine what the view of those who I represent are is something that is given great consideration to over the last few days whether that means I don’t think that Facebook is a good or Social Media is a good indicator although that seems to be the court of public opinion in these days but maybe some kind of survey or check moving around the constituency to see what the views of our constituents are or maybe to the extent of us as a nation have a referendum to let the Belizean people to decide how is it that they wat to see us move, I think it is such a big decision that the Belizean people should have a say and that we should not have necessarily individual leaders and lawmakers impressing on the Belizean people their own personal and individual ways.”

    Immigration Office Look Into Worker's Permit From Guatemalans
    Yesterday many residents from the neighboring country of Guatemala, who regularly cross into Belize to work on the strength of their passports alone were halted by Belizean immigration at the Western Border. Information is that Belizean authorities were requesting work permits which the visitors could not produce, as a result reports are that the large group of Guatemalans, who are in disagreement with the new requirements at the western border, have sought political assistance in their country to address the current situation. Since the requirements were implemented at the border in Benque Viejo, police presence was amped up and yesterday, Senator Godwin Hulse who is the Minister of Immigration explained the new implementations. “Yes the police and Immigration undertook an exercise this morning because there has been lots of people streaming across the border we understand that come to work and you cannot work in this country as a foreigner without a work permit as simple as that.”


    Belize received US $200,000 from Inter-American Development Bank for Hurricane Relief
    Belize will be receiving 200 thousand US dollars in grant funding from the Inter- American Development Bank to assist the Government of Belize’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to communities affected by Hurricane Earl. The objective of the grant is to support the National Emergency Mana...

    New Attorney General Sworn In as Senator and Minister
    This morning, the Attorney General Hon. Vanessa Retreage was officially sworn-in as a Senator and a Minister. Ms. Retreage was first sworn-in as a Senator before the President and other members of the Senate at the National Assembly Building during today’s Senate Meeting. Thereafter, the new Senator...


    Belize’s century-old sodomy law overturned
    The law criminalizing “unnatural” sex acts—deemed to principally be a bar against anal sex between homosexuals but which has largely been unenforced for decades—was today struck down in the Belize Supreme Court when Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin used his “blue pencil” to change it, saying that private sex acts between consenting adults would be excluded from the range of acts prohibited by the law. Whereas the LGBT community was jubilant over Benjamin’s decision to effectively decriminalize homosexuality, the churches, which joined the case as interested parties, expressed their outrage. “This is huge for me!” said Caleb Orozco, former executive president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), who was the sole claimant in the case after UNIBAM was removed by the court for lack of standing to bring the constitutional challenge. “I’m the facey b—— that bothered to challenge the status quo in our society and managed to get a response that was meaningful,” Orozco told the media at a press conference after the ruling.

    Brother sodomizes brother
    Two days after the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin delivered a historic ruling making it clear that sexual intercourse between two consenting adults should not be criminalised, an 11-year-old boy was reportedly sodomized by one of his older brothers. According to Santa Elena police, sometime after 3 a.m. on Friday, the 11-year-old woke up in his bedroom and found that his 16-year-old brother was anally penetrating him. This horrific incident became public after controversial media personality, Pastor Louis Wade, spoke of it on his popular Rise and Shine morning show on Plus TV this morning. Wade posted on Facebook that after the accused brother had completed his act of sodomy, he allegedly told his brother, “nothing will happen to me because this is now legal.”

    Tornado hits Spanish Lookout
    The Spanish Lookout community in the Cayo District, was hit by a tornado at about 11:00 yesterday morning. Roofs were destroyed, trees were uprooted and buildings were damaged. Amandala travelled to Spanish Lookout and saw the destruction wrought by what we had initially concluded was the first recorded tornado in the country. Reports are that it was raining when the spiral was seen. Abram Dyck of Pletts Home Construction told us that at about 11:00 yesterday morning they saw a spiral coming down, with a force and ferocity that exceeded the intensity of Hurricane Earl. He said that the tornado lifted off an entire roof and hurled it into the distance. Abram said that many roofs were damaged and that it was the first time that they have seen a tornado. He emphasized that it was very powerful, less than a mile wide and moved quickly, then disappeared.

    Bloody weekend in the West
    Two brutal deaths, as a result of separate incidents, occurred in the Cayo District over the weekend. In one incident, Hever Miranda, 32, of Duck Run 2 in the Cayo Distict, was chopped in the head and shot in the chest by one of four men who attacked him after they became involved in an altercation, and in the other incident, Clerito Perez, 32, of San Martin, Belmopan was chopped several times while he tried to defend his younger brother, Walter Alvarado, who was chopped in the head by one of two men who attacked him. In the case of the death of Perez, the police are looking for two men in San Martin, Belmopan, and in the case of Miranda’s death, police have four men in custody and they are confident that the accused killer is one of them. The first incident occurred at about 5:00 yesterday morning. Police report that Hever Miranda and a woman were socializing at the Pasadita Bar on the Spanish Lookout road when four men with whom he had an altercation came into the bar, and once again an altercation between the men flared up, and that was when one of the men chopped him in the head.

    Chef Ainsley held up in his establishment
    Robbers netted an estimated six thousand dollars in cash, jewelry and mobile devices after they held up a local chef and his staff at gunpoint just a few feet away from a police checkpoint. Ainsley Castro, 38, known to many as Chef Ainsley, has become well-known in the healthy living community as a result of the wholesome cuisine he sells from his kitchen on Balan Street off the Lacroix Boulevard in the St. Martin De Porres area of Lake Independence. The chef turned entrepreneur has been making a living by selling healthy entrées since moving on from his post as chef at the Radisson Hotel almost fifteen months ago. Castro reported to police that sometime around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, as he was cleaning up after a day’s sale, two dark-skinned, medium-built men entered his establishment and ordered everyone on the ground.

    BTB creating a buzz over offer to Simone Biles and “Final Five”
    Simone Biles, the stellar US gymnast who also has Belizean citizenship, has been getting a lot of attention in the international press, and her mentions of Belize, home to her mom, Nellie Biles, as a place where she loves to relax and fish, has also meant good press for Belize’s tourism industry—the services sector that has been vital in offsetting sustained declines in Belize’s export earnings. On Thursday night, August 11, at around 8:30 p.m., the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) made a public offer via Twitter to Biles and the US gymnastics team, known as the Final Five: “Congrats @simone_biles! Belize is so proud of you. We’d love to host you and the entire #FinalFive on a vacation once you’re ready to relax.” Some months ago, after Steve Harvey’s gaffe at the Miss Universe, the BTB invited Harvey via Twitter to come host the Costa Maya in Belize. Harvey “liked” the tweet but did not take up the offer to host the pageant, which had to be canceled last week due to Hurricane Earl.

    Wayde van Niekerk’s race reminded me of Migale
    While many experts have opined that the outside lane is the hardest position from which to race and possibly break a record, because you can’t see where your opponents are until the final stretch, there is some Belizean race history that I recall, that helps to explain the other side of the coin. Aside from dealing with a less severe curve in the outside lane, versus the inside lane with the tight curve that takes a greater toll on the legs, running from in front can also have the effect of spurring the front runner from the imagined chase, while running from behind could possibly lead to some complacency if the outside lane runners are caught quickly. In the 1969 Belize City inter-secondary schools track meet at the MCC Grounds, the 400-meter heat was run, I think, on a Thursday evening. One of my older brothers, Michael, had won 8 blue ribbons (1st place) at the SJC track meet about a week earlier – 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m relay, long jump, triple jump and high jump, and one other (not sure if it was the 800m or the baseball throw).

    Police United makes Champions League debut
    A release yesterday from the Police United Football Club said the team left Belize on Saturday for Puerto Cortez, Honduras, from where they would be travelling on to the capital, Tegucigalpa, for their scheduled Scotia Bank CONCACAF Champions League debut against Honduran champions, Olimpia on Tuesday night, August 16. Kick off time is 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday. In their release, Police United FC listed their starting line-up as follows: #1 goalkeeper – Jose Santos; #8 striker – Carlton Thomas; #10 center midfield – Harrison Roches; #12 center back – Trevor Lennon; #13 center back – Amin August; #14 center midfield – Andres Makin; #16 striker – Daniel Jimenez; #17 right midfield – Devon Makin; #19 right back – Byron Usher; #23 center midfield – Amilton Filho; and #25 left back – Mailson Moura.

    BDBA Firms Tournament regular season ends; quarterfinals this Friday and Saturday
    The BDBA Firms Tournament 2016 regular season finished with two games on Saturday night at the BES Gym. In the opener, Belize Bank Bulldogs clipped Central Health, 100-87; and in the nightcap, a back match from a July 7 rain-out game, it was Heritage Bank, 77-67, over Infotel. Quarterfinal playoffs take place on Friday and Saturday at the BES Gym according to the following schedule: NOTE: Quarterfinals are “knockout” games. Winners of Games A and D will meet in one semi-final, and winners of Games B and C will meet in the other semi-final.

    Freedom Fighters 1:1 FC Belize in pre-season friendly
    In a pre-season semi-pro friendly match at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence today, Freedom Fighters FC and FC Belize played to a 1-1 draw. Mexican import Hector Martinez put FC Belize up 1-nil in the first half with a slicing header off a spot kick that beat veteran goalkeeper Steven “Cranka” Polonio. The Fighters rebounded in the second half with a brilliant effort from the young, speedy and talented rookie, Richard Arnold, who beat goalkeeper Burgess with a well-placed shot from inside the penalty area. Both teams looked prepared and ready for the start of the PLB 2016-2017 Opening Tournament, but also recognized weaknesses that require urgent fixes, with the Freedom Fighters promoting several promising young players, while FC Belize was coming strong with several Mexican imports as well as a Brazilian coach, David Lima.

    Editorial: Too big, too powerful
    At a certain point, the Sir Barry Bowen businesses appeared to have become too big to fail, too powerful to resist, because the businesses, which feature the production and distribution of Coca Cola soft drinks, Belikin beer and stout, and Guinness stout, and include a tourist nature resort and a shrimp factory, employed too many Belizeans. Both United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s United Party (PUP) governments, such as the first UDP government under Dr. Manuel Esquivel and the first PUP government of Rt. Hon. Said Musa, went out of their way to bail out Sir Barry, when he was in trouble with a Panamanian bank in the case of the 1984-1989 Esquivel administration, and awarding him extraordinary tax concessions, such as was the case during the 1998-2003 Said Musa government. In the case of the present Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, political insiders know that in his first venture into national politics in the December 1984 general elections, his chief financier in the Queen’s Square constituency was Sir Barry. It so happened that Mr. Barrow’s opponent in 1984 was the one Ralph Fonseca, whom Sir Barry had fired from his Belize Brewing Company earlier that year. It was very important to Sir Barry for Ralph to be humbled in that very first Queen’s Square race, and so Mr. Barrow benefited greatly from Bowen largesse.

    From the Publisher
    Belize is a failed state where our sports programs are concerned. It is undeniable that our sports programs here under British colonialism were superior to those programs after we achieved political independence in 1981. It is not the Belizean people who are to blame for what has happened to our sports: it is our elected politicians and our shadowy power structure. During colonial days, as a contrasting, comparative illustration, there was no volleyball in Belize. Somewhere in our shadowy power structure after independence, there was a decision made to promote volleyball. Ten years ago, as a non-sports note, there were no marching bands in Belize. The power structure here made a decision to promote marching bands, and now marching bands are organized and prominent in Belize. (Topically and tangentially, some people apart from the Belizean people decided to promote homosexuality in Belize.) The people are not the power.

    Letter to the Editor: Elaine J. Pinkerton discusses homosexuality
    Dear Editor, What are human rights? The right to do anything one wants? The right to kill someone just because that person disagrees with you? The right to steal because you want that object? The right to lie because you don’t want to tell the truth? What determines human rights? What is our guide to living so things go right in our lives? The constitution of Belize states: Whereas the People of Belize affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, …….. So which God is being spoken about here? There are many “gods” in this world. Satan is the god of this world according to II Corinthians 4:4. And he is the one that blinds them that believe not in the one and only true God— Almighty YAH — and His Son Jesus Christ who suffered and died for our sins so that we could repent and be forgiven. Satan would have mankind believe that one can set up his/her own standards and do what is “right” in his/her sight. If we become born again and become the children of Almighty YAH we hunger and thirst for the WORD of YAH and want to do what is correct in HIS sight.

    19.9 million Americans live in extreme poverty
    Arise! Ye children of Belize. Arise, Belizeans, with our foreheads held high. Proud of belonging to this blessed soil in which God had permitted us to be born. Awake, Belizeans, from the lethargic sleep. And grasp the baton of liberty for the homeland that has sheltered us under the blue sky. Let’s continue the struggle of our ancestors for freedom against the oppressors, to fight unceasingly for our independence and let’s continue their work until we achieve equality amongst all our people. Stand FIRM Belizeans, on the line of duty under the banner of democracy, liberty and social justice until victory or death. Arise! Belizeans! To the sounds of the beating drum and the blow of the conch shell. There is an adage that says: “Once a man, twice a child.” In England during the Industrial Revolution the laws were brutal, we can say inhumane. Children from six years old, if not earlier, worked in the factories and mines, the same as women and men from six in the morning until six in the evening. For the employer they represented cheap labour. They were often beaten by overseers to keep them in order, or simply to keep them awake, for a sleepy child, the tip of their nail (s) and finger (s) were in constant danger of being pinched off once in every second, while they had their heads between the whirling wheels a few inches distance from their ear. Starving children were hung for stealing a loaf of bread.

    “Sex” redefined 20 years ago, and Belizeans didn’t know it!
    The churches argue that there are only two sexes: male and female; however, Simone Hill, president of the Universal Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), refers to LGBTIQ – the short acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning. The Supreme Court of Belize is now acknowledging, in its ruling handed down today in favor of homosexual Caleb Orozco, that the term “sex” in Belize’s Constitution was deemed to have a different meaning as far back as 20 years ago. However, most Belizeans had no clue that the reading of the Constitution, particularly where it forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, now includes one’s sexual orientation. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organ of the OAS, defines sexual orientation as “each person’s capacity for profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender…” When Nigel Hawke, deputy Solicitor General, argued the Government’s case in the suit brought by Orozco, he contended that “sexual orientation” is not expressed in the Constitution of Belize.

    Commentary on When Things Fall Apart
    Response to article published in Features, Amandala Belize, August 7, 2016, by Therese Belisle Nweke Boston, MA, August 11, 2016–I read the WHOLE article … “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear”. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND COUNTRY: What will change Belize, and its future, goes far beyond our politics. The diagnoses of much of our nation’s ills are known to most of us. What does it take to go from where we are, to where our nation ought to be … and move from just the diagnosis, and embark on the treatment? For starters, as Tolstoy wrote, and echoed by Mahatma Gandhi, we must first resolve to “be the change we seek”. Change, even though it can be channeled through political leadership—or better yet, statesmanship—must first start with you, with me. Change is not a talk show. Change is not simply pointing out what’s wrong. Real change requires a willingness to get down in the trenches and commit personal time and resources. Real change requires sacrifice (which no one except a masochist enjoys). Real change requires that we look not only after our own interests, but also the interests of others, and of the nation. It requires “real love” that replaces pride, envy, jealousy, spite, backbiting, “bad mind”, and our many –isms and schisms.

    Hon. Patrick Faber’s SUV plunges into the Caribbean Sea
    A vehicle assigned to the Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber, careened off the Marine Parade Boulevard after being driven contrary to the flow of traffic, and plunged into the Caribbean Sea at around 8 p.m. on Sunday, creating a commotion as passersby flocked to the scene. However, when police arrived on the scene to haul the white SUV from the sea, Faber was neither inside, nor was he in the area. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, sometime close to 6 p.m. he had parked his vehicle inside the tightly secured home of a friend situated at about Mile 3 ½ on the George Price Highway, and thereafter, went with some colleagues in another vehicle to the Old Belize dockyard. He said that no one was authorized to move or to drive his vehicle. His friend, an unnamed female with whom he had left his keys, had gone into his vehicle to retrieve a parcel and apparently forgot the keys inside, and did not hear when the alleged thief made off with the SUV. It was ACP Edward Broaster, among others, who told Faber that his vehicle was “parked in the sea.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Chef Ainsley robbers charged
    Three men are charged with robbery and handling stolen goods in relation to robbery of chef Ainsley Castro of the Radisson Hotel on Friday. 31 year old Kareem Betancourt, a Tour guide with Chukka Tours; 20 year old Jermaine Wagner a Fisherman of Neal’s […]

    Mother and daughter charged in Memorial Park assault
    It was not reported but Saturday’s National Song Competition event at the Memorial Park saw violence which led to a mother and daughter appearing in court today. The 40 year old domestic whose name we will not call in order to not identify her […]

    Olympian Renick James returns from Rio
    Belize is being proudly represented at the Olympics by Belizeans Katy Sealy, Brandon Jones and Renick James. James, competing in judo, lost his 90-kilogram (198-pound) category, round-of-32 match on Wednesday to Nauru’s Ovini Uera. He is back in Belize and says a bout of […]

    Belizeans continue to cheer Simone Biles
    11 Miss Belize pageant contestants and their director; the Special Envoy for Women and Children; the Vice-President of OCEANA in Belize; the Music Ambassador and son of the Prime Minister, among others, this afternoon found themselves together at the Baymen’s Tavern of the Radisson […]

    Annual San Joaquin Fiesta in Corozal ends in death
    A man’s body was discovered on Monday morning at the venue of the San Joaquin Fiesta in San Joaquin Village in the Corozal district. Villagers found the corpse around 6:00 in the morning. The body was identified as Basilio Patt, 32, a resident of San […]

    Robbers target BWEL in Orange Walk
    Three men dressed in dark clothing and wearing long sleeved shirts barged into the Belize Western Energy Limited (BEWL) located along the Philip Goldson Highway on the outskirts of Trial Farm Village at 10:00 Monday morning. Police say the men wielded machetes and knives […]

    Immigration wants to tighten surveillance at western border; Guatemalans reject efforts
    Officials at the Immigration Department told BBN that they have been trying to sensitize Guatemalans who cross the border daily to work in Belize about the need to obtain their work permits. Those efforts have been ongoing for over a year we’re told. It […]

    Man grazed in shooting incident
    A man identified as Eric Martinez, 24, was injured in a shooting incident in Orange Walk but is not collaborating with police. Orange Walk Police are still investigating the incident however. The individual was apparently grazed by a bullet to his left arm after shots […]

    El Chapo’s son reportedly kidnapped
    The son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was reportedly kidnapped along with five other men at a restaurant in the Mexican beach resort or Puerto Vallarta. According to Mexican authorities, the six men were abducted by a squad of seven armed assailants. […]


    Surviving in Belize’s International Banking Industr
    The term International Banking or Offshore Banking is often times associated with tax evasion, money laundering, terrorism funding and now for this region of the world, derisking. The adjectives mentioned do not paint a pretty picture and while there may be some truth, it is unfair to paint the entire industry with such a broad brush. Like most things, there is good and bad with the bad often times overshadowing the good. This is the atmosphere Atlantic International Bank Limited (AIBL) and other international banks find themselves in today. AIBL obtained its Unrestricted “A” Class International Banking License from the Central Bank of Belize in November 2000, which legally permits the bank to offer international banking services to both personal and corporate clients who are non-residents of Belize.

    Belizean violinist, Courtney Gillett tours Europe
    There may not be many fancy art programs in Belize, but that doesn’t mean we’re lacking in talent. From musicians to painters, Belize is home to some very skilled persons who have gone to make their marks internationally. Courtney Gillett is one such person. Gillett is a Belizean violinist who was part of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA) 2016 Noric-Baltic tour. The tour took place from Friday, July 1st to Wednesday, August 3rd in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Courtney was a violinist with the 80-member orchestra, which included musicians from 25 countries in the Americas. “YOA is the best; it tells you that you can make a change, and you can do it through music,” said Courtney in a YouTube video recorded before the start of the tour.

    The recent find at the Xunantunich Mayan city; the largest Royal tomb to be discovered, serves to add to the rich history of the Mayas and the lives they lived here in Belize. The unearthed tomb provides stunning evidence of a “snake dynasty” which conquered many of its neighbors over 1300 years ago. The chamber was buried under about 20ft of centuries old debris. The find was made as researchers were excavating a large central stairway in one of the larger structures at the site. Inside the tomb, they found the remains of a male adult, who is believed to have been between 20 – 30 years old. The person was lying flat on the back with his head towards the south. Along with his remains, Archaeologists also found jaguar and deer bones, 6 jade beads, 13 obsidian blades and 36 ceramic vessels. What does this all mean? At the base of the stairway, they found 9 obsidian and 28 chart flints and eccentrics or chipped artifacts that were all carved into the shapes of animals, leaves and other symbols.

    Celebrate Independence Day in Belize
    After several centuries as a British colony, Belize gained its independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981. Today, the national holiday is the occasion for two weeks of partying, parades, and street exhibitions leading up to September 21 when every town comes alive with people waving the red, white and blue (the colors of the Belizean flag). Independence Day 2016 will be a special time in Belize as the country celebrates its 35th anniversary of gaining full sovereignty. The occasion will be marked with a number of amazing celebrations, parties, and activities. This year’s official theme is “Sovereign and Strong Together as One.” The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day: The issue of whether Spain or Britain would end up controlling Belize was decided in a colossal, week-long naval battle in 1798 off the coast of St. George’s Caye. The British emerged triumphant on September 10, now a national holiday in Belize celebrated by the playing of patriotic music and people dressed in the national colors. Marches and Parades: In 2016, the September holidays begin on August 28 and will continue right on up to Independence Day on September 21. Every town and village across the country will hold parades featuring marchers, bands, and floats. Be on the lookout for a sea of red, white and blue as Belizeans of all age celebrate the season with patriotic pride.

    International Sourcesizz

    Smallpox could return as Siberia's melting permafrost exposes ancient graves
    Last known case of the deadly disease was in Somalia in 1977, but Russian scientists investigating an anthrax outbreak have found the virus's DNA in corpses once entombed in the frozen ground. Smallpox – a deadly disease eradicated from the world in 1977 – could return as the frozen tundra of Siberia melts and releases the virus from the corpses of people who died in a major epidemic about 120 years ago, experts have warned. The disease was once one of the most feared in the world. Up to 30 per cent of people who caught it would die, according to the World Health Organisation, after experiencing symptoms including a high fever and the characteristic pus-filled spots. Spores of potentially fatal anthrax from dead people and reindeer that had been entombed in the permafrost are already thought to have infected 24 patients currently in hospital in Salekhard near Russia’s north coast. But health experts told the Siberian Times this was a warning sign that there could be worse to come. Boris Kershengolts, of the Siberian branch of the Academy of Sciences, said: “Back in the 1890s, there occurred a major epidemic of smallpox. There was a town where up to 40 per cent of the population died. “Naturally, the bodies were buried under the upper layer of permafrost soil, on the bank of the Kolyma River. “Now, a little more than 100 years later, Kolyma's floodwaters have started eroding the banks.” The melting of the permafrost has speeded up this erosion process.

    Simone Biles has support in another country: Belize
    Simone Biles has won the hearts of Americans with her routines jam-packed with difficulty, winning gold medals in the team final, all-around, vault and floor exercise, while also earning bronze on balance beam despite a fall. But she's not just beloved in the United States. She's also got a fan base in Belize. That's right. Belize, a country with roughly 350,000 people that didn't gain its independence until 1981. It initially sounds like a head-scratcher, as there aren't any outward signs showing any celebration of Biles in Belize City. But on Tuesday afternoon, relatives -- as well as Kim Simplis Barrow, the first lady of Belize -- gathered at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City to watch Biles win gold in her final event, floor. It's the second time the group met at the hotel to watch arguably the best female gymnast of all time.

    Local teen plans, holds fundraiser to support students in Belize
    On a sunny Sunday afternoon when most other 14-year-old boys would be mowing the grass to make a little extra spending money, Holden Wilder was running the inaugural Wilder Wiffle Ball Classic. The Classic, a fundraiser for the Holy Cross Anglican School in San Mateo, Belize, was held Sunday, Aug. 7 at Forsyth County’s Joint Venture Park at Daves Creek. The event was planned and put on by Wilder, a Forsyth County resident and incoming freshman at the Wesleyan School. Wilder’s story begins nearly six months ago with a missed opportunity to participate in Wesleyan’s eighth-grade mission trip. The school’s annual trip was planned for the first week in April, but, an avid baseball player, Wilder’s travel team was also scheduled to play the first few weekends of the month. Although his team didn’t have any mid-week games, Wesleyan’s trip would stretch over both weekends, preventing Wilder from playing, unless he chose to stay home.

    Caleb Orozco sets a valuable Caribbean precedent
    Caleb Orozco struck me as nervous but determined when we first met in 2007. We were among only a handful of Caribbean civil society delegates at an Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Panama. In the very Latin space that is the OAS, I affectionately referred to our grouping as the “English ghetto” because not only was our language need secondary, but we also lagged far behind the other countries in the hemisphere with regard to human rights for LGBTI people. While our Central and South American colleagues were advocating for greater transgender rights, we from the Anglophone Caribbean were still waiting for decriminalization of sodomy. And our cause often seemed hopeless. The small micro-states from which we hailed were/are collectively in the grip of powerful right-wing fundamentalists who controlled all levers of power. Distance and strategic differences often made it difficult for us to collaborate and present the unified front that our LGBTI siblings in other parts of the Americas had managed to accomplish.

    Katy Sealy realises Olympic dream after taking to the track in 100m hurdles in Rio
    It is a long way to go for just 100metres but Katy Sealy can now call herself an Olympic athlete. Friends and family of the Ipswich Harriers heptathlete were glued to their TV screens at 3pm today as the 25-year-old made her first ever appearance in the greatest sporting show on Earth. Running in the women’s 100m hurdles Sealy, a former Farlingaye High School student who lives in Bawdsey, was competing for the tiny Central American nation of Belize. Sealy’s grandparents lived in the country in the 1960s and her father was born there, meaning she was eligible to be selected for the Games. Normally a heptathlete, Sealy took part in the hurdles as a wildcard entry; countries with no qualifiers can choose one male and one female wildcard to compete for them.


  • Brandon Jones in the Men's 200m, 3min.

  • Katy Sealy Competes in the Womens 100m Hurdles, 2min.

  • Strong Villages & Kids Helping Kids - Belize 2015, 3min. After their 2015 "Marathon of Hope," 13 members of Kids Helping Kids (now "Kids in Action Network") traveled to Belize with Strong Villages to deliver the packages they assembled at Marathon.

  • Mexico and Belize swimming with whale sharks, reef sharks, turtles and stingrays., 8min. This video is from my trip to Mexico and Belize.

  • Jumping into the Pools at a Waterfall in Belize, 1/2min. Arran and David take a nice jump into the lower pools and Sierra gives commentary and Lacy being goofy at the end.

  • Cliff Jumping in Belize, 1/4min. This is a clip of David (in white trunks), jumping at Twin Falls, Vaca Reservoir Belize. The family pontoon boat leads us to some of the best little gems in Belize! This is our swimming pool.

  • One Minute of Garifuna Culture in Dangriga, Belize., 1min. During the month of November - leading up to Garifuna Settlement Day (November 19th), it is highly likely that you could encounter live drumming on a bus ride to/from Dangriga, or surrounding areas.

  • Simone Biles does us proud!, 12min. We're in Belize as Simon Biles’ family and fans root the American gymnast on in her quest for another Olympic medal

  • Skydiving Into The Blue Hole - Belize, 1.5min.

  • You Better Belize It! - Belize 2016, 9min. Sister Holiday July/August 2016 Chicago, Belize, Kajaking, Snorkeling with Sharks and Rays, Cocktails, Golf Carts, Sushi @Blue Water Grill... Special thanks to Logan Paul, United Airlines, Maya Island Air and Las Terrazas Resort & Residences! We had an amazing time and are thankful to everyone who made our stay so wonderful (even during Huricane Earl)!

  • Belize: Caye Caulker - Where we go, 3min. Caye Caulker, het caribische eiland in Belize waar wij een weekje hebben uitgehangen. Iedereen wordt hier betoverd door het leuke rastasfeertje van dit kleine eiland. Er wordt Engels gesproken, reggae muziek gedraaid en aan seafood is er geen tekort.

  • Un-Belize-able, 3min.

  • Belize 2016, 36min. This video is about Dan and Mary Martha Reynolds' vacation to in March, 2016 to Belize and Guatemala.

    August 16, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    North Ambergris Caye Labourers complain about bridge fees
    Many residents work on that part of the island, which is home to several beach resorts and restaurants. According to those workers, a big chunk of their salary goes towards the bridge toll, and they are appealing to the local authorities to please have some consideration on them. Many of these labourers claim that the bridge has already paid itself, thus, there is no reason to continue paying the toll, while others suggest that since they use the bridge to get to their working areas, the fee should not apply to them. In response, Mayor Daniel Guerrero told The San Pedro Sun that the fee will continue to be applied to everyone across the board. He stated that in order to keep the bridge functioning properly, and providing the adequate maintenance necessary, funds must be raised and the toll is one of the sources for it. “We cannot eliminate that fee, we could maybe reduce it, but not stop it,” said Guerrero. “People need to also realize that when they pay their fee to cross the bridge, they are at the same time contributing to their own community. The funds collected from the toll are spent on projects within the island, so there is a purpose to keep the fee.”

    Authorities demand new application for rebuilding of docks and piers
    The strong surge and winds of Hurricane Earl left hundreds of docks/piers partially or totally destroyed on Ambergris Caye. The majority of these over-the water structures are on the eastern side of the island and many of its proprietors are beginning to make plans for rebuilding. However, in order for that to happen, dock/pier owners will now need to reapply for a new permit, as stated by not only The San Pedro Town Council, but Central Government as well. The implementation has not been well received among residents of the island, who find it unnecessary and time consuming having to go through the paper work in order to start repairing their docks. Many of them still have unexpired permits and the request is a threat to their day to day businesses. However, other residents see this rule as something positive, and as an opportunity to re-evaluate the dock situation on Ambergris Caye. Some residents in San Pedro Town believe, the high concentration of docks in front of the island has taken away the charm and natural beauty of the island.

    Art Camp coming to La Isla Bonita
    Children ages five to 14 can look forward to another exciting camp in their hometown. Five college students from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota USA will be hosting a free art camp, hoping to teach children to appreciate art in all forms. The camp will be held at the Boca del Rio Park on Thursday, August 18th and Friday, August 19th, and on Tuesday, August 23rd and Wednesday, August 24th at the Central Park. From 10AM to 12PM and 1PM to 4PM, kids will enjoy percussion classes, crafts, drawing, dancing, singing, as well as games. Since there is no admission limit, as many children are encouraged to participate. Transportation will be provided free of charge for children in San Pedrito, San Pablo, Escalante, and the DFC Area. The camp is being organized by Kim Bartling, who has made San Pedro her second home. She made the suggestion for the college students to volunteer here, and the group is hoping to combine their love and expertise in the arts, along with their love of children.

    Ambergris Today

    Flashbacks - A Taste of Nostalgia
    GONE are those good old days when there were sandy streets all over San Pedro, like on back street and sand on Middle Street as seen in this Flashback. The sand has been replaced by concrete. GONE are the good old village days when children could play marbles in the middle of streets. Other fun games included tops, skip ropes, softball and football, and all the group games played in circles. Street games are no longer because of the heavy traffic on our busy “city” streets. GONE are the good old days when small Land Rover vehicles were parked in front of one or two houses. Today we see thousands of golf carts, large vans, big pick up trucks, and even 18-wheelers. GONE are those "good ole" days when when a fisherman could park his small boat/skiff with 25 horse power engine in his yard for repairs. Today we carry large passenger boats with 250 horse power engines that can carry 50 persons. Oh yes, progress does leave a taste of nostalgia.

    Spectacular Performances at National Song Competition
    The unofficial start to the September Celebrations came to life with a memorable lineup of talent from all over Belize on Saturday, August 13. Backed by the Gilharry 7 band, 18 performers gave the hundreds of fans at Memorial Park quite a show. The event was hosted by Dillon Jones and made possible by the Institute of Creative Arts and the National Celebrations Commission. You can listen to all the songs from finalists at as well as on radio stations.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Intervention spraying on Caye Caulker
    Notice to the public: The Caye Caulker Village Council hereby advises the public that the Public Health Department will be on the island conducting an intervention spraying on the entire island starting today Monday 15th August 2016 - Friday 19th August 2016. They will be around everyones neighbourhood conductng these sprays! It is crucial at this point to do these sprays so we can reduce the spread of zika and other mosquito borne diseases! Thank you!

    Attorney General Sworn-in as New Senator and Minister of Natural Resources
    This morning, the Attorney General Hon. Vanessa Retreage was officially sworn-in as a Senator and a Minister. Ms. Retreage was first sworn-in as a Senator before the President and other members of the Senate at the National Assembly Building during today’s Senate Meeting. Thereafter, the new Senator took her Oath of Allegiance, as the new Minister of Natural Resources, before H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House. Hon. Vanessa Retreage’s appointments come after the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s announcement of a Cabinet shuffle on Monday, August 1st, 2016.

    E&L Nightclub so catches fire
    In flames in Belmopan

    Baby tamandua released
    The area for the release had to be carefully selected due to the hurricane impact. Criteria- far from humans, abundances of food and water, climbing vines and strong trees, cohune palms and ,,again remoteness from Highways or villages. This is the same baby tamandua that arrived with broken arm, saved by the farmers in Spanish look out. She had surgery, metal pin was inserted to hold the bones while healing for 6 week, then pin was removed and special care was taken for another 2 weeks,, and finally- after 10 weeks of care- she showed us how strong and confident she was- all pics show you that she went easily all the way up to 20 feet above ground. She was not stressed, her wild instincts were all there, she was behaving just like regular healthy tamandua would. While in rehab she gained significant size, muscles and became 8lbs of pure strength animal.

    3rd annual Identity Youth Art Exhibit
    A gracious thank you to our artists and attendees at the 3rd annual Identity Youth Art Exhibit launch this past Friday night. Kudos to our talented young artists; Carlos Carrillo, Maggie Gray, Elizabeth Green, Earl Basto, Osni Sedacy and Vianay Bautista. The opening night attractions also included live art by Earl Basto and freestyle cuts by youth barber Darryl Yearwood. You are kindly invited to visit the House of Culture to view the artwork which will be on display until August 30th.

    Hurricane Earl flows through Chiquibul Cave System
    The amount of water that gushed out of the Chiquibul Cave System due to Hurricane Earl was spectacular as observed from the scars left after the receding water. We are yet to put foot on the ground to evaluate impacts.

    Direct Aid Program (DAP) Outreach Workshop

    10th CHINA-LAC BUSINESS SUMMIT OCTOBER 14th & 15th 2016
    We’re pleased to invite you to participate in the X China-LAC Business Summit, which will take place October 14th and 15th, 2016 in Tangshan, China. This Summit is organized by the Inter-American Dvelopment Bank (IDB), the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the People’s Bank of China and the People’s Government of the Province of Hebei. We invite you to register soon to obtain the benefits of participating in this Summit. Remember that August 19th is the deadline for registering and receiving the benefits.

    Rio Olympics
    Katy is in heat 1, 8:05am Bze time. Brandon is in heat 10, 8:50am both compete today August 16th.

    Congratulations to the stunning and beautiful new San Joaquin Fiesta Queen, Mariana Martinez.
    Way to go San Joaquin belleza de reina!

    As the 2016 Olympics in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil, brings so much fanfare and international athletic dynamism as Belizeans both in the diaspora and at home watch the world class athlete and gymnast, Simone Biles, whose connection to Belize has been established through her Belizean mother, we here at Belizean Legends could not but remember the dynamic Belizean-American cyclist, Justin Williams, who won for the first time ever, the 2015 Belize Cross Country Cycling Classic. As we watched him all through this summer win so many cycling classics across California in record times, it has just baffled me how the Belize Olympic Association failed to recruit this world class Belizean cyclist born in the United States to represent Belize in cycling at these 2016 Olympic games. During the 2016 Belizean Legends interview with Justin Williams after he won the Belize Cross Country, he mentioned that he would have love to represent Belize at this Olympics.

    Channel 7

    Mason's Wife Gets Bail, Talks About Danny And Pastor Lu
    Melissa Ferguson, the 51 year-old Canadian common-law wife of William Danny Mason, is at home tonight after she was released on Supreme Court bail this afternoon. She had been remanded to prison the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping because police say that she was involved in the abduction of Pastor Lewellyn Lucas and David Dodd. Her attorney, Dickie Bradley, made the application on her behalf this afternoon to Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Senior Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, who represented the DPP's Office, did not object, and so, and Justice Gonzalez granted bail of $12,000. This evening, after she was allowed to go free, Ferguson, in the presence of her attorney, granted our Daniel Ortiz an interview. It's her first comment since both she and her husband have been charged, and she told us that her first time behind bars was made easier by the custodians of the prison:

    Deputy PM's Prado Stolen, Plunged In Sea
    Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber was in the hotseat today after his Ministerial Toyota Prado was stolen last night and deliberately crashed into the sea. At around 7:30, the 130 thousand dollar SUV cut into the path of oncoming traffic on Marine Parade and turned straight into the only break in the seawall - where it headed straight for the sea. Within minutes, the SUV was submerged and only the top could be seen. Faber says it was stolen - while he was at a function at Old Belize. He had left it parked at a friend's house. The vehicle was stolen on the southside, and ACP Chester Williams, told us what Faber reported last night: ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Last night after 7pm, the Deputy Prime Minister reporter his vehicle stolen and the vehicle was found plunged in the sea near Marine Parade Boulevard. It was almost totally submerged. It was removed from the water and is currently at the Queen Street Police Station. It will be taken to Belize Diesel and I have communicated with them and they are saying that the vehicle can be brought back, but the sooner the vehicle get there, the better it is.\"

    DPM Faber Says He Left The Key With A Friend
    So, you've heard the police version of events - and it's based on a report that Deputy Prime Minister Faber made last night. Today we got the report from Faber himself when he hosted the media at a press briefing. He told us that he was at Old Belize and had left his vehicle parked at a friend's house half a mile away:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: "Between 5:30-6pm I'd say. I parked my vehicle at mile 3.5-4 miles there on the George Price Highway and I got a lift back to the Old Belize where I was earlier in the day having gone to the cayes. While I was there, I was notified, maybe about 8pm or so by Ms. Ava from LOVE FM that my vehicle was reportedly in the sea in front of Marine Parade. I checked and sure enough my vehicle was not where I had expected it to be and it was then that I learnt that it was stolen. As far as I was able to ascertain the vehicle was stolen and taken for a ride. I have not seen the vehicle so I can't tell you if there were thing missing. I can only say what the police reported to me. I did have very limited amount of money in the glove compartment. I think about $200-$300 and my credit cards and stuff like that which I was able to get back from the police."

    Chief Education Officer's Vehicle Near Simultaneous Blaze
    And in a truly bizarre coincidence - while Deputy Faber's vehicle was being hauled out of the sea, his old vehicle, a Mitsubishi Montero was catching on fire. That SUV is currently assigned to Chief Education Officer, Dr. Carol Babb. She told police that she was driving up to her home in the Coral Grove area when the underside of the engine burst into flames. She stopped right in front of her gate where the vehicle burnt. Faber told the media that he went there and concluded that it was due to general wear and tear:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: "And I stopped by and I actually saw the vehicle on fire. I suspect though that that is no kind of sabotage, that it may genuinely be some kind of electrical or mechanical problem that vehicle may have experience. As I said that use to be the vehicle that I had for 5 years before Dr. Babb starting using it."

    Chopping Murder In Belmopan
    2 brothers were viciously chopped early this morning in Belmopan, one died and the other survived. 24 year old Walter Alvarado and his brother 33 year old Clerito Perez were out on a food run when they were chased and then chopped up badly. Today we traveled to Belmopan to find out more about the gruesome attack and what may have fueled it. Courtney Weatherburne has the story. Courtney Weatherburne reporting: Last night after church, Walter Alvarado, his girlfriend and his older brother Clerito Perez went to their favorite food spot in Maya Mopan. It was a routine stop for them but that all changed when 3 men confronted them at the store. They all left the store but the men followed them up the Maya Mopan road and attacked them. The men broke a bottle on Alvarado's and his girlfriend's head.

    Another Murder At La Pasadita Bar, Spanish Lookout
    While Belmopan police don't have much information in this case so far, Cayo police have made major progress in a Spanish Lookout murder. They plan to charge 2 men as early as tomorrow. It happened yesterday morning around 3:15. 38 year old Ever Miranda was at the La Pasadita Bar when he was shot to the shoulder and chopped to the face. Courtney Weatherburne traveled to Spanish Lookout to find out why Miranda was killed and the about the bloody history of La Pasadita that now plagues one family. Courtney Weatherburne reporting: More blood soaks the gravel in front of Pasadita Bar in Spanish Lookout. Ever Miranda was shot and chopped in a fight early yesterday morning, but it didn't start here.

    Working Man Paxson Killed Just For Where He Was From
    On Friday's news, our headline story was the murder of Kraal Road Footballer Jason Young, better known as "Paxson". He was killed in an early morning shooting, while he was on his way to work. The cops say that an officer saw the entire thing unfold, and due to his intervention, the murder weapon was recovered, and they had a very good idea of who that shooter was, even though he fled the scene. That suspect was taken into custody shortly after, and today Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams told us that he has been charged. Williams also told us that their information is that Young was killed simply because the victim, a hardworking family man was originally from Kraal Road:

    Mother Claims Innocence For Much Accused Son
    Also in our last newscast, we told you about how police finally detained 18 year-old Egbert Baldwin, aka "Eggy". That's after a warrant for his arrest was issued for murder. Well, he has since been arraigned and remanded for the killing of 32 year-old John Williams, which happened one day before Hurricane Earl hit Belize. His mother, Enelida Baldwin, is swearing that her son has nothing to do with the murder of John Williams, and on Friday afternoon, before police informed us that he had be captured, she called our studios. She wanted to declare publicly that her son is being targeted, by what she tells us is malicious prosecution. So, on Saturday,, she granted Daniel Ortiz an interview to explain that first of all, her son was not on the run. She says that he was the one who voluntarily handed himself in to police:

    Welding Work Causes Fire
    Today at around 11:30 , the upstairs thatch of the popular E and L Bar in Belmopan was completely torched. We found the owner, his helpers and the fire truck at the spot trying to put out the flames. The owner told us he has no one to blame but himself and it's just one of those things he couldn't control. Tello told us the cost of damages is about $ 15,000. E and L has been in operation for about 10 years.

    Disturbing Allegation Of Incestuous Sodomy
    There is a very disturbing sodomy case in Santa Elena. A 16 year old boy allegedly sodomized his 11 year old brother. Another older brother reported the incident to police on Friday after he noticed his little brother acting strangely. The case has been transferred from Belmopan to Cayo police. We will keep following the story.

    BTL Will Run Submarine Fiber Optic To San Pedro
    BTL will run a fiber optic undersea cable from Bomba to San Pedro. It's a breakthrough for the island town because it will enable much faster internet speeds and data connectivity on the island. The 13 million dollar project is called the Strategic Evolution Underwater Link - and it is being done in partnership with Hauwei - and the contract was signed today. Chairman of the Executive Committee Anwar Barrow explained:... Anwar Barrow, Chair, Executive Committee - BTL: "What we are doing today is we are announcing that we are signing a deal with Huawei for some 13 million Belize dollars to lay a fiber optic cable from Belize mainland to San Pedro Town. This we already started the preliminary work and survey work to lay the cable. We plan to start laying it the first quarter of 2017 and we should complete the cable by July. What the cable does is that the cable connects out terrestrial network to San Pedro and will allow us a company to deliver the type of data and speeds that customers in San Pedro want and need. So this project is important in terms of not only the commercial implications for BTL, the ability for the resorts and the customers on San Pedro to have a better experience, but also for the people visiting Belize and therefore it's important for the country. With better connectivity, there are better opportunities. It positions San Pedro even more in the space to grow."

    Cops, Kids, Country
    A month ago, we told you about Southside police's outreach program, Getting to Know your Country. That's summer camp where the police gave a country tour to a hundred at risk youths whose movements are often confined by the gangs which control their neighborhoods. It's the first time that the police made an attempt like this, and today, they told us that from their perspective it was a success: As part of the effort, the children were taken to different stops in the life of criminals such as the police station, the Magistrate's Court, the Prison, and the cemetery so that they could get first hand accounts about why they should stay away from the gang life that surrounds them on a daily basis.

    Faber Says Voters Should Decide On Gay Sex
    Today when we had a chance to interview the Deputy Prime Minister we asked him about the recent Supreme Court judgment legalizing gay sex between adults. Faber was cautious saying that he first needs to ask the people of his constituency what they think before putting forth a position:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: "In that instance I would then act as an agent of the people who I serve, as oppose to giving my own personal view. How is it that I will determine what the views of those who I represent are is something I have given great consideration to over the last few days, whether that means that, I don't think that Facebook or social media is a good indicator although that seems to be the court of public opinion in these days. But maybe some kind of survey or check moving around the constituency to see what the views of constituents are or maybe to the extent of us as a nation having a referendum to let the Belizean people decide how is it that they want to see us move. I think it's such a big decision that the Belizean people should have a say and that we should not have necessarily individual leaders and lawmakers impressing on the Belizean people their own personal and individual views."

    Faber Says He Was The Right Choice
    And while Faber is choosing his words carefully on that one, he wasn't so cautious when we asked him if - all things considered - the UDP is fortunate to have elected him deputy - since the other guy, John Saldivar is in serious political trouble due to his association with Danny Mason. Faber didn't want to jump all over Saldivar, but, he kind of did anyway... Hon. Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: "It is never a happy day for me to smile at the misfortunes of anybody. I value very much, my colleague Minister John Saldivar and so when it was that he was reduced if you will to just the Ministry of Defence, I saw no glory in that."

    Cops Caught Two Guns
    And back to more news from Eastern Division South, today, the Southside commander told us that they managed to get 2 guns off the street this weekend. They were given tips by persons in the public which allowed for the cops to find the illegal weapons, and today, Chester Williams told us more about them: Because no one was in the area, the guns were deposited as found property.

    Belize Jazzfest
    And we close tonight with highlites from the Belize International Jazz Festival 2016 - which started at the Welcome Center in Cayo. The one week festival is swinging tonight with a jam session at the Spoonaz café - and to get you on the mood - here's how opening night sounded:

    Channel 5

    Bloody Weekend in Cayo Starts With San Martin Murder
    It was a bloody weekend in the Cayo District where two murders have been reported.  In both incidents, in Spanish Lookout and Belmopan, respectively, the victims were hacked to death [...]

    Deputy PM’s Government Vehicle Taken for Joyride
    Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s assigned vehicle was reportedly stolen from his girlfriend’s house near mile four on the George Price Highway on Sunday evening.  The Collet Area Representative was [...]

    Is Vehicle Theft the Result of a Personal Grudge?
    Was the theft and damage to Faber’s vehicle the result of a personal grudge or enmity and how did the thief gain access to the vehicle?  According to the politician, [...]

    What Caused Chief Education Officer’s Vehicle to Catch Fire?
    Coincidentally, while Faber’s vehicle was being retrieved from the Caribbean Sea, Chief Education Officer Doctor Carol Babb’s Mitsubishi SUV was engulfed in flames elsewhere.  The vehicle which was previously assigned [...]

    Police Say Vehicle Accidents are not Linked
    According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, DPM Faber notified Belize City Police of the theft of his assigned ministerial vehicle some after seven o’clock.  That was after being [...]

    A Cayo Man’s Horrific Death After Night of Socializing
    There was a second murder in the Cayo District, this time at a popular bar just outside Spanish Lookout on the Iguana Creek Road. Now it is not the first [...]

    Melissa Ferguson Makes Bail on Conspiracy to Kidnap Charge
    This afternoon in the Supreme Court, a legal showdown was expected between the Crown and Senior Counsel Richard “Dickie” Bradley who represents Melissa Ferguson, an accused conspirator in the kidnapping [...]

    “Shocked” – Melissa Ferguson Insists She has Clean Hands
    The soft-spoken Melissa Ferguson faced the press just before four-thirty this evening after making bail, flanked by her attorney Bradley.  Ferguson told the media she has never been accused, much [...]

    Teen Minor Charged for Friday Morning Murder
    A seventeen-year-old who is no stranger to police is back behind bars where he will spend his eighteenth birthday.  The minor was read a murder charge in the Belize Family [...]

    Kenroy Timmons Remanded for Intercourse with 15 Year Old
    Twenty-six-year-old Kenroy Timmons of Belize City is accused of twice having sex with a minor aged fifteen.  Today he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith and did not give a [...]

    Spark Sets Belmopan Bar Ablaze
    Around eleven-thirty this morning, E and L Sports Bar located behind the La Cabana Bar in Belmopan went up in flames. The thatch to the front portion of the roof [...]

    Attorney General Vanessa Retreage Named Senator and Minister
    Attorney General Vanessa Retreage was today sworn in officially in Belmopan as a Senator and Minister of Government.  The newest member of the upper house was sworn in before Senate [...]

    Will A Referendum Be Held on Supreme Court’s Section 53 Decision?
    A decision on the constitutional challenge brought before the Supreme Court by Belizean gay rights activist Caleb Orozco, on the legality of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code, was delivered [...]

    P.U.P. Senator Applauds Section 53 Decision As “Significant Victory”
    It’s been several months since a Senate Meeting has been held, despite several incidents of national importance; including, the B.T.L. Arbitration Award, the state of the economy, surging crime and [...]

    Churches’ Senator Disagrees: “What About The Children?”
    But one social partner that does not support the ruling is the Council of Churches. Senator Ashley Rocke says that the concern is how the amendment to the law will [...]

    National Song Competition Selects Belize’s Best Singers
    Saturday informally kicked off the September Celebrations with the annual National Song Competition.  The event boasted a impressive lineup of talent from across the country.  With the backing of the [...]

    Police Conclude “Getting To Know Your Country” Summer Camp
    A summer program for kids, organized by the Belize Police Department concluded today at the Yarborough Community Policing Center on Caesar Ridge Road.  It’s called Getting to Know Your Country [...]


    Shots Fired In The Area Of Otro Benque, Orange Walk
    A man from Orange Walk was injured in a shooting incident last night but police are telling us there is little information concerning the incident. At around 7:15 last night, acting upon information received, authorities visited the Northern Regional Hospital where they saw twenty four year old Eric Martinez of East San Martin Trial Farm, Orange Walk, suffering from one gunshot wound to the left arm. Police report that earlier that night, Martinez was driving his motorcycle on the Philip Goldson Highway, in the company of another male individual, when upon nearing the Lands Department, he felt a burning sensation on his left arm which caused him to lose control of the motorbike. The motive of the shooting or if Martinez was the target is yet to be ascertained as the victim auto- released himself from the hospital before all details of the incident could be recorded.

    De-risking Discussed In Common Wealth Meeting
    The of loss of correspondent banking relationships due to a phenomenon known as de-risking, in which larger international banks terminate relationships with local banks in vulnerable economies, has been for the past months a huge crisis for Belize and other smaller countries in the region. But the Caribbean is not alone in facing this detrimental problem as the commonwealth convened a meeting with banks and financial gurus and global regulators in an effort to explore its report on solutions to a problem that is threatening development in vulnerable economies in the Caribbean and Central America. The meeting which took place on Wednesday at the Commonwealth headquarters in London housed the Executive Secretary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - the international anti-money laundering and counter financing terrorism standard setter, the British Bankers’ Association, HSBC Holdings, Santander and the Wolfsberg Group who all agreed that De-risking is curtailing countries’ access to essential cross-border financial services such as trade finance and international money transfers, which are essential to many economies. The issue is particularly detrimental to vulnerable economies and small states in the Commonwealth.

    Vanessa Retreage Sworn In As Senator And MONR
    Attorney General Vanessa Retreage was sworn in as Senator and Minister of Natural Resources today, following Prime Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle on Monday August 1st. The Attorney General was first sworn in as Senator among the President and members of the Senate at the National Assembly building during this morning’s meeting. She was later sworn into office as Minister of Natural Resources at the Belize House by Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young.

    DPM's Vehicle Plunged Into The Caribbean Sea
    At a press conference held today by Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, he confirmed that his government issued Vehicle was stolen last night and plunged into the sea in front of Marine Parade in Belize City. The DPM told the media during his conference that he realized that his vehicle had been stolen after a barrage of pictures were posted on social media of his 2003 white Toyota Land Cruiser being fished out from the sea. Senior superintendent Chester Williams corroborated the Deputy Prime Minister’s account of what transpired when he spoke to the media earlier today about the initial investigation into the incident.

    New Chairman Appointed For Elections & Boundaries Committee
    A new chairman for the Elections and Boundaries Commission has been appointed to undertake a list of responsibilities as it relates to the topic of elections and he is no other than the current chairman of the Social Security Board, Douglas Singh. During a Senate meeting that was held earlier this morning, a few Senators took the opportunity to voice out their opinions about specific issues of concern that need to be immediately addressed by the newly elected chairman as part of his mandate.

    Winner Selected For National song Competition
    After the online voting officially closed on Saturday, the much awaited National Song Competition prearranged by the National Institute of Culture and History, the Institute of creative Arts and the National Celebrations Commission kicked off at the Memorial Park in Belize City with a live concert in which all twenty finalists took the stage to perform their original written songs. After all performances the first and second place winners in each category namely, Carnival, Belize song, Breakout artist and People’s choice were announced. In the Carnival Song category, Wilson Grinage took first place with ‘Soca Session’ while Leslie ‘Mr. Bastic’ Jenkins came in second with the song ‘Represent’. In the Belize Song category, Cecil ‘Cocono Bwai’ Jenkins won first place with ‘Border to Border’ and Jeanie Brooks landed at second place with ‘Flags in the Air’.

    Dead Body Found In San Joaquin Village
    The body of a male individual was found lying motionless at around 6:00 earlier this morning at the venue where the annual San Joaquin Fiesta took place over the weekend. After authorities visited and processed the scene, the body of the individual who was later identified as thirty two year old Basilio Patt, a Belizean labourer and resident from the village of San Narciso, was then transported to the Corozal Community Hospital for an autopsy to be performed. No visible signs of violence were found on Patt’s body, however police are still not ruling out foul play at this time and are awaiting the result of the post mortem examination to determine the exact cause of death.

    Melissa Ferguson Granted Bail
    After spending five days behind bars tonight 56 year old Canadian national Melissa Ferguson, the common-law wife of accused murderer William Danny Mason, Is out on bail. Ferguson, who is represented by attorney Dickie Bradley, was remanded into custody on a charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and today she was released on a $12,000 bail granted by Justice John Gonzalez. The Senior Crown Counsel represented by Sheneiza Smith, did not object to bail which was offered on the condition that Ferguson reports to Belmopan Police Station every Friday, effective this Friday, until the case is over. Ferguson was also ordered to surrender all her travel documents and she needs to attend court on all adjourned dates. She was also warned not to interfere with the prosecution witnesses.


    Minister’s Vehicle Found Partly Submerged in the Caribbean Sea
    Last night sometime after seven o’clock, a vehicle assigned to Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber ended up in the Caribbean Sea near Marine Parade. There are many questions surrounding the incident and today the Deputy Prime Minister made himself available to do just that but first we hear the official police version. Officer in Charge […]

    Education Minister Says It Was Theft and Nothing More
    As you have heard, the Government issued vehicle, a 2013 Toyota Prado was found partly submerged in the sea near the Marine Parade in Belize City. Via his social media page, Minister Patrick Faber had indicated that his vehicle was stolen and that he was not present in the white SUV. Authorities had managed to […]

    Melissa Ferguson Out on Bail
    Canadian national, Melissa Ferguson, the common-law wife of accused murderer William Mason, who was remanded into custody on a charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, was released today on a bail of twelve thousand dollars that was granted by Justice John Gonzalez. The respondent, represented by Senior Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, did not object to […]

    Dr Barnett Up to the Task of Sourcing Relief Funds
    We have told you of contributions given to Belize by the European Union, the Embassy of Taiwan and the recent one by Inter-American Development Bank of two hundred thousand US dollars. On August 4, Prime Minister announced that Dr Carla Barnett was being place as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance with […]

    Police Seeks Suspects In Early Morning Murder
    Police in Belmopan are looking for three suspects following an early morning murder. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “

    Duo to Be Charged or Ever Miranda’s Murder
    Last night San Ignacio Police had four persons detained for the death of a resident of Duck Run Two, a community in the Spanish Lookout area in the Cayo District. The victim, 37-year-old, Ever Miranda of Duck Run Two in the Cayo District was killed sometime around four o’clock on Sunday morning. Circumstances leading to […]

    Immigration Blocks Undocumented Guatemalans from Coming Over
    An operation initiated by the Immigration Department took place this morning at the western border where one hundred and fifty Guatemalans were questioned as they attempted to cross over into Belize. The operation follows a meeting that was held with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and the Charge d’ Affairs for […]

    Vanessa Retreage Sworn in as Senator and Government Minister
    Attorney General, Vanessa Retreage was officially sworn in this morning as a Senator and the Minister of Natural Resources. This morning’s ceremony follows a re-assignment of Cabinet portfolios on August 1 by the Prime Minister which saw the Ministry of National Security split up; leaving John Saldivar with responsibility for the Belize Coast Guard and […]

    Newly Appointed Cabinet Minister Says There Is Cause for Concern on the Economy
    In the latter part of July, a letter addressed to Belize’s Financial Secretary Joseph Waight began circulating. The content of that letter was centred on the effects on the economy regarding the BTL Arbitration Award. In that very document, signed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, Glenford Ysaguirre, several concerns were expressed […]

    Guatemala’s Offer to Help in Relief Efforts Still Untapped
    Several organizations have been offering a helping hand to Belize following Hurricane Earl. In a press conference on August 4 hosted by the Prime Minister Dean Barrow, he had made mention of Guatemala offering assistance to Belize in its recovery efforts. The media, in an interview last week spoke with Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington […]

    The Reporter

    Police investigate how DPM’s vehicle ended up in Caribbean Sea
    Police are investigating how the vehicle assigned to Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber ended up in the Caribbean Sea off Marine Parade on Sunday night. Faber posted on his Facebook page shortly after 7 p.m., that he had become aware that his vehicle was stolen and that none of the “authorized drivers” had taken it. The vehicle was apparently stolen and deliberately driven into the sea. It’s driver apparently escaped unscathed and the vehicle was later recovered.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belizean-American kept in jail by court
    On Friday, two Belizean/American sisters accused and charged with aggravated burglary after a woman’s house in Dangriga was invaded by 3 women and a 14 year old minor were both granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of $30,000 with stringent conditions in which […]

    City labourer charged over sex
    A labourer of the Gungulung area is on remand tonight after slapped with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse for allegedly having sex with a minor only 15 in Belize City. This morning, 26 year old Kenroy Timmons, a resident of the Gungulung area […]

    Minor, 17, charged with murder
    A 17 year old will turn 18 behind bars after being sent to the Wagner’s Youth Facility on remand for murder. The minor was read charges in the Belize City Family Court for the Friday, August 12 murder of 37 year old Jason Young, aka “Packson”. […]

    Teenager charged in Ladyville murder
    18 year old Egbert Baldwin has been accused of the August 2nd murder of 32 year old welder John Anthony Williams in Ladyville, after previously being charged along with Darwin Prado with the attempted murder of Casey Lozano and several others who was shot during […]

    William Mason’s Canadian wife is granted Supreme Court bail for alleged kidnapping conspiracy
    She was disappointed on Friday when her case was adjourned at the request of Crown Counsel Rene Montero. But today, Melissa Ferguson, the wife of accused murderer William “Danny” Mason was very happy when Justice Troadio Gonzalez offered her bail in the sum of […]

    Trouble brews at western border?
    Reports reaching BBN is that a disgruntled group of Guatemalans have sought political assistance in their country to address immigration issues that have arisen at the Belizean western border. According to reports, a large group of residents of Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala were denied entry […]

    Roof of E & L’s Sports Bar in Belmopan catches fire
    The roof of E&L’s Sports Bar in Belmopan caught fire late this morning. According to reports, parts of the roof have been damaged and the fire was immediately extinguished with the help of fire fighters. No persons were harmed and the rest of the building […]

    Attorney General Vanessa Retreage sworn into office
    Attorney General Vanessa Retreage has been sworn in as Senator and Minister of Natural Resources following the Cabinet reshuffle by the Prime Minister on Monday August 1st. The Attorney General was first sworn in as Senator before the President and members of the Senate at […]

    Belize receives US $200,000 towards hurricane relief efforts
    The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is joining in the hurricane relief efforts in Belize gifting US $200,000 to the cause. The money will go towards aiding families that were severely affected by Hurricane Earl in the Cayo, Orange Walk and Stann Creek Districts. The assistance […]

    DPM government vehicle fished from the sea Sunday night
    Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber says his vehicle was stolen on Sunday night after a series of pictures began flooding social media of his government issued Toyota Land Cruiser being fished from the sea in front of Marine Parade in Belize City. The circumstances surrounding […]

    Fair weather for today and most of the week
    The general weather forecast for the following 24-36 hours is for a slight decrease in moisture over our area. The 24 hour forecast is for partly cloudy skies with few showers and thunderstorms mainly over northern and central areas today then over southern and […]

    Belize: Is the business tax a “good tax”?
    The Business Tax is a tax on sales turnover….charged to registered businesses that report sales over and above $75,000 per year…..most at a rate of 1.75% of turnover. It replaced in large part the tax on business income “profits” that was in its place […]


    Find Your Place in the Sun on Ambergris Caye
    Rio. Cabo. Cayo. Does it sometimes seem that Central and South American hot spots all end with the letter “O”? In fact, Belize’s most often-visited destination happens to end with an S; from frequent visitors to award-granting publications and organizations, the shining star in the Belize galaxy is Ambergris Caye. But, wait! There is an O to be found in this paradise: San Pedro Town where all the action takes place, so remember this when planning your next Caribbean holiday: The Os have it! As the largest island in Belize’s chain of offshore jewels, Ambergris Caye is geographically the closest point to the mainland. But what a difference that slice of the Caribbean Sea makes. Ambergris is a symphony of white sandy beaches, mangrove swamps and prehistoric rock that rises up from the ocean floor to host every type of tropical plant, tree and flower you can imagine. At just 25-miles long, getting around is a no brainer, but visitors usually headquarter in San Pedro Town, where the drinks are cool, the people are warm and the resorts are all top drawer. If you like to let your hair down, mingle with tourists from around the world, eat so much ethnic food you gain weight and then work it off jumping into myriad sports activities guaranteed to keep you energized, this is your island in the sun. Your holiday budget stretches far due to the wide variety of eateries and accommodations, so don’t let budgetary concerns keep you from making this your next vacation pick. Archaeology? History? Cultural treasures? Ambergris Caye gives you access to Mayan ruins that are so compelling, staying up all night partying may take a back seat!

    The Most Scenic Highway in Belize
    Is it possible to declare a highway ‘beautiful’? Because I have one in mind: the Hummingbird Highway of Belize. Much like the delicate and pretty bird it’s named after, this highway winds majestically down from Belmopan City through villages, citrus groves and untouched lush jungle mountains through to Dangriga. We drive on its smooth pavement, only the wind whistling in our ears as we head to adventure, beauty, and Southern Belize. Every time I’m driven down that highway (always a passenger, never one to drive), I feel a tug in my heart…I can’t explain what it feels like to see the mountains in the distance, and up close. The Hummingbird is unique in that it is the only highway that cuts through mountains in Belize. It’s nestled in a valley and edged by either citrus groves or untouched jungles. Cortez trees in full yellow bloom add a pop of color…and in May, the Mayflowers bring punches of pink to the emerald greens all around us.

    Heroes in The Jungle: Belize’s Race To Save The WILD Scarlet Macaw
    To see 10…16…20 scarlet macaws flying across the late afternoon sky is almost hard to believe. Always even numbers, these surreally colorful, gorgeous birds mate for life. Shrieking, gliding in tandem and so garishly colored, it’s as if evolution forgot them. There is no missing them in the jungle of one thousand greens. These birds are native to Belize. But there beauty is sadly also a problem. They are highly coveted as pets – selling for hundreds of dollars in Guatemala. And much of their habitat in this country, the Chiquibul (pronounced Chick-ee-bull) Rain Forest (over 400,000 acres of rivers and ancient trees and wildlife), lies closer to Guatemala than to any populated area in Belize. Poachers routinely come across the unmarked border, through incredibly dense jungle, to gather xate (prounounced “sha-tay”), a green plant used in flower arrangements. They are locally called xateros (sha-tear-os) and they come for more than plants. They cross for hunting, for illegal logging of mahogany and cedar, for gold panning, to grow marijuana and sadly, to poach the baby scarlet macaws.

    International Sourcesizz

    How U.S. sanctions targeted a Belize banana farmer, and hurt an economy
    When the United States blacklisted John Angel Zabaneh, a banana farmer and exporter in Belize, for alleged ties to a top drug lord, it did more than just sideline one local businessman from the global financial system. The action, designed to target only Zabaneh, his alleged associates and their businesses, also dented Belize's banana exports for months from last October, throwing hundreds of people out of work and undercutting a main source of hard currency for the tiny Central American country. Zabaneh's blacklisting shows the ripple effects that U.S. sanctions aimed at stopping illicit activity such as drug trafficking, terrorism, and human rights abuses can have on the people and industries of economically fragile countries. Broad U.S. sanctions against entire countries have drawn criticism for impoverishing millions while doing little to hurt those at the top. But Zabaneh's case shows that even laser-targeted actions against individuals and firms -- a strategy the United States is increasingly using -- can cause collateral damage.

    After Landmark Ruling in Belize, Human Rights Groups Hope the Caribbean Tide Is Turning Towards LGBT Equality
    Following in the wake of Hurricane Earl, a wind of change blew through Belize last week in the form of a widely anticipated oral court decision. On August 10, 2016, Honorable Chief Justice of Belize Kenneth Benjamin struck down Section 53 of the Criminal Code, a colonial-era legacy that makes anal sex or ‘buggery’ (described as “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”) illegal for men and women and punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. The chief justice decided that Section 53 is inconsistent with the country's constitution, as it violates the rights to human dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination, equality and equal protection under the law. The court then read down Section 53 of the Criminal Code to exclude “consensual sexual acts between adults in private.” The ruling also declared that the definition of sex in Section 16 (3) of the Constitution of Belize — which states that the expression ‘discriminatory’ refers to treating people differently due to sex, race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed — includes ‘sexual orientation’, consistent with Belize's international obligations.

    Huawei Marine Partners with Belize Telemedia Limited to Deploy New Undersea Cable System
    Huawei Technologies USA Inc. and Huawei Marine Networks Co. Ltd., a global submarine cable network provider, have teamed up with Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) to build an undersea cable system that will connect Belize mainland and San Pedro Island. The undersea cable, named Strategic Evolution Underwater Link (SEUL), is a key piece to BTL's promise to modernize its mobile and landline network to significantly improve broadband connectivity and quality across the country. The modernization project includes deploying LTE (4G) mobile service and fiber to residential and business buildings (FTTX) in San Pedro, Belize's largest and fastest growing tourist area. "We have made it our mission to put Belize in the top three in the region in terms of connectivity and broadband speeds. The Strategic Evolution Underwater Link is another step in achieving our goal, along with the build out of nationwide 4G LTE," said Anwar Barrow, Chairman of the BTL Executive Committee. "Once again we turn to our technology partner Huawei and Huawei Marine for their experience and expertise on this undersea cable project."

    Palm Coast-based mission has been helping the people of Belize for 27 years
    One week after Hurricane Earl came ashore in Belize, Dr. Paul Whisnant, Belize Mission Director for International Servants, Citizen Liaison for the U.S. Embassy in Belize, was back in Flagler on a fund-raising tour. “I would like to be on the ground (in Belize) right now” Whisnant said. “I was on the ground helping to coordinate things, coordinating the rescue and the assessment.” The storm was a Category 1, hardly acknowledged by the average Floridian, but for the poorer sections of Belize, the storm that crept across the towns at 14 mph was devastating. “The people in poverty, which is the majority of the country, are the most severely affected,” Whisnant said. Whisnant said that his group isn’t the only organization working to help. The Red Cross, the Baptist Association of Belize, UNICEF, and the National Emergency Management Office of Belize, to name a few, have activated. “There are all of these groups doing good things,” he said. “The problem is -- the need is greater.”

    Belize: The Other Caribbean
    STEADY TRADE WINDS, COUNTLESS ISLANDS, AN ENDLESS REEF AND FEWER CROWDS — THESE ARE THE HALLMARKS OF SAILING IN BELIZE. If the prospect of near-perfect broad reaching in steady trade winds, combined with snorkeling and diving from the world’s second-largest barrier reef and nearby atolls, is too tempting to pass up, then don’t! Belize is the destination for you. Situated on the western border of the Caribbean Sea, the former British Honduras is south of Mexico and northeast of Guatemala, in Central America. Its reef and some 450 islands are all teeming with marine life. Reef Reserve System The entire barrier reef, which runs from the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to Sapodilla Cay, in southern Belize, is more than 350 nautical miles long. The Belize portion, more than 180 nautical miles long — a jagged mass of coral about 15 miles off the coast — runs south from the north tip of Ambergris Cay to the Gulf of Honduras. In 1996, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and formally named the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System.

    Watch how coral bleaching happens in warming waters
    Australian researchers have captured an event that's happening with alarming frequency worldwide: Coral bleaching. A team from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia filmed a particular type of mushroom coral as it responded to warming water temperatures. Researchers found the solitary Heliofungia actiniformis coral inflated to more than three times its normal body size before suddenly expelling the tiny algae cells that live in a symbiotic relationship within its tissues. The algae, called Symbiodinium, are corals' main source of food and give coral their vibrant color.

    Thick accent results in discrimination suit against FAMU
    A native of Belize has sued Florida A&M University for terminating her, partly because her accent was so thick “no one could understand what she was saying.” Glenda McDougall filed her suit in Leon County Circuit Civil court late Friday. McDougall, represented by Tallahassee attorney Marie Mattox, seeks more than $15,000 in damages and reinstatement of her employment. Belize, a country of roughly 8,800 square miles and 370,000 people, is on the eastern coast of Central America. It’s the only Central American nation where English is the primary language; its previous name was “British Honduras.” The complaint says McDougall, who is black, started at FAMU in 2000 and was let go in August 2014.

    Caribbean Climate change on Instagram

    New “Bionic” Leaf Is Roughly 10 Times More Efficient Than Natural Photosynthesis
    It converts CO2 in the air into alcohol that can be burned as fuel. A tree's leaf, a blade of grass, a single algal cell: all make fuel from the simple combination of water, sunlight and carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Now scientists say they have replicated—and improved on—that trick with their own “bionic leaf.” Chemist Daniel Nocera of Harvard University and his team joined forces with synthetic biologist Pamela Silver of Harvard Medical School and her team to craft a kind of living battery, which they call a bionic leaf for its melding of biology and technology. The device uses solar electricity from a photovoltaic panel to power the chemistry that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. Microbes within the system then feed on the hydrogen and convert carbon dioxide in the air into alcohol that can be burned as fuel. The team's first artificial photosynthesis device appeared in 2015—pumping out 216 milligrams of alcohol fuel per liter of water—but the nickel-molybdenum-zinc catalyst that made its water-splitting chemistry possible had the unfortunate side effect of poisoning the microbes.


  • An aerial view of the Reef Conservation project in Belize - PodVolunteer, 1.5min. drone camera takes amazing footage of the island where volunteers live and work in Belize

  • Belize 2016, 4min.

  • BELIZE // Caye Caulker Nightlife [Day 4 & 5], 7min. The magic of Caye Caulker is inescapable. It seeps into you, changing you into a person you never thought you could be. For me, it's been one of discovering my spontaneity and carefree side. In today's vlog I see more of Caye Caulker, meet some locals, and check out the night life. Did you know there are swings in their bars??

  • BCCI Expo Belize Market Place TV Ad 2016 Final, 1.5min.

  • Rundflug, 2min. Touristen machen einen Rundflug über Belize.

  • Belize Trip, 4min.

  • Belize Travels: San Pedro, Shark Diving - DJI Phantom Drone GoPro [Part 2], 7min. [Part 2] of our travel's through Belize with my DJI Phantom 3 Pro and GoPro Hero 4. We made it to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

  • Fly Fishing For Bonefish Permit in Belize 1080p HD, 3.5min. I went on a fishing trip to Belize. It was an awesome trip, I caught a tarpon, bonefish, and 8 other species! However I could not get my hands on the permit! Huge thanks to Tarpon Caye for putting me on these fish!

  • SSSVEDA: Day 13 | Belize: They Swam with Sharks!, 3min. Adventures snorkeling and swimming with sharks.

  • San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize 2016, 4min. This is highlights of our week in Belize. What an amazing place! We stayed at Villa Casa Buena Vista. 5 stars Carts Belize is who we rented our golf cart from. 5 stars 2 days snorkeling with La Gaviota. 5 stars Our favorite restaurants were Black Orchid, Pupuseria Salvadoreno and Caliente.

  • SSSVEDA: Day 12 | Belize: Am I Belizian?, 4.5min. Are you Belizian?" Inquiring minds want to know...

  • Living in Belize: Waterfalls, Pontoon Boats and Rope Swings, 3min. Living in Belize: We don't have a pool but we know how to have fun on the water! These are a few ways we like to unwind.




    August 15, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Toucan Gift Shops donates motorcycle to San Pedro Police Department
    The San Pedro Town Council continues working hand in hand with the business community as it aims to further assist the San Pedro Police Department. On Tuesday, August 9th, another business establishment contributed towards this effort. Gus Tabony along with his staff of Toucan Gift Shops presented a new Honda motorcycle to Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Guerrero welcomed the valuable donation and also indicated that the motorcycle will be handed over to the police to assist them in their patrolling duties on the island.

    Guest Editorial: Section 53 ruling – What does it truly mean?
    By Colette Kase. If you have been reading or watching the news or social media, you will have heard that there was a case ruled in the Belize Supreme Court on the 10th of August 2016. You probably know it is something to do with ‘gays’ and you may or may not have an opinion on that. In fact, you probably are not even sure what the case was about. Please allow me to assist. Several years ago I met a young man called Caleb. He was shy, geeky and always just a little bit nervous. He grew up with little or nothing, just like so many other young men, in the south side of Belize City. He also happened to be a gay man. This is where his life differed greatly from many of his peers. You see, Belize was, until the 10th of August, one of 76 countries that criminalise homosexuality in one way or another.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: World’s Greatest Fisherman
    “I signed up for that fishing seminar with Professor Bob Englehart, the guy from that TV fishing show called World’s Greatest Fisherman.” “What?!” Sherry said. “I’ve never known you to catch a fish. Oh, and that seminar costs a hundred and twenty five dollars.” “Hey, I’m retired and I’m on vacation,” I said. “It’s money well spent.” On our extended Mexican vacation we were at a hotel in Cozumel when I saw the sign in the lobby advertising Professor Bob’s class. I always wanted to be a good fisherman so I went down to the hotel lobby and paid the fee. I was directed to a room where the class was just starting. There were fifteen tables in the room and each table had a grouper lying on it along with several knives

    Letter to the Editor: Blackadore Caye addresses Hurricane Earl
    Dear Editor: The Blackadore Development Group is saddened by the devastation left behind by Hurricane Earl. We know that many people, including some of our own workers, lost so much, including homes and that flooding continues to be a threat for many of our local brothers and sisters who live along the coast. Nonetheless, we are glad that there were no lives lost and proud to see how everyone has been working around the clock to do all that can be done to restore a sense of normalcy. As well, we are pleased to see the resiliency of the Belizean populace and the camaraderie and bravery shown as everyone continues to work together. We look forward to working with the local community the help to build back our nation as we too, continue to assess the damages to Blackadore Caye. As always, the Blackadore Development Group remains ready and willing to assist however possible.

    Doctor Love: BFF and Going Crazy
    Dear Doctor Love, Six months ago my friend married a man that she knew for a year and a half. They got married and now she tells me she wants a divorce. Her reasons are that her husband never does anything and is out of work most of the time. With the next breath she told me she is having an affair. I was so shocked that I did not even have a reply. What should I do about it? /s/ BFF

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of August 1st – August 13th, 2016
    Robert was married here at EL Pescador, he has two lovely children who came to visit this year and they both slammed!!! Elise’s was a super slam, and Emily was the normal run of the mill grand slam. Wow! John G. and John L both slammed the same week, Stephen – Grand Slam, Eric grand Slam times 2!! Almost had a double grand slam one day on his boat. Mike got a tarpon (a big one) and came back and caught a permit off the dock but couldn’t manage a bonefish off the dock… heartbreak! I am still waiting for someone to do a grandslam unguided in our back lagoon or Oceanside flats. Anyone up for the challenge?

    Young Belizean Sails into a Top-Ten finish in Canada's International Optimist Dinghy Championship Regatta
    Kevin's Belize Sailing School team-mate, Caroline Sersland, who just turned 12, made her last race-day here her best and finished 10th in her fleet. What happens in big international youth regattas like this is the race committee uses the results of the first several days to determine fleets. After those results, Caroline was placed in the fleet comprised of sailors who had not made the top half in the previous days' races. Since Caroline was 16th overall after the first day, it appears too bad she could not hold that. She has 3 more years in Optimists before she becomes too old to compete in them. Her coaches say, "2 yrs. from now - watch out."

    Congratulations to Team One Shot - One Kill
    They will be representing Ambergris Caye at the upcoming National Belikin 8-Ball Pool Tournament to be held in Orange Walk Town on August 20th and 21st!

    Great first farmers market on Caye Caulker!!!
    So many thanks to the staff at Farm Fresh Deli - you guys rock!!!

    What made woman drive Minister's vehicle into the sea?
    Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber says his vehicle was stolen. "I have been made aware that my vehicle was stolen and driven into the sea by Marine Parade in Belize City tonight. Please be assured that I am safe and that I or any authorized driver of the vehicle was not involved. The police is now investigating the theft of the vehicle and I await further details." The driver of the vehicle is well known to the DPM. The original post indicated that the license Plates were removed.

    Letter: Belize prime minister's latest moves
    Given the untenable socio-economic, financial and moral quagmire in which Belize finds itself, the move by PM Barrow to appoint Dr Carla Barnett as minister of state in the ministry of finance comes as no surprise. In effect, her acknowledged credentials among the multilateral funding agencies, such as the World Bank and IMF, cannot be questioned. Yet it is not lost on the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) that the lack of goodwill the Barrow administration has incurred with the international community is real and in effect, as in all instances the PM seeks to use the new minister of state’s qualifications, for the benefit of his political fiefdom. In keeping with our fundamental philosophy of applying a holistic approach to matters of importance, the BPP highlights the fact that, beyond the impacts of Hurricane Earl, Belize is suffering from a gross case of ineffective leadership, which has done absolutely nothing to address the systemic corruption that is par for the course.

    Freak storm in Spanish Lookout
    Sunday August 14th. Lots of roofs were damaged and the power lines were down.

    Someone wanted a drive Thru Tortilla Shop in Cayo
    Hopefully they had insurance.

    Griga Youths Summer Basketball Camp
    On Saturday, the Future Warriors basketball camp concluded. Children between the ages of 6-15 participated in a one week camp where they learned the basics of dribbling, shooting and defensive stands. The interest and enthusiasm shown by the kids gives us hope that the sport of basketball will continue to develop in Griga. The sponsors who made this camp possible: Nsc Belize, CPBL, Bowen & Bowen Ltd., Isaac Rhys, Tarina Wesby for the delicious sandwiches and the coaches/coordinators who took the time out to make the camp success. Last but not least to the little campers, it would have never been a great success without them.

    Flowers Bank Road flooded
    Pics taken Friday night into Saturday morning. It is flowing under homes that are along the road.

    Rony Jovel Abstract Art Exhibit
    The Rony Jovel art exhibit starts this week at the Wildfire Artz Gallery. The opening reception is Sunday, August 21st, starting at 5:00pm. "We are hanging a new art show, erasing all the writings on the wall... we enjoyed a wonderful month of performance art at Wildfire. Stop by and see what's new! "

    BTB Strikes Gold with Simone Biles Tweet
    The BTB offered Simone Biles and her olympic team to come to Belize, and she accepted. Great marketing there! Congratulations, Simone! "The Belize Tourism Board struck gold when Simone Biles retweeted its offer of a vacation to the Central American country shortly after she won a gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all-around program on Thursday... Biles, whose adoptive mother emigrated from Belize, is a dual citizen of the country and the U.S. and vacations there regularly. The tourism board is offering a five day, all-expenses-paid vacation."

    National Garifuna Council Family Day
    It's all about the National Garifuna Council Family Day. Alejo Beni Park. Come learn more about your Stann Creek House of Culture.

    Soap making workshop starts on Tuesday
    Stann Creek House of Culture

    The Reporter

    UNAIDS says Belize did the right thing with Section 53 ruling
    The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), applauded Belize this week for striking down its sodomy laws which criminalized homosexual relationships. UNAIDS said that by striking down Section 53 of the Criminal Code, which made gay sex punishable by imprisonment for a period of 10 years, Belize is in a better position to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. “This ruling removes a key stumbling block to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men accessing HIV testing and treatment services,” the organization said. The organization added that because of laws like Section 53, gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in most of the English-speaking Caribbean are hesitant to reveal their sexual preferences for fear of coming under the force of the law for their preferences. This fear hampers the regional response, because those men are less likely to access HIV testing services.

    ‘Cocono Bwai’ wins National Song competition
    Cecil Jenkins, known on stage as “Cocono Bwai”, is the first place winner of the National Song competition 2016. The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), held the competition at the Fort George Memorial Park on Saturday night, gathering 19 competitors in two categories: National Song, and Carnival Song. A panel of five judges chose Jenkins for his song “Border to Border” which addresses the issue of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute. “I’m just going to continue pushing,” Jenkins said, “pushing and promoting ‘Brukdown’ music, which is truly Belizean cultural music.” Jenkins recently released Border to Border on his first studio album entitled “The Prince of Brukdown.” Other winners of the competition included Wilson Grinage, first place in the Carnival Song competition, and Jean Brooks, second place winner of the National Song competition and Breakout Artist of the Year.

    Inspirational Promotions preparing for 6th annual back to school trimming drive
    Inspirational Promotions, a Belize City-based community organization, is calling on Belizeans to support its sixth annual Back-to-School Haircut Drive. Through the initiative, which will be held at #40 Faber’s Road on September 3 and 4, the organization will provide free haircuts for boys and hair braiding for girls, in preparation for the new school year. As a part of the program, the organization also provides attendees with school supplies, which is what the Inspirational Promotions is reaching out to the community for. Coordinator of the event, Edmund Staine, explained that since many people were affected by Hurricane Earl, a lot of children have lost their supplies for the upcoming year. Staine said that through partnerships, the organization is hoping to assist in making the return to school a little easier for the students.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Simone Biles wins 3rd gold medal
    Simone Biles, the 19-year-old American Olympian with ties to Belize, won her 3rd gold medal in the women’s vault final gymnastic category at the Rio Olympics today. Biles, who has said she hopes to win five gold medals, took first place with a 15.966 […]

    A bar in the Cayo District sees second murder in three months
    A bar in the vicinity of Buena Vista on the road to Spanish Lookout has seen its second death in three months after a murder in which two weapons were used. Police have confirmed that around 5:00 a.m. a man identified as 37 year […]

    CNN teaming up with Breaking Belize News for feature on Simone Biles
    CNN, one of the world’s largest and leading media houses, will be visiting Belize and teaming up with Breaking Belize News to film a documentary on Simone Biles and the place she considers her second home, Belize. CNN’s documentary follows an article written by […]

    PUP leaders calls for Belizeans to respect Chief Justice decision in gay-rights ruling
    People’s United Party (PUP) leader John Briceno, via a Facebook post last night, called on Belizeans to “respect each other, and never forget that it is our diversity which makes us strong”. Briceno’s post was prompted by what he described as “disturbing threats and […]


    A Week in Snapshots Around Belize: Things Getting Back to Normal
    Man…what a week! The post Hurricane Earl clean-up and life getting back to normal, the Supreme Court ruling in Belize against the illegality of homosexuality, the Olympics (with Simone Biles who is a US AND Belize citizen) and HOT beautiful weather. I MEAN HOT. I had about 2 and a half minutes to eat this ice cold paleta. Here are some of the photos that I have been posting on my Instagram account along with some others from around the country. A Week in Belize. Just over a week ago, waiting with the cows at San Ignacio’s pretty airstrip to GET BACK TO THE ISLAND after the hurricane. Just two days before I had been evacuated from the Chiquibul Forest where I had been baby-sitting scarlet macaws (this blog is coming tomorrow) – WHAT A GORGEOUS LANDSCAPE.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize gets IDB funding for hurricane relief
    The Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) is providing a grant of US$200,000 to Belize to help in the rehabilitation efforts following the passage of Hurricane Earl earlier this month. The Washington-based financial institution said that the objective of the grant is to support the National Emergency Management Organization’s (NEMO) efforts to assist vulnerable populations in communities damaged by high winds and floods in various parts of the country. It said that based on NEMO’s initial assessment of the most immediate needs, the assistance will support the Belize Government’s efforts to provide the required relief in the “hardest hit communities” in Cayo, Orange Walk and Stann Creek Districts. The funds will be used for food supplies, potable water, materials for temporary shelters, transportation costs, and medicine, among other emergency relief items, the IDB said.

    Belize acknowledges tough road ahead in talks with Guatemala
    Belize says it is preparing for tough negotiations with the government in Guatemala over the border dispute between them with Belmopan indicating that the “new administration is taking a very different attitude towards the claim than the other administrations”. Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, speaking on News 5 television on Friday night, said that Belize is maintaining its position that the border dispute, dating back to several decades must be an issue settled by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Belize said that as far back as 1939, the Guatemalans had written to the British indicating their intention to repudiate the 1859 treaty regarding the border issue. “Let me make it very, very clear that our most important and most difficult problem is the Guatemalan claim. That is a matter that we should all know everything we can about it and it is imperative that we be completely unity on it because any disunity is going to be exploited by the Guatemalans,” Elrington told television viewers.

    Rise Up Belize! Aspires to Help Children
    It may seem odd that a nonprofit named Rise Up Belize! would be based out of Sacramento, California. But spend some time with founder Joey Garcia, and it’ll all make sense. At once a U.S. youth mentorship program and Belizean education initiative for impoverished communities, Rise Up Belize! aspires to achieve a lot. Each year Garcia — who was born in Belize but grew up in Northern California — selects a group of 10 high school girls and guides them through an intensive, three- to six-month leadership program. “They learn curriculum development, classroom management, cultural sensitivity, presentation skills, fundraising and how to run a nonprofit,” Garcia says. “Then we take them to Belize.” Depending on the year, Garcia may take her students to Belize City, a rural town like Sandhill Village or the small island of Caye Caulker. Once there, the girls put their newly-acquired skills to work, applying a classroom curriculum they’ve developed into a five-day summer camp they run free-of-charge for the impoverished Belizean children, eager to learn.

    Riding out Hurricane Earl
    Kevin Chaffee not only traveled to Belize for the first time recently, he got to weather his first hurricane there. "I’ve never experienced wind and rain like that before," he reports. The engineer explains, "My company, Earthtek Environmental, Batesville, designs and builds advanced package wastewater treatment plants." A Florida engineer with whom he had previously worked invited Chaffee to install a treatment plant at Harvest Caye, an island off the Belize coast that Norwegian Cruise Line had purchased for passengers' day trips. There will be a beach, dive shops and restaurants built there. Now wilderness, "It’s (going to be) really nice. I’d like to see it once it’s all finished." The Batesville City Council president flew to Miami July 31, then after a plane delay arrived in Belize City. He took a small plane to Placencia late Aug. 1. The next day, he and two Florida consultants boated out to the island about 10 miles off the coast and worked all day. That night Chaffee learned a tropical storm might be brewing. There was "just a chance it could hit Belize and a chance it could turn into a hurricane. We went out to work Wednesday and at noon the people who were running the island said the storm was coming. It was supposed to hit dead-on in Belize and chances were good it was going to become a hurricane." The Americans boated back to Placencia. Chaffee's first inclination was to seek higher ground, but the Floridians, who had survived hurricanes before, were concerned "once the rain hits the mountains, the roads would become mudslides" and become unsafe.

    Missoula's Reneau remembers Olympic experiences
    Paul Reneau of Missoula is a former University of Montana sprinter who now spends his days helping young Montanans accomplish their athletic goals through his very own Athletic Development Academy. "I had those basic fundamentals," explained Reneau. "I was just naturally born with them. Not everybody is born with this so my goal is to prepare you for whatever athletics you do." Spend five minutes with Paul Reneau and it's clear he's a master of his craft when it comes to the sprints. But what you might not ever know just from talking to him is that he's actually a former Olympian. Reneau competed in the 1984 summer games and the 1988 summer games for his home country of Belize. In the 1984 Los Angeles games Reneau competed in the 100 meters. He didn't advance past the preliminaries but still had a memorable day running in the lane next to sprinting icon Carl Lewis. "How I got in lane four I have no idea. I beat him out of the blocks. I led him for about 20 or 30 meters or so and then that was it right," laughed Reneau. "Yeah he ended up winning four gold medals that year."

    Opposing Corporate Theft of Mayan Textiles, Weavers Appeal to Guatemala's High Court
    Guatemala's Indigenous Mayan communities are doubling down in their struggle against the corporations that are increasingly seeking to turn aspects of their culture into commodities promoted to tourists. The struggle is just the latest front in their centuries-long resistance against the forces of conquest, imperialism and genocide. Hundreds gathered outside the Guatemalan Congress and the Supreme Court on May 6 to demand that the government act to protect their sacred textiles from appropriation by both national and transnational companies, and on June 28, Indigenous activists testified at a public hearing in the Constitutional Court in Guatemala City. "There is a strong appropriation of our designs and textiles," Angelina Aspuac of the Women's Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez (AFEDES), the organization spearheading this campaign, told Truthout. "This isn't only the government, but more so, it is the companies that make bags, shoes, and belts with our designs without respecting how we see these pieces within our communities, or their significance in our communities. There are elements of our clothing that are sacred, that have a spiritual significance, and others that are only used in ceremonies or by the spiritual leaders in our communities."


  • Belize Mission Trip, 5min. Mission Trip Location: Dangriga, Belize, Central America Date of Trip: June 18-25,

  • HEFY 2016 Belize 4, 9min.

  • Belize Sunsail Catamaran July 2016, 10min.

  • Belize Trip:Hurricane Earl 2016, 4min.

  • A Spice of Belize - Caye Caulker Lobster Festival | Jack's Jaunts, 2.5min. A long weekend on the island of Caye Caulker in Belize for the yearly lobster festival at the start of July.

    August 14, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Green turtle visits Belize during ‘Tour de Turtles’
    Tour de Turtles begun in 2008 by Sea Turtle Conservancy as a fun educational, journey to research sea turtle migration using satellite telemetry. This event occurs every August 1st, and the “turtle” marathon represents four different species of sea turtles: leatherback, green, loggerhead, and hawksbill. The “competitors” swim with the goal of being the first turtle to swim the furthest distance during the migration marathon. Within the annual Tour de Turtles, individual sea turtles are tracked for approximately three months, as they leave their nesting beaches and race to complete the marathon. This year, Esperanza, a migrating turtle was attracted to Belize, and just so happened to make a U-turn at Ambergris Caye. Esperanza is an adult green sea turtle from Guanahacabibes Natural Park, Cuba, and is the first turtle ever to be tracked migrating to Belize from Cuba. She is swimming to raise awareness about the threat of marine pollution, and oil spills.

    ALS Ice Bucket Challenge funded a new genetic breakthrough
    In 2014, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on social media, even drawing Belizeans into the fray. It was a fundraising campaign that drew millions of people to participate by filming themselves dumping iced water on their heads and nominating three other individuals. With a contribution of $10 for taking the challenge, and $100 for those who refused, the challenge raised more than $200 million world-wide to fund research on the disease. After two years, Project MinE (a large scale genome research project) has recently discovered a new gene, NEK1, on Wednesday, July 27th, that has revolutionized the research. According to the ALS Association, the new NEK1 gene is the most common contributor to the disease. It is also associated with 3% of all ALS cases, but is present in sporadic and inherited forms of the disease. Though skeptics doubted the motives of the campaign, this new discovery proved that it was a success in bringing attention to the disease, and could lead to future discoveries and treatment.

    Statistics show sharp decline in Belize’s exports
    The Belizean economy continues to take a hit, as the latest report on the country’s exports by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has reported a major downfall for the month of June. According to the SIB report, released on Wednesday, August 3rd, exports fell by a whopping 30%. According to the SIB’s External Trade Bulletin, the total value of Belize’s domestic exports for the month of June 2016 was $36.8 million, showing a reduction of $15.9 million from the $52.7 million recorded in June 2015. The sector responsible for the major decline was sugar products. The earnings from the Sugar Industry for the said month fell by $24 million, from $25 million in June 2015 to $1 million in June of 2016. The culprit in this shortage is due to the changes in the scheduling of bulk shipments in sugar earnings. The other exports in line that also showed decline were marine products and the banana industry. Marine products fell short from $6.5million to under $3 million, which accumulates to more than 50% in loss. Meanwhile, in the banana belt, exports declined by 1/3 or from $9 million to $6 million.

    Arcadia University begins seminars in San Pedro
    Arcadia University from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA, has arrived to San Pedro with a mission to educate! 17 volunteers, consisting of faculty and students, have hosted a series of free seminars since Saturday, August 6th. With help from Alumni Lara Goldman, the Arcadia global initiative became a reality, and the group hopes to leave their positive blueprint on Belize. Karen Swayer, Director of Global Engagement and Physical Therapy described how Arcadia made the connection with San Pedro. “I received a call from Lara, and whenever we get a country that calls us and wants us to come, that is golden. Our main goal is to come and work alongside with healthcare and educational systems,” said Swayer. According to the volunteers, the participants are very friendly, and attentive in class. With one more week of scheduled seminars, the community is encouraged to take advantage of these enlightening sessions.

    Get ready for a tea party at Marbucks!
    Marbucks Coffee House is serving up tea for one fabulous afternoon of fun, food and excellent company. It’s true…on Saturday August 20th, for the price of $50, you are invited to attend the first ever island Tea Party! Hosted by Rachel and Mar of Marbucks and Daydreamin’ B&B, guests will enjoy much tea sipping, nibbles, fabulous conversation and of course, champagne while relaxing poolside at one of the prettiest locations in Tres Cocos, Ambergris Caye! While having most excellent tea party fun, you can rest assured that your contribution is going to a worthy cause. Organizers have indicated that all proceeds will be going towards completing a women’s and children’s shelter for San Pedro. “We can’t think of anything more important than women working to empower one another and are so proud to be part of this effort,” says Rachel.

    San Pedro benefiting from Blue Water Grill donations
    Blue Water Grill (BWG) has released their monthly donation report, and in July 2016, BWG opted to adjust their original donation proposal to help aid the June 26th fire victims. BWG and its sister business, The Phoenix, donated $20,361, with both businesses matching the first $2,500 donated. In total, $25,361 was raised; $7,500 was distributed to the San Pedro Lions Club and $5,500 was shared directly to families who were impacted by the fire. BWG will be working along with the San Pedro Lions Club to determine the most effective means of distributing the remaining funds to the fire victims.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Four Sailors from Belize at Youth Regattas in Canada
    It is opening Day of the 2016 Canadian Olympic Regattas, Kingston (CORK) International Optimist Championship Regatta. Two of the four Belizean sailors here at Portsmouth Olympic Harbor are entered. They are Kevin Velasquez, 14, and Caroline Sersland, 12. Both are trained and were brought to this regatta by San Pedro's Belize Sailing School. Kevin won Belize's 2015 Optimist National Championship Regatta, and Caroline placed 3rd. Today on freshwater Lake Ontario they braved 26 to 31 Mph winds and 4 foot chop to race against an international field. 29 sailors in the contingent of 65 Kevin was part of either withdrew due to sailing conditions or could not finish. Kevin dashed to the 11th spot among the remaining 36 left for him to compete with. Caroline was in the other half of the fleet. 17 in her fleet could not complete the race. Caroline beat out 29 of those who did complete the race to finish 18th in her fleet.

    Power interruption 8:00am to 8:30am, Sunday, August 14: entire San Pedro Town, and Bomba Village
    BEL to conduct repairs at Maskall Substation, which requires de-energizing of power transformer.

    Ascenthium Playing Jazzfest
    The Belize International Jazz Festival's opening ceremony is tonight at the Cayo Welcome Center, and Ascenthium will be one of the bands performing. The plan is to have 2 stages so that while one band is playing, another can get set up. The World Culture Band will also be performing, along with many others. "This Sunday August 14th we hit the stage at the Cayo Welcome Center for the opening night of the Belize International Jazz Festival! There will be many other artists and performers! We Start around 6:30-7pm!"

    Photos of the Belize National Song Competition
    What a night! See the Belize National Song Competition page for full results.

    Results from the Belize National Song Competition
    Carnival Song: First Place: Wilson Grinage with "Soca Session" Second Place: Leslie "Mr. Bastic" Jenkins with "Represent". Belize Song: First Place: Cecil "Cocono Bwai" Jenkins with "Border to Border" Second Place: Jeanie Brooks with "Flags in the Air". Breakout Artist: Belize Song: Jeanie Brooks with "Flags in the Air" Carnival Song: Jerome Crawford "Celebration". People's Choice:(online votes) Belize Song: Eugene Gentle with "Mista Laddy Block The Boat" Carnival Song: Barbara "Missy B" Herrera with "Fayah".

    The Reporter

    Love Foundation and DYS team up for clothing drive
    Today the Love Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Youth Services, is holding a clothing drive to assist victims of Hurricane Earl. The organizations have the drive going on at two locations simultaneously: #49 Vernon Street; and the Yabra Drop-in Center. Sabreena Daly, public relations officer for the DYS explained that the organizations choose clothes as their relief efforts, to avoid duplicating other relief efforts which are being carried out by entities such as the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Belize Red Cross. “We see people going and giving food bags, and we understand that you can never have enough food, but a lot of these families coming are asking about clothing,” Daly said. “Majority of the people that walked in complained about water damage.”

    The Belize Times

    Ariel Rosado Foundation Approves 36 Scholarships for 2016 – 2017
    The Board of Directors of The Ariel Rosado Foundation is proud to celebrate four and a half years of service to Belize and congratulates all those who made this milestone possible. The Foundation was established in January 2012 to celebrate the life of Ariel Rosado, an outstanding Belizean Role Model who died in a tragic road traffic accident at age 28. In 2012 the Foundation offered a total of fifteen (15) scholarships in its first year. In 2013 the number of scholarships was increased to twenty seven (27). In 2014 the Foundation again increased the number of scholarships to a total of thirty (30) and last year 2015 the number of scholarships was again increased to thirty three (33). The Foundation is pleased to announce that it has again increased the number of scholarships for the fourth year in succession. This year the Foundation has approved funding for a total of thirty six (36) scholarships comprised as follows:

    Melissa Ferguson Charged for Conspiracy to Kidnapping
    The BELIZE TIMES has confirmed that Melissa Ferguson, the wife of William Danny Mason, has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping by Belmopan Police. She handed herself into Police on Monday around 11:30am, after being a fugitive for several weeks. An international warrant for Ferguson’s arrest was reportedly issued the week after Mason was arrested on July 15th. Police had also been actively seeking the Canadian woman in different locations where it is believed that she was hiding.

    The old people, versed as they have been in all things ‘Hurricane’, have a small saying. It goes something like this: “June – Too soon; July – Stand by; August – If you must; September – Remember; October – Soon over.” Last week we experienced Hurricane Earl, and he was “August If you must” indeed!! Even with experienced predictors and forecasters and with solid preparation on the part of so many, I don’t think anyone expected the fury and ferocious nature of the beast Earl. It was a harrowing and terrifying ten hours or so. I live very near the sea at Mile 6, Philip Goldson Highway. My husband, younger son, myself and our handyman and his family all weathered the storm at home. Lights went out at around 8 pm, so we brought out the flashlights and candles. We had of course done our best to secure the house and all surroundings, and vehicles had been moved inland, except for one. We expected a blowing somewhat like that of Hurricane Richard, and boy, were we wrong. This was awfully worse. I am no expert, but I do feel convinced that at its most intense the storm packed winds and gusts in excess of a hundred miles per hour. The house shook, as the wind howled outside. Then the storm surge began, coming up about six feet above sea level and rushing through the yard and the downstairs level and office, and picking up the vehicle like a toy and depositing it fifty yards away.

    Belize River Watershed
    Look at the map below and see how big is the Belize River Watershed. The B zone is the watershed in our country and the A zone is the watershed in Guatemala. The Belize River is basically comprised of the Macal and the Mopan rivers that joins at the Branch Mouth in San Ignacio. We call this a transborder watershed because it involves 2 countries. The Mopan actually originates in the Maya Mountains in Belize and then flows west into Guatemala and then back east into Belize, just north of Arenal. Belize enjoys about 56% of the entire watershed and Guatemala some 44%.

    MIT Corporal Accused of Assaulting Junior Cop
    There is no word on whether charges will be brought against Mobile Interdiction Team Cpl. Jamir Cassanova. Cassanova has been accused of badly beating MIT Police Constable Derin Mariano on Thursday, August 4th. While no official details have been released, the BELIZE TIMES has been reliably informed that Cassanova was drinking when the altercation occurred, and he had to be hauled off Mariano by other members of the team. While incidents like this would normally be handled by a professional body either criminally or through an internal tribunal, we are informed that there is pressure from “higher up” to squash the incident. That pressure has been resisted by investigators, who along with the Officer Commanding Belmopan ASP Howell Gillett, are determined to bring charges against Cassanova since he has been accused of similar violations previously.

    The Function of Violence with the Political Order
    Belizean society, especially those in the criminogenic confines of Southside Belize, has been grappling with the senseless violence that keeps occurring. The political rhetoric on crime and violence is almost as glaring as the violence. The United States administration continues to assist the Belize Government with technical and financial support in the fight against crime and violence. The war is mainly aimed at the gang-affiliated violence. However, violence, as explained by J. Carl Freidrich in the book “Man and His Government”, is vital to the political system. Violence and its functionality in the realm of politics are being considered in this essay. When the saga of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas’ death unfolded, ill winds blew directly in the face of the United Democratic Party Government. Wrapped in the entangled web woven by the Guyanese/Canadian, fake Belizean William Mason and the death of the Pastor is the silent reality of the close associations of high ranking UDP officials, senior Police officials and the former leader of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) with Mason.

    Two Belize City men remanded on attempted murder charge
    Two Belize City men who allegedly attempted to murder another man were remanded to prison after they appeared in court this morning and were arraigned on charges of attempted murder and dangerous harm. John Burke, 32, a fisherman and resident of Lavender Street and Kareem Egan, a construction worker and resident of Hulze Street, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, after police charged them with the attempted murder and dangerous harm of Mario Zelaya, on August 3. “Do you understand what I have just read,” Magistrate Fraser asked the two accused. Both men answered that they understood the charges.

    Stevedore accused of armed robbery released on bail
    A Belize City stevedore who was out on Supreme Court bail found himself back in trouble with the law when a man accused him of committing an armed robbery. Eugene Bailey appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser to answer to one count of armed robbery. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail in the sum of $2,000 plus one surety in similar amount. He will return to court on September 28. The incident reportedly occurred on Sunday, August 7 when Jalir Rosa reported to police that he was robbed at knife point and several items were taken away from him.

    Marijuana candy lands American tourist in Court
    A San Francisco firefighter had a firestorm experience when he landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) with his family last Thursday, August 4. He had to stay in the police lockdown from Thursday August 4th to Monday August 8th, when he was taken to Court and arraigned on a drug importation charge because he brought his medically prescribed marijuana candy along with his medical certificate. After almost four years of the Barrow Administration promising to decriminalize 10 grams of marijuana, nothing has changed. Belize’s courts continue to dish out harsh penalties under the antiquated Misuse of Drugs Act which imposes a $10,000 mandatory minimum fine on persons convicted with possession of 60 grams or more of marijuana.

    U.S. star Olympian Simone Biles has Belizean roots!
    19 year old U.S. gymnast extraordinaire Simone Biles says she wants to swim with sharks in Belize after her performances in the 2016 Olympic Games being held in Brazil come to an end. Simone has also said in interviews that Belize is one of her favourite places in the world, and that she loves coming to Belize. For us in Belize who are fans of the Olympics and who are being wowed by Biles and her teammates’ aerial acrobatics, it will be a stunner to know that Simone has Belizeans roots. Simone’s mother, Nellie, is a born Belizean. Her father, Roland, is a U.S. citizen. Simone has been to Belize and she has embraced her Belizean roots.

    Camalote Resident Murdered in the Old Capital
    Even as they try to keep a grip on the seething gang rivalries which could at any time boil out of control, Police are investigating the murder of Carl Trapp, 51. Trapp was a resident of Camalote in the Cayo District, but was found stabbed to death on the compound of Hyde’s Supermarket located near the Michael Finnegan Market on West Canal Street. Trapp’s body had wounds to the face, chest and arms and was found in a pool of blood by a tenant at around 5:30am Saturday morning. He was a parolee who was recently released from prison and had chosen to relocate to Belize City where he worked and stayed at Hyde’s Supermarket.

    Questions to Ministers!
    Can the Minister of Finance or Minister of Works how much has been spent on the causeway between San Ignacio and Buena Vista Village and when the project will be completed since its due date of August 2015? Has the new Minister of Police seen the Mason tapes? Can the Minister of Police explain why the Commissioner of Police is on prolonged vacation at a time when our country has faced not one, but two national security crises?

    Earl + Castro = Pain and Suffering
    Hurricanes are natural hazards that, in the absence of adequate disaster preparedness and response, can severely impact a nation. There is no doubt that hurricanes are always going to be with us and, if one listens to the climate change experts hurricanes should only increase in frequency and intensity. On August 4, 2016 Hurricane Earl, a category one storm, smashed into central Belize with devastating results. It destroyed many homes, uprooted crops and severely damaged critical power infrastructure. Hurricane Earl was particularly brutal to the people of Belize Rural North. From Rancho to Boom, Sandhill to Rhaburn Ridge and from Boston to Bomba, the people of Belize Rural North took a pounding. Not to worry you say? After all the Area Representative for the division happens to be the Minister of State Responsible for NEMO right?

    Hard Knocks
    Couldn’t let this week pass without a passing mention to a HUGE Court decision passed down this week after oh…only about three years of procrastination. Don’t mind me Mr. Judge I’m only telling it like it is. So long story short, it is now lawful for individuals of the same sex to have sexual intercourse. Some people will love the decision, some people will hate it. Some people will call down God’s plagues on the LGBT community and some people will be opening that closet door and peeping out. Listen let me just come right out and say it. It’s been happening anyway. People from all walks of life have been doing it – you see some of those people holding up placards and praying – let me tell you a secret – some of them do it too. I noh di throw no stone. All I gotta say is can’t we all just get along? We got bigger things to worry about than what people do in their bedroom.

    GOB Bruk: No pay raise for teachers!
    The Barrow Administration has been unable to deliver on their promise to give public officers and teachers a salary increase this year. The cash-strapped Government should have provided the workers with a 3% salary increase in July, which they agreed to three years ago, but their reckless management of the economy and wastefulness has forced them to delay the pay raise. Reports are now that the Prime Minister will be asking the workers’ union leaders to sympathise with the country’s economic situation and agree to defer the salary increase indefinitely. How sad for public officers and teachers, who unlike the lazy Ministers, must live off meagre wages in these hard times. While Ministers collect big money and live like high rollers, public officers and teachers are forced to struggle with little. While the cost of living has increased by 40%, salaries for workers have barely improved.

    Belizeans left to suffer alone
    Hurricane Earl has come and gone and while we were hit hard, we must take time to give thanks to the Creator for allowing us to get through without any loss of life or serious injury. Our families are safe, and that is the most important thing. I want to take the time to thank the Police Department, BDF and Coast Guard. Even though as a people we were not fully prepared for Earl, the commitment of those personnel and their relentless patrols made all the difference. So thanks. But no thanks to the Prime Minister. What an incredible guy that is, and not in a good way. I know people have been throwing comments about how these UDP ministers were doing the rain dance and lighting candles so the storm would come. I know they desperately needed the distraction from Mason and the economy which is in real crisis. Even if the sky isn’t falling, not yet, it’s sagging and the UDP knows that things aren’t getting any better for us in Belize. But check this out – the PM was positively glowing at his press conference this week, cracking jokes and looking like the weight of the world was off his shoulders.

    Yes for Independent Investigation into latest Corruption Scandal
    An independent investigation is truly needed into this latest political scandal involving top Ministers of Government, international swindler William Mason, lots of cash, kidnapping, extortion, and the beheading of well-known pastor, Llewelyn Lucas. The minor Cabinet reshuffle in which Godwin Hulse replaced John Saldivar as Minister of Police will not silence the public cry for transparency with this huge scandal. The people need to know exactly how much cash and expensive gifts a number of Ministers and several senior police officers received from Mason, and how they thanked him for such generous donations as William Mason was untouchable for all sorts of illegal activities in Belize until Pastor Lucas was beheaded. The people also need to know the names of all ministers and high police officers, who facilitated the con-artist in obtaining fraudulent licenses for at least five firearms without the mandatory documents as well as an illegal birth paper which states that he was born in the village of Crooked Tree to Belizean parents.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    “Danny Mason” back in court, partner Melissa Ferguson arraigned
    This week notorious couple William “Danny” Mason aka Rajesh Ouellet and his wife/partner, Melissa Ferguson, were in court in Belmopan. Mason returned on Wednesday to face charges of kidnapping of Canadian Lloyd Friesen and his wife Rosie. Friesen, according to 7 News a major grain producer from Spanish Lookout, […]

    Republic of China gifts Belize US $100,000 for Hurricane relief
    On Friday H.E Ambassador Benjamin Ho presented a check for US $100, 000 towards hurricane relief efforts. The check was handed over to government officials in a short ceremony. H.E. Ambassador Ho expressed his “delight in seeing the resilience and solidarity of the government and people […]

    BTB is the real winner for Simone Biles vacation offer
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Belize as a destination, more specifically, has been gaining plenty of international attention since it offered a five-day all expenses paid vacation to Olympian Simone Biles and her teammates. Biles retweeted BTB’s offer and since then the offer […]

    Putting Poverty Into Perspective: The Struggle of the Young Professional Living in Belize
    A much used statistic in the media these days is the stunning 40% poverty rate for the Belizean economy. But what does it actually mean when we say that such a large proportion of our population is living in poverty? The population of Belize […]


    Through the Eyes of a 10 Year Old: Fun Things to Do in Belize with Kids
    A few week ago, 10 year old Tejas, his two older brothers and his parents came to visit Ambergris Caye. Tejas was armed with his new awesome camera (Canon SX60) and a serious love of animals. Here he is with Elsie. We had just under a week to try to wow these guys with Belize…we went on the CSI: Night Crocodile Tour (loved), we went to the Belize Zoo (and watched the big cats being fed), we went to Cayo Frances Farm & Fly for fishing, lobster hunting and paddle boarding and they went snorkeling at Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley. All great things that they loved. In the end, you find that Belize does most of the work for you.

    International Sourcesizz

    Inside the world’s most dangerous paradise
    Belize, the land of the infamous Blue Hole, Caribbean beaches and a rich tapestry of cultures. Surely this small country couldn’t be that dangerous? Given Belize is one of the smallest countries in Central America, and the least densely populated, we thought we’d spend a week, maybe two, chilling on the beaches and doing some diving. After the first few days we were hooked and stayed nearly a month. If we’d had time we would have stayed longer. We arrived knowing little about the place and left knowing that we most definitely will be back.

    The One Thing Everyone Thinking Of Retiring To Latin America Should Do
    But what if you retire to Latin America? As you know, many retirees are living the good life in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and beyond. They’re finding that not only is the weather better, but their retirement income goes two to four times as far when they head south from the U.S. or Canada. In Latin America, they speak Spanish. (Belize is the only country in Central America with English as the official language, although you’ll also find it commonly spoken on the Honduras island of Roatán and Nicaragua’s Corn Islands, both in the Caribbean.) So what happens when you’re awakened in your new homes in Latin America in the middle of the night by the smell of smoke ... and you see that the vacant lot down the street is on fire? Will you be able to summon the bomberos?

    Commonwealth Takes Notice of Region’s De-Risking Worries
    Caribbean countries are not alone in worrying about how de-risking is threatening their financial stability. The Commonwealth is not only noticing it but trying to come up with solutions. Passions ran high as money transfer businesses and smaller financial institutions met this week at the Commonwealth Secretariat to address a “detrimental” decline in international banking for many businesses and individuals. The public meeting was convened to discuss the report, Disconnecting from Global Finance, which proposes solutions to the trend of financial institutions terminating or restricting so-called correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) with legitimate clients as a way of mitigating legal risks. This practice, which is a response in part to increased regulation, is known as de-risking. “Major banks are now avoiding banking customers, or categories of customers, they deem low profit or high risk. The drivers are complex and varied but global regulations that are designed to stop money laundering and the financing of terrorism have contributed to this worrying phenomenon,” said Commonwealth Economic Policy expert Samantha Attridge, Head of Finance and Development Policy.

    2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Update
    In its updated 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, NOAA calls for a higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal season, and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent, from the initial outlook issued in May. The season is still expected to be the most active since 2012. Forecasters now expect a 70 percent chance of 12 to 17 named storms, of which 5 to 8 are expected to become hurricanes, including 2 to 4 major hurricanes. The initial outlook called for 10-16 named storms, 4 to 8 hurricanes, and 1-4 major hurricanes. The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. “We’ve raised the numbers because some conditions now in place are indicative of a more active hurricane season, such as El Niño ending, weaker vertical wind shear and weaker trade winds over the central tropical Atlantic, and a stronger west African monsoon,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “However, less conducive ocean temperature patterns in both the Atlantic and eastern subtropical North Pacific, combined with stronger wind shear and sinking motion in the atmosphere over the Caribbean Sea, are expected to prevent the season from becoming extremely active.”

    Modern Europe's Genetic History Starts in Stone Age
    Scientists create the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe. DNA recovered from ancient skeletons reveals that the genetic makeup of modern Europe was established around 4,500 B.C. in the mid-Neolithic—or 6,500 years ago—and not by the first farmers who arrived in the area around 7,500 years ago or by earlier hunter-gatherer groups. (Read about Europe's oldest known town.) "The genetics show that something around that point caused the genetic signatures of previous populations to disappear," said Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, where the research was performed. "However, we don't know what happened or why, and [the mid-Neolithic] has not been previously identified as [a time] of major change," he said.

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    Belize is working hard to save coral reefs. These kids may be their secret weapon.
    Check out TIDE in Upworthy Magazine! A story was published today on the work being done to protect the reef, and the success of the community researcher programs. Abalone Caye is a small island off the coast of Belize, and for about a week, it's home to an important group of kids. The island, located in the middle of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, is home to a small research station where five local college-age kids eat, work, and live together for a week each summer before heading back to the mainland. There's a good reason for this expedition: These kids are in training to become community reef researchers. The Community Researcher Training Program is managed by James Foley and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), an environmental institute in Belize. TIDE manages a large swath of natural areas in southern Belize, including the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. And the students, who all come from local communities, conduct research that's vital to helping us protect our coral reefs.


  • New Belizean Dancehall, 5min. Here is the Latest work from us here at Dreamlight Studio. Huge thanks to everyone involved in making it happen

  • Visit Belize, 1min. Check out our newest video Promoting Tourism in Belize!

  • Hurricane Earl in Dangriga - 12 hours in 1 minute, 1min The day after Hurricane Earl in Dangriga. The river is in full flood, the beach berm has built up and the sky has cleared.

  • Guatemala & Belize 2016, 7.5min. Our summer trip to Guatemala and Belize 2016

  • WLS_Prepare to Go_Rough cut 8.13.16, 4min.

  • Central America 2016, 11min. Backpacking through Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico

  • WLS Collaborative Leadership Program, 4.5min.

  • Baby shark wants to be petted, 1min. Dive master, Nito (known in the dive world as "Big Sexy") is followed by an affectionate baby nurse shark as he leads his group over the coral reefs in Belize. It seems more like a lost puppy as it swims behind him. It comes face to face with him and he gives it a little back scratch before they continue along together. Nurse sharks are harmless and very curious about divers.

  • Belize Trip: Day 5 - San Pedro (Snorkeling with Sea Turtles), 3.5min. This was after the hurricane

  • Belize Permit, 3min. Permit Fishing in Belize w/ Go Fish

  • Lamanai in Belize, 4min. The speed boat ride and some ruins.

  • Don't Stop Belize-in', 5min. Climb Ruins. Swim with Sharks. Battle a Hurricane. These are the days we won't forget.

  • Belize Vacation 2011, 5min.

  • Belize Honeymoon, 6.5min.

    August 13, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Belizean athletes representing at Rio Olympics 2016
    Belize is being represented at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games currently underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Three proud Belizean, Katy Sealy, Brandon Jones and Renick James will be competing in their respective disciplines in an attempt to grab gold for the Jewel. This will marked the 11th time Belize has participated in the Olympic Games. The anticipated event has athletes from 205 countries from around the world competing in 306 events surrounding 42 sporting disciplines. These range from swimming to judo and even wrestling. The main event kicked off on Friday, August 5th with a grand inauguration ceremony with a parade of athletes. The event also included music and festivity along with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. During the opening ceremony, the Belize flag was carried by Brandon Jones. “It felt amazing, one of the happiest moments of my life,” Jones told The San Pedro Sun. The games started on Saturday, August 6th and will continue through August 20th.

    Morning fire destroys home in DFC
    Shortly around 2:45AM, on Friday, August 12th, neighbors alerted Stephanie Hemingway that her newly refurbished home on Black Pearl Street, DFC, was on fire. After quickly calling the San Pedro Fire Department, neighbors got in formation to do what they could to help. Buckets were collected and water began pouring, as the fire trucks arrived quickly, and joined in the efforts. According to Hemingway, it was clear that the home was not salvageable at that point, and so the gathered group and officials concentrated on preventing the fire from spreading. “I am so thankful that this did not get worse. The fire officials were so amazing, and showed up so fast,” said a grateful Hemingway. “And my neighbors were so kind and helpful. From Miss Helen alerting me then Gene Lopez organizing the manpower, everyone pitched in. This really is a wonderful community.”

    Wanted person Melissa Ferguson surrenders to police
    On July 19, 2016, William ‘Donny’ Mason, a Guyanese/Canadian was arraigned along with four other persons: Ernest Castillo, 20, Keron Fernandez, 29, Ashton Vanegas, 29, and Terence Fernandez, 30, for the kidnapping and murder of Pastor Lucas. Almost immediately after the discovery of the heinous crime, police issued a wanted bulletin for the apprehension of Melissa Ferguson, Mason’s wife. After being at large for over three weeks, Ferguson voluntarily turned herself in to the Belmopan Police on Monday August 8th. She was officially arraigned for the crime of “Conspiracy to Kidnap” two persons on Wednesday, August 10th, and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

    BEL’s hardworking crew restores power to San Pedro
    Before Hurricane Earl made its debut in San Pedro, both Belize Water Service (BWS), along with Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), took precautionary measures and turned off their sources. After Earl’s hit on the early morning of August 4th, electricians, technicians, and crew members from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) began working rigorously that same day to restore power on the island. In another press release issued on Monday, August 8th, BEL stated that they reached their target of having 99% of customers countrywide connected by the end of that day. However, many areas in the Belize District were extremely affected by the hurricane, and BEL is working towards restoring the remaining communities: Old Northern Highway from Altun Ha to Maskall and five villages in the Belize River Valley.

    The Phoenix crew helps clean up after Hurricane Earl
    Hurricane Earl made its way to Ambergris Caye, along with other districts of Belize on Wednesday, August 3rd. A category one hurricane, Earl left a dreadful path of destruction, destroying many low-lying homes, docks, and businesses. In the aftermath, there was much rubble along the beach in San Pedro Town. The Phoenix Resort staff, alongside volunteers, host trash clean ups every Saturday morning. This past Saturday, August 6th, volunteers, including local celebrity, Vic Murphy, lent a hand to clear the remains of the storm. Areas that were cleaned included the beachfront, Ecologic Divers, and by Mayan Princess Hotel. With team effort, the areas were cleared of all debris and trash. The Phoenix encourages anyone to come out and volunteer to keep the island trash-free on Saturdays at 8AM. All bags, gloves, and water will be provided. Kudos to everyone who volunteers and joins the cause!

    Supreme Court of Belize rules Section 53 Unconstitutional
    The Belize Supreme Court ended a monumental court case on Wednesday, August 11th striking down the country’s law of punishing ‘intercourse against the order of nature with any other person’, declaring it as unconstitutional. The law is a remnant of the country’s colonial past, and Belize is the first in the entire Caribbean to overturn the anti-sodomy law. It all began in 2010, when LGBTIQ rights activist Caleb Orozco of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) challenged the court with a lawsuit, claiming that Belize’s constitution infringes the right to: human dignity, personal privacy, right to equality before the law, equal protection of the law and freedom from discrimination. Orozco was represented by Attorney Westmin James, and Attorney for UNIBAM, Lisa Shoman.

    Ambergris Today

    US Women’s Gymnastics Team to Celebrate Olympic Gold in Belize
    It looks like the Final Five, the US Women’s Gymnastics Team, will vacation in Belize to celebrate their gold medal achievement at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The five olympic stars have been invited by the Belize Tourism Board to a five-day vacation free of cost. Although competing for the USA female gymnastic team, Belizeans are thrilled that Simone Biles has embraced her Belizean roots and has nothing but great things to say about her Belizean heritage. Her mother Nellie Biles is from Belize; Simone Biles has dual citizenship. She’s been to visit recently, with one of her brothers getting married at Ramon’s Village in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye last year. After they claimed the top two Olympic all-around spots, Simone teammate Aly Raisman joked she’d be crashing Simone Biles’ vacation. “I’m gonna go to Belize with her,” Raisman joked. Now the Belize Tourism Board has invited Biles and the entire Final Five for a visit once they’re done winning medals in Rio. The Final Five includes Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian.

    Work Begins to Move San Pedro Water Taxi Services to Lagoon Terminal
    San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero has made it clear that the water taxi services will be moved to the international terminal that is located on the back side of the island along the Sunset Boardwalk and sports complex. It is just a matter of time when all the arrangement have been carried out to properly facilitate both companies running the water taxi service. The Government of Belize enhanced the lagoon area with a new docking terminal with the intention for it to be put to good use. The $5.6MIL project was completed in 2014 but unfortunately the conditions at the terminal upon completion were not ideal for the water taxis to dock their larger vessels. This has made the job of the Town Council more difficult to relocate the two businesses to the back of the island.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Taiwanese Government Presents Government of Belize with Donation for Relief Efforts
    In a brief ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize City, on behalf of his government, H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho presented the Government of Belize with a cheque valued at US$100,000.00 to assist with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. Ambassador Ho expressed his delight in seeing the resilience and solidarity of the government and people of Belize in the aftermath of the storm, which made landfall on Wednesday, August 3rd, destroying homes and causing serious damage to infrastructure and the agriculture and tourism industries.

    Read the full judgment Of Caleb Orozco vs. the Attorney General of Belize

    Creativity is in full bloom at Stann Creek House of Culture
    Today the Drumming and Sisira Making Workshop concluded, Thanks to all those who made it all possible. Stann Creek House of Culture- NICH, Gulisi Garifuna Museum , Dangriga Town Council , DANGRIGA CABLE VISION, Our Facilitator Mr. John Caliz, and Jeremy Lewis our photographer.

    Belize National Song Competition: 21 songs, 19 performers and the one and only Gilharry 7 Band TONIGHT!
    Rehearsals are in full swing for the finals! Gilharry 7 Band will master more than 20 songs before the big show tomorrow, Aug. 13. See you at 7:30 pm at Memorial Park, Belize City. Enjoy this clip of Barbara Missy B Herrera practicing "Fayah."

    Storm clouds are gone...BIFF is back! Nov. 10-13 in Belize City! SAVE THE DATE

    After 6 days our VIP macaw chicks are back in the Chiquibul, in their flight cage, to fly free soon!
    What a relief! After their evacuation by Boris from FCD the chicks spent 2 days in hurricane shelter at my house, safe from Earl (but what a noise and mess - my apologies to the neighbours for the strange sounds from my house and NO I would never want a macaw as a pet - I just want to see and hear them in the wild..). Then I spent 2 days worrying that their flight cage was destroyed by Hurricane Earl, which had caused a lot more damage than we anticipated (thank goodness we did evacuate!). We upgraded the chicks into a cage while waiting so they would not suffer from "cabin fever" in their hurricane shelter pet carriers. BWRC staff members Godwin Castillo and Gissell Rodriguez switched from husbandry and education to macaw security, camping right next to their cage (Thanks!).

    Hurricane Earl cleanup in Vista del Mar area
    Out and about and lending a helping hand - Today Ambassador Moreno and other Embassy staff volunteers assisted with some post hurricane Earl cleanup in Vista del Mar area.

    'We Won't Pay' Production
    The play was funny and perfect for the small venue that the Belize Soul project, space for the creative arts has. We need more plays like this. Thanks, Wildfire Artz Space! The Soul Project got some great pictures too.

    Queen of the West Pageant 2016
    The Queen of the West Pageant will be on Saturday, July 20th, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium. The contestants will be presented tomorrow, August 13th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. Enjoy the Pageant, and show your support for Jem, Kendra, Maria, Rossanie, and Shameka.

    Channel 7

    Footballer Murdered On His Way To Work
    A man was killed this morning on his way to work. It happened on Dolphin Street in Belize City. The victim is 30 year-old Jason Young, a resident of Sarstoon Street, who's originally from Kraal Road. Young was a well-known first division and Semi-pro footballer. Those closest to him say that he was an athlete, not a gunman or a gangster, and that's why this morning they were stunned to hear that he had been shot and killed. Just after 6:30, he was on his way to his family's Kraal Road home to get a ride, but he never made it. 7News was on the scene when police picked up the murder weapon: Daniel Ortiz reporting: These blood stains on Dolphin Street, in front of Belize Dry Cleaners, marks the spot were 30 year-old John Young, known as "Strength" or "Paxson" fell. Someone ambushed him this morning while he was on the way to work and gunned him down. Those injuries killed him on the spot.

    City Shooting Leads To Intervention
    Police from Precinct 1 also had to respond to another shooting last night just before 10:00. A 17 year-old minor and his relative were hanging out in front of their home on Neal Penn Road when a gunman opened fire on them from the darkness. It was late at night, so there were no eyewitnesses, and there's no evidence at this time to charge anyone. But, police say that they know who the shooter is, and what his motive was. They told us that they will make an intervention between the two parties to try to squash the feud before it escalates further: Sgt. Isai Sanchez - OC, CIB Precinct 1: "Last night at 9:40pm, Cameron Moreira, a 17 year old Belizean student who will now be commencing his 4th form education at Maud Williams, was standing in front of his premises on Neal Penn Road when he was ambushed by a gunman who fired 2 gunshots. Unfortunately, he was hit on his left leg causing a minor injury. He was taken to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated and discharged shortly after. Cameron Moreira is no associate of any criminal activity, he's a student. Motive is unknown, I can definitely say that it was a mistaken person who was shot at and unfortunately Cameron was the victim."

    Police Charge "Eggy"
    So, while Eastern Division South cops investigate the murder of Jason Young, and the shooting of Cameron Moreira, Rural Cops say that they are wrapping up their investigation into a murder which happened before Hurricane Earl. That's the killing of 32 year-old John Williams, the Ladyville resident who was murdered inside his home in the "Japan" area on August second. Police have found their main suspect, 28 year-old Egbert Baldwin, aka "Eggy", a man very well known to investigators. He will be charged with murder shortly - adding to existing charges for attempted murder and armed robbery.

    Bail For Alleged Child Rapist
    He's a lawman who was charged for raping a minor at gunpoint, and tonight 53 year old special constable Addison Gillett was released on bail of $8,000 dollars. Justice John Gonzalez who heard the bail application, and offered it on the condition that Gillett surrender all travel documents to the clerk of court, that does not interfere with the witnesses for the prosecution, that he attend court on each and every adjourned date and that he reports to Belmopan Police Station every Friday, commencing next Friday. The allegation is that some time in May, 2016, Gillett took a 15 year old girl to a hotel, dragged her up the stairs and raped her at gunpoint. He was charged with rape and aggravated assault. Gillett was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley. Crown Counsel Rene Montero Jr. represented the prosecution.

    AIDs Commission Says Judgment Will Result In Fewer HIV Infections For MSM Population
    Last night, we told you how the Evangelical group of churches expressed their disappointment that the Chief Justice has legalized gay sex. Well, the National Aids Commission (NAC), has declared its support for the judgement. As press release from NAC says that it, quote, "recognizes the tireless work of Mr. Caleb Orozco, UNIBAM, and the legal team lead by...Lisa Shoman and Westmin James... (U-RAP) and other... members of the LGBT Community." End Quote. They agree with the judge, that the old Section 53, before it was amended by the Chief Justice, criminalized men for their sexual conduct, and the law breached their right to human dignity.

    FIU Says "DreamCatcher" Is a Pyramid Scheme
    Pay down $2,880 dollars, recruit two friends to do the same, and then collect $23,000 dollars in just a few weeks, no strings attached. It's a deal too good to refuse, and many Belizeans - women in particular - are buying into the so-called "Dreamcatcher scheme". You'll hear it cloaked in the garb of "Women empowering Women" or other such fanciful language, but the experts confirm that this is just one more version of a pyramid scheme, or an endless chain fraud: where the pyramid always collapses, and the chain always ends, leaving those at the bottom, or the end of the chain, out in the cold, and with no way to recover their investment.

    Aragon Denies Mason Financing
    Here on this newscast you've seen many politicians from the ruling party account for their relationship or non-relationship with William Danny Mason - but, now, a UDP Area Rep says one newspaper has gone too far in linking him to Mason. Minister of State Elodio Aragon says he's suing the Belize Times for alleging that Mason gave him a $20,000 dollars campaign contribution to set up his divisional office in Orange Walk East. Today, Aragon posted on his Facebook that the allegation is "completely untrue." He adds, quote, "I consider what they have done an affront to my good name and character." Aragon says he's getting an attorney to review the article.

    Why Did Melissa Ferguson Hide?
    And while politicians are seeking to distance themselves from Mason - tonight his wife Melissa Ferguson is closer than she was a week ago. That's because Ferguson was remanded to prison for conspiracy to kidnapping earlier this week. Belmopan police charged her 48 hours after she turned herself in accompanied by her attorney Dickie Bradley. Now, he has maintained throughout that she's completely innocent, and only had the misfortune of perhaps being on the property when the kidnapping allegedly occurred. But if she is indeed innocent why did she hide out for 18 days after the media put her picture on the news saying that police want her for questioning? That's what we asked Bradley on Wednesday. He said she was acting on the advice of other attorneys who he suggests had her in hiding:...

    Simone Biles, Belizean
    US gymnast Simone Biles is sitting on two gold medals right now - and is already being called one of the greatest gymnasts ever. But, part of that greatness has a strong connection in Belize - because Simone's adopted mother is Belizean, Nellie Cayetano Biles, daughter of former UDP Senator, Silas Cayetano. The Belize Tourism Board quickly seized on that connection and sent out a tweet yesterday inviting Biles and her gold medal team a free trip to Belize. Biles responded with a tweet of her own saying, quote, "my second home, you betta belize we're coming."

    Thanks Taiwan
    Yesterday we told you about the European Union donating 50,000 Euros to relief efforts for Hurricane Earl, well today the government of Taiwan donated $100,000 US dollars to the effort. Ambassador Benjamin Ho handed the cheque over to Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Carla Barnett; and the Minister of State with responsibility for NEMO, Hon. Edmond Castro, accompanied by Minister Tracy Panton. In other news relating to Taiwan, Ministers of State Omar Figueroa, and Angel Campos, will visit Taiwan from August 15th to 19th.

    Youths Show Service in Belize
    The United Nations says that the World's young people make up the largest generation of youth in history. And today, International Youth Day, was set aside to recognize their importance to the world's populations. To celebrate it locally, the Department of Youth Services and the young people who regularly access their services, took some time out to organize a clean up campaign. It's their contribution to the recovery after Hurricane Earl and the Public Relations Officer explained more about it:

    Courts Cares
    Let's face it, school can be expensive, so many students rely on scholarship programs to get them through what their parents normally would not be able to afford. Well today, fourteen students country wide were awarded with scholarships covering tuition and fees through the COURTS "Dare to Dream Scholarship Program." We caught up with some of them after the ceremony, and the general feeling was one of gratitude and excitement. The scholarship is awarded every year to six high school students, seven junior college students and one university student. It is in its eighteenth year, and so far one hundred and twelve students have been awarded in total.

    Hope For Chunox
    There's hope for a polyclinic in Chunox Village in Corozal Southeast after ground was broken on Wednesday. While many in urban areas may take healthcare for granted, these folks have to cross a ferry and then travel another 13 miles to Corozal or 23 miles to Orange Walk to access medical care. That's why a new $900,000 dollar, 5,500 square foot Polyclinic is more than just a building for these folks - even if they have to put in "sweat equity" themselves:… Additionally, a reverse osmosis system, capable of meeting the Polyclinic's water demand, will be installed. Completion of the new Chunox Polyclinic is scheduled for March 2017.

    Channel 5

    A Well-known Football Player is Slain in Belize City
    The city is still reeling from another senseless murder. A well-known footballer was shot and killed early this morning on Dolphin Street. Jason Young left his wife and children at [...]

    High School Student is Shot on Neal Pen Road
    Prior to the murder of Jason Young, there was a shooting in the city. Around nine-forty on Thursday night, seventeen year old Cameron Moreira, a student of Maud Williams High [...]

    Chef Ainslie is Robbed at Gunpoint
    Well-known Belize City businessman Chef Ainslie Castro, former co-host of Creative Caribbean Cooking at the Radisson, is the victim of an armed robbery.  Sometime after one o’clock this afternoon, Chef [...]

    Did William ‘Danny’ Mason Rub Shoulders with ‘Sedi’ Elrington?
    The tale of William “Danny” Mason continues in the headlines. That’s because the feeding frenzy is still rabid.  Numerous ministers and senior public officers have admitted they trekked up Intelco [...]

    Foreign Affairs Minister was not Briefed on Arenal Murder
    On Monday night, a Belizean was murdered on the Guatemalan side of Arenal. Twenty-four year old Mario Estuardo Cunil was stabbed to the chest allegedly by Guatemalan national Rolman Aldana [...]

    Price Barracks Breaks Under Hurricane Earl
    In times of national emergency and natural disaster, Belize Defense Force personnel are among the first responders.  Whether deploying from their headquarters at Price Barracks or from elsewhere, the men [...]

    Taiwan Donates Two Hundred Thousand to Hurricane Relief
    The Government of Belize has received a donation of one hundred thousand U.S. dollars from Taiwan, in the wake of Hurricane Earl.  Relief efforts are ongoing and contributions from various [...]

    Minister of State Barnett Speaks on Belize/Taiwan Relationship
    Present for the handing over of the cheque was Senator Dr. Carla Barnett.  As the newly sworn-in Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Barnett plays a critical role [...]

    Donation Earmarked for NEMO
    In Belize Rural North, the area of the country hardest hit by Hurricane Earl, flood relief continues.  The Relief Supplies Management Committee is mobilizing outreach to people in affected communities [...]

    14 Cases Called Up for Bail Hearing
    As many as fourteen bail applications were heard today; there were no objections to eleven, but in the case of the remaining three sensational cases, there were strenuous objections presented. [...]

    Melissa Ferguson Also Applies for Supreme Court Bail
    The bail application for Melissa Ferguson, the wife of murder suspect William “Danny’’ Mason, also came up but was deferred to Monday because Crown Counsel Rene Montero told the court [...]

    Guatemala Hardens Its Position on Territorial Dispute
    The issue of the Guatemalan claim to Belize has somewhat faded in the background due to the ongoing William “Danny” Mason saga and more recently Hurricane Earl. While we had [...]

    An Agreement on Sarstoon Protocol Expected at Year’s End
    Turning to the Sarstoon, where it appears Guatemala is no longer exerting aggression. The last we heard was that discussions on establishing a protocol would be held between Belize and [...]

    Guatemalan Government Appoints New Foreign Minister
    But when that meeting does come about, will Elrington be meeting with a new Guatemalan Foreign Minister? Reports are that there an impending shake-up in the Guatemalan cabinet and that [...]

    B.T.B. Invites American Gymnast Simone Biles to Belize
    On Wednesday we told you about Simone Biles, the American gymnast with a special Belizean connection, who was all set to dominate in the Olympic Women’s Gymnastics competition.  The competition [...]

    Annual Unicomer Scholarships Awarded
    Today, Unicomer’s Dare to Dream Scholarship program, in its eighteenth year, saw a new cohort of fourteen students benefit from the program. A total of thirty-three applicants were interviewed and [...]

    B.D.F. Wraps Up Annual Summer Program
    Summer camps are winding down and students are preparing to return to classrooms. One of the biggest camps concluded today with a display at Price Barracks. Hundreds of children took [...]

    Summer Camp Concludes at Samuel Haynes Institute
    On the south side of Belize City, the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence organized a closing ceremony for its summer program today. Primary school children participated in the camp that [...]


    Caves Reopen Following Hurricane Earl
    Archaeological sites have been closed following Hurricane Earl as some of them sustained damages. Since then a number of the sites have been reopened. Communications and Marketing Director at NICH, Holly Edgell talked about the reopening of the sites. Holly Edgell commented on the level of damages sustained by the sites, stating that there will […]

    Northern Border Protest Postponed
    A protest that was planned for tomorrow has been postponed. Orange Walk resident, Rene Cuello was spearheading the protest to the northern border in Santa Elena. Cuello is asking that Belizeans who have to cross the northern border to go to the casinos or the Corozal Free Zone not be required to get their passports […]

    COURTS Finances 14 Students’ School Expenses
    Dare to Dream – it is an initiative by Courts that seeks to impress on the importance of education through the sponsorship of educational scholarships for both secondary and tertiary levels. This morning inside the Cahal Pech Room of the Radisson Hotel, fourteen young men and women were awarded with their certificates, gift packages and […]

    Displays of Civic Pride on International Youth Day 2016
    International Youth Day 2016 is being celebrated today in Belize with an initiative that focuses on civic pride, an attribute that the Youth Department seeks to instil in young persons. Several young persons were divided into groups this morning and dispatched to various parts of the city where they embarked on a clean-up campaign following […]


    2 men charged for Belize Day shooting in Chicago
    Belizeans in Chicago held a festival at the Hawthorne Racecourse, a suburb in Stickney, but during the night, gunfire erupted and two women, who were not the intended targets of the gunmen, suffered non-life-threatening gunshot injuries. Reports out of Chicago today confirmed that two men were charged for the shooting. The reports, however, did not indicate a motive for the shooting, nor were the two women who were shot identified. Police charged Jermaine R. James, 34, of Evanston, and Dennis D. Reneau, 38, of Ames, Iowa, with the shooting. Both men are scheduled to appear in Bond Court at the Cook County Courthouse in Bridgeview, police said. James was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, while Reneau was charged with aggravated battery, reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (all felonies).

    Louis “Whiz” Carter, 33, now charged with murder
    –A San Pedro man who was charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm in connection with a shooting incident that occurred on July 13, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning, where a charge of murder was read to him. Louis “Whiz” Carter, 33, was arraigned on the murder charge by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on October 12. Carter was initially charged with the attempted murder of Dwayne Hyde, 30, and aggravated assault upon Hyde’s common-law wife, Kimberly Humes. Carter was remanded to prison when he was arraigned on the attempted murder and other charges on Friday, July 15, when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser.

    SSB charges woman for 13 false sick representations
    Late this evening, a Belize City woman was arraigned on charges that she made false representation to the Belize Social Security Board in order to collect sick benefits for which she was not entitled. Mildred Vassel, 45, an employee of Ready Call Center, located at Mile 13 on the Philip Goldson Highway, was hit with 13 counts of making a false representation to claim sickness benefits. Vassel, a resident of 6 Fabers Road, was brought to the Magistrate’s Court on the strength of a bench warrant that Social Security had secured from the court. Vassel appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, who read the 13 charges to her.

    Belize’s century-old sodomy law overturned
    The law criminalizing “unnatural” sex acts—deemed to principally be a bar against anal sex between homosexuals but which has largely been unenforced for decades—was today struck down in the Belize Supreme Court when Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin used his “blue pencil” to change it, saying that private sex acts between consenting adults would be excluded from the range of acts prohibited by the law. Whereas the LGBT community was jubilant over Benjamin’s decision to effectively decriminalize homosexuality, the churches, which joined the case as interested parties, expressed their outrage. “This is huge for me!” said Caleb Orozco, former executive president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), who was the sole claimant in the case after UNIBAM was removed by the court for lack of standing to bring the constitutional challenge.

    Melissa Ferguson jailed
    Melissa Ferguson, 56, has been remanded to the Hattieville prison after she was arraigned on a charge of conspiracy to kidnap Llewellyn “Pastor Lue” Lucas and Mennonite businessman David Dodd. After eighteen days on the run, during which she was listed as a fugitive at large, Ferguson surrendered herself to Belmopan police in the presence of her attorney on Monday. After she spent forty-eight hours in police custody, police decided to charge her. Ferguson’s initial arraignment at 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon in front of Magistrate Emerita Anderson initially reached an impasse because the charge sheet failed to include whom exactly she had allegedly conspired to kidnap.

    William Mason – first murder, now kidnapping
    William Donny Mason, the man at the center of one of the country’s most bizarre murders, was hauled out of his prison cell today along with three of his co-accused and transported to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where they were arraigned on a charge of kidnapping of a Mennonite businessman and his wife. Mason, along with Keyron Fernandez, Aston Vanegas and Earnest Castillo, appeared before Belmopan Magistrate Emerita Anderson, who arraigned them on the new charge. The prosecution at the arraignment was handled by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, who is a trained attorney. The four men are on remand at the Belize Central Prison on charges of murder and kidnapping for the death of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas, whose head was found in a bucket in Mason’s vehicle in Belmopan.

    Dangriga sports stats
    Week 4 of the Wamule “King of the Court” Basketball Tournament, that was postponed last weekend because of the hurricane, will be played this weekend at Ecumenical auditorium as follows: The Frank “Pawpa” Mena Domino Tournamernt has reached its finals. The finals are a 3-game series. In game 1 last week Sunday at Sexy Thing Kool Spot between Lucky Stars and Paul’s, Paul’s won game 1. Game 2 will be this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Sexy Thing Kool Spot. Another win for Paul’s and they will be crowned the champions. A win for Lucky Stars will force a game 3 on Sunday. Libeme took third place, as they won over Ninjas.

    Fun and games on Wayne “Hogman” Olivera Day
    The picture above is from the 2nd Annual Wayne “Hogman” Olivera Day at St. Martin’s field on Sunday, July 31. Hogman is sharing a joke with old teammates, adversaries and fans. From left to right in the picture are Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, Larry “Charro” Bennett, Wayne “Hogman” Olivera, Oliver “O.T.” Thompson, and “Horsey” Cooper. We will share more pics from the event in a subsequent issue.

    U-10 & U-13 games and Smart 9-A-Side in O.W.
    ORANGE WALK TOWN, Tue. Aug. 9, 2016–U-10 & U-13 football: The Orange Walk Football Association is hosting U-10 and U-13 football games at the Barracks on Saturday, August 13. The re-scheduled times for the games this Saturday are as follows: Saturday, August 13 10:00 a.m. – (U-10) Barcelona vs Minions 11:00 a.m. – (U-10) Real Madrid vs Vibes Alive 1:00 p.m. – (U-13) Corozal Rising Stars vs Barza Shock Waves 2:00 p.m. – (U-13) Minions vs Crystal 3:00 p.m. – (U-13) Vibes Alive vs Black Water

    Excellence once again stops Eagles in their track
    Hello to all my cricket players and fans! Let us all give thanks and praise to the Great One Who, without a doubt, spared us mightily with no lost of lives. Yes, the country had gotten a severe blow but Dear Lord, it could have been worse. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to those that were affected, whether great or small; may you all get assistance quickly. Let us (Government) look not only on one side. This disaster hit both sides of party lines. Enough said. Back to my part of reporting cricket. Thanks to our sponsors, Belikin and Smart, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks Competition continued last week. No report was given due to the storm situation and effects.

    Thoughts on the UNIBAM decision
    The Chief Justice of Belize ruled on Wednesday morning in the Supreme Court that the colonial law which makes sexual relations between men a crime and imposes a ten-year sentence for those convicted of such felony, is unconstitutional. The decision has been three years in the making, and there are knowledgeable Belizeans who have opined that this UNIBAM lawsuit, brought by the one Caleb Orozco, represents a test case with major implications for the other Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean. The case has polarized militants in the Belizean society. On one side are the religious militants, most prominently the evangelical pastors and their organizations, who have vehemently opposed any change in the sodomy law. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Belize, Most Rev. Dorick Wright, has also been extremely aggressive in his campaigning against the liberalization of homosexuality which Wednesday morning’s decision represents.

    From the Publisher
    To my mind, Washington did not throw open the doors of the United States of America to Belizeans after Hurricane Hattie with anything else in mind but permanent displacement of our native population. Belize, as we knew it, has been massively destabilized. Someone at State had a plan. (Sometimes, brothers and sisters, and more and more it has become the case, you have to read between my lines. Washington is nothing to play with, as we would say.) Belizeans in the United States today are scattered, and they are not materially linked and united. But, after the Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, made military threats against Belize in the afternoon of Thursday, April 21, of this year, there was nowhere we Belizeans at home could turn except to Belizeans in the diaspora. Los Angeles Belizeans made a stand, New York Belizeans followed, but there was nothing coming out of Chicago. (The New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago communities are the three largest in the Belizean diaspora.) Today, almost four months after that dramatic and scary Thursday afternoon in April, things have gone quiet on the Sarstoon and in the Chiquibul, although the systematic pillaging of Belizean resources by Guatemalans continues unabated.

    Open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow
    We are the Valley of Peace Maya Farmers Group and below is our story. We hope that you will find a way to help us, as over the past year we have exhausted all our available resources. We are 8 Maya farmers who have been caring for and farming land in Valley of Peace for from between 6 and 17 years. Though it has been a traditional practice of the Maya, dating back thousands of years, to care for the land and grow our fruits and vegetables wherever it is a good place to grow near our homes and villages, all of us have applied to the Lands Department for leases on the lands we have been farming. We were assured by the Lands Department that we would receive the leases and some were even told that their leases had already been approved. Over the years, when visiting the lands office to inquire about the leases, we were told repeatedly not to worry and to keep farming the land, that the paper leases would be forthcoming.

    Let’s Reverse This Injustice In Benque
    Dear Editor, The injustice we are committing against the people of Benque have to be reversed. Through no sin or misdeed of their own depositors at the former Mount Carmel Credit Union have been left with empty pockets and broken dreams. Meanwhile, we as a country just stand on the sidelines with no cause for concern. Almost as if to say, “That’s their problem, not mine”. But the demise of Mount Carmel should be everyone’s concern as it may signal things yet to come. A financial institution with stellar performance and unprecedented growth, Mount Carmel was the envy of its day. Money was pouring in from home and abroad. Dividends were healthy. And the staff was partying! What could go wrong? Who could crash this financial success driven by hard working Benquenos?

    75-year-old man says GSU mistreated him
    Winfield Garnett, a Southside septuagenarian born in September of 1941, was treated like a common thug allegedly at the hands of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU). According to the 75-year-old Pen Road resident, when he arrived home on Monday morning the GSU was conducting a search of a property in the yard where he lives. He was ordered to wait outside the yard, but a few minutes later, he told 7News, he was ordered to kneel down with his hands on his head, along with several young men. Garnett complied, but according to him, he was being verbally abused by an officer and when he responded without any obscene or disrespectful language, he was flogged across the buttocks.

    What next after “bony fish”?
    It is sad to see how our Corozal culture has been set aside to introduce one invented by those who are in charge of the preservation of our identity. There are so many things that can be mentioned which with time it had gradually been on constant changes and prohibition of our eating habits. For many years, from the time I know myself, we were already eating a fish we know here in the North as Macabi, commonly known as “bony fish.” Macabi has a special taste, unlike any other fish, because of the way it is roasted. We have been enjoying the delicacy of such sea food from time which I think there is no information of its beginning. Native and autochthonous Belizeans have been savoring the taste of this delicious fish in “panades” (empanadas) and fish balls. Nonetheless, for some unknown intelligent minds, it has been prohibited for Belizeans to taste their own food. Now, our dear readers, Belize has 174 miles of waterfront, straight into the Caribbean Sea, as far as your eyes can see. It is impossible for a little handful of people to put in danger the extermination of such sea food. But, it seems as if it is of more value for the tourists to use it as bait for their fishing sport. It won’t take too long when we will be STOPPED from cooking rice and beans, since it will be served to us from some unknown transnational corporations which will process and tin it for the Belizean population’s consumption. Of course, for it to be nice and juicy, you’ll have to get yourself a microwave for your rice and beans to be heated.

    3 sisters charged for beat-down of woman in front of her children
    Three sisters who stormed into a woman’s house and beat her in front of her children have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Video footage obtained by Dangriga police, which had gone viral on social media – Facebook – shows Kimberley Lino, the eldest sister, Tiffany Cacho, the second sister and Samantha Lewis, the youngest sister, parking their beach cruiser bicycles in front of Brimimie Martinez’s home and forcing their entry inside. Once inside, the women stripped the victim of her clothes and began to curse, punch, slap and pull her repeatedly in front of her children. The video shows the children crying uncontrollably and running from their home.

    The Reporter

    ROC donates $200,000 in hurricane relief funding
    The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), donated $200,000 today to the Government of Belize for hurricane relief efforts. Ambassador of the ROC to Belize, Benjamin Ho, handed over the cheque this morning at a small gathering at the ROC embassy on North Park […]

    DYS celebrates Youth Day with clean-up campaign
    The Department of Youth Services (DYS) took to the streets today with over 30 youth volunteers in a post-hurricane clean-up initiative commemorating International Youth Day. The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”. The youths, […]

    Man shot dead on south side Belize City
    A man was shot dead this morning on the south side of Belize City, and police are looking for his killer. He was struck in the chest and died at the scene. Jason Young, 31, an employee of Cisco Construction Company, was shot and killed […]

    Man rendered critical by fistfight
    A fistfight Sunday night between a man and two others in Benque Viejo town has left one in a coma and the other facing a series of serious charges. Michael Adrian Pagett, 36, is in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a critical condition […]

    Higher oil prices could save Belize’s petroleum industry
    Oil prices on the world market need to rebound in order to save Belize’s fading petroleum industry, says the Director of the Geology and Petroleum Department, Andre Cho. Cho said this week that of the six companies in Belize with oil concessions, none of them are currently […]

    Senator Carla Barnett now a minister State
    Cabinet now has a new Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Carla Barnett. Governor General Colville Young swore Barnett in as minister at a brief ceremony, held at the Belize House in Belmopan, on Tuesday. Barnett will be working closely with Prime Minister Dean […]

    EU donates EUR$50,000 to hurricane victims
    The European Union (EU), the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid, donated EUR $50,000 or littloe more than BZ $110,000 to Belize in humanitarian funding on Tuesday as a form of responding to the damages caused to Belize by Hurricane Earl. The EU funding aims to assist […]

    Broaster denies having ties to William Mason
    Assistant Commissioner of Police, Edward Broaster, called a press conference this week, to publicly state that he has no connections with accused murderer William Mason. On Tuesday, Broaster, the commander of the police’s Rural Eastern Division, spoke to the media at the Ladyville Police Station, to respond […]

    UNICEF assist families in hurricane shelters
    The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), answering the call for aid, is providing 250 care packages to assist families who have lost their homes and are currently in the hurricane shelters. Over the weekend, representatives from UNICEF ventured to Belize City to visit the different hurricane […]

    Mason’s wife turns herself in
    Melissa Ferguson, wife of accused murderer William ‘Danny’ Mason, surrendered herself to Belmopan police this week, 18 days after police released that she was wanted for questioning in connection with the murder of Llewellyn Lucas. Ferguson showed up at the Belmopan Police Station just before noon on […]

    No More Birds Isle
    The basketball court at Birds Isle became an important landmark in Belize’s sporting and cultural landscape for over four decades, but Hurricane Earl smashed the pre-fabricated steel and wooden structure into a heap of mangled metal and wood when it came ashore Wednesday night. Earl also damaged the Birds Isle […]

    Belize does not have additional mosquito spreading Zika
    Unlike health authorities in Brazil, Belize does not have to expand its Zika virus response strategy because the other species of mosquito found to be carrying the virus, is not native to Belize. The Vector Control Unit of the Ministry of Health confirmed this week that there […]

    Fire victim asking for aid
    David Hauze, a father of four, is pleading for public assistance after his home on Aloe Vera Street was destroyed by fire two weeks ago. Hauze told the Reporter on Thursday that as the new school year is fast approaching he is worried that he will not […] […]

    Church leaders and their legal advisers will be pondering over this benchmark decision of the Supreme Courrt for a long time, and may even be contemplating an appeal. There is a lot to think about, but the rst step is to understand what the judgement means. The ruling means that […]

    Caleb Succeeds! Gay sex now legal in Belize
    Homosexual relations between consenting adults are now legal, after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled in favor of Caleb Orozco in his challenge of Section 53 of the Criminal Code. The Chief Justice delivered his judgment on Wednesday morning, with a one-hour, 29-minute-long summation, ultimately ruling […]

    William Mason: the saga continues
    Accused killer, William Mason, and three of his associates appeared in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to answer to charges of ‘kidnapping’ and ‘unlawful imprisonment’. Mason along with Keiron Fernandez, Ashton Vanegas, and Ernest Castillo appeared in Court on Thursday afternoon, for kidnapping offenses […]

    Facebook post leads to home invasion and assault
    Three women and a boy were charged this week for a brazen home invasion and assault on 24-¬year-¬old Brimmime Martinez in Dangriga last Sunday. According to police reports, the group broke into the home and attacked Martinez in the presence of her two children. Martinez […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BTL working to repair Digicell network
    If you are wondering why your regular Digicell phones are currently out of service – in particular the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts, well the reason is that Belize Telemedia Limited is currently experiencing a, “major outage to its Mobile and DSL broadband services. […]

    Police find weed in Roaring Creek
    Officers attached to the Special Branch Tactical Respond Squad, conducted a search in a lot located on the George Price Highway, in Roaring Creek Village. Reports are indicating that the officers discovered a black plastic bag containing 1,490 grams of cannabis. No one was […]

    Cayo police investigate $13,000 burglary
    Police officers in the Cayo District are currently investigating a burglary in the village of Unitedville. Rudolph Clarke, 67, reported to police that on the 4th of August while he was out of the country he received information that someone had broken into his […]

    Simone Biles bringing international exposure to Belize
    Simone Biles, the 19-year-old US gymnast currently dominating the Rio Olympics who holds dual citizenship with Belize, is bringing immense international exposure to the country as she embraces Belize as her second home. Biles, whose grandmother is originally from Belize, has publicly stated her […]

    Man shot and killed in Belize City this morning
    Reports reaching our newsroom are that Jason Young, 31, was shot and killed in Dolphin Street this morning. According to reports, the incident happened around 6:40 a.m. and the suspect was able to make a good escape but dropped his firearm while being chased […]


    Simone Biles & Final Five US Womens’ Olympic Gymnastic Team Are Coming to Belize
    It’s hard not to see the magic in the Olympics… After all the months…years of hearing how countries practically bankrupt themselves to host, how athlete or entire countries are being busted for drugs and doping, about Zika, about corruption at the highest level, all is forgotten as soon as the opening ceremony starts and the parade of glowing athletes, who have worked their entire lives to get to this spot, march around the stadium. There are a few mega-stars this year – Michael Phelps of the USA, Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Simone Biles, American-Belizean. Those who are bound for Wheaties boxes world-wide. But Simone, only 19, is being called the best gymnast ever. Yes she represents the United States – it is the country of her birth and where she has lived and trained but did you know that her mother, Nellie, is from Belize? Her mom, born Nellie Cayetano, is Garifuna. And Simone has dual citizenship – AND her Belize passport. She visited here just last year and stayed at beautiful Ramon’s Village.

    International Sourcesizz

    Why Belize is celebrating the Olympic victories of USA's Simone Biles
    Even before this year’s Olympics, Simone Biles had already catapulted onto cereal boxes on the strength of her 14 world championship medals, the most ever for an American female gymnast. But the Rio games have lifted her into something like Olympic immortality – and perhaps elevated the profile of Belize, where Ms. Biles has dual citizenship. After Biles took home gold for the United States in the individual all-around gymnastics final on Thursday, the Belizean national board of tourism tweeted their congratulations, inviting her and the four other members of the US female gymnastics team to vacation there. “My second home, you betta belize we’re coming,” she tweeted back. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Ms. Biles grew up in a Houston suburb, where she was adopted by her maternal grandfather and his second wife, Nellie – daughter of a prominent Belize City family – while her biological mother struggled with addictions to drugs and alcohol. The gymnast regards her grandparents as her parents, and has taken up Nellie’s origins as her own.

    Belize Trigger For Rapid-Fire Reform
    THE EDITOR, Sir: On August 10, the Commonwealth Caribbean witnessed a watershed moment. Laws criminalising consensual sexual activity between adults were found unconstitutional in the Supreme Court of Belize in the case of Caleb Orozco v Attorney General of Belize. It is true that the possibility of an appeal should temper whatever celebrations are occurring, but the significance of the ruling should not be lost upon us. Emily Shields called it "a blow to fundamentalism" - and indeed it was. In his ruling, the chief justice of Belize rubbished arguments that because of the reference to the "Supremacy of God" in the preamble of the Constitution, Christian hegemony was allowed to hold sway over the law. He agreed with the claimant that such a reference to God pointed to the origins of law itself rather than signalling that Christianity was supreme in a diverse society like Belize which guaranteed the freedom of conscience and religion.

    IDB supports Belize with emergency assistance in response to Hurricane Earl
    The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will support the government of Belize’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to communities affected by Hurricane Earl with a US$200,000 grant. The objective of the grant is to support the National Emergency Management Organization’s (NEMO) efforts to assist vulnerable populations in communities damaged by high winds and floods in various parts of the country. Based on NEMO’s initial assessment of the most immediate needs, the bank’s assistance will support government efforts to provide the required relief in the hardest hit communities in the Belize, Cayo, Orange Walk and Stann Creek Districts.

    La découverte du plus grand tombeau maya au Belize
    Le 26 juillet dernier, l’équipe archéologique de la Northern Arizona University (Floride) et de l’Institut d’archéologie du Belize, emmenée par l’archéologue américain Jaime Awe, a exhumé la plus importante tombe maya connue à ce jour au Belize. Le site de Xunantunich, situé sur la rivière Mopan à la frontière avec le Guatemala, a ainsi dévoilé pour la première fois une chambre funéraire vieille de 1300 ans, de 5 à 8 mètres de profondeur, desservie par une volée d’escaliers et renfermant de nombreux documents d’histoire. Un corps, que les analyses scientifiques ont pu déterminer comme étant celui d’un homme de 20 à 30 ans, a été retrouvé couché sur le dos, la tête vers le Sud. Jaime Awe le décrit : « L’analyse préliminaire des ostéopathes révèle que l’homme était sportif et « assez musclé » à sa mort ». Il était accompagné de tout un mobilier funéraire (13 lames en obsidienne, 36 céramiques, des perles de jade, une roche sacrée pour les Mayas) ainsi que d’ossements d’animaux.

    From hickatees to grizzly bears
    Two weeks ago this morning I flew out for eight days in Belize. I was leading a mission team from our church on a project to help build a church camp in a remote area southwest of Belize City, Belize. While we were able to complete two good days of labor on our project, our plans were interrupted by a little storm called Hurricane Earl. This was my first hurricane, and the first for all 14 members of our team. The trip had been planned for nearly a year in advance and the first we heard of any storm headed toward Belize was during a layover at the airport in Dallas the morning we headed down. We spent that Wednesday helping our host missionary couple prepare their home in Ladyville, a suburb of Belize City, for the pending growing tropical depression (the storm reached hurricane status later that evening, a couple hours before making landfall). When we returned to our hotel in Belize City, only three blocks from the Caribbean Sea, all the windows and doors were already boarded up and every planter and outside decoration was removed. We rode out the storm with all 14 mission team members huddled in upstairs hotel rooms since it was anticipated the storm surge from the sea would flood the lower floor of the hotel. Fortunately the leading edge of the storm surge only reached about 10 feet from the front door. (Keep in mind that most of Belize City is only a few inches above sea level and is protected by a very short sea wall.)



  • Belize Manatee Drone Video, 1min. Check out the great footage by Eric Ramos of the City University of New York of George the manatee and historic St. George's Caye in Belize.

  • San Pedro, Belize 2016 - Gopro Hero 4, 4min.

  • Citizen Science GIS Meets Hopkins Village, Belize, 8.5min. Documentary of the 2016 GIS Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Belize

    August 12, 2016

    For the latest on Tropical Storm Earl, click here


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Fire victims receive funds
    After a blazing June 26th fire affected San Pedro, dozens of families, individuals, and businesses were left without basic necessities and commodities. Public donations were raised on Reef Radio/TV via a telethon, amounting to $247,778.77, and on Tuesday, August 9th, the fire victims gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den to receive their relief grant. The telethon has been called the biggest fundraiser in San Pedro history, and Eiden Salazar of Reef Radio/TV stated that two more donations are still pending, which will allow the figures to increase to $260,000. Since the deadline to collect funds was set for Sunday, July 31st, a final assessment meeting took place to discuss the method and formula of the distribution of money.

    3rd Season of 5-a-side football Tournament kicks off
    After a week of crowning six champions, the Island Citizens Sporting Club (ICSC) and the San Pedro High School (SPHS) is back in action with their third season of 5-a-side Football. The tournament officially started on Thursday, July 28th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. As in the previous edition, the 5-a-side Football Tournament is divided into three categories to better accommodate all levels of athletes: little leagues, females and male seniors. Due to Hurricane Earl, the second and third week of games were postponed and rescheduled. The second week of games were scheduled for this past weekend. Here are the scores:

    Team Super Fly reels in the Tres Pescados Slam championship
    The 8th annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament was held on Saturday, August 6th and saw 15 teams of professional anglers joining the competition this year. Only one team could take the coveted prize, and this year, that is Team Super Fly! Courtney Smith (solo angler) took second place and Team El Diablo settled for third place. The boats left early on Saturday and by 3PM all catches had to be checked in. Anglers gave it their all as it was just one day to try and win the big prize, a Grand Slam of catching all three fish. Shortly after 7Pm, all participants then gathered at the Caprice Bar and Grill for the awards banquet. Organizer Will Flack of Tres Pescados Fly Ship thanked everyone for participating and salvaging the tournament despite the obstacles of the hurricane. During the award ceremony the prizes for the top three teams were handed out. El Diablo in third place walk away with $2,000, Courtney Smith in second place with $3,000 and team Super Fly was awarded the top prize of $5,000.

    Hurricane Earl causes over $10 million in damages on Ambergris Caye and Caulker Caulker
    NEMO reports around $30,000 in damages to households in both Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker were incurred. Along the eastern coast of Ambergris Caye, from the 252 docks that line the coast, 227 were affected, while 135 were totally destroyed. The assessment also includes several dive shops which were partially or totally destroyed due to the strong winds and surges caused by the hurricane. The grand total in damages is estimated at $11 million dollars. According to the report from NEMO, each dock is estimated to cost between $80,000 and $95,000 without any additional structures on them. Meanwhile, on the neighbouring island of Caye Caulker, out of the 54 docks which also includes dive shops, a total of 49 were affected. The amount of docks completely destroyed amounted to 30, while the total figure in damages added up to $2.5 million. Many of the families affected on Ambergris Caye are from the San Mateo subdivision, where several homes were heavily damaged.

    The Santander Group exports first sugar shipment
    On Friday, July 29th, The Santander Group exported its inaugural shipment of product to Europe. The shipment of 6,250 tonnes of raw sugar signifies the company’s first harvest of May 2016. The product is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Santander in Spain within the next two weeks. “The Santander Group has invested in the expansion of The Port of Big Creek and both parties have been working together for months in preparation of this shipment. It was a proud day for all involved and a historic event for The Port of Big Creek and Southern Belize. They continue to work together on growing the port facilities in order to accommodate even larger vessels,” stated Louise Roe, Marketing and Sales Coordinator at The Santander Group.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize is the First Country in the Caribbean to Overturn its Sodomy Law
    On August 10, 2016, the Belize Supreme Court made a historic ruling in favor of gay activist Caleb Orozco, and has struck down the country’s anti-sodomy law. This is the first case launched in the Caribbean and the first case where the sodomy laws have been overturned. The case was brought to court in 2010, heard in 2013 and the ruling came on August 10, 2016. The long process has been spearheaded by Caribbean allies, activists, advocates, academics, and legal experts. Orozco challenged the law claiming that it infringes on the ‘Protections of the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms’ of the individual guaranteed by Belize’s constitution.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Whoot whoot way to go Crazy Canucks Beach Bar! No stoppin' them!
    Replaced the bar rail with a new table a few wrap-around table tops. Adding a few more 'drinking areas' this weekend. Horseshoe pits and a new palapa/seating area are also in the works. Hurricane Earl can't stop us!

    Taiwan Nephrologist and dialysis nurse will come to Belize
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that Taiwan nephrologist, Dr. Kai-Hsiang Shu, and dialysis nurse, Ms. Ju-Fen Chiang of Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, will provide clinical training for Belize seed instructors in Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and La Loma Luz Hospital from August 15th to September 14th. The seed instructors of the Chronic Renal Failure Project in Belize are Dr. Glenford Jones, Dr. Marvin Camal, Ms. Michelle Cassimiro and Mr. Dieudonne Sah Tiemula. They are going to finish their training this week in Taiwan and return to Belize to accept the clinical training which will focus on clinical application and practical technique.

    Caleb Orozco - Victorious Against Sodomy Law
    "If my community wants to fight for gay marriage we now know they have every right to go to court and litigate the issue. My organisation is concerned with socioeconomic, civil and political rights issue of the community." Pastor Lance Lewis - Pres. National Evangelical Assoc of Belize "The church believes in marriage between a man and a woman and therefore sex between a man and a woman is what the church believes. To make a law now that strike out the law that says it's okay to have between male and male, female and female is against the word of god, it is in my mind against the original constitution of Belize and therefore it will bring all types of ills on our society. We already have several problems this year, storms of different types and maybe more."

    This year's 2016 events will take place August 12th-August 16th. San Joaquin, Belize - The San Joaquin Community and Fiesta Committee are pleased to announce the 50th Anniversray of the San Joaquin Fiesta. The Fiesta, considered the biggest of its kind in northern Belize, commenced on Monday August 8th with the ceremonial running of the torch from Bacalar, Mexico to San Joaquin/Corozal, and Novenas, which continue for nine nights, at the San Joaquin Catholic Church. Major activities continue of Friday, August 12th with the Novena at 5:00 p.m. followed by the inauguration ceremony for the Jubilee Anniversary of the celebration at 7:30 p.m. There will also be the crowning of Miss San Joaquin Fiesta 2016, cultural presentations, fireworks, a public dance and mechanical rides. The Fiesta culminates on Tuesday, August 16th with the final Novena at 4:00 p.m. with a Marimba presentation from Benque Viejo's "La Voz De La Selva", a Mass in honour of the patron saint of the community San Joaquin, fireworks, and a public dance feauturing Corozal's famous Gilharry 7. Who was San Joaquin? This saint is regarded as the father of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

    A group of Belizeans from the north, particularly Orange Walk, will be leading an excursion this Saturday August 13th at 1:00 p.m. across the Corozal, Santa Elena border point in an effort to sensitize Belizeans of our free movement and passage within our borders. The excursion to the Corozal northern border is being led by Geovanni De La Fuente and Rene Cuello in an effort to challenge their point, that it is not necessary to stamp our passport, as Belizeans, at our immigration when visiting the casinos that are outside the Corozal Commercial Free Zone but in Belizean territory. If you are interested to join call Mr. Cuello at 670-6074.

    It was a Miss Belize taken over at Cafe Michel'le in Belize City for lunch!
    The delegates also had a few special guests! The pageant is Sept. 10 at Bliss Center for Performing Arts... You cam meet the delegates in person tonight at 7pm, poolside at the Best Western Biltmore Belize during their official presentation.

    The Miss Belize delegates visited the Open Your Eyes show
    T introduce themselves! You can meet them, too: Tonight at 7 pm Best Western Biltmore Belize poolside. No cover charge for the official presentation

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Playing this Weekend!! Friday Saturday and Sunday. New Projectors coming soon! Money Monster, Neighbors 2, The Jungle Book, Warcraft.

    Monkey electrocuted
    Due to the destruction of the trees and forest caused by hurricane Earl in the Community Baboon Sanctuary, a troop of monkeys who tried to cross the road to the other side , and who were sadly interrupted and constantly being chased back by a tour operator just to keep them in his yard to make money, have caused this adult to try something else . The poor monkey tried to cross the road to join his troop where he could not be bothered again after being chased back several times by this person . His only option now was to try the high tension wires that ended his life in a horrific way . This is very sad to see the length people will go to make money. These monkeys are strickly vegetarians feeding on a strick diet from a variety of leaves and fruits each day .They must be left alone to freely roam to find their food especially now when most of their food supply is being destroyed by Earl . I'm appealing to the tour operator/ tour guide to please stop bothering, harrassing the monkeys so they can roam freely please !!! A monkey croosing bridge was there but was destroyed by the same tour operator simple because he does not want the monkeys to leave his yard so they can be easy viewing for visitors .

    VIP macaw chicks back in the Chiquibul
    What a relief! After 6 days our VIP macaw chicks are back in the Chiquibul, in their flight cage, to fly free soon! After their evacuation by Boris from FCD the chicks spent 2 days in hurricane shelter at my house, safe from Earl (but what a noise and mess - my apologies to the neighbours for the strange sounds from my house and NO I would never want a macaw as a pet - I just want to see and hear them in the wild..). Then I spent 2 days worrying that their flight cage was destroyed by Hurricane Earl, which had caused a lot more damage than we anticipated (thank goodness we did evacuate!). We upgraded the chicks into a cage while waiting so they would not suffer from "cabin fever" in their hurricane shelter pet carriers. BWRC staff members Godwin Castillo and Gissell Rodriguez switched from husbandry and education to macaw security, camping right next to their cage (Thanks!). It took Friends for Conservation and Development - FCD rangers and research team another 2 days to cut through all the downed trees on the road, but then we were so relieved to learn that flight cage, lab and all buildings were spared by Earl! So yesterday we took a long drive and the chicks arrived safely home - and I happily turned over the responsibility for these precious babies to Gabriel Lopez and Francisco Galicia from FCD again. It takes a team! Thank Goodness we are part of an amazing team of organisations working for macaw conservation.

    A Youth Hurricane Relief Effort
    The Department of Youth Services is hereby inviting all young persons out on Friday, August 12th, which will be celebrated as International Youth Day. A Youth Hurricane Relief Effort is being organized for this day and the plan is to have as many young people involved in the cleanup and restoration efforts which are currently ongoing within Belize City. This will offer our young people an opportunity to meaningfully give back to their community. The clean-up will start at 9:00 am but the department is asking that everyone meet at the office at 55 Regent Street by 8:30am so that they can be organized. Food, refreshments and entertainment will be provided in order to make it a fun activity. Let us do our part for Belize!

    Belize strikes down anti-sodomy laws
    The Belize Supreme Court on Wednesday made a historic ruling in favour of gay activist Caleb Orozco, and has struck down the country’s anti-sodomy law. This is the first case launched in the Caribbean and the first case where the sodomy laws have been overturned. The case was brought to court in 2010, heard in 2013 and the ruling came on Wednesday. The long process has been spearheaded by Caribbean allies, activists, advocates, academics, and legal experts. Orozco challenged the law claiming that it infringes on the ‘Protections of the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms’ of the individual guaranteed by Belize’s constitution.

    Basketry Workshop
    A wonderful experience was had by all participants of the Basketry Workshop this week. A kind thank you to all of our basket makers who created their own unique baskets. We are very grateful to our facilitators Hector and Maria Villamil of Xaibe Village for passing on their knowledge of this art form, congratulations to all!!

    Full Basket Belize 2016 Scholarship Program
    Full Basket Belize raised enough to send 34 students to high school this coming year. 5 are in Cayo, with 3 of those choosing Sacred Heart College, and 1 choosing both Mopan Tech and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Best of luck to all the lucky students. Thanks, FBB! "Brains, ambition, and good study habits alone will not get a Belizean child into secondary school. It also requires, on average, over $800 USD per student per year. This is a formidable financial barrier to many Belizean families. In the past eleven years, your donations have enabled FBB to provide scholarships to 170 needy Belizean students. Full Basket Belize scholarships pay for tuition, fees, books, and uniforms for these students. Without scholarship funding, these promising scholars would not be able to attend high school. They sincerely appreciate the support that our organization makes possible through your generous donations. We — and they – sincerely thank you!! Your support to the FBB Scholars Program is making a meaningful investment in the future of Belize."

    Official presentation of the Miss Belize delegates...

    The legendary Belizean Cross Country cycling champion of the 1980 Belize Cross Country Cycling Classic has died. Vasquez who rode to prominence in winning the most popular Belizean sporting past time the Belize Cross Country was found dead in his sleep according to family sources in Los Angeles, California where the former Belizean cyclist lived since his migration from Belize in the 1980's. Belizean Legends wish to expresses its condolences to the family of Alexander Vasquez who throughout his life and his struggles have always been a very kind and beautiful brother in the Los Angeles Belizean Community where he lived and became an activist at one time in the Belizean organization called, The Winners. Yours truly spent some quality time with Vasquez in 2014 while trying to make a documentary on his life as a Belizean cross country champion. Though it didn't materialize, my many conversations with the legendary Alexander was refreshing as he chronicled the highlights of that very race in 1980 when he went against some of the best, including the legendary Kenrick Halliday and won. Vasquez would allude that he knew he was a better sprinter than the legendary Halliday, and said that he knew that very day that he was going to win, and that he was the best of them all that year being that he knew how much training went into his race.

    The mystical magic of the Birds Isle sporting venue in Belize City, Belize, that Dr. Colville Young, now Belize's Governor General called, "a paradise on earth" in his song, Birds Isle, is no more. At least since Hurricane Earl that devastated Belize City on August 3, 2016, and completely destroyed what use to be Belize's most eclectic sports arena in the country where electrifying Belizean basketball, boxing, volleyball, indoor football, dances, and musical shows were performed in the 1970's and 80's. Let's give the Birds Isle Sporting Complex a big up here in terms of the fact that it provided sports recreation and a basketball sporting outlet that developed all the 70's 'Ballers of that time. When you juxtapose it alongside the 1960's St. Ignatius basketball complex, if we can called them that, you find that Birds Isle rose above being that it provided a more quality basketball venue of its time. While we cannot really call it a state of the art "wooden court", it was a step up from the cement court at St. Ignatius School that was ruining the knees of many a basketball players. And that the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall on the northside of Belize City also had a wooden court that was not really state of the art but nevertheless a better cushion for the developing basketball players of that time.

    BELIZE'S WONDER WOMEN! The Women Who Help Make Belize Great!
    For the month of August we are proud to announce that Mrs. Maria Esther Morales is our Belize Wonder Woman! Maria “Esther” Morales was born in El Salvador, but moved to Belize as a small child. Though Esther was unable to complete her formal education, she worked hard to learn to read and speak English and earned a living as a domestic worker cleaning houses and taking care of children. Esther’s love for children is apparent in her work and the children she cares for thrive under her care. Though Esther loves her work with children and has built a strong reputation as a domestic engineer among the families she works with, she is strongly committed to the well-being of her own three children.

    Channel 7

    Danny Mason And Alleged Accomplices Back To Court
    Last night, we told you about Melissa Ferguson, the wife of accused murderer William Danny Mason, who was arraigned and remanded for conspiracy to commit the kidnapping of murdered Pastor Lewellyn Lucas and David Dodd. Well today, William Danny Mason was brought back to court for the kidnapping of Canadian Lloyd Freisen and his wife, Rosie. This is the case where Freisen, who was a major grain producer operating out of Spanish Lookout, claims that Mason conned him out of 300 thousand dollars. Freisen told police that Mason misrepresented himself as a shipping agent who could facilitate the importation 300 thousand dollars' worth of corn through Argentina which never materialized. Freisen told Mason to return his money. He didn't and after an extended time of Freisen pressing him to give back cash, Mason reportedly invited him to his Intelco Hill home in Belmopan for a meeting.

    Mason, Says More From Behind Prison Walls
    So, Mason has a second set of charges to answer to, but, he has been giving plenty of answers to the press via telephone from behind prison bars. For the past 2 days, we've featured parts of the phone conversation which he had with the Amandala. Well tonight, courtesy our colleagues from Love News, we can share more comments from William Mason. This time he spoke to reporter Renee Trujillo, and directly takes on the discovery of the head of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, which police say was in his vehicle. That was on Friday, July 15th, and though, we've never heard his side of the story, his attorney, Herbert Panton, was confident that the police's evidence was not as airtight as they were asserting to the public. Here he is explaining his time at the bar, and how the police allegedly did not search his car in his presence: Renee Trujillo - Love News: "Could we go back to the night of July 15. What were you doing at the bar? And, how did that night unfold with the officers?"

    Mason Threatens Barrow Administration
    So, how does Mason account for his wife now being accused of conspiracy to kidnap Pastor Lucas and David Dodd? Well, Mason told Love News that it's simply the police targeting and harassing her to get to him. More than that, He made a threat against the Barrow Administration saying that if anything happened to her, he would release 3 scandalous videos which would hurt sitting ministers of Government. Here's that part of the phone conversation: William Mason - Speaking From Prison: "I just wanna say for the record, anything happens to me or my wife - now they are targeting my wife - I will make public 3 videos that's going to go worldwide, virally, okay?" Renee Trujillo - Love News: "Would you like to go on record to make that very comment you were saying about your wife having nothing to do with this considering that she's being charged today?"

    More Church Disquiet About Supreme Court Judgment
    The landmark Caleb Orozco decision, in which the Supreme Court has legalized gay sex made headlines on all Jamaica electronic newscasts last night, and is being picked up news outlets all over the world. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin's decision from yesterday was to simply make an amendment to Section 53 of the criminal code by adding the clause, "This section shall not apply to consensual sexual acts between adults." It's a small change with a big meaning, and it provides the first foothold for gay rights in Belize. And not surprisingly, the churches are completely against it. We spoke to the senior leaders of the National Evangelical Association of Belize yesterday, and the other group of evangelicals, the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches sent out a press release this afternoon.

    Streets Not Happy With Supreme Court
    But just going by the kind of talk you hear on bus or the streets, the majority of society is not so respectful of the court. So, while the LGBT Community is rejoicing, many others are fuming. We know that the churches are solidly against it, but what about the broader public? We took to the streets to find out. Interviewee #1: "I think that the victory that their acclaiming is a vicious and undermining attack on not only African families or people of African descent but on all families. Family stability and family wellbeing determine the state of a nation, come on, sickness mentality? How are you going to promote good health in your nation?" Interviewee #2: "As a Christian, the bible makes it very clear that the gospel must be preached in all the world to all people including the UNIBAM or whosoever choose that lifestyle. The gospel has powers through Jesus Christ to restore everyone. That is not a life that is pleasing before god and his word. The reason why Jesus came into the world is to free people from this bondage of sin."

    CEMO Starts Delivering Housing Supplies
    One week after Hurricane Earl, Belize City and other storm-affected communities are starting to come around. Now, don't get us wrong, over a hundred are still in shelters, and many homes are still not in a live-able state. And that's why NEMO started rolling out housing relief supplies today. We met the CEMO team in the Collett Area and councilor Phillip Willoughby says that this first stage is for the do-it-yourself-ers:... Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor, CEMO: "These are self-health material, this is not the initial outlay roll out to reconstruct homes, just people with minimal damage. As you can see, there are several damaged zincs on the roof. Those that are down there have been delivered with the screws of course and they will proceed to do the requisite changing of the zincs. We have the technical people now on the ground checking to see what actually the damage is, and based on what the damages are, then we come back after they have signed off on it and we make the deliveries." Jules Vasquez: "You know there are so many people in need and the criticism will be that you all are only hurrying these resources to favored persons or maybe to UDP persons and that sort of thing."

    Area Rep Says He Will Send Them to Find NEMO
    Those storm-affected persons in Belize City who haven't gotten assessed yet are being referred to the Department of Human Services. And while that's the formal system, the political culture in Belize dictates that these persons go directly to their area representatives, especially if he is a member of the ruling party. We found a few dozen lining up to see Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan on his clinic day today. He said he could only help by sending them to NEMO:... Jules Vasquez: "This is the first clinic after the hurricane, why are all those people down there sir?" Hon. Michael Finnegan: "Well I guess they were probably affected by the hurricane and they are here to see how I can probably help them." Jules Vasquez: "But the prime minister has said that you cannot help them because NEMO can help them, but area representatives have no hurricane relief to disburse." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "No but they are representatives who can direct them to where they ought to go." Jules Vasquez: "Well I can also just give them the phone number on the news."

    City Takes A Break From Garbage Collection
    And while storm affected persons turn to NEMO and CEMO for material relief, they're asking the city to pick up all the garbage and debris generated by Hurricane Earl. The storm plowed down trees and wrecked household appliances - and someone has to pick all of it up. The city workers have been doing a commendable job, working countless extra hours - but to some extent they have been doing it in vain - because every time they clear a street, then someone else puts out their mess. And that's why at this time, the city is a taking a break from all that garbage. Councilor Willoughby explained today:.. Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor, CEMO: "Encouraging at this time home owners to put out their waste so that we can better and properly coordinate the collection of those waste. I know in our briefing this morning Hon. Anthony Martinez mentioned that there will be a team designated from on his side to deal with the demolition and removal of these homes as well as the property. So that will be observed from that angle through that initiative."

    Churches Chipping In To Relief Effort
    And while CEMO and NEMO are doing their best to keep up with the community's needs - others are chipping in as well. We caught up with a group called the New Fire Ministry today and they told us about their initiative to distribute food hampers in concert with a church group from Arizona:... Dennis Tillett, New Fire Ministries Belize: "We have to thank the almighty father first, the good lord, he has sent some people away to help us help out the people who are in real need, not the people that have, but the people that are in need. Its non-governmental, it's nonprofit, it's just some people from one of the ministries out of Alabama that came in and I'm apart of them. We're on the second phase of our relief by the way, you guys just came to us so I just want to say that we went out this morning and we really took care of a lot of people in the Jerusalem area. We're about to go in the Jane Usher area from here on, so the relief is on the way. we started off since yesterday about 9 o'clock yesterday morning, these people came in and they were assisting us with a little bit of finance and we went to purchase a couple of flour, some rice, beans, basic comedies that people need in their household."

    Modiri Wants More
    And switching now to court news, Michael Modiri is appealing his May judgement handed down by Justice Shona Griffith who awarded him $150,000 in damages against Bradley Paumen. Today, Modiri's attorney Nazira Myles filed a notice of appeal challenging the quantum of damages awarded to her client. Attorney Miles appeared in court at 9:00, but the respondent Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark night and Daylight Adventure Tours, was a no show in court. Still, after 11:00 this morning, the matter was dealt with and filed. Both sides now have until October to make applications in writing so that the matter can go before the court of appeal. Modiri, it seems, is not satisfied that $150,000 was enough to pay for the damages. The court gave Modiri compensation of 150 thousand dollars, and an additional award of exemplary damages of another 150 thousand dollars.

    Belize And Guatemala: Two Nations, Shared Environmental Resources
    Last night we showed you a snippet of the Chiquibul Forest from above. Well, tonight we have the full story. FCD Rangers are constantly monitoring and patrolling the forest as best they can but Guatemalan poachers still keep crossing the border and pillaging Belizean resources. In fact, the incursions have increased this year in certain areas of the Chiquibul. Courtney Weatherburne went west yesterday to find out how serious it is and to examine the Guatemalan perspective on this issue. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Over 30 years, the Chiquibul Forest has been ruthlessly invaded and pillaged. Guatemalan poachers have extracted gold, timber, Xate and rare species and have destroyed countless acres of lush forest land for illegal farming in Belize, denuding many areas in the forest. It is a reality that forest Manager Derick Chan and his team confront every day. One of the ways this persistent problem is brought into perspective Is through an aerial assessment.

    Is The Power of Elected Ministers Being Diluted In Cabinet?
    As we told you on Tuesday, Cabinet met with a new member, Minister Of State In The Ministry Of Finance Dr. Carla Barnett. She becomes the third senator brought up to the Cabinet - and her ascent, along with the portfolio upgrade for Vanessa Retreage, suggests a further dilution of the power of elected representatives, and the Prime Minister's confidence in them to administrate competently and scrupulously. So what's the mood like in cabinet now with these changes? That's what we asked the UDP de-facto party whip today and he went into an entertaining digression on political history:.. Hon. Michael Finnegan: "The government is trying to put its best foot forward and if you are trying to put your best foot forward and you have to go outside of elected representative to do that, I don't see any problem with that." Jules Vasquez: "However, isn't it an indication that the Prime Minister does not have a confidence in the elected representatives of which you are one?"

    Breastfeeding At Work
    And while Finnegan delivers them sunny side up, for mothers with young babies, what they have to deliver is breast milk. And, for most of them, asking existing or potential employers if they have a breast feeding area at the work place, can be very uncomfortable. But the Ministry of Health says this is a discussion mothers must have with their bosses. Today at the Women in Workplace Forum, bosses from different sectors were invited to learn more about the importance of supporting breast feeding at the workplace. The coordinators told us more about the importance of this event. There is no law in place forcing employers to consider a woman's breast feeding needs at work but the Ministry of Health is working with the Labour Department to draft a policy. For now, it is up to the compassion and discretion of employers.

    SSB Alleges She Got Paid For Sick Leave, But Was Busy Working
    Compassion is just what Social Security says one working woman abused. 45 year old Mildred Vassel, an employee of Ready Call was yesterday dragged to court on 13 counts of "made a false representation claim to sickness benefits." Social Security says that between February 26, to November 22, 2015, she made claims for sickness benefits a total of 13 different times. It is further alleged that she visited a doctor and reported sick between those periods and then later brought in sick paper documents, knowing she was not sick. During all those periods, it was revealed that she was working still at the Ready Call office and collecting a regular pay check. After the facts were read out in court to Vassel, she did not agree with them, and Magistrate Mendoza entered an equivocal plea of not guilty on her behalf and the case was adjourned for September 5, 2016.

    PUC And Caribbean Talk Internet Governance
    Caribbean Internet experts information technology policy makers are in Belize for the 12th annual Caribbean Internet Governance Forum. Participants discuss internet challenges and regional priorities. And PUC Chairman John Avery says it's all about making the internet work for you: Because uptake from Belizean government departments was very poor, Avery says he plans to have a local internet governance forum to bring everyone to the table.

    Olympics Kicks Into High Gear For Caribbean
    And before we close tonight, a correction to the story we ran last night in Belize's Olympic team. We said that all three members of Belize's Olympic team are foreign born, raised and resident. Well, our apologies to judo competitor, Renick James who was born, raised and resides in Belize. Olympic coverage continues on Channel 7 tomorrow with the start of the track & field competition tomorrow. In total for tomorrow, there there will be 46 Caribbean athletes competing in Athletics, Rowing, Shooting, Sailing, Cycling, and Badminton.

    Channel 5

    Additional Charges of Kidnapping Brought Against William Mason
    Accused murdered William “Danny” Mason left the Belize Central Prison momentarily today for another court appearance. Under heavy police guard, he was transported to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court in a [...]

    Mason’s Attorney A No-show in Belmopan Court
    As we said, the Friesens have once again returned to Canada because of the ordeal they endured during their kidnapping.  We asked court prosecutor Chester Williams if their absence from [...]

    National AIDS Commission Welcome Section 53 Decision
    A groundbreaking decision on the constitutionality of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code was handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Wednesday after a three-and-a-half year delay in judgment.  [...]

    NAC Says Condom Usage Among Male Inmates at Central Prison is Banned
    While the issue of men having sex with men is not limited to the free society, at the Belize Central Prison homosexual intercourse among inmates is also widespread.  According to [...]

    Legal Counsel for LGBT to be Provided for UNIBAM and Ombudsman’s Office
    Having received funding from at least two agencies earlier this year, the National AIDS Commission, in light of the Section Fifty-three decision will now proceed to appoint a pair of [...]

    Caleb Orozco Says Basic Healthcare Rights for LGBT are Often Denied
    Access to healthcare has long been an issue for members of the LGBT community.  According to Orozco, they have been shut off from respective medical institutions simply because they are [...]

    Is Gay Rights Activist Concerned About Personal Safety After Landmark Ruling?
    Is gay rights activist Caleb Orozco any safer after Wednesday’s breakthrough decision?  The question of his personal safety has always been an issue ever since choosing the pioneering role of [...]

    Wednesday Night Fire Leaves Ladyville Churchgoer Homeless
    Fifty-year-old Cherry Martinez lost everything in a fire on Wednesday night in Ladyville.  Martinez reported to police that she left her home on Myrtle Wade Street in the Japan area [...]

    A Conducive Environment for Breastfeeding Mothers at Work
    There has been some progress in leadership roles for women but the glass ceiling is still hard to break. In politics, more women are becoming involved but what about the [...]

    Hurricane Relief Continues in the Old Capital
    A week after Hurricane Early ravaged the country, CEMO is carrying out assessments of properties in the hard hit areas of Belize City. Councilor Philip Willoughby was today on the [...]

    NEMO Plans to Restore Houses for Families Still in Shelters
    Earl hit the City hard and long on Wednesday leaving many without roofs over their heads. Many families are still in shelters and have nowhere to go so NEMO has [...]

    119 Persons in Belize City Remain in Shelters
    But the reality is that there’s still a large number of persons still in shelters with Belize City registering the majority. A total of one hundred and nineteen persons need [...]

    Murder Trial Concludes in the Case of Alleged Killer Curtis Lamb
    A trial by judge without jury concluded on Wednesday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court against twenty-two year old Curtis Lamb. The Belize City youth was [...]

    Michael Modiri Challenges Amount of Damages Awarded by the Supreme Court
    Today, attorney for Michael Modiri, Nazira Myles of Chebat and Co., filed a notice of appeal challenging the amount of damages awarded to Modiri in the case against Bradley Paumen. [...]

    PUC Hosts Forum on Caribbean Internet Governance
    The opening ceremony of a two-day forum on Caribbean Internet Governance was held today at the Radisson. Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, John Avery, says that Belize is not [...]

    CEMO Partners with Solid Waste Management Authority to Collect Garbage
    Most places in the city and elsewhere are still littered with garbage following the passage of Hurricane Earl.  CEMO is working along with the Solid Waste Management Authority and is [...]

    The Pulse of the People on Section 53
    The National AIDS Commission says it welcomes the ruling by the Chief Justice on Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code. The LGBT Community is also celebrating the decision. But what [...]

    Annual Belize International Jazz Festival Kicks Off this Weekend
    The annual Belize International Jazz Festival kicks off this weekend with an opening concert and jam session on Friday night at the Bliss.  The music celebration runs through to August [...]

    Healthy Living Looks at Water Safety Post Hurricane
    After the all-clear was established for Hurricane Earl last week, the Ministry of Health issued an advisory informing Belizeans to monitor their water sources and ensure that the water used [...]


    Belizean Doctors And Nurses Receive Training Under Renal Failure Prevention Project
    Chronic Renal Failure or Chronic Kidney Disease is the progressive loss in kidney function over a given period of time and since it is a growing problem here in Belize as more and more cases are being recorded, the Government of Belize along with Taiwan signed a three year project known as the ‘Renal Failure Prevention Project’ back in the month of February in an effort to treat patients in the early stages of renal failure. The agreement includes training sessions to be held both in Taiwan and locally and under this umbrella, the Embassy of the Republic of China in Taiwan has announced that Nephrologist Dr. Kai-Hsiang Shu and dialysis nurse, Ms. Ju-Fen Chiang of Far Eastern Memorial Hospital will be traveling to Belize in order to provide clinical training to four seed instructors of the Chronic Renal Failure Project from both the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and La Loma Luz Hospital.

    Vote for Your Favorite Song
    As Belizeans prepare to celebrate this year’s Independence under the theme “Sovereign and Strong - Together as one” there are a number of events that have been planned ahead of time with the aim of raising the spirit of the September celebrations. Among that list is the National Song Competition organized by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) which offers Belizeans an opportunity to showcase their talent as it relates to the art of local music. The competition is divided into two main categories…Carnival and Patriotic. NICH received numerous submissions and at the end 20 applicants were selected. Those applicants are scheduled to perform their song on Saturday night at the Memorial Park in Belize City.


    Mason and Others Face Charges of Kidnapping
    Just after ten o’clock this morning four of the five persons charged with the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas on July 15, appeared before Magistrate Anderson in the Belmopan Magistrates Court to answer to additional charges. The men were read the charges which entail two counts of kidnapping and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Prosecuting […]

    William Mason Says His Vehicle Was Searched in His Absence
    Tonight, we take you back to the night of Friday, July 15, 2016. This is the night that the chapter on the Mason saga would begin unravelling after the head of well-known Pastor Llewellyn Lucas was found in a bucket inside the pan of a pickup truck. July 18 saw the authorities including the Minister […]

    Coalition for Vulnerable Communities Applauds Section 53 Ruling
    Belize made history yesterday when Section 53 of the Constitution was ordered to be amended by the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. The amendment will see Section 53 not applying to consenting sexual acts between adults of the same gender as opposed to the penalty of ten years in prison for persons engaging in carnal intercourse […]

    Keen Eye on Jamaica as Belize Sets Precedent on LGBT Rights
    With Belize’s Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin making history via his decision on the constitutionality of Section 53, one of the countries in the Caribbean that has been looking keenly at the judgement is Jamaica. On one hand, there is talk that the judgement in Belize will have legal implications for Jamaica while others are saying […]

    Government’s Move Is to Now Give Life to the Court Ruling on Section 53
    The LBTQI community won a major victory yesterday as the Chief Justice ruled to amend section 53 of the constitution to exclude consenting sex between adults in private. Now the community is expectant of the government’s response to the ruling, which according to executive Director of UNIBAM, Caleb Orozco, will substantiate the ruling. CALEB […]

    The Force Behind the Caleb Movement
    Caleb Orozco has been fighting for the rights of the LGBTQI community for many years. Six years ago, he brought forward a case to challenge the constitution. And because of that stance, Caleb has faced a lot of discrimination including verbal and physical attacks. Yesterday at the UNIBAM press conference, Caleb stated that it was […]

    7 Days Later ….. Post Hurricane Earl
    The City Emergency Management Organization continues its hurricane relief work in Belize City. Today Councilor Phillip Willoughby, who is in charge of CEMO, spoke about the assessments they have conducted and the materials in form of zinc and plywood that they have obtained. Willoughby stated, as well, that the resources are being distributed with no […]

    UWI Writes PM Expressing Solidarity in Aftermath of Earl
    The University of the West Indies has expressed solidarity with all Caribbean neighbours during the hurricane season as they remain alert and prepared to lend support. According to a publication in the Bahamas, outreach has begun for the recovery efforts in Belize after it was hard hit by Hurricane Earl. In a letter dated August […]

    PROTEL Gives Belize Red Cross $2K for Recovery Efforts
    The Belize Red Cross has received a donation of two thousand dollars from Protel BPI Limited, to assist in its ongoing efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Earl. CEO of Protel BPO, Kevin Herrera, handed over the check to the Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman. Bowman said the contribution will greatly […]

    The Guardian

    Sodomy no longer a crime between consenting adults!
    A lone protester, sympathizer of the gay rights case held up a bristol board stating “Your Mentality is an Abomination, but don’t worry you’ll be forgiven #gayandproud “ stood in front of the Battlefield park in defiance of a few dozen others who held quite the opposite view. They were all out to listen to the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin give his decision on a case brought up by Caleb Orozco 3 years and just over 3 months ago. After so long in deliberations, CJ Benjamin, delivered his judgment in the case. He has ruled that Belize’s Sodomy laws cannot stand because it violates Orozco’s constitutional rights as a citizen. It is a landmark decision, the first of its kind in Belize, and Orozco declared at a press conference that though it is a great first step, the fight for equality for the Belizean LGBTIQ community has only just begun. It was a decision which the public waited for with great interest to see whether local gay rights celeb, Caleb, would be successful in challenging Section 53 of the Criminal Code.

    Mason’s Wife charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping
    Melissa Ferguson, the 51 year-old wife of the infamous William Danny Mason, has been arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping of Pastor Lewellyn Lucas and David Dodd. She has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison since she handed herself in for questioning on Monday, August 8. After her 48 hours were up, she was arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. That arraignment happened before Magistrate Emerita Anderson on Wednesday, August 10. In the same way that the police fouled up the charging process for Ryan Rhaburn - which allowed him to walk out of court free - the arresting officer prepared the charge sheet and the court book without the proper facts. That’s because the 5 page document never did say who she allegedly conspired to kidnap. The case was adjourned for the Belmopan police to fix the document, and when Ferguson was taken before the Magistrate again, it finally passed the scrutiny of the sitting magistrate.

    NEMO begins delivering building material
    The National Emergency Management Organization has begun the distribution of building material to persons who were affected by hurricane Earl. On Wednesday evening the Guardian Newspaper found Councilor Phillip Willoughby at a local hardware store where he was loading up on zinc roofing that will be distributed to residents of Belize City on Thursday. Willoughby explained that NEMO is attempting to supply affected residents with material as quickly as possible. He says that personnel from the Belize City Council are currently doing itemized damage assessments and the first to be assisted will be those who have damage that can be handled by the home owners themselves. On a daily basis assessments will be made and material will be delivered on an expedited basis said Willoughby.

    Dr. Carla Barnett Sworn in as Minister of State
    In a brief ceremony at the Belize House in Belmopan, Senator Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett was sworn-in as a Minister of State by the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young. The Honourable Senator will now assume responsibility as Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance for which the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow holds overall responsibility. On the occasion of her swearing-in, the newly appointed Minister of State said:

    BTL Pledges $100,000 Toward Hurricane Earl Relief
    Belize Telemedia Ltd (BTL) pledged $100,000 toward the relief effort in the aftermath of hurricane Earl. The money will be split between the Red Cross which will receive $50,000 and Hand in Hand Ministries which will receive a similar amount. A release by BTL explains the following: The Belize Red Cross will use the BTL contribution principally to help fund their innovative cash transfer program (CTP) where impacted families will be provided with cash contributions directly via prepaid credit cards, to enable them to purchase their restoration supplies and products themselves. The contributions from BTL will benefit some 400 persons according to Red Cross estimates. The contribution to Helping Hands Ministries will assist in the construction and reconstruction of houses for persons whose dwellings were compromised or destroyed by Hurricane Earl.

    American caught at airport with medical marijuana
    An American fireman was released after he was fined only $1,000 for the importation of 153.5 grams of cannabis he brought with him from San Francisco, California on a connection flight from Atlanta to Belize on Thursday, August 4. 45 year old American national, Jamal Thomas Bushy was arraigned before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where he was read a single charge of importation of a controlled drug which carries the same penalty as if though he was charged with drug trafficking. He appeared before senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser who fined him $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which she ordered him to pay forthwith in default 1 year imprisonment. On Thursday, August 4, 2016, Bushby was caught at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with 153.4 grams of weed. He was caught with 2 packs of candy containing cannabis weighing 65 grams and 88.4 grams respectfully which amounted to 153.4 grams.

    Brothers charged for beating Chinese businessman
    Two brothers are out on bail after they were involved in a misunderstanding that caused a Chinese grocer to be knocked unconscious for a while after being stoned at his shop in the Belama Phase 2 area of Belize City. On Tuesday August 8, 22 year old Wardsworth Clark and his younger brother, 18 year old Damion Clark, both of #322 John Smith Street, Belama Phase 2 area, Belize City were arraigned before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. They were read a single charge of grievous harm upon Chinese grocer, Yong Bo Tan. The brothers pleaded not guilty to the charge. According to Chinese grocer, Yong Bo Tan, he was at his store when he asked Wardsworth Clark, whom he knows as “Smokey,” to leave his shop, after “Smokey” threw a liquid substance he had in a cup into his face. When he did this Smokey picked up his bicycle and threw it at Tan which injured him. Smokey then ran off with Tan in his pursuit.

    Burglars caught red handed granted bail
    After 6 weeks on remand for a broad daylight burglary at the home of a Belize City Secretary, 2 of 3 alleged burglars are out on bail of $4,000 each granted to them by the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. The trio, 18 year old Jamey Williams, a labourer and resident of #1080 Tibruce Street, Belize City, along with 25 year old Elect McKoy, a Construction Worker of #6756 Racoon Street Extension and 18 year old Elden Flowers, a Construction Worker of #10 Croton Lane, Belize City, who were all found hiding inside the home, appeared in court asking the lower court to consider granting them bail. Of the trio, only two were successful in securing bail through their attorney, Said Musa who was able to get bail for Flowers and Williams both in the sum of $4,000 plus one surety of the same amount.

    Carl Trapp stabbed to death at his home
    51 year-old Carl Trapp, a resident of Camalote Village who was recently living in Belize City, was killed inside Hyde Supermarket sometime between Friday night, August 5, and Saturday morning, August 6. He had been stabbed to death. Trapp had recently been staying in the Hyde Supermarket building, which belongs to his cousin, Alvin Hyde Jr. That business is also inside the Michael Finnegan Market Square. Trapp’s relative, Alvin Hyde Jr., told the press that earlier in the week, he had been waiting patiently for the power to come back on after Hurricane Earl devastated the country. When it finally did on Thursday night, he was relieved to be able to sleep a little more comfortably because the flood waters which came into the building was still causing them some problems. The last person to see him alive was his cousin who informed him that there were some persons looking for him out on the street.

    Luis Carter’s charge upgraded to murder of Dwayne Hyde
    On July 13, 2016, San Pedro resident, 30 year old Dwayne Hyde was shot and two days after police charged 2 of 3 men with his attempted murder. The attacker, 23 year old San Pedro resident, Luis Carter, aka, “Wizz” was charged and arraigned on Friday, July 15, 2016 before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser for the offenses of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm upon Dwayne Hyde and for aggravated assault upon Kimberly Humes, his common-law wife. Carter was denied bail due to the nature of the offenses and after exactly three weeks on remand at the Belize Central Prison, Carter took his case to the Supreme Court for bail. That application however had to be withdrawn after Hyde succumbed to his injuries.

    Athletics Association to hold Annual General Assembly
    The Belize Athletics Association will hold its Annual General Assembly at Edward P. Yorke High School on Princess Margaret Drive, on August 27th, 2016, at 10:00 am. There are three vacancies open for the election of: 1. The 1st Vice President; 2. The 2nd Vice President; and 3. A committee member for which nominations are sought. All members are required to pay their annual dues by the 24th August, 2016. Payment of dues can be made at any of the National Sports Council offices throughout Belize. All members are asked to please bring along an identification card.

    FIFA Goalkeeping workshop in Belize
    The Football Federation of Belize in conjunction with FIFA is hosting the first ever FIFA Goalkeeping workshop in Belize from Tuesday August 9 to 13, 2016 at the FFB Headquarters. The workshop will be delivered by FIFA Instructor Mr. Claine Plummer. Participants that are attending the workshop include the following individual listed below:

    Youth Marathon held in Benque
    A Youth Football Marathon was held at Sam’s Community Park in Benque Viejo on Saturday 6th of August from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Mr. Oscar Nabet of Z Boyz Jr. Football Club, collaborated with Jimmy Leslie from the Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo and Mr. Sam Bruce, owner of the Park, to make the marathon possible. Some of the Football Marathon participants were 1st Eagles, 2nd Segura’s, 3rdReal Warriors , 4th. Invaders and 5th Z Boyz. A special thanks goes out to event sponsors Marcos Kotch, Oscar Nabet, Riverside Taxi Association and the Department of Youth Services for making the games enjoyable. Thanks also goes to the volunteer referees. Jimmy Leslie from the Department of Youth Services has indicated plans to promote a similar event on a monthly schedule, and create an all girls team.

    Hurricane Earl, croaking frogs, tortured trees, ripped zinc and bending lamp posts!
    I must admit that Mother Nature has Power, Style and Class! Wednesday night my mind was totally freed of thinking about the worthless PUP, rapacious Capitalists and evil Supremacists. Early that night I was a little tired after helping some friends and family members get their stuff in order; so I dozed off well before all the blowing started. I had forgotten to pick up a couple Belikin stouts to keep my company during the storm! I also forgot to shower - just in case it got busy later or if the water supply was interrupted- like I said I was tired. When I woke up about 11:30 pm the wind was just picking up; later it would become wicked! I would not recommend hanging around the coast with a category 2 storm or when there is the prediction of huge storm surge! The electricity had gone off while I was resting; I turned on the LED lanterns. I strongly recommend these – they are indeed wonderful and much safer than candles or kerosene lamps. I carefully made my way to the sheltered veranda. I sat down on a chair and started to enjoy Mother Nature’s Show! The orchestra featured croaking frogs and toads – and what a noise they made! The percussion came from creaking, flapping, ripping zinc and knocking, slamming shutters – I was mindful of the risks of flying debris, although I felt quite safe on the sheltered veranda. The trees and lamp posts provided the dance!

    Pursuit of happiness
    Many of us are constantly faced with hardships that life throws at us that we often times forget what it means to be happy. As human beings we are often times struggling to discover who we are as individuals or maybe who we’d like to become. We then begin by asking ourselves the most difficult question of them all being, “What do I need to make me happy?”. For many, the answer to this question gives rise to answers such as money, material things, or maybe even food. And for others it may be family, friends or fortune. However, we never really dissect the answer to that question in order to truly reveal the most obvious answer of them all. Self- love has become so rare that most individuals never realize how critical it has become in order to begin living a happy life. Uncovering ways to find regard for ones’ well- being and happiness truly adds vitality and vibrancy to your life. Therefore, having self-love is critical in learning to truly appreciate those around you. In order to become accepting of the things in life we must, therefore, begin by learning to accept our own flaws and quirks.

    First Direct Flight established between Canada and Belize
    The Belize Tourism Board is excited to announce the latest airline to add Belize to their travel route, WestJet. Earlier today, WestJet Airlines officially announced that starting October 29, 2016, WestJet will be offering flights between Canada and Belize, two days per week. As we have previously reported, Canada is a major source market for overnight visitors to Belize. With the addition of WestJet, this will no doubt result in an increase of Canadian visitors.

    Recovering from Hurricane Earl in Cayo but alertness must continue
    Days after the passing of Hurricane Earl, residents in the Cayo District continue in their efforts to regain normalcy. In some areas a damage assessment is not yet complete, but much information can be gauged from individual owners of properties. While the Macal River is now receding, it left in its wake damage to property and the clean-up efforts are still ongoing. Lily’s boutique near the Cayo Welcome Center estimates that their loss is $45,000.00, Stop and Shop $25,000.00. Reimer’s Feed workers were busy by the Cayo Welcome Center on Friday taking out soaked flour from their warehouse. According to Simmy Brown, a Reimer worker, the loss therein was some $10,000.00 While there was a downpour and the winds were howling on Thursday morning, some residents were reluctant to come out to check on their business establishments. As a result a rapidly rising Macal River caught them by surprise and inundated their properties. Noemi Ortega lost $2,000.00 worth of vegetables at the San Ignacio Market as the Macal River covered her stalls. Even her stall tables were lifted up by the powerful currents and taken away. For butcher Mel Avella, he was fortunate to have evacuated the San Ignacio Market on time and saving his four refrigerators.

    Man charged for breaking KHMH main entrance door!
    The KHMH’s main entrance door was damaged but it was not the fault of Earl, instead anger got the better of a Belize City father and now it is costing him a charge. On Tuesday August 9, 30 year old Julian Barrow, a labourer and resident of #3 Magazine Road, Belize City was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of damage to property. Allegations are that on Saturday, August 6, 2016, he caused damages to the main entrance door for the KHMH valued at $855.00.

    Santander will be re-investing in productivity
    While the Santander Group has made its first shipment of sugar to Spain, the proceeds will be going to paying back loans it made for project development. Some 6,250 tons of raw sugar have been harvested and were shipped on July 29th. Santander will be paying banks in Belize for their support, which led to the production of sugar. Beverly Burke, compliance and public relations representative at Santander tells the Guardian that Santander is looking at a projected growth, where it will be re-investing in productivity in Belize. Santander will also be producing energy, which will be going back into the electrical grid says Burke.

    Shyne steps up to assist in relief efforts
    Most parts of the country are undergoing recovery efforts and while there are some areas that are well underway, in Belize City there are still 91 persons in three shelters in Belize City. For these persons life will not get back to normal anytime soon but efforts are underway to do so by government agencies as well as private citizens. One such citizen is Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow who is doing his part contributing to make adverse conditions more bearable for those in the shelters in Belize City. Shyne has been contributing by providing relief packages to residents in the Mesopotamia division where he provided 100 families food packages. His efforts continued by him serving hot meals to 75 people who are left in the Belize city hurricane shelters. Ambassador Barrow will provide hot meals for the rest of the week to all those remaining in shelters.

    Young People to the Rescue
    The Department of Youth Services has joined all the rest of responsible and caring Belizeans in the Hurricane Earl Relief and restoration mission. To this end the Department is inviting all interested young persons to come out this Friday August 12th for International Youth Day. We are gathering young people to join our 'Youth Hurricane Relief Effort’ team to play our part as young leaders. We will all meet at the Department of Youth Services on Regent Street at 8:30 on Friday morning. Food, Drinks and Entertainment will be provided for those who wish to join us. This day has been chosen in order for the young people to participate and give back in a different way. It is also noteworthy that the Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo in collaboration with the Cayo District Youth Council President Ricky Cunil have joined the Hurricane Earl Relief efforts. We wish to thank everyone who has responded promptly to assist our fellow brothers and sisters who were affected by the recent Hurricane. The efforts continue throughout the week. We are also accepting non-perishable food items-which will be distributed on Friday August 12, 2016.

    Debris collection continues in Belmopan
    The Belmopan City Council has sent out a notice informing residents of the City of Belmopan that debris collection works commenced at 8:00 am on the 4th of August 2016 immediately after the hurricane. Their operation began in the Cohune Walk and Habet Heights to meet somewhere in the middle. This area known as Belmopan North was completed on the10th of August 2016 and moves over to Central Site. The cleaning operation will move into Site 7, Nargusta Extension, University Heights, Police Housing Area, Water Reservoir Area, Mountain View, Las Flores and Rivera Area. Thereafter, the operation will move East to Salvapan, San Martin and Maya Mopan. The Belmopan City Council also advises residents to please get debris out to buffer (street side in front of your yard) to be collected as Council workers will not be entering your yard to remove debris. The Belmopan City Council also now recognizes members of the business community, BAY and Belmopan Lions Club that have reached out to help in its debris collection operation: Motor Solutions Ltd, Banman’s Earth Moving, Gallardo Services and Santander. The Belmopan based Council also recognize groups and individuals that have lent a much needed helping hand in the cleanup efforts: BAY, Belmopan Bandits, Road Warriors Motorcycle Club, and Wilbourne Humes.

    New Polyclinic for Chunux, San Narciso and surrounding villages
    Ground-breaking Ceremonies to officially commence the construction of new polyclinics took place in Chunox and San Narciso Village, Corozal District on Wednesday August 10, 2016. The Chunux facility will be constructed at a cost of $900,000.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The clinic is expected to assist in the reduction of maternal and child morbidity and mortality, water-borne, food borne, and vector borne conditions, communicable and non-communicable diseases. This facility is expected to service Chunux village as well as surrounding areas of Progreso, Sarteneja, Copper Bank, Little Belize, Fire Burn and Newland among other communities. Presently, access to basic preventable primary health care services is offered at the Chunox Health Center but the facility is inadequate to meet the needs of the growing communities which at this point is estimated to be almost 11 thousand residents.

    Belizean has his throat slit in Arenal
    Mario Cunil, a 24 year-old Belizean living in Arenal Village, was killed on Tuesday morning, August 9, in the place he called home. As readers are very much aware, Arenal is famous for part of the community being in Belize and half of it being in Guatemala. Early on Tuesday, Cunil was socializing at a bar in the village on the Guatemalan side, when he got into some sort of confrontation with other patrons. It quickly escalated to a brawl, with other men, suspected at this time to Guatemalans. During the incident, Cunil’s throat was slashed by one of the men. His Guatemalan friend, with whom he was hanging out, tried to come to his aid, but he got injured by the attackers as well. Belizean diplomat Said Guerra has been dispatched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist the family in getting Cunil’s body back to them. Cunil made the news back in 2011 when he was brought to Belize City Magistrates Court for trafficking 4 pounds of marijuana. He was sentenced to 3 years in jail.

    San Pedro Electrician accused of having sex with 14 year old girl
    Edair Dominguez, 32, an Electrician of the San Juan area of San Pedro town appeared in court before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser where he was read a single charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who was then 14 years and 6 months at the time. The allegation being made by the minor is that on Sunday, July 31, 2016, he had sex with her whilst at a home on the island. A medical examination conducted on the child has since revealed that she is carnally known. In court Dominquez was only read the indictable offense and no plea was taken. He was unrepresented and due to the nature of the offense, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 23, 2016.

    Father and son are busted with gun
    A father and son, 50 year old businessman, Keithburn Drury, and 34 year old Marquin Drury, both residents of #9 Santa Barbara Street, Belize City were remanded to prison when they appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. The men were read two gun related offenses of kept unlicensed firearm and ammunitions. Allegations are that on Saturday, August 6, 2016, whilst on Marine Parade Boulevard, police busted the father and son in possession of a black 9 mm Glock Pistol firearm, with serial number, PEM, 277, loaded with 8 bronze rounds of ammunitions, 7 GFL Lugar brand rounds of ammunitions and 1 Aguila brand of ammunition. In court, the duo pleaded not guilty and they were denied bail due to the nature of the offenses.

    Two men charged for nearly beating a man to death
    Two Belize City men were remanded on Tuesday August 9 for trying to kill a Belize City man whilst at the KHMH. They are 32 year old John Burke, a Fisherman of #52 Lavender Street, Belize City and 34 year old Kareem Eagan, a Construction Worker of #4450 Hulse Street, Belize City who were charged jointly with the offenses of attempted murder and dangerous harm upon Mario Zelaya. The duo appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where they were unrepresented and were read the two indictable offenses. No plea was taken since the matters are offenses that will be dealt with at the Supreme Court. Due to the nature of the offenses, no bail could be offered and the men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 19, 2016.

    Tricia Flores and Shaun Gill fastest persons in Belize
    The Belize Athletics Association held its National Track and Field Championship on Saturday and Sunday 30th and 31st July, 2016, at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City. In the female 100m event, Tricia Flores captured 1st place in a time of 11:95s. She was followed by Faith Morris in a time of 12:81s and then by Ajahney Carr in a time of 12:87s and then Jada Parchue in a time of 13:05s. In the 200m event, Tricia Flores took first place in a time of 25:44s. She was followed by Faith Morris in a time of 26:13s, and then by Ajahney Carr in a time of 26:42s and Jada Parchue in a time of 27:77s. In the 400m event, first place went to Ashontie Carr in a time of 2:31:23. Second place went to Jada Parchue in a time of 1:33:44s. In the 800m event, Ashontie Carr was the lone athlete in the event and she finished in a time of 2:31:23. In the Long Jump event, Tricia Flores took first place which a total distance of 5.46m. Flores was followed by Ajahney Carr in a time of 4.94m, and she was followed by Ashanti Carr in a time of 4.58m and then by Jada Parchue in a time of 4.48m. In the Triple Jump competition, first place went to Ajahney Carr with a total distance of 10.62m and she was followed by Ashantie Carr with a jump of 10.42m.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BPP gives GOB another challenge for good governance
    In a release issued this afternoon the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) challenges the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow to “do the right thing” and take measures to ensure the Belizean public good governance. The BPP views the recent appointment of Dr. Carla Barnett as Minister […]

    Belize Association in US asks for help for Hurricane relief effort
    The Belize Association in Louisiana, US has set up a Go-Fund Me page to raise funds to aid families that have been seriously affected by Hurricane Earl. As hurricane relief efforts continue, there are many families who have lost their homes and belongings. […]


    Storms, Surge, and Hurricanes
    This is the first Sunday I've not had to work in some capacity 2 years. It's felt pretty weird really. I've even gone over to the "shop" a couple of times - maybe subconsciously hoping it would magically be there this time, but nay not really. I fancy myself who accepts whats happened pretty quickly and already am planning for the next phase before the seas let the sands settle. Don't get me wrong - the destruction of your business is not an easy thing to witness; but crying never cleaned spilled milk. Strength and determination in the face of adversity is what must be brought to the table. So we brought it. In case you've missed what happened over the past few days I'll give you a brief catch up - Hurricane Earl hit Belize; only a category 1, but it doesn't mean Mother Nature didn't inflict a lot of damage. We saw about 8 feet of storm surge and 75 mile per hour winds. There were 24 foot waves crashing on the barrier reef; had that reef not been there we would've all been swimming for sure. Who wants a day by day? Well here it is -

    Cheesecake and more at Cocina Sabor!
    I don’t have that much of a sweet tooth, but I do go crazy over cheesecake. So when I’m served a strawberry Amaretto cheese cake, I instantly list that restaurant as one of my go to stops. And where do I get this delicious, heaven-sent delight? At Cocina Sabor in Orange Walk Town. Owners Oscar and Amparo Gutierrez are no strangers to La Isla Bonita. In fact, Oscar was the food and beverage manager at Victoria House Resort. Since their opening three years ago, I make it a point to visit Cocina Sabor every time I’m in town. With offerings such as pork salpicon and some of the best fajitas I have ever tasted, Cocina Sabor is a great place to grab a bite while in Sugah City. Oscar and Amparo took some notes from the restaurant scene in San Pedro, and have created a great menu serving up classic Belizean cuisine with a hint of international flavor. Of course everything is fresh, as they feature only local meats, chicken, seafood and produce.

    Belize is a developing country possessing a rich tapestry of natural and cultural resources.
    Like many nations around the globe it confronts significant dilemmas posed at the interface of development and conservation. Local, national and international non-governmental organizations actively pursue conservation objectives through the modification of land use, land purchases, and the creation of public and private reserves. Meanwhile, deficits in financial and human resources force the Government of Belize to experiment with innovative partnerships with individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Under these arrangements, various co-management arrangements introduce different levels of management attention to otherwise neglected yet legally declared protected lands. At the same time, indigenous communities struggle to maintain and promote their traditional livelihoods and practices. While protecting their livelihoods and cultural resources, local people vigorously pursue title to their use of the areas in which they dwell. Land use decisions also involve private interests in sectors such as, tourism, timber, mineral extraction, agriculture, fishing, and shrimp farming. These industries contribute significantly to the economy of Belize. All groups contribute to the complexity of the social landscape in Belize and create challenges for a reconciliation of ecological sustainability and human development.

    Half price flights made for a cheap out of country getaway
    I got a last minute invitation by my friend Aimee to join a few people on a short welcome getaway after the hurricane. If anyone deserves it she does. Almost a week later and her house down south is still without water. I am sure a hotel will be a welcome reprieve. She also wanted to do some shopping, now that their house has done a first run through a storm, she knows better how to prepare for next time. Since Tropic Air is having a half price sale to anywhere but International airport, a half price flight from San Pedro to Corozal Belize made for a cheap getaway to Chetumal Mexico.

    As a Gay Tourist, is Belize safe?
    An email query that I would get way too often would read something like this: I am thinking about traveling to Belize and was wondering if Belize is gay-friendly? I’ve read that it is illegal to be gay in Belize and was wondering if it was safe for me to vacation there? My response would be quick and almost rehearsed: Belize is a small conservative country with 78 percent of the population claiming to be Catholic. I say claiming because, from my knowledge and experience, often people (family, friends, and acquaintances) say they are Catholic but don’t really practice the religion and only go to church once or twice a year. Similar to other Caribbean countries, socially, gay culture is looked down upon and is not mainstream. Unfortunately, yes, due to archaic sodomy laws passed on by former British rule, it is illegal to be gay in Belize. However, there are many local gays throughout the country and they are mostly left alone; at least – to my knowledge – that is how it is in my hometown of San Ignacio. I have also worked in the tourism industry for several years and numerous times, gay couples would be on vacation and they were perfectly fine. I never heard of any gay individual complain that they felt unwelcome or were mistreated while on vacation.

    International Sourcesizz

    Mexico’s Richest Man Confronts a New Foe: The State That Helped Make Him Rich
    All is not well in the kingdom of Carlos Slim. For more than 25 years, he has dictated the terms of Mexico’s telecommunications industry and built an empire, making him one of the world’s richest men. Mr. Slim and his family are billionaires 50 times over. He has stood at the very top of the Forbes World’s Billionaires list — more than once. His flush years in Mexico enabled him to span the Americas with companies that touch nearly every facet of modern life: telecom, banking, construction, retail and media, among others. But at home in Mexico, the game is changing. And there is not much he can do about it, analysts say. Determined to bring his dominance to an end, leaders from Mexico’s three biggest political parties have put aside their own animosities in recent years, meeting in secret sessions to chip away at Mr. Slim’s domain. Now, the plan they concocted to increase competition in the telecommunications industry, signed into law two years ago, is starting to bite.

    Belize, Simone Biles' second-favorite country, offers Final Five a free trip
    The work isn't over for Simone Biles. She won team gold with her "Final Five" teammates two days ago, and claimed all-around gold tonight, but she still has three event finals--beam, vault and floor--to prepare for. But that isn't stopping her from looking forward to a post-Rio vacation. And she's hoping to bring her team with her. A few hours after her commanding win in the all-around final, the tourism board of Belize extended Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian and Gabby Douglas a tempting offer. Hopefully her teammates will be willing to help out with Biles' bait and tackle, because within minutes of Belize's inviation on Twitter she accepted on their behalf. The offer is for five days, all-expenses-paid, in Belize for the Final Five team.

    Belize’s ruling on gay sex supports access to HIV services — UNAIDS
    The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today welcomed Belize’s Supreme Court decision to overturn a portion of the small Central American country's criminal code that outlawed gay sex. This development, UNAIDS said in a release today, reinforces human rights and supports access to HIV services. Yesterday, Chief Justice of Belize Kenneth Benjamin ruled that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code is inconsistent with the Constitution. The law criminalised “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”, including anal sex between consenting adults. The chief justice ruled that this provision violated the rights to human dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination and equality before the law.

    Belize, Guatemala agree on enforcement of criminal sentences
    Belize and Guatemala have agreed on the enforcement of criminal sentences, that allows persons convicted of crimes to serve time in their native countries. According to local reports, the purpose of the agreement is to maintain and strengthen friendly bilateral relations until the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute is resolved . The agreement further states that the convict should be informed of the provisions within the agreement and the process of their transfer. The agreement will run for 10 years and is automatically renewed unless one side, through a written diplomatic note, terminates the agreement, which will take effect one year after such termination is announced. The agreement is based on “a framework for negotiations and measures to promote trust between Guatemala and Belize” that was signed on September 7 2005.

    Atlantic hurricane season still expected to be strongest since 2012
    In its updated 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, NOAA calls for a higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal season, and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent, from the initial outlook issued in May. The season is still expected to be the most active since 2012. Forecasters now expect a 70-percent chance of 12–17 named storms, of which 5–8 are expected to become hurricanes, including 2–4 major hurricanes. The initial outlook called for 10–16 named storms, 4–8 hurricanes, and 1–4 major hurricanes. The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

    Mysterious carvings found in a Maya royal tomb may reveal murky secrets of the 'Snake Dynasty'
    They were a dynasty of Maya rulers who ruthlessly rose to dominate western Belize after turning on a nearby allied city and sacrificing its king. But the story of how the 'Snake Dynasty' led the ancient Maya city of Caracol into a golden age with its victory over nearby Naranjo have been obscured due to missing pieces of a massive carving depicting the events. Now, however, archaeologists believe they may have discovered some key pieces of these hieroglyphic panels inside a huge royal tomb of another Maya ruler 25 miles away. Researchers uncovered the tomb, which may be the largest to be found in Belize, at the ruins of Xunantunich, a city on the Mopan river that was a ceremonial centre between 600-890AD. Inside were the remains of a mysterious male member of the Xunantunich royal family who died aged between 20 and 30-years-old. A study of the remains suggest he had been athletically built and muscular. His body had been laid on the floor of the tomb on his back with his head pointing to the south.

    Where In The Caribbean Can You Find The Most Unemployed Youth?
    World Bank data compiled from the ILO (International Labor Organization) shows that one third of the world’s 1.8 billion young people aged ages 15-24 are neither employed, educated, nor trained. The Caribbean region is not exempt from this crisis. So where in the Caribbean are the most unemployed youth? 6: Belize The Central American nation of Belize rounds out the list with World Bank and ILO data showing there is a whopping 22 percent youth unemployment in that CARICOM nation.

    Simone Biles Soars, Lifting Another Country With Her
    NY Times... BELIZE CITY, Belize — One o’clock arrived. Relatives gathered at a hotel bar to watch Olympic gymnastics on television. So did the first lady of Belize and 11 contestants in the coming Miss Belize pageant, wearing their sashes and carrying tiny flags. But where was Simone Biles? The women’s individual all-around competition had begun 4,000 miles away on Thursday afternoon at the Rio Games. Biles, 19, was the heavy American favorite, but there was also anticipation in an unlikely place, the tiny Central American country of Belize, where she holds dual citizenship. Phone calls were made. Television channels were changed. Beauty contestants were perplexed. Still no live gymnastics. Finally, after 30 minutes, the live feed began on Caribbean television. Biles had already performed her vault routine, but the delayed start did not mute the ecstatic cheering that greeted her second gold medal at the Rio Games. There are big stories unfolding in Belize, including a Supreme Court ruling that affirmed gay rights and the cleanup from Hurricane Earl, which churned through last week. But interest in Biles also has resonated here, in the country’s economic capital, as evidenced everywhere from the Prime Minister’s residence to the shade of a local plum tree, painted purple and gold, where tour guides talk politics and play dominoes.


  • Fire in the DFC this morning, 10sec. Shortly after 2:45AM on Friday, August 12th, a blaze destroyed a home on Black Pearl Street in the DFC Area of San Pedro Town. Firefighters and volunteers worked quickly to bring the fire under control, preventing a much bigger disaster. The home and its contents were completely destroyed. By 3:50AM, the last of the blaze was being tended to.
  • Belize Makes Appearance in Judo Match in Rio, 2min. In Rio today, Belize’s own Renick James went up against Ovini Uera of Nauru; a tiny island nation northeast of Australia, in the men’s ninety kilograms Judo event. With Judo’s fast paced action and penalties against non-combativity, the match was over fairly quickly. James put up an admirable defence until a second near-takedown earned Uera enough points to win the match. While disappointed at his performance of his first Olympic competition, James is looking forward. Here is what he said in an interview with ESPN:

  • Where the bridge used to be, 15sec.

  • August 3, 2016 - A timelapse off Dangriga 12 hours before Hurricane Earl strikes Belize, 1min. You can see the cloud flow change direction and speed up near the end of the video as the hurricane approaches.

  • After hurricane, concerns focus on schools, 4min. Hurricane Earl, which made landfall south of Belize City just after being upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane last Thursday, August 4, 2016, resulted in major flooding in the central and coastal areas of Belize. Belize City and surrounding villages were among the most affected. In the city and the rural of Belize District the assessments are coming in.

  • Belize Through My Eyes, 6min.

  • Swimming with the sharks & freaking out in Belize - Shark Ray Alley, 1.5min. Swimming with the sharks in Belize's Shark Ray Alley while our friends throw fresh bleeding fish at us.

  • Anonymous Message to Belize "Section 53 unconstitutional",1 min.

  • Landfall of Hurricane Earl in Belize, 1min. This animation for NOAA's GOES-East satellite imagery shows the movement and strengthening of Earl from August 2 to August 4 through the Caribbean Sea to landfall in Belize.

  • Manatee in front of Tranquility Bay, 1min. Did you know we have visitor partly everyday in front of our Resort

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 4min. Snorkeling in the blue hole, shark Ray alley and more

  • MUMC Belize Mission 2016, min. The youth group of the Murphysboro UMC went to Belize. This slideshow gives a small glimpse into what they experienced.

  • Shark Attack or Love Bite? Shark eats GoPro in Belize, 3min. Reef and nurse sharks filmed in Belize during a scuba dive on the Paradise Reef. The camera gets suddenly attacked by one of the hungry sharks during filming....

  • Belize and the Human Museum, 4min. Adventure of traveling to Belize and scuba diving amongst the human museum. Get out and enjoy life, make every moment count. If you inspire to do it, I inspire to film it

    August 11, 2016

    For the latest on Tropical Storm Earl, click here


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Interoffice Football Tournament continues
    Four weeks remain in the 6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament, and all teams continue their efforts to show off their sporting talents to secure a spot in the upcoming finals. Due to Hurricane Earl, games have been postponed until further notice. Here are the scores from last week’s games:

    Two airlines adding direct flights to Belize
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced on Monday, August 8th that WestJet will be offering flights between Canada and Belize. WestJet Airlines officially announced that the service will operate twice a week, starting on Saturday, October 29th. The airline will depart from the Toronto Pearson International Airport at 9:15AM and arrive at the Philip Goldson International Airport at 11:59AM. The flight to return to Canada from Belize is scheduled to depart around 1PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays. After adding Houston, Texas to Belize flights in November of 2015, Southwest Airlines announced that they are adding a seasonal direct flight from Denver, Colorado to the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. On Thursday, August 4th, Southwest indicated that the new service will be in effect next year from Saturday, March 11th and will run through Saturday, April 22nd.

    1. PEOPLE IN SHELTER: There are a total of 170 persons in Shelter as follows: 91 in Belize City: Unity Presbyterian has 16 persons, St. John’s Vianney has 31 persons, and St. Luke has 44 persons. In Cayo: Teakettle has 16 persons in shelter and St. Matthews has 31 persons. There 28 persons in the Hattievile Community Centre recently built by US Southern Command. Orange Walk has 4 persons in one shelter in San Carlos. 2. PEOPLE ASSISTED: approx. 1,580 household or about 8,000 people, as reported by the National Relief Supplies Committee/Ministry of Human Development. (1200 households assisted in Belize City proper: Belama, Vista Del Mar, Ladyville, Lords Bank and Sand Hill. Old Northern Highway communities: La Democracia, Gracie Rock, Hattieville, Western Pines and Freetown Sibun.

    . SITUATION. Immediate relief to the affected people and restoration of critical lifeline facilities continue as the country returns to normalcy less those severely impacted. NEMO and the Government providing assistance with help from the community. The Utility Companies operations are progressing at a steady pace enabling the country’s recovery. 2. PEOPLE IN SHELTER: There are a total of 170 persons in Shelter as follows: 91 in Belize City: Unity Presbyterian has 16 persons, St. John’s Vianney has 31 persons, and St. Luke has 44 persons. In Cayo: Teakettle has 16 persons in shelter and St. Matthews has 31 persons. There 28 persons in the Hattievile Community Centre recently built by US Southern Command. Orange Walk has 4 persons in one shelter in San Carlos.

    Dianira Rivera to represent Ambergris Caye at Miss Belize Universe
    Ambergris Caye will be proudly represented at the upcoming Miss Belize Universe pageant by 20-year-old Dianira Rivera. The pageant is taking place on September 10th at the Belize Bliss Institute, where delegates from across Belize will be competing for the coveted title of Miss Belize Universe. The winner will represent Belize at the Miss Universe pageant later this year. According to Enrique de Leon, one of the pageant’s organizers, the program has been dormant for the past seven years. Ambergris Caye representative Rivera is anxiously waiting for the pageant to take place. “There are no words to express how happy I feel for this opportunity. I have been into modeling for quite some time now, but this is the first time I get to represent San Pedro in a pageant like this. I feel very privileged and I will do all my best to represent the island well,” said Rivera. She added that she currently is training and working as she prepares for the big event.

    Ambergris Today

    Town Council Advises on Rebuilding of Piers/Docks After Hurricane Earl
    The San Pedro Town Council hereby advises all dock/pier owners that they must re-apply for their dock/pier permit before re-building or making any repairs. The Council asks for pier owners to visit the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority at the San Pedro Town Council offices for more details in regards to this matter. On August 3rd, Hurricane Earl made landfall in the country of Belize causing major damages in the mainland and in the cayes of Belize. Fortunately, the damages were only of material items and not a loss of human lives was reported, which we are extremely grateful. Ambergris Caye was one of the cayes majorly affected by this hurricane, since many piers/docks washed ashore due to the high and powerful waves that came with the hurricane. According to Mayor Daniel, the collections of dock fees totals to at least $1 million dollars every year, monies that he hopes to gain jurisdiction for the island municipality. Currently, all the fees collected go directly into the general revenue of Central Government and distributed evenly countrywide; it does not come back directly to Ambergris Caye.

    San Pedro Fire Victims Receive Funds
    What could possibly be deemed one of the biggest fundraising efforts ever in the history of Ambergris Caye came to an end on Tuesday, August 8, 2016, as the disbursements of funds for the San Pedro Fire Victims was carried out at the San Pedro Lions Club. Fundraising efforts for fire victims of San Pedro was managed by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) from its inception with monies collected placed into the accounts of the Belize Red Cross and the San Pedro Lions Club. When NEMO took control there were about 15 to 20 organizations all working together to collect funds and donations for the fire victims; their efforts worked tremendously well. Assessments that were carried out have concluded that the total loss from the fire amounted to $2.1MIL. Fundraising efforts, assessments and collection ended on July 31 with a total contribution of $247,778.77. There are two pending donations that will bring the total well over the $260K expected.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SBDC Introduction to Marketing Plan Workshop
    Presented by: Mrs. Vicky Heredia, Business Advisor, SBDCBelize. Date of Workshop: August 18th, 2016. Time: 9am - 12 noon. PRICE: $30.00. Location: La Inmaculda Credit Union's Training Room, 5 Park Street, Orange Walk Town, Belize. The objectives of this workshop is to improve your knowledge of the market planning process, give you a set of tools which will help you design, implement and track your marketing plan, give you a better understanding of marketing communications and how to use it in supporting you marketing plan. You will learn how to write an actionable targeted marketing plan, how to develop your expenses and sales budgets and how to develop your marketing communications strategy and marketing communications mix.

    On August 3rd, Hurricane Earl made landfall in the country of Belize causing major damages in the mainland and in the cayes of Belize. Fortunately, the damages were only of material items and not a loss of human lives was reported, which we are extremely grateful. Ambergris Caye was one of the cayes majorly affected by this hurricane, since many piers/docks washed ashore due to the high and powerful waves that came with the hurricane. The San Pedro Town Council hereby advises all dock/pier owners that they must re-apply for their dock/pier permit before re-building or making any repairs. Kindly visit the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority at the San Pedro Town Council offices for more details in regards to this matter.

    First Friday Of August Roadside and Beach Trash Pick Up
    We still have our work cut out for us....this Friday, be there if you can. Thank you! We're at it again, and need your help! Please join us and our friends at Grand Caribe Belize, on Friday, August 5th, as we do our part to keep our Isla Bonita clean! We meet at the Paradise Theatre, just north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge at 9 am. We provide bags, gloves, trash pickers and water; all you have to do is bring your community spirit and enthusiasm!

    Belikin National Tournament Darts, Games, Raffles
    Sunday August 14, 3pm-9pm

    Belizeans attending young leaders of Americas Conference
    Andrew Munnings is one of the 3 Belizeans selected to represent Belize in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative hosted in Washington D.C by President Obama. They will be in Washington from October 4th to November 12th.

    COrozal "Identity" Youth Art Exhibit
    You are kindly invited to a night of artistic appreciation honouring our young visual artists. Please join us Friday August 12th beginning at 7pm.

    San Joaquin Fiesta
    FIESTA! The San Joaquin Fiesta is underway, with major events from Aug. 12 through 16. There are Novenas daily at San Joaquin Catholic Church (check with the church for times) AND Miss San Joaquin Fiesta 2016, cultural presentations, fireworks, a public dance and mechanical rides.

    The Belize Zoo: Day 6 of our clean-up campaign
    The Zoo officially re-opened yesterday with clear pathways, while restoration efforts continue "behind the scenes." Despite the damage we suffered, we are fortunate it was not worse. Our thoughts are with our fellow Belizeans who did not fare as well with the passing of Earl. In solidarity with their plight, TBZ will be donating towards the recovery efforts being undertaken in Belize City. Entrance fees collected on Friday August 10th will be put toward this donation. We encourage all our local supporters, tour guides, tour operators etc to spread the word. Guests coming to the Zoo this week that also wish to make monetary or in-kind donations towards these efforts are welcome to drop them off at our front desk. All donations will be taken to the Belize Red Cross (Belize City Branch). Spread the word!

    Corn Leaf Doll Making Workshop
    August 15-19. Want to finish the summer with a big bang?? Well, join us at Banquitas for the final Summer Program being offered. We have the privilege to host Mrs. Raquelin Pacheco from Mexico to teach us how to make beautiful dolls out of corn husk. Don't miss out on this opportunity and give us a call to register.

    Post Party today! Whoop whopp! Yeah yeah. Come one come all. Crazy Canucks 2p.m


    Utilization of the Seabed and of 66 Feet Reserve
    The Lands and Surveys Department, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, advises the general public that in Pursuant to Section 2 of the National Lands Act, National Land includes the seabed and the 66 feet reserve, which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals. The general public is also advised that the Lands and Surveys Department, by powers of the National Lands Act (Revised Edition 2003), has jurisdiction over the 66 feet reserve and the seabed (National Land). Although the use of the seabed and the 66 feet reserve are regulated under the National Lands Act, Section 6 Clause 1, the construction of over-water structures on the seabed falls under the Belize Building Act, Chapter 131 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2003, which is implemented by the Central Building Authority. The Minister responsible for lands must, therefore, issue approval in writing prior to occupation or use of the 66ft. reserve and erection/construction or placement of any permanent or semi-permanent structures on the seabed.

    Palapa Bar and Grill is on the mend...and with the help of many they soon will be back, good as new!
    Picking through the final piles of debris, Reynold Chee found one more Palapa Bar and Grill shirt, which he raised as a flag over the beach yesterday afternoon. We are so grateful for all the assistance from our staff and other community members who have worked countless hours in the massive clean up efforts during the last week. We couldn't have done it without you!

    International Costa Maya Festival
    Although Hurricane Earl forced the annual International Costa Maya Festival to be cancelled last week, Belize still managed to show our charming hospitality to the lovely contestants who were here to participate in La Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant. Even though they never had the chance to take to the stage, it looks like they still managed to have some fun!

    Jazz Festival details!
    It will be a weekend filled with music and culture! FRIDAY (through Tuesday): San Joaquin Fiesta: San Joaquin Village, Corozal FRIDAY: Belize International Jazz Festival Welcome Show and Jam Session Bliss Center for Performing Arts SATURDAY: Belize National Song Competition finals at Memorial Park [Hear the songs and vote!] SATURDAY: Dinner and Jazz at Best Western Biltmore Belize AND jazz concert at Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize SUNDAY: Jazz Brunch at Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize AND Belize International Jazz Festival Opening Concert CAYO Welcome Center

    Making waves--and baskets!
    The Summer Art Wave 2016's Basketry Workshop is well underway with two days of peeling vines, today our participants began the weaving process.

    Channel 7

    UNIBAM Grand Slam: Gay Sex Law Struck Out
    Tonight Belize's LBGT community is rejoicing – after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck down the law criminalizing sodomy. It's the end of more than 3 years of waiting for gay rights activist Caleb Orozco who challenged the constitutionality of Section 53 of the country's Criminal Code in May of 2013. That law reads, "every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years." Orozco told the court that the law criminalizes intimacy between gay men who are consenting adults, and it violates their rights.

    UNIBAM: And Justice For All..
    So, as you saw in our story, Caleb Orozco and his legal team asked us to attend a press conference at the UWI Open Campus. That's the Belize home-away-from-home for the UWI Rights Advocacy Project known as U-RAP's Faculty of Law which was pivotal in getting this case to the Supreme Court on behalf of Orozco and UNIBAM. Today, Orozco's legal team sat down and explained the significance of the ruling, and the fact the churches cannot force an appeal. That appeal will have to come from the Attorney General and the Government of Belize, and they have only a short window to file it: Westim James, SC - Attorney for Caleb: "We found that Caleb's rights to human dignity, privacy, equality before the law, equal protection of the law and freedom of expression were breached. The court then read down the legislation to exclude consensual same sex intimacy in private."

    Mason's Wife Melissa Ferguson Remanded For Conspiracy
    Melissa Ferguson - she's Danny Mason's wife – who turned herself into police two days ago. Well today after her 48 hours expired, the 56 year old was taken to Belmopan Magistrate's Court and charged for one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping pastor Llewelyn Lucas and David Dodd. The case went before Magistrate Emerita Anderson this afternoon with Richard Dickie Bradley appearing for Ferguson. It turned out to be a mine-fiasco police when the charge sheet had to be amended because the five-page document never once said who she conspired to kidnap. That forced an hour long adjournment to amend the document, after which Richard Dickie Bradley tried to get bail for his client. He said that his client – who had been in Belize for 3 years - was not a flight risk because she had business interests here.

    Mason Will Go Back To Court For Kidnapping Friessen
    But police are taking the big guns to Belmopan Magistrate's Court tomorrow. Assistant Commissioner Chester Williams will go to Belmopan tomorrow to arraign William Danny Mason and his associates for conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping for Lloyd Friessen. This is a new charge – relating to the event that may have eventually lead to Pastor Lu's beheading. Friessen – who is a large grain producer in Spanish Lookout - alleges that Mason conned him out of three hundred thousand dollars by promising a corn shipment from Argentina which never arrived. When he pressed Mason for the return of the cash – he alleged that he and his wife were abducted form his home on Intelco Hill and taken to Mason's Ranch where they were threatened/ all messages to and form Mason were also deleted from their phones, and he was allegedly told to pay Mason 2,500 dollars weekly to avoid further violence. Friessen fled the country weeks later, then recently returned after the Mason arrest to make his statement, and left again fearing for his safety.

    Mason Makes Sly Suggestions On Pawpa Mena Contributions
    And while Mason will be back in court tomorrow talking to the judge, earlier this week he was talking to the Amandala. Tonight, we have just a little bit more from that phone conversation. We showed you his bold but questionable claims from behind the prison walls of his supposed interactions with Top Cop Edward Broaster who categorically denies any such thing. The Amandala's Micah Goodin also took that opportunity last week to question him about UDP Dangriga Area Rep. Frank Pawpa Mena. As you would remember, the Prime Minister disclosed that Mena took a contribution of $10,000 from Mason for the Dangriga By-Election. Mena has said that he will return it. So, when Goodin asked him to confirm if the amount was indeed $10,000, Mason suggested that it was a bit more:

    EU Gives Hurricane Earl Relief
    The European Union has announced that it will give Belize 50,000 Euros in humanitarian funding to assist the storm affected populations in the wake of Hurricane Earl. The EU funding will be earmarked for the Belize Red Cross, to deliver safe water, sanitation services and hygiene promotion, reduction of risks for vector and waterborne diseases, non-food items and livelihood asset replacements for the most vulnerable families. A release says the humanitarian aid will directly benefit 2,200 persons who had their homes damaged and are currently without water or electricity.

    Chiquibul From Above
    We usually bring you stories of our 7news team inside the Chiquibul, trekking through the thick jungle landscape. Well, today we got to see the Chiquibul from up above .The manager of the national park invited us to accompany the Friends for Conservation and Development on their aerial tour and here is a short excerpt from the story highlighting the importance of this forest fly over Derick Chan - Manager, Chiquibul National Park: "Well what is important about this flight is because we want to create awareness to the people of Belize, to the government of Belize, to everyone that indeed we continue to have these agriculture incursions and there is a lot being done and there is a lot more that can be done but it is important because creating awareness it helps us generate support from people and also to really start to get cracking down on this problem that we have had for the past 30 years."

    Murder Trial Ends, Verdict Next
    Today, after hearing closing addresses from counsels for the defense and the prosecution, Justice John Gonzalez, in the trial of 21 year old Kurtis Lamb. He's charged with the murder of Justin Roches, which happened back on August 3, 2011. The Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, alleged that Lamb and Michael Meighan had an altercation in which Lamb was beaten by Meighan. He then left with the intention of settling the dispute with a gun. When he returned with a with that weapon, he fired upon Meighan, but he missed. Police investigation shows that he then turned the weapon on Roches who was at the basketball court at the time, and that's when Lamb gunned him down. Those injuries he suffered were fatal. Meighan, who was the prosecution's lead witness, testified that he saw Lamb fire the shots.

    Framing The Gay Rights Issue
    And so the judgment on the Caleb Orozco/Unimbam case is in and the LBGT community won. But, it’s not as simple as that, and 5 years ago, Janelle Chanona looked at the multifarious and complex issues guiding this case:.. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, May 13th 2011: "I would limit myself to saying that the government as a government has taken the position that it needs to argue for the constitutionality of the law that is in place that's being challenged and so I would not go beyond that official position. I am not prepared to comment on my own physiological conviction or lack thereof. That is the official position of the government. This is one time when it might be wise for me to say nothing more." Pastor Scott Stirm, Jubilee Ministries, Belmopan: "By natural law they cannot reproduce. Therefore they must recruit and I want to say this in the strongest terms possible. That's what this is all about. This is their evangelistic campaign."

    Belize's Olympians
    And finally tonight we have a few words from Belize's Olympic team in Rio. The 3 athletes are Renick James who competed in Judo today, along with Katy Sealy who competes in the 100 meter hurdles, and Brandon Jones in the 200 meter. All three are foreign born, raised and resident. Yesterday they spoke to our broadcast partner Canoc Broadcasting Inc about what it feels like to be in Rio:… Renick James lost in the round of 32 today. You can keep watching coverage of the Belizean and Caribbean athletes right here on Channel 7.

    San Ignacio Wooden Bridge Destroyed By Floods
    And before we go tonight – a few notes on flooding IN THE WEST. WATER HAS RECEDED ON THE IGUANA CREEK BRIDGE AND TRAFFIC IS MOVING AS NORMALLY. NO SUCH LUCK FOR THE TMEPORARY BRIDGE IN CAYO WHICH – A SYOU CAN SEE HERE WAS OCMPLETELY DESTROYED BY THE FLOODS IN THE MACAL RIVER LAST WEEK. PRESENTLY ONLY THE HAWKESWORTH BRIDGE IS OPERATIONAL AND DRIVERS ARE ASKED TO HAVE PATIENCE WHEN MOVING OVER INTO SAN IGNACIO BECAUSE IT IS A LONG QUEUE TO GET THROUGH. In other news from NEMO, there are a total of 119 persons still in Shelters countrywide. NEMO says it has assisted about 8,000 people. They say that Housing material and relief operations with very preliminary roll out is being planned for Thursday morning for self-help cases.

    Channel 5

    Supreme Court Strikes Down Section 53
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin delivered a highly anticipated decision this morning in the Supreme Court.  On July 2010, Caleb Orosco, president of UNIBAM took the government to court challenging Section [...]

    Ruling Elicits Mixed Reaction
    The groundbreaking decision handed down by the Supreme Court earlier today has been met with mixed reception.  Immediately following the ruling, Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, [...]

    NEAB Displeased With Ruling
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize has been vocal in its objection to the challenge ever since it was filed six years ago.  This morning, outside of the Supreme Court [...]

    UNIBAM Celebrates Legal Victory
    UNIBAM President Simone Hill says that the legal victory, aside from being a significant human rights achievement in Belize, was the result of a collective effort which included input from [...]

    Melissa Ferguson Arraigned for Conspiracy
    At around four-thirty this evening Melissa Ferguson was formally arraigned on one single count of Conspiracy to Kidnap two persons – Pastor Llewellyn Lucas and one other. No single step [...]

    Attorney Dickie Bradley Proclaims Ferguson’s Innocence
    Bradley maintains that his client, Ferguson, could and would have left the country if she was guilty of the crime for which she has been charged or for the murder [...]

    Bradley Says Police Evidence is Non-Existent
    He maintains that it’s all about optics – pointing out that while Ferguson has been charged for conspiring to kidnap Pastor Lucas and another man, she has not been charged [...]

    Dangriga Home Invaders Remanded to Hattieville Prison
    On Tuesday, we showed you the video footage of a home invasion – shocking footage of three women storming into the home of Brimimie Martinez, tearing off her blouse and [...]

    Are Police Investigating Ministers’ Involvement with William Mason?
    As we showed you earlier in our newscast, Melissa Ferguson has been sent to the Belize Central Prison on remand, another chapter in the William Danny Mason saga which continues [...]

    How Did William Mason Acquire Property in Belize?
    Questions have also been raised about the properties held by William Mason – notably the mansion on Intelco Hill in Belmopan and the sprawling Outback Ranch at mile thirty-one on [...]

    Bradley Has Information on Ministers, but Won’t Share Yet
    And then there’s the evidence we keep hearing about – all that evidence which supposedly incriminates those high-ranking politicos and policemen who used to be fixtures at Masons house. Mason [...]

    Caribbean Internet Governance Forum Hosted in Belize City
    Today, day one of the twelfth annual Caribbean Internet Governance Forum was held at the Radisson in Belize City. Hosted by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union in collaboration with the Public [...]

    How Does Belize Rate in the Caribbean?
    Packet Clearing House is an internet nonprofit service organization that focuses on internet economy and helps developing nations and other countries to strengthen their internet capacity. Although this year an [...]

    Forum Discusses Cyber-Security
    The forum also saw the participation of ICT Manager Sean Fouché, from the implementation agency for crime and security with CARICOM Impacts. Cyber security, specifically when it comes to money [...]

    Belize City Woman in Court for False S.S.B. Claims
    Social Security took a woman to court this evening for making false claims to collect benefits during a period of eight months last year.  Mildred Vassel, an employee of Ready [...]

    New York Times in Belize Exploring Simone Biles’ Links to the Jewel
    For Belizeans following the Olympics, the name Simone Biles may have popped up a number of times by now.  The nineteen year old gymnast has already won several world championships [...]

    Belize Makes Appearance in Judo Match in Rio
    In Rio today, Belize’s own Renick James went up against Ovini Uera of Nauru; a tiny island nation northeast of Australia, in the men’s ninety kilograms Judo event.  With Judo’s [...]


    Clean Up Continues After Hurricane Earl
    A week has gone by since Hurricane Earl made its way into Belize creating devastating and lamentable effects in areas of Belize City, Ladyville, San Pedro and Caye Caulker. While residents in other areas across the country suffered immensely as a result of Earl, here in Orange Walk we were quite fortunate to have been spared from the unexpected and underestimated hurricane as majority of the damages included fallen trees as well as debris that were lying around town during the aftermath. Yesterday during an interview with the media, Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard, told us about the clean-up campaign that is currently being carried out by the Council in partnership with BSI/ASR in order to restore the town back to its normalcy.

    Orange Walkeno To Participate In Program Hosted By US President
    Twenty six year old Hernan Urbina, a young Belizean entrepreneur from Orange Walk Town, is one of the three talented and young Belizeans chosen to participate in this year’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, (YLAI), a program hosted by US President Barack Obama. The program is geared at increasing the development of young entrepreneurial skills, to assist young people in Latin America and the Caribbean to become financially stable and enhance their economic opportunity. Urbina, who has been managing his family’s business for the past four years, was chosen from a total of four thousand applicants from over thirty six countries from Central America and the Caribbean. Today when our news team paid him a visit, he spoke to us about the work he put into receiving this fellowship.


    UNIBAM Holds Conference to Discuss Chief Justice’s Ruling
    After the favorable ruling given this morning by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to amend section 53 of the Criminal Code of Belize 1981, to exclude consensual sex between adults in private, UNIBAM held a press conference. Senior Legal Counsel, Lisa Showman and Wesmin James, spoke about the ruling. Executive Director of UNIBAM, LGBTQI activist Caleb […]

    Police Maintained Presence at Supreme Court for Chief Justice’s Ruling
    A notable number of law enforcement members were present at the Supreme Court this morning while Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was handing down the ruling for the Caleb Orozco case. We asked assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams about the security personnel and his opinion on the ruling. CHESTER WILLIAMS “We know that there are […]

    Melissa Ferguson Charged for Conspiracy to Kidnapping
    On Monday, August 8, we told you of Melissa Ferguson handing herself into the Belmopan Police Station in the company of her lawyer, Richard Dickie Bradley. After extensive questioning by the police, Ferguson was detained by the investigators. She spent the entire Tuesday in detention and this afternoon, she was spotted going into court to […]

    William Mason Says His Wife Knows Nothing About Anything
    While Melissa Ferguson will be spending some time at the Belize Central Prison, her husband, William Mason is outraged of the situation as he explained to Love News via telephone this afternoon. WILLIAM MASON “Me and my wife need a lot of help right now. We have been detained for wrong reasons, because of the […]

    Melissa Ferguson Shocked at Police’s Charges Against Her
    Melissa Ferguson will spend her first night in prison tonight and her future is now unknown. According to her attorney, Richard Dickie Bradley, it was not her expectation that she would have been charged as it was not the idea she had gotten in conversations held prior to her handing herself over to the authorities. […]

    Attorney General Retreage Says the Mason Horse Has Been Flogged
    So, tonight’s update is that Melissa Ferguson is now on remand at the Belize Central Prison; William Mason is looking to face additional charges. So, is the media flogging a dead horse by following up on the allegations and the speculations in the Mason saga? Today, we asked the Attorney General, Vanessa Retreage to comment […]

    AG Says Registrar Pushed for Investigation Into Mason’s Birth Document
    The issuance of a birth certificate to William Mason stating that he was born in Crooked Tree Village, Belize District was another revelation that came out following the discovery of the head of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Who facilitated him with that official document? As we noted in a previous newscast, the matter had been handed […]

    New Lands Minister Says She Will Maintain Her No-Nonsense Approach
    In a recent press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that among the changes made to his Cabinet, he would be handing the Lands Department and its ministry to Attorney General, Vanessa Retreage. Retreage has not been a public figure and has yet to speak on what she brings to the table in the Lands […]

    Attorney General Says Work Has Begun In Combatting Cyber Crimes
    Today was the start of an internet governance forum. One of the issues coming up in the discussions is cyber security. Anyone who uses the internet would be able to attest to the obscene content that is being put up by several users with no thought of privacy, dignity or discretion. Bevil Wooding whose work […]

    PUC & CTU Team Up for 12th Internet Governance Forum
    The 12th annual conference focusing on internet governance in the Caribbean is underway at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. It is a conference aimed at improving the way the Caribbean accesses the internet and to look at the various forms of economic development and entrepreneurship benefits that can be had. Bevil Wooding […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Man goes missing during fishing trip
    A team is presently out searching for Tedford Augustine, 36, who reportedly went missing during a fishing trip. Gilbert Paulino, 23, reported to police that yesterday August 9, sometime around 1:30 p.m. both men from the village of Seine Bight went fishing some four […]

    Stann Creek man investigated for assault
    A 21-year-old resident from Seine Bight Village in the Stann Creek District is currently in police custody pending investigation for an aggravated assault. According to a 17-year-old on Saturday August 6, around 7:00 p.m. while riding his bicycle he was pushed off causing him […]

    Don’t appeal ruling, Orozco urges Government – respect LGBT!
    After today’s historic judgment in the Supreme Court, executive director of UNIBAM Caleb Orozco says the next step is to make sure LGBT persons are treated with the same respect as everyone else. In that regard, he stated that the Constitution “is not toilet […]

    Two men charged for shooting at Belize Festival in Chicago
    Two men have been arrested and charged for the shooting in a crowd of about 2,000 people at the Belize Cultural Festival at the Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Illinois USA. Jermaine R. James, 34, of Evanston, was charged with unlawful possession of a […]

    Claimants pleased, Evangelicals gnash teeth following Section 53 decision
    Attorney for Caleb Orozco, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, pronounced herself, her client and their supporters pleased with today’s ruling by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, having won on every point raised. A small contingent of pro-LGBT individuals countered the much larger – though not by […]

    Construction to start for two new polyclinics in the Corozal District
    Approximately 18,000 people will soon have access to polyclinics to be constructed at Chunox and San Narciso Villages in the Corozal District. Ground will be broken today at both villages. The building in Chunox Village is being funded by Government to the tune of […]

    Supreme Court rules Section 53 unconstitutional
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today found that Section 53 of the Criminal Code which criminalizes consenting intercourse between adults of the same sex contravenes the right granted by the Constitution of Belize to no interference with a person’s dignity and personal privacy, as well […]

    Section 53 Judgement being handed down this morning
    At 10:00 this morning Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hand down his official ruling on the challenge brought by Caleb Orozco against Section 53 of the Criminal Code, which outlaws homosexuality. Orozco and his attorney for the case Lisa Shoman will be present when […]

    European Union provides 50,000 Euros to Belize for Hurricane Relief
    The European Union has provided 50,000 Euros, or a little over US $55,000 to Belize to assist the Belize Red Cross in providing relief to about 440 families who have been severely affected by the passing of Hurricane Earl last week. These would include […]


    Pre-Earl: The Road (the Path and the Quarry) North on Ambergris Caye – WAY NORTH
    About a week and a half ago, after trying to hitch a boat ride up to Camp Basil Jones, it was suggested to me that I just drive north. DRIVE 14 MILES NORTH!?!?!! Just a few years ago, one or two miles north of town was considered my “far north”. Even a few miles over the bridge was a full day event that needed much advance planning. We now have a bridge (for those who haven’t been to San Pedro in about 11 years) AND A ROAD. Paved in 2015 as far north as 3 miles (or Belizean Shores Resort) and then hard packed and graded to almost 11 miles north – or just behind luxe El Secreto. Once you get up there, you need to take a turn towards the beach. Here’s what I saw on my drive just over a week ago. CAN YOU BELIEVE EARL WAS LESS THAN ONE WEEK AGO? I can hardly…I am again amazed at how quickly this community can rebound.

    Dear Belize Traveler: Before You Visit, Please Read These Tips!
    If you’re like most North Americans getting ready for a tropical paradise escape, deciding what to see can send you scurrying for the aspirin bottle. We don’t blame you. It’s wise to consider all manner of Belize experiences (since this nation has more choices than most) so you wind up with an itinerary that balances down time and leisure with adventures that have no rival in the Caribbean. To help you plan the perfect trip, we are delighted to share nine facts that can help morph your Belize visit from great to sublime. You will want to thank us for the following advice, but don’t bother. Our reward is bestowed when you find yourself planning your next Belize trip on your return flight home!

    Relief effort begins to rebuild San Mateo homes hit by Hurricane Earl
    San Mateo was hit harder than we imagined by Hurricane Earl. According to San Pedro Food Bank co-founder Brittney O’Daniel, 49 familes are affected, in leveled or “half-destroyed” homes. The local social activist has set a goal of $20,000 BZD to fund the cost of plywood, zinc roofing, hammers, nails and other building supplies to rebuild the homes. Says O’Daniel, “Alright San Pedro, we need to rebuild a few homes in San Mateo that were destroyed by the hurricane! Which means we need money for plywood, zinc, lumber, nails, etc! We’re looking for donations as well as people to come help rebuild! If you have a few dollars you can spare let us know! Let’s not leave 49 families in half destroyed homes! Let’s help them rebuild! It will take almost 20k to get all of the materials needed!!” Alexandria Boiton forwarded these pictures to me, from Brittney. “We are working together bringing awareness on the damages,” said Alexandria. Brittney “is scouting for volunteers to rebuild and I’m trying to organize fundraisers to buy supplies needed.”

    San Pedro town ‘fathers’ deliver stern lectures to fire victims before disbursing relief funds
    Yesterday morning I answered the San Pedro Food Bank’s call for volunteers to help sort donated clothing for distribution to Hurricane Earl victims. By the time I got to the Lion’s Den in San Pedro, shortly after 9 a.m., the sorting process was well under way. This is a pretty experienced group. Only a bit more than a month ago, 88 San Pedranos, businesses and property owners were left homeless by a downtown fire and the local Red Cross, Lions Club and Food Bank seemed to click together in bringing relief to fire victims. Including clothing distribution. Now they were doing it all over again. Fortunately, the overwhelming response to the fire left the local service groups with plenty of boxes and bags of clothing donations that never got sorted and distributed — and frankly didn’t need to. They were ready and waiting for Hurricane Earl’s victims. Which is why the Food Bank was urging only donations of non-perishable food and bedding this time. (Still needed, by the way.)

    Today, The Supreme Court of Belize Made a Historic Judgement For Equality
    Up until this morning, it was illegal to be a homosexual man in Belize. Today at 10am, the justice at the Belize Supreme court, after deliberating for…years…turned that around. Acceptance rather than rejection? Love rather than hate? Belize just got more beautiful for me today. I asked my friend Colette Kase, who flew to Belize City this morning to be there for the historic and IN NO WAY guaranteed verdict to write something for me. And she did. Please don’t wince at her British spelling habits. And as my friend Ali just put it beautifully “after the rain comes a rainbow”. Hurray! If you’ve never been to Belize, you probably wouldn’t know, but until recently, very recently, Belize was one of approximately 76 countries that criminalised consenting sexual acts between homosexual men. Even if you’ve been to Belize, it’s likely that this fact wasn’t even on your radar, but the truth is that many of the people who provided you with the amazing experience you had here were LGBT Belizeans and many were forced to hide their sexuality from their families, communities and even their employers.

    A week ago, On August 3rd, Hurricane Earl made landfall in the country of Belize causing major damages in the mainland and in the cayes of Belize. Fortunately, the damages were only of material items and not a loss of human lives was reported, which we are extremely grateful. Ambergris Caye was one of the cayes majorly affected by this hurricane, since many piers washed ashore due to the high and powerful waves that came with the hurricane, and a few establishments had minor damages. The entire island of Ambergris Caye is now fully restored with the main utilities, which include, electricity, water and telephone/internet. Thanks to the unity of the entire community of San Pedro Town, we are all back in business and ready to cater to all our locals and visitors. Although many dive shops lost their piers, they did not lose their boats or their spirit to share with our friendly visitors the beauty of Belize. And let’s not talk about the restaurants – they are fully equipped and ready to serve everyone with their exotic and exquisite Belizean cuisine.

    Many visitors to Belize are pleasant surprised by the wide range of foods and drinks available with something for everyone’s palate. Belize is a true melting pot of different cultural influences, resulting in a delicious melange of dishes with British, Spanish, Chinese, American, Creole, Maya, Caribbean and Garifuna influences.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize’s Supreme Court Just Struck Down A Law That Made Homosexuality Illegal
    The country is the first former British colony in the Caribbean to strike down its colonial-era sodomy law, and it could boost LGBT rights throughout the region. The Belize Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a law punishing homosexuality was unconstitutional. The decision was announced on the LGBT rights group Unibam’s Twitter account soon after the ruling was made. Unibam which first brought the challenge against the law back in 2010. Caleb Orozco, the main plaintiff in the case, told BuzzFeed News in an email that the Supreme Court ruled in his favor on privacy grounds, as well as under protections of “dignity, equality, and freedom of expression.” He added that the court also decided that protections in the Belizean constitution surrounding sex extend to sexual orientation.

    Archaeologists just uncovered one of the biggest Mayan tombs ever
    An international team of archaeologists working in Belize has uncovered one of the biggest royal Maya tombs ever, containing a male corpse, animal bones, obsidian blades, and hieroglyphic panels that offer new insights into the legendary 'snake dynasty'. The team uncovered the tomb in Xunantunich, an ancient city in Western Belize that once served as a ceremonial centre for the Maya, under the stairway of a temple. "In other words, it appears that the temple was purposely erected for the primary purpose of enclosing the tomb," team leader Jaime Awe from Northern Arizona University told Alan Yuhas from The Guardian. "Except for a very few rare cases, this is not very typical in ancient Maya architecture." According to the team, the tomb was built for a 20- to 30-year-old muscular man, who must have been of some importance, though they're still trying to figure out more information about his life.

    Climate Prediction Center’s Central America Hazards Outlook August 11 – 17, 2016
    Tropical Storm “Earl” led to flooding in Belize, relief to dryness over neighboring areas in northern Central America. In the last seven days, the inception and passage of Tropical Storm “Earl” brought significantly heavy rainfall across the Caribbean and the Gulf of Honduras region as it made landfall over the Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. During the next week, moderate to heavy rainfall amounts are forecast many anomalously dry parts of Honduras, as well as throughout southern Guatemala. The enhanced rainfall is expected to help alleviate short-term and long-term moisture deficits in the Gulf of Fonseca region and throughout Honduras. Many Atlantic facing departments are forecast to receive average to below-average rainfall. No tropical cyclone activity is expected for the outlook period.

    UWI ready to support Belize following Hurricane Earl
    At the peak of the hurricane season, The University of the West Indies (UWI) said it remains watchful and poised to lend support to its Caribbean neighbours. Outreach has begun for the recovery efforts in Belize after it was hard hit by Hurricane Earl. The storm, which made landfall south of Belize City just after being upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane last Thursday, August 4, 2016, resulted in major flooding in the central and coastal areas of Belize. Belize City and surrounding villages were among the most affected areas with some major bridges rendered impassable. Inland areas including the Belize River Valley, Cayo District and Stann Creek District suffered tremendously and will feel the economic burden of lost banana, citrus and grain crops even as Belize picks up the pieces.

    Now THAT'S a show-stopper! Francis Ford Coppola unveils a private island hideaway in Belize that's so small you can walk round it in five minutes
    Film, wine and holiday resorts - is there no end to this man's talents? American screenwriter and film director Francis Ford Coppola has unveiled a new location in his hospitality portfolio, in the shape of a private island. Beach lovers can now castaway at Coral Caye, an idyll eight miles off the coast of Placencia, Belize, that's only two acres, meaning a stroll around the perimeter would only take about five minutes. The rustic two-acre retreat is a 20-minute boat ride from the Family Coppola Resort’s Turtle Inn, making it the only accommodation on the Belize mainland to also offer a private island. Groups of up to 12 can indulge their Huckleberry Finn fantasies with a stay at the island’s two wooden clad cottages. Or a couple can rent out the Apocalypse Now director's entire island as a romantic escape.

    It takes a strong village to help Belizeans
    Agoura High students Alex Bednar and Noah August are finding ways within their community to help Strong Villages, a local nonprofit that offers global volunteer travel opportunities and dental/medical trips to provide assistance to indigenous populations worldwide. The students set out to help fund the Tumul K’in Health Center in the rainforest of Belize, Central America. Noah, a member of the International Baccalaureate program, has worked for the past six months gathering donations from events held around the area. “ The goal is to provide everyone with the experience of self-reliance or better self-empowerment because the idea that you can give them something that makes them feel more secure is one of the greatest feelings in the world,” says Noah.

    Amy Michael earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from MSU in May. Her dissertation focused on the dental health of the prehispanic Maya of Central Belize. While a student, she was part of the Campus Archeology Program and was a contributor to the program blog. Here, she recaps her time at MSU as a student. In May, I graduated from MSU and was let loose into the world as a real, live anthropologist. I have been very fortunate to be employed as a graduate researcher with CAP since 2010. As a physical anthropologist, I entered graduate school thinking I’d just study old bones but I have found a real love for historic archaeology. I credit CAP and Dr. Lynne Goldstein with fostering this interest in me. Each year with CAP has taught me something new, so MSUToday editor Lisa Mulcrone suggested that I re-CAP (ha!) my time in my final blog post. In no particular order:


  • Belize: Through the Lens & Beyond, 1.5min. Photography & Herbal Workshop Steven Foster & Rebecca Wood February 12-19, 2017

  • Hurricane Earl batters Belize City, 8min.

  • Wildtracks Update: A small ray of Hope - Possibly the smallest manatee calf ever!, 2min. We have a new arrival at Wildtracks - possibly the smallest manatee calf ever! In August, 2016, Hurricane Earl made landfall near Belize City, bringing a tidal surge of 7 feet, sweeping ashore boats, wood from broken docks and buildings....and a manatee calf. The Category One hurricane must have separated her from her mother soon after birth, depositing her more than 250 meters inland - surprisingly un-scarred. She was discovered, alone, in shallow flood waters two days after the storm, and rescued by Jamal Galves (of Sea to Shore). He transported her to Orange Walk, where she was transferred to Wildtracks who, with the help of the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development, transported her the rest of the way to Sarteneja and Belize's Manatee Rehabilitation Center.

  • Belize's own Renick James competing in the mens 90kg Judo competition at the Rio Olympics., 6min. Great effort, proud of his performance.

  • CFC Belize Missions Trip 2016, 6min.

  • SoCAL Belize Missions Team 2016, 2.5min. 18 people from 5 different churches in the SoCAL area went to Belize to serve, have fun and build relationship. July 28 - August 8, 2016.

  • Belize Trip 2016, 12min. Family in Christ mission trip to Belize.

  • Amazing Drone Footage of Belize (Ocean)! (Phantom 3 Standard),2.5 min. Here is some footage of the ocean off the coast of Hopkins, Belize! The shots were taken with the DJI Phantom 3 Standard drone.

  • Belize - Jaguar Reserve, 4min. Today I went to the Jaguar Reserve with Rick, who I had spent the last few days with, as well as Laura and Kelsey. To be quite frank, this is one of the days I enjoyed the least. Not only was I feeling like the old fart fourth wheel but I also ended up losing my phone floating down the river. I had so many great pictures and videos but at least I had my camera with me as well and was able to capture a good amount of the day. There is something to be said about being around people who know you when you are feeling low. The people you love have a way of lifting your spirits and I needed it today!

  • Samuel's Sanctuary in Santa Marta, Belize, 4min.

  • San Pedro Belize dancing, 3min.

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