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10/21/2016 to 10/31/2016
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Today's Belize News

October 31, 2016


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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

Wolfe’s Woofer: Car Sick
“I hope we have everything,” Sherry said. “On a Mexican bus I always worry that they will lose our suitcases.” “We’ll be fine,” I told her. We boarded the bus in Chetumal, Mexico for a six-hour ride to Cancun. Across the aisle from me a well dressed but angry looking American straightened his tie and said, “I wish this bus would get going. I’m going to be drunk by the time we get there.” He offered to pour me some Jack Daniels whiskey from his pint bottle but I had to turn it down. “I can’t catch a direct flight to Cancun this morning,” he told me. “I hate having to spend six hours on a bus.” A dried up little old Mexican man took the aisle seat next to him and said, “Buenos Dias. Buenos Dias,” to everyone. The big man fell asleep almost immediately. Just before we got to Tulum, Sherry nudged me and said, “P-s-s-s-t.” When I turned to look the little Mexican was turning a nice green color. He struggled to get out of his seat and then he could hold it no more. “Bl-e-c-ch-h-h!”

MOH & BTB protecting tourists from Zika
The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) have partnered with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to protect visitors from the scourge of Zika and other diseases like Chikungunya and H1N1, by launching the Belize Tourism and Health Program at the Radisson Fort George Hotel last Friday morning, October 21st. Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin cited that protecting the health of Belizean tourism staff was key to the continued success of the industry, which is all important to the country’s economy. Equally important is to ensure the health of tourists that they may enjoy their stay in Belize without contracting any illness, nor introducing any infectious virus to Belize.

Doctor Love: No Ex’s and No Fleas
Dear Doctor Love, My fiancé and I have been engaged for six months after dating for a year. We are getting married in June but he still keeps in touch with a few female friends, a couple of whom he has dated. He is friends with them on Facebook and even has had lunch with one of them once since our engagement, which he told me about immediately. I know I am being unreasonable but I get jealous and insecure even when I try not to. Shouldn’t he stop these friendships now that he has me? /s/No Ex’s

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Halloween Events in San Pedro
Here are the upcoming fun Halloween events this week~ Thurs. & Fri. 6-9pm Haunted House at Wayo's, Benefits Food Bank, Hope Haven, Kid's Club & Literacy Program Fri. 7pm Trivia for Red Cross at Crazy Canuck's~ dress in costume to support Red Cross Sat. 9pm- 4am Holiday Hotel Halloween Party $15. (They say no charge if your costume is good enough!) Sunday 11am Saga Halloween Party ~ dress your pup up!! Mon. 5pm-9pm Black Orchid 5th Annual Halloween Social ~ for kids & adults Candy for the kids, drink specials for adults in costume, or come as you are, but be there or be square!!!

Saga Humane Society Halloween costume party at Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar!

Congratulations to Leonel Millian (La Viuda de Blanco) for winning the Top Prize at this year's Holiday Hotel's Halloween Party!

Amazing photos and video of breeding manatees! Don't see that everyday, and yeah for more babies!
Started our day early! Received a message from Wildtracks to assess a situation with a possible injured manatee in the Maya Beach area. Good news! Not an injured manatee but a breeding herd of manatees right by the shoreline! It was quite an amazing sight and learning experience for us all!

Map: areas protected from oil drilling
Here's a scary sight: All the areas in light to dark blue (approximately 85% of our marine area) would be open to oil concessions if the Government of Belize legislates to protect only the areas shaded in red (the Belize Barrier Reef and World Heritage Sites). This is why Belizeans deserve to have a clear, legislated position on offshore oil; laws are more difficult to change than policies. The position on offshore oil should be law.

Miss World Belize Setup
Pictures from the setting up of Miss World Belize, which was last Saturday at the Log Cab-Inns. Panerrifix setting up, and playing multiple songs was the highlight, and the drinks and appetizers were top notch. Belize Mixology did a great job. The 501 Boyz got the pageant pictures.

Expofer in Chetumal
Gave Belize mucho amor! We saw an estimated 400-500 people at the booth on both Friday and Saturday! We showcased Unique Belize products as well as cultural and tourism info!

What sheer joy looks like!
Our Belizean artists wowed the crowd at Belize Night at Expofer in Chetumal on Saturday...

Disaster Relief Warehouse and Emergency Operations Center
"This project will undoubtedly help save Belizean lives," noted Ambassador Moreno as he handed over a Disaster Relief Warehouse and Emergency Operations Center, valued at USD $1.5 million, to the Government and people of Belize. The handover ceremony took place in Toledo on Friday, October 28. These facilities are the first of their kind in the Toledo District and represent the U.S. Government's and USSOUTHCOM's continued commitment to Belize in the field of humanitarian assistance. The warehouse and operations center will enable NEMO to effectively coordinate disaster response, provide relief efforts and deliver timely assistance to the people of Belize, especially in remote areas.

The Reporter

Man dead in hit and run on George Price Highway
Belmopan police are investigating a fatal hit and run road traffic accident on the George Price highway, which happened this morning. Police say that at around 1:09 a.m., they found the lifeless body of 50-year-old Damian Anastacio about 15 feet off the road near mile 46. Anastacio, a laborer of San Ignacio town, had multiple head and body injures. Police explained that Anastacio was walking on the side of the road in Armenia Village when he was knocked down and killed by a vehicle which fled the scene. Police transported the body to the Western Regional Hospital and are seeking the public’s assistance with the investigation.

Accident on Boom/Hattieville road
There was an accident on the Boom/Hattieville road near Gentleville. The incident happened shortly after 10:00 this morning.

Murder in Belize City
A Belize City man is dead and another is injured after an evening shooting on the south side. Thirty-seven-year-old George “Jaro” Young was shot multiple times by a lone shooter at around 5:30 p.m., while he was at the Buck’s barbershop at the corner of South Creek and Muhammad Ali Street. The gunman also shot 18-year-old Abraham Craig multiple times. Authorities took both men to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they pronounced young dead on arrival. Craig is listed in critical condition. Officer commanding the south side of Police Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, explained that though investigations were preliminary, police have detained one person in connection with the shooting.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Teenager commits suicide in Santa Familia
Reports reaching our newsroom is that a sixteen year old girl from Santa Familia village in the Cayo District has committed suicide. The report has been confirmed by family members. The teenager was found hanging in her room this afternoon by her siblings. Police […]

Motorcycle accident in Santa Cruz, Stann Creek
Reports reaching our newsroom is of a traffic accident involving a motorcycle and a bicycle near the Uno Gas station in Santa Cruz Village in the Stann Creek district. Two men are seriously injured and still on the scene waiting for the ambulance. BBN will […]

Captain Morgan avoids shut down
Deputy Executive Office for the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott told the San Pedro Sun that police “assisted the Department of Environment (DOE) to shut down Captain Morgan’s Retreat, located three and a half miles North of San Pedro Town, entire operations […]

Major accident on Burrell Boom road
A collision between a Chevy Trailblazer and a heavy duty truck travelling in the opposite direction occurred this morning on the Boom road. The Chevy trailblazer was traveling towards the Boom junction on the Northern Highway and the heavy duty truck was travelling in […]

Trial Farm man murdered
Orange Walk police responded to a fight in progress last night in Trial Farm. Four men were reportedly beating another man. However, when police arrived on the scene they found one man dead with an apparent stab wound to the chest. Police are yet […]

UDP operative pulls licensed gun on PUP operative
A Belmopan UDP operative allegedly pulled a licensed gun on a PUP Caribbean Shores operative in a club on North side Belize City early this morning. One of the men was reportedly detained by police and released this morning. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article […]

Minor who fled hostel shot by cops.
A male minor who had fled detention from the Hostel facility in Hattieville was shot by police lastnight. According to police information, the minor was shot once to the knee and apprehended. According to reports, he is receiving medical attention and is in a […]

San Ignacio man killed in road accident
On Saturday afternoon at around 1:09 p.m. police responded to a road traffic accident at mile 46 on the Hummingbird Highway. Upon arrival about 15 feet off the highway, police observed the motionless body of a Hispanic decent male person lying face down with […]

Man murdered while getting hair cut
George Young, 37, was shot multiples times while getting a hair cut in a barber shop at the corner of South Creek and Muhamad Ali Street. According tonpolice reports the incident occured at around 5:30 p.m. yesterday when a lone gun man entered the […]

Blogs

Halloween Madness At the Holiday Hotel: Party of the Year
Every year, the entire town (almost) dudes and dolls up for Halloween and heads to the HUGE red carpet event and late night party at the Holiday Hotel. Ben of Truck Stop – I am still not convinced that this isn’t a real dog’s head. And his wife Joanna’s! I…have never done it! Never been. My last days of partying for Halloween looked something like this. (I mostly love these photos because my little brother – age 42 – has the best costumes.) But here are some fabulous pictures that were taken while I was fast asleep. I partied last night by having pancakes for dinner. Crazy…I know. These are borrowed from Dr. Sam – our awesome vet at SAGA Humane Society. She also writes a beautiful blog (the last post is heartbreaking – but man are we are so lucky to have her).

Shot To The Head
I was up early for my run, part of my training for a half marathon later this year in Placencia, Belize. Distance running is not popular here, and I think most Belizeans wonder if someone is actually chasing me down the dirt road south. Sitting at the kitchen counter I had just finished my breakfast and was slowly getting ready for my day. The phone rang, always a bad sign, I did not know the number. As I answered I could hear noise in the background and a soft voice saying, “Dr Sam? Dr Sam?”. I knew immediately it was Merari, our young front desk lady at Saga. “You have an emergency”, she said. There are not many times that I get called to work in the morning before I am supposed to start, most things can wait until I arrive for the day. I inquired to Merari what the issue was. I couldn’t quite understand at first but thought I heard the words “shot” and “head”. I asked her to repeat herself, “They shot him in the head.”, was all I heard. I asked her if the dog was alive, she sat the phone down for a minute to double check, indeed yes. I told her to put pressure on the wounds with a towel, find Ingrid (our technician) NOW, and I’d be there soon.

International Sourcesizz

New WestJet Belize Flights Begin Service
Canadian carrier WestJet has begun its new nonstop flights to Belize. The carrier began operating its flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Belize City on Saturday. “Leaving Canada and hitting the beaches in Belize by mid-day is something that Canadian travellers are not used to and we have absolutely changed the game with our twice-weekly service from Toronto,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “I extend a big thanks to our WestJet team, the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation as well as the Belize Tourism Board for their support in the creation of this significant route. To our guests this morning, we say, “Gud maanin,” and welcome aboard. We look forward to offering both Canadians and Belizeans the chance to experience WestJet’s low fare, high care service over the winter months.” Belize becomes WestJet’s 21st destination in the Caribbean and third in Central America.

Cancer patient travels from Belize to Enterprise for treatment
Austin Armstrong of Cayo, Belize, said he was lost after his sister passed away from cancer at the beginning of December, and then received his own diagnosis of prostate cancer later that same month. It wasn’t until Stokes offered his services that he felt relief.
In the United States, almost every citizen has known someone affected by cancer, and according to cancer.gov an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year. While that number is staggering, numerous cancer patients will seek and receive various treatments from clinics and oncologists across the country. However, for the people of Belize, that is not an option.

Videos

  • When Belizeans throw down bruk pocket birthday party, 5min. A little reason why if you throw a party make sure you can afford a party. This is pure humor from a Belizean in case you have a few minutes to burn.

  • Family Vacation to Belize, 3min. Family Vacation to Belize: San Pedro Island snorkeling, Caye Chapel Golf, Orange Walk Town, Lamanai Ruins, Belize Zoo

  • Belize Dive Trip 2016 HD, 7.5min. Belize dive trip may 2016

  • Belize, 9min.

  • Belize City Carnival September 11, 2010 (Part 2), 25min. I filmed everything from beginning to end as it happened

  • Family of 9 Vacation to Belize, 3min. San Pedro, Caye Chapel Golf, Snorkeling, Orange Walk Town, Lamanai Ruins, Belize Zoo, July 2013.

  • Belize Spring Break, 4min.

  • Belize The Hype, 4.5min. Trip to Belize 2016!

  • Belize Trip 2017, 6min.

  • Belize 2016 14 David and the sharks, 2min.

  • Belize 2016 Petting nurse sharks feeding, 1.5min. This video will demonstrate how harmless nurse sharks are. They will bite if you get your hand in front of them. They remind me of petting puppies.

    October 30, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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

    Another murder on the island; Antonio Pagoada shot dead in San Mateo
    The senseless murder of 44-year-old Nieves Antonio Pagoada has San Pedro Police on high alert as they try solving this latest homicide on the island. Since then, police have identified a few persons of interest who they believe can assist them in solving Pagoada’s murder, along with the previous which took the life of Gillett by an unknown shooter as well. In an effort to prevent any more violent incidents, the San Pedro Police Formation will be engaged in a strict operation against a potential spike in crime on the island. As a result, members of the Gang Suppression Unit, along with other security agencies from the mainland will be assisting the local force on the island in their preventative campaign. “We will have a major increase in patrols throughout the island in order to thwart any future illicit activity and bring back the order in San Pedro,” said Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemmott. He once again asked the general public to assist the police in any way they can, so together they can continue keeping Ambergris Caye attractive and safe for residents and visitors alike.

    Local authorities lay plans to alleviate traffic during high season
    Downtown traffic congestion can be a chaotic situation, and with more vehicles and golf carts on the island, the problem just keeps growing. Chris Nuñez, head of the SPTD, said that he and his team are working on a plan that will monitor the amount of town traffic until the late hours of the night. “We are planning to have traffic wardens doing night shifts in order to further monitor the flow of traffic,” said Nuñez. “With the high season fast approaching, we are aware of the increase in traffic, therefore, we want to also increase our presence on the streets and maintain safety at all times.” Nuñez added that it is during the evening hours and into the night that more monitoring needs to be done as that is when people are mostly driving in town as they head to restaurants or bars to recreate. “Another crucial component that will help us, will be the joint work with the police in case we need their assistance in law breaking scenarios,” he said. Another issue that comes along with traffic is when numerous tourists complain that traffic wardens issue them tickets on their first offence. Nuñez indicated that the SPTD is working to alleviate this problem by emphasizing good hospitality. “Every morning we have our sessions, and we encourage our wardens to practice good customer service and public relations, especially with our visitors. We are aware that our street signage is not the best, and it has caused a lot of tourists to complain because they get ticketed. We will be also be encouraging rental companies to give tourists adequate information in regards to traffic regulations. But we try our best to tell our wardens to give our visitors a break and educate them instead. We’re hoping to have a good season this year,” said Nuñez.

    Patrick Faber hopes to reach compromise with teacher’s salaries
    Following the 11-day strike by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), both teachers and students returned to the classrooms on October 19th. Before and after the strike, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, informed the members of the BNTU that their salaries would be adjusted if they participated. However, after negotiating with BNTU President, Luke Palacio, Faber has offered two proposals in support of teachers receiving their complete salary for the month of October. The first proposal stated that Palacio should use the BNTU’s Strike Fund to finance some teachers’ salaries, and the other proposal states that the MOE will pay the teachers in full whilst demanding that they put in extra hours to make up for time lost in the classrooms. “If we find agreement then the Ministry will proceed with paying full salaries for the teachers on strike on the condition that the BNTU will repay the government from its strike fund the agreed portion that BNTU would be responsible to meet for the teachers who are on strike,” Faber stated in a letter dated October 21st.

    DOE orders shut down of Captain Morgan’s Retreat; Heredia intervenes for extension
    The San Pedro Sun was informed by Deputy Executive Office for the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott that the police “assisted the Department of Environment (DOE) to shut down Captain Morgan’s Retreat, located three and a half miles North of San Pedro Town, entire operations on Tuesday, October 18th.” This information led to an investigation, which revealed that Captain Morgan’s has been in non-compliance with the DOE for several years due to improperly installed sewer waste treatment system. A meeting then took place between Chief Environmental Officer of the DOE Martin Alegria, and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. to discuss a way forward with Captain Morgan’s. In that meeting, the relevant parties reached a compromise, allowing Captain Morgan’s to remain open. Minister Heredia explained to The San Pedro Sun that he asked the DOE to extend their deadline, saying that the situation was just a misunderstanding. “Captain Morgan’s was not shut down. They were going to be shut down because they had be given a timeframe to be able to fix their sewer waste treatment system. They have done some of the work, but they have not complied with the timeframe given. I asked the DOE to let us give them a little more time, and if we see that they are not complying, I will not even lift a finger because it is more than sufficient time for them to get it completed,” said Heredia.

    Newlywed couple donates school supplies to town library
    The San Pedro Town Public Library received a generous donation of much-needed school supplies and swim toys on Tuesday, October 25th. From crayons to paint, markers, pencils, highlighters, books, and even backpacks, the library welcomed the donations from Rick and Leahann Bernstein. According to Library Assistant Marlene Coral, the Bernsteins visited her previously, and asked her to write a list of school supplies that the library needed. The couple recently tied the knot on Sunday, October 23rd at Caribbean Villas, and they decided to make their wedding a bit more interesting. Instead of asking for wedding gifts, the Bernsteins asked their invited guests to bring school supplies that would be donated to the library instead. With much support from their family and friends, more than two large suitcases were packed with school supplies. For the Bernsteins, the children in San Pedro have a unique charm in them, which they compare to the beauty of the island. “We fell in love with everything about Ambergris Caye, and I love the idea that all of the kids from the different school come to the library. For many of them, the library is the only place they have access to the internet, and we like knowing that this is the place that a little bit goes a long way. We are also very happy to have shared these experiences with our friends who did not know of Belize,” said the Bernsteins.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Halloween Events in San Pedro
    Here are the upcoming fun Halloween events this week~ Thurs. & Fri. 6-9pm Haunted House at Wayo's, Benefits Food Bank, Hope Haven, Kid's Club & Literacy Program Fri. 7pm Trivia for Red Cross at Crazy Canuck's~ dress in costume to support Red Cross Sat. 9pm- 4am Holiday Hotel Halloween Party $15. (They say no charge if your costume is good enough!) Sunday 11am Saga Halloween Party ~ dress your pup up!! Mon. 5pm-9pm Black Orchid 5th Annual Halloween Social ~ for kids & adults Candy for the kids, drink specials for adults in costume, or come as you are, but be there or be square!!!

    2016 Halloween Party at Holiday Hotel
    Several photos...

    Breast Cancer Awareness Walk/Run!
    San Pedro Town residents joined the thousands of Belizeans countrywide at Saturday's Breast Cancer Awareness Walk/Run! A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support!

    And off they go! Welcome to Belize WestJet!
    Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism & Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation alongside Director of Tourism Mrs. Karen Karen P. Bevans getting ready to board the Toronto to Belize 1st WestJet Flight.

    CARICOM Secretariat in Collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Belize holds National Consultation On the Draft CARICOM Regional Education
    The Ministry of Education, Youth Sports and Culture, Belize is pleased to collaborate with the CARICOM Secretariat in holding Belize’s National Consultation on the draft CARICOM Regional Education and Human Resource Development Strategy 2030 on 31 October, 2016 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The consultation will include, inter alia, Ministries of Education, Youth,Health and other relevant areas; Labour, the Private Sector; youth and students; tertiary level institutions. The CARICOM Human Resource Development (HRD) Commission was mandated, among other things, to: “Develop a Regional Education and Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy that would adopt a holistic approach to the transformation of education and which would, inter alia, ensure the continual alignment of education and training with the emerging academic, technical and personal/social skills and attitudes required for the 21st Century labour market and society; and also make more efficient use of regional resources to develop and implement solutions to the identified challenges. Important in this regard is capacity building for Research and Development. Culture should be a guiding principle in achieving the aforementioned and particular emphasis should be placed on the perspectives of children and youth, fostering creativity, innovativeness and entrepreneurship from the earliest levels;”

    Forest Department Responds to Human-Jaguar Encounters
    In response to the recent reports of jaguar sightings and attacks on livestock in the Laguna and Yemeri Grove areas, Toledo District, a Forest Department response team has been dispatched to assist farmers and ranchers in livestock husbandry techniques to prevent loss of livestock. The team, consisting of wildlife conservation experts, are also monitoring hotspots and conducting public awareness in these communities in order to better mitigate and reduce human-jaguar conflicts. Forest Department/Panthera representative, Ms. Shanelly Carrillo, explained that even-though jaguars are recognized as an important flagship species both for conservation and tourism, farmers often see them as a nuisance. She noted that with the continuous expansion of farming communities into once pristine forested areas, there is an increasing likelihood of jaguar encounters. Apart from their shrinking habitats, the jaguars’ dwindling natural food sources due to overhunting have also forced them to seek other alternatives outside of the protected areas. Consequently, they pose a direct threat to livestock and other domesticated animals. In some instances, these human-jaguar conflicts lead to the retaliatory killing by residents.

    Cancer walk this morning...

    MURDER IN BELIZE CITY
    Shortly before 7pm, shots rang out on South Creek near Bucks Barbershop. We can confirm that at least two persons were shot; one man is dead and the other is listed in a critical condition at the KHMH. George Young a.k.a Jaro (pictured) was inside the barbershop when he was fatally shot. The other person in the hospital has been identified as Abraham Craig. We received reports that the suspect in this latest homicide has already been picked up by police. Police are processing the scene.

    Expofer Chetumal
    Belize has arrived! Cecil "Cocono Bwai" Jenkins and Lirahunu Satuye Dance Group will be among the Belizean performers at Expofer Chetumal tonight! It will be Cocono Bwai's first in international performance...

    Artist Service Day at Stann Creek House of Culture
    Up early and ready to work in Dangriga!

    WestJet Inaugural Flight Ceremony!

    The Reporter

    BTL rolls out Hypernet service to Los Lagos
    Residents in the Los Lagos community now have access to high speed internet connection via fiber-optic cables, through Belize Telemidia Limited’s Hypernet service. BTL held the official launch of the service today, with a ceremony within the community. The service, available for residential use only, marks the first time BTL has laid infrastructure in the area. Product executive, Janine Salazar, said that the service brings internet speeds if five, 10, and 12 megabytes, to an area that previously could only get up to 2meg, due to the wireless connection. “We chose the areas that we did because we wanted to take the service into areas where we didn’t previously have infrastructure,” Salazar explained. She added that Los Lagos is the third area to receive the service under the phased rollout: the first two being in Corozal and Orange Walk. BTL is planning to take the service to the Hollywood and New World areas next.

    BNTU rally in Belize City
    Teachers from all over the country gathered in Belize City today for a solidarity rally with the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU). The BNTU marched through the streets this morning, starting at their office on Coney Drive and ending at the Fort George Memorial Park. BNTU President Luke Palacio engaged the teachers, to remind them that the overall goal is a better Belize. Palacio said that one of the major reasons for today’s rally is to express their dissatisfaction with the way the Minister Education, and it’s Minister Patrick Faber, has been dealing with the teachers post-strike. “We want to remind you that the strike is only on hold, and if you rub we the wrong way then you di ask for it,” Palacio said. ” Our teachers are ready to walk out of the classrooms.”

    Stakeholders discuss barriers to accessing HIV-related healthcare services
    Representatives from the Government, youth and regional organizations, gathered at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel Saturday morning, to discuss the various barriers that prohibit persons from accessing healthcare services related to HIV. Entities such as the Ministry of Health, and the Department of Youth Services attended the event, which was organized by the National AIDS Commission and in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS). Cedriann Martin UNAIDS, communications advisor, shared the results of two surveys: the first was a public opinion survey on a range of sexual reproductive health, rights, discrimination; and the other was the Belize sample data of an online survey done with men who have sex with men (MSM) around the Caribbean.

    BELIFA holds health fair
    The Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BELIFA) held a health fair in Belize City Saturday, as a part of its activities commemorating Life Insurance Awareness Week. The Association teamed up with several other organizations, including the Belize Family Life Association, the Kidney Association of Belize, the Diabetes Association of Belize, and the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB), to hold the fair at the Lions Club parking lot on Princess Margaret Drive from 9:00 a.m., to 4:00 p.m. At the fair, the participating organizations offered free tests for blood sugar levels, kidney function, blood pressure and HIV. They also offered information on various non-communicable and communicable diseases, and tips for eating healthy. President of BELIFA, Shawn Smith, explained that her organization decided on the health fair as a means of reminding their customers and the public at large about the importance of good health when applying for coverage.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Man shot dead in Belize City
    Eight shots were fired an hour ago near Buck’s Barbershop in the North Creek area of Belize City. When the shots were fired one male individual was left dead on the scene. Police have not released his identity but they have confirmed that this […]

    Fourth San Pedro murder in a month, police suspect drug war
    There has been an estimated three murders in San Pedro for this month. However, last night the fourth was recorded. Antonio Paguda, 41, was shot multiple times by a lone gunman who pounced on him while he was walking in the San Mateo area […]

    BNTU demonstrates, turnout low
    The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) is currently parading through the streets of Belize City. However, the turn out has been minimal when compared to previous marches held in recent times. Nevertheless today’s event is to send a message of thank you to all […]

    Smart Belize teach senior citizens at Helpage more about smart phones
    Yesterday, some representatives from Smart visited Helpage Belmopan to teach the senior citizens how to properly take care of their phones. The citizens were also taught how to perform functions such as adding credit and texting, and to answer the phone-related questions they had. […]

    OAS Online Scholarship Opportunities
    The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-UPV- in Spain are offering scholarships for the course: “Introducción a la Energía Solar Fotovoltaica”. This is an online course and will be delivered in Spanish. The deadline for receiving […]

    NEMO Toledo receives new facility from the US
    Yesterday, NEMO Minister Edmond Castro joined United States Ambassador H.E. Carlos Moreno in cutting the symbolic ribbon to inaugurate a new facility for NEMO Toledo consisting of a Disaster Relief Warehouse and Emergency Operations Centre valued at over US$1.5 Million. The facility is located […]

    Blogs

    Belize Flights for Canadians
    Many of my fellow Canucks are super excited about the start of West Jet flights to Belize – this has been a log time coming. As we slide into high season, these new flights will make Belize travel much easier for Canadians. I am hoping it nets me some more visits from my frozen buddies who need a break from winter. Back in 2013, my friend Shirlee started a Facebook campaign to “Bring WestJet to Belize,” and as of today, October 29, 2016 it is now a reality. The direct flights are only going to be seasonally on Saturdays and Wednesdays until April 29, 2017, and only from Toronto but it’s a great start. Flight prices run around $600.00 CAD – currently about $448.00 USD, I will keep you posted if any new flight deals come up. The Facebook page mentioned above is now West to Belize from Western Canada, and you can still join. I was told WestJet does watch Facebook so you can help the cause further develop. If you’re flexible on your dates and are okay with a 5:00 AM departure, you can still get to Belize in 10 hours from Winnipeg as well. Price is around the same. Edmonton is 11 hours and $625.00. The further west in Canada you leave from the less convenient it is (16 hours from Calgary and 17 from Vancouver) but fortunately the prices are around the same and it’s way better than what it used to be.

    Clinic Day at the CC Humane Society
    Every Saturday morning from 9 – 11 AM the Humane Society holds a clinic for island animals. Today was a busy one! Here are some highlights: Three sisters who had been wandering around stray were reunited. Two have been adopted by clinic volunteer Preston and his family and we have our fingers crossed on the third. A big basket of puppies came in for their second set of shots and worming. They’re sure growing fast! These two look like little stuffed toys but they’re real dogs. They also needed puppy shots and worming.

    International Sourcesizz

    Gov’t and teachers at odds again in Belize
    Teachers in Belize were gearing for possibly more industrial action on Saturday after a planned meeting with Education Minister Patrick Faber to discuss wage issues and other matters on Friday failed to take place. The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) remains adamant it will not bow to Faber’s request for a five-member delegation to meet with him instead of the 25-member BNTU council. “We are going to stand by the side of our members, we are going to stand by the side of our teachers and we are saying, he cannot, and I will repeat, he cannot dictate to us who will represent us at any meeting with him. “We have not said to him you bring yourself and only your CEO or your Chief Education Officer. He is the one, who has decided that he wants five persons to be there, yet they continue to give instructions to their district centre managers and other persons employed in the ministry to continue to threaten and intimidate our teachers. We have the mandate from our teachers to defend them and we will defend them to the fullest,” said BNTU president Luke Palacio.

    Belize welcomes WestJet as its first non-stop flight from Canada
    Today, with the departure of flight 2604 from Toronto Pearson International Airport, WestJet officially becomes the only Canadian carrier directly connecting Canadians to Belize. Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial, said: “I extend a big thanks to our WestJet team, the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation as well as the Belize Tourism Board for their support in the creation of this significant route. To our guests this morning, we say, “Gud maanin,” and welcome aboard. We look forward to offering both Canadians and Belizeans the chance to experience WestJet’s low fare, high care service over the winter months.” “This is a very exciting moment for the tourism stakeholders in Belize. After a long planning period with WestJet, we are thrilled that the route has become a reality,” said Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism for the Belize Tourism Board. “This flight comes at the perfect time, as we are approaching the start of our upcoming high season, making travelling to Belize so much easier and more convenient for Canadians. We expect that with such ease in accessibility, tourism arrivals from Canada will increase, thereby contributing positively to the growth in the overnight tourism sector in Belize.”

    Videos

  • Belize welcomes West Jet's inaugural flight from Canada, 2min. The Belize Tourism Board hosted an official ceremony today at the Philip Goldson International Airport to welcome WestJet's first flight to Belize!

  • The Belize National Teacher's Union marching in Belize City, 1min. To show gratitude to all the teachers and parents that supported them during the eleven day strike held earlier this month. We spoke with President of the BNTU Luke Palacio and Senator Elena Smith, tune in to our newscast at 12:30p.m.

  • Going to Belize, 1.5min. Toronto to Belize City

  • Full Length Belize Mission Video 2016, 67min.

  • The Cloisters Tres Cocos Resort San Pedro Belize, 1.5min. Here's a little video review and tour of one of the newly remodeled rooms at The Cloisters Tres Cocos Resort on the Island of Ambergris Caye. A World Class Scuba Diving Mecca, the barrier reef, the Blue Hole and much more make this island and the town of San Pedro a great destination. Fishing, the island life, great food and the sounds of the ocean are part of the Belizean Experience.

  • Dexta Daps live in Belize, 44min.

  • Belize: Culture, Nature, History, 1min. A brief introductory video featuring images of the diverse cultures, long history, and bountiful nature of Belize.

    October 29, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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

    BTB’s 2016 Tourism Industry Conference
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held its annual “Tourism Industry Conference” in Belize City on Saturday, October 22nd. At the Ramada Princess Hotel, stakeholders, industry partners, and media members were given the latest insights on the tourism sector, as well as valuable information on how to enhance their marketing skills. Karen Pike, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. After the National Anthem was sung by Stacey Kelly of BTB, Wendy Castillo Swan of BTB proceeded with an invocation. The welcome address was formally given by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. He recapped the growth of the BTB and Ministry of Tourism in 2016, and stated that he is more than positive that tourism will continue to dominate in Belize. The first part of the panel of discussion focused on “How to Market Yourself and See a Return on Your Investment”. The panel was led by Moderator and Marketing Manager of San Ignacio Hotel Resort Trinity Castro, Connections Strategist of Olson James Lager, Executive Director of Afar Media Barry Brown, and Vice-President of Industry Relations of JG Black Book of Travel Maureen Kim.

    San Pedro community says goodbye to OIC Sandra Bowden
    After over a year of heading the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Sandra Bowden is leaving San Pedro Town. Bowden, Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit for both the San Pedro and Caye Caulker Police Formation, will now be stationed at Belmopan City at the Belize Police Department Headquarters. To commemorate her departure, community members and co-workers hosted a farewell party in Bowden’s honour on Wednesday, August 26th. At the party, several community member shared words of appreciation for Bowden’s work in San Pedro. “Even though she is leaving, she will always be welcome here in San Pedro. I am happy to have worked with such a strong woman,” said Deputy Office in Charge, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott. Bowden first arrived in San Pedro in July 2015 and through her time, fostered a strong bond with the police and the community. Together with Jemmott, the San Pedro Police Formation has come a long way in community policing and interaction with civilians.

    Police hold public meeting to address increase in golf cart thefts
    An increase in the theft of golf carts in San Pedro Town led the San Pedro Police Formation to host a meeting with concerned stakeholders. The meeting took place on Tuesday, October 25th at the Magistrate Court Room located on the second level of the police station. A handful of business operators, who are engaged in the golf cart rental business, attended the gathering to discuss the issue that is affecting their establishments. Bowden informed the attendees that since the beginning of the year, a total of 22 golf carts have been stolen. According to her this number only accounts for thefts that have been reported. During the presentation she explained which areas of the island were more susceptible to cart thefts. “The majority of the incidents have been reported from downtown to the area near Island City supermarket. A total of 16 carts have been stolen from this area of town,” said Bowden. According to her, the main reason for the increase in missing carts is due in part to negligence and not locking golf carts when left unattended.

    Blue Water Grill turns 15!
    Turning 15 is big deal in Belizean culture and for Blue Water Grill it was a great occasion for celebration. On Saturday, October 22nd, BWG owners and staff of BWG hosted island friends to a grand ‘Quinceañera’ celebration. From customized sunglasses and commemorative cups, to an array of drinks and food, BWG went all out to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Guests even enjoyed of a night of silent dancing, with headphones directly connected to the DJ being handed out to control the noise level. It was definitely a night to remember! BWG is not only among the top restaurants on the island, but is also known for their great generosity towards the community. Through their Monthly Donation program, BWG has given back thousands of dollars in assistance to local charities.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Hotel Association Markets Members at Several Tradeshows
    The Belize Hotel Association (BHA) was extremely busy this past week, actively marketing members at several tradeshows and roadshows. On October 18 and 19, At the Cancun TravelMart, Past President Doug Thompson and Marketing Director Tessie Tonaco, met with several international travel agents and marketing agencies who were interested in learning more about what Belize has to offer. The two day show was well represented as the BHA looks forward to attracting more travelers to Belize from countries such as Mexico, Japan, Spain, Canada and the USA. On October 17-19, the Belize Hotel Association also participated in the United Airlines/ Tropic Air Roadshow, hosting several travel agent events in Chicago, New Jersey and New York. BHA Director, Barbara Hall also did the presentation about Belize to the agents at each event, informing them of the different attractions and exciting activities in each area of Belize, and about the cultural diversity of the country. These roadshows have proven to be particularly successful, mainly because invited agents are carefully selected based on their interest in selling Belize or if they are already selling Belize.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Halloween Events in San Pedro
    Here are the upcoming fun Halloween events this week~ Thurs. & Fri. 6-9pm Haunted House at Wayo's, Benefits Food Bank, Hope Haven, Kid's Club & Literacy Program Fri. 7pm Trivia for Red Cross at Crazy Canuck's~ dress in costume to support Red Cross Sat. 9pm- 4am Holiday Hotel Halloween Party $15. (They say no charge if your costume is good enough!) Sunday 11am Saga Halloween Party ~ dress your pup up!! Mon. 5pm-9pm Black Orchid 5th Annual Halloween Social ~ for kids & adults Candy for the kids, drink specials for adults in costume, or come as you are, but be there or be square!!!

    Halloween at Island Academy
    Halloween Fun Commences on Ambergris Caye

    Congratulations to Asia Gilharry, Miss Belize at Miss Divali Nagar 2016, for placing 3rd Runner-up. Asia also won the award for Best Saree
    ull results: Miss Divali Nagar 2016: Canada, 1st Runner-up: Trinidad & Tobago, 2nd Runner-up: Jamaica, 3rd Runner-up: BELIZE. Thanks for doing a wonderful job, Asia! You made us all proud! And special thanks to the National Council of Indian Culture of Trinidad and Tobago (NCIC TT) for the awesome event and to Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritage (COEICH) for sending a Belize delegate to represent the Jewel in Trinidad & Tobago.

    Court Vindicates GOB Takeover of IMMARBE and IBC Registries
    The Government of Belize (GOB) welcomes today’s Supreme Court ruling declaring illegal the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft alliance for 25 years. The court’s decision, rejecting the Ashcroft alliance’s claim for $90 million for GOB’s take back of the registries, is a vindication of GOB’s position and a triumph for the rule of law and the constitution of the country. As this current administration has always maintained, it is politically, morally and legally repugnant for the PUP to have handed over control of Belizean assets and revenue to the Ashcroft enterprise. It amounted to a scandalous diversion of monies that could only properly have gone into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and is yet another instance of the corruption that accompanied all the PUP secret deals.

    INSPECTING HURRICANE REBUILDING EFFORTS ON AMBERGRIS CAYE
    Yesterday, Minister of National Emergency Management, Honorable Edmond Castro was on Ambergris Caye inspecting hurricane rebuilding efforts through partnership with the business community and the San Pedro Town Council. The Minister visited houses built, repaired, and under construction in the Boca Del Rio and San Pedrito areas. He was accompanied by a representative from the San Pedro Town Council, Jorge Aldana, and NEMO Regional Coordinator Al Westby. Honorable Castro plans to return to the island when the rebuilding is complete, at which time he will officially hand over the houses to victims of Hurricane Earl along with Belize Rural South Area Representative and Minister of Tourism Honorable Manuel Heredia who is currently abroad on official business.

    ABC PRE-SCHOOL HALLOWEEN DRESS UP DAY
    Every year the ABC Pre-School invites the San Pedro Town Council to visit the children dressed up in their halloween costumes before they go trick or treating around the neighborhood. We were excited to visit them and treat them with fun halloween cupcakes. There were princesses, scary monsters and lots of super heroes to save the day!

    BELAIFA & Kidney Association Health Fair
    Free HIV, Kidney, Diabetes, Blood Pressure and other tests.

    Catch of the day
    Here is David Podany from Cedar Hill, Texas with his 50-54 pound barracuda caught off San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

    Power interruption 9:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday, October 30: entire Lake Independence area
    BEL will relocate high voltage lines to facilitate construction at St. Martin de Porres Parish.

    A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
    For the post of Senior Technician in the Transmission and Substation Department.

    A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
    For the post of Call Center Representative in the Customer Care Department.

    BWRC Gala Fundraiser
    The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic's 3rd annual Gala and fundraiser is only 3 weeks away. It'll be a fun night, with great food and music. Certainly one of the most exciting patients of this year was Chiquibul. She came to BWRC as an orphaned jaguar cub rescued by FCD and BFD, and after 12 days of veterinary treatment at BWRC we transferred her with a clean bill of health into the care of the amazing Belize Zoo (where she will soon be introduced to the public with her new enclosure). Help BWRC provide veterinary care for imperiled wildlife and join us for our Fundraiser Gala Dinner at the San Ignacio Hotel, or donate an auction item or service, or buy a ticket for one of our conservation partners. Contact us at 615 5159 for more information or get your tickets at the San Ignacio Hotel, or BWRC. Thanks for your continued support that makes our work possible!

    Peacemakers Paint Pediatric Palace
    A group of Belmopan youth, ages 13-16, who call themselves the 'Peacemakers,' spent more than a month painting the pediatric ward at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan with colorful artwork and wall hangings. The completion of the decorating project will be celebrated on October 29. Many of the Peacemakers have themselves been treated in the hospital or have visited younger siblings and cousins. Because they know how frightening the experience can be, they decided to do something to make the experience less stressful.

    The Sea King repaired
    The recent Hurricane Earl caused much damage in Belize City. The Sea King suffered minor damages and was displaced by the storm. It has now been righted and once again stands proudly at the Government House.

    BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
    We have a Belizean-only music video category in the festival this year, and we are excited to introduce the judge for that category! Manillan-born Writer/Director Tim Cruz is an internationally known music video and commercial director. Tim works with nearly every major record label, including Warner Music Group, Capitol Records, Universal Music Group, and EMI with some of the hottest stars, such as 50 Cent, P Diddy, Theophilus London, 30 Seconds to Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Barker, and Sabi. Selections of his commercial clients include GQ, Sony, Lockheed Martin, Discovery Networks, Bravo, Spark Networks, and MTV.

    Belize Tourism Board Job Opportunity: Tourist Information Officer

    The U.S. Embassy has two job vacancies
    VISA ASSISTANT and ELECTRICAL TECHNICIAN POSITIONS. WHO MAY APPLY: Anyone who is eligible for appointment under Belize’s local laws. Applicant must be in possession of a Belize social security card valid for employment and/or a resident/work permit. The successful candidate will be required to obtain a security clearance and undergo a medical examination. The U.S. Mission in Belize provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. The Department of State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

    CAYE CAULKER .. Farmers Market .. SUNDAY
    Fresh baked artisan Breads, Artisan aged cheeses, smoked and cured meats and sausages.. smoked fresh reef fish, farm fresh range eggs, pro biotic beverages, fermented and pickled vegetables.. and much much more.. Caye Caulker market at the Dreaded Grape 10 am - 2 pm. ** ALL FRESH BAKED BREADS 20 % OFF Looking forward to seeing all of our Caye Caulker friends this weekend.

    Dia de Muertos at Embassy of Mexico
    November 2, Wednesday, at the Mexican Cultural Institute 9am - 5pm. Free Entrance!

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
    The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-UPV- in Spain are offering scholarships for the course: “Introducción a la Energía Solar Fotovoltaica”. This is an online course and will be delivered in Spanish. The deadline for receiving the applications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan for forwarding to Washington, D.C. will be November 9th, 2016.

    Minister of State meets with top brass of police force
    Yesterday I had my first meeting as the Minister of State of Police with the COMPOL and my Admin Officer. I must say that it was refreshing to know that the Department is on the right path and things will only get better. Today I had the pleasure of meeting with all the senior officers to get an update as to where we are and also to give them an idea as to my plans for the way forward. It was a productive conference and I thank the officers for their committment. Together we will make it happen.

    SBDC Green Startup Bootcamp
    Do you have a sustainable business idea? If it's good, you could win up to $2000Bz. The Small Business Development Centre is having a 54 hour boot camp, from November 11th through the 13th, where you can learn about green technology that can help your business. Contact the SBDC for more information. "Caribbean GreenTech Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour weekend event, during which potential entrepreneurs will be empowered with the skills and tools relevant to start up a sustainable business focusing on clean technology solutions to impact climate change."

    Our crew repping Belize at Expofer!
    in Chetumal, Quintana Roo.

    Dia de los Finados
    Wednesday, November 2 at 7 PM - 10 PM. Día de los Finados is an island tradition celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. It is a celebration in which Mestizos/Maya remember and honor their deceased loved ones. The San Pedro House of Culture continues to promote and preserve this island tradition. On November 2nd, we kindly invite you to join us in remembering our dearly departed.

    Channel 7

    A Rare Win for GOB Against Ashcroft Alliance
    3 years and 4 months ago, the Government of Belize took over the IMMARBE AND IBC Registries. IMMARBE is short for the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, which sells the Belize flag as a Flag of convenience to ships. The other, ICB, is short for International Business Companies Registry, and that's the entity which registers offshore companies so that they can operate on Belizean soil, giving them tax-free status, and an assurance of secrecy in their corporate affairs. These two entities were managed and controlled by a company named Belize International Services Limited, linked to the Ashcroft Alliance. On June 11, 2013, the Barrow Administration acquired them for a public purpose. You may remember that this was a time when Belize's fisheries products were facing sanctions because international vessels flying Belizean flags were engaging in illegal and unregulated activities on the high seas.

    New Police Minister Says He'll Listen Before Leading
    The new Minister of State with responsibility for Police Elodio Aragon held his first officers conference today in Belmopan. He gathered them into the training room at the Academy where he addressed 100 senior officers. Aragon knows them all very well - after all, he was a cop for 17 years - and reached the post of Deputy Commissioner before leaving for politics in 2013. Today he told his fellow colleagues that familiarity doesn't mean easy days ahead:... Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "I have worked with all of you in the past whether it was on the streets or in the office. i know you and you know me." "The task at hand is not an easy one especially in the face of the current murder rate statistics."

    Aragon Concedes Cop Portfolio Is Tough
    And as he alluded to - the police ministry is a tough job. It has confounded former star-ministers such as Dean Barrow, Jorge Espat, Ralph Fonseca and Doug Singh - whose tenures didn't make much of a dent in reducing major crimes. But, Aragon has one advantage over all those guys; he's a former career police officer, one who earned a master's degree in criminology from the University of Leicester in the UK. We asked him what's his plans and his fears:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "What are your hopes, expectations and apprehensions as you take over this portfolio?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "No matter where you go this portfolio of the police is always a contentious portfolio, because it has lot of challenges."

    Aragon's Got No Love For Lazy Cops
    Aragon was a former Deputy Commissioner, and this morning he gave his senior officers the first hint that he's willing to shake things up for those asleep at the command desk:... Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "It is my hope that you come to work to make a difference. Why come to work or be a police officer if you did not like the work you do? Or feel that you cannot contribute? If there is anyone of you who feel that you have had enough and is not capable of contributing to the department, let me know so I can help you on your way. You see, I am of the belief that you are senior officers who can contribute and can make a difference, but sometimes we lose our drive and our motivation. I ask that you re-motivate yourself and re-inspire that lion or lioness within you so that we lead this department forward."

    No Favorites for Former Deputy COMPOL Turned Minister
    And while he wants to root out corruption, will this former cop play favourites? In 17 years as a cop, he surely developed friendships and professional alliances. We asked him if this will taint his judgment:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Some might be concerned well, when Elodio mi de ya me and he nevah 'gree, sake a that now he gwen send me da PG. I'm not saying that you're prone to these immature or unprofessional types of motives, but it's natural for people to feel apprehension that if perhaps you and them in the normal course of things ha da professional misunderstanding during your career as a police officer, that perhaps you may wish to settle, or move them out of the way, so that you can have a functional hierarchy that suits yourself." Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "When I worked as a police officer, I have always been a professional, that's the way I have always been myself, I try to adhere to that kind of, to that level of professionalism."

    Aragon is Third Police Minister in 8 weeks
    Aragon becomes the third police Minister in eight weeks - a time of unprecedented transition. With over 1500 police officers bouncing from minister to minister, we figured that couldn't be a good thing. So we asked him about the transition tremors:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Is it productive for the department to have gone from Saldivar to Hulse now to you, so that's three directions in just eight weeks?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "Well, I don't know if it's three directions, I mean Hulse was only here about a month, you know, and it takes you some time. Like I said, right now I 09:00 can't come now and say "this is my policy direction etc." We have to really sit down look at where were are and where we want to go."

    Will Aragon Shake Up Senior Command?
    And while the Ministers have changed, the COMPOL has remained the same. Allen Whylie has been commissioner since 2013 and from the looks of things he's not going anywhere. We say that because there appears to be some kind of logjam at the post of Assistant Commissioner where there are currently no less than eight Assistant Commissioners. We asked Aragon about the Top Cop spot, and he was slightly evasive:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "The commissioner's post - is that something that you are as the minister prepared to look at and review that perhaps there is new leadership needed in the department?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of Police: "Jules I am here for what is best for the police department, and like is aid at the end of the day I will hold everybody accountable."

    Elodio Knows Mason Too
    And speaking of "dark figures", what about William Danny Mason? Anecdotal reports we have received say that Aragon was friendly with him back when he was a cop. We asked the now Minister of Police about his Mason credentials:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Mr. William Mason, this was someone first known to you in Sandhill area when he first arrived in Belize in 2013. Would you explain the extent of your relationship then and thereafter and perhaps now with Mr. Mason. What is the extent of that relation?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State - Home Affairs: "Well Jules I met Mr. Mason way back maybe 5-6 years ago when he first came. I met him on a few occasions and that was it. After that I had no contact with him and it's been years since I haven't seen him, except for when I was here when I got back to Belmopan."

    Major Crimes Down But Murders Up
    And you heard Aragon discuss the fall in reports major crime between 2009 and 2015. But the murder rate has been going up for the past three years, and with one weekend to go in October 2016, there have been 116 murders - which is an increase from last year. Whylie outlined all the major crime statistics:... Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "The statistics that we have shown that we are a little below in terms of major crimes of where we were last year. The statistics shows basically that we have one thousand; six hundred and fifty major crimes reported up to the end of September, compared to one thousand, six hundred and fifty-five for the same period in 2015. The area of concern remains the issue of murders. That area is up, where we have at the end of September we have a hundred and eight murders and..." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "How much was it in 2015 September?"

    BAIL FOR Alleged COP BEATERS
    And one major crime that had a major effect on police was the attempted murder of Constable Mark Rodriquez. He was off duty but in uniform at a Camalote bar on October 16. The accusation is that two men Sanjay Casey and Belhem Guzman, viciously beat him allegedly because they thought that he had called cops to the bar because they were smoking weed. The duo was arraigned in the Magistrate's Court last Wednesday and read charges ranging from attempted murder to common assault. Well, both Casey and Guzman are out on bail tonight. The duo's lawyer presented the bail application in the Supreme Court today, and after heavy objections from the DPP, Justice Herbert Lord granted them bail at $4000 each. Justice Lord also added the conditions that Casey and Guzman must report to the San Ignacio Police Station ever Monday and Friday, and that they must not interfere with the victim or his family. If any of these conditions are violated, their bail will be revoked.

    Police Looking for Suspects in Gang Rape of Minor
    Tonight, police are looking for two suspects in the gang rape of a minor. The first suspect, Kevin Buller, appeared in the Magistrate's Court where he was read a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse upon a minor. The 15 year old minor, who reported the crime, said that on Wednesday afternoon she went over to her boyfriend's house, where they engaged in sexual intercourse. She alleged that after they were finished, three more men, one of whom was identified as Buller, entered the room and gang raped her. Because of the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and he was remanded to prison until December 29th. The investigation will continue as police are still looking for two of the culprits.

    Convicted of Raping Daughter, Father's Sentence Reduced
    A Dangriga father who raped his own daughter six times got his sentence reduced today. In 2011, he was sentenced to 75 years after being convicted of 6 counts of unlawful carnal knowledge. He was accused of having vaginal and anal sex with the daughter when she was between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. Today at the appeal, three judges who heard his case, namely, Justices Awich, Ducille and Blackman agreed with the father's attorney, Oscar Selgado who argued that the sentence of 75 years was harsh. The judges reduced the father's sentence to 19 years. This means that since the father already served 5 years of his time, deducting that 5 years from the now 19 years means he has a total of 12 years and 6 months left to spend in jail.

    Lands Dept. Ran The Money for Ron J
    Earlier on in the news, we told you about Government's win against the Ashcroft Alliance in court. That triggered a blustery government statement about PUP corruption. But the Barrow Administration is embroiled in its own moral battle as the land compensation scandal is just starting to break. 10 days ago, documents surfaced which show a questionable land deal between the Ministry of Natural Resources and a company, Ron J Limited. It involves a piece of land on the Placencia Peninsula. Reports are that it is a 2+ acre parcel of mangrove land, which is located on the banks of a channel leading to the Lagoon on the west side of Placencia. These documents show that in January 2012, the principals of the company Ron J Limited bought the land for just over 6,300 dollars. Here is the lands Registry Certificate which shows that Ron J owned the land.

    Finsec Has Limited Oversight on Compensation Payouts
    This morning at the Supreme Court we asked Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, about the procedure, and why these alarming land compensation deals went mostly unquestioned when the Ministry of Finance was transferring the huge sums of money being requested by the Ministry of Natural Resources. He told us that the bureaucrats at the Finance Ministry trusted that whatever the officials at the Natural Resources Ministry presented to them, was legitimate, and so, they never dug deeper into each compensation case: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary: "Annually, the cabinet, the legislature approves a budget. Within that budget there is a line for land acquisition and compensation. I think last year it was 10-11 million, I am not sure and within that the Ministry of Natural Resources pays first, court orders, settlement - second. So court orders go first and there is no escaping that. Usually court orders are paid over a period of time. There is legal cost as well and then there is settlement. All of them have some payment schedule. I would not be able to say how much of those compensations are link to duplication of titles. I really don't know."

    Government Lawyer: No Compensation for Fraud
    So, does the Government have the proper legal footing to go after the return of these Government funds which were paid out in these questionable land compensation deals? As you probably heard, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and new Natural Resources Minister Vanessa Retreage want Andre Vega to refund that 400,000 dollars he got for that duplicate title which should never have been issued in the first place. We asked the Prime Minister's brother, Denys Barrow, for his legal opinion on matters like this. He said that if the Government can prove that the compensation was improper, and due to some sort of fraud, they perfectly entitled to go after the return of those monies: Denys Barrow, SC - Attorney: "When for instance compensation has been improperly paid, where for instance a person claims compensation and it turns out afterwards that the claim was improperly made as in an extreme case, it was a fraudulent claim that the person ought never to have received compensation at all. In that situation it is entirely open to the government. It is permitted by law for a claim to be made to recoup the compensation paid. Because anything which happens as a result of a fraud is a nullity."

    Faber Will Meet With 5, Teachers insist on 25
    Last night, we told you about the impasse between the Belize National Teachers Union, and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber. The docking of the teachers' pay for those 11 days of strike is pending for next month, and while the clock is ticking, these two sides can't even agree on how and when they will meet to find a compromise. They were supposed to do so today, but because Faber is insisting that they send a 5-member delegation from the Union's Council of Management to meet with him, that meeting was postponed. Unless either side gives ground, no dialog will happen because the Union is not backing down on its stance that if the Minister wants to meet with the Union, he has to do so with the entire 25 members of its Council of Management. They met amongst themselves today, and afterwards, they held a press briefing to say that they are sticking to that position:

    Making HIV Stigma Free
    Today the National AIDS Commission held a public forum to discuss the challenges facing victims of HIV and AIDS, including their lack of access to proper health care. The speakers addressed issues like stigma and sexual abuse and ways to make life better for those who are HIV positive or have full blown AIDS. We asked the Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero to tell us more about the forum, and how stakeholders will continue the fight against stigma and sickness... And while there is still a long way to go to eliminate stigma and misinformation about HIV/AIDS and other STDs, for HIV awareness lobbyists, the future does hold some promise. In a 2012 study conducted by UNAIDS in the Caribbean, 75% of Belizeans polled said that they believed sexual education should be taught as early as primary school. 80% said that secondary students should have access to condoms and contraceptives.

    Lowering Interest on GOB Paper Won't Drive Down Rates
    Earlier on, we showed you our interview with Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. We also asked him about the idea from financial advisor, Ervin Perez, to lessen the taxpayer's burden on domestic debt. The Managing Director of Legacy Fund thinks that if the Government lowers the rates on the Treasury Notes and Treasury Bills - it will also drive down interest rates - while making public debt cheaper. But the Financial Secretary isn't so sure that the Banks will want to by in. He told us that it's all about demand, and if the banks profit margins are decreased, they will not want to buy in on the Government's Treasury Bills: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary: "Whether the government can borrow cheaper it depends on the market, it depends on the demand. We don't have many takers at 7%. People don't want to tie up their money for that long even at those attractive interest rates. They would prefer shorter term maturity, because a bank would not want to tie up its money for that period of time and private investors don't have the kind of money that the government is borrowing. The government had borrowed 200 million dollars the other day. So mostly it's the banks that are in the game."

    Noah from Jamaica Live At the Bliss
    We all know the biblical story of Noah's Ark. Well, the Jamaican playwright Patrick Brown adds a comedic twist to it in his play called "Ras Noah and the Hawk." And the Rotary Club of Belize is performing it tonight at the Bliss. It's the second showing and Rotarian Sandra McKay told us why everyone should come out to see it. The show started at 7:00 sharp tonight at the Bliss . Tomorrow is the final night. You can buy tickets at the Bliss or Karl H Menzies.

    You Can't Beat This Fair
    Today at the Lions Club Parking Lot the Kidney Association of Belize, held a health fair in concert with the Belize Association of Life Insurance and Financial Advisors. So, what's the connection between life insurance companies and health and wellness? Well, we stopped by this afternoon, and the President of BELIFA, Shawn Smith, told us if their customers are healthy, and then it drastically increases their chances of qualifying, should they want to buy a life insurance policy. She and the Administrator of the Kidney Association told us more today: The fair was scheduled to come to a close some time after 2 p.m. once the traffic from the public died down.

    WOMEX Calls The Name of The Rose
    She may be a Tobagonian, but Calypso Rose for anyone who was around in the 70's and 80's, she may as well be Belizean. Ask about songs like "Fire in Belize", "Fire in Me Wire" or "Leh We Punta" and you'll know that she has major credentials in the jewel. And that connection continues to this day. Her latest album "Far From Home" which is a runaway success in Europe - was recorded and produced in Belize by Stonetree records. And to top it off, On Sunday, the now 76 year Calypso Rose was presented with the WOMEX Artist of the Year Award. The album was produced by BENQUE VIEJO'S Ivan Duran, who also produced Watina, the album that won Andy Palacio the Artist of the Year Award in 2007. Duran presented Rose with the award earlier this week. Here's what he had to say about her legendary musical talent. Calypso Rose has been performing in Belize for decades, and was named an honorary citizen in 1982.

    Channel 5

    B.N.T.U. and M.O.E. At Impasse After Council of Management Rejects Sending Smaller Delegation
    Across the country today, teachers formed long lines in various banks and credit unions and collected a full month’s wage, despite an eleven-day strike a few weeks ago.  That’s because [...]

    Teachers Accuse M.O.E. of Dictating to and Intimidating Teachers
    So, why can’t the union give in to Faber’s request and reduce its attendance to five executives?  According to B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio, government does not have a bearing on [...]

    Were Teachers Who Went to School During Strike “Rendering Service”, Asks B.N.T.U.?
    In speaking with Minister of Education Patrick Faber over the past week, he has expressed a concern for fairness to teachers who were present in their classrooms during the strike.  [...]

    B.N.T.U.’s Nadia Caliz Discusses Teachers’ Dilemma
    Contextualizing the argument on behalf of the teachers who took part in the strike was Nadia Caliz.  She’s a member of the council of management representing the Stann Creek District.  [...]

    B.I.S.L. Defeated in Claim for Compensation for Registry Takeover
    The Government of Belize secured a significant legal victory this morning in the Supreme Court, where Justice Michelle Arana dismissed an application brought by Belize International Services Limited.  The suit [...]

    Contract Extension Should Have Been Put Out to Tender; Appeal Expected
    The foundation on which government presented its argument and the subsequent decision taken by the court is that a binding agreement of that magnitude ought to have been put to [...]

    Government Celebrates “Vindication” on Takeover
    Financial Secretary Joseph Waight welcomes the Supreme Court ruling, despite being uncertain whether an appeal will be filed in the days ahead.   Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary “I’ll have to [...]

    Police’s Crime Stats: Most Major Crimes Up, Murder Count Past 100 Again
    The Belize Police Department’s quarterly crime statistics covering the six major crimes – murder, robbery, burglary, theft, rape and unlawful sexual intercourse or carnal knowledge – were publicly announced at [...]

    What’s Going Right and Wrong for Police in Belize City
    The Commissioner of Police offered something of a theory for why murders went up countrywide. However, in Belize City the pace has fallen off, if only a little. Minister of [...]

    Senior Police and New Minister of State Meet in Belmopan
    Earlier this week, we brought you the statements of the new Minister of State for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Junior. He served as a police officer for seventeen years, bowing [...]

    Police Continue Investigations Into Shooting Death of San Pedro Fugitive
    Twenty-five-year-old Juan Carlos Martinez was killed, allegedly at the hands of Police, on the island of Ambergris Caye on Tuesday night. A fugitive from justice since December of 2015, Martinez [...]

    Distraught Mother of Kaylee Alvarez Denies Neglect, Says Deadly Fire Was Deliberately Set
    On Thursday night we told you about the tragic fire in Conch Shell Bay area that claimed the life of two year old Kaylee Alvarez.  Around midday yesterday, Alvarez and [...]

    Patrick Faber Retains Major Ministries After Losing Junior Minister
    While the new Minister of State for Home Affairs is pleased to once again be involved with the Police Department, he had to leave his old portfolio of Youth, Sports [...]

    New Police Minister Kept “Danny Mason” at Arms’ Length
    William “Danny” Mason may be behind bars as he awaits the next phase of his trial procedure for murder and kidnapping charges, but he continues to be a thorn in [...]

    Improving Access to Health Care for HIV/AIDS Patients
    The National Aids Commission in collaboration with the UNAIDS hosted a public forum this morning at the Biltmore Plaza to discuss barriers to accessing health care services. The meeting addressed [...]

    Checking in With Health Fair in Belize City
    The Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisor (BELAIFA)  in partnership with the Kidney Association of Belize held a health fair in the city today. They were doing free rapid [...]

    LOVE FM

    Stalemate Between Faber and Luke Palacio
    It’s all of us or none of us – that is the position that the Belize National Teachers Union has taken in regards to a suggestion made by Education Minister, Patrick Faber. There is a pending meeting between both parties and Faber had proposed that only five members of the BNTU’s Council of Management participate […]

    Strike Fund Will Not Be Used to Pay Teachers’ Wages
    Today members of the Council of Management, once again, clarified that the strike fund is not meant to pay the teachers. Thousands of teachers were on strike for 11 days and the Ministry of Education has decided to hold its salary contributions from those teachers who participated in the strike. The BNTU is insisting that […]

    BNTU to Rally Over the Weekend
    The BNTU has planned an event for tomorrow. That event was being called a “thank you” rally and teachers were expected to express their appreciation for all those who supported and kept on supporting them and their stance against corruption. That “thank you” rally is now being called a demonstration and teachers are now expected […]

    IMF Insists on Raising Taxes to Overcome Economic Strain
    On September 29 we brought you the Article IV Consultation Report produced by a team from the International Monetary Fund that was in-country earlier this year. This week, the Executive Directors of the IMF met in session and had reviewed the report in full and has insisted that measures are needed to strengthen the economy […]

    Government Seeks to Address Economic Challenges
    As we mentioned regarding the IMF Report for 2016, there are some recommendations that went to the Government of Belize that would prove as stepping stones in rectifying the economic challenges. In the section dubbed, ‘Rebuilding Investor Confidence with Strong Fiscal Policy Action’, the report noted that the Government of Belize had acceded to the […]

    Court Rules in Favor of Government on IBC Registries and IMMARBE
    The Government of Belize is rejoicing over today’s Supreme Court ruling that has declared illegal, the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft Alliance for 25 years. GOB sees the court’s decision, rejecting the Ashcroft alliance’s claim for $90 million […]

    Guatemala’s Congress Gives Green Light for Referendum
    In yesterday’s session of the Guatemalan Congress, Decree number forty seven of 2016 was approved which seeks to take their territorial, insular and maritime claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with the condition that the country’s internal mechanisms are followed before submitting the claim which translates to the referendum. Guatemala’s approval […]

    NEMO’s Emergency Operation Centre Officially Opened
    A ceremony to mark the inauguration of Toledo District NEMO Emergency Operation Centre and Disaster Relief Warehouse was held this morning. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung.

    Amandala

    BNTU to stage national demonstration Saturday
    The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) is inviting the public to a national demonstration to be held in Belize City on Saturday. At 9:00 a.m. there will be a march through the streets of Belize City beginning in front of the Channel 5 studios on Coney Drive. The march is expected to conclude with a rally at the Memorial Park. According to BNTU president Luke Palacio, the purpose of Saturday’s event is to firstly thank everyone who supported the BNTU in its eleven days of industrial action and furthermore, to call on the Ministry of Education to make salary contributions for the teachers who participated in the historic protest. After the BNTU suspended its protest on Tuesday, October 18, the Ministry of Education sent a memo to school managers announcing that it would not be making salary contributions for those teachers. The Ministry subsequently sent school managers another memo providing guidelines on how those salary deductions should be processed.

    Another tragedy – 2-year-old perishes in fire
    Almost three weeks ago, an 11-year-old boy was burnt to death by fire while trapped inside his bedroom on Aloe Vera Street. Today, Thursday, another fire engulfed a wooden structure on the south side of Belize City, and another child lost her life as a result. The blaze erupted in the Conch Shell area of Belize City shortly after midday in a house belonging to Phyllis Rhaburn. Rhaburn’s daughter, 2-year-old Kaylee Avilez, ran into the bathroom of the home to hide from the flames of the fire that started inside her house. She was along with her two other siblings, and according to eyewitness accounts, their parents were not too far away.

    $1 million for land sold for $6,540.30!!!
    Amandala has obtained shocking documents revealing that under Gaspar Vega’s watch the Government of Belize entered into an agreement to pay BZ$1 million for a parcel of land they had sold a businessman for $6,500 just three years earlier. The Government of Belize sold the businessman a portion of mangrove supposedly measuring a little over two acres on the banks of a channel leading to the lagoon on the west side of Placencia, and then turned around three years later and re-acquired the same portion of mangrove for a whopping $1 million. The documents reveal that on February 15, 2012, Ron J Limited purchased block 36, parcel 3246, of Placencia North from the Government of Belize for $6,540.30. However, our sources say that the proposed developments by Ron J Limited on that particular piece of land would have affected the access to the lagoon of a highly connected member of the United Democratic Party. The well-connected UDP reportedly complained and a decision was made for Government to repossess the said mangrove.

    UDP spent $70 mil in 8 years on land compensation!
    Hon. Gaspar Vega was the Minister of Natural Resources when his son, Andre Vega, and the highly connected attorney, Sharon Pitts, both walked away with a combined total of almost BZ $1 million, $400,000 each, to be precise. They both acquired land titles despite the fact that the Ministry apparently knew that the land in question was already privately owned, and could not be surveyed again. Records show that on at least two occasions public officers pointed out to higher-ups in the Ministry that the said land was already privately owned, and in fact, the Lands Commissioner gave instructions to revoke Pitts’ permission to survey the land. But still, Sharon Pitts’ survey of the said land was authenticated and made to supersede the original survey.

    Murders in Belize hit high of 115: CEO Lovell
    If you’ve been getting the sense that the murder rate in Belize is substantially up this year, official data now confirms that to be the case. With the launch of the Belize Crime Observatory on Tuesday, Amandala asked for a status report from the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Retired Colonel George Lovell, who indicated to us that at last report on Monday, 115 persons had been murdered in Belize. That rate is alarming, especially since 2015 reported 119 murders for the entire year. Data published on the observatory indicates that at the end of September 2016, there had been 108 murders, up 21% since the same time last year. It is the major crime statistic which is seeing the highest increase next to the theft from motor vehicles, which is up by 32%. Lovell said that based on the report he received on Monday, other major crimes, with the exception of property crime (robbery, theft and burglaries), seem to be lower than the same time last year. Robbery is up 8% and burglary 18%, the data indicate.

    One accused homosexual says it didn’t happen; the other says it did!
    It made Amandala headlines this week when two men were accused of attempting to rape another man, an officer of the Belize Coast Guard. However, none of the accused men have been formally charged in connection with the incident. According to information from police, statements have been recorded from both accused men. In their statements, one of the accused men flatly denied that the incident even occurred, while the other confirmed that the incident did in fact happen. The story the accused man who confirmed the incident gave, is that the Coast Guard officer grew enraged and began beating them when he learned that he would not be paid for sex.

    Belize volleyball coach attends ICECP Course
    On September 17, 2016, Belizean volleyball coach, Mr. Oscar Arnold traveled to the U.S. to take part in the Ninth Edition of the International Coaches Enrichment Certificate Program. Coaches from thirty-three countries and fifteen sport disciplines from five continents took part in the courses. The program is a collaborative effort between the International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee, the Belize Commonwealth Olympic Association, and the University of Delaware. Coach Arnold spent the first two weeks on the University of Delaware campus participating in numerous seminars and workshops on coaching theory, sport sciences and sport medicine. He then underwent a one week apprenticeship at the University of North Carolina where he was imbedded and shadowed the coaching staff of the UNC female indoor volleyball team. UNC is a NCAA Div. 1 program and participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). This week exposed our coach to training, planning, recruiting, and injury rehabilitation of volleyball athletes within a high-performance environment.

    CSSSA high school volleyball results, schedule
    The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school volleyball competition got under way on Tuesday of this week with two games, one female (F) and one male (M) at the Stars Volleyball Gym on Princess Margaret Drive. In the female game, it was NHS (Nazarene High) over PHS (Pallotti High), 25-5, 25-10; and in the males, BHS (Belize High) defeated ACC (Anglican Cathedral College), 25-18, 26-24. On Wednesday, at Stars Gym, it was (F) ACC over LTH (Ladyville Tech), 25-21, 25-13; and (M) LTH over NHS, 25-19, 25-18. Today, Thursday, also at Stars Gym, it will be (F) WES vs BHS, and (M) MWH vs WES. The games on Friday and Saturday will be at the SJC gym. On Friday, it will be (F) SCA vs MWH; and

    OWFA Amateur League Week 1 results and standings
    ORANGE WALK TOWN, Wed. Oct. 26, 2016–The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) Amateur League 2016 held Week 1 games on Sunday, October 23, at the Chan Pine Ridge Field, starting at 9:00 a.m. In game 1, Progresso United FC won, 4-3, over Sinbads FC. Rijel Correa struck twice (2), and Dennis Charley and Wilfred Lino scored 1 apiece for Progresso United; while Sinbads got a goals each from Rubiel Mendez, Juan Chi and Ruvini Carrillo. In game 2, Trinidad FC and Progresso FC played to a 1-1 draw. Jose Acevedo hit the target for Trinidad FC; while Mauricio Estrada rocked the net for Progresso FC. In game 3, it was Desert Storm Jrs. FC over Crystal FC, 4-2, with goals from Brian Westby, Jose Temu, Marco Solis and Jason Batun; while Alberto Cassanova and Luigie Urbina scored for Crystal FC. Game 4 saw San Felipe FC edging United Ballers FC, 6-5.

    Message to Minister Manuel
    Hon. Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia, United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, last week, under pressure from your substantive constituents, you said that you had dived the Barrier Reef for thirty years in making a living as a fisherman, and that you loved the reef more than you loved your Ministry. We believe you, Minister Manuel. To know the reef, is to love the reef. Ninety years ago, an invalid British peer by the name of Baron Bliss came to Belize (then British Honduras) in his yacht, the Sea King. He spent only a couple months here before he died. He never set foot on the mainland of The Jewel. Baron Bliss fished the Barrier Reef, and he fell in love with the Barrier Reef, so much so that, as he was dying, he sent for the British Governor, Sir John Burdon, and prepared a will which left all his estate for the colony and its people. Baron Bliss was Belize’s greatest benefactor. Ungrateful, or confused, UDP politicians a few years ago changed the March 9 holiday named after Baron Bliss from specifically honoring the Baron to a generic title – “Heroes and Benefactors’ Day.” One supposes those confused politicians felt that the Baron’s legacy reminded too much of the colonial days, and they wished to emphasize the anti-colonial struggle. Fair enough, but you don’t bite the hand that fed you, and, more relevant today, the UDP politicians apparently didn’t properly appreciate why it was that the Baron did what he did. It was the reef, baby; it was always the reef.

    From the Publisher
    I have some fans who say they look forward to this column in every issue of the newspaper. Trust me, I really don’t want to disappoint on the occasions that I do. This is my profession, to write, and I feel fulfilled when I can satisfy my readers. In Belize, I would say that the majority of black men who are gainfully employed have more than one woman. For sure I caught your attention with that categorical statement opening this paragraph. You know what I’m saying is true, but such things are not discussed in polite society. It’s possible that this column entered “polite society” years ago, because it is often these days that I think of a subject and then I say to myself, oh oh, better not fool around with that. There was a time, roughly between 1969 and 1977, when yours truly was definitely not “polite society,” and I felt free to tell it like it was in those days. I was not making a living off my profession those days, however, and this had really negative implications for my responsibilities as a father.

    You cannot fight ideas that have power!
    Dear Editor, One writer, more or less commenting about the U.S., posted this in The New York Times today: “This country is a nation of ideas, not white men. Three hundred years after the Renaissance, when ideas, curiosity and hope ran supreme, we are back to the same point of an elite sitting on its privileges and trying to keep everybody in check. “You cannot fight ideas that have power, and they come from everywhere. Proportionally speaking, there are no more raw intelligent men in the elites than in the confines of the Congo. Worldly education makes the difference. “‘Everybody is Equal’, ‘Nothing in Excess’ and ‘Ethical Behavior’ are pretty good precepts. Conservatism, trickle-down economics, ‘No New Taxes’ are nothing but a bunch of inconsequential non-sense. In other words, non-ideas.”

    Grand corruption destroying Belize
    I watched a replay of the Senate hearing on TV a week or so ago. What was immediately striking was a groping and rambling by the Senatorial Committee to cover up for the leaders of both the House of Representatives and the Senate and to pin their Grand Corruption on others. They were trying their hardest to divert attention away from themselves so that their wrongdoings are not known by the public. They were distorting the rule of law by dragging the country into lawlessness and international disrespect. It is a total waste of time and money to continue stretching their time in office simply to collect more salaries. The House and Senate know that they have no useful or productive solutions to the severe corruption in the proposed Senate Committee agenda. The dominant voices and actors in both Houses are the one and the same, who have accepted corruption as a normal political practice and behaviour. The Senate, as corrupt as the House, can only play “follow the leader” to the House that leads in the severe corruption, and thus cannot offer solutions to it.

    PUP name Senator Eamon Courtenay to Senate Select Committee
    On Monday, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) named Senator Eamon Courtenay as its representative on the Senate Select Committee, appointed to investigate the Auditor General’s Special Report into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2011-2013. Church senator, Ashley Rocke, had tabled a motion which was passed, granting the Government two representatives, while the other parties to the Senate — the church, the unions and the Opposition — would be granted only one seat each. The Opposition grew furious following that meeting and withdrew its participation in the committee, dubbing its composition, “bogus.” However, at the last committee meeting, Government senator, Aldo Salazar, was elected as chairman of the committee.

    The Reporter

    FIU signs MOU with Income Tax Dept.
    The Income Tax Department and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide for automatic exchange of information between the two government departments. The move is to enhance their abilities in preventing things like money laundering, tax evasion and […]

    EU pledges over €70 million to Latin America and the Caribbean
    The European Union (EU), this week, pledged over €70 million in funding to the Latin American and Caribbean regions to support sustainable development. The EU made the pledge during the its two-day ministerial meeting with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Santo […]

    No response from GOB on Seismic testing
    After awaiting a formal response for over a week in relation to the status of Seismic testing; environmentalists have grown restless and have called out the Government of Belize. Unease set in after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting when no response was given to any of the concerned […]

    Scotia Bank gives $100 thousand for Hurricane Earl relief
    Scotia Bank extended assistance in the form of $100,000 and two scholarships last week to aid in continued hurricane Earl relief efforts. Managing Director Michael Shaw handed over the donations last Thursday at the bank’s main branch on Albert Street. The cheques were handed over to officials […]

    Prime Minister departs the country for medical appointment
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country this week for a medical appointment related to his ailing back. In his absence Deputy Prime Minister patrick Faber is acting Prime Minister until Barrow returns. PM Barrow is scheduled to return on Sunday.

    Saldivar is back!
    The Minister of Defense, John Saldivar, resumed his ministerial duties this week after a one-week suspension. Saldivar resumed his duties after Prime Minister Dean Barrow, received legal advice that Saldivar sufficiently severed his business relationship with accused murderer, William Danny Mason. Barrow’s legal advisor, explained that while […]

    Health and Tourism sectors collaborate for regional project
    Health and Tourism sectors in six participating Caribbean countries are working together to protect the viability of the tourism sector by monitoring the health of visitors. Belize is one of the countries to benefit from the US$1.7 million project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. Principal Public […]

    WOMEX: an important experience for Belizean artists
    Some of the Belizean delegates who represented the country at the recent World Music Expo (WOMEX) returned to Belize this week, to share the experiences they had at the event. Jackie Castillo, Creative Industry Development Officer for the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), explained that […]

    Coast Guard Officer claims his buddies tried to rape him
    Police in ladyville are investigating a bizarre case in which a Coast Guard Officer has accused a prominent businessman and a teacher of attempting to rape him. On Monday, the 20-year-old Coast Guard Officer reported that he was drinking with two of his buddies but they […]

    In one week, two killings in San Pedro
    Two men were shot to death in San Pedro this week. The police are investigating one case, and are themselves responsible for the other death. On Wednesday night 30-year-old Jason Gentle was shot multiple times and died on the spot. Superintendent of Police Sandra Bodden of the San Pedro Police […]

    Man shot to the head while at home
    Around 5:00 Monday evening a lone gunman entered an apartment complex on Neal’s Penn Road and fired several shots into the residence leaving a Coast Guard Officer in an induced coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Daniel Arzu Jr., 28, a father of two had […]

    Motorcycle accident claims female technician’s life
    A motorcycle accident last Friday night claimed the life of a well-known Bravo Motors technician. Around 11:30 that night 26-year-old Nitaya Locke was heading home from the direction of Belize City to Ladyville when she lost control of her blue Meilun motorcycle and slammed into a […]

    Editorial
    Now that we have a new Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries we hope he will find time for some serious thought to a new law which would end the use of gill nets in Belizean coastal waters. Ideally it would be great for Belize to take the initiative in persuading […]

    Two-year-old baby killed in blaze
    A two-year-old baby girl died in a fire which destroyed her home on Ebony Street in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. The fire occurred around 12:30 on Thursday afternoon. On Thursday Phyllis Rhaburn was at home with her three children, aged four […]

    “Cowboy” walks free
    Kevin “Cowboy” Alvarez, a former policeman, has walked away from four attempted murder charges which accused him of shooting at four police officers from the swimming pool of an Orange Walk hotel. This amazing outcome from what appeared to be a clear-cut, open & shut […]

    Girl 15 gang-raped in southside Belize City
    Police are investigating a case in which a 15-year-old girl claims to have been gang raped by four men at a house in southside Belize City. According to police, the girl reported that she visited her boyfriend’s house on Wednesday around 1:00 p.m. and had […]

    Rivers Vs. Willoughby
    City Councillor Phillip Willoughby is pressing charges against waterfront activist Raymond Rivers, after Rivers allegedly threatened to kill him. Willoughby reported to police on October 4th that Rivers threatened him in September, and again earlier this month. Rivers, however, has accused Willoughby of threatening him […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BNTU’s rally shifts to national demonstration
    The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) had organized a thank you rally to be held tomorrow October 29th in Belize city. The rally has now shifted to a national demonstration as a result of the back and forth between the union and the Ministry […]

    Multi million dollar project approved at Blackadore Caye
    The eco-tourism project launched by mega star Leonardo DiCaprio and former wall street banker Paul Scialla for an extravagant eco-friendly resort at Blackadore Caye near Ambergris Caye has been approved. The proposed multi-million dollar project was heavily criticized by conservationist, tourism stakeholders and local […]

    FIU to execute National Risk Assessment for Belize
    The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the income Tax department signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday. The MoU is to expedite the share of information and anti- money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing efforts. Kent Clare, Director of FIU, will commence on […]

    Court Vindicates Government takeover of IMMARBE and IBC Registries
    The Government issued a release welcoming today’s Supreme Court ruling declaring illegal the secret contract made by the People’s United Party (PUP), and which gave control of the IMMARBE and IBC registries to the Ashcroft alliance for 25 years. The release states that the […]

    Blogs

    WELCOME TO BELIZE
    After six months in Mexico, my visa was days away from expiring and I knew it was time to leave. Next stop: Belize. There was only one direct bus from Cancun to Belize and it left at 10:15 p.m. And if that sounds like a recipe for not much sleep, that’s because it was. Add in a 4 a.m. border crossing on top of that and there was little chance of us arriving in Belize feeling fresh and rested. Oh, and don’t forget to throw an intense questioning session at the Belizean immigration at 5 a.m. either! Let’s just say my first experience of a Latin American border crossing was both tiring and memorable. We pulled up at the border right on time and piled out of the bus. Fortunately, Dave had researched what crossing the border involves several days before and was well aware of the money-making scheme they have on the Mexican side. Basically, there’s a man sat in a small room who tells you that you need to pay a 300 peso ($16) exit fee. What most people don’t know is that if you flew into Mexico, you’ve most likely already paid this fee — for the vast majority of people, it’s already been included in your airfare.

    Sunrise birders participate in annual Urban Bird Watch
    They say the early bird gets the worm, but in this case the early riser got the bird! At 6AM on Sunday, October 16th nine bleary eyed enthusiasts met birding guide extraordinaire Roni Martinez to participate in the annual Urban Birdwatch. Sponsored by the Belize Audubon Society (BAS), the small group flocked to Central Park in San Pedro to see how many species of birds they could count over a duration of three hours. The journey began along the beach heading north to Boca del Rio. Along the shore and immediate area the group spotted a bounty of birds, including Blue-winged Teals, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Double-crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Reddish Egrets, Green Herons, Semipalmated Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, Least Sandpipers, Spotted Sandpipers, Royal Terns, Rock Pigeons, Eurasian Collared-Doves, White-winged Dove, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbirds, Barn Swallows, Tropical Mockingbirds, American Redstarts, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warblers, Mangrove Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, Bananaquits, Great-tailed Grackles and Hooded Orioles. A special treat was discovering a Peregrine Falcon perched on a distant Belize Electricity Tower. We don’t see that every day on La Isla!

    Fun for all AGES at Caves Branch! The Senior Steppers Story
    Showcasing their agility, moves and memories, a group of golden citizens known as the Senior Steppers arrived on Wednesday for another holistic exercise session at the Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. The group of energetic women, ranging from 56 to 90, hail from Belmopan and not only perform in and attend regular dance performances and talent nights but also mentor young adolescents in developing thinking skills. Senior Stepper member, Lindy Jeffery, said, “Seniors shouldn’t feel that they are limited in the activities available to them. There are many exercises for seniors, many of which are non-traditional, low-impact exercises that limit stress on the body and risk of injury,” end quote. The Senior Steppers program is a joint venture between the National Council on Ageing in Belize, PAHO and the Ministry of Health. Besides dancing, they also engage in recreation classes, such as singing, swimming, theatre, sign language, as well as learning important health and nutrition tips. The seniors we spoke to had raving praise about the program and the benefits it has provided for them. Chairperson/Coordinator, Beverly Swasey added, “…dancing is a fantastic way to get some cardiovascular benefit, improve your coordination and balance, and meet local seniors who enjoy similar activities,” end quote.

    International Sourcesizz

    IMF warns of significant challenges to Belize economic growth
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Belize continues to face significant vulnerabilities and challenges driven by high public debt, large fiscal and external deficits, and declining international reserves. The IMF executive directors, who met to discuss the September report of an IMF mission to the Caribbean Community (Caricom) country, said that the adverse weather conditions have also posed difficulties and emphasised that decisive policies are urgently needed to ensure macroeconomic stability and improve growth performance. In September, the IMF mission warned that the Belize economy faced multiple challenges. It noted that gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to one per cent in 2015 due to falling oil production and reduced output in the primary commodity sectors, and turned to negative 1.5 per cent in the first half of 2016 relative to the same period in 2015.

    A Man Fell In A Cave With 10.000 Bones. The Story Behind The Maya Human Sacrifice Is Spine-Chilling!
    Back in 2006, a local farmer working in the Cayo District of west Belize made one of the most grisly archaeological discoveries of the last decade. Tipped off by the screams of a looter who fell 18 meters (60 feet) to the floor of a pitch-black cave, the farmer discovered human bones and teeth by the thousands, some so smashed up, it’s impossible to count how many bodies they once belonged to. Welcome to the Midnight Terror Cave, where archaeologists suspect countless children were sacrificed to Chaak – the rain god of the ancient Maya civilization. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta, bioarchaeologist Michael Prout from California State University discussed the results of a recent analysis of the 9,566 bones, teeth, and bone fragments found scattered on the floor of the cave, confirming that they belonged to individuals no older than 14 years. Most of the remains were attributed to individuals aged between four and 10. As Bruce Bower reports for Science News, radiocarbon dating of the bones indicates that one or a few bodies were dumped into the cave over a period of about 1,500 years, starting around 3,000 years ago, at the dawn of Maya civilization.

    Las Vegas Latin Caribbean Carnival
    Caribbean food, music and carnival this weekend in Las Vegas. Come enjoy and celebrate with us

    MISTAKEN MAPS
    Before the world had been fully explored, cartographers often made educated but incorrect guesses. They also just made things up. The history of map-making is full of educated guesses. As late as the 19th century Africa and Australia contained vast, unexplored interiors. Cartographers often used experience and logic to infer the lay of the land. Unsurprisingly, they were frequently wrong. Since antiquity, for example, the Nile had been known to be a river of enormous length, and because rivers often emanated from mountains it was thought there must be a large mountain range at its source. The Mountains of the Moon appeared on maps of Africa up until the 1800s, when explorers finally confirmed there was no such thing. In his new book, “The Phantom Atlas”, Edward Brooke-Hitching gathers a rich selection of these mistakes. They range from honest errors to the mythical or mendacious. One map from 1766 shows Patagonia, and includes pictures of heavily bearded giants walking around with bows and arrows. Another of Java la Grande, a landmass in the southern hemisphere first reported by Marco Polo, depicts the locals riding on horseback and harvesting coconuts while fantastical sea creatures swim offshore.

    Pirated WGN channel inspires Cubs love in Belize
    Local cafes and bars are packed, and excited fans talk in the streets about how the Cubs are finally going to the World Series. Cubs fever is everywhere. But this isn’t Wrigleyville; it’s Belize, 2,800 miles away from Clark and Addison. Belize may be home to the biggest base of Cubs fans outside of the Windy City. Why? It all started back when legendary broadcaster Jack Brickhouse was still calling the games. After Belize gained its independence from Britain, a wealthy couple started a TV station, but they forgot to buy some programming to go with it. So instead they found a way to pirate the WGN TV signal from Chicago. “They sort of pirated the signal and broadcast it to homes in Belize,” explains freelance writer Adam Rosen. Rosen uncovered the strange story and says the team has many ties to the country.

    The beginner's guide to living as an expat, according to a woman who lives in Belize on $1,000 a month
    In 2014, Lisa May Cobham was working as a secretary in Washington, DC, paying $700 a month to sleep on a couch in a townhouse with seven other people. Now, she does the same work, but from a beach house in Belize. Cobham shares her story and her knowledge on Expat Real, in the hopes that it will help others achieve the American Dream abroad. She posts informational videos and interviews with other expats about living on the US dollar in other countries, has a book coming out in November called "Runnin' Global Game," and is launching a three-month Expat Incubator program to guide aspiring expats through their first steps. INSIDER asked Cobham for a beginner's guide to living as an expat, which she shared with infectious enthusiasm over Zoom - a video conferencing site every expat should know.

    Miss Canada is Nagar Queen
    CANADA’S Divali Queen Dannilian Motilal, did the double when she was crowned Miss Divali Nagar 2016. Motilal emerged ahead of ten other contestants at the annual competition which attracts participants from several countries. Motilal, who arrived in the country a week ago to prepare for the competition, told Newsday on Thursday evening, it was a dream come true for her to crowned Divali Queen. Motilal said she was surprised to have taken the title as the other delegates were equally educated and also very beautiful. Motilal also won the Miss Photogenic and People’s Choice awards. She won $20,000 from Maritime Insurance. First runner-up was Trinidad and Tobago’s Kimlyn Boodram who also won Best Hairstyle. Second runner up was Shanique Singh of Jamaica with the third runner-up position going to Asia Gilharry of Belize.

    The Caribbean Response to the Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking
    Honorable Prime Minister, central bank governors, and distinguished guests, good morning! It is a pleasure to join all of you here. I am so pleased to be able to join you on my first official overseas visit in my new capacity as IMF Deputy Managing Director. This visit provides the opportunity to see the beauty of Antigua and Barbuda—and to learn more about a region rich in history and culture. To see a country so dependent on the linkages between financial services and tourism and other sectors provides an immediate understanding of the importance of today’s conference. The discussions yesterday and today highlight a serious problem that relates to a lifeline for your economies—the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships, also known as CBR.

    Videos

  • BELIZE CRIME OBSERVATORY, 33min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Belize 2016, 15min. Another great trip with great friends.. Such a blast!!

  • San Pedro, Belize, 3min.

  • FACE PAINTING FOR HALLOWEEN, 26min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Adventure Life Belize Snorkeling, 2min.

  • Belize Vacation, 3min.

  • Miss Universe 2016 - Contestants (Belize and Curaçao), 6min.

  • Maya Island Air - Belize - XA10 - GoPro, 3min. De Corozal a San Pedro.

    October 28, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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

    Projects Abroad hosts Health Fair
    In an effort to promote good health, Projects Abroad hosted a successful health fair at the San Pedro Lions Den on Saturday, October 22nd. The general public was invited to take advantage of an array of free, high quality health services, including, but not limited to: breast exams, lice checks, glucose and blood pressure testing, HIV/AIDS testing, eye exams, brushing and flossing demonstrations, drug information and counseling, and information on how to avoid Zika. More than 100 people came out to visit the various health organizations. From 9AM onwards, locals and visitors went from table to table until their screenings were done. The most common ailment, high blood pressure (hypertension), was screened by a public health volunteer and nurses from the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. The Diabetes Association and the Kidney Association both came from Belize City to perform glucose testing, and kidney checks. Rapid HIV/AIDS tests were done courtesy of Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT).

    Jason Gillett gunned down at sunset
    A family from the San Mateo Sub-Division north of San Pedro Town is grappling for answers after the loss of their loved one. 30- year-old Jason Gillett was gunned down by an unknown assailant just after 6PM on Wednesday, October 26th near a church at the entrance of the said sub-division. Police immediately visited the area where they observed the lifeless body of Gillett. He was then transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body has been taken to Belize City where a post mortem is scheduled.

    Blackadore Caye’s multi-million dollar project is approved
    After two heated public consultations and a media familiarization trip geared at explaining the proposed multimillion dollar eco-friendly resort development at Blackadore Caye near Ambergris Caye, the project has finally been approved. The massive project, spearheaded by mega-star Leonardo DiCaprio and former Wall Street Banker Paul Scialla, received negative feedback from conservationist, tourism stakeholders and local fishermen, especially regarding the planned over-water structures. With the Government of Belize’s green-light, the project’s ground-breaking is set for 2017. On Tuesday, October 25th via a press release, the Blackadore team announced that following a review of the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the Belize Department of the Environment (DOE) gave them approval for the construction of the Blackadore Caye Project. During a presentation that same day, the team announced the final development plans for the project. The final master plan has completely changed compared to its original design, which included over-the-water structures. Such structures had caused concern to residents and organizations on Ambergris Caye. The final draft of the project now includes the removal of all overwater buildings, putting an end to the fear of disturbance to the marine life around the island.

    Two months later, PM Barrow reshuffles Cabinet again
    The office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow issued a release on Saturday, October 19th announcing yet another reconfiguration in his Cabinet. The new reshuffling came just two days after former Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk North Area Representative Honourable Gaspar Vega resigned from Cabinet. It also coincided with the end of an 11-day countrywide strike by teachers who had been demanding good governance from the Government. The new Cabinet configuration saw the removal of Senator and Minister Honourable Godwin Hulse from being in charge of the Police Ministry. His removal comes a little over a month from when the first Cabinet reshuffle happened on August 1st. Prime Minister Barrow has appointed himself as the new Minister of Police, along with his current portfolio in the Ministry of Finance.

    Oceana’s moratorium on offshore oil exploration discussed in Cabinet
    As Honorable Manuel Heredia had indicated, Cabinet discussed Oceana’s draft offshore drilling moratorium entitled “Clean Ocean, Safe Tourism” on Tuesday, October 25th. At the request of the Prime Minister, Oceana prepared a draft legislation by their attorneys following statements to the national media in May 2015. Oceana, along with many organizations, received confirmation of the reason GOB wanted to conduct these surveys. According to the GOB, they were only trying to collect data to inform its position on offshore oil, especially in light of conditions, such as a cost benefit analysis. However, Oceana disagrees and stated otherwise. “The Government was going to get a copy of the raw data and the agreed processed reports. The company, TGS, having expended approximately 6 million Belize dollars for both surveys, was going to sell the data to recover its money.”

    Police Report
    *On Monday, October 24th at around 1:30AM, San Pedro Police stopped and searched Forest Green. He was found in the possession of one silver 0.9mm pistol and four 0.9mm live rounds. He was subsequently arrested and charged for the crime of “Kept Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition”. *On Tuesday, October 25th at around 9:45AM, action on Special Branch information a joint team of San Pedro Special Branch and Criminal Investigation Branch personnel intercepted a parcel containing 124.7 grams of suspected Cannabis at the Thunderbolt Dock. The parcel was labelled and deposited as “Found Property”.

    Ambergris Today

    Forest Department and The Belize Zoo Join to Promote Wildlife Conservation
    The MoU, which spans a period of five (5) years, officially permits the Belize Zoo to receive wildlife for rehabilitation, display native wildlife species and conduct public education. The binding agreement calls for the Belize Zoo to develop its five-year management and contingency plans, establish a rehabilitation center, submit operational and inventory reports and collaborate with the Forest Department to share expertise. Both parties recognized that one of the most important components of the MoU is the collaborative partnership in public education, whereby both parties will seek to increase public awareness and appreciation for wildlife as an important part of the Belize’s cultural and ecological landscapes.

    Asia Gilharry to Represent Belize at Miss Divali Nagar Queen
    Under the patronage of the Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritage (COEICH), Miss Asia Gilharry was crowned Miss East Indian, Belize 2016 – 2017 by outgoing Miss East Indian queen, Miss Namita Balani. She will be representing Belize in the upcoming Miss Divali Nagar Queen Pageant hosted by the National Council of Indian Culture in Trinidad and Tobago on October 27, 2016. Asia is a fourth form student at the Corozal Community College where she is majoring in Academic Sciences. Asia has been an active member of the COEICH organization and has participated in leading roles in traditional Indian dances during cultural festivals and pageants. She is now a Belizean Beauty and Cultural Ambassador who believes in the retrieval of the East Indian culture before it is completely lost.

    Pic of the Week - Happy Dolphins Make for Happy Diving in Belize
    It doesn't matter how many times you've seen one or if you've seen one at all, the moment your eyes catch a glimpse of a dolphin your heart rate goes up and so does you happiness level. These mammals are a precious part of our unique marine environment and it is our duty to love and protect them. Continue saying NO to offshore exploration in Belize by sharing beautiful images such as this and creating awareness of what is at risk.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Halloween Events in San Pedro
    Here are the upcoming fun Halloween events this week~ Thurs. & Fri. 6-9pm Haunted House at Wayo's, Benefits Food Bank, Hope Haven, Kid's Club & Literacy Program Fri. 7pm Trivia for Red Cross at Crazy Canuck's~ dress in costume to support Red Cross Sat. 9pm- 4am Holiday Hotel Halloween Party $15. (They say no charge if your costume is good enough!) Sunday 11am Saga Halloween Party ~ dress your pup up!! Mon. 5pm-9pm Black Orchid 5th Annual Halloween Social ~ for kids & adults Candy for the kids, drink specials for adults in costume, or come as you are, but be there or be square!!!

    Arenal Volleyball court help needed
    Hey Arenalen@s – I did not yet give up on the volleyball court – if you would only understand that we can move things only if we work together – TOGETHER!!! Do you remember- this year we did not have a dance on Independence Day – that’s very sad and is a result because we do not really care. But it takes some quality of village life from us! So let me try again for the volleyball court: I need 3 or 4 people to cut 2 poles for the net: Both pols should be approximately 12 feet long. So: Who’s going to be part of this? So there’s no sand from the river – just an ordinary court but we NEED 2 poles. Who’s going to help? Let's do it NOW!

    SBDCBelize to hold Startup Bootcamp along with Caribbean Climate Innovation Center
    Caribbean GreenTech Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour weekend event, during which potential entrepreneurs will be empowered with the skills and tools relevant to start up a sustainable business focusing on clean technology solutions to impact climate change. Benefits: What should you expect? An intensive 54 hour weekend that will change everything Mentorship, access to experts, and an opportunity to get funded Dates: Friday, November 11, 2016 – Sunday, November 13, 2016 Location: BTEC Office, ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City

    Open Mic Night in Orange Walk!
    Friday Night Oct. 30 Queen Elizabeth Park, 7-10pm. At the house of culture in Orange Walk.... 1000$ cash!

    Raymond Rivers & supporters following a meeting with ACP Chester Williams
    Rivers presented himself today at the Raccoon St Police Station on the request of the Police. According to ACP Williams, Rivers has been making threatening Facebook posts. Rivers told the media today that a threat has been made on his life.

    Belikin Calendar 2017 Launch Party
    November 26. Stone Grill & Bar, 7pm

    Power Outage for the entire Corozal District, Saturday, October 29th - 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
    BEL to replace a pole on the transmission system, replace low voltage arresters and replace a substation transformer.

    Finados Honoring Mrs. Elena Awe
    The SISE House of Culture is having Finados next Tuesday, November 1st, in honor of Mrs. Elena Awe. They start and 9:30am, and they'll have traditional food and drink.

    Welcome to Belize, Sister Reverend!
    The visit of the Pallottine Sisters in Benque is always great especially when the Reverend Sister Isabella from Rome visits Benque, it is a must to take a historical picture at the very entrance!

    The national conversation on offshore oil continues and we want to hear from YOU!
    The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is hosting conversations to meaningfully engage with the Belizeans on the latest developments on offshore oil exploration. See you there! The Belize City meeting has been postponed to Tuesday November 1st in order to accommodate more active participation from additional members of the community. Time: 6:30 pm, Tuesday, November 1st. Place: Pallotti Auditorium The national conversation on offshore oil continues and we want to hear from YOU!

    Highlights of International Archaeology Day 2016
    The Institute of Archaeology would like to thank all those who came out to help us celebrate International Archaeology Day on October 14. We all had a blast at Cahal Pech. We would especially like to thank those who provided any assistance in making the day a success.

    Dia de los Muertos
    Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, combines Catholicism's All Saints and All Souls Days with ancient Aztec rituals. The result is both festive and freaky.

    Captain Morgan's Free Halloween Party
    Captain Morgan's Casino, 8pm. As always HUGE cash prizes and giveaways. Karoake Finals! No entrance fee. Free drinks for players. Raffles! Open until 2AM - great afterparty spot!

    Convictions: Supplies Control (Prices) Regulations
    Government of Belize Press Office

    Highlights of International Archaeology Day 2016
    NICH got some really happy pictures from the Archaeological Day at Cahal Pech. "The Institute of Archaeology would like to thank all those who came out to help us celebrate International Archaeology Day on October 14. We all had a blast at Cahal Pech. We would especially like to thank those who provided any assistance in making the day a success. Please feel free to tag and share your photos!"

    BELIZE'S FOOTBALL GREATNESS: YOU NAME THEM! (PART 2))
    It continues to baffle me as a Belizean sport enthusiast as to why Belize didn't had a national football team that went to the World Cup in the 1960's and 70's knowing the incredible amount of football talent it had across the length and breath of that country. In speaking recently with one of the legendary Belizean defensive football players recently here in Los Angeles, California, Russell Hulse, about Belizean football and how the game was able to develop men of incredible character countrywide, it urged me to produce this photo essay and expose about who were these dynamic Belizean footballers? Those magnificent Belizean football players that played against each other in some of the most electrifying matches that brought Belizeans across Belize in large numbers to enjoy and see them. In the 1960's, 70's, and 80's, Belize was all "Football", that is, what the Americans called "Soccer". And Belizeans traverse across the country of Belize to see teams like Queens Park Rangers, Avengers, Spurs, White Label, and many more awesome teams do their play by play action for the Belizean football fans. If Belizeans want to get a pulse of what this period of football greatness was all about they have to read the book, "Sports, Sin & Subversion" by Evan X Hyde. This photo essay comes through the courtesy of that noteworthy Belizean book, and through the kind courtesy of the author and publisher of Belize largest newspaper "Amandala" Evan X Hyde, who has always been urging me to produce something outstanding on Belizean football greatness.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    As per tradition, Best Dressed Costume for the 7 O'clock and 9 O'clock will win a free movie pass for a year (2 Available). Paradise Theater playing this weekend: Finding Dory, Southbound, Army of One, Friend Request.

    Channel 7

    Two Year Old Perishes In Fire
    Last night, we told you about the fire on Hunters Lane in which a baby is believed to have lit a mattress on fire. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the fire was contained to only one room. Well tonight another family is not so fortunate. In fact, they are in the throes of grief after their house in the Conch Shell Bay area was completely destroyed by fire. The worst part is that a 2 year-old baby perished in the blaze, while her mother watched helplessly. Our news team was on the scene, and we found the family on a day of unthinkable, unspeakable loss. Here's the story: Daniel Ortiz reporting: Pain, rage, grief, and frustration… these were but some of the reactions that family members and friends had in plain view when they confirmed that 2 year-old Kaylee Alavarez had been killed. She was the victim a blaze which destroyed her mother's house.

    "Gaza" Man Murdered On San Pedro
    Last night we told you about the fatal shooting of convicted prisoner Juan Carlos Martinez on San Pedro. Well, another man was killed on the island last night, but it wasn't police pulling the trigger. 30 year old Jason Gillett also known as "Skilla" was shot and killed in the San Mateo area on San Pedro. Gillett was originally from Belize City and moved to San Pedro 4 years ago with his common law wife. When we spoke to San Pedro police via phone they told us they are still gathering their information in this case. Supt. Sandra Bodden, OC - San Pedro Police: "Last night between 6:20pm and 6:30pm, police responded of information of shots being fired in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town. Upon arriving at the location, they saw the lifeless body of one Jason Gillett. He was lying in the middle of the street apparently dead. He had received several gunshots wounds to the upper part of his body. So far police has been following up on some information. We have no viable leads at this time so far."

    Mexican Navy Swoops In To The Aid
    28 year old Daniel Arzu Jr. is in Mexico City tonight receiving treatment. He is the Petty Officer 3rd Class in the Coast Guard who was shot to the head on Monday at his girlfriend's Penn Road apartment. As we told you, he underwent surgery at the KHMH and was in an induced coma. But the doctors told the family that there is hope for Arzu because the bullet did not do much damage to the brain. Well to make sure that Arzu gets all the treatment he needs to recover the Captain of the Mexican Navy Carlos Aceves and his team came to Belize to take Arzu for further treatment in Mexico. As Arzu was being carried into the BERT ambulance, his family and friends were nearby snapping pictures, all hopeful that Arzu will make it. He was then driven to the airport and transferred to the Mexican Navy's air ambulance. The plane took off at 12:26 this afternoon. Arzu will be taken to El Hospital Naval General de Alta Especialidad in Mexico City. Arzu's father told us he is traveling to Mexico with his son and believes his son is improving.

    Teachers Will Get Paid, But Differences With Minister Persists
    When teachers go the bank tomorrow, they will find their full pay in their accounts, even those who participated in the 11-day strike. But, come next month, it is uncertain if those strike teachers will get their full pay. That's when the deductions for those lost school days are scheduled to take place, and right now, the BNTU and the Ministry are trying to work out a resolution to ensure that no one's pay is docked. The problem is that the Minister and the Union can't even agree on how they will meet to even discuss this. The Union wants its entire 25 member Council of Management to participate in the union, but the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, thinks that 5 members are enough. Neither is giving any ground. The rift between the two sides is so great that both are questioning the other's motives. On the Ministry's side, this insistence on a full 25 member BNTU national executive is being interpreted as a tactic to frustrate the dialog. On the Union's side, they suspect that Faber wants to blindside them with proposals that they aren't able to accept, and, so they want the full participation of the Committee of Management.

    MIT Officers Says Acevedo Mis-spoke
    On Monday you heard the story from businessman and importer Raul Acevedo. He claims police officers from the Mobile Interdiction Team shook him down after the caught him with uncustomed goods. He says he gave them two thousand dollars in Mexican currency, which amounts to sixteen thousand pesos. We couldn't get much of a comment from the M-I-T at the time, but today their attorney called us. Dolores Balderamos Garcia is representing five of the officers and she says that Acevedo lied when he says the cops asked for a bribe:... Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Attorney: "My clear and unequivocal instruction is that the businessman is lying through his teeth. I am instructed by 5 officers; a corporal and 4 PCs in the MIT and they have given me a straight up account that there is absolutely no such thing as them soliciting or receiving anything."

    Eight Years For Hemmans
    In May of 2012, Gareth Hemmans Jr. and Miguel Zaiden had a fight over a woman. After the initial altercation ended, Hemmans left and returned with a machete, which he used to chop Zaiden four times in the arms and elbow. Hemmans, who has no previous convictions, appeared in the Magistrate's Court last week Tuesday for a trial without jury, where he was convicted for attempted murder. During the trial, Zaiden was noted as an unfavorable witness because he was unable to identify Hemmans as the person who injured him, while Hemmans had an alibi. However, due the fact that he seemed to have no remorse, Justice Adolph Lucas decided to sentence Hemmans to eight years in prison.

    Fines For Price Control Violators
    Controlled prices, they are put in place to protect the most needy on basic food items. But, many unscrupulous storeowners still gouge consumers on these basic items such as rice and sugar. The practice is widespread, and the Bureau of Standards ahs the job of cracking down on it. Today the bureau reported that three businesses that have been prosecuted and charged for violating price controls. Super 1 Center in Bella Vista Village was charged $500 for selling controlled goods for a higher than regulated price. Placencia's Placencia Store and Dong Lee Store in Hopkins were charged $250 and $500 respectively for not marking the price of controlled goods, likely so that they could sell them for a higher price at the register.

    BEL Sends Linesmen To Assist In Bahamas Hurricane Recovery
    Almost a month ago today Hurricane Matthew, one of the most powerful storms in the last decade, formed and went on to tear through the Caribbean. The Bahamas was one of the hardest hit, its 700 islands taking a straight hit from the storm as a category three and four. The Bahamas Power and Light Company reported that 80% of their customers lost power as a result of damages sustained to their electrical power network. The BPL contacted the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation, an association of electric utility providers from around the Caribbean, for help. CARILEC then mobilized a team of 35 linemen from 7 of its member countries, including Jamaica, Barbados and Belize.

    Southside Commander Cautions Activist For Social Media Threats
    FACEBOOK - it's a social media designed for keeping in contact with friends, but its also become platform for anyone with an agenda to get their message out - without going through traditional media. For activist and agitator Raymond Rivers, that has meant some very extreme posts - making all kinds of outlandish claims and calls. And it caught the attention of the southside commander Chester Williams - who uses facebook to get his own message out, but also to track social media banter that could lead to real world violence. And that's why Rivers caught the southside commander's attention. In one of his more extreme posts, he talks about taking over the airport, swarming the Prime Minister's home, occupying Albert Street, destroying gas stations, and locking down the port. Williams called in Rivers today - who pulled up with a COLA entourage. President Geovanni Brackett said he'd been at a safe house:...

    Rivers Says Willoughby Threatened Him
    And yes, you heard right - they said a municipal politician has put out a hit on Rivers. Here's how Rivers explained it:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "You said there is a hit on you. Is that for real?" Raymond Rivers, Facebook agitator: "Well it is for real, because last 2 weeks Mr. Willoughby sent a young man to my house on Antelope Street to tell me to cool it down and left Mr. Willoughby alone. But he came from another big gang leader member in this country. The big gang leader sent him and Mr. Willoughby sent that one. So it's like that. But all of them are my friends. I am from the Southside." We spoke to Willoughby today and he told us he didn't send anyone to threaten Rivers or any such thing. He said that he's the one who's actually been threatened by Rivers, both in public and through private message on facebook. Willoughby did take it very seriously and made a police statement, backed up by a letter from his attorney directly to Rivers - both in early October. The letter tells Rivers to cease and desist form harassing Willoughby verbally and refrain form contacting him via social media.

    "Gwaff," With Caution
    And while the Facebook plots swirl, one of River's associates is more circumspect about facebook wars. Fitzharris Howard says he doesn't support violence:... Reporter: "I am asking for a comment in relation to what your fellow colleague activists has posted on his social media page, in a sense inciting violence. Do you support such posts that he has made?" Fitzharris Howard, COLA Supporter: "Well I don't support violence. We don't support violence. But I believe that everybody have the right to post whatever it is that they want to post on their Facebook page." Reporter: "Can you make a threat against someone on social media?" Fitzharris Howard, COLA Supporter: "I think you shouldn't..."

    Who Are SB's Men In Black?
    But Howard has his own story of harassment. He's been a very visible and active member of COLA recently, at the frontline of many of their protest actions. And it seems that singled him out for arrest by a little known police unit. We call them "The Men in Black" - who we know to be an arm of Special Branch Headquarters in Belmopan. Seems they came all the way to Belize City to arrest Howard for a weed roach:... Howard pleaded guilty for marijuana possession and was fined 205 dollars.

    Coming Up On COPA
    Next year the Belize National Football team will be off to Panama to participate in the 2017 COPA Centroamericana tournament, or Nation's Cup. Belize has been selected as a part of Group A, and will face off against Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The top four teams in the tournament will move on to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the fifth place team will enter the Caribbean Cup for a second chance at qualifying. Belize's last performance in the COPA Centroamericana tournament was less than ideal, placing 7th out of 7 in 2014. Since then, the team has been restructured, and new members have been added to the roster. The tournament will take place next January.

    Channel 5

    A Toddler’s Tragic Death In House Fire At Conch Shell Bay
    Tragedy in Conch Shell Bay as another minor loses her life in a midday fire.  It is the third such incident involving children for the month of October.  This afternoon, [...]

    Fire Service Issues Warning Following Multiple Deaths In Several Weeks
    On Wednesday afternoon, a fire gutted the bedroom of an elevated wooden structure on Hunters Lane.  According to Carla Jimenez, she left her son and his father at home around [...]

    Jason Gillett Is Latest Murder Victim On Ambergris Caye
    Our news crew was back on the island of Ambergris Caye today, following another fatal shooting in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town. Around six-thirty on Wednesday night, [...]

    Teacher’s Union Sticks To Guns: No Ministry Interference
    Will Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber get to meet with the Belize National Teachers’ Union on Friday? The answer depends on the outcome of a prior [...]

    B.N.T.U. President Says Precedent Set For Full Council Of Management To Meet Gov’t.
    The Union also cites previous instances when both the Prime Minister and Minister of Education have met with the Council of Management as its basis for explaining why the Council [...]

    Hands Off The Strike Fund!
    The Strike Fund – it has become the latest tug-of-war between the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers’ Union. The Union has maintained that its Fund is established [...]

    Will School Managements Side With Teachers?
    The Belize National Teachers’ Union is hoping to find an ally in the various school managing authorities. A meeting between them was scheduled for Monday of this week but it [...]

    Trick Or Treat? Another Demonstration For B.N.T.U. On Halloween Saturday
    The rally scheduled in Belize City for Saturday, October twenty-ninth, was intended to be a “thank-you” event in recognition of those who assisted the Belize National Teachers’ Union in their [...]

    Stricken Coast Guard Officer Gets Medical Boost From Mexico
    Coast Guard officer Daniel Arzu Junior was shot to the head on Monday evening in Belize City. He was attacked while visiting his child’s mother on Neal Pen Road, though [...]

    Unapologetic Raymond Rivers Meets With Police; City Councilor Claims He Threatened Him
    On Wednesday night, you heard ACP Chester Williams say that he wanted to meet with local activist Raymond Rivers. Police were looking for Rivers because of some threatening Facebook posts [...]

    Fitz Howard Complains Of Police Harassment
    There’s another activist who believes that he is being targeted. Fitz Harris Howard, an associate of Raymond Rivers, says he was at his home on Iguana Street on October twentieth [...]

    Cop Acquitted Of Extortion
    Thirty-one year old Constable Amir Moh of San Jose Palmar, Orange Walk District, was caught up in allegations of extortion of a medical technician, forty-eight-year-old Alexander Tate. As reported at [...]

    F.I.U. Subjects Belize To National Risk Assessment For Money Laundering
    The FIU signed a memorandum of understanding with the Income Tax Department on Wednesday. As we told you, it is to facilitate the share of information across the two entities [...]

    Wanted: “Clean, Green” Businesses For Start-Up With SBDC
    The Small Business Development Center, a division of the Belize Trade and Investment Service, last year pioneered the “Startup Weekend” as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. It was intended to [...]

    The Meet And Greet Is Back Following Hiatus
    If you haven’t seen any Police meet and greets in your area in recent weeks, don’t worry the community policy programme hasn’t been cut. As a matter of fact, it [...]

    BELAIFA Collects Food For Charitable Causes
    Every year around this time, the Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors would hold a food drive and the proceeds are handed over to the Liberty Children’s Home in [...]

    Healthy Living Examines Men And Breast Cancer
    Tonight on Healthy Living, we continue with the breast cancer awareness as a part of breast cancer awareness month. Except….the next segment is geared towards men. Yes! Men can get [...]

    CTV3

    Will BNTU Meet With DPM?
    There are pending discussions between the Belize National Teachers’ Union and the Minister of Education Patrick Faber about salary deductions for the teachers who participated in the 11 day of strike. The meeting to discuss these deductions, scheduled to be docked in the November pay check has been set for 11:30 tomorrow between the two parties. The BNTU’s Council of Management is set to meet before that meeting at 9:30 where they will decide if they will proceed with the meeting based on the conditions set by the Education Minister. Luke Palacio – President of the Belize Teacher’s Union: “Indeed the Minister had requested a meeting and there has been a number of exchanges via correspondences in which we have indicated to the minister that the council of management is the second highest authority of the BNTU and that any such meeting would have to be with members of our council and so yesterday in the media when he indicated that he had suggested or is recommending to the BNTU that having 25 persons at a meeting would be counterproductive we do not agree...”

    Teacher's Rally Turns To Demonstration
    As previously reported, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) had scheduled a support rally for last Saturday but it was postponed until this coming Saturday, October 29th. The news tonight is that the rally has turned into a demonstration based on the back and forth between the Union and the Ministry of Education which insists that Government will not pay school managements the contributions for striking teachers’ salaries. Luke Palacio – President of the Belize Teacher’s Union: “On Saturday we are having a national demonstration and rally here in Belize City and one of course to thank those individuals groups and organizations that gave us tremendous support during our strike action and again to the public to help us to call for the government that the teachers deserve to get their salaries so this is an invitation to the public...”

    CHOC Promotes Maya Mestizo Culture
    Western culture has named October 31 as Halloween Day, but in the northern Belize Mestizo/Mayan culture, that day is part of a different type of celebration in which the dearly departed are remembered. To highlight that aspect of Mayan tradition, this weekend the House of Culture in Corozal will be holding “Hanal Pixan” an event which will focus on the foods that become a sacred link between the living and the dead during the traditional ceremonies held from October 31st to November 2nd. Because we know you would find it interesting, we spoke to the House of Culture administrator, Debra Wilkes, to find out more. Debra Wilkes - Curator, Corozal House of Culture" “What we’re doing is on Saturday night we are bringing in out to the community, we are showcasing Hanal Pixan with alters, organizations and persons in the community will be setting alters and we will also have a community alter set up for anyone in the community who wants to come out and be a part of the community, you can honor your early departed by simply bringing a picture and perhaps a candle or maybe a food item...”

    LOVE FM

    Toddler Perishes in House Fire
    A house fire claimed the life of a toddler in Belize City earlier today. For the story, we join Renee Trujillo. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “At around midday this afternoon fire officials were called out to a home in the Conch Shell Bay area where a bungalow structure was being consumed by fire. The plumes of […]

    Fire Officials Send Message to Parents and Fire Prevention
    Today’s fire in the Conch Shell Bay area of the city ended in tragedy and yesterday was a close call for a family in Hunter’s Alley just off Kelly Street. According to Oren Smith of the National Fire Service the fire was the result of a minor playing with matches. OREN SMITH “Yesterday’s incident occurred […]

    Wednesday Night Homicide on La Isla Bonita
    San Pedro Police are investigating the murder of thirty year old Jason Gillett. Gillett was shot and killed in the San Mateo area sometime after six o’clock yesterday evening. Officer Commanding the San Pedro Formation, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Sandra Bodden tells us what the investigation has revealed so far. SANDRA BODDEN ” Gillett was […]

    BNTU Says No to Using Strike Fund and Announces Planned Demonstration
    It is expected that leaders of the Belize National Teachers Union and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, will meet tomorrow to discuss several matters that resulted from the strike action taken by thousands of teachers countrywide. But before both bodies could meet, the question of who will be at the meeting is the current point […]

    Rule of Law Report Ranks Belize at 82/113
    The buzz words of recent in many corners have been ‘good governance’. It is a phrase that encompasses all areas in a country’s administration ranging from policies and finances to national security and the rule of law. Many have been clamouring for it, indicating that its absence has been duly noted in various areas. To […]

    Guatemala Congress Seeks Financing from US for Referendum
    Guatemala’s Congress has begun looking at the issue of the Belize/Guatemala referendum and in that process they have reached out to the US Government appealing for financial aid to get the referendum done. According to a report on the Congress’s website, the expenses they are looking at would total about three hundred million quetzales or […]

    Rivers Says Politician Has a Hit on Him
    Yesterday Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the media that he had requested to speak with activist, Raymond Rivers from the Poor People Organized for a Healthy and Righteous Society (PPOHRS) Organization in regards to Facebook posts that Rivers made that according to Williams, could be constituted as threats. Today Rivers accompanied by Citizens […]

    CRFM Has Big Plans For World Fisheries University and Speaks of Collective Effort Against Sargassum
    The Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) held its sixth special meeting today in the Grand Cayman Islands. CRFM conducted the meeting as part of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2016 being conducted under the theme “Investing in Food and Agriculture.” One of the priorities being discussed at the regional meeting is […]

    Government and Belize Zoo Team Up for Wildlife Conservation
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to promote wildlife conservation and ensure cooperation in public education efforts on the importance of wildlife in Belize. Minister Omar Figueroa said this was the first ever […]

    The Guardian

    300 homes to be constructed after hurricane Earl
    Over this past week the newly named Minister of NEMO and Transport, Hon. Edmund Castro has been visiting constituencies and residents who have received assistance from his ministry to put back their lives together after hurricane Earl. On Wednesday he was in Belize City where he visited with the Albert constituency and the Collett Constituency. According to NEMO coordinator Colonel (Ret.) Shelton Defour there have been 140 houses which have been constructed, 77 are under construction and a further 78 will be built. That will bring the total to 295 houses which will be delivered to residents who’s home was completely destroyed by the hurricane in August of this year. Apart from the new homes, Defour says that there have been 1,239 cases where persons were assisted with material to either repair their buildings themselves or have NEMO assist providing contractors. According to him, there are approximately 1100 households that have not yet received assistance. This he said will be done within the next 6 to 8 weeks when NEMO is expected to complete the home construction and repairs.

    Who will pay the teachers who were on strike?
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber and representatives of the Ministry of Education will be meeting with Luke Palacio and other executive members of the Belize National Teacher's Union (BNTU). The meeting comes as a request by the BNTU to Hon. Faber for them to discuss payment for teachers who were on strike. The government's position in one where the teachers will not be paid by the ministry, however Hon. Faber has approached the union asking how the ministry can facilitate payment to the teachers and it be reimbursed through the union's strike fund. Faber has said that the Ministry is looking at having the strike fund pay the teachers for the 11 days for which they were on strike and if the fund falls short the Ministry may be able to subsidize the difference.

    Police shoot and kill escapee
    Juan Carlos Martinez, a 25 year-old escaped prisoner, was killed in a shootout with police from San Pedro. The cops say he fired first, and they were forced to respond. The official version, which the officers involved told their superiors, is that at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, they received information that Carlos was located at a house in the San Pedrito area of the island. They had been looking for him since December 13, 2015. Trying to corner and capture him, the officers reportedly surrounded the property, and they called out to him identifying themselves as cops. They say that shortly thereafter, a fair complexioned man, who was wearing a camouflage short pants, and no shirt, immediately ran out of the house. He jumped over the veranda, into the lagoon, and the officers had to set chase into the swamp. They say that under the cover of darkness, they heard what sounded like gunshots, and so, they took cover and returned fire in the direction where they heard the shots. After everything went quiet, the officers waited for a short duration of time, and when they went to the location where they heard the shots, they found Martinez’s lifeless body. He had suffered several gunshots to the upper part of his body.

    Hon. Edmond Castro sworn in as Minister of Transport and NEMO
    Three time area representative Hon. Edmond 'Clear the land' Castro was sworn in as full Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) on October 24th by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. Castro takes up the position after serving in the capacity as Minister of State in that same ministry from November of last year. During his tenure in that ministry he has been exceptional in performing his duties and has been the Minister in charge overseeing that persons who were affected by Hurricane Earl in August of this year get back on their feet.

    Off again! on again! - Johnny Briceno appoints Eamon Courtenay to Senate Inquiry
    It seems that PUP leader Johnny Briceno simply has no leadership skills and is constantly changing his mind. When the Senate Select Committee was empanelled on October 12, he huffed and puffed and said that the PUP would not participate. He was so upset that he simply could not process the composition of the Committee and the voting powers of each senator and who would hold the majority of votes. It seems that perhaps he got some advice and last week he sheepishly took back the position and said that the work of the committee was just too important for the PUP not to participate in and announced that the PUP would participate. Well on Tuesday of this week he named Senator Eamon Courtenay to be the man representing the PUP.

    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Belize Zoo sign MoU
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) and the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center (TBZ) this afternoon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen synergies in order to promote wildlife conservation and ensure cooperation in public education efforts on the importance of wildlife in Belize. The signing ceremony was held at the Belize Zoo, on the George Price Highway, where Honourable Dr. Omar Figueroa signed on behalf of the Ministry, and Sharon Matola signed on behalf of the Belize Zoo. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Minister Figueroa, stated that the MoU is the first-ever agreement to be signed between the Belize Zoo and Government aimed at formalizing the wildlife conservation efforts of the Belize Zoo. This MoU also recognizes the Zoo’s key role in wildlife management as it seeks to restore, enhance and protect Belize’s wildlife and their habitats.

    $940 Million to be invested in Blackadore Caye Project
    The Blackadore Caye Group is prepared to invest roughly US$470 million in the development of an eco-resort on the island and they have surpassed another hurdle in the treacherous march towards environmental clearance. On Tuesday, October 25, the group’s public relations team held a press conference to inform the public that its Environmental Impact Assessment Plan (EIAP) has been approved by the Department of the Environment (DOE). In Belize, one misstep can sink a development project, even with great intention and potential, down the toilet. The environmental community is loud and sensitive and makes representations as if they are the ones who issue the initial and final approval for any development project in Belize. The scary thing is that this may be true, at least in perception. Because of this, developers have gone above and beyond to ingratiate themselves with the environmental community of Belize.

    Johnny talks about lands?
    Last week Johnny Briceño dared us in the media to go in find any questionable land transactions that took place under his tenure as the Minister of Lands or whatever the name of that ministry was at the time. Well perhaps some readers will remember the land on which the former Customs house was located in Corozal. Some readers may have even had the opportunity to have visited that area, at one time or another. Well in October of 2004 there was some sort of questionable land transfers that saw the title to those lands being transferred from the Government to COROZAL FREE ZONE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY for TEN DOLLARS ($10) which then, THREE days later it turned around and FLIPPED for a MILLION DOLLARS ( $1,000,000 ) . At the time Johnny gave a flimsy excuse in late 2004 that it was a GOB entity transferring it to another GOB entity for a token in order to make it legal. Where his explanation got cloudy was when he tried to explain away the $999,990 profit, the fully AUTONOMOUS STATUTORY BOARD- COROZAL FREEZONE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY made when they turned around and sold it three days later to a private concern, the Montecarlo Investment Group for the aforementioned Princely Sum of $1million. We did not have to do too much digging, all we did was to ask our friend Mr Google and once again he did not disappoint us.

    Relief for the residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena with bridge re-opening
    Residents from San Ignacio and Santa Elena are now breathing a collective sigh of relief that a bridge has been re-opened to relieve the congestion of traffic. The Low Level Wooden Bridge spanning the Macal River in San Ignacio and Santa Elena was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday morning of last week. Simeon Herrera, from the Ministry of Works’ core of engineers did a final inspection of the re-built bridge early on Thursday where a decision was then made to open the bridge. Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Public Works, Alberto August, Chairman of the United Democratic Party, Mike Salazar, Deputy Mayor of the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council as well as many other partners were present to witness the opening of the bridge, which has now been fitted with the long lasting Bullet Tree Lumber.

    Saint Martin’s Credit Union celebrates International Credit Union Day
    Some 67 years after opening the Saint Martin’s Credit Union SMCU, the financial institution joined Credit Unions around the World to celebrate the International Day of Credit Unions last Thursday. As part of its observance, staff members of SMCU held an open day last Thursday at its headquarters in San Ignacio, having earlier spent time with the residents of the Octavia Waight Center. To celebrate International Day of Credit Unions, Raymond Tzul, Manager of the SMCU released a statement summing up the status of the SMCU since Father Bernard Zimmerman introduced the credit union idea in San Ignacio in 1948.

    Crime and public safety information centralized
    The Ministry of Home Affairs is hoping that a centralized crime information system will help policy makers to develop strategies that will be effective in tackling the plague of crime and violence that has destroyed our sense of safety in Belize. It is with this in mind that on Tuesday, October 25, the Ministry launched the Belize Crime Observatory. According to the Organization of American States, crime observatories help to “obtain relevant, up to date information to assess the magnitude of the public security situation and identify its characteristics, with a view to improving their capacity to develop intervention strategies and public policies for the prevention and control of crime and violence.”

    DIWALI, INDIAN XMAS
    Lately, the critics of the government and its naysayers have been questioning the resolve of Prime Minister Dean Barrow to tackle the issue of alleged corruption in his government. So much so that he was recently lampooned in a political cartoon advertisement asking about the double-edged machete that Mr. Barrow had so fervently spoken about while in Opposition. Well there is no need for these critics to wonder anymore because PM Barrow has recently demonstrated, as he has throughout his two plus terms, that the double-edged machete is still very sharp and ready for proper use whenever that becomes necessary. While no one in the party relishes the demise of a fellow party member, the sad reality is that from time to time, the Prime Minister needs to address the allegations (and even perception of misdeeds) made against those in his Party and Cabinet, no matter how senior the party official may be.

    The Double-Edged Machete
    Lately, the critics of the government and its naysayers have been questioning the resolve of Prime Minister Dean Barrow to tackle the issue of alleged corruption in his government. So much so that he was recently lampooned in a political cartoon advertisement asking about the double-edged machete that Mr. Barrow had so fervently spoken about while in Opposition. Well there is no need for these critics to wonder anymore because PM Barrow has recently demonstrated, as he has throughout his two plus terms, that the double-edged machete is still very sharp and ready for proper use whenever that becomes necessary. While no one in the party relishes the demise of a fellow party member, the sad reality is that from time to time, the Prime Minister needs to address the allegations (and even perception of misdeeds) made against those in his Party and Cabinet, no matter how senior the party official may be.

    Eulogy for the late Michael Clarence Edward Young
    Your humble servant thanks the family of MCEY for inviting me to eulogize our dear friend, it is at once, both a humbling and distinct honor, but I hasten to confessed, and yet a tremendous undertaking, in light of the shocking and unspeakable mystery of Tuesday, October 18th, 2016. To have demure would have been an abdication of my duty to his family,friends, our society, my personal sense of responsibility and most of all it is an opportunity to stand in his defense and declare the amazing and phenomenal strength, conviction and fortitude of MCEY who lived not merely by words, but by his deeds. When someone you love passes away, there is a strong temptation to remember him or her, perhaps a little too well. Misdeeds are forgotten, offences are forgiven, and only the most shining characteristics of our loved ones make it into the version of them we want to keep with us when they depart. That is how it should be.

    NTUCB president says he’s concerned over BWU bankrupcy
    Two weeks ago the Guardian Newspaper broke the news that the Belize Workers Union is bankrupt. Since that time the executives who were found to have checks written in their names have refused comment. One former president of the union, Horris Patten has however been very vocal and has asked that those responsible be held accountable for running the union into the red. The Guardian Newspaper also sought comment from the president of the NTUCB, Marvin Mora. He stated that, “this is a situation that is internal to the Belize Workers Union and they have the autonomy to address that matter. NTUCB could give advice or facilitate mediation but not until the parties affected agree.” Asked if the matter was of concern to him he explained that, “anything that can potentially affect trade unionism in Belize is not only of concern to myself as a trade unionist but also the NTUCB.”

    New Minister of Police
    Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. takes up the reigns of the Police Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs. When the UDP won the last general election in 2015, Hon. Aragon secured a seat for the party in Orange Walk East. At the time many speculated and some expected that Hon. Aragon would have automatically been given a role to play in the National Security Ministry given his professional background. Many were surprised however, when the Prime Minister being the strategist that he is, made Hon. Aragon Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture. Aragon proved his mettle and executed his duties in that portfolio with distinction. He proved that he was capable of performing any task which was assigned to him.

    Hon. Saldivar resumes ministerial duties
    The Office of the Prime Minister announces that, after a one week suspension, the Hon. John Saldivar today resumed his duties as Minister of Defence. That resumption follows upon the Prime Minister’s receipt of a legal opinion concerning the question of whether the Minister continued in a (football business) relationship with Danny Mason after September of 2015. The opinion rejects as invalid any conclusion that the Minister, in consequence of the continued existence after September 2015 of a company in which both the Minister and Mr. Mason had subscribed to shares, continued in a business relationship with Mr. Mason. The opinion makes the point that after the company was formed, and no doubt because the Minister shortly thereafter made unsavory discoveries about Mr. Mason, the Minister took no steps to actually allot to himself or Mr. Mason any of the shares to which they had subscribed. This meant that they never actually became shareholders and the company never got off the ground.

    Government suspends seismic testing in Belizean waters
    The Government of Belize has suspended seismic testing in Belize’s marine environment following the demands from persons within the public, who assert that they were not consulted before the Barrow Administration approved the initiative. This decision came after the residents of San Pedro and the tour guide community refused to listen to the reasoned scientific explanations from the experts of the Department of Environment. They had already jumped to the erroneous conclusion that the Government was quietly taking the first step to approve offshore oil drilling in Belize. OCEANA Belize and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage sounded the alarm 2 weeks earlier after the Government made an announcement that Belize was participating in a regional survey. The Government was partnering with the Governments of the United States and the Mexican Government to gather new geophysical data of the entire region, and the purpose was to get access to advanced knowledge of the geology and hydrocarbon systems in the marine environments of all 3 countries’ exclusive economic zones.

    Taiwan Seeks to Join Fight against Global Warming
    Global warming and the El Niño phenomenon have contributed to record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather events around the world. In July this year, the global average temperatures which had taken over land and ocean surfaces were the highest for any month in 137 years of record-keeping. In June, the temperature in Taipei reached 38.7 degrees Celsius, the highest in a century. Another recent anomaly is a marked decline in the frequency of steady rainfall. Instead, we were hit with a series of torrential downpours that caused many flash floods, significantly damaging our infrastructure, ecosystem, as well as crops. More and more evidence is showing that climate change is already happening. If we don’t take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now, we will end up paying much more later on.

    A Giant among men, A Tribute to Michael Clarence Edward Young, SC, CBE
    The legendary Bob Marley had men like my friend, my colleague, my Mentor, and My 2nd Father the late great Michael Young in mind when he uttered those words. The tributes since his passing and the remembrances today by his son Michael D Young, senior counsels Rodwell Williams, Denys Barrow and the Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow almost uniformly are testaments to the hallmarks of his life which were 1. His unshakable character 2. His indelible positive influence on others and 3. His life long commitment to making Belize a better place for All. I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Young before I even knew myself, in fact in many respects he has helped me to find myself. I knew him from I was a little boy, through all those years he never passed on the opportunity to tell me how proud he was of me, share a good joke or offer great life advice.

    Remembering Michael Young
    I am privileged, on behalf of the United Democratic Party, to join in the expressions of thanksgiving for the life and work of Michael Clarence Edward Young. He was, of course, for over a decade the Legal Adviser of our Party. This did not mean that he was on retainer or any such thing. It meant that he was an actual official of the Party, a member of our Central Executive and our National Party Council. It also meant that all he did for us, which included research, opinion writing and actual representation in Court, he did for free. But more than that it meant that he was a critical component of the Party's brain trust: a deviser of strategy, an implementer of policy, and perhaps the most respected of contributors at our conclaves and planning sessions. The cogency of his reasoning and the passion of his presentation were not the only things that made Michael such an effective persuader. He was also much aided by his ability to deliver, with deadpan devastation, some absolutely classic one liners.

    Woman seduces man and steals wallet
    Sarita Ash, 32, of Iguana Street Extension must pay the court $200 by November 28 or serve two months imprisonment for stealing Frederick Trapp’s wallet on Thursday, October 20. According to Trapp, 48, a security guard of a Belize City address, he says that at about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday he was at Uno Gas Station on Youth for the Future Drive when Ash approached him and said she would give him oral sex for money because she was desperate for cash. She then began to unzip his pants but he refused. Ash then hugged him tightly and bit him in his chest. Trapp says he felt when Ash touched his back pocket but didn’t think anything of it. It was not until after she left that he realized his wallet was missing from his pants pocket. Trapp immediately jumped on his bicycle and rode to Fox Club where he found Ash. He called police and a mobile was sent to assist. Ash was detained and charged with one count of theft. Trapp says the wallet contained $490.

    Randy August on remand for handling diamond and gold bangles
    Randy August, 23, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was charged for handling stolen goods on Tuesday, October 25. The allegation being made against August is that on Tuesday, October 18, he was found in possession of several items stolen from the home of Marlon Ritchie. Ritchie’s home at #8280 Cumberbatch Street was burglarized and $34,000 worth of jewelry was stolen. Police investigation led to the search of August and several of the items were found; including, a two diamond gold bangles valued at $2,000 each, one gold bangles valued at $750, a Safari gold chain valued at $400, an Arabic gold chain valued at $1,000 and three yellow loop bangles valued at $500.

    Calvin Cumberbatch Free of Manslaughter Charges
    Calvin Cumberbatch has been cleared of all charges relating to a January 3, 2016, traffic accident that resulted in the death of two people. Well-known moneylender Pamela Bennett—Cumberbatch was killed along with an octogenarian during the New Year’s holiday weekend in a traffic accident on the Northern Highway. That double fatality happened around 9 a.m. on Sunday, January 3, between miles 5 and 6, near a curve. 80 year-old Alfredo Navarrete was driving in his Grey Dodge Caravan, heading from his house in Burrell Boom Village to Belize City. His intention was to meet up with some relatives for the day. His family has told the press that he has a reputation of being a very careful driver, who does not speed on the highway.

    Rosado family requests leniency for Marlon Catillo
    In mitigation plea on behalf of Marlon Castillo, 29, on Friday, October 21, Dr. Alvaro Rosado and his wife Dorla asked Justice Adolph Lucas to have mercy on the man who has accepted responsibility for playing a roll in the death of their son, Ariel. The Rosado’s told the court that they do not want any compensation for Ariel’s death. They want to put the accident behind them and remember their son for the person he was. They want to remember Marlon for the friend he was to Ariel. Last week on the advice of his attorney, Dickie Bradley, Castillo pleaded guilty to causing death by careless conduct in a plea deal that saw the withdrawal of a manslaughter by negligence charge. According to police reports, on Saturday, May 14, 2011, Castillo was driving his 2007 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck at about 10:45 p.m. on the Northern Highway from the direction of Belama towards Belize City and upon reaching the PACT roundabout between miles two and three he lost control of the pickup and collided into a concrete fence.

    Coastguard officer shot in the head
    Family, friends and colleagues of Daniel Arzu Jr. continue to remain concerned for his wellbeing while he remains hospitalized in an induced coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The 28 year-old Coast Guard Officer was shot in the head on Monday October 24. It happened at around 5 p.m., when Arzu was visiting the mother of his child at her Penn Road Apartment. That’s when an unknown intruder barged into the house, where there were other family members around. The assailant was armed, and before there could be any real reaction to the threat of danger, he opened fire and injured Arzu Jr. The bullet struck him in the right temple, and as soon as the gunman escaped, family and friends worked quickly to rush him to the KHMH. There the doctors performed life-saving medical surgery, and they were able to stabilize his health.

    No charges yet against coastguard officer or his alleged attackers
    Two men are recovering from serious cut wounds after they were rushed to the Medical Associates for treatment early Monday morning, October 24. Police are still investigating the incident that led to their injuries as wild allegations are coming from their side as well as from the individual responsible for inflicting the wounds. The victims of the cut wounds are Marcel Blake, 36, Manager at Grace Kenedy Limited, and Samuel Nicholson, a teacher of a Belize City High School. The man responsible for inflicting the wounds is Deon Hernandez, a 24-year-old Coastguard Sailor from Palmar Road in Orange Walk.

    Elwin Vanegas back in jail after escaping 11 years ago
    Inmate Elwin Vanegas walked out of a prison bus in 2005 and lived as a fugitive until he was recaptured over the weekend, more than eleven years later. In 2004 Vanegas was sentenced to five years imprisonment for a burglary conviction. He had served one year when he was transported to court and managed to escape from custody. Authorities believe Vanegas was hiding somewhere in Guatemala. It was not until this weekend that police were able to catch up with him. Vanegas probably felt confident to visit relatives here in Belize or just got tired of running. On Monday, October 24, 2016, a warrant was prepared for his committal back to the Belize Central Prison. He is back behind bars to serve his remaining four year sentence.

    Machete fight leaves two injured in Santa Elena, Cayo
    Two men injured each other in a confrontation in Santa Elena, Cayo. On Thursday about 6:00 pm, San Ignacio Police received information of a chopping incident on Bishop Martin Street, Santa Elena Town. Police then visited the San Ignacio Community Hospital, where two male persons were seen with injuries. These persons were Felipe Guzman, a 46 year old Belizean Butcher of Bishop Martin Street, Santa Elena Town, who was seen with a cut wound to the back of his head and Henry Baptist a 36 year old Belizean Laborer of Maria Gonzalez Street, Santa Elena Town. Henry Baptist was seen with cut wounds to the upper left shoulder, to the right cheek and to the right side of the nose.

    Illegal immigrant caught trying to marry Canadian in Belize
    Darling Waldina Oviedo Pineda, 25, a Honduran woman who came to Belize illegally on October 19, is being prepared for deportation after she was arrested and successfully prosecuted by immigration officials. Officers of the Immigration Department were informed of Pineda’s presence in the country after she visited the Registry Department to apply for a license to marry a Canadian national. Pineda could not provide any document to show that she entered the country legally. Immigration officials caught up with her shortly after that visit. On Tuesday evening, October 25, Darling Pineda appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. She wasted no time and pleaded guilty to a single charge of illegal entry into Belize.

    Interdicted cop wants reinstatement and payment for failed charges
    Interdicted Police Constable Jermaine Mangar is free from charges filed against him over six years ago. Mangar received the good news when the prosecution entered a nolle prosequi on Monday, October 25, due to insufficient evidence to prove the charge. In April of 2010, Mangar was charged jointly with Jermaine Palacio and Ernie Hyatt Miranda with attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Proprietor of Chon Saan Palace Lee Mark Chang told police that two men visited his establishment and were asking questions about the business operation. Further reports are that the men later returned and were captured on camera but no crime was executed upon the business as authorities say they were tipped off by one of the accused.

    Up and coming female mechanic dies in traffic mishap
    Nitaya Locke, a 26 year-old Lords Bank resident, was killed during the weekend in a motorcycle accident. She was a promising young mechanic whose work ethic and dedication was being recognized at the company she worked for. Reports are that after work on Friday, October 21, she went out socializing with her sister and 2 friends. At around 11 p.m., she decided to head home, and while she was driving on the highway, she encountered some still unknown difficulty which caused her to lose control of her motorcycle. It caused her to crash into a lamp post and a fence near to the AAA Security Firm’s office, which is locate at miles 2 and a half on the Philip Goldson Highway. When the officers learnt of the accident, and quickly responded but she had already passed away from the head and bodily injuries she had suffered.

    Police officer cleared of drug charge
    A police constable of the Corozal District is free from a single charge of drug trafficking after Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold made a successful no case submission before Magistrate Patricia Arana on Thursday, October 20. At about 1:55 p.m. on May 17, 2015, Custom Officer Eberto Mai stopped a grey Hyundai Sonata at the Corozal border and conducted a search of the trunk of the vehicle. This resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag which contained three parcels of cannabis. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Police Constable Giean Yah. Yah was escorted to the Corozal Police Station where the cannabis was weighed. It amounted to 3,139 grams. As a result, PC Yah was arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

    Woman robbed in San Ignacio
    A sizeable sum of cash was stolen from a businesswoman in the Cayo District. San Ignacio Police are looking for one suspect, in the robbery of a businesswoman in San Ignacio Town, which occurred at about 9:00 am on Monday. Quellan Mai, a businesswoman from the Brother’s Store in Santa Elena, had parked her vehicle on Wyatt Street in San Ignacio and was on her way to Atlantic Bank to make a deposit when she was robbed. Mai was taking in cash and checks when she was approached by a Creole male person who grabbed her deposit bag and ran away with it. Some 20 thousand dollars in cash and 9 thousand dollars in checks were taken in this robbery.

    Robbery in Santa Elena, Cayo
    Shauntae Shay Shanice Dominguez, an 18 year old Belizean Student of Santa Elena Town reported that on Thursday of last week at bout 9:20pm she was robbed. She was walking on Salazar Street when two male persons approached and used force to steal her properties. The items included one Dark Grey LG G Flex Curve Cell phone, with Phone Number: 631-7353, valued $300.00US; one back pack containing one red Composition Book, valued $3.00Bcy; one Red Folder valued $1.00Bcy; one Green “St. Ignatius” T-Shirt, valued $25.00Bcy, one “Very Sexy” Perfume, valued $15.00US; one white Motorola Charger, valued $25.00Bcy; one black Stapler, valued $6.00, and one Sun Shades, valued $9.00, along with some writing utensils, valued $5.00.

    Two women cleared of $126K theft accusation
    Vilma Guzman and Alexa Arana, residents of the Corozal District, are free from a charge of theft for $126,930 that was stolen from the Belize Bank ATM on October 18, 2008. Justice Herbert Lord released the accused after the prosecution filed a nolle prosequi due to insufficient evidence to prove the charge against the individuals. Vilma Guzman was an employee of the Belize Bank at the time of the heist. She and Mirian Quan were responsible to monitor the ATM system over the weekend of the incident. Guzman went to Quan’s house and told her that the ATM was not working so they had to go fix it. They went into the bank but Guzman did not enter. While there, Quan was accosted by two armed masked men who tied her up and went to steal money from inside the ATM vault.

    Belize Bank Bulldogs win Charles Solis Memorial Invitational Tourney
    The Belize Softball Federation played host to the VIII Charles Solis Memorial Invitation Tournament on Sunday 23rd October, 2016, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. Three teams namely the Belize Bank Bulldogs, Independence Pals and Unitedville Rebels United, the defending Charles Solis Memorial Tourney champions, participated in this year’s Charles Solis Memorial Invitational Tournament. This year’s tournament had to be postponed on a number of occasions because of weather conditions. In the first game of the day, Unitedville Rebels United won over Independence PALS by the score of 18-0. In game two, Belize Bank Bulldogs won over Independence PALS by the score of 10-0. In the third game of the day, the defending champions Unitedville Rebels United won over the Belize Bank Bulldogs by the score of 2-1. In game four, Unitedville Rebels United won over Independence PALS by the score of 14-1.

    Belize to participate in CONCACAF Beach Football Championship
    The Football Federation of Belize will participate in the up-coming CONCACAF Beach Football Championship scheduled for February 20-22, 2017, in Nassau, Bahamas. The Football Federation of Belize had representation in Miami, Florida, USA, where the draw took place on Monday 17th October, 2016 in connection with the 2017 Beach Football championship. At the draw, Belize was placed in Group A which consists of the Bahamas, Jamaica and Guyana. The other groupings include Group B: Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Guadeloupe; Group C: USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda and the US Virgin Islands while Group D includes El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Belize will play its first game on Monday February 20, 2017, against Jamaica and then on Tuesday February 21, 2017 against the host nation Bahamas and the final game on Wednesday February 22, 2017 against Guyana. All games will be played at the Malcolm Beach Football Facility in Nassau, Bahamas.-

    Belmopan Bandits extend lead in Premier League competition
    The Premier League of Belize 2016 Opening Season Competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Sunday 23rd October, three games were played in the competition. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Belmopan Bandits edged out Police United FC by the score of 2-1. The visiting Belmopan Bandits were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Amin Augustine of the Police United scored an own goal in the 22nd minute of play gave the Belmopan Bandits a 1-0 lead. The host team, Police United was then able to tie the score at 1-1 when Devon Makin scored the equalising goal in the 31st minute of play. The first half of the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The Belmopan Bandits in the second half of the game was able to go up a goal on the Police United when Jairo Rochez scored in the 52nd minute of play to give his team a 2-1 lead. At the end of the long whistle it was indeed a 2-1 victory for the Belmopan Bandits.

    Jumanji remains undefeated in Sugar City Hoops competition
    The 20016 Sugar City Hoops competition regular season came to an end on Friday 21st October, 2016, at the East Sports Centre in Orange Walk Town in the both the U-17 and U-25 competition. In the U-25 competition, Jumanji continued on its winning path when it up-ended Devils by the score of 74-50. The top scorers for Jumanji were Elias Albert Crawford with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block; Shemar White with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 assist and Raul Vanegas who also scored 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Devils were Roman Alvarez with a game high of 14 points, 3 rebounds and a steal; Bryton Rowley with 11 points and 9 rebounds and Homer Peralta who contributed 9 points, 10 rebounds and 1 block all in a losing effort.

    Belize to host XIII Central American U-22 Female Softball championship
    The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting the XIII Central American U-22 female softball championship from November 4-6, 2016, at Rogers Stadium. The Central American U-22 championship will feature the national teams from Costa Rica, El Salvador, and the host country Belize. El Salvador is the defending Central American U-22 champions. Each country will play against each other three times with the country with the best record winning the championship. Nicaragua has informed the Belize Softball Federation via official communiqué from that national federation it cannot participate again in the championship as Nicaraguan law mandates that all citizens 16 years and older must vote in the November 6th national elections.

    Central Region High School Volleyball opens
    The 2016-2017 Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition opened on Tuesday 25th October, 2016, with two games on the schedule. This school year volleyball competition in the Central Region is the shortest one in memory. The schools that are competing in the female category are: Anglican Cathedral College, Belize High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, Pallotti High School, and St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College. Meanwhile, the schools in the male category includes Anglican Cathedral College, Belize High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, St. John’s College, Sadie Vernon Technical High School, and Wesley College.

    Youth Talks
    I love you even when I don’t like you Very recently, I have experienced hardships as it pertains to phileo love: love between friends, storge love: love between parents and child, eros love: love between romantic partners, and even agape love: love between humans. I have learnt a very important lesson: I need to love people even when I don't necessarily like them. I started the year with at least twice as many friends as I have now. The friends that have been there for me through thick and thin have experienced my phileo love. Friendships aren't always the easiest, especially among girls. We argue and hold grudges over what he or she said, or what the other failed to do, or other trivial things. According to my friends, I especially take little arguments to another level. I have been known to not talk to a very close friend of mine for months, so long that I don't even remember why. As such, I have lost a lot of friends over the course of my teenage life. I forgot what it meant to love, to love unconditionally and wholeheartedly.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    In the Prayer of Jabez, found in First Chronicles chapter four, verses nine and ten, there are four parts to the petition. First, Jabez prayed, “Oh that you would bless me indeed.” To be blessed is to have God’s favor.” This means special spiritual gifts that we didn’t earn, and that only our Heavenly Father can give us. Next, Jabez prayed, “Enlarge my territory!” (New International Version). Other translations read; “Enlarge my coast.” (King James Version); “Enlarge my border.” (New American Standard). All of them attempt to bring the original Hebrew to our present day understanding. In Jabez time, the more land, animals, and possessions you had, the more security you had, and the more honored and influential you became. Jebez wanted an opportunity to honor God, and influence those around him.

    John Paul 2 Junior College dedicated in Benque
    On Saturday, October 22nd, His Excellency Christopher Glancy, Auxiliary Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan, traveled from Belize City to Benque Viejo del Carmen. The purpose of his visit was to dedicate the beautiful new campus of John Paul 2 Junior College. The dedication took place on the feast day of the school’s patron saint, John Paul 2. John Paul 2 Junior College, located in the Chapel Hill area of Benque, is the first tertiary level institution in Benque and the only Liberal Arts institution in the country of Belize. A press release on the JP2JC states that the school of higher learning is focused mainly on forming young men and women of virtue and wisdom, to open their eyes and their minds to appreciate the beauty that surrounds them and prepares them for life outside school grounds. JP2JC is a manifestation that it is possible to gain a massive amount of knowledge in such a humble and small Town like Benque Viejo del Carmen.

    The Belize Times

    BIG TIME HUSTLER TURN MINISTER!
    In 2010, Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro was kicked out of Cabinet, most abruptly, by the Prime Minister. In 2013 he was accused of using his office to facilitate many Visas for Chinese nationals in return for lucrative compensation, and his name came up many times in Immigration-related scandal. In 2014 his portfolio of Civil Aviation was stripped from him and the BAA Board disbanded after it was revealed that the statutory body issued multiple checks to pay for his personal expenses. But today, Edmond Castro was officially promoted by his Prime Minister, sworn in as the substantive Minister of NEMO and Transport. In 2010 no official details were forthcoming when Castro was booted out of Cabinet, though reliable information indicated that it had to do with a piece of land for which Castro was paid but never delivered title. A release issued then by the Office of the Prime Minister stated only that, “The decision was taken following a report made to the Prime Minister about an incident involving Hon. Castro.

    “Rogue Cop” Named and Shamed by PM & Police Completely Vindicated
    Jermaine Mangar, on interdiction from the Belize Police Department for more than six years, was today completely vindicated in the Court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez when the Crown Counsel in the DPP’s Office indicated that the charge of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery was to be withdrawn. With that, Mangar was free from the charge hanging over his head after his reputation and career were destroyed six years ago. On March 31, 2010, Detective Constable Jermaine Mangar was detained by Police as a result of what they called a “sting operation.” He was subsequently arrested and charged with Attempted Robbery with a Firearm and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery. The arrest was sensational, to the point that Prime Minister Dean Barrow appeared with Police at a press conference to throw Mangar under the bus, accusing him of being the criminal mastermind behind a string of brazen robberies, likely even a robbery and murder which occurred at a Scotiabank in Spanish Lookout.

    Coast Guard Officer Critical After Shooting
    Daniel Arzu Jr. a Coast Guard Petty Officer 3 and son of Superintendent of Police Daniel Arzu, was critically injured in a shooting at Pinky’s Apartments off Neal Penn Road in Belize City where he resides with his girlfriend. The incident happened at around 5:00pm on Monday, October 24. Arzu, 28, was shot to the head and was transported to the KHMH in the vehicle of a passer-by. According to an eyewitness, the suspect entered the yard moments after Arzu arrived home, crept up to the door and opened fire inside the house. Others scrambled to hide in the bathroom as the assailant fired over three shots, but Arzu was not spared.

    Corruption PAYS!
    On October 17th Prime Minister Dean Barrow sat in front of the nation, dressed in black, and issued a touching eulogy to the political career of former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega. The eulogy became necessary, you see, because evidence had surfaced of blatant, distasteful and absolutely repulsive corruption – the sort which saw the son of Gaspar Vega receive $400,000 from government, paid from taxpayer monies, as part of a “compensation scam.” Gaspar Vega’s son Andre paid $15,000 for a piece of land, a deal approved by his father, and then GOB turned around and paid him $400,000, again a deal approved by his father. That deal also included a pay-out, again from taxpayer dollars, of $400,000 to well-connected UDP attorney Sharon Pitts. In total, from just one parcel of land, taxpayers lost $800,000 while two UDP cronies gained. And this was just the tip of the iceberg in a scam which seemed to go back years and which cost Belizeans tens of millions of dollars.

    The Buck Stops at Dean Oliver Barrow
    I am disoriented whenever Prime Minister Barrow makes statements about his own character and integrity, as he is wont to do. Like he’ll say, “well you know me, I don’t engage in hanky panky.” Or he watches you with this earnest look and drops an “anybody will tell you I operate always on the straight and narrow.” Wait, wait, there’s another one he used recently – “There is no way that in an effort to resolve the problems with the BNTU we will make promises that we don’t keep. If you don’t want to believe the fact which is proven empirically by all the evidence in the world you can ever look at that I am a man of my word.” But Dean Oliver Barrow is decidedly and emphatically NOT a man of his word, and it is incredible that he was not struck by righteous lightning when he said so, particularly in reference to the BNTU and good governance issues. After all, he is the man who promised the 13th Senator before elections in 2008, and then did an abrupt about-face after election, stating “it’s not going to happen.” This is the man who committed to an unjust enrichment law before elections, and promptly forgot about it after elections. This is the man who promised to reform the Senate and eliminate government control of statutory bodies, the same man who promised to pass legislation to prevent conflict of interest, nepotism and cronyism.

    Elite MIT Accused of Shakedown AGAIN
    The Police’s latest elite multi-agency unit, the Mobile Interdiction Team, formed in 2012 through US funding and with US training, is in the spotlight again, and it’s not for any good reason. A Belmopan businessman, Raul Acevedo, claims that on Friday night he and his wife were extorted to the tune of $2000 by members of the MIT who detained his van at mile 25 on the George Price Highway. According to Acevedo, an importer, they were heading home from Chetumal with goods in the back of the van when they were stopped. The van was searched and MIT members allegedly found one box of perfumes for which duty had not been paid. With that discovery, claims Acevedo, the MIT escorted them in the van to the Belmopan Training School where they were allegedly informed that if they did not “come up,” they would be charged for the uncustommed perfume and for some other disclosed criminal charge.

    Nitaya Locke Killed in Motorcycle Accident
    Just weeks ago she was hailed as Belize’s only female vehicle mechanic and technician, but on Friday, October 21, Nitaya Locke, a 26 year-old resident of Lords Bank village, died from injuries she suffered in a motorcycle accident. The accident is believed to have happened between sometime after 11:30 p.m. on Friday. Reports are that she was socializing with her sister and 2 friends that night, and just after 11 o’clock, she decided to head home. Police say that she was driving her motorcycle on the Phillip Goldson Highway, and for some currently unknown reason she lost control of the motorbike near miles 2 and a half. She slammed into a nearby fence and lamp-post and suffered significant head and bodily injuries. It is believed that she died on impact, or shortly after.

    Dangerous Criminals Still At Large
    Two weeks after they mysteriously escaped from the custody of officers at the Belmopan Police Station, Lincoln Bejerano and David Cruz are still at large despite what we are told is an intensive manhunt for them. Was it chance, police negligence or a planned escape with police assistance that saw two dangerous criminals go on the loose? While it is not being spelled out by the Police Department which neglected to put out a police report on the escape, the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie indicated then that the “individual officer who [is] deemed to be at fault will be dealt with disciplinary [sic]. We believe that proper protocol wasn’t adhered to in terms of his going into [the] cell block and removing those prisoners to use the ablution and in that process that was when they were able to escape from him.”

    Belize on the Brink of Total Economic Meltdown
    New Central Bank Governor Joy Grant last week told the press very nonchalantly that Belize now has only US $315 Million left in the Bank’s international reserves but failed to explain what a dire situation now faces us. The country’s economy is now in crisis mode as Belize now only has US$15 Million above the import merchandise threshold. That is, if Grant is even accurately reporting the figure. What it means is that Belize must have at minimum US$300 Million in its international reserves at all times because the country’s approximate spending on imports per month is around US$100 Million. Dipping below that benchmark could spell catastrophe for Belize and its citizens.

    Speaker Says FB Account Was HACKED
    Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peyrefitte on Saturday made the decision to close his Facebook account after an incendiary post he allegedly made toward the LGBT community brought fire and fury down on his head. In what was purportedly his last post, Peyrefitte wrote, “Bob Marley once said that everything is just for a while and that sometimes total destruction is the only solution. For me it applies to FB. It’s not fun anymore. People are playing games that will make me do something to them, and I have a daughter to stay out of jail for. Am quitting FB. I will stay on just long enough for people to see this post and then starting tomorrow I’ll no longer be on FB.”

    Chief Pharmacist Vindicated…CEO Peter Allen Guilty of Defamation
    Chief Pharmacist Sharon Anderson, a public officer for almost 30 years, was today victorious in a defamation suit against former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen. The relationship between Allen and Anderson was fraught with tension which spilled over into the public domain in April 2014. That is when the public learned of the CEO’s disrespectful and ill treatment of Anderson whose authority was undermined when an inexperienced Minister’s daughter, Danini Contreras (now engaged to Minister of Health Pablo Marin) was appointed as the Director of Drug Inspectorate. The junior employee along with three others, were authorized to approve the entry of pharmaceuticals. Until then, that had been the sole responsibility of the Chief Pharmacist, who kept discharging her duties even while on sick leave by having the customs entries taken to her home for signing.

    GOB Backtracks on Seismic Testing After Public Outrage Erupts
    Speaking after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, UDP Minister Godwin Hulse criticized the opponents of seismic testing in Belize’s offshore waters, asking of the unknown cost benefit of lifting the moratorium on the issuance of new offshore oil exploration licenses, “How on earth are you going to know what the benefit would be if you don’t do a study in the first place to find out what is there? And my understanding of the seismic was just that. The experts have said it’s not going to destroy anything…My position is, we have to, in this country, start to make decisions on the basis of good evidence and good facts, man. This emotional drive that we have to everything where we huff and puff and huff and puff is not good because it destroys potential possibilities.” A three-week regional marine seismic survey was already underway in Belize’s offshore last week when public outcry at an information session on San Pedro forced Government to backtrack. The BTB-organized event on Thursday October 20th saw several government officials at the head table and Minister of Tourism and Belize Rural South Area Representative, Hon. Manuel Heredia seated among the crowd in the front row.

    If Dah Noh Soh
    Sweating bullets… So here’s the thing. All eyes are on the very attractive CEO in the Ministry of Natural Resources because we want to know how the hell the “not normal” man was allowed to rape us normal folks without the benefit of Vaseline. But hold up there just a minute. When all this crap was taking place at the Ministry of Lands, and when the “not normal” man’s friends and family and cronies were bottoms up in the public trough, the CEO who did the deals was actually the not as attractive Beverly Castillo. You know, the noisy one who’s been keeping on the down-low lately since the scandals started coming out. I hear, but noh seh me seh, that she’s been advised by the PM to be very, very quiet right about now so nobody looks in her direction. The only thing is…I’m hearing that while the oh so straight-laced new Minister looks through the files in the section marked “Wutless Corruption & Hustling,” there’s this certain name that keeps popping up. Ohhh Miss Bev…yuh bettah goh mek fren quick.

    Questions to Ministers
    Could the Member for Queen Square and Minister of Police please provide an update on the status of the so-called investigation into the relationship accused murderer Danny Mason had with members of his Cabinet? Could he say if there will be any criminal investigation into the corruption revealed at the Lands Department under his former Deputy Prime Minister? Could the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please say whether a “demand letter” has been sent to Andre Antonio Vega instructing him to return the $400,000 to the Ministry of Natural Resources? If so, could he say whether a similar letter has been sent to Sharon Pitts instructing her to return her $400,000 as well? Could the unelected Senator/Minister of Natural Resources please provide an update on any investigation into the “compensation scam” being conducted at the Ministry? Could she further confirm or deny reports that there has been enough found to warrant immediate criminal charges being brought against the former Deputy Prime Minister?

    Saldivar Taken Off Punishment
    Following the Cabinet meeting today, a release from the Belize Press Office announced that “after a one week suspension, the Hon. John Saldivar today resumed his duties as Minister of Defence. That resumption follows upon the Prime Minister’s receipt of a legal opinion concerning the question of whether the Minister continued in a (football business) relationship with Danny Mason after September of 2015.” The suspension last week of Saldivar, whose political fortunes have been waning, came after evidence from the Business Companies Registry that accused murderer William Danny Mason and Minister John Saldivar were indeed business partners in the Belmopan Bandits Sporting Club Limited. The Memorandum of Association of that business, signed August 18, 2015, showed that of ten shares Saldivar held seven (7) while Mason held three (3).

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Senior citizen busted with 3.5 grams of cocaine
    A senior citizen has found himself at the wrong end of the law when he was found with cocaine. Yesterday at around 9:55 a.m. while on a routine mobile patrol, police conducted a search on Chesterlie Pinks, 62, which led to the discovery of 3.5 grams […]

    Criminals may have gotten a new gun
    Criminal elements may have gotten possession of a .9 mm black and silver Smith & Wesson pistol. According to reports, Michael Jenkins visited the police station yesterday and reported that sometime after 4 p.m. on October 18, he left his his licensed job issued pistol in his office […]

    Child sets mattress on fire
    There has been almost 3 fires reported for this month and two children have died in both. However, there were no fatalities yesterday when police responded to a fire at #7 Hunter’s Lane in Belize City. Police reports that a father and his son […]

    Girl, 15, claims 4 men raped her
    Police are seeking four men who are accused of raping a 15-year-old girl. The female minor, a resident of southside Belize City visited the police station along with her mother yesterday and made an official report of the alleged rape. According to reports, the […]

    Raymond Rivers meets with Chester
    Raymond Rivers, of the Poor People Organized for a Healthy and Righteous Society, is a freed man. He was initially sought by ACP Chester Williams in connection with inflammatory posts made on Facebook. He turned in himself this afternoon and after almost an hour, […]

    Two-year-old dies in house fire
    A two year old girl has perished in a house fire in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. According to reports, the fire started around 12:30 this afternoon and the child died of smoke inhalation. A source told BBN that two other […]

    Belize: BMA another part of “Government outside the Government”
    The Border Management Agency (BMA) Act of 18, January, 2000 was signed into law by then Minister of Tourism, Hon. Mark Espat. This agency was established to administer various border points that house the Customs Department, Immigration Department, Belize Agricultural Health Authority, the Belize […]

    BNTU and Education Minister to meet on Friday
    The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is scheduled to meet with Education Minister Patrick Faber on Friday. The meeting comes after the Ministry announced earlier this month that it would not be making any contributions to the salaries of teachers who were absent for […]

    Belize City man killed in San Pedro
    A Belize City man was shot and killed just before 7:00 last night in San Pedro Town. Police responded to shots fired in the San Mateo area of the island where they found the lifeless body of Jason Gillett, 30. While police are canvassing […]

    Man charged for gun found on Tuesday night
    Roy Davis of Jane Usher Boulevard in Belize City has been charged in connection with a firearm police recovered on Tuesday night. According to a police report, at around 11 p.m. that night a police mobile was in the Pitta Street area behind Gwen Liz […]

    San Pedro police officer charged for theft
    According to San Pedro OC, ASP Henry Jemmott, PC Zani Savala of San Pedro police was charged yesterday with two counts of theft. According to Jemmott, PC Savala allegedly stole monies from a taxi man and a driver. Police are yet to release further […]

    Blogs

    24 Small Things I Love About Living In Belize: A New Way to Look at “Real Life”
    The battle in Belize over oil exploration vs. NO OIL exploration along the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world continues… Our reef system, residents LOVE for the country, authentic experiences and the fact that so much of Belize has been conserved is the reason many pick to visit Belize over other, often lower prices destinations throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America but I want to take it down to a simpler level. I’ll reel that in for now and talk about my gratitude for living in Belize. Here are some of the small things (and not so small things) that I love about making Belize my home. 1. After living in Manhattan, NYC for 10 years, I realize each day that I love a small town 2. I have my vegetable store, my fruit lady, my Annie’s Cart for pastries or snacks, my breakfast taco spot, my lunch deli. Mine all mine. Sure I used to have “my” Starbucks or “my” Whole Foods but it wasn’t because of my love of the owner and our daily chats or because they knew how I liked my food. Now, even if I don’t ask, someone helps me pick out the best pineapple in the bunch.

    The 5 Best Regions to Meet Expats in Belize
    If you’re considering Belize as a possible place to live, there are five regions where most expats settle. Each of these regions offers a somewhat different lifestyle, and the cost of living varies accordingly. In each region you’ll find at least one hub where expats gather to socialize. Corozal is a sleepy Belizean family town located on the picturesque Corozal Bay, near the country’s northern border. You’ll find few tourists here. Expats in this region appreciate the proximity of Chetumal, Mexico, and the resort towns of Tulúm, Playa del Carmen, and Cancún. They can easily hop the border to shop at Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and other large shopping centers. Ambergris Caye has 20,000 residents; Caye Caulker has only 2,000. Many more expats live fulltime on Ambergris, in the town of San Pedro. San Pedro is a bustling hub of activity, so there’s always something happening. You’ll have many opportunities to meet fulltime expats here. They gather regularly at a variety of social functions, beach bars, and restaurants.

    Waterfall Rappelling and Zipline Adventure at Bocawina Rainforest in Belize
    Located in Belize’s southeastern Stann Creek District, the Mayflower Bocawina Park is 7,000 acres of pristine tropical evergreen forest. A gorgeous natural paradise, the park is home to exciting adventures like rappelling down a waterfall and sailing through the forest canopy on some of the longest zip lines in the country. The Mayflower Bocawina Park is located in the Stann Creek District of Belize. The park is administered by a non-profit organization headquartered in Silk Grass Village. Open year-round, visitors can tour the beautiful Mayflower Bocawina Forest at any time, weather permitting. The entrance fee is $5 USD for visitors and $2 BZD for Belize residents. The zip-line and water rappelling tours are additional cost. The best way to enter the park is via a four-mile long access road that connects the park to Mile Marker 6 of the Southern Highway just a short distance south of where it intersects with the Hummingbird Highway. Inside the park are several Maya sites, including Mayflower Plaza and Maintzunun temple. These and other waterfalls like Three Sisters, Peck, Big Drop, and Antelope Falls are worth a visit in between rappelling and zip lining.

    Beach Wedding and Trash the Dress at Coco Beach Resort, Belize
    Danielle & Kelcey decided to tie the knot on our beautiful island, at one of the best resorts from the country, Coco Beach. The wedding of their dreams, was on a quiet setting, right on the beach, on a beautiful tropical day surrounded by family and best friends… and was out of this world…. A cozy beach ceremony, followed by tropical cocktails and family photos and bride & groom only just going around and stopped to the scenery they loved… the wedding dinner was amazing.. on the beach, under the stars, literally, a movie scene… Next morning, we had her “Love/trash the dress” session and was amazing… while kids were playing in the pool, the parents had their fun wet bridal right around the kids…

    International Sourcesizz

    Latin America: 10 of the best food and drink experiences
    Belize is at Number 5 in the Travel Weekly UK article "Latin America: 10 of the best food and drink experiences." What better way to embrace the beauty, fun and flavour of Latin America than by eating and drinking your way through all that this glorious part of the world has to offer? Whether you’re tucking in to tacos in Mexico, swilling a sassy cabernet sauvignon in Chile, or creating your own ceviche in Peru, Central and South America are bursting with scintillating flavours to get clients’ taste buds buzzing, while at the same time taking them to the heart of local cultures. Here we round up 10 of the best food and drink experiences in Latin America, allowing you to showcase its diversity and innovation to food-loving clients. Buen provecho!

    F.I.U. Subjects Belize To National Risk Assessment For Money Laundering
    The FIU signed a memorandum of understanding with the Income Tax Department on Wednesday. As we told you, it is to facilitate the share of information across the two entities to fight anti-money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing. And under the new leadership of Kent Clare the FIU will be embarking on some big programs. On Wednesday, he told us about an extensive programme called the National Risk Assessment for Belize. He told us what it will entail and why it is necessary for Belize to develop this programme: Kent Clare, Director, FIU “The FIU is conducting a very ambitious but a very necessary program to develop what is called a National Risk Assessment for Belize. Basically what it is, it’s an anti-money laundering and terrorist financing initiative but it takes into account a wide variety of stakeholders, from the AG Ministry, Immigration Department, Customs, certainly Income Tax, the office of the supervisor of insurance, the IFSC who supervise the offshore sector, the Central Bank and basically you are looking at risk assessment and mitigation in every way that Belize could be challenged; whether it is our borders, risk from criminal activities – the street crime, cybercrime, and your fundamental money laundering.

    Three jungle adventures
    “I am in the jungles of Belize, hiding behind a cluster of bamboo,” reports Francesca Angelini in The Sunday Times. From the trees with spikes to the tarantulas with a bite worse than spikes, there’s plenty to watch out for, not least the howler monkeys. “Something soft lands on my back,” says Angelini. “Forest fruit, I presume.” No such luck. “It’s monkey poo.” There’s much to entice British visitors to this part of Central America. It’s English-speaking, for one, and with American Airlines changing its schedule next month, it’s never been easier to get there. Not that you will be in any doubt where you are. “The Queen peers out from the colourful banknotes, but toucans at the breakfast table remind you that you’re in the tropics.” Mountain Pine Ridge is a 100,000-acre reserve of pine and jungle, in a county where national parks make up 40% of the former British colony. Camp out with the jaguars, raccoons, coatis and ocelots if you wish. But to stay in style, head to Gaia Riverlodge. There you will find “immaculate” cabanas 250 feet above a river, “its own private swimming pool”. The idea is to embrace nature.

    Videos

  • YLAI Impact Story, 3min. In the first of a series of YLAI Impact Stories, hear from Heidi Castillo, Founder of Grandma B's in Belize. Heidi is working with My Chocolate Shoppe while in Charlottesville for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative - YLAI.

  • Belize Dance Intermix 2016, 3.5min. Belize Dance Intermix performs at the Bowling Green International Festival in Circus Square Park, Bowling Green, Kentucky September 24, 2016.

  • Immanuel in Belize 2016, 5.5min. An overview of the 2016 Belize Mission trip with members from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere Illinois. This was Immanuel's 3rd trip to Seine Bight Belize.

  • THE DEPRESSING SITE OF THE RICALDE STADIUM, 2min.

  • QUALITY IMPROVEMENT AND VECTOR CONTROL, 27min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • LIVIN MI LIFE TV SITCOM, 25min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Melonie Gillett - Rollercoaster Ride Music Video, 4.5min.

  • Explore the jungle & caves of Belize!, 4min. What more could you need when adventure is concerned?!

  • Thatch Caye Island Resort, 1min. An overview of the beautiful Thatch Caye Island Resort in Belize.

  • SCUBA DIVING BELIZE SEPT 2016, 12min. Diving in Belize, liveaboard at the Belize Aggressor III. Fantastic trip!!

  • Barton Creek Archeological Site, Belize, 4min. Experience the Mayan Underworld (May 10, 2015)

  • Global Leadership Adventures Belize 2016, 4min.

  • Belize Trip October 2016, 5.5min. Cave Tubing Zip Lining Intro to Scuba Snorkeling Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley Ambergris Caye.

  • MarineGEO in Belize 2016, 5min. This is a summery of our MarineGEO field campaign in Belize, Carrie Bow Cay 2016. The Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO), directed by the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON), is the first long-term, worldwide research program to focus on understanding coastal marine life and its role in maintaining resilient ecosystems around the world.

  • Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage meets with Hopkins community to discuss recent developments regarding offshore oil exploration in Belize., 83min.

    October 27, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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

    Iris Salguero to represent Belize in Miss World Pageant
    Former Miss San Pedro Iris Salguero 2015-2016, was crowned Miss World Belize on Saturday, October 22nd at the Log Cabin Inn in the Cayo District. Salguero competed along with three other contestants Moesha Shaw from Belize City, Kayla Lewis from Roaring Creek Village and Krystalee Martinez from Belmopan City for the honour of representing Belize at the upcoming Miss World Pageant being held on December 19, 2016 in Washington D.C, USA. Salguero was able to charm the audience and judges, who awarded her with the coveted title and crown. To celebrate Salguero’s win, family members and friends gathered on Monday, October 24th, to welcome her home. At Tropic Air, a host of friends, fans, and family happily embraced her. Salguero shared with everyone her thoughts about the pageant. She mentioned that the event is not just about the country and its beauty, but about an individual who is compassionate towards others and wants to give back to the community. “I want to see a change and I am definitely looking forward to helping out,” she said.

    Fugitive Juan Carlos Martinez gunned down by police
    One person is dead after a shootout in the San Pedrito Sub-Division of San Pedro Town, involving police officers of the San Pedro Police Formation (SPPF). The deceased was identified as convicted prisoner 25-year-old Juan Carlos Martinez who had been at large since December 13, 2015. Martinez lost his life when he engaged in a shooting incident with the police around 11PM on the evening of Tuesday, October 25th on the lagoon side of the sub-division. The official report from the police states that while acting on information received of the convicted prisoner and escapee Martinez, a team of police officers visited a house in the San Pedrito Area. They surrounded the house and called out Martinez as they identified themselves as police officers. The report states that shortly after, a fair- complexioned male person dressed in a ¾ camouflage pants and no shirt exited the house and jumped off the veranda into the lagoon behind the house. The police officers set chase after the male person through the lagoon, and into a swampy area, during which time they heard what sounded like gun shots. The police quickly took cover and returned fire in the direction from where they were being attacked. After a few minutes of silence, they went to the area where they had heard the gunshots. They immediately came across the lifeless body of Martinez. He had received several gunshot wounds to the upper part of his body and succumbed to the injuries at the spot. The body has since then being transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, where a post mortem examination awaits.

    Mayor signs Memorandum of Cooperation with BELTRAIDE
    On Friday, October 21st, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise and Innovation Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. In attendance to witness the signing at the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) Conference Room were the San Pedro Town Councilors, representatives of the BELTRAIDE, tourism stakeholders, and media members. The memorandum signified the commitment between both parties to introduce strategies that will help improve the business sector on Ambergris Caye. Before the memorandum was signed, the mayor discussed the benefits of partnering with BELTRAIDE, something that had been in discussion for over six months, with the first draft being reviewed and approved. “The beauty is that we can never be [too] prepared for the unexpected. Due to developing lots of business and San Pedro growing so fast, with the help of BELTRAIDE to train in different areas of business, San Pedro will provide better service to residents and visitors.

    Aquafino and Sandy Point Real Estate donate generator to Police Department
    After a recent power outage that left the San Pedro Police Department without electricity for over 24 hours, Aquafino and Sandy Point Real Estate decided to donate a large generator. Funded through Aquafino’s Costa Maya Fashion Show early in August, the machine was handed over to Deputy Executive Office for the Coastal Zone and Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott on Friday, October 21st. President of Acquafino, William Narod, was more than pleased to able to donate this generator. “When we heard that the police department needed this equipment to do a better job, and to take care of the island, we put them on our priority list. So in whatever way we could have helped, I and Daniel Hartin from Sandy Point Real Estate were happy to do so,” said Narod. At the handing over, Jemmott stated his appreciation. “The police has been requesting a generator for a long time…almost two years. I’m happy that Aquafino and Sandy Points donated this valuable generator to the police. It is well-needed, especially in times of emergency. Since we are experiencing hurricane season, we need to be fully equipped to ensure that if electricity goes off, it won’t interfere with our duties,” said Jemmott.

    Ambergris Today

    Blue Water Grill Celebrates 15 Anniversary (Quinceaños)
    The award-winning restaurant celebrated with invited guests its 15th Anniversary this past Saturday, October 22, 2016. The restaurant once again closed its doors to the public and had everybody celebrating in style. They presented their guests with sunglasses, souvenir cups and one-of-a-kind headphone that were used for the Belize’s first every silent party. If guests wanted to dance, they used their headphone on the dance floor that was silent to anyone else not wearing them. Needless to say, Blue Water Grill once again put on a great celebration. Ambergris Today congratulates Kelly and Mukul Kanabar in the success of BWG and for being pioneers in their philanthropic efforts to collect funds and matching the amounts that have been donated to various organizations, schools and causes on the island community.

    Belize Holds 14th National Tourism Awards
    The 14th National Tourism Awards was an elegant celebration of the accomplishments made throughout the year by tourism partners and friends. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is honoured to host such a significant event which gives reconnection to a few of Belize’s tourism stars. These nominees, through dedication to the industry, have contributed to the quality services offered throughout Belize. The theme of the night was “Hollywood Glamour”, a setting that was most fitting for the tourism stars of Belize. Held at the Rainbow Heights in Belize City, this grand event saw the attendance of tourism partners and friends from all regions of Belize. Guests were treated to the exquisite creations by the renowned Chef Sean Kuylen, who as always, added his signature style to make the event an even more enjoyable one.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Halloween Events in San Pedro
    Here are the upcoming fun Halloween events this week~ Thurs. & Fri. 6-9pm Haunted House at Wayo's, Benefits Food Bank, Hope Haven, Kid's Club & Literacy Program Fri. 7pm Trivia for Red Cross at Crazy Canuck's~ dress in costume to support Red Cross Sat. 9pm- 4am Holiday Hotel Halloween Party $15. (They say no charge if your costume is good enough!) Sunday 11am Saga Halloween Party ~ dress your pup up!! Mon. 5pm-9pm Black Orchid 5th Annual Halloween Social ~ for kids & adults Candy for the kids, drink specials for adults in costume, or come as you are, but be there or be square!!!

    September 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
    The latest figures on consumer prices released by the Statistical Institute of Belize showed that, on average, the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were 0.7 percent higher in September 2016 than they were in September 2015. The All- Items consumer price index stood at 103.7, an increase from 103.0 recorded for last September. The first nine months of 2016 saw an overall infl ation rate of 0.5 percent.
    In September 2016, Belize imported goods valuing $160.3 million, representing a marginal 1.1 percent or $1.9 million decrease from imports during the same month in 2015. The ‘Export Processing Zones’ saw the sharpest decline in imports during the month, falling from $11 million in September 2015 to $3.5 million in September 2016. Reduced purchases were observed across various items within that category, with gaming machines, electrical panels and paper machinery among the items recording the most notable declines. A signifi cant decrease in the importation of mechanical harvesters led to an almost $4 million drop in the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category, while lowered purchases of plastic tubes, vaccines and fertilizers resulted in a $1 million decline in imports of ‘Chemical Products’.

    San Pedro Police have confirmed the death of fugitive Juan Carlos Martinez
    He had been at large for almost a year. Upon information received, police found Martinez in the lagoon side of the San Pedrito Sub-division. Upon being approached, Martinez fired at the police officers, who returned fire. After inspecting the area, Martinez' body was found floating in the water. Police continue investigating the incident.

    BELTRAIDE signs Memorandum of Cooperation with San Pedro Town Council
    A Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) was signed on Friday, 21st October 2016 between the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the San Pedro Town Council. The purpose of the MOC was to formalize the collaboration between BELTRAIDE through its Small Business Development Centre, Belize (SBDCBelize) and the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) with the San Pedro Town Council in order to promote the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s), job preparedness and professional development trainings in Ambergris Caye. Under the MOC, the San Pedro Town Council will facilitate BELTRAIDE in special projects and or initiatives that are closely related to enterprise development, such as funding for example, seed capital initiatives, advising for start-ups and providing advice to established businesses among many others.

    FIU & Income Tax sign MOU
    To fight against money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism and tax evasion.

    Sargent Pepper's October Fest
    "On October 30th 2016 Sargent Pepper's will be launching it's BIG Burger. To Kick Start the Mega Sarg (BIG Burger), Sargent Pepper Will be hosting it's Mega Sarg Burger eating competition. Competitors will have 5 minutes to eat the Mega Sarg along with 12 oz of fries and a large Soda. First person to complete such task will get The First ever October Fest T-shirt, 3 coupons for Free iced tea and A gift certificate for a Twin Pack."

    FINADOS
    This observance is more common in Mexico than Belize, but there are several communities where it is observed! Also known as Hanal Pixan, Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, it coincides with Halloween. NICH Events around Belize (contact each for details): San Pedro House of Culture Nov. 2. Benque House of Culture (NICH) "Noche de Cuenta" Oct. 29. Banquitas House of Culture (NICH) Nov. 2. Corozal House of Culture (NICH) Oct. 30. San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) Nov. 1 and 2.

    Parrot permit deadline approaching
    The deadline for submitting your application is fast approaching. If you have already submitted, please be patient, there are a lot of you and Forest Dept is methodically getting through them.

    Kickstarter for YOCHI Film - Post Production
    Help finish a film that brings awareness to the plight of endangered Yellow-Headed Parrots in the pine savannah of Belize. The Yochi Team have reached their production goal. Anything over and above that amount will be distributed to facilitate the Educational Film Tour and donated to Belize Bird Rescue!!! Huge thanks to all those who have donated so far: you are doing an amazing thing for yellowheaded parrot conservation in Belize. Team Yochi and Team BBR thank you! Yochi is the story of a 9-year-old selectively mute Mayan boy who guards a nest of endangered Yellow-Headed Parrots in Belize’s pine savannah. When his beloved older brother, Itza, returns from the city, Yochi learns that he’s in debt and has turned to poaching – setting the brothers on a collision course. Yochi is a film about connection, finding your voice, and protecting that which is most sacred to you.

    PLEASANT HOLIDAY CALLS - CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
    BTB TRAVEL TRADE team along with Gifted Travel Network - Ms. Vanessa McGovern, Manager. Facebook LIVE Presentation and chat to 40+ agents from their office.

    Professional Development Training Workshop
    IA Park Staff will be trained on varying topics over the next three days. It is anticipated that these workshops will improve and enhance the service offered to the public at the various Archaeological Reserves throughout the country. Today staff are participating in Prehistory and Archaeology Lectures while others are receiving basic training in First Aid.

    joyjah
    Over 100,000 followers on Instagram and in the running to be the Feb 2017 covergirl for Love magazine. May all your wishes come true, nena. She's from PG! Take a bow, Punta Gorda.

    Placencia: Keep our beaches clean!
    Come join CRC, Projects Abroad and SEA this Saturday, Oct 29 from 8am-11am for our monthly beach clean-up. This month meet us Vern's Restaurant in Seine Bight. Snacks and drinks will be provided after; please bring your own cup for drinks as we don't want to contribute to the trash! And a big thank you to Peninsula Store for their donation of trash bags and gloves for the clean-up!

    The Forest Department and The Belize Zoo Sign Memorandum of Understanding
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) and the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center (TBZ) this afternoon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen synergies in order to promote wildlife conservation and ensure cooperation in public education efforts on the importance of wildlife in Belize. The signing ceremony was held at the Belize Zoo, on the George Price Highway, where Honourable Dr. Omar Figueroa signed on behalf of the Ministry, and Sharon Matola signed on behalf of the Belize Zoo. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Minister Figueroa, stated that the MoU is the first-ever agreement to be signed between the Belize Zoo and Government aimed at formalizing the wildlife conservation efforts of the Belize Zoo. This MoU also recognizes the Zoo’s key role in wildlife management as it seeks to restore, enhance and protect Belize’s wildlife and their habitats.

    San Pedro: Presentation to High School Students on Offshore drilling!
    Miss Petite Earth International, Vivian Noralez, along side Miss San Pedro High School, Miss San Pedro, Miss World Belize and Miss Belize Universe visited San Pedro High School to educate students on what oil exploration and drilling is, what the negative and positive outcomes are, and what they think should be done. Students also had the opportunity to mingle, take pictures and interact with these beauty queens. Vivian stated "its not only about as pretty face, a crown, high heels or pictures. its about being a role model, an example and making decisions to benefit your community."

    John Paul II JC Dedication
    Pope John Paul II Junior College had their dedication over the weekend. "On Saturday, JPIIJC was honored with the presence of Bishop Christopher Glancy, who inaugurated our beautiful new building."

    UB Wins ATLIB Volleyball Nationals
    Congratulations to the male and female Black Jaguars! They both won at the ATLIB Volleyball Nationals. The ATLIB Regionals are today at Sacred Heart Junior College.

    BELIZE'S FOOTBALL GREATNESS: YOU NAME THEM!
    It continues to baffle me as a Belizean sport enthusiast as to why Belize didn't had a national team that went to the World Cup in the 1960's and 70's knowing the incredible amount of football talent it had across the length and breath of that country. In speaking recently with one of the legendary Belizean defensive football players recently here in Los Angeles, California, Russell Hulse, about Belizean football and how the game was able to develop men of incredible character countrywide, it urged me to produce this photo essay and expose about who were these dynamic Belizean footballers? Those magnificent Belizean football players that played against each other in some of the most electrifying matches that brought Belizeans across Belize in large numbers to enjoy and see them. In the 1960's, 70's, and 80's, Belize was all "Football", that is, what the Americans called "Soccer". And Belizeans traverse across the country of Belize to see teams like Queens Park Rangers, Avengers, Spurs, White Label, and many more awesome teams do their play by play action for the Belizean football fans.

    Channel 7

    Island Cops Kill Prisoner
    Tonight, San Pedro police are investigating several of their own after they gunned down and killed a prisoner who had been on the run for 10 months. Police say that he got into a shootout with him, and having to defend themselves, they fired back, and that's why he was killed. That prisoner is 24 year-old Juan Carlos Martinez. They finally caught a break in the case last night when they received information that he was hiding out at a house in the San Pedrito area. But, according to those on-duty police officers, everything went south when Martinez fired at them. Our news team was on the island today looking for answers. Courtney Weatherburne reports: Voice of Resident: "We heard the gunshots and we came out and see we were surprised what the happen because da first time we the hear about it. So we came and when we saw shootings, well we saw the man running and after that he was shouting for help. When we saw the police light about to see if they could find ah in the area and they find ah and then they shoot up ah rights."

    Cop Accused Of Abuse of Public Trust
    So, while those officers are staring down both a criminal and an internal affairs investigation, another policeman has to prepare to defend against 2 criminal charges of theft. He's Police Constable Zani Savala, and he's also attached to the San Pedro Police Station. There are two complainants who are accusing him of abusing their trust in him as a cop, and they say that he used his authority steal from them. Police reports say that he is accused of hustling a taxi driver, and in a separate incident, he is accused of also trying to swindle a diver. Both incidents are reported to have occurred last week. In the instance of the Diver, the complainant says that the theft happened in the police station itself. The man reported that Officer Savala conducted a search on him, and while doing so, he took money which did not belong to him. In the other complaint, the taxman reported that Savala stopped him at a police checkpoint. He complied since this was an officer of the law, and so when the cop informed him that a search would be conducted on him and his vehicle, the taxi driver thought nothing of it. He said that during this search, Savala also took money from him.

    City Fire Victims Laughed Instead Of Crying
    Recently, a number of the fires we've covered have been either very tragic or very heartbreaking. But tonight, one family is able laugh at their pain after a toddler lit a mattress on fire, and it ended up burning up the contents of the entire room. The incident happened this evening at the home of City Council Worker Ines Jimenez, which is located on Hunters Lane. She was a short distance away, not even contemplating that a mishap like this one could happen. That's when she received the fright of her life when she was called and told that her house was on fire. Luckily, the professionals were able to get it under control before it overtook the entire house, and destroyed all her belongings. She explained it to us this evening: Inez Jimenez - Fire Victim: "This afternoon I the relax and ready to go da work when she phone me and say mommy, mommy the house the burn up. I said who, she say the house, I said house and I start to broke way. When she the tell me everything burn I say the house gone."

    'Griga Fisherman Wanted By Police
    Dangriga Police are hoping that you can assist them in locating this man. He's 32 year-old Alex Sabal, and police say that he is wanted for an attempted murder investigation. Sabal is a fisherman from the Lake Land area of Dangriga Town, and Independence Police say that they are looking for him as part of an investigation of an attempted murder, but also a breach of a protection order, which is alleged to have occurred in Independence Village. He also has 2 bench warrants, one from the Dangriga Supreme Court, and another from the Independence Magistrate's Court, for failing to show up for his adjournments. Police say that he is considered to be dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to contact your nearest police station, or call 911, or 523-202, or make an online report at belizepolice.bz.

    FIU & Income Tax Formally Allowed To Share
    Today the FIU and the Business and Income Tax Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The purpose of the memorandum is to allow the automatic exchange of information between the two departments in order to fight against and prevent money laundering, the financing of terrorism and tax evasion. The memorandum also allows the possibility for joint operations between the FIU and the Income Tax department. Here's the new director of the FIU, Kent Clare, on how this memorandum will help to stop financial crime… Kent Clare - Director, FIU: "What we hope to achieve here is more than just the FIU under its anti-money laundering laws and the FIU act and so - requesting information from our counterparts. What we are seeking to achieve here is a more advanced more organised collaboration specifically on things like the development of legislation. Before we sign one of the things I need to bring to the public's attention is the fact that we would hope to develop legislation to criminalise tax evasion in Belize."

    Kent Clare Talks About The FIU Experience
    And today's signing also gave us an opportunity to speak with the FIU new director. The Government announced his appointment 5 days ago with the information that his appointment letter was signed by the Governor General on October 11. He replaced Joy Grant who moved on become the new Governor of the Central Bank of Belize. He was a career public servant in the Income Tax Department, and when he left that post, he was the Commissioner of the Income Tax. So, is he up to the job as chief of the unit which polices financial crimes? That's what we asked, and here's what he had to say: Kent Clare - Director, FIU: "At the level of director learning curve will be steep but I think there is a parallel and commissioner will tell you; FIU's challenges in not just we have an obligation to our country to make sure that the financial systems and so on are protected but we already have an international obligation which then does impact our country as well the way we do business."

    FIU: Members Of the UNCAC Working Group
    We also asked him about the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which the Prime Minister committed to the teachers that he would sign onto by December 9. You would remember that before the Prime Minister reconsidered at the beginning of this month, he was concerned that for Belize to become compliant there would be systems which would have to be put in place, which would basically be redundant to some of the functions that the FIU currently performs. We asked new director about that, about the process now put in place for Belize to become compliant by the deadline. Here's what he had to say: Kent Clare - Director, FIU: "Joan right now sits as our representative; there's a working group developing the TORs for that UNCAC instrument so certainly it's parallel, it's complimentary to what the FIU would do so I think what that convention would seek to do..."

    Police Minister Aragon Discusses His Department
    And one public official who says he has zero tolerance for corruption is the new Police Minister Elodio Aragon Jr. up until last week when Gaspar Vega resigned from Cabinet, he was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth Sports and culture. Prime Minister Dean Barrow moved him to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which puts him in charge of the Police Ministry. Before he entered politics, Aragon himself was a career police officer who left at the rank of Deputy Commissioner, the number 2 cop in the department. So, he's well prepared and experienced to handle demands of the police ministry. Yesterday, when we caught him leaving the Cabinet Meeting in Belmopan, we asked him about his thoughts on his new ministerial tasking. Here's how that conversation went: Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of Police: "My whole career has been policing, it's like coming home but I will tell the public that going back to the police I am going back with a lot of enthusiasm, I'm going with a mind-set that will focus on trying to solve some of our crime issues in this country. It's not an easy task, I think out of all our ministries this is one of the most challenging areas as a minister."

    Police Minister Investigating MIT Extortion Report
    As you heard, Aragon specifically wants to tackle allegations of corruption within the police department, and right now, in his first few days as Police Minister, there are 2 cases which have already landed on his desk. The first is San Pedro Police Constable Zani Savala, who we told you about earlier in the news, and the other is the Mobile Interdiction Team. You will remember that on our Monday newscast, Belmopan businessman Raul Acevedo accused the MIT of shaking him down for 16 thousand Mexican pesos, which is equivalent to 2 thousand dollars Belize. They reportedly hustled him this weekend when we was coming back from Mexico. He had a van of declared goods, but also a box of undeclared colognes. He said that the officers pressured him, with the threat of criminal charges first demanding $5,000, and later settling for $2,000.

    Oceana To PM: What Happened The Offshore Oil Referendum Promise?
    The Northern Explorer, the ship which started seismic survey work off the Belizean coast, was sent packing last week. And due to public outcry, seismic surveys in Belizean waters have been halted. Even though, the environmental community was instrumental to this outcome with their whistleblowing efforts, they say that they are still waiting for answers. In a press release sent out today, the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage restated their request for the establishment of legislation to ban offshore oil exploration in Belizean waters, as well as their appeal to hold a referendum. We spoke to members of the Coalition today about their concerns, here’s what they had to say… It should be noted that the Coalition has been waiting a lot longer than a week to hear back on some of these issues. In 2015, we spoke to the Prime Minister about official legislating the moratorium on offshore oil exploration, and asked him about the possibility of an official referendum as far back as 2012, here’s what he had to say then…

    PM Barrow Travels
    It shouldn't be a doubt anyone's mind that the Prime Minister has been having a tough month. First, it was the teachers and their 11 day strike to pressure his Government to make good governance reforms. Then, it was the Gaspar Vega, Andre Vega Scandal which caused upheaval in his cabinet, and he even had to ask John Saldivar to take a 1 week suspension. We'll he left the country today, and he won't return until Sunday. Today, a Government press release was issued, and it says, quote, "The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, departed the country today, Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 for a scheduled medical consultative appointment relating to his back ailment. During the Prime Minister's absence, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, will act as Prime Minister. The Prime Minister returns on Sunday, October 30th, 2016."

    Zoo and Agriculture Ministry Sign MOU
    The Belize Zoo can now extend its wildlife conservation program. That’s because the Zoo’s Founding Director Sharon Matola signed an MOU with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Tropical Education Center. In a release it states that quote " the MOU is the first-ever agreement to be signed between the Belize Zoo and Government " it continues quote " This MOU also recognises the Zoo’s key role in wildlife management as it seeks to restore, enhance and protect Belize’s wildlife and their habitats. The Belize Zoo is expected to create a 5 year plan which focuses on wildlife rehabilitation and public education. The release ends by saying "one of the most important components of the MoU is the collaborative partnership to increase awareness and appreciation for wildlife as an important part of the Belize’s cultural and ecological landscapes." The MOU was signed this afternoon on the Zoo’s compound.

    Senator Courtenay: A Member of Senate Committee
    Last week, we told you about how the Opposition, PUP, have decided that they will participate as a member of the Senate Select Committee, which will investigate the Auditor General's Reports into the Immigration Department. That's after the UDP Senator, Aldo Salazar, was forced to accept the seat when neither the Labour, Church or Business Senators wanted to lead the committee. Well, the President of the Senate has confirmed that the Senator who will represent the Opposition is Eamon Courtenay. He posted this comment which says, quote, "I am happy to report that Senator Eamon Courtenay to serve as the Opposition Senator in the Special Select Senate Committee. Welcome. Is the business senator gonna follow?" End quote. Yesterday, we contacted Courtenay for comment, but he told us that he was out. We do note that he was sceptical after the last Senate Meeting on September 30. Here's what he had to say then:

    What Happened To Those Tourism Election Promises?
    On Monday, we showed you this year’s Tourism Industry Conference and Awards, but what many in the tourism sector want to know about is two key development areas that were promised before the election. That’s the road to Caracol and the international airport on northern Ambergris Caye. We asked the Tourism Minister if any progress is being made:.. Heredia did not know the status of another pre-election promise, which is the Lamanai road which he says falls under the Ministry of Culture.

    Channel 5

    Breaking News: Murder in San Pedro
    There is Breaking News coming out of San Pedro. Minutes ago, a man was murdered in the Boca Del Rio Area on Ambergris Caye. Reports reaching News Five are that [...]

    San Pedro Fugitive Shot to Death by Police
    Belizean fugitive Juan Carlos Martinez has evaded police for almost a year, but tonight he is dead, following a shooting in the San Pedrito area of La Isla Bonita. Martinez [...]

    Education Minister Faber Faces Off With B.N.T.U. on Friday
    Minister of Education Patrick Faber is meeting with the leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union on Friday to discuss a way forward in the wake of an eleven-day strike [...]

    Faber Open to Compromise on Deductions and Class Time
    Both parties have agreed to meet and discuss the terms of the deduction, but has there been any consideration on the part of government to do away with a pay [...]

    Coalition Writes Prime Minister on Seismic Testing
    In advance of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage wrote to Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Monday seeking clarifications and statements on several issues. The [...]

    Environmentalists Still Waiting on Cabinet Response
    Cabinet met on Tuesday and as we reported, the matter of the seismic testing in Belize’s waters, which many fear is the first step to exploring for oil in our [...]

    Prime Minister Previously Showed Support for Oil Moratorium, Referendum
    Today, the environmentalists also showed us a video package of separate interviews granted to the media in February of 2012 and May of 2015, in which no less than Prime [...]

    Will Prime Minister Stick to His Word?
    The Prime Minister’s statements do not appear to be contradictory. Indeed, they are clear pronunciations on the issue, despite attempts to prevaricate on the referendum issue. So, is the Government [...]

    Fire Destroys Part of family’s Home on Hunter’s Lane
    When a fire engine passes you by on the street, does it occur to you, even for one second, that where they may be racing to in a hurry just [...]

    Forensic Evidence Key to Solving Aaron Gabourel Arson/Murder
    While the occupants of that home escaped injury, another fire—a confirmed case of arson—took the life of eleven year old Aaron Gabourel in south side Belize City. Last week, you [...]

    Police Trying to Close in on Daniel Arzu Jr.’s Shooter
    Five people are being questioned in connection with Monday’s shooting that has left Coast Guard Daniel Arzu Junior fighting for his life in the hospital. Police say they are almost [...]

    New F.I.U. Director Signs M.O.U. with Old Department, Income Tax
    The FIU and Income Tax Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding this morning to help domestic cooperation in the fight against money laundering, and countering the financing of terrorism and [...]

    F.I.U. Commends Financial Institutions for Compliance, Planning Extended Reach
    And while it has only been a matter of days since Kent Clare was appointed the new Director of the FIU, he told the media today that he has hit [...]

    F.I.U. Getting Ready for United Nations Convention Against Corruption
    And so, where does the FIU fit in following the signing of the United Nations Convention against Corruption on December ninth? In some corners it is believed that with the [...]

    Houses for Collet Residents, Three Months after Hurricane Earl
    Hurricane Earl swept through the Belize District in early August, leaving in its wake millions of dollars in damages.  There have been significant relief efforts in the aftermath of the [...]

    New Houses Are Stronger, But Have No Utilities
    Since the hurricane in early August, government has assisted with the reconstruction of approximately one hundred and fifty homes, a majority of them in the Belize District.  Those structures however, [...]

    NEMO Minister Says G.O.B. Cannot Help With Everything
    In some communities, despite government’s assistance, residents are still living in squalor, largely the result of their own neglect.  According to Castro, if it were left up to some constituents [...]

    Police Want Raymond Rivers Over Facebook ‘Threats’
    Police say that they are looking for Raymond Rivers because he has made some threatening Facebook posts. Today, ACP Chester Williams told the media that he needs to have a [...]

    Another Unlicensed Firearm Off the Street
    Police have arrested well-known Afghanistan Gang affiliate Roy Davis for the possession of an unlicensed firearm. On Tuesday night, police were on patrol when they encountered Davis and conducted a [...]

    Cop Charged With Theft in San Pedro
    A police constable attached to the San Pedro police formation has been arrested and charged for two counts of theft. This afternoon, PC Zani Savala appeared before the magistrate court [...]

    Woman Dies Suddenly in San Pedro Town
    On Monday night, police were called out to an area in San Pedro where the lifeless body of a woman was found face down on the pavement. An investigation was [...]

    CTV3

    Rayjon Eye Clinic To Offer Free Eye Clinic In Corozal
    The Corozal Rotary Club held a regular meeting today for members to finalize plans for the arrival of the Rayjon Eye Clinic specialists in Corozal Town. This is a medical team that comes to town every year and assists with much needed ophthalmology services to residents. Their next trip to Belize is in two weeks and we spoke to the President and Secretary of the Rotary Club to find out more. Shelley Falk, President, Corozal Rotary Club: “We have the Rayjon Eye Clinic coming from Canada to do a free eye clinic for us on November 7t through 11th it will be at the Methodist eye clinic from eight until four and it is first come first serve and the nice to know is that they have been here several times, the most recent was in 2011 and they bring a staff of twenty plus people and they bring at least 2000 pairs of free glasses they will be distributing to people and they volunteer their time completely and so we are going to take care and sponsoring them through the Rotary club of Corozal and it is first come first serve and I want to make sure everybody knows that.”

    LOVE FM

    Fugitive Killed in Shootout on Ambergris Caye
    San Pedro Police shot and killed a fugitive last night. Police has confirmed that 25 year old Juan Carlos Martinez, who had been on the run for months, was shot and killed during a shootout on La Isla Bonita. Reports are that a tip led police officers to the San Pedrito Area near the lagoon. […]

    Charges Yet to Be Laid in Petty Officer Shooting; Arzu to Be Flown Out for Medical Attention
    Five persons have been detained for questioning in connection with the shooting of Petty Officer 3rd class in the Belize Coast Guard, Daniel Arzu. Arzu was shot to the head on Neal’s Pen Road on Monday evening. While Arzu is at the KHMH recovering, investigators are trying to figure out who did it and why. […]

    Investigation Continues Into Fire that Killed Aaron Gabourel
    On October 4, 11-year-old Aaron Gabourel died when his home went up in flames. The fire was ruled as arson and three weeks into the investigation, no one has been charged. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, gave us an update. CHESTER WILLIAMS “Currently the information we have been receiving is conflicting and we have […]

    BNTU and Education Minister to Meet in Two Days
    There is a pending meeting between the Education Minister, Patrick Faber and the Belize National Teachers Union for Friday, October 28 in Belize City. We say pending, since there has been some back and forth between the two parties as to who will be in attendance. Minister Faber explained the situation. PATRICK FABER “That meeting […]

    Coalition Wants More Information and Consultation on Seismic Testing
    The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage has written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The Coalition is asking, once more, for the Government to share all the information that it has amassed and used to make its original decision to allow seismic survey in the offshore area of Belize. The coalition believes that given […]

    FIU and Income Tax Team up to Minimize Tax Evasion
    The Financial Intelligence Unit and The Income Tax Department have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that promises to strengthen the fight against money laundering, tax evasion and terrorism. The new director of the FIU, Kent Clare spoke of the newly signed MOU. KENT CLARE “What we hope to achieve here is more than just the […]

    ITA System Will Boost Government’s Revenue
    It is the hoped that the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding will assist in income tax monitoring and collection. Commissioner of the Income Tax Department, Ann Castillo stated that they do not have a clear picture of the figures when it comes to tax evasion. ANN CASTILLO “Presently there is not a ballpark figure but […]

    New Homes for the Victims of Earl
    Several starter homes were handed over this morning by the Government of Belize through the National Emergency Management Organization. With five houses located in the Collet division, the Area Representative, Patrick Faber was with NEMO Minister, Edmond Castro for the official presentations on Laura Dunn and Iguana Streets. As explained by Minister Faber, the homes […]

    Imports on the Decline; Sugar Exports Plunge and Citrus Shows Promise
    The latest figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize show a marginal decrease in imports for the month of September. Belize imported goods valuing one hundred and sixty point three million dollars which represents a one point one percent decrease from the same period last year. The Export Processing Zones saw the sharpest decline in […]

    PM Gone for Medical Appointment
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today to attend a medical appointment in the United States. In his absence up until Sunday, October 30, Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber will be acting in that capacity.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Pair accused of attempting to rape Coast Guard yet to be charged
    On Monday it made headlines when a Coast Guard reported to Ladyville police that two men attempted to rape him. He told police he was able to fight them off, even after having had a few drinks. No charges were brought against the accused men […]

    PM departs country on medical leave
    A government release was issued to inform the public that Prime Minister Dean Barrow departed the country today for a scheduled medical consultative appointment relating to his back ailment. During the Prime Minister’s absence, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister. […]

    Corozal Town Council to tax taxi operators
    The Corozal Town Council is seeking to impose taxes on its taxi operators. According to a letter from the Corozal Town Council, taxi drivers will not be allowed to operate in the town without a trade license. Local taxi drivers belonging to a taxi […]

    Gaspar Vega begs PM Barrow for duty exemption on 2016 vehicle
    BBN has obtained a leaked document to Prime Minister Dean Barrow dated October 21, 2016 from former Cabinet Minister, Gaspar Vega. “I, Hon. Gaspar Vega, Area Representative of Orange Walk North, is hereby applying for duty exemption on a 2016 Lexus motor vehicle,” the […]

    Police find weed in Cayo
    Yesterday around 5:30 p.m. , MIT personnel conducted a checkpoint on the George Price highway where they intercepted a green BBOC bus. Upon searching the bus, police discovered a blue and pink backpack marking letters (PINK) on top of the bag rock of the […]

    Escaped prisoner fatally shot by San Pedro Police
    According to police reports, on Tuesday, at about 10:00 p.m., San Pedro police received information that convicted prisoner Juan Carlos Martinez, who had escaped from police custody in December, was inside a house in the San Pedrito Area of San Pedro Town. Police visited the location […]

    Government builds new medical center in Sarteneja
    The Government of Belize has embarked on an initiative that will benefit the men, women and children of Sarteneja. According to a press release, over 2,000 villagers from Sarteneja stand to benefit from their very own community health care center. According to the statement, […]

    Belize- Squandering the low oil price opportunity
    “Since June 2014 oil prices have dropped about 65 percent in U.S. dollar terms (about $70) as growth has progressively slowed across a broad range of countries. Even taking into account the 20 percent dollar appreciation during this period (in nominal effective terms), the […]

    Police take another gun off the streets in Belize City
    South Side police have taken another gun off the streets in Belize City. Last night a police mobile was in the Pitta Street area behind Gwen Liz High School when they saw a man with what appeared to be a hand gun. They set […]

    Blogs

    San Pedranos Acted Out of Emotion, Not Information on OUR REEF. Really?
    You may have noticed that for the past week, instead of San Pedro happenings, parties, invites to this beautiful country, new restaurants and pretty pictures of the beach, my blog has taken a different tone. One that I couldn’t feel more passionate about – one that I know this town and this country feels passionate about – the greatest natural gift this country has. What happened: The Government of Belize allowed oil exploration to begin off-shore seismic testing over our waters and around our reef system without public consultation or a public announcement – that is THE LAW . Or wait…maybe it is not. There are a few too many uses of the word: MAY. “The environmental legislation of Belize requires that any project or activity which may have significant impact on the environment may be required to carry out an EIA and following the rules as set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations and its Amendment of 2007…” – Department of the Environment Website

    Finding Adventure in San Ignacio Belize
    If you live in another part of the country, San Ignacio in the Cayo district is likely a place you are long overdue on visiting. It makes for an easy action packed and tasty getaway. If you live in the area, when was the last time you took a fun filled adventure in your own backyard? The Green Iguana Conservation Project at San Ignacio Hotel Resort is a fun, interactive and educational tour. It takes you up close and personal with this amazing reptile. The best part about the Iguana Tour, aside from seeing an amazing Iguana conservation effort, is feeding time. They literally climb over top of you to chow down on the big green leaves. Located about a mile south of San Ignacio town atop the highest hill, Cahal Pech is a perfect do-it- yourself (DIY) tour. Chances are good you could end up with this mid-size ruin all to yourself. Large trees provide great shade for walking, making for a truly magical experience. The main area consists of seven interconnected plazas that were a big excavation and restoration project in the late 1980’s. There is also an onsite museum and several display cases of very cool artifacts.

    Pictures of Belize: 13 perfect photo opportunities!
    Photos are the perfect way to keep that one resounding memory alive, you can look at them when you feel nostalgic, or just glance at them when you’re busy to take you back to a happier time. What are vacations after they end if not good memories? With the many adventures you’ll go on and the moments you’ll have in Belize we know there will be some that you’ll want to keep! By now, surely, you know where we are going with this; check out our most picture pose-worthy photo angles from around Belize!

    International Sourcesizz

    The Strange Story of Why Belize is Full of Chicago Cubs Fans
    Less than four years after gaining independence from the United Kingdom, the Central American nation of Belize notched a smaller, yet somehow lasting, triumph in 1985. That winter, the Chicago Cubs sent their star outfielder Gary Matthews, Sr., to visit the country, which is often claimed to be the most Cubs-friendly land outside the Windy City. Matthews's visit was the culmination of a love affair that had begun in 1981, the year when Cubs games began being broadcast in the country. The relationship has continued to this day. Right now many Belizeans at home and inside the United States are cheering on the Cubs, who have returned to the World Series for the first time since 1945 and are attempting to break a championship drought that stretches all the way back to the first Roosevelt administration, 1908. The team finished the 2016 season with the best record in baseball, wracking up 103 wins (and 58 losses), an achievement that put them a whopping 17.5 games ahead of their closest division rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Students strive to end polio
    The Rotaract Club held an End Polio Fair in front of the Carr Health Building Monday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anna Vasquez, president of the Rotaract Club and senior from Orange Walk, Belize, said polio is a disease that affects children and causes them to be crippled for the rest of their lives. However, she said children can be protected with one vaccine for the entire time they are susceptible to the disease. She said many people in America have forgotten how devastating polio is because the disease no longer affects Americans. Vasquez said the Rotaract Club’s main focus is raising awareness and money for polio vaccines. She said the fair is one of the many projects the Rotaract Club has done in the fight against polio. She said she hopes many students stop by the fair to participate in activities. Twinkle Bhojwani, senior from Belize City, Belize, said polio affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in southern Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Jaguar scat study suggests restricted movement in areas of conservation importance in Mesoamerica
    A research group led by the American Museum of Natural History and global wild cat conservation organization Panthera has published the largest gene-based survey of its kind on wild jaguar populations in Mesoamerica. The analysis, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, is based on nearly 450 jaguar scat samples collected in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. This work identifies areas of conservation concern for Mesoamerican jaguars and underscores the importance of large-scale genetic monitoring efforts when prioritizing conservation and management efforts for this near-threatened, and elusive, carnivore species. "Mesoamerica has one of the highest deforestation rates worldwide, potentially limiting movement and genetic connectivity in forest-dependent jaguars across this fragmented landscape. Large-scale conservation genetics studies on wild jaguars spanning across several range countries assessing these threats are rare and suffer from low sample sizes for this region," said Claudia Wultsch, the lead author of the paper, a scientist in the Museum's Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, and a conservation research fellow at Panthera. "Over the last 100 years, jaguars in Mesoamerica have been pushed out from more than 77 percent of their historic range."

    New study finds American jaguars threatened by increasing isolation
    A new study from the American Museum of Natural History has found that jaguars in Central America are facing increasing threats as their habitats become more isolated and differing groups lose connections. The study was the largest ever genetic survey of the Mesoamerican jaguar (Panthera onca) and looked at the DNA of big cats from several areas to analyse their genetic diversity. The analysis found that jaguars in Mexico had the lowest genetic variation, with those in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Costa Rice not far behind. Low genetic variation is not a good sign for the jaguar, as explained in the study: "Genetic diversity has important ecological consequences in natural populations, including the maintenance of evolutionary potential and individual fitness to respond to threats such as environmental change and disease." "We believe that these jaguars were once continuously distributed over the whole landscape of Mesoamerica, but human activity has resulted in smaller populations that are isolated from other groups," said George Amato, director of the American Museum of Natural History's Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics.

    Videos

  • Cabinet is in the process of reviewing Oceana Belize's offshore oil moratorium. The waiting game is on, 2min. This is what Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow told the national media in May 2015. This is what the country has been expecting. We continue to await the next steps of Government of Belize.

  • Plenty Belize, 32min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Leaving Jungle Belize, 2min. Leaving the Chukka Camp and jungle in Belize.

  • Going Into Crystal Cave Tubing Belize, 15min. Descending into the Crystal Cave for some tubing in Belize.

  • Belize Crystal Cave Tubing, 30min.

  • Chukka Camp Zip Lining in Belize, 8min. Zip Lining in the jungle at Chukka Camp in Belize.

  • Life Insurance Week {BelfAIFA}, min. on Open Your Eyes... Shawn Smith, President Belize Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors. Ruby Nicholas, President Kidney Association.

  • EPI Belize Google Earth Tour, 3.5min.

  • From Yes To I Do (Season 4, Episode 1), 27min.

  • Recently sat down with Michael Salazar for a little one on one, and here's what he had to say., 4min.

  • Students from Faith Nazarene primary school viewing Birds of Belize & Art of Taxidermy exhibit at SISEHOC., 1min. Hundreds of school children have seen this exhibit... It has proved very popular!

  • CARACOL ROAD CAYO DISTRICT BELIZE, 69min.

  • Fish Fest 2016, 1.5min. The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to all our donors below who contributed to the TIDE Fish Festival which was held on Oct 7-9, 2016 in Punta Gorda Town.

  • Delilah's Ground Nut Adventure In Belize, 2min.

    October 26, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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

    Traffic accident leaves minor with injuries
    A traffic accident left a three-year old boy with minor injuries, when the motorcycle he was being transported on slammed against a golf cart. The accident happened after 9PM on Friday, October 21st on Angel Coral Street. The collision was so strong that both the baby and his father, who was driving the motorcycle, were ejected onto the pavement. The official report from the investigating officer at the San Pedro Police Station states that the minor was immediately transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic where he was treated. After different tests, the baby was released with slight bruises on his arms. The report details the chain of events of the accident and cited that 46-year-old Rene Vasquez was in front of Caye Supplies when he decided to make a U-turn in the middle of the street while driving his golf cart. According to Vasquez, he looked on both sides of the street and did not see anyone coming on either side of the road. He further told the police, while making the turn he heard a loud screeching followed by a loud bang.

    San Pedro stands against Seismic Surveys
    After Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow approved the notion of multi-beam and seismic testing in Cabinet, locals and visitors of San Pedro became aware that two vessels, MV Northern Explorer and MV Campeche started seismic testing on Wednesday, October 19th. Oceana in Belize, joined by other organizations, was active in educating the community of the harm on conducting these surveys. They hoped to gain full support from the public to go against both multi-beam and seismic testing. Concerned community members gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den, where they were notified of the latest developments on offshore oil exploration, and the purpose of multi beam and seismic surveys was explained to them. Oceana reiterated that scientific research provided by GOB needs to be re-evaluated before they can make an educated decision. When representatives attempted to convince stakeholders that these surveys do not have any negative impacts on the reef, the crowd was in an uproar. As a result, the session ended earlier than planned, with Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Manuel Heredia Jr. pressured to lobby the Prime Minister to issue a stop order on seismic testing. He was mandated to give a response at a set time, or stakeholders would proceed with a strike blockade.

    Honorable John Saldivar Resumes Ministerial Duties
    The Office of the Prime Minister announces that, after a one week suspension, the Hon. John Saldivar today resumed his duties as Minister of Defence. That resumption follows upon the Prime Minister’s receipt of a legal opinion concerning the question of whether the Minister continued in a (football business) relationship with Danny Mason after September of 2015.

    Multinational Security Cooperation Conference Held in Belize
    The Belize Coast Guard hosted a Multilateral Security Cooperation Conference at the Coast Guard Headquarters on George Price Highway in Belize City. The main purpose of the conference was for the allied nations of Belize to understand the security cooperation and military capacity building requirements of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and Belize Coast Guard (BCG), in order to synchronise and harmonise activities to prevent duplication or missed opportunities. This year’s Conference was chaired by the CEO of the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Felix Enriquez, and was attended by Defence Attachés and Command Representatives from Belize’s Military Allies, including Brigadier General Kevin Iiams from the United States Southern Command; Brigadier General Michael McGovern from the United Kingdom London District Command; Navy Captain Paul Dempsey, Canadian Defence Attaché; and General Gilberto Martinez, Mexican Army Defence Attaché – all of whom gave updates on the progress of ongoing military supporting activities to Belize and planned support for the coming years up to 2018.

    Blackadore Caye EIA Approved
    Final development plans announced, include removal of all overwater structures. The Blackadore Development Group announced today that following a review of the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the Belize Department of the Environment (DOE) has approved construction of the Blackadore Caye Project. This development will be the first of its kind in the country, and signals an entirely new paradigm in sustainable development. The project will be built to some of the most stringent sustainability building standards in existence, and will aim to restore and revitalize the current ecology of Blackadore Caye. “After a six month process of gathering feedback from stakeholders and local citizens, we received overwhelming support for the project – recognizing its social benefits, impact on the economy and environmental integrity,” said Paul Scialla, a partner in the Blackadore Development Group. “Despite approval for overwater structures, we have listened the concerns of local stakeholders and there will be no overwater structures for rent or sale in the final development. This decision is to further ensure our commitment to the ecological preservation of Belize,” continued Scialla.

    Ambergris Today

    Pet Parrot Licensing Application Period to Close
    The Forest Department announces that the application period for the Captive Wildlife Permit program for pet parrots will close on October 31st, 2016. Since the program began, the department received more than 2,000 applications and registered over 300 parrots already. Hundreds of parrots were rehabilitated and returned to the wild when inspections revealed that: (a) the parrots were found to be less than one-year old and; (b) bird owners failed to meet strict compliance standards. Parrots represent the largest group of captive wild animals in Belize. Thousands of wild birds have been and continue to be illegally captured and traded on the domestic and international market to meet the demand for the pet trade. This has devastating impacts on Belize’s parrot species population, particularly the scarlet macaw and yellow-headed parrots now threatened by extinction due to habitat loss and illegal capturing.

    Blackadore Caye Gets Approved for Construction, Ground Breaking in 2017
    Final development plans announced, include removal of all overwater structures - The Blackadore Development Group announced today, Tuesday, October 25, 2016, that following a review of the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the Belize Department of the Environment (DOE) has approved construction of the Blackadore Caye Project. Developers of the caye state that it the project will be the first of its kind in the country, and signals an entirely new paradigm in sustainable development. The project will be built to some of the most stringent sustainability building standards in existence, and will aim to restore and revitalize the current ecology of Blackadore Caye.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Belize Fishing Report, October 16th – October 22nd, 2016
    Orvis’ Bonefish Bonanza filled the lodge with great spirits and lots of fish stories over the 4 nights they were here. Orvis’s host (Dan Davala from Orvis Travel in Vermont) brought a combination of repeat guests and new saltwaterites looking for anything from the promised bonefish to the hallowed permit. They caught them all, including the two soft slams!

    B.T.B. IS A PART OF THE “GOVERNMENT OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT”
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a Statutory Institution in Belize which falls under the Ministry of Tourism, but can be considered a part of the “government outside the government”. If tourism grows 100% over the next 10 years, their revenues will increase to over $100 million…..if this happens, do they just keep those extra revenues and continue to spend it and live lavishly, while the rest of the country suffers? Or should they start contributing a 25% “income tax” to the national budget now, as all persons earning over $25,000 are required by law to do? At what point does the BTB start to be accountable to the Auditor General, Financial Secretary and Attorney General? After all, the taxes they collect are not theirs….it is for the people of Belize….and these budgets need to start being reflected in the national budget…with oversight from those in our central government charged with ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively to implement approved plans. When will they need to advertise ALL employment and business opportunities? And to put all contracts out for public tender? Instead of all these insider deals with political and personal favorites in publication, marketing, training, etc? At what point are the tax rates reduced? Belize economy needs to be a lot more competitive….a vacation of similar quality in the Riviera Maya can cost as much as 50% below a vacation in Belize…and with Cuba now a serious contender, Belize needs to compete in cost where it has to, and in quality where possible.

    Hon. Saldivar Resumes Ministerial Duties
    The Office of the Prime Minister announces that, after a one week suspension, the Hon. John Saldivar today resumed his duties as Minister of Defence. That resumption follows upon the Prime Minister's receipt of a legal opinion concerning the question of whether the Minister continued in a (football business) relationship with Danny Mason after September of 2015. The opinion rejects as invalid any conclusion that the Minister, in consequence of the continued existence after September 2015 of a company in which both the Minister and Mr. Mason had subscribed to shares, continued in a business relationship with Mr. Mason. The opinion makes the point that after the company was formed, and no doubt because the Minister shortly thereafter made unsavory discoveries about Mr. Mason, the Minister took no steps to actually allot to himself or Mr. Mason any of the shares to which they had subscribed. This meant that they never actually became shareholders and the company never got off the ground.

    Special Sitting of the Supreme Court to Honor the Memory of Senior Counsel Michael Young
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and Justices of the Supreme Court as well as members of the legal fraternity join Young's wife, children and grandchildren as well as his extended family to remember the esteemed attorney.

    Power interruption, 7:00am to 11:00am, Wednesday, October 26, Dangriga Town
    Rivas Estate 1 & 2, Lakeland Area & Havana St. A half hour power interruption will also affect entire Dangriga Town & Sarawee Village from 7:00am to 7:30am. BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines & repair hotspots on power distribution system.

    It's a day of cleaning. Inviting all artists and residents of Dangriga
    Come on our and be a part of the service day. Bring a rake or whatever cleaning tool you might have! Roll up your sleeves for a worthy cause!

    Noche de Cuenta
    Viernes, 28 de octubre, 7pm. uyyyyy que miedo mira como estoy temblando. Benque House of Culture Lawn, October 28, 7pm

    BHA promoting in Canada, Mexico, and the USA last week!
    The Belize Hotel Association was extremely busy this past week, actively marketing our members at several tradeshows and roadshows. On October 18 and 19, At the Cancun TravelMart, Past President Doug Thompson and Marketing Director Tessie Tonaco, met with several international travel agents and marketing agencies who were interested in learning more about what Belize has to offer. The two day show was well represented and we look forward to attracting more travelers to Belize from countries such as Mexico, Japan, Spain, Canada and the USA. On October 17-19, the Belize Hotel Association also participated in the United Airlines/ Tropic Air Roadshow, hosting several travel agent events in Chicago, New Jersey and New York. At the same time, BHA President Leisa Carr-Caceres and Director Barry Snowden were in Montreal Canada, attending the ITTS Montreal (International Tourism and Travel Show) held on October 21-23. This three day consumer show receives more than 30,000 visitors who are eagerly looking for new destinations for their next vacation. As a sequence to the ITTS show, the BHA will be participating in the BTB Canadian roadshow, in November where presentations will be made to Toronto and Montreal travel agents.

    Halloween Party and Costume Contest at Carlo and Ernie's Runway Bar and Grill
    October 30, 11am-5pm. Prizes and Awards!

    Splashers
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint!

    New Sarteneja Health Centre Will Provide Better Access to Healthcare for over 2,000 Belizeans in Sarteneja, Corozal
    This means men, women and children of Sarteneja will have easier access to quality health care, preventive and curative services; emergency deliveries, and epidemiological surveillance thanks to the Government of Belize who is financing the new health project at an estimated cost of $789,300.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Bank’s Health Sector Program. Hence, the Government will significantly contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers among others. The completion of the health project will also conform to the Ministry of Health’s Primary Care Outpatient Standards which defines a health center as a facility with part time doctor, resident rural health nurse, and caretaker. The first floor of the health center will serve as quarters for doctors and nurses. Thus; medical services will be provided on a daily basis to all Belizeans in the Northern District of Corozal and its surrounding communities.

    BELIZE AND THE STATE OF LOUISIANA CELEBRATE 20 YEARS OF STATE PARTNERSHIP
    The Ministry of Defence wishes to inform the General Public that Belize and the State of Louisiana will celebrate their 20th Anniversary of State Partnership on 01 November 2016 at Price Barracks, Ladyville. There will be an Official Parade at 1600 hrs (4 pm) at Sir Colville Young Parade Square and members of the media are invited to this ceremony. For further information contact Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Louis Sutherland at telephone number 225-3584 or 634-7226.

    Woman shares story of domestic abuse
    I was living in hell from one day to the next. But there is nothing I could do to escape. I don't know where I would go if I did. I felt utterly powerless, and that feeling is my prision. I entered of my own free will, I locked the door, and I threw away the key(moving in with you...a very bad choice). Now I have no idea why im being painted as the bad one here. To answer aaaaaaaaaall your questions that yall keep hitting me with in my inbox....This is what happened(wasnt the first wasnt the last time...it was just one the worst beatdown). i cant fathom how much more evil you can be to make it seem like I did wrong. After you left me choking on my blood and passing out...you have the nerve to say i cheated....I simply moved on(after i left you ..last time i check i am NOT in a relationship) ....now ur sitting there bitter but Im not done with you just yet.I hope u have all the support you need after this...please check yourself into a mental facility. ur unstable you need all the meds and counselling available. my friends and family know what happened months ago but since i am a social media goddess why not share this with you all.

    Water Quality Monitoring in Belize
    Under the Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project (MCCAP), the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) has received funding to undertake water quality monitoring activities to monitor the successful implementation of the National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan. On 21 October, 2016, CZMAI’s Water Quality/Coastal Planning Team accompanied by representatives from Protected Areas Conservation Trust and the University of Belize configured and placed three (3) Sondes at different locations along the Belize River. The Sondes will measure environmental parameters such as: conductivity, turbidity, temperature, pH/ORP (oxidation/reduction potential), chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen, precipitation, and flow. Click the link below to learn more about our Water Quality Program.

    SHJC Tourism Majors Visit San Pedro
    Sacred Heart Junior College Tourism Management students visited San Pedro to learn about customer service and see more of what Belize offers. The Villas at Banyan Bay provided affordable, and beautiful, rooms for the students, and was just what they needed to experience. Tuff E Nuff Tours really took care of them. Great service and they educated the students about the barrier reef.

    Miss World Belize 2016
    Congratulations, Iris Salguero! The San Pedrana won the Miss World Belize pageant, which was held on Saturday at the Log Cab-Inns. The 501 Boyz were there to capture the fun and excitement. We were there to get some setup and behind the scenes pictures.

    OCEANA UPDATE
    We have just gotten confirmation that now the position of the Government of Belize is that it was only collecting data to inform its position on offshore oil especially in light of conditions such as a cost benefit analysis. But here's the problem with that position: The data was not going to be simply collected and handed over to the Government of Belize. The Government was going to get a copy of the raw data and the agreed processed reports. However, the company, TGS, having expended approximately 6 million Belize dollars for both surveys, was going to SELL the data to recover its money. Who buys that data? Petroleum exploration companies. Why do oil companies buy data? To inform oil exploration. No company would spend money without an expectation of getting their money back. The Inspector of Petroleum confirmed this at the Government's presentation in San Pedro. The relevant section starts at time code 25:05 in the video below. This is not the ONLY opportunity to get the data that Government wants to get/says it needs to make a decision on this national issue. That an agreement was made with TGS without the public's knowledge and that it was being done by a company that was going to sell the data; and that seismic surveys started even before they said it would, it just means this was not the right way to go about any of this.

    The national conversation on offshore oil continues and we want to hear from YOU!
    The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is hosting conversations to meaningfully engage with the Belizeans on the latest developments on offshore oil exploration. See you there!

    Channel 7

    Coast Guard Commander Concerned About Officer Arzu
    Daniel Arzu, a Petty Officer 3rd class in the Belize Coast Guard, is in a critical condition at the KHMH. Around 5 yesterday evening, Arzu was shot to the head at his girlfriend's Penn Road apartment. As you heard last night, Arzu's sister in law told us that the gunman came up to the door and opened fire inside the house, hitting Arzu. This morning we spoke to Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral John Borland and he told us he doesn't have all the details as to what happened but that he will do all he can to support the family in this time. Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard: "Well I actually don't have much update other than what was said on the news that our coast guard man remains in a critical state condition in the hospital. And If I hadn't been at this workshop, I would have had the doctors' 8am report. But I was at the hospital up to 11pm last night and he remain in an induce coma in critical condition."

    OC Arzu Talks About His Injured Son
    And the family can only hope that he does recover. As we told you, Arzu was shot to the head but according to his father, the bullet wasn't lodged in his head, giving Arzu a fighting chance. Now although Arzu got a positive prognosis, the family is still in shock and are wondering why anyone would want to harm their loved one. Today we spoke to Arzu's dad, Superintendent of Police in Benque Viejo, Daniel Arzu Sr., and he told us he has no idea why. Supt. Daniel Arzu, OC - Benque Viejo Police: "He as at his baby's mother residence when the intruder came by and fired shots at him and apparently he was struck to the head and he was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and he is currently undergoing medical treatment." "Having spoken to the doctor, he is indicating that he is still critical. He underwent a surgery yesterday with success but he is still in a critical condition at this point in time. It appears that the bullet exited from the wound and that is what somewhat give that hope."

    John Saldivar Reinstated As Defense Minister
    After a most unusual one-week suspension, John Saldivar is back as Minister of Defence tonight. Saldivar was put temporarily on ice while the Prime Minister got a legal opinion on whether he and William Danny Mason were actually business partners. This, after the certificate of registration for a company called Bandits Sport was revealed. It showed Saldivar and Mason as joint shareholders. Saldivar said he abandoned that partnership when he got information that Mason had a shady business history, and he went on to form another company. Well, the Prime Minister wasn't quote convinced and he had pledged to seriously review the matter if evidence did she that Saldivar and Mason were in business.

    Cabinet Meeting: Business As Usual, Even Without "Gapi"
    So, what about the other UDP Area Rep. who is now banished to political purgatory? Gaspar Vega Resigned last week Monday from the Cabinet following the breaking of the scandal that his son, Andre, was compensated 400 thousand dollars for land that the Lands Department was not entitled to sell him. So, did the Cabinet Ministers noticed that another seat in their meeting was empty? That's what we asked Anthony "Boots" Martinez today, and here's what he had to say: Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "Was Gaspar Vega's absence noticed today in cabinet?" Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Cabinet Minister: "Well it was noticed from last week, not only today, last week. That's our colleague and whatever absence is there, it is noticeable."

    San Ignacio Robbery Got Away with 20K Cash
    A San Ignacio business woman was robbed of about $20,000 cash in broad daylight. Yesterday morning around 9:15, the owner of Brothers Store was walking to Atlantic Bank to make a deposit when a man snatched the bag of money out of her hands and darted away. Apart from the 20 grand, she also had about $9,000 in cheques. Assistant Superintendent of Police Daniel Iche told us via phone that they are looking for the thief. He also advised business owners to be more careful when handling a large stash of cash. The man was not armed.

    City Cops Foil 88 Burglary
    But, City cops foiled an early morning burglary on Central American Boulevard. Around 4:00, police caught 2 men and a 15 year old boy raiding 88 Kitchen. Police rounded them up and found $90 on one of them. Police told us more about this case and how they dealt with the minor involved. ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "This morning sometime around 4am, the police, based again on information provided to us by members of the public, responded to a burglar in progress at 88 Kitchen. That is on Central American Boulevard. Upon arrival at the location, police found one male person and a further search of the building led the police to 2 individuals inside of the building, one of whom is a minor age 15 years. All 3 persons were taken into custody and a search of one of the individual at the police station yield just over ninety dollars Belize currency, which we believe is proceeds from the burglary. I must also state that you all would know that we have been strict, in terms of minors who are found on the streets between the hours of 9pm and 6am. So in the case of the minor, we have also arrested and charge the parent of the minor for allowing a child to be out on the street whilst being unsupervised between that time period."

    Man Accused Of Handling Niece Naima's Jewelry
    Tonight, Randy August is at the Belize Central Prison after he was allegedly caught with jewelry stolen of Naima Barrow, Prime Minister Dean Barrow's niece. He appeared in the Magistrate's Court today, where he pled not guilty to a charge of handling stolen goods. August is accused being caught with $7,000 worth of that jewelry from Naima Barrow. It was stolen from her boyfriend's home. Despite August having two kids and one on the way as well as a disabled uncle, the prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that he would likely interfere with the investigation, as more than $30,000 worth of Barrow's jewelry is still missing. August was remanded into custody until December 22nd.

    Belmopan's QRT Makes Cocaine Bust
    Yesterday evening, the Belmopan Police Quick response team searched an empty lot in Roaring Creek where they found approximately 10 ounces of cannabis in a black plastic bag. Today, the police made another drug bust, but this one was much larger. Acting on special branch intelligence, the Quick Response Team along with the Criminal Intelligence Branch intercepted a Thunderbolt Water Taxi boat going from Corozal to San Pedro. After searching the boat, authorities found a knapsack containing 3.6 pounds of cocaine. A quantity of cocaine this big has an estimated street value of about $70,000. No suspect was found, so the cocaine retrieved and deposited as found property.

    Blackadore Caye Resort Passes EIA Phase
    Four Weeks ago, we gave you a behind the curtain look at the Blackadore Caye project. That's the mega development which the Blackadore Caye Group has been working on to build a resort. Viewers will remember that, We first reported on Blackadore Caye in 2005. That's when reports were that Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio had bought the 104 acre private island off the coast of Ambergris Caye. Well, today, the developer's PR team held a press conference to update the nation that their environmental impact assessment plan has been approved, and if everything goes to plan, they will start to build next year. Here's what Dr. Dionne Miranda and Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. had to say about the updated EIA which was approved by the Government's Technicians.

    Hon. Hulse Says Seismic Testing Outrage Is Misplaced
    And while we were in Belmopan this afternoon, we asked Minister Godwin Hulse if they discussed the San Pedro public consultation in Cabinet today. You'll remember that fiery consultation on last week Thursday in which the San Pedranos and the tour guide community forced the Government to shut down seismic testing which was already happening in Belizean waters. Last night, We showed you the comments of Minister Manuel Heredia Jr., who had to endure the public blasting he got from those within that consultation, who demanded that he took action. Well, his colleague, Godwin Hulse says that he thinks they acted out of emotion and not from a place of proper information:

    DOE Was Tough On Blackadore Experts
    And as you would remember, those DOE experts were treated to hostility at that Public Consultation. Try as they might to get the attendees to listen to their explanations for greenlighting the seismic testing, those members of the public wouldn't hear it. With that level of suspicion, you'd think that the DOE is a rubber stamp for projects which the Government wants to push through. Not so, says the Blackadore Caye expert, Jim Reilly, today. He shared his opinion when we asked him about his encounters of the Government's scientists. He says that from his personal view, they vigorously defend Belize's environment in any project:

    16 Year-old Allegedly Raped Inside Her Home
    Police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a 16 year old girl inside her home. The report is that she was home alone last night around 11:00 when the man assaulted her. Police gave us the little information they could in this sensitive case. ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "Last night sometime around 11pm there about, a female of 16 years of age reported us that she was left home alone and during that time that she was at home alone, a male person entered the home and had carnal intercourse with her against her will. So that matter is currently being investigated again by us. To be able to ascertain what actually took place, we are hoping that pretty soon we would be able to locate the person of interest that we are looking for. Because we have a person of interest that we are looking for and when that person is found then the chips may fall where they may." Police could not say if the man broke into the house or if he was family friend. Police are looking for this man.

    Michael Young Remembered By Bench and Bar
    Yesterday Michael Young's body was laid to rest. Today, his colleagues and contemporaries in the law gathered together for a special sitting of the Supreme Court. Young's legacy was remembered by lawyers that fought with him and against him, but no matter what side of the court room they remembered him from, their memories were always fond. The impression we got is that no matter which attorney he came in contact with, either as ally or foe in the court, they all have great respect for him.

    A Crime Observatory
    Last month, the Ministry of Human Development launch BelizeInfo, an online tool for gathering information and statistics on various subjects relating to Belize. Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs launched a similar tool, called the Belize Crime Observatory. The Crime Observatory, like BelizeInfo, was developed as a one stop shop for accessing data, however as the name suggests, the Crime Observatory focuses data relating to crime. The online resource is intended to be used as a tool to help develop crime preventing policies as well as to assist in research and creating dialogue about public safety issues. The CEO of the Ministry of Home Affairs, George Lovell, told us more about the project… The Crime Observatory is intended to be used by authorities, government officials, scholars and even students, and is meant to help improve public safety and national security.

    Tyrone Coleman Flies Out For Open Heart Surgery
    On Friday, we reported on the plea that the Williams and Coleman families were making to the public for assistance. They want to raise $80 thousand Belize dollars to seek medical attention abroad for well-known James bus driver Tyrone Coleman. He heart condition which cannot be treated in Belize. Well the good news tonight is that Coleman and his wife Lovinia Coleman are spending their first night in the Cayman Islands as they were airlifted by an American Air - ambulance sometime after 4 pm today to the Island where Coleman is expected to go under surgery within the next 24 hours. According to Dorla Williams, sister-in-law of Tyron Coleman the cost of their medical bill is estimated at almost $61,600.00 Belize Dollars.

    Channel 5

    John Saldivar Reinstated as Minister of Defence
    He was not in Cabinet today; however, Minister of Defence John Saldivar is back in office after being suspended last week by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Saldivar’s one-week suspension was [...]

    Godwin Hulse Satisfied With Legal Explanation
    While John Saldivar was not available for comment today and neither was Prime Minister Barrow, two of his Cabinet colleagues were willing to speak for him. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, [...]

    Boots Martinez Has John Saldivar’s Back
    Also weighing in was Minister of Human Development Anthony “Boots” Martinez. Minister Martinez, too, is satisfied that Saldivar has been sufficiently cleared of questions surrounding his involvement with Mason and [...]

    Coast Guard Critical After Being Shot While Visiting His Baby Mama
    A Coast Guard Officer and father of two is fighting for his life at the K.H.M.H. tonight. Daniel Arzu Junior was shot in the head yesterday in Belize City when [...]

    John Borland Speaks on Shooting
    The near fatal shooting of Petty Officer Daniel Arzu Junior has shocked the Belize National Coast Guard, as well as the Belize Police Department where his father is an experienced [...]

    Coast Guard Assisting Police with Investigation of Attempted Rape
    The fate of a coastguard sailor who brutally pummeled a pair of men in Ladyville on Monday morning also hangs in the balance, as Ladyville police are yet to record [...]

    Godwin Hulse Says Seismic Testing Storm is “Huffing and Puffing”
    Cabinet was expected to discuss the aborted plans for seismic testing in the deepest of Belize’s waters today. Last week, hastily whipped up public outcry forced Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia [...]

    New Minister of Agriculture Promises to “Get Belize Growing Again”
    The Prime Minister announced changes to Cabinet last week, which included changes in portfolios for the subjects of this and our next story. After the 2015 general elections, Prime Minister [...]

    A Homecoming for Minister of State and Ex-Senior Cop Elodio Aragon Junior
    Minister of State for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Junior, says he is coming home. No, he’s not stepping down as minister, but he is now in direct charge of the [...]

    Home Affairs C.E.O. Says Caye Caulker Police Getting Help to Move Out of Crumbling Barracks
    Last week, News Five reported on the inhospitable conditions that officers attached to the Caye Caulker Police Station are presently subjecting themselves to.  The housing facilities are the property of [...]

    Police Hunt Person of Interest in Rape of City Teenager
    A teenager was raped in Belize City on Monday night. The sixteen-year-old told police that a man entered her home and had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Police [...]

    Police Catch 88 Kitchen Burglars in the Act; Minor Charged Under Curfew Law
    Police say they stopped a burglary in progress in the early hours of this morning. Three burglars broke into Eighty-Eight Kitchen on Central American Boulevard but didn’t manage to make [...]

    Abandoned Cocaine Brought on Corozal to San Pedro Boat
    Shortly before eleven o’clock this morning, officers attached to the San Pedro Police Station, including Special Branch, CIB and the Quick Response Team intercepted a knapsack containing two parcels of [...]

    M.I.T. Accused of Extortion of Businessman; Investigation Begins
    On Monday, a Belmopan-area businessman told local media that he was extorted, allegedly by members of the Police Mobile Interdiction Team, who stopped him around Mile twenty-five on the George [...]

    Belize’s First Crime Observatory Founded
    This morning, the Ministry of Home Affairs formally introduced the Belize Crime Observatory, an information management system which aims to strengthen analysis of crime and violence data in order to [...]

    Final Honors for Michael Young, S.C. at Supreme Court
    Court sessions scheduled for this morning were suspended in Belize City where a special sitting of the Supreme Court was held to honor the late Senior Counsel Michael Young. The [...]

    Kevin “Cowboy” Alvarez Walks from Attempted Murder of Cops
    Remember Kevin Alvarez, aka “Cowboy”? He is the former police officer who was accused of the murder of a Chinese businessman in Orange Walk back in 2008, but was exonerated. [...]

    Belizeans in Cayman Chip-in for Heart Patient Tyron Coleman
    Tyron Coleman is off to the Cayman Islands. The James Bus Driver who was seeking medical assistance to get a heart surgery done abroad, left today for the Cayman Islands. [...]

    Blackadore Caye Moves Forward With Restoration
    At the end of May when we visited Blackadore Caye, developers of what is being billed as the first-of-its-kind restorative island shared with the media a master plan which included [...]

    CTV3

    Minister Saldivar Reinstated After One Week Suspension
    On October 18, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that he was placing Minister of Defense on “one week’s leave of absence” following the revelation of company documents that showed that accused murderer Danny Mason had been a shareholder in the Bandits football club. The PM indicated in the release that he would seek “legal opinion” on the issue and decide the faith of the Minister. Well, if anyone had any inkling that Saldivar would be removed from the Cabinet, you were wrong. Another release from the Government today indicated that Saldivar resumed Ministerial duties today. The release said that the legal opinion received by the Prime Minister [quote] “rejects as invalid any conclusion that the Minister, in consequence of the continued existence after September 2015 of a company in which both the Minister and Mr. Mason had subscribed to shares, continued in a business relationship with Mr. Mason” [unquote.

    Sarteneja To Receive New Health Center
    The Belize Social Investment Fund, (SIF) will be holding ground-breaking ceremonies tomorrow for the construction of the Sarteneja Health Center in Corozal. The health center project is being financed by the Government of Belize at an estimated cost of $789,300.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Ministry of Health Portfolio and is expected to be completed within a period of five to six months. The health center which is expected to provide better access to healthcare to over two thousand Belizeans will significantly contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers among others since it is expected to be equipped with rooms for consultation, examination, treatment, pharmacy/dispensary, laundry, an asthma bay area, sterilizing room, waiting area for patients, and male and female bathrooms measuring.

    Belizeans Feel Insecure When Visiting Quintana Roo
    The report adds that there are several factors that have led to the stagnation in the number of visitors to Quintana Roo including problems of insecurity which has been growing in numbers following a barrage of robberies reported against Belizean citizens. These factors are now joined by discrimination, since according to Belizean consul Valencia Gómez, Belizeans are, especially in department stores, being heavily monitored as if they were to steal products in the store. The report goes on to state the importance of Belizean tourists in the Southern Mexican State as they are responsible for generating over 120 million dollars in revenues annually. According to the report, different businesses along with the Belizean Consul are working together to give a better deal to tourists from Belize as we represent a great economic benefit to the southern state.

    Former BWU Secretary To Call meeting With Members
    While the executive of the Belize Workers Union will hold their Annual General Meeting on November 18th, Carlos is not waiting that long to address the union members. Her intent is to call a meeting with members this coming Friday. Carlos has also contacted the Labor Commissioner who is aware of the allegations made against some of the executive of the BWU, to be in that meeting. Samantha Carlos- Former Employee BWU: “Their position is very clear and simple, that we need to work it out or they will move in and if they move in it is not going to be anything polite or nice they are going to move in and well they are going to shut it down and we are trying to save the Union so we give the membership an opportunity to understand what is happening so that they can make a sound decision for themselves before they step any further...”

    Hulse Has The solution To The Agricultural Sector Problems
    Six days ago Prime Minister Dean Barrow shuffled his Cabinet following the resignation of Orange Walk North Gaspar Vega as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment. Vega’s Ministries were all picked up by the Hon. Godwin Hulse who it seems has a high turn-over rate with Ministries. Some time ago, before he entered the political fray, Hulse was known as an agriculture advocate who would always say that Belize could and should grow everything it needs to feed itself. Now that he has the opportunity to put his words to action, Hulse says he will ensure that the idea of Belize becoming a breadbasket of self-sufficiency becomes a reality. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Immigration: “My position has been for the last forty years that this country has the potential, we used to say in the past it used to be the bread basket of the Caribbean and all sorts of statements, agriculture has tremendous potential yes we need quality products because the market is demanding on that that and this is not only foreign market we shouldn’t be producing quality products for the foreigners we should be producing it for ourselves but there has to be a process where the farmers who are engaged in this benefit from that process they have to make money or else they are not in the business...”

    LOVE FM

    Saldivar Returns to Cabinet Following Suspension
    John Saldivar is a Minister once more. He resumed his Ministerial duties as of today after being suspended for one week. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the decision to suspend Saldivar after documents surfaced that indicated that Saldivar had formed a business relationship with the infamous William Danny Mason. Today his fellow cabinet ministers were […]

    Blackadore Caye Reviews Construction Plans
    The Blackadore Investors group announced this morning that they are removing all overwater structures from the ecological resort plans they had planned to construct at Blackadore Caye. This morning the group held a Press Conference to discuss their change in plans. Public Relations Representative and Social Specialist for the group, Dionne Miranda says that their […]

    Senator Hulse Says Seismic Testing Is Nothing But Part of a Study
    At Cabinet’s meeting today, the topic of Government’s recent decision to suspend the seismic testing was discussed. Originally, Cabinet had given permission to a foreign company to conduct air gun seismic survey to collect data from Belize’s offshore area. That decision received heavy backlash, especially from the environmental community. A consultation was held after there […]

    Consolidated Data on Crime and Youth Initiatives Launched
    The Ministry of Home Affairs has launched the Belize Crime Observatory which is a consolidated database of local information. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Retired Colonel George Lovell said the Observatory will be very useful in data gathering especially for researchers and students. GEORGE LOVELL “There were three main objectives, we […]

    BCG’s Daniel Arzu Jr Remains in Induced Coma Following Shooting Incident
    24-year-old, Daniel Arzu Junior is in the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City after being shot yesterday evening at around five o’clock on Neal’s Pen Road. He is in a critical condition and has been placed in an induced coma by his attending physicians. Arzu is the son of […]

    Southside Cops Investigate Rape of 16-Year-Old Girl
    A teenaged girl was raped last night in Belize City. The girl told Police that the man forcefully entered her home. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, who commands the Eastern Division South Police, tells us what happened and how the police are handling the case. CHESTER WILLIAMS “Last night sometime around 11pm there about […]

    Dr Zab Leaves Advisory Post for the Progressive Party BPP
    In April of this year, the Belize Progressive Party announced that well known educator, author and economist, Dr. Louis Zabaneh had joined its ranks. Today Zabaneh issued a notice to say he has resigned as advisor to the executive of the BPP. Zabaneh expressed his gratitude to the Party for inviting him to share his […]

    Aragon Ready and Willing to Lead the Police Department
    After Gaspar Vega’s resignation from Cabinet, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was forced to reshuffle his cabinet once more. In his reshuffling, Minister Elodio Aragon Junior was given the portfolio of Police or Home Affairs. Before becoming a politician, Minister Aragon was a career police officer and initially it was expected that he would have been […]

    Where is the CABEI Loan for Caye Caulker Police Barracks?
    Those challenges that Police Minister Elodio Aragon is speaking of are also faced by police officers. Since last year, we have been reporting on the deplorable state of the police barracks at Caye Caulker. In an interview back in June 2015, the then Police Minister, John Saldivar told the media that a CABEI loan had […]

    Senator Hulse Commits to Growing the Agriculture Sector
    Godwin Hulse is one of the Cabinet Minister with the most responsibilities. He is the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration. Following last week’s cabinet reshuffle, he was also given the portfolio of Agriculture. According to Hulse, he plans to grow the sector. GODWIN HULSE ” Minister Hulse had the […]

    Amandala

    Coast Guard officer claims attack by 2 homosexuals
    Two men have found themselves at the center of a very unusual but troubling police report after they allegedly attempted to rape another man. ASP Juanito Cocom, in a police press conference held today by Ladyville police, told the media as follows: “This morning at about12:30 a.m., Ranold Deon Hernandez, 24 years, Belizean Coast Guard of Palmar Road, Orange Walk District, arrived at the Ladyville Police Station in a grey Toyota Hilux. Upon his arrival, it was noted that he was covered in blood. He stated that he was socializing with two persons at a residence on Perez Road when he was sexually accosted by the two men. “He claims that they attempted to rape him and that he fought them off. “Shortly thereafter, a person arrived at the station bringing two male persons bleeding profusely.”

    Chief Pharmacist, Sharon Anderson, awarded $5,000
    Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith handed down a ruling in a defamation claim brought by the government’s Chief Pharmacist, Sharon Anderson, against former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen for remarks that were made at a Ministry of Health press conference on May 9, 2014, that the court found were malicious. Justice Griffith promised that the written judgment will be ready in a few weeks. Anderson, represented by attorney Herbert Panton, was awarded damages of $5,000. Anderson’s claim, however, was for $20,000 in damages. In the first quarter of 2014, the CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, came under pressure from the Public Service Union for the appointment of Minister Erwin Contreras’ daughter, Danini Contreras, to the post of Director of Drug Inspectorate, a post for which she was not seen to be academically qualified; neither did she have the working experience to fill the post.

    Cyclist Marlon Castillo sentenced to pay $13,000
    Today was set as the mitigation and sentencing day for cyclist Marlon Castillo, who has been indicted, on manslaughter by negligence charge, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless conduct in respect of the road traffic accident in May 2011 that caused the death of his childhood friend, Ariel Rosado. On Monday, October 17, the court accepted Castillo’s guilty plea. Rosado’s father and mother, Dr. Alvaro Rosado and Dr. Dorla Rosado, were in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Dr. Dorla Rosado entered a mitigation plea on behalf of Castillo, telling the court, “My family and I are surprised that we were not informed of the trial for this matter and even more surprised that we were not asked to support the mitigation plea for leniency.”

    Coast Guard officer shot in head
    A Belize Coast Guard officer, Daniel Arzu, 28, is in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) fighting for his life after he was shot once in the head with a 9mm pistol. The bullet pierced his right temple and cracked a portion of his skull as it exited his head. Arzu was reportedly at home in an apartment complex on Neal Pen Road at the time of the shooting, sometime before 5 p.m. today, Monday. He was immediately rushed to the KHMH, where relatives and friends are fervently hoping for his recovery, despite a grim prognosis.

    Belize upgrades banking to expedite payments
    As of 8:30 this morning, commercial banks in Belize began to operate the newly launched Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System (APSSS or APS3 for short), which means that customers are now able to send funds instantly from their commercial bank to an unrelated commercial bank, cutting back on the waiting period that could span as many as 7 days. Sheree Smiling-Craig, Director of Project Management at the Central Bank of Belize, the officer with responsibility for the National Payment System Project, said at the formal launch held at the Central Bank’s conference room this morning that the system is safe and reliable, and it will mean faster payroll processing as well as new business opportunities for banks. Central Bank Governor, Joy Grant, said that millions of dollars have been invested in equipment, as well as staff time. “But to echo what the chairman said, it’s not a choice,” she added.

    Speaker Peyrefitte apologizes to UNIBAM’s Orozco
    “If you can take a six inch **** in your *** then you can take this song in your soul,” was posted from the Facebook account belonging to House Speaker, Michael Peyrefitte, on Saturday. The song to which he referred is Buju Banton’s controversial, “Boom Bye Bye,” which calls for the murder of homosexuals. Caleb Orozco, Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, immediately responded to Peyrefitte’s post via Facebook. “Boom Bye Bye is not a damn song to relax to, it is a song to amplify violence,” he said.

    No change in standings at PLB Week 11, Bandits still on top
    With FC Belize resting this past weekend, after losing by default the previous weekend to Belmopan Bandits, the standings order remained the same following 4 more games this past weekend in Week 11 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017. On Saturday night in Independence, it was home standing Placencia Assassins with the 4-1 win over Orange Walk FC, courtesy of goals by Justin Linarez (20’), Ashton Torres (34’), Dion Moguel (43’) and Dellon Torres (79’); while Brazilian Joao Silva (59’ PK) got the sole tally for Orange Walk FC from the penalty spot. On Sunday, Belmopan Bandits visited the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, and kept their undefeated record intact, as they dropped Police United, 2-1. Police’s own goal by Amin August (22’) proved the difference, as Devon Makin (31’) also scored for Police to even the score, but Jairo Roches (52’) got the game winner for the Bandits.

    CSSSA volleyball competition will be knockout, should start this Tuesday
    According to a release yesterday from Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) president, Deon Sutherland, the CSSSA 2016-2017 volleyball tournament will have to be a knockout competition, “due to the strike, and not having a venue to play, (which) has greatly delayed our start.” “We have still not confirmed the venue(s) for the games, but know it will be SJC or Stars Gym (Lupita Quan Gym) or both. However, we will confirm on Monday.” Up to press time, we have received no further confirmation, but he had provided the knockout tournament schedule, which runs from Tuesday to Friday of this week as follows (F = female; M = male):

    Three weeks remain in regular season of SSBA Basketball Tournament
    On Friday night, all three games were postponed due to inclement weather in San Ignacio Town. Two of these games are scheduled for this Friday on Court B, if the backboard is fixed by Friday. On Saturday night, Western Queens avenged their loss against Lady Warriors, narrowly edging them, 46-42, in the female division. Jessica Prom had the game high with 21 pts, while Amanda Aguirre and Jenieve Reynolds netted 13 and 9 pts, respectively. Lady Warriors was led by Glenda Torres who scored 19 pts and Sheryn Nunez, who sank 10 pts. In game 2, Benque Power defeated Sergeant Peppers in the Under 23 category, 63-49. Charles Ponce was the top scorer for Benque Power with 20 pts, while Orel Neal and Anfernee Young scored 10 pts each, and Raheem Crawford netted 9 pts.

    Farewell, my teammate and friend, Michael Young
    Funeral services were held this afternoon at Wesley Church for my one-time high school track & field teammate and lifelong friend, Michael Young, who became a distinguished lawyer and executive of the UDP. The latter did not matter to our friendship, whenever we chanced to meet, which was not often in the different roads we travelled. Floored, devastated, shocked, shattered, dumbfounded, heartbroken, are some of the words that come to mind to describe my feeling on receiving the news last Tuesday. On the SJC track & field team of the Class of 1970, myself and Michael were teammate/rivals (he beat me in the sprints, and I clipped him in the long and triple jumps). From my family, our deepest condolences to his wife, Denise, and all the rest of his family.

    Editorial: The October of our discontent
    We think the administrations of Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, have never been more unpopular with the people of Belize, than they are this Monday morning, October 24, of 2016. Belize does not have the regular professional polling of the electorate that they have in the United States, say, but we believe that significant discontent amongst Belizeans at large exists. Not only that, the indications are that there is pushing and wrangling at the highest levels of the United Democratic Party (UDP) Cabinet. Before we proceed, we should say, once again, that the results of the March 2012 general elections, which saw the Opposition People’s United Party come within 65 votes of taking national power, remain surprising, mysterious even, to us. The PUP had experienced major leadership turmoil just four months before those general elections, and the ruling UDP were expected to win comfortably, if not easily. The results of the 2012 general elections, it may now be said, fooled the power brokers of the PUP into thinking that the palace (as opposed to popular) leadership of Francis Fonseca, known to be eminently loyal to Said Musa and Francis’ first cousin, Ralph Fonseca, was a viable one.

    From the Publisher
    When I was about 12 or 13 years old, growing up in Belize, British Honduras, before Hurricane Hattie overturned things in 1961, I began to feel, through reading, a relationship with the Plains Indians of North America. I began to admire Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, Geronimo of the Apache, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse of the Sioux, and the way of life of their people. I was a practicing Christian (Roman Catholic) at the time, and the various Indian tribes in North America were definitely not Christians. It was the Europeans who entered/invaded North America and commenced to slaughter the said Indians, steal their lands, and imprison them on so-called reservations, it was those Europeans who professed various forms of Christianity. I did not know much about the religions of the Plains Indians, and I guess I still don’t, but I understood their primary religious focus to be the land, the creeks and rivers, the plant and animal life, the mountains and valleys, the sun and the moon and the stars and the skies – planet earth overall, and a supernatural Great Spirit. The Indians did not know of Jesus Christ before the Europeans came. They lived a communal lifestyle, however, which just happened to be quite similar to that which Jesus and his fisherman Apostles had lived in Judea.

    Speaker Peyrefitte uses Attorney General’s own law firm to sue her
    House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte is making an effort to discredit the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, and possibly block or delay the investigations by the Senate Select Committee, which is scheduled to commence its hearings on November 9, In a special audit, done by the Auditor General, into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2011-2013, Peyrefitte was named. According to the audit, he was not authorized to sign as a recommender on a passport issued to William Lindo. On Thursday, he filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General, Minister Senator Vanessa Retreage, and the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Cocaine found in San Pedro
    This morning around 10:50 a.m., acting on intelligence received, a joint team of Special Branch personnel, Crime Investigation Branch (CIB) and Quick Response Team (QRT) intercepted a knapsack that was on the Thunderbolt boat travelling from Corozal town to San Pedro. In the knapsack, […]

    Belize and the state of Louisiana celebrate 20 years of state partnership
    The Ministry of Defense sent out a release today informing the public that Belize and the State of Louisiana will celebrate their 20th Anniversary of State Partnership on the November 1 at Price Barracks, Ladyville. There will be an Official Parade at 4:00 p.m. […]

    San Jose villagers call on GOB to fix roads
    The villagers of the San Jose community located in the Toledo District are pleading to the Government of Belize to assist in repairs of the road in the area. According to Dennis Cal, a resident, the road from San Jose to Punta Gorda Town has […]

    Belmopan Police find over 300 grams of cannabis
    A search of an abandoned lot in the Hattieville area of Roaring Creek village in the Cayo District netted over 300 grams of cannabis. According to police report, this discovery was made yesterday evening by the Belmopan Police Quick Response team. No one was […]

    Little girl raped in southside Belize City
    A 16-year-old girl was raped on the south side of Belize City after 11 O’clock last night. Police are still searching for the accused rapist. According to ACP Chester Williams, the minor was home alone at the time of the incident when a man […]

    San Pedro woman found dead; no foul play suspected
    Elijah Kelly, 30, was found dead by San Pedro Police sometime around 2 this morning. According to police, she was found in the middle of a street in the San Pablo area of the island. No sign of foul play was suspected and she […]

    PUP joins Senate Select Committee
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has appointed Senator Eamon Courtney as its representative on the Senate Select Committee, according to a Facebook post today by President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang. The Senate Select Committee is tasked with investigating the findings of the […]

    Burglary at 88 restaurant in Belize City; 3 persons arrested
    Three male persons were found inside the 88 Chinese Restaurant on Central American Boulevard in Belize City at around 4 this morning. However, the men were not having breakfast nor were they invited guests. They had forced their entry into the establishment through its rear […]

    BTB is a part of the “Government Outside the Government”
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a Statutory Institution in Belize which falls under the Ministry of Tourism, but can be considered a part of the “government outside the government”. The mandate of the BTB is “The fundamental functions of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) are to provide support to the local and international tourism agencies, accommodations, tourism related businesses and general public. These functions are fulfilled by various strategic units which are led by the Tourism Director.” There are many such organizations (public sector corporations) created through statutory instruments, such as Central Building Authority, Airport Authority, Belize Agricultural Health Authority, Border Management Authority, to name a few. They ALL have the authority to set tax rates and to collect taxes….but they do not have the legal obligation to publish annual independent audits, nor do their budgets appear in the annual national budgets.

    Minister of National Defence resumes ministerial duties
    The Office of the Prime Minister has issued a press release announcing that, after a one week suspension, John Saldivar has resumed his duties as Minister of Defence. According to the release, that resumption follows upon the Prime Minister’s receipt of a legal opinion […]

    Blogs

    Portofino Beach Resort: A Pure Harbor of Luxury and Relaxation in Belize
    Even the name has a romantic ring: Portofino Beach Resort. Happily, this Ambergris Caye vacation spot lives up to its name “pure harbor,” offering travelers from around the world a pristine environment of luxury and relaxation in Belize, where everyone speaks English, scenery is breathtaking and the pace is so leisurely, you’ll have to work up the energy for excursions to Belize’s natural and cultural wonders. Make Portofino Beach Resort your personal base and see where your curiosity takes you during your visit! At Portofino Beach Resort, they take the concept of all-inclusive more seriously than most. Their accommodations stun guests who don’t expect lodgings this well-equipped and luxurious. From fastidious housekeeping to air conditioning, find all of the conveniences of home, including a mini-fridge, flat screen cable TV, free Wi-Fi and the little touches that separate an ordinary resort from an extraordinary one, including 24-hour turnaround laundry service, a spa, multiple dining venues and all the beachfront and sea you require for the perfect holiday. The Portofino’s fresh water pool is a favorite way for guests to start or end the day, though frankly, Portofino Beach Resort’s dining options even out rank the pool in terms of popularity. Guests adopt favorite spots from three options: The Portofino Restaurant, Green Parrot Bistro and the Beach Bar where refreshing drinks and world-class dishes prepared by highly-trained culinary staff are always on the menu. But if you’d like meals served in your quarters instead, all you have to do is ask!

    Bringing Out Your Tropical Side in Belize
    The nation of Belize’s ad campaign tries to convince you that in Belize you can be anyone you want to be. The relatively anonymity of the Central American country promises tourists the opportunity to unbridle their passions and follow their instincts. When you’re sandwiched between the famous Yucatan and the Caribbean it’s easy to get overlooked. But Belize and its many sailable islands -via a bareboat charter- are worthy of more attention. Ambergris Caye is home to only 2,000 residents. Being the largest island of Belize, it’s the most popular island tourist destination. The island offers a plethora of marine oriented activities such as diving, snorkelling, diving, deep-sail fishing, and much more. It’s close proximity to the mainland makes it less than half a day’s sail to the island home to Belize’s Barrier Reef. San Pedro is the biggest city in Ambergris and home to its most robust nightlife. Here you’ll find plenty of places to stay with all the amenities you could ask for. If you’re looking to travel anywhere for an excursion you can rent a bike or golf cart. San Pedro is home to the famous “Chicken Drop.” It’s a simple betting game where residents and tourists come together to bet on where chickens will poop first.

    International Sourcesizz

    TRAVEL JOURNAL: PADDLING BELIZE
    At the dock on Belize’s tiny Carrie Bow island, Florida State University scientist Janie Wulf emerges from the water after snorkeling for sponges. She’s one of 100 scientists per year who come to the Smithsonian marine research station to study everything from corals and mangroves to sand worms and in Wulf’s case, sponges. Caretakers Greg and Joanne Dreamer, who summer in Montana and base here six weeks a year, greet us on shore. With short-cropped grey hair and a Marilyn Monroe mole on her cheek, Joanne welcomes us while Greg gets back to painting a wooden door on saw horses. “He also tests out the hammocks every day,” Joanne says. “He says he’d hate to see a scientist get hurt on one.” Joanne gives us the two-cent tour of the two-story facility, the sole building on the less-than-an-acre island. A bunk room sleeps up to six scientists at a time, a lab harbors counters, tubs and sea water spigots for collecting samples, and a library and hammock-lined porch command the

    Norwegian Cruise Line taking the wraps off Harvest Caye
    Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line's destination island in Belize, is set to open on Nov. 17, with the first call being made by the Norwegian Dawn. The project has been at least three years in the making and will be the most elaborate island destination Norwegian Cruise Line has developed to date. About seven acres have been groomed for guests who can choose between a long white-sand beach, a water sports lagoon or a 300,000 gallon tropical pool to start their recreation ashore. The venue serves as the first landside outpost of Norwegian's partnership with Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville franchise, with the debut a Landshark Bar & Grill in Belize. (There are Margaritaville restaurants on three Norwegian Cruise Line ships.)

    Videos

  • Blackadore Caye, 1min. As the time draws near for ground breaking at Blackadore Caye, the investors announced this morning that they are reconsidering the contruction of any over water structures. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia restated his support for the project but stated that investors "need to balance development and economy."

  • Secret beach San Pedro Belize, 8min. Adventure from South San Pedro, Belize to Secret Beach. Riding in a golf cart to a favorite local spot. Secret beach is not much of a beach we figured out but you are able to walk out over 300 feet out at water about 3.5feet high.

  • FREE DENTAL CHECK-UP BY THE BELIZE MISSION, 7min. Free dental and hearing care is being offered to residents of the Corozal District through an initiative known as Belize Mission Project. We stopped in today to find out how Belizeans are taking advantage of the opportunity to get much needed medical check-ups.

  • BELIZE MISSION PROJECT RESTORES HEARING ABILITIES, 5min. While the dental team of the Belize Mission Project has been operating at the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association conference room, a specialist in audiology has been providing services at the Presbyterian Clinic in Patchakan Village. Today when we arrived at the clinic, we witnessed the smiles and happy faces from those whose hearing abilities were being restored, some for the first time in their lives.

  • BWU EXECUTIVES SAY SHE’S GOT IT ALL WRONG, 14min. .IS THE BWU BROKE? FORMER EMPLOYEE SAMANTHA CARLOS SAYS YES…..BWU EXECUTIVES SAY SHE’S GOT IT ALL WRONG…WE HAVE BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY

  • My Trip to Belize!, 27min. Watch me discover a new culture in a foreign country.

  • VLOG: Belize Travel Video, 6min. I took a trip to Belize with my good good girlfriend Danielle (rhapsodani) for her birthday. It was a fun time to say the least.

  • Garifuna Cooking Class with Palmento Grove Culture & Fishing Lodge, Belize, 1.5min. A super fun half-day Garifuna culture tour at Palmento Grove Culture & Fishing Lodge in Hopkins, Belize. A new one-stop site for introducing travelers to this UNESCO protected indigenous culture. Don't be miss it when you're in Hopkins or anywhere south.

  • Greetings from Dangriga, the cultural capital of Belize! , 30sec. Check out our impromptu jam session with Pen Cayetano and his wife Ingrid!

    October 25, 2016


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    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

    Global Digital Marketing Conference held in San Pedro
    Belize Yellow Pages hosted their signature Global Digital Marketing Conference in San Pedro Town on Wednesday, October 19th. Participants from various businesses across the island convened at the Sun Breeze conference room from 8:30AM to 11AM, where two presenters shared their extensive knowledge of digital marketing. In order to make the conference possible, Belize Yellow Pages partnered with Google Inc. Presenters for the conference were Digital expert Gabriel Parra from Google and Mobile expert Rasheed Girvan from Global Directories. “Digital Marketing is one of the most effective means of advertising. At the conference, participants learned how to make it work for their business by increasing reach and engage existing and potential customers while maximizing returns. The Belize Yellow Pages Digital Marketing Conference provided business owners and marketing managers with international best practices, marketing strategies and tools needed to grow a business of any size,” explained Eileen Keens of the Belize Yellow Pages team.

    The San Pedro Sun launches 25th Anniversary Exhibit
    The San Pedro House of Culture is featuring an exhibition on the history of The San Pedro Sun Newspaper. The exhibit was launched on Friday, October 14th and celebrates the island newspaper’s 25th anniversary. Residents and visitors gathered at the SPHC on Angel Coral Street at 7PM to check out the exhibit detailing the evolution of the paper. Also speaking at the event was Eileen Jamison, former owner of the paper who shared some words, expressing gratitude to the gathered crowd, and thanking the community for having welcomed the paper so warmly. The exhibit showcases everything from the start of the newspaper when it used to be called the Coconut Wireless to its transition into The San Pedro Sun in 1991.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro's Iris Salguero Wins Miss World Belize Title
    Iris Salguero once again makes San Pedro proud by winning the title of Miss World Belize 2016-2017. Many gathered at the Log Cabin Inn on Saturday, October 22, 2016, to witness this event. A total of 4 contestants graced the stage with their beauty; Iris won Miss Top Model, Miss Eloquent, and the title of Miss World Belize. Iris leaves the country on November 27, 2016 to represent Belize on the Miss World stage in Washington, D.C. USA on December 18th, 2016. She will compete in fast track categories that include World Beach Beauty, Beauty with a Purpose, Sports Challenge, Talent and Top Model. The winner of these events automatically make it into the semifinals of Miss World.

    San Pedro to Benefit from Development Training Services
    Mayor of San Pedro Town signed a memorandum of corporations with Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) under the Small Business Development Center Belize (SBDC Belize) on Friday, October 21, 2016 at the San Pedro Town Council conference room. This memorandum had been discussed over a period of 6 to 7 months, with ideas being exchanged and drafts being reviewed and approved it was finalized. This will help in areas such as trading and working with industry; and working with small businesses to improve on the economic conditions of San Pedro. The mayor stated, “The beauty is that we can never be prepared for the unexpected. Due to developing lots of business and San Pedro growing so fast, with the help of BELTRAIDE to train in different areas of business San Pedro will provide better service to residents and visitors.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Click on this link to register your opposition to Seismic Blasting in Belize
    Dangerous seismic airgun blasting could soon resume in Belize’s vibrant waters any day now. Manatees, dolphins, coral reefs, commercially important fish stocks, and the Belizean people’s very way of life are all at risk. Belize's marine life and citizens had no warning of this grave threat. Belize's government has secretly been working on plans to explore for oil along its barrier reef using seismic blasting – despite public promises that it would ban drilling. It’s on us to hold the government accountable, before it’s too late. Add your name now – Tell the government of Belize to immediately ban dangerous seismic blasting and honor its promises to ban drilling.

    Hon. Edmond Castro Sworn In as Minister of Transport and NEMO
    Hon. Edmond Castro was today sworn in as the Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. Hon. Castro was joined by his family, colleagues and CEO in his ministry. Minister Castro was previously the Minister of State in the Ministry of Works, Transport and NEMO.

    Oyinkro Wins in Miami
    To God be the glory. I'm thankful for where I am in my life and can't wait for what the future holds. Came to Miami for a tough competition and crushed it. I participated in three different class and placed on top for all of them. 3rd place Classic Physique, 1st Place Novice physique, 1st place Open Physique and 2nd overall physique. Official #NPC CHAMP and making my way in becoming pro and bringing more international recognition to Belize through what I love. Dayana Cadaeu classic was a stepping stone for me and I'm thankful for having the opportunity. Thanks to who all made this possible. Mr Omar Habet, Mr Colin Griffith, Jason Badillo of Powerade, Cindy Clare Martin, Ruth Sviercovich, Guy Neal, Team African and my fellow coach and trainer over this side. Thank you so much. Came in a rookie and left a champ letting them know I'm coming.

    WOMEX 16 Awards
    And so WOMEX draws to a close for another year, and we ended on a high, celebrating the achievements of three pioneers in the world of music with our annual WOMEX Awards: Artist Award: Calypso legend Calypso Rose; Professional Excellence Award: Colombian hip-hop school 4Elementos Skuela and its founder Henry Arteaga. Label Award: Glitterbeat Records. More WOMEX 16 photos and videos coming soon, we would like to thank everyone who joined us at WOMEX 16 for making it so special.

    Ivan Duran presenting the World music award to Calypso Rose
    Belizean Record Producer playing a leading role in Exporting Caribbean music in Europe

    BEL Expresses Concern for Family Who Lost Home in Fire
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) expresses sympathy to a family who recently lost their home in a fire, which is suspected to have started from a candle. The Company is deeply concerned by the fact that, in 2016, Belizeans still continue to lose their homes, valuable possessions and risk the lives of their entire family through the use of candles. BEL provides opportunities for customers and potential customers to access safe, reliable and affordable electricity through the following offers: 1. Customers who are unable to pay their bill on time, may visit or call any BEL office countrywide to make a reasonable payment arrangement.

    San Ignacio Resort Hotel Wins 2 BTB Awards
    Congratulations, San Ignacio Resort Hotel! The SIRH won 2 awards from the Belize Tourism Board at the 14th annual Belize Tourism Awards. They won the Hotel of the Year award, and the Best Restaurant award for their Running W Restaurant. Well deserved!

    Metal Haven 2016
    The 2016 Metal Haven concert is Saturday, October 29th, at the Cancha Marshalleck. Verge of Umbra is headlining the show. Bands this year: Chuck Braidead - Cayo, Belize. Hypnopompia - Cayo, Belize. Verge of Umbra - Belize. Crows Crown - Honduras. I live for your death - Guatemala. Almost 7 - Belize. Junkie Rock n Roll - El Salvador.

    Miss Belize Universe at El Fogon
    Thank you Ms Susana Eiley, Ms Olive Dominguez and everyone at El Fogon for your hospitality!

    Over a thousand petitions were signed by islanders
    Against 'Offshore Oil Drilling on Belizean Waters!' This was followed by a march of concerned residents who took the signed petitions to the residence of the Area Representative Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr.

    Multinational Security Cooperation Conference Held in Belize
    The Belize Coast Guard hosted a Multilateral Security Cooperation Conference at the Coast Guard Headquarters on George Price Highway in Belize City. The main purpose of the conference was for the allied nations of Belize to understand the security cooperation and military capacity building requirements of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and Belize Coast Guard (BCG), in order to synchronise and harmonise activities to prevent duplication or missed opportunities. This year’s Conference was chaired by the CEO of the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Felix Enriquez, and was attended by Defence Attachés and Command Representatives from Belize’s Military Allies, including Brigadier General Kevin Iiams from the United States Southern Command; Brigadier General Michael McGovern from the United Kingdom London District Command; Navy Captain Paul Dempsey, Canadian Defence Attaché; and General Gilberto Martinez, Mexican Army Defence Attaché - all of whom gave updates on the progress of ongoing military supporting activities to Belize and planned support for the coming years up to 2018.

    Ascenthium Playing Wingz Benque
    Ascenthium will be playing on Friday, October 28th, at Wingz Benque. They'll also be playing at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday. "BENQUE VIEJO! Mark the date as we hit you with a double setlist! The show starts a @10pm and ending at 1am! Its gonna be an all night party with: scary and sexy costumes, finger-licking food, awesome drinks and great live music! Wings Benq is the place to be This Friday night!"

    Yochi Premiers at Belize International Film Festival
    Yochi, which was filmed here in Cayo, will premier at the Belize International Film Festival. It's getting great reviews, and is getting noticed. "Yochi, a film written and directed by Las Cruces filmmaker Ilana Lapid, will premiere at the 2016 Belize International Film Festival"

    Cayo Women's Conservation Group (CWCG) members with their children
    Planting a Mahogany tree by the Primary School with FCD's educator. We are glad for the enthusiasm of the members of CWCG.

    Too Precious to Drill: The Marine Biodiversity of Belize
    The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico has sharpened attention on the oil spills occurring in many parts of the world ocean, and their potential damaging effects on marine ecosystems and the living organisms they sustain. This report focuses on the sustainability of marine fisheries of Belize in the face of potential impacts of ocean threats – in particular, oil spills. The report is timely and important in at least two ways. First, it addresses oil spills in the ocean, which occur frequently worldwide and can have significant effects on life in the ocean and the wellbeing of the people dependent on it. Second, the report focuses on a small developing country, Belize – an example of a country that does not usually receive the attention it deserves by researchers, even though the ocean and the resources it contains is the main source of existence for its citizens. Thirdly, this work is a collaboration between academic researchers, NGOs and management partners, thereby making the research output more relevant to real life problems. This report consists of several chapters that tackle issues ranging from the ecology of the marine ecosystem of Belize right through to the economic benefits currently derived from activities dependent on the ecosystem. These include fishing, angling and whale(shark) watching. A crucial point made in the report is that while oil is a non-renewable resource, fish is renewable. This means that in comparing the benefits from drilling the marine ecosystem of Belize, it is important that in the short term, possibly larger benefits from oil drilling should not be allowed to trump benefits that, if well-managed and protected, are capable of continuing to flow through time, benefiting all generations.

    Channel 7

    Coast Guard Officer Arzu Shot In The Head
    There was a shooting in Belize City which has landed one man in the hospital tonight. The victim has been identified by his family to us as Daniel Arzu, a Coast Guard Officer. The incident happened in the vicinity of Penn Road. According to the sister-in-law of the victim, who preferred to remain anonymous recounted what transpired in what she says was a fraction of a minute: VOICE OF: Sister-in-law: "My brother and I, who was a coast guard, we were in the house. I was on the chair watching a movie and my brother was sleeping when I heard my brother in law vehicle came, I knew the sound of it because he stays here. When he was coming inside I saw his face turn towards the door because he was talking to somebody but I thought it was the guy who comes to collect rent but it wasn't him. When I looked up I saw a tall dark skin man come in the house but I didn't see his face because I saw him point a gun down. When he point the gun, I saw my brother trample back way to get a stance back and I horridly woke up my other brother who was in the chair."

    Capital City Business Man Claims MIT Extortion
    Residents of Belmopan may know businessman Raul Acevedo. He's an importer who travels to Mexico regularly to import various items for sale. Right now, he currently moves 500 kinds of goods over the border at different intervals. He claims that he was returning this weekend, from one such trip with his wife, when he was intercepted by officers of the Mobile Interdiction Team. He had already cleared customs in Corozal and paid duty, but he did have one undeclared box of perfumes. And that's what got him in trouble with the MIT - except he says they weren't looking for a customs offense, he claims they wanted a bribe. He says that after hours in detention, they they played on the fear of his wife, who didn't want to go to jail for contraband, who convinced him that they would let him go if he paid them $2,000. He admits that he eventually did pay it in 16 thousand Mexican pesos, but that's after he knocked down the price; they originally wanted $5,000 dollars.

    Accused Rogue Cop Vindicated
    You may remember Police Constable Jermaine Mangar as the cop who was accused by his police bosses of masterminding a crime ring which was suspected of conducting a series of high-profile robberies back in 2010. A few months later, he was freed of the first charge, which was being used to connect him to that case, and today, he was finally able to leave court for the last time after the DPP's Office withdrew the second charge. You'll remember it as the case where the cops supposedly caught him in the act supposedly after setting a sting. He allegedly planned a robbery of Chon Saan Restaurant, after the police foiled that crime, they turned one of the alleged accomplices into an informant who reportedly lured Mangar out to an arrest. The cops say that they instructed the accomplice to get Mangar to expose himself. He supposedly did this by phoning this mastermind, and telling him that the proceeds of the robbery, which didn't happen, was being shared out, and he was to come get his cut.

    Promising Bravo Technician Dies In Motorcycle Accident
    Tonight a family from Fresh Pond in the Belize Rural area is mourning the loss of their loved-one who died from a motorcycle accident. The victim is 26 year-old Nitaya Locke, who was recently living in Lords Bank Village, and according to friends of the deceased, the accident happened between 11:30 p.m. and 12 midnight on Friday, October 21. Locke was heading home on her cycle when she crashed in front of the Triple A Security Firm's office, which is located at Miles 2 and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Today, our news team visited with her family and friends to find out what went terribly wrong. Courtney Weatherburne has that story: Nitaya Locke had been working at Bravo Motors since April. She was the first certified female Junior Technician and she definitely left an impression.

    Still No Meeting On Strike Fund Compromise
    Payday for the teachers is coming up on this Friday, and all teachers, even those who went on the 11-day strike, won't have to worry about this paycheck being docked for their industrial action. But come next month, it is uncertain whether those teachers will be paid for those 11 school days at the end of November. There is a proposal on the table from Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, for the the BNTU to use its strike fund to pay those teachers who didn't go to work. If the fund does not have all the money to cover the entire amount, that's when the Government will be willing to step in and supplement with monies of their own.

    Coast Guard Officer Alleges Rape Attempt
    Earlier in the newscast we told you about the shooting of a coast guard officer, well another coast guard officer was allegedly almost raped by 2 men in Ladyville. 24 year old Ronald Hernandez was hanging out at the home of 2 men when they allegedly grabbed him and tried to rape him. Reports are that Hernandez fought them off with a chisel and a machete. Ladyville police told us more about this rare case. Inspector Juanito Cocom - OC, Ladyville Police: "This morning about 12:30am, Ronald Hernandez, 24 year old Belizean Coast Guard of Palmar Road Orange Walk District arrived at the Ladyville Police Station in a grey Toyota Hilux. Upon his arrival, it was noted that he was fully covered with blood. He stated that he was socializing with two persons at a residence of Perez Road in Ladyville when he was sexually accosted by the two men. He claims that they attempted to rape him and that he fought them off. Shortly thereafter a person arrived at the station bringing two male persons bleeding profusely. Both men are of #14 Heckler Wood Road, Ladyville Village. Both were immediately transported to the Belize City and are presently at the Belize Medical Associates undergoing treatment. They received wounds to the head and are listed in a stable condition."

    Hattieville Cops Got Sawed Off Shotgun
    Cops from the 3 Eastern Division Jurisdictions of North Side, Southside, and Rural were active this weekend, and they each took illegal guns and drugs off the street. And, it's all due to accurate police intelligence. We start first in Hattieville where the police made a gun seizure. The Officer Commanding the Ladyville Police shared a few details: Inspector Juanito Cocom - OC, Ladyville Police: "Hattieville relief personnel confiscated a saw-off shotgun at a yard in America Street, Hattieville Village. Presently an investigation is being carried out as there is information of who might have placed that firearm there. If no evidence is obtain to link the person to the firearm, it will be deposited as found property."

    Hattieville Cops Seized Weed Peddler's Cargo
    Rural cops then busted a man with 32 pounds of weed on Sunday morning. It happened around 9:35, when Police stopped Benque Viejo resident Angel Vidal at the mile 15 check point on the Western Highway. They searched his vehicle and found several parcels of weed in his trunk. Police told us more about this major bust. Inspector Juanito Cocom - OC, Ladyville Police: "At 9:35am in Sunday, 23rd October, Hattieville police on a vehicle checkpoint at mile 15 on the George Price highway stopped a red Geo Prism vehicle driven at the time by Angel Vidal, 30 years, Belizean taxi driver of Central America Street, Benque Viejo. At the time he was accompanied by a minor. Searches on a luggage in the trunk of the vehicle revealed 16 parcels of suspected cannabis, amounting to 14.870 kilos. Both persons were arrested and charged with drug trafficking. They were arraigned today at magistrate court Belize City where Vidal pled guilty. He was fined $10,000 to be paid by 24th October, 2017. In default, 3 years imprisonment. The vehicle was forfeited as well and the charges against the minor were withdrawn."

    Southside Cops seized Guns/Drugs Out of Lake I
    Eastern Division South also made their own drug and firearm busts in the Saint Martin De Porres. This morning, the Southside Police Commander told us that they came upon the illegal items due to assistance of the general public which has embraced their community policing efforts: ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "Over the past couple of months, the public has been very supportive of the work of the police on south side Belize City and that relationship that we have fostered with the public continues to pay dividends for us and yesterday was another example where on 3 different occasions police received information and acting upon those information received, we were able to confiscate from the streets of Belize City yesterday 2 firearms; that is a 9mm pistol with 18 live rounds and one .38 revolver. "

    Island Cops Seize Handgun
    San Pedro police were also on the prowl for interdiction opportunities, and this morning at around 1:30, they busted island resident Forest Green with this handgun, which was loaded with 4 live rounds of 9mm ammunition. He has been arrested and charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

    Tourism Minister Discusses Public Outrage On Seismic Testing
    Last week, faster than you could say, "wheel and come again" government had to reverse its position on undersea seismic testing - and send the Northern Explorer vessel away, pronto. The vessel had already gone out into the seas, which incensed the conservation minded citizens of San Pedro. They made their displeasure known to their area representative Manuel "Junior" Heredia - at a stormy consultation in the island town. Within two hours of getting an ultimatum from the San Pedranos at the consultation, Government had to issue sheepish release, saying the seismic survey would stop immediately. It's the kind of real-time public-policy reversal which you just don't see - and it's indicative of a weary government which can scarcely afford any more public pushback, and a populace which is fed up with what they see Belmopan's high-handedness. Now, Belmopan got the message, alright, but the messenger also faced a kind of public political lynching. On Saturday, we asked Juniour Heredia about the quite remarkable sequence of events:...

    Offshore Oil: Development Vs Conservation
    Now, government has said that it will "suspend seismic testing until proper consultations can be held," and that's because Government is determined to extract offshore oil if it can be found outside protected areas and world heritage site. Heredia discussed the conflict between the development dilemma and the conservation agenda:... Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism: "There has to be other alternatives. Why don't we come together, find areas where we can find common goals where we can work together to bring more economic prosperity to this country. It's just about just not saying, "no, no, no" to everything. You want to do a project a nice hotel like the DiCaprio one, and there are people that are saying forget about that. Then where will the jobs go?" OCEANA has said the pushback is not against seismic testing, it's about the prospect of offshore oil exploration - which many oppose.

    Hon. Heredia Says He's Ready For Senate Inquiry
    He may have backed down when the residents of San Pedro braced him at a consultation last week, but Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia isn't backing down when it comes to the Audit of the Immigration Department. His name appears almost 30 times in the Nationality Audit - but he says he will face any Senate probe confidently because he did nothing wrong: Jules Vasquez, 7News: "There is going to be a senate special select committee, your name is in the reports a number of times, the favors you've done for the Hamze family, are you concerned?" Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism: "I have walked a straight line I will continue to walk a straight line. Those reports that are there is nothing, and I am willing to stand before any senate committee and give testimony of what they want and I told you also that I am seeking legal advice and if need be, I will also make sure it goes to court for clarification. Because there is nothing bigger than the name of a person. Whatever I have to do to clarify my name I will do Jules."

    Police Make Arrest In Student Stabbing
    17 year-old Belize City student, Kenroy Daly continues to receive medical treatment after he was attacked and stabbed in the chest by a group of young men. Police investigating say that on Friday night at around 11:50 p.m., Daly was riding his bike on Raccoon Street Extension where he was attacked and stabbed multiple times. Today, the Southside Commander told us that his investigators have already made an arrest in the case: ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "On Friday night, sometime after 11pm, the police received information of a male person who was seen lying down on the street in the area of Raccoon Street and Boulevard. Police responded and upon arrival they found the person to be one Kenroy Daly, a 17 year old. He appeared to have been severely beaten and stabbed. He was rushed to the KHMH by the police and he is currently admitted in a critical but stable condition. We are hoping for his full recovery. Police investigation has so far led to the arrest of a 16 year old in respect to that matter. He was charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm."

    A Final Farewell To Michael Young
    This evening, family, friends, colleagues of Senior Counsel Michael Young gathered at the Wesley Methodist Church to pay their respects at the Funeral Services. It was not a state funeral, but with all the government officials, and the members of the legal fraternity who joined his family in the church, it might as well have been. Among the speakers this evening were Prime Minister Dean Barrow, his brother Denys, and his law partner Rodwell Williams. Each men made sure to tailor their remarks to encapsulate a different aspect of his personality and his accomplishments as a distinguished Belizean. Here's an excerpt of what they said: Michael Young was laid to rest at Homeland Memorial. Tomorrow, the judges will suspend all court cases to hold a special sitting of the Supreme Court in his honor.

    Tourism Industry Conference
    Every year, the BTB holds its Tourism Industry Conference. It's a time for the BTB as nominal industry leader to sort of set the tone for the coming year, and offer guidance in marketing strategies to a cross section of stakeholders from international consultants. And while that happens in the daytime, at night, they host the annual Tourism Awards. This year, the daytime event was all about riding the wave of record arrivals and figuring out how to keep growing, but, also to keep up with the growth. Alex Courtenay reports:

    Hon. "Clear The Land" Now A Full Minister
    Last week we told you about the changes that the Prime Minister is making to fill that void left behind by Gaspar Vega's tumble out of his Cabinet. Today, Edmond "Clear-the-land" Castro's promotion was made official. The former Minister-of-State was officially sworn in as the Minister of Works, Transport and NEMO. Castro's shift was just the first in the Barrow Cabinet's reshuffling. Former Minister-of-State for Youth Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon is moving to the Ministry of Home Affairs, now under the Prime Minister. Godwin Hulse has been assigned to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development. And Hugo Patt adds the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities to his portfolio.

    BDF And the Multilateral Security Conference
    As a key area in the Southern border of North America, the capabilities of the BDF is important in the security of the entire continent. That is why the BDF is hosting the Multilateral Security Conference, where ally countries send their military representatives to discuss what Belize needs in order to maintain peace in the region. Here's what Brigadier General David Jones told us about the conference... This was the first year that the Dutch and Mexican militaries attended the conference. Each allied military commits to assisting the BDF in terms of performance, especially when it comes to training officers in specialized positions.

    BEL Sympathizes With Anna Carde
    On our Friday newscast, we told you about plight of Belize City resident Anna Card. Her house completely burnt down on Thursday night after she forgot a candle burning in her home. She explained that she was forced to use them after BEL cut out her power. They did it, she said, because they suspected that someone was stealing electricity, and she couldn't afford to pay the bill. Well, determined not to live up to the appearance of corporate indifference in this matter, the electricity company sent us another public statement to note their attention to the case. That press release says, quote, "Belize Electricity Limited...expresses sympathy to a family who recently lost their home in a fire, which is suspected to have started from a candle. The Company is deeply concerned by the fact that, in 2016, Belizeans still continue to lose their homes, valuable possessions and risk the lives of their entire family through the use of candles.

    Local Cubs Fans Rejoice
    The Chicago Cubs - if you didn't live in Belize City in the early 1980's - you might not understand the weird connection that city residents feel to those loveable losers. You see, for city residents, when television first came in 1981, one of the only two channels on the air was locked in to Chicago's WGN around the clock - and that channel showed every Cubs game, all 162 of them. Now, this is pre-cable television, pre-internet, pre cell phone, pre colour TV in many cases - I mean, shucks, we only had one radio station!...if you can imagine all that.

    Channel 5

    Accident Kills Pioneering Female Mechanic
    Nitaya Locke was the first female auto-mechanic in a male dominated industry. She has a level-two mechanical engineering degree, was certified by Isuzu and was employed at Bravo Motors in [...]

    Coast Guard Officer Fights Off Attempted Rape by 2 Men
    Police in Rural Eastern Division have a thorny case of alleged attempted rape to investigate tonight. The case involves a Coast Guard officer, a manager for a major import and [...]

    Police Pick Up 31 Pounds of Marijuana and a Firearm in Hattieville
    In Hattieville over the weekend, Rural Eastern Division police made a major seizure of drugs and a firearm. Two persons, including a minor, were arrested and charged and police have [...]

    Woman Stole Security Guard’s Wallet After Proposing Oral Sex
    Thirty-two-year old Sarita Ash, an unemployed single mother of three children, now has a conviction on her record for theft. But the circumstances are somewhat unusual. According to security guard [...]

    Escapee Captured After Eleven Years on the Run
    Elwin Vanegas managed to successfully avoid capture by evading authorities for eleven years, after fleeing a prison bus in 2005. But we can report that he has been captured and [...]

    Michael Young is Laid to Rest in Belize City
    A somber moment today, as hundreds gathered to bid Senior Counsel Michael Young farewell at Wesley Methodist Church in Belize City.  Of the many in attendance at the funeral service, [...]

    Environmentalists Defend Position After Seismic Survey Company Speaks Out
    Since raising the alarm on a pair of offshore studies, including a proposed seismic survey, the local environmental community has been frank in objecting to government’s approval of such maritime [...]

    Audubon Society Maintains E.I.A. Needed for Seismic Survey
    Notwithstanding assurances that the survey would not be conducted within areas of the Caribbean Sea, including atolls and lagoons, the Belize Audubon Society maintains that it requires an Environmental Impact [...]

    “Clear The Land” Edmond Castro Elevated to Full Minister
    Belize Rural North Area Representative Edmond ‘Clear the Land’ Castro was sworn in today by Governor General Sir Colville Young, as Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO.  [...]

    Minors Tangle Over Female; Stabbing Victim Critical in Hospital
    A love triangle among teenagers in the city turns sour and leaves a seventeen-year-old hospitalized in a critical condition at the K.H.M.H. tonight. Kenroy Daly was badly beaten and stabbed [...]

    Woman Mugged Near Home in Downtown Belize City
    Well-known Breastfeeding Counselor Penny Casasola was robbed on Friday night around seven-thirty, just outside her home on Rectory Lane. The elderly woman was attacked and robbed by a man on [...]

    More Guns Off the Streets
    In other news out of Eastern Division South; tonight, police say there are two fewer guns on the street. With assistance from the public, they were able to recover two [...]

    San Pedro Man Charged Over Unlicensed Nine-Millimeter Weapon
    While Eastern Division South officers were able to remove two guns from the city streets; over on La Isla Bonita, San Pedro police were able to seize a nine millimeter [...]

    Police “Sure” Allen Martinez Behind Faber Vehicle Arson
    Last week, Allen Martinez was charged for the alleged arson of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Patrick Faber’s vehicle at his Lords’ Bank residence. The key piece of [...]

    Belize Electricity Limited Says No One Should Suffer Without Electricity
    On Friday, we reported on a fire on the George Price Highway which destroyed a family home. While National Fire Service personnel are still investigating, a probe of the site [...]

    Best in Tourism Honoured in National Awards
    The fourteenth National Tourism Awards were held on Saturday night. The annual show put off by the Belize Tourism Board is to recognize the best in the tourism industry. The [...]

    Monday Sports: Football, Cycling, Bodybuilding and Basketball
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   PLB Football found Police United FC hosting its bitter rival Belmopan Bandits inside the Norman Broaster Stadium yesterday in [...]

    LOVE FM

    Police Constable Mangar Freed of Charge After Six Years of Interdiction
    In April 2010, the life and career of Police Constable Jermaine Mangar spiralled into uncertainty as he was accused of being a rogue cop. It is an incident whereby Mangar has maintained innocence throughout the last six and a half years that he has been on interdiction from the Belize Police Department. Innocence or not, […]

    Coast Guard Man Says He Defended Himself After Being Sexually Aggressed Upon
    Ladyville Police are investigating a report made by a member of the Belize Coast Guard. The 24-year-old man went to the Ladyville Police Station early this morning where he claims two men made sexual advances on him. Assistant Superintendent Commissioner of Police, Juanito Cocom shared the details. JUANITO COCOM “He stated that he was socializing […]

    Belize Coast Guard Member Shot to the Head
    Police are looking into a shooting incident that has a member of the Belize Coast Guard critical at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. 28-year-old, Daniel Arzu of a Neal’s Pen Road address was shot this evening at the apartment complex where he lives at around five o’clock this evening. The bullet entered […]

    Minor Arrested for the Savage Stabbing of Kenroy Daly
    A 17-year-old student was badly beaten on Friday night. The incident occurred at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Maskall Street. Police say the teenager was attacked by three men. He was stabbed twice- once to the chest and on the face. He is hospitalized in a critical condition. Assistant Commissioner of Police Commanding […]

    Ruling Favors Chief Pharmacist; GOB Ordered to Pay for Defamation
    Three Government officials were sued in the courts for defamation of character after certain statements were made against the Chief Pharmacist, Sharon Anderson. Today, Justice Shona Griffith issued her judgement on the matter which was in favour of Anderson who was represented by Attorney Herbert Panton. HERBERT PANTON “Essentially three officers of government namely the […]

    BEL Caters to the Poor with Light on a Payment Plan
    The frequency of fires caused by burning candles has propelled the Belize Electricity Limited to offer families that are struggling financially affordable payment plans. In A Press Release issued today, BEL expressed concern for families who have lost all property and risk their lives because they cannot afford to pay for electricity. BEL says that […]

    Founding Member of Workers’ Union Appalled at Financial Issues
    Last week Friday we showed you cheques written out to Ramiro Gongora, Gilberto Castillo and Malco Cabrera. Gongora is the Chairman of the Belize Workers Union and Castillo and Cabrera are executive members. These men are being accused of misusing the funds of the BWU. The cheques written to them were cashed using the unions […]

    Bus Driver Needs Help in Financing Open Heart Surgery
    The family of 44 year old Tyron Coleman needs your help. Coleman who is a driver for James Bus Line, needs to undergo open heart surgery but first he needs to be airlifted to the Cayman Islands. His family is trying to secure funds to get him to the Cayman Islands. Coleman’s sister in law, […]

    GSU Gets 380 Colt with Live Rounds
    Members of the Gang Suppression Unit recently received a tip that led them to the Berger Field off Vernon Street in Belize City. Upon conducting searches in the area yesterday just before one o’clock in the afternoon, the officers found a 380 Colt Automatic handgun along with five live rounds of ammunition in the magazine […]

    Hattieville Officers Confiscate Weed and Guns
    Hattieville Police were busy over the weekend intersecting the flow of drugs and weapons in the area. On Sunday morning, October 23 at around nine forty five Police stopped a red Geo Prizm sedan driven by Angel Vidal of Central American Street in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town who was accompanied by a minor. In […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Moist weather to continue
    The 24 hour forecast is for mostly cloudy skies tonight and tomorrow with a few sunny breaks tomorrow afternoon. Periods of rain, showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected mostly along the coast and over the south and spreading to some inland areas tomorrow afternoon. […]

    Coast Guard shot to the head
    Daniel Arzu, 28, a Coast Guard Officer, was gunned down on the Southside of Belize City this evening. He was shot once with a .9mm pistol to the head. The bullet reportedly entered his right temple and excited the top of his head. This […]

    Hattieville police find sawed off shotgun
    Police intelligence has led Hattieville police to recover a sawed off shot gun from a yard in American Site. According to police reports the shotgun was found at 8:30 on Sunday night. If no evidence is found linking the firearm to any person it […]

    Metalhaven Bash 2016 – No Boundries/Sin Fronteras Concert
    Metalhaven Bash 2016 will be the 6th annual rock concert in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Metalhaven Bash Concert is a non-profit yearly concert held in Benque Viejo. This year’s concert will be dedicated to the ever growing tensions between Belize and Guatemala. For […]

    Venezuelan pro government supporters and Opposition parliamentarians rumble in the National Assembly
    Venezuelan pro- government supporters stormed the National Assembly. This was caused by impeachment move against President Nicolas Maduro. On Sunday, in a special session of the Venezuelan National assembly, a measure was approved that declared “ there has been a breakdown of constitutional order […]

    Two men try to rape male coast guard in Ladyville
    A male Belizean coast guard was almost raped by two men in Ladyville early this morning. According to police reports, the coast guard was invited to the residence of the two men in Ladyville and then the trio began to drink alcohol. At around […]

    Senior Counsel Michael Young to be laid to rest today
    Michael Young, SC, will be laid to rest today. His funeral ceremony will be held at Wesley Church at 2 p.m.. Young was found with a gunshot wound to the head inside his home on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Friends, family and employees of […]

    Chinese businesswoman robbed in downtown San Ignacio; Thieves take $50,000
    Reports reaching our newsroom are that a well known Chinese business woman was robbed at gun point this morning while on her way to the bank in San Ignacio town. The incident occurred behind Scotia Bank while she was walking to the bank. A […]

    Minor charged for attempted murder over love triangle
    A 16-year-old minor has been charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm by police. He was charged in connection with the brutal beating and stabbing of Kenroy Daly, 17, which occurred at around 11 p.m. on Friday. Police found Daly lying on the street in […]

    Edmond Castro sworn in as Minister of Transport and NEMO
    Edmond Castro was officially sworn in today as the Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) by the Governor General Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. Castro was joined by his family, colleagues and CEO in his ministry. He […]

    Missing minor found in good health
    After more than 24 hours away from her family, Thania Binton, 14, has been found. According to ACP Chester Williams, the E.P. Yorke student was found yesterday afternoon in Belize City after she had been reported missing on Saturday. She had reportedly gone to […]

    2 men badly beaten in the Belize District
    Two men were badly beaten in the Belize District on Sunday. The nature of their injuries have not yet been made public but police have since recorded a report. The incident occurred somewhere in the police’s Rural Eastern Division. It is unclear what led […]

    Two suicides on Sunday
    There were two apparent suicides on Sunday. In two separate instances, two families will never be the same. According to preliminary police reports, the first incident occurred in Orange Walk and the second reportedly occurred in Dangriga. Police are yet to release further details. […]

    Police recover guns and drugs from Belize City
    Two firearms and a hefty load of drugs were removed from the streets of the south side in Belize City on Sunday. A police search in an abandoned lot in the Gungulung area of St. Martin’s area led police to a .9mm pistol containing […]

    Blogs

    Cheap flights? Southwest proves to be no bargain once you land in Houston
    When is a bargain not a bargain? Probably when it is a low-priced, round-trip, Southwest Airlines ticket from Belize to Houston. We’ve all seen them since Southwest began flying into Belize a year ago. I was among the cheerleaders since Southwest’s aggressive pricing (initially, at least) often forces the big carriers to drop prices. Win-win! My wife, Rose, recently snagged a too-good-to-be-true ticket to Houston. She has a son in Oklahoma whom she hadn’t seen since we moved to Belize nearly three years ago. She also has a daughter in Arizona and, not coincidentally, a friend had organized a weeklong yoga retreat in Sedona for early October. So she jumped on the Southwest sale. And offered to get me one, too. Southwest’s Belize flight lands in Houston at 8 p.m. For Rose, that worked out OK. After clearing customs, she had just enough time to catch her flight to Oklahoma. Me? Not so much. After 8 p.m., the pickings to Reno, San Francisco or Oakland are slim to none. So I had to stay overnight near Hobby Houston Airport and catch a plane the next morning. Add the cost of the hotel to my bargain ticket and all that bargain euphoria is wiped out. All those hotels within two miles of the Hobby Airport? They must love Southwest. For the first time in my life, I envied Texans — at least those who could drive to Houston Hobby and pick up a cheap flight to Belize.

    With every T-Shirt purchase, you get to support Raptor Research in Belize
    With the hawk migration monitoring season in full swing and in an effort to further expand conservation efforts, the Belize Raptor Research Institute (BRRI) has launched a Go-Fund Me campaign raising awareness and funds. A new Belize Raptor Watch t-shirt has been designed and is currently on sale. According to BRRI, their new t-shirt designed features the 4 primary raptor species found in Belize such as the Double-toothed Kite, Hook-billed Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite and the Plumbeous Kite. The institute reports that the Kite community has a high research priority because little information of their ecology and migration is available. Profits from their t-shirt campaign will go directly toward continuing migration research and programs like the 2016 Raptor Certification Program, a program that trains Belizeans in raptor biology and field research.

    Getting or Replacing a Belize Drivers License and Gas Prices
    After my Feb move I somehow could not find where my Belize drivers license got packed and I searched high and low to no avail. I happened to explain the situation to one of my traffic police friends and he told me exactly what to do to order a replacement. I had to go to the police station and fill out a form and pay $8.00 then bring it back to the traffic department. This was so they had a police verified record on file of why I did not turn in my old license, which is a requirement to get a new one. Following that I went back to the traffic department ground floor of the San Pedro Town Council office and handed them the form. They immediately started processing my request and had me go upstairs to the cashier to pay for a new license. Surprisingly from the time I found out what my next step was till I had my new license in hand was 20 minutes. I did not face one line up and I was able to use the same picture from the old one – I had felt like it could have easily been a mugshot day ha ha.

    Belize’s #1 Natural Resource: “In the End, We Will Only Conserve What We Love…”
    The oil exploration that started in Belize two weeks ago, has been halted by the people who were un-informed of the decision and under the impression (RIGHTLY) that the government had agreed that there would be no oil exploration or drilling. (Dec 2015, “Belize Beats UNESCO Deadline to Ban Offshore Exploration) One could use the word ambush. Tomorrow, Tuesday, the Cabinet of Belize (the executive branch of the Belize Government – the 14 UDP appointees and the Prime Minister) meet to decide if the exploration will continue. There is a boat already scheduled to return in mid-November. Belize's Barrier Reef - our livelihood and the greatest asset this country has - is at risk as oil exploration starts. PLEASE READ AND HELP! I have heard that the exploration is not for oil…it is for shipping routes. Why would you have an oil exploration company do that? Why would you be moving back and forth to map the sea floor 2000-5000+ feet deep? Even the largest mega-container ships have a draft of about 50 to 65 feet. THE PEOPLE OF BELIZE NEED TO CONTINUE TO STAND UP – TO MAKE SURE THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS DO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT IN THAT MEETING TOMORROW. AND ALONG WITH THE PEOPLE, WE NEED THE BUSINESSES AND ASSOCIATIONS OF THIS COUNTRY TO STAND UP AS WELL. Sorry for the shouting but this is SO important.

    International Sourcesizz

    Seismic Surveys Successfully Coexist with Tourism and Fisheries Despite Erroneous Claims: International Association of Geophysical Contractors
    Environmental activist groups have increasingly used misinformation targeting geophysical surveys in an effort to halt oil and gas exploration and development. One such example of their recent propaganda attempts to mislead the Belizean community to believe that seismic surveys are harmful to marine life and threaten fishing and tourism. These allegations are simply false. The fact is, there is no scientific support for their statements. Their assertions are speculative and anecdotal at best, pointing to what might or may occur, but has not occurred after more than 50 years of global seismic data acquisition. No animals are injured as a result of sound from seismic surveys. The growing body of data supports this. Purported risks suggested by these groups have failed to materialize; the impact of seismic surveys has been grossly misrepresented and it is irresponsible to mislead the public that such speculations are demonstrated facts, when they are not. Unfortunately, severely lacking is honest dialogue about the seismic survey process and impacts to the local economy and the marine environment. Seismic surveys are referred to by oil and gas opponents as “testing” or “blasting” that endangers marine life. The reality is the surveys are not “blasts” of any kind and these same surveys have been conducted around the world for the past 50 years for purposes other than oil and gas exploration; and during this time, there has not been one report of surveys harming marine life or interfering with commercial and recreational fishing nor tourism activities.

    Don’t call us ‘Chiney’
    They are often referred to as ‘Chiney man’ throughout Jamaica, but according to one Chinese-Jamaican, the phrase is offensive to his people. Having lived in Jamaica for over two decades, the St Elizabeth businessman who spoke on condition of anonymity believes Jamaicans are racist toward Chinese. “When you go outside how much people say ‘hi Chinese people? No ‘Chiney man’ is what they call it? That’s a modest thing to you?” he questioned. “When you go to America and they say, ‘you black person’, what are you going to say? or ‘black people go back to your country!’ How are you going to feel? You won’t feel good; it’s the same thing, you’ll find it offensive,” he continued. He noted that Jamaicans’ attitude toward his people is unwarranted and sought to dispel false notions that Jamaicans tend to perpetuate about them. “You see in Jamaica, you have more than 80 per cent of the people will say ‘Chiney man come in this country to make money and go weh; they don’t wanna spend money and help develop Jamaica’... but Chinese help out Jamaicans here by bringing the cheap stuff that people can get to live in here. Because if all the Chinese run away you would totally find out — the cost would be really, really high.”

    Speaker sues attorney general, auditor general
    The Speaker of the National Assembly Michael Peyrefitte has filed a lawsuit against the Belize Government and the auditor general. The lawsuit names Attorney General Vanessa Retreage and Auditor General Dorothy Bradley following the publication of a special audit on immigration and passport. In August, Peyrefitte wrote a letter to Bradley stating that his name was erroneously listed in the audit for recommending someone for a passport. Peyrefitte argued that because he is a member of the House of Representatives, he is indeed authorised to recommend someone for a passport.

    Videos

  • Welcoming home Miss World Belize, Iris Salguero!, 3.5min.

  • Special Guest Marie Makes Ocean Breeze With Me, 17min.

  • Belize National Tourism Awards 2016: Videos of the Winners!, 15 or so, 10 videos of a couple minutes each...min.

  • Calypso Rose Womex 2016 . tribute to Belize, 3min.

  • Ozuna Tears of ink tattoo studio belize city.., 2.5min.

  • 2016 Major Festivals of Belize Award: Battle Of The Drums, 2.5min.

  • CWOL Belize Mission Trip 2016, 5min.

  • Seismic Survey,51 min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Boat filling with rain water, 10sec. Fishaman are advise to go bail out dem boat on Caye caulker

  • Petition to pass legislation against offshore drilling personally delivered to Min. Heredia at his home today., 30min. The People put their faith in Minister Heredia's Hands. Petitions against offshore oil drilling and exploration signed by the people of San Pedro and Caye Caulker were presented to him personally at his home by members of the community.

  • San Pedro's Iris Salguero returns after Winning Miss World Belize Title,1 min.

  • Belize July2003, 30min.

  • Belize Day 9: Ramon's Village Resort Pool Day, 2.5min.

  • Leaf Cutter Ants ~ Invade Our Backyard In Belize., 3.5min. A short video showing the invasion of our backyard in Belize, by Leaf Cutter Ants. Sometime overnight, as we slept, the silent carnage started. By the time we were up and outside around 7:30 AM, very little of the green leaves and branches of one of the trees in our backyard remained. This was a well orchestrated attack by a very well trained force. They had obviously trained for this and knew exactly what they were doing. Despite the numbers of the invading force which can not be exactly confirmed (I would estimate tens of thousands), there were no injuries reported (except a couple of ant bites during filming) and no shots were fired.

  • Cave tubing in Belize!!!, 3.5min.

  • SCUBA DIVING BELIZE, 13min. Buceando en Belice con Aggressor III, Septiembre de 2016.

    October 24, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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


    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    History and Social Studies Competition Finals
    Six Primaty Schools will compete for the right to take home the first ever History Cup. Which school will take home this prestigious Cup? Catch it live on Love FM or in person at the SCA Gymnasium. Thursday, November 24 at 9 AM - 12 PM, St. Catherine Academy, 6 Hutson Street, Belize City, Belize

    BNTU RALLY in Orange Walk
    The Nation is cordially invited to a Stand up for Belize Now!!! BNTU rally. All buses leave for Belize City on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Come and be a Part of History as BNTU extends it's gratitude to all our teachers, parents, students and friends. To all who continue to stand in solidarity for a Greater Belize for generations to come!!!!

    Pedro Mena Park Refurbishment
    The Rotaract Club of Benque painted and cleaned up Pedro Mena Park. Thanks, Rotaract! "Rotaractors Mission accomplished. Today Pedro Mena Park was painted & cleaned, because it’s all about #Serviceaboveself and #communityservice Rotaract club of Benque Viejo wants to thanks Ms Lorena Nabet for Providing us with breakfast and Mr.Neftaly Venegas for providing us with lunch and helping us to paint."

    9th Annual Artisan Fair
    The U.S. Embassy's 9th annual Artisan Fair is on Tuesday, November 15th(not the 9th like it says in the flier). Miss Deb's will be there too. "Artists from all over Belize coming together at the US Embassy in November on Tuesday, November 15th (yes, there was a date change... no longer on the 9th) for the 9th Annual Artisan Fair. Will my Belize Critters be there? You betcha! With a HUGE inventory of lizards, snakes, and other Jungle Critters, plus stuff from the very popular Reef Collection. Who doesn't need a toucan- in- a- Christmas- stocking ornament???"

    Wine House 1st Anniversary
    The Wine House is celebrating their 1st anniversary on Friday, October 28th. The have the best selection of wines around, and their month wine appreciation nights are loads of fun.

    National Tourism Awards 2016
    CONGRATULATIONS to Battle of the Drums for WIN in the category of "Major Festivals"! Vanilla Hills Lodge, the WINNERS of the "Small Accommodations of the Year" award! Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant, WINNERS of the "Restaurant of the Year" award. Splash Dive Center on two wins "Hospitality Award of the Year" and "Tour Operator of the Year"!! Tour Guide of the Year is Mr. Justo Navez of Caves Branch, CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Vitalino Reyes of CaveTubing.Bz, for being recognized and recieving the Minister's Award.

    Día de los Finados celebration
    The San Pedro House of Culture invites you to be part of the Día de los Finados celebration on Wednesday, November 2nd at 7:00 p.m. We invite you to bring a picture of your departed loved one and also to bring flowers to be placed on the altar honoring the deceased. "Join us in remembering our dearly departed and help support them through their spiritual journey."

    The Reporter

    Earthquake hits part of Caribbean
    Parts of the Caribbean were shaken by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake this past week, but causing no serious damage or injuries. The islands of St Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines reported feeling the tremor. According to the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Centre (SRC), the epicenter of the quake on Tuesday was measured 8 km southwest of Roseau, Dominica; 85 km northwest of Fort-de-France, Martinique; and 109 km south of Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.

    Caribbean people will have more difficulty working and studying in Britain soon
    United Kingdom Home Security Amber Rudd has announced that Caribbean nationals looking for employment or study opportunities in Great Britain will have a harder time doing so, under an immigration crackdown. The new restrictions will prevent foreigners from taking up jobs that Britons can do, and significantly reduce the number of people being allowed into Britain. Rudd said the Home Office would soon consult on a new student immigration system and on tightening the resident labour market test that companies have to pass before recruiting foreigners. This is all part of the drive to reduce net migration – which currently stands at 327,000. “The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do,” Rudd said.

    Belize has foreign exchange, new CBB Governor assures
    The Central Bank of Belize has sufficient foreign exchange, despite that Belize had to make large procurements of US dollars to make the first payment of US $60 million for nationalising BTL. “I want to assure the Belizean public that there is no crisis with foreign exchange; we have foreign exchange, Governor of the Bank, Joy Grant said on Friday. “We are doing everything as a jurisdiction to make sure that foreign exchange will be there for the business community and others who needs it. However, because we have said before that there’s been a large outflow within the last few months, because of these extraordinary payments that there’s been a decrease but that there is sufficient foreign exchange in the system to continue to operate,” Grant continued. Grant added that despite the impact Hurricane Earl has had on agricultural revenues, Belize still manages to stay afloat with foreign currency, and should be able to continue making payments.

    New automated system promises to offer more efficient banking
    A new automated system, which offers an easier, more efficient way of banking, was introduced on Friday. The Central Bank of Belize introduced the Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System (APS 3), designed to cut the time required to clear checks, make payments and transfer funds. It links all banks to a network. Joy Grant, new governor of Central Bank, explained the new system is expected to cut costs for bankking customers. “Hopefully…the cost to the consumer overtime will decrease for transactions that they do now without thinking, but that are important for the running of this economy. …We have to move into the future and to do that we have to make sure that we have the systems in place. For example, if you were waiting for 5-7 days to get funds in your account and you now could get it in one day, that means that you could do more with that money over time.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize~ Why it makes good sense for G.O.B. to pay teachers
    The teachers of Belize, under the Belize National Teachers Union, ended their 11-day strike action this Tuesday, October 18, 2016. Their STAND FOR BELIZE demanded actions on the part of the Government of Belize (GOB) to curb corruption and deliver good governance….as well […]

    House Speaker claims account was hacked
    Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte came under criticism last night after an inflammatory status aimed at the LGBT community was posted to his Facebook page, however, he claims his account was hacked. “If you can take a six inch **** in your *** […]

    Female minor, 14, reported missing
    The family of Thania Binton, 14, is devastated. The E.P. Yorke student was reported missing after she left her home on Neal’s Pen Road on Saturday afternoon. She had reportedly gone on a black and purple beach cruiser to the A&R store on the […]

    Feud sparks between Mayor and Area Rep in Cayo
    Last week reports surfaced of the wooden bridge being opened Wednesday night by the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Earl Trapp. Hours after the bridge was opened, the area representative for Cayo Central Rene Montero ,who is also the Minister of Works, […]

    Blogs

    Saturday Happenings: From a Farmers’ Market to A Silent Party
    The last week has been tumultuous to say the least. How dare the Government of Belize sign off on a seismic oil exploration study without public consultation? Even if ALL the multiple seismic studies predicting disasterous outcomes there are “anecdotal” as this OIL expert says in his interview with Channel 7 news, why explore if you don’t plan to drill? It’s taking an unnecessary risk with our fragile reef system, the entire tourism industry and our livelihoods. But I thought Sunday might be a good day to post about some lighter subjects – though I remain on the war path – here is what I did yesterday. A sunny then cloudy then sunny and then cloudy October afternoon. I stopped by the monthly Farmers’ Market at the Truck Stop and bought two boules (sunflower seed and cranberry/walnut) from Sue (she was amidst a frenzy for her bacon jam), some home-made dog biscuits from Heather of Caye to the Heart and some very VERY tasty muffins. I also mentally signed on to attend tonight’s screening of Seismic Sea – that will be followed by a community discussion.

    International Sourcesizz

    Seabird announces Belize seismic activity
    SeaBird Exploration has said it is to acquire a long-offset survey in Belize, starting mid-October 2016. SeaBird will use the Northern Explorer to acquire the survey and the anticipated duration of the program is three to four weeks. Seismic activity offshore Belize, South America, has been opposed by environmental groups including Oceana, which has launched a petition against the activity. Meanwhile, Belize currently has no active offshore exploration licenses. There have been calls for a national referendum on the topic.

    Woman rescues sickly cat named Smeagol who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lord of the Rings character
    An animal lover has certainly shown that this cat is her precious - after turning him from Gollum into a true king. The two-year-old cat, Smeagol, was named for his likeness to the Lord of the Rings character after he was found emaciated and bloodied on a Belize highway. But rescuer Melissa, who did not wish to give her surname, nursed him back to full health and transformed him into a princely pet. Melissa, from Belize City, said: 'It was heart wrenching when I found him. 'I was driving, and I saw something on the edge of the highway. 'I realized it was a kitten sitting there, as a motorcycle sped right by him. But he didn't run away, so I figured something must wrong with it. 'Then I drove up right behind him, and got out the car and scooped him up in a little towel. He didn't run or fight, he had already given up. 'When I put him in the car, he started purring very loudly.'

    Beautiful Belize: Photo Journalist Susan Colby Joins an All-Girl Charter
    It took me 16 years to get back to Belize, a tiny country I fell in love with back then. The same feelings immediately overwhelmed me as I felt the warm Caribbean water wash over my toes on that first magical evening. The warm turquoise sea, the pale, fine sand and palm trees; friendly smiles, great beer and wonderful rum. I felt as if I had come home. Home this time was a 48-foot Moorings 4800 catamaran called Endless Options. With Betsy Crowfoot, my friend and co-worker of many years, her as skipper and me as her first mate, we welcomed seven women guests aboard for a fun week-long charter. With this all-girl crew, the boat was quickly renamed Endless Estrogen! Our guests’ experience ranged from minimal sailing experience to long-distance cruisers and racers and everything in-between. Several of the ladies knew each other but for others, it was a time to meet new friends. Our plan was to start each morning early, get in some sailing, find an anchorage or mooring around mid-day, then spend the rest of the day snorkeling, relaxing and visiting any bar, restaurant or resort within dinghy range. With just seven days on board, we wanted to make the most of our time, without pushing ourselves to cover a lot of area.

    Rule of Law Index ranks Costa Rica, Barbados and Antigua-Barbuda highest in region
    The latest World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index was published last week and includes 22 countries in the wider Caribbean in its expanded coverage of 113 countries and jurisdictions (from 102 in 2015), relying on more than 100,000 household and expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations by the general public worldwide. Performance is measured using 44 indicators across eight primary rule of law factors, each of which is scored and ranked globally and against regional and income peers: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice. The WJP Rule of Law Index is the most comprehensive index of its kind and the only one to rely solely on primary data. The Index’s scores are built from the assessments of local residents (1,000 respondents per country) and local legal experts, ensuring that the findings reflect the conditions experienced by the population, including marginalized sectors of society.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters with Mr. Smart, 68min.

  • Biking into Town, San Pedro, Belize, 5min. Biking adventure into the town of San Pedro, Belize. Cierra and Johnny riding into town.

  • Fun times at Crazy Canucks on Sunday Funday. San Pedro Belize, 30sec. Rob the owner singing Beastie boys Fight for your right. Crazy Canucks at San Pedro, Belize.

  • Donna & Ed's Birthday Party - Belize, 4min.

  • Road trip to Placencia, Belize, 3min.

  • Poetry from Chino in Placencia, Belize, 4.5min.

  • Sunday Afternoon in Corozal Town, Belize, 5min.

  • #1 Arriving in Belize, Part 1 - 2-23-16 Day 8, 8.5min. We arrive in Belize, shop for a bit and then take a tour of Belize City.

  • #2 Belize City, Belize, Part 2 - 2-23-16 Day 8, 10min. We take a walk into Belize City to see some of the town Including a Cathedral and then take a cab to the Baron Bliss Lighthouse and back to our ship.

  • Harpy Eagle Hunter., 1min. The harpy eagle's talons can be as big as a grizzly bear's claws.

    October 23, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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


    Ambergris Today

    raffic Accident Sends Minor to Clinic with Head Injury
    A motorcycle with two passengers slammed into a golf cart last night, Friday, October 21, 2016, on Angel Coral Street, resulting on the injury of a young boy. The accident took place in front of C’s Wireless, opposite Caye Supplies, with eye witness reports indicating that the man driving the golf cart pulled out onto the street without looking for oncoming traffic. A man on motorcycle, with his son as a passenger, could not avoid the collision that sent both of them onto the pavement. The six-year-old boy was transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic with head injuries, but in stable condition. This morning he was reported in good health, recovering from the shock of the accident. He will undergo further examinations to assess his complete health.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    OCEAN FERRY'S 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND!!
    SAVE THE DATE !!!COME CELEBRATE WITH US OCEAN FERRY'S 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!! LOTS OF GIVE AWAYS !!COURTESY OF DIGICELL WE'LL HAVE A PHONE GIVE AWAY!!!CHEAP RATES FOR THE WEEKEND!! BIG CASH PRIZE FOR THE WINNER OF THE DARTS TOURNAMENT. Nov. 5-6

    Caye Caulker Split to Split Ferry
    Split to Split Ferry Service to the North Island is available anytime during daylight hours. $10BZ each way or $15BZ round trip. Farthest distance North Island Beach or back Lagoon, old Driftwood. If you would just like to cross at split. $5BZ each way. Golf Cart $25BZ. Bicycles $2BZ.

    Iris Salguero crowned Miss Belize World
    San Pedro's very own Iris Salguero has won the coveted title and crown of Miss World Belize. Congratulations Iris!

    Happy birthday Blue Water Grill!!
    Feliz Quinceaños!!!

    Caye Rosario Public Consultation
    As you all know, one of the major reasons we are opposed to overwater structures at Blackadore (aside from habitat destruction) is that it sets a precedent to allow overwater structures in a marine reserve, which is an explicit violation of our laws. This endangers the integrity of all our marine reserves nationwide. We have just heard that John Turley and the Cayo Rosario Development Group are proposing 60 overwater cabanas in the SAME marine reserve that Blackadore is located in. Attached is an image of a flyer which was at the San Pedro library. They have a meeting on Thursday which they are calling a "public consultation" and claiming to be part of the EIA. This CANNOT be a public consultation for their project. There is no EIA available at the library or on the DOE website, which is required two weeks in advance of any public consultation. They are breaking the law, just like they plan to with overwater structures in a marine reserve.

    Health Fair Yesterday at the lions den!
    Pressure, blood sugar, kidneys and HIV tests were done.

    Cahal Pech Archaeology Day
    Cahal Pech was the place to be, for International Archaeology Day. The Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize was there, as was Institute for Social & Cultural Research. They had fun and games for everyone.

    Rotaract Haunted House
    The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio's annual haunted house will be Saturday, October 29th. The fun starts with a kid's costume contest at 6:00pm, and then the spooky haunted house at 7:00pm. It'll be taking place at Hode's.

    BELIZE'S LORD RHABURN: TO BE REVERED!
    Meeting Lord Rhaburn for the first time in my life in September of 2015 was worth more than a mountain of gold so to speak. It brought me close to a man that appeared to me from my growing up in Belize who was just a music man. But my conversation with him at the Los Angeles Belizean Community Belize Independence Day Celebrations at Hollywood Park & Casino in Inglewood, California while he passed by the BREDAA information booth was a moment of significance for yours truly. Lord Rhaburn is a Belizean social and political scholar in his own way. We connected right away and immediately. He taught me some many things about Belizean politics that only someone who has journeyed through the realms of time in a country like Belize could break things down so simply and profound. His depth of knowledge is awesome, and he takes you from the politics of the streets of Belize City to the politics of tyranny in Guatemala. The Lord understands diplomacy better than any Belizean politician alive today, and if they would only know, they would take some advice from this Belizean legend and statesman.

    Tourism Industry Conference 2016

    National Tourism Awards 2016
    An elegant night, celebrating the stars within Belize's Tourism Industry.

    Belize National Youth Apprentice Program
    U.S. Embassy, Political and Economic Officer Chief, Nathan Bland visited the students of the Belize National Youth Apprentice Program in Belize City. He made a brief presentation of the program that the Embassy has in place and his role at the work. The Belize National Youth Apprentice Program was created in 2010 and managed by Mrs. Dianne Finnegan to focus mainly on youth and single mother's age 16-29 years by providing them with hands on approach to career development and exploration. National Youth Apprenticeship Program has had on the reduction of crime in that country, through its focus on the on the development, education and employment of at-risk youth.

    San Pedro Motorcycle helmet laws
    Following a serious incident on Angel Coral Street Friday night, the San Pedro Traffic Department will now be strictly enforcing the Motorcycle helmet laws. Despite repeated requests by the Mayor on Reef TV about the wearing of helmets and the carrying of small children on Motorcycles, and the pressure from the traffic wardens, people still ignore the advice given. As always it takes an incident such as this to show people the reason for regulations and laws . The law will be enforced with no exceptions; all persons traveling on a motorcycle must wear a motorcycle helmet and no more than two (2) persons on the motorcycle. Motorcycle owners, this is for your safety and the safety of the passenger.

    The Reporter

    More hurricane victims receive help from NEMO
    Six families who lost their homes to Hurricane Earl in August have received new structures from the Minister of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and Area Representative for Belize Rural Central, Beverly Williams Castillo. The hurricane victims, who hail from the Ladyville and Lord’s Bank areas, received the houses on Thursday. These are out of a total of 185 homes that are to be constructed by the end of November or early December in the four districts most severely affected by Hurricane Earl. These are the Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk districts. So far, 124 of these homes have been completed with help from the staff of NEMO.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Marlon Castillo fined for friend’s death
    Yesterday, elite cyclist Marlon Castillo was fined for causing death of his life long friend Ariel Rosado. Castillo plead guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless conduct on Tuesday. When he appeared in court yesterday, he was ordered to pay a […]

    Run away girl raped, mother devastated
    A 13-year-old girl is expected to be released from police custody at 4:00 p.m. today. The minor was detained by police at around 8:00 p.m. lastnight after she did not return home from school on Thursday. She was found in the Faber’s Road area […]

    Belizean needs financial assistance for heart surgery
    Tyron Coleman, a bus driver for James Bus company, is in dire need of assistance to undergo an open heart surgery. His family is desperately in need of financial assistance to perform an open heart surgery at Health City Hospital in Grand Cayman. The facility […]

    Belize City man beaten and stabbed last night
    A man was badly beaten and stabbed in Belize City last night. According to police reports, the incident occurred on Central American Boulevard and the victim has been identified as Kenroy Daly. Daly is at this time listed in a critical condition at the KHMH. © […]

    Speaker of the house sues Auditor General and Attorney General
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyreffitte is filing a law suit against his own government. He had threatened to sue and now is following through by suing Attorney General Vanessa Retreage who is the legal […]

    Woman dies in motorcycle accident on the Philip Goldson Highway
    A woman was killed this morning at about 2:30 a.m. on the Philip Goldson Highway in Belize City in front of publics. According to reports, she apparently lost control of her motorcycle and crashed into a lamppost and died immediately due to head and […]

    Blogs

    Where is the culture capital of the Garinagu in Belize?
    Ask any child who has been through the Belize primary school system to name the different ethnic groups of Belize, and you’re likely to hear Maya, Mestizo, Mennonite, East Indians, Chinese, Creole, and the Garifuna. Throughout the eight years of primary school, students learn more and more about these ethnic groups, dressing up as them, learning their food, their music, dances, culture, language. It’s a beautiful lesson that reaffirms the cultural melting pot mentality permeating the country. I wonder then, how this question would be answered: Where is the Culture Capital of the Garinagu? With their population concentrated in the southern district of Stann Creek, the Garinagu are a colorful, vibrant part of Belize’s rich tapestry of cultures. We can definitively say that of Belize’s six districts, Stann Creek is the Garinagu District. But which is the capital? Is it Dangriga? Is it Hopkins? Is it Seine Bight?

    Oil Exploration Has Halted in Belize BUT THIS MUST BE LAW
    Last Thursday afternoon, the residents of Ambergris Caye turned out in droves and PACKED the morning meeting scheduled by the Government of Belize to address the questions of the public. Questions we had about the oil exploration – the exploration that started days before this meeting was even scheduled. But simply said, the public has held a referendum (and resoundingly voted NO) and the government agreed to a ban last year so WHY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR OIL? By 2pm, after the first meeting was halted and a second was called, equally full of Belizeans, concerned residents – Minister Heredia, our Minister of Tourism and citizen of San Pedro, announced that EXPLORATION WOULD STOP IMMEDIATELY! HURRAY! A WIN but… WE NEED TO MAKE THIS LAW. And I hope that all of us feel empowered by our victory last week to talk to our ministers about making this happen!

    International Sourcesizz

    Violence In Montego Bay: Lessons From The World
    To understand the case of Montego Bay, we may need the assistance of the story of Belize's violence nightmare. At the turn of the millennium, Belize had one of the lowest murder rates in the region (16 per 100,000) - but they had some frightening social problems, especially related to boys being out of school, especially after age 14, because of structural issues. Then two sets of storms hit - forced return of Belize-born gang members from Los Angeles (Crips and Bloods), and later the decision to shift the cocaine trade from the Caribbean Sea to the Central American corridor by the Mexican cartels. This was because of the effective war on drug trafficking by Operation Kingfish and others in the region (see Francis Maerten and Philip de Andres of UNDOC, 2009 article). Belize had very little chance when these storms hit. Successive governments in Belize have paid very little attention to the youth. Crips and Blood brought money and leadership. The young men desperately needed both. The result is that within a decade, Belize became a top-five murder-hit country in the world. Young men who could not afford to buy food could now buy food and guns to ensure more food from the cocaine trade that streamed through Belize.

    Resorts threatening fishing environments in Belize
    Dr. Aaron Adams, director of science and conservation for the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, said something is happening right now in Belize that could threaten the flats fishing, making some in the fly fishing community as nervous as a bonefish in skinny water, on a slack tide, with no wind. The 104-acre Blackadore Caye is between mainland Belize and Ambergis Caye, a popular travel and fishing destination. Now the developing company, Restorative Islands LLC, plans to build 20 or more two-story, over-the-water villas right on the flats surrounding the island. These structures will negatively impact the flats habitats, and thus the flats’ fishery. While the resort claims on their website that “if immediate action is not taken to save Blackadore, the valuable, yet declining habitat for tarpon, bonefish, and permit will continue to shrink at an alarming rate and eventually disappear,” Dr. Adams doesn’t agree. “I disagree with almost all the conservation science,” Adams said, referring to the studies conducted by Blackadore Caye resort and Restorative Islands LLC. “It doesn’t hold water.” Adams referred to the advertising from Blackadore Caye as “over the top greenwashing.”

    The living is Belize-y
    Belize offers jungle, mountains, beaches and English speakers — and you no longer have to join the SAS to get there. I am in the jungles of Belize, hiding behind a cluster of bamboo. My guide, Terry, has told me not to move: there are creepers that might ensnare me with spikes; trees, also with spikes, that will poison me; and tarantulas with a bite worse than spikes. A bush has growled at me, red ants have savaged my ankles, and when, finally, I hear a roar that brings to mind Jurassic Park, it’s time to look for Terry. I find him peering up through the leaves at five brown, cowlicked howler monkeys dangling louchely from delicate branches. This is what…

    Videos

  • Saltwater fish and reef (Belize reef with Tony 10-20-16), 12min.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize, 2min. Trip to Caye Caulker a small island off the coast of Belize.

  • Tourism Industry Conference 2016, 6min.

  • Tourism Industry Conference 2016, 18min.

    October 22, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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


    Ambergris Today

    Traffic Accident Causes National Blackout, Baby Delivered with Cell Phone Light
    Did you know that it was a traffic accident on the George Price Highway that caused the early morning power outage on Thursday, October 20, 2016? Belize Electricity Limited stated that their workers completed the replacement of two transmission structures that were severely damaged in a traffic accident early this morning, resulting in a countrywide power interruption. At 1:29 a.m. yesterday, BEL customers across the country experienced power interruptions lasting 11 minutes to 3 hours when a vehicle was accidentally driven off the George Price Highway near Mile 8, hitting a down guy (cable which holds the pole in place) and causing two transmission line poles to break. BEL immediately activated its restoration plan for impacts on the transmission system.

    San Pedro Stands Up for Entire Country of Belize, Stops Seismic Testing
    The environmental community thanked the people of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize for their strong show of support and rally against seismic testing that commenced this week in the offshore waters of the country. The island stakeholder’s outcry was significant enough for the Government of Belize to call for a suspension in seismic operations on Thursday, October 20, 2016. In their press release, the Government of Belize (GOB) stated that based on multiple concerns raised by concerned citizens regarding the seismic survey currently being conducted in the deep offshore of Belize, as well as the fact that extensive consultation with a wider group of stakeholders did not occur prior the commencement of the survey, the decision was made to suspend seismic operations until such consultations can be conducted.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Belize Tourism and Health Program Launch
    The goal of this program is to improve the health, safety, quality and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism industry thereby contributing to the industry and the region being more competitive and sustainable. This will be done through the implementation of an Intehrated Health, Safety and Environment management approach of combining training, monitoring and response, standards implementation and research to address the critical link between health and tourism. This program was approved by the CARPHA and CTO's Board and fits with its strategic direction of improving health and well-being of the Caribbean people and its visitors.

    BELTRAIDE HOLDS WORKSHOP ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND GENDER
    In an effort to strengthen gender equality and encourage entrepreneurship among Belizean women, BELTRAIDE through its Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), in collaboration with the Regional Centre for the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (CENPROMYPE), held a one-day workshop on Entrepreneurship and Gender on Friday, 21st October 2016 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The objective of this workshop was to train the personnel of national institutions who focus on the development of entrepreneurship in women, and to promote their participation in the national entrepreneurship ecosystem. In addition, this workshop aimed to equip participants with techniques and tools that can facilitate the sensitization of gender and entrepreneurship in technical areas of those respective institutions. Participants were drawn from the public and private sectors as well as non-governmental organizations who are at the technical level and are decision makers of the national institutions that provide assistance to woman in Belize.

    Breast Cancer Awareness Cancer Walk or Run 2016
    Saturday, October 29, 2016. San Pedro.

    Central Bank introduces Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System
    Belize's monetary authority, the Central Bank of Belize, along with the local community of bankers, is introducing a new Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System (APS3) that they promise will revolutionize the payment of money in Belize. Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Marilyn Gardiner-Usher, cites speed, safety and reliability as the key elements of the system. For the first time, Belize's major banks will be connected, ensuring that both cash and cheque payments will reach you more quickly than ever before - down from a week to the next business day. This is the first step in a series of reforms to the national payment system.

    There are 2 boats doing testing!
    One is anchored near BZE Port. The other is moving outside English channel now.

    Two 20 minute power interruptions 7:00am to 7:20am & 4:40pm to 5:00pm, Sunday, October 23: entire Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
    BEL to facilitate works conducted by CFE on their transmission line.

    Mr. Sebastian Cayetano at the Corozal House of Culture
    It was an honour to have Mr. Sebastian Cayetano at the House of Culture yesterday. He is a founding member and currently one of the Board of Directors of the National Garifuna Council, as well, curator of the Luba Garifuna Cultural Museum in Belize City. Assisting Mr. Cayetano was Mrs. Simeona Zuniga, curator of the Garina Garifuna Museum of Libertad Village. Mr. Cayetano was a special guest at the monthly Corozal Women's Forum, where he educated attendees on the rich history of the Garinagu. It was a wonderful experience for all!

    World Food Day celebration
    On Friday October 14th, the U.S. Embassy participated at the World Food Day fair hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development at the Belmopan Showgrounds. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Representative, Crispin Blanco, displayed and shared the working relationship between the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and USDA. He also shared information about USDA’s Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Medfly) program and its significant role in preventing a Medfly infestation of Belize’s agricultural products.

    2016 Temperatures in Belize
    Temperatures this year have been fairly similar to the typical or average temperatures for Belmopan. The daytime maximum, shown in Red, started higher than normal in January, dipped below normal through February, and then have been closed to the normal, dotted red, most of the year, but are still high in October. The thin line is the daily readings, the heavy line in the 31 day average, ±15 days. ( last 15 days can't average. )

    Motorcycle accident in San Pedro
    amily members have confirmed that minor is in a critical but stable condition at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic. A traffic accident on Angel Coral Street has resulted in the injury of a minor. Initial reports are that a golf cart crashed into a motorcycle. Investigations are still on going and no official report has been released.

    Cabinet to hear Oceana Belize's offshore drilling memorandum on Oct 25th.
    On Thursday October 20th, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia notified the nation that Cabinet, at its sitting on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016, will be discussing Oceana's draft offshore drilling moratorium legislation. Here is that three page document for your reference. For context, please note that Oceana prepared this draft legislation at the request of the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow following statements to the media in May 2015. This draft legislation was presented to the Prime Minister on June 1st. 2015. Make your voice heard on this national issue.

    Sonic Sea 2016
    Special Movie Night showing. In spirit of protecting Our Belize Barrier Reef, at The Truck Stop, Sunday 7pm. Followed by community discussion. Come out and support the San Pedro Community in it's stance to No Offshore Oil Exploration. Participate in the discussion after the one hour film.

    Appointment of New Director
    The Governor General, Sir Colville Young, signed a writ of appointment naming Mr. Kent D. Clare as Director, Financial Intelligence Unit, with effect from 11 October, 2016. The Financial Intelligence Unit would like to advise the general public that all future correspondences should be addressed to the attention of Mr. Kent D. Clare.

    The section from Las Terrazas to formerly Journey's End Resort getting major fill
    Due to the heavy rains that made this section almost impassable.

    Letter: BPP demands that all elected officials in Belize pay-up under POCA
    Beyond the growing exposé of corruption that is coming to light concerning the Barrow administration, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) wishes to remind the people of the systemic reality of just how corrupt Belize’s elected officials are, across party lines. On 19th September, the PUP, by admission of its leader, made a “symbolic” announcement of the intent of their elected representatives to declare their assets. We reminded them that such overtures are not in compliance with their legal obligation under Section 19 (1) a - c and (2) (1) a - c of the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA). Given that all elected persons are required by law, to declare their assets and for each year they don’t, they are liable to pay a penalty of $100 for every day they are late in declaring assets, in addition to a $3,000 and $5,000 fine for first and second offences, we call on all 111 elected persons to comply!

    The Belize Crime Observatory (BCO)
    he operational framework for the development of a Belize Crime Observatory (BCO) was created through the Inter-American Observatory Project, which began in October 2011 in the country of Belize. This project was funded through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program of Canada, and facilitated by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) of the Secretariat of Multidimensional Security of Organization of American States (OAS). The fundamental aim of the project is to strengthen:a) Information Management Systemsb) Strengthen Analysis of Crime and Violence Data c) Improve Public Security in the RegionIn May 2013, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of National Security, with the support of the National Security Council (NSC) agreed to have the Belize Crime Observatory included as part of the larger expanding National Intelligence Framework of the Ministry of National Security; specifically, the BCO would be integrated as a support agency which would provide added value to the Joint Operations & Intelligence Center (JIOC). The BCO will fall under the mandate of the National Security Council Secretariat, and would be staffed by technicians within the NSCS, and supported by the Belize Police Department Statistical Unit.In August 2014, a Technical Cooperation Agreement for the establishment of a Crime Observatory in Belize was approved by the Inter-American Development Bank, and as such, the Ministry of National Security was awarded US$100,000 to further develop the BCO.

    Belize Health and Tourism Launch
    Combining efforts for a healthier Belize.

    European Market Preparedness- Tourism Industry Conference 2016

    Channel 7

    Sayonara, Northern Explorer Hightails It Out Of Belizean Waters
    The MV Northern Explorer hightailed it out of Belizean waters this afternoon, after a muscular pushback from the citizens of San Pedro, and the conservation community. This is video taken by OCEANA at 3:30 this afternoon, and it shows the 250 foot ship travelling at something close to full throttle - seemingly in a hurry to get out of Belizean waters. OCEANA's crew followed it right up to the English Caye Channel - which is the point of departure for ships. It's a sharp turn in events - just yesterday the Northern Explorer was conducting seismic surveys, meaning that it was blasting pressurized air unto the sea floor near San Pedro. But in what has to be called an inspiring show of people power, San Pedranos came out in numbers yesterday to make their extreme displeasure known at a consultation hosted by the Ministry of Tourism. The Area Representative Manuel Junior Heredia got his marching orders from the community and told the Prime Minister that the islanders weren't going to stand for it. So, the government quickly had to wheel and come again, and within two hours announced that seismic operations had been suspended. Government says that it will suspend those operations until consultations can be conducted. With that, the MV Northern Explorer got a directive to cease seismic operations immediately.

    PUP Calls For Referendum On Offshore
    Well, opponents of those surveys say the facts are clear enough and they are celebrating tonight that people pressure pushed the seismic testing vessel out of Belizean waters. But while the MV Northern Explorer has left Belizean waters, there is still more work to be done for the environmental community. The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage has urged the government to hold a national referendum and allow the Belizean people to decide whether they want offshore oil exploration or not. The PUP today sent out a statement demanding the same thing, and Senator Valerie Woods explained the Opposition's position. Valerie Woods - PUP Senator: "I think it's very clear based on the release. Back in 2015 the government of Belize did issue a ban or a moratorium if you will on offshore drilling particularly as it relates to the barrier reef system, and in areas that was not specific to that system but was near that system. It was very clear in the government press release back in 2015 that there should be stringent environmental studies for obvious reasons."

    Ministry of Education Suggests Holding Back On Docking Pay (For A Month)
    Last night, we told you how the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, made a proposal to BNTU president Luke Palacio suggesting how teachers who were on that eleven-day strike could still get paid. The BNTU and the Ministry would work together to come up with fund out of the union's strike funds and government would chip in the rest. Palacio has responded saying that he needs time to get instruction from his union's council of management. And so government has thrown in a sweetener. Faber now proposes that teachers will get their full paycheck come next week Friday. Here's his plan: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "Just a while ago we decided to delay the withholding of the salaries from this month of October. We would put it off until next month to give the BNTU ample time to answer the proposal that we have put forward. This is also being done because we have a few of the managing authorities, particularly the largest one, I think the Roman Catholic management."

    So, Why Not The Strike Fund?
    So, as we told you, the premise of Faber's compromise is that the Union must use its strike fund to come up with the amount to pay all the salaries that would have been cut. If they can't meet the entire amount, that's where the Ministry steps in, and the Government will make up the shortfall. Here's how Faber explained that: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "There will be the deductions from the salaries, that has not changed, but yesterday I did write to the president of the BNTU proposing that we might be able to be of assistance to those teachers who were on strike, because we believe that we can assist if the BNTU believes that it can put forward the money that have been withheld as a monthly contribution for the teachers to go into a strike fund. that is our way to make sure that our teachers are comfortable. Especially since the children are at the forefront of whatever it is we are doing here and we believe that there is the need for makeup time to happen. now if it is that teachers aren't paid, especially from the government if the pay is withheld then that question about having teachers go back the classroom to assist overtime to help students to make up time, becomes difficult."

    Guatemalan Vessels In Sarstoon Waters Again!?
    There is new video tonight showing Guatemalan navy vessels allegedly making incursions into Belizean waters. The first video is from 11 days ago and it shows three Guatemalan vessels which, we are told, paraded around Sarstoon island. Information suggests they were celebrating a navy-man's promotion. Then one week ago on October 15th., another Navy crew came into the Belizean side of the Sarstoon - this one reportedly from a base that is more inland. They were reportedly interacting with an event in the river-side village on the Guatemalan side. They also reportedly made incursions into the Belize side of the river and then blocked a BDF vessel - which is captured in this video. When the BDF vessel moved to avoid the Guatemalans, it was the familiar dance, as the Guatemalans moved to block them again. After this the BDF vessel took another tack, and went to check that no Guatemalan vessel had approached the Sarstoon island.

    The Candle That Caused A House To Go Down
    Belize City resident Anna Card is homeless tonight after a fire gutted her home at mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway. She left her home at a little before 8 to run a quick errand, but she left a lighted candle in the house. For that single oversight, she paid the ultimate price because it is suspected, that the fire was caused by that candle. Daniel Ortiz visited her today, and he has her story of loss and lamentation: As you heard, Card says that BEL's accusation caused her not to have power in her home. She started using candles because she couldn't afford to pay the electricity which she says they're accusing her of stealing. Today, we contacted BEL for comment, and a PR representative said, quote, "Whilst, we are not aware of the specific case, typically, if a customer is unable to pay their bill at the due date, a payment arrangement is offered. In cases where customers are found stealing power, they will be disconnected. Once they accept liability, a payment plan is arranged for the power consumed and they are reconnected.

    Marlon Castillo To Pay Fine For Friend's Death Whose Family Says Let It Go
    Elite cyclist Marlon Castillo was fined today for causing the death of his lifelong friend Ariel Rosado. He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the lesser charge of causing death by careless conduct and today the court ordered him to pay a total of 13 thousand - a five thousand dollar fine, and eight thousand dollars to Rosado's Estate for his 11 year old daughter. The judge could have fined him up to ten thousand dollars. In an interesting turn, Ariel Rosado's family asked the court for leniency for Castillo. In her mitigation plea, Dorla Rosado made it clear to Judge Lucas that the family of Ariel Rosado was seeking no compensation. They sympathized with him and just wanted to put the traffic death of their son behind them and to remember him for the friendship Castillo and Rosado shared when he was alive.

    Hon. Marin Not Moved By Tsunami of Scandals
    The Barrow Administration has been trying to keep its head above the tsunami of scandals and shady deals, but a couple party members have gone under. Most prominent among them is Gaspar Vega; he was forced to resign from Cabinet after his son's mega land deal was revealed. Well, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has already expressed sadness and regret following Vega's departure and today we met fellow Norteno, Minister of Health Pablo Marin and he too shared some kind words about his colleague. Marin also told us that although the party is going through a really damning time right now, all the good the UDP has done will somehow outshine the bad. Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health: "It is hard for all of us, Gaspar Vega has been a person who has worked hard for the party, he has helped a lot of standard Bearers in their time of campaign and he has been out there with the public, he is a nice person I can say that but I think his decision is more personal than anything once you encounter that, the public will condemn you , they don't see all the good you have done, they don't see all the good you have done , maybe it was a mistake that happened with his son and it is hard for us also, he is my good good friend. We will miss him."

    Faber Comments On Demise of Former Adversary Vega
    So, while that's Pablo Marin's position on Vega's fall from grace, what's the perspective of the Deputy Prime Minister on the land scandal? While we had the opportunity, we challenged him on the Prime Minister's handling of the case, and here's what he had to say: Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "The teachers made a moral stance. if I'm to understand them and to be fair, to stand up for good governance and it could be perceived that 'oh the big bad government is punishing them for daring to strike at the gods', when you have a situation with Gaspar Vega whose tumultuous exit is questionable at least." Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "Well in your question you assume that there is some kind of letting off the hook for Honorable Vega and I can't agree with that premise. you've heard the prime minister and in fact the minister of lands, Honorable Vanessa Retreage, say that in fact there is an audit of the activities that happened in the ministry of natural resources and that in fact they will continue to pursue that and also the recovery of the monies having to do with the case relating to Mr. Vega and his son."

    Marin Not Worried About Senate Probe
    Going back now to Pablo Marin, could he like Vega and Saldivar, be next to be disciplined by Daddy Dean? His name does appear in the Audit of the Nationality section of the Immigration Department about 20 times. We asked him if he fears what will come out of the Special Select Committee investigation regarding his actions. Marin told us that he doesn't fear the outcome and that all he did was help his constituents. Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health "I have confidence enough that I have already seek a lawyer to fight my case. Because what I did is sign letters and if I can give you those letters, those letters state you know what can you please help this person and it's not only one particular person. I have a list of maybe 5-6 persons at that moment."

    CBB Governor Grant Defends Reserves
    And while Marin defends himself, today, so too did the Central Bank. We caught its new governor Joy Grant at a Bank event where we asked her about the state of the official reserves. This is after last week Friday, the PUP declared that Belize's foreign reserves were quote, "dangerously low" after government was forced to pay US$67.5 million to the Ashcroft Alliance. But how low is it? Governor Grant set the record straight. Reporter: "Ma'am, since we have you here, can you address for us Belize's foreign exchange situation? We were told that the government did procure those US dollars to pay the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited." Joy Grant, Governor of Central Bank: "Yes, we did the payment earlier than the court ask us to do. So that's done. We all know that with Hurricane Earl and with the productive sector, banana, citrus, shrimp - all having a down turn that we are very much engaged in reviewing our foreign currency situation, foreign exchange situation on a regular basis, even maybe more than before. And also looking to projections so that Central Bank will be able to ensure that the payments are there in the future."

    New System To Clear Checks, Make Payments And Transfer Funds
    We spoke to Grant and her deputy Governor at the launch of the Central Bank's newest project. APS3, or the Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System. It's a new electronic system that will make banking in Belize more efficient. APS3 will cut the time it takes to clear checks, make payments and transfer funds in half by connecting banks to the system. He's how the bank officials put it. Joy Grant, Governor of Central Bank "First, its right for me to recognize the previous governor and the work that he has done. But to say that I firmly believe that for any country to develop has to embrace technology and this is a way for the financial system in Belize to embrace technology so that we become more efficient and hopefully that the cost to the consumer overtime will decrease for transactions that they do now without thinking, but that are important for the running of this economy."

    Former Taxman Takes Over FIU
    And since Joy Grant has moved from the FIU to the big office upstairs at the Central Bank, who will be the new director of the FIU? Well, former Commissioner of Income Tax, Kent Clare is the man. The Governor General, Sir Colville Young, signed his letter of appointment 10 days ago, and Clare is now in the Director's seat.

    Nothing To Doug Singh Stories
    So is Clare's appointment the reason all these rumours are popping up about the FIU searching Doug Singh's office and home? We have no idea, but we can confirm that they are only that: rumors. We spoke to Singh today he confirmed that no one has searched his home or business - where operations continue as normal. He says that however persistent, the rumours are baseless and he won't dignify them with a response. He is currently travelling in the far east.

    Where Tourism Makes A Difference In Health
    When tourists arrive on our shores, it's all about maximizing the opportunity to generate revenue, and of course making sure they have a great time so they keep coming back for every vacation . Well the Ministry of Health and the tourism industry say, it should also be about the health and safety of the tourists during their stay, which in turn will impact the health of Belizeans. And the Tourism and Health Program will focus on this aspect of tourist arrivals. It was launched today at the Radisson and we found out more about how this surveillance program will work. Dr. Lisa Indar, Head - Tourism and Health Program - CARPHA: "Health and safety does impact on tourism. Tourism and vice versa impact on health, safety and security. Our visitors, we want our visitors to come in, but they can bring diseases with them. First cases ZIKA, Chikungunya, H1N1 all came in through a visitor. So we want to ensure that if that happens that we have systems in place to identify very quickly so that we can have appropriate response. So you avoid spread, you avoid negative publicity, you avoid it going into your population and overall you are reducing the impact on your country."

    Cops Give Props To Michael Young
    Michael Young has passed, but his legacy both in the legal profession and in the social sector endures. Truth is, Michael Young, the social activist was involved in so many different efforts to mitigate violence that even the players in that sector probably didn't know all that he did. From the Crimes Commission to Restore Belize, to the Police Department, he covered all bases - you could say that finding a cure for social ills was his passion. Today the commanders of northside and rural honoured him for supporting and serving on the executive of the People's Coalition Committee. The Charm week runs from November 20th to 27th.

    Cops Say Young Death Still A Sudden Death
    Police still cannot confirm that Young committed suicide. Today they released his port mortem which simply confirmed what we all know; that he died from a gunshot to the head. But, still, it is being treated as a sudden death. ACP Dezeree Castillo told us why:.. ACP Dezeree Phillips, OC, Eastern Division North: "There has to be a report receive from the ballistic expert as well as that from the forensics in order to conclusively conclude to the determination as to the cause of death." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "So it's still a sudden death?" ACP Dezeree Phillips, OC, Eastern Division North: "Yes." Castillo says that the final report on the cause of Young's death will be a collaboration between the pathologist, the forensic department, and ballistics testing.

    Heart Patient Needs Help
    Well known James bus line driver, 44 year old Tyron Coleman lies at the KHMH emergency room waiting for a miracle to get him to the Cayman Island for a delicate open heart surgery that could save his life. Today, family members visited our studio to tell us why they are desperate for help: According to studies carried out by Cardiologist Doctor John Gough Coleman has been diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Tyron Coleman is the father of a 7 year old daughter. Any one that would like to help the Coleman family can do so by contacting them at 633 -4772 or at 633- 3436 or you can make deposits to Scotia Bank account 1902322; Belize Bank account, 5514 PG Branch and Atlantic Bank account 211-49-7904.

    Channel 5

    Central Bank Begins Revolution in Bank with APS3
    Faster collection of your pay? Quicker cheque-cashing and depositing? Shorter stay at the bank, or not having to go at all? If you think it’s all a dream, then wake [...]

    Belize Still Battling with De-Risking; Does International Community Understand?
    Belize continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with its Central American and Caribbean neighbours on tackling the issue of de-risking that is affecting the economies. There has, however, been little [...]

    The End of the Cheque?
    While early versions have existed since antiquity, the first modern cheque was introduced in 1659. And while it continues to be an important source of handling money, it is rapidly [...]

    Regional Program to Monitor Tourists with Health Concerns
    Belize, through Ministry of Health and local tourism agencies, officially launched the Caribbean Public Health Agency’s tourism health and safety program to ensure the health and safety of visitors. It [...]

    Friends of Michael Young in Police Department Mourn Ahead of Monday Funeral
    Senior Counsel Michael Young will be laid to rest on Monday, following a funeral service at Wesley Methodist Church.  While many are still grieving the sudden death of the respected [...]

    A Celebration for Survivors of Cancer
    Today, the Belize Cancer Society hosted cancer survivors at a luncheon to celebrate their milestone being cancer free. The participants, from various backgrounds, shared their personal stories and the significance [...]

    Family of Bus Driver Pleas for Funds to Get Him Life-Saving Heart Surgery
    Tonight, a family from Punta Gorda is asking the public for assistance to save the life of popular James Bus Line driver, Tyron Coleman. According to Lovinia Coleman, and her [...]

    Teachers’ Salaries Will Stay Intact for October
    This week, Minister Gaspar Vega resigned from cabinet after evidence surfaced that his son was superbly compensated for land sold to him which was held privately. Prime Minister Barrow had [...]

    Minister of Education Discusses “Tight” Situation
    With all the talk of a salary deduction, there are serious concerns about the legality of such a decision.  In fact, the question of whether or not government has the [...]

    Having a Baby in the Dark; Ministry of Health Explains Generator Failure
    With all these national issues on the front burner, there is another of interest. A baby was delivered at the Western Regional Hospital in darkness on Wednesday night. While the [...]

    Another Law Firm Tapped to Represent House Speaker Against Attorney General
    House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte filed suit against both the Attorney General Vanessa Retreage and the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley on Thursday. The suit arises from a three volume special audit [...]

    Central Bank Claims Foreign Reserves “Healthy”
    Last week the Opposition People’s United Party declared Belize’s foreign reserves to be in “crisis” mode following the payment of sixty-seven point three million U.S. dollars as the first of [...]

    Western Union in Chetumal? Central Bank Says It’s Not Necessary
    Western Union and MoneyGram enjoy much usage in Belize as a means of sending and receiving money quickly and reliably and even cheaper. Of late there have been persistent reports [...]

    Kent Clare Named New Director of Financial Intelligence Unit
    Before taking up her position as Governor of the Central Bank, former Senator and Ambassador Joy Grant was Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. Today, the Governor General confirmed the [...]

    Marlon Castillo Fined and Ordered to Compensate Ariel Rosado Family
    Marlon Castillo is the twenty-nine year old former cyclist who admitted earlier this week to causing the death of his long-time cycling buddy Ariel Rosado. It happened during a traffic [...]

    Gaspar Vega’s Resignation Does Not Exempt Him from Investigation, Says Faber
    Once the second most powerful man in the country for two consecutive terms, the fall from grace for Orange Walk North Area Representative Gaspar Vega has been steep and sudden.  [...]

    Pablo Marin Says ex-Minister Can Still Help Party in the North
    And what about Vega? Well, Minister of Health Pablo Marin was rather tightlipped on what he thought of his fellow minister’s departure from Cabinet. But he did say that he [...]

    Deputy P.M. Backs Boss Barrow on John Saldivar; No Tempers Flared in Cabinet
    On Tuesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that Minister of Defense John Saldivar had been placed on one week’s leave of absence pending legal advice on a matter involving Saldivar’s [...]

    Health Minister Addresses John Saldivar’s Problems
    So is John Saldivar in or out? Well, we don’t know that quite yet. Until next week we’ll find out what happens to the long time Belmopan Minister. But how [...]

    The Travails of the Caye Caulker Police Barracks: Condemned But Still Standing
    As you know, PM Barrow has taken up the mantle as the new Minister of Police.  Tonight there are pressing issues within the Belize Police Department to be addressed.  Officers [...]

    G.S.U. At It Again; City Man Charges He Was Beaten Up and Shot with Rubber Bullets
    We’ve often reported on allegations of police brutality and how officers attached to the Gang Suppression Unit are accused of using excessive force—breaking into homes and beating up on residents. [...]

    Fire Destroys Another Family Home in Belize City
    There were fires reported overnight in Belize City and Valley of Peace, Cayo District. The first took place on the George Price Highway after eleven in the evening and destroyed [...]

    Who set Valley of Peace House on Fire?
    The second incident took place in the early hours of Friday morning and there is very little information as to what caused a house to be set afire in Valley [...]

    LOVE FM

    Teachers’ Wages Intact for October; November May Be Iffy
    As we head into the weekend, we can tell you that the proposal still stands that was sent by the Ministry of Education to have the BNTU’s Strike Fund finance some of the teachers’ salaries. Some compromise has been lent to the situation, however as the Education Minister, Patrick Faber has decided to give the […]

    Allegations Surface within Belize Workers Union over Bank Accounts
    Yesterday we reported of the alleged mismanagement of monies within the Belize Workers Union. Tonight we present you with cheques written out to the Chairman and executive members of the union. Financial statements were obtained by Love News that show between April 13 2016 and October 4 2016, 34 cheques were issued out to Ramiro […]

    Deputy PM Says Give the Process a Chance Before Crucifying His Predecessor
    A few months ago Patrick Faber took over the seat of the First Deputy Party Leader for the United Democratic Party and the post of Deputy Prime Minister which were both previously held by Gaspar Vega. In November 2015, Vega was stripped of the Lands portfolio and that was given to Senator Godwin Hulse. It […]

    Faber Speaks on Mason, John and the Bandits
    And while Vega is no longer a member of Cabinet, Minister John Saldivar remains on one week leave at the directive of the Prime Minister. A brief release was sent out from the Government’s Press Office indicating the Government’s intention to investigate the matter between William Mason and Minister Saldivar surrounding the Belmopan Bandits. According […]

    Two Fires Destroy Homes in Belize City and Out West
    There was a house fire last night just off the George Price Highway that destroyed the home of a couple. Oren Smith, the Station Officer at the National Fire Service gave the media a report on the incident. Fire officials were also called out to the scene of a fire in the Valley of Peace […]

    Duo Sustained Injuries Following Altercation
    Police in San Ignacio are investigating a chopping incident that occurred at around six o’clock last night on Bishop Martin Street in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. Reports indicate that upon making checks at the San Ignacio Community Hospital, investigators found two men being treated for injuries. Further investigations indicate that the men, 46-year-old, Felipe […]

    3 Adults + 2 Minors Arrested for Robbery
    Three men and two minors of Belize City were arrested in western Belize last night after they allegedly held up an 18-year-old student of Santa Elena Town as she walked home on Salazar Street. The student told police that it was around nine o’clock last night when two men approached her and forcibly took away […]

    Joint Police Efforts Lead to Arrest for Drug Trafficking
    Team work involving the Belmopan Police officers, members of the K9 Unit and the Mobile Interdiction Team has led to the arrest of five individuals following the discovery of fifty four grams of marijuana. A special anti-drug operation was held yesterday morning just before six o’clock and as a part of the operations a residence […]

    Amandala

    BNTU “seeking legal advice” on GOB refusal to pay strike salaries
    Government has told the thousands of teachers across the country who participated in the BNTU’s industrial action that they will not receive salaries for the days they engaged in a strike in an effort to get the government to adopt good governance measures and address their labor-related concerns. This new development was clearly stated in a memorandum issued on Tuesday from the Ministry of Education to all general managers of government and government-aided primary schools; boards of management and principals of government and government-aided secondary schools; and boards of management and deans of government and government-aided junior colleges. “The Government of Belize/ Ministry of Education will be withholding its contribution toward the salaries for individual teachers for the days when those teachers were on strike. This will apply to all government and grant-aided schools. “In the case of secondary schools, where the managing authority of a school took the decision to call off school in anticipation of the strike action notwithstanding their mandate to keep schools open, the Government’s contribution to salaries, plus any grant amount above that for services will be withheld for the number of days that the school was closed,” the memo said.

    Michael Young, SC, dead at 61
    This afternoon, shortly after the lunch hour, word began to spread about “a prominent attorney” who was found dead at his home. Within minutes, social media was buzzing with a name. By the time reporters scrambled to Bella Vista in Belize City, where Michael Young, senior counsel and advisor to the governing United Democratic Party, resided, they came upon a street marked off with yellow police markers, and two senior police officers manning its entrance, as scenes of crime personnel, ballistics experts and the police pathologist, were all streaming toward Young’s residence within minutes of each other. One of Young’s neighbors who lives almost in front of where police had set up their marker, blocking traffic, remarked how mannerly her attorney neighbor had always been to her when they passed each other on the short stretch of street. “He was such a gentleman,” his neighbor remarked. An attorney from Young’s Law firm pulled up and police allowed him to walk toward the residence. After a few minutes, he turned back. With television cameras trained on him, he spoke not a word, but the somber look on his face said it all, as he got into his late-model SUV and drove off.

    Defence Minister Saldivar “put on 1-week leave”
    It made headlines on Monday when Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that former Deputy Prime Minister, former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and now Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, had resigned from Cabinet with immediate effect. It was under Vega’s watch, when he had been the Minister of Natural Resources, that his son, Andre Vega, and UDP crony, attorney Sharon Pitts, walked away with $400,000 each, paid by Government as “compensation” for lands that was already privately owned. Today, the Prime Minister dropped another bombshell — Defence Minister Hon. John Saldivar has been put on one week’s leave of absence. His enforced leave comes as a result of his cozy relationship with a man known as William “Danny” Mason, 46, who is now in prison awaiting trial for the murder of a well-liked preacher, Pastor Llwellyn Lucas, more popularly known as “Pastor Lue.” Police say that they found Pastor Lue’s head hidden in Mason’s pickup.

    Another Cabinet reshuffle!
    Two days after the former Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar “Gapi” Vega, the Orange Walk North area representative, resigned from his Cabinet post as Minister of Agriculture, Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow has reconfigured his Cabinet. This Cabinet reshuffle comes one day after teachers returned to the classroom after an 11-day strike, the centerpiece of which was good governance issues, and while the nation’s attention was still riveted on the most recent scandal to come out of the Lands Department. The announcement of the Cabinet changes was made today via a press release, from the Office of the Prime Minister. One of the eight pre-strike demands that the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) had made was the removal of Senator and Minister, Hon. Godwin Hulse, who was appointed to head the Police Ministry about six weeks ago when PM Barrow shuffled his Cabinet.

    Belizeans run oil explorer
    Uproar over the Government’s decision to allow a Panama-flagged 250-foot vessel to explore Belize’s waters for possible petroleum deposits and threats by a group of angry, vocal Belizeans to form a barricade around the vessel forced the Government of Belize to halt operations this afternoon, with a promise to “suspend” those seismic surveys for consultation, despite resounding calls that Belize should not even entertain thoughts of offshore drilling, perceived to be a threat to the country’s tourism and fisheries industries. Tourism stakeholders argue that tourism is the only thing holding this country together, amid the recession. On Wednesday, tourism stakeholders called out the Government for proceeding with the seismic surveys without consulting them, and they furthermore urged the Government to stop the vessel, which was due to remain here for the next 3 to 4 weeks.

    Salvadoran gang leader captured for a third time in Belize
    A gang leader of El Salvador, identified as Juan Pablo Lopez, 25, is presently in Belmopan police custody on charges of illegal entry. He is waiting to be arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. Police said that this is the third time that the gang leader has been found in Belmopan. He was arrested on two separate occasions and charged for illegal entry. He was deported back to his country, but somehow, he reentered Belize and returned to Belmopan. Police said that yesterday they were on patrol in Belmopan when, on arriving at the market, they saw the expelled gang leader. He was immediately arrested and Immigration officials were called in.

    Belize veterans win Gold at Central American Masters Championships
    On Wednesday, October 12, four Master athletes left Belize to compete in the Central American Masters Championships in Track & Field Athletics in El Salvador. They returned on Sunday morning, October 16, with 7 Gold medals, 4 Silver medals, and 4 Bronze medals. The following is a breakdown of the medals garnered (in their respective events and age-range categories): Fred Evans M-70 (male athletes 70 to 74 years): Javelin – Gold; Shot Put – Gold; Discus – Silver; and Long Jump – Bronze. Daland Jones M-60 (male athletes 60 to 64 years): Shot Put – Gold; Discus – Gold; and Javelin – Silver. Lawrence Craig M-55 (male athletes 55 to 59 years): High Jump – Gold; Triple Jump – Gold; and Long Jump – Bronze. Philip Andrewin M-65 (male athletes 65 to 69 years): 100 Meters – Gold; Shot Put – Silver; High Jump – Silver; Long Jump – Bronze; and 200 Meters – Bronze.

    Recent line-ups of Belize National “A” Team
    Right in the middle of a hotly contested Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017 competition, the Belize National “A” Team has been unusually busy in this month of October, 2016. Belize is already out of contention for a place in the 2018 World Cup Russia, but our neighbor, Honduras is still in the race, and they visited Belize for an International Friendly on Saturday, October 8, in anticipation of the start of their CONCACAF Hexagonal in November. For the Belize team, foreign based players Woodrow West (goalkeeper), Michael Salazar and Nana Mensah were in town for this one that saw West stopping a penalty, and Elroy Kuylen scoring a header off a free kick by Elroy Smith. Honduras emerged 2-1 winners, the go-ahead goal coming late in second half. Still a good outing for the Belize National “A” Team. The Belize line-up for that October 8 encounter at the FFB Stadium included: #27 Woodrow West (G, 31yr), #13 Dalton Eiley (D, 32yr), #3 Trevor Lennen (D, 33yr), captain #8 Elroy Smith (D, 34yr), #7 Ian Gaynair (D, 30yr), #18 Denmark Casey (M, 22yr), #21 Nana Mensah (M, 27yr), #20 Daniel Jimenez (F, 28yr), #5 Elroy Kuylen (F, 33yr), #9 Deon McCaulay (F, 29yr), and #11 Michael Salazar (M, 23yr).

    Strike at the MCC; will something good come of it?
    We alerted fans a couple weeks ago about problems developing between the players and the management of the FC Belize football team; and it was manifested last night at the MCC, where the FC Belize team refused to take the field for their home game against Belmopan Bandits FC, who were awarded the 3-0 default victory. The win puts the Bandits alone at the top of the PLB standings with 23 points, while FC Belize stood down and endured their first loss by default, in an attempt to let authorities, PLB and FFB, know that they are serious about not continuing to play under the present conditions of management. It is not the first time that a football team has “gone on strike,” that is, refused to take the field for a game at the MCC; but this time was a bit different. Stann Creek Selection 1979: Back in 1979, when the Stann Creek Selection was slated to take on the Corozal Selection at the MCC Grounds in the finals of the Inter-District Competition, there had reportedly been an assurance given to the Stann Creek team that they would be receiving a portion of the gate receipts at the game that Sunday afternoon.

    Dion Flowers of Sports in Education Club speaks out for children
    I would just like to take this time to express a problem that I notice might be the cause of the corruption and violence in our country. I work with children of all ages in my youth program (Flowers Sports in Education Club), and through this program, I get to know these children on a one-and-one level; and one of their major complaints, is going to the local grocery store to purchase cigarettes and “fonto” for parents and other family members. It is disturbing to me because some of these children get punished when they refuse to go and purchase these items. Isn’t it a crime to sell minors these items? If yes, why is it not being enforced? I believe that this practice is one of the many reasons for our younger generation to go down the wrong road. So, I plea to all – please help us put a stop to this problem!

    Editorial: PSU, APSSM – missing in action!
    The moment the Belize Ministry of Education announced late Tuesday evening this week that the teachers of Belize, who had just ended eleven days of industrial action demanding good governance, would not be paid for their days on strike, the leaderships of the Public Service Union (PSU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) should have swung into action. After all, the memberships of these two unions, which had been conspicuous by their absence of street support for the Belize National Teachers Unions (BNTU) during the teachers’ strike, had benefited financially from the brave stand taken by the teachers. The water, electricity, and telecommunications unions, under the umbrella of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), had not benefited financially, because they are not government workers as such, but they too should have moved to back the teachers, as a matter of principle. The corrupt Government of Belize, which has now been caught brazenly embezzling public funds at the highest levels of their Cabinet leadership, absolutely needed to be put on notice that the working people of Belize, the taxpayers of Belize, do not have rings in their noses.

    From the Publisher
    I have some ideas about what has been going on in the socio-politics of Belize, but it will take me quite some time to fully understand the recent initiatives of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). These initiatives of the teachers will be seen by historians, I believe, as monumental in the chronicles of the independent Belize. Dr. Theodore Aranda, whose doctoral dissertation was in the field of education, appeared on Plus TV recently, and I understand that he has called for a constitutional convention. I did not hear him myself, and I have no details. Those of you who have been regular readers of this column know that I have been a fascinated student of the Mexican Revolution which began in 1910 and is considered by some scholars as having lasted until 1940. The teachers of Mexico played a major role in a revolutionary constitutional convention which was held around 1917 or so. This was a truly historic convention in the annals of Mexico. There are some scholars who refer to the period between 1944 and 1954 as a period of democratic revolution in Guatemala. Most Belizeans know very little about the Guatemalan presidencies of Juan Jose Arevalo and Jacobo Arbenz which took place during the period after the overthrow of the military dictator Jorge Ubico, who had ruled Guatemala with an iron hand from 1931 to 1944. I do know that Guatemalan teachers played an important role in that Guatemalan revolution of 1944–54, if we can describe it as such. President Arevalo, in fact, was a teacher.

    Thanks for your candor, Gaspar!
    Dear Editor, I’m referring here to the resignation of Gaspar Vega, former Deputy Prime Minister of the UDP and the protagonist in the latest scandal to ooze out of the GOB. I actually had to read the report in the Amandala twice, not believing at first the monumental arrogance, ignorance and indeed, criminality—not to mention the implicit contempt for the people of Belize—at the heart of this most recent example of malfeasance by another “Honorable.” It boggles the mind! There are at least three or four people here who should be on their way to Hattieville, but you know that won’t happen. Vega has been quoted as saying, “I am not a normal person in Belize.” Yeah, that’s for sure Gaspar, nothing normal about you — thanks for your candor ! As a recent editorial in this newspaper pointed out, when governments start to believe their own bull…t and stop listening to the people —their employers— various scenarios become possible when dealing with those who are desperate to cling to power.

    Chan Pine Ridge to celebrate their “Cabo de Año” under Minister Aragon
    Dear Editor, In November of each year many Christians celebrate the day of the dead and the most revered finados, as known to Catholics. In Chan Pine Ridge Village, which forms a part of the Orange Walk East constituency, residents are starting to prepare for their very own cabo de año to commemorate one year of neglect and desertion in the very hands of an individual who promised during his political campaign for general elections to “transform OW East”. Belizeans can vividly recall that this November 4th will mark the first anniversary that Minister Elodio Aragon Jr. was elected by the people of Orange Walk East, including supporters of Chan Pine Ridge Village. It has also been one long, hopeless year that the Orange Walk East constituency and more specifically, Chan Pine Ridge Village has NOT seen or heard from Minister Aragon.

    Am I a reflection of the masses?
    Dear Editor, I was given an assignment in my Public Administration class at the University of Belize to speak on a public issue affecting the country of Belize. However, I quickly realized that I was not informed enough or equipped enough with the knowledge to speak with conviction on any current issue. This leads to the question, “Am I a reflection of the masses?” Is our culture so confined to us taking care of our homes and excelling at our jobs that we are so consumed with trying to perform these tasks that we do not stop to reflect on national issues? In our defense, I will say that we do huddle in groups at work or pass comments to our family as we watch the nightly news at home. But I am also of the view that when these dialogues end, we do not enquire any further nor seek to learn more about the problem. Instead we opt to arm ourselves with tools to cope with our own reality.

    With Or Without You: Belize’s BNTU!
    When the words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King comes back to haunt many of us human beings across this globe that, “silence is betrayal”, we begin to find our bearings that we must take on the challenge to resist wrong, no matter where it is, to stand on the side of the poor, the oppressed, and dispossessed in any society including Belize. And as Dr. King would say, “injustice anywhere, is injustice everywhere.” The present struggle of resistance by Belize’s National Teachers Union, (B.N.T.U), against the Barrow administration and the stream of corruption that has engulfed the Belizean nation state over the three terms of its government has now begun to weaken the bonds of what once appeared to be a strong mandate. It has begun to become a show of declining confidence exemplified by the backbone of the Belizean electorate, a strong union that is an amalgamation of teachers, civil society, and the underserved people of Belizean society. It is in this spirit of resistance that the Belize diaspora organization, BREDAA, joins the voices of dissent against what is clear to see from any angle you look at it: something seriously wrong with Belizean society in terms of “good governance” and service to its full mass of 300,000 citizens (rather than the greedy quest of a few).

    WHEN MONEY FOLLOWS EXCELLENCE
    When I look through my window, this is the institution I see: Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH)—the #1 ranked children’s hospital in the United States. It is hard to exaggerate what this institution does, and the depths of dedication it has shown to children—not just children of the USA—but also to the children the world over, including Belize. Their motto is: “Until EVERY Child Is Well”. I’ve sat for years in their cardiovascular grand rounds. I have observed a level of commitment to excellence and care that brings me close to tears. I’ve seen it nowhere else! I’ve seen these leading world experts—spend countless hours discussing what’s best for children in their care—often the sickest of them all. Money is not what drives them. Even the 50-yr+ olds (former patients) continue receiving care at BCH! They’ve earned and maintained their No. 1 Rankings for all the the right reasons. Now huge money … 1 Billion U.S. dollars … bigger than the national budget of many small countries, is being invested to expand their services. Some, for various reasons (see attachment), are opposing.

    In Reverence of Belize Musicians Past & Present!
    The classic, long overdue history of Belizean musicians past and present finally came through Tony Wright’s touching rendition in narratives of Belize’s most celebrated musical artists and musicians of all times in the book, Belize Musicians Past and Present. It was only recently that yours truly luckily got a copy, earlier than was expected, through the kind efforts of my cousin, Elena Babb, who purchased it and sent it through my sister who had just returned back to Los Angeles from Belize for the September celebrations. I started browsing through it almost immediately, and the colorful photos of some of my favorite Belizean artists, bands, and musicians made me smile and brought me back to the days of my teenage musical explorations in Belize when I would receive a top vinyl album through the Belize post office of one of my favorite musical artists or bands from the States. Tony’s acclaimed book of Belize’s musical best touched my heart as the copy touched my hands. Fresh off the press in Belize, the work pulled me deeply in a moment of solitude as I kept reading every story page by page. In reflecting on its content, I can say that Wright has produced a masterpiece of Belizean musical anthology that will be the best Belize will ever see from a homegrown Belizean social revolutionary in a long time.

    Belize’s prohibition of industrial hemp is unlawful, outrageous and indefensible
    Legal opinions, from top government legal minds in Belize, have been given, and they agree — the cultivation of cannabis for industrial use (fiber and seed) is legal in Belize. Still our top-elected officials and politically appointed bureaucrats continue to ignore the fact that the cultivation of industrial hemp in Belize is legal and could create thousands upon thousands of excellent paying jobs. One of the government’s top attorneys is quoted as saying, “The Misuse of Drugs Act has the definition of cannabis as ‘including any part of the plant of the genus cannabis, any resin obtained from that plant and any product of which such resin forms a base.’ It is submitted that that definition needs to be read in the context of the Single Convention which states at Article 28 that ‘This Convention shall not apply to the cultivation of the cannabis plant exclusively for industrial purposes (fiber and seed) or horticultural purposes.’”

    PM Barrow signs commencement order for 13th Senator
    The administration of Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow has finally signed a commencement order to give effect to the provisions relating to the appointment of a 13th senator. The appointment of the 13th senator was promised in the campaign manifesto of the United Democratic Party (UDP) leading up to the 2012 general and municipal elections. However, one year after being elected into office, PM Barrow and the UDP had abandoned that promise. In November 2013, when Amandala asked if he would still appoint the 13th Senator, PM Barrow told our newspaper that he wouldn’t, as the Senate would then be controlled by the Opposition and non-government senators. “They would have the power to paralyze the Government. I am very sorry. I was the one who, in fact, put that in a UDP manifesto; this Government pushed it forward in terms of constitutional reform, but I came to realize that it’s a wonderful ideal, but in practice, it will make no sense,” he said.

    The Reporter

    Ministry of Education vs BNTU, Round 2
    The Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Uunion are at odds again, this week, after the ministry decided to withhold salaries for teachers who participated in the 11-day strike. Chief Education Officer, Carol Babb, issued two Memorandums this week; the first announcing that the ministry […]

    PM finally delivers promised 13th senator
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow fulfilled his 2008 promise to the social partners on Thursday by signing the Statutory Instrument to give effect to the appointment of the 13th senator. Barrow, as promised at his press conference last week, signed the order, which will come into effect on […]

    GOB domestic debt financing costs could be $13.5 Million less!
    The Government of Belize could save $13.5 Million in interest costs per year and stimulate the economy by reducing commercial banks’ interest rates, which would encourage private sector investment in new businesses suggests Ervin Perez, Managing Director of the Legacy Fund Limited. Perez presented his ideas at a business luncheon […]

    COLA lashes out at GOB
    Written by M. Sutherland Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), this week, lashed out at the government in support of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). The conference was held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City on Monday where organizations including the Belize Progressive Party(BPP) and the Belize […]

    Strike over! Teachers back in school
    After 11 days of industrial action, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) voted to end the strike and resume regular classes for schools. Classes were in full swing as of Wednesday October 19, after the membership of the BNTU called off the strike by majority vote. The […]

    Bureau of Standards official says Mexican LPG standards can be used in Belize
    The Bureau of Standards is currently reviewing a set of standards which its Mexican counterparts in the Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) industry have shared for possible adaptation in Belize. “We can easily utilize or adapt which are specific within the industry,” Enforcement Officer, Rodolfo Gutierrez […]

    New ambassador of Belize to China appointed
    Newly appointed Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China, H.E. Diane Haylock, presented her credentials to H.E. Dr. Tsai lng-Wen at the presidential palace in China on Wednesday. President Tsai welcomed the new ambassador to Taipei and shared her thoughts and appreciation that in recent years the two countries […]

    CDC issue level two travel warning for travelers to Belize due to Zika
    Due to concerns about the sexual transmission of the Zika Virus, the Centers for Disease Control in the United States updated its travel advisory for US residents traveling to Belize. The CDC advised travelers to Belize, to either have protected sex through condom use, or abstain from […]

    Michael Young found dead, apparent suicide
    Senior Council, Michael Young was found dead in his home this week, after an apparent suicide. While police are investigating the matter, the department said they found Young in the bathroom of his Bella Vista home around 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday with a single gunshot wound to […]

    Camalote bad boys beat up lawman
    Police Constable Mark Rodriguez, attached to the Belmopan Police Station, is recovering in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) from serious injuries two men inflicted on him Sunday evening, while those men have since been charged. The incident happened at Serenita Bar along the George […]

    San Pedro resident shot on Barrier Reef Drive
    Lincoln Robinson Sr., a 43-year-old resident of the San Mateo area in San Pedro, was killed last Saturday as he was walking home. Robinson was reportedly walking on Barrier Reef Drive when he was approached by a male individual who shot him at a point blank range to the right […]

    Close family friend charged for the murder of Lincoln Robinson
    Written by M.Sutherland Following the brazen murder of 43-year-old Lincoln Robinson Sr. on Saturday morning in San Pedro, police have since arrested and charged one person in connection with the crime. On Monday police charged Deshawn Goff, a resident of the DFC area of the island, for Robinson’s murder. The […]

    Editorial
    This has been a dark and ominous week for our Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The disclosure that his Minister, Mr. Gaspar Vega has had a hand in a rigged plan to stiff the government of Belize for some $800,000 has cut voters to the quick and taken a heavy toll […]

    Public outcry halts seismic testing
    The Government of Belize, in response to fierce public outcry from environmental and tourism stakeholders, has suspended seismic testing in Belizean waters until proper consultations have been conducted. On Thursday morning, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia addressed a group of concerned stakeholders at the Sun […]

    Second Cabinet shakeup amid wave of scandals
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow, after a Cabinet reshuffle in the wake of growing government scandals, is now the Minister of Finance and Home Affairs, which includes the Police portfolio. On Monday, PM Barrow, in response to a question from the media, stated that he had not considered who would replace […]

    Lands scandal forces Vega out
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow, on Monday, at a press conference at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel announced that former Minister of Lands, Gaspar Vega would resign from Cabinet. Barrow, flanked by current Minister of Natural Resources Vanessa Retreage and MNR CEO Sharon Young, made the announcement following a […]

    Blackout baby
    Staff at the Western Regional Hospital delivered a baby in darkness, aided only by a candle and cell phone flashlights in the wee hours of Thursday morning as the country experienced a nationwide blackout. At around 1:30 a.m., on Thursday, the lights went out across […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    FIU has new director
    A press release was issued this evening informing that the Governor General, Sir Colville Young has signed a writ of appointment naming Kent D. Clare as Director of Financial Intelligence Unit, with effect from 11 October, 2016. “The Financial Intelligence Unit would like to […]

    Ministry will defer salary deductions until end of November
    The Ministry of Education today issued a memo informing all managing authorities that the deduction of 11 days pay for teachers who participated in the strike will be deferred until the end of November. The memo states: “in an effort to give managing authorities […]

    PUP supports Referendum on offshore drilling
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has issued a press release supporting the call for a national referendum on offshore drilling in Belize. “The PUP reminds the public that on the 1st December 2015, the Belize Cabinet adopted a ban on offshore oil exploration in […]

    Belize’s banking system revolutionized
    The Governmnent of Belize recently appointed former Minister Senator, Joy Grant, as the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize. Grant has already began to revolutionize the country’s banking system with the introduction of an Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System. However, the Central […]

    Belize’s growing reputation as a contraband haven
    With its laxed customs regulations, Belize may have developed a reputation as being a regional hub for contraband cigarette trade. Insight Crime, an online publication that investigates organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, described how the well organized contraband ring works in […]

    Belizeans represent at WOMEX 2016
    A delegation of Belizean musicians are attending the World Music Expo (WOMEX) 2016. The event is being held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain where thousands of musicians have gathered for WOMEX, and an official delegation from Belize is among them. This year the event […]

    Reformed gang leader brings positive message to Belizean youths
    While Belize’s young people remain the group most affected by unemployment, poverty and crime, the Department of Youth Services (DYS) has always found positive reasons to celebrate our Belizean youth. This year is no different as young people ages 14-29 will be celebrated across […]

    Will the outcome of the US Elections affect Belize’s national security?
    Within Central America, drug dealers have continued to establish drug trafficking routes from South America to North America. The country of Belize plays a pivotal role for the transshipment of drugs and as a safe haven for criminals and laundering crimes, mainly because of […]

    Another shooting in Belize City; One man shot to the left foot
    A Belize City man, Darren Young, was shot last night on the south side of Belize City. Young was shot to the left foot at the corner of Elston Kerr and Antelope St. Police information is at this time limited but Young has been […]

    Blogs

    Belize just says ‘No’ to offshore oil — again
    After two weeks in the States, we came home to the disturbing news that the Government of Belize has authorized oil exploration within six-tenths of a mile of the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef. This is startling because the people of Belize spoke by referendum two years ago and rejected off-shore oil exploration. And just last year the government placed a moratorium on off-shore oil exploration and the sale of oil leases. The barrier reef is a designated World Heritage site, meaning it merits the attention, care and protection of the entire planet. It is the longest continuous barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, extending the length of Belize and into Mexico to the north and into Guatemala and Honduras to the south. Why the government would suddenly spring this on its own people is baffling. All I know is that in a country where tourism and the gloriously beautiful reef and sparkling necklace of cayes accounts for 50 percent of the incomes of the citizens of Belize, offshore oil exploration is an insane road to go down. It especially doesn’t make sense in the volatile oil markets where a barrel of oil is barely past the $50 mark and price is at the mercy of an Emir oil magnate with a head cold . . . or a U.S. presidential election . . . or the collapse of a South American economy . . . or a bad winter and leaky pipes in Western Canada.

    Papa Du’s 105th Birthday
    Last week Saturday we were treated to a truly time transcending experience. A charming old man who is affectionately known as “Papa Du” visited The Lodge at Chaa Creek for a pre-birthday celebration lunch with his family. He was accompanied by four generations of his family who all cheerfully explained their relation to Papa Du. Papa Du was celebrating his 105th orbit around the sun which was going to be on Monday, October 17th, 2016 – an awe-inspiring number, especially to someone only a quarter his age. Mr Mick and Papa Du recalled stories from over 40 years ago (in Mr Mick’s case) and even further back from his youth. Tales on what life was like in Cayo over sixty years ago and what it was like working in the logging industry at the time. Papa Du was surrounded by his family who all spoke about and recalled memories around him.

    How to Choose Your Belize Travel Destination
    You’ve been anticipating your next family vacation and have untiringly conducted hours of intense research online for an ideal getaway. Finally, your search has led you to the marvelous country of Belize and now you’re eager to get there and experience the tropical paradise. While you will still have items such as selecting flight dates and times, packing your luggage and securing sufficient finances on your to-do list, we advise selecting your travel destination in Belize first. Belize is a small but beautiful country, with various mainland and island destinations (that offer their own unique experience) for travelers to choose from. To aid in making your “Destination Decision”, we’ve prepared a guide to help you learn more about the various Belize destinations to where Maya Island Air flies:

    Buying a Dream Home in Belize: 7 Steps to Follow
    Our Beloved Belize, “Land of the free by the Caribbean Sea” is one of the most desired destinations for vacation and retirement. Owning your dream home in Belize was once a dream but now it can become a reality with Atlantic International Bank Ltd. (AIBL). Let us partner with you in bringing your dreams to life and finance your dream home. In contrast to what many credit applicants may believe the process of achieving a home loan does not start by an Application Letter. The process of qualifying for a home loan begins with the creation of your credit history. Your credit history is a record of your credit behaviour and it is only one part of the determining factors of your ability to get a loan. Take care of your credit report.

    International Sourcesizz

    Travel: Bliss in Belize
    The other day, my son Matt texted me from college with an unsolicited, stray thought: “Belize was so much fun.” Such wistfulness, and four months after the fact. Now, that’s a good vacation. My husband, Mike, and I decided on Belize for a family trip abroad after looking at the expense, multiplied by four, of Ireland or Vietnam. We wanted to go somewhere exotic enough to lure our young adults into a week with Mom and Dad. I knew very little about Belize before booking round-trip tickets for $400 per passenger. Here are just a few things I would learn from Fodor’s, websites and – best of all, of course being there:

    Rethink On Seismic Surveying In Belize Following Outcry
    Officials in Belize agreed to suspend the seismic portion of offshore oil exploration an after an outcry from concerned citizens, national civil society groups and international conservation organisations and their supporters. Nadia Bood, WWF’s Belize reef scientist, said: The survey began on Wednesday, 19 October, a day earlier than had been publicly announced, and was scheduled to reach just over one kilometre from the country’s fragile World Heritage site. However, the government of Belize on Thursday instructed surveyors to “cease seismic operations immediately.” “Our reef is a source of pride and a rallying point for Belizeans. Tourism operators, fishers, divers and conservationists recognise its natural value and the benefits that it affords our economy.”

    College of Education and Human Services collects books for Belizean students
    The College of Education and Human Services is developing a Books for Belize project to supply children’s literature to schools in Belize. The program is an outgrowth of the Belize Teaching Experience that began in 2007 and allows students seeking teacher certification to teach for three weeks in Belize during the student teaching semester. “Students who teach in the primary schools have been dismayed by the lack of children’s literature available to teachers and students,” said Bonnie Higginson, regents professor emeritus in the College of Education and Human Services. She said the situation was amplified when she traveled to Belize to conduct literacy workshops for 200 teachers who were excited to learn about the innovative teaching strategies, but she said the strategies would be ineffective without the proper resources.

    Just Back From Harvest Caye: 10 Things Cruise Passengers Will Love About Norwegian's New Island
    We've just spent a day at Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line's new purpose-built port, and we're impressed. Nearly four years in the making and still a month from completion, the island, located in southern Belize, is receiving its final polish as local workers finish paving walkways, installing fixtures and training for cruise passenger-facing jobs. Although Harvest Caye was designed specifically to receive cruisers, it doesn't feel forced. When it officially opens its gates to its first ship -- Norwegian Dawn on November 17 -- passengers won't find high-end jewelry stores or pushy shore excursion vendors hawking tours. What you will find is a glittering oasis that's well thought out, easy to navigate and eco-friendly. Don't call it a private island, though. What differentiates Harvest Caye is that, like Grand Turk, Amber Cove or Mahogany Bay, it's not necessarily an extension of your cruise. When you visit, you'll find the island staffed by Belizean locals, rather than the ship's crew, and you'll have to pay for lunch, just as if you ate ashore in any other port that's not a private island. Although nothing official is in place just yet, Norwegian also plans to allow other cruise lines to use the port once it's up and running.

    River of Life team to travel to Belize
    The Destination Belize Mission Team from River of Life Community Church in Elkhart is traveling to Belize Nov. 5-12 to restore and renovate the childhood home of a famous Belizean pianist and composer, Frankie Reneau. Pastors Jim and Jenny Duncan purchased Frankie’s childhood home several years ago and had it moved to their mission property in Boston Village. When completed, the home will serve as their personal residence, a guest house, and a music studio for their School of Music. The public is invited to help fund this project by going to the Duncans’ GoFundMe account and making a donation.

    The End of the Cheque?
    hile early versions have existed since antiquity, the first modern cheque was introduced in 1659. And while it continues to be an important source of handling money, it is rapidly being phased out in many countries. Could Belize be next? With the advent of the Automated Payment and Securities Settlement System, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, Marilyn Gardiner-Usher, says it’s coming. Marilyn Gardiner-Usher, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Belize “There is one payment instrument – the cheque, which I don’t have a problem with – that will be coming on in the next three weeks. Why I say I don’t have a problem with bringing that on in the next three weeks is I really want people to try to use our electronic funds transfer instruments and services via apps. These are much more efficient than cheques; we are going to keep cheques as an option; but we want to reduce its use.

    Western Union in Chetumal? Central Bank Says It’s Not Necessary
    Western Union and MoneyGram enjoy much usage in Belize as a means of sending and receiving money quickly and reliably and even cheaper. Of late there have been persistent reports that Belizeans have found a way to get around the issue of a shortage of US dollars. Some seeking U.S. currency are bypassing using local branches of these exchange services and instead directing the funds to be obtained in Chetumal, Mexico, for instance. It is an issue that is just coming to the attention of the Central Bank. Governor Grant took the opportunity to reassure Belizeans that there is no need to take your money abroad. Joy Grant, Governor, Central Bank of Belize “I have not heard of any problem, but I certainly would never tell anyone to go and put their money across the border; we have a very secure system in Belize; this is where you should be doing your banking; but to any specifics of t…

    Nature up close: Whale sharks
    Isla Mujeres is a small island 13 kilometers from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. When the Spanish first came to the island they found a number of goddess images, so they named it Isla Mujeres, the Isle of Women. Many of the images were of the goddess Ix Chel, the goddess of making children. She was also important to the physicians and shamans as the goddess of medicine. The island of Cozumel, near Isla Mujeres, was an important pilgrimage site for Mayan women hoping to have a fruitful marriage. I first visited Isla Mujeres in 1978 to celebrate getting my M.S. in biology. We snorkeled a lot and enjoyed a week of getting sunburned and eating seafood. If I had had a clue there were whale sharks in the surrounding waters, I would have been begging some boat captain to take me out to see them. Now that I do know they are there, I am planning my trip. Whale sharks, in my estimation, are the most amazing fish on earth. They can grow to over 40 feet in length, making them the largest fish in the world, and second only to whales in size. They have thousands of tiny teeth which serve no function, and filtering pads that work to filter small organisms (such as plankton, fish eggs and small fish) out of the water. Some whale sharks have learned to suck small fish out of fishermen’s nets. Because of their feeding method, they are no danger to humans.

    The Crime That May Keep Me From Ever Traveling To Belize
    I’ve never visited Belize, a hole in my travel game that I’ve often considered a crime owing to all that is decidedly uncommon there. Earlier today, though, I learned of an actual crime that’s going down in Belize right now that may keep me away forever. Allowing seismic testing for offshore oil exploration. That the Government of Belize should green light such a measure is worrisome enough on its own, considering the harmful effects such testing will undoubtedly have on the country’s fragile, and to-date, spectacular reef system, the second largest in all the world behind only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Even more worrisome, though, is the fact that the Government of Belize apparently went ahead and allowed this to happen without consulting those who stand to loose the most as a direct result of the seismic testing – its own citizens!

    Videos

  • BCCI Update on Nationnal Issues, 40min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Kuylen Salads, 35min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • "We Pretty Baad", 4min. Janelle Chanona said it best "We Pretty Baad" referring to the beauty of Belize and its People, while defending our Natural Heritage as Belize put a stop to seismic testing yesterday. Awesome speech by a true teary-eyed Belizean Environmental Activist.

  • Message from the Department of the Environment - Impacts of garbage during flooding events, 1min.

  • Portofino Beach Resort in Belize, 1.5min. We're committed to creating special experiences for our guests. Here's a peek into a day at Portofino Beach Resort in BELIZE. When will you come and give us a visit?

  • PAW Animal Sanctuary Pause Hostel Caye Caulker, Belize, 11min. Meet Madi the woman behind PAW Animal Cat Sanctuary in Caye Caulker Belize. PAW is the only Cat Sanctuary in all of Belize. It has saved the lives of over 30,000 cats through their program of free & low cost spay & neuter & rescue/adoption & rehabilitation programs. INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? You can help with this mission check out our website to APPLY www.pausehostel.com To help our mission to feed & care for our animals please help us by sponsoring a kitty HERE

  • Belize Barrier Riff, 1min. The moment when Belize announced that the government would suspend seismic testing.

  • Grace & You With Chef Dwain Sausage Spring Rolls, 29min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Creating A Safe Space Agenda, 19min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • If Yuh Love Ah, 29min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Lionfish Jewelry Can Help Save the Ocean, 1.5min. National Geographic grantee Erin Spencer dives into this week’s Today I Learned with one of the leading threats to biodiversity: the invasive lionfish. Originally from the Indo-Pacific region, lionfish were introduced to Florida’s coast in the 1980s. They have since spread throughout the western Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. These “vacuums of the sea” feed on native fish species and wreck ecosystems important to biodiversity and local economies. Lionfish are prolific breeders. With no natural predators, and the ability to reproduce every four days, a lionfish and its offspring can produce 8.1 quintillion eggs in just three months. That’s a lot of caviar! Spencer explains how some coastal villages have found an innovative way to take their ocean back: jewelry. Women living in these communities are turning the lionfish’s beautiful, venomous spines into unique fashion accessories that tourists crave, and this increase in demand incentivizes fisherman to pull more lionfish out of the ocean.

  • Liberty Children's Home-Ladyville Belize,8 min.

  • Mennonites history of Belize,51 min.

  • PROTECT BELIZEAN WATERS- BAN SEISMIC TESTING FOREVER, 1min.

    October 21, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, 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

    San Pedro Lions roar at 41st anniversary celebration
    The San Pedro Lions Club on Ambergris Caye celebrated its 41st Anniversary on Saturday, October 15th. Guests, including Lions’ club members, family and friends, gathered at the Lions Den to acknowledge past and present accomplishments with a special ceremony. Master of Ceremonies Lion Angel Nuñez established protocol by addressing the crowd on the importance of them attending this commemoratory event. After singing the National Anthem, and an invocation by Father Scott, a moment of silence was offered to remember all deceased Lion members. Lion Raul Castillo had the honors to install new Lion members. A total of eight new members were inducted to the club, and three previously inactive members were reinstated. MC Nuñez also installed 13 new Leos into the San Pedro Leos Club, bringing it to total of 46 Leos and 32 Lions members. Much applause was given to Lion President Nigel Belisle for having the most membership in any Lion presidency. Each member was accompanied by their sponsor, and received their service jackets, as well as a pin.

    Seismic Operations Suspended
    Based on multiple concerns raised by concerned citizens regarding the seismic survey currently being conducted in the deep offshore of Belize as well as the fact that extensive consultation with a wider ground of stakeholders did not occur prior the commencement of the survey, the Government of Belize (GOB) has decided that it will suspend seismic operations until such consultations can be conducted. Accordingly, the Geology and Petroleum Department will inform the ship that they are to cease seismic operations immediately.

    Ambergris Today

    Belizeans Demand Government to Stop Seismic Survey
    In a press release to the Government of Belize, The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) has expressed its concern and disappointment at the recent announcement made by the Government of Belize approving seismic testing in Belize’s offshore areas and near our Belize Barrier Reef System. BTIA stated that its specific concern is about the lack of information and insufficient consultation on the part of the Government of Belize. Very little information was shared with the public and key stakeholders before the decision on the multi-beam and seismic testing was made. There was also insufficient consultation with the tourism, fisheries and environmental sectors, as well as with the general public, prior to considering any decision on this matter. This was the issue that was most upsetting to the community of San Pedro, Caye Caulker and even residents of Hopkins and Placencia who attended an informative session on the Regional Seismic Survey, hosted by the Belize Tourism Board this morning, Thursday, October 20, 2016, on Ambergris Caye.

    Belize Prime Minister Announces Changes in Cabinet
    The Sen. Hon. Godwin Hulse becomes the new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development, while also keeping the Immigration portfolio. Minister of State Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa remains in that Ministry to focus on Forestry, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development, and Minister of State Hon. Beverly Williams will continue to concentrate on Immigration. Senator Hulse gives up the Police (Home Affairs) portfolio, which will now be assumed by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow who becomes Minister of Finance and Home Affairs. To assist the Prime Minister in this regard, the Hon. Elodio Aragon, Jr. will move from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to become Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Belize's Exclusive Economic Zone
    Now the subject of controversial seismic exploration. Today I experienced firsthand the sound of airgun blasts underwater. Diving on the East side of Turneffe just a little North of Cock Roach Cut I heard what sounded like thunder. The day was overcast, so it didn't seem strange that there might be a storm building nearby. Shortly after, there was a second thunder clap, then another and another. I looked around at the other divers to see if they noticed anything unusual. Suddenly it struck me that what I was hearing wasn't thunder, but the sound of the seismic airgun blasts. The calm of my underwater escape had been interrupted by blasts of acoustic energy reverberating through ocean. The fish around us seemed to sense the disturbance too, everything seemed to be on edge. I reluctantly ended the dive, the fear that the source of the blasts was near and could cause harm was overwhelming. Unlike divers, marine life can't exit the water to seek safety. Today I experienced the confusion and fear all life caught in the range of seismic testing share.

    Artist Service Day at Stann Creek House of Culture means sprucing up the place!
    Work going in. Little by little. We will get there.

    Belize crew at WOMEX!
    The world's leading music expo is a great venue for promoting Belizean talent and bringing back fresh ideas and resources to the local music scene.

    Offshore Oil Exploration Conference in San Pedro
    The controversial Belize Tourism Board presentation on the currently ongoing seismic survey in Belizean waters has ended with Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. promising to lobby with the Prime Minister Dean Barrow for the research to stop until a proper consultation can be done. Residents of San Pedro have demanded a response from Heredia by 2PM today or industrial action will be taken to seize the operations. All concerned residents are invited to the Lions Den at 2PM for the follow up meeting.

    SBDC Workshop: Customer Service for Management and Business Owners
    Presented by: Mrs. Nilda Riverol and Mrs. Vicky Heredia, Manager and Business Advisor SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Training Room, ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City. Workshop Date: October 27th, 2016. Time: 9am to 3pm. This training seminar on providing good customer service gives you the skills you need to communicate professionally, gain respect, enhance customer relationships and secure an overall competitive advantage through customer service excellence.

    Streets in Arenal a disgrace
    Maybe the minister Erwin Contreras. You ashamed to see our streets and sent them to compose. We have been left here in arenal. It is necessary to go out to protest for our streets, maybe that is the language which the minister understands. Because yah we are tired of asking for that write our streets and not asen case.

    SEISMIC OPERATIONS SUSPENDED
    Based on multiple concerns raised by concerned citizens regarding the seismic survey currently being conducted in the deep offshore of Belize as well as the fact that extensive consultation with a wider group of stakeholders did not occur prior the commencement of the survey, the Government of Belize (GOB) has decided that it will suspend seismic operations until such consultations can be conducted. Accordingly, the Geology and Petroleum Department will inform the ship that they are to cease seismic operations immediately. The GOB remains committed to the conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources.

    Prime Minister Signs Commencement Order for 13th Senator
    The Office of the Prime Minister announces that the Honorable Prime Minister today signed the commencement order to give effect to the provisions relating to the appointment of the thirteenth senator pursuant to the Belize Constitution Sixth Amendment Act. This order takes effect on 20th January, 2017. The three months will be used to facilitate the necessary consultations with the NGOs to work out the mechanism for selection of the thirteenth senator.

    Minister of NEMO and Area Representative for Belize Rural Central Hand over Houses to Hurricane Earl Victims in Ladyville and Lord’s Bank
    Minister of National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro and Area Representative for Belize Rural Central Hon. Beverly Williams Castillo were in Ladyville and Lord’s Bank yesterday, October 19, 2016, handing over houses to victims of Hurricane Earl whose homes had been damaged beyond repair by the storm in early August. They handed over a total of six (6) houses which were completed, and inspected ongoing construction and repair works on a number of other houses in the area. These are out of a total of 185 homes that are to be constructed by the end of November or early December in the four districts most severely affected by Hurricane Earl, namely Belize District, Cayo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk. To date, a total of 124 new houses have been completed.

    BEL Replaces Transmission Structures Broken in Traffic Accident
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is completing replacement of two transmission structures that were severely damaged in a traffic accident early this morning, resulting in a countrywide power interruption. At 1:29 a.m. customers across the country experienced power interruptions lasting 11 minutes to 3 hours when a vehicle was accidentally driven off the George Price Highway near Mile 8, hitting a down guy (cable which holds the pole in place) and causing two transmission line poles to break. BEL immediately activated its restoration plan for impacts on the transmission system.

    Corozal Power interruption on Saturday October 22nd
    Oooops! Pardon the Power Interruption. BEL announces via text message that there will be a power interruption on Saturday October 22nd, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for the entire Corozal District to replace pole on transmission.

    Power interruption 8:00am to 1:00pm, Saturday, October 22, Belize City
    Waight St, Fairweather St, Neals Pen Rd, Mex Ave, Kut Ave, Euphrates Ave, Habet St, Albert St & Albert St West. BEL to relocate high voltage lines in area.

    Belmopan Tourism Expo
    The Belmopan chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association is having their first annual Belmopan Tourism Expo on Saturday, November 5th. It'll be at the George Price Center, and goes from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

    Another great postcard from WOMEX!
    Earlier today some of our Belizean delegation meeting with Jose Francisco Avila owner of Garifuna Afro-Lantino Music Enterprise.

    Belize International Film Festival Nations
    Our interactive map shows the many countries that are represented in this year's festival! Each pin represents a country represented at BIFF 2016. Click to see the titles!

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Nine Lives, Patient Seven, Bad Moms, Sausage Party

    Channel 7

    GOB Forced to Shutdown Seismic Survey, Pronto!
    For the past 2 days, you've been hearing a lot about the multibeam and seismic surveys that the Department of Environment gave the greenlight to without an environmental impact assessment. Oceana Belize and the other conservation organizations had been resisting the Government's decision to participate in the regional survey, and with the help of the tour guide community, they successfully forced the Government to backpedal almost as fast as they approved it. Now, the public learned of this survey only 3 weeks ago. The planned area was in the marine territory of Belize, east of the barrier reef inside the Exclusive Economic Zone, but excluding all marine protected areas, and well away from tourist activity, and fish spawning sites. It caught most of the general public off-guard, and with the pressure that the conservationists brought on, the Department of Environment was forced to conduct public consultations. The problem with that plan however, is that the vessel Northern Explorer, which belongs to the global seismic survey company, Seabird Exploration, was already in Belize. This picture and video footage of the vessel inside Belizean waters, was taken by conservationists in a fly-over yesterday. At around 1 this afternoon, when we checked the vessel's location, on vesselfinder.com, it was located off the coast of Caye Caulker, and they had already started surveying.

    Coalition Ecstatic About Victory, But Not Satisfied To Leave It At That
    And after a decisive victory today in San Pedro, the Coalition returned to the mainland to tell us what happened, and what the future looks like in the fight against offshore oil exploration. Amanda Acosta - Belize Audubon Society: "Well today was a great show of the power of the people and the reality is that from the beginning of the week we've been getting out the information to everybody nationwide, coastal communities, tourism sector, across the country truthfully and what we have seen is that they are rallying and their voices were actually heard. And what we got today was a positive response in that there has been a press release of the ceasing of the seismic activity that had already commenced." Ingrid Ferlo, LOVE FM: "At this point we don't really know for how much time it's halted, how important is it to be vigilant?"

    Education Minister Faber Offers Palacio To Pay Some Teachers' Salaries
    The teachers' strike has ended, but the teachers are angry because government has said it will not pay the strike teachers for the days of work that they missed. The union calls it "bad faith", and warns that it has only put the strike "on hold". Up to yesterday government was holding the line, but tonight there is some suggestion of softening that hardline. A letter sent today from the Minister of Education Patrick Faber to Teachers Union President Luke Palacio makes two proposals. First, that the BNTU uses its strike fund to pay the teachers, and second, at the point when that fund is insufficient, quote, "the Ministry of Education is willing to subsidize the payment to teachers."

    9 Years Later, PM Signs Commencement Order for 13th Senator
    So, while the Minister of Education may just have to gift wrap that olive branch, the Prime Minister wasted no time in fulfilling the commitments he made in those heated strike negotiations. Today, he signed the commencement order for the 13th senator. A press release from the Government says, quote, "This order takes effect on 20th January, 2017. The three months will be used to facilitate the necessary consultations with the NGOs to work out the mechanism for selection of the thirteenth senator. End Quote. A week ago, the Prime Minister explained why the 3-month delay is necessary to ensure that the 13th Senator will be properly identified:

    Man Freed Of Charge For Causing Wife's Death In Accident
    Traffic Officer Calvin Cumberbatch was behind the wheel when his wife, famed money lender Pamela Bennett-Cumberbatch was killed in an accident on New Year's Day, 2016. Cumberbatch - who himself was badly injured - had to recover from his own injuries, and then contend with grieving for his wife, while facing charges for causing her death, and that of the man in the other vehicle, 80 year old Alfredo Navaratte. But today, the 35 year old Cumberbatch's load was lightened when he was freed of all charges in an appearance before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. The withdrawal was based on a directive from the DPP's office because quote, "the counsel advising on the file saw no evidence supporting the charges laid". Cumberbatch was charged with 2 counts of manslaughter by negligence and other traffic related offences.

    Regularizing Daily Movement Of Hundreds of Guatemalan Students
    Exactly two years ago, we told you all about the hundreds of Guatemalan children who cross the western border from Melchor every day to attend primary and high schools in Belize. It's a decades old practice where the Guatemalans send their kids to Belize to learn English, and to benefit from an education system that's better than their one. But, officially, it just passed under the radar, most of the kids would just cross daily without even being processed through the immigration point because they were regulars. No record would be made of their crossing. Well, finally, that has changed. The Department of Immigration has activated a long dormant provision for student permits. It regularizes the movement of these students - about 650 of them daily - and it provides revenue for government, since each card costs 70.00 dollars for a Guatemalan citizen. Surprisingly, there was no great resistance from the Guatemalan parents who seemed eager to formalize their children's movements. Reports tell us that lines formed at the Immigration office on the Belize side and at the end of it, over 650 student passes were issued.

    Financial Advisor Urges GOB To Lower Rates on T-Notes & Bills
    With the Belize economy in recession, and US currency as scarce as a ham leg on Christmas Eve, the chamber of commerce today looked to financial advisor Ervin Perez for advice. He holds quarterly sessions with private sector stakeholders and today the subject was government's financing of domestic debt with treasury bills and notes. Now, to the layperson that may sound about as exciting as watching grass grow, but Perez says it could translate into lower interest rates on lending from commercial banks, and lower interest expense for taxpayers:... Ervin Perez, Managing Director - Lagacy Fund: "It's important for us especially in this current economic time that government's financing of debt is the more efficient. This also translates to the private sector because government debt and the cost of government paste is kind of like the bench mark on what private sector has to pay. Simply put, the private sector always have to pay a risk premium over government debt rate. So if government pays 5% on some treasury note, private sector will normally have to pay 5 plus a premium of 3-4% more on a same instrument of a same maturity."

    MOE Counting The Ways To Deduct Salaries
    Earlier in the news, we told you about the compromise that the Minister of Education proposed to the BNTU to ensure that the teachers who went on strike will still be paid for their 11 strike days. Well, defusing those tensions is important because if things come to a head again, the teachers could end up going back on strike. So right now, the teachers have the Deputy Prime Minister's proposal, which was delivered this evening, but they also have to consider that if they can't reach an agreement their pay will be docked. Earlier in the day, the Chief Education Officer, Dr. Carol Babb, sent out another memorandum to the managing authorities of the schools. In it, she gives step by step guidelines on how they should go about docking the pay for the teachers who went on strike. They are advised to take the entire month's salary for a teacher, divide it by 31 days, and that amount is what that teacher earns for one day. Since the teachers were on strike for 11 days, the amount for 1 day should be multiplied by 11. Dr. Babb's memo says quote, "Please note that the entire (amount) should be deducted in one payment" End quote. That means that the Ministry is expecting that the teachers would not get any financial ease with partial deductions.

    Teachers Were Warned About Strike Pay Deduction
    We stress that was yesterday, before the Minister offered a compromise. But, nonetheless, the pay cut is on the minds of all the teachers who went on strike - who were warned that it could be the penalty for striking. We dug into our coverage of the 11-day strike, to find a few choice comments which show clearly that the teachers knew that there could be dire dollar consequences for their participation Here's that story: Hon. Elena Smith, Labour/Civil Society Senator: "Don't let the BNTU say come out again and you get those calls from those persons within the ministry to tell you that you must go to school and if you don't go to school you lose a day pay. If you don't go to school you might not have a job, you might be transferred. So what if we tell them that if they can't govern this country properly we will get them out of office? Ah, that should be what we are doing. What is good for the goose is good for the gander."

    Cargo Truck Accident Cayuses Nationwide Power Outage
    If you woke up at around 1:30 am because the fan went off, you weren't alone - the entire country experienced the same thing - and it was all because an errant cargo truck caused a lamp-post to snap. It happened at mile 8 on the Western Highway where the truck hit one of the guy cables which holds the lamp - post in place, and that caused two transmission lines to break. Some folks got power back within minutes, but the bulk of the consumer sin Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts went three hours without power. BEL workers went into action to normalize everything, and works to replace the two transmission poles were scheduled for completion by 6:00 p.m. today.

    Doctors Delivered Baby In Blackout
    So while BEL workers were trying to restore power to most of the country, a team of Western Health Region doctors and nurses were trying to deliver a baby… in the dark! An 18 year old woman was in labor when the power went out. But instead of buckling in that very nerve-wracking situation, the doctors did the best they could and turned on their flashlights on their phones and delivered a baby. It is a miracle that the mother and her baby survived. Director of Health Services Dr. Marin Manzanero told us more about this case and explained that there is nothing they could do because the last time they checked, the 2 generators were working just fine. Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Director of Health Services: "The female was in labor when the blackout occurred. As we understand, it was minutes before she actually delivered. The delivery was documented at 1:51am this morning. The delivery was uneventful, that means that the baby and the mom and doing okay which is I think an important issue that needs to be highlighted. What I think needs to be clarified is the concern that we don't have a generator. I think we need to remind everybody that we do have a generator, 2 generators at the western region..."

    Men Make Allegations Against GSU
    The GSU have managed to stay out of the news recently, but, this morning we received reports of an incident involving a Belize City fisherman and the GSU. According to Joshua Gillet, who is from the Conch Shell Bay Area, the GSU jumped him this morning a little before 9am. Gillet claims he wasn't doing anything wrong, but that the GSU has been targeting and abusing him and others in the area. He came to our studio this morning, just after the incident to tell us what happened. Joshua Gillet - Fisherman: "Well sir, I was in the area of Conch Shell Bay, taking piss, and I went in an abandoned spot and GSU pulled up. They ask me to go on the ground for them, so I went on the ground. Then when I was on the ground another one asked me to get up, so I got up and then they put me in the mud. They put me down in the mud, shoved me in the mud. Then when I was in the mud they started to stamp me, you get the sense. And when I turned around to ask why they were beating me, one of them asked the big man who was running the crowd, Mr. Fergeson, to step one side, and Mr. Fergerson stepped on side and they shot me, boss. With a rubber bullet. I didn't do anything. We don't kill anybody at Conch Shell Bay, boss. Why are they coming to beat us, boss? The day before the same crowd came to be boss, and this is what they did to me, they put up gun signs at me, you get the sense, boss?"

    Scotiabank Gives
    Today Scotia Bank donated $100,000 for hurricane relief efforts. Now we know, it has been 2 months since Earl hit Belize, but there are many families still in need of help. At a short afternoon ceremony, Scotia Bank handed over $60,000 to Hand in Hand Ministries, $35,000 to the Belize Red Cross and also gave scholarships to the Deborah Humes' 2 daughters. As you will remember, Humes, the Soca Moca band member was crushed beneath a house on Dolphin Street. We spoke to the Managing Director of Scotia bank about the donation , as well as the recipients. Humes' daughters got $2,500 each. Alesha Hylton is in Standard 6 and the scholarship will pay for her 1st form tuition, fees and books. For Primelie Humes, her share will go to paying for her 2nd form tuition and fees.

    The Face Of Winston
    Earlier this week we had a phone interview with Winston Thompson from the Toledo District. He was one of 6 Belizeans held by the Guatemalan Navy after they were found fishing in the Gulf of Honduras. And while we got to hear his voice, we didn't get to see him. Here he is now telling PG TV's Wil Maheia about his threat assessment when the Guatemalan Navy had the group held:... Thompson says he believes the Guatemalan Navy Vessel coming out of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve in Belize territory.

    Channel 5

    Seismic Testing Stopped Following Public Outcry
    People’s power – that’s what moved government into action today. For days, environmentalists and other stakeholders have been on high alert. G.O.B. had given the green light for offshore seismic [...]

    Coalition of Environmentalists Claims Victory
    This evening members of the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage held a celebratory press briefing at the Audubon Society’s headquarters. The representatives of the Belize Tourism Industry Association; [...]

    Next Step is Firming Up Moratorium and Moving Toward Petroleum Ban
    The surveys being conducted before the suspension was announced involved two separate methodologies: multi-beam and seep sea surveys. It is the latter that has the environmental community up in arms [...]

    Community Will Monitor Ship Involved in Seismic Testing
    The local fishing and tourism community is keeping an eye on the ship involved in the survey. While it is not clear where it will be berthing tonight, the World [...]

    Ministry of Education Issues Plans for Deduction to Salaries
    Having put their strike on hold, the teachers are still facing another battle; this time, its salary deductions for the striking days. Today, the Chief Education Officer Doctor Carol Babb [...]

    Luke Palacio Insists Ministry Has No Authority Over Deductions
    The total monthly salary is to be divided by the number of days in the month – thirty-one; then multiplied by the total number of days the teacher is out [...]

    B.N.T.U. Rejects Call to Use Strike Fund to Pay Teachers’ Salaries
    Late this evening, News Five obtained a letter from Minister Faber sent to Luke Palacio. The letter makes two proposals in which the ministry is softening its position. Faber proposes [...]

    Minister Wilfred Elrington Says School Managements Will Decide
    To pay or not to pay the protestant teachers; that’s the position that schools management are faced with following an eleven-day strike effected by the Belize National Teachers Union.  While [...]

    Finally, the 13th Senator – But B.N.T.U. Wants “Black and White”
    There will finally be a thirteenth member appointed to the Upper House, the Senate. However, it will come twenty days into the New Year. With little fanfare, the Government Press [...]

    Is Delay With 13th Senator Related to Senate Select Committee?
    Opposition representative Kareem Musa acknowledges the steadfast effort of the B.N.T.U. in forcing government to sign the commencement order.  However, he believes that the three-month delay in appointing the N.G.O. [...]

    Foreign Affairs Minister Believes New Senator Will Not Help Gridlock
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington is of an entirely different position.  He maintains that despite introducing the idea of a thirteenth senator several years ago, it has become apparent [...]

    Speaker of the House to Sue Attorney General & Auditor General
    There is a most unprecedented case to report tonight. No other than the Speaker of the House of Representatives has launched a law suit against his own government. Michael Peyrefitte [...]

    Samuel Haynes Institute Sued Over Little Girl’s Injuries From Falling Gate
    Four-year-old Brenae Timmons was seriously injured on January twenty-ninth when a wrought-iron gate fell on top of her while playing in the compound at the Samuel Haynes Institute.  The incident [...]

    Pickstock Representative Dismisses Suit as “Politics”
    Pickstock Area Representative Wilfred Elrington, whose brainchild is the Samuel Haynes Institute, says the unfortunate incident is being used as a political football.  He dismissed the claim altogether.   Isani [...]

    Foreign Minister Denies Doug Singh Under Investigation, Facing Extradition
    There has been rampant speculation since Wednesday about a predawn raid at the business place of businessman Doug Singh in the City. Speaking from Thailand by phone, the highly connected [...]

    B.N.T.U. Receives Terms of Reference for Danny Mason/Llewellyn Lucas Investigation
    There is one more issue over which the B.N.T.U. has received further good news. The Union, among many others, had demanded from Government an international investigation by law enforcement authorities [...]

    Fire Claims House on Iguana Street Extension
    On Tuesday, we told you about a fire that gutted a home on the south side of Belize City. Sometime after eleven on Monday night, fire woke up residents on [...]

    Was Alleged Arson Related to Weekend Shooting Incident?
    But was the fire an act of arson? Gill believes that the fire stemmed from a shooting incident on Saturday, three days before her house was set ablaze. She explains [...]

    Seismic Testing Will Hurt Status of Barrier Reef as World Heritage Site
    Earlier in the newscast, we heard about G.O.B.’s proposed seismic testing that has been put on hold following the tourism industry and conservation community’s uproar.  On Wednesday, the Coalition told [...]

    P.U.P. Asks for Audit of Lands Department
    The P.U.P. says that they want an audit in the Department of Lands from 2008 to 2015 – the years when disgraced former Minister Gaspar Vega led the lands department. [...]

    Time to Audit Petrocaribe and Belize Infrastructure Limited, Says P.U.P.
    And while we are on it – Briceño says bring on the audit for the Petro Caribe funds and the Belize Infrastructure Limited. He says that he believes that the [...]

    Healthy Living: Separating True and False Statements on Breast Cancer
    It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. It means it’s time for some education on this preventable form of cancer.  In tonight’s Healthy Living, we test your breast cancer awareness as we [...]

    CTV3

    Teachers Salary Could Be Deducted Including Saturday And Sunday
    It seems that despite the pleas made by the BNTU the Ministry of Education is intent on moving forward with the plans to dock the salaries of those teachers who participated in the BNTU’s strike. This evening a second memorandum was sent out by the ministry highlighting the method being used to withhold contributions towards salaries of teachers on strike. The document states that the deduction will be from October 3rd to the 18th including Saturday and Sunday, and notes that the entire deduction will be made in one payment. In the memo, the Ministry sets out the formula for the deduction to teachers' salaries using as an example: A teacher whose Salary is two thousand four hundred and eighty one dollars, was absent during the period October 3-14, 2016(including Saturday and Sunday, excluding 10 October which was a holiday) will be deducted in the following way: 2481/31days in the month = $80.03 x 11days= $880.35 which is the total amount to be deducted.

    PM Barrow Gets 13th Senator Commencement Order Underway
    “We will be watching and waiting”, that’s the BNTU’s promise upon ending the strike action on Tuesday which allowing their teachers to return to classes. The BNTU says it will keep the Barrow Administration to the commitments made during the negotiations, and today was one of those days they had to deliver. Prime Minister Barrow agreed that today he would be signing the commencement order allowing the 13 Senator to become a reality. Well, the PM did sign a commencement order according to a Government release. The order will take effect on January, 20th 2017. By that time, the NGO community should have worked out the mechanism for the selection of the thirteenth senator and be prepared to nominate someone from within its ranks. Now, this 13th Senator proposal was one of the anchors of Prime Minister’s election campaign in 2008. But upon taking office, he turned on the very same idea and while inscribing it into law, he refused to sign the commencement order that would give life to the idea of an empowered Senate. He also tricked the NGOs who had already voted for Maya leader Greg Cho’oc as their Senate-nominee.

    Oceana Demands Transparency Of Seismic Testing
    But while public pressure forced the Government to put the activities on hold today, environmentalists have been lobbying for much more from the authorities. The Northern Explorer Sea Bird arrived in Belize this week ready to begin seismic testing. Oceana Belize was unaware of this plan and only learnt of the situation when the Department of Environment informed them that they had given approval. Since then, Oceana Belize has been requesting more information, but little has been forthcoming says Vice President Janelle Chanona. Janelle Chanona - Oceana’s Vice President: “We wrote to the department of the environment saying can you please share with us the written submission that you made to Cabinet that they are basing this approval without the EIA on, we have not gotten that. What we do have was in part what you heard today of the department of the environment are able to definitively say that there will be no longstanding effect from seismic on Belize...”

    Attorney Weighs In On Saldivar And Mason's business Relationship
    As mentioned Belmopan Area Representative Honorable John Saldivar is on a one-week suspension as the Office of the Prime Minister seeks legal advice on whether the steps taken by the Minister were enough to effectively sever the business relationship established between himself and accused murderer William “Danny” Mason. Today, attorney Kareem Musa spoke about the share document which recently surfaced showing that Mason had 30 percent of shares in the Belmopan Bandits Football Club. Honorable Kareem Musa – Attorney at Law: “We cannot accept John Saldivar’s explanation any longer that he was just a contributor, these individuals were clearly business partners, there was clearly a joint venture relationship between John Saldivar and William Danny Mason as it relates to the Belmopan Bandits Football Club...”

    Opposition Leader Speaks On Gaspar Vega Resignation
    The recent land scandal involving a number of illegal transactions made during the former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s tenure as Minister of Lands, has resulted in his resignation from Cabinet earlier this week leaving behind his portfolio in the Ministry of Agriculture. The leaked documents showed that the government had compensated various individuals for land titles sold to them that were already privately owned including Vega’s son who received $400,000 as compensation while a company by known as Ron J Limited was recompensed with one million dollars. There is no doubt that Vega’s shocking resignation has definitely caused another blow out to the Barrow Administration due to the fact that the Orange Walk North Constituency is considered as a stronghold for the United Democratic Party. But while it might have a negative effect on the UDP, it does look quite enlightening for the People’ United Party for the next general elections. However, during an interview with the media, PUP leader Hon. John Briceno stated that he not does find enjoyment or any delight in the trials currently faced by Vega and further added that the decision lies in the hands of the people from the North Constituency as to whether or not he should be recalled.

    Salvadorian national Caught For Illegal Entry
    A Salvadoran immigrant is tonight behind bars after he was caught by Belmopan police for illegal entry. This is not the first time though as Juan Pablo Lopez has been previously detained and charged twice for the same wrongdoing and had been deported back to his country of origin. Despite those charges, he was sighted in Belize again and as a result was taken into custody once more. Lopez was fined a sum of three thousand dollars in default of three months in prison. CTV3 News understands that a removal order has been issued for Lopez’s return to El Salvador after the fine has been paid or time served. Details surrounding the immigrant’s presence in Belize are yet to be determined.

    GOB Suspends Seismic Testing Under Pressure
    It appears that every day there is a wildfire-type issue for the Barrow Administration to put out. Some days it is land scandals, other days it is hustling by senior Government officials. Today the issue became the Multi Beam Seismic Survey near areas of sensitive nature – we’re talking about 10 miles from the Blue Hole and a short distance from the Lighthouse Reef and Atolls. The seismic activity was approved by the Cabinet and given the green light by the Department of Environment. But there was no environmental impact study carried out and not even any type of consultation with authorities, actually not even a slight warning. This stirred up environmental groups over the past days and raised suspicion over the Government’s plans. Today, things came to a boiling point when a public meeting on the island San Pedro turned into a shouting affair against Government officials who were attempting to explain. To calm down those in attendance, the Minister of Tourism Manuel Herredia promised that he would immediately take the concerns to the Prime Minister and that a decision on whether to halt the project would be taken urgently. Well, considering the pressure that the Government is on these days it only took the Prime Minister a few hours to reconsider and issue this press release, indicating that the seismic operation would be suspended.

    LOVE FM

    Education Minister Expresses Interest to Negotiate on Teachers’ Salaries
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber has written to the President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Luke Palacio in regards to the teachers’ salaries. As we had mentioned, the Ministry sent out a memo stating that Government has decided to withhold contributions to salaries for those teachers who took part in […]

    PM’s Word as Good as Gold on 13th Senator
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has signed the commencement order to appoint the thirteenth senator. According to a government release, the commencement order signed today is to give effect to the provisions relating to the appointment of the thirteenth senator pursuant to the Belize Constitution Sixth Amendment Act. Of note is that the order will take […]

    Briceno Asks Government, ‘Are You Mad?’
    After weeks of clamoring the Government of Belize for good governance and making a firm decision to be absent from the classrooms, the thousands of primary and secondary school students are back at school for the second day since the teachers’ strike took effect on Monday, October 3. What started out as an issue over […]

    Government Suspends Seismic Testings in Belize
    The Government has halted seismic explorations in Belize’s offshore. We hear more in this report from Ingrid Fernandez.

    Kent Clare for FIU Director
    Kent Clare, the former Income Tax Commissioner, is the new Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. We are told that Clare replaces former Minister and Senator Joy Grant who is now the Governor of the Central Bank. Clare is one of the most senior officers who has worked at the Income Tax Department. The Belize […]

    Missing Monies at the Belize Workers Union?
    The Belize Workers Union, BWU, will hold its Annual General Meeting soon and one of the points to be discussed will be the finances of the union. Someone within the union has leaked bank statements from two bank accounts belonging to the BWU. One of the bank account deals with the members’ savings while the […]

    Lawsuit Filed for Injuries to Student on School Grounds
    On January 29, an iron gate at the Samuel Haynes Institute fell on then three year old Brenae Timmons, almost crushing her to death. Brenae who is four now, received serious body injuries that left her in a coma for about two weeks. Since then Brenae, with the help of her parents, has been recuperating […]

    PUP Attorney Says Former Police Minister Acted Illegally
    Minister John Saldivar is on a one week suspension pending an ongoing investigation into the extent of his relationship with William “Danny” Mason. The infamous Mason is now behind bars after being accused of masterminding the execution of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas. In a previous interview, Saldivar said that Mason was a contributor to his football […]

    Health Director Explains Generator Failure at Hospital
    Reports of a power outage in Belmopan and other areas of the country have led to stories of challenges and dilemma faced by those on duty at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan. Stories have been circulating of doctors having to use the lights from their cellular phones to deliver a baby since the generator […]

    Low Lying Bridge Fully Restored in Western Belize
    The wooden bridge in San Ignacio has been replaced. The low lying wooden bridge that crosses the Macal River in Santa Elena and San Ignacio has been fully reconstructed. The reconstruction was done by a local contractor with supervision from engineers in the Ministry of Works. The bridge was officially opened this morning and now […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Hode’s Place in San Ignacio – a premier restaurant with a friendly family environment
    Hode’s Place, located on Savannah Road on the banks of the Macal River, is one of San Ignacio’s premier restaurant. Established in April 1998 by Eugene Burns and his wife Nazette Burns, together with their 3 children, the businessboasts a very friendly and safeenvironment, […]

    Western Regional doctors deliver baby during national blackout with cell phone lights
    After a sensationally bizarre incident, in which a rat was discovered inside an incubator at the Western Regional Hospital in 2015, pregnant mothers did their best to avoid that hospital. Nevertheless it was in this same hospital, where a baby was successfully delivered last night […]

    Ministry of Education issues memo explaining how deduction for teachers’ salaries will be made
    A memo was issued today by the Ministry of Education to all General Managers of Government and Government-Aided Primary Schools, Board of Managements and Principals of Government and Government-Aided Secondary Schools, and Boards and Deans of Government-Aided Junior Colleges explaining the guideline that will […]

    NEMO minister hands over houses to Hurricane Earl victims in Ladyville and Lord’s Bank
    Edmond Castro, the Minister of National Emergency Management (NEMO) and Area Representative for Belize Rural Central, Beverly Castillo were in Ladyville and Lord’s Bank yesterday, October 19, 2016, handing over houses to victims of Hurricane Earl whose homes had been damaged beyond repair by the […]

    Seismic Operations suspended
    The Government of Belize has issued a press release informing the public that the seismic operations have been suspended. “Based on multiple concerns raised by concerned citizens regarding the seismic survey currently being conducted in the deep offshore of Belize as well as the […]

    BTIA disappointed at GOB for approving seismic testing
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) has issued a press release expressing its concern and disappointment at the recent announcement made by the Government of Belize for approving seismic testing in Belize’s offshore areas and near the Belize Barrier Reef System. “The BTIA is concerned […]

    PM Barrow signs commencement order for 13th Senator
    The Office of the Prime Minister has issued a press release announcing that the Honorable Prime Minister today signed the commencement order to give effect to the provisions relating to the appointment of the thirteenth senator pursuant to the Belize Constitution Sixth Amendment […]

    Ambassdor of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan) presents credentials to President
    Her Excellency Ms. Diane C. Haylock, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan), presented her Letters of Credence to Her Excellency Dr. Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Palace in Taiwan today. “Upon receiving the credentials from H.E. Ambassador Haylock, President […]

    Salvadoran Gang Leader detained in Belize
    Juan Lopez, a Salvadorian gang leader has been detained by Belmopan police for illegally crossing our borders. Details of his capture and character remain sketchy and it is unknown why he is in Belize. However, this is his second time here. Efforts are being […]

    Low lying wooden bridge in San Ignacio completed and open to traffic
    Breaking Belize News has confirmed that the reconstruction of the Low Level Wooden Bridge spanning the Macal River in San Ignacio / Santa Elena has been completed. The Ministry of Works issued a press release just now informing the public that a final inspection […]

    World Wildlife Fund warns of Impact of Oil Exploration to Belize Barrier Reef
    Nadia Bood, World Wildlife Fund’s Belize reef scientist has stated “Our reef is an engine for long term economic development in Belize. More than half of Belize’s population, around 190,000 people, are supported by income generated through tourism and fisheries.” The WWF has warned […]

    Guatemalan Armed Forces kidnapped and used intimidation tactics with local Belizean fishermen says BTV
    While the ongoing territorial dispute with bordering Guatemala has disappeared from the national discourse for the most part, Guatemala continues to bully Belize. In a recent act of aggression, the Guatemalan Armed Forces detained six Belizean nationals and three fishing vessels during a routine fishing […]

    BNTU says ‘Stop the Aggravation’
    Yesterday, the BNTU issued a press release calling on the Government and the Ministry of Education to ‘stop the aggravation’. The BNTU notes that, in a memo issued to Managing Authorities, the Ministry informs that they will withhold the salaries of teachers who participated […]

    Bar Association mourns passing of Senior Counsel Michael Young
    The Bar Association of Belize issued a press release yesterday expressing their sadness as they mourn the passing of Senior Counsel Michael Young who they describe as a mentor, brother, long time friend, and colleague. The release gives a brief history of Young’s law […]

    Blogs

    Oil Exploration Along Belize’s Barrier Reef: An Update and Call To Action
    It seemed to come out of nowhere. The announcement that oil exploration was ALREADY happening off the coast of Belize took my breath away – it did for many. Owned and operated by Seabird Exploration – a company that certainly does NOT have a blemish free record. In 2012, there was a public referendum where the public RESOUNDING voted NO to Offshore Drilling. On Ambergris Caye alone, over 4000 voted. 35 people voted YES to drilling. Just last year, the Government of Belize committed to No Offshore Drilling. (Read article: OCEANA Commends Government of Belize For Offshore Exploration Policy – Dec, 2015 and UNESCO’s article: Danger Listed Site Belize Barrier Reef Gets Visionary Integrated Management Plan) And then the announcement that seismic testing was commencing in mid-October 2016. Offshore. Around this UNESCO World Heritage Site Center – our barrier reef – that UNESCO has already declared “at risk”. The nursery and feeding area for millions of sea creatures from manatees to whale sharks, from crocodiles to sea turtles. It’s also a hugely important area (outside of the marine parks) for fishing – that sustains many in Belize.

    Opening of Low Level Wooden Bridge Spanning Macal River in San Ignacio and Santa Elena
    The Ministry of Works informs the general public that it has completed the reconstruction of the Low Level Wooden Bridge spanning the Macal River in San Ignacio / Santa Elena. The reconstruction works were done by a local contractor and was supervised by engineers from the Ministry of Works. The Ministry of Works has completed its final inspection of the bridge and informs the general public that the bridge was opened for use today, October 20, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    Presentation of Credentials by Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan)
    Her Excellency Ms. Diane C. Haylock, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan), today presented her Letters of Credence to Her Excellency Dr. Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Palace. Upon receiving the credentials from H.E. Ambassador Haylock, President Tsai warmly welcomed the new Ambassador to Taipei. President Tsai noted that in recent years, bilateral cooperation has grown tremendously, and reciprocal visits by high-ranking government officials have been frequent, which is testimony to the strength of the close ties and friendship shared between Belize and Taiwan.

    International Sourcesizz

    LC Filmmaker Ilana Lapid Premiering Film ‘Yochi’ at Belize International Film Festival
    Yochi, a film written and directed by Las Cruces filmmaker Ilana Lapid, will premiere at the 2016 Belize International Film Festival, in Belize City, November 10-13. In an additional honor, Yochi was selected as the opening night film. Yochi has been receiving noteworthy recognition, most recently from renowned film director Roland Joffe (The Mission) in a tweet about Robert Dugan’s cinematography, calling it “Beautifully shot.” Yochi is a story of a 9-year-old selectively mute Mayan boy who guards a nest of endangered Yellow-Headed Parrots in Belize’s pine savanna. When his beloved older brother, Itza, returns from the city, Yochi learns that he’s in debt and has turned to poaching – setting the brothers on a collision course. “This film is a story about connection and finding your voice,” said Yochi director, Ilana Lapid. “It poses the question: what are you willing to sacrifice to protect that which is most sacred to you?” Ilana Lapid is also a professor at the Creative Media Institute (CMI) of New Mexico State University (NMSU).

    Time to Audit Petrocaribe and Belize Infrastructure Limited, Says P.U.P.
    And while we are on it – Briceño says bring on the audit for the Petro Caribe funds and the Belize Infrastructure Limited. He says that he believes that the monies must be accounted for and proper records for contracts and bidding should be open. This call comes in the wake of persistent speculations that Petro Caribe monies have been squandered. John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader “It is also time to have an audit be done with the Petro Caribe funds. Over three hundred and seventy-five million dollars have been spent and in many instances millions and millions of dollars have been squandered. Many people believe that this was the way – the allegations are that these funds were some way used to be able to have funds for the campaign. We don’t have the evidence. That is why it is important for us to have a full and thorough investigation as to how the monies from Petro Caribe has been spent.

    10 Caribbean islands cruise ships don’t visit
    In the Caribbean and the Bahamas, islands without cruise ships are disappearing. But these 10 gems unspoiled by the cruising throngs are terrific holdouts of authentic island life. You’ll find sugarcane plantations that still produce rum, palm-fringed beaches with offshore reefs, lodges that generate their own energy, and plenty of places where you can laze away an entire afternoon in a hammock, with nary a megaship in sight. A popular backpacker destination, the tiny Tobacco Caye is a no-frills paradise. This southern Belize island is home to only 20 residents who run Tobacco Caye, four lodges, a couple of bars and restaurants and not much else. Properties collect their own rainwater and generate their own energy from solar power or generators. Intrepid travelers come for diving charters to Glover’s Reef and Blue Hole as well as snorkeling, kayaking and SUP on the surrounding Belize Barrier Reef and South Water Caye Marine Reserve. You’ll also find plenty of beaches lapped by turquoise waters. At day’s end, nothing beats listening to the sound of waves from one of the island’s thatched-roof overwater bungalows.

    Caribbean National Insurance Schemes look shaky to some
    -Caribbean countries should take note that the National Insurance Schemes (NIS) in the region might not be as safe and sound as previously thought. That warning has come in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper published by Koffie Nassar, Joel Okwuokei, Mike Li, Timothy Robinson and Saji Thomas. The paper – which the IMF stressed was a result of research done by the authors and did not necessarily represent the Washington-based institution’s views – advised territories in the region to pay close attention to the schemes which were projected to “run substantial deficits and deplete their assets in the next decades, raising the prospects of government intervention.” “The schemes appear relatively sound until about 2017. Thereafter, they are projected to incur substantial deficits and eventually run down their assets, raising the prospects that the government would have to bear a share of the promised pension benefits,” the researchers wrote.

    Artifacts at two undisturbed Guatemala tombs reveal how Mayan empire worked
    In recent weeks, archeologists have found two tombs in Guatemala that have “miraculously” escaped the notice of looters, and the contents could well shake up everything we know about how the Mayan empire worked, according to Fox News Latino. The tombs were found in the classical Mayan site of Holmul, about 300 miles north of Guatemala City, in the province of El Petén near the border with Belize. One of the artifacts inside – a jade necklace – bore the symbol of a distant king, suggesting that systems of vassalage and patronage spanned hundreds of miles. “We never suspected until now how the Mayan super-state operated,” Francisco Estrada-Belli, a Tulane University research assistant professor directing excavations at Holmul, told Fox News Latino. “This gives us a unique glimpse, looking at it not from the center but from the margins.” The tombs date to 650 to 700 A.D., some 800 years before Europeans arrived in the Americas, and a time when the Mayan culture reached its peak before its descent into a mysterious collapse.

    Banking: Is the US making a stick to beat its own back?
    Caribbean governments have rightly focussed on the severe consequences for their countries of the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations from regional banks by international banks, particularly those located in the US. But there will also be serious consequences for other parts of the world, particularly the US, if the current troubling trend remains unchecked. The gravest immediate threat is to Caribbean countries certainly. This not an abstract issue, restricted to the banking sector or governments. The adverse effects will spare no one. They will affect every sector of economic and financial activity including tourism, importers and exporters of goods, and individuals who either send money abroad or receive it. On the tourism sector, airlines will not be able to transfer monies earned in the Caribbean to their home locations; cruise ships will not be able to pay for their passengers who sail to the region; hotels will not be able to purchase the food and beverages they import for the tourism industry; motor car dealers won’t be able to pay for vehicles they bring in to the country.

    The Diversity Visa Lottery is open!
    What is it? The Diversity Visa Lottery Program is a Congressional-mandated program which provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each year for individuals from countries with lower levels of immigration. Each year, this lottery is conducted to determine who can apply for the visa Learn More About The Diversity Visa and how to apply.

    Videos

  • Dialisis De Belice, 24min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Anti Corruption Law, 47min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Belize Coalition meets with Caye Caulker community on seismic testing., 56min.

  • BELIZE - SWIMMING WITH SHARKS - HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE - AMBERGRIS CAYE, 6.5min. Hol Chan Marine Reserve and swimming with sharks among coral reef on Ambergris Caye.

  • Red Lorde Parrots at Villa Rising Sun, Hopkins, Belize, 1min. Natures wonderful alarm clock.

  • Offshore Oil Exploration Conference in San Pedro, 94min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFC35gFJspk, 26min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Honorable Manuel Heredia relay's Prime Ministers response on putting the Seismic Survey on hold, 33min.

  • Flyover of Royal Belize, 1/2min. Royal Belize Island Resort

  • Flyover of The Placencia Hotel, 1/2min. Placencia, Belize

  • Miss Earth Belize 2016 Eco Beauty Video, 3min.


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