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1/11/2017 to 1/20/2017
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January 20, 2017


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


The San Pedro Sun

SPTC invites traffic expert to share traffic solutions during public consultation
In an effort to discuss primary issues regarding Ambergris Caye’s traffic situation, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) partnered with the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) to host a traffic consultation on Monday, January 16th. Due to the rapid population growth on the island, traffic congestion has been a major issue among locals, students, and tourists. Previous meetings between various business and tourism stakeholders, the San Pedro Traffic Department, taxi operators, truckers, the Children’s Advisory Board (CAB), the Sustainable Child Friendly San Pedro Steering Committee, the media, and the general public led to the public exchange at the Lions Den. Jorge Aldana of the SPTC facilitated the presentation and gave a brief overview of the purpose of the meeting. “San Pedro is a fairly young municipality…we notice the pattern of growth of San Pedro increasing at a 17% annual growth rate…San Pedro has become a tourist destination, and we have depended on tourism and other tourism spin-off activities…traffic has become a major challenge and we need to think of our future,” said Aldana. With the additional feedback from this consultation, SPTC is seeking to contain the problem before it spirals out of control and becomes unfixable. According to the presenters, the four main issues regarding traffic in San Pedro are: influx of vehicles/golf-carts, parking issues, taxi regulations, and not having a public transportation system in place.

Butane gas prices on the rise
As of Wednesday, January 11th, the cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has increased. The new controlled price being introduced was communicated via a press release issued by the Belize Bureau of Standards, explaining that the adjustment is due to the increase in LPG prices. The official statement further clarifies that currently there is no General Sales Tax (GST) levied on LPG, and that the Government of Belize has no intensions of introducing any such tax measure in the future. It was also indicated that prices for LPG had not been adjusted since September 2015. The new price in effect per every 100 pound cylinder varies throughout the different cities and towns of the country. The price before the increase had been at $85 dollars per every 100 pounds. In Belize City the price is now $97 dollars. In both Belmopan and San Ignacio, the new price is now $99, while in Benque Viejo del Carmen the new price is $100.

GOB refuses to compensate Ashcroft following recent arbitration awards
The Government of Belize (GOB) and British billionaire Michael Ashcroft remain at odds. In a press release dated January, 11, 2017, GOB is refusing to pay $50 million in three arbitration awards to the Ashcroft Alliance, reasoning that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled against them. The release stated that GOB won’t pay for those arbitration awards, which were derived from the accommodation agreement given to Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL) and a Settlement Deed given to BCB Holdings Limited by the People’s United Party (PUP) during their administration. BSDL and BCB are Ashcroft companies. “All three awards, which the United Democratic Party (UDP) administration on behalf of the people of Belize has tried to resist, are born of PUP cronyism, corruption and betrayal. Yet the PUP now gloats over the facts that U.S courts have upheld these awards that are the legacy of their unconstitutional and unbridled hustling and self-enrichment,” stated the release.

SP Police strengthening community policing
The San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) has been very active in their weekly meet and greet sessions around the island. The initiative sees officers engaged in efforts to strengthen community policing by visiting residents in different parts of the island. On Wednesday, January 11th, the SPPD took a different approach, assisting the needy and vulnerable with food. Speaking on the behalf of the Police Department was PC Juan Choc, who explained the importance of touching base with the community. “We have started this new project known as the ‘Outreach Program,’ which comes under community policing,” said Choc. “It focuses in giving to the less fortunate, whether it is food or groceries.” Choc stated that as long as the program exists, they will continue assisting in any way possible. The officers were accompanied by their Officer in Command, Superintendent Henry Jemmott and other senior officers. They visited many areas on the island distributing food. “We gave out food to many people who may be homeless, and might not have anything to eat,” said Choc.

Ambergris Today

Letter to Minister Heredia: Caye Caulker Needs Your Help
Dear Mr. Heredia, I do wish you A HAPPY NEW YEAR personally and as our Area Representative and hope that we all as islanders can find positive solutions to this quickly changing everyday reality. One thing we can be sure of in this year of 2017 is CHANGES. The reason I am writing you as our representative is that after our last Caye Caulker Village meeting I got so frustrated that I just went home after 1 1/2 hours. With all the good intentions of the new CCVC, each and every project they would like to do would not be possible to do due to the lack of funds. There was no money to fix the truck so the roads can’t be fixed and the debris after the cable company/hurricane in our street can’t be taken away. We would like to get a garbage truck to collect the household garbage. We would like to do this, we would like to do that but there is no money SO? On the way home I was reflecting on a past CCVC meeting some 20+ years ago where Ms Ilna Allamina’s now deceased husband proposed to start Offshore Banking in Caye Caulker to solve the same problems we have now as we had then.

Ad Campaign Kicks off Against Gender-based Violence in Belize
The Office of the Special Envoy in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will be releasing a series of PSAs as part of an ongoing Gender-based Violence initiative, to draw awareness to the violence that has affected and claimed the lives of thousands across our nation and the world. The various ads will be centered on the theme “Unmasking the Many Faces of Gender- based Violence” and will highlight its many forms including sexual, physical, economic, emotional and psychological abuse where either male or female can be the victim or the perpetrator.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Ms. Amanda ready to assist in surgery!
Don't forget that the CC Humane Society has a general clinic each Saturday morning (rain or shine) from 9 - 11 and surgery midweek by appointment.

Belikin La Ruta Maya prize list
Here is the 2017 Prize List so far. We will update as more prizes are confirmed. Anyone wishing to give a prize please contact us via email at larutamayabz@gmail.com. 42 days left to the 2017 big event!

TRAINING ON THE APPLICATION OF THE BASEL CONVENTION FOR THE TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE, PACKAGING, SAFE HANDLING AND TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS
The Department of the Environment (DOE) is executing the project entitled “Belize Chemicals and Waste Management (BCWM) Project”, wherein one of the goals is the management and disposal of existing stockpiles of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), obsolete pesticides and other chemicals. This is to enable Belize to fulfil its Obligations under the Stockholm Convention on POPs. To assist in achieving this goal, the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the BCWM Project is organizing a two-day training on chemicals management, with emphasis on the application of the Basel Convention on the Control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste, packaging, safe handling and transportation of hazardous chemicals. We are targeting enforcement officers,importers and end users.

THE BELIZEAN ART SHOP: THE WORK OF KAREN STUART SPENCE!
In this first series of works, we will feature the photography of Karen Stuart Spence of California's Antelope Valley, a very creative Belizean photographer who has been shooting as a hobby and has compiled a beautiful body of work. Karen works expresses the passion she has for the visual arts and has displayed her pieces on Instagram and other social media like Facebook where many of her photography can be seen. Though viewers will not necessarily see any Belizean scenes yet in this introduction to Karen's work and until we feature them in Part 2, her talent here is expressed through her ability to capture the aesthetics in the objects she photographs which is from landscapes to people, food, cities, and concepts she creates that reflects a certain kind of feeling and culture.

Joyjah Estrada in Marie Claire
Waaaaaht!!!! Your girl is in this month's issue of Marie Claire & Allure Magazines

Transport Minister Assesses George Murray (Independence) Bus Terminal
While he was in the southern part of the country yesterday, January 18, 2017, Minister of Transport Hon Edmond Castro visited the bus terminal in the village of Independence (Stann Creek District) to get a first-hand assessment of how the terminal is operating and serving the needs of the bus-operators and commuters in the area. Hon Castro met with Terminal Manager Mateo Salam; assistants, Clive Westby and Sherna Logan; and other personnel, and discussed ways of improving the terminal. Those include, better communication (Telephone and Internet), bathrooms, entrance and exit gates and booths, as well as culverts to improve drainage in and around the terminal compound. Castro also spoke with commuters and vendors. He thanked the personnel at the terminal for their dedicated service and encouraged them to continue doing their best to enhance the experience of commuting Belizeans and visitors to our country who utilize the terminal.

GAMING CONTROL BOARD NOTICE
The Gaming Control Board of Belize would like to remind all gaming machine licensees that their licenses will expire on 31st March 2017. Licensees wishing to renew their licenses are asked to submit their application forms to the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce in Belmopan on or before Friday 3rd February 2017. Application forms are available at the Ministry.

LOTTERIES COMMITTEE NOTICE
The Lotteries Committee hereby informs the general public that no person shall promote or conduct any lottery (any scheme for distribution of prizes by lot or chance), unless he obtains a licence in accordance with the Lotteries Control Act Chapter 151 of the Laws of Belize. So this means that schools need to get a license when holding a raffle. Lotteries committee will be pretty busy as schools hold many raffles over the course of a school year. I am wondering if lottery/raffle licence holders are required to submit a report to the Lotteries Committee once the raffle is over. Any person who intends to promote or conduct any lottery or raffle, shall apply in writing to the Lotteries Committee.

Andy Vivian Palacio (2 December 1960 – 19 January 2008)
Andy was a Belizean Punta musician and government official. He was also a leading activist for the Garifuna people and their culture. Palacio was born and raised in the coastal village of Barranco and worked briefly as a teacher before turning to music. He received the award for "Best New Artist" at the Caribbean Music Awards in 1991, and was posthumously awarded the BBC3 Awards for World Music award in the Americas Category, in 2008. In addition to the traditional Garifuna music that he played, Palacio absorbed the diverse sounds disseminated by radio from neighboring Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Cuba, Jamaica and the United States. Palacio pursued his musical ambitions in a series of high school bands, covering a diversity of popular music from abroad. Attracted by the ideals of the Nicaraguan revolution, he joined the literacy campaign in that nation's African-Amerindian Caribbean coast region, and developed a deeper appreciation for his own threatened cultural and linguistic traditions. Those insights made their way into his own creativity, influencing him to delve more deeply into the roots of Garifuna music. Palacio returned from Nicaragua to discover the emergence of new Garifuna pride in their culture and identity, a development dramatically expressed in the sudden popularity of punta rock, a fusion of traditional Garifuna music with electric guitar and the influences of R&B, jazz and rock and roll. The Original Turtle Shell Band, led by Belizean Garifuna musician and painter Delvin "Pen" Cayetano, burst into national consciousness in the early 1980s just as Belize gained independence. The Turtle Shell Band's invitation to perform with their mentor Isabel Flores (a legendary Garifuna percussionist and singer, now deceased) at the 1983 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival encouraged Andy Palacio to pursue a musical career.

FCD Educator visited Bishop Martin R.C School to present on the Bi-National Watershed
This watershed consists of the Chiquibul-Mopan-Macal and Belize Rivers. We are thankful to Mr. Ismael Waight of Bishop Martin School for their warm reception.

Street Arts Festival
The Belize City House of Culture and the Downtown Rejuvenation Project invites all to the Street Arts Festival on Saturday, February 25th from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Remember to visit our Booth and listen to Harrison "Dawgie" King as he performs some of our favourite Brukdong music live on stage sponsored by our Project.

Channel 7

GOB's Investment Czar: Not Surprised At Puerto Azul
Two days ago we told you how the whole Puerto Azul project blew up in an international scandal as a massive ponzi scheme. Italian police say the developers defrauded tens of millions of dollars form investors by proposing a project which never materialized. That has put Belize in the worse kind of limelight, since a fantastical "8 star" resort near the Blue Hole was the centerpiece of the Puerto Azul scam. The resort was never built, but the developers did engage the Belizean government, and even got the Ministers of Tourism and Investment to appear at their launch party in France. Chair of the Cabinet Investment Committee Godwin Hulse never went to that party and today we asked what was his reaction when news broke that Puerto Azul was all a front to defraud investors:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Were you surprised?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture: "Absolutely not. I was not surprised at all. Actually, the first time the project came and you know we had several meetings. I had my issues, I could catalogue them for you; one, was to put an airstrip anywhere near the reef. As an engineer I know that would not have work. Two, they were going to raise commercial paper and I had made it clear to them in a meeting. That is fine when you put that on paper, but show me the money. Anybody can come with certification that you can raise a billion dollars or two. But banks don't release money that easily and to tell me that 'oh money is no problem.' Anybody who tells me money is no problem, I get very excited, because money is always a problem to raise. So I was not surprised at all."

Hulse Gets Hot When Asked About Ministers Pressing Influence At Immigration
And while Hulse was cool on that one, he ran hot when the media asked him about the visa irregularities that happened at the Immigration Department. Hulse was Minister of Immigration during the period when former Director Maria Marin says she was compiling a list of Ministers who frequented the office to follow up on the persons they had recommended for visas - and that Hulse was made aware of it. Today, the usually calm Hulse ran a little hot when the scenario was put to him:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture: "Every Chinese pay $2,000 for a visa and I have said then, I'll say now and I'll say forever, the visa is to visit Belize for 30 days. It's a visitors' visa. You have to have a criteria to come, a place to stay and a return ticket. You meet that, I wish the billion Chinese would come, because if you do the billion by the $2,000 per Chinese, we would never have to pay any taxes or work for the rest of life at least and everything would be honkey dory and free. I don't have that problem. I don't also have problem with any minister recommending. We live in a real world and these guys you know they get contribution."

Unidentified Body Found In River, Police Say Drowning
The decomposed body of an unidentified man was hauled out of the river on the Northern Highway this morning. The body was found floating face down near the Manatee Lookout Area. Police conducted a post mortem examination this afternoon between 2:30 and 4:00. The results show that the man died of asphyxia due to drowning. Still, up to newstime, Police have not confirmed the identity of drowned person and are asking for your help to do so. He is a black man with curly hair, medium build, and is believed to be in his 30's. He had on a white Kubuli shirt and blue checkered boxers. Police say there was no sign of violence on the body. The body was buried at the Lord's Bank cemetery after the post mortem. The police say they tried to find the man's family but were unable to.

Cops Says 28 Year Old Killed 15 Year Old
A man has been charged for killing 15 year old Jaheem Mahler. 28 year old Carl Reneau was arrested and charged with murder today. Police still have not established a clear motive and say there is no connection between Mahler and Reneau. So there are still more questions to be answered. As we told you last night, Mahler left his grandmother's home on Fabers Road around 7:00 on Tuesday night. Mahler said he was going to buy an ideal from the store but he never made it back to his gran's house. The information is that Mahler was riding his bicycle on Iguana Street Extension with 2 other boys when a gunman shot him about 8 times. Mahler was hit to his chest, back, hand and feet. A few eyewitnesses told us that Mahler was in a fight with other boys in front of a Raccon Street Chinese Store Street before the shooting, but the family and police told us today that there was no fight.

Police Looking For This Man
As we told you in our first segment a man has been charged for the murder of 15 year old Jaheem Mahler. Well, police need your help to arrest a prime suspect in another case - this one is a non- fatal shooting. Police do not want to say which shooting at this point so as to avoid any retaliatory acts. But if you know who this man is or have any information as to where he might be, kindly contact the police.

From Speaker To Senator
Michael Peyreffite has gone from Speaker of the House to Attorney General, and now to Senator in just a few weeks. The attorney and former UDP candidate for Freetown was sworn in at the start of today's Senate meeting.

PUP Tried To Nix Senate Meeting Before It Started
Peyreffite was known for his bullish ways as House Speaker but now he's in the upper house where decorum and civility prevail, not the boisterous style of House. Still, he's sharp on the uptake ads a debater, and that came in right on time for the UDP today when the PUP's senior Senator tried to end today's meeting before it even started. Eamon Courtenay caught everyone off guard when he proposed a surprise amendment to hold off on today's meeting completely until the NGO Senator is in place. Here's how that went:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Leader of Government Business: "Mr. President, I move that at its rising today the senate adjourn to a date to be fixed by the President." Hon. Eamon Courtenay, PUP Senator: "I proposed that the motion moved by the Hon. Leader of Government Business be amended to read that at its rising now this senate do stand adjourn until after the 20th January in order that the 13th senator can attend and take part in the matters on the order paper. It is the motion to amend so that the senate adjourns now."

Former Immig. Director Discusses Missing Visas
But before we go ahead with today's regular senate meeting, we'll finish off the coverage of yesterday's quite revealing day at the senate Inquiry. The Senate committee grilled Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan about tranches of immigration documents which were improperly approved and issued to applicants who did not qualify during her tenure between 2011 and early 2013. The Senate interrogated Meighan about the instances in which permanent residency was issued for persons who didn't qualify. From the perspective of Auditor General, the Immigration Department should have clearly seen that these people did not qualify because a review of the list of approved visas would have shown that they were not in Belize for more than a few months, or in some instances a few days, and certainly not long enough to qualify under the law. When Meighan was confronted with the fact that she granted permanent residency for 15 such Asian applicants, her defense was that she was provided with documents showing passports which appeared to prove that these people had been in Belize for the required time. She's alleging that she trusted the vetting officers who brought these applications to her to approve, and that there was allegedly a sophisticated level of fraud and forgery which looked so authentic that it fooled her completely.

Former Director Meighan Points Fingers At Subordinates
So, as you saw, fingers were being pointed at directly identified Immigration Officers yet not much was done in that instance. Meighan directed blame to the officers under her for those 15 Asians who got their visas and permanent residency documents approved within a short period of time. She says that she trusted the vetting process of the immigration officers who passed these applications along, and so she did not know that they should not have qualified because there were forgeries she couldn't detect. When the Senate asked her about the process she shared how the process works, and how forgeries got past her. Here's that conversation: Hon. Aldo Salazar, Chairman - Senate Select Committee: "Miss Meighan, I'm trying to understand what could have happen. There must have been some activity happening with the stamp that you would have reviewed because clearly that person would not have landed on the date evidence by that stamp. Thats the explanation that you are giving that you would base your approval based on the stamp on the photocopy of the passport. But when comparison goes back, the person could not have been here if they never had a visa. Who would accept the visa application?"

Senate Back And Forth Got Heated
The Senate then went further into the lack of oversight over the junior immigration officers which led to the acceptance of incomplete applications. That's a matter which Business Senator Mark Lizarraga locked in on yesterday, and he kept on challenging Meighan that all the reform measures to address that security matters at the Department failed. He was essentially challenging her effectiveness as a head of Department when she was the Director of Immigration. It led to instances of heated back and forth, and here's a few moments from yesterday when they butted heads:

Senate Split On Referendum
But all that back and forth happened yesterday - at the senate inquiry. Today was the regular senate to go over the business of Friday's House meeting. And at that Friday meeting the most robustly debated item was the referendum Amendment bill. It was the same at today's Senate Meeting. Here's the back and forth on that:... Hon. Valerie Woods, PUP Senator: "There is an ongoing and pressing issue in the Sarstoon that has not been resolved. So why would we create a further tense atmosphere with our own people by amending a referendum act without addressing some real issues on the ground that we are having with Guatemala when we know that the referendum act cannot be viewed in isolation of those issues with Guatemala." "One can understand why Belizeans are a bit nervous as to the rush on this referendum act. You see we would be viewed absolutely as removing this one main obstacle which is this threshold. But what is Guatemala doing to remove their obstacles? Why are we not making similar demands?"

Frightening Rates of Obesity In Caribbean
Today the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and PAHO released a worrying report about the population of overweight and obese people in the region. According to the report, about 360 million people in the Caribbean and Latin America are overweight. That's about 58% of the population of both regions. The report also noted that 140 million people, or 23% of the population is obese. Why is so much of the population so overweight? Well according to PAHO Director, Carissa F. Etienne, the problem is access to healthy and affordable foods, as well as relatively low education levels among the poorer population in the region. In order to combat this epidemic, FAO's Regional Coordinator Eve Crowley urged governments in problem countries to quote, "introduce policies that address all forms of hunger and malnutrition by linking food security, sustainability, agriculture, nutrition and health."

Herbicide Roundup Causes Cancer? What are Alternatives?
Roundup is herbicide used in everything from large scale agriculture operations to back yard gardening. It is used to kill weeds and unwanted grasses that could be problematic for the growth of crops. It is also the most widely used herbicide in Belize, and is much used in the US as well. But should, Roundup users beware? According to new research, tests done on rats using the active ingredient in the herbicide, glyphosate, caused the rodents to develop liver disease. which over time could cause cancer. Today we spoke to agrochemical expert and importer of Roundup, Wilmot Simmons, about the potential dangers of the widely used product, and whether users should be worried. While Simmons is biased, he says the alternative - which is paraquat - is worse...

Shrimp Farming Industry In Trouble
But it's not "Roundup" that's causing the problems in the Shrimp farming industry, they've got a virus which has killed off shrimp stocks, and nearly killed off the industry where revenues crashed. Since then all the farms have flushed out and re-stocked with new genetic material. Unofficial reports say it looked encouraging at first, but then there was another major die off of shrimp stocks. It's left the technicians scratching their heads in awful anxiety. Today the Minister of Agriculture discussed the problem:... Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture: "There is some promising results and there are some disappointing results as well. So I wouldn't use the word "Crash." I can share with you some pictures of some very lovely shrimp being produced by Rainforest people. But they have small ponds that they have specially design to train, the shrimp looks excellent etc. People like Alvin Henderson is also part of that. Mike Dunker is part of that."

Belize's Banana Buyer Bought By Japanese Company, Future Unclear
And while the Aquaculture industry is trying to reboot - the Banana industry is hoping it doesn't have to. That's because the main purchaser of Belize's Bananas, the Irish company Fyffes has been bought over by a Japanese company, the Sumitomo Corporation. The deal is worth tens of billions of Euros, as Fyffes is one of the largest Fruit companies in the world - but where does Belize fit into all that? That's what we asked the Agriculture minister today:…

Ara Macao Come Back Again?
And keeping it in the south, we did ask Hulse about reports that the Ara Macao project was being re-started. If you have a looong news memory, you'll recall that one all the way back to about 10 years ago when the mega project for the Palcencia peninsula first emerged. It generated a great deal of controversy and opposition then. So what's the deal this time? Well even the government's investment Czar wasn't quite sure:.. Reports say the developers have planned a community meeting for Siene Byte village one week from tonight.

Guat Pres' Family And An "Illicit Favour"
In September of last year, we told you about the corruption investigation that was launched against Samuel "Sammy" Morales, brother of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, and Jose Manuel Morales, the President's son. It was a major blow against Morales's credibility. After all, he was swept into office on a wave of public anger over a corruption scandal which led to the arrest and imprisonment of his predecessor, Otto Perez. Now, Press reports out of Guatemala say that Samuel Morales, who is one of President Morales' close advisors, has been arrested on a charge of money laundering. The president's son turned himself into the authorities. But, that money laundering charge was short-lived, and it was dismissed very quickly. The Attorney General has reportedly commented that neither of the Morales men made any money from the scheme, which she called an "illicit favor".

BDF and GAF Walk The Borderline
Earlier in the news, you heard the Senators debating the amendment to the Referendum Act. But, while there is so much public controversy over tense Belize/Guatemala relations, at the military level, the Guatemalan Armed Forces and the Belize Defence Force continue to enjoy peaceful and cordial relationship along the area known as the adjacency zone. That's certainly the type of interaction you can see in these photos released on the Guatemalan Military Twitter page yesterday. Soldiers from both the BDF and the GAF have their national flags raised side by side. We couldn't reach BDF Commander General Jones for comment today, but last year, he told the press that these joint patrol link-ups happened over 200 times in 2016.

BNTU Has Its Own Plan To Make Up Lost Time
Right after the Christmas Break, we showed you how majority of the teachers and stayed home stayed home for that extra week even though the Ministry and the School Managements countrywide tried to open school to get those 4 additional make up days because of the teachers strike. As we told you, the Ministry had their say, but the teachers had their way. Well, the BNTU is now contemplating how they will make up the days lost in the teachers strike of October. 10 Days ago, the Belize Branch of the BNTU sent this letter to the Managing Authorities of the schools, which says, "BNTU has consistently indicated that teachers and our membership stand ready to execute, effective make-up time; for the school-contact-time, lost during the strike period...we hereby request of each school; to provide us with FULL details of: how it is that you have made up, are making up, or intend to make up the lost time. Please ensure however, that this process has emerged out of consensus among ALL parties involved: teachers, administration and managements." End Quote. The Union is asking its members to provide copies of any plan which their school comes up with, along with the relevant details. The Union is expecting to see these copies by tomorrow.

Teachers Attorney Urges GOB To Come Around
And while that is ongoing, the teachers are still engaged in court ordered mediation with the Ministry of Education. It's the Supreme Court case over whether the Ministry has the authority to dock teachers salaries for the time missed due to strike. The arbitration sessions hasn't been held yet, but they have until early February to do so. Today the teachers attorney told us how it has been going:..

Courtenay Says GOB Can't Get Away With Dodging Arbitration Awards
And since he had on his attorney's hate, we also asked Courtney about Government's recent, defiant announcement that it won't pay a judgment ordered by a US district court. IT's 50 million US dollars, the result of arbitration awards plus interest which are owed to Ashcroft Alliance companies. Courtney who ahs appeared variously for Ashcroft Allied companies said the government can't run from this one:..

NGO Amendment Passed, Despite Opposition
And finally from today's Senate meeting, we have a few clips from the debate on the NGO Amendment Bill. As you heard earlier, the government says the 13th senator can't be formally activated until this bill passes through the house and the Senate. The opposition and the NGO community see that as wrong-headed and insulting. Here's how the debate went:.. The bill was passed and the commencement order for the 13th Senator comes into force tomorrow.

Berne Is Back!
And finally tonight...Belizean artist Berne Velasquez has been featured many times in our newscast for his music and his star roles in movies and documentaries. Well, Velasquez has made a documentary of his own, starring..who else ? Himself ! The 45 minute documentary captures his musical career, locally and internationally. But it's more than just a video autobiography. Velasuez told us today that he hopes his story inspires hope and perseverance. The documentary has not been released, so the images you saw are of the trailer. Velasquez will officially launch the documentary in February. Our records tell us, it's not the first one he's made about his own life. You can follow him on facebook, Instagram or Twitter under the name Berne Velasquez.

Channel 5

Opposition Tries to Stop Senate Sitting for 13th Senator
The Senate held its first meeting for 2017 – but it almost didn’t proceed after a major monkey wrench was thrown into this morning’s meeting in Belmopan. Both the Referendum [...]

After Debate, Courtenay Told He Is Out of Order
There followed a rough-and-tumble debate about the necessity for the amendment, especially when it was pointed out by several Government Senators, most notably Stephen Duncan, that not having the N.G.O.’s [...]

Courtenay Says Government Has “a Problem” with Senate Commitment
The Senate withdrew into a closed session at the request of lead Government Senator Godwin Hulse, and returned approximately fifteen minutes later insisting that the motion was out of order. [...]

Godwin Adamant: “Don’t Care” About Ministers Recommending Visas for Unknowns
The Ministry of Immigration and Nationality, headed by Senator Godwin Hulse, and in particular the Immigration Department, has been on the permanent hot seat for several months now. This is [...]

The Arbitration Bubble Will Burst, Courtenay Warns
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Government’s appeals against arbitration awards upheld in lower courts in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social [...]

G.O.B. on to Puerto Azul – They Failed the 5-Point Test
Finally today, government spoke of the international hoax that is the multimillion dollar Puerto Azul tourism development project. It was endorsed by the G.O.B., particularly by the Minister of Tourism [...]

Hulse Says Government Hasn’t Decided on Reaction
Should government apologize internationally for openly backing a fraudulent endeavor which promoted the Blue Hole and other aspects of the World Heritage Site as the principal attraction for tourists?  According [...]

Will Government Succeed with Superbond? Business Community Not Sure
The Superbond has been on everyone’s minds this week. The Government has been told by bondholders that without a medium-term plan to address credit risk in light of the third [...]

The Debate Over Referendum Act Continues
If debate of the amendment to the Referendum Act at Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives was raw and passionate, the usually genteel Senate was only slightly less so. [...]

Teachers Hoping Government Will Be Reasonable in Mediation
In December 2016, the Belize National Teachers’ Union and Ministry of Education were ordered to mediation by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to resolve a dispute over attempts by Government to [...]

How Broken is the N.G.O. Act?
When the N.G.O. Act amendment came up for debate later in the meeting, the Opposition renewed its attack on the amendment as, as put by lead Senator Eamon Courtenay, is [...]

Another Loan May Be Too Much for Belize, Warns Lizarraga
The Government of Belize has contracted with the Republic of China (Taiwan) for fifty million Belize dollars in general budgetary support. While the money is being borrowed from a Taiwanese [...]

Carl Reneau Charged in Murder of Jaheem Mahler
Police believe they have cracked the murder of fifteen-year-old Jaheem Mahler. Tonight, twenty-eight-year-old Carl Reneau is in custody after being charged earlier today with the Tuesday night murder of the [...]

Remembering 15 Year Old Murder Victim Jaheem Mahler
The family of Jaheem Mahler, the fifteen-year-old student gunned down in Belize City, is preparing to put him to rest. But even as preparations take place, there are more questions [...]

Another Body Found, This Time on Northern Highway
Early this morning, Ladyville police detectives were called out to an area near mile eight on the Phillip Goldson Highway where a body had been spotted floating in the Belize [...]

Andy Palacio, 9 Years Later, Through Families
Today marks nine years since musical icon Andy Palacio passed away.  Known across the world, Palacio put Belize on the map and left a rich legacy of the Garifuna culture [...]

LOVE FM

Senate Select Committee grills former Immigration Director
Ruth Meighan was the Chief Elections Officer before being appointed to the post of Director of Immigration. She served as Immigration Director from October 2010 to February 2013. After the Elvin Penner immigration scandal came to light, Meighan attempted to travel to the US but was denied entry. It was later revealed that her visa […]

Teenager gunned down in Belize City
A 15-year-old boy became the latest murder victim after he was shot multiple times last night on Iguana Street Extension in Belize City. Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez spoke of the latest murder. Raphael Martinez Police Press Officer “Police visited the KHMH where they saw 15-year-old Jamal Mahler, a student of Faber’s road address in […]

Belize City man charged for New Year’s Day murder
Twenty-nine year old Daniel Cain, a resident of Pinks Alley, has been charged with the murder of 22 year old Colin Sutherland who was shot and killed around 7 p.m. on New Year’s Day. The charge was read to Cain when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Cain was remanded into […]

Belize Progressive Party highlights need for change in governance
Representatives of the Belize Progressive Party appeared on Love FM’s morning show today. Patrick Rogers of the BPP said changes need to be made, even though it might appear to be difficult. Patrick Rogers – BPP “With UNCAC signed, with the CICIB, that needs to be established in Belize and it’s really time for that […]

Police maintain frequent patrols on La Isla Bonita to deter drug traffickers
This past weekend we reported on the discovery of fifteen parcels of cocaine on the north coast of San Pedro. Today, Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood said the discovery came as a result of intelligence work. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood – Police Press Officer “It was a part of police intelligence work. I also want […]

Victim of fatal road traffic accident remains unidentified
Police are seeking the public’s assistance in positively identify the victim of a fatal road traffic accident that occurred last night on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police Officer Raphael Martinez shared the details of the incident. Raphael Martinez – Police Press Officer “At 6:30 pm yesterday, police visited the scene at mile 69 on the […]

Belize City Mayor keeps an eye on impasse over garbage disposal
Last week, PASA Belize Limited, a Mexican Waste Management Company, decided to withdraw from its contract to transport garbage from across the country to the six transfer stations. The transfer stations have ceased operations since January 9 and the matter is being urgently addressed by Government officials. No reason was given for the crippling decision […]

Attorney says criminal laws need to be revised
At Monday’s ceremonial opening of the legal year, new Attorney General Michael Peyrifitte said he was looking forward to work with the bar and bench to improve the judiciary. One of the initiatives has to do with the revision of the criminal laws. Attorney Anthony Sylvester Junior shared with the media why that is important. […]

Methodist Church holds annual conference in Punta Gorda
Paul Mahung reporting … “The Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas and Belize Honduras District is being held this week in Punta Gorda. Among a host of ministerial officials at the conference hosted at the Punta Gorda Methodist Church Love News caught up with Bishop of Belize Honduras District, […]

The Guardian

15 year old boy killed over misunderstanding
Raheem Mahler, a 15 year-old Belize City minor, was murdered in what appears, at this time, to be a simple street fight which escalated to gun violence. According to police, sometime around 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, they received word that there was a shooting on Iguana Street Extension. They responded and learnt that Mahler, who was injured in that shooting, had been rushed to the KHMH for emergency medical treatment. Unfortunately, the doctors couldn’t do anything for him because the injuries claimed his life on the way there. What the police have been able to piece together is that Mahler, who is a student living on Fabers Road, was walking with 2 friends on Iguana Street when they were approached by a gunman who fired a hail of bullets at him. He was injured by 8 of them to the chest, the face, the back and the feet, and those injuries claimed his life.

Attorney General calls for less complaints and more partners
“The sky is always falling. What is worse about the addresses made at the Opening of the Supreme Court is that the problems facing the justice system of the country are always the other party’s fault. The Bench points out the problems caused by the Bar; the Bar points out the challenges caused by the Bench; the Bench and Bar express frustrations with Government and the Attorney General ends up scolding them both. Even at the opportune time for reflection on the state of the justice system, the individuals tasked with developing the system are too lawyerish to evaluate their own performance.” This was the opening paragraph to our article on the Opening of the Supreme Court last year and it seems as if the guardians of our justice system have heard our concern. The Supreme Court opened on Monday, January 16, this year. The opening is traditionally set for the second Monday of the New Year but since January 2 was declared a holiday in lieu of New Years Day the Court’s opening was set for the third Monday this year. This year’s ceremony began with an ecumenical service at the St. John’s Anglican Cathedral on Regent Street. Immediately following the service, the Police Departments band led a procession which included the Justices of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, Magistrates, members of the Bar Association of Belize and officers of the Court.

Bondholders reject first offer to restructure Superbond
Negotiations to re-tool the Superbond are now well underway. Last week Friday, January 13th, the government offered to pay a consent fee of .25% of the face value of the bond to bond holders. That came along with a proposal to reduce interest rates to a fixed 4% per annum payments which at this point in time stands at 5% and increases to 6.75% in August of this year. There was no suggestion to reduce principal or to extend the maturity date. As had been expected by government officials, on Tuesday January 17th, the bondholders reacted to the proposal rejecting it. In a release from them they stated that “If approved, the proposed amendments to the terms and conditions of the Bonds contemplated by the Consent Solicitation would crystalize a further reduction in the net present value of the Bonds in excess of 40%, in addition to a cumulative reduction of more than 50% already provided by bondholders in restructurings of predecessor instruments to the Bonds in 2007 and 2013. The members of the Committee view the Consent Solicitation as premature.” The release continues asking that all bondholders decline to give their consent.

UDP swears in woman Speaker of the House
rime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow had announced in mid-December that the new Speaker of the House of Representatives would be Laura Longsworth and true to the announcement she took up the position at the House Meeting held on Friday January 13th. At the start of the meeting Prime Minister Barrow proposed that Mrs. Laura Tucker Longsworth be the new Speaker, that motion was seconded by Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber. With there being no other nomination to the position, Mrs. Longsworth was escorted into the house chambers to take up the position. Shortly thereafter she was administered the oath of office after which she read from a prepared statement.

Home Affairs Ministry analyzing crime stats for long term strategy
The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Belize Police Department are finalizing the details of a long term plan to combat gangs and violent crimes in Belize City and other hotspots. That plan is expected to be released by the first week of February as the Ministry is still analyzing the crime statistics from last calendar year. Major crimes are down nationally by 3.5 percent, according to the Reported Crimes Comparative Statistics of the Belize Police Department. Major crimes are murders, rape, robbery, burglary, theft and carnal knowledge. In 2016 there were 2,137 major crimes, 79 less than the 2,216 such offenses reported in 2015. In 2015 there were 233 violent crimes committed against people. Those include 119 murders, 40 cases of rape and 74 reports of unlawful sexual intercourse. In 2016 there were 248 violent crimes upon people reported. Those crimes were 138 murders, 23 rape cases and 87 reports of unlawful sexual intercourse. There were 1,983 crimes committed to obtain property in 2015. Those are 214 cases of robbery, 742 cases of burglary and 1,027 theft. In 2016 there were 1,889 crimes committed to obtain property. Those include 232 robberies, 800 burglaries and 857 reports of theft.

Agassi Finnegan on Being Called to the Bar
Seven years, 4 months ago I embarked on a journey in which I knew nothing about or what to expect. I left the comfort and security of my home, my parents, family and friends and travelled to a new country in order to pursue what would become one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself. Having left at the tender and formative age of eighteen, the first time being on my own, I honestly did not know what was to come. Lucky enough for me, I was at all times reassured that in spirit and thought, my family and friends were always with me along for the ride and that a phone call was all that was needed to have them right beside me. Upon the commencement of my study, I quickly realized that the saying ‘no man is an island’ was one of the biggest lessons I would leave the Caribbean with.

Is Briceño playing the fool?
On Tuesday night's newscast on Channel 7 which was airing a repeat of what he had told CTV-3, Johnny Briceno had the audacity to call the super bond a 'UDP super bond.' Anyone with any sense who was looking on must have been left slacked jawed at Briceno's assertion. It seems he has completely forgotten that it was the PUP who came up with the super bond with that massive conglomeration of PUP debts which came into being in February of 2007. While that was bad enough, even worse were his statements on Friday, January 13th, following the House Meeting. When questioned on how he would deal with what was taking place with the judgments as a result of the Accommodation Agreement and NEWCO he simply could not answer. He would turn on to the lame excuse that he was not informed. Imagine the leader of the opposition not informed as to what is taking place! His simple excuse was: "I don't have all the information. My immediate emotional response was to be like 'well then we don't want to pay'. But until I can see all the information and get the best legal advice to advise him, I can't answer."

Francis Fonseca must apologize to Hon. Godwin Hulse
Failed PUP Leader Francis Fonseca must apologize to Senator Godwin Hulse for wrongfully accusing him of participating in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. Fonseca was most likely attempting to get political mileage out of former UDP Area Rep Elvin Penner, trying to paint the entire UDP Administration black. Back in October 2013, when he was still the Opposition Leader, he and other senior members of his party held a press conference to try to swing public support. It was not very effective, but they certainly made a strong effort, following the revelation that Penner, who was an elected UDP politician, and the junior Minister of Immigration, facilitated the creation of a fraudulent passport and nationality for South Korean fugitive Won-Hong Kim. In that press conference, Fonseca and the PUP tried to spread the taint of that embarrassing episode to as many UDP Ministers as he could. In so doing, he libeled Godwin Hulse when he suggested that Hulse was somehow involved. That was the furthest thing from the truth, but ignoring the fact that he had no proof, Fonseca publicly made those comments, and Hulse sued him for it.

Governor General donates music equipment
On Monday January 16th, the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young presented a consignment of musical instruments to the Salvation Army Primary School in Belize City. These instrument were purchased through a donation from the Ambassador of Taiwan, His Excellency Mr. Charles Liu, which was matched with proceeds from the Governor-General’s Music in the Schools Programme Central Committee Christmas Concert. When making the donation His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, pledged to continue to encourage and support musical programs in schools throughout Belize, and to renew his commitment to assist in developing and promoting the love of music and the practice of the arts.

Belize re-activates Integrity Commission
After 8 years of dormancy, Belize once again has a fully functioning Integrity Commission, which has the unequivocal support of the Barrow Government to act as a check and balance of elected politicians. The Integrity Commission will be able to examine the assets and earnings of those politicians to ensure that they are not unjustly enriching themselves on the backs of the general public. The Office announced that in accordance with Section 5 of the First Schedule of the Prevention of Corruption Act, #21 of 2007 that a new Commission has been established under Section 3 of the law. Seven members of the commission were sworn in on Thursday morning of last week at their headquarters, the National Assembly Building in Belmopan. Marilyn Williams will serve as the Chairman. She brings the experience of a lawyer who has also served as the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. Having led investigations into financial crimes, Williams is definitely able to lead the Integrity Commission to fulfill its role under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Nestor Vasquez, a chartered accountant, also has a pivotal role in keeping the Commission active. The absence of a chartered accountant willing to serve was a major setback for the Prime Minister, which caused the commission to not have been appointed 1 year, maybe 2 earlier.

New Speaker, same old PUP, same dumb questions
On Friday January 13, 2017 we were once again treated to another PUP song and dance routine at the National Assembly. With it being a NEW YEAR, a NEW SPEAKER in the person of the well respected Hon. Laura Tucker - Longsworth in charge and both sides of the House, having promised through their leaders that there would be a new departure, committing to proper decorum and that their interventions would be noteworthy of the high offices they hold, one would have expected that after the meeting we would have been able to congratulate the members. To no surprise of ours that glimmer of hope soon vanished. The PUP was once again at it, opposing just for the purpose of opposing. Perhaps this is so because they have been losing for such a long time, that they know nothing else but being on the losing side of an argument. It started as soon as the debate started on the motion by Hon. Michael Finnegan on whether or not to allow Julius Espat back to the House. Everything from Julius’ FARSE of an apology letter to the intervention of the members on the opposition side of the house was an embarrassment. Said Musa the most senior PUP Member and former two term Prime Minister was so off base.

Belize assumes the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council
The Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS), H.E. Patrick Andrews today assumed the Chairmanship of the Permanent Council of that hemispheric institution. In his remarks on the occasion, Ambassador Andrews underscored the importance of continuing to build on the four fundamental pillars of the Organization: Integral Development, Multidimensional Security, Human Rights and Democracy to seek tangible results for all the citizens of the Americas. Upon receiving the gavel that represents the Council’s authority from his predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Barbados H.E. Selwin Charles Hart, Ambassador Andrews expressed that during his tenure as Chairman he would work towards the advancement of Sustainable Development for Economic Growth, pressing for tangible results in the areas of the environment, social inclusion and economic development. Ambassador Andrews added that the priority issues that the Council will address in the upcoming months include the preparations for the 47th OAS General Assembly to be held in Mexico in June.

Referendum Act amended for simple majority to rule
The House of Representatives has approved an amendment to the Referendum Act which removes the mandate for sixty percent of the electorate to turn out for the process to be deemed valid. The new law requires only a simple majority from participating voters to decide the outcome of a referendum. The law passed with 16 votes on Friday, January 13. Nine of the Opposition members voted against the amendment, five parliamentarians were absent and one was on suspension. The Opposition voted against the bill because they see it as an appeasement to the Guatemalans, a country that has only been hostile towards us, said Rt. Hon. Said Musa. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington responded, “Every advanced democracy in the world, when dealing with referendum, use the simple majority; and that is the norm when we have General Elections.” In order to fully appreciate the need for the amendment, it is important to review how we got to where we are.

Former Immigration Director testifies before Senate
Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan appeared in the Assembly Chambers on Wednesday of this week offering unique insight into the inner workings of her Department during her tenure from October 2010 to February 2013. Meighan’s testimony formed part of the Senate Special Select Committee members’ attempt to find answers in reference to the Auditor General’s 2011 to 2013 report. Ruth Meighan informed this morning that she would have monthly meetings with her superiors and at least quarterly meetings with her Deputy. The former Immigration Director said that Visas had to get clearance from her, but her involvement with passports were very limited; except during health emergencies. The applications for passports were entirely done by the Passport Section and at the time of her tenure there were passport offices in all Districts.

Tropic Air starts direct flight to Chetumal
The Belizean airline company, Tropic Air, has launched a new flight between the Phillip Goldson International Airport, and Chetumal, Mexico. Tropic Air has added a new way to travel to the Mexican City that Belizeans most love to visit. That flight left at around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, January 16, from the Phillip Goldson International Airport in Belize, and it landed some 36 minutes later at the Chetumal International Airport. That Tropic Air plane was the first international flight to ever land at the Chetumal Airport, so it makes history for that Mexican City as well. Tropic Air has priced the flight at $69 US, without tax, one way, and its duration is shorter than heading from Belize City to Punta Gorda Town. President John Greif III told the press that Tropic Air tried its very best to balance revenue vs cost to the consumer, so as to not drive away customers. Grief also compared it to the flight to Cancun, Mexico, and he detailed how they are able to charge more reasonable rates, since it is well-within the comfortable flight range for their Cessna caravan aircrafts.

Another grenade taken off the streets
On January 3rd, the Gang Suppression Unit removed an American Type M26-A1 hand grenade from the Old Fabers Road Area in Belize City. The grenade was taken by BDF personnel for it to be destroyed. Eleven days later BDF commander David Jones was called by police to an empty lot on the Lake Independence Boulevard where police had discovered yet another grenade of similar type as the one found earlier. The second grenade was found in a container and was likely left in the area for police to find. The grenades are not the type used by Belize’s military and speculation is that they are being imported into the country via our porous borders. As with the first grenade, the second one found was taken into BDF’s custody for later destruction.

Fatal traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway
A Salvadoran man died on the Hummingbird Highway as a result of a traffic accident. 52 year old Oscar Santillana was knocked down from his bicycle at the outskirts of Belmopan City on Saturday night of last week. He was discovered lying on the side of the highway with massive injuries to the head and body and was taken immediately to the Western Regional Hospital. Michael John Rau who was driving a black Honda has since been served with a notice of intended prosecution.

Mother and son charged taken to court
Aaron Brown and his mother were taken to court on Thursday, January 12, because he failed to show up to court for a charge of drug possession. Brown was busted with 2.1 grams of weed back in July of 2016 and his mother, Ivy Arthurs, signed for bail as his surety. When he failed to show up for trial, police went looking for him and his surety. Police found them on Thursday afternoon and took both of them to court where they appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez. Brown was unrepresented and asked why he did not show up to court as ordered back in July. He could not give a reason. The charge of possession of a controlled drug was read to him and he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Police recover almost 60 pounds of cocaine in San Pedro
Police in San Pedro came up on a large find of cocaine. At around 7:45a.m. on Saturday January 14, police responded to information received of a sack on the beach in an area 4 miles south of San Pedro Town believed to be drugs. Police visited the area and recovered the sack which contained 25 parcels of suspected cocaine each weighing between 2.29 lbs and 2.35 lbs. All parcels weighed came up to a total of 57.52 lbs. Since no one was found in the area, police retrieved the drugs labeled it as found property. Similar types of finds are usually found in the northern side of San Pedro and form part as what are known as ‘wet drops’ where drug smugglers either intentionally or inadvertently drop off drug cargos into the sea and it washes up on shore on the Island.

Fisherman chopped to death
Police continue to investigate the killing of 62-year-old Salvadoran national, Salvador Rivera Marquez of the Set Site of Belize City. Marquez’s body was found on the beach near mile 3 on the George Price Highway. Marquez was found with chop wounds to the head and left hand. He had left home at around 7:30am on Thursday January 12 to go fishing at a beach near to the Tapir Nightclub at mile 3 on the George Price Highway. He would not return from that trip and his family members became concerned and went looking for him. His son found his body in a swampy area near to the beach, he had been savagely attacked and chopped to death.

Another Hi-Lux stolen from Ministry of Health
A Hilux pickup truck has been reported stolen from the Ministry of Health. A four door Hilux pick-up with license plate initials and number BZ B-2009 had been parked early last Friday morning at the San Ignacio Community Hospital compound when it was spirited away. Authorities in Melchor have been contacted to be on the alert for the high end 2014 silver in color Hilux, which has a reported value of $62,500.00 Over the years a number of vehicles have been stolen from the San Ignacio area and steered across the Belize-Guatemala border.

Dwayne Hulse charged for over 500 grams of weed
Dwayne Hulse, 28, mechanic of 2 ½ Miles Phillip Goldson Highway, is out on bail with stringent conditions after he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith for charges of drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug. Sometime around 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, police visited a building at mile 2 ½ on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they saw Hulse throwing a bag through a window of the structure and another under a bed in one of the rooms. Hulse was informed by the officers that they saw him trying to get rid of the bags and he was taken to the locations where both bags were retrieved. They were opened in his presence and found to be green leafy like product which proved to be cannabis. The bag seen thrown through the window weighed 539 grams while the other bag seen thrown under the bed weighed 49 grams. Hulse was detained.

Sydney Neal charged for drug trafficking
Sydney Neal, 41, a stevedore of a Faber’s Road address, is out on bail after he was arraigned on Friday, January 13, on a single charge of drug trafficking. Allegations being made by police against Neal is that on Thursday, January 12, they busted him in possession of 92 grams of weed. In court, Neal appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez and pleaded not guilty to the charge. There was no objection to bail by the court prosecutor, Cpl. Kennard Clark, hence Magistrate Rodriguez granted bail in the sum of $2,000 plus one surety of the same amount which he was able to meet. Neal is facing a possible prison sentence of three years and a mandatory fine of $10,000 if found guilty of drug trafficking. He is due back in court on April 13, 2017.

Leon Price guilty of burglary of Amandala editor’s Los Lagos home
In August of 2016 Amandala’s Russell Vellos’ home was burglarized and the man police arrested and charged for the offense is their former employee, Leon Chad Price, 32. On Friday, January 13, Magistrate Norman Rodriguez found Price guilty of burglary and he is now awaiting sentencing. In the trial, Price denied being the one who burglarized his former boss’s house. However, the maid, Juanita Lopez, testified that when she arrived at work on August 13, 2016, she found the place open and she shouted “morning” twice but got no answer. She decided to enter the house and that was when Price exited from Vellos’ bedroom and said, “Oh dah you.” She told the court that Price just went back into the room like nothing was happening and about two minutes later he exited the room and asked her for a cup of water.

Albert Thomas accused of Regent Street burglary
Fisherman of the Conch Shell Bay area, Albert Thomas, 23, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was unable to meet a $2,000 bail for the charge of burglary. Thomas was arraigned on Friday, January 13, on charges of burglary and handling stolen goods for the property of Geneive Coleman. According to police reports, on Thursday, January 12, Thomas forced himself into the home of Geneive Coleman at #39 Regent Street. From there he took a grey tennis shoe valued at $200, a slipper valued $13, some clothing estimated at $80 and other items. The total estimated value of the loot is $322. In court Thomas appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. He pleaded not guilty to one count of burglary and one count of handling stolen goods. He told the court, “Dah my brother but I meh done give back the slippers.” At this point, the Magistrate told him not to say any other word but James continued, “Done give back the tennis shoe.” Once again he was told to be quiet.

Traffic accident claims life
Police in Corozal are investigating a traffic accident that claimed the life of a man who is yet to be identified. Police report that at around 6:45p.m. on Tuesday January 17, 50-year-old Luciano Cabanas, of Ranchito Village, Corozal District was driving a, silver and maroon 1991 Blue Bird Bus with license plates OW-D-4513 on the Phillip Goldson Highway heading towards Santa Clara Village when he hit the man between miles 67 and 68 on the highway. The man was riding a pink 24 inch beach cruiser bicycle when he was hit by the bus. Cabanas told police that the man was riding the bicycle on the right hand side of the road heading in the same direction as the bus when he allegedly made a sudden left turn in front of the bus. As a result Cabañas reportedly swerved to the left to avoid hitting the cyclist but was unsuccessful. The man was hit and died on the spot.

El Salvador tops Belize as Barahona keys first-half surge
Despite missing two key players through suspension, El Salvador (1W-1D-1L, 4 points) secured all the points for the first time in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana, earning a 3-1 win over Belize (0-1-2, 1) on Tuesday at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. All the goals were scored in the first half, with the Salvadorans taking a 3-0 lead within the opening 23 minutes as Gerson Mayen, Juan Barahona and Henry Romero struck for the first-ever time in the Copa. Deon McCaulay pulled one back just before halftime to become the first player to find the back of the net in each of the competition’s last three editions. El Salvador played without star forward Rodolfo Zelaya and defender Alexander Larin, who were shown straight red cards in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to first-place Honduras. The Alianza duo’s absence seemed to have a galvanizing effect on their teammates as they went ahead 1-0 in the 15th minute on a fairly straightforward play. Oscar Ceren delivered a cross from the right-goal line, which was headed by Barahona back across the goal to the right post, where Mayen was positioned for the easy header.

Ortiz’ brace lifts Costa Rica past Belize
Jose Guillermo Ortiz scored two goals and Costa Rica (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) extended its Copa Centroamericana (CCA) unbeaten streak to 10 games, earning a 3-0 win over Belize (0-1-1, 1) on Sunday at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez. The result provisionally places the two-time defending champion Costa Ricans atop the six-team table with El Salvador- Honduras and Panama-Nicaragua encounters to be contested later in the day. It was a dream international debut for Ortiz, who was recently acquired by D.C. United. The 24-year-old put Costa Rica ahead in the 25th minute, when he glanced a header off the left post after teammate David Guzman headed Elias Aguilar’s left-sided corner kick towards the net. Near the end of the first half, a completely unmarked Juan Vargas was in position to double the Ticos’ lead, but he sliced a left-footed effort from the top of the six-yard box wide of the left post. Johan Venegas became the first player to score in each of the last two CCAs, making it 2-0 six minutes into the second half. A low, hard shot by Ortiz rebounded off the left post and then off the hands of goalkeeper Woodrow West as he tried to gain possession while rising off the ground. A quick-reacting Venegas then managed to poke it home with his right foot from eight-yards out.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks opens NEBL season in winning form
The National Elite Basketball League 2017 season opened on Friday 13th January at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town between the San Pedro Tiger Sharks and the Cayo Western Ballaz. The former champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, with the home team closing the gap to 7 points at the half, 36-29. In the third quarter of the game the San Pedro Tiger Sharks outscored the Cayo Western Ballaz 27-11, to take a 23 point lead going into the fourth and final quarter of the game. The Cayo Western Ballaz was unable to mount a come-back against the former champions San Pedro Tiger Sharks who won the game by the final score of 83-55. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks were led by George Williams who scored 19 points, to go with 5 assists and 1 steal. He was assisted by Raul Roches who contributed 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists and Ashton Edwards who scored 13 points which included 3 – 3 pointers, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Meanwhile, Rassi Jenkins scored 8 points to go along with is 13 rebounds and Kurt Burgess scored 7 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assist.

CYDP Football championship set for this Sunday at the MCC
The Conscious Youth Development Programme Football championship will be decided on Sunday 22nd January, 2017, at the MCC Grounds. The first game in the championship series was played on Sunday 14th January, 2017, where Tut Bay and the Coast Guard played to a 3-3 draw, The goals for the Coast Guard were scored by Steven Martinez, Arthur Garbutt and Eredito Valencia. Meanwhile, the goals for Tut Bay were scored by Kevin Alvarez, Carlos Lino and Brian Martinez. The second and final game in the championship will be played on Sunday 22nd January, 2017. In the first game for third place, which is scheduled for 1:00 pm Kelly Street FC will go up against Survivors FC. Immediately following the third place game the championship match for all the marbles will take place.

St. Catherine Academy, St. John’s College and Maud Williams boys lead high schools’ football competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds here in Belize City. On Monday 16th January in the female competition game played, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Maud Williams High School by the score of 3-0. The goals for Ladyville Technical High were scored by Mary Davis, Seleaney Gooding and an auto goal gave it the white wash win. Meanwhile, in the male game played, Wesley College and Anglican Cathedral College played to a 3-3 draw. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Kenyon Lewis (2) and Jalen Gabb, while the goals for Anglican Cathedral College were scored by Sampson Mossiah (2) and Darrell Flowers. On Saturday 14th January, there were three games in the male competition. In game one, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated its sister school Edward P. Yorke High School by the score of 4-0. The goals for Gwen Lizarraga High School were scored by Michael Deshield (2), Kieron Patnett and Orlando Velasquez.

Belize Softball Federation to holds Umpires’ Training
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding an Umpires’ Training from February 15-19, 2017, at Rogers’ Stadium in Belize City. The Umpires’ Training will be conducted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Softball Division Chief Umpire Robert Stanton. Robert Stanton has been the WBSC-Softball Division Umpire in Chief since 2008 and has led over 40 Certification Seminars for umpires. The training will include theory (class room) and practical (field) as well as a fitness test and a written exam. The federation is extending an invitation to all softball umpires and those interested in umpiring to register for the up-coming Umpires’ Training.

WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
The letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church in Rome contains essential information about Christian living. Last week we began to look at a section about submission to governing authorities. In Paul’s time the Roman Empire ruled the land of Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and Decapolis, where Jesus had ministered. The people did not choose the ruling authority, it was imposed upon them. In Belize today we have a democracy. We get to choose our leaders. The inspired words of Paul are just as fresh and full of sound advice as they were for his original readers! In Romans 13:5-7 he wrote, “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if honor, then honor,”

The Belize Times

BARROW BAVS ON 13TH SENATOR
The NGO Community has released a statement saying, “The Belize Network of NGOs hereby expresses its grave disappointment that the Government of Belize intends to proceed with this year’s first Session of the Senate before the Senator representing the NGO community has been sworn in.” Osmany Salas, the President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, was elected by his peers within the NGO Community, and though it is only a formality for him to be appointed and sworn in at this point, the Dean Barrow Administration is, it appears, delaying his ascension to the upper house of parliament. The Government wants to debate amendments to the NGO Act, but are excluding the voice of the group which will be most directly affected. The NGO community, supported by the Opposition and other social partners, see no sound reasoning, and have expressed disappointment.

Bondholders Reject Barrow – Tell Him to Get Serious!
As if Belize’s economy needed any more bad news, the Bondholders Committee, appointed by holders of the 2038 “Superbond”, have rejected government’s consent solicitation presented to the Committee last week. In its consent solicitation, GOB proposed that bondholders fix the interest rate on the 2038 bonds, currently at 5 percent and stepping up to 6.767 percent effective August 20, 2017, to 4 percent per annum starting February 20, 2017 through to the final maturity of the bonds. GOB also proposed that instead of extending the bond, the amortization schedule be changed from 38 equal installments commencing August 20, 2019 to three annual payments due to commence on February 20 of 2036, 2037 and 2038. Bondholders, however, have other ideas and have promptly rejected GOB’s proposal saying governments terms would reduce the net present value of the bonds by over 40 percent. The Committee has also advised bondholders to reject the terms of GOB’s proposal as GOB needs consent from holders of at least 75 percent of the bonds.

Cops Discover 2nd Grenade in Gang Territory
While Police have revealed no details, citing the sensitivity of the issue, there is confirmation that over the weekend a second live grenade was discovered in the Lake Independence area. It is the second American-type grenade (M26-A1) discovered in 2 weeks. The first was discovered in a GSU operation near Cumberbatch Field, an area controlled by the Southside Gangsters (SSG). In that instance, just like this one, Police refused to get into details and there have been no arrests. This time the grenade was discovered closed in a container and left in an open field. Brigadier General David Jones, BDF Commander, was called in and told the media that he “was called to go and retrieve the grenade which was in the open lot on the road on the Chetumal Boulevard across the bridge going to the highway. In the open lot on the right hand side there was a grenade – similar type as the one we had retrieved, American type. It was in a container and I was asked to retrieve it and take it to the BDF camp and that is what I did.”

THINK ABOUT IT
In the famous/infamous quotation of Malcolm X on the death of US President John Kennedy, the chickens have come home to roost. Dean Barrow has lost three more important court cases and has plunged poor Belize deeper into the abyss of debt. In another big blow to the poor taxpayers of Belize, the United States Supreme Court has ordered Dean Barrow to pay the Ashcroft group ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS more. This, in addition to the more than HALF A BILLION DOLLARS that Mr. Barrow was forced to give Ashcroft for unlawfully taking B.T.L. (a wealthy company now run by Barrow’s millionaire son). On 15 December 2016 the Senate of Belize, or more correctly the UDP majority in the Senate approved the Special Agreement signed by the UDP government in December 2008. This Special Agreement is also called the Compromis and provides for Belize and Guatemala to agree to go to the International Court of Justice after holding a referendum in each country. As usual the government lied to the nation on the matter. The government said it was being done to show the international community that Belize is serious about going to the I.C.J. The truth is that what the Senate did was ratify a treaty between Belize and Guatemala to take the Guatemalan claim to the I.C.J.

Legends, Legacies & Larceny
On Sunday the People’s United Party celebrated the 98th birthday of the Rt. Hon. George Price. He was and is the people’s legend, a true Belizean hero. He travelled to every corner of the nation by foot, horse and canoe, visiting his people in the remotest areas. He sat with them, talked to them and listened. He shared their meals and won their hearts because he was at every moment one of them. He was a strong man, but never arrogant in that strength. He never lorded his intellect over any in his Cabinet or out. He never spoke down to his people. He was a quiet man, a humble man who had a vision inspired by ALL his people and his God. He was truly a man who led by serving. That was not his mantra. That was his way of life. And after a life of service, he left politics with his integrity intact, poor if judged by material trappings but rich in every way which should count. Dean Barrow is the antithesis of George Price in virtually every way. In 2016 Barrow boasted that he has won consecutive elections in Queen Square without visiting the home of one voter, since his sister does all the work in that constituency. Mr. Price would not have understood that type of glaring arrogance or that disconnect from the people.

Coast Guard & Tut Bay Draw 3-3 in CYDP Football Final
Undefeated Coast Guard and Tut Bay FC drew 3-3 in Game 1 of the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) football championship finals at the MCC Garden on Saturday afternoon. Steve Martinez scored the Coast Guard’s 1st goal, putting the finish on a corner kick executed by Adgar Adderly to lead 1-0 at the half. In the 2nd half, Arthur Garbutt took advantage of Tut Bay’s defensive error to score the Coast Guard’s 2nd goal in the 48th minute. In the 55th minute, Orvin Wade created the play for Coast Guard’s 3rd goal with a service pass to Adgar Adderly, who found Eredito Valencia open on the right wing, and Tut Bay’s goalie Jason Thurton had no chance against Valencia’s cruise missile into the net: 3-0! But Tut Bay refused to go quietly into the night. Carlos Lino set table for Kevin Alvarez to score their 1st goal in the 58th minute: 3-1. Then Lino did the honours himself off a set piece to drill the ball straight through goalie Jaheem Mckenzie’s legs: 3-2!

SJC & Maud Williams’ Boys Lead CSSSA Football
The undefeated St. John’s College and Maud Williams High School boys are leading the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) football tournament with 2 wins apiece in week 1 at the MCC Garden last week. In Game 1 on Monday, SJC won 2-1 against the Ladyville Technical High School boys with a goal apiece from Dion Cacho and Luis Orozco; while Kenroy Allen scored Ladyville’s only consolation goal. In Game 2 on Tuesday, the Sadie Vernon Technical High School boys bombed the Belize High School boys: 5-0 with Raheem Augustine scoring 2 goals, and Stephan Bowen, Michki Gill and Rjay Martinez getting 1 apiece. In Game 3 on Wednesday, the Wesley College boys stomped Excelsior High School boys: 5-0 with Jalen Babb scoring 2 goals, while Kermit Sutherland, Kenyon Lewis and Shakeem Richard scored a goal apiece.

SCA Girls Lead CSSSA Football
Defending champs St. Catherine Academy girls look to win another Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) football championship as they posted 2 wins in 2 outings in Week 1 of the CSSSA tournament at the MCC Garden last week. In Game 1 on Monday, January 9, SCA won 1-0 against the Ladyville Technical High School girls, with Charlize Hunter scoring the winning goal. In Game 2 on Tuesday, the Gwen Lizarraga High School girls won 1-0 against the Wesley College girls when Essenie Ciego scored the winning goal. In Game 3 on Wednesday, the Maud Williams High School girls picked up an easy 3-0 win against the Pallotti High School girls who forfeited their scheduled game by arriving late. In Game 4 on Thursday, the SCA girls posted their 2nd win: 1-0 against the Gwen Liz High School girls when Hannah Kay Williams scored the winning goal with a long free kick from midfield.

Police Find Wet Drop on La Isla Bonita
Police say there is little information to reveal at this time, except that over the weekend cops from San Pedro Town were called to an area four miles south where they discovered a sack on the beach. Inside that sack were parcels weighing in at a kilo each, for a total of 26 kilos or 57 pounds. There was nobody in the area, so the drugs were taken to the San Pedro Police Station and labelled as found property.

Questions to Ministers
Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please say how much money his law firm (he and his law partner), his ex-wife, his brother and his son have made personally since 2009 from the seizure of BTL and the protracted litigation with Lord Ashcroft? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please explain the repercussions to Belize from openly refusing an order of the US Supreme Court and declaring ‘economic war,’ since under this government Belize has become a beggar nation and depends on the US for just about everything? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister say why the $100M judgments against GOB did not form a part of the discussions during his cozy secret meetings with Lord Ashcroft in Miami in 2015?

WE WILL NOT PAY, SAYS A ROGUE GOV’T A HEFTY COST FOR BOMBAST AND STUPIDITY
By: Norris Hall. IF only the Prime Minister of Belize would stop being a lawyer and begin to act like a statesman. His lawyering is costing the country too much. He should be more concerned about the national interest and less about his ego. If he would, the country would not be wallowing in a debt, some of it in foolhardy litigation that enriches his “people” while digging the nation deeper and deeper in almost irretrievable debt. This legalistic approach and the spate of defensive legal challenges undertaken by this government are ploys by the Prime Minister to continue to further enrich his inner circle of attorneys at the expense of the country. He has indicated that he is prepared to enter into legal entanglement. He totally disregards international conventions and treaties. He prefers the labyrinth of legal maneuvers. Most of the government cases are extremely costly but he prefers a legal battle at any cost, no matter how sticky and weak the government cases appear. In one instance he even amended the Constitution. That was when he pirated the national telephone company. But even so, we the people will spend the rest of our lives paying for that hijacking.

THE WONDERER AND BELIZE 2017
We all heard the Prime Minister on his New Year Speech – “So, ultimately, 2016 was in fact a year which illustrated the truism that things are never other than a mix: good with bad, progress with problems, advances with setbacks. But whenever the balance goes more to the minus side, I assure you that we will be Churchillian in our optimism that we can make opportunities out of difficulties. Thus it is that we march into 2017 certain that the next 12 months will produce a full national recovery.” Sometimes I wonder if he knows “Da fool di talk, but da no fool di listen”. He and his family and his closest buddies are all creaming on all those projects he talked about, while the Common Working Belizean (Los pobres somos mas) is out here suffering with high cost of living, no jobs or poorly paid jobs, no proper hospital care and medicines, no proper education system, high water/energy and communication cost and no land availability for the poor. We the people out here are seeing the hustling, the creaming, the suddenly rich families and buddies, poor guys suddenly owning several buildings and donating them to their daughter(s). BELIZEANS ARE WONDERING WHAT 2017 WILL BRING!

MY PERSPECTIVE – I SECOND THE MOTION
On Friday last I listened to a strong and cogent appeal by Hon. Landy Habet in the House ofRepresentatives when he spoke on the Adjournment on a matter of public importance. He had clearly done his homework very well, and his presentation was detailed and well researched. He was talking about the severe difficulties to the general public when it comes to registration of births and interface with the Vital Statistics office, as we all must in obtaining our important documents for births, deaths and marriages.Imagine that in 2017 we are still talking about these terrible difficulties. Between 1998 and 2003 as Minister for Human Development I made it clear that the policy of our ministry was that the registration of a child’s birth must not be dependent on whether or not a hospital bill has been paid. Many times parents seeking to obtain the proof of birth papers from the KHMH or other hospitals were being turned back and told that the bill had to be paid before the hospital would release the papers, which are of course needed to go the Vital Statistics office to register the child’s birth.

The Integrity Commission MUST Work…
By: Eduardo Santos.With the Office of the Integrity Commission of Belize finally established it is now time to start working because we all know that there is a lot to be done. Section 5 of the First Schedule of the Prevention of Corruption Act, #21 of 2007 states – a new Commission has been established under Section 3 of the law, and now the onus is on them to either prove or debunk certain allegations concerning corruption, both within and without the government. Considering the gravity of their post, we can only hope that whatever findings they may encounter be made public forthwith and the appropriate actions be taken to remedy the situation. We have seen countless times where a report, upon completion, would be forwarded to the appropriate authorities and instead of acting on it the powers that be would sit on it. A recent example of this was the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on Passport and Immigration.

Thinking Out Loud
By: Kevin Bernard.Over the past few days, I have watched with excitement and pride as the members of Belize’s national team take the field in Panama in the Copacentroamericana 2017. I watched as they stood their ground against Panama and battled to a draw, and also as they fell to Costa Rica 3-0. I can feel their pain out there on the field as they battle some of the region’s top teams, all fighting to go to the Gold Cup. I know they are putting their hearts and soul out there.I have no doubt that when the team fell to Costa Rica our boys were disappointed. They want to win. I am sure they wanted to score against Panama and take the victory in the host country. That is what champions always want, to win. But I feel as I always do when I watch these competitions – our government has to do something to assist our talented Belizeans to shine on the regional and world stage.

UDP Overloaded Integrity Commission Appointed
Despite the howls of disapproval from Belizeans, the clear appearance of bias and a lack of objectivity, the Integrity Commission, with an absolute majority of rabid UDP loyalists, has been sworn in. That means that it’s a done deal and these commission members are being asked to objectively police their party’s elected politicians, among others, and they’re supposed to keep their party’s government honest.The 7 member team, 5 of whom were appointed by the Prime Minister, took the oath of office in Belmopan on Thursday, January 12, 2017. They’re appointed to serve for a period of 2 years starting from January 1, 2017, and which ends December 2019. That means that this Commission will be in charge of ensuring integrity in public life, almost to the end of the scheduled last term of Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

From Petro-Party to Barrow Bukut-Fest
In the practice of law, whenever parties settle, for example as between a husband and a wife in a divorce, a settlement agreement is drafted by the attorneys that covers all assets wherever in the world those assets are situated just so that you can have finality of all outstanding matters.In September of 2015, the Prime Minister came to the nation and informed us that he had settled all outstanding matters with his law firm’s client (yes still), Lord Michael Ashcroft.The Prime Minister entered into this “last minute”, “secret”, “accommodation” agreement in a Miami hotel room with Ashcroft because the final appellate court for Belize, the CCJ, was about to deliver a stinging judgment against Dean Barrow for his unlawful taking of a private company without paying a penny for it. In essence, he chose personal self-preservation over national preservation. In this case, though, it is the Belizean people (not Dean Barrow), that pay to protect and preserve his “good name” from being “KO-ed” by the CCJ.

Guats Score BIG as GOB Pushes Referendum Amendment
The ayes had it on Friday, January 13th inside the National Assembly for the approval of the Amendment to the Referendum Act to reduce the voter turnout threshold from 60 percent to a simple majority of registered electors.There were 6 absent parliamentarians during the actual vote. Sixteen United Democratic Party area representatives voted “yes” while all the People’s United Party representatives inside the chamber at the time voted “no.” Before that division of votes, there was a robust debate on the amendment to the Act (Chapter 10 of the laws of Belize) which sets out guidelines for any referendum. The change is being made ahead of a poll required in both Belize and Guatemala for the people of either country to decide if Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize should be taken before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final resolution.

Faced With Rising Crime…GOB Cuts Judiciary’s Budget
Although an actual percentage has not been cited, the Judiciary will face a budget cut for the 2017/2018 fiscal year. That was the disclosure at the start of the 2016 Annual Report of the Judiciary as presented by the Hon. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin at the opening of the 2017 legal year.The Chief Justice lamented that the current budget of $9,851,008 (1.06 percent of the national budget) which saw a marginal increase of 0.04% above the 2015/2016 budget is woefully inadequate for all the work that needs to be accomplished. He stated, “it must be recognized that the budgetary allocation is inevitably inadequate to meet the myriad of activities in need of financing. As I said before, the Supreme Court must form strategic partnerships to advance the initiatives and innovation in the areas of training, infrastructure and information technology.” He added, “austerity must therefore be expected during the coming year.”

If Dah Noh Soh
Something’s Fishy…Has anybody else noticed that the only people who have gotten filthy rich through association with Lord Ashcroft have the last name Barrow? What a weird coincidence. There’s Dean, whose law firm got in on that latest 2015 secret agreement with Ashcroft and has represented the Lord and master for years. Then there’s Lois, the first wife, who raked in the dough from early litigation with Ashcroft. When Lois was put out to pasture Denys got in on the action making big bucks off the Lord. Then there’s the first son who took over BTL and suddenly became a millionaire. Hell, even the wife got her share, partying with the fabulously wealthy on the Lord’s yacht. Check that out. Interesting stuff! If I was a conspiracy theorist I’d maybe think that there’s something extremely fishy about them there lucrative connections…like wad-in-socks-Boots always says – don’t listen to the noise in the market…check yuh change!

Puerto Azul Was A SCAM! – UDP Ministers & ‘First Lady’ Conned in Cannes…
The magnificent 8-star resort was dubbed a ‘citadel of luxury,’ a mega-million dollar playground for the fabulously wealthy, right here in little Belize. To be located, incredibly, in the pristine Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the resort at one point boasted an international runway, marina for hundreds of vessels, golf-course and over-water villas…along with the myriad luxurious amenities to attract the rich and famous. The scale of the project, and its ‘intended’ location, should have given any normal person pause and cause to steer well-clear, but here in Belize there are very ‘special’ people, not normal at all. That is why in 2014 Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia and Minister of Investment Erwin Contreras donned tuxedos, and the wife of the Prime Minister donned her best frock, to travel to Cannes for the Puerto Azul launching. There all three preened and pranced, posing for photos with celebrities, sipping champagne and getting punch-drunk on momentary stardom. They were there at the invitation of the developers to show support for the project. As it turned out, they were being used as stage props to sell a product which does not exist. Media houses in Italy and Switzerland on Tuesday reported that Puerto Azul developers Domenico Giannini and Fabio La Rosa have been imprisoned, along with three others, for what was nothing but a Puerto Azul scheme and scam which allegedly resulted in some 200 investors being defrauded of their monies. At the end of the inter-agency investigation which allegedly lasted a year, Police in Italy were able to seize over eighteen million Euros in cash and assets held by the men in offices in Italy and Switzerland.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belizean American ascending to greatness

Another Belizean American athlete is making a name for herself in the United States. Her name is Zoe Anderson and she has received great news following her transfer from Eastern Oregon to South Dakota University where she plans to major in the Criminal Justice […]

Agassi Finnegan called to Bar
Daughter of Minister Micheal Finnegan, Agassi was called to the bar yesterday. She has been a crown counsel in the Solicitor General’s Ministry for the past two years. Being a member of a stalwart UDP family, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, and Attorney General […]

Police need your help in identifying body of man found today
Investigators are seeking the assistance of the public in identifying the body of a male person that was found floating near the Manatee Lookout area in the Belize District this morning. He’s of dark complexion; medium built, has curly hair and is believed to be […]

Transport Minister Assesses George Murray (Independence) Bus Terminal
.Yesterday, Minister of Transport Edmond Castro visited the bus terminal in the village of Independence in the Stann Creek District to get a first-hand assessment of how the terminal is operating and serving the needs of the bus-operators and commuters in the area. Castro met […]

Belize City man charged for murder of 15-year-old Jaheem Mahler
Fifteen year old Jaheem Mahler was gunned down on Tuesday night while riding his bicycle on Iguana street extension. He was shot multiple times to the chest, back, face and feet. A search was conducted in the area of the incident and police found […]

Miss Universe Belize rocks the show in Philippines
Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath arrived in Manila, Philippines last week where she will be representing Belize at the 65th edition of the international Miss Universe pageant. Belizeans on social media continue to show unwavering support for her, sharing pictures and voting on the […]

Dry weather to prevail
The National Meteorological service says that mostly dry weather conditions are expected over the next few days. The 24-hour forecast is for mainly warm and dry conditions to prevail with sunny skies today and partly cloudy tonight. The wind will blow from the east […]

Body found in Ladyville
Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that the partially nude body of a man was found in the river near the old Rose Garden area in Ladyville. The body was recovered by the coast guard and police this morning. Police are at the scene at […]

Blogs

New Option for Belize Mexico Transportation
January 16, 2017 was a big day in Belize flight history. Tropic Air commenced it’s third Mexican destination which makes it now six international routes. The new Belize Mexico flight from Belize City to Chetumal is $69 USD one way. It is a great way for people to access Mexico City, and other parts of the country. Weekly flights will leave Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tropic flight from Belize City International (BZE) to Chetumal Mexico (CTM) will have an early arrival time that is convenient for connections with InterJet flights to Mexico City and also other flights departing from Cancun. The plan is to increase to five times per week in April.

Chichicastenango: A Huge Colorful Market in the Mountains of Guatemala
Chichicastenango (pronounced just like you’d think and often shortened to “ChiChi”) is famous for the HUGE market place that is held each Tuesday and Friday. Hundreds of merchants walk and bus in or sleep in the stalls overnight. By 9am in the morning, the streets are PACKED with locals and visitors. 92% of the population speaks K’iche Mayan. Obviously I didn’t understand one word…but it’s beautiful to hear. And if you like shopping, bargaining or just beautiful things, this is the place for you. It’s sensory overload but there are places to duck out for a cup of coffee if you become overwhelmed. It’s well worth the winding, steep crazy ride to get there. There is an inside market that is FILLED with fruits, vegetables and people. One side of the market was food, electronics, socks, clothing, every day needs. The other side was beautiful crafts of all sorts.

San Pedro Ambergris Caye 2017 Carnaval Tradition
In the old days of San Pedro Ambergris Caye in the year's of 1950's, the local's came out to celebrate the annual Carnaval. Back then people who believed to be painted used baby powder. And, back then it was more fun because they never argued about smelling like paint or eggs. It is observed during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season and is a pagan celebration during which time people can indulge in bodily pleasures that they will have to give up during lent. The local government of San Pedro Town usually organizes a week of fun events for visitors and locals. Today the San Pedro car-naval is similar to the New Orlean's Mardi Gras ( in meaning, not size). Today, the young generation comes out painting people with paint and eggs. Every year in San Pedro in the month of February, celebrates the annual carnival. Surprisingly, Men dressing up in drag and dancing through the streets of downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, the AID's commission, The event goes on for four days where each comparsas group comes out to compete with their colorful, attractive, homemade costumes, and in the last day the Judges give the competitor the prize. At the end they see how much points they won by category. They will go house to house around town collecting money. One of the entertainment groups are the male because they dress up like women, it attracts the locals and tourists a lot. Including in this event are children from all ages participate in this carnaval. The mayor is announcing that "the community leaders annually stress that the season should be celebrated in a respectful and peaceful manner." Usually the carnival works this way: on the first day its young children comes out to paint from 12noon until 6pm, the second day children from 12 noon until 6pm and adults are extended until 12 midnight and third day its mainly adults that comes out late in the evening throughout the night where judges give the comparsas prizes. If you want are a tourist and you son't know what's happening? stay in in your hotel it maybe wild fun. Or, just tell a friend I want to go watch it from your varanda.

Visiting Tropical Splash Great coffee in Town
Are you looking for coffee in Corozal and you're tiered of instant coffee that tastes like water? Don't worry, because visiting Tropical Splash has great coffee in town, Noone else will have. The only person to sell Starbucks and Du-kin Donuts coffee in town. Tropical Splash has some amazing try outs you can taste on the list. Flavors from French Vanilla, Carmel, Cinnamon, Hazelnut, Chocolate and Mocha. Other flavors are M&M's, Snickers, Oreo Cookies, Nutella, Milky way, Strawberry, Chamoy, lemon slush, lime slush and more. Come in today and try our Coffee today. Thursdays our 4.00$ discount only on coffee's. Opening Hours from 9am to 9pm. It is excellent coffee and this are the one's I had tried before. Visiting this place will make you want to come back for more coffee. I dare you! So, come say hi to the staff's behind the scene that makes coffee daily.

Horseback Riding in Belize
One of the best ways to explore the natural beauty of Belize is on horseback. Far from the bustle of roadways and noisy towns, small trails wandering through pine forests, jungles, and savannahs give horseback riders a way to get up close and personal with the wildlife and flora that make Belize one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. Astride a horse is a great way to see Belize in a way that few other visitors will ever get to enjoy. Horseback riding will take you off the beaten path, exploring the gorgeous scenery and beauty of Belize at a natural pace. Certainly, horseback riding can be enjoyed whenever the weather permits, but the dry season (November through May) is usually the best time to explore nature on horseback in Belize. By riding in the dry season, you’ll avoid potential problems with flash floods, muddy trails, and slippery conditions.

AFFORDABLE AIRFARE MAKES THIS THE PERFECT TIME TO VISIT BELIZE
In the past year, major airlines like American, WestJet, and Southwest have announced several new non-stop flights from North America to Belize. With new cities like Toronto, Denver, and Ft. Lauderdale welcoming direct flights to Belize, travelers in North America have even more convenient options for enjoying a fabulous all inclusive vacation in Belize. A snapshot of current fares to Belize include one-way prices starting at $79 from Ft. Lauderdale and $284 round-trip from cities like Newark (EWR), Chicago (ORD), and San Francisco. Convenient flight durations ranging from 3-5 hours mean that an exotic getaway to Belize is easier than ever before. Service from Denver to Belize is scheduled to begin on March 11, 2017, and service from Ft. Lauderdale is scheduled to begin on June 4, 2017. Service from Toronto's Pearson Airport (YYZ) to Belize began on October 29, 2016.

BROTHERS
Meet Morty and Patron, two brothers (not biological) living on Caye Caulker. He may look like a big scary dude but Patron is a sweet lovable guy. Morty is big on hugging.

Visiting "Galeria De Arte" in Chetumal
On the Month of December 2016 a new coffee shop was opened. You can come in to buy Art paints, coffee, breakfast, Wifi, read inside, Bathrooms and more. It was remodeled for visitors to come enjoy coffee. It is a very nice place to come sit down with your family and friends. The name of the Coffee is "Café y Arte Galeria De Aquí. street name is 27 Av de los Héroes" in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. My first visit to the coffee shop was very awesome to visit. When, I entered the building not knowing what will I be expecting inside the place was exciting. I headed towards the cashier to order my coffee. The menu had different varieties of coffee and Tea. Expresso, Capuchinio, Americano, Green tea and more. After I ordered my first Expresso coffee I sat down down to take some picture's. Across from me, was a couple of tourists from the US where visiting the restaurant. The rest of the tables where empty. They sat down for a while having their conversation. Then, my coffee came within 4 minute's after I sat down. All the while I thought it was going to be those medium size cups expresso. Wow!, It was those lovely small shot cups that you can use. Even I could have made my coffee at home with those small cups. Yeap, but, I want to try coffee around town. I sat down and read for 30 minutes, meanwhile, I drank my coffee.

International Sourcesizz

A really fun cruise down to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel
Bienvenidos from Mexico, Honduras and Belize. On Christmas Eve, our family boarded the Carnival Freedom and set sail on a seven-night cruise through the Caribbean. It was a lot of fun. Normally, we couldn’t afford for six of us to take a week-long cruise but we have cruised with Carnival before and got a discounted rate. Plus, we drove to Port Galveston and that saved us a bundle on airfare (Susan actually flew because she had some extra mileage points). Our costs were a bit more than $100 a day per passenger, which is reasonable for almost any travel these days. And one of the nice things about a cruise is that most of your expenses are prepaid (including tips) and that helps control costs. A young couple with two young kids we met at breakfast said they priced other Christmas cruises and the prices were two or three times higher. Previously, we had taken several cruises but they all lasted only four nights. And while we had cruised to Cozumel in Mexico and Nassau in the Bahamas previously, we had never set foot in Mahogany Bay Isla Roaton in Honduras or in Belize. It was quite the adventure.

21 BEST BEACHES IN THE WORLD
Ask true beach lovers to name a favourite swath of surf and sand, and the answer changes with the tides. Luckily our planet is covered in oceans, seas, and lakes, which means there’s a beach to indulge any whim. From pearly crescents covered in shells to turquoise bays teeming with Skittles-colored fish, they’re not all created equal. Pelican Beach, South Water Caye, Belize: “It’s the only place in Belize where you can swim safely to the reef within minutes and explore the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, full of colorful coral, angelfish, blue tang, sea turtles, all in less than 20 feet of water,” says guidebook author Lebawit Lily Girma.

Videos

  • Gender-based Violence Activities Continue, 1min. Gender-based Violence is a gross violation of human rights and it places its victims in highly undesirable situations. The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, encourages both men and women to break the cycle of silence by seeking help and reporting acts of violence. It should be stressed that perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions. Failure to do so not only encourages abuse but deems it acceptable.

  • Chopping Cahune Leaf in Belize, Central America, 2.5min.

  • Belize Sunrise Time Lapse, 40sec.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 5, 100min.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 6, 125min.

  • Blue Chromis Fish Chromis cyanea Belize Coral Reef, 11sec.

  • Ziplining in Belize 2016, 2min.

  • Neuharth Family Belize-Mexico Mission Trip 2016, 5min. This is the mission trip Dave, Lisa, Lucas, Levi, and Benjamin Neuharth went on in 2016-2017. They first went to MOVE, Missionary Outreach Volunteer Evangelism, a mission training school in Belize. Afterwards they went with Mexico Missions and Beyond in Poza Rica, Mexico

  • NICH Street Art Festival - Application Notice, 15min.

  • Arts (St John's College Junior College), 15min.

  • National Youth Council Elections, 17min.

  • Remeembering Andy Palacio, 10min.

  • NICH Street Art Festival - Application Notice, 15min.

  • U.S. Ambassador to Belize Farewell Message, 2min. US ambassador Carlos Moreno reflects on his three years in Belize. His time as US Ambassador to Belize officially ends today. In his following farewell message, Ambassador Moreno reflects on his three wonderful years as U.S. Ambassador to Belize. He recalls the hospitality shown to him by the wonderful people he encountered as he explored the unparalleled beauty of “The Jewel”. He describes the great partnership Belize and the United States shared during his tenure, working on important issues like citizen security and education, making great progress through this cooperation and mutual effort. As Ambassador Moreno departs, he leaves with a profound appreciation for the warmth, friendship, and strength of the Belizean people. Belize will always hold a special place in his heart. We hope these pictures will capture some of the moments that words could not. Please enjoy Ambassador’s Moreno Farewell Message to Belize and join us in wishing him buen viaje, lata, ayó, and ka wilà à bahil ti bé!

  • Belize Barrier Reef, 2min. Compilation of footage shot diving around Lighthouse Reef in Belize

  • Belize Snorkeling, 1.5min. Caye Caulker

  • belize city carnival 2017 - belize city belize, 4min.

  • A Global Cooking Adventure: Belize, 7.5min. Watch as I cook of the food of the Week 18 of my Second Spin: A Global Cooking Adventure, Belize. Tonight's menu: Stew Chicken and Johnny Cakes with Beans and Rice

    January 19, 2017


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    SPTC invites all softball enthusiasts to participate in Coed Softball tournament
    The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is looking forward to hosting its first Co-ed Softball Tournament for the New Year. Organized by Sports Councilor Hector Alamilla, Sports Coordinator Kent Gabourel and Earl Sutherland, the softball tournament will commence on Sunday, January 29th. Five teams have registered so far, and SPTC is encouraging all softball/baseball enthusiasts to sign up. In an effort to boost other teams to register, a softball marathon will played this Sunday, January 22nd at the Honorable Louis Slyvestre Sports Complex. As Marion Mejia of the SPTC is currently is coaching the San Pedro High School team, other teams have been gearing up for the tournament. Alamilla reminds the public that the cost of registration is $200, and the deadline to register your team is Tuesday, January 24th. All teams are required to have 15 persons, and two of them must be female. Each team must also have a uniform or a color of shirt that identifies them, along with a number. If you wish to register, or for more questions, please contact Kent “Bob” Gabourel at 604-9013, Earl Sutherland at 615-8861 or Tito Alamilla at 623-0772.

    Tourist injured in traffic accident
    A female American tourist, 25-year old Hope Elizabeth Chambers, was injured in a traffic accident north of San Pedro Town. The incident took place on Monday, January 16th and was reported as a hit and run. However, a couple of hours later, 27-year-old Nahaul Ayala, Belizean labourer of the San Pablo Area, took responsibility for the accident after he turned himself in to the authorities. Ayala has been charged for a series of traffic offenses, including driving a motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, failure to stop and render aid and negligent grievous harm. According to the official statement provided by the complainant to the police, Chambers had left from her hotel around 7:30AM on an orange women’s bicycle to do her morning exercise. However, on her way back she was suddenly hit from behind by a person (Ayala) on a red motorcycle traveling north. The impact threw her over the handle bar and she landed on the cement pavement. As a result, Chambers suffered a cut wound to her forehead and severe injuries to her left elbow. According to her statement, Ayala continued to drive away.

    Jaguars participate in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana
    The Belize National Football Selection is in Panama competing in the 14th edition of the Copa Centroamericana (2017 Central American Cup). The football tournament kicked off on Friday, January 13th and is scheduled to end on Sunday, January 22nd. Participating in the tournament are the national selections of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, with each team hoping to capture one of four qualifying spots for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. So far the tournament has seen three rounds of games, with Belize in the fifth overall position. The first set of games took place on Friday, January 13th at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. In the first match, Honduras defeated Nicaragua in a 2-1 point game. The following match ended in 0-0 tie between Costa Rica and El Salvador. The last match of the day was also a 0-0 between the Belize selection and Panama.

    Belize Assumes the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council
    In Washington, DC, Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Patrick Andrews, assumed the Chair of the Permanent Council of the OAS on January, 12th. Not only is Andrews accredited to the OAS, but he is also Belize’s seventh Ambassador to the United States and the OAS. The OAS was established in 1948 for member states within the Americas to promote democracy, human rights, security, trade, and development. With 35 member countries, the OAS works to declare peace and justice, to promote solidarity, to strengthen collaboration, and to defend sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. Since becoming a member in 1991, Belize has played an active role in the OAS. Belize has even participated in various committees and specialized organizations to strengthen foreign policy and development agendas for the country.

    Gasoline Lollipops to perform at The Dive Bar
    Don’t miss the Gasoline Lollipops at The Dive Bar this weekend January 21st and 22nd. The Dive Bar will be celebrating its first anniversary with live music and special performances by Dennis Wolfe II, Brent Butcher, Jerry Jeff Walker “Picking Party” and the Gasoline Lollipops, not to mention delicious menu items and cocktails on happy hour specials. The fun under the sun starts at 3pm. Gasoline Lollipops is an alt-country band from Colorado, USA that combines the sincerity of dirt-floor folk with the rebelliousness of punk. It’s an all-new incarnation of country music that’s both high energy and heartfelt, like the American highway’s soundtrack.

    Ambergris Today

    Offshore Oil Public Forum Scheduled for San Pedro
    The business community and all concerned citizens are invited to convene at Central Park on Saturday, January 21, where an Offshore Oil Public Forum will take place. The forum will deliver more educational information on Multibeam and Seismic Surveys as well as on Offshore Oil Exploration. The idea is for the organizers to peacefully walk from Central Park on to Middle Street and back to Central Park, sharing flyers and inviting everyone to a Public Forum. Food and non-alcoholic drinks will be available, so feel free to bring the kids! Pick up a free T-shirt and leave a small donation to continue these efforts. Speakers on hand will be from the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, but more importantly the Forum invites all citizens to join the conversation and speak their concerns, ask questions, and STAY INFORMED! Residents can take this opportunity to meet with other concerned community members and encourage healthy conversations on the NATIONAL issue of Offshore Oil Exploration, our environment and sustainable development. The Forum will take place at Central Park from 10a.m. to 6p.m.

    Public Consultation on Traffic Woes, Is there a Solution?
    On Monday, January 16, 2017, The San Pedro Town Council hosted a community consultation regarding traffic flow, public transportation and the regularization of the taxi industry at the San Pedro Lions Den. Four main topics discussed were: * Traffic Congestion * Parking Issues * Taxi Regulation/ Taxi Manual * Public Transport. The San Pedro Town Council invited Mr. Darwin Jewel form Alberta, Canada to speak to the community on changes that can be done for the alleviation of traffic congestion on Ambergris Caye. Mr. Jewel is a traffic consultant/ traffic manager; he has been in the traffic work force for the past 20 years at a municipal level. He has created many master plans for many municipalities therefore CARILED, who is the main sponsor of these consultations, invited him to Belize to speak on possible future plans that island authorities can undertake. Ideas to put in place were suggested, such as expanding Nurse Shark Street (lagoon side) to connect with Swan Street (south side) and with Caribena Street (north side) in order to reduce the flow of traffic on Barrier Reef Drive (front street).

    Belize’s Financial Woes - Creditors Reject Government Offer on Bond Restructuring
    A Reuter’s report from New York, Jan. 17, indicates that a committee of Belize creditors has rejected proposed changes to terms in the country's US$530Mil super bond that were put forward by the government last week. The bondholder group - appointed by a majority of holders of the 2038 notes and recognized by the trustee, Bank of New York Mellon - said in a statement on Tuesday that the changes would reduce the net present value of the bond by over 40%. Belize launched a consent solicitation on January 12 to amend the amortization schedule and lower the coupon on the note, which local authorities say the country is unable to pay. The Reuter’s reports says that the solicitation is all but certain to fail without agreement by the committee members as it requires approval from holders representing 75% of the bond.

    Senate to Meet Without Newly Appointed 13th Senator, NGO’s Disappointed
    In a press release issued on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, The Belize Network of NGOs (BNN) expressed disappointment that the Government of Belize intends to proceed with this year’s first Session of the Senate before the Senator representing the NGO community has been sworn in. This would mean that the 13 Senator will not be able to participate in the Senate meeting scheduled for January 19, 2017. BNN has requested that the date for the substantive Senate meeting be postponed to allow the 13th Senator's participation, but their request has been rejected. The Commencement Order for the 13th Senator was signed by the Prime Minister on October 20, 2016, to take effect on Friday, January 20, 2017. This means the 13th Senator should have been able to sit in Senate meetings as of January 20, 2017. However, the Clerk of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate announced in December 2016 that the next meeting of the Senate will be held January 19, 2017, just one day before the Commencement Order of the 13th Senator is to take effect.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
    The U.S. Embassy is requesting proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. There's 10 days left to apply. The funds are there to be used, so if you have an idea that meets the requirements, please submit it. "Reminder! TEN days left to apply for this great opportunity!"

    Benque 4-H Club Mopan River Clean up
    This past weekend FCD’s educator partnered with the Benque 4-H Club on a Mopan River Clean up and reforestation activity. 75 bags of garbage were collected and 22 seedlings were planted. FCD is thankful to Mrs. Garfield Murillo and the 4-H members for promoting a healthier river.

    Jaguar relaxing in the Chiquibul Forest
    Photo from PhD student, Lauren N. Watine and PTECS. Lauren is using cameras to understand the carnivores and other wildlife species found in the Chiquibul Forest, and how we can continue to promote their existence in this unique system.

    2017 Belize Archaeology Symposium
    161 days until the 2017 Belize Archaeology Symposium. It is never too late to plan ahead! It is always a great time to learn more about our history and meet up with new and old friends.

    Benque Marimba Music Project
    A day like today in History,January 18th, 2013 the Benque Marimba Music Project was established, salutations to our Founding members, the past and present generations that upkeeps the preservation and promotion of our Maya Mestizo Identity in Benque Viejo Del Carmen & Belize. We are immensely grateful to each and every one, who in one way or another has believed and continues to supported the power of our Youths in the Art & Culture.

    Punta Rebels and more in Dangriga Jan 28th
    Come and see some of the BEST Belizean entertainers and dancers in one location!

    Street Art Festival
    Come and enjoy Live Art, Kids Zone, Food Court, Youth Stage, Sidewalk Chalk Competition and Entertainment. Saturday, February 25 at 2 PM - 10 PM, Albert St, Belize City

    Caye Caulker Getaway Package Raffle
    Proceeds are for medical expenses for Mrs. Euphemi (Femi) Blanco, who currently has to undergo emergency surgery.

    Splashers
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Beach Cruiser".

    6th Annual Bob Marley Tribute 2017
    Charitable Roots Foundation presents: 6th Annual Bob Marley Tribute 2017:- Date: Saturday, January 28th, 2017 Venue: Muffles College Auditorium, Orange Walk Town, Belize Time: Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Featuring: MISSY B LADY MAVIS - Di Rebel Doll Lucreshia Keyz N'Jah the poet Prime Time Juggling by some of Belize's premiere DJ's and Selectas DJ Jesse / Selecta G - Ras Cas Sounds DJ Big Boy / DJ Mixx - Vibes Alive International DJ Echo Stone - 5 Starr International Fada Jesse / Ricky Blaze - International Vybz DJ Ras / Demeech - Code One Sounds Selecta Pun DJ 3Nine DJ Porchy DJ DX Music Performances Food / Drinks Souvenir T-Shirt Sales Proceeds go to Keshawn Bull who suffers from Sickle Cell Anemia

    Isla Norte Ferry to discontinue its water taxi service from San Pedro to Corozal
    Isla Norte Ferry would like to extend its gratitude to the San Pedro, Sarteneja and Corozal commuters who gave us an opportunity and took a ride and traveled onboard our water taxi service over these past couple months. We truly envisioned providing a new advantageous option for connecting these three destinations so there would be more convenience and doors opened to new adventures for travelers. As with any venture, and especially a maritime commute like this one, operational costs to make the service available in a safe and comfortable manner are substantial, thus requiring a high volume customer base for solvency. Unfortunately at this time, it proved not feasible. Isla Norte is left with no choice but to phase out the service. Hopefully at another time in the future, there will be growth and we may be able to see this service come in line once more. We very much enjoyed providing you with a good and friendly service. Isla Norte's Private Charter services remain Available. We will be glad to take your group charters to any destination our beautiful blue waters allow.

    Pediatric Cardiology Clinics
    GIFT OF LIFE BELIZE: Pediatric Cardiology Clinics - Dr. Jeffery Delaney and his team return from Omaha, Nebraska to see minors from birth to 18 years old who have been referred by a local doctor or have a history of cardiac conditions. For those in the Corozal District patients will be attended at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City on Tuesday January 31st, 2017 from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

    Benque Mural Unveiling
    Oceana is unveiling their latest mural this Friday at La Cancha Marshalleck in Benque. It was painted by Benque artists, so you know it's going to be amazing. "We invite you to attend the official Benque mural unveiling ceremony this Friday, January 20th 2017 at 10:30 am at La Cancha, celebrating the precious resources we've been blessed with as Belizeans along with Benque's very own talented artists. Hope to see you there!"

    Belize Fishing Report: January 8th – 14th, 2017
    Sport Fishing Television was here for an upcoming episode. It was fantastic to be selected as one of their destinations this season. It paid off, as they had one hell of a permit fishing experience the last day! The wind made for tough fishing, but they persevered to victory. Only a couple tarpon this week with Mary again at the head of the pack and our Russian friend Sergey right behind her. One group found a good concentration of adult fish in the 100-pound range in crystal clear water. Apparently, the excitement level was so high on the boat that everyone forgot how to cast. I don’t know what it is about casting to a 100-pound tarpon 60 feet away that turns grown men into to incoherent mush with a tangle of line wrapped around them, while the tarpon swims peacefully by on their way to the next flat. Many of us live for this kind of experience.

    COMING SOON! "The Culture & Beliefs of the Rastafari" Exhibition
    The San Pedro House of Culture in collaboration with IRIE Belize will showcase an exhibition on "The culture & beliefs of the Rastafari" Opening of the exhibition will be on January 25th at 7pm. The exhibition will be on exhibit from January 25 to February 3rd. One Love...Nuff Respect.

    THIS DAY IN HISTORY
    On January 18th, 1816, George Frederick, King of the Miskito Nation, crowned at St. John's Anglican Church. Source: Honduras Almanack 1829 It is to be noted that King George Frederick was one of three Miskito Kings that were crown at St. John's Cathedral. The British was able to devlop a great relatonship with the Miskito Indians from their first encounter with "Old Man", who was the king of the Miskito Indians at that time. It was after that first meeting that the Miskito Indians started to name their Kings with English names. History tells us that the English was able to use the strong aliance they had with the Miskito Indians against the Spanish. The Miskito are a Native American ethnic group in Central America, of whom many are mixed race. In the northern end of their territory, the people are primarily of African-Native American ancestry;[1] others are of mixed African-Native American and English descent. Their territory extends from Cape Camarón, Honduras, to Río Grande, Nicaragua, along the Mosquito Coast, in the Western Caribbean Zone.

    Channel 7

    Minor Killed In The City
    Another city youth has lost his life to gun violence. 15-year-old Jaheem Mahler was executed last night. Mahler left his Faber's Road home around 7:00 to go to the store but about 1 hour and a half later, he was found in a drain on Iguana Street Extension, taking his last breaths. He was shot about 8 times all over his body. There are several reports as to how he ended up on that street and what exactly happened, but neither the family nor police can answer those questions definitively at this point. Courtney Weatherburne found out more about this murder of a minor: Jaheem Mahler shaped and decorated this bamboo stick at the Gateway Youth Centre's Arts and Craft class. He was one of the first to enrol in September 2016 and apart from Arts, he excelled in all other subjects.

    Cops Got The Gun, Have Suspect
    Police were quick to respond to the murder scene, and based on information, they found the suspected murder weapon nearby. It had been thrown in a drain. Today, the press officer said they have the weapon and a suspect: ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "Investigators have a person of interest that is being sought that they believe would shed some light into this investigation. I must say that the response of the police to the scene helped us to actually recover that weapon that we believe was used and we believe that they have enough information as to lead up to the apprehension of this wanted person." ASP Alejandro Cowo - Officer Commanding CIB: "Yes, we have a person of interest detained but we are looking for two other persons that definitely can assist us in the investigation. In regards to the weapon that we found last night we match it in our system, however it does not show any reflection it has been reported stolen or otherwise, noh?"

    Man Charged For New Year's Murder
    And while police have suspects in that case, today one man was charged for the New Year's Day murder of Colin Sutherland. The 22 year old was killed not far from his home in the Conch Shell Bay area. Today, police charged 29 year old Daniel Cain, a Pinks Alley resident for the murder. He appeared in court before the Chief Magistrate and was remanded into custody until March 17. Sutherland was walking with friends on Youth For The Future Drive at 7:00 on New Year's night when a gunman emerged from a parked car, ran down Sutherland, and opened fire, hitting him multiple times. He was shot in his chest, upper abdomen, back and upper thigh. Colin Sutherland was not known to be active in gangs but, earlier this month, his elder brother, Oliver, told us that the murder was orchestrated to hurt him:

    Bus Killed Cyclist In North
    And while Sutherland's murder was the first in a flurry of New Year's killings, there have also been a flurry of road traffic fatalities since Saturday. Three men have been killed: one on motorbike, two on bicycle. The most recent happened last night when a Tillet's Bus knocked down and killed a man on bicycle in the Corozal District. The police press officer told us that the victim is unidentified:… Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer: "At 6:30 pm yesterday, police visited a scene at mile 69 on the Phillip Goldson highway in the village of Buena Vista in that vicinity where they saw a bus, passenger bus and a bicycle on the scene. And on the scene as well was a person, an unidentified male person who was fatally injured in that traffic accident investigations revealed that the bus was travelling towards Corozal and the bus was also travelling in that same direction when he was allegedly hit from behind and he reportedly died on the spot. Now the reason why this person has not been identified, police are still checking his identity because when the police searched him, his person they did not find anything to identify the victim. I can assure you, though, that they are on the ground and by anytime now we should be having an identification for this person who was hit last night."

    Senate Probe Reveals: Few Controls At Immigration Department
    Last week in the Senate Inquiry, Former Director Maria Marin was the one being interrogated by the Senate Committee about the mass irregularities detailed in the Auditor General's Report. Today, her predecessor, Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan, was the one in the hotseat, and like everyone who's appeared so far, she wasn't given any sort of bly. As we told you last week, the majority of the audit period which Dorothy Bradley and her team reviewed was under Meighan's tenure, and it was also during that time that those highly suspect immigration documents were being issued en masse. Meighan had to endure about 4 hours of intense grilling, and there's so much that we can't share all of it with you in tonight's newscast. But, right now, we pick up the conversation between Meighan and the Senators about the absence of checks and balances which aided the fraud and forgery on applications for visas, passports, and nationality certificates. Here's that back and forth between Meighan and the Senators:

    Was Ruth At The Root Of "Rapidito" Nationality Document Irregularities?
    From there, the Senate Inquiry turned to parts of the Auditor General's Visa report which singles out and questions Ruth Meighan's management of the Department in the way visas and permanent residency applications were being handled. That's where, as we told you, Asian applicants were able to get approval for visas, and with lightning speed, they were then able to get permanent residency – which they didn't legally qualify for. Some of those applicants got their visas approved, and in only a matter of days, and in some instances, a matter of hours, their nationality certificates and passports were being printed. Auditor General Dorothy Bradley report points to an instance where 15 applicants received this sort of rapidito service, and her team's investigation pointed directly Ruth Meighan as the most senior Immigration Officer in the Department. Here's the tough questions they had for her:

    Former Director In Hot Seat
    As you heard, Ruth Meighan is alleging a sophisticated level of fraud and forgery of Belizean immigration documents, in which according to her, the stamps on the passports for these applicants looked so authentic that they fooled even her as the Director. You also heard her say that the travel stamps which each passport gets from the Immigration Officers when their owners entered Belize were falsified and backdated to hide the fact that these 1-day visa owners did not qualify for Permanent residency in Belize. She approved these applications for permanent residency, when they landed her desk, based on the information of the vetting officers who were supposed to have scrutinized the applications and ensure that the documentation provided was accurate and authentic. Well, the Senate Committee didn't just take her at her word for it, and they challenged her testimony. Here's how the exchange went:

    Ruth Meighan Not In Mood For Media
    So, as you saw, Meighan stuck to her story, no matter how the Senators prodded and probed. During each of the breaks for the day, our news team tried to get her to comment on the suggestion that she was approving visas and permanent residencies for applicants in only a matter of days. Inside the hearing, she answered the question from the senators, but she sidestepped the media. Here are both attempts to engage her in an interview: Ruth Meighan - Former Director of Immigration: "Not at all. Not today." Daniel Ortiz: "When would you be willing to grant us one ma'am?" Ruth Meighan: "I don't think I need to."

    Cops Keeping Caye Cocaine Source Secret
    Police still haven't said how they found over 50 pounds of cocaine on the South end of San Pedro Town over the weekend. And the cops still aren't releasing very much info, likely because intelligence led them to seize a bail of cocaine that belonged to a drug runner – who lost half a million dollars' worth of product. Here's how the Press Officer put it: ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "I can tell you that this finding of that 25 parcels was based on information intelligence work on the part of San Pedro Police. If we found one we are looking to see if there is anymore and we will continue to safeguard the citizens of San Pedro and Caye Caulker and even inland - we don't know where this came from but we can tell you that we have taken the necessary steps to step up the man power on the island especially."

    Customs In North Got Mexican Veg and Pickup
    While you were sleeping on Wednesday morning, the Customs Enforcement Unit in Orange Walk was out prowling the back roads of the Orange Walk District. And it’s there on the old Northern Highway behind Carmelita that they came upon a Black Ford Ranger. The driver bolted and left behind a truckful of Mexican vegetables including 5 cases Sweet pepper, 18 sacks of carrots, 10 cases maseca, and 10 cases avocadoes. Police impounded the contraband items and the pickup. No one has come forward to claim it, but the customs department is looking for the owner who is known to them. The vehicle has no license, insurance or other identifying marks – which is typical for contraband cargo carriers.

    Mayor Speaks On Growing Garbage Problem
    So, now that the Mexican company just up and disappeared, who will deal with transferring waste from local stations to the regional landfill at Mile 24? The garbage has been piling up – though some efforts have been made recently to get things moving. And while the collection and transport of waste is generally handled by the Solid Waste Management Authority, municipal governments do have a say in how operations are run. Mayor Darrell Bradley gave us his position on the situation… Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City: "Well the City Council naturally is, together with the other municipalities and other agencies that benefit from the solid waste management project. Of course that is under the jurisdiction and control of the Solid Waste Management Authority, so that they are the entity that actually is dealing with the company. Dealing with the contract itself, dealing with trying to see how they can, if possible work out situations."

    Barnett Says Bondholders Rejection Is Par For The Course
    Last night in the news, we told you how the Committee representing Belize's bondholders rejected the terms of the Government's first offer to restructure the Superbond a third time. The Bondholders are not interested in the consent solicitation offer because they say that the current proposed deal would, quote, "crystalize a further reduction in the net present value of the Bonds in excess of 40%, in addition to a cumulative reduction of more than 50% already provided by bondholders in restructurings of predecessor instruments to the Bonds in 2007 and 2013." End quote We heard from the Committee spokesperson and the Leader of the Opposition, but how does the Government view this response? Well, that's what we asked Dr. Carla Barnett, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. She told us that in this type of negotiations, the refusal of the first offer is to be expected:

    And Justice For All...?
    In his Supreme Court address on Monday, Attorney General Mike Peyreffite, committed to an open door policy, where any member of the legal community could engage him on any snag in the legal system and work along with him to fix it. He also mentioned that he would be working with fellow attorney, Anthony Sylvester, to possibly adjust minimum sentence legislature. We spoke to Sylvester today about why he thinks this is an important area in the law to focus on. He gave us an example of the case of a minor sent to jail for 12 years because he had sex with another minor... Anthony Sylvester – Attorney "An individual he was convicted and sentenced to 12 years for carnal knowledge. He was 15 years at the time, and the female was 13 years at the time. Here it was that you had two high schoolers, he was in third form she was in first form. And this individual was convicted and was sentenced with 12 years; he's been in prison serving a 12 year sentence since 2011. And so that instances like that, those of us who practice at the criminal bar realize that these mandatory minimum sentences, they do create disproportionate and cruel sentences in certain instances, and there needs to be a complete revision of the laws that determine the appropriateness of it.

    Agassi Finnegan Called To Bar Before All Star Lineup
    Agassi Finnegan has been a Crown Counsel in the Sol. Gen’s Ministry for the past two years and she was called to the bar today. Because UDP Senior Minister Michael Finnegan is her father, the young Ms. Finnegan grew up steeped in the UDP and the event had the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber, Attorney General Micheal Peyreffitte, and family friend Ralph Fonseca. Agassi Finnegan told the media what’s needed for those seeking a career in law: Finnegan was called to the bar by Senior Counsel Denys Barrow with affidavits from Dean Lindo and Micahel Peyreffite.

    Channel 5

    15-Year-Old Jaheem Mahler Ruthlessly Killed
    The latest victim to fall to the vicious cycle of crime in the south side of the city is only fifteen-years-old. Jaheem Mahler, a student, was riding his bicycle on [...]

    Deputy Finance Minister Says Negotiations Continue on Superbond
    The committee of creditors for the Belize 2038 Bonds or Superbond’s outright rejection of the Government’s first offer for a drawn-out period of interest payments at reduced percentage followed by [...]

    Opposition: Prime Minister Got It Wrong
    Leader of the Opposition John Briceño, however, has a different take. He says that he is not surprised that the bondholders would reject the proposed restructuring of the superbond because [...]

    When Will Higher Taxes and Retrenchment Come?
    According to Briceño, the prime minister failed to take note of the stipulations of the 2012 superbond agreement, which states that if government was to default, it has to pay [...]

    Opposition Leader Points Fingers at G.O.B. on Puerto Azul
    Turning to the scandalous Puerto Azul scam which continues to unravel…the Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Junior, who along with the Minister of economic Development, were fetted at the Cannes [...]

    Ruth Meighan Speaks to Senate Committee; Can’t Explain Triple Dip in Immigration
    The sitting of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration continued today in Belmopan. Current C.E.O. in the Ministry of Transport and National Emergency Management Ruth Meighan, a career public [...]

    Why Permanent Residency was Another Entryway into Immigration Scandal
    The senate select investigation into the Immigration irregularities exposed another foray into the murky world of Belizean immigration through the issuance of permanent residency. A hard-and-fast rule that was nonetheless [...]

    Ministers and Others Not Prohibited from Recommending Visa Applicants; Sponsors More Tight
    Ruth Meighan was extensively questioned on the process of sponsorship and recommendation for visas, which according to the Report was one of the easiest ways into the fast-track world of [...]

    Why Immigration Did Not Pursue Visa Foil Sellers
    The afternoon session of the Committee opened with a look at an internal report concerning an apparent illegal sale of visa stickers to then-Deputy Mayor of Belize City Eric Chang [...]

    Who is Elderly Man Knocked Down and Killed in Buena Vista?
    Corozal police are seeking public assistance in confirming the identity of an elderly cyclist who was knocked down and killed on Tuesday night near the outskirts of Corozal Town.  The [...]

    Police Step Up Drug Interdiction on Ambergris
    A sizeable haul of powder cocaine, packaged into twenty-five individual bricks, is said to remain under strict police security pending destruction in the coming days.  The find which is worth [...]

    Daniel Caine Charged for Collin Sutherland Murder
    A resident of Pink’s Alley has been arraigned for the New Year’s Day murder of Collin Sutherland.  Twenty-nine-year-old Daniel Caine is charged for the callous, January first execution of the [...]

    Agassi Finnegan is Called to the Bar
    Agassi Finnegan, the daughter of Minister Michael Finnegan, was this afternoon called to the Bar in a ceremonial session held in the chamber of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The induction [...]

    A.G. Looks to Colleague Sylvestre to Erase Mandatory Minimum Sentences
    On Monday the legal year opened with a new Attorney General – Michael Peyrefitte. He told the members of the judiciary that one of things he wants to do is [...]

    CitCo Promises No Disruption in Garbage Removal
    Last week Monday PASA informed the Solid Waste Management Authority that they would not be carrying out anymore works at the transfer stations and the regional sanitary land fill at [...]

    Fighting Stigma and Discrimination over H.I.V.
    The National AIDS Commission is hosting a series of training sessions to sensitize key sectors in HIV stigma and discrimination. The sessions started on Tuesday with media personnel and will [...]

    CTV3

    Tilette Bus Knocks Down And Kills Unidentified Cyclist
    A man was knocked down by a bus and killed last night in Buena Vista Village at Mile 68 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Just about 6:30pm, a Tillet’s bus with license plate OW-4513, heading in the direction of Santa Clara Village, hit a cyclist who was riding his bicycle along the road side and in the same direction. The impact sent the cyclist crashing onto the road; the impact so severe that he died just after. The bus driver, 50 year old Luciano Cabanas of Ranchito Village, told the authorities that the bicyclist swerved onto the road, and he just couldn’t avoid him because a cane truck was coming from the other direction.

    William Mason Case Management Set for February 10th
    A case management hearing in the infamous case against accused Murderer and Kidnapper William Danny Mason was scheduled for today in Belize City. However, the session was adjourned until February 10th because defense attorney, Dickie Bradley, was unavailable for court today. Mason who stands accused of the brutal killing of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas back in July of last year, was not required to be brought from Prison today, seeing that the case is not at the substantive stage as yet. Preliminary inquiry in the case has been set for February 21st and word from lead prosecutor, ACP Chester Williams, is that they will be prepared. Mason along with his band of accomplices have up to date, only been served with partial disclosure as the prosecution is still awaiting the results of testing being done abroad.

    Belize Listed As One Of The Top Ten Poorest Countries Must Visit
    Since the beginning of the New Year the Jewel has been highlighted on several travel lists as a premier destination to visit in 2017, the latest feature, published by the Gold Coast Bulletin, however lists Belize in a more unconventional way. Gold Coast lists Belize as one of the top 10 poor countries that tourists won’t regret visiting. According to the article which was publicized today, travelers holidaying in developing countries often raise questions and concerns – like, ‘Is tourism really helping the local people?’ or ‘Am I damaging the environment by visiting?’ The article goes on to state that Ethical Traveler, an organization that researches policies and practices of developing nations, compiled the list using data from Amnesty International and the United Nations to determine the 10 most ethical destinations.

    Another Lawsuit For GOB
    In addition to the fifty million US Dollars plus interest regarding the arbitration awards that must be paid to the Ashcroft Alliance companies by the Government of Belize following the ruling by the Unites States Supreme Court, tonight GOB is also battling with yet another lawsuit… this time against former owner of the now defunct International Telecommunications Limited (Intelco), Glenn D. Godfrey. Godfrey is suing the government a sum of $22 million US Dollars regarding a Master Lease Agreement which was signed back in 2002 between Godfrey, as the Chairman of Intelco and the then Minister of Budget Management, Ralph Fonseca, under the Musa Administration. The lawsuit came about as a result of failure to pay rent or to return telecommunications equipment which was allegedly leased to the Government.

    Former Director Of Immigration Testifies Before Senate Select Committee
    Former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan appeared before the Senate Select Committee hearing today. Meighan’s name has come up numerous times, both in the Auditor General’s special audit report for alleged involvement in the questionable processing of visas and nationality certificates, and in earlier hearings in which her successor Maria Marin points to her as the source of answers for many of the Committee’s questions. Today, under a heavy clouds of controversy, Meighan took the oath to tell nothing but the truth and began answering questions by the Committee. Meighan had served as Director from October 2010 to February 2013, which means that her term is covered in full by the special audit. The questioning by the Committee was more direct, having established an understanding of the process and problems from previous hearings. One matter that stuck out from Marin’s testimonies is that there was a culture of looseness and improper behaviour at the Immigration Department that led to schemes and wrongful acts. Meighan disagreed with that statement however, even though in other testimonies she admitted that illegalities were committed by officers who are under her command.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize listed as poor country worth visiting
    Since the beginning of the year Belize has been featured on several travel lists as a must-visit destination in 2017, now a new list of travel destinations published by the Gold Coast Bulletin features Belize but in less endearing terms. Gold Coast lists Belize as one of […]

    Glenn Godfrey suing GOB for US $22 million
    The government of Belize is facing another lawsuit for the sum of US $22 million, this time, the suit is being brought against GOB by Glenn Godfrey, former owner of the now defunct International Telecommunications Ltd. (Intelco).The case has been taken to the 11th Circuit […]

    Rest in Peace Isaias Majil
    “THE LORD GIVETH AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY” It is with profound sadness that the Government of Belize and the Belize Fisheries Department announces the passing of our colleague and dear friend, Mr. Isaias Nataniel Majil, Fisheries Officer which occurred on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. He is […]

    Bus driver knocks down and kills cyclist in Corozal
    According to police reports, last night at 7:30, police responded to a fatal traffic accident between miles 67 and 68 on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they saw a Hispanic male person lying face down across the Highway. On the side of the highway […]

    Belize City men rob bar in Orange Walk at gun point
    According to police reports, Monday night around 11:00 p.m., two male persons entered the Black and White Bar on Fonseca Street in Orange Walk where they robbed the establishment using a firearm and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money. Quick police response led […]

    Police issue official report on the murder of Belize City minor
    Last night around 8:45 p.m., police visited Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 15-year-old Jaheem Jamal Mahler, student of #4283 Faber’s Road, Belize City, with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, back, face and feet. Investigation revealed that Malher and a friend were […]

    Anne Swaney murder case still cold
    She came to vacation in Belize in mid-January of last year. However, she never made it back to the United States. ABC7 Executive Producer Anne Swaney was murdered on Belizean soil. On January 14, 2016, she was reported missing after she had set out […]

    Blogs

    What to Pack for Belize (and what to leave behind) | Packing List for Belize
    Buying your plane ticket to Belize and not forgetting your passport are only half the equation to enjoying a wonderful vacation in Belize. Before you head out the door, make sure you’ve got everything you need to have a great time in Belize. Clothing: The balmy temperatures and ample sunshine are big reasons why Belize is such a popular vacation destination. Bring lots of loose, light, breathable clothing. Belize is a very casual country, so you won’t need any formal wear even when dining in restaurants. Nights can occasionally be cool, so be sure to bring a sweater or hoodie with you just in case. Definitely be sure to leave your scarves, mittens, and other winter wear at home, though! The Sun: The sun is a powerful force in Belize. Individuals with fair skin should make sure that they have adequate sunscreen and other forms of protection from the sun like hats and sunglasses. Water and Waves: Whether you just want to dip your toes in the surf or head out deeper to enjoy world-class scuba diving and snorkeling, be sure to bring a bathing suit, beach accessories, flip-flops, and beach towels. You can also bring your snorkeling and/or dive gear if you have it, but the good news is that these items can also be purchased and/or rented in Belize.

    International Sourcesizz

    Committee Rejects Belize Request To Restructure Superbond
    The newly-formed committee to hold talks with the Belize government on the country’s third restructuring of the so-called superbond is rejecting the Dean Barrow administration’s move for further debt relief. The Belize government said it wanted to conclude negotiations on restructuring the “Super Bond 3.0” of US$530 million ahead of the next interest payment in February this year. Last November, the government said it would seek to hold discussions with holders of the country’s US dollar bonds due 2038 as a result of the serious economic and financial challenges currently facing the country. The bonds were issued in 2013 and are the only government debt securities outstanding in the international capital markets.

    Belize regulator IFSC warns on Flexible Funds Int’l firm
    The International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) has notified that an entity calling itself Flexible Funds Int’l of 375 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001, United States, is falsely and fraudulently claiming to be certified by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize. IFSC confirmed that Flexible Funds Int’l is not certified/licenced by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize or any other competent authority in Belize to engage in any type of money lending business.

    Italian Police Arrest Seven for Major Real Estate Scam
    Italian authorities announced Tuesday that they have arrested seven suspected fraudsters who are believed to have lured more than 200 people into investing in an "eight star" resort in Belize that was never built. Chief developer Domenico Giannini and his partner Fabio La Rosa allegedly created a fake company called Puerto Azul Holding Company, based in the Bahamas. They claimed they were building a massive "ultra-luxury" resort called Puerto Azul on two tropical islands off the coast of Belize, police said. Investigators say the celebrities were unaware the project was a scam and cooperated with authorities. Despite collecting nearly 20 million euros (US$ 21 million) from investors, the company never even purchased the land. Instead, the money was diverted into offshore accounts in Belize and Luxembourg, and ultimately into Giannini’s Swiss bank accounts, according to the press release. Police say the project never would have gotten off the ground anyway because the land was protected by strict environmental laws. Following a year-long investigation, police are charging Giannini and La Rosa along with five other suspects with money laundering, fraud and conspiracy. Law enforcement officials have also seized real estate and assets worth 18 million euros (US$ 19 million) from the suspects.

    New Book Shines Light On Michael Manley
    A NEW biography of Michael Manley promises to shed new light on his time in office as Jamaica’s Prime Minister. Manley, who served as Prime Minister between 1972 and 1980 and from 1989 to 1992 remains one of the country’s most popular political leaders since independence according to opinion polls. The book, called a Biography of Michael Manley, written by Belize politician and lawyer Godfrey Smith, has been described as the most definitive biography of Manley and covers his tense relations with the United States as well as the close ties with Cuba’s Fidel Castro and the Communist Party’s support for Manley’s People’s National Party (PNP) after 1980. Speaking about what inspired him to wrote about Manley Smith told the Jamaica Observer: “Since high school, I’ve been fascinated by the lives of the progressive, daring — some might say radical — political leaders of the Caribbean, among whom Manley ranked as the most charismatic. Through happenstance, his daughter, Rachel, was given a copy of a biography I had written about Belize’s George Price, and when fate brought her to Belize in November of 2013, our paths crossed and the idea of a definitive biography of Michael Manley was born”

    Tango Telecom to help Belize's Speednet migrate to GSM
    Data monetisation specialist Tango Telecom has announced a contract to provide its Subscriber Interaction Manager product to Belize operator Speednet. Tango said its platform will enable Speednet to transform its network from CDMA to GSM without disruption and to maximise customer satisfaction and loyalty by offering new messaging-based services to its subscribers. Subscriber Interaction Manager is a key application of the Tango Telecom Data Retail Engine and includes the company's Next Generation SMSC, Self-Care Management and Subscriber Engagement products on one unified and virtualised platform.

    The Most Ethical Travel Destinations for 2017
    Ten countries that protect their environment and respect human rights. The year 2016 brought many challenges, and a sense of loss to many people. Many of us will begin the new year wondering if the world – already girdled by too many borders and conflicts – will become a less welcoming place for some of us to travel. Paradoxically, though, it’s times like these when travel is critically important. Nothing, as Mark Twain pointed out, shatters our prejudices and preconceptions more effectively than visiting foreign countries – or parts of our own country that seem foreign to us. Few activities are more useful than visiting these places with an open mind, and remembering that the humanity we share is stronger than any attempt at wall-building. Belize has several world-leading examples of sustainable tourism, and the organizations involved should be highly commended for their efforts, put forth as a true example of environmentally conscientious and sustainable tourism. Belize has also committed to the 10-Island Challenge, which challenges nations in the Caribbean to become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy rather than utilizing fossil fuels. Dominica also has many assets to develop sustainable tourism, including energy policy focused on hydropower production, traditional agriculture without chemicals, and qualitative care facilities integrated into the landscape.

    Videos

  • A Conversation with the Leader of the Opposition - Outlook on 2017, 43min.

  • Nutrition across the lifespan, 22min.

  • Belize Raptors Program, 23min.

  • Belize city from above, 40sec.

  • National Geographic on groupers in Belize!, 1min. Illegal fishing has long endangered the grouper fish, but renewed conservation efforts are turning the tide in the grouper’s favor.

  • BELIZE CAVE TUBING TOUR, 1min. This is a great tour through calm water. We were the only group that didn't have to carry our tubes on the 45 walk to the river.

  • FFUMC Youth Belize July 2016 Recap Video, 28min.

  • "The Pepsi Maaga Season BASH!", 1min. After all the hype and celebrations from back-to-back major holidays in Belize (Independence Day, Garifuna Settlement Day, Christmas/New Year), Belizeans pockets start to get empty :) This one is dubbed "The Pepsi Maaga Season BASH!"

  • Jonkunu Competition and Show 2016 - Habinahan Wanaragua, 5min. Habinahan Wanaragua - Dance Jonkunu Competition and Show is an annual event that takes place in Dangriga during the month of December, where the best of the best Jonkunu dancers compete

  • ASR BSI CROP REVIEW TEMPLATE WEEK 6, 3min.

  • Look what you can see on the Reef runner Glass bottom boat at Shark/ray Alley!, 15sec.

  • The Bucket Lust Belize - San Pedro, 2min.

  • The Bucketlust in Belize, 2017 - NO MORE DRAMA, 9min.

  • Belize Dreams, 3min. Some clips from our trip to Belize January 2017.

  • Steph and Sarah's Belize Trip, 11min. First is Caye Caulker snorkeling, then zip lining and cave tubing in blue hole national park; then xunantunich mayan pyramids looking over Guatemala; then snorkeling in Silk Cayes off the coast of Placencia. Enjoy!

  • Belize Fly Fishing 2017, 4min.

  • Walking Placencia Village Belize, 1min. Walking the Sidewalks in Placencia Village from and to our Cabana at the beach.

  • Up Close: Miss Universe Belize Rebecca Rath, 1.5min.

  • Video for Belize Mission, 8min.

  • New River, Lamanai Tour, Belize 4K Time lapse, 2min.

  • Belize 2013, 3min. UCS's trip to Belize Spring Break 2013.

  • EPIC Snorkeling in Belize, 16min. INSANE day of snorkel in the Belize Barrier Reef! We stayed at the Jaguar reef lodge on Almond Beach in Hopkins, Belize!

  • U.S. Ambassador to Belize Farwell Message, 2min.

    January 18, 2017


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Rebecca Rath arrives in the Philippines to represent Belize in Miss Universe 2017
    After winning the Miss Belize Universe pageant in September 2016, the lovely Rebecca Rath finally landed in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, January 11th, where she will compete in the 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant. Rath had previously departed Belize on January 3, 2017 to the United States, where she trained and met several media groups. The pageant will be held on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Rath, along with 85 other contestants, has been preparing arduously for the grand event. With millions of viewers expected to watch the pageant, Rath’s poise, intelligence, and beautiful personality has been growing in popularity both locally and internationally. Rath gained even more recognition after a professional pageantry website, Missosology.info, recently offered an in depth assessment of the Miss Universe contestants. The site ranked Rath 18th, predicting that she would make it within the Top 25.

    Karissa Vasquez is elected new president of Children’s Advisory Board
    In an effort to make La Isla Bonita a more Child Friendly community, the Children’s Advisory Body (CAB) of San Pedro held a meeting on Wednesday, January 11th. Gathered at the San Pedro Town Council’s (SPTC) Conference Room, the meeting concluded with Karissa Vasquez, Form One student of San Pedro High School (SPHS), being elected as the new president of CAB. Replacing outgoing CAB president and SPHS Form Four student, Lester Gamez, Vasquez is excited to become the new voice of the youth. Vasquez explained how she became interested in joining CAB. “I was honored and surprised to have been nominated and elected as CAB’s new president. Even though I didn’t think I would win, I was still confident enough in myself that I am able to do the job. I’ve always been interested in anything that could have a positive impact for students, so I decided to participate in CAB. I was a member of CAB since I attended New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School. And as president, I want to make sure I make a difference in San Pedro,” said Vasquez.

    Development leader of Puerto Azul involved in major Ponzi Scheme
    Puerto Azul, the proposed multi-million dollar tourism development within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, has turned out to be nothing more than a ponzi scheme. On Tuesday, January 17th, media houses from Switzerland reported that Domenico Giannini, the man behind Puerto Azul, and Fabio La Rosa, had been arrested by financial police. According to reports, both men have extorted money from over 200 private investors under the name of the luxury development, Puerto Azul. The arrest warrant was issued by the financiers of the Provincial Command of Varese against seven persons. Five were sent to prison while two remained under house arrest. Both Giannini and La Rosa were among those sent to prison. During the arrest, officers also confiscated over 18 million Euros in assets (26 properties, 27 land shares of 10 companies, 6 cars and 18 bank accounts). Over 20 searches were performed between the accused parties’ offices in Italy and Switzerland.

    Solicitor General to sue Vega and Pitts for failing to repay $800,000 in land compensation
    On December 28, 2016, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a claim in the Belize Supreme Court against Andre Vega, the son of former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, and Attorney at Law Sharon Pitts, after giving them 30 days to refund $800,000 to the Government of Belize (GOB). This suit is the result of a controversial land transaction deal, wherein Vega and Pitts obtained the land title for a privately owned property located at Mile 5 near the Haulover Bridge in the Belize District. The property, which is owned by Miguel Valencia, was first parceled between Pitts and Hilmar Alamilla in 2011. Alamilla, Gaspar Vega’s campaign manager at the time, quickly sold his piece of land to Andre Vega for $15,000, while Pitts obtained permission to survey 1.5 acres at the same location for $10,569.

    San Pedro Police celebrate at staff appreciation party
    The 10th annual San Pedro Police Staff Appreciation party was held on Saturday, January 14th at the San Pedro Lions Den. From 7PM, police officers, family, friends and invited guests were treated to a spectacular event honouring their tireless hard work in the community. As per tradition, the party consisted of a dinner, music, raffles and prize giveaways, as well as an award ceremony for outstanding officers throughout the year. Welcoming everyone to the night’s event was Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott. Jemmott has been attached to the San Pedro Police Department for over two years now, and is pleased to see the progress the police have made in strengthening their relationship with the community. He remarked on how the Staff Appreciation party is a testament to the police’s relationship with the community, as the event is made possible only through the support of the community. During his short speech he thanked everyone who was in attendance and encouraged his officers to continue working towards keeping the island safe for all residents and visitors.

    Ambergris Today

    Does Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath Have a Famous Look-alike?
    Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, is turning heads in Manila, Philippines, as preliminary activities and competitions leading to the Miss Universe Pageant on Monday, January 30, 2017. She is dutifully representing our country as she garners much attention of the media, has a strong presence on social media posts and is on top of the polls and reviews for the Miss Universe Pageant. After the official Miss Universe Instagram account published a picture of Rebecca during a photo shoot, the comments starting popping up about Miss Belize’s remarkable resemblance to Miss Universe 2014, Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega. With the post collecting close to 14,000 likes, the positive comments for Miss Belize Universe started rolling in with emphasis on her physical similarites to the former Miss Universe.

    Tropic Air Commences Service to Chetumal, Mexico
    On January 16, 2017, Tropic Air inaugurated non-stop service between Belize City International Airport (BZE) and Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico (CTM). Chetumal becomes Tropic's third destination in Mexico and its sixth international route overall. Tropic will fly to Chetumal three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), with a schedule that is convenient for business and tourism travel to the city. In addition, the early arrival into Chetumal will allow for fast, convenient connections to/from InterJet flights to Mexico City and beyond. In April, the frequency is planned to increase to five times a week. “We have been working closely with our partners in Chetumal for a few years in order to finally make this service a reality. We are excited to be the first international airline serving Chetumal and to becoming part of the community!" said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Corozal People's Coalition Committee
    As a result of the recent crime wave adversely affecting the Corozal District, the Corozal Police Formation is reaching out to the community for the formation of "The People's Coalition Committee". The People's Coalition is a new committee that will be comprised of Law Abiding Citizens from every walks of life and profession to assist the Corozal Police Formation with capacity building measures. The Corozal Police Formation reiterates its Mission to guard and protect its citizens in order to make Corozal Town a safe haven. Its Motto is to "Serve the People". The way the People's Coalition intends to execute its mission is to work along with the Police Department and the community of Corozal to deter criminals from being involved in crimes. The Corozal Police Formation states that the People's Coalition Committee will seek to work along with the Police Department and community of Corozal Town to set up strategies in place to better safeguard our Judicial District.

    Belize Fishing Report, January 1st – 7th, 2017
    2017 started off easy with the Christmas rush in the rear-view mirror. The town had a fun fireworks display and the fish don’t seem to care that it is 2017 – they are still challenging us as they did in 2016. I hope 2017 is another year or the first year that you come to visit El Pescador.

    Swimsuit competition at the Miss Universe Pageant
    On the runway at the swimsuit fashion show in Cebu!

    Multi-Destination Regional Tourism Workshop
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MTCA) have joined forces to encourage active participation and support of the public and private sector to promote the regional integration of Central American tourism industries by offering the "Multi-Destination Regional Tourism Workshop" which is part of the marketing campaign: "Centroamerica, es tuya, disfrútala" "Central America, Is yours, Enjoy it." We cordially extend an invitation for your entity to register and participate in this workshop that is designed to provide great returns to your company in the near future.

    January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!
    As such, Dr. D's Clinic would like to remind women about the importance of getting regular Pap Smears to help prevent up to 90% of cervical Cancer. This is why Dr. D's Clinic WILL BE HAVING a FEMALE DOCTOR on Saturday 21st, offering pap smear exams, at a one time promotional price. By Appointment Only!!!. Please feel free to call in for appointment or queries.

    Fisheries Department loses one of its pillars
    We are at a loss of words to express this great loss. Isaias Majil, We are endlessly grateful for your valuable contribution to fisheries management in Belize through countless marine programs and initiatives. We will miss you tremendously at the Belize Fisheries Department. You were so much more than a colleague, you were a friend and a brother. We will work to keep your legacy alive, we will cherish the memories and we will remember you always. Rest in Peace Majo.

    Rest in Peace Isaias "Nata" Majil. and rise in glory. Gone too soon!
    You fought a tough battle and you reached the end of the road. Your passion to work hard and diligently in order to ensure the protection of the communities we live in, and especially our marine ecosystem, will never go unnoticed or forgotten. You worked tirelessly to guard and care for each of our protected areas. We will miss our chit chats about the safe guarding of our environment and natural resources. Lucky you said of how we live in such a paradise but fearing every day, those who come to selfishly exploit them for gain. We will always be grateful for your contribution to our Belizean society and our communities. You talked the talk and walked the walk. We join the communities of Corozal and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye in extending our deepest condolences and regrets to the entire Majil and Acosta families, in this time of great sorrow.

    The Corozal Rotary has our 3rd. Annual Cheap Sale scheduled February 24th at The Civic Center
    Support a great cause for your community - Friends of Corozal Rotary - We need your help! The Corozal Rotary has our 3rd. Annual Cheap Sale scheduled February 24th at The Civic Center. Rotary uses the proceeds to support our on-going projects such as Scholarships to help students who need assistance to continue their education from first form through fourth form, delivery of donated computers to primary schools, delivery of donated wheelchairs to people in need, providing playground and park structures. Our major project for 2017 is water-less toilet facilities with hand-washing stations to ensure a sanitary environment for children. Our first site will be Concepcion Elementary school. To make our Sale a success we need your assistance. Would you and your employees please check your homes and work-place for items that are clean and in working order that you would be willing to donate.

    Corozal ART IN THE PARK
    First 2017 Edition of Art in the Park to be held this Saturday, January 21st, 2017 at the Corozal Central Park!

    Literacy for Progress Launch
    The Belmopan Active Youths are launching their Literacy for Progress project tomorrow in at the Maya Mopan Resource Center in Belmopan.. This project should benefit around 150 people. Thanks BAY, and thanks, British High Commission! "The Belmopan Active Youths in collaboration with the British High Commission will be launching their new project called 'Literacy for Progress: Bridging the Gap' at the Maya Mopan Resource Center on January 18, 2017 starting 1:30 p.m."

    Channel 7

    Superbond Setback: Bondholders Reject Belize Offer
    And while that is a black eye for Belize tonight, there's another blow which made a direct hit. That one came this morning from New York and Boston where the committee representing holders of the Superbond rejected the offer made by Belize 5 days ago. As we told you that offer was to cut the interest rate on the Superbond from 6.75% to 4%, and to soften the bullet payments by deferring principal payments. Well, a release from the Committee today says, quote, "its members have reviewed and decided to decline the consent solicitation...launched by the Government of Belize on January 12, 2017." It goes unto say "the proposed amendments to the terms and conditions of the Bonds...would crystalize a further reduction in the net present value of the Bonds in excess of 40%, in addition to a cumulative reduction of more than 50% already provided by bondholders in restructurings of predecessor instruments to the Bonds in 2007 and 2013." End quote.

    NGO Community Urges Postponement of Senate Meeting
    The Government is coming under pressure from the NGO Community which says it is disappointed that Elected Senator, Osmany Salas will not be able to sit in Friday's Senate meeting because it will happen 1 day before the commencement order for the 13th Senator takes effect. They're being joined by the Opposition Senators who have asked Senate President Lee Mark Chang for the meeting to be postponed until after the January 20 appointment. We've seen a copy of an email which Lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay sent to the president on January 12, which says, quote, "...The 13 Senator's arrival in the Senate has been too long delayed, and an opportunity for him to participate in the upcoming meeting should not be missed. It does seem very odd that there is a senator-elect, and a meeting of the Senate will be held and he is unable to attend for no good reason...We respectfully urge you to set a new date after the 20 January 2017 so that Senator-elect Osmany Salas can take his rightful place and participate in the very important meeting." End Quote.

    Puerto Azul Project, All Just A Ponzi Scheme?
    The Puerto Azul project - we've been reporting on it since 2014 when pictures emerged showing Ministers Erwin Contreras, Juniour Heredia and the PM's wife Kim Barrow rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars in Cannes, France. They were there for the launch of the Puerto Azul project, a mega luxury resort to be built on Northern 2 Caye and Sandbore Caye - within the Lighthouse Atoll, close to the Blue Hole. The project was described as having zero environmental impact by no less than its celebrity spokesperson John Travolta. Here's how he put it at the Cannes event talking about the supposed 8 star resort:... John Travolta, Puerto Azul Ambassador: "I am represent Puerto Azul new resort, that's 100% green in its building and its sustainability and it's also going to be the first 8-star resort in history." Kelly Preston, Puerto Azul Ambassador: "But they've also decide to do something that's unprecedented and they've develop the Tree of Dreams Foundation which they will give 20% of their net profits per year to the surrounding people in the villages."

    The August Appeal And Everything Thereafter
    3 months ago, we told you how convicted murderer Gregory August won a landmark judgment in the Court of Appeal. His victory made it so that there's no more mandatory sentence of life in prison for persons convicted of murder. We also showed you how students from the Norman Manley Law School were at the Belize Central Prison 2 weeks ago. They were holding workshops to explain to prisoners what this judgment could mean for those who had been sentenced to life before the appeal. Well, as we told you, August, the prisoner who started it all, isn't stopping there. He'll become the first appellant from Belize to go all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice to argue a criminal appeal. His intention is to not only reduce the sentence, but he wants to completely overturn the conviction for murder against him. He'll now be joined by another prisoner, Alwin Gabb, who was convicted of murder in 2013. This morning, the judges of the CCJ held a teleconference, case management session with the attorneys for both men and DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. 7News was there and we spoke to August's attorney after the session:

    Strange Shooting In Toledo Leaves Man Critical
    The new year started with an unusual murder in Punta Gorda town, and tonight there's the report of another unusual crime in the Toledo District - a San Antonio farmer held up by four masked men and shot. 56 year old Rufino Bul was at a bar in his home village when 4 masked men approached him and one of them shot him in the chest. Bul somehow walked to the San Antonio Clinic for treatment and was later transported to the Punta Gorda Hospital. He is now at the Southern Regional Hospital where he is listed as critical. Police are investigating.

    Ladyville Fire Victims Lose Everything
    Another home went up in flames in Lord's Bank yesterday. Around 11:00 in the morning, fire fighters were called out to a house in the Hollywood area of Lords bank. They put out the fire but nothing could be done to save the house. No one was inside at the time. Fire Department Station Manager Orin Smith gave us more details. Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "On Monday the 16th of January 2017, at approximately 11:02 am the Ladyville branch of the national fire service received and responded to reports of a structural fire at a 47 Hollywood Drive, Lords Bank address. One unit was dispatched to that location. On arrival on scene found was an elevated wooden structure with zinc roofing measuring approximately 20 ft. by 30 ft., fully engulfed in flames. Following a brief size up, the department got into operation to extinguish the fire. The fire was later brought under control and extinguish. As a result of the fire, the structure was destroyed. Investigation revealed that the structure was occupied by 4 adults; 2 male and 2 female, none of whom said to be at home at the time the fire occurred. The structure was not insured, the origin of the fire was on the south west portion of the house and the cause is still not yet being determined."

    Judge: Caceres Slapped A Woman Into drain; Accused Clais He was Drunk
    Today 21 year old David Caceres appeared in the Magistrate's Court after being charged with harming Sherlette Young. According to Young, on New Year's Eve, her common-law-husband and Caceres got into a fight. After the fight was over, Young said she told her husband to go home, and went to buy food at a nearby shop. It was there that she and Caceres allegedly got into an argument, resulting in Caceres slapping her in the face so hard she fell into a drain. Caceres, who was undefended in the trial, told the court that he could not remember what happened that night because he was drunk. With that, he was found guilty of harm by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Smith then remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until the 30th of this month, while she decides whether he will serve prison time, or be fined with a non-custodial sentence.

    Generating Standards From The Inside Out
    The Belize Bureau of Standards is responsible for setting and regulating the qualities and standards of consumer goods in the country. While the Bureau's main task is to ensure that Belizeans enjoy a safe and adequate standard of goods and services, it must also make sure that what we are sending out to international markets is up to par. In order to guarantee these standards are upheld, the Bureau teamed up with consultants from the CDB to develop the National Quality Infrastructure project. We spoke with the Bureau's Director, Jose Trejo, and the project's main consultant, Sheryl Anderson, about the undertaking...

    El Salvador Crushes Belize In COPA
    Belizean Football Fans got their hearts broken today when El Salvador crushed Belize three to one in the third game of the Copa Centroameracana. Salvador's three goals were scored in the first 23 minutes of the game when three different players scored in an offensive blue for a scrambling Belizean defence. Belize's only bright spot came just before the end of the first half when star striker Deon McCaulay scored off a pass from Denmark Casey where he beat the goalkeeper and put it over the head of the lone defender who was in the goal. It was an exquisite shot from five yards out, and Belize's first goal of the Cup:

    Belize Still Hopes For Wild Card
    So Salvador gains the all important three points with this victory, leaving Belize with one point from its draw on Friday. Still that one point is enough to keep Belize tied with Nicaragua, which also has one point. While only the first four teams qualify for the Gold Cup, the fifth place team does qualify for a wild card playoff. President of the FFB Marlon Kuylen explained today:... Marlon Kuylen, President - FFB: "Expectations are always high, but we have to be realistic: we are not going to the COPA and coming in 1st, 2nd or probably 3rd. But the 4th, 5th and 6th position is up for grabs. While 4 of the top teams automatically qualify for the Gold Cup, the 5th place team will play against the 5th place team of the Caribbean which is Haiti and then I believe it's a home and away match with Haiti and the winner of that series will decide the final team that goes to the Gold Cup. Now, we believe that we matched up good against Salvador. We matched up good against Nicaragua. If we can get a draw and a win against Nicaragua, we're in."

    FFB President Urges Fans To Refrain From Racism And Other Insults
    But still, despite today's loss, where everyone was hoping for at least a draw, all hope is not lost. But Belize does play a pivotal match against Nicaragua on Friday which will likely determine whether the team return home in fifth or sixth. Kuylen made a special appeal to fans and observers who like to make rash comments on social media, that the disparaging, sometimes even racist remarks they make, do get to the team:.. Marlon Kuylen, President - FFB: "They are very focused on what they have to do. However, comments like the negative comments and some that are not warranted, especially the racial ones, do have an effect on them and I've been appealing to our public that 'you know what guys, give our boys a chance.'" Jules Vasquez, 7News: "What are the specific type of unnecessary mean and unproductive things people are saying?"

    Channel 5

    The End of Puerto Azul; Chief Developer Arrested in Italy for Massive Fraud
    The controversial Puerto Azul project was a scam from the get go. It was launched at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in France, where Ministers Manuel Heredia Junior and Erwin [...]

    No to Superbond 3.0! Bondholders’ Advisor Explains Why
    It didn’t take the Bondholder Committee appointed last week more than seventy-two hours to say no to Belize’s offer for a restructuring of the terms of the 2038 U.S. Dollar [...]

    The Solution to Fixing Superbond is More Complex for Bondholders
    The Committee is not advocating a particular solution, preferring to negotiate with Belize on the basis of debt relief in the medium-term. It wants a strong and credible medium-term program [...]

    P.M.’s Threats of Economic War over Arbitration May Haunt Belize
    Will Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s words in the House of Representatives on Friday, threatening “economic war” if Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited attempt to collect on [...]

    Glenn D. Godfrey Wants His Forty-Four Million Pound of Flesh
    On the heels of three arbitration awards upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last week and a fourth involving the Belize Bank still making its way through the U.S. court [...]

    13th Senator Speaks on Disappointment of Freeze-Out
    It’s been one week since the N.G.O. community voted overwhelmingly in favor of Osmany Salas to represent its membership as the thirteenth senator.   While an official appointment is pending, the [...]

    N.G.O. Act Has Nothing To Do with Swearing-In
    While the N.G.O. community is fully aware of government’s position to amend the N.G.O. Act, it maintains that the N.G.O. Amendment Bill has nothing to do with the swearing in [...]

    Arson not Ruled Out in Lords’ Bank Fire
    A couple has been left without a roof over their head following the fire that destroyed their home on Monday on Hollywood Drive in Lord’s Bank, Ladyville. The owners suspect [...]

    G.S.U. Officer Accused of Personal Grudge and Harassment of Couple
    Back in December, a San Ignacio couple came to our studios to make a complaint against a GSU Officer. They claimed that they were brutalized at the hands of the [...]

    Anthony Myers Wanted for Assault, Will Be Sent to Jail
    A Gales Point Manatee resident was handed down a three-year sentence after he was found guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm. Anthony Liston Myers, originally from Dangriga, was sentenced [...]

    San Antonio, Toledo Farmer Shot, in Critical Condition
    A farmer of San Antonio, Toledo District remains hospitalized tonight after surviving a near-fatal shooting incident on Monday night.  Shortly before eight o’clock, fifty-six-year-old Rufino Bul was inside his bar [...]

    Belize Drops Second Straight Game to El Salvador, 3 to 1
    The fate of Belize’s Gold Cup future is up in the air after losing to El Salvador in their third outing of the Central American Cup.  While Honduras is the [...]

    Why Butane Prices Went Up
    If you purchased butane since the eleventh of this month, you would have noticed that the price went up big time. Last week the Bureau of Standards sent out a [...]

    Belize Wants to Improve its Standards
    The Belize Bureau of Standards has received a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank to the tune of two hundred and eighty thousand U.S. dollars to be used to enhance [...]

    Miss Belize Heads into Competition for Miss Universe
    The competition is heating up in Manila, Philippines where Belize’s Rebecca Rath is holding her own in the sixty-fifth edition of the Miss Universe pageant. On Monday, the twenty-three-year-old beauty [...]

    CTV3

    Bond-holder Reject GOB's Proposal For Restructure Super-Bond
    The debt clock is ticking on the Barrow Administration and its attempt to restructure the external debt bundled as the $530m Superbond for a second time in just four years. Last year, the Government announced that due to economic conditions and a severe financial crunch it would not be able to meet the next payment to bondholders due in February. Therefore, the Government has reached out to bondholders seeking, once again, a bit of mercy. But mercy may come with a price, as the Committee formed by bondholders to negotiate on their behalf has not budged in Government’s favour. Those terms include amending the bond’s amortization schedule and lowering the coupon payments. GOB has proposed that the interest rate be cut from 5% to 4% per annum starting February 20 up to maturity. Under the current terms, the bond payments carry an interest of 4% with a step up to 6.76% starting on August 20th.

    Opposition Leader Weighs In On Bond-Holder's Rejection To Restructure Super-Bond
    While Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has described the proposals as “the mildest adjustments” to achieve putting the bonds on a sustainable basis, there’s been no official reaction from the Government to the Committee’s rejection of their proposal. Undoubtedly, the news isn’t good. But while GOB is keeping mum about eh situation, Opposition Leader John Briceno isn’t. We spoke to him this afternoon and he told us why he isn’t all that surprised at the news. Honourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party: “We are not surprised that this was rejected outright by the bondholders we knew that was going to happen because the UDP has a poor track record when it comes to keeping up with tis commitments, when they renegotiated the new UDP Super-bond they made several commitments (1) that they were going to increase taxes, (2) that they were going to reduce the wage bill (3) that they were going to control government borrowings...”

    Upcoming Budget Looks Grim For Belize
    Parallel to the concerns on the Superbond are the fears over what will be proposed in the next fiscal year when Prime Minister Dean Barrow reads the budget in March or April this year. With the current economic conditions slipping into extended recession, and the Government facing rising debt, there seems to be no other option but to implement tougher measures for Belizeans. PUP Leader John Briceno also discussed what he expects will be in the UDP’s next budget, and he advised Belizeans to brace themselves. Honourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party: “The UDP has ran the economy to the ground, they have made some terrible decisions, they have been just fighting and fighting with everybody, the minute you don’t agree with the Prime Minister or with the UDP they attack you and if they can’t attack you in your house they attack you in court instead of looking at what is it that they need to do to get the economy growing, to get out of this mess that they have created, just in December the government had to print money, they issue about 37 million dollars of treasury bill and treasury notes through the central bank so that they could meet salaries...”

    Miss Belize Gains International Recognition
    On September 10th, 2016 the life of Rebecca Rath was completely transformed after she was crowned as the new Miss Belize Universe. Following her triumph, Rath officially began her journey on the road towards becoming recognized as Miss Universe 2017. Though Belize had not participated in the annual pageant for almost a decade, it is anticipated that Rebecca will boost the level of confidence for many as she has already achieved a milestone for the jewel. Last week we told you that Miss Belize travelled all the way to Manila, Philippines in order to make final preparations for the pageant which will kick off in less than two weeks. The twenty three year old representative stands among a total of ninety delegates from across the world who are vying for this year’s crown. In less than a week, Rebecca has managed to capture the attention of many…. both locally and abroad with her stunning personality and charisma.

    Puerto Azul.....Just A Ponzy Scheme
    Back in 2014, the announcement of the Puerto Azul project made major news after a delegation of Ministers including Erwin Contreras and Manuel Herredia and the politically connected including the wife of Prime Minister, Kim Simpliss-Barrow had travelled to the Cannes Film Festival in France to be wined and dined by the purported investors. The project also attracted opposition from environmentalists because it proposed to build a mega resort with hotel, golf course, villas and spa on two cayes along the Lighthouse Reef atolls. The Government welcomed the investment idea and even the entire Cabinet was ready to put the weight of its support on it. But today, international reports are revealing that the Puerto Azul project was part of a Ponzi scheme and that the so-called investor simply duped the Barrow Administration into supporting the idea.

    NIP Served Into Accident That Claimed The Life Of Bowen And Bowen Employee
    Last night we reported on the fatal traffic accident which claimed the life of thirty nine year old Orange Walk resident, Giovanni Ayuso. The horrific incident played out after 11:00 yesterday morning approximately one mile away from the entrance of August Pine Ridge Village. Ayuso was working at the time of the incident and was heading towards August Pine Ridge on his motorcycle when he came in collision with a blue 2004 Chevy pick-up bearing license plate POWC 20325 travelling in the opposite direction. While the driver of the Chevy, twenty three year old Mennonite Farmer Abram Friesen managed to escape unharmed, Ayuso died at the scene due to the massive impact.

    Amandala

    Glenn D. Godfrey sues GOB for US$22 mil
    The Government of Belize is battling yet another lawsuit in the United States court system, and reports reaching our newsroom indicate that on Friday, it moved the US Court of Appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, with jurisdiction in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, USA, with a petition to dismiss a US$22 million claim filed in the District Court of Florida back in 2002, in a dispute over an agreement to lease equipment from Glenn D. Godfrey’s now defunct Intelco — International Telecommunications Limited. Incidentally, Belize won the first round of litigation in 2013, when the lower court found that public interest matters favored dismissal of the case, but Godfrey, who had formed a company in Florida, USA, GDG Acquisitions LLC, to pursue the lawsuit, appealed and won in 2014. The US Court of Appeal in the 11th Circuit vacated the lower court’s ruling and remanded it back to the court for review on the question of jurisdiction, because the appeals court said that the lower court had erred in disagreeing that the proper forum for the litigation is the US.

    Barrow dares Ashcroft
    Monday’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court to deny three petitions from the Government of Belize asking the US not to allow the enforcement of separate arbitral awards totaling in excess of BZ$100 million, has gripped the nation’s attention. In a special sitting of the House of Representatives today, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, the ruling United Democratic Party’s member for Queen’s Square, made a statement highlighting concerns of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) over the developments. Barrow furthermore threatened that any attempt by the litigants, and particularly the Michael Ashcroft group, to seize any assets held by Belize overseas—although Barrow contends that there is nothing that can be attached by the litigants to satisfy the award—would be deemed to be an act of economic war and thereafter, all options will be on the table.

    Regular gas priced as high as premium as tab nears $10 a gallon
    As we took a snapshot of the price list for gasoline at a UNO gas station in Belize City, which showed the price of regular and premium gasoline listed at $9.91 a gallon for both types of fuel, a driver celebrated the fact that at least the prices are still under $10 a gallon in Belize City—although he is hoping for a price ease at the pumps. For several days now, drivers could buy a gallon of premium gasoline for the same price as they could buy regular gasoline—which means that most drivers would take advantage of the price anomaly. What is the reason for the current state of affairs? Amandala has been reliably informed that the last time gasoline was imported, only regular gas was shipped, and it so happened that the acquisition price increased to such an extent that it pushed the level as high as the price of premium gasoline. It is not the first time that price anomalies have been seen at the pumps.

    The Legal Year 2017 opens with the usual pomp and circumstance
    The legal year opened this morning with the usual pomp and circumstance. Notwithstanding the ceremonial aspect of the opening, however, there are many challenges facing the judiciary that Chief Justice, the Hon. Kenneth Benjamin outlined in his address to the bar and bench. CJ Benjamin began his address quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the American civil rights leader whose birthday was yesterday, Sunday, January 15. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Dr. King had proclaimed in a 1963 letter. “The Judiciary cannot stand by itself as it relies on the Executive and the Legislative pillars of Government to provide its funding,” said Hon. Benjamin. The CJ said, “Any review of the performance of the Supreme Court must begin with a reference to the resources made available by the Legislature for the conduct of the business of the General Registry, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Even so, it must be recognized that the budgetary allocation is inevitably inadequate to meet the myriad of activities in need of financing.” Government has allocated $9,851,008 which translates into 1.06% of the National Budget, CJ Benjamin said.

    Mentally challenged man grazed by shooter
    He was sent to buy plantains and Kool-Aid, but was unable to deliver the items to his sister because instead of returning home, he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) by an unidentified taxi driver. According to police reports, Francis Petillo, Jr., 31, a mentally challenged man, was walking on Western Avenue from the direction of the George Price Highway at around noon on Sunday when he became a victim of a gun attack. According to our eyewitness accounts, while Petillo, Jr. was walking, a dark-skinned teenage male who was riding a beach cruiser bicycle in the opposite direction, from Mahogany Street to Western Avenue, spotted him, and immediately got off his bicycle, pulled out a .38 revolver and began firing at Petillo. We were told that he fired 6 shots at Petillo, who fled from Western Avenue to Police Street. His attacker then got back on his bicycle and rode off in the direction of the George Price Highway.

    BTV, NTV, BPP AND VIP all registered their discontent with Referendum Act amendment
    On Friday, the House of Representatives held its first meeting for the year, in which a bill was introduced to amend the threshold of the Referendum Act from sixty percent to a simple majority. While the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) debated the proposed amendments inside, on the outside, a small group led by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) swarmed the steps of the National Assembly in protest of the proposed amendments. The protest by the group of men, women and children holding placards beneath the scorching sun began at around 10 a.m., but within an hour, they had all dispersed. At the height of the gathering we counted a turnout of 146 persons. Our newspaper spoke with Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV); Phillip De La Fuente of the Northern Territorial Volunteers; Patrick Rogers of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP); and Hubert Enriquez of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), who were all present for today’s protest.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks maintains dominance in NEBL
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) had its opening game on Friday, as San Pedro Tiger Sharks traveled out west to take on Cayo Western Ballaz at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. The two-time NEBL champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, with the home team closing the gap to 7 points at the half, 36-29. The third quarter was the deciding quarter of the game, as San Pedro outscored Cayo Western Ballaz, 27 to 11, to take a 23-point lead going into the final quarter of the game. The home team was unable to mount a come-back, handily sealing the 83-55 victory. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by American import George Williams, who had the game high with 19 points, to go with 5 assists, 1 steal and 50% shooting from the field. Raul “Thumpy” Roches tallied 18 pts, 9 rebs and 2 assts; while Ashton Edwards netted 13 pts, including three shots from behind the arc, to go with 4 boards and 2 steals.

    Copa Centroamericana standings
    1. Honduras 2 2 0 0 4:2 6 2. Costa Rica 2 1 1 0 3:0 4 3. Panama 2 1 1 0 2:1 4 4. El Salvador 1:0 3 1 1 1 2:2 4 5. Belize 0:1 3 0 1 2 0:4 1 6. Nicaragua 2 0 0 2 2:4 0

    http://amandala.com.bz/news/csssa-high-school-football-continues-mcc-2/
    The 3-week long regular season of the 2016-2017 football competition for the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) completed its first week of games on Saturday at the MCC Grounds. In our last issue, we reported on games played last Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday night last week, (F) SCA clipped Gwen Liz (GLH), 1-0, on a goal by Hanna Kay Williams, and (M) Maude Williams (MWH) edged Nazarene High (NHS), 2-1, with a goal each from Egbert Myers and Jaheem Thomas; while Mynor Hernandez scored for NHS. On Friday, January 13, (F) Pallottti and Wesley played to a 0-0 draw. And (M) SJC shelled Belize High (BHS), 5-nil, with 2 goals from Dion Cacho, and 1 apiece from Shemar Waight, Luis Orosco and Carlos Guerra.

    Belize line-ups at Copa Centroamericana 2017 in Panama
    Congratulations to our Belize Jaguars on their historic achievement in the opener against Panama! For a team with no international practice matches under our belt, that was a monster accomplishment. Big Up, guys! Never mind the 3-0; that was another outstanding performance against the great Costa Rica. We got their attention; and we’re improving. There’s no turning back. Fahn ya go back, da FAIYAH!! Belize has already played two games of the five we are scheduled to play in the Copa Centroamericana 2017, being hosted this year at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. For the benefit of our Belizean fans, we are below recording the line-ups and changes made on the Belizean team in each of our games. After our historic 0-0 draw with Panama in the opener on Friday night, Belize yesterday lost 3-0 to two-time defending champs, Costa Rica. Looking back, our team played well in both games; and, despite the 3-0 loss to Costa Rica, our possession time was significantly increased from the previous game, and we ended on a strong note, taking shots. Panama had 68% possession to Belize’s 32%; whereas Costa Rica had 58% to Belize’s 42 %.

    Editorial: Colonialism of the mind
    The power of the major Christian religions became awesome in colonial British Honduras because, not only did these religions essentially control the destiny of our immortal souls, they owned the schools which transferred some education and technology from the colonial masters to selected native children. The major Christian religions here, then, were in charge of a process which enabled the children of some members of the working classes to escape the manual drudgery of their parents and rise into the clerical classes. This was the desire of most working class parents in the colony – an educated life for their children. It is said that the first school in British Honduras was opened around 1814 or so by the Anglican Church in Belize Town. (Slavery was still firmly in place then in the settlement of Belize.) The Anglicans were followed by the Methodists in the 1830s where the matter of schools was concerned. To the best of our knowledge, the Roman Catholics began opening schools in Belize in the second half of the nineteenth century, after the mostly Catholic refugees from the 1847 Caste War in Yucatan began populating the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts.

    From The Publisher
    I heard a spokesperson for the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) make an arrogant and asinine comment on Friday morning. The spokesperson said that they (the UDP) did not need anybody (seemingly, pointedly, referring to such as this newspaper) because they had won three consecutive general elections “by themselves.” The electoral reality is that yes, the organization of the ruling party does the legwork to win general elections, but all the votes a winning party receives are not from their party voters. A winning party will receive a sizeable chunk of the independent votes and even some votes, in any given election, from the more analytical supporters of the losing party. Kremandala is a unique institution, the only one of its kind in Central America and the Caribbean, because Kremandala is a roots media house which has proven over several decades that it can fight the major political parties when it has to do so. Between July of 1970 and January of 1971, I was tried in the Supreme Court on two different charges. The July 1970 trial was a political trial, while the January 1971 charge was a criminal charge. The criminal trial was related to the political trial: the common denominator was that a certain section of the Belizean people was supporting Kremandala in its 1970/1971 original construction.

    Message to Mr. Manuel
    Dear Mr. Heredia! I do wish you A HAPPY NEW YEAR personally and as our Area Representative and hope that we all as islanders can find positive solutions to this quickly changing everyday reality. One thing we can be sure of in this year of 2017 is CHANGES. The reason I am writing you as our representative is that after our last Caye Caulker Village Council meeting I got so frustrated that I just went home after 1 1/2 hours. With all the good intentions of the new CCVC, each and every project they would like to do would not be possible to do due to the lack of funds. There was no money to fix the truck so the roads can’t be fixed and the debris after the cable company/hurricane in our street can’t be taken away. We would like to get a garbage truck to collect the household garbage. We would like to do this, we would like to do that but there is no money. SO? On the way home I was reflecting on a past CCVC meeting some 20+ years ago where Ms. Ilna Alamina’s now deceased husband proposed to start offshore banking in Caye Caulker to solve the same problems we have now as we had then. That solution was so foreign and far out from our island reality that people just shook their head. I was fantasizing about what would have happened but one thing I was sure of: we would not be in the same situation as we are now!

    Belize asks bondholders to take interest cut and push back amortization
    In a statement released today, the Government of Belize proposed to holders of its billion-dollar super-bond, due to mature in 2038, two adjustments in the terms and conditions of their arrangement: one being a reduction in the interest rate from the current level of 5% down to 4%, and the other being a delay in amortization payments of 17 years, with an offer to push back the commencement date from 2019 to 2036. The Government is now hoping for the consent of the bondholders to its proposal, in the hope that an agreement can be reached before the next $13.5 million in semi-annual payments is due on February 20. The next payment thereafter would be due in August, but the current repayment schedule calls for an increase in the interest rate to 6.767%—a trajectory which the Government of Belize says is unsustainable given the current economic climate. In a memorandum to a trustee of bondholders last week (specifically addressed to the Bank of New York Mellon), the Government of Belize, via Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, said that Belize is seeking the consent of bondholders to amend the terms of the 2013 agreement, which, in fact, represented the second restructuring of the debt.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fatal traffic accident in Corozal
    Confirmed reports reaching our newsroom is that a bus knocked down a cyclist near Buena Vista village in Corozal shortly before 7 tonight. The person died on the spot because of the impact. Police are currently on the scene.

    Minor shot and killed in Belize city
    The city streets have claimed another life tonight. Official police reports to our newsroom is that a 15 year old minor was shot and killed on Iguana street extension tonight in Belize City.

    Between These Lines “… an all-too-familiar pattern of deficits, debt and debasement …”
    It is surprising, very surprising to some members of the Belize electorate with whom I interact particularly on Facebook, to learn that I think that our nation’s economy is in far worse condition today than it was in 2008 when the Barrow administration ascended into office. I, on other the hand, am unsurprised by their reaction to this realization. Belizean sociologists and political commentators are still trying to sort out the historical record for our young nation. Our record keeping is, in a word, abysmal.

    Bondholders reject GOB’s consent solicitation
    The Bondholder Committee, appointed by holders of Belize’s 2038 Bonds, has rejected government’s consent solicitation presented to holders last Thursday.According to a release from the Committee, “If approved, the proposed amendments to the terms and conditions of the Bonds contemplated by the Consent Solicitation would crystalize a further reduction in the net present value of the Bonds in excess of 40%, in addition to a cumulative reduction of more than 50% already provided by bondholders in restructurings of predecessor instruments to the Bonds in 2007 and 2013.”

    What will the new Attorney General do about Pitts and Vega?
    Andre Vega, the son of former Cabinet Minister, Gaspar Vega along with attorney Sharon Pitts are yet to return tax payers’ dollars after acquiring owned land and receiving large government compensation during Vega’s reign over the Lands Department. The two were ordered to return the $400,000 that they each had received but to date they have not done so. As a result, the Solicitor General was advised to file a suit against them. When the media spoke to the newly appointed Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte, he said that he will continue the matter but refused to share further details.

    Puerto Azul was a scam
    Almost three years ago, Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia, backed by Cabinet, had given Puerto Azul the green light to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for its project proposal. The San Pedro Sun, however, today, reported that the Puerto Azul project, which would have seen the construction of luxurious resort, with many amenities within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll was actually a front for a ponzi scheme orchestrated by Domenico Giannini and his colleague Fabio La Rosa.

    Senate meeting to proceed without 13th Senator
    This week’s scheduled Senate meeting will proceed without the participation of the newly selected 13th Senator, Osmany Salas.The meeting will take place on Thursday as was previously scheduled. Opposition Leader John Briceno, however, has said the move is an act of bad faith on the part of the government since the meeting is being held the day before the commencement order for the appointment of the 13th senator takes effect.

    Conservationists to survey Morelet’s crocodile population
    The Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC), a conservation organization established in January 2016 to promote conservation, research and education through community involvement of the environment and adjacent wildlife of crocodile habitat, has commenced the countrywide Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) population survey. The CRC is co-founded by Dr. Marisa Tellez, a member and Vice Regional Chair of Latin America for the International Union for Conservation of Nature/SSC-Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG). The last official survey of the Morelet’s crocodile was performed in the mid-1990’s by the CSG, declaring this species as recovered from past overexploitation, yet proper management was still needed to ensure the conservation and survival of this species. This current survey, which includes data from habitat monitoring, nocturnal eyeshine surveys, capture surveys and nest surveys, will provide Forest Department with the necessary current data to develop the appropriate management and conservation plans for the Morelet’s crocodile while simultaneously mitigating human-crocodile conflict.

    Trump takes office on Friday
    On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.It is a truth still shocking to many, as Trump’s victory in last year’s US Presidential election was viewed as unlikely. Trump defied the odds and won despite […]

    Fair weather to continue
    The 24-hour forecast is for mostly cloudy skies with a few showers mainly along coastal and northern areas today with some isolated showers tonight. The National Meteorological Service informs that a gusty easterly to southeasterly airflow will prevail. The wind will blow from the […]

    Armed robbers target Toledo farmer; farmer in critical condition at hospital
    Runino Bul, 56, a farmer of San Antonio village in the Toledo District was shot yesterday. According to police reports, the incident happened at 7:54 p.m. inside the owner’s bar. When police arrived at the scene, Bul was suffering from a gunshot wound to […]

    Fatal traffic accident on August Pine ridge road- update
    Yesterday, a traffic accident on the August Pine Ridge road claimed the life of one man. Giovanni Ayuso, 41, a salesman from Palmar village in the Orange Walk district was riding his motorbike a mile away from August Pine Ridge when he collided head […]

    Blogs

    Crab Races at Crazy Canucks is island fun for a worthy cause!
    On an island as busy as San Pedro, visitors and locals alike are often searching for a fun activity every night of the week. Tuesday is kind of an odd day in the week – it doesn’t have that weekend ‘party-till-you-drop’ feel, but it’s much better than the Monday ‘blues’. So, if you are looking for some excitement to a Tuesday night, how about a crab race? Intrigued? Then we have just the spot for you! Every Tuesday night, Crazy Canucks Beach Bar holds their Hermit Crab Race. With a chance to win fabulous prizes, the place gets jammed pack with patrons cheering on the competitors, little bitty hermit crabs. For just $10BZ you can bet on a hermit crab of your choice. Owners Rob and Krista have an aquarium filled with these little crustaceans ready to take to the track. As for the track – well, it’s more like a circular obstacle course, wiThe 2017 Miss Universe pageant is set to take place on January 30, 2017, in the Philippines. With hundreds of contestants, it might be easy to overlook Rebecca Rath, the young woman representing Belize, but her path towards the crown has been a publicity boon for the small Central American nation. A native of Dangriga in the southeastern part of the country, Rath has divided her time between her home nation of Belize and Texas in the United States where she attended the University of Houston. Rath first rose to national prominence as an athlete on the country’s junior and later adult volleyball squads. After graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management, Rath returned to Belize to work with national tourism organizations and help manage her family’s hotel. Rath, aged just 23, was crowned Miss Belize in September 2016, an event that was widely popular amongst Belizeans across the entire social spectrum. With her infectious smile and typical Belizean accent, Rath has charmed more than just her fellow compatriots. Miss Universe pageant enthusiasts from around the world like the website Missosology.info have begun to take note of Rath, currently ranking her in 18th place due to her athleticism, articulate speaking, and natural beauty. th ropes used to divide it into two segments. Items signifying the prizes up for action are placed within the course, and the first crab to crawl to each item takes the winnings!

    Miss Belize Universe is putting Belize on the map
    The 2017 Miss Universe pageant is set to take place on January 30, 2017, in the Philippines. With hundreds of contestants, it might be easy to overlook Rebecca Rath, the young woman representing Belize, but her path towards the crown has been a publicity boon for the small Central American nation. A native of Dangriga in the southeastern part of the country, Rath has divided her time between her home nation of Belize and Texas in the United States where she attended the University of Houston. Rath first rose to national prominence as an athlete on the country’s junior and later adult volleyball squads. After graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management, Rath returned to Belize to work with national tourism organizations and help manage her family’s hotel. Rath, aged just 23, was crowned Miss Belize in September 2016, an event that was widely popular amongst Belizeans across the entire social spectrum. With her infectious smile and typical Belizean accent, Rath has charmed more than just her fellow compatriots. Miss Universe pageant enthusiasts from around the world like the website Missosology.info have begun to take note of Rath, currently ranking her in 18th place due to her athleticism, articulate speaking, and natural beauty.

    6 Great Reasons to Treat Your Family to a Belize Vacation
    What’s more gut-wrenching than bundling your kids into boots, coats, mittens and hats to send them off to school in winter than hearing your child plead: “Mom, how come we can’t go on vacation like Bobby’s family? He got to pack a bathing suit and sunscreen and it’s freezing outside!” Of course, you could beat Bobby’s family to the Caribbean by planning your own warm and sunny adventure—-a holiday that's probably badly needed by every family member. Where to go? To the family vacation capital of the western hemisphere, Belize. Need reasons? These six are just the tip of the iceberg—-make that the top of the palm tree! 1. Wonderful Belize Weather: Bathing suits are in fashion year-round thanks to Belize’s perpetually warm weather. Sure it’s warmer in summer, but tropical breezes and cooling rain showers won’t dampen your enthusiasm or delight, and if just the thought of 80 degrees in December and January excite you, we rest our case. Looking to save a few bucks? Belize in May or September brings discounts and bargains, so even your wallet gets a vacation.

    U.S. News & World Report ranks Belize as the #1 Winter Vacation Destination
    U.S. News & World Report, one of America's most prestigious publications and perhaps best known for its popular rankings articles, has just listed Belize as the number one destination in the world for an affordable winter vacation. The U.S. News & World Report article highlighted the fact that warm temperatures (averaging 80 F during the winter months) and an ample supply of sunshine are some of the principle reasons why visiting Belize during the winter is so popular. The article also spotlighted popular attractions such as snorkeling and scuba diving, including at the Belize Blue Hole, rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 diving spots on the planet.

    International Sourcesizz

    La Nina Conditions Likely To Become A Neutral ENSO Within The Next 1 To 2 Months & Remain Neutral Through The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
    All signs are pointing towards our current La Nina to become neutral conditions either during February or March. These signs include ocean water temperatures in the eastern and central tropical Pacific, which are gradually warming up to near normal levels. I do think that there is a very good chance that we will see these neutral ENSO conditions persist through the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, however, I’m not convinced that we will see the development of a new El Nino this year, even though some of the climate models suggest the development of a El Nino during this summer or autumn. There is a large difference between the ENSO climate models with their forecasts. The European model has 80 percent of its members forecasting the development of a El Nino by May or June. On the other hand, most of the CFS model members are forecasting neutral conditions through this summer and autumn. As I have already mentioned, I am leaning much more towards the idea of a neutral ENSO starting during either February or March and continuing through this summer and autumn. One big reason why I don’t think we’ll see a El Nino this year is because a quick turnaround from La Nina to a El Nino is rare.

    Extraordinary photo shows the outgoing President snorkeling among coral reef off the coast of his native Hawaii
    He is used to being pictured in a suit and tie while giving speeches and meeting fellow world leaders. But as he leaves the White House, a brand new picture has been released showing Barack Obama in a very different environment. The extraordinary image shows the president wearing just a pair of swimming shorts as he snorkels among the wildlife in the Pacific Ocean. Published in the February edition of National Geographic, it was snapped by photographer Brian Skerry, as Obama glided through the water off the coast of Midway Atoll.

    Belize creditors reject government offer on bond restructuring
    A committee of Belize creditors has rejected proposed changes to terms in the country's US$530m super bond that were put forward by the government last week. The bondholder group - appointed by a majority of holders of the 2038 notes and recognized by the trustee, Bank of New York Mellon - said in a statement on Tuesday that the changes would reduce the net present value of the bond by over 40%. Belize launched a consent solicitation on January 12 to amend the amortization schedule and lower the coupon on the note, which local authorities say the country is unable to pay. The solicitation is all but certain to fail without agreement by the committee members as it requires approval from holders representing 75% of the bond. The committee said the economic measures that Belize has put forward so far are "unlikely to reduce future risks to debt sustainability or to the stability of the country's currency peg in a sufficient manner."

    Belize Becomes First to Sign Multi-country Sustainable Development Framework
    Belize has signed a common UN strategy for sustainable development in the Caribbean, becoming the first country to do so. The UN Multi-national Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF) represents a coherent strategy of all UN organizations in the English- and Dutch- speaking Caribbean to address common sustainability challenges. It covers the period from January 2017 to December 2021. The MSDF replaces six country-level UN Development Frameworks, for: Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Belize; Guyana; Jamaica; Suriname; and Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean MSDF aims to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), taking into account international and regional commitments, such as the Samoa Pathway. It also seeks to promote the international human rights that have been ratified in the region.

    Caribbean And Latin America News Round Up For Jan. 18, 2017
    Here are the stories making news across the Caribbean, Latin America and its US Diaspora for today, Jan. 18, 2017: A year after ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney was murdered while on vacation in Belize, the case remains unsolved. Swaney’s family and friends have had a year of anguish because the 39-year-old was gone, but also because her murderer has not been caught. Belize police are in charge of the investigation, but there has been no apparent progress in the search for the killer.

    Miss Barbados leading People’s Poll for Miss Universe
    Have you voted as yet? Barbadian beauty Shannon Harris has won the hearts of many persons throughout the world, who are voting for the winner of Kaleidoscope of Pageantry People’s Poll. Persons can go to the pageant's page to choose the candidate they believe should take the crown at the 65th edition of Miss Universe pageant. When the poll is finished, whichever beauty tops the votes will be featured in a special editorial during the contest. Of the more than 80 countries represented at this year's Miss Universe pageant in The Philippines, Miss Barbados Shannon Harris has a narrow lead over Miss Belize Rebecca Rath.

    10 of the world’s best secret islands that you can visit right now
    Like New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island, Caye Caulker forgoes traffic lights. The five mile strip of land is just a 15-minute flight from Belize’s main airport. You can snorkel among nurse sharks and stingrays at Shark Ray Alley and go scuba diving in the underwater caves of the Blue Hole.

    Belize creditors reject government offer on bond restructuring
    A committee of Belize creditors has rejected proposed changes to terms in the country's US$530m super bond that were put forward by the government last week. The bondholder group - appointed by a majority of holders of the 2038 notes and recognized by the trustee, Bank of New York Mellon - said in a statement on Tuesday that the changes would reduce the net present value of the bond by over 40%. Belize launched a consent solicitation on January 12 to amend the amortization schedule and lower the coupon on the note, which local authorities say the country is unable to pay. The solicitation is all but certain to fail without agreement by the committee members as it requires approval from holders representing 75% of the bond.

    Videos

  • CARICOM Youth Ambassador Technology & Youths, 29min.

  • Caleb Orosco - David Kato Vision & Voice Award, 22min.

  • Criminal Code & Cyber Crimes, 27min.

  • An Over View of The Integrity Commission, 35min.

  • The U.S. Ambassador to Belize - End of Tearm Interview, 25min.

  • Belize Aggressor 2016 2, 14min.

  • Corozal Junior College Drug Awarness Week, 3.5min. The Corozal Junior College is observing Drug Awareness Week and this morning the students and their teachers marched through Corozal Town to demonstrate to the public that they are taking a stand against drug-use

  • PLENTY COCONUT AD, 1min.

  • Explore the reef at Mexico Rocks in Belize's Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 42min. Hi from Mexico Rocks! :) Travel Channel is enjoying one of our favorite snorkel spots!

  • Namaste Kakao, 1min. Trailer zur gleichnamigen Doku uber Kakao aus Sudindien.

  • Cuba:Belize Go Pro, 4min.

  • Snorkeling au Belize, 4min.

  • Belize 2016, 39min. Vacation to Belize 2016.

  • Fly Fishing For Bonefish in Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) Belize, 11.5min. I was nearing the end of my trip to Belize, and had already done all the fishing I had desired. After leaving the fishing island, we went to Ambergris Caye for New Years Eve. As I was walking near the beach at our hotel, I saw a sign that said, "Guided Fly Fishing trips for bonefish and tarpon. I had to go. This is not even half of the bonefish I had caught.

  • Miss Belize Universe 2016 visits Boracay, Philippines., 1min. This past week, 16 delegates of Miss Universe 2016-17 were chosen to visit the paradise that is Boracay, Philippines. Miss Belize Universe 2016 Rebecca Rath was among them. Here's a small peek of how the trip went.

  • GPH Belize 2016 Starts First Week with Health Fair, 2min.

  • CCA 2017: El Salvador vs Belize Highlights, 2min.

  • El Salvador vs Belize 3-1 PARTIDO COMPLETO Copa Centroamericana 2017, 225min.

    January 17, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Tropic Air inaugurates new flight between Belize and Chetumal, Mexico
    On Monday, January 16th Tropic Air inaugurated their non-stop flight from Belize to Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico. This new service marks Tropic’s sixth international route and the third destination in Mexico. The launch of the new flight is intended to provide passengers who are travelling to other parts of Mexico, and the world, with easier flight connections via the international airport in Chetumal. The first ever international flight to land in the city of Chetumal, Tropic Air flight #6500, touched Mexican soil shortly after 8AM after a short delay in Belize due to foggy weather. The flight carried members of the Belizean press corps, along with San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero, National President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, recently elected 13th Senator, Osmany Salas, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, His Excellency Carlos Melendez, and John Grief III, President of Tropic Air.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks claim first win in the 2017 NEBL Season
    The 2017 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) opened on Friday, January 13th with a heated match between 2016 sub champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks and the Cayo Western Ballaz. Basketball fanatics flocked to the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town for the highly anticipated game. The tight match provided much entertainment for fans of both teams, but in the end it was the Tiger Sharks who claimed victory with an 83 – 55 point score.

    The San Pedro Town Council donates to the San Pedro AIDS Commission
    The San Pedro AIDS Commission (SPAC) is pleased to extend its gratitude to The San Pedro Town Council for their kind donation of $1,000. On Wednesday, January 11th Mayor Daniel Guerrero welcomed Felix Ayuso and David Jenkins (President and Vice President respectively) to his office where he presented the check. On behalf of the SPAC, Ayuso thanked the Mayor for the donation and committed to continue working in the community and helping wherever possible. The SPAC stays active all year round, raising funds to help spread awareness on HIV/AIDS and helping persons living with the disease.

    Ambergris Today

    Kent Gabourel Selected as San Pedro’s Person of the Year 2016
    For his love of sports, humanitarian efforts and dedication towards the development of healthy island living through sports and extra curricular activities, Kent Bob Gabourel has earned himself the title of Ambergris Caye’s Person of the Year 2016. He’s made San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, his home for 16 years now, is no stranger to island residents and when people hear about ‘Bob’ (as he is commonly known in the community) sports is the first thing that comes to mind. An avid triathlete, he loves to swim, run and bike and he has taken a group of island youth under is wing, whom he coaches and trains with. He loves being around young people, encouraging them to be better in every aspect of life. It is because of this constant involvement in sporting activities that Bob was hired by the San Pedro Town Council as the island’s Sports Coordinator. It is impossible to think of another island resident with such a long track record in sports development on the island.

    Farewell to Don Felix Ayuso
    The untimely passing of Mr. Felix Ayuso Sr. on Thursday, January 12, brought sincere sadness on family members, friends and an entire community. Mr. Ayuso is a grassroots son of the soil of San Pedro. He spent his childhood in in the village under a fisherman father along with his siblings Mickey, Manuelita, Adolfo (+), and Pedro Ayuso. Along with his wife, Elena Graniel Ayuso, he raised his children- Rosita, Carmen, and Felix Ayuso Jr. Don Felix is mourned and will be sadly missed by his children, brother and sisters, many nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ambergris Today extends sincere condolences to the Ayuso Family and other relatives.

    Concerns Over Recent Leaked Sex Tapes with Underage Girls of Facebook
    The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC), mandated to advocate for the protection of all children, is deeply concerned about the most recent hideous act of leaked sex tapes with alleged under-aged girls on Facebook. According to the news, over the weekend videos of young girls engaged in sexual activities were posted on social media and shared hundreds of times. The leaked tapes have not only caused pandemonium but were most alarming since some of the participants appeared to be minors and somewhat inebriated. The release of the sex tapes also violate Articles 19 and 34 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind and to be free from all forms of sexual abuse”. This type of action is a form of cyberbullying that can have adverse psychological effects on the participants, such as depression and suicidal ideation.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Caye Caulker Liquor Licensing Board meeting
    Tuesday Jan 17, 10am at the CCVC Community Center

    Tropic Air flies to Chetumal for the first time
    Happy to have been part of history this morning. Tropic Air flew to Chetumal International Airport for the first time. This was also Chetumal's first international flight. Huge kudos to Tropic Air, BTIA Diamond Sponsor, for their vision and efforts to link Belize to the region and beyond.

    Press Release - Tour Guide Training
    Conservation of Marine Resources in Central America Project.

    Recruiting for EnviroConnect Belize
    You can be on Season Two of the Department of the Environment - DOE's EnviroConnect Belize! Details on the flyer!

    James Waight Award 2017 Nominations
    The Belize Audubon Society is calling for nominations for their James A. Waight Conservation Award. "It is that time of the year once more. A call for nominations to the James A. Waight Conservation Award which recognizes an outstanding Belizean involved in the work of Conservation. Deadline for submission of Nominations: Friday, February 10, 2017."

    Sir Colville Young presents musical instruments to Salvation Army
    It has been announced from Belize House that this afternoon the Governor-General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young presented a consignment of musical instruments to the Salvation Army Primary School in Belize City. These instrument were purchased through a generous donation from the Ambassador of Taiwan , His Excellency Mr. Charles Liu , which was matched with proceeds from the Governor-General’s Music in the Schools Programme Central Committee Christmas Concert . When making the donation His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, pledged to continue to encourage and support musical programs in schools throughout Belize, and to renew his commitment to assist in developing and promoting the love of music and the practice of the arts.

    Presenting our new garbage compactor!
    The San Pedro Town Council just recently acquired this new garbage compactor to facilitate the daily pick ups.

    Full Moon Concert in Corozal
    Thank you to all who came out and supported our first Full Moon Concert of 2017! Everyone enjoyed the high energy of Surpassing Silence band out of Orange Walk Town; truly a great night of classic rock and Spanish music!

    GEF Small Grants Programme benefits Vaca Forest Reserve
    Thanks to the support of the Ministry responsible for Protected Areas and the GEF Small Grants Programme, the Vaca Forest Reserve has a three person team in place. The goal will be to stabilize the uncontrolled use of the forest reserve by farmers in the Vaca plateau and maintain the ecosystem goods and services through capacity building and support.

    UPDATE: seismic and multi-beam surveys
    via phone call on Friday, January 14th 2017, Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, Sharman Hyde verbally confirmed that the intended seismic and multi-beam surveys have been cancelled; and that the company, TGS has also been informed. Written confirmation of this has yet to be released by the Ministry. Oceana and allied partners in the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have called on key agencies like the Belize Tourism Board, the Fisheries Department and the Ministry of Tourism to publicly declare their position on offshore oil. This threat, this time is cancelled. What about the next time? Belize and Belizeans deserve to know if the Government of Belize is saying "yes" to offshore oil. The time is always right to do the right thing.

    Channel 7

    Ceremonial Court Opening Welcomes New AG Peyrefitte
    There's one day in every year that downtown Belize city stands still to witness the ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court. That's the second Monday in January, a decades old tradition that attempts to give the judiciary some palpable public presence. Today, the veteran Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin welcomed two newcomers to the event: New Attorney General Mike Peyrefitte, and new President of the Bar Priscilla Banner. Alex Courtenay reports. As tradition dictates, on the second Monday of January, the ceremonial re-opening of the Supreme Court is held. Today, members from every sector of the judiciary gathered at the St. John's Anglican Cathedral for a church service. Following the service, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin led his fellow Supreme Court judges, governors, and members of the Bar Association, in a procession to the Supreme Court building.

    Senator-Designate Wants Meeting Pushed Back To 20th
    The commencement order for the 13th. Senator takes effect on Friday, one day after the Senate meets. And while many had expected that Osmany Salas would have been sworn in on that day, according to the Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse, one thing doesn't necessarily follow the other. He put that timeline until some time in March. Today, we met Salas at an event and he told us that the way he sees it, he should be sworn in on January 20. He adds that Thursday's Senate meeting should be postponed until after he takes his seat - since they will debate the NGO Amendment Bill: Osmany Salas: "The way we look at it, there is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be sworn in as early as the 20th January when the commencement order takes effect. There is no reason to delay it. Our NGO community has sent a letter to the Governor General last week informing him about the process that was followed, informing the Governor General that I was elected, requesting the Governor General as to the relevant section of the constitution that I be I guess formally appointed and sworn in as the senator representing the NGO community. That should be able to happen as of January 20th."

    Another American Grenade
    Another American type hand grenade was found in the city over the weekend. The grenade was enclosed in a container and stashed in an empty lot in the Lake Independence area. Police had to call in Commander of the BDF Brigadier David Jones, who is also an explosives specialist, to safely take the grenade away. Today via phone, Jones told the media more about the find and also encouraged the public to call police immediately if they know the location of any grenades. Brig. Gen David Jones, Commander, BDF: "I was called to go and retrieve the grenade which was in the open lot on the road on the Chetumal Boulevard across the bridge going to the highway in the open lot on the right hand side there was a grenade similar type as to the one we had retrieved, American type, it was in a container and I was asked to retrieve it and take it to the BDF camp and that is what I did." "They are definitely not from within Belize they are being imported from somewhere across one of the borders but we are not sure from where."

    Island Cops Bust Half A Mill In Cocaine
    So, while that was the grenade found on Southside Belize City, Island cops made a major bust of 25 parcels of cocaine on San Pedro. That's a total of 26 kilos or 57.5 pounds. The police found it, not up the north coast of San Pedro, famous for its wet drops, but at the south of the island. According to a police press release, police responded to information received of sack on the beach 4 miles south of San Pedro Town. Police say the parcels each weighing between 2.29 and 2.35 pounds - which is a little over a kilo - were found in a sack. They say no one was in the area and it was labeled as found property. The police have refused to share any other information on it, but when we asked San Pedro's Mayor about the drug bust, he had nothing but praise for the officers who acted on good intelligence.

    August Pine Ridge Traffic Fatality For Motorbike Driver
    A salesman was knocked down and killed this morning in the Orange Walk District. 41-year-old Giovanni Ayuso, who is from Palmar Village was riding his motorbike a mile away from August Pine Ridge when he had a head on collision with a pickup. 23-year-old Abram Freisen was driving the 2004 Chevy Pickup. Ayuso died on the spot from the massive impact. Police are investigating and have not yet determined who will be charged.

    Bicycle Rider Run Over On Hummingbird
    And, there was a similar traffic fatality in Belmopan. A man was knocked down and killed on Saturday night on the Hummingbird Highway. 52-year-old Salvadoran Oscar Emigidio (E-mi-hid-yo) Santillana (Santi-yana) was riding a beach cruiser between miles 53 and 54, which is within Belmopan City limits, which is when Michael John Rau hit him from behind in a Honda CR-V. Rivas received massive injuries from the impact and was flung to the side of the road where he died on the spot. Police have served Michael John Rau with a notice of intended prosecution, and his vehicle was impounded.

    Small Child Recovers From Accident
    And a 5 year old buy was run over in Mahogany Heights. Jenson Grinage Jr survived the accident with injuries to his head. He was taken to the Belmopan hospital, but has been treated released. He was The police have not released details, but he was hit by a Ford Escape, driven by a 49 year old Salvadorian female.

    Man Escapes Hail of Bullets
    A man was shot at 7 times on his way to see his son, but he survived the attack. On Sunday morning around 7:30, 35 year old Deon Bennett-Brackett was riding his bicycle along University Drive, near the teachers college, when a vehicle pulled up alongside him and a gunman in the backseat opened fire. Despite the spray of gunshots, Bennett was only grazed in his shoulder, his arm and in the back of his neck. He has been treated and released. A friend we spoke to off camera today says he didn't deserve to be targeted like that because she only knows him as an easy going person and a devoted father. Voice of: Friend: "Yesterday morning I just heard that my friend Mr. Bennett was coming in West Landivar, he usually do the same thing every morning, come and see his child then go and buy tacos then come back in. but we only get to hear that there was a black car waiting for him in the entrance and from there we heard that they shoot him." Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "Did he say if he recognized anyone form the car or?" Voice of: Friend: "No, he said that it happened quickly and he didn't recognized anyone."

    Petillo Ran From A Gunman
    And from a shooting on the Northside to one on the South - the victim was also grazed. 31 year old Francis Petillo went to buy vegetables yesterday afternoon when he was chased by a gunman. He gave us the account off camera. Voice of: Francis Petillo, Shooting Victim: "I was going by the vegetable area to buy something for my sister and a gunman approached me and chased me with a gun and I had to drop my things and I got shot twice in my stomach." Reporter: "And this gunman, is it somebody you know? Anyone you are familiar with?" Voice of: Francis Petillo, Shooting Victim: "No, I don't know him from anywhere." Reporter: "Were you ever threatened before? You know if anyone had a target on your back so to speak, anything?" Voice of: Francis Petillo, Shooting Victim: "Nobody ma'am, I have not gotten threatened before."

    How Will The New AG Handle Vega Matter?
    Michael Peyrefitte has been the Attorney General for only about 13 days, but he has inherited a lot of responsibility from his predecessor. Among those responsibilities is ensuring that Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts repay the government after being wrongfully compensated for land that was already privately owned. Peyrefitte briefly discussed his stance on the matter today... Reporter: "The issue of the Andre Vega/Sharon Pitts and the returning of the funds to the government coffers. You are taking over from former attorney general Vanessa Retreage. Where do we stand on that matter?" Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General: "Well there is no intention from me to discontinue the matter. The matter was filed. I won't comment on the merits or demerits of the case itself. I will refrain from ever trying to discuss cases or tried them in public. So the case is there. It's present. I believe a claim has been filed and so then we go from there. That's all I would like to say on the matter for now for that."

    AG, Que Pasa Con PASA?
    Peyrefitte also gave us some insight in the court proceedings between PASA, the Mexican company that was responsible for moving waste from transfer stations to the regional landfill on Mile 24, and the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority. As has been reported, PASA abruptly ceased operations and abandoned the landfilling, leaving transfer stations piling up with garbage. Reporter: "The matter involving BSWMA (Belize Solid Waste Management Authority) and PASA, the whole sanitary landfill situation we were told by personnel from BSWMA that it was under review from the legal advisor in the ministry of natural resources as well as the attorney general's ministry. You were not aware where that stands?" Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General: "I am aware of the proceedings and the analysis of the contract. But we are not finish yet, so I don't want to preempt them by saying anything about it. But we are working on it and I am fully aware of that."

    Ministry of Health Hilux's Long Saga
    The Ministry of Health's most recently stolen Hilux has still not been recovered. As we told you on Friday, the Hilux was stolen in San Ignacio. New details tell us that it was stolen early Friday morning from the San Ignacio Community Hospital. The information is that someone went to one of the hospital administrators and simply told him that they had to come to pick up the truck. The administrator then handed over the keys and the person just drove off. An onboard GPS tracker has traced it to Melchor, and the Ministry of health used that same anti-theft system to disable the engine. But latest reports tell us that the thieves were able to take out the anti-theft system. Reports are that the vehicle jackers crossed over to Melchor, Guatemala through the Santa Rosa road. Now this area has been a challenge for police over the years because Guatemalans use that road to come and go between Belize and Guatemala illegally. We will keep following up on this case.

    Tropic Air's New Flight To Chet
    Chetumal is Belize's favourite Mexican City and every year, tens of thousands make the little run across the border, for shopping, or just for a little getaway for a Miami feeling with a Melchor discount. You can catch a bus, drive to there through the Santa Elena Border, or catch a water taxi from San Pedro. And now, you can also fly there. That's now possible through the newest flight which Tropic Air launched today. They're making another attempt to reach that Mexican travel market which everyone agrees is currently untapped for Belizean tourism. They invited our team to take the inaugural flight to Chetumal, Daniel Ortiz has the story:

    Harvest Caye Is Not End all For Norwegian
    Friday's news was full of stuff from the House meeting, but there are two items of note we didn't get to include. The first has to do with the Harvest Caye Cruise Terminal. The PUP Representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requena, who is also the PUP's Shadow Minister for Tourism, asked the current Minister Manuel Heredia about those Norwegian Cruise Ships which are now bypassing Belize city and making a bee-line for Harvest Caye. There's been a lot of complaint from Belize City Tour Operators who say that losing Norwegian and its well-heeled guests - has translated into a major loss in earnings for them. Heredia responded by saying Norwegian is not bypassing the City:... Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism: "What Prime Minister and I agreed, we are keeping to that promise. NCL continues to call to Belize and will continue to call in this 2017 also and I can quote you the numbers. In 2014, NCL had 64 calls to Belize City. In 2015, they had 72 calls. In 2016, they had 96 calls, which is 30% of the total calls. 79 of those calls were to Belize City and 17 to Harvest Caye."

    Things We Lost In The "Accompanying Measures"
    Another interesting question was the one put to the Minister of Economic Development, Erwin Contreras. It's about the millions of dollars in economic assistance from the European Union that have been lost because the contracts or the executions were mishandled in Belize. The project is called "Accompanying Measures for Sugar" - a project worth a total of 152 million dollars programmed for everything from early childhood training, to crop diversification, to cattle sweeps, so that Belize's sugar industry, and northern Belize in general could be competitive when subsidies are phased out. And it's not just money for institutional strengthening; 76 million was earmarked for upgrading roads, but Belize only tapped into 56 million - which paved 46 miles and rehabilitated 47 miles. That's because Belize could not meet deadlines or quality standards set out by the European Union. Contreras explained why and how many millions and how many miles were lost - basically, to ineptitude or inefficiency:...

    Belize In fifth in Nations Cup
    Belize opened the Nation's Cup on Friday night against Panama in the Estadio Rommel Fernandez earning a surprising draw against the host nation. Belize only had three shots on goal to Panama's 14, and enjoyed possession for only a third of the game, but the defensive oriented squad had 21 steals to keep the Panamanians scoreless for a nil - nil draw. Sunday's second game against the best team in the region, Costa Rica was not so fruitful. The Costa Ricans connected on three of their 17 shots on goal, while Belize di not connect on any of its five shots on goal - for a three nil win for the Ticos. This puts Belize in fifth place heading into tomorrow's game against Salvador. The game starts at 2:00 pm and it is a must win, or must-draw for Belize since only the top four teams qualify.

    Channel 5

    Second Grenade Recovered in 12 Days from Southside
    For the second time in twelve days, the Police Department has removed an American type fragmentation grenade from south side, Belize City.  On Saturday, the police were tipped off about [...]

    57 Pounds of Cocaine Recovered in Ambergris
    San Pedro is primarily known as a premier destination for tourists from across the world and is visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. But there is a flipside [...]

    Was Lords’ Bank House Fire Deliberately Set?
    A home was completely destroyed by fire before midday today. The persons who lived at the home weren’t there at the time of the fire. While Police and Fire Officials [...]

    G.O.B. Will Proceed with Pitts-Vega Compensation Case
    Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte assumed office on January first, several days after a claim had been filed against businessman Andre Vega and U.D.P. insider Sharon Pitts.  Legal action is being [...]

    The Legal Year Opens with New A.G. and Bar Prez But Same Problems
    The 2017 opening ceremony of the Supreme Court took place this morning; the proceedings started with a service at the historic Saint John’s Cathedral after which the judiciary and Bar [...]

    Attorney General Settling into New Office
    The transition from Speaker of the House of Representatives to Attorney General has been a work in progress for Michael Peyrefitte.  He formally took over that government department at the [...]

    Senate Meeting Will Proceed; 13th Senator Not to be Present
    The Government of Belize has announced through a Communiqué that the meeting of the Senate scheduled for Thursday, January nineteenth, will proceed as scheduled. The commitment for a thirteenth senator [...]

    Debate on Referendum Act is Personal for Most Area Reps
    The House of Representatives began debate on the Referendum Act (Amendment) Bill, on its second reading, shortly after its break to consider the first reading bills. That debate lasted nearly [...]

    Will Creditors Warm Up to Revised Superbond?
    Holders of the Belize 2038 Bonds, also known as the Superbond, are considering Belize’s offer to amend key points in the package, which was made as of Thursday. Interest on [...]

    Motorcyclist and Bicyclist Killed in Separate Road Fatalities
    Forty-one-year-old Geovanni Ayuso, a salesman of San Jose Palmar Village in the Orange Walk District, lost his life earlier today when the motorcycle he was riding collided into pickup truck [...]

    Shooting Incidents in North, Southside of Belize City
    There were two separate shootings in the City over this weekend. We start first with the shooting incident where thirty-five-year-old Deon Bennett of Mayflower Street was shot multiple times. Sometime [...]

    The Impact of Grenade Finds and Explosions in Old Capital
    A total of sixteen grenades have been discovered and removed from the streets of Southside Belize City. Most have been without incident, but there have been three explosions, two of [...]

    Rebecca Rath Taking Philippines by Storm
    Rebecca Rath is among ninety delegates from countries all over competing for the crown of Miss Universe. Only once has Belize been able to make it among the top ten [...]

    Favorite Vacation Spot, Playa Del Carmen, Scene of Grisly Shooting
    In other news….five persons were killed and fifteen others wounded after a shooter opened fire at a nightclub in Playa del Carmen resort, Mexico. The coastal resort town, which is [...]

    Jaguars Have Mixed Fortunes in Sports Monday
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   [Feature on sporting highlights including Belize Jaguars at the Copa Centro Americana Games in Panama...]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Governor general donates musical instruments to Salvation army Primary
    Today a press release was issued from the Belize House announcing that this afternoon the Governor-General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young presented a consignment of musical instruments to the Salvation Army Primary School in Belize City. These instrument were purchased through a generous donation […]

    Lord’s Bank House burns; estimated damage is over $50,000
    A house was gutted in a fire in Lord’s Bank today. According to police reports, the fire started around 11:30 a.m. in the Hollywood area of Lords Bank where a yellow 25X25 ft. wooden structure owned by 47-year-old Radiance Reid was destroyed by fire. […]

    Five people killed in popular destination for Belizeans
    Five people, including a Canadian couple, an Italian and a Colombian, were killed in an incident which resulted in a shooting and a stampede at a crowded club in Playa del Carmen, Meixco, a popular destination for Belizean travelers. According to Miguel Angel Pech, […]

    Fatal traffic accident on August Pine ridge road in Orange Walk
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that a motorcycle and a pick up truck collided on the August Pine Ridge road in the Orange Walk District shortly before 1pm today. Details are still sketchy but BBN understands that the accident was fatal. Police are currently […]

    Woman raped in Hattieville
    According to police reports, yesterday a 31-year–old woman of Hattieville reported that on Sunday night around 7:00p.m., while walking in the Bainsville area, she was approached by a dark skinned man about 5 feet 5 inches in height, of slim build, wearing a green […]

    Government vehicle valued at $62,500 stolen in San Ignacio
    The Deputy Regional Health Manager at San Ignacio Community Hospital reported that on Friday, January 13 around 7:30 a.m. she received a phone call that a 2014 silver four door Hilux pick-up truck with license plate # BZ B-2009 for the Ministry of Health […]

    Tropic Air commences service to Chetumal, Mexico
    Today, Tropic Air inaugurated their non-stop service between Belize City International Airport (BZE) and Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico (CTM). According to a Tropic Air press release, Chetumal becomes Tropic’s third destination in Mexico and its sixth international route overall. “Tropic will fly to Chetumal three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), with […]

    Man dies after fatally knocked down by a pick up truck
    On Saturday at about 8:30 p.m., Belmopan Police responded to a fatal road traffic accident between miles 53 and 54 on the Hummingbird Highway where officers saw the body of 52-year-old Salvadoran national, Oscar Emigdio Santillana Rivas of Belmopan lying on the side of […]

    Blogs

    The Top 4 Countries in the World for Retiree Benefits
    Imagine a place where sunshine is ubiquitous, a high-quality lifestyle won’t cost the earth, and as a retiree, you’re treated like a VIP…you’ll get a red-carpet welcome and be rewarded for your age and experience. Places like this exist…and they have claimed the top spots in the “Benefits and Discounts” category in International Living’s 2017 Global Retirement Index. In many countries all over the world you can live better for less. But as well as offering a lower cost of living, some countries stand out for the amount and quality of benefits they offer foreign retirees. Belize offers a major enticement to potential expats–the Qualified Retirement Persons’ (QRP) residence program. This program was designed to provide benefits to attract foreign retirees to settle in Belize. The alternate option is to become a permanent resident. But that’s a major commitment that takes a few years to obtain. The QRP residence option is much faster. Qualified expats can often obtain their QRP residence within a couple of months. And the QRP comes with significant benefits. Fortunately, you need not wait until you are 60+ to apply. Once you reach 45 you can apply for QRP status. As a QRP you’ll be able to come and go at will across Belize’s borders.

    How to Make Sorrel Tea
    Sorrel is a fascinating perennial herb that is used all around the world and is cultivated for a wide variety of uses. Although it is primarily grown for use in food, due to its sharp, tangy taste, it also has a vast array of health benefits associated with it.

    Delicatessen Boutique Gourmete is now open in Corozal in front of the BTL offfice
    Delicastessen is now open for the public to come in and buy products of different kinds of Smoked ham, Different Yogurts, Bacon and Seafood. On Thursday January 12th, 2017 was their Grand Opening with discounts prices on certain products. Brings premium Hams and Imported and locals seafood closer to home and business. So, Corozalnoes who cook at home, You have a new place to come visit for your cooking time during the week. And, it was an exciting to see this business to open in corozal. from Monday to Friday.

    Full Moon Surpassing Silence; held in front of the Corozal NICH
    The Corozal House of Culture made its Saturday night live music possible by the Surpassing Silence from Orange Walk. It was a night that you didn't wanted to miss with your family.. If you couldn't make it this year then you can come next time. This event was sponsor by many businesses to make this event. And, it was passed through live streaming by Estereo Amor from Orange Walk. Surpassing Silence usually takes place on the first Full moon of the year to Celebrate the Full moon. Tourists and locals enjoyed the live music the Rock Band played throughout the night. During the event you could have visited the inside where they had display of the Pirate's who came to Belize. The Theme for tonight's Full moon Event was Rock and Roll, Pop music, and Latin Music. Music from Mana, Bruno Mars, Bon Jovi, Micheal Jackson, Rock and roll were some of the Musics that where played at the event. The Corozal House of Culture is well known for organizing activities that promote art and culture in Corozal featuring local artist from across the district. Every year the house of culture hosts four full moon concerts that showcase the talent of those in the music field. This Saturday the 14th Full Moon Concert that happened at the Corozal House of Culture, and as usual Corozalenos where all invited to come out in this part event.

    UPDATE:Football Club; Corozal return matches International Football Exchange Program
    The weather was beautiful until the rain came in. It was the return matches International Football Exchange Program That was held on Saturday Janaury 14, 17 inside the Ricalde Stadium. It commenced at 10a.m. in the morning where they did a short ceremony for the Football teams. Prayer, Greetings from the Mexican team, Invited Guest Labureya FC from San Pedro - Ricalde Stadium Proudly brought to you by the Corozal Sports Council. Four teams that came in to play on Saturday, where Pachuca FC Carillio Puerto Vs our very own Junior clubs categories U-8- U-10 and Juniors born 2002 and 2003,San Pedro Ambergris Caye Corozal sports council working in the Development of children in your municipality. It commenced at 10am because their was a delay over one of the teams from Carllio Puerto while coming into the Belize Border. Team Carllio Puerto vs Corozal Invaders played together and they where the starters of the event. The two teams played 45 minutes each and a break during the game. Excitingly, taking photo's of the team was very fun to watch the fan's cheering for their favorite team. And, since it was a last minute choice to come watch Corozal play or San Pedro Ambergris Caye played I had a two choice of my favorite team...

    The Coffee of Antigua, Guatemala: How It’s Made And The Best Cup
    Not everyone can grow good coffee. For the very best arabica beans – THIS STUFF IS FINICKY – you want altitude between 4000 and 5000 feet, rainfall between 40 and 60 inches (evenly distributed please) and mean temperatures in the high 60s. Antigua Guatemala has the right stuff. After a pick up in town, I was dropped off in front of Finca Filadephia. There is a whole bunch going on all over the property. It’s a beautiful resort, a place for zip lining and paint balling and donkey riding but most of all, it is a working coffee finca. And that is what I was there to see. We first stopped at the nursery. The seeds are not just dropped in the ground. They are sprouted and after a few months (this is a SLOW growing plant), the plant is cut from the roots and then grafted onto a hardier breed. Roots that do better in the local soil.

    International Sourcesizz

    1 YEAR LATER, MURDER OF ABC7 PRODUCER IN BELIZE STILL UNSOLVED
    A year after ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney was murdered while on vacation in Belize, the case remains unsolved. Swaney's family and friends have had a year of anguish because the 39-year-old was gone, but also because her murderer has not been caught. Police in the Central American nation of Belize are in charge of the investigation, but there has been no apparent progress in the search for the killer. Swaney was executive producer of online operations at ABC7, where she had worked since 1999 after graduating from Northwestern University. "It's still not reality for me," said Ji Suk Yi, a friend and co-host of Windy City Live. "I still feel like Anne went away on vacation and I'm still waiting for her to come back."

    Miss Universe Candidates Stun Crowds In Various Photoshoots In Binondo, Vigan & Boracay
    The Miss Universe 2016 candidates have clearly been having the best time exploring the Philippines. In fact, they have been around and about the metro. And at the same time, some of them have also been out of town exploring culturally rich places like Vigan. Before that, the ladies also experienced some island fun in Boracay. Earlier, the Miss Universe contestants also flew to the island of Boracay to be one with sun, sand and sea. Here, Miss Mexico Kristal Silva, Miss Dominican Republic Rosalba 'Sal Garcia' Abreu and Miss Belize Rebecca Rath also took the time to do a photoshoot.

    Videos

  • Central Information Technology Office (CITO), 25min.

  • Tropic Air Inaugural flight from Belize International Airport (BZE) to Chetumal, 1min. Our Grand Carvan saluted on its inaugural flight from Belize International Airport (BZE) to Chetumal, Mexico (CTM).

  • San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Belize City Municipal flight, 16min.

  • Fishing Training Program in orange walk, 7min. Climate Change and fishing. You may ask what one has to do with the other, but the reality is that conditions such as warming seas are leading to negatives effects in marine life. Over the weekend, key stakeholders in the fishing sector started a training programme that will see them become less dependent on traditional fishing in Belize.

  • Belize Vacation, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2017, 8min. Alex, Kayleigh, Lauren, and Megan's Adventure to Belize. From San Pedro, to San Ignacio, to Thatch Caye. Oh the places we'll go, oh the things we'll see, and oh the blended drinks we'll drank :)

  • Belize Cave Tubing 2017, 5min.

  • Belize Climate Smart Agriculture, 6min. The Belize Ministry of Agriculture's Extension Unit along with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA-Delegation in Belize) along with other development partners has embarked on the delivery and mainstreaming of Climate Smart Technology to improve capacity and resiliency to Climate variation and change.

  • Belize Aggressor 2016 movie, 14min.

    January 16, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Police Report
    On January 7, 2017, Emir Marin visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that his home in Boca del Rio Area was burglarized. He reported he saw a Hispanic male person running out of his home, and he then asked for assistance from two Police officers that were conducting patrols in the area.
    Based on information received, the Quick Response Team, searched a wooden apartment in the Bay Side area on Thursday January 5, 2017. Upon arriving, the police saw Keith Williams standing at the entrance of his apartment smoking. He then ran away from the said location, leaving behind his black LG brand cell phone. Upon checking the apartment, a young male minor was observed sitting on a brown sofa.
    On January 10, 2017, Hernan Baeza visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that on January 8th, he left his red 26 inch Beach Cruiser bicycle with serial number G145150014, valued at $285, in a golf cart rental compound, locked up. On January 10th, at about 6AM, he returned for his bicycle and found that it was missing. He then reported that with the assistance of his friend from the golf cart rental company, he reviewed video camera footage and saw a male person, whom he recognized as Iayn Cabañas.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: My Dog Won’t Bite
    “Where are you off to?” I said to Bill Meadows, who was walking in the hot sun. “I’m on my way to see Mr. Curtis. Do you know him?” “I’ve known him for over twenty-five years,” I said. “Mr. Curtis lives up in the Boca del Rio area and he hauls things for people. I hire him every time I can.” “I don’t know how I did it but somehow I managed to offend him the last time he worked for me,” Bill said. “Now, I need him and he won’t even answer my calls. I’m going to his house to apologize and bring him a quart of rum.” “That sounds like a good plan,” I said. “Hop into the cart and I’ll drive you over.” After we got the rum I drove over to Mr. Curtis’s house. As I walked up the steps a big Labrador retriever mix ran up to me and started barking his head off.

    Editorial: I am Him and He is Me
    Written by Andre Agustus Pitts on July 11th, 2016, this powerful piece resonates even more today. Every time I hear sirens howling from a distance through the city streets, I can imagine that the lifeless body of a young, black man from Southside Belize City is being hauled away. I know that his mother is being assaulted by the memories of his first step, his preschool graduation, the potential she saw in him, and quite normally, she reflects on the first time he started giving trouble. I know that his father feels a sense of guilt, wishing he was around more. I know his girlfriend wished he had spent the night next to her instead of on the unforgiving street side. I know that the lifeless body in the rusty pan of a police mobile was, one or two hours ago, powered by vibrations, illuminated by a smile covering the hopelessness, fear and anxieties of the young black man. Most importantly, I know that I am him and he is me. Our stories are all the same. I grew up on Pen Road in the heart of the South Side of Belize City. Hardly anyone on my street had a father present in the household, and most of us depended on a grandparent to serve as babysitter while our mothers would clock in extended hours at work to make ends meet.

    Doctor Love: Desperate
    Dear Doctor Love, I know you are in San Pedro and I live on the mainland but I hope you can help me out. My school is putting on a play in two weeks and I play the leading part. We have been rehearsing since the school term began and we have put a lot of work into it. When it began taking a lot of my after school time, my father said I had to keep my grades up or I would not be allowed to participate. My dad will never accept any grade lower than B and pretty much, I have done that but I got a B minus in one subject. My father grounded me, including being in the musical and I am freaking out. My dad has always dreamed of me being the first person in my family to graduate from college. He will not listen to anything I say. He just keeps saying that a B minus will not get me into a good college. I have begged and cried. I have promised to be grounded until I am married if only he would understand that this is very important to a lot of people. I haven’t told my teacher yet because I am hoping to change my father’s mind. How can I make him understand that he is really wrong to make me drop out at the last minute? /s/ Desperate

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Monthly Weather Summary, December 2016
    Climatology shows that the main features influencing weather across the country of Belize in December are cold fronts, upper level troughs and the development of moist northeasterly airflows in the area. There was no frontal passage in December of 2016. However, rainfall was above normal for most areas and this was caused by a rather moist tropical air mass that affected the country. Additionally, an upper level ridge persisted over the southwest Caribbean for a major part of the month. This blocked the fronts from entering the area and also supported instability aloft which resulted in deep convection over the area particularly on the 26th of the month. On the first day of December a marginally moist and light easterly airflow over the area supported cloudy skies at times with a few showers mainly over northern coastal areas of the country. A slack pressure pattern dominated from the 2nd through to the 3rd and moisture also decreased over the area. This supported mainly fair conditions with only isolated showers across the country. The flow veered even further to the east-southeast on the 4th and 5th supporting mainly fair, warm and mostly dry weather. Similar weather continued on the 6th but isolated showers affected inland areas on that day.

    Belize loses to Costa Rica 3-0

    The Reporter

    PM Barrow explains why he won’t pay arbitration awards to Ashcroft Alliance
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has explained that his government will not honor a US Court’s decision to pay the Ashcroft Alliance US $50 Million for several reasons. At Friday’s House meeting, Barrow said the ruling was in favour of the People’s United Party’s illegal Accommodation Agreement, with the Ashcroft Alliance, which the highest Court over Belize’s jurisdiction – the Caribbeam Court of Justice (CCJ) has already ruled. “The BSDL award is in consequence of this government’s refusal to honor the Accommodation Agreement – an Accommodation Agreement that without a doubt, Madam Speaker, was utterly and outrageously illegal. BCB holdings, same thing, Barrow explained. “That one, they had the nerve after they got the award – the Ashcroft concern – to bring to Belize for enforcement and that was the one that ended up at the Caribbean Court of Justice. That was the one that caused the Caribbean Court of Justice to talk about malignant tumors, and that was the one that caused the Caribbean Court of Justice to say it doesn’t matter what the reasoning of the arbitration tribunal was; to enforce that award would be repugnant to the public policy, not only of this country and the region, but internationally.”

    Man shot on north side
    Deon “Buzu” Brackett, a resident of Mayflower Street in Belize City, lies critically wounded after he was shot this morning. Brackett was riding a bicycle shortly after 8:00 a.m., under a heavy downpour in the West Landivar area of Belize City when he was shot in the abdomen. He is currently in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. We will have more as this story develops. There are also reports of shots being fired in other areas of Belize City.

    The Belize Times

    Former Director of Immigration Tells ALL… – UDP Ministers Named in Revealing Testimony
    Former Director of Immigration Maria Marin has been able to produce the list of UDP Ministers which caused her alarm as the then Acting Director of Immigration for the frequency with which they were recommending applicants for approval for immigration documents. That list is with the members of the Senate Select Committee, and they are refusing to release it to the press at this time, even though these are public hearings. In the Senate hearings, Marin made some alarming disclosures, and in the interest of accuracy, this newspaper has reproduced her comments verbatim. According to Marin, “As the Deputy Director, I was aware of cases where we would have people coming in to the department, like what were referred to as agents, who would come in and bring in application forms…I experienced that there were requests that were coming for applications to be approved without having all the necessary requirements or supporting documents in some instances.

    FUEL PRICE UP…BUTANE PRICE SKYROCKETS…
    There was no announcement by Government to announce its New Year’s gift of a pump price increase which shot the cost of Regular Fuel to its highest point in years. In Belmopan, the cost of Regular Fuel stood at $9.94 while in Corozal and Toledo the price shot past the $10.00 mark. The price for Diesel at the pump also jumped past $9.00, recorded at $9.07 in Belmopan. Prices for Premium mirror prices for Regular, but sources in the Ministry of Finance tell the Belize Times that within the next week the price for Premium fuel will shoot up. On the heels of that crippling price hike, GOB had another not so little surprise for Belizeans. Effective immediately, the price per 100lb. cylinder of butane skyrocketed up $15 – in Belize City, from $82 to $97 and in Belmopan from $84 to $99. The first month of the New Year isn’t even halfway and the budget hasn’t even been read. Yet Belizeans are already paying the cost for the Prime Minister’s total mismanagement of the economy. Belizeans are also paying the cost for the greed of UDP Ministers who have used their powers of office to guzzle at the trough.

    STATUS: SCREWED – Barrow’s Racks Up Another $100M Debt for Belize
    Uncertain economic times have become even more uncertain for Belize as the US Supreme Court, this week, rejected a request from GOB for certiorari in two arbitration settlements (GOB vs. Belize Social Development Ltd.; GOV vs. BCB and Belize Bank Ltd.), the cost of which total more than US$50 Million and is now enforceable with the Court’s decision. Still, even with the decision being final, GOB says it will not pay a penny toward any of the arbitration costs, even though they are the direct result of the Prime Minister’s arbitrary nationalization of BTL and his subsequent refusal to settle. According to GOB, the US courts have “no authority to overrule the CCJ [Caribbean Court of Justice] and certainly the Ashcroft companies can never collect those awards in Belize.”

    THINK ABOUT IT!
    It was an insult to Fidel Castro for Dean Barrow to send Patrick Faber to represent Belize at the funeral services in Cuba. Patrick Faber may be the Deputy Prime Minister in a UDP government but, like his government, he knows very little about the achievements of the great leaders from the Caribbean nation of Cuba. And worse he cares even less about the ideas that have held the people of Cuba together for so long. When Fidel and his comrades including the awesome guerrilla warrior Ernesto “Che” Guevara overthrew, by military means the USA puppet/dictator Batista, they were faced with a nation and people in crisis. Tourism had brought exploitation and prostitution to new levels. Cubans were by and large uneducated and illiterate. There was no healthcare for the masses. No housing project and a culture of poverty and dependency. Under Fidel Cuba has long been the top nation in the world for its literacy and healthcare programs which benefit every Cuban. Despite a crippling and brutal total embargo by the US against Cuba, Fidel brought his people to economic self-sufficiency.

    UDP Politics as Usual…
    In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government has offered nothing different from 2010 – no new initiatives, no new agenda, no new plans, no bold, visionary ideas. There is nothing new coming out of the Ministry of Police, nothing new coming out of the Police Department. Operating Restore Belize is still putt-putting merrily along on the wings of a song. Poverty is increasing apace, as is unemployment. Frustration and desperation are heading on up. There have been no social programs offered and no move to address the school dropout rate. There is still no state of the art forensic/DNA lab which Mr. Barrow promised something like three years ago. He continues to promise the lab periodically but still nothing. That’s all we’ve gotten from this government – NOTHING. The Minister of Police did his media thing the other day but while he may be cute (or not) we were given NOTHING concrete, nothing to base our hopes for better on. So far 2011 isn’t looking all that great…

    Tipping Point
    At what point do we say enough? At what point do we decide that our leaders have done too much of what is wrong? At what point do we decide that if there is no drastic and real change, as opposed to optical change, our country is really screwed. At what point do we get enough of the blatant corruption, the arrogance, the greed, the mismanagement, the bad decisions and the violation of our people in every possible way? Our neighbours in Mexico, and as close as Chetumal, protested an increase in fuel cost at the pumps. They burned gas stations. They took to the streets, blocked roads. Lives were lost. Currently, with the increase, Premium fuel in Mexico costs $6.50BZD per gallon. Diesel, with the increase, costs $6.22BZD per gallon. And our neighbours protested in force. In Belize, currently, Regular Fuel costs $9.94 per gallon. Diesel costs $9.07 per gallon. In some parts of the country, Regular has reached the $10.00 mark. This is not because of any acquisition costs, or rise in freight or insurance. Government has so screwed up our economy that now it is forced to tax Belizeans through fuel. For every gallon of Regular fuel you buy today, GOB takes $4.63 in taxes.

    Team Corozal Outlasts Orange Walk: 5-4 in Inter-district Football Friendly
    Team Corozal outlasted Carmelita FC of Orange Walk: 5-4 in an Inter-district football friendly at the Louisiana field in Orange Walk Town on Sunday, before the Jaguars’ game. Diego Moralez scored Corozal’s 1st goal, and Camilo Sanchez added a 2nd goal before the half. Jevon Ico scored 2 goals for Carmelita to equalize 2-2 at the half. In the 2nd half, Marlon Miranda came off the Carmelita bench to relieve Jevon Ico, and soon scored Carmelita’s 3rd goal with a header to finish a corner kick in the 54th minute: 3-2. Camilo Sanchez answered for Corozal in the 69th minute: 3-3. Dedron Baptist scored Carmelita’s 4th goal in the 78th minute: 4-3. The Sugar City fans’ celebration did not last long as Camilo Sanchez answered once again for Corozal in the 83rd minute, taking on the keeper one on one to complete his hat trick: 4-4.

    Belize Jaguars Win 3 Friendlies in Preparation for Panama
    Team Belize Jaguars won 3 football friendlies in preparation for the upcoming 2016 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana, to be held in Panama from January 13-22. The Jaguars’ new head coach Richard Orlovski has prepared the Jaguars well and he said he was happy with their performance, and expects they will execute the plays they have practiced in the same way against the Central American competition. Last Friday night, the Jaguars won 2-0 over a Stann Creek district selection at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga. Belize’s top striker Deon Macaulay delivered the 1st goal in the 20th minute and Everald Trapp added a 2nd goal in the 27th minute. On Sunday at the Louisiana Field in Orange Walk, the Jaguars won again: 4-0! Macaulay scored a hat trick in the 1st half, with goals in the 26th, 36th and 45th minutes. Luis “Barker” Torres came off the bench to score a 4th goal in the 84th minute, with an assist from Andres Makin Jr.

    Guats Say Sedi Agreed to Secret Sarstoon Agreement
    Information now coming to light indicates that either Belizean authorities have withheld and continue to withhold critical information from the public or that Guatemala is lying. However, the Government of Belize has not sought to dispel any of the startling disclosures by Guatemala, so our readers can certainly read between the lines. The previous disclosure was that Guatemala had rejected the possibility of Confidence Building Measures for the Sarstoon and instead informed our government officials that they would simply implement a security protocol that would see Guatemala, out of courtesy, grant the Belize Defense Force access to the Sarstoon River for its changeover at the Cadenas observation post. There is evidence to suggest this is true, since our highest defence officials have confirmed that this is the position and will remain the position.

    THE FLOOD OF BLOOD….AND A HEAD
    By: Norris Hall. THERE is no tourniquet to stop the flood of blood that gushes, almost daily, from the veins of young men who are caught up in the criminal violence perpetuated by a gang culture. There is no bandaid to stop the spiraling crime rate that can be indirectly related to the escalating corruption that has become the norm with government officials. These so called white collar crimes invariably steal money that could be used to address the social ills that affect our young people who find themselves checkmated by the grips of poverty and hunger. With the social and economic decline in the society the crime rate mirrors a desperate human instinct for survival. There is no hope or expectation from the public that the Police Department will be able to singularly redeem us from our fear and paranoia as a result of the daily images of human blood flooding the nation’s streets, brought to us courtesy of the media. There is absolutely no need for them to apologize. They are simply reflecting the images of what our society has become.

    The 13th Senator
    By: Eduardo Santos. On Tuesday, the 10th of January 2017, the 13th Senator who will be a representative of the Non-Governmental Organizations will finally be elected. The election is slated to be held at the Belize Audubon Society where Donovan Reneau of the BCVI, Janelle Chanona of OCEANA Belize, Pablo Collado of Adopt a Child with Disability, Edilberto Romero of Bacongo and Osmany Salas of the BTIA will all be vying for the votes of the 27 organization that will be eligible to vote. Even before the first ballot has been cast there are a few persons who are crying foul since out of the 148 registered NGOs only 27 NGOs or 18.25% of all the NGOs will be able to vote. While we are all focusing on the election of the 13th Senator, some of us have conveniently forgotten what the catalyst was that made this a reality. In October of 2016, the Belize National Teachers Union staged a national protest since the Barrow Administration had reneged on its promise to implement a hike in the public servants’ increment. While the two sister unions (PSU and the APSSM) accepted the government decree in regards to the wage hike, the BNTU then issued a decree to the government and when it was not met, they conducted a nationwide shutdown. In response to their strike, Dean Barrow was forced to give in to the demands of the BNTU. One of these demands dealt with the implementation of the 13th Senator as stated in our constitution.

    Thinking Out Loud
    We are now officially in the second week of the New Year and I am proud to say that the Council has continued with the provision of essential services without a break. As Mayor I’ve spent the last few days inspecting various works around town, including our drainage project on Cinderella Street, the paving of St. Peter’s Street and the paving of Slaughterhouse Street. I have never been one to boast, but I truly believe that the collaboration between our Council and the community is the most successful in the country, showing the most results. We have not been able to cement streets like in Belize City. That municipality had access to millions from a Municipal Bond and millions more in grants from a Central Government which wanted to look good in the city. But I have heard, like I’m sure so many have, the many complaints of streets recently cemented which are already breaking up. The major road leading to the Chetumal Street bridge which so many in the UDP boasted about is already sinking a couple months after being built. So many projects in so many municipalities have failed because those giving the orders high up are all about optics and all about bandaid repairs which look good but never last.

    Guzman Charged for Malski’s Death
    Eric Rene Salazar Guzman, a Guatemalan living in Burrell Boom, has been charged for the road traffic accident which caused the death of 21 year-old Ladyville resident Jamalski Young. Young suffered a horrific death after his body caught fire moments after the crash. That accident happened sometime after 9 p.m. on Sunday, January 8, between miles 8 and 9 on the Philip Goldson Highway. His family tells the press that he was on the way to work at a gas station located less than quarter mile from where he died. He was riding on a motorcycle, and just as he was passing Blue House Bar, a white vehicle reversed out onto the road. He did not have enough time to react, and the motorcycle slammed into the back of the vehicle. The impact flung him forward, and the bike landed right next to him.

    UDP Ministers Exposed by Former Director of Immigration
    Maria Marin, the Former Director of Immigration, has confirmed to the nation what the Auditor General’s reports on the Department of Immigration and Nationality catalogued in detail. UDP Ministers intervened in applications for immigration documents, especially Visas. These letters of recommendation they sent was part of a culture within the Government that whichever applicant they endorsed, that applicant was expected to be approved for their Belizean documents in expedited fashion even if they did not qualify. Marin’s revelations came as part of her testimony to the Senate Select Committee, which has been holding public hearings to review the mass irregularities exposed by the Auditor General in her reports. In the 4th meeting of the Committee, Marin revealed under oath that the frequency with which Ministers were recommending applicants for visas was a red flag for her in the pursuit of a reformed department. Even though she was very careful in her word choice, this former senior Immigration official disclosed that there were past occurrences before her leadership of the Department with which she was not comfortable.

    Have You Seen This Man?
    Does anybody know what happened to the golden boy Mayor of Belize City? I believe his name was Darrell Bradley. Is he still around? Somebody says he’s gone back into private practice full time and that is certainly believable based on the work, or lack thereof, in this dilapidated city. Buoyed by millions from a Municipal Bond and millions in grants and bailouts from a Central Government flush with Petrocaribe funds, Bradley wowed the country with what seemed to be unprecedented work. Since he followed on the hells of the disgraceful Zenaida Moya even one paved street would have been an improvement. But coffers bulging with millions, Bradley shone bright.

    A SEA OF RECKLESSNESS
    This evening a terse release from the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum informed the general public that the consultations on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey, that were scheduled to be held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City on January 18 and 25, 2017, have been cancelled. There was no explanation given and the word ‘cancelled’ was used as opposed to ‘postponed,’ suggesting that there will be no rescheduling in the short term. So why is GOB playing so cagey with what is obviously a pre-exploration survey in our waters? The economy is in dire straits. It is no secret. The Government of Belize admitted this in broad daylight in its pleading to bondholders recently in New York as it attempts to re-structure the so-called Superbond for the third time. The reason the economy is in dire straits is quite straight forward. Our usual exports have been doing poorly. The BNE oil wells have dried up. Also, the government has mismanaged the nation’s financial resources and increasing public debt to unsustainable levels. Underscoring this dismal situation however is the government’s reckless actions and decisions as it pertains to the economy.

    Thanks to Teachers…13th Senator is a Reality!
    On Tuesday, January 10, President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association Osmany Salas was selected as the NGO appointee to serve as Senator in the Upper House of the National Assembly. Salas, if government keeps its commitment, will shortly be officially appointed as the long awaited 13th Senator, believed to be critical to the oversight process and so long denied by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Salas was selected through a voting process in which 27 NGOs in good-standing participated. He was victorious with 11 votes, while Edilberto Romero received 7 votes. Three other NGO representatives – Pablo Collado, Janelle Chanona and Donovan Reneau were in the race for 13th Senator as well, and it is believed that all would have been able to perform in the role which is absolutely essential for good democracy.

    Barrow Can’t Even Manage Garbage
    While everything else is crumbling under the mismanagement of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his administration, it has come to the nation’s attention that the PM’s incompetence in not solely in the area of fiscal responsibility. It has become apparent that this administration cannot even manage garbage. On Tuesday January 10th, the Government of Belize, incredibly, asked Belizeans if they could please generate less garbage while informing that the operator of the solid waste transfer stations and the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill, PASA Belize Limited, a Mexican company, had ceased operations effective January 9th.

    Guardian Editor Finds Fatal RTA Funny!
    Late last week, Guardian Editor Alfonso Noble…charged and arraigned for knocking down and killing Gilbert Myers while he was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, made an incredibly insensitive, distasteful and offensive post on Facebook. Under a picture of him giving blood, Noble wrote, “A friend asked that I help out by giving blood today.” Noble was making direct and joking reference to the incident which claimed the life of Hattieville resident Gilbert Myers on Christmas Eve. The Guardian Editor, seen drinking that afternoon and evening, knocked down Myers at Mile 4 on the George Price Highway, killing him instantly. When Police arrived at the scene, Noble refused to give a blood or urine specimen so he could be tested for alcohol in his system. On December 28th, as he was arraigned on multiple charges of Manslaughter by Negligence, Causing Death by Careless Conduct, Driving Without Due Care and Attention and Failure to Provide a Specimen, Noble’s attorney Herbert Panton told the media that his client had refused to give blood to Police because he was a Jehovah’s Witness.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Happy Birthday to the Father of the Nation
    George Cadle Price, Belize’s first Prime Minister, true Belizean patriot and national hero, was born on January 15, 1919 and would have been 98 years old today. Yesterday, a memorial mass and wreath laying ceremony was held in Belmopan in celebration of the life […]

    Man shot in Belize city
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that a man was shot this afternoon on Western Avenue in Belize city. The victim has been identified as Francis Petillo. He was reportedly taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment. © […]

    Forbes selects Santa Familia village in Cayo as one of best destinations to live
    Forbes Magazine recently listed Santa Familia village in the Cayo district as one of the best destinations in the world to live. The article, entitled “Quit your job and live abroad: 8 places so cheap, you might not need to work,” was posted on […]

    Man gunned down in pouring rain
    A resident of the Mayflower Street area in Belize City was gunned down in the pouring rain as he rode his bicycle on the north side. According to police information shortly after 8 a.m. Deon Brackett, also known as “Buzu” was gunned down in […]

    Belize held Panama to a 0-0 draw at Copa Centroamericana
    The Belize Jaguars travelled to Panama for their first match of the Central American Cup but the game ended in a 0-0 draw at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium on Friday night. The results have only extended Panama’s undefeated streak in the 15-game competition. Statistically, […]

    Blogs

    Antigua, Guatemala: The Food And the Restaurants
    When I set out on my trip to Guatemala almost two weeks ago, I had no clue what the food would be like…but after living in Belize for 10 years, I could make an educated guess. Beans and rice, for sure. Chicken and chilies. A mix of Mayan and Latin/Spanish influences. And lots and lots of delicious coffee. OH THE COFFEE. But that I must save for the next post. There was SO much of it. I wasn’t that far off…the food was delicious. The wider selection of fruits and vegetables, since Guatemalan ranges from sea level to 13,000 feet, is a very nice bonus. Who doesn’t love year round avocados and mangoes, blackberries and strawberries and some of the best coffee in the world? Antigua was the perfect place to eat Guatemalan AND internationally. The town has quite the food scene from Italian and French to Indian and Thai to bubble tea. And even some things that…oy. At the Museo Chocolate. It also has the most low-key fast food places I’ve ever seen. The only way you’d recognize Domino’s Pizza is by the single brass domino on the exterior.

    International Sourcesizz

    Jose Guillermo Ortiz scores twice in Costa Rica debut
    D.C. United’s newest player Jose Guillermo Ortiz was named to the Costa Rica roster earlier this month and was looking at the chance of playing for his country for the first time. After appearing on the bench Friday in a scoreless draw with El Salvador, Ortiz was given his first start for the Ticos by former Alajuelense coach Oscar Ramirez. In the second half, he shook off two Belize defenders and rang a shot off the post, which Minnesota United FC player Johan Venegas put home for an easy one:

    Caribbean And Latin America News Round Up For Monday Jan. 16, 2017
    The Belize Jaguars ended their game against Panama in their first match of the Central American Cup Friday night in a 0-0 draw. They, however, lost Sunday night to Costa Rica which scored three goals in the match.

    Top 10 Places to Live Overseas in 2017
    Wondering where the best places are to meet abroad? A good place to start is with the best places to live. For that, consider the following list of the "Top 10 Best Places to Live Overseas in 2017," courtesy of Live and Invest Overseas. Says Live and Invest Overseas: "Little Santa Familia village in Cayo, Belize ... is a region of wide-open spaces, fresh air, warm sun, and fertile land, making it our pick for the world's best place to disconnect and unplug."

    Videos

  • Belice 0 - 3 Costa Rica | Copa Centroamericana, 1hr50min.

  • British Honduras 1981, 3.5min. I left British Honduras in 1971, -and visited 10 years later--- Shame on Great Britain, British Honduras was Roaches and rats infested, Ninety percent of Belizeans were dirth poor -Belize it or not- This video clip was done in 1981 on my first visit to Belize after a 10 year absent...

  • Belize Lighthouse Cay, 2/3min. Belize flight over outer cays, amazing! Blue hole, and stranded vessel on reef.

  • Belize, 3min.

  • Belize 2017, 4min. had an un-Belize-able time!

  • Belize 2017, 4.5min.

  • Belize vs Costa Rica 0-3 (All Goal & HighLight), 1.5min.

  • Mission Belize Dec 2016 - Jan 2017, 4min. 13 gringos from Northern Wisconsin traveled to Belize to visit friends and share Jesus with them.

  • Belize Man Trip 2016, 6min.

  • Welcome to Belize, 27min. Join us as we spend out last day in San Pedro at Ramon's Village and spent the day with Mikey

  • HHM Belize January 2017, 5.5min.

  • Small Planes in Belize, 5.5min.

  • Belize, Tobacco Caye island life, 2min. Belize, quick stop Tobacco Caye island watching large sting rays go by..

  • Belize City - Debarkation, the City, & Pictures, 5min. Belize City - Map, Debarkation Distance, a guided tour through the City and Pictures.

    January 15, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Town Council acquires new garbage compactor
    The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has acquired a new garbage compactor. The new addition to the island’s Sanitation Department is expected to increase the efficiency in garbage collection on the island. Present at the handing over were Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, Councillor Ruben Gonzalez, who now has the sanitation portfolio, and other staff members of the SPTC. Mayor Guerrero stated that as the island continues to develop at a rapid pace, so does the increase in garbage produced on the Ambergris Caye; thus, the need for more garbage trucks. In the coming months, the SPTC expects to acquire two more garbage compactors in order to further address the garbage issue on the island.

    Tourism industry delivers record breaking results
    Despite taking a hit from Hurricane Earl in 2016, the Belize tourism industry is the primary sector that continues to excel. From new additional flights, cruise lines, marketing strategies, and international recognition via various vacationing celebrities, Belize is definitely in the spotlight for 2017. In Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow’s end of year message to the country, he indicated that he is more than confident that the tourism sector will prevail this year. “In the all-important tourism sector, there are the new airline routes to come from Fort Lauderdale and Denver, plus the already-commenced Tropic Air flights to Merida, Cancun, Chetumal and parts of Central America. A direct Mexico City to Belize connection via a Mexican carrier is also being worked on for 2017,” said Prime Minster Barrow. He also stated that Belize is making accommodations to host this increase in passenger arrivals. “There is a frenzy of hotel construction in North Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia. Blackadore Caye has also broken ground, and Caye Chapel’s owners expect their 200 million US dollar partnership with a five star brand to be announced by February 2017,” said Prime Minister Barrow.

    SP Lions Club and local developer reach an agreement after Mosquito Coast Park dispute
    A dispute regarding the removal of a building located at the San Pedro Lions Mosquito Coast Park, caused a controversial clash between members of the San Pedro Lions Club and local business owner, Yoram Shoshtari. President of the San Pedro Lions Club, Nigel Belisle, stated that Shoshtari was claiming rights over the park and had ordered his employees to dismantle a structure on Thursday, January 12th. According to Belisle, the Lions had begun construction of the building on Monday, January 9th in an effort to house a caretaker at the park. After Belisle, and Lion Members Melanie Paz and Mel Spain were notified of the removal, they immediately sought assistance from Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott. OC Jemmott then sent out Sergeant (Sgt.) Derick Saldano and his team to evaluate the site. Shoshtari began explaining to Sgt. Saldano that because the park is public property, the Lions had no rights to build on it. However, the San Pedro Lions claimed that they hold full control of the property through a letter, which was gifted to the Club via a long term (typically 99 years) lease back in 1990.

    Ernesto Caliz court trial for sexual assault adjourned
    On Friday, January 6th, 62-year-old Ernesto Caliz, accused of sexually assaulting a toddler, faced his first court session at the San Pedro Magistrate Court. Caliz’s case was briefly reviewed and then adjourned to Tuesday, January 31st when his court trial is expected to start. According to San Pedro Police, before the case commences, Caliz will undergo a ‘case management’ process in which all required evidence will be first collected prior to beginning of the trial. According to the police, and due to the nature of the accusation, the matter could reach the Supreme Court.

    Saga reiterates responsible pet ownership after increase in dog attacks
    After a recent spike in dog attacks, the Saga Humane Society is on a mission to spread awareness on responsible pet ownership. Saga reminds the general public that responsible pet ownership is a must, and that there are public laws in place regarding dogs on the island. Dawn LoCascio, who sits on Saga’s Board of Directors, stated that recent incidents involving four dogs that were attacked by vicious dogs is a grave concern to Saga. “In the first two weeks of 2017, these four dogs were seen by Dr. Tummons, Director of International Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Health Assistant Ingrid Lima. The patients all suffered extensive wounds, and one died from its injuries. Two were treated and have been released to their owner, and one is in a questionable state,” said LoCascio. She believes that tragic incidents such as these, can be prevented if people were not only acquainted with the laws, but adhered to them. Roaming dogs, either by choice or accident, pose a potential threat to the community. “Responsible pet ownership remains the only solution to this sad and preventable issue. All dogs must be treated kindly, cared for with food, water, shelter from the elements and proper veterinary care. They must be walked on a leash and not allowed to roam. This simple act of responsibility by dog owners could eliminate the attacks, the overturned garbage cans, feces in public areas, and alleviate the amount of “hit-and-run” deaths,” said LoCascio.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SBDC Workshop: ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP
    Presented by: Mr. Jorge Gentle, Business Advisor SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Training Room, Itvet Compound, Free town road, Belize City. Workshop Date: 19th January, 2017. Time: 9am to 3pm. This workshop aims to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to self-analyze their capacity as entrepreneurs, and be able to be innovative and develop the capacity to think outside of the box. Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively assess themselves and utilize the tools to develop innovative business ideas, marketing strategies, and a business model that will allow their venture to be unique, structured, and focused; leading to profitability. Cost: $50.00, Includes snacks, lunch and refreshments.

    "DELICATESSEN" - Now open on 5th Avenue, Corozal
    Great service - Offering Dairy and FUD Meat Products. Smoked Ham, Pechuga, Americano, Virginia by pound and by pack. Sausages, Atun, Filete - Various types of yogurts and other dairy products. Flan, La Villita Butter, Bacon, Philadephia Cheese, Different flavours of OLE CAFE. Come visit and try out our first branch in the country here in Corozal and avoid the drive across the border. Other branches will open in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Orange Walk and Belize City.

    A brazen evening robbery leaves an American retiree and his wife shaken
    Corozal has not been spared by the recent increase in home invasions, robberies, assaults and burglaries. American retiree, Boyd Wayne Bowers currently living on Ferry Road, Southend, Corozal District reported that around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday January, 11th 2017 he was upstairs inside his two storey home, along with his wife Pok Kim, a retired Korean national when they heard their dogs barking. Pok Kim ran downstairs to check where she met up with three masked men who had gained entry to their house and one of the assailants was armed with a handgun. The intruders proceeded to tie both him and his wife inside a bathtub. They then reportedly spent about half an hour ransacking the house then left with a 14K gold wedding ring with a 1k white oval diamond stone on it and two small diamonds on each side valued at $32,000.00BZ, (2) Sieko watches valued at $800.00BZ, a ladies watch brand unknown valued at $50.00BZ, an 18k gold necklace valued at $12,000.00BZ, an 18k gold necklace with pearl and a 1/2k diamond valued at $1,600.00BZ, sets of pearl earrings valued at $2,000.00BZ, (3) 18k gold charm bracelets valued at $1,000.00BZ each, 1 silver bracelet valued at $25.00BZ, $2,000US in cash (mostly in $100.00US dollar bills), $550.00BZ in different denominations, a 3 foot crow bar valued at $50.00BZ, an axe with a red handle valued at $50.00BZ. The heist added to a grand total of $59,325.00BZ. All three assailants wore masks and were identified by Mr. Bowers as being of dark complexion. When they left, it is reported that a white mini-van (CHEVY TYPE) was waiting for them and drove in the direction towards Corozal Town.

    Road Safety Project Receives Prince Michael Safety Award
    The Belize Road Safety Project has received a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for collaborative use of the Safe System approach. Well deserved. They've significantly reduced road traffic fatalities on the George Price Highway. "The Project, which was launched in 2013 with funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize, received the commendation in the Road Safety Management category. The Road Safety Project focuses on the corridor between Belize City and Belmopan, including Belmopan Ring Road. Prior to 2013, this stretch of road accounted for almost 50 percent of all road traffic deaths in the country of Belize. At the end of December 2015, this figure had fallen to less than 10 percent.

    FCD’s Karst Management Unit monitor the Kabal Caves
    At least 6 entrances have been recorded for this first set of caves that makes the Chiquibul Cave System.

    South MPR highlands birding Big Day on Sunday Feb. 5th
    Space for 4 only. Leaving San Ignacio at 3.30am and back by 5.30pm. Fuel contribution $35bz. First 4 to confirm are in. Posibilities? Sedge Wren, Cabanis' Wren, White-winged Tanager, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Red Crossbill, Plumbeous Vireo, Solitary Eagle, Red-tail Hawk, Gray-collared Becard. Plus 14 other specilaties if we hike hard into the 1500 foot ravines and canyons.

    Downtown Project at House of Culture
    Here are some pictures from the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvention Project's Community Outreach held today at the Belize City House of Culture. We had a good turnout from the community. We want to thank everyone that made this a day a succsess.

    The Reporter

    Police look for clues in murder of elderly man
    Belize City police are searching for clues in the vicious murder of Salvador Marquez, 62, whose corpse was found with huge chop wounds across the face, head and left arm on Friday evening. The Salvadoran man left his house in the Gungulung area of Lake Independence in Belize City to go fishing in a remote area 1 1/2 mile away at the seashore at mile three off the George Price Highway earlier in the day and when he did not return home in the afternoon as he normally did, his family went looking for him. They discovered his body hidden under some mangroves in the area, with Marquez still clutching his fishing net. His icebox and bicycle lay nearby. His machete that he took was missing. Marquez, who moved to Belize from Salvador for years ago, had been robbed in the area of his catch before, but this time all the fish he had caught were still at the crime scene.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    More delays for 13th Senator
    The commencement order for the appointment of the 13th Senator takes effect on January 20, however, it appears the swearing in of the newly selected senator, Osmany Salas, will not happen until after March. Head senator for government business, Godwin Hulse, recently told the […]

    Another Deadly Grenade Found in Belize City
    South-side police have taken yet another American made grenade from the city’s murder capital. The discovery was made earlier today but police press officer, Fitzroy Yearwood is not releasing any further details. “I won’t pinpoint the specific location of the discovery of the grenade […]

    Police intercept over 55 pounds of cocaine in San Pedro
    Fifteen parcels of cocaine will not be reaching their intended recipients because the drugs were seized by police today in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The discovery was made this morning by San Pedro Police and the drugs were discovered on the North Coast of […]

    Videos

  • The Belize Jaguars arriving to their training facility, 1min.

  • SHJC Scorpions Wish Jarret Good Luck, 1min. Sacred Heart Junior College student Jarret Davis is in Panama at the Copa Centralamericana, and his brothers made a really cool video wishing him the best. This video defines camaraderie. They tied Panama yesterday, 0 - 0. They play every other day, and tomorrow they take on Costa Rica. Go Jaguars!

  • Belize City, Belize - Dec. 23, 2013, 3min.

  • MISS UNIVERSE 2016 BELIZE Rebecca K Rath 2016 17, 5.5min.

  • Red-eyed treefrog in Belize, 1min.

  • Belize 2016, 3min. Christmas in Belize 2016 - Ambergris Caye Corazol, San Ignacio.

  • Flying in Belize, 1min. Highly recommend flying between towns in Belize. The views are incredible. Very safe and well maintained planes. Organized and punctual.

  • Belize private island reef snorkeling, 12min.

  • Belize city tour and air boat ride, 11min. Ride the tour bus through the city of Belize and take the air boat ride!

  • Belize private island reef snorkeling, 12min.

  • SaltFly~ DESTINATION: BELIZE, 3min. SaltFly hits the flats of Belize searching for bonefish and permit.

  • Panama 0 - 0 Belize Highlights, 1.5min.

  • Belize, 17min. went on an 11 day adventure where I visited 2 countries, 5 cities and met new friends.

  • Belize - Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 3min.

  • The Silence - Belize Day 2, 5min. My Mom and Dad took the trip of a life time for their 25th anniversary celebration. Belize, Central America. In this short five part series, explore the world and the sea with us in Belize. After our first night on the island, we gathered our gear and met up with the Butts Up touring crew. We glided through an underground river, hiked on the Mayan ruins, and learned about the culture that is native to Belize.

    January 14, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro’s crocodile “Jaws” relocated to new ACES Sanctuary in Sandhill
    The American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) relocated an American crocodile named “Jaws” from San Pedro to his new home at ACES’s Crocodile Sanctuary in Sandhill on Wednesday, January 11th. Jaws was rescued by ACES in 2011, where it was discovered that his lower jaw had been broken and chopped by a machete when he was a juvenile. Despite Jaws being a healthy adult male, he is unable to survive in the wild due to his human-inflicted injury. According to an ACES statement, fixing his jaw would entail a risky surgery, which would likely not mend due to the crocodile’s strong bite force. Therefore, they made the decision that Jaws would need to remain in captivity. The relocation was led by Expert Crocodile Behaviorist and Co-Founder of ACES Vince Rose, and ACES’s assistant Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers. On Wednesday afternoon, January 11th they both prepared Jaws for his journey and escorted him to the mainland. With boat transportation generously provided by Belize’s Quality Poultry Products Limited, Jaws was transported to ACES’s newest crocodile sanctuary located within David Gegg’s eco-attraction in Sandhill, The Rainforest Adventure Zone (RAZ).

    The Belize Blue Hole nominated for Best Caribbean Dive Site; VOTE now!
    The old motto ‘Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret’ can no longer apply, as Belize is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination. Not only has the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) released an impressive end of year report on tourism arrivals for 2016, but they also shared that Belize has been nominated in the latest 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award contest.

    GOB calls off public consultations on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey
    The Government of Belize (GOB) has cancelled its planned public consultations on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey. The brief press release did not detail why the January 18th and 25th consultations were called off, or if the survey is still taking place. Following the press release, the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage wrote the GOB to ask if only the consultations were cancelled, or if the entire survey had been cancelled. There has been no response from GOB as yet. Before the consultations were cancelled, Belizeans across the country were gearing up for a massive demonstration against the Government. On Monday, January 9th, Oceana in Belize and The Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage hosted a public meeting in San Pedro Town. The meeting saw environmentalists and tourism stakeholders strongly rejecting the Government’s position on oil exploration.

    Kent Bob Gabourel & BSFC El Pescador team dominate Weekend Warriors’ New Year’s race
    San Pedro was well represented when island athletes competed in the Weekend Warriors’ New Year’s race, organized by the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club. Kent “Bob” Gabourel of Team Kulture Megabytes won the A category race while Ed Blank and Lisa Berger, both of Team BSFC El Pescador, swept the 1st and 2nd prizes in the C category race. Gabourel clocked 2:08:40 on his 54-mile ride from Mile 40 via the Burrell Boom bypass to Hattieville, onto the George Price Highway to the Fabers Road roundabout and over the Chetumal St. bridge, turning back on to the Philip Goldson Highway, turning north at the NAPA roundabout to finish at M&M Engineering in Belize City on Sunday morning, January 8th. The BSFC El Pescador cyclists won the 41-mile C category race that started from Crooked Tree junction and followed the same route as the A and B categories to the finish line; Ed Blank clocked 2:10:11 on the ride to win the 1st prize and a trophy.

    SPTC working on rehabilitating island roads
    Currently, all the material for the rehabilitation of roads is being brought in from the quarry on the northern part of the island. Guerrero stated that it is cheaper and it is of good quality. “We hope that the weather cooperates so we can take advantage of this good material. The faster we can address the road situation on the island, the better for everyone.” According to Guerrero, San Pablo, DFC and Escalante will soon see some development in their roads as the SPTC understands the urgency in those areas. The roads by the Mosquito Coast can also expect some rehabilitation, in time as well. Guerrero also touched on the proposed paving of the stretch of road starting from Mahogany Bay. He indicated that there is still no set date when it will happen. “The plan to pave that piece of road is still on the table,” said Guerrero. “However, we are still negotiating with the partnership that will assist us with that project.” It is believed that the paving of that road will greatly benefit the residents and businesses of South Ambergris Caye by making them more accessible. In the meantime, residents are being asked to be patient, as assistance will gradually come to their areas. The SPTC is committed to render assistance to all areas that need urgent road repairs. The present works on the roads are being fully financed by the SPTC.

    Ambergris Today

    Crocodile Jaws Relocated from San Pedro to Mainland
    American Crocodile Education Sanctuary relocated a rescued American crocodile named “Jaws” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, to his new home at ACES’s Crocodile Sanctuary on the mainland. Jaws, A healthy adult male, was rescued by ACES in 2011 and was unable to successfully survive in the wild due to a human-inflicted injury. Already healed at the time ACES rescued him, Jaws’s lower jaw had been apparently chopped by a machete and broken when he was a juvenile. ACES states, “Fixing his jaw would entail a risky surgery which would likely not mend due to crocodiles’ strong bite force; hence, Jaws will need to remain in captivity.” Jaws is an internationally famous crocodile having appeared on National Geographic, Poland, in 2013 while filming episode on ACES’s crocodile conservation efforts in Belize. Expert Crocodile Behaviorist and Co-Founder of ACES, Vincent Rose led the relocation. ACES’s assistant Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers, prepared Jaws for his journey and escort the infamous crocodile to the mainland.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Mrs. Laura Longsworth was today sworn as the Speaker of the House of Representatives
    A special sitting of the House of Representatives is underway, with a new Speaker, Laura Longsworth, in the chair.

    Shyne Barrow delivers music stands to Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence
    Yesterday, the Music Ambassador visited the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence to deliver music stands. The donation will assist the Institute's programs which seek to offer alternatives for communities heavily affected by crime and violence. Thanks to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his wife for having such an impactful institute that is a safe haven for young children in communities where crime and violence is sometimes seen as the only choice. Thanks to band instructor Mr. Daniel Bennett who has been in the business for over 40 years and is committed to teaching the next generation of instrumentalist. The office of the Music Ambassador along with Foreign Minister Elrington and the Samuel Haynes Institute encourages all young people to make the best choices and know there are options other than crime and violence.

    Mr. Felix Ayuso Sr. passes away
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Ayuso family & friends on the passing of Mr. Felix Ayuso Sr. Mr. Ayuso owned one of the first Taxi Services in San Pedro where he made sure both residents and visitors ride in comfort to their destination. May his soul rest in peace.

    Support local artist Carlos Carillo
    Please support local artist Carlos Carillo. He has currently set shop across from VIP Transfer, just entering Corozal. His art work is for sale all day today and tomorrow!

    Chiquibul Challenge Marathon
    The Chiquibul Challenge Marathon is on Sunday, March 12th. There are half and full marathon categories. Email the registration form to bzwildlifeclinic@gmail.com if you're planning on participating. Have fun, get a great workout, and help protect the Chiquibul. "Join the race for conservation and participate or sponsor the first Chiquibul Challenge Marathon! Run or walk a half marathon (20km), or go for the full distance (40km) in one of the most beautiful and pristine places on Earth. Learn more about the challenges for Chiquibul and contribute to its conservation... For the first year we expect to increase awareness of the Chiquibul, its beauty and threats, and to celebrate fitness. Proceeds of this race will be shared between 2 non-profit conservation organisations: Friends for Conservation & Development (FCD) and the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) to support it's conservation work with the Scarlet Macaws of the Chiquibul in partnership with FCD. We need lots of volunteers, sponsors for transportation, food and water, Gatorade, prize money, and station prizes, medals, t-shirts and printing. We need race officials, time keepers, massage therapists and a clean-up crew."

    Belize Bird Rescue Education Campaign
    Dear all. We're heading rapidly into breeding season and it's time to start our education campaign. Following the closure of licence applications, we expect to see far fewer wild baby parrots being poached in 2017. To keep the law fresh in everyone's mind, we want to put up a banner reminding everyone to 'Let Them Fly Free' We have $112US already, we need another $110US for a 10'x5' or $300US for 10'x10' Check out our fundraiser and spread the word. let's see if we can make this a record-fast campaign!

    Centroamericana Football Tournament
    Belize 0, Panama 0 Final score

    Belize group calls for end to sexual abuse of children
    The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) Friday said it remained deeply concerned about the most “recent hideous act of leaked sex tapes with alleged under-aged girls” on the social website, Facebook. NCFC, which says it has a mandate to advocate for the protection of all children, said media reports over the weekend had reported that the videos of young girls engaged in sexual activities were posted on social media and shared hundreds of times. “The leaked tapes have not only caused pandemonium but were most alarming since some of the participants appeared to be minors and somewhat inebriated.”

    Regional Multi-Destination Tourism Workshop
    The Regional Multi-Destination Tourism Workshop is geared to encourage tourism stakeholders to develop all inclusive packages to motivate Central Americans to visit the region. January 23, Radisson Fort George, 8:30am-3pm.

    CHARLES GOFF: BELIZE'S MOST DOMINANT BASKETBALL CENTER!
    Belizean 1960's, 70's and 80's basketball has seen many a big man come through the middle on a Belizean basketball court, but through the lens of many a Belizean sports enthusiast, Belizean basketball center of the 1970's basketball great team "Wheels", Charles Goff, had made a serious impact on Belize's basketball landscape. Depending on which way you want to look at it, Goff dominated the center as one of Belize's most domineering big men, under considerably pressure and opposition from others like J.J. Lynch and Emile Grinage of the legendary Belize basketball team Happy Home Builders. In our Belizean Legends interview with Goff last year, he remembered how it was when he was a novice under the shadows of the towering Wilton "Cama" Cumberbatch who at that time stood more than six feet tall and who taught him many basics in terms of how to dominate in the center. But Goff reflected that he had to wait his turn as a junior member of Cama's team at that time. "I really was getting tired of just sitting on the bench", said Goff. "But as soon as I got my chance to play I worked hard on becoming better at the game all the time."

    WHEN RAYMOND GONGORA REVOLUTIONIZED BELIZEAN THEATER!
    1970's Belizean theater can be dubbed as "The Belizean Artistic Renaissance" since its period of high quality accomplished Belizean drama taken from the streets of Belize City and the underlining Creole villages of Belize District, carried the narratives of Belizean ancestors of African Creole folklore. But these stories would not have been preserved if was not for the work of a drama group from Belize City called, "The Square Peg Players", that was the brilliant brainchild of the legendary Belizean actor, playwright, and visionary, Raymond Gongora. Gongora's range as an artistic interpreter was seen in his ability to take the language of the common day Belizean folk of the 1970's Belize, and captured it in prose and drama. He was the architect of Belizean comedy theater pulling from the incredible works of legendary Belizean artists and playwrights like Evan X Hyde, George Gabb and Sandra Coye. He turned these works into masterpieces of Belizean artistic freedom that served as a main source of entertainment at that time when radio was the only medium of communication and the coming of television was never even realized. As the period of the 1970's in Belize unraveled under a monopoly radio station in Belize that was controlled by what had appeared to be a single party domination of Belizean politics that scrutinized everything Belizeans said and do, Gongora and his cadre of talented Belizean actors and actresses like the legendary and late Beverly Smith Lopez exploded on the Belizean stage with memorable acts that today is nostalgia to the yearning Belizean soul.

    LENNOX SAMUELS, THE WORLD & BELIZE!
    When you are persistent and patient there are many credible things that come your way. This awesome story about a renaissance man named Lennox Samuels who hails from Belizean shores was intended to be written some thirty years ago. And through the kind patronage of some very good friends, it has finally come to view and to you the Belizean Legends audience. Early in my migration from Belize to the windy city of Chicago, Illinois in the United States in 1981, one of my brothers had introduced me to a Belizean brother, Calvin Flowers, studying medicine at the University of Chicago. It was an opportunity of a lifetime that was given to me in concern for my educational pursuits since yours truly's journey had began as a medical student and later ended up as one in the field of journalism. Calvin Flower's struggle to succeed will require volumes here, and for another time, but he painted for me a portrait of a Belizean colleague who had succeeded spectacularly in the field of journalism and was doing big things already on the American scene. Calvin said Samuels wrote a story about him called,"Illegal Alien", after the outstanding journalist had completed a Masters Degree in Journalism at Marquette University. The story thrilled me emotionally as much as the one of Calvin's iron-man personality that was unraveled in front of me as a positive role model of perseverance and tenacity.

    Channel 7

    Why Was Senior Citizen Fisherman Killed?
    Last night we showed you footage of the Western Highway murder. After 5:00 yesterday evening police were called out to mile 3, in a swampy area way off the highway. There, they found the body of 62 year old Salvador Marquez with several chop wounds to the head. The family told us today that everything seemed just fine yesterday morning when Marquez left to go fishing as he normally does. But it turned out to be far from ordinary when his son found his dead body on the beachside hours later. Here's what I found out today:... Salvador Marquez always had his fishing gear laid out from early in the morning. His net along with this ice box attached to his bicycle. Marquez would leave around 8:00 in the morning and ride to his favorite spot near mile 3 on the Western Highway, behind Tapir Nightclub. Yesterday was no different. But now this coastline view that Marquez had been enjoying for 4 years is is now tainted by his murder.

    PM Says Ready To Go To War With Ashcroft Alliance If Any Moves Made Against Belizean Assets
    Turning now to today's House Sitting - it was the first for 2017, and the first for new Speaker Laura Longsworth. We'll show you her election to the Speaker's seat later on but we start with the biggest news out of today's meeting. And that is the Prime Minister's defiant position that his government flatly will not pay the fifty million US dollars in arbitration awards that are owed to the Ashcroft Alliance. As we told you earlier this week - the US Supreme Court has refused to hear a case coming from a US District Court. That judgment said the Government of Belize must pay two Ashcroft Alliance Companies a total of 50 million US dollars. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister's Office sent out a release saying Government won't pay, Today in the House the Prime Minister added more depth to it. He said it's not simply an act of defiance to the US Courts, it's a matter of sovereign importance, since the CCJ had already ruled against these judgments. Here's how he put it:...

    What Would John B Do?
    So, the Prime Minister says he's prepared to go to war with the Ashcroft Alliance if any move is made to seize Belize's foreign assets - even though he claims to know of no such assets. But what would the Leader of the Opposition do? That's what the media asked him today:… Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "But he has been running his government as if it is a law firm. So far he has a zero batting average that he has been losing all of these cases. And now put our country in peril because of those foolish, wrong, and rash decisions that he has made. So now what's the best thing for him to do is to continue the blame game. The Belizean people have spoken on that. We have gone through 3 elections. He has to man up and accept that he has made some terrible decisions that now is costing this country, the Belizean people hundreds of millions of dollars." Reporter: "Sir do you not see the argument that was put forward by the Prime Minister this morning and that he can take the decision to say 'based on all of that I will not pay'." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "As I said I don't have all the information. My immediate emotional response was to be like 'well then we don't want to pay'. But until I can see all the information and get the best legal advice to advise him, I can't answer."

    Belize Offers Bondholders 4%
    2 and a half months ago, we told you about the Barrow Administration's attempt to convince holders of the Superbond to restructure for a third time. Well, Government has now presented an offer to bondholders. Principally, government wants to adjust the interest rate. That rate is currently 5% per annum, stepping up to 6.77%, starting August 20 of this year. The Government of Belize wants to amend that by fixing it at 4% per annum starting with the next payment, which is due in a month. To make the offer more attractive, Belize is also offering to pay holders a consent fee of 0.25% of the face value of the bond. This consent solicitation, which is simply an invitation to discuss, closes in two weeks, on January 26, 2017.

    New Speaker Takes The Chair, With Grace
    And now back to today's House Meeting. It was a historic day in the House as the UDP Government saw the ascent of its first female Speaker of the House. The PUP had two during their two-term tenure, and now the UDP has brought in Nurse Laura Tucker-Longsworth. She's well known for her professionalism in the medical field, and her serene and stately demeanor. It is hoped that she can use those traits to bring so harmony and civility to the often-fractious house. But it's not like an appointment or a contract officer who just shows up for work; not at all. The Speaker of the House - like all other members of the House - must be elected - and here's how that Ceremony went today:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I propose to the house Mrs. Laura Tucker Longsworth as the new speaker."

    Motion to Bring Back Julius
    And the first order of business was the single matter that perhaps played a part in Laura Longsworth's ascension. Her predecessor Mike Peyrefitte had famously clashed with the PUP Representative for Cayo South Julius Espat, resulting in his forcible ejection from the House. So, today, the House heard the motion from the government side to bring Espat back - but it's clear that there were definitely mixed feelings about it:... Hon. Laura Longsworth, Speaker of the House: "It is therefore for this honorable house to consider a resolution to terminate the suspension of the honorable member at this time." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "And that I hope and pray to the lord in heaven that as long as I live I will never want to witness what happened on the 26th of August last year. I would hope that every member in this house must realize that you are the person, Madam Speaker, that is in charge of this house. You have the last decision to make whether we agree with you or we don't. Your decision is the rule of the day. Madam Speaker, I move a resolution that the Honorable Julius Espat, member for Cayo South be reinstated to his parliamentary duties and attend the next siting of the house of representatives."

    PUP Firmly Opposes Change In Referendum Threshold
    And he surely would have wanted to be part of the very lively debate on the Referendum Amendment Bill, which was brought back for its second and third readings. At least 10 members on the PUP bench stood up to oppose it. As we've reported, the bill seeks to lower the threshold for the passage of referendum to a simple majority: 50% + 1. The UDP had set the threshold at 60%, but in a gesture of goodwill to the international community, the new law lowers it to 50% to bring it in line with Guatemala's. That paves the way for referendums in both countries on whether the Belize - Guatemala Territorial Dispute should go to the ICJ. The PUP calls it the appeasement of an unfriendly neighbor:...

    GOB Balks At Li Mark's Asking Price For Chon Saan Bldg
    And one more matter which came to the House floor today was the issue of whether government had moved ahead to purchase the Chon Saan building in Belmopan as the new Headquarters for the Immigration Department. The question came from an opposition member to the Prime Minister. As we reported one month ago, it was all both a done deal, and the Ministry of Finance was in the final stages of negotiation. But as they say, there's many a slip between the cup and lip, and it seems this sale slipped down because the seller, Li Mark Chang is asking for too high a price:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "The owners of Chon Saan did approached government with an offer to sell its building. Government has not agree to do so, because principally the asking price from the owners of the property is too much. What we did, as I said we did have an interest because of the urgency of the needs of the Immigration Department, we got an independent professional valuer to do a valuation and the valuation that he came up with is something like $300,000 plus dollars less than the asking price from the owners from Chon Saan. Except they would be prepared to sell for the price that the valuer has come up with, there will be no purchase. I am never going to have government pay a money for premises from anybody at a rate that the professional say would be excessive."

    Garbage Being Moved, Slowly
    On Tuesday we told you about the build up of waste at local garbage transfer stations. The problem started when the MEXICAN company responsible for taking the waste from the transfer stations to the regional landfill abruptly ceased operations last week. But, according to a press release from the Solid Waste Management Authority, a solution was already in the works. We stopped by the Belize City transfer station today to see if there had been any progress, and there had been. While the waste has continued to pile up, we noticed that some of it was being loaded onto trucks and transported out of the station. We tried to contact the Solid Waste Management Authority for an update, but were unable to reach them.

    Football Jaguars Ready For Panama
    Tonight - in just about 25 minutes - the Belize Jaguars are playing their first game in the Copa Centroamericano tournament, or Nation's Cup in Panama. The team - under a new Polish coach - has been practicing together for six weeks, and have are confident that they will surprise many opponents. A few hours ago, we spoke to Marlon Kuylen, the President of the Football Federation of Belize about how confident they are in going up against the host nation tonight... The game starts at 8 - and you can catch it here on Channel 7. This tournament is a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

    Burglar Robbed The Deputy Governor
    Tonight, 32 year-old Leon Price is at prison tonight awaiting a sentencing after he was convicted of burglary in the Magistrate's Court. He was accused of breaking into the home of Christine Vellos, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, and stealing $3,000 worth of her jewelry. Her husband, Russell Vellos, who is the editor of the Amandala Newspaper, testified against Price that the incident happened on August 13, 2016, when Price was working for him in the yard. He said that he gave his house keys to Price so that he could deliver it to their cleaning lady, Juanita Lopez, because he had to go out. He made it explicitly clear that he did not give Price permission to enter his house.

    Another Hilux Stolen
    Another Toyota Hilux has been stolen in Cayo. San Ignacio Police are looking closely at this one though. That's because the person reporting the theft said that someone came to him and told him he had come to pick up the 2014 Hilux, and he just handed over the key. Police note that they also took 6 hours to report the theft. The Hilux had a tracking device and it has been traced to Melchor. Other details have not been reported by the Police press office.

    13th Senator Confusion
    Today, the House of Representatives passed the NGO Amendment Bill - meaning it will go to the Senate next week Thursday. That's the day before the commencement order for the new 13th. Senator from the NGO Community comes into effect - meaning he cannot be in the Senate to debate it. The Leader of the Opposition has interpreted this timing as almost malicious:... But while government has said that the commencement order for the 13th Senator takes effect on the 20th January - it seems many have concluded that will be the day of the swearing in. But, not according to Minister Godwin Hulse. Yesterday, he told LOVE FM it may take a few months before Osmany Salas takes up his seat as the 13th Senator:… When the 13th Senator takes up his seat, it will stack 7 non-UDP Senators against the UDP's 6 - while the president still has a casting vote.

    Channel 5

    House meets with new Speaker in the chair
    The House of Representatives held its first sitting of the New Year in Belmopan today. The session continued through the afternoon with extensive debate on the amendment to the Referendum [...]

    Julius will be back – but is he really sorry?
    Absent for this first sitting of the House of Representatives in 2017, was Cayo South area representative Julius Espat. He has not seen the halls of the National Assembly since [...]

    Referendum Act: will amendment pave way for I.C.J. resolution?
    The House introduced six new Bills and read four others held over from the last meeting. The most important of them is the amendment to the Referendum Act, which proposes [...]

    P.U.P. reps demand proper education and justice for Guatemala’s wrongs
    Debate on the amendment was fierce and robust. Members of the Opposition focused on other issues that need to be addressed before any referendum is considered, such as a re-registration [...]

    The Maritime Areas Act will be amended, says P.M.
    In the context of the discussions on the amendment to the Referendum Act, a nearly quarter-century old piece of legislation that once split the United Democratic Party was brought back [...]

    Why G.O.B. will not pay arbitration awards (except maybe Newco’s)
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been consistent in opposing payment of arbitration awards to the former B.C.B. Holdings and Belize Social Development Limited in respect of action over the Settlement [...]

    Time to “man up”, Opposition Leader tells Prime Minister
    The Prime Minister pointed out, surprisingly, that in Belize all the cases he has resisted with regard to arbitration awards, the Government has won. But what has been the economic [...]

    Police, family puzzle over murder of Salvador Marquez
    A sixty-two-year old man who left his home to go fishing on Thursday never made it back home in the Gungulung community, Belize City. Salvador Rivera Marquez suffered a horrible [...]

    Boy pepper sprayed, others brutalized in G.S.U. Pickstock raid
    The Gang Suppression Unit is under fire once again, following allegations of police brutality at the hands of its officers.  Forty-three-year-old Earl Belisle, his girlfriend and their seven-year-old son stopped [...]

    No-go on Chon Saan Building purchase for Immigration
    Back to the House…the Immigration Department has been seeking a new home, and the owners of Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan have stepped forward to offer shelter. It is not [...]

    N.C.L. still committed to Old Capital calls says Tourism Minister
    Harvest Caye, the exclusive island property owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines in the South of Belize, continues to be a sore point for some tour operators, who complain that they [...]

    Progressives, Territorial Volunteers protest outside House
    While inside the House, the amendment to the Referendum Act was thoroughly debated, outside a small group of protestors also had their say. A protest against the amendment was organized [...]

    Should taxes be raised or spread around?
    It is widely speculated that the budget for the new financial year will contain increase taxation due to the current economic crunch. The country is in recession and facing debts [...]

    B.P.P. questions Integrity Commission’s decision to forgo penalties
    After years without a functioning Integrity Commission, on Thursday, a group of seven Belizeans was formally appointed with a mandate to scrutinize declared statements of assets and liabilities of elected [...]

    Seismic testing canceled; environmentalists want to know what happens next
    Are the multi-beam and sea seep survey done once and for all? We can confirm that the activities have been cancelled – but what we don’t know is if it [...]

    BFLA hosts health fair
    If you haven’t done any of your health checks for the New Year, Saturday may be a good time to start.  The Belize Family Life Association is hosting its first [...]

    Miss Belize in Philippines; will she be next Miss Universe?
    Rebecca Rath arrived in Manila, Philippines earlier this week and has been busy already. Since landing, she has met the other delegates and attended press interviews as a part of [...]

    LOVE FM

    GOB Wants Amortization Schedule and Interest Rates Amended in Bonds 2038
    A number of bills went through at today’s sitting of the House of Representatives. Today also saw a new Speaker taking over. We will have more on those later in our newscast….Since the announcement by Government to seek approval from bondholders to renegotiate Belize’s Bonds 2038 we have been following the matter closely. Earlier this […]

    Parliamentarians Meet in First Session for 2017
    The first session of the Sitting of the House of Representatives is underway inside the National Assembly Building. Today’s meeting began with the official swearing in of the first female Speaker of the House under the Barrow administration. Laura Longsworth took her oath this morning with a commitment to carry out her duties fairly, while […]

    Oceana Wants Written Confirmation on Cancellation of Sea Seep Survey
    Earlier this week we reported on the decision by the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum to cancel the consultations in regards to the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey. Today we received word that the entire project has been cancelled. That confirmation was verbally relayed to Oceana’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona by CEO Yvonne […]

    7th Murder Recorded for 2017
    The seventh murder of 2017 was recorded after the body of Salvadoran national, 62-year-old Salvador Rivera Marquez was found yesterday. On Thursday evening, Police visited an area by the seaside near mile three on the George Price Highway where they saw Marquez’ body with multiple apparent chop wounds to the head and a cut wound […]

    BPP Says Integrity Commission Is a Smokescreen
    The Belize Progressive Party says it takes issue with comments made by the newly sworn in Chair of the Integrity Commission. The BPP says it is clear that the Integrity Commission is quote “a smokescreen by which to further perpetuate the intentional dysfunction that is fundamental to the PUDP system.” End of quote. The BPP […]

    Imported Ham Confiscated and Buried
    It was about seven weeks ago that we brought you the story of imported hams sitting at the Benque Free Zone in western Belize. There were some red flags noted with this importation of greens, meaning, that the product was unprocessed. Today, the over fifty thousand pounds of meat were taken from the Free Zone […]

    Belize’s Concern Over Trump and the US
    Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have agreed to join forces and seek support from Mexico to forge a joint strategy in response to Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidency. According to Reuters, Trump’s election upset has sent shockwaves through Mexico and Central America, which rely heavily on U.S. remittances and bilateral trade. Many of the migrants […]

    Housing Issues for Belary and Her Family
    In August 2016, Hurricane Earl, a category one storm made landfall in Belize. The stormed caused millions of dollars in damages and thousands of families were affected. The National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO conducted an assessment to help needy families. Since the hurricane, Edmund Castro, the Minister responsible for NEMO has been handing over houses […]

    Amandala

    Sex videos “gone viral” on social media
    Videos of four young Belizean females, ages unknown, have gone viral on social media since the start of the New Year, but it wasn’t for their academic excellence or even their athletic achievements. Instead, the females, apparently minors, were filmed as they engaged in casual sexual intercourse. In one video, an apparently inebriated female and a popular Belize City bus driver were filmed on board a bus in broad daylight in a 2-minute video as they moved to R. Kelly’s 2005 single, “Wine for Me.” In another video, which was 2 minutes and 30 seconds long, a group of men took turns as they had sex with another young woman who, we were told, suffers from mental health challenges. She could be heard telling the men that she was tired and that she wanted to go home. The video showed that she pushed one of the men as she got up from the bed and tried to leave.

    Belize government has to pay, says lead US attorney
    As we reported in our mid-week edition, the Government of Belize has lost three petitions filed in the US Supreme Court in an attempt to fight off the enforcement of arbitral awards handed down back in 2009 in disputes with foreign investors over agreements they had with the Government of Belize. Two of those awards together totaled US$50 million (or BZ$100 million) at the time of Monday’s ruling by the highest court in the US jurisdiction. The Government of Belize issued an official statement today saying, “The cases upheld arbitration awards against Belize procured by NEWCO, Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL) and BCB Holdings Limited. BSDL and BCB are [Michael] Ashcroft companies, and the arbitration awards they received were for the People’s United Party Accommodation Agreement given to BSDL, and the PUP Settlement Deed given to BCB. Those awards are unenforceable in Belize since its highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), has ruled that the PUP agreements on which they are based are scandalous, outrageous and utterly illegal.”

    Hispanic man murdered on the seaside by the garbage dump
    A man of Hispanic descent was found “chopped up” by the seaside behind the garbage dump at about Mile 3 on the George Price Highway. According to an initial police report, the man was found dead with wounds to his head and body at about 5:30 this evening. An investigation has begun, but so far, nothing much is known about the victim except that he usually went to the area to fish. Those who saw him said that he had defensive wounds on his hands, which indicate that he was probably defending himself from his attacker.

    “Ministerial influence” ruled Immigration Department
    Thirteen current and former UDP Cabinet Ministers had been named in the Auditor General’s Special Report into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2011-2013. Today, Wednesday, former Immigration Director, Maria Marin, confirmed to the Senate Select Committee that these Ministers had regularly recommended persons for immigration documents, even in many instances where the applications were incomplete. She explained that when she became “commander-in-chief” of the Immigration Department, there was a culture of irregularities that she tried to change. Almost 90 per cent of incomplete applications were returned to applicants and a list of Ministers constantly recommending persons had been compiled by her. When Business Senator Markhelm Jude Lizarraga asked what was done with that list, she told him that it was submitted to Minister Godwin Hulse and then Immigration CEO Candelaria Saldivar. Senator Lizarraga asked, “What was the result of that list?” “Shortly thereafter we saw the number of recommendations decreasing,” she explained.

    PM was reckless with the people’s funds, said Hon. Kareem Musa
    In the wake of three United States Supreme Court arbitration awards against the Government of Belize totaling over US 50 million dollars, the government of Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow issued a press release yesterday with a bold caption, saying, “The Government of Belize will not pay for PUP corruption.” In the US Supreme Court decision, the arbitration award includes payouts for botched deals with Newco, the Belize Healthcare Partners Limited, and the Belize Bank, as well as the BTL Accommodation Agreement and BTL Settlement Agreement. This afternoon, Amandala asked the Opposition People’s United Party area representative for Caribbean Shores, Hon. Kareem Musa, to comment on the government’s position regarding the court decision. Hon. Musa said that no media house in Belize has properly reported on this lawsuit. “But my understanding is that it has to do with the accommodation agreement and it has to do with Newco (the company that was supposed to expand the Philip Goldson International Airport.),” he noted.

    Belize born Rakeem among Kansas City Chiefs to play in Sunday’s NFL playoffs
    American-football fans will be focusing on the NFL playoffs this weekend, and one Belize-Dangriga born player, Rakeem Nunez-Roches will be among the Kansas City Chiefs that clash on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. According to Wikipedia, “Rakeem Nathan Nunez-Roches, is a Belizean, professional American football nose tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.” The picture above (from Evan X Hyde’s files) was partly damaged, but we salvaged the portion showing (at the MCC Grounds, with the Belikin and Guinness pavilions in the background) some Milpros players, including Raul Roches. Mervin “Rugged” Flores of Dangriga noted that Rakeem is “the first Grigalezan Belizean American to play in the NFL in the United States of America…” and he is “also a starter right now on his team.”

    Secondary school football kicks off on Monday in Dangriga
    Secondary school football for the Dangriga Zone will kick off next week Monday, January 16, at the Carl Ramos Stadium. Three (3) schools will take part – ANRI, Delille Academy and Ecumenical. ANRI doesn’t have a female (F) team, so Ecumenical and Dellile Academy females will play a 5-game series. For the males (M), it will be a double-elimination. Games for next week are as follows: Monday, January 16 2:30 p.m. – (F-Game 1) Delille Academy vs Ecumenical 3:30 p.m. – (M) Delille Academy vs ANRI

    Belmopan 1st Division Football quarterfinals end; semifinals this weekend
    I am pleased to once again share with you the results of the games held over the weekend in the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) First Division Tournament. Here are the results of the return legs (game 2) of the Quarterfinals, played on Saturday and Sunday, January 7 & 8, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. In the opener on Saturday, Salvapan Juventus dropped Cotton Tree, 2-0, with goals from Bertan Bermudez (22’) and Scott Casey (62’). Aggregate score: 5-3 in favor of Salvapan Juventus. The nightcap saw Capital United with the 3-2 win over Wingz FC. Johnny Cardenas struck twice (22’ & 59’) and Michael Lewis (68’) got the other for Capital United; while Wingz FC got a goal apiece from Rudy Daniel Padilla (20’) and Stuart Jenkins (39’). Aggregate score: 8-4 in favor of Capital United.

    Belize Jaguars to Panama for Copa Centroamericana
    Leaving Belize from the Philip Goldson International Airport shortly after noon yesterday was Belize’s National “A” Team, our Belize Jaguars, who will be in Panama for the next week and a half, where they will be playing a total of five games against other Central American national teams in the Copa Centroamericana 2017 tournament. The tournament is a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this year. New Belize head coach Richard Orlowski of Poland expressed optimism about the team’s chances of qualifying to the Gold Cup, but many fans at home are guarded in their expectations, since the team has not benefited from any tough international friendlies. On the plus side, though, the players displayed a very positive spirit, seem very pleased with the treatment they have received from the FFB, and are embracing the challenge to push the boundaries of Belize’s achievement on the international stage.

    Of Greeks and gifts
    The Belize Prime Minister who saw through Lord Michael Ashcroft, so to speak, or did not play his game, in other words, was Dr. Manuel Esquivel, and he was not an attorney. After Dr. Esquivel, our next two Prime Ministers, Rt. Hon. Said Musa and Rt.. Hon. Dean Barrow, have both been eminent attorneys. The record of all the contracts, agreements, settlements, and litigations involving the Government of Belize, on the one hand, and various Ashcroft companies and groups of companies, on the other hand, shows that the people of Belize have been the losers during the Musa and Barrow governments. Lord Ashcroft continues to win hundreds and hundreds of millions of US dollar awards in various courts, and yet he remains in good standing in Belize: he has never been declared a persona non grata. Attorneys never really lose cases, you know. It is their clients who lose. The attorneys always collect their fees. Over these Musa and Barrow years, the people of Belize have always been the losers in disputes with Lord Ashcroft. Overall, Belize owes billions of dollars because of loans and litigations during the Musa and Barrow administrations. Lord Ashcroft has ended up with a lot of that money, Belize has become the poorer of it, and yet there is no outcry against the good Lord in Belize. What we have, instead, is the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) hurling charges at each other. Someone must be blamed for Belize’s serious financial crisis, because the people of Belize are angry. The UDP and the PUP are blaming each other: their politically-affiliated attorneys, meanwhile, have laughed all the way to the bank, as it is said. It’s nice work if you can get it.

    From The Publisher
    I like to listen to Captain Nicholas Sanchez when he speaks on the radio. Actually, I think he is a distant relative of mine, through the Gibson connection. I may have met him, but we have never held a real conversation. Captain Sanchez is a Belizean who migrated to Canada when he was a young man in the 1950s and spent most of his adult life there. He has been doing tourist tours in Belize for quite a few years now; he has a reliable knowledge of the architecture, historical sites, and colonial realities of the old British Honduras which is fascinating. The man is a treasure trove of information about British Honduras/Belize. Captain Sanchez called in on Mose’s talk show on Tuesday morning this week to complain about the use of the word “diaspora” to refer to the Belizean population which has migrated abroad. In this opinion, the host of the show agreed with him, but I would like to say to them both, when you find a word you like better than “diaspora” to describe migrant Belizeans, tell me about it.

    Chunox High School and ANRI study Marine Ecology and Climate Change Adaptation
    Editor Sir, Last September 2016, a team of officers from Ecology Project International (EPI) Belize program, Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project (MCCAP), Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) and Turneffe Atoll Sustainable Association (TASA) visited Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School, to inform our student body about marine conservation and climate change, and their organizations’ work to inform the public and involve youths in their climate change campaign. Part of this campaign, they explained, would be to have five-day marine ecology and climate change training courses later in order to raise awareness and show ways to deal with the impacts. These courses would be offered at the Turneffe Atoll. Our school was one of those selected by MCCAP. For this course, the students that were chosen from our school, along with students from ANRI (Agriculture and Natural Resource Institute), would be based at the (UB) University of Belize Marine Station at Calabash Caye. I felt very lucky to be one of the students chosen to take part in this course.

    National Indigenous Congress announces a parallel indigenous government
    On the 23rd anniversary of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN)’s uprising and after three months of community consultations, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) announced that they have been directed by the base to create an autonomous and parallel government throughout Mexico. This Indigenous Governing Council will have as its spokesperson an Indigenous woman and in the 2018 elections she will be their candidate for the presidency of Mexico. “This is the time of the Originary Peoples, the time for us to replant and rebuild ourselves. It is time to go on the offensive and this is the agreement that we have laid out for how to do so, from our perspective as individuals, as communities, as Originary Peoples, and as the National Indigenous Congress. It is time for dignity to govern this country, this world and for democracy, liberty, and justice to flourish in its step,” stated a joint CNI and EZLN communique (enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx).

    Retail prices shoot up by $15 for LPG
    Belizean consumers, who have been paying between $80 and $90 for a 100-pound tank of cooking fuel, are being hit with an increase of roughly $15, based on latest information released in an announcement from the Government of Belize. New controlled prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used primarily for cooking as well as to power gas-fueled dryers in households, are in effect as of today, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, according to information released from the Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce. The new price list reflects two changes: the first being a change in the mixture of LPG which is to be sold on the market and the second being the price, based on the cost to import the propane-butane mixture.

    Central Zone high school football results, schedule
    The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2016-2017 Football Tournament is under way at the MCC Grounds with female (F) and male (M) games being played daily this week. On Monday, (F) SCA won, 1-0, over Ladyville Technical, with a goal from Charlize Hunter. And (M) SJC dropped Ladyville Tech, 2-1, with goals from Dion Cacho and Luiz Orozco; while Kenroy Allen scored for Ladyville Tech. In the opener on Tuesday, (F) Gwen Liz clipped Wesley, 1-0, with a goal from Essenie Ciego. And (M) Sadie Vernon bombed Belize High School, 5-0, with 2 goals from Raheem Augustine and 1 each from Stephan Bowen, Mickhi Gill and Rjay Martinez. Yesterday, Wednesday, (F) Maude Williams won by default (3-0) over Pallotti. And (M) Wesley crushed Excelsior, 5-0, with 2 goals from Jalen Babb and 1 apiece from Kenyon Lewis, Kermint Sutherland and Shakeem Richards.

    The Reporter

    Happening now: First House Meeting for 2017; New Speaker takes oath
    Retured nurse, Laura Longsworth has been sworn in as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives. Longsworth was sworn in an hour ago during the first House meeting for 2017. She promised to insist that the manner in which the Members carry themselves is […]

    BelizeCity Council gets $1 Million Black-topper
    The Belize City Council has acquired a $1 Million ETNYRE Black-topper asphalt distributor truck, which can spray hot tar onto the road way to help pave the city streets using the chip and seal method. The truck is part of the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Improvement Project funded by the Inter-American […]

    Public consultations on multi beam survey cancelled, no clarification on why
    The public consultation on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey have been cancelled. On Tuesday January 10, a press release issue by the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment and Trade confirmed that the consultation that were scheduled to be held at the Radisson Hotel […]

    Integrity Commission sworn in
    Keeping with the promise for good governance reforms, the Government of Belize, this week swore in the members of the Integrity Commission. The seven-member commission, established in accordance with Section 5 of the First Schedule of the Prevention of Corruption Act, #21 of 2007 that a new […]

    Pakeman charged nine months after fatal traffic accident
    Dorian Pakeman, 35, the Government’s Press Director who was placed on unpaid suspension after he knocked down and killed Dean Dawson, a mechanic from Biscayne village, was charged this week – nine months after the incident. Pakeman was arraigned on Tuesday before Senior Magistrate Sharon […]

    Motorist hit by car, burns with bike
    A traffic accident near mile nine on the Philip Goldson highway on Sunday night claimed one life when a motorcycle rider was hit by a reversing vehicle. The motorist, 21-year-old Jamalski Young, was on his way to work heading in the direction of Belize City when […]

    Murders up at the end of 2016
    Murders in Belize are at a four-year high, according to the latest crime statistics issued by the Belize Police Department. The department issued its crimes comparative statistics on Wednesday, showing that there were a total of 138 murders in 2016; a 15 percent increase from the 119 […]

    Belize Territorial volunteer to stage protest against government amendment to the referendum act
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers ( BTV) and its political allies will be staging a demonstration at the National Assembly building in Belmopan, on Friday January 13, 2017. In a press release issued on Wednesday the BTV stated that the demonstration became necessary as a way of […]

    Canadian Tourist responds to Belize’s emergency call for ambulance
    A Canadian tourist from Edmonton Alberta Canada who have visited Belize numerous times for volunteer work, have responded to Belize’s call for additional Ambulance service. Roman Bayrock , a healthcare provider that treats neuromuscular disease recently bought a 1996 decommissioned ambulance and fixed it up so […]

    “Sexual education will guide youths to better choices,” says BFLA
    The Belize Family Life Association (BFLA), this week, emphasized that Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE), is what Belize needs to address the rising level or risky sexual behavior among Belizean youths. Responding to recent statistics showing alarmingly low condom use, high incidents of promiscuity, and the recent slew […]

    Ain’t gonna pay! Prime Minister vows over Ashcroft claims
    The United States Supreme Court has slapped the Government of Belize with $117 million worth of arbitration award costs owed to the Ashcroft Alliance, but GOB says it won’t pay a dime of it. On Monday, the United State’s Supreme Court, refused to hear GOB’s appeal of […]

    Belize Economy looking up! World Bank Says
    The World Bank’s Global economic forecast predicts moderate economic growth in 2017. The he World Bank’s January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report released on Tuesday, projected global economic growth at 2,7 percent, citing that obstacles to activity would recede among emerging market and developing economy commodity exporters. […]

    13 year old goes missing from Orange Walk Town
    A female minor from Orange Walk town has gone missing. Official Reports have indicated that on Tuesday January10, around 7.25 a.m, thirteen year old Ideline Adelia Romero left her home located at #14 Bautista Lane Orange Walk Town en route to classes at La Inmaculada Primary […]

    Elderly man chopped to death while fishing off George Price Highway
    The decomposing body of an elderly man was found at the seaside off the George Price Highway on Thursday evening. He had apparently been chopped to death while fishing there. The discovery was made in a remote area, forcing police Scenes of Crimes personnel and […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    PUP calls for plan of action in relation to Belize- Guatemala dispute
    Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has introduced a bill to amend the referendum act. In response to this, the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) says that before Belize moves to amend the Referendum Act it must first amend the Maritime Act so that Belize can […]

    PM introduces bill to amend referendum act
    At today’s Sitting of the House, Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced a bill to amend the Referendum Act; as the referendum threshold currently stands at 60 percent of votes cast. The amendment seeks to make the required threshold a simple majority of votes cast […]

    Join the 1st Chiquibul Challenge Marathon
    The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is hosting the first ever Chiquibul Challenge Marathon, to be held on March 12. The challenge will feature activities including: Running or walking a half marathon (20km), or going the full distance (40km) in one of the most beautiful […]

    Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan not a finalized deal says PM Barrow
    At today’s sitting of the house, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that government has not finalized the purchase deal with the owners of Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan. The establishment is owned by the President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang who is asking […]

    Julius Espat to be reinstated in the House of Representatives
    At this morning’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, Minister Michael Finnegan rose at the start of the meeting to introduce a motion to have the area representative Julius Espat returned to the house. However Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber rose explaining that while […]

    Almost $9000 stolen from Chinese shop in Dangriga
    According to police reports, 31-year-old Tingju Liu, a Chinese businessman of Family City Shopping Center located at # 1670 Ecumenical Drive, Dangriga reported that on Thursday 29th December 2016 between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., someone broke into his store and stole […]

    Sixty-two-year-old Salvadoran national murdered on George Price Highway- update
    According to police reports, yesterday around 5:00 p.m., police visited an area near the seaside in the vicinity of mile 3 on the George Price Highway where officers saw the body of 62-year-old Salvadoran national, Salvador Rivera Marquez of Set Site, Belize City with multiple […]

    Belize Announces Consent Solicitation
    Yesterday in a press release on the Central Bank of Belize website, GOB announced that it is seeking the consent of holders of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 to two amendments to the payment terms of this instrument. Belize’s 2038 Bonds currently amortize in […]

    Belize consul in Chetumal to be replaced soon
    The government of Belize is currently in the process of searching for a new consul to the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico to replace former consul, Jorge Valencia. According to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington the government has made the decision to […]

    Sedi says no deal on Sarstoon
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, yesterday, denied reports suggesting that he and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales had made an agreement that the Sarstoon river would be off limits to citizens, especially Belizeans, until after the territorial dispute is resolved at the […]

    American tourist dies in Cayo
    Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that an American female tourist from Mississippi, USA died at a popular cave tubing site in the Cayo District. According to reports, the woman arrived on a cruise ship on Wednesday and was at the cave tubing site when […]

    Blogs

    Experience pure adventure with Gilford and Alvis in ‘Caye Boy Visits the Jungle’
    Have you ever felt like a tourist in your own country? Well, author Jessica Retseck Wigh totally gave that illusion in her latest book in her Caye Boy series, ‘Caye Boy Visits the Jungle’. The book features Gilford and his little brother Alvis, and their adventures growing up on an island. Gilford and his family live on Caye Caulker island, and being separated by many miles and actual water made exploring Belize City quite exciting. In the book, Gilford and Alvis are so excited to visit Mama’s family on the mainland, taking the trip as a big adventure since they’re used to their little island and blue house. From doing unusual things such as getting their hair brushed to putting on “itchy” clothes, Jessica’s new book shows how the brothers experience culture shock, but adapt very well to the jungle. Author Jessica explained her inspiration behind her latest Caye Boy book. “My husband I have been on the island for over 17 years, and we watched our neighborhood children grow up. We have three children of our own, and the first two books were only about the island experience, and so we wanted to add the mainland experience in the third book. When you live on an island, it is very common that people have families scattered around the country. We wanted the island children from the book to visit their mother’s extended family in the mainland, and have a different kind of fun from what they’re used to,” said Jessica.

    What It's Really Like to Vacation in Belize | Vacation in Belize
    Reading blogs, marveling at amazing photographs, and seeing immersive videos of travelers in Belize can create a wonderful picture of all of the amazing attractions on offer in the country. But beyond the hype about golden sunshine, balmy temperatures, and mysterious ancient Maya temples, what is it really like to vacation in Belize? With just 360,000 people scattered around a country approximately the same size as Vermont, it’s no surprise that wildlife thrives in Belize. Ranging from friendly manatees and playful dolphins offshore to howling monkeys and some of the last indigenous big cats on the mainland, Belize is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. Sure, every country boasts of beaches, including popular tourist hotspots like Florida, but the beaches in Belize are truly spectacular. With more than 200 miles of coastline on the Caribbean, Belize is blessed with uncrowded stretches of pure white sand, to say nothing of the hundreds of offshore islands that are the perfect place to play castaway for a day.

    The Beach of Belize at the Laru Beya in Placencia
    When traveling to Belize for the first time, I headed to Placencia and checked in to the Laru Beya Hotel. On assignment to explore the new cruise island destination of Harvest Caye, we spent two evenings on the mainland. My first evening, I enjoyed some time on the sands of the beach. A walk on the soft sands among the palm trees was worth the visit and escape from winter weather. Additionally, I enjoyed the infinity pool, especially with a view of the moon in the twilight sky. My first to Belize will not be my last. The small English speaking country in the midst of Central America definitely wet my appetite to explore more of country and also to refocus some of my travel dreams back to new places in the Americas. This trip is exactly why I made a new spot in the Americas my 2017 Bucket List dedication. I have much to see and explore in the “New World” and plan to do a little more this year, especially some of the beaches.

    12 Reasons Belize Honeymoons are Trending Big Time!
    1. No hassle travel. Who wants to spend those first precious hours holed up in a tourist class airline cabin when you could be making sure the hammock on your resort balcony is big enough for two? It only takes a couple of hours to get to Belize from North America; what’s more romantic than being rested and ready for love? 2. Belizeans can’t wait to welcome you. Fall in love with everyone you meet—not as much as you love your new spouse, of course--but when you emerge from your love nest, people you meet everywhere you go are so warm and friendly, you’ll be posing for selfies with them. 3. Safety first. Belizeans know a thing or two about what it takes to keep honeymooners content and delighted. They deliver on assurances by making certain resort properties and tourist hubs are safe and secure. No nation is totally crime-free, but you can count on Belize to have your back. 4. Size matters. Belize is the same size as the state of Massachusetts which means that you can drive from north to south of the country in less than 5 hours. As a result, you’ll see more of the sites in half the time, so if sitting on a tour bus getting to see sites isn’t on your honeymoon list, just say, Belize please. 5. You couldn’t be bored if you tried. Rainforests, caves, Mayan ruins, more birds than you knew existed, cultural attractions and recreational fun awaits--and there’s shopping to be done, too. By the time you return to your accommodations after your excursions, you’ll be ready for a nap. Or not so much.

    Hollywood Stars Vacation in Belize
    As one of the hottest vacation destinations in the region, it's no surprise that celebrities are flocking to Belize to enjoy the country's ample sunshine, fabulous weather, delicious food, and pristine nature. Recent appearances by actor James Franco, star of Spring Breakers, Oz the Great, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, by local media Ambergris Today are indicative of the growing popularity of Belize as a vacation destination. James Franco was spotted at the reknowned Tipsy Tuna bar in Placencia in Belize's southeast, taking time out of his busy schedule to snap a few selfies with grateful and adoring fans. Another famous personage who popped into the Tipsy Tuna in the past month was Drew Carey, a well-known comedian and host of the long-running game show "The Price is Right." Carey and Franco were on hand to ring in the New Year in style, enjoying all the fireworks, food, and fun that has made San Pedro and Ambergris Caye such popular vacation destinations. Not to be outdone, the legendary actor Alan Tudyk, star of numerous popular television productions including Newsreaders, Dollhouse, and Young Justice, was seen escaping the snow and cold in America by enjoying time out on the water in Belize. Tudyk was spotted heading out to the Belize Barrier Reef where he had plans to dive the Belize Blue Hole, rated as a top 10 dive spot by the celebrated French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau. Tudyk paused long enough to make a number of fans happy as they eagerly snapped selfies with the star.

    5 Romantic Belize Resorts That Are Perfect Escapes For Valentine’s Day
    Looking for the perfect place to stay over Valentine’s Day Weekend in Belize that offers luxury, affordability and romance all rolled into one? Check into one of these high-end Belize resorts and take advantage of special offers just for couples. Belize is an amazing Valentine's destination thanks to its lush natural beauty, delightfully balmy temperatures, and the many exciting adventure options available for visitors. Belize is just a short flight from the United States and is the only country in the region where English is the official language. Below are the 5 most recommended romantic resorts in the country:

    What's New in Belize for 2017
    2016 was a banner year for Belize, and travel experts expect only more positive developments in 2017. With progressive improvement in total visitor volume year over year, Belize is rapidly becoming one of the top vacation destinations in the region. A few key developments in tourism in Belize include: In October 2016, the prominent Canadian airline WestJet began operating non-stop flights between Toronto's Pearson Airport (YYZ) to Belize City (BZE). This marked the very first time that Canadians could travel directly to Belize. Lonely Planet, the world's number one publisher of travel guides by volume, declared that Belize was a Top 10 destination for budget-conscious travelers. Belize was the only country in Central or South America that made the top 10 list.

    International Sourcesizz

    Caribbean nationals assume key positions at OAS
    Caribbean nationals have taken over key positions within the Organization of American States (OAS) including chairing the hemispheric body’s Permanent Council. Belize Permanent Representative to the OAS, Patrick Andrews, Thursday assumed the chair of the Council. “It is undeniably an incredible opportunity for each Member State that assumes the chairmanship to leave his or her mark in elevating the institution’s history and in contributing to its betterment and that of our hemisphere and all our countries,” said Andrews, adding that climate change and sustainable development will occupy a prominent place in the Permanent Council’s work agenda. The outgoing chair of the Council and Permanent Representative of Barbados, Selwin Charles Hart, thanked the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, and his colleagues in the Council for the support received during his term.

    Belize tries to change superbond schedule
    Belize has launched a consent solicitation in an effort to amend the amortization schedule and lower coupon payments on its 2038 bond. The Central American country wants to cut the interest rate on its so-called superbond to 4% per annum starting February 20 until maturity. The bond currently pays 5% annually, with a step up to 6.767% starting August 20. It also wants to adjust timing of principal payments from the current 38 semi-annual installments starting in 2019 to three equal amortizations on February 20 of 2036, 2037 and 2038. "The two amendments ... are, we believe, the mildest adjustments to the terms of the bonds that will still achieve the objective of putting the bonds on a fully sustainable basis," Belize Finance Secretary Joseph Waight. In return, the sovereign is offering holders a consent fee of 0.25% of the face value. The consent solicitation expires on January 26. Citigroup is acting as agent on the transaction.

    La Niña’s Days Are Numbered
    So long, La Niña. In its latest monthly advisory, issued Thursday, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center all but sounded the death knell for the 2016-17 La Niña. Sea surface temperatures in the benchmark Niño3.4 region have remained in the weak range for La Niña (0.5°C to 1.0°C below the seasonal average), and the subsurface cold relative to average across the equatorial Pacific has almost completely vanished. In a new ENSO Blog entry, NOAA/CPC’s Emily Becker reviews global weather conditions and how they’ve stacked up against La Niña expectations (fairly well, especially for temperature). Models are close to unanimous in bringing the Niño3.4 region into the neutral range over the next couple of months. There are some model indications of a weak El Niño kicking in by summer 2017. That wouldn’t shock me, given the continued predominance of a positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs are associated with a higher frequency of El Niño events, and the PDO has now been in positive territory in each month from January 2014 through December 2016—the first time this has happened across three consecutive calendar years in records that go back to 1900. Even so, NOAA’s Emily Becker isn’t ready to predict a 2017-18 El Niño: “A three-year series of El Niño/La Niña/El Niño has only happened once since 1950, in 1963/1964/1965. This doesn’t make it impossible that El Niño could develop, but it means that we aren’t counting on it.”

    Belice le arruina la fiesta al anfitrión Panamá y le saca un empate sin goles
    Belice viajó a la Copa Centroamericana con la encomienda de hacer un buen papel, aunque no se esperaba demasiado de la selección más débil del torneo, pero por lo pronto le empató sin goles al local en el debut de ambos en el torneo. Y es que a pesar de la insistencia de Panamá a lo largo de los 90 minutos, no tuvo la pegada suficiente para vencer a una férrea defensa visitante que obtuvo una igualada de mérito. El conjunto canalero tuvo las mejores oportunidades a lo largo del encuentro, pero se mostró chato y sin ideas a la hora de definir. Gente como Aníbal Godoy o Rolando Blackburn no pudieron vulnerar el arco de Woodrow West por más que insistieron.

    Belize Urges 11th Circ. To Toss $22M Telecom Contract Suit
    Law360, Miami (January 13, 2017, 10:33 PM EST) -- The government of Belize urged the Eleventh Circuit on Friday to dismiss a claim it owes a company more than $22 million for leased telecommunications equipment, saying a lower court failed to properly consider Belizean law and wrongly found that it waived sovereign immunity. The Central American nation seeks to escape contract clauses that waive its immunity and agree to litigate in U.S. courts, contending that its budget minister lacked authority to enter into the deal with plaintiff GDG Acquisitions LLC, so the agreement is void...

    Nelson Institute grant supports Drake service projects in Belize
    A new grant will help Drake University enhance current and future projects in Southern Belize. The Global Pressing Issues Grant, funded by Drake’s Rolland and Mary Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs, will help Drake students and faculty to collaborate across a number of diverse programs Drake offers in the Toledo District of Southern Belize. A team of faculty members will implement new practices to assess the benefits of these service projects and weigh the benefits against project costs, such as the local resources required to help facilitate the work. “Service-learning projects can provide very high-quality educational opportunities for our students, and we have a great deal of expertise that we can bring to bear on maximizing the value of those opportunities,” said Professor David Skidmore, chair of the Nelson Institute and the Principal Center for Global Citizenship. “We have always approached new project partners with a commitment to equity and mutual benefit. This grant will allow our faculty to identify and implement new ways to ensure that we are maximizing benefits to our partners abroad.”

    Top fisheries data expert from Iceland shares expertise with CRFM countries
    Through the long-standing partnership between the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the United Nations University Fisheries Technical Programme (UNU-FTP) in Iceland, the university has deployed one of Iceland’s top fisheries data experts to the CRFM Secretariat for a short site-based assignment, to provide operational support and guidance at the country level for improving the management and usage of fisheries data systems. The visiting expert is Dr Einar Hjörleifsson, who has been working at the Marine Research Institute, Iceland, since 1996. Hjörleifsson’s primary role has been data analysis and stock assessment. Over the same time, he has been working at the UNU-FTP in a role as a teacher and student supervisor. During his visit to the Caribbean, Hjörleifsson will be working under the guidance of CRFM’s deputy executive director, Dr Susan Singh-Renton. Singh-Renton emphasized that “Dr Hjörleifsson’s present assignment with the CRFM is intended to allow him to give special ‘on-the-ground’ attention to all aspects of the fisheries data systems in two CRFM countries that have made reasonable investments both for the present and the future of their data systems. Hence, the assignment is expected to build further on such investments.”

    UND parasite researchers do big work in disease, ecology studies
    UND professor Vasyl Tkach can appreciate a good tapeworm. "They want you to have happy lives," said Tkach, using a set of forceps to prod at a mass of preserved white worms in a petri dish. His colleague, UND professor Jefferson Vaughan, can summarize the motivation of the common parasite in brief. "They don't want to kill you," said Vaughan. "They just want your nutrients." Indiana Jones was more fixated by snakes than tapeworms, but he might have appreciated the scope of the work being done by parasitologists such as Tkach and Vaughan. In separate upcoming studies, both men are focusing their efforts on a parasite of small size and massive impact—a set of microscopic organisms which cause malaria. Tkach is going to Brazil primarily to study strains of malaria and other diseases found in rainforest birds, a group of animals which increasingly come into contact with expanding human settlements. Vaughan just received word that the National Institutes of Health approved nearly $140,000 in funding for his study aimed at putting a nail through the heart of mosquito-borne malaria in the Central American nation of Belize.

    Videos

  • H.E. Patrick Andrews assumes Chairmanship of OAS, 1min. Yesterday the Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS), H.E. Patrick Andrews assumed the Chairmanship of the Permanent Council of that hemispheric institution.

  • Justin & Maya Caye Caulker Belize Wedding Video, 5.5min. Destination wedding in Caye Caulker, Belize. By Jose Luis Zapata

  • RUTA MAYA 2011,BELIZE, 3min. Ruta Maya from San Ignacio Town to Belize City

  • Our Honeymoon at Coco Plum Island Resort in Belize 2016!, 16min. We had an amazing time at this resort. You must go sometime! The place is incredibly beautiful and the people that work there are amazing. We can't wait to go back.

  • KCB - Lamanai Ruins in Belize, 61min.

  • Mahler Baked Rice (Grace & You), 15min.

  • Mindfulness Techniques for fulfilling life Experiences, 40min.

  • Entangle Techniques (Primary & Secondary Art Skills Training Project - PSAST), min.

  • PM Barrow Breaks Down PUP Legacy Cases, 27min. During today's Meeting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow spoke in depth about the recent court judgments involving NEWCO, Belize Social Development Limited and BCB Holdings Limited.

  • Belize Trip 2016 -GoPro, 16min.

  • Central America: Belize, Guatamala & Mexico Backpacking Adventure, 5min.

  • Walking Around San Pedro, Belize (2/3) December 2016, 10min.

  • International Film Festival Belize, 8min.

  • Fly fishing in Belize, 6min.

  • Belize Vacation, 5min.

  • Patrick Rogers of the BPP Speaks On Guatemala Issue, 4min.

  • FILM FINANCING PANEL - Belize Int'l Film Festival - Nov 11, 2016, 57min. Moderator: Brent Toombs (Oxa Productions) Panelists (L-R): Tim Cruz (Guerilla Hollywood), Christ Pack (World of Wonder, Island Hunters) Eckehardt Von Damm (Corazon Films), Cristina Venegas (University of Santa Barbara)

  • Amazilia tzacatl, 1min.

    January 13, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Emergency Response Agencies Receive Command Vehicles from the Government of Japan
    The Government of Belize received three (3) command vehicles donated by the Government of Japan, through their Non-Project Grant for Industrial Products. These three (3) vehicles will be utilized by the Police Department, Belize National Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), as on-site command centres during emergency situations. The Japanese delegation, headed by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunsuke Takei, arrived on the 9thJanuary, 2017. Vice-Minister Takei met with several ministers of Government including the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber; Minister for Economic Development, Trade, Investment and Commerce Hon. Erwin Contreras; and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Godwin Hulse.

    SPTC monitoring dispute between PASA and Solid Waste Management Authority
    The idea that the transfer station in San Pedro Town may not be able to ship out garbage from the island due to this situation is raising concerns. The San Pedro Sun caught up with Mayor Daniel Guerrero to find out how they are preparing to address the matter if the issue is not rectified. Guerrero indicated that the issue does not fall under The San Pedro Town Council’s (SPTC) jurisdiction; however the island’s garbage is taken to the transfer station located in the southern part of the island. Guerrero stressed that garbage collection and the town’s sanitation works will continue as per normal. “It is highly unlikely that residents will be affected by this situation between these two companies,” said Guerrero. “So far, the transfer station on the island has not stopped receiving the garbage that is being collected, so we will continue taking all the waste to the station until we are told not to do so.” Guerrero stated that they will be monitoring the situation, but for the meantime nothing will change. If the situation does not change, and if the transfer station on the island shuts down, then according to Guerrero, they will fall back to what they used to do before. “We will find other alternatives in order to get rid of the trash if the station stops operating. We might have to start burning the trash as we had done in the past. However, we hope the situation between those two parties is cleared up soon,” said Guerrero. For the time being, The SPTC assures residents that their sanitation department will continue their normal operations. All scheduled garbage pick-ups will run as per normal, while they keep an eye on any updates regarding this issue.

    Dorian Pakeman charged for Dean Dawson’s death
    Suspended Director of the Government Press Office Dorian Pakeman has been formally arraigned and charged. The charge comes nine months after he knocked down and killed Biscayne mechanic, Dean Dawson in a tragic traffic accident. On Tuesday, January 10th, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer officially charged Pakeman for “causing death by careless conduct”, and granted him bail of $3,500. After the court hearing, Pakeman avoided the press and left court without giving a public comment. However, Neal did admit that his client is remorseful for Dawson’s death. “What I want to say publicly, and I think it has not been said before, is to say sorry to the family of Dean Dawson. These accidents, as they often do, claim the lives of people; it is a problem we are having in our country. My client has instructed me specifically to state that he is sorry for what has happened; he intends to the fullest extent that he can to compensate the family at a later date, after we’re done with these charges. But the main thing is to reach out to this family and say a sincere sorry on behalf of my client, for what has happened,” said Neal.

    ‘Reef Angels’ aim to clean the seas
    A new environmental movement on Ambergris Caye dubbed ‘Reef Angels,’ and headed by island resident Martin John Leslie (MJ) has been busy cleaning the sea around the island. Recently the group swept about one-eighth of a mile heading south on the east coast of San Pedro Town, filling three kayaks and a canoe with empty bottles and other discarded items that were retrieved from the bottom of the sea. MJ is well known for his involvement in different activities, such as sports and particularly kite surfing. Now he is on a new adventure with a group of friends who believe that the sea must be taken care of. “We are blessed with the opportunity to enjoy everything it has to offer,” he said. “We should take great care of it.”

    Ambergris Today

    Garbage Transfer Stations Temporarily Close, Will Garbage Start Piling Up?
    Ambergris Today spoke to the Solid Waste Management Authority’s manager who was on the island this week and he stated that the transfer stations on the islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker are not and will not be closed under any circumstance. Garbage collected in the islands need to be shipped to the transfer stations on the mainland and that is where they are being kept temporarily until issues with the contract are sorted out. He indicated that if garbage isn’t being picked up in your area its not the Solid Waste Transfer Stations Management Authority’s fault; the supervisor of your area is in charged of making sure everyone’s garbage is collected and taken to the transfer station.

    It’s a Boy - Zaylen Bradley is Ambergris Caye’s New Year Baby 2017
    Meet Zaylen Elijah Bradley, he was born on January 5, 2017, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. This makes him the first born of the New Year on the island and recipient of the New Year’s Baby awards and gifts from Ambergris Today and sponsors. Zaylen is born to Yesenia Urbina and Roy Bradley who reside in the DFC area. He was born at 4:07a.m. at 8lbs and 3oz at Hopes Clinic under the monitoring of Dr. Daniel Gonzalez and staff. We gave Zaylen some time to get settled at home before we visited him and when we got there he was fast asleep. His mom and brother were very happy to receive a load of baby items and cash prizes that were gifted to Zaylen for being that special first new born of the New Year.

    Belize Sees Highest Overnight Arrivals in 20 Years
    The year 2016 culminated with another significant achievement for the tourism industry, boasting the highest overnight arrivals in twenty years. The year 2016 has proven to be the most successful year for Belize’s overnight tourism sector. With an overall increase of 13% in comparison to 2015, this translates to 44,422 additional visitors enjoying the beauty of our Jewel; the largest increase reflected in the past 20 years. As depicted in the graph below, the growth in the industry continues.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Integrity Commission of Belize established
    The Office of the Integrity Commission of Belize, hereby announces that in accordance with Section 5 of the First Schedule of the Prevention of Corruption Act, #21 of 2007 that a new Commission has been established under Section 3 of the law. The following persons are hereby appointed to serve for a period of two years, with effect from 1st January, 2017. Mrs. Marilyn Williams - Chairman Ms. Armead Gabourel - Member Mr. Wilmot Simmons - Member Mrs. Lisbeth Delgado - Member Mr. Nestor Vasquez - Member Mrs. Melissa Balderamos Mahler - Member Mrs. Claudet Grinage - Member

    SPTC gives $2,000 to San Pedro AIDS Commission
    On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council presented a cheque of $2,000 to the San Pedro AIDS Commission. The San Pedro AIDS Commission is always working hard throughout the year in order to raise funds to help spread awareness of HIV/AIDS and also to help persons living with HIV/AIDS. Thank you SP AIDS Commission for all that you do!

    Miss Belize Universe arrives in Manila...
    The Philippine press is all over her, glad she has police escort!

    New River Stop re-opens in Copper Bank
    We are pleased to announce that the New River Stop will re-open for business this Sunday, January 15th under new management. We will be open 7 days a week from 7am everyday! We will be offering drinks and snacks as we did in the past, but really looking to grow the business into more than just a stop. Stay tuned for river boat tours and fishing tours run right from the big ferry! Most of you will recognize the new managers. See you soon!

    Structure ordered removed at Mosquito Coast Park
    Reports have reached our newsroom that a local business owner had ordered the removal of a structure located at the San Pedro Lions Mosquito Coast Park. According to the San Pedro Lions, the club holds full control of the property which was gifted to them via a 99-year-contract.

    Beautiful sunset on Caye Caulker last night....

    Stop Taking Advantage of Our Children!
    The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC), mandated to advocate for the protection of all children, is deeply concerned about the most recent hideous act of leaked sex tapes with alleged under-aged girls on Facebook. According to the news, over the weekend videos of young girls engaged in sexual activities were posted on social media and shared hundreds of times. The leaked tapes have not only caused pandemonium but were most alarming since some of the participants appeared to be minors and somewhat inebriated. The release of the sex tapes also violate Articles 19 and 34 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind and to be free from all forms of sexual abuse”. This type of action is a form of cyberbullying that can have adverse psychological effects on the participants, such as depression and suicidal ideation.

    Belize Assumes the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council
    The Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS), H.E. Patrick Andrews today assumed the Chairmanship of the Permanent Council of that hemispheric institution. In his remarks on the occasion, Ambassador Andrews underscored the importance of continuing to build on the four fundamental pillars of the Organization: Integral Development, Multidimensional Security, Human Rights and Democracy to seek tangible results for all the citizens of the Americas. Upon receiving the gavel that represents the Council’s authority from his predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Barbados H.E. Selwin Charles Hart, Ambassador Andrews expressed that during his tenure as Chairman he would work towards the advancement of Sustainable Development for Economic Growth, pressing for tangible results in the areas of the environment, social inclusion and economic development. Ambassador Andrews added that the priority issues that the Council will address in the upcoming months include the preparations for the 47thOAS General Assembly to be held in Mexico in June, the institutional development of the OAS and implementation of the institution’s pending social and political mandates, among other issues.

    Copa Centroamericana Football Tournament
    Here is the schedule of our National Football Team's encounters in the Copa Centroamericana Football Tournament in Panama.

    Letter: Selection of 13th senator in Belize
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) acknowledges the selection of the 13th senator and thereby congratulates the NGO community, as well as all other civil society players, in particular the BNTU, for without their proactive efforts, it is certain the Barrow administration would have continued to shirk its responsibility concerning the matter. Therefore, this is testimony to the strength of people power. We remind one and all, especially those in positions of influence, that this is but one step in the overall course toward ushering in good governance principles and practices. The BPP notes that several more initiatives, remain unfulfilled including: the establishment an elected Senate, ensuring that the mandated re-registration of the voters lists is undertaken, also the commencement of the much-needed re-districting exercise is conducted and demanding that all elected officials, across the board, comply with the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA), in that those who have failed to declare their assets pay the requisite fines, forthwith.

    Poets Corner: Poverty
    By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. Poverty is a European terminology Indexes they have set for developing countries After doing the academic researches They have exploited strategies Creating yardsticks to enhance their riches Exploiting the resources of smaller countries Who don’t have the technologies To compete with developed countries so they create these indexes Poverty is in the mind Black people, you are sublime This is your time Get off your lorries and stop whine The Mennonites did it in fifty years time The Japanese did it in twenty years time Belizeans can do it in half the time Our men have to stop drinking booze and wine And use though things to turn turbines

    CAWS Appetizer Fundraiser
    The Cayo Animal Welfare Society is having a pre-Valentine's day fundraiser at the Wine House. They'll have appetizers to try, and you get to vote for the best. Another great idea, mixing fun with a great cause.

    Vanessa Awe Makeup Seminar
    Vanessa Awe is coming back to her hometown of Cayo on March 5th to do a self application makeup seminar. "This is your opportunity to experience the newly re-designed HANDS-ON classes designed by the expert, to truly teach you how to bring out your most beautiful features by correctly using her techniques and methods, which have been highly raved about by past students."

    FCD and Asociacion Balam contracted today a Community Outreach Educator that will work in communities of southern Peten
    This effort is supported by the British Embassy in Belize.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Keeping Up with the Joneses, Trolls, Patriots Day, The Disappointment Room

    Oral History Workshop
    The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project completed its first Oral History Worrkshop on Tuesday, January 10th at the National Heritage Library in Belmopan. The participants are now equiped with basic knowledge on conducting Oral History Interviews. The participants that took part came from the Museum of Belize, NICH (ISCR), Ministry of Tourism, The Library Service and Teachers. Some of the participants will be at the House of Culture on Saturday, January 14th conducting Oral History Interviews with visitors to the our Community Outreach Open House at the House of Culture. If you want to participate in our Oral History Campaign by sharing stories about downtown come on down between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. See you there!!

    Boom to Manatee Lookout Race
    Here are some photos from the Boom to Manatee Lookout Race! Can you feel the La Ruta Maya fever yet?? Come see the NICH team at the Haulover Bridge to Boom UpStream Race on the 22nd of January! Follow Belize Canoe Association for more race update.

    1st full moon of 2017 over San Ignacio, Belize
    Here are some shots of the 1st full moon of 2017 over San Ignacio, Belize

    Channel 7

    Another City Murder, This Time It's a Man Found Chopped Up On The Coast
    There has been another murder in Belize City - the sixth for 2017. This time it appears to be an older hispanic male who was chopped to death. His body was found this evening close to mile three on the western Highway, but way off the highway, close to the coast behind the city dump. Police Press Officer Fitzroy Yearwood just told us the little that they know so far:... Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood - Public Relation Officer: "It's really early into an investigation. We do expect foul play. We know that a hispanic male was found not too far from here near the beach side. He had injuries to the head - chop wounds to the left arm. We believe that he has been out here for a while because the body has been swollen a little. The investigators are still here trying to gather evidence from the scene. As soon as we have more information we will share that with you. We know that this person is well-known in the neighborhood, because speaking to the residents of this are, they say that they see him quite often in this area doing fishing."

    Integrity Commission Re-Activated, Sworn In
    It's been a week of teacher-led reform. Earlier this week, we saw the election of the 13th. Senator, and today, we witnessed the swearing-in of the Integrity Commission. These are both initiatives that the teachers unyieldingly pushed for in their October 2016 strike. And, so, today in Belmopan, this important body, dormant for the past 8 years, was re-activated. It's important because it exists to prevent corruption in public life, and to examine the assets and earnings of politicians - to make sure that they are not unjustly enriching themselves. Today , the 7 members -five appointed by the Prime Minister and two by the Leader of the Opposition were sworn at the National Assembly Building in Belmopan - which is where the office is located.

    Integrity Commission, Whose Victory?
    And so while this important good governance body is now finally re-activated, should the kudos go to the Government, or the Teachers' Union which pushed so steadfastly for it? Here's how Chairman Williams put it. Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "The Integrity Commission is one of the teacher's demands during their strike. How do you all separate the pressure that was put from the teachers in moving forward to this process and also the importance of actually creating a committee or a body in terms of this entire process, not separating the 2?" Marilyn Williams, Chairperson: "For this I have to be fair to the Prime Minister because I said to you before when we won the election before this last November, he had in fact tried his best and it was at that point that I was to chair the commission. I wouldn't want anyone to run away with the idea that he never had any intention to do it. yes, I will accept that given what came out of the union and the discussions with the Prime Minister, perhaps what it did was propelled a wider interest because I would want to think that when people at large heard, the reason why commission wasn't formed was because we couldn't find anyone who was willing to commit to being a member, maybe it gave them the impetus as to say 'ok then yeah I will,' but I would not want us to walk away with the impression that the only reason why the Prime Minister did it is because the union demanded it because I would flatly rebuke that."

    Referendum Act Going Through Changes, Is It To Appease The Guats?
    Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will be meeting to debate and vote on a change to the Referendum Act. The change would reduce the percentage of voters needed to validate a referendum from 60% to 50%. This change means that national issues that go to referendum, such as taking the Belize and Guatemala border dispute to the CCJ, would require a lower threshold of voter participation to pass. The government has been criticized for the change, with some saying that it is a move to appease Guatemala, which has the same threshold. We spoke to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, who told us the government's reason for the change... Alex Courtenay, 7News: "Minister, tomorrow the house will be meeting to pass the new referendum act that will reduce the threshold needed for a referendum to be able to be passed. Is that something that has come as maybe as a show of faith or good faith towards the Guatemalans that we are lowering our threshold to almost match theirs and other international standards?"

    Wilfred Says No Deal On Sarstoon Island
    And keeping it on Foreign Affairs, in the last week reports surfaced alleging that Guatemala's Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales states that Belize had agreed to keep hands off the Sarstoon Island until after the territorial dispute goes to the ICJ. We asked Elrington whether there was any truth to the allegation... Reporter: "I think it was last week a document was circulated in which its stated that you along with the Guatemalan minister agreed that there will be a non-occupation of the Sarstoon until the ICJ rules to whom it belongs to. What that the case? Did you agree to that?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "No, I didn't agree to that at all, but I will tell you this: the Sarstoon River has been unoccupied; the Sarstoon island has been unoccupied as far as I know from 1859 up to this point in time. Nobody else tries to go to it. Its abandoned island, small very marshy island. I don't know if you could do anything much on it. So neither the Guatemalans nor the British nor Belizeans have been in fact sought to do anything on it from as far back as I can find historical records for. It's not anything that I would interfere with nor the Guatemalans."

    Belize Assumed Chairmanship of OAS Permanent Council
    And in other Foreign Affairs news, Belize's Ambassador to the OAS, Patrick Andrews, today assumed the Chair of the Permanent Council of the OAS. It's a rotating chairmanship of an influential body which he will hold for three months. Here's a look at the ceremony at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC courtesy the OAS media department:.. Patrick Andrews, Belize Ambassador to the OAS: "It is undeniable an incredible opportunity for each member states that assumes chairmanship to leave his or her mark in elevating the institution's history and in contributing to its betterment and that of the hemisphere and of our countries." Today, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington commented on the importance of Belize taking its turn at the helm of the powerful OAS Permanent Council:.

    Social Security Wants To Talk About Increasing Benefits And Contributions
    The Social Security Board is embarking on a round of public consultations across the country to talk about increasing benefits - which also means increasing contributions. But don't get too alarmed, this is only very preliminary discussions. The fact is, Belize's Social Security Fund is one of the most stagnant in the region; in three decades, the contribution structure has only changed once - and that was in 2001. The effect of this is that those who make more than $320 dollars per week - which is almost half the working population - don't have adequate coverage. And that means that when they retire, they won't get a pension commensurate with what they had been earning. And that's why Social Security has set up 14 consultations in cities, towns and villages to ask workers - and employers - if they are willing to give more, to get more, especially those earning larger salaries. But, before they got started with the rest of the country, they met the media today, to put the word out that they want to talk, but more than that, they want to listen:...

    Tourist Dies At Cave Tubing Site, Cops Say Heart Attack
    There is news out of Franks Eddy, Cayo tonight that a female tourist from Mississippi died while on vacation in Belize. Reports to 7News are that she arrived on a cruise ship yesterday, and was at the Cave tubing site. We are told that she was in one of the bathrooms, where she slipped and had a nasty fall. We had received reports that she died due hitting her head on the floor, but police reports are that that her death was due to a heart attack. The police press officer has released very little details on this case, and a BTB official told us that they are waiting on the police report.

    Hon. Hulse Gets Hon. Francis To Apologize
    Two months ago, we told you about the lawsuit which Senator Godwin Hulse brought against former Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca. Hulse sued Fonseca for defamation of character because he believes that Fonseca injured his personal reputation for some comments made during a press conference from October 2013. That was the time when the Citizen Kim passport scandal was raging. The PUP Leader painted new Minister Godwin Hulse with the very same, very dirty brush he used on Elvin Penner - who had facilitated a fraudulent nationality certificate and a fraudulent passport for Kim. Hulse sued him for it, and today was supposed to have been their first day of trial before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. But, instead of getting into legal arguments, the attorneys for both men, informed the court that they have arrived at an out-of-court settlement. Fonseca will apologize for the comments, and it will be published in 3 major newspapers, but he won't have to pay damages to Hulse. He will only have to pay Hulse's court costs of $3,000. So, what changed between November and today? Well, that's what we asked Fonseca's attorney, Kareem Musa, who told us on the last occasion his client's defense against the defamation claim is fair comment, and that Fonseca's words were true. Musa told us today, that Fonseca weighed the litigation risk, and decided that an apology is better route. He described why:

    The Senate Select And Citizen Kim
    So, while Hulse is cleared of any suggestion that he had a hand in any illicit issuance of passports to suspect figures, yesterday, the Senate Select Committee was interrogating Maria Marin on the most famous illicit passport of them all: Citizen Kim's. There is a portion of the Auditor General's Reports on the Immigration Department that focuses specifically on her audit team's investigation of that scandal. She has published an interview in her reports that her team conducted with a Senior Immigration official, whose comments implicates the Former Acting Director of Immigration. Here's the Senate's intense inquiry into that part of the report, and the opportunities they gave Marin to respond: Hon. Aldo Salazar, Chair., Senate Select Committee: "Moving on to paragraph 7.9 on the report. This is being said about you by Mr. Gordon Wade. This is in relation to the Won Hong Kim issue. At this paragraph, the comment is made that Mr. Penner brought in the application without original documentation for Won Hong Kim. Mr. Wade was being interviewed here and he said that the minister indicated that he would take the Won Hong Kim file to you as director. Did you assist Minister Penner in processing the Won Hong Kim application?"

    Did Hon. Hulse Know About Ministers In And Out Of Immigration?
    While we had the opportunity, we asked Godwin Hulse in our phone interview about that list of Ministers that Maria Marin has provided to the Senate Committee. As we told you, she started documenting the number of recommendations she was receiving from Ministers as the head of the Immigration Department at that time. The frequency with which these recommendations were coming in from these Ministers, on behalf of their favored applicants, was a red-flag for Marin, and she started collecting that information to pass along to the Minister of Immigration. It is the first time we've heard of such a list, and we attempted to get a copy yesterday, but we were told that it is not for public consumption at this time. Hulse was the Minister, and so we asked him about it today, and here's what he had to say: Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "He disclosed to the committee that the reason for doing this was to advise her ministry and her minister of the frequency of these particular ministers of government, because it was a red flag for her. Have you seen the list sir?"

    Bad Business At Bocawina
    The Mayflower Bocawina National Park is a popular tourist and adventure destination. It is also a popular location for illegal loggers and hunters. Yesterday park rangers came across over 90 pieces of cut lumber, and several other chopped trees. The trees are believed to have been cut by criminals looking to sell the hardwood to nearby sawmills. Jose Perez, Executive Director of the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, spoke to us about the dangers this illegal activity poses to the protected area... Jose Perez, Executive Director, APAMO: "What happened is that the rangers have always had information that there's evidence that there's cutting of trees within the park. There are various hardwood timber trees. It seems as though it's these operators who do not have licenses. It's a well-established business it seems. Fortunately, on Tuesday they encountered the lumber, but the guys got away and they were able to salvage the lumber. The rangers of course with limited resources have been trying their best. But we have to see how we can support the group in enhancing their ability to do more but more timely patrols. I think also we need to see how we can work closer with the police and forest department to ensure that we have more boots on the ground."

    Central America Braces For Trump
    In just 8 days, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the President of the United States. Trump had a controversial campaign, and has made promises, and issued tweets that have left world leaders very concerned. Minister Elrington told us how the Barrow Administration plans to deal with the new President, and whether Belize will be joining forces with other countries to stand up to him... Reporter: "I read in regional news that Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have agreed to join forces and seek support from Mexico in dealing with what they called this Donald Trump "threat". Have you heard that or is Belize willing to participate to join?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "I think all countries in the region are worried because of the pronouncement that the president-elect has been making and our strength is in numbers. The strength of small countries like ours is in numbers and in unity. None of us are able to deal with the United States on our own, not even Mexico."

    Why Was Honorary Consul In Chet Dumped?
    And while the government is bracing for Trump, the search for a new Honorary Consul to the State of Quintana Roo has started. Jorge Valencia, who held the position for the last six years was terminated last December. Minister Elrington told us more about Valencia's termination... Reporter: "What is the status of the Mexican consul? I believe he was fired or let go. We previously talked to Miss Gomez on his position. What's the position of his office?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "I think the decision has been taken to appoint a new consul to represent us. I think we have thanked him for his service and we are in the process of having a new person." "Especially in this day and age, Belizeans who need the services of the consuls across the world are very exact and demanding and when they complained, they've got to heed their cry and see how we could enhance the service that we offer to our people abroad. So that explains why from time to time move people and when we change them, there are times when there are negative fallouts; they will get upset and they do things and say things that are not very complimentary to country. But we have to live with. That's part of life."

    Worries Deepen For Missing Girls In North
    We have reported on countless cases of missing young girls. The mothers or other relatives come to our studio pleading for them to come home and in most cases, they do return safe and sound after visiting with friends. But it's not always that simple, certainly not in the cases of 13 year old's Ideline Adelia Romero or Anaseily Gonzalez. Romero went missing on 10th January, 2017. She had left home to attend classes at La Inmaculada school in Orange Walk. Gonzalez on the other hand, went missing on January 6th in Corozal. She was to take the bus in the afternoon back to her Chunox village home but she never showed up. Her case is very serious because the investigation suggests that her father, who is believed to have a questionable background, kidnapped her and took her to Mexico. An alert has now been issued for her in Mexico as well. Our colleagues at CTV 3 spoke to the founder of the Jasmine Alert Patrick Menzies about these reports. Menzies says the police need to do a better job in handling these cases and that they should have reached out to him for assistance.

    NGO Senator Won't Be In Senate For NGO Amendment
    The 13th. Senator Legislation will come into force a week from tomorrow, on January 20th. And that may be one day too late to debate legislation to amend their very own NGO Act. That's going to the house for its second reading tomorrow and the Senate will see it at its sitting next week Thursday, the 19th - one day before the NGO Senator is activated. It's what you might call "wah real bunnah", but it appears government isn't about to move the date of the senate meeting to Friday. The new Senator Osmany Salas will take his seat in the Upper House at the next sitting which comes at the end of January or early February.

    Selgado Slammed Into Cargo Truck
    Attorney Oscar Selgado is very much a man about the courthouse - he can often be seen cutting about the Supreme Court, the Magistrate's Court and the Court of Appeals. But we saw him today on a city sidewalk, after he'd spun off the road in his Toyota Four-Runner after a collision with a cargo truck. It happened at the three-way intersection of Fairweather Street, Neal's Pen Road and Rivero Street. It's a dangerous and unusual intersection and the two drivers who crashed had a different account of who was to blame:.. We only saw stop signs on Rivero Street and Neal's Pen Road indicating that the cargo truck which was on Fairweather Street had the right of way.

    Western Pile Up
    And there was also an accident this morning on the western highway. It ended up with two vehicles receiving front-end damage, and another being run off the road. It happened in Front of CISCO where the vehicles were heading into the city when they had a pile up. Apparently, the red Honda CR-V which was run off the road was followed by the Navarra, and then the BTL's Mercury Mountaineer. Traffic was held up for a short time, but no one was seriously hurt. The driver for the CR-V was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

    Shyne Takes A Stand, Ten Of Them
    Belize's Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow, donated ten music stands to the Samuel Haynes Institute today. He handed them over to the driving force behind the institute, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. Barrow told us why the stands were necessary, and how he plans to continue bringing music into the lives of Belizean children... The stands cost a total of $1000, and Minister Elrington, a lifelong musician himself, told us that he was impressed with the quality.

    City Killing Revisited
    And we end tonight with a follow up on the breaking story we had at the top of the newscast. There's been another apparent murder in the city - and in this case an older hispanic male appears to have been chopped to death. He was found near the sea, behind the city dump off the mile three are on the western Highway. Reports say he had defensive wounds, and a major chop to the head. We'll have more on this, plus his identity in tomorrow's newscast.

    Channel 5

    Breaking news: Late evening murder; man found chopped up near beach
    At this time, Belize City police are processing the scene of a yet another grisly homicide.  Late this evening, a team of officers was summoned to an area off the [...]

    The Integrity Commission is sworn in, in Belmopan
    Seven Belizeans were formally appointed to a body that has been under increasing scrutiny in the fight against corruption. The Integrity Commission, established under the 2007 Prevention of Corruption Act, [...]

    Net Vasquez: I do not advise the Government
    Nestor Vasquez’s appointment to the Integrity Commission proved to be one of the most controversial for several reasons. He was nominated in his role as a chartered accountant; but his [...]

    Clean slate: Integrity Commission chair says no fines for old violations
    You may remember the parliamentarians from the People’s United Party visiting the office of the Integrity Commission on September nineteenth, National Service Day, to submit their declarations, although no members [...]

    Godwin Hulse to get apology from Francis Fonseca
    Senator Godwin Hulse took former P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca to court on a defamation charge years ago. Today, that matter went on trial before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the [...]

    Musa says “criminal” Elvin Penner must be brought to justice
    In his interview with the media, Attorney Kareem Musa told reporters that the matter of Immigration scandal is one that is still very much relevant. He said that while his [...]

    Why 13th Senator cannot join colleagues next week
    President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Osmany Salas, was elected on Tuesday by his peers as the thirteenth member of the Senate. He was expected to be sworn in [...]

    P.M. to blame for arbitration judgments, says P.U.P.
    Three separate arbitration awards, given to Belize Social Development Limited; Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Newco Limited totaling up to one hundred and twenty million Belize dollars including interest, have [...]

    Illegal logging uncovered in Mayflower Bocawina National Park
    The Mayflower Bocawina National Park, in the Stann Creek District, covers over seven thousand, one hundred acres of verdant jungle, refreshing waterfalls and early Mayan sites.  Located near Silk Grass [...]

    F.C.D. still needs your help to save Chiquibul
    The Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative is a fifteen-million dollar Government project in collaboration with a number of high-profile organizations doing environmental work, including Friends for Conservation and Development.  Volunteer with [...]

    N.C.F.C. speaks out on sex tapes
    The National Committee for Families and Children has reacted to a story we aired on Tuesday on leaked sex videos posted on social media involving participants who appear to be [...]

    Belize to lead Organization of American States
    Belize’s Permanent Representative to the O.A.S., Patrick Andrews, has assumed the Chairmanship of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States.  The career banker-turned-ambassador received the gavel representing the [...]

    Scam artist charged; another victim comes forward
    On Wednesday, twenty-two-year-old Jordon Murray was arraigned for another charge of obtaining property by deception; this time in relation to an allegation by Ashton Jones who says that in November [...]

    Did car scammer work with others?
    Garcia says that she suspects that the alleged conman was not acting on his own, but in collusion with others. Garcia says she reported the matter to the Ladyville police, [...]

    An in-depth look at 2016 in crime
    Aside from a steady increase in the number of murders in 2016, shooting incidents, which fall within the major crimes category, were recorded in all municipalities.  Belize District led the [...]

    Toledo remains safe; Belize District less so
    Residents and visitors of Punta Gorda Town and Toledo District can take comfort that the municipality is the safest of all six districts, as far as shootings are concerned.  While [...]

    Tarell Sutherland’s fight against skin condition continues
    For years, we have been following Tarell Sutherland. He is the young boy who was born with a rare skin condition that is incurable. Despite this prognosis, his family has [...]

    How to break bad habits in New Year on Healthy Living
    English writer Samuel Johnson once said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt, until they are too strong to be broken.” – You’ll definitely know this if [...]

    PlusTV

    GOB says it has no intention of paying U.S. Court ordered awards to Ashcroft companies
    GOB says it has no intention of paying U.S. Court ordered awards to Ashcroft companies. In Tuesday’s newscast, we told you that a court hearing in the United States has denied an appeal that the Government of Belize was seeking. The appeal was in reference to a judgment made against the Governmen...

    SENATE INQUIRY continues with former director of Immigration
    Last week, the Special Select Senate Inquiry resumed at the National Assembly Building in Belmopan, with former Director of Immigration Maria Marin in the hot seat. She was back in that proverbial seat today, answering questions about the department she helped run for about 7 years. While a lot has ...

    Julius Espat believes suspension ended with 2016; awaits response
    Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat, believes that his suspension from the National Assembly legally came to an end on December 31, 2016. Attorney for Espat has written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in a letter dated January 3, 2017. Espat was unceremoniously dragged out ...

    2016 Major Crimes down; murder up from 2015
    The Minister of Police and the Commissioner of Police met with the media today to give the details of the Annual Crime statistics for 2016in comparison to those of 2015. While major crimes decreased this year, murders jumped by 15.9% with 138 murders for 2016 as compared to 119 in 2015. Commissione...

    6 would be robbers arraigned
    Six men were arraigned on charges in relation to an attempted robbery. On Monday, we reported that due to Police’s quick response, they were able to foil a robbery attempt at the Northern Fisherman’s Cooperative on North Front Street in Belize City. The six persons: a taxi driver- Gilroy Thompson,...

    Attorney for Doriann Pakeman explains why only one charge
    Dorian Pakeman, the director of the Government press office currently on suspension, was charged on Tuesday in relation to the traffic accident death of mechanic Dean Dawson. As we told you last night, Pakeman was charged with a sole charge of causing death by careless conduct. There has been no ...

    Tourist dies in Belize
    A tourist lost her life at a popular tourist destination in Belize. Plus news obtained information that a white female American tourist between the ages of 45 to 50 and weighing between 200 to 250 pounds, had participated in some of the activities at Jaguar Paw in the Cayo District. She thereafter w...

    CTV3

    13th Senator Not Allowed To Participate In The Next Senate Meeting
    The NGO’s Senator-elect Osmany Salas will officially become a Senator on January 20th when the commencement order signed by the Prime Minister in October last year takes effect. The long wait for the 13th Senator, since 2008, has been very controversial as it featured political promises, breaking those same promises, mock elections for a Senator, and court litigation. But even though the Senator is now at the gates just waiting for January 20th to come, there still is a bit of controversy left. On January 19th, which is the day before the NGO Senator officially holds the seat, there will be a Senate meeting to discuss proposed amendments to the NGO Act. Because Salas won’t become a Senator until the 20th, Opposition Senator Valerie Woods is calling for the President of the Senate to delay the meeting until the NGO Senator can be present to make inputs on proposed legislation that will directly affect his constituents.

    Ministers Red Flag During Senate Inquiry
    Yesterday the former Director of Immigration Maria Marin completed her testimony before the Senate Special Select Committee’s hearing into the Auditor General’s special audit report which reviewed questionable activities at the Department of Immigration and Nationality from 2011 to 2013. Marin had to produce before the Committee a special list which she had compiled during her term as Acting Director. This list kept a record of those Ministers who were constantly recommending visas which was deemed a red flag in her Department. Marin was asked to explain the purpose of the list.

    Integrity Commission Sworn In
    This morning the members of the newly-composed Integrity Commission were sworn into office. The Commission has been defunct for several years even though the law calls for such body to operate as a check and balance to the Government and in particular the elected leaders. Today the new members including Opposition-appointees Melissa Balderamos-Mahler and Claudet Grinage, and Government-appointees Marilyn Williams, Armead Gabourel, Lisbeth Delgado, Wilmot Simmons and Nestor Vasquez took their oath. Williams, who will serve as the Chairperson, spoke on the key role which the Commission will play. “It is the Commission’s responsibility to look at the financials, now the declarations were submitted to the office and the Secretary was looking at it, that is sort of like an administrative responsibility now it will come to the Integrity commission and now we will do I would like to say, I can’t comment on the depth of the analysis that the Secretary of the Commission did, however I can say that the Integrity commission as a whole will then look at the entire document and so our own analysis...”

    Amber Alert Goes Out For Chunox Minor
    Tonight both local and Mexican authorities have launched an intensive search for thirteen year old Chunox resident Anaseily Gonzalez who is believed to have been abducted by her biological father, Javier De La Cruz, who is of Mexican nationality and accused of being a child molester. The child was last seen boarding a bus to her home on Friday January 6th and according to reports, she is believed to have been taken to either La Union or to Chetumal Quintana Roo. On Sunday a Jasmine Alert was sent out to the general public in hope of locating the child and tonight we can tell you that an Amber Alert has been launched by Mexico to also assist in returning the child safely to her home. So far the child’s family has been mum about the situation but today we have more information on the missing case as we spoke with National Executive Director of Jasmine Alert, Patrick Menzies. He told us that there are currently four agencies working in partnership with the Jasmine Alert program in order to find Anaseily.

    LOVE FM

    New Integrity Commission Sworn In After 8 Years of Inactivity
    The Government of Belize reactivated the Integrity Commission and today, seven of its members were sworn-in inside the National Assembly Building in Belmopan. LISBETH DELGADO “I, Lisbeth Delgado having been appointed as a member of the Integrity Commission pursuant to Section 3 of the Prevention of Corruption Act no 21 of 2007 do solemnly and […]

    The Job of the Integrity Commission
    At the declaration of victory for the Barrow administration back in 2008, members of the Integrity Commission had resigned making way for the new Government to appoint a new set of representatives. Despite the clamor made by some pockets of society to have the commission reactivated, it wasn’t until today, January 12, 2017 that seven […]

    PUP’s Kareem Says GoB Will Regret the Mistake of Refusal to Pay Award
    The Government of Belize has said it will not pay for “PUP Corruption”. This was in regards to the decision by the US Court of Appeal to reinforce the fifty million US dollar arbitration award to the Belize Social Development Limited and the BCB Holdings. According to PUP Area Representatives and Attorney, Kareem Musa, the […]

    Senator for Gov’t Business Says There Are No Foreign Assets
    We’ve heard the ruling from the US Court of Appeal surrounding the Arbitration Award to the Belize Social Development Limited and BCB Holdings. We have also heard the Government’s decision to no honor the award and we have heard from the opposition on the matter. Today, we asked Senator for Government Business, Godwin Hulse on […]

    Francis Fonseca to Apologize to Godwin Hulse
    In 2013, Government Minister Godwin Hulse filed a law suit against the former Leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, for defamation. When the Elvin Penner immigration scandal involving the Wong Hong Kim passport broke, Fonseca made comments about Hulse who was the Minister of Immigration and Nationality at the time. Hulse considers those […]

    Foreign Minister Says There Is No Agreement over the Sarstoon Island
    Last week, we reported on a piece of document that stated that in 2015 when Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Raul Carlos Morales was in Belize for the OAS Peace Program, he and Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, made an agreement in regards to the Sarstoon Island. According to the document, both Foreign Ministers agreed no country […]

    PUP’s Senators Want Senate Meeting Delayed
    A Senate meeting is scheduled for January 19. However, only 12 Senators will be present leaving out the newly elected 13th Senator, Osmany Salas. Salas will not attend the first Senate Meeting for 2017 unless the President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang, grants permission to delay the meeting. This request was made by the […]

    13th Senator to be Installed Later
    Senator-elect, Osmany Salas is the first 13th Senator for Belize following elections held among the non-governmental organizations on January 10, 2017. The next Senate sitting is next Thursday as we noted earlier but it seems that Salas will not be sworn in in time for that sitting. Senator Godwin Hulse explained. GODWIN HULSE ” […]

    The Guardian

    GOB will not pay for PUP’s Corruption - the Government of Belize has no assets in the U.S. to enforce Ashcroft’s $100 Million dollar judgment states Prime Minister Dean Barrow
    Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow told the Guardian Newspaper on Wednesday January 11th that the government of Belize does not have any assets in the U.S. for the Michael Ashcroft related companies, BCB holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited, to lean on to enforce a $100 million dollar judgment which was served on the government on Monday January 9. The judgment comes after the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear government of Belize’s arguments that the Caribbean Court of Justice had deemed the BTL Accommodation Agreement illegal. In March of 2009 the London Court of International Arbitration had awarded BTL over 38 million dollars as a result of claims being made against government as a result of the Accommodation Agreement. That judgment was resisted by government having the former owners of BTL, Ashcroft related companies, take the matter for enforcement at a U.S. court where they were successful. The Government of Belize appealed the decision of the Supreme Court in the U.S. ending on Monday with that court refusing to hear GOB’s arguments.

    ONLY eleven votes for the 13 Senator
    There are over 140 registered civil society groups and numerous informal community organizations in the country of Belize, yet the individual selected to represent them was only supported by 10 of those groups plus his own in an “election” for the historic thirteenth senator. Osmany Salas, President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, is slated to become the thirteenth Senator when an amendment to the Constitution is put into effect by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. After the Government conceded to the social partners and agreed to the appointment of the thirteenth senator, the NGO community established a steering committee to decide how they will go about selecting a candidate for the post. The steering committee immediately decided that only organizations “in good standing” with requirements under the civil society act would be eligible to participate in the process. This lifted 29 institutions above the rest, immediately disenfranchised 79 percent of registered civil society organizations and all other informal community groups. The groups that were eliminated from the process came to the conclusion that the members of the steering committee were only steering themselves towards the coveted seat in Parliament but there was nothing they could do about it.

    Bondholders begin talks to renegotiate Superbond
    Greylock Capital Management and Grantham Mayo van Otterloo are the financial agencies that have come together to represent holders of the Superbond in talks with the Government of Belize to renegotiate the bond. Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow told the Guardian Newspaper that negotiations have begun in earnest and the government is at this moment presenting its proposal on a second restructuring to the Superbond. This comes after trustees of Belize’s superbond officially recognized a bondholder committee to hold talks with Belizean representatives. In a report by Reuters, “Trustee Bank of New York Mellon has formally approved the committee to negotiate with Belize, which says that its US$530m bond, issued in 2013, is unsustainable.” The government of Belize maintains that there are a number of factors which are pressing Belize’s economy and making it impossible for it to meet its superbond debt service requirement. Among these factors are a drop in agricultural exports as well as damages suffered as a result of Hurricane Earl in August of last year.

    NEMO Minister delivers houses to hurricane victims in Caye Caulker
    Minister of National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro handed over two houses to hurricane victims on Caye Caulker in the Belize District. The houses are among the over 300 constructed countrywide by the Government of Belize through the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) as part of its rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl which affected Belize on August 3 and 4, 2016. Aside from the two newly constructed houses, NEMO also assisted a number of residents on the Island with building material for them to be able to repair their own homes. While on the island, Hon Castro also visited Caye Caulker Chairlady Enelda Rosado and members and staff of the Village Council, who were all instrumental in the hurricane relief and rebuilding efforts there.

    Japan donates command vehicles to Police, NEMO and Fire Department
    Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E. Shunsuke Takei, on Wednesday January 11 handed over three command vehicles to the Police and Fire Departments and NEMO. Receiving the vehicles were Sr. Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos and Minister of NEMO and Transport, Hon. Edmund Castro. The vehicles are self contained mobile command centers that can be deployed in case of emergency to serve as communication center points. Speaking to Hon. Castro, he explained that the vehicles are invaluable to his ministry as they will greatly augment the effectiveness of NEMO during times of emergencies. The vehicles have the capacity to be stand-alone operation bases complete with electricity and other amenities necessary when deployed in areas where these are not available. Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Hon. Elodio Aragon, stated that the police department will determine exactly where the vehicle will best serve the intended purpose.

    What is the clause that empowers the Accommodation Agreement to take matters to LCIA?
    Below is a reproduction of the clause in the Accommodation Agreement that allowed for BTL to take the Government of Belize to the LCIA. In effect the clause renders Belize’s courts invalid and had Said Musa give up our sovereignty to Ashcroft related interests. Accommodation Agreement SECTION 15 GOVERNING LAW; ARBITRATION, WAIVER OF SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY 15.2 Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this Agreement including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, which cannot be resolved amicably between the parties shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration under the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Rules which Rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference under this section. There shall be 3 arbitrators.

    Hon Edmond Castro visits Transport Ministry Departments in Caye Caulker
    On a recent trip to Caye Caulker in the Belize District, Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro took the opportunity to visit offices responsible for public services which fall within his cabinet portfolio. Those include the Fire Department, Post Office and Transport Office. The Minister met with personnel at all three offices, discussing with them challenges confronted on the job and what is needed to improve efficiency and effectiveness in their service to the community. Hon. Castro thanked the public officers for their hard work and dedication, and he assured them that his Ministry and the Government will do everything possible to improve their working conditions and better equip them to deliver quality service to villagers and visitors in the community they serve. Also during his visit to the island, Hon. Castro was also invited as a special guest at the inaugural meeting for the new Caye Caulker Traffic Control Committee.

    Chetumal safe though frustration remains high
    Chetumal seems like it is back to normal after a brief period of civil unrest last week in that municipality and others across the Republic of Mexico. The protests were a result of the effects of President Pena Nieto’s deregulation of the petroleum industry and accompanying expiration of government subsidies for petroleum to consumers. President Nieto put a stop to some of the country’s fuel subsidies which resulted in an increase of about 13 percent in regular gasoline, 20 percent in premium and 17 percent in diesel. The increase became effective on New Year’s day. President Nieto’s position is that by ending the subsidies it will allow the country to avoid spending cuts on social and infrastructure programs. He argues that the subsidies mostly benefit the rich who own cars. These are arguments that a more popular President may have been able to sell. However, Nieto’s approval rating hovers beneath 30 percent amid a fragile economy, tumbling peso and seeming detachment from the reality of the common man. The mere thought that fuel subsidies mostly benefit the wealthy is another example of his lack of familiarity with life on the ground. This decision directly affects the cost of food and public transportation.

    Garbage managers pull out of Belize
    The Solid Waste Management Authority (SWAMA) issued a press release on Tuesday January 10 explaining, “that the operator of the solid waste transfer stations (San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Burrell Boom, Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker) and the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill has ceased operations effective January 9th, 2017.” In its release SWAMA assures the general public that they are making every effort to contain the situation designating temporary dumping areas on the transfer station compounds. It goes on to ask the public to minimize waste. Speaking to one of the principals in the solid waste management company, PASA, we were told that the company had long been clamouring for an increase in the cost per ton to haul the garbage. That was as a result of under estimation as to the volume of garbage which needed to be hauled to the mile 24 sanitary landfill. Apparently there was 30% less garbage that needed to be hauled to the landfill and that caused for the company to be losing money. PASA was being paid 60 dollars per ton to haul the garbage but the volume simply did not allow for the company to be profitable nonetheless it continued operations while it attempted to negotiate a better price of 90 dollars per ton to haul the garbage. Those negotiations never materialized and after suffering losses in the millions of dollars PASA pulled out this week.

    Statement by Philip S. W. Goldson, Leader of the Opposition, British Honduras to the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations, at I Headquarters, New York, 15th November, 1967:
    MR. CHAIRMAN, distinguished Delegates of the Fourth Committee of General Assembly of the United Nations. I thank you on behalf of the people and country for this opportunity to speak to you on the case of British Honduras. In his remarks to this Committee on 23rd October 1967, in the debate on my petition for a hearing, the distinguished permanent representative of the Republic of Guatemala charged that my petition for a hearing before this Committee was motivated by political and personal considerations aimed at securing a position of advantage in the forthcoming electoral contest in British Honduras (A.C. 4 SR. 1699) I owe it to you and the members of the Committee, Mr. Chairman, to give you categorical assurance that my presence here is not motivated by any party political considerations. The next General Elections in British Honduras are due in 1970. If the distinguished representative of Guatemala knows of plans for an earlier election, then he has information which is not available to me. For some time now I have tried to get a commitment from the British Government and the British Honduras Government that new elections would be held before independence. This commitment has been refused by both Governments on the grounds that the question is totally premature.

    New artisanal hub for San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town
    In its quest for community development, the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council continues to implement projects that will be of benefit to all. One of those projects is an artisanal hub at the San Ignacio market which is now nearing completion. The artisanal hub consists of two main buildings, each with four rooms that will allow artists the convenience of having their stock to be in place for more than an entire work day. In the past, artists selling at the San Ignacio market had to pack and take their works home in the evening and bring the items back on the following morning. Funding for the new artisanal hub came from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council as well as from the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project, a program being implemented by the friendly Government of Canada via their Federation of Municipalities. In his visit to the facilities, Mayor Earl Trapp Junior took the opportunity to wish all residents within the Municipality a Happy New Year. He also called on residents to cooperate with the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council with paying their taxes and by being good corporate citizens.

    Julius too hasty to go back to the House!
    Last month, PUP Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat tried and failed in the Supreme Court to get his August 2016 suspension from the House of Representatives lifted. His party tried to move a motion to get him reinstated through the parliamentary procedures. That failed, but Espat hasn’t given up, and just when he’s about to get what he wants, he might just be getting in his own way, as he usually does. Reports to the media are that he and his party leader, John Briceño, negotiated with UDP’s Michael Finnegan, and New House Speaker, Laura Longsworth, for him to be brought back in. He has reportedly given a written apology, vowing to respect the Speaker going forward, and to accept the authority of the chair. The agreement is that Mesopotamia Area Representative Michael Finnegan will move a motion for him to be brought back in. That motion is expected to be tabled at the Friday, January 13, 2017 House Meeting, but Espat is impatient, and he wants to participate in that meeting.

    Less Police Commanders on nightly news
    The Minister and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the top brass of the Belize Police Department invited members of the press to Old Belize on Wednesday, January 11, for lunch but not before a “frank and candid” discussion among senior players from both sides. The Commissioner of Police recently handed down orders for officers to revert back to abiding by the department’s media policy. This means that officers should not grant interviews or release information to the media without first going through the Public Relations Officer of the Police. This decision tore open old wounds and the informal press association responded swiftly and vehemently.

    Obama’s farewell speech can apply to Belize
    As we listened to President Barrack Obama deliver his farewell speech, we grasp that a part of his speech could have very well been meant for us and our own situation in Belize. Many of us only complain about all the things that are going wrong and play the blame game. The next thing we do is to take to the talk shows and social media and complain. Perhaps if we were to approach our problems a bit differently things will start improving for all of us. We have included the portion of the speech that we believe is relevant to us and our situation. Below is the portion we have lifted directly from his speech. “In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but “from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken…to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth.” And so we have to preserve this truth with “jealous anxiety;” that we should reject “the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties” that make us one.

    PUP treason cost us millions!
    Once again the People’s United Party and their TREASONOUS ACTIONS is costing the Belizean taxpayers MILLIONS. This latest hit to the pockets of the Belizean taxpayers, is to the tune of 100 Million Belize Dollars. Back when PUP was last in government, whenever they got into any business arrangement with any Ashcroft related company, the then PUP government always allowed them to place a clause in every one of those agreements that ceded jurisdiction in the settling of trade disputes to FOREIGN COURTS and TRIBUNALS. In this country we have our own courts system starting with the Alcalde system and going all the way up to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Before the CCJ, we had the Privy Council. We had no reason to go to Foreign Jurisdictions to settle any disputes because we have our own courts. For any government to allow agreements that take those matters out of the hands of our court system is outright disrespectful.

    Security teams meet in Cayo
    Three security teams from the Western Region met on Monday night of this week in San Ignacio Town to continue strategizing against crime. Leaders from the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC, Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association CNWA, Police and other partners met for the third time as a coalition at the San Ignacio Police Station to exchange information and chart a new way forward. Chairing the meeting was an officer from the San Ignacio Community Policing Program. Addressed by the community teams were issues related to communications, liquor license and the need for streets in the Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena to have street signs. It has come to the attention of the security groups that the local liquor licensing board continues to grant extensions for night clubs to work late into night hours and up to 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. despite a recommendation by the police not to do so. Incidents that occur at these night clubs have required a response from the police and has been characterized as placing considerable stress on the police officers.

    Maria Marin testifies at Senate Select Committee
    A Public hearing of the Senate Special Committee got underway in the National Assembly Chamber in Belmopan on Wednesday. Testifying before the Special Committee was Maria Marin the former Director of the Immigration and Nationality Services. Marin told the Committee that she was determined to change the “Culture” at the Department of Immigration. In the normal course she would have a spreadsheet for those applying for Nationality. She reported that when she came on board as the Deputy Director, there were “agents” who would be coming into the Department. “We would have cases where there were requests that were coming for applications to be approved without having the necessary documents,” she said.

    Sugar road upgrades in Orange Walk East
    The last few days of 2016 saw the rapid deterioration of sugar roads in the two northernmost districts as a result of the increased activity related to the start of the new crop season. The heavy equipment and trucks used for the harvesting and transportation of sugar cane to the factory from the fields has wreaked havoc in the road network used. One such area which has been affected is the road system in the Orange Walk District which falls in the Orange Walk East constituency and which is the responsibility of Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. Mr. Aragon who has proven to be a no nonsense go-getter has already started remedial works on these roads. Having received some funding from Central Government, Mr. Aragon has wasted no time in ensuring that the much needed relief be delivered post-haste. He is cognizant of the fact that these roads are an integral part of the sugar cane delivery system. Better roads mean faster delivery and less expenses due to damages which result from bad roads.

    Year in review 2016
    The last few days of 2016 saw the rapid deterioration of sugar roads in the two northernmost districts as a result of the increased activity related to the start of the new crop season. The heavy equipment and trucks used for the harvesting and transportation of sugar cane to the factory from the fields has wreaked havoc in the road network used. One such area which has been affected is the road system in the Orange Walk District which falls in the Orange Walk East constituency and which is the responsibility of Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. Mr. Aragon who has proven to be a no nonsense go-getter has already started remedial works on these roads. Having received some funding from Central Government, Mr. Aragon has wasted no time in ensuring that the much needed relief be delivered post-haste. He is cognizant of the fact that these roads are an integral part of the sugar cane delivery system. Better roads mean faster delivery and less expenses due to damages which result from bad roads.

    Guatemalan man charged in hit and run incident
    A Guatemalan national is the driver accused of knocking down and causing the death of Jamalski Young, the Youngman who met his sudden death in a freak traffic accident between Miles 8 and 9 on the PGIA on the night of Sunday January 8. The driver who failed to stop and render aid or report the traffic accident has been identified as 35 year old Eric Salazar, a Guatemalan national who claims Belizean residency since he has been living in the country for over 30 years. Salazar appeared on Tuesday January 10 before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser in Court #2 where he was read 6 charges, including manslaughter by negligence; causing death by careless conduct; drove motor vehicle without due care and attention; failure to stop and render aid, failure to give way to a motorcycle on a major road and failure to report an accident.

    Eugene Bailey gets five years for firearm conviction
    Eugene Bailey, 39, escaped briefly from police custody after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition without a license on Friday, January 6. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for each count by Magistrate Carlon mendoza but the sentences were ordered to run concurrently; therefore, he will only serve five years. However, Bailey decided to make a run for it after allegedly asking officers to use the bathroom at the Queen Street Police Station. Just before 11 p.m. on February 24, 2016, officers were on mobile patrol on Mahogany Street Extension when information was received about a black Saturn Vue with four occupants heading from the direction of Lacroix Boulevard on Mahogany Street Extension. They made checks on Mahogany Street Extension where they saw the black Saturn VUE parked at the corner of Santa Barbara Street. The officers approached the vehicle where Eugene Bailey was seen standing on the right side of the vehicle acting suspiciously. PC Chub decided to conduct a search on him for drugs and illegal firearm and ammunition. This led to the discovery of a chrome M88 .38 SPL Amadeo Rossi brand pistol stuck in the back of his pants waist. The gun was loaded with four live rounds.

    Daniel Caine Charged for shooting at Michael Arnold
    Daniel Caine and Michael Arnold, both known street figures, are at the Belize Central Prison on remand for separate charges. On Monday, January 9, Arnold appeared in court for threatening words against Tamika Wade and Caine was arraigned for aggravated assault with a firearm upon Arnold. The alleged gun assault is said to have occurred on November 28, 2016. The using threatening words charge is derived from an incident that is said to have taken place on December 29, 2016. First to appear before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer was Arnold who was already out on bail for multiple offenses and had promised the court not to return on any new charges. Therefore, Senior Magistrate Fraser denied him bail and remanded him into custody at the Belize Central Prison.

    Manuel Canales charged for pulling pellet gun on neighbor
    Manuel Canales and Jaimie Rodriguez are neighbours from Antelope Street Extension who were socializing on New Year’s Day and got into a heated exchange that resulted in charges being filed for aggravated assault with a firearm. In court on Monday, January 9, Rodriguez informed Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser that he wants no further court action against Canales. He said they were drinking together at their apartment building then all of a suddenly Canales got out of control and pulled a gun at him. Rodriguez got so frightened that he ran for his life and went to make a police report. Police responded to the scene of the incident and arrested Canales. It turns out that the gun was a 357 BB gun. Rodriguez told the court that he didn’t know the object was fake when he made the report. He asked the court to withdraw the charge and instruct Canales to leave him alone.

    Homeless man fined $300 for drug pipe
    David Alexander Castillo, 49, who is homeless and sleeps around the Michael Finnegan Market, was dragged before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, January 9, for being in possession of a pipe used for smoking drugs. According to police, on Wednesday, January 4, he was found in possession of a 9-centimeter cylindrical metal pipe used for smoking controlled drugs. In court, Castillo wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense. He told the court, “I am trying to get rid of the pipe because I know it is bad.” He said, “I have arthritis and that’s why I use it to ease the pain.” According to Castillo, it is either the pipe or Ibuprofen. Since Ibuprofen damages his lungs he had decided to use the pipe. He didn’t say what he smokes in the pipe but did tell the court that he used to smoke weed but it is too expensive and makes him eat a lot. “I have to ease the pain,” said Castillo.

    Elden Flowers remanded for Randolph Johnson’s murder
    Police believe they have solved one of the murders that started the year at an unacceptable pace. On Thursday, January 6, police escorted Elden Edward Flowers, 19, to the Belize City Magistrates Court to be arraigned for the murder of Randolph Johnson, 19. According to reports, the teenager was fishing with friends near Mile 2 1/2 on the George Price Highway at around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, when a gunman made his way to the bushy area and fired several shots at him. He was hit in the chest, right leg and left palm. His friends managed to rush him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment but he did not survive.

    Five years for shooting New Asia security guard
    Honduran national and Glynn Street resident, Dixon Montero, 21, is serving the first nights of a five year sentence for shooting 31-year-old security guard, Victor Hendy, once to the left side of the neck. The sentence was handed down by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, January 6, after she found him guilty of use of deadly means of harm. Just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, Victor Hendy was on duty at New Asia Restaurant, located on Vernon Street, when he responded to a commotion inside. Hendy saw two men, one with a handgun, attempting to rob the Chinese business woman. He went back outside and called police but while doing so the gunman exited and fired a single gunshot at him which caught him in the neck. The men then ran away from the establishment empty handed. Surveillance cameras recorded the ordeal from the time the men entered to them running away in the direction of Mosul Street. Hendy recovered from the gunshot injury.

    Dorian Pakeman finally charged following traffic accident
    After much uncertainty director of the Government Press Office Dorian Pakeman was finally charged on Tuesday January 10. Police have been preparing a file against Pakeman for the better part of ten months since he knocked down and killed Biscayne resident Dean Dawson on March 30, 2016. The manner has now ended up in court where Pakeman was charged with causing death by careless conduct. Pakeman’s case has been very much on the news after police made announcements of tests being conducted on both his and the victim’s blood which came under great public scrutiny. During the entire ordeal, Pakeman maintained that errors had been made in the testing of his samples and as such the matter sat with the DPP for months before he was charged with a single count.

    Lurker charged for attack on teenage girl
    21-year-old Shawn Phillips is out on bail after a 19-year-old girl reported to police that he stalked her, threw pint bottles at her and invited himself into her house on New Year’s Eve. The girl claims that earlier in the day she saw him hiding in an abandoned lot across the street from her home. Phillips later entered the house without her permission armed with a glass bottle in hand and started to threaten her. She told him that she will call the police and that was when he left. After exiting the house he launched sprite bottles at the building. The teenager called police and he was later arrested.

    Brodies claims delivery man stole $5,000 in goods
    East Collect Canal resident Fredrick Sutherland, 20, was fired as a Brodies’ delivery man and later taken to court for allegedly stealing over $5,000 worth of goods that were to be delivered to the North of Belize. Allegations are that on August 10, 2016, Sutherland made off with 20 cases of Nestum Wheat & Honey valued at $3,500, a case of Nestle Cheerio’s valued at $85, two cases of Cerelac wheat valued at $390, two cases of Lactogen valued at $537, a case of Klim valued at $155.35 and several other milk and baby feed products to a total value of $5,157.05.

    National Football “A” Team in Panama for UNCAF Copa Centroamericana
    The National Football “A” Team of Belize left the country on Wednesday 11th January, 2017, for Panama City, Republic of Panama, where it will compete in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Tournament. On January 5, 2017, the coaching staff of the National Football “A” Team selected the final 23 players that will represent Belize in the Copa Centroamericana. The following players were selected to represent Belize: Shane Orio (Goal Keeper), Woodrow West (Goal Keeper), Elroy Smith, Khalil Velasquez, Tyrone Pandy, Ian Gaynair, Trevor Lennen, Evral Trapp, Michael Atkinson, Makonnan Clare, Denmark Casey, Jordy Polanco, Luis Torres, Delone Torres, Devon Makin, Andres Makin J., Nana Mensah, Elroy Kuylen, Gilroy Thurton, Daniel Jimenez, Jarret Davis, Deon McCaulay and Michael Salazar.

    Belize Athletics Association to hold General Assembly
    The Belize Athletics Association will be holding its Annual General Assembly at Edward P. Yorke High School on Princess Margaret Drive on January 28, 2017 at 10:00 am. The BAA informs that it will be holding an election for the following positions on the executive: Treasurer and Public Relations Officer. All members are reminded that their annual due of $20.00 is due at the AGM and they must bring along a photo identification card. The closing date for all nominations, proposed motions or other items of business is the 14th January, 2017 and is to be submitted to Mrs. Liesje Chung, Secretary, at 1440 Coney Drive, Belize City, or by email to belizeathleticsassociation@gmail.com.

    Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition opens
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football competition for school year 2016-2017 opened on Monday January 9, 2017, at the MCC Grounds with two games on the schedule. The schools that are participating in the female competition include Gwen Lizarraga High School, Maud Williams High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Pallotti High School and Wesley College. Meanwhile, in the male division the schools competing are Belize High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, St. John’s College, Sadie Vernon Technical High School, Anglican Cathedral College, Excelsior High School, and Edward P. Yorke High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School and Wesley College. On Monday 9 January, 2016, in the first game played in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Charlize Hunter.

    Belize to compete in the Central American Football Union Copa Centroamericana Tournament
    The Central American Football Union (UNCAF) has made its selection for the group stage for the upcoming 2017 Copa Centroamericana Tournament. Belize, being a part of the seven (7) UNCAF Nations, has been placed in Group A, which includes Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Tournament will be held from 13 – 22 January, 2017 and will be hosted by the Republic of Panama. The top four teams will qualify for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the fifth-place team will advance to a play-off against the fifth-place team from the 2017 Caribbean Cup for the final Gold Cup berth. All matches will be played at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Popular Cayo DJ claims police brutality
    There is a disturbing accusation of police brutality coming out of San Ignacio. Gardel Montejo, also known as DJ Vybz, a popular Disk Jockey (DJ) in Cayo, contacted BBN claiming to be a victim of police brutality by San Ignacio police. Montejo claims that […]

    Body of man found on George Price Highway
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that the body of a man was found this evening around mile 3 on the George Price Highway. The body is believed to be that of an elderly man. Police suspect foul play in this latest incident. At the […]

    Integrity Commission of Belize (finally) established
    The Office of the Integrity Commission of Belize has issued a press release informing that that in accordance with Section 5 of the First Schedule of the Prevention of Corruption Act, #21 of 2007 that a new Commission has been established under Section […]

    Miss Universe Belize has landed in Philippines
    Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath has arrived in Manila, Philippines, where she will be representing Belize at the 65th edition of the international Miss Universe pageant. Belizeans on social media are showing great support for her, sharing pictures and voting on the Miss Universe […]

    Tourism shines bright in 2016
    Even with Belize’s economy facing incredible odds last year the tourism industry stood more firm than it has in two decades with over one million cruise tourism visitors in 2016. Cruise tourism saw an increase of 4.9% with October boasting the highest or 38% […]

    Belize, promised land for Salvadoran nationals
    An online Salvadoran magazine, Factum, comprised of Salvadoran journalists wrote an article entitled “Belice, la tierra prometida de los desplazados Salvadoreños”; which means: Belize, the promised land of displaced Salvadoran people. The article refers to Belize as being a safe haven and a refuge […]

    GOB says it will not pay for PUP Corruption
    Yesterday the Government of Belize issued a press release in response to statements made by the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) regarding arbitration settlements in US courts. “The Office of the Prime Minister is astounded by the statement made by the People’s United Party […]

    Japan government donates command vehicles to emergency response teams
    The Government of Belize yesterday received three command vehicles donated by the Government of Japan, through their Non-Project Grant for Industrial Products.The three vehicles will be utilized by the Police Department, Belize National Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), as on-site […]

    Fair weather to prevail
    A moist easterly airflow continues to dominate our weather. The 24-hour forecast is for mostly cloudy skies with some occasional showers and periods of light rain mainly over the south and coastal areas. The wind will blow from the east at 10-20 knots with […]

    Butane cost goes up
    Along with the cost of fuel haven risen this month, Liquid Petroleum Gas/ Butane has also increased. According to a statement released from the Belize Bureau of Standards yesterday, the increase is effective today, Wednesday. The cost of butane in Belize is now $97 […]

    International Sourcesizz

    Meet the Miss Universe contestant from Belize that graduated from the University of Houston
    She may be from Belize, but some Houstonians are secretly rooting for her in the Miss Universe pageant because of her close ties to the University of Houston. Miss Belize, AKA Rebecca Rath, is a University of Houston graduate that went on to become a success in elite-level beauty pageants after graduating with a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management. In between her studies, Rath was an avid volleyball player at the University of Houston, but wasn't on the NCAA team at UH, according to team rosters. From the University of Houston, she moved back to Belize to work in her family's quaint hotel and works with the national tourism organizations. Her volleyball skills remain a huge part of her life as she is a volunteer coach at her former high school.

    Belizean bliss at Norwegian's Harvest Caye
    Harvest Caye, a 78-acre island a mile offshore from southern Belize, might be the best in class in the cruise industry's growing portfolio of privately built destinations in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Completed by Norwegian Cruise Line over the course of 31 months, the island has a combination of standout features. To start with, it has a dock big enough to accommodate a megaship such as the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway, the result of dredging more than a million cubic meters of sea bottom to make a channel. Not having to tender to a private port makes everything safer, faster and more convenient for guests. Also, while it feels like an island experience, Harvest Caye is only a 15-minute boat ride from mainland Belize, where available tours include the Mayan archaeological ruins, a tropical spice farm, a savannah ecotour by boat and a rainforest river tubing and rafting excursion. Prices for these experiences top out at $109.

    Insurance Coming For Region’s Fisherfolk
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) said the Caribbean Ocean Assets Sustainability FaciliTy (COAST) insurance scheme will “offer an opportunity for countries to buy insurance to help protect their fisheries sector, and hence their food security, from severe weather while promoting resilience to a changing climate and encouraging the conservation of marine environments.” According to Julia Duncan, who serves in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Food Security, COAST will provide 180,000 fisherfolk and associated industries in the Caribbean access to insurance for losses from severe weather. She said Jamaica has already expressed interest in COAST, which is also supported in principle by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Ministerial group, and the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO), in addition to the CRFM. The COAST initiative is being implemented within the context of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP), which provides a useful framework for considering the requirements for country-led, climate-smart food security strategies in the fisheries sector.

    Belizean community in Cayman helps save a countryman’s life
    A Belizean bus driver with a near-fatal heart condition received a second lease on life thanks to cross-border fundraising efforts that brought him to Health City Cayman Islands just hours before he suffered a massive heart attack. Tyron Coleman, 44, had hit a road block in Belize, where doctors told him they could not treat his severe and life-threatening chest pain. “We were waiting until the doctor took the angiogram to give us an answer if he can do it. He called my wife and told my wife that he can’t work on me and nobody can work on me, that I am so delicate that if they ever go in and touch me, that’s it,” Mr. Coleman told Health City Cayman Islands. The bleak prognosis spurred to action Mr. Coleman’s family and sister-in-law Dorla Williams. After a consultation in Chetumal, Mexico, led to the suggestion of flying Mr. Coleman to Cayman, his family launched a desperate fundraising effort to save his life.

    Caribbean Sports In Brief
    Here are some of the major stories making headlines in Caribbean sports scene this week:

    Videos

  • 4, min. Our school trip to Belize, the summer of 2016!

  • Belize 2016-17, 7min. December 28, 2016 - January 5, 2017 Family vacation to Belize!

  • Ocean Belize/ Coalition Members - Multi Beam Testing Consultations, 32min.

  • Belize Family Life Association - Mobile Clinic Rollout, 35min.

  • Career Planning / UWI, 31min.

  • Roadtrip Mexico, Belize och Guatemala so far, 4.5min. En valdigt proffsig video med klipp fran var resa genom Mexico, Belize och Guatemala.

  • Belizean Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, 3min. YLAI participant Heidi Castillo and her Virginia host share fudge recipes and entrepreneurship tips! 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.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN JANUARY 12, 2017, 27min.

  • Belizean Women's Art Collective Radical Video, min. The BWAC had their Radical exhibit launch at the Image Factory Gallery. Daniel Velazquez was there to document the historic event. Many of the collective are from Cayo.

  • Belize Mission Trip 2016 - John Knox, 9min.

  • Caribbean Christmas Cruise 2016, 9min. West Caribbean cruise! Roatan, Belize, and costa maya!

  • Belize Assumes Chair of the Permanent Council - January 12, 2017, 1min.

  • LIDANABAN CULTURE GRUPE PERFORMS @ MISS BELIZE UNIVERSE, 18min.

  • Rainforest of Belize, 3min.

  • Skydive Belize, 8min.

  • Walking Around San Pedro, Belize (1/3) December 2016, 13min.

  • Belize Banana - Community Impact, 6.5min. Agriculture and the Belize banana industry are interdependent on the other, matching both the health of the economy, peoples’ livelihood and the nutritional needs of its people. This video shares the industry impact on the local community

  • The Banana Process - Belize Bananas, 2min. The Banana Process & what sets us apart!

  • Belize Bananas - Belize Growers Association - What we do, 2min. Belize Growers Association - What we do.

  • Belize Bananas - Belize Grower's Association - Introduction, 2.5min.

  • Belize dolphin, 1min.

  • Flashback to Belize, 10min.

    January 12, 2017


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Belize Continues its Record Breaking Trend in Tourism
    The Highest Overnight Arrivals in 20 Years The year 2016 culminated with another significant achievement for the tourism industry, boasting the highest overnight arrivals in twenty years. 2016 has proven to be the most successful year for Belize’s overnight tourism sector. With an overall increase of 13% in comparison to 2015, this translates to 44,422 additional visitors enjoying the beauty of our Jewel; the largest increase reflected in the past 20 years. As depicted in the graph below, the growth in the industry continues. Cruise Passenger Arrivals exceeded 1 million for the first time Cruise tourism also reflected growth with a 4.9% increase in arrivals in comparison to 2015.

    Osmany Salas elected as the 13th Senator of Belize
    After Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow signed the commencement order for the 13th senator in October 2016, the appointment became a reality on Wednesday, January 10th. Making Belizean history, Osmany Salas, the national President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), was officially elected by the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) sector to become the 13th Senator. Prior to the voting process, the six nominees had to meet specific requirements before being formally nominated on January 3rd. Besides Salas, the other five candidates included: Pablo Collado of “Adopt a Child with a Disability”, Oceana Vice President Janelle Chanona, Edilberto Romero of Bacongo, Donovan Reneau of the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, and Executive Director of the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association Valdemar Andrade.

    New Transport Board appointed for Caye Caulker
    A new Traffic Control Committee was appointed in Caye Caulker Village on Monday, January 9th. Attending an inauguration ceremony held at the Caye Caulker Village Council office, was Minister of Transports and National Emergency Management, Honourable Edmond Castro, who appointed the five member committee. The new traffic control committee will be responsible for authorizing approvals of all vehicle licenses on the island. As a result they will monitor the importation of vehicles (golf carts) to the island in an attempt to address traffic issues.

    Massive protests in Mexico after increase in fuel prices
    Belizeans will feel the effects of the recent rise in fuel prices introduced by the Mexican government on Sunday, January 1st. Belizean bus companies who had been relying on the cheaper fuel prices across the border at the Mexican city of Chetumal, will no longer enjoy such commodity. Residents from the Belizean northern districts believe that prices in transportation and cost of basic goods might see an increase due to the Mexican fuel crisis. The massive unrest on the Mexican side saw protesters blocking roads and looting several stores in various cities across that country. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government explained that the price deregulation had long been on the table, and it coincided with the rise in world oil prices. The 20% average increase in fuel caused a chaotic situation in Chetumal, the capital of the Mexican State of Quintana Roo, where popular establishments such as Walmart, Chedraui, Plaza de las Americas, and Aurora Bodega were looted.

    Sagebrush Church and Believers World Outreach team up for Celebration Week
    During the Christmas holidays, Sagebrush Church partnered up with Believers World Outreach (BWO) from Los Angeles, California USA to host a ‘Celebration Week’. With help from Sagebrush and over 60 BWO volunteers across the United States and Canada, the team dedicated themselves to serve the island youth. Many activities took place throughout ‘Celebration Week’, including free optical clinics, eye glasses, haircuts, and manicures. They also hosted a children’s sports outreach, while other children participated in arts and crafts, dancing, games, and even watched the movie “Zootopia”. In the spirit of the season, Sagebrush celebrated its first ever Christmas Carnival on December 23rd. The carnival featured plenty of games, life-size cartoon characters and Christmas floats to entertain children and their families. Pastor Todd Cook then delivered an inspiring message of God’s love for humanity. He shared the message that God loves all of humanity, regardless of race, creed, age, status, gender or sins. With live bands playing praise, worship and Christmas carols, treats were given out to attendants. The fun carnival lasted until 10PM.

    Ambergris Today

    The Bucket Lust Party Goers Invade Belize to Celebrate New Year
    They are a hedonistic group in search for the next party in exotic locations around the globe. If you were out and about during the New Year’s celebrations on Ambergris Caye, you definitely noticed the large group of party animals that invaded the island. They travel to destinations and party on yachts and that is how this wild bunch ended up in Belize. Through the travel company The Bucket Lust, these extreme party goers made it to the country, to experience an eight-day itinerary of intense partying and debauchery. If you were wondering why there were so many yachts and catamarans at Amigos del Mar Dive Shop during the New Year weekend, it was this gang of party people who were enjoying two days of non-stop partying in La Isla Bonita. The group was hard to miss; they were a happy, loud and eccentric bunch. They were standing on bars, dressed up in wild costumes and painted the town red with excitement. The Bucket Lust describe themselves as a global community of explorers and ‘party unicorns’ looking to crowd-fund the ultimate weeklong experiences in the most epic locations on the plant. Indeed they found ‘EPIC’ in Belize.

    History for Belize as Osmani Salas Elected 13th Senator
    President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Osmani Salas, was elected as Belize’s new 13th senator by the NGO community on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Twenty-three NGO’s participated in the voting process, that was held at the Belize Audubon Society office in Belize City. There were two rounds of voting; the first having six candidates that included Osmani Salas, Janelle Chanona, Edilberto Romero, Pablo Collado, Donovan Reneau and Valdemar Andrade as nominees for the seat in the Upper House of Parliament. The second voting carried the top two - Osmani and Edilberto.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Bucket Lust comes to Belize
    The world's 1st crowdfunded yachting event, Belize's largest sailing flotilla ever, 18 luxury sailing yachts, 200 amazing people from all around the world, the greatest team of skippers ever assembled (at least half are solid 7s or higher and 4 are ginger!), backed by Budgy Smuggler and Ultimate Ears, 9 theme parties over 8 days including 2 private islands, and 1 really dumb name!

    Government of Belize will not Pay for PUP Corruption
    The Office of the Prime Minister is astounded by the statement made by the People’s United Party (PUP) on the denial by the United States Supreme Court of the Government of Belize's petition for a review of lower court judgments in three cases. The cases upheld arbitration awards against Belize procured by NEWCO, Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL) and BCB Holdings Limited. BSDL and BCB are Ashcroft companies, and the arbitration awards they received were for the PUP Accommodation Agreement given to BSDL, and the PUP Settlement Deed given to BCB. Those awards are unenforceable in Belize since its highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), has ruled that the PUP agreements on which they are based are scandalous, outrageous and utterly illegal. NEWCO is a company to which the PUP Government gave the contract to manage the Philip Goldson International Airport. The PUP then shafted NEWCO and took away the contract to give it instead to Musas, Courtenays and others of their friends and families.

    The Police Department hosts annual meeting with local media
    The Police Department is hosting its annual lunch meeting with members of the local media. The purpose of the meeting is to iron out issues on crime and violence as that relates to media coverage. Minister of Police Elodio Aragon Jr is joined by CEO Lovell, Com Pol Allen Whylie and Regional Commanders ACP Edward Broaster, ACP Chester Williams and ACP Dezerie Phillips.

    Have You Seen Ideline Romero?
    The Orange Walk Police are reporting that 13-year-old Ideline Adelia Romero has been reported missing since Tuesday, January 10th, 2017. She was last seen in the morning at about 7:25 AM when she left her home heading to the School that she attends, namely La Inmaculada School. Ideline is described to be of a dark brown skin complexion, weighs about 105 pounds, is 4½ feet tall and has black curly hair. She was last seen wearing her La Inmaculada School Uniform which is a blue skirt and white blouse along with a brown colored sweater, blue socks, grey tennis and a school bag with floral designs on it. If you see Ideline Romero you are asked to call your local authorities.

    Freedom Avenue at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone is getting resurfaced
    Freedom Avenue at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone is getting resurfaced after demitted CEO, Raul Rosado of the CCFZ announced in October of last year that it was investing two million dollars in infrastructure. What is clear when we asked this morning, is that 100 percent of the company, equipment, personnel and even the materials used are from Chetumal, Mexico. We feel that with the current financial crisis and unemployment at the Corozal Free Zone and Belize as a whole for that matter, that it was only right, proper and appropriate that this project should have been given to Belizeans. We are not criticizing the quality of work of the Mexicans either. Mind you, we are also not saying that the streets do not need upgrading. They do, but we are also wondering first, where is the investment plan to stimulate and attract more business to the Corozal Free Zone to prevent it from collapsing. Some serious measures need to be put in place immediately to mitigate its current loss of business and employment. Where is the long term business plan for the future (short and long) of the free zone?

    Social Security Board public consultation meetings
    Social Security Board is hosting public consultation meetings at differnt locations in Belize. The purpose of the Public Consultation is to seek input from stakeholders in improving the financing and benefit structure. At the meeting, you will be able to: 1) Provide your input on concepts specified during the discussions; 2) Gather first-hand information directly from the expert(s) on the performance of the Social Security Scheme. Note from us at CD: For all those paying social security, we advise you all to attend this public consultation.

    JOB FAIR in Orange Walk
    Over 100 vacancies available! Visit out job fair in Orange Walk Town on January 20th, 2017 at Queen Elizabeth Park from 8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. This is an open invitation for everyone interested. Corozal, take advantage of this job fair near you!

    Santander Sugar Group's vacancies.
    Please assist the job fair for more information.

    Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm Sunday, January 15: entire Caye Caulker
    BEL to conduct equipment maintenance and replace conductor and fuse cutouts at Caye Caulker Substation.

    NEBL Kickoff: Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks
    The 2017 NEBL season kicks off this Friday here in Cayo, when the Western Ballaz host the Tiger Sharks.  The match starts at 9:00pm at the Sacred Heart College auditorium.  Find out all the latest Ballaz news on their page.  The NEBL has the 2017 schedule on their page. It's going to be a showdown in San Ignacio this Friday at SHC's Auditorium!  Your home team will be hosting the first game of the 2017 NEBL season.  Share the flyer and invite all your friends and family to come out and cheer on our boys.  This is the place you want to be on Friday!!! Let's go Ballaz..... let's go!!!!"

    The reschedule date of Liquor License general meeting on Caye Caulker, January 17th,2017 at 10:00am.

    Emergency Response Agencies Receive Command Vehicles from the Government of Japan
    The Government of Belize today received three (3) command vehicles donated by the Government of Japan, through their Non-Project Grant for Industrial Products. These three (3) vehicles will be utilized by the Police Department, Belize National Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), as on-site command centres during emergency situations. The Japanese delegation, headed by Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunsuke Takei, arrived on the 9thJanuary, 2017. Vice-Minister Takei met with several ministers of Government including the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber; Minister for Economic Development, Trade, Investment and Commerce Hon. Erwin Contreras; and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Godwin Hulse. During these meetings the Japanese delegation received an update on the state of play of the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute, among other bilateral themes of interest. Minister Takei expressed support for the two parties’ decision to go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Japan is a founding member of the Group of Friends of the Belize-Guatemala Peaceful Resolution Process.

    Children Advisory Body (CAB) of San Pedro elects a new president
    Under the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Children Advisory Body (CAB) of San Pedro has elected a new president, Karissa Vasquez, Form 1 student from San Pedro High School. The members consisting of students of each school, voted in a closed meeting to elect their new president. Karissa now replaces former president Lester Gamez, Form 4 student from San Pedro High School. Karissa is honored that her colleagues chose her as their new president and is ready to work and execute their proposed projects; such as, clean up campaigns and more. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council congratulate Karissa on her election and look forward in working along with Karissa and her colleagues in improving San Pedro Town and Ambergris Caye and continue the work in making our Isla Bonita a Child Friendly community.

    Channel 7

    Maria Marin Testimony Continues With Damning Clues
    Last week, the Senate Hearings on the Immigration Department resumed when the Committee called up the Former Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin. Marin was careful but critical of the culture at the Department in which UDP Minister's of government took great interest in seeing their favoured applicants approved for visas, nationality certificates, and passports. In some instances, persons who they recommended did not qualify, but the persistent politicians in concert with all too willing public officers were able to get those documents approved by the Immigration Department anyway. Well, today, Committee Chairman, Aldo Salazar, asked Marin to go into further detail about this culture of political meddling at the Department, and this time around, she gave some very revealing answers.

    How Will the UDP Solve A Problem Like Maria?
    So, after another 4 hours in the hot seat, Maria Marin is finally done with the Senate inquiry. The Committee reserves the right to call her back for additional testimony. When we approached her for an interview, her attorney, Darrell Bradley said that she is unable to speak at this time. But he did give us his view of her 2 days of testimony: Darrell Bradley - Attorney for Maria Marin: "I want to first of all make the point that Ms. Marin was very adamant that she instituted certain reforms at the department, she recommended certain upgrades and changes including putting together proposals for greater screening, for information technology upgrades. She monitored these things and I think that her testimony both previously and today was very accurate and truthful and she indicated quite adamantly where these was any suggestion that any process be shortcut she was never involved in that and she would have always as a professional and as a person of integrity insisted on all the processed being followed. I think that her testimony both on the last occasion and on this occasion was very forth coming truthful and very substantive and I think that some cases where she had to testify about things which existed she was a bit uncomfortable but honest and I think that is what the senators expect, I think that is the spirit of the investigation inquiry being conducted here."

    GOB Says It Won't Pay BCB, BDSL Awards
    For the past two nights we've been telling you about the massive judgments secured by the Ashcroft Alliance after the United States Supreme Court refused to hear Government's appeal of lower court judgments for BCB Holdings Limited, and Belize Social Development. Combined, the two of them amount to a staggering 50 million US dollars. Last night we publicly questioned whether the Barrow Administration was too shell shocked to respond; well it seems a scathing press release from the PUP rang the alarm in the Prime Minister's office. A smoking hot release issued today from the Prime Minister's Office goes on the political offensive; it is headlined "Government of Belize will not pay for PUP Corruption." Most strikingly, the release states, quote, "while the US courts have upheld the awards, those courts have no authority to overrule the CCJ and certainly the Ashcroft companies can never collect on those awards in Belize. …the Government of Belize under the current administration, refuses to subject the Belizean people to this monstrosity of the PUP's making, and has no intention of paying a penny of these Ashcroft awards." End quote.

    How Will Police Contain Soaring Murder Rate In 2017?
    For the past two weeks we've been reporting the unofficial murder total for 2016 as 137. Well, today, the official numbers were released and police say there were 138 murders. That's a 16% increase and the second highest murder total ever recorded in Belize. The Commissioner broke it down today:.. Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police: "Murders constituted a total of 138 incidents for the year 2016 country wide in comparison to 119 incidents which recorded in the year 2015. This shows an increase of 19 incidents or 15.9%. Analysis for period under review 2016 by region indicates the Belize district recorded the highest with 70 incidents compared to 66 in 2015, an increase of 4 incidents. The second highest district was Cayo with a total of 34 incidents in 2016 compared to incidents in 2015 reflecting an increase of 7 incidents. Of the 138 murders of 2016, 51 cases have been solved to date, 87 cases are currently under investigation; as a result of those cases solve police have arrested and charged 65 person; namely 60 Belizeans, 2 Salvadorans, 1 Honduran, 1 Guyanese and 1 Guatemalan. 81 were by the use of firearms, 40 were by the use of machete or knives, 2 were utilising stones, 2 were utilising a blunt object, 1 was with the use of galvanised pipe and 12 were caused by unknown weapons."

    Police and Media Reach Compromise
    Last week we told you about the unwelcome change in the police –media relations. The media has been doing just fine with the existing arrangement – where the commanders for various formations freely gave us interviews on crimes in their area. But under the new arrangement - they won't be able to speak with us at all anymore, the media will have to forward all questions to public relations officer Raphael Martinez. That unilateral decision unleashed a storm of protest from the media and a letter of protest. And that led to a meeting and luncheon today between the police and the ministry top brass and the media at Old Belize. The idea was to hammer out a workable arrangement which will not fetter the free flow of information. Minister of State Elodio Aragon discussed it:… Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Home Affairs: "Today we call this meeting, I think we have a reunion with the members of the media, this is just to streamline the way police information is passed on to the media in regards to information that is needed by them for their newscast. Today I think we had a good sit-down with the media and their personalities along with the police commanders from Belize City and of course personnel who work in the media office of the police department."

    Alleged Robbers Charged, 16 Year Old Cops Plea to Get Adults Free
    On Monday we told you about a foiled robbery on North Front Street in Belize City. Well those would be robbers appeared in the Magistrate's Court today. Gilroy Thompson, Harry Montero, Dorian Blair, Aaron Flowers, Kenroy Vanzie and a 16 year old minor were all read charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and possession of live ammo without a license. All 5 adults involved pled not guilty to the charges while, the 16 year old minor pled guilty. Magistrate Mendoza then asked to speak to the minor and his father to ensure he knew what he was pleading guilty to. After making sure the minor understood the charges, the Magistrate asked if he was being forced to take the blame for his accomplices, which he denied. After several minutes, the Magistrate was still not convinced and denied his guilty plea. If his plea had been accepted the 5 adults likely would have gone free.

    Hon. Espat's Dance Around The House
    There's a House Meeting on Friday but will PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat be there? Our best information says he won't, but that his a truce has been brokered to end his suspension. 7News has confirmed that Espat along with his party leader John Briceno, and UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan met with the new Speaker of the House Laura Longsworth last week Tuesday to iron out matters. We have confirmed that Espat also wrote a letter of apology – in which he doesn't apologize, but he does vow to respect the Speaker going forward. The letter refers to the August 26th. incident as "unfortunate" and states that he had no intention of disrespecting the chair. It adds that Espat, accepts the authority of the chair and has no intention to undermine that authority. With that, it was agreed that Honourable Finnegan would move a motion at the next sitting to bring him back. But, the timing is the issue. Espat wanted to come back on Friday, but it seems the UDP Majority will only agree to have him come back at the next sitting in late January or early February.

    Japan Donates Trucks For Different Kind of Firefight
    The Government of Japan handed over 3 trucks to the Fire Department today. Now, they aren't fire trucks, they are called command vehicles. They will be deployed for major fires and other disasters like flooding. But don't expect to see any water coming out of them. They are pretty much like offices on wheels. Fire department personnel will be able to better coordinate for quicker response to emergencies. We were there at the ceremony to see just how special these vehicles are. The dancing flames and the thick, blinding smoke – it is a scene all too familiar for many city families as their homes crumbled beneath the blaze. And it's not only houses that were destroyed – lives were lost. Four children were killed in house fires in the last three months of 2016. It is a major struggle for the fire department to respond to all these calls. But with today's donation of 3 fancy trucks, it will improve their operations and respond time.

    Another Expensive New Toy For City Hall
    And also in the fancy new truck business is the Belize City Council. Today, that municipal body received the last of five pieces of heavy equipment under the flood mitigation project. This time it's a new asphalt truck and Councillor Phillip Willoughby showed us how it works. He says it will be helpful in paving the City's streets... Phillip Willoughby - Belize City Councillor: "Well this is one of 5 new equipment that came through the flood mitigation infrastructure project; again gentrac was the contract bidder for procuring the equipment and this is the last one that came into the country and this the city's new asphalt truck, this is the game changer and this will be the equipment that will be impacting the lives or changing, transforming people's lives whereby their streets will be paved by this said equipment right here. So like I said this is the game changer and you could see a positive impact on people's lives once their street has been paved and the city now has that capacity to deal with its own street paving." Alex Courtenay: "Sir you said this will be paving the streets but it will also be paving them in a much faster pace than we've ever seen before correct?"

    Customs Caught Cannabis In Orange Walk Air Cargo
    Orange Walk Customs Personnel today intercepted 2.8 pounds of weed. It had been delivered in a Heineken box as air cargo bound for San Pedro on Tropic Air. Customs got intelligence and picked it up at the tower Hill airstrip before it could take flight for San Pedro. The weed was bundled up in nine saran wrap bundles. The names and numbers on it were fictitious, but Customs is following up leads.

    Jaguars Leave For Panama With Dreams of Gold Cup
    The Belize Jaguars are on their way to Panama tonight to participate in the Copa Centroamericano tournament. The last time Belize's national team went to this tournament in 2014, they finished in last place. Since then, the Football Federation of Belize has elected a new executive, the team has retained a new, veteran European head coach, and a handful of new players have been selected to represent the country. The FFB held a press conference this morning just before the team left for Panama and told us why they are so confident in this new lineup... Belize has been selected as a part of Group A, and will face off against Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. They play their first game against the home team on Friday. 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.

    Jaws, The Trouble Croc Relocated
    Jaws is an American crocodile whose jaw was broken by a machete while he was still a juvenile. Because his jaw healed at an awkward slant he is unable to properly hunt for prey on his own. Because of this, a few San Pedro residents took pity on the croc and have been feeding him for the last few years. Jaws is now an adult, has completely lost his fear of humans, and he’s a big old boy, making him a great threat to the humans who live near him. So, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary stepped in a relocated the Jaws to a new home made especially for him in Sandhill. ACES' founder, Vince Rose, about how Jaws' story can serve as a lesson of what not to do when a crocodile lives near you...

    Tourism Soared To Record High in 2016
    The BTB says that 2016 was the best year ever for tourism; it recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals in 20 years. The numbers show a total of 385,583 overnight arrivals, a 13% increase from 2015 translating into 45 thousand more visitors. As we reported, there was one month that showed a decline, which was 1.3% in November, and December showed a slowdown in the overall growth trend with an only 1.5% increase in arrivals. So while the year ended on an iffy note, overnight arrivals were up sharply in the first 10 months of the year, going up as much as 27% in September. Cruise tourism also showed growth with a 4.9% increase in arrivals in 2016. And another record was broken because for the first time cruise passenger arrivals exceeded one million visitors. Of course, tour operators on the ground say the industry is faring worse than ever for locals, but the BTB boasts that the month of October showed a 38% increase in cruise arrivals.

    Bought A Car From A Facebook Friend
    22 year-old Jordan Morey is out on bail tonight for another charge of obtaining property by deception. The victim who he allegedly conned is Ashton Jones, who reported to police that on November 29, 2016, he was having a Facebook conversation with someone who didn't know personally, but who introduced himself as "Jay Jay". Jones says that this man told him that he has a 2005 Ford Escape SUV for sale for $3,500. Jones reported that on January 4, he met with this "Jay Jay" and paid the man $2,700 up front, and they agreed that he would pay the $800 balance in instalments. The problem is that he never delivered this vehicle, and when Jones started investigating, this man later identified as Jordan Morey, was using an assumed identity, and he didn't have this vehicle to sell. He told police that he has heard of other complaints of Morey that are of a similar nature, so he wanted court action.

    Channel 5

    Senate Hearings Resume; Maria Marin Denies Contact with Kim File
    Former deputy – and at one point acting – director of the Immigration Department, Maria Marin, was back on the hot seat for the Senate Special Select Committee’s fourth public [...]

    Marin Says Officers Knew Files from Ministers Must Be Completed and Applicants Appear in Person
    An example of alleged Ministerial overreach in the Department was pointed out by the officer in charge of Nationality, Gordon Wade. In the Audit Report he criticized Maria Marin for [...]

    Ex-Immigration Chief Says it’s Time to “Walk the Talk”
    Accompanying each section of the Immigration Audit Report is a list of recommendations from the auditors. While quite a few have been mentioned before, the political wherewithal to follow through [...]

    A Culture of Independence Permeated Immigration, Says Former Director
    A key question that the Senate Special Senate Committee on Immigration is seeking to answer is: despite all the protocols and manuals and meetings and reminders that officers in major [...]

    Julius Espat Apologizes, Paves Way for Return to House
    News Five has learnt that at Friday’s‘ sitting of the House of Representatives,  party whip and Area Rep for Mesopotamia, Michael Finnegan, will be presenting a motion for the return [...]

    B.T.V. to Hit National Assembly on Friday in Protest of Referendum Act Amendments
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers and their political allies, the Belize Progressive Party, sent out separate releases condemning Government’s efforts to pass an amendment to the Referendum Act, proposing to reduce [...]

    2016 Most Murderous Year Since 2012 as Murders Dominate Crime Statistics
    An official breakdown of the 2016 crime statistics was provided by the top brass of the police today. As we have reported, murders are up by nineteen when compared to [...]

    Government Swears It Will Not Pay “Ashcroft Awards”
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the cases of the Government against Belize Social Development Limited, Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (formerly BCB Holdings Limited) and Newco Limited, [...]

    Meet the Jaguars – They’re Off to Panama!
    The national team departed Belize today for Panama with hopes running high as they embark on the first round of competition in regional games that lead to the Gold Cup. [...]

    F.F.B. to Find Money to Promote National Side
    But where is the F.F.B. financially? The team is sporting new jerseys, a new coach and international players are now in the mix. President Marlon Kuylen says that the intent [...]

    Guats Spread Gill Nets in Belizean Waters Down South
    Wil Maheia, the leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, continues to keep close watch on illegal activity at and near the mouth of the Sarstoon River, half of which is [...]

    Police Take New Tack in Media Relationship
    The relationship between the Belize Police Department and the local media has, for the most part, been a mutually beneficial arrangement.  We have been able to provide you, our viewers, [...]

    Department to Roll Out New Strategic Plan
    Firearm offences remain on the rise, as handguns are the weapons of choice for criminals committing various felonies.  The proliferation of guns in the streets of Belize City has caused [...]

    Police Department Worried About MS-13 Jailbreak
    While the department tries to get a handle on the domestic gang infestation, another problem seems to be looming overhead.  That is the influx of gang members from neighboring Central [...]

    A Donation for the Fire Service
    Belize was gifted three command vehicles by the Japanese Government. The official handing over ceremony took place in the City where Minister of NEMO Edmond Castro accepted on behalf of [...]

    Tourism Arrivals – Upward and Onward
    The B.T.B. says that tourism arrivals for 2016 went way up – the highest it has been in twenty years. In release issued today, the B.T.B. says that 2016 has [...]

    “Jaws” Makes the Move from San Pedro to Sandhill
    Jaws caused a spectacle today at the Quality Poultry Products compound on North Front Street in Belize City. The eight-foot croc was transferred from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in [...]

    CTV3

    Maria Marin Returns To Testify To Senate Select Committee
    Former Director of Immigration Maria Marin returned to testify before the Senate Select Committee today, as the Senate-appointed group continued its investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing cited in the Auditor General’s special audit report. At the last hearing, Marin confirmed the report’s findings that there were irregularities at the Department. Today she offered a deeper diagnosis, speaking openly about some of the things which she saw taking place in her Department but which she disapproved of. Aldo Salazar, Committee Chairman: “I want you to address what you perceived as the culture at the time when you came to lay the department?” Maria Marin – Former director of Immigration: “When I came to the department as the Deputy Director, I was aware of cases where we would have people coming in to the department to like what was referred to as agents, who would come in and bring in application forms, we would have cases where as the Deputy Director holding over for the then Director, when they went on leave or were out of office for some reason...”

    La Inmaculada Student Still Missing
    Tonight Orange Walk Police and the mother of thirteen year old student Ideline Adelia Romero have launched an intensive search for her after she went missing yesterday morning. According to official police reports, Romero left from home to attend classes at the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic School sometime after 7:25 a.m. and has not been seen since. She was last seen wearing her school uniform along with a brown sweater, blue socks, grey footwear and a floral design backpack. Romero is of dark brown complexion, has narrow face, curly black hair, and thick eyebrows. She weighs one hundred five pounds and is about four and a half feet tall.

    GOB Say They Won't Pay A Cent To Ashcroft Alliance
    Two days ago the Government of Belize faced a major litigation loss after the United States Supreme Court was reluctant to entertain the petitions of GOB regarding the review of two judgments made against them by two Ashcroft Alliance companies….the Belize Social Development Limited and the BCB Holdings Limited. This out rightly means that GOB must make payments to these companies in the sum of close to fifty million US dollars together with interest. Following the report made by the US Supreme Court, the People’s United Party issued a release indicating that due to the Barrow Administration’s ‘incompetent and delusional decision-making’, Belizeans will be directly affected once more as they will be compelled to contribute to the debt in the sum of $117 million US Dollars through the payment of taxes. And while the release goes on to say that failure to make payment within a period of 60 days may result in the entire Superbond debt to become payable in full, the PUP is calling on the Prime Minister and the UDP Government to clarify a number of matters to the Belizean people including what new taxes will be introduced, how the payment of these judgments will affect our already depleted foreign reserves and how many jobs will be cut from the public sector.

    Bond Holder Committee Recognize For Restructuring Superbond
    The trustee of Belize's superbond has officially recognized a bondholder committee to hold talks with the government on the country's third restructuring in a decade, according to an online report on Reuters. Funds including Greylock Capital Management and Grantham Mayo van Otterloo joined forces to form the committee, which was assembled last month to represent bondholders. Now trustee Bank of New York Mellon has formally approved the committee to negotiate with Belize, which says that its US$530m bond, issued in 2013, is unsustainable. The bond, which comes due in 2038, came out of the restructuring of a previous note that itself was the consolidation of other debt in a 2007 restructuring. In a memorandum to BNY made public this week, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight said Belize intends to "imminently" seek the consent of bondholders to amend the terms of the notes.

    Productive Sector In Critical State Says Area Representative
    We are at the start of a New Year but one thing that we were unable to leave in the old year is the current economic state of our country. There is no doubt that our country is facing a recession even the Prime Minister has accepted this fact. What is worse though, is that there is no silver lining in sight. Today PUP Representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Aberlardo Mai appeared on our morning show, Despierta Belice, to speak of the general economic state of affairs of our country but particularly looking at the productive sector which is currently in an inevitable downward spiral. Expressing grave concern for our tropical paradise, Mai explained how twenty sixteen is going down in history as the worst year for the productive sector, which includes, grains and vegetable production, forestry, fisheries, cattle and poultry production and even tourism.

    LOVE FM

    Government Says M$50 USD Arbitration Award Will Remain Unpaid
    Earlier this week we told you of the decision by the US Court of Appeal to reinforce the fifty million US dollar arbitration award to the Belize Social Development Limited and the BCB Holdings. When we spoke with Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay who represents some of the interests in the Ashcroft Group of Companies, we […]

    Opposition Party Reverses Blame at the Barrow Administration Over the M$50 USD Award
    Now, we have told you that the Government is outraged at the opposition’s release sent out yesterday where they blamed this recent enforcement of the fifty million US dollar award on the Barrow administration, citing it as a result of the Prime Minister’s arrogance and incompetence. The opposition party has referred to Barrow’s decision making […]

    PUP Questions Government’s Commitment to a 13th Senator
    Tuesday, January 10, 2017 saw the historical election held among the non-governmental organizations as they sought to choose their representative in the Senate. The election of the 13th Senator went smoothly and it is expected that he will be sworn in on January 20, 2017. The main opposition party, PUP issued a statement on the […]

    Senate Inquiry Continues with Questions at Immigration Director
    The Senate Special Select Committee continued its probing into the findings of the auditor general special report on the Immigration and Nationality Department for the period 2011- 2013.Former acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin was questioned for the second time. Marin had been the acting Director of Immigration from February 2013 to April 2016 and […]

    2016 Recorded 19 More Murders than 2015
    Today Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie presented the crimes statistics for 2016. Commissioner Whylie said there were a total of two thousand, one hundred and thirty seven major crimes for the year; this represents a decrease of seventy nine or three point six percent compared to 2015. ALLEN WHYLIE “Murders constituted a total of 138 […]

    Media and Police Meet to Iron Out Concerns Regarding New PR Police Policy
    Last Friday the media was informed that the Police Department would be changing their rules of engagement as it relates to the flow of information. A letter was sent to the Commissioner of Police requesting clarification. Today representatives of the media met with Minister of State with responsibility for the Police, Elodio Aragon Junior, CEO […]

    Japanese Government Donates Command Centre Vehicles
    The Vice Minister for Japan was in Belize for the last two days and is preparing to depart after holding several meetings with some Government officials and handing over three new vehicles to the National Fire Service, the National Emergency Management Organization and the Belize Police Department. His Excellency Shunsuke Takei did the official handing […]

    American National Dies in Freak Accident in Western Belize
    Love News has received word that a 64-year-old American woman from Memphis, Tennessee died this afternoon as a result of a freak accident. According to reports, the woman had gone swimming at Jaguar Paw. She reportedly slipped inside one of the bathrooms and got injured. She was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital but died […]

    Record Breaking Trend Continues in Belize Tourism
    According to the Belize Tourism Board, Belize continues its record breaking trend in tourism. Statistics shows that 2016 recorded the highest overnight arrivals in more than twenty years making 2016 the most successful year for Belize’s overnight tourism sector. Compared to 2015, 2016 saw an increase of forty four thousand, four hundred and twenty two […]

    Belize Jaguars Head to Panama for UNCAF Copa Centroamericana
    Twenty three football players making up the Belize Team left the country this morning for Panama where they will be engaging in five football matches against Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The team led by their imported coach and Acting President, Marlon Kuylen held a brief press conference this morning in the […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Weed found on boat in Belize city
    According to police reports, on Wednesday January 4, at 11:03 p.m. police conducted a search on a boat which was docked in the canal on Mahogany Street, Belize City which led to the discovery of a plastic bag containing 440 grams of cannabis. No […]

    Three men charged for drug trafficking
    On Monday around 2:30 a.m., police conducted a search at the residence of 20-year-old Tareek Smith on Raccoon Street Extension, Belize City which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag in one of the rooms, which contained 1,090 grams of Cannabis. Also […]

    PUP blasts GOB for financial and economic woes
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has issued a release regarding the recent US Supreme Court ruling against the Government of Belize. “Arising from litigation caused by Barrow’s and this UDP government’s incompetent and delusional decision making, Belizean taxpayers will now be forced to make good […]

    PUP congratulates 13th Senator
    Yesterday the People’s United Party issued a press release congratulating the 13th Senator. “Based on past experience, we are forced to note that Mr. Salas’ election is just one stage in a long-delayed appointment. It is now the Government’s responsibility, as committed, to accept […]

    Blogs

    Yogi
    Yogi is a tough little dude. He growled when I took his picture! Some of us just don’t prefer to be in the limelight. Sorry Yogi! You were too cute and I had to do it! I tried to capture his adorable overbite but he kept hiding it when I held up the camera.

    Stop the Insanity
    The 25 people that braved the downpour for Monday Night’s meeting at the Lions Den all agreed – the Government needs to recognize and appreciate the Unique Beauty that is Belize.There is not another place like this and the vote was unanimous, it is time for the whole country to care about our future and sustainable tourism. Oceana shed some light on the subject in combination with an open forum. It comes down to inadequate consultation of the public and not listening to what the people really want in regards to a most important topic – surveying and drilling Belize oil. To be fair I have created a pros and cons list for drilling Belize Oil. But seriously, if carried out, there will be no benefit; not one, especially for future generations as well as those of us who are invested and care right now. If animals could talk they would say the same and add their 2 cents. I know a point they would make more mention of – noise pollution being a detriment to their health and well being. I have always felt strongly that we should be most recognized for my long time rated Best Belize Oil; coconut oil – aptly named Glorious Belize. We need to nurture our environment not pillage and torment it. It is crucial to preserve our marine heritage in a fast paced modern day world. We need to keep our country unique and prosperous with strong environmental cultivation and protection that includes traditional livelihoods and history.

    Thinking of moving to Placencia, Belize? 13 ways living here will change the way you think!!
    It is hard to remember how things change in the way you think, after a few years here...but here are 13 ways that I guarantee you will change if you stick around! 1.) Continuously lowering your expectations about what hair products (and makeup, etc) you'll be OK with using.--unless you are going back to the US a lot, you have to be ok with whatever stock is here. I have been unable to buy hairspray for a couple weeks at a time, and while in the US my preferred brand is certainly not V05 or Suave, I am happy to have it here! (because it is only a few bucks, the occasional random good stuff is 10x the US price!) 2.) Although you lose the materialism mentality in the US, the scarcity mentality will hit you hard....--when you DO find a beloved import product in the stores, you will find yourself buying all the things, because you may never see it again. 3.) Finding yourself saying - "Its just a cockroach.... It's just some termites.... Scorpion stings/tarantula bites don't actually kill you....Oh the bees here are all Africanized bees? Sweet."

    Celebrating the New Year with a Full Moon in Belize – Belize Wedding Photography
    It’s a new year and we have so many things to celebrate. We had to look up synonyms for the word ‘epic’ just to describe how unbelievable the last year has been for us as wedding photographers in Belize. Not only did we have the most fabulous, fun and fantastic weddings, but we hit over 100,000 views on this blog. The fact that people love our work and trust us to record some of the most important events in their lives is not something we take lightly. The fact that thousands of people love our work enough to read our blog is not something we take lightly either and so we are going to start off this year as we intend to go on. So, sit back and get ready for a blog that’s going to make you smile, blush, laugh and possibly become green with envy. Enjoy!

    Love Across Nations – Belize Wedding Photography
    There’s no doubt that Belize is probably one of the most understandably desirable destination wedding locations in the world. This means that we get couples from across the globe traveling to this jewel of a country to celebrate one of the most special and important days of their lives. In this case, Belize wasn’t just a ‘destination’ for our groom – it was home. For the glamorous bride, all the way from Poland, it was the opportunity to learn more about her gorgeous groom and his heritage. As one of our favourite events this year, filled with love, laughter, spontaneity, beauty and joy, we thought it was a perfect wedding to share with you as we round off 2016.

    Belize to be one of 2017's biggest travel trends says MSN Lifestyle
    An article published by the MSN Lifestyle website highlighted the many attractions "off the beaten path" in Belize as part of their Travel Trends for 2017 series. The MSN Lifestyle article featured several popular tourist attractions in Belize, including the active archeological excavation at Xunantunich, an ancient Maya site and the Belize Zoo, an educational rescue center housing hundreds of indigenous species like jaguars, margays and Harpy Eagles. The MSN Lifestyle article also described the famous Great Blue Hole, a circular submarine sinkhole located on the 130 km-long Belize Barrier Reef. Measuring more than 300 meters (984 feet) in diameter, the Great Blue Hole was rated by French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau as one of his top 10 scuba diving sites in the world.

    DISCOVER BELIZE AND YOU’LL CROSS COSTA RICA OFF YOUR TRAVEL LIST!
    If you’re all about travel trends, you probably know that Costa Rica is ancient history. The country continues to invest millions to lure tourists to their shores, but like the Wizard hiding behind the Oz spectacle, things aren’t as rosy as they seem. You crave tropical Caribbean splendor that outshines, out-enchants and out-does anything Costa Rica has to offer—and at prices that are downright affordable. Sound too good to be true? Learn why thousands of travelers opt for Belize these days. 1. Eat like royalty. The Belize culinary scene is sensational. Be the first in your crowd to explore international bites not served in Costa Rica where food artistry is limited. Sample Creole, Garifuna, East Indian and Mestizo cuisine offering infinitely more variety than can be found on the Costa Rican food scene. 2. Soothe your inner conservationist. The number of initiatives and laws put into place by Belize government and nonprofit foundations to protect land, sea, wildlife and aquatic life is mind boggling, exceeding efforts put forth by neighboring Costa Rica. Belize takes seriously its responsibility to keep the planet green. Will you find a jaguar sanctuary in Costa Rica? Not if you searched for 100 years. 3. Spend your vacation doing your best sloth imitation rather than arriving drained and exhausted because flight arrangements to Costa Rica did you in. The explosion of tourists choosing Belize over neighbors Costa Rica and Panama reflects a dramatic increase in direct flights by North American carriers that get you to Belize in a few hours.

    International Sourcesizz

    Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize This 2017
    Although Belize is tiny nation in Central America--roughly the size of Massachusetts--this country is blessed with diverse natural ecosystem. The Great Barrier Reef's huge collection of assorted corals and marine life creates a communal respite to any tourist who will visit it. Plus, the Mayan ruins hidden on its lush rainforest will take any traveller back in ancient times. Belize has a rich history and culture. People here are from different ancestors, adding to the diversity of Belize as a country. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit this beautiful place in 2017. The U.S. News and World Report website ranked Belize as #1 Best Affordable Winter Vacations. The same site ranked it both number 8 in Best Places to Visit in Central and South America and Best Affordable Vacations in Central and South America. Find out here how the site ranks vacation destinations.

    Belize Tourism Continues to Boom
    Belize is seeing a continued surge in tourism growth, according to the destinations’ year-end numbers. Belize reported 385,583 overnight tourist arrivals in 2016, a 13 percent increase over 2015, the Belize Tourism Board said in a report. That came after Belize grew by 6.2 percent in 2015 and 9.2 percent in 2014. The 13 percent improvement was the fastest growth of any tourism destination in the Caribbean last year, a total increase of 44,422 visitors year-over-year. “These successes are credited to the vigorous marketing, product development and expansion efforts of the Stakeholders in the industry and, with similar efforts and collaboration continuing into 2017, it is expected to see these increasing trends continue,” the tourism board said in a statement.

    Caribbean And Latin America News Round Up For Thursday Jan. 12, 2017
    Belize has reportedly lost its US$19 million litigation battle with Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL)—an Ashcroft company which was created by the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) while under the control of Brutish billionaire Michael Ashcroft to receive the proceeds of an arbitration award handed down months before the nationalization by the Government of Belize. A report appearing in Law360, based in New York, reported that the US Supreme Court said “that it would not take up Belize’s challenge to enforce a 38 million Belize dollar ($19 million) arbitral award to a telecommunications company.”

    FLY FISHING INTO 2017: ANGLING’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
    2016 is done. Está terminando. It was an interesting year on many fronts—and thankfully we are not going to revisit it anymore. It’s time to move on. And … go fishing. So I did just that on the first day of 2017. My destination was the Gallatin River north of Big Sky, and it did not disappoint. Can I remind you how lucky we are to have this trout stream in our backyard? Can I remind you how vital it is we work to protect it, especially after 2016’s elections? Dang. I promised to move on. Please just don’t get lazy in 2017, in fact get empowered. You can start by agreeing to take action in 2017—and that’s one of the New Year’s fly fishing resolutions. Here’s the list I came up in between fish on New Year’s Day.

    Quit Your Job And Live Abroad: 8 Places So Cheap You Might Not Need To Work
    Have you ever fantasized about quitting your job and moving to a place where it's so cheap that you barely need to work — if at all? "It’s a great idea, and it’s not that far-fetched," says Kathleen Peddicord, who has turned this fantasy into a business. As founder of the company Live and Invest Overseas, Peddicord advises global nomads on where to move in order to live on the cheap. A long-time global nomad herself, Peddicord is originally from Baltimore. She left the U.S. about 20 years ago for a job in Waterford, Ireland, then made a pitstop in Paris before setting her sights on Panama City, where she now lives with her husband and family. Here, Peddicord shares her top picks to live around the world: eight places where expats can get by on next to nothing. "They're beautiful, interesting, welcoming and adventure-rich places that are also single-friendly and uber-affordable," she says. "If you want to leave the troubles and the worries of our age behind, the little Santa Familia village in Cayo, Belize, is calling your name," says Peddicord. "Life in Cayo is back to basics, simple and sweet. You know your neighbors, they know you and you all look out for each other." Peddicord recounts a 60 Minutes segment that Morley Safer did on Belize about 25 years ago. "He sat in a row boat and said 'The news from Belize is that there is no news from Belize.' And it hasn't changed since then. That's the reason Belize is on my list."

    Pound sterling hits a new 31-year low against the dollar
    The pound has tumbled to a new 31-year low against the dollar with the US currency boosted ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's press conference. The pound has tumbled to a new 31-year low against the dollar with the US currency boosted ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's press conference. Jane Foley, head of currency strategy at Rabobank, said that the dollar is rising because the “market is hoping for a bit more meat on the bones” in relation to Mr Trump’s financial policies.

    Videos

  • Meet 12 year old Jaws, 1/2min. He is a crocodile that was captured by ACES back in 2011 on San Pedro. Today, almost six years later, Jaws was brought via Quality Poultry boat to Belize City where he will now being transported to his new home at Rainforest Adventure Tours in Sandhill.

  • National Football Team at departure press conference, 1/2min. The National Football Team is at a departure press conference at the PGIA. The team leaves today for the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Tournament which begins Friday in Panama. New coach Richard Orlowski of Poland and assistant Charlie Slusher selected the national team - a total of 23 players - from a pool of thirty players who showed up for camp. Players who made the team include: Shane Orio, Woodrow West, Elroy Smith, Ian Gaynair, Trevor Lennan, Danny Jimenez, and Deon Mcaulay. New additions include Michael Atkinson and Makonnen Clare. The team also unveiled its new jersey today.

  • Feedin' the baby!, 1min. This was shot last spring. I am very lucky to have a flock of Chachalacas living in my yard.....they are at the feeder every day.

  • Hayley + Luke, 8min. from Island Films at Ramon's Village Resort, Ambergris Caye, Belize

  • Preparing a Business Plan (SBDC Belize), 31min.

  • Wildlife Conservation Society - Commercial Fisher Folks License Program - Mobile Application, 22min.

  • Dance Jonkunu Habinahan Wanaragua 2016 in Dangriga, Belize, 5min.

  • How does it get better than this? From San Pedro, Belize, 4min.

  • Tropic Air Cessna 208B flight Belize City - San Pedro Town, 4.5min.

  • Dispute between PASA, Solid Waste Management Will Not Stop Garbage Disposal, 2min.

  • BSI ASR WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 5, 3.5min.

  • Downtown Rejuvenation Project, 29min.

  • Belize 2013, 3.5min.

  • Caribbean, Christmas 2016, 4min. I had no exams this year so my family and I flew out to Florida for a little bit of sunshine (and golf) before boarding the Caribbean Princess Cruise ship. We explored Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya.

  • Belize Winter Adventure, 5.5 min. Our Belize Winter Adventure San Pedro...Coco Plum... San Ignacio

  • Scuba diving with dolphins in Belize, 1min. Front Porch dive site in Belize. A pod of 20 dolphins came to say hi.

  • Lobster Hunt - Belize 2016, 1min. A short clip from our trip to the Ambergris Caye in Belize. Diving for lobsters with Cliff and Manny from Seakarus.

  • Mike and Jami's Belize Bash, 15min. This video memorializes an amazing week from 12/30/16 to 1/6/17 in Belize to celebrate a some birthdays - friends, rum punch, and scuba diving!

  • Belize - Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 2.5min.

    January 11, 2017


    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, and other specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Caribbean prepares to pilot COAST insurance to protect fisheries sector
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is hosting a working group meeting at the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel from 9 – 10 January 2017, to advance the implementation of a risk insurance facility for fishers in the region. When Fisheries ministers from CRFM Member States met in Cayman in October 2016, they reviewed the progress made towards the activation of the Caribbean Ocean Assets Sustainability Facility (COAST). This week’s working group meeting, which the CRFM is facilitating in collaboration with the US Department of State, will aid in the selection of a representative sample of Caribbean countries in which the initiative will be piloted. The purpose of this week’s meeting is to chart the steps necessary to qualify a pilot country (or pilot countries) to purchase the COAST insurance product from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) before the start of the hurricane season on June 1, 2017.

    Belize City excursion planned to attend GOB’s Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey public consultation
    The Government of Belize recently announced its intent to hold consultations in Belize City on January 18th and 25th on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey in Belizean water. In response, Oceana in Belize, along with Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, hosted a public meeting in San Pedro Town on Monday, January 9th. During the gathering, island residents shared their thoughts on oil exploration, rejecting any intentions by the Government in pursuing that agenda. As a result, for a fee/donation, boats have been arranged to take people to the consultation on Wednesday, January 18th, leaving the San Pedro Municipal dock at 4PM. The general public is asked to participate in this important event that could determine the future of the tourism industry on Ambergris Caye. Boats will also be leaving from Caye Caulker, and according to organizers the intention is to spread awareness to all Belizeans about the dangers of oil exploration in Belizean waters. At the same time, they intend to send a strong message to the Government that when it comes to offshore oil drilling, ‘no means no!’ For more information on the excursion to Belize City next week, contact Ruben Navidad at 610-4012.

    Ambergris Today

    Government Cancels Public Consultations on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey
    As residents of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and other coastal communities set up meetings to plan rallies in the city during the consultations, a surprise press release this afternoon, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, from the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum informed the general public that the consultations on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey, that were scheduled to be held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City on January 18 and 25, 2017, have been cancelled. The Coalition will keep Belizeans updated in latest developments of Government’s interest to resume Multi Beam sea exploration in Belize.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY - Commonwealth Scholarships in low and middle income countries
    Applications are open for Commonwealth Masters Scholarships hosted by universities in 10 different countries, in a wide range of subject areas. Applications are open to citizens of any Commonwealth country including Belize. The application deadline is 10 March 2017. All scholarships are for courses scheduled to begin between August and October 2017, depending on the host country. The scholarships are fully-funded; and come with tuition fees, a regular stipend, a return economy flight and an arrival allowance. A second round of applications for scholarships in countries where the academic year begins in January or February will open in April 2017. These scholarships are majority funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan endowment fund, which is administered by the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

    Jasmine Alert for Anaseily Gonzalez,
    The Jasmine Alert office is asking for the public's help in the recovery of Anaseily Gonzalez, who is believed to have been crossed over to the Mexican side and believed to currently be in Chetumal. Please share with all your contacts including your contacts in Chetumal.

    Join in the Chiquibul Marathon!!!
    The Toyota Chiquibul Expedition is coming up. But for those that prefer to run the Chiquibul – then this is your chance!!! Join in the Chiquibul Marathon!!!

    Visit by students and professors from State University of New York
    We were honored to welcome to the Embassy a group of students and two professors from State University of New York! The students are currently in Belize learning about the country's amazingly rich culture and the ways to revitalize ancient Maya ceramics traditions in a modern Maya community.

    Jorgito's Surgery for Brain Tumor
    The effort of preserving the past for the future falls to many of us, and there are many who give up their own time to help. One such tireless volunteer is Jorge de Leon (Lion), who is not only a brilliant tour guide, but is instrumental in reviving the interest in Maya hieroglyphics particularly among the youth. He is always willing to help, so let us all return the favor by helping a friend who right now needs it the most. Give what you can and share this message to all you know.

    CANCELLATION OF THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY
    The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum hereby informs the general public that the consultations on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey, that were scheduled to be held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City on January 18 and 25, 2017, have been cancelled.

    OPERATIONS CEASE AT SOLID WASTE TRANSFER STATIONS AND LANDFILL
    The municipalities and the general public are hereby informed that the operator of the solid waste transfer stations (San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Burrell Boom, Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker) and the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill has ceased operations effective January 9th, 2017. The Ministry and Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWaMA) assures the municipalities and the general public that they are making every effort to contain the situation, and have therefore designated temporary dumping areas on the transfer station compounds to accommodate the garbage that continues to arrive. This is an interim measure. We take this opportunity to encourage the public to minimize the amount of waste being generated. We kindly ask the users of the transfer stations to cooperate given the circumstances and to dump in the designated areas. The municipalities and the general public at large will be kept abreast of further development.

    LOST Dog, San Pedro: Adorable and super friendly white poodle who goes by the name Pink (also responds to Pinky)
    Last seen in the San Pablo Area. If you see her or know where she could possibly be, please call 602-2339. There will be a reward!

    Splashers!
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Pour me a Sunset Please".

    2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards
    Congratulations Jose Luis Zapata Photography winner of the esteemed 2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® for Wedding Photography Services in Belize!

    Co-ed Softball Tournament 2017
    The San Pedro Town Council initiates the year with its first sports tournament! We bring to you the Co-ed Softball Tournament 2017 to begin on January 29th with a marathon on January 22. Registration of teams is $200. Deadline for Registration is January 24th. SIGN UP NOW! with Kent "Bob" Gabourel at 604-9013, Earl Sutherland at 615-8861 or Tito Alamilla at 623-0772.

    Cornerstone Health Clinic
    The Cornerstone Foundation is working with the Vermont University to bring a health clinic to the Cayo market this Saturday. Thanks, Cornerstone!

    2017 La Ruta Maya
    The 2017 La Ruta Maya starts under the Hawkesworth on March 3rd. "The 2017 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge will be bigger and better. Race begins from the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio on Friday March 3 and ends in Belize City on Monday March 6, 2017."

    The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
    The US Embassy in Belize is requesting proposals

    Channel 7

    Director Dorian Gets A Single Charge For Traffic Fatality
    After 9 months of delays, and a number of controversies in the handling of the case, Dorian Pakeman has been criminally charged for the traffic accident which killed Gardenia Mechanic, Dean Dawson. Pakeman was arraigned today in the Magistrate's Court on the single charge of causing death by careless conduct. That in itself is unusual as usually the charges for a traffic fatality would be manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention… as well as a few others. But, not in this case where the investigation has been riddled with irregularities. And those started to pile up shortly after the accident occurred on the night of March 30, 2015. That's when Pakeman, who is on suspension was the Government's Press Office Director. He was heading home from Orange Walk in his government issued Isuzu D-Max pickup, which knocked down and killed Dean Dawson. Well today, he had to take the perp walk to the court where he was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for his arraignment. He's being represented attorney Bryan Neal.

    Alleged Hit And Run Driver Turns Himself In
    Another traffic accident that police made major headway in is the one which caused the death of the 21 year-old resident, Jamalski Young. Young was on his way to work at the Sky Gas Station on Sunday night around 9:00. He was riding a motorcycle, and when he arrived in front of the Blue House Bar, a vehicle reversed into him, causing him to be flung forward. The motorcycle landed near him, and it exploded into flames, which burnt him to death. The driver of that vehicle fled the scene, but he has since turned himself to police, and he's identified as 35 year-old Guatemalan Eric Salazar, who has been living in Belize for the last 30 years. Police have since charged him with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, failing to stop and render aid, failing to report an accident, and failing to give way a motor vehicle on a major road.

    Senator Salas Will Represent NGO's
    After weeks of buildup, the NGO Community elected its senator today. This will be the 13th Senator - and it's gotten so much attention because this new Senator will have the power to tip the balance of power in the upper house - and we mean tip it against the government majority. So, this 13th Senator ushers in a new era in Belize's parliamentary democracy, but the election itself was not a high point of democracy. That's because of the 140 registered NGO's, only 23 ended up casting a vote for their Senator. That's like having a government but only 15% of the electorate came out to vote for it. And it turned out like that because the other 115 NGO's were deemed not to be in good standing - meaning they hadn't filed all their necessary documents as required by law. So, the small election, which was held in a closed-door session at the Audubon Society, was over in less than an hour. Chair of the Steering Committee Froyla Tzalam outlined the process and the outcome, and welcomed the winner:...

    Garbage Crisis Looming As Mexican Company Quits
    For the last few days the transfer of solid waste in the country has been at a standstill and the garbage is piling up to the sky. That's because the Mexican company responsible for delivering waste from the five transfer stations across the country to the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill just up and quit! That company is called PASA, and they got their contract from the IDB which funded the waste management project. When the project was launched in 2013, the company's representative at the time explained how PASA will work. Here's an excerpt from our story at the time:... FILE: July 30, 2013: The day to day operations will be done by the company called PASA. They will manage the Transfer Station, and they will monitor the informal workers as the garbage is being sorted into the different groups of recyclables and non-recyclables. Ariel Mitchell - Representative, PASA Belize Limited: "The arrangement is that the solid waste management authority, will pay PASA based on tonnage, we will base on every ton of garbage as delivered to the mile 24 facility, is what PASA will be paid on."

    Butane Gwen Up Big!
    The last time we told you about a change in the price of LPG gas, or butane as it is known was back in 2015. At the time the price was pegged at a very low eighty two dollars for a hundred pound cylinder of butane. Well, today the Bureau of Standards sent out the new controlled prices, and it represents an 18% increase. Effective tomorrow, the new price per hundred pound cylinder in the city will be 97 dollars. For BNE butane, the controlled price will be $85.00 per hundred pound cylinder. Previously, there was also a controlled price for LPG imported from Mexico, but the sole importer of that product has sold out to the Central American companies, TOMZA, BWEL and ZETA who now monopolize the supply of LPG imported into Belize.

    Police Have To Put The Brakes On Patrols Due To Gas Quotas
    And while home-makers and restaurant owners will have to deal with that butane price hike, the police have their own gas problems. 7News has received multiple credible reports saying that all those fancy new patrol pickups are routinely parked - especially at the end of month. That's because each pickup has a gas quota, and when the quota is expended - which is usually coming unto the end of the month - the formation or precinct is forced to park the pickups. That's when patrols are cut back - and the - we are told - the pickups then only respond to emergencies. The drivers are urged to drive no more than 18 miles per shift - and if the mileage total exceeds that the drivers have to give an explanation. The quotas are the result of the department trying to contain costs as its vehicle fleet has increased by 27 vehicles.

    GSU Gets Gun and Weed
    On Saturday the GSU conducted a search in an open lot on Banak Street where they found a handgun. The .25 pistol was hidden inside a foam plate and a plastic bag. The GSU later acted on intelligence received and searched another open lot, this time on Tigris Street. There they found a black plastic bag containing just over a pound of weed. No one was in the area where the gun and the cannabis were found, so both were deposited as found property.

    PUP Blasts Government For Latest Ashcroft Alliance Judgment
    Last night we told you about the massive judgments in favour of the Ashcroft Alliance that the Barrow Administration that the Barrow Administration is now liable. This is after the US Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal of two arbitral awards in favour of Belize Social Development Limited and BCB Holdings Limited. According to the NEW YORK law firm which litigated the case for the Ashcroft Alliance, both judgments add up to 50 million US dollars including interest. Government seems so shell-shocked by the development that it still hasn't been able to put out a statement - which would normally be routine. But the PUP has pounced on the news, calling the judgement the product of government's, quote, "incompetent and delusional decision making." The PUP says that it amounts to another $117 MILLION in debt, and, quote, "failure to make payment within 60 days could trigger the entire Superbond debt to become payable in full."

    Police Need Your Help To Find 13 Year Old
    Thirteen year old, Orange Walk Town resident, Ideline Adelia Romero, is missing and police are asking your help to find her. Romero was last seen at around 7:25 this morning when she was leaving for school. She was wearing the La Inmaculada School uniform. If anyone has seen her or has any information about her whereabouts, please go to your nearest police station, call 911 or contact the Orange Walk Police at 322-2022.

    Multibeam Consultations Cancelled
    At the end of December, we told you about the planned public consultations on the controversial marine multibeam and sea seep survey. They were to have taken place in January the 18th and 25th at the Radisson. Well, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum announced quite abruptly today that those have been cancelled. No reason was given, no future dates given. Just cancelled. Story done. But we do know that the government release came three hours after a strongly worded statement from The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. They called on the Ministries of Tourism, Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, and the Belize Tourism Board to publicly declare their position on offshore oil exploration. And the coalition also bashed the planned consultations, saying, quote, "The Coalition expresses great concern over the legitimacy of these "consultations" as it is unclear how public input will be utilized; whether survey ships have already been scheduled to enter Belizean waters and how two meetings in Belize City at night suffices as consultations for an issue of national importance." End quote.

    What Did You Do, Chicky Blue? Pt.2
    Last night, we told you about the story from Ladyville in which well-known basketballer and stevedore Wilfred "Chicky Blue" Nicholas was struck in the head by a cook from the Green Jade Restaurant. It all went down at closing time last week Friday, and Nicholas and the restaurant owners are giving different accounts of what happened. The restaurateurs say that Nicholas was trying to force his way in at closing time, and though they tried to stop him from trespassing, he bullied his way in, and so they had to defend themselves. Nicholas' account is that their attack on him was unprovoked, and that they disrespected him as a long-standing customer. He says that they chopped him in the head with a bladed object. He and his family believes that it was meat cleaver. Well, the Chinese business owners say that they hit him with a baton, to stop him from attacking one of their employees, identified to us as Ken. So, with such a wide divergence in the accounts - where is the truth? Well, it turns out that there is surveillance video which caught most of the stand-off. Tonight we have that for you, including a blow-by-blow account of what happened, so that you can decide. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

    Rakeem Raises Belizean Interest in NFL
    If you're a fan of American Football and the NFL, then you'll know that the Kansas City Chiefs made the playoffs this year. They face the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Sunday in the AFC divisional playoff. The Chiefs are the number two seed and stand a fair chance of going to the Superbowl. Now, if you're not an NFL fan, you're probably wondering why we're feeding you all this gibberish. Well, it's because of Rakeem Nunez-Roches, the Belizean born Kansas City Defensive Tackle, who's become a fixture in KC's defensive rotation. He's the first born Belizean to play in the NFL and he was featured on his team's website. Here's what he told them about his Belizean background, and his winning spirit.

    Channel 5

    U.S. Supreme Court Shuts Down Final Attempt to Avoid Arbitration Awards
    The Government of Belize is on the hook for approximately one hundred and twenty million dollars after the United States Supreme Court today declined to hear the petitions for review [...]

    Belize Moving Closer to Superbond 3.0?
    Government will have to find a hundred and twenty million dollars even as Superbond renegotiations take place. But is Belize closer to obtaining debt relief from the Belize 2038 Bonds, [...]

    Alexander Palacio Murdered in Punta Gorda
    Weeks ago, Alexander Palacio was released from prison on parole for a manslaughter conviction. But his life was taken over the weekend in Punta Gorda where he was seeking refuge [...]

    Police Stop Major Robbery Attempt at Northern Fishermen
    Six persons are in detention this evening after police stopped an armed robbery in progress at the Northern Fisherman’s Cooperative’s offices on North Front Street in Belize City this afternoon. [...]

    Why Did Chinese Restaurant Owner Chop “Chickie Blue”?
    A well-known foreman at the Port of Belize escaped death after he was chopped twice to the head on Friday night. In Ladyville, the Nicholas family was having an annual [...]

    Family Wonders Why Owner is Now Pressing Charges
    Police came out to the scene within minutes because the incident occurred just around the corner from the Ladyville Police Station. An injured Nicholas and his wife were escorted to [...]

    Schools Re-Open for Real; Teachers Will Say How They Want to Make Up Classes
    “Free paper bun” for thousands of students countrywide on this Monday, after schools formally re-opened following a three-week holiday break. The Ministry of Education, with support from managers of schools, [...]

    Jamalski Young’s Horrific Death; Burns to Death after Explosive Traffic Collision
    A Ladyville man lost his life in an accident in Ladyville village on Sunday night. He was heading to work when it is alleged that a vehicle was reversing on [...]

    Passengers Injured When Cement Truck Hits Bus Accidentally
    There was another accident, but fortunately there were no fatalities. It occurred at mile ten on the George Price Highway, and while no one perished, several persons suffered various degrees [...]

    Couple Robbed at home in Ladyville; Robbers Set Stolen Ford Escape Afire
    There was a home invasion in Ladyville just before midnight last Thursday on Hibiscus Street. Twenty-six-year-old Steven Wade reported to Police that while he was inside his girlfriend’s house in [...]

    Teenager Detained in Police Street Shooting
    Police detained a seventeen year old minor of Belize City over the weekend. He may face charges in the attempted murder of Kyron Tyrell Santiago. On Sunday afternoon, Santiago was [...]

    Cross-Border Jasmine Alert: Teen Kidnapped by Mexican Father
    This Friday, thirteen-year-old Anaseily Gonzalez was allegedly kidnapped; her family believes it is by her Mexican father, forty-three-year-old Javier de la Cruz. De la Cruz was recently released from a [...]

    Corozal Police Dropped Ball in Missing Person Investigation?
    According to Menzies, the Jasmine Alert program is not as effective as intended. While anyone under eighteen years of age falls within the program, the police should immediately start investigations [...]

    What Caused Fire in P.G.?
    Two buildings went up in flames in Punta Gorda over the weekend; one was completely destroyed and the other partially damaged by the blaze. A couple who resided in one [...]

    National Team Prepares for Central America in Sports Monday
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   {Feature including national team weekend friendly games; Weekend Warriors cycling race and C.Y.D.P. football match….}

    CTV3

    13th Senator Hails From Orange Walk
    For the second time in Belize’s history a 13th Senator was elected by the non-government organisation community to have a seat and a voice in the Senate. If you’re wondering why we are saying that Salas is the second 13th Senator-elect in Belize’s political history, it is because the 1st elected 13th Senator was outspoken Maya leader Greg Ch’oc. Ch’oc had been elected by the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations in October 2008, ahead of the Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s promise to put into force amended laws to allow a 13th Senator. The Prime Minister viewed the election as premature however and went on to ignore his promise, denying enforcement of the amended laws. Now, back to Salas’ election. The President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, and a well-known Orange Walkeno, bested out four other nominees including Oceana’s Janelle Chanona, BCVI’s Donovan Reneau, and Pablo Collado of Adopt a Child with a Disability, to become the NGO community’s Senator-elect.

    Was Selection Process For 13th Senator Adequate?
    The process of selecting an NGO Senator has been haunted by criticisms of exclusivism. This is because while there are nearly 140 registered NGOs, only 29 were accepted as “in good standing” by the Attorney General’s Ministry. That’s only 15% of the amount. And still, of the 29 organisations that were accepted, only 23 participated in the election, giving the indication that the process could have been much more inclusive and representative. Well, Senator-elect Osmany Salas does recognise that there is a problem, and he pledged that it will be one of his objectives to unite the NGO community. Osmany Salas, NGO Senator-Elect: “We need to show that we are also transparent and accountable, there is an NGO act that we must abide by with the reform set up on that act and the company’s act as well, so what transpired Mrs. Salam and other members of the community have mentioned repeatedly is that the NGO who participated in the process were the ones who were certified in good standing to participate in this process, there were a few that maybe didn’t file their papers in time and I am a little disappointed about that for them because I would have wanted them to get involved in the process..."

    OW Businessman Takes Attorney General and Director of Immigration To Cour
    A few months ago prominent Orange Walk businessman Rene Cuello decided to take the Attorney General and Director of Immigration Services to court as he believed that his constitutional and human rights had been violated on more than one occasion as he travelled to the Commercial Free Zone located in Belizean territory. Cuello has his mind set that the system in place at Belize’s borders where Belizeans are requested by law to stamp their passport going out and coming into the country is unconstitutional. That case is set to be heard at the Belize Supreme Court on February 22nd. Cuello was a guest this morning on the Despierta Belice Show where he told host Carmelita Perez, that the main objective for pursuing the case is to obtain freedom of movement for all Belizeans in our own territory.

    Dorian Pakeman Slap With Mininal Charge
    Nine months and two weeks – that’s the length of time it takes in some pregnancies – but it’s also how much time it took for the Police Department to charge Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Press Office and known UDP supporter. Pakeman knocked down and killed Gardenia Village resident and father 45 year old Dean Dawson on March 20, 2016. Dawson was riding his bicycle on his way home along mile 22 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, when Pakeman slammed into him in his Government-assigned Isuzu D-Max pickup. Dawson was killed by the impact. The well-connected Government employee was detained but eventually released without any charges laid on him. The Police claimed that they were waiting on a toxicology report on blood samples taken from Pakeman and when it did come revealing that Pakeman’s blood showed signs of cocaine instead of alcohol, still no charges followed.

    LOVE FM

    Bondholders Approve Re-negotiations and Debt Restructuring for Belize
    ON Monday we told you of a letter dated January 6 informing Belize’s bond trustees in New York of the appeal by Belize to restructure its Superbond 2038 due to unforeseen financial challenges experienced in 2016. Today, we can tell you that the bondholders have approved Belize’s request for renegotiations and a restructured national debt. […]

    Osmany Salas Elected By NGOs to Be Belize’s 13th Senator
    President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Osmany Salas, made history today by being elected as the 13th Senator to represent the NGO community. The election was held in Belize City at the Belize Audubon Society headquarters where Salas became the victor after two rounds of voting. Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING […]

    Trouble Brews Among the Dumps at Transfer Stations
    Not much information was given as to why the solid waste transfer stations are currently not operational at the six locations countrywide. As a matter of fact, the only thing that was said was that the operator of the stations has ceased operations as of yesterday, January 9, 2017. Our attempts to find out what […]

    Hit and Run Driver Arrested and Charged
    Charges have been laid against a Guatemalan driver in connection with the hit and run incident that happened on Sunday, January 8 in Ladyville Village, Belize District. 35-year-old, Eric Salazar Guzman was arraigned this afternoon on the charges of causing death by careless conduct, manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention as well […]

    Press Office Director Arraigned on Fatal Traffic Incident
    The suspended Chief Press Officer for the Government of Belize, Dorian Pakeman, has finally been charged for the death of 45 year old Dean Dawson. The thirty four year old Ladyville resident was formally charged today for causing death by careless conduct. Pakemen knocked down and killed Dawson on March 30, more than nine months […]

    Mama Chen Robbed
    At around 7:30 this morning a man wearing a red hat and a dark sweater broke into Mama Chen business place on Eve Street in Belize City. We are told that the thief got away with one cell phone and injured one of the residents. We were told that the robber made his way into […]

    Belize Population: 2nd Highest Percentage Below National Poverty Line at 41.3%
    Studies and surveys conducted on Belize are done regularly in various aspects in order to get a better understanding on the developments and progress made in the country. Joan Burke-Skeen who works with young persons and family life, she gave a brief report on findings in a recent country assessment during The Morning Show today. […]

    Sharp Increase in Butane Prices as at January 11
    The increase of fuel prices at the pumps went under the radar over the last few days but tonight we can tell you that fuel prices are not the only commodity that is seeing a hike in prices as the Belize Bureau of Standards announced today that effective January 11, 2017 there will be increases […]

    Coalition Saving Our Natural Heritage through Education on Sea Seep Survey
    Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is holding its own consultations into the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey. According to the spokesperson, Valentino Shal, the focus is on getting everyone up to date with the information regarding the survey. VALENTINO SHAL “We are trying to meet with our friends, supporters and constituents before […]

    Family Life Director Speaks on Social Media Sex, Sugar Daddies, Cougars and Teenage Pregnancy
    The issue of teenage pregnancy is one that has loomed over our country for years now. While it was an occurrence that was frowned upon many years ago, it is now one that has been accepted as somewhat of a norm. In the cases of pregnancies of minors, there are very few cases where the […] -->

    Amandala

    Belize loses $109 mil judgments in US courts
    The Government of Belize and the Ashcroft Alliance have been in a protracted legal battle over a claim for hundreds of millions of dollars in a slew of litigation dating back to 2009, and reports reaching our newsroom today are that the US Supreme Court has issued a decision today signaling that it will not accept Belize’s petition against enforcing the awards in the USA. “The justices denied certiorari [an order by which a higher court can revisit a lower court’s decision] to cases that had been originally brought by Belize Social Development Ltd., Newco Ltd. and BCB Holdings Ltd., which stem from awards that were issued by various arbitral tribunals and were all confirmed by the D.C. Circuit,” Law360 reported today. In a news release issued today, Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited (formally known as BCB Holdings Limited) and the Belize Bank Limited (collectively known as Caribbean Investment Holdings), said that they “have achieved a win in a lengthy process to achieve judicial recognition in the United States of an international arbitration award rendered in London, England in August 2009 against the Government of Belize (‘GOB’).”

    Belize loses US$19 mil appeal in US Supreme Court
    Belize has reportedly lost its US$19 million litigation battle with Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL)—an Ashcroft company which was created by the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) while under the control of Brutish billionaire Michael Ashcroft to receive the proceeds of an arbitration award handed down months before the nationalization by the Government of Belize. A report appearing in Law360, based in New York, reported that the US Supreme Court said today “that it would not take up Belize’s challenge to enforce a 38 million Belize dollar ($19 million) arbitral award to a telecommunications company.” Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has told our newspaper that the amount sought is now almost double the original award, at roughly $75 million, with interest. We asked Denys Barrow, SC, counsel for the Government, what the implications of the US court’s decision are, and he told us that the decision means that the claimant which had filed suit in the US against the Government of Belize is able to enforce the award in the US against any property of the Government of Belize that is available for enforcement; however, he said that the asset would have to be a commercial asset – and to his mind, no such asset is available in the US for BSDL to claim.

    Electrician, Anthony Gilharry, Sr. died from a broken heart!
    Just before he passed away last Friday, January 6, Anthony Gilharry Sr., 40, told his sister, Glenda Archer, that his wife was calling him and that he was leaving. Gilharry’s wife, Miriam Diane Gilharry nee Hyde, died two months ago in November 2016. Maggie Magdalena Haylock, one of Anthony Gilharry’s sisters, told Amandala tonight that her brother died of a broken heart. “After his wife died, my brother gave up life”, Haylock said. Gilharry was born on 11th October 1976. He lived in Ranchito Village, Corozal District, as a child. At the age of 7 years, his mother died, so the paternal aunt of him and his siblings offered to assist with his upbringing. He lived with her until adulthood, Haylock explained. Gilharry attended Ranchito Government School and then Escuela Secondario Mexico High School. He later took vocation-technical training in Belize City, and that was when he fell in love with the electrician profession.

    13-year-old Belizean girl missing; police search for Mexican father
    A 13-year-old Belizean Hispanic girl is missing and the primary suspect in her disappearance is her father, a Mexican national previously convicted of child molestation in Mexico. According to Corozal police, the primary school student, Anaseily Gonzalez, was last seen at the Chunox junction in the Corozal District on Friday at around 4:00 p.m. It is believed that she was taken in a navy-blue taxi to the Orange Walk border with Mexico and was then taken over into Mexico territory. Today, Monday, our newspaper spoke to Senior Superintendent of Police, Dennis Arnold, who told us that Mexican authorities have confirmed that the child’s father, Javier De La Cruz, 43, had been convicted of child molestation. It is believed that he and the child may be in La Union or Chetumal, Mexico, he said. Arnold also revealed that on Sunday, the child contacted her mother, who had made the missing person report.

    Guatemala says Belize agreed to no Sarstoon occupation until ICJ
    In recent years, there has been a lot of back and forth on Sarstoon Island which Belize and Belizeans have forever known as Belize’s territory. But Guatemala became aggressive in its exertion of supposed sovereignty over the island in the last decade. A leaked Belize Defence Force confidential report from October 2015 documents, there is an increased aggression on the part of the Guatemalan Armed Forces in the area toward the BDF. This tension has led to multiple diplomatic meetings and the latest round of encounters on the matter between the Foreign Ministers of both countries have had to do with a protocol for the Sarstoon, which Belizean officials foresee will be something akin to the Confidence Building Measures or CBMs that are in place along the western border. However, it has since been revealed in Guatemalan official documents that they have rejected any CBMs for the Southern border along the Sarstoon. The Guatemalans have instead insisted on what they call a security protocol that consists of granting Belize the courtesy of allowing our military to traverse the Sarstoon River to simply conduct its changeover at its Cadenas conservation post.

    WW New Year’s Race results
    Below are the official results from the Weekend Warriors (WW) New Year’s Race held yesterday, Sunday, January 8. Starting at 9:10 a.m., the “A/B” went from Mile 40 on the Philip Goldson Highway towards the Boom Road junction, then took a right, then a left at the George Price Highway, then a left again at the Chetumal Street junction, then a right back again onto the Philip Goldson Highway, then made their way down to the NAPA roundabout, then back up to finish at the M&M Engineering Compound, for 54 miles. 47 riders started the “A/B” race, with 37 finishing. The “C” class went from Crooked Tree junction and did the same route, starting at 9:15 a.m. 13 of the 14 “C” class starters managed to complete the journey.

    Belize’s National Team plays Friendly tonight, travels tomorrow
    Belize City football fans cannot fault the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) for not bringing one of the preparation “friendly” matches of our National Team, the Belize Jaguars, to the MCC Grounds, because the playing surface there is acknowledged to be terrible and indeed risky for possible injury to our players. Hopefully, some quick action could be taken to upgrade the surface in time for next month’s start of the PLB Closing Season; and also, so that Belize City fans can once again get to see our National Team in action in the old capital. On Friday night, the Jaguars defeated a Dangriga selection, 2-nil, at the Carl Ramos Stadium; and yesterday at the Louisiana Field in Orange Walk Town, they defeated an Orange Walk selection, 4-nil. Tonight, in their last practice match before travelling tomorrow to Panama for the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana tournament, the Belize Jaguars take on the Kasvamart Talentos MX from Mexico City. This game takes place at 7:00 p.m. at the FFB Stadium, but reportedly will not be aired on TV.

    Secondary schools football begins today at the MCC
    The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) Football Tournament 2016-2017 kicks off today at the MCC Grounds with 2 games scheduled, 1 female and 1 male game. There are 6 female teams participating in this year’s competition, while the 11 male teams taking part have been separated into two divisions, 6 teams in Division One and 5 teams in Division Two. Female (F) teams are: Ladyville Technical High (LTH), St. Catherine Academy (SCA), Gwen Lizarraga High (GLH), Wesley College (WES), Maude Williams High (MWH), and Pallotti High School (PHS). Male (M) teams are: Division One: Belize High School (BHS), Ladyville Technical High (LTH), Maude Williams High (MWH), Nazarene High School (NHS), St. John’s College (SJC), and Sadie Vernon Technical (SVT).

    Football Friendlies in Orange Walk; Belize Jaguars visit
    Two friendly games were played on Sunday afternoon at the Louisiana Football Field in Orange Walk. In the opener, the Corozal Selection won, 5-4, over Carmelita. Goals for Corozal were by Camilo Sanchez (3), Diego Sanchez and Basilio Sutherland; while Carmelita got goals from Jevon Ico (2), Marlon Miranda and Diedron Baptist. The big featured nightcap saw the Belize Jaguars putting down the Orange Walk Selection, 4-0, with goals from Deon McCaulay (3) and Luis Torres. The Orange Walk Football Association would like to thank all supporters and fans who came out in numbers to support the Orange Walk team and Belize Jaguars before their departure to Panama. O.W.

    Unity
    It may be the greatest cliché ever, but in unity there is strength. The teachers of Belize have proven this truism once again over the course of the last week. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), embarrassed by the unity/strength of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) during the teachers’ October strike last year and the subsequent dispute over strike pay, had succeeded in forcing Belize’s school managements and principals to take the Ministry of Education’s side in the matter of whether Belize’s schools should open on Tuesday, January 3, or Monday, January 9, 2017. Holding firm on a matter of dignity and principle, the BNTU, however, quietly had it their way on Monday, January 9, 2017. For months, the UDP’s leaders have been using all their political power to divide the teachers along party lines, and clearly the ruling party has succeeded to a certain extent. The UDP has framed the standoffs between the BNTU and the Government of Belize in political terms, and has appealed for teachers with loyalty to the UDP to defy the BNTU’s directives. The UDP has been arguing for months that the BNTU is in the service of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), that the national and branch leaderships of the BNTU want to overthrow the government, and BNTU President Luke Palacio has been singled out for special invective and opprobrium.

    From The Publisher
    In these my senior years, it is usually uncomfortable for me to read material I wrote as a young adult, such as The Crowd Called UBAD, written in 1970 when I was 23 years old. Such material often strikes me now as immature, hence the reason for my discomfort. Still, the material provides a historical record of the era in British Honduras (Belize), and it is therefore relevant and valuable. In my column today, I will quote from the aforementioned The Crowd Called UBAD with respect to the early days of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD), which was founded on February 9, 1969, with the following executive: President – Lionel Clarke, First vice-president – Evan Hyde, Second vice-president – Robert Livingston, Treasurer – Wilhelm Arnold, Asst. Treasurer – Ismail Shabazz, Secretary – George Flowers, Asst. Secretary – Penny Casasola, Councillors – Louis Belisle; Charles X Eagan; Galento Neal; and Alfred Faber.

    Homicides, the leading cause of death in the Belize District
    In a health bulletin released for the year 2016, the Ministry of Health revealed that homicides are the leading cause of death for the Central Health Region—an area with a population of over 90,000, spanning Belize City, Caye Caulker, San Pedro and the remainder of the Belize District. Ranked second is cardiovascular disease and third is cancer. There were 70 murders recorded in the Belize District, constituting 51% of the 137 murders recorded countrywide for 2016, based on preliminary police reports. The Central Health Region bulletin notes that, “Hypertension and diabetes have been the leading non-communicable diseases affecting the region, with incidences of 155 and 110, respectively.” In its December 2016 epidemiology bulletin, the Ministry demonstrates that there has been a rise in the cases of diabetes observed at the national level. “Diabetes Mellitus, also known as Type II diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the fourth leading cause of death in Belize and a major cause of disability among the population,” the report said.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    PUP congratulates 13th Senator
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has issued a press release congratulating Osmany Salas, current President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association on his election as the 13th Senator representing the NGOs in the Upper House of the National Assembly. “Based on past experience, we […]

    Police need your help in finding 13 year old teenager from Orange Walk
    Police in Orange Walk are looking for a 13-year-old teenager who went missing on January 10, 2017. According to police reports, Ideline Adelia Romero was last seen about 7:25 am on January 10, 2017 leaving home to attend classes. she was wearing her her […]

    Dorian Pakeman charged
    Former Director of the Government Press office, Dorian Pakeman was formally charged for the crime of ‘causing death by careless conduct’ in the Belize City Magistrate Court today. Pakeman, 34, was charged for knocking down Dean Dawson, a mechanic, in March of last year and […]

    Crique Sarco residents plea for better road
    Residents of Crique Sarco in the Toledo district are pleading to the government for help as the road that connects the mainly Q’eqchi Mayan community to Punta Gorda is in such deplorable conditions that residents have been virtually cut off from the neighboring town. […]

    New ambulance for Dangriga
    The Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga is set to receive a used ambulance through the help of a Canadian chiropractor and coordinated efforts between the Rotary Clubs in both countries.Roman Bayrock, the Canadian chiropractor who has done other charitable works in Belize over the last […]

    NGO’s select 13 senator
    The NGO community, today, elected Osmani Salas of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, to represent them as the 13th Senator. Twenty-three of the 29 NGO’s in good standing participated in the voting process, which was held at the Belize Audubon Society office in Belize […]

    Osmany Salas elected as 13th Senator
    Osmany Salas has been elected as the 13th Senator. Salas is the national President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and will now represent the NGO’s in the Senate. “I am honored and humbled to be elected the 13th Senator for the NGO’s,” […]

    13 year old missing; allegedly kidnapped by child molester
    Thirteen-year-old Anaseily Gonzalez was last seen on Friday January 6, 2017 at 4:16 p.m. at the Chunox junction waiting on a bus. It is alleged that she was kidnapped by her father, Javier de la Cruz, who is a convicted child molester. The Jasmine […]

    Belize City police recover nearly four pounds of weed
    According to police reports, yesterday evening around 4:24, police conducted a search in an overgrown lot on Mopan Street, Belize City which led to the discovery of a red plastic bag containing 400 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area and […]

    San Ignacio police find almost 500 grams of weed
    San Ignacio Police conducted a search in a drain on 18th Street, San Ignacio Town which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 499 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area and the drugs were deposited as “Found […]

    Corozal police find weed
    According to police reports, yesterday morning, police conducted a search behind the park in San Andres Village, Corozal District which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag hanging from an avocado tree which contained a transparent plastic bucket containing 377 grams of […]

    Motorcycle stolen in Belize city
    According to police reports, 20-year-old Raheem Cole reported that between 7:00 p.m. on Sunday and 7:55 a.m. on Monday, someone stole his black and chrome 2016 150CC Lifan motorcycle, with license plate MC-4684, valued at $2,428.30 from a yard at #3 Waight Street, in […]

    US Supreme Court rules that Belize needs to pay up US $50 million in arbitration costs
    As Belize continues to negotiate with bondholders to restructure the 2038 Bonds, the country’s already fragile economy has taken another crucial blow as US Supreme Court, yesterday, denied the government’s request for a write of certiorari in two pending arbitration settlements, namely: GOB vs. Belize […]

    General John Kelly to head US Homeland security department
    Today, confirmation hearings begin for General John F Kelly who has been chosen to serve in the Cabinet of United States President-Elect Donald Trump. Kelly will serve as Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He is a retired Marine Corps General. General […]

    Blogs

    New Year = New Adventures! Here’s to 2017
    Just like that 2016 is over. 2017 welcomes us with open arms, with the opportunity to make new memories and live exciting new experiences. A new year often sees us making resolutions, challenging ourselves to add to the storybook of our lives. There is no better way to do that than creating a list of fun/in Belize. Call it your Belize Bucket List! 1. Dive/snorkel the Blue Hole: This is an easy one, after all who doesn’t want to visit one of the top aquatic destinations in the world? The collapsed sink hole is visited by thousands each year who marvel at its complex structure and amazing marine life. We want you to enjoy that too! 2. Hike up Victoria’s Peak: Time to get those hiking boots ready! While Victoria’s Peak is not the highest summit in Belize (Doyle’s Delight is the highest peak in Belize at 1,124 m), it is the most iconic. At 1,120 m, it definitely gives you enough of a challenge!

    International Sourcesizz

    Is this the Caribbean's most surprising destination?
    ou’ll be hiking for 45 minutes, crossing a river three times, then swimming through a cave,” warns the letter on my bed. The staff at the Ka’ana Resort near San Ignacio may be full of sound advice (“pack bug spray, be prepared to get wet and muddy”) but they give nothing away about the sensational experience that awaits on a day trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal. One joy of travelling here is how empty Belize seems. While neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala are famously populous and exuberant, here the roads are quiet, the beaches relaxed, the archaeological sites often blissfully free of crowds. Just 380,000 people inhabit an area similar in size to Wales, and they are a most engaging jumble of cultures, including Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Chinese and Mennonite. That’s very different from the heyday of the Mayan era in the third to 10th centuries when more than a million people lived here, with the ensuing deforestation and pressure on resources thought to be one reason for the demise of this great civilisation. The most popular destination is Ambergris Caye, a 25-mile-long island in the north that attracts more than 40 per cent of visitors, mostly from North America. Here, protected sites such as the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Alley, where schools of nurse sharks gather, lie just a 10-minute boat ride away.

    Belize trustee approves committee for debt talks
    The trustee of Belize's so-called superbond has officially recognized a bondholder committee to hold talks with the government on the country's third restructuring in a decade. Funds including Greylock Capital Management and Grantham Mayo van Otterloo joined forces to form the committee, which was assembled last month to represent bondholders. Now trustee Bank of New York Mellon has formally approved the committee to negotiate with Belize, which says that its US$530m bond, issued in 2013, is unsustainable. The bond, which comes due in 2038, came out of the restructuring of a previous note that itself was the consolidation of other debt in a 2007 restructuring. In a memorandum to BNY made public this week, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight said Belize intends to "imminently" seek the consent of bondholders to amend the terms of the notes.

    Caribbean prepares to pilot insurance facility to protect fisheries sector
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) hosted a working group meeting in Belize City from 9 – 10 January 2017, to advance the implementation of a risk insurance facility for fishers in the region. When fisheries ministers from CRFM member states met in the Cayman Islands in October 2016, they reviewed the progress made towards the activation of the Caribbean Ocean Assets Sustainability faciliTy (COAST). This week’s working group meeting, which the CRFM is facilitating in collaboration with the US Department of State, will aid in the selection of a representative sample of Caribbean countries in which the initiative will be piloted. The purpose of this week’s meeting is to chart the steps necessary to qualify a pilot country (or pilot countries) to purchase the COAST insurance product from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) before the start of the hurricane season on June 1, 2017.

    Victim’s mom, 92, seeks to speed trial for high-seas murder suspect, 75
    Thirty-eight years after the bodies of two British tourists were found in the Caribbean Sea, the elderly mother of one of the victims is asking a federal district judge to speed up the trial of a Sacramento man accused of murdering the couple on a boating excursion from Belize. The written appeal from 92-year-old Audrey Farmer, the mother of medical-school graduate Christopher Farmer, added a new element to the bizarre, unfolding criminal case of Silas Duane Boston, 75. Boston, a former Sacramento resident who was living in a nursing home, was arrested Dec. 2 in the rural town of Paradise and later indicted on two counts of first-degree maritime murder in the 1978 killings of Farmer and the physician’s girlfriend, Peta Frampton, both in their mid-20s. He has pleaded not guilty. Authorities say Boston also is a suspect in the killing of his former wife, Mary Lou Boston of Sacramento, who was last seen in 1968. According to court documents, Boston has claimed to have committed other killings as well, and may have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run in Sacramento’s Lemon Hill neighborhood in 1972. “My husband and I were very much involved in the search for them and we did all we could to establish how, why and who killed them,” Audrey Farmer wrote of her son and Frampton in a letter introduced in federal court Tuesday. “It was a matter of great sadness that my husband, Charles, died three years ago never knowing the truth surrounding their deaths and that the murderer was never brought to justice.” She added: “I am myself now 92 years old and Duane Boston is 75. Taking all of this into account, there may be little time left for justice to be seen.”

    WestJet Traffic Is Surging
    Canadian carrier WestJet continues to show strong traffic growth, according to the company’s latest report. The company showed 2.098 billion revenue passenger miles in December, a 9.1 percent increase over the same month in 2015. Available seat miles grew 7.1 percent to 2.598 billion in the same period, while load factor rose by 1.6 percentage points to 80.8 percent. For the full year 2016, the airline flew 22 million guests, an 8.2 percent jump over 2015 or 1.7 million additional guests. WestJet has been expanding its Caribbean flights, most recently with new service to Belize. “We are very pleased with the double-digit traffic growth in 2016 as we achieved our second highest full-year load factor of 81.8 per cent and welcomed a record 22 million guests on board,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “I want to thank our over 12,000 WestJetters for continuing to deliver our award winning brand of friendly caring service during this busy holiday season.”

    Videos

  • Healthy Kidneys, Healthy Belize, 5min. This Capacity Building Project for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Renal Failure was initiated in 2016. According to statistics from the Belize government, the prevalence rates of both diabetes mellitus and hypertension, which are potential health factors in renal failure disease, are above 30 percent. The purpose of this project is to build capacity among health workers, promote health knowledge, establish a tracking and management system for chronic disease cases, and provide epidemiological reports.

  • Karate / Mixed Martial Arts, 30min.

  • BTL Promotions,15 min.

  • NGO 13th Senator Elections & Way Forward, 35min.

  • Dolphin Fun at Coco Plum Island Resort, Belize, 1/2min. Friendly, gracious, and "show offs" these dolphins decided to stop by and say hi on a recent fishing trip! Just one of the many reasons to love our Belize Barrier Reef!

  • Aerial Perspectives of Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min. Aerial views of some of the surrounding areas of the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize.

  • Recent increase in fuel prices, 8min.

  • Story time: I found love in Belize!, 14min.

  • Howler monkey Belize 2017, 1.5min.


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