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1/21/2017 to 1/31/2017
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January 31, 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

San Pedro Tiger Sharks third win in 2017 NEBL Season
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks claimed their third consecutive victory in the 2017 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Season. On Saturday, January 28th, the island team took on the current NEBL Champion- Smart Belize Hurricanes in a heated match. After four quarters of intense action on the court at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium in San Pedro Town. The island boys emerged victorious with a final score of 85-75.

Nanes Schnitzer re-captured in Mexico for Ponzi-scheme fraud
With the combined efforts of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Mexican authorities, and the United States Marshals Service (USMS), Mexican fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer was caught in Mexico City on Thursday, January 26th. According to Mexican Authorities, Nanes Schnitzer arrived from Havana, Cuba when he was caught at the Mexico City International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juarez) with various travel documents under another identity. Wanted for defrauding millions of dollars through the Allen Standford Ponzi Scheme, Nanes Schnitzer was the president of Stanford Group Mexico overseeing operations in Mexico, Panama and other parts of Latin America. The entire Ponzi scheme is reportedly estimated at $7 billion US dollars, with Nanes Schnitzer believed to have defrauded 3,500 Latin American investors of $42 million US dollars. Now in the custody of Mexican authorities, Nanes Schnitzer is currently awaiting proper documentation for his formal arrest.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Paletas - A Favorite Belizean Treat
Everyone needs an afternoon snack, especially after a long day at school and during those hot tropical days. What better place than Las Palates where you can find a treat from almost any flavor and its made from real fruit by local resident Regina Sansores. YUM! Feel free to stop by for one anytime! -Photo by: Ilda Guerrero

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
The New Zealand authorities herein offer Commonwealth Scholarships as well as Development Scholarships (both having different application processes). For Development Scholarships, tender applications online beginning February 16, 2017. Application deadline has been established at March 30, 2017. The Commonwealth Scholarship has its own link that informs of its application process.

EXPORTBelize, Beltraide participates in International Customs Day activities in Belize City
EXPORTBelize, a unit of Beltraide participated in International Customs Day held on January 26, 2017 at the Battlefield Park in Belize City. The day started with a brief opening ceremony by the Customs Department and then moved into a day long event where those organizations involved in the export process had booths displaying their services. Booths in attendance included the Bureau of Standards, the Department of the Environment, Atlantic Bank, Customs Brokers Association and CITO.

Belize Mixology
Belize Mixology is once again conducting Introduction to Bartending training starts in Cayo on February 2nd to 4th and Advanced starts on February5th to 8th. Cost $250 for Intro and $350 for Advanced. Discounts available for a limited time. We then move to Placencia on Feb 10th and San Pedro on Feb 21st. Price includes all liquor, equipment, written material, etc. All you need is a book and pen. Spaces are limited. Inbox or text 626-7518 For those already deposited please contact me. Remember for the first time ever, we are conducting the Master class in March.

Voice of the West Elocution Contest 2017
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is having their 15th Elocution Contest on Thursday, February 2nd, at Hode's. Everyone's invited. "This will be our 15th annual speech contest for the high school students in the Cayo district. Students compete in three categories - Original Poems, Published Poems or Excerpts and Persuasive Speech. Cash prizes are awarded to the first, second and third place winners. The school of the first place winner goes home with a trophy to display at their high school. Join us for a great opportunity to see the power of speech our high school students will display."

No new rules or regulations limiting the number of U.S. visas for Belizean citizens
Attention, Facebook friends! Please be informed that there have been no new rules or regulations limiting the number of U.S. visas for Belizean citizens. Please continue to visit our website for the most up-to-date and accurate information. The United States and Belize have strong bilateral ties based on shared interests and we look forward to further enhancing our friendship.

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reward in the case of U.S. Citizen, Anne Swaney
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been working with the Belize Police Department on the investigation of January 2016 murder of Anne Swaney in Belize. The FBI is assisting with interviews and has submitted items of evidence for scientific analysis to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. While there are some promising leads in the case, the FBI and the Belize Police Department are asking the public for assistance in apprehending the subject or subjects responsible for this terrible crime. The FBI is offering a reward of up to US $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murde0r of Anne Swaney. Anyone with relevant information should contact the FBI in Belize at +501 637-9915, their local FBI office in the United States, or any U.S. embassy or consulate around the world.

Exhibit of Belize's National Collection on the move
A number of pieces from Belize's National Collection is on the move once again. Next stop Dallas Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

Minister Aragon Visits National Forensic Services Headquarters
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., today conducted a tour of the National Forensic Services (NFS) Headquarters in Ladyville. Honorable Aragon met with management and staff, acquainting himself with the services offered by the institution, and through their discussions identified capabilities as well as shortcomings of the NFS. The Minister was given a presentation which provided an overview of the current status of the NFS. The presentation also addressed topics such as drug and alcohol testing, and ballistic testing using the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS), a modern automated firearms identification system. Minister Aragon committed to do all in is power to address the concerns and needs of the NFS to allow for the proper delivery of services.

Caye Caulker Blood donation drive March 4
This is just a heads up that the San Pedro Red Cross will be on Caye Caulker on Saturday, March 4 to do a blood donation drive. They are looking for volunteers to help out that day and leading up to prepare for the day. If you are interested in volunteering, please send me a private message. Please also consider donating blood that day too. It could save a life and if you donate today it is credited to your name and makes you or a loved one eligible for blood in the future in the event you need it.

Power interruption 8:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday, February 5, San Pedro
Pescador Dr, San Pedrito, Elliot Subdivision, San Pablo, San Marcos & DFC Area. BEL to energize high voltage & low voltage spans & polemount transformers as part of system expansion in San Pedrito & Marina areas.

This weekend the Benque Viejo, Succotz and Arenal Police Youth Cadets planted 30 flowering seedlings at the Benque Coronation Park
FCD thanks the 18 cadets, Cpl J. Mckoy and PC Chan for joining in the Mopan River Conservation Program.

Reef Week 2017
Reef Week is just around the corner! Stay tuned for the calendar of events that will surely inspire you to "turn the tide and respect the reef!"

Channel 7

One Year Old Falls To Death In Well
A Maya Mopan mother of 6 lost her youngest child over the weekend. Lorena Durantes's 1 year 6 month old son died after he fell in their back yard well on Saturday afternoon around 12:00. It was just another Saturday for the family as they washed their clothes and cooked lunch. Little Edwin was with the busy crowd of adults in the yard but his mother told us that she didn't even realize when he slipped away from them. It's only until she and her mother in law found the boy face up in the well struggling to breathe. That gave the family hope but when they rushed him to the hospital, the water had already filled his lungs and there was nothing more that could be done. Today Durantes spoke to Courtney Weatherburne about the tragic incident. Our news team also spoke to Edwin's aunt at their Maya Mopan house.

Senate Unanimously Agrees to Ring-fence Reserves
On Friday, the House of Representatives unanimously approved the "bill for an act to restate for greater certainty the immunity of the Central Bank of Belize for legal proceedings in other states." This is a move to ring-fence Belize's dollar reserves and secure them from being, basically, crow footed by the Ashcroft Alliance or other interests seeking to collect on 50 million US dollars in arbitral awards that a US District court has ordered against the Government of Belize. The Bill was pushed through the House on Friday with lightning speed, and to pre-empt any move on the reserves, it was rushed to the Senate today for a rare Monday meeting. Again, all sides, the PUP, the UDP and the social partners agreed unanimously to support the bill - but some did express reservations about the uneven results after years of battling the Ashcroft Alliance:... Hon. Rufino Lin, Business Senator: "I've read the accommodation agreement. I am familiar with the many financial allowances and economic benefit afforded and I cannot begin to understand how it is that two Belizeans, two powerful Belizeans can draft such a one-sided agreement to the detriment of this country - to the detriment of all of us here present. The fact, if allowed to continue as it was, making all of us Belizeans and tax payers really servants of the Lord."

So, Who All Can Be Sent To Jail For "Attaching" Reserves?
But how does the new law work? It makes it a criminal offence to try and attach the reserves in any legal action against the government - assuming that action originates in Belize by a Belizean entity. But how does that work in real life? That's what we asked the Attorney General today:... Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, UDP Senator: "There cannot be any criminal sanctions for challenging the law itself. If one wants to make a constitutional application to say that the laws that we are ratified here are unconstitutional, well then the court will decide that. If you don't make that challenge but you attempt to do what the acts criminalize then you will have to suffer the penalty that the acts articulate in them." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "How would you attempt to do it?" Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, UDP Senator: "Attempt to do what?" Jules Vasquez, 7News: "To attach the reserves." Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, UDP Senator: "Who would attempt? Well, they will have to decide how they want to do it. let's say for example, there's a move on the reserves at the Central Bank, a mere attempt to do that, such as the filing of papers, such as a board resolution, such as any move by any member of that company or any move by any person who is a Belizean to go after Central Bank assets then that person immediately commits an offense by the mere attempt to attach the assets."

Senator Salas Takes His Seat
And as you saw in today's debate, the 13th Senator fit right in. That's NGO Senator Osmany Salas, he took his oath of office and his place amongst the three other social partners at today's session. It's a historic shift, because his presence makes it so that there are now 7 Senators who are not aligned with the government, compared to only 6 senators for the government. So the balance of power in the Upper House now pivots on the unaligned social partners, and Salas told his colleagues that he means business:... Hon. Osmany Salas - Senator for NGO Community: "I pledge to do my utmost best to represent the community and to work towards the sustainable human development and the development of our country for the betterment of our country. I also acknowledge the work and the support from the opposition, for supporting the work of the teacher and their efforts and last but certainly not least than you to our Prime Minster for after a long wait, finally decided to listen to the cries of the teachers and to sign the commence order to ensure that today would also come. So I appreciate that on behalf of the NGO community."

Two Guns For City Cops
City cops took two stashed handguns off the streets this weekend. On Friday the Southside Strike Team searched an abandoned lot on Santa Barbara Street in the St. Martin's area, where they found and recovered a .9mm pistol. No one was in the area the gun was found, so it was submitted as found property. Police came up on another firearm while searching another abandoned lot on Oleander Street. This time they recovered a .38 revolver, which was loaded with 2 live rounds along with three expended shells. No one was in the area, so the revolver was also deposited as found property. These guns are generally stashed by gangs or criminal enterprises for use as needed.

The Temptations Of The Islands
Caye caulker police were busy this weekend. Around 10:00 pm on Saturday, two cops, a corporal and a constable did a stop and search of Everal Bodden and found 1.2 grammes of cocaine on him. Earlier that day, around 5:00 pm, Island police did a search at Liberty Tour Office located near the lagoon area. They found nine bricks of two kilos or more in each package, adding up to a hefty 43 pounds of cannabis. They detained Darwin Torres and Isauro Adan Perez for drug trafficking. And island police found a suite of rusty rounds that seemed to have spent a few too many night in the salt air. They say Charles Scott will be charged for kept unlicensed and prohibited ammunition for 48 rounds of .9mm, 2 rounds of .45,and three rounds of .380 ammunition.

Man Dies In ATV Accident On Coastal Road
The streak of fatal accidents on weekends continues through the fourth week in 2017. This one happened late last night on the Coastal Road. Antonio and Bridget Cabanas were riding an all-terrain vehicle which flipped. Police found them underneath the ATV. The La Democracia couple left Hope Creek around 10:00 last night, and were heading home when they lost control of the ATV and crashed. Antonio succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead, while his wife is currently in stable condition at the Southern Regional Hospital.

FECTAB Fumes (Again), Stumps For Stake Bank, Likes Mike F.
The last time we heard from FECTAB was 6 weeks ago. That's when President Tom Greenwood sent a 1,000 word letter to the BTB, condemning the entire Harvest Caye operation, and dubbing it "Alcatraz". It's certainly not the first time Greenwood and his crew have raged against Harvest Caye, but on the ground it's made no difference. And so, today Greenwood along with familiar faces from COLA continued their campaign against this mega cruise resort, and a campaign for the Belize District alternative Stake Bank. Here are a few excerpts from this morning's press conference. Tom Greenwood, FECTAB: "The failure of government to allow stakebank to happen we believe is the root cause of our present problem in Belize City." "All NCL ships are gone from Belize city and that represents a loss of between 40 – 45% of revenue for the players in Belize city and again I say from out hair braiders and our people who are trying to sell their hard worked with products right up to the top, tour operators and the like, it is a blow of major proportions, when you add to it the fact that many of us have bills to pay where mortgages are concerned, then you are talking complete disaster."

FECTAB Dances On Puerto Azul's Grave
The anti-Harvest Caye team spoke on a number of other issues regarding tourism and later on they jumped to crime and corruption in a very scattershot session. But, of course, among those topics was Puerto Azul, Greenwood pushed the spear of criticism even deeper when he spoke on the sham Puerto Azul turned out to be. Tom Greenwood, FECTAB: "I will add to that, the horrible Ponzi scheme scenario of Puerto Azul, it is so shameful it's not funny, the Minister of Tourism along with a Minister of Development and then pulling in the wife of the PM into that, an embarrassment of major proportions. For that to happen is indicator supreme of other things going wrong at lower levels. We in FECTAB are at those lower levels so you see we have been right all along in saying that we are not being attended to, things are going wrong, things are going unlawfully wrong."

Environmental Green Light For Caye Chapel Without EIA
And while Harvest Caye and Puerto Azul are tourism's old news, today PUP Senator Valerie Woods, uncovered something new with a tourism mega-project that's been kind of off the radar. That's Caye Chapel where much has been promised, but little delivered so far. But it seems the owners of the project want to do what's called a "beach creation." That's a beach club and sales center and the creation of a beach area measuring 985 feet long by 98 feet wide. The thing is, it's gotten clearance from the Department of the Environment, without the completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment. Today, speaking on the adjournment Senator Woods outlined what she characterized as a pronounced irregularity: Hon. Valerie Woods, PUP Senator: "Not too long ago in December, there was environmental clearance given for the portion of a development on Caye Chapel and I'm concerned about it, because our regulations are clear and if we are going to grant clearance to a portion of a larger development that has not yet gone through that process - but it was issued when EIA process really has not even been vetted or if you will, when it hasn't even been brought before the NEAC on the larger portion of the project. So, I am concerned as so many others when they see things like this happening."

Mike P's Changing Role In UDP
And finally from today's senate meeting, we surely noticed that the former House Speaker seemed to be having a much better time on the government side, skewering the opposition, and keeping the social partners on their toes. We asked him if he liked the change of assignment:...

A Fresh Look At Forensics
And while Peyrefitte was holding it down for the UDP in the Senate, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon was much more low key when he toured the National Forensics Services Headquarters in Ladyville. Aragon met with the staff of the forensics center and discussed what needs to be done to make the department more efficient and effective. Aragon told us what he was looking for... Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Home Affairs: "Well today, I am visiting the Forensic Center, looking at where we are. You know, where the forensic lab is in terms of the people that deal with the chemistry, the biology, and the people who are dealing with the firearms and crime. To see where we are. Definitely the forensic laboratory has a critical role to play if we are going to change this around in this country in terms of crime. My visit here, I feel is very important because I get to interact with the people who are working here, listening to their concerns, listening to the suggestions they have to improve this place."

Hendo Has Left The Building
And we noted that while Aragon toured, we didn't see the Director, former Commissioner of Police, David Henderson. Aragon told us that Henderson moved on last week. Alex Courtenay, 7News: "Now while we're here at the forensic center sir, we wanted to ask you about the directorship of the center. What is the situation with Mr. Henderson, is he still the director?" Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Home Affairs: "Well at this point in time Mr. Henderson's contract was not renewed. We are presently, will be opening the position up for qualified persons to apply for this post as Director. I think we've come to the time where we have to continue to move the department forward, and therefore we're asking and opening it up to find the best qualified and suitable candidate that could take the forensic department to even greater heights."

Minister of State Promises To Deliver Crime Strategy
2017 began with a surge of gun violence - resulting in six people being murdered in the first 72 hours of the year. Since then, police and government have been working on a way to combat the rise in firearm related crime, and prevent more murders from taking place. Aragon told us how much progress has been made since the beginning of the year, and when we can expect to see it implemented. Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Home Affairs: "Well we are looking towards the end of February where we will present that plan to the public. That plan is a pinpoint plan that will address the two main issues that are of interest to the government that is impacting upon crime in our country. And I think that has to do with gangs, and gun related crime and violence. Those are the two areas that we will focus on and of course if we're talking about gangs and gun related crime, we're talking about firearms, and therefore the unit here, the firearms unit here at the lab will play a key role to assist on ensuring that the police department has the necessary forensic evidence to deal and tackle with the issues that surround these two major problems when of Belize, when it comes to crime."

What Do Police Know About Abu?
The Minister also told us what he knows about Abu Naila, AKA Nadir Ali Ahmad the Belizean who was killed by counter-terrorism forces in the Philippines. They said he was an explosives expert in league with a terrorist organization and training to go to Syria as a part of Isis. It is the first known case of a Belizean muslim who has been radicalized - and we asked the Minister what local police know about it... Alex Courtenay, 7News: "And we also wanted to ask about Abu Naila, the Belizean Muslim who was killed in the Philippines for his connection to a terrorist organization. Has there been any contact between, you know the police depart or your department and the Philippines in terms of what actually transpired?" Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Home Affairs: "Well I think, not that I know of. Like I said, when you look at some of these things, these things are very sensitive. At this point in time, I can't speak upon that. All I could tell you is the information is as best as you guys had put it out there. I think that at this point in time that that is something that will have to keep at national security, noh? But none the less the police department, as always, is always working to ensure and safeguard and protect the people of Belize, noh."

Bex Did Brilliantly, But Missed Semi's
For the last two weeks, Miss Belize, Rebecca Rath, has been in the Philippines proudly representing the country in the Miss Universe pageant. She's participated in swimsuit and gown competitions, sat through interviews, and done community service, trying to earn a spot in the top 13. And yesterday, after months of preparation and training, the moment of truth arrived. Rath and the 84 other contestants filed into the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, as the rest of the world watched and waited for their country's name to be called. Unfortunately, Miss Belize was not chosen by the contest's judges to advance to the next round - and the online votes from Belize's relatively modest population was not enough to vault her into the 13th. Seat as an online selection.

US Embassy: No 100 Visa Policy For Belize
By now, after the US election, we've all heard about fake news - which is bogus online stories with sexy headlines. Once you click on it, the persons who made up the story, make money, and you're left confused. Well, one piece of fake news that got a lot of attention in Belize today was the story that President Trump signed an executive order only permitting 100 visas per year for Belize. With all that's happening ion the Us with Immigration right now, the story may have seemed plausible to some. But the US embassy today sent out a release making it clear that it's bogus. The Embassy release says, quote, "Please be informed that there have been no new rules or regulations limiting the number of U.S. visas for Belizean citizens." It adds, quote, "The United States and Belize have strong bilateral ties based on shared interests and we look forward to further enhancing our friendship." Hopefully that's the end of that story.

Making A Meaningful Difference With Mentoring
In December, we told you about the police mentorship programme. Well, it quietly kicked off this weekend - as a structured programme run by the department of Social Services and the University of Belize Department. On Saturday, 22 Social Work students, interacted with 76 at risk youths at four facilities across the city. The kids are broken into groups aged 12 to 14, 10 to 13, 14 to 17 and 10 to 12. We found out what the effort was about - we were not allowed to get footage of the children in the mentoring section so that they are not singled out in their peer groups: The session went from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and all the kids were participated in sporting activities & were served a warm lunch. Notably all the social work students are female since there are no males in this cohort.

The Year Of The Rooster Starts With A Bang in Belize
This year the Chinese community brought in their New Year with a bang. The community celebrated with a parade through Belize City, lead by two volunteers performing the Dance of the Lion. The lion visited several businesses throughout the city, blessing them with fortune for the coming year. The lion was accompanied by a percussion band and dozens of members of the Chinese community and spectators with an endless stream of firecrackers that could be heard around the city until late in the evening. The parade ended in front of Chon San Palace with a grand firecracker show.

Channel 5

Senate Approves Central Bank Immunity Bill But Will Belize Be In Trouble with Superbond?
Following the special session of the House of Representatives on Friday, the nation’s upper chamber was convened to further progress the Central Bank of Belize (International Immunities) and Crown Proceedings [...]

C.C.J. Told Government It Should Have Gone to Arbitration
The Caribbean Court of Justice’s scathing denunciation of the Accommodation Agreement and Settlement Deed and the actions of their signatories as  “malignant tumours,” eating away at democracy has been cited [...]

Social Partners Say Government Must Shape Up
As Courtenay pointed out, no one, least of all the Opposition, intended to vote against legislation intended to protect Belize from these and other similar awards. And that spirit of [...]

A.G. Vows to Pursue “Vultures” Looking at Foreign Reserves
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte blasted Lord Michael Ashcroft saying that he will ensure that neither Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited nor Belize Social Development Limited gets their hands on the foreign [...]

A Baby Boy’s Tragic Drowning in Maya Mopan
The community of Maya Mopan, located about a mile outside of downtown Belmopan, witnessed tragedy on Saturday afternoon. Eighteen-month-old Edwin Lorenzo Duarte was playing near a well at the back [...]

FECTAB Renews Assault on Government
FECTAB is back in the news tonight after an extended hiatus from the media spotlight.  This time it is joined by COLA and both organizations are rallying around a common [...]

Finally, Osmany Salas Takes Seat as N.G.O. Senator
And now back to the senate. Osmany Salas, president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, formally took the oath that marked his ascension to the Senate as its thirteenth member, [...]

Welcome and Wisdom from Fellow Senators for 13th Member
The congratulations came thick and fast from Salas’ new colleagues, with his friends from the tourism and N.G.O. communities looking on from the public gallery. But with the social partner [...]

Rosewood More Valued Than Mahogany?
Two bills were held over from previous meetings of the National Assembly – the Forests (Amendment) Bill and International Insurance (Amendment) Bill. The latter provoked no discussion, but the former [...]

Homeowners’ Feud Leads to Near-Deadly Shooting
After eleven o’clock on Friday night, shots rang out on south side Belize City. A family on Iguana Street extension, including five minors, was targeted. Luckily, no one was injured, [...]

David Nanes Schnitzer Finally Captured
David Nanes Schntizer who skipped bail in Belize after he was caught with a trove of illegal Belizean documents, including a passport, is back in police custody, but in Mexico. [...]

No Reduction in U.S. Visas, Says Embassy
The U.S. Embassy today issued a release in response to an article that surfaced on social media over the weekend to the effect that Caribbean nationals would be exempted from [...]

Conch Shell Bay Shooting Victim Paralyzed; Community Rallies
Nineteen-year-old Keimar Nicholas is paralyzed from the neck down and remains bedridden at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  The teenager was seriously injured a week ago just outside of his [...]

P.G. Mom Accuses Police of Brutalizing Teens
A mother is claiming that Punta Gorda police used unnecessary force on her thirteen year old son over the weekend.  Today, Consuelo Flores told News Five that she was in [...]

Julius Espat Returns with Strong Words for House
In a final bit of news from Friday’s House of Representatives meeting, the return of Cayo South area representative Julius Espat was relegated to a footnote by the day’s debate, [...]

U.B. Social Work Department to Help Police Mentorship Program
The Belize Police Department has partnered with the University of Belize and the Ministry of Human Development on a mentorship program for at-risk Belize City youths. In its new policing [...]

James Adderley’s Monday Sports Highlights
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.     [Feature on weekend sporting activities...]

CTV3

Is There Corruption In The Immigration And Nationality Department?
Viewers may remember that attempts made by Opposition Leader John Briceno at Friday’s House sitting to discuss proceedings of the Senate Select Committee into the Immigration scandal including revelations made by former Director Ruth Meighan, were immediately shut down and was not allowed to be ventilated in the house. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who was questioned on the matter following Friday’s meeting also refrained from discussing the proceedings but did say that judging from what he has heard so far, he does not see any involvement from any of his Ministers in wrong doings. Following the PUP’s Northern Party Council Meeting on Saturday, we asked Briceno for his take on the P.M’s response. He sighted that there’s very clear evidence of ministerial involvement in some very shady business, but it is no surprise that PM Barrow would deflect fault from his ‘minions’.

Opposition Passes Four Resolutions And Makes Demands
As mentioned earlier in the newscast the People’s United Party held the first National Party Council meeting of the New Year here in Orange Walk where Party Leaders and supporters gathered to discuss matters affecting the nation. The N.P.C. discussed and passed four resolutions during Saturday’s meeting, which included a resolution on Super Bond 3.0, irregularities in the immigration department, the resignation of Gaspar Vega from the House of Representatives and a resolution on Tax increases, which warranted the following. Marie Wade: “Be it resolved that the People’s United Party (1) The UDP economic mismanagement and incompetence (2) Demand that investigations be launched into the sadden and unexplained accumulation of wealth of UDP ministers, families and cronies and that any monies obtained by ill-gotten means be returned for the benefit of the people of Belize and (3) Insist that no more taxes be introduced on the already over taxed citizens nor retrench hard working Belizeans nor introduce any other austerity measures that will worsen this economic crisis.”

Much Needed Pedestrian Ramp Constructed In O/W
Since the tragic death of nine year old Geraldo Lopez, a student of Solomon’s SDA Primary School which occurred back in December of 2015, the administration and staff of the school had been advocating for the construction of a pedestrian ramp which they say had been long overdue. But all the cries of the school’s administration and staff seemed to fall on deaf ears…that is until the Orange Walk Town Council undertook the challenge of building the much requested ramp on the Belize Corozal Road located near the school. The work officially began this morning and will be completed in one phase which is expected to last approximately one week, says Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard.

Education Minister Attacks BNTU And COLA
But Prime Minister Dean Barrow didn’t have a similar response for his colleague Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber who prior to Hon. Espat’s comments, had gone off on a tirade. In fact, while the P.M. called for bi-partisanship at Friday’s meeting, it was the Deputy Prime Minister who attacked the Opposition despite the call for rational discussion. Faber was in full attack-mode, it seems, because in one of his statements he attacked the Opposition, Kremandala, COLA and even the National Teachers Union in one swoop. Honourable Patrick Faber - Deputy Prime Minister of Belize: “But we do not appreciate those on the other side pontificating as if though they are innocent, they are the ones looking out for Belize, they are the ones who are nationalistic because Madam Speaker, all will know that they are playing a sham, member for Lake I for instance, his families ‘organization...”

Nanes Captured By Mexican Authorities
David Nanes Schnitzer – the name made headlines back in November 2015 – when it was discovered that the man who was wanted by Mexico authorities for alleged international scams was caught hiding in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Schnitzer, who had developed a false identity under the name “David Banes”, was detained and charged by Belizean authorities for forgery, for the fraudulent social security and driver’s license cards and passport he held under the fake identity. While facing charges, Schnitzer was granted bail and never did turn up for his Court date. He was never seen again or heard of, until this weekend when Schnitzer popped up on the news that he was in Police custody. Schnitzer was reportedly caught by Interpol at the airport in Mexico City attempting to board a plane to Cuba on Thursday January 26th.

Espat Back in The House Of Representatives
An issue that was fully overlooked from last week Friday’s House of Representatives meeting was the return of Cayo South area representative Hon. Julius Espat to the House. Since his forced suspension in August 26th, when he was removed violently by members of the Police force, the lobby for Espat’s return has been led by UDP representative Michael Finnegan. In fact, upon returning to his seat in the House, Espat gave Finnegan recognition and then went on to lash out at the Government for neglecting the people of Cayo South. This wasn’t well received by the PM, who seemed so disturbed by Espat’s words that he served a tongue-lashing. Honourable Julius Espat – Area Representative Cayo South: “Madame Speaker, just like to say thanks for the Honourable Finnegan to make this possible. They come here today saying we need to back up the PM because of this and this and that, Madam Speaker what happens when our constituencies needs the services they don’t look at us that way, they are arrogant, they are disrespectful...”

Opposition Leader Speakers On Revelations During Inquiry
Over the weekend the People’s United Party held its first National Party Council meeting for the New Year at the Crystal Palace Auditorium, here in Orange Walk. But we’ll tell you more on the meeting later on in the news cast, first we cover an extensive interview with PUP Party Leader Hon. John Briceño on several issues currently affecting the nation. First we hear the views of the Party Leader on the revelations made by former Director of Immigration, Ruth Meighan at her last appearance before the Senate Select Committee last Wednesday, where she admitted that a large number of persons approved for nationalization by the Department in 2012 were not in compliance with the requirements in place and did not qualify to be true Belizeans. According to Briceño, this level of corruption was possible because the UPD were not thinking of the possible repercussions to our country but instead acted with only one thing in mind: winning an election.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Caye Caulker police nets big drug bust
Sometime around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday police conducted a stop and search patrol on Caye Caulker which resulted in the arrest of Everald Bodden for 1.2 grams of cocaine. At 5:00 p.m. that same day police conducted a search at the Lagoon area on Caye Caulker, which resulted in the discovery of 43 pounds of cannabis.

Thirteen reportedly injured in border incident
An incident at the Belize-Mexico border between Belizean Custom officials and alleged Mexican smugglers last Thursday resulted in 13 people being injured, according to reports from Mexican newspaper, The Yucatan Times. The paper reported that 13 people were injured at the Subteniente Lopez border crossing, on Belize’s side of the border. It did not specify or elaborate the varying degrees of injuries sustained but noted the incident played out when Belizean customs officials refused to allow a group of 20 people across the border because they hadn’t paid taxes on the merchandise they were carrying.

Man busted for drug trafficking
On Friday January 27th police were traveling between San Andres and Xaibe Village when they saw a suspicious man riding a bicycle. According to police reports, when the man saw the police vehicle, he took a green bag off his back and dropped it on the road and then escaped into the nearby bushes. The green bag contained a compressed parcel inside with cannabis and another black plastic bag also with cannabis weighing 2 1/4 pounds.

One-year-old drowns in well
A one-year-old baby boy drowned in a well in the Maya Mopan area in Belmopan over the weekend. On Saturday around 12:44 p.m. Belmopan police received information of a drowning in the Maya Mopan area. Police spoke with 28-year-old Lorena Duartes, the mother of the child, of La Mux Street who reported that some time after 12:00 midday, while hanging out clothes she heard screaming from behind her residence.

Good Samaritans – Illinois family cares for Belizean girl after surgery
A Belizean child, eight-year-old Marisol Oh went to America for a life changing surgery and is now in the care of an Illinois family.Oh was born with her hip out of socket and had learned to walk like that. She went to the USA in October of 2016 and underwent extensive hip surgery in St. Louis. She was restricted to a body cast after surgery. According to WSIL ABC news, Darla McKeown and her husband Steve have been caring for Oh during her recovery.

Police find .9mm pistol
Police have recovered a .9mm pistol off the streets of south-side Belize City. According to police, on Saturday, officers attached to south-side Strike Team conducted a search on an abandoned lot on Santa Barbara Street in the St. Martin’s area which resulted in the discovery of one Browning .9mm pistol.

Another government vehicle crashes
Reports reaching our newsroom is that a vehicle belonging to the Government of Belize crashed on the San Antonio bridge in Orange Walk yesterday.Several eye witness reports indicate that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

Man killed in early morning Coastal Road accident
There was a fatal traffic accident on the Coastal Road this morning. According to police reports, officers arrived on the scene at around 1:25 a.m. where they saw the motionless body of Antonio Cabanas, 59. He and his wife, Bridget Cabanas, left Hope Creek around 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night and while heading home he lost control of the ATV they were traveling on.

South-side cops take .38 off streets
South-side police have recovered a .38 revolver from Oleander Street in Belize City. According to police, the pistol, loaded with five live rounds, was found yesterday in an abandoned lot.

Cool weather to continue
The 24-hour forecast is for mostly cool and windy conditions to continue.The wind will blow from the north at 15-25 knots decreasing this afternoon to 10-20 knots with higher gusts. The sea state will be rough. A small craft warning is in effect for coastal waters. High temperatures are expected as follows: In the coast, 78 degrees Fahrenheit; 80 degrees Fahrenheit inland and 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the hills.

Blogs

Things To Do in Corozal District
Corozal Town is one of the best kept secrets of Belize. Situated by beautiful Corozal Bay, it is peaceful and quiet. Locals enjoy swimming in the bay year round, where the water seldom gets really cold. When driving north from Orange Walk, Corozaleños know they are home as the bay comes into sight. In places, grass is a great, soft substitute for beaches, and you can spend the day just relaxing, swimming, and picnicing. There are usually many locals here during holidays, and many festivities are planned by the bay. One of the hallmarks of Corozal Town is the tower clock located in Central Park. If is a favorite meeting and gathering place for townspeople. There are shady spots for resting, and there are food stands every day to get your tacos and even fresh squeezed orange juice. Everything is gone by early afternoon, so get there early! On Mondays and Fridays the park is filled with locals selling goods in flea-market fashion. With a little patience you can find some really good bargains!

International Sourcesizz

T&T Ministry to Ban Sugar Drinks at Schools
According to CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency), the Ministry of Health of Trinidad and Tobago is banning the sale of sugar sweetened drinks at all Government and Government-assisted schools from April 2017. The move comes amid alarming statistics which point to a childhood obesity epidemic in Trinidad and Tobago. The sweetened drinks to be banned include soft drinks, juice drinks, flavoured water, sports/energy drinks, tea and coffee and milk-based drinks with added sugars and artificial sweeteners. The ministry said, from April, only water, 100 per cent sweet juices, low-fat milk and blended vegetable or fruit drinks can be sold at schools.

“YOCHI”, winner of Best Short Film at Belize Int’l Film Festival, Coming To Las Cruces
Yochi, an award-winning short film, will be screened at the Rio Grande Theater in downtown Las Cruces, Tuesday, February 7th at 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Yochi, written and directed by NMSU professor and filmmaker Ilana Lapid, was filmed in Belize, Central America last year. The film won Best Short Film at the Belize International Film Festival in November. The film is almost ready to submit to film festivals around the world. “We need $1,500 for the professional sound design in Los Angeles next month,” Lapid said. “We are in the final stretch to complete the film.” Lapid said. Yochi has been receiving noteworthy recognition, most recently from renowned film director Roland Joffe (The Mission) in a tweet about Robert Dugan's cinematography, calling it "Beautifully shot."

Belize-Mexico border clash over alleged smuggling leaves 13 injured
Belizean customs agents clashed with a group of alleged smugglers attempting to carry goods into Mexico at the Belize-Quintana Roo border Friday Jan. 27. Thirteen people were injured at the Subteniente López border crossing, 15 kilometers from Chetumal, Quintana Roo, after the customs officials refused to allow a group of about 20 people to cross the border because they hadn’t paid taxes on the merchandise. The situation worsened when one of the Belize agents, who had crossed into Mexican territory, pulled his gun and began threatening the alleged smugglers. Weekends are a popular time for Mexicans to cross the border and enter Belize to buy merchandise in the duty-free zone and return to Mexico to sell it. Similar confrontations have happened before. After a similar incident last year, Belizean authorities decided to prohibit commercial vendors from gathering at the border crossing, but little by little they have been returning, reported the newspaper Milenio.

Life Lessons Learned on a Mission Trip to Belize
A group of Caldwell University students and faculty and staff spent a week in January volunteering in an impoverished village in Belize. They helped repaint a school, spent time playing with the children and were treated to gracious hospitality and home-cooked meals. Marisa Juliano, a senior, attended for the first time. “I saw things that broke my heart a little and things that were so beautiful.” Working with the schoolchildren made her heart “grow 10 times bigger … As soon as I met them I wanted to do 10 times more. I wanted to paint the whole town for them.” Senior Sean Puzzo was on the mission trip for a third time. The villagers are not rich in material things, he said, but they are certainly rich in “community, spirit and respect.” Many of the people have no electricity, wash their clothing in the river, live in homes with dirt floors, sleep on hammocks and grow their own food. Jobs and education are scarce.

This 600-Mile Offshore Race Circles 11 Islands in the Caribbean
It’s one of the greatest races in the hemisphere: the RORC Caribbean 600. It’s a 600-mile race that starts and finishes in Antigua and circles 11 Caribbean islands in between. This year’s race, which is organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Antigua Yacht Club, will have a record entry of more than 70 boats. “The support of the members of the Antigua Yacht Club plays a vital part in the success of the RORC Caribbean 600,” said RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott. “The fact that we see so many familiar faces helping us each year, with their vast experience of the local area and conditions, gives the RORC the confidence to be able to organize this demanding offshore race with a small RORC team from the UK.” Yachts carrying a total of more than 800 crew members from around the world will meet in Antigua, culminating in the award of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy to the monohull with the best corrected time under the IRC rating room.

Videos

  • Chinese New Year Special (Pepper Shrimp) Grace & You, 19min.

  • Katy Feeding a Toucan at the Belize Zoo, 1/2min.

  • Animals at the Belize Zoo, 1min.

  • Toucan at Sleeping Giant Belize, 10sec. The day we were departing we saw some toucans just outside our casita!

  • Miss Belize Universe Speaks Before Final Cut on Sunday, 3min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1i15WUn90k, 5min. A recap of my trip to Belize with the Belize Tourism Board (@TravelBelize) and Tiffany Nguyen

  • Belize Medical Tourism Association, 19min.

  • Statistical Institute of Belize - Overview of 2016 Figures, 26min.

  • 7th Annual Caribbean Urban Forum 2017 CUF 7, 27min.

  • Michael’s Farm of Acai’ in Belize, 1min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize at Mexico Rocks - Nov 2016, 3min. Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef at Mexico Rocks off the coast of Ambergris Caye in mid November, 2016.

  • Dave Handpan tour Belize 2017, Jan, 5.5min. I went to Belize to perform music go into villages, jungles, caves, islands, and waterfalls to learn and meet the local medicine people, and to get lots of raw cacoa chocolate. I recommend Belize to everybody for it has a lot to offer. I brought my guitar and my nirvana hand and played everywhere and the people loved it. I'm grateful to have experienced this country and I'll be back,.

  • Howler monkeys at the Mayan ruins in Belize, 1min.

  • Barracuda Catch and Cook Fail in Belize, 10min. On this episode of catch and cook I set out in search of a Barracuda. I have never eaten one but always wanted to try it. Although I caught lots of fish and had an awesome day I failed to land the Barracuda for my catch and cook.

  • Belize Dive 2 1 of 2, 40min.

  • Belize Dive 1 1 of 2, 40min.

  • Belize Diving, 13min. Diving the Blue Hole and surrounds - 2016.

    January 30, 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

    Letter to the Editor: Assisting Cancer Patient Lizette Alamina Gutierrez
    Dear Editor, Mrs. Lizette Alamina Gutierrez was diagnosed with cervical cancer 2B early January 2017 and there is an opportunity to treat her condition with 28 radiation sessions for a 6 week period in Guatemala City and her goal is to raise $35,000 for the radiation and boarding. She will take care of her travel and incidentals. The communities of San Pedro and Caye Caulker have gotten together to raise those much needed funds for her medical expenses. January 13th was the Telethon on Reef TV which raised about $7,000 including the dollar drive held on that same day. The Caye Caulker community got together and managed to plan a BBQ sale on January 14th at the park raising $5,000 including cash donations from various donors. Stella’s Smile Wine Bar in North Ambergris Caye also chipped in and put together a fundraiser complete with karaoke on Tuesday, January 17th raising a total of $1,970. She is now scheduled to have one of her final BBQ fundraisers this time at the Boca del Rio Park on January 29th from 10am until everything is sold. There will be food, sodas, beer, desserts and pastries on sale. All proceeds will go toward Lizette’s medical fund. Caribbean Kings Band will be there to entertain and place everyone on their dancing feet after a hearty BBQ meal.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Liquor and Women
    “Ali, bring me two beers,” Charley called. “And don’t forget the glass of ice.” “Do you want anything, Mister Dennis?” Ali asked as he served Charlie’s beers. “I’ll just take an ice cold bottle of water,” I told him. “Well, how was Mexico?” Charlie asked. “It was great,” I said, “but it’s always good to get back home to San Pedro. I wouldn’t even go to Mexico except that it’s cheaper to go see the doctors there than it is to fly to Belize City.” “What did the doctor say about your health?” “He said I’ve got the constitution of a horse and that I’ll probably out-live him.” “He’s probably right,” Charlie said. “If I recall, your dad lived to be about eighty.”

    Cries for compassion rise up after tragic death of abused puppy
    Local residents of Ambergris Caye and social media supporters from as far as Malta, have voiced their sadness, and outrage after learning of the senseless and preventable death of a young dog named Trooper, on Ambergris Caye last week. What was supposed to be a weeklong volunteer veterinary and education adventure for Dr. Heather McGowan and her team of five from Glanbrook Animal Services in Mount Hope Ontario, became a journey of compassion that ended in heartbreak. Trooper was abandoned overnight on January 19th on the hard cold cement inside one of the outdoor pens at Saga Humane Society. When the travel team from Mount Hope arrived for their fifth and final day of volunteer work, the grim discovery was made. Trooper had suffered for months with a Demodectic Mange condition that could have been prevented. According to Dr. T.J. Dunn, Jr.

    Doctor Love: Your Call
    Dear Doctor Love, My boyfriend and I have decided to get married next year when we vacation in San Pedro. Marc and I have lived together for ten years, so the wedding will be a small ceremony on the beach; no fancy dress or fan fare. Our best friends, a couple with whom we are very close, are coming with us. When we told my parents, to our joy, they expressed an interest to come. We will rent a house with a pool, pay for our parents’ flights and give them a vacation they would not take on their own. The problem came when my mom told my sister. She is furious that she is not being invited. She is pressing for me to pay for her flight and give her a room because I attended her church wedding 5 years ago. My sister is not a fun person. She complains about everything, especially the cost of things and never has any money to spare. Between her disapproval of the drinking, beach attire and tourist activities the rest of us will be enjoying, and her lack of finances, I cannot see having her come on what is essentially a seven day vacation with a fifteen minute wedding ceremony.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Miss Universe Pageant
    What a journey and what beautiful and amazing women! Now we need lunch! Thank you everyone for the love and support! You represented us well, Rebecca. You did great!!!You are our Ms. UNIVERSE!!!

    Birding Big Day 1 - MPR Highlands
    The first of 12 Birding Big Days to cover Belize in 2017. Our 15 participants were from all over the country. Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek Districts. Plus from Peten Guatemala. Thanks to the Belize Audubon Society for inviting past Bird Guide students and helping with logistics.

    The Reporter

    Bird flu back on the rise
    The Avian influenza is again spreading rapidly across the world and is putting the global poultry industry on the edge. The World Health Organization (WHO) is already on high alert as human cases of the influenza were recently detected in China. WHO has since called on all countries to closely monitor the outbreak of the deadly virus in birds and poultry and to promptly report any human case that could signal the start of a flu pandemic. Humans are also urged to not come into physical contact with birds or poultry and to avoid raw consumption of poultry or eggs. The virus has already spread across Europe and Asia in the last year, resulting in large-scale slaughtering of affected poultry. According to the WHO, nearly 40 countries have reported new outbreak of the influenza. According to an online publication, scientist are saying that the virus is rapidly changing since it was recently discovered in cats in Korea. Scientists also believe that the deadly influenza spreads from country to country in the droppings of migratory flocks of birds, and can survive on truck tires, clothing, and dust particles.

    Man still missing after almost a year
    There has been no word on a Belizean national of Silk Grass village who was reported missing over eight months ago. Forty-one year-old Saul Castillo was last seen alive in May of 2016 in Silk Grass village. His wife Ulana Dican, reported to police that she has not seen him since then and is asking the public’s assistance in helping to find her husband. Castillo is described as being of Belizean nationality, about five feet, ten inches tall, and weighs approximately 138 pounds with a low haircut and brown eyes. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of Castillo they are urged to call the nearest police station.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Letter to the Editor regarding Ms. Belize Universe
    Dear Ms. Rebecca Rath, In a few hours, the entire world will be watching you on stage showcasing our little jewel, Belize. I salute you on this big journey and applaud you for representing us with so much confidence, pride and determination. YOU are our queen and I have a gut feeling that you’ll be in the top 5. In my eyes, you have awaken an entire nation and proven to all Belizeans that dreams do come true! Thank you for all your hard work & perseverance. I know it’s not easy and I am positive that whatever you learnt on this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll use it to better off yourself and other young women. You’re a true ambassador unlike any other!

    Miss Belize Universe – It’s show time!!!
    It’s a few hours down to the big event. Belizeans at home and abroad are anxiously awaiting the big contest and are dying to cast their last votes for Rebecca ‘Bex’ Rath. Bex, as she is commonly known, is participating later today in the 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines. Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath has been receiving overwhelming support from Belizeans on social media and her fans have been voting passionately on Twitter, fan polls, vodi and the MissU app. But Rath has also been in the spotlight on international pageant watchers and media houses. She was featured in various international newsletters and news outlets as a favorite when she displayed the Scarlet Macah as her national costume and shined in the preliminaries.

    Between these lines…’on the war over BTL with the Ashcroft Alliance’
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in the House Friday that he had learned on Tuesday that representatives of the so-called Ashcroft Alliance were moving to attach Government of Belize assets in the US, hence the special meeting and hasty legislation. In the ordinary course of things this would be an incredible assertion on his part but Mr. Barrow’s miscalculations have been so calamitous that I do want to believe he thought, and not just hoped that the British billionaire would just leave the matter pending. In retrospect it is now indubitable that the decision to expropriate BTL and others, was an act of hubris and we, all of us, are paying and will pay dearly for it.

    Sports day held in honour of young Tyler Savery
    Shakera Young, mother of slain 7 year old, Tyler Savery, yesterday organized a Sports Day for over 70 kids from Pickstock, Fort George, and Caribbean Shores at the BTL park in Belize City. The event was organized by Shakera Young under the banner of the ‘Tyler Savery Foundation’. The theme for the event was ‘Kill hatred and anger, not each other’. According to Young this is the first of many events to be held in memory of Tyler and all the innocent children that have fallen victim to violence.

    Blogs

    Lamanai Landing Hotel and Some Great Tours in Orange Walk, Belize
    I do love an invitation. Last week I signed up for a pretty exciting trip to Orange Walk. Most exciting because, for years, I was operating under the belief that those who visited the northwest district of Belize were going to see one of Belize’s grandest Mayan sites – Lamanai. Only. Let me tell you about one of the busiest 24 hours I’ve spent in a long time. Friday at noon, I met the group at the Smokey Mermaid in Belize City. Located on the bottom floor of Belize City’s beautiful colonial building – the Great House Hotel. We were whisked off to David and Debbie Gegg’s new enterprise – “RAZ” or the Rain Forest Adventure Zone. Located in Sand Hill, about 30 miles north of Belize City, the area is easily accessible by the Northern Highway. They have set up 6 brand new ziplines (all the equipment was still shining), rafting and kayaking on the Belize River and a bunch of other attractions. As we entered, we passed a few of the crocodile ponds. Working closely with ACES (the American Crocodiles Sanctuary), many crocs (often problemed ones – who are hurt or are too comfortable around humans) are relocated from other parts of the country now live in ponds here.

    A View Of The Caribbean Sea For Half The Cost Of Home
    Coming from the Pacific Northwest, Bill Dejardin and Judy Lutz were used to rain and gray skies throughout the year. “The weather in the northwest can be depressing,” says Bill. “Fall, winter, and spring can range from 20 F to 60s F or the occasional 70s F.” Contrast that to the warm weather and blue skies they savor in Placencia, on Belize’s Caribbean coast. “Living in Belize: sunshine almost every single day,” says Bill. “Highs can range from the mid-90s F to an occasional 70 F, which doesn’t happen often. Blue sky versus gray sky…I’ll take blue sky.” With such weather, it’s no surprise they spend each morning sitting on their patio, having coffee while looking out over the Caribbean Sea. From their porch they have a direct view of the turquoise waters, with palm trees and the beach stretching out in either direction. Placencia Village sits at the southern tip of a 14-mile peninsula. With rustic wood cabañas and cottages painted in every color of the rainbow, along with the “smallest main street in the world” (a pedestrian-only sidewalk filled with shops, bars, restaurants, and stores that stretches from the northern end of the village to the pier—about a mile), Placencia maintains its authentic Caribbean charm.

    This is Belize: Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do?
    Saturday afternoon, the Texas-based singer Kelly McGuire was commanding the stage at the Dive Bar singing about island life, broken dreams, healing hearts, fresh hopes, sailing away and the joy of a good guitar. We were sitting at the back of the crowd, next to the dock, where the cool breezes were floating in on the rippling blue Caribbean. Everyone was enjoying the island’s latest sensation. No, not Kelly. He comes every year to celebrate his birthday and pay homage to the island that has inspired many of his best songs and to one of his heroes, Jimmy Buffett, who used to come down here quite often, I’m told. No, the island’s latest sensation is Landshark beer on tap. Suddenly taps are showing up in bars all over the island. Next will come serving beer by the pitcher, but as the Dive Bar’s owner Doug said, “We have to solve the problem of the beer growing warm too quickly.” Somebody mentioned a container that keeps liquid cold for seven hours.

    International Sourcesizz

    Miss Universe competition 2017
    From swimsuits to evening gowns and everything in between, here are some must-see moments from the 65th Miss Universe competition preliminaries. The pageant aired live on FOX Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 from the Philippines.

    Miss France’s journey to Miss Universe crown
    Iris Mittenaere of France was crowned the 65th Miss Universe on Monday in Manila, beating other heavily favored candidates to win the prestigious beauty title. Mittenaere participated in prepageant activities throughout the Philippines and hurdled preliminary long gown and swimsuit competitions, interviews, and the national costume show. She succeeded the host country’s Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Here’s a look back at the newly crowned Miss Universe’s journey to her coronation. All photos are from the Miss Universe Organization.

    UK supports Commonwealth Caribbean in developing resilient marine economies
    Leading marine experts from the Caribbean and the UK joined up last week at a three-day workshop aiming to support the sustainable growth of marine economies in the region. In the Caribbean region, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines benefited from the Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) programme workshop. The marine workshop, hosted by the British High Commission in Kingston Jamaica, was attended by senior-level representatives from governments, regional agencies, external science agencies, academia and key donors.

    Miss Universo 2016; FOTOS
    Iris Mittenaere é coroada pela Miss Universo da última edição, Pia Wurtzbach. Iris Mittenaere acena após vencer o Miss Universo. Iris Mittenaere é abraçada pelas candidatas após a vitória.

    Chronic exposure to commonly used insecticide causes diabetes
    Scientific study says exposure to malathion (the anti-mosquito chemical) causes diabetes. A study by scientists at Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu, has found evidence that chronic exposure to organophosphate insecticides induces diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in both humans and mice. The researchers found that organophosphate-induced diabetes was mediated by gut bacteria. The results were published in the journal Genome Biology. A survey of around 3,000 people in villages in and around the university found that the prevalence of diabetes in people who were directly exposed to the insecticides was three-fold higher than in people who were not directly exposed to the insecticide. Serum analysis for four organophosphate insecticides revealed a direct correlation between pesticide level and HbA1c. “We saw a linear trend — for every unit increase in insecticide residue there was a corresponding increase in HbA1c level,” says Dr. Ganesan Velmurugan from the Department of Molecular Biology, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University and the first author of the paper.

    Videos

  • Sandy Point Turtle, 2.5min. Turtle trying to shake pesky Ramoras!

  • Miss Universe Pageant, 2hr.

  • Ambergis Caye, Belize 2017, 3min.

  • belize : 2017, 5min.

  • Diving in Belize #1, 4min. Lionfish hunting at San Pedro, Belize with Amigos Del Mar.

  • Honeymoon in Belize, 6.5min.

  • Fly fishing in Belize, 22min.

  • Belize 2017, 4min.

  • Diving in Belize 2016, 5min.

  • Belize boxing, 3min. Esquivel (Belize) vs Duran ( Honduras)

  • Cat Cay, Belize, 1min.

  • Belize 2016, 21min.

    January 29, 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

    Fifth Summit of The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States
    The V Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) was held on the 25 of January 2017 in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The Belize Delegation was headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honourable Wilfred Elrington. At the meeting, Heads of Government endorsed the Political Declaration of Punta Cana V CELAC Summit along with its 20 Special Declarations and the CELAC Action Plan. The Political Declaration spanned a wide range of development challenges including those of an economic, social, financial, technological and political nature confronting the region. Also acknowledged in the Declaration was the positive progress made in transforming the region into a zone of peace as well as other initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of people of the region. Of key interest to Belize was the ongoing concern over the progressive decline in correspondent banking relationships in light of the de-risking actions by major international banking partners.

    Boat accident in Caye Caulker leaves 8 injured
    A boat accident on January 14th has left eight tourists injured. The incident occurred at Coral Gardens, west of Caye Caulker Island. After the Caye Caulker Police were informed, they visited Dr. D’s Private Clinic in Caye Caulker Village, where the tourists’ injuries were evaluated. According to the police report, the tourists boarded EZ Boyz Tour boat and headed to different tour sites with captain and tour guide Roque Badillo and sideman Danier Novelo. However, between 3PM and 3:30PM, a huge wave came in their direction when they were all on the boat. As a result, the wave caused the Badillo to lose control of the boat, causing it to overturn and hit the coral. As the tourists tried to escape, they were injured. However, they were able to stay afloat by holding on to the boat until another boat came to render assistance. A few of the tourists’ personal items were discovered by the tour company, but many of their electronics were water damaged. Two American passports also received water damage, but the police contacted the United States Embassy to speak on behalf of the two passport holders.

    Caye Note: San Pedro Pirates FC to offer youth football camp
    As San Pedro’s newly formed semi-pro football team, the San Pedro Pirates are looking for ways to contribute to their community. They believe that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow, and thus they are pleased to announce their youth development plans. The club is looking to expand into two youth teams: an Under-12 and Under-17 team. Within Pirates FC’s youth plan, their international coach, along with a local coach will be in charge of developing a program for kids under 17 and 12 years of age. Training will be convenient for the target age groups to participate after school on weekdays and specific times on weekends. The club is willing to do its best to teach children good discipline, as well as helping them develop their full football potential. Youth team players will also take part in positive community-based activities in San Pedro.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Lipsticks, Mascaras, Eye And lip liners, Avon
    I'm in Caye Caulker through tomorrow Sunday and still have tons of items. Feel free to call me at 6052181 to come take a look see. Lots Of Lipsticks, Mascaras, Eye And lip liners, eye brow liners and a variety of Avon Perfumes.

    BDF Boxing Match - Live Broadcast
    Boxing at the BDF Price Barracks this Saturday, January 28th. Tune in to Channel 10. The National Channel! Central TV & Internet Customers On Channel: 10 Dibo , 132-10 HD , 22-110 San Pedro Channel 53, Orange Walk & Corozal through Centaur Channel 61.

    Feast day of El Niño de Atocha
    Join us in celebrating the novena & feast day of El Niño de Atocha on February 4th @ 7:00 pm at the San Pedro House of Culture.

    Channel 5

    House Meets to Plot Strategy on Arbitration Awards
    A Special Sitting of the House of Representatives was called for today, Friday. It is the second in a month and caught just about everyone by surprise. There were two [...]

    Jail for Attempts to Encourage Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
    The other piece of legislation is an amendment to the Crown Proceedings Act. It intends to make provisions on enforcements of foreign judgments against the Crown, and is also a [...]

    Opposition Complains About Notice and Prolonging B.T.L. War
    On the second reading of the new bill, a debate was held in which the Opposition raised its concerns of punitive action against Caribbean Investment Holdings and B.S.D.L. and the [...]

    New Legislation Alleviates Issues, But Not Entirely, Says P.M.
    The division of the House on the second reading was a rare unanimous vote in favour, with all twenty-nine representatives present voting ‘Aye.’ It was something for the Prime Minister [...]

    Speaker Shuts Down Immigration Debate in House; P.M. Says No “Actionable Corruption” Among Ministers Yet
    The final words of ex-Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan at her Wednesday appearance before the Senate Special Select Committee continue to reverberate in the national consciousness. She admitted that quite [...]

    The Superbond Negotiations Continue; P.M. is Cautiously Optimistic
    Thursday evening saw the time elapse for Belize’s consent solicitation offer to holders of the Belize 2038 U.S. Dollar Bonds, aka the Superbond. But the Government has confirmed that the [...]

    Puerto Azul, We Hardly Knew You!
    The Government of Belize appears to be breathing a sigh of relief, as the fall of the Puerto Azul project for a grand resort project at the Northern Two and [...]

    Former Treasury Clerk to be Tried for Theft from Government
    Thirty-nine-year-old David Enriquez, a former clerk at the Treasury Department, will stand trial for three counts of theft after being charged in connection with the embezzlement of over four hundred [...]

    Meetings to Begin on Sarstoon Protocol in Coming Weeks
    Late last year, talk of signing a Sarstoon protocol with Guatemala was a hot-button issue that dominated the news. Well, as you would have noted, December has come and gone [...]

    Miss Belize Universe Speaks Before Final Cut on Sunday
    In our continued coverage of Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath, tonight we go one-on-one with the twenty-three-year-old beauty ambassador in an exclusive interview with News Five. There are twelve spots [...]

    House Reps Come Together to Support “Bex for Belize,” and Larry Nicasio
    Early on Sunday morning, FOX Television in the United States and other broadcasters will be airing the Miss Universe 2017 pageant from the Philippines. News Five has been bringing you [...]

    72 New Recruits for B.D.F.
    Approximately five hundred applications were submitted to the B.D.F. for Intake number sixty-two but only around one hundred and fifty of those were invited to train. But after the first [...]

    Dangriga Cancer Center Partners with U.C.L.A. Medical Center
    A team of doctors, including Belizean oncologist Dr. Ellsworth Grant, is on a working visit to the Jewel where a partnership with the Dangriga Cancer Center is being undertaken.  The [...]

    A Different Kind of Open Day at Belize High School
    The Belize High School opened its doors back in September of 2010, first operating out of the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive, before permanently establishing itself on Mercy [...]

    LOVE FM

    PM introduces bill to protect Belize’s reserves from Ashcroft allied companies
    At the last Sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the nation that the Government would not pay the fifty million US dollars arbitration award to Belize Social Development Ltd and BCB Holdings Ltd, two companies linked to British-Belizean billionaire Michael Ashcroft. The Supreme Court Judge ruled that the companies may […]

    Second bill seeks to reinforce Central Bank Bill
    A second bill to amend the Crown Proceedings Act also went through its three readings. The bill amended specifically Chapter 167 of the Laws of Belize revised edition 2011 to make provisions relating to enforcements of foreign judgments against Belize. Barrow explained. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “This is dealing with the assets of government qua […]

    Negotiations with bondholders continue
    As it relates to the super bond negotiations, today we heard from Prime Minister Dean Barrow as to why the Government of Belize decided to extend its offer for a restructuring of the Belize’s 2038 bonds. Belize is attempting to restructure the bonds for the third time and this time bondholders rejected Belize’s proposed restructuring. […]

    Opposition not allowed to speak on ongoing Senate Inquiry on Immigration Department
    On Wednesday the Former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee. During the session, Meighan said that during the 2012 general elections a massive amount of nationalities were fraudulently issued to immigrants in order for them to vote. Opposition Leader John Briceno attempted to speak on that particular matter during […]

    Prime Minister says Puerto Azul scam is unfortunate
    The Puerto Azul project turned out to be a huge multi million dollars scam orchestrated by the so called developers Domenico Giannini, and Fabio La Rosa. Belize is getting bad press about it because Giannini and La Rosa told investors that Puerto Azul would be built in Belize. Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Junior even attended […]

    BDF increases its numbers
    After sixteen weeks of intensive training, today, seventy four recruits joined the ranks of the Belize Defence Force. As usual the passing out ceremony took place at the Sir Colville Parade Square at Price Barracks in Ladyville. The keynote address was delivered by the CEO in the Ministry Of Defence, Retired Colonel Felix Enriquez. Retired […]

    US sponsored training concludes in Belmopan
    A two week training for Police Officers concluded today in Belmopan. The training was sponsored by the United States Embassy, through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. Fem Cruz “A two week training sponsored by the US embassy came to an end this afternoon. Craig Crucas the facilitator from the United States spoke to Love […]

    Caribbean Shores area representative speaks on legal fees paid out by GOB
    Today the Government fast tracked the readings of two bills to prevent Belize’s foreign reserves and assets becoming the subject of litigation by any foreign entity. This was Government’s reaction to the US fifty million dollar arbitration award. While supporting the amendments, Caribbean Shores Area Representatives, Kareem Musa, Area Representative, pointed out the huge legal […]

    Justices of the Peace to hold AGM
    The Association of Justices of the Peace will be holding its annual general meeting on Sunday. Today we spoke with Adrian Danny Madrid who shared some of the challenges faced by the Association. He also spoke of the upcoming AGM. Adrian Madrid – President, JP’s Association “ We have Justices of the Peace in this […]

    Orange Walk based group holds fundraiser
    The Charitable Roots Foundation based in Orange Walk Town will be holding their annual Bob Marley Tribute this weekend. As in previous years, the proceeds from the event will be handed over to a needy family. Omar Ayuso of Charitable Roots Foundation explains more about the work of the organization and the upcoming event. Omar […]

    The Reporter

    Police personnel train in self-defense tactics
    The United States Embassy, through the CARSI initiative, held a two week training in defense tactics for 19 Belize police instructors. The training was held at the police training academy in Belmopan from January 16-27 and was facilitated by instructors from the Denver Colorado Police Precinct. The officers were taught self defense techniques and citizen protection. They were also guided on the proper procedures when apprehending suspects. The aspects of the course will be added to the local training academy policy and will also be extended to the field via the field training officer program. A press release issued by the U.S. embassy states that the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Unit provided over US $26,000 in funding for the two-week training course and for the provision of training equipment for the course.

    House passes new law to protect Central Bank reserves from Ashcroft alliance
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow called an emergency House Meeting in Belmopan on Friday, to pass an emergency Bill to safeguard Belize’s foreign reserves from the the Ashcroft alliance, which is said to be once more attempting to recover a US $50 million in arbitation award, granted by a US court earlier last week. It was said that Aschroft and his team was moving in to freeze the Central Bank reserves before they could be protected by the new legislation. The Prime Minister met with Cabinet members to pass the Legislation called: “A Bill for an Act to restate for greater certainty the immunity of the Central Bank of Belize for legal proceeding with other states.” In order for the Bill to be passed, it needed full bi-partisan support. Barrow expounded on the Bill and what is its purpose. “Last Tuesday, those entities filed a motion in the district court in Washington DC, filed an application to be allowed to enforce those judgments against the government of Belize. Nothing so far in the proceedings that have taken place in the US mentioned the Central Bank of Belize, but because we know that this country’s reserve constitutes a big fat inviting target to that predator who seeks to collapse our economy, we believe that once they obtain the order for enforcement of the judgement, they will seek to attack the assets, the holdings of the Central Bank of Belize.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    GOB passes bill to protect Central Bank reserves
    The Government of Belize yesterday held a special sitting at the House of Representatives to introduce a bill to protect the Central Bank’s reserves from companies belonging to Lord Michael Ashcroft seeking enforcement of upwards of US $50 million in arbitration awards against GOB. The bill will, in essence, criminalize any attempt to enforce rulings against the Central Bank reserves. GOB rushed to present the bill before the Ashcroft Alliance could make good on its enforcement claim. It asked for bipartisan support in the House yesterday and the opposition, despite only getting a first look at the bill yesterday, pledged its support for the bill.

    David Nanes Schnitzer caught in Mexico
    David Nanes Schnitzer, the American fugitive wanted for his role in a multi-million dollar ponzi-scheme, was caught this week by Interpol in Mexico City. Schnitzer was caught at the Mexico City International Airport. According to authorities, Schnitzer had arrived from Havana, Cuba carrying travel documents including passports, drivers licenses, and other official documents identifying him under another name. He has been taken into custody by Interpol until Mexican police can prepare proper documentation for a formal arrest.

    Blogs

    Chiquibul Challenge Benefits Belize Wildlife
    I recently had this event shared with me by Denver T. Cayetano, Communications and Membership Officer Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation and think it’s a great event to put out there and inform all of you about a great project focusing on the health and conservation of Belize animals. Justin Ford, Event Coordinator, Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic replied with more information and was willing to include his 2 cents about why the Chiquibul Belize Wildlife and the challenge is so important. “The Chiquibul Challenge Marathon is yet another way to highlight the importance of Belize’s protected areas, and humanity’s connection with nature. The Chiquibul Forest System is one of Belize’s most remote and most threatened protected areas. The Belizeans working to protect and earn a living from the Chiquibul’s vast natural resources do their work with passion and a sense of stewardship. We at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic have been honored to play a small role in species conservation by providing veterinary support for the Scarlet Macaw Protection program. This work with our friends at the Forest Department and Friends for Conservation is the target for the Chiqibul Challenge Marathon fundraising efforts.

    Chinese Celebrating New Year's in Corozal, Belize
    Chinese New Year is celebrated for sixteen days (from New Year's Eve to the Lantern Festival). The preparations start seven days before the New Year's Eve. Many activities for this period are traditional customs, but some are quite new... Here is a daily guide to the celebrations in 2017. Pre-Chinese New Year Preparations (January 20–26, 2017) Laba Festival: Some Chinese start to celebrate and prepare for New Year as early as month 12 day 8 of the lunar calendar. This is a festival called Laba. It's January 5 in 2017. Cleaning the House: People clean their houses before Chinese New Year. From the 23rd of the 12th lunar month (January 20, 2017), Chinese people carry out a thorough cleaning of their houses. The cleaning is called "sweeping the dust", and represents a wish to put away old things, bid farewell to the old year, and welcome the New Year.

    Blockage through Belize and Mexico are blocked due t o the fayuqueros
    In the face of recent violent incidents in the former international bridge of Subteniente López, which communicates to Mexico and Belize, authorities in this Caribbean nation decided to cancel the passage of local residents who pass by on foot, motorcycles or tricycles, only allowing the entry of vehicles that are Carefully reviewed to locate and arrest suspected fayuqueros who operate in this place. After the violent incidents that took place on the border between Mexico and Belize, where police officers of this Caribbean nation violated the national territory to try to arrest the alleged fayuqueros of Subteniente Lopez, the relationship between authorities of both nations has become tense because On the Mexican side is the presence of elements of the Army, Navy of Mexico and Federal Police that guard the boundaries between these two nations. A similar situation could be felt in the 14 communities on the banks of the Hondo River, a natural border of 130 kilometers shared by Mexico and Belize; However, the Belizean authorities determined to reinforce security measures to enter the Free Zone of this Nation, affecting the 300 businesses and casinos that are in the so-called free zone, because visitors are rigorously reviewed, in addition That the input and output times are being limited.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Challenge of Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
    For most SIDS tourism is a key sector of their economy. In more than half, it is the most important source of foreign exchange. It is also for many the main engine of growth and the source of demands on natural resources, infrastructure and services. For some SIDS the number of tourists on the island can significantly outnumber all residents in peak tourist season. Tourism globally is a very complex and fragmented business. It manages what is the largest migration in human history – every year. The supply chain stretches from the cities of the first world all the way to the most distant islands on the planet. As such it involves many players – at source, in transport and in the destination. Firms range from tiny agencies specializing in, for example, small diving vacations through to global players organizing, transporting, feeding and accommodating thousands at a time. The UN World Tourism Organization, through satellite tourism accounting, has attempted to analyze which employment and other benefits derive directly and indirectly from tourism. This is not easy, as part of the income for many occupations from taxi drivers to café owners to the convenience store near the dock are attributable to tourism while the rest is with local purchasers. In some destinations, many of these basic services would not exist at all without the tourists. This complexity carries over into most SIDS.

    Belize border crossing closed for 6 hours
    There was a dust-up on the Belize border yesterday — not for the first time — after Belizean customs agents clashed with a group of alleged smugglers attempting to carry goods into Mexico. Thirteen people were injured at the Subteniente López border crossing, 15 kilometers from Chetumal, Quintana Roo, after the customs officials refused to allow a group of about 20 people to cross the border because they hadn’t paid taxes on the merchandise. The situation worsened when one of the Belize agents, who had crossed into Mexican territory, pulled his gun and began threatening the alleged smugglers. Weekends are a popular time for Mexicans to cross the border and enter Belize to buy merchandise in the duty-free zone and return to Mexico to sell it. Similar confrontations have happened before. After a similar incident last year, Belizean authorities decided to prohibit commercial vendors from gathering at the border crossing, but little by little they have been returning, reported the newspaper Milenio. The crossing was closed for six hours yesterday as a result of the clash.

    President Trump’s policies and the Caribbean
    The president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, is systematically implementing the pledges he made during the presidential election campaign. Those who argued that limitations on presidential power and the restraining hands of Cabinet and Congress would cause many, if not all, of the president’s promises to fall by the wayside, are now becoming convinced of his determination. He had reinforced that determination in his inauguration speech when he told the world, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America first.” And he spelt out the detail in clear terms by saying, “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.

    Candy-striped hermit crab discovered in Caribbean
    An underwater photographer has stumbled upon a new species of hermit crab with legs and pincers striped like candy canes. Ellen Muller captured photos and video of the tiny creature at dive sites in the National Marine Park off the southern Caribbean island of Bonaire. Just a few millimetres wide, the animal is the subject of a new report in the journal ZooKeys. The report is authored by the Smithsonian's Rafael Lemaitre, a hermit crab expert who documented the new species. The red-and-white colour pattern on the legs and pincers of the crab reminded both Lemaitre and Muller of a traditional candy cane, prompting them to give it the common name "candy-striped hermit crab." Its scientific name is Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae, after diver Muller's young granddaughter, Molly Muller.

    Videos

  • Pepsi Maaga Season BASH in Dangriaga!, 1.5hr.

  • BELIZE IN 1975, 10min. The early days of tranquility. Enjoy...

  • Fighting water buffalo, 2min. Was going thru Guinnie Grass village and saw this two male water buffalos, I guess fighting for dominance.

  • Candy Striped Hermit Crab, 1min. New species of marine hermit crab discovered on the island of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands Candy Striped Hermit Crab, Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae

  • Chinese New Year, Custom and Traditions, 1min. on 7th Avenue, Corozal

  • Chinese New Year celebration in Coroza!, 1/2min. Happy new years to the Chinese community

  • Belize Diving 2016., 16min.

  • Butts Up! Cave Tubing in Belize, 1.5min. Butts Up! Cave tubing in Belize is an extremely popular cruise ship shore excursion in this Central American country. The tubing takes place on a tributary of the Sibun River called the Caves Branch River. These limestone caves are known Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve (but the locals call it simply Caves Brance). A number of companies operate here, including Vitalino Reyes' CaveTubing.bz and another company called Butts Up! Before tubing in the cool water, you must first hike up a trail and sections of the river to get above the caves. This video covers the whole experience. It's a great time!

  • Fans Show Appreciation for Miss Belize Universe , 4.5min. Fans of Miss Belize Universe 2016 Rebecca “Bex” Rath send messages of support to their beloved beauty ambassador.

  • DIVING BELIZE 2014, 18min.

  • Diving Turneffe atoll - December 25, 2016 - Dive 1 #Belize, 25min. On December 25th, 2016 I headed out with the fantastic dive operation SeaStar Belize to go and explore the reef around Turneffe Atoll off the coast of Belize. It was an incredible experience. The soft and hard corals were very healthy, and the marine environment in really good shape. The only problem was the invasive lionfish, although we had some fun catching them for dinner with our Hawaiian slings.

  • Diving Turneffe atoll - December 25, 2016 - Dive 2 #Belize, 41min.

  • Diving Turneffe atoll - December 25, 2016 - Dive 3 #Belize, 44min.

  • Belize Marine Biology Trip, 5min.

    January 28, 2017


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro House of Culture presents Bob Marley photo exhibit
    The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC), along with IRIE Belize, are featuring an exhibition in honour of Jamaican Reggae Legend, Bob Marley. The exhibit was launched on Wednesday, January 25th prior to the Tribute to Bob Marley’s concert slated for February 4th from 11AM at the Central Park. Residents and visitors gathered at the SPHC on Angel Coral Street at 7PM to check out the exhibit detailing the life of the reggae king. The exhibit features a detailed pictorial insight to Marley’s life, with images from his early years, to his marriage and successful singing career. The event also included live performances from reggae singers who interpreted songs by the Reggae Idol. The many pictures of the exhibit also depict the themes of Marley’s songs, including oppression, slavery, poverty, and human rights.

    The first dentists have arrived at the Smile Clinic Too
    Annually, the San Pedro Smile Clinic Too at the Holy Cross Anglican School hosts a number of dentists offering free dental services. The first two of the visiting dentists were at the clinic between the 23rd and 27th of January, and with the aid of other volunteers on the island, attended many children from 8AM to 3PM. Dentists Dr. Paul Roggow, and Dr. George Hankel are from the USA. This year marks Roggow’s tenth trip to the school and on the invitation of Doctor Mark Johnson, the founder of the clinic. During the clinics, both doctors provided several dental procedures. “We do mainly fillings, cleanings and sealing,” said Roggow. All patients who needed extraction were referred to the dental clinic at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. According to Roggow, the services they provided were aimed at preventing tooth decay and gum disease, to mention a few. Children who were treated not only received dental gifts, such as tooth brushes, floss and toothpaste, but they were given lessons on what to eat in order to help them maintain healthy teeth.

    U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offering reward in the case of U.S. Citizen, Anne Swaney
    The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been working with the Belize Police Department on the investigation of January 2016 murder of Anne Swaney in Belize. The FBI is assisting with interviews and has submitted items of evidence for scientific analysis to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. While there are some promising leads in the case, the FBI and the Belize Police Department are asking the public for assistance in apprehending the subject or subjects responsible for this terrible crime. The FBI is offering a reward of up to US $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Anne Swaney. Anyone with relevant information should contact the FBI in Belize at +501 637-9915, their local FBI office in the United States, or any U.S. embassy or consulate around the world.

    Senate Special Select Committee interrogates former Immigration Director
    On January 18th, the Senate Special Select Committee resumed its Senate hearings on the Immigration Department in Belmopan. Although the newly-elected 13th Senator Osmany Salas did not attend the first hearing, the meeting proceeded with its agenda to investigate the findings of Auditor General Dorothy Bradley’s Special Audit into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Department for 2011-2013. Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, was interrogated by the Senate Select Committee for approving applications for permanent residency, passports, and visa issuance. When the immigration scandal came to light, Auditor Bradley revealed that a list of 15 foreigners received a passport without meeting the requirements. Meighan was questioned about the passports approved for foreigners. One of the requirements for permanent residency is to reside in Belize for one year, and these foreigners did not meet legal requirements.

    The Gasoline Lollipops set the dance floor on fire at The Dive Bar
    An anniversary is always something to celebrate, and when you add a birthday to the mix, it can only mean one thing…PARTY! Such was the case when over the weekend not only did The Dive Bar and Sea Star Belize turn one year old, but owner Doug McLain celebrated his birthday as well. The two day celebration featured local musicians alongside the Colorado, USA-based band, The Gasoline Lollipops. Known as an alternative-country band, the high energy quartet had the crowd tapping their toes and dancing the night away. With great vocals, edgy tunes and one heck of an electric fiddle player, folks enjoyed listening to a type of music that rarely frequents San Pedro Town. Located in the Tres Cocos Area just north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, The Dive Bar kicked off the festivities at 4:30pm on Saturday January 21st. Local favorites Dennis Wolfe II and Brent Butcher each warmed up the crowd with their acoustic tunes, and by the time The Gasoline Lollipops took to the beachside stage around 8pm, people were good and ready to kick up their heels! The dance floor was hopping and everyone had a great time.

    National AIDS Commission hosts workshop on “Creating an enabling Environment for Key Populations Affected by HIV in Belize”
    In an effort to train journalists/media personnel in reporting topics regarding HIV (human immunodeficiency disorder)/TB (tuberculosis), the National AIDS Commission (NAC) hosted a two-day training on January 17th and January 18th. Held at The Inspiration Center in Belize City from 8AM to 4PM, the workshop was attended by Martha Carrillo (Founder of MC Consultancy), Lizet Aldana (Associate Consultant of MC Consultancy), Keron Cacho (Program Coordinator of NAC), Avil Steadman (Kolbe Foundation’s Jeremiah Radio), Rhonda Gentle (Morning Matters), and Chelsea Hall (The San Pedro Sun). By the end of 2020, NAC envisions that Belize will have continued to reduce the number of HIV infections; extended the length and quality of life of people living with HIV; significantly reduced discrimination against persons vulnerable to HIV; and effectively coordinated a multi-sectorial response.

    Ambergris Today

    Invitation to San Pedro Cancer Awareness Walk
    Friends, I hope this letter finds you and your place of business under the most fortunate of circumstances. It is a great honour and privilege to also wish you a Happy New Year on behalf of the San Pedro Cancer Society and that we may all be rejoicing in the prosperity that it has to offer. As you may know, the San Pedro Cancer Society holds a “Light the Night” cancer awareness walk every 4th of February in commemoration of World Cancer Awareness Day. This year will be no different. It is in the anticipation of this event that we take this opportunity to invite you and your staff to this year’s event. This year’s walk is scheduled to start on February 4th, 2017 at 6:00pm. We will be gathering at this time at the Central Park. The walk will leave central park on Barrier Reef Drive, circle the roundabout at the San Juan Area, head back down through Pescador Drive to the Primary school and then unto Barrier Reef Drive to culminate at Central Park for a short briefing and a minute of silence in memory of those no longer with us and in honour of those still in battle.

    Permssion Needed for Private Property Burials, Ministry Says
    It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health that several requests have been made recently for the burial of deceased persons on private premises, although there exists an approved cemetery in most communities. It is important to note that burials should be conducted at approved cemeteries as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 30 (1) of Laws of Belize. Requests for burial on private premises will only be approved for communities without an approved cemetery, as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 section 30 (1) of the Laws of Belize. The public is reminded that the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health is the only authorized person by the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 31 to give permission for such burial if the location meets public health requirements.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas in Belize Project (KBA)
    The Government of Belize with the assistance of the World Bank is implementing the project entitled “Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas in Belize (KBA)” with Grant funding from the Global Environment Facility “GEF” and has appointed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) for the overall implementation of the Project with the fiduciary support provided by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT). The Government of Belize intends to apply part of the proceeds of the grant to payments under the contract for this Consultancy. KBA and PACT now invites eligible consulting Firms to indicate their interest in providing the services. In submitting its Expression of Interest, Firms should provide information demonstrating that it have the required and relevant experience to perform the Services.

    Andrea Allen Fundraiser Raffle
    I am doing a fundraiser raffle for my mom who has breast cancer.. I'm asking your help by purchasing at least a ticket from us. Tickets is sold at San Pedro/caye caulker water jets Intl. Also can be purchased from Rica Ruby Alcala,mark (security at ccatlantic bank), ezboy tours, purple passion salon, Mrs.Aleida Blease, Mrs.Enelda Rosado or CCVC Fernando Allen (aka Sick) and also my self contact me @6261763. On the date of the drawing also be food, pastries, sodas on sale on February 25th,2017,Saturday. @caye caulker basketball Court. Thanks every one for your donations and support!

    Belize Fishing Report: January 15th, – January 21st, 2017
    A very light week here at the lodge with only a boat or 2 going out each day. Several encounters with tarpon a couple of hookups but none came to the boat. The winds kept the anglers off fabled Savanah flats

    BELTRAIDE and the Nature Conservancy holds meeting to discuss development of Belize’s Seaweed Industry
    EXPORTBelize, Beltraide and The Nature Conservancy facilitated a working session with fisher groups from Hopkins, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Sarteneja, Dangriga and Belize City, along with a representative from the Belize Federation of Fishers, to discuss development of Belize’s Seaweed Industry. This session is just one activity under a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed between BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy in November 2016. A key objective of the MOC is to encourage a sustainable seaweed industry in Belize that provides products for local and international markets and directly impact livelihoods of coastal communities while restoring ecosystem health. Each group was given the opportunity to report on the status of development relating to seaweed and to report on challenges faced in trying to advance their seaweed operations. The discussions were fruitful and the groups embraced a collaborative approach, offering advice to one another and applauding each other for efforts and accomplishments to dates. Both Agencies took the opportunity to outline their roles in the partnership and facilitated discussions on strategies to address challenges faced. The session concluded with discussions on the way forward relating to capacity building, marketing, market research and other efforts to advance development of the industry.

    Taiwan Scholarship Program 2017
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce the Taiwan Scholarship Program 2017. This scholarship will allow Belizeans to attend undergraduate or graduate program of their choice at universities in Taiwan starting from academic year 2017 (commencing in September 2017). A Mandarin Language Enrichment Program (LEP), if necessary, may be included to improve the recipients’ language abilities. Scholarship recipients will be provided with a round trip economy class airfare, and a monthly stipend of NT$30,000 (approximately US$950) for those who are pursuing degrees, and a monthly stipend of NT$25,000 (approximately US$800) for those who are learning the Mandarin courses, to cover the costs of tuition, board and lodging, books and medical insurance.

    World Pediatric Project Orthopedic Surgery Mission 2017
    The World Pediatric Project is coming to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan next Sunday, February 5th. Thanks, WPP! "World Pediatric Project in collaboration with the Western Regional and San Ignacio Hospital would like to announce its Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Mission . Date : Sunday , 5th February 2017 Place : Western Regional Hospital Belmopan Time : 8:00 a.m"

    Training on defensive tactics and arrest technique
    The Embassy, through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), partnered with the Belize Police Department (BPD) to provide training on defensive tactics and arrest techniques to 19 BPD instructors. The two week training course was held at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan from January 16 to 27, 2017. Instructors from the Denver, Colorado Police Department taught officers techniques on how to protect themselves and citizens, and the proper way, when necessary, to use force when apprehending suspects. Aspects of the course will be added to the training curriculum of the BPD and will also be extended to the field via the Field Training Officer Program. "We did drills, drills, drills, and drills. We are confident and ready to train our colleagues and apply what we learned to keep Belize safe and secure," concluded a course participant.

    Channel 7

    PM Introduces Bill To Firewall Reserves From Ashcroft Axis
    Last night we told you about the emergency house meeting that the Barrow Administration had called with just 24 hours notice. Tonight, we know that the purpose of the meeting was to get the House to pass an unusual piece of legislation - with an odd name. It's called "a bill for an act to restate for greater certainty the immunity of the Central Bank of Belize for legal proceedings in other states." Basically, it's designed to protect Belize's reserves from the pair of Ashcroft companies that are trying to recover 50 million US dollars in arbitral awards granted by a US court. Today, when he presented the bill, the Prime Minister said that it had to be done in a hurry and with state secrecy. That's because there were indications that the Ashcroft interests would try so swoop in and freeze the Central Bank reserves before they could be firewalled with this legislation. The PM detailed the race against time:

    PUP Supports Bill to Protect Reserves
    And, if the Prime Minister seemed especially accommodating and apologetic, it's because, as you heard, he was trying to get the opposition's support for the bill. Now, getting bi-partisan support for any legislation is extremely rare. And, today, the opposition was none too happy about seeing the bill for the first time when they arrived at 9:00 for the House Meeting at 10:00. With that the debate did not seem encouraging for bi-partisan support. Hon. John Briceño- Leader of the Opposition: "We on this side of the House we will always stand up for Belize. But at the same time we also have an obligation to the people we represent in our constituencies and also this country to be able to get into a meaningful debate whenever these bills are presented on to us. We're trying to pass legislation to prevent this man to come after our assets, something that I fully support that we have to protect our foreign reserves and we can't allow this man who from time to time behaves like a predator coming after us. It's not that point. But the point that I am making is that it is just not right. It is just not fair that the Prime Minister and his government throw this at us without us really sitting down and studying properly."

    PM Says The Reserves May Still Be Within Reach Of Vulture Funds
    So while there was rare show of bi partisanship - it doesn't mean the reserves are all completely secured from the Ashcroft Axis. As the PM outlined in an interview, it's safe for now, but there are very real threats out there - both to the reserves and to the currency peg:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "I hope and believe that with what was done today, I expect that the senate will vote similarly. I'm hoping and believing that after the bill is signed into law, it will certainly act to deter those that may have been thinking of going after the reserves. So I feel relatively comfortable that we are in a safe place. I was just trying to, in terms of the title of that famous book of the French revolution, reach a place of greater safety. I need to repeat that this can't stop people who are not within our jurisdiction from making an attempt. The law is effective in the context of what we know is currently in play, but for example, suppose you were talking about vulture funds. They is no way we can get at the operators/owners of those vulture funds, if they were to be some assignment of this award to a vulture fund."

    GOB Also Ringfences Its Assets
    And there's an accompanying piece of legislation that got less attention today. It's called the Crown Proceedings Act and it seeks to protect the government's property - not the reserves - from being claimed in settlement of any award. The Prime Minister explained: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "So now, this particular bill, if it passes will make clear that no one can properly enforce abroad an arbitral award, once that award has declared unconstitutional, illegal and void by our courts. We are obliged to do everything we can to protect not juts Belize, but the Caribbean from this sort of depredation. And so what this bill is saying is that in circumstances where an award has been pronounced upon by our courts negatively, in circumstances where an award has been ruled out of order and unconstitutional, anybody who seeks an award that's made against the crown, against the government, anybody who seeks to enforce that award not withstanding our pronouncements by our court, anybody who seeks to enforce that award abroad will also be guilty of an offence."

    Nanes-Schnitzer Caught In Mexico
    David Nanes Schnitzer, the Mexican Belizean Fugitive who cause the Government an international embarrassment, has been recaptured by Interpol. He's the Fraudster wanted in Mexico and the US who was caught in Belize, but skipped bail and fled the country. Well, Mexican news outlets are reporting that he was picked up yesterday by Interpol at the Mexico City International Airport. Authorities say that he had arrived from Havana, Cuba. He was carrying travel documents, such as passports, driver's licenses and other official documents which identified him under another name. He has since been taken into custody until the Mexicans can prepare the proper documentation for a formal arrest.

    Police Pickup Pileup
    A police officer crashed one of their pickups into a civilian vehicle, causing it to flip. It happened at around mile 11 on the Hummingbird Highway some time after 9 this morning. Police Corporal Branson Peters was driving an Isuzu D-max pickup and in the vehicle with him at the time was Petrona Coy, a finance officer from Placencia. They were driving from Dangriga to Belmopan, when they crashed into a black Suzuki Vitara, which was being driven at the time by Robert Wiebe, a US Retiree. Corporal Peters' version is that the Vitara was heading in the direction as he was, but the driver suddenly turned left, causing him to collide into the left side. Police didn't say what happened to the Robert Wiebe and his wife, Joelene, but the D-max flipped, causing Petrona Coy to suffer injuries to the shoulder.

    PM Dodges On Senate Inquiry
    The Senate Inquiry into Immigration irregularities, it's been peeling back layer after layer of corruption and misfeasance at the Immigration Department between 2011 and 2013. And, there's the very clear evidence of ministerial involvement in some very shady business that was going down at the department. Today we asked the PM to discuss it, but he said he would rather wait until it was all over:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Have you been apprised or kept abreast of the hearings, the senate hearings and the rather grim revelations of corruption that pertain at immigration department?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Well, I better take the position of the speaker. Can we wait until the inquiry is concluded and the report is submitted before you ask me to comment in any detail?"

    Teachers and GOB Go To Mediation, All Sides Mum
    On December 16, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ordered the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Union to try and resolve their dispute through court ordered mediation. That's to settle the lawsuit which the BNTU filed to stop the Ministry from docking the pay for the teachers who participated in that 11-day strike in October of last year. There were 45 days to settle it out-of-court, and today, only 10 days before they have to return before the Chief Justice, the two sides met for the first time. We were there the court, outside the mediation meeting this afternoon, where the parties were back and forth for about 2 hours before we finally left. We couldn't get any other information about how it went. That's because one of the rules of mediation sessions are that they are to be kept strictly confidential, until there is an outcome, and the judge has been properly informed of the outcome.

    General says Military Relations With Guate Are Good
    In the last few years diplomatic relations between Belize and Guatemala have been growing more and more tense. So, one would expect that military relations would match the political ones, but according to the BDF's Commander, that is not the case. As we showed you last week, joint border patrols continue - this picture was on the Guatemalan military's twitter page. BDF commander General David Jones confirmed as much today, when he told that the relationship between the BDF and the Guatemalan Armed Forces could not be more amiable... Alex Courtenay, 7News: "We recently saw a tweet from the actual Guatemalan armed forces about linking up with the BDF. is that something that we should look to as a positive tweet that even though diplomatic relations may not be very high or very friendly that though militaries from both countries seem to be good with each other." Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "We welcome things like that when the military does things like that because it shows that the problems on the ground is not between the 2 militaries. It's a political issue that we have between both countries. Those link up patrols that they have tweeting about is something that we have been doing for years, over 10 years now. The Belize defense force and the Guatemalan armed forces have been meeting on a quarterly bases and we plan patrols for the next 3 months..."

    General Still Hopeful For Otherwise DOA Sarstoon Protocol
    General Jones also gave us an update on the progress with the much-delayed Sarstoon Protocol. The agreement is meant to ensure that Belizeans, both military and civilians, can enjoy the use of the Sarstoon River without fear of Guatemalan aggression. Jones says that while the signing of the protocol has hit a bump in the road, he is optimistic that it will pass sometime this year... Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "We were hopeful because we were in progress with regards to reaching that miles stone having that protocol signed in December. Unfortunately 2 months before that there was an incident with a young boy who was fatal wounded in the Chiquibul and the Guatemalans have stated a different stance and they wanted to hold back and wait on getting the protocol signed. We are still waiting for them to come to the table. We trust that they will do it soon. I believe there is gong it be talks either this month or early next month. Foreign affairs of Belizean and Guatemalan in discussions and a way forward with the issues that we have along the border and in particular what's happening along the Sarstoon. After those discussion I expect to hear when we sit down and really discuss what's happening in regards to signing that protocol..."

    General Says Southern Waters Safe
    We also spoke to Jones about the situation in the South. He explained the BDF's role Belize's Southern waters, and told us his thoughts on amending the Maritime Areas Act to claim all twelve of Belize's territorial waters in the South... Alex Courtenay, 7News: "We know that many Toledo residents have recently been complaining that Sapodilla Ranges, they are not very well policed. Does the BDF have any kind of patrolling around that area?" Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "No, we don't have any aggressive patrol in that area, but if there are any NGO's or there's a public request or any organization request that we do patrols, the BDF responds immediately and we will do it. So if there is any concern they would just send a letter either to the minister of defense headquarters or to myself and we will look into the issue for them."

    Can Belize Find Export Rewards in Neighboring Countries?
    How can Belize's slumping economy grow? That was the topic of discussion at a workshop today in Belmopan. It's a very broad and complicated matter to address in a workshop setting, but based on the 2016 report issued by the statistical institute of Belize, the primary concern should Belize's exports. As we told you, for 2016, exports declined 25% percent compared to 2015, and todays export boosting workshop held at the NEMO office focused on this aspect of the economy. The lead coordinator told us more about the workshop and how Belize's neighbors are very much a part of the conversation. So what can Belize do to boost its economy ? What are our options . The lead coordinator explained the relationship between Belize's economic performance and our industries while the guest professor explored possible options for Belize This workshop is part of a series of consultations.

    FBI Sets Up Office in Belize For Anne Swaney Info
    The US Embassy in Belmopan announced today that the FBI is offering a $10,000 US reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits who murdered American Anne Swaney. She's the US Journalist who was killed in January of last year, while she was vacationing at the Nabitunich Resort in the Cayo District. A statement from the US Embassy says, quote, "The FBI is assisting with interviews and has submitted items of evidence for scientific analysis to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. While there are some promising leads in the case, the FBI and the Belize Police Department are asking the public for assistance in apprehending the subject or subjects responsible for this terrible crime." Her colleagues from ABC News in the US have been closely following the story, and this is their latest report: The US Embassy is asking anyone with relevant information to contact the FBI in Belize at telephone 637-9915. Additionally you can reach them at their local office in the United States, or any US Embassy or consulate around the world.

    More Soldiers, More Safety
    Today the BDF celebrated its 39th Anniversary and the Passing Out Parade of the Force's 62nd Recruit Intake. Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, gave told us about the rigorous training the recruits had to go through to become fully fledged soldiers... The new recruits also displayed their skills for the crowd in a hostage rescue scenario, mock battle, and taekwondo showcase.

    PM Indicates Room For Negotiation With Bondholders
    As we told you last night, the government of Belize has extended the deadline on its consent solicitation offer from yesterday, January 26th to next Friday February third. While extending the deadline suggests that the bondholders aren't biting, we note that government hasn't changed what it's offering, suggesting that they may have a stronger hand than they care to show at this time. Today, the Prime Minister suggested as much:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "That came about, because without saying too much, we certainly have come away with the impression that there is a willingness on the part of the bondholders, the creditor committee and their advisors to discuss matters. I don't want to put it any higher than that. I don't want to misrepresent them. But it's not that we just took it into our heads that this thing ought to be extended. We are extending for what we feel is good and sufficient caused."

    PM Hangs Head On Puerto Azul
    And today the PM also had to comment on the Puerto Azul embarrassment. As has been widely reported, that mega-project turned into one big scam. It was orchestrated using Belizean officials and the Prime Minister's wife, basically as props to market what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. Today the PM said, basically, these things happen:...

    Senate Inquiry Won't Be Debated In House, Not Now
    And back to the House floor, as we showed you earlier the Prime Minister didn't want to talk about the Senate Probe into Immigration irregularities while it is ongoing. That may be a cop out - but in the business of the House, it was a standing order that prevented it when John Briceno tried to speak on the adjournment:.. Briceno ended up speaking instead on the economy.

    From Monkey River To Micronesia
    Usually when you hear about fisheries workshops or trainings, those being trained are our local fishermen or fisheries officers and the instructors are usually international consultants. Well the roles have changed with a peer exchange program led by MarAlliance. Monkey River Fisher, 24 year old Evan Cuevas is far afield, in the western Pacific island of Micronesia right now teaching a class of fishers about sustainable lobster fishing. That's an island state almost eight thousand miles from Belize, a very rare opportunity for Cuevas. Yesterday, via Skype the Founder of MarAlliance , who is in San Pedro , told us more about the focus of this organization and how this exchange program ties into their mission. MarAlliance was established in 2014. We also spoke to a lead researcher in Micronesia Dr. Kevin Rhodes via Skype. He discussed the grave situation in Micronesia and how their fishers will benefit from this exchange. Dr. Rhodes is in Micronesia with Evan Cuevas and he also told us about his experience

    A House Big-Up For "Becks"
    And, finally, tonight, we have one brief clip from today's house meeting - which touched a nice note at the end. Usually that's when opposition members speak on matters of national importance, but today that matter was Rebecca Rath, who's going up for Miss Universe on Sunday night. The two Stann Creek Representatives urged Belizeans to vote for her in the official online poll:... You can find the official poll at missuniverse.com. And of course you can see the pageant at 6:00 on Sunday night right here on channel 7.

    LOVE FM

    Pope Francis appoints new Bishop for Belize City Belmopan
    Reverend Father Lawrence Sydney Nicasio is the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan. The new Bishop elect was born in Dangriga on September 5, 1956. Nicasio attended Belize Teacher’s College where he received a trained teacher’s diploma. He went on to Cardinal Glennon Seminary in St. Louis Missouri where he received a […]

    Belizean officials confronted by Mexican smugglers
    A video which surfaced on Facebook shows a very heated confrontation between Belizean customs officers and smugglers believed to be Mexicans. The video shows smugglers armed with machetes fighting for bails of products that they had stock piled on the international bridge that links Belize and Mexico. This problem of smugglers illegally transporting goods using […]

    SIB releases latest figures, consumer prices continue to rise
    The Statistical Institute of Belize released its December figures yesterday. Figures show that on average, consumer prices were up by one point one percent. An inflation rate of point seven percent was recorded for 2016. Orange Walk Town and Belmopan recorded the highest inflation rates for the month at two point eight and two point […]

    More revelations from Senate Select Committee hearing
    Yesterday the former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee to answer tough questions. During the session, Senators Aldo Salazar and Eamon Courtenay drilled Meighan about the Jin Chen Han application. According to the Auditor General, Jin Chen Han received a visa one month before receiving a nationality. In her […]

    Director of Health Services speaks on acquisition of pharmaceuticals
    The Ministry of Health has made moves to increase its ability to acquire pharmaceuticals from foreign companies. There are about 60 registered importers in Belize and some have expressed concerns over the Ministry’s move to remove them from the equation. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, explained what the Ministry’s intention is. Dr. Marvin […]

    HPV virus vaccine program proceeding despite some opposition
    In November of last year, the Ministry of Health announced plans to vaccinate four thousand young girls from standard four with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine. The Ministry said immunization is one of the most successful public health interventions in the prevention of various communicable diseases and since HPV is linked to cervical cancer, […]

    Director of Health Services updates on Zika cases
    Last year, the Ministry of Health announced that there were 581 suspected Zika cases in the country. That figure grew as we entered 2017. According to the Director of Health Service, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, a total of 889 cases of which 816 were by clinical suspicion and 73 were confirmed by laboratory testing. Testing was […]

    Foreign Minister leads delegation to CELAC meeting
    Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington headed a delegation to the fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC). Heads of Government endorsed the Political Declaration of Punta Cana fifth CELAC Summit along with its 20 Special Declarations and the CELAC Action Plan. The Political Declaration […]

    Men accused of robbing credit union makes court appearance
    Harry Arzu reporting… “On June 4th 2012 in broad daylight the Toledo Teachers Credit Union located in Bella Vista in the Toledo District was robbed of some $36,000.00 as a result four men are currently being tried in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga. Among the lawyers who are defending the accused, […]

    Ministry of Health employees participate in educational session on Belize Guatemala dispute
    Employees of the Ministry of Health participated in a two hour education session on the Belize-Guatemala claim and the ICJ option. The session took place yesterday in Belmopan and was facilitated by Ambassador Stuart Leslie of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero says he found it necessary for his […]

    Amandala

    Ruth Meighan’s electronic signature in Immigration system
    Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, made her second appearance today in front of the Senate Select Committee as they investigated the sensational findings of the Auditor General’s Special Report into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2010-2013. This time, however, an officer assigned to the Special Branch Unit of the Police Department was present in the gallery as Meighan testified under oath. It was revealed by the Auditor General that thousands of immigration documents were issued with massive irregularities. Today, Meighan stirred uneasily as she alleged to the Senate Select Committee that almost every single passport since she served as Director from 2010 to 2013 were issued without her knowledge, without her involvement, but simply with an electronic copy of her signature affixed on the passport machine which could have been tampered with by anyone. Here is the dialogue that took place just before that shocking revelation was made:

    Ashcroft goes for Belize’s jugular!
    British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft on Monday went back to US courts asking for an order to force the financially-embattled Government of Belize to pay him US$50 million—this after Prime Minister Dean Barrow publicly vowed not to pay a penny towards the arbitration awards, racked up following disputes over a set of 2005 contracts which included tax concessions given to the wealthy telecommunications and banking mogul by the former People’s United Party administration. In Parliament on Friday, January 13, Barrow said that, “If [the Ashcroft companies] make ANY effort to go after [Belize’s assets] in the States… which we don’t have, but just the fact of any attempt …I will consider that an act of economic war and all options thereafter will be on the table.” The Government has taken the position that the Central Bank’s foreign holdings are not the property of the Government of Belize and so cannot be used to pay the arbitration awards; however, Amandala is reliably informed that both the Government of Belize and the Central Bank of Belize have been warned that Ashcroft intends to move against Belize’s foreign currency reserves, mostly held in US banks.

    Immigration free-for-all!
    Since the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) lost the 2012 General Election by 812 votes, it has long accused the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) of voter fraud, caused by major malpractices at the Immigration Department. At the House of Representatives meeting held in December 2016, current PUP leader, John Briceño, accused the ruling UDP government of that fraud and even claimed that the PUP would have been in government from 2012 if it was not for irregular practices in the Immigration Department. “I was given 64 pages of, names of people who got their nationality, between October 2011 and February 2012. Over 2,000 nationalities were issued just before the election. Here we have the names, Mr. Speaker, and I can give you a copy so you all can see. Over 2,000 just before the election,” he had revealed. Today at the Senate hearing into the findings of the Auditor General’s Special Audit report, former Director of Immigration, Ruth Meighan, conceded that many illegal immigrants voted in the 2012 General Election.

    Ruth Meighan “didn’t know and didn’t care” about Ministers’ Immigration visits
    In 2013, Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference in which he urged his Cabinet ministers to desist from a “visa hustle” inside the Immigration Department. Barrow went on the record to say, “If I hear you intervene 10 times and I hear you intervene 20 times, what I am to think? Except that you’re involved in a hustle. If you hang out with Alibaba, you must be one of the 40 thieves.” The Senator representing the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Eamon Courtenay, quizzed former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan at Wednesday’s Senate hearing about the intervention of elected UDP Ministers in the visa application process. The interchange between Courtenay and Meighan went as follows: Senator Eamon Courtenay: “Why would a Minister write you with respect to a Chinese individual who obviously the Minister doesn’t know?”

    Belize Customs officers clash with illegal Mexican traders at the Mexico-Belize Bridge
    Video footage gone viral captured Belizean Custom officers and a group of Mexican men in a heated confrontation on the bridge at the Mexico-Belize border. The confrontation occurred on the Subtineiente Lopez Bridge and caused a pause in the flow of traffic from around 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A senior Customs officer spoke to our newspaper this evening and informed us that they had received intelligence that the Mexican men who later became involved in the confrontation had loaded several bundles of merchandise on the Belize side of the bridge to avoid Mexican authorities. However, the items were scattered over the Belize side of the bridge in plain view. According to that officer, this practice has been occurring for a while, but for the last 2-3 weeks, Mexican nationals from the Los Pelones drug gang in Chiapas had been smuggling goods from the Belize Free Zone into Mexico. He told us that his officers had to take action because if they didn’t, these men would have established their operations there and it would have been difficult to remove them after a period of time.

    Coast Guard FC takes CYDP Peace Cup Championship
    They were heavy favorites, despite a 3-3 draw with Tut Bay FC in game 1 of the Finals series last week Saturday at the MCC; and yesterday at the same venue in the decisive Finals Game 2, Coast Guard FC proved they were the best team in the tournament, defeating Tut Bay, 4-1, and claiming the CYDP Peace Cup championship. In the preliminary third-place game, Survivor FC emerged 3-2 winners in overtime, after they had ended up tied 2-2 with Kelly Street FC in regulation. Survivor’s Tarique “Hamma” Ciego netted all 3 goals (6’, 97’ & 106’) for Survivors, while Kareem Myers (8’) and Christopher Pipersburgh (95’) scored for Kelly Street. The MCC had as big a crowd as it has seen in a long time, and the CYDP Peace Cup championship game started with an eerie similarity to the 3-3 tie the previous weekend. Adgar Adderly (11’) and Steven Martinez (20’) had given Coast Guard a 2-nil lead, when Tut Bay’s Brian Martinez (27’ PK) converted a penalty to cut the lead in half. Would Tut Bay make a dramatic comeback like they had done the week before? The thought was short-lived, as Coast Guard added a goal from Eredito Valencio (41’) and another from Steven Martinez (85’), to make it a comfortable 4-1 lead; and that’s the way ended. 4-1, Coast Guard FC over Tut Bay FC, for the CYDP Peace Cup championship.

    Changing of the guard
    The focus in Belize football shifts this weekend to the start of our Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2016-2017, but we would like to give big respect to our players who represented us with the Belize Jaguars in the recently completed Copa Centroamericana in Panama. For some of our veteran players, this was likely their last time with the national team, as a new crop of young players are coming into their own, having benefited from the guidance of the veterans over the past few years, and are showing more confidence in their performance on the international stage. Below we record the line-ups for the Jaguars and some game details (from concacaf.com) for the last two games, against Nicaragua on Friday, January 20, and against Honduras on Sunday, January 22.

    Secondary schools football, NEBL, PLB and Mayor’s Cup
    In today’s result from the Dangriga Zone secondary schools football tournament at the Carl Ramos Stadium, Ecumenical won over ANRI by a score of 8 goals to nil. However, information received from NSSSA executive, Dangriga branch, Mr. Gilbert “Bat” Palacio, states that ANRI was playing with over-age players; so the games on Monday between Delille Academy males and ANRI, and also the game today between ANRI and Ecumenical, was won by default, which was 3 points and 3 goals for both Ecumenical and Delille Academy. After the game on Monday between Delille Academy males and ANRI, and also today between Ecumenical males vs ANRI, after the default, the standings look like this: Delille Academy males has 7 points and 5 goals, while Ecumenical males has 7 points and 6 goals. They are tied with points, but Ecumenical males, is leading with one goal difference, since goal average counts. So, this Friday it’s a must win for Delille Academy males. Ecumenical only needs a draw and they advance to the District Regional Finals along with Delille Academy females, which will be next weekend, February 4, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, hosted by George Town Technical High. The Nationals will be in San Pedro this year.

    OWFA U-10 Finals and 1st Division Amateur Semifinals results
    The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) U-10 Finals were played at the Technical Field in Orange Walk Town, where third place was awarded to Trial Farm Crocodiles; and in the Finals for First Place Landy’s Junior won 3-0 over Minions, with goals from Mark Bainton and Raul “Rafita” Witzil, Jr. (2). Congratulations to Landy’s, and to other participating teams – Minions, San Lazaro, Trial Farm Crocodiles, as well as parents and the OWFA for the successful tournament. The semifinals of the OWFA Amateur League 1st Division Tournament took place on Sunday, January 22, at the Louisiana Field. In the opener, Trinidad FC and Progresso United ended 2-2 in regulation, and 4-4 after overtime. Trinidad goals came from Traivon Martinez, Rolando Bobadilla, Nair Chan and Justin Gomez; while Progresso United got 2 goals from Roger Correa and 1 each from Hector Carlos, Jr. and Tyrone Baptist. In the penalty shootout, Progresso United prevailed, 4-3, and thus advances to the Finals.

    Eagles U-20 Club hosts basketball games in Santa Elena, Cayo
    The Eagles U-20 Basketball Club, along with Venus Hotel and Atlantic Bank, hosted a Basketball Marathon on Saturday, January 21, at the Rotary Basketball Court in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. Six teams took part, and at the end of the Marathon, first place was taken by Savages; second place went to Santa Elena Fire Fighters; and third was Venus Hotel Eagles U-20. The Eagles U-20 Basketball Club would like to thank Mr. Matthew Preston, owner of Venus Hotel, and Mrs. Tricia Gill and Atlantic Bank Limited. The Eagles U-20 will be hosting Santa Elena Town vs Chetumal on Friday, January 27, at the Santa Elena Sports Complex, starting at 6:30 p.m.

    Pro-American politics in Belize – a brief history
    Why is it that the United States wants Belize to be a satellite state to Guatemala? It is because Uncle Sam wants to ensure that Belize is not used by any whom in any way to undermine or destabilize the racist oligarchy in Guatemala. In Central America, Guatemala is to Washington as Israel is to Washington in the Middle East – the United States’ most important ally in every respect. When the anti-colonial movement began in British Honduras after World War II, leading to the establishment of the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950, anti-colonial Belizeans were anti-British. That is a given. But in addition, there was a significant pro-American sentiment in the ranks of the PUP, so much so that the PUP used to march with American flags in their parades in the early years. The pro-American sentiment within the PUP derived in large part from the experiences and perspectives of Belizean workers who had worked in U.S.-controlled Panama before, during, and after World War II; from the fact that Belize’s wealthiest promoter of anti-colonial feeling, Robert Sydney Turton, wanted to remove the British tariff regime in the colony so that he could trade more freely and more profitably with American companies; and because the Roman Catholic priests and nuns who were leaders in the Catholic primary and secondary schools in British Honduras were all American citizens, many of Irish and German extraction, the Irish and German peoples having been hostile to the British for many, many decades.

    The Historical Links Of John Glenn And Charles Lindbergh To Belize
    John Glenn circled the earth three times on February 20, 1962 in the Mercury spacecraft conceived, invented and designed by a Belizean-born American scientist/mechanical engineer named Maxime Faget (pronounced Fahzhay). Senator Glenn was an American aviator, engineer and astronaut who died earlier this month at age 95. Dr. Maxim Faget, who was responsible for the Mercury spacecraft, was born in Dangriga, Stann Creek district on August 26, 1921. To find out how Max Faget was born in Stann Creek we have to go back to World War I. The United Kingdom was fighting the Great War against Germany, Austria and others and suffered tremendous casualties – 876,084 dead and 167,172 wounded. All doctors who were British subjects were needed at the front. There was a British Colonial Service Marine Hospital in New Orleans where Max’s father, Dr. Guy Henry Faget, worked as a tropical disease specialist. He and his wife, Isabelle Le Blance-Faget, answered the call to go to Belize for 5 years. When Dr. Maxime Faget visited Belize some years ago before his death, he brought with him a Belize flag which he had sent to the moon. The flag used to be displayed in the Government House/House of Culture in Belize City.

    Increase in Social Security contributions under review
    The schedule of Social Security payments is undergoing a review which will likely see workers—and in particular those in higher income brackets—pay more in contributions but, according to the Social Security Board, the change would also enable the SSB to increase payments to workers and pensioners. In an interview with Amandala last February, chairman of the Social Security Board (SSB), Doug Singh, had said that there were plans for consultations on proposals to increase the wage bands, and also to raise the ceiling of insurable earnings from $320 weekly to about $500 weekly. At the time, the first 5% increase in pension payments was in-train, and another 5% had been pledged for 2017. Singh told us today that there has been no increase in Social Security contributions since 2001, and the SSB’s actuary, Hernando Montas, has said that in order for the fund to maintain equilibrium, that adjustments are needed. He said that the actuary does not recommend another increase in pension payments until the necessary adjustments are made; but added that an equitable framework will be worked out through national consultation.

    Vatican appoints Fr. Lawrence Sydney Nicasio as Bishop of Belize City-Belmopan
    In an announcement issued today, the Vatican said that Fr. Lawrence Sydney Nicasio, a Garifuna priest, has been appointed as Bishop of Belize City-Belmopan, to succeed Bishop Dorick McGowan Wright, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese had been accepted by the Pope. Nicasio, 60, the pastor at Holy Redeemer Cathedral in Belize City, was ordained on June 16, 1989. Information published by the Roman Catholics indicates that Nicasio obtained a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, United States of America, and a Master of Divinity in the Kenrich College Seminary, in the same archdiocese. As for his appointments in Belize, he has served in Belmopan, Orange Walk, San Ignacio and Belize City.

    The Reporter

    FBI offers sizeable reward for concrete leads on murder of news producer
    The U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), officially launched an award and contact number in Belize for information on the murder of a 39 year-old U.S citizen, Anne Swaney, who was murdered while on vacation in Belize one year ago. The official launch was done […]

    Police vehicle totalled in traffic mishap
    A great many people believe that “blood thinners” actually dilute the blood, but anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications don’t. They merely make it harder for blood to clot, and this helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. Anticoagulants, such as heparin or warfarin work on chemical reactions […]

    What people should know about “blood thinners”
    A great many people believe that “blood thinners” actually dilute the blood, but anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications don’t. They merely make it harder for blood to clot, and this helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. Anticoagulants, such as heparin or warfarin work on chemical reactions […]

    Muslims say militant acts against society are not linked to them
    By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor The Muslim community, specifically the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, has disassociated itself with reports last week that an Islamic militant killed in the Philippines the week before may have relatives in Belize. Mohammad Sadique, a missionary with the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Belize told the Reporter […]

    Belize has second most spectacular beach worldwide, says National Geographic
    Belize has been rated the second most spectacular beach in the world, according to the National Geographic’s latest list of top scenic spots that ranged from the idyllic, to the unusual, to the ecologically friendly. Belize’s South Water Caye Reserve found favour for the integrity […]

    BCCI to GOB, “No need to raise taxes”
    Given the difficult economic outlook Belize is facing for 2017, the Belize Chamber of commerce and Industry is calling on the Government of Belize to keep from raising taxes I the new fiscal year. BCCI President, Nikita Usher, explained that the chamber has prepared a comprehensive list […]

    Government departments gained in labour market information systems
    Representatives from both the public and private sector participated in a week-long tanning session, on Labour Market Information Systems. The International Labour Organization, in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), hosted the training at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel from January 23-26. Dr. William House, […]

    BSWMA says garbage transfer continues as usual without PASA
    The Belize Solid waste management authority sent out a release last week Friday assuring the general public that transfer of solid waste materials from the transfer stations to the landfill is ongoing. Communication officer Tyron Chimilio spoke to the Reporter on Wednesday, January 25 where he […]

    GSU raid uncover 54 parcels of suspected cannabis
    Eight persons were charged for drug offenses after the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) conducted a search on a home on Lavender Street that yielded a sizable weed bust. Reports are that around 5:10 p.m on Monday January 13, 2017 members of the GSU executed a search […]

    Motorist dead after colliding into lamp post
    Around midnight on Friday, January 20, a nineteen year-old motorist lost his life after colliding into a lamppost on the Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk. Reports are that around 11: 59 p.m, Jerry Hernison Martinez was driving his motorbike heading in the direction of Corozal […]

    Bishop Doric Resigns! Fr. Larry Nicasio is the new R.C.Bishop
    Pope Francis, on Thursday appointed Father Lawrence “Larry” Sydney Nicasio as Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan, to succeed outgoing Bishop Dorick Wright, who resigned earlier this month. Bishop-elect Larry was born in Belize in 1956, and ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a […]

    Explosive disclosures of passport fraud reverberate though Senate inquiry
    The Government of Belize illegally issued nationality to thousands of immigrants, which may have impacted the 2012 general elections. This is evidence emerging from the ongoing Senate inquiry into improprieties at the Immigration Department. The information came out this week, as Former Director of Immigration […]

    Ashcroft pushing US court to act against Belize
    Michael Ashcroft is seeking to force the Government of Belize to pay the $117 million arbitration award, after Prime Minister Dean Barrow said publicly that the country “wouldn’t pay a penny.” On Monday, British businessman Michael Ashcroft asked a federal judge in the United States for permission to enforce an award of $117 million against the Government of Belize , saying that Belize has no excuse for non payment., Ashcroft through his companies, is asking the courts to use Belizean assets in the United States to pay the award. “Belize has received more than adequate time to make payment and has steadfastly refused,” BSDL said this week. On January 9, the Us Supreme Court, refused to hear Belize’s appeal against a state court award in the case of Belize v. BCB Holdings Limited et al. and Belize v. Belize Social Development Limited, effectively bringing all litigation in those matters to an end.

    FBI offers US$ 10,000 Reward to solve year old murder case
    The Federal Bureau of investigation has offered a reward of US $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of American newswoman Ann Elizabeth Swaney. Swaney, an executive producer for ABC 7 News, was found floating downstream on the River Mopan on the afternoon of January 15, 2016. She was a guest at the Nabitunich Stone Cottage Resort located near San Jose Succotz. She wanted to go horseback riding along with other house guests on the morning of January 15, but did not join them because there were no more horses available. Her body was only partially clothed when they found her, and reports say she had been strangled. Her body also bore the marks of blunt trauma to the head.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Drug operator of El Chapo for southeastern Mexico and Belize arrested by police
    According to El Diario de Yucatan, Roberto Najera also known as “La Gallina” has been arrested by the Mexican State Police. Najera is an alleged operator of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán for southeastern Mexico and Belize. He is also known as the point man that controls drug trafficking in Chiapas, Veracruz, Campeche and Yucatan, as well as being a financial operator of the Sinaloa cartel. He was captured in a road blockade in Tizimín, a city located in the Tizimín Municipality in the Mexican state of Yucatán.

    Serious road traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway this morning
    this morning where Branston Peters, a corporal officer in the Police Department reported to them that he was traveling in a police pickup (Isuzu D-Max) with Petrona Coy, a resident from Placencia village about 9:11 a.m. in the direction from Dangriga to Belmopan and upon reaching 11 miles, a Black Suzuki Vitara traveling in the same direction suddenly turned left causing him to collide into the left side. The Vitara was driven at the time by Robert Wiebe; a 65 year-old US national accompanied by his wife Joelene Wiebe, also a US National.

    Pope Francisco names new Bishop for Belize
    Yesterday, the announcement was made of a new Catholic Bishop for Belize. Pope Francisco named Dangriga native, Father Lawrence Nicasio as the new Bishop of Belize. Nicasio was ordained as priest in 1989 and has served the Catholic church in many capacities including being […]

    Blogs

    Escape the Snow to These Six Stunning Caribbean Beaches
    Ahhh…the Caribbean Sea. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, it’s paradise practically on your doorstep—just a short flight away. The perfect escape from blustery winter weather. Who wouldn’t prefer warm-to-the-touch white sand (or golden sand) on long curving beaches to a neighborhood carpeted in snow and ice? And you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to location. The area we call “The Caribbean” stretches across many borders, and each has its own unique benefits. In Tulúm, Mexico, some of the beaches—which are minutes apart—are rarely visited, while others are fronted by resorts, restaurants, and beach clubs. Here you have the best of both worlds—nature and convenience. It’s the same in Placencia (Belize), Roatán (Honduras), and Bocas del Toro (Panama). There are plenty of spots where you have the beach to yourself and others where you can enjoy an afternoon in the company of new friends. The isolated Corn Islands off the coast of Nicaragua are sparsely-populated—the perfect place to get away from it all. What’s more, cars aren’t allowed. Who needs one anyway when you’re in no rush to get anywhere?

    Dining at Hidden Treasure Restaurant
    Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Pedro, is a family owned restaurant dishing out some tasty dinner options. Hidden Treasure Restaurant is located in the Escalante Subdivision, about 1.5 miles south of San Pedro Town, and specializes in Latin American and Caribbean Cuisine. The elegant restaurant offers the perfect setting for romantic dinners. Candlelight showers the rustic dining hall, giving off an intimate feel. With emphasis on locally sourced seafood, Hidden Treasure offers are variety of Surf & Turf dishes. A must try is their uniquely created “Seafood Treasure”. A whole lobster tail with fresh snapper fillet and shrimp, grilled and served with a garlic lemon butter sauce, coconut white rice and charred seasonal grilled veggies. The dish is appropriately named for the bountiful feast you will receive – it’s definitely a “treasure chest” of flavours!

    International Sourcesizz

    Stunning Miss Universe contestants step out in their National Costumes… and the results are bonkers and brilliant
    THE annual Miss Universe competition is underway – and the winner will be crowned in a matter of days. Each nation has put forward their most beautiful and talented competitor to battle it out in the prestigious beauty pageant. The contest is being held in the Philippines this year, following the victory of the current Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach in 2015. Today, the competitors began eyeing each other up in the National Costume showdown. Each pageant finalist stepped out wearing an ostentatious outfit that had been given a cultural twist to represent their heritage. From intricate headdresses, to stunningly embroidered capes, here were some of the most bonkers and brilliant outfits to grace the catwalk...

    Prestigious St. Catherine Academy Marks 134th Anniversary
    Jan 20, 2017 You probably know or are related to someone who studies or who has passed through the halls of Saint Catherine Academy. The all-girls high school continues as a vanguard institution in education. It currently has an enrollment of six hundred and eighty-five students representing the largest student body in its history. It’s a milestone that adds to the rich history of S.C.A. which today, is celebrating the one hundred and thirty-fourth anniversary. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. Duane Moody, Reporting Saint Catherine Academy was founded in Belize one hundred and thirty-four years ago. The educational institution is a Catholic all girls’ high school established in the Mercy tradition and has turned out prominent women in society. Alumna as well as the Sisters of Mercy gathered today inside the newly built multipurpose auditorium to reflect on what makes the institution different from other facilities. But the celebration is two-fold because the official inauguration of the multipurpose facility takes place today. Principal Salome Tillett says that the project started over a decade ago. Salome Tillett, Principal, St. Catherine Academy “The opening of our building, the official inauguration of our building is such a blessing for us; it’s a dream come true. I don’t know if you recall the many years that we’ve been fundraising for this. Actually I looked back in our records and it started in 2003; so it’s been a long time in the making and I can say that this building belongs to the community of Belize. We had the support of our parents, our students, teachers, their families over all these years that we have been working on it.” There are still some finishing touches being made to the facility that has multiple courts, a stage, as well as changing rooms and other features. When completed, the building will cost approximately three point five million dollars.

    Videos

  • Scene-stealers from the Miss Universe national costume show, 2min. Miss Belize Universe made it in CNN Philippines' round up of "scene-stealers" in her national costume! Rebecca Rath's Scarlet Macaw costume also made it in the Daily Mail (UK), The Sun (UK) and USA Today!

  • Giant Grouper Speared By Local In Belize, 35sec. A local from Belize bringing in a very large grouper that he had speared earlier that day.

  • Riot At Belize / Mexico Border, 2min. A riot ensued at the Belize / Mexico Border when Belize Custom Officers attempted to stop Mexican Smugglers from taking huge bales of clothes from the Commercial Duty Free Zone into Mexico as they do on a daily basis.

  • Belize 2016, 2.5min.

  • Chinese New Year Customs And Traditions, 48min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Belize Now! - January 27, 2017, 30min. Government of Belize Press Office

  • The BDF celebrates 39th Anniversary & Recruit #62 Passing Out Parade, 1min.

  • Belize No Limit Vs Belmopan Bandits, 2.5hr.

  • A DAY IN BELIZE CITY, 6.5min.

  • Tarpons! Snorkeling in Belize, 1/2min. Snorkeling at the Aquarium Reef near South Water Caye, Belize 2016.

  • Flying Around Belize- preflight, take-off and approach!, 3min. Short film on flying in Belize. You see the airport on Caye Caulker, the lack of preflight checks, yet none-the-less, a smooth take-off, flight and landing. Flight was on Tropic Air and I must say they were well organized, friendly and extremely helpful- even set us up with a rent-a-car on short when we landed, they had a guy waiting there to take us to the 4x4, which we needed heading to Tikal in the rainy season!

  • Cruising Caye Caulker, Belize - the island life!, 3.5min. Caye Caulker, Belize (In Central America on the Caribbean sea) is one of the most fascinating vacation island I have been on. It is small, relatively un-developed but yet still very homey, safe and attractive. The local people on the island are perhaps one of the highlights, with of course snorkeling, diving, boating and eating some of the others! The native language of Belize is English (that is right, not Spanish) and many will also speak Creole as well, especially on the island and in Belize City. Here we are getting driven, like in a taxi, from one place to another. That is our hotel we stayed at, The Iguana Reef, which is excellent and surely the best hotel on the island with swimming pool and air conditioning, not to mention a lovely bar. There are no cars or trucks on the island and primarily only modified golf carts, which adds to making it an even more relaxed atmosphere! The ride is sometimes bumpy, sorry for the shaking video here and there!

    January 27, 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

    Miss Belize Rebecca Rath making her mark at Miss Universe 2017
    The lovely Rebecca Rath is in Manila, Philippines, where she is set to compete in the 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant. 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. She has been one of the favorites in several unofficial polls, and thanks to her ardent fans, has won online polls left and right! The only official poll that has been opened to the public is the Miss Universe Organization poll that will decide an automatic placement in the Top 12 on pageant night. In the meantime, Rath has been sharing her vibrant personality and smile everywhere she goes, making fast friends with the other contestants, participating in various events and shining brightly. She even had the honor of meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. On January 22nd, Rath excitedly shared that at the National Gift auction to raise money for Miss Universe charities working with HIV, 10 out of 86 gifts were chosen to auction off, including Belize’s Pen Cayetano painting!

    Presentation of Credentials
    Four ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador of Slovak Republic; and H.E. Mr. Luigi Maccotta, Ambassador of Italy; all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their respective countries in Belize. The ambassadors each conveyed their countries’ interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize. The Governor General warmly welcomed and received the Ambassadors’ credentials.

    Two San Pedro Police Officers charged for extortion
    A case of alleged extortion and wounding led two San-Pedro based Police Constables (PC) David Jimenez and Derwin Marin to be criminally arraigned on Monday, January 23rd. The complainant, John Cogdell Courtney, a 27-year-old law student from Austin, Texas, USA, visited the San Pedro Police Department on January 16, 2017 to report the incident that occurred on the previous day. Courtney stated that while on vacation, he was assaulted and extorted by the two police officers on January 15, 2017. He reported that after having dinner at a local restaurant, he walked around and ended up near a local bar. At 8PM, he came out with a beer in hand, and began socializing with locals on the corner. He indicated that while one of them was cooking food, he was speaking to a male and female who spoke Spanish. Shortly after, a pickup truck with lights approached where he was standing. As he began to walk away quickly, he saw the two police officers approach him and they requested to conduct a search on him.

    SPTC Clean-up campaign to start back up
    After being dormant for months, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is reviving their clean-up campaign. Their aim is to rid the island of excess garbage while targeting areas prone to flooding and serving as breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying vector diseases. The project branches out from the ‘Child Friendly Municipalities of Belize,’ which is backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Since the launch of the campaign in June of 2016, the San Pedrito and Elliot/Airstrip subdivisions were the first ones to benefit from the program. According to Jorge Aldana at the SPTC, the project met an abrupt halt after the devastation of Hurricane Earl in August of last year. “Our energies were re-focused and we side-tracked a bit as we assisted the many victims in the natural disaster,” said Aldana. “However, our intentions and mandate for this year is to re-engage our stakeholders and continue the clean-up campaign.” Aldana expects that if everything goes well in the organization with their different partners in the project, they hope to start the clean-up campaign in the second half of February or the beginning of March. He notes that, the San Pedrito and Elliot/Airstrip subdivisions benefited tremendously.

    Ambergris Today

    Alma Gabourel Staines Birthday Celebration Contribution of $10K+ to San Pedro Cancer Society
    For her birthday wish at the end of 2016, Mrs. Alma Gabourel Staines wanted nothing more than to celebrate with close family and friends in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, her birthplace and home while growing up. She is an ‘Island Girl’ and her heart has always been with the community of San Pedro, assisting in many ways, especially through her medical facility. Her latest contribution was a $10,055.00Bze donation to the San Pedro Cancer Society. Mrs. Alma turned 55 on December 31, 2016, and celebrated in style with over 300 guests with an elegant evening under the stars on New Year’s Eve. She had guest from around the world traveling to Ambergris Caye to celebrate along with her and bring in 2017. From the start, Alma had decided that her celebration would also be a philanthropic endeavor. She asked her guests that in lieu of gifts to her, that they make a donation to the San Pedro Cancer Society instead. Along with her contribution, the final figure was presented to the society.

    Amigos del Mar Makes Beach More Accessible
    Lately there has been a growing concern among island residents about the erosion of the island’s beaches, in particular the growing number of docks (piers) that also contribute to erosion and lack of beach access. Although some actions have been taken to counter the effects of erosion, not enough is being done to address the problem. This week Ambergris Today gives a ‘Shout Out’ to Mr. Jose ‘Changa’ Paz, owner of Amigos Del Mar, and his staff who have taken the initiative to shorten the beginning if their dock therefore providing a cleaner and wider beach area for residents and tourists to enjoy. After noticing that their dock was projecting a few feet over the beach, especially after Hurricane Earl that struck last year in August, Amigos del Mar decided to do the Town a favor and remove the unnecessary section of the dock. We have heard nothing but good remarks and know that the community is more than pleased with their consideration and gesture.

    Rastafari Culture Exhibit and Bob Marley Tribute
    A Rastafari Culture exhibit opened on January 25, 2017, in San Pedro, in commemoration of Bob Marley as his date of birth nears. The San Pedro House of Culture was happy to assist those who come together to celebrate and showcase the Rastafari history and its influence to Belize. Not many people know, but the Rastafari Culture is actually a religion that was developed by Marcus Gravey in Jamaica in the 1930’s in honor of Haile Selassie. Haile was crowned King of Ethiopia right before the Rastafari culture was developed. Haile Selassie’s real name was “Ras Tafari Makonneen” this is where the name Rastafari comes from. Rastafari members looked at Selassie as their God, the one who will return to them especially the ones who live in exile as a result of slave trade and colonization. The Rastafari movement began with the teachings of Marcus Gravey. Marcus urged Africans to be proud of their race for they are the true Israelites and have been taken for slave trade as an act of divine punishment.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    A group of eye specialists from the US are teaming up with BCVI to help restore sight!
    Clinic Dates Friday Jan 27th and Saturday Jan 28, BCVI Clinic, Princess Margaret Drive, Next to the KHMH, Belize City

    Miss Belize Universe in the Philippines
    The Bex has landed Belize, things getting real in Philippines now. These are not my photos, but photos from the press covering the event or the contestants social media feed. There are a lot of photos, so click "See More" at the bottom to see them all. From the Fashion Show on are my photos.

    Valentine's Day Craft Fair!
    Just in time for Valentine's Day, we're having another Holiday Craft Fair! San Pedro's craftiest and most creative residents will be selling their creations -- and if the last craft market was any indication, prepare to be impressed! Saturday, February 11 at 11 AM - 2 PM, at The Truck Stop

    Miss Belize at today's Preliminary Competitions of the Miss Universe Pageant
    Cultural, Swimsuit and Evening Gown competitions

    Burial of Deceased on Private Property
    It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health that several requests have been made recently for the burial of deceased persons on private premises, although there exists an approved cemetery in most communities. It is important to note that burials should be conducted at approved cemeteries as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 30 (1) of Laws of Belize. Requests for burial on private premises will only be approved for communities without an approved cemetery, as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 section 30 (1) of the Laws of Belize. The public is reminded that the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health is the only authorized person by the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 31 to give permission for such burial if the location meets public health requirements. The public is advised that anyone found in violation of the Act will be prosecuted under the Public Health Act Chapter 40, and anyone guilty of the offence is liable to a fine of $1000.

    Fifth Summit of The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC)
    The V Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) was held on the 25 of January 2017 in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The Belize Delegation was headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honourable Wilfred Elrington. At the meeting, Heads of Government endorsed the Political Declaration of Punta Cana V CELAC Summit along with its 20 Special Declarations and the CELAC Action Plan. The Political Declaration spanned a wide range of development challenges including those of an economic, social, financial, technological and political nature confronting the region. Also acknowledged in the Declaration was the positive progress made in transforming the region into a zone of peace as well as other initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of people of the region.

    This Day in History
    On January 26th, 1928, Paul Nabor, the King of Paranda was born in Punta Gorda Town.

    Belize-Guatemala Border Dispute
    With the ‘Guatemala Issue’ at the forefront, I ask if information being presented by the media are words issued from the mouths of puppets, words to appease or just words for the sake of words. When being pressed to make judgment on an issue, one should always go back to the source and review all avenues. Of course, the source of this issue is ages ago when our forefathers settled the land. There are resources however, that document the time period. One I would like to share with you can be downloaded from the internet or perhaps found at your local library if you are lucky enough to have one: The Diplomatic History of British Honduras, 1638-1901 by R.A. Humphreys Before we, as Belizeans, make a judgment, we should have as many of the facts at hand that we can. It is unfortunate that all of our history is not part of the school curriculum, perhaps we can make a change in that also.

    SIR ANDY & THE HAPPY HOME BUILDERS: LEGENDARY BELIZEAN VISIONARY!
    Belizean Legends today want to pay special tribute to the Belizean sports visionary, Sir Andy, whom we credited highly for taking a crowd of talented Belizean basketball players from troubling Belizean neighbors of Belize City and created an opportunity for them of a life time to resist the pitfalls of the mean streets of Belize City. He created an opportunity for them to find sports as an outlet and deterent to crime and to become some of the best basketball players in Belize in their time of the 1970's "Golden Age of Belizean Basketball". His outstanding Belizean basketball captain and another visionary of his time, Clinton "Pulu" Lightburn, rose to become one of Belize's best basketball players of his time and of all times in Belize. "Pulu" is celebrated even up to today as a basketball role model in sports in Belize among past, present, and perhaps future generations of Belizean basketball players to come.

    TRIBUTE TO BELIZEAN ARTIST GEORGE GABB!
    In this feature of our new column on Belizean arts and artists called "The Belize Art Shop", we want to pay special tribute to the work of Belize's artist extraordinaire, George Gabb, whose work as an Belizean artist, sculptor, playwright, poet and writer had inspired this documentary series we call here, Belizean Legends. His famous piece called the "Sleeping Giant" has become one of Belize's most celebrated masterpieces in its national artistic archives for all times. Belizean Legends pays special tribute to the memory and work of Belizean artist George Gabb. May his inspiration and artistic brilliance live on in many of Belizean generations to come!

    CLASSIC DELL SMART OF DELL & THE SENSATIONS! (FINAL PART)
    The silky alto touch of Belizean vocalist and balladeer, Dell Smart of Dell & The Sensations has touched the spirit of many a Belizean music lovers over the years. Dell's popularity grew as he sang lead for the legendary Belizean band in Los Angeles, Dell & The Sensations, to become one of the first Belizean bands ever to pioneer Belize's musical prominence as a band in the Los Angeles Belizean community and the Belizean diaspora in the United States. Dell's vocal pitch and quality is rare, and his melodic and harmonic voice has captured a unique sound ever since he began to sing covers in Belize as a youth growing up in one of Belize's prominent villages, Gales Point Manatee. He began listening to the music of legendary American musical artists like Percy Sledge, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers, Wilson Pickett, and many more.

    Reef restoration in Turneffe Atoll
    Good Morning San Pedro! We are coming to you next week Wed. Feb 1, 2017 to discuss reef restoration in Turneffe Atoll! See you at the Lion's Den 6pm! Light refreshments. Please pass the word!

    WORKSHOP ON A STRATEGY FOR BOOSTING EXPORTS IN BELIZE
    The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) would be hosting a workshop on a strategy for boosting exports in Belize on Friday, 27th January, 2017 in the NEMO training room at the NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan at 9:30 a.m. The workshop is being facilitated by the renowned Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas of the University College of London. Professor Bulmer-Thomas, through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has done extensive academic work on Belize and Central America trade relations from which his insight stems. In addition, Professor Bulmer-Thomas is the co-author of the book “The Economic History of Belize”. The purpose of the workshop is to sharpen the awareness of key policy makers and analysts on innovative ways of boosting Belize’s exports to Central America and other promising markets. The DGFT expects to gain insight in the following areas from Professor Bulmer-Thomas’s presentation:

    Chester Williams visits the Queen's Square Primary
    Today ACP Chester Williams visited the Queen's Square Primary Infant 2 Classes with Teacher Blease, Teacher Lynch and Teacher Cruz to take about the laws that we must follow...Great Job!

    David Kato Vision and Voice Award
    David Kato Vision and Voice Award 2017 is awarded to Belizean LGBT activist and leader of UNIBAM Belize, Caleb Orozco. The award was presented by Magneto himself, who also goes by the name Ian Mckellen.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Moana, Allied, Jackie, Hidden Figures

    The Origianl Punta Rebels Reunion
    The Pepsi Maaga Season BASH in Dangriga. Featuring the Origianl Punta Rebels, C-Wills, Adrian Di Doc Martinez, Nuru and a massive lineup of artists! Jan 28 at 12 PM to Jan 29 at 12 AM, Dangriga Town

    Channel 7

    Customs and "Pelones" Have A Showdown on The Belize - Mexico Bridge
    An explosive scene played out on the old Belize-Mexico bridge at the Santa Elena border today - leaving a Belize police corporal with a burst head. And it could have gotten much more serious, even deadly if a senior customs officer hadn't kept his cool. That officer is Jason Menzies who had his hand on his firearm as Mexican thugs taunted him. Here's what happened: the Mexicans buy bulk clothing from the Corozal Free Zone in sacks - which are called "bultos". Recently, in he past two weeks, they've started stockpiling those "bultos" on the Belize-Mexico bridge - which is frowned upon by both Mexican and Belizean authorities. So, following a meeting with border officials from Mexico on Monday, Belize's Customs Officers moved in today to take possession of the "bultos" and clear the bridge. But, that's when the Mexicans border thugs - known as "Pelones" went into outlaw mode, and here's the scene that played out next. It opens with Senior Customs officer Menzies placing his hand on his weapon. At this point the police corporal had already been stoned in the head:

    Hasty House Meeting to Launch Offensive Against Ashcroft Alliance
    Government has called an emergency house meeting for tomorrow - and here's why. 7News has learned through multiple sources that Prime Minister Dean Barrow is going to open a new offensive against…who else?....the Ashcroft Alliance. According to our sources, the issue is government's foreign assets - there are reports that the Ashcroft Alliance wants to move on those assets to recover the 50 million US dollars in arbitral awards that a US District Court awarded to two Ashcroft Companies: BSDL and BCB Holdings. Best information suggests that legislation to be passed tomorrow make it so that the Ashcroft Alliance cannot touch government's assets - chiefly its reserves. The full structure of the legislation is not yet known, but at the last House sitting two weeks ago the Prime Minister made it clear that he was ready to go to war. And what will be placed on the table is a piece of legislation to make it so that Belize's foreign and domestic assets are more or less firewalled from the Alliance. This will certainly result in a whole new round of legal battles in in every court from here to Trinidad. Tomorrow, more details will be known - and we'll have the full report on the House sitting which starts at 10:00.

    Superbond Surprise! Gov't Extends Deadline
    And in other big news from Belmopan, the government has extended its offer to bondholders. As we told you, that offer - known as a consent solicitation - is to bring the interest rate down to a uniform 4% from 6.7%, and to defer the principal payments to the years 2036, 2037, and 2039. The deadline for bondholders to accept it was today at 5:00 pm New York Time. Well, right around that time, we saw this release on the government website. It says, quote, "The Government of Belize today extended the period during which holders of Belize's U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 may respond to the Government's January 12, 2017 Consent Solicitation Statement….The offer will now remain open until 5:00 pm (New York time) on Friday, February 3, 2017." End quote.

    Fishermen Fight In Monkey River
    Belizeans get emotional and "real touches" about anything related to Belize/Guatemalan relations. And in the south, anything which looks like Guatemalans illegally fishing in Belizean waters, well they pounce on that very quickly. Well, at Monkey River Village, which is infamous for the massive soil erosion problem, a confrontation has been brewing for some time now, where the native fishermen are convinced that a group of unknown interlopers are illegally fishing in a managed access area. We've also heard simultaneous complaints from shark experts that there has been an alarming increase in shark fishing, which they are very concerned about. About a week or two ago, the Monkey River fisherman planned a sting operation to catch these men, who they believe to be Guatemalans, in the act of illegal fishing. It appears that somehow the men got intel on this civilian operation, and on that day, they stayed away. Well, this morning, the time was ripe for a second attempt, and they invited our News team to tag along. Our news team set out from Belize City about 2:00 in the morning, and they got a chance to capture firsthand the conflict between the natives and the unknown elements out in those waters. Here's that story:

    Six Years Later, Menzies Gets Off
    It made huge news in 2011 when Patrick Menzies was accused of trying to run over a GSU officer and a female companion outside a nightclub. Menzies and his friend Rodney Lino were rewarded for it with a punishing beatdown. And to add insult to injury, Menzies was charged with two counts of attempted murder and 2 counts of Use of Deadly Means of Harm, Wounding and harm. Well, 6 years later, the 35 year old is free of those charges. The Supreme Court trial started on Tuesday and this morning it ended when the DPP's office made a nolle pros submission. Turns out the witnesses did not appear as scheduled this morning - and of the first five witnesses, none had been able to place Menzies as the driver of the car at the time off the accident. And the female who was supposedly knocked down, said she suffered no injury.

    Catholic Church Has New Bishop
    Catholic Bishop Christopher Glancy was consecrated in May 2012. He was brought in as an auxiliary Bishop to assist the ailing Bishop Dorick Wright. Wright is suffering from several health complications including Kidney failure. While Bishop Wright is managing his various illnesses, he can't continue his service as Bishop. So another Bishop will now take over. He is Dangriga native Father Lawrence Nicasio. We met him today and he gave us an update on Wright's health and also shared his perspective on the involvement of the Church in state affairs. Fr. Lawrence Nicasio = Bishop, Diocese Belize City, Belmopan: "I am being appointed the ordinary for the Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan since Bishop Wright is not well and Bishop Glancy remains the auxiliary, hopefully we will work together for the entire Diocese that will be the entire church, Catholic Church in Belize, North, South, East and West."

    The Curious, Crazy Case Of Citizen Jinchen An
    Last night on the news, we brought you extensive coverage of Ruth Meighan's second day of testimony before the Senate Inquiry. The Former Immigration Director was being grilled on all the irregularities and illegalities which happened during her tenure at the Immigration Department. The Senate Committee has finished questioning her - but there's still more of her testimony to show you. One particularly intriguing line of questioning was the Senate Committee Chairman's review of a visitor turned citizen named Jinchen An. The catalogue of irregularities in his file takes up a whole 7 pages in the Nationality Audit. He was a Chinese National who was granted a visa on October 25, 2012 to come to Belize, and he used one passport number to get that. The auditor General's checks of his Nationality file says that he was granted Belizean Nationality on October 24, 2012, 1 day before he was granted a visa to come to Belize. If you're shaking your head in disbelief about how he managed to secure a passport before he was able to get a visa to come here, well, that's where the Senate Chairman's concern is also.

    Hon. Sedi in D.R.
    This week, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington attended the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States. CELAC is an intergovernmental organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life, economic development and social welfare of its members. During the summit concern was shown for the recent decline of Belize's foreign correspondent banking relationships. Some emphasis was also placed on how Belize would continue to sustainably grow its economy, as well as methods for it to seek developmental assistance. The Summit which was held in the Dominican Republic came to a close yesterday.

    The Taylor's Alley - Carmelita Cannabis Connection
    Last week Friday we told you about the weed bust in the Orange Walk District where Customs caught three men bringing in a kilo of marijuana, allegedly from Botes, Mexico. As we reported at the time, it was a Taylor's Alley - Orange Walk operation by the smugglers. Police have since charged 29 year old Justin Flowers, of Taylor's Alley, in Belize City, along with 24 year old Ruben Teul, and 26 year old Jevon Ico, both of Carmelita Village for "Possession of Controlled Drugs With Intent to Supply." Police say that Curtis Wade of Carmelita Village was the driver who escaped by running out of the Volkswagen. Police are looking for Wade to arrest him. In court, Justin Flowers pleaded Guilty, and was fined $10,000.00 or in default face 3 years imprisonment. Charges against the others will be withdrawn with his guilty plea.

    A Most Unaccustomed Open Day
    So, what are the chances that World Customs Day turns out to be the very same day that Corozal Customs Officers have a confrontation with Mexican smugglers on the Belize - Mexico bridge. A police corporal got his head burst, but at the end of the day, the bridge was cleared - and the situation will be regularized going forward. And while you might call that the more interesting side of Customs work, most of it is about collecting revenue as government's top revenue earner. Today in celebration of World Customs Day, the Customs Department held a fair at the Battlefield Park to give the public an opportunity to become more familiar with its methods and practices. The fair featured several booths organized under the theme "Data Analysis for Effective Border Management". We spoke to the Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Estelle Leslie, about the importance of hosting events like this...

    The CITO Solution
    The Central Information Technology Office also had a booth at the Customs Fair. CITO's Director, Francisco Gonzalez, told us about his office's new program to help streamline the online customs and government operations... Gonzalez said that BELAPS should be ready for use by the end of this year.

    The Case Against Roundup
    Roundup is the most common herbicide in Belize, and has been used for decades. But last week a study came out linking the chemical to severe liver disease. It is also classified it as a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We spoke to Wilmot Simmons, the main importer of Roundup, who told us that in his experience the product did not have any negative side-effects. Well yesterday, we heard from the other side. Eli Ochoa, the Director of Pro-Organic Belize's Pesticide free program, about the dangers caused by the usage of Roundup. Ochoa also told us how farmers can grow healthy crops without the popular herbicide... Roundup's main competitor, Paraquat, is noted to be a far more harmful alternative. Ochoa concludes that with those two grim choices, farmers will need look towards more organic ways of protecting their crops.

    Channel 5

    Ex-Immigration Director Says Department “Rushed” Nationality Files Before 2012 Elections
    Wednesday was a big day at the Senate Special Select Committee as former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan closed her testimony. We have full coverage of the many revelations coming [...]

    My Most Grievous Fault: Meighan Says Sorry for Immigration Fumbles
    On Wednesday, we showed you how ex-Immigration Director Ruth Meighan took responsibility as senior officer for not taking advantage of the resources available to her to properly vet documents. But [...]

    No Record of Ministers’ Many Recommendations, At Least Not Officially
    Wednesday’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration touched many issues and provided many revelations. One is the extensive back and forth with regard to the issue [...]

    Ministers Made Many Visits to Immigration – But What Were They Doing There?
    The Senate inquiry has revealed that Ministers wielded outsize power as it related to the workings of the Immigration Department. While Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse has contended that none [...]

    Aldo Salazar Indicts Officers for Failing to Collaborate on Applications
    Jin Chen An. He or she, depending on who you ask, was a Chinese investor consultant working with one Roger Tien, seeking a visa to come to Belize. He was [...]

    3 Years in Jail after G.S.U. Sweep Nets 13 Pounds of Weed for Elsworth Morter
    Thirty-nine-year-old Elsworth Morter is spending a second night at the Belize Central Prison after being sentenced to three years for drug trafficking.  A GSU raid on his Oleander Street residence [...]

    Northern Fishermen 6 Charged Over Stolen Gun
    A gang of six would-be thieves, busted during a foiled robbery attempt at the Northern Fishermen’s Cooperatives on January tenth, appeared before the lower court on Wednesday.  Taxi driver Gilroy [...]

    2016 Concludes with Higher Prices, Lower Trade
    The Statistical Institute of Belize has released figures for December 2016.  From that information, it comes as no surprise that consumer prices were up by one point one percent.  That [...]

    Contrabandistas Get Rowdy at Northern Border; Mexico Beefs Up Security
    There was an encounter earlier today resulting in a heated exchange between local customs officials and Mexican contrabandists at the northern border in Corozal.  Amateur footage of the incident was [...]

    G.S.U. Can’t Prove Patrick Menzies Knocked Down Officers in 2011
    It made the news back in June 2011 when businessman Patrick Menzies was charged with the attempted murder of a GSU officer and a woman who were socializing at a [...]

    Rebecca Rath is a Stunner in Miss Universe Preliminaries
    This morning, more than eleven million viewers watched the live streaming of the preliminary events of Miss Universe pageant held in Manila, Philippines. The top ladies from the swimsuit and [...]

    Customs and Excise Host Annual Celebration
    The twenty-sixth of January is celebrated annually as World Customs Day and today the local Customs and Excise Department commemorated the day by setting up information booths inside the Battlefield [...]

    Customs Revamps Enforcement at Borders
    Many are of the opinion that the role of the department is really to have customs officers stationed at border/entry points searching your luggage and groceries and fining you. But [...]

    Remembering Legendary Musical Ambassador, Paul Nabor
    It’s been just over two years since Belize and the world lost musical legend Paul Nabor. Nabi, as he was affectionately known, was a humble Garifuna fisherman, farmer, and musician, [...]

    CTV3

    Miss Belize Dazzles In The Philippines
    With the highly anticipated 65th Miss Universe Pageant scheduled to kick off in only three days in the Philippines, the competition has evidently become much more intense as all eighty six beauty ambassadors continue to work tirelessly to obtain the coveted Miss Universe crown. Early this morning each delegate got the opportunity to officially introduce themselves at the 2017 Miss Universe Preliminaries Competition which was held at the Mall of Asia Arena. The competition undeniably had fanatics from all over the world practically jumping out of their seats in excitement as the candidates invaded the stage.

    Did Meighan Break Policies On VISA Recommendations?
    There was also much discussion about the significant number of interventions by Ministers in the process of visa applications with letters of recommendations supporting the requests by applicants. Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee: “You want us to believe that the letters from the ministers played no role?” Former Director Ruth Meighan: “No, I am not saying that. I am saying it’s a recommender and he recommends a person but I am saying to you that the approval was given based on the recommendation that is presented to me by the Officer to that this person met the requirement for him/her to be issued a VISA.” Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee: “What role did the letter from the minister…”

    Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan Says Passports Were Approved Her Consent
    The testimony given by Former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan at Wednesday’s Senate Select Committee hearing dominated the news for the admissions she made and positions she stuck to. Tonight there is more to reveal. Meighan asserted during her testimony that she believed that during her tenure she was only required to accept files provided by senior officers and approve them. She admitted, during questioning by Senator Eamon Courtenay, that when it came to passports, her signature could have been used without her knowledge; and when it came to recommending nationality applications, there was no way for her to double check information she was provided. Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee: “Ms. Meighan you are giving me more worries than I thought I had, just to be clear you are telling this committee that whilst you were Director of Immigration it was possible for your signature to be put on a passport without your knowledge?” Former Director Ruth Meighan: “That is the system that we had in place that is the same system that I met there and that is the system that I left there.”

    Belizean Customs And Mexicans Clash Over Goods
    There was a violent confrontation between Belize Customs and armed Mexican smugglers at the northern border earlier today. The clash erupted when Belize Customs officials attempted to confiscate goods that were being illegally stockpiled near the Belize-side of the Rio Hondo River and not taken into the Mexican side. Before we go to video footage of the clash, we must provide some background information. On a regular basis, there are reports in the Mexican press about their border officials clashing with Mexican smugglers known as fayuqueros over attempts to smuggle goods from the Commercial Free Zone. Because of a crackdown by Mexican officials, the fayuqueros have started to hide the goods under the Subteniente Lopez Bridge. So today when Belizean authorities attempted to get their hands on those goods, all hell broke loose. Here is video footage captured of the confrontation.

    LOVE FM

    Teenager walks free of 2013 murder charge
    Harry Arzu reporting… “Twenty four year old Corina Cu was a student at the University of Belize. On February 21, 2013 she was on her way to school in Punta Gorda Town from Laguna Village in the Toledo District when she was reportedly accosted by Jonathan Cucul who was sixteen years old at the time. […]

    FBI offers reward to find killer of American Anne Swaney
    The FBI is offering up to a ten thousand dollar reward for information that helps to identify the person who murdered ABC7 executive producer, Anne Swaney last year. 39-year-old Swaney was visiting Belize from Chicago, Illinois and was staying at Nabitunich Resort in Western Belize. Her body was found in the Mopan River on January […]

    Former Immigration Director highlights irregularities within the Department
    Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan was back before the Senate Special Select Committee today. Committee members grilled Meighan with questions which she had difficulty answering to their liking. Ruth Meighan is now the CEO in the Ministry of Transport and NEMO but between October 2010 and February 2013, she had been appointed as the Director […]

    Former Immigration Director admits nationality fraud ahead of 2012 elections
    In 2012, the United Democratic Party won a second consecutive term in the General elections held in March. The election was called early by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and according to the Election and Boundaries Department, 178,054 voters registered for the 2012 election. Out of that number 108,753 cast their ballots. At that time, the […]

    Former Director says Ministers’ many visa recommendations was no big deal
    In her report, the Auditor General revealed that ministers such as the then Immigration Minister, Elvin Penner, were submitting a substantial amount of visa recommendations and nationalities. Even recognizing that fact, Meighan said she did not see it fit to establish a procedure to prevent ministers from making those questionable recommendations. Senator Elena Smith “We […]

    Former Director accepts responsibility for wrongdoings under her watch
    The Auditor General’s Special Visa and other findings Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department covers most of the time that Ruth Meighan was Director of Immigration. Most of the irregularities and discrepancies occurred under her watch and even though ministers were using their influence for visa, passport and nationality applications, Meighan’s signature was the […]

    Albert area representative joins Police and community to address spike in gun violence
    We have been reporting on the spike in gun violence in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City. Since the start of 2017, four shooting incidents have been reported, with two proving fatal. Today the Police Department held their weekly meet and greet session in the trouble area. They were accompanied by area representative, […]

    Minister Panton hopes GOB and bondholders and come to an agreement
    As was reported last week, Belize’s bondholders rejected the Government’s initial solicitation consent. The bondholders viewed it as premature citing that any potential debt relief must be part of a medium term solution for Belize with a strong and credible medium term program of fiscal and structural adjustment to promote economic growth and reduce crises […]

    Belize will not take IMF recommendations
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is expected to present the 2017/2018 budget in the next few weeks. Yesterday, the President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nikita Usher said the Chamber had done a comprehensive review of areas that could be improved. He said it is their belief that there will be limited increase […]

    Puerto Azul project stalled some time ago
    Panton was also asked whether the recent reports on the main investors in the Puerto Azul project would have any negative impact on Belize’s foreign investments. Tracy Teagar Panton – Minister of State, Ministry of Economic Development “We haven’t been involved with that project for a couple of years. I know that they had applied […]

    The Guardian

    Social Security Board conducts consultations on contribution increase
    The Social Security Board hosted its 16th public meeting, since January 13th, at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on Thursday of last week. Those in attendance were able to gather first hand expert data on the performance of the Social Security Scheme as well as exchange valuable information. Facilitator for the Social Security Board Consultations, Sandra Cansino, shared with the public last week that there has been only one increase in the social security contributions in over 30 years and that our contribution rate is the lowest in Central America and the Caribbean; except for Jamaica. Cansino also said that people are living longer and that has an impact on the Social Security fund. Emerging in Belize in 1981, the Social Security Scheme has now matured to provide a range of services to those in need and is now at an important cross-road for its future. In 2015, Social Security collected $77,377,01.00 from contributions and $24,791,972.00 from investments.

    Calming tensions in Conch Shell Bay
    Over the past few days two persons have been killed and two injured as a result of gun violence in the Conch Shell Bay and the Lindo’s Alley area. Area Representative for the Albert Division, Hon. Tracy Panton, in which both these areas sit, was on the ground on Wednesday afternoon. Panton was in the area along with police officers including officer commanding for Eastern Division, South, ACP Chester Williams. They were there to reassure residents that everything is being done to deal with the crime situation. Panton met one on one with residents who expressed great concern with the escalation of gun violence. In her meetings Panton explained that as police do what they can to deal with the crime situation by increasing patrols, through her office she is looking for alternative ways to support the community to try and stem the recent spike in violent activity. She stated that far too many of our young men are dying and that as a community we have to come together and do what we can to stop the violence.

    Minister of NEMO and Transport on working tour of the South
    On the 18th and 19th of January, Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro, conducted a working tour of the south where he visited, Bella Vista, Independence Village, and Placencia. On the 18th he along with officials from the Department of Transport visited Bella Vista in the Toledo District where they met with shuttle bus operators to address issues relating to the services they provide to the public in that area. Discussions included the regularization and streamlining of those services in the area. Hon. Castro was accompanied by Chief Transport Officer, Tirsio Galvez and his assistant in the Department of Transport, Vallan Hyde. Also attending the meeting were Area Representative for Toledo East, Hon. Mike Espat; Local Advisor and Coordinator in the Ministry of Transport and NEMO (Toledo), Dennis Williams; Bella Vista Village Chairman, Juan Carlos Martinez, and other members of the Bella Vista Village Council; Senior Transport Officer for Rural Stann Creek District, Gilroy Young, and other personnel from the Stann Creek District Transport Office.

    Hon. Aragon meets Israeli Ambassador
    On Monday January 23, the Ambassador of Israel, His Excellency Jonathan Peled presented his credentials to Belize’s Governor General Sir. Colville Young. That same day H.E. Peled accompanied by his diplomatic team visited the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Honorable Elodio Aragon at his office in Belmopan. Apart from being a courtesy call the visit served as an opportunity for both men to exchange ideas and discuss cooperation between the two countries. For Belize the issue of crime and its effect on all aspects of life was paramount and for Israel the safety of Israeli citizens when visiting or in transiting Belize.

    Work continues on upgrading streets of Belmopan
    Streets in and around the Nation’s Capital continue to be upgraded at a fast and sustained pace. Hon. John Saldivar, the Representative for Belmopan has announced that in a few days time all the original Salvapan Streets will be paved. The work crews will then be moving to San Martin, starting with Saint Guadeloupe, Saint Paul, Saint Mary, Saint Mark, and Saint Michael Streets.

    PUP battled for 13th senator as if he were a PUP
    If one were not aware how it was that Senator Salas was appointed, after hearing the PUPs in the Senate last week Thursday, one would have been very much convinced that Salas was a PUP appointee and that the PUP was going to bat for one of their own. As is the norm, the leader of Government Business got up and moved that at its rising the Senate adjourn to a date to be set by the President. Well nobody even expected what happened next. As the President attempted to put that question to the Senate, PUP Senator Courtenay got up and tabled a motion, that the Senate adjourn so that Newly elected Senator, Salas, be first sworn in so that he be then allowed in to be able to debate the NGO Amendment Motion that was to be presented and debated later on in that same meeting. That motion was seconded by Senator Elena Smith. The President then reminded Senator Courtenay of his earlier response to the letter from the said Senator Courtenay, in regards to his request for the postponement of the meeting to allow Salas to be sworn in. At that point he informed Courtenay that if the amendment to the NGO Act were not to be first passed then legally Salas would not be able to be sworn in, since his selection and appointment would not be in conformity with the act.

    Aragon – Indefatigable Representative
    There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Honorable Elodio Aragon is a servant of the people. Since he was elected in 2015 Hon. Aragon has worked tirelessly to ensure that he delivers for his constituency. He has the wellbeing of the people he represents at heart and works every day to try to make life a little better for all Belizeans but especially for his people in Orange Walk East. Since the beginning of the year he has ensured that attention be given to several of the sugar roads which were in horrible state. Many arteries which make up the sugar roads network in the Orange Walk East Constituency have been attended to. Roads in areas such as Dubloom, Playa Blanca, Posito and Carmelita have had remedial work done on them thereby alleviating some of the misery cane farmers experience when using such roads.

    Citrus Growers Association meets to address Citrus Greening and diversification
    The Belize Citrus Growers Association (CGA)held its 44th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, January 21. The meeting got underway at 10:00a.m. in Red Bank Village where the CGA has its Plant World Nursery. The nursery, a 100 acres parcel of land owned by the CGA is a gigantic operation that is considered one of the biggest citrus nurseries in this region comprising of an enclosed structure of almost 4 acres in size and propagates about 375,000 citrus plants at any one time. These plants are guaranteed free of any diseases and are sold to citrus farmers. It was apt that the AGM was held at the nursery site as it was an intense meeting where growers expressed extreme concern about “Citrus Greening” and what the CGA and Government of Belize are doing to combat this dreaded disease.

    Muslim community opens doors to all Belizeans for weekend convention
    The people of Islam in Belize are under the microscope after reports surfaced that a Belizean Muslim from a well known family was killed when Filipino authorities uprooted a terrorist group earlier this month. Perception of the Muslim community has already been skewed due to thousands of hours of negative coverage by the international media and almost no documentation of the true nature of the religion. This type of reporting has caused people to associate the people of Islam with terrorism, hatred and Jihad when the word itself actually derives from the root salam which means “Peace” and the mission of the people is to spread enlightment. The incident with the Belizean in the Philippines comes at a time when members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at are preparing to host their 3rd Annual Convention in Belize. Local and international leaders of this denomination of Islam held a press briefing on Wednesday, January 25, to say that it is an opportune time for them to open their doors so that all Belizeans can see and hear for themselves the true teachings of Islam.

    Belizean Muslim community condemns actions of Abu Naila
    “We are not familiar with that individual and I can say with certainty that he is not a member of our Muslim Community.” – Naveed Mangla, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Belize. With this statement, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at sect became the first and only Muslim community so far to distance itself from Nadir Ali Ahmad whose name has been linked to a terrorist group in the Phillipines. According to reports from the Philippines, ISIS sympathizer Abu Naila was killed by government troops in a raid in Barangay Daliao, Maasim in the Sarangani province on Saturday, January 7. Naila is a member of the terrorist group called Ansar Al-Khilafa. The Philippine Star reported that Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa claims, “[Abu Naila] wanted to fight in Syria but he first went here in the Philippines to train.” Naila and a woman believed to be his common-law-wife, Kadija, were killed as authorities closed in on them. The couple tried to fight their way out and were shot to death when Naila allegedly lobbed a grenade towards the agents.

    Presentation of Credentials
    Four ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence today to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador of Slovak Republic; and H.E. Mr. Luigi Maccotta, Ambassador of Italy; all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their respective countries in Belize. The ambassadors each conveyed their countries’ interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize. The Governor General warmly welcomed and received the Ambassadors’ credentials.

    Bureau of Standards prosecutes stores for overcharging customers
    The Bureau of Standards on Wednesday published a list of establishments that they are prosecuting for various offenses including the sale of goods at a price higher than the maximum selling price permitted, failure to indicate prices on goods. Ming’s supermarket, Wendy’s Shop and Jun’s superstore all located in Independence village were successfully prosecuted for the above mentioned infractions. They were fined $1,000 each at the Independence Magistrate’s Court. Also convicted were the owners of Dong Chang Supermarket also of Independence for failure to indicate prices on goods, this store was fined $500 dollars.

    Another shooting in Conch Shell Bay
    Less than a day after Clinton Frazer was murdered, there was another shooting in the same vicinity. This one nearly claimed the life of 19 year-old Keimar “Bwee” Nicholas, who is currently hospitalized in a critical condition. It happened on Monday, January 23, around 8:40 p.m., on Lindo’s Alley, which is right down the street from the Frazer family residence. Nicholas was socializing on a basketball court which is right outside the door to his house. That’s when, according to police, a tall man rode up on bicycle and opened fire on them. Nicholas was hit by a single gunshot to the neck, and he was immediately rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment. The doctors managed to save his life, but even with a successful, follow-up medical surgery the following day, he remains in a critical condition at the hospital.

    Two cops accused of extortion
    Police Constables David Jimenez and Derwin Marin are facing extortion charges after a tourist accused them of an outrageous abuse of authority. American John Courtenay reported to police that on Sunday, January 22, at around 8 p.m., two officers attacked him and dragged him into a police vehicle. He said that the officers searched him, assaulted him, and then took him to an ATM machine, where they forced him to withdraw $200. He said that he complied and handed over the money fearing that the officers would continue to take advantage of him. Police have since investigated his report, and on Monday, a day later, police arrested and charged officers David Jimenez and Derwin Marin with the crimes of extortion and wounding. They have since been arraigned at the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court where they pleaded not guilty to both offense.

    6 fatalities as a result of traffic mishaps in January
    For the second half of January, there has been an unusual spike in the number of fatal traffic accidents. Most of them have been happening in the Orange Walk and Cayo Districts. In the north, the most recent accident happened on the Otro Benque Road in the Orange Walk District. Police say that on Friday, January 20, just before midnight, 19 year-old Jerry Hernison Martinez was riding toward Trial Farm Village. It appears that when he arrived on top of a Hill, he somehow lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a Lamp post. He suffered severe head and bodily injuries, and he died on the scene. Police are reviewing to see if alcohol played any role in the accident. In Corozal, there was a fatal traffic accident involving a Bus and a cyclist who was run over. That one happened at around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, January 17, at miles 69 on the Philip Goldson Highway. That’s located in Buena Vista Village, and according to police a Tillett bus was heading toward Corozal Town when the driver knocked down and killed an unknown cyclist. The unknown man, was riding the bike in the same direction, and he was hit from behind.

    Another life lost in traffic accident near Belmopan
    In a span of just two weeks another person has succumbed to injuries, the result of motorcyle related traffic accidents near Belmopan. Belmopan Police visited between Mile 55 and 56 where they observed a dark blue Toyota Hilux, with a black Meilun motorbike under the front bumper. The rider of the motorbike was 21 year old Geovannie Reymundo, a resident of San Martin and he was accompanied by Anita Canti. Reymundo suffered from severe head and body injures and was transported to the hospital where he passed away. Anita Canti also suffered some injuries but was able to make it through from the painful wreck. The driver of the Hilux, Kevin Petzold, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, drove vehicle without due care and attention and failure to give way when changing direction. Petzold appeared in court on Monday and his case has been moved to April 6, 2017.

    Elario Elijio attacks his stereo repair man
    Elario Elijio, 39, walked away from a charge of manslaughter on July 5, 2016, after he was accused of causing the death of his drinking buddy, John Myers, 52. The accusation was that Myers fell and died because of hitting his head on the pavement after he was punched by Elijio. The case fell apart after the main eyewitness recanted his story in court and the prosecution could find no one else to point out the puncher. Elijio walked free that day but he is back in trouble with the law. Elijio was read two criminal charges, one count of aggravated assault with a machete and one count of wounding, when he appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, January 20. According to appliance repair man Nelson Martinez, 38, around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, he was socializing with some friends on Zacaranda Street when Elijio approached him on a bicycle and asked about his stereo set.

    Police charge Henry Harris for Hog’s murder
    Police have arrested and charged one man for the murder of 44 year-old Conch Shell Bay resident Clinton Frazer, who is better known as “Hog”. Clinton Frazer and his 33 year-old brother, Michael, became the victims of a shooting which happened down the street from their home. Police say that at around 9:23p.m. on Sunday, January 22, the two brothers were socializing with a group of friends near the Conch Shell Bay Fish market. That’s when they came under fire from two gunmen who came on separate bicycles. Clinton was injured in the back, while Michael got shot in the right leg. Both men were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and the doctors tried their very best to save their lives. Unfortunately, they were only able to work on Clinton Frazer for about 20 minutes, at which point, he succumbed to his injuries. They were able to successfully treat Michael Frazer’s leg injury.

    Carl Reneau charged for Jaheem’s murder
    Police believe they have solved the murder case of 15-year-old student, Jaheem Mahler, (last week we reported him to be Raheem, we apologize for that mistake), who was gunned down on Tuesday night, January 17. Carl Reneau, a resident of #30 Iguana Street Extension, is the man police believe squeezed the trigger of the gun that launched several bullets into Mahler’s body. Reneau was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, January 20. He was read a single charge of murder. No plea was taken and due to the nature of the offense bail could not be granted. He will be remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on February 24, 2017. This was not Reneau’s first time being charged for murder. On July 5, 2010, Reneau walked free from the murder of Brian “Benji” Williams, 32. Williams was killed on March 9, 2009 when he was shot while painting a house. The gunman, who was believed to be Reneau, reportedly told a little boy who was in the yard at the time to go inside the house because he had come to kill Williams. Williams was shot about eight times from close range. Then in March of 2015 he was charged for the attempted murder of 15-year-old Robert Hower.

    Taxi driver accused of sexual assault
    A taxi driver is being accused of inappropriately touching the leg of a 15-year-old girl who hired him to take her to her mom’s workplace. That driver is Nestor Galindo, 42, of M&M’s Street in Belize City and he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, January 20. The girl visited the police station in the company of her mother. She told police that on January 2, 2017, she went to a family dinner on Cemetery Road around lunch time with her mother who had to leave when her break from work was over. At about 6:45 p.m., the girl boarded a brown taxi being driven by Nestor Galindo to go to her mother’s workplace. While on her way, according to the girl, Galindo was constantly touching her on the leg causing her to feel uncomfortable. She told her mother about the incident and the two visited the station together.

    Coast Guard champions of CYDP Football Tournament
    The 2016-2017 Conscious Youth Development Programme Football Tournament came to an end on Sunday January 22, 2017, with the third place game as well as the championship game. In the championship game played between Tut Bay and the Coast Guard, it was the Coast Guard that prevailed by the score of 4-1. The Coast Guard was the first onto the scoreboard when Adgar Adderly scored the 1st goal of the game in the 11th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Steven Martinez scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 20th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. Tut Bay finally made it onto the score board when Brian Martinez scored in the 27th minute of play to cut the deficit to 2-1. Eredito Valencio scored the 3rd goal of the game in the 41st minute of play to give the Coast Guard a commanding 3-1 lead. The final goal of the game was scored by the Coast Guard’s Steven Martinez in the 85th minute of play that sealed the championship for his team.

    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.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks keep in winning form
    The San Pedro Tiger Sharks pick up its second win in as many outings in the early start of the 2017 National Elite Basketball League Season on Friday January 20, when it defeated the host team the Orange Walk Running Rebels, by the score of 77-62 at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were Ashton Edwards with 23 points; George Williams with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 11 assists; Raul Roches with 3 rebounds and 2 assists and Kurt Burgess who scored 11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Orange Walk Running Rebels were Roger Reneau with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals; Lennox Bowman with 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal; and Shemar White with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks led for most of the game, and had an 11-2 advantage on second chance points. Orange Walk had a 16-11 edge on bench points.

    St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College maintain lead in Central Region Football competition
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued over the last week with a number of games on the schedule. On Saturday 21st January, 2017, in the first of three games played in the male competition, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 2-0. In game two, Sadie Vernon Technical High School won over Belize High School by the score of 5-2. And in the final game of the day, Edward P. Yorke High School won over Excelsior High School by the score of 4-1. On Friday 20th January, in the female game played, Gwen Lizarraga High School won via the default route over Maud Williams High School.

    Belize Softball Federation to hold 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.

    United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
    MEDIA refers to the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet), regarded collectively. Its synonyms that we are most familiar with are: the press, the fourth estate, the news, the papers, broadcasting and publishing. I am always very pleased when I come across instances of the MEDIA providing us with honest, truthful and useful information. In my recent research I was reading about the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. I wonder how many Belizeans know of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference of 1944. Delegates from the United States, Great Britain, Russia and China drew up proposals for a world security organization - which we now know as the - United Nations! That body adopted the strategy of freeing colonial peoples by the granting of independence to the colonies, in the hope of preventing another world war.

    Ashcroft vs. the CCJ!!!
    I don’t think any other Belizean could have better expressed the deep anger and disappointment than Hon. Barrow did in the House Meeting last Friday regarding the lawsuits brought against Belize in the United States by the Ashcroft Alliance. The international drama these days is that the media outlets in the United States have converted the issues surrounding their recent national elections and soon-to -be presidency of Mr. Donald Trump into a live TV soap opera with high ratings. Here in Belize we have our own version of Mr. Trump named ASCHROFT with his parallel fleet of attorneys and his Channel Five media voice supporting the idea that they are larger than the Belizean constitution. This group of people which includes a senior attorney has snubbed its nose at the CCJ and sought to embarrass our country’s highest and final appellate court. Their face of brass and their arrogance recognizes no bounds. Their wealth has lifted their pride and swollen their heads.

    WORDS OF LIFE
    Why do we have to suffer? It seems that, as Christians, we encounter more problems in our daily lives that those who do not share our faith! Suffering takes many forms; it could be a physical illness, stresses of family life, problems in the workplace, or just various obstacles that get in our way. The Apostle Paul addresses these issues in Romans 5:3-4, “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and hope.” Paul, influenced by God’s Holy Spirit, saw it as a learning process. We go through various sufferings and problems so that we might be set apart and transformed and conformed to our Heavenly Father’s desire that we may become like His Son Jesus. In his earthly life, Jesus encountered opposition, rejection, and even beating and death. The Messiah was among His creation, but many did not recognize who he was. He suffered and so did his disciples when they began their ministry.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Ministry of Health issues advisory on private burials
    If you have recently experienced a death in your family and you are considering a burial for your loved on private property you are advised to contact the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health for approval. A failure to secure permission will result in a fine of $1000 as outlined under the Public Health Act Chapter 40. That same act expresses that the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health is the only authorized person that can give permission for such burial if the location meets public health requirements.

    Mexican fugitive sought in Belize
    The Mexican Attorney General is offering up to 15-million-pesos in rewards for information leading to the arrest of the former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte Ochoa. An Interpol Red Notice, has been sent out today allowing for him to be sought in more than 190 countries. According to sources, he may be in Belize or simply using our country to navigate through Central America given our porous borders. Ochoa is wanted in Mexico for organized crime and money laundering, according to the Interpol website.

    Immigration Director admits massive ‘improper’ nationalizations prior to 2012 elections
    Yesterday, Ruth Meighan, former Immigration Director, told the Senate Select Committee that in many instances leading up to the 2012 general elections thousands of immigrants had their nationalization documents approved despite major irregularities. The PUP lost the 2012 General election by a total of 800 plus popular votes. Prior to the election, the UDP nationalized over 2,000 immigrants who were thereafter registered to vote. Some political pundits have suggested that this massive nationalization and registration is wrought with major irregularities and may have been the reason why the UDP won the 2012 elections.

    Tensions escalate at Belize- Mexico Border
    Tensions have been high in Mexico following the “gasolinazo” hike in gas prices. The price increase took effect on January 1, 2017. Since then, Mexicans have been taking to the streets to protest the increase. The government ended some gas subsidies and raised the maximum price of fuel across the board, allowing regular gas to increase by as much as 14 percent, premium to increase by 20 percent and diesel went up by 17 percent. The first few days it took effect; there was massive looting and disturbances at popular shopping spots for Belizeans in Chetumal, Mexico. According to a report of Diario de Quintana Roo, today there was a confrontation between the “fayuqueros” (people who practice illegal commerce) and Belizean custom officers at the Subtineiente Lopez bridge on the Belize/Mexico border.

    FBI offers $10,000 reward for solving Anne Swaney murder
    A US $10,000 rewardhas been put up by the FBI to solve Anne Swaney’s murder case The 39-year-old ABC7 executive producer was killed in Belize on January 15, 2016. It has been a year now and no one has been charged for the crime. Swaney had been vacationing at a resort in Cayo and was murdered two days before she was scheduled to return home. Her partially nude body was discovered floating in the Mopan river in San Jose, Succotz with several injuries to the head and neck.

    New Immigration regulations affecting students
    On Monday morning, hundreds of students from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala that travel daily to study in Belize were lined up at the Belize- Guatemalan border since Belize Immigration officials began checking for student visas. Previously, students had been allowed to cross the border without permits. This new regulation has parents of the students annoyed and concerned. It has been on-going since October 2015 when commuting students were given student border crossing cards. However, they Belize Immigration has upgraded the process to requesting student permits from all students so as to adequately record each student that enters and leaves. The permits are obtained at a cost of $50 and cards at $20.

    Blogs

    Belize – the Owner’s Manual
    This is for all those in Belize, Belizeans Abroad and International friends who are sincere about fighting and ending corruption which can be accomplished by directing your respective energy in ensuring that the Government of Belize petition the United Nations to establish the International Commission Against Impunity in Belize (CICIB). The CICIB Commission’s mandate permits it to carry out independent investigations, to act as a complementary prosecutor and to recommend public policies to help fight the corrupt groups that are the subject of its investigations. CICIB’s Commissioner is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The CICIG in Guatemala effectively placed the former President (Otto Perez Molina) and Vice-President in jail and Guatemalan former finance minister Pavel Centeno committed suicide when CICIG TRIED TO ARREST HIM this week in Guatemala City. This shows clearly that CICIB will be independent of ALL political parties, addresses the wrongs across the board and do so with honesty and impartiality.

    Belize makes it in the list of the best beaches in the world by National Geographic
    The multiple award-winning monthly science and photography magazine published by the National Geographic Society has recently published an article entitled "21 Best Beaches in the World" that made special mention of Belize. Using a gorgeous photo by Brian Skerry of the magazine, National Geographic highlighted the outstanding snorkeling opportunities available on Pelican Beach on the island of South Water Caye in Belize. The article sang the praises of the sea turtles, angelfish, and colorful coral on display in less than 20 feet of water along the shores of Pelican Beach. The glowing praise for the natural beauty in Belize by National Geographic follows on the heels of several unrelated but similar articles published by leading newspapers and travel publications. Some of the biggest publications in the United States, including the New York Times, Lonely Planet, and U.S. News & World Report have published articles in 2017 recommending Belize as a recommended travel destination.

    Exclusive New Luxury Resort on Belize Coast
    Naïa Resort and Spa is situated along a mile of beach and extending through lush forests and tranquil lagoons, the intimate resort is set within a private 200-acre reserve in southern Belize Placencia offers world-class attractions on both land and sea - nearby, endless opportunities for discovery abound, including snorkeling on the hemisphere’s longest barrier reef, hiking, river tubing and zip lining. Naïa features 35 individual Beach Houses, each designed as a private sanctuary overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

    International Sourcesizz

    Pope Francis Appoints A New Bishop For Belize
    Pope Francis has appointed a new Bishop for the country of Belize, Father Lawrence Sydney Nicasio. This comes after the current Bishop, Dorick McGowan Wright, sent in his resignation. Father Lawrence was born in Belize on September 5th, 1956 and was a teacher for several years before entering priesthood and has been a part of various parishes throughout the Belize and Cayo District.

    Miss Belize’s Evening Gown in Upcoming Miss Universe Pageant Is From Carrollton Dress Shop
    On Sunday, Miss Belize will compete in the Philippines against 85 other women from across the world for the title of Miss Universe. Her evening gown, however, is from a Carrollton dress shop. Shimmer Boutique is owned and operated by Larissa Maner, who has been in the pageant and prom dress business for years. Her shop is a sponsor for the Miss Texas organization and she has helped dress women in the Miss America and Miss USA pageants. Miss Universe will be her highest achievement. Rebecca Rath first stopped by Shimmer Boutique with her Texan godmother before competing in Miss Belize. “When she came into my store, she was a beautiful girl, she was well spoken, and she just kind of had the look,” Maner says. “So when she said she was competing for Miss Belize, I kind of jokingly said, ‘We’re going to help you win the pageant and if you win the pageant, I want to dress you for Miss Universe.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’m gonna win! I’m gonna win!’ So we were all kind of joking about it but being half serious.” After Rath won Miss Belize, her first pageant ever, she texted Maner to help find her an evening gown. With the OK from her director and sponsors, she traveled to Carrollton in October to begin her search for an evening gown for the Miss Universe pageant.

    IN PHOTOS: Miss Universe 2016 candidates in their national costumes
    After working the stage in their swimsuits and evening gowns, the 86 candidates of Miss Universe 2016 had some fun as they showed off their national costumes to the audience at the Mall of Asia on Thursday, January 26. Although it has no bearing on the final score, the national costume is one of the most anticipated portions of the competition. Countries are given a chance to show off their culture thorugh the outfits they are wearing. Check out some of the colorful national costumes from the night!

    If You Owe Taxes To IRS, You Could Lose Your Passport And Your Ability To Fly
    If you're like me, your calendar is already filling up - and it's just January. If those plans include travel, you need to be aware of a new law which could affect your future plans. On December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or "FAST Act," became law. The purpose of the law was to provide long-term funding for transportation projects, including new highways. However, the Act also included a significant new provision which allows the Department of State (sometimes just called "State Department") to yank passports from delinquent taxpayers. Here's how it works. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn't have control over passports: that's the purview of the State Department. Tax debts are assessed by the IRS: the State Department doesn't generally have access to taxpayer information because of privacy laws. To bridge the two, the law now requires the IRS to advise the State Department about seriously delinquent taxpayers. The State Department may then refuse to issue or renew a passport for a seriously delinquent taxpayer; the Secretary of State is also permitted to revoke any passport previously issued to a seriously delinquent taxpayer.

    Videos

  • 65th Miss Universe Preliminary Competition, 112min. Check out the 65th Miss Universe Preliminary Competition! Miss Universe Belize, Rebecca Rath competed in swimwear and evening gown in front of a panel of preliminary judges. The scores from the night’s event along with an interview portion will help determine the Top 12 during the Miss Universe broadcast.

  • Border bridge blocked, 15sec. Se encuentra bloqueado el paso para pasar a la zona libre de Belice, una cadena agarrada de conos impide el paso, el lugar es custodiado por elementos de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional de México.

  • Belizean and Mexican border officials clash at the center of the border bridge in a tense standoff., 2min. According to the report of diary of Quintana Roo, confrontation between fayuqueros and customs agents of Belize in the international bridge was about to end in a tragedy. Fayuqueros recovered several bales of merchandise from the free zone and elements of armed security cut cartridge. The confrontation occurred in the middle of the bridge and where military elements remain reguardando Mexican place. Suspending access to the free zone of Belize, by the clash. According to the Mexicans, agents of Belize crossed the border bridge and assaulted the fayuqueros

  • Video of Miss Universe Belize Rebecca Rath in her Scarlet Macaw costume during the National Costume Competition., 1/2min.

  • Bex in Manila, 112min. Miss Universe was LIVE from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, with all 86 contestants competing in swimwear and evening gown in front of a panel of preliminary judges. Watch as Miss Belize shines on stage.

  • And the lessons continue today, 7min. Learn more about the CARICOM Single Market and the Significant Developments in Community Law

  • El viaje 2/6 - Belize, 3.5min.

  • Miss Belize during Miss Universe 2016 Preliminary, min. Video montage of Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath during the Miss Universe 2016 Preliminary Competition. Vote 4 Bex!

  • Backstage of a Photoshoot in Paradise , Belize, 3.5min. Do you know how it's a photoshoot for a Big Fitness American Brand in a paradise is like? Here is a little bit of my work as model for Athleta on January 2017.

  • San Pedro Belize, 5min.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 7, 67min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN DECEMBER 26, 2016, 30min.

  • Join the Adventure: Be;ize, 5min.

  • Miss Universe Evening Gown Preliminary 2 : Belize - Brazil, 2min.

  • Belize 2017!(:, 9min. Two weeks in a beautiful country.

  • How We Lost 2 ATVs || Travel: Belize, 8min. That's right, we lost 2 ATVs in the jungle of Belize. Watch as I zip line and lug around two other dudes on my ATV to make it out of the jungle alive.

  • Steel drums - Belize - San Pedro Lobster Festival 2016,2 min. Goosebumps .... Sounds that beats on your soul, an amazing experience you must see. Fresh tasty lobster and friendly locals.

  • When your polly decides he is a rebel!, 1/2min. Birding in Belize City mein...

  • Punta Rebels rehearsal!, 104min. Punta Rebels rehearsal for Pepsi Maaga Season BASH on Saturday, 28th January.

    January 26, 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 clarifies situation over bulldozed home in San Mateo
    A resident of San Mateo, Rosa Paguada, has reported that her two houses were demolished by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) on Friday, January 20th. Paguada claims she has been living at her house for the past 14 years, and that while she was at work, the SPTC tractors began bulldozing both of her houses. However, according to neighbors in area, both houses were empty and Paguada had received many warnings to remove the houses from the said area. Reports are that she refused to move out. It was said that prior to the bulldozing, she allegedly moved out of the house and took all her belongings. The San Pedro Sun spoke to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who shed some more light on the situation. According to Guerrero, the homeowner has been given ultimatums to move the structures or dismantle them. “First of all, it’s squatting. I’ve been talking to her, along with Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. and Councilor Severro Guerrero. Since my first term in 2012, I have been discussing the removal of these structures because it was in the middle of the street. At that time, she mentioned to her neighbors that when [we] go, she will be with a machete there. After exchanging talks and agreements, we sent the bulldozer to take down the structures to clear the road,” said Mayor Guerrero.

    Despite unresolved dispute with PASA, garbage transfer operations resume countrywide
    Many garbage transfer stations across the country were affected after PASA Belize Limited suddenly informed the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority that they were ceasing operations as of Monday, January 9th. This included the transfer station on Ambergris Caye, which was unable to ship out its waste to the mainland. However, two weeks later, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development has announced that while the situation with PASA is being sorted, the Ministry is ensuring that solid waste is transferred off the island. On Ambergris Caye, local authorities had been monitoring the situation, and although the station on the island could not get rid of its waste, it continued receiving garbage. Mayor Daniel Guerrero had indicated that while they were closely following the matter, the garbage collection on the island would continue as per normal. He did not speak of any changes at the time, and disregarded any immediate impacts on the island, however he anticipated possible alternatives for garbage disposal if necessary. “If the transfer station on the island stops receiving our garbage then we will have to turn back to what we used to do before; burn the garbage,” said Guerrero.

    Alfonso Wiltshire back in Jail
    The San Pedro Police Department have confirmed the reopening of an Unlawful Sexual Intercourse case involving a 13-year-old female who was allegedly abused by island resident, 52-year-old Alfonso Wiltshire. As a result, Wiltshire has been re-arrested and will appear at the San Pedro’s Magistrate Court tomorrow Thursday, January 26th. Police have indicated that following further investigations into the case, evidence was revealed that once again incriminates Wiltshire. He is expected to be remanded to the Belize Central Prison after his court hearing tomorrow. In October 2015 Wiltshire was charged and remanded to the Belize Central Prison, but a few days later he was out on bail. The matter was dismissed for non-disclosure on August 24, 2016 at the San Pedro Magistrate Court before Magistrate Janell Villanueva. However, this time police believe they have enough evidence to incarcerate Wiltshire.

    Raise Me Up and On Eagles Wings Ministry break ground for Hope Haven
    After the San Pedro Lions Club generously donated the use of a building they own, ground-breaking work for Hope Haven—a new children’s home commenced on Saturday, January 21st. This has been an on-going initiative from non-profit organizations (NGOs) Raise Me Up and On Eagle Wings Ministries (OEWM) to accommodate the island’s vulnerable groups, and provide them with adequate assistance. Located on Lions Street across from Maya Island Air, the first phase of construction began upstairs. Through OEWM, a mission team from Vineyard Church in Asheville, North Carolina, USA arrived in San Pedro Town to selflessly offer their labor, and have been volunteering at the site. For the past couple of days, volunteers have helped clear out the area for renovation by knocking down walls, and stripping the flooring and ceiling.

    Ambergris Today

    FBI Offers $10K Reward for Anne Swaney McComb Murder Case in Belize
    On January 14, 2016, Anne Elizabeth Swaney McComb’s body was found downstream of the Mopan River a day after she had went to a deck near the river to practice her yoga as she has done since she got to the Nabitunich Farm Resort for her vacation in Belize. Anne became an executive producer of online operations at ABC7 shortly after she graduated from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, in 1998. Anne Swaney had recently celebrated 16 years of working at ABC7. She loved her job and also loved to travel. She visited many countries including: Costa Rica, Scotland, Turkey, Greece, Iowa, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary Austria and Belize. Not for once did anyone ever think Belize would be her last destination. Now, a year later her murder continues to be investigated by the police force in Belize and by the FBI in Chicago. The FBI has now offered $10,000 USD to anyone who has information into capturing the killer.

    Sean McDermott To Perform At Sunshine Scholarship Foundation Fundraiser
    Sunshine Scholarship invites the community of San Pedro to join them in the foundation’s biggest and best Fundraiser event in San Pedro. A benefit concert featuring Broadway star Sean McDermott to be held on February 22nd, 2017, at Palapa Bar and Grill, starting at 7pm. Tickets are on sale for only $50 BZ. The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is an incorporated entity in Belize since 2014, providing scholarships to underprivileged San Pedro children. Since 2014, the Foundation has enrolled approximately 10 children in the program. Currently, there are over 20 children who need scholarships in order to attend school. As a result of this pressing need, the Foundation will be holding a huge fundraiser.

    National Geographic Names Belizean Beach Among World’s Most Spectacular
    Belize is known for its rich diversity of assets, ranging from Maya Mountains and ruins, caves, flora and fauna, tropical rainforest, the barrier reef and more, but now it gets a nod for having spectacular beaches. National Geographic has compiled a diverse list of the world’s most spectacular beaches, ranging from the idyllic, through the unusual, to the ecologically important. National Geographic has ranked South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Belize, as one of the Top 21 Beaches in the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) appointed South Water Caye Marine Reserve as one of the seven protected areas that form the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System’s World Heritage Site. Pelican Beach on the Caye is known for supporting an oceanic mangrove system and extensive seagrass meadow that is home for many marine life species. South Water Caye is the second largest marine reserve on the country, with a depth of approximately 20 feet or less. It is known to be the safest beach in the country where one within minutes can explore the Reserve and The Barrier Reef.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Splashers/a>
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint this cute little guy who is "Waiting Patiently" for you to come!

    Women in Art Fair 2017
    The SISE House of Culture is having their Women in Art Fair on March 18th at the Cayo Welcome Center, and they are inviting female artisans from Cayo to display their art.

    December 2016 Trade & Consumer Price Index
    Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2016 were valued at $173.9 million. This was a decrease of 3.2 percent or $5.8 million from last December’s imports, which were valued at $179.7 million. Merchandise imports for the year 2016 totaled almost $2 billion, a decrease of 4.3 percent or $89.1 million from the total imports recorded for 2015. Total domestic exports for December 2016 amounted to $17.9 million, down 10.7 percent or $2.1 million when compared to December, 2015. Domestic exports for the year 2016 totaled $401.9 million, down 25.1 percent or $134.7 million dollars from the $536.6 million recorded for 2015. This significant drop in Belize’s export earnings for the year 2016 when compared to 2015 was as a result of decreased earnings across all major commodities

    NO state of normalcy with regard to Guatemala
    Nuff respect to the soldiers of the Belize Defence Force, for I know their role is to follow orders. Yet, it is this manner of bullshit propaganda which irks me. Shame on the powers that be, who persist in perpetuating the facade that we are in a state of normalcy with regard to Guatemala, its unfounded claim to our sovereign territory and its ever-increasing aggression against our nation. Any who beg to differ, I simply point to the acts of aggression that occur against Belizean nationals who seek to traverse our side of the Sastoon River. The Guatemalans have become so emboldened that they have issued fisheries regulations which clearly include Belizean waters. In addition, Guatemalans are free to use gill nets in our territorial waters, unabated, but if Belizean fisherman even venture into the area, they are summarily harassed. Let us not forget the daily incursions which take place all along our Western Border, as well as the subsequent pillaging of our flora and fauna. Additionally, if matters are so "cordial" between the two nations, can anyone tell me if Guatemala's Ambassador has returned to Belize? These are the manner of things Belizeans must recognise. Not the poppy-show propaganda which the "talking heads" spew, based on directives from the "Fifth-Column" which exists in the halls of Belmopan.

    THE BELIZEAN ART SHOP: MY BELIZE FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL (PART 1)
    In this second feature of the recently presented Belizean Legends artistic documentary series we call, "The Belize Art Shop", where we debut the column with Belizean artist and photographer, Karen Stuart Spence, we want to now feature another work in photography of Belizean artist and photographer, Clyde Gillett. Gillett, who has been shooting scenes from all walks of life for many years now, has made a tremendous impact on the Belizean social and political scene with his outstanding work covering the struggle of peoples from all cultures including his own people, the Belizean people. In this eight piece photo essay, Gillett has chronicled in living color the activism work of yours truly, Bilal Morris, and has followed the "BREDAA Movement" and my role in it as a community organizer. Here the viewer will see the grassroots Belizean community in which BREDAA has been associated with in Los Angeles, California for the last 30 years. The artist's work depicts the social and political work that goes into activism, and the crucial fact that one must go to the people if a movement is to survive and take root. Gillett's work in sociopolitical activism in which he has covered so many, expresses the love of the Belizean people here for their country and its survival as a nation.

    BIP MAKES INVESTMENT IN BELIZE EASIER AND FASTER
    The Ministry responsible for Investment, Trade and Commerce (MITC) and BelizeINVEST, a unit of BELTRAIDE, joined the LOVE FM Morning Show team today to promote the Belize Investment Portfolio Campaign (BIP). This is an initiative which aims to foster the development of a national portfolio to fast-track investment generation efforts, both local and foreign, through targeted matchmaking of pre-packaged investment concepts and projects. Through the advancement of the campaign, BELTRAIDE, through its technical unit BelizeINVEST, mandated to serve as Belize’s National Investment Promotion Agency, expects to further substantiate investment concepts submitted by key public sector Government Ministries and stakeholders into actionable business cases aligned with national development priorities. Additionally, the campaign strives to support private sector investment projects seeking financing and / or investment partners by promoting and matchmaking these “shovel ready” business opportunities through various platforms regionally, inclusive of Connect Americas and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agency (CAIPA), key supporters and collaborators of this initiative in Belize.

    Convictions: Supplies Control (Prices) Regulations

    2017 San Pedro Lobster Fest
    Mark your calendars!!! San Pedro Lobster Festival 2017 will be June 15th-24th! The block party will be on June 24th in Central Park.

    EnviroConnect Belize Competition
    Season 2 of EnviroConnect Belize Competition is coming soon to Channel 5. We are recruiting participants to compete, as well as a new host. Fill out the application form, and sent it to outreach@environment.gov.bz or envirodept@environment.gov.bz.

    Mountain Cow with young in the Chiquibul
    Camera trap photos are from PhD student, Lauren N. Watine, and the Program for Tropical Ecology and Conservation Science. Cameras are used to understand wildlife species found in the Chiquibul Forest and how we can continue to promote their existence in this unique system.

    Printed licenses now ready in San Pedro
    The Traffic Dept’ would like to inform all persons who renewed their license but were not issued their license due to lack of printing supplies, that the licenses are now ready for collection. Please visit the Traffic Office with your receipt to collect your new license. Thank You.

    Channel 7

    Bombshell: Former Immigration Director Says Confirms Nationality Fraud In run-Up To 2012 GE
    In January of 2012 there was a rush of people crowding the immigration office in Belmopan. And that's because it was the lead-up to a general election, and in a game of ruthless electioneering, UDP politicians, especially those from the Cayo District were in an unseemly rush to naturalize new voters, and get them unto the voters' list in time for the General Election in March. We covered the story at the time, where the office was over-run with new applicants and political operators greasing government wheels to get their voters regularized at all costs. Even to the casual observer, it was an unseemly affair, and tonight we know that mass acts of fraud were perpetuated during that period leading to fraudulent citizens and voters. That's what came out of the Senate hearings today in Belmopan where former Director Ruth Meighan, who presided over that period conceded that in the haste, many corners were cut, which resulted in compromised Belizean nationality documents:…

    Meighan Says Visa Scam Was Perpetrated By Dept. Staff
    And, that was only a snapshot of the wider fraud committed on the systems for approval of visa, nationality and passports at the Immigration Department. As we told you, the audit suggests that Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan, or someone signing in her place, may have been approving visas for an applicant, and in a matter of days, weeks, or months, she was recommending these same persons to get permanent residency, long before they qualified for it. Well, it's the same story with persons getting visas to travel to Belize, and then getting Belizean nationality shortly after. Today, the Senate challenged Meighan on that. She insisted that she did not get to see any visa approval information, and based on what she had in front of her, she believed in the immigration officer who screened it before her, without contemplating the possibility that these documents could be forgeries. Here's the back and forth on that:

    Who Were Those Ministers In And Out Of Immigration Office?
    And though political influence and electioneering caused that 2012 fiasco, if you ask any Minister of the Barrow Administration, they'd say that their regular visits and interventions did nothing to misdirect the application process for immigration documents. Every single Minister we've talked to insists that he was not seeking to push through applications for persons who didn't qualify. From their perspective, they were giving introduction letters, and they always made sure to indicate in their letters of recommendation to the Immigration Director, that they wished for applicants to be approved "if all was in order". Well, as we told you, Ruth Meighan's successor, Maria Marin, started to keep a record of the number of recommendation letters she was receiving from ministers. It was a red flag for her, and she provided that list to the Senate Select Committee a few weeks ago. That list was not shared with the media. But it did come up today in the Senate hearing, along with Meighan's observation that Ministers were popping in and out of the Immigration Department regularly.

    Meighan's Signature Used Without Consent
    And there were weaknesses all around the Immigration Department. Specifically, there is one instance where the electronic passport system had a copy of former Director Meighan's signature saved, to be applied on passports for to all applicants that the head of the passport section has approved. Meighan's signature was appearing on passports long after she left the Department, and today, the Senate found out why. Her signature as the lead Immigration Officer was needed to authenticate that a passport was valid, and for expediency, an electronic copy of it was saved on the passport system. Unfortunately, it allowed for passports to be processed with her signature affixed, but without her approval. She explained that to the Senate today: Ruth Meighan - Former Director of Immigration: "At the time I became director I was asked to put my signature on the passport system which the approval signature for passport but in terms of my intervention in the process from application up to that point after I've signed on that system I have absolutely no intervention in that process from application up to the time or approval. My signature is on a passport system that approves the passport that's what I'm saying."

    Meighan Takes The Blame
    So, the Senate Committee kept challenging Ruth Meighan on what her role is and what it should have been as the chief immigration officer. She eventually agreed that what came to be the norm, and what is the ideal are two different things, and because she didn't have direct oversight over all processes at the Immigration Department, irregularities, and fraud managed to slip through. Here's that portion of today's hearing: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "Who is responsible when in fact that person does not qualify, you or the officer below?" Ruth Meighan - Former Director of Immigration: "I am the person that gives the approval for the visa." Hon. Eamon Courtenay: "Who is responsible, who is accountable?" Ruth Meighan: "I am the person that gives the approval so I believe I would be the person who is accountable for the issuing of visa."

    Police and Politicians Partner For Peace In Conch Shell
    The Conch Shell Bay area and the nearby Lindo's Alley Street has been a hotbed of violence since the start of 2017. Two men have been killed and a 19 year old is in the intensive care unit after being shot two nights ago. So, how are police going to bring peace and safety to this very small area? Well, today Southside Police went on a meet and greet in this embattled community. But they didn't go alone, for the first time that we've witnessed, the police teamed up with the ranking politician in the area – that's representative Tracey Taeger-Panton. Here's what she told us about putting an end to the violence:… Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton - Albert Area. Rep: "Residence in this area particular, Lindo's alley and also in the Conch shell bay area very concerned with the escalation of gun violence and so we felt that it was important to do an outreach to the community to give them our reassurance that we're doing everything we possibly can in terms of dealing with the crime itself and also looking for alternative ways in which we can continue to support our community to try and stem some of what has happened. Recently there has been a spike in the activity and its concerning for all us, far too many of our young men are dying and as a community we have to come together and do what we can."

    Fitzgibbon Fingered
    And, going back to Lindo’s Alley, police have already charged the suspect in that shooting. In under 24 hours, police charged Enfield Fitzgibbon. Today, he was taken to court but he didn’t want the press to see his face. In court, he appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until March 17.

    Morter's Marijuana Lands Him In Jail
    Yesterday we told you about Elsworth Morter, who was busted in his home along with seven others with over 30 pounds of cannabis. They were all charged with multiple counts of possession and drug trafficking, but today Morter took all the blame. In the Magistrate's Court, he pled guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and two counts of drug trafficking, letting his accomplices off the hook. He was sentenced to three years in jail, and fined ten thousand dollars for one of the counts, and simply fined another ten thousand dollars for the second count. If he doesn’t pay that one by the end of this year, he will serve another three years in jail.

    16 Year Old Tries To Take The Rap Again For Grown Men
    Earlier this month, Gilroy Thompson, Dorian Blair, Aaron Flowers, Kenroy Vanzie, Harry Montero and a minor were all arrested and charged for possession of a firearm without a license. The group allegedly attempted to rob the Northern Fisheries Cooperative office on North Front Street, but were thwarted and captured by the police. The three adults pled not guilty, while the minor pled guilty. After some deliberation with the boy and his father, the Magistrate denied his plea, fearing he was being forced and did not fully understand the consequences. They were all remanded into custody until March. Today, the group, with the exception of Flowers who was out on Supreme Court bail, was called back to the Magistrate's Court to be read a second charge. This time, they were charged with handling stolen goods. According to reports, the firearm they used in their attempted robbery was stolen from SOS Security Guard, Allister Claire.

    GOB: No IMF Prescription Will Make Us Well
    Government is in the final stages of preparing the budget for the next fiscal year, and all the wags say that there will be an increase in taxes. But, will government have to take an IMF prescription for their fiscal shortfall? According to the Minister of State for Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Commerce, there's not going to be any IMF prescription: Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State - Econ Dev, Trade & Commerce: "I certainly don't think that anytime in the near future we'll be having any prescription of the IMF. I know that we're looking at how we curtail and streamline expenses for the government that is important. You know we can't go bondholders if it's business as usual, we have to be sure that we are streamlining our own activities and I think that there will be a greater effort by government departments and ministries and all involved to streamline expenses so that we can use the money in areas like intervention and mediation and job creation and that kind of thing."

    Investment Minister Says Puerto Azul Was Non Starter
    And speaking in the context of her Investment portfolio, Taegar – Panton distanced herself from the Puerto Azul meltdown. That supposed eight star resort development near the Blue Hole has been exposed as a straight-up scam, and, now, Taegar – Panton says it was a non-starter:… Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State - Econ Dev, Trade & Commerce: "We haven't been involved with that project for a couple of years. I know that they had applied for an environmental impact assessment to be done and a terms of reference was reviewed and that is where the project stopped. There was no direct intervention from the ministry of investment or beltraide for a couple of years now. We've heard somethings on the international media but we all have to wait and see how that plays out and if in fact those things are indeed as they represented. It is unfortunate when we have those kinds of incidents, certainly we try as best as we can to do our due diligence not only through beltraide but also through the FIU and the central bank to ensure that investors that are coming are bonafide and we don't find ourselves in that kind of situation."

    Shady Shopkeepers Convicted
    In other news coming out of Taeger-Panton’s Ministry, the Supplies Control office at the Belize Bureau of Standards has successfully prosecuted four Independence village shopkeepers who were taking advantage of their customers. Working with police, price control monitors found that these four stores were selling controlled items at above the legal price, and not properly displaying the price of these items. Three of tem were fined a thousand dollars, while one – which only failed to display the price was fined 500 dollars. The office says it has two pending cases in Benque Viejo.

    UCLA Makes Monumental Partnership With Belize Cancer Center
    We have reported on several international medical visits from a host of practitioners. A group of doctors and nurses would normally come for a couple days or sometimes a week and see a few patients. Then they head back home – medical mission over! Well, the Medical Director and his team at the Belize Cancer Center in Dangriga aren't settling for a one-time visit. They have partnered with one of the most prestigious medical centers in the world – UCLA to launch a program where in any given month , there will be 3 medical professionals from UCLA stationed at the Cancer Center in Dangriga. It is major collaborative breakthrough and after about a year of planning, it's finally official. Today Courtney Weatherburne traveled to Dangriga to find out how this new partnership will work and what it means for Southerners and the wider population. This might look like just another regular clinic with its comfy treatment area. Its storage supply area and its medicine refrigerator. But the Belize Cancer Center is so much more for Dangriga residents. For 60 year old Cancer Survivor Marjorie Garvin, this center gave her another chance at life.

    UCLA Partnership Will also Be Learning Experience
    Another component of this collaboration is ongoing training and education. The Center's staff will also benefit from a number of workshops and seminars organized by the UCLA medical professionals. We have more details about that educational program, and we also spoke to a sickle cell anemia patient about how this new initiative will help him and others like him: Laxmi Suthar - Program Director, UCLA Olive View Internal Medicine Residency Program: "As we all recognize in the medical community it is really important to have on going medical education for both the providers but also for our patience. So I help run the residency program which is a training program, 75 physicians and as part of that education we also teach them also to be teachers and the idea will be to have a sharing of ideas between the physicians here as well as the physicians which will be visiting from UCLA. We would like to be able to do seminars and have teaching sessions where nurses, physicians, medical students can get updates on disease illnesses that may be affecting the population here. Chronic disease management, things like how do you manage diabetes or hypertension in the most cost conscious way by providing the highest quality care possible."

    Exports Tanked In 2016
    The latest figures from the Statistical institute of Belize have been released and they show that Belize's exports have sharply declined once again. Exports for December totalled only 18 million dollars, and which is 10.7 percent less than December, 2015. So, overall, 2016 was a very down year where exports reduced by one quarter, which is 25.1 percent or $134.7 million less than the $536.6 million recorded for 2015. This significant drop in export earnings was as a result of decreased earnings across all major commodities. For example, sugar fell by a 23.3 percent, despite virtually no change in exported volumes, due to lowered world market prices. Imports in the month of December 2016 were also down – in this case by only 3.2 percent. For the second month in a row, imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment' declined sharply, down more than $7 million from December 2015, due mainly to reduced purchases of tractors, telecommunication parts and four cylinder vehicles.

    Muslims Open Arms to Community
    Today the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at held a press conference to tell the public about their 3rd Annual Convention. The convention will serve as a way for practicing Muslims to reconnect with their faith, as well as serve as a learning opportunity for those who are curious about Islam. A panel of Muslim leaders from Canada, Belize and Ghana told us what to expect... The panel also addressed the case of Abu Naila, also known as Nadir Ali Ahmad, the Belizean Muslim who was killed by Filipino authorities in a skirmish with the terrorist group "Ansarul Khilafa Philippines"... The convention will take place this Friday and Saturday at the ITVET in Belize City.

    Channel 5

    Eamon Courtenay Turns Up the Heat on Ruth Meighan at Senate Inquiry
    Former Director of Immigration and Nationality Ruth Meighan returned to an already hot seat at the National Assembly as the latest to testify in the Senate Special Select Committee’s hearings [...]

    Did Ministers’ Recommendations Sway Immigration Officers?
    Ministers of the Government of Belize tend to enjoy their power, especially when it comes to influencing their constituents. Of course, constituents tend to take advantage of that power and [...]

    Ex-Immigration Director Admits She Would Have Done Things Differently
    So, is there anything Director Meighan would have done differently? She acknowledged the changes made to the Department’s system since her time there and said that in hindsight, she might [...]

    G.O.B.: Yes to Cutting Expenses; No to Higher Taxes and Retrenchment
    You can say it’s common knowledge that the bondholders of Belize’s international debt, known as Superbond 3.0, rejected a third restructuring proposed by the Government of Belize. G.O.B. is now [...]

    Belize Should Be Safe from Puerto Azul Fallout, Trade Minister Believes
    Last week, we reported on the arrest of the principals of the proposed multimillion dollar Puerto Azul tourism project on the islands of Sand Bore and Northern Two Cayes in [...]

    Enfield Fitzgibbon in Court for Attempted Murder in Conch Shell Bay
    There was a community outreach earlier today in the Conch Shell Bay neighborhood, led by the Belize Police Department and Albert Area Representative Tracy Panton.  The initiative followed the arraignment [...]

    Police Meet and Greet Conch Shell Bay with Area Rep Tracy Panton
    Today, the Eastern Division of the Police Department held its first meet and greet session on south side Belize City after a new media policy was introduced. The community policing [...]

    Drugs and Turf Wars to Blame for Crime Spike?
    Conchshell Bay is a fairly small area within the Alberts, divided by the canal at the Fish Market. Since the beginning of the year, there have been repeated acts of [...]

    Area Rep for Albert Joins Fight Against Crime
    But drug war aside, there are several factors that must also be taken into consideration, including the lack of employment opportunities in the area. Panton says that the police, as [...]

    Ahmadiyya Muslims: Abu Naila Was Not One of Us
    Was slain religious extremist Abu Naila, believed to be Belizean born Nadir Ali Ahmad, associated with the local chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community?  It’s a question that was put [...]

    Canadian Muslim Leader Disowns Islamic “Terrorists”
    According to Lal Khan Malik, who is visiting from Canada, the teachings of the Holy Book of Islam, speaks to the idea of peace and harmony.  Any radical departure from [...]

    Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, Flies the Flag in Philippines
    On Thursday morning, our Miss Belize Universe will be taking part in the preliminary events of the sixty-fifth Miss Universe pageant. In the prelims, Rebecca Rathand the other contestants will [...]

    Annual Regional Gathering of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Belize City this Weekend
    Jalsa Salana, the yearly gathering of Muslims in Belize, is a reunion with the purpose of enabling every honest and open person to experience firsthand its religious benefits.  The convention [...]

    F.B.I. Put Up US $10,000 Reward to Solve Anne Swaney Murder Case
    January fifteenth marked one year since ABC7’s executive producer thirty-nine-year-old Ann Swaney was killed in Belize. The media professional was vacationing at a resort in Cayo when she was killed [...]

    CTV3

    Former Immigration Director Accepts Responsibility for Break Down In Department During Her Tenure
    Former Director of Immigration, Ruth Meighan, who served as the head of the Department of Immigration from October 2010 to February 2013, returned before the Senate Select Committee hearing today to continue answering questions on the alleged irregularities exposed in the Auditor General’s special audit report. Meighan’s testimony is key to the Senate Committee’s investigation because the special audit covered the period 2011 to 2013, which encompasses the time she served as Director. In her appearance today, Meighan’s responses to questions from the Committee members was clearer about the role she played at the Department. While she emphasized and repeated that her task as Director was to essentially accept files and give them final approval, she said that she did so believing that the files that came to her desk were genuine and proper. Nonetheless, she accepted that if anyone should be held accountable, it should be her.

    Meighan Speaks On Minister's VISA Recommendations
    Among the myriad of issues that came up today is that special list of Ministers who were incessantly intervening in immigration processes. This intervention came in various forms – a recommending letter, a request note signed by the Minister, an impromptu phone call, or perhaps, a special visit to the Immigration office. Former Director, Maria Marin, who replaced Ruth Meighan following Meighan’s removal in 2013, claimed in her testimony two weeks ago that the practice had raised red flags and that the Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse requested that she keep a special list of those who were meddling in the process. But Meighan saw things differently. Today she testified that during her tenure the involvement of politicians in power were not of much concern to her. Senator Mark Lizarraga, who brought up this issue, reminded her that it was Prime Minister Dean Barrow who linked hustling in visa applications to Alibaba and the 40 thieves.

    Recommendations To the Immigration Department Made By Meighan
    Former Director Ruth Meighan was given an opportunity to propose recommendations to the Immigration Department, which she said, lacked the resources during her tenure to do proper checks on files. She agreed that a full audit was necessary. Mark Lizarraga - Senate Select Committee member: “Having seen all that has come out, would you recommend a full audit be done of the department and the files?” RuthRuth Meighan – Former Immigration Officer: “Certainly” Mark Lizarraga - Senate Select Committee member: “Certainly, so your recommendation would be that a full audit be done for those year or other years as well?” Ruth Meighan – Former Immigration Officer: “Yes”

    Meighan Admits Illegal Voted In Last General Election
    The Auditor General’s special audit has brought to light the many cases of questionable visas, nationality certificates and passports approved in just three months between 2011 and 2013. During the Senate hearings, the discussions have pointed to a trend in the cases of irregular activity. This is that applicants for visas would then easily access nationality certificates and this would open the doors for easy passport approvals. But what if there was one more factor in all of this, that is, that once a person got nationality, they would also get voter’s ID to be able to vote. Well, at today’s hearing Ruth Meighan, who had also served as the Director in the Elections and Boundaries Department, testified that she is aware that persons who obtained nationality certificates falsely voted in the 2015 elections. Eamon Courtenay - Senate Select Committee member: “Are you aware that there was an unusual amount of persons who got nationality shortly before the General election?” RuthRuth Meighn – Former Immigration Officer: “Yes”

    LOVE FM

    Teenager shot, one man charged
    Nineteen year old Keimar Nicholas was shot to the neck last night. Police say that it happened on Lindo’s Alley, the same street that the teenager lives on. Nicholas along with two friends were socializing on the basketball court when just before nine o’clock, a man approached them on a bicycle and fired several shots […]

    Man charged with shooting Frazer brothers makes court appearance
    Two days ago, 44 year old Clinton Fraser and his younger brother, 33 year old Michael Frazer were shot in the same area of Conch Shell Bay. Clinton was killed while Michael survived the attack. Police believe that twenty-three year old Henry Harris, aka “Alkaline”, was the shooter. Harris was charged yesterday and he was […]

    Chamber President expresses concern over upcoming budget
    Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow threatened economic war against Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited if the companies attempted to collect the fifty million dollar arbitration award. The award is to the tune of fifty million US dollars plus interest and all indications are that the Government does not intend […]

    Chamber of Commerce hold workshop to look at increasing productivity
    A Productivity Improvement for Small and Micro Enterprises Workshop was held today in Belize City. The workshop is the result of the partnership between the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Labor Organization, ILO. Rufino Lin, the Vice President of Commerce for the BCCI spoke to Love News. Rufino Lin – Vice […]

    Labour CEO urges employers to refrain from hiring illegal workers
    Eleven immigrants, who apparently entered Belize illegally, were brought to court yesterday to be charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. But the charges were not read to them because the immigration officer who represented the prosecution had not put the charges together properly. As a result, they were taken back to the holding […]

    Drowning victim family look for answers
    Over the weekend it was confirmed that the body found floating in the Belize River last week Thursday was that of Dain Dawson of Ladyville. Dawson’s body was in an advanced state of decomposition and so an onsite post mortem was conducted. The pathologist ruled that Dawson died as a result of asphyxia due to […]

    Spike in gun violence in Conch Shell Bay area
    Nineteen year old Keimar Nicholas is the fourth person to be shot in the Conch Shell Bay Area this month. Three shootings have occurred and two persons have been killed. Police would not say if the incidents are related. In an interview yesterday about the Clinton Fraser murder, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood was asked what police […]

    Dixon Montero convicted of wounding security guard in attempted robbery
    Dixon Montero, who was sentenced to five years for use of deadly means of harm on January 6, was sentenced to four years for wounding today. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who imposed the sentences, stipulated that they are to run concurrently. Therefore, Montero will only serve five years. The convictions for use of deadly means […]

    Man who escaped from Police custody charged
    Thirty-nine year old Eugene Bailey, who allegedly escaped from the holding cell at Queen Street Police Station on January 6, was charged with escape from lawful custody when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Bailey pled not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until February 24. According to the allegation, Bailey escaped […]

    Toledo Alcaldes Association elects new executive members
    Paul Mahung reporting… “During the Alcaldes’ recent swearing in event in Punta Gorda, Santiago Quib of San Benito Poite was elected as the new President of Toledo Alcaldes’ Association. Six other Alcaldes elected to serve as excutive members of Toledo Alcaldes Association include Basilio Teul of Santa Cruz, Andres Kus of San Miguel, Nolberto Alkahal […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Slain Islamic militant or an accomplished graduate of the Belize College of Agriculture?
    On Friday, 20th January 2017 News 5 Belize broke the story that Abu Naila, an Islamic militant killed in the Philippines on 7th January 2017 after a shootout with police, is believed to be Nadir Ali Ahmad, a born Belizean national. The Philippine press reported that Abu Naila went to the Philippines to train as part of a plan to become an activist fighting the ‘IS’ (Islamic State) cause in Syria. Naila and a female companion were shot and killed after they were cornered by security forces and attempted to throw a grenade at the arresting officers. In his hiding place, police found various explosives and it is believed that he was training to be a bomb expert. According to News 7 Belize, local police sources confirmed that the Islamic extremist killed in the encounter with Philippine police is actually Belizean Nadir Ali Ahmad. While Nadir Ali Ahmad died as Islamic extremist, bomb expert and alleged terrorist, little is known or has been reported about his life and activities in Belize.

    Senate Select Committee grills former Immigration Director
    Today, the Senate Select Committee continued its hearing into irregularities at the Immigration Department, which was detailed in the Auditor General’s recent report.Ruth Meighan, former Immigration Director (2010-2013), made her second appearance and was grilled by the committee. The Auditor General’s report spoke of the fact that many government ministers had frequently made recommendations for immigration documents for foreign nationals. Meighan’s former Deputy Director, Maria Marin, had made a list of all those ministers and the recommendations they made. Today the committee revealed a portion of that list. In one instance between March and August 2013, 248 Ministerial recommendations were made for foreign nationals.

    Ashcroft companies seek enforcement for US $50 million in arbitration awards
    On Monday, two companies linked to British billionaire, Michael Ashcroft asked a D.C. federal judge for permission to enforce $50 million in confirmed arbitral awards against the country, saying it has no excuses now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected its appeals. In 2014, Belize Social development Ltd. won a US $22.5 million judgement after arbitrators found the country illegally seized a related telecommunications company. BCB Holdings Ltd. and the Belize Bank Ltd. also won US $27.4 million after the country’s government failed to make good on a debt it guaranteed. Earlier this month, Belize’s last appeal was turned away by the court. Belize has fought enforcement in U.S. courts for years.

    Belize makes National Geographic list for having one of the best beaches in the world
    Belize boasts the second largest Barrier Reef in the world. In addition to Belize’s pristine forests, abundant wildlife and diverse cultures, the country is home to many breathtaking beaches. National Geographic recently compiled a list of the world’s 21 best beaches in an article on its website. Pelican beach, South Water Caye, in Belize is listed as one of the 21 best beaches in the world. In the article, it is described as being the only place in Belize where visitors can swim safely to the reef within minutes and explore the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.

    Belize welcomes four new ambassadors
    Four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan on Monday. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador […]

    Fair weather to continue
    The 24-hour forecast is for mostly fair and warm weather to continue with sunny skies today and partly cloudy tonight. The National Meteorological center says that a dry easterly to southeasterly airflow supports mainly fair weather. The wind will blow from the east to […]

    Belize: BEL/MEX/USA-Geo-Politics
    The advent of a new presidency in the USA is causing and will cause many things to change in the years ahead. He won the presidency based on a campaign promise “to make America strong again”….by seeking to balance America’s relationship with the world […]

    Belizean terrorist killed in Philippines
    A suspected terrorist killed in an arrest attempt in the Philippines about two weeks ago has been identified as Belizean, Nadir Ali Ahmad. According to police, Ahmad had assumed a Sudanese/Pakistani identity but was later identified as Belizean. Ahmad reportedly has three children living in […]

    Belize welcomes four new ambassadors
    Four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan on Monday. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador […]

    Fair weather to continue
    The 24-hour forecast is for mostly fair and warm weather to continue with sunny skies today and partly cloudy tonight. The National Meteorological center says that a dry easterly to southeasterly airflow supports mainly fair weather. The wind will blow from the east to […]

    Belize: BEL/MEX/USA-Geo-Politics
    The advent of a new presidency in the USA is causing and will cause many things to change in the years ahead. He won the presidency based on a campaign promise “to make America strong again”….by seeking to balance America’s relationship with the world […]

    Blogs

    SanPedroScoop’s First Giveaway – Now It’s YOUR Turn to Sky Dive San Pedro
    Ok…I could practically burst with excitement on this post. IT’S MY VERY FIRST SCOOP GIVEAWAY. And let me give you a hint. You see this…but you are 12,000 feet up… and then…then… skyDive WOW YOU JUMP! Yes! I know you all have heard about it or passed their GORGEOUS dock just outside Sandbar Restaurant, Bar, Hostel and beautiful swimming platform… …or seen the parachutes above Ambergris Caye. SkyDive San Pedro. One of the most exciting businesses to come to the island in a while. And here is YOUR chance to do your very first tandem jump…from 12,000 feet over San Pedro. The views! The rush! THIS could be you.

    WEEKENDS ARE FOR THE IGUANAS
    “Do you want to hold an iguana,” certainly isn’t the first thing you’re expecting to hear in the morning. But this past Saturday, that’s just about how my day started. While we were too tired from our first week of work to make it to any of the major tours, Hannah and I stayed in San Ignacio to get a taste of the local activities. The first stop? – The Green Iguana Conservation Project at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Balanced just at the top of the major hill in town, the hotel sits on the edge of the rainforest that grows up the banks from the Macal River. The tropical green leaves provide the perfect tree cover for a shaded iguana enclosure. The iguana project started over 20 years ago when the population of green iguanas in the area started to decline because of hunting. The meat of an iguana, known as “bamboo chicken”, as well as the eggs, were considered a delicacy in this area. Now it is illegal to hunt iguanas out of season, but there still remains a need for supporting the redevelopment of the population.

    International Sourcesizz

    Travel and Leisure Picks Victoria House as a Top All-inclusive Resort
    Already a multiple award-winning resort, Victoria House just added another feather in its cap when it was declared the Top All-Inclusive Belize Resort by Travel + Leisure magazine. Located on the southern tip of the popular vacation island of Ambergris Caye, Victoria House was singled out for its deluxe spa service, beautifully appointed rooms, and the unparalleled customer service. The Travel + Leisure article highlighted the beauty of the rooms at Victoria House, lavishing praise on the four-poster beds, gauzy curtains, and furniture made from local woods. Above all else, the article spotlighted the world-class customer service provided to guests by Victoria House, including personalized touches like cooking fish that guests caught themselves. Victoria House is a posh resort located just outside the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Designed as an intimate and luxurious resort, Victoria House offers guests sumptuous accommodations in the form of villas, suites, rooms, and casitas. Guests of Victoria House can enjoy the resort’s beachfront bar called the Admiral Nelson, the Palmilla restaurant, infinity swimming pools, a dive shop, gardens, and access to the resort’s private beach. Guests of the resort have free access to high-speed wi-fi, bicycles, kayaks, and paddleboards. The resort has its own full-time wedding planner and the staff arrange for personal touches like romantic, candlelit dinners as well as arranging tours to all of the popular attractions in the country, including snorkeling, sailing, fishing, and/or scuba diving trips to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef as well as exploring Maya ruins, bird watching, zip lining in the jungle, and other adventures on the mainland.

    Plot thickens in case of ABC producer murdered in Belize
    More than one person may be involved in the murder of an American news producer last year while she was staying at a vacation resort in Belize, according to a published report. Anne Swaney, 39, was the executive producer of online operations at ABC 7 Chicago and a guest at the Nabitunich resort in the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen last January when she was initially reported missing. Her body was later found in a river, and according to a coroner’s report, she was strangled. On Wednesday, an FBI official told ABC 7 Chicago the agency believes more than one person may be involved. “We believe that people, the public in Belize, may have information about the suspect or suspects that committed this crime,” FBI Special Agent Paul Clark told the television station. She was killed in a scenic place, a 400-acre farm close to the jungle and Mayan ruins near the Guatemala border, her station reported.

    17th-Century Shopping List Discovered at English Country House
    Kent Live reports that a seventeenth-century shopping list was found under the floorboards at Knole, one of the largest historic country houses in England. The shopping list was written in 1633 by Robert Draper, who asked his friend Mr. Bilby to bring a fire shovel, pewter spoons, a frying pan, and “greenfish,” which refers to cod before it has been salted or cured, to Copt Hall. Draper also asked for the prices of these items. Scholars think that the quality of the handwriting suggests Draper was a high-ranking servant. But how did the letter get from Copt Hall to Knole House? In 1637, the daughter of the Earl of Middlesex, who owned Copt Hall, married the Earl of Dorset, who owned Knole House, and the contents of Copt Hall were eventually moved to Knole. “It’s extremely rare to uncover letters dating back to the seventeenth century, let alone those that give us an insight into the management of the households of the wealthy, and the movement of items from one place to another,” said Nathalie Cohen, regional archaeologist for England’s National Trust.

    Videos

  • Miss Universe Belize - Rebecca Rath, 35min. Miss Belize Universe was LIVE on Miss Universe Fanatic Facebook Page!!!

  • What do you know about CARICOM and the CSME?, 5min. Here's a little history lesson to get you updated!

  • Belize Trip 2017, 7.5min.

  • KREM Radio Television Belize Adverts/Promos 24/01/2017, 8min.

  • Customs & Excise Day - "Data Analysis for Effective Border Management", 28min.

  • An Overview of the NGO Act Regulations, 38min.

  • Belize, 4min. I finally finished my video from mine and my family's time in Belize!!

  • Shooting day in Belize: Snorkeling with nurse sharks and stingrays, 1min.

  • Ambergris Caye San Pedro Spindrift Hotel, 1min. Welcome to Belize's Spindrift Hotel located in San Pedro , on the island of Ambergris Caye Belize ! Located in the center of town, your perfect place to stay! The Hotel is on the beach and for your ease it has a restaurant, ( Caliente) , a bar ( Wahoo's ), a Golf Cart Rental ( J&H ) and a Real Estate office with Buyers Agents ( Keller Williams Belize agents ( RainforestRealty.com/ Front Street Properties). The Spindrift Hotel offers reasonable room rates, outstanding staff, security, laundry service, kitchenettes and a dock where you can rent wave runners, and book your snorkeling or diving in Belize tour ! Visiting Belize is made easy staying at the Spindrift Hotel! You will feel like you are HOME !! Don't miss stopping next door to Estel's on the Beach for Breakfast and Lunch ! You will be GLAD you did ! Say Hi to Charles for me !!

  • BELIZE 2017, 10min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 1.5min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 14min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 4.5min.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 9min. John and Carol diving the Turneffe Atoll in January, 2017. Video shot with a Canon G7X housed in a Nauticam case with a N50 3.5" dome.

  • https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAISAggC&q=belize, 12min. On my second day in Belize I went fishing with capt George Bradley. He put me on one of the largest Bonefish I have ever caught.

  • Trip To Belize 2017 - by Adamar Productions, 3min.

  • SWIMMING IN BELIZE !, 12min.

    January 25, 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

    Large cargo truck tips over in Northern Ambergris Caye
    The San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD) has confirmed that a large cargo truck loaded with lumber tipped over in northern Ambergris Caye on the afternoon of Monday, January 23rd. The vehicle apparently slipped off the road as it attempted to make the curve 3.5 miles north of San Pedro Town. No injuries were reported. SPTD was called to the scene to assess the situation. According to them, the traffic in that section of the northern road was interrupted for hours as workers unloaded the lumber from the truck. A large fork-lift was then used to pull the truck back onto the road. The SPTD expressed concern about the use of such large cargo vehicles on the island. The Department believes that such heavy-duty trucks may cause damage to the roads, including the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge which connects the town with the northern part of the island. A meeting with Mayor Daniel Guerrero has been planned to discuss the issue.

    Belize Jaguars are out of the Gold Cup Hunt
    After the Belize Jaguars played a total of five games against other Central American national teams, the Copa Centroamericana 2017 tournament ended on Sunday, January 22nd. Held at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City, Panama, Honduras was crowned champion. Prior to the finals, the fifth match was played on Friday, January 20th, with the first match being between the Jaguars and Nicaragua. Nicaragua pressured Belize throughout the game, limiting chances for Belize to, but it was not enough to take the win. In the end, Nicaragua took the victory with a 3-1 score. In the second match, Honduras vied against Costa Rica. With both teams rigorously playing, the teams tied with a final score of 1-1. The last game saw Panama taking on El Salvador, where Panama dominated emerging victorious with a clean score of 1-0.

    Fire in southern San Pedro Town destroys small building
    Early on Saturday, January 21st, a fire destroyed a small structure used as a carpentry shop located in an empty lot between two houses in the San Marcos subdivision, south of San Pedro Town. The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) responded quick to the incident and extinguished the blaze without difficulties. No injuries were reported. According to reports provided to members of the Fire Department, neighbours heard a loud sound early in the morning and a few minutes after they noticed smoke coming out from a carpentry shop. The SPFD arrived quickly on the scene around 7:30AM. According to the official report, the structure was engulfed in flames and even though the fire was quickly extinguished, the building was still destroyed. No damage was reported to any nearby homes. According to fire-fighters, the owners of the shop managed to save a few items and tools before it was too late.

    Police Report
    *On Saturday, January 21st at 11:45AM, acting on Special Branch information, a joint team of Special Branch and San Pedro Police conducted a search at the residence of 53-year-old Clive Forman in the San Pablo Area. The search led to the discovery of 22 cases of assorted contraband Mexican beer. The goods were confiscated and handed over to the Belize Customs Department awaiting prosecution for the crime of “Being in Possession of Un-customed Goods”. *On Saturday, January 21st at 11:55AM a joint team of Special Branch and San Pedro Police conducted a search at the apartment of 21-year-old Saul Bolanos in the DFC Area. Also present at the time was his common-law-wife 25-year-old Anna Haylock and his sister, 27-year-old Carolina Bolanos. The search led to the discover of three cases of contraband Mexican beer, 32 bottles of contraband liquor, 50.6 grams of suspected cannabis and $30,650BZ in cash. All three persons were escorted to the San Pedro Police Station where Saul Bolanos pled guilty to “Possession of Controlled Drugs”. The contraband goods were handed over to the Belize Customs Department awaiting prosecution for the crime of “Being in Possession of Un-customed Goods”.

    Another win for the Tiger Sharks in 2017 NEBL Season
    With a final score of 77-62, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks claimed their second victory in the 2017 NEBL season. On Friday, January 20th, the island team faced Orange Walk’s Running Rebels in a competitive match. After an action-packed game, the islanders emerged victorious. The game took place at the Orange Walk Multi- Purpose Complex, where the Tiger Sharks began the game with a lead, maintaining it throughout the first quarter of the match, which ended in a 22-19 score. At half-time, the island team was up seven points, 37-30. In the second half, the home team tried desperately to catch up, but the Tiger Sharks had no intentions of losing. At the end of the third quarter, the lead was 57-45, still in favour of the Tiger Sharks. In the final quarter, the island team upped their score, securing their second victory with a 77-62 final score.

    Ambergris Today

    Work Commences for San Pedro Children’s Home
    In late December, The San Pedro Lions Club and Raise Me Up announced the desire of turning the old San Pedro Lions Clinic building located in the Airstrip Area into a children’s home to serve the island community. On schedule, the project commenced January 21, 2017. The inside walls are coming down, floors are being reinforced and the ceiling is being fixed. Volunteers from the U.S. are working on getting most of the place in shape before handing it over to local workers on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Much work still lies ahead and help is needed from volunteers, friends and businesses who would want to see the children’s home become a reality. Those interested in helping, donating, or volunteering in the repairing of the old building can contact any Lion member or Raise Me Up at 607-1765 or 630-1241.

    Traffic Woes, Too Big for Island Roads?
    This gives new meaning to the word ‘Truck Stop’. A delivery truck too big for the streets of Ambergris Caye slipped off the road on North Ambergris Caye yesterday, January 23, 2017, as it attempted to turn the curve just before Captain Morgan’s Retreat. The delivery truck was loaded with lumber and tipped over to one side with the weight of the heavy cargo. The incident backed traffic on the north side for a some time. This poses a few questions: * Do we really need those gigantic vehicles on the island? * Can the job be done with smaller cargo trucks? * Why are they allowing so many vehicles on the island? * Are we losing our island charm with all this traffic?

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    VACANCY FOR TRAFFIC WARDEN GRADE 1 in San Pedro
    APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING: •Letter of Application •Resume •(2) two letters of recommendation •Copy of Valid Driver’s License •Copy of Valid Social Security •Valid Police Record •Applicants must have successfully completed High School level (minimum). Please provide copy of certificate. •Applications deadline by February 3rd, 2017.

    Peace Corps Belize is looking for a Q’eqch Linguist
    Peace Corps Belize is looking for qualified candidates with native fluency in the Q’eqchi, Spanish and Kriol languages to work as long-and short-term Language and Cultural Facilitators in Belize! This is a great opportunity for teachers with background in teaching second languages and primary or secondary education. For more information on the job requirements, duration, salary and how to apply, visit: https://belize.usembassy.gov/job_opportunities.html

    KELLY'S ANNUAL BIRTHDAY BASH IN BELIZE
    If you are visiting (or already in) San Pedro, Ambergris Caye pin these dates on your calendar. It is "KELLY'S ANNUAL BIRTHDAY BASH IN BELIZE - JAN 27th to FEB 12th, 2017" - Here is the schedule and a couple of proposed dates for the Catamaran Cruise to the Reef! Jan 27 - 2nd Annual Kelly McGuire Deck Bar Concert hosted by Kurt and Karoline Huettl at Casa de Quest, 4.7 miles south, red and white fence, Meet and greet at 1 pm, show 2-5 pm, All are welcome, come and spread the word. The party... will go on after the show. BYOB, Ice will be provided, and bring a snack to share. Contact Kurt cell in Belize 636-9367.

    Press Office Only can give information to media
    For the past four years, police commanders, deputy commanders, the police press officer and his staff were authorized to give information to the media in an effort to enhance the free flow of information between police and the media. However, approximately three weeks ago, an unoffical announcement was made that open discourse between other police personnel and the media would no longer be tolerated and that, all request for information must be channeled through the Police Press Officer. On January 15th, 2017 a meeting was held in Belize City where the Minister of Police, Elodio Aragon, confirmed that the police will now streamline the way police information is passed to the media, making the Police Press Officer, Rafael Martinez, and his office, the conduit for information to be given given to the media.

    Vanilla Hills Lodge Wins Again
    Congratulations, Vanilla Hills Lodge! The Bullet Tree B&B took 1st place in Central America on Trip Advisor's Top 25 B&B's. Well done! We are very excited to have been awarded with the 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards. It is the third time in a row that we got this award. TripAdvisor is one of the most important platforms when it comes to plan the vacation and choose hotels or lodges to stay. For us it is always very exciting the read the reviews. Most of them are so lovely and personal and many times we were very touched while reading them.

    Belize Tribute to Evan X Hyde
    Bring your family, bring your friends! It's Black History Month celebration in beautiful Dangriga, Belize. Feb 5, 3pm

    Rotaract Benque Food Distribution
    The Rotaract Club of Benque distributed food and toys to young and old...but not in that order. Thanks, Rotaract! "Today the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo placed a smile on the elders of our community and families as well as kids by giving them food hampers and toys. Community service is all about Service Above Self:

    Wildfire Artmosphere Soft Opening
    The Wildfire Artmosphere has moved into its new spot in the Manzanero building downtown, and they are having their soft opening this Saturday, January 28th, at 7:00pm. They'll have spoken word poetry throughout the night. They have some preparation pictures posted. "We are ready to welcome folks to our new location. This soft opening should be fun and inspired. Art Happens Here!"

    Channel 7

    Two More Island Cops For Extortion: The Beat Up And Shook Down a Tourist
    Two San Pedro police officers are have been criminally charged after an outrageous allegation of extortion was made against them. A US tourist named John Courtenay told police that on Sunday night at around 8:00 he was accosted by two police officers who pulled up on him in a police vehicle. They searched him and also assaulted him during that process. They then took him to an ATM machine where he says the officers forced him to withdraw two hundred dollars which he handed over to them. Island Police were quick to criminally charge two of their own: PC David Jimenez and PC Derwin Marin for the crimes of extortion and wounding. They were arraigned yesterday where they pleaded not guilty and will re-appear in March. It happened in the center of town, so Police were able to review security camera footage from businesses in the area to build their case. Courtenay has left the country, but the prosecution will continue based on his sworn statement.

    Another Shooting in Violence Ridden Conch Shell Bay
    In last night's news, we told you about the Sunday night, Conch Shell Bay murder of Clinton Frazer, aka "Hog". Well last night, there was another shooting on Lindo's Alley, right down the street from Conch Shell Bay, and right near to Frazer's home. The victim this time is 19 year-old Keimar Nicholas, also known as "Bwee" (Bee Wee). Reports say that he was shot while he was playing basketball on a court which is actually a part of his yard. According to police, Nicholas and 2 friends were on the court when a tall, unknown man rode up, fired several shots at them, and darted out of the area. Nicholas was injured in the neck, and he had to be rushed into emergency surgery to save his life. Fortunately the doctors at the KHMH were able to treat his wound save his life, and today, they had to perform an additional surgery to stabilize his condition. Police have since combed the area, and they found this gun and this bike on a nearby street, and they have since arrested and charged one man. He's Enfield Fitzgibbon, and he has been criminally charged, but Nicholas, the young man he is accused of shooting, remains hospitalized.

    Police Move Quickly To Charge Shooter
    As you saw in our story, police were swarming the area looking for anything that could help them. Apart from the gun they found last night, the police also found this gun in this red shirt, which was hidden in what looks to be a concrete garbage bin, built onto a fence. We're also told that in a nearby yard, police found an undisclosed quantity of marijuana. As for the shooting itself, as we told you, police have already arrested Endfield Fitzgibbon. This evening, the police reported that he has been formally charged with Attempted Murder, Dangerous Harm, Use of deadly means of harm. It is expected that he will be arraigned at the earliest convenience. Our archives say that this is not the first time that Fitzgibbon has been criminally charged.

    Cops Say Henry Harris Killed "Hog"
    Police were also quick to make an arrest for the shooting death of 44 year old Clinton Fraser, aka "Hog". He was killed in that same area on Sunday night - while his brother Michael Fraser was shot in the leg. Yesterday police charged 23 year old Henry Harris for the murder and he went to court today. He appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where no plea was taken because the offence is indictable. He was remanded until March 10. Notably, he was not charged for shooting Michael Fraser. That attempted murder charge is still pending.

    The Making of a Belizean Terrorist?
    Police sources have confirmed that a man identified as a terrorist who was killed in the Philippines is a Belizean. They say that the man identified as Sudanese/ Pakistani Abu Naila is actually Belizean Nadir Ali Ahmad. The name Abu Naila means "father of Naila" - which refers to his daughter, one of three children still living in Belize. He and his Filipina wife identified only as Kadijah were killed 17 days ago in southern Phillipines when police there were hunting down a terrorist group known as "Ansarul Khilafa Philippines". Filipino police said that Abu Naila and the female - believed to be his common law wife - Kadija resisted arrest by attempting to lob a grenade against the arresting officers. The police responded by opening fire, killing the two. Abu Naila is described in newspaper reports from the Phillipines as the right hand man of Maguid, who established the Ansar Al-Khilafa terrorist group in 2013. Filipino police say he was training there to be later deployed to Syria as part of the Islamic State forces. They found a number of explosives at his camp and describe him as a bomb expert.

    GSU Made A Big Weed Bust
    The GSU came up with a major weed bust yesterday when they searched Elsworth Morter's home on Lavender Street in Belize City. First, they searched Morter and found a one and a half ounce bag of cannabis. Then they searched the house and found another 1 and a half ounce bag of weed behind a TV. They then checked inside two cardboard boxes where they found the main stash: 54 more parcels of cannabis, which together weighed just under 30 pounds. Morter was arrested today and charged for one count of possession of controlled drugs for the bag found on him. He, along with Jose Zelaya, Joseph Lopez, Tyron Macfoy, Shenique Perez, Keara Hemsley, Eugene Macfoy and Vivian Fuller, who were all present when GSU searched the house, were charged with possession for the bag of cannabis found behind the TV. They were all also charged with possession of controlled drugs with the intent to supply another for the 54 parcels found in the home.

    San Pedro Police And The Pusher
    San Pedro police also caught an alleged weed wholesaler today. Emmett Lopez was arrested after police found six ounces of marijuana. It was parceled off into dozens of bags for retail sale. Lopez was charged for Drug trafficking and is being held pending arraignment.

    Chamber of Commerce Tries To Spur Productivity
    Today the Belize Chamber of Commerce hosted a workshop aimed to improve productivity in small and micro enterprises. The event was held so that stakeholders in the private sectors could learn and discuss methods for making the workplaces more productive. We spoke to the Chamber's Vice President of Commerce, Rufino Lin, and Vanessa Phala from the International Labor Organization about the event... Rufino Lin, Vice President of Commerce - BCCI: "Productivity is all around us. Anybody who owns a vehicle will measure how many mile they get per gallon. That is a level of productivity. The engagement today is productivity in the workplace. How do we improve our outputs from the inputs that we put into any business enterprise? Today's workshop is to bring together a wide sector of employers and representatives of the labor union to be able to work together and engage in that public discussion of improving productivity in the workplace." "I am sure that we will focus on the types of inputs that we have; we have in the generation of goods and services; we have inputs of labor; we have capital; we have also materials that we use to produce goods. So the discussion will be on how can we make more efficient use of those inputs to produce goods and services in the economy."

    Chamber To GOB: We Need To Talk
    Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court ruled that the government had to cough up 50 million US dollars in arbitral award payments to Ashcroft Allied companies. But the Prime Minister has said that the government will not pay the awards for, quote, "PUP Corruption" and because the Caribbean court of Justice has ruled otherwise. Well, the Chamber of commerce definitely wants to talk to government about that, and a host of other issues - mainly, taxes - and what new ones will be coming in the next budget. President, Nikita Usher told the media that a meeting is planned for next week... Nikita Usher, President - BCCI: "We are addressing that issue. We have a meeting next week after which we will be coming out with our statement. But also I think you should be wondering what is going to happen about the next budget presentation and BCCI is more concern about the budget presentation than so much as the comment that was made."

    BelAm Mother Wants Cops To find The Person Who Beat Her Son Into A Coma
    Tonight, one of the sons of Belizean American Cynthia Genaro is hospitalized at the KHMH, where he has been for approximately 2 weeks now. Genaro, who tells us that she rarely travels to Belize, is here on a visit along with her son who travels back and forth from the US. She has another son who lives here, and is appears that he took his younger brother on a night out in Orange Walk Town. That was January 7th, and reports say that while they were exiting a popular night club in that Town, they were jumped and savagely beaten by 8 men believed to be part of an Orange Walk gang. The eldest brother got the worst of it, and he has been hospitalized ever since. His younger brother, who recovered, has since reported the entire incident to the Orange Walk police. But, the cops are not moving with the type of pace that the family is happy with, and today, Cynthia Genaro granted an interview to our colleagues from CTV3 News. Here's how she explained the family's complaint:

    Kadeem Back Behind Bars
    Kadeem Anderson was remanded for murder when he was just 16 - and he got off three years later in 2015. He spent all that time in remand, and he is back in jail tonight after he was charged with firearm possession. Yesterday afternoon police intercepted Kadeem Anderson riding his bike on Curassow Street. When he saw the police, Anderson hopped off the bike and dashed into a nearby yard, where he threw an object over the fence. The police apprehended Anderson as he was escaping, and took him to the area the object was thrown. There they found a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver with six live rounds of ammo. Anderson has been remanded for keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license.

    Gillings On A Mission To Popularize Rugby In Belize
    Rugby is not a sport most Belizeans are familiar with. The full contact sport - which is popular in countries like Australia and New Zealand, often likened to American football without body armor, and is praised for its emphasis on teamwork and rugged athleticism. For the last two years, Tony Gillings has been trying to teach the sport to young Belizeans. We spoke to Gillings, who is the President of Rugby Belize, about how and why he wants to develop the sport in Belize... Rugby Belize will be holding it's second annual three day youth camp in March.

    New Israeli Ambassador Takes Tough Questions
    As we showed you yesterday, Israel's new Ambassador to Belize, Jonathan Peled was accredited in Belmopan. And, as is the custom with visiting Israeli Ambassadors, he requested an interview with the media today to discuss Israel's relationship with Belize. Now, if you follow world news, you'll know that Israel is one of the most polarizing nations in the international community - and that's because of the hostile relations the Jewish country has with its Arab neighbor, Palestine. Israel's violations of international law in occupying Palestinian territory are well documented, and, just last month, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank. Now, with that kind of history, what could Israel have in common with Belize, which is also fending off its neighbor Guatemala? That's what we asked today:... H. E. Jonathan Peled - Israeli Ambassador: "We are here, not only to present my credentials, but to seek ways to foster our relationship and deepen the cooperation between our two countries."

    Shady Smokes Busted In a Bus
    Customs in the Orange Walk District caught a stash of contraband cigarettes on a BBOC bus last night. The 40 cartons are all Chinese off-brands, such as Hill and Sonny - and they were intended to arrive in Belize City where the cheap smokes are sold for a massive profit. They are believed to have originated from the Corozal Free Zone. Another 15 cartons were intercepted last week.

    Lindo's Alley, The Hotbed
    Earlier in the news, we told you about last night's shooting in the Lindo's Alley area, which led to 19 year-old Keimar Nicholas being hospitalized at the KHMH tonight. Police have been very active in the area, and we showed you how they found a gun and marijuana there this evening. Well, the police are reporting tonight the cops have found another gun and more marijuana. The cops say that a few minutes ago a joint GSU/Strike Team conduct search on most of the abandon lots in the Conchshell Bay Area and this is our result. A .22 Pistol load with 1 live round aloung with about 1/2 lbs of Cannabis.

    Channel 5

    Another Shooting in Conch Shell Bay…
    Since the beginning of the New Year, residents in the Conch Shell Bay neighborhood have been plagued by a spate of deadly shootings.  The bloodbath in that area began on [...]

    …Enfield Fitzgibbon Apprehended and Charged
    This afternoon, Belize City police apprehended Enfield Fitzgibbon and charged him with the attempted murder of Keimar Nicholas.  This is in connection with the near fatal shooting incident in Lindo’s [...]

    G.S.U. Raid Nets 8 with Weed
    Eight persons were arrested and charged today for drug trafficking offenses, following a raid by the Gang Suppression Unit of a house on Lavender Street in the Saint Martin’s area. [...]

    Chamber of Commerce Has Suggestions for G.O.B. on Finance
    The General Revenue and Appropriations Bill is scheduled to be presented and debated in March. The Opposition and certain corners have made dour predictions that in light of the continuing [...]

    How Will Superbond Impact Coming Budget?
    Re-negotiation of the Belize 2038 Bonds or Superbond has bogged down some, following the summary rejection of the Government’s consent solicitation by bondholders last week. The Government is now seeking [...]

    O.S.H. Bill to Return in February
    The last word on the Occupational Safety and Health Bill, which died in Parliamentary committee prior to the 2015 general elections, was that it would be revived in discussion between [...]

    Decoding Gas Prices After Premium and Regular Reach Same Levels
    Last week, News Five went on the hunt looking for answers as to why regular and premium gasoline happened to be the exact same price in Belize City: nine dollars [...]

    New Border Documentation Causes Hassles for Guat Parents
    On Monday night, Guatemalan parents met in Melchor De Mencos to express their distress about new border crossing regulations put in place by Belize’s Ministry of Immigration for students coming [...]

    Unlawful Sex with a Girl of Nine
    Eighteen-year-old Erwin Lanza, a laborer of Lord’s Bank, was arrested and charged today after being accused of engaging in a sexual act with a minor.  According to the nine-year-old girl, [...]

    Former Murder Accused Charged Over Dropped Gun
    A Belize City man was busted by police on Monday while attempting to dispose of a loaded firearm in a property on Curassow Street.  Twenty-one-year-old Kadeem Anderson is on remand [...]

    The Cuban Revolution, 58 Years Later
    Over the years, hundreds of Belizeans students have benefited from educational opportunities in Cuba.   Likewise, many have taken advantage of medical care provided by Cuban doctors and nurses in Belize.  [...]

    Welcoming Israel, Italy, Slovakia and Norway’s Ambassadors to Belize
    Letters of Credence were presented to Governor General Sir Colville Young on Monday by four incoming ambassadors.  In a brief ceremony held at Belize House in Belmopan, Ambassador Jonathan Peled [...]

    Improving Productivity in the Workplace
    The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, collaborating with representatives of the International Labour Organization and Caribbean Employers’ Conference, today hosted a one-day workshop in Belize City. It concerned improving [...]

    Bex for Belize! Miss Universe Stands Tall in Philippines
    Just days to go and the excitement about the Miss Universe Pageant is at an all-time high. We’ve been showing you Rebecca Rath’s journey to the crown and the last [...]

    CTV3

    BCCI To Make Budget Recommendations
    There has been no update to the Government’s attempt to get bondholders to buy-into their proposal to renegotiate the payment terms of Belize’s Superbond for a third time. The last we heard on this was that the bondholders had rejected Government’s proposal to reduce the coupon payments up to the year 2036. While a lot of the focus is on the Superbond because a payment is due on February 20th, Belizeans are also concerned about the upcoming budget and the tax increases which Prime Minister Dean Barrow has warned will be coming. The Belize Chamber of Commerce is also monitoring the situation and hopes to be able to present proposals to the Prime Minister prior to the budget presentation. Today, Chamber President Nikita Usher discussed some of these proposals which he says can minimize tax hikes. Nikita Usher - President, Chamber of Commerce: “We have a budget that is coming up and it is important for us to know where will our economy be, we’ve heard people saying there will be increases in taxes, the BCCI is equally concern about those as well.”

    Miss Belize Placed 9th On glam Shot
    For several days we’ve been showing you highlights of Rebecca Rath’s journey to the Miss Universe crown in Manila, Philippines. Since her arrival in Manila, Rath along with eighty nine other contestants have been participating in a number of activities leading up to the pageant scheduled for this Sunday. Rath who has undoubtedly won over the hearts of all Belizeans, has been putting our tiny tropical Paradise in the Pageantry map with her undeniable charm, beauty and self-confidence. The latest demonstration to Rath’s growing international popularity was seen today as she was given special mention on the popular Pageantry website: Missosology as being among contestants with the best Glam shots of the 65th Miss Universe Pageant. Of the eighty nine contestants 15 were selected as the very best who gave the most memorable and breathtaking shots. Rath was placed ninth with this gorgeous shot which highlights her natural beauty.

    Police make arrest for Sunday night murder
    A man was shot and killed last night in Belize City. Shortly after nine o’clock last night, 44 year old Clinton Frazer and his brother 33 year old Michael Frazer were shot at while they were socializing by the fish market in the Conch Shell Bay area. Clinton was killed while Michael survived the attack. […]

    Motorcyclist killed in Belmopan
    21-year-old Geovannie Reymundo was killed in a road traffic accident on Sunday night. Fem Cruz reporting… “Belmopan police continue to investigate five separate accidents that occurred this past weekend. As a result, four persons were injured and one died. The latest one was last night sometime around 8:48 where Belmopan police were called out to […]

    Police say alcohol may have contributed to fatal accident
    Twenty year old Jerry Martinez lost his life as a result of a traffic accident on Friday night. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood says that at around midnight Martinez was on a motorcycle when he crashed into a light post on Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk Town. Inspector Yearwood believes that alcohol may have contributed to […]

    New ambassadors present credentials
    Four Ambassadors today presented their letters of credence to Governor General Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan. His Excellency Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; Her Excellency Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; Her Excellency Alena Gazurova, Ambassador of Slovak Republic and His Excellency Luigi Maccotta, Ambassador of Italy all expressed their pleasure in being […]

    Public forum on offshore oil exploration held in San Pedro
    A community-based Public Forum on Offshore Oil Exploration took place at the Central Park in San Pedro Town over the weekend. The aim of this event was to create awareness on this important national issue. Hipolito Novelo reporting… “If there is one subject that can unite the environmental community, it’s their stance against Offshore Oil […]

    Oceana VP says they have received confirmation that Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey has been cancelled
    The Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey project was received negatively by the conservation community and especially by residents of San Pedro Town. The negative feedback came after it was learnt that the Government of Belize had approved the survey without carrying out consultations. The project was cancelled and later brought back but this time, […]

    Drowning victim identified
    Last Thursday morning, police responded to a 911 call which led them to the Manatee Lookout area on the Philip Goldson Highway. There they found the body of a man floating in the river. At the time authorities appealed to the public for assistance to identify the victim. On Saturday Police confirmed that John Doe […]

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at to hold annual conference in Belize
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at will hold their third annual convention later this week in Belize City. According to Mohammed Sadique, a missionary and representative of the group, while some may equate Muslims with terrorism, nothing could be further from the truth. Mohammed Sadique – Missionary “We denounce completely and absolutely terrorism. Terrorism is unIslamic. Anybody […]

    Methodist conference wraps up
    The 156th annual conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas Belize Honduras District ended yesterday in Toledo. Paul Mahung reporting… “The weeklong event was a wonderful time of fellowship planning, decision-making, spirituality, among other highlights as explained by president of the Belize Honduras District, Bishop Roosevelt Papaloutte. Bishop Roosevelt Papoloute “We […]

    San Pedro man pleads guilty to drug charges
    On Saturday a joint operation between Special Branch and San Pedro Police resulted in the confiscation of thousands of dollars worth of marijuana and an assortment of contraband beers. Authorities first searched the residence of twenty one year old Saul Bolanos. There, Special Branch Officers and San Pedro Police found three cases of contraband Mexican […]

    Amandala

    FBI offers US$10,000 reward to solve Anne Swaney’s murder
    The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has posted a US$10,000 reward which they are offering for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney, 39—the American executive producer of online operations at ABC7 who was found strangled in the Mopan River just over a year ago, on January 15, 2016, at Nabitunich Stone Cottage Resort, an eco-resort near Succotz, Cayo, where she had been vacationing. The development was announced tonight in an investigative report released by ABC7’s I-Team journalist, Chuck Goudie, who traveled to Belize for an update on the investigations. “We are still awaiting some test results that were sent abroad. Other than that there are still no leads,” Belize police inspector Stanley Bowden, deputy commander of the Benque Viejo Del Carmen formation, said in the report broadcast by ABC7 tonight.

    Clinton Frazer, 45, fatally shot in Conch Shell Bay
    As many as twenty shots were heard and in the end, one man would lie dead and his brother would be left hospitalized. According to police reports, sometime before 10:00 on Sunday night, four men were seated beneath a shed on West Collet Canal in the area known as “Conch Shell Bay,” where they lived. While the unsuspecting men socialized, two armed assassins rode their bicycles into the area and began firing indiscriminately. The men tried to run, but while doing so, Clinton Frazer, 45, was shot in the back and collapsed on Ebony Street, where a patch of blood remains. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where he was certified dead by medical officials.

    Bondholders say no to Belize!
    In a statement issued today, bondholders announced that they have rejected the offer released by the Government of Belize last week to holders of its 2038 billion-dollar bond, in which the Government proposed a reduction in interest rates and a delay in amortization payments due to economic exigencies. The committee has also indicated that it is not convinced that the partial fiscal adjustment measures announced by the Government of Belize will avert future problems and reduce the risk of yet another debt restructuring exercise down the road. The bondholder committee is composed of Greylock Capital Management, LLC; Grantham, Mayo, van Otterloo & Co. LLC; Steadfast Insurance Company and Capital Markets Financial Services Inc. The committee has additionally retained BroadSpan Capital LLC as financial advisor, Blitzer Consulting as special advisor, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP as legal advisor.

    Deadly highway accident; one dead, one hospitalized
    A man is dead and his female companion remains hospitalized after they were both knocked off a motorcycle on Sunday night. According to police reports, the incident occurred sometime before 9 p.m. between Miles 55 and 56 on Hummingbird Highway near the business establishment known as “The Mall.” When police visited the area, they saw a dark blue Toyota Hilux (BMP C-05554) on the side of the road with its front portion damaged, and under the front bumper was a totaled black Meilun 125cc motorcycle with no license plate. According to police reports, Kevin Petzold, 43, was the driver of the Toyota Hilux, which was heading in a northerly direction. Petzold claimed that he had indicated that he was going to make a left turn into the entrance of The Mall.

    Coast Guard FC takes CYDP Peace Cup Championship
    They were heavy favorites, despite a 3-3 draw with Tut Bay FC in game 1 of the Finals series last week Saturday at the MCC; and yesterday at the same venue in the decisive Finals Game 2, Coast Guard FC proved they were the best team in the tournament, defeating Tut Bay, 4-1, and claiming the CYDP Peace Cup championship. In the preliminary third-place game, Survivor FC emerged 3-2 winners in overtime, after they had ended up tied 2-2 with Kelly Street FC in regulation. Survivor’s Tarique “Hamma” Ciego netted all 3 goals (6’, 97’ & 106’) for Survivors, while Kareem Myers (8’) and Christopher Pipersburgh (95’) scored for Kelly Street.

    Belize Jaguars return home, with heads held high; back to PLB Closing Season action
    Returning home to the Philip Goldson International Airport this morning, after their last game yesterday at the Copa Centroamericana in Panama, was the Belize Jaguars, our national football team. There was no motorcade, like back in 2013 when Belize qualified to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but this much younger Belize national team, though finishing where we rank in Central America, left a significant mark, that suggests a turning point in Belize’s participation in regional football. Despite the scores in the middle three games, where Belize lost 3-0, 3-1 and 3-1, to Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, respectively, the scores don’t tell the whole story. For large swaths of those games, Belize was putting passes together, handling the ball confidently, and beginning to show confidence in our ability to penetrate our opponent’s defence. We started the tournament with a nil-nil draw against the power-house host, Panama, and ended with a 1-nil loss to eventual Copa Centroamericana champions, Honduras. We are not there yet, but we have come a long way; and with this fine crop of young talent stepping up to take their place in the national team, the future looks really interesting for Belize.

    Week 2 completed, 1 week left in CSSSA high school football reg. season
    he Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) Football Tournament 2016-2017 has completed its Week 2 games on Saturday after a daily schedule of female (F) and male (M) games at the MCC Grounds last week. On Monday, January 16, (F) Ladyville Tech won, 3-0, over Maude Williams High, with goals from Mary Davis and Seleaney Gooding, along with an auto goal from Maude Williams. (M) Wesley and ACC played to a 3-3 draw. Goal scorers for Wesley were Kenyon Lewis (2) and Jalen Babb; while Sampson Mossiah (2) and Darrell Flowers tallied for ACC. On Tuesday, (F) Gwen Liz and Pallotti drew, 0-0; and (M) Nazarene High bombed Belize High School, 6-nil, with goals from Austin Dawson (3), Michael Robinson (2) and Mynor Hernandez.

    Week 2 in the NEBL
    Week two of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tipped off on Thursday night in Belmopan, as defending champs, Smart Belize Hurricanes traveled to Belmopan in defense of their NEBL trophy. With 2.5 seconds remaining in this overtime NEBL game, and Smart Belize Hurricanes leading by 1 point, Smart Belize Hurricanes inbounded the ball to Brian White, who got fouled with 1.2 seconds remaining. White missed the first free throw and hit the second. The Bandits immediately called time-out and advanced the ball to the half court. Coach Tarr’s designed play saw Robert Smith III, the Belmopan Bandits 6’8’ import from Cleveland, catch, turn and hit a game-winning buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the Smart Belize Hurricanes, 93-92, in the Belmopan Bandits home opener.

    The limits of PUP and UDP
    Belize is a unique and beautiful country, very attractive to visitors and retirees. Our native population, however, is largely marginalized economically, and all the economic indicators have been negative for many, many months. A matter of great sociological concern, also, is a visible and increasing gap between a small class of wealthy Belizeans, many of them migrants as opposed to being born Belizeans, on the one hand, and the masses of the native poor, on the other. In the title of this editorial, we deliberately did not use the fashionable “PUDP” to refer to Belize’s two major political parties – the ruling united Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). We did not do so because the “PUDP” designation may be somewhat dismissive, even sarcastic, and, for the purposes of this essay at least, we want to make sure we give respect to the two national organizations which are really the repository of what we consider our constitutional, parliamentary, participatory democracy.

    From The Publisher
    Just a few hours after United States President Donald Trump delivered his inauguration address in Washington, D.C., a television station in Belize broke the news that a member of a Belizean family had been killed in the Philippines. The young man was reported by that station to have been linked with ISIL – the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This was Friday, January 20, 2017. In his inaugural address, President Trump had explicitly vowed to “eradicate” radical Islam from planet earth. This was an extremely ambitious and also frightening commitment, because he was referring to human beings. We know that Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, had dedicated himself to eliminating Jews from the world, and this is one of the reasons Hitler was considered a complete megalomaniac. In this eradication vow, then, Mr. Trump sounded Hitler-ish to me. There is a fundamental premise you learn when you begin the study of science, and it is that matter can neither be created or destroyed. There is another fundamental scientific premise, and it is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Politicians are not people who adhere to scientific principles. Politicians, to the contrary, appeal to human emotions. This is what Trump was doing on Friday in his speech when he vowed to eradicate radical Islam, because he knew that this was something his white American audience loved to hear.

    Building Belize’s “People-Potential”
    “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (MATT 12:25) Life has taught me, like all of us, many things. One of these things has stood the test of time. It is an engineering principle, which is also a spiritual principle, which I can paraphrase as: “You cannot build a solid structure on a shaky foundation”. Remember the account of the wise versus the foolish builders? The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the foolish man built his house upon sand. Belize is a very special and unique nation—with potential and wealth untold. However, its greatest wealth lies in its people … both at home and abroad! I wish I am wrong. I really do. Because the road that I see ahead for our beloved nation is not a pretty picture—and I’m not simply referring to Belize’s national debt, which I consider the culmination of attitudes cultivated in post-Independence Belize.

    Public engagement on the ICJ
    The best way for Belizeans to arm themselves in battling against the territorial differendum with Guatemala is not with guns but with knowledge. Despite the rising demand for greater public education efforts, there is no budget specifically allocated by the Government of Belize to finance public education campaigns. When the Government launched the campaign in January 2013, it said that, “The objective of the campaign is to educate and inform Belizeans on the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum, its legal implications, and the pros, cons, and risks of referring the dispute to the ICJ [International Court of Justice] rather than to dictate a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote.” The task of leading the Government’s campaign has been given to a unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Stuart Leslie is the coordinator of that unit, the International Boundaries Unit, which deals with the education campaign for the Belize-Guatemala referendum and issues that relate to the boundaries of Belize, including our boundary with Mexico.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Man charged for shooting last night
    Police have charged one man in connection with the shooting of Keemar Nicholas, who was shot to the neck lastnight through Lindo’s Alley, Belize City. That man is Enfield Fitzgibbon and he has been charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly […]

    GSU bust marijuana dealers in Belize City
    Yesterday evening around 5, members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) executed a search warrant for controlled drugs at the residence of Elsworth Morter located at #628 Lavender Street, Belize City. Present at the time of the search along with Morter were Jose Zelaya, […]

    Belize City youth shot in the old capital last night
    According to police reports, last night around 8:45, police responded to a shooting incident on Lindo’s Alley in Belize City and then visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 19-year-old Keimar Nicholas of a Lindo’s Alley address suffering from an apparent gunshot wound […]

    Belize City man arrested for keeping ammo and gun without license
    Yesterday at around 1:34 p.m., while police were conducting patrols on Iguana Street in Belize City they intercepted 21-year-old Kadeem Omar Anderson of a Curassow address who was riding his bicycle on Curassow Street, and upon seeing the police he jumped off his bicycle and […]

    Clive Forman, 53, is in trouble after he was busted with contraband Mexican beers on Saturday.
    According to reports, before midday, acting on Special Branch information, a joint team of Special Branch and San Pedro Police conducted a search at his residence. The search led to the discovery of 22 cases of assorted contraband Mexican beers, awaiting process by Customs for […]

    Three busted for contraband and weed
    A joint team of Special branch and San Pedro police conducted a second search on Saturday which led to more contraband, weed and cash. The search occurred at 11:55 a.m. at the apartment room of Saul Bolanos, 21. Police found three cases of […]

    Blogs

    Tiger Shark Scoop: George Williams – Player Profile of San Pedro’s National Elite Basketball Team
    It’s TIGER SHARK season! And I couldn’t be more excited. Belize’s National Elite Basketball League is back in action. And, for those who haven’t attended a game, these match-ups are AMAZINGLY FUN – even for those who don’t know that much about the sport. Fast and furious, super physical and emotional, there’s music, a concession stand, refs (with sometimes questionable calls) and really talented Belizean players. Plus one. Each team is allowed one “import player”, a basketballer from abroad who joins the team for the season. Our import is the first in my series of Meet The Players – George Williams. How’d you find your way to Belize? His agent stayed at CocoBeach Resort a few years ago and met Rico – of Tuff E Nuff Tours and coach of the Tiger Sharks. That was the original connection. George returned to help out the Tiger Sharks in the COCABA – or Central American games in El Salvador. Anything different about playing here? Compared to the US, the game is more physical. But he’s used to that from playing in Egypt and Lebanon.

    Green Iguana Conservation Project – A Learning Adventure
    by Madison Pearl. Our year started with happiness, silliness and lots of iguanas on our heads! What??? One Iguana, two iguana, three iguana, MORE!!! You read right, our first adventure of the year was a weekend at the San Ignacio Hotel and a special tour of their Green Iguana Conservation Project. I was super excited to be invited because honestly iguanas make for really cool instagram selfies, but I had no idea I’d be learning as part of the tour too! Did you know that green iguanas are a threatened specie in Belize because people hunt them and eat them? They eat their eggs too! What in the world? I like to try new things, but that’s just sad! These iguanas are so pretty! The females are brown and turn green in mating season and the males turn bright orange! The babies are all bright green like Pride and Joy, the babies I got to meet on our tour.

    FCD visits Belize Defence Force Youth Cadets Corp
    FCD’s Bi-national Watershed educational Campaign reached the Belize Defence Force Youth Cadets Corp. A total of 40 cadets learnt of the importance of this watershed. We are grateful to Instructor, Mr. Keith Lemoth for the warm reception.

    Swimming with Sharks
    So, your tour guide says you’re going to swim with sharks? Are they kidding you reason as scenes from JAWS are replayed in your head. Shaaa…shaaa…SHARK!!!! that poor girl screams before she’s mercilessly pulled down into the bloody abyss. Oh, hell no, you aren’t getting me into the water with those eating machines, no way, no how! For many visitors to Belize, exploring the waters of our Caribbean Sea is on the top of their must-do list. Be it snorkeling, diving, or just swimming off the beach, the water is teaming with beautiful, exotic marine creatures, and yes, maybe a shark or two, depending on where you are. For some of us, spotting a shark is an exhilarating experience we feel fortunate to have as we marvel at the beautiful creature in his wild habitat. For others, this experience can cause a heart-stopping panic attack! More than once I have been on a tour boat at Shark Ray Alley in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve when a guest has backed out of getting into the water for fear of these denizens of the deep. Belize is renowned for an impressive variety of sharks, from the offshore Whale Sharks that visit our southern waters in the early to mid-spring, to the inshore mainstays such as Caribbean Reef Sharks, Silky’s,Bull, Tiger and Hammerheads. Sighting these beauties while diving or snorkeling is a rare treat not often experienced.

    Propose In Belize: 5 Heart-Stopping Romantic Ways!
    Belize is full of adventure and if we learned anything from 2016 it’s that there’s always something new just around the next bend. Speaking of adventure, you must admit it’s always better with good company, and who would ever be better company than that one special person? We know that adventure and romance are not synonymous, and often not even used in the same sentence, to which we say – Why? Today we bring you a quick briefing from our romantic playbook with 5 heart-stoppingly romantic ways to propose in Belize: First, on this list; we have the first edifices to exist on this side of the world ever – as far as we all know, at least. At their height, the Mayan civilization populated this are in the millions (which is far more than inhabit Belize today). In their wake, we were left with towering structures that in some places reach for the sky.

    Meditation Practice and Other Events held in Corozal
    Open House, Sunday, 29th January 2017, from 6am to 4pm Schedule 6am-8am: Early morning bird watch 10am: Tour of the Maya site 11am: Nature activity with Christina Leuteman 12noon: Presentation — Create your own Health, with Beverley Turner 2pm: Tour of the Maya site Also Included Sale of silver jewellery by Marcus Gonzales Sale of clothes by Rose Have a massage with Nash Listen to music by Brad and Christina Enjoy the gardens and garden sculptures Refreshments served All Corozal district are called to attend this great event.

    9 Romantic Belize Resorts for Valentine’s Day Escapes
    With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, many couples are looking for the best way to enjoy a romantic getaway vacation in Belize. With so many wonderful resorts and lodges to choose from for your next romantic holiday, it can be difficult to pick one. Whether you’re looking for a fun in the sun beach getaway or intimate look at the beautifully pristine nature on the mainland, there is a Belize resort right for you. Ranging from quiet oases surrounded by nature to gorgeous beachfront settings delivering the ultimate tropical island getaway fantasy, Belize resorts are the perfect place to enjoy a wedding, honeymoon, or exotic romantic vacation. Here are the 9 most romantic resorts in Belize: Yok Ha Island Resort, Chabil Mar, The Placencia, Portofino, Victoria House, Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, Black Orchid Resort, Belize Adventure Inc., Cahal Pech Village Resort.

    International Sourcesizz

    Archaeologists uncover new clues to Maya collapse
    Using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, archaeologists have developed a high-precision chronology that sheds new light on patterns leading up to the two major collapses of the ancient civilization. Archaeologists have long puzzled over what caused what is known as the Classic Maya collapse in the ninth century A.D., when many of the ancient civilization's cities were abandoned. More recent investigations have revealed that the Maya also experienced an earlier collapse in the second century A.D.—now called the Preclassic collapse—that is even more poorly understood. University of Arizona archaeologist Takeshi Inomata and his colleagues suggest in a new paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that both collapses followed similar trajectories, with multiple waves of social instability, warfare and political crises leading to the rapid fall of many city centers.

    Nine days in Belize
    Independence, Belize, is not an easy place to get to. Mornings and evenings during a nine-day trip earlier this month, Dr. Thomas Rumreich and his wife, Ruth Ronning, boarded the Hokey Pokey Ferry for the 20-minute ride from their hotel in Placencia, a resort town with palm-lined beaches, to the small village. The Scandia residents were on a mission, Rumreich to care for the teeth of orphans and Ronning to design and paint a mural on the walls of the children’s treatment room. After practicing dentistry in Forest Lake for 30 years, Rumreich now works with patients on a strictly volunteer basis. While donating his time and skills at the Union Gospel Mission, an open clinic in St. Paul, he met Dr. David Ugai, a dentist who was headed for Belize to set up a clinic.

    Watch How Drones Fight Pirate Fishing From the Sky
    Belize has long struggled to control illegal fishing both in its waters and by vessels flagged to its country. But efforts to turn the tide are starting to pay off, says Julio Maaz, who serves as a fisheries coordinator in the country with the nonprofit group Wildlife Conservation Society. In March 2014, the European Union suspended all seafood imports from Belize, saying the country had not acted forcefully enough to prevent illegal fishing, also known as pirate fishing. But the country responded by upping its enforcement activities (including by deploying the coast guard), and the European Union restored its trade relationship by the end of that year. Further progress has been made since then, but the country still has a ways to go, says Maaz. Belize's multimillion coastal fishing industry is made up of 2,700 registered fishermen, with 650 vessels. The country's international fleet is made up of 33 vessels. Yet the country only has 70 fisheries enforcement officers, who must patrol its 240 miles of Caribbean coast and more than 200 islands, as well as contend with the international fleet.

    NEW BOOK: Island of the Son: A Belizean Journey
    Stephen Krueger was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1958. In 1973, his father, Lothar Krueger, uprooted his family and moved to Ambergris Caye, Belize to build El Pescador Resort. During the next four years Steve became deeply attached to San Pedro and Belize. At the age of eighteen he returned to the United States and joined the Navy, retiring as a Commander after over twenty-seven years of service. He is married to Susan, whom he met in Belize. They have three children and three grandchildren. Island of the Son is the story of a young man’s four year journey through Belize in the 1970s. One day, out of the blue, Steve’s father left America behind and moved his family to in island with no electricity or running water. What followed was Steve’s journey from an outcast in Belize, to a runaway and rouge within his own family. Throughout his journey he was guided by a Belizean family which couldn’t have been more different than his own. Island of the Son is a moving, yet hilarious journey into the heart of a young man and Belize.

    Videos

  • Belize Aggressor 2012, 6min.

  • Dancer Belize, 4min.

  • Iguana Project, 2.5min. What an incredible Learning Adventure for Madi, our youngest blogger! Support the Green Iguana Conservation Project in Belize. https://www.sanignaciobelize.com/belize-iguana-tour

  • Morning Matters with Erica Castellanos, 58min.

  • Morning Matters nov 2016, 57min.

  • Road Safety Project Consultancy, 35min.

  • Police Metership Program, 30min.

  • Global Cottage / Sisterhood of Entrepreneurs, 27min.

  • COROZAL RESIDENT SAYS COPS REFUSE TO CHARGE A MAN WHO RAN OVER HIM, 5min.

  • Rugby Belize, 3min.

  • Ancient Maya Education Video, 32min. Dr. Anabel Ford, who discovered, and has worked at El Pilar for over 3 decades, has a great educational video about the Maya.

  • Belize Moto, 3min.

  • The Reserve - Belize Teaser, 2min.

  • The Reserve - Discover Belize Tour, 3min.

  • Southern Stingray Feeding, 1.5min. On this dive, the water was surprisingly hazy. After some searching, we found out why. This southern stingray was gracefully digging though the sand looking for a meal, while at the same time making quite the mess! Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Flats in Belize

  • El Secreto - Hotel in Ambergris Caye, Belize, 2min. Situé sur l'île d'Ambergris Caye, l'El Secreto est un lieu idyllique pour la plongée sous-marine en raison de ses récifs.

  • Belize - Starfish Island - Saw a dolphin!!!, 3.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 3min. Please enjoy this video of the beautiful underwater life of BELIZE

    January 24, 2017


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Island residents say NO to offshore oil exploration
    Residents of Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker Village convened at the Central Park in downtown San Pedro to say ‘No’ to offshore oil exploration in Belize. The event, spearheaded by active members on the island in partnership with Oceana in Belize and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, included a peaceful walk followed by a public forum on Saturday, January 21st. Hundreds of supporters gathered at the Central Park shortly after 11AM carrying colorful banners for a peaceful walk throughout the streets of the town core. Along the route persons joined the walk, chanting ‘No Means No!’ as they made their way back to Central Park.

    Team Sea Star wins friendly softball marathon
    To open the San Pedro Town Council’s upcoming Co-ed Softball Tournament, a marathon was held on Sunday, January 22nd. Three softball teams: Extreme, San Pedro High School, and Sea Star entertained a crowd of softball fans at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Complex. After countless matches, Sea Star emerged victorious as the champions of the marathon.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - Island Life: I Need A Ride
    We live on an tropical island where it is sunny all year round, some days more than others. With this hot weather no one wants to be walking around, even less if you have to push a wheelbarrow. Empty or not, it's hard work. Getting a ride on the island is not difficult; thanks to frienldy islanders one doesn't need to walk. Wonder where this guy was headed to - maybe to work? Either way, this is such a fun way to move around a wheelbarrow; instead of pushing it, why not pull it! - photo by Solani Graniel

    The Threat of Offshore Oil Exploration is Real, Belizeans Remain Proactive
    The San Pedro community, concerned with the threat of offshore oil exploration in Belize has decided to speak up and stay vigilant. Caye Caulker, Belize City, Orange Walk, they were all represented in San Pedro this weekend at a public forum to discuss offshore oil. Although the government has issued a press release stating offshore oil activities have been canceled in Belize, residents of our tourism dependent islands and even residents of the mainland are not willing to risk their most valuable attraction and source of income. They are being very verbal about it. The participants of the forum were not the only ones making their mark or creating awareness for our Barrier Reef this past week. Student’s of San Pedro High School took the time to make posters for a peaceful walk through town showcasing reasons their cries for protection on this natural resource.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    VOTE MISS BELIZE INTO THE FINAL 12 OF MISS UNIVERSE!
    Starting January 23, 2017 at 9:30 a.m ET, fans worldwide will be able to vote via the methods below: 1) VODI: Download the Vodi app http://vodi.io/b/MISSUNIVERSE and hit the vote button 2) WEB: Visit http://vote.missuniverse.com/ – (It will work once the voting starts!) 3) MISS U APP: Download the Miss U app here http://www.bit.ly/MissUapp and hit vote on the side menu 4) TWITTER: Tweet using #MissUniverse and a contestant specific hashtag that will be provided once voting start. Take advantage by retweeting. Once the voting window opens, fans are able to vote 10x per day per registered account. ***Please note that, vote.missuniverse.com is the ONLY website for voting.

    Presentation of Credentials
    Four ambassadors presented their Letters of Credence today to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan. H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, Ambassador of Israel; H.E. Mrs. Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of Norway; H.E. Ms. Alena Gazurova, Ambassador of Slovak Republic; and H.E. Mr. Luigi Maccotta, Ambassador of Italy; all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their respective countries in Belize. The ambassadors each conveyed their countries’ interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize. The Governor General warmly welcomed and received the Ambassadors’ credentials.

    Alcohol and drug bust on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
    On Saturday 21st January 2017 at 11:55 a.m. a joint team of Special Branch and San Pedro Police conducted searched at 21 year old Saul Bolanos years of the DFC Area of San Pedro Town. Also present was his Common Law wife Anna Haylock and his sister Carolina Bolanos of Belize City who was only visiting at the time. 3 cases of contraband mexican beers and 32 bottles contraband liquor was found. And 50.6 grams of cannabis and $30,650. All three are awaiting a joint charge of possession of drugs, and being in possession of uncustomed goods. If one person accepts responsibility the charges could be dropped against the other suspects.

    Ouch! beer bust
    Clive forman was busted by the police with 22 cases of assorted contraband beers including Dos Equis, Modelo, Corona Extra, and Superior. On Saturday 21st January 2017 at 11:45 a.m. a joint team of Special Branch and San Pedro Police conducted searched at two premises. The first searched was conducted at the residence of 53 year old Clive Forman of San Pablo Area, San Pedro Town which led to the discovery of 22 cases of assorted contraband. The second search at the Bolanos house yielded drugs and contraband liquor.

    Access Life Expo
    Access Life and Hearts of Christ had their Expo at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium.  They distributed 100's of wheelchairs and sets of crutches to those in need.  They've been in Belize for a week, and have been helping those with disabilities, and even paid a visit to Octavia Waight.

    Pond's Fellowship Program 2017
    The U.S. Embassy encourages women leaders in Belize to apply for the Pond's Fellowship Program 2017 that empowers young women who dare to lead with compassion and have fresh ideas for social change. The application deadline is Tuesday, January 31, 2017. To learn more or apply, please visit http://bit.ly/2iYNTC4. Vital Voices and POND'S are joining forces to launch an innovative new fellowship program to empower young women who dare to lead with compassion and have fresh ideas for social change. We know that against all odds, women are generating breakthrough solutions to the world's most urgent problems. Women leaders are resilient, their vision for the future is bold and the world needs more of them. This groundbreaking opportunity redefines what it means to be a leader, and shines a spotlight on the next generation of creative women heading up organizations or businesses, determined to challenge the status quo.

    7th annual Tribute Show to Bob Marley
    The San Pedro House of Culture and IRIE Belize present the 7th annual Tribute Show to Bob Marley that will be held on the 4th & 5th of February starting at 11am until 2 am and on the 5th from 11 am to midnight. There will be food and drinks for sale, arts & crafts and live entertainment starting at 6 pm. The Exhibition Show will be at the House of Culture on January 25th starting at 11 am until midnight. The live entertainment will start at 6 pm. Featuring our local legends including RastaBu, Leo Marley, DanMan, Continental Cat, Special C, Kevin G, Blackhino.

    Greater opportunities in CARICOM for Belizean producers
    Representatives of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, (BELTRAIDE) and the Directorate General for Foreign Trade this morning went on national radio and television to launch a public awareness campaign to inform Belizean producers, potential exporters and exporters of the numerous opportunities available in the CARICOM market. Ms Shauna Arnold, Export Promotion Officer at EXPORTBelize, a Unit of BELTRAIDE and Mr John Rivero, Trade Intelligence Economist at the Directorate General for Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, appeared on Open Your Eyes and LOVE FM’s Morning shows, and spoke on the suspension request of the Common External Tariff (CET) under CARICOM.


    verflight above the Chiquibul
    First overflight above the Chiquibul Forest shows areas cleared already for farming by Guatemalan farmers.

    U.S. Embassy in Belmopan seeking applicants for HVAC Technician
    The incumbent serves as an HVAC Technician for the residential compound/facility management section under the supervision of the Residential Maintenance Supervisor. The U.S. Mission in Belize provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. The Department of State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

    Channel 7

    Police: Harris Killed Hog
    The murder just happened last night, but a man has already been charged for the killing on West Collet Canal. The victim was 44-year-old Clinton Frazer, known as Hog, and the accused is 23 year old Henry Rudolph Harris. The allegation is that Harris along with another man rode up on separate bicycles and shot at Frazer and his younger brother Michael. The brothers were hanging out with a couple friends near the Conch Shell Bay Fish Market. Clinton was hit to the back and died while his brother Michael was shot in the leg. We spoke to a relative today off camera and she told us she doesn't know why her brothers were targeted. Police also gave us a briefing this morning on the shooting. Voice of: Relative: "Well I hear my 2 brothers got shot and one died, when I was at home, I heard that and my brother Clinton, he liked to give jokes and stuff he wasn't a bad person, he doesn't deal with gun or weed he just relax and chill and give jokes , he would just say Sister Persh. You're alright? And I would say "hey, not today" and then he would laugh and talk and thing, he don't deal with gun or nothing so I don't know why they killed him."

    Man Killed In Motorbike Accident Up North
    From murder in the city to a fatal accident in the North. On Friday night at around midnight, a 19 year old motorcyclist slammed into a lamppost on the Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk. Jerry Hernison Martinez was heading towards Corozal. Martinez received massive injuries and died at the Northern Regional Hospital at 1:15 am. Police told us how they are handling this case. ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "A young man was driving his motorbike and collided into a lamp post. That's on the right of the highway if you are travelling from Orange Walk towards Corozal. He unfortunately succumb to his injuries." Reporter: "Sir, they are saying that Mr. Martinez was intoxicated when he was driving his motorcycle. Do you have such information?" ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "Like you rightfully mentioned, we have persons in the area that said that Mr. Martinez was seen socializing somewhere in the vicinity of Central Park in Orange Walk just minutes before he collided into the lamp post. So we are definitely looking at maybe that alcohol may have been a factor in this accident."

    Motorbike Driver Dies in Impact With Hilux
    And there was another fatal traffic accident but this time in Belmopan. Last night around 8:48, 43 year old Kevin Petzold was driving on the Hummingbird Highway in his Toyota Hilux, turning into the "the Mall's" parking lot when 21 year old motorcyclist Geovannie Reymundo who was coming from the other direction crashed into his Hilux. Reymundo died from the impact. Police gave us more details. ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer: "Police visited a scene sometime around almost 9pm last night where they saw Toyota Hilux and a motorbike under the front bumper. The driver of the motorbike is one, Mr. Reymundo. He was accompanied by a female rider and apparently the pick-up was turning into the entrance of a mall, between Mile 55 and 56, where he collided into the pick-up. At this time police cannot say who was at fault, but we know that he received severe head and body injuries. He was transported to the hospital where he succumb to his injuries. Fortunately for him, his rider survived with injuries to her body. The driver of the pick-up has been served with an NIP and we hope to make an arrest if there should be one very soon. I know that investigators have been on the ball since last night."

    Ring Road Ramming
    There was also a minor bus accident in Belmopan on Saturday. It happened on the Ring Road where there was a major impact but no one was hurt. A taxi driver darted across the road from Builders Hardware to Buca gas station and was hit by an oncoming Westline Bus which had the right of way on Ring Road. Police believe that the taxi driver did not properly clear the intersection before shooting across, and his car was struck by the bus, which sent the car skidding into the drain. The driver had no major injury. Belmopan believe that a rush of inexperienced drivers are causing a number of minor accidents in the capital and have cautioned that the speed limit within cities is 15 to 25 miles per hour.

    Illegal Construction Workers Went to Work
    On Friday we showed you the truckful of illegal immigrants who were picked up at the Golden Bay construction site. There were 18 of them; well today 11 of them went to court. But they didn't stay there long. They should have been charged with failure to produce a visitor's permit. But the charges were not read to them because the immigration officer who represented the prosecution had put the charges together properly. As a result, they taken back to the holding cell at Queen Street Police Station. The Immigration Department tells us that their employer Josue Aguilar - who is a naturalized Belizean - got off on a technicality, while 9 of the 11 workers have been charged by Immigration and will go back to court tomorrow. The 2 remaining had other status. As we showed you on Friday, the immigrants were picked up at the construction site by the Mobile Interdiction Team which was looking for members of the MS - 13. Apparently they were not only in possession of visitor's permits but also work permits. Today we got a call from the owners of Golden Bay who stressed that they didn't hire the illegal workers, the contractor did - and he did so without their knowledge. Golden Bay says all of it's over 40 workers are duly registered with Social Security.

    Belize Murder Rate High, Clearance Rate Low
    Two weeks ago we told you about murder rates in the Caribbean and Central America. In the Caribbean, St. Kitts-Nevis actually has the highest murder rate per one hundred thousand at 56. Their murder count went up by over 50%. Jamaica is second at 47 per hundred thousand, then Belize is third at 37.1. But what about a number known as the "the clearance rate"? That refers to the number of arrests compared to the number of murders. Well, according to the Trinidad Express Newspaper, Antigua has a high clearance rate, with 8 murders, and six suspects arrested making for a clearance rate of 75%. Guyana is also high on the list, at 64% with 140 murders, and 90 suspects arrested. Jamaica is at 57%, with 771 arrests for 1350 murders - that's a rate of 57%. Belize is at only 37%, with 51 arrests for 138 murders - which is on the low side. Trinidad, however is much lower than Belize with just 71 murder arrests for their 462 murders, a clearance rate of just over 15%.

    United Against Oil Exploration
    Late last year, the government made the controversial decision to conduct seismic surveys in Belizean waters. When conservation groups like the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, and other public agents got wind of this, they pressured to government to halt all operations until the public was properly consulted on the matter. Well, those consultations were scheduled for this month, but they were cancelled two weeks ago. There has been no word as to why the consultations were cancelled or if they will be rescheduled, and some people are tired of waiting. On Saturday some San Pedro residents organized a peaceful march and forum in the town's Central Park. The event's organizer, Kristin Marin, told us more... Kristin Marin, Event Organizer: "It began with a peaceful walk, so 100 community members joined us and we use posters created by high school students in the week. So we had 175 students come together and create posters for the event. So we carry that around town inviting people to join us in the park and once we got back to central park we created a no oil sign on the beach which I said to you and we got everyone hyped up and felt the momentum and the energy and from there we had a speaker system and we just shared information on the updates of oil concessions from 2010 all the way up to now when the recent consultations on the multi-beam surveys were cancelled and then we just shared information on the committee that's forming and future events that we're planning."

    Pitts to Jail For Ammo
    Tonight, 40 year-old Kirk Pitts, a barber from Antelope Street, is at the Belize Central Prison after being taken to court for bullets and marijuana, which police say they busted him with. According to police, they were on mobile patrol yesterday on Faber's Road Extension when they searched him. They officers found a black plastic bag which contained 4 live rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition, and less than a gram of marijuana. The police then charged him with keeping unlicensed ammunition and possession of a controlled drug. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, where he pled not guilty to the charges. He told the court that the police planted the bullets on him. Despite that, the Senior Magistrate couldn't grant him any bail, and he was remanded into custody until March 24.

    Vote For Becky On Real Miss Universe Poll
    At the beginning of the month, Miss Belize, Rebecca Rath, left for the Philippines where she will be competing in the Miss Universe Pageant. Since then she's put the finishing touches on her wardrobe, began rehearsals and even met the President of the Philippines. The Miss Universe pageant takes place on Sunday, and already Belizeans have been showing their love. She's received massive support from her fans, placing favorably in several online polls. But, the polls that really count just opened today. The official Miss Universe went live on the Miss Universe website today, and they're more important than ever. And that's because this year, the winner of the fan vote gets a guaranteed spot in the pageant's semifinal round. So with the big night less than a week away, here's how to vote. You can do so from the official Miss Universe app or website, by tweeting using the appropriate hashtags, or through the Vodi app. Each participant can cast 10 votes a day, and the polls close on Saturday.

    The Jaguars Return, Unbowed
    The Belize Jaguars returned from the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana tournament in Panama this morning. The came home with their heads down, and that's because - just like last time - they finished dead last. The team had one draw and four losses - ending with only one point and an 8 point goal differential. Freddy Cantiliano met the team at the airport and asked some of the players and management what went wrong in Panama. Freddy Cantiliano- Reporter: "Coach, a good beginning at the UNCAF Copa Centro Americana where you drew against the host team- something that nobody could believe when it happened. What happened from then on?" Richard Orlowski- Head Coach: "That's why after this game, expectations from all people in Belize and all the players were too high. But the reality is that the next game we played against Costa Rica which has a very good team. Everybody knows they go to World Cup were they've played like semi-finals. We gave everything during the game against Panama and not even one day we got a break because in the night time and next two days in the morning we played against Costa Rica. The boys were not even recovered after this game. But the third, fourth and fifth game we played well even against El Salvador. Second half we dominated, we created many chances, but we didn't score. That's our weakness. We get chances we have to score because this is not practice. You get three chances you have to score three goals because it's not like you get a hundred chances to do this."

    How About Scubble?
    So, while hardcore football fans might be struggling to get over the disappointing outcome in this tournament, maybe you're in the mood for a lighter hybrid version of the sport. It's called bubble football, and it started off as a joke back in 2011. Since then, it's gained popularity all over the world, and now, it's being played in Belize. This weekend, our news team went to find out more about this quirky sport, and why those who brought it home with them are hoping that Belizeans pick it up. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz Reporting: Seeing these two "pigeon goals" and this football, on the field, you might think this a set-up for a friendly match is about to start momentarily. But, what you certainly won't find on any other football pitch are these human sized bubbles. Each Player is expected to put these on their torsos as part of the equipment, kinda like how a pair of football pegs are expected in a game of football.

    The Diplomatic Choice
    Four new ambassadors to Belize were accredited today in Belmopan. The first to meet the Governor General was Jonathan Peled, the new Israeli Ambassador, second was the Norwegian ambassador, Merethe Nergaard, third was Alena Gazurova, from the Slovak Republic; and Italy's Ambassador, Luigi Maccotta. According to an official release, the ambassadors each conveyed their countries' interests in continuing to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage new areas of development with Belize.

    Channel 5

    Murder in Belize City – Arrest Made in Death of Clinton Frazer
    A murder on Sunday night claimed the life of one brother and has left another injured. The brothers were at the Conch Shell Bay Fish Market when a man opened [...]

    Pickup Meets Motorcycle in Belmopan; Cyclist Loses Life
    A motorist lost his life on Sunday night in Belmopan during a fatal road traffic accident.  Twenty-one-year-old Geovannie Reymundo, a resident of San Martin, was riding a black Meilun motorcycle, [...]

    Motorcyclist’s Life Cut Short in an Instant in Orange Walk
    Another motorcyclist perished in a traffic mishap over the weekend.  On Friday night, nineteen-year-old Jerry Martinez, a resident of Black Water Creek in Trial Farm, lost his life along the [...]

    Teenager Charged for Dropped Gun
    Eighteen-year-old Jair Tamai of Corozal Town thought he could outrun police on mobile patrol on Sunday morning, but they very quickly caught up with him. Officers spotted the teenager, also [...]

    Plenty Weed and a Firearm Off the Streets
    Eastern Division police continue their efforts to remove cannabis and weaponry from the streets, making one arrest. A sixteen-year-old minor has been charged with drug trafficking. Around twelve-forty Saturday afternoon, [...]

    Ammunition Also Removed by Police
    Forty-year-old Kirk Pitts was remanded to prison for possession of ammunition and a small quantity of weed.  Over the weekend, police busted Pitts with several nine millimeter ammunition and less [...]

    San Pedranos Gather to Oppose Offshore Oil Activity
    Over the weekend, a group of San Pedro residents marched peacefully through the streets before coming to a stop at the Central Park on the island. There, a public forum [...]

    Will Environmentalists Go for Referendum Again?
    It’s been five years since a referendum attempt by Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage failed when Government announced that the N.G.O. was unable to gather the required eight thousand [...]

    Clarifying Chon Saan – Lee Mark talks to News Five
    Back in December, this station, having gleaned information from reliable sources, questioned whether the Government of Belize would pay as much as four million Belize dollars for the Chon Saan [...]

    Chang Says There Will Be No Hard Feelings If He Can’t Close Deal
    Chang shared with News Five a copy of the appraisal documents from Mahung and Partners confirming that the restaurant building is in good condition and justifiably priced for sale. He [...]

    Speaker Longsworth Steps Up to Head FOPREL
    Speaker of the House of Representatives, Laura Longsworth, has had just ten days into one of the most thankless jobs in Belize. She has, however, the goodwill of Belizeans who [...]

    Senate Prez Says Course Correct in 13th Senator Flap
    The Senate’s first meeting of 2017 on Thursday last almost didn’t proceed after Lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay of the People’s United Party introduced an amendment to the regular motion [...]

    Defending Islam in Wake of Abu Naila Report
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Belize is hosting its third annual convention this weekend.  The timing of the gathering coincides with a news item we ran on Friday, involving a [...]

    After Disappointing Copa Centroamericana, Jaguars return to Dissect Performance
    Belizean football fans across the country were not too happy with the performance of the national football team over the past ten days at the Copa Centro Americana Games. The [...]

    James Adderley and the Weekend Sporting Highlights
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   [Feature on weekend sporting activities....]

    CTV3

    Motorcycle Accident Claims Life Of 19 Year Old
    The family of a nineteen year old Orange Walkeno is tonight mourning his death after his life came to a tragic end, following a traffic accident on the Otro Benque Road. Police reports indicate that just before midnight on Friday, Jerry Hernison Martinez of Black Water Creek in the Trial Farm Village was driving his motorcycle on the Otro Benque Road traveling towards Trial Farm Village when upon nearing the hill just past the Orange Walk Police Station he lost control of the motor cycle and collided into a lamp post located on the right hand side of the road causing him severe head and body injuries. Martinez was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. While authorities are still unable to determine the exact cause of Martinez’s accident, they have reasons to believe that alcohol might have been a contributing factor.

    Is Belizean National Behind ISIS Attack In Phillipines?
    There is a very serious report tonight that could have grave implications for Belize. On January 7th, security forces in the coast town of Massim in the Sarangani Province of Philippines, while carrying out a search of the home of a suspected ISIS supporter, came under attack and had to return fire. During the exchange, they shot and killed Abu Naila and his companion Kadija. Naila’s identity is under investigation at the moment, and there is some indication that he could be a Belizean-national who was recruited by the terrorist Islamic State also known as ISIS or ISIL. It is suspected that Naila is Nadir Ali Ahmad, a Belizean muslim. Local authorities have not commented on the case, and the Ahmad family in Belize have also not spoken on the issue. But we do know that the Ahmad family has been on the radar of security authorities in the past. In June 2016, in a special and seemingly-secret operation here in Belize, several members of the Ahmad family were picked up by Police and held under custody for questioning.

    OW Residence Assist In Building Child Friendly Municipal Plan
    A one day training session was offered today under the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality Project with the objective of holding consultations with service providers as well as children who form part of the Orange Walk Community to assist in the development of a Child Friendly Strategic Plan. The plan comprises of specific priority goals and outcomes and is expected to be carried out in a period of five years. John Flowers – Technical Consultant, Sustainable & Child Friendly Municipality: “The National Committee for Families and Children last year developed a national plan for children and adolescence 2017/2030 so that is fourteen years so what we are doing we are aligning the strategic plan for Orange Walk Town with the national plan and so there are already a number of goals identified six goals; supportive parents, supportive transitions, we are looking at prevention is better than cure so these kinds of goals and then we have also five outcomes that we want for children...”

    Help Miss Belize Reach Semi Finals
    The young, gorgeous and talented Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, continues to leave a dazzling mark in Manila Philippines with every single stride. She has come a long way and has successfully managed to place Belize on the map as a result of her undeniable charm, beauty and self-confidence which out-rightly stands out among the remaining eighty nine delegates who all share the same objective… to take home the Miss Universe 2017 crown. And while Rath has been able to top the popularity voting polls online thanks to the massive support attained from Belizeans, tonight we can tell you that the Miss Universe Organization has officially opened all voting polls for this year’s pageant. Therefore, fans from all over the world can now vote for their favourite contestant.

    Police Officer Involved In Traffic Accident
    This afternoon, there was a traffic accident in Corozal Town in which a motorcycle driven by a police officer collided with a van driven at the time by well-known newspaper columnist Clinton Uh Luna. The accident occurred just before the 5:00pm rush hour, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 3rd Street South. The unidentified Police officer was visibly shaken by the impact and complained of severe pain in one of his arms, which was suspected to be broken. Police authorities are investigating the incident and it is expect that charges could be laid.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Police charge 1 man for Conch Shell Bay murder
    Police have charged Henry Rudolph Harris, 23, with the murder of Clinton Frazer, 44, and the attempted murder of his brother, Michael Frazer, 33, which occurred last night in the Conch Shell Bay Area of Belize City. Police are yet to reveal a motive […]

    Corozal youth arrested for keeping gun and ammo without gun license
    According to police reports, yesterday at 1:30 a.m., Corozal police were conducting a mobile patrol in the Skeleton Town area in Corozal when their attention was drawn to 18-year-old Jair Tamai AKA “Totolosh” of a 2nd Street North address who threw away an object […]

    Police find ammo and weed in Cayo
    According to police reports, Saturday night at around 6:30, San Ignacio police were conducting vehicle checkpoints on the George Price Highway near Georgeville Village when a passenger bus arrived heading towards Belmopan. Police searched the bus and discovered a black plastic bag tucked under […]

    Traffic accident claims one life on the Hummingbird Highway
    On Sunday, January 22, 2017, at about 8:48 p.m., Belmopan Police visited an area between mile 55 and 56 on the Humming Bird Highway near “The Mall” where they saw a dark blue Toyota Hilux (BMP C-05554) on the side of the road with […]

    Police issues official report on fatal traffic accident in Orange Walk
    On Friday at around 11:59 p.m., police responded to a traffic accident on Otro Benque Road, Orange Walk Town where they saw 19-year-old Jerry Hernison Martinez of Black Water Creek Area, Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk, lying on top of a motorcycle on the […]

    Belize City man arrested for cannabis and keeping ammunition without a gun license
    Yesterday at around 2:45 p.m., police while conducting patrols on Faber’s Road Extension in Belize City searched 40-year-old Kirk Pitts of an Antelope Street Extension which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing four 9 mm live rounds of ammunition and […]

    Gun and weed found in Belize City
    On Friday, police conducted a search in an abandoned area across from Cumberbatch Field on Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City which led to the discovery of 118 grams of cannabis and a black plastic bag containing a black smith and Wesson sw99 with […]

    Belize City student arrested and charged for drug trafficking
    According to police reports, on Saturday around 12:40 p.m., police were conducting a mobile patrol on Raccoon Street in Belize City and upon reaching the corner of Curassow Street and Raccoon Street their attention was drawn to two male persons on separate bicycles, one […]

    Two Brothers Shot in Belize City, One Dies From His Injuries
    Yesterday at around 9:25 p.m., police responded to a shooting incident on West Collet Canal in Belize City. Investigations revealed that about 9:23 p.m., 44-year-old Clinton Frazer and his brother 33-year-old Michael Frazer both of a Conch Shell Bay address in Belize City were socializing […]

    Motorist dies in Orange Walk
    Jerry Martinez, 21, of Orange Walk Town died in a fatal traffic accident on Friday night. He was riding on the Otro Benque Road before midnight when he crashed head on into a lamppost and died on the scene. He was transported to the […]

    Cayo Special Constables plan activities for 2017
    Yesterday evening the Cayo Special Constables met to discuss their plan for the year 2017. The committee has been serving the communities of San Ignacio, Santa Elena and surrounding villages for the last five years. Present at the meeting was Cpl. Jason Jones, Officer […]

    Blogs

    First Art in The Park 2017 in Corozal
    It was the first Annual Art in the park that was held on January 21st, 2017. It commenced at 5pm where several boots had already been out on display. Usually, after church at 7pm the music commence. Their where countless people came out to supported the event. I walked towards the park and from the distance I saw the countless people. I heard music echoing through my both ears. First thing was taking photo's of the Train CHOO! CHOO!, Miss Deb's Deli, Then I went to take photos of the rest of the boots on Central Park. I couldn't count how much booth their where on this event but their where surely a number of them. Every event it keeps getting better as the months approaches. Something that I saw where tourists buying souvenirs as a reminder of what Belize local artists does. Lots of locals enjoyed the music being played on the park. And, some where dancing, walking around the Central Park. During my booth to booth picture's I observed some where made by locals and they did an excellent job doing their art work. While doing that I was hearing the band was playing great music. Food where available for sale pupusas, nachos, garnachas, hot dogs, snacks, cotton candy and more. Excitingly, while walking around the central park I got amazed about what this locals had for their local art exhibition on display.

    Casitas Tres Cocos is officially open for business!
    Adding to the charm and beauty of Tres Cocos, Ambergris Caye, is the newest boutique hotel Casitas Tres Cocos. Featuring beautifully designed individual cabañas, a salt-water pool, and the onsite full service Youcan Toucan Bar and Grille, Casitas Tres Cocos is an adults-only, playful paradise. With names like Sting Ray, Kinkajou, Tapir, Iguana and Crocodile, the casitas definitely have their own unique touch and vibe. Highlighting the rooms are the gorgeous Papo paintings of each Belize animal. Sting Ray is the master suite, with a king-sized bed, its own kitchenette and outdoor plunge pool and shower. It can connect to an adjoining suite to make a bigger, shareable space too. The remaining casitas get to indulge in the all-inclusive menu from Youcan Toucan! The lap pool has fun alternating lights that make the nighttime swim parties a blast, and guests can swim right up to the bar for their favorite cocktails – it does not get any better than that.

    Reef Quotes Worth Sharing by People of Belize
    I’m always so proud of Belizeans coming together when it matters most. In this past week alone we have seen several groups at home raising their voices against offshore oil exploration in their own unique ways. It is humbling to see people’s reactions when you bring up the Belize Barrier Reef in a conversation. My memories of Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Sharks and simply swimming along the reef were a highlight of my childhood. It’s something I share with great pride. I would hope one day Madi has nothing but amazing memories of the reef to tell her children as well. The threat to our Barrier Reef is not something our people should be facing. We have made it clear that as a country we DO NOT support offshore oil exploration. Why then are we still talking about this? I reached out to Belizeans to hear their thoughts…

    In Belize: Close encounters of the aquamarine kind
    The other day I joined friends for a trip around the island, with a little snorkeling at Mexico Rocks thrown in at the end. It was my first time cruising Ambergris Caye north in a clockwise direction, starting and ending at Coco Beach Resort. Aw, it is a beautiful trip in either direction so I won’t try and split hairs over which way the ride is best. No matter which way you go, your boat must leave the safe harbor of the reef and for 20 hair-raising minutes or so, you must cut the seam between rolling waves; angle up and over with an electric glide sort of step; and, occasionally, go all muscle on the waves — gun the engine launch up and over, into the air and down with a teeth-jarring a body-slam. Talk about fun. With the right driver, I could do that all day. And with Erick and Candyman from Tuff E Nuff, we had the goods. This was a little different sort of trip. We stopped, for example, at a resort under construction right on the edge of the Bacalar Chico Reserve. It is a rustic — though hardly primitive — spot called North Coconut Beach. The resort features small wood cabanas on stilts and a centerpiece bar and restaurant called the Una Mas Cantina. Several cabanas have been built with more on the way. The owners have 10 acres sea-to-lagoon to play with.

    International Sourcesizz

    FBI offers $10K reward in murder of ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney
    A year after ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney was murdered while on vacation in Belize, the FBI has offered a reward for information leading to her killer. Swaney, who was executive producer of online operations at ABC7, was found dead Jan. 15, 2016 at an eco-ranch in western Belize. She was found strangled in the Mopan River. Belize police, who have overseen the murder investigation, have never established a motive or a prime suspect. "We are still awaiting some test results that were sent abroad. Other than that there are still no leads," said Belize police inspector Stanley Bowden. Belize police say they have returned to the crime scene and re-interviewed witnesses. Belize has a U.S. embassy, but has no American law enforcement jurisdiction nor subpoena power in the country, thus limiting the role of the FBI. However, the FBI is offering up to $10,000 for information that helps identify Swaney's murderer. The money is a significant incentive in a country where 40 percent of the population lives in poverty. "What does give me comfort is that federal authorities from the United States are involved," said Robert Milan, a former Cook County and federal prosecutor.

    National Geographic Names Two Caribbean Beaches among World’s Most Spectacular
    National Geographic has compiled a diverse list of the world’s most spectacular beaches, ranging from the idyllic, through the unusual, to the ecologically important. The Caribbean has bagged two places in the top 21, with Curacao’s Cas Abao Beach fitting firmly into the tropical paradise niche, and Belize’s South Water Caye Reserve finding favour for the integrity of its marine ecosystems. South Water Caye Marine Reserve is the second largest in the country and was established by the Fisheries Department in 1996 in recognition of the marine ecosystems and its national, regional and international importance. The area is a priority for conservation due to its rich biodiversity, supporting an oceanic mangrove system and extensive seagrass meadows, which provide habitats for many commercial and non-commercial species. Mangrove cayes also provide nesting sites for many important bird species and the area is also utilized by marine turtles for nesting. South Water Caye Marine Reserve is one of the seven protected areas that form the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO.

    How to Become a Certified Diver on a Caribbean Cruise
    Looking to learn to dive and take a cruise around the Caribbean? Royal Caribbean is now the only cruise line in the world with onboard PADI Five Star Dive Centers, allowing guests to become certified scuba divers on their sailings. “For the past 16 years Royal Caribbean has worked closely with PADI to develop our onboard dive program,” said Roberta Jacoby, managing director, Global Tour Operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. “No other cruise line offers the opportunity for guests to become PADI certified scuba divers as part of the cruise, making it an ultimate dive trip as well. When guests sign up for the PADI Open Water Diver Course, they receive first-rate training and diver certification, performing their own scuba dives amidst the beautiful and serene waters of multiple Caribbean destinations.”

    7 reasons Belize should be on your bucket list
    Has Belize been on your travel radar? If you are looking to explore Central America for the first time, Belize is the perfect start. English is the official language and the U.S. dollar is fixed to the Belize dollar at 2 to 1, making conversions easy for tourists. Read on and see why Belize will soon be bumped up to the top of your bucket list.

    Videos

  • Caye Caulker, 3min. Caribbean Sea, palm trees and burning sun, sand, lobster at will, snorkelling with sharks, dugongs, rays and dolphins, a catamaran, starry skies and nights in a tent, rum punch and Bob Marley... all this has been my Belize ! Mar dei Caraibi, palme e sole cocente, sabbia, aragoste a volontà, snorkeling con squali, dugonghi, razze e delfini, un catamarano, cieli stellati e notti in tenda, rum punch e Bob Marley ... tutto questo è stato il mio Belize! Thank to Raggamuffin Tours for the amazing experience!

  • Belize Now - January 20, 2017, 24min.

  • The "brand-new" Borcherts on Isla Bonita Belize, min. Ever dreamt of going to the Caribbean for a conch dive and beach BBQ on a private island? You'll feel like Robinson Crusoe - or at least, the NEW Mr & Mrs Borchert did on their recent honeymoon in Belize.

  • CARICOM CET Suspension - Beltrade, 30min.

  • ESCUELA SECUNDARIA TECNICA MEXICO'S 34TH SPECIAL NATIONAL CELEBRATION 2017, 9min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN JANUARY 19, 2017, 33min.

  • Belizeans Speak on Offshore Oil Exploration, 14min. "I asked Belizeans how they felt about offshore oil exploration in Belize and their responses were humbling."

  • Xunantunich Ruins - Belize, 2.5min.

  • WakyMC Youth - Belize 2016, 7min.

  • Belize, 15min.

  • Mayan Ruins- Belize, 3.5min. I hope you enjoy this small look into Belize and the Mayan Ruins that we saw!

  • Belize Snorkeling, 7min.

  • Belize Fishing Trip, 6min. Caught a bunch more just didn't think about the GoPro until we were about halfway done.

  • Belize 2017 - EF College Break, 14min.

    January 23, 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 Saturday, January 14th at around 7:45AM, police responded to information received of a sack on the beach four miles north of San Pedro Town believed to be drugs. They visited the area and recovered the sack containing twenty five parcels of suspected Cocaine each weighing between 2.29lbs and 2.35 lbs; total amounting to 57.52 lbs. It was labelled as found property as no one was seen in the immediate area. * Simon Velasquez was charged for imitation firearm and attempted robbery and has since been remanded to the Belize Central Prison * Ernesto Caliz Jr has been charged for aggravated burglary and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. * Ian Cabañas was charged for two accounts of theft and one count of handling stolen goods. He has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Some men won’t change
    “Mr. Dennis, I don’t see why you don’t just drink cashew wine like me and Bob,” Mario said. “I made that wine myself.” Mario’s wife, Maria, came out on the porch with a cup of coffee in her hand, “Here, Mr. Dennis,” she said. “I got your coffee with no sugar like you asked.” “Thank you very much Maria.” “I like this homemade cashew wine. It tastes good,” Bob said. “Come on, try some just for me.” “Ain’t no use trying to talk him into it,” Mario said. “He been drinking that coffee for twenty-five years since I know him. When a man gets habits he won’t change just because somebody wants him to.”

    CRFM and fisheries powerhouse, Norway, launch fact-finding mission
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Government of Norway have launched a two-week mission to explore the development of a regional technical assistance project to be funded by Norway. The project would support the region’s fisheries and aquaculture sector by strengthening evidence-based management. Dr. Åge Høines, Senior Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and Dr. Johán Williams, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, began meeting on Monday, January 16, with CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton at the CRFM Secretariat in Belize City, after which the team embarked in a two-week dialogue with 7 CRFM Members States, beginning with senior government officials in Belize.

    Doctor Love: Thinking Ink
    Dear Doctor Love, I really want to get a tattoo but my mom says that as long as I live in her house I cannot have one. She says a tattoo becomes old very fast and they are a waste of money. There are girls at school who have tattoos and they are really nice and people like them. I think my mum is being old fashioned. I am good at art and I have drawn my own and I know a very good tattoo artist. If I got one it would permanent so my mother would have to accept it, right? What do you think? /s/ Thinking Ink

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    COMING SOON TO SEVEN SEAS
    BEIGNETS ON DA BEACH MON ! Can't wait to open the cafe ! Vieux Carré Cafe & Beignets on the beach ! Will be located here at seven seas resort !

    Help us ban glyphosate in Belize
    Please help all creatures of Belize become glyphosate/poison (round-up) free. Pro-Organic Belize, along with other groups, is working to protect the ecosystems and biodiversity of Belize by banning the use of glyphosate, a chemical herbicide used throughout Belize, which contaminates the fruits ,vegetables, soil, and water.

    Poets Corner: Jim Crow
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Belizean version of the Jim Crow Keeping the people stupid is the mantra of Barrow Not making them be fully cognizant Treating you like 3/5 cause you are ignorant It’s not racism but shows bias Belize reconstructs colonialism like fiberglass State imposed apartheid and imperialism Replacing the colonialist with these classism CARCICOM issues the fi the CCJ International Issues dah fi the ICJ CCJ courts have no jurisdiction in international arbitration This administration is a lawless band Every day Belize noh pay We incur interest by the day Seems like we have another half a billion fee coming our way Can the US say, “Obama’s 8 trillion debt we won’t pay” The country profited already anyway

    EnviroConnect Season 2
    The Department of the Environment is looking for people to be on season 2 of the EnviroConnect reality TV show. They are also looking for hosts. "EnviroConnect Belize is back!!!! We are now recruiting for Season 2"

    BHS Valentine Blues Revue
    The Belmopan Humane Society is having another spectacular Valentine Blues Revue, and Jimmy Thackery is playing again. The fun stats at 7:00pm on Saturday, February 11th. "Here we go folks! A Valentines Blues concert right here in the capital, Belmopan. more info to come tickets are available call 602 7947"

    The Reporter

    Spine overseas hold clinics today
    Over 25 Belizeans benefited today from specialized consultations with orthopedic doctors from the international organization Spine Overseas (SOS). The team of five arrived in Belize today and held a special clinic at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. They assessed patients with varying back problems, and identified candidates who would need surgery. The surgeries are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The KHMH has been running a collaboration with SOS for nine years, known as the Belize Spine Program. Through the program many Belizeans managed to receive surgeries at minimal cost that would have been upwards of $80,000 if they had needed to pay for it themselves. One such patient was Stephany Quiñones, who received the first scoliosis surgery in Belize in 2014. The SOS team has also donated over $160,000 in equipment to the KHMH over the course of the program thus far.

    Police determined to identify John Doe
    The Belize Police Department has determined that the body of a man found in the Belie River this week was that of Ladyville resident, Dane Dawson. Police found Dawson’s decomposing body floating faced down in the river near the Manatee Lookout area, between miles seven and eight on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Thursday morning. According to the autopsy report, Dawson’s cause of death was drowning. Pathologist Hugh Sanchez, explained that depending on the water temperature, a body could start decomposing under those conditions between two to three days, which means that Dawson could have died between Monday and Tuesday.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Between These Lines ….“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  Winston S. Churchill
    Although I publicly advocated and voted for an “elected Senate” in the February 2008 referendum, I do not support Belize having a fully elected upper chamber in our bi-cameral legislature.For the record I supported the Musa administration expansion of the Senate to include social partner […]

    Police identify drowning victim
    Police have identified the man found in the Belize River near the old Rose Garden area on the Philip Goldson highway last Thursday as Ladyville resident Dane Dawson. Police confirmed his identity on Saturday. Dawson was buried shortly after police discovered his rapidly decomposing body […]

    Blogs

    Saturday in San Pedro: Beautiful Weather and a March Against Off-Shore Drilling
    January in Belize is absolutely stunning. The temperature highs plummet to the low 80s and sometimes the mid to high 70s. The air is a bit crisper. All the migrating birds are here. I was headed down to Central Park for a rally against Offshore Drilling in Belize. The government okayed seismic testing in October 2016 without consulting the public. The people of Ambergris Caye turned out in droves to SAY NO and the testing was shut down. On our caye, everyone, directly or indirectly, make our livings from our environment. Citizens turned out to say No to Oil off our coast. Exploration and drilling. We need to make it law. As I was headed north, I stopped for a moment to see “The Reef Angels” spearheaded by MJ and his PassionKite crew, collecting bottles. His growing team freedives and gathers trash from the ocean floor. GO REEF ANGELS. For information on how you can join them OR learn kite boarding in some of Belize’s most beautiful waters, check out PassionKite.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters with Mrs. Mendoza, 66min.

  • Celebrating the first anniversary of the Seastar Belize dive barin San Pedro with the Gasoline Lollipops all the way from Boulder, Colorado!!, 1/2min.

  • Freedive in the Hol Chan Preserve, Belize, 4min. Some clips of Steve and Bre at Hol Chan and Shark Ray alley in Belize. Beautiful creatures but torture for a couple of spearfishers.

  • Belize - 2017, 4min. 1. Snorkeling Adventure - Coral Garden, Tarpon Feeding, Shark Ray Alley and Caye Caulker Beach Break with Belize Exotic Adventures. I did not film the snorkeling or shark feeding bit since we were in the water swimming. But I filmed the tarpon feeding, which was really cool! 2. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins with Pacz Tours. This is the 2nd tallest structure in Belize (behind the temple at Caracol) but it was really easy to climb. The view is spectacular. We also stopped at Cahal Pech Ruins that are walking distance from San Ignacio as well as the iguana sanctuary at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. 3. Caracol Mayan Ruins along with Rio Frio Cave and Rio on Pools with MayaWalk Tours. Caracol is a fairly large site with many temples to climb, as well as the largest structure in Belize! The road took a bumpy 2 hours to get here, but worth it. Rio On Pools are natural pools in a river that felt refreshing after hiking around the ruins. 4. Tikal Mayan Ruins in Guatemala with Pacz Tours. This is a must for anyone going to Belize. Tikal is too close to Belize to pass up, and it's the largest Mayan ruins site. Countless temples to climb, all surrounded by jungle and wildlife. One can never forget this is where George Lucas filmed Yavin 4 in the original Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. 5. Cave tubing with MayaWalk Tours in the Caves Branch river system at the Nohoch Che'en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve. After a 45 minutes hike through the jungle, we floated peacefully down a river that passed through multiple caves and jungle. This video was filmed between January 3rd, 2017 to January 9th, 2017. It consists mainly of my adventures with my family in Belize, but a quick side trip to Tikal in Guatemala.

  • Day 6 Belize & New Years Eve Dinner, 12min.

  • Day 6 New Years Eve in Belize part 1, 15min. Carnival Dream 2016 went tubing in Belize. This is part 1 showing Tendering, Bus ride through Belize City, and Walk through Rain Forest!! What a New Years!!!! Holy Cow

  • CCA 2017: Belize vs Honduras Highlights, 1.5min.

  • CCA 2017: Belize vs Honduras whole match, 2hr.

    January 22, 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

    What’s New: Paradice Cream
    A new ice cream parlor has opened its doors to La Isla Bonita, and of course, The San Pedro Sun had to get the “scoop” on this new businesses! Located across Tropic Air on 26 Coconut Drive, Paradice Cream Parlor offers its customers a variety of 30 flavors to choose from. The current popular flavor is chocolate candy, but be sure to try local flavors, and the array of fun toppings available! After 10 years of ice cream-making, Owner Mike Tadlock claims that his recipe has been perfected over years of practice. “Freshness is my key ingredient. There are no artificial flavors, colors or dyes in my ice cream. We get our milk and cream from a dairy in South Florida, USA. All recipes are original, and I can make up to six gallons a day,” said Tadlock.

    Caye Caulker is a model for how to co-exist with crocodiles
    In the mid 1990’s, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)/Species Survival Commission-Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) conducted a countrywide survey of the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in Belize, declaring the species as Vulnerable by the IUCN RedList as a result of habitat loss, and rapid development in some of their key nesting sites. At that time, the crocodile population of Caye Caulker was considered a population still in recovery from past overexploitation, detailing the difficulty in getting close to crocodiles, likely a result from constant harassment and continuous poaching. However, a recent published study conducted by the Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC), illustrates a positive reversal from the last official study of this population 20 years ago. The study conducted by CRC (co-founded by Dr. Marisa Tellez, a member and Vice Regional Chair of Latin America of the CSG) in collaboration with the Forest and Marine Reserve of Caye Caulker (FAMRACC) illustrates a population recovered from past harassment and exploitation, thriving and co-existing with the local community. Members of the CRC conducted habitat, nocturnal eyeshines, and capture surveys in January and March 2016, performing health assessments and identifying the external crocodile-specific parasite Paratrichosoma, which Dr. Tellez has identified as a bio-indicator of environmental fluctuations and stability given its prevalence and other parasitological characteristics.

    Saga Humane Society’s new licensed veterinarian is Dr. Donald Tummons
    After nearly a year of permit filings, rigorous testing, and interviews, the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Belize has granted Dr. Donald Tummons all rights and privileges to serve as a licensed Veterinarian in Belize. Dr. Tummons will not only practice as a volunteer at Saga Humane Society, but he will be offering his services to all Humane Societies throughout the entire country. With over 43 years of experience, this renewable one-year license will allow him to give much needed veterinary care to animals of all shapes, breeds, and sizes. Dr. Tummons expressed his gratitude to everyone who was involved in securing the license. “Becoming the first non-resident Belizean veterinarian took a lot of time, patience and the efforts of many people. I am indebted to the board and staff of Saga, Dr. Gongora and Dr. DePaz from the Belize Veterinary Surgeons Board, officials from the Ministries of Labor and Immigration, Dr. Orlando Baptist, Ingrid Lima and the many others who helped in any way,” said Tummons.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Small fire in San Marcos
    A small fire broke out in the San Marcos residential area (south of San Pedro Town) frighting the neighborhood as people started their morning routine. The San Pedro Fire Department quickly arrived at the scene at about 7:30a.m. and quickly extinguished the fire that destroyed a small bodega/workshop situated in an empty lot between two homes. There were no reports of any injures or damage to nearby homes.

    LOVE FM

    Belize’s House Speaker to take over presidency of regional body
    Belize is poised to take over the Presidency of FOPREL which is an organization with representatives from the Legislative bodies in Central America and the Caribbean. Newly appointed House Speaker Laura Longsworth will become the President sometime next month. Today, Speaker Longsworth and President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang met with Dr. Santiago Rivas […]

    New Speaker looks to keep order in the House of Representatives
    Laura Longsworth has taken over the reins within the National Assembly as she assumed the post of House Speaker. Longsworth presided over her first session last week. Over the last few years the House meetings have been known for the fiery exchanges . Today we asked Longsworth how she will maintain order during her tenure. […]

    House speaker adjusting to new roles
    The role of House Speaker is just one more cap that Laura Longsworth is wearing. As we reported earlier, in the next few weeks, Longsworth will assume the Presidency of the regional body, FORPEL. Longsworth was asked if she is overwhelmed by the added responsibilities. Laura Longsworth – House Speaker “The legislature has a responsibility […]

    Senator breaks down fifty million dollar loan from Taiwan
    Yesterday a loan motion to the tune of fifty million Belize dollars was presented in the Senate. The loan is from the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan. The loan is categorized as a sovereign bi-lateral loan which is being facilitated by Mega International Commercial Bank Company Limited. The loan is for twenty […]

    Agriculture Minister speaks on future of banana industry
    Late last year it was announced that the shareholders of Fyffes, which is Belize’s largest purchaser of bananas, had approved a takeover bid made by Japanese group Sumitomo Corporation. According to reports, the deal gained the approval of 99.9 per cent of investors during a vote at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, with executive chairman […]

    Shrimp industry looks to rebound
    The shrimp industry in Belize is fighting to stay alive. In 2015 the industry suffered a devastating loss of more than thirty million dollars due to a bacterial disease. Since then the industry has slowly been recuperating and there was hope that by this year, the industry would be performing at its best. Agriculture Minister, […]

    President of the Senate speaks on negotiations with Government over sale of building in Belmopan
    At last week’s House of Representatives meeting, the area representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requena rose to query Government’s potential purchase of a building belonging to President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang. Requena wanted to know the price of the building. Since then the figure of four million dollars has been put out there. […]

    New alcaldes sworn in
    Today seventy six alcaldes were sworn in by Justice Antoinette Moore. The Alcaldes will serve a two year term and will act under the authority of both the Maya cultural tradition and the Constitution of Belize. Over the years the alcaldes have acted as guardians of Maya values and norms in the 38 Maya villages. […]

    Oppositon questions timing of referendum amendment act
    A bill to amend the Referendum Act was passed by the Senate yesterday. The amendment seeks to lower the threshold to carry out a referendum in regards to Guatemala’s unfounded claim over Belize. The threshold was originally set at sixty percent but after the amendment passed through the lower and upper parliament it will now […]

    Tax bill debated
    Another bill that was debated was the Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (Amendment) Bill 2016. The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters was developed jointly by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Council of Europe in 1988 and amended by Protocol in 2010. The Convention is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument […]

    The Reporter

    Ahmadiyya Muslims prepare for annual convention
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim sect in Belize is organizing its third annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) for next weekend, January 27 and 28 at the IT-VET coference room in Belize City. The religious event offers keen knowledge about the Ahmadiyya Muslims’ belief, that the long-awaited Messiah has already come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth, whose advent was foretold by the Ptophet of Islam, Muhammad. Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to put an end to religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. The Ahmadiyya’s claim Ahmad has united the family of religions under the banner of the true Islamby safeguarding the teachings of Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Guru Nanak, Lao Tzu and Zoroaster.

    Scientists make definitive link between stress and heart attacks
    Scientists from Harvard Medical School believe that after more than three years of study, they have found out how high levels of stress causes a heart attack. The study, published in The Lancet medical journal pointed to heightened activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that reacts to stress. The amygdala prepares the body for harmful experiences, such as being physically attacked, by telling the bone marrow to temporarily produce more white blood cells, to begin repairing damaged tissue or fight off infection. The researchers found that chronic stress leads to a similar reaction; however, because there is no damage for the white blood cells to repair, they remain in the body and form plaque in the arteries of the heart. Researchers monitored the brain activity, bone marrow, spleen and inflammation of the arteries of 293 patients for three years and seven months. During the study period 22 peolple experienced cardiovascular events such as heart attack, angina, heart failure, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fatal Traffic accident in Otro Benque, Orange Walk
    Reports are that there was a fatal traffic accident around midnight lastnight in Otro Benque in Orange Walk. A 20-year-old man reportedly crashed his motorcycle into a lamp post and died on the spot. BBN will have more information on this as an official […]

    Trump now officially president
    Donald Trump is now the 45th President of the United States of America Billionaire businessman Donald Trump was officially sworn into office as the 45th President of the USA at US capital in Washington D.C. yesterday. It was a historic transfer of power as former president […]

    Blogs

    Lake Atitlan: My Breathtaking Last Stop in Guatemala
    I’m not sure how describe exactly how stunning Lake Atitlan, Guatemala is. A lake of unknown depths, deep clear sapphire blue, surrounded by volcanoes so steep that is seems impossible that anyone lives there. PERFECT summer days and cool nights at 5000 feet. The warm air from the Pacific rises up from the west forming fairy tale clouds. If you are coming in from Guatemala City or Antigua, you are going to be dropped off at the hub of the lake, Panajchel or “Pana”. Here’s a look at Pana. It is the only town that has supermarkets, ATM machines (none worked for me) and nightlife. You can certainly choose a smaller village – some don’t even have a guest house – but I liked Pana for the convenience. It’s the hub of transport to the other villages. The very first village I visited was San Antonio. A tiny TINY town on the side of a volcano where almost all the residents wear gorgeous blue. And the way to get there is to hop on the back of the pick up trucks that run back and forth. Q5 or less than $1US for the 20 minute steep, twisting ride. The very next day I headed out on one of the transit boats to the town of San Marcos. I had heard that this village is ‘mystical’ and wanted to find out exactly what that means. The boat ride was breathtaking. The view is really hard to believe.

    Things To Do In Belize…Besides Tropical Islands
    With its abundance of golden sunshine, fantastic weather, and hundreds of miles of coastline along the Caribbean, it's no surprise that one of the most iconic attractions in Belize is its many picturesque tropical islands. But Belize has far more to offer than sea and sand; the country is home to enormous nature preserves, pristine jungles, labyrinthine caves, rainforests teeming with life, and some of the most impressive ancient Maya ruins ever discovered. The geology of Belize has created hundreds of caves, including many large subterranean spaces that were used by the ancient Maya to conduct some of their most important religious rituals. The ancient Maya priests believed that caves were a sacred space that connected the world of the humans to the world of the gods. Today, visitors can explore caves like Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) where the remains of human sacrificial victims have lain undisturbed for more than 1,000 years. Whether it's catching sight of the majestic plumage of a tropical bird soaring through the rainforest or climbing up into the canopy to get a bird's eye view of the jungle, bird watching and zip lining are two of the most iconic attractions in Belize.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters at Sgt Peppers, 58min.

  • Just one of the many, many reasons why we must protect our beautiful Belizean waters, 1/2min. View from the sugar barge off the coast of Belize. It looks like a whale, perhaps Baleen. This video was taken this morning by sugar workers on the barge in Belize City habour, approximately 5 nautical miles from mainland. Yet another beautiful reason to love and protect Belize.

  • San Pedro residents and supporters formed a human 'No Oil' sign bringing awareness against offshore oil exploration, 1/2min.

  • San Pedro Town says NO to offshore oil exploration!, 1/2min.

  • At Central Park forming a human NO OIL sign., 19min.

  • Say No To Off Shore Oil Exploration in Belize - 2017, 1/2min.

  • Belize - Belize City, Jakub ze Skierniewic, 8min.

  • Interview with the soulful Belizean stylist of reggae music, Lloyd Carlton McFarlane, aka Eljai, 11min. The long awaited exclusive interview with the soulful Belizean stylist of reggae music, Lloyd Carlton McFarlane, aka Eljai is here. The two part feature on the Belizean reggae artist is a must see that chronicles the talented Belizean musical artist's transformation from the Belizean ballad singer for the bands "The Dominators" and "Belize", and onward to become one of reggae music's most rising musical artist today in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. As Eljai continues to break down barriers in reggae music through his many world tours in the U.S., the Caribbean, Africa, and now into Europe next year on a 2017 world tour, the Belizean reggae superstar discusses his musical life with Belizean Legends Bilal Morris, and brings a special message to his many fans in Belize, Los Angeles, Africa, the Caribbean and other cities in the U.S.

    January 21, 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

    Super Bond Committee rejects Belize’s bond restructuring offer
    The proposed term changes to Belize’s US$530 million super bond have been rejected. On Tuesday, January 17th, a recently appointed Bondholder Committee confirmed the news through an official statement. According to the Committee, the changes suggested by the Government of Belize would not just reduce the net present value of the bond by almost 50%, but they were also considered premature. Belize launched a consent solicitation on Thursday, January 12th, attempting to convince bondholders to amend the amortization schedule and lower the coupon on the note, which Belize has declared unable to pay. The Committee indicated that Belize is asking for a further 40% reduction on top of the cumulative 50% reduction already given in two previous restructurings. Adviser to the Committee Charles Blitzer told Belizean media that bondholders will not abide repeated restructuring. “In the view of the bondholders, this is the third time that Belize has asked for debt relief with the same underlying obligations, which is unusual,” said Blitzer.

    Seven members sworn-in to reactivate Integrity Commission of Belize
    After eight years of inactivity, the Integrity Commission of Belize was officially sworn-in by the Government of Belize (GOB) on Friday, January 13th. The pressure to enact this commission was a demand for good governance and to fight against corruption within many organizations, including the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). Seven were appointed at the National Assembly Building in Belmopan: Chairperson Attorney Marilyn Williams, along with members Armead Gabourel, Wilmot Simmons, Lisbeth Delgado, Melissa Balderamos Mahler, Claudet Grinage and Nestor Vasquez. Established under the 2007 Prevention of Corruption Act, the Integrity Commission is intended to investigate complaints or any other declaration regarding non-compliance under the act. The commission also has rights to investigate matters pertaining to corruption and is required to make scheduled reports to the Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow. Another duty of the commission is to examine the declared statements of assets and liabilities of persons who are government officials. The current deadline for elected officials to submit their declarations is December 31, 2017 with an extension up to March 2018.

    Christopher Newport University Student-Teachers collaborate with island educators
    A group of seven students from the Christopher Newport University (CNU) in the State of Virginia, USA were on Ambergris Caye collaborating with local teachers for two weeks. These students are in their final semester in their Teacher’s Education Master’s Degree program, and the trip to the island is part of their program’s requirement to engage in teaching activities at both primary and secondary school levels. Led by CNU professors Doctor Judy Pantelidis and Rita Kohr, the student groups have been coming to Belize for 11 years. Professor Pantelidis told The San Pedro Sun that they are pleased that their teacher- students are able to partner with Belizean teachers again. “Professor Kohr and I teach this class back at the University and at the end of the class, we come down here for two weeks, where students exchange teaching methodologies with the local teachers,” said Pantelidis. “When we first started coming, we used to work with the Holy Cross Anglican School and then branched out the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) and the San Pedro High School (SPHS).” She stated that this year, they are only working with SPRCS and SPHS.

    Social Security holds public consultation on proposed increase in contribution wage bands
    The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) has publicly denied the rumours of any increase in the contribution wage bands for 2017. However, at a public consultation on Tuesday, January 17th in San Pedro Town, the SSB engaged island residents in a discussion regarding a possible increase in the contributions for 2018. The consultation was led by General Manager of Policy and Programs at SSB, Chandra Cansino, who explained that if approved, the new increase will primarily affect persons that are making a salary between $300 to $500 dollars per week. According to her, employers will also be affected by the new norm once the increase is approved. “The contributions that the employers make will be affected to some extent, however, in order to finalize by how much, we need to have more conversations with employers, and unions as to how the distribution will be in regards to that,” said Cansino.

    The Belize Police Department registers a decrease in crime for 2016
    The official crime statistics for 2016 have been released by the Belize Police Department (BPD). The report shows a 3.6% decrease in crimes, compared to 2015. In total, 2,137 crimes were reported to the police department across the country, with theft registering highest in 2016. 2016 saw a total of 138 murders in the country, 19 more than in 2015, with San Pedro Town registering eight fatalities for 2016, the same number as 2015. Police also indicated that less than 50% or the murder cases saw and arrest made with only 65 arrests made. Unlawful Sexual Intercourse and Robbery also saw an increase around the country, while rape and theft incidents decreased. San Pedro Town saw an increase of 17.5% in robbery and unlawful sexual intercourse. Robbery was once again attributed to the influx of people during the tourism high season.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    OPERATIONS AT SOLID WASTE TRANSFER STATIONS AND LANDFILL, WESTERN CORRIDOR
    The Ministry Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWaMA) hereby informs the general public and the municipalities that the transfer of solid waste from the San Ignacio/Santa Elena – Benque Viejo, Belize City, Burrell Boom and San Pedro Ambergris Caye transfer stations to the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill is ongoing. We are in the process of sourcing a barge for the servicing of Caye Caulker transfer station, and indications are, that barging will commence on Saturday, January 21st, 2017. The Ministry and BSWaMA will ensure that solid waste continues to be received at the aforementioned transfer stations between normal working hours, which are: 08:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday and 08:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays, while the situation with PASA Belize Limited is being sorted out.

    BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE participates in Live & Invest Overseas Conference 2017
    As part of its investment promotion endeavors, BelizeINVEST, a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), participated in the 2017 edition of the Live and Invest Overseas Conference held on Friday January 20, 2017 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize City. The event hosted over 60 attendees from the U.S and Canada interested in learning more about Belize as a retirement destination and its investment opportunities, inclusive of government incentives available. As a three day conference, the event also encompassed key presentations from various public and private sector representatives on the business and lifestyle facets in Belize.

    Free Theatre Workshop on Caye Caulker
    Calling all creative children ages 7-12! Meet this Saturday Jan.21st, 1-2pm, in the Village Council upstairs room. Dora Carroll is the Associate Artistic Director of Bravura Theatre. She will share fun theatre games and masks with island children, followed by a theatre club for Ocean Academy students interested in performing Shakespeare's plays...in Kriol.

    Skydiving Belize
    Thrill seekers are an uncommon breed and all you need sometimes is 4 minutes of insane courage at 12,000 feet, falling from the sky at 125 miles per hour in 40 degrees Farenheit. January 13th was a first for me and the second I departed the plane, it felt I was hit with a bucket of ice. The G-Force was incredible. It was a rush that is hard to explain. I survived just literally 4 minutes of bravery. I promise something great will come out of it because Jah is my co-pilot. Leonardo Da Vinci once said "For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will forever lookup". I shall continue to walk with my head high because when you know your limitations, you can defy them. Everything after this experience is possible and I mean anything. I have a new positive outlook of life after this crazy but merited Sky Dive experience. I encourage you to try it. It is not a game for the weak at heart and friends, don't try it at home but try it with Sky Dive San Pedro team for a great experience.

    Helping Hands Intervention and Resource Center
    'A helping hand can change lives.' That's the Helping Hands Intervention and Resource Center's motto, and they are proving it to be true. They provide free homework assistance after school from 4:00 to 6:00pm. If you would like to volunteer, they'd love your help. Thanks, Helping Hands! "Helpings Hands is proud to announce that our tutoring and home work help program is up and running! We are looking to recruit passionate tutors and homework helpers. If you have some free time during after school hours (4-6pm) or anytime on the weekends, and would like to help students learn, we are looking for you.

    Blues Meets Girl
    The Soul Project is the place to be tonight! Steev Inglish, the famous Blues musician, will be performing his 'Blues Meets Girl' musical production.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend

    Corozal - Escuela Secundaria Técnica México celebrates its 34th Anniversary
    Today Deputy Primer Minister and Minister of Education Patrick Faber, joined by Minister of State of the Ministry of Health Dr. Angel Campos and Honorary Consul of Mexico Maria Luisa Espat, joined the Principal Carlos Castillo, teachers, staff, parents and students of the “Escuela Secundaria Técnica México” to celebrate its 34th Anniversary in San Roman, Corozal District. This is a great example of how Mexican cooperation efforts can be achieved to benefit young people in Belize "Agencia Mexicana de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo".

    Access Life Expo Setup
    Access-Life, Inc. and Hearts of Christ have teamed up, and are having the Access Life Expo at Sacred Heart College's auditorium today. They've brought 100's of wheelchairs and crutches, and are giving them to those in need. Saturday, January 21st, from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

    Channel 7

    Senate President Discusses Chon Saan Building Purchase
    A week ago, we showed you Prime Minister Dean Barrow's response to a question in last Friday's House Meeting. It was about the proposed government purchase of Senate President Lee Mark Chang's Chon Saan building in Belmopan. The Government is seeking to buy a new building for the Immigration Department, but the Prime Minister said last week that Chang's asking price to sell to them is $300,000 more than the Government is willing to pay. Today, when we met Chang at another event, we asked him about the Prime Minister's suggestion that his price is too high, and shared an appraisal done on the building by the firm Mahung and Partners Limited. Seen here, these valuers have assessed the building and they say that it is worth 2 million dollars, or 1.8 million if Chang and his family are forced to sell it under duress. The Government has done its own independent valuation of the building, and their expert puts the value lower. So, is the Senate President and his family prepared to bring the price down to close the sale? That's what we asked him, but it appears that Chang was itching for someone to come asking about it so that he could get the opportunity to maul the media house - not us - who reported that he was asking the Government for 4 million dollars. Here's how he put it:

    Golden Bay Was Hiring Illegal Workmen
    The Golden Bay building on Marine Parade in Belize City - it's still under construction - but it's shaping up to be one of the largest buildings in the city. But, today we found out that the construction work is being done by illegal labour. Our 7News team was on the scene when the Police Mobile Interdiction Team descended on the construction site. But they weren't looking for illegal labour. They were looking for one of the 10 Salvadorian MS-13 gang members who escaped jail in their country on New Year's Day. Well, they didn't find him, but when the MIT Personnell asked the workers for their "papeles" it turns out that none of them had a work permit. They took all 15 of them to the Queen Street police station where they are still detained tonight pending immigration charges.

    Guns In A Graveyard
    The last place you might expect to find a concealed weapon is a village graveyard, but yesterday morning at 7:00, Belize rural police searched an area in the Sand Hill cemetery where they found a .22 rifle. And, in another bushy area of the village, the cops found a 9-millimeter pistol, and one magazine in a plastic bag. This was close to a stash of two ounces of weed, along with five small, marijuana trees hidden underneath buckets. No one in the area, so all items were deposited as found property.

    Carl Reneau For Murder, Not The First Time
    Jaheem Mahler's accused killer went to court today. As we told you, Iguana Street Extension resident 28 year old Carl Reneau has been charged with the murder of the 15 year old boy. Reneau appeared before Senior magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read the charge. He was remanded into custody until February 24th. Mahler was shot and killed on Tuesday night on Iguana Street Extension. This is not Carl Reneau's first time before the court. In 2013, he was charged for stabbing two 15 year old's. It allegedly happened on Antelope Street - one block away from Wednesday night's murder scene on Iguana Street. Before that he was accused of murder in 2009, for allegedly killing Brian Williams - who was shot 8 times. And in 2008, he was charged for the attempted murder of Delroy Matura, who was shot 7 times. We note that he was charged, but not convicted for these offences.

    Rider Remains A Mystery
    Last night we showed you the images of this man on bicycle. Police say he is a prime suspect in a non fatal shooting - but they won't say which shooting at this time, so as not to trigger violent retaliation. But even though the image has been plastered on the news and on Facebook, the cops say they still have not gotten a positive identity. So if you do know who it is, you can call the police or, 0-800-922-TIPS, or you can Inbox Chester Williams on Facebook.

    "Wahaca" (Oaxaca) Weed From Back-A-Botes
    Customs Enforcement in the north is known for catching contraband alcohol and produce - as we showed you last night. But, today, they busted a kilo of high grade weed, which they believe was coming down from Botes. That's the Mexican village which is across from Santa Cruz in Belize. This morning, acting on intelligence, Customs set chase after four men in a silver Volkswagen car on the San Antonio Road. One of the men escaped, and three were arrested: one is from Taylor's Alley in Belize City, and two are from Carmelita village in the Orange Walk District. Customs say they men had the kilo of weed separated into two bricks, which was stuffed into hardhats, the kind used by construction workers. The three are being held, along with the vehicle and the weed by the police Narcotics Unit pending charges. Police believe they know the identity of the fourth suspect who escaped.

    New House Speaker Will Take Over Regional Body
    FOPREL is an abbreviation for the Forum of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments of Central America and the Caribbean basin. That's the organization in which the leaders of parliament from 10 Countries, mostly Central American, discuss shared challenges, including transnational organized crime. New House Speaker Laura Longsworth now represents Belize in that body. And, at the end of February, she'll assume the rotating presidency of FOPREL. She takes over from the leader of Guatemala's parliament. Today, a senior executive of FOPREL's Permanent Secretariat came to Belize to meet with her and Senate President Lee Mark Chang. They were discussing what it would mean when Belize assumes the presidency. Our 7News team stopped by to speak with the House Speaker, the President and the FOPREL Representative. Here's what they told us: Dr. Santiago Leclair - Permanent Secretary, FOPREL: "On this occasion, we have visited Belize since the parliament of Belize correspond to assume the pro-temporary presidency of our forum. There are 10 parliaments that we have."

    Speaker Laura and The Learning Curve
    So, this is just one more responsibility which Longsworth has to manage along with the very steep learning curve in parliamentary procedure and house politics. So, how is she handling it? That's what we asked today: Hon. Laura Longsworth - Speaker of the House: "It was interesting, you had the gallery there, and there I am in the middle, trying to observe and understand what's going across the floor, because what we see on TV is one thing, and there is actual interaction across the floor. So, my first day had to do with paying keen attention to the entire interaction, paying keen attention to what I need to do to maintain order, keeping in mind the Standing Orders, and wondering why people don't follow the Standing Orders." Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "Often times, a major criticism of the House is the way it's run and the way how Elected Members tend to have these meetings devolve into a back-and-forth, a name-calling, and finger pointing session. Have you observed that, and do you have ideas on how you will keep them in line?"

    Senate Spars Over Taiwan Money
    "Budgetary support from Taiwan" - we've been hearing about that since the 90's - basically it means a soft loan or grant to cover the budget deficit - and government always has a deficit to cover. So after about 20 years of the Taiwan Tango, governments red and blue have probably gotten something like 500 million US dollars in budgetary support from Taiwan. That's why it didn't raise many eyebrows when a loan motion for another 25 million US dollars from Taiwan went to the House last week. But in the Senate - which likes its T's crossed and its I's dotted "just so", it did generate debate. The PUP side demanded to know what "budgetary support" means exactly. Here's the back and forth: Hon. Paul Thompson. PUP Senator: "This is 25 million US dollars, that's 50 million Belize dollars. That's not a small sum, that's a hefty sum, Mr. President. I ask these questions looking for answers, but also rhetorically. Mr. President as we are painfully aware that the nation's finances are in a bad situation after years of mismanagement, after years of freelancing, after years of partying, after years of rolling it, and miss-spending, years of flying blindly without an economic plan, we are now forced to borrow to simply meet day to day expenses."

    Business Community Balks At More Loans
    The loan is a sovereign, non-commercial loan at libor plus 2% - which, works out to about 3.5% at current rates. That's considered concessionary terms. But, the Senator for the business sector said that the debt burden on taxpayers and the business sector is too great. Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator: "The rates are not onerous rates, but what my concern was that we continue to add this debt burden to an already overburdened business community and citizenry. I mean how much more can we bear? We're already at the point where government is consuming 30% of our GDP in tax revenue, and now we hear that the revenue needs to be increased - depends on who you listen to - between 100 million and 200 million in the next fiscal year. I don't know where they're going to get that money from."

    Business Sectors Says Bondholders Have No Incentive To Renegotiate
    Senator Lizarraga also expressed little or no confidence in the will of bondholders to agree to restructure the Superbond for a third time. As we've reported, the bondholders committee rejected government's offer to reduce the interest rate to 4% and defer principal payments until the year 2036. The business senator says they bondholders have no incentive to take the deal:... Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator: "We are still questioning what motivation the bondholders have to renegotiate. Why would they want to renegotiate really? Unless it was for a better deal for them. So, we will watch this very closely, and, of course, hoping that the government can achieve some cash flow reprieve, but as well some significant savings. And we really don't see the bondholders motivated to move in that direction, really. Their motivation is that it's trading at 42 cents on the dollar. 40 cents. 40 cents on the dollar, soh obviously the market knows you're holding something close to junk.

    Belize's Hops All But Dashed In Copa
    Belize's hopes in the Copa Centroamericana have been all but dashed after a decisive loss to Nicaragua today. The final score was three to one in favour of Nicaragua. Belize's only goal came as a free kick by Captain Elroy Smith in the 54th minute. At the time, that was the equalizer to bring the score even at one goal apiece. At that point, Belize had hopes of a draw or a win, but things fell apart in the 83rd minute. That's when goalkeeper Shane Orio saved a shot, and scrambled to gain possession but came down with the ball on the goal line. Game officials ruled that he had crossed the plane of the goal while in the air. It was a tough call, and when Nicaragua scored again in the 90th minute, that was the final nail in the coffin. On Sunday's final day, Belize meets first-place Honduras and Nicaragua will take on El Salvador. Barring some miracle in that game, Belize is currently poised to finish last.

    SCA's Proud Day
    St. Catherine's Academy's Mercy Center had been in the works for years and in the planning stages for possibly decades. But construction on the building has been complete for a while now, and it's been the venue to many important sporting events, including FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship Qualifier and the Central American Senior Table Tennis Championship. But the multi-purpose center was just officially opened today. SCA held a ceremony to officially inaugurate the building as well as celebrate the 134th anniversary of the school. We spoke to principal, Salome Tillet about the importance of the new center, and Sister Lisa Griffith, about some new changes SCA will be seeing... Salome Tillet, Principal, SCA: "Today is a very special day for us. We celebrate 134 years of existence and service by the sisters of Mercy to Belize, so it's a happy day for us."

    Maya Leaders Looking Up
    The Toledo Alcalde's Association is reporting tonight they have a new group of alcaldes who are running the 38 Mayan villages in Southern Belize. There was a ceremony held today in which Justice Antoinette Moore, representing Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, administered the swearing in of 76 Alcaldes. They will be led by Santiago Quib, Alcalde of San Benito Poite, who was elected as the President of the Alcaldes Association. The ceremony was also witnessed by Justice o the Peace Pio Coc, Ernest Banner from the Ministry of Rural Development, the Punta Gorda Commanding Officer, Superintendent Clement Cacho, and Lawrence Bolon, the President of DAVCO-Toledo.

    Drug Free, The Way To Be At Canaan SDA
    There is only so much you can actively keep kids, especially teenagers, away from. Things like liquor and weed are drunk and puffed all around them and they aren't difficult to get a hold of either. But it doesn't mean parents or teachers shouldn't try. That's the focus of the Canaan Seventh Day Adventist School's "Be Drug Free" week. Today 250 Canaan school students took to the streets with their posters against drug use among youth. The march ended at the Memorial Park this morning and we spoke with the principal about the importance of this movement. Patricia Nembhard, Principal, Canaan Seventh Day Adventist: "It was an entire program for the entire week, on Monday we had Pastor Paul Casanova that came and brought awareness to the young people about drugs and on Tuesday we had a fair where we had the Coast Guard and the police department that also came and they had their booth and the young people were able to go to each booth and they were able to learn that drugs really kills and they need to stay away from drugs and on Wednesday we also had a competition , if you go to the school you can see the competition where the kids had a painting competition based on the theme : be drug free and drugs - what destroys you, yesterday we had a poem, a drama competition and also a music competition and today we end off the rally with this parade to let the community see that young people from Canaan Seventh Day Adventist School are aware that drugs destroy you and we are making sure , we are pledging we will not be a part of that."

    Trump Sends Signal Of Insular Foreign Police At Inauguration
    Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States today. His unlikely rise to the highest post in the world's most powerful country, has the world on edge tonight because no one really knows what to expect. But, Trump gave the indication of a far more insular foreign policy in his inaugural address where he described an America for Americans:... Donald Trump, 45th President of the USA: "We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families." More than 200 have been arrested in protests that erupted at the same time as the inauguration.

    Botes Not All That Bad
    Earlier on in the news – we told you how customs made a bust of Marijuana coming form Botes, Mexico. It’s one of the most popular villages for contrabandists and regular shoppers. We went there in 2008, and to give some context on this curious little place, we bring back that story tonight: Jules Vasquez Reporting, Santa Cruz Village, there’s not much to see here. In fact, a government school and a hurricane shelter are the only things that tell you you’ve arrived. It’s at the end of line – the south western edge of the Orange Walk District on the periphery of the Albion islands – sitting at the border with Mexico adjacent to the community on the other side, known as San Francisco Botes. But for the folks we met there it is the beginning of a journey back home – saddled down with plastic bags and knapsacks full of groceries. The groceries they carry are from Mexico – contrabanded into Belize.

    Channel 5

    Does Muslim Militant Killed in Philippines Have Belize Link?
    An Islamic militant killed in the Philippines last week may have family ties in Belize and tonight there are more questions than answers in this case. The story has been [...]

    Evangelical Association Petitions President Trump for Ambassador with “Biblical Values”
    This afternoon, Donald Trump was officially inaugurated as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America. He succeeds Barack Obama, who appointed Carlos Moreno, former California Supreme Court judge, [...]

    “Red flags” on Puerto Azul over Money Issues
    Following the inaugural Sitting of the Senate on Thursday, Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse, spoke at length with the media about the botched Puerto Azul project.  The proposed [...]

    Should Ministers Have Gone on Cannes Junket for Puerto Azul?
    Senator Hulse also admits that eyebrows were certainly raised when the developers mentioned the unbelievably high wages that housekeepers and landscapers would be receiving.  He says that the big money [...]

    Ara Macao is Back – But in What Form?
    In what can only be described as perverse fate, a week that featured news of an implosion of a mega-tourism development project, namely Puerto Azul, ends with news of a [...]

    Belize City Police Lock Down Possible Undocumented Workers
    A group of laborers, presumably from other countries within Central America, was rounded up by Belize City police this morning at a construction site of Golden Bay on Marine Parade. [...]

    Carl Reneau to Court for Jaheem Mahler Murder
    The accused gunman in the murder of Jaheem Mahler was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for arraignment this morning. Twenty-eight year old Carl Reneau appeared before Senior Magistrate [...]

    New Alcaldes Sworn-In in Toledo
    Seventy-six alcaldes representing thirty-eight Maya communities in Southern Belize took the oath of office earlier today during a swearing-in ceremony.  The traditional leaders were each elected by a majority of [...]

    Toledo Alcaldes Also Elect New President, Plan Strategy
    At the time of the swearing-in ceremony, Santiago Quib was chosen by the majority to ascend to the presidency of the TAA.  The Maya community also acknowledges the support given [...]

    The Math of the Referendum Act
    In wrapping up Thursday’s debate on the Referendum Act, which the Government is seeking to have amended to reflect a simple majority as validating a referendum on any issue, Leader [...]

    Fyffes Sell-Out to Sumitomo Should Not Affect Belize, Says Agriculture Minister
    In agricultural news: it slipped under the radar, but in December 2016, Irish fruit distribution company Fyffes, well known in Belize for purchasing Belizean bananas, was bought out by Japan’s [...]

    Shrimp Farming Tries to Rebound, But Difficulties Remain
    Among the most disappointing performers in Belize’s “big five” line-up of exports – sugar, citrus, bananas, marine products and petroleum – is marine products and particularly the shrimp farming industry. [...]

    Introducing Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath
    All this week we’ve been showing you snippets of Rebecca Rath’s journey to the Miss Universe crown in Manila, Philippines. Rath and the other contestants are participating in a number [...]

    What to Look For with Cyber Crime
    Cyber bullying is a crime that occurs every split of a second on social media. But the truth it, that at least for now, there is little that can be [...]

    Prestigious St. Catherine Academy Marks 134th Anniversary
    You probably know or are related to someone who studies or who has passed through the halls of Saint Catherine Academy. The all-girls high school continues as a vanguard institution [...]

    LOVE FM

    Former Immigration Minister says visa recommendations by Ministers is no big deal
    When the former acting director of Immigration, Maria Marin, appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee, she mentioned that a list of Government Ministers was created. According to Marin, these Ministers were red flagged because they were recommending persons they did not know for visas. What was alarming was the massive amount of visa recommendations […]

    Minister Hulse says revelations on Puerto Azul project not surprising
    When the Puerto Azul project was initially pitched to investors and the Government of Belize, the so called developers Domenico Giannini, and Fabio La Rosa spoke of an eight star resort with world class services and ‘out of this world’ accommodations. It sounded too good to be true and it turns out that it was. […]

    No mediation session set between Ministry of Education and BNTU
    The Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Union have yet to reach a compromise regarding the 11day strike carried out by thousands of teachers countrywide. The Ministry decided to not pay those teachers who participated in the strike. The BNTU took the matter to court and the Chief Justice ordered that both parties […]

    Senior Counsel calls out Prime Minister over comments on arbitration ruling
    Last Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow threatened economic war against Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited if the companies attempted to collect the fifty million dollars arbitration award. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay commented on the situation. Eamon Courtenay – Senior Counsel “I think the big picture here is whether or not Belize, […]

    Opposition attempts to adjourn Senate meeting
    Newly appointed Senator for the United Democratic Party Michael Peyrefitte was sworn in today at the start of the Sitting of the Senate. And while Peyrefitte was present for today’s senate sitting, the Senator who is to represent the non-governmental organizations, Osmany Salas was not. Prior to today’s sitting a request had been sent to […]

    Police need help to identify body retreived from river
    Police were called out this morning after receiving reports that a body was seen floating in the river in the Manatee Lookout area on the Philip Goldson Highway. At this time Police have not identified the identity of the individual. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the body was buried at the Lord Ridge […]

    Bus driver issued with NIP following fatal accident
    50-year-old bus driver Luciano Cabanas of Ranchito Village has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Cabanas was driving a bus on Tuesday night when he knocked down and killed an elderly man in Buena Vista Village. Police say their investigations have revealed that the elderly man lived between Trial Farm Village and Buena […]

    Transport Minister meets with shuttle operators in the south
    Minister of Transport Edmond Castro and officials from the Department of Transport were in Bella Vista Village in the Toledo District on Wednesday. The delegation met with shuttle bus operators to look at issues relating to the services they provide to the public, including the regularization and streamlining of the services. The Village Chairman, Juan […]

    Senators debate fifty million dollar loan from Taiwan
    A loan motion for twenty five million US dollars from the Government of China, Taiwan, was approved today in the Senate. According to the orders of the day, the Government received an offer from Taiwan as financial support. This offer comes in the form of a long term, concessionary loan of fifty million Belize dollars. […]

    Carl Reneau charged for murder of 15-year-old boy
    28-year-old Carl Reneau has been arrested and charged for the murder of 15-year-old Jaheem Mahler. The teenager was shot and killed on Tuesday night on Iguana Street Extension in Belize City.

    PlusTV

    Senator Lizarraga on Bondholders
    In other news from Belmopan, Business senator, Mark Lizarraga weighed in on the rejection of the first proposal for a renegotiated super bond by the bondholder’s committee. He said the business community is closely following the matter: Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Senator for the Business Community; We are...

    Nurses telephone call on Rise and Shine
    Over the last few days PlusNews has been receiving several complaints from nurses at the Western Regional hospital in Belmopan that several changes have been made in the way nurses are to carry out their responsibilities. These changes, they say, have been made without their permission as no consult...

    Amandala

    Bondholders say no to Belize!
    In a statement issued today, bondholders announced that they have rejected the offer released by the Government of Belize last week to holders of its 2038 billion-dollar bond, in which the Government proposed a reduction in interest rates and a delay in amortization payments due to economic exigencies. The committee has also indicated that it is not convinced that the partial fiscal adjustment measures announced by the Government of Belize will avert future problems and reduce the risk of yet another debt restructuring exercise down the road. The bondholder committee is composed of Greylock Capital Management, LLC; Grantham, Mayo, van Otterloo & Co. LLC; Steadfast Insurance Company and Capital Markets Financial Services Inc. The committee has additionally retained BroadSpan Capital LLC as financial advisor, Blitzer Consulting as special advisor, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP as legal advisor.

    Jamal Mahler, 15, murdered on Iguana Street Extension
    Last night at around 8:30 p.m., the life of another city youth was cut short by gun violence. Jamal Jaheem Mahler, 15, of Fabers Road, was murdered on Iguana Street Extension, in the south-side of Belize City. Police reported that Jamal and his two friends were on Iguana Street Extension when an unknown gunman approached and fired at them before escaping from the area. Mahler was hit in the face, chest, back and legs, but his friends escaped unhurt. Mahler was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

    Ruth Meighan “knows nothing” about Immigration Dept. scandal
    Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, was named in the Auditor General’s Special Audit into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Department after it was revealed that she had approved 12 of 15 applications for permanent residency even though the applicants did not meet legal requirements. Those persons were approved for permanent residency status in Belize even though it had been less than a year since they were issued their visas. In one shocking case, an individual was granted permanent residency in Belize only eighteen days after being issued a visa. When she was questioned at Wednesday’s Senate hearing, Meighan claimed that she simply did not see the visas when she was approving applications.

    Puerto Azul “fantasy island” was a $40 mil Ponzi scheme, Italian authorities allege
    A duo of Italian foreign investors who got the Government of Belize’s support years ago to explore the development of what had been billed as an ultra-luxury, 8-star resort dubbed Puerto Azul, near the Great Blue Hole, have been arrested on allegations that they were using the project as a part of a “Ponzi scheme” which duped over 200 investors, including famous Hollywood actors John Travolta and Andrea Bocelli, out of over 20 million euros, or nearly 40 million Belize dollars. Travolta and Bocelli, two Hollywood actors, were famously photographed back in 2014 at the launch of the Puerto Azul project in Cannes, France. Other notable figures at the event were three Belizean officials: Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, Investment and Trade Minister Erwin Contreras and Special Envoy for Women and Children – Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

    Unidentified man found floating in Belize River
    An unknown man has been laid to rest by the police department after his decomposing body was fished from the Belize River early this morning. His body was discovered floating down the river near the Manatee Lookout area at around Mile 8.5 on the Philip Goldson Highway sometime before 8 a.m. by passersby. When our newspaper spoke to onlookers we were told that they had thought it was a manatee that had perhaps been struck by a boat. However, a closer look revealed that it was a man of Creole descent, apparently in his early thirties, who was wearing a white under-shirt and brown under-pants. The Ladyville police station was immediately contacted.

    Friday’s fiery House debate on the ICJ referendum
    The Belize-Guatemala issue took center stage at Friday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives, the first for 2017, with both sides of the floor diametrically opposed to a move by the Barrow administration to do away with the 60% minimum voter turnout threshold from the Referendum Act—a change which comes three years after Guatemala demanded it, on the premise that the high threshold is not conducive to a ‘yes’ vote on the question of whether the parties should submit the territorial differendum to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). At the end of Friday’s fiery debate, 16 members of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) voted ‘yes,” thus carrying the vote; while 9 members of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP)—which was far more vocal in the debate—voted ‘no.’ There were 5 members of parliament absent and 1 suspended – that is, Cayo South area representative for the PUP, Julius Espat.

    Belize line-up in 3-1 loss to El Salvador on Tuesday
    Some day we hope to find out what was wrong with our Belize Jaguars at the start of Tuesday’s Copa Centroamericana clash with El Salvador at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. The Belize team looked lethargic, almost disoriented at the start of the match, and was simply overwhelmed by El Salvador’s swarming attack, out-numbering our midfield and defense every step of the way with aggressive player and ball movement, so that the goals seemed almost inevitable. Thank goodness, it was only 3-1. There were a couple bright individual sparks for the Jaguars, most notably Denmark Casey’s fine feed, and Deon McCaulay’s clinical finish, as well as the splendid attacking thrusts by Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton following his long over-due entry into the game in late second half.

    Orange Walk football games, results & schedule
    The Orange Walk Football Association’s (OWFA) Under 10 finals were held at Orange Walk Technical Field on Saturday, January 14. In the third-place game, Trial Farm Crocodiles won by default over San Lazaro. And in the championship final, Landy’s Jrs. shut out Minions, 3-0, with 2 goals from Raul Witzil and 1 from Mark Bainton, Jr. Under 17 games: Two Under 17 games were also played at Orange Walk Technical Field on Saturday. Vibes Alive won, 4-1, over Black Water of Trial Farm; and Colombia dropped Orange Walk Central Stars, 1-0, on a goal by Andir Chi.

    Why Guatemala is not at the Copa Centroamericana
    Some fans, especially our brothers and sisters with connections to Guatemala, keep asking us why the Guatemalan national team is not participating in this Central American Cup, which is a qualification tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this year. All other Central American teams, including Belize, are in Panama participating in the Copa Centroamericana. We sympathize with the Guatemalan fans. Our country, Belize, has had, and continues to have serious problems with the “big people” who “run things” in Guatemala. The agenda of these “big people” who run Guatemala is indeed a threat to our very existence as a nation, “from proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon.” They claim us, our homeland, our birthright. Is there any greater disregard to the dignity of an independent, sovereign people?

    Dangriga sports stats
    In secondary school football yesterday, Tuesday, in the Dangriga Zone, game 1 of the 5-game series between the females of Delille Academy and Ecumenical ended in a 1-1 draw. Orelle Gillett scored at the 19th minute of first half for Delille, while Veleene Tasher hit the equalizer for Ecumenical at the 19th minute of second half. In the males, Delille Academy won, 4 goals to 2, over ANRI. Wayne Ford scored 2, and Darney Garcia and Eaton Garcia got 1 apiece for Delille; while ANRI goals came from Sedeeke Zuniga and James Aranda. Tuesday’s games were hosted by Delille Academy.

    The Emperor of Belize
    When Mexico and Central America became independent from Spain in 1821, Roman Catholic Mexico held a kind of hegemony over Roman Catholic Central America. The Anglican, English-speaking settlement of Belize, not yet an official British colony but very much linked with British Jamaica, was stuck, geopolitically speaking, in between Mexico and Central America (which did not include Panama at that time.) In 1823, the Central American republics – Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica broke away from Mexico and formed a Central American Confederation. The year of 1823, interestingly enough, was the same year the United States of America, independent from Great Britain less than a half a century at the time, declared the Monroe Doctrine, through which the Americans declared their authority over the Western Hemisphere. Soon after they broke away from Mexico, the Central American republics began fighting amongst themselves. Around 1840 or so, the one Rafael Carrera emerged as the President of Guatemala, which had defeated the army of Francisco Morazán, who had basically enjoyed the support of Honduras and El Salvador.

    From The Publisher
    When things began becoming dangerous around me in 1969 and 1970, I didn’t turn to my own class of people, who may be described as the petit bourgeoisie. I turned to the lumpenproletariat of Belize. In thinking about it so long after the fact, I suppose it may really have been that, as opposed to my turning to the lumpenproletariat, that they in fact chose to come to my rescue. Whichever it was, the distinction is now merely a matter of academic exercise. In brute, street terms, what is relevant is that there was a working relationship between a university graduate and relatively uneducated, substantially unemployed core of Belizeans. Between 1965 and 1968 in New Hampshire, I had listened carefully to the experiences of the man Guy Mhone, who had been a student activist in Malawi. Malawi had been a British colony in the southern part of Africa called Nyasaland. The same British stamp on Nyasaland had been used to stamp British Honduras. The British used the same stamp on all their colonies. All over the world, wherever the British had held colonies, these colonies were becoming independent in the 1960s, and the nationalist leaders who emerged to lead the parliamentary democracies of the former colonies were pretty similar. Almost all of them had been labor union leaders before and during the anti-colonial struggle, so that the bulk of their support was comprised of native workers. So in Malawi, thus in Belize.

    Where are the strong visionary leaders?
    Editor Amandala Sir, Where are the strong visionary leaders like George C. Price, Eric Williams, Michael Manley, Linden F.S. Burnham, Fidel Castro, Cesar Chavez, Evo Morales, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, et al? Most of the leaders of the developing world today “suck up” to the leader of the United States of America (USA) regardless of how big or small they are. They never seem to think out of the box as did those great leaders like Fidel Castro and the Cuban people who stood up for principles. Why do we have to suffer at the hands of the USA when we could be looking at alternatives? Under the incoming US president, I don’t believe anything will improve; it will just worsen. The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries as a trading bloc can make their voices heard. We need to closely and carefully analyze the geopolitical situation today. America is certainly the world’s economic and military superpower, closely followed by China, Russia and India. Within a decade, the USA will no longer be the world’s leader in those two areas; it will be China, India, USA and Russia as economic leaders and China, USA, Russia as military world powers in that order.

    Towards ending the hocus pocus
    Dear Editor, The sitting of the House of Representatives in Belize invariably attracts certain groups of people. There are those who feel compelled to tune in because of their vested interests in politics, and there are those whose interest remains strictly intellectual. However, there are those quite contrary to the aforementioned groups and who are disinterested completely in what unfolds in the House. While we are tolerant of the former two groups, we are unforgiving of the latter, and understandably so. We believe that, surely, anyone who has a sense of civic duty would have a level of care about the governance of his or her country. We may push the argument farther and suggest that anyone who lives in Belize during any period of social decay, political corruption, and economic mismanagement would have the impetus to stay attuned to the decisions, policies, and directives coming from those who reputedly lead us. Unlike others, however, I understand completely the group of Belizeans who ostensibly lack due interest in politics. I, myself, have been unimpressed by the presentations made by and the performance of some of the leaders who represent us in The House. If they do not force us to watch them attack and disrespect each other, they force us to watch them throw fits and temper tantrums, which obscure indisputably the seriousness of the issues that they should address.

    Crique Sarco resident writes about terrible road condition in the village
    Dear Editor, Please publish in your newspaper this letter about our road condition in Crique Sarco. Crique Sarco is one of the most remote villages in Toledo. For the past month or so, the Crique Sarco road has been in a terrible condition. Concerned citizens have made it public before, via Love FM, calling on the relevant authorities to address the situation, but it seems that no one in authority has the intention to address the problem. The Public Works Department was here a couple weeks ago, but instead of filling the huge holes with rocks, they simply scraped off the mud, leaving no rocks on the road, which, in just a couple of days, goes back to even worse condition. The condition of this road is very inconvenient for the community of Crique Sarco, especially the students who are attending Corazon Creek High School. The students are missing a lot of classes because the school bus operator makes no attempt to take them to school due to the road condition. Today is the second day in this week that students are not going to school.

    New Attorney General wants to review the regime of minimum sentences
    The newly-appointed Attorney General, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, in his address to the Bench and Bar at Monday’s opening of the legal year, indicated that he would want to tackle the regime of mandatory sentences. In his remarks, AG Peyrefitte referred to the attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, who had raised a successful constitutional challenge to the mandatory 5-year sentence for firearms violations. Chief Justice Hon. Kenneth Benjamin ruled that the mandatory 5-year sentence for firearms violations was unconstitutional. That Supreme Court decision established an important principle and now persons convicted of firearms offences no longer have to languish in prison for 5 years. Sylvestre explained to a reporter yesterday that under the law as it is presently constituted, there are mandatory minimum sentences which are passed upon individuals and in many instances, the sentences are disproportionate.

    The Reporter

    High school students protest gun violence
    The students of Maude Williams High School took to the streets today, protesting the recent spike in the gun violence plaguing the country. Third form English students lined Cemetery Road, in the blistering heat with signs and posters encouraging positive conflict resolution, and asking Belizeans […]

    Trump sworn in as 45th US President
    Today, Donald John Trump, swore in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Trump and his president Michael Pence, swore in at the US Capital City, Washington DC. In his inaugural speech, Trump maintained the positions on trade that he had campaigned […]

    Suspect charged for murder of 15 year-old
    A 28-year-old man has been charged for the murder of 15-year-old Jaheem Mahler, which happened on Tuesday night. The accused killer, Carl Reneau, was charged on Thursday afternoon. The murder happened around 8:30 p.m on January 17. Mahler was riding his bicycle on […]

    Daniel Caine held for New Year murder
    Police may have cracked the case of the first murder of 2017 with the arrest of Daniel Caine, a 29 year-old resident of Pinks Alley. The victim, 22 year-old Collin Sutherland, was shot and killed near his home on New Year’s Day. Sutherland was on his way home in Conch […]

    “Wasn’t me,” says former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan
    Former Director of the Immigration and Nationality Department, Ruth Meighan, said this week that there was no internal process of any kind to oversee passport and visa approvals during her time at the Department. On Wednesday, Meighan testified before the Senate Special Select Committee which […]

    New Speaker hopes to change unprincipled culture of parliamentary proceedings
    New House Speak-er, Mrs. Laura Longsworth has said she will attempt to restore and uphold the standard of parliamentary proceedings that are conducted in the House. Longsworth, who is appointed and was sworn in at last Friday’s first House sitting for 2017, said that she […]

    25 parcels of cocaine washed ashore in San Pedro Town
    San Pedro Police confiscated 25 parcels of cocaine from the northern part of the island over the weekend before the shipment could reach its targeted destination or dealers. According to police, on Saturday around 7:45 a.m. police was tipped off about a crocos sack which appeared […]

    Female raped in the Bainsville area of Hattieville
    A Hattieville woman was attacked and raped by a machete wielding man on Saturday night. Official reports indicate that around 7.00 p.m, a 31-year-old woman was walking in the Bainsville area when she was approached by an unknown man. He was armed with a machete and […]

    New A.G. Peyrefite – new broom sweeps clean!
    The new Attorney General Michael Peyrefittehas brought a fresh wind of change to his office, as he indicated when he addressed his colleagues at the ceremonial opening of the January session of the Supreme Court on Monday. Peyrefittequoted scripture from Ecclesiastes as he encouraged his […]

    Ministry of Health wants bigger fine for burying dead on private property
    The Ministry of Health is preparing a proposal to submit to government, to increase the fine levied against people who bury their dead loved ones in their yard. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, explained that the ministry is proposing to have the fine increased from […]

    Bureau of Standards explores transition to statutory body
    The Belize Bureau of Standards, through a Caribbean Development Bank funded project, is looking at transitioning from a government department to a statutory body. Director of the BBS, Jose Trejo, explained this week that the project is valued at US$280,000 and has three major components: developing a […]

    BCCI to hold productivity workshop
    The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is calling on business owners, human resource managers, and department heads of local companies to a special workshop on “Productivity Improvements for Small & Micro Enterprises.” The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation and […]

    NGO’s said GOB breached their trust
    The Belize Network of NGO’s this week, condemned the Government of Belize for holding the first Senate meeting of 2017, without the newly-selected 13th Senator, Osmany Salas. The meeting was held on January 19, however, the commencement order which establishes the 13 Senator, did not take effect […]

    Men need to be more involved in HIV response says BFLA
    The Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) is calling on Belizean men to take a more active role in terms of sexual education, to aid in the national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Executive Director of the BFLA, Joan Burke-Skeen, said that a major cultural issue is that […]

    Editorial
    The laws of Belize make it difficult for married couples to get a divorce. They require applicants to first get a provisional divorce before going on a final decree. The courts insist on having serious reasons for a divorce. It is not enough for one of the parties to claim […]

    Body found in Belize River
    The Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department is asking the public’s assistance in identifying the body of a man found dead in the Belize River this week. Ladyville Police found John Doe floating face down in the water between miles seven and eight […]

    Supreme Court needs three more judges
    Austerity measures are in the wind for the government in 2017, but Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has warned against cutting the Judiciary’s budget. Instead he called for the support of the Attorney General’s ministry to hire three new judges for a fixed period to deal […]

    Bondholders reject GOB’s terms
    The Government of Belize is inching closer to defaulting on its next Superbond payment, after the committee formed by the majority of the bondholders refused GOB’s pitch at restructuring. The committee said on Tuesday, that bondholders decided to decline GOB’s Consent Solicitation launched on January […]

    Garbage crisis looming! Citco promises no delays in collection
    As the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWMA) faces difficulties in arranging the transfer of garbage across the country to the regional sanitary landfill, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has reassured the city that the situation is under control. Because of issues with the Mexican […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Carlos Garcia charged for drug trafficking
    Yesterday afternoon around 1:00 p.m., while police were conducting operations in Santa Elena Cayo officers searched a black and blue bag in the possession of 20-year-old Carlos Garcia of San Ignacio Town which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 508 […]

    Police find weed and guns in Sandhill
    Yesterday morning around 7:00 , police conducted a search in an area within the cemetery in Sand Hill Village, Belize District which led to the discovery of a .22 riffle without serial number. No one was found in the area and the firearm was deposited […]

    Police issue official report on body found
    Yesterday shortly after 8:00 a.m., police visited the Belize River bank between miles 7 and 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway where about 20 feet away from the river bank, the body of a man was seen floating in the river. The body was […]

    Jimmy Morales’ brother and son detained on corruption charges
    According to the Prensa Libre, a Guatemalan newspaper, yesterday a judge ordered the detention of President Jimmy Morales’ son and brother for fraud. A United Nations anti-graft commission said they are suspected of submitting about $23,000 worth of false receipts in an alleged tax […]

    Transparency International points to corruption and nepotism in some countries
    The global coalition against corruption, Transparency International, posted a video to its social media page yesterday listing some world leaders and problems of nepotism. On the top of the list is President-Elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump who officially assumes office […]

    The Senate held its first meeting yesterday in Belmopan for 2017
    Former House Speaker and newly appointed Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte, was officially sworn in as the government’s newest Senator yesterday. Peyrefitte, a political bulldog, fiercely debated with Opposition senators who tried to end the meeting even before it was started. Lead Government Senator, Godwin […]

    Infamous Mexican drug lord extradited to the US
    Yesterday, notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was extradited to the United States of America. Guzman was escorted from his cell with heavy armed security detail and a fleet of armed vehicles. He was transported in an official DEA airplane. Guzman has gained […]

    Blogs

    Story time: The tale of Nook Restaurant and Cocktail Bartique!
    The concept and team of Mojo was melded even more when, after only two months open, they had an electrical fire in the walls of the small building. All the esthetic work was damaged, and the village banded together to help. Mojo was up and running in only nine days again, and better than ever, with a staff who worked tirelessly – some without pay for weeks. They brought Mojo to a top TripAdvisor restaurant for the area, and although recently it’s under new ownership, continues to do so… In comes Jeff Parker, a skilled and seasoned IT professional who decided to try Placencia as a work remote location to test drive the waters, so to speak! Jeff became a regular at Mojo, and friend of Erin and the staff. Eventually, Jeff was thinking of getting into the restaurant game…and Erin gave him many reasons not to! Although the restaurant industry is her passion, she knew it wasn’t for everyone!

    Visiting Corozal museum "Window to the Past "Khirkee Ko Guzarna" East Indian culture Museum Corozal"
    Before I move on to the Museum in Corozal, I will tell you about how great the weather was today. It has been quite isolated all day with some cloudy at times. But, it didn't rain. Corozal was warm and cool today to come out and swim or walk around town. Who knows what you're day will be with no plans on your beautiful day in Corozal. Let me highlight some interesting facts about the past History of Belize. The video to the left, show's the inside part of the museum and how the people lived in Belize and what they use to used back then. Back then, in the old days' Belize was peaceful, slow and more enjoyable. Belize countrywide has a lot of History still waiting to be discovered. Surprisingly, I was so excited to come visit the Corozal museum Window to the Past "Khirkee Ko Guzarna" East Indian culture Museum in Corozal. I went to visit the Museum, and heading there it was so humid and enjoyed the wind. When I reached the Museum, I walked inside a large property, clean and very opened. From outside I saw the large sign that said the name of the museum. I knew it was hear, But I didn't know which building it was. I walked towards the first building, I noticed a group of Belizean's hanging outside. I kindly asked one of the people " where is the museum? one of the guy's answered me, "It is the second white building downstairs." So, I kept walking the direction they gave me. On the entrance of the building, I observed outside, a hand pump for water.

    International Sourcesizz

    Mexican anti-logging activist Isidro Baldenegro killed
    A prominent Mexican environmentalist has been shot dead in his home state of Chihuahua after receiving death threats. Isidro Baldenegro had spent many years organising peaceful protests against illegal logging in the Sierra Madre mountains. In 2005 he won the prestigious Goldman environmental prize. A UK-based watchdog, Global Witness, says 33 activists were killed in Mexico in the five years up to 2015. Isidro Baldenegro was a community leader for Mexico's indigenous Tarahumara people and was one of the country's most prominent environmental activists. He had recently returned to his home village after receiving death threats against himself and his family. Mr Baldenegro was the second recipient of the Goldman Prize, given to grassroots activists, to be murdered in less than a year.

    Ligados por fraude el hijo y hermano de Jimmy Morales
    José Manuel Morales, hijo del presidente de la República, Jimmy Morales, se presentó al Juzgado Sexto Penal, en tanto que Sammy Morales, hermano del mandatario, fue detenido a primera hora. Samuel Morales, hermano del presidente Jimmmy Morales, y José Manuel Morales Marroquín, hijo del mandatario, detenidos por un caso de corrupción. (Foto Prensa Libre: Carlos Henrnández Ovalle) Para fines judiciales, Morales fue arrestado en el propio juzgado, a la espera de que se celebre la audiencia judicial.

    Vanuatu, Tonga, Belize, Mongolia: Top 10 poor countries you won’t regret visiting
    Intrigued by Belize? Curious about Costa Rica? Dreaming about Vanuatu? Now here’s a really good reason to visit in 2017 - they’re all on a new hot list of destinations where you can be sure your trip won’t be guilt trip. Holidaying in developing countries can often raise a complex set of questions and concerns - like, “Is tourism really helping the local people?” or “Am I damaging the environment by visiting?”. Thankfully, the folk at Ethical Traveler have answered these questions and come up with a list of stunning emerging destinations around the world where you can be confident you’re doing the right thing by visiting. Rated among Lonely Planet’s top value destinations for 2017; recognition as an ethical destination for 2017 with several world-leading examples of sustainable tourism, along with new attitudes that saw a law criminalising homosexuality overturned in 2016.

    Extradited 'El Chapo' Guzman to face 17 counts in US
    Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a legend in Mexico due to his dramatic prison escapes and years of staying just ahead of the law, will appear Friday in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn, where he will stand trial on conspiracy and drug charges at a later date. The diminutive trafficker, described by a federal official as "the most notorious criminal of modern time," was extradited from his native Mexico and arrived late Thursday in New York. "Who is Chapo Guzman?" said US Attorney Robert Capers of the Eastern District of New York. "In short, he is a man who has known no other life than one of crime, violence, death and destruction." Stringent security measures were put in place around the Manhattan jail where Guzman is to be held, a law enforcement source said. The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed while the drug lord is being transported to court.

    City planning manager to help Belize capital develop its downtown
    The city’s Planning Initiatives Manager is headed to Belize to help the capital city of Belmopan develop their own downtown. “The project is one of economic development in a developing country,” George Kuhl said. “People tend to leave the city after work and go back to (larger communities).” The city is hoping to make use of a park in the downtown area to get people to stay and take part in activities while promoting local business. “They’ve created an opportunity for 12 businesses to use kiosks in this park, and there will be business opportunities because of that,” he said. The setup is not unlike the City of Lethbridge’s downtown use of Galt Gardens. Kuhl’s name was put forward by Economic Development Lethbridge because of his experience in economic development and the work done for downtown revitalization in Lethbridge. He has a blend of different experiences that was felt would be applicable to the mission in Belize.

    Raising the Bar: Sir Dennis Byron charts new course for Caribbean justice
    After Sir Dennis Byron was sworn in as president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in September 2011, it was no surprise that he immediately set about transforming the institution. His reputation as an innovator and court reformer by then had already been firmly established. In the late 90s, as chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, he spearheaded several technology-driven improvements in the regional justice system. During his four-year tenure as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, he instituted judicial performance management systems still used as benchmarks to this day. Now he is at it again. Sir Dennis has led the CCJ into the adoption of a set of innovative systems for electronic filing of documents, case management and court performance measurement. Behind Sir Dennis' drive for change is an unflinching vision to enhance Caribbean citizens’ access to justice and reduce the delay of litigation from start to finish. He recently weighed in on the use of technology in Caribbean courts. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

    The Caracol Hieroglyphic Stairway
    These inscriptions support and elaborate some existing proposals, while supplying entirely new twists to the story. What follows are a few thoughts inspired by these finds. The summer of 2016 produced discoveries of tremendous importance for understanding the political history of the Classic Maya lowlands. While excavating Structure A9 at Xunantunich, Belize, Jaime Awe and his team unearthed two inscribed monuments of rare significance, their contents revealed in detailed textual analyseXunantunich Panels 3 and 4 were immediately recognizable as parts of a hieroglyphic stairway first uncovered at the site of Naranjo (Maler 1908:91-93, Pls.24-28; Morley 1937-38.2:42-59; Graham 1978:107-110). There Teobert Maler uncovered 12 blocks bearing outlined medallions of text in two different formats, one of nine glyph-blocks and the other of four. The Xunantunich stones differ in their larger size and the inclusion of two of the smaller medallions apiece. s by Christophe Helmke (Helmke and Awe 2016a, 2016b). These inscriptions support and elaborate some existing proposals, while supplying entirely new twists to the story. What follows are a few thoughts inspired by these finds.

    Videos

  • Bruk It Down Jenny Self Confidence & Esteem Building, 21min.

  • St Catherine's Academy Pageant - Miss SCA 2017, 19min.

  • Up Close: Miss Universe Belize, 1.5min. kind of a bio, she's a water baby!

  • Carnival Dream - Belize and Roatan - Belize city Carnival, 15min.

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

  • Fun Friday Chat on Open your Eyes, 39min. Most of the first 23 minutes a phone call with Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath minutes with Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath

  • Morning Matters Steffie Lupp, 58min.

  • Morning Matters with Bern, 60min.

  • Visiting Corozal museum "Window to the Past "Khirkee Ko Guzarna" East Indian culture Museum Corozal", 3min.

  • Placencia Players Theatre “Ebony Scrooge”, 46min. Performed December 18, 2016 at the Tipsy Tuna, Placencia Village, Belize. The premier production of Placencia Players Theatre, “Ebony Scrooge”, is a modern adaptation of Charles’ Dickens “A Christmas Carol “. While the Dickens story is set in turn of the century London, the Placencia Players Theatre version takes place today here in Placencia. The story hinges on how greedy Ebony Scrooge who dislikes Christmas has a change of heart after she is visited by three ghosts showing her past behavior and what could happen to her in the future if she doesn’t have a change in attitude.

  • Belize Barrier Reef, 2min. Compilation of videos I shot while diving at the Belize Barrier Reef

  • Ghost Hunters International S03E09 The Crystal Maiden Belize & France, 68min.


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