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2/11/2017 to 2/20/2017
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February 20, 2017


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Morelet’s Crocodiles Thrive in Chiquibul Forest
Chiquibul Forest is home to a diverse array of species, such as Scarlet Macaws, jaguars and tapir, providing a lush environment in which these species can thrive with little human contact. A recent study led by the Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC) in collaboration with Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Belize Wildlife Referral and Clinic (BWRC), and Croc U illustrates that the local Morelet’s crocodile population is thriving in its isolated habitat. During habitat, nocturnal eyeshine, capture and nest surveys conducted in April, June and July in 2016, the investigating team discovered a population of over 160 of various size classes. All crocodiles sighted or captured appeared healthy according to health examinations performed, likely reflecting a stable and healthy environment. Compared to previous reports of Morelet’s crocodile populations in Belize, this is the largest Morelet’s crocodile population in-country.

Wolfe’s Woofer: Reporting In
“We’re going to have to do something to help Bob,” Sherry said. “Are you talking about with his alcohol problem?” I asked. “Of course. He’s getting worse every day.” We were watching from our table at Fido’s Courtyard as our friend Bob staggered up the beach, struggling against the wind. “I have an idea that might work,” I told her. “I met a psychiatrist from Houston who is staying here for a year. Dr. Anderson specializes in alcohol control and perhaps he can help. I’ll talk to him.” That afternoon I introduced Bob to the doctor and they began the new program immediately. The following morning Dr Anderson and I talked about the situation over coffee. “Do you think you can help him?” I asked.

‘Raise Me Up’ releases financial report
Raise Me Up (RMU) is a registered NGO in Belize (2015) and is located in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. Originally a group who excelled at helping organize fundraisers and putting on events, the founders of RMU realized the need and the ability for a small non-profit to be formed that could efficiently and effectively meet needs in the community. In the past we have successfully run numerous fundraisers; Haunted House, San Pedro Boat Parade, Comedy for a Cause, Cruise for a Cause, High Tea for Hope Haven and various other events geared towards raising funds or physical donations, and to date have been able to raise over $99,000 in cash donations, and 120,000 in physical donations.

Doctor Love: I’m Next and Fund This
Dear Doctor Love, I am getting very tired of people who feel it is okay to cut in line in front of others who are waiting to be served. It happens almost every time I try to pay a bill or go to a public place where lines form. I always bite my tongue and say nothing, but last week, when I was first in line, someone cut in front of me to ask a question of the teller. She looked up the answer on her computer, and took care of his needs. This happened twice in one day. Any advice on how to deal with this? /s/ I’m Next

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Passing of Belizean Brukdown Queen Leela Vernon
The San Pedro Sun joins the entire country in the mourning of the passing of Belizean Brukdown Queen Leela Vernon. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends. We will have more on this huge loss.

Belizean Musical and Cultural Icon “Leela” Vernon Passes Away
The Government of Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) have learnt of the passing of Lila Genus Vernon which occurred at around 9:00 a.m. today, February 19th, 2017. Lila Vernon was a founding member of the National Kriol Council, an institution which continues to promote Kriol Language, Music and Culture in Belize. In 2004, “Ms. Leela” was named as the Brukdown Artist of the Year and in 2011 she was the recipient of the Woman of the Year in Culture Award. “Ms. Leela”, as she is popularly known, was a Belizean Cultural Icon, who demonstrated her love of country and cultural identity through music and dance. Her music has become synonymous with the celebration of Belizean and Creole Cultural identity. Today, with heavy hearts we join all Belizeans to note the passing of a Belizean Cultural Icon.

Mary Hill R.C School Bowen and Bowen Spelling Bee
On Thursday February 16, 2017 Mary Hill R.C School was honored to host Bowen and Bowen Spelling Bee Central Zone elimination. Participating schools were San Antonio Government School, Christiline Gill SDA School, Corozal Church of Christ School, Christian Assemblies of God School and Mary Hill RC School. At the last round both students of Mary Hill (Gerson Makhwani and Christopher Longsworth) and Allayna Watkis from Christiline Gill remained. In the end Mary Hill's Gerson Makhwani came first and Allayna Watkis came in second. Special thanks to both Gerson and Christopher for representing Mary Hill very well. Congratulations to Gerson.

"NO OIL" drone photo in Hopkins
The shots from this morning, it was a great success even if the drone had a mind of it's own at the end

Signature Promotions -Pre Valentine's 80's & 90's Vintage Night
Here are some highlights of Signature Promotions Pre Valentine's 80's & 90's Vintage Night with Dj Special of Tagg International, Richard Moody, DJ Frisco, Bigga Ford, Tony Gregorio, DJ BONES at the The Pickwick Club.

READINGS FOR THIS BLACK HISTORY MONTH!
It was an honor for me to attend two weeks ago a very renowned presentation on revolutionary Haiti and to listen to one of the most outstanding African centered scholars of today, the African-American historian, Dr. Gerald Horne. Thereafter, the presentation was so moving and educational that it prompted me to rush and purchase these two books that have probed my mind for quite a while to read, and of which has urged me to introduced to many of you avid readers here on the Belizean Diaspora Vote to get and read yourselves. What was most inspiring to me was that the Haitian spiritual revolutionary leader, Boukman, who has been idolized by some western, Oriental, and Afrocentric scholars as a voodoo priest, was not necessarily so, but a Muslim from the Maroon community of Jamaica.

A BELIZEAN LEGENDS BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPECIAL!
A photo of Samuel Haynes from the March 6, 1926 issue of "The Negro World." From left to right in the photo of the UNIA Committee of Presidents (Marcus Garvey was then in prison): William Ware of Cincinnati, Joseph A. Craigen of Detroit, Samuel Haynes of Pittsburgh and Fred A Toote of Philadelphia (sitting). If someone can get a better copy of this photo from the newspaper it would be much appreciated.

The Reporter

Teenager dies of stab wounds
A teenager is dead after he suffered stab wounds Saturday night in Belize City. Eaton Lamb, 17, a construction worker of #2070 Pelican Street, Collet area, died on Sunday morning while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Police say Lamb was stabbed by a relative to whom Lamb owed money and investigators now have that suspect detained.

Great Belizean Icon Leela Vernon passes away
Belize’s Bruk Down queen and cultural icon, Leela Vernon has passed away. Leela died sometime after 9:00 a.m., today at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit since February 10th. She was ailing for quite some time from kidney complications and her family was seeking A-type blood for her. The Punta Gorda-born singer has greatly impacted the Creole culture in Belize and is both locally and international known for her song, “Ah Wah Know Who Seh Kriol Nuh Gat No Culcha.” Leela was also the vice-president and founder of the National Creole Council, and even translated the Belize National Anthem into Creole.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize to miss Superbond payment tomorrow
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his team of financial advisors and negotiators returned to Belize today following negotiations with bondholders in New York. The Prime Minister reportedly confirmed that Belize will not make its next coupon payment on the 2038 bonds due tomorrow. The coupon payment due tomorrow is US $13 million but BBN understands that bondholders would need to wait at least 90 days before a default is declared. During negotiations in New York, Prime Minister Barrow and his team were seeking to get a reduced interest rate of 4 percent.

Man killed by relative over money
A teenager was killed in Belize City last night by a relative over a dispute about money, police have reported. He has since been identified as Eaton Lamb. According to police information, he was stabbed multiple times. He was then rushed to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Leela Vernon , Belize’s Bruk Down Queen passes away
BBN has been reliably informed that Belizean icon and Bruk Down Queen, Leela Vernon passed away in Belize City this morning. Vernon had been ailing and was hospitalized last week Friday in the intensive care unit at the KHMH. Vernon was a respected cultural icon in Belize and was known for her many cultural songs including her popular hit, “Ah wah know who seh kriol no gat no kolcha. ”

Blogs

Things I Never Knew I Needed: My Life In San Pedro, Belize
My shopping lists have changed COMPLETELY since I moved to Belize. Things that I never knew I needed and now I wonder…I live without this stuff? Belize, shopping-wise, took a WHILE for me to get accustomed to. Making a shopping list for more than one day’s food is still out of my reach, but I am getting better. I love certain fruits and vegetables when they are in season or available like cassava, mamey and mangoes. But here are my new everyday household necessities. I’m glad that a bit of cooking, time in the kitchen and Belize have forced me to find them. Though…Whole Foods, I miss you every day.

Belize for Couples
The best things in life are the perfect mix of two ingredients: strawberries and cream, jam and toast, peanut butter and jelly. We have found the perfect combination of the carefree Caribbean and the flair of Latin American: Belize. We’ve put together the perfect couple’s itinerary for your visit to this paradise. We found 10 days was ideal to relax and see the key sites. The exchange rate with United States dollar is set at one dollar for every two Belizean dollars. This makes monetary conversions very simple. Most places take American dollars and credit cards. English is widely spoken, it doesn’t hurt to have a little Spanish in your back pocket. We highly recommend that you start your vacation on the beach. Select from one of many resort locations along the ocean. You can get everything from simple accommodations to five-star resorts. Definitely pick one with the pool. We elected to stay at the beautiful Costa Blu Resort at Ambergris Caye. It is an intimate resort that focuses on providing world-class diving. The staff is friendly, and the food on premises is really good. We highly recommend the conch ceviche!

“Cuba ” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Since moving here (May records our 5th anniversary) Rose and I have ventured ‘out of country’ maybe 10/12 times (me more than her). Chetumal perhaps around 7/8, Merida twice, USA three times and the U.K. and Panama both once each. During our last trip (to Panama) we determined that we would ‘treat’ ourselves to little trips a lot more frequently so with Christmas safely put away for another year I set about planning our next excursion. A trip to Cuba! I looked at the numerous ways of gettng there. Favourite (favorite for you non UK readers) for a while was using Copa Airlines via Panama. Amazingly flying in the opposite direction to Cuba worked out less expensive than taking the more obvious route via Cancun. Strange but true. But in the end we plumped to travel via Cancun. Why? Well because of the fairly recent introduction of two new services. More expensive than the option via Panama but we’d get to try out some new flights. So I made the arrangements. Not though before I’d made certain that we had accommodation in Havana booked.

“Cuba” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Part Two.
Now where was I? Oh I remember. Rose and I had just caught a taxi (cab for non UK readers) at Havana’s José Martí International Airport and after skilfully avoiding being CUC’d by our taxi driver were headed to our hotel. The journey took around 25 minutes but the time just whizzed by and it seemed like that in no time at all we were pulling in to the driveway of our hotel, Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Even before we entered the hotel we were impressed. A long, tree lined, two – way driveway and at the end of it the very impressive facade of the hotel. The taxi pulled up and before the driver had opened his door a uniformed bellboy was waiting to take our suitcases in to the hotel. We paid the taxi driver and followed the bellboy up the steps in to the hotel to the Reception Desk.

International Sourcesizz

CDB approves US$306 million in loans, grants in 2016
In 2016, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved US$306 million in loans and grants, the highest approval total during the past five years. And of the countries for which funding was approved, Belize, Saint Lucia and Suriname were the three largest beneficiaries of loans. Dr William Warren Smith, CDB president, made this announcement during the bank’s annual news conference on Friday in Barbados. Smith pointed out that, in addition to the grants approved in 2016, the Bank began implementing the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UK CIF). UK CIF is a £300 million grant programme for transformational infrastructure projects in eight Caribbean countries and one British overseas territory, which CDB administers. £16.4 million in grants was approved for projects and technical assistance in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica and Grenada.

Caribbean trained attorneys are taking over the judiciary in the region
While the Guyana government is processing applications for the appointment of a Chancellor and Chief Justice, the Caribbean Court of Justice has commented on impartiality and the importance of judicial appointments, and stressed that there must be independence of the judiciary. The comments came a day before the regional court announced the appointment of a Belizean to replace retiring Trinidadian Justice Rolston Nelson on the court. The new appointee is Denys Barrow, a West Indian trained attorney who will assume office on June 1. It seems as if the Caribbean trained attorney is taking over the judiciary in the region. Three other CCJ judges were also trained in the Caribbean: Adrian Saunders of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Maureen Ragnauth-Lee of Port of Spain and Jamaican Winston Anderson. Anderson however was further trained in London where he was called to Lincoln’s Inn. In addition he gained his PhD in Philosophy. And speaking of Caribbean trained lawyers, the heads of the judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Guyana as well as Belize-Guyanese Kenneth Benjamin were also graduates of the Council of Legal Education in the region.

Caribbean Nations Concerned President Trump’s Immigration Policy Will Slow Tourism
All but one Caribbean country – St. Kitts and Nevis – have expressed concern that US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies could lead to a slowdown in travel to a region dependent on tourism. As Caribbean leaders, except St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris – ended their mid-term summit in Guyana’s capital city Georgetown, incoming CARICOM Chairman Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell — Prime Minister of Grenada — said the trade bloc has adopted a “wait-and-see attitude” with respect to America’s evolving migration policy and how it affects the region’s vital tourism industry. No representative from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis attended the Inter-Sessional – and there has been no official statement from the Office of Prime Minister Harris on his absence or that of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign affairs or the Ambassador to CARICOM.

The best destinations around the world for 2017
For a Mayan underworld adventure, the crystal museum of Río Secreto is a stunning underground river with thousands of dramatic stalactites and stalagmites. In Belize, Ambergris Caye is the largest island, and boasts the world's second largest coral reef system (after that other one across the ditch) as well as exotic creatures like monkeys, manatees and crocodiles.

Videos

  • Morning Matters with Madison Stone, 14min.

  • Kissing vultures, 1/2min.

  • New Belizean dancehall music video by Ty, 3min.

  • Belize Video, 3min.

  • A Day In Belize / Exploring Xunantunich, 13min. Let's explore a little bit of this beautiful country! I love it here and appreciate the beauty that is Belize!

  • Belize Adventure 2017, 7.5min.

  • Skydiving Great Blue Hole, Belize, 2.5min.

  • Day Trip from Caye Caulker, Belize to San Pedro Belize by water taxi, 6min.

  • Diving Belize 2017, 8min. The Famous Belize Blue Hole (135'), So Many Sharks, Turtles, Tunnel and Crevices, Groupers, Eagle Rays and many fishies... Oh and plenty of Boobies!!

  • Belize 2016 Video, 9min. Scuba video

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 10, 115min.

  • NILE JONES: A BELIZEAN-AMERICAN RAISIN IN THE SUN! (PART ONE), 23min.

  • CLASSIC DELL SMART OF DELL & THE SENSATIONS! (FINAL PART), 37min.

  • ELJAI RISING! (FINAL PART), 12min.

    February 19, 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

    GOB Expresses Condelences on Passing of Bishop O.P. Martin
    The Government of Belize wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic community on the passing of the Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin. Born in Dangriga on December 4th, 1930, Bishop Martin served the Roman Catholic community for almost 40 years, beginning with his ordination to priesthood in 1959. He served as a Pastor for many years in several districts. In 1982, he was elevated to Bishop and in 1984 he was named Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan. Bishop O.P. Martin served the Catholic community with great dedication, faithfulness and apostolic vision.

    Police Report
    On Tuesday, February 14th, Linda Del Valle visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that on Monday, February 13th, her business, Manelly’s Ice Cream, was burglarized. In her report, her employee stayed at the business and at 10:18PM, sent sales report to complainant via WhatsApp. Complainant clarified that at the end of every business day, her workers usually leave $50 in change of various denominations in the cash register. When Del Valle arrived back to Manelly’s at 7:30AM the following day, she noticed that the cash register was missing. She then checked inside for the sales of the day and noticed it was missing as well. In total, $680 was missing, plus two buckets of ice cream.

    El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is approaching!
    The long- standing island tradition, El Gran Carnaval De San Pedro, is set for Sunday February 26th through Tuesday February 28th. The festivities, which commemorate the beginning of the Lenten season, will be held under the theme ‘Orgullo, Alegría y Pasión; Carnaval es mi Tradición.’ Combining traditional paintings and comparsas (dancing) group presentations, The San Pedro Town Council has organized several activities for the weekend. This year, the highly anticipated event will be bittersweet. The annual photo exhibit at the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) honoring the history of El Carnaval, will instead feature a pictorial exhibit celebrating the life of the late Felix Ayuso. Ayuso was an invaluable part of the traditional Carnaval Comparsas. As President of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, he and his group brought joy and entertainment during their participation in the annual event. The exhibit is slated for Friday, February 24th, and everyone is cordially invited to visit the SPHC on Angel Coral Street at 7:30pm to join in the tribute to Ayuso, considered ‘El Rey del Carnaval’.

    Construction of seawall affects residents in Southern Ambergris Caye
    Residents, stakeholders, and visitors of Southern Ambergris Caye have been complaining about the construction of a seawall, which is affecting homes and businesses. Reports are that the concrete structure has changed the flow of sea currents, allowing seaweed and other sea debris to accumulate in front of beach properties. Residents are indicating that the stench of dead seaweed and garbage has become so unbearable that it is causing a dent in the tourism business in that area. He added that when it comes to the approval of sea walls the jurisdiction is mainly under the Ministry of Natural Resources. He also commented that the aesthetic aspect of properties on that side of the island will eventually change, and anyone living down there would simply need to adapt. “If there are neighbours next to you with seawalls, eventually you will have to build your own one too,” said Guerrero. “If not, then the problem of debris accumulation will not stop.” Guerrero says that the island is developing rapidly and with it will come many challenges.

    GOB demands Courtenay’s resignation from Senate; Central Bank reserves at risk
    The Government of Belize (GOB) have called for the removal of the People’s United Party’s (PUP) Senator Eamon Courtenay, claiming he abandoned his duties as a Senator to assist the Ashcroft Alliance in their legal battle against Belize. In a press release issued by GOB on Wednesday, February 8th, the Government condemned Courtenay’s actions. “We believe that his action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. We therefore call for his immediate removal from the Senate,” stated the release. GOB is not only making the call to have Courtenay removed because of his unexpected leave, but also due to the fact that he filed a constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court registry on behalf of the Ashcroft group of companies. Ashcroft and his group are seeking enforcement from courts in the United States for an arbitral award of US$50 million dollars through any means, including getting access to the reserves of the Central Bank of Belize, which are held in the United States.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    2nd Annual Lionfish Derby
    Save the Date! The Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill is hosting its 2nd Annual Lionfish Derby on March 25, 2017! More details coming soon! Organizers/Sponsers/Volunteers: Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, RE/MAX Island Real Estate, Belize Fisheries Department, Oceana, Frontier, Ocean Academy, Belikin.

    Mary Magaña is the new Reina Del Carnaval 2017-2018
    Congratulations, and all the best in your reigning!

    SPHS Women win NSSSA National Football Tournament
    History in the making! San Pedro High School Female Football Team champions of the National Secondary School Sporting Association (NSSSA) National Football Tournament. Congrats on a job well done!

    HELP FOR GLENN IN BELIZE
    Please meet my dear friend Glenn Tillett. Glenn is a activist and one of the best writers Belize boasts. He is also very ill and undergoing dialysis which is very costly in Belize. The prognosis is not good and Glenn may be needing a new kidney. I know I have very dear friends that would help me help Glenn to pay for his dialysis. At this point any amount will help. If you are in Belize, Glenn's account number is 695-01-1-69440 Belize Bank. Thank you in advance for your kind donations and God bless.

    The National Sports Council brightens the future of Queen’s Square Youth
    The Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, through the National Sports Council, worked in conjunction with the Queen’s Square community to enhance the safety of youth who wish to participate in sporting and recreational activities. Through a lighting project implemented by the National Sports Council, Queen’s Square residents are now enjoying brighter evenings and nights on their basketball court. The National Sports Council also assisted the residents in fixing security lights in the area so as to deter violence and criminal activities. This is a part of a wider government initiative of promoting citizen security through sports and recreation. The National Sports Council thanks the residents of Queen’s Square and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for this opportunity to serve the people of Belize City in a way that facilitates their greater engagement in sports.

    Corozal Held its Valentine Poetry inside the Corozal Library; Corozal Youth Cadets where present
    On Friday, 17 Feb 2017 the Corozal Youth Cadets held its Library Valentine Poetry Night. It commenced from 5pm to 6:30pm. The Corozal Public Library held its Valentine’s Poetry Night inside the Corozal Library. You could have came out to write and read aloud your own poem. Youth children Constructed their own homemade Valentine card for that one they've shared. A number of 26th cadets came out to participate in This event. They learnt how to create and construct English vocabulary words to make their own poems. Sure they did a great job writing poems creative mind. At the end of the event all 26th cadets came out to read out loud their creative poems. They sure did a great job. This event was specifically for the young youth who are involved in the Youth Cadets.

    Lavish Habit Cafe Opens
    Nayomi Alamilla and her boyfriend Rafa who is a Barista from Guatemala just opened a new coffee shop in San Pedro, Lavish Habit Cafe! It is located right next to Dixie's shakes. Stop by and get your coffee fix!

    Street closures for San Pedro, Carnaval
    IT"S CARNAVAL TIME !!!!!!!!!

    University of Belize Spring 2017 Graduation
    The University of Belize honoured 499 Graduates during its February Commencement Exercises which was held on Saturday, 11th February, 2017 at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan. The keynote address was delivered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, Honourable Wilfred Elrington. The Graduates received diplomas at the Bachelor's, Associate's, and Certificate levels from the Faculties of: Education and Arts-(214); Management and Social Sciences-(160); Science and Technology-(93); and Nursing, Allied Health, and Social Work-(32). Of the total number of graduates 320(64.1%) are females and 179(35.9%) are males.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Court rules against pawn shops
    The recent Supreme Court Judgment, Janine Vega Vs. EZY Loans Pawning and Payday Advance, has brought into the spotlight an issue that many Belizeans have been complaining about for years: pawnshops charging sometimes unfair, and perhaps even illegal amounts for interest. Many Belizeans, due to the unfair amount on repayment, have lost properties such as land titles, and ownership of their vehicles, to pawnshop owners. Apart from towering interest rates, many pawnshop customers are unaware that these establishments have them sign onto agreements that are unenforceable, because they do not comply with the Money Lenders Act, Chapter 260 of the Laws of Belize.

    Accident reported on George Price Highway, Cayo district
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that there was a road traffic accident a short while ago on the George Price Highway near Windy Hill in the Cayo district. BBN understands that a person is trapped inside a vehicle. Police and firefighters are on the scene.

    A legal giant passes
    He was a giant among men in the legal world but British international attorney, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, passed away on February 8 at the age of 86. He was known across many borders and inside many countries, which he represented in land and maritime boundary cases. He also served as an ad hoc Judge of the International Court of Justice and an arbitrator for international disputes. Additionally he served as a professor at the University of Cambridge. He had advised several Belizean governments in the fight against Guatemala’s unfounded territorial claim. He and Dr. David Bowett published the Belize: Joint Opinion on the claim in 1978.

    UB soon to have new President
    After serving as the President of the University of Brlize for almost 3 years, Allan Slusher, has reached the end of his contract. The UB board of trustees took a decision not to renew his contract and have instead signed Professor Clement K. Sankat as the 7th President of UB.

    Dry weather to continue
    The 24-hour forecast is for mostly fair, warm and dry conditions with sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight. The wind will blow from the east to southeast at 10-20 knots. The sea state will be moderate. High temperatures are expected as follows: In the coast, 87 degrees Fahrenheit; 93 degrees Fahrenheit inland and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the hills.

    Road traffic accident in southern Belize sends 7 people to the hospital
    Reports reaching our newsroom are that there was a road traffic accident on the Southern Highway right after the Placencia junction yesterday evening shortly before 7. Several eye witness accounts told BBN that 7 people were taken to the Southern Regional hospital.

    The Reporter

    Belize confirms death of great international law expert
    The Government of Belize has sent out an officially press release, confirming the death of a great legal practitioner who provided invaluable counsel in international law for over 30 years to the Belizean government. The release confirmed that Sir Elihu Lauterpacht passed away on February 8th, in Cambridge, United Kingdom. In 2006, Sir Elihu was bestowed with “the Order of Belize”, which is the highest honor there is in Belize for persons of great recognition. This was as a result of the numerous assistance over several decades of unwavering commitment to ensure that Belize maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Sir Eli, as he was affectionately known, prepared the important Belize joint operations in 1978, along with the assistance of Dr. David Bowette.

    University of Belize elects 7th president
    The University of Belize has recently elected it’s 7th president, which was announced during its February commencement exercise on February 11. Professor Clement K. Sankat has been appointed as the new president of the University. His appointment took effect on February 15th, and was officially announced by Mr. Harrison Pilgram, Chairman of UB’s Board of Trustees. Professor Sankat succeeds Mr. Allan Slusher, who had held the post since June, 2014. The professor is the former pro vice- chancellor and campus principal of the University of the West Indies (WI), St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad. Professor Sankat is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago; he is a chartered professional engineer by training with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the UWI, a PhD from the University of Guadalupe in Canada. He has a long and distinguished carrier at the University of the West Indies as a school and administrative leader. He was promoted to full professorship in 1998.

    Blogs

    February Snapshots on Ambergris Caye
    There is SO much going on in Belize in February. Just walk down the streets of San Pedro and you can see how many people are visiting. As winter drags on in the north, the weather here has been perfection for the last weeks… Though those who collect water could use just a LITTLE sprinkle. Here are some pictures from around the Caye and around the country – Belize in February. Heading under the bridge in the SkyDive San Pedro boat. A bare throated tiger heron looking for a girlfriend. The beach in Boca del Rio last week – before our current sargasso situation started heating up. And a look at the West Side and “Secret Beach”…always clear of seaweed. Ahhhh, the west side. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on that side of the island.

    International Sourcesizz

    NY Mag: The Best Travel Accessories and Gear
    Harrying a process as it can be, travel can be made an actual pleasure once you devise a system for everything. From the no-fuss carry-on to the multipurpose travel shoes to the game-changing packing organizers, we found all the essentials for maximizing your travel experience. The Best Rolling Luggage, The Best Weekend Travel Bags, The Best Travel Organizers, The Best Travel Shoes for Him and Her, The Best Skincare Products for the Flight, The Best Tote Bag (a.k.a. ‘personal item’), The Best Eye Mask for Sleeping on the Flight, The Best Travel Headphones, The Best Earplugs for Travel, The Best Travel Steamer, The Best Cleansing Wipes for the Plane, The Best Lip Balm for Travel, The Best Travel Phone Charger, The Best Travel Cocktail Kit, The Best Toy to Cure Airport Boredom

    MCC/MSU Student Teachers Learn from Teaching in Belize
    Eleven Murray State University education majors from the Madisonville Community College Campus recently spent three weeks as student teachers in Belize. Elementary and learning and behavior disorders dual certification students Heather Starks and Amanda Morrow and elementary education students Tyler Forsythe and Kaity Young were chosen to experience the teaching opportunity of a lifetime. Forsythe said it was a study abroad program where the four could complete three weeks or 15-days in Belize of their 70-day student teaching requirement.

    Videos

  • Reina Del Carnaval 2017-2018, 1.5min. The moment when the new Reina Del Carnaval 2017-2018 was announced!

  • Official ceremony of awards for the National Secondary School Sporting Association (NSSSA) Football National Tournament 2016-2017, 1min. San Pedro High School Female Team receiving the first place award!

  • , 35min. CARICOM Skills Certificate Offers Greater Opportunities to Belizeans, “Give Your Heart to A Child” Campaign Seeks Loving Homes for Children, and Local Producers Talk Tilapia Farming.

  • The Reefs of Belize, 1.5min. The Reefs of Belize is produced and kindly made available to the fulldome community by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Charles Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Science, Boston

  • Royal Caribbean Belize Snorkel Excursion, 6min. Jan 2017 cruise on Royal Caribbean with a stop in Belize City. We decided to do the snorkel excursion. The crew and captain did a good job, but there were too many people on the excursion making it hard to see the fish and reef.

  • Landing in Belize, 11min.

  • Cancun to Belize with my drone, 7.5min. This is a short video from my christmas vacation 2016 in Mexico and Belize. I took a rental car and drove from Cancún, to Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Mahahual, Chetumal, Belize City Progreso and Mérida. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to bring my drone or my GoPro with me to some places... I filmed everything with my DJI Mavic or GoPro Hero 4 black

  • San Pedro Belize Rain Storm, 1/2min. Rocky and I getting caught in a rainstorm in San Pedro whilst trying to tie down the plane.

    February 18, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    The SPTC launches second phase of its artisan market project
    With support from the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) was finally able to launch the second phase of its Artisan Market Area project on Tuesday, February 14th. This second phase aims to relocate artisans/vendors that continue doing business on the beaches of the island to the area around the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. In the first phase of the project, artisans were relocated from the Central Park to booths in an open area on Angel Coral Street. This time, the other artisans will be provided with colourful kiosks with display windows, lockers and proper wiring for lighting. The official ceremonies of the launch saw the presence of students from the Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Mayor Daniel Guerrero, representatives from CARILED, staff from the SPTC and members of the Ruben Gonzalez, Councillor of local development at the SPTC gave the welcome remarks, emphasizing the importance of the tourism industry on the island. He claimed that the new phase of the project will enhance the image of the tourism product on the island. “Everything that we do, from the fruit vendor, tour operators, the receptionist, influences the tourism product on Ambergris Caye,” said Gonzalez. “If we are to remain an active player in the regional tourism destination, we at the local level must do everything within our jurisdiction to refine our tourism product.” He mentioned that the SPTC has been actively engaged in the local development of the island, following the process introduced by CARILED in the region.

    Architect Stephen Mouzon presents “Smart Dwellings” talk at Mahogany Bay Village
    Known around the world as a New Urbanist, architect and designer Stephen Mouzon presented a fun, informative talk at Mahogany Bay Village (MBV) to guests willing to learn more about ‘smart dwellings’ – the primary design concept at MBV. As one of the three architects who designed MBV, Mouzon shared the ideas that went into the concept, design and building of the homes at the village. Mouzon’s expertise in neighborhood and city planning – in a style called New Urbanism – led him to working alongside a team of experts in crafting the Katrina Cottages. These cottages were to be used as emergency housing after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the New Orleans area of Louisiana USA in 2005, and were designed to be incorporated into neighborhood rebuilds.

    Belize disposes of 35-year-old chemical hazard
    Thanks to the efforts of the Department of Environment (DOE), Belize’s wildlife and environment have been protected from the harmful effects of over 30 tons of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that have been stockpiled for over 30 years. POPs are recognized as causing adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem, and include toxins such as pesticides, industrial chemicals and industrial by-products. A Greek firm, POLYECO, has been contracted by DOE to remove these pollutants from Belize and to destroy them safely by burning them in France. The DOE hosted a training workshop at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City last Thursday, February 9th, where POLYECO’s representative George Chrysanthopoulus instructed 44 participants in the proper handling and disposal of such dangerous toxic substances. The workshop participants included Forest Rangers, DOE inspectors, members of the Police, Health and Customs Departments, conservation non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties from the private sector.

    Mayor Guerrero approves temporary beach fence
    When a beach fence suddenly appeared at Xanadu Island Resort, a number of people were shocked. Since its construction, residents have been complaining that the fence makes the beach less accessible, while Xanadu claims its intention is to protect their guests. Residents have reached out to the Ambergris Caye Building Authority (ACBA) to ask them to enforce the 66 feet rule, which is the law that applies to beachfront property. According to Fidel Ancona of the ACBA, the resort did not obtain a permit to build the structure, but Mayor Daniel Guerrero gave them special permission. “We received some calls from people concerned about this new fence on Xanadu’s beachfront, and there’s a lot of frustration. We did not authorize or issue out a permit for them to build the fence, but Mayor Guerrero is fully aware of the fence” said Ancona. Mayor Guerrero stated to The San Pedro Sun that the fence it is only temporary. “The fence is temporary until the construction that is happening there is completed. Xanadu actually wanted a higher fence, but we told them they cannot build higher. It is illegal to block the beach side, but they have obtained special permission to do so. There’s no exceptions, the fence will have to be removed as soon as the construction is done in the area,” said Guerrero.

    Broadway Sean McDermott visits Isla Bonita Elementary School
    After arriving in San Pedro Town, international Broadway star Sean McDermott, along with Eve Dirnback of the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation, paid a visit to Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) on Monday, February 13th. Since the Foundation’s upcoming fundraiser benefits IBES, and stars McDermott, Dirnback led a tour around the school, and introduced McDermott to Principal Ady Martinez, along with their administrators. McDermott was warmly welcomed by the school’s drumline, who showcased their talent and skills, to the delight of McDermott. He said he is looking forward for the drummers to open up his show on Wednesday, February 22nd at The Palapa Bar and Grill. McDermott explained the necessity to focus on special needs. “Special needs kids don’t do as well in public schools. It is important for these kids to get a quality education so they could be productive citizen in the future and do good things for the island. I am dyslexic and my teachers didn’t know what that was when I was in fourth grade. I struggled to read, and it’s still a challenge for me, but I applied myself and pushed through it. And that is why this initiative is so close to my heart because I didn’t have much options in my school years. I love that I can help students in need,” said McDermott.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    GOB Expresses Condelences on Passing of Bishop O.P. Martin
    The Government of Belize wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic community on the passing of the Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin. Born in Dangriga on December 4th, 1930, Bishop Martin served the Roman Catholic community for almost 40 years, beginning with his ordination to priesthood in 1959. He served as a Pastor for many years in several districts. In 1982, he was elevated to Bishop and in 1984 he was named Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan. Bishop O.P. Martin served the Catholic community with great dedication, faithfulness and apostolic vision.

    The Late Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, a Champion of Belize’s Sovereingty and Territorial Integrity, Granted Order of Belize
    The Government of Belize regrets to learn of the passing of Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, CBE, QC, July 13th, 1926 to February 8th, 2017. Sir Eli, as he was affectionately called, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University where he earned First Class Law and the Masters in International Law First Class and a doctorate in laws. He was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn in 1950. Sir Elihu has had a distinguished career both as a professor and practitioner of International Law. He became a Law Fellow at Trinity College at Cambridge University and first appeared before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Nottebohm case in 1951. Since then he served as lead Counsel for several countries before the ICJ. In 2004, he was Counsel for Barbados before the arbitration tribunal that settled its maritime border dispute with Trinidad and Tobago. He also served as an arbitrator in several international Tribunals and as an advisor to some thirty governments over his long career.

    "Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child" Initiative
    Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children and Ms. Judith Alpuche, CEO in the Ministry of Human Development are currently in Georgetown, Guyana where they are a part of the "Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child" Initiative (ECWECC), a two-day forum for CARICOM First Ladies and Spouses. The initiative, which evolved from the United Nations’ Every Woman, Every Child Initiative launched in 2014, focuses on four priority issues: teenage pregnancy, violence against women and children (including trafficking in persons); cervical cancer and mother to child transmission of HIV in the Caribbean. The forum is funded by Gilead Sciences Inc and organised by the Office of the First Lady of Guyana in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the CARICOM Secretariat. CARICOM leaders endorsed the ECWECC initiative at their 2016 Summit in Guyana.

    Professor Clement K. Sankat appointed President of the University of Belize
    Professor Clement K. Sankat, former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad has been appointed the seventh President of the University of Belize.

    Creole Bread for sale on Caye Caulker Saturday
    Tomarrow Saturday I will be having Creole Bread for sale at $1.00 each. Send me a message on Facebook or tex me at 600-8482. I will only be doing by orders. Yesterday I almost didn't have much left for home. :( So please send me a message no later than 12.00 p.m. Tomarrow. It will be ready around 5.00 pm or so. I deliver.

    University of Belize has a new President Professor Clement Sankat of Trinidad and Tobago
    Professor Clement K. Sankat, former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies (WI), St Augustine Campus, Trinidad has been appointed the seventh President of the University of Belize (UB). His appointment took effect February 15th 2017. Professor Sankat succeeds Mr. Alan Slusher, who has held the post since June 2014. This announcement was made by Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, Chairman of UB's Board of Trustees during UB Graduation Ceremonies on February 11th. It comes after the Board, acting in accordance with the UB Act of 2000, undertook a wide and comprehensive search, employing a transparent, albeit robust selection process for the President. Prof. Sankat, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago received his early education at Queen's College in Georgetown, Guyana, his birth place. He is a Chartered/Professional Engineer (CEng) by training with degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The UWI and a PhD from the University of Guelph in Canada. He has had a long and distinguished career at The University of the West Indies as a scholar and administrative leader.

    NSSSA Football National Tournament in San Pedro
    The National Secondary School Sports Association’s (NSSSA) Football National Tournament is being hosted in San Pedro for the first time ever. A total of eight male and female football teams representing the North, Central, and South regions are vying for the championship trophy. On Friday, San Pedro High School’s female football team take on Saint Catherine’s Academy at 5:30PM at the Ambergris Stadium. The entrance fee is $3, and snacks/drinks are on sale. Don’t miss out on this two-day event! Games resume today, Saturday, February 18th at 9AM. See you there!~~

    SAGA Taco-Tostado-Tequila Tuesday
    Tuesday, February 21 at 5 PM at Caliente Restaurant

    Xaibe village R.C. school presents to you: Bringing Back Culture Life; Culture presentation
    On February 17, 2017 The R.C. School from Xaibe village, Corozal, District held its annual Cultural Business EXPO 2017. The Theme for the event was "Bringing Back The Culture's Life". The school did an excellent job showcasing their presentation about the culture of Belize. All classes From Beginner's to standard 6 did a cultural show about their theme presentation. Even one of the Pre-school from Xaibe village was at the event. The booths that I saw where: Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, East Indians, Ketchi maya, Preschool Yucatec Maya, Smart, Belizebank, Youth Cadet Police booth, BIC, Magil's Mexican Products where the main attraction at the event. And, all the booths I saw had their display about their clothing about which culture they where presenting. When I finished taking picture's, the host stopped playing music and announced that the Opening Ceremony will commenced. Anxiously, waiting for the opening ceremony the event began at 11A.M... First was the Belize national Anthem was Sang, Prayer, Vice Principal, Invited guests, took the stage to open the ceremony. Then, at 2pm children from Beginner's to standard 6 presented their cultural theme about their THEME CULTURE. They all came presenting about Andy Palacio, Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, Belly dance, and more. It was fun watching this event for the first. What a fun day to witness this excellent Cultural event. What I really liked about this Cultural Business Expo was the information I was feedback with our Culture we have in Belize. And, many are taking it as an advantage. we do really need to promote our culture. Thanks to this event I learnt a lot of history about Belize.

    Belize Band Fest 2017
    Its official Belize Band Fest 2017 will be in Orange walk people's stadium! On the 8th of April! Win lose or draw we are a band of fun.. SEE YOU THERE!!!

    Xaibe Business Cultural Expo 2017
    "Bringing Culture Alive" - This is what resonated, as this year's theme, at the Xaibe Business Cultural Expo 2017" - Xaibe is a very heart warming and welcoming village and is one of the 20 plus villages that make up our Corozal District. Today, the people of this quaint little village came out in grand style to celebrate their Business Cultural Expo leading with many displays, attire, cultural presentations and dances representing the various ethnic groups that have made Corozal their home. Various businesses, including our own St. Francis Xavier Credit Union were present, giving away goodies and treats to the children in attendance. We want to wish the best of luck and success to the organizers, Xaibe Roman Catholic School, students, teachers, other schools that visited but most of all, we thank the entire village of Xaibe for putting such a wonderful show for all of us to enjoy!

    Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday Feb 19, portion Cayo District
    Unitedville to Benque Viejo including San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Unitedville, Duck Run 1 & 2, Billy White, Georgeville, Central Farm, Esperanza, San Miguel, Cristo Rey, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Bullet Tree Falls, Branch Mouth, Santa Familia, Calla Creek, Corozalito, Succotz and Arenal. BEL to replace poles on the transmission system and conduct critical maintenance and testing of equipment at San Ignacio Substation.

    Education Month Theme Competition
    The MoE is having theme competition for Education Month. You could win $500 if you come up with the best theme. The theme of the theme is Partnership in Education. "The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture extends an invitation for you to participate in this year's theme competition"

    Dr. Andrew Cohen explores Belize's archaeological sites
    Cultural heritage protection specialist Dr. Andrew Cohen explores Belize's amazing archaeological sites together with Dr. Alan Moore, Antonio Beardall, and Josue Ramos of the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize. Belize is truly blessed with rich cultural heritage and it's everyone's job to protect and preserve it for future generations!

    Channel 7

    CDB Shares Perspective On Superbond Restructuring
    On Monday, a 26 million Belize dollar Superbond payment is due - but, best indications to this newsroom tonight are that government will not pay. That's right, all indications are that government is getting ready to default on its Superbond debt. This is after the Prime Minister and his finance team engaged in a week of intensive discussions with bondholders in New York. It seems there was no breakthrough, likely because government is not prepared to budge from its position: that the interest rate of 4% offered to creditors is fair, as is the adjustment of the amortization payment to move the bullet payments back to 2036. The bondholders have rejected that saying it's too much of a financial hit; they want government to propose a structured program to manage its financings going forward. But the two sides haven't been able to hammer out a compromise, it appears. Today Jules Vasquez got some-perspective on this issue from the Caribbean Development Bank in Barbados. He's there for the Bank's Annual News Conference where they discuss all the regional economic trends. The Banks Director of Economics said that Government should offer bondholders some structured program:

    Belize's Economy Contracted, Contrary to CDB Projections
    And, the private sector is important because the CDB says they have to lead any economic recovery. Belize is one of only three Caribbean nations - who are members of the bank - to show negative economic growth in 2016. The original forecast from the CDB said Belize's economy would grow, but it did the opposite. Today in Bridgetown Barbados at the CDB headquarters, Jules Vasquez asked why: Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "2016 proved to be a difficult year for economies around the world. Advanced economies' output growth decelerated, while emerging markets stagnated and the Latin American and Caribbean region declined. Collectively this amounted to a slight deceleration in global growth. Most of CDB's borrowing member countries' economies grew in 2016 but there were contractions also. The mainly serviced oriented economies of the banks BMC's recorded positive growth in 2016. While the predominant commodity exporters, except Guyana I should add, contracted. Belize recorded a modest decline while significant contractions were recorded in Trinidad and Tobago, where that economy declined by 5%, and Suriname, which declined by further 9%. Average growth across the region, therefore, was -0.9%, compared with -0.4% in 2015."

    Trinidad's Economic Hit Influenced Caribbean Figures
    But, while only three of the bank's member countries showed negative growth - overall the region was down almost one percent. That's because Trinidad's economy had a major downtown, and that island nation accounts for a third of the entire Caribbean's economic output. Dr. Ram said that it's part of a global decline last year: Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "My sense though, is that over all, economic growth across our region remains somewhat uneven, and that fragile recovery, especially in the larger borrowing member countries, will continue into 2017. Regional fiscal performance is, however, caught in a vicious cycle."

    CDB: Governments Need To Keep Cutting Expenses
    President of the Bank, Warren Smith, noted that because so many regional governments are spending more than they earn, they are trapped in a cycle of expanding debt: Jules Vasquez - 7News "Last year's forecast had Belize at, I believe, 2% percent growth for 2016, or a little over 2%, and we see that the outturn for Belize is -1.2%, are you able to speak about what accounts for the disparity between forecasts projected and real." Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "So yes our forecast for Belize earlier in 2016 was positive, however a number of events occurred throughout the year. Number one of those, well the effects of the hurricane as well provided some damper to the overall growth prospects; in addition to that there were disease effects in the agricultural sector which also affected shrimp farming as well in Belize. So that meant that production and those particular sectors were much less than we were actually predicting. In addition to that, the government of Belize also had to intervene in two state owned enterprises, as you would be aware, and that also had some negative effects on overall government expenditure and has actually now led to a massive increase in governments overall debt burden."

    BDF Sergeant Jailed For Spousal Abuse
    A soldier is going to jail for beating his wife. BDF Staff Sergeant Darrell Hemsley was found guilty of wounding today in court after he attacked his wife last year November. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith sentenced Hemsley to 3 months imprisonment. Magistrate Smith told him that he was a disgrace to the Belize Defense Force and that she is going to make an example out of him. The incident happened on November 25th, 2016. Hemsley's wife Trecia Hemsley, testified that he came home from work that night and accused her of having his social security card. She said Hemsley attacked her and began to punch her and kick her. She was cut to the forehead.

    Inside CARICOM's 28th Heads Of Govt. Meeting
    Last night, we told you that Foreign Minister and 4 other representatives from the Belize Government are in Georgetown, Guyana for the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government. Viewers will remember that the 27th Inter-sessional meeting happened last year in Placencia, Belize, when Prime Minister Dean Barrow was the Interim Chair. Well, as we told you the chairmanship rotates every 6 months. This time around, the current Chairman of CARICOM is the Guyanese President David Granger and it is he who is hosting his fellow heads of Government for this meeting. They held the opening ceremony last night, and with video provided by CARICOM, we bring you coverage of that event in Georgetown. Here's that story: The Meeting ended today.

    The Mexican And Belizean Militaries' Continued Friendship
    Today Mexico celebrates the anniversary of both it's Army and Air Force, both of which are over a century old. Diplomats and Mexican expats gathered in the Mexican Institute in Belize City to honor the two longstanding branches of the military. The Counselor of the Mexican Embassy, Hugo Juarez Carrillo, gave us a brief history of the Mexican military and how they have and will continue to support Belize... Jugo Juarez Carrillo, Counsellor for Legal Affairs and Press "We are celebrating the 104th anniversary of the foundation of the Mexican army and the 102nd anniversary of the foundation of the Mexican air force." Reporter: "Can you talk to us about some of the strides that have been made to both organizations over the years?" Jugo Juarez Carrillo, Counsellor for Legal Affairs and Press: "I can tell you that Mexico is much older than his army. Mexico just celebrated more than 200 years of the beginning our independence war in 1910 and what happens is that 104 years ago, the Mexican revolutionary army that were fighting for democracy and to respect the constitution of 1857 won the war against a general that have a coup d'état against the elected president of Mexico of that time, Francisco Madero and then they won the war and the old army that supported the dictator and then we created a new army, not that the old army in that time was very elite army, but an army of the people that now have Mexico and an army of the people."

    Belmopan Got Major Infrastructure Upgrade
    There has certainly been an aesthetic transformation in Belmopan. There are now 3 roundabouts - including the grand and colorful one at the entrance, a number of streets have been paved and the ring road now has a smooth track all around for those who like their early morning or evening run. Well, the work continues in the Capital. A number of other streets have been paved including Roaring Creek, Mussel Creek, Haulover Creek, Garbutt Creek, and a section of Barton Creek Street. A drainage system has also been installed in the Water Reservoir area. There was a short ceremony on Wednesday night in Belmopan to commemorate these recent infrastructural improvements. Here are a few clips.

    A New UB President
    In June 2014, at a graduation ceremony, Allan Slusher was introduced as the new president of the University of Belize. In his speech, he had expressed his vision to re-energize the institution. Well, while the jury is very much out on whether he fulfilled that goal, his contract as Interim President ended this week and a new president is taking over. Professor Clement K. Sankat has been appointed as the 7th President of the University of Belize. He is a former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad. His appointment took effect on Wednesday February 15th. In a press release from the University it states that "….The Board of Trustees ....undertook a wide and comprehensive search, employing a transparent, albeit robust selection process for the President."

    Farewell Sir Eli
    The Government of Belize is reporting tonight that British attorney Sir Elihu Lauterpacht has passed away. He has performed exceptionally for decades as one of the attorneys advising different Belizean Governments on how the handle the Belize/Guatemala Territorial claim. "Sir Eli", as he was also known, was a Queen Council who's had a very distinguished career both as an attorney, and as a professor of the Trinity College, Cambridge University. He specialized in international law has argued cases before the International Court of Justice. In 2004, he was the attorney for Barbados before the arbitration tribunal settled its maritime border dispute with Trinidad and Tobago. He has served as an arbitrator in several international tribunals, and he has also been an advisor to about 30 governments over his long and distinguished career.

    GOB Remembers Bishop Martin
    And, the Government is also noting the passing of another person who's provided extensive service to Belize. Yesterday we told you about the death of Bishop Emeritus OP Martin. Since passing in his sleep, Belizeans home and abroad have shared their prayers with his family. Today the government of Belize issued a press release giving their condolences and support to his family. The statement says, quote, "Bishop O.P. Martin served the Catholic community with great dedication, faithfulness and apostolic vision."

    OP Martin: From Footballer To Bishop
    And Bishop Martin was a revered church leader but he was also a standout athlete in his youth. We found that out in Easter 2009, Jacqueline Godwin visited him at his home in Dangriga where the then 78 year old reflected on 50 years as a man of the cloth:.. Jacqueline Godwin Reporting: On April fourth, 1959 Osmond Peter Martin was ordained a priest. Today fifty years later, at the age of seventy eight he gets around with the help of a walker, due to a severe spinal injury. Now the former Bishop of Belize spends most of his time at his family's home in Dangriga. The Most Reverend Osmond Peter Martin is the eldest brother of three sisters and the son of Justin and Cleofa Martin. As a young boy he was a member of the Holy Redeemer Scouts Group and noted as an avid athlete, even playing on the SJC soccer team. And this a strapping young man you see here at the age of twenty three was already studying to be a priest. He would later become the first Belizean priest to be ordained a bishop in 1982. But the Most Reverend Martin says it all started in high school when he was just 18 and received his first calling to the priesthood.

    Mexican Artist Here For Street Art Festival
    A Mexican muralist will be transforming city walls at next Saturday's Street Art Festival. Enrique Minjares Padilla is a seasoned and well respected Mexican artist. He is here in Belize to showcase his style of art and also to teach and guide kids to find their own. He plans to paint a mural on the back wall of the Institute of Mexico and one on Albert Street. Now, we have featured a number of Mexican artists but Padilla brings a more modern and energetic flair to his craft. Today we caught up with him at a session organized with the SJC 3rd formers. Padilla told us more about his artistic background and what this visit means for him: Enrique Minjares Padilla, Muralist: "I have been an artist since I was a child, I have been interested in representing stuff with drawings, I was a very encouraged kid to make art, I always wanted to be an artist, a painter, my grandmother was a painter, so I was always in touch with painting."

    Expanding The Local MMA Scene
    Mixed Martial Arts has been steadily growing in popularity for the last few years. UFC viewership is at an all time high, and many people, young and old, have started practicing it - including right here in Belize. Prevail MMA is one of Belize's leading clubs. It's coaches train everyone from beginners to seasoned veterans ready to take their talents outside Belize. Tonight and tomorrow, they are holding training seminars with professional UFC fighter, Nate Marquardt, for anyone wanting to participate. We spoke to Marquardt and one of Prevail's coaches Joel Meyer, about the event. Nate Marqardt - UFC Fighter: "It's for people of all ages and all skill and basically I'm going to do some striking, some grappling and technical seminar." Alex Courtenay, 7News: "So as you said it's for people of all skill sets. Is there anything people need to know beforehand so that they can come in with some expectation?" Nate Marqardt - UFC Fighter: "I will just cover some basic stuff from mix martial arts, I'll also cover some more advance stuff if there are some guys that fight so that they can use it in fights. Like I said it's for any skill level, so beginners are welcome and just bring t-shirt and athletic shorts or boy shorts.."

    A Traditional Maya Dance In Dallas
    And finally tonight, we take you back to Dallas Texas one more time. Our news team was there a week ago for the opening of the exhibit named "Maya Hidden worlds revealed." The show was opened by a Mexican Dance group that tries to keep indigenous dance and traditions alive. They told us more about their performance which kept audiences spellbound:.. RICARDO ALARCON, Grupo Pakal: "Well this a Mayan presentation representing the full directions of the planet by mother earth and representations of the moon - the jaguar representing the moon too, he creates the blessing ceremony for the four directions of the planet to get balance and harmony on earth." "The culture is still preserved. We need to rescue it. This is the purpose of Grupo Pakal."

    Channel 5

    Cayo Farmers Tell Story of Rotting Potatoes
    Our news crew is just back from the fields in the west covering the very important story of the plight of local farmers whose livelihoods are being threatened by the [...]

    Remembering Dr. Cecil “Chubby’” Reneau, Dead at 66
    It has been quite a week during which well-known Belizeans and friends of Belize died. We have covered the passing of Doctor Robert Horwich, primatologist and founder of the Community [...]

    Government Adds Condolences as Remembrances of Bishop O.P. Martin Continue
    The Government of Belize has joined in with official condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic community on the passing of first native Bishop of the Church, the Most [...]

    Will Government Default Superbond Payment?
    Turning to economic news…Belizeans await the return of Prime Minister Dean Barrow from New York City, where he is meeting with Belize’s legal and financial team over the Superbond. But [...]

    Supreme Court Frees Toledo Man Accused of Murder of Ex-Girlfriend
    In late August 2015, Alberto Coleman—then fifty-five years old—was charged for the July third murder of his twenty-nine year old ex-girlfriend, Juana Cowo.  The decomposed body of the young woman [...]

    Poor Investigation Cost Conviction
    According to Bradley, the case fell apart because the murder was poorly investigated. And from evidence before the court, while he was smitten by Juana, there was no proof that [...]

    Cops on Trial for Shooting Death of Runaway Prisoner
    Also before Judge Denis Hanomansingh in the Punta Gorda Courts, two cops are on trial for the shooting death of eighteen year old inmate Rasheed Elijio. He along with Brian [...]

    Convicted ATM Thieves Lose Proceeds to Belize Bank
    A pair of Bulgarian nationals, twenty-eight year old Jeorji Petrov, and twenty-five year old Halid Yuksel Aptula, convicted of theft from a Belize Bank ATM, was back before the courts [...]

    Orange Walk Cane Farmer Jailed for Theft in Belize City
    A cane farmer from San Estevan Village up north, who moved to the City, is behind bars tonight for burglary. Thirty-six-year-old Rafael Yam claims he is suffering from stomach cancer. [...]

    Dickie Bradley Praises “First-Rate” Denys Barrow as He Joins C.C.J.
    The Caribbean Court of Justice officially announced today via press release that Attorney Denys Barrow will be joining Belize’s final court of appeal headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and [...]

    What About Judges for Belize Supreme Court?
    While on the subject of justices, himself a top notch criminal lawyer, Attorney Bradley reflected on the state of affairs in the Belize judiciary.   Bradley echoed the CJ’s statement at [...]

    Mexico Marks Anniversary of Formation of Army, Air Force
    Mexico is marking three important anniversaries in this month of February. On the fifth, it was one hundred years since the publication of the Constitution of 1917 during the Mexican [...]

    Mexico’s Constitution Holds Up after 100 Years
    The Mexican Constitution was created in the city of Queretaro and was widely acclaimed for its modern inclusion of a ‘bill of rights’ for the Mexican people. It has had [...]

    U.B. Taps Guyanese-Trinidadian Engineer for President
    The University of Belize has a new president. He is professor Clement Sankat, former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine Campus in [...]

    Sir Elihu Lauterpacht Passes; He Supported Belize Against Guatemala
    News Five notes the passing of British international law attorney Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, who died on February eighth. He has represented many countries in land and maritime boundary cases including [...]

    Sports Council Makes Upgrades at Facilities in Belize City
    The National Sports Council under the new leadership of Interim Executive Director, Charlie Slusher, and in conjunction with the Queen Square Community has given a facelift to a sporting facility [...]

    Closing the CARILED Program in Belize

    LOVE FM

    Belize’s Queen of Brukdown Needs Blood Donors
    The queen of “Brukdown” Leela Vernon remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Vernon is suffering from chronic renal failure and she needs blood. According to family members, doctors are doing all they can to treat the iconic Belizean artist but she needs type A positive blood. Yesterday three persons donated blood to Vernon and today, Manish Chainani and his brother visited the blood bank to make their donation. You are willing to donate blood, you are asked to visit the blood bank near the KHMH to make your donation.

    Amandala

    Corrupt – from the very top to the very bottom!!!
    In 2011, Teresita Castellanos, a public officer of 30 years, was transferred to the Immigration Department, where she served for three years as Finance Officer. However, she claimed that she was “thrown” out of the department in 2014 by former CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Mortis. Castellanos appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee today, Wednesday, and said she made every effort to fight the transfer, because she wanted to remain in the department until the Auditor General’s report was completed. That report, released last year, claimed that it was under Castellanos’ watch that revenues were collected for 8 visas issued without visa stickers. According to Castellanos, it was not her fault; instead, it was a culture of corruption among Immigration officers and a lack of political will by the Ministry which allowed for these irregularities to occur. However, she claimed that efforts were made to combat the corruption.Castellanos was today allowed by the committee to read a troubling analysis of her observations while she was at the Department.

    Dr. Cecil “Chubby” Reneau, former Chief Education Officer, dead at 67
    Belizean career educator, Dr. Cecil “Chubby” Reneau, who rose from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the education establishment in Belize, died this afternoon at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital from a stroke, family members told Amandala. Dr. Reneau was 67 years old. Heather Reneau, Dr. Reneau’s only daughter, told Amandala that her father had been ailing for some time and had suffered a massive stroke last August. “He had three strokes prior to this one, but this one was mild, compared to the one last year,” said Heather. Heather said that prior to Dr. Reneau becoming Belize’s Chief Education Officer, he was the principal of Belize Technical College for a number of years and served in various public service capacities. Heather said her father was a technical student and studied for his doctorate in education at Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the University of Western Kentucky. Dr. Reneau also studied at other universities in the United States and in England.

    Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin passes
    –Since Sunday, the country has been mourning the passing of a man of God and a great educator, Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin; and in Belize City, a famous businessman, Arthur “Pou” Francisco, and an educator and former politician, Dr. Cecil “Chubby” Reneau (both featured elsewhere in the newspaper). Bishop Martin peacefully passed away in the wee hours of today, Thursday, while sleeping in his family home in Dangriga. His death, just as his life, cannot simply be glanced over. He was a young Garinagu man from Dangriga who decided to walk so close to his God that he became the first native Belizean and Garinagu appointed as Bishop of Belize. After completing his studies at the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, he was ordained a priest on April 3, 1959. Twenty-three years later on October 7, 1982, he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop,

    Danny Ku, 37, pleads guilty to manslaughter
    Danny Elvis Ku, 37, who was accused of viciously stabbing his wife to death in December of 2006, was scheduled to go on trial today in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Instead of the court empanelling a jury of 12 to hear the evidence in the Crown’s case against Ku, however, the Crown Counsel representing the prosecution informed the court that they were withdrawing the murder charge and that the accused man was changing his “not guilty of murder” plea to “guilty of manslaughter,” the lesser charge. After the court accepted the guilty of manslaughter plea, attorney Bryan Neal, who represented Ku, asked the court to defer sentencing of his client for one week so that he could locate character witnesses for a mitigation hearing. Ku was accused of killing his wife, Anna Maria Magdalena Vasco, 27, during a domestic dispute at their Orange Walk Town home, on December 16, 2006. Anna Marie Magdalena Vasco, a nurse, had her throat slashed with a blade, and then she was stabbed multiple times in her chest. She suffered as many as 32 stab wounds.

    Spanish Lookout powered by local crude
    The only commercial oilfield in Belize has been found and developed in the Spanish Lookout community – the largest settlement by acreage in the country of Belize and home to roughly 2,000 Mennonites. Chairman of the village, Erwin Thiessen, told Amandala that the community has been paid royalties by the Government of Belize, but they also have an agreement with the producing company—Belize Natural Energy (BNE)—under which they are paid for the use of the community’s roads, which form a private network, as well as surface rent for lands which BNE uses to access crude and pipe it to its storage and distribution facilities.

    Joel Borland (Elite) tops the field in 2017 Digicell Valentine Tour
    According to the Technical Guide released by the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB), the Digicell Valentine Tour, which covered three days of racing – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 10, 11 and 12 – was for riders in the Elite, Under 23 and Masters categories; while Female and Junior/Youth riders participated only in the Valentine Road Race Classic, which took place on Sunday, the last day of the Tour. A grueling three-day affair, the Digicell Valentine Tour comprised of four Stages: Stage 1 was the Individual Time Trial, a 12-mile ride on Friday, from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 8 and back; Stage 2 on Saturday morning was a 50-mile ride from Leslie’s to Data Pro through the Boom Road and back to Leslie’s; Stage 3 on Saturday afternoon was a 48-mile journey from Sandhill junction to Altun Ha cutoff through Maskall road and back to Sandhill junction; and the big Stage 4 Road Race was an 88-mile trek from San Ignacio to Benque Viejo then back to Leslie’s Imports in Belize City. Accumulated times were recorded for each rider from Stage to Stage, to determine the leaders with the lowest combined times at any Stage of the Tour.

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    Boasting a league-best (4-0) record, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks will be looking to extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games in a row, as they take to the road against the (1-2) Dangriga Dream Ballers. The Tiger Sharks have been overpowering their opponents so far this season, winning games by an astounding 19.8 points differential. To put their dominance in perspective, they’ve won all their games by double figures; as a matter of fact, the closest game played so far was against the defending champs Hurricanes, and that game they won by 10. These same Tiger Sharks invade the Ecumenical High School Auditorium tonight, as they look to take a bite out of the home town Dream Ballers. On paper, this match-up does not look good for the Ballers; and it gets even more troublesome when you consider that they, traditionally, have not had much success against the Tiger Sharks. This, when coupled with their current two-game losing streak, makes for a tenuous situation, and one that could further be exacerbated with another poor performance. But, like they say, that’s why you play the game.

    Verdes takes lead at Week 3 of PLB Closing Season
    Verdes FC clinched a back match against Freedom Fighters FC last night at the Victor Galvez Union Field in Punta Gorda, and thus jumped to first place in the standings at Week 3 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2016-2017. Verdes got the 1-nil win on a goal by recently acquired (from Police United) striker, John King, at the 64th minute. The other Week 2 back match, between Wagiya and FC Belize, is tentatively scheduled for tonight at the Carl Ramos Stadium. In Week 3 scores for games this past weekend, it was Belmopan Bandits, 2-1, over BDF at the Isidoro Beaton; Freedom Fighters, 2-1, over FC Belize at the MCC; Verdes, 5-2, over Wagiya at the Norman Broaster; and Placencia Assassins and Police United, 2-2, at the Independence Stadium.

    Cricket Corner – Satish, Man of the Game for Berlan
    Hello, cricket players and fans! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the 2017 Harrison Parks Cricket Competition got underway with some very exciting games. Thanks to our kind sponsor of this year’s season, Bowen and Bowen! Lemonal Let’s first go to Lemonal, where three-time champ Easy Does It played against newly formed Summer Fever of Bermudian Landing. Newly formed, but the team is comprised of players that were from Berlan Cricket Club, but went under new management. Easy Does It took to bat first, and at the fall of the last wicket, the team put on the scoreboard a very impressive number of runs, 189. Last year’s MVP, Andrew Banner top scored with 55 runs, while the manager of Summer Fever, Conway Young took 4 wickets. When it was time for Summer Fever to try and best the score, they did fight, but no player was good enough to help Conway Young, who top scored with 54 runs. Summer Fever fell short, only reaching 135 runs. However, that score was very good, realizing it’s the champs they were dealing with. In that inning, captain Kenroy Reynolds took 5 wickets.

    From honesty to dishonesty …
    Prime Minister of Belize, the Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, came out of one of the old civil service families in British Honduras. The post-World War II scions of several of these families went to study law abroad, and they are prominent, not to mention wealthy, in Belize’s legal firmament – Courtenays, Barrows, Youngs, Elringtons, and so on and so forth. The old civil service families were Creole in ethnicity, and the patriarchs of these families had been trained by British colonial administrators. Exemplary honesty was mandatory in the civil service of British Honduras. If you became dishonest, you would inevitably be caught and indicted. You went to jail, and your family would be dishonored. When the nationalist, anti-colonial movement began in British Honduras in 1950, the civil service class, almost to a man, went against the anti-British People’s United Party (PUP). So that, the civil servants supported the opposition to the PUP which was organized in 1951 – the National Party. The National Party morphed into the National Independence Party (NIP) in 1958, but the NIP continued to enjoy the support of the civil service class which had supported the National Party.

    From The Publisher
    When my high school class at St. John’s College (SJC) graduated in December of 1963, our version of a graduation prom ended up as a house party at Eddie Lizama’s home on Vernon Street (between Mosul and East Collet Canal) in Belize City. I suppose there must have been record player music. A few of us took our dates to Eddie’s home, and what we ate for prom were “dungas,” which were basically panades stuck between Creole bread halves. We’re talking about the mighty SJC now, you understand. How did this feeble joke become the 1963 prom? In that last year before British Honduras’ school holidays changed in the summer of 1964, you still did four and a half years of high school, and took your Cambridge “O” Level exams at the end of the half year. When you finished your fourth year in April, say, you would come back for a half year from June to December. I’m explaining this in order to point out that our class had a class president from fourth form, before we went to “fifth.” His name was Roger Brian Anthony Silva, now deceased. We called him “Mousie.” I really can’t say what the nature or history of our student government was at Jesuit SJC in those pre-self-government days. I don’t know if the lower classes had student officers, or if it was only fourth and “fifth” forms. I’m not even sure if Mousie had been democratically elected. Honest. I know he was the student who seemed most interested in student government. Perhaps he was the only such student in our class.

    Give the saint what is due
    Dear Editor, In the Bible – MATTHEW 5:23-24 says, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and remember you have something against your brother, leave your gift at the altar and go and reconcile with your brother; then come back and offer your gift to God.” I would also like to quote from JOHN 8:7, “Let him or her who is without sin cast the first stone.” For over 46 years Evan X Hyde has been feared by many religious, elite, affluent, politicians in the country of Belize. Evan X Hyde is the Grassroots Godfather who truly takes his role of Godfather seriously and has adopted many grassroots people as his protégé, so why is he feared? Is it because of his powerful writing skills that can demonstrate that the pen is mightier than the sword? Evan X, our Grassroots Godfather, does not walk around like some Belizean Pharisees who praise themselves boasting, “I did this or I did that.”

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

    Big up, Lord Rhaburn: Alfonso C.
    Dear Editor, It was with great joy that Belize welcomed the great news on a special edition to celebrate BELIZE MUSICIANS PAST AND PRESENT, their 22 years on the air, by our very own hero, Lord Rhaburn, who has decided that the time to tell his story has arrived!. He has chosen the young visionary writer, artist Yasser Musa, to do the honours. This news could not have come at a better time. Belize is at an all-time low in its history! We are faced with a breakdown in our social order, corruption in the government, economic downturn, and a feeling of hopelessness! To someone who has given his life and talent to Belize, your story will give us some hope. No one can steal or attach these treasures to anything.

    Rt. Hon. Said Musa’s address on the Palestinian question
    (Ed. NOTE: Rt. Hon. Said Musa (former Prime Minister of Belize) recently addressed a Roundtable in Managua, Nicaragua, organized by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people. Mr. Musa’s speech follows.) Beyond recognition: the role of Central American Governments in the search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The year 2017 marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration when the then British Foreign Secretary in 1917 declared Britain’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. The year 2017 marks 70 years since the UN General Assembly proposed a Partition Plan for Palestine into Jewish and Arab states with Jerusalem to be an international city. 2017 marks 50 years of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian homeland. 2017 is a time when the world seems to be upside down, when those who ruthlessly expel people from their ancestral land and kill those who resist are called victims, and those who are driven out and massacred are called terrorists. It is time to go back to basics.

    The meaning of culture: Evan X Hyde honored by Pen Cayetano
    On Sunday, 5 February, 2017 at 3 p.m., artist Pen Cayetano honored writer Evan X Hyde and his work at his Studio Gallery at #3 Aranda Crescent in Dangriga, Stann Creek, Belize with a ceremony of deep meaning, knowledge and love. (Please see an article about the event by poet and journalist Rowland Parks at the following link at Amandala online: http://amandala.com. bz/news/black-history-month- artist-pen-cayetano-honors- kremandalas-evan-hyde/). Evan X Hyde, born 30th April 1947, is a writer whose consciousness has travelled the development of the nation of Belize, the history of the world and whose brilliant erudition has illuminated the Belizean consciousness to the truths of its history in the local and global contexts, its African and Mayan roots, the machinations of power and the creation of freedom through words and actions. In poetry, plays, and over forty years of essays in Amandala Editorials and his “From The Publisher” column, Mr. Evan X Hyde speaks truth to power.

    Spike in stomach flu grips hundreds in Stann Creek
    Health officials issued an advisory this week warning of a spike in stomach flu or gastroenteritis in the Stann Creek District, after hundreds of cases were reported in January, mostly in children ages 5 and under, who mostly reported symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, with abdominal cramps and fever. Surveillance Officer Lorna Perez told Amandala that the Ministry of Health is urging precautionary measures to contain the spread of what they believe to be a rotavirus infection. According to Perez, the spike was first noticed in rural Stann Creek, but in more recent weeks, there has been an uptick of cases in Dangriga Town. The Ministry of Health says that, “As a result of an initial investigation for the month of January, a total of 242 cases have been reported in the said district. Of that number, 145 cases are among children of less than five years, and 117 among persons over the age of five. The communities most affected include Dangriga Town and Independence and Bella Vista Villages.”

    The Reporter

    Government issues condolence on the passing of Bishop O.P. Martin
    The Government of Belize has issued a press release, expressing condolences on the passing of Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin (retired). The release issued deepest condolences to family, friends and the Roman Catholic community on the passing of the Bishop, who served the community with […]

    Belize delegation in Guyana for regional conference
    A Belize delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington is currently in Guyana, attending the 28th inter-sessional meeting of the CARICOM Conference of the Heads of Government. The conference is set for February 16-17, and will be attended by regional leaders who […]

    Belly of the beast: More bombshells from Senate inquiry
    “The Immigration Department has an entrenched culture of corruption and hustling, milking the cow, we say, from the very top to the very bottom of the ladder,” former Financial Officer of the Immigration and Nationality Department, Teresita Castellanos said this week. On Wednesday, Castellanos testified […]

    Denys Barrow appointed to CCJ
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the highest court of appeal on civil and criminal matters in Belize and the Caribbean, has found a replacement for one of its judges scheduled to leave the organization in May. Denys Barrow, one of Belize’s leading attorneys, is […]

    CCJ green lights Sixth Amendment
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled this week, that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of Belize, which set one-year appointments for Court of Appeal judges, did not violate the independence of the Judiciary. On Wednesday, a five-judge panel dismissed the Bar Association of […]

    Overnight tourism projections for 2017 expected to rise
    Despite the constraints on the global economy, overnight tourism in the Caribbean is expected to provide decent returns in 2017, following a year that fared well. More than four out of five (81 percent) of hoteliers in the region have an encouraging outlook for tourism […]

    Courtenay flips the script
    Following government’s call for his removal from the Senate, PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay countered by accusing the UDP of attacking his character to distract the Belizean people from national issues. Courtenay spoke at length on Tuesday, addressing several issues that the UDP had raised in their call […]

    Belize poised to take Tilapia industry to new level, through help from Taiwan
    A five-year long investment by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize’s aquaculture industry is now expected to bear fruit for well over 100 Tilapia farmers and 100 more unemployed people across Belize. The $5 million investment started in 2012 and involved […]

    Catfish uses PM’s profile
    The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), this week, issued a release denounced a fake Facebook profile purporting to be that of PM Dean Barrow. The OPM says it became aware of the so-called “catfish” scheme, in which persons use fake profiles to gather sometimes very personal […]

    Meat pie icon passes
    Belizeans, in and outside of Belize City, joined in mourning the passing of one of the most respected meat pie vendors in the country, Arthur Francisco, better known as “Mr. Pou.” Known for operating Pou’s Meatpies on New Road for more than three decades, Francisco passed away […]

    Editorial
    Every elected member of the House of Representatives and every appointed member of the Senate of Belize is required under the Constitution to subscribe to the Oath of Allegiance. In the Senate the oath is administered by the President, or by the Vice President if the President is unable or […]

    Default and devaluation dangerously close
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in New York meeting with GOB’s financial advisors, currently in restructuring discussions with holders of the 2038 Bond, trying to finalize an agreement to avoid a default on the US $26.6 million Superbond payment due on Monday. Barrow’s departure underscores […]

    Beloved Bishop O.P. passes
    Belize’s first-born Bishop, Osmond Peter Martin (retired), passed away Thursday morning at his house in Dangriga. He had been ailing for a while, and had been suffering from a back injury for several years, which caused him to depend on his walking stick. Bishop Martin, […]

    Shyne back with Popcaan collab
    Chart topping rapper Shyne Barrow has signalled his return to mainstream music with his latest feature on the remix to Popcaan’s 2016 hit “We still ah win”. Shyne explained that the remixed version of the song was released in Jamaica last week and has been […]

    Year’s sixteenth murder
    A 21-year-old Belize City man of a Balan Street address was riddled with a hail of bullets as he walked along Western Avenue on Wednesday night. Police investigations have confirmed that on Wednesday night around 6:25 p.m., Jason Cortez was walking on Western Avenue when […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Olympic dream or just more of the same?
    Elections are being held this weekend, 18th February, for the executive positions on the National Olympic Association or the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA) as the local organization is titled. Are we in for just more of the same or are we on our way to Olympic dream. The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Association is the local arm of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and according to the IOC’s website, “a National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOC’s are responsible for organizing their people’s participation in the Olympic Games” and related qualifying tournaments or competitions. National committees primarily act on behalf of local sporting associations or federations to access funds held by the IOC to either offset the cost of Olympic qualifying competition regionally or internationally in a sport or for approved development activities locally for that sport. The IOC’s website also indicates that the BOCGA has been recognized since 1968. However, this upcoming election will only be the second since the organization’s inception, the first was held in 2013.

    One Idaho couple exchanged winter in Idaho for eternal summer in Cayo, Belize
    According to US.News, three years ago a couple from Idaho moved to Cayo, Belize. David and Cathy Thayer had nine months of winter each year living in Northern Idaho. In Cayo, Belize, they have 12 months of summertime. Cathy said that she hadn’t traveled to anywhere other than Paris and when David told her that he had already bought tickets to travel to Belize, she was shocked. “I didn’t know anything about Belize at the time, but I knew one thing,” she says. “I knew that Central America is nothing like Paris.” Cathy agreed to take the trip because she thought it would be a nice vacation.

    Letter to the Editor
    Hi, is there someone who can be held accountable for the article posted yesterday titled: “A 15 yr old is raped while drinking and smoking weed”? Myself and many other subscribers to your page are simply offended at the implications of the title. We feel that, as a news outlet, you are influential and therefore responsible for spreading stories in a way that is true and unbiased. Our rape culture in Belize, as in many countries mercilessly place blame on the victims of rape rather than the perpetrator. This has made it very difficult for many women AND men to speak up about their rape, and as a result, harder to bring those responsible to justice.

    “Senior Immigration officers did not follow the law” says former Immigration Financial Officer
    The former financial officer of the Immigration and Nationality Department, Teresita Castellanos, gave an explosive testimony to the Senate Special Select Committee this week, detailing how public officers violated many of the established protocols in the commission of their duties. Castellanos testified that despite holding training workshops with officers to make them aware of the processes for issuing and monitoring the issuance of visa sales and distributions, the officers still kept on breaking the rules. She highlighted that memos were sent to the officers in charge, advising the staff that they were not allowed to pay for passports and other fees on behalf of the public as per Financial Order 79.

    Queen’s Square basketball court in Belize City gets lights
    The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through the National Sports Council (NSC), today announced that they worked in conjunction with the Queen’s Square community in Belize City to enhance the safety of youth who wish to participate in sporting and recreational activities. Through a lighting project implemented by NSC, Queen’s Square residents are now enjoying brighter evenings and nights on their basketball court. The NSC also assisted the residents in fixing security lights in the area to deter violence and criminal activities. This is a part of a wider government initiative of promoting citizen security through sports and recreation.

    GOB expresses condolences on passing of Bishop O.P. Martin
    The Government of Belize (GOB) today issued a press release expressing its condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic Community on the passing of the Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin. Bishop Martin was born in Dangriga on December 4th, 1930, and served the Roman Catholic community for almost 40 years, beginning with his ordination to priesthood in 1959.

    Denys Barrow to join CCJ as judge
    Attorney Denys Barrow is set to leave the country in the next few months for Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. In June he is scheduled to to take up an appointment as a judge on the Caribbean Court of Justice, where he will replace Justice Rolston Nelson, who retires at the end of May.

    Road traffic accident in San Ignacio Town
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that there was a road traffic accident on Bullet tree road in San Ignacio town shortly before 6 p.m. yesterday. A black pick-up truck collided into a motorcycle causing the motorcycle to slide under the front part of the pick up truck. Fortunately, the driver of the motorcycle sustained only minor injuries.

    Leela Vernon “Queen of Brukdown” needs your help
    One of Belize’s favorite music artist needs your assistance. BBN has been reliably informed that Belize’s Bruk Down Queen, Leela Vernon was hospitalized last week Friday and is presently at the Intensive Care Unit in need of A+ blood . She is known for her unique Belizean cultural songs particularly the one titled “Ah wah know who seh kriol no gat no kolcha” which is loved by all Belizeans. Vernon’s family is asking the public for assistance in donating blood.

    Blogs

    A new adventure awaits you during San Pedro’s Gran Carnaval
    When most Belizeans think about carnival, images of elaborate costumes and festive floats come to mind. But for those who live in San Pedro Town, carnival is actually ‘carnaval’ and the traditional celebration is observed to usher in the 40-day Lenten Season. Unlike the highly anticipated annual Carnival Road March held in September during our country’s patriotic celebration, San Pedro’s Gran Carnaval takes place usually in February, four days before Ash Wednesday. This year, San Pedro’s Carnaval will take place from Friday, February 24th to Tuesday, February 28th. It will open with the annual Reina del Carnaval Pageant on Friday, followed by a block party on Saturday, three days of painting and comparsa (dance groups) dancing from Sunday to Tuesday, and will end with the burning of Juan Carnaval on Wednesday, March 1st. That’s quite a line up for some adventurous activities!

    Placencia Arts Fest 2017!! Tons of pictures that will make you want to join us next year!
    The Placencia Arts Festival gets bigger and more fun every year!! It is part festival, part local art, and always a really fun day of walking around. This year, Naia Resort added a really nice event for fundraising, where local artists were honored and there was a silent auction of their amazing work. Sunday also was crazy busy in the village....if you missed Barefoot Bar Sunday night, sorry to say you missed an amazing night!! See our pictures for a snapshot :)

    International Sourcesizz

    Striking Photos of Cultural Fashions You Have to See
    Most global fashions aren’t fads. They arise from centuries of tradition and don’t go out of vogue when the seasons change: the bold beadwork of the Maasai in the Serengeti, the endless folds of a bright blue Tuareg head wrap in the Sahara, a Scottish tartan. Here are some of the world’s most notable fashions and the people who wear them—plus tips on borrowing the styles when you get back home.

    Missing buoy washes up in Belize (at Portofino!)
    A dive site marker buoy torn from its mooring during rough seas has washed up almost 450 miles away in Belize. 8-year old Alexander van Noord found the buoy washed up at the Portofino Beach resort in San Pedro, Belize, where he lives. It was used to mark DiveTech’s house reef at Lighthouse Point but disappeared after rough weather. Luckily someone had marked it with the dive shop phone number. Alexander and his mother reached out to DiveTech to make arrangements to get it back. Source: lajornadamaya.mx

    More cheap flights to Chetumal expected in 2017
    This year, tourism will be consolidated, with the possibility of another low-cost airline connecting the southern part of Quintana Roo with the center of the country. The head of Tourism, Marisol Vanegas, also said that there is great expectation for the opening of the archaeological zone of Ichkabal in Bacalar. Through its website, the airline Viva Aerobús announced the opening of new routes for this year, including the flight from Mexico City to Chetumal, three days a week, at a cost of 804 pesos, starting April 1. The airline specifies that it is still subject to government approval; That is to say that the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT), still has not granted the permission. This airline would join the service offered by Interjet and Volaris, also low-cost airlines, offering the route to Mexico City and vice versa, the first daily and the second three days a week. In addition, Mayan Air connects Chetumal with Cancun and Tropic Air with the country of Belize.

    Videos

  • CARILED closes its project in Belize, 6min.

  • XAIBE R C SCHOOL CELEBRATES 1ST CULTURE AND BUSINESS EXPO, 4min.

  • THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY COMES TO TOGETHER UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF THE BELIZE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN ORANGE WALK, 10min.

  • Prevail Combat Club Event - MMA Seminar with UFC Fighter Nate Marquardt, 38min.

  • Belize Body Building & Fitness Federation - Spiez muscle Mania 2017, 12min.

  • Flashback Sky Diving &Valentine Concert M3 Promotions & Mapy "The Violinist", 30min.

  • Growing Fairtrade Sugar in Belize, 3min.

  • Zip Lining In Belize 2017, 9min.

  • Presbyterian Day School Belize - Cristo Rey, Belize, 6min.

  • Belize trip 2017, 8min.

    February 17, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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    The San Pedro Sun

    SPTC receives donation of tents
    On Tuesday, February 7th, The San Pedro Town Council was the recipient of a donation of two igloo-shaped tents. The tents, measuring 12 feet in height, 20 in width, and 30 feet in length were donated by Frank Casares of Skydive San Pedro. Mayor Daniel Guerrero welcomed the kind donation and thanked Casares for his support to the community. According to Guerrero the tents will be of great use to the community, particularly in times of emergencies. The San Pedro Town Council offices open Monday to Friday from 8AM to 5PM. They can be reached via phone at 226-2198 and are located on Barrier Drive.

    BNTU demands voter re-registration following Senate Inquiry into the Immigration Scandal
    Following the Senate Inquiry into the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Immigration scandal 2011-2013, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is now expressing concern about the distribution of questionable Belizean nationality certificates. In a statement issued on Thursday, February 9th, BNTU emphasized the need for re-registration. “The BNTU believes that our sacred democracy has been greatly compromised and tarnished by malpractices and we feel it is most URGENT that the necessary corrective measures be put in place. The BNTU therefore calls on the Government of Belize (GOB) to immediately address the clean-up of the voter registration list through a re-registration process, as required by law”. The release further stated that while the constitution states that a re-registration must be conducted every decade, the last vote re-registration exercise was carried out in 1997, which is 20 years. The BNTU stated that both political parties have utilized Statutory Instruments to avoid the process.

    Red Cross San Pedro Brach hosts Valentine’s Day fundraiser
    The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch hosted their Valentine’s Day fundraiser at Stella’s Smile on Sunday, February 12th. With a “Share the Love” theme, the fundraiser drew a crowd to enjoy their brunch special of savoury/sweet crepes and mimosas. Under the palapa, guests indulged their taste buds while DJ Matt Hoy spun love songs and took special requests for free. The fundraiser also featured great raffles and a special table for Valentine’s card crafting, complete with candy heart sayings, glitter, and lots of bling! The Red Cross would like to give a huge thank you to Stella’s Smile for hosting and serving their menu at the fundraiser. As usual, the proceeds will go to support San Pedro Red Cross initiatives, such as blood drives, and health and wellness education in the community.

    SPTC addresses traffic issues with golf cart rental owners
    In an effort to alleviate traffic-related issues on Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has been following the recommendations of Canadian traffic expert, Darwin Juell. Since the last traffic consultation on January 16th, the SPTC has made it a priority to address prominent issues affecting San Pedro’s daily traffic flow. As such, the SPTC met with several Lebanese golf cart rental owners regarding their business practices on Wednesday, February 8th. The SPTC has conducted several meetings with the various Taxi Associations, but this meeting with the golf cart rental owners came after numerous complaints were given via Facebook. Complaints included reckless driving, halting traffic and blaring music. The SPTC took these complaints into consideration and developed an itinerary to discuss with the Lebanese stakeholders.

    Minister of Agriculture has high hopes of improving the agriculture sector
    Over the past few years, the agricultural sector in Belize has experienced a series of setbacks, particularly in the citrus and banana industries. Since taking command of the Ministry of Agriculture, Honourable Godwin Hulse has met with several agriculture stakeholders in an effort to revive the agricultural sector, which contributes tremendously to the Belizean economy. The Ministry has launched a new campaign dubbed ‘Let’s Get Growing,’ in hopes of boosting the sector. According to Hulse, the whole idea is to expand production and take advantage of the market that exists, while at the same time try new ones. “The overall position is to create employment for people in rural areas, and earn foreign exchange,” said Hulse.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    The former head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Belize passes away
    Bishop OP Martin passed away this morning. Bishop Martin was the head of the diocese from 1984 to 2007.

    Bishop Martin passes away
    It is a sad morning to hear of the passing of Bishop O.P. Martin Belize's first native bishop who shepherded us for over 20 years in humility and love. You will be missed bishop. I thank God for your life and the gift of your vocation. May you rest in God's eternal peace until we one day meet again.

    Fun Filled Valentine's Day Fundraiser for SPR Red Cross
    "Share the Love" was the theme for the Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch's Valentine's Day fundraiser at Stella's Smile on Sunday, Feb. 12th. It was a perfect day for a leisurely Sunday Brunch under the Palapa, with DJ Hoy spinning love songs and songs we love by request. There were lots of great raffles and a special table for Valentine's card crafting, complete with candy heart sayings, glitter, and lots of bling! The Red Cross would like to give a huge thank you to Stella's Smile, for hosting, and for serving their savoury and sweet crepes and bottomless mimosas. Big thanks also go out to Matt Hoy, Kenny Guinn, ACES CSI Crocodile Tours, Ocean Ferry, Belizean Melody and Splashers, Madison Stone, Heather Smith, Pink, Brooklyn Brothers Bagels, Paradisecream, Science & Soul Yoga at Mahogany Bay, and Candle Garden for their generous support. Thank you also to all of the wonderful friends & neighbours who attended to support the Red Cross.

    Formal Export of Live Cattle to Guatemala
    On February 13th, 2017, a first shipment of live cattle was exported to Guatemala duty free, via the Belize-Guatemala Western Border. This marked the first export of live cattle under the Partial Scope Trade Agreement between the Governments of Belize and Guatemala. It activated the Sanitary Agreement signed between Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and its Guatemalan counterpart. This shipment formalizes the trade of live cattle and provides a framework on which to build a robust cattle trade. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration congratulates the private sector stakeholders, in particular cattle farmers from Spanish Lookout, for their historic export and urges all cattle producers to use the formal route for trade. Banana Bank AgCo, the company that completed the first export of live cattle already exports corn and other products to Guatemala. The Ministry congratulates them and stand ready to assist others wishing to follow their lead.

    Official photograph of CARICOM Heads of Government and Heads of Delegation
    Taken on the occasion of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM Thursday at State House, Georgetown Guyana. The Belizean Delegation is led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington.

    2017 FIRE SEASON OPENS
    February 15th marks the opening of the Forest Fire Season. The Forest Department warns that this year’s fire season may be more intense due to the impact of Hurricane Earl on our forests. "Earl damaged large areas of forest, leaving on-ground debris caused by fallen trees and dead branches, which will pose a fire hazard in the 2017 dry season and beyond." said Wilber Sabido, Chief Forest Officer. Forester German Novelo, officer responsible for Forest Fire Prevention and Management, added that the impacts of forest fires can be far-reaching, not merely causing major damage to trees and vegetation, non-timber forest products and wildlife habitat; but can also destroy crops, homes, threaten lives, and contaminate our air with smoke which becomes a health hazard. Sabido and regional foresters met yesterday to review and discuss plans and preparations underway for this year’s anticipated significant forest fire potential. The department, which is responsible for the management of 3.5 million acres of national forests, notes that forest fires trends show that over 97,260 acres of Belize’s land surface are affected by wildfires each year. Fires most concentrated in savannah and broadleaf forests are either intentionally set by hunters for game hunting or arise from the negligent use of fire by farmers for the burning of their milpas and other agricultural lands.

    Twin Towns Welcome Miss Belize Feb. 21
    Another motorcade for Miss Belize on February 21st.

    You are invited to attend Chamber Day Today
    BCCI build networks with educational institutions and to develop a strong culture of private sector advocacy by interacting frequently with the future business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. The Chamber day is an educational fair promoting the role and services of the Chamber and other key organizations and bodies that contribute to making business happen; from the start of opening a business to the regular operations and the continued existence of the business. In addition, businesses will showcase their services and products to further encourage emerging small business entrepreneurs in the Orange Walk District. You are cordially invited to come out and be a part of Chamber Day, Orange Walk.

    Dangriga Cancer Society tshirt design competition
    The Dangriga Cancer Society is having a tshirt design competition for this year's cancer walk to be held on May 13th. The top 3 designs selected were all done by local high school students. Voting has already commenced and ends on Sunday Feb 19th at 7 p.m. The winner with most likes will be the design for this years cancer walk and also receives a a tablet and a $200 cash prize. #1 design was done by Kevon Laurie from Ecumenical High #2 design was done by Jalen Castillo from Ecumenical High #3 design was done by Ernest Peters from ITVET.

    The Snowbird Ball, Feb 18th
    Consejo Village, 6-10pm

    Education Month Theme Competition
    The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture extends an invitation for you to participate in this year's theme competition

    Business Cultural Expo at the Xaibe R. C. School
    Don't forget the Business Cultural Expo at the Xaibe R. C. School grounds today Friday, February 17th beginning at 9:30 a. m. Please support a wonderful cause. See you there.!

    Anthropology Day
    Galen University had their Anthropology Day at Falcon Field today, and it was a hit. They educated, in a fun way, 100's of primary school students. Thanks, Galen! "GU's Anthropology Club celebrates Anthropology Day 2017 with primary school students from Sacred Heart Primary, St. Andrew's Primary and Faith Nazarene Primary where they engaged and shared info about the awesome world of Anthropology. Great job Anthro Club!"

    Miss Belize Cayo Motorcade
    Bex is coming to Cayo on Tuesday. "I'm travelling around Belize to say thank you for all our love and support. That love and support from home is powerful fuel for representatives, athletes and performers representing abroad! It's Cayo on Feb 21st but I'm happy to come anywhere your school or organization invite me!"

    The Belize Tourism Board Team conducting country presentations in Phoenix and Los Angeles!

    Archaeology is fun! And important
    The Belize Police Department officers learned about cultural preservation and heritage protection from Dr. Andrew Cohen, archaeology expert from the U.S. Department of State, Dr. Alexandra Jones of Archaeology in the Community, and Dr. Alan Moore and Antonio Beardall of Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize.

    "NO OIL" drone photo in Hopkins
    Hey Hopkins! Let's do a drone photo in Hopkins similar to what was done in Placencia, Caye Caulker and San Pedro. This will require a bunch of participants. Lets stay vigilent #nomeansnogob Beach cleanup was done Saturday the 11th so just come and be part of the photo. Let send a message!

    Anthropology Day 2017
    Galen University's Anthropology Club celebrates Anthropology Day 2017 with primary school students from Sacred Heart Primary, St. Andrew's Primary and Faith Nazarene Primary where they engaged and shared info about the awesome world of Anthropology. Great job Anthro Club!

    Channel 7

    Jason Cortez Killed In Late Evening City Shooting
    A city man was gunned down and killed last night on Western Avenue. We had told you about the shooting in last night's news but today we have more details. Courtney Weatherburne went to find out more about this latest Southside homicide. Courtney Weatherburne, reporting: It's beside this sprouting palm tree that 21 year old Jason Cortez struggled to stay alive. Cortez was walking on Western Avenue last night when a man shot him several times. Cortez ran off after he was hit but he didn't get too far. He collapsed in this yard at corner of Western and Electric Avenue. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer: "Unfortunately he got most of it to his body, the chest, the abdomen area, back, he was rushed to the KHMH and succumbed while undergoing treatment." Reports are that the gunman followed Cortez as he walked down Western Avenue. Now Neither Police nor his family know where he was heading. His sister says Cortez didn't say anything when he went off yesterday evening. But not too long after, they got the terrible news.

    15 Year-old Raped After Blacking Out From Alcohol
    There is a disturbing Valentine's rape case to report. A 15 year old girl was hanging out and drinking with 2 men at a house in Benque Viejo. The girl reported that she can't remember what happened after she took her first drink at 1030 in the morning. She only remembers being awakened by man who found her on the floor in the house at 7:30 that night. So, according to her report, she was blacked out pretty much all day. The girl was taken to the doctor and it was confirmed that she has been carnally known. Police gave us more details on this case. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer: "I received information, actually a report was made by a 15 year old, and she is saying that on Valentines day, she was in the company of two men. She did not indicate her age rage, sometime around 10am, in a house in Benque Viejo and she is saying that they were drinking and smoking cannabis and after taking her first drink, she felt dizzy. When she woke up again, it was like 7:30 in the evening when she was awoken by someone - another man, not any of the two that she was originally with and she is saying that she was carnally known. Doctor has certified since that yes, she was carnally known. So we are looking for these two people."

    Veteran Court Journalist Assaulted By Prisoner
    Being a frontline journalist may look simple enough, but it can be dangerous. That's what veteran court reporter and photographer Anita Nembhard found out today. She works the beat at Magistrate's Court every day which means coming face to face with everyone from alleged killers to petty thieves. And more than just face to face, she has to take their pictures - many times against their will! Well today things when very wrong when she was punched d in the nose by a convicted murderer named Byron James. He was going back to prison, when she snapping pictures of other prisoners, and without provocation, he punched her. She told us what happened as she was making a police report today at the Euphrates precinct sub station: Anita Nembhard, Court Reporter: "Byron James came to court today to get his verdict on a murder case. He was found guilty like a year ago and the judge decided to hand down his judgement and he found him guilty. I wasn't in court when they told him he was guilty but I knew it was going to happen because I came to court and I was following the case, so I came back a little late and I found out from the prosecutor that they found him guilty. I got his picture already and I was just taking pictures of the prisoners when they were leaving. I wasn't focusing on Byron. I said nothing to Mr. James in the sense to irritate him or aggravate him in any way. I believe he was upset because he was found guilty of murder."

    The Catholic Church Loses Bishop Martin
    Today the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belmopan and Belize City announced the passing of 86 year old Bishop OP Martin. Osmand Peter Martin was born in 1931, and was ordained into priesthood in April 1959. After serving in parishes throughout the diocese for 33 years, Martin was ordained Auxiliary Bishop and was the first Garifuna and Belizean bishop for the Church. He was appointed Bishop of the Belmopan and Belize City diocese two years later in 1984. After serving the Catholic Church for 48 years, the then 76 year old bishop retired to his family home in Dangriga where he passed away in his sleep early this morning. Martin's family and other bishops are being consulted about his funeral arrangements. When more details are available, we will let you know.

    Contrabandists Caught With Loads of Illegal Soft Drinks
    The trade in the contraband in the north may never stop, and so the customs department will always have something to bust. They conducted An operation this afternoon in the Santa Cruz area, and at around 12 midday, the team intercepted two vehicles on the Progresso Road. One of them was a green Ford ranger with 20 cases assorted soft drinks. and one green Isuzu rodeo with 14 cases Superior canned beer. Both drivers were charged.

    Officer Reynolds' Take On Minister Frequenting Immigration
    Last night, we brought you coverage of the yesterday's Senate Hearings on Immigration, and we showed you how the Committee grilled Port Commander and Senior Immigration Officer George Reynolds. He had to answer questions from the Senate Select Committee about those 8 stolen visas of December 2012. As viewers are aware, that's what triggered the Special Audit of the Immigration Department, which is now the subject of tough questions for those who worked there, or those who are named in the Audit. They'll have to strap in because, these public hearings will continue for well… probably the next few months. While he was before them, the Senators decided to ask him about those ministers who were showing up regularly, pressing influence to expedite applications for visas, nationalities and passports. Here's his take on that, given his 26 years of experience in "the belly of the beast":

    Immigration Officers Refused To Follow Protocol?
    We also have more from the testimony of Teresita Castellanos. you'll remember her as the former Finance Officer for the Department who held nothing back yesterday when she mauled the Immigration Officers. She described the Immigration Department as a place with "an entrenched culture of corruption and hustling". According to Castellanos, the officers behave like a fraternity, resisting order and transparency, and covering for each other. So why does she have such a negative view of these public officers? Well, she said that she and the Former Acting Immigration Director, Maria Marin, tried to get them to follow the rules, and to do their jobs properly. But, according to her, nothing they did helped the situation; the officers did as they pleased. Here's how she outlined it to the Senators yesterday:

    Formalizing The Cattle Trade With Guatemala
    Ask anyone with familiarity with the western border and they'll tell you that the export of cattle to Guatemala is nothing new. It's a thriving informal trade - which means, its smuggled through the back. But,efforts are being made to normalize this and today, the Ministry of Agriculture reported that a first shipment of live cattle was exported to Guatemala duty free, through the formal Belize-Guatemala Western Border. It's the product of the partial scope Trade Agreement between the Governments of Belize and Guatemala. And, the ministry says that BAH and its Guatemalan counterpart have worked out all the sanitary specifications the trade of live cattle is now a formal reality - meaning no more need to smuggle it through Calla Creek and other border settlements. According to the ministry, the push came from the cattle farmers from Spanish Lookout and Banana Bank Agricultural Company was the company that completed the first export. Banana Bank already exports corn and other products to Guatemala.

    The Gateway For At Risk Youths
    Today marked the launch of the 4th Annual Youth Innovation Challenge. The competition asks high school students come up with creative solutions to problems the Belizean society is facing today. This year, students from the Belize District were challenged to find a way to combat and eliminate violence among youths. Chief Education Officer Carol Babb and two challenge veterans gave us more details... Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: "So the youth innovation challenge started 3 years ago and this is our 3rd year and we are very pleaeed to announced that we will be doing it again along with our partners. We have an international accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers and they have supported us yearly and we also have Peace work International working with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, to make this annual challenge possible."

    What's Up With That New Shark Species In Belize?
    Earlier this month, we told you about a newly discovered species of shark discovered here in Belize. While collecting data on the Belizean shark population, Dr. Demian Chapman, a shark specialist working with the Fisheries Department, took a closer look at what he thought was a bonnethead shark. After studying the shark's DNA, he realized that it was in fact, a completely different species. We spoke to Chapman, as well as the Fisheries Department Administrator, Beverly Wade about the discovery... The discovery of this new species will help the Fisheries Department to update and regulate laws relating to the fishing of sharks.

    The Creek Should Be Race Ready
    For the past week we've been telling you about the condition of the Haulover Creek - which is presently impassable due to growth and fallen trees. But the prognosis for clearing it has gone from hopeless to imminent. And that's because today the Forestry Department descended on the creek with 12 work men, in a pontoon, equipped with chain saws, machetes, and other tools. Two other pontoons are being built on site. They expect to be able to clear out the creek in a few days, and it should be finished by this weekend, definitely in time for the closing stretch of the Ruta Maya in March. The race organizers have also expressed an interest in using the pontoons for the race day. One beneficial effect of the project is that when the creek is cleared, it is expected to reduce siltation buildup in the Belize Harbor.

    Ivory Kelly's: A Belizean Writer Extraordinaire
    "Memories, Dreams and Nightmares" it's a 2002 short story Anthology by Belizean Writers. Most of you probably read it in high school. That's where many of you got know about Belizean writer Ivory Kelly - through her short story "The Real Sin". Well, since then, her writing career has taken off. She has published a book of poems and 4 short stories in Belize. Her works have also been featured in acclaimed Journals and anthologies in the Caribbean, the US and the UK. And her latest short story "A Certain Kind of Beautiful" has been published in a new online journal called "Interviewing the Caribbean". Kelly's works has certainly elevated the standard of Belizean art on the world stage. In a conversation with Courtney Weatherburne yesterday, Kelly spoke more about her accomplishments and her latest publication.

    Foreign Minister In Guyana For CARICOM Meeting
    Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington is heading a 5 member delegation to the 28th inter-sessional meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Georgetown, Guyana. The agenda is loaded and it includes Correspondent Banking, Tourism, Crime and Security, and the status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. Border disputes between Belize and Guatemala, as well as Guyana and Venezuela, will also be discussed. The Foreign Minister is accompanied by Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow, Human Development CEO Judith Alpuche, CARICOM Ambassador Daniel Gutierez and Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Orla Kantun Coleman. Mrs. Barrow is there for a two-day forum for CARICOM First Ladies and Spouses called the Every Caribbean Woman, Every Caribbean Child Initiative.

    Awarding Police Excellence
    Ask any police officer, and they'll tell you that they have one of the toughest jobs. They have to put themselves in danger to protect citizens who more more likely to curse them than thank them. Of course, it doesn't get any easier when there are few rogue cops whose behavior gives the department a bad name. So, the police have to take the few victories they can get. That's why the top brass went carefully through the list of their subordinates from Belize City, and they shortlisted over a hundred and 140 officers to be recognized in an official ceremony today. We stopped by this evening to speak with their police boss about those who were chosen from the toughest area to police in the country:

    When Will There Be A New NICH Pres./Sports Director?
    Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber is currently the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture. It's a large portfolio and we noticed that two of the key bodies, the National Institute of Culture and History and the National Sports Council don't have permanent leaders. Greg Vernon is the acting president of NICH and Charlie Slushes is the acting director of sports. When we were in Dallas with the Culture Czars, we asked the CEO about the state of affairs: Catzim later told us that they will advertise the post of Director of the National Sports Council, while the recruitment of President for NICH is underway.

    Leela Is Ailing
    Belizean musician and Brukdown Legend Queen Leela Vernon continues to be hospitalized due to Chronic Renal failure. She was airlifted from her PG home last week Thursday and taken to the KHMH where she is in a critical condition. Vernon's family says she needs blood urgently. If anyone with blood type A Positive would like to donate, you can call 668-1935. The family will continue monitoring her condition. We will also keep you updated.

    Amanda, The Little Blogger
    Madison Pearl Edwards may not be a household name, just yet, but give her time, she's only 11 years old! But, "Madi" as she is known is already a star on social media where she is a travel blogger on iTravelBelize.com. But now she's on her biggest adventure ever. She's snorkeling the entire span of the Belize Barrier Reef from the Northern end in her home town of San Pedro to the Southern end in the Toledo District. It's about raising awareness of the dangers of offshore drilling - but this island girl she can explain away better than I can. Made will be cleaning the Reef, collecting bottles, fishing nets, fishing lines, anchor ropes and other marine debris along the way. You can follow her at iTravelBelize.com.

    Jenilee Made A Deal; Won A Car!
    One Belizean-American lucked out big time last week when she appeared on a US talk show. Jenilee Smith was a guest on Let's Make A Deal where her colorful costume was a Belizean flag. Here's how she got the better of host Wayne Brady.

    Channel 5

    Bishop Osmond Martin Dead at 87
    Belize’s first native Roman Catholic Bishop, The Most Reverend Osmond Peter Martin of Dangriga, is dead. He died, at the age of eighty-seven, sometime after three this morning at home [...]

    Jason Cortez Gunned Down in Old Capital
    There has not been a murder in the City since February third when Keimar Nicholas succumbed to shooting injuries sustained days earlier.  But early on Wednesday night, gunshots were heard [...]

    Byron James Convicted of Murder of Frank Vasquez
    A murder conviction was secured today in the courts.  After languishing inside a prison cell at the remand section for more than one year after his trial concluded, Supreme Court [...]

    Police Puzzling Over Shooting of Alrick August
    Media Officer of the Belize Police Department, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood also gave the media an update to the shooting of Alrick August, which occurred on February ninth on Western Avenue [...]

    Denys Barrow Off to C.C.J. – as a Judge
    Senior Counsel Denys Barrow has been a key Government helpmate in legal cases for many years, but he now appears to be moving on. He has confirmed that he has [...]

    Chronicling the Culture of Corruption at Immigration
    The Immigration Department has an entrenched culture of corruption and hustling, from the top of the ladder to the bottom. That is what former administrative officer in the Department Teresita [...]

    Immigration Officers Never Learned Their Lessons
    Teresita Castellanos is a seasoned public officer. She provided scandalous details on Wednesday at the Senate hearings about the rot at the Immigration Department. She says she has been a [...]

    George Reynolds Defends Action in Missing Visas Case
    On Wednesday we told you of the run-in between then-port commander in charge of Immigration Services in Belmopan, George Reynolds, and Patrick Tillett, financial controller of the Belize City Council, [...]

    Senior Officer Gives Tips to Fix Immigration
    George Reynolds was less circumspect than his former colleague Teresita Castellanos on the issue of a culture of corruption in the Department. He said that as far as his work [...]

    Cayo Girl Raped Under Influence of Drugs
    There is a disturbing report of a fifteen year old girl from Succotz Village, Cayo District, who claims she was raped on Valentine’s Day. The horrible incident reportedly occurred at [...]

    BERT Complains About Mexicans Usurping Ambulance Service for Event
    Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) is as close to an official ambulance service as Belize has, boasting more than a decade of operation despite recent financial issues. So it came [...]

    Legendary Leela Vernon Hospitalized
    At this station, we want to wish the Queen of Brukdown, Leela Vernon, a speedy recovery.  Leela has been hospitalized in the intensive care unit of the K.H.M.H. since last [...]

    Banana Bank AgCo Ships Live Cattle to Guatemala
    The Ministry of Agriculture has yet to publicly comment on the issue of rotting potatoes that farmers across the country have been unable to get sold due to competition from [...]

    A New Species of Bonnethead Shark Discovered in Belize
    Over a week ago, we told you about the discovery of what is believed to be a new species of sharks in Belize. Since 2000, a researcher from the Florida [...]

    Police Hand Out Big-Time Awards
    Police Officers, Civilian Staff of the Department and community members were recognized today by the Belize Police Department. Over one hundred officers received awards in different categories as a part [...]

    STEMming Crime and Violence: the Challenge of Innovation
    High schools from across Belize District converged at the Gateway Youth facility near the Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City for the launch of an innovation challenge by the [...]

    CTV3

    Senior Immigration Officer Discusses Role In Missing VISAS
    As we reported yesterday, the absence of expected witnesses Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett has forced the Committee to seek legal advice on what powers are available to them to get Chang and Tillett to testify. Both men are named in the Auditor General’s special report for alleged roles in the mysterious trading of visas from the Immigration office at the Western Border. Another name called in the report is that of senior immigration officer, George Reynolds who has been with the Department for nearly 27 years. Reynolds, said the report, had confirmed to another Immigration official that the visas in Chang and Tillett’s possession were obtained illegally. On Wednesday, the former Port Commander for Immigration Services in Belmopan was given an opportunity to respond to the allegations, and he claimed that the report did not present an accurate picture.

    Castellanos Says She Was Removed Against her Will
    Back to former Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos. She was removed from Immigration Department in in 2014, during the same time the Auditor General’s office was carrying out their investigations into multiple scandals at the Department. Castellanos revealed in her testimony yesterday that she was removed from Immigration against her will. She said that the sister of former Minister of Immigration John Saldivar, who was the CEO at the time, seemed to have something personal against her. Teresita Castellanos – Former Finance Officer: “I know that I left the Department, I was thrown out of the department because we normally are transferable but the same CEO who sat here had me moved from the department until 2014, it was not a regular transfer for whatever personal reasons she had, as a matter of fact I was part of the …”

    Ministry Of Health Records Increase In Cases Of Diarrhea
    Since December of 2016, there has been an increasing rate of gastroenteritis cases particularly in the Stann Creek District. The communities mostly affected in the said district are Dangriga Town, Independence and Bella Vista Villages. According to statistics gathered from the Ministry of Health, the illness has been mostly affecting children but there are also a few cases recorded among adults. Last month, a sum of 242 cases were recorded of which 145 are that of children of less than five years, and 117 among children over the age of five. Over fifty percent of these recorded cases involve patients suffering from symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting in addition to abdominal cramps and fever.

    Belize Represented At CARICOM Conference Of Heads Of Government
    A Belizean delegation steered by Foreign Minister Hon. Wilfred Elrington left the country to attend the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government in Georgetown, Guyana. At the two day Conference which began today, regional leaders will speak about a series of issues which are considered critical to development in the region such as Correspondent Banking, Tourism in the Region, the status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Crime and Security. In addition to that, the leaders are expected to validate decisions arising from the 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM. Also, during closed-door sessions, issues concerning long-standing border disputes between Belize and Guatemala and Guyana and Venezuela will be discussed.

    Former Finance Officer Says Higher Ups In Immigration Blocked Reform
    The ground-shaking testimony given yesterday to the Senate Select Committee by former Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos has undoubtedly gotten the attention of the entire country as Belizeans heard, for the first time, a former senior officer confess the extent of corruption and cover-up that has existed at the Immigration Department. Castellanos confirmed that there is an entrenched culture of corruption at the Immigration Department that continues up to today. She also pointed out that some immigration officers act with impunity and then cover up for each other. According to Castellanos, during her term she and the former Director Maria Marin made various attempts to implement measures but it never got the attention it deserved from higher up.

    LOVE FM

    Catholic Bishop Osmond Peter Martin Passes
    November 18, 2016 marked ten years since Catholic Bishop, Osmond Peter Martin retired as the leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize and Belmopan City. Following retirement he relocated to Dangriga Town for a quiet life with family members and this morning he passed away. We hear more in this report from correspondent Harry […]

    Foreign Minister to Guyana for Heads of Government Sessions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington is in Guyana for the twenty eighth inter-sessional meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government. Regional leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of issues such as Correspondent Banking, Tourism, the status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy as well as Crime and Security. Leaders […]

    Jason Cortez Slain on Western Avenue
    Belize City police are investigating the shooting murder of 21 year old Jason Cortez. Cortez was shot last night while he was walking on Western Avenue at around six twenty five. Police say that he was being followed and when the gunman saw the opportunity to strike, he did so shooting Cortez several times. He […]

    Accused Murderer Walks Free in Punta Gorda
    Shockwaves were felt in Punta Gorda after the body of Juana Cardinez Cowo was found with over twenty stab wounds inside an apartment on Main Street in that municipality in July 2015. Today, the man accused of the brutal murder, Alberto Coleman, walked out of the Courtroom a free man, as a trial without jury […]

    CCJ Sides with Government Whilst Issuing Strong Recommendations on the 6th Amendment
    The Caribbean Court of Justice yesterday made a ruling regarding the constitutional motion filed by the Belize Bar Association as it relates to the appointment of a Justice of Appeal. The Bar’s argument was that the sixth amendment was unconstitutional and violates the rule of law, the separation of powers principle and the basic structure […]

    SC Denys Barrow Appointed to Sit with the CCJ
    Belize’s Senior Counsel, Denys Barrow will be taking up the position of a judge on the Caribbean Court of Justice as at June 1, 2017. The CCJ is the highest court for Belize and is equivalent to the UK’s Supreme Court in the British system. He is one of seven judges from the Caribbean appointed […]

    Ministerial Influence at Immigration Reported
    Yesterday former Finance Officer at the Immigration Department, Teresita Castellanos made a number of alarming disclosures as the Senate Select hearings continued. Appearing after Castellanos was Belmopan’s former Port Commander, George Reynolds. Reynolds name shows up in the auditor general’s reports as the man who was asked to ‘fix” two of the eight missing visa […]

    Castellanos Speaks of Irregularities at Immigration
    Yesterday, the former finance officer in the Immigration Department Teresita Castellanos made a damning statement expressing her frustration at the corrupt system that plagues the immigration department. During her three year period that Castellanos was at the Immigration Department, she observed irregular practices and along with former Acting Director, Maria Marin, made recommendations to put […]

    Making Cattle Big for Belize
    On Tuesday we brought you the story of the first duty free cattle import into Guatemala that took place via the western border. Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse spoke more of the cattle industry and how he sees this sector expanding. GODWIN HULSE “One of the reasons I’m in this whole business and take all […]

    Belize Works Towards Revitalization of Rice Industry
    In an interview with Love News yesterday, Agriculture Minister, Godwin Hulse spoke of the decline in the rice industry and its reasons. GODWIN HULSE “

    The Guardian

    Courtenay comes under pressure to resign
    There is a clear conflict of interest being displayed by Senator Eamon Courtenay where he as a senator passed a law to protect the assets of Belize and is now actually challenging the very law he passed. Now, a group of Belizeans calling themselves BALAC have organized themselves and are publicly and loudly calling for Courtenay to resign. On Monday the People’s United Party held a press conference during which their leader, Johnny Briceno boldly stood in support of Courtenay. Speaking with forked tongue, he stated that the PUP stood for Belize yet they also stood alongside a man who is clearly bent on paving the way to have the extra protection which was last month put on Belize’s foreign reserves removed. As a result of this bullheaded and antinationalistic move equally by the PUP and Eamon Courtenay, a group of Belizeans formed themselves into an ad-hoc group calling themselves BALAC, Belizeans Against Lord Ashcroft and Courtenay with the specific purpose of pursuing a nationalistic agenda in particular against both Ashcroft and Courtney.

    Denys Barrow New Justice of the CCJ
    He is perhaps Belize’s foremost legal mind and once again the country will lose him for the benefit of the Caribbean region. Reliable reports have confirmed that Senior Counsel Denys Barrow will be appointed as a Justice of the Caribbean Court of Justice. Barrow was recently invited to become a Justice of the CCJ and has communicated his acceptance. This will be the second time that he has left Belize to loan his legal mind to the region. Barrow previously served as a Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal. He returned to Belize at the end of 2008 and was appointed as a Justice of the Court of Appeal on August 10, 2009. Accepting this appointment was one of great financial sacrifice since the salary was miniscule compared to what he would earn in private practice. He accepted the nomination though, factoring in his pension due from service at the Eastern Caribbean Judiciary as part of his incoming earnings. When the relationship went sour with the Association of Eastern Caribbean States and they refused to grant pension, Barrow returned to private practice with his financial well being to consider.

    PM Barrow meets with Belize’s Superbond negotiating team
    Belize’s Superbond negotiating team is preparing for a meeting with the bondholder’s committee in the days leading up to the due date for an interest payment on the loan on February 20. A payment of approximately $52.6 million is due on this date but Government is hoping to reach an agreement for restructure prior to this deadline. It has issued an extension on the deadline for bondholders to agree to its restructure proposal up to February 24, four days beyond the interest payment due date. This extension puts the possibility of default on the negotiating table and before both sides meet Prime Minister Barrow wants to ensure that Team Belize is on message.

    Judas turns Jackass
    After this week’s segment of the Senate Hearing, we are left wondering if Johnny’s opinion of his man EAMON COURTENAY, being the best thing to come to the world since sliced bread, will be the same. This week Courtenay was definitely no Perry Mason. In fact he was more like Barney Fife. Just a bungling buffoon, was what he was shown to be. Eamon really appeared to be out of his element. Two highly trained Public Officers took him to school. For us it is poetic justice that in the same week that Johnny painted a picture of Eamon being this highly trained legal mind who was head and shoulders above all other senators that he was disrobed and left naked for all the world to see. The whole country saw his short comings exposed in front of us.

    CITCO’s CARILED Partnership ends with Entrepreneurship Monument
    It was a bitter sweet moment for the Belize City Council on Wednesday, February 15, when Mayor Bradley officially inaugurated the Monument Dedicated to Entrepreneurs of Belize City at the entrance of the Fort George Tourism Zone. Ribbon cutting for the tall and impressive structure marks the completion of a long awaited project and green lights a sigh of relief for the Council; however, it also marks midnight for the city’s dance with a most amazing partner, the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program (CARILED). The Caribbean Local Economic Development Program is a six-year $23.2 million project in which local governments have utilized assets and human capital to stimulate economic growth, create jobs and develop the business sector. CARILED has been funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), in partnership with the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministers (CFLGM), the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA) and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLFG).

    The Department of the Environment holds important training
    The Department of the Environment (DOE) is executing the project entitled “Belize Chemicals and Waste Management (BCWM) Project”, wherein one of the goals is the management and disposal of existing stockpiles of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), obsolete pesticides and other chemicals. This is to enable Belize to fulfill its Obligations under the Stockholm Convention on POPs. To assist in achieving this goal, the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the BCWM Project has recently organized a two-day training on chemicals management, with emphasis on the application of the Basel Convention on the Control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste, packaging, safe handling and transportation of hazardous chemicals. In keeping with the training momentum, the DOE had an opening for it’s training on Thursday of last week at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza, located in Belize City. The practical training for the disposal of wastes was also held last Friday during a half day session in Central Farm, Cayo.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs attends XXV session of OPANAL General Conference
    The Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in the XXV Session of the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) on the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Signed in 1967, the Treaty of Tlatelolco established the first Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in a densely populated area. It was the first of its kind and served as the inspiration for the subsequent creation of five other such zones across the globe. It remains a model of our region’s resourcefulness, unity, and sense of responsibility in addressing an issue of global importance and concern. Minister Elrington reiterated Belize’s commitment and continued support of the Treaty’s obligations and joined the other delegations in adopting the Draft Declaration of the Member States on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary.

    Johnny and Marshalleck stand by their man
    Like Tommy Wynette the PUP is standing by their man Eamon Courtenay in his traitorous assault on the government and people of Belize. The PUP rather than distancing themselves from the machinations of this gentleman in his ZEAL to advance the attack of his master, have embraced him. The ECONOMIC HITMAN, has placed the economic viability of Belize and the safety of every person who live in this country in jeopardy, including those poor PUP’s who form the majority of that party. It is not that their actions caught us by surprise. We all knew that that party is driven by greed and personal enrichment. As long as they and their relatives are not negatively affected then everything is a go, no matter how unscrupulous the deal appears to be, it is a go, as long as they will see a payday. For the PUP leadership to now claim that the only reason, they voted in favor of the two bills that seeks to further insulate Belize’s Foreign Assets including those of the Central Bank of Belize, was because they were pressured into doing so and did so out of ignorance is farcical.

    Community centres refurbished to meet hurricane shelter standards
    The Community Centre in the Village of Lucky Strike, in Belize Rural North, is currently being refurbished, its roof being replaced, bathrooms built, and proper doors and windows installed. Area Representative and Minister of National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro explained that the works being done with funds from the Government of Belize will enable the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to utilize it as a Hurricane Shelter when it is needed for that purpose. Chairman of Lucky Strike Village Andrew Chacon says his council and residents of the village are thankful for the works being done on the community centre. He explained that ever since he was first elected 13 years ago as a member of the village council, it has been a top priority of his to have the community centre repaired, and he is pleased that it is now being done under his leadership and that of Hon. Edmond Castro as Area Representative.

    Ombudsman sworn-in for new term in office
    In a brief ceremony held on Monday, February 13th at the Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Lionel Arzu was sworn-in for a new term as Ombudsman. This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement of Mr. Arzu’s re-appointment at the January 27th sitting of the House of Representatives. This marks Mr. Lionel Arzu’s third term as Ombudsman. Mr. Arzu was accompanied at the ceremony by his family.

    Living legend – Lester Richards Belizean Patriot & UDP stalwart
    Almost 68 years old, Lester Adolfo Richards (Senior Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of the Supreme Court) from Independence Village, Stann Creek District, is a living legend. Having worked since age 21 at various levels in the Banana Industry (from machete-man to tractor-driver to storeroom-keeper to time-keeper to paymaster to farm-manager), he is now retired and rehired, still serving efficiently as a senior security officer at the Port of Big Creek. (We recently had the pleasure of running into him two consecutive days while on tour with Hon. Edmond Castro and Hon. John Saldivar). A passionate proponent of the current administration led by Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and the UDP, Mr. Lester is widely respected as a man who, above all, loves his community and country. It is people like Mr. Lester Richards who make our communities strong, our country productive and uniquely Belizean. Respect and congratulations to this unsung hero and Belizean patriot!

    Ride Across Belize assists Belmopan Police Feeding Program
    Belizeans have given towards a worthy cause in the Nation’s Capital. Ride Across Belize and the staff of the Belize Social Security Board donated on Thursday of last week $5,000.00 to the Belmopan Police Feeding Program. Officer in Charge of Belmopan Police Howell Gillett informs that currently the Belmopan Police feed ten students daily and with this assistance will continue to extend to other needy children in the area. Ride Across Belize has taken its route to diverse areas across the Nation, raising funds along their challenging journey and over the years have given to numerous worthy causes. We at the Guardian salute their efforts to provide a nutritious meal for our children.

    Screen on the Green in Belmopan
    Having been organized by the United States Embassy, in cooperation with the Belmopan City Council, the first ‘Screen on the Green’ for 2017 opened last Week Thursday at the Governor General’s Field in Belmopan, to some exiting reviews. On show to Belmopanese residents on a wide inflatable screen and under a perfect moon was the movie ‘Selma’, which records the three month struggles of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965. (In 1977, the U.S Federal Government decided to declare February, Black history month.) The U. S Embassy organizes the Screen on the Green on the first (or close to) Thursday of every month at 6:00 p.m at the Governor General’s Field, for the fifth year running, and has similar movie specials in Dangriga every few months. According to Mayor Khalid Belisle, the movie show is just an example of the Belmopan City Council working hand-in-hand with the U. S Embassy.

    The scurvy, arrogant, money grabbing Trombone family of British Honduras and Belize
    The 1968 New Standard Encyclopedia states that the slide trombone is unique among the wind instruments in its ability to pass easily from one tone to another - on the ground this means it is relatively easier to find the next note. I recall that paper money is commonly referred to as bill or bank note. We are unfortunate in Belize to have been burned over and over by members of the Trombone Family that does everything possible, to collect the bank notes, at the expense of Belize and Belizeans! Woldrich, the first leader of the pro-British National Party, was commonly referred to as a ‘Royal Creole’ by the PUP. In fact they despised him and his haughty attitude so much that they pelted his house with stones! However, when G. C. Price was facing charges for seditious intent and insulting words, he realized that having the intellectually superior Woldrich in his corner would serve legal as well as political purposes. G. C. Price therefore used him as a pawn – Price was very good at using people… abusing very many of them! Professional fees, in this specific example, were the means to the end that Price was seeking! When it comes to being sneaky, conniving and plain ‘wutliss’ none can beat Price!

    Secondment
    If memory serves me right, I think it was during the United Democratic Party’s first term in office when the PSU and BNTU approached Hon. Esquivel to request that an officer from each of the above Unions be seconded from his/her job to work fulltime for the Union with a salary from the taxpayers. The then Prime Minister agreed. I think we then saw Mr. John PINELO emerge as the first full time GOB –paid BNTU president. Of course there were other full time paid officers in the BNTU, like the great George Frazer and the late Eloisa Trueque, since BNTU has always had the big bucks. It seems that now this whole Secondment issue has completed its full circle. They don’t need it anymore, with the millions from the BTL Trust and thing, plus it peeves UDP supporters to see MR. Palacio attacking the UDP at every opportunity. Many have expressed that Palacio should register the BNTU as a full- fledged Opposition political party and If they later prefer to integrate into the PUP that’s their business, but the charade of being a trade union is no longer a sustainable cover for the man’s blue-mindedness.

    Philosophy: the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct.
    Directly after ordering a plate of 1-2-3, I received very good news from Mr. George Cadle Price RICHARDSON. He told me that the PUPs were avid readers of my column. I write truth to the voters! The more readers, the better! The big thief, ‘wuthliss’ PUP is committed to lies and deceit for monetary gains! They are dead broke and desperate! Ralph did not share the stolen treasures! All is fair in love and war and boxers are reminded to protect themselves at all times; so I am always on the lookout for the dirty deeds of scoundrels. Western Europeans separated humans into white, black, yellow and red. The supremacists then immediately went about implementing their nefarious plans. To get ahead they engaged in endless terrible acts including telling lies, creating unjust laws, stealing, trafficking, slavery and committing genocide... They come to where you and your assets are, with one plan – to take everything.

    Adam Ernest Meighan charged with rape
    A 49-year-old woman reported to police that she was raped near the Manatee Lookout establishment in Ladyville on December 2, 2016 and more than two months later police have finally made an arrest. Adam Ernest Meighan, 29, was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates’ Court on Friday, February 10, to face a single charge of rape. The victim, who is employed as a cook, reported to police that at around 5:20 a.m. on Friday, December 2, she left home and was heading to the junction of the Phillip Goldson Highway and Manatee Lookout when a male person of dark complexion approached her on a bicycle. She was talking on her cellphone when he rode past her and after about 30 yards he stopped and turned back towards her. She decided to cross the road in order to avoid the man. That was when he dropped the bicycle in the middle of the street and she began to run. He set chase with a machete in hand and caught up with her not far from Manatee Lookout. He proceeded to rob her of a black hand bag (valued $35), a Coach pocket book (value $15), $15 in cash and a Samsung cellphone (valued $200).

    Prison officer accused of sexual assault
    An officer of the Belize Central Prison, Pablo Bol, is locked up on remand at his work place after he was dragged to court on Friday, February 10, for three counts of sexual assault upon an 18- year-old woman. Allegations being made by the woman is that on December 29, 2016, she was visiting a friend at a village in the Northern part of the country when Bol touched her on the buttocks without her permission. She further alleged that on the following day he touched her twice again on her buttocks. She said she became annoyed with his behaviour and reported the incident to police. It is not certain why it took so long for Bol to be arrested and charged. On Friday Bol was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza to answer to three sexual assault charges. Bol pleaded not guilty to the charges and the prosecutor, Cpl. Joseph Perez, had heavy objections to bail; mainly based on the fact that Bol knows the victim well and they live in a small village so he may try to interfere with her.

    Danny Mason’s wife cleared of conspiracy charge
    A preliminary inquiry in the case against alleged conman and accused murderer Danny Mason, and company, was set to commence on Friday, February 10, before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. However, only Mason’s wife. Melissa Ferguson, made it on time to court. Ferguson was charged for conspiracy to kidnapping since police concluded that she played a role in Mason and his accomplices’ abduction and murder of Llewlyn Lucas. Mason and his alleged accomplices were brought to court an hour late. By this time the hearing had already been adjourned and a decision was made on Ferguson.

    Two charged for robbery with fake firearm
    A delivery man was robbed at gunpoint by a duo who used what turned out to be a toy gun. Late Friday evening, February 10, Esmir Janathan Garrido, 19, of #7 Dickenson Street and Marlon Mervin Everett, 29, of #163 West Street were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court on charges of robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit a crime. They appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza and pled not guilty to the charges. Due to the nature of the offense, allegedly committee with the use of a firearm, bail was not granted and both were remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until April 4, 2017.

    Wesley’s vice principal acquitted of drug charge
    Melvin Hewlett, 36, Vice Principal of Wesley College, is free from a charge of drug trafficking after Magistrate Carlon Mendoza ruled that there is not sufficient evidence to convict him of being in possession of 14 grams of crack cocaine on November 30, 2015. According to reports, the Gang Suppression Unit busted a known drug peddler with cocaine who offered to give up his main supplier in exchange for leniency with the criminal charges that he would face. On Friday, November 20, at around 11:35 a.m., the GSU set up a sting operation where they followed this informant to the Wesley College Compound. There they saw him making an exchange with Melvin Hewlett, who had been identified as this main supplier. The GSU team immediately closed in on both men and that was when Hewlett supposedly saw them coming. He allegedly threw away a piece of white paper which was crumpled up. They retrieved the piece of paper and found two transparent plastic bags containing a total of 14 grams of crack cocaine. He was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled drug with the intent to supply.

    Danny Ku pleads guilty to manslaughter after stabbing woman over 30 times
    Danny Ku accepted a plea deal on Monday, February 13, 2017 for killing Nurse Anna Basto on September 2, 2006. Ku was convicted of murder on December 16, 2006 but he appealed the conviction and a retrial was ordered by the Court of Appeals on October 13, 2011. His retrial was set to commence on Monday but after the facts of the case were read he submitted a guilty plea for a lesser charge of manslaughter. Prosecutors in the case, Shanielle Chell and Javier Chan of the DPP’s office, accepted the guilty plea and Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hand down his sentence on Monday, February 20, when mitigation plea will be heard on his behalf.

    Man found dead in Santa Elena
    A hard working man was found dead on Friday of last week in Santa Elena Town. Alberto Requena, a 65 year old resident was found at about mid-day on Friday floating in the river near Santa Familia Village. A medical team of five persons visited the rapidly decomposing body on Saturday night at about 9:00 pm, where a rapid burial was conducted. Family members gathered at the residence of Alberto Requena at number three on the George Price Highway where a brief religious event was held. Family members will again meet at the same residence this coming Saturday where the fruitful life of Alberto Requena will be celebrated.

    Joel Borland wins Digicell 4G LTE Valentine’s Tour
    The Cycling Federation of Belize and Digicell 4G LTE sponsored the 2017 Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour. The tour commenced on Friday 10th February, with the Individual Time Trial and concluded on Sunday 12th February, with the Road Race for the Elite, Masters, Junior, Female and Youth riders. The Road Race for the Elite, U-23 and Master riders started from San Ignacio Town to the Western Border in Benque Viejo and then to Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway for the conclusion. This leg of the tour attracted some 43 riders with only 27 riders completing the journey. At the end of the 4th and final stage of the tour, Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes Elite that capture first place. He was followed by Brandon Cattouse of Smart/Cray Western Spirit. However, it was Joel Borland of the Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team that captured the overall tour. His overall cumulative time for the four stages was total at 8:12:45. Some 45 seconds better than the second best rider in the tour. This time sealed the victory for Joel Borland in the Digicell 4G Valentine’s Tour.

    New Road edge out Truckers in Aahmadiyya U-19 Basketball Tourney
    The Ahmadiyya U-19 Basketball Tournament continued on Sunday 12th February, 2017, at the Gateway Youth Centre with five games on the schedule. In the first game of the day, Third World won over Belama Gators by the score of 53-56. The top scorer for Third World was Douglas Gentle with 16 points and the top scorer for the Belama Gators was Raymond Gongora Jr. with 19 points. In game two, Chiefs won handily over Gateway by the score of 41-34. The top scorer for the Chiefs was Kyron Samuels with 10 points and for Gateway it was John Kelly with 12 points. In game three, Bombers won over Spartans by the score of 49-35. Rick Herbert was the top scorer for Bombers with 10 points and Jason Arnold top score for Spartans with 14 points.

    Ebenezer boys, St. Luke and Muslim Community girls are early leaders in primary schools football competition
    The 2016-2017 Belize City Primary Schools Football competition opened on Wednesday 8th February, 2017 at the MCC Grounds. There are 11 schools namely Bethel Primary, Holy Redeemer, Muslim Community, Salvation Army, St. John Vianney, Belize Elementary, St. Mary’s Primary, Unity Presbyterian, Wesley Upper, Queen Square Anglican and St. Luke Methodist competing in the girls’ competition. The schools in the girls’ competition are divided into three groups. Meanwhile, there are 17 schools namely Bethel Primary, Holy Redeemer, Muslim community, Salvation Army, St. John Vianney, Belize Elementary, St. Mary’s Primary, Unity Presbyterian, Wesley Upper, Queen Square Anglican, St. Luke Methodist, St. John’s Primary, Ebenezer Methodist, All Saints Anglican, St. Ignatius, St. Joseph and St. Martin de Porres that are participating in the boys competition. The schools are divided into four groups in the boys’ competition.

    Softball Federation to hold open male invitational tournament
    The Belize Softball Federation will be holding an Open Senior Male Invitational Tournament on March 4-5 and 11-12, 2017 respectively at Rogers Stadium. The Open Senior Male Invitational Tournament will serve as the selection process for the pool of 36 players from which the final seventeen players will be selected to represent Belize at the X Pan American Male Softball Championship scheduled for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from September 14-25, 2017. The X Pan American Male Softball Championship will serve as the qualifying tournament for the XVIII Pan American Games scheduled for Lima, Peru in 2019 and the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquillas, Colombia, in 2018. Interested teams must register with Ms. Tiffany Heusner, Secretary General Belize Softball Federation by Wednesday 1st March, 2017.

    Wesley College males lead in the Central Region Secondary Schools Softball competition
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball competition continued on Tuesday 14th February, 2017, at Rogers Stadium with a single game in the male competition. In the only game played, St. John’s College defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 23-15. The winning pitcher for St. John’s College was Alwayne Hendy and the losing pitcher for Gwen Lizarraga High School was Christopher Hower. On Monday 13th February, in the female game played, Edward P. Yorke High School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 23-0. The winning pitcher was Jasany Westby and the losing pitcher was Britney Meighan. In the male game played, Wesley College won its second game as in many outings when it defeated Edward P.Yorke High School by the score of 14-11. The winning pitcher was Xylon Belgrove and the losing pitcher was Malcolm Jones.

    I need some money...
    At some point in life, we all have some desire or need where funds are concerned. Sometimes we need money for medical expenses, education and or home improvement; other times we desire a fancy gadget, appliances and/or furniture. Whatever the need or desire, we often seek assistance from money lenders which include Financial Institutions and/or retail stores providing items on credit. These organizations (lenders) may provide funds or items on credit by charging interest and fees for the services provided. However, prior to entering into any agreement, one must clearly understand what is written in the agreement and other documents especially the fine print rather than blindly signing the documents (forms, agreement etc.) that are being presented. Generally, lenders would request for the completion of an application form which would request basic data such as name, address, contact details, income, and expense, purpose of loan, the term, amount, interest rate and fees of the loan/item and provide accompanying documents which would indicate the responsibilities of the respective parties.

    Calypso rose wins Best World Music Album
    Legendary singer Calypso Rose has won the prestigious Victoire de la Musique award for best World Music Album of the Year at the award ceremony this past Friday in Paris France. The 76-year old singer won for her album Far From Home, produced by Ivan Duran of Stonetree Records, it was recorded and mixed in Belize and released internationally by French label, Because Music. This is the first time a Caribbean artist has won the Victoire award, the French equivalent of the Grammies. It is the most prestigious music award in France, voted by a panel of more than 1200 industry professionals, and awarded by the French Ministry of Culture. The award caps off an incredible year for the Queen of Calypso, she received the WOMEX Artist Award in October, performed in front of a television audience of more than a million people, played more than 50 shows in Europe, and her album has been certified Gold in France after selling over 80 000 copies.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    As we continue to learn about the Christian lifestyle from the letter the Missionary Paul wrote to the Church in Rome, this week we look at more love in action. In Romans 12:17-19 Paul writes: “Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Since we are living not only before God, but also before people, we need to think carefully what we say and do, so that we will appear honorable in the public arena. God is sovereign over our lives. Therefore, if someone has done us wrong, if is not our responsibility to look for revenge, or to “pay them back.” We have to turn the whole situation into the hands of God our Heavenly Father. We give the whole situation over to him, to rectify however he sees fit.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Guatemalan President visits communities along Belize- Guatemala border
    According to the Agencia Guatemalteca de Noticias, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is today visiting communities in the north of Peten, in the adjacency zone with Belize. Carlos Raul Morales, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, is accompanying the president in visiting San Jose Las Flores Chiquibul, located in the mountainous part of the municipality of Melchor de Mencos. Morales is also visiting the community of Santa Cruz, located in the municipality of San Luis, Petén, to meet with the mayor and visit the point of entry to the “adjacency zone” between Santa Cruz, Guatemala side, and Jalacté, in Belize.

    Formal Export of Live Cattle to Guatemala
    The Government of Belize issued a press release informing that on February 13, a first shipment of live cattle was exported to Guatemala duty free, via the Belize-Guatemala Western Border. This shipment marked the first export of live cattle under the Partial Scope Trade Agreement between the Governments of Belize and Guatemala. It activated the Sanitary Agreement signed between Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and its Guatemalan counterpart. It formalizes the trade of live cattle and provides a framework on which to build a robust cattle trade.

    Former Chief Education Officer passes away
    Former Chief Education Officer during the previous People’s United Party administration, Dr. Cecil “Chubby” Reneau, suffered a fatal heart attack this afternoon. The 67-year-old educator and politician lived his life in service to his country.

    Police issue report on Western Avenue murder
    Yesterday evening around 6:40 p.m., police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 21-year-old Jason Cortez with multiple gunshot wounds to the body (chest, abdomen, back and buttocks). Investigations revealed that Cortez was walking on Western Avenue at around 6:25 p.m., when he […]

    Mile 8 man lucky to be alive
    Last night around 8:30, 25-year-old Nigel Williams of a Faber’s Road address had just left a grocery shop at mile 8 on the George Price Highway and was walking towards his aunt’s home near the Hydro area on the highway when he noticed that […]

    15 year old girl raped while drinking and smoking weed
    According to police reports, a 15-year-old girl of Succotz Village in the company of a parent reported that on Tuesday morning about 10:00 a.m., she was at a house located on Riverside Street, Benque Viejo, along with two male friends where they were reportedly […]

    Missing gold coins from sunken ship kept in Belize- based trust
    In 1857, the S.S. Central America, a gold-rush era ship sank off South Carolina in a hurricane. Tommy Thompson, a deep sea treasure hunter found the ship in 1988 in what was considered a historic discovery. He spent years studying the […]

    Ministry of Health advises on actions after increase in diarrheal cases
    The Ministry of Health is informing that it has seen an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases in the Stann Creek District since December 2016. In over 50 percent of the cases, patients present symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, with abdominal cramps […]

    Minister Elrington leads delegation to 28th sessional meeting of Heads of Government in Guyana
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington is leading a Belizean delegation to Guyana to attend the 28th Inter-sessional of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government. The Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government will be hosted at the Marriott Hotel […]

    Bishop O.P. Martin passes away
    We have confirmed that 86 year old Bishop Osmond Peter Martin passed away early this morning. Further details regarding his death has not yet been made public. In December 2007, Bishop O. P. Martin had submitted his resignation to the Vatican upon reaching the […]

    Blogs

    LADIES DAY ON MISS FAITH
    I was super jealous last week when Roger and his group the San Pedro Walkaholics spent their usually walking Wednesday sailing on Xsite Belize’s beautiful catamaran, the Miss Faith. Those guys are always doing something fun. Well this week was the ladies turn! Thanks to the generosity of Neftali and Tammy Lemus, owners of Xsite Belize Sailing and Adventures, seven of us girls had a fantastic sailing trip to Mexico Rocks, where we snorkeled and swam with the fish and rays. The Miss Faith is a beautiful 42 ft catamaran and with such a small group, it was like a private charter. Nef captained our cruise along with a crew of two very attentive young men. They kept the rum punch filled for the ladies and looked great doing it. Tammy also came along for the day and ensured that all of our needs were met, including keeping me from losing my balance going from forward to aft, having the balance and cat-like reflexes that I was graced with. We were treated to a wonderful and delicious lunch on-board, starting with some sweet fresh watermelon. Captain Nef came up front to serve the ladies personally! Mickey sure enjoyed the personal service!

    International Sourcesizz

    Sir Elihu Lauterpacht: A life dedicated to justice and international law
    R.I.P. Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, a great supporter of Belize and its sovereignty. Belize is grateful for all your assistance over the years as an advocate for Belize's territorial sovereignty.

    Ocean oxygen levels drop 2% in 50 years, Nature study finds
    Climate change is extending far beyond the threat of melting polar ice caps -- it's putting a dangerous stranglehold on life in oceans, too. A new study published in the science journal Nature Wednesday found that the ocean's worldwide oxygen content declined by more than 2% between 1960 and 2010. Scientists have long warned about the potentially deadly consequences of the ocean's declining oxygen levels on marine life, and its resulting impact on humans. The study came from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, where the three co-authors -- Sunke Schmidtko, Lothar Stramma and Martin Visbeck -- pulled data dating back to 1960. Using information on oxygen, temperature and other factors relating to the world's oceans, they mapped it around the globe and estimated the overall oxygen loss. "We were able to document the oxygen distribution and its changes for the entire ocean for the first time. These numbers are an essential prerequisite for improving forecasts for the ocean of the future," wrote Schmidtko.

    CCJ dismisses constitutional motion brought by Belize Bar
    The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Wednesday dismissed an appeal brought by the Belize Bar Association concerning a perceived threat to that country’s Court of Appeal’s judicial independence. The CCJ, Belize’s highest court, in dismissing the claim, also made strong recommendations for changes to the appointment and tenure of Justices of Appeal that would provide them with security of tenure and a selection process that was independent of the government. The Court recommended immediate adoption of those recommendations. The Belize Bar Association had filed a Constitutional motion challenging the Belize Constitution (Sixth Amendment) Act which states that when an existing or future appointment of a Justice of Appeal did not specify a period of appointment, the judge’s term of office would last one year from the date of commencement of the amendment, or one year from the date of appointment.

    Best beach holidays for 2017
    In fact, travel search engine Momondo has found that almost half of British holidaymakers (48 per cent) will be travelling for a traditional holiday by the sea. And with all the bad news and talk of Brexit, we can see why Brits are packing their bucket and spades and escaping to the beach for a stress-free holiday in the sunshine. As there are many types of beach holidays you can take (from exploring hidden beaches to taking the family on an adventure beach break), we've brought you our best places to visit in 2017, whether you're a sports-mad traveller, searching for a heavenly spot in the UK or fancy returning to a popular destination like Spain but finding a new way to relax. Belize is the new Cuba and Costa Rica, offering responsible travellers a Central American alternative which is less burderned by tourists, and the Spanish Virgin Islands provide unspoilt sands that are waiting to be explored by boat.

    Shyne Jump On The Remix For Popcaan’s “We Still A Win (World Cup)”
    Shyne and Popcaan collaboration has been in the works since last year when the Unruly Boss visted Belize for a major concert with the former Bad Boy rapper. The two have developed a close friendship ever since then. Popcaan originally released the single last year as a tribute of the sort to Usain Bolt around the time of the Olympics games. Shyne has been getting some luke warm reviews among dancehall fans for his verse on the NotNice-produced banger. Some fans are even saying that the original version is much better. Perhaps Popcaan and Shyne should head back into the boiler and cook up something fresh for the fans. These are two great artists and maybe the chemistry just wasn’t right for this track.

    Videos

  • New amendments to the Forest Act, 6min. As a part of its wider forest reform, the Forest Department is engaged in an ongoing process of completely revising its forest legislation, which seek to strengthen its legal framework, improve forest management, and increase its monitoring and enforcement of forest activities; and on Monday, February 6th, the Department announced new amendments to the Forest Act.

  • Bottlenose dolphins in Corozal Bay, 1min. Earlier today in Corozal Bay with the STP II crew" Amazing bottle-nose dolphins possibly hunting/feeding, captured by SACD's Executive Director. Bottlenose dolphins are not common in our bay but it is a charm when one is spotted.

  • Our first time in BELIZE!!!!, 3min. We took a bus from Tulum to Chetumal, Mexico and then a water taxi over to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, in Belize. We then walk around the town exploring the streets and waterfront.

  • Kayak Fish for Tarpon in Belize | Jumping Tarpon, 8min. Fishing kayak vs. Jumping tarpon! While kayak fishing for tarpon in Belize, kayak anglers Jim Sammons and Jeff Herman fight some huge, energetic tarpon that go airborne. The duo enjoy epic sleigh rides courtesy of these scaly monsters during their stay at the Belize River Lodge.

  • Ministry of Natural Resources - World Water Day Preparations, 30min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN FEBRUARY 16, 2017, 25min. from PGTV News Network

  • Implications for Pawnshops after Supreme Court Judgement, 50min.

  • University of Belize Science Department - Student Experiments, 27min.

  • The fire season officially opened yesterday, February 15th, 3min. Last week, key partners in Forest Fire Prevention and Management received gear and equipment for the fire fight after being gifted through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project. Jeanelle Mencias tells us more …

  • Street Art Festival 2017 - Saturday, February 25th 2-10PM, 1min.

  • Diving the Turneffe Atoll in Belize with Turneffe Flats, 10min. Please enjoy some of my favorite captures while diving the Turneffe Atoll in Belize with Turneffe Flats.

  • Belize 2016 - Part 3, 3min.

  • Exploring Hol Chan, Belize, 8min. Guys today was awesome. Thanks to the Reef Runners we were able to go and explore Shark Ray Alley and Hot Chan. I forgot how much I loved snorkeling. You have to check out how close I was able to get to the nurse sharks, fish, and reef with my new GoPro Hero 5. Afterwards we got to enjoy and explore San Pedro a little more before heading back to snowy Connecticut. Make sure you guys leave this video a huge thumbs up! Thanks!!

    February 16, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Rebecca Rath receives a Belizean welcome
    Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath received a very warm welcome on Friday, February 10th upon her return from participating in the 65th edition of Miss Universe in Manila, Philippines. Although she did not bring back the coveted crown, the country celebrated her hard work and effort with a motorcade around Belize City. The parade ended at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, where a press conference took place. As Rath was treated with love from many supporters, she proceeded to share her experience at Miss Universe. The conference ended with entertainment provided by fans. The overwhelming support continued on Monday, February 13th, when the Dangriga Town Council welcomed Rath back to her hometown “Griga Style”. She was welcomed at Pelican Beach Resort, followed with a motorcade through Dangriga Town, and ending with a ceremony at the Ecumenical Auditorium.

    William Mason’s trial coming up; Melissa Ferguson set free
    William Mason and his henchmen (Ashton Vanegas, brothers Keiron and Terrence Fernandez and Ernest Henry) are on remand for charges of murder and kidnapping of the late Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. While everyone awaits their scheduled court appearance on February 21st, an unexpected twist in the case took place on Friday, February 10th, when Mason’s wife, Melissa Fergusson, was acquitted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping of Pastor Lucas at the Magistrate Court in Belize City. Fergusson walked free of the charges after a directive to withdraw the case against her came from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Police Prosecutor, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, explained that the DPP gave the directive after concluding that there was not enough evidence to pursue the case against her.

    Softball Tournament heating up
    It was another fun weekend of softball competition at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex on Sunday, February 12th. The San Pedro Town Council’s Co-ed Softball Tournament rolled in into its third week with another set of games that saw Quality Reef, Sea Star, San Pedro High School (SPHS), Rusties, Extreme, and Tuff E Nuff competing against each other. The first game started shortly after 9:30AM, with Sea Star facing Quality Reef. Sea Star dominated the match from the beginning, giving Quality Reef no chances of scoring. At the end of four innings, the final score was 14-0 in favour of Sea Star. The SPHS continues leading with three wins in the tournament. The next set of games continues this weekend beginning at 9:30AM on Sunday, February 19th. The schedule is as follows: 9:30AM Rusties vs Extreme, 11:30AM Sea Star vs Atlantic Bank, 1:30 SPHS vs Quality Reef.

    Projects Abroad holds first Father and Daughter Dance
    On Monday, February 13th, Projects Abroad in Belize, organized the very first ‘Father Daughter Dance’ event in San Pedro Town. For a small admission fee, several fathers, along with their daughters gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den for an evening of dancing, games and much fun. All proceeds from the event went to the San Pedro Lions Club. The fun started shortly after 6PM, with fathers and their little princesses dancing to soft music. The DJ then kicked it up with some hip hop and even some dancehall. Everyone was indeed having some quality time with their loved ones, while enjoying snacks and refreshments. Before the event wrapped up, the fathers had the chance to show off some moves with 60’s dance hits. Afterwards, it was time to Punta, and everyone crowded the dance floor, dancing to hits from Belize’s Punta King, Supa G! The dance ended with each girl receiving a coloured card bearing a message from their father.

    Lobster season comes to a close
    The Belize Fisheries Department reminds the public that the Spiny Lobster (Palinuridae) lobster season officially closes on Wednesday, February 15th, and resumes on June 15th. During the closed season, the Department informs all fishermen and the general public that it is illegal to purchase, receive or possess lobsters. Any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance with Section 3(1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulation, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000-2003.

    Ambergris Today

    Artisan Market Booths are Now Opened for Business
    On Tuesday, February 14, 2017 an inaguration ceremony for the Artisan's Market Project was held at the side of the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex or better known as Saca Chispas. The mayor expressed that it has been a work in progress that has finally come to reality with the help of CARILED (Caribbean Local Economic Development Project.) CARILED is a canadian government organization that helps developing countries with projects to develop and test models of Local Economic Development across the Caribbean. CARILED is the number one sponsor of the Artisan's Market and has helped la isla bonita through various ways. CARILED also took the opportunity to present to Mr. Chris Nunez, traffic department manager, some traffic signs that will soon be seen all around town. Marion Villanueva, CARILED program director expressed her love for Belize and the entire caribbean. She hopes to continue helping Belize for as long as possible.

    Pic of the Week - An Islanders Favourite Sport Activity
    One of the most popular sports on the island is Football. After a long day of work or school there is nothing better to do than to cool off your mind and what better way than through sports. Wether football, volleyball, basketball or any other sport activity, to relax oneself especially children before its time for homework. Its nice to see children being involved in positive influencing activities and keeping themselves distracted from the negative things society surrounds us with. Great job guys!

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Annabella Requena wins Ecology Projects International Leadership Award
    Annabella Requena, Ocean Academy and Next Gen Croc trainee learning the methods of crocodile nocturnal eyeshine surveys. On Nov 22, 2016, the CRC received exciting news- our Next Gen Croc high school student Annabella from Ocean Academy won the Ecology Projects International Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership in the conservation and research of the American Crocodile in Caye Caulker, Belize! We are so happy for Annabella, and look forward to her continue work and growth as one of Belize's future leading conservation scientists!

    Next Gen Croc
    A look into the new community initiative, collaborating with Ocean Academy and FAMRACC on Caye Caulker.

    Safer and More Pleasant Street Environment for Belmopanese
    The Government of Belize recognizing the critical importance of transportation for residents in the City of Belmopan and surrounding communities rehabilitated five streets that will enable men, women and children to traverse much easier in their daily lives. The project was financed by Government at a cost of $2,778,274.80 with funds through a loan from the World Bank, and counterpart contribution from the Belmopan City Council amounting to $83,348.24. It includes the rehabilitation of Roaring Creek, Mussel Creek, Haulover Creek, Garbutt Creek, Waul Street and section of Barton Creek Street. The new road infrastructure project will also significantly improve the quality of life for all Belizeans in the City of Belmopan and its surrounding communities since they will no longer have to be confronted by poor road conditions such as dust during the dry season, as well as mud and puddles of water during the rainy season.

    COMMUNITY CENTERS REFURBISHED TO MEET HURRICANE SHELTER STANDARDS
    The Community Centre in the Village of Lucky Strike, in Belize Rural North, is currently being refurbished, its roof being replaced, bathrooms built, and proper doors and windows installed. Area Representative and Minister of National Emergency Management Hon. Edmond Castro explained that the works being done with funds from the Government of Belize will enable the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to utilize it as a Hurricane Shelter when it is needed for that purpose. Chairman of Lucky Strike Village Andrew Chacon says his council and residents of the village are thankful for the works being done on the community centre. He explained that ever since he was first elected 13 years ago as a member of the village council, it has been a top priority of his to have the community centre repaired, and he is pleased that it is now being done under his leadership and that of Hon. Edmond Castro as Area Representative.

    Official Ribbon Cutting for Monument Dedicated to Entrepreneurs of Belize City

    Library Valentine Poetry Night
    On Friday, 17th February 2017, from 5pm to 6:30pm, the Corozal Public Library will hold its Valentine’s Poetry Night. Come write and read aloud your own poem. Construct your homemade Valentine card for that one you love.

    3D view of Corozal Bay
    Well - we can never get tired of this view. Another beautiful landscape in this wonderful paradise we call Corozal.

    Mopan Valley Archaeology Project/Mopan Valley Preclassic Project members have amazing accomplishments this week
    Congratulations to both the Mopan Valley Archaeology Project/Mopan Valley Preclassic Project whose project members have amazing accomplishments this week: Zoe Rawski for being awarded a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant. She will be continuing her dissertation research entitled "Constructing Power in the Preclassic: Monumental Architecture and Social Complexity at Early Xunantunich, Belize" and Bernadette Cap for being chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Society for American Archaeology Dissertation Award. Her dissertation was an in-depth investigation of a Classic period marketplace at Buenavista del Cayo.

    REMEMBERING WAYNE "DALLAS" THURTON!
    BELIZEAN BASKETBALL MOST BEST POINT GUARD OF THE '70'S! Never will forget that day when Wayne Thurton came on the scene and rose to fame as his junior team at St. Ignacio's destroyed the legendary SJC Pyrannas led by Gus Pererra and won the Belize's national basketball Junior league championship. That was a game to be seen. Live on Wayne!

    OIRSA vehicle announcing political activity in Benque Viejo
    Its plates are red as you can see. Open intervention of central America in Belize. They pass close to police which they waved in accordance. The announcement claims the activity at the park is sponsored by a political figure not by a cultural group.

    If you have seen Chen or know where he is, please call the family
    Goodnight family and friends on Caye caulker my cousin here is a special needs person,and he left Ms cush store about 6 or 6:30 and did not arrive home if you see him please inform us here! He is quarreling with his brother and maybe decided not to go home! Thank you!!!

    Caye Caulker Lobster Fest is ON!
    The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committe is happy to annouce that lobster fest is on. We are looking forward to the community's support at the official Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2017

    FREE RABIES VACCINATIONS - FRIDAY 17th FEB on Caye Caulker
    The Dept of Health is coming to Caye Caulker to do RABIES VACCINATIONS along with volunteers from the Humane Society. These are free! They are starting at 8.30am and going around the whole island. Rabies can kill our pets and is carried by bats, rats and birds. There has been an increase in rabies in Belize. PLEASE LET THEM ACCESS YOUR PETS!

    Minister Elrington Leads Delegation to Twenty-Eighth Inter-sessional Meeting of Heads of Government in Guyana
    A Belizean delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington has left for Guyana to attend the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government. The Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government will be hosted at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana from February 16th to 17th, where regional leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of issues critical to development in the region. Topics include Correspondent Banking, Tourism in the Region, the status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), Crime and Security. The regional leaders are also expected to ratify decisions arising from the 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM. Issues relating to regional security, including border disputes between Belize and Guatemala and Guyana and Venezuela, will be discussed during closed-door sessions.

    Ministry of Health Advises on Actions After Increase in Diarrheal Cases
    The Ministry of Health has noticed an increase in the number of gastroenteritis cases in the Stann Creek District since December 2016. In over 50 percent of the cases, patients present symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, with abdominal cramps and fever. The illness is mostly affecting children in the age range of one to four years, but present as well in children up to the age of 12 years, with a few cases among adults. As a result of an initial investigation for the month of January, a total of 242 cases has been reported in the said district. Of that number, 145 cases are among children of less than five years, and 117 among persons over the age of five. The communities most affected include Dangriga Town and Independence and Bella Vista Villages. The Ministry has increased its surveillance activity from the start of this year and continues to remain present in the communities, engaging with the residents at health sessions and house-to-house visits to advise and assist in best practices to reduce further spreading of the illness.

    Inaguration ceremony for the Artisan's Market Project
    On Tuesday, February 14, 2017 an inaguration ceremony for the Artisan's Market Project was held at the side of the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex or better known as Saca Chispas. The mayor expressed that it has been a work in progress that has finally come to reality with the help of CARILED (Caribbean Local Economic Development Project.)

    Shipstern gets some media love
    CSFI is going international once again !! We are very proud to host TV Crew ( Pluk media) seat by one of our very close partners, the Royal Burger Zoo in Holland ! Daily activities of our team on our three protected Areas (Shipstern, Freshwater creek & Honey camp) are being filmed for a documentary that will be released at the Burger Zoo. This will help the conservation efforts of CSFI to be better known internationally.

    UFC fighter in Belize to promote Mixed Martial Arts
    Today we got to host UFC Middleweight Nate Marquardt and his family at our Municipal terminal! If you're into Mixed Martial Arts, Nate and Prevail Combat Club will be hosting an MMA Seminar on February 17 & 18 at the Body 2000 in Belize City! To register, sign up on this link.

    U-15 AND U-17 MALE TO KICK OFF SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH, 201
    The nationwide program for youth, U-15 and U-17 male, will kick off on Saturday, February 18th, 2017 in each municipality under their respective district association. U-15 players must be individuals born no earlier than 2002. U-17 no earlier than the year 2000. These countrywide tournaments will be played every weekend. The winners of those tournaments will then represent their municipality in the National U-15 and U-17 District Championship to be played in May 2017. For additional information on the upcoming tournaments contact your district association chairperson.

    St. Joseph Catholic Church Friendly Youth Retreat
    St. Joseph Catholic Church in Caledonia Village invites you this Saturday. A family affair and youth retreat!

    A day of archaeology with the students of the Gulisi Primary School in Dangriga
    Acting Deputy Chief of Mission J. Nathan Bland joined the students in their group projects. We learned much about the local culture and at least 40 primary level students learned about archaeology, science, and the importance of preserving Belize's cultural heritage.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Underworld: Blood Wars, Shut In, Doctor Strange, Gold

    To Love & Protect Belize
    Valentine’s Day is a time for love and appreciation. Our Wavemakers across the country has been using this day to show love for their marine environment and appreciation for the protection they get from our barrier reef. We Love You, Belize.

    Channel 7

    Government's Top Lawyer To CCJ
    Government is losing its best attorney - and that's because Denys Barrow is leaving to take up an appointment as a judge on the Caribbean Court of Justice. Barrow confirmed to us today that terms have been finalized and he will join the court in June of this year. Barrow becomes one of only 7 CCJ judges - and replaces a judge who leaves at the end of May. He says he will continue to work privately until he leaves, and the appointment will have no effect on cases he's worked on which are either before the CCJ, or those which will end up there. He says that at the CCJ he would have "absolutely nothing to do" with any matter in which he was previously involved. And, he adds, he would not expect to sit on any cases involving the Government of Belize. It's worthy of mention because in 2011, Barrow resigned from the Belize Court of Appeal after only 18 months - one year after his brother judges found that there was the appearance of bias in a case. At the time it was clear that because his brother is Belize's Prime Minister, Barrow would have difficulty sitting on weighty matters involving the Government.

    Immigration, the Belly Of The Beast
    Since the Senate Hearings on Immigration Started last year in November, we've been faithfully reporting on all the major revelations. But nothing so far has caused as much of a stir as today's testimony from Teresita Castellanos. She's the former Finance Officer for the Immigration Department from 2011 to 2014, and she was called to answer questions in the afternoon session of the hearings last week, right after former CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Morter left the stand. She returned this morning to finish up, and she told the Senators that she had something which they needed to hear. When she was given the floor to share her perspective, she stunned the unusually crowded gallery with what she asserts is her honest opinion of the Immigration Department. She called it a place of hustling and corruption, with the Immigration Officers acting as a fraternity, resisting order and transparency, and covering for each other.

    Officer Reynolds and The Missing Visa's
    In the afternoon session, the Senate called Senior Immigration Officer George Reynolds who has been at the Department for over 26 years. He's currently a port commander in Independence Village, but during the audit period he was in charge of the Immigration Services Section of the Department in Belmopan. That means that he was in charge of visas and all other temporary immigration permits. He was called to answer for that infamous incident with the 8 stolen visas from the Western Border Station. 8 Visas foils went missing in December 2012, and that's what brought the disappearance under the microscope of the Audit Department - which now brings us to the Senate hearings. You'll remember that the Auditor General quoted in her report from an internal investigation into that matter in which Immigration Officer Vernon Leslie declared that on December 26, 2012, Officer Mark Tench realized that the 8 visa foils were missing. They initiated an investigation, and allegedly discovered that Officer L. Wade removed them without authorization and allegedly sold them to a private citizen. That man then allegedly took them to former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and City Council Financial Controller Patrick Tillett, who allegedly purchased the visas.

    Sent Committee Chasing After Chang
    So, at the centre of this scandal about the 8 stolen visas are Former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and Former Financial Controller for the Belize City Council, Patrick Tillett. The Senate sent them invitations to appear and defend themselves against the allegations. Of course, it's not that simple for Chang, who is named in the Auditor General's Report as the man who acted as a courier for Citizen Kim, while he was in a Taiwanese jail, back in 2013. So, no doubt, the Senate also wants to ask him a few questions about that. Neither of them showed up to testify today, and we asked the Senate Committee Chairman about the implications of that. Here's our conversation with him on their absence: Daniel Ortiz: "Has Mr. Eric Chang and Mr. Patrick Tillet indicated that they will present themselves before the Senate sir?" Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "No they declined the invitation, I should explain that we don't have a lot of history of Senate inquires so the convention as I understand it the practice is that you invite persons to attend. They have declined the invitation saying that after consideration they declined the invitation so they won't be here today."

    Cops Get Big Guns, Big Bag Of Weed
    The cops are reporting a major weed and weapons bust in the city. This morning before dawn a joint Southside strike team, with the Special Branch and the K9 Unit found (40) .9mm rounds, a .45 revolver with six rounds, an ak47 rifle and 70 pounds of cannabis. No one was in the area on Nurse White Street, so the items were labelled as found property. And, early this morning South Side police searched an abandoned lot on Queen Charlotte Street, where they found several bags containing just under six pounds of weed. The abandoned house is believe to be used by known drug peddlers operating in the area. No one was in the area when these items were found, so they were all deposited as Found Property.

    Accused off Shooting A Cop In Substation, Men Get Off Crime
    PC Nigel White was shot to the chest at the Belama Substation in March 2011. But the 3 men accused of carrying out this brazen attack on a police officer, are free of charges tonight. Karim Morris, Linsford Acosta and Justo Lopez were acquitted of attempted murder and dangerous harm in the Magistrates Court today. The case fell apart when Justice Adolph Lucas ruled that Morris' and Acosta's confession statements were not admissible because they were made under duress. Also since White did not clearly see his attackers, the results of the dock identification could not be used or submitted. Without the identification evidence, the Crown's case collapsed and with no more evidence to offer, Justice Lucas found the defendants not guilty.

    CCJ Upholds Constitutional Amendment, But Says GOB Must Reform System of Appointments to Court of Appeal
    There was a major judgement coming out of the Caribbean Court of Justice today relating to Belize. The CCJ dismissed an appeal from Bar Association of Belize challenging The Attorney General of Belize challenging the sixth amendment to the constitution. That's the one that relates to the appointment and tenure of judges. The CCJ did not find the amendment unconstitutional, but it did find that the way of appointing judges does not bode well for an independent judiciary. The panel of 5 judges unanimously agreed on very clear recommendations to completely revise the appointment and tenure of Justices of Appeal. And that's why the Bar Association - which, although it didn't win, did seize upon the judgement as a major move towards effective judicial reform. Eamon Courtney and Andrew Marhsalleck argued the case for the Bar - and today Marshalleck underscored the key points:…

    Another City Shooting
    There was a shooting a short while ago in Belize City. It happened in the St. Martin’s area on the city’s Southside. Reports say the man was shot at 6:30 and was rushed to the hospital. Our news team is on the scene, and we’ll have details as they develop.

    Getting Familiar With Forestry's New Fines
    As we told you earlier this month, illegal timber harvesters can now be fined up to quadruple the standard amount under the revised forestry act. Now this is just one more approach to combatting illegal extraction and exportation of hardwoods. A lot more needs to be done – including continuous training of forestry officers. Today the Forestry Department concluded a 2 day timber identification workshop in Belmopan. 15 forestry officers got to learn more about the different types of hardwood and what special features they should look for when confiscating flitches of timber. Courtney Weatherburne explores how this workshop complements the amended act and the overall work and responsibility of the forestry department. Mahogany is one of the most well-known and sought after hardwoods in Belize. Other prized timbers are rosewood and Cedar but these are just 3 of many species of hardwood. Percival Cho - Forestry Expert: "Now there is species like Hobio, Granadio, you probably haven't heard of those things, black cabbage bark right."

    Labour Appoints Consultative Bodies
    The Ministry of labor today activated the Labour Advisory Board, Tripartite Body and the National Child Labour Committee and Interest-Based Bargaining Stakeholders. These are important advisory bodies which should have been activated from 2012, but it just happened today. Minister of Labour Hugo Patt told us what they will advise on: Hon. Hugo Patt - Minister of Labour: "Anything related to issues starting from the rights of a child, protecting a child, making sure that our children are not working under hazardous environment to issues affected trade unions and to the core of what is affecting us in terms of labour laws, in terms of labour issues, in terms of making our policies consistent with our international commitments, these are the supporting bodies that would actually make recommendations to the ministry and eventually leading it into cabinet and if necessary going into the house for the necessary amendments in terms of making our laws as much as possible plausible and as much as possible reflecting the real time environments we have today. We decided to make sure that the bodies are up and functional so that the actual work of the ministry becomes more productive and becomes more efficient for the needs that we have in the country. We want to make sure that everybody has equal voice, everybody has freedom to opine and everybody understands fully the decisions being taken by the board."

    A Gateway To The Tourist Side Of The City
    Belize City residents, or anyone that has passed by the the Swing Bridge intersection has probably noticed that a large arch has been erected on North Front Street. Well today work on that structure was completed, and Mayor Darrell Bradley officially introduced the city to the Gateway to the Fort Street Tourism Zone. Mayor Bradley told us more about this new Belize City landmark... Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor: "We've been working with our partners including the Belize Tourism Board and I mention cariled over the last I would say 18 months in terms of trying to organise the Fort George Tourism Zone better. You can see as we had the ceremony there was a tremendous amount of traffic in the area, the competition in terms of residence and then the buses and then the vendors and businesses and so forth. So that we've been working over many months to try to see how we can put in place various policies that would make the area come alive. It was always the idea to really have a gateway monument to be a focal point and entrance way into the area to that you can mark the area."

    Mayor Really Likes Roundabouts
    The Mayor also told us why the gateway is not a waste of money, and gave us an update on the status of the City's street lights, which for the most part have not been working reliably since 2013, and why he's so opposed to them... The new gateway is just on of the City Council's initiatives for re-branding Belize City as a tourist destination.

    IDB Appreciates Apprenticeship Program
    Today the Youth Apprenticeship Program received a donation from the IDB and Ministry of Human Development. The two agencies handed over cooking, barbering and car washing and detailing supplies, which are to be distributed to young entrepreneurs who have benefited from the apprenticeship program. Dianne Finnegan, the Youth Apprenticeship Program's Coordinator and the Ministry of Human Development's Program Coordinator, Elvis Requena told us more... The donation is valued at about $12,000.

    Mayan Artifacts Holding Up Well 7,500 Miles Later
    Tonight we take our final look at the archaeological exhibit "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed". We've seen the show in three US Cities, and wondered about the wellbeing of these ancient artifacts which have been on the road for four and a half years now. Here's what we found out:… These artifacts or, in this case, replicas, still have the power to transfix and mesmerize - and well over one million persons have already seen them. But in the past four years, they have logged about 7,500 miles of travel crisscrossing the United States, from coast to coast, and they are already on contract to make two more stops. That's a lot of miles and years for objects that are over a thousand years old: Jules Vasquez: "These antiques, these pieces have lot of miles on them. How are they holding up?" Sherilynne Jones - Tech Director, Museum of Belize: "They are holding up very well. Like i said we have experts from the Science Museum that travels to every venue. Each time we unpack an object it is meticulously reviewed and conditioned to ensure that the safety of the object is paramount to the exhibition."

    Tux Gets Table Tennis Presidency
    Last week, the Belize Table Tennis Association's President, Arturo Vasquez attended the General Assembly of the Central American Table Tennis Federation in Guatemala City where he was elected President of the Federation. As President, Vasquez will preside over Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and of course Belize. During his four year tenure, Vasquez will also join the Board of Directors of the International Table Tennis Association. It's a major endorsement for Belize's Association - and comes on the heels of Belize successfully hosting the Central American Table Tennis Championships. Vasquez is the first Belizean to hold this title.

    Belize Shows Encouraging Performance At CA Juniour Championships
    And while Vasquez was attending the General Assembly, the U15 and U18 teams were participating in the Central American Junior Championships. Belize's most talented young table tennis players played single, double, team and mixed double matches against some of Central America's best. And while the Belizean athletes managed to win several matches and even challenge some of the tournaments favourites, they were unable to make it through to the final round. Most of Belize's players came in third in their groups, while only first and second places moved on to the next round. And while Belize did not bring home any medals, it is only their second appearance at the tournament, and their coaches are confident they will do better next time.

    Shooting Was Gang-Related
    And, we close tonight with an update on the shooting we told you about earlier. We can confirm that a male was shot on Western Avenue at 6:30 pm and was rushed to the hospital. the shooting is believed to be gang related. We will not release his name at this time - but we’ll have the full story tomorrow…

    Channel 5

    Breaking News: Murder reported in Lake Independence
    There is breaking news of a shooting in the city. It happened at around six-forty p.m. in the Saint Martin’s De Porres area. One person, identified as Jason Cortez, was [...]

    “Culture of Corruption and Hustling” Swamped Immigration, Senate Committee Hears
    The public hearings of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration have moved into high gear and today under oath, a bombshell was dropped from an unexpected corner.  In the [...]

    Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos Turns Fire on Former Co-Workers
    Castellanos went on to accuse immigration officers of treating ‘civilian’ officers like herself as ‘intruders’ at the Department and even cannibalizing their own who were doing the right thing. She [...]

    Justice Denied in Sprawling Cases of Corruption at Immigration
    While the cases of Won Hong Kim and the eight visa foils are dominating recent headlines, there was no shortage of scandal at the Immigration Department that necessitated immigration officers [...]

    George Reynolds Says He Was Asked to “Fix” Chinese Passports With Missing Visa Foils
    The second witness to appear at the Senate Special Select Committee this afternoon was George Reynolds. He is entering his twenty-seventh year with the Immigration Department and in 2013 was [...]

    Did Ministers’ Recommendations Really Matter?
    As a senior man in the Immigration Department, George Reynolds saw his share of important people coming in and out – even a Minister or two. But he told the [...]

    C.C.J. Has Recommendations for Government on Tenure of Judges
    From the senate to the courts…Belize’s highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice, has ordered changes to the appointment of judges to the Court of Appeal. Today, the CCJ dismissed [...]

    Bar Association’s Attorney Says Ruling is a Victory for Belizean Justice
    The Prime Minister currently has power to recommend the appointment of judges to the Court of Appeal, after consulting with the Leader of the Opposition, while the Judicial and Legal [...]

    Eric Chang, Patrick Tillett No-Shows at Senate Inquiry
    As we reported earlier, the Senate Special Select Committee has called multiple witnesses on several occasions for public hearings in the past few weeks.  While there have been rescheduling of [...]

    Senate Committee Chair Says Don’t Complain If You Didn’t Testify
    Is this the end of the line as far as the matter is concerned? Chairman Salazar said the Committee is considering its options and has not ruled out litigation, although [...]

    Exasperated Mayor Says Cinderella Plaza Traffic Lights Were a Bad Idea
    If you are a driver who uses the Cinderella Plaza area, you may just want to pay attention to avoid an accident waiting to happen.  Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley [...]

    The Cement and Asphalt Revolution Continues in Old Capital
    But the mayor had positive news about the streets…If you are living in the south side divisions of Port Loyola, Lake I and Collet; you can expect to see some [...]

    Tux Vasquez Leads Central America in Table Tennis
    In sporting news…for the first time, a Belizean now leads the Central American Table Tennis Federation, or CONCATEME. He is Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez, who was elected at the general assembly [...]

    Trio Accused of Shooting Policeman See Charges Dropped
    The case against three men, who shot a police officer, fell apart today two weeks after it begun before Justice Adolph Lucas.  The shooting of Police Constable Nigel White occurred [...]

    Missing Shooting Victim Leads to Freedom for Accused Shooters
    Two others also walked free today of a charge of attempted murder when the office of the D.P.P. entered a case of nolle prosequi.  They are notorious figures, Tyrone Meighan [...]

    Monument Honors City’s Entrepreneurs
    For about eighteen months the Belize City Council and its partners have been working on a gateway monument on North Front Street just below the Swing Bridge. Well, that project [...]

    Que Pasa, PASA? Nada, Says City Mayor
    It has been more than a month since PASA informed the Solid Waste Management Authority that they would not be carrying out anymore works at the transfer stations and the [...]

    Youth Apprentices Get I.D.B. Help
    The Youth Apprenticeship Program got a boost today with a donation that will go a long way in providing jobs for at-risk youths in the city. At the program headquarters [...]

    Atlantic Insurance Adopts Ward at K.H.M.H.
    Healthcare is everybody’s business. The national referral hospital has been encouraging the private sector to invest in the K.H.M.H.  Well, Atlantic Insurance has stepped up and retrofitted a room within [...]

    Reviving the Bodies of Labour
    Today, the Ministry of Labour held an inauguration ceremony to reactivate the labour advisory board, tri-partite body and the national child labour committee – made up of members from government [...]

    LOVE FM

    Peter Portillo Gets 5 Years for Firearm Offence
    Twenty-eight year old Peter Portillo, a laborer of 4 Coffin Street, charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was found guilty of the charges today by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. He was sentenced to 5 years for each offence with the stipulation that the sentences are to run concurrently. Therefore, Portillo will only […]

    Trio Acquitted of Attempted Murder of Police Officer
    Three men charged with the attempted murder of 28 year old police constable Nigel White were acquitted of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas in a trial that was without jury. They are Karim Morris, Linsford Acosta and Justo Lopez. They were also acquitted of dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. […]

    Renovations Underway at Lucky Strike Community Centre
    Work is being done on the Lucky Strike Community Center in the Belize District. Works include replacing the roof, building bathrooms and installing proper doors and windows. Area Representative Edmund Castro said Government is funding the works. The Community Center will be used as a Hurricane Shelter. Similar works is being done on the Community […]

    Joint Police Efforts Yield Illegal Weapons and Ammunition
    A joint Southside strike team conducted an early morning operation on Caesar Ridge Road which resulted in the discovery of forty point nine millimeter live rounds, a point forty five revolver, an AK forty seven rifle and seventy pounds of cannabis. Police say the abandoned house in which the items were found, is believed to […]

    Lobster Season Closes
    At the stroke of midnight lobster season will officially be closed and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14. Anyone found in possession of lobster after today will be penalized by being criminally charged and fined a dollar amount for the offence. Fishermen are also reminded that they need to remove lobster traps […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Thousands of sacks of potato rot in La Gracia Village, Cayo District
    Today, BBN visited La Gracia Village in the Cayo District to meet with concerned potato farmers. La Gracia is a quiet village that is made up of mostly hard working farmers who cultivate the land by planting potatoes, carrots, beans, and corn. Farming is a family business at this community and the only source of income for most families. The farmers are in trouble since thousands of sacks of potatoes that they harvested is rotting since vendors are not purchasing it from them. This is because government has allowed for massive importation of potatoes to the country, according to the farmers.

    Another man murdered in Belize City
    Another man was shot dead almost an hour ago just a stone’s throw from his home. The incident occurred in the Western Avenue area of Lake Independence in Belize City. The victim was rushed to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Family members present at the KHMH confirmed that the victim is 21 year old Jason Ortiz.

    An Insight into Interest calculations
    I want to start by commending the person in this pawn shop story for taking the extra step and seeking legal action that has shed light on another area where our regulatory authorities are failing us. Even though the attorneys are in the limelight, and credit must be given where its due, given they did take up the case. However, it seems that there is not a clear understanding from both sides in terms of interest rates. It is questionable how much is really understood about the actual calculation involved and one is left to wonder how the the formulas are derived in both the judgment and in the actual loan at the pawn shop. 120% does sound high, but from what was said on the news, it seems to not be that straightforward. It was said that the loan was at 10% per month, but the lender chose to

    CitCo inaugurates gateway monument
    Today, the Belize City Council inaugurated its new Gateway monument at the entrance of the Fort George Tourism Zone. The council held a brief opening ceremony for the monuments, which are dedicated to the entrepreneurs of Belize City. Mayor Darrell Bradley, explained that the monuments are valued at $30,000 which formed a part of an $80,000 grant provided by the Government of Canada through the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED).

    Immigration Department: “Belly of the beast”
    Former Finance Officer for Immigration Department, Teresita Castellanos, today gave a heartfelt testimony to the Senate Select Committee conducting an inquiry into the findings of the Auditor General’s special report on Immigration. According to Castellanos, she was “…in the belly of the beast.” She told the committee that there was a culture of corruption among immigration officers who worked together like a, “fraternity”. She revealed that she and former Director, Maria Marin, tried to set things straight but the officers disregarded their instructions.

    Briceno says GOB to sell all utility companies
    In an exclusive interview with our newsroom today, Opposition Leader John Briceno, confirmed that the Government of Belize is seeking to sell state owned utilities to private investors. According to Briceno; BTL, BEL and BWSL are all on the table in a proposal written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. These companies, we are told, will be lumped together as one and sold for an estimated quarter billion dollars.

    PUP supports Eamon Courtenay during Senate meeting
    Today the Secretariat of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) packed almost 40 of its members inside the galleries of the National Assembly for the Senate Hearing. According to the party’s secretariat, the purpose was for the party to show support to its Senator, Eamon Courtenay, who has been on the receiving end of scathing government criticism.

    Community centers refurbished to meet hurricane shelter standards
    The Community Centre in the Village of Lucky Strike is currently being refurbished, its roof being replaced, bathrooms built, and proper doors and windows installed. Area Representative and Minister of National Emergency Management, Edmond Castro, explained that the works being done with funds from the Government of Belize will enable the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to utilize it as a Hurricane Shelter when it is needed for that purpose.

    Twin towns plan welcome-home motorcade for Miss Belize Universe
    Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath represented Belize at the 65th edition of Miss Universe in Manila, Philippines on January 29, 2017. Rath unified Belizeans at home, abroad and on social media, which was loaded with showing their unwavering support for “Bex”, as she has affectionately come to be known, throughout the pageant. Belizeans also requested that Belize gives her a royal welcome for making the country proud and representing it to the best of her ability on an international platform.

    Belize: How to fix the macro-economy
    After interviewing several public and private sector leaders of the economy, I have come to the conclusion that they are mostly fixated on micro-economic issues…with rightful concern about nit-picking areas where the economy is bleeding through government corruption, and where efficiency can be gained. BUT….too much focus on the micro-economy is coming at the expense of focus on the macro-economy. Macroeconomics (from the Greek prefix makro- meaning “large” and economics) is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole.

    Eric Chang declines invitation to attend Senate hearing
    BBN has learnt that former Belize City Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang, has declined an invitation to appear in front of the Senate Select Committee. Chang had been named in the “hot” Auditor General’s report after it claimed that he and a city council official purchased visa stickers that were stolen from the Immigration Western Border in December 2012.

    Cayo men arrested for keeping gun without license
    According to police reports, yesterday evening around 5:00, while police were conducting a mobile patrol on the Green Hills Road in St. Margaret’s Village, Cayo District, they stopped and searched 46-year-old Jose Maria Ignacio Marroquin and 57-year-old Carlos Catalino Chiapaz both of St. Margaret’s Village who were on a motorcycle.

    Prime Minister to meet with Belize’s Legal and Financial Team in New York
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today on official business to the United States of America. Barrow will be traveling to New York to meet with Belize’s legal and financial team that is involved in the negotiations to restructure the Super Bond.

    Press Office issues advisory on fake PM profile
    The Government of Belize Press Office has issued a press release stating that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is aware that members of the public have been contacted by Facebook accounts under the name “Dean Barrow”. The OPM informs the general public that any pages purporting to be the personal or official account of or bearing photos or personal information of Prime Minister Dean Barrow are fake and unauthorized.

    Big contraband bust reported by Guatemalan authorities
    Guatemalan authorities today seized 9.9 millions boxes of cigarettes in Peten, along the border with Mexico and Belize. The Agencia Guatemalteca de Noticias reported yesterday, that Jorge Aguilar, spokesman for the National Civil Police (PNC), detailed how agents of the substation in Poptún (Petén) intercepted a truck, detaining one Byron Misael Cabrera Gonzáles, and seizing a hefty 9,914,600 boxes of contraband cigarettes.

    FBI double reward to $20,000 to solve Swaney’s murder case
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has doubled the US $10,000 reward to US $20,000 for any information leading to a breakthrough in the Anne Swasey murder investigation. In January, the FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer or killers. 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.

    Croc on the loose in Belama Phase 11
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that there is a crocodile in a canal in Belama Phase 11 in Belize City. Several concerned residents have taken to social media raising their concerns over the presence of the animal. Some pictures and videos are circulating on social media showing a large croc crossing the street. The residents say that the croc crosses the street early in the morning and then around 7:30 at night.

    Cayo Community Policing commander train Special Constables on Vehicle Search tactics
    On Sunday, several members of the Cayo Special Constables Committee attended a training facilitated by Cpl. Jason Jones, officer in charge of Community Policing for Cayo. The vehicle-search training included theory and practical for the proper way police officers should approach and search vehicles. The practical included search for drugs, weapons and explosives.

    Blogs

    Delegación De Michigan Visita Sarstoon Con Los Voluntarios Territoriales De Belize
    El 13 de enero de 2017, las inclemencias del tiempo no impidió que los Voluntarios Territoriales de Belize (B.T.V.) hicieran otro viaje por el límite meridional de Belize, el río Sarstoon. Belize todavía permanece sin un protocolo sobre los viajes al Sarstoon, salvo para el personal militar, y en el pasado Guatemala ha seguido como sombra y en ocasiones acosado a los civiles que visitan la zona. Ellos estuvieron acompañados por una delegación de Beliceños de Michigan dirigida por el Cónsul Honorario de los Estados Unidos George Carr. En este videoclip cortesía de Wil Maheia y PGTV, George Carr comparte su experiencia y inquietudes.

    Why San Pedro, Belize Isn’t Your Typical Tourist Town…
    The caye is ridiculously beautiful – white sand, the bluest ocean, the barrier reef, the wildlife. There are great restaurants, fun bars and plenty to keep you busy day and night, if that’s what you like to do. But a vacation to Belize is so different…so obviously unlike visiting NYC or Paris or Miami and, not as obviously, so different from other Caribbean trips I’ve taken. There is a reason that I went to Aruba and Curacao, Grenada and Costa Rica, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and St. Maarten and never thought about relocating there… When you arrive on Ambergris Caye, take a walk around town. You are vacationing within a community. Pause for just a second – there are kids in uniform going to school, there are street vendors selling fruits or tacos to people on their way to work, there are parades and holidays, there are signs for fundraisers and school parties, talent shows and business openings -it doesn’t take too long to see that the community is pretty fantastic. Here the locals don’t actively avoid the tourists… There are no huge chains – no Senor Frog’s, no McDonald’s or Starbucks. When you drink a Belikin beer after your snorkeling trip, you are just as likely to be sitting next to a San Pedrano as you are another visitor. When you head home after your Belize vacation, I bet that one of the reasons that you want to return is to visit the local friends you met.

    Best Time to Visit Belize
    Belize has gained a reputation for being one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With its diverse culture, exotic wildlife and lush landscapes the country continues to lure thousands of visitors to its shores every year. There is so much to see and do in Belize and you might ask yourself when is the best time to visit belize and experience all it has to offer? Every month holds endless possibilities and adventures! There are some months, however, during which specific activities occur in the country that will allow you to experience events unique to Belize. Here is a breakdown of the best time to visit Belize:

    Belize, the ideal haven for birders
    With an extremely varied landscape that includes river deltas, mountain ranges, wetlands, rainforests, coastline, and jungles, Belize has a thriving ecosystem that abounds with birds. More than 580 species of migratory and local birds have been recorded in Belize, including the Spot-breasted Oriole, Collared Forest Falcon, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Canada Goose, and Crested Caracara. From the moment you step off the plane, the sight and sound of birds are everywhere, forming an integral backdrop to the daily rhythms of life in Belize. The Audubon Society is very active in Belize and have cataloged six Important Bird Areas (IBAs), many of which are administered or co-managed by the Audubon Society in protected nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and national parks.

    Aguacate Lagoon in Belize
    The Aguacate Lagoon is one of the best birding and wildlife spotting areas in western Belize and is located just down the road from the Mennonite village of Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District. A pristine wetlands where birds flit through the air and amphibians sun themselves on lily pads, the Aguacate Lagoon is a favorite birding destination where ornithologists can easily find Vermillion Flycatchers, Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-Tailed Kites and Hawks, Laughing Falcons, Meadowlarks, Swallows, Herons, and even Jabiru storks. Aguacate Lagoon is located approximately 20 minutes from the Mennonite village of Spanish Lookout in Belize’s western Cayo District. The lagoon is located on a 284-acre private reserve that also includes an unexcavated ancient Maya site. If you’re heading to Aguacate on your own, follow the signs on the Western Highway and head to the village of Spanish Lookout. Once in the village, your best bet is to ask locals how to get to the lagoon.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize IFSC Begins Enforcement of New Capital Requirements
    Forex Magnates has learned that Belize’s financial services regulator, the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), unfolded its plans to begin the enforcement of new capital requirements for registered derivatives brokers. The step comes nearly 14 months since the issuance of the ‘Licensing Amendment Regulation’ in late 2015. The commission said in a circular to stakeholders that with effect from today: “All companies having a license for trading in financial and commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities or license for trading in foreign exchange must provide evidence of statutory capital increase up to 500,000 US Dollars.”

    CCJ dismisses constitutional motion brought by Belize Bar Association
    The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Wednesday dismissed an appeal brought by the Belize Bar Association concerning a perceived threat to that country’s Court of Appeal’s judicial independence. The CCJ, Belize’s highest court in dismissing the claim, also made strong recommendations for changes to the appointment and tenure of Justices of Appeal that would provide them with security of tenure and a selection process that was independent of the government. The Court recommended immediate adoption of those recommendations. The Belize Bar Association had filed a Constitutional motion challenging the Belize Constitution (Sixth Amendment) Act which states that when an existing or future appointment of a Justice of Appeal did not specify a period of appointment, the judge’s term of office would last one year from the date of commencement of the amendment, or one year from the date of appointment. The amendment also stated that at the end of the period the office would become vacant. At the time, the changes applied to two sitting judges.

    Belize recognized for achievements in vaccination and malaria
    The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, congratulated Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize Monday for his country’s success in promoting immunization and dramatically reducing the burden of malaria. “Thanks to high rates of vaccination, Belize has been able to eliminate measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, as has the rest of the region—the first in the world to achieve this,” Etienne told Barrow after visiting Belize’s National Vaccines Storage Facility, which was built with PAHO support. Etienne also noted that investment in health in Belize has risen to 5.4% of GDP, and that the country has made impressive progress toward the elimination of malaria. Belize is currently in the pre-elimination phase, having reduced the number of malaria cases by 95% between 2007 and 2012, from 845 to 37 in five years. In 2016, only five cases of malaria were reported.

    Belize Prepares For the 2017 La Ruta Maya Canoe Challenge, And Chaa Creek Says You’re Invited
    Belize’s annual La Ruta Maya River challenge is one of the longest, most gruelling canoe races in the world. It is also a way to raise awareness about the beautiful river system that was once the “superhighway” of the ancient Maya. The La Ruta River Challenge was the brainchild of Belizean entrepreneur Richard Harrison, who started the race in 1998 in part to promote a line of purified water, sport and soft drinks and partly to raise awareness of the importance of Belize’s network of rivers and the need for conservation. Starting in San Ignacio Town, downriver on the Macal River from Chaa Creek, three person teams paddle 175 miles to the finish line in Belize City, overnighting in the riverside villages of Banana Bank, Double Head Cabbage and Burrell Boom before the final sprint to Belize City on “National Heroes and Benefactors Day”, a public holiday in Belize.

    Almasys, Shaw & Selent took us for a run in Belize
    Butch and Ann Almasy of East Sparta, Ohio, and Mary Shaw and Pete Selent ran with the Farm Dairy as they competed a half marathon in Placencia, Belize, in December.

    The Garifuna People
    In 1635, two Spanish ships were wrecked near what is now St Vincent in the West Indies. The ships held West Africans who were to be sold as slaves in the West Indies. The West Africans escaped from the Spaniards and hid themselves among the indigenous Amerindian group, the Carib people on the island. The Africans eagerly adapted to the new environment in hopes of avoiding slavery and remaining under the protection of the Carib community. Likewise, the Caribs protected their new African neighbours because they resisted European encroachment on their lands. Eventually the Caribs and West Africans began intermarrying, and ultimately, created the Garifuna people. When the French defeated the Garifuna on St Vincent in 1795 and drove them to nearby Becquia Island, they and other Garifuna left the Lesser Antilles Islands by the thousands and settled on the coast of Honduras. By 1802, they had migrated to what is now Belize. Led by Thomas Vincent Ramos, they settled in the township of Dangriga and soon spread out to other communities. The Garifuna population resides at present in 43 locations on the Atlantic Coast between Belize and Nicaragua. The largest of these communities are in Honduras and Belize, where about 98,000 Garifunas are concentrated in various towns.

    Caldwell University students volunteer on break
    A group of Caldwell University students and faculty and staff spent a week in January volunteering in an impoverished village in Belize. The group 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,” Juliano said. Juliano said 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,” Juliano said. 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.”

    Judge Gives Ex-treasure Hunter Way to Provide Coin Details
    A federal judge is giving a former deep-sea treasure hunter another chance to reveal information about the location of 500 missing gold coins. Federal Judge Algenon Marbley on Wednesday directed government prosecutors to draft an order related to the coins involving a Belize-based trust. The order would permit ex-treasure hunter Tommy Thompson to give written consent for the government to probe the contents of the trust. A trust representative has refused to allow an inspection of the trust without Thompson's consent. Marbley has held Thompson in contempt of court since December 2015 for violating terms of a plea deal by refusing to respond to questions about the coins' locations. The coins were minted from gold taken from the S.S. Central America, which sank in an 1857 hurricane.

    Regional police officers to receive training in supporting victims of crime
    The Canadian government-funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) project is hosting a training course entitled “Enhancing Support to Victims of Crime”. The course will be attended by police officers of varying ranks along with gender specialists, counsellors, community development officers, social workers and others who work with victims of crime. Participants are from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

    Videos

  • 10th European Development Fund, 4min. Two weeks ago, we mentioned the 10th European Development Fund, an agreement that cost over 20 million U.S. dollars signed between the CARICOM Secretariat and the European Union (EU) in 2012. Last week, trade economists at the Ministry of Foreign Trade spoke to us about a significant project being executed through the fund. Janel Rodriguez has more…

  • Senate Special Select Committee Public Hearing, 90min. Senators question Immigration Finance Officer on revenue and procedures for visas given at missions and borders

  • , min. Join us for the opening of an exhibition in tribute to Jose Felix Ayuso, El Rey Del Carnaval de San Pedro. We will be celebrating the spirit and history of carnival. Friday, February 24th, at 7:30 pm.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 9, 104min.

  • BELIZEAN BRUKDONG "PREACHAMAN" MICHAEL NAVARETTE (PART ONE)!, 26min. This feature on the Neo-Brukdong Belizean artist, Michael Navarette, aka "Preachaman", comes at the right time and on the right place right here on the "Belizean Soul" we call here Belizean Legends. Not only was it most appropriate for a Belizean of East Indian heritage to have been embracing his Creole culture and music we Belizeans called "Brukdong", but that Navarette chronicles in this documentary series on his music how he has embarked on a journey to bring together through music and culture the unity between Belize's two black groups, the Belizean Creole and Garinagu. He resurrects in this interview the richness of Belizean Brukdong music paying tribute to all those legendary Belizean artists that came before him like Mr. Peters, Leela Vernon, Brad Pattico, bredda David, Bella Carib, Harrington Trapp, and many more. Preachman joins a whole list of other neo-Belizean Brukdong artists in Belize like Cocono Bwai, TR Shine, Donkey Man, Dan Man, Mr. Program, Ernestine Caballo, and Coolie Rebel just to mention a few, who have began to honor the pulsating Belizean musical art form while carrying on Mr. Peters' tradition of tribute to the ancestors of the music.

  • THE VEGA FAMILY ALLEGED LAND SCHEME…DOCUMENTS SHOW THEY OWN MORE PRIME LAND IN THE VILLAGE OF CARMEL, 12min.

  • Sarstoon Visit, 2min.

  • Combating climate change, 3min.

  • Chamber of Commerce - Recommendations to GOB on Finance, 41min.

  • PAHO - Signing of Country Cooperation Strategy 2017 - 2021 (CCS), 40min.

  • McNab Designs - InterChange Belize Limited, 29min.

  • Darrell on City Maintenance, 4min.

  • Luis Blas Mendez at Arenal Village, 20min.

  • Belize Fly Fishing Highlights — Jack Trout, 1min. Hopkins, Placencia, Dandriga, Caye Caulker, Punta Gorda, Belize City, One Day Fly Fishing Excursions

  • Xanadu Island Resort, San Pedro Belize, 2min.

  • Belize: January 2017, 2.5min.

  • Belize snorkeling, 4min.

  • Antelope Trail Belize 2, 7min.

    February 15, 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

    Isla Bonita Elementary School educates community on Health-Science issues during Open House
    Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) transformed its school grounds with six vibrant booths during their annual Open House on Friday, February 10th. With four Standard Five and two Standard Six classes split into groups, students showcased their knowledge on Health-Science issues such as HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency disorder/acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), Sexually Transmitted Disease and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STDs/STIs), Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Children’s Rights, and Child Abuse. From 10AM to 2PM, fellow IBES students, along with several community members, and students from other island primary schools attended the Open House. They went booth to booth, receiving valuable information on not only the subject, but various ways of prevention. Since many of the issues are relevant to San Pedro, these groups were creative in using, and used an array of advertising strategies, pamphlets, examples, and games to make the learning process more fun.

    NEBL rolls into its fifth week
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) season has completed its fifth week of competition after three games over the weekend. Games took place in the west, north and centre of the country, bringing out hundreds of basketball fanatics to support their favourite teams. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks did not play any games, and they are currently the tournament’s undefeated team after their third consecutive win on Saturday, February 4th. The first set of games began in Orange Walk Town, on Friday, February 10th, where the Orange Walk Running Rebels hosted the Belmopan Bandits at the Orange Walk Muti-purpose Complex. It was an intense match, as the home team fought to keep a lead over the visiting squad. At half time, their score was at 52-46 over the visitors, but in the last quarter of the game, the Bandits stole the victory with one golden point, winning 76-75. Leading for the Belmopan Bandits was James Ewing with 18 points, followed by Roger Reneau scoring 16 points, and Randy Usher with 15 points. Making the highest scores for the Orange Walk Running Rebels were Gregory Rudon with 17 points and Stephen Williams with 15 points.

    Future Entrepreneurs display business skills at SPHS Business Fair
    The San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted their annual Business Fair on Friday, February 10th. With the goal of developing entrepreneurial skills, junior and senior students majoring in business studies were tasked with creating a viable business concept. Held at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, the fair was open to the community, providing a forum for the students to showcase their hard work. Throughout the day, four judges were tasked with visiting each booth; grading the students on a set criteria. The judges were Janelle Cowo and Carlo Flores for the juniors, while Gladys Urbina Alamilla and Joanna Lisbey judged the seniors. For the judges it was a difficult task to choose the winners among such great projects, but seven groups exceeded expectations. In the junior division, third prize was awarded to the project “Citrus Fertilizer” who created an eco-friendly plant growth enhancer. Second prize when to “Nana’s Children’s Day Care” who created a service aimed at assisting single working mothers on the island. Finally, taking top honours was “Inspiration Inc.” a business plan for a vocational institution which would provide training services in the hospitality industry, as well as career placement services.

    Ambergris Today

    Project Abroad Hosts First Father Daughter Dance
    What a more perfect way to start the Valentnes week than by having a father bond with his daughter. A night full of laughter, dancing and love. Daughters had the chance to share a special moment with the number one man in their life, their father. Thanks to Project Abroad for hosting the first ever father daughter dance on Monday, February 13, 2017 on la isla bonita. Next year shall be bigger and better. Happy Valentines Day!

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Meet Jack and Daniel, American Crocs
    They were captured during our Next Gen Croc survey, parasite, and population survey with Ocean Academy and FAMRACC on Caye Caulker. American Crocs on Caye Caulker are healthy and have stabilized from past over exploitation. And thanks to the past work of FAMRACC and the current work of the Next Gen Croc students, Caye Caulker has become a model community for co-existing with crocodiles.

    UDP protests PUP Senator's Lawfirm
    A newly formed group named BALAC - Belizeans Against Lord Ashcroft and (Eamon) Courtenay - marched on the law offices of Courtenay Coye LLP this morning demanding his resignation and lambasting them as a demon and a vulture among other things. Organizer Alfonso Noble denied interest from the UDP and says it is strictly concerned with protesting Courtenay's action. Approximately 75 protesters participated in today's demonstration.

    Power interruption 8:00am to 4:00pm, Sunday, Feb 19, Belize City
    Vernon St, Youth for the Future Dr, Johnson St, Cemetery Rd, Curassow St, East Collet Canal, Orange St, Mosul St, Bagdad St, West Canal, Regent St West, Church St, Bishop St, Regent St, Albert St, King St, Prince St, Dean St, South St, Rectory Ln, Albert St West, Racecourse St, Mex Ave, Waight Ave, Fairweather St, Dolphin St, Euphrates Ave, Amara Ave, Basra St, Allenby St, Racoon St, Seagull St. BEL to replace riser pole on the power distribution system in the area.

    Commerce Bight Port in Dangriga vs Big Creek Port in Mango Creek
    By Wellington C. Ramos. Stann Creek District possesses two ports, which are Commerce Bight Port in Dangriga town, the deepest in the country of Belize, and Big Creek Port in Mango Creek village 40 miles away from Dangriga on the Southern Highway. The Commerce Bight Port was built by the British in the 1900s to ship bananas from the farms in Stann Creek Valley overseas. After the Panama disease destroyed the banana industries in Belize and other countries in Central America, the farmers started to plant oranges. The citrus industries used the Commerce Bight Port to ship all their products overseas up until the government decided to lease it to Ports of Belize Ltd in 2002 under the management of Luke Espat. In the 1960s, the government of Belize made a deal with two American companies, namely, Brown and Root and Hercules to process pine resin from the pine trees in the Mango Creek village area. They were shipping the lumber and all their products through Big Creek, while citrus from the Stann Creek Valley was being shipped through Commerce Bight Port.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Attends XXV Session of OPANAL General Conference
    he Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in the XXV Session of the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) on the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Signed in 1967, the Treaty of Tlatelolco established the first Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in a densely populated area. It was the first if its kind and served as the inspiration for the subsequent creation of five other such zones across the globe. It remains a model of our region’s resourcefulness, unity, and sense of responsibility in addressing an issue of global importance and concern. Minister Elrington reiterated Belize’s commitment and continued support of the Treaty’s obligations and joined the other delegations in adopting the Draft Declaration of the Member States on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary.

    "Give Your Heart to A Child"
    You can "Give Your Heart to A Child" through the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation's Foster Care Campaign. The campaign, which was launched this morning, aims to increase the number of foster care and adoptive parents across the country by transitioning children out of childcare institutions into safe and loving homes where they can thrive. To apply, visit the Ministry's website at www.humandevelopment.gov.bz or email giveyourheart@humandev.gov.bz #GiveYourHeart

    Fake Facebook Profiles of Prime Minister Barrow
    The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is aware that members of the public have been contacted by Facebook accounts under the name “Dean Barrow”. The OPM informs the general public that any pages purporting to be the personal or official account of or bearing photos or personal information of Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow are fake and unauthorized. Users are advised to disregard any friend requests or communication from such pages and especially refrain from sharing any personal information with said accounts. All communication from the Prime Minister are shared by the Government of Belize Press Office on its official Facebook page.

    Poets Corner: Registration Law
    By Abdulmjeed K. Nunez. There needs to be a correction We’ve been saying re-registration When in fact its registration Void of politicians We need to stop the procrastination Blaming cost is and over exaggeration COMMONERS has long given the solution Here’s how you fix immigration Everyone can get a ninety-day stay from immigration After ninety days you go back to your destination All job applications are to be applied for from your homeland When they come to Belize it’s for a vacation Specialists will get first consideration They will not take any jobs already being held by Belizeans It has to be an area for which we have no specialization A nuclear scientist, a factory to bake chips or Pringles Canning factory like Del Monte for our people Water melon juice purification to sell globally These people will be given priority

    DONATE AND SAVE A LIFE
    Alrick August a father of four is in desperate need of assistance. He is blood type A negative and needs either A negative or O negative blood to help save his life. PLEASE HELP us you can contact me at 6705363. I am will to pay for the blood if necessary.

    Channel 7

    UDP Making The Case Against Courtenay, In The Streets
    The UDP has been on the political offensive for the past week - which is rare for a third term incumbent administration. But the party has gotten its teeth into PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay, and is holding on as tight as Courtney does to the Ashcroft Alliance. Today, the UDP upped the ante with a protest action by an ad-hoc group called "BALAC", Belizeans Against Lord Ashcroft and Courtenay. Our camera was there when they marched on Courtenay;s office which is in a King's Park residential neighborhood:... Jules Vasquez reporting: There was extra security at the Courtenay law firm - both from police and a private security firm. Armed and uniformed officers secured the office compound while others secured it from the street. When Courtenay pulled in from court, he was casual, relaxed and appeared unperturbed. At about 10:25 we could see the protestors coming down "A" Street. The crowd of about 85 led by UDP regulars was chanting, you heard it right, "Eamon Courtenay - Demon Courtenay."

    Courtenay Unfazed By Protest
    So, what does Senator Courtenay have to say about the protest against him and his client, Lord Ashcroft? That's what we asked him at the Supreme Court today - where he was unfazed: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "I don't know who the people are. We live in a democracy; they're entitled to demonstrate, express their freewill, and to show their disagreement with myself or anybody else in the country. And, I have no quarrel with them doing that. It does not seem to me to be an advisable course, but that's their right. So, I have no objections to that"

    Courtenay Comments On Conflict Of Interest Contention
    We also asked Courtenay to comment on the allegation that is at the heart of this controversy: Is he putting the interests of his client, Lord Ashcroft, above his duty to the Belizean public as a parliamentarian? He denied that, saying that his impending lawsuit to to challenge the law is on the behalf of himself and those within the legal profession. According to him, the Central Bank International Immunities Act, which was passed 2 weeks ago to protect the Central Bank reserves, could allow for attorneys to be unfairly classified as having committed a criminal offence. He also asserted that this alleged conflict, where the Central Bank's immunity is coming under attack in the US, just isn't happening. Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "The UDP Government and Party itself has taken a stance that you are textbook case what conflict of interest is. You serve the people of Belize on the senate as PUP's appointee, but you are also serving Lord Ashcroft as the attorney and those interest are in direct conflict in this instance. How do you respond?"

    Why Did Courtenay Leave Senate Hearing For US?
    So, why did Courtenay leave the Senate hearings on Immigration last week Wednesday before they were done for the day? That's when the UDP offensive against him started, and he gave us a response while travelling to the US. The Government's press release from Friday also mentioned it, and said, quote, "Senator Courtenay easily and willingly cast aside his Senatorial obligations. He left Wednesday's session of the Special Senate inquiry prematurely... so that he could depart to Washington in the service of the Ashcroft Alliance." The press asked about that and, in his response, Courtenay made some interesting disclosures about the Senate hearings, which continue tomorrow: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "He said that I abandoned the Senate Hearing, how amusing. Let's again deal with that, right. First of all, I am not an attorney qualified to practice in the United States, let's start right there. So, I didn't go there to practice any law and represent anybody. For years now, for years, I have been travelling for clients who have matters in Belize and in other jurisdictions, not only the United States, in order to consult with lawyers, go and listen to cases that are taking place. This particular one had to do with the UHS award.

    PM Flies To NYC To Settle Superbond
    But right now, the government's top priority is settling the Superbond re-negotiations. That's why the Prime Minister left the country today and headed to New York. That's where he will meet with Belize's legal and financial team to discuss the ongoing negotiations to restructure the Superbond. As we told you, there's a payment due on February 20th, and it seems bondholders may be forced back to the table, since government has given indications that it is willing to risk a default - to strengthen its bargaining position. We are told the attorney general Michael Peyreffitte will join them tomorrow. The Prime Minister returns to Belize on Sunday. Deputy Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister in the interim.

    Judge Tells Yolanda And La Inmaculada To Settle
    Earlier in the news, we showed you our interview with PUP's Eamon Courtenay in which he took on some tough questions about the UDP's push to get him removed from the Senate. We got a chance to speak to him after the second day in court for the lawsuit against the La Inmaculada Credit Union, which was filed by their former General Manager, Yolanda Gomez. Viewers will remember that at the end of July of 2015, she was terminated by the Credit Union's Board of Directors, who alleged that an audit showed that Gomez was personally responsible for a half a million dollars in mismanagement and loss to the credit union. Gomez denied all allegations against her, saying that this was an attempt by the Board to damage her reputation, just so that they could remove her. She is suing the Credit Union's Board and the Registrar of Credit Unions, a post that is held by the Governor of the Central Bank. She has hired Courtenay as her attorney, to argue her case that she was wrongfully terminated from La Inmaculada, and he briefed us this morning on how far the case as progressed. Here's what he told us:

    Can You Open Heart and Home To A Child?
    225 kids are living in institutions such as children's homes or childcare centers across the country. It is a troubling figure and the Department of Human Services wants to significantly reduce that number through a foster and adoption campaign called "Give your heart to a child part 2". These kids deserve a chance to be loved and cared for by a family - it's a feeling many of these kids have never experienced. Courtney Weatherburne takes a closer look at the child protection service in Belize and how the launch of this campaign today can improve it. For these boys, playing a friendly midday match is just what they need to re-energize for their afternoon classes. Others enjoy relaxing in the recreation room, even catching up on some reading. Now it might seem like these kids didn't even leave their school compound but they did, they all went home for lunch. 45 kids between the ages 5 and 21 live at the Dorothy Menzies ChildCare Center in Belize City - including 10 special needs kids. It is the only place of comfort for them.

    Cops Says Franz Fondled Female Child
    Today, 56 year old Franz Hamilton appeared in the Magistrate's Court where he was charged with sexually assaulting a minor. According to reports, in late January Hamilton molested a child by fondling her rectum. But this is not the first incident, according to the minor who appeared with her mother and a social worker, Hamilton had previously fondled her vagina as well. Hamilton, who was unrepresented, pled not guilty, but was denied bail after the prosecutor objected due to the victim's age. Hamilton was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April.

    Up The Creek With A Paddle
    For the past week we've been reporting on the state of the Haulover Creek - which is impassable due to fallen trees and growth of dense vegetation. It's blocked the creek and raised some question about whether the Ruta Maya will be able to use it as the finishing stretch for the race as per tradition. Right now, a paddler definitely can't get pass all the debris that's accumulated - and that's why yesterday the Departments of Forestry and the Environment went downriver to see how they can make the Creek navigable again. Alex Courtney accompanied them:... Alex Courtenay reporting: Most of the debris left behind by Hurricane Earl in August has been cleared up, but there are still some areas that are in need of a clean-up. One of them is the Haulover Creek, a small channel that connects the Belize River to the Belize City harbor. The creek has been made impassable because of several uprooted trees and mangroves. Deputy Chief Forest Officer, Marcelo Winsor explained the situation and its solution.

    PAHO Big Boss in Belize
    The Director General of PAHO, Dr. Carissa Etienne is in Belize for a two day visit. Last night, she hosted a forum on health financing. Etienne also participated in the Country Cooperation Strategy, which serves as a guide for the development of Belize's National Health Sector Strategic Plan 2014-2024. After the event, we spoke to her about improving and financing the country's universal health care. Dr. Carissa Etienne - Dir.,PAHO/Reg. Dir. of Americas-WHO: "So the presentation tonight was on universal health coverage, universal access to health and in particular we looked at the financing of the health system, the need for investment, increase in domestic investments, but with an eye into equity. We also touched on the social dominance of health and how those contributed to the health status and well-being of people. Importantly we spoke about the various elements that are required for strengthening health systems."

    What Do The Bel-Am's Think?
    For the past four nights we've been telling you all about the show called "Maya Hidden Worlds Revealed" - which opened last week at the Perot Museum of Science and Nature in Dallas. Now, the state of Texas is home to many Belizeans, and in Dallas they came out for the opening. IT was by invitation only, but it seems the word got out there, and about 50 or more turned up. We were there to ask them what they think of the show:… Tomorrow we'll have our final part in this story.

    Titan Bosses Leach and Knowles Recovered More Millions, This Time From Central Bank
    Just over a year ago, Bahamians Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach won a huge award of damages against the Government of Belize to a total of 8.8 million dollars. That's because the Supreme Court ruled that the Government was excessive when the Financial Intelligence Unit and the police raided their business headquarters, Titan Securities in the Matalon Building on Coney Drive. Well, these 2 business partners have won another judgement in their favor, and this time it's against the Central Bank, which has been ordered to pay them back 1.4 million US dollars, which they seized from their bankers. The pair's troubles in Belize started back in September 2014, when they were thrust into the public eye after an indictment from the US Treasury Department which accused them of securities fraud. During that time, the Belize Bank handed over their 1.4 million dollars to the Central Bank, which didn't want to give back.

    Valentines is For Lovers, And Florists
    It's Valentine's day - and all across the world, lovers, and admirers exchanged gifts, mainly floral arrangements and chocolates. One florist we checked with said they sold two thousand red roses for this day alone. We went to Selflorals designs on Barrack Road which made 300 arrangements this year for Valentine's. We spoke to the owner of Selflorals today about his orders this year Florists tell us that the day after Valentine's is actually busier than Valentine's day as they try to get their accounts in order.

    Call It A Comeback, Shyne Guests on Popcaan Remix
    Don't call it a comeback just yet, but Belize's Musical Ambassador Shyne is making waves with a remix of a popular Popcaan track. Popcaan's released the remix of his top 2016 single, "We Still a Win", adding Shyne's signature rapping style to the upbeat song. This is Shyne's first appearance on a dancehall track, which has already garnered over 2000 hits on Soundcloud. Here's a snippet of Shyne's verse in the single... This marks Shyne's first recorded output in the last few years.

    Channel 5

    Small Protest Comes to Eamon Courtenay’s Law Offices
    A handful of protesters headed to the steps of the law firm, Courtenay Coye LLP, on A Street this morning as the United Democratic Party heats up its campaign against [...]

    Senator and Attorney Says It’s Democracy
    The target of the protestors’ ire returned to his office just before they arrived. He had been at court for an unrelated matter and spoke briefly in response to the [...]

    Eamon Courtenay Challenges Prime Minister on Conflict of Interest
    The Government and the United Democratic Party are on a campaign claiming that Senator Eamon Courtenay is a textbook case of conflict of interest since he sits on the senate [...]

    Explaining the Lawsuits Filed by Courtenay and Company
    Courtenay says that the Crown Proceedings Amendment Law, which was passed at the same time as the Central Bank International Immunities Law, is not only unconstitutional, but a direct attack [...]

    Courtenay Says Prime Minister Told Falsehood to Get Support for Immunities Law
    On Monday during the People’s United Party’s press conference, the party’s legal adviser, Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, gave reporters a primer on the issue of legal immunity. As he explained, [...]

    Courtenay Says Senate Inquiry Doesn’t Miss Him
    In a release issued last Friday, government claimed that Courtenay aborted the senate inquiry to travel to Washington on another case against Belize even though an important witness was to [...]

    Personal Attack a Smokescreen for National Problems
    But when all is said and done is the senator being used as a scapegoat to deflect from the major financial problems of the country, including a proposed increase in [...]

    P.M. to New York to Talk to Superbond Team
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is headed to New York City again on Superbond business. The Government last week extended the time for response to its consent solicitation offer to February [...]

    PAHO Director in Belize, Talks Cooperation
    The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Doctor Carissa Etienne, is on a working visit to Belize since Monday. She has been meeting with a number government officials, [...]

    La Inmaculada Credit Union Challenges Former General Manager in Court
    Former General Manager of the La Inmaculada Credit Union in Orange Walk has filed a lawsuit against the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize for her wrongful termination after [...]

    Remanded for Nasty Sexual Assault on Child
    A fifty-six-year-old man was slapped with a single charge of sexual assault upon a seven-year-old child.  Franz Hamilton was remanded to prison today when he appeared in court to answer [...]

    Guatemala Busts Contraband Cigarettes Along Belize Border
    There is a report tonight of a major bust of nine point nine million boxes of cigarettes by Guatemalan authorities in Peten.  The Guatemalan police say agents in Peten detained [...]

    Michigan Delegation Visits Sarstoon with B.T.V.
    Inclement weather on Monday did not stop the Belize Territorial Volunteers from making another trip down Belize’s southern boundary, the Sarstoon River. Belize is still without a protocol regarding trips [...]

    Ombudsman Back in the Saddle for Third Term
    In a brief ceremony held on Monday, February thirteenth, at the Belize House in Belmopan, Ombudsman of Belize Lionel Arzu, accompanied at the ceremony by his family, was sworn-in for [...]

    Woman Buried Twice in Grave Mix-Up
    There was a mix-up at the Lord Ridge Cemetery over the weekend and the body of Louise Foreman had to be buried twice—first on Saturday and then on Sunday. The [...]

    Improper Removal of Bones May Lead to Charges
    According to Cemetery Administrator Wayne Usher, the employee from Coye’s Funeral Home has since admitted to the mistake.  But this afternoon, Usher met with City Council attorneys to see if [...]

    Remembering Rob Horwich and His Contribution to Community Baboon Sanctuary
    Doctor Rob Horwich, an American primatologist and the founder of community co-management with the establishment of the Community Baboon Sanctuary in 1985, has died at the age of seventy-seven. The [...]

    Fighting Back Against Unscrupulous Moneylenders: Attorneys Have Tips
    News Five has been reporting on the case of Orange Walk resident Janine Vega and Laura and Julio Blanco of Pay Day and EZY Loans Pawning. Vega attempted to satisfy [...]

    CTV3

    UDP - BALAC Calls For The Removal Of Eamon Courtney
    A group of UDP supporters, under the banner of an adhoc group called “Belizeans Against Lord Ashcroft and Courtenay” staged a picket outside the offices of PUP Senator and Attorney Eamon Courtenay this morning. The picket group held placards and protest signs and marched near Courtenay’s office for less than an hour. This is the UDP’s latest attempt to put political pressure on Courtenay, who is one of the attorneys in Belize who works for companies related to Lord Michael Ashcroft. Alfonso Noble – UDP Activist: “But here is the man who was supposed to protect our assets and instead of protecting our assets he is there challenging the protection that has been given to our assets, man what kind of person that, what kind of vulture that, what kind of individual that?”

    LOVE FM

    Senator Courtenay Says PM Uttered Falsehood
    In January, the Government of Belize passed two laws that would prevent any Belizean or any company registered in Belize to attach the foreign reserves of the Central Bank or the assets of the state to any legal proceedings. The laws also criminalized the action of doing so with a penalty of two hundred and […]

    Eamon’s Flight to DC
    In its February 10 press release, the Government of Belize said that PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay aborted the Senate Inquiry to go to Washington DC for a case against Belize. According to GOB the case was in relations to the Universal Health Services (UHS) hospital loan agreed to by the then PUP government. In the […]

    Judge Recommends Mediation in Gomez vs La Inmaculada
    In 2015, the board of the La Inmaculada Credit Union decided to fire its General Manager, Yolanda Gomez. In a televised statement, the President Ena Martinez made eleven allegations against Gomez. The board is accusing Gomez of quote, “substantial cash shortage, falsification of signatures on loan documents, improper cash management particularly in relation to the […]

    Belize and PAHO Sign Onto Cooperation Strategy Agreement
    The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is in Belize on a working visit. Dr Carissa Etienne arrived in the country on Sunday and has since been in several meetings and sessions. Last night she spoke with the media following a health forum held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City […]

    24 Years of Love FM – News and Music Power
    Love FM is celebrating its twenty fourth birthday today. Renee Trujillo has the story. Duty Free Cattle From Belize to Guatemala
    At around eight o’clock last night Belize saw the first shipment of duty free cattle cross the western border into Guatemala as part of Belize’s Partial Scope Agreement and Sanitary requirement between the two countries. Although the agreement was signed onto over a decade ago, it was never utilized until yesterday. This first duty free […]

    Females Outnumber Males in UB 2017 Graduation
    This past weekend saw four hundred and ninety nine young men and women coming out of the University of Belize as part of the institution’s February commencement exercise. The official ceremony took place at the school’s gymnasium in Belmopan on Saturday, February 11 with the keynote address being delivered by Belize’s Minister of Home Affairs […]

    Placencia Community Joins Call Against Offshore Drilling
    Another stand was taken over the weekend against offshore drilling via the Placencia Art Festival. The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage sent out a release today saying that the stand taken was done by three hundred members of the Placencia community who demanded that the government adopt a policy of closing Belizean waters […]

    BALAC Wants Courtenay Out of the Senate
    The newly formed BALAC – Belizeans Against Lord Ashcroft and Courtenay- protested in front of Eamon Courtenay’s Law firm on A Street in the Kings Park Area of Belize City. The group wants Courtenay to resign from his post as the Lead Opposition Senator. They say Courtenay should resign because there is a clear conflict […]

    PAHO Congratulates PM for Achievements in Health Sector
    As we noted earlier, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization 9PAHO) is on a working visit to Belize as of Sunday. Today she paid a courtesy call to the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow where she congratulated him on the country’s success in promoting immunization and subsequently having a dramatic reduction of the burden […]

    Amandala

    Government to sell BWSL, BTL and BEL?
    “Make no mistake about it, Government is broke. This UDP [United Democratic Party] government is broke,” said leader of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), John Briceño, at a press conference held in Belize City today, Monday. According to Briceño, “Government has conceded to a $200 million budget deficit shortfall for 2016-2017.” However, in Amandala’s telephone interview with the nation’s Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, he told our newspaper tonight that the deficit stands at around $100 million and is expected to be financed by domestic as well as external borrowing from agencies such as the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank. At his press conference, Briceño told the media that, “Government has also conceded that they have another $300 million funding gap which they plan to cover by raising taxes and retrenching public officers.”

    Fin Sec says tax increases are “inevitable”
    Amid fears of an impending tax hike, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told the press on Friday evening that “…at this point in time, it is inevitable that there will be increases in some taxes.” Waight declined to elaborate, but as we told you on Thursday, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Carla Barnett, told our newspaper that a final decision will be taken after internal consultations with Government departments and ministries, as well as external consultations with social partners which began this week. Yesterday, officials of the Ministry of Finance met with the private sector, telling them that the Belizean economy is “imperiled,” and today, the officials, including the Financial Secretary, met with the trade unions under the umbrella of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB). NTUCB president, Jackie Willoughby, told us after the meeting that while they agree on the need for Government to raise revenue, they do not totally agree that it has to be done through a tax hike.

    Dr. Errol Elrington on the run for 4 years now
    Dr. Errol Elrington, a younger brother of Minister Wilfred Sedi Elrington, has been on the run for four years now. He has been wanted by authorities in the United States since October 7, 2013, when an arrest warrant was issued for him in relation to racketeering, Medicaid fraud and health care fraud. Elrington fled the US less than a day later. According to the US Office of the Inspector General, investigators believe that Elrington falsely billed Medicare and Medicaid more than $400,000 for services that he never performed. Additionally, he employed an unlicensed physician who purportedly engaged in criminal sexual misconduct. The Felony Complaint alleged that Elrington was a licensed physician practicing in Redford, Michigan, and was the owner of a private medical center, Elrington Medical Center (EMC).

    “Mr. Pou,” of Pou’s famous meat pies, passes
    Arthur Francisco, 86, prominently known as “Mr. Pou,” died of natural causes in a hospital bed in Belize City on Sunday after 2 a.m., his family told Amandala. Francisco was the face of Pou’s Meat Pies, which began 44 years ago on the south side of Belize City. However, his family told us that his common-law-wife, Rosalia Pou, was the driving force behind the perfectly crusted, well-proportioned and flawlessly flavored meat pies. Together, Francisco and Pou began their franchise in 1973 on Albert Street. At that time, their business was competing with the restaurant known as “Dits,” on King Street, in the meat pie industry. In the early 80s, they relocated to #36 New Road, where the business can still currently be found.

    Confusion at Lord Ridge: body buried twice
    The body of Louise Foreman was buried twice. She was initially buried in a tomb in Lord Ridge Cemetery prior to burial services this Saturday afternoon. After the ceremony in the cemetery, the tomb was closed and concrete was poured onto the cover to seal the tomb. The priest and most attendees left, since the funeral services had been concluded. However, Foreman’s daughter began to search for the headstone of her brother (Louise Foreman’s son), Victor Andrew Foreman, who died in August 1998, and into whose tomb her mother was to have been buried. About 40 feet from where her mother had just been buried, she found her brother’s tomb, and it was intact. It was then that she realized that her mother had been buried in the wrong tomb, and not in Victor’s tomb, as the family had intended. The headstone of the tomb where her mother was buried was found, and the person whose remains were in that tomb was no family relation.

    Belize among the Caribbean countries recording strongest tourism growth
    The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) yesterday unveiled its report on the performance of the tourism sector across the Caribbean for 2016. The report said that while only 48% of the reporting destinations registered growth during the year, with the best performances occurring in the Dominican Republic, the British Virgin Islands and Grenada, which all grew by double digits, Belize became the 8th destination to record over one million cruise passenger visits that year. The report added that Belize was actually one of 7 Caribbean destinations which recorded double digit increases within their reporting periods. The other countries in the group are the Turks & Caicos Islands, Bermuda, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada and Montserrat.

    PG’s Freedom Fighters light up the MCC with 2-1 win over FC Belize
    It’s a long, 200-mile plus journey from Punta Gorda to Belize City, and the trip is much more enjoyable when you return with a victory. Those were the thoughts of Freedom Fighters owner, Patrick Flores, as he embraced the 2-1 victory his team garnered yesterday evening at the MCC Grounds at the expense of home standing FC Belize, who battled fiercely, but were once again on the short end of a low scoring ball game. In their first two outings, FC Belize has allowed 3 goals total and scored only 1, for a 0-2 record; while the Freedom Fighters have allowed 4 goals and scored 2, for 1 win and a loss. Both teams have a back match remaining, FC Belize with Wagiya, and Freedom Fighters with Verdes. We arrived at the MCC near the end of first half to learn that sweeper Lionel Cabral had given the visitors the lead at the 29th minute off a free kick, after their young “big striker,” Jarren Lambey had been taken down outside the eighteen. But the second half was just under way when young Harlan Cassanova slammed in a grounder for the FC Belize equalizer at the 47th minute. Although the ball did not reach the back of the net, the linesman ruled it had crossed the goal line before a PG defender cleared the ball in a cloud of dust.

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    When Orange Walk Running Rebels point guard Randy Usher heaved up an ill-advised three-point attempt with 7 seconds remaining in regulation in a 61-61 tie against the visiting Belmopan Bandits, it was an obvious sign that the Rebels’ 6-game losing streak against the visitors would be extended to 7. Even more distressing, though, for the hometown faithful, was the fact that they had enjoyed a very comfortable 59-52 lead with just about 7 minutes remaining in the game. And so, with the world now on their shoulders, the Rebels entered overtime play. They quickly jumped out to a 65-61 lead behind a tip-in basket from Shemar White and a lay-up by Gabriel Taylor. Richard Smith III, however, responded with a basket of his own, on the assist by Edgar Mitchell. Randy Usher then hit a big three-pointer to give his team the 68-65 lead.

    Hard as nails, soft as marshmallows
    The Northside/Southside model was never a precise analytical tool. That is because, in the first instance, there are a few Northside Belize City neighborhoods which are as Southside as can be. The Northside/Southside model has also become controversial in some quarters, including personal and political ones, but there are still situations where the model serves a valuable analytical purpose. The history of the different non-governmental organizations and funding agencies which have become active in Belize over the past four decades, say, and especially since our political independence in 1981, organizations and agencies which have as their stated goal the upliftment of Belizean girls and women, would be an interesting study. Simultaneously, a scholar would be pushed to investigate the fact that there has not appeared to be a balance, where foreign organizations and funds are concerned, with respect to attention to the problems and needs of Belizean boys and men. We’re just saying. The gender issue is probably a more controversial one than the Northside/Southside model, but we’re not going gender, as such, in this essay. What we want to do is look at a phenomenon which has implications for both roughneck young males and the overprotected ones. That phenomenon involves the significant and growing socio-economic gap between our Southside boys and our Northside boys, for lack of any better description. Generally speaking, our Southside boys are growing up hard as nails, while our Northside boys are being reared to be soft as marshmallows. In academic papers, generalizations are totally taboo, because generalizations are imprecise and inaccurate, but this is not an academic paper: all we are trying to do is to get your attention. Con permiso.

    From The Publisher
    Booker T. Washington was born a slave in the United States in 1856, but he became a great leader of black Americans. Around the turn of the century more than a hundred years ago, he was embroiled in a bitter philosophical dispute with another great leader of black Americans, W. E. B. DuBois, with respect to how black Americans should proceed towards educational and economic empowerment, and racial pride and dignity in the post-Emancipation America. Basically, Booker T. was urging black Americans to focus on hard work and the building of institutional capacity in various fields of endeavor. He wanted black Americans to avoid activist agitation and confrontation with the white power structure at all costs. W. E. B. DuBois was a mulatto, quite light-skinned, and he had been the beneficiary of a high quality education. Born in 1868, he became the first black American to earn a doctorate at Harvard, the United States’ most prestigious university. One of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a leader of the so-called Niagara Movement, DuBois demanded full civil rights for blacks and called for political representation in the American mainstream, while Booker T. Washington’s so-called Atlanta Compromise sought to appease the Southern white power structure and avoid rocking the boat, so to speak.

    Love life! Drive well!
    Dear Editor, Get in the car. Settle yourself comfortably in the seat and buckle up! Say to yourself each time you get into your vehicle: “I am going to be the BEST driver on earth today!” Though you may not be the best driver, making that statement to yourself can motivate you to drive carefully, yes, safely. Drive on your hand without speeding too much, and use your horn responsibly. Imagine that someone you love gives you a precious gift. How would you treat that gift? Would you destroy that precious gift, or treasure it, handling it with caution? Think of it. Almighty God has given you a very precious gift, much more precious than any gift a human person can give to another. That gift is your life!

    Belize facing super-bond default?
    In less than two weeks, the next payment of roughly BZ$26 million is due to holders of Belize’s super-bond, and although the Government of Belize was hoping that it could strike an early deal with creditors to reduce its interest expense as well as delay the repayment of the principal, bondholders have been holding out, forcing the Government of Belize to extend for a third time its deadline for creditors to accept its solicitation offer issued last month. Following the release of that offer, bondholders stated that “the proposed adjustment program [outlined by the Government of Belize] is unlikely to reduce future risks to debt sustainability or to the stability of the country’s currency peg in a sufficient manner.” Interest payments are due to increase by BZ$9 million for this calendar year, 2017, as the interest rate escalates in August from 5% to 6.767%. The total tab for interest payments on the super-bond would, therefore, increase from BZ$53 million to BZ$62 million, according to official information.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Prime Minister to meet with Belize’s Legal and Financial Team in New York
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today on official business to the United States of America. Barrow will be traveling to New York to meet with Belize’s legal and financial team that is involved in the negotiations to restructure the Super Bond. Barrow is expected to return to Belize on Sunday, 19th February, 2017. During his absence, the Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister.

    Press Office issues advisory on fake PM profile
    The Government of Belize Press Office has issued a press release stating that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is aware that members of the public have been contacted by Facebook accounts under the name “Dean Barrow”. The OPM informs the general public that any pages purporting to be the personal or official account of or bearing photos or personal information of Prime Minister Dean Barrow are fake and unauthorized.

    Big contraband bust reported by Guatemalan authorities
    Guatemalan authorities today seized 9.9 millions boxes of cigarettes in Peten, along the border with Mexico and Belize. The Agencia Guatemalteca de Noticias reported yesterday, that Jorge Aguilar, spokesman for the National Civil Police (PNC), detailed how agents of the substation in Poptún (Petén) intercepted a truck, detaining one Byron Misael Cabrera Gonzáles, and seizing a hefty 9,914,600 boxes of contraband cigarettes.

    FBI double reward to $20,000 to solve Swaney’s murder case
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has doubled the US $10,000 reward to US $20,000 for any information leading to a breakthrough in the Anne Swasey murder investigation. In January, the FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of […]

    Croc on the loose in Belama Phase 11
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that there is a crocodile in a canal in Belama Phase 11 in Belize City. Several concerned residents have taken to social media raising their concerns over the presence of the animal. Some pictures and videos are circulating on […]

    Cayo Community Policing commander train Special Constables on Vehicle Search tactics
    On Sunday, several members of the Cayo Special Constables Committee attended a training facilitated by Cpl. Jason Jones, officer in charge of Community Policing for Cayo. The vehicle-search training included theory and practical for the proper way police officers should approach and search vehicles. […]

    Securities fraudster who used Belizean shell companies gets 12 years
    Gregg Mulholland, 47, a California stock promoter, was sentenced to 12 years in a New York jail for money laundering offenses with links to shell companies created in Belize. Mulholland plead guilty to charges in May 2016. He has been held in a Brooklyn’s […]

    Blogs

    Making Corn Tortillas the local way!
    Corn tortillas are a staple of almost every Belizean meal. Similar to rice and beans, corn tortillas are the perfect accompaniment for a variety of local dishes, from soups to stews, and especially classic breakfasts like beans and eggs. At 23, I have pretty much consumed my fair share of corn tortillas, but making them by hand is another story! While most Belizean girls of Mestizo or Maya heritage pride themselves in making the perfect handmade corn tortillas well… let’s just say I may have skipped my lessons. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t try to make them! Fun Fact! According to both Maya and Mestizo tradition, if a girl who plans to make tortillas holds a Cane Toad, locally know as a “w’oh”, their tortillas are sure to puff when cooking. Of course, the procedures of the tradition slightly vary in each culture; in the Maya culture, the toad needs to be caught then passed over and under the girl’s hands nine times.

    Corozal 2017 "Love Fair" promoted by OCEANA; It was held at Central Park
    Corozal Held its Love Fair OCEANA On February 14, 2017 at Corozal Central Park. Raffles, entertainment and more where presented on the event. Love for Self community and the environment. This was the name given at the Love Fair that was held on February 14, 2017. The Love Fair commenced at 9am and end at 2pm. This event was sponsored by Love fm, Blue's, Ctv3, Rack's Snacks, Ministry of Government and Corozal Ministry and FOCUS. about the Education What is OCEANA Helping the Belize and the world? Visit us at www.oceana.org to find out more about how OCEANA Belize works. Wealth Untold- Belizeans are custodians to one of the most biologically diverse and unique natural resources on the planet. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest Barrier Reef in The world. Three of the Caribbean's four atolls are found in Belizeans waters. Belize is also home to the great Blue Hole, a large submarine sinkhole visible from space. Seven sites within the Belize Barrier Reef system have also been designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO as places of outstanding importance and value; a distinction granted to only 47 other marine sites in the world. What's in a Reef? A thriving coral reef is an intricate collaboration among many different kinds of animals, plants and microorganism. Coral reefs grow very, very slowly. Shallow coral reefs, sea grass bed and mangroves all characterized the Belize Barrier Reef system.

    Things To Do In Belize Part 2.
    Belize Cave Tubing Signature Tour - Cave Tubing in Belize This is where it all started! Ian Anderson’s first and still Belize’s longest and most spectacular “River of Caves” cave tubing float...over 7 miles underground. Enter the exciting world of rivers disappearing into the underworld as you float on inner tubes with only your headlamp to light your way. Floating past side windows that filter the jungle light through the mist as you swirl around stalagmites jutting from the river and stalactites looming from above. Float past underground waterfalls then into the crystal cathedral, a spiritual center to the ancient Maya. Since Ian introduced Cave Tubing to Belize tourism, Cave Tubing has become Belize’s most popular adventure trip. The original and full 7 mile "River of Caves" tube float is only available through the Caves Branch Adventure Company.

    Xaibe Business Cultural Expo 2017
    Xaibe Roman Catholic School!

    The House of Culture was honoured to have a courtesy visit by Mr. Ricardo Martin Gonzalez
    irst Secretary and Vice- consul of the Embassy of Canada, along with Mrs. Gail Johnson who is the Canadian Warden here in Corozal. We are looking forward to a cultural exchange as Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary of confederation this year!

    Institute for Social and Cultural Research's (ISCR) Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop
    This past Saturday the House of Culture took part in the Institute for Social and Cultural Research's (ISCR) Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop along with members of our cultural community. This critical workshop focused on documenting the knowledge of art, music, dance, recipes, natural medicine and more. The cultural artists were trained on how to document as well were able to share their knowledge. Thank you to all who participated in the safeguarding our intangible heritage, and a gracious thank you to our colleagues Selene Solis and Phylicia Pelayo of ISCR for their great work.

    SHJC Dean's List Ceremony Fall-16
    Sacred Heart Junior College had their Dean's List awards for the Fall 2016 semester. Way to go!

    International Sourcesizz

    Third sea-can started for Books for Belize
    The second sea-can containing 34,614 pounds of books and supplies has started its journey to Belize via the Panama Canal, last month. Rotary Club of Vermilion’s Robin Sherwood has spent the last three years collecting school supplies for the people of Belize, and this time around 957 pieces will be headed their way. The amount donated is up, from 900 pieces and 34,000 pounds, including 303 children’s books, 106 children reference, 170 adolescent, 83 adult novels, four inspirational Christian, 13 dictionary-thesaurus, 108 teacher resources, nine educational texts, 98 binders and supplies, 20 backpacks, six copy paper, and 37 other.

    Belize regulator IFSC warns on Trendtino Limited firm
    The International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) has notified that Trendtino Limited, an international business company with its registered office at No. 2 Mapp Street, Belize City, Belize C.A, is offering Payment Processing Services on its website, https://schonpay.com/ without a licence from the IFSC. Trendtino Limited is therefore directed to cease and desist from engaging in the said unlicensed activities forthwith. All persons concerned are asked to take note and exercise extreme caution.

    Black History Month: The Garifuna People
    February is Black History Month. Throughout this month The Royal Gazette will feature people, events, places and institutions that have contributed to the shaping of African history. In 1635, two Spanish ships were wrecked near what is now St Vincent in the West Indies. The ships held West Africans who were to be sold as slaves in the West Indies. The West Africans escaped from the Spaniards and hid themselves among the indigenous Amerindian group, the Carib people on the island. The Africans eagerly adapted to the new environment in hopes of avoiding slavery and remaining under the protection of the Carib community. Likewise, the Caribs protected their new African neighbours because they resisted European encroachment on their lands. Eventually the Caribs and West Africans began intermarrying, and ultimately, created the Garifuna people. When the French defeated the Garifuna on St Vincent in 1795 and drove them to nearby Becquia Island, they and other Garifuna left the Lesser Antilles Islands by the thousands and settled on the coast of Honduras. By 1802, they had migrated to what is now Belize. Led by Thomas Vincent Ramos, they settled in the township of Dangriga and soon spread out to other communities. The Garifuna population resides at present in 43 locations on the Atlantic Coast between Belize and Nicaragua. The largest of these communities are in Honduras and Belize, where about 98,000 Garifunas are concentrated in various towns.

    FBI Doubles Reward To Find Chicago Journalist’s Killer
    Federal authorities have doubled the reward they are offering in hopes of solving the 2016 murder of a Chicago journalist vacationing in Belize. The FBI is now offering $20,000 to find the killer of Anne Swaney. The 39-year-old Chicagoan was murdered in western Belize on Jan. 14, 2016 while staying at a remote resort. Swaney, executive producer of online operations for ABC 7, died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Her body was found floating in a river.

    Suspect in high-seas homicides hospitalized, putting case on hold
    Former Sacramento resident Silas Duane Boston, charged in the 1978 murder of two British tourists and suspected in the 1968 disappearance of his wife, has been hospitalized due to apparent complications from heart and liver disease, defense attorneys revealed in federal court Tuesday. Boston’s medical issues came to light as federal prosecutors were asking a United States district judge to authorize in-court depositions for aging relatives of the two tourists, medical school graduate Christopher Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton. One of Boston’s two attorneys, federal public defender Lexi Negin, said she was informed by Sacramento County jail officials that Boston has been hospitalized for nearly two weeks for “a very serious condition,” adding: “We are unsure if he is talking or conscious.” Negin, who said jail authorities wouldn’t reveal where Boston is hospitalized, said she was informed that he was suffering from “complications of liver failure and congestive heart-failure.” Indicating that Boston’s condition may not be life-threatening, she added: “They said he could be back in jail in a few weeks.”

    Caribbean Integration In Times Of Trump
    Caribbean leaders analyze with worry here this week, the political and economic impact and the regional scenario after the assumption, last January 20, of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The leaders of the 15 member nations of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) who last month attended in Dominican Republic the 5th Celac Summit, will now study the more recent measures decreed by the U.S. tycoon. About to open this Thursday and Friday, the preps for the 38th Caricom Summit are full speed ahead. Local observers told Prensa Latina that the 'Trump topics' are a few, among them the migration, banking, environmental and security measures which will have an impact on the socioeconomic life of many Caribbean territories, dedicated not only to tourism. At the Celac summit, Guyana President, David Granger, in charge of the rotating presidency of Caricom, called the grouping to create mechanisms that advance the objectives of the community and to 'build doors, not walls; gates, not fences; bridges, not blockades'.

    Videos

  • PLACENCIA COMMUNITY SAYS “NO” TO OFFSHORE OIL, 15sec. The Placencia community during the Placencia Art Festival held over this past weekend, came together to take a stand against offshore oil exploration in Belize’s waters, adding 300 more voices to the thousands of voices from the residents of San Pedro and Caye Caulker and other areas of the country in demanding that the government adopt a policy of closing Belizean waters and the Barrier Reef from offshore oil exploration and drilling. Residents wrote and signed petitions addressed to the Belize Tourism Board, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry responsible for Fisheries and Climate Change, expressing their desire to see Belize’s marine resources protected for current and future generations of Belizeans. Along the Belizean coast, nearly 190,000 Belizeans rely on healthy marine ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation. As of today, over 30,000 Belizeans have and continue to say “No” to offshore oil exploration and drilling in Belize.

  • Christen Dominique’s Belize Travel Vlog in 360 VR!, 4min.

  • San Ignacio Belize, 1.5min.

  • Beaches & Dreams Seafront Inn, Hopkins Belize - Birdwatching, 1.5min. Whether you are an lifelong birder or someone out to ignite a lifelong passion that you can share with a significant other, you will enjoy the Birds of Paradise morning bird watching tour.

  • Faces of Belize Life Survival Skills, 45min.

  • Guadalupe Lampella, 2.5min. Mrs. Guadalupe Lampella's sustainable fishing practices have not only provided for her and her family throughout her life, but have also earned her the honor of "Outstanding Fisher of the Year" for 2016. Learn more about her and the benefits of sustainable fishing here!

  • Marika and Michael in the Jungles of Belize. April 24, 2013, 3min. Taken in Belize April 25, 2013. Marika and I were on an excursion to the jungles of Belize to see the Mayan Ruins. The tropical breeze was so nice and warm. It was a super hot that day but we survived.

  • Belize 2017, 7.5min. Flyfishing for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon in Caye Caulker Belize 2017.

  • 24 Years of Love FM, 5min. Love FM is celebrating its twenty fourth birthday today. Renee Trujillo has the story.

  • Morning Matters Skydives, 58min. Watch as Rhonda freefalls from 10,000 feet over the reef.

  • Morning Matters at Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye, 58min.

  • Morning Matters At Boogies Belly, 58min.

  • Fishing Belize | Day #2, 3min.

  • Look 3D - SBS HD - Google Cardboard - Belize Shark Dive, 3min.

  • Belize... The hottest and Beautifulllll Revised!!, 6min.

  • Antelope Trail Belize, 11min.

  • Snorkeling Belize Day 2, 15min.

  • Belize Snorkeling Trip 1 Shark Ray Alley, 7.5min.

  • Belize 2017, 8.5min. Study abroad trip to Belize!

  • Belize jungle with the locals, 3min.

    February 14, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Ombudsman Sworn-In for New Term in Office
    Belmopan. February 13, 2017. In a brief ceremony held, February 13th at the Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Lionel Arzu was sworn-in for a new term as Ombudsman. This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement of Mr. Arzu’s re-appointment at the January 27th Sitting of the House of Representatives. This marks Mr. Lionel Arzu’s third term as Ombudsman. Mr. Arzu was accompanied at the ceremony by his family.

    Director of PAHO, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Visits Belize
    The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, is visiting Belize from February 13-15 to meet with the Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin, Senior Ministry of Health Officials and various stakeholders. Her visit will include courtesy calls to the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow, Hon. Pablo Marin Minister of Health, Hon. Wilfred Elrington Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The highlights of her visit are the signing of the Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2017-2021, partaking in a dialogue on Health Financing, discussing the challenges and accomplished milestones in health within the multi-sectoral framework and the promotion of a multi-sectoral approach for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro High School's 2017 Business Fair
    On Saturday, February 10, 2017, San Pedro High School held its Annual Business Fair at the R. Angel Auditorium. Seniors and Juniors were given the opportunity to show off their marketing skills by creating a product and then not only putting their product on display but selling it as well. With eye-catching booths and catchy music to draw customers in, many left with tons of goodies and in awe of what these students have created. Indeed it was a great success for San Pedro High School on their fun Business Fair. Great job everybody!

    San Mateo Education and a Successful Food Drive
    On Jan 29th and 30th meetings were hosted by Pastor Robert Palacio and his wife Laverne Palacio, along with Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch (BRCSP) and four Volunteer Vacationers, two of whom are nurses, at Faith Bible Church in San Mateo. The goal is to provide reliable information and material about HIV, sexually transmitted infections and to reduce the incidence of teen pregnancies. The nurses supplied information in Spanish and the Belize Red Cross provided an English flip book that was made possible with support and approval of the Jamaica Red Cross HIV team.

    "Open House" at Isla Bonita Elementary School
    Isla Bonita Elementary School held its open house on Friday, February 10, 2017 at its school grounds. The class of standard five and six were able to showcase their knowledge on certain topics. Topics included: Child Abuse, Childrens Rights, Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, HIV/AIDS, and STD's/STI's. Every year it gets bigger and better.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

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

    Central American Waterbird Census 2017
    If you are in the area, kindly join us for the Central American Waterbird Census!

    Ombudsman Sworn-In for New Term in Office
    In a brief ceremony held today, February 13th at the Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Lionel Arzu was sworn-in for a new term as Ombudsman. This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement of Mr. Arzu’s re-appointment at the January 27th Sitting of the House of Representatives. This marks Mr. Lionel Arzu’s third term as Ombudsman. Mr. Arzu was accompanied at the ceremony by his family.

    A father writes about his daughter's adventure at the Miss Universe Pageant Part 1
    by Tony Rath. We came home last Friday - Bex, Therese and myself - after a long adventure pursuing the mythical Miss Universe crown. We were not successful but that was not due to effort or financial support. And along the journey, something extraordinary happened, Belizeans in Belize and around the world came together and joined the competition. We received literally thousands of messages and emails, many along the lines of "...I never believed in or supported these beauty contests, but something about Bex has made me want to vote and watch." And we did not know most of these people contacting us! I mean the Belize House of Representatives, both political parties together, mentioned Bex? What's with that?

    A father writes about his daughter's adventure at the Miss Universe Pageant Part 2
    by Tony Rath. Granted it is only a beauty competition, and we really had little chance against countries with millions of people, but I have never seen the outpouring of support or participation by this entire country before in anything. So we were touched and grateful for our homecoming reception. Delta unfurreled a big banner on the tarmack; Bex was treated as a diplomat by Foriegn Affairs; met by the Prime Minister's wife as a friend; by the cultural ambassador in his official capacity; wisked away to the VIP room, given a motorcade through the City where people from shops, and yards and schools shouted her name and smiled and took selfies. There were no crowds, no officials, but that is O)K, everywhere there were cries of "There goes the queen", and when the motorcade stopped at one school, Bex was mobbed by children holding posters with her name and smiles normally reserved for opening Christmas presents.

    Xaibe Business fair this Friday February 17th, 2017
    The Xaibe RC School presents its Business Cultural Expo on the school grounds, Friday, 17th February 2017, from 9:30am to 5:30pm. Cultural dances by children and adults, cultural music, and games. Cultural dishes such as relleno, rice & beans, tacos, tamales, pastries, sweets, etc. Refreshments and bargains. For information call 403-5226.

    Corozal Library to have an Valentine's Event this Friday February 16th, 17
    Valentine's Day Poetry! Come and use your senses and practice using different parts of speech in this great Valentines Day Activity. Everyone is invited. Light refreshments will be served.

    Corozal Women's Forum: meeting this Thursday 16th, 17
    The Corozal Women’s Forum, in their meeting at 10am, 16th February, 2017, at the Corozal House of Culture, will feature Maggie Polleman. She was raised in Blue Creek, Belize, and lived in Canada. She has returned to her beloved Belize. She will discuss Mennonite history and Corozal Mennonites, versus other beliefs of Mennonite communities. The meeting will also vote on establishing a scholarship fund for a female student from the Corozal area. For more information contact corozalwomensforum@gmail.com. Please check our Facebook page. Corozal Women's Forum: meeting this Thursday 16th, 17. The forum is an opportunity for women to meet, enjoy, support, and learn from one another. It is open to all women in the Corozal area. The group promotes self-development through networking and enhancement of acumen among women of the community.

    San Antonio Women Coop making ceramics in Maya style
    The women of the San Antonio Women Coop are reviving the lost art of making ceramics in the style of the ancient Maya, using the same techniques of their ancestors but also adding their own unique styles as well. We definitely support such endeavors as it helps to minimize looting and it fosters the talent of these women who are happy to share their culture.

    Placencia says NO to offshore oil in Belize!
    You guys are sensational!

    Belize Fishing Report, February 6th - 12th, 2017
    Another beautiful sunny week here at the lodge, just the way we like it! Another great week of bone fishing here at the lodge. LOTS of bones caught by Steve, Scott, Sarah, Joe, Alice, Ken, Jon, Bob and Kim. Sunny skies and bonefish highs!

    ARTISTIC RACHAEL HEUSNER PAINTS BELIZE AT THE RAINBOW'S END!
    In continuing this column we called here, "The Belize Art Shop", Belizean Legends want to feature Belize's own Rachael Heusner, a Belizean artistic phenom who has graced both Belize, the Caribbean, and Central America with her colorful paintings reflecting Caribbean life and culture in some of the most in-depth colors ever imagine on the canvas. Rachael was born in Belize City, Belize. She always liked to draw but it was when she turned sixteen and received her first painting set from a friend that she really began to explore. She started her formal training in the arts at the age of 18 at St. Johns College (S.J.C.) in Belize City, Belize where she opened Rachael's Art Gallery in the eighties straight out of Six Form. She later moved on to study art briefly at Santa Monica College in California before returning home to Belize to train teachers in art education.

    CLOSURE OF THE LOBSTER FISHING SEASON
    The Fisheries Department takes this opportunity to inform fishers and the general public that the lobster season will be closed on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2017. Any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance with Section 3(1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulation, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000-2003. The Fisheries Department also reminds fishers that lobster traps should be removed from fishing grounds during the closed fishing season. During the month of March 2017, Fisheries officials will be visiting fishing camps and coastal fishing communities to take stock of lobster traps owned by individual fishers in order to facilitate the registration of such lobster traps. The Fisheries Department will be actively enforcing the removal of traps from the waters during this period.

    The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne and Chief of Staff Dr. Merle Lewis are currently in Belize
    Today, she met with the Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of State Hon. Dr. Angel Campos, Senior Ministry of Health Officials and various stakeholders. Dr. Etienne also made courtesy calls to the Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Lawrence Sylvestre and Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The highlights of her visit are the signing of the Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2017-2021 and her participation in a dialogue on Health Financing, discussing the challenges and accomplished milestones in health within the multi-sectoral framework and the promotion of a multi-sectoral approach for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Things to do while you visit Belize
    Dives off Ambergris are usually single tank at depths of 50 to 80 feet, allowing about 35 minutes of bottom time. Diving trips run around BZ$90 for a single-tank dive, BZ$150 for a two-tank dive, BZ$90–BZ$110 for a one-tank night dive, BZ$450–BZ$500 for a three-tank full-day drive trip to Turneffe atoll, and BZ$700–750 for day trips with three dives to Lighthouse Reef. Atoll rates include breakfast, lunch and marine reserve admission. Dive gear rental is usually extra—a full package of gear including wet suit, buoyancy compensator, regulator, mask, and fins is around BZ$60–BZ$80. Snorkeling by boat around Ambergris generally costs BZ$70–BZ$100 per person for two or three hours or BZ$140–BZ$200 for a day trip, including lunch. If you go to Hol Chan Marine Reserve there's a BZ$20 park fee, but this fee is sometimes included in the quoted rate. A snorkel trip to the Blue Hole is around BZ$450–BZ$480, including the BZ$80 Marine Reserve fee. Snorkel gear rental may be additional. Prices also may not include 12.5% tax. (Businesses are supposed to include the 12.5% GST in their quoted prices, but not all do.) Most dive shops will pick you up at your hotel or at the nearest pier.

    Get Ready with La Ruta Maya 2017
    Conceptualized by Richard Harrison of Big-H Enterprises for the purpose of launching Vida brand purified water, La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge made its debut on March 9, 1998. It was an opportunity to bring together many partners in order to build an event that would allow for promotional themes of ‘natural products’ identified with sports, endurance, while at the same time raising consciousness about one of Belize’s natural resources: The Belize Old River. Today, the Belikin La Ruta Maya is considered one of the longest canoe races in Central America that brings together professional and amateur paddlers from all over the world who take on the four day grueling challenge of paddling 175 miles of the Belize Old River against rapids and winds.

    House of Culture Fifth Anniversary in Corozal
    Fri, 24 Feb 2017 — The Corozal House of Culture proudly celebrates its 5th anniversary at 7pm, Friday, 24 February, 2017. Come share its Grand Cultural Presentation.

    Caribbean Roots Band Playing Benque
    The Benque House of Culture is bringing the Caribbean Roots Band to Centennial Park this Saturday, February 18th. There will be music from 7:00 to midnight, and the theme is...love, of course. "Make it a date, Saturday February 18th starting at 7:00 p.m. Centennial Memorial Park, February Musical Concert- promoting our Belizean Artists!"

    Channel 7

    PUP Stands By Its Man, Eamon
    Last week Wednesday, we first started reporting on the opening of the UDP's political offensive against PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay. You've probably seen the political ads on the news, calling him out for an alleged conflict of interest. The UDP argues that that on one hand, he's representing the public interest in the Senate, while the other, he's retained to assist the Ashcroft Alliance in recovering 50 million US dollars in arbitration awards by going after Belize's foreign assets - including the reserves. The ruling party has been insisting that he resigns, or that the PUP forces him to step down. Well today in Belize City, Opposition Leader John Briceño, called a press conference at party headquarters to say he's doing no such thing. Briceño says the UDP is jumping on an opportunity to try to get Courtenay out of the Senate Inquiry that has been slowly peeling away at the corruption at the Immigration Department. Here's how he put it:

    PUP Says Re-Registration Now!
    One other topic that the Opposition Leader brought up at today's press conference was the pending re-registration of the over 198 thousand voters. It's been over 20 years since the country's last one, and the Government has indicated that it won't happen until after the Municipal Elections next year. That's something that the Opposition has loudly objected to, since a re-registration exercise is due in July of this year. But the Elections and Boundaries Commission has decided to first do a re-districting of the 31 electoral divisions countrywide. Today, Briceño used this opportunity, which was his first public appearance since the matter came up, to explain why the party is so insistent. He went back to the testimony of Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan, who agreed that in the run up to the 2012 General Elections, there was nationality fraud, which likely transferred over to voter fraud. The Auditor General's report notes that there were 2,110 persons who got nationality in that 4-month rush, and she wanted to look into their applications to ensure that they truly qualified, but her audit team was unable to do so.

    BNTU Says Both Parties Have Played Around With Re-Registration
    And while the PUP is insistent on re-registration, if we're judging by results, we'd be wise to listen to the position of the BNTU. After all, the union did accomplish a lot more in 2016 than the Opposition. The union is demanding that the UDP hold a re-registration exercise this year before the 2018 municipal elections. Today the BNTU President told us that in the past 20 years, both parties have been playing political football with re-registration and it has to stop:.. Luke Palacio, President - BNTU: "We know that both major political parties have played political football with this matter as far as we are concern. The matter becomes even more concerning now with the revelations coming out if the senate special inquiry into this immigration report from the auditor general and if our electoral list have been padded for whatever reasons, if those persons were illegally issued their nationality and allowed to vote, then it really compromises our democracy."

    Union Says GOB Has To Be Serious About Cost-Cutting To Get Its Support
    But the Union leader is more circumspect on the issue of increased taxes. The Financial Secretary has already put it out there that government will be taxing you more in the new fiscal year. Of course, a large portion of those taxes go to paying the wage bill for public officers and teachers. How much? Well the salaries and pensions combine to cost about 40 million dollars monthly, which makes up 42% of all public spending and 48% of all revenue. So basically, 50 cents of every dollar government earns goes to pay the wage bill. And maybe that's why Palacio said the union is willing to work with government, but only if GOB is serious:... Luke Palacio, President - BNTU: "And so that is fact that we have been saying it, taxes will be increased. In fact the Fin. Sec. has alluded to that and there will be other things to come. That we need to monitor and of course if in deed our government is serious about ensuring that our economy turns around and performs well for the benefit of the Belizean people, we would be the first to say yes, let us support certain measures. But you cannot be saying to me cut the fat, trim the fat and yet you are getting fatter. That cannot work."

    BNTU President Doesn't Buy Government Spin On Senate Hearings
    But the union President isn't so circumspect when it comes to the ongoing Senate Inquiry into immigration irregularities. Today, he rejected the government's spin that irregularities are not illegalities: Luke Palacio, President - BNTU: "All Belizeans are witnessing this senate special inquiry. The indications are there and we note the kind of terminology they continue to use, that it may not be illegal, it may be irregular. Come on. When are we going to stop this? Those are the type of questions that we as the Belizean people out here need to get answers for."

    BNTU President Plays It Cagey With Courtenay Conflict
    And while the union president is rarely shy to wade into any matter of public interest, he played it slightly cagey when it came to the case of Senator Eamon Courtenay. Courtenay is under attack for working for the Ashcroft Alliance in going after the government's assets, while at the same time representing public interests as a PUP Senator. But, Courtenay is also the attorney for the BNTU - in the ongoing matter of their strike wages - which went to court this morning. That's when we met Palacio and he was in no mood to entertain the suggestion of any bias on his part. Reporter: "That has led to the government, not only the UDP calling for the removal of lead opposition senator Eamon Courtenay. Is that something that the BNTU has studied to make a comment on?" Luke Palacio, President - BNTU: "No, we've not studied it and therefore I cannot make a comment on it. The legal minds would be the best persons to deal with that."

    Alleged Wife Killer Ku Pleads Down To Manslaughter
    Back in December 2006, it made headlines in all the media houses when 27 year-old Anna Maria Magdalena Basto, a resident of Orange Walk was murdered by her common-law husband, Daniel Ku. Police said that he confessed to slashing her throat and stabbing her over 30 times. Since then, he has been convicted of murder, but he appealed his case, and won. He was re-tried a few months ago in Orange Walk but the case was aborted due to jury taint, and so, today, he was to be retried once more before the Chief Justice. But instead of the case starting, the prosecution informed the court that they would be withdrawing the murder charge and substituting manslaughter. Ku, who was prepared to defend against a murder trial, decided to plead guilty to manslaughter. It was accepted by the Chief Justice, and so that's how the case finished before having to start a 3rd time. Today, we spoke to his attorney, Bryan Neal, who explained why manslaughter is more applicable in this case than murder. Here's what he told us:

    A Providential Mishap For Burglars
    Police haven't reported it, but 7News has confirmed that there was a botched attempted burglary at Provident Bank on Saturday. According to reports, early on Saturday morning, burglars tried to get into the bank but the alarm went off and they did little more than damage the lock.

    More Maya In Dallas, Texas
    Last week we gave you previews of the archaeological exhibit that's opened up in Dallas, Texas. Tonight, we have part one of our in depth look at the show which is making its sixth stop in a major US city. So far it has been to Minnesota, Denver, Boston, San Diego, San Antonio and now its in Dallas. It's news locally because the majority of the 250 pieces on display are from Belize, and it is the biggest showcase ever for Belize antiquities. Add to that the fact that well over a million people have seen the exhibit so far, and you'll understand why it's a big deal. Jules Vasquez reports from Dallas:... The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas - it's a mammoth, breathtaking structure, a sprawling 180 thousand square feet and for the next 6 months 10 thousand of those square feet will be dedicated to the Maya.

    Superbond Negotiations: Is GOB James Bond Or "Powda Bun"?
    Government has again extended the deadline for the offer to renegotiate the Superbond. This is the third extension and a notice on the government website says it is for two weeks more. Notably, government has not changed the terms of its offer. We are told negotiators with bondholders are underway for real now, and there is some urgency to it because the next bond payment is due in one week. On Friday, we asked Financial Secretary, Joe Waight why the bondholders would accept an offer they've already refused: Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "The bond holders had already objected this proposal. There is no amendments. Why does the government feel that they will accept it a second time when there is no change?" Joseph Waight - Financial Secretary: "The discussions continued, we are hopeful that it would be fruitful and we need to give the process more time. So the government today has extended it for a further 2 weeks."

    Sandhill Accident
    4 prison officers and a bus driver were injured in a Sandhill accident last night around 9:00. 48 year old Prison officer Richard Gentle along with 3 other prison officers as his passengers were heading to Orange Walk in this car but it collided with an F 150 pickup truck which was heading to Belize City . The police did not say what exactly happened or what or who caused the crash, but no one was killed. The prison officers just got cut wounds to various parts of the body . They were treated and released. Only one man is still in the hospital. He is Bus driver Gilbert Waight. The police report says he was found in the pan of the F 150 with a cut wound to the left foot and face . It was wet and rainy at the time of the accident.

    This Is Only a Test On Link Road
    In the last few months the Belize City Council has obtained several street paving and maintenance vehicles, and today one of the most important ones was put to the test. Link Road, a small street of Apollo Street in Belama, served as a proving ground for the council's asphalt truck and its operator. City Councilor Phillip Willoughby told us more. Phillip Willoughby - Belize City Councilor: "So today we will be seeing or witnessing the first time ever the City Council with its brand new asphalt truck and it's in the flood mitigation area and it will complement the flood mitigation infrastructure project. So a lot of work will be done and will be continued to be done as a result of the new assets that has been procured due to the flood mitigation infrastructure project. But it will not be necessarily be assign solely to this particular area. These vehicles, these assets and everything else that comes with the project will be shared across Belize City to serve the residence of Belize City in an effort to improve the quality of life."

    The Passing Of "Pou"
    Yesterday morning at around 2:00, legendary Meat pie maker Arthur Francisco better known as "Mr. Pou," died at the KHMH. He was 86 years old. His step daughter Maria Pou told us today that he died of natural causes. She didn't want to go into too much detail but she said he suffered from circulatory problems in his leg but apart from that, Maria says Pou didn't have hypertension or diabetes. In fact he had just gotten a surgery on Thursday and was feeling perfectly fine up until Saturday night. But yesterday morning, his family woke up to the news of his sudden passing. Pou's meat pie shop has been in operation since the 70's and they first started out at 25 Albert street. They moved over to New Road - where they are now - in the 80's. Maria told us that the one thing that makes their meat pies really special is her mother's close attention and high standards when it came to the ingredients. And Mr. Pou's friendly and loving spirit as he served customers made it even better. For meat pie lovers, Mr. Pou's singular style will surely be missed - and as he passes, the debate between the fans of Dario and Pou still rages on. He leaves behind 3 daughters - including his step daughter Maria who will continue running the family business with the same recipes.

    US Offers More For Info On Anne Swaney
    The FBI has now doubled the reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of Anne Swaney's murderer/s. The American journalist's body was found in the Mopan River on January 15th 2016. She was strangled to death. As we told you in late January, the FBI had offered $10,000 US dollars but now it's been increased to $20,000 US. The FBI has issued this poster to get the message out. If you have any information at all you can call the FBI in Belize at 637 - 9915.

    Rotary To Unity
    The students at Unity Presbyterian School had an extra special day today as they spent most of the morning trying out their new playground. The Rotary Club of Belize along with their partners from Edmonton Canada, donated a playground to the school. It took 3 days to install and it was officially handed over today. The Rotarians and the school principal discussed the significance of this donation. Rod Karius, Chair, International Service Committee - Edmonton Rotary Club: "So the playground is just part of this larger program and we brought the playground up from Canada, this playground was in a community in Canada that suffered a flood and the playground was destroyed , the playground themselves were destroyed but the structure was fine , so the structure was salvaged and we worked with another organization called the Emmanuel foundation and they salvaged the playgrounds and we bring them to Belize and install them in schools here and we work with the local rotary club , so the Belize City Rotary Club and the sunrise Rotary Club."

    "Fawda's" Road Safety Mission
    And after the kids romped around the playground, they went straight into a Pedestrian Safety Program. Philip "fawda" Henry started this program on his own back in 2009 and he has traveled all over the country teaching primary and high school kids about road safety. We caught up with him today at Unity Presbyterian and he told us more about this initiative. If you would like to support or help Fawda Henry in any way to promote this program , you can call him at 667 -0295.

    Rose, The Queen Of Calypso
    Last year we told you about the record breaking chart success that Calypso Rose was having in France. Well, on Friday night she got another honor when she won the prestigious "Victoire de la Musique" award for best World Music Album of the Year. The 76-year old - who always calls Belize her second home - easily beat out her competition for her album Far From Home, which was recorded and mixed in Belize and produced by Ivan Duran of Stonetree Records. After the award, Calypso Rose performed in what is being called the best performance of the evening. This is the first time a Caribbean artist has won the Victoire award, the French equivalent of the Grammies. Stonetree records says It is the most prestigious music award in France, voted by a panel of more than 1200 industry professionals, and awarded by the French Ministry of Culture.

    Channel 5

    P.U.P. Says Eamon Goes Nowhere
    The People’s United Party has rallied support behind its leader in the Senate, Eamon Courtenay, amid calls for his removal by the United Democratic Party and the Government of Belize. [...]

    Nationalized Utilities to be Sold Off for Budget Money?
    At a press conference this afternoon, the P.U.P. also spoke of the party’s positions on various issues including the nationality rush prior to the 2012 elections. We will have that [...]

    2012 Injustice Fuels P.U.P. Demand for Re-Registration
    Turning to the latest in the party’s ongoing fight to redeem itself for its unexpected and stupefying loss in the 2012 general elections. The party secured fourteen seats to seventeen [...]

    Andrew Marshalleck’s International Immunity Primer
    Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck has been advising the People’s United Party as its legal adviser on the question of the Central Bank (International Immunities) Act and Crown Proceedings (Amendment) Act, [...]

    How to Fix the Economy, P.U.P. Style
    The Opposition People’s United Party did not expect to be consulted by the Government, as they have the social partners, for ideas on how to fix the shortfall in the [...]

    Tough Times Recognized by Government and Social Partners at Budget Consultations
    On Friday, consultations with the trade unions and civil society on the General Revenue and Appropriations Bill or the Budget took place, succeeding talks with the business community on Thursday. [...]

    David Nanes Had Belizean Help for Nationality
    News Five has obtained copies of a Belizean nationality certificate granted to David Nanes Schnitzer, the former fugitive caught a few days ago in Mexico after several months on the [...]

    Daniel Ku Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Decade-Old Murder Case
    A decade-old murder case has ended in a plea of manslaughter in the court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the Supreme Court. Danny Elvis Ku was alleged to have [...]

    Clint Geban of Kraal Road Shot on Sunday
    Just after midnight on Sunday, another Belize City youth was shot as he walked on Caesar Ridge on south side Belize City. Eighteen-year-old Clent Geban, a resident of Kraal Road, [...]

    Alrick August Still Fighting for Life; Needs Blood
    Last Wednesday, an attempt was made on the life of twenty-three year old Alrick August; he has since been hospitalized inside the Intensive Care Unit of the K.H.M.H. after undergoing [...]

    Solving the Potato Conundrum in San Carlos
    The Ministry of Agriculture has stopped granting licenses for the importation of white potatoes. It says this is in benefit of local farmers whose production season of strictly red potatoes [...]

    Unity Presbyterian Has a New Playground…
    A school on the Southside got their dream playground courtesy the Rotary Club of Edmonton. Through an ongoing partnership with the Rotary Club of Belize, three other schools have received [...]

    Rotary Gifts New House on Hibiscus Street
    A mother and her five children moved into their brand new home over the weekend. The deserving mother got the gift courtesy the Rotary Club of Belize. The house valued [...]

    Reward Increased to Solve Ann Swaney Murder
    Last month, we showed you a report done by ABC7 on the one-year anniversary of slain TV Producer Anne Swaney.  In that report, the F.B.I. was offering a ten thousand [...]

    Remembering Arthur Francisco of Pou’s Meat Pies
    Over the weekend, one of the city’s most popular residents passed away quietly. He was known as Mister Pou, but his real name is Arthur Francisco. The name Pou stuck [...]

    Sports Monday Hits the Hardwood
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday…   [Feature on weekend sporting activities...]

    CTV3

    PUP Accuses GOB Of Voter Fraud
    The Opposition People’s United Party has been adamant in condemning a proposal by the Elections and Boundaries Commission to postpone the timing of re-registration of voters after the 2018 municipal elections, but to conduct a re-districting exercise before then. Today during a press conference called by the PUP, Party Leader, John Briceño once again reiterated the party’s position on the re-registration and re-districting exercise highlighting that re-registration needs to take place now, following the revelation made by former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan during her testimony at the Senate Select Committee where she essentially admitted to having facilitated election fraud for GOB by nationalizing countless persons without having met the proper requirements for becoming a Belizean National.

    Potato Farmers Hopeful for This Upcoming Crop
    Potato farmers from the Orange Walk District are hopeful that after a series of meetings with Agriculture officials their concerns about an oversupply of imported potato in the market have been alleviated. Because of the foreign produce saturating the market, local producers have been unable to sell their potatoes and if they do, it is for a pittance. After CTV-3 News broke the story last week, officials scrambled to deal with the situation and it has led to an agreement. We spoke to Walter Hernandez of the San Carlos Cooperative.

    Old Liqour Licensing board Was Not Doing His Job
    On Thursday we told you about the letter that was sent to the former chairman and vice chairman of the Orange Walk Liquor Licensing Board. After receiving their appointment letter back in the month of January 2017, Alvaro Grajalez and John Pollard received a letter in the month of February relinquishing them from their duties effective immediately from the Minister of Local Government Hugo Patt. In the letter both men were being informed that a new Liquor Licensing Board was being appointed and taking over as chairman was Rodolfo Novelo and Victor Vargas as vice chairman. So what motives did Minister Patt have to kick Grajalez and Pollard to the curve? We posed that question to him during a meeting held in Corozal with onion producers on Friday and here is his response.

    Love And Protect Says Oceana
    To love and protect – that’s the name of an annual event organised by Ocean Belize in Corozal Town. The objective of the event, which is normally held on Valentine’s Day, is to promote love and care for the environment. This year, Oceana is partnering with the Department of Youth Services to expand the reach of their love message. We spoke to Field Representative Ryan Rivera who told us how Oceana will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. Ryan Rivera - Corozal Field Representative, Oceana Belize: “We will be having it to promote love for self, love for community and love for the environment, we have invited other organizations to come out and set up booths informational booths so that passerby and kids and students and everyone interested can come out and get information on how to love themselves, the community and the environment and the importance as well, this is an extension to an annual event and informational booth Oceana had had to love and protect booth and so here in Corozal we decided to make it a little bit bigger and invite other organizations make it an informational fair and we will be having entertainment pieces and free raffles as well.”

    Arzu Serves Antoerh Term As Ombudsman
    During a sitting of the House of Representatives on January 27nd, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow announced that Mr. Lionel Arzu would be re-appointed for another term as Ombudsman and today, he was officially sworn in at the Belize House located in Belmopan. Arzu was accompanied this morning by his family as he took the oath of allegiance before the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young. Mr. Lionel Arzu returns to serve as Ombudsman of Belize for a third term.

    Minister Patt Speaks On Auditor General's Report
    If you’ve been following our expanded coverage of the Senate Select Committee hearings you would have heard the Committee members constantly raising alarm over the practise of Ministerial intervention in the processing of visas, nationality and passports. The first official to testify, former Immigration Director Maria Marin, admitted that she was instructed to monitor and record the number of special requests or recommendation letters from Ministers that came with applications to the desks of Immigration officers. For her part, Former Director Ruth Meighan said she saw nothing out of the normal with the entry of Ministers’ letters. Ministerial intervention became so common-practise it seemed, that it moved from letters to their actual presence at the Immigration offices, and yet Meighan saw nothing wrong with seeing Ministers roaming at the Immigration Department. Here’s some of that discussion at the January 25th hearing.

    LOVE FM

    PUP Reiterates Support for Senator Courtenay
    Opposition Leader, John Briceno hosted a press conference this afternoon at the party’s headquarters on Queen Street in Belize City, highlighting several national issues. The first item on the agenda was the matter surrounding Senator Eamon Courtenay and what the UDP has termed as a conflict of interest in the arbitration awards for BCB Holdings […]

    Luke Says Re-registration turned to Political Football
    Last week we reported that the Belize National Teachers Union had joined the call for a re-registration exercise to take place this year as scheduled. President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio today spoke on the issue. LUKE PALACIO “Basically our position is that the law is there and the law states that there should be […]

    Re-registration …. Re-districting …. and, Stolen Election
    The matter of re-registration and redistricting has come up time and time again but to date there has been no move in getting the process started. While the BNTU is calling for it and has stated that both parties are playing politics on the matter, Leader of the Opposition begged to differ. JOHN BRICENO “Well […]

    PUP Says Guatemala Has Out-Maneuvered Belize
    We are not forty four days into the New Year and the draft framework to manage the Sarstoon is yet to be drafted as was agreed upon in a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2016. The People’s United Party had appointed former Foreign Minister, Eamon Courtenay to represent them in these meetings and with […]

    Senate Inquiry Reveals More Into the Nanes Case
    You may know him as David Banes, David Nanes, or even as Nanes Schnitzer, but he was man who evaded jail time in Belize and fled the country causing Mexico to send a diplomatic note of protest. That’s because, he was caught in San Pedro in 2015 by US Marshalls who were hunting him down […]

    Fourth Contract Renewal for Ombudsman Arzu
    Lionel Arzu’s contract as Ombudsman was renewed for another year as per the announcement of Prime Minister Dean Barrow on January 27. Arzu took his oath today at the Belize House in Belmopan despite expressed opposition from PUP Senator, Valerie Woods in the last sitting of the Senate. The appointment of Arzu back in 2016 […]

    Potato Farmers Cry Injustice
    PUP’s Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Jose Abelardo Mai has taken the issue of unsold potatoes to social media on behalf of the farmers in San Carlos Village, Orange Walk District. The Area Representative wrote on his Facebook timeline, quote, “Reports are that even though the Extension Officers informed the Ministry that farmers would commence harvesting […]

    Union President Says Trim the Fat but Don’t Get Fatter
    When President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Luke Palacio spoke with the media, he was asked about comments made last week by Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight that an increase in taxes is a possibility. LUKE PALACIO “We’ve been saying this for a long time, the government continues to disagree that some of these things […]

    Convicted Killer to go to Retrial
    The case of Daniel Cu who was accused of killing his common law wife on December 16, 2006 went to court today. His attorney, Bryan Neal spoke of what transpired inside the courtroom today. BRYAN NEAL “He was accused of murdering hsi common law wife Ms.Maria Botes on the 16th of December 2006. He was […]

    Missing Man Found Floating in the Macal
    Sixty five year old Alberto Requena was found dead over the weekend. His body was found in the Macal River in Cayo by his nephew, Jaime Requena. Requena is a mental patient who was reported missing last week Friday by family members. His body was found on Saturday just before one o’clock in the afternoon. […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Securities fraudster who used Belizean shell companies gets 12 years
    Gregg Mulholland, 47, a California stock promoter, was sentenced to 12 years in a New York jail for money laundering offenses with links to shell companies created in Belize. Mulholland plead guilty to charges in May 2016. He has been held in a Brooklyn’s jail since June 2015 when he was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents in Phoenix, Arizona as he boarded a private jet[…]

    Lobster fishing season closes on February 15th
    The Fisheries Department is informing fishers and the general public that the lobster season will be closed on February 15th and will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2017. Any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted […]

    Ombudsman sworn in for new term
    Today a brief ceremony was held at the Belize House in Belmopan where Lionel Arzu was sworn-in for a new term as Ombudsman. At the January 27 House sitting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced the re-appointment of Arzu as Ombudman. This marks his third […]

    Living Legend- Lester Richards
    Almost 68 years old, Lester Adolfo Richards (Senior Justice of the Peace and Commissioner of the Supreme Court) from Independence Village, Stann Creek District, is a living legend. Having worked since age 21 at various levels in the Banana Industry (from machete-man to tractor-driver […]

    Eleven-year-old blogger snorkels Belize Barrier Reef for awareness
    An eleven year old travel blogger will make history as she sets off on her biggest adventure yet! Madison Pearl Edwards is a travel and adventure blogger from iTravelBelize.com . Edwards will snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef from the Northern end of the country […]

    Disturbing police brutality in Cayo
    A disturbing case of police brutality has been reported in San Ignacio in the Cayo district. Reports are that a police officer from San Ignacio hit a child and traumatized seven others while he was on duty and allegedly under the influence of alcohol […]

    Belize – The Middle East’s refugee solution?
    According to Times Union Newsletter, a New York based newspaper, the answer to their refugee problem may be Belize. An article featured in the newsletter written “Regarding the refugees who poured into Europe, and it seems that letting thousands […]

    Traffic accident in Sandhill village
    There was a traffic accident at mile 18 of the Philip Goldson Highway, Sand Hill village. Ladyville police observed a gold Toyota Camry partially off the right hand side of the highway heading to Orange Walk with its front portion extensively damaged. Also seen […]

    Mainly fair weather to prevail
    The 24 hour forecast is for some cloudy skies today and tonight with a few showers developing around the country. A relatively moist east to northeasterly airflow will prevail. The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 10 to 20 knots and the […]

    PAHO Director set to visit Belize
    The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, is visiting Belize from February 13-15 to meet with the Minister of Health Pablo Marin, Senior Ministry of Health Officials and various stakeholders. Her visit will include courtesy calls to Prime […]

    Blogs

    To Market, To Market: My Weekend on Ambergris Caye
    There was quite a bit of shopping to be done over the weekend. And while stopping at the fruit stand, the grocery store, the butcher, the specialty meat shop, two more grocery stores, the hardware store, at a friends’ to pick up ginger flower plants and a hermit crab in need of relocation, we fit in some of Saturday’s markets on Ambergris Caye. First stop was the Valentine’s Craft Market at the Truck Stop. The restaurant cat, Dinner, was fast asleep despite the hub-bub. Then various stops through town and south – we stopped into the Market Day at Mahogany Bay Village. I haven’t been to the location in a few months and, as usual, I was dumbstruck. I usually have too much to say about everything. Mahogany Bay Village – the scale, the rapid rate of construction, the grand design, the affiliations with Coastal Living and Hilton Hotels – it all leaves me a bit speechless!

    5 Quaint Belize Communities
    Anyone who has been to Belize, or seen Belize on a map can easily tell you that we’re a little country nestled on the edge of the Caribbean sea and cradled on the west of Central America. Despite being modest in terms of square mileage, Belize doesn’t suffer the population density issues that many other small countries seem to face. Many of our communities remain familiar and tight-knit, and we’d like to tell you about six quaint Belize communities that you’ll never want to leave: Hopkins, Caye Caulker, Sarteneja, San Ignacio, and Progresso.

    International Sourcesizz

    The 10 Best Belize Resorts
    From the reef to the rainforest, swanky offshore islands to rustic hillside retreats, Belize combines its Caribbean and Central American assets into a “one-stop” vacation package that has something for every traveler. Whether you want to laze on a beach; tour ancient Mayan ruins; or see jaguars and other jungle wildlife up close and personal, Belize definitely merits a spot on your 2017 must-see list. Here are the top ten Belize resorts for every kind of getaway.

    Perot museum exhibition reveals hidden secrets of the Maya
    How best to tell kids about the Maya civilization without encountering that certain glazed look that has absolutely nothing to do with ancient pottery? You make it fun, with interactive stations that print out their “Maya” name and translate their birthday into take-home stela calendars. Consider it mission accomplished. Created by the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Museum of Science, Boston, the 10,000-square-foot “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” is the largest traveling Maya exhibition ever to tour the United States. It is on display now through Sept. 4 at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The exhibition features more than 200 artifacts — tombs, an underworld cave, a large-scale burial site and a mural room — plus immersive environments, all of which are the better to explore the accomplishments of this Mesoamerican civilization. “To see an exhibit like this is very exciting,” said David Stuart, director of The Mesoamerica Center at The University of Texas at Austin, “because it shows where we are in this field of research. It’s a great intersection of humanities and arts and sciences.”

    Videos

  • Rebecca Rath Returns The Miss Universe Experience, 25min.

  • United States Embassy - Archaelogy in the Community (AITC), 28min.

  • Department of Human Services - Give your heart to a child, 30min.

  • Fun Fridays, 83min.

  • Unity Presbyterian Primary School gifted with a playground by the Rotary Club of Edmonton., 15sec.

  • St. Dennis Lighthouse Ministries: Belize School Project, 4min.

  • Rebecca is Back and Thanks Her Country for Support at Miss Universe, 5min.

  • Ambergris Caye Belize, 4min. Video of our recent trip to Belize. We spent the first half on the mainland in the jungle, this was the 2nd half on Ambergris Caye

  • Belmopan Aggregates & Hardware, 1min.

  • Tour of the Sailboat, 5min. Madi tours the reef

  • Maya Ancient & Modern (Belize) - Cultural Promotional Video, min. The Corozal House of Culture proudly celebrates its 5th anniversary at 7pm, Friday, 24 February, 2017. Come share its Grand Cultural Presentation.

  • Maya Ancient & Modern (Belize) - Cultural Promotional Video, 1min. Lovely video of a local woman's group making tortilla and the delicious traditional cacao drink

  • Belize Vacation, 7min. Caye Caulker & San Pedro 2017.

  • Ziplining in Belize plus a Dune Buggy, 7min. Belize is unbelizeable - with one tinder boat away and leaving the Carnival Victory in the middle of the ocean, we arrive at Belize. The jungle is beautiful and my first time Ziplining was fast and freeing. The biggest surprise was the Dune Buggies. Cave tubing was cancelled unfortunately, but it didn't matter because we could ride a Dune Buggy instead. That was awesome. The offroading, mud, and deep trenches were so good. I'm glad cave tubing got cancelled :)

  • LuLaRoe Belize Snorkeling, 3.5min.

  • Animated history of Valentine's Day, 1.5min. Today, millions of people around the world including Belizeans will celebrate Valentine's Day. Have you ever wondered how it got started? There are a few versions of how Valentine's Day got started. Here is one version for you.

    February 13, 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

    Tropic Air Employee of the month for January 2017
    Our Employees are known for friendliness, attention to detail, operational excellence, and working efficiently. They strive each and every day to provide our Customers with the best possible flying experience in all the destinations we serve. Our Employee of the Month program recognizes current staff members who demonstrate outstanding contributions to our Customers through his or her work, and exhibits a positive and supportive attitude. One staff member each month receives the award, and all recipients of the monthly award in a year become eligible for the Employee of the Year. We are proud to announce that Brian Humphreys, Station Ramp Agent at Belize City Municipal Airport, is our ‘Employee of the Month’ for January 2017.

    Letter to the Editor: ACES says thanks!
    Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) would like to thank everyone who helped make the 2nd Annual Charity Gala & Auction a huge success! Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many, our 2nd Annual Charity Gala & Auction was a night to remember and will be a bright spot on Ambergris Caye’s social calendar for years to come! Ambergris Caye Elementary School raised over $30,000 in much-needed operating and scholarship funds. We were delighted to have our tickets sell out well before the event & to see the ladies of San Pedro get into the spirit of the night with fabulous frocks while the gentlemen at their side sported Hawaiian shirts and tropical linen (even the occasional panama hat could be seen among the crowd). With the gorgeous company and the rum punch flowing it could only be a great night in San Pedro! This year’s event was graciously hosted by Crazy Canucks. With special thanks to Rob & Krista Burrows for their continued long term commitment to ACES and the education of San Pedro’s children as well as their amazing bar staff.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Another Checkup
    “Don’t forget that you have another checkup scheduled with the doctor today,” Sherry said. “I just had one last week. Why do I need another one?” “The checkup last week was with your eye doctor. This one is with your regular doctor.” “They’re all pretty much the same.” “What is it that you don’t like about doctor visits?” she asked. “I hate checkups because they always make you give up all the good things in life.” “They do not.”

    Letter to the Editor: Fr. Scott please open your heart
    Dear Editor, As a lifelong Catholic brought up and educated in Dublin Ireland, I was taught Latin by the Franciscans in Dublin and the Jesuits taught us our faith. The Christian Brother’s School I went to taught us the normal scholastics, plus a good dose of the school of hard knocks. I have been blessed to have had a great life travelling to many corners of the world with my wife, and we will be celebrating our 47th anniversary next month. We have visited many parishes throughout our travels and have enjoyed our faith with many people from all walks of life. I retired here [San Pedro] eight years ago, and have enjoyed all aspects of Belize and its people, including the Catholic Church; that is until the arrival of the latest pastor. The remarks given at the recent funeral mass for Felix were not only not called for, but were so far out of place considering the Pope’s recent public contrition regarding the LGBT community. Regardless of your stance on the subject, the respect to a grieving family from their pastor should be a time for healing, not creating division.

    Doctor Love: Curious

    Local Red Cross branch and volunteers host educational campaign and food drive
    Dear Doctor Love My live in boyfriend of three years and I have a one-year-old child; there have never been any issues of infidelity on either part. However, I recently discovered that he has a secret email address. Now I am really wondering what else he is hiding. I don’t have the password to get in to the account, but I could get into the account if I decided to do so. I saw his phone on the desk yesterday and it was all I could do not to go through it. I know that snooping into his account poses huge moral issues, as well as trust issues, but I can’t get this out of my mind. What should I do? /s/ Curious

    National AIDS Commission highlights stigma, discrimination, human rights
    The National Aids Commission (NAC) in Belize hosted a two-day workshop on how to train journalists/media personnel in reporting topics regarding HIV (human immunodeficiency disorder)/TB (tuberculosis)/AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The San Pedro Sun is sharing the information gathered during the workshop facilitated by Martha Carrillo (Founder of MC Consultancy) in a series of articles over the next two weeks. In the first article, out on Friday, January 27th, Volume 27 Issue #4, the basics of HIV/TB/AIDS, how it is transmitted, the various stages of HIV, and treatment options for HIV were explained. The second article, out on Friday, February 3rd, Volume 27 Issue #5, The San Pedro Sun explored the global and regionally statistics on HIV, and introduced Belize’s leading HIV advocate, Erika Castellanos. In this issue, we highlight stigma, discrimination, and human rights, especially how it impacts persons living with HIV.

    Forest Fire Fighters Teams to receive new safety gears and equipment
    Today, Wednesday, 8th February 2017, the Forest Department and five of its key partners in Forest Fire Prevention and Management will receive essential fire-fighting safety gears and equipment through the Key Biodiversity Areas Project (also known as the KBA project). During the handing-over ceremony, Minister Omar Figueroa will distribute the fire-fighting gears among the Forest Department’s ranges, Toledo Institute of Development and Education (TIDE), Ya’axche Conservation Trust (YCT), Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), the Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group limited and Programme for Belize (PfB).

    SPTC addresses beach erosion on Ambergris Caye
    The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is getting ready to launch a project that will hopefully save the eastern shoreline of Ambergris Caye from erosion. Work is expected to start in the upcoming week, and the cooperation of all residents, particularly those who live near the coast, is being requested for its success. Mayor Daniel Guerrero says that this is not the first attempt in fighting the speedy erosion along the island’s beaches. This time, however, he believes that the project will be successful. “The erosion is taking most of the sand to the southern part of the island, so we plan to use that same sand and spread it along the stretch of the beach from the Boca del Rio Park to the dock by Palapa Bar,” said Guerrero. SPTC believes one of the culprits for the degradation of the beach is the pipe system some businesses and residences along the beach use to drain out rain water. The force of the water from these external pipes scar the beach and wash away extensive amounts of sand. The plan that Mayor Guerrero has is to connect everybody’s pipe system to one main hub, which will go underneath the ground. “This new system will drain rain water without affecting the surface of the beach,” said Guerrero. “The underground pipe system will take the rain water directly to the sea and will also decrease the amount of sediments settling down on the shore, thus adding to the enhancement of the beach.”

    What’s new: Culture, Cuisine and Hospitality at Itza Belizean Place Restaurant
    As San Pedro Town continues to grow, so does its culinary enterprises, with restaurants across the island offering fine service and delicious dining. One such eatery, located near the beach in the downtown area is ‘Itza Belizean Place’ Restaurant. Offering great local and international cuisine, including special cultural dishes on the weekends, Itza Belizean Place is a welcome addition to La Isla Bonita. Featuring 100% Belizean service for visitors and locals alike, the restaurant features new décor, a menu with many options to choose from, and the talented Chef Virginia Melendez. According to proprietor Jeff Klaitman, the restaurant has that Belizean-home touch that everyone longs for. “Besides having a variety of options on our menu, including local and international cuisine, our main focus is Belizean food,” said Klaitman. “Every day we have a different Belizean dish on our special of the day.”

    Ambergris Today

    Eleven Year Old Blogger Madison Edwards to Snorkel Belize Barrier Reef for Awareness
    Madison Pearl Edwards will make history as she sets off on her biggest adventure yet! The eleven-year-old travel and adventure blogger from iTravelBelize.com will snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef from the Northern end of the country in her home town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, to the Southern end of the Barrier Reef in the Toledo District. She will be cleaning the Reef, collecting bottles, fishing nets, fishing lines, anchor ropes and other marine debris along the way. Madi and her team are scheduled to commence their journey today Sunday, February 12, 2017. A team of four will accompany Madi on a sailboat which will serve as shelter for her during rest periods. The team will consist of Martin John Leslie a local tour guide and experienced sailor, who will be teaching her about the marine life that she encounters along the way.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Students at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy learn about the tourism industry and their environment
    They lead beach clean ups, tutor students at the primary school and are part of the tourism industry themselves. The U.S. Embassy is a proud sponsor of the Caye Caulker Ocean Academy's tourism linkage and arts programs. Meet Alessa. She is an Academy grad and a junior trainer for the Academy's art program. Alessa said it's a "good program for students who love art. There are not many art classes offered on the island. Before, most the art on the island was not done by Belizeans, but now Belizeans from Caye Caulker are doing the art, including murals." We caught up with Alessa hard at work. Local companies commission her to advertise their businesses. Keep up the great work and thanks for passing on your skills to Caye Caulker's youth!

    Elvira Villanueva of Caye Caulker Bakery
    Meet Elvira Villanueva. She has owned Caye Caulker Bakery, a family run business for 24 years! Elvira told us that a friend from the U.S. gave her and her family the idea to start a bakery on the island. She learned different recipes and built her business with her family. What's the secret to a successful business? Elvira says, "hard work and a good team that works hard too. Without a good team, a business can't be successful."

    Educational outreach during the Placencia Artwalk
    The last two days, the CRC has been going strong in our educational outreach at a few local schools and during the Placencia Artwalk. With special guests from The Belize Zoo and the Belize Raptor Center, we had a fun weekend talking about the wonderful world of Belize's apex predators!

    World Merit Belize La Ruta Maya River Challenge Sign Up Form
    Join us for 4 days of adventure! The La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is a grueling multi-day canoe race traveling a perilous river route across the country of Belize. The route runs West to East along the Macal and Belize Rivers, once the only link between beautiful San Ignacio, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, and the bustling port of Belize City. This is a race for everyone (not just professional racers)! We'll be following the race day to day camping, playing games, watching movies and helping our community learn more about World Merit and the Sustainable Development Goals. The canoes leave from San Ignacio and take a four day journey to Belize City. They stop at Banana Bank, Double Head Cabbage, Henderson Bank in Burrell Boom then end the race in Belize City. The race brings commerce to the Belize River Valley as it travels down the river and builds a celebratory event at its stops.

    3rd Annual Boom Run
    Sunday, Feb 19th, Castleton Entertainment Park, Burrell Boom

    SISE Town Hall Ground Breaking
    The SISE Town Council had their ground breaking ceremony this week. They're building a 4000 square foot building on the old hospital grounds. The Cayo Scoop is chronicling the construction. "Yesterday Mayor Earl Trapp reached a historical milestone in his commitment and promise to the people of the 'Twin Towns' of San Ignacio & Santa Elena. Mayor Trapp along with Ministers of the Cabinet;Mayors from across the country; past Mayors of the twin towns; Councillors; staff of the San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Council and other stakeholders came together for the ground breaking ceremony of the New Administration Building."

    Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival 2017
    This annual 2-day event attracts a few of Belize's top artisans and is enjoyed by all!

    The Reporter

    Greater export opportunities for Belizeans as CARICOM and Cuba strike trade deal
    Belizean exporters now have even greater export opportunities, through a new duty free trade arrangement between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba. The countries agreed to extend preferential markets at the recently concluded 10th Meeting of the Joint Commission established under the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba, held in Guyana. “A significant number of items from the Community, including beer, fish and other agricultural products, and manufactured goods have been approved for entry into the Cuban market free of duty once both sides formalize the agreement,” the CARICOM Secretariat said.

    “Courtenay sold out Belize”, says GOB
    The Government of Belize, in the face of another legal battle with Michael Ashcroft, is calling out PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay for betraying his country. Courtenay was present in a Washington D.C. court this week, in a new case regarding the loan agreement with the People’s United Party and Ashcroft for Universal Health Services UHS. GOB pointed out that Courtenay discarded his duties as a Senator to assist Ashcroft in his legal battle against Belize. “He left Wednesday’s session of the Special Senate inquiry prematurely, long before the most important witnesses could be heard, so that he could depart to Washington in the service of the Ashcroft Alliance,” the UDP said. The UDP reiterated its call for Courtenay to lose his privileges as a Senator.

    Mason’s wife walks
    Melissa Ferguson, wife of accused murderer, William “Danny” Mason, was acquitted of ‘conspiracy to commit kidnapping’ in the Belize Magistrates Court this week. Ferguson, also known as Mila Mason, walked free of the charge after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), gave a directive to withdraw the case against her. Police Prosecutor, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, explained that the DPP gave the directive after concluding that there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue a case against Ferguson. Ferguson’s attorney, Dickie Bradley, said that he believes police arrested her simply out of spite, because they never had an actual case against Ferguson. Her charge was connected to the kidnapping and brutal execution of Dangriga pastor, Llewellyn Lucas. Lucas’ head was found in a bucket, in the back of William Mason’s pickup in July of 2016.

    11-year-old blogger dives entire barrier reef
    Madison Pearl Edwards, an eleven-year-old travel and adventure blogger from iTravelBelize.com, embarked on a mission today to snorkel the entire length of the Belize Barrier Reef, in an awareness campaign against offshore oil drilling. Edwards, is being accompanied by a team who will provide support from a following sail boat. She began her journey in her home town, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and will make her way down to the to the Southern end of the Barrier Reef in the Toledo District. Along the way, Edwards will clear the reef of trash, such as: plastic bottles, fishing nets, fishing lines, anchor ropes and other marine debris. “I love Belize; I love our Belize Barrier Reef and I say NO to offshore oil exploration!” Edwards said. “Please don’t stay quiet, staying quiet says that you are ok with our sea life being sick or disappearing!”

    The Belize Times

    CANDELARIA SAYS GODWIN KNEW…
    Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, sister of Minister John Saldivar, was possibly the first public officer in charge of the Immigration and Nationality Department to be completely candid and straight to the point with the Senate Select Committee. In her hours-long testimony on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 she threw Godwin Hulse under the proverbial bus, stating “For me, what the Auditor General put out, myself and Minister Hulse knew.” Saldivar-Morter continued to say that, “...We need a complete reform and structuring. Otherwise, 10 years from now, we'll be having another Senate Hearing." There is a lot from her testimony in which the Senators looking into the Auditor General’s reports asked her to explain as a Former CEO In charge of the Immigration and Nationality Department. The hearing finished very close to press time, and so the Belize Times will examine it in greater detail in our next week’s issue, but Saldivar, made this point very strenuously. She said, “For me, yes, you're saying 'oh, there are these issues that the Auditor General reports’, but nothing in these Auditor-General's reports was a surprise to us, and that is the reason why we went into the whole session, and we put so much emphasis, especially myself, in terms of getting the working group to push to come up with a recommendation because we realized that if we stay and sit back and try to fix all the little things within, we will still have the problems at the end of the day….

    Local Farmers Unable to Sell Potatoes
    It’s happening again. Since the UDP took over the government in 2008, farmers have been suffering as a result of gross incompetence and a lack of a comprehensive marketing policy. Potato producers in the country are up in arms once again as they are unable to sell their local product. They are unable to do so because the government has issued permits for the importation of potatoes to importers which over extend into the harvesting time of the local potatoes. Many of the importers are cronies who were being furnished by the former Minister of Agriculture, the disgraced Gaspar Vega. One such person is Hector Bobadilla and Sons of San Antonio who has enjoyed years of import permits. It is alleged that this company mixes the legally imported products with contraband imported via Santa Cruz and San Antonio

    UDP Wants to Steal Municipal Elections 2018
    Despite valid concerns expressed, the Barrow administration is forging ahead with plans for re-division/re-districting before re-registration is held, ignoring its own 2012 Statutory Instrument that set the deadline for re-registration as 2017. With this delay, it will be almost two decades since the last such exercise was held. The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) chaired by UDP insider and former Minister Douglas Singh has prepared and is following a 9-page timeline for electoral processes and events from now until the General Elections in 2020. According to that document, a task force is to be set up to head the re-districting exercise and sometime this month, a bill will be prepared to amend the Representation of the People’s Act to formally delay the July 2017 re-registration exercise to a later date. That date as per the EBC’s timeline is July 1st to August 31st, 2018. As we have shared in previous stories, the intention is to delay this exercise until after the Municipal Elections scheduled for March 7th, 2018.

    Shutdown of Immigration Department Narrowly Averted
    Who and what are the connections at the Public Services Commission (PSC) and the Ministry of Immigration which allowed a specific Immigration clerk to get an easy promotion above her colleagues who had more seniority and were themselves eligible for promotion but passed over? That is the question that no one at the Immigration Department or PSC wants to answer. In fact, officials have appeared rather uncomfortable in addressing the matter. Had it not been for the remainder of the over 20 immigration clerks who banded together and threatened a go-slow for Monday, February 6th, the act of apparent nepotism would have gone unaddressed. For sure, when the management at the Department learned of the serious intent of the clerks to strike, they quickly intervened, even as junior Minister of Immigration Beverly Castillo insisted that no officer had been unduly promoted and nothing was awry at the Department.

    Pawn Shops & Moneylenders BEWARE
    On Monday February 6, 2017, inside the empty courtroom of Justice Sonya Young, a landmark judgment in Claim No. 171 of 2016 was handed down. In the case of Janine Vega v Laura Blanco and Julio Blanco, the owners of PayDay Advance & Ezy Loans Pawning located in Orange Walk Town, the Judge considered the law and sided with the borrowers, ruling that it is illegal for more than 4% interest per month to be charged on any loan offered by pawn shops or moneylenders. The Judge further stated that it is unlawful for those companies to seize a customer’s assets, provided as security for the loan. The Supreme Court in this decision struck down an illegal rate of interest of 120% per year. It sternly ordered that land which was unlawfully transferred by the Pawn Shop be returned “forthwith.”

    Empty Vessels & Full Pockets
    It is now exactly 100 days since the Ministry of Natural Resources announced that a letter was written to Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts demanding the return of $400,000 ‘gifted’ to them by Andre’s father and then Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Prime Minister, the very dishonourable Gaspar Vega. It is understood that neither Pitts nor Vega responded to those letters, if indeed those letters were even delivered to them. It is likely that the letter shown to the media was just a prop, and nothing will ever come of this unfortunate, corrupt event in which taxpayers were robbed almost a million dollars. The new and very easily led Minister of Natural Resources has said nothing about the return of those monies. She has said nothing about any ongoing investigation into the Vega-led compensation scam (an investigation allegedly launched by her predecessor Vanessa Retreage) and she has said nothing about corruption in that department. To put a fine point to it, she has said nothing, which is probably as directed by her political boss Dean Oliver.

    If Dah Noh Soh
    Me hear dat some high up ministah battam deh goh cinco-seis cause dih Senate wah soon call Elvin Penner fuh come testify. Unnu mih tink dah only Penner involved inna dis ting noh? Try fuh mih. Why unnu tink dat even after Penner lef politics he still midi get land dah Mountain Pine Ridge and Turneffe, only dat he put it inna fuh he ma and pa name. But dah fuh he. He get dat soh he could shet up and noh talk bout who all mih inna dih mix. But check dis out. I hear dih man done seh dat wen he get pon datideh stand he wah sing like a nightingale, pretty pretty. I fuh one deh look forward to it…dah bout time denya bloodsucking, dutty, scurvy ministah tek lick. Dih senators deh chancey up dih lee public officers while dih ministahs deh watch Netflix and chill. Lesgo den Penner…run it!

    Questions to Ministers
    Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please say who will be replacing him in that constituency when he leaves office very soon? Could he confirm or deny reports that his favourite son Anwar will be his anointed replacement? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please say how much his other son Shyne is being paid as the so-called Music Ambassador of Belize? Could he also confirm or deny reports that his favourite son Anwar is being paid close to $800,000 when he leaves BTL at the end of this week, and will continue to receive thousands more every month as a member of the Board?

    THREE LETTERS THAT POLITICIANS HATE
    THE Belize government has been spending borrowed money as if it was going out of style. Suddenly one day, the Barrow Administration discovered that it has. The government is bankrupt. There is no national economy. If there is, it is being terribly mismanaged or it is a failed economy. Whatever is left of it is being propped up by Taiwanese money. That country spends billions on a foreign policy aimed at buying friends and influencing people. It would appear, in some instances that they may even be unintended surrogates to corruption. This has been so in recent cases in Guatemala and El Salvador. Notwithstanding, the Taiwanese have contributed greatly in assisting developing countries like Belize. Without them, and with the Belize government’s abuse of power, mismanagement and corruption, Belize, would have been a failed State – it is on the edge. International experts would assert that it is!

    Taking the High Road
    It is unfortunate that the Orange Walk Town Council has been dragged into a seedy back and forth with the UDP Area Representative for Orange Walk East, Elodio Aragon Jr. Now that Aragon has woken up from his long slumber and is making untrue allegations against me as Mayor and against the good people at the OWTC, I thought it important to share a few words which I hope will remind him of his negligence, and his obligations. Without the assistance of Central Government, the Orange Walk Town Council has carried out an intensive works program. That is a fact. With the assistance of individuals and corporate entities in the community, we have paved 35 streets, cemented 8 intersections and completed 5 major drainage projects and 13 vehicle entrances on Santa Familia Street. We have also seen the complete renovation of the Central Park, turning it into a secure, safe zone for families. We are proud of our record, which includes restoring transparency and accountability to Town Hall so that residents know exactly how their tax dollars and contributions are being used.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – HERBERT GAYLE AND DOMESTICE VIOLENCE
    University of the West Indies Anthropologist Herbert Gayle PhD. is again bringing attention to the issue of violence, notably domestic violence. He is of course well known in Belize as the author, along with Belizean Nelma Mortis, of the Gayle Report entitled “Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize,” the exhaustive study he published recently. In the Report he is styled as Anthropologist of Social Violence, and so it is clear that he is considered an expert in this field. On January 22, 2017 he published a Commentary in the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner which is called “Misconceptions About Domestic Violence.” As soon as I saw the caption my interest was clearly piqued. Upon reading the article I thought that it is imperative to share his ideas, especially since some of his findings have to do with Belize, and in particular the results of his Report on males mostly in the Southside of Belize City.

    Real Hope for Belize Rural North
    On Saturday the 4th of February 2017 the Party Leader, the Hon. Johnny Briceño along with Major Lloyd Jones and the Belize Rural North team visited the beautiful villages of Maskall and Bomba along the “old road”. The visit started with a door to door in Spanish Town, Maskall. The Party Leader heard the concerns of residents in Spanish Town who amongst other things complained about the troubling land tenure situation, the lack of market access for their produce and the poor conditions of the farm roads in the area.

    The Key to Success
    Although grace of God and blessings of elders bring achievements, a hardworking and sincere person gets the cooperation of all due to his bravery. Fortune or destiny smiles on him because he dares to achieve the goal. Always…luck goes hand in hand with people who dare to for the enforcement of something new to traditional systems. Only those people who show bravery and fight against the prejudiced customs and rituals get positions in history. In other words, he who moves against the flow of a stream is the hero, not the person who swims with the flow of the steam. Fear is a state of mind, and unless and until one thinks more and more positively, bravery will not come. To progress and prosper, one has to be bold enough to cross the hurdles in the path of destination. Challenges and obstacles are ever present on the way of life, but if it is decided strongly to achieve a goal nobody can stop the person. Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln are the best examples of this and the popular saying “fortune favors the brave” fits them perfectly.

    Thinking Out Loud
    In every one of my weekly articles, I try to touch on issues which are important to our nation and our development as a people. Particularly, since Orange Walk is my home and I will never have any other, I try to touch on matters which affect our community, from poverty to the economy to infrastructure to corruption. Unfortunately, Belizeans from our community and from all corners of the country are facing challenging times not of our making. As a people we will have to tighten our collective belt to do our part to attempt to rescue an economy in crisis. I do not apologize for my conviction that we are in this position because of the bad decisions of the government. This UDP administration has been in power since 2008 and we are in the worst era of our young political history.

    Street War Claims Another Victim
    Police have arrested and charged 2 men for the murder of 29 year-old Mark Anthony Jones. Jones is the Belize City resident who was murdered on Thursday night, February 2, 2017 right outside his home. His family says that he was coming back from walking his girlfriend home, which was part of his nightly routine. Sometime after 8 p.m., he was about to enter his family yard on Iguana Street Extension when a gunman ambushed him and shot him. According to Police, the bullet hit him in the left arm and exited to the left side of his back. Persons nearby rushed him to the KHMH, but he died on the way.

    Beloved Activist Killed in San Pedro
    San Pedro Police have made no arrests in the gruesome murder of Jose Felix Ayuso, a well-known AIDS activist from San Pedro who was found stabbed to death inside his home in the island town. The 44 year-old was well-respected and liked by the residents for his altruism and for his love of the San Pedro Carnaval event. His sister discovered his body inside his apartment, located at the corner of Jew Fish and Seaweed Streets. That was at around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, 2017, after he missed work for that entire day. She last saw him alive at around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1st at his business place JoSe’s Salon. That’s where he caters to the beauty needs of his local and international clients. When he didn’t show up for an appointment, she went to check up on him, and that’s when she found his lifeless body.

    US Judge Authorizes Enforcement of Arbitration Award
    United States District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Monday, February 6th authorized a motion made by BCB Holdings Ltd. to have an arbitral award of US$27.4 million (with interest) enforced even as the Government of Belize seeks to avoid payment. The order by Judge Kollar-Kotelly follows on the US Supreme Court’s refusal on January 10, 2017 to review the matter upon request of the Government of Belize (GOB). It also comes despite last Friday’s urgent injunction granted by Belize Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana to prevent BCB from getting the order enforced.

    A City Neglected…A Council Gone M.I.A.
    In 2018, the UDP Belize City Council will undoubtedly return to residents of the city to ask for support and votes. But what will they point to as their successes? What will they highlight as their accomplishments? What stellar service will they have to boast about? Why should residents of Belize City vote for the UDP team in the city whenever municipal elections are called? The truth is that Belize City, after consecutive UDP administrations, is in terrible condition and it is getting worse every day. Mayor Darrell Bradley has survived so far on the fruits of a multi-million dollar municipal bond and the largesse of Central Government. But those fruits have rotted. See for yourself. Talk a walk on any of the cement streets constructed under Bradley’s term. Every single one of them is breaking up…every one. It is a disgrace. If done properly, those streets should have lasted for years. But they were not done properly, and there was certainly no proper monitoring by the Council. While the streets which ‘benefitted’ from the Council’s short-sighted attention are breaking up, the many streets which were left untouched are disaster zones.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Early morning shootout
    At around 6:15 a.m. this morning Roland Small, 35, was walking near Belize Waste Control in Belize City when a dark complexion man dressed in a white T-Shirt came out of the bushes, pulled out a firearm and fired shots at him. The assailant then ran […]

    Missing Santa Elena man found dead
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that 65-year-old missing mental patient, Alberto Requena of Santa Elena town, was found dead yesterday. The body was found in a decomposed state at 12:45 p.m. floating in the river in Santa Familia village. Requena’s nephew, Jaime Requena found his body. Police […]

    UB graduates 200 students
    The University of Belize today conducted the first leg of its 24th graduation ceremony with as many as 200 students. Today’s ceremony was held for those students that had completed their courses last December. The event began at 10 a.m. with Minister of Police […]

    Dolores Balderamos appointed to Senior Counsel
    Thirty years ago Dolores Balderamos Garcia began legal practice in Belize after completing her studies at Norman Manley School of Law. However, this week she was promoted to a Senior Counsel within the legal arena. Aside from being one of the country’s finest […]

    Taxes will go up in 2017
    After months of ducking, dodging and dancing around the fire; Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has finally acknowledged what Prime Minister Dean Barrow could not muster the words to say, which is that taxes are expected to increase with the implementation of the budget […]

    Blogs

    A Beautiful Day in San Pedro: Park Kiosks, Turkey Dinner Lunch and…I Shiver Just to Type this…Sargasso
    It has been a windy, gorgeous week on Ambergris Caye. With no rain at all, the roads have dried out nicely and after a cart ride, you generally return home with a good coating of dust. Spring in San Pedro. Yesterday I left home with a long list of errands and my camera. Here are some things that I saw… I drove past the football field at the back side of town. The area is usually called “The Old Football field” or “Saca Chispas” and just a few years ago, it had a huge overhaul. The upgrade was meant to turn the lagoon side of town into a bustling, well used hub – a proper sports facility, the station for all of the water taxis and a sunset promenade. I’m not sure any of those came to fruition. And while I was going to just pretend…gloss over it…I will just come out with it. Over the past few days, SARGASSO has been arriving on our beaches. This is a normal, cyclical occurrence throughout the Caribbean. But sargasso strikes fear in the hearts of many. Over my past 10 years here, it can come and go. A few times a year…for a few days…or bunches for a few weeks but 2015 was a HORRIBLE spring for the stuff. We had, what seemed, a relentless wave of sargasso arriving and piling up on the beaches. Right now, it is just starting to come in…and the beach cleaners are on top of it. Not a problem yet.

    Corozal Art in The Park February 11th, 2017
    Hey guys to all my followers out their if you are reading this you can just comment below. I was excited to announced this event's for all of you to read about " Art In The Park" in Corozal. I know most of you have been following me or have read my previous articles about Art in the Park. I hope you enjoy this article about Art In the Park that was held on February 11, 17. I walked to the Central Park where things where just starting up to display their Art Work. Usually, the event commence at 5pm. But, it was to early to go. So, I just went at 6pm. Taking out my camera when I arrived at the Central Park I commenced taking photo's of the view of the sunset view at the Central Park. Looking through the park and the sunset at the background that scenery was amazing. The first thing I saw was the Rotary Club that are always their to give out information. To my left hand side was a few ladies selling pastries. She had lemon pie, chocolate cake, cupcakes, cookies, valentine's chocolate, brownie's and more. To my far left hand-side was the children jumper.

    Island Expeditions celebrates 30 years
    Island Expeditions, one of Belize’s premier adventure travel companies specializing in kayaking and snorkeling, is celebrating three full decades showing travelers an amazing adventure in Belize. Officially opened in 1987, Island Expeditions began by offering paddling tours in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for being one of the first tour companies in Belize to combine education and adventure, Island Expeditions is famous for all-inclusive paddle sports journeys that explore the best of the reserve. By its second decade of operations, Island Expeditions began offering paddling trips to the Glover’s Reef Atoll, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2003, the company opened a basecamp on Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef. Moving into its third decade the company began offering tours venturing into Belize’s interior rainforest. They also began offering year round trips to Belize for all levels of travelers.

    Top 5 Eco Attractions in Belize
    Belize is rapidly becoming one of the premier eco-tourism destinations in the region. Mixing a gorgeous Caribbean coastline and hundreds of offshore islands with a diverse landscape of mountains, wetlands, rainforests, and jungle, the majesty and wonder of nature is all around you in Belize from the moment you step off the plane. Below are 5 unique eco attractions that lure intrepid travelers to Belize:

    International Sourcesizz

    Goal to resource country of Belize
    Mission organizations often set up large goals for the future that would be impossible apart from a miracle. The latest goal set by Christian Resources International is one such goal and it is exciting! CRI focuses on providing Bibles and Christian resources for under-resourced people around the world. These resources, donated from Christians who are not using them, are given for free. Last week, we spoke about how you can support mission efforts from afar. Today, we wanted to share an example of what your support could mean. So what is this goal? Jason Woolford of CRI tells us they want to provide the entire country of Belize with a Bible or Christian book by November. That’s right. The entire country.

    Videos

  • TALK AH DI TOWN FEBRUARY 9, 2017, 31min.

  • University of La Verne Belize Trip 2017, 23min. A University of La Verne study group traveled to Belize in January 2017. The group spent a week on South Water Caye snorkeling and exploring, a day and night in Hopkins at Jungle Jeanie's and five days at the IZE facilty in Blue Creek at the IZE facility, with a side trip to Punta Gorda

  • Belize Playground Build Day 4 Summary, 5min. Finished very early today, went to Old Belize City for lunch, toured the museum, then spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach.

  • Exploring the Mayan Ruins of Belize, 11min. Today, we headed out to Xunantunich, an ancient Mayan village to explore. We had a great time and got some amazing shots of one of the most impressive ruins in Belize. Our guide Ramus was very knowledgeable and we learned quite a bit about the village, and what it would have been like living there at that time. Afterwards we ate lunch at nearby Benny's and then went into San Ignacio to explore further. Hope you guys enjoy!

  • Belize, 7min. This video is about the Belize cruise port, cave tubing and zip lines in the jungle.

  • Visiting Mayan Ruins In Belize, 7min. Hey there! Here is some footage of the Mayan Ruins in Altun Ha, Belize.

    February 11, 2017

    I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Sunday morning February 12th. I will return on Monday morning.


    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

    Sailors complete Sailing Program from Adelle’s International Outreach Programme
    On Sunday, February 5th, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC) awarded each of its newest sailors from Adelle’s International Outreach Programme. Emmanuel Avilez, Stephanie Avilez, Junior Avilez and Angel Aliva received a certificate of completion for the Optimist Level 1 sailing program. They were congratulated by Adelle Paz, director and founder of Adelle’s International Outreach Programme. In the summer of 2016, Paz approached the SPSC leadership to see if there was any way to join forces with the sailing club to teach interested young Belizeans in the outreach program how to sail. Since the beginning, one of the SPSC’s goals has been to teach young Belizeans, specifically San Pedranos, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn.

    Caye Caulker’s Lobster Festival is ON!
    On Sunday, February 5th, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC) awarded each of its newest sailors from Adelle’s International Outreach Programme. Emmanuel Avilez, Stephanie Avilez, Junior Avilez and Angel Aliva received a certificate of completion for the Optimist Level 1 sailing program. They were congratulated by Adelle Paz, director and founder of Adelle’s International Outreach Programme. In the summer of 2016, Paz approached the SPSC leadership to see if there was any way to join forces with the sailing club to teach interested young Belizeans in the outreach program how to sail. Since the beginning, one of the SPSC’s goals has been to teach young Belizeans, specifically San Pedranos, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn. In a release shared via Facebook, the committee explained the situation. “We were contacted by several prominent organizations, including the Belize Hotel Association (BHA) and Belize Tourism Board (BTB). In addition, we were contacted by Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. himself, asking how he could assist so that we wouldn’t have to postpone one of the most iconic festivals in Belize.

    Islanders join San Pedro Cancer Society during Cancer Walk
    On Thursday, February 9th, the San Pedro Cancer Society held their seventh annual candlelight awareness walk. Residents, local business representatives and visitors met at Central Park shortly after 6PM to support and join the solidarity walk. The event was held to honor those who have lost the fight, continue to battle or have overcome cancer. Participants walked through the main streets of San Pedro Town, ending where they started: at Central Park. A moment of silence was held to remember those who have succumbed to the disease. Gonzalo Muñoz, President of the San Pedro Cancer Society, thanked everyone for their support and time in joining the cause. He reminded everyone that the society is ready to assist the community in any way they can.

    Discovery of new shark species in Belize emphasizes need for conservation
    It has been confirmed by the Belize Fisheries Department that a new shark species has been discovered in Belize. The new species has not been officially named as yet, but it has a very close resemblance to Bonnethead sharks, which is a smaller species of Hammerhead sharks. The discovery was made after samples were taken from a landing site in Belize through an on-going shark data collection, monitoring and research program conducted by shark specialists from Florida International University (FIU).

    Introducing the 2017 Reina del Carnaval contestants
    The fourth annual Reina del Carnaval Pageant is set to take place on Saturday, February 18th .The San Pedro Carnaval Committee, along with Flora Ancona’s Carnaval Group is proud to introduce the five lovely contestants for this year’s event. Vying for the crown are 40-year-old Vicky Marin, 38-year-old Mary Magaña, 48-year-old Arabella Hernandez, 37-year-old Anna Young, and 50-year-old Audrey Moya. The pageant is scheduled for 8PM at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Organized by Ancona’s Carnaval Group, the event also serves as a fundraiser for their comparsas costumes and other expenses as they prepare to take part in San Pedro’s annual carnaval, slated for Friday, February 24th. The pageant will start with an opening dance, followed by talent performance, swimsuit, evening gown and even a question and answer session.

    Forest Department Leads Effort to Update National Threatened Species List
    A workshop to update and modify Belize’s ‘Threatened Species List 2005’ took place after key stakeholders met at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on January 31st. The Forest Department, through the involvement of more than 25 local, regional and international experts and wildlife conservation representatives, is presently updating Belize’s National Threatened Species List for terrestrial wildlife. As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Belize’s efforts to update the list is only one of the many activities underway to ensure that Belize meets its global commitments and contributes towards the global Sustainable Development Goals to secure the survival of threatened species, maintain biodiversity, and improve wildlife conservation efforts.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Launches “Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed” Exhibit in Dallas
    On, February 9th, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Science Museum of Minnesota held a press conference to launch an exhibit entitled "Maya - Hidden Worlds Revealed". This press conference was followed by a VIP opening ceremony at the Perot Museum of Science. This traveling exhibition is a collaboration between the NICH and the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibit contains 235 artifacts, of which 80% are from the National Collection of Belize. This includes small jade items, chert artifacts, obsidian blades, as well as more recognizable pieces such as the Buena Vista Vase.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Employment opportunity, Caye Caulker
    Good day! Rapidito Construction Depot is looking for a male driver. Must have a valid drivers license and experience in driving cargo / delivery trucks. Serious inquiries can contact the office at 206-0083 to set up an interview. Thanks!

    The Belize Tourism Board and JG Black Book Presentations in Long Island
    Yesterday's meetings was with Altour and Creative Travel International.

    Mount Carmel Primary School students learn about archaeology
    Today, we traveled to Benque Viejo, where Mount Carmel Primary School students learned about archaeology, the importance of protecting Belize's cultural heritage, and what to do if and when they see someone looting or destroying the country's national treasures. What an amazing group of motivated, curious, and eager to learn students! Thank you, Archaeology in the Community program and the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize, for such a great program and partnership!

    Ms Fiona Hsu and the Face Painting Crew
    We never got to thank Ms Fiona Hsu and the Face Painting Crew who were at the Belize City House of Culture for the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project's Community Outreach Engagement on January 14th. We are in the process of planning our next Engagement to be held on March 18th 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We are planning on inviting Ms. Fiona and the Face Painting Crew again, hopefully they will be able to make it. Thank you Ms Fiona and the Facing Painting Crew!

    Senator Courtenay Aborts Senate Inquiry to Join Ashcroft Alliance in Washington on Another Case Against Belize
    The Government of Belize (GOB) informs the public that yesterday there was a hearing in Washington, D.C. of yet another Ashcroft Alliance case against the nation of Belize. GOB notes with dismay and repugnance, that Ashcroft's Belize lawyer, People’s United Party (PUP) Senator Eamon Courtenay, traveled to Washington on Wednesday, February 8, and was together with Ashcroft's U.S. lawyers yesterday at the D.C. hearing. This case concerns the infamous Universal Health Services (UHS) hospital secret loan and Government guarantee deal that the then PUP Administration made, on behalf of its crony owners of the UHS hospital, with Ashcroft's Belize Bank. It was in connection with that same deal that the PUP diverted Venezuela grant funds to the people of Belize for a low-income housing scheme, to pay Ashcroft. Those funds were subsequently recovered through official court action by the current administration in Belize.

    Six Belmopan City Entrepreneurs Complete SBDCBelize Training
    Six young business persons from the Garden City of Belmopan this morning received certificates after completing a four-day training program on entrepreneurship conducted by the Small Business Development Centre, Belize (SBDCBelize), a Unit of BELTRAIDE. The training for the young entrepreneurs will allow them to effectively operate their business kiosks at Independence Park, Belmopan. This is a joint initiative by the Belmopan City Council, the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), and SBDCBelize. As part of the initiative, the Belmopan City Council will conduct a series of events at the park, which in turn will open business opportunities for those operating the kiosks. Initially, the entrepreneurs will rent the kiosks from the City Council, but plan to have a business of their own in the not distant future.

    Miss Belize arrives Home. As representing Belize at Miss Universe
    Greeting children on her arrival

    Love Fair 2017 in Corozal
    Come out on February 14, 17 for a Oceana Belize and DSY love fair.. 9am-2pm, Corozal Central Park

    UPCOMING FUNDRAISER FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES IN SAN PEDRO
    Join us at Paradise Theater on February 11th for el show de Dari Dario. Comedian and Imitator from Veracruz Mexico. A little laughter is just what the doctor ordered. Two presentation one at 7:00 PM and another at 9:30 PM. Tickets are now on sale. Buy yours at Flowers Salazar and Associates or at Reef Radio.

    Channel 7

    Fin Sec Acknowledges; Tax Increase Coming
    Yesterday, the Ministry of Finance met with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and others within the business community to discuss the upcoming budget. Government is consulting with the social partners on ways to balance public finances which would not require increased taxes. Well this afternoon, it was the Labour movement's turn to speak with the Government on their budget recommendations. Those discussions continued at the Biltmore all the way up until 4:50 this evening. Financial Secretary Joe Waight stepped out to grant us an interview before the meeting concluded. This evening, with just weeks to go before the reading of a new budget, the Fin Sec finally addressed the matters squarely - after months of evasion by other officials. Here's how he put it: Joseph Waight - Financial Secretary: "We need to show an adjustment effort combine in region of, it's measured in percentage of GDP and what we are aiming is to do an effort that will be about 3 percent of GDP, roughly about a hundred and 5 million dollars that is through efficiencies, through some tightening of reductions in expenditure and through some adjustment in taxes."

    Unions Recommend Cost Saving Measures
    So, what do the Union Leaders have to say about the best way to handle this upcoming budget? Well, they granted us an interview just an a hour and a half ago, and we air it mostly unedited. Here's what the Presidents of the NTUCB and the Public Service Union had to say: Jacqueline Willoughby - NTUCB: "Well generally what we did was actually call on government to say if you're going to have austerity measures, let everybody be onboard. So that we have to look at how we diversify agriculture, how we put in policies for procurement, how we do better tax enforcement rather than just introducing new tax laws, how do we enforce what we have, how we bring the informal sector into the formal sector, how we increase our exports - stop bringing things that we already have here and encourage our people to have subsistence farming and that kind of thing." Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "Ma'am, are your membership like the rest of the public, very concern that taxes have to be increase and no matter what sort of austerity measures we take, there is only so much you can do and you have to increase income in order to cover what the fiscal deficits are." Jacqueline Willoughby - NTUCB: "That almost sounds like double-barrel question, but while I agree with you that we have to increase income, we have to raise the revenue. I'm not sure that I will totally agree with you that we must increase tax. But of course I am sure it's a discussion on the table. Albeit, the response we received today is, it is something that's being looked at, but it's not something that have actually been decided."

    William Mason's Wife Acquitted
    It's been 3 months since we've last reported on the case of Pastor Lu who was decapitated in July of last year. Since then, the accused mastermind, William "Danny" Mason, has been in jail along with the men police charged for murder and kidnapping. Mason's wife, Melissa Ferguson, was charged in connection to the kidnapping, but tonight she is free and clear. That's after a adjournment at the Magistrate's Court today when the police prosecution told the Chief Magistrate that they are withdrawing the conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge that they brought against her. In August, she was arraigned on the charge because the police said that they had linked her the kidnapping of Pastor Lucas and his fellow kidnapping victim, David Dodd. She's been on bail since August, and so today, when her case went back before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, police prosecutor, Assistant Police Commissioner Chester Williams, was expected to update the court on the status of their case against her. But, instead, Williams told the Chief Magistrate that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that they withdraw the charge against her.

    GOB's War With Senator Courtney Continues
    For the past 2 days, the UDP has been in attack mode against PUP's Eamon Courtenay, and tonight, the war of words continues. This evening, the Government sent out a release noting that the Ashcroft alliance had yet another hearing in the US Supreme Court in their suits against Belize. That happened yesterday, and the Government release says, quote, "GOB notes with dismay and repugnance, that Ashcroft's Belize lawyer, People's United Party (PUP) Senator Eamon Courtenay, traveled to Washington on Wednesday, February 8, and was together with Ashcroft's U.S. lawyers yesterday at the D.C. hearing." End quote. The Government's release says that this case concerns the Universal Health Services Hospital Loan which the Musa Administration made secretly with Ashcroft's Belize Bank, on behalf the owners of the hospital. The release says, quote, "It was in connection with that same deal that the PUP diverted Venezuela grant funds to the people of Belize for a low-income housing scheme, to pay Ashcroft. Those funds were subsequently recovered through official court action by the current administration in Belize." End quote.

    Wesley's Vice-Principal Acquitted Of Drug Traffficking
    He was a Vice Principal accused of doing the unthinkable: trafficking drugs at school. And with that the reputation of highly regarded educator, 36 YEAR OLD Melvin Hewlett was brought into serious disrepute. Well, tonight, his legal ordeal is over: he has been acquitted of drug trafficking. On November 30, 2015, police alleged that Hewlett and another man were seen engaging in a drug transaction in front of the Wesley College Compound. It was a well known drug dealer, and the GSU had allegedly set up a sting for him to pick up drugs drugs from Hewlett. Police claimed Hewlett threw an object over the compound of the Wesley College fence. Police took Hewlett back to the area where the object thrown and found crack cocaine. Hewlett said that a man who owed him money came to see him and that's when police pulled up. Hewellet says it's the man who threw something over the school fence when police pulled up.

    Belizeans Americans Went Out to Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed
    As we told you last night, the show: Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed opened in Dallas, Texas last night. Our 7News team was there and so was a surprising showing of Belizean - Americans. About 40 of them came out to see the show - which is the most that has attended at any of the five previous stops that show has made in Minnesota, Boston, Denver, San Diego or San Antonio. Jules Vasquez was there and he spoke to a few of the very proud show goers: Kay Burn - Belizean Living in Dallas: "We are so excited to be here and it's an experience that I can't wait to get in there and see what it's all about. I am so happy to be here." Samantha Patnett - Belizean Living in Dallas: "Very proud and excited and will definitely tell friends so they could come and see the exhibit." Mary Ritchie - Belizean Living in Dallas: "I'm extremely proud to represent Belize today and to have this exhibit to showcase to the world and showcase other people that may not be familiar with the Mayan culture and it just puts us on the map."

    An Arrest Under Stricter Forestry Penalties
    Yesterday Belmopan Police arrested Marco Tulio Garcia for being in possession of logwood without a valid logging permit. This arrest comes just days after the Forest Act was amended to implement stricter penalties for illegal loggers. However, those changes will not go into effect for another few weeks. We spoke to the Cheif Forestry Officer, Wilber Sabido, who told us that Garcia got away. According to Sabido, Garcia will be charged $1000 for this offense, which is the previous maximum penalty. Had the new laws been in effect, he would have been charged anywhere between $1350 and $4050. Sabido told us that the new laws will be fully implemented by the 20th.

    Getting Food Safety Right
    We have reported several product recalls over the years like the imported Blue Bell ice cream in 2015 as well as other food items and medications. We don't have control over the manufacturing of these imported items and all we can do is take these hazardous goods off the store shelves. But our local manufactures have control over their operations and can ensure that their products are safe for consumption. BAHA along with Beltraide's ExportBelize Unit organized a session that focused on the importance of implementing strict food safety standards. I took closer look at the manufacturer's role in consumer protection. Here is that story. 30 manufacturers and exporters attended today's session.

    Bex's Return: Fit For Queen
    After representing Belize in the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines, Rebecca Rath finally returned home today. Our news team went out and followed the festivities to celebrate her return, Alex Courtenay reports...

    The Significance of The Judgment Against Predatory Pawnshops
    Earlier this week we told you about the landmark Supreme Court judgement which brought down the Hamme Ron one Orange Walk Pawn Shop for taking advantage of its customers. Justice Sonya Young found that Payday Advance and EZ Loans Pawning had taken advantage of their customer Janine Vega by charging her interest of 10 percent per month, or 120 percent per annum. The judge called this "excessive.."harsh and unconscionable". Today the attorneys who took on this benchmark case and others held a press briefing to discuss the importance of the judgement for other folks who are being taken advantage of by pawnshops:..

    The Immigration Department's Hunt For Nationality Files
    For the past few 2 days, we've been showing you portions of this Wednesday Senate Hearings on Immigration, and we've mostly been featuring former CEO Candelaria Saldivar Morter, who was in charge of the Immigration Department. Well tonight, still, we have a little more from the CEO in which she disclosed details of an extensive inventory check of the nationality files at the Department. It occurred from October 8 to the 18th of 2013, around the time when Arthur Saldivar had revealed that he had come in possession of a throve of nationality files which were labelled with the word "to be destroyed" or "destroyed". This was during that period at the Immigration Department when the Won Hong Kim scandal was raging, and the suspicion at the time that there was an attempt by unknown personalities in the Department to cover their tracks. Well, that inventory check revealed that there were missing nationality files for 164 persons. Here's the Senate discussing that with the former CEO, since it forms a part of the Auditor General's report:

    Who's Job Was It At Immigration To Weed Out Forgery?
    And here's our final piece of former CEO Saldivar's testimony. This is that part of the hearing where the Senators were asking her about the assertion by Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan and Former Nationality OIC Gordon Wade that they don't check for fraud or forgery in the application documents they receive. Here's what she had to say about that one: Hon. Elena Smith, Senator: "When the files got to her, she was not supposed to verify anything, she was just supposed to either look at what is there, check and either recommend or return for further work that probably needed to be done, So as the CEO, could you recall that, let's say for example, in her case, recommending visas, that she was not responsible for verifying information, she was just responsible for...?" Candelaria Saldivar-Morter: "If you approve anything, you will confirm that all the information and all the requirements are met. That is what you do before you do any kind of approval - that all the requirements are met."

    Police's Youth Basketball Cup
    Today the Eastern Police Division South celebrated the opening of their Youth Basketball Cup. The initiative, which started last year, was created in an attempt to diffuse relations at risk youths in the South side. We spoke to the event's coordinators ACP Chester Williams and Bowen & Bowen's Jason Badillo about its importance to the community... The tournament was held at the Haynes Basketball Court on Mahogany Street.

    The 2017 Valentine Classic
    The Digicell Valentine's Classic used to be a one day race, but now it has become a tour. It's a major proving ground for elite cyclists in the run-up to the Cross Country. The mini tour starts this weekend and Cycling President Dion Leslie told us more:.. Four foreign cyclists are registered out of the 50 or so riders participating.

    Channel 5

    Melissa Ferguson Free; P.I. for Husband Danny Mason et al is February 21st
    The time is drawing nearer for William Alexander “Danny” Mason and his accused cohorts to learn their fate. A preliminary inquiry into the indictable charges of murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to [...]

    G.O.B. Claims Eamon Courtenay Abandoned Senate Hearing for Ashcroft
    The United Democratic Party issued a first salvo on Wednesday of this week against Senator Eamon Courtenay. Today, smack in the middle of an ongoing hearing unearthing corruption in the [...]

    Higher Taxes? It’s Inevitable, Says Financial Secretary
    Try though they might, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight was typically blunt in speaking to reporters today at the conclusion of consultations on the budget with the unions.  And Belizeans should [...]

    Another Extension for Superbond; FinSec Says There’s “Some Progress”
    The Government of Belize has once again extended the Consent Solicitation Offer to bondholders for its terms on the proposed re-negotiation of the 2038 Belize Bonds or Superbond. The offer [...]

    Government Spendthrift, Says Chamber of Commerce and Business Bureau
    News Five has seen a copy of the Government’s working document for its ongoing budget consultations with the trade unions, civil society and the business community.  It proposes an increase [...]

    Time to Cut Out Contract Officers, Businessmen Say
    Another concern for the business community is the size of Government’s wage bill, bloated by three years of salary adjustment for teachers and public officers, which is now sitting at [...]

    Is the Government Serious About Change?
    The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau have proposed a raft of ideas to help fix Belize’s economy, including emphasizing economic growth, reducing leakages and holes [...]

    Pawnshops on Notice After Major Supreme Court Judgment
    A precedent-setting judgment in the Supreme Court, issued on Monday, has put key restrictions on moneylenders inclined to exact excess monies from their desperate and overburdened customers. Supreme Court Justice [...]

    Substance of Judgment Safe in Event of Appeal, Says Attorney
    Today’s interview with Perera and Arthurs widely covered the issue of pawnshops’ and moneylenders’ activities in Belize. While so-called “loan sharks” operating without a license are illegal as of law, [...]

    Unions Join Call to Get Tough with Government
    As we told you earlier, the trade unions and civil society took their turn with the Government’s budget team today at the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel. At its end, the [...]

    FinSec Says Belize Did Not Give Up Sovereign Immunity for Superbond
    In making arguments against the Central Bank (International Immunities) Act, Senator Eamon Courtenay said on January thirtieth in the Senate that Belize did a similar thing to the Accommodation Agreement [...]

    Alrick August Fights for Life at K.H.M.H.
    Shooting victim, twenty-three-year-old Alrick August remains in a critical condition, clinging to life inside the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  On Wednesday night, August was shot [...]

    The Puerto Azul Scam Through the Eyes of Former Investor Daniele Pistolesi
    Daniele Pistolesi, a former investor in the failed Puerto Azul project, has been speaking exclusively to News Five about his role in exposing it as a massive scam and Ponzi [...]

    Rebecca is Back and Thanks Her Country for Support at Miss Universe
    She travelled to the Philippines to compete in the most prestigious Miss Universe pageant, within months of becoming Miss Belize. It has been a journey of immeasurable experiences for the [...]

    Dolores Balderamos Garcia is Now a Senior Counsel
    Attorney-at-Law, Dolores Balderamos Garcia has been appointed Senior Counsel.  The appointment came today before the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin who highlighted her stellar contribution through her years of practice and [...]

    Muscle Mania Comes to Bliss
    On Saturday, the eighteenth of February, the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts will come alive as bodybuilding athletes from across the country will converge to compete in the Spiez [...]

    Da’ville to Rock B.T.L. Park for Third Anniversary of Remodeling
    There is an activity to look forward to this weekend. Jamaican artist Da’ville touched down in Belize on Thursday as the featured artist for a concert this Saturday at the [...]

    LOVE FM

    Consent Solicitation Statement Further Extended
    Tonight there is news of yet another extension of the consent solicitation by the Government of Belize. Initially, the Consent Solicitation Statement aimed at restructuring the 2038 Bonds was scheduled to expire on February 3, 2017. That was extended to today, Friday, February 10, 2017 and now it has been further extended to Tuesday, February […]

    Eamon vs Barrow: Who Wronged Belize?
    On Wednesday the United Democratic Party called for the removal of Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay as a Senator. This after they say Courtenay’s action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. This stems from the fact that Courtenay in his capacity as attorney […]

    Melissa Ferguson Freed of Conspiracy Charge
    47-year-old, Melissa Ferguson was at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today in the company of her attorney, Richard Bradley where the charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping was dropped. For context, Attorney Bradley gave us a recap of how the charge came about. According to Ferguson, the last seven months have been stressful for her […]

    A Historical Ruling Creates Precedent Against Moneylenders
    A recent case surrounding a money-lending agency and a resident of Orange Walk has marked the first documented ruling coming out of the courts in this regard. It is a ruling that was handed down earlier this week where PayDay and EZY Loans Pawning were ordered to give back a 30-acre property that was taken […]

    Rebecca Rath Comes Home from the Philippines
    Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath returned home today. Rath represented Belize at the Miss Universe Pagaent held late last month in the Philippines. Upon Rath’s arrival, a motorcade was held which ended at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts where a press conference took place. Rath shared her experience. Rath spoke of what she […]

    Continuing the Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Belize
    HIV/AIDS remains an issue in Belize and the Ministry of Health will face some challenges in the coming months as several funding agencies from abroad have and are pulling out of Belize. Love News spoke to Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero on the current situation and the statistics of HIV in Belize. Dr […]

    Health Officials Prepare for Arrival of Dr Etienne of PAHO
    Ministry of Health is preparing to welcome the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr Carissa Etienne who is expected to arrive in the country over the weekend. Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero spoke to Love News on the director’s itinerary whilst in Belize. According to a release out of Washington […]

    Female Attorneys Take Silk Before Chief Justice
    Two female attorneys were elevated to Senior Counsel status this morning in the courtroom of the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. Both Dolores Balderamos Garcia and Robertha Usher-Magnus took silk just after ten o’clock when they exchanged their junior robes for silk court attire. Supporting the motion for Balderamos-Garcia was Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman while Denise […]

    Suspect in Rape Case Nabbed in Ladyville
    Ladyville Police have caught up with a suspect in a rape case who has been on the run for over two months now. 29-year-old, Adam Meighan was picked up in the Ladyville area earlier this week and was charged with rape. Love News understands that an additional charge of robbery was handed to Meighan just […]

    Amandala

    “The Laad” is my shepherd … I shall not want!
    In an undated press release sent out yesterday from the Secretariat of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) calling for the removal of the Opposition People’s United Party’s Senator, Eamon Courtenay, the UDP said, “We believe that his action is an outright betrayal of Belize’s national interests and comes in extreme conflict with the Senatorial seat he holds. We therefore call for his immediate removal from the Senate.” The government’s call for Senator Courtenay’s removal from the Senate was triggered by a constitutional challenge he filed at the Supreme Court registry on behalf of the Ashcroft group of companies, which are seeking enforcement from US courts for an arbitral award of US $50 million – by any means necessary, including the reserves of the Central Bank, held in the US. The Government’s newspaper, The Guardian, of Sunday, February 12, 2017, said that “…on February 3 … Claim 66 of 2017 was filed by Courtenay and Coye LLP …”

    Father of 4 shot 8 times on Western Avenue
    The future of four children all under age ten hangs in the balance because their father, who is their sole bread-winner, is in an induced coma in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Alrick August, 23, a sales representative at the Transparent BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) call center, was on Western Avenue walking towards his home on Electric Avenue sometime before 9 p.m. on Wednesday when he was accosted by an armed assailant. He was shot five times in his chest, twice in his left arm and once in his neck. He was rushed to the KHMH and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a critical condition. One of his lungs has collapsed and his ribcage was fractured.

    Magistrate fined Woman Police Constable $25 for noise near court’s holding cell
    Recently appointed magistrate, Norman Rodriguez, who was called to practice at the Belize Bar shortly after he became a magistrate, yesterday summoned a Woman Police Constable (WPC), who is responsible for the public area of the court’s holding cell, to appear in his courtroom. There was noise coming from the cell block area, and so Magistrate Rodriguez cited the WPC for contempt of court and fined her $25 plus $5 cost of court. He ordered the WPC to pay the fine by Friday, February 10. Magistrate Rodriguez’s decision to cite the WPC for contempt of court sent several officers of the court scurrying around to find out the meaning of contempt of court as it relates to the Laws of Belize.

    Economy imperiled, GOB tells businesses
    The national budget is due to be presented to Parliament in a few weeks, and whereas a draft budget book has not been prepared, preliminary figures for the $1.2 billion budget were tabled today at the first external consultation held by the Ministry of Finance for this budget cycle. This afternoon, government officials met at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City with members of the business community, and they are due to meet tomorrow at the same venue with representatives of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB). Hon. Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, told Amandala after today’s consultation with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau (BBB) that the presentation “…focused on our analysis of the economy; our analysis of the government’s fiscal performance; what we need to be trying to achieve in the next fiscal year. And we sat down with the business community to get their ideas firstly on how the present economic context affects them and also any suggestions that they may have in terms of revenue and expenditure measures.”

    Government playing games with re-registration and re-districting?
    In a statement released on Tuesday, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) revealed that it has, “closely followed the publicized process of the Senate Select Committee Hearings into the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Passport, Immigration and Nationality Department, 2011-2013.” “Through this medium, we wish to place on record our tremendous concern regarding the matter of voter registration as a result of what can only be described as wanton distribution of questionable/illegal Belizean Nationality Certificates,” the statement continued. The statement went on to mention that, “The imbedded ‘culture’ of the Passport, Immigration and Nationality Department has for far too long, allowed thousands of unqualified individuals to hold Belizean Nationality. Those unqualified persons were then subsequently allowed participating on what should have been free and fair elections."

    Decriminalization law for up to 10 grams of ganja lags behind after 5 years
    In 2012, Belize began to seriously look at changing its laws to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana—about a handful of what is locally known as ganja—in a process which is still going through legal fine-tuning five years later, even as more youths are finding themselves in trouble with the law over the use of the drug. Whereas the proposal is not to make the use of marijuana legal, it proposes to introduce a system of nominal fines for the possession of very small quantities of the weed. Almost two years ago, in February 2015, a team tasked with coming up with decriminalization proposals launched its report; and our newspaper was informed that laws would soon be approved.

    Bandits and Police draw 0-0 in Week 2 back match
    Last night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Police United FC and Belmopan Bandits SC played to a 0-0 draw in a Week 2 back match which was originally scheduled for last Sunday at the Norman Broaster Stadium. Police United moved their home game to Belmopan for the mid-week back match. Two other rained out games remain as Week 2 back matches: Freedom Fighters FC vs Verdes FC at the Victor Galvez Union Field in Punta Gorda, and Wagiya FC vs FC Belize at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga. The only Week 2 game played as scheduled saw home standing BDF FC registering a 2-nil win over Placencia Assassins FC at the MCC Grounds on Sunday, with second half goals from Brian Martinez (81’) and Raymond Ramos (87’).

    Belize City Primary Schools Football Tournament under way at MCC
    The “all in a rush” Belize City high schools football tournament climaxed yesterday evening at the MCC Grounds, but before the female championship game kicked off, the primary schools female and male tournament had already gotten under way with two games played earlier at the same venue. Eleven female teams and seventeen male teams are participating in this year’s Belize City Primary Schools Football Tournament. And, believe it or not, with games scheduled daily from Monday to Friday, the regular season is scheduled to be completed by Monday, February 27. How this is accomplished, is by separating the teams into small groups, and playing a round-robin format in each group.

    SCA girls and Gwen Liz boys are CSSSA 2016-2017 football champions
    There were no big surprises at the MCC yesterday in game 2 of the Finals for both females and males in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2016-2017 football championships. Defending back-to-back female champions, SCA girls were the clear favorites going into yesterday’s game 2 of their finals series against Ladyville Technical girls. SCA had posted a decisive 2-nil win in game 1 on Monday, with goals from Jodi Pott and Gabriela Mendoza; and yesterday, they sealed the series with a first half goal from Charlize Hunter, to win 1-nil and claim the championship with an aggregate 3-0 score. Ladyville Tech girls tried their best, which is all their coach, Daniel “Sundance” Smith could ask for; but the better team won. With the victory, SCA girls are now three-peat CSSSA football champions, and will go on to represent the Central Zone in the national tournament next weekend in San Pedro. SCA coach Mario Rodriguez is to be commended for achieving major skills development and a structured game that bodes well for the future of female football in Belize.

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    The Dream Ballers couldn’t have found a more inopportune time to visit the defending champion Hurricanes than tonight, when the teams meet at the SCA Auditorium. The Hurricanes, despite their (1-2) record, are riding high following last week’s impressive win against the Western Ballaz from Cayo, who, ironically, defeated the Dream Ballers about 2 weeks ago. And, if that isn’t enough assurance for a successful showing tonight, then certainly, the fact that they have been dominant in their head-to-head match-up with the Dream Ballers, winning three of four meetings since the inception of the NEBL in 2014, certainly should provide the required impetus for a sure win. Conversely, the Dream Ballers go into the game playing .500 ball with a (1-1) record, with their only win to date coming on the road against Belize City No Limit. Historically, they have not had much success on the road, having an all-time record of 9-13 since entering the league in 2014. The Dream Ballers offensively scores about 76.5 ppg, while allowing close to same. Obviously, they will need to slow down the pace and play to their strengths, which is controlling the defensive glass, which ultimately should limit second chance opportunities for the defending champs.

    Waiting for instructions …
    It is a somewhat optimistic proposition for you to expect the same person who enslaved/colonized you to teach you how to liberate yourself. European-controlled education amongst formerly enslaved/colonized societies, such as Belize, has not served to liberate the native peoples. Instead, what such education has done is to create an elitist class of natives whom Frantz Fanon referred to as the “national bourgeoisie.” Remember now, when the Europeans began to educate us natives, the intention of the Europeans, apart from converting our ancestors to European religious beliefs and practices, was to create a class of trained natives who would be loyal to the Europeans and lower the Europeans’ cost of administration in their occupied territories. The bottom line, historically speaking, was that the European was a conqueror, and we African and Mayan descendants have never reversed that conquest militarily. In our quest for Belizean self-rule after World War II, we Belizeans sought to reverse European conquest politically, which the Europeans permitted, granting us self-government and independence in 1964 and 1981, respectively. It is clear today that we did not reverse European conquest economically, and one of the reasons for this is that the educated national bourgeoisie, led by the attorney/politicians of the PUDP, have enriched themselves, their families, and their cronies, and left the masses of our people in poverty and ignorance. Thus and meanwhile, the question of liberating ourselves militarily in Belize has never been asked, much less answered.


    Griga showed me a lot of love on Sunday afternoon (big up, Bastic), and it was all about the incredibly gifted Pen Cayetano, and a decision he made. It was a bold and daring decision, but Pen is an artist, and this is how artists are – bold and daring. I met a couple brothers I’d been kinda estranged from, and it felt really good to link with them. There were dignitaries – one from Guyana, another from Jamaica, yet another from Punta Gorda, who attended. There were a couple officials from a certain organization which I understood to be conflicted; that organization had not been a part of the planning or the program. I surely appreciated their presence. Bless up, NGC San Ignacio Branch. Big up, David Ruiz from Benque. Blessings on the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble. It will take a while for me to digest all the vibes and give you a sense in writing of Pen Cayetano’s tribute. I must immediately mention how valuable for the process were the commitments made by Dr. Ted Aranda and Cynthia Ellis-Topsey. They added a lot of credibility to the program before it even started. Two or three weeks ago, I had asked Adele Ramos if I should prepare a speech, or just speak extemporaneously. She said, extemporaneously, because that would be from the heart. I basically followed her advice, but as Sunday, February 5, drew closer, I began to make notes to which I intended to refer, to keep me on track.

    Drums of my Fathers
    Dear Editor, On the occasion of Black History Month and the tribute to Evan X Hyde, I made it my purpose to beat the rains and the three-hour drive from Benque Viejo to Dangriga this past Sunday. I had intended to bring over some of my students of Belizean Studies class, yet was successful in coercing only but one. One is good enough, I surmised, thinking of the ripple effect as we cut into the rolling hills through the Hummingbird Highway which, I am sure, has seen better days. The nice stretch close to Belmopan is suddenly interrupted by potholes and broken pavement which was difficult to notice in the heavy rains that poured down into the valley. Though the narrow one-lane bridges remain an attraction of a bygone era, the dilapidated state of the railings, as well as the absence of road markers, present a hazard to the driver. Past down the intersection to the Southern Highway, we made a stop to buy some boiled corn from three school-aged children who were soaked to the bone, yet seemed to care less. We made the business transaction in Spanish while they responded in Creole. As we savored our corn sprinkled with salt and lime, we pulled aside giving time for the rains to lessen. We drove into Dangriga shortly after midday. The “drums of my father” at the entrance of town brought back memories at the MOE Planning Unit in Belmopan where I first met Roy Cayetano and got to know about his famous piece which portrays his love for the Garifuna culture.

    Race, immigration and Belize’s black population
    Let it be known that in the beginning the settlement that was to emerge as Belize, was fundamentally made possible by the sweat, blood, tears, labor, suffering, heroism and resiliency of the black man and woman. In 1804 at the height of the Haitian Revolution a boat filled with our Haitian brothers and sisters appeared off the coast of the Belize settlement. They had requested permission to land, but the white British slave owners who administered the settlement refused this request and the boat was ushered away under arms. Despite their rivalry and quest for dominance in the so-called New World, this action by the British colonizers was in line with the European colonial powers in isolating and punishing the Haitians for setting the wrong example of liberation of the enslaved. This also set in motion what was to become a Belizean anti-black immigration policy and attitude that lingered from settlement to post- independence Belize. While the black Haitians were rejected and turned away from settling in Belize, during the American Civil War of 1861-1865, white, Southern, racist, Confederate slave owners from the United States were allowed to resettle in what was then known as British Honduras (Belize).

    Immigration officers escape justice for “Citizen Kim” passport hustle
    Former CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee today, Wednesday. Even though her brother, Cabinet minister John Saldivar, had at one point held responsibility for Immigration, she frankly told the committee that the results of the audit into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments done by the Auditor General were not surprising, as, “a lot of things were unusual at the Immigration Department.” The committee did not hesitate in asking her about the actions taken by her in the case of Won Hong Kim (Citizen Kim), a Korean national who received a Belizean passport and nationality certificate while in a Taiwanese prison at the time when she was the CEO in the Immigration Ministry. Kim had never entered Belize, contrary to what his documents had claimed. Accusations were made against former UDP Minister Elvin Penner, believed to have been Kim’s chief facilitator. The evidence against Penner was so damning that it cost him his political career.

    The Reporter

    “Bex” is back
    Belizeans gave a warm, cheer-filled welcome home today, to Ms. Belize Universe, Rebecca “Bex” Rath. Rath returned from the Philippines today, having been the first Ms. Belize to participate in a Ms. Universe pageant in 10 years. She arrived shortly after midday at the Phillip […]

    PM’s wife speaks at world cancer day summit
    Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, represented Belize at the International Atomic Energy Association’s (IAEA) World Cancer Day panel discussion, held in Vienna, Austria. Barrow, a cancer survivor herself, joined Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, and Amadou Diarra of the International Federation […]

    BNTU calls for voter re-registration
    The Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) is calling on the Government of Belize to ensure that it holds a voter re-registration exercise as soon as possible. The BNTU said this week that it has been following the Senate Inquiry into the Auditor General’s Special Audit […]

    Pass the blame continues – senior officers say “Da no me!”
    As the Senate Inquiry into irregularities at the Immigration and Nationality Department continues, more senior officers are predictably distancing themselves from liability, including former Immigration Services head, Edgar Cano. Cano testified before the Senate Special Select Committee this week, that he wasn’t in office when […]

    Conservation NGOs equipped with fire fighting gear
    Recent hurricanes have knocked down a significant number of trees within Belize’s forest reserves, and while the management organizations try to harvest as much as the timber as they can, the remaining dead trees present a major fire hazard for forest fires during the dry season, which is already upon […]

    BPP calls for support to demand re-registration
    The ongoing senate inquiry into the immigration scandal has uncovered a host of irregularities at the department. The gaps in the nationality procedures have sparked widespread concerns and backlash among citizens and political parties for an immediate re-registration process so as to update the voters list. […]

    Belize attends environmental ministerial meeting
    Environmental Ministers from Central American countries recently met in Costa Rica on February 2-3, including the Belizean Minister Dr. Omar Figueroa. The main objective of the meeting held by the Central American Commission of the Environment and Development (CCAD), was the handing over of the Pro-tem […]

    Belizean doctors headed to San Salvador for specialization
    Seven Belizean doctors will be specializing in various areas of medicine through a collaboration between the governments of Belize and El Salvador. Under the program, 21 doctors from the public health system will go to Universidad de San Salvadaor, for specialization. The doctors will specialize in areas […]

    Threatened species list to be updated in Belize
    Local, regional and international experts in wildlife conservation are currently working on updating Belize’s national threatened list for terrestrial wildlife. A technical workshop held at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on January 31 involved key stake holders such as the Forest Department along with […]

    New hammerhead shark species found in Belize
    Shark researchers have discovered a new species of shark in Belize. Researchers from Florida International University (FIU) were conducting DNA sequencing on bonnet head sharks, a species of hammer head sharks, when they made the discovery. The bonnet head shark is found in the Caribbean, Latin America, […]

    BAHA tries to contain rabies outbreak
    The Ministry of Health issued a strong advisory to livestock farmers last week to vaccinate their cattle livestock as a way of protecting their herd from the ongoing spate of rabies cases affecting various parts of the country. The ongoing Bovine Rabies disease outbreak is currently […]

    Western Avenue shooting leaves one critical
    A 23-year-old Belize City man is listed in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was shot on Western Avenue on Wednesday night. Alrick August was shot multiple times to the chest, neck and left arm as he walked along Western […]

    UNO gestation robbed in broad daylight
    Two men robbed the UNO gas station on Youth for the Future Drive this week, making off with more than $15,000. Just before 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the robbers, armed with a black 9mm pistol, ambushed the station manager, who was on his way to make a […]

    Man remanded for sex with minor, while police search for Ladyville rapist
    A Belmopan man was remanded to prison after it is alleged that he had sexual intercourse with a minor, meanwhile Ladyville police are looking for a rapist who attacked a female while she was walking home on the Philip Goldson Highway on Friday night. A 43 […]

    Elderly man robbed and murdered on Philip Goldson Highway
    On Monday morning at around 4:00 a.m., the body of a man was discovered between miles 19 and 20 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police investigations indicate that the victim was robbed and murdered. The body was later identified as 44-year-old John Ortiz, a father of […]

    Editorial
    By now it must be clear to all that Mr. Michael Ashcroft and Belize are locked in a life and death struggle. He wants Belize to pay his company $100 million dollars in principal and interest accrued over seven years, and Belize has quite rightly refused to do so. This […]

    Arbitration battle rages on
    As GOB mounts a new legal battle in US courts, the UDP is calling for the ousting of the PUP’s Eamon Courtenay from the Senate on grounds that he put Belize in great economic danger by defending Michael Ashcroft’s enforcement of a US $50 million […]

    La Ruta Maya race must go on
    Despite concerns that the Haulover Creek may not be accessible in time for the annual La Ruta Maya river challenge, Environment Minister, Dr. Omar Figueroa says the race must go on. Figueroa told the Reporter that a team of personnel from various relevant ministries will […]

    Belizean bombshell graces London magazine cover
    Draped in a velvet Marc Jacobs dress, Belizean blogger and beautician Joyjah Estrada, recently graced the cover of #LOVEME17 British Style magazine, photographed by famed reality star, Kendall Jenner. The 22-year-old Belizean beauty was chosen for a photo shoot with Jenner, the younger sister of […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Senator Courtenay Aborts Senate Inquiry to Join Ashcroft Alliance in Washington on Another Case Against Belize says GoB
    The Government of Belize (GOB) has issued a press release to inform the nation that yesterday there was a hearing in Washington, D.C. of yet another Ashcroft Alliance case against Belize. The GOB press release notes with dismay and repugnance, that Ashcroft’s Belize lawyer, People’s United Party (PUP) Senator Eamon Courtenay, traveled to Washington on Wednesday, February 8, and was together with Ashcroft’s U.S. lawyers yesterday at the D.C. hearing.

    Santa Elena man missing
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that a man from Santa Elena Town, Cayo is missing. Family members of sixty five year old Alberto Requena are seeking the public’s assistance in locating him. Requena’s niece posted on social media that he was last seen on Tuesday night. The public is asked to contact the nearest police station or his niece at 660-1606 or Edwardo Requena at 607-7439.

    NICH launches “Maya – Hidden Worlds Revealed” Exhibit
    Yesterday, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Science Museum of Minnesota held a press conference to launch an exhibit entitled “Maya – Hidden Worlds Revealed”. The conference was followed by a VIP opening ceremony at the Perot Museum of Science. This traveling exhibition is a collaboration between the NICH and the Science Museum of Minnesota.

    Ferguson walks!
    Melissa Ferguson, wife of alleged murderer, kidnapper, fraudster and extortionist William Mason, today walked out of the Belize City Magistrate Court free from charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the case of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Lucas’s head was found in Mason’s truck last July. However, up to this date his body has not been found. Mason had developed a cozy relationship with several high profile government ministers, including John Saldivar, who he was seeking to establish business relations with.

    Gunshot victim needs blood
    Alrick August, 24, lies in bed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being shot as many as eight times on Wednesday night. His family, however, told us today that he is in need of blood. Persons with O negative or A negative blood willing to assist the father of four can contact 670-5363.

    Eclipse, full moon and comet to light up the sky tonight
    Belizean stargazers are preparing their telescopes to spy on a rare phenomenon that will light up the heavens tonight. Early this evening, a rare event will light up the sky. The February full moon will be accompanied by an eclipse and a comet. A penumbral lunar eclipse will begin. A penumbral lunar eclipse is when the sun, moon and earth all line up and cast a strange effect on the moon.

    Brother of Minister Sedi Elrington remains on the RUN
    We could not reach Minister of Police and Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, for comments on his brother Dr. Errol Elrington, who remains a wanted fugitive in the United States. He has been on the run for almost 4 years now after an arrest warrant was issued for Errol Elrington, M.D., for racketeering, Medicaid fraud, and health care fraud in October 7, 2013.

    Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival to be held this weekend
    The Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival is happening again this weekend February 11 and 12. This is the 14th annual art festival. The public is invited to come and enjoy Belizean culture through a variety of mediums. For over a decade the Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival has brought together Belize’s top artists and those people, local and foreign, who appreciate the work they do so well. This year’s festival, through the sponsorship of Naïa Resort and Spa, will be adding a new dimension to the annual event.

    Increase in moisture expected
    The 24-hour forecast is for sunny skies with cloudy spells this afternoon and cloudy at times tonight and tomorrow morning. Showers will be isolated this afternoon and then increase mainly along southern and coastal areas late tonight into tomorrow morning. The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 10-20 knots. The sea state will be choppy to moderate.

    Blogs

    Lobster Season Is In The Final Days: The Tasting Menu At Casa Picasso
    I don’t know how to break this gently so I will just say it. And show it. THERE ARE 4 DAYS LEFT IN LOBSTER SEASON 2017. Lobster season in Belize closes – no trapping, no sales, no lobster – from February 15th to June 15th for the mating season. So it was particularly serendipitous that I received a lovely invitation from two visitors to dine at one of San Pedro’s favorite dinner spots – Casa Picasso. I would have my last tastes of lobster in the very best way possible – as the star of CP’s Thursday night tasting menu – AND I would cross off a bucket list item! Quick observation: CP has a super comfortable bar area and small outside garden – both separate from the main dining room. This is a great spot to treat yourself to drinks & tapas or a meal. Party of one. Don’t sound shocked. Enjoying delicious food, chatting with the hosts and the bartender, sipping a cocktail by yourself can be a really great evening.

    The Maya among us
    In 2012, it became abundantly clear that a lot of people around the world had no clue that Mayas are still living among them. I will never forget the look on a young man’s face when I confirmed that indeed, the Mayas do exist. It was a novelty for him, and being that it was the much-buzzed about ‘2012: end-of-the-world”, his curiosity led to asking, “How do you live?” I take that question and add to it, “How do we continue our traditions and way of life in a modern society?” The answer is a bit complex, as we are now far-flung through the corners of Belize, and many other countries around the world. One thing we have in common, beside our language, is our love for home, Tanah. I was born and raised in San Antonio Village in the Cayo District. The westernmost district is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, and in my humble and biased opinion, San Antonio is nestled in one such spot: a valley ringed by mountains as far as the eye can see, homes dotting high hills and dirt roads snaking every which way. The population is primarily Yucatec, and I am fortunate to have been born in the era of one of the most famed healers, Dr. Elijio Panti. I also grew up with the Garcia Sisters, who had their brush with fame with their slate carvings and art. In fact, one sister continues pushing for tradition and preservation of culture, lobbying alongside other villagers to honor Dr. Panti with a medicinal trail/reserve. Another group of hard-working artisans have taken on the magnificent art of pottery-making, using the help of a New York University professor to create bowls and figurines in homage to our ancient ancestors’ styles. We speak our Mayan language, conversing wherever we meet, be it in the center of the village, or on this very island where I now reside. We can pick each other out, bound by a common thread…and we talk and reminisce.

    Where Ever You Go There You Are
    I was recently engaged in a conversation with someone about how funny it is that tourists and future expats think that it’s all a laid back, hammock rocking lifestyle here when in reality, many of us expats find that we’re even busier than we were back home, especially ones that work and volunteer. With all of the events, fundraisers, and parties that are always going on, most of us are often doing double duty on the hamster wheel between work, fun and helping our community. For most right now, it is a highly busy period between work, volunteering and special events. As we muddle through being pulled in several directions at once and experiencing another wave of social events it is important to maintain quiet time. Often easier said than done with the length of people’s to-do lists. I chose the title “Where Ever You Go There You Are” from a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is a great example of making the choice to become an expat before you are ready to retire and any struggles that may come along with it. Work is work no matter where you live and when you live on an island in a country that often gets referred to as the “Wild West” you can bet there will be challenges in balancing work, play and true island style relaxation.

    A Crash Course in Navigating Belize
    I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from our trip to Belize. This tiny Central American country has about 350,000 residents with about an equal number of tourists who visit each year, many from North America. Tucked under Mexico’s Yucatan and surrounded by Guatemala, I assumed it was somewhere between the two: one part tourist enclave, one part dusty roads and wild jungle. Luke and I decided not to stay on the popular cayes near Belize City: Ambergris and Caulker. Instead, we set our sights about four hours south to Placencia Village, a place that appeals to slightly more intrepid travelers, yet has drinkable tap water. We left our home in Minneapolis at 3:45 a.m. and landed in Belize City around 1:30 p.m. We shuffled like zombies through customs and immigration. Then we found our way across a blazing hot parking lot to the car rental office where we were given a battered Renault Duster for the week. The attendant handed us directions and $4 to pay the exit fee, and away we drove – into the great unknown. We were expecting chaos, but instead, found driving conditions to be rather humane. The roads (we followed) were paved and fairly well maintained. And we quickly caught onto the local customs for sharing small, two-lane highways. Say you’re quickly approaching a slow-moving work truck ahead of you. The truck will slow down, put on its right-hand blinker and pull over as far as possible to let you safely pass. We did the same thing if we noticed someone hauling ass behind us. The system works beautifully and I vote we practice the same behavior in Minneapolis.

    Best Time to Visit Belize
    Belize has gained a reputation for being one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With its diverse culture, exotic wildlife and lush landscapes the country continues to lure thousands of visitors to its shores every year. There is so much to see and do in Belize and you might ask yourself when is the best time to visit belize and experience all it has to offer? Every month holds endless possibilities and adventures! There are some months, however, during which specific activities occur in the country that will allow you to experience events unique to Belize. Here is a breakdown of the best time to visit Belize:

    Belize On The Rise As A Spring Break Destination
    Although Belize certainly looks and feels like an exotic vacation destination for spring break, it's actually just a few short hours' flying time from the United States thanks to a bevy of affordable non-stop options from leading airlines like American, Southwest, United, and Delta. Whether your idea of the perfect spring break is enjoying the nightlife on a gorgeous tropical island or getting lots of fresh air and sunshine as you explore a pristine jungle, there is truly something for everyone in Belize.

    VOGUE SAYS PLACENCIA BELIZE IS A MUST-VISIT CARIBBEAN DESTINATION
    Published on February 3, 2017, a new article from Vogue, the lifestyle and fashion magazine, entitled "The Must-Visit Caribbean Destination You've Never Heard Of" lavishes plenty of praise for the verdant beauty and genuine friendliness of the Placencia Peninsula. Highlighting the astonishing variety of the food, the exciting discoveries of ancient Maya ruins, and the abundance of adventure opportunities on both land and sea, the Vogue article is sure to entice legions of readers to come visit Belize, the Caribbean destination that they've "never heard of." The recommended destinations and excursions in the Vogue article include hiking through the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in search of jaguars and black howler monkeys, snorkeling at Laughing Bird Caye, visiting a cacao farm, and diving with whale sharks in the waters off of the Silks Caye Marine Reserve and Gladden Spit atoll. Originally published as a weekly newspaper in 1892, Vogue is now one of the top lifestyle and fashion magazines in the world. Vogue is currently published in 21 international editions and has a monthly circulation of over 1.3 million copies. Vogue was purchased by Condé Nast in 1905 and has been helmed by the legendary Anna Wintour since 1988.

    International Sourcesizz

    Frommer: Dumbing down the cruise experience
    The recent tendency of the cruise lines to eliminate port stops in actual cities inhabited by local residents — replacing those ports with stops in phony, artificial "private islands" or "private beaches" — has now escalated. By creating a phony island for their passengers on Caribbean cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line has given us the phony island to end all such fakes. It's called "Harvest Caye," and it's a separate small island developed by the cruise line, reachable by a 15-minute boat ride from the mainland of southern Belize. Passengers are disembarked on Harvest Caye, from which they walk under a canopy shielding them from the sun to the various facilities on this private island. If travelers want to experience the real Belize, they could take the boat ride to the mainland, but I would assume that this further trip primarily is for people signing up for an escorted sightseeing tour of the mainland. I am guessing that few passengers would board that boat and, after arriving, walk close to 3 miles to the Placencia Village on the mainland. Rather, the facilities on the private island are designed to keep passengers rooted there, spending money at the various enticing comforts and attractions of Harvest Caye.

    CALYPSO ROSE BLOOMS ....wins World Album of the Year at French ‘Grammys’
    The first woman to win the Road March and Calypso Monarch titles, Linda McArtha Monica Sandy-Lewis, better known as Calypso Rose, performed her smash hit, “Leave Me Alone”, yesterday at the prestigious Victoires de la Musique awards in Paris, France, mere minutes before receiving the award for Album of the Year in the World Music category. “Praise be to God Almighty for this wonderful and historic achievement!” she told the Express via telephone, just after receiving the award last night. “I am overjoyed to bring this back to Trinidad and Tobago! “I want to thank my agent, Jean-Michel,” she said onstage after receiving the award. “I want to thank my Government of Trinidad and Tobago and all my fans...they have kept me going with the beautiful music and the vibrations I give them! I want to thank Stonetree Records from Belize and Ivan Duran. I want to thank you all... May God bless you...and you know something...I am the Queen of France right now!”

    Caribbean Destinations Charted Strong Visitor Growth in 2016
    Leisure travel to the Caribbean performed strongly in 2016 and is poised for continued positive growth in 2017, said leaders of the region’s largest tourism and hospitality groups this week. Caribbean destinations recorded 29.3 million land-based, overnight visitors in 2016, the region’s seventh-consecutive year of growth and its highest-ever total said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), in a press briefing Thursday. Caribbean arrivals increased 4.2 percent year-over-year compared with 2015 and the region’s 2016 visitor growth exceeded the 3.9 percent global tourism growth for 2016 reported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said Riley. Additionally, Caribbean cruise passenger arrivals grew an estimated 1.3 percent, totaling approximately 26.3 million in 2016. The Caribbean remains the cruise industry’s number one area of vessel deployment. Riley and other CTO officials attributed the region’s overall growth to the strength of its primary visitor source market. “The performance in 2016 was primarily supported by sustained economic growth in the U.S.,” said Ryan Skeete, CTO’s director of research.

    Videos

  • Miss Belize Rebecca Rath returns to the country to a welcome by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2min. Welcome home Bex!

  • 15 Days in Belize + Cuba (2017), 2min. Our itinerary for the curious: Day 1: Flight from Los Angeles to Houston to Belize. Shuttle to Parrot Nest in San Ignacio.

  • MUCH NEEDED PEDESTRIAN RAMP INAUGURATED IN THE LOUISIANA AREA, 6min.

  • BSI ASR WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 9, 3min.

  • BELIZE NOW Episode 9, 32min. New amendments to the Forest Act announced, Ministry of Foreign Trade discusses C.S.M.E Labor Market Information System, and the National Council on Ageing breaks down to celebrate its birthday. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now.

  • Madi Snorkels the Belize Barrier Reef, 2min. With the threat of offshore oil exploration in her country, this 11 year old blogger feels the need to do something outstanding to raise awareness on the importance of our Reef.

  • Belize Vacation, 5.5min. Great 5 day trip to see a bunch of beautiful sites on the beach and inland to see the ruins.

  • , min.

  • Belize 2017 B, 5min.

  • Belize 2017, 7min. Flyfishing for Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon in Caye Caulker Belize 2017.

  • Amazing kids in Santa Elena, Belize, 3min.


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