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3/1/2017 to 3/10/2017
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March 10, 2017


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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

Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Agreement with Solar Energy Solutions Belize
he Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and the Solar Energy Solutions Belize (SESB) of Belmopan signed an article of agreement on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, to establish power service connections in the Cayo District. The service connections will be for power stations to 40 houses and installation of wiring of the said 40 houses in La Gracia Village in the Cayo district. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Peter Allen, and on behalf of SESB was Director of Sales & Operations Silvan Kuffer. Service connections have already commenced.

BTIA San Pedro Chapter hosts membership mixer
In an effort to revive membership, the Belize Tourism Industry Association San Pedro Chapter (BTIA-SPC) hosted a mixer at The Hidden Treasure Restaurant on Tuesday, March 7th. With a great turnout of both business and tourism stakeholders, the mixer served its purpose to strengthen the San Pedro Chapter. After social hour, Mistress of Ceremonies Melanie Paz, Co-chairlady of the BTIA-SPC, greeted the gathering and introduced Tamara Sniffin, BTIA-SPC’s chairwoman, to give the official welcome address. “As business owners and tourism stakeholders, we share one thing in common, and that is the success of tourism on our island. Over the years, there have been many businesses organizations in San Pedro, but for one reason or another, they have slowly dissolved because of lack of membership. If we lose interest in tourism, we lose interest in our future. That is why it is so important that we work hard together as members so we can come up with great ways to address the problems we are facing now,” said Sniffin.

BCG Officer Attends Gender Perspective Seminar
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) is attending the 2nd annual Seminar on military gender perspective which is being held in Washington, D.C. from 7th to 9th March 2017. This Seminar is being held under the theme “Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision” and is organized by the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) and the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE). It aims to contribute to this effort based on the experience and commitment of both these institutions, and by promoting Resolution 1325 (UNSC), on Women, Peace and Security.

GOB succeeds in restructuring Super Bond
The Government of Belize (GOB) has succeeded in renegotiating their billion dollar Super Bond debt, saving Belize over $600 million dollars. The agreement to restructure the debt comes after months of negotiations between GOB and bondholders. A committee representing the majority of creditors endorsed a revised proposal from Belize that reduces the interest rate on the Super Bond and shortens its maturity. However, GOB agreed to only seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund if it fails to meet certain fiscal targets in the upcoming four years. The negotiating team comprised of Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow, Attorney General Honourable Michael Peyrefitte, His Excellency Economic Ambassador Mark Espat and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, believes that the result of the negotiations is a win-win for all Belizeans. With this positive outcome, it is expected that GOB will avoid principal payments of $55 million dollar per year scheduled to start in 2019. The new agreement now calls for five equal instalments from 2030 to 2034.

Hyperbaric Chamber reports success case
For the past 25 years, Belize’s Hyperbaric Chamber continues to record successful cases among its patients. In February 2017, Canadian National Brittany Heinrichs was referred by Frenchie’s Diving in Caye Caulker after developing decompression illness. After effective treatment at the chamber, she shared her experience with The San Pedro Sun. “I was on group dive trip with Frenchie’s, and when I got ill, they referred me to see Dr. Dimas Sanzores from Caye Caulker. He made the call to the recompression facility,” said Heinrichs. Frenchie and his staff were amazing! Frenchie and my dive master came to check on me at Dr. Dimas’ clinic, picked me up, and boated me to San Pedro. Frenchie even put my fiancé up in a hotel and took him out to dinner as I had to spend most of the night in the chamber.” She further stated that the evacuation was organized and timely, leaving her no room to worry. Although she was nervous entering the chamber, Heinrichs was more than pleased with the outcome of her treatment. “I was taken care of the minute I walked into the clinic. I was treated by Dr. Giovanni Solorzano and assisted by Dr. Cornelio Teck. They were both professional, excellent, and made me feel very at ease. Andy [Albeño] was incredible in the chamber and made me feel comfortable, even though I was quite nervous the first treatment.” Her treatment was a sound success and Heinrich is “feeling great.”

Ambergris Today

25 Years Ago: How Bacalar Chico Separates North End of Ambergris Caye from Mexico
Very little has been said about the northernmost tip of Ambergris Caye, the area known as Bacalar Chico. Let me begin by saying that many years back some locals had the misconception that this area was part of Mexico and not part of Belize. You see, this piece of land is separated from Mexico by a very narrow canal, also erroneously called a river. The canal was called El Rio de Bacalar Chico and it was believed that this river belonged to Mexico, thus the conception that Bacalar Chico (the land) was Mexican territory. Let us pause a moment to look a bit more at Bacalar Chico, the river. There is the allegation that this canal was/is a man-made canal dug by the Maya who were looking for a way to navigate by canoe from the Bahia de Chetumal (Bay of Chetumal) to the Caribbean Sea for the purpose of fishing and trading.

Belize Eco-Resort Chaa Creek Wins National Geographic World Legacy Award
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s first place honors at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards highlights how working with local communities’ results in mutually beneficial, truly sustainable tourism, the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners said. Mick and Lucy Fleming spoke at the 2017 World Legacy Awards (WLA) ceremony held on March 8th, 2017 at the ITB convention in Berlin where they accepted the award in the “Engaging Communities” category. “All of us at Chaa Creek are particularly honored to receive an award that celebrates the bond we have with our local Belizean communities, and Mick and I are gratefully accepting it on behalf of our 160 staff members and the countless Belizeans who, through hard work and a dedication to providing exceptional service, have taken Belize from a relatively unknown little country to the world class destination it is today,” Mrs. Fleming said.

BEL Removes Osprey Nest from Transmission Lines, Installs Platforms for Birds
The power went of in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on March forth for a couple of hours in the morning, but island residents were not upset because of the reason for the outage. It was an announced and scheduled power outage by the Belize Electricity Limied (BEL) to removed empty Osprey nests from transmission structures near the coastline in Bomba and San Pedro. BEL stated that the nests sometimes cause power interruptions so they set out to place deterrents on their structures and installed platforms for the birds to build their nests, away from the power system. In this way the power company says it will better manage reliability for their customers and take care of wildlife in Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

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SBDC Workshop: Costing and Pricing
Presented by: Mr. Jorge Gentle, Business Advisor SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Belize Training & Employment Center, ITVET Compound, Belize City. Workshop Date: March 16, 2017. Time: 9am to 12 noon. Cost: $25.00, includes snacks and refreshments. The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills and capabilities to determine all costs related to the production of their goods or services and to consequently apply an adequate price that encompasses all the costs and allows them to make a profit while still being feasible for customers. Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively calculate cost of producing their product and service and to implement pricing that will allow their business to be profitable.

Lost Dog in San Pedro: Chocolare Lab, responds to the name “Saber”
Last seen on the night of Wednesday, March 8th in the San Juan Area. Reward offered for information leading to his return. Contact 605-7510/621-5997/632-6504

Little Angels Pre School and San Pedro Pre School Celebrate Cultural Day
as Part of Child Stimulation Month!

Women's Month activities are underway throughout the country. Here's what's happening in Independence today!
Independence High School: Girl's Rally, organized by the Women's Department and IHS.

BCG Officer Attends Gender Perspective Seminar
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) is attending the 2nd annual Seminar on military gender perspective which is being held in Washington, D.C. from 7th to 9th March 2017. This Seminar is being held under the theme "Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision" and is organized by the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) and the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE). It aims to contribute to this effort based on the experience and commitment of both these institutions, and by promoting Resolution 1325 (UNSC), on Women, Peace and Security.

CONVICTION OF VALENCIA’S BUS COMPANY DRIVER
Mr. Christino Rodriguez, a driver of Valencia’s Bus Company was charged for the offence of “Drove Motor Omnibus in Contravention of Road Service Permit” by Mr. Roman Martinez, Traffic Warden attached to the Department of Transport Belmopan. On Wednesday the 8th day of March, 2017 at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, Mr. Christino Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined $500.00 plus $5.00 cost of court, in default 6 months imprisonment.

Public Sector Consultations on Belize’s First Comprehensive National Trade Polic
The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) launched Belize’s Trade Policy Framework in July 2016. The Cabinet-approved framework provides government’s commitment and policy guidance for formulating Belize’s first comprehensive National Trade Policy aimed at stimulating and expanding trade for the domestic and international markets. Consultation within the Public Sector will occur on the 14th and 15th March, 2017 at the Best Western Plaza Hotel. This is the first in a series of consultations with stakeholders from the public and private sector, civil society, and women and youth groups to seek inputs for the development of the National Trade Policy. At the core of this significant national process is the contribution it would have on attaining Belize’s Growth and Sustainable Development strategy objective of a better quality of life for all Belizeans. These consultations will provide a forum for engagement in the process of creating a responsive national policy to stimulate trade, enable investments and facilitate Belize’s integration into the regional and multilateral trading system.

San Pedro Clean up Campaign 2017
The San Pedro Town Sub-Division Clean Up Campaign is back! San Juand & Boca del Rio get ready! March 20 - April 7! Volunteers interested to be a part of this campaign can contact Mr. Jorge Aldana at 226-2936.

OCEANA BELIZE's Lone Wrasse Exhibition "of Trashy Art"
Opened last night at 6pm at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. The exhibition will be on until May.

Letter: The Belize 'super-bond'
For those who remain attuned to the crisis situation in which our nation finds itself, the attempts by the prime minister to paint a rosy picture, at Wednesday’s press conference concerning the renegotiated “super-bond”, certainly was not convincing. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) decries the deceitful display that persists by the government of Belize, when addressing issues related to Belize’s sovereign debt obligations. For the PM to cast the renegotiated terms as a “success” is disingenuous at best, for how can the restructuring of a less-than-beneficial debt be considered anything but a high level act of delaying the inevitable? Albeit the recently, renegotiated terms of the “super-bond” has bought the Barrow administration a slight reprieve, the operative question is “What plans are in place for Belize to meet the restructured obligations?” More significant is the question, “What do the restructured terms mean for regular Belizeans regarding increased taxes, etc…?” These are the issues the BPP demands be aired, so as to attune the nation to the impending economic and financial implications.

Culture Day at the Sarteneja Nazarene Primary School's preschool!!

National Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors Exhibit launched
Today, we launched our annual National Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors Exhibit. This year's featured patriots were George Gabb, Zee Edgell, Lord Rhaburn, Benjamin Nicholas, and Bob Reneau. Students and the public are invited to visit the exhibit for the month of March at the Belize City House of Culture/Government House. Happy Heroes and Benefactors Day!

Jamaal Fundraiser Concert
Jamaal is currently in Cancun being treated, and his family and friends are having a fundraiser for him on Saturday, March 18th at the Cayo Welcome Center. There will be live music and entertainment, along with food. Get well quick, Jamaal. "Hey guys Join us on the 18th Of March as we do a fundraiser for Jamaal. We are open to suggestions an more ideas please contact the number for more information or 605-2074 as well. PLEASE SHARE THIS FLYER!"

Supporting the Calla Creek and Bullet Tree villages
Thanks to the British Embassy funds, FCD has identified and is supporting financially the Calla Creek and Bullet Tree villages in their quest to implement community conservation projects. We congratulate them for protecting the Mopan River.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Live By Night, Office Christmas Party, Sing, Miss Sloane. The sound have been completely revamamped in Screen 2 and there will be a new projector arriving this sunday.. The Image quality will be 10 times better.

Channel 7

Well Known Physiotherapist Killed In Accident
A well-known physical therapist was killed in an accident in southern Belize today. It happened at 1:40 at mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road. Rubia Analicia Briceno was in a white 2012, 4door, Nissan Navara pick-up driven by Leon Peters, an employee of H.T.A. Bowman Ltd. Right in front of Citrus Growers Association he was overtaking a truck when a Toyota Hilux exited the compound and made a left turn, causing a massive collision. Briceno who was in the passenger seat was flung from the Navarra and her body landed about 10 feet away. She was rushed in an ambulance to the Southern Regional Hospital.where she died at 2:15.

Hon. Briceno Balks At Superbond 3.0
Last night, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his negotiating team were all over the news talking about their Superbond success. After four months of negotiation, PM Barrow says they've gotten a deal which will ensure Belize significant savings on interest payments - 36 million dollars in the next two years alone - and the deferral of payments on the principal until 2030. They called it a great deal, but today the leader of the opposition held a press briefing to say that Barrow and his team are living in an alternate reality. He says that instead of saving money, this renegotiation will end up costing the government:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "There had been no savings or reduction or haircut from the principal. Under the UDP superbond 2.0, you would have paid out 410 million US dollars in interest payments. Under the UDP superbond 3.0, the payments are 403 million dollars. So pretty much the government has saved 7 million dollars."

PUP Raises IMF Bogeyman
But what isn't "BS" are the fiscal and budgetary targets that the government has to meet to satisfy bondholders that Belize is sharing the pain. This mentions the IMF making an analysis of Belize's performance, but nothing much beyond that. But, according to the PUP, there will be a massive fiscal consolidation, and government may have to turn to the IMF:.. Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "That is what they'll have to find: 168 million dollars and the Prime Minister is telling you he won't raise taxes - that he is not going to do any retrenchment and that he is still going to raise salaries. He probably will this year, but next year when he is not around, the new prime minister, whosever that may be within the UDP will have to call in the IMF to help them out."

Opposition Leader Tells PM To "Man-Up" On Superbond
But what about the 21 original loans which created the Superbond in the first place. Those are all high interest commercial loans at 9% and above which the PUP made in the early to mid 2000's. Briceno was Deputy Prime Minister during that period and he didn't flinch today when we put it to him that the Superbond is a problem of the PUP's making:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "How do you respond to that, that it is in fact a broom of extremely reckless spending or reckless borrowing which led to this?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Well I am glad that you ask that question, because we have a few points to make to counter that. Why is it that we did those loans? If you can remember we have several hurricanes when we were in government. We had Hurricane Mitch, Iris, Dean (we still suffer Hurricane Dean right now). Hurricanes that affected us when we were in government - we had losses of 1.2 billion dollars of GDP. We knew that we had to quickly when the hurricane hit us here in San Pedro and Caye Caulker - we knew we had to get monies very quickly to get them going. So we had to borrow some monies yes, at some onerous interest rates. But we felt that getting the economy going was most important. Making sure that we were ready for the tourist season was very important. So we made a lot of loans with high interest rates."

Does New Deal Make It Easier For Future PUP Governments?
But if the PUP wins the next election, it won't have to worry about "manning up" to make any principal payments on this loan. Those have been deferred to 2030 - but Briceno says that only a selfish leader would think that to be a solution:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Were the PUP to form the next government in Belmopan. Would you feel some relief that even if you serve 2 terms, you wouldn't have to make any principal payments on the superbond since those have been deferred to the year 2030?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "If I want to be selfish about it, I would say yes. But if you want to look at the interest of the country, you need to wonder what is it that you have to do, because remember, in 2030, 105 million US dollars will nor magically appear for the next 5 years after that."

PUP Says PM Used "Thuggish" Tactics
And, Briceno had no praise at all for the government's negotiators, even if they made it through a difficult negotiation without having to agree to an IMF standby arrangement. Briceno had a very different interpretation of the Government's hardline position that it would not make a deal with an IMF standby arrangement, even if it meant simply not paying the bond: Jules Vasquez, 7News: "While the government is boasting that in fact it was able, so to speak, thread the needle through this negotiation without making a commitment to enter an IMF standby agreement. The Fin. Sec. will certify whether the targets were met. If no targets met, well then IMF comes in - it always comes in. So the government is sort of saying 'we get away easy' and that it is attributable to their skill in negotiation. How do you view the ability to stay away from an IMF standby agreement?"

Two Men Shot, "Noh Watch No Face"
Police say that two men who were shot in Belize City last night are not cooperating with investigators. Around 8:00 pm, shots were fired in the Jane Usher Boulevard/Freedom Street area. Reports are that two brothers were hit. Police have refused to confirm even basic details of this.

Ronlee Back To Murder Trial
Ronlee Petillo got out of jail in June of 2016, after more than 5 years on remand for murder. One month later he was arrested for another murder, And now he has been committed to stand trial for the murder of Roger Williams Banner in the June session of the Supreme Court. That happened when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Petillo said that there was no evidence against him because he was not named by the witness who said she saw who the shooter was. But Senior Magistrate Fraser explained to him that the witness has identified him in a group identification parade and she has looked at 2 statements and she has found that there is sufficient evidence to send the matter up to the Supreme Court.

Painter Attacked, They Tried To Break His Fingers
Walter Castillo is a well-known painter who lives in Bullet Tree Falls in the Cayo District, and he says he was beat up and almost lost his ability to paint. According to Castillo, at the end of February, he was attacked by another artist and his brother, both of whom he considered friends. He's not sure what their motivation was, but he suspects it may have been a dispute over a client. We spoke to him over the phone earlier today, and he gave us more details... Walter Castillo, Belizean painter: "One of my client that came from the island to see some of my work and to purchase some work from another painter, the guy was staying at my house. In the evening we went out to see the other painter. So I waited for them in a different place. After they did some business, this other painter rejoined us with his brother to the restaurant where we were eating and we stay talking around the table for a while eating pizza, drinking a couple of beers."

Mother Of Two Still In Coma with Bullet Lodged In Head
Mother of two, Camille Munnings, remains in a medically induced coma at the KHMH with a bullet lodged in her head. Munnings, her common-law-husband and another man were shot in Caye Caulker this weekend. Neither man received life threatening injuries, but Munnings' family says she's in critical, but stable condition. Her sister told us earlier today that the swelling in her brain has gone down slightly. Another CAT scan is scheduled for tomorrow, after which doctors should have a better idea about how to proceed.

The Patrick Tillett Tale Of Loss
Last night, we showed you a small portion of Patrick Tillett's startling testimony to the Senate Select Committee. He was explaining how come he ended up with 6 out of the 8 visas stolen from the Immigration Department's Benque Border Station back in late 2012. He told the Senate that he was running a visa services business where he collected money to assist Chinese Nationals to visas approved at the Immigration Department. Tillett told the Senators that in the December of 2012, he collected $6,000 each for 6 applicants. $2,000 was for the fee that the Government collected for an approved visa. $1,000 was his fee to check and make sure that all the supporting documents were submitted with the visa application. The final $3,000 was paid to this mysterious "Mr. Middleton", described as an immigration agent. On the face of it, this appeared to be a lucrative business. But, in this particular instance, Tillett claims that he got jilted out of $30,000 by "Mr. Middleton", which he then had to refund, those Chinese nationals who didn't get what they paid for. What they got instead were 6 passports with visa stickers that did not have the required security features to pass an inspection from an Immigration Officer, so those "clients" - as Tillett called them - would not be able to come to Belize.

Why Did Patrick Take Such A Money Hit?
So, you saw how the Senate Committee had great difficulty accepting Patrick Tillett's explanation for why this "immigration agent", identified as "Mr. Middleton", was being paid $3,000 to take the six visa applications for Tillett's "clients" to the Belmopan Immigration Office. Tillett says that he paid this agent $30,000, which included the total fees for all 6 visa applications, as well as "Mr. Middleton's" cut for each of the 6 visas. The agent came back and brought him the visa stickers inside each of the 6 passports, but the visas were missing important security features, such as the department's stamp, and a signature of the issuing officer. This meant that these Chinese "clients" couldn't use them to travel to Belize. Tillett says that he refunded the "clients" their money, which caused him to take a $24,000 financial hit. Though he is alleging that a crime happened, where he was jilted out of money, along with the forgeries with the visas, Tillett never went to the police. The Senate was had a tough time accepting the story, and they repeatedly challenged him on it. Here's the back and forth:

Lindsay Noh Easy
The officer who was named as the person who stole the visas which ended up in Patrick Tillett's client's passports is Immigration Officer Lindsay Wade. He was stationed at the Western Border at the time, and you'll remember that Immigration Officer Mark Tench testified to the Senate saying that their investigation pointed to Wade as the culprit. Well, Lindsay wade showed up to the Senate yesterday to categorically deny all allegations against him. Here's how he and the Senators battled over the testimony of those who had come before him: Lindsay Wade "There isn't any truth about that I didn't remove any visa foils. I don't know Cadafy nor Mr. Milton. I haven't even met Mr. Milton." Hon. Aldo Salazar "Okay so were you questioned about the missing visa foils?" Lindsay Wade "This is the first time."

Eric Chang Discusses False Claims
So, we've shown you how Eric Chang declared innocence in the Citizen Kim passport scandal, and yesterday, the Senate also asked him to answer to the allegations about these same stolen visas. Immigration Officer Mark Tench singled Chang out in the explosive disclosure of their meeting at the Calypso Restaurant in early 2013. Tench told the senate that Tillett and Chang paid $5,000 per stolen visa. Chang told the Senate yesterday, that Tench and all others who've identified him as part of this scandal are just plain lying on him. Here's that conversation: Eric Chang - Former Deputy Mayor of Belize City: "No it's not up accurate at all. Let's start with Mr. Middleton. I don't know who is Mr. Middleton, at no time in my life. Secondly you say that Mr. Tillet and I wrote a statement to confront the transaction. I don't know what statement of what transaction he's talking about because as far as I'm concerned I remember just because I was working in city council and I was with Mr. Patrick for whatever reason I don't remember. I wasn't even aware that Mr. Tillet.."

Why Heroes Matter
Most of us know the basic life story and contributions of George Price, Phillip Goldson, Samuel Haynes among other historical figures. Well today on Heroes' and Benefactors Day, their works and accomplishments along with those of other notable Belizean artists, were brought to the forefront in an exhibit. It was launched this morning at the House of Culture and Courtney Weatherburne explores the importance of celebrating Belize's Heroes. Lord Rhaburn, Performer: "In my mind that this will go on forever right, when I leave here it will be here for the kids to see and what I leave behind I hope that they keep it going." Courtney Weatherburne reporting: Lord Rhaburn's legacy will certainly live on through his music. As Belize's Calypso King, Lord Rhaburn's songs and performances are cultural cornerstones. He is one of many Belizean icons who were honored today at Belize's Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors Exhibit.

GOB Comes Again On Re-Registration
5 weeks ago, we told you how the Elections and Boundaries Commission intended to postpone the re-registration exercise that's due at the beginning of July. It would hold off on that until after next year's municipal elections, and only after a re-districting exercise is held. Well, the opposition and the social partners rejected that completely. They say that a re-registration is needed immediately because of immigration and voter fraud, and that it must come before a redistricting exercise. Now, the Prime Minister has written a letter to NTUCB President Jacqueline explaining that the Government wants to wait on the outcome of the Senate Select Committee Inquiry before conducting a re-registration. The Government wants to see how many passports and nationalizations were given illegally, and after that, the government would seek to cancel such nationalizations and passports.

PUP Claims Victory
That's one concession, and today the PUP claimed it as a victory. That's what the Opposition leader told the media today. And later on in the news, you'll hear what the opposition leader thinks of his outspoken Deputy Leader Julius Espat.

An Art Show About Fishes Called Lone Wrasse
But first, our next story is about an art exhibit whose name may sound like a curse word, but it's not. It's called "Lone Wrasse" - but that's not the curse word that starts with an "R" - it's a kind of fish spelled with a "W" and an "E", as in W-r-a-s-s-e. It was developed in collaboration with OCEANA and the artwork on display is made up of, "lone…well, we'll let OCEANA's Belize City representative, Celeshia Guy explain... The exhibition will be on display until May 7th.

Briceno Responds To Hon. Julius
And finally tonight, today we asked PUP Leader John Briceno about his Deputy Leader Julius Espat. Last week, Espat told PLUS TV that his party has benchwarmers on the frontlines, and that's why they continue to lose. He added that many of the party's winners are excluded from the national executive. Briceno answered the criticisms today:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Well first of all there is nothing in the People's United Party constitution that says that all parliamentarian must be around the table. Presently, of the 12 parliamentarians, 9 of them are sitting around the table. But this is the beauty of the PUP. We have people with strong personalities and strong ideas that feel passionate about their position and he decided, I may not agree with the way as gone around doing it, but it is his right as a PUP to present and voice his concerns."

Faber Celebrates PUP Disunity
Of course, this more than subtle hint at disunity is like music to the UDP's ears. The ruling party has been going through a tough time politically, and Deputy Leader Patrick Faber couldn't help but comment on this particular political pickle that the PUP finds itself in:...

Channel 5

An ‘Alternative’ View of Superbond 3.0 from P.U.P.
The People’s United Party has offered a quick response to Wednesday’s analysis of the restructuring of the Superbond by the Prime Minister.  P.U.P. Leader John Briceño says that it isn’t [...]

How Will G.O.B. Get Tax Monies for Budget?
Briceño was joined by attorney Christopher Coye to explain the implications for Belize’s economy. The Prime Minister insisted on Wednesday that Belize would never enter into any stand-by arrangement, much [...]

G.O.B. Walks Back on Re-Registration, P.U.P. Still Pushes
The Government appears to have a turnaround on the issue of re-registration. The Election and Boundaries Commission had decided a few weeks ago that the exercise, postponed twice since 1997, [...]

Briceño Urges, Don’t Wait to Fix Voters’ Rolls
Briceño was further questioned about whether it is worth it to wait for the Senate’s inquiry to be completed.  The P.U.P. has a vested interest in pursuing re-registration because of [...]

Introducing “Mr. Middleton”
Is this man the shadowy “Mister Middleton” to whom all focus has turned in the ongoing Senate public inquiry? Middleton, we are told, is a car salesman based in Orange [...]

City Doctor Dies in Traffic Accident Down South
A fatal road traffic accident was reported sometime after one-thirty this afternoon near mile nine on the Stann Creek Valley Road.  Late this evening, police confirmed that the well-known physical [...]

B.D.F. Reconvenes Inquiry on Training Abuse
Last week, we aired a video of events that transpired at a training program conducted by the Belize Defense Force of recruits.  The video went viral and became a topic [...]

Has Eric Chang Cleared His Name?
Another layer of intrigue has been added to the ongoing investigations of the Senate Special Select Committee. On Wednesday, former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang; accountant and Financial Controller with the [...]

What was Chang Doing in Taiwan?
The then Ambassador of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Cherie Nisbet, detailed in emails later used by the Audit her encounter with Eric Chang on the day he [...]

P.U.P. Says Time for Criminal Investigation on Immigration,
Comments have been limited in light of the edict of the Standing Orders on publication of evidence from within the Senate Special Select Committee; even though it is broadcasting its [...]

P.M. Stands Firm on Action over Arbitration
PM Barrow is on record stating that as long as he is head of cabinet, government will not pay a single cent towards the US judgment recently handed down in [...]

Prime Minister Sceptical About Settlement
According to the Prime Minister, it appears that Lord Michael Ashcroft finds himself in a jam as a result of the recently passed legislation.  In an effort to recover the [...]

Deon McCaulay Back to Atlanta Silverbacks
Star athlete Deon McCaulay has returned to the roster of the Atlanta Silverbacks Football Club, a professional soccer team he was previously signed to in February 2014.  McCaulay, who was [...]

Deputy Faber Endorses Superbond Fix
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber has his eyes set on becoming leader of the country.  To achieve that dream, he will first have to succeed in representing the United Democratic [...]

U.B. Has New Prez; Also Looking at Finances and Personnel
Former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UWI Saint Augustine Campus, Professor Clement Sankat, retired in September 2016 after forty years of service as a member of staff.  He has since [...]

Exhibiting Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors
Ninth of March is the official Heroes and Benefactors Day, set aside to honor those who have contributed to the development of Belize. While most of you may know about [...]

The Meaning of “Lone Wrasse”
“Lone Wrasse” – it sounds like a dirty phrase – but it is OCEANA and the Mexican Institute’s new exhibition, which opens tonight at the Institute on Wilson Street.  The [...]

Healthy Living Battles Skin Fungus
The skin is the largest living organ in our bodies and it is continuously exposed to every environment. The skin is very vulnerable to infections as it is exposed to [...]

CTV3

Immigration Officer, Lindsey Wade Deny He Took VISAS From Western Border
Tonight we continue the coverage of yesterday’s heated Senate Select Committee hearings which saw former UDP politician Eric Chang, accountant Patrick Tillett and Immigration Officer Lindsey Wade appear as witnesses. All three are connected either directly or indirectly to the case of visa foils which mysteriously disappeared from the Western Border in 2012. Yesterday we showed extensively the statements by Tillett and Chang, so today we resume with the statements by Wade who is the officer accused of taking the visas. Yesterday when he sat before the Committee, he was visibly upset that he was called to testify and defend himself on serious allegations.

Who Is Mr. Middleton?
Throughout his testimony, Wade remained antagonistic and non-cooperative in assisting the Committee to find or identify the individual only known as “Mr. Middleton”. This elusive character who had the ability to obtain visas for Chinese nationals for a hefty sum of $3,000 from the Immigration Department had become a middleman for UDP agents feeding a lucrative thirst for visas. But it wasn’t only Wade who was denying crucial knowledge of Middleton’s whereabouts. Through yesterday’s nearly five-hour long hearing, neither of the other witnesses were willing to reveal anything further.

Fool dih Talk But No Fool dih Listen, Senator Tells Patrick Tillette
Accountant Patrick Tillett had a tough time convincing the Senate Select Committee members that he was being completely honest about his very profitable visa service business to acquire visas through an immigration agent who was paid $3,000 to simply take an application into the Immigration Department for processing. What the Committee members could not understand is why anyone would pay such a large sum for a procedure that, if the proper process was followed, would not cost more than the normal fee which for Chinese nationals was $2,000. Senator Courtenay suggested to Tillett that he was covering up illicit acts.

Opposition Leader Speaks On Senate Inquiry Investigation
Since the start of the Senate Select Committee hearings, Belizeans have been hit with numerous bomb shell revelations made by persons that have been called out to make their testimonies on immigration matters. The most recent hearings held on Wednesday in Belmopan saw the testimonies of former Belize City Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang and former Financial Controller for the Belize City Council Patrick Tillett, both making their own revelations. In their press briefing held today the People’s United Party Leader Honorable John Briceño party commented on those latest testimonies. He also commented on the possible involvement of PUP operative William “Silky” Stewart, who Patrick Tillett claims introduced the agent, Mr. Middleton to him.

LOVE FM

Physical Therapist Perishes in Traffic Incident
An afternoon road traffic accident on the Stann Creek Valley Road claimed the life of 33-year-old Rubia Analicia Briceno. According to Police, the incident occurred at mile nine on the Stann Creek Valley Road where they saw a white pickup truck in a ditch with its four wheels up in the air. They also saw […]

Education Minister Speaks of UB’s Presidency
February 15, 2017 saw the installation of the 7th President for the University of Belize since its establishment in August 2000. In a previous report we did note that Guyanese national, Professor Clement Sankat has taken over the position, succeeding Alan Slusher who was dubbed the interim President in April 2014. Education Minister, Patrick Faber spoke […]

BCG Lieutenant in DC For A Military Gender Perspective
Lieutenant Alma Pinelo of the Belize Coast Guard attended the final day of the second annual Seminar on military gender perspective today in Washington DC. According to a government release, the seminar is being held under the theme “Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision”. It aims to contribute to […]

Chaa Creek Captures World Legacy Award
Belize’s very own, The Lodge at Chaa Creek won gold at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards yesterday. The Lodge at Chaa Creek placed first in the “Engaging Communities” Category. Mick and Lucy Fleming of the popular eco-resort received the awards during the ceremony which was held in Berlin, Germany. The Flemings turned their family farm […]

Petillo to Face Murder Trial in June
Ronlee Petillo, charged with the murder of Roger Williams Banner, has been committed for trial in the June session of the Supreme Court. Petillo was committed to stand trial when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Petillo said that there was not any evidence against him because he was not named by the […]

Forman Escapes Confinement for Drug Trafficking
Thirty-eight year old Ernest Forman, charged with drug trafficking for one thousand six hundred and thirty four grams of cannabis, pled guilty to the lesser charge of possession simplicitor when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Forman also pled guilty to possession of fifty nine grams of cannabis. He was fined a total […]

Michelle Montejo to be Hosted at Buckingham Palace
An employee of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel is preparing to travel to the United Kingdom where she will be hosted via the Royal Household Hospitality Scholarship. It is a 6-week scholarship programme that serves to give professionals from the Caribbean the chance to work at the Master of the Households’ Department leading up to […]

Traffic Incident Kills One and Injures Two
A woman is dead and two persons are hospitalized following a road traffic accident on Tuesday night. Police say sometime after eleven o’clock last night they received reports of an accident near the Calla Creek junction on the George Price Highway. At the scene Police saw a Mazda four door van extensively damaged. 21-year-old Honduran […]

The Guardian

600 million dollar saving from renegotiated Superbond
Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, announced on Wednesday March 8, that by Friday of this week a final agreement should be worked out with the holders of the Superbond. The Government of Belize was negotiating over the past couple of weeks with a creditor committee which represents 61 percent of the bond holders, they along with the Venezuela government which holds 8 percent of the bondholding are in agreement with the new bond and this is now encouraging government that they will be able to get the 75% of the bondholders to agree to the new bond terms. Ambassador Mark Espat, who was part of the negotiating team simplified what the new terms of the Bond will be. “The net present value of the new bonds will be 25% less than they are right now, that is 85 million U.S. dollars or 170 million Belize.” He added that, “this is a combination of a 27 percent reduction in interest rate from 6.767% to the 4.9375%. It means that between August of this year and August of 2019 when the principal repayments were to start we will pay out 40 million dollars less in that period in interest.”

Salary increase coming for public officers! No Retrenchment, No increase in Business tax, No roll back of Food Pantry
The Government of Belize has just about ended the renegotiation of the Superbond for a second time in this UDP’s tenure in office. As the process got underway GOB had to prove to bondholders that it simply could not pay the stepped up financial demands of the bond. The bond holders too also had demands of the government, primary among these is that government does fiscal consolidation which would ensure that it meets its commitments. On Wednesday March 8 the Prime Minister held a press conference in which he was very categorical in stating that while there will be belt tightening, the burden will be as minimal as possible. According to the Prime Minister, there was a demand for a 3% surplus of GDP in the budget and it came with demands that if that was not met there would be penalties. While the government agreed that they would work towards this there was no concession to the request. In fact the request was worked down to the surplus being 2% and even so while there was demand to the contrary, there would be no ‘claw back in interest if the target is missed,’ stated PM Barrow

Luke Palacio must account for 10 Million dollars belonging to public officers
About 640 retired teachers and public officers have won a major judgment in the control of close to 10 million dollars in backpay that their unions were not properly managing. They disagreed with the way the leaders of their unions were managing their money, and they successfully sued them. Readers will remember that from 1st April 1995 to 31st March 1997, the Government under Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Sir Manuel Esquivel was experiencing some very difficult financial times due to the mismanagement of public funds by the previous PUP Administration. That was the time when retrenchment was a very real danger. Those public servants from that time were agitating for a well-deserved wage increase, but the Government couldn’t afford it. So, in a very wise move, Prime Minister Esquivel gave them 450,000 shares in BTL, which was the value of their frozen increments and salary increases that the Government couldn’t afford.

Glenn Godfrey did not win any award against Belize
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte has consistently said that the media gets most things wrong 90 percent of the time and last week, it must have been proof positive of what he has maintained. The Media, print and television went wild last week reporting that Glenn Godfrey had won an award of US 22 million dollars against the government of Belize. Addressing the matter at a press conference held on Wednesday of this week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that there is no such award. Prime Minister Barrow explained that what took place was a decision where Glenn Godfrey, through his company GDG acquisitions LLC was given the green light to proceed to trial against the Government of Belize. No monetary award was given. The Judgment the Guardian has reviewed, shows that United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, on February 28, ruled that Godfrey can proceed to trial against the Government of Belize. The decision came after the PUP government, specifically Ralph Fonseca waived its right to sovereign immunity.

Two friends shot and killed on abandoned road in Hattieville
Hattieville Police found the bodies of 24 year-old Godwin “Paps” Panting Jr., a Belize City man, and 27 year-old Albert Wade, a Crooked Tree resident who’s better known as “Ras Taka”. Both men, who were good friends, were executed by killers who shot them multiple times and left them dead in a deserted area. Police made the grisly discovery at around 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017, when they were led to a feeder road between miles 12 and 13 on the George Price Highway. The bodies were first spotted by a family going on a fishing trip, and they contacted the cops immediately. Reports are that the responding officers found a motorcycle on the scene, which they believe belongs to Panting. Other details of the investigation aren’t being released at this time, and so, there is no indication about possible leads, or clues as to what happened to both young men in their final moments.

Taxi driver pleads guilty to drug trafficking
Belize City taxi driver Frank Brown, 40, of #39 Faber’s Road has to pay a fine of $10,000 for a conviction of drug trafficking. Allegations are that on Monday, March 6, he was busted with 440 grams of cannabis on Fabers Road. At about 12:30 p.m., PC Shamir Rancharan and others were on mobile patrol in the Fabers Road area when their attention was drawn to a green Toyota Corolla taxi car. The driver was intercepted and informed that a search would be conducted on his vehicle. During the search, the officers looked under the driver’s seat and found three parcels wrapped in duct tape containing leafy like substances suspected to be cannabis. Brown was arrested and escorted to the police station where the parcels turned out to be 440 grams of cannabis. He was charged with possession of marijuana with the purpose of supplying to another for the purpose of drug trafficking.

Police Apprehends Lindburgh Clarke for Belcan Bridge Shooting
Police have been looking for Lindburgh Clarke, 24, since Friday, March 3, when he allegedly shot Brandon Bennett, 24, at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. They finally caught up with Clarke on Tuesday, March 7, and charged him with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and grievous harm. Bennett was shot once to the stomach as he rode his bicycle on the Belcan Bridge. According to police report, at about 2 p.m. on Friday he was riding his bicycle on Belcan Bridge towards the flag monument when upon reaching the small green structure at the foot of the bridge two male persons on a motorcycle came from behind him and fired a single shot that caught him in the stomach. Bennett said he saw the shooter and it was someone he has known for the past six years as Lindburgh Clark.

Kervin Flores charged with abetment to murder of Brandon Bennett
Brandon Bennett, 24, was shot once to the stomach as he rode his bicycle on the Belcan Bridge on Friday, March 3. According to police report, at about 2:18 p.m. on Friday police personnel visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room and saw Bennett suffering from the single gunshot wound to the stomach. Bennett reported that he was riding his bicycle on Belcan Bridge towards the flag monument when upon reaching the small green structure at the foot of the bridge two male persons on a motorcycle came from behind him and fired a single shot that caught him in the stomach. Bennett said he saw the shooter and it was someone he has known for the past six years as Lindburgh Clark.

Marvin Flowers killed for unknown reasons
Marin Flowers, a 42 year-old Belize City man, became the victim of a fatal shooting on Jasmine Street, in the Lake Independence area. Police have been very brief with the details they release, but they are reporting that they responded to Flowers’ shooting at about 10 minutes to midnight on Saturday. Their investigation has so far revealed that Flowers was walking on Jasmine Street, heading towards Mahogany Street, when an unknown man came up from behind and opened fire on him. He was right in front of the West Side Assembly of God Church, when the barrage of gunshots injured him several times. He reportedly tried to flee, but his injuries caused him to collapse; first responders rushed him to the KHMH for medical attention. The doctors tried to save his life, but about 2 hours later, on Sunday, March 5, he passed away while undergoing treatment.

Young man found dead in Teakettle
Belmopan Police’s intensive investigation into the untimely death of an adolescent from Teakettle in the Cayo District has apparently paid off. Police now report that an 18 year old unemployed youth, Shemar Santos, also from Teakettle has been charged with the murder of Ernesto Wiltshire. Wiltshire was discovered last Friday by an uncle in the Hillview Area of Teakettle with two chop wounds behind the head. The 17 year old was last seen on Tuesday and was believed by family members to have been with his father in the Orange Walk District. A search party was organized where the young man’s body was then found.

Shooting in Caye Caulker leaves Camille Munnings on life support
29 year-old Caye Caulker Resident Camille Munnings is on life support at the KHMH with a bullet lodged in her brain. She and 2 others were injured in an island shooting which happened on Monday, March 6, sometime after 12 a.m. It happened near to the Island Oasis on Xocol Street. Munnings, her common-law husband, 29 year-old Akeem Garcia, and 34 year-old Raul McFarlane were walking when they were attacked by a gunman with a rag over his face. That gunman fired several shots at them, which injured McFarlane to the back and the left leg. Garcia was injured to his back and left leg as well, but the most seriously injured of the trio was Camille Munnings. That gunshot to the head has caused her doctors to place her in an induced coma, and the 2 other shooting victims are at the KHMH undergoing medical treatment. Her family says that her brain is swollen, and they are hoping for the best. Munnings is also a mother of 2 children.

Teenager shot 8 times
Police continue to investigate the murder of Everald Augustine, 17 year-old Belize City youth who was gunned down and killed. Someone shot him 8 times in the chest and back while he was riding his bike. The incident happened just before 10 o’clock on Wednesday night, March 1, when Augustine was riding his bike on Aloe Vera Street. Police investigation, at this time, suggests that he was in the company of another person who alleged pulled a gun, shot him several times, and fled the scene. First responding officers found him bleeding out, and so they attempted to rush him to the KHMH for medical treatment, but he died on the way there.

Tyrone Meighan Accused of Assaulting GSU Officer Mathew Young
Tyrone Meighan, 23, is out on bail after he was dragged to court on Wednesday, March 8, for assaulting an officer of the Gang Suppression Unit. According to police report, Meighan assaulted GSU officer Mathew Young on Mayflower Street on Tuesday, March 7. No details on the nature of the assault has been provided to the press as yet but the charge is a single count of aggravated assault upon Young. Meanwhile, Meighan is complaining that he is actually the one who was assaulted. In court on Wednesday, he told Magistrate Norman Rodriguez that he was beaten badly by the police officer. He told the court, “I was viciously beaten all over the body by the police and I was not taken to any medical facility other than to court today. I have pain all over my head.” He then showed Magistrate Rodriguez his bruises saying he was hit to the back of the head, hand, his back and the back of his neck. Magistrate Rodriguez made a note of it for the record.|

A bit more on Luke’s loss
Late last year over 640 present and retired public servants, but mostly retired sued 2 of the biggest labour unions and have now won a judgement over who should control over 9 million dollars in earnings from those BTL shares ,that were given to them , in lieu of monies they lost due to a wage freeze. The over 640 retirees were represented by claimants Sheila Genitty, Darrel Gardiner, and Ruth White. They make up an ad hoc committee, set up to express their complete disagreement with the way the Public Sector Workers Trust is handling the money. The dispute dates back to a period between 1995 to 1997, when the Esquivel Administration froze the salary increases and increments for all teachers and public servants of that time.In his wisdom the then Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel made a compromise with the teachers and public officers, when he gave them 450,000 shares in BTL. Those shares were issued IN LIEU of the frozen increments. The dividends from the shares were supposed to be used to compensate the public officers for their losses in the wage freeze.

The Belmopan City Council launches 6.5M bond
A 6.5 million dollar municipal bond has been launched in Belmopan for the benefit of its residents. The Belmopan City Council held a Press Conference on Thursday of last week in the VIP room at the Bull Frog Inn to launch their Municipal Bond. Mayor Khalid Belisle along with Senator Stephen Duncan of Heritage Bank Ltd. and Mr. Erwin Perez of Legacy Fund Ltd. made presentations to the gathering and the media. The Belmopan City Council’s newly elected Deputy Mayor, Ralston Frazer was the emcee for the event. A Municipal Bond is like a Certificate of Deposits (CD). Municipalities issue bonds to raise money from savers willing to lend them money for a certain amount of time to make public investments in their cities and towns. When you buy a Belmopan City Council (Bmp Citco) Bond, you are lending to the Belmopan Citco. It promises to pay you a specific rate of interest during the life of the bond and to pay the principal also known as the face value of the bond when it matures or becomes due. The Bonds have 13 individual tranches with maturities from two to 14 years.

Caracol Road upgrade to start
A Consultancy Service agreement was signed on, March 7th, between the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, and Dr. Nabeel Abdul-Raheem Consultants of Kuwait at US$736,150. The Government of Belize has received a Technical Assistance Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to assist in financing the services of consultants to prepare a technical and economic feasibility study and detailed designs for the Upgrading of Caracol Road Project (Georgeville to Caracol Archaeological Site). The objective of the consultancy is to determine the technical and economic feasibility of the rehabilitation of the Caracol road to paved standards. The study will include the preparation of the detailed engineering design and preparation of bidding documents. Following procurement guidelines acceptable to our funding partner, the successful design consultant was selected after thorough review of technical and financial proposals of four international firms.

Globe trotter visits Belize to promote Beijing Winter Olympics
The goal of the Olympic Games is to promote world peace through free, fair and friendly athletic competition. Those who truly embody the spirit of the Olympic Movement are not those who run, swim or ride the fastest – not those who jump the highest, throw the furthest or perfect gymnastic routines – not even those with the most career gold, silver and bronze medals. Real Olympians are those who use the games to make the world a more peaceful, better and smaller place to live. One such individual worthy of being called an Olympian is currently touring Belize to promote the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, Cao Da Fo. Cao Da Fo is on a mission to visit all the countries in the world before the 2022 Games. Belize is the 176th country he has visited since he embarked on the mission after the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. He was inspired by the extent at which the games impacted his country and generated pride in all the people of China. The games provided them with an opportunity to display their rich culture and customs to the rest of the world. It also brought the rest of the world’s cultures and customs to China and this has caused a lasting impact on the once closed nation. The spiritual experience was so powerful for Cao Da Fo that he decided to go on a pilgrimage to the rest of the world.

Belize City No Limit wins over the Cayo Western Ballaz
The Pepsi National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last week with three games on the schedule. On Friday 3rd March, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium the host team Belize City No Limit Team won over the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 79-72. The top scorers for the Belize City No Limit squad were Kenny Brown with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Kyle Young with 8 points and 4 rebounds; Mateo Gutierrez also with 8 points, and John Rudon who also scored 8 points towards the win. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Daniel Nolberto with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; Richard Troyer with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and Brandon Flowers with 12 points.

National Elite Basketball League to hold All Star Night and All Star Game
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be hosting its third annual All-Star Night on Saturday, March 11 at St. Catherine Auditorium in Belize City. The activities will commence at 8 p.m. with the Three Point Shootout, followed by the Slam Dunk Contest at 8:30 p.m. The three point shootout will feature one player from each of the seven (7) teams, while the Slam Dunk will be open to as many participants. In the nightcap, the All Star game, with a new twist will be played. The All Star Game will see the Imports team up with the Belizean Americans to form one team to challenge our local All Stars.

Belmopan Bandits opens lead in Premier League’s Closing Season Tourney
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the last week with a number of games played. On Sunday 5th March, 2017, three games were played in the on-going competition. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the host team FC Belize blank Verdes FC by the score of 3-0. The goals for FC Belize were scored by Hector Martinez in the 15th and 89th minutes of play and Ryan Simpson in the 64th minute of play. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Police United FC edged out the BDF FC by the score of 2-1. The host team Police United FC was the first unto the scoreboard when Morvin Budna scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 31st minute of play to give it a 1-0 lead. A lead that the Police United FC took into the half-time and into the second half of the game when the lead was extended by Andres Makin’s goal in the 56th minute of play for a 2-0 lead.

New Road wins again in Ahmaddiyya U-19 Basketball Tourney
The 2017 Ahmaddiyya U-19 Basketball Tournament continued on Sunday 5th March, at the Gate Way Youth Centre with 5 games on the schedule. In the first game played, 3rd World won over Chiefs by the score of 43-39. The top scorer for 3rd World was Mark Thompson with 15 points while the top scorer for Chiefs was Tevaun Lennon with 16 points. In game two, Belama Gators edged out Truckers by the score of 62-61. The top scorers for Belama Gators was Clency Lopez with 18 points and the top scorer for Truckers was Sydney Bradley with 22 points. In the third game of the day, Spartans won over Gate Way by the score of 55-51. The top scorer for Spartans was Fredrick Williams with 17 points while the top scorer for Gate Way was Joh Kelly with 16 points.

Muslim Community School girls and St. John Vianney School boys won the Belize City Primary Schools Football competition
The 2016-2017 Belize City Primary Schools Football competition came to an end on Tuesday 7th March, 2017, with the championship game in both the boys’ and girls’ competition. In the girls’ championship game, Muslim Community School edged out Wesley Upper School by the score of 1-0 to capture the 2016-2017 Belize City Girls’ Primary Schools Football Title. The only goal of the game was scored by Dynah Bethran. In the boys’ championship game, St. John Vianney School edged out St. John’s Primary School by the score of 2-1 to lay claims to the title. The goals for St. John Vianey School were scored by Raphael Franklin and Cyril Jones. Meanwhile, the only goal of the game for St. John’s Primary School was scored by Kewaun Panting.

How the justice system could’ve saved Tyler Savery
Alleged child killer Jayear Flores, 20, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment for the robbery of retired teacher Eric Neal, 77. Flores targeted Mr. Neal while he was on his way to the bank. At around 11 a.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015, Neal was at the Saint Joseph Parish compound to collect money for deposit at the bank when he was ambushed. According to Neal, he was just about to reach his vehicle when a man wearing a white shirt and camouflage pants approached him and grabbed a laptop bag from him which contained $2,188.11 in cash and cheques. Neal struggled with his attacker but the younger man managed to strong the bag away and escaped. Police were called to the scene after the robbery and a quick investigation led to the arrest of Jayear Flores of a Curassow Street address who was caught with the bag of money not far from the scene.

STRAIGHT LIKE THAT A UDP OW East Newsletter
In the poem, “an Essay on Criticism,” Alexander Pope highlighted the following stanza “a little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” The modern meaning translates to the fact that people with a small amount of knowledge often think that they possess much more ‘expertise and intelligence’ than they actually do. The recent public attacks by the “Chihuahua” on Facebook against the Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. relating to some correspondence or the other concerning the paving of streets in OW East shows how Desperate the “scrape dawg “ Mayor (67 votes) is. And disrespectful too!

Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Contract for Installation of Solar-Powered Streetlights
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and Hubert L. Usher & Sons Construction of Dangriga Town signed an article of agreement for the installation of sixty (60) solar LED streetlights. The allocation of the streetlights is as follows: San Ignacio Town – ten (10), San Narciso Village, Corozal District - ten (10 , Belize City – forty (40). Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Peter Allen, and on behalf of Hubert L. Usher & Sons Construction was Mr. Arthur Usher. The installations will commence this month.

Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Agreement with Solar Energy Solutions Belize
The Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and the Solar Energy Solutions Belize (SESB) of Belmopan signed an article of agreement on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, to establish power service connections in the Cayo District. The service connections will be for power stations to 40 houses and installation of wiring of the said 40 houses in La Gracia Village in the Cayo district. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Peter Allen, and on behalf of SESB was Director of Sales & Operations Silvan Kuffer. Service connections have already commenced.

PUC hosting cyber security symposium
The Public Utilities Commission is playing host to a Cyber Security Symposium from April 23 to 27 in order to help various sectors of society understand and appreciate the role of information technology in all aspects of our lives and dangers that exist with these modern tools. The PUC is the entity responsible for the regulation of utlity services and the internet is a utility service. John Avery, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, says, “We have a mandate to protect users from the dangers present with all public utlities. Cyber security has been a major topic recently with the bullying on Facebook but that is only a part of the story.” Avery says the Commission has secured the services of Bevil Wooding from Packet Clearing House who will help in the development of a national cyber security program. “There is a lot of threats and attacks taking place that aren’t publicized.” The PUC will launch its cyber security program with the four day symposium in April. Day one is only for registration and introduction. Individuals from different sectors of society will then be separated in groups to work on a long term initiative.

NICH team wins La Ruta Maya
After four days of paddling on the 20th running of La Ruta Maya River Challenge, Team NICH has come out victorious as the overall winner, edging out the second place D & A Smart Warriors by 14 cumulative seconds. Koop Sheet Metal was third overall finishing 12 minutes and 39 seconds behind NICH. Forty eight of these canoeing teams, with each canoe manned by three paddlers, launched from near the Hawkesworth Bridge on the Macal River on Friday of last week for the La Ruta Maya event. By last Friday night the various teams were resting at Banana Bank, with the NICH Team already at the lead, getting ready for the most distant part of the race--the 68 miles to Double Head Cabbage in the Rural Belize District.

International Women’s Day/Women’s Month 2017 Message
Each year on March 8th we join the global community in commemorating International Women’s Day: a day on which the world celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In Belize, we have designated the entire month of March as Women’s Month. March is the month of stock taking on gender issues, as we not only celebrate the many achievements of our Belizean women, but we also reflect on the progress made in gender equality and equity and renew our commitment to the continued advancement of women. The theme for this year’s women’s month, “Empowering Women in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by 2030”, focuses on the impact that rapid changes in technology and globalization is having and can have on the status of women. These changes present opportunities and threats to the advancement of women. Along with all the positives that can be gained from an ever shrinking and increasingly interconnected world, also comes global fiscal and trade policies, that lead to increased informality and instability of labour markets and negative environmental impact; all issues that are shown to disproportionately affect women.

The big, wutliss thieving PUPs are also reckless liars. So, just why are they so obsessed with telling unions what to do?
Every PUP supporter faces a massive problem: Sanitizing George Cadle Price. I have committed myself to providing Belizean voters with the absolute truth. On the other hand, PUP supporters have to first deny historical facts and then they try of makeover Price. Whenever supporters write about ‘the roots foundation’ of the PUP, I reject that out of hand. Everyone knows that Turton sent his ‘employed boy’ into politics to protect Turton’s money. Richardson was the one to verbalize the need for a political organization. G. C. Price hijacked that group… Remember that some organized religions sanction the “use of people.” Price used Belizeans in his nefarious schemes. “… the Caste War of 1847 is more important than the Battle of St. George’s Caye.” X needs to get it in his head that if it was not for us winning the Battle in 1798 there would have been NO Belize for the refugees to run to! Why do they insist on writing rubbish? Kindly stick to the truth at all times!

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Physiotherapist dies in fatal road traffic accident in southern Belize
Rubia Analicia Briceno, a physical therapist was killed in a fatal road traffic accident in southern Belize yesterday afternoon. The accident happened at mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road and Briceno was in a white 4 door Nissan Navar pick-up which was […]

Road traffic accident in Southern Belize
Reports reaching our newsroom are that there was a fatal road traffic accident near mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley road. The accident occurred this afternoon before 3 and involved a white pick up truck. Confirmed reports indicate that one person died as a […]

PM declares Superbond 3.0 a success
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during a press conference yesterday flanked by members of his financial negotiating team, shared details of the government’s latest restructuring of the “Superbond” and declared the re-negotiation a success.The success of the new terms, however, depend on Belize’s ability to meet […]

PUP blasts Superbond restructuring; Party Leader says PM Barrow deceived the country
People’s United Party Leader John Briceño called a press conference today, attacking the Government of Belize, for its renegotiation of the 2034 US Dollar Bond (Superbond). Briceño said that Prime Minister Dean Barrow deceived the nation by calling the re-negotiations “successful” because the new […]

PM Barrow says Re-Registration in July 2018
Re-registration is scheduled for July of this year. However, the Government of Belize (GoB) wants to postpone it until July 2018 primarily for two reasons: 1.) GoB does not have the monies to conduct it and 2.) GoB wants to wait for the end of […]

GOB to pay over BZ$5 million dollars in fees to Creditor’s Committee
The Government of Belize has to pay an estimated BZ $5 million in fees to the Creditor’s Commitee that negotiated the country’s debt with bondholders. Prime Minister Dean Barrow estimates that the fees can range from US $3 million to US $4 million. He […]

Valencia bus driver charged for careless driving
A bus driver of Valencia’s Bus Company has been charged by the Department of Transport in Belmopan for careless driving. Christino Rodriguez appeared yesterday at the Belize City’s Magistrate Court where he plead guilty to the offence of “Drove Motor omnibus in contravention of Road Service permit” and was fined $500 plus $5 for the cost of the court.

San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s event coordinator to visit Buckingham Palace
Michelle Montejo, the event coordinator at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel has been elected as one of 9 individuals who will be hosted at the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. Montejo has worked at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel for 4 years, and according to the hotel, she has excelled in creating breathtaking Belize luxury weddings and has hosted many corporate and recreational events. Montejo is the only Belizean chosen for this scholarship.

PM Barrow says “no retrenchment” in 2017
The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow held a press conference yesterday to discuss the latest negotiations with the country’s super bond. Members of the media asked Barrow to comment on the cuts or tax increases that will come in the 2017/2018 Fiscal Budget. Barrow did not speak specifically on the issue of taxes but he affirmed the public that there will be no retrenchment and no increase in business tax.

Man with eight nationalities had Belizean citizenship
A recently published article in the SouthChina Morning Post highlighted an emerging trend where the affluent keep multiple citizenships for benefits. The article highlighted one such case, where a Canadian businessman born in the United States had eight different nationalities, including Belizean citizenship. Canadian immigration lawyer David Lesperance explained that his client, referred to as the OCto-Citizen, had begun collecting nationalities from as early as the 1980’s beginning in Cape Verde located in the Atlantic Islands, around 373 miles from West Africa. He moved on to Ireland and then Canada, before turning to Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Belize.

Chaa Creek Resort in Belize wins top honors at National Geographic’s 2017 World Legacy Awards
The Lodge at Chaa Creek in western Belize won first place honors at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards in Berlin, Germany. The World Legacy Awards are an initiative of National Geographic and ITB Berlin to honour companies, organisations and travel destinations for environmentally friendly operations, protection of natural and cultural heritage, and support for the wellbeing of local communities. Mick and Lucy Fleming, owners of Chaa Creek Resort were speaking at the 2017 World Legacy Awards (WLA) ceremony held on March 8th 2017 at the ITB convention in Berlin where they accepted the award in the “Engaging Communities” category.

Tropic Air honors employee of the month
Tropic Air has issued a press release announcing that Yensi L. Maldonado is their employee of the month for February 2017. Maldonado is the Shift Supervisor in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and according to Tropic Air’s president John Greif III, “Yensi has a quiet, smiling humility that has allowed him to garner the respect of his coworkers.” “He has shown excellent customer service, and is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure our standards of service are delivered,” Grief said. Yensi was awarded with a certificate of achievement as well as a special gift from the company.

BDF soldier collides into motorcycle; kills one and sends two to the hospital
According to news reports, around 3 p.m. on Saturday, BDF Lawrence Lorenzo, 43, was heading to Sittee River in his Toyota Rav4 when he collided into a motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle, Ernest Andrews Jr., 52, died as a result of the impact.

Belize Coast Guard Officer attends Gender Perspective Seminar in USA
Alma Pinelo, a Lieutenant of the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) is attending the 2nd annual seminar on military gender perspective which is being held in Washington, D.C. from March 7-9, 2017. This year, the seminar is being held under the theme “Peace and Security from a Gender Perspective: A Political and Strategic Vision” and is organized by the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), and the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE). The seminar aims to contribute to this effort based on the experience and commitment of both these institutions by promoting Resolution 1325 (UNSC), on Women, Peace and Security.

FCD holds third bi-national planning session
Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD), the non-governmental organization which co-manages the Chiquibul Forest Reserve held a bi-national planning meeting this week to craft the third Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Technical Plan. FCD held the meeting at the Office of the Organization of American States located in the Adjacency Zone along with entities such as the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, the Guatemalan Consulate, National Forest Institute, Balam Association, and the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) – which is the Guatemalan equivalent of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT).

PUP says super-bond debt remains the same even after Barrow’s renegotiation
Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday held a press conference affirming a victory in the re-negotiation of the super-bond. However, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) quickly fired off a steaming press release referring to Barrow’s press conference as a ‘smoke and mirrors’ presentation. According to the PUP, Barrow and his team spent too much time celebrating the fact that they simply cleaned up the mess they created with the previous super bond renegotiation.

Blogs

Sunbreeze Hotel honours guest Doug Harris’ 25th trip to Ambergris Caye
The charm and beauty of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye has become a magnet which keeps attracting thousands of people every year to the island. From its beaches, and incredible water activities along the second largest barrier reef in the world, to the friendly people and the impeccable hospitality every visitor gets, it’s no wonder our visitors fall in love with La Isla Bonita. This is the case for 77-year-old Canadian Doug Harris, who has not just travelled to the island for 25 years in a row, but has also been staying at his favorite Sunbreeze Hotel all this time! To commemorate his 25th stay and trip to Ambergris Caye, on Sunday, February 19th, the management and staff of SunBreeze Hotel presented him with a token of appreciation for being a loyal and kind guest at the hotel for a quarter century. Harris, a retired dentist living in Ontario, Canada first came to Belize via an all-inclusive charter service early in the 1990’s. He told The My Beautiful Belize that from his first visit to the country, he was impressed with the beauty and great service of the Belizean people. “These are great people. Belize has the friendliest people in the world,” said Harris. He feels fortunate to have been able to see the evolution of the town and the SunBreeze Hotel, where he is hosted in the same room he stayed in the first time he came to the island.

International Sourcesizz

Daring Tiffany Trump goes snorkeling with SHARKS during her Belize vacation
Tiffany Trump and her longtime beau Ross Mechanic are enjoying an adventure-filled vacation in Belize, and the two were happy to pose together in the clear blue ocean during their latest snorkeling trip. The 23-year-old First Daughter took to Instagram on Thursday to share a series of photos on vacation, including some snapshots of her in the water. Tiffany clearly didn't need any words to show that she is having a great time, as she opted to caption the series of images using only a dolphin and splashing water emoji. One of the underwater photos sees Tiffany wearing her snorkeling gear while swimming up to the camera, which was presumably being held by Ross. The two came up for some air to pose for a snapshot in the water together. The picture sees them with their arms wrapped around each other, and both have wide smiles on their faces.

Scouts In Belize Learn About Amateur Radio
The Belize Amateur Radio Club (BARC http://barc.bz/) presented an "Introduction to Amateur Radio" for the Scout Association of Belize on February 26. The demonstration, held at the Scouts National Training Grounds, covered BARC´s goals for Amateur Radio in Belize, a video, a hands-on demonstration of radio equipment, and a question-and-answer session. The demonstration represented a first step in cooperation between BARC and the Scout Association of Belize (Scouts Belize http://www.scoutsbelize.org/). "As we move forward with our friendship and cooperation, let's remember to use our radio skills wisely for the greater good of our nation, especially in times of emergencies, such as hurricanes and flooding, when we are needed most," BARC President Emil Rodriguez, V31ER, said afterward.

Wild turkeys: A conservation (and hunting) success story
The restoration of the wild turkey is one of the shining wildlife management conservation success stories of the past half century. When Europeans arrived, the North American woods were teeming with wild turkeys. But the birds failed to withstand the advance of unrestrained civilization. Habitat destruction and unregulated hunting nearly erased wild turkeys from the U.S. and Canada. By 1900, only a handful were left. The low point arrived in the 1930s, when turkey numbers in the United States probably sank to below 250,000. Only those in the most isolated and inhospitable habitat survived. The ocellated turkey is found in the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of northern Belize and Guatemala. Male turkeys are larger than females. A mature male turkey generally ranges from 12 to 25 pounds; sometimes heavier. Osceola and Rio Grande subspecies are slightly smaller than Eastern, Merriam’s and Gould’s birds. Turkeys roost in trees and, preferably, near water. They can fly short distances but are fleet afoot and can hit a top speed over short distances of 55 miles per hour. Turkeys also have excellent vision, about three times that of a human, and can see in color.

Videos

  • Understanding the SuperBond - The Next Steps, 38min.

  • Introduction of Specialist Dr. Constanza, 30min.

  • International Women's Day - Empowering in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by 2030, 38min.

  • "Common External Tariff" or CET, 3min. Have you heard of the "Common External Tariff" or CET? If not, then here's a short video on CET from the Ministry of Investment, Trade & Commerce - Belize's Directorate General for Foreign Trade. Learn about the products that are in high demand in CARICOM! The Common External Tariff suspension creates more export opportunities for goods that cannot be supplied within the region.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Eladio Pop, 1/2min.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Birds, 1/2min.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Toronto Activation, 1min.

  • Belize Tourism Board: Drumming, 1/2min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 8min.

  • Market - Belize City, Belize, 3.5min.

  • Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize, 8.5min.

  • Island Hunter: Belize, 2min. The best of Belize, Island Hunter style!

  • BSI/ASR CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 13, 3min.

  • PRE-SCHOOLERS PROMOTE OUR DIVERSE CULTURES, 3min. As part of the Child Stimulation Month Calendar for this year, a host of activities have been pre-planned countrywide with the objective of promoting the importance of early childhood education within Belize. Among the list of fun-filled activities, a Cultural Day event was held at the Guinea Grass Pentecostal School grounds this morning welcoming toddlers from ten different pre-schools.

  • Barron Bliss Revisited, 19min.

  • SXSW South By South West, 28min.

  • Belize Sailing Association, 32min.

  • UNIVERSITY OF BELIZE Annual Relathon, 20min.

  • The art of bartending!, 1/2min. Who knew bartending was more than just getting some tasty drinks made! Spectacular bartending flair show by Alexsander Shtifanov!

  • Make your own raft race?, 5.5min. Last race winners take all!!!

  • More raft races, 6min. I don't know what's going on here but it's da bomb!

  • What is the Superbond?, 1min.

  • Youth and Community Transformation for Southside Belize City, 10min. The Youth and Community Transformation Program (YCT) is a social intervention program implemented by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. Our Belize Now Team learned more about the program last week ...

  • Altun Ha Maya Ruins!!, 2min.

  • Turtles in Belize, 5min.

  • Bluehole Belize, 5.5min.

  • Maya Guide Adventures....Belize(Kayak Adventure), 8min. Marco guided us through caves down a river through the Belizean jungle. He has great knowledge about the ecosystems, great enthusiasm in sharing, and a lot of experience in leading tours. For the most part the river is less than 3 feet deep, and it moves along at a nice easy pace with some rapids. You will get wet, but it is refreshing. Between caves you will be on the river in the jungle.

  • AROUND BELIZE CITY - A short ride, 6min. Take a ride Around Belize City to see some of the Places: Downtown Area, Fort George Tourism Village, Memorial Park, Princess Margaret Drive.

  • DAY 6: STUDY ABROAD (AEC/CALS) IN BELIZE, 2min. Day 6 study abroad in Belize. Visited cassava farm and then went to Hopkins Village on the beach.

    March 9, 2017


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Passport Office experiencing Technical difficulties
    The Government of Belize advises the general public that the Passport Office in Belmopan is presently experiencing technical difficulties with the passport printing process. Effective since March 1, 2017, temporary passports will be processed within one week at the normal fee of $30, and will be valid for one year. The Immigration Department will be providing temporary passports in emergency cases for persons whose passports are exhausted, lost (six weeks waiting period does apply), damaged or mutilated, and who demonstrate a need for urgent travel.

    Cyberbullying on the rise among San Pedro’s youth
    According to Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, reports of cyberbullying have drastically increased. “There’s a lot of issues being reported through schools, with minors sending degrading messages through Facebook and other social media outlets. The San Pedro Police Department recently dealt with a case where we could have charged a whole group of primary school students for disorderly conduct, but with our laws regarding minors, we couldn’t because they were 12 years-old,” said Jemmott. Emil Vasquez, Principal at San Pedro High School (SPHS), agrees with Jemmott, stating that many students are being cyberbullied because the internet is conveniently accessible. Vasquez stated that the effects of bullying can be long lasting, leading to low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal thoughts in minors. “Cyberbullying and bullying in general has always been an issue within schools. It is a subject that all schools are discussing, and the Principals’ Association is looking at how to deal with it. The Ministry of Education is even embarking in an anti-cyberbullying policy. SPHS is also looking to deal with not only cyberbullying, but issues related to social media. It’s something new, but it is our reality and we need to adjust to it because it can effect a person’s image or mental health,” said Vasquez.

    Successful Blood Drive held in Caye Caulker
    For the first time in Caye Caulker Village, the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch (BRCSPB) held a blood drive, on Saturday, March 4th, collecting 21 pints of precious blood. The event also included an educational session about the importance of blood donation and a dollar drive that yielded over a thousand dollars in donations. Members of the BRCSPB, and the Belize Blood Services travelled to La Isla Cariñosa from Friday, March 3rd, for a reunion with Noelle Gray and the Caye Caulker team who assisted in the organization of the event. At the gathering, the importance of donating blood and the requirements for a successful donor was explained. The BRCSPB is starting a pilot project in their continued efforts to maintain a healthy blood supply at the blood bank, so that in case of emergencies, the blood can be available without the need to look for donors at the last minute.

    Belize celebrates International Women’s Month 2017
    Every year, the global community commemorates March 8th as International Women’s Day in celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. While the month observes the achievement of women, Belize also takes the opportunity to reflect on the progress made in gender equality. “Empowering Women in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by 2030” sets the theme for this year, and it focuses on the impact technology and globalization has and can have on the status of women. In addition, the Government of Belize (GOB) has made some progress towards promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation continues to fight the embedded inequalities that hinder the achievement of equality and equity for women in Belize.

    Ambergris Today

    WWF Celebrates Another Successful Year
    Friday, March 3rd, 2017 marked the third anniversary of World Wildlife Day, a day dedicated to celebrate the precious animals and plant life that share our planet. WWF is taking this opportunity to reflect on the five greatest successes for wildlife over the last year. Five of the greatest success stories for wildlife (March 2016-2017): - Wild tiger numbers increase for the first time in conservation history - Pandas are no longer classified as ‘endangered’ - All trade in the world’s most trafficked mammal, the pangolin, is now illegal

    Road to Caracol Maya Site to be Paved to Benefit Chiquibul Area
    A Consultancy Services agreement was signed on March 7th, between the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, and Dr. Nabeel Abdul-Raheem Consultants of Kuwait at US$736,150. The Government of Belize has received a Technical Assistance Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to assist in financing the services of consultants to prepare a technical and economic feasibility study and detailed designs for the Upgrading of Caracol Road Project (Georgeville to Caracol Archaeological Site).

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    FORMER PUP STANDARD BEARER AND ATTORNEY AT LAW PHILLIP PALACIO PASSES
    At about 2 am Tuesday morning Attorney at Law Phillip Palacio passed away after a battle with brain cancer. The popular attorney and former politician underwent emergency surgery a few weeks ago after getting the surprising news that he was chronical ill with stage 4 brain and lung cancer. However, the late stage cancer had already taken a devastating effect on his body which resulted in his untimely passing this morning. Mr. Palacio from all reports was a well liked and popular attorney. Before going into private practice he served the Belizean community as a member of the legal aid team which offers legal services to persons whom cannot afford private representation.

    GOB TO GO AHEAD WITH VOTERS RE-REGISTRATION AHEAD OF REDISTRICTING?
    Hot Off The Press has been reliably informed that the Government has agreed to move ahead with a voters re-registration exercise before conducting redistricting of the electoral map. Readers may recall that the Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, Mr. Doug Singh, had advised that re-registration before redistricting may result in problematical administrative difficulties. There have been mixed signals coming from the Opposition party, with the Leader of the Opposition calling for re-registration to be done before redistricting while their most senior official on the Election and Boundaries Commission has voted against such a move.

    DID GOB REALLY LOSE A US$22M COURT CASE TO GLENN GODFREY? APPARENTLY NOT
    Last week it was widely reported that the Government was order by US Courts to fork over US$22M to Glenn Godfrey after he sued for monies he claimed was owed to him for equipment he sold to the Government. HOTP has since acquired and reviewed a copy of the US Court of Appeal order and it turns out that a decision in the case has not been made yet; the latest Court ruling is that Godfrey’s claim can proceed to trial - an order overruling a District Court decision in GOB’s favor. The claim, GDG Acquisitions LLC (Glenn D. Godfrey) v GOB is in relation to monies Godfrey claims is owed to him for equipment he sold to GOB after his company, Intelco, failed. Readers may recall that the 1998 – 2008 PUP administration had secured several loans on behalf of Godfrey, a former PUP parliamentarian. After the company failed, the administration at that time went ahead and entered into a lucrative contract with Godfrey, for the rental of the former INTELCO equipment that were widely rumored to be faulty and out of service. The contract, described as “the pension plan for the boys” was not honored after the UDP assumed office in 2008, resulting in Godfrey suing.

    Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Contract for Installation of Solar-Powered Streetlights
    On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and Hubert L. Usher & Sons Construction of Dangriga Town signed an article of agreement for the installation of sixty (60) solar LED streetlights. The allocation of the streetlights is as follows: San Ignacio Town – ten (10). San Narciso Village, Corozal District - ten (10). Belize City – forty (40).

    Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Signs Agreement with Solar Energy Solutions Belize
    The Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and the Solar Energy Solutions Belize (SESB) of Belmopan signed an article of agreement on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, to establish power service connections in the Cayo District. The service connections will be for power stations to 40 houses and installation of wiring of the said 40 houses in La Gracia Village in the Cayo district.

    National Agriculture and Trade Show 2017
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) Committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development hereby announces the dates for the NATS 2017 as the 28th, 29th, and 30th of April. The event will be celebrated under the theme “Let’s Get Growing”. Preparation of the grounds is currently under way and the committee informs all interested persons that the reservation and sale of concession stands, food stalls, open spots and commercial booths have commenced. Right of first refusal will be granted to 2016 lease holders and as such those vendors will have until March 17, 2017 to confirm their desire to re-establish their booth leases. Those vendors are being asked to contact the Ministry for information on deposit of payment and signing of Lease Agreement. This preference exists EXCEPT where there was a reconfiguration of the grounds and/or removal of booths, in which case that space is no longer available for sale.

    EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE holds Seaweed Cultivation Training in Little Water Caye
    EXPORTBelize, a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, held a Seaweed Cultivation Training from March 3rd – March 5th in Little Water Caye; which provided both a theory session along with hands on experience to fishermen in seaweed farming and cultivation. This initiative was one of many activities under a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed in November 2016. A key objective of this MOC is to support fisheries diversification through the development of a sustainable seaweed industry in Belize. The participants included representatives from Toledo Fishermen Association, Sarteneja Fishermen Association, Wabaffu Fishermen Association and Turneffe Seaweed Farmers. The training included seaweed cultivation techniques, farm building and designing, harvesting techniques and the drying process.

    Chaa Creek wins National Geographic Travel Award
    Our very own Mrs Lucy, Co-Founder of The Lodge at Chaa Creek on the big stage in Berlin representing us and all of Belize - accepting the "Engaging Communities" award and giving her acceptance speech!

    A great Ambassador to the Garifuna Music and Culture!
    AURELIO and his Garifuna Soul band are flying over the Pacific en route to Australia, they are playing March 11 and 12 at Womadelaide Festival. This is the first time they bring their music to Australia, another proud moment for Garifuna music. Safe travels

    Child Stimulation month in Corozal
    Activities celebrating Child Stimulation month continue in Corozal with this bike ride from the infants of Methodist Primary School.

    Belize Fishing Report: Feb. 27 thru Mar. 5, 2017
    Lots and lots of bonefish landed this week. The Bonefish Bonanza hosted by Orvis was just that, and the entire group caught fish. A host of other guests also landed plenty of bonefish. Brenda landed a nice bonefish on her way to a grand slam! What a great week of fishing regardless of the gusty winds.

    Jan Brown, taking care of Marco Gonzalez Maya Site
    Marco Gonzales may not be the easiest site to care for, but we are glad we have someone with heart and spirit to share the beauty and importance of it. Thank you Jan Brown for your tireless efforts and dedication to Marco Gonzalez Maya Site.

    Road to Championship: La Ruta Maya 2017

    Women's Day: Belizean Archaeologists
    The landscape of Belizean archaeology has seen and continues to see a lot of strong women who have become trowel-blazers in their own right. While too numerous to mention, we highlight a few of those women who have forever left a mark in our understanding of Belize's history.

    MARCH EXCITEMENT AS THE BHA PREPARES FOR SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL TRADESHOWS
    The Belize Hotel Association is gearing up for a busy and exciting month of tradeshows where we will be representing our members and actively promoting Belize as a vacation destination to new and enthusiastic markets. At these events we meet with hundreds of attendees, who are highly interested in visiting Belize or learning more about what the country has to offer them for their future vacation plans. Denver Travel and Adventure Show- March 18, 19, 2017: The Travel & Adventure Shows are The Largest Series of Travel Shows in The United States. Over 13 years and 68 events, the Travel & Adventure Show Series has connected over 1.25 million travel enthusiasts with over 3,100 unique travel marketers in a professional setting that facilitates face-to-face conversations and has impacted over $2.4 billion in travel bookings. Beneath the Sea- New Jersey- March 24, 25, 26, 2017 This consumer Dive Show held in Secaucus, New Jersey attracts both divers AND non-divers by broad advertising across the Northeast region AND throughout the industry. Beneath The Sea delivers the lucrative North-East region which has the U.S.A's wealthiest and largest concentration of consumers who are all within easy travel distance of the show. Ottawa Travel and Vacation Show- March 25, 26, 2017 Ottawa is Canada's capital city: home of the federal government, embassies, three universities and the center of Canada's high tech industry. With a population of over 1.2 million Ottawa has the 2nd highest per capita income of all major Canadian cities.

    BARTENDING FLAIR SHOW BY ALEXSANDER SHTIFANOV THURSDAY, MARCH 9TH AT RAIN RESTAURANT
    AT 10PM. PRETICKETS: USD$15; USD$20 AT THE DOOR; CALL 226-4000 FOR DETAILS, OR EMAIL: RESERVATIONS@RAINBELIZE.COM

    Splashers
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint paint "Rosetta Spoonbill." $25 u.s $50 bz a person

    Vacancy Belize Electricity Limited San Pedro Branch
    Customer Care Representative

    Reef Swim San Pedro
    Let's get together on Reef week and show that we really care about our Barrier Reef in the biggest reef clean up yet! Sunday, March 12 at 7 AM - 10 AM, Isla Bonita Yacht Club

    The World's #1 Flairtener, Alexander Shtifanov, showcasing his talent at Banana Beach Resort
    Tickets Available. March 10

    Deon McCaulay signed by Atlanta Silverbacks
    The Atlanta Silverbacks posted to Facebook this week, "The Silverbacks have signed Forward Deon McCaulay for the 2017 NPSL campaign! The Belizean star joins the 'Backs for a second stint."

    Art in the Park, Corozal
    Next week March 18th, 2017 is the monthly Art in Park in Corozal. It will commence at 5pm until.

    Flaming Heart Ball in Placencia March 11
    Available now at the Tipsy Tuna... Tickets for the Flaming Heart Ball! Raffle tickets are also available! 5pm until ..... Food served 6pm-8pm.

    Border guard opening in Santa Elena
    IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT PUBLIC NOTICE - Be advised that the Immigration Department at the Santa Elena border is now accepting applications for the digital border card from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

    SAVING WILDLANDS FOR WILDLIFE
    Here is an amazing opportunity to help us protect critical tropical habitat in Belize. This vital habitat is home to rare and endangered species such as the jaguar, tapir, yellow-headed parrot, and the elusive stygian owl! TBZ and its partners are teaming up in an effort to protect nearly 3,000 acres of wildlands in Central Belize. Part of our protection plan is to purchase 945 acres of habitat surrounding the Zoo. Follow the link to our CrowdRise fundraising page to learn more and contribute to this exciting new campaign!

    Happy International Women's Day to all the beautiful, strong compassionate, powerful, and hard working women of Corozal
    Happy International Women's Day to all the beautiful, strong compassionate, powerful, and hard working women of Corozal - "International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for women's rights. The earliest Women's Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America.[4] On March 8, 1917, in the capital of the Russian Empire, Petrograd, a demonstration of women textile workers began, covering the whole city. This was the beginning of the Russian Revolution.[5] Seven days later, the Emperor of Russia Nicholas II abdicated and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. March 8 was declared a national holiday in Soviet Russia in 1917. The day was predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations" - Wikipedia Photo of Gwendolyn Lizarraga, Belizean Social Activist

    Chiquibul Challenge Marathon
    The Chiquibul Challenge Marathon is this weekend. Sunday is the actual race, and the 70+ participants will be running through the Chiquibul. The event will help raise awareness of the Chiquibul, and how important it is...plus, it makes up around 8% of Belize. Thanks, BWRC! "We wanted to raise awareness about this amazing protected area co-managed by Friends for Conservation and Development, to increase fitness and enable Belizeans as well as visitors to experience this truly unique gem of nature, geology and history, and possibly establish a fundraising mechanism with this in the future.."

    Exhibit Opening “Belize’s Heroes, Patriots, and Benefactors”

    FDCD meets with farmers in the Vaca Forest
    Today the Forest Department, GIZ and FCD conducted a meeting with farmers in the Vaca Forest Reserve to among other things, present the criteria for legalization of their stay in the reserve.

    BTB at the Virtuoso Global Forum - Mexico City

    Sherry Gibbs, Dean of Arts and Science is helping to train future archaeologists and anthropologists
    Through her efforts at Galen University, Belize! Thank you for educating our future archaeologists!

    Belizean Eco-Resort Chaa Creek Takes Top Honours At National Geographic’s 2017 World Legacy Awards
    The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s first place honours at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards highlights how working with local communities results in mutually beneficial, truly sustainable tourism, the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners said. Mick and Lucy Fleming were speaking at the 2017 World Legacy Awards (WLA) ceremony held 8 March at the ITB convention in Berlin where they accepted the award in the “Engaging Communities” category. “All of us at Chaa Creek are particularly honoured to receive an award that celebrates the bond we have with our local Belizean communities, and Mick and I are gratefully accepting it on behalf of our 160 staff members and the countless Belizeans who, through hard work and a dedication to providing exceptional service, have taken Belize from a relatively unknown little country to the world class destination it is today,” Mrs. Fleming said.

    Channel 7

    Eric Chang Gives His Side Of The Story
    Ever since the Won Hong Kim passport scandal broke back in September of 2013, 7News and the entire media - for that matter - had been trying to get an interview with Eric Chang, who was the Deputy Mayor of Belize City at the time. While Citizen Kim was an Elvin Penner production, Chang's activities while in Taiwan at the time, brought him under suspicion as one of the main brokers of the deal to get the South Korean Fugitive Won Hong Kim a fraudulent Belizean passport. But Chang never commented, ignoring repeated requests. And even the Senate Inquiry had a difficult time getting him and Patrick Tillett to show up and testify. Eventually, they had to compel both men to show up, which they finally did today.

    Eric Sets The Record Straight
    The Auditor General's report goes on to explain that according to Ambassador Cherie Nisbet, Alejandro Young, Charge ‘d Affaires of Honduras, brought the original passport which was issued to Won Hong Kim, and the original Nationality certificate. The Audit team couldn't ascertain how the Won Hong Kim passport ended up in Taiwan, but in our coverage of the Senate last Week, we erroneously reported that the Audit Team said that Eric Chang was the courier for the passport. In his testimony today, Chang took on this station for that error: Eric Chang - Former Deputy Mayor of Belize City: "I no see my name brought up in the auditor general's report in terms of I da the carrier for Wong Hong Kim passport, I didn't see that here but it repeatedly mentioned in I believe it was Channel 7 News saying I'm the carrier for Mr. Wong Hong Kim passport. Channel 7 alleged me was the carrier, I no see how I can carry the passport that I learned that the passport was issued, I learned that from the report that the passport was issued the 9th of September and I was in the summit and represented at the time. I no see how I can be at two place at the same time, I don't know how they put me as a carrier for the passport to Taiwan or to Mr. Wong Hong Kim. I have no shape or form, I never ever see or hold Mr. Wong Hong Kim passport, I never see the passport, I never see the certificate."

    Patrick Tillett's Visa Service
    We now turn to the next big witness who testified this afternoon in the Senate Hearings on Immigration. That's Patrick Tillett, the former Financial Controller for the Belize City Council, who had to explain how he came into possession of 6 of those 8 visas which were stolen from the Immigration Department's Benque Border Station. He gave an extraordinary testimony telling the Senate that he charged 6 Chinese nationals $6,000 each to help them get their Belize Visas. Now, if you're wondering how lucrative this operation was, Tillett laid it out for the Senate Select Committee. He said that in his brief visa operation, he used $3,000 out of that sum to pay an Immigration agent he knew as Mr. Middleton, and paid 2 thousand dollars toward the Government of Belize, as the face value for the Visas. The remaining one thousand dollars, Tillett said, was his fee to run the operation. Here's how he broke it down:

    Young Woman Killed In Western Accident
    A young woman was killed in an accident in the West. Last night around 11:15, 21 year old Kendra Mejia was driving her van from Benque to San Ignacio. Her brother Hector Mejia and her sister in law 17 year old Lizzemy Guiterrez were along with her. When Kendra approached mile 70 near the Calla Creek Junction she lost control of the vehicle causing it to flip violently and land in a ditch. The massive impact killed Kendra while Guiterrez complained of pain to the back, hip and right foot while Hector received a cut wound to both feet, right knee, a cut to the left eye and upper lip, and bruises to the left side. Kendra’s body was taken to the morgue while both Guiterrez and Hector were taken to the KHMH. Guttierez is stable and Mejia has been discharged. Reports are that the accident may have been caused by a blow out.

    Another Traffic Fatality
    And there was another fatal accident but this time in the South involving a baby. On Saturday afternoon around 3:00, 43 year old BDF officer Lawrence Lorenzo was heading to Sittee River in his Toyota Rav4 when he collided into a motorcycle. The Motorcyclist 52 year old Ernest Lincoln Andrews Jr. died as a result of the impact. Also travelling along with Andrews were 25-year-old Rosalyn Logan and his 2-year old baby Eamon Edmond Andrews. They were both taken to the hospital for treatment. Lorenzo has been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

    Breaking Down The Bottom Line On The Bond
    The government of Belize is expecting that it will get 75% of the holders of the Superbond to agree to a consent solicitation offer by end of business on Friday. That would seal the deal on Superbond 3, and to hear the government tell it, it's the deal of a decade. The Prime Minister and his team of financial advisors held a press conference today to lay out the details of the negotiation and the final package. Basically, as we've been reporting, the deal is that the interest rate, which was set to step up to 6.767% in August of this year, will actually step down to 4.9375%. That alone will save Belize 36 million dollars in the next two years. And then, principal repayments which were supposed to start in 2019, have been pushed back for 11 years, meaning that Belize gets away from paying of 64 million US dollars per year, from 2020 to 2038. Instead, the heavy payments are deferred until 2030, freeing up 11 years of cash flow. The Prime Minister says they had to renegotiate the bond because Belize just does not have this kind of hard currency:

    Government Drove A Hard Bargain
    And the seriousness of that threat to simply not pay is what may have given government a slight upper hand in negotiations. We say upper hand because somehow the creditor committee has accepted final offer without Government committing to a standby arrangement with the IMF. Instead government has committed to fiscal targets, namely a primary surplus. Here's how the PM put it:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Minister of Finance: "We resisted the insistence of the then creditor committee that we enter into an IMF programme and we have so resisted again. People don't seem to understand that we have agreed that if we don't meet certain targets we will consult with the IMF, that takes the matter no further, we consult with the IMF every year. We're not suggesting that we will simply ignore whatever advise the IMF will choose to give; all I'm telling you is that our agreement in the context of this last renegotiations that we will publish what the IMF says, we will consult with them - represents not an iota, not one wit of change from what currently obtains. So basically we've given up nothing in terms of what was the original demand of the creditor committee that we enter into an IMF standby arrangement which is what I have sworn to the Belizean people will never happen for as long as I am here. Unfortunately that's not going to be for too much longer."

    A Deal That Didn't Come Cheap
    So that's the broad outline of the deal, except for one not so minor detail: the fees. First off, government has to pay the Creditor Committee's costs, which is in the millions of dollars - even though it was just a four month negotiation. Add in success fees for government's advisors at Citibank and lawyers, and it's well above five million dollars just to get the deal done. The Prime Minister said he hadn't added it all up yet:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Minister of Finance: "We are probably going to be up to $3 million odd US dollars, maybe closer to 4, in terms of our fees on our side. Everybody worked on a success bases so that if we had walked way and there was no deal, city would not have been paid. The success fee bases, there is a formula that I certainly haven't worked out yet, calculated when you apply the formula to where we ended up what then will be the final figure for city but it will be a few, certainly more than $2 million US dollars. It is going to be fairly hefty."

    No New Money, Renegotiation Averts Likely Default
    And while that is the opposition's take on it, government says it is saving 18 million dollars in interest payments in the upcoming fiscal year alone. So then that means free money, right? Well, not so fast. Turns out that government didn't have the money to pay in the first place. The Financial Secretary explained:… Jose Waight - Financial Secretary: "It's not new money but we have saved, we don't have to find that but it's not new money to spend so the situation remains the same." Jules Vasquez: "Would we have been able to pay it in the normal course as things were going?" Jose Waight: "Short answer, no."

    GOB Will Not Retrench Or Raise Business Tax
    So then, government never had the money to pay the stepped up interest rate anyway. It's sort of like they went from being bankrupt, to just being broke. So instead of free money, or milk and honey, the years ahead will be a time of belt tightening and austerity. Government will have to increases revenues through taxes, and cut spending at the same time. So, what's on the table, and what is not? The Prime Minister told us only what is not:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Minister of Finance: "No public officer will be retrenched, no increment freeze. The last instalment of the salary increase which I and I won't embarrass anybody but others would have liked to see turned into a health insurance scheme for public officers and teachers but which the BNTU was having none of. That 3% which we put off because of the hurricane last year will be paid together with the interest and so while consolidation there will be, while tightening there will be, while revenue raising measures there will be, while spending slashes there will be. We will present a budget that will leave intact and preserve our public officers and teachers and the working man and woman, no rollback has been suggested by the IMF of the threshold for income tax relief, no business tax increase."

    Fin Sec Says GST Won't Be Touched
    But what taxes will increase? The media asked if it might be new sin taxes on cigarettes and liquor, or an increase in the GST. The PM said wait until Monday:… Isani Cayetano- Reporter: "There is a speculation that sin taxes will increase in terms of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes and what have you. Would you be able to speak on that?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Minister of Finance: "The budget is on Monday so there's no long time to wait. I won't tell you what will happen, I will tell you what will not happen and I think I said it earlier, not a civil servant going home, not kind of increment freeze, no kind of rollback of the income tax threshold, no kind of increase in business tax, I will leave it there."

    What Areas Will Budget Cuts Affect?
    But when the new budget is presented on Monday, it might be called "Sharing the Pain." That's because there will be significant increased revenue from taxes, and there will be budget cuts. The PM didn't say what would get cut, but he did mention it in passing today:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Minister of Finance: "On the revenue side, we are committed to finding something like $70 million dollars more in revenue and on the expenditure side we are committed to slashing expenditure by $30 million dollars. I will tell you this, we had a cabinet session yesterday and although ministers were presented with the stark evidence of what those cuts mean for their individual ministry, not one of Minister protested." Jules Vasquez: "We know that education is the largest single part of the budget, how much of that slashing will affect the Ministry of Education?"

    Barrow: GG Didn't Win Against GOB
    The Prime Minister also used his platform at today's press conference to beat back media reports that Glenn Godfrey had won a 22 million US dollar judgement against the government of Belize. Godfrey is suing government in US courts, over an Intelco contract but the PM stressed he hasn't won, he simply got jurisdiction to have it argued in a US court. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Minister of Finance: "Godfrey indeed has sued on the basis of another stink agreement made between him and in particular Ralph Fonseca, but presumably the entire PUP administration, over INTELCO, what your boss Michael Ashcroft called the pension plan for the boys. They went asunder and Godfrey, they agreed that Godfrey could sue in the states and so he brought suit in Miami. We challenged that and said: no, you have to come to Belize. The US courts have no jurisdiction because, although Ralph agreed- and Ralph neva had the authority to agree- we won and then he appealed. Ultimately now, the appeal court sent it back to the law court, and what you saw on Friday or Thursday, was a judgment saying that: ok, Godfrey wins on this question of jurisdiction. The government's initial victory which said this matter can't be tried in the states at all is reversed; it can go now to trial in the states. Whether he will win and get $22 million or anything is still to be determined after evidence and a full trial."

    Ashcroft Alliance: Barbarians At The Gate
    So while the Glenn Godfrey matter is still held at bay, the barbarians are at the gate for the Ashcroft Alliance. Government has to pay the second half of the compensation award ordered by an international tribunal. That was supposed to be paid in Belize dollars. But, first the agreement was that the Alliance has to exact its expenses. The PM says the proposed figure for those expenses is outrageous:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Minister of Finance: "I am now being told that since the agreement also said though that out of that second portion, that is to come to the people of Belize, he is entitled to deduct his expenses incurred in trying to recover the money. I am now being told that those expenses will amount to something like at least 75% of the second payment."

    Camille Still In Coma
    Yesterday we told you about Camille Munnings, the mother of two who was shot along with her common-law-husband and another man. Tonight, she remains in critical condition at the KHMH with a bullet lodged in the back of her head. We spoke to her family earlier, and they told us that she is still in a medically induced coma to ease the pressure on her brain. Her sister told us that the family will speak with doctors tomorrow to figure out what's next.

    Women's Day, Plotting A Way Forward
    Today is celebrated as International Women's Day and a forum was held at the Biltmore called "Plotting a Way Forward: A Critical Look at the Women's Movement and Gender Based Violence". Now there has been significant progress made as it relates to the Women's movement, women's rights and their independence, but a lot of women still face a troubling reality every day as it relates to abuse. And all those topics were discussed today. POWA which stands for Productive Organization for Women in Action is based in the Stann Creek district. The coordinator Michele Irving told us more about the organization and the alarming plight of women in the South. Michele Irving - Coordinator POWA: "Our main work focuses on HIV support, gender based violence support, ending stigma and discrimination, issues of child abuse and violence and basically looking at gender equity and equality."

    Cops: Linsburg Shot Brandon
    Yesterday Kevin Flores was charged with aiding and abetting Linsburgh Clarke in the shooting of Brandon Bennett on Belcan Bridge last Friday. Today, Clarke appeared in the Magistrate's Court and was charged for attempted murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm. No plea was taken because of the nature of the offense, and Clarke was remanded into custody until May.

    Solar Solutions Light The Future
    The Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy and Public Services signed two articles of agreement yesterday. The first was with Solar Energy Solutions Belize, who will begin work to establish power service connections to 40 houses in La Garcia Village in the Cayo District. The second agreement was made with Hubert L. Usher and Sons Construction, who will install 60 solar LED street lights throughout the country. 10 lights will be set up in San Narsico in Corozal, another ten will go to San Ignacio and 40 will be installed in Belize City. The articles of agreement were signed by the CEO of the Ministry, Dr. Peter Allen. Instillation is set to begin this month.

    Belizeans and Poultry: "Tea, Dinna, Tea"
    Whether its that egg, you had for breakfast, that stew chicken you had for lunch, or that fried chicken you're trying not to eat tonight, Belizeans consume poultry products morning noon and night. And the Belize Poultry Association would like you to do it as an afternoon snack as well! That association is holding its 21st Annual General Meeting in Belize City right now and Chairman, David Reimer told us every Belizean consumes an average of 190 eggs per year: Reimer also told us that the recent HACCP (HACAP) certification will help Belize to market our poultry products in other, larger regions.

    Dominoes Diplomacy
    Efforts at diplomacy between Belize and Guatemala may be going through a rough patch, but our friends in PG don't need diplomats, because they have dominoes! Last weekend, while much of the nation watched canoes race across Belize, the Punta Gorda Dominoes Team hosted their friendly rivals, the Labuga Livingston Guatemala Dominoes Team. The teams ignored whatever malice their governments harbour for each other, and instead went head to head in the popular pastime. While the PG team took home the winner's trophy, both teams walked away from the dominoes table smiling.

    Channel 5

    P.M. Touts Savings of New Superbond to Honor G.O.B. Commitments
    Since Friday, there was indication that the creditor committee representing bondholders had accepted the latest offer by Government for the restructuring of the Super Bond. Prime Minister Dean Barrow this [...]

    Further Savings Result from Elimination of Early Amortization Payments
    Government did not meet the February payment in light of the ongoing restructuring.  And according to the Prime Minister, the big saving is in the amortization, which was set to [...]

    Payments on Principal Put Off to 2030
    Going forward, government will make repayments on the principal.  It will, however, have to make five soft bullet payments leading up to the maturity of the bond in 2034.  Those [...]

    P.U.P. Throws Cold Water on New Arrangements
    The People’s United Party was quick to respond to the Prime Minister’s latest press conference calling it nothing more than a ‘smoke and mirrors’ presentation. According to the release, Barrow [...]

    At Senate, Eric Chang Claims Limited Involvement in Visa Foils Scandal
    While the Prime Minister was crunching the numbers at the Biltmore, the Senate Select investigation was taking place in the capital where insights into the immigration illegalities were coming from [...]

    Chang Says Immigration is “A Sensitive Issue”
    Chang also specifically denied helping anyone obtain Belizean visas, nationality and passport except in the case of a Taiwanese-Belizean whose daughter had obtained nationality by descent and needed a passport [...]

    In Taiwan, Eric Chang Tried to be a Friend to Won Hong Kim
    All good stories, perhaps, are long stories, and the case of Won Hong Kim is a good one. The revelation that former Minister of State Elvin Penner assisted the jailed [...]

    Attorney Explains Why Chang Did Not Come Forward
    Outside, Chang consented to answer a few questions from the press. He reiterated that he was here to clear his name and that he felt that went well enough. But [...]

    Patrick Tillett Dealt with Visa Apps for 6 Grand a Pop!
    Another witness who had to be summoned to appear before the Senate Special Select Committee was accountant Patrick Tillett, who readily provided details of his involvement in applying for visas [...]

    Did Accountant Get What He Paid For?
    Unbelievable as it may sound, Tillett says there are people willing to pay thousands of dollars to have someone like him work through immigration agents to get their documents facilitated, [...]

    Skeptical Senate Warns: ‘Fool Di Taak, But Da No Fool Di Listen’
    The Senators, to say the least, found it unbelievable that Tillett would be willing to cover the loss on the visas if the transaction, as he insisted, was above-board. Try [...]

    Lindsay Wade Says “Bring Mr. Middleton!”
    The final witness at today’s public hearing was former Immigration Officer at the Western Border Station, Lindsay Wade. He was formally accused in the Auditor General’s Report as the man [...]

    Belize Will Not Give Up Oil and Utilities; Resists Full I.M.F. Program
    Turning back to the Super Bond, the proposed sale of shares in B.T.L. and B.E.L. also caught the eyes of bondholders during the renegotiation process.  According to PM Barrow, creditors [...]

    Barrow Promises No Stand-By Arrangements with I.M.F.
    According to the Prime Minister, the involvement of the I.M.F., as a condition of the proposal being approved, is nothing earth-shattering since government meets with the financial agency annually to [...]

    FinSec: Limited Taxes Will Form Part of Growth Arrangement
    Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has also weighed in on the successful outcome of the Super Bond renegotiation.  He spoke directly to the need for additional tax measures to be implemented.  [...]

    Women’s Day Addresses Gender Justice
    Across the world, March eight is observed as International Women’s Day. It is a day set aside to celebrate women’s achievements from political to social – and simultaneously calls for [...]

    Survivor in Fatal Accident Speaks to News Five
    There was a fatal traffic accident just before midnight on Tuesday that claimed the life of twenty-one year old Kendra Mejia and injuring her brother, Hector Mejia and her seventeen [...]

    Prime Minister says Merits of Glenn Godfrey Case Not Determined Yet
    On Friday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal, whose jurisdiction includes the state of Florida, upheld a ruling in favor of businessman Glenn Godfrey.  The initial decision, in respect of [...]

    CTV3

    Chang and Tillett Face Senate Select Comittee
    It was a very heavy day for the members of the Senate Select Committee as three crucial witnesses to the investigation into the Auditor General’s special audit report appeared in one day. After refusing an invitation to show up three Wednesdays ago, both the former Belize City Council Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and the former Belize City Council financial controller Patrick Tillett submitted to a summons to appear today and answer questions about their involvement in allegations of wrongdoing in immigration. We’ll start with former politician Eric Chang who, guided by attorney Emil Arguelles, began his presentation with a prepared statement in which he claimed that he was ready to break his silence.

    How Chang Got Involved in Visa Scandal
    So how did Eric Chang get caught up in this business venture and controversy that followed? He had presented Tillett to friends who had expressed interest in visas. When the visa troubles surfaced, Chang also attended a meeting between Tillett and Immigration officials in which they were asking questions. But the versions of the role Chang played vary depending on who you talk to. Immigration Official Mark Tench testified that Chang was a key player, but today it was Chang’s turn to speak up, and as you would expect, he claimed that he was an innocent by-stander.

    Chang Says He Was Duped Into Visiting Kim Won Hong In Taiwan
    Chang also had to answer the allegations in the report that he made an attempt to visit the notorious Kim Won Hong who was at a detention center in Taiwan. The case of Kim, the South Korean national, who obtained Belizean nationality and passport illegally has been at front of immigration scandals. Today, Chang owned up to his actions, admitting that he DID try to pay Kim a visit, but he claimed he was duped into it.

    PUP Calls GOB Renegotiation Of Superbond Nothing More Than Smoke And Mirrors
    As you heard at the top of the newscast Prime Minister Dean Barrow placed the blame squarely on the PUP administration for the country’s external debt and even chastising them for deeming superbond 3.0 as the UDP superbond. Well today the Opposition wasted no time and fired back at the Dean Barrow Administration by stating that the Prime Minister’s latest press conference on the BarrowBond 3.0 was nothing more than a ‘smoke and mirrors’ presentation utilizing hocus-pocus economics. According to the party’s release, the P.M and his anointed financial pundits spent much time today lauding themselves for what is nothing more than an attempt to clean up the UDP’s own mess from the previous restructuring failure and the figures used today reflect nothing more than the PM’s traditional spin tactics.

    Fuel Increases For The Second Time In Less Than A Week
    At midnight on Friday the cost of fuel increased for the second time in less than two weeks. The value for V-Power saw an increase of eight cents going from ten dollars and forty three cents to ten dollars and fifty one cents. Regular gasoline on the other hand remains at nine dollars and seventy cents, diesel at nine dollars and fifteen cents and the value of kerosene at five dollars and forty three cents after last week’s hike. Similar to other instances there has been no explanation for the recent increase.

    LOVE FM

    Food Vendor Charged with Attempted Murder
    Twenty-four year old Linburgh Clarke, a food vendor of Central American Boulevard, was charged with the attempted murder of Brandon Bennett when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Clarke was also charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm. He was remanded into custody until May 9. Bennett was shot in his abdomen shortly after 2 p.m. on Friday, March 3, while he was at the northern approach to Belcan Bridge. He was admitted to ward at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where his condition is reported to be critical but stable. Yesterday, 20 year old Kevin Flores was charged with abetment to commit murder in connection with the same incident.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    “Let’s get Growing”: National Agriculture and Trade Show 2017
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) Committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development has announced the dates for the NATS 2017 as the 28th, 29th, and 30th of April. The event will be celebrated under the theme “Let’s Get Growing”. Preparation of the grounds is currently under way and the committee informs all interested persons that the reservation and sale of concession stands, food stalls, open spots and commercial booths have commenced. Right of first refusal will be granted to 2016 lease holders and as such those vendors will have until March 17, 2017 to confirm their desire to re-establish their booth leases.

    Southern cops find 2 grams of ganja
    On Monday morning around 10:00, police conducted a search in an area in San Pedro Colombia village, Toledo where officers found a white sack containing 2.5925 grams of cannabis. It was deposited as “found property”.

    Sixty LED streetlights street lights for three municipalities
    Yesterday, the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities and Hubert L. Usher & Sons Construction of Dangriga Town signed an article of agreement for the installation of 60 solar LED streetlights.

    Chang was bringing investors to Belize?
    Eric Chang told the Senate Special Select Committee during his testimony that he was trying to bring in investors to Belize. Chang told the committee that his only agenda was to bring investors to Belize. He vehemently denied assisting international fugitive Won Hong Kim and other “investors” in getting their Belizean passport.

    Chang denies allegations in relation to Wong Hong Kim case; Says he only served as translator
    Chang in his statements at the Senate Special Select Committee today acknowledged that he attempted to visit Wong Hong Kim in prison in South Korea. However, when asked by Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, Aldo Salazar, Chang denied trying to get visas for Wong Hong Kim and other friends in South Korea. Chang says that he was asked by a friend to visit Kim and to serve only as a translator.

    Road traffic accident near Calla Creek Junction in Cayo District injures 2 and claims 1 life
    According to police reports, last night about 11:35, Benque Viejo police responded to a traffic accident between miles 70 and 71 near the Calla Creek Junction on the George Price highway. Police observed a silver colored Mazda 4 door van parked in an open lot off the road facing the highway with its entire left and front portion extensively damaged.

    Eric Chang answers to Senate Select Committee; Rejects allegations about involvement in Immigration Scandal
    Eric Chang answers to Senate Select Committee; Rejects allegations about involvement in Immigration Scandal. One of the most infamous personalities in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report into the irregularities of the Passport and Immigration Department is former deputy mayor of Belize City, Eric Chang. Chang had declined an invitation to appear before the Senate Select Committee three weeks ago. However, today, Chang is answering to the Committee and seems to have suffered a severe case of amnesia.

    Customs officials confiscate as many as 15 vehicles in northern Belize
    According to 7 News Belize, customs officials (CS) in the north have confiscated 15 vehicles in the last three weeks. On February 27, CS caught a Silver Nissan Pathfinder at the Santa Cruz landing with 45 cases of biscuits and ten cases sweets. A minor and an adult were inside the vehicle.

    Happy International Women’s Day 2017
    Today, March 8, 2017 is International Women’s day and it celebrates the holistic achievements of women. The theme for this year’s women’s month is Empowering women in a changing world: Planet 50:50 by year 2030. Women’s contributions to society stems from social, economic, cultural and political platforms. Today in Belize, women’s achievements are being celebrated with a Women’s Forum which will be held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City from 8am to 1pm. Some of Belize’s most influential women will be plotting the way forward.

    Dr. Carl Meggs passes
    Dental surgeon, Dr. Carl Meggs, died from a heart attack on Friday. He was found dead at his dental clinic by his common-law-wife who could not reach him. Meggs was not only a doctor, he was an associate of the People’s United Party and had even served as an advisor to the PUP’S Orange Walk town Councils.

    Fatal RTA on George Price Highway, Cayo leaves one dead
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that last night shortly after 11:00, a van ran off the road killing one of its occupants. The driver of the van lost control and ran into an open lot on the left side of the road on the George Price Highway. The van was reportedly travelling from a west to east direction from Benque Viejo to San Ignacio town.

    PUP celebrates International Women’s day
    The Leader of the opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) John Briceno issued a statement today on the occasion of International Women’s day. Briceno says that this special day is set aside to celebrate the women of the world, and locally, more so the women of Belize. It is a day to examine and recommit our efforts at achieving equality while at the same time honoring women’s contributions to Belize, he said.

    Belize gets more oxygen from bondholders
    In the third quarter of last year, the Government of Belize (GOB) called up the Belize Bond holders in New York to request an unprecedented third restructuring of the countries only international bonds of US$530 million. The bond holders knew that this was a distress call….an S.O.S. from the GOB….which had run the country to almost broke, after the last restructuring in 2013….by choking the private productive sector, pursuing an extravagant public-sector driven economic strategy riddled by mass corruption, squandering the PetroCaribe windfall of around $450 million between 2012 and 2016, while doing absolutely nothing to re-engineer public policy to create a more competitive and productive economy.

    Blogs

    Farming on Ambergris Caye
    Ambergris Caye is much more than a sand bar. Over 25 miles long with lagoon, swamps, highlands (12 feet – get your crampons!), jungle and Mayan sites – travel 5 miles north from town…different…15 miles north…WOW! Not much of the land is great for agriculture – almost every single piece of produce comes from the mainland or abroad. (Or Markus’ gorgeous aquaponics operation.) But there are very rare pockets of land with black dirt – left behind by dense jungles cleared recently or hundreds of years ago by the Maya. Cayo Frances Farm & Fly is one of those unique spots. I’ve been here for the last few days. I have been doing a bit of gardening. This land is already planted with some gorgeous trees – many of them typical Belizean fruits. Andress, who works and lives at the farm, does such an amazing job tending to these 3 acres. I like to prance around acting as if I played some tiny part.

    Belize Travel: The Must-Dos
    Belize is a small country jam-packed with amazing vacation options. About the same size as the state of Vermont, Belize is a natural wonderland of verdant mountains, majestic waterfalls, pristine rainforests, and tropical island paradises. Throw in an eclectic population of Creoles, Mestizos, Garifuna, Maya, and expats and you’ve got a truly amazing experience. Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, a living wonderland composed of more than 100 types of coral that shelter and feed more than 500 species of fish, dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays. With crystal clear waters and a sandy white seafloor, scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular activities. Experienced divers can try their hand in the Belize Blue Hole, rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of his top 10 favorite dive sites in the world. And if relaxing is more your thing, few experiences can compare to curling up with a good book in a hammock strung between two palm trees.

    What is Maxi’s and Why is Everyone Talking About It?
    What is Maxi’s? The question started popping up on social media on Saturday night as Facebook check-ins and Instagram posts drew curious minds to inquire. Maxi’s is the newest gastronomic adventure by internationally acclaimed Chef Jennie Staines. Owned by her mother Elvi Staines and managed by her son Oscar Pinelo and her niece Elvie Guerrero, it’s another family owned an operated establishment by the Staines family. Its soft opening on March 4th came almost surprisingly since the small business doesn’t even have a sign up yet. Still, crowds swarmed to the inviting atmosphere. Needless to say, if my aunt Jennie is involved the food is something to write home about! Having over 30 years of experience in the culinary field and countless awards and recognitions in her name Chef Jennie is a prodigy of food in Belize. Of course you can have wine or your favorite cocktail with your tapas, but mojitos made with fresh cane juice are the specialty at Maxi’s. My favorite and a must try is the Watermelon Mojito!

    International Sourcesizz

    El conflicto geopolítico que pondría en jaque al comercio de Centroamérica
    The geopolitical conflict that would put in check to trade in Central America. Here the history and implications: Belice y Guatemala son los países por donde pasa mucho del comercio de Centroamérica, comparten 4,831 mdd de ingresos per cápita. Un conflicto que data de hace 157 años podría terminar esa relación comercial. Centroamérica es un mercado con casi 43 millones de habitantes, y genera 0.25% del PIB mundial, dicen datos del Banco Mundial. Belice es el único país de Centroamérica donde el idioma oficial es el inglés, su tasa de crecimiento es de 2.3% y su PIB se ubicó en 1,763 mdd en 2015. Guatemala tiene una tasa de crecimiento de 4.1% en 2015 y las proyecciones económicas para 2016 son de 3.6%.

    Rotarians, Others Continue Belize Trip Legacy
    Larry Campbell of Three Rivers encourages his fellow Rotarians to help children they don’t know and may never meet, in the Libertad RC School in the Central American country of Belize. They have answered the call for more than a quarter century, most recently as five Rotarians and 14 of their family members and friends took a trip there in February to install 20 ceiling fans in classrooms, mow the lawn, clean rooms, repair furniture and do classroom activities with students. Originally, Rotary District 6360 established a three-year international project called Belizerve, to assist in improving education in Belize.

    The Brimming and Colorful Culture of San Pedro Manifested by Its Annual Carnaval
    Ambergris Caye, Belize, March 8, 2017 (Newswire.com) – El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro, one of the most vibrant and fascinating festivities around the world, is a 150-year-old annual festival that is celebrated to begin the Lenten season in the beautiful town of San Pedro in Ambergris Caye. It is a strong showcase of the unique culture in San Pedro and is one of the most anticipated celebrations in Central America. Generally, the festivity is meant for people to give free rein to their bodily pleasures, which eventually they will avoid during the Lenten season. It has two highlights; the event of Comparsas, where men dress as women to dance for money through the main streets of the town, and painting, where people enthusiastically and literally cover each other with paint in the streets of San Pedro. Each year, there exists a competition where prizes are given to the best dancers. And on the last day of the carnival, people rush in the street to end the festival with people still painting each other. Displaying similarities with New Orleans’ Mardi gras, it has a unique and remarkable touch in the locality of Central America that is a testament to its undying culture.

    Videos

  • Sugar Industry Research & Development Institute, Integrated Pest & Disease Management Project, 24min.

  • Early Child Hood Development - Laying the Foundation, 26min.

  • Prime Minister discusses "Superbond" Restructuring, 100min.

  • Former Deputy Mayor does not recall important facts about passport that almost got sent to a foreign national, Won Hong Kim in prison, 1 3/4hr.

  • Jack in Belize, 3min. Fighting a 12 lb. Jack out of a kayak in Belize.

  • UN Resident Coordinators' joint interview on the UN MSDF || 'Open Your Eyes' - Belize Channel 5, 80min. The UN Resident Coordinators for the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean come together to discuss the newly implemented United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN MSDF) on the live, early morning program "Open Your Eyes" on Channel 5 Belize:

  • The Sights and Sounds of La Ruta Maya 2017, min.

  • Everyday Heroes, 2min. Conzuelo Flores from Cayo District, Belize, is the primary caregiver of 4-year-old Allizon, and she knows exactly what is needed for brain development in young children.

  • Ra the Osprey, Fish for Lunch at the Belize Bird Rescue, 21min. On your lunch break? Share it with an Osprey! Ra the Osprey, feeding on a lunch of fish during his rehabilitation at the Belize Bird Rescue during the summer of 2016. Rah was brought to the Belize Bird Rescue after suffering from a broken wing. After months of care and strengthening his now healed wing, Ra was eventually released back into the wild at Caye Caulker, Belize, where he now fishes happily! Congratulations Rah, and good work, Belize Bird Rescue!

  • Why flights take longer than 50 years ago, 1min. A nonstop flight from NYC to Houston in 1973 took 2 hours and 37 minutes. That same flight now takes 3 hours and 50 minutes. Why?

  • A Message from the Special Envoy of Belize on International Women's Day, 3.35min. Today, on International Women's Day 2017, we join the global community to celebrate our women and girls, who despite barriers, have been agents of positive change. In the video below, the Special Envoy for Women and Children encourages Belizeans to recommit to work in solidarity for the well-being of women.

  • The Ministry of Tourism Discusses Plans for 2017, 4min. Dr. Warren Smith, CDB President, said that the tourism industry in Belize shows great potential for growth. Well, we sat down with the CEO in the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation YashinDujon to discuss the plans the ministry has for the tourism industry this year. Here’s what we found out…

  • Li' Yelloh Won! (Adventures in Belize), 3min. Some shots from our trip to Caye Caulker, Belize in February 2017. All aerial footage by John Westlund!

  • Going back to Belize !, 11min.

  • Day 5: Study Abroad in Belize, 3min. Day 5 of our study abroad in Belize. We helped students at Central Farm again today.

  • U.S. Embassy Belize - "Be Bold For Change" Cyberbullying Campaign, 1.5min. Happy International Women's Day, Belize! To honor this day and Women's History Month, we are kicking off our campaign Be Bold for Change and show Cyber Respect. Join us and say NO to cyber violence!

  • MK & Dan's Honeymoon Adventures at Coco Plum Island Resort Belize, 6.5min.

  • Blue Hole Belize, 1min. Sharks while snorkeling in the great blue hole near San Pedro, Belize.

  • Happy International Women's Day! Today we celebrate social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women! , 1min. Women's Day is a global day where we celebrate the achievements of women! Pelican Beach Resort Dangriga wanted to share our thoughts on Womens Day!

    March 8, 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

    Two suspects detained following weekend shooting in Caye Caulker
    Police have detained two persons in relation to a shooting incident, which occurred in Caye Caulker Village on Monday, March 6th. Since then, the Caye Caulker Police Formation, along with the assistance of the San Pedro Formation, have launched an extensive investigation into the matter. According to the most recent report, on Monday, March 6th at 12:23AM, McFarlane, Garcia, and Munnings were attacked on Xocol Street of Bahia Area by a male person. He had a rag over his face and fired several shots towards them. As a result, McFarlane received gunshot injuries to his left upper back and left leg, while Garcia received injuries to his left leg and left lower back. However, the injuries to Munnings (Garcia’s common-law wife) were to her left upper shoulder and were reported as very serious. On Monday afternoon, March 6th, police were able to apprehend two male persons of interest, who they believe can assist them in their investigations. They were taken to the San Pedro Police Station, were they are being detained as police continue investigating the matter.

    San Pedro Pirates continue to grow as a Football Club
    San Pedro’s very first semi-professional football team, the San Pedro Pirates Football Club, is well into its preparation for their participation in the Premier League of Belize. Apart from training, the Football Club has also taken on several community efforts, including hosting youth football camps as well and other goodwill events. Most recently, members of the team took part in the blood drive held by the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch. Several players donated blood in hopes of increasing the island’s blood reserve for emergency cases. As for the ongoing youth football training camp, organizers are pleased with the number of island children taking part. The aim of the training camp is not only to nurture young talent, but to also provide a healthy recreational activity for the island’s youth.

    Belize Participates in UN Regional Steering Committee Meeting
    The UN Resident Coordinators of the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN-MSDF) Regional Steering Committee met in Placencia, Belize on March 1st, 2017 at their annual meeting. The current Chair of the Committee, Mr. Christian Salazar, Resident Coordinator of the UNDP graciously invited the Government of Belize to share Belize’s experience in ensuring policy coherence with the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) to the Sustainable Development goals and objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. CEO Yvonne Hyde of the Ministry of Economic Development informed on the governance structure in place for the GSDS and the progress made with its implementation.

    Ambergris Today

    Celebrity Spotting "Tiffany Trump" in San Pedro
    Tiffany Trump, daughter of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, was spotted today, March 7, 2017, catching a boat to her hotel on North Ambergris Caye, Belize. She was in the company of U.S Embassy members and her boyfriend Ross Mechanic. Tiffany has also had the opportunity to visit the mainland of Belize as she spent a couple days in Cayo and enjoying a zip lining adventure. In December of 2016 it was Tiffany's sister, Ivanka Trump, and her husband who vacationed on the island of Cayo Espanto, Belize off the shores of Ambergris Caye.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    La Ruta Maya Final score over-all

    Masquerade - A Night in Monte Carlo
    Saturday is the big night! Get your tickets now and help this very worthy fund raiser for Hope Haven Children's Home! This will be the grandest event of the year, so make sure to RSVP; tickets are limited! A Raise Me Up benefit, Masquerade will be an unforgettable trip through Monte Carlo... Delectable cuisine will be catered by Pier 366 Seafood House and paired with great wines. Mark your calendars; this beachfront event at Banyan Bay Suites is sure to sneak up on you! The charity organization is Raise Me Up's and San Pedro Lions Club, Belize latest project, Hope Haven, a children's home that will provide necessary services to women and children on the island. It's the first children's home on the island, and we're raising funds to help commence and finish construction. The festivities commence at 6pm, so come dressed to the nines! The theme is black, gold, and purple (not required, but recommended). If you need to purchase a mask, Kaitlin McWHorter of Sancas Realty will have them available; make sure to buy yours before they sell out! Every attendee will receive chips for charity, allowing them to play table games, which include poker, roulette, blackjack, and craps! The top 10 chipholders at the end of the evening will win the grand prize, to be announced before the benefit. Rebuys are allowed, so make sure to try your luck and skill at winning one of the ten prizes, valued at over $15,000!

    BELIZE HIGH COMMISSION: ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP FOR BELIZE REVITALIZED
    The Belize High Commission in London is pleased to announce the revitalization of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Belize as signaled by an Annual General Meeting held today, 7 March, 2017 at Portcullis House. Over the past few years, the group had become inactive. High Commissioner Perla Perdomo sought to revitalize the group by bringing together former members for suggestions on who could be invited to participate. MP for Beckenham, Colonel Bob Stewart DSO quickly organized an Annual General Meeting. The event was attended by Members of Parliament as well as Members of the House of Lords. An election was held to name the Chair, Vice-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer and Officers. Colonel Bob Stewart was elected as Chairman. He is supported by Vice Chairs Wayne David, MP for Caerphilly (Labour) and Stephen Paterson, MP for Stirling (Scottish National Party). Lord David Watts (House of Lords, Labour) will serve as Treasurer, while Lord John David Taylor, Baron Kilclooney (House of Lords, Ulster Unionist Party) will serve as Secretary. All others present will serve as officers. The Rt Hon. the Lord Foulkes of Cumnock was named honorary president as a sign of gratitude for previously chairing the All Party Parliamentary Group.

    Fundraiser for Jamaal Crawford
    Fundraiser for Jamaal Crawford who was airlifted to a hospital in Cancun, Mexico for urgent medical treatment. March 18th, Cayo Welcome Center, 8am until.... Hey guys Join us on the 18th Of March as we do a fundraiser for Jamaal. We are open to suggestions an more ideas please contact the number for more information or 605-2074 as well.

    Professors from the University of Tennessee and University of Florida visited Vaca Forest Reserve
    To get a first-hand experience of potential intern field projects that will support the initiatives of the Friends of the VFR.

    Chaa Creek finalist for National Geographic award
    Congratulations The Lodge at Chaa Creek for being a finalist for National Geographic's World Legacy Award under the category "Engaging Communities"! Best of luck and thank you for representing Belize well!

    Road to Championship: La Ruta Maya 2017
    Great photos....

    Go Fund Me for Camille Munnings
    Camille Munnings is a strong hard working mom of 2 beautiful daughter who lives in Caye Caulker, Belize. She was always smiling and happy, loved by all who knows her. She was always the life of the party, the jokester who made everyone laughter. On Sunday the 5 of March Camille was rushed by boat to Belize with gun shots wounds to her body. One in her shoulder the other lodged in her head.. She is fighting for her life...

    North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch Group
    Attention all North Ambergris Caye residents! A meeting will be held on Saturday, March 11th starting at 10PM at the Grand Caribe Conference Room to discuss the revival of the North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch. Everyone is invites to this important meeting on the safety of North Ambergris Caye.

    Upgrading of Caracol Road Project
    A Consultancy Services agreement was signed today, March 7th, between the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, and Dr. Nabeel Abdul-Raheem Consultants of Kuwait at US$736,150. The Government of Belize has received a Technical Assistance Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to assist in financing the services of consultants to prepare a technical and economic feasibility study and detailed designs for the Upgrading of Caracol Road Project (Georgeville to Caracol Archaeological Site). The objective of the consultancy is to determine the technical and economic feasibility of the rehabilitation of the Caracol road to paved standards. The study will include the preparation of the detailed engineering design and preparation of bidding documents. Following procurement guidelines acceptable to our funding partner, the successful design consultant was selected after thorough review of technical and financial proposals of four international firms.

    Air Show at Spanish Lookout
    We'll be there..will you? You can't miss this Air Show at Spanish Lookout. Get ready for an exciting Sunday this March 12th, 2017 at the the biennial "Fly In" at the airstrip in Spanish Lookout. The airstrip is half a mile past Country Side Park. Airplanes will be arriving from the morning around 10 A.M. although the entertainment and planned events don't start till after 12:30 P.M. RIDES! Astrum Helicopters will be offering rides for sale on location, so and your loved one can go for a flight over the country side. SKYDIVING! We will have a professional skydiving team performing for everyone to enjoy. And for US$199 you too can jump out of a plane with a highly experienced professional skydiver who will bring you back safely to the ground.

    Power interruption 10:00am to 11:00am, Friday, March 10: portion Placencia Peninsula
    Including The Plantation, Forest Lagoon Estate, Coconut Walk Drive, Poinciana Drive, Maya Beach, Cocoplum Development, Surfside Development, Seine Bight, entire Placencia Village, and surrounding areas and portion of Independence Village which includes Noralez Area, Malacate and Savannah Road. BEL to repair hotspots on power distribution system in area.

    Break...Fast Women's Art Exhibit
    The Wildfire Artmosphere is kicking off their Break...Fast Women in Art Exhibit this Friday, March 10th, at 7:00pm. Every weekend this month, they are having an event to celebrate Women's month. "We are excited + honored to join you and the community and the world in celebrating Women! stay tuned for more details or just show up!"

    Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
    Some photos from the central American Waterbird Census in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Channel 7

    Friends Executed In Double Murder
    2 friends were executed over the long weekend. Their bodies were found on Saturday afternoon, thrown on a feeder road along the Western Highway. 23 year old Godwin Panting better known as "Paps" and 27 year old Albert Wade better known as "Taka" were shot dead. Now it is not clear as to what these men were doing on the feeder road or if they met up at that location but there are several reports which suggest they were lured there. Courtney Weatherburne has more details. Godwin Panting had been working at Pepper's Pizza since late 2014. He was a contracted deliveryman. And in just those few years, he developed a close friendship with his co-workers. Shamira Thurton, Cashier, Pepper's Pizza: "He was a really nice person." They were waiting for him to show up to work on Saturday morning but he never came in. But later on they found out

    Murder Victim Had Been Threatened
    Now according to Wade's sister, Wade was threatened. Here is how she put it. Marybeth Wade, Albert Wade's Sister: "He no do nothing without me, everything he does he tells me, I tell you we just close." Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "He didn't tell you that he was in trouble or problem with anyone, you know why they would want to kill him like this mein?" Marybeth Wade, Albert Wade's Sister: "Well they just told me that, I got a text the same night from the girl he was with saying that she overheard my brother talking to somebody who was threatening him or something and that is the reason I told him call me and he say no sis "I Straight.""

    Who Murdered Marvin?
    And by Saturday night, police sirens would be wailing again for another murder. This time the victim was 42 year old Marvin Flowers. Close to midnight he was walking along Jasmine Street where his sister lives, when a man pulled up on bike and shot him multiple times. The shooter fled the scene, and Flowers was rushed to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injuries two hours later. His family declined comment, but we spoke to his close friend and neighbor, who gave us a little more insight into what happened... Voice of: Neighbor/Friend of the Deceased: "I hear the ringing and I just saw people running at the spot. I know the guy was a cool guy. I don't really know about what he was involved with."

    Mother of Two In Coma, With Bullet To Head
    Tonight, a mother of two is in an induced coma at the KHMH with a bullet lodged in her brain. Doctors are hoping she can make a recovery, but at this point, it's too early to tell. 29 year old Camille Munnings was one of three persons shot early on Monday morning on the south end of Caye Caulker near the airstrip on Xocol Street. The alleged culprit was a man with a rag over his face. Just after midnight, he strode up to Raul McFarlane, Akeem Garcia and Camille Munnings and opened fire, hitting the two men to the back and leg, while the bullet grazed Munnings shoulder and ended up lodged in the back of her head. She is Akeem Garcia's common law wife. San Pedro Police detained two suspects but may have to release them because they say the victims who are conscious, namely Garcia and McFarlane don't want to cooperate. And while that is a police matter, all Camille Munnings' family cares about right now is that she makes it. Today, her sister asking to appear off camera told us what they know about her condition so far:...

    Teenaged Friend Charged For Killing Minor in Teakettle
    On Friday we told you about the murder of 17 year old Teakettle Resident, Ernesto Wiltshire. Well, tonight, Belmopan police have charged an 18 year old for his murder. He is fellow Teakettle villager Shemar Santos who also happened to be a close and trusted friend of the deceased. But, friend or not, Police believe that Santos chopped Wiltshire behind the head at an area one mile behind Teakettle village and left him for dead. The teenager's body was found on Friday afternoon, but he had gone missing three days earlier. On Tuesday morning, he went swimming with two friends in the River. He returned but his friends called him back to the river, and that is when his family believes this group of friends, all minors, set up to kill him. A search team found his decomposing body on Friday. A post mortem concluded he died from multiple shop wounds to the head.

    Report: Creditor Committee Says Yes To Revised Superbond Offering
    On Friday we told you about the news that government had significantly revised its Superbond offer - and yesterday we learned that the creditor committee likes the new deal. According to an article on nasdaq.com, Belize's creditors have approved the bond restructuring. the article says, quote, "a committee representing the majority of bondholders endorsed a revised proposal from Belize that reduces the interest rate on the note and shortens its maturity." End quote. The new offer proposes an interest rate of 4.9375%, slightly below the current 5% and significantly lower than the 6.76% that was going to kick in on August 20th. The savings on interest amounts to over 50 million dollars. Additionally, the final maturity date of the bond has been brought forward from 2038 to 2034. Now, the biggest change is on repaying the principal. This was originally scheduled to be done in two payments annually for 19 years, between 2019 and 2038. But it will now be done in five annual payments between 2030 and 2034. That means that for 11 years, payments on the principal will be deferred. This will result in huge cash flow saving for government, as much as 600 million dollars over those 11 years.

    CJ Says "Very Well" To Sewell Legal Team
    A week ago, we told you how Mark Seawell, the last of the Seawell Brothers who's fighting his extradition to the US, went to the Supreme Court to ask the Chief Justice to reopen his habeas corpus case. Since the judge hasn't given a ruling in 3 and a half years, Seawell's attorneys want the CJ to hear new arguments which they think could get the extradition proceedings set aside once and for all. American law enforcement says that from the late 1990's, Mark, along with his brothers Gary and Duane, set up a marijuana and cocaine smuggling business where they recruited couriers from to transport cocaine from Mexico to the US. They allegedly hired recruiters who offered spring break vacationers all-expense paid trips to Cancun if they agreed to make the trip down to Belize and pick up a pair of tennis shoes. They would take those shoes, which had a kilogram of cocaine hidden in the soles, back to the US, and that's how the drugs were allegedly smuggled in.

    He Abetted In Attempted Murder Cops Say
    Today Kevin Flores appeared in the Magistrate's Court, where he was read a charge for abetment to commit murder. According to reports, Flores aided and abetted Linsburgh Clarke in the shooting of Brandon Bennett on the Belcan Bridge on Friday afternoon. Flores's offence is indictable, so no plea was taken and he was not offered bail. He was remanded into police custody until May. Linsburgh Clarke has not yet been charged for his alleged involvement in the incident.

    Customs Making Many Seizures In North
    Customs in the north has confiscated as many as 15 vehicles in the last three weeks. One of them is this silver Nissan Pathfinder. On February 27th, Customs found it at the Santa Cruz landing with 45 cases of assorted biscuits and ten cases assorted sweets. A minor and an adult were inside the vehicle. And, on Friday night at 10:00, Customs were on river patrols in the Rio Hondo when they intercepted a vessel an aluminum 15 foot skiff, loaded with 25 cases Suprerior beer and 1 case Corona beer and 6 cases 3 litre sized soft drinks.

    Upstart Mexicans Defy Their Own Military At Bridge
    In other news from the northern frontier, the Mexican military had major problems their side of the Belize - Mexico bridge this weekend with some very upstart cross border smugglers. Now, this is the old bridge, between Subtiniente Lopez and the Free Zone, where there had been a showdown between defiant Mexican smugglers and the Belize Customs some weeks ago. But this time, the Mexican Military was called in to deal with the same problem on their side. As you can see, the persons there showed open defiance of the military and taunted them. Mexican news reports say they were trying to arrest someone. Belizean authorities did not get involved.

    Attorney/Politician Phillip Palacio Dead At 43
    Well known attorney and former PUP politician Phillip Palacio died this morning at a hospital in the US. About one month ago, the 43 year old discovered that he had stage 4 cancer in his brain, which had already spread to his lungs. This footage taken by a friend showed him 11 days ago after he had gotten brain surgery at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. And while he looked healthy enough in those pictures, the cancer had already spread aggressively and then it overtook him early this morning. He had seizures at the residence where he was staying in California and was rushed to hospital. He passed at around 4:15 am this morning. He had first been hospitalized on February 17th. The sudden and unexpected death, after a short battle with an advanced case of cancer has triggered an outpouring of sympathy from many Belizeans and his colleagues in the legal profession. This morning, we spoke with one of his peers Bryan Neal, about Palacio's contribution to the legal profession in Belize. Here's what he had to say about his colleague and friend:

    Cleyon, The Survivor Needs Your Help To Keep Going
    Since September of 2014, we've been telling you about Cleyon Marage. He's the young man who's been battling acute myeloid leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood. Since then, his family has been struggling with the crippling cost of his medical bills, and they also worry about his continued health, given that his doctors have already told them is chances of survival are very slim. Well, little Cleyon has been beating those odds surviving almost a year, even though the doctors only gave him 1 month. His parents managed to get him a herbal treatment to substitute for the chemotherapy which was yielding very little results. They say that they still have a lot of expenses for him, and they're hoping that the public will come out and support them in a barbeque sale. It's happening this weekend, and his mother stopped by our office to beg for your help:

    Caracol Road Coming Closer to Reality
    The Caracol Road is coming closer to reality. A Consultancy Services agreement was signed today between the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, and a Kuwaiti consultant. The contract is valued at $736,150 US dollars which is being paid through a Kuwaiti grant. The consultant will prepare a technical and economic feasibility study along with detailed designs for the Road from Georgeville to the Caracol Archaeological Site. Now, it's just a feasibility study but the consultant says he hopes to finish it before the 8 month timeframe: Consultant" "And we assure you that we will ask my team to expedite the study to be finished as soon as possible, because you are familiar that once this feasibility study is finished then you have to approach the funding agencies for the required funding to construct."

    FCD Calls All Partners To Discuss Chiquibul
    And in other News related to the Chiquibul National Park, last week Friday the Friends For Conservation and Development held a bi-national consultation at the OAS Adjacency Zone Office at the Benque border. The purpose is to try to decrease the number of Guatemalan incursions into the Chiqubul. 14 Belizeans, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Forestry Department, the Agriculture Department, Immigration, BDF, Police and FCD met with 15 Guatemalan officials to discuss the Chiquibul-Maya Mountain Action Plan. Attending from the Guatemalan side were representatives from the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, Associacion Balam, CONAP - which is like their version of PACT, the Guatemalan consulate, and INAB. FCD reports that this is the third time that a Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Technical plan is being developed, and it serves as a roadmap for FCD and their counterparts, Balam, who are on the ground actively trying to do conservation work to protect the Chiquibul on both sides. The first plan was developed in 2007 and then in 2013.

    Ruta Maya Finish Is Dramatic and Dominated By One Family
    The 20th Ruta Maya River challenge ended its 169 mile trek on Monday in Belize City. Rhonda Crichton and Javier Guettierez called the finish live for Channel 7: So while D & A Smart won the final leg, NICH had the best overall time by 1`4 seconds. The two worked together on the last leg to leave the defending champ Koop Sheet metal behind:... The Cruz brothers who won are from Esperanza, and so are the female winners, who also happen to be the sisters of the male winners: The One Cruz sister you didn't see is Delia. She is a part of the winning female team, and also the mother of the 9 year old, another Cruz who made it all the way along with a very young team of his uncles:…

    Tiffany Trump Tries Belize
    And while many watched the end of the race, we didn't see Tifanny Tump. US President Donald Trump's daughter Tiffany arrived in Belize over the weekend with a large escort of SUV's. She posted this video of her zip lining on her Instagram account. Her sister, Ivanka visited last year.

    Channel 5

    Superbond Negotiations Conclude; Adviser Says Result is “Win-Win”
    Belize and holders of the Superbond have hammered out an agreement to restructure the terms of the notes for the third time in a decade.  After months of negotiations, a [...]

    Belize Must Pay Outstanding Coupon, Have I.M.F. on Stand-By
    In its daily news release, the Government gives all credit to the Prime Minister for cutting a deal which it say puts the country in a much better position to [...]

    Who Violently Ended Lives of “Paps” and “Taka” in Hattieville?
    Three persons were brutally murdered over the weekend in the Belize District. Deliverymen Albert Wade and Godwin Panting Junior were the first casualties of the weekend’s gun violence.  Sometime after [...]

    Marvin Flowers Shot Down Near Church
    The bloodshed spilled into the city over the weekend. A construction worker standing in front of a church on Jasmine Street was ambushed by a gunman on Saturday.  Marvin Flowers [...]

    Police Make Arrest in Ernesto Wiltshire Murder
    Police in Belmopan have arrested and charged eighteen-year-old Shemar Santos of Teakettle village, Cayo District for the murder of fellow villager, seventeen-year-old Ernesto “Jun” Wiltshire. Official details reveal that Ernesto’s [...]

    Violence in Caye Caulker: Woman Critical, 2 Others Shot in Early Morning
    A woman is in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was shot in Caye Caulker in the early hours of Monday morning. Twenty-eight-year-old Camille [...]

    House “Shot Up” in Belize City
    Gun violence continued well into this morning. Personnel from the Scenes of Crime Unit were summoned to Electric Avenue shortly before eleven o’clock this morning, following an incident several hours [...]

    Premium Fuel Takes a Hike – More to Come?
    The cost of fuel has increased for the second time in less than one week, particularly for premium fuel. At midnight Friday, a nineteen-cent increase went into effect for premium [...]

    G.O.B. May Go to U.S. Supremes Against Glenn Godfrey
    Glenn D. Godfrey’s GDG Acquisitions LLC has had a judgment of twenty-two million US dollars plus in its favour against the Government of Belize upheld by a U.S. Court of [...]

    The Last Chance for Mark Seawell?
    Mark Seawell is not headed home tonight, but the Supreme Court has opened a lifeline in his long-running extradition case. With his brothers Gary and Duane, he has been fighting [...]

    Accused Driver in Brandon Bennett Shooting Charged; Accused Shooter at Large
    On Friday afternoon sometime after two, twenty-four-year-old Brandon Bennett was shot in the stomach as he rode his bike on the Belcan Bridge.  The gun man identified in that shooting [...]

    U.S. Lists Abuses in Human Rights Report on Belize
    The U.S. State Department has issued its annual country report on Human Rights practices, focusing on policing and sex orientation issues as the major human rights violations committed locally for [...]

    Philip Palacio Succumbs to Cancer, Tumor at 42
    Rising attorney Philip Palacio passed suddenly following a mostly private battle with cancer and a brain tumor, for which he was undergoing surgery in the United States. He started out [...]

    Dr. Carl Meggs Dies in Orange Walk; Friends Remember “a Great Man”
    There is another death of a prominent Belizean to report tonight, this time in Orange Walk Town.  Dental surgeon Doctor Carl Meggs was active in the medical community up north [...]

    U.K. Lawmakers Come Together for Belize
    The All Party Parliamentary Group for Belize has been reactivated.  The group, whose purpose is to encourage and foster relations between the UK and Belize, has become dormant over the [...]

    The Sights and Sounds of La Ruta Maya 2017
    Another highly competitive race in the Belikin La Ruta Maya Challenge concluded on Monday in Belize City near the Bottom Dalla Store. Two new teams went on to place in [...]

    Sports Tuesday: the Best of the Sporting Weekend
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   {Feature on weekend sporting highlights….}

    LOVE FM

    One Green Planet Petitions for Protection of Belize Barrier Reef
    An environmental publication has noted that the Great Barrier Reef has lost approximately fifty percent of its coral while the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is looking at a similar fate. The Belize Barrier Reef System which is on the 2009 UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in danger is home to over a thousand […]

    Remembering Belize’s Heroes and Benefactors
    Belize observed its second public and bank holiday on Monday, March 6 in lieu of March 9 for National Heroes and Benefactors Day. The holiday was initially dubbed Baron Bliss Day until the passing of the Right Honorable George Price when it was generalized for all Belizean heroes and benefactors. Despite the name change, however, […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Caracol Road upgrading Project valued at US $736,150 signed
    A Consultancy Services agreement was signed today between the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, and Dr. Nabeel Abdul-Raheem Consultants of Kuwait at US $736,150. The Government has received a Technical Assistance Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to […]

    Attorney Philip Palacio passes away
    Attorney-at-law and former People’s United Party (PUP) politician, Philip Palacio, died early this morning. According to reports, he died from advanced lung cancer. He had been receiving treatment in the United States since early this year. Palacio represented the PUP in the 2012 General […]

    Police: Missing 17-Year-Old Boy from Teakettle was murdered
    On Friday, March 3rd, 2017, Everlyn Paula Woodye, 44, of Teakettle Village, Cayo reported that on February, 28th, 2017, about 9:30 a.m., her son Ernesto Wiltshire, 17, a construction worker, went swimming with two male friends in the Belize River and did not return home. The […]

    Gun man injures 3 in Caye Caulker over the weekend
    Yesterday morning around 12:23, Raul McFarlane of Bahia area, Caye Caulker reported to police that upon reaching near Island Oasis located on Xocol Street, Caye Caulker Village, with his common-law wife Camille Munnings and his friend Akeem Garcia, they were attacked by a gun man who had a […]

    Charles Leslie Jr. charged for shooting incident
    Police have charged 28-year-old Charles Leslie Jr., a businessman of Unitedville Village, with the crimes of “attempt murder”, “grievous harm” and “used of deadly means of harm.” These charges are in relation to a shooting Incident reported on November 5th, 2016. © 2017, BreakingBelizeNews.com. […]

    Teen in critical condition after stabbing incident in Calla Creek, Cayo
    On Saturday a teen was stabbed in Calla Creek Village in the Cayo District. Police visited the residence of 66-year-old Melva Vasquez where they saw a 17-year-old minor of Calla Creek Village suffering from a stab wound to the upper right shoulder and lower right […]

    Police find 8 parcels of weed in Cotton Tree
    On Sunday at about 10:30 a.m., police found 8 parcels of cannabis amounting to 857 grams. The discovery was made when police conducted a search in an abandoned lot in Cotton Tree Village. The drugs were found in a red and black backpack under a culvert. […]

    Murder Investigation Underway After 2 Bodies Found on George Price Highway
    Albert Wade, 27, a deliveryman of Crooked Tree Village and Godwin Panting, 24, a deliveryman of St. Martin’s area, were both found dead with multiple gunshot wounds to their bodies. Police found their bodies on Saturday at about 2:00 p.m on a feeder road between miles 12 and 13 […]

    Forty-two-year-old man killed by unknown assailant
    Marvin Flowers, 42, was killed on Saturday March, 4th, 2017 at 11:55 p.m. Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where they saw him suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. According to police investigations, he was walking on Jasmine Street towards Mahogany Street when […]

    Blogs

    Causing quite a stir: Shaken bar & restaurant opens at Mahogany Bay Village
    Mahogany Bay Village (MBV) continues to grow, with the addition of several fabulous new businesses to its line of offerings to keep visitors satisfied. Shaken bar and restaurant is the latest to debut, and on Friday, February 24th, invited guests were treated to a fun evening of cocktails, conversation and nibbles for its pre-opening party. As a spectacular sunset display highlighted the evening, guests were able to take in the gorgeous space that will be home to MBV’s first full restaurant. Located in the Great House, MBV’s 22,000 square foot crown jewel, Shaken is an outdoor bar complete with a sunset lounge (and oh the views are fantastic!). A shaded terrace overlooks the Bay Club pool, a private pool available to residence owners and Curio guests.

    Why should you visit Placencia Village, Belize
    Placencia is a beach resort on the Caribbean coast of Belize. It’s at the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula, known for its palm-lined beaches. Between the peninsula and the mainland, Placencia Lagoon is home to manatees and saltwater crocodiles. Offshore, there are dive sites on the coral Belize Barrier Reef. To the north, the Garífuna community of Seine Bight is a hub for traditional drumming and dance.Once a sleepy fishing village, Placencia has emerged as an increasingly popular eco-destination on the Caribbean. For those who enjoy outdoor adventure, the Stann Creek region offers a host of activities: hiking through mountainous rain forests, kayaking, deep sea fishing, diving and exploring Mayan ruins. The peninsula boasts 16 miles of tranquil beaches, with a lagoon to the west and the Caribbean to the east and lots of peace and quiet in the middle. Tour guides and dive centers offer a variety of excursions, with boat rides to the outer cayes an ongoing favorite. Also popular are guided land tours to Mayan Ruins or trekking the jungle trails of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, where the first Jaguar Reserve in the world was established.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize creditors approve bond restructuring
    Belize and holders of its only international bond have hammered out an agreement to restructure the terms of the notes in the Central American nation's third such operation in a decade. After months of negotiations, a committee representing the majority of bondholders endorsed a revised proposal from Belize that reduces the interest rate on the note and shortens its maturity. Bowing to investor pressure for better oversight over the country's economic management, Belize also agreed to seek assistance form the International Monetary Fund if it fails to meet certain fiscal targets over the next four years. The country's original proposal, put forward through a consent solicitation in January, was rejected by creditors who argued it would reduce the net present value of the bond by over 40%.

    Belize City Travel Guide
    Almost all visitors to Belize find themselves in the country’s largest city at one point or another, but unfortunately Belize City is not an attractive destination for most. The majority of travelers who come here are merely passing through – Belize City is the transportation hub for all international and domestic flights, as well as ferries leaving to Ambergris and Caye Caulker. But Belize City has some hidden jewels and nearby attractions that make it worth a visit. There are two airports in Belize City. The Goldson International Airport is located on the outskirts of town. A twenty minute private shuttle or taxi ride is the only option for transportation from the center of Belize City. There are both international and domestic flights departing from the Goldson airport. The Municipal Airport is located on the Belize City waterfront and provides frequent flights to various destinations all over the country. Domestic flights from the Municipal Airport tend to be cheaper than those leaving from the International Airport.

    Belize’s Coral Reef is Being Threatened by Oil Interests – Sign Petition to Stop This
    Coral reefs, some of the Earth’s most remarkable natural structures, are more than just beautiful to admire. Besides fostering a diverse marine environment, coral reefs are also vital to the health of the oceans. In total, coral reefs cover about 0.1 percent of the ocean’s but they nurture 25 percent of the world’s marine species. Coral reefs are the ocean’s lifelines and when they disappear, it can create an ecologically devastating domino effect. Sadly, the world’s corals are rapidly disappearing due to warming ocean temperatures, human industry, overfishing, and ocean acidification. For example, over the past thirty years, the Great Barrier Reef has lost approximately 50 percent of its coral. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which was placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 2009, is facing a similarly dismal future.

    Over-fishing wipes out 90% of Caribbean predatory fish
    While predatory fish are key to the Caribbean’s ecosystem and coastal economy, researchers have worryingly found that 90 per cent have been wiped out by over-fishing. But experts say there is hope for Caribbean reefs yet, as they have identified large reefs, known as ‘supersites’, which can support huge numbers of predatory fishes. If the dwindling fish species are reintroduced, they could help repair the damage inflicted by over-fishing. ‘A live shark is worth over a million dollars in tourism revenue over its lifespan because sharks live for decades and thousands of people will travel and dive just to see them up close,’ said study coauthor and marine biologist Dr Abel Valdivia. ‘There is a massive economic incentive to restore and protect sharks and other top predators on coral reefs.’

    Videos

  • The CEO Caucus Gears Up for its Second Annual Cancer Awareness Ride, 4min. The CEO Caucus of the Government of Belize is having its second annual cancer ride on Saturday, April 8, 2017, under the theme “We’re with You”.

  • Sea to Shore Alliance Belize Manatee Project, 2.5min. Sea to Shore Alliance works to protect and conserve our world’s fragile coastal ecosystems and the endangered species that call them home. We focus on the conservation of flagship species, such as manatees, sea turtles, and right whales, to ensure greater protection for the species themselves and for the sensitive habitats these animals rely on around the world. Sea to Shore Alliance biologists and ecologists combine passion for their work with technical expertise to conduct rigorous scientific research, share their knowledge with managers to ensure adequate protection for endangered species, educate the public and conserve our coastal environments for the benefit of both people and animals.

  • Yo Creek Masewal, 4min. Yo Creek Masewal is a Yucatec Maya dance group which focus in the preservation of cultural dances of the Yucatec Maya culture of northern Belize. The Maya Dancer is Esmeralda Cal .

  • Spring break- Day 1 Belize, 3min. My family and I visited the Belize zoo

  • THE CHAN PINE RIDGE AGRICULTURE AND TRADE SHOW MARCH 2017, 7min.

  • Sea to Shore Alliance launches Manatee Conservation Campaign, 20min.

  • Early Child Hood Development - Laying the Foundation, 26min.

  • Sugar Industry Research & Development Institute, Integrated Pest & Disease Management Project, 24min.

  • How Will the New Super Bond Agreement Benefit Belizeans?, 1min.

  • Kite flying is fun, but it can also be dangerous!, 1min. Belize Electricity Limited encourages you to fly kites safely by following these tips:

  • A Journal From Belize, 6min. ast year we took a trip to San Pedro, Belize. During our trip I filmed some good footage with the intention of "putting together a nice travel video - documentary style - with a cute song that people like". But I kept opening up the project and not really feeling it.

  • Belize Turniffe Island Resort, Bosch Brothers - Belize 2017, 6min. Featuring Turniffe Island Resort, Ian Andersons Cave Branch Resort.

  • Belize Turtle, 3min. Turtle we saw on our checkout dive in Belize.

  • Eagle Ray. Glovers Abyss Belize January 2017, 1min.

  • Cave Tubing in Jaguar Rainforest, Belize City, 3min.

  • The life of aggressive rollerblading in belize, 4min.

    March 7, 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


    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Corozal Animal Programs' second Dog Obedience Training Class
    Starts on Tuesday March 21st and runs for 8 weeks at the park by the Copper Horse. The course will be taught by dog trainer Lynne Shipley. 9 a.m. Puppies up to 6 months 9:30 a.m. Dogs over 6 months Cost is $80.00 payable at first class. 100% of fees go directly to fund Corozal Animal Program to provide spay/neuter, adoption, fostering and immunization for animals in the Corozal area. Respond to this email or call- 636-9698 to register

    Aracaris are closely related to the Toucan
    Three wild ones visit a fruit tree across from the porch of the main house. In 2016 there were three young Aracaris released at the rescue. Have those released birds made the rescue a part of their foraging circuit? I'll never tel

    Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2017
    Lots of photos....

    THE BIGGEST WINNERS OF 2017 LA RUTA MAYA
    While NICH claimed the first place prize in this year's La Ruta Maya, the biggest winners and the clear fan favorite was team Higher Steaks. The team has captured the attention and earned the affection on Belizeans across the country. The team is comprised of 3 young boys ages 9, 13 and 15 years old. These boys are reportedly from the Cruz family of Esperanza Village who are the most decorated paddlers in the history of the La Ruta Maya challenge. The Higher Steaks youngest paddler, Danny Cruz, is son to Daniel Cruz who has paddled with Belize Bank and now Koop Sheet Metal and has 8 championships in the pro division and his wife Delilah Cobb (now Cruz) who has also won in the female division. The youngest brother, Ervin Cruz has won titles in both pleasure and pro categories.

    Our Tapas Bar Wine Tasting
    Cayo's newest tapas bar, Our Tapas Bar, is having a wine tasting event on Friday, March 10th, and they'll have live acoustic music too. It's a really nice little spot, right next to Sweet Ting.

    Want?
    What does Belize want? What did we learn from Bookman and Toussaint? Why are we blaming the whiteman When we live in a free nation Blaming pump and circumstance Instead of creating and system with some relevance Where is the Belize Resonance? When cometh our Belesaunce? Belize’s future noh dependent pan Election It’s dependent on pan Participation Imagination Institution Cooperation Self actualization A paradigm shift Creating parallel systems fi wi people uplift

    The Reporter

    La Ruta Maya winners awarded in Belize City
    The 2017 La Ruta Maya river Challenge ended in Belize City today. The teams made their last stop at the Swing Bridge this morning, and gathered in the Bottom Dollar parking lot on North Front Street for the award ceremony this afternoon. Seven teams emerged with first place prizes, after the 180-mile race, which was broken into four phases. Team NICH (National Institute of Culture and History) took first place in the Male category; Belize Bank Bulldogs won first place in the Female category; Wat Eva Boyz took first prize in the Intramural class; U.E.S Impact Designs was first in the Mixed category; Weh Dem Deh, took first place in the Pleasure category; Team Harris was first in the Family class; and Watt a Ting was first in the Masters category.

    Police investigate three murders
    Police are investigating three murders that occurred over the holiday weekend. Police were summoned to an area between miles 12 and 13 on the George Price highway on Saturday where they discovered the bodies of two men, one dressed in red T-shirt and blue shorts and the other dressed a black shirt and black jeans pants. The two were later identified as Godwin Panting and Albert Wade. Police say both men suffered multiple gunshot wounds. In a separate incident, a shooting on Jasmine Street on Sunday night, claimed the life of Marvin Flowers. Flowers was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m., on Monday. In Caye Caulker village, three persons were shot on Xocol Street in the Bahia Area on Sunday. The Reporter will have details of these incidents in our printed edition.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Tiffany Trump is enjoying Belize’s amazing adventure tours
    Tiffany Trump, the youngest daughter of US President Donald Trump posted today on her Instagram account a video of herself enjoying a zip lining tour in Belize. Trump is seen zip lining presumably at Jaguar Paw, one of the best spots to zip line in the country. BBN reported on Saturday that Trump was seen arriving at the Philip Golson International Airport with heavy security personnel and was probably heading to Cayo Espanto, an island resort off the coast of Belize.

    4 murdered, 3 shot since Friday
    Since Friday, 4 persons have been reported dead and another 3 persons have reportedly been shot. Sometime after midnight last night on Caye Caulker, a pregnant woman, her boyfriend and her brother-in-law were all shot. They are all currently receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). At around 11:44 p.m. on Saturday, Marvin Flowers was visiting his family on Jasmine Street when he was shot dead. He died on the scene. A relative told us that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    US Associate Professor to build Kriol Museum in Belize
    A public history museum focusing on the Kriol community will be established in Belize by Eleanor Harrison-Buck, a University of New Hampshire Associate Professor of Anthropology. Harrison-Buck was awarded a grant of US $50,000 from the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship for the project. However, it is not yet known exactly where and when the museum will be constructed. In Belize, more than a third of the country’s population is part of the Kriol community which is descended from enslaved Africans brought to the country by Europeans in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    UB’s new president, Clement Sankat
    The former pro- vice chancellor and principal of the University of West Indies at St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago is coming to Belize. Clement Sankat will assume his new post as the President of the University of Belize (UB). Former President of the University, Alan Slusher headed the post since June of 2014. On February 11, at the UB graduation ceremony, the news was announced. Sankat in his remarks made a call for the extension of educational services at UB, “the role of the University must be, as a first priority, to provide much larger numbers of Belizean students from across the country an opportunity for a quality tertiary education, thereby nurturing future leaders for various professions as well as developing thinkers and providing a launch pad for creative and talentedentrepreneurs.”

    Belizeans commemorate National Heroes and Benefactors day
    A national holiday in Belize, previously commemorated as Baron Bliss day is being observed in the country today. The day was set aside to remember Belize’s greatest financial benefactor, Baron Bliss. Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss was born in Marlow, Bickinghamshire, England on February 16, 1869. In 1911 at the age of 42, the Baron was stricken with a paralysis, probably polio, that left him paralyzed from waist downward, confining him to a wheelchair. Though paralyzed from the waist down from 1911, Baron Henry maintained his love of sailing and fishing.

    Superbond 3.0 complete
    Bondholders have approved the terms of the government’s updated consent solicitation, bringing GOB’s bond restructuring efforts to a close. Reuters reported that bondholders and GOB hammered out a deal reducing the interest on the note and shortening its final maturity. According to the revised terms, the new note will pay an interest of 4.9375% below the current 5% and much lower than the 6.767% scheduled to kick in on August 20. In addition the bonds final maturity has been brought forward from 2038 to 2034. The amortization schedule, which was to begin in 2019, will now be paid in five annual installments starting in 2030.

    Two reportedly shot in Caye Caulker, woman critical
    Reports reaching out newsroom are that three people: a man, his girlfriend, and another man were socializing in Caye Caulker sometime after midnight last night when they came under fire. BBN understands that the girl was shot to her head and rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where she is listed in a critical condition. Her boyfriend, we are told, received no injuries but the other male companion was also shot. However, details of his injuries are unknown.

    Blogs

    Remembering Belize’s greatest Benefactor: Baron Bliss
    Born on February 16th, 1869 in the Buckingham County, England, Baron Bliss loved the sea and was often found sailing. Unfortunately at the age of 42, Baron Bliss contracted polio and was eventually confined to a wheelchair due to the disease. Baron Bliss didn’t allow this unfortunate events dictate his life, and soon acquired a shallow draft yacht built for his condition. On the vessel “Sea King II”, Baron Bliss sailed through the Caribbean, eventually landing in Belize. Baron Bliss came to Belize through an invitation from Willoughby Bullock, an old friend and former Attorney General of Belize. It was January 14th, 1926 when the Sea King II landed in the harbour of Belize. Baron Bliss enjoyed a little time in Belize, falling in love with a country he never explored. He died on March 9th of that same year aboard his yacht. The donation of the bulk of his fortune brought much blessings to Belize, and thus he became an iconic figure for the people.

    Belize’s March National Holiday: An Unexpected Treat
    Today, Baron Bliss Day, has always been one of my favorite national holidays in Belize. A quick note: In November, 2008, this national holiday was officially renamed “Heroes and Benefactors Day” but it remains unchanged in my heart. There are a few reasons for my love of March 9 (or whatever Monday falls closest to that date). The timing. The United States so thoughtlessly leaves a huge gap between Presidents’ Day at the end of February and Memorial Day at the end of May. A holiday in March is a great idea. His name. Baron Bliss? Amazing. It’s so well…. almost what you’d expect in a romance novel. “The Viscount that Loved Me”. “The Dreamy Duke”. “The Baron Bliss”…can’t you see it now? And the ease of it all. A day off to relax. Hang out with friends and family.

    How to Make Chicken Panucho
    Panucho is a very tasty dish made from masa and the cul used for Belizean tamales. It can be made with chicken, beef, gound beef or pork.

    International Sourcesizz

    Tiffany Trump goes zip-lining in the jungle while on vacation in Belize
    Tiffany Trump is letting her hair down in Belize with her longtime boyfriend Ross Mechanic while her father Donald continues to battle controversy just two months into his presidency. The 23-year-old First Daughter took to Instagram on Monday to share a playful video of herself zip-lining in Central America. Tiffany traded her elegant dresses for a hot pink tank top and leggings for the adventurous outing in Belize. The day before, the University of Pennsylvania graduate shared footage of herself being lowered into a cave in the stories section of her Instagram account. The video sees Tiffany descending into the darkness before heading out a tunnel in a boat, saying: 'Goodbye cave.'

    Scouts in Belize Learn about Amateur Radio
    The Belize Amateur Radio Club (BARC) presented an “Introduction to Amateur Radio” for the Scout Association of Belize on February 26. The demonstration, held at the Scouts National Training Grounds, covered BARC’s goals for Amateur Radio in Belize, a video, a hands-on demonstration of radio equipment, and a question-and-answer session. The demonstration represented a first step in cooperation between BARC and the Scout Association of Belize (Scouts Belize). “As we move forward with our friendship and cooperation, let’s remember to use our radio skills wisely for the greater good of our nation, especially in times of emergencies such as hurricanes and flooding, when we are needed most,” BARC President Emil Rodriguez, V31ER, said afterward.

    90% of Predatory Fish Gone from Caribbean Coral Reefs Due to Overfishing
    Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that up to 90 per cent of predatory fish are gone from Caribbean coral reefs, straining the ocean ecosystem and coastal economy. The good news? They identified reefs, known as supersites, which can support large numbers of predator fishes that if reintroduced, can help restore the environmental and economic setback inflicted by overfishing. The work, led by former UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Abel Valdivia working with John Bruno, a marine biologist at UNC College of Arts & Sciences, suggests that these supersites - reefs with many nooks and crannies on its surface that act as hiding places for prey (and attract predators) - should be prioritized for protection and could serve as regional models showcasing the value of biodiversity for tourism and other uses. Other features that make a supersite are amount of available food, size of reef and proximity to mangroves.

    Belize's American manager: Richard Orlowski's long route to Central America
    It probably wasn’t the introduction Richard Orlowski was expecting. Not long installed as the new manager of Belize’s national team, he took a squad of players assembled from local teams like Police United to duke it out with their Central American neighbors for the regional title. The countries that make up the sliver of Concacaf territory between Mexico and the top of South America is not exactly a haven of world beaters. But for many on the isthmus soccer is religion, and Costa Rica has lately given the region a respected focal point. If there is a Central American soccer pecking order, Belize is usually at or near the bottom. “I saw the match Belize played against Panama, and honestly, if I am the coach of Belize, excuse me and forgive me for saying this, but I am going from the hotel to my house.” Stinging words from a seemingly unlikely source: the Nicaragua head coach Henry Duarte. They followed a surprise result for Orlowski and his Jaguars side as they opened their 2017 Copa Centroamericana campaign with a backs-against-the-wall 0-0 tie against hosts Panama. It was an effective performance but not one for the purists. Duarte wasn’t impressed: Welcome to Central America.

    Going to the Beach Actually Changes Your Brain for the Better, Says Science
    We live on a lake for a reason: Being near water just makes us happy! As a child, I lived near the ocean, and always knew that a landlocked existence just wasn't for me. So I'm glad my husband and kids are also drawn to the water. But I never stopped to think about the science behind our predilection for all things blue and sparkling. Until now. It turns out research actually points to the many benefits of being near water. Namely, that exposure to the ocean, a lake, a river, or the like, reduces depression. Today's Mama reports blue space also boosts creativity, because it relaxes the brain.

    Gobierno implementa programa de acuicultura
    Según indicó la Presidencia de la República, las comunidades ubicadas en la zona de adyacencia entre Guatemala y Belice serán beneficiadas con el proyecto de acuicultura, con el propósito de reducir la desnutrición entre sus pobladores y fortalecer el desarrollo económico de las familias en estado vulnerable. El presidente Jimmy Morales dijo: “Aquí doy la orden para que se implemente la pesca de tilapia, que ya hay 26 casas que tienen laguna”.

    Videos

  • Wanderlust Belize History & Culture, 2min.

  • Wanderlust Belize Nature & Wildlife, 2.5min.

  • Lamanai, Belize, 4min.

  • Tiffany Trump shares Instagram videos from vacation to Belize, 1min. Tiffany Trump shares Instagram videos from inside a cave and from a picturesque jungle during her vacation to exotic Belize

  • Tiffany Trump goes zip-lining in the jungle while on vacation in Belize, 10sec. Tiffany Trump is letting her hair down in Belize with her longtime boyfriend Ross Mechanic while her father Donald continues to battle controversy just two months into his presidency. The 23-year-old First Daughter took to Instagram on Monday to share a playful video of herself zip-lining in Central America. The clip, which she captioned with a monkey emoji, sees her happily sailing through the trees while smiling for the camera.

  • Crazy Ass Caribbean Storm Moves into San Pedro, BELIZE 3-4-2017, 1min. Quick hard hitting storm rolled in on March 4th, 2017 and blew the crap out of the island for a few minutes and then left just as fast!

  • Wood rail in Belize, 1/2min. Taken from the boat in Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Reise durch Amerika - Belize, ein Schmelztiegel der Kulturen, 25min. "Das kleine Land Belize nimmt hinsichtlich seiner Kultur und Geschichte eine Sonderstellung unter den Ländern Mittelamerikas ein. Die parlamentarische Monarchie war vor ihrer Unabhängigkeit eine britische Kolonie. Daher ist Englisch dort auch die offizielle Amtssprache. Aber die indianische und die afrikanische Kultur sind im Vielvölkergemisch Belizes weiterhin lebendig geblieben.

  • Finish of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2017, 2min. Team NICH (National Institute of Culture and History) has won the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2017. Here is a short video by Will Moreno Photography In the first clip you can clearly see Team D&A Smart Belize Warriors edging out Team NICH to the finish of the 4th and final stage of the race but team NICH had performed well throughout the race that their cumulative time have them winning first place. In the final clip team Higher Steaks - Running W Brand Meats team is comprised of 3 young boys ages 9, 13 and 15 years old and they held their own in the race with the hearts of champions knowing they were competing against adults. They will only get better. Very proud to see their passion, courage and endurance, they are the future of the race.

  • Owen Smith Belize 2010 2012 Peace Corps Week, 6min. In honor of Peace Corps Week, I just wanted to share a few photos from my time serving in the Peace Corps in Belize between 2010 and 2012 as well as some photos from when I was able to return in 2012 after being assaulted and in 2014 when my wife I returned on our honeymoon. I'm forever grateful to all the wonderful people of Belize and especially Trio Village. I'm also thankful to the Peace Corps for the opportunity to live and work in such a special community. There are so many more friends and pictures than I could fit in a short video. I put the pictures to a song I wrote called La Resurrección. Hope you enjoy and hope that you can see the power of friendship, community, and love through the video.

  • Belize Vacation, 7min.

    March 6, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: If it seems too good to be true
    I’d like to say times have changed but sadly they haven’t, crimes and those who prey on others are still crimes but the times we live in have indeed become more modern. The roads leading to crime have become paved with the internet allowing a worldwide highway free for anyone to travel on, no matter where they live. Fortunately not all criminals are very smart. Being a small business owner has always had its challenges, no matter where you live, but nowadays you have to stay on top of the ways that crime can affect you with the internet. Credit card scams are huge with businesses. Last year in 2016 there was over $16 BILLION dollars in losses in the United States alone. How can this happen? You may be thinking oh” they lost their card, card got stolen”. NOT necessarily so. Every day when you use your credit card or bank issued card there are criminals who steal your information and NOT to use it themselves but to SELL it. Yes, they sell your numbers to the highest bidder. In a week, a month, or more, you start seeing charges on your bill or from your account that you didn’t make. Thieving card readers are able to read your cards information from your wallet, purse or even ATM’s. Do some research on the internet on how card readers steal those numbers and you will no doubt change the way you carry your cards!

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Burglar
    "Mr. Dennis, can you give me a ride home? I’m too drunk to walk.” I said, “Come on Mario. I’ll take you home but what are you doing out at two o’clock in the morning?” “Same as you,” he said. “I was having a few drinks and celebrating.” “What are you celebrating?” “I was celebrating that it’s Friday and I got paid for some yard work but now I’m celebrating that you gave me a ride home before Maria came out to find me.” As we got close to Mario’s house we could see that every light in every room was switched on. “Uh-oh,” Mario said. “I smell trouble! Let me out here and I’ll try to sneak in.”

    “Price is Right” winner Chad Majewski wins trip to Xanadu Resort
    It was a surreal moment for 40-year-old Chad Majewski when he walked away a winner on the popular USA daytime game show, “The Price Is Right”. Majewski won free airfare, six days’ garden suite accommodations at Xanadu Resort on Ambergris Caye, and a 10ft glide yoga paddle board as well. He arrived to San Pedro Town on Thursday, February 16th to enjoy his winnings. He shared his exciting experience with The San Pedro Sun. “This was totally unexpected! I was in Los Angeles [California, USA] for work [in September 2015] and got tickets for the show last minute. Of course, everyone hopes to get on the show, but I never in a million years expected to be on the show and win! It was the chance of a lifetime for sure because Belize was always on my bucket list,” said Majewski. He played ‘Coming or Go’, a game where prize dollar amounts are stacked and the contestant pushes them to the right for a higher price or the left for a lower price. After choosing the higher price of $7,325, he won the game!

    Doctor Love: Stuck in the Middle and Thrifty
    Dear Doctor Love, My husband and I are friends with a group of like-minded people who all hang out together. We BBQ’s, throw pool parties and generally have a great time. Recently one of the couples has announced they are divorcing. Though it is a mutual agreement she is very bitter while he is overjoyed with his new found freedom. They come separately to our gatherings, and it always ends in her pulling me aside crying and confiding in me things I do not want to hear. I am friends with her husband, as is my husband, and we do not want to be in the middle. She always wants me to agree with her negative comments about him and I am put on the spot. If I do not agree with her she becomes belligerent and accuses me of taking his side. How do I help her handle their separation without picking a side? /s/ Stuck in the Middle

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    SACNW General meeting (Wednesday, March 8th) at 7:00pm at Lone Star Grill
    Please come and bring a friend. Full menu is available – The Special is Ann’s LASAGNA !! Please attend and support our beautiful neighbourhood.

    Albert Morales, a Belizean winning in mixed martial arts
    We should all be proud and support all Belizeans that proudly represent our country! Kudos to Mr. Morales on the win!

    Belize Birders... Corozal Big Day coming up on March 20
    We are going in from the 19th. I am planning on taking 10 people, so let me know if you are interested. For about $150bz per person I will provide transportation, room and meals. We will start in Sarteneja and work our way through and out of the district. No special requirements needed, except having an eBird account.

    Snapshots from day 1 of the Belikin La Ruta Maya race!
    Team NICH is in first place! There are still 3 more days to come out and support our guys!

    Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge
    We're on the riverbank, making waves and promoting clean waterways! Rivers lead to the sea! Today we are partnering with Oceana Belize to promote more protection for our manatees a garbage free waterway and a healthy Belize for all!

    The Reporter

    GOB presents new terms to Bondholders
    The Government of Belize (GOB), in its effort to restructure the 2038 US Dollar Bond, presented a new set of terms to the Bondholders. Through the Central Bank of Belize website, GOB announced the new proposal, giving the Bondholders until March 10, to accept the offer. In the new proposal, GOB increased the interest rate that it’s willing to pay, from 4 percent, to 4.375 percent. The proposal also calls for an earlier maturity date, of 2034, instead of 2038. The amended principal amortization schedule, calls for five equal annual payouts, beginning on February 20, 2030 and ending on February 20, 2034, as opposed to the proposal for three equal annual instalments commencing on February 20, 2036 and ending on February 20, 2038, that GOB proposed on January 12.

    Fuel prices increase twice in one week
    Fuel prices went up twice this week, affecting all three types of fuel. The price of premium gasoline went up by 9 cents on Friday night, increasing from $10.53, to $10.44. The premium price hike came after a Monday price increase, which raised regular gasoline from $9.60 to $9.62, and Diesel from $9.06 to $9.07 per gallon. The price increase came as a result of heightened Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF), also known as acquisition costs. All three types of fuel had undergone increases due to the same circumstances on February 1. The increase comes at a time when the price per barrel for crude petroleum on the world market is beginning to rebound, causing slight increases in many petroleum derivatives, including fuel. Belize benefitted from the increase in January, when oil exports managed to record its first increase in revenues, in the past four quarters. Revenues from crude petroleum grew by over 70 percent, from $3.4 million to $5.8 million, although the volumes exported in January 2017 showed no increase when compared to the previous year.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Time lapse video shows extreme deforestation near Belize’s Chiquibul Forest
    Renowned photographer, Tony Rath, posted a time lapse video on social media this week, emphasizing the need for better protection of Belize’s flora and fauna by showing immense deforestation in Guatemala. The 31-second video showed a vast area in Guatemala, that lies next to the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, which lost a significant portion of its rainforest during the period 1985-2016, due to deforestation.

    Julius Espat lashes out at his own party
    Member of the Cayo South Division for the People’s United Party (PUP), Julius Espat, lashed out at his own party last week Tuesday when he appeared on Plus TV’s Rise and Shine show. Espat said that the PUP are using bench players right now to make decisions for the party and that bench players cannot be playing for a final game in a world cup. Espat was referring to the PUP national executive who is too comfortable for not fighting the incumbent administration. He also attacked the leadership of his party for being too close to Michael Ashcroft.

    NAC awards Caleb Orozco
    The National AIDS Commission (NAC) has awarded Caleb Orozco, in recognition for his contribution to the national HIV response in reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV. Executive Director of the NAC, Enrique Romero, said that the commission decided to recognize Orozco’s efforts in light of his local and international advocacy for men who have sex with men (MSM), a key vulnerable population, targeted in the national HIV response.

    GOB makes new bond proposal, default looms
    The government of Belize has revised it Consent Solicitation to holders of the 2038 Bonds in hopes of bringing restructuring efforts to a close before the end of the 30-day grace period with just two weeks to go after missing its US $26.6 Million coupon payment, which was due on February 20. Belize has been scrambling to finalize restructuring efforts and avoid defaulting on the bond. GOB’s original Consent Solicitation, issued on January 12, had proposed that bondholders reduce interest rates from 5 to 4 percent and that amortization payments be pushed back way until 2036 when GOB proposes it will start making three annual payments upwards of $100 Million each.

    US Court rejects GOB request to dismiss Glenn Godfrey US $22M suit
    The Government of Belize is about to undergo another round of litigation in United States Courts that could cost Belizeans another US$22 million, after the court dismissed its request to dismiss Glenn Godfrey’s US$22 million lawsuit. Since the court dismissed GOB’s request, Godfrey’s GDG Acquisitions can proceed with the lawsuit, which had been originally dismissed by a lower court in 2013. Godfrey can’t collect any money immediately; the court has to hear the full merits of the case and decide if GOB owes GDG under the agreement. If successful, Godfrey then has to seek an enforcement order from the court, to collect his money. GOB also has the option to appeal the ruling; however, it is likely that the appeal will be dismissed and end up costing the country more in interest payments and legal fees.

    “Wrong place, wrong time,” murder victim’s family says
    Marvin Flowers Sr. was gunned down on Jasmine Street in Belize City last night. A relative told BBN that he was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time when a gunman emerged and shot him. Flowers didn’t reside in Belize City and was simply visiting his family members at the time of his death.

    BEL removes empty Osprey nests from transmission structures
    Yesterday, a team of electricians from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) removed empty Osprey nests from transmission structures near the coastline in Bomba and San Pedro in the Belize District. According to BEL, the nests sometimes cause power interruptions and as a result, they placed deterrents on their structures and installed platforms for the birds to build their nests which are away from the power system. The new installed platforms will better manage reliability for customers and take care of wildlife in Belize.

    International Sourcesizz

    Prof Sankat to head University of Belize
    Clement Sankat, former pro vice-chancellor and campus principal of The University of the West Indies at St Augustine has landed a job as the new President of the University of Belize. According to a report from Belize News 5 online dated February 17, headlined “UB taps Guyanese-Trinidadian engineer for president”, “The University of Belize has a new president. He is Prof Clement Sankat, former pro vice-chancellor and campus principal of The University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago,” stated the report. The report stated that Sankat succeeds Alan Slusher who held the post since June of 2014 and was announced by chair of the Board of Trustees, Harrison Pilgrim, during the university’s graduation ceremonies on February 11. The report quoted a statement from Sankat calling for an extension of educational services at the national university. He (Sankat) says, “the role of the University must be, as a first priority, to provide much larger numbers of Belizean students from across the country an opportunity for a quality tertiary education, thereby nurturing future leaders for various professions as well as developing thinkers and providing a launch pad for creative and talented entrepreneurs.”

    Tesco pulls British sugar from its shelves and imports it from 5,000 miles away in Belize despite one if its biggest stores being based right next to a Silver Spoon factory
    Tesco has sparked outrage by pulling British sugar from its shelves - despite one of its biggest stores being right next to the factory that makes it. The supermarket giant is now using suppliers who import stock from as far as 5,000 miles away in countries such as Belize rather than using bags made from British beet. After consumers reacted angrily online, Tesco confirmed it was now stocking Tate & Lyle, which imports sugar from overseas and then refines it at its base in Silvertown, east London. Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar which makes Silver Spoon, said the retailer dropped the household brand because of 'fractions of pennies' in the cost. 'We didn't decide not to supply Tesco, they decided not to stock us,' he said.

    The View from Europe: Has Caribbean sugar a future?
    Unless the sugar industry in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) can develop in the coming months a coordinated and concerted plan of action, it is quite possible that in a few years’ time there will be little left of an industry that, for evil and good, has played a central role in the making of the Caribbean. This is because this year will see two tsunami-like events occur, both of which threaten the survival of the industry in its present form. The first relates to the changes that will take place this October in the EU’s sugar regime. Then, as a long planned domestic measure, the EU will abolish national sugar production quotas in Europe. This will have the effect of reducing the price paid for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar, while also causing the overall volume of EU sugar imports to fall as Europe becomes self-sufficient.

    Mérida: A colonial city on the Yucatan has deep roots in Mexican history
    A fan of colonial cities, not artificial tourist enclaves like Cancun, I was looking forward to Mérida. Like Cancun, it’s on the tip of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. But there all resemblance ends. In contrast to Cancun’s glitzy collection of resorts and nightclubs, Merida, three and a half hours west, is a city filled with Mexico’s rich history. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Mérida was one of Mexico’s richest cities, due to sisal, rope made from the fiber of an agave-like plant; today it is chock-full of crumbling old mansions. Sisal barons built haciendas in the countryside to make sisal, called “green gold,” as they also did for agriculture, cattle ranching and mining. They built townhouses in Mérida itself, borrowing hacienda-style features like huge arches, thick stucco walls, solid wood doors, massive ceiling beams and interior patios. Many facades have Neoclassical details and richly ornamented white stucco friezes above doors and windows.

    Overfishing to Blame for 90 Percent Predatory Fish Loss in Caribbean Coral Reefs
    Recently, researchers from Chapel Hill’s University of North Carolina, discovered that as much as 90 percent of predatory fish are now gone from the Caribbean’s coral reefs due to overfishing. This loss has greatly strained both the ocean’s ecosystem and the coastal economy. The good news is that reefs, which are known as supersites, can sustain many predator fish if they are reintroduced to the area. Reintroducing the fish could restore both the economic and environmental setbacks that have been created by overfishing. The latest study was led by Abel Valdivia, a former UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student, and marine biologist, John Bruno, from the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Their study suggests that the discovered supersites need to be prioritized for protection. Supersites have plenty of hiding spots and food supplies for predatory fish. They also believe that the supersites could serve as regional models for tourism and other uses, reports The University of North Carolina of Chapel Hill News.

    A Story Of Salt: Ancient Maya Saltworks
    Salt is a substance so ordinary and inexpensive today that its ready supply is often taken for granted. Yet salt is essential: humans need salt to live and also crave it as a flavoring and rely on it as a preservative. For the ancient Maya residents of Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and other inland cities in Belize’s southern lowlands, there was a paucity of nearby sources. So archaeologists assumed they imported their salt from distant flats on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula But Louisiana State University archaeologist Heather McKillop appears to have disproven that assumption. McKillop has uncovered evidence that the Maya produced salt on a large scale in workshops on Belize’s southern coast and transported it to the cities. McKillop has found pottery vessels that were used to collect salt from evaporated brine as well as the remains of workshops where the salt was produced. “Heather McKillop’s contribution, a major one, is that she has enhanced our understanding of the methods that the Maya used for exploiting marine resources,” said archaeologist Jaime Awe, the former director of Belize’s Institute of Archaeology and now a professor at Northern Arizona University. “Her research is contributing to the understanding of the complexities of trade before the arrival of the Spanish.”

    Videos

  • Here we go again; contrabandistas v mexican military, round 2, 2min. Elements of the Mexican army were caused by civilians in Ensign Lopez New account the border was the scene of a scuffle, this time between fayuqueros of so-called "Ants" Federal Elements, who attempted to fill out a warrant against one of them. It was reported that the individual who had unfinished business with the law came in to the belizean territory to avoid being arrested. This LED a group of people be lashed out at the officers.

  • Bosch Brothers - Belize 2017, 6min. Featuring Turniffe Island Resort, Ian Andersons Cave Branch Resort

  • Cope’s Belize, 3min.

  • Wherever We May Roam - Guatemala & Belize, 5min.

  • Shark Ray Alley at San Pedro Island Belize, 8min. Sharks and Rays at Shark Ray alley San Pedro, Belize.

  • La Ruta Maya 2017 Canoe Race (Belize), 6min. Burrell Boom checkpoint celebration.

  • Kit's Tackle Jigs in Belize, 2min. Fishing Bonefish in Belize with Kit's Tackle Jigs.

  • Belize Aggressor III - Eat, Sleep, Dive, Repeat, 3min. Highlights from our week of scuba diving aboard the Belize Aggressor III between February 18-25, 2017. We had a fantastic time with an amazing crew, great fellow divers, ideal conditions and lots of diving. We're outfitted in Henderson 3mm wetsuits, Deep Sea Supply wing and backplate BC's, Mares regulators and fins.

  • Belize, 5min. Diving Turneffe and Lighthouse Atolls - The Great Blue Hole.

  • DAY2:XUNANTUNICH, BELIZE BOTANICAL GARDENS: UF/CALS/AEC STUDY ABROAD, 3min.

  • Flying into San Pedro Island Belize, 3min.

  • Belize is Our Classroom 2017, 12min. Twelve students from Vermont Commons School traveled to Belize with their teachers, Jennifer Cohen & Mark Cline Lucey, to study the natural and cultural ecology of Belize. This incredible learning adventure was organized by the Belize Foundation for Research & Environmental Education (BFREE).

  • Cave Tubing in Belize Central America, 16min. Amazing cave tubing experience in Belize Central America.

  • Diving the Blue Hole Belize, 6min. Amazing dive at the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef Atoll Belize. Many thanks to Arthur, Silena, and Rodel at Itza Lodge for making this dive such an awesome experience. We were the first dive boat to arrive in the morning and had excellent visibility.

  • MK & Dan's Honeymoon Adventures at Coco Plum Island Resort ~ Belize, 6.5min.

    March 5, 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

    Raise Me Up’s plans Masquerade fundraiser to benefit new children’s home
    The non-profit organization Raise Me Up, will be hosting its most fabulous event of the year, a Masquerade Ball, on Saturday, March 11th. The event will directly benefit Raise Me Up and the San Pedro Lions’ latest project, Hope Haven, a children’s home that will provide necessary services to women and children on the island. Tickets are $150 in advance, or $175 at the door. As quantities are limited, guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets are available for purchase at Marbucks Coffee House and Rum+Bean. Everyone who purchases a ticket in advance will be eligible for a door prize, and valet parking will be available. The color scheme is black, gold, and purple, and the dress code for the event is formal dresses, sundresses, or pants with button downs, along with a mask. If you need to purchase a mask, Kaitlin McWhorter of Sancas Realty will have them available for sale

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Thank you Belize Electricity Limited for taking the time to accommodate our beautiful wildlife while providing us with our oh-so-needed power!
    BEL teams today removed empty Osprey nests from transmission structures near the coastline in Bomba and San Pedro. The nests sometimes cause power interruptions. We placed deterrents on our structures and installed platforms for the birds to build their nests, away from the power system, to better manage reliability for customers and take care of wildlife in Belize.

    The first ever blood drive held in Caye Caulker via The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch had a successful, huge turn out!
    Thanks to everyone who came out and showed their support! Caye Caulker had its first blood drive in recent memory today. I'd be interested in knowing, from old timers, if there has ever been one here before. The Belize Red Cross - San Pedro and Belize Red Cross along with Belize Blood Services came out and set up at the Caye Caulker Health Center. Twenty one people donated blood and quite a few more volunteered but were unable to give for one reason or another. Ocean Academy kids also did a Dollar Drive and collected over $1,000 to support Red Cross blood collection and training. From overseas, Alan Clegg made a BZ $100 donation to help fund the drive. San Pedro averages 20 pints at their drives so Caye Caulker really turned up big for this!! Between the businesses that donated rooms and food, the people who threw change in our jars and the people who gave or tried to give blood, Caye Caulker seriously STEPPED UP today!

    Our children at Step By Step Tutoring Center are now developing music literacy skills

    Art with Purpose!
    Ocean Academy students and instructor Deirdre are creating delicate, beautiful marbleized paper art pieces for sale to support education and buy more art supplies.

    Caye Caulker Blood drive
    Ocean Academy volunteers Nomari, Lilian and Adaly observed the medical process and science of blood donations before starting their volunteer work collecting donations for the Red Cross and letting the community know about today's events.

    Give a little. Save a life
    Hey everyone we are asking for your assistance in helping us raise money to help Jamaal Crawford to go out of the country for medical treatment. We would really appreciate your help . You can donate to 650-02-2-267160 or 650-2-2-308940 Belize Bank."

    UNDER THE SHADOWS OF BEVERLY SMITH-LOPEZ!
    The outstanding Belizean artist, dramatist and playwright of Belizean artistic renaissance of the 1970s, the late Beverly Smith-Lopez, is remembered here at Belizean Legends as a true social activist of Belize's political past. When Belizean politics raged throughout a period of a monopoly controlled radio station called, "Radio Belize", and a political climate that created a mood of distrust and fear among the masses of the Belizean people, Smith-Lopez's monologues in poems like Sandra Coye's "Genesis of Destruction" and in her voice in Evan X Hyde's plays like, "Hard Times", connected the dots for the masses of the Belizean people. The incomparable Smith-Lopez even in her immortality has reminded many of us Belizeans to remember that it was the legendary Belizean drama group, "Square Peg Players", whom she appeared in as an revolutionary player, was one of the only source of education beside the "Amandala Newspaper" that Belizeans got outside of the classroom. They connected Belizean grassroots society to the dynamics of Belizean politics in their explosion on "The Bliss" stage.

    The Food Bank loves potato donations!!
    Belize Youth Movement delivered 300lbs of potato this morning. From PUP Belize Rural South! Thank you!! For the Donated at SanBar San Pedro Ambergris Caye.

    La Ruta Maya 2017
    The Official standings for Day 2. There was still one team in the river: Team Japan.

    Chiquibul Maya Mountains Bi-national Action Plan
    A total of 30 persons from both Belize and Guatemala came together to review the Chiquibul Maya Mountains Bi-national Action Plan. We are extremely thankful to the OAS for their warm reception.

    Beach Bash at Captain Morgan's
    Join us at Captain Morgan's Retreat on Sunday, March 5th for an all you can eat, all you can drink beach bash! Price is $50 BZ / $24 / USD. There will also be local rum drinks & beers at CRAZY discounts. Live music by Dangriga's X band alongside DJ Patrick from 11AM-9PM. We hope to see you there!

    The Reporter

    New computers for SIB
    The Government of Belize, through collaboration with its multi-lateral partners, is preparing to hand over new equipment to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), as well as the Agriculture and Hydrology departments. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development will hand over 25 computer systems to the SIB on Wednesday, March 8, at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan. This donation, valued at over $60,000 dollars, is in line with one of many actions outlined in the country’s sustainable development framework. The computer donation is aimed at modernizing the SIB’s information technology (IT) system in support of the of the National Statistical System (NSS), and in the implementation of the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS). “The contribution is being made through the Ministry’s Capacity Building for Strategic Planning and Management of Natural Resources in Belize project (CD 2), financed the by Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),” GOB explained.

    Belize hosts UN Steering committee meeting
    The Government of Belize met this week with UN Resident Coordinators from the Regional Steering Committee of the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN-MSDF) for their scheduled annual meeting. The coordinators met with key government officials to discuss the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) to the Sustainable Development Goals and objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Christian Salazar, Resident Coordinator of the UNDP asked representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share the country’s experience in ensuring policy coherence to the SDS. As a part of the meeting, Lawrence Sylvester, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who deputized for Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs updated the meeting on the outcome of Belize’s Inaugural Meeting of the UN Joint Steering Committee held in December 2016.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Expect cool weather for the weekend
    The National Meteorological Service is forecasting that a relatively moist northeasterly airflow will prevail. The 24-hour forecast is for sunny skies with some cloudy spells. A few isolated showers are expected this evening and some will develop over the South and Coast tonight and tomorrow. The wind will blow from the east to northeast at 10-20 knots. The sea state will be moderate.

    Two dead bodies found on George Price Highway
    BBN has received reliable reports that two dead bodies were found near mile 13 on the George Price Highway a short while ago. Details are still sketchy but a source told BBN that police are presently at the scene.

    Belize quietly formalizing Southern border crossing with Guatemala
    The Belize government is quietly establishing its presence at the Jalacte/Santa Cruz border crossing. Jalacte is a village on Belize’s side of the border and Santa Cruz is on the Guatemalan side. Villagers have long been traversing the area freely, ‘exporting’ agricultural products to Guatemala and importing consumer goods into Belize. Recently, though, Belize set up an “agricultural outreach station” that is managed by the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) with intent to support the export of agricultural goods, particularly cattle, into Guatemala.

    President Trump’s youngest daughter vacations in Belize
    Tiffanny Trump, the youngest daughter of US President, Donald Trump is vacationing in Belize. A reliable source told BBN that Trump was seen arriving at the Philip Goldson International Airport minutes ago and heading to an island, probably Cayo Espanto island resort. Two years ago, Ivanka Trump, the US President’s eldest daughter vacationed in Belize at the Cayo Espanto resort, which is three miles off the coast of Ambergris Caye. At the time, Ivanka was pregnant and was accompanied by her husband Jared Kushner, who is currently a senior adviser in the Trump Administration.

    Blogs

    My Raffle Winner, A San Pedro Firefighter, JUMPS for Free with Skydive San Pedro
    Last month everyone had a chance to win a FREE TANDEM SKYDIVE with Sky Dive San Pedro on SanPedroScoop. A chance for for the ultimate view of Ambergris Caye, the ultimate “GUESS WHAT I DID ON MY VACATION TO BELIZE” experience. It was my very first raffle and my random raffle generator picked my winner. He or she had to be over 18, they had to weigh less than 250lbs, AND, my rule, it had to be his or her first time doing it. Rafflecopter chose…EMMERSON! A member of the San Pedro Fire Department. How cool is that? So I emailed Emmerson and he was excited – and mostly in a state disbelief – that he won. I stopped by the meet him later at the fire department – and while it wasn’t his shift, all o fthe other fire men were jockeying to take his spot. With the help of the awesome team at SkyDive San Pedro, Emmerson was given a time slot the following Tuesday. OF COURSE I wanted to tag along. It is as close as I was ever going to get to jumping…I think…and so I wanted to glean as much as I possibly could.

    International Sourcesizz

    New Hampshire Professor Gets Fellowship for Belize Museum
    A University of New Hampshire associate professor of anthropology has been awarded a fellowship to establish a public history museum in Belize. Eleanor Harrison-Buck will use the $50,000 Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to create the museum focusing on the Kriol community. More than a third of the Belize population is part of the Kriol community, which is descended from enslaved Africans brought to the country by Europeans in the 18th and 19th centuries. Harrison-Buck, who has conducted research in Belize for more than 25 years, helped establish a temporary exhibit on Kriol culture last summer. But she says school curricula, museum exhibits and the tourism market tend to focus on the ancient Maya and colonial periods rather than Kriol culture.

    Naked and Afraid star quits after attack by flies
    The latest female star of Naked and Afraid has been forced to quit to seek medical help after a swarm of flies left her with a full-body rash. Anastasia Ashley, an internationally-recognized professional surfer, joined YouTube star Cory Williams to try to make it for 14 days in the middle of nowhere in Belize. However, Daily Mail Online can reveal the 30-year-old blonde has had to tap out of Discovery’s show eight days early – and this photo shows why. The normally bronzed beauty was left with redness and itchy bumps head-to-toe. According to producers, she was attacked by sand flies, being bitten for 12 hours straight from 6pm to 6am on the sixth day.

    Behind the Scenes: Meet a Belizean Archaeologist
    Born in Belize in 1954, Dr. Jaime Awe grew up exploring the Mayan house mounds located behind his parent’s home in San Ignacio in the Cayo District of western Belize. From the age of nine, Awe spent many summers digging for potsherds (ancient pottery fragments) and wondering what had happened to the people who had constructed the buildings beneath the mounds and who had used the pots and tools he found. After studying and then teaching abroad, Awe returned to Belize in 2000. Since then, his career has included major excavation and conservation projects with Belize’s Institute of Archaeology. Awe is also an assistant professor in the department of anthropology at Northern Arizona University and director of the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project. Last summer, while excavating the remains of the Mayan city of Xunantunich, one of the top archaeological destinations in Belize, Awe and his team uncovered a royal tomb along with two hieroglyphic-engraved stone panels. While the tomb is a rare find, the discovery of the panels is even more exciting. They are the missing pieces of a ceremonial staircase, originally erected in the ancient city of Caracol, which tell the story of the Snake Dynasty and Lord K’an II of Caracol’s military victory at Naranjo, Guatemala.

    New Maya display/monument outside Placencia

    Videos

  • Santa Eleena Border again having problems with the fayuqeros., 2min. Elements of the Mexican army were caused by civilians in Ensign Lopez derived from the donnybrook registered on the border Mexico-Belize, Lieutenant Lopez, elements of the Mexican army who supported were caused by individuals, several of them with their faces covered.

  • La Ruta Maya 2017 Kickoff Footage, 5min. Great footage of the start of the LRM yesterday, and the music choice, The Final Countdown, by Europe, really fit perfectly. "The turn out was great! The support was great! These racers have will power and courage to take on a challenge this great. Congratulations to all the participants on the first day of the challenge. J'aerials will be right there to capture your moment of glory!"

  • New Year's Eve 2017 in Belize, 6min.

  • Mating Bottlenose Dolphins, 3min.

  • Deep sea fishing in Belize, 2min.

  • 1000 Foot Falls in Belize, 2.5min. 1000 Foot Falls is an enormous untarnished waterfall deep in the Cayo District, Belize. This is the view of the falls from a distant observation deck. The falls are fall off the beaten path and rarely gets the amount of visitors as the Mayan archeological sites do. Most days it is difficult to view the falls due to the immense amount of humidity in the Belizean mountains in Pine Ridge Forest. What a rare site!

  • If you had 1 wish what would it be? We are The Village People of Belize!, 2.5min.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 12, 2hr.

    March 4, 2017

    Happy Holiday Weekend. Monday March 6th, 2017 will be a Public and Bank Holiday (in lieu of Thursday, March 9th, 2017) to commemorate the occassion of National Heroes and Benefactors Day (Baron Bliss Day). Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

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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

    Garbage being used as landfill for San Pedrito street? Mayor says not so
    We don’t have any intentions to use garbage to build the road in that area. However, we need to find a proper way to dispose of that garbage,” said Guerrero. “We are going to clean up that area so it does not continue to be an eyesore.” He also mentioned that to the east of the road, there are lots who are owned by some residents of the island. “Some residents that own land next to the road might have dumped garbage on their property for the purpose of using it as landfill. We cannot clean those areas since is private property, but the areas that are not we will clean them all,” said Guerrero. According to him, at the moment there is no way to stop anyone from doing works on their properties including using waste as landfill. Contrary to the Mayor’s statement, the Department of Environment told The San Pedro Sun that this type of disposing garbage is considered dumping. They added that the local authorities do have the power to deter such practice, which can become a public health issue.

    Belizean fashion Designer Char Tolentino Launches Swimsuit Line in Miami
    Belizean fashion designer Char Tolentino debut her 2017 line of CharLoves bold and sexy swimsuits at a launch party held in Miami on Thursday, January 26, 2017. The invitation-only event took place at District 900, 990 Biscayne Boulevard. The name CharLoves comes from her name and the passion she has for what she does. She loves designing; she loves swimsuits and loves what she is doing. Made in the USA, CharLoves’ swimsuits are produced in Miami, and Char personally chooses all of the materials, overseeing every step of the process. They are available for purchase online at www.charloves.com or can be found in Miami at Julian Chang Store. Her fashion line CharLoves is also being showcased in the Beach Chanel, by CBS and in Miami Magazine. Other stores will soon have it available, including other states including New York and countries Turks and Caicos. Needless to say, because of her bold, fashionable and beautiful designs, the launch of CharLoves in the U.S. was a huge success.

    Team SPHS continues leading in island’s Softball Competition
    The San Pedro Town Council’s Softball Tournament ended is fifth weekend of softball action on Sunday, February 26th at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. San Pedro High School (SPHS), Sea Star, Quality Reef, Rusties, Extreme, Atlantic Bank and Tuff E Nuff delivered another weekend of fierce sportsmanship, as the tournament nears the semi-finals. The next set of games will be on Sunday, March 5th beginning at 9:30AM.

    “Tax increase very likely”; social partners meet with Financial Secretary
    The rumours that the Government of Belize (GOB) intends to raise taxes for the upcoming fiscal year were finally acknowledged by representatives of the Ministry of Finance. Early in February, consultations took place between the Government, trade unions and civil society on the General Revenue and Budget for this year. At the end of the consultations, GOB finally admitted the need to increase taxes. The budget consultations were held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, where Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, spoke about the concerns being raised by social partners and the majority of Belizeans. During the meeting, it was suggested that the country’s current economic crisis can be attributed to the reckless spending by past administrations. “There is very likely to be a tax increase,” said Waight. “It is inevitable that there will be increases in some taxes and we are trying to see what items can least impact the economy, but at the same time, generate the resources needed.” Waight explained that his government is looking at some aspects in the expenditure profile. “We are looking at what expenses we can compress. Wages, transfers, interest payments and pensions are very hard to compress,” said Waight.

    Belize Beach Football Team excels at CONCACAF Beach Soccer Tournament in Bahamas
    Following their excellent performance at the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship 2017, the National Beach Soccer Team of Belize returned to the country on Monday, February 27th. The competition held in the Bahamas from Monday, February 20th to the 26th saw the Belizean team winning four out of six games, placing fourth in the tournament for having the most goals scored. The Belize team did not advance to the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup scheduled to take place in the Bahamas from April 27th to the 7th of May. However, its ‘goleador’ (top scorer) Marlon Mesa brought home the ‘Golden Boot Award,’ after scoring 12 goals throughout the tournament. “It was a great tournament, and I did my best,” said Mesa. “I feel very happy for being recognized as El Goleador of the tournament.” The San Pedro Sun joins the entire country in congratulating the Belize Team for such an extraordinary performance at the tournament in the Bahamas. Special recognition goes out to our three island players Thomas Baptist, Ethnie Figueroa, and Rugerri Trejo, for representing the island and country very well.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Placencia Breeze March 2017
    Pg 3 SAY NO TO OIL Pg 5 BTIA news / BTIA Application Form Pg 7 From the Fire Hearth – Seaweed Pg 9 Rotary News / Remembering Leela Vernon Pg 11 BTIA Membership Spotlight – Citrus Sensations / Croc Corner Pg 13 Classic Belizean Rice and Beans Recipe Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22 Seine Bight Village News / Volunteer with SEA Pg 23 Seine Bight Village News Pg 24 Victoria Peak Trail Opens / Fitness Information Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Licensed Tour Operators in Placencia / Licensed Tour Guides in Placencia Pg 28 Placencia Humane Society News Pg 29 Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival Photos Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of EventsSee Less

    Cancer Ride 2017
    Help the CEO Caucus reach its goal of $50,000 to support the Belize Cancer Center Dangriga in its efforts to combat Cancer in Belize!

    CARNAVAL 2017 - DAY 1

    3 BELIZEANS TO COMPETE AT THE ARNOLD CLASSIC
    There of Belize's best body builders compete today in the 2017 Arnold Classic to be held at Columbus, Ohio. Five time Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos who will be competing in the heavyweight category in the 2017 Arnold Classic. Aurel Lewis who is Belize's 2016 Physique Champ will compete in the physique category. Oyinkro "African" Akpobodor the 2015 Light Heavyweight Champ will also participate in this year's Classic! Good luck on behalf of All Belizeans to these Belizean Body builders.

    Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2017
    The race was founded by Roberto Harrison and his cousin Richard Harrison. As the race grew, other members of the Harrison Family have taken over the running of the race. It was managed by Dr. Aline Harrison and her brother Roberto Harrison in 2013. She continues to manage it with Roberto as she teaches in New Mexico. The Belize Brewing Company entered the race as corporate partners in 2013 eighteen days before the race in order to assist the Harrisons with the ground logistics. Belikin continues to manage the ground logistics and the Harrisons manage the race on the water. It’s a very good partnership that assures the race of growing each year and being a very fun event for both the paddlers and the spectators. The race brings commerce to the Belize River Valley as it travels down the river and builds a celebratory event at its stops. The Village Councils are instrumental in planning events at the race stops and making sure the camp grounds are ready for the paddlers.

    Museum of Belize representing at Street Art Festival 2017!Lots of great photos!

    Museum of Belize 15th Anniversary Celebration 2017
    The Museum of Belize (NICH) would like extend a big thank you to all the students, teachers and staff who made the Museum's 15th Anniversary a memorable event!

    Meet and Greet Joyjah
    My supporters under 18 years old! This is specially for you. I'll be at Sit and Sip Belize City tomorrow from 2:00 to 4:00pm signing and gifting ALL of you my favourite outtake from #LOVEME17 none of this would have been possible without your genuine love and support. So this is one way I wanted to show my appreciation. Y'all excited or what??!!! I cah wait fi meet unu. G yuh best fiend, sista, cousin mek Deh know! Hurry goh ask unu Mommy, daddy, Aunty, granny mek Deh ker or send yuh!

    Festival of the Sun & Moon
    HEADLINERS: Andy Caldwell andycaldwell.com DJ Dan djdan.com Hatiras hatiras.com OTHER ARTISTS: Andy Austin (Dallas, TX, USA) D!rty Jok3s (Belize City, Belize) DJ Dilly (San Francisco, CA, USA) DJ Karizma (San Pedro, Belize) Girlbot (Dallas, TX, USA) Gracierock (San Pedro, Belize) Jumbu (Fort Worth, TX, USA)

    Belize Participates in UN Regional Steering Committee Meeting
    The UN Resident Coordinators of the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN-MSDF) Regional Steering Committee met in Placencia, Belize on March 1st, 2017 at their annual meeting. The current Chair of the Committee, Mr. Christian Salazar, Resident Coordinator of the UNDP graciously invited the Government of Belize to share Belize’s experience in ensuring policy coherence with the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) to the Sustainable Development goals and objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. CEO Yvonne Hyde of the Ministry of Economic Development informed on the governance structure in place for the GSDS and the progress made with its implementation.

    Statistical Institute of Belize to Receive New IT Equipment
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development will be handing over to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) 25 computer systems at a brief ceremony to be held on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan. The contribution is being made through the Ministry’s Capacity Building for Strategic Planning and Management of Natural Resources in Belize project (CD 2), financed the by Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This donation, valued at over $60,000 dollars, is in line with one of many actions outlined in the country’s sustainable development framework.

    NFL SUPERSTARS VISIT AMBERGRIS CAYE AND SPHS
    NFL players Ray Crockett, Henry Melton, and Terrell McClain visit the San Pedro High School students before heading home to the U.S.A. The players were staying at the chic resort Mahogany Bay Village and decided to visit the high school to offer a few words of advice. Present at the impromptu event were members of Mahogany Bay Village, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Hector Alamilla, Councilor Gabriel Nuñez and Town Sports Coordinator, Kent Gabourel. Mayor Daniel Guerrero welcomed the players to the island and thanked them for taking the time to speak to the future of San Pedro Town from their busy schedules. Ray Crockett (2-time NFL Superbowl Champion for the Denver, Broncos) spoke about the many challenges in life and how he over came them. He spoke to the students about failures and never giving up - to learn from them and to keep working hard for their dreams.

    BURNING OF DON JUAN CARNAVAL 2017

    CARNAVAL 2017 DAY 3
    love it

    CARNAVAL 2017 DAY 2

    Jamaal Crawford Crawford needs help with medical care
    Hey everyone we are asking for your assistance in helping us raise money to help Jamaal Crawford Crawford to go out of the country for medical treatment. We would really appreciate your help. You can donate to 650-02-2-267160 or 650-2-2-308940 Belize Bank,

    St. Francis Xavier Credit Union held an initiative to support potato farmers in the northern Belize
    SFXCU held a potato sale day in front of their office on 5th Avenue in Corozal Town, with the proceeds going to towards the potato farmers. The institution also reached out to its partners including the schools in the district. Through them alone, over 5,000 pounds of potato were sold this morning.

    More assistance to our potato farmers
    Corozal is the best - We work hard! - "On behalf of the St. Francis Credit Union, we give our special thanks to the entire faculty, staff, students of Corozal Community College (CCC), Corozal Junior College (CJC), Mary Hill, Church of Christ School, Calcutta Government School, Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College, Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA) and the general membership for the overwhelming support to our local potato farmers!"

    BEL crews dispatched to locate unknown cause of power interruption affecting portion Belize District since 6:22am, Saturday, March 4
    Affected: all areas Mile 6 – 35 along Philip Goldson Hwy and villages along Old Northern Hwy. BEL apologizes for the inconvenience while our team works to restore power as soon as possible.

    Channel 7

    Man Dies From Injuries, Family Says He was Beat Down, Cops Say He Fell Down
    A Belize City family is searching for answers in the death or what they believe is the possible murder of their loved one. 51 year old Lawrence Young had been in a coma for 2 weeks and died yesterday afternoon, but his family says they don't know for sure what happened to him. Young left his home on a Friday evening and never returned. The next morning, his family found out that he was at the hospital in a coma. Based on his relatives' information, they are saying that 2 men attacked Young on Partridge Street and clubbed him in the head. This afternoon, Young's mother told us that all she wants is justice. Ruth Young, Mother: "About 2 weeks ago he never came home, so we were wondering what happened. Somebody called me and told me to go and check about my son at the hospital, because they understood that he got hit by some boys and police took him to the hospital." "His son went and found out and they told him that he is a coma."

    Man Shot In Broad Daylight
    A man was shot in broad daylight near a busy intersection in Belize City today. At 2:15, Brandon Bennett was on the northern approach to the Belcan Bridge when he was shot in the abdomen by an unknown person. Bennett was taken to the KHMH where he is being treated. Bennett is well known to police and the 24 year old has been in the news twice before for attempted murder charges. He was not convicted. Police are now seeking a suspect for attempting to murder him.

    Teenager Killed In Camelot
    Another teenager was killed but this time it's in Teakettle. 17 year old Ernesto Wiltshire's decomposed body was found this afternoon near the reservoir area in Teakettle. He had 2 chop wounds to the back of the head. Right now the family is waiting for police to conduct an autopsy. Now as to the details of this murder case: Wiltshire went missing on Tuesday afternoon. His aunt told us that WILTSHIRE LEFT with a friend on Tuesday afternoon to go to the roaring creek river but he never returned. His family formed a search party and finally this afternoon his uncle found his body. The family believes it's his own friends who might have killed him. We will keep following this story.

    Coming to A Compromise With Creditors, GOB Amends Superbond Renegotiation Offer
    There's breakthrough news on the Superbond negotiations tonight. As we had alluded to earlier this week, government is revising the terms of its offer to make it more attractive to bondholders. And we are told the creditor committee supports the new terms. And via a press release posted on the Central Bank website a short time ago, here they are. (i) The interest rate on the 2038 Bonds is being set at 4.9375% commencing February 20, 2017 (rather than the 4.0% rate proposed in the January 12, 2017 Statement). (ii) The revised principal amortization schedule now calls for five equal annual installments commencing on February 20, 2030 and ending on February 20, 2034 (rather than three equal annual installments commencing on February 20, 2036 and ending on February 20, 2038, as proposed in the January 12, 2017 Statement).

    Still Searching For Clues In Case Of Two Burnt In Truck
    Independence police reportedly have one person detained in connection with the pickup that either caught on fire, or was set on fire with two persons inside. Their charred remains were found in a burnt F-350 pickup that apparently crashed into a lamp-post between miles 2 and 3 on the Peninsula road at 5:00 am on Wednesday. The license plates had been removed from the truck. Police say they still don't know the identities of the couple, but multiple reports tell us they are suspected to be a pair of Eastern Europeans who have a home on the peninsula. Police have been trying to confirm who owned the pickup - and sources say they are also looking for the pickup which appears to have been moved from the scene by unknown persons after the forensic examiner finished with it.

    Who Moved Fudgy's Grave?
    At the beginning of the year, Kenneth "Fudgy" Dobson was gunned down while playing dominoes with his friends. His birthday is coming up this weekend, and his family planned to have a reunion at his grave site. However, when one of his family members went to check up on his tomb earlier today, she was surprised to see that it was missing. Actually, it had been dug up, and his coffin was moved to another location. We spoke to his family today, and they told us of their grave situation... Voice of - Relative: "I'm concern because, every day I pass through the burial ground, I pass and greet my brother and everything, but this morning now when I passed I don't see the grave, I don't see anything. Everything is dug up and he just died not even 3 months yet."

    Court Rules On Union Trustee Case
    Over 600 retired public servants have sued 2 of the biggest labour unions and won a judgement over who should control over 9 million dollars in backpay. These 640 retirees were represented by claimants Sheila Genitty, Darrel Gardiner, and Ruth White. They make up an ad hoc committee, set up to express their complete disagreement with the way the Public Sector Workers Trust is handling the money. This dispute dates back to a period between 1995 to 1997, when the Esquivel Administration froze the salary increases and increments for all teachers and public servants of that time. To compromise with the teachers and public officers, Prime Minister Esquivel gave them 450,000 shares in BTL. These shares were issued INSTEAD of the frozen increments. The dividends from the shares were supposed to be used to compensate the public officers for their losses in the wage freeze.

    Alleged Child Killer Pleads Guilty To Robbery
    The man accused of killing 7 year old Tyler Savery was back in court today, for another criminal offence. 20 year old Jayear Flores was sentenced to one year in prison for theft. In August 2015, Flores was arrested for stealing over $2000 dollars from then 77 year old St. Joseph Parish Church employee, Eric Gilbert Neal. According to Neal, he was leaving the church compound with deposit money, when Flores approached him and tried to take a laptop bag containing $13 hundred and 23 dollars ($1,323) in cash and $865 dollars in cheques from him. Neal fought back and called out for help. One of the Church's office assistants, Michael Caceres heard his call and ran over to help, but Flores still ran off with the bag. Caceres set chase him and caught him, and held him on the ground until police arrived and arrested him.

    Junior College Students Debate
    Independence Junior College is advancing to the semi-finals in the Social Security Board's National Debate Competition. 8 schools are competing in this year's series and the preliminary rounds began today at the George Price Center in Belmopan. First up was Independence Junior College versus San Pedro Junior College. The topic was "Be it resolved that the signing of the UNCAC will benefit Belize's economic, political, financial and social position." Here are the opening statements from each team and we also spoke to the SSB's communication officer about this initiative. Arnold Gomez - Independence Junior College, Affirmative: "Be it resolve that the signing of the United Nations Convention against Corruption or the UNCAC will benefit Belize's economic, political, financial and social position. In today's debate we will show you how Belize can benefit you significantly from the signing the UNCAC."

    Ruta Maya Rolling Down The River
    The Ruta Maya rolled off this morning with 48 paddling teams setting off on the Macal River in San Ignacio for the 175 mile trek. Tonight, the teams are resting up in Banana Bank and the leader is the NICH Team - which is three seconds ahead of the second place team, defending champions, Koop Sheet Metal, which, in turn, is four seconds ahead of third place D & A Smart Warriors. So basically, with 7 seconds separating first and third places, it's a dead heat. Tomorrow, that lineup may change on the longest leg of the race, the 68 mile stretch between Banana Bank and Double Head Cabbage. Channel 7 will have live coverage tomorrow and Sunday and Monday, so make sure to tune in.

    US Human Rights Report Looks At Police Abuses, Corruption
    The US State Department issued its annual report on human rights around the world today, and the country report on Belize makes a few interesting observations. The report concludes, quote, "The most important human rights abuses included the use of excessive force by security forces (especially the police), lengthy pretrial detention, and harassment and threats based on sexual orientation or gender identity." It adds, quote, "Other human rights problems included corruption by government agents, lack of protection of refugees, domestic violence, discrimination against women, sexual abuse of children, trafficking in persons, and child labor." And then it goes unto say, quote, "In some cases the government took steps to prosecute public officials who committed abuses…(but) While some lower ranking officials faced disciplinary action and/or criminal charges, higher-ranking officials were less likely to face punishment, resulting in a perception of impunity."

    Kudos To Kendis
    We've featured Belizean American television news reporter Kendis Gibson many times on this newscast. In fact we first interviewed him back in 2002, when he was working at CNN Headline news. Well, since then he's been steadily moving up the media ladder, and, now, he's hit one of the highest rungs as the co-anchor of a major network morning talk show. A memo form ABC news says that Gibson has been named co-anchor of America This Morning and World News Now. Kendis left Belize when he was eleven years old and has worked as a local reporter in Washington DC after assignments at CBS News, the FOX affiliate in San Diego and CNN in Atlanta. He joined ABC News in December 2014, and has covered many high profile stories.

    The Cell Phone Solution
    Last year the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at hosted a cellphone repair workshop. Now, you might think this is trivial - but doesn't everyone have at least one broken cell phone that needs fixing? Indeed, there's a growing demand for this type of expertise, and so they're offering the course again. It is headed by an expert from Canada who teaches participants how to fix smart phones and tablets. Local President, Naveed Mangla told us how you can participate... At the end of the course, those who attend are awarded with an accredited certificate.

    Hooping For Allah
    And while the cellphone repair workshop won't happen for another week, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at will be busy running their community basketball league. Mangla gave us some more information about the league and how you and your kids can join... The league is made up of players 19 years old and younger, and who come from all parts of the country.

    Friend Glenn Wins Again
    The Government of Belize has lost another court case in the US Courts, and this time, the country is liable to pay 22 million US Dollars to Glenn Godfrey. The US Court of Appeal has denied a motion filed by the Government to dismiss the award. This costly dispute dates back to December 18, 2002. That's when Godfrey signed an agreement with Ralph Fonseca, who was the then Minister of Budget Management, Investment and Home Affairs. That was the Master Lease Agreement for International Telecommunications Limited, better known as Intelco. Both Government Administrations honored the terms of that Fonseca agreement up until 2012, when the Barrow Administration and Godfrey got into a dispute over rent. Godfrey formed a company Glenn D Acquisitions, LLC, and he sued them in the US Courts for 10.3 million dollars in unpaid rent, for telecommunications equipment belonging to Intelco. That tab on the rental has been growing each month dating back to 2012.

    A Last Goodbye For Leela
    As we told you last night, folk singer and creole revivalist Lila Vernon's official funeral was held yesterday in Punta Gorda town. Here's more on what the event looked and sounded like:...

    Channel 5

    G.O.B. Heavily Revises Terms of Superbond Negotiation in Major Concession to Bondholders
    We begin with breaking news. Just before news time, the Central Bank of Belize released a statement confirming major and extensive revisions to the Government of Belize’s proposal to restructure [...]

    Teakettle Youth Murdered Over “Jealousy”
    A Teakettle, Cayo District family have had to come to sudden grips with the death of a loved one, found fatally chopped in some bushes behind the village early this [...]

    Brandon Bennett Shot in Belcan in Broad Daylight
    Shortly before two-thirty this afternoon a Belize City man was shot in the City. According to police, around two-seventeen, Brandon Bennett was shot to the abdomen while he was on [...]

    Handling of Former Recruit Captured on Video Was Not Part of Training
    There are still more questions than answers in the manhandling of a B.D.F. recruit videoed on cell phone during a training program on January eighth.  The images of recruit Michael [...]

    Investigation Shows Officers in Training Contradicting Top Command
    Following the airing of our story on Thursday night, News Five obtained copies of interviews conducted over the past three days with officers of the Bravo and Alpha Platoons involved [...]

    Might Victims of Car Fire in Placencia Have Succumbed to Foul Play
    Were the occupants of a vehicle that caught on fire on the Placencia Road on Wednesday morning the victim of foul play?  The Belize Police Department has launched an investigation [...]

    More Woes for G.O.B., Glenn D. Holds Them Off in Intelco Appeal
    Aside from superbond payments, government is facing another multimillion dollar payment.  Glenn D. Godfrey’s GDG Acquisitions LLC has had a judgment of ten million dollars plus in its favour against [...]

    Ruta Maya Kicks Off from San Ignacio
    The annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge kicked off bright and early this morning in the west. The waters of the Macal River provided the perfect setting for the start [...]

    Court Limits Beneficiaries of Public Sector Workers Trust
    Representatives of the Public Sector Workers Trust appeared in the Supreme Court earlier today before Justice Courtenay Abel, to settle a decades-old matter involving the organization.  The claim arose out [...]

    B.N.T.U.’s Palacio Says There is More to be Clarified
    According to B.N.T.U. National President Luke Palacio, the court has pointed out that there is confusion in the language used in the trust document, particularly in a release issued by [...]

    Accused Double Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty to Robbery of Church Worker
    Double murder suspect, twenty-year-old Jayear Flores, who is on remand for two murders in the city, one including a seven-year old school boy and an adult today began to serve [...]

    Journalist Jose Sanchez Accused of Knocking Down Hattieville Bicyclist
    There was a near-fatal road traffic accident this evening in Hattieville involving a male cyclist who was riding along the George Price Highway.  Sometime before six o’clock, a young man [...]

    Belmopan Mayor May Go for Re-Election; Says Party’s Troubles Will Not Affect Him
    On Thursday, Mayor Khalid Belisle launched the Belmopan City Council’s municipal bond for six point five million dollars – a venture he hopes will help to cement his place in [...]

    S.S.B. Opens Debate by Tertiary-Level Students on UNCAC
    The first round of the National Tertiary Debate sponsored by the Social Security Board kicked off this morning in Belmopan at the George Price Center. In the morning session, Independence [...]

    Belize’s Littlest Tell Their Stories at the Bliss
    The National Pre-School storytelling competition got underway at the Bliss today in Belize City. The event, which has been taking place for more than ten years, saw the participation of [...]

    Horizon Academy Displays World Cultures at Open Day
    Horizon Academy went global today – right on their school grounds. Students transformed themselves and their spaces into countries as far as Egypt, Japan and India. Today’s efforts are a [...]

    Getting to the Bottom of the Visa Foils Saga
    Are you scratching your head about the many twists and turns in the Senate Special Select Committee’s public hearings over the last month or so with regard to eight visa [...]

    Ahmadiyya Muslims Host Cell-Phone Repair Course
    If you are interested in cell-phone repairs and want to learn how to do it, Ahmadiyya Jama’at Belize is inviting you to their free two-week course that will be taking [...]

    Playing Ball with Ahmadiyyas and CitCo
    Ahmadiyya Jama’at Belize teamed up with the City Council for an ongoing basketball league and they want your support. Ten teams and a hundred young people are participating in league [...]

    CTV3

    Statutory Boards To Cough Up 10% Of Their Revenues
    A leaked document from Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting confirms that the Government is looking at various ways of increasing revenue. The document is a report presented to Cabinet in which one of the suggestions is a proposal for the Government to collect 10% of the revenue generated by Statutory Boards in Belize. Statutory Boards are those organisations run by a mixture of Government and Civil Society such as Belize Tourism Board, Protected Areas Conservation Trust, the Social Security Board, Belize Agriculture Health Authority, BELTRAIDE and the Coastal Zone Management Authority.

    Did Officer In Charge, Edgar Cano Abandon His Duties?
    Yesterday, we showed you the testimony by former Immigration Officer Supervisor Mark Tench who had discovered that 8 visa foils went missing from the Western Border in December 2012. In his testimony, Tench explained how he was able to do an investigation which led to persons in Belize City, Orange Walk and Corozal and then pointed fingers back to the Immigration Department. In the afternoon, another witness, former Immigration Supervisor Vernon Leslie, also sat before the Committee. Leslie has been at the Department for 30 years and is near retirement and he explained that although it was expected that he takes command of the situation, he believes the Commanding Officer Edgar Cano should have put his vacation on hold to deal with the matter.

    LOVE FM

    Teenager Found Dead Out West
    The body of a teenager who had been reported missing was discovered earlier today.

    Fatal Traffic Incident on the Southern Road
    A villager of Georgetown in the Stann Creek District lost his life in a road traffic accident this afternoon. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

    Day 1 – La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2017
    The 20th Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge got underway this morning. Love News spoke with one of the organizers, Julia Carillo who shared the details of the much anticipated event. The Belmopan Active Youths captured the prize in the intramural category in 2016 and they are taking part again this year. They are […]

    PUP Parliamentarians Excluded from Nat’l Executive
    Criticisms have been heard regarding the lack of strength in the main opposition party and their silence and calm regarding national issues. Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat speaks of the PUP in a recent interview with our colleagues at Plus TV in Belmopan. Espat went on to speak of the hard work and sacrifices […]

    Julius Espat Speaks of An Obsession with the Lord Ashcroft
    Area Representative, Julius Espat has been known to be very vocal on matters even if it means that he would make remarks against his party, the PUP. In a recent local talk show Espat expressed his views on the saga of the Government vs Lord Michael Ashcroft. In this interview he called out both the […]

    US Embassy Campaigns Against Cyber Bullying
    The US Embassy in Belize is formulating a campaign against cyber-bullying. It is an issue that has seen an increase in recent months and has lent to various disruptions for persons at work and at home. As part of their campaign, Belmopan’s Mayor, Khalid Belisle is the Government’s voice in the anti-bullying message. Love News […]

    Parent Remanded for Hitting School Teacher
    A 32 year old woman who punched a school teacher and insulted her in front of her students, was found guilty of harm and using insulting words today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. She is Maribel Perez, a gas attendant of Ladyville. Because Perez has a history of violence and she was bonded […]

    Belmopan Mayor Speaks of Recently Built Roads
    Yesterday we told you of the municipal bond launched for the Belmopan City Council with the aim of undertaking infrastructure projects. One of the questions posed to Mayor Khalid Belisle was on the quality of the street works being carried out as there have been cases where some areas have seen deteriorating shortly after completion. […]

    Exploring the World via Cultures at Horizon
    Horizon Academy in Belize City is holding its annual Culture Day. The event fits pleasantly as this month is being celebrated as Child Stimulation Month. Students at Horizon Academy were given the task to depict a culture from around the world and educate visitors about that culture. Principal Dian Mahiea spoke to Love News. Horizon […]

    Child Stimulation: Reading for the Preschoolers
    The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City was packed with parents, teachers and preschoolers for the National Preschool Story Telling Competition. The competition has been held for the past ten years. For the competition, pre-school teachers were tasked to dramatize one of their usual stories. Nadira Ross the Acting Manager for the […]

    The Guardian

    Julius Espat says PUP executive are Bench players
    Word reaching the Guardian Newspaper indicates that there will be an emergency meeting of the PUP’s Central Executive following comments made on Tuesday of this week by one of their deputy party leaders. It is no secret that Julius Espat has no regard for Johnny Briceno or his leadership style and that became painfully obvious on Tuesday during an appearance by Espat on Louis Wade’s Plus TV morning show. During the entire time he was on Espat minced no words in attacking Briceno’s leadership. Oftentimes Espat was blunt and outright disrespectful to Briceno. In one instance he said that Luke Espat was doing the work of the PUP and he would prefer to have him in the national assembly. He went on to say that the executives of the PUP is made up of bench players. That is persons who were not elected are making decision for the party.

    “Dirty Cop” sentenced to 3 months in jail
    Interdicted police officer Jamil Scott, 32, has gained a reputation in public as a sticky hand cop and now the Chief Magistrate has been convinced. On Friday, February 24, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith found Scott guilty of stealing a Kenwood handheld radio valued at $650 from the Belize Police Department. Scott was initially charged with two counts of theft, one for the hand held radio and a second for a watch and bracelet allegedly stolen from the home of Shannon Davis during a search on September 20, 2014. Since Davis did not wish to proceed with the matter, that charge was withdrawn. Prosecutor in the case was Trienna Young and Scott was represented by attorney Leeroy Banner. Allegations made against Scott is that on September 20, 2014, he was working police duties at the Raccoon Street Police Station when he stole a handheld radio that was left inside a pick-up truck by Woman Police Corporal Sherika Vasquez. Vasquez testified in the trial and placed Scott at the station the day the radio went missing, though she could not say she saw him take the radio.

    Two persons burnt to death on Placencia Road accident
    It was a scene that resembles one of Jim Wong’s “Final Destination” sequence on the Placencia Road early Wednesday morning, March 1, when the driver of a pickup truck suddenly lost control of his machine, crashed into a lamp post and burst into flames shortly after. Police have still not issued an official report up to print time but reliable reports suggest that there were as many as two fatalities. According to unconfirmed reports, the occupants of the vehicle were trapped inside during the blaze and burnt beyond recognition. It has not been determined as yet if they were trapped because of blockage or if they were not able to escape because of being unconscious from the impact of the crash. Cause of death has not been confirmed as yet either and the identities of the victims will not be released since police have not confirmed reports and given assurance that relatives have been notified by print time.

    Chief Justice to decide if Mark Seawell should be set free after 10 years on remand
    Mark Seawell is the only Seawell brother still fighting for his freedom from being extradited to the US for narcotics importation. He’s been at the Belize Central Prison for 10 years now, and his attorneys are trying to get the extradition lifted using the same grounds on which his younger brother, Gary Seawell, struck gold in the Court of Appeal. The Extradition request from the US Government to the Belize Government asserts that the American law enforcement agencies believe they can prove a narcotics trafficking case against Mark Seawell. They want him to stand trial for allegedly smuggling cocaine into the US through Mexico, and for the sale of marijuana in Texas. The Americans say that Mark and his brothers, Gary and Dwayne, were part of a drug smuggling operation from December 1994 to August 1997, and that they are responsible for 1 million dollars in drug proceeds sent to Texas, Florida, and Belize.

    UDP secures village council victories in Arenal
    On October 30th of last year, Arenal Chairman, Alfredo Orlando Sanchez passed away leaving a vacancy for that position in that village. As a result, councilor for the UDP Lucio Ruiz expressed interest and campaigned for that position. With his interest it also meant that a seat for councilor was also vacated leading to Yanira Sanchez expressing interest to fill that seat for the UDP as well. Both had their opportunity to fill those positions and on Sunday, Feburary 26, despite being faced with opposition from the likes of no other than the PUP’s Party Leader, Johnny Briceno and Deputy Party Leader, Julius Espat and others like Michel Chebat, Collet Montejo and other players like Vaughn Gill, the two emerged victorious. It was a testy day in Arenal but Ruiz and Sanchez were not alone. They were supported by Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber; Area Representative for Cayo West, Hon. Erwin Contreras; Area Representative for Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero; UDP Party Chairman Alberto August and other leaders in the UDP.

    A.G. takes a new look at the Alcalde system in Belize
    The Alcalde System in Belize has been an age old form of administration of justice in rural areas of the Toledo district. While for many years it has been operating without hindrance, of late there have been complaints that Alcaldes have been operating outside of what they are legally allowed. There are many complaints that Alcaldes have been hearing matters which they ought not to be hearing land matters for example. Speaking to the Guardian Newspaper, Attorney General, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte explained that concerns over the way Alcaldes operate have come to his attention and he is now moving to address these concerns. “Some of them are operating outside of their jurisdiction I have heard that there are many irregularities in the administration of justice and they need to be clear on what they are allowed to hear, what they are allowed to determine and what they must advise people to do in terms of reporting it to the proper authorities. They are not lords over their villages. They fall under a legal system and that they must follow and respect and are subject to that system,” said Peyrefitte.

    Hon. Aragon to Orange Walk Mayor… - Do your job!
    Around three weeks ago Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. who represents the Orange Walk East constituency embarked on a project to upgrade the streets of the Louisiana Area of Orange Walk Town. This was done in tandem with the fixing of the sugar roads of the said constituency. The people of Orange Walk East have been clamoring for better streets for some time now but their pleas fell on deaf municipal ears. The more than able and caring area representative, Hon. Elodio Aragon who is also a resident of the area, stepped in to do the Mayor’s job. This is not the first time this has happened. Every time upgrades are done to streets in Orange Walk East it is Mr. Aragon who has done them. On February 2, when the works started in earnest, a shower fell and caused some of the recently scraped streets to become mucky. This was unfortunate as the streets were just being prepared for eventual upgrading.

    Belize Archives Advisory Board launched
    The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture launched the Belize Archives Advisory Board on Friday, February 24, at a meeting held in the Conference Room of the Belize Archives and Records Service (BARS) in Belmopan. The members of the Advisory Board are Chairperson Marian McNab, Dr. Wilma Wright, Lawrence Vernon, Nigel Encalada, Rev. Lancelot Lewis, Rudy Aguilar and Derryck Satchwell. The Director of BARS, Dr. Herman Byrd is Secretary of the Board. Mrs. Adele Catzim-Sanchez, Chief Executive Officer with responsibility for Youth, Sports and Culture, said, “The Belize Archives and Records Service is at a critical juncture in its development. The work of BARS remains at the core of nation building. The work is not only about the collection, preservation and dissemination of information; it is about showing and telling us who we are as a people. Key historical documents, photographs, letters, reports, and newspaper articles represent moments in time that bring meaning to the experiences we share today.”

    CEO Caucus Cancer Awareness Ride 2017: “We’re with You”
    The second annual CEO Caucus Cancer Ride is slated for Saturday, April 8, 2017, under the theme “We’re with You”. The route is the same as last year, starting at 6:30 a.m. at mile 25 on the George Price Highway to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan. The fundraising target is $50,000 and the proceeds will go exclusively to the Belize Cancer Treatment Center in Dangriga Town, in an effort to augment the capabilities of their increasingly accessed services. The CEO Caucus launched its Cancer Awareness Initiative on May 7, 2016 with a fundraising target of $50,000. In its inaugural year, the Caucus raised over $80,000 and the ride garnered the support of more than 200 participants, which included numerous partners and volunteers, local and internal donors and supporters, public officers, and friends.

    Illegal to eat Gibnut and Iguana this time of year
    The Belize Forest Department has issued a press release in which it is advising the public that it is illegal to be consuming Gibnut and Iguana meat at this time of the year. The release comes just in time for the Ruta Maya River Challenge during which many persons in the rural areas of Belize choose to cook and sell game meat. The Forest department advises that under the Wildlife Protection Act (CAP 220), a license is required to hunt or sell any game species (or bush meat). The department states that temporary Dealer’s Licenses can be obtained for a fee of $100. While the license will allow for the hunting of game meat, only those that are in season will be allowed. Among meats that are out of season are armadillo, gibnut and iguana which are game meats of choice during this time of year, the iguana particularly because of the eggs.

    Restriction on use of drones for Ruta Maya
    The Department of Civil Aviation has sent out an advisory to the general public that the operation of drones within a five-mile radius of any public or private airport without the explicit written consent from the Director of Civil Aviation is strictly prohibited. In a release by the department it states that the advisory is specific to the using of drones for filming the Ruta Maya River Challenge. There are specific restrictions for the operation of drones in the areas from Young Bank Village to the Banana Bank Lodge since there is a the nearby Hector Silva airstrip in Belmopan and from Burrell Boom Village to the Haulover Bridge because of the International Airport.

    Julius lashes out against PUP leadership
    On Tuesday of this week , PUP parliamenterian Julius Espat lashed out at the leadership of his party. His extended diatribe took place live and in living color on Plus TV. Julius who is the PUP representative from Cayo South accused his party of being led by a bunch of bench players. He effectively chastised the PUP for allowing itself to be led by unelected persons some of whom were failures at the polls. According to Julius, the PUP is using bench players right now to make decisions for the party. He suggested that the People’s United Party is either ashamed, or don’t remember their elders or does not want to use them, or they have put them out to pasture or they have them on the sideline and have put bench players in to take the lead. He said what the PUP is doing is like a Football team having bench players playing for them in the final game of the World Cup!

    National Tribute and State Funeral for Cultural Icon
    Since the announcement of Leela Vernon’s passing on Sunday, February 19, the community of expressive artists has united to say farewell in a manner fit for a cultural icon. An Official Funeral and Mass of Thanksgiving for the Queen of Brukdung will be held on Thursday, March 2, at 11 a.m. at the St. Peter Claver Church on Main Street, Punta Gorda Town but until then the plan is to celebrate her life and legacy. This celebration was in full gear at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Monday night, February 27, in Belize City. The event was open to the public free of cost and started with the singing of the National Anthem in Creole by Ernestine Carballo. Reverend David Goff blessed the ceremony before the pouring of libation by Winsom Winsom. Mayor Darell Bradley, Bredda David and Myrna Manzanares shared fund memories of Leela Vernon during interludes of performances by a star studded cast; including, Lord Rhaburn, Omolewa Osain, Pocono Bwoy, Ernestine Carballo, Mr. Peters Boom and Chime Band and Love Vibration.

    Simeon Lopez Cup gets underway in Belmopan
    The Belmopan City Council, with the assistance of the Belmopan Football Association, held a Parade and official opening ceremonies on Saturday of this past weekend to open their eight annual Simeon Lopez kids-youth female cups. This type of tournament, which is already being done in other parts of the country, focuses on exposing the football talents of children at an early age and provide the opportunity for family entertainment. The Simeon Lopez tournament is fully sponsored by the Belmopan City Council. Councilor Angel Pastrana has continued to be at the forefront of the organizing committee along with Mr. Amilcar Umana, Mr. Marlon Tillett, Mr. Peter Alvarez, Mr. Francisco Cuellar, Ms. Tricia Pelayo, Ms. Maria Banner and Ms. Abigail Reyes.

    Mother in Santa Elena, struggles to care for her children
    A young single mother is under considerable stress at this time in having to take care of her two boys. Ana B. Guerra has been lovingly taking care of her son Jason Guerra, a 13 year old, since his disorder became apparent some five years ago. Guerra has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy; a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle. Fortunately; Jason Guerra continues to have an alert mind and loves to play games on digital media. However; due to his condition, this past student of both Bishop Martin and Eden Primary School now has limited mobility.

    Final farewell to Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin held in Belmopan
    Official funeral and mass of thanksgiving for the late Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin was held on Monday evening at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral in Belmopan. A full escort of Belize Defense Force soldiers marched with the casket at a steady pace towards the Cathedral on Monday in full respect to Belize’s first native bishop, to then be received by a large gathering of teachers, students and government officials. Tents had to be set outside the cathedral to make space for the huge crowds who had gathered to bid their last farewell. Similar church services were held for the 86 year old Bishop Emeritus in Dangriga on Sunday morning and in Belize City on Monday morning. Osmond Peter Martin was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1982, where he faithfully served as the Bishop of Belize and Belmopan from 1984 to his retirement in 2007. During his service to the Catholic Faith, Bishop Martin tended to a multicultural flock, listening attentively, freely giving advice and with a great sense of humor.

    Fitting farewell to Bishop O.P. Martin
    One of the most anticipated events on the calendar of Saint John’s College students for almost two decades was the Mass of the Holy Spirit which was led by Bishop Osmond Peter Martin. This mass was lively, celebrated diversity of culture, ethnicity and denominations and usually ended with an announcement that afternoon classes were cancelled. We all loved Bishop Martin dearly, not just because we could count on his half-day announcements, but because he had a unique ability to speak the language of young people and relate in a way that most religious leaders can’t. He was one of the few individuals who could meet someone for the first time and make them feel as comfortable as a life long friend. The country lost a true hero on February 16 and shared a moment of national unity in celebrating his life and legacy on Monday, February 27.

    Happy birthday PM
    Please join us at this newspaper, The Guardian, in wishing the BEST PRIME MINISTER , this country has ever had a Happy Birthday. Today we pay tribute to the Right Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow on his Sixty-sixth birthday. Not only is this man the only three term Prime Minister this country has ever seen, but he has been undefeated in EIGHT CONSECUTIVE ELECTIONS in the Queen’s Square Division, since that division was established in 1984. In fact the UDP has received more votes than any of our political opponents be it a Municipal or General Election in Queen’s Square since he became our Standard Bearer there in time for the 1983 City Council Election. He was already the selected UDP candidate in what was then the Collet Constituency. Most of the constituency that became Queen’s Square after there was a redivisioning prior to the 1984 election was a part of the old Collet Constituency.

    New Police Intake deferred
    Minister of State with responsibility for the Police Department announced on Wednesday March 1, during his appearance on Wave Radio’s Morning show that a police recruit intake which was to have taken place within the coming weeks has been deferred. Minister Aragon explained that the intake will still take place however it has been deferred to late into this year or early next year. Finances are simply not available to take on the number of recruits which there were plans for. Hon. Aragon explained that it takes between 7 to 9 million dollars to take on some 160 recruits for 6 months of training. At this time those finances are not available, however there are enough to instead train officers who are currently in the police department for them to become better policemen and women.

    New toilet facility for school in Benque
    The Mt. Carmel RC Primary School in Benque Viejo received the keys to their new toilet building provided by an International Rotary project last Thursday at a joyful handing over ceremony. The Rotary Club of Greater Bend, Oregon and the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, along with the Rotary Foundation and Rotary Districts funded this project, along with a focus on basic health and hygiene education. Mt. Carmel’s project was funded for $78,000 BZ ($36,000 US) and serves the Standard 4 to 6 (upper division) student population of about 300. The previous building was 54 years old, built when the school was first started in 1963 and was in great need of replacing. New toilet facilities like this have been built through Rotary Club’s efforts in 11 other schools in Cayo.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    Whatever is in our thoughts determine our actions. When faced with a problem that needs a decision, we react according to what is on our mind and in our thoughts. One reason that wrong decisions are made is that we act too soon. We make wrong decisions because we act according to our emotions rather than reason! The Missionary Paul gave some great advice to the believers in Philippi, which are still good for us today. In his letter to the Philippians, chapter 4 verses 7 and 8, we read: “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

    Eugene Bailey gets 7 more years behind bars!
    In November of 2016, two burglars were caught red handed by police inside Lucky Star Supermarket on Central American Boulevard with over $2,000 cash and an assortment of grocery items. They were later identified as Raymond Montes, 43, and Eugene Bailey, 39 and were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court on December 1 for the offense of burglary. Both pleaded not guilty to the charge. Since that arraignment, Bailey had been convicted of a firearm offense and was sentenced to five years imprisonment. The duo was brought back to court on Friday, February 24, for the burglary trial.

    Wardsworth Clark charged for burglary
    Wardsworth Clark, 22, of #322 John Smith Street in Belama Phase 2 is being accused of burglarizing the home of his neighbour and stealing a cellular phone and a deodorant. Wardsworth pled not guilty to a single charge of burglary when he appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Monday, February 27. He was unrepresented in court but there was no objection to bail. Magistrate Mendoza granted bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount.

    Genevia Estrada remanded for Valentine killing of Eric Kent Moses
    Genevia Christine Estrada, 33, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for killing her common-law-husband Eric Kent Moses, 46, who died as a result of serious head trauma he suffered during a domestic dispute at their home on Victoria Street on Valentines Day. Police have not released much details on the incident but when they visited the scene on February 14, Moses had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and Estrada was arrested for dangerous harm. She was remanded to prison after being arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, February 17, but that was only the beginning of her troubles.

    PUP instigator in prison for death threat
    Henry Gillett of a Majestic Alley address is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly threatening to kill Jahleel Goodger on Sunday, February 27. Readers may know Gillett better by the alias “Pulu”, top street captain of the Said and Karim Musa campaigns. Pulu attends House Meetings at the pleasure of the Musas and hurls venomous insults at the government representatives and Speaker of the House during the proceedings. He has been thrown out of the National Assembly numerous times but because his antics are thought of more as comical than threatening he is allowed to return at the next sitting without objections. Unfortunately for Pulu, Goodger does not find his antics funny and decided to make a police report after being told “ah wah kill yuh”.

    Ex-cop unable to meet bail for killing 6 year old girl
    Forty three year-old Albert Martinez, a resident of Western Pines Community, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison for knocking down and killing 6 year-old Ashanti Pollard. Her mother, Dawn Swasey, could only look on helplessly, after they were both hit. The incident happened on Sunday, February 26, at around 6 p.m. in the Fabers Road Extension area. Ashanti’s grandmother, Joan Wade, told the press that she and her mother, Dawn Swasey, had only just hopped off a bus from Hattieville that evening, and they were walking home to their house off Fabers Road. They were only a few yards away from their front gate when they were hit from behind by a silver Toyota Corolla car. The impact injured Swasey’s left leg and hip, but the car carried little Ashanti’s body a short distance down the road. She suffered massive injury from being run over, and she died right on the scene.

    Cayo Western Ballaz clip the wings of the high flying Belmopan Bandits
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the weekend with a number of games on the schedule. On Friday 24th February, 2017, at the Sacred heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town the host team, the Cayo Western Ballaz, defeated the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 81-74. The top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Richard Troyer with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and an assist; Daniel Nolberto with 18 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals and Darwin Leslie with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Farron Louriano with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists; Stephen Williams with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 7 steals and Edgar Mitchell with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals.

    Male Softball Open Invitational Tournament this weekend at Rogers Stadium
    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.

    Verdes and BDF play to a draw in Premier League action
    The Premier League of Belize 2016-2017 Closing Season competition continued on Sunday 26th February, 2017, with four games on the schedule. At the MCC Grounds, the host team FC Belize won over Police United FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was an own goal that was scored by Devon Makin in the 89th minute of play that gave the win to the FC Belize team. Out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the host team Verdes FC and the visiting Belize Defence Force FC played to a 1-1 draw. The host team Verdes FC made it onto the scoreboard first when Ricardo Jimenez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 38th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The defence of the Verdes FC took this lead well into the second half game before the BDF was able to score. The BDF finally made it onto the scoreboard when Brian Martinez scored the equalising goal in the 83rd minute of play to tie the score at 1-1.

    National Elite Basketball League to hold All Star Night and All Star Game
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be hosting its third annual All-Star Night on Saturday, March 11 at St. Catherine Auditorium in Belize City. The activities will commence at 8 p.m. with the Three Point Shootout, followed by the Slam Dunk Contest at 8:30 p.m. In the nightcap, the All Star game, with a new twist will be played. The All Star Game will see the Imports team up with the Belizean Americans to form one team to challenge our local All Stars. The players for the local All Star team will be selected via fan votes and votes from team managers. The starting five will be selected by popular fan vote, via Facebook likes. Fans are to go to the NEBL Face Book page and vote for their favorite players that they would like to see represent the local squad for the All Star Game. Voting is done by positions. The remaining seven reserves will then be selected by team managers and the media. Below is the list of players who will be selected to make the 12 man roster. The top 2 guards and top 3 big men from FB votes, will decide the starters. Voting will take place from Sunday, February 26 - Saturday, March 4. The coach with the best record going into the All Star weekend will coach the local team, and the coach with the second best winning record will coach the Imports/Belizean American team.

    Belize Elementary and St. John Vianney girls lead in the Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition
    The 2016-2017 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition regular season came to an end on Monday 27th February, 2017, with games in the boys’ competition. In the first of two games played in the boys’ competition, St. Ignatius School blanked All Saints Anglican School by the score of 6-0. The goals for St. Ignatius School were scored by Adrian Armstrong (4) and Curtis August. In the second game of the day, Wesley Upper School and St. John’s Primary School played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Wesley Upper School was scored by Devin Thurton while the goal for St. John’s Primary School was scored by Rasheed Lord. On Friday 24th February, three more games in the boys’ competition were played. In the first game of the afternoon, St. John’s Primary School won over St. Luke Methodist School by the score of 3-0. The goals for St. John’s Primary School were scored by Rasheed Lord (2) and Ervin Rhamdas.

    Manic eyes
    Sometime in 2005 during the previous PUP administration under the stewardship of Mr. Musa Sr., the prime minister’s term was in trouble from within and without. H Musa bravely dug his heels behind his partner in crime bellowing the now infamous words at a PUP rally that “no-one will get between the love I have for R. Fonseca”. We see the same scenario being repeated with Briceño and Courtney. When I last saw Courtney giving an interview, his eyes shocked me more than his words which I will get to later. Some people commented that his eyes were penetrating, but I personally would more prefer the adjective “manic”. Less generous critics would describe them as being wild or possessed. This man is loco for his client and despises his country because a UDP government is in office.

    Amandala

    GOB loses US$22 mil to Glenn Godfrey
    The Government of Belize has lost yet another court case in the US—this time it has been denied a motion it filed in January in US Court of Appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, with jurisdiction in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, USA, to dismiss the US$22 million award handed down in favor of Glenn D. Godfrey, a Belizean attorney and former People’s United Party (PUP) Cabinet Minister. The Government of Belize had contended that Ralph Fonseca, as then Budget Minister, did not have the constitutional authority to cut the deal he did with Godfrey, and it held the position that as a consequence the Master Lease Agreement (MLA) which the Government had with Intelco—signed, sealed and delivered in the USA back in 2002—is void. However, the US court found in a decision handed down on Tuesday that, “The long and short of it is, that the Government ratified Fonseca’s actions through its repeated payments of large sums of money over many years and by its retention of the telecommunications equipment. It thereby ratified the waiver of sovereign immunity contained in the same agreement.”

    Everald Augustine, 17, fatally shot 6 times on Aloe Vera Street
    Everald Augustine, 17, was shot dead on Aloe Vera Street sometime around 10 p.m. last night, Wednesday. He had just left his home when nine gunshots rang out. His mother, Ruth Castillo, heard the shots but never imagined that those bullets had hit the 7th of her eight children. Augustine’s mother recalled that he left on his bicycle wearing a red shirt and promised to return shortly, but he never did. Augustine was shot six times – three times in the chest and three times in the back. He reportedly died on the scene. His mother, Ruth Castillo, said that she doesn’t know why anybody would want him dead. “I don’t know about any issue that he had with anybody,” she told our newspaper.

    So, who stole 8 visa stickers from the Immigration Department?
    The Senate Select Committee continued its hearing today, Wednesday, into the Auditor General’s Special Report which claimed that an elected United Democratic Party (UDP) official, former Belize City Council Deputy Mayor Eric Chang, as well as the Council’s financial controller Patrick Tillett, were both involved in the purchasing of visa stickers stolen from the Immigration Department’s Western border. Mark Tench, an Immigration officer of eighteen years who was stationed at the Western Border during the period when the stickers were stolen, appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee today and recalled what transpired. Tench recounted, “On the 26th of December, which was Boxing Day, I was the supervisor on shift, 6 a.m. shift. I came to work with two other officers, Requeña and Crawford…Upon entering the door, 6 o’clock… we shift over from the night person … there is one night person that works there…

    Double murder in Placencia
    On Wednesday morning, rumor quickly circulated that four persons had died in a fatal traffic mishap at around 5 a.m. on the Placencia road between Miles 2 and 3. However, an official police report revealed that only two persons had died, but were burnt beyond recognition. Police reported that the victims were in a Ford F150 pickup which veered off the highway, crashed into a lamppost, and burst into flames. According to police reports, “A post-mortem examination was conducted on the two charred human remains that verified that they were those of a male in the back, and female in the front [seat] and cause of death was certified to be due to ‘thermal injuries’.” According to our source in the Police Department, however, this was not an accident — it was a case of double murder.

    Homeless man pleads guilty to trespassing and threatening words
    A homeless man who has been in the habit of sleeping behind the Ex-Services League building and who allegedly has developed the habit of uttering threats to the office manager, pleaded guilty to the use of threatening words and trespassing when the two charges were read to him in the Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Anthony Neal, 65, appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez, who accepted his guilty plea and fined him $100 each for the two offences, plus $5 cost of court. Magistrate Rodriguez ordered Neal to pay the two fines by April 30 and May 31 respectively. If he defaults on payment of any of the two fines, he will have to serve 1 month in jail for each offense. That was not the end of Neal’s legal difficulties. Court records revealed that he has an outstanding court fine of $205 for a possession of controlled drug conviction. Neal, an unemployed deportee, was unable to present the $205 that he owes the court, so he was taken to prison to begin serving his two-month sentence.

    The plight of “Belize’s fastest woman:” Kaina Martinez
    Google “Belize’s fastest sprinter” and the name that will pop up on your screen is none other than the Seine Bight sprinter, Kaina Martinez, the woman who proudly says that she has carried Belize “on her back and on her chest” at several international events, including the 2012 Olympics held in London, UK—yet she has never been given the accolades she deserves. There are still several Belizeans who are enraged by the fact that Kaina was not picked to run for Belize at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and the only defense Belize’s Olympic Committee could offer was that the well-known athlete did not submit the requisite document by the deadline. Kaina said that that is “a story they created” about her. She believes that she was “dissed” in favor of Katy Sealy, the British woman with a Belizean father who has at times competed for Belize as well; but Sealy is no Martinez and if they were both put up to a challenge at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, the odds are that Martinez, and indeed a few other Belizean sports starts, would outsprint her.

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    Belize City No Limit is home tonight at the Belize Elementary Auditorium to take on the visiting Western Ballaz, and will be looking to avenge their Week Five 63-56 road loss, which saw them blow a 9-point 4th quarter lead, eventually succumbing to the Western Ballaz surge. In the first meeting, No Limit dominated the boards, outrebounding the Ballaz, 54 to 38, as the quartet of Marcus Lewis, Kenny Brown, Kyle and Matthew Young accounted for 37 of those 54 rebounds. No Limit is led by Marcus Lewis, who is leading the team in scoring at 16 ppg, while Kenny Brown leads in rebounds at 7.6 rpg. As a team, they are 5th in scoring at 71.6 ppg, and last in defense, giving up 82.5 ppg. No Limit has lost 5 of 6 games played so far, with their only win coming at home against the defending champs, Hurricanes. Needless to say, they are essentially the cellar dwellers of the NEBL. As the midway point of the season inches closer, No Limit must begin to play with a greater sense of urgency, or risk not making it to the post season. That alone should give them added motivation, going into this game, and playing at home should be favored, despite losing the first matchup.

    Game results from Chetumal in basketball exchange
    The basketball exchange between Eagles U-20 Basketball Club of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District and Comida Asiatica of Chetumal saw four games played on Saturday, February 25, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Nu Arch Basketball Stadium in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. In the first game, Fenix Female Team defeated Eagles U-20 Females, 34-9; and in the second game, Aubrey Eagles U-15 Male Team of Belmopan defeated Huracana of Chetumal, 45-34. In the third game, Itch of Chetumal defeated Venus Hotel Eagles U-20 Male Team, 39-32. And in the final game of the night, Atla Eagles U-23 Male Team defeated Comida Asiatica of Chetumal by the score of 55-35. Top scorer for Atla Eagles U-23 was Justi Ford with 39 points; and for Asiatica, Rose Hide with 23 points.

    Gambis’ first loss, Manu’s first win in PLB coaching debut
    When struggling FC Belize was assisted by their opponent’s 89th minute own-goal for a 1-nil win over formidable Police United FC at the MCC Grounds yesterday, it was more than just an upset of sorts. True, FC Belize is having a rocky start this Closing Season, and are celebrating their first victory after a string of three losses, while Police United suffered their first loss. But the win is important to FC Belize for other reasons; it is also the first victory for the new head coach, former Premier League star, David “Manu” McCaulay, on whose shoulders the embattled Belize City team has laid its burden after losing their Brazilian coach half-way through the Opening Season, and with no financial backing, to secure a big name, experienced coach to lead the charge.

    Western Eagles stopped three-time champs…
    Hello, readers, players, supporters and fans! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the 2017 Harrison Parks Competition continues. Thanks to the sponsors of this year’s cricket season, Bowen and Bowen. Before getting into the games, our heartfelt condolences go out to the Lanza family and Uprising Cricket Team of Isabella on the passing of their loved one, Mr. Joseph “Joe” Lanza. May his soul rest in peace. Again, this weekend, followers of cricket saw some very excellent matches. One was too close for comfort; one saw the first century scored; and one is yet to be decided.

    Editorial: The new Belize
    In the United States, thinking Americans are beginning to understand what happened in the 2016 presidential campaign and election. The Republican Party, which has stood for the interests of the wealthy class in modern American politics, was hijacked by a super-rich element with an extremist agenda. Donald Trump is the face and voice of that agenda, but there are controllers behind the scenes who are not interested in personal publicity and shun the limelight. Those who financed and control Donald Trump consider themselves “libertarians.” They believe that the only real purpose of government is to protect the individual’s right to property. They believe the smaller the federal government is, the better. The ideal, as far as the libertarians are concerned, is for all the social welfare programs which originated in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society (Roosevelt in the 1930s and 1940s and Johnson in the 1960s were both Democratic Party presidents) for the protection and benefit of America’s poor and middle classes, should be dismantled. The libertarians believe in an imperial, aggressive America with a Darwinian mentality, which is to say, only the strong survive.

    From The Publisher
    A close relative of mine, quite sincere, was saying to me two or three weeks ago that one does a disservice to the Creole people, now a dwindling minority in the territory of Belize, when one questions the Battle of St. George’s Caye narrative. That narrative, as officially structured, is supposed to fill us Creoles with pride and self-esteem. Now let me say this. The only purpose the “Creole” designation can serve for me is to distinguish one African tribe here from the other, the other African tribe being the Garinagu. The purpose the “Creole” designation serves for white supremacy, on the other hand, is to encourage us to deny the fact that our ancestors came from Africa, that we were kidnapped from Africa, that we were originally enslaved in Africa. And, by the way, there are many African-descendant heroes in Belize who fill me with pride and self-esteem – Ludwig, Harmie Brackett, Margaret Usher, Glenda Ellis … The list is long. Me personally, I don’t need St. George’s Caye.

    Snatching victory from the jaws of defeatism
    Dear Editor, Given President Trump’s campaign rhetoric, his conservative agenda, his majority control over both Congress and the Senate, and his penchant for antagonizing even his friends and supporters, it is not surprising that there is a seismic shift in his relations with the world as he takes the reins of power; these range from undermining the current USA-Cuba rapprochement, to downsizing the USA military presence in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, to renegotiating international trade agreements, to reneging on commitments to climate change accords, to acrimonious disputes with Mexico over the “Wall,” to beginning the process of deporting those over 11 million “illegal, criminal aliens.” These developments, to the extent they are implemented will, of course, generate their own set of reactions, some positive, some negative, from the rest of the world. Cuba, for instance, is already mobilizing its forces, Mexico is beginning to “talk back” (although the government of that country does not appear to be in sync with its people,) the EU is weighing its options, Japan and the Far East are watching and waiting, and our little countries are waiting for the “b…h lick” to come crashing on our backs.

    Eulogy for Leela Vernon
    Presented at her official funeral and mass of thanksgiving held on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the St. Peter Claver Church, Punta Gorda. If I was half as brave as Leela, I would have sung that! I was honored to have been asked to read the eulogy for this wonderful, strong and brilliant lady, Leela Vernon. Leela and I have a shared passion for our country that was reinforced by our many chats together. During our many times together, Leela would always call me Wil as we joked and told stories. But as soon as the topic was Guatemala and their unfounded claim to Belize, I would become Mr. Maheia, to her! She would say “Mr. Maheia, I like wat yu di do with that Sarstoon thing; but be careful, yu hear, an noh stap tell them politicians bout dem self! This country dah fu we and we noh need no ICJ fuh tell we that.” Leela Vernon, MBE, was born to Mr. Alfredo Martinez and Mrs. Gladis Genus on October 21st, 1950. Leela spent her childhood days in many small villages in southern Belize with her parents but by the age of five she was living with her grandparents and with her other siblings, Mr. Denroy Genus, Mr. Junior Tillett, Mrs. Morna Tillett Johnson, Mrs. Ida Genus, Mrs. Sonia Tillett Morrison, Mr. Henry ‘Pleck’ Genus, Mr. Dean Martinez, and Miss Consuelo Aguilar.

    Rise in gang-related incidents a concern, even as major crimes fall
    Although preliminary crime data for the first two months of 2017 indicate that major crimes, including incidences of murder, are down, there is a troubling rise in gang-related crimes and particularly gang-related murders which tend to spark retaliatory action in the streets. Our review of the cases revealed that more than half of the victims are under the age of 34, and at least three-fourths of them are of Afro-descent. The most recent murder occurred this weekend when Marcelino Chan, 54, was stabbed to death in San Roman, Orange Walk. In its crime analysis for the month of January 2017, the BCO noted that there had been 17 gang-related major crimes, including 7 murders in the Belize District and primarily in the Belize City area. For January 2016, it reported 3 gang-related murders in the Belize City area.

    The Reporter

    Man injured in daytime shooting
    Police are investigating a blatant daytime shooting, which has left a man injured. Police say that at around 2:17 this afternoon Brandon Bennett was on the northern side of the BelCan Bridge when he was shot once to the abdomen. Bennett was transported to the […]

    La Ruta Maya Belize River challenge kicks off
    Today, Over 90 teams set out for the first leg of one of the largest events on Belize’s calendar, the annual La Ruta Maya endurance canoe race. The 18th installment of the La Ruta Maya challenge kicked off this morning, just under the Hawksworth Bridge in […]

    Senior officer exposes cover-up at Immigration
    Senior Immigration Officer, Mark Tench, took the stand before the Senate Committee this week, highlighting even more high-level corruption in the Immigration and Nationality Department. Tench, the first of three witnesses, gave a detailed explanation of the investigation which he led, after he discovered that […]

    NAC and Hand in Hand holds charity concert for children with HIV
    To assist children in Belize who are living with HIV, the National AIDS Commission teamed up with Hand in Hand Ministries to hold a charity concert last Friday. The concert, hosted on the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) compound in Belize City, featured steel band music, courtesy […]

    Immigration Department rolls out temporary passport solution
    The Passport Office in the Immigration and Nationality Department has rolled out a short term solution to address the halt in the production of machine readable passports, due to equipment failure. The Immigration Department announced this week that is has begun providing temporary passports, in emergency cases, […]

    Placencia company named Tour Operator of the Year
    Due to its outstanding record in customer satisfaction, Luxury Travel Guide Magazine, a leading source of information for affluent travelers, has named Barefoot Rentals and Services in Placencia, as Tour Operator of the Year in the Americas. The magazine said that, after reviewing thousands of establishments throughout […]

    Life after Earl: Agric’ CEO talks recovery efforts
    Seven months after Hurricane Earl caused millions of dollars in losses to the agricultural industry, the Government of Belize is starting to see the fruits of its recovery efforts. Chief Executive Officer for Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture, Sustainable Development, and Immigration, Jose Alpuche, […]

    The Belizean Cheaters saga continues
    An unknown Facebook user, over the weekend, spreading a false report that a minor had commited suicide because of malicious allegations made against her on the Belizean Cheaters page, however, police have shot down the report. The user began circulating an image of a female minor, with […]

    Unauthorized drone use for La Ruta Maya prohibited
    The unauthorized use of drones to film the upcoming La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge will be prohibited, the Ministry of Civil Aviation warned in an advisory issued this week. According to the Department of Civil Aviation, any person wishing to use a drone to film the […]

    Leela Vernon’s last hurrah
    “The heart of a country is its culture” saidpopular brukdong singer/songwriterLeelaGenus Vernon, and her hit song; “Ah wahn know who seh Kriol no gat no kulcha”became an anthem for the Kriol Council and all those seeking to preserve the Creole language and culture. After Leela […]

    Street Arts Festival delights
    Belizean artists from all over the country thronged Belize City’s downtown, when the City Council cordoned off Albert Street, where the National Institute of Culture and History hosted the annual Street Arts Festival on Saturday, February 25. It was difficult to know where to look […]

    Charred human remains yet to be identified in Placencia road accident
    At daybreak on Wednesday, a devastating accident between miles 2 and 3 on the Placencia road claimed the lives of two people, yet to be identified. The bodies were burnt beyond recognition. Around 5:00 a.m., that morning, a speeding F-150 double cab pick-up truck was […]

    3 cops to face trial for manslaughter
    Three policemen charged with causing the death of San Pedro bartender, 28year-old Edwin Ixpatac, are to face trial for manslaughter next month. A preliminary trial concluded on Wednesday and the Court decided to reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter on the recommendation of the […]

    Two shot over the weekend
    A 24-year-old man and a minor, both of whom suffered gunshot wounds in seperate incidents in Belize City over the weekend, are recovering from their injuries as police investigations are underway. Last Saturday around 11:24 a.m., police received information of several shots fired on Unity Street. Upon […]

    Decomposed body of former BDF soldier discovered in river
    The decomposed body of a former Belize Defence Force soldier was fished out of the Rio Hondo river on Tuesday after he is presumed to have drowned. Police say that around 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, officers responded to information of a decomposed body floating some 20 feet […]

    Convicted drug trafficker escapes from Belize Central Prison
    An inmate of the Belize Central Prison is currently on the run from authorities after he escaped from prison officials on Sunday, February 26. Twenty-seven-year-old Jonathan Galan, a Salvadorian national and convicted drug trafficker, escaped from prison officials around 11:30 a.m. Galan was a trustee of the […]

    Teen boy killed by friend
    A 17-year-old boy, Everald Augustine, was shot and killed on Aloe Vera Street Wednesday night, and most surprisingly, police say the killer was a friend of his. Augustine, of a North Park Street address, was shot six times to his chest and back around 10:00 […]

    BNE mops up oil leakage
    By Marion Ali Assistant Editor An oil leak at the Michael Usher Number 1 oil well on the Belize Natural Energy’s (BNE) compound in Spanish Lookout on Wednesday did not cause any major environmental damage, but seeped into a small stream before it was contained. BNE shared with the Reporter […]

    Another multi-million dollar lawsuit for GOB
    The Government of Belize’s litigation worries increased this week, after a United States Circuit Court dismissed its request to have Glenn Godfrey’s US $22 million claim thrown out. The US Circuit Court ruled that GOB acted as if it intended to abide by the contract […]

    American tourist drowns off S.Pedro
    A 29-year-old American woman from Texas, vacationing in Belize, died on Tuesday after she reportedly fell from a jet ski into the waters off the coast of Ambergris Caye and drowned. Rickilee Michelle Mercer and her friend Marvin Hazim Yono, 39, were riding jet skis […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Shooting in Belize City
    Reports reaching our newsroom is that a man was shot a short while ago on Belcan bridge in Belize City. The person was reportedly rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Police are on the scene. BBN will have more details as the information is […]

    Road traffic accident in Santa Cruz, Southern Belize
    BBN has received reports about a road traffic accident that happened a short while ago in Santa Cruz Village, Stann Creek District. According to reports, the accident involved a taxi driver and a truck and it happened near the Placencia junction. Details are still […]

    UDP wins Arenal by-elections
    On Sunday, February 27, a by-election was held in the village of Arenal in the Cayo district. Arenal is a small village located near the borderline with Belize and Guatemala. The by-election was held to elect a chairman since the previous one passed away. […]

    Belize establishes agriculture outreach station on border
    The Belize government is quietly establishing its presence at the Jalacte/Santa Cruz border crossing. Jalacte is on Belize’s side of the border and Santa Cruz is on the Guatemalan side.\ Villagers can be seen traversing the area freely but we understand the Belize has put […]

    Burnt vehicle and victims, RTA or Murder?
    Yesterday an official police report was issued stating that between miles 2 and 3, Stann Creek District, officers saw a Ford F-150 double cab pickup truck completely destroyed by fire. The report also made mention that the pickup truck collided into an electrical wooden lamp post. Inside the vehicle were suspected charred human remains that have not yet been identified.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ham radio shown to Belize Scouts
    The Belize Amateur Radio Club (BARC) successfully completed an ´Introduction to Amateur Radio´ for the Scout Association of Belize on Sunday, February 26, 2017 The demonstration, held at the Scouts National Training Grounds, near Burrell Boom, was divided into four parts: BARC´s Goals for Amateur Radio in Belize, Educational Video, Hands-On Demonstration of Radio Equipment and a Question and Answer Session. Boys and girls of the Scouts Association from across Belize were participants in this first of its kind demonstration that represents a first step of cooperation between BARC and ScoutsBelize. This cooperation, both organizations agree, will provide beneficial results and acquired skills for everyone, especially the participating youth.

    Waterfalls, reefs and a desert island. It’s Belize — the director’s cut
    Francis Ford Coppola has opened a private island hideaway, which makes a great addition to a tour of the country’s rainforest and Mayan ruins. I am eight miles out to sea on a strip of sand 111 paces long and 40 paces wide. Dolphin fins break the surface of the turquoise ocean, crabs scurry and the dark shadow of the reef bellows in the depths below. There is nothing else. The wickedness of the world, those lists and worries, are somewhere beyond the edge of the sea. To be cast away on a desert island is the ultimate travel therapy. Of course, the reality isn’t always rosy. Robinson Crusoe was attacked by cannibals and Tom Hanks was forced to make friends with a volleyball. Yet there’s no danger of hardship here. This is Coral Caye, the Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola’s new private island hide- away in the…

    Ready-to-drink coconut water is gaining traction
    A year and half ago, NuCoco was established. “We offer pure coconut water from water coconuts,” says Michael Brown, co-owner and CEO of NuCoco. “It’s a very fresh product that does not involve any processing. After the coconut is picked, the husk is taken off, the product is wrapped and a straw is added.” NuCoco is the only supplier of fresh water coconuts sold in North America that open in seconds with its 4-step process using a straw; no machete, no butcher knife, no icepick required. See 'how to' video below. The company partners with growers and co-packers in Southern Mexico and Belize. As soon as the product has been finished, it is trucked into Texas from Southern Mexico. Coconuts from Belize arrive into Miami by sea. “What is unique about our product is that our coconut water is the freshest and purest, unprocessed coconut water sold in America. The product reaches the stores within 10-11 days after harvest. In addition to being a delicious health drink, the nut can be cracked open afterwards to enjoy nutritious and tender coconut pulp. “You get a drink and snack in the same pack,” said Brown. NuCoco water and pulp can be used in smoothies, cocktails, salads, soups and desserts.

    Has Caribbean sugar a future?
    Unless the sugar industry in Caricom can develop in the coming months a co-ordinated and concerted plan of action, it is quite possible that in a few years’ time there will be little left of an industry which, for evil and good, has played a central role in the making of the Caribbean. This is because this year will see two tsunami-like events occur, both of which threaten the survival of the industry in its present form. The first relates to the changes that will take place this October in the European Union’s sugar regime. Then, as a long planned domestic measure, the EU will abolish national sugar production quotas in Europe. This will have the effect of reducing the price paid for sugar from the African Caribbean Pacific group of nations (ACP), while also causing the overall volume of EU sugar imports to fall as Europe becomes self-sufficient. For high-cost Caribbean producers — Guyana, Barbados, Belize and Jamaica — and almost all smaller cane producers in the ACP, this potentially spells the end of the EU market, as previously quota-restrained EU beet farmers expand production, taking advantage of much improved yields and industry consolidation, to sell without restriction across Europe and to export.

    Videos

  • Remembering Leela in P.G., 6min.

  • Bex Kill Shots, 1min. A compilation of Bex hitting kill shots during a local volleyball competition

  • Belize Missionary Trip 2016, 4.5min.

  • Bats in Belize, 1min. Caye Caulker.

  • Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2017 Begins!, 1min. At the end of the first leg of the Ruta Maya, team NICH crossed the line, narrowly edging out Koop Sheet Metal. It was an awesome first day of racing for these hard paddling gentlemen.

  • Start to La Ruta Maya, 5min.

  • MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR COMANDANTE HUGO CHAVEZ ON THE 4TH YEAR OF HIS DEATH, 5.5min.

  • BAGS AND BAGS OF LOCAL POTATO SOLD IN COROZAL, 4.5min.

  • Fun Fridays (Marlyn Vansen, Bruk It Down Jenny, Flourgon), 68min.

  • Public Utilities Commission - 1st Cyber Security Symposium, 40min.

  • CHOCOLATE AND SPICE FARM TOUR, 1min. The history of Chocolate is a delicious tale of discovery, invention and exploration!

  • Belize NOW - Episode 12, 31min. The CEO Caucus gears up for its second annual Cancer Awareness Ride, the Ministry of Tourism discusses plans for 2017, and we found out more about the Youth and Community Transformation Program. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now. Thanks for joining us on this Friday, March 3rd, 2017,

  • Rigo Vellos at the Arnold Classic, 9min.

  • Snorkel Belize, 4min.

  • Belize 2016, 20min.

  • Belize- February 2017, 7min. EF College Break to Belize Central America.

    March 3, 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

    Female American National found dead after reported Jet Ski incident in North Ambergris Caye
    The lifeless body of 29-year-old American National Rickilee Michelle Mercer suspected to have drown, was found in the leeward coast of Ambergris Caye on Wednesday, March 1st. Mercer was reported missing at sea late Tuesday evening, on February 28th, which activated a search and rescue operation spearheaded by the Belize Coast Guard, with assistance from the San Pedro Police Department and volunteers. Mercer went missing after reportedly falling off a Jet Ski in the ‘Secret Beach’ area of Northern Ambergris Caye. Her body was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for a post mortem examination. The initial reports from police state that on Tuesday, February 28th, 39-year-old Marvin Hazim Yono, American National of Bloomfield, Michigan USA reported that he and another friend were at the Secret Beach area on separate jet skis. Around 2:30pm he invited 29-year-old Rickilee Michelle Mercer, American accountant of Texas, USA for a ride. Yono reported that they left on the Jet Ski heading west from Secret Beach when they both fell off. He then swam to shore and the last sighting of Mercer was when she was swimming towards the Jet Ski. They then conducted a search party, but could not locate her. Police then visited the area along with members of the Belize Coast Guard and began to search for her.

    American National Football League athletes visit San Pedro High School
    Three American National Football League (NFL) personalities, Donald “Ray” Crockett (Retired Denver Broncos cornerback), Henry Melton (Freelance NFL player) and Terrell McClain (Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle), paid a surprise visit to San Pedro High School (SPHS) on Thursday, March 2nd. During a special assembly, the entire school population gathered at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium for a presentation by the NFL stars. Master of Ceremonies Alex Nuñez welcomed the players, informing them about the history of SPHS. With much pride, MC Nuñez shared many of SPHS’s athletic achievements. SPHS currently holds three national championships in volleyball, basketball, and recently in football (soccer), and the NFL players applauded the school for their excellence.

    SPTC and CARILED discusses green initiatives
    The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), in partnership with the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) Project in Belize, presented their final local economic development strategic plan for San Pedro Town On Thursday, February 23rd. In attendance was Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Keisha Rodriguez (CARILED Local Resource Consultant), Jorge Aldana (SPTC Local Economic Officer), SPTC councilors, Chris Nunez from the San Pedro Traffic Department, and members of the media. The last consultation was held in November 2016, when CARILED consultant from Canada, Chris Fields, engaged with various business and tourism stakeholders on the ultimate vision of San Pedro Town. He explained that local economic development is a process by which public sector, business and civil society work collectively to create better conditions for economic growth and employment generation. Its purpose is also to build up the economic capacity of a local area to improve its economic future and the quality for the island.

    Child Stimulation Month opens with parade
    Child Stimulation Month opened with a festive parade across San Pedro Town on Wednesday, March 1st. Under the theme, “Positive play, positive minds, brighter tomorrow”, preschoolers, along with their teachers and parent(s)/guardian(s), commemorated the significance of early childhood education. From toucans to nurses, and even life-size numbers, the groups smartly showcased their creativity and imagination. Participating in the parade were ABC, San Pedro, Little Angels, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Holy Cross Anglican, Isla Bonita, Brighter Tomorrow, Little Stars and Shining Stars Preschools. A music truck led the parade at 9:30AM from Central Park to Pescador Drive and back to the park. The purpose of the parade was to showcase the importance of education at the preschool level. As all preschool institutions countrywide dedicate the month of March to various activities, preschool teachers across the island are ensuring that their students experience and learn in fun ways. Activities like “Family and Culture Week”, “Civic Pride Week”, and “Health Week” will take place throughout the month. Other fun experiences include: storytelling, grandparent’s day, cultural and hug day, sports day, Belizean products day, dad’s pickup day, drug awareness day, nutrition day, aerobics day, and a nature walk.

    Ambergris Today

    Super Bowl Champion NFL Player Talks to San Pedro High School Students
    This is the year for celebrities in Belize as more celebrities have been spotting in the country this early in 2017. This week, NFL players Ray Crockett (Denver, Broncos) Terrell McClain (Dallas, Cowboys) and Henry Melton (Free Agent) made their debut in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Today, March 2, 2017, these three NFL players took the time to talk to students of San Pedro High School during a special assembly. They had the full attention of the student body, even with all the student's excitement, as the three foodball players talked about dreams, goals and how to achieve them. Autographs and pictures were also taken. The NFL player's address to the students of SPHS was made possible by Mahogany Bay Village who arranged the assembly during the time of their stay in San Pedro. They also received a warm welcome by the Mayor Daniel Guerrero and members of the San Pedro Town Council who were also invited to attend.

    Fifth Anniversary of The People’s Referendum Against Offshore Oil Exploration
    The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage held a press conference on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the People's Referendum which took place on February 29th, 2012. On that historic day, approximately 30,000 Belizeans voluntarily turned up to 51 polling stations across the country to make their position on offshore oil exploration in Belize known. Out of all the persons polled, 96% voted NO to offshore oil drilling in Belize's waters. Five years later, the government has still not acted to safeguard Belize's economically important marine resources from the threat of offshore oil exploration via legislation.

    Immigration Department Experiencing Technical Difficulties, to Issue Temporary Passports
    The Belize Passport Office has issued an notice explaining that it is presently experiencing technical difficulties with the passport printing process. The Immigration Department will be providing temporary passports, in emergency cases, to persons whose passports are exhausted, lost (6 weeks waiting period apply), damaged or mutilated, and who demonstrate a need for urgent travel. Temporary passports will be processed within one (1) week, with validity for one (1) year at the normal fee of $30.00.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Saying Goodbye to don Juan Carnaval
    It is believed that if he is not burnt it brings bad luck to the islanders, lots of sickness, diseases and natural disasters

    Belizean daughter. PV2 Bianca Sanchez
    March is celebrated as Women's History Month. And where as History is normally the story of what has happened and more than often celebrating those that have past, Capital Newspost would like to celebrate the bravery of it's own Belizean daughter. PV2 Sanchez, Bianca has undertaken the Army career of the US Army Combat Medic. This is a rigorous program. At 18, this military personnel is being trained to be responsible for providing first aid and frontline trauma care on the battlefield. We never know where life takes us, but as we wish her well in her endeavors as she utilizes the military program to become an Orthodontist, we pray for her safety. HOOAH!

    Official launch of the Belmopan City Council Municipal Bonds
    In providing equal opportunity for all residents, the official launch of the Belmopan City Council Municipal Bonds was held at the Bull Frog Inn this morning. The Belmopan City Council is undertaking a $6.5 million public works project (streets, drainage etc.) to improve the quality of life of the city’s residents. The project will be financed through an anticipated $6.5 million Municipal Bond offer. A Municipal Bond is like a Certificate of Deposits (CD). Municipalities issue bonds to raise money from savers willing to lend them money for a certain amount of time to make public investments in their cities and towns. When you buy a Belmopan City Council Bond, you are lending to the Belmopan City Council. Belmopan City Council promises to pay you a specific rate of interest during the life of the Bond and to repay the principal also known as the face value of the bond when it matures or become due. The Belmopan City Council Bonds have 13 individual tranches- Tranche 1-13 with maturities from two (2) to fourteen (14) years.

    March is Women's Month
    March 1st marked the official open of Women's month. This year, the month will be observed under the theme, "Empowering Women in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by year 2030!" Happy Women's Month!

    Noche de Diamantes
    The Benque House of Culture is celebrating Women's Month with their Noche de Diamantes event to celebrate women in art. It's happening on Wednesday, March 8th, at 7:00pm. "Join us as we celebrate International Women's Day with another empowering edition of Women in Art an empowering Women's platform to acknowledge experiences, gains, challenges and our way forward under the theme Be Bold for Change"

    Exhibit Opening “Belize’s Heroes, Patriots, and Benefactors”

    New Opening Hours for BTB's San Pedro Office
    Our opening hours will now be Monday to Friday from 8am-12pm and 1pm to 5pm.

    Grand Raffle on Caye Caulker
    In support of Ms. Lizette Guttierez who was recently diagnosed with cancer

    Please show the soldiers some love. This is sad
    This morning Belize Defense Force (BDF) band members reported for duty at 3:30 a.m. Several of them are students and others are employed elsewhere. The committed soldiers were to depart at 4 a.m. to attend and serve duties in Punta Gorda for the funeral of cultural icon, Lela Vernon. The officers were shocked and dismayed that the vehicle which would take them was a 4-ton open back truck. No canopy on the back of the truck while motorists know the weather can change at any point along the road. Most of the unit refused to board the truck because of safety and weather conditions that would post a varying degrees of health risks to different personnel. No need to question if seatbelts were on board. Perhaps it's time we treat our soldiers like citizens and people. And the band played on.

    Oil leaked for 2 hours in Spanish Lookout
    Oil spill at Mike Usher number one in Spanish lookout. Leak occured for close to 2 hours on Wednesday.

    What happened today in Corozal?
    Repairs are being made at college road corozal by Belize Water Service. Pot holes, dust being blown and a quite headache to drive by.. Isn't it amazing? Well, they are upgrading pipeline for the betterment of their water services. Only, in Belize we see this...

    Potato sale in Corozal
    Here is a great way to assist our farmers and you can help. Recently our potato market has been flooded by an excess of potato from across the border leaving many local farmers with their potato products to go to waste. Many have suffered great losses but today Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College (CEMJC) and Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) in conjunction with our own St. Francis Xavier Credit Union held a potato sale to help our Local Farmers raise money for their local product. Hats off to everyone for coming through to the aid of our hard working potato farmers in Corozal and such a wonderful cause. People Power!

    Gwendolyn Lizarrage
    Institute for Social & Cultural Research - "In honor of International Women's Month (and really, to us, every month is women's month) we'll be featuring women who've contributed to Belize's development. Here we present to you Madam Liz herself: THE FIRST WOMAN ELECTED TO OUR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. She paved the way for others".

    Honourable Minister Dr. Omar Figueroa visits Shipstern
    Hi Friends! We've recently been visited by quite a bit of very nice people from different parts of the world. Last week, we were lucky to be visited by a truly special guest and a true friend of CSFI, the Honourable Minister Dr. Omar Figueroa. We were honored to show him around Shipstern and to share with him what we have been working on and what is yet to come. Because we wanted the Minister to get a good picture of the three protected areas currently managed by CSFI, we took him to the only place where one can see all three of them at the same time .... high in the sky! The overflight was followed by an excellent meeting between Minister Omar Figueroa, the CSFI Executive Director, CSFI's very own Senator Osmany Salas and a couple long-time, great friends of CSFI, Paul and Zoe Walker of Wildtracks. Thank you all. You truly are the best! A great big thank you to Minister Dr. Figueroa for his visit and his wonderful support for the work we do. Stayed tuned friends! Some really exciting news are coming soon!!!

    Miss Belize Visits Sacred Heart College
    Rebecca Rath - Miss Belize 2016 visited Cayo last week,and she spent some time at Sacred Heart College, where she spoke to the students about her recent experiences, and related how it changed her life, and how she wants to give back to her country, which unified to give her moral support during her time at the Miss Universe Pageant. Thanks, Bex! Great answer to that 'more difficult question.' She then had a parade, and she was entertained at the Cayo Welcome Center. Mayor Trapp even gave her a key to San Ignacio...a really big key.

    FCD Park Ranger quarters – Tapir Camp - under repairs
    This has been the main field headquarters in the Chiquibul National Park.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Don't Hang Up, Sing, Collateral Beauty, Fantastic Beasts.

    Channel 7

    8 Shots For a 17 Year Old
    A teenager was murdered last night in the city. At 10:00, 17 year old Everald Augustine was shot about 8 times as he rode his bicycle on Aloe Vera Street. Police say that the person who was with Augustine at the time is the one who executed him. Augustin's mother, Ruth Castillo, told us off camera that she doesn't know what happened and has no idea what trouble he was in. Here's what she had to say. Courtney Weatherburne, 7News: "When was the last time you saw him, It was last night right?" Voice of: Ruth Castillo, mother: "Yeah, like last night about after 9pm, he came and put on a shirt. He did have on any shirt and then he says that he will be back in a while and then he left, but I don't understand how he reach that far behind Oleander Street."

    Guatemalan Ambassador Returns, Quietly
    Guatemala's ambassador to Belize, Manuel Roldan Barillas has today returned to his office in Belize City. This is after he was "recalled for consultations" 11 months ago in April 2016, when a Belizean joint patrol law enforcement team shot and killed 13 year old Guatemalan Julio Alvarado Ruano in the Chiquibul. A team of independent experts have since cleared the Belizean team of wrongdoing - a finding which the Guatemalan government rejected, and complained bitterly and publicly about. But, while Belize - Guatemala relations remain fractured ever since that report was published, the quiet return of the Ambassador suggests some normalization of otherwise tense relations, if little else. We called the embassy and asked to speak to him today but the secretary told us that he was busy and would be busy.

    Belize Establishes Presence at Jalacte/Santa Cruz Crossing
    And while the quiet return of the Guatemalan Ambassador played out without fanfare, similarly, the Belize government is quietly making moves to establish a regular presence at the Jalacte/Santa Cruz border crossing. As we've showed you in earlier newscasts that's the border crossing in southwestern Belize, with Jalacte on this side of the border and Santa Cruz on the Guatemalan side. When we visited we saw villagers, and students, moving freely, buying groceries and trading in corn and beans. But, now the government of Belize has put in what it calls an "agricultural outreach station" which is being manned by immigration, customs and BAHA. but the CEO in the Minister of Home Affairs, George Lovell stress that they are not formalizing the border crossing, he says both countries need to agree eon a scope of activities at any border point before they are formalized and quote, "we are not there yet."

    Can Immigration Department Be Cleaned Up?
    Last night, we showed you coverage of the latest Senate Hearings on the Immigration Department. You'll remember it as the one in which Immigration Officer Mark Tench made the explosive allegations that former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and former Belize City Council employee Patrick Tillett bought 8 stolen visas for $5,000 each. It's the the latest of the revelations about how the business at the Immigration Department was conducted, and it only adds to the notoriety and ill-repute that this embattled Government Department has already garnered. One of the persons who is tasked with the difficult task of trying to restore confidence in Immigration is the current Minister of State Beverly Williams. She's currently in charge of the Department in a time when the reputation of the Department is taking a banging. And as the Senate testimonies and the Auditor General's report shows, a huge part of the problem are those unidentified immigration officers who were the source or who were complicit in the corruption. So, is anything being done to weed out those officers who abused the system? That's what we asked her today:

    Computing The Political Cost of Senate Hearings
    And, while the Senate Hearings on Immigration continue, it means more opportunities for political hemorrhaging of the UDP - who, lest we forget - were elected on an anti-corruption platform in 2008. But in 2017, the party is on the way to becoming as synonymous with corruption as its predecessor. That's dire news for the promising young politicians who are coming up in the party right now. They must also take the collateral damage of the immigration scandals, hoping that it doesn't injure them too badly. One such politician is Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle. He's up for re-election next year in the Municipal Elections, which means the revelations come an inconvenient time. So, today, we asked him how he's handling it, in the context that he must go to the Belmopan voters and ask for their support in a few months.:

    Burnt Pickup Where Two Perished Could Be Foul Play
    Police suspect that foul play could have been involved in what at first appeared to be a fatal road accident yesterday. As we reported last night, the bodies of two unidentified persons were found burnt up in a pickup between miles two and three on the Placencia Road. The F-350 crashed into a lamp-post at 5:00 am, and either caught on fire or was deliberately set on fire. The Forensic Examiner has sifted through the charred remains and determined that a male was sitting in the back seat, and a female was in the front passenger seat. They have not been identified, but are suspected to be a European couple. Now, police are asking where did the driver get to, and where are the license plates, since those appear to have been removed. That and other evidence have police suspecting that it could be a murder, and not an accident. That is why the case has been transferred from the Independence Police to the Major Crimes Unit in Belmopan.

    What Were The Big Guns For In OW?
    After three days of holding back information, the police press office has finally released the details of a major guns and ammo seizure in Orange Walk. On Monday evening at around 4:00, the Orange Walk Police anti-narcotics unit was about to execute a house search at the residence of Jorge Leiva on Unity Street, when they saw Leiva and woman dashing towards the back door clutching bags. The cops ran them down and the pair was identified as 57-year-old Jorge Enrique Leiva and 24-year-old Larissa Karel Zetina. Inside the bags they had quite a trove of firepower: police say Leiva's bag contained an AR 15 rifle Caliber .223 assault rifle with a scope, while 24-year-old Larissa Karel Zetina's bag had four (30) rounds magazines, one of them loaded with(27) live .223 rounds. And that wasn't all. Inside the house, police found 49 rounds of .223 ammunition and(50) 7.62 rounds - that's a total of 136 rounds for two rifles: An AR-15 and an AK 47.

    No Verdict For Killer Cop
    In 2013, Punta Gorda police shot and killed 19 year old Rasheed Eligio who had escaped from custody. Police Constable Daniel Griffith was charged for manslaughter, while Constable Leo Cho was charged for abetment to manslaughter. Well, yesterday in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga, a jury deliberated for four hours before returning with a "not guilty" verdict for PC Cho, but they were unable to reach a verdict for PC David Griffith. Griffith who remains on interdiction will have to be tried again. Justice Denis Hanomansingh told PC Cho he was free to go while Griffith remains free on bail, and he is to reappear in the Supreme Court for the April session to learn when his retrial will start. Cho was represented by Dickie Bradley and Griffith was represented by Oscar Selgado.

    Capital Cops Caught Cannabis In Motion
    Last night, Belmopan police ran down a man on a motorcycle with 15 pounds of weed. Around 9:30, the Quick Response team saw 21-year-old Freddy Rene Sosa of Ontario Village riding his motorbike through Teakettle village with a white sack in in his lap. He tried to give the cops the slip, and when he couldn't, police say he threw the sack away. When the cops caught him, they took him back to where it was found and a closer look at the sack revealed three compressed parcels weighing 6.8 kilos or just over 15 pounds. He has since been charged with drug trafficking.

    A Moving March By Kids Who Lost a Classmate
    Albert Martinez is in jail after he allegedly knocked down and killed 6 year old Ashanty Pollard. As we told you, he was arraigned on a number of charges including manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without a valid driver's license, amongst other offences. In terms of the accident, while police say speeding was a factor, cops are still waiting on results of Martinez's urine sample to close the case. But while Martinez has been remanded to prison, little Ashanty's family and friends are crushed by her death. Today, before her funeral, her classmates at Wesley Lower School organized a very touching and special send off in Ashanty's memory. Courtney Weatherburne was at the school this morning and has the story. A kaleidoscope of butterflies decorate the entrance hall at Wesley Lower School. Inscribed on their bristol paper wings are love notes and kind messages for little Ashanty. But all those butterflies flew out unto city streets as Ashanty's classmates marched in her honor with an important message.

    The Belmo-Bond Is Here
    In June of last year, we showed you how the Belmopan City Council launched their Municipal Bond project. They're seeking to raise 6.5 million dollars, 5 million of which will be used to make much needed infrastructure upgrades to the Garden City. It's modeled after the Belize City Municipal Bond, where the monthly Government subvention will be diverted into a sinking fund to repay bondholders. To attract those who buy in, the Belmopan Muncipal Bond is offering attractive interest rates at the different maturity periods, which would allow the bondholders to get a higher rate of return than the commercial bank savings. Since the June 2016 launch, the Council has been quietly marketing the bond offering to institutional investors, which have allowed them to reach 40% subscription already. So, today, they opened the bond offering to the general public to get to that 100% mark. The sales pitch is that residents of Belmopan, and other entrepreneurs countrywide are investing in the City, to see its improvement, while seeing their money grow at a more competitive rate. The Council and their financial advisors held a press conference this morning in Belmopan to highlight a few of the more important elements of the bond. 7News attended, and here's what they had to say:

    Hon. Julius Calls PUP Colleagues "Benchwarmers"
    Benchwarmers! That's what PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat called his party colleagues when he appeared on Plus TV's Rise and Shine two days ago. Espat, who is known for his outspoken-ness, told host Luis Wade that the persons who have been put out there to represent the party are basically "scrubs". Here's how he put it: Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South: "The PUP are using bench players right now to make the decision for the party. The People's United Party have the greatest warriors that this country has ever produced - they have them on the sidelines and they have bench players right now taking the lead. You cannot have bench players playing for you in the final game of a world cup. It just can't happen. I am one of them and there are many of us that believe that we should be protesting every day until we change this government. It has to be done. We are at a stage right now. The rank and file, the supporters of the People's United Party, they are battle ready, but the leaders somehow I believe are too comfortable. They are too comfortable and they need to stop making decisions around the Mahogany table." "12 parliamentarians and you know the 12 don't all sit on the national executive of the People's United Party and they are the winners. These are the proven winners where the people put their faith in, but yet you have many of them that don't even have a seat on the national executive to be able to lead the party forward."

    A Passport Printing Problem
    Earlier in the news, we showed you our interview with Minister of State responsible for the Immigration Department, Beverly Williams. We also used the opportunity to ask her why the Department had to shut down the printing of passports. Their passport machine is broken, and they don't intend to fix it. Ministry wants to get a new one, but in the meantime, any person who needs one can come in to apply for a temporary passport. The Minister explained how they are managing the situation: Hon. Beverly Williams, Minister of State/Immigration: "There are no freeze on the issuance of passports. The system is broken and we know that it is something we cannot continue to use in the long run. We've been having some spoilage when we attempt. Everybody who needs a passport that is urgent, they can either get a temporary one or we will attempt to print that passport on the system if the machine allows us to print. We've had spoilage of up to 15 passports in a day but we get 2 good ones and so even if we attempt to do that, we will have the temporary passports on hand for persons who have emergency travel. There's no freeze on passport."

    Getting Serious About Cyber Security
    Cyber crime is the fastest growing form of criminal activity in the world. Criminals with the right equipment, software and expertise, can gain access to most people's personal information through the internet. Large network providers, such as BTL, are always at risk of these cyber attacks, so the Public Utilities Commission has decided to hold a week long workshop in April to educate stakeholders about the dangers they could be facing. The PUC consultant Bevil Wooding with more... The workshop will also be used as a way to identify areas where our network service providers are most vulnerable, and how to strengthen internet protection.

    Veteran Officer Speaks About funny Business With Visa Foils
    And, now, looking back to the Senate Hearings on Immigration yesterday, we've already shown you parts of the testimony from Immigration Officer Mark Tench. He went into detail about how they tried to investigate the theft of those 8 visas from the Benque Border back in late 2012. But, one major issue which the Senate Select Committee had was the way in which the officers of the Belize Western Border Station handled the fact that these 8 visas were stolen. One interpretation can be that they were trying to cover up the embarrassment, and so, the Senate called the 30 year veteran Immigration Officer, Vernon Leslie, explain his actions in assisting with the sale of visas they did not have. Here's a few of the tough questions that the Senators had for him: Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "And you also mentioned in your statement that the decision to issue Belize visas without stickers was approved by Cano."

    Talking About Turneffe
    The Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association handles the day-today management of the Turneffe reef system. That includes making sure fishers and tourism operators follow the regulations to maintain the sustainability of the precious atoll. On Wednesday, TASA inaugurated two new outposts that will help them do just that. Alex Courtenay went on a long boat ride to see how they do it. The new outposts will also be able to house members of the Coast Guard and other organizations if necessary.

    Joyjah, Belize's Shining Star
    You may not know who Joyjah is, but on social media platforms, she's, like, a really big deal. She's the most followed Belizean on Instagram, and as far as we know, is the first to appear on the cover of a major international fashion magazine. Alex Courtenay sat down with her today to talk about her meteoric ascent to global fame... Joyjah will officially launching her LOVE magazine cover this Saturday at Sit and Sip in Belize City.

    Circumstances of Secret Beach Drowning Still Unclear
    Police still haven't closed the case of 29 year old American drowning victim, Rickilee Mercer. As we told you she was on a jet ski with a male friend on the west side of Ambergris Caye, heading towards Blackadore caye, when they both fell off the jet ski. Her companion, last saw her swimming back towards the jet ski. A family friend told the Houston Chronicle that they were thrown off the Jet Ski and the current ripped them apart. He was saved right offshore by a boat and said that he had been swimming for an hour and a half." Post mortem results should be released tomorrow.

    The Last Of Leela
    The officer funeral for cultural singer Lila Genus Vernon was held in Punta Gorda today. We'll have the story on that in tomorrow's newscast.

    Channel 5

    G.O.B. Shakes Down Statutory Boards for Budget Money
    Belizeans are bracing for the 2017-2018 Budget, which is expected to be presented to the House of Representatives on March thirteenth, and to take effect April first.  The presentation to [...]

    Did Former B.D.F. recruit’s Training Go Too Far? Army Investigates Leaked Videos
    Two disturbing videos of recruits training for the B.D.F. have been obtained by News Five. The first, in its entirety, captures the rigorous and extreme training program, including tear gassing [...]

    17-Year-Old Everal Augustine Struck Down in Shooting
    There have been three shootings in two weeks in the Saint Martin De Porres area in Belize City; two of them were fatal. On Wednesday night, seventeen-year-old Everal Augustine left [...]

    Why Were Mark Tench and Vernon Leslie Targeted in Visa Investigation?
    Did the Immigration Department try to sweep the visa foils affair under the rug and turn on the man who instigated an investigation of the matter?  Immigration Officer Mark Tench [...]

    Mark Tench Says He Should Not Have Been Surcharged for Visa Monies
    Tench continued to enumerate his version of events at the Public Service Commission hearing for the Senators on Wednesday. He emphasized that the former C.E.O. had nothing to do with [...]

    Vernon Leslie Admits Director Should Have Been Called in Sooner
    In the afternoon, there was further discussion of the visa foil issue. As one of the senior men at the border during the incident, one would have expected that Vernon [...]

    Supervisors’ Decision a Matter of “Administration”
    As noted, a decision was taken, later endorsed by Cano, to basically pretend as if the visas had never gone missing. It involved receiving payment from legitimate travellers seeking a [...]

    Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize Returns
    Manuel Estuardo Roldan Barillas, Guatemala’s ambassador to Belize, has quietly returned to the country, eleven months after he was recalled for “consultations” with his bosses.  It is not clear under [...]

    Cop Not Guilty, Colleague to be Tried Again for Fatal Shooting of Prisoner
    A verdict has been handed down in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga in relation to a highly-publicized police-involved shooting three years ago. Eighteen year old Rasheed [...]

    How Lax Was Access to Visas in West?
    The Senate Special Select Committee has been actively poring through a single incident reported in the Auditor General’s Special Report on Immigration for weeks now. The more important issues of [...]

    Printing of Passport Another Link in the Won Hong Kim Chain
    Mark Tench also confirmed that he printed the passport for pickup to be delivered to Won Hong Kim in August of 2013 after being transferred from the Western Border office. [...]

    African Immigrants Find Unique Way to Falsify Visas
    Tench said to the Committee that there were ways to “game” the system if one was really in desperate need of a visa. He gave an example of his time [...]

    Ahead of Forum, Internet Expert Issues Warning on Social Media Presence
    The Public Utilities Commission has announced that Belize will be hosting its first National Cyber Security Symposium from April twenty-fourth to the twenty-seventh.  The primary activities  include  special  forums  for  [...]

    Belize to Introduce Response Teams for Cyber-Emergencies
    Wooding was speaking to News Five at the official launch of the Forum this afternoon.  It is expected to attract high-profile officials and experts, including heads of local, regional and [...]

    Belmopan Goes for Municipal Bond
    The Belmopan City Council is looking for investors for its six-point-five million dollar municipal bond. They are hoping to do some major works and upgrades in the Capital – but [...]

    B.N.E. Cleaning Up Oil Leak at Mike Usher Site in Spanish Lookout
    B.N.E. confirmed today that there was a leak at one of well sites in Spanish Lookout on Wednesday. Reports reaching our newsroom say that the leak happened at Mike Usher [...]

    Remembering Leela in P.G.
    In Punta Gorda this morning, cultural icon Leela Vernon was laid to rest with all the trappings of an official funeral.  Vernon passed away on February nineteenth. She had been [...]

    Healthy Living Examines the Kidneys
    World Kidney is celebrated on March ninth every year.  Across the globe, the campaigns focus on highlighting the importance of our kidneys as well as to draw attention to prevention [...]

    CTV3

    Business Senator Weighs In On Awaited Budget Presentation
    Best information to CTV-3 News is that the 2017-2018 revenue estimates or as it is better known, the Budget, will be presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in eleven days, on Monday, March 13th. The Government is keeping the numbers close its chest, because it is expected that the proposals will include various tax increases to close in a widening deficit gap. The PM recently confirmed in interviews that it will be a budget of pain, but said that his Government will try to make it least painful for Belizeans. There has been much suspicion that among the taxes that will see adjustments is the General Sales Tax, which in 2008 was increased from 10% to 12.5%. It is believed that it could be going up as high as 15% in order for the Government to raise more revenue. Aside from an adjustment on the tax level, there could be changes to the list of zero-rated items, which includes some of the most basic food commodities. Some of the goods could be removed from the non-taxable list and see GST added to it.

    Statutory Boards To Caugh Up 10% Of Their Revenues
    A leaked document from Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting confirms that the Government is looking at various ways of increasing revenue. The document is a report presented to Cabinet in which one of the suggestions is a proposal for the Government to collect 10% of the revenue generated by Statutory Boards in Belize. Statutory Boards are those organisations run by a mixture of Government and Civil Society such as Belize Tourism Board, Protected Areas Conservation Trust, the Social Security Board, Belize Agriculture Health Authority, BELTRAIDE and the Coastal Zone Management Authority.

    Contrabandistas Leave Goods Behind
    The Orange Walk Police Formation, this morning at around 9:00, launched a search in the Yo Creek Village in an area located near an open lot which resulted in the discovery of twelve cases of contraband beer. The bust included twelve cases of Mexican beer. No one was found in the immediate area, therefore, all goods were handed over to the Orange Walk Customs and Excise Department.

    Celebrating Women's Month
    The first of March marked the start of Women’s Month. This year it is being celebrated under the theme “Empowering Women in a Changing World: Planet 50:50 by 2030” and for the entire month, the Women’s Department is carrying out a series of activities geared towards celebrating the achievements and highlighting the need for inclusion of women. Activities for the month include Women’s empowerment seminars in every district as well as Open Houses, sports days, Women’s Economic Empowerment Expos. And as is trading this year the Women’s department recognized outstanding women in society each with a special story to tell.

    Leela Vernon Laid to Rest
    On February 19th Belize lost a great Cultural and Musical icon, Leela Vernon, who passed away after ailing with Kidney complications for a few weeks and up until the time of her death. After a full week of activities organized by the National Institute of Culture and History to honor the iconic ambassador of Belizean Creole Culture, today the “Queen of Brukdown” was laid to rest in her home town of Punta Gorda. An Official Funeral and Mass of Thanksgiving for her life was held this morning at the St. Peter Claver Church in Punta Gorda Town where a host of Belizean Dignitaries including Governor General Sir Colville Young and Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber among others as well as friends and family gathered to celebrate the life of the pioneer of the creole culture in Belize. Guest speakers at today’s celebration included, Maelyn Longsworth, Gina Scott and Will Mejia all of whom spoke of her contributions to Belize’s culture and music, each emphasizing her love for Belize and the Creole culture.

    Did Officer In Charged, Edgar Cano Abandoned His Duties?
    Yesterday, we showed you the testimony by former Immigration Officer Supervisor Mark Tench who had discovered that 8 visa foils went missing from the Western Border in December 2012. In his testimony, Tench explained how he was able to do an investigation which led to persons in Belize City, Orange Walk and Corozal and then pointed fingers back to the Immigration Department. In the afternoon, another witness, former Immigration Supervisor Vernon Leslie, also sat before the Committee. Leslie has been at the Department for 30 years and is near retirement and he explained that although it was expected that he takes command of the situation, he believes the Commanding Officer Edgar Cano should have put his vacation on hold to deal with the matter.

    No Process Followed For Distribution Of VISAS In Immigration Department
    From the testimonies given yesterday, it became clear that the 8 visa foils were illegally removed from the Western Border weeks several before it had been discovered missing. The supervising Immigration Officers were responsible for the proper accounting and recording of every Immigration file and document in their possession, therefore, questions were asked on how it is that the visas were not discovered missing much earlier. Leslie responded that the Officers had developed a “trust” system, and admitted that due to this they failed to follow the due process.

    Firearm, Ammunition And Drugs Confiscated By Orange Walk Police
    Last night we reported on a major firearm and ammunition bust carried out by Orange Walk police on Monday night where a high powered assault rifle and over one hundred rounds of ammunition were seized. Until today information on this case had been unclear as police had been unwilling to release specifics on the matter. Today we can confirm however that the bust took place sometime around 4:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon while a team of police officers belonging to the Anti-Narcotics Unit were in the process of conducting a search on a residence located on Unity Street Orange Walk.

    Who Printed And Delivered Kim Won Hong Passport Out Of The Immigration Department?
    Immigration Officer Mark Tench was in the hot seat yesterday for two principal issues. The first is his discovery of visas gone missing from the Department and the second is his involvement in the issuance of the infamous Kim Won Hong passport. The Auditor General’s special audit report notes that it was Tench who delivered the passport to the driver of former Minister Elvin Penner, identified as a Mr. Cante. While Tench denies the specific allegations that he left the building to hand over the passport, the Senate Committee became very suspicious because Tench had been demoted to the post of printer at the time and it was outside of the scope of his regular duties. Under interrogation, Tench said the Minister’s driver brought a purported authorisation letter from Kim Won Hong, who you will recall was all the way in a Taiwan jail. According to Tench, he didn’t see the need to verify the letter.

    LOVE FM

    Mark Tench Cries Slander by CEO Saldivar
    In yesterday’s Senate hearing Immigration Officer, Mark Tench appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee. The committee is investigating the findings of the Auditor General report. It was Tench who discovered that the eight visa foils were missing. In his testimony yesterday, Tench told the committee that those visa foils ended in the possession of […]

    Sr Immigration Officer Disappointed in Commander’s Reaction to Missing Visas
    Senior Immigration Officer, Vernon Leslie was also named in the auditor General’s report. In her report, the Auditor General used an internal report compiled by Leslie in regards to the eight missing visa foils. Leslie appeared before the Senate Select Committee yesterday and he told committee members that his report was based on what Mark […]

    OIC Cano Asked for Discretion Over Missing Visa Foils
    In order to save the Government money, the visa number attached to the eight missing visa foil were still distributed under legitimate circumstances. This, according to Immigration Officers Mark Tench and Vernon Leslie, was the instruction of Port Commander, Edgar Cano. According to Tench and Leslie, Cano also instructed them to keep the matter of […]

    Immigration Staff Not So Demoralized Over Senate Inquiry
    The last three months have seen several pieces of information coming out of the Immigration Department as it relates to irregular processes being carried out alluding to voter fraud, bribery and theft, among others. It is a situation that does not lend well to the job performance of the other immigration officers. In an interview […]

    Guatemalan Ambassador Returns to Embassy in Belize
    Guatemalan Ambassador, Manuel Estuardo Roldan Barillas, has returned back to Belize. An embassy official confirmed to Love News that Ambassador Barillas officially resumed his duties as Guatemala’s ambassador to Belize yesterday. Ambassador Barillas had been recalled by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in April 2016 for ‘consultation’. This was after Guatemalan national 13-year-old Julio Reynosa was shot […]

    Cyber Security Framework to Be Drafted Following National Conversation
    Cyber security has always been a concern for anyone who has been connected to the internet through their cellphones, computers or any other tech device. The issue of cyber security and cyber threats is more prevalent, especially in the Latin American and Caribbean Regions. A vast amount of information flow through the World Wide Web […]

    Belmopan Floats $6.5M Bond for Infrastructure Programs
    A 6.5 million dollar municipal bond was launched this morning at Bull Frog Inn in Belmopan, Cayo District. The bond’s purpose is to primarily address public works projects in the city. Mayor Khalid Belisle spoke to the current sales of the bond and the investors. KHALID BELISLE ” The Managing Director for Heritage Trust and […]

    Prudence Is Key at Belmopan City Council
    After two years of being in office, Belmopan’s Mayor Khalid Belisle has gotten the idea of a municipal bond coming to fruition. It will see an improved Belmopan over the next year but what it will also create is a tight cash flow for the council. Not to worry though; Mayor Belisle says there is […]

    Teenager Killed on Aloe Vera Street
    17-year-old Everald Augustine was shot and killed last night in Belize City. According to police reports, Augustine was his riding a bicycle on Aloe Vera Street. He was along with another person and police say that it was that person who shot Augustine. He was shot to the chest and back and was quickly taken […]

    Drugs, Prohibited Ammunition and Loaded Firearm Found on Unity Street
    On Monday evening, the Anti-Narcotics Unit conducted an operation in Orange Walk Town where more than one hundred and fifty rounds of ammunition was confiscated. The unit conducted a search at a house on Unity Street. When the officers approached the house, they saw a man and a woman running out from the back of […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association gets new headquarters
    The Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA), the entity that co-manages the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve along with the Government of Belize, inaugurated two new outposts in the area this week. TASA’s main station, which houses five permanent rangers is housed on Calabash Caye, while its secondary outpost which houses four rangers is on Mauger Caye. Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade, and Jose Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Immigration did the official ribbon cutting for the facilities on Wednesday. The buildings were primarily funded by the Bertarelli Foundation, an organization that supports NGO’s in the areas of marine science and conservation; life science research; and support for local communities.

    Leela Vernon “Queen of Bruk” down has been laid to rest
    The Queen of Brukdown, Leela Vernon was laid to rest today in Punta Gorda. Present at the funeral were many dignitaries including the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youths and Culture, Patrick Faber, Area Representative for Toledo East, Micheal Espat, the Mayor of Punta Gorda, Fern Gutierrez, Senator Coy, and representatives from NICH among others. Deputy Prime Minister Faber handed over the Belizean flag to the family.

    BNE confirms oil spill in Spanish Lookout
    Yesterday, there was an oil spill at one of the Belize Natural Energy’s (BNE) plant in Spanish Lookout. The leak reportedly occurred for almost two hours at Mike Usher 1 (MU1) well site, and since then BNE has deployed its machinery to do repairs at the plant. Today BBN contacted BNE and they confirmed to us that yesterday morning around 7:50, crude oil was observed on the surface of the ground at the Mike Usher 1 (MU1) well site in Spanish Lookout.

    Belizean becomes Co-Anchor of ABC’s ‘America This Morning’ & ‘World News”
    Kendis Gibson, a Belizean native residing in the United States of America has been named Co-Anchor of ABC’s ‘America This Morning’ & ‘World News.” He joins co-anchor, Diane Macedo. Gibson first joined ABC in 2014 where he covered top stories like the Santa Barbara oil spill, the FIFA scandal in Switzerland, and terrorist attacks in Europe. According to ABC News president, James Goldston, “Kendis has done a fantastic job filling in over the last year. A thoughtful and versatile journalist, he’s a great match for the overnight hours, where our shows deliver a unique mix of the latest headlines and quirky, one-of-a-kind signature segments their loyal audience loves.”

    Police find over 3000 grams of cannabis in Benque Viejo
    The Mobile Interdiction Team(MIT) of the Police Department has removed 3,808 grams of suspected cannabis from Benque Viejo Del Carmen in Cayo District. On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., MIT was conducting foot patrol on the Arenal Road where they found a bag under a tree containing […]

    Body of American tourist that drowned in San Pedro has been found
    The body of Rickilee Michelle Mercer, 29, an American national has been found. Mercer was vacationing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and was reported missing on Tuesday after she and another fellow American national, Marvin Hazim Yono ,39, were jet skiing in the “Secret Beach” […]

    Police issues report on man that drowned in Orange Walk
    According to police reports, on Tuesday morning around 11:20, police responded to information received of a drowning incident and visited an area of the Rio Hondo River in San Roman Village, Orange Walk District. About 20 feet away from the Old San Roman Village bridge, police […]

    Police bust gun, ammo and weed in Orange Walk
    According to police reports, on Monday, February 27, about 4:00 p.m., a team of police officers from the Anti-Narcotics Unit were about to conduct a house search at #7 Unity Street Orange Walk, the residence of Jorge Leiva when they saw a male and female were […]

    Burnt victims in fatal road traffic accident not yet identified
    According to police reports, yesterday morning around 5, police visited an area on the Placencia Village road between miles 2 and 3, Stann Creek District where they saw a 350 Ford double cab pickup truck completely destroyed by fire. The pickup truck collided into an […]

    Funeral for Leela Vernon “Brukdown Queen” underway
    Brukdown Queen, Leela Vernon, will be laid to rest today. The ceremony began at 11 a.m. and is being held at the St Peter Claver Church in Punta Gorda. According to reports, the church is packed with a diverse group of the nation’s political […]

    Teenager killed in Belize City last night; Shot 6 times
    The streets of Southside Belize City recorded another murder last night. Police received information of shots fired at 10:00 p.m. on Aloe Vera Street in the Lake Independence area. Upon arrival, police found a male person lying down motionless. He has since been identified as […]

    Prime Minister Dean Barrow celebrates 66th birthday today
    Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, is today celebrating his 66th birthday. When Barrow completed his law degree, he began his career in the law firm of Dean Lindo (his uncle) in 1973. He became Lindo’s legal partner in 1977. However, Barrow would eventually leave to form […]

    3 Police officers to stand trial for “manslaughter” in murder case of Edwin Ixtapac
    In March of 2016, three police constables were accused of brutally beating bartender Edwin Ixtapac in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. After beating Ixtapac, the police officers then took him into custody. Ixtapac was not taken to the polyclinic until a day later when he […]

    Belmopan police arrest man on motorcycle with a sack of marijuana
    Last night around 9:30, Belmopan police intercepted a male person riding a blue motorcycle in Teakettle Village with a white sack of cannabis on his lap. The man attempted to elude the police but after a few minutes of chase, the drug was thrown […]

    American woman drowns in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
    Rickilee Michelle Mercer, 29, an American citizen drowned in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye this week. The incident happened on Tuesday at around 2:30 p.m.. According to reports, she was jet skiing along with fellow American national 39-year-old Marvin Hazim Yono near the Northwest area […]

    Pakeman may be in trouble
    Dorian Pakeman, director of the Government Press Office may be in more trouble when he goes to court on March 10, for violating the terms of his bail. Pakeman, who is scheduled to stand trial for charges of causing death by careless conduct for […]

    Blogs

    Belizean artists celebrate Leela Vernon’s life
    “Ah wahn know who seh Kriol no gat no kulcha?!?” This is how many artist contemporaries of brukdong legend Leela Genus Vernon remembered her, as they gathered to celebrate her life in a Kriol variety show of music, dance, poetry and humor hosted by the National Institute of Culture and History (N.I.C.H.) at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City on Monday night. Leela’s favourite catch phrase was: “hib ahm long sho”, and her fellow artists took it to heart and decided to pay it forward with a showcase of their many talents to preserve the Kriol culture with the same passion Leela dedicated her life to until diabetes and its complications took her to her final rest on Saturday, February 19, “The heart of a country is its culture” she always affirmed. Love FM’s Terry G and Street poet Kenny Morgan em-ceed the show and Carnival song queen Ernestine Carballo sang the National Anthem in Kriol. Rev. David Goff gave his opening blessing Carlos Perrote’s of the Cu-gazz jazz ensemble, the Omolewa Osain project, gave his musical interpretation on piano of Leela’s hit song.

    3 NFL Players and 2 Superbowl Rings Visit San Pedro High School With a Great Message
    Yesterday evening, my friend Josie, who works with Mahogany Bay Village sent me a note. Three professional NFL football players were in town and they would be giving a talk to San Pedro High School students from 10:20 to 11am. Though I know next to nothing about professional football, I love to hear and see inspiration for kids – especially those getting ready to step out into the big wide world. So I was there right on time. And I watched the over 600 kids at San Pedro High School organize themselves in the bleachers of the auditorium. I also received some brief bios for the visitors. Ray Crockett, a player in the NFL for 14 years and 2 time Superbowl champion with the Denver Broncos, his nephew and player, Henry James Melton and NFL player Terry McClain. The high school principal first introduced the school to the players. He spoke the achievements of the current students and the historic number of sports teams that are #1 in the country. The San Pedro Girls’ Soccer team is #1. The San Pedro Boys’ Volley Ball team is #1. The San Pedro Girls’ Basketball team is #1. And the school is hoping to make it FOUR. Our softball team has been #1 in Belize for the last three years.

    International Sourcesizz

    Naked and Afraid star is forced to quit after thousands of potentially deadly sand flies left her with a full-body rash in Belize jungle
    The latest female star of Naked and Afraid has been forced to quit to seek medical help after a swarm of flies left her with a full-body rash. Anastasia Ashley, an internationally-recognized professional surfer, joined YouTube star Cory Williams to try to make it for 14 days in the middle of nowhere in Belize. However, Daily Mail Online can reveal the 30-year-old blonde has had to tap out of Discovery's show eight days early - and this photo shows why. The normally bronzed beauty was left with redness and itchy bumps head-to-toe. According to producers, she was attacked by sand flies, being bitten for 12 hours straight from 6pm to 6am on the sixth day. 'The flies had hatched and latched on to her,' Ashley's agent Drew told Daily Mail Online. 'She had to tap out. She was told not to scratch, but she was so itchy.'

    Researchers call for protection of Caribbean ‘supersites’ to restore ocean ecosystem
    Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill have called for the protection of Caribbean coral reefs , known as “supersites”, in order to restore the environmental and economic setback that has been inflicted by overfishing. The report, published in the March 1 issue of the journal Science Advances, noted that up to 90 per cent of predatory fish are gone from Caribbean coral reefs, straining the ocean ecosystem and coastal economy. The research, led by former UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Abel Valdivia, working with John Bruno, a marine biologist at UNC College of Arts & Sciences, suggests that these supersites — reefs with many nooks and crannies on its surface that act as hiding places for prey (and attract predators) — should be prioritised for protection and could serve as regional models showcasing the value of biodiversity for tourism and other uses. Other features that make a supersite are amount of available food, size of reef and proximity to mangroves.

    Frantic scramble by Caribbean for oil, gas
    From all appearances, several countries in the 15-nation Caribbean Community are rushing to sign offshore oil exploration agreements with big name Western oil companies, hoping to find oil and switch economic dependence away from traditional sectors, such as bananas and tourism. In recent years, governments in Grenada and Barbados, for example, have made exploration deals with mega companies such as Spain-based Repsol and MX Oil PLC and Tullow Oil of the United Kingdom among others. The Bahamas and Belize are doing likewise. Governments are all worried that changes in the global economy could leave their countries in the lurch as the former lifeline banana export sector has all but collapsed, displacing dozens of families and forcing hundreds to seek alternative employment. Additionally, regional officials complain that the international Financial Action Task Force appears to be placing greater scrutiny on the regional offshore banking sector than on countries such as Switzerland that have similar systems, causing uncertainty among Caribbean governments.

    Videos

  • Ms. Lila "Leela" Vernon (Queen of Brukdown) being laid to rest, 1/2min.

  • Belize’s CARICOM Ambassador discusses CARICOM 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting, 4min. On the 16th and 17th of February, the Conference of Heads of Governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) convened for their twenty-eighth Inter-Sessional Meeting, held in Georgetown, Guyana.

  • Broadcast of the Official Funeral of Cultural Icon, "Belize's Bruk Down Queen" Leela Vernon, hr.

  • Procession to St Peter Claver Church in Punta Gorda for the official funeral of music icon Leela Vernon., 1min.

  • Motorcade of arrival of Leela Vernon's body, 1min. There was a motorcade shortly after eight o'clock this morning, along the principal streets of Punta Gorda, as the body of legendary Belizean musician Leela Vernon was brought into town from her home in Cattle Landing Village.

  • Belize 2016 Altun Ha Maya Ruins!!, 2min. Monmouth Regional High School student - Lilliani Patt - montage of Mayan Ruins in her home country, Belize

  • Xunantunich Maya Site Belize, 1min. The name Xunantunich derives from the Yucatec Maya language and means “Stone Woman.” Local legend holds that around the end of the 1800s, a gentleman from the village of San Jose Succotz Belize went hunting near the site.

  • Bishop Emeritus O. P. Martin Funeral & Mass of Thanksgiving, 3hr40min.

  • Leela Vernon Funeral & Mass of Thanksgiving, 2hr10min.

  • BSI ASR WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 12, 3min.

  • LEELA VERNON FUNERAL 1, 69min. PGTV News Network

  • Mad lab Media Belize - Pay - Back Gift Card System & Mobile Application, 18min.

  • The Significance of "LENT" in a Modern Era, 33min.

  • Taiwanese Scholarships Opportunities, 30min.

  • GMU Study Abroad Belize 2017, 3min. George Mason University's From Ridges to Reefs Winter Study Abroad Program. Thank you to my family for the opportunity, Lisa and friends for being fun to travel with, and the Island Expeditions staff for the wonderful adventures.

  • Carlos, 5min. An interview with Carlos, a man living in San Ignacio, Belize.

  • Belize: Rowing Where No One Has Rowed Before!, 1min. Rowing out on outer edge of the Belize barrier reef is made possible by using the Oar Board fit-on-top Rower units and Paddle Boards. This short video is one of many shot during the week spent exploring the wonders both on top of the water and below. One thing for certain the outer Cayes and islands of Belize are amazingly beautiful and totally amazing.

  • VillaMatch: Cayo Espanto Belize; reconnect with your senses, 3min. VillaMatch is focused on a very specific part of the villa rental market: the high-end segment. Cayo Espanto is a private island located off Belize and offers seven villas that can be rented out separately or for the ultimate in luxury and privacy – the whole island can be rented.

  • Guatemala Belize Breve con Avventure nel Mondo video di Andrea Rossi, 17min.

  • Scuba in Belize, 3min.

  • Effects of Trawling on Marine Life, 1.5min. Fishing is one of the most important employers and sources of protein for coastal communities in Belize. Yet bottom trawls and other kinds of unselective fishing gear cause harm to other fisheries and to the marine environment by catching juvenile fish, damaging the seafloor, and leading to overfishing. Bottom trawl nets can also harm coral reefs, sharks, and sea turtles that attract valuable tourism to Belize. The majority of international tourists come to Belize in order to participate in an ocean-related activity such as snorkeling, diving, or sport fishing charters, bringing hundreds of millions of Belize dollars each year to the economy.

  • Tree Tops - Better In Belize, 2.5min. “Tree Tops” is a 673 sq. ft., cozy and compact 3-bedroom Raised Bungalow which is located on Lot 40, an 0.32-acre lot on Sunrise Circle, close to Flutterby Finca, our community gardens. This Belize home is flanked by a full-length deck at the front of the house – a perfect place for outside dining year round. Equipped with a rainwater catchment system and eco-friendly septic system, this cabin would be a great getaway retreat or year round home for a couple or small family. Home does not include any chattels.

  • The Belize Zoo, 4min. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is settled upon 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 170 animals, representing over 45 species, all native to Belize. The Zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions.

    March 2, 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

    Los Barbies are the top Comparsas of this year’s San Pedro Carnaval
    El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro has ended, but not before delighting thousands of islanders and visitors with a grand island-style ‘fiesta’. The festivities were full of painting, parties and comparsas presentations. This year, three comparsas groups (San Pedro AIDS Commision, Flora Ancona , and Los Barbies) took to the streets of downtown San Pedro to not just add fun to the celebration, but also to try impress the judges for the coveted title of best comparsas. After three days of non-stop dancing, from Sunday February 26th through Tuesday, February 28th, Los Barbies were declared the winners of this year’s Carnaval. In second place was the San Pedro AIDS Commission Comparsas Group, and in third place Flora Ancona Comparsas Group.

    San Pedro Red Cross collects 14 pints of blood
    The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch (BRCSPB) held their first blood drive of the New Year on Saturday, February 25th at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. From 9AM to 3PM, a total of 14 people donated the much-needed blood. Among some of the donors were San Pedro Town Councilor Hector Alamilla, and several team members of the San Pedro Pirates Football Club. The Club stated that as part of its community service, the team is willing to assist in positive ways. Red Cross member Phillip Ramsey, explained the lower turnout. “The Red Cross had to schedule the drive one week earlier, because of Carnaval. It wouldn’t be feasible, especially if a donor consumed alcoholic beverages. However, because the drive was a week early, our frequent donors couldn’t donate, because it has not been 90 exact days since their last donation,” The group still considers the blood drive successful, and the technicians were able to collect 14 pints of blood, enough to save 42 lives. Ramsey also invited members of the San Pedro Red Cross Youth Group, consisting of 19 San Pedro High School students to do community service. The youth group held a dollar drive, and were able to raise $1,414.43 to further the works of the Red Cross. In addition, Crazy Canucks also donated $216 as part of their Trivia nights.

    Female American National reported missing at sea in North Ambergris Caye
    San Pedro Police and the Belize Coast Guard are searching for a female tourist who was reported missing at sea in Northern Ambergris Caye since Tuesday, February 28th. American National 29-year-old Rickilee Michelle Mercer, from Texas, USA, has still not been located. As the search continues today Wednesday, March 1st, police have released an official statement. On Tuesday, 28th February, 2017 39-year-old Marvin Hazim Yono, American National of Bloomfield Michigan reported that he and another friend were at an area located west of Ambergris Caye, which is known as “Secret Beach,” on separate jet skis. Around 2:30 p.m. he invited 29-year-old Rickilee Michelle Mercer, American accountant of Texas, USA for a ride. Yono reported that they left on the Jet Ski heading west from “Secret Beach” when they both fell off. He then swam to shore and the last sighting of Mercer was when she was swimming towards the Jet Ski. They then conducted a search party but could not locate her. Police then visited the area along with members of the Belize Coast Guard and began to search for her.

    Ambergris Today


    The San Pedro AIDS Commission dedicated their entire performances to the late Felix Ayuso who was recognized by the San Pedro Town Council and San Pedro House of Culture as ‘El Rey de Carnaval’ (King of Carnaval) for his tremendous efforts in keeping the culture of the celebrations alive on the island. The Commission put on spectacular dance routines with elaborate costumes and even sent out the message of ‘No Offshore Oil Drilling’ for Belize during Day 2 of Carnaval. The group was awarded second place, Third place was given to Doña Flora’s Comparsa who were more traditional in their costumes and style of dancing. They stuck to the roots of Carnaval and had superb costumes and a very energetic group of dancers. A fourth comparsa ‘Jaguar’s Girls’ only managed to perform on Day 1 of Carnaval but were just as entertaining for those who came out to watch them dance. FUN! There was a lot less painting taking place this year, except for the last day when it seems like the entire island comes out to paint each other. Deejay music and Foam Parties kept the young at heart entertained at Central Park where most of the painting was centered.

    Woman Reported Missing After a Day of Jet Skiing, Suspected Drowning
    The San Pedro Police and community this morning are in search of a missing woman who is lost at sea on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye after an afternoon that was suppose to be a pleasurable one. According to Police Reports, on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 39-year-old Marvin Hazim Yono, American National of Bloomfield Michigan reported that he and another friend were at an area located west of Ambergris Caye which is known as “Secret Beach” on separate jet skis . Around 2:30 p.m. he invited a 29-year-old Rickilee Michelle Mercer, American accountant of Texas, USA for a ride. Mr. Yono reported that they left on the jet ski heading west from “Secret Beach” when they both fell off the jet ski. He then swam to shore and the last sighting of Mercer was when she was swimming towards the jet ski. The crowd that was enjoying an afternoon at Secret Beach became a search party as the daylight started to fade. Some islanders reported seeing a woman on a jet ski drifting towards Cayo Espanto, a few miles so of Secret Beach, but as of this morning the search party deployed last night was not able to locate the woman.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Belize's Wonder Women! Derricia Castillo-Salazar
    March is Women's History Month, and we are proud to announce that Derricia Castillo-Salazar is our Belize Wonder Woman! In fact, Derricia is the Embassy's nominee for the prestigious International Women of Courage award, presented annually by the United States Department of State to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, resourcefulness, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women's rights. Derricia is one of the highest-ranking women in the Belize Defense Force (BDF) and is an exceptional advocate for women and human rights. She assisted in creating and implementing a BDF HIV Response, spoke at the 38th Meeting of UNAIDS in Geneva, worked as a Conflict Mediator, and is a member of the Caribbean Women's Alliance for Diversity and Equality. Derrica is the Aircraft Maintenance Officer at the BDF and a founding member of the military’s HIV committee, which conducts behavior change campaigns for members of the BDF and the Belize Coast Guard.

    "Positive Play, Positive Minds, Brighter Tomorrow!"
    This morning preschoolers from Belmopan and surrounding communities gathered at the steps of the National Assembly to kick off festivities for Child Stimulation Month. The month-long celebration opened with a brief ceremony followed by a parade. Share a photo of how the month was opened in your community! Happy Child Stimulation Month to All Our Preschoolers!

    Caye Caulker Blood Drive
    OK guys, just putting this out there. San Pedro averages 20 pints of blood at their Red Cross Blood Drives. That's 20 people donating. I feel like Caye Caulker can *easily* beat that! They have the high population but we have the community spirit! Come on guys, let's try to beat SP on this one! Let's go for at least 25. Be one of the 25!!

    Mission Cry’s director reports on Belize trip
    Sometimes, the best way to find out what someone needs is simply to ask. Jason Woolford of Mission Cry, formerly Christian Resources International, did just that on his recent trip to Belize. “They’re not asking for food or clothes, but they’re saying, ‘Listen, we need discipleship, we need Bibles, we need Christian books,’” he said. That’s where Mission Cry comes in. According to Woolford, their goal “is to reach the entire country of Belize with the Bible or a Christian book in every home in this country.” John Foy, an on-the-ground partner in Belize, said the answers Woolford got are spot on. Most local believers “don’t really need any more evangelism. What they really need is more discipleship. They need Bibles so they can read it, eat it, and grow.” Foy first encountered Woolford’s mission when his team started a village outreach in Belize. They quickly ran out of Bibles, and a friend suggested he contact Woolford’s organization.

    Cayo Air Show 2017
    It's been a few years since the last Cayo Air Show. This year's show will be on Sunday, March 12th, at the Spanish Lookout airstrip. They'll have helicopter rides and skydiving open to the public. They'll also have live aerial acrobatics. Pictures from the last airshow. "Guys and gals, get ready for another exciting day at the biennial Fly In at the Spanish Lookout airstrip. Pilots, aircraft owners, and flight enthusiasts you are ALL welcome. RIDES! Astrum Helicopters will be offering rides for sale on location, so and your sweetheart can go for a flight over the country side. More coming later. SKYDIVING! We will have a professional skydiving team performing for everyone to enjoy. And for U$199 you too can strap in and jump out of a plane! AEROBATICS! For the first time ever we have officially been authorized to have live aerobatic performances. RC AIRCRAFT! We are inviting all RC pilots and owners to bring out their RC planes drones and helicopters to join in the fun."

    Rota Copa Football Marathon
    The Rotaract Club of Benque has teamed up with the DYS to bring the 2017 Rota-Copa to Benque. The all day football tournament will be on Saturday, March 18th, at the Amin Hegar Filed in Benque. "World Rotaract Week will be celebrated from March 13th to 19th, 2017, and the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo in partnership with the Department of Youth Services will host a one day football marathon on March 18th, 2017. Through this medium we take the opportunity to invite you and your team to join the ROTA-COPA 2017 football marathon to be hosted at the Amin Hegar Football field in Benque Viejo Town, starting at 8 a.m. until. Your team may be a co-ed (both males and females)."

    2017 Taste of the Americas in Miami
    Showcasing the staple and cultural foods of Belize!

    Pendant found at Nim Li Punit
    A large T-shaped pendant was found in an intact collapsed tomb at the Maya frontier site of Nim Li Punit in southern Belize.

    BELIZE'S SANDRA COYE: WE LOVE & APPRECIATE YOU!
    Sandra Coye's reflection upon me since her attending my Islamic wedding in 1986 in Los Angeles, California, has been something that is very difficult to erase from my memory since her physical disappearance from Belize's social life. She has stood out all the time for me as a Belizean woman of considerable brilliance and tenacity rarely seen in any woman of African heritage across these post-colonial slave societies in the Americas and across the African diaspora. During my producing of Raymond Gongora's documentary feature on what we here at Belizean Legends called, "The Belizean Artistic Renaissance", Coye's work came alive again in her dynamic poem called,"Genesis of Destruction", that was used in a award winning monologue at the 1976 Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA). It is a classic Belizean protest poem that was highly praised across the English speaking Caribbean since the awesome Belizean artist, the late Beverly Smith-Lopez, brought it in monologue to Carifesta.

    First 2017 Successful San Pedro Blood Drive
    On Saturday, Nov. 25th, the Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch (BRCSPB), held their first blood drive for 2017 at the Dr.Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic. The team worked hard and successfully collected a total of 14 pints of blood and raised $1414.43 at their dollar drive. The next blood drive will be held at the Clinic on Caye Caulker on Saturday, March 4th to kick off the BRCSPB country wide Blood Drive training initiative, which will be open to all districts. The San Pedro Branch will train participating branches in facilitating bi annually or quarterly blood drives and creating shareable rare blood type data bases across the country. This will help build the capacity of all districts in helping assist those who need blood in their area.

    Countrywide Blood Drive Training
    The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch will commence facilitation of Countrywide Blood Drive Training in Caye Caulker on March 4th. The 2 part program open to all active Belize Red Cross Branches. San Pedro Branch will train all participating districts in facilitating bi annually or quarterly blood drives and creating shareable rare blood type data bases across the country. This will help build the capacity of all branches in helping assist those who need blood in their area.

    Immigration hearings in Belize will not change enforcement of our laws
    By Wellington C. Ramos Years ago when I was a police officer in my country of Belize, up until my departure to the United States in 1978, we were responsible for the enforcement of our immigration laws including the issuing of passports. Now, the Immigration Department is run by civilian civil servants. For many years the chief immigration officer for Belize was Mr William Tennyson, a man of integrity who I knew personally. I must point out that Belize was still a British colony and we were considered British subjects up until we attained our independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981. Our local politicians had to be careful as to how they interfered with the police officers' enforcement of the laws at that time. I know for a fact that they still found a way to meddle in the affairs of the police and immigration officers, while they were enforcing our immigration laws. At that time, the People’s United Party was in power.

    Mad City Money Financial Literacy Game
    In addition to shopping and balancing a chequebook, students also identified needs vs. wants and the percentage of their budget they were willing to spend on internet, food, phone, bills, savings etc.

    LOST & FOUND
    Today on my walk on the north road in front of village market an iPhone 6 flew off a golf cart and I want to try and find the owner. It is black with a black case. I think it's a tourists phone because it doesn't have phone service. It is locked and needs fingerprint to unlock. If they can unlock it it's theirs. Contact Carmen at Coco Locos or PM Us to get in contact with Jaimie. #share to help us find the owner! We called the phone and her outgoing voicemail said her name is Susan Turling. Wasn't best reception but that's what it sounds like.

    Children Celebrating the Opening of Child Stimulation Month!
    In San Pedro

    Immigration Department to issue temporary passports
    Please be informed that the Passport Office is presently experiencing technical difficulties with the passport printing process. The Immigration Department will be providing temporary passports, in emergency cases, to persons whose passports are exhausted, lost (6 weeks waiting period apply), damaged or mutilated, and who demonstrate a need for urgent travel. Temporary passports will be processed within one (1) week, with validity for one (1) year at the normal fee of $30.00. Starting 7th March 2017, machine readable passports (MRP) that have expired, but have blank pages, will be extended for 1 year. Extensions will be processed in one week free of cost, on completion of the attached form which is available at the district offices, overseas and on the Immigration & Nationality Service (INS) website at www.ins.gov.bz. Persons residing overseas should contact the nearest Belize Embassy or Consulate to access this extension process.

    CEO Caucus Cancer Awareness Ride 2017: “We’re with You”
    The second annual CEO Caucus Cancer Ride is slated for Saturday, April 8, 2017, under the theme “We’re with You”. The route is same as last year, starting at 6:30 a.m. at mile 25 George Price Highway to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan. The fundraising target is $50,000 and the proceeds will go exclusively to the Belize Cancer Treatment Center in Dangriga Town, in an effort to augment the capabilities of their increasingly accessed services. The CEO Caucus launched its Cancer Awareness Initiative on May 7, 2016 with a fundraising target of $50,000. In its inaugural year, the Caucus raised over $80,000 and the ride garnered the support of more than 200 participants, which included numerous partners and volunteers, local and internal donors and supporters, public officers, and friends. The initiative was arguably the largest social ride noted by the cycling community. The beneficiaries in 2016 included the Belize Cancer Society, the Belmopan Cancer Society, and the Belize Cancer Treatment Center in Dangriga.

    New businesses are popping up all over in San Pedro. Mmmmm...croissants? Merci!
    Zut alors! San Pedro is getting seriously fancy and buttery and really really tasty. At the opening of Delices de France - I tried a croissant and something brown and carmelized on the outside and soft and spongy and vanilla on the inside. Mangnifiques! Now we wait for the coffee shop next door :)

    Power interruption 8:00am to 9:30am, Saturday, March 4: entire San Pedro Town & Bomba Village
    BEL to remove Osprey nests from transmission structures that supply power to San Pedro & Bomba. BEL has installed platforms for the nests away from the power system to prevent outages caused by Osprey nests.

    Channel 7

    Immigration Officer Tench Spills the Beans On Chang/Tillett
    For the past 3 weeks, we've told you about how the Senate has been attempting to get former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and former City Council Employee Patrick Tillett to come before them and testify. They want both men to answer to allegations from the Auditor General and senior Immigration Officers, who say that, in late 2012, they bought 8 stolen visas to try to get Asian persons to travel to Belize. This is one of the key incidents in the Auditor General's Report, which reeks of corruption within the Department. That embarrassment is compounded by the fact that very little was done to take disciplinary action against the persons implicated in an internal investigation, and the Department heads did not call in the police to properly investigate the theft and illegal sale of Government property. We've told you how both Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett are refusing to show up to the hearings, and the Senate now has to compel them to show up. Chang will have quite a lot to answer to because the Auditor General's Report also says that he took a fraudulent Belizean passport to Won Hong Kim while he was in a Taiwanese jail.

    No One Called the Cops?
    So, as you saw, Mark Tench said that he and the other investigators did all they could to find out which immigration officer stole those visas from the Belize Western Border Station. He said that after their operation, word got out that the Immigration higher-ups know that it had happened. Tench said that he and the senior officers from the Western Border believe that there were other officers who participated or were complicit in the theft. But, because the officers realized that they were under suspicion, everyone prepared themselves to stand up to any kind of questioning. Tench told the Senate today that this should have been the time when his superiors got the police involved to activate a criminal investigation. The problem, according to Tench, is that they never did. Here's how he explained his frustration at their fumbling: Mark Tench - Former Supervisor, BWBS: "One thing I want to say is that upon returning from that trip that night, when we came from Corozal with information that we had I told Mr. Cano to call the police because I told him-"

    Tench: From Whistleblower to Scapegoat
    So, there was no police investigation on the case, and there was no further follow up for this serious breach of public trust. And according to Immigration Officer Mark Tench, the Ministry of Immigration then turned around and tried to scapegoat him for the embarrassment. The problem is that he discovered that the visas were missing, so those higher than him reasoned that he was the one who was negligent on the job. Here's how he explained to the Senate that he was forced to defend and exonerate himself in a Public Service Commission Hearing on the matter: Mark Tench - Former Supervisor, BWBS: "I am the only person who has done any investigation into this matter and nobody has been blamed except for me and Mr. Leslie." Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "Was it that you were blamed for taking the visas? It said you Mark Tench stole the visas or was it that you were brought before the commission because you the officer who - you were the supervisor at the time when it went missing and that perhaps there was a complaint about the way in which the visas were handed over to you?" Mark Tench: "They said that I did a wrong handing over."

    Questioning Calndelaria
    And that's why Mark Tench has a bone to pick with former Immigration CEO Candelaria Saldivar-Morter. You'll remember that when she went to testify in front of the Senate, she told them that he had been sanctioned for the 8 stolen visas with a surcharge. Well, today, Tench told the Senate that she has it all wrong, and he wants the record set straight. Here's what she said on February 8, and followed by his response from today: Mark Tench - Former Supervisor, BWBS: "It's so unfair and then on another matter to have Ms. Saldivar come here and slander my name publicly that's so-" Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "What are you referring to?" Mark Tench: "When she came and she said she took me in front of the commission and I paid money, none of that is the truth and I thought that maybe the committee had done their research concerning what was the result of that previously hearing that we had at the public service commission. We had a hearing there, they even have recordings of those hearing if you want to listen to them but nobody knew, nobody could have stopped her from scandalling my name."

    Chang and Tillett Will Be Required To Appear
    So, will Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett show up? That's what the Senate is attempting to force them to do. In fact, they are being summoned to present themselves at next Week Wednesday's hearing. This evening, the Senate Select Committee Chairman, Aldo Salazar, gave us an update on the actions that they have taken to make sure this happens: Hon. Aldo Salazar - Chairman, Senate Select Committee: "You would recall I said on the last occasion that we had invited them based on the actual convention for the senate inquiry was an invitation that was sent out. So we had invited them with anticipation they would attend at a prior date but when they declined our invitation then we actually took the decision to issue a summons. So when the summons was issued it was not with the intention they appear today but next week." Daniel Ortiz: "Sir so is there any indication that this summons will be successful and these persons will present themselves given as to how the hearings have played out and what the audit? Report says they are major players according to the audit reports and according to the persons who have come to testify." Hon. Aldo Salazar: "I have no indication as to whether they would show up or not. If there's a refusal to show up then the committee will have to take a decision as to what to do next but I don't have any indication at this point whether they would show up or not next week."

    Cops Mum On High Powered Rifle/Ammo In OW
    Police have not released details of a sizable weapons and ammunition bust made on Monday in Orange Walk. So far, through our own sources, we have learnt that a high powered assault rifle and over 100 rounds of ammunition were found in an operation. There was an AR-15 rifle with a scope, along with 76 rounds of .223 ammunition and 50 rounds of of 7.62 ammunition - which are types used in assault rifles. Two persons have been arrested and charged, while charges are pending for another. 59 year old Jorge Leiva, of Unity Steet in Orange Walk Town, and 24 year old Larissa Zetina, have been charged with Kept Ammunition without a License. We are told that one of the male suspects was caught fleeing the house with a bag full of illicit items.

    Two Perish In Burnt Vehicle
    There was a terrible accident on the Placencia Road this morning - and it has left two persons, not four dead. Initial reports said it was four persons, but an on site post mortem has confirmed that there are only two sets of skeletal remains. It happened very early this morning about three to four miles away from the junction with the Southern Highway not far from Belize Aquaculture Limited. A vehicle appears to have run into a lamp post and burst into flames. The persons inside were burnt so badly that they could not be identified. NOW WE SAY “APPEARS,” BECAUSE THERE ARE SOME SUSPICIOUS ELEMENTS TO THE CASE INCLUDING THE FACT THAT THE VEHICLE DID NOT HAVE ANY LICENSE PLATES. Police are interviewing one person who may be the owner of the vehicle but they re waiting for proof.

    Jury Says He Killed Lerisha
    Just last night, we told you about the man charged and remanded for knocking down 6 year old Ashanti Pollard. Well, back in 2010, Lyle Harris, knocked down and killed four year old Elisha Gilharry. Today, a jury of 6 women and 3 men found him guilty of causing death by careless conduct. The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before it arrived at its verdict in Justice Adolph Lucas's courtroom. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until March 10th. Harris had also been charged with manslaughter by negligence but that charge was withdrawn by Justice Lucas because there wasn't enough evidence to support it. On September third, 2010, Harris was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser when he knocked down Elisha. Her father Joseph Gilharry testified that the driver apparently did not know that he had knocked down his daughter and he was dragging her along the road. Gilharry said he had to run down the driver to stop him.

    Cops Will Go To Trial
    3 San Pedro cops accused of killing an island Bartender back in March 2016 will stand trial for manslaughter and not murder. Constables, 20 year old Reydel Teck, along with 20 year old Jahsimir Cob and 22 year old Romelio Logan allegedly beat Edwin Ixtapac - who was found injured near the sea wall the next day, and was then taken to prison. Ixpatac's injuries were not treated until a day later, when he was found unconscious in his prison cell. He was taken to the polyclinic and later transported to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injuries.

    Faber Accepts Court Decision On Makeup Days
    As we reported last week, the BNTU's court case against the Ministry of Education has ended. The teachers will get their full pay and in return, they will have to make up six school days lost in the 11 day strike. Teachers and students are expected to report for classes for 3 more days before going on the Easter Break, and 3 more before going on the summer break. When we spoke to Minister of Education Patrick Faber today, he told us what he thinks about the outcome. Faber says this wasn't the initial proposal but it's the decision they all will have to work with now. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "We had as you know proposed to include the 6 additional days, 3 at the start of the new calendar year in January and then again 3 days - sorry I think it was 4 in January and 2 in the Easter break. That would have allowed for the students who are taking PSE and also those are the CSEC level to get that additional instructional time. However you know the events played out and in fact it did not pan out in that manner and the only other option would have been for us to agree to tag on half hour on everyday which really and truly in our opinion does not make sense. I believe that we might be able to really do some saving of instruction time in the Easter break but you're right we don't have many much hope that at the end of the school year June or July or whenever it is that much will be accomplished in those time, we are only hoping that the teachers and the BNTU will encourage the teachers especially to make good productive use of it."

    Faber Accepts That Things Have To Change At Immigration
    Faber also weighed in on the ongoing senate inquiry into Immigration irregularities. As you saw in our first segment, the senate probe continues to be very revealing – each session unearthing layers upon layers of irregularities and shady dealings by public officers and UDP operators. It's a major black eye for the UDP and Faber admits there is a serious systemic problem: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "I think what is clear is that there is a lot that has gone wrong in the immigration department as is the case in other areas of the government that are notorious for corruption. I think what is clear is that while everybody seems to want to place blame on the politicians that in fact there is much more going wrong and what is really needed rather than the pointing of fingers is for us to revamp the system and get a kind of system going that is transparent and that is open where these kind of abuses won't take place."

    Finding A Potato Solution
    Last week we told you about the 2.5 million pounds of Belizean potatoes that were in danger of going to waste, because they were unable to compete with the larger, cheaper, Mexican potatoes that are currently on the market. Normally, by the time the Belizean red potatoes are ready to enter the market, the Ministry of Agriculture cuts back on the importation of the competition. And according to Minister Godwin Hulse, that's exactly what happened, but the problem is that the Mexican potatoes in the country now are contraband. So now, the potato farmers have been forced to reduce their prices to about 75 cents, which they think is unfair. We spoke to the CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche about the situation, and he told us that even at the lowered cost, the farmers should still be able to turn a profit... Jose Alpuche - CEO, Ministry of Agriculture: "I expected this question but quite frankly look I'll be very honest from the very beginning we had stated that the ministry was attempting to have facilitation to facilitate an agreement between the producers and the marketers. Despite what you hear the Ministry of Agriculture agreed to issuance of permit, the last permit on the 18th of January. We don't issue the permit; we are consulted as it related to whether or not there are domestic supplies."

    Creek Ready For The Ruta
    Carnival revellers say they are ready for the road, while Ruta Maya Paddlers say they are ready for the river. And tonight we can report, that the river - or at least the Haulover Creek is ready for them. Today 7News went along with the Forestry Department and the City Council for a final run through after a team of 12 men and two divers worked for 12 days on clearing the creek. It was a tall and tough task, but they're finally finished and just in time for Ruta Maya. We found out more:… Phillip Willoughby - City Councillor: "I honestly thought the magnitude of the scope of works that we would have to contend with was way beyond our capacity, way beyond our capabilities." Jules Vasquez: "You thought it was impossible in the period of time?" Phillip Willoughby: "Yes sir, being fair yes, impossible with uncertainty of getting the work done."

    Gold Panning In Chiquibul Still A Problem
    Today the Friends for Conservation and Development - which co-manages the Chiquibul issued its most recent situation report on gold panning in the Chiquibul. The news is that despite serious deployments of manpower, resources and conservation posts, the Guatemalan gold panners continue to push into Belize. But, because of the presence of Belziean law enforcement, they have changed their tactics. The FCD notes that since the post was installed in 2012, the gold panners have dispersed, but they haven't gone away. Instead, they have learned how to elude the patrols. In the first year, things seemed to be going well, the BDF soldiers, police, and FCD rangers detained many gold panners. But, the panners started studying the patrols' movements and timing and they dispersed to other areas of the Ceibo creeks - those are, the Ceibo Chico, Ceibo Grande and Mal Pago. And the result of that is that the FCD report, quote, "Today the impacts in plain view is much bigger than it was in 2012 when we estimated up to 300 gold panners." But because the panning activity is now widely dispersed across a 5,000 acre area, the FCD cannot say quite how many there are. But, the effect is felt. The FCD concludes, quote, "what is obvious is that the watershed; the wild life and forest are disappearing every year." They note that Gold panners have "deliberately set the forest on fire and large tracts of land have been denuded…".

    Dealing With Trauma In A Violent Society
    About 30 social workers participated in a trauma training today at the YABRA COMMUNITY DROP IN Center. Now usually these sessions would entail learning techniques and strategies to help their clients cope with trauma but the main focus wasn't their young patients, it was the social workers themselves. Courtney Weatherburne spoke with the lead facilitator, psychotherapist Dr. Alex Depaz about vicarious trauma and why it's important to address it . Here is that story At some point in life, we all experience trauma – like the death of a loved one through natural causes, violent murder or suicide. The sorrow and misery left behind is profound. The most vulnerable ones are the children. They see the blood on the streets, they see the dead bodies. Deborah Sewell - Managing Director, LOVE Foundation: "They live in this trauma, just where they live, the location where they live, it is a traumatic experience for them."

    Tourist Drowned At "Secret Beach"
    San Pedro police today found the body of of a tourist from Houston Texas who apparently drowned yesterday in a water sports accident. Yesterday at 2:30, 29-year-old Rickilee Michelle Mercer was jet skiing along with 39-year-old Michigan resident Marvin Hazim Yono near an area known as "Secret Beach" which is Northwest of San Pedro Town. They left the beach heading west in the direction of Blackadore Caye when they both fell off. He swam to shore, but Mercer didn't make it - and he says he last saw her swimming towards the jet ski. She didn't resurface and a Police and Coast Guard search party was launched. Her body was found at around 1:30 near Blackadore Caye which is 4 miles northwest of Secret Beach.

    Aragon Bickering With Bernard
    The PUP Mayor of Orange Walk Town and the UDP area representative for Orange Walk East are at it again. The last we reported on their feuding, it was over incomplete work on roads in the Louisiana area. Well, Aragon sent a letter to Bernard on Monday boasting that he'd finished upgrading those roads to what is called "paving standard", and he urged Mayor Bernard to pave them before the rains come in June. As you might imagine, that didn't go down too well with the Mayor. Last night, he posted a salty response to area rep on Facebook. Right at the opening, in the second sentence, Bernard snaps, "I know comprehension is not your strong suit". Form there he promises to keep it short, saying that unlike the area rep, he doesn't have time for, quote, stupidity and petty quarrels." Bernard says he is quote, "quite willing and able to complete what you have barely started." He chides the UDP Rep, quote, "Please…step aside and let those who are prepared to work, get to work."

    Mauger Caye Coming Along
    Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve is one of the most important marine reserves in the country, and it's finally getting permanent outposts so that officials can properly patrol and maintain the territory. An inauguration ceremony took place today on Mauger and Calabash Cayes. Here's a quick look at the day's events... We'll have the rest of that story for you tomorrow.

    No Bail For Pulu
    A well-known and vocal supporter of the PUP was denied bail today because of his long rap sheet. Henry Gillett, known as "Pulu" along with 19 year old Keifer McKenzie, was read two criminal charges, one count of aggravated assault with a Presidente bottle upon Jaheel Goodger, and one count of threatening words upon Goodger. It's a routine charge, and initially, the police prosecutor, had no objection to bail but after the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith saw Gillett's rap sheet, which listed a number of violent offenses and some cases which are pending, she questioned the prosecutor why he was not objecting to bail. And so, the Prosecutor then objected to bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the offense and that the victim is known to both accused men. Chief Magistrate Smith told Gillett that based on his previous convictions for offenses of the same nature, she will remand him into custody and that he should feel free to go the Supreme Court for bail.

    Celebrating Child Stimulation
    Early Childhood Development is more than just having kids play fun educational games, it's actively reading with them , challenging them to think and solve problems and the Ministry of Education says the best place to get kids engaged at that level is at preschool. Today preschoolers from all over the Belize District marched through city streets to celebrate child stimulation month. The coordinator of the event as well as the Minister of Education shared how importance it is to capture kids at this stage of their life. The goal of the ministry is to have all 4 year olds in preschools.

    Channel 5

    Fiery Accident on Placencia Road Leaves 2 Dead
    At the crack of dawn this morning, a horrible accident occurred on the Placencia Road in the south. A speeding pick-up truck veered off the road and crashed into a [...]

    Officer Mark Tench Says Investigation into Missing Visa Foils was Extensive
    Immigration Officer of eighteen years’ experience, Mark Tench, appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee this morning as one of two witnesses in the inquiry on the Immigration Department.  His [...]

    What Really Happened on Boxing Day, 2012, in the West?
    And while that may be the biggest bombshell out of today’s public hearings, what exactly happened out west over that holiday period in 2012 has only been obliquely told.  In [...]

    Investigation Spread North as Alleged Ringleader Confessed…
    The investigation widened to include other persons.  According to Tench, they tried their mightiest to get the agent identified as selling the foils to Chang and Tillett to confirm other’s [...]

    Somebody “Ratted Out” The Investigators and Police Were Not Called In
    Tench told the Public Service Commission that his advice to Edgar Cano and Vernon Leslie to call the police in relation to the missing foils was not taken. Instead, he [...]

    Vernon Leslie ‘Disappointed’ by Cano Response
    This afternoon, it was the turn of Tench’s former supervisor, Vernon Leslie, to appear. He will retire in December after completing thirty years on the job, which he says he [...]

    Will Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett Defy Senate Committee?
    As we have reported, former deputy Mayor of Belize City Eric Chang and financial controller with the Belize City Council, Patrick Tillett, declined an invitation to appear before the Senate [...]

    S.S.B. Must Justify Arguments on Share Purchase
    The Social Security Board has given preliminary approval, through its Investment Committee, for a purchase of thirty-five million dollars in shares for Belize Telemedia Limited and twenty million dollars in [...]

    Business Senator Hails Return of N.G.O.’s to Boards
    The Social Security Board has publicly indicated its intention, pending final approval, to offer its third seat on the Boards of both B.T.L. and B.E.L. to members of the trade [...]

    U.N. in Caribbean Meets to Set Priorities
    Regional coordinators from various United Nations agencies within the Caribbean have concluded a two-day conference in Belize where they met at length to discuss the implementation of the United Nations [...]

    Sustainable Development Goals Coming in 5 Years
    The framework provides a platform for countries to access global expertise and experience of the United Nations System at both the country and sub regional levels.  Bruno Pouezat assumed chairmanship [...]

    American Tourist Drowns after Jet-Ski Incident on West Coast of Ambergris
    The lifeless body of a female was discovered this evening off the coast of Ambergris Caye. The body has been identified as twenty-nine-year-old Rickilee Michelle Mercer; an accountant of Texas, [...]

    Officers Accused in Edwin Ixpatac Death to be Tried for Manslaughter
    Three San Pedro police officers accused of killing a bartender on San Pedro back in March 2016 will have to stand trial at the Supreme Court for manslaughter and not [...]

    Jail for Accused Belize City Robber
    Tonight twenty-five-year-old Stanley Moore, a resident of Faber’s Road, Belize City is serving his first night of a nine-year sentence for robbery with a firearm imposed upon him by Magistrate [...]

    Child Stimulation Month Begins with Major Parade of Preschoolers
    The number of preschoolers is on an upward trend.  Today, there are over two hundred and twenty-nine preschools across the country with over seven thousand five hundred students enrolled in [...]

    Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos Goes Back to Arnold Classic
    Five-time Mister Belize, Rigo Vellos left the country today for Ohio, U.S.A.   Vellos and two other Belizean bodybuilders will be competing at the Arnold Classic this Friday.  The professional bodybuilding [...]

    Social Workers Trained to Deal with Children’s Trauma Issues
    Youths between the ages of fourteen and twenty-nine over the years have been experiencing trauma due to a number of reasons, including violence on the streets, at home or school.  [...]

    Psychotherapist Says Frontline Workers Can Get Fatigue
    There are many forms of trauma and those social workers, police officers and teachers who are in the fields endure what is known as compassion fatigue. In turn, they subconsciously [...]

    CTV3

    Immigration Officer Reveals How He Discovered VISA Huslte
    Discussions over the disappearance of 8 visa foils from the Immigration Office at the Western Border back in December 2012 – over four years ago – took center stage at today’s Senate Select Committee hearing with the person who discovered that the visas had gone missing, former Border Supervisor Mark Tench, giving details under Oath. Tench, who said that he had reported to work on the morning of Boxing Day, December 26th 2012, only to find out that their security had been breached, explained to the Committee what happened next. Chairman Aldo Salazar – Special Senate Select Committee: “Can you give us your account of what transpired, is this correct?” Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border: “Most of it yes, on the 26th of December which was Boxing Day, I was the supervisor on shift and I came to work with two other officers, Requena and Crawford, and upon entering the door, six o’clock we shift over from the night person, there is one night person who works there and there was a gentleman who wanted to buy a VISA...”

    Was There Cover Up In VISA Hustle?
    It is clear that many answers are still forthcoming in the matter of the 8 visa foils that went missing, and this is why, as we mentioned earlier, both Chang and Tillett have been invited to appear before the Committee. Both will have to explain why, when and how they accessed those visas and in precise detail. Tench, shared in the today’s hearing, that Tillett related to him that he had already gotten 12 visas through the then Minister but that wasn’t enough. Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border: “When we start to think back it would have been somewhere about the 24th or 25th of November sometime around that time when the VISAS went missing. Mr. Tillette didn’t bought it the same day he bought it I think three or four days after and his reason was that they had already gotten some VISAS legitimately but they had wanted more and their minister had said no, so they found an agent that was his explanation.”

    Tench Accuses Candelaria Saldivar For lying To Senate Hearing
    Before the break, we showed you the testimony by Immigration Officer Mark Tench and his report on the case of visas that went missing in December 2012. Tench also shared his disbelief that even though he was the only one who has thoroughly investigated the case, in 2016 he was called before the Public Services Commission to face disciplinary requests by the Ministry. If you’re scratching your head and wondering why Tench would face prosecution so were we. Tench said rebukingy that the decision to drag him before the Commission was taken by the former CEO Candelaria Saldivar. Mark Tench - Former Immigration Supervisor, Western Border: “As far as I know me and Mr. Leslie were blamed for this VISAS being missing, I am the only person that has done any investigation on this matter and even when we got, when they had the hearing last year and we got exonerated from that hearing through the public service commission they still have not done any investigation, and the thing about it is that, it is unfair that the scandal to the department to all the officers that have been dragged here and the real culprits have never been even asked a simple question, it’s so unfair and then on another matter to have Mr. Mortar come here and slander my name publicly that is so”

    Eric Chang And Patrick Tillette Summons To Appear Before Special Senate Select Committee
    Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett, you’ve heard their names a lot in tonight’s newscast in relation to today’s Senate Select Committee hearing, but as we had reported two weeks ago, the two had snubbed the Committee’s invitations to appear. Last week Committee Chairman Aldo Salazar confirmed that the Committee took steps to reinforce their request with a summons, but the question is, will it work? Today Salazar confirmed that the summons were delivered in person to both Chang and Tillett and so, they are expected to appear next week. Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Select Committee: “If you would recall I said on the last occasion that we had invited them based on the actual convention for the said inquiry was an invitation that was sent out, so we had invited them with anticipation that they would attend at a prior date but when they declined our invitation then we actually took the decision to issue a summons and so when that was issued it was not with the intention to appear today but next week.”

    Business Senator Says Senate Hearings Expose Gross Neglect Of Duty
    Business Senator Mark Lizarraga might have been denied the Chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee but this has not stopped him from aggressively seeking answers from key witnesses from where he sits as a member of the Committee. In fact, Lizarraga has been more involved in the questioning than any other Senator in the Committee. Today we asked him to give us some of his thoughts of the revelations over the past twelve sessions. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator: “I think it’s going to be a long slow process but I think that we have been getting a lot of good insight into what has been happening in the department and I believe that as we continue we will begin to see that this culture was well known and that there was very few attempts really to stop what was happening, we don’t know why at this point but we intent to find out.”

    Business Senator Speaks On Super-bond Negotiations
    There are no updates tonight on the Government’s attempts to renegotiate the Superbond even after its consent solicitation expired on Monday with no indication that it had been accepted by bondholders. Information to the public has been seldom, as the Government tries to sway the bondholders to agree to new terms before a 30 day grace period ends on March 22nd. Today we asked Business Senator Mark Lizarraga to discuss how he sees the issue of national concern unfolding. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator: “I continue to question what motivation the bondholders would really have to renegotiate unless it is on their benefit there is a penalty clause that will kick in if we default so there is really in my view at least great difficulty in trying to see what motivation the bondholders will have, we have not complied with the spirit of the precious renegotiation, we have not put our monies to good use, we have not done what we said we were going to do so why would we expect the bondholders to listen to us and say oh yes you are credible let’s sit down and try work this out it escapes me as to what motives they would really have to want to renegotiate.”

    Mr. Belize Heads To Columbus Ohio To Represent In Arnold Classic
    Three well-known Belizean bodybuilding athletes are preparing to represent Belize on the world-stage. The country’s buffest, five-time Mr. Belize bodybuilding champ Rigo Vellos, is leaving tomorrow to participate in the Arnold Sports Festival to be held in Columbus, Ohio. Two other athletes Oyinkro Akpobodor and Aurel Lewis will also compete. The Festival features the very popular Arnold Classic competition which attracts athletes from all over the world. Vellos will be participating for the second time, since his first entry in 2014 in the Light Heavy-weight category in which he placed 9th. Today we met him at the Spartan Gym in Corozal Town and he told us why he believes he is better prepared this time around.

    Did Dorian Pakeman Breach Court Order?
    On January 10th Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Government Press office, appeared in court on a single charge of: Causing death by careless conduct following a traffic accident back in March of 2016 where Biscayne Mechanic, Dean Dawson lost his life. As it had previously been reported, citing the nature of the charge levied on him, Pakeman was granted bail by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer who ordered that he cannot leave the country without first notifying the court that he must travel, but was not asked to surrender his passport. A report on the Amandala newspaper on February 13th however, indicated that Pakeman had violated the court’s bail conditions, after a picture was posted by a friend of Pakeman on social media which shows him at a basketball game in the US the week of the 12th of February. According to that report the trip was made without the Court’s permission. Today his attorney, Brian Neal was asked for comment on the matter.

    LOVE FM

    Multiple Fatalities Reported in Traffic Incident in Placencia
    Police have confirmed that two persons were killed in an accident on the Placencia Road. According to Police, they have not been able to confirm the identity of the victims as yet. They say sometime after five o’clock this morning, the F150 pickup truck was headed from Placencia toward the Santa Cruz area when it […]

    Tourist Found Dead in Belizean Waters
    Members of the Belize Coast Guard are on a search mission just outside of Ambergris Caye where an American National went under water and has not resurfaced. Reports reaching Love News are that 39-year-old, Marvin Yono of Michigan, USA was on a jet ski west of Ambergris Caye at an area known as Secret Beach. […]

    Deputy PM Says the Government System Needs Revamping
    The revelations coming out of the Special Select Senate Inquiry on the Auditor General’s Report on Immigration have been incredible. The suspected or known hustling that was taking place is being cemented as several officers have been responding to queries presented by the Senators. While it has been noted that these acts of corruption have […]

    Chang and Tillett Still Wanted to Appear Before Senate Inquiry
    Both Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett have been served with a summons as ordered by the Senate Special Select Committee, after both men rejected the committee’s invitation to appear before its members. So now, they are being compelled to show up and answer questions in respect to the eight missing visa foils which prompted the […]

    Names of Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett Resonate with Missing Visa Stickers
    Immigration Officer Mark Tench appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee to defend himself against the allegations made against him in the Auditor General Special report. Tench has been a public officer for about 18 years and he is currently a supervisor stationed at the Immigration Office in Orange Walk Town. However, during the audit […]

    The Irrelevance of 3 Days at the End of School Year 2017
    About a week ago the matter between the Belize National Teachers Union and Ministry of Education was settled and the teachers who went on strike managed to not have their salaries touched despite them not being in the classroom for eleven days. The non-payment of teachers was one that Education Minister, Patrick Faber was initially […]

    Positive Stimulation for Children in 2017
    March is Child Stimulation Month and the Early Childhood Unit within the Quality Assurance and Development Services of the Ministry of Education is overseeing several activities for children throughout the month countrywide. Officially opening the month was a pre-school parade in the six districts. Love News was at the Memorial Park this morning to witness […]

    Ash Wednesday: The Mark of the Lenten Season
    Christians around the world are observing today as Ash Wednesday which signifies the start of the Lenten season. Traditionally, the Church would have services to distribute the ashes to those in attendance throughout the course of the day. The Lenten season lasts for forty days and forty nights excluding Sundays, reflecting the time Jesus was […]

    NWC Kicks off Women’s Month 2017
    Yesterday the National Women’s Commission along with the Canadian High Commissioner hosted a Heads of Women’s Agency/Partners Breakfast at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The event marked the first event to jumpstart National Women’s Month celebrated throughout the month of March. At the breakfast the High Commissioner of Canada to Belize, Deborah […]

    Fire Destroys Home and SUV on Hydro Road
    Police and fire officials in Benque Viejo del Carmen are probing into a house fire that destroyed a home and a vehicle worth over quarter of a million Belize dollars. The fire reportedly happened yesterday morning around seven thirty in the Better in Belize settlement located at mile thirteen on the Hydro Road in that […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Immigration Department to issue temporary passports, experiencing technical difficulties
    The Immigration Department issued an official release today informing the public that the Passport Office is experiencing technical difficulties with the passport printing process. The release says that the Immigration Department will be providing temporary passports, in emergency cases, to persons whose passports are exhausted, lost (6 weeks waiting period apply), damaged or mutilated, and who demonstrate a need for urgent travel. Temporary passports will be processed within one week, with validity for one year at the normal fee of $30.

    Guatemalan Ambassador reinstated in Belize
    The Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Manuel Estuardo Roidan Barillas, has been reinstated by the Guatemalan government. The Guatemalan government has indicated to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs that he reported back for duty effective today, March 1. Prior to his return, Belize had been almost 6 months without a Guatemalan ambassador.

    Immigration officer sheds new light on Immigration hustle
    The Senate hearing continues today with Immigration officer, Mark Tench, appearing as a witness. Readers will recall that eight (8) visa stickers were stolen from the western border in 2012.The stickers were then allegedly sold to Former Belize City Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang, and the […]

    Belize~The diaspora and the debt
    Belize has increased its external debt from around BZ$2.3 billion in 2008 to around BZ$3.2 billion currently. Last week, the country missed a payment due on the SuperBond, and has a 30 day grace period in which it can pay up to remain current….and […]

    House destroyed by fire in Benque
    A house in the “Better in Belize” settlement situated at mile 13 on the Hydro Road, Cayo was completely destroyed00 a.m. and observed the remains of a wooden home, belonging to Annatasia Thorne. […]

    Gun and ammo recovered from Belize City streets
    Yesterday morning around 10:00, police conducted a search of the Cumberbatch Field located on Kraal Road which led to the discovery of a a silver and black .9 mm Smith and Wesson brand pistol along with a loaded magazine. No one was in the area […]

    Fair weather to prevail
    The 24-hour forecast is for mostly fair weather to continue. Sunny skies with a few cloudy spells are expected today with cloudy skies tonight. Isolated showers are expected over most areas. Southern and coastal areas will experience more showers. The wind will blow from […]

    Four reportedly die in fiery Placencia Road accident
    Unofficial reports reaching our newsroom is that there was a road traffic accident this morning on the Placencia Road where four people reportedly died. A vehicle reportedly ran into a lamp post causing it to fall on the vehicle and causing a fire. The […]

    Blogs

    Leela Verden;Remembrance of her history music
    So in that northerly spirit, we want you to name the northern-most country in Central America. It has a mix of Afro-Caribbean and Central American cultures. You can hear Creole and Spanish here, though English is the official language. Which country is that? The answer is Belize where after 30 years of independence the national anthem has finally been translated into the lingua franca of the people: English Creole. Reporter Amy Bracken caught up with the translator, Leela Vernon, in the diva's hometown of Punta Gorda: If you go down a path behind a tool and parts shop in Punta Gorda, you'll likely find Leela Vernon sitting in her garden. Leela Vernon is a household name in Belize. She's known as the Queen of Brukdown — a popular rural Belizean dance music. She's won awards from the government of Belize and the Queen of England, promoting her culture at home and abroad. She's also known for her protest songs. Vernon is 60 now and likes to talk about her hobbies: organic gardening and canning, but she hasn't given up writing songs. In fact, she's been tinkering with the national anthem.

    What to do EVERY night of the week in Placencia, Belize! Oh, and the new PIZZA SHOP!
    Keep this post in mind when you come down! You can also see this in the Placencia Breeze, they will keep it updated on their site! MONDAY: Pickled Parrot- Art Bar - Every 3rd Monday, 3pm. Tipsy Tuna - Martini Monday and live music after 6. Turtle Inn - Indonesian Rijsttafel dinner. Plus $1 wings at the Casino (that's BZD!) and $4 beers all night (also BZD!). TUESDAY: Barefoor Bar - Travelers Tuesday -$3bzd rum drinks from 5-close. Tipsy Tuna - Mojito Tuesday, plus sushi and live music. Habanero's at Robert's Grove - Mexican buffet with Mariachi band 7-9. WEDNESDAY: Barefoot Bar - Fun & Funky Jam session, visiting musicians welcome, starts at 5. Mariposa - Yahtzee night 4:30. Pickled Parrot - Live music 6pm. Tipsy Tuna - Garifuna Drumming 7-9pm, plus $1 bze wings all day .

    “Ridin’ in My Chevy” away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    Today’s edition will bring to a close the trip that Rose and I made to Havana, Cuba. I probably could have run a further two editions but for the sake of everyone’s boredom levels (mine included) this will be the final instalment in the ‘John & Rose go to Cuba’ series. If you’ve missed the previous instalments (how dare you) you can find them at: Rose and I did quite a lot of walking in Havana so for our final day we decided that we would take it easy and we’d try some of the transport options. When we left the hotel grounds we considered our options. A classic convertible? or a plain, old taxi (cab for you non UK readers)? or a Lada! or a tuk-tuk (or auto rickshaw) ? We hadn’t been in a tuk-tuk since visiting Thailand in the ’90s ( that’s 1990s for those of you that think I’m really old) and we’d enjoyed it then . So… the tuk-tuk it was.

    Explore Belize, The Maya Heartland
    More than 4,000 years ago, a unique civilization arose in Central America. Eventually stretching from Mexico in the north to El Salvador in the south, the Maya civilization built a series of impressive stone cities, astronomical observatories, pyramids, and temples. At the heart of the empire was the land now known as Belize, home to more Maya ruins than anywhere else in Central America. Whether it was due to climate change, endemic warfare, or other factors, the mighty civilization that once fed more than 1 million people rapidly crumbled around the year 900 AD, abandoning its enormous cities to be reclaimed by the jungle. Today, however, the Maya have begun to reclaim their heritage, serving as guides to some of Belize's most significant archeological sites, ancient ruins, and sacred caves, giving visitors plenty to see and learn on their vacation. Many of the enormous cities carved out of the jungle by the ancient Maya were only rediscovered in the past few decades, and archeologists know that new treasures are still out there, waiting to be found. In 2015, an expedition led by University of California San Diego archaeologist Geoffrey Braswell discovered an enormous jade "megajewel" covered in hieroglyphs at the site of Nim Li Punit in southern Belize. Beyond the technical mastery used to carve the jade plate measuring 7.4 inches wide but just 0.3 inches thick, the hieroglyphs are of historical importance, describing one of the last kings to rule the city before it was abandoned just a few decades later.

    Belize Whale Shark Diving & Snorkeling
    Whale sharks are truly magnificent creatures, using their built-in sensitivity to magnetic fields and the phases of the moon to circumnavigate the globe on a yearly basis. Measuring up to 41 feet (12 meters) in length and weighing up to 47,000 pounds (21 tons), whale sharks are the largest fish species in the world's oceans. Despite their enormous size, whale sharks feed on extremely tiny plankton and fish spawn. Every spring, migrating schools of whale sharks make their way to the waters off of Belize, rising up from their cruising depths to feed on enormous clouds of fish spawn and microscopic organisms during periods of the full moon. Whale sharks have no teeth. Instead, they use an organic filter to strain their feed from thousands of gallons of sea water. Whale sharks are most commonly seen around Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes in the southeastern part of the Belize Barrier Reef. Even for experienced scuba divers and/or snorkelers used to marveling at underwater life, interacting with whale sharks is a special experience. The gentle giants are a marvel to behold, juveniles playing and frolicking while calves are being fed by their mothers. To protect the whale sharks, only small groups of divers are allowed to interact with the creatures. Divers and snorkelers will get a special opportunity to approach the magnificent whale sharks. Occasionally, a curious whale shark may be curious about their underwater visitors, but actively attempting to touch or play with the whale sharks is prohibited.

    It Is Happening This Week: La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
    The 19th annual La Ruta Belize River Challenge is set to begin at 7:00 AM on March 3, 2017, in San Ignacio Town. Featuring more than 170 miles of shifting currents, whitewater rapids, and grueling portages, the four-day race pits hundreds of three-person teams competing in eight different categories to be the first to cross the finish line in downtown Belize City. The La Ruta Maya Belize Canoe Race began in 1998 with a one-off promotional event sponsored by a local bottled water company to raise consciousness about the Belize Old River. Today, the La Ruta Maya Belize Challenge is one of the premier canoe racing events in Central America with teams of professional and amateur canoeists attracting large crowds at every stop along the route that begins in San Ignacio in the country's far west and finishes in the heart of Belize City in the east. The first day of the race, March 3, 2017, begins at 7:00 AM as teams set out from the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio to make their way to the first mandatory rest stop at the village of Banana Bank. Day two of this thrilling event sees teams battle headwinds and shifting currents to be the first to arrive at the charmingly named village of Double Head Cabbage. Day three tests the teams' endurance as they navigate rapids to be the first to arrive at the village of Burrell Boom. The fourth and final day of the race, March 7, 2017, sees teams make the final sprint to be the first to arrive in downtown Belize City.

    International Sourcesizz

    Body found during search for Spring woman missing in Belize
    The U.S. Embassy in Belize said they have been notified that an American citizen was reported missing after jet skiing in the area around Ambergris Caye. Rickilee Mercer, of Spring, left for Belize on Feb. 24. She was taking a vacation with friends, according to her family. On Tuesday night, her family got the call that she was missing. Authorities told her family that she had been missing since around 2 p.m. Tuesday. Her family said Mercer was on a jet ski with a man when she went missing. That man was questioned while in police custody, but has since been released, according to reports.

    Belize Believers Need Discipleship, Bibles and Books
    Sometimes, the best way to find out what someone needs is simply to ask. Jason Woolford of Mission Cry, formerly Christian Resources International, did just that on his recent trip to Belize. “They’re not asking for food or clothes, but they’re saying, ‘Listen, we need discipleship, we need Bibles, we need Christian books,’” he said. That’s where Mission Cry comes in. According to Woolford, their goal “is to reach the entire country of Belize with the Bible or a Christian book in every home in this country.”

    Study could help Caribbean protect and restore ‘super reefs’
    Not all reefs are created equal, a distinction that fish seem to recognize but until now scientists largely overlooked. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, researchers found that if managed properly, Caribbean reefs could support from 60 to 90 percent more sharks, rays and other large predators than now inhabiting them. They also found that some, with a perfect combination of caves and coral for habitat, prey and the right temperatures, have the potential to become Seaquariums of the sea in the form of ‘super’ reefs. “It’s immensely valuable from a tourism perspective,’ said University of North Carolina marine ecologist John Bruno. “The next step is to employ this kind of approach in designing conservation across the landscape and figure out the reefs with the greatest restoration potential.”

    Kendis Gibson Named Co-Anchor of World News Now
    Kendis Gibson has been upped to co-anchor of ABC’s World News Now and America This Morning. Gibson has been filling in on the overnight/early morning shows for the last year. “A thoughtful and versatile journalist, he’s a great match for the overnight hours,” writes ABC News president James Goldston in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser. A native of Belize, Gibson joined ABC News in December 2014 from WJLA in Washington. Gibson as also been a reporter/anchor for CNN and HLN, CBS Newspath and NBC Newschannel.

    Cost of fishing study concluded for Caribbean states
    A landmark study to look at the impacts of rising cost factors on fishing operations in the Caribbean has been concluded, and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with FAO, will convene a validation workshop at the United Nations House in Christ Church, Barbados on Monday, February 27 and Tuesday, February 28, to review the findings and chart the necessary course of action. At the upcoming event, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, will present a general overview of the project and explain what the workshop is expected to achieve. The background, findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study will be presented by Claudia Stella Beltrán Turriago, economic consultant, for final refinement.

    Caribbean Leaders Want Swifter Action on Climate Funding
    When Tropical Storm Erika hit the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica on Aug. 27, 2015, it killed more than two dozen people, left nearly 600 homeless and wreaked damages totaling more than a billion dollars. The storm dumped 15 inches of rain on the mountainous island, caused floods and mudslides and set the country back 20 years, according Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. The island was inadequately prepared for a storm such as Erika. Many roads and bridges were simply not robust enough to withstand such high volumes of water. In a national address shortly following the storm, Skerrit said that hundreds of homes, bridges and roads had been destroyed and millions of dollars in financial aid were needed to help the country bounce back. “In order to get back to where we were before Tropical Storm Erika struck, we have to source at least 88.2 million dollars for the productive sector, 334.55 million for infrastructure and 60.09 million for the social sectors,” Skerrit said.

    Videos

  • Evas, 1/2min.

  • Morning Matters with Gilroy Graham and Trudy from Grace, 60min.

  • Child Stimulation Month Begins with the cutest parade of the year in San Pedro, 5min.

  • Sean McDermott Benefit Concert, San Pedro, Belize, 31min. This video is of Sean McDermott Benefit Concert in San Pedro, Belize for Child Education. Special thanks to the man known on the island as Rocco and The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation.

  • Watching Howler monkeys in Belize, 1min. Saw some cool Howler monkeys and was totally amazed!

  • MSU Students from Belize, 5min. MSU 2nite's Kelly Diesel sits down with Murray State students Khalil Guerra and Leo Rosado to discuss their home country of Belize and what it's like attending Murray State University.

  • Releasing Wild Yellow Head Parrots! - Tales of Scarlet Studios 2016, 10min. In 2016, a team of conservationists, The Belize Bird Rescue, and Programme for Belize joined forces to protect endangered Yellow Headed parrots where they are being threatened by staggering numbers of poaching and habitat loss. Working together, field researchers managed to pull 14 nestling parrots in dire threat of being poached, where they were raised in safety until they could be released in perfect health later that year. Scarlet Studios in Collaboration with the Belize Bird Rescue & Programme for Belize. Special thanks to all collaborators; all members of the Yellow-headed Parrot Working Group, including Programme for Belize, Belize Bird Rescue, Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, Belize Audubon Society, the Belize Zoo, and the Loro Parque Fundación. A truly gorgeous short documentary by Nickolas Lormand of Scarlet Studios. You may remember Nick was our 'release guy' on site. He certainly kept himself busy during those lonely 6 weeks! Thank you for this amazing record of the entire process.

  • Playful marine life - Mexico Rocks, Belize, 2.5min. A shark tried to take my snorkel of my face and ran into turtle again.

  • How I Really Feel - My Husband on Naked & Afraid, 10min. Today is the day Cory starts Naked and Afraid. Since he's already in the jungles of Belize I'm telling you how I honestly feel about it.

  • CHILD STIMULATION MONTH LICKS OFF TODAY MARCH 1ST, 2017 IN ORANGE WALK TOWN, 5min.

  • Overview of the UN Systems (Placencia Special), 77min.

  • Belize, 4min. Nicole is the non-fish star with yellow fins in this vid of our recent trip to Belize. It's the first time using our new underwater camera, and we didn't realize it had an anti-shake feature till the last day (!). Also, it's a bit tricky to hold that tiny thing steady when at the surface being pushed around by waves, or swimming after a fish. I started getting the hang of it by the last day, realizing that I had to get underwater and neutrally buoyant, which required ten pounds of weights and some practice. We wanted to share this with our friends to give some idea of the fantastic snorkeling on the Belize barrier reef.

  • Passing the Coast Guard Station of Ambergris Caye in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Mahi mahi fishing belize, 1min.

  • Belize snorkeling vacation, 10min. Vacation to small island on Glover's Reef, Belize for snorkeling and sea kayaking.

  • JELLYFISH CAUGHT AT BELIZE CORAL REEF, 1/2min.

    March 1, 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

    NEBL week 5: San Pedro Tiger Sharks steal a narrow victory
    It was the fifth week of basketball action for the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), and this past weekend games were played in both the Cayo District and San Pedro Town. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted the Orange Walk Running Rebels, winning a narrow 54-53 game. Meanwhile, the Cayo Western Ballaz won against Belmopan Bandit, 81-74. On Saturday, February 25th the island team welcomed the Running Rebels for their fifth game of the season. This game was intense and frustrating for the Tiger Sharks, as they were losing in the first two quarters of the match. By the end of the third quarter, the game was tied 37-37. However, during the last quarter of the game, the visiting squad took the lead by almost ten points. Time was running out, and the Running Rebels kept sinking baskets. However, in the last minutes and seconds of the game, the Tiger Sharks made an amazing comeback, and seconds before the game was over, they netted the winning points that gave them the victory 54-53.

    Ambassador of Cuba visits with Mayor Guerrero
    Ambassador of Cuba, Lissette Perez, along with Orestes Hernandez, the Minister Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, made a courtesy visit to San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero on Friday, February 24th. It was Perez’ first time visiting La Isla Bonita since becoming Cuba’s ambassador to Belize in October 2016. After a warm welcome, the government officials of both countries discussed a potential partnership that would integrate Cuba and Belize. Perez told The San Pedro Sun that San Pedro Town has a lot of potential and Cuba is willing to assist where needed. “We are excited to be here. We have different cooperative projects in Belize, and that’s why we want to work on a national, but local level. We came to explore what possibilities we have and move forward. We see a lot of things can change as far as San Pedro’s coastal erosion and the Sargasso effort. In terms of culture, health and education, Cuba believes in the integration of our neighbors, and Belize is a member of Caribbean Community Regional Integration (CARICOM) and Central American Integration System (SICA). All of us share the Caribbean Sea and we look forward to strengthening the ties between Cuba and Belize,” said Perez.

    Ambergris Today

    "Day Two" Carnaval 2017
    The Carnaval Fiesta continues as the second day went by with more dancing and painting. Flora's Group theme of "Exercising Girls" fit in perefectly with all the dancing they were doing, while The San Pedro AIDS Commission brought awarness in saying No to Offshore drilling with their theme "Under the Sea". Los Barbies danced the night away celebrating "Los Quine Años De Ruby" Ruby's 15 Años - a parody to the internet famous birthday celebration. Lets not forget the painting and the foam party!

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    A look back at last year's Juan Carnaval on the streets of Corozal Town
    Followed with a stage performance. We look forward to presenting next year's event, and invite our community members to participate in this unique cultural tradition that only exists in Northern Belize. We are so proud to showcase our intangible cultural heritage, and perhaps next year with your support, we can expand with the customary pintadera event!

    Belize Fishing Report, Feb 20th - Feb 26th, 2017
    The permit were hungry, and even first timers landed a few. Randy, Matt, Ben, Alex, Michael, Lisa, Bob, and David made it look easy catching a few. Catching a permit has been compared to a hole-in-one in golf. Sometimes the harder you try, the harder it gets. The anglers that haven’t fished for permit very long are sometimes the most successful. Bob with really nice permit. Capt Emir throws thumbs up.

    The Belize Bird Rescue is working with a Frigate Bird
    Her bronze wings suggest she may be a juvenile. Frigate Birds spend almost all of their lives in the air. Her wingspan is almost nine feet. These strong fliers can pick food off the ocean surface, but do delight in taking food away from other birds.

    Carnaval 2017 - Day 2
    with San Pedro Aids Commission. All the creatures of the sea came out to sing and dance with the Reef but big greedy oil wanted to join in.

    Lenten season pressures fishing
    Wednesday, March 1st marks the start of the Lenten season. Traditionally it has also meant a spike in fishing pressure, especially in illegal efforts, to meet the demands of foreign markets for seafood over the next forty days. One popular gear of choice? The gillnet. Over the last several days, these are the images that have been shared from Southern Belize. An early morning sting operation by the Belize Coast Guard and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) resulted in the confiscation of gear from illegal fishing activity. And once again highlights the need to urgently address the use of gillnets in Belizean waters.

    Couples and Marriage Counselling Workshop at Caye Caulker Community Center
    Wednesday, March 1 at 9 AM - 11 AM. The CCVC in partnership with an American Volunteer Group will be offering a Couples and Marriage Counselling Workshop on Wednesday, March 1st 2017. 1st session will start at 9am -11am & 2nd session starting at 4pm-6pm at the community centre. Please RSVP at CCVC office or call/text 630-3652.

    Department of Civil Aviation Issues Reminder on Drone Operations
    The operation of drones within a five-mile radius of any public or private airport without the explicit written consent from the Director of Civil Aviation is strictly prohibited. Further, any person wishing to utilize a drone for the filming of the upcoming La Ruta Maya River challenge must obtain written permission along with operating limitations from the Department of Civil Aviation. Drone operations during the La Ruta Maya River Challenge will not be permitted in the following areas: • From Young Bank Village to the Banana Bank Lodge • From Burrell Boom Village to the Haulover Bridge.

    Splashers
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Mermaid Dive". $25 u.s $50 bz a person

    Ahmadiyya Basketball League All Star Game
    Ahmadiyya Basketball League Belize invites you to it's All Star day this Friday March 3, 2017 at Belize Elementary from 5:00-8:00 PM. Dunk, 3-point Competition and All-star Game.

    CARNAVAL FIESTA! A TRIBUTE TO JOSÉ FELIX AYUSO
    On Saturday, February 25, 2017, the San Pedro Town Council hosted its annual Carnaval Fiesta! which is the opening night for the Carnaval celebrations in San Pedro. This year, the Carnaval Fiesta was dedicated to long time Carnavalista, José Felix Ayuso Jr., who for many years has shared with the community and visitors of San Pedro Town, his love and passion for the unique San Pedro tradition. Under the theme, “Orgullo, Alegría y Pasión! - Carnaval es mi tradición!” which translates to “Pride, Joy and Passion - Carnaval is my tradition!” is how San Pedro welcomes its 2017 Carnaval celebrations! The homage to José Felix Ayuso began with a special invocation by Pastor Clive Welsh of the Lighthouse Christian Radio, where he offered words of comfort to the family and friends of the late Felix Ayuso Jr. Following the invocation was the welcome address by Councilor Flora Ancona, who herself is a Carnavalista herself and shared her sentiments of the great loss Felix’s departure is to the community of San Pedro. She remained positive by welcoming everybody to the event and asking everyone to support the comparsas and to play a safe Carnaval this year.

    Caye Caulker Blood Drive March 4
    CC will be having a blood donation drive on Saturday 4 March from 9AM - 3PM. Donating blood is crucial and life saving for people who are sick or have injuries. Any of us could need blood at any time. If you donate blood you or a loved one are eligible to get blood in the future. Please, please come out and support the health of the community and yourselves!

    FUNDRAISER FOR COROZAL ANIMAL PROGRAM (CAP)
    Please join us for a fun afternoon of Bingo DATE: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15. TIME: 2 TO 4 PM. PLACE: JAM ROCK. COST: $2 PER BINGO CARD. 100% of the money we raise funds Corozal Animal Program's spaying, neutering, fostering, adopting and immunization programs for animals in Corozal.

    Chan Pine Ridge Annual Agricultural and Trade Show
    READY FOR THE LONG BARON BLISS WEEKEND? Come join us in OW East at Chan Pine Ridge for the Annual Agriculture and Trade Show this Saturday and Sunday March 4th and 5th. It is a family event, 2 days and nights of fun for everyone: from sports to culture and agricultural displays, kids events, performances and dance. Support a worthy cause; see you there.

    Ruta Maya Bash
    Ruta Maya kick off party at cheers Nightclub , San Ignacio with super furia live band on 3rd and 4th March 2017. continuously two nights Entertainment only at Cheers night club. Music by dj Lala from more FM and dj bitta from maximum radio. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Social Security Board presents National Debate 2017
    Support the UB Debate Team on March 7th, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the George Price Center as they go against Belize Adventist Junior College.

    Dead manatee found dead on Belize River on February 28, 2017

    PLB - FC Belize vs Verdes FC
    Sunday, March 5 at 3:30 PM - 6 PM, MCC Grounds Belize City. Live Coverage! PLB - FC Belize vs Verdes FC Pre-Game Show: 3:30pm Game Start: 4:00pm When: Sun, March 5th Where: MCC Grounds, Belize. Tune in to Channel 10. The National Channel! Central TV & Internet Customers On Channel: 10 Dibo , 132-10 HD , 22-110 San Pedro Channel 53, Orange Walk & Corozal through Centaur Channel 61.

    El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro 2017
    ‘Orgullo, Alegría y Pasión; Carnaval es mi Tradición', El Gran Carnval de San pedro is in full swing! Ushering in the 40-day Lenten period, this year's event is taking place from Friday, February 24th to Tuesday, February 28th. Carnaval is all about TRADITION and friendship, and we invite you to be a part of it!

    "Turn the Tide, Respect the Reef"... and Win a GoPro!
    Belize's Reef Week 2017 is almost here, which means Oceana's Instagram Competition is back! Show us how you are living out this year's theme: "Turn the tide, Respect the Reef". Reef Week Instagram Photography Contest: Official Rules: NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE OR WIN. HOW TO ENTER: No purchase necessary to participate or win. This Contest will be hosted solely on the Oceana in Belize (“Host”) Instagram page and advertised on the Host’s Instagram and Facebook pages. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

    Channel 7

    Man Who Knocked Down Ashanti Had No License, Is Sent To Jail
    6 year-old Ashanti Pollard who was knocked down and killed on Sunday night. She and her mother, Dawn Swasey were only a short distance away from their Faber's Road Extension home when they were hit from behind by a speeding car. Well, the man who was driving the car has been arrested and charged for her death - and he is in jail tonight. It turns out, he didn't even have a valid driver's license. He's 43 year-old Albert Martinez, a resident of the Western Pines Community, at mile 8 on the George Price Highway. He was arraigned this morning before the Chief Magistrate on charges of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving a motor vehicle whilst not being the holder of a valid driver's license, driving an unlicensed motor vehicle, and displaying unauthorized license plates. The first 3 of these are indictable offenses, so no plea was taken. For the other 3 charges, he pleaded not guilty. The Chief Magistrate also had to consider whether or not to grant him bail. He owes the court for traffic offenses, which is an aggravating factor against him, and so when he was taken back before the Chief Magistrate in the afternoon, she made her decision on bail.

    Seawell Brother Mark Tries To Slip Through Same Legal Loophole as Gary
    3 months ago the Court of Appeal freed Gary Seawell, who had been in prison for 6 years while pending extradition to the US. Well, his older brother Mark is still fighting his extradition to the US for the same drug trafficking charges. And he intends to use his brother's case as precedent for why he should be set free as well. His attorneys went back before the Chief Justice today to apply to have additional arguments admitted in his Habeas Corpus Case. That case has been before the Chief Justice since August 2013, and in that 3 years and 6 months since, Chief Justice Benjamin has not delivered judgment. So, since the court hasn't ruled yet, his attorneys are asking that he allows them to make additional arguments. They want to add that the Chief Magistrate's Warrant for his committal to Prison is defective, which was the very same grounds his brother Gary used to beat his extradition. The Chief Justice heard arguments today from his lawyers as well as the Acting Solicitor General on whether or not he should even entertain them on re-opening the case. When they left court, Seawell's attorneys told us more:

    Superbond Common Ground
    Belize may have missed its 26 million dollar Superbond payment eight days ago, but the 30 day grace period isn't over, and tonight, there is news of real progress on Superbond negotiations. According to a financial news report from "Debtwire" in the US, Charles Blitzer, the special advisor to the creditor committee is referenced as saying that the government of Belize and a committee of bondholders have "bridged" some of their differences toward a…restructuring. This follows up on what the PM told us when he said that he was optimistic that an agreement with the bondholders could be reached before the end of the grace period. Blitzer told Debtwire, quote, "'The prime minister is correct that progress was made. The committee is continuing to work hard with the government and their advisors to close the remaining gaps as soon as possible." End quote. So, there are signals from both sides that a compromise is being hammered out, and it may mean that government has to sweeten up on its offer to bondholders. As we've reported that proposal is to repay the principal in three equal annual installments 20 years from now, between 2036 and 2038, and fixing the interest rate at 4% per annum, lower than the current rate of 5%, and the August 2017 step-up rate of 6.76%.

    GOB Served Vega's Attorney, Compensation Lawsuit Coming Along
    Last week Friday, we Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, and Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke told the media that Government's lawyers were having difficulties serving the lawsuit documents on Andre Vega, because they couldn't find him. As we've reported, the Government is going after Vega and Sharon Pitts in court to try and force them to give back 400 thousand dollars each, for land compensation that they should not have received. Well, this evening, the Solicitor General confirmed to us that the Government has served the papers on Vega's attorney, Estevan Perrera, yesterday. The Government has filed the claim form in the Supreme Court, and both Andre Vega and Sharon Pitts will have to acknowledge service within 14 days. 28 days after that, they will have to file their defense, and shortly after that, the court will schedule a date for case management.

    Ministry of Health Says Backyard Burials A "No-No"
    Yesterday, Bishop OP Martin was buried on the grounds of the school and the church that was so dear to him, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Belmopan. But, while the Catholic and Anglican churches are allowed to do that, the Ministry of health says, don't try it at home! The Director of Health services today posted the following on his Facebook page, quote: "A gentle reminder in terms of burial on a private property, note that there is a process and so far this year, we haven't given approval for any entity to conduct such burial provided the community has a cemetery. If anyone has proceeded to bury anyone on a private property then the law has been broken and we are seeking legal advice on the matters as we are being alerted of same." It continues, quote, "In regards to the burial of the Bishop O.P. Martin, please be advised that the burial of the Catholic Bishop falls in line with Intramural Burials. Under section 44 (1) (b), the church both Roman Catholic and Anglican Bishops have authority by the Public Health Act for the burial of bishops within the wall or the churchyard of their Cathedral."

    Another Monima Hired In Regional Health Management
    And in other news from the Ministry of Health, remember Audibaldo Monima? He's the short lived former Regional Manager for health services in the north. Despite not having the required degree in Public Health Administration, he was given the job in June 2016, presumably as a political favor from Minister of Health Pablo Marin. After it was learned that he didn't have a health, or any other degree, he was removed from the post. Well, the news tonight is that his wife is now the Deputy Regional Manager. Maria Monima is the Deputy Director for the Northern Region. We are told she has been approved for the post on contract, pending approval from Finance and Public Service. But, in her case, the Ministry says that she outright outscored everyone else who applied, and that she is qualified.

    The Referendum That Lives On
    Five years ago OCEANA and members of the environmental community staged a "people's referendum" on offshore drilling. The unofficial vote attracted almost 30,000 Belizeans, 96% of which voted against allowing offshore oil exploration in the country. At the time, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in the middle of campaigning for his second term, and promised that if elected, an official referendum would be held. Now, half a decade later, there is no sign of a referendum on the horizon, but the environmental community is making sure the topic does not fade from memory. The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage held a press conference to commemorate the People's Referendum and remind people that the fight's still going... Amanda Burgos Acosta, Executive Director - Audubon Society: "The thing is that we are here and like I said it's a commemoration. We do want to keep this and we have been very vigilant in keeping this topic in the consciousness of the public, in the consciousness of the politicians, because it is something that we are holding stalwart to. We are not wavering. We have the support of the populist. As you can see San Pedro has rallied their troops. We've seen Hopkins, we've seen Placencia, and we've seen Caye Caulker. We have lots of nice "no oil" imagery from people. We have had a call for people to be sensational and they have been."

    No Drone Zones Declared
    Drones have risen in popularity and visibility over the last few years. The miniature aircraft have become a fun pastime for some, while others have turned their flying skills into business ventures. These drones are often seen during special events, like carnival, Pan Yaad, and the La Ruta Maya, but today the Department of Civil Aviation issued a press release warning pilots on the strict rules for operating their machines during this weekend's canoe race. We spoke to the Department's C-O-O, Nigel Carter, about this warning and other drone regulations... Nigel Carter, COO - Department of Aviation: "The department of civil aviation is the regulatory body charge with oversight of aviation activities in Belize. What that means is anything that operates in Belize's air space, we are charge with oversight and ensuring safety of those passengers in the aircraft and those persons that those aircraft flies over." "We found it prudent to issue our press release on the operation of drones during the La Ruta Maya River Challenge. You know that there is many people who are going to be on the river banks that are going to be witnessing the race. We also know that this race passes along routes that pass near airports. We found it prudent that we tell the general public that the operation of drones in specific areas is not the best thing to do. We must protect the aircraft that are landing at these airports and as such we are establishing specific areas that are prohibited and we are also issuing guidelines on the operation of drones throughout the rest of the route of the race."

    Former Soldier Presumed To Have Drowned In The North
    A 37 year old former BDF soldier is presumed to have drowned in the north. He is Oswaldo Toledano, and his body was found floating in the Rio Hondo near San Ramon village today. Toledano was last seen on Saturday in San Roman attending a wedding, but no one saw him after that until his body floated up in the river today. His Mother told CTV-3 News in Orange Walk that he was in the habit of drinking:.. Voice of: Odila Toledano, Mother of Deceased: "The last time I saw him, he said he was going to a wedding in San Roman. He went and I didn't see him after that until today I got the news. He was a person that like to drink. But he is not a troublesome person. he drinks, that's all he does." Voice of: Area Resident: "I saw him Saturday in the park and I spoke with him. The man, he told me, his name was Oswaldo Toledano and I told him I was going to buy. I went to buy and I moved from him. A lot of people saw me and I told my nephew I was talking to him and I went to the shop and he told me he was going to a party. Then Sunday morning I was heading to Orange Walk and I saw his bike here and I move his bike. I didn't think it was his. I didn't see anything in the water, so I pass and I went."

    Sharing On Shrove Tuesday
    You may know all about Ash Wednesday, but you're probably not too familiar with Shrove Tuesday. It is the day immediately before the first day of lent - which starts tomorrow. Now, that day is usually known for carnivals, but in Belize one Anglican group chose to observe Shrove Tuesday by giving to special kids who sometimes get overlooked. They catered to 200 of them on the grounds of the St. John's Anglican Church this afternoon, and Elena Young told us more:.. According to young, they have been doing this since the 70's.

    Beach Football Finish Not Quite Spectacular
    Last week, we showed you how Belize's National Team was performing well in 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Well, the results are in, and the final tallies say that Belize came 13th out of the 16 teams who competed. As we told you, on Friday, Belize was in the running for 9th place, but they had 2 weekend games against Barbados and Turks and Caicos. Belize won both those games, but overall, they placed 13th. Still, there was some cause for celebration because Belize's Marlon Mesa tied with Mexican Footballer Jose Ramon Maldonado Alonso for the most goals scored in the tournament. They were both given the Golden Boot Award.

    Remembering The Unforgettable OP Martin
    Last night we showed you some quick clippings from the funeral of Catholic Bishop OP Martin. Tonight, Courtney Weatherburne has a closer look at the farewell from the official mass at our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral. With hands open and raised and voices loud and strong, the mass of thanksgiving for the life of Bishop OP Martin began. And down the aisle, Father Small and others joined in the celebration. The pews at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co- Cathedral were all filled yesterday afternoon. Tents and chairs were set up outside as well to accommodate the huge crowd of teachers, Belmopan residents and guests from all over the country. Former PUP leader Francis Fonseca strolled in to pay his respects. He was then joined by PUP Leader John Briceno.

    Artists "Hib Am" For Leela
    And this week's other official funeral is on Thursday in Punta Gorda town. That's the one for Lila Vernon who died at the age of 66 on Sunday 19th. February. Last night, her fellow artists had a celebration of her life with a tribute concert at the Bliss Center where Leela's favorite phrase, "hib am long sho" was in full effect.

    Channel 5

    Mark Seawell to Learn Fate in Extradition Case Next Week
    The brothers Seawell – Mark, Gary and Duane – have been a staple of Belizean newscasts for more than a decade now.  That’s how long they have been fighting extradition [...]

    Accused in Traffic Death of 6 Year-Old Unable to Make High Bail
    Forty-three-year-old Albert Martinez of Western Paradise, Belize District is at the Central Prison this evening, unable to make a whopping twenty-thousand-dollar bail set for six traffic related offenses in the [...]

    Did Dorian Pakeman Violate Bail Condition with Trip to U.S.?
    Government of Belize chief press officer, Dorian Pakeman is due back in court on March tenth.  He faces a charge of causing death by careless conduct for the traffic fatality [...]

    Andre Vega Still in Hiding, But Attorney Confirms Service of Claim for Repayment of Compensation
    Where is Andre Vega, son of former Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega? The Government wants to know, because it has been looking for him for months to serve him [...]

    Mark Tench and Vernon Leslie to Appear Before Senate Select Committee
    The Senate Special Select Committee will be meeting in public on Wednesday, March first, with two witnesses scheduled to testify. News Five has learned that those witnesses will be Immigration [...]

    S.S.B. Considering Purchase of $55 Million in B.T.L., B.E.L. Shares
    Eleven million shares, valued at fifty-five million Belize dollars – seven million in Belize Telemedia Limited and four million in Belize Electricity Limited – are up for purchase by the [...]

    S.S.B. Making Investment, Not Helping Government
    The former Government C.E.O. does not claim to know the Government’s motivations for making this offer at this time, although Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed last week that Government always [...]

    The People’s Referendum, Five Years After
    It has been five years since thousands of Belizeans voted in an unofficial referendum called “The People’s Referendum” coordinated and spearheaded by The Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage and [...]

    Drone Warning Ahead of La Ruta Maya Race
    The use of drones has become more prevalent—both for private and commercial use. Today, a notice was issued to drone operators by the regulatory body charged with oversight of aviation [...]

    Regulations in Place to Manage Drone Usage
    There are general rules that apply for all drone operations. The aerial vehicle can only be flown to a maximum height of four hundred feet and closer to aerodromes, that [...]

    2 Charged in Connection with the Assault of a Belize City Man
    A son of the late George “Junie Balls” McKenzie Senior was before the court today where he was charged jointly with well-known figure, Henry Gillett, aka “Pulu” of Majestic Alley. [...]

    Why S.S.B. Needs Your Money to Pay for Pension Increase
    Pensioners have been granted a five-percent increase in their monies offered by the Social Security Board for those earning more than three hundred and twenty dollars per week, to match [...]

    Outstanding Cadet Recognized by Police
    Precinct Three Police today recognized an outstanding cadet from their corps of thirty. After performing exceptionally well, an eleven year old was selected as the best cadet for the month [...]

    Celebrating the Life of Leela Vernon
    As the country prepares to put her to rest, Leela Vernon’s sprit was alive on Monday night.  A tribute to honor the iconic ambassador of Belizean Creole culture took place [...]

    Final Farewell to Bishop O.P. Martin
    Beloved Bishop Emeritus OP Martin was laid to rest at Belmopan’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral, as was his wish. The Bishop had been ailing for some time and passed [...]

    CTV3

    OWTC And Orange Walk East Area Representative Over State Of Infrastructure
    The back and forth between Orange Walk Town Council Mayor Kevin Bernard and Orange Walk East area representative Hon. Elodio Aragon over the state of infrastructure in Orange Walk East has resumed after Aragon wrote Mayor Bernard today suggesting that the town council should move quickly to pave streets which he has done works on, in the constituency. In his letter, Aragon tells the Mayor that he has been [quote] the only one undertaking the upgrading of streets in the Louisiana Area [unquote] and that the streets have been prepared for chip and seal to be added. Aragon then accuses the Mayor of neglecting streets in the Louisiana area. Now, if you know anything about Mayor Bernard, you will know that he doesn’t blink at just anything and also that he isn’t one to back down from a rumble, politically-speaking. So, in true battle-ready style, the Mayor responded to Aragon’s letter in stinging rebuke of his assertions. Firstly, the Mayor expresses gratitude that Aragon admitted his limitations and therefore must turn to the Council for the street works to be completed. Bernard notes that his Council is willing and able to complete the works.

    Andre Vega To Face Justice System
    Andre Vega, the Son of former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, today remains in the center of a land scandal involving a parcel of prime real estate near the Haulover Creek, which was wrongfully sold to him and for which he received a hefty compensation. The land was acquired by the Ministry of Natural Resources back in 2013 and despite warnings that it was privately owned, the prime real estate of land was subdivided into two plots, one went to Andre and the other to U.D.P. insider Sharon Pitts. A fault which cost the Government roughly eight hundred thousand dollars which was tendered in smaller amounts to Vega and Pitts as compensation for the cheaply bought land. When the matter came to light, public outrage blew up forcing Vega to resign from cabinet and government to initiate proceeding to recover the almost one million dollars from Andre and Pitts. After attempts made by former Attorney General Vanessa Retreage, Pitts was served with her court claim and has filed her defense. Andre Vega on the other hand could not be located and served with legal documents, according to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte. But that was until yesterday.

    SIF Donates To ESTM
    Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico high school was in celebratory mood today as it rolled out the red carpet to welcome a major donation of brand new lab equipment handed over by the Social Investment Fund. A brief ceremony held at the institution’s conference room this afternoon, opened with the school’s ESTM Ambassador’s band playing a lively rendition of the national anthem, followed by a welcome address from the school principal and then right into the formal handing over of the donation. Presenting the items on behalf of SIF was their Technical Officer for the Northern Region, Freddi Cabb, who told us that the donation represents the first phase in a larger project funded with support from the Caribbean Development Bank.

    Fire Department Issues Precautionary Measures Against Wild Fires
    A few days ago the Forest Department announced the official opening of the Forest Fire Season which is believed will be more intense this year due to the detrimental effects caused by Hurricane Earl in August of 2016. We understand that the Chief Forest Officer along with other regional foresters have already met to review and establish plans to combat the anticipated increase in cases of forest fires. Here in Orange Walk wild fires are already affecting the Sugar Industry resulting in product and financial loss for cane farmers. The incident prompted stakeholders of the industry to work hand in hand to avoid further losses and now everyone is on high alert. Bearing in mind that wild fires can result in the destruction of vegetation and households, and even threaten lives, we spoke to Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk Fire Department, Miguel Medina who shared with us several precautionary measures to avoid fire incidences.

    Did Dorian Pakeman Breached Court Order?
    On January 10th Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Government Press office, appeared in court on a single charge of: Causing death by careless conduct following a traffic accident back in March of 2016 where Biscayne Mechanic, Dean Dawson lost his life. As it had previously been reported, citing the nature of the charge levied on him, Pakeman was granted bail by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer who ordered that he cannot leave the country without first notifying the court that he must travel, but was not asked to surrender his passport. A report on the Amandala newspaper on February 13th however, indicated that Pakeman had violated the court’s bail conditions, after a picture was posted by a friend of Pakeman on social media which shows him at a basketball game in the US the week of the 12th of February.

    Mr. Belize Head Columbus Ohio To Represent In Arnold Classic
    Three well-known Belizean bodybuilding athletes are preparing to represent Belize on the world-stage. The country’s buffest, five-time Mr. Belize bodybuilding champ Rigo Vellos, is leaving tomorrow to participate in the Arnold Sports Festival to be held in Columbus, Ohio. Two other athletes Oyinkro Akpobodor and Aurel Lewis will also compete. The Festival features the very popular Arnold Classic competition which attracts athletes from all over the world. Vellos will be participating for the second time, since his first entry in 2014 in the Light Heavy-weight category in which he placed 9th. Today we met him at the Spartan Gym in Corozal Town and he told us why he believes he is better prepared this time around. Rigo Vellos, 5x Mr. Belize: “The Arnold Classic competition is a very hard competition that is where you compete with the best of the best from around the world in the Amateur level and my expectations are to represent Belize very well, I had already competed out there in 2014 and I came in ninth and I am hoping this time it will be a better placement for me and Belize. I had to make sure that I grow meaning in am in weight, body size, muscle size, the last time I completed in the 90 kilos and this time I am going to compete in the 100 kilos I took trace break to make sure that I grow in the sport, learning tricks, get more experience at other places and grow basically mentally and physically. Having the experience then you now more or less what to expect out there, how to prepare, how you need to look, so the experience is really, really helping me this time and am making sure that I go up far better prepared than I went compared to when I went to 2014.”

    LOVE FM

    Standard Six Student Named January’s Police Cadet of the Month
    An 11-year-old girl from Queen Street Baptist School has been named Police Cadet of the Month for January 2017. An official acknowledgement took place this afternoon on the compound of Precinct Three on Queen Street in Belize City where thirty fellow cadets gathered. Deputy Commander for Precinct Three, Assistant Superintendent of Police Anacely Petillo gave […]

    Music Ambassador’s 2016 Year in Review
    Shyne Barrow is the son of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In April 2010 he was appointed as Belize’s Music Ambassador; a move that many were and remain displeased with. Today the Music Ambassador was put to task on social media in terms of his efforts and work done in promoting local artist. Shyne’s response was […]

    Retired Catholic Bishop Laid to Rest
    A state funeral for the late Most Reverend Osmond Peter Martin was in Belmopan at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral. As we said earlier in our newscast, hundreds of Belizeans from all walks of life came out to bid farewell to Bishop Martin. The eulogy was delivered by Meliton Auil. MELITON AUIL “I have […]

    Amandala

    Child, 6, killed in front of mother by speeding vehicle
    Ashanti Pollard, 6, was tragically killed in front of her mother by a speeding vehicle at around 6:30 on Sunday night. The Infant 1 student at Wesley Primary School had spent the day with her mother, Dawn Swasey, at the home of another relative in Hattieville, where they had made Creole bun. However, they returned to Belize City and were walking to their home on Fabers Road Extension when a vehicle struck Pollard from behind, separating her from her mother, whose hand she was holding at the time. Pollard suffered from head and body injuries and died on the scene. Her mother suffered minor injuries to her left hand, left foot and left hip, all classified as harm by a medical doctor. The dried-up remains of Pollard’s blood can still be seen at the intersection of Fabers Road Extension and Krooman Road, where she was hit.

    Salvadoran escapes from the Belize Central Prison
    At about 11:00 yesterday morning, Sunday, a Salvadoran inmate of the Belize Central Prison, Jonathan Galan, 34, reportedly imprisoned for drug trafficking, escaped from the Kolbe Foundation facility, and police and prison officers have launched a manhunt to recapture him. A report to us is that the prisoner, who was a trustee, took food to the guards and went back to the barracks. He then returned to retrieve the plates and again, went back to the barracks. When the head count was made at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon, however, Galan was nowhere to be found, and the alarm was raised. The officers quickly mobilized and began a search for him. It is not yet known how he escaped, or where he is headed.

    Sticky-fingered cop sentenced to 3 months for theft
    A police constable who was interdicted from duty in late 2014, pending the outcome of a case of theft, will most likely be dismissed from the Belize Police Department because he was found guilty of theft this morning and sentenced to three months in prison. Police Constable Jamil Scott was charged with one count of theft for a Kenwood police radio that had gone missing from a police pickup that was parked in front of the Racoon Street Police Station. Scott’s girlfriend at the time, Chelsia Zapata, 28, was charged with one count of handling stolen goods. After Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith summarized the evidence presented during the trial, she found Scott guilty, but found that Zapata was not guilty of handling stolen goods because she had no idea that the radio which Scott had put in her handbag was government property that he had stolen from the Police Department. After Chief Magistrate Smith found Scott guilty, she ordered that he be held in custody until sentencing, which was today.

    SSB wants to buy $55 million BTL and BEL shares
    The Social Security Board (SSB) intends to purchase $55 million in utility shares, following the reopening of an offer from the Government of Belize which was abandoned last year. The offer is being reintroduced as the new budget year approaches, and amid a possible default on the February payment of the super-bond, with a next big payment to the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) becoming due in just a few months. Around June of last year, when the arbitration tribunal which ruled against the Government handed down an award of nearly half-a-billion dollars to the former owners of BTL, the Government had signaled that it would divest of some of the shares in the utility companies to help settle the tab. An offer was made to the SSB but the Government withdrew it. At the time, the offer was for $40 million in BEL shares and $15 million in BTL shares, to net $55 million, and another $5 million in utility shares would have been offered separately to the public.

    Victoria Street woman’s charge upgraded to manslaughter
    –On Valentine’s Day, most people who have significant other persons in their lives try to express sentiments associated with love. This past Valentine’s Day, however, a woman on Victoria Street had a domestic dispute with her common-law husband and allegedly pushed him down a flight of stairs, fatally injuring him. Geneva Estrada, an unemployed who was charged with dangerous harm to her common-law husband, Eric Moss, was released on bail, but when Moss succumbed to his injuries at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, police rearrested Estrada and charged her with manslaughter. Estrada appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza this morning, and he read the upgraded manslaughter charge to her. Magistrate Mendoza explained to Estrada that he would not take a plea from her, because the offense is indictable and will be tried at the Supreme Court. Magistrate Mendoza also explained to Estrada that for the offense of manslaughter, his court could not offer her bail, but she could apply to the Supreme Court for bail.

    Kremandala chairman Evan X Hyde addresses Christian Workers Union AGM
    A small group from the membership of the Christian Workers Union, (CWU) which represents around 10 different entities, including Port of Belize stevedores and employees of the Belize Central Bank and the Belize Social Security Board, gathered at the University of the West Indies School of Continuing Education this afternoon for the union’s Annual General Meeting and the election of a new president who will lead the union for the next three years. The theme for the AGM was ‘CWU — the Union dah you, me and all ah we!’ The guest speaker for the AGM was Amandala publisher and Kremandala’s chairman, Evan X Hyde. Hyde’s address was a tour de force in the history of trade unionism in Belize, beginning with the first trade union, the General Workers Union (GWU) which began in 1944, which would later be “the roots foundation upon which the People’s United Party (PUP) was founded in 1950.”

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    Everything was going right for the Western Ballaz on Friday night at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio, following a deep trey by Richard Troyer, which gave his team (Western Ballaz) the seemingly unsurmountable 72-55 fourth quarter lead with just about 6:46 remaining in regulation. But seven team turnovers, two apiece by Richard Troyer and Darwin Leslie, coupled with three missed field goal attempts, of which two were from long distance, were the key components that fueled the 19-9 Bandits run that managed to cut the deficit to five, 79-74, with 0:44 remaining in the game. Fortunately for the Ballaz, they converted 3 of 8 free-throw attempts late, with Elsworth Itza (9 pts 9 rebs) converting 2 of 4, and Ray Cruz (6 pts 4 rebs) converting 1 of 4; these, coupled with their cushy lead, enabled them to seal the 81-74 win. The Bandits came into Ballaz country boasting a decent (3-1) record, and hastily took the early 15-9 lead behind Farron Louriano and Stephen Williams scoring 11 of their team’s first 15 points. The Ballaz responded quickly, though, and as a result, enjoyed the 20-17 first quarter lead.

    National Beach Soccer Team returns; Marlon Meza top goal scorer
    Returning home today from the Bahamas was the National Beach Soccer Team of Belize, who had spent a week participating in the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship 2017. Belize failed to make the playoff round, after defeating Jamaica in a penalty shootout (after drawing 5-5 in regulation), but losing to home team Bahamas, 3-0, and to Guyana, 4-1, to finish at the bottom of our four-team group. In the ensuing tournament ranking series against other group losers, Belize rattled off three consecutive victories on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, against Virgin Islands, 6-4; Barbados, 6-2; and Turks & Caicos, 9-4; thus completing our participation with 4 wins out of 6 games played, for a final ranking of 13th out of the 16 teams in the tournament.

    Bandits still undefeated, Wagiya winless at Week 5 of PLB Closing Season
    After 4 Sunday games in Week 5 action this past weekend in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season, defending champions Belmopan Bandits SC remain undefeated at the top of the standings, while Wagiya FC is still winless, although they have a Week 2 back match remaining against FC Belize. Wagiya suffered their fourth loss yesterday, a 2-nil shutout at home in Dangriga to surging Placencia Assassins, who got both goals from Luis “Baaka” Torres (39’ & 52’). After dropping their first two outings to Verdes and then BDF, the Assassins are on a steady keel, following a draw against Police United with consecutive victories over FC Belize and now Wagiya. Meanwhile, down in Punta Gorda, home standing Freedom Fighters FC were surprised with 3 first half goals from visiting Belmopan Bandits SC, who held on for the 3-nil victory. Bandits’ goals were by Honduran Jairo Rochez (37’ & 78’) and Humberto Requena (43’).

    Editorial: What happened to the youth?
    We have pointed out to you before in these editorial pages that the role being played by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) in the activist forefront of our socio-politics properly belongs to the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), in the first instance, and to the young people of Belize, in the second. The PUP was a roots, labor union-based political party which was taken over by big money over the last quarter century, say. The PUP of 2017 is not the PUP of 1950, or the PUP of 1969. It is not even the PUP of 1981, because in 1981 the social justice PUP Leader, Rt. Hon. George Price, was still in effect. The PUP today does not have the roots credibility the party was enjoying in 1950, 1969, and even 1981. The question of the young people of Belize is the question with which we are concerned today. We need to look at some modern-era history here, and we wish to preface our remarks by saying that we want to open a discussion: we do not wish to pontificate. But, facts are stubborn things, as it is said.

    Hopkins resident complains about Seiri Del Mar development project
    Dear Editor, I am a resident of Hopkins (born in Virginia), and I stroll the northern end of the village most mornings. The beautiful sounds and scenes of the village and nature, however, are being suffocated by the irresponsible approach used in developing Seiri Del Mar. The developers blatantly break environmental laws, causing a loss of quality of life for every villager in Hopkins. Seiri Del Mar continues to destroy acres of mangroves, dig and remove all wetlands, and fill them with millions of cubic tons of clay and stone. The destruction of the environment is inexcusable and possibly criminal. The destruction of our infrastructure is equally appalling. The endless columns of trucks entering and exiting the village ruin our roads, shake our houses, and cause leaks in our water pipes. The amount of resources wasted on another high-end resort is mind-boggling.

    From the lady, Therese Belisle-Nweke
    Dear Editor, I read with growing incredulity and sadness the complaint by two expatriates – Gary and Betty – that the Belizean Customs and Immigration Department “leaned on them” wrongfully when they arrived in Consejo from a Chetumal trip, during which they had shopped and purchased some Mexican goods. (See “Expats Gary and Betty say Consejo Customs ‘leaning on them’ wrongfully” – AMANDALA 25th February, 2017). This letter was a mixture of incredible arrogance, condescension and contradictions beneath its sugar-coated intro. In one breath, we are told that this couple are retiree expats existing on “meagre retirement funds” who are now living in “paradise” Belize. In the next, we are patronisingly informed that it is their expats MILLIONS that are helping to keep Belize afloat. “They”, they affirm, are “a major part of the financial solution to Belize’s economic problems” and, if Belize’s Customs and Immigration Department continues with its “negative and aggressive attitude YOUR (that is, Belize’s) economic miseries will just get worse”.

    Getting ready for a global pandemic
    We live in a world where for the last 40 years everyone faces the risk of being infected by antibiotic-resistant bugs and contagious, infectious diseases. Humanity has become complacent to the global threat of new and re-emerging infectious diseases (such as: T.B.—reemerging; the Avian flu that impacted as many as 40 countries; sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS; Ebola; Cholera; MRSA—a Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (that’s a mouthful) MRSA is pronounced: mer-sa, and is a skin-eating bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, is contagious, and rapidly progressing throughout the continental United States, and globally). Therefore, getting ready for a global pandemic is just as important as nuclear deterrence or avoiding the imminent repercussions of global warming catastrophes. At the Munich Security Conference on bioterrorism, which occurred from February 17 – 19, 2017, philanthropist and Microsoft computer founder, Bill Gates warns that a “global pandemic is right around the corner…could break out in as little as 10 to 15 years.” Gates said, “We are underprepared for a global pandemic but we have the technology to work on vaccines and other drugs; we just need the investment.”

    Evan X Hyde’s address to the CWU AGM
    The settlement of Belize, which became the colony of British Honduras in 1862, and then achieved political independence as Belize in 1981, was developed by slave labor, in the first instance, and then by non-unionized labor after slaves were technically freed in 1838. When Antonio Soberanis led unemployed workers in desperate agitation in depressed Belize Town in 1934, there were no trade or labor unions in Belize. As far as I am aware, the first labor union of consequence in British Honduras was the General Workers Union, which began around 1944. The General Workers Union, led by Clifford Betson and Henry Middleton, was a great union, and it was the roots foundation upon which the People’s United Party was founded in 1950. Soon, the executives of the GWU and the PUP became similar in personnel, and when the PUP won national elections in British Honduras in 1954 and 1957, it was in coalition with the GWU. The nationalist, anti-colonial politicians of Belize ran under the banner of PUP/GWU. As older Belizeans know, there was a historic power struggle in the PUP around August/September of 1956, and it resulted in Hon. George Price replacing Mr. Leigh Richardson as PUP Leader, while Hon. Philip Goldson, a PUP official, was also overthrown. The substantive issue involved here was disagreement over the West Indian Federation, and this issue was complicated by the reality of ethnic discrimination in the colony.

    Ray Coleman, chairman of Forest Home, decries village conditions
    The chairman of Forest Home Village in Toledo, Ray Coleman, led a group of protestors, including youths, who on Friday took to the village streets to decry what they say are unbearable conditions that threaten the health and safety of people in their community. In an interview with PGTV, Coleman said that the villagers were protesting against what he describes as an injustice: the destruction of village roads by trucks taking quarry materials from the area, causing a dust nuisance. Coleman said that the excessive dust has been affecting his community for the last 25 years, and it happens every dry season. “Today, our villagers decided to put a stop to it. Also, the condition of our roads; the roads are in the worst condition,” he added. Coleman demanded that, “…this has to stop, it has to stop…” The chairman also complained that the garbage situation is overwhelming. He told PGTV that he had sent a letter to the Town Council, complaining of the dumping of garbage in their community, but it has not been stopped.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Former BDF drowns in San Roman
    Oswaldo Toledano, 37, was last seen alive on Saturday at a wedding in San Roman, but on Tuesday he was found dead floating in the Rio Hondo River. Toledano is a former BDF solider and his mother told the media that he was a habitual drinker but was never involved in anything other than drinking.

    Fuel prices rise AGAIN
    Although the price of crude oil remains low in international markets, in Belize the prices continue to increase . Late midnight the prices of diesel and regular gasoline rose by one and two cents respectively. Diesel now stands at $9.07 per gallon while regular stands at $9.62 per gallon.

    Civil Aviation issues drone advisory
    Today, the Belize Department of Civil Aviation issued a statement reminding the general public that the operation of drones within a five-mile radius of any public or private airport without the explicit written consent from the Director of Civil Aviation is strictly prohibited. Further, any person wishing to utilize a drone for the filming of the upcoming La Ruta Maya River challenge must obtain written permission along with operating limitations from the Department of Civil Aviation.

    GOB and Ashcroft headed to Supreme Court
    The government of Belize and the Belize Bank Limited, owned by Michael Ashcroft, are headed to the Supreme Court of Belize in March for another round of legal battles. Both sides went before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Monday, who set the trial date for March 13. Counsel for Belize Bank, Eamon Courtenay S.C., explained that the Belize Bank is challenging the injunction that GOB received from the court, which prohibits the bank from attaching Belize’s foreign assets abroad, to settle an arbitration award.

    Pitts and Vega to appear in court
    After walking away with almost one million dollars from government coffers, Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega will be going to court as the government attempts to recover those monies. Pitts has been served with her claim and has filed her defense. Andre Vega was served yesterday and his attorney will have 28 days to file a defense.

    PUP meets with Belize Chamber of Commerce to discuss re-registration
    Today, the People’s United Party (PUP) met with executive members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the upcoming budget and the need for a clean-up of the voter registration list through a re-registration process as required by the law. The PUP is publicly demanding that government carry out a voter re-registration exercise before July 1st, 2017 and a re-division exercise after the true number of voters in each division has been determined by way of a re-registration exercise.

    Blogs

    A trip down the Belize River on a bamboo raft
    When I think about river rafting images of kayaks, canoes and even paddle boats come to mind. A raft made of only bamboo is not exactly what I have in mid. Yes, I am aware that bamboo rafts are a common means of transportation for some cultures, but not necessarily in Belize. However after trying it, I can declared bamboo river rafting a must do while in Belize! Where can you do this you may ask? Well at the Rainforest Adventure Zone (RAZ) located at mile 16.5 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the Belize District. The bamboo river rafting tour involves taking a scenic hike or tractor ride though RAZ’s grounds to the bank of the New River. Along the route to the river bank we spot a variety of wildlife and native plants in semi-deciduous forests found across the northern areas of Belize. During the, you guide will also show how fish ad bird traps can be made with items found in the forest. It’s worth the extra time walking to get an insight into the lives of hunters in Belize.

    Beautiful Photos by San Pedro Native Marlena Gomez And My Love, Instagram
    I absolutely adore Instagram. For me, it’s social media at its best. Photos. Words and hashtags optional. Much of the time, words really only mess things up. Follow along with the travels of a magazine editor, or the strange and fascinating life of a Hollywood starlet or your friend’s kids and meals… It also makes it easy for me to see what is going on in Belize. Pictures of yesterday’s Carnival…there. Folks swimming, diving and snorkeling up and down the Belize coast. Saw them. I know that the Belize Tourism Board is sponsoring visits from two Brazilian bloggers – the ones currently here at just leaving San Pedro. I try to follow everyone who is taking photos of Belize on a regular basis. And I have some favorites. One is Marlena Gomez – born and raised in San Pedro (SPHS Class of 2000). Somehow…in her spare time – photography is now a hobby – she captures each and every beautiful sunset, full moon and special event here in San Pedro.

    Be Bold! Retire to Belize in 2017
    Located on the Caribbean between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is one of the last remaining countries still blessed with an abundance of pristine nature. With over a third of the country set aside as a national park or protected reserve, Belize is a largely rural country with a laid-back and people-friendly attitude. And, thanks to generous policies instituted by the government, Belize is also one of the best countries in the world to move to, invest in, or retire to. Probably the easiest way to move to Belize is to take advantage of the generous terms of Belize’s Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program. Despite its name, the QRP program is open for qualifying individuals age 45 years or older who can demonstrate that they have a fixed income of $2,000 per month or more from Social Security, a pension, or other form of annuity. Qualifying individuals are then eligible to move their entire family to Belize as well as import all personal goods (including vehicles) tax and duty-free. To apply for the QRP program, it is best to consult with a lawyer. As general information, the program’s fees are quite reasonable, rarely exceeding $2,100 for a married couple. Depending on your needs and lifestyle, Belize is usually far more affordable for the average retiree than in most cities in North America. Retirees in Belize usually benefit from reduced costs thanks to an abundance of good weather (that promotes health and happiness), organic, locally-grown foods, very affordable medical care, and a relaxed lifestyle. Other expenses like housekeeping services can be had at very reasonable prices, rarely exceeding $20 a day.

    International Sourcesizz

    8 Reasons Belize Is Heaven For Adventure Junkies
    When you start looking up “Belize” for your travel itinerary, you’ll more than likely bear witness to a host of ads for cruises, all inclusive joints, and tours galore. If you prefer to be the captain of your own ship, though, you might be left dead in the water with what you should do or check out in Belize that doesn’t require a tour group. Luckily for the lot of you who prefer that, Belize is absolute heaven for adventurers. We’re well known to be a wonderland for those daring enough to dive deep into the wilderness, check out some of our favorite adventurous things:

    A visit to Bay Breeze in Corozal
    First I passed by the House of culture to take some picture of the start of the morning. Excitingly, I headed to Bay Breeze Restaurant to blog about in Corozal was quite interesting. Because I never knew how the people would reacted. Many people wants to know places to eat, relax and enjoy the beach in Corozal. Many may not know the town very well. If you're a tourist in town or just passing by, Bay Breeze Restaurant may be the place for you. On, Friday February 24th, 2017 the Grand Opening was held at Bay Breeze. They had lots of free shots, drinks and fun music. It commenced at 3pm all through out the night. Then, on Saturday live music was played at the water front view. Its is very comfortable and great atmosphere You can also see the water view even from the inside. Walking inside the restaurant seeing the theme as Boat theme, I liked the new renovation. It has that Caribbean theme look and an Island theme. One entrance I saw was a light house on both sides. Located near the beautiful bay of Corozal Town, Bay Breeze restaurant is the new "cool spot" offering a laid back environment with outstanding customer service, authentic food, innovative cocktails and fun entertainment.

    Villagers in Belize Benefit From Utah Water Drill
    A human powered drill developed in Utah is being used in third world countries to provide access to water. In February, more than 1,000 residents living in a remote fishing and agricultural village were the first in Belize to benefit from the technology. Sugar cane fields surround the homes of families living in Chunox, Belize. Located in the Corozal District of the nation, the people there pay on average, $45 USD per month for water. Most families are reported to earn of monthly income of $300 USD. Drinking water is ferried to families by boat or brought to homes by family members who have to travel some distance to the town well. Bottled water is expensive and not always available. “Now, with the drill, that’s going be able to cut it down [the cost] to $15 US dollars per month,” said Austin Elder, a filmmaker from Nibley, Utah who is documenting the project. Elder is among a group of volunteers from Utah, Arizona and Washington working to help the nearly 1,000 residents in the area access clean and cheap water.

    Belize City travel guide
    Almost all visitors to Belize find themselves in the country's largest city at one point or another, but unfortunately Belize City is not an attractive destination for most. The majority of travelers who come here are merely passing through – Belize City is the transportation hub for all international and domestic flights, as well as ferries leaving to Ambergris and Caye Caulker. But Belize City has some hidden jewels and nearby attractions that make it worth a visit. There are two airports in Belize City. The Goldson International Airport is located on the outskirts of town. A twenty minute private shuttle or taxi ride is the only option for transportation from the center of Belize City. There are both international and domestic flights departing from the Goldson airport. The Municipal Airport is located on the Belize City waterfront and provides frequent flights to various destinations all over the country. Domestic flights from the Municipal Airport tend to be cheaper than those leaving from the International Airport.

    Carnevale a Belize City
    Il Belize è un piccolo stato dell’America Centrale con un turbolento passato coloniale ricco di battaglie e avvenimenti, che hanno trovato un epilogo solamente nel 1981, anno in cui l’Honduras Britannico ottenne l’indipendenza e cambiò il proprio nome in Belize, da quello della vecchia capitale del Paese. Nel mese di settembre ricorrono due dei più importanti avvenimenti della sua storia, il giorno 10 si ricorda la battaglia di St. George’s Cay, nella quale furono sconfitti gli invasori spagnoli, mentre il 21 è il giorno dell’indipendenza. Il periodo compreso fra queste due date viene detto September Celebrations ed è susseguirsi di eventi, parate, concerti e festeggiamenti che coinvolgono tutto il territorio, che per l’occasione si veste letteralmente dei colori nazionali con bandiere, coccarde e striscioni esposti ovunque.

    Aging high-seas murder suspect out of hospital and back in court
    Silas Duane Boston, out of a hospital after apparent complications from heart and liver disease, returned to federal court Tuesday as a judge approved pretrial depositions and set a tentative October date for Boston to face trial for the 1978 murders of two British tourists who were allegedly hog-tied and thrown from his boat into the Caribbean. Boston, 75, a former Sacramento resident, also is being investigated in the 1968 disappearance of his former wife, Mary Lou Boston, who authorities believe was murdered and buried near a remote Northern California creek. Her body has never been found. As that investigation continues, Boston, who turns 76 on March 20, appeared in court in a wheelchair as U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez agreed to schedule depositions in April or May for four aging witnesses in the Caribbean murder case. Authorities say they want their testimony on the record as soon as possible in case they don’t live long enough to take the witness stand in Boston’s trial. One of those witnesses is Audrey Farmer, 92, of Oxfordshire, England, whose son, medical school graduate Christopher Farmer, was killed along with girlfriend Peta Frampton after taking an excursion on a boat Boston was operating in Belize. Their bodies, tied up and weighed down, were found off the coast of Guatemala. Authorities also are due to call Farmer’s sister, Penelope Farmer, as well as a British law enforcement official and a forensic scientist from Guatemala who investigated the case.

    Belize aims for third restructuring
    Belize missed an interest payment on its only international bond issue this week, as the country tries to swing its third restructuring in a decade. The Central American nation has been haggling with creditors since late last year, hoping to amend the terms on its US$530m 2038 bond issue, which itself was the end-result of the two previous make-overs. But bondholders have dismissed its proposal to slash coupon payments to 4% per year from 5% currently - and well off the 6.767% rate scheduled to kick in as of August 20. The sovereign also wants to alter the principal repayments schedule from 38 semi-annual installments set to begin in 2019 to three equal amortizations in 2036, 2037 and 2038. Bondholders say that would reduce the net present value of the bonds by 40%. The notes have been quoted anywhere between 39 and 45 cents to the dollar over the past few months. In addition to the money, however, the two sides are sharply divided over the creditors' demand for an economic plan endorsed by the International Monetary Fund.

    Videos

  • Howler Monkey Hollaring, 1min. I think it's a male.

  • Childhood Obesity on the Rise in the Caribbean, 6min. February 9th marked a historic event for the Caribbean as stakeholders in Public Health gathered to discuss the way forward in addressing a now major issue. Here’s more from our Belize Now Team …

  • Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 11min. I am here with Tuff E Nuff Tours and Las Terrazas Resort

  • Good morning from Las Terrazas Resort, 5min.

  • Hatchet Caye, Belize - February 27, 2017, 2min. Snorkeling with Turtles in Belize. Sharks, eagle sting rays.

  • Freediving Belize Barrier Reef 2016, 20min. This is the freediving, snorkeling portion of our trip to Belize in 2016. I ran out of juice before we chased manatees, but didn't get to see them anyhow. The footage shows various areas of the Belize Barrier Reef, and shore diving in places we'd stay. Lots of life in these waters!

  • Belize vs TCI Highlights, 3min.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize - Go slow and Belize it!, 2.5min. Beauty tiny island in Belize.

  • Snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine reserve - Caye Caulker - Belize, 1.5min. Hol Chan Marine reserve - Cayo Ambergris - Belize.

  • 2017 Die Schollis in Belize und Guatemala, 8min. Kurze Zusammenfassung unser Reise im Februar 2017

  • Living off the Grid Belize , The Adventure Begins, 4.5min. The first leg in our "Living off the Grid Belize" challenge begins in the town of Dangriga, located on the shore of the Caribbean.

  • Belize's Ambassadors yo CARICOM - Outcomes of the Twenty - Eight Inter Sessional Meeting, 28min.

  • Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) - Report on Improvements & Updates / Finance, KHMH, 30min.

  • Grace Kennedy Belize Celebrates 35th Anniversary in Belize, 23min.

  • NTUCB - An overview on the OSH Bill ( Occupational & Safety & Health Bill), 44min.

  • Institute for Social & Cultural Research (ISCR) - Preserving the history of Belize, 31min.

  • Belize Kidney Association (KAB) - Upcoming Events, 14min.

  • Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, and Barack Obama present at the San Pedro Carnaval! Los Barbies Comparsas!, 2min.

  • El Gran Carnaval De San Pedro on its third and final day, 1.5min. Come out and be part of the tradition!

  • Our National Animal - The Tapir, 2min. Could have been there for a while, but i left him/her, there to refresh more..enjoy...

  • Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, and Barack Obama all rolled up into one. San Pedro Carnaval! Los Barbies Comparsas!, 12min.

  • Doña Flora's Group Day 3, 9min.

  • San Pedro AIDS Commission Last Day of Comparsas, 8min.

  • CARNAVAL Día 2, 2.5min. Our powerful message got through with some of the most colorful and beautiful under the sea creatures in our Belize waters

  • Belize 2017 rays and sharks, 4min. A clip of stingrays, eagle rays and nurse sharks. Sharks are very friendly and come up and bump the camera.

  • Immersioni in Belize 2016, 15min. La Blu Diving School Torino in viaggio in Belize tra dicembre 2016 e gennaio 2017. Fantastiche immersioni: paradiso!! Squali, tartarughe, ecc.!!

  • Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, Belize, 2.5min. The Green hills butterfly ranch is roughly a forty minute drive from San Ignacio.

  • BELIZE~with Bobby Joe Faye, 7min. Bobby Joe Faye is in Belize and Loving the tropics and People. Enjoy this video as Bobby Joe talks with vacationers and the Lovely Locals.

  • Omoa, Honduras to Sapodilla Cayes, Belize, 1min. Boat which carries passengers from Omoa, Honduras to Zapodilla Cayes, Belize.

  • Zip-lining in Belize, 8min.

  • WHEN RAYMOND GONGORA REVOLUTIONIZED BELIZEAN THEATER! (PART ONE), 31min. 1970s Belizean theater can be dubbed as "The Belizean Artistic Renaissance" since its period of high quality accomplished Belizean drama taken from the streets of Belize City and the underlining Creole villages of Belize District carried the narratives of Belizean ancestors of African Creole folklore. But these stories would not have been preserved if it was not for the work of a drama group from Belize City called, "The Square Peg Players", that was the brilliant brainchild of the legendary Belizean actor, playwright, and visionary, Raymond Gongora. Gongora's range as an artistic interpreter was seen in his ability to take the language of the common day Belizean folk of the 1970s Belize, and captured it in prose and drama. He was the architect of Belizean comedy theater pulling from the incredible works of legendary Belizean artists and playwrights like Evan X Hyde, George Gabb and Sandra Coye. He turned these works into masterpieces of Belizean artistic freedom that served as a main source of entertainment at that time when radio was the only medium of communication and the coming of television was never even realized.


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