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3/11/2017 to 3/20/2017
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Today's Belize News

March 20, 2017


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

Police Report: Drug Trafficking
On Friday, March 10th, San Pedro Police searched a male minor at a local dock, after he was seen carrying a black school bag. The search led to the discovery of six parcels of cannabis inside the bag, amounting to a total of 2,491 grams. He was arrested and charged in the presence of his mother for the offence of ‘drug trafficking’.

Letter to the Editor: A successful blood drive in Caye Caulker
« Older: Jordanie Olivera’s tragic death underscores the lack of adequate health care services on the island Letter to the Editor: A successful blood drive in Caye Caulker Sunday, March 19th, 2017 Dear Editor: The Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Branch (BRCSPB) held their first Caye Caulker Blood Drive on March 4th at the Caye Caulker Clinic. 21 pints of precious blood were collected, along with over $1100 in donations. The BRCSPB would like to extend sincere thanks to the following businesses and individuals for their generous support; Noelle Gray and volunteers, Nurse Chris Diego, Joni Miller, Principle of Ocean Academy, and the student volunteers, Caye Reef Condos, Seadreams Hotel, Seaside Cabanas, Villa Almendra, Southside Pizza, The Lazy Lizard, Sub-Away and Wish Willy’s. The Blood Drive was a huge success due to the help of these caring friends and neighbors.

Wolfe’s Woofer: Brave Hunter
Bob Emmons and I sat on the front porch and had some liquid refreshment. It was our first chance to talk in the five years since Bob moved from Ambergris Caye. His ranch was at the edge of the jungle near Spanish Lookout over by the Guatemalan border. “This is a beautiful place you have here,” I told him. “It’s nice living out here in the bush,” Bob said. “Everything is quiet and peaceful.” “Hey, do you have any paths in the jungle that I could hike on?” I asked, after a while. “I’m feeling adventurous.” “Sure.”

San Pedro Police statistics show a quiet February
The San Pedro Police Department has released crime statistics for the month of February. There was a steady decrease in major crimes, while burglary recorded higher in the second month of 2017. The report also indicates most of the major crime cases ended in arrest. Other crimes, including wounding, harassing, harm, and damage to property, also experienced a decrease during February. One murder was registered that month, becoming the first of the year for the island. Island resident and activist Felix Ayuso was brutally stabbed to death on February 1st. Police continue investigating. Most of the February crime incidents took place in downtown San Pedro. Police also carried out raids, seizing ammunition and drugs such as Marijuana and Cocaine, making several arrests in the process. The majority of arrests (18) were for possession of marijuana. Police are also pleased to report an increase in crime response and patrols, in order to deter criminal activity.

Doctor Love: Mirror, Mirror
Dear Doctor Love, I have a friend I have been close to since baby days. We grew up together and graduated school together. But I find it more and more difficult to want to be around her. She has become so needy – and has such low self-esteem – that all she seems to focus on is the wrinkle under her right eye or her lip is fuller on one side than the other side. Her concerns about her appearance are really getting on my nerves. She comes right out and asks for compliments, like “I really suck at putting on make-up. How do I look?” She will starve herself for days to lose what she thinks are fat rolls, then share photos on the internet about how she lost weight but needs to lose more. She is not fat, she has a great figure, and all of her friends rush to tell her that she is beautiful the way she is, but she is always making negative comments about herself. She wants a nose job and a little liposuction here, here and here. It is endless and I think it is a game to get attention. She has noticed that I don’t hang out as much, and has started asking why. What do I tell her? /s/ Mirror, Mirror

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Belize Weekly Fishing Report, March 12 thru March 19, 2017
A lot of anglers staying at the lodge this week fighting the strong winds but managing to get it done. An enjoyable week with many new friends. A tough week of fishing with strong winds and muddy waters. Every day the anglers we able to boat a few bones though. The bonefish are hungry, so when the weather settles, they are eating heavily. Next week forecast is for lighter winds and sunny skies. Can’t wait.

BDF's Brigadier General David Jones was inducted into the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) International Hall of Fame!
The induction ceremomony took place on March 16, 2017, at the Lewis and Clark Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where General Jones was a student in 2007. Congratulations to Brigadier General (BG) David N. Jones, who was inducted into the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) International Hall of Fame! The induction ceremony took place on March 16, 2017, at the Lewis and Clark Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where BG Jones was a student in 2007. During the ceremony, BG Jones, accompanied by his two sons, David and Deron, spoke fondly of his time studying at CGSC and how the course prepared him to lead the Belize Defence Force.

Re-Painting of Pedro Mena Park
The Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo re-painted Padro Mena Park as few weeks ago it was vandalized. We want to thank the Rotarians that came from Cristo Rey to do community Service, also the neighbors that’s assisted in the painting.

Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project second Community Engagement
Yesterday the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project carried it out its second Community Engagement at the House of Culture. We had great weather and many enthusiastic visitors attended. Our engagement would not have been possible without the participation and assistance of so many people and organizations. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the following:

The Reporter

Fire official says Prince Street fire started on a bed
A fire which destroyed a house owned and occupied by Arilee Scott of Prince Street, was started on a bed on the upper flat. Operations Officer at the Fire Department, Benesford Matura told reporters on Thursday that the fire which started sometime after 7:00 a.m., on Wednesday morning was started by something on the bed, and that electrical fault had been ruled out altogether. At the time of the blaze, Scott was busy on the lower flat of the house and she had left her grandson, aged four, upstairs watching television.

OAS Sec. Gen. urges Belize and Guatemala to expedite referendum process
OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro visited Belize and Guatemala last week to urge our countries to expedite the process to hold national referenda about going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The urgency in that message has to do with the fact that funds which are provided to finance the OAS, and its office at the Adjacency Zone at the Western Border are quickly dissipating. The European countries that have been been sponsoring the office have indicated that their tax payers are now reluctant to continue to fund the project that has gone on for 11 years without any tangible solution. Almagro urged the officials to proceed with the referendum, since the ICJ seems to be the only answer to our dispute. “We agreed that we will continue to work diligently towards finding a peaceful permanent solution to the territorial dispute. Some of them (the talks) were related about implementing mechanisms of consultation to avoid – to make better management of incidents; the need to go on ahead with the referendum as early as possible, and that will allow us to take the case to the International Court of Justice,” Almagro said.

Ladyville resident drowns
A man from Ladyville reportedly drowned on Saturday. Unofficial reports are that Hipolito Mai, 22, a resident of Lake Gardens, Ladyville, drowned sometime Saturday afternoon in the Biscayne Village, about 13 miles further north. Police have not released any details of the incident as yet.

Belize and Guatemala officials resume talks to solve border dispute
While the relations between Belize and Guatemala are still not back to where we were before a 13 year-old Guatemalan boy was shot and killed in a cross fire by Belizean soldirrs on patrol in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve one April night in 2016, talks between our two countries over our border dispute resumed last week. On March 15, Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington and Belize’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), visited Guatemala to meet with their counterparts and the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, who emphasized the need for our countries to arrive at a definitive conclusion. The team visited border communities in Guatemala and flew over the Chiquibul National Reserve, which has been vastly affected by Guatemalan citizens who wantonly invade and pillage the forest for their survival.

Man shot Friday
Two men were shot on Friday night. Police say that sometime before 8:00 p.m., Marlon Tevin Garbutt, 21, of #130 Vernon Street was shot in the right foot. Garbutt was reportedly socializing in front of Gian Nei Chinese shop at #89 Vernon Street when he heard shots and ran. Just then, however, Garbutt realized he was shot. Police have no suspects.

Fatal shooting claims tour guide’s life; two more men shot in city
A tour guide of the Cayo district was shot and killed at the western border on Thursday night. Police say that about 8:50 that night, Carlos Manzanero was at Larios’ when he was shot in the abdomen, left hand and right knee Manzanero was from San Jose Succotz village. Meanwhile, the same night, two men were shot in Belize City. Police have only given the names as Sherlock Vernon, who was shot in the stomach, and Kemar Flores, who was shot in the leg.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Former PM Musa celebrates 73rd birthday
Former two term Prime Minister and Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), Rt. Hon. Said Musa, is celebrating his 73rd birthday today. As a youth, Musa could be seen selling tamales and ducunu before leaving Belize to pursue legal studies. Upon his return, the young Musa began to cut his teeth politically with persons such as black nationalists, Evan X Hyde; and socialist, Assad Shoman; who had both offered themselves in prior elections. Musa later rose to power at the helm of the PUP, being embraced by the Father of the Nation and leader emeritus, George Price.

“Some days you ride the tiger…my personal medical battle”
This picture of a stack of receipts represents the thousands of dollars I have paid to Belize Healthcare Partners, Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and Belize Medical Associates over the past month or so, and which I was able to do due to the extraordinary outpouring of support by family, friends and acquaintances near and far. Your moral and financial encouragement, assistance and support has touched me deeply. I am alive because you cared.I have not yet been able to visit my bank to determine some of the contributors to my account there and it is impossible at this point to tell who deposited what via online. I will make the effort this week to do so and will seek to publicly thank all those who did individually.

Videos

  • Santa Elena Sign, 10sec. The sign is almost done! The San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Council is spending this Sunday creating the Santa Elena sign. Great job! Elvis Aldana and Sheldon Trapp are painting the sign, and making it unique in every way.

  • Ascenthium Performing Simple Man, 6min. Ascenthium rocked Bamboo Bar on St. Patrick's Day, playing many of their own songs, along with some new covers. One of the best was Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man. "Wow! Great job, Ascenthium! What a concert!"

  • Dangriga Belize Beach, 1/2min.

  • Belize 2017, 4min.

  • Dive Belize, 4min.

  • Zip line Belize 2017, 9min.

  • 25 Pound Barracuda - Belize, 3min. Video of a fight to catch a 25 pound barracuda in Belize.

  • Madi Swims the Belize Reef, 5min. Madison Pearl may just be 11 years old, but she loves Belize. When she heard of threats of Offshore Oil Exploration in Belize she knew something had to be done. Her Epic Journey from North to South to explore and understand the importance of our Belize Barrier Reef has inspired us all To Love and Protect Belize, to Be Sensational, to Change Climate Change, to Say No To Offshore Oil Belize!

  • Belize Jaguar Project 2016, 9min. My experience participating in the Jaguar Project in Belize the summer of 2016!

  • Entrance to Barton Creek Caves, Belize, 15sec. We went to Barton Creek Caves and then canoed in! It was really neat seeing all the cave formations and learning how the Mayans used the cave system to worship the Gods and ceremonial purposes, such as.....sacrificing humans... there were 27 human skeletons still in there, many of which were children's. You could also see Mayan pottery. The natural pool at the entrance of the cave is a stunning spot to go for a swim!

  • Barton Creek Canoeing in Cayo District, Belize - Jan 2017, 3.5min.

  • Scuba Belize 2017, 8.5min.

  • Flying High in Belize, 9min. Walt & Nadine Schroeder parasailing off Harvest Caye, Belize.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize - Jan 2017, 5min.

  •  .  .Belize City.5 2015., 7min.

  • Hog head Cultural Festival at Macal River Park in San Ignacio, 5.5min.

    March 19, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    SPTC renovates Central Park Beach for Easter Holidays
    To make Easter festivities extra special and fun, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has embarked on a beach renovation project in front of the Central Park. About 15 truck-loads of sand will be used to enhance the beach, which will be the epicentre of most of the activities during the Holy week in April. SPTC’s Jorge Aldana believes that such refurbishment of the beach will accommodate better spacing for more activities during the festive periods throughout the year. “Easter season is coming and the beach by Central Park will be used for beach volleyball and other events,” said Aldana. “The DJ Association will also be using that area to host the official Easter events.” Compared to other years, the SPTC, along with the DJ Association, have agreed to have everyone at one area (Central Park) for a massive beach party. According to Aldana, after this beach renovation, the local authorities plan to start their beach reclamation project. “For us to do some beach reclamation we need to complete a series of scientific tests before we go and alter the environment,” said Aldana. He also stated that such a project is aimed to stop the rapid erosion the island’s eastern shores are experiencing.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    SPHS Male Softball Team wins National Tournament
    Congratulations to the San Pedro High School Male Softball Team on winning the 2017 National Softball Tournament!

    R.I.P. to Caye Caulker resident, Rob Allan
    The entire community is saddened by his passing. May his soul rest in peace.

    St Martins Crocodile Rescue
    Another croc rescue in Belize City. A really sad one this time as the croc was found with a rope around it's mouth, was easily caught by members of the public and it has obviously been starving for months, hence it's incredibly emaciated state. The croc was rushed to the Wildlife Vet in Cayo for immediate attention. They were so rough with this crocodile. Real sad. Let the experts do their job.

    Belizean killed in Melchor, Guatemala
    At 8:50 p.m. on Friday 17th March, 2017 near the Western border at the Larios establishment "Champon", Carlos "Botty" Manzanero, a Belizean Tourguide of San Jose Succotz received 1 gunshot to the right knee, 2 to the left hand and 5 shots to his abdomen. Manzanero was murdered in front of his wife. The police in Belize is aware of the murder. It will be investigated by Guatemala's police force and any official comments will come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since it occurred in a neighboring country which has an unfounded claim on Belize. Melchor is popular for Belizeans to buy cheap goods and to consume even cheaper beverages.

    Benque Sawdust Tapestries
    The Benque Sawdust Tapestries is a Good Friday tradition that encourages families,youths and children to work together to showcase something very symbolic for the Santo Entiero funeral procession, a solemn procession in the community of Benque Viejo. They invite anyone who wishes to sacrifice some time under the sun to create these beautiful tapestries on March 25th at 9 a.m. at the Benque House of Culture. For more information call 823-2697

    Deforestation in the Vaca Forest Reserve
    Located north of Chiquibul has been prominent and relatively unchecked for many years.

    Skidding Tapir
    During the last trip with visitors at the Chalillo Lake we were impressed to see a tapir skidding down a ledge a mere 30 feet away. True wilderness.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Two injured in motorcycle accident in Valley of Peace
    Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that two men were injured in a motorcycle accident shortly after 6:00 p.m. today in Valley of Peace village, Cayo District. The residents of the village went to aid the men as the ambulance was called but it did not show up.

    Man drowns in Biscayne
    Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that shortly after 5:00 p.m. today, a man drowned in Biscayne village, Belize. Hipolito Mai, 22, of Lake Gardens, Ladyville is reportedly the victim.

    OAS SecGen completes orientation tour
    Secretary General pf the Organization of American States (OAS), H.E. Louis Almagro, completed a two day tour in Belize this week, as the Government of Belize continues its push to hold a referendum on taking the Guatemalan territorial claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). During his brief visit, Almagro held meetings with numerous government officials, the Leader of the Opposition, took a helicopter ride over the Chuquibul National Park, including Belize’s side of the Adjacency Zone, and held a press briefing.

    Two Belizeans killed in Guatemala in less than a week
    Two Belizeans have been killed in the neighboring Town of Melchor de Mencos, Peten, Guatemala in less than a week. Last Sunday, Amadeos Teck of Bullet Tree Village in the Cayo District was shot multiple times while socializing in Melchor. Teck died on the spot. Last night, bus driver, Carlos Manzanero of San Jose Succotz, Cayo District was also shot multiple times while socializing at a popular bar in the neighboring town. Manzanero also died as a result.

    Still no Guatemalan Ambassdor to Belize
    Relations between Belize and Guatemala continue to be strained and uncertain.A statement was previously released informing the nation that the Guatemalan ambassador to Belize would be returned on March 1. However, Manuel Estuardo Roldan Barillas, has not returned after being recalled 11 months by Guatemala for consultation amidst increased border tensions.

    Foreign Affairs minister says Belize has no borders
    According to Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington, Belize still does not have internationally recognized borders. Even though the international community voted for Belize to gain her independence, Elrington told the media that the international community does not recognize Belize’s borders. According to Elrington, our maritime borders have never been agreed upon. “Boundaries have to be agreed upon by countries who are neighboring countries. In 1893 we got our northern boundaries agreed with Mexico and part of our sea, 1859 we had the Western border agreed with Guatemala but they resided on that in 1939 but we never did have with Guatemala any agreement with respect to the Maritime boundaries neither with Guatemala nor with Honduras which is very close to us. That is work undone,” he said.

    Red Cross thanks international community for help after Hurricane Earl
    The International Federation of Red Crosses (IFRC) has issued an official report on Hurricane Earl, which made landfall in Belize last August. Earl had delivered wind gusts of up to 110 km/h, as estimated by the United States’ National Hurricane Centre. According to NEMO, as a result of reported major infrastructural and building damage, 170 persons were forced to seek shelter in in Belize City, Cayo and Orange Walk, while a whopping 10,355 persons or 2,071 families were affected after Hurricane Earl ripped through Belize as a Category 1 hurricane.

    Blogs

    Eating Placencia, Belize and My Stay at the Newest Boutique Hotel
    Placencia, like San Pedro, is a beach town that started as a very small fishing village. But Placencia Village is growing more slowly than Ambergris Caye and maintains that small village feel. At the tip of the peninsula, prices are a bit cheaper, rents and land values — though do not read CHEAP! Placencia is probably the second most expensive town in the country. I wouldn’t live anywhere else but Ambergris Caye but man…I would love to have a vacation home in Placencia. If only just to eat… The sidewalk on a cloudy day, Placencia Belize …well…and to stroll the famous sidewalk. Here is a bit of my last 4 night trip to my favorite village and a few of the things I ate there. There are two pretty great coffee shops in Placencia – Above Grounds and this super cute, friendly spot, Brewed Awakenings. All they need is a “Thanks A Latte” or an “Espresso Yourself”. (Sadly I did not think of those myself) Great coffee and all sorts of fun flavors of a southern Belize classic. The seaweed shake.

    ISLAND HOPPING TO CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE….DAY 1
    When visiting Belize, Caye Caulker is a unique location that must be experienced. A short 30 minute water taxi ride from San Pedro, this quaint little island is the perfect place to spend a few extra days. It’s easily accessible from both San Pedro and Belize City and well worth the trip. Leaving San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; a roundtrip ticket is $25 US, with several departures daily.http://belize express. As for accommodations, you will have numerous choices. From budget savvy hostels for $20 per night to high-end beach rentals for $200, finding the perfect fit should be easy. VRBO and Airbnb have lots of listings! I checked on-line before arriving but decided to “wing-it” and just find a room when I arrived on the island. Needless to say, traveling with Floyd, my 4lb Chihuahua tends to complicate things a little. However, I did find three “pet friendly” hotels. I settled on Popeyes Beach resort http://popeyesresort A great location directly on the beach with pool, air conditioning, tv and internet. Yes, this may seem basic to many people, but in Belize…..if you need air conditioning, internet and TV….you should verify before booking!

    CREPES & DREAMS….A CAYE CAULKER FAVORITE! | CAYE CAULKER BELIZE RESTAURANT
    Visiting this small Caribbean island for a few days you’ll want to experience as much as possible without missing a single thing. The beaches, the shops, water sports, beach bars and island tours….it’s difficult to do it in such a short few days. So choices must be made! One of the most difficult choices is “Where do we eat?” For such a small quaint little island the food choices are unbelievable. I am a morning person. The first decision every morning is to reach for my coffee. After several cups, I may or may not choose to have breakfast. So when deciding where to go for breakfast on the island, I was pretty indecisive. As long as they serve coffee…..I’m good. As we walked down the sandy beach streets, passing several options for breakfast, nothing caught my eye. Then we passed a cozy little place with an awesome French ambiance…..ok…let’s try this!

    CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE
    Caye Caulker is one of those places that it’s very difficult to explain. At least in terms of a description that would do this wonderful little island, it’s due justice. Visiting the island about a year ago, I’ll admit, it was a great trip and I truly enjoyed our time here. However, anyone who is familiar with the country of Belize has heard the descriptions of the three top places. San Pedro….Caye Caulker….and Placencia. Most will describe San Pedro as active, vibrant, lots of tourist and tons of things to do. Placencia is a quiet little fishing village in the southern part of the country, much slower, quiet and peaceful. I have heard many times that Caye Caulker is the “little sister” to San Pedro. The same awesome beach atmosphere, beach bars, and fishing, just on a smaller scale, much less developed and definitely less tourist. Their motto is “Go Slow” and it definitely is appropriate for this little piece of paradise.

    Lamanai Mayan Ruins: The Crocodiles Don’t Bite at this Ancient Ceremonial Center
    To understand how insightful the Mayans who built Lamanai were before the name Submerged Crocodile was bestowed upon this 958.5 acre spread by 17th century Franciscan missionaries, look at this ruin from the air. Doesn’t it resemble that ferocious amphibian raising its head amid miles of jungle? Considered one of Belize’s most spectacular ceremonial centers, much of Lamanai is obscured by forest, so only by making an in-person visit to this epicenter of folklore, superstition and history can you appreciate this splendid ruin. Located along the banks of the New River Lagoon, Lamanai’s structural ruins include temples, a ball court, living quarters and commercial buildings constructed by generations of dwellers that range from indigenous Mayans to Spanish colonists. Coexisting on the complex are statues to pagan deities and the Spanish churches Mayans were forced to build when conquistadors instituted slave labor practices in the 1500s. The most recent building addition—-all but destroyed—-is a symbolic 19th Century sugar mill, making this one of the most continually inhabited Mayan ruins in Central America.

    Videos

  • Belize Spring 2017, 7min.

  • Belize Seahorses March 2017, 2min.

  • DIVING BELIZE - Agressor III, 12min. Enigmatic Belize Great Blue Hole.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize - Jan 2017, 5min.

  • Belize: Touring Stann Creek District 2017, 34min.

  • the belize adventure, 12min.

  • Belize Spring 2017, 8.5min. Spring 2017 trip to Belize. Snorkeling, cave tubing, zip lining, mayan ruins.

  • Deer Dance - Belize Cultural Day At T.S.A aka The Shepherds Academy, 1.5min. World Famous Chicken Drop San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) Belize Part 1 at Wahoo's Lounge on Thursday nights.

  • World Famous Chicken Drop San Pedro Belize Part 1, 1.5min.

  • World Famous Chicken Drop San Pedro Belize Part 2, 1.5min. World Famous Chicken Drop San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) Belize Part 1 at Wahoo's Lounge on Thursday nights.

  • Descent into the Great Blue Hole, Belize, 5min. GoPro video of our descent 130' into the cavern of the Belize Great Blue Hole. Starts at about 35-40' depth at the wall.

  • Belize Zipline, 8min.

    March 18, 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

    Death on Caye Caulker
    The San Pedro Sun has received reports that a sudden death occurred in Caye Caulker. Attempts to get an official report from Caye Caulker Police have been futile. Unofficial reports are that a gentleman suffered a heart attack and died while in transit to Belize City. We will update as official information becomes available.

    Bishop Glancy visits with the San Pedro Lions
    Roman Catholic Bishop Christopher Glancy presided over the confirmation of 36 island children on Sunday, March 12th. After the sacred ceremony, he was hosted to a social by the San Pedro Lions Club later that same evening. For the San Pedro Lions and Leos, his visit was most welcomed. Bishop Glancy was delighted with the hospitality given, and shared that he enjoyed La Isla Bonita.

    BWS starts sewer expansion on Laguna Drive
    On Monday, March 13th, Belize Water Service (BWS) commenced work on its sewer expansion construction project on Laguna Drive. Funded by BWS and the Government of Belize, the $1.5 million project is geared to protect the environment, while promoting economic development. The project is scheduled to take approximately six months to complete, and is expected to benefit 62 residents/businesses. On Thursday, March 9th, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. met with members of BWS to discuss the intentions to further expand its sewage system. Alvan Hayne, Chief executive officer (CEO) of BWS, along with Sanjay Keshwani, BWS Technical Services Manager, Dave Pascascio, BWS Operations Manager, and Jermaine Jones, BWS Operations Supervisor, were also present at site, and visited the areas that will be connected to BWS’ sewage system.

    PM Barrow presents 2017-2018 National Budget
    According to Barrow, GOB is planning around 6% less in expenditure, which will amount to about BZ$59 million dollars, while collecting nearly BZ$109 million dollars more in overall revenue than last year. In order to obtain such results, different Ministries will be seeing budget cuts, including Foreign Affairs, Health and the Ministry in Charge of the police. The Ministries of Finance, Housing and Urban Development, along with Education will see an increase of $10 million dollars. Despite the fact that Government still needs additional funds to finance its upcoming budget, Barrow told the media and the country on Monday that economic recovery is underway. “There is clearly going to be a bounce-back in terms of agriculture as we tried to set out, so we are perfectly certain that our projections are legitimate,” said Barrow. With the recent Super Bond restructuring, Barrow’s administration is committed to increase its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by at least 2% for the next four years, in contrast with the current -1.68% GDP. In order to achieve this and the financing of the year’s budget, taxation was a must. According to GOB, they were careful as to what items to tax so the poor are not affected. During his presentation, Barrow proposed to. “Adjust the excise levy on aerated water, beer, and stout, cement and fuel to generate 0.77% or $28 million of GDP… also amends the departure fee for non-Belizeans to $40 to yield 0.30% of GDP, and a further $15 million from a 1% increase in environmental charge on imported goods. There will also be a shift in the social fee on Free Zone cigarettes to 20%, generating 0.29% of GDP,” detailed Barrow.

    Island residents demand better medical services
    The small group of islanders took to the main streets of San Pedro Town shortly after 9AM, making their way to the Central Park. There, they rallied for several minutes, spreading the message to everyone that passed by about the need for a proper medical facility on the island: “No more lies, no more deaths, we need a hospital!” With banners demanding a medical facility and a commitment from the respective authorities, the protesters made sure everyone understood their cause. Leading the protest was island activist Omar Arceo, who asks everyone to join this campaign for the betterment of island residents and visitors. “We have been promised a hospital since 2011,” he said. “It’s 2017 and there is no proper medical facility on the island, which is a prime tourism destination in our country… Our visitors and island residents deserve reliable health services… people are dying because there is none!”

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Fundraiser on March 18th, 2017 at the Cayo Welcome Center for Jamaal Crawford
    Fundraiser on March 18th, 2017 at the Cayo Welcome Center for Jamaal Crawford. There will be food, drinks and entertainment from 8 a.m. Here's another moment in Jamaal's busy schedule. He was part of the 501boyz doing a photoshoot for the basketball team. Of course the kids got involved and he put them on the stage so they can also be superstars. This is the life of Jamaal. Don't forget we are asking for your assistance in helping us raise money for Jamaal's Medical treatment. We really appreciate your help and support. You can donate to 650-02-2-267160 or 650-2-2-308940 Belize Bank. Here is the link for the gofundme page.

    Belizean Fry Jacks
    While they may not be the healthiest item on a plate, Belizean fry jacks are one of the most popular foods in Belize. Looking like mini puff pastries, fry jacks are small triangles or half moons of dough that are quickly fried until golden brown and served warm as an accompaniment to breakfast or lunch dishes. No one is quite sure how fry jacks got their name, but these little triangles of puffy and/or crunchy dough are near and dear to every Belizean’s heart. Why You Have to Taste Belizean Fry Jacks On Your Vacation They may have a strange name, but fry jacks are one of the most popular staples of Belizean cuisine. More popular than standard bread, fry jacks are little (usually soft and puffy) triangles or crescent moon shaped pieces of dough that are quick fried and served alongside traditional breakfast foods like scrambled eggs, refried beans, and/or cheese. Fry jacks are also popular for lunch and make an excellent addition to rice and beans, stewed chicken, or other Belizean classics. Fry jacks are one of the most ubiqituous components of Belizean cuisine, so you can find them pretty much anywhere. Usually, small “mom and pop” restaurants serve up the best fry jacks. Fry jacks are traditionally eaten for breakfast and usually accompany either a sweet or savory component. Eat with jam, powdered sugar, or honey for a sweet treat or eat with refried beans and cheese for a savory meal. Fry jacks can also be used to mop up sauces and gravy from other savory dishes.

    Why Visit Belize in April
    With plenty of warm sunny weather and fewer crowds, April is a fantastic time to visit Belize. Whether you’re interested in exploring Maya ruins, swimming with whale sharks, tubing down a river through a series of caves or simply enjoying a lovely holiday in a tropical paradise, there’s plenty on offer in Belize in the month of April. Top Things to Do and See in Belize in April: Easter Week – The entire week is a time for picnics, celebrations, and festivities as this Christian nation gears up for Easter Sunday on April 16, 2017. Visit the ATM Cave in Cayo District – This enormous cave was once used by the Maya for religious sacrifices. Go to Tikal in Guatemala – Just across the border from Belize is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal, once a large Mayan metropolis. Visit Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins – Two of the most interesting Maya sites in western Belize. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving With Whale Sharks – Every year, migrating schools of whale sharks arrive in the waters off the coast of southern Belize. Check out Big Rock Waterfalls and Rio on Pools – These two waterfalls are located in the Mountain Pine Ridge reserve, a perfect place to cool down during the hot days of April. What is the Weather Like in April?

    Belize in a week itinerary
    Frankly, there’s no way to see and do everything in a single week in Belize, but below is an adventure itinerary that will let you see the best features in the country. Call it day zero when you arrive at the Belize International Airport. From there, it’s just a short drive to the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. Enjoy a delicious dinner of Belizean cuisine before taking a quick hike through the grounds.

    Night out for the Birds
    It's official! BBR is having yet Another Night out for the Birds. May 12th at the Pig & Parrot Clubhouse in Belmopan. Tickets $35 from Corkers Restaurant in Belmopan (630 1045) or from BBR (610 0400). Another fun evening thanks to Pig & Parrot crew and the British High Commission. Music, bar, finger food, raffle, auctions and great company! $35 entry. Tropical Theme Thanks to David & Grace for being our wonderful hosts once again. See you there! (Advanced purchase only, non transferable after May 10th. 18yrs +)

    5th Annual Lodge Bird-a-thon
    The Belize Bird Conservancy announces the 5th Annual Lodge Bird-a-thon April 1- April 30, 2017. April is the time of our biggest fundraising event, the Belize Bird-a-thon, which this year will be our 5th. It’s a fun time of the year for us because we get to spend the day counting birds throughout Belize while being with friends. Our goal is to have fun, but our ultimate result is to raise money for our bird research, education and conservation. We invite you to enter the bird-a-thon competition and challenge fellow lodge managers and guides to a friendly competition for the “birdiest” lodge and area. The rules are like the standard ones for a bird-a-thon, but you must count birds only observed within a 5-mile circle including the lodge grounds in a 24-hour block during a single day between April 1 and April 30. The team can count bird species any time within their 24 hour chosen day. You may have guests and other friends that would like to participate in this event and assist with your lodge’s bird-a-thon team, while assisting or donating to conservation in Belize. Teams of at least 3 persons are encouraged to compete for prizes in various categories and we appreciate any donation to support our research and conservation work.

    COROZAL ART IN THE PARK TODAY
    Just a reminder that Saturday, March 18th, 2017 will be another Edition of our monthly ART IN THE PARK event. Come out support and enjoy!

    Hol Chan Environmental Education Program
    Today we had some lovely little visitors from Little Angel Pre-school. As a part of their child stimulation month..they got a tour of our visitor center while they learn't about Belize's coastal ecosystem and some creatures that can be found at Hol Chan Marine Reserve!!!!!!

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
    The Cuban Authorities in collaboration with the Government of Belize advertise scholarships to study Medicine, Dentistry and Health Technology. The scholarships are tenable for August 2017. The application deadline has been established at April 12, 2017. All applications must be addressed and delivered to: Director Tertiary and Post-Secondary Education Services Ministry of Education West Block, Third Floor, Room 10 Belmopan, Cayo District The application package and more detailed information can be accessed at the link above.

    QUE VIVA CCC" - "Long Live CCC
    Everyone is a winner. Here is a snippet of the current Corozal Community College Open Day Event. Spectacular and Wonderful presentations. Amazing...amazing...amazing!! Our favourite, La Isla Bontanera. Thumbs up!

    Hog Head Cultural Festival
    The Hog Head Cultural Festival is happening this Sunday, March 19th, at Macal River Park. It's a cultural event highlighting the Maya Culture & Traditions.

    Channel 7

    Almagro Comes To Belize Pushing For Referendum
    The OAS Secretary General has been on a whirlwind tour of Belize. Since yesterday, he's held meetings with government official, did a flyover of the Chiquibul Forest and Caracol Archaeological Park, met with the leader of the opposition, and held a press briefing. It was a very brief one where he took no questions and simply read out a 7 minute statement. Belize's Permanent Representative to the OAS, Pat Andrews who helped organize the meeting from Washington explained that it was an on-the-ground orientation as Belize makes a push towards a referendum:... H.E. Pat Andrews, Belize Ambassador to OAS: "We thought it was the right time for him to come to Belize and kick tires in Belize and be able to see how things are in Belize, both in meeting with the Prime Minister and just a few moments ago with the opposition, important events where we are wanting to have a meeting of minds between all our people as we get ready for the referendum."

    OAS SG Saw The Encroachments
    But international law has no relevance along the Belize Guatemala western border. Right there, its more like the law of the jungle where Guatemalans are constantly pushing into Belizean territory. They illegally enter Belize's protected areas to look for arable land on which to farm, and to illegally pan for gold, and illegally extract timber, Xate and Scarlet Macaws. It's an ugly cycle of desperation and resource depletion, and Almagro got a fair sense of it when he took an overflight above the western border line yesterday: H.E. Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General: "Yesterday we made an overfly in the adjacency zone, administered by Belize, Caracol and the Chiquibul national park. It was a very important overfly. We were not able to land because if climate reasons, but we were able to see it and appreciate the different realities that exist on one side and the other."

    FCD Pointed Almagro To Resource Depletion
    One man who knows those realities all too well is Raphael Manzanero. He's the Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development. He accompanied Almagro, acting as his aerial guide, pointing out areas in the Chiquibul Forest and the Caracol Archaeological park that had been or are being illegally cleared by Guatemalans. The FCD co-manages the Chiquibul, and as part their monitoring of the illegal incursions into the national park, they do regular fly-overs to map the constant de-forestation. When it was over, Manzanero described what Almagro saw. Voice of: Rafael Manzanerero, Executive Director - FCD: "We flew from Central Farm. This is way up here, so it really wouldn't show it on the map, but we are around here, went down to by Benque Viejo, we passed going along the border, then we flew south. So we travelled all along this route from north to south. We saw some of the illegal activities in the Vaca Forest Reserve. In fact there was a large area, about 2/3 of a big field is in the Guatemalan side and about 1/3 was inside of Belize."

    Goat Foreign Minister Aware of Forces Pushing Guatemalans Into Belize
    And when foreign Minister Elrington traveled to Guatemala two days go - even Foreign Minister Morales conceded that the situation along the border is stark and urgent: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Strangely enough when we were in Guatemala the Guatemalan foreign minister commented on the fact that over their side is bare and over our side is so green and verdant they found themselves - they could not contain their own citizens - into their own forests." "And we have to find some mechanism whereby we can work in concert with the Guatemalans to make sure that they keep their people over on their side and we keep our people on our side and we prevent their people from coming across and devastating out territory. And they have to do that through dialogue and discussion and working together."

    There Is Timeline For Referendum In Guat
    And so all that is the backdrop to this visit by the Secretary General Almagro. This week he visited Belize and Guatemala to press both sides to move ahead with plans to hold referendums on both sides of the border. Elrington told us that the long delayed vote on whether or not to go to the ICJ could be happening soon in Guatemala: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize: "The indication we are getting out of Guatemala is that they are thinking about going to referendum as early as September of this year, and reports we have is that they do have the funding to be able to manage the process." "Actually in the case of Guatemala our understanding was that they needed 40 million dollars for the actual education day, and 20 million for the education campaign - so that's 60 million. And our understanding is that they do have that fund already."

    Referendum An Existential Emergency For Belize
    Elrington says holding the referendum is no less than an existential emergency for Belize. He explained the kind of priority that it is for government. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize: "Resolution of this issue has to take first priority. If you don't have a country, nothing else you will have. So we have got to understand that this takes top priority and I'm sure the prime minister is of that view as well, so that we are result to find the resources." "Our maritime borders have never even been agreed upon. That has to be agreed upon. We don't have any maritime borders agreed upon in the sea. Boundaries have to be agreed upon by countries that are neighboring countries. But we never did have with Guatemala any agreement with respect to the maritime boundaries, neither with Guatemala nor with Honduras, which is very close to us. These are the things that have to be done. We have to do it. It's just like you are on piece of land all your life, but you are a squatter. You can't do anything with that land."

    Funding for Bze-Guat Effort Fading Fast
    But what is also pushing things forward is the fact that the process is running out of funding. Since the start, A Group of Friends - mainly wealthy European Nations - have been funding the efforts and keeping the Adjacency Zone office open. But after 11 years of confidence building with no resolution, they are growing impatient and unwilling to fund a project that has no foreseeable end. Elrington said that has created a sense of some urgency:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize: "The taxpayers in the European countries pay the money but they have been telling us our taxpayers are not going to be funding the OAS office indefinitely - you've got to get on with this issue." "The monies that are presently being utilized there are monies that we have sought jointly from the government of Taiwan. That is not going to last much longer, and the Europeans still have not provided the funding although they gave us every assurance and have been doing so for a year now that it's going to come imminently. So we keep our fingers crossed."

    OAS SG and LOO Met
    And presumably, that is also the message that Almagro took to the PUP leader when he met with him this morning. He met with John Briceno just before the press briefing. It was a closed door meeting, but at its conclusion, Briceño told us what they spoke about in general terms: Hon. John Briceno - Leader of the Opposition "We want to express our appreciation for the work that the OAS has been doing in Belize, and also in the whole process facilitating the negotiations between Belize and Guatemala." Daniel Ortiz: "Can you share specifics as to - or at least, give us a broad overview of your conversation today with the Secretary General?" Hon. John Briceno: "Well, without going into too much of the specifics, certainly had to address our concern of the antagonistic behavior of Guatemala, that Guatemala has not been a good neighbor, that Guatemalan citizens continue to plunder our resources, The issue of a Sarstoon protocol. So, we have all of these issues that needs to be addressed, and we need to address it as soon as possible. We find it very difficult for us to move the process forward until Guatemala is prepared to address these issues head-on."

    FM: Door Open To PUP
    But the PUP has been on the outside of the official meetings with the OAS and Guatemala. That's because in June of last year, the party rejected the process and the trajectory in which it seemed to be headed. The party said the process wasn't designed to deliver results or a resolution to the dispute. And since then they have not returned to the table with the Government. Today, Elrington said the door is still open to them:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize: "But there's a standing invitation for them to be present at all the official invitations that we have, because it is our position certainly the position of the prime minister and my position that this is a national issue and not a partisan issue and they are a fundamental part of the process."

    Krismar Killed Christie Asking For Sentence To Be Reduced
    In April of last year, a jury found 30 year old Osmar Sabido guilty of the murder of his common-law wife, 21 year old Christie Carrasco. He was sentenced to life in prison, but now his attorney is asking the court of appeal to reduce his conviction from murder to manslaughter. Sabido's attorney, Leeroy Banner had appealed on the main ground that it was a case of extreme provocation and the trial Judge did not address his mind to it. Sabido had testified at the trial that Carrasco told him that she thinks that she is pregnant for another man.

    Free, After Five Years On Remand
    29 year-old Brandon Taylor, who was charged with the murder of 28 year-old Kaylon Matura, is at home tonight after almost 5 years on remand at the Belize Central Prison. He was acquitted today before Justice Adolph Lucas, in a trial without jury. Matura was murdered at his gate on Central American Boulevard on the morning of May 16, 2012. He was ambushed and shot twice in the chest and once in the chin. The only person who claimed to have seen the shooting was the prosecution's main witness, Andrew Willoughby. He gave police a written statement that he saw the shooter from a distance of 150 feet, and it was raining. He said that he saw when this gunman shot and killed Matura. But when the prosecution called him to testify, he did not cooperate with Crown Counsel Portia Ferguson. He had to be treated as a hostile witness, and under questioning he insisted that he was not at the scene when the shooting occurred.

    Alleged Girl Killers Shayon and Jaime Remanded
    Yesterday 20 year old Shaylon Santos and 22 year old Jaime Patnett, were charged for the murder of 18 year old Kerona Ara. Today the Teakettle villagers were arraigned for the crime in Belmopan Magistrate's Court. Santos and Patnett appeared were each read a charge of murder. They were then remanded into custody and their case was adjourned until May 15. They accused of killing the 18 year old Blackman Eddy Villager, burning and then disposing of her body at the dumpsite 4 miles outside Belmopan.

    Disturbed Woman Found Without Explanation Or ID Deep Inside Price Barracks
    Police and the BDF don't know what to make of a hispanic woman who was found wandering on Price Barracks early this morning at 6:20. She was deep within the compound in the BATSUB area and was dressed in evening wear. A female BATSUB officer found her and turned her over to the BDF. They took her to their medical center for an examination where she did not appeared to have been raped. But she was disoriented and seemed to be having some emotional disturbance. She ALSO had scratches on her hand. She had no ID and only said she was Honduran. The BDF put her on a holding cell they say for her own safety where she proceeded to break up the beds in a rage. After that they handed her over to Ladyville Police. The cops said she didn't want to cooperate and they called immigration to pick her up. The BDF says civilians are not allowed into their camp after 9:00 pm - and they stress she was found closer to the BATSUB area.

    Luz Longsworth, Leader Of UWI Open Campus
    Last night Dr. Luz Longsworth was officially inducted as the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus in Belize. Longsworth has a long history working with the university and it's Belizean installation, and today she spoke to the media about her new position and her plans for the future of the Open Campus... Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro-Vice-Chancelor - UWi Open Campus Belize: "It certainly is one of the most I would say the most rewarding thing that I've had to do in my Career with the university and of course I know Belizeans will remember me when I was the resident tutor here of the school on continuing studies, but it is the university itself that is moving rapidly. It is the fact that the university is responding to the urgent needs of the region, that we have to change the things that we are doing and that the open campus in particular is going to be the tool, it's going to be the conduit to which the university moves its programs and its research into the region and beyond."

    UWI Council Meets In Belize
    And immediately after her official induction as Principal, Longsworth met with university executives for the annual Campus Council. Longsworth reported on all the initiatives and activities undertaken in the previous academic year, and detailed the plan for expanding the campus and its curriculum. After the Council, university officials held a press conference where they went over some of the particulars of the meeting. Here's Dr. Longsworth and UWI's Chancellor, Sir George Alleyne with more... Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro-Vice-Chancelor - UWi Open Campus Belize: "I want to start by saying that this meeting is the meeting where we account for our stewardship of our resources over the last year and in the meeting this morning I shared with the members of the campus council who are here from across the region; we have representation from St. Kitts, Bahamas, from other parts of the Caribbean who sit on the council and I shared with them the major developments in the open campus over the last year, which included a rapid increase in the numbers of programs that we have offered. In fact we offered 17 new online programs. "

    Those Who Care for The Aged
    For many of you, there is a system or routine to take care of the elderly in your family. Naturally the kids and grandkids take up that responsibility. But not every older person has a caring and willing family - some of them are abandoned and left to struggle through the rest of their lives alone. Other families want to help their loves ones but just don't know how. Well, BTEC's caregiving training should fill that gap for the elderly. Today 39 participants graduated from a 6 week caregiving training. The all got their certificates but it's more than just a piece of paper. The Manager for the Belize Training and Employment Center, Christine Smith told us it's an opportunity to improve the quality of life for the aged. There will be a series of these trainings. And, there will be another round of trainings tomorrow in Belmopan. Now, a database has been created with the names and contacts for all these participants so if you have or know of an older person who really needs help you can call BTEC at 223 - 0322.

    Young's Law Firm, Still Open And Making Orderly Wind-Up
    A week ago, this station and other media houses reported that Young's Law Firm had closed its doors. Well, his family, who is running the firm at this time, have released a statement saying that they aren't closed just yet, but they are winding down. As we told you, Michael Young was the sole proprietor of the law firm. The statement says his sudden death has caused his family and the firm's staff to make personal sacrifices to maintain the operation. The statement explains that the Estate owners attempted to transition the law firm into a limited liability partnership along with the remaining attorneys, but they were unsuccessful. So, his executors, some of the staff, and the Barrow & Williams law firm acting as assisting attorney, are working on the proper winding-down of all of the firm's matters.

    Is H.E. Pat Calling It a Wrap?
    Today, you saw Belize's Permanent Representative to the OAS, Pat Andrews appearing at the head table alongside Foreign Minister Elrington and Secretary General Almagro. Andrews pushed for Almagro to visit Belize after talks were held in Guatemala earlier this week. By all accounts, the former banker has done a stellar job after taking over from Nestor Mendez in July of 2015. But, reports say he isn't long for the job, and may opt to leave in July when his contract expires. Today Andrews told us that he's not there yet, but talks are ongoing:... H.E. Pat Andrews, Belize Ambassador to OAS: "Regarding the question about my tenure in Washington, I am in negotiations with the government of Belize, but it's not official as yet and I really can't give you anything further than that and I do it purposely because I believe that we have lots of work ahead of us. I want to keep our embassy focused on what we are doing engaging with the OAS, engaging with state department. We are planning a trip with ministry later on for him to visit Washington."

    Guat Ambassador, Not Back
    And while Andrews will have an orderly departure, we don't know what to make of the reported return of Guatemala's Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Estuardo Roldan Barillas, 11 months after he was "recalled for consultation" a widely circulated diplomatic note said he had returned to Belize eon March first. It was a signal that relations were normalizing, but it turned out to be a false signal. Here's how the Foreign Minister put it:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Foreign Minister of Belize: "Uhm, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister is not back in the country, the Ambassador is not back in the country. He is not back in the country. We would wish for him to come back, we are hoping that he's gonna come back but he is not in the country."

    The Future of Football
    Today the best young footballers in the country went head to head in the National Primary School Championships. The top boys' and girls' teams from each district gathered in Belize City to decide who is the best in the nation. We spoke to the Director of the National Sports Council and the CEO of the Ministry of Sports about the importance of sports in society and the development of our youngest and brightest... In the end, Orange Walk Girls & Boys won the day. Progresso girls edged out Independence one to nil. And for the boys, St. Michaels RC from San Felipe village in the Orange Walk District also beat Independence - but this one went to a penalty kick shootout.

    Romain Romances Belizean Audiences
    Jamaican Reggae Superstar Romain Virgo is back in Belize for his 8th visit, and this time he's here to perform for the Flavaz Entertaiment's 8th Anniversary. He's set to headline a concert featuring an A-list of Belizean female artists. Virgo is known for the romance in his love songs, and tomorrow night at the ITVET compound, he intends to serenade his Belizean fans. After landing Belize today, he stopped by our studios to tell us why you should come out: General Admission tickets are $35.

    Channel 5

    Belize, Guatemala break deadlock with recent meeting
    There was a meeting earlier this week between Belize and Guatemala’s Foreign Ministers. The last time they met was in June 2016 at the O.A.S. Headquarters in Washington when tensions [...]

    Still no Guat ambassador in Belize; Guats break bank for referendum
    Speaking on the occasion of the visit of the Secretary General of the O.A.S., Elrington told the media that contrary to information widely reported in the media in early March, [...]

    Work on Sarstoon Protocol drags; no confrontation at border
    The June 2016 meeting in Washington discussed the heavy presence of the Guatemalan Military in the Sarstoon. At the time Guatemala committed to the Sarstoon Protocol to ease tensions since [...]

    O.A.S.’ Almagro commits to settling Guat claim ‘by law’
    Now to the visit of Secretary General Luis Almagro. Prior to his arrival in Belize, Ambassador Almagro was in neighboring Guatemala where he also met with high-level government officials in [...]

    Almagro tours Guatemala border communities
    As we’ve mentioned, Almagro arrived to Belize from Guatemala. While there, he was accompanied by Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales to several communities, including Monte Los Olivos and Las Flores.  [...]

    Brandon Taylor dodges murder charge in death of Kaylon Matura
    After more than two weeks in trial, the case of thirty-year-old, Brandon Taylor, charged with the May 2012 shooting murder of Kaylon Matura, came to a close. And it is [...]

    Keonia Ara murder accused appear in court
    The two men accused of the gruesome murder of eighteen-year-old Keonia Ara were formally arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this morning. Teakettle residents, twenty-two year old Jaime Patnett and [...]

    Belize’s borders are not recognized, warns Sedi
    The purpose of the visit of the Secretary General of the O.A.S. was to push for an early referendum and to take the claim for resolution at the International Court [...]

    Opposition also meets with OAS Sec-Gen, who calls for re-registration
    The O.A.S. Secretary General, while in Belize City this morning, also made a brief visit to Independence Hall where he called on Leader of the Opposition John Briceño. Briceño we [...]

    P.U.P. lends support to O.A.S.’ role in mediating dispute
    The O.A.S. Secretary General, while in Belize City this morning, made a brief visit to Independence Hall where he called on Leader of the Opposition John Briceño.  The discussion was [...]

    Where goes the national debt?
    Belize’s debts have climbed over three billion dollars for the first time, much of it owed externally. A full third of that is attributed to the Superbond, the package of [...]

    U.W.I. professor issues warning on debt, wage bill
    The University of the West Indies’ Pro-Vice Chancellor for Planning, Professor Densil Williams, is in Belize in connection with activities for the installation of Dr. Luz Longsworth as Principal of [...]

    Two shot in Belize City
    There was a shooting incident in Belize City on Thursday night that left a pair of young men suffering from various degrees of injuries.  Sometime after eight o’clock, multiple gunshots [...]

    Woman found raped, injured, intoxicated at Price Barracks
    This morning a woman was found on a football field at the Price Barracks in Ladyville. The report is that she was allegedly raped and heavily intoxicated. The identity of [...]

    Dr. Luz a bright light at U.W.I. Open Campus
    On Thursday night Doctor Luz Longsworth was inducted as the Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the U.W.I. Open Campus – it is a role she has been acting in [...]

    Open Campus leaders meet in Belize
    The U.W.I. is the region’s leading tertiary institution – it has four campuses – Mona, Cavehill, St Augustine and the Open Campus. The Open Campus is the newest of the [...]

    Where is Gaspar Vega? Not at House!
    Where is Orange Walk North area representative and former Minister Gaspar Vega? He seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth, never mind the House of Representatives, in [...]

    Gospel Fest in Belmopan promises “Positive” clean fun
    If you’re looking for some clean entertainment this weekend, head west to Belmopan for the Annual Gospel Fest at the Showgrounds. It’s a time for the Christian family of Belize [...]

    LOVE FM

    Secretary General for OAS Meets With Officials in Belize During Brief Visit
    Secretary General of the Organization of American States Luis Leonardo Almagro made a brief visit to Belize this week. He left today but before doing so, he along with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Belize’s Ambassador to the USA, Patrick Andrews held a press conference in Belize City. Almagro met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, […]

    OAS Sec Gen Urges for Swift Movements Toward Referendum
    Guatemala’s territorial dispute with Belize was the most discussed issue during the meetings held by the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Leonardo Almagro, during his visit to Belize. A focal point of those meetings was taking the territorial claim to the International Court of Justice. The Secretary General is urging both Guatemala and Belize […]

    Danny Conorquie’s Death to Be Investigated, Says OAS
    In April 2016, thirteen year old Guatemalan Julio Alvarado was shot and killed by BDF soldiers in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul Forest. The Guatemalan government protested against the incident by calling it murder and recalling its ambassador to Belize. The Belize Government agreed for an investigation be done by the Organization of American […]

    Patnett and Santos Charged for Ara’s Murder
    The last five days had the Belmopan Police working tirelessly at trying to find out who killed 18-year-old, Keona Ara of Blackman Eddy Village. The young girl was laid to rest yesterday and just hours later investigators drafted up charge sheets for 20-year-old, Shaylon Santos and 22-year-old, Jamie Patnett for murder. Shaylon who is of […]

    Disoriented Woman Found on Military Base in Ladyville
    Police in Ladyville, Belize District are probing for information into a case of suspected rape. A Honduran national who works in one of the bar establishments in Ladyville was found at around seven o’clock this morning on Price Barracks in a disoriented state. The woman was taken to the BDF Hospital where she was treated […]

    Pro-Vice Chancellor/Principal After 25 Years at UWI
    Dr. Luz Longsworth was inducted as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus in a special ceremony last night. Born to Venezuelan and Jamaican parents, Dr. Longsworth found her way to Belize where she settled to raise her two children. But well before her move to Belize, Dr. […]

    Ombudsman Explains 2016 Report (Part 1)
    Earlier this week we told you of the 45-page report for 2016 from the Office of the Ombudsman that was recently released. While we did note that two hundred and seven complaints were registered to his office for 2016 there were some questions as to the breakdown of those reports and their status which Ombudsman, […]

    Ombudsman Updates on Allegations of Sexual Harassment in GSU
    In the latter part of October 2016 we told you of the allegations of sexual harassment coming out of the Gang Suppression Unit of the Belize Police Department. It has been almost five months now since we reported the issue which was taken to the Ombudsman by the female officers who had made the allegations. […]

    Brandon Taylor Set Free of Murder Charge
    Twenty-nine year old Brandon Taylor, charged with the murder of Kaylon Matura, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas in a trial that was without a jury. Matura, who resided on Central American Boulevard, was getting ready to go to work when he was ambushed in front of his gate. His assailant […]

    Osmar Sabido’s Appeal Seeks Lesser Charge
    Belize Court of Appeal today reserved its decision in the appeal of 30-year-old Osmar Sabido who was convicted of the murder of his common-law wife, 21 year old Christie Carrasco. Carrasco was stabbed to her chest twice with a knife at their home at San Lorenzo Site in Orange Walk Town on February 28, 2011. […]

    Amandala

    Louise Berry, 86, burnt to death in house fire
    Louise Berry, 86, an unemployed resident of Iguana Street, was burned to death inside her house when it became engulfed in flames at about 1:30 this morning. Berry was sleeping in her one-flat lumber house when the fire began, and due to the thick black smoke, she was unable to escape. Her corpse was found on the floor of the house by the door, as if she had been trying to escape. The City Fire Service responded quickly and contained the fire to Berry’s house, and put out the fire. Gretel Lopez, Berry’s stepsister, who lived in the same yard in which Berry resided, told us during an interview this morning that Louise lived alone in her little house. Gretel said that electrical power was provided to the home by Belize Electricity Limited, and there was no need for her to use candles in her house. On many occasions, she said, she would go into Berry’s house and find candles, and she would take them away, but Berry would say that she wanted her candles, because sometimes there were power outages at night.

    UWI hold induction ceremony for Principal of Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth
    The University of the West Indies (UWI) held an induction ceremony for its Principal of Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, this evening at the Belize Best Western Biltmore, where the chancellor of the university, Professor the Honorable Sir George Alleyne; its vice chancellor, professor Sir Hilary Beckles, and other administrative officials of the university were present. The formal ceremony got underway with an academic procession which was followed by the arrival of Belize Governor General Sir Colville Young and a steel band rendition of the Belize national anthem, by the Panantics Steel Band. Apart from the high-powered academics from UWI, there were representatives from the University of Belize, the Lord Mayor of Belize Darrell Bradley, Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber, as well as representatives of other Caribbean Ministries of Education and government officials.

    Media boycott remains!
    For the first time in its evolving history, Belize’s various media outlets have come together with one voice to say to the Belize Police Department, enough is enough. We are boycotting you, until you fix the problem that your new centralized media police have created for us. The boycott word went out to the Police Department by the weekend, when they were informed that there would be no media coverage of the police’s GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) program that was having a graduation ceremony for 16 schools which had participated in its program. The police’s Public Relations Officer, Raphael Martinez, fired off a letter on Monday to editors and managers, essentially appealing to them for their intervention to prevent their reporters from boycotting the event, which was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts.

    Two men charged for Kenora Ara’s horrendous murder
    It appears that police have solved the horrendous murder of Kenora Gabby Ara, 18, of Blackman Eddy whose corpse was found smoldering and burned almost beyond recognition after she was stabbed multiple times and her throat slit by cold-hearted killers. The horrifying discovery was made at the Belmopan rubbish dump at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon by a security guard working at the dump at the time, who took a patrol behind the dump to investigate a stench that was aggravating his nostrils. He found the corpse on the ground. At the time, the body could not be identified. Belmopan police’s investigation led to two men and a woman. At the conclusion of the investigation this evening at press time, police announced that Shalon Santos, 19, of Teakettle, Cayo District, and Jaime Patnett, 23, of Camalote, had been arrested and charged with murder. They will be arraigned tomorrow at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. The woman was not charged.

    Complaints about police and prison over 50% of complaints to Ombudsman
    The Belize Country Reports on Human Rights Practices recently released by US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson highlighted human rights abuses which continue to persist in Belize, most salient among them being 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. The report said that, “Police abuse was the most common complaint, in particular against members of the Gang Suppression Unit.” This week similar concerns were highlighted in the Sixteenth Annual Report of the Ombudsman of Belize for the period January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2019, which was released on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

    Croc captured in Belama Phase 2
    A crocodile measuring about 10 feet in length and weighing about 300 pounds, that had been causing the residents of Belama Phase 2 in Belize City much anxiety, was captured this morning by the American Crocodiles Education and Sanctuary of Ladyville, in collaboration with the Forestry Department. The croc was captured at about 5:30 this morning and then taken away to the croc sanctuary in Ladyville, removing it out of the area and giving the residents some peace of mind. Chris Sommers of the crocodile sanctuary reported that the croc crossed the road at about 7:00 at night and again at about 5:00 in the morning. They went to the area at about 7:00 last evening, but the croc had already crossed. Officials returned this morning, setting their trap, and caught him. Sommers says that members of the public should never feed crocodiles, because they will then lose their fear of humans and will attack them.

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    he push for the playoffs heats up this weekend, as the second-half of the 2017 NEBL Championship resumes with the surprising Dangriga Dream Ballers paying a visit to the Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town on Saturday night. The latter currently stands at (2-4), and obviously will be looking to forget their last outing, which saw them lose in a painful fashion to the Western Ballaz, blowing a 66-61 third quarter lead, and being outscored 36-17 in the fourth quarter, ultimately losing by the score of 97-83. Elvis Olivera Rebels 8.1PPG 4.8RPG 1.1APG 53.0 F/G% Quinton Bowen Dream Ballers 15.1PPG 12.1RPG 3.1APG 48.0F/G% If there ever was a must-win game, Saturday’s match-up is such a game for the hometown Rebels, who will undoubtedly need to play with a sense of urgency. Head coach Brads Neal has indicated to “Inside the Paint” that “his core of young players needs to grow up and grow up fast.” They must play the entire game, not just three quarters, but the entire four quarters, said Neal. They will indisputably require steady guard play from their floor general, Randy Usher, and consistent scoring from Roger Reneau (15.8 ppg).

    Simeon Lopez Kids, Youth & Female Cup 2017 Tournament in Belmopan
    The Belmopan Football Association’s (BFA) Simeon Lopez Kids, Youth & Female Cup 2017 Tournament, sponsored by the Belmopan City Council, continued over the weekend with a full schedule of games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 10-12, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. In the first of two games on Friday night, (U-17) Bandits and Piccini Rising Stars played to a 1-1 draw. Amoteph Tingling (11’) put Bandits in front, but Joshawn Flowers (58’) equalized for the Rising Stars. And in the nightcap, (U-17) it was Salvapan Deportivos, 2-0, over Valley of Peace Strikers with goals from Jerry Hidalgo (15’) and Manuel Figueroa (58’).

    Tennis News – Youth Tournament
    The second Junior Singles tennis tournament for this year kicked off this past Saturday, March 11, at the Belize Pickwick Club Tennis Courts, following the last tournament held on January 29, 2017. In both tournaments, which were round robin style, Stefan Sosa’s aggressive play proved too dominant for his peers, and he came out on top in both tournaments, defeating Adrian Marshalleck in the first tournament’s finals, 6-0, 6-4, and defeating Carlos Mendoza in the second tournament’s finals, 6-2, 6-2. In the Orange ball category, where the Court is made smaller to accommodate intermediate junior players, and which had fourteen participants, Daniel Musa made the finals by overcoming Errol Ferguson, 15-4; and Zachary Musa edged Luis Sacksick, 15-9. Daniel Musa won over his little brother, Zachary, 15-6, to take the championship, with both boys showing excellent movement on the court.

    Dangriga sports stats
    Here are the Week 2 results from the Stann Creek District Football Association’s U-13 Smart Mundialito games that were played at the Carl Ramos Stadium on Saturday afternoon, March 11, starting at 1:00 p.m. In game 1, Montise won over Benguche DYFA, 1 goal to nil; but Montise lost that 3 points because of an over-age player. The 3 points went to Benguche DYFA. In game 2, Southside Warriors won over Ubafu, 3 goals to 1. Devin Marshall, Aaron Esterio and Dirrel Salguiero hit one apiece for Southside, while Ubafu’s only goal came from Marvin Swaso. Game 3 saw Silk Grass vs New Site ending in a nil-nil draw. And in game 4, Wagierale Young Bombers won over Hopkins, 3 goals to nil. Ozil Martinez hit 2 and Nathan Cal hit the other. The Stann Creek F.A. U-13 Smart Mundialito continues with Week 3 games this Saturday at the Carl Ramos Stadium, starting at 1:00 p.m.

    The new Centenary
    On the night of May 29, 1972, Evan X Hyde was the president of the UBAD Party, but it was the UBAD secretary-general, Norman Fairweather, who became a great hero of the movement that night when he led two UBAD members, the late Michael Hyde and Edwardo Burns, on a rampage against institutions of the ruling, oppressive People’s United Party (PUP). Evan X Hyde having established his place in history with the sedition victory of July 7, 1970, after May 29, 1972, UBAD had two heroes. In early 1973 there was a division between the two UBAD leaders, and the executive of the organization split in half. The Fairweather faction supported the Unity Congress, comprised of the People’s Development Movement (PDM), the National Independence Party (NIP) and the Liberal Party. (The Unity Congress became the United Democratic Party {UDP} in September of 1973.)

    From the Publisher
    You know that in the matter of the scandal at our Immigration Department, there was great and manifest reluctance on the part of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) to initiate an inquiry of a public, official nature. In fact, the attitude of the UDP administration was and is a story unto itself, but the real, original story was the crazy corruption, from high places to low places, involving visas, nationality certificates, and passports. It was under severe duress that the Barrow government permitted a Senate Select Committee to investigate. The question in the streets today is: what took them so long, Rasta? In the matter of the disenfranchisement of Kaina Martinez, arguably Belize’s best athlete, with respect to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the silence of the UDP politicians and bureaucrats has been, as they say, deafening. On the other hand, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has done nothing to expose and publicize the injustice done to Kaina. I may be a tiny bit surprised, but, more importantly, I am very, very saddened.

    Jules writes ComPol Whylie
    Commissioner, We met on January 11, 2017, at Old Belize to discuss the state of police/media relations. At that time, the media agreed to try a new public relations model for a six-week period. Nine weeks have elapsed. I write today on behalf of my fellow media practitioners from Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVE FM and LOVE TV, KREM Radio and KREM TV, The Amandala, The Reporter, and The Belize Times to inform you that the media has rejected this public relations model. We do so, because it does not work — and it does a disservice to the public we both serve. The problem continues to be, first, a lack of dedication on the part of the persons designated to liaise with the media. (Yes, they don’t all work for the media — they have other responsibilities — but at least the Police Press Officer is supposed to answer our queries in a timely manner.) Second, we cannot get the Public Relations Unit to hold briefings on any major crime, particularly when there are multiple major incidents during one weekend.

    Time for cops to quit doing “special duty”
    Dear Editor, Last week, Sister Yaya posted on facebook an observation she made about what she thought was a uniformed police officer standing duty at a Chinese restaurant in Belize City. It turns out that the police officer was indeed on, what those in the Department call, “special duty”. The owner of the restaurant confirmed that for a significant period of time he has been paying for an officer to be present at his establishment and that this practice has been around for decades; therefore, he could not understand why people were suddenly concerned. Fair enough! Whereas the Police Rules, made pursuant to section 7 of the Police Act, allow for the employment of police officers for private purposes, it appears to me that the intent, could not have been for police officers to hold standing duty at private establishments. Rule 11 states that “[w]here members of the Department of and below the rank of Inspector are required for private purposes, such as keeping order at fetes, dances and similar entertainments, or at meetings or functions whatever, the person requiring their services shall pay to the Commissioner of Police in advance the following sums of money for each such member of the Department.”

    Belizean woman knocked down and killed in Melchor
    A San Ignacio woman died after she was knocked down on Monday while seeking to buy medication at a pharmacy in Melchor, Guatemala, for her ailing mother. According to a Guatemalan newspaper, Peten La Verdad de Las Noticias, the victim, “Aura Lidia Betancourth Manzanero, 44, was not able to say goodbye to her mother, who resides in San Francisco, Guatemala, since a vehicle driver who was driving at excessive speed on Fourth Street in Santa Elena Zone 1 ran her over.” The victim’s nephew, Francisco Tzin, told Guatemalan reporters that he and the deceased were crossing the street when the driver lost control of the car.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belizean shot and killed at popular bar in Melchor de Mencos
    Confirmed reports reaching our newsroom indicate that a shooting occurred a short while ago at a popular bar at Champon in neighboring Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. Reports indicate that a Belizean tour operator from San Jose Succotz, Cayo, was shot multiple times inside the establishment in front of his wife.

    Media boycotts police
    The media is currently at odds with the Police Press Department as the model on how information is made public has effectively blackballed the media from access to basic details of major criminal incidents. The media’s frustration has bubbled over into a sustained boycott by many media outlets who have agreed to not cover and report on all police related, community policing and other positive initiatives of the Police. Earlier this week, Breaking Belize News joined Channel 7, Plus TV and other media houses in this boycott.

    OAS Secretary General meets with PUP leaders
    Today, Secretary General of the OAS met with Opposition Leader, John Briceno, Former Prime Minister Said Musa, Chairman of the PUP Henry Usher, and former Senator Lisa Shoman at Independence Hall in Belize City. The Secretary General was accompanied by the Special Representative for the Belize/Guatemala affairs, Magdalena Talamas.

    Barbeque fundraiser being held for woman shot to the head
    Caye Caulker resident, Camille Munnings, was shot to the head and placed in a coma last week. However, doctors are seeking to get her out of the coma naturally by weekend even though a bullet is still lodged in her brain. When she regains consciousness, doctors will examine her brain to determine the damages and will decide if they should remove the bullet or not.

    Superbond 3.0 is now a done deal
    Yesterday, the Government of Belize via a press release announced that holders of more than 87 percent of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds have consented to certain amendments to the terms of those Bonds. According to the release, following extensive consultations with representative bondholders, Belize has now revised its consent solicitation. “The Bonds contain a collective action clause that permits modifications with the written consent of holders of more than 75 percent of the outstanding principal of the Bonds. Once that voting threshold has been reached as it now has for Belize’s Consent Solicitation, the proposed amendments become binding on all holders,” the release states.

    39 people trained to take care of the elderly
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, is Belize’s leading centre for industry specific workforce development, providing effective, demand driven, user-friendly and value based programs that will develop, deliver and sustain a quality work force. Its’ mission is to develop a […]

    OAS Secretary General visits Belize
    Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), H.E. Luis Almagro Lemes arrived in the country yesterday. The Secretary General visited PM Barrow at his office and was accompanied by Special Representative for the Belize-Guatemala Affairs, H.E. Magdalene Talamas, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, […]

    Sunny skies in the forecast today
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize reports that a moderate northeasterly airflow will prevail. The 24-hour forecast is for sunny skies during the day and partly cloudy at night. Showers will be isolated this afternoon and a few showers will develop along the coast […]

    Team building for police women held in Belize City
    A team building session was held for female police officers in Belize City this week. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, participated in the session. Barrow addressed a congregation of female police officers. During her address, Barrow touched on a number […]

    Canadian fugitive wanted for murder in Belize
    A Canadian citizen, 27-year-old Jordan Bacchus, is on the run in his home country by Toronto authorities for multiple firearm offenses. Bacchus, however, is also wanted in Belize in connection with the 2016 murder of Melvin Almendarez in May 2016 in San Pedro.The San Pedro Sun […]

    Government at odds with opposition over SSB purchase of BEL shares
    The People’s United Party (PUP) have condemned the Government of Belize’s purchase of shares in Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) with funds from the social Security Board. On Monday Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during his presentation of the national budget, announced that the SSB would […]

    Two men charged for murder of Keona Ara
    Two (2) men have been charged and are expected to be formally arraigned in court tomorrow morning for the murder of 18 year old Keona Ara. They are 22 year old Jaime Patnett of a Belmopan address and 20 year old Teakettle resident, […]

    Tourism industry asks “Where’s the growth”
    While the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) reports continued growth in the tourism industry, tour operators, hotel and restaurant owners, particularly in inland tourist destinations, are recording declines in their level of business. According to arrival data from the BTB, tourism overnight, cruise, and airport […]

    Policeman knocked down in Belize City
    A police officer was knocked off his motorcycle a few minutes ago in Belize City. According to eyewitness accounts, he was near the corner of King and Albert Street when a van collided into him. The nature of his injuries is not yet known […]

    Where is the key for the San Jose Palmar Community center?
    Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that health workers had to provide medical services on the verandah of the community center in the Village of San Jose Palmar, Orange Walk District for clinic day. This morning, residents were upset because when community health workers arrived, they […]

    Blogs

    Reef to Rainforest: Tiffany Trump enjoys the luxuries of Gaïa Riverlodge and Matachica Resort in Belize
    Sister resorts Gaïa Riverlodge in the Cayo District, and Matachica Resort and Spa on Ambergris Caye were hosts to Tiffany Trump from March 4th through the 11th. The fourth daughter of the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, enjoyed fabulous accommodations and delightful service at both resorts after opting for the Reef to Rainforest package. Alongside her boyfriend Ross Mechanic, Trump enjoyed three nights at Gaïa Riverlodge’s Waterfall View Cabaña, soothed by the sounds of the Five Sisters Waterfalls on site. The couple was accompanied by a secret service team of about 10, who took care of them while they adventured in the mainland. They had a blast zip lining and visiting the Barton Creek area!

    Explorer Series: Mayan Foodie Clarita De La Fuente
    If you’ve ever been to Ka’ana you’ve seen the traditional Mayan fogon (aka kitchen) that sits just above our reception area. If you’re lucky, you’ve taken a private cooking class there from the one and only Ms. Clarita De La Fuente. She’s given our guests a hands-on tour of Mayan culture through the food of its people for years, and now she’s sitting down with us to talk about her history and what makes Mayan cuisine so special. Tell us a bit about where you come from and your heritage. Well, my grandfather was from Mexico while my grandmother was from Guatemala. Both of them were descendants of the Mayas. They settled in Belize and got married in Succotz Village near Ka’ana. I grew up learning all the traditional ways of the Maya people: the culture, the dances, the food.

    What to Do in the Rainforest in Belize
    WestJet Magazine, the in-flight publication of WestJet Airlines, recently recommended visiting the rainforest in Belize. WestJet currently offers non-stop service from Toronto to Belize. In an article published on March 15, 2017, WestJet magazine described some of the many exciting things to do in the rainforest in Belize. If you are interested in exploring the rainforest in Belize, here are four things that WestJet magazine recommended that you include on your vacation: Night Hiking: By day, hikers can marvel at the variety of trees and flowering plants in the rainforest. But it's only at night when the jungle truly comes alive. Lodges like Cave Branch offer guided night hikes through the rainforest, giving visitors a unique chance to glimpse deer, tapirs, wild boar, tarantulas, red-eyed tree frogs, and occasionally even jaguars that call the rainforest home.

    Enjoy a Fabulous Easter in Belize
    Easter is quickly approaching (Easter Sunday is April 17 in 2017) so now is the right time to book a fun vacation in Easter. Whether you're a family looking to reconnect and enjoy some fresh air, honeymooners wanting a romantic getaway, or adventure travelers looking for fun in the sun, there's something for everyone in Belize for Easter. Belize is a hot destination for North American travelers and airlines like Southwest, American, Delta, United, and WestJet make it easier and more affordable than ever to get to Belize in just a few hours. Belize's unique climate means that Easter will fall during the period of "Iguana Rains" this year, a brief season of refreshing early morning rain showers and abundant sunshine with highs around 85F (29C) and lows around 76F (24C). Easter is the only four-day holiday on the calendar in Belize, making it the perfect time to tour the country and soak in some local color.

    Belize: A Hidden Gem Few Americans Know About
    As close as two hours' flying time from the United States is the small nation of Belize, a land where there are no Starbucks, transnational fast food joints, or even big name hotel chains. Far off the radar for many Americans, Belize is rapidly becoming a top destination for exciting vacations. Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala and with a long 180-mile coastline on the Caribbean, Belize is the only country in the region where English is the official language. Despite being roughly the same size as Vermont, Belize was once the heart of the ancient Maya empire and is home to more Maya ruins than anywhere else. A diverse landscape ranging from waterfalls and pristine rainforests all the way to gorgeous tropical islands and sugar sand beaches gives Belize a unique natural beauty. All international flights arrive in Belize City on the Caribbean coast, but the good news is that all the top destinations in the country are within easy reach. Head east and there are hundreds of offshore islands to choose from. The massive Belize Barrier Reef, part of the second-largest coral barrier reef in the world, is a wonderland of marine life ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing. The Lighthouse Atoll is where you'll find the Belize Blue Hole, rated a top 10 personal favorite by legendary oceanographer and documentarian Jacques Cousteau.

    Corozal Community College Business fair 2017
    On Friday March 17th, 2017 the Corozal community college held it's annual Business Fair. This fair is one of the biggest event held in the Corozal Community College School compound. Locals from Corozal are familiar with this event and hundreds came out to support this worthy cause. I traveled to the Compound to witness one of the amazing you did not wanted to miss. Displays from various subjects, Science, Experiment, Physical Education, STEM Club's Display - Automatic Irrigation System and Home Automation System, Primary Math Competition, Electric Power saver, Tacos was sold at the business fair in Corozal Community College 2017. Let's talk about food. It was done by the time I even thought about it. By 1pm most food serving on the compound almost sold out. You could have seen a variety of foods like Tamales, rice and beans; Snacks like: cookies, shrimp ceviche, chipotle, pastries, brownies, drinks like: coffee, natural juices, Soft Drinks and more. I love one of the best homemade chipotle with corn tortilla chips. MM Good! The students of the Corozal Community College spend hard working months preparing this event. And, Also, parents put an extra mile to spend with their child to help this Business fair possible. The teachers and the Vice principal would like to thank all who came out on this business fair 2017. As, I observed the students creativity of Corozal Community College, the time put for this booth took time. I loved the decorations displayed outside the compound. The Bright colors that sparkled from the distance called my attention. All this products where made homemade, creativity.

    International Sourcesizz

    Veterinary team cares for native species at Belize Zoo
    Students at the College of Veterinary Medicine can get an idea of what it’s like to care for wild animals, thanks to a partnership between the college and the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center in Central America. By working with clinicians in the zoo’s animal hospital, the students also contribute to efforts to save some species from extinction. The Belize Zoo focuses exclusively on native species, exhibiting 170 animals representing 45 species, many of them at risk of extinction. The zoo doesn’t capture wildlife for its collection. Instead, animals arrive as orphans or rescues, or are treated at the zoo’s hospital for illnesses or injuries that preclude releasing them back into the wild. Cornell’s partnership with the zoo began in 2011, when wildlife medicine professor George Kollias began taking students to Belize as part of a zoological medicine course.

    You better Belize it
    Sie kommen von vorn, von hinten, von allen Seiten und schwimmen einem sogar zwischen den Beinen hindurch. Ammenhaie, Stechrochen, die Futterzeit am Hausriff von Caye Caulker ist ein beeindruckendes Meeresschauspiel und Pflichtprogramm für jeden, der sich mit dem Boot auf der kleinen Insel vor der Küste von Belize absetzen lässt. Viel mehr, als den ganzen Tag herumzuschnorcheln, gibt es hier auch nicht zu tun. Und genau so soll es sein. Die meisten Rucksackreisenden haben die Maya-Stätten und Kolonialstädte Yucatáns besichtigt, sind auf dem Weg in den Dschungel Guatemalas und zu noch mehr Ruinen. Auf Caye Caulker drücken sie für ein paar Tage die Pausetaste. Von den Hunderten von Inselchen entlang des zweitgrößten Barriereriffs der Welt, ist Caye Caulker am einfachsten zu erreichen und am günstigsten. Das hat Folgen.

    Caribbean islands count on coral to build up coastal resilience
    Twice a week, fisherman Romould Compton puts on scuba gear to dive to the seabed and clean tiny elkhorns growing in the coral nursery off the Caribbean island of Carriacou, tending them until they can be transplanted to a damaged reef nearby. He hopes his conservation work will help to bring back more of the fish, such as red snapper, king butterfish and hind, that many islanders depend on. "In my area we depend on the reef for our survival and livelihoods, and a lot of reef is dead," said Compton by phone from Windward, Carriacou, one of the lush, mountainous islands that make up Grenada in the southeast of the Caribbean. "A lot of unemployment has been happening so we've got to turn to the sea to keep our livelihood going." Across the Caribbean, scores of projects are underway to restore battered coral reefs and replant damaged mangroves, crucial to livelihoods from fishing and income from the millions of tourists who flock to the tropical beaches each year.

    An Introduction to Coral Reefs
    The tropical latitudes of the world’s oceans could be called the desert sand dunes of the ocean. They are barren, relatively sterile places. The water is a pleasure to swim and snorkel in – but because it is so warm, it tends to float on top of the colder water underneath. This inhibits the deep-water upwellings that bring nutrients to the ocean’s surface – the same process that makes waters off the California coast so exorbitantly productive, though frigid and murky. But there is one brilliant exception to the general scarcity of life in the tropical oceans: coral reefs. These colorful ecosystems teem with circuses of sea creatures. They host as many one quarter of the ocean’s species, including such photogenic reef icons as moray eels, clownfish and groupers, with food and shelter. Coral reefs, unique to bathtub-warm waters, create wave breaks that protect coastal communities. They provide income for fishermen and food for millions. They support lucrative tourism, often based on snorkeling and scuba diving. The organisms living in coral reefs may even offer scientists clues in their search for a cure for cancer.

    Why Are Basketball Games So Squeaky? Consider the Spiny Lobster
    It is the unofficial soundtrack of basketball, a noise consistently heard but rarely considered — rubber-soled shoes squeaking on the hardwood. Squeaks are the background rhythm to the game. But that sound is also one of the enduring mysteries of sports, and presents a question that gets scientists talking: Why do basketball shoes squeak? To understand, it may help to consider violins and the California spiny lobster. Sheila Patek, a biologist at Duke University, is an expert in spiny lobsters, among other oddities of the animal kingdom, and several years ago discovered that some species of the clawless crustaceans do something utterly unusual. To scare away predators, they rub a smooth, rubbery protrusion at the base of each antenna against the smooth, hard part of their heads. The result is an audible squawk. The spiny lobster became the first known example among animals of the stick-slip phenomenon, a deeply studied principle of science and engineering. It is when two relatively smooth or flat surfaces become repeatedly stuck and unstuck by the forces of friction, creating a vibration that becomes a noise.

    Derek Walcott, Poet and Nobel Laureate of the Caribbean, Dies at 87
    Derek Walcott, whose intricately metaphorical poetry captured the physical beauty of the Caribbean, the harsh legacy of colonialism and the complexities of living and writing in two cultural worlds, bringing him a Nobel Prize in Literature, died early Friday morning at his home near Gros Islet in St. Lucia. He was 87. His death was confirmed by his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. No cause was given, but he had been in poor health for some time, the publisher said. Mr. Walcott’s expansive universe revolved around a tiny sun, the island of St. Lucia. Its opulent vegetation, blinding white beaches and tangled multicultural heritage inspired, in its most famous literary son, an ambitious body of work that seemingly embraced every poetic form, from the short lyric to the epic.

    Commonwealth trade a non-starter for Britain and the Caribbean
    What was described as an “historic meeting” of Commonwealth trade and investment ministers in London recently, in an attempt to make use of the “Commonwealth advantage” to boost trade within the 52-member bloc, is more likely to prove to be an exercise in practical futility, and more of cynical attempt at political cosmetics by the British government to allay Brexit fears domestically. Ministers and representatives from just 35 countries attended the meeting on March 9-10, jointly convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. However, Kehinde Andrews, writing in London’s Guardian newspaper in the context of Britain’s scramble for a Commonwealth free trade area widely viewed as “Empire 2.0”, said, speaking of the African experience, “Nations no longer ruled by force and fear will not supplicate themselves to Britain because of misty memories of empire.”

    Videos

  • Parrot Fish Poop Makes Beautiful Beaches, 1min. The beautiful white sand beaches and reefs of tropical areas around the world exist largely thanks to parrot fish droppings. The Maldives form a constellation of almost 1,200 coral reef islands in the Indian Ocean. They have stunning white sand beaches surrounded by emerald blue water. And according to a new study, they may owe their existence to parrotfish. More specifically: to parrot fish poop. For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Julia Rosen.

  • Land of Belize, December 2016, 6min.

  • Belize Training Run, 6min. Canoeing in the river

  • Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge - the Video!, 7min. Here's the video of our 2017 La Ruta Maya experience! The rainstorm at 4 minutes is the best!

  • Shark Feeding - San Pedro, Belize - Jan 2017, 6min.

  • Quading thru a police checkpoint in Belize, 11min. Was going to buy and forgot my Ls at home. Officer Hernandez let me go home nd get it. I left in a hurry ;)P. My apologizes for the rattling sound. Belize roads destroy everything. TURN YOUR VOLUME DOWN SOME.

  • A short sunset timelapse this evening in Belize City., 1min.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 14, 90min.

  • Take A Virtual Nap in Belize, 20min. If you can’t be in Belize to kick your feet up, here’s the next best thing - 20 minutes of soothing Belize audio courtesy of The Touch of Sound that will instantly transport you to a Belizean hammock for the perfect power nap. ZZZ.

  • LENNOX SAMUELS, THE WORLD & BELIZE! (PART ONE), 35min. When you are persistent and patient there are many credible things that come your way. This awesome story about a renaissance man named Lennox Samuels who hails from Belizean shores was intended to be written some thirty years ago. And through the kind patronage of some very good friends, it has finally come to view and to you the Belizean Legends audience. Early in my migration from Belize to the windy city of Chicago, Illinois in the United States in 1981, one of my brothers had introduced me to a Belizean brother, Calvin Flowers, studying medicine at the University of Chicago. It was an opportunity of a lifetime that was given to me in concern for my educational pursuits since yours truly's journey had began as a medical student and later ended up as one in the field of journalism. Calvin Flowers struggle to succeed will require volumes here, and for another time, but he painted for me a portrait of a Belizean colleague who had succeeded spectacularly in the field of journalism and was doing big things already on the American scene. Calvin said Samuels wrote a story about him called,"Illegal Alien", after the outstanding journalist had completed a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Journalism at Marquette University. The story thrilled me emotionally as much as the one of Calvin's iron-man personality that was revealed in front of me as a positive role model of perseverance and tenacity.

  • ORANGE WALK PRE SCHOOLERS TAKE THE STAGE AT THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS, 5min.

  • EMPOWERING WOMEN IN A CHANGING WORLD FOR A BETTER TOMORROW, 5min.

  • INNOVATIVE IDEAS SHOWCASED AT BISHOP MARTIN HIGH SCHOOL’S ANNUAL OPEN DAY, 8min.

  • San Pedro High School Boys WIN! They are off to the Softball National Finals!!! CONGRATS!!!, 1/2min. San Pedro win 13-3!!!

  • Belize NOW - Episode 14, March 17, 32min. The Prime Minister presents the 2017-2018 budget, GoB rejects IMF’s punitive proposals, and we got an update on Belize’s Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now!

  • Romain Virgo will be live in concert at the ITVET today, Saturday, March 18th!, 3min.

  • UnBelizeable 2017, 7min. 1 week holiday in Belize

  • Belize 2016, 6min.

  • Mahahual, 5.5min. Mahahual Mexico small town in the yucatan peninsula near the belize border. Is a quiet town with 1000 people. It gets full during the day when a couple of cruise ships comes in and visitors come out to play. great snorkeling, bird watching, scuba, food, and camping.

  • Belize Tour To Cave Tubing., 45min.

  • Swimming With Sharks | San Pedro, Belize, 9.5min. I went to belize for spring break, I got a ton of footage diving, ate lots of delishious food. I highly reccomend going.

  • Belize Mali: Drumming, 15min. Practice session at Antelope St Ext Belize City @Hamalali Wayunagu Headquarters

  • Belkize 2016, 52min.

  • Missionary receives Belize’s first ever Lifetime Humanitarian Award and appointed as Belize’s first, 8min.

  • Belize Jungle Life Hasta Alaska S03E07, 15min.

    March 17, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    New mural features Belize’s rich ecosystem
    In their efforts to continue spreading awareness against oil exploration in Belize, the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage and Oceana in Belize inaugurated their ninth mural on Monday, March 13th. During a ceremony held on Laguna Drive, San Pedro Town saw the unveiling of the artwork depicting Belize’s rich marine ecosystem. The initiative is part of a nationwide mural campaign, featuring scenes of the marine environment along the coast of Belize. The San Pedro mural depicts some of the marine wildlife and the richness of the barrier reef that lies in front of the island. During a short ceremony held at Oasis del Caribe Apartments and Condominiums on Laguna Drive, Janelle Chanona, Vice President of Oceana in Belize spoke about the importance of such projects. “These paintings should be a reminder that we need to protect these rich natural resources, which support many livelihoods. San Pedro is the prime tourist destination in this country, and the barrier reef is vital for the local and national economy. We can’t stop the fight. These murals are another way of saying no to offshore oil exploration, and yes to the well-being of our natural resources.”

    Fugitive Jordan Bacchus is also wanted in Toronto, Canada
    According to the post, 6’1, thin-built, 27-year-old Jordan Bacchus has been wanted since February 23, 2017 for multiple firearm offences. It is alleged that on February 22nd the Toronto Police Service executed several search warrants at addresses in Toronto in relation to Bacchus. However, he was not located. Toronto police indicate that he was last observed driving a charcoal-colored Infiniti four-door automobile in the Christie Street and Dupont Street area. During several exchanges, Toronto police revealed to The San Pedro Sun that they were aware that Bacchus was wanted for murder in Belize, and this information helped them to obtain the necessary search warrants they used in an attempt to apprehend him. Bacchus has been at large since the searches. In San Pedro, Almendarez’s widow Nancy told The San Pedro Sun that this new information has brought some sense of relief. “After my husband was murdered, I did not give up. I go to the police station multiple times a month to find out if they have found my husband’s killer. Police have not assisted me very well, and they always tell me that they don’t know where Bacchus is.

    Reef Week Opens in San Pedro with beach clean up
    San Pedro Town participated on Sunday, March 12th, with a reef swim cleanup effort. At 7AM, many ocean conservationists dressed in snorkel gear gathered at the Isla Bonita Yacht Club’s dock. The participants swam to Central Park, while cleaning sea beds and picking up debris such as: bottles, engine parts, tires, old anchors, ropes, and other items. According to Martin John Leslie, Reef Swim organizer, islanders showed their love for the environment by attending the event. “A lot of people came out, and they mainly cleaned the sea grass beds from in front of Belize Yacht Club to the Central Park-parallel to the Barrier Reef. Because many juvenile fish shelter in sea grass beds, cleaning them helps to protect the fish from predators,” said Leslie.

    Southwest Airlines inaugurates new route; Denver-Belize
    On Saturday, March 11th, American air carrier Southwest Airlines and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) inaugurated the first non-stop flight between Denver, Colorado, USA and Belize. This new service will be seasonal, operating from Denver International Airport every Saturday from March until April 22, 2017, and then Saturdays and Sundays from June 4th through August 14th. The inaugural flight was received with much fanfare, including the traditional water baptism by the Belize Fire Department. Also onsite were dancers performing folkloric dances. Southwest Representatives, BTB officials and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. all gave official remarks. “It is always a pleasure to welcome a new route to Belize,” said Heredia. “Southwest Airlines continues to show its commitment to Belize, making us more accessible to US travellers.”

    Ambergris Today

    BTIA Says GOB’s Proposed Revenue Measures Could Heavily Affect Belize Tourism
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) has issued a press release in which the organization is calling for the Government of Belize to reconsider two pieces of proposed legislation in the national budget that was presented to the country on Monday, March 13, 2017. BTIA states that these two proposals can pose very serious consequences for Belize’s tourism sector. The Belize Tourism Industry Association hereby presents a position paper in response to GOB's proposed amendment to increase PACT Fee and Departure Tax.

    REEF WEEK: Belizeans Highlight Contributions of Reef to National Economy
    More than 190,000 Belizeans living in Belize’s coastal and island communities earn their livelihoods from tourism, making that industry account for almost 25% of the country’s gross domestic product. Another 15,000 Belizeans are directly dependent on Belize’s fisheries for their livelihoods. So it is not surprising that economic reports show that in the areas of tourism, fishing and shoreline protection, the Belize Barrier Reef contributes more than a billion dollars every year to Belize. Therefore, efforts to ensure health and integrity of our marine resources also ensure economic sustainability for the country, and safeguard the interests of almost two thirds of Belize’s population.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    THE BELIZE ZOO RUNS SLOGAN COMPETITION FOR TAPIR CONSERVATION
    In honor of National Tapir Day and “Fuego” the Tapir’s 4th birthday, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is inviting Upper Division Primary School students countrywide to enter a slogan competition to celebrate this wonderful occasion. The slogan should promote tapir conservation and awareness reflecting pride as our national animal and may highlight their habitat, their role in the environment, or the threats they face. Interested schools will receive an illustrated information package about Belize’s National Animal to assist in creating a great slogan. Entries should not be more than 12 words long. For more information and requirements for the competition contact education@belizezoo.org. Students who submit the winning entries and their classmates will be special guests of honour at Fuego’s 4th birthday bash and National Tapir Day celebrations on Thursday April 27th at The Belize Zoo. For those folks who work with local Primary Schools or have kids attending Upper Division, please spread the word!

    Hon. Edmond Castro Delivers Keynote Address at Inauguration of Biscayne Water System
    On Wednesday, March 15th, Minister of National Emergency Management and Belize Rural North Area Representative, Honourable Edmond Castro was the main speaker at an inauguration ceremony for a new water system in the village of Biscayne in the Belize District. This marks the completion of Sub-Project Phase II of the Water Expansion Project covering Biscayne Village and complementing the earlier phase inaugurated last year, which provides water for the adjacent village of Gardenia. This portion runs from mile 24.5 to mile 29.1 of the Phillip Goldson Highway and was executed at a cost of BZ$1.3 million, BZ$465,000 being a grant from the German Government, and BZ $835,000 being BWS’ contribution.

    The San Pedro Town Council will be closing its offices tomorrow, Friday, March 17, 2017 at 12:00 noon
    We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

    Senior Citizen Perishes in Fire
    Sometime before 2 a.m. on Thursday, 16th of March a fire occurred on Iguana Street in Belize City. 86 year old Louise Berry did not survive the blaze which burned the modest wooden structure.

    The PUP Belize Rural South Marshall's Community Service Corp. demonstrated today in San Pedro
    Against the irresponsible lack of medical care and facilities on the islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker. We have all lost so many loved ones from both sides of the political spectrum due the lack of medical facilities and emergency response. We call directly now on our Area Representative for BRS, Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor Daniel Guerrero to please address this very serious issue. A hospital was promised in 2011. 6 years later, our residents continue to suffer and succumb to the lack of emergency care and facilities. The PUP is here to speak out for those who no longer can and those who are afraid to do so. We will work with anyone, including our elected officials, to see an end to these unnecessary tragedies plaguing our island homes.

    Hats and Scarves Palm Sunday Luncheon
    Sunday, April 9 at 11 AM - 3 PM, Belize Biltmore Plaza 3 Miles Northern Highway Belize City, Belize City. Come out for an afternoon of musical enchantment and spectacular foods. Support the Belize Cancer Society Hats and Scarves Palm Sunday Luncheon, Sunday, April 9th, 2017. Reserve your tickets early and experience an afternoon unlike any other! Exciting raffles and door prizes. Mouth watering sweet treats will be on sale , Cash Bar. Contact us at 223-0922 or email us at belizecancersociety@gmail.com to reserve your ticket today.

    Benque Women's Day Celebration
    The Benque HoC celebrated Women's Day. March is Women's and Children's Month. "The Joy, the power, the challenges and strengths of a Women are just some of the natural traits of a Woman's virtue and possession,yesterday many Women shared their journey, empowering stories from the professional ground, lifeskills and the Artistry of being a woman in a changing environment. We are immensely grateful to all our women who participated as presenters, performers and engaging audience. Lastly we thank the efforts of Mrs. Cynthia Williams, Coordinator of the Women's Department for all her efforts in travelling from Belize City to Benque to address our audience! Celebrating Women for all contributions everyday and all day!"

    Rabies Vaccinations Saturday in Cayo
    The SISE Town Council and the Ministry of Health are promoting rabies vaccinations Saturday, March 18th, by having free shots all around Cayo. There will be 5 stations set up around Cayo, and they'll be there from 10:00am until 3:00pm. If your cat or dog is at least 3 months old, they can get the shot.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Why Him?, Assassin's Creed, Silence, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Note: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter starts at 9:30.. Also, Projector for screen 2 has been upgraded and looks better than ever.

    PALMAR GOV'T CHAIRMAN REFUSING COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS ACCESS TO COMMUNITY CENTRE
    This morning the Community Health workers found themselves with closed doors after the Village Chairman has seemingly closed the space in the Community Centre that was set aside for a Community Clinic, refusing to give the key for access. Patients had to be treated outside; no regard for their health and hygiene. Another high handed act by Gov't officials in power, and the ones who suffer: the People. Note: A space within the community centre had been assigned for a "Clinica General Familiar" but health is not a priority for this Chairman and Government, wanting to move this clinic out.

    Belize - Hurricane Earl (MDRBZ005): Final Report
    REPORT from International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Hurricane Earl made landfall on 4 August 2016, with wind gusts of up to 110 km/h, as estimated by the United States’ National Hurricane Centre. NEMO reported major infrastructural and building damage, forcing 170 people to seek shelter in collective centres in Belize City, Cayo and Orange Walk. In total, 10,355 people (2,071 families) were affected after Hurricane Earl ripped through Belize as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind scale. Belize City and Ladyville were the most affected areas; NEMO assigned these areas (periurban areas) to the National Society, which conducted detailed assessments following the disaster. Meanwhile, the government provided immediate relief to the affected people and communities.

    Caribbean Islands Count on Coral to Build Up Coastal Resilience
    Twice a week, fisherman Romould Compton puts on scuba gear to dive to the seabed and clean tiny elkhorns growing in the coral nursery off the Caribbean island of Carriacou, tending them until they can be transplanted to a damaged reef nearby. He hopes his conservation work will help to bring back more of the fish, such as red snapper, king butterfish and hind, that many islanders depend on. "In my area we depend on the reef for our survival and livelihoods, and a lot of reef is dead," said Compton by phone from Windward, Carriacou, one of the lush, mountainous islands that make up Grenada in the southeast of the Caribbean.

    HON. TRACY TAEGAR PAYS TRIBUTE TO WOMEN POLICE OFFICERS ON THE OCCASION OF WOMEN’S MONTH
    Hon. Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State for the Ministry responsible for Investment, Trade & Commerce, today paid tribute to women police officers for their personal sacrifices to safeguard Belize’s peaceful democracy and for their commitment and unparalleled dedication to the work of nation building, “a job reserved for women of strength.” The Minister was delivering a motivational speech to women police officers and civilian staff of The Belize Police Department, Eastern Division, during a two-day seminar as part of activities celebrating Women’s Month during the month of March. As part of Women’s Month activities, the Police Department embarked on an initiative to refresh, motivate and recharge the essence of team spirit and professionalism amongst the female populace within the department. Traditionally during Women's Month the Department seeks creative and innovative ways to highlight and celebrate women. And this year is no different.

    St. Patrick's Day Beach BASH at Crazy Canucks!
    We shouldn't have to remind you.....but TOMORROW beginning at 1pm is our St. Patrick's Day Beach BASH! DJ from 1-7pm. Karaoke beginning at 7pm. Corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots for $25bz. Irish Car Bombs $12bz. Lucky Leprechaun shots $5bz. Green Beer $5bz. Belikin Beer giveaways. Saga Humane Society 50/50 raffle. Free beads and temporary tattoos. Wear your green and be ready to party like a Leprechaun. Bring your friends!

    Preschoolers come to the Corozal Library
    We are in the Middle of Child Stimulation Month! We have had a lot of fun with preschoolers that have been coming to the library! So far we have had the following schools: Ranchito, Fairy Land, Paraiso, St. Francis Xavier, Christiline Gill... Check out the pics!

    Channel 7

    Octogenarian Perishes In Fire
    An 86 year old woman perished in a fire early this morning. Louise Berry was inside her small wooden home when the flames and smoke engulfed her home. Berry was trying to escape but the fire spread quickly and engulfed her. It is a devastating blow to a family who has already lost close loved ones. Courtney Weatherburne has more details. Everyday Louise Berry would sell newspapers outside Brodies on Albert Street. Berry would sit right beside her brother, who also tries to make a few bucks himself. But today instead of enjoying his sister's company, he has to settle for a freshly cut rose peering out of a water bottle. His sister was burnt alive in a house fire early this morning around 1:00. Gretel Lopez, Stepsister: "Well I was asleep and my son hollered to me but we taught it was something happening to him out there so we jumped up but when I reached the door, the kids were shouting fire Mom, fire."

    Fire Department Says Candles May Be The Cause
    Now the fire department has already ruled out any electrical problems as the cause of the fire but they are looking definitely looking at Berry's use of candles as one cause. Benesford Matura, Operations Officer - BNFS: "Well I can say its not electrical and we also, the investigators, picked up that the neighbors say that she has that tendency of, although she has electricity, keep a candle lit. We are still out there investigating, but we are leaning towards that. But we just have to certify that that's what caused the fire." Reporter: "When fire officials got on the scene, were they able to ascertain whether the woman was still alive at that point in time?" Benesford Matura, Operations Officer - BNFS: "No, by the time we arrived there she was already probably overcome by the smoke and passed away." Berry had electricity.

    Two Teakettle Residents Charged
    Yesterday we told you that police had detained three people, two men and a woman, for questioning about the murder of 18 year old Kerona Ara. Well, the female was released, and both men have been charged. They are Teakettle residents, 22 year old Jaime Patnett and 20 year old Shaylon Santos and this evening, they were officially charged with Ara's murder. Shaylon Santos is the older brother of Shemar Santos, who was charged with the murder of Ernesto Wiltshire earlier this month. He is also the man who Ara's mother, Sherlene Mai, told us she suspected of killing her daughter. Both Santos and Patnett have been further remanded, and will appear in court tomorrow.

    Arilee's Fire Not Electrical
    The Fire Department has concluded that the fire at Arilee Scott's Prince Street home was not caused by faulty electrical connections. Yesterday Scott's son told us that the house had electrical problems ever since it was rebuilt after the last fire 10 years ago. But today the Fire Department's Operations Officer said that the cause of the fire is a lot simpler than that:... Benesford Matura, Operations Officer - BNFS: "At approximately 7am yesterday morning we got a call for a structural fire on Prince Street. Upon arrival the 2 store dwelling was a bit a few yards in on Prince Street. The upper flat bedroom was totally engulfed and flames were mostly concentrated in the upper flat." "We got into operations and quickly extinguish that fire, because if you can see the remains are not much. The entire downstairs is safe with a little water damage. We extinguish that fire and investigation is showing that it's not electrical. We ruled that out. The origin of the fire is on the top of one of the bedroom in the upper flat, but precisely what started it, what came together to start that fire we are still investigating - still trying to figure out what caused that fire."

    Cop Ran Head On Into Car Crossing Intersection
    Today a cop suffered minor injury when he ran into a car that was crossing a busy intersection on Albert Street. The police officer was heading down Albert Street but as he approached the intersection of Albert and King Street - a car tried to dart across. The officer, who had the right-of-way was unable to slow down or avoid the vehicle that tried to "tief chance" and cross the intersection before he could pass. The officer seemed relatively unharmed, and got up and was able to walk almost immediately after the accident. He received medical attention from paramedics on the scene.

    Cost Ran Into Motorcycle Driver
    Now, an accident that's almost the exact opposite happened two days ago on Fairweather Street in Belize City. That's when a Tourism Police Unit Pickup on Dolphin Street hit a motorbike that was crossing the intersection. The man driving the motorbike was flung to the pavement and appeared to have sustained minor injury.

    Mother Of Two Will Be Raised From Coma With Bullet Still Lodged In Brain
    Now we have an update on the condition of Camille Munnings. The mother of two was shot in the head in Caye Caulker early last week. Munnings was put into a medically induced coma to reduce the trauma to her brain and has been fighting for her life since. While there is still a bullet lodged in her head, we received some good news today. According to her sister, doctors have decided to bring her out of the coma. They are letting the process happen naturally, and expect her to regain consciousness sometime this weekend. After she wakes up, more tests will have to be conducted to determine exactly how extensive the damage to her brain was. Doctors are also debating whether or not they should remove the bullet, as extracting it could do more harm than good.

    San Ignacio Sensae
    Yesterday morning, San Ignacio Police found five and a half pounds of weed at a residence on Macal Street in San Ignacio Town. The weed was broken down into three packages. Police also searched near a creek and found another black plastic bag with half a pound of weed. No. one was around, so the drugs were labelled as "Found Property".

    Vegetable Smugglers In North
    And Customs in the north have also been making seizures, not of cannabis, but of contraband. On Wednesday morning at 11:00 on the Santa Cruz Road busted this Ford Ranger pickup truck very loaded with an assortment of vegetables including heads of lettuce and large onions, which were being smuggled into the country. And last night. And then last night at 11:30 on the Blue Creek Road, Customs intercepted this Chevy Colorado full sized pickup. It was again loaded with Mexican vegetable smuggled in illegally. Customs confiscated all the goods and the vehicles.

    The In's And Out's Of The Highly Permeable Passport System
    Last night, we showed you coverage of yesterday's session of the Senate Hearings on Immigration. The witness in the hot seat was was Rodolfo Bol, currently the IT Manager at the Immigration Department. He rejected allegations from the Auditor General that he attempted to conceal information on the passport machine from their audit. He also explained how dishonest persons managed to get a bogus picture onto the system for the Won Hong Kim passport. He said that from the Department's investigation, the Immigration Officer who took the picture was Immigration Officer Erwin Robinson. That's the officer who the Auditor General's report also points to, but there is a bit of a doubt. That's because Robinson had access to the passport system through a username and password, which could be compromised. Bol revealed yesterday that that just because Robinson's account information was used to access the passport system, it doesn't conclusively mean that he took it. He told the Senators that Robinson's password could be changed, allowing someone else to use his access profile.

    CITO Manager Says He Was Unduly Blamed
    In the last hour of the Senate hearing yesterday, the committee called Francisco Gonzalez, who is currently the Acting Director of the Central Information Technology Office, CITO. Back in November 2013 to February 2014, he was assigned to the Audit Team which went in to investigate the Immigration Department for irregularities. The team utilized his skills to extract information from the passport system. They cross referenced that with hard-copy records of application, to identify any inconsistencies, which could point to irregularities. So, his input was very valuable, but a few months into the audit, he went away to Taiwan on training. The Auditor General and her team did not take too kindly to that decision. They interpreted his sudden exit as frustrating to their audit, which they assert was negatively impacted due to his absence and his contribution. Yesterday, Gonzalez testified before the Senate that his exit was not so sudden, and whenever he was called upon, he performed to the best of his abilities:

    Riding The Waves
    Today Belize City just got a leg up in the fight against flooding. New devices called limnimeters have been installed above key waterways in the city and in Burrell Boom. These new machines are able to record the height of the water in real time, allowing officials to respond to flood related disaster much faster and greater precision. We spoke to Belize City Councilor Phillip Willoughby, who is responsible for the City's flood mitigation about the importance of this new technology... The new meters will allow City officials to predict and respond to incoming floods.

    Botched Case: Cholom Is Free After Nine Months
    He allegedly admitted to having sex with a 13 year old but 46 year old Santiago Cholom has been set free after nine months behind bars. His attorney, Oswald Twist successfully argued before the judges of the court of appeal that a number of serious technical errors had been made in the case. The DPP's office conceded to these errors and the judges of the court of appeal set Cholom free. Ususally, they would just order a retrial. Notably, Cholom's confession was not accepted in court because it was written in English which Cholom who is a Maya, says he does not understand.

    SSB To Buy BEL Shares
    In all the big business of Budget Monday at the House of Representatives, one major piece of news that got blushed over is Government's decision to sell 15 million dollars' worth of its shares in BEL to the Social Security Board. That's 3 million shares at five dollars each. Government needs the cash and says it won't change the government holdings in the utility. But the PUP says GOB is using Social security as a piggy bank: Hon. John Briceño - Leader of the Opposition: "Pretty much the government is using Social Security as their piggy bank, transferring these shares so that they can try to prop up their budget, because it's a budget that's in serious trouble." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "SSB which already owns as I indicated a substantial amount of shares in BEL since this government nationalize, has realize a significant return well above what it can get for any fixed deposits in the banks every single year. This is an investment in which SSB can't miss. You can't get anything by leaving the money in the bank. This is a sure fire investment that will help SSB."

    Hola Almagro!
    OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro arrived in the country today. He came in at around noon, and zipped to a meeting with the Prime Minister at his Belize City Office. Almagro was accompanied by Special Representative for Belize-Guatemala Affairs Magdalene Talamas, They were joined by Foreign Minister Hon. Wilfred Elrington and Belize's Permanent Representative to the OAS Ambassador Patrick Andrews. Almagro will hold a press briefing tomorrow.

    Placencia Tourist Died By Drowning
    53 year old American Tourist Steven Gail Wine died from drowning. That's what a post mortem concluded today. On Tuesday, the tourist from Colorado was socializing with his wife and other family members in Placencia village. He left the group, and went for a dip but never resurfaced. A few minutes later, his wife found him motionless in the sea.

    BTIA Worried About Sagging Occupancy Rates
    The Belize Tourism Board has been constantly reporting record breaking numbers. But, while we haven't seen any numbers for 2017 yet, there are anecdotal reports from some hotels that occupancy is down. This was underscored when we spoke to the Executive Director of the BTIA yesterday. John Burgos - Executive Director, BTIA: "We cannot take it for granted that because we saw increasing arrivals in 2016, that that's going to be the case for 2017. We have heard many concerns from our members stating that their occupancy rates was better in 2015 than in 2016. But the overnight arrivals have increased. How do you explain that?" Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Air B&B?"

    Vega Not Coming Back To House?
    The UDP's Gaspar Vega has missed four straight house meetings. Ever since the Orange Walk North Representative resigned in scandal in October, 2016, he has not attended a house meeting. And when you see his seat at the very far end of the back bench, you can kind of understand why the man who used to hold the number 2 seat, may be reluctant to attend. After all, that's the seat that was previously reserved for Elvin Penner. The Leader of the Opposition discussed his absences. Hon. John Briceño - Leader of the Opposition: "Look at what he has done to Gaspar Vega? He has put him all the way to the last seat. Not even next to Dr. Campos. I think that's an insult to Gaspar Vega and even to the people in Orange Walk North that voted for Gaspar Vega in the last general elections."

    PG Progress
    Residents of Punta Gorda Town are finally enjoying the completed works of a rehabilitated road and drainage infrastructure project. It's a 1.7 million dollar investment which the Government of Belize, and the Punta Gorda Town Council collaborated on to work on roads such the Hopeville Loop, and the Robert Pennell and Lucille Melendrez Streets. The project, implemented by the Social Investment Fund, came with chip seal roads surfaces, a drainage system, street markings, and road signs. It was officially inaugurated with a ceremony yesterday on those brand new streets in PG, and here's what the Minister responsible for SIF, and the Mayor had to say: Residents of PG told us that this project was first started under the previous PUP Town Council, and it was expected that about 6 months later, it would have been finished. Unfortunately, the completed works took almost 3 years.

    Jail For Firearm
    20 year-old Stephen Mejia is at the Prison tonight after being found guilty of possessing a loaded 9 millimeter pistol. He stood trial before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where to 2 police officers testified that on the morning of September 1, 2016, they were on mobile patrol on Dunn Street, when they saw 2 men on bicycles. The cops say that the men made a dash to escape, and according to the officer, he saw Stephen Mejia, throw a gun over a zinc fence. They later recovered a Glock pistol, loaded with 9 live rounds. In his defense, Mejia told the court he was innocent. He disputed that the officers saw him throw anything away.

    Luz Longsworth's Ascent
    Today the UWI Open Campus gets a new Chancellor. Dr. Luz Longsworth will officially be inducted as the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies in Belize. Longsworth is the third woman to hold a position of such high standing since the Campus' inception in 2008. Longsworth has over 25 years of experience in academia and business, and served as a director of the open campus since 2008. We'll have more on her impressive ascension tomorrow.

    Channel 5

    2 from Teakettle Charged in Keonia Ara Murder
    Two young men from the village of Teakettle are facing charges of murder in connection with the brutal slaying of eighteen-year-old Keonia Ara over the weekend.  As we’ve reported, the [...]

    Fatal Flash Fire Traps 86-Year-Old Louise Berry
    There have been two fires in the past two days in Belize City, one of which was fatal for an elderly woman. The most recent fire occurred just after one [...]

    Fire Department Chasing Suspected Cause of Prince Street Fire
    The other fire occurred on Wednesday morning on Price Street in downtown Belize City. Sometime after seven o’clock, Arilee Scott and her four-year-old grandson were inside the two storey wooden [...]

    APAMO Attempts to Persuade G.O.B. Not to Tax PACT
    The first serious objection to the bundle of tax measures introduced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the government at Monday’s budget presentation was raised by the Belize Tourism Industry [...]

    Your Bottle of Rum May Cost a Lot More in April
    News Five has uncovered information of an unreported, unexpected increase in the excise tax on rum, reported to us at as much as a hundred-percent increase.  It has been proposed [...]

    At Senate, Rodolfo Bol Questioned over Alleged System Tampering by Audit
    Rodolfo Bol is the Immigration Department’s former System Manager, and current I.T. Manager. He has been with the Department since 2004. He manages the passport machine system and border management [...]

    How BPIS Failed in Won Hong Kim Case
    Bol was also questioned on the most infamous example of how the Belize Passport and Information System was breached during the tenure covered by the Auditor General’s Report from 2011 [...]

    Man Dodges Heavy Sentence for Throw-Away Gun
    Twenty-year-old Stephen Mejia of Antelope Street in Belize City is behind bars after he was sentenced to one year in prison for keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. In September [...]

    Court of Appeal Dismisses Carnal Knowledge Conviction for Santiago Cholom
    After nine months behind bars, forty-six-year-old Santiago Cholom is home free, following a decision by the Court of Appeal to have him released due to a number of errors during [...]

    B.T.I.A. Calls for More Spending on Tourism Destinations
    On Wednesday night, we told you about the B.T.I.A.’s strong position on G.O.B.’s proposed revenue measures which include increasing the PACT fee, as well as taking ten percent of the2017-2018 [...]

    25 years of Healthy Teeth with Project Smile
    A dental initiative for Anglican primary schools in Belize City has students motivated to smile and show off their clean, pearly whites. Project Smile is a dental program of the [...]

    The “Y” Marks 61 Years
    The YWCA is celebrating sixty-one years of being in Belize. To mark this milestone, on Sunday they started a week of activities under the theme “Empowering Women in a Changing [...]

    All-Male Baker to Vegas “Protectors” Try for Repeat Performance
    A team of athletes from the Belize National Coast Guard, the Belize Police Department and the Belize Defense Force is headed to the United States next week to participate in [...]

    Seasons of Sickness: Healthy Living Tells What to Watch For
    Doctors are accustomed to seeing cases of certain illnesses rise at specific times of the year. This time of year – although the weather is quite “UN-Marchlike” – pediatricians tend [...]

    CTV3

    PUP Leader Dialogues With Students Of Belize Adventist College
    There were listening ears and curious minds at the Belize Adventist Junior College in Calcutta Village, Corozal District this morning, as the Leader of the Opposition Hon. John Briceno paid a special visit to address the students of the institution. The People’s United Party leader spoke on a variety of key issues affecting the country at the moment including the economy, education, unemployment and the lack of opportunities for young people, and the budget and how it impacts young people.

    Opposition Leader Speaks On Upcoming Debate
    The Barrow Administration’s 2017-2018 draft Budget presented on Monday of this week will go under heavy scrutiny by the Opposition People’s United Party on Thursday March 23rd and Friday March 24th when the House meets once more for its annual budget debate. Opposition leader Hon. John Briceno has done a review of the Prime Minister’s budget speech, questioning his sincerity about the numbers presented for the next fiscal year. Briceno has called the budget a bogus budget and today he repeated that the PM’s numbers just don’t make sense.

    Mayor Bernard Weigh In On Budget Presentation
    The Prime Minister’s 2017/2018 $1.18 billion National Budget presented on Monday is giving much to talk about. The plan for the Barrow administration is to raise close to $80 million dollars in revenue from increased taxes which will then be used to plug the budget’s flaring deficit. Today we took the opportunity to ask the Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard, for his input on the budget itself. He responded by saying that it is merely a sham as it puts additional burden on all Belizeans. Kevin Bernard – Mayor, Orange Walk Town: “This budget is a Bogus Budget, this budget will see increase in taxes to the hard working Belizean middle class, I mean our electricity will go up we will pay more we are already suffering when environmental tax is added on 1% the consumer will pay; fuel we’ve been suffering from fuel cost for quite some time now the Prime Minister come and say they are going...”

    Twenty Five Workers Sacked From Princess Casino Near Free Zone
    Reliable information to CTV-3 news is that about twenty five employees of Princess Casino located at the Santa Elena border have been suddenly let go from their jobs. According to a reliable source, the notice of termination came via abrupt phone calls to them indicating that they should not come to work the next day. We understand that some of the workers affected include supervisors, cleaners, dealers and casino attendants. We have been unable to get any of the affected workers on the record and will follow-up on this report. We hope to get some verification from the Casino management.

    LOVE FM

    Villagers Forced to Receive Healthcare Outdoors Following Eviction
    For the past five years, Community Health Worker, Everita Luciano Copo and her team, has been offering free clinic services to infants and women of San Jose Nuevo Palmar Village in the Orange Walk District. Copo decided to do the same this year at the community center where she would usually hold the clinics. But […]

    Belize and Canadian Authorities Seek Jordan Bacchus
    Police in Toronto, Canada, are searching for a man wanted for multiple firearms related offences. That man is also wanted in Belize in relations to a murder investigation. He is 27 year old Jordan Bacchus. In Belize, he is the prime suspect for the murder of Melvin Almendarez who was found south of San Pedro […]

    Dr Luz Longsworth to Be Inducted as 3rd Pro-Vice Chancellor for UWI Open Campus
    The University of the West Indies Open Campus is the umbrella organization of seventeen campuses in the Caribbean and effective this evening, Belizean national, Dr Luz Longsworth will be at the helm of all these institutions. Her induction is slated to start at six o’clock this evening at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize […]

    Efficiency at Sugar Mill Registers at 89%
    The Sugar Cane Crop season is in its 15th week and last week more than forty eight thousand tons of cane was milled. That amount produced close to six thousand tons of sugar. So far so the season a little under sixty thousands tons of sugar has been produced. The BSI factory is milling a […]

    AIR CANADA Approved to Fly to Belize
    Five months ago WestJet had its inaugural flight from Toronto, Canada to Belize with a plan to operate seasonally. Recently, Air Canada had requested the approval from Canadian regulators to have a new route added to their roster which would see flights from Canada to Belize. Love News understands that the Canadian Transportation Agency has […]

    Belize Partakes in CARICOM-Japan Consultations
    The 18th CARICOM-Japan Consultation concluded on Tuesday, March 14 of which Belize was a participant via video conferencing. This consultation was built with three main foundations namely, the cooperation towards sustainable development including overcoming vulnerabilities particular to small island developing States; the deepening and expansion of bonds founded on exchanges and friendships and cooperation in […]

    Senate Questions Entry of Wong Hong Kim Photo Into the Passport System
    Information Technology Manager for the Immigration Department, Rodolfo Bol, appeared before the Senate Select Committee to answer allegations made against him in the Auditor General’s Special Reports. Bol has been at the Immigration Department since 2004 as he began his IT career as the System Administrator. Bol is in charge of the over sight all […]

    IT Immigration Manager Refutes AG’s Allegations
    In her report, the Auditor General says IT Manager Rodolfo Bol hid evidence. The Auditor General says quote, “Evidence suggested that IT Personnel or BPIS users had the ability to remove the history of users. This was substantiated by the action of Mr. Rodolfo Bol, the system manager, when he removes the user roles of […]

    BTIA Fears New Tax Measures will Harm Tourism Industry
    Two days ago the presentation of the National Budget for the fiscal year 2017/2018 noted an increase in departure tax for non-Belizeans and a ten percent contribution from Statutory Boards as part of the Government’s efforts in raising eighty million dollars. According to Prime Minister, Dean Barrow consultations were done with the Belize Tourism Board […]

    Three Detained for Ara’s Brutal Murder
    Investigators attached to the Belmopan Police Station have made significant progress into the murder of 18-year-old, Keona Ara whose charred remains were found at a dumpsite on Sunday, March 12 in that municipality. Reports reaching our news desk are that a residence in Belmopan was searched yesterday and the weapon suspected to have been used […]

    2016 Sees 207 Complaints Taken to Ombudsman
    The 45-page report for 2016 from the Office of the Ombudsman was released earlier this week. The report cites a total of two hundred and seven complaints made throughout the year with the highest percentage being against the Belize Police Department followed by the Belize Central Prison and the Immigration and Nationality Departments. According to […]

    VIP Demands Reregistration 2017
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has written to the unions and other agencies expressing his desire to postpone the reregistration exercise to 2018 on the grounds that the economy would not be able to sustain the millions of dollars required for the undertaking and that with intentions to revoke illegally obtained nationalities more time would be […]

    Police Finds Thelma’s Body Near Market Wharf
    The lifeless body of an adult female was taken out the sea from the coastline of Punta Gorda earlier today. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG “Based on reports Punta Gorda police went to the area in the vicinity of the Punta Gorda Market Wharf where police took the lifeless body […]

    American National Dies on the Peninsula
    An American national lost his life on the Placencia peninsula last night just after six o’clock. It is a case that the police has categorized as sudden death. The incident happened directly in front of the Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar when 53-year-old, Steven Wine went into the sea. After much time had passed Wine’s wife […]

    Ambassador Mendez Awarded Medal of Honor as OAS’ Assistant SG
    Ambassador Nestor Mendez who now holds the seat of the Assistant Secretary General at the Organization of the American States (OAS) was awarded for his commitment to the values of the OAS. He received the Medal of Honor for merit today presented by the Sociedad de Estudios Internacionales (SEI) of Panama, in recognition of his […]

    Immigration System Flawed in Tracking Users
    IT Manager in the Immigration Department, Rodolfo Bol, was not able to tell the Senate Select Committee how a photo of Wong Hong Kim got into the system. The system, however, records the date, time and username when it is used. In this case, according to the Auditor General report, the system shows that the […]

    The Guardian

    Superbond takes up 45% of Belize’s external debt!
    Belize’s total external public debt amounts to over $2.3 billion. This represents approximately 70 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Administrations led by both major political parties have contributed to that massive number but what the concrete evidence has shown is that all debts are not created equally. The People’s United Party’s Superbond is the result of a consolidation process that resulted in the amalgamation of numerous commercial loans amounting to US$546,786,000 which were borrowed at ridiculous interest rates in the span of a few years time. This accounts for 45 percent of the total external public debt. Every economist will tell you there is nothing wrong with a government borrowing or being in debt. Almost every single country in the world has some national debt. However, something is extremely wrong when an Administration is less responsible in spending than a drunken sailor. One of the loans amalgamated in the Superbond is the 2002 Bear Sterns $250 million bond, of which the purpose for $33.4 million was listed as “multisector development”, $21.4 million was listed as General Budget Support, $10.4 million for Intelco computers, $10 million for “GOB Investments”, another $40 million for General Budget Support and $10.6 million for “fees and expenses”. The PUP spent all that money and we have nothing to show for it – not in stone or on paper.

    2017-2018 Budget will give Public Officers 3% salary increase and Tax increase on Beer and Cigarettes
    Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow presented his 10th budget on Monday March 13. While there had been wild speculation that the fiscal adjustments by government would have seen massive taxation and austerity measures the budget did not reflect this. The Prime Minister stated that the budget would see a salary increase across the board of 3.0% for all public officers, police (including the BDF and Coast Guard), teachers, and pensioners. This he said, “would require an additional $15 million in resources. But we are determined to keep our word even though to do so means having to forgo other potential expenditures in goods and services.” PM Barrow went on to remind Belizeans that, “over the last four years, public officers and teachers have received an aggregate increase of 25% in wages and salaries, costing government $90 million.”

    Supreme Court to decide if Ashcroft can collect from GOB
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is deliberating on whether or not he should lift a temporary injunction against the Ashcroft Alliance, which the Barrow Government got from the Supreme Court earlier this year. They are trying to get enforcement of a 50 million US dollar judgment which the Caribbean Court of Justice has refused to allow in Belize, but which has been granted in the US District Court. This dispute goes all the way back to Musa Government’s special tax arrangements that they gave to the Ashcroft Alliance in 2005, when they owned BTL. The Barrow Government, having learned of this illegal and secret Accommodation Agreement, refused to honour them, because they were abusive, and a burden to Belizeans. The Ashcroft Alliance went to the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and got a 44 million US dollar award against Belize for Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s refusal to subject the country to the deal any longer. The Prime Minister has flatly refused to pay a cent of it.

    Is Johnny Liad or Looney?
    People who believe their own lies are most commonly identified as pathological liars, however, they can also be identified as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. These people sometimes believe their own lies on a conscious level. Then there are those who tell lies with the expectations that if they tell a lie often enough, the truth will disappear. They may be referred to as being looney because regardless of how much times lies are told, the truth will always prevail in the end. We in Belize don't know in which category to place the leader of the PUP, Johnny Brecino. He it seems is either just plain LIAD or is LOONEY. Take for example the things he has said about the Superbond last week and the Budget this week. At first he referred to the Superbond last week as the UDP Superbond. Everybody and their GOAT know that the Superbond is a creation of the PEOPLE'S UNITED PARTY. It is an amalgamation of loans that were all barrowed by the PUP when they were last in the seat of government. For him to lie in front of his party faithfuls at a PUP Press Conference was bad enough, but when he had the face of brass to try it in the House of Representatives, he was asking for trouble.

    There is now water in Biscayne
    Chairlady of Biscayne Village, Kathlyn Tillett welcomed those in attendance to her village as Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) officially inaugurated the Biscayne Water Supply system linking Gardenia to Biscayne. “It is a whole new world for us, you can course shower or fine shower. Flushing the toilet seems like a water fountain, it is a big deal!” stated Tillett. Biscayne has never had potable water! Residents of that village had get water from rivers and streams in the area or had to depend on water to be delivered to them by BWSL. Often times the trucks of water was not enough to suffice and at this day and age, Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, explained that this was simply unacceptable.

    4 H in Belmopan offering a ray of hope for our many youths
    At the start of the new school year the National 4-H Youth Development Center, located at the National Agriculture Show Grounds in Belmopan will soon be inviting students from around the country to apply and learn life-long skills on agriculture. The well maintained Center which is managed by the Department of Youth in the Ministry of Education will be sending the invites to potential students in May of this year. We visited the National 4-H Youth Development Center’s five acre grounds on Friday of last week, where we found lecturer Elvira Pinelo giving a tour to students on how to harvest crops. Alongside the crops area is a recently constructed Bell Tunnel that has been provided by the Department of Agriculture to give plants an optimum growing environment. Not too far away from the agricultural grounds is a spacious basketball court built by the Belize Natural Energy to keep students active during leisure time.

    To Boycott or not to Boycott
    The mainstream media has come public to say that they are boycotting the police department by not giving any airtime or paper space to any event that the Police may wish to publicize. This came as a result of some changes which were made in the manner in which the media was being given information. As it was the media had free reign and access to all manner of police information, unbridled and unchecked. After careful observation and consideration, because of the many instances where information was being passed on to the media which led to criminal cases being tried in the court of public opinion, a decision was made to put a stop to that method of Police/Press relations. A system which has actually been in place for quite some time now was re-activated in an effort to streamline the flow of information out of the department.

    Dr. Percival Cho New C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Percival Cho as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with oversight for the Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Department of the Environment, Sustainable Development, National Climate Change Office, and the Solid Waste Management Authority. Dr. Cho will work specifically with Minister Omar Figueroa who has direct responsibility for the aforementioned portfolios. Dr. Cho is a career public officer with over 17 years experience serving in the Ministry of Forestry. Dr. Cho is a forestry expert and natural resource scientist who holds a PhD degree in Environmental Biology from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, a Master of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resource Management from Clemson University in South Carolina, USA.

    Two more schools receive cash donations from Belize City Council
    After receiving cheques on Monday and Tuesday of this week, St. Luke Methodist and Calvary Temple are now the most recent schools to have received cash donations from the Belize City Council through the portfolio for Women and Children. Coucilors Hyacinth Latchman Cuellar and Kevin Singh visited St. Luke on Monday and Calvary Temple on Tuesday to deliver cheques that are to be used for Standard Six students gearing up for the Primary School Examinations this March and May. Principal Pamela Bowden accepted the donation on behalf of the students of St. Luke and Vice Principal Randeish Prior accepted the donation on behalf of the students of Calvary Temple School.

    Belize Announces Successful Consent Solicitation
    Belmopan, Belize: The Government of Belize today announced that holders of more than 87 percent of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds have consented to certain amendments to the terms of those Bonds. Belize released a Consent Solicitation Statement on January 12, 2017 seeking the consent of holders of the Bonds to targeted amendments focused on the interest rate and amortization schedule of the Bonds. Following extensive consultations with representative bondholders, Belize revised its Consent Solicitation on March 3, 2017. The Bonds contain a collective action clause that permits modifications with the written consent of holders of more than 75 percent of the outstanding principal of the Bonds. Once that voting threshold has been reached -- as it now has for Belize’s Consent Solicitation -- the proposed amendments become binding on all holders. The Government expects that all conditions precedent to the effectiveness of the amendments will be met no later than March 21, 2017.

    Monster croc taken out of Belama
    For the past week, residents of the Belama area have been complaining on public forums on Facebook about the presence of crocodiles in the residential neighborhood. On Tuesday, March 14, as a result of a coordinated collaboration between the Belize City Council, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) and the Forestry Department, one of the crocodile was captured in Belama phase two. Efforts to catch the crocodile started at 5 in the morning with ACES and the forestry department setting up a trap. That method was unsuccessful. It was not until the croc attempted to cross the road that it was snared with a rope and by 9:30a.m. the massive 10 footer was placed in a trailer and was transported to the ACES crocodile sanctuary in Ladyville. There are reports of another much larger reptile in the Belama area and Belize City Councilor, Philip Willoughby says that residents must not feed the animals as they tend to become unafraid of humans and pose a threat to people as well as pets. He also added that residents should be cautious in the area as the reptiles come on land and prey on smaller animals like dogs.

    UDP Mesopotamia Champion retires
    In the sport of Boxing there are many terms we often use to describe a boxer as he retires. Two of those terms are: staying in the ring too long and the latter is leaving at the top of the game. These terms could also be used in reference to Politicians. The former is usually the term used to describe those who refuse to leave even though all the signs are there for them to see. The aging POLITICIAN like the aging Boxer, with diminishing skills refuses to leave on his/her own accord. In refusing to leave they run the risk of being beaten into oblivion by their much younger stronger or more equipped opponent. The latter though is the POLITICIAN who like the SMART Boxer knows when to leave.

    Graduate degree and no job? What were you thinking?
    There are many young Belizeans with college degrees and no jobs. What’s worse is that many of those young college graduates have no clue where they can find employment. “No job noh deh,” is what many of them say. My question to them; however, is “what were you thinking when you enrolled in junior college?” The purpose of pursuing further education in a particular field is to prepare oneself for a career that your eyes (heart) are already set on. The role of the individual is to find something they are passionate about, identify a need in society and pursue studies that satisfy both. Many youngsters enroll in programs and have no idea how it will help their transition into the labour force. Upon completion of such programs they realize that no job is available in that field. The problem is not that “no job noh deh”; the problem is that you chose a field in which no job was available from before your enrollment. What were you thinking?

    Landy Habet threatens public officers over a horse race
    Orlando Habet, PUP area representative for Cayo North East was all too happy to grandstand on Monday March 13th about some horse owners not being able to use the Peter August horse race track. He complained that there was a lot of time and money invested in the race only for it to not take place because the organizers were stopped by the police. What Habet did not tell the nation was that he openly threatened a number of public officers when he got involved in the whole matter. While at the racetrack he sent at least one text message in which he threatened a senior police officer in Cayo that he would loose his job when the PUP wins the general elections (to him we say good luck on that one.) He also called and threatened a number of public officers who are part of the Jockey Club in the same manner telling them that they would loose their jobs.

    Johnny tells Julius shape up or ship out
    At the end of February Julius Espat fired some scathing remarks directed at the leader of the PUP, Johnny Briceno. He basically called his leadership ineffective claiming that the leadership was made up of Bench Players who had not proven their mettle in an election. It was salvo directed at Briceno and one that saw even Micah Gooding crawling out of the woodwork in defense of his leader. Well the shot across the bow did not go unanswered and on Thursday of last week the PUP held a press conference (we should rephrase this, Johnny had a press conference along with Chris Coye) to speak about the budget that was read on Monday of this week. The subject of the press conference is definitely not worth the ink so we’ll leave it at that. What was interesting was that Briceno responded directly to Esapt. He, point blank, told Espat that he’d better shape up or ship out. Briceno sunk his heels and braved the attack saying that if anyone, including Julius Espat, were not ready to follow that they would simply have to leave the PUP.

    Belize 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States Ministerial Council
    The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held its 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council on March 10th, in Havana, Cuba. The ACS brings together 25 nations of the Caribbean region. These nations include the 15 member states of CARICOM, as well as Latin American Member States such as Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South American countries that share the Caribbean Sea. The meeting underscored the work that the secretariat has undertaken with the aim of re-energizing, re-organizing and ultimately rebranding the ACS. The very specific work of the Association in reference the protection of the Caribbean Sea as a shared patrimony was highlighted. The effort of Secretary General Dr. June Soomer to strengthen the ACS, instill strategic planning and to attract donors was applauded.

    How many people will be affected by the BEL tax threshold adjustment?
    Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow presented his budget on Monday of this week and while there were those who had expected that this fiscal year would have been loaded with new taxes, the reality is that they are not as wide reaching as the naysayers would have wanted it to be. One of the primary concerns about the budget is the decrease of the threshold in BEL rates. Currently anyone who consumes $200 or less in electricity is not subject to the 12.5% in GST. With the new budget, that has now been adjusted to have only persons who consume $100 or less in electricity being subject to the GST. While it may seem alarming- BEL has confirmed to the Guardian that it is not. BEL states that as of December 2016, it has 91,281 active customer. Of that number, 80% or 73,242 customers consume below $100 in electricity. The company says that approximately 11,500 or 12.6% of customers will be affected by the change.

    NEMO minister undertakes flood mitigation program
    As Minister of National Emergency Management and Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Honourable Edmond Castro is carrying out a Flood Mitigation Program in preparation for the Rainy Season which normally begins in late May or early June. Currently, drains are being opened up in the Maxboro Area of Sandhill Village with the use of equipment acquired by the Government of Belize through the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). These works will take place throughout the constituency of Belize Rural North over the next few months.

    Road & Drainage Infrastructure inaugurated in Punta Gorda, Toledo
    Residents of Punta Gorda and surrounding communities are now enjoying a safer and more pleasant street and drainage environment courtesy of the Government of Belize, which financed the project at a cost of $1,702,214.32 with funds through a loan from the World Bank, and counterpart contribution from Punta Gorda Town Board amounting to $51,066.43 In this regard, the road and drainage infrastructure was officially inaugurated at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Speakers at the event included Hon. Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce; Mayor Fern Gutierrez, and the Executive Director of Social Investment Fund Mr. William Lamb Jr., among others. The project is designed to improve the quality of life for all Belizeans traversing Punta Gorda. It includes the rehabilitation of Robert Pennell Street, Lucille Melendrez Street, and Hopeville Loop, coupled with an extensive drainage system, street markings of finished chip and seal surface, and installation of road signs.

    UDP Staying in Touch
    Over the past couple of weeks the United Democratic Party’s leadership including the Deputy Party Leader, Hon. Patrick Faber; Chairman, Alberto August and Secretary General Pearl Stuart; have been on a national tour across all constituencies countrywide. The purpose of the tour is to keep in touch with the members of the UDP in the country. Every stop has been about communicating with Belizeans- finding out their concerns, needs and more importantly how can their concerns be addressed. The most recent meeting took place on Tuesday March 15 in Roaring Creek where Hon. John Saldivar and the executive of Cayo South hosted the team.

    Statistical Institute of Belize receives new IT equipment
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development handed over to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) 25 DELL computer systems at a brief ceremony on Friday, March 10, 2017 at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan. The contribution was made through the Ministry’s Capacity Building for Strategic Planning and Management of Natural Resources in Belize project (CD 2), financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This donation, valued at $66,944.00 Belize dollars, is in line with one of many actions outlined in the country’s sustainable development framework. The handing of these computers is “a key action that is associated with Belize’s sustainable development pathway [and] is tied to Belize’s ability to monitor and track its process against its policies and plan, and the ability to ensure the availability of information to guide decision making...” said Diane Wade Moore, Assistant Resident Representative from the United Nations Development Programme.

    Vitamins to be added to rice in Belize
    Ministry of Health officials have met with rice producers to discuss adding vitamin B12 to that very essential staple of the Belizean diet. The process is called fortification and as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), fortification refers to “the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient”. A national survey was conducted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control from 2011-2012 which sampled 1,979 adults and children from across the country for micronutrients levels among women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and children (6-59 months) in Belize. The results were released in 2013 and showed that Belizeans have low levels of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. The findings constitute a “public health concern”, according to health officials at the time. It is important for women to monitor their folic acid levels because Folic acid helps to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida, in which the baby’s brain or spine is not fully formed. According to Healthwise, such birth defects usually happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy, before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Deficiency in folic acid and vitamin B12 in pregnant women also increases their risk of anemia and anemia in their child. According to Dr. Daniel Godinez in an interview with Channel 5 Belize, anemia in children “if it starts from early results in failure to thrive, problems with growth, mental problem - especially concentration, problems in general well being, physical well being and emotional well being.” They are also more susceptible to certain infections.

    Michael Usher executed at home
    The family of 35-year-old Michael Usher are making preparations for his burial after a ruthless killer went to his Hattieville home and shot him to death in his own yard. The incident happened at around 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, when Usher was sitting on an empty bucket on his veranda. His aunt, who usually sits and socializes with him, went inside the house, and she heard him speaking to a man, confronting him. Shortly after, she heard the gunshots which claimed his life. The gunman emerged from the darkness and opened fire on Usher, hitting him in the head and the left side of his body. He tried to flee from his attacker, but he collapsed inside the yard, where he was bleeding out. His injuries were severe, and he was transported to the KHMH for medical treatment. The doctors attempted to save his life, but around 3 hours or so later, he passed away.

    Police corporal Darrel Usher out on bail
    Interdicted police officer, Corporal Darrel Usher, is out on bail after he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Tuesday, March 14. Usher was represented by attorney Dickey Bradley when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on a single charge of drug trafficking for over twenty pounds of marijuana. According to police reports, on Friday, March 10, police were on mobile patrol at around 9:15 p.m. on Faber’s Road Extension when they saw a man coming out of an overgrown yard with a large bag. He placed it in the back seat of a white Chevrolet SUV, got in the vehicle and drove off. The vehicle was pursued by police and the driver was ordered to stop, which he did.

    Austin Decosta convicted of aggravated assault
    Caye Caulker resident Austin Decosta, 43, is at the Belize Central Prison serving a two year sentence for aggravated assault upon a 27-year-old Belize City woman on September 11, 2016. The victim reported to police that when she arrived home from Carnival practice that night, she found her mother and Decosta who was upset about something. As she went inside, Decosta began to curse her out calling her ugly names and saying that she was no good and not helping her mother. That was when Decosta grabbed a knife and stabbed at her three times but she managed to avoid getting hurt. The victim said she tried to get her mom to help but she refused to do so. She retreated to her room but Decosta tried to force himself in. That was when she made a call to police for help. Decosta was arrested and charged for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

    Oscar Quiros captures Belmopan Cycling Classic
    The Cycling Federation of Belize in partnership with the Belmopan City Council and the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture sponsored the 36th Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday 12th March, 2017. The 100 miles event which started and concluded in the City of Belmopan attracted some 60 Elite, U-23 and Master riders. At the end of some 4:05:53, it was Oscar Quiros Jr. of Smart/Cray Western Spirit that captured first place. Quiros was a part of the four man break-away group that caught Giovanni Lovell at about mile 35 on the home bound journey on the George Price Highway. The second rider to cross the finish line was Rudy Rincon of Quintana who finished the event in a time of 4:06:26. He was followed by Josyln Chavarria Jr. of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team in a time of 4:06:32 and he was followed by Robert Liam Stewart who is unattached, and he was followed by Nissan Arana of Westrac Alliance to round off the top five riders.

    Sprite Eastern Police Division South Youth Basketball competition rolls on
    The Sprite Eastern Police Division South Youth Basketball competition continued on Saturday 11th March, 2017, with five games on the schedule. In the first game played, South Side Warriors edged out Unruly by the score of 30-28. In game two, Lakeland Boyz won over Park Ballers by the score of 40-30. In game three, Lake I Boyz edged out A.B.S by the score of 18-17. In game four, it was Pacesetters winning over Kraal Road by the score of 36-27. And in the final game of the day, Police Peacekeepers won over Complex Admirals by the score of 37-30.

    Belama Gators edge out New Road in week eight of Ahmidiyya U-19 Basketball Tourney
    The Ahmidiyya U-19 Basketball tournament continued on Sunday March 12th, 2017, at the Gateway Youth Centre. In the first game of the day, Belama Gators edged out the highly talented New Road squad by the score of 51-48. The top scorer for the Belama Gators was Jason Philips with 14 points while Holden Swazo was the top scorer for the New Road team with 15 points. In game two, Gateway won over Bombers via the default route. In the third game of the day, 3rd World won over Raising Stars by the score of 45-43. The top scorers for 3rd World was Mark Thompson with 11 points and the top scorer for Raising Stars was Alphius Cruz with 18 points. In game four, Chiefs won handily over Police Street by the score of 50-41. The top scorer for the Chiefs was Shaquille Crawford with 9 points and the top scorer for Police Street was Everald Tablada with 10 points.

    Wesley Upper School girls and Hattieville Government School boys won the Belize District Primary Schools Football Tourney
    The Belize District Primary Schools Football Tourney was played on Thursday March 9, 2017, at the MCC Grounds. In the girls’ championship game, Wesley Upper School defeated San Pedro Roman Catholic School by the score of 5-4 in penalty kicks. At the end of penalty kicks the game was tied 4-4. The goal scorers for Wesley Upper School were Leandra Bainton, Kelize Garcia, Karina Eagan and Jenecia Cacho, while the goal for San Pedro Roman Catholic School was scored by Veril Morris. In sudden death penalty kick, Wesley Upper School came up victorious with a 1-0 victory. The goal for Wesley Upper School was scored by Jada Gillett. In the boys’ championship game, Hattieville Government School defeated St. John Vianney School by the score of 4-2 in penalty kicks.

    Verdes FC white wash the Placencia Assassins FC
    The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the weekend with a number of games on the schedule. On Saturday 11th March at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the visiting Verdes FC white wash the host team the Placencia Assassins FC in front of its home fans by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by John King in the 48th minute of play to give his team the 1-0 victory. With the win, Verdes FC now moved into the second place spot in the standings. On Sunday 12th March, at the MCC Grounds here in Belize City, the league’s leading Belmopan Bandits and the host team FC Belize played to a 1-1 draw. The host team FC Belize was the first onto the scoreboard when Hector Martinez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 35th minute of play via a penalty kick to give his team a 1-0 lead. However, the lead was short lived as Jerome James scored the equalising goal for the Belmopan Bandits in the 44th minute of play.

    Pepsi National Elite Basketball League hosts another All Star night
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted its third annual All-Star Night on Saturday 11th March at the St. Catherine Mercy Centre in Belize City. The activities tipped off with the Three Point Shootout, where Cayo Western Ballaz Elvert Ariola was crowned three Point champion, as he narrowly edged out Linton Broaster of Smart Belize Hurricanes. The Slam Dunk contest was the most entertaining in three years, as Shemar White from Orange Walk running Rebels easily claimed the prize with his dazzling dunks. In the main event of the night, the Imports and Belizean Americans won the All Star game, as they defeated the locals by the score of 76-74. The Imports/Belizean Americans were cruising in the first half of the game leading 24-6, and having a 20 point lead in the second quarter. However, a late surge by the local teams made the waning moments interesting, as they mounted a major comeback, behind sharp-shooter Ashton Edwards, who sank 4 three-pointers, and a jump shot, in the final 4 minutes of the game to quickly evaporate the lead.

    Belize Softball Federation names National Male Team pool
    The Belize Softball Federation has named the softballers that will form the National Male Team Pool from where the final 17 players will be selected to represent Belize at the X Pan American Male Softball Championship scheduled for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in September of this year. The Head Coach is Jude Lizama while Eric Vasquez and Michael Middleton will be the assistant coaches along with Michael Sherman as the pitching coach. The federation will be meeting with the pool of players on Saturday 18th March, at 5:30 pm at Rogers Stadium. All players must bring a copy of their Passport Bio data page to the meeting.

    Taxi driver killed for unknown reasons
    Elbert Gillett, a 66-year-old taxi driver, left his Belize City home last Thursday. He went missing, and nearly 3 days later, police found his body between miles 4 and 5 on the George Price Highway. His car was found miles away from him; someone had set it on fire. At this time, it appears that he was lured to his death by his killer, who posed as a customer. Gillett’s family told the press that he left his home on Thursday night, March 9, when he went to run taxi, hoping to pick up a few more customers before closing off business, and returning home. He never did come back, and so, his wife got concerned when she woke up the next morning. The entire family was alerted of his disappearance, and they went to the police to file a missing person’s report. They formed search parties to look for him, and later on Friday, March 10, his car was found completely burnt on Benbow Street in Belize City. His driver’s license was found in Ladyville by a stranger.

    Couple gets plea deal after being busted with over 3 lbs of weed
    Ernest Forman, 38, and his common-law-wife, Samantha Garbutt, 29, were facing a possible fine of $10,000 and jail time of three years when they appeared in court on Thursday, March 9, to face a charge of drug trafficking for 1,637 grams of marijuana. Fortunately for them, prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Christopher Smith, accepted a plea deal in which the accused, Ernest Forman, admitted guilt to the charge of drug possession and not drug trafficking. Normally the prosecution accepts such deals when the amount of drugs discovered is close to the 60 grams threshold for drug trafficking. In this case the amount was significantly more than 60 grams but there were two different discoveries in play.

    Ronlee Petillo to stand trial for murder of Roger Banner
    Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser ruled that the prosecution presented sufficient evidence in a Preliminary Inquiry on Thursday, March 9, to commit Ronlee Petillo, 29, to stand trial for the murder of Roger Banner, 29. Petillo was released from prison on June 17, 2016, after being on remand for murder at the Belize Central Prison since 2011. According to police, Petillo was only able to be out of prison for 22 days before he killed again. Roger Banner, a resident of Roaring Creek, was murdered on Saturday, July 9, 2016 at around 9:15 p.m. as he was socializing with his girlfriend on West Canal. Three men walked up to Banner; one of them pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots at him. Banner was hit several times with one of the bullets entering his head. He died on the spot. It is believed that he was executed as a result of him owing money for drugs. Police investigation into the incident led to the arrest of Petillo, who police say was the trigger man that night. After 31 days away from the Belize Central Prison, Pettillo was remanded after he appeared in court on Monday, July 18.

    Words of Life with Pastor Barry Fraser
    In the book of the prophet Isaiah, Chapter 55, verse 8, we read: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord God Yahweh.” It was only a few years ago that excited supporters of the big bang theory for the origin of the universe announced that their theory had apparently been proven. Now their unverified conclusions are being seriously questioned on several fronts. Even as it was being announced that the big bang theory was proven, verification was being made on other results showing that the big bang theory is probably wrong. William G. Tifft of the University of Arizona had been looking at lists of red shifts from distant galaxies.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Southside family of 7 homeless after losing home again to fire
    A south side family of 7 is homeless after a fire gutted their home for the second time. Yesterday morning just before 7 a.m. fire fighters and police were called to a home belonging to Arilee Scott on Prince Street in Belize City. The […]

    85 year old female PUP campaigner burns to death
    A veteran campaigner and life long supporter of the People’s United Party, eighty five year old Louise Berry was burnt alive inside her home early this morning. Sometime before 2 a.m. cops responded to reports of a house on fire at # 32 Iguana Street […]

    Superbond 3.0 is now a done deal
    Yesterday, the Government of Belize via a press release announced that holders of more than 87 percent of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds have consented to certain amendments to the terms of those Bonds. According to the release, following extensive consultations with representative bondholders, Belize […]

    A turbulent women’s month in Belize – Lisa Shoman speaks
    I’m an early riser. I love mornings and the promise of a brand new day. I especially love the cool damp before the rising sun. I’m normally a sunny person when I awake. Not this morning. This morning I’m up and I’m mad. […]

    Police find four bags of marijuana in San Ignacio Town
    Yesterday morning, police in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District found four black plastic bags containing marijuana amounting to 785g, 844g, 956g and 199g. According to police, they were conducting an anti-drug operation at a residence on Macal Street, San Ignacio Town where they discovered […]

    Woman drowns in Punta Gorda
    A woman drowned in Punta Gorda Town yesterday morning. According to police reports, the victim is Telma Coc, 28, a Guatemalan housewife. The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. behind Vernon’s Pharmacy on Front Street, Punta Gorda Town. When police visited the area, they saw […]

    Public health officials in San Ignacio & Santa Elena to provide free rabies vaccinations to pets this month
    Brendal Gibson, Public Health Inspector at the San Ignacio Hospital has issued a release informing residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena in the Cayo District that they will be conducting a “Rabies Vaccination Campaign” this month. “Let us prevent rabies… Rabies is a […]

    WWF challenges PM to save the reef
    On Friday morning in Belmopan the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Belize launched its Reef Week by staging a small parade around the National Assembly building and delivering 265,000 virtual letters to the Prime Minister. According to the WWF, this is an ongoing campaign […]

    Air Canada to fly to Belize very soon
    According to Flightglobal.com, Canadian regulators have approved a request by Air Canada to operate flights between Canada and Belize. Flightglobal.com says that documents obtained from the Canadian Transportation Agency did not specify routes or a start date and that Air Canada did not immediately […]

    American tourist drowns in Placencia
    BBN has confirmed that an American tourist drowned in Placencia village on Tuesday evening. According to reports, Steven Gail Wine, 53, from Colorado, USA was socializing with his family members at Barefoot Bar in Placencia village and at around 6:30 p.m., he left them […]

    Blogs

    A fantastic morning with SeaStar Belize
    For someone who loves sleeping in, this trip required an early wakeup call. But the Caribbean Sea was calling my name and there’s no way I’m missing out! I arrived to Sea Star Belize’s office, only a couple minutes north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge and was quickly equipped with a snorkel, mask and fins. My tour guide for the day, Adolfo “Fito” Duran, ensured that my gear fit just right – don’t want any compromises underwater! As we boarded the boat, I eagerly looked forward to a fun morning at my underwater office. First stop: Hol Chan Marine Reserve. I have been here many times, yet its beauty always astounds me. After a short briefing, my snorkel group of four plunged into the water and we began to make our way across the coral beds.

    International Sourcesizz

    Caye Caulker, un pequeño paraíso en Belice
    Durante mucho tiempo, Caye Caulker, en la pequeña república centroamericana de Belice, fue considerada una típica isla para mochileros. Esto está cambiando ahora pese a que la isla sigue siendo un lugar de ocio, la playa, el restaurante o para bucear. Un tiburón se acerca por detrás y pasa nadando entre las piernas. Un pequeño susto. De repente, desde todos lados se deslizan encima de las algas tiburones nodriza y rayas que pasan entre y debajo de los buceadores. Ha llegado la hora de comer en el arrecife de Caye Caulker. Media docena de barcos están amarrados a boyas. Los dos más grandes están llenos de turistas de cruceros. Los tiburones de la zona de buceo Shark and Ray Alley están tan condicionados que nadan hacia los barcos nada más oír el ruido de los motores. A toda velocidad se acercan desde todas las direcciones. Es un espectáculo impresionante que incluso buceadores que han viajado a muchos sitios en el mundo raras veces pueden observar. En la diminuta isla beliceña no hay mucho más que hacer que snorkel. Y a la mayoría de los turistas le parece bien así.

    Bribes, gifts and scandal: 7 stories of corruption that shocked Britain
    From the acceptance of bribes to tax evasion, claims of corruption and scandal have featured heavily in recent news. But we mustn’t forget that corrupt systems and the unscrupulous individuals who exploit them are not a phenomenon of modern life says historian Mark Knights. Here, he explores seven instances of corruption in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries…

    Videos

  • Residents of San Pedro Protest for a Hospital to be built after the recent death of Jordanie Olivera on Tuesday, 1/2min. "How many more until something is done?" Are the cries at today's peaceful protest.

  • Chukka Belize Jaguar Paw Tubing!, 6min.

  • In the Field: Scuba Diving Belize's Half Moon Caye Wall, 1min. Dive in to see Caribbean reef sharks patrolling the reef, angelfish darting about and garden eels peering into the blue at Belize's premier scuba diving site.

  • Belize Day 1, 3min. Capturing beauty, emotion and environment is an art. It's helpful when your surroundings are breath taking. Being able to say, "I've never seen that before" everyday is how to live. Here is day 1.... more to come.

  • Our Trip to Belize, 3min.

  • Baby barn owls have interesting table manners!, 1/2min.

  • BSI ASR WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2017 - WEEK 14, 3.5min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN MARCH 16, 2017, 22min.

  • Ministry of Education - Child Stimulation Month, 48min.

  • United Nations Development Fund - Small grants Programme, 21min.

  • Belize Medical Associates - Introduction of New 16 Slice Ct Machine, 22min.

  • https://vimeo.com/208787134, 1min. Snorkeling in Ambergris Caye, San Pedro. There were nurse sharks, rays, and lots of fish. Footage was from a GoPro Hero 5 Black

  • BELIZE on the fly, 4min.

  • EXPLORING MAYAN RUINS - MEXICO & BELIZE - ADVENTURE & TRAVEL, 3min. Walking excursions are great for people who are hungry for knowledge ( Archaeology, Anthropology, History etc.) and at the same time you walk your way to a fitter and healthier you :)

  • Barton Creek Canoeing in Cayo District,Belize - Jan 2017, 3.5min.

  • Belize above Water, 13min.

  • Belize Jaguar Project 2016, 9min. My experience participating in the Jaguar Project in Belize the summer of 2016!

  • Palapa Bar & Grill is back Bigger and Better! San Pedro, BELIZE - Ambergris Caye - March 2017, 4min. A short video of the newly rebuilt Palapa Bar & Grill in San Pedro, Belize. The bar was totally wiped out by Hurricane Earl last year. They have rebuilt even bigger and better.

    March 16, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    SPRCS’ solar project officially completed
    A group of over 30 volunteers electrical contractors and manufacturers from Calpoly Construction Management Department (CCMD) presented a commemorative plaque to the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) on Friday, March 10th. After installing 14 solar panels in December 2016, the volunteer group returned to San Pedro Town to acknowledge the completion of the project. Principal Roxanni Kay thanked the group for its interest and commitment in selecting SPRCS for this project. Principal Kay explained that with a total of 856 students, managing the school is difficult when there’s little support from the government and the church. Now, with an alternative to use renewable energy, the school will not only reduce its carbon footprint, but it will also help decrease its electricity bill as well. Teacher Ross Novelo stated that this project has become a learning experience for the students. “They have been taught various forms of renewable energy over the past couple of months, and solar has been one of them. We are proud to contribute to a cleaner environment. Electricity, along with water, is used every day, and it is amazing to bring our curriculum into reality,” said Novelo.

    San Pedro House of Culture hosts Women’s Art Show
    The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) hosted its 2nd annual Art Show on Saturday, March 11th, featuring the work of the Women’s Art Group. In celebration of Women’s Month, the exhibit showcased a variety of oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings, as well as color pencil art, mixed media art, and sewing pieces, all priced for a great cause. Proceeds from the art sales benefit the “Women in Need” Foundation. Judy Sheinbaum, art class instructor of the Women’s Art Group, explained how important it is for women to express their inner abilities. “This all ties within Women’s Month, because all women are different, yet equal. Our group members meet once a week, and host an art show once a year. Although the Foundation is confidential, our group is making some effort to alleviate women’s health problems by donating the proceeds to a private doctor and nurse. In turn, the doctor helps several women by offering medical assistance, and we are happy to help. We love to paint and we all produce different art. We feel there’s no better way to help out, while you remain with a token,” said Sheinbaum.

    Woman dies while awaiting emergency care
    The San Pedro Sun extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of 23-year-old Jordanie Olivera, who suddenly passed away today, March 14th. According to an official police report, Olivera was complaining of shortness of breath, and after seeking medical attention, collapsed while waiting for a flight to Belize City for further care. A source from Tropic Air briefly told The San Pedro Sun that Oliveria sought treatment at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II and was released from the clinic around 2:55PM, after which she booked a flight to receive emergency care at Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. However, she was experiencing breathing complications, and moments before boarding her flight, she passed away.

    Top flair bartender Alexander Shtifanov visits Ambergris Caye
    World champion flair bartender Alexander Shtifanov delivered a spectacular show on Thursday, March 9th at Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace in Northern Ambergris Caye. For a small fee, attendees enjoyed a world class show, which began shortly after 10PM. Shtifanov, originally from Russia, has been around the world entertaining people with his incredible flair skills. During his performance last week, he impressed the group as he juggled bar tools and liquor bottles in tricky, and dazzling ways. While manipulating the different bar items, Shtifanov managed to mix a cocktail, which he then passed on to some of the spectators.

    SPHS student Angel Navidad recovering after attack
    A San Pedro High School (SPHS) student and member of the school’s champion male softball team, Angel Jose Navidad is recovering in a hospital in Belize City after being attacked on Saturday March 11th. Navidad was on his way home when he reportedly received a severe blow to his head by his attacker. He was then taken to Belize City where he has been under observation. Allegedly, Navidad’s attacker is a minor and former SPHS student. As of press time, no official report has been made to the Sa Pedro Police Department as family members are tending to Navidad while he recovers in hospital.

    Ambergris Today

    Belizean Cyclist Tariq Cano Aims for Belgium Competition
    Born in the capital city of Belmopan, Belize, Tariq Cano has had a passion for cycling since the tender age of 11. He said he became interested in this sport by challenging his dad’s cycling coach after he made the statement, “Anyone can jump on a bicycle and ride.” To his surprise it wasn’t so. His determination took him to become one of the best all around junior cyclist of his time in Belize; winning his first race “Kings of the Hills Classic” at the age of 15. Since then Tariq has proudly represented Belize in Guatemala, Cuba, United States, Mexico, Nicaragua and plans to add Belgium and Costa Rica to his list. Cano said that to him cycling is like a drug, an addiction that once you start to feel the adrenaline it pushes you, it teaches you self discipline and builds a strong character. Most importantly it teaches you that one must fail several times before reaching success.

    Fantastic New Sea Views Coming to Ambergris Caye
    How would you like to wake up to a spectacular sunrise and views at the edge of Ambergris Caye? Sounds fantastic when you look at this new development taking place at the souther-most end of the island. La Sirene Resport and Spa sits a the edge of the island and will offer amazing views from their private residences and luxury condominiums once completed. Who wouldn't like to own a piece of paradise at La Sirene?

    Over 265,000 Petitions Delivered to Prime Minister to Save the Reef
    WWF’s ongoing Save Our Heritage Campaign to protect Belize’s Barrier Reef has now gathered approximately 265,000 petitions; the largest petition effort ever for Belize. Ambergris Today and iTravel Belize teams joined the Reef Petitions Parade in Belmopan City on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the National Assembly to be part of the historic delivery of the petitions to the Office of the Prime Minister of Belize. Even more so, iTravel Belize blogger Madison Edwards, was invited to hand deliver her letter to the Prime Minister which she wrote asking him to stand up along with her and there rest of the country against offshore oil exploration. Madison, WWF and Belize Coalition Partners stood at the steps of the National Assembly and delivered their messages of protecting the reef and the ban of offshore oil exploration. They broadcasted Live on Facebook platforms of WWF Belize, WWF international and Oceana Belize.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    1st World Croc Day
    So where will the 1st World Croc Day (WCD) on June 17 be celebrated? The Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC) will be spearheading the 1st WCD in collaboration with The Belize Zoo in Belize! Head over to the CRC page and "Like" and "Follow" for updates on the Big Event in Belize, which will include educational Croc Talks with the zoo's famous American Croc Brutus, outreach booths throughout the zoo, and further information on how you can support croc conservation and research!

    BTB & CTO Scholarship Opportunities
    The Belize Tourism Board is offering scholarship opportunities to interested applicants for Tourism Programs commencing August 2017 for Full-time Students for several degrees. Application deadline for BTB Scholarships is Friday, June 30th, 2017 and application forms can be obtained by contacting BTB at training@belizetourismboard.org. Completed application forms can be submitted to training@belizetourismboard.org

    CHILD STIMULATION MONTH
    Fathers had the opportunity to show other children and dads about their daily job, they played games and even picked up their kids after school giving mommy's a break! Little Angles Pre School, San Pedro Pre School and ABC Pre School had tons of fun today!

    Poets Corner: Refugee economics
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Though Belize hides its racism It’s obvious in our pluralism The people are steeped in cynicism In Guyana blacks have never been forgiven Trinidad covers it but it’s visible in their political dictum Grenada and St Lucia lucky They have mulatto weh think deh better The Caribbean has produced refugee economics None has refugee export or emigration None has produced the economy with room for people Luckily half the people have gone not just Belize We failed to construct subsistence economy Creole lived like neighbours but after the politics After getting political membership The Garinagu and Creoles absorbed into education and public service Today despite them being executives There is a lack of appreciation for each other It’s the same as Trinidad my brother

    New fuel prices
    Updated Fuel Prices Effective: 15th March 2017

    Poetry competition in Corozal
    On February 17th, Oceana launched a poetry competition in Corozal for primary school and secondary school students which closed on March 10th. Kristyn Tillet, a Standard 6 student from Mary Hill Primary School, was the winner in the primary school segment for her submission entitled, God's Creation; while, Emmanuel Gilharry, a third form student at Corozal Community College, won the secondary school competition with his entry entitled, Wake Up Belize.

    Meet the future Marine Biologists from Chunox!
    Reef Week continues with excitement and lots of learning! Students from the two primary schools in Chunox learn all about being a marine biologist with BAS!

    Belize let's learn Maya with a Malix Peek'
    Last time they ask us what does Malix Peek' means. Malix or Malix Peek' is a common Maya word used in northern Belize to refer to street dogs or common dog . Malix is a Maya(Yucatec Maya) word which means "Common,ordinary or mix" . The word Peek' means "Dog". So Malix Peek' can be "Common Dog". The plural of Dogs in Maya is "peek’o’ob". Let's protect and love this dogs most of the time they are not appreciated as a "Full breed dog" and end up being a stray Dogs. so why buy a $500 Dog when you can have a Malix Peek'? This dogs are very resistant,Good hunters,good guard dogs,awesome family pets etc .

    COROZAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE OPEN DAY
    COROZAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE Invites you and your family to their OPEN DAY on Friday March 17th, 2017 between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the school grounds. Enjoy their various displays from subjects, science, experiments, physical education. Visit their Imaginarium and Math Museum. Food sales from their business department. Lookout for their automated water irrigation display! Culture Presentation - Fun activities - Outdoor playground - Greet the students - Indoor soft play

    PRINCESS CASINO FREE ZONE INVITES
    It is going to be a weekend of LOL (Laughing Out Loud) at the Princess Casino Free Zone with "EL COCOTAZO" Comedy Show featuring Mexican comedian Oscar De La O! Come on out, play, win and have a super night with tons of laughter. Free cover! Show begins at 10:00 P.M. Belize time or 11:00 P.M. Mexico time - Friday, March 17th and Saturday, March 18th.

    Bamboo Bar St. Patrick's Day Concert
    Ascenthium is playing at Bamboo Bar this St. Patrick's Day Friday! They'll be jamming their new songs, and they've been practicing some new cover songs too. No cover charge, as always. "St. Patricks day, FRIDAY MARCH 17TH. You've all been asking for live music, so guess what - We're giving it to you! Ascenthium LIVE in Bamboo 10pm! Sponsored by Guinness and L&R Liquors! FREE jello shots while they last, 2 for $5 Rum & soda, 3 for $10 Amstel Bright & Heineken and 2 for $10 Guinness! NO COVER CHARGE"

    The U.S. Embassy Belmopan has an opening for an Electro-Mechanical Technician
    WHO MAY APPLY: Anyone who is eligible for appointment under Belize’s local laws. Applicant must be in possession of a Belize social security card valid for employment and/or a resident/work permit. The U.S. Mission in Belize provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. The Department of State also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.

    Turn the Tide Concert
    Are you ready to rock PuntaGorda? This promises to be a fun night with sensational music! Join us at Punta Gorda Central Park from 4:30pm to 9:00pm for the Turn the Tide concert featuring Mayan Parandero, Cocono Bwai, TR Shine, Tariq Avilez, Vallen Avila, and Clique Dance Group.

    Oceana Instagram competition
    Congratulations to budding photographer Nadir Price , winner of Oceana's Instagram competition. Thank you to all the participants for sharing their salty stories with us!

    Channel 7

    Three Detained For Murder of Teenaged Girl, Was It Jealousy?
    Over the weekend, a burnt female body was found at the dump site 4 miles outside of Belmopan. Yesterday, the female's family positively identified her as 18 year old Kerona Ara. They confirmed it was her based on the tattoos on her body, which was otherwise burnt beyond recognition. Now, while they struggle with the grief from the loss of this teenager's life, Ara's family and friends are doing their best to find out exactly what happened and why. Today in Blackman Eddy, we spoke to her mother, Sherlene Mai, about what they have pieced together so far… Sherlene Mai - Mother of Deceased: "First she was here with me Saturday, we mi di hang out and we mi di laugh and talk and think like that and then she say ma I going up to my niece to work, who is Stephanie, she usually go work in Santa Elena. And then I call her phone but she never answer then she say ma I will lef the charger with you because you never had no charger so my mind the run on ih phone mussi dead, that's why ih no di answer her phone. And then my niece number deh inna her phone, so I never had her number and then Saturday I the call to see if she reach but she no answer so I say okay well when she usually tell me ma, I'm going by Stephanie, I know da there she is for true and she never lie to me and thing like that; so I never mi di the bother about it and thing like that.

    Worse Kind Of Deja Vu For Fire Affected Family
    This morning, it was the worst kind of deja vu for one Belize City family when their home was destroyed by fire. Arilee Scott's house - which is just a few hundred feet from this studio - was home to 7 persons - three of them children. And now they are homeless. It's headline news because its the second time this family is getting burnt out of basically the same spot. Jules Vasquez has the story:… The fire started just before 7:00 this morning, in this home off Prince Street. Arilee Scott and her four year old grandson were the only ones at home: Norman Gillette – Fire Victim: "My mother mi deh home – my lee four year old son mi deh home; She mi di tek wah shower and the lee boy mi deh watch TV so when she and the lee boy holler, by the time she rum upstairs and see whe gone on, she said she couldn't do nothing because the whole room done eena flames already."

    Superbond 3.0 - The Deal Is Sealed
    Government has sealed the deal for Superbond 3. A press release form the Central Bank this evening announced, quote, "holders of more than 87 percent of Belize's U.S. Dollar Bonds have consented to certain amendments to the terms of those Bonds." That 87% is more than enough to trigger what is called the "Collective Action Clause" - which binds all the holdouts to accept Government's offer, meaning that tonight, all bondholders have accepted the deal. Government is now expected to make that Superbond payment it had deferred in February as part of its hardball negotiating tactics. It had a 30 day grace period to make payment. The government release says, quote, "The Bonds had been restructured twice before, once in 2007 and again in 2013. In neither case, however, did the financial terms prove to be sustainable beyond a few years. Belize launched its Consent Solicitation earlier this year with the express goal of finally putting the Bonds on a fully sustainable basis." end quote.

    A Criminal Kit In Sandhill
    On Monday,the Rural police found a criminal kit in Sandhill village. A search near the cemetery turned up a 16 gauge shotgun, a black ski mask, 16 rounds of 9 millimetre ammunition, and two shotgun cartridges. And while it was clearly a kit assembled to commit a robbery or aggravated assault, no one was In the immediate area and it was labelled as found property.

    Mother Found Guilty For Wandering Child
    On Monday, Sharhina Flowers appeared in the Magistrate's Court where she was read a single charge for, quote, "suffering a child to be in a public place." Flowers immediately pled guilty to the charge stating the she had nothing to say in her defense. After being asked again by Magistrate Norman Rodriguez if she had anything to say, Flowers admitted that she was working at the Sister Cecilia home when she got a call from her mother telling her that her 13 year old son was being held at the police station. She went on to explain that she left her son in the care of her mother, and alleges that the boy's father picked him up and took him somewhere else. According to Flowers, at some point the boy's father left him, which led him onto the street where he met up with a female neighbour, and that's when police picked him up.

    Was Passport System Manipulated?
    The Senate Hearings on Immigration continued today in Belmopan. Today's testimony was all about the technical aspects of the passport system. The Committee wanted to find out if the Department's machine which prints passports is secure, or if it can be breached by tech-savy officers who know how it works. So, they called Rodolfo Bol, the Immigration Department's System Manager, who has been with the department since 2004. He's in charge of the system which runs the passport machine, and the border management system, known as MIDAS. He also manages the Department's internal network which connects all offices countrywide, and the 7 Embassies in the US, the UK, and Taiwan. The Senate Select Committee wanted him to walk them through the technology which the Department uses. But first, they had to get his response to a very serious claim which the Auditor General made against him.

    How Did Citizen Kim's Picture End Up In System?
    But, the passport machine's security features were breached for the Won Hong Kim Passport application. That one was clearly fraud and forgery perpetrated to get the South Korean fugitive a passport that he didn't qualify for in any way. First off, he never set foot in Belize, and for a passport application, all applicants must present themselves in person to take an original photo at the Immigration Office. Citizen Kim couldn't have done that because he was in a detention centre in Taiwan. Yet, somehow, his picture ended up in the passport system, which then allowed for the passport to be printed. The conclusion is that somebody managed to use the passport system to take a picture Won Hong Kim's South Korean passport which ended up on his Belizean passport. So, can the system be manipulated for corrupt ends like that? That's what the Senate asked Rodolfo Bol, and here's how he answered:

    BTIA Strongly Opposes GOB Hike In Departure Taxes
    All week we've been reporting on government's new basket of taxes. Designed to raise 80 + million dollars in revenue for government, the new tax measures dig deep, but they do so almost inconspicuously. That's because the government stayed away from direct impact, across the board taxes such as income tax, general sales tax, or business tax. One of the not so noticeable taxes they topped up is the departure fee for tourists, increasing it to $40 dollars. Government hopes to collect 11.05 million dollars, but the Belize Tourism Industry Association, says the departure fee, when added to the new PACT charge will add up to much more - too much for visitors to comfortably bear. Today the BTIA put out a detailed position paper, and the executive Director explained why the fee increase is wrong for Belize:…

    Robber Remanded After Theft of 15K
    On early February we told you about the daring armed robbery at the Uno Gas Station on Youth For the Future Drive, near the Bel China bridge. It happened around 9:00 am, when two armed men ambushed the messenger who was carrying deposit bags. They took his knapsack with two Scotia bank deposit bags loaded with $15,878.00 in cash. Both men then ran off. Well today, five weeks later, police have charged a well known criminal figure for robbery. He is 24 year old Lloyd Leslie Jr., a Belize City labourer of #5 Bocotora Street. Late this evening, Leslie Jr., appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where he pleaded not guilty to the single charge of robbery with a firearm. He was denied bail and remanded. No other suspect has been arrested.

    Tourist Drowns In Placencia
    A tourist apparently drowned yesterday evening in Placencia. 53 year old Steven Gail Wine - a tourist from Colorado - was socializing with his wife and other family members at Barefoot Bar in Placencia village. At 6:30 he left the group, and went for a dip in the sea. A few minutes later, his common law wife Annie Berrardi went to look for him and found him motionless in the sea in front of Tipsy Tuna Restaurant and bar. A passerby tried to revive him with CPR, and a Doctor arrived and tried to the the same, but he was unresponsive. Police stress that there were no signs of physical violence on the body and foul play is not suspected. A postmortem will be conducted tomorrow.

    A Tale Of Two Tutsies
    For the past two nights we've been reporting on the case of Corporal Darrell Tootsie Usher - who's accused of trafficking 20 pounds of marijuana. In their press release, the language police used suggested that he was the one observed putting drugs in the car. That's the same car which the cops later stopped and searched with Usher behind the wheel. He fled with a bag, which police say had 20 pounds of weed. Well, it turns out the original police report by the arresting officer says that a man of East Indian descent put the bag in the car. Usher is pointing to the difference, because he is of creole descent, and says he doesn't know who put what in any car. But Usher says he does know that a sheaf of land documents and his gun license which were on the dashboard have gone missing. Police claim to know nothing about the documents, and he has been advised to file a report.

    Media Boycotts Police
    In January, we reported on the revised approach to police-media relations, where only the police press officers are authorized to disseminate information or give interviews on crime matters. That policy change stripped formation commanders of their freedom to engage the press, and basically muzzled them with a gag order. It wasn't an ideal situation for us, the media, but we gave it a try. Well, according to media practitioners, that model has crashed and its affecting the free flow of information that we share with you, our viewers. Our News Director Jules Vasquez has been engaged in this process from the start and this week he called on his colleagues to institute a media-wide boycott of all police events. Today, he explained why it has come to this:

    No More Buckets Da Biscayne
    Biscayne residents have been living without tap water for decades. For most of us, it’s hard to imagine a life like that - but these villagers know it too well. But for the past couple of months heavy work has been ongoing to install the system in the village which runs along the northern highway in the Belize district. It’s been activated and today there was an inauguration ceremony in the village. The very proud Area Rep. Edmond Castro and the Biscayne’s chairperson discussed how life changing this water system is. As you heard there are 700 residents living in Biscayne. Other villages in Belize rural to get water are those in Boston, Maypen and Bomba.

    Almagro Returns
    The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro is coming to Belize. the official announcement was made late this afternoon. He arrives on Thursday and leaves on Friday after a press briefing. He has meetings scheduled with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington, as well as with the leader of the Opposition, John Briceño. The Secretary General will also visit with the B.D.F. for a flyover. Almagro and his OAS are pushing for an early referendum because the Peace Fund financing for the O.A.S. Adjacency Zone office has been waning. Almagro first visited Belize last April for an event at the Adjacency Zone.

    Channel 5

    Family Mourns Terrible End for Keonia Ara, 18
    The family of eighteen-year old Keonia Ara of Blackman Eddy continues to reel over her gruesome murder over the weekend. Ara was stabbed multiple times, her throat slit and then [...]

    B.T.I.A.: New Tax Measures Bad for Tourism
    On Monday, the Prime Minister presented the new budget. For the first time, the Government is proposing to collect over one billion dollars in tax revenues, an increase of eighty-eight [...]

    Tourism Stakeholders Want G.O.B./B.T.B. Held Accountable
    The Belize Tourism Board has been asked by industry operators to account for its sizable income and revenue, especially as it relates to tourism marketing. So, what would a cut [...]

    Tourism Minister Weighs in Budget
    The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is reporting minimal cuts in its budget for the fiscal year. However, there has been increased taxation on the industry in the form [...]

    Diego Bol Addresses I.T. Management for Kim Passport
    Two of the scheduled three witnesses for today’s public hearings of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration testified. They are current information technology manager Rodolfo Bol and former database [...]

    Who Controls Passport Machine?
    Bol disputed the Auditor General’s assertion that inactive users were not removed from the system under his tenure. He pointed out that he and his successor as Systems Administrator, Georgia [...]

    O.A.S. Secretary General Visits Guatemala on Way to Belize
    We reported on Tuesday night, that the O.A.S. Secretary General Luis Miguel Almagro arrives in Belize on Thursday though the nature of his visit has not been confirmed.  A number [...]

    Fire Guts Family House in Belize City Again
    The house belonging to the Scott family of Prince Street, Belize City was struck by fire this morning.  Six family members occupied the upper flat of the two-storey wooden building [...]

    Police-Media Relations Sink to New Low
    Over the past three weekends, there has been a considerable increase in homicides across the country; the most recent being a string of unrelated murders, including that of sixty-six-year-old Elbert [...]

    When a Cruise Port for Belize City?
    When will Belize City get a functioning cruise port? It has been a favourite question of tour operators who see potential in the cruise product whether at Stake Bank off [...]

    Tourism Minister Says Problems in South Being Fixed
    Still on the tourism industry…Is the honeymoon over for Norwegian Cruise Lines? Their Harvest Caye project was intended as an exclusive footprint in Belize for the cruise line, which shared [...]

    Tourist Dies Suddenly in Placencia
    An American national lost his life on Tuesday evening when he drowned in Placencia.  Fifty-three-year-old Steven Gail Wine, from his hometown of Erie, Colorado, was vacationing on the peninsula when [...]

    Teen Girl Forced to Send Nude Pics to Demanding Sexual Predator
    There is a most disturbing report of cyber bullying against a minor by an alleged sexual predator.  A thirteen-year-old student from the Belmopan area has reported to police that man [...]

    CITO’s Francisco Gonzalez Explains Why He Was Pulled from Audit Team
    Back to the senate hearings…The second witness at today’s public hearing, Francisco Gonzalez, was a busy man for most of 2013 and early in 2014. He was point man for [...]

    Gonzalez Says Time to Fix Passport Machine
    Gonzalez spent most of the session leading Senators through an explanation of how technological failures with the machine readable passport system were an underlying cause of the problems within the [...]

    New Water System for Biscayne Village
    The village of Biscayne stretches for five miles on the Philip Goldson Highway. Anyone travelling on the highway will detect the hustle and bustle among the population of over seven [...]

    Celebrating Consumer Rights Day
    To raise awareness of the rights of consumers, March fifteenth is set aside to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day. Since the early 1980’s, the day is celebrated annually to instigate [...]

    More Airlines, More Hotel Rooms – Tourism on the Up
    There’s been a lot tonight on the tourism industry…Saturday’s Southwest Airlines’ touchdown at the Philip Goldson International Airport will not be the last arrival of an airline in Belize for [...]

    CTV3

    Senate Inquiry Exposes Weaknesses In Passport System
    The Senate Select Committee held its fourteenth hearing session today in which it took a deep look at the technical aspects of our passport system. Rodolfo Bol, the Information Technology manager at the Department of Immigration since August 2012, managed and oversaw the computerized system. He provided a detailed account of the process, step by step, and role by role, explaining how an application for passport is accepted and processed. The Senate Select Committee members were interested in fully understanding the system because there have been many instances where aspects of the fully computerized process has been overlooked or where the process has provided inadequate checks and balances. For example, an issue raised is how it was possible for persons assigned to specific responsibilities get involved in other aspects of the process. The Audit General’s special audit report raised this issue because having separate roles is itself a check and balance but in their investigations the Auditor General’s office found this was side-stepped. According to the IT manager, he was instructed to allow it.

    Ghost Passport In The System
    The second witness at today’s Senate hearing had even more criticism of the passport system utilised by the Immigration Department. Francisco Gonzalez, who shared his expertise with the Auditor General’s audit team shared some of his concerns about the passport system. He indicated that during the seven months he assisted in the audit, he discovered that there have been passports issued but which do not appear as such in the Immigration Department’s database.

    Fishermen Slapped With Stiff Fines For Under Size Conchs
    Four Fishermen from the north were today fined almost $10,000 in court after they were found in possession of a large number of undersized conchs. The men, namely 26 year old Wilson Hernandez and 24 year old Aldo Hernandez both of Sarteneja Village, along with 26 year old Alexie Babb, of Chunox Village and 38 year old Ubaldino Sandoval, of San Estevan Village, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza today where they were unrepresented and pleaded guilty to a single count each of possession of undersized conchs.

    US Marshall Offer Reward For Detainment Of RJ Believe To Be In Belize
    The United States Marshals are offering a reward of five thousand dollars for any information that might assist them in locating and detaining Raymond “RJ” McLeod who is considered a person of interest in the death of his girlfriend, Krystal Mitchell. The tragedy occurred in June of last year in San Diego where authorities responded to a report of a woman who was not breathing. After police arrived at the scene, the said woman identified as Mitchell was pronounced dead. Raymond McLeod, however, had reportedly fled the scene and has evaded authorities since. Further reports indicate that immediately following the murder, the suspect stole the victim’s vehicle, withdrew money from her bank account, then fled to Mexico. It is believed he then made his way into Belize, as he was last spotted in Placencia.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Vicious murder of teenaged girl – Belmopan police makes major progress
    Belmopan police have 2 young men and a young woman in custody as major progress is being made in unravelling the murder of 18 year old Keona Ara from Blackman Eddy Village. One of the suspects in custody is a resident of Teakettle village and is a recent ex-boyfriend of Keona. BBN has confirmed that Police picked up the boyfriend, along with a suspected male and female accomplice, after they searched a home in Belmopan. Reliable information to BBN, and confirmed by family members, is that at the residence, Police found blood stained clothing of the teenaged girl, her cell phone and a knife that may have been the murder weapon.

    Belize Celebrates world consumer rights day
    The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), in commemoration of World Consumer Rights Day, is holding a public awareness drive in three locations. The drive started yesterday in Orange Walk, continues today in Belize City, and ends in Punta Gorda on Thursday. The BBS met with members of the public to discuss what are consumer rights, and answer any questions they might have about those rights or the work of the bureau.

    New streets and drains for PG
    The Government of Belize has spent a whopping $1,702,214.32 to provide residents of Punta Gorda and surrounding communities with an upgraded street and drainage environment. While Government was able to aid in this development with a loan, the Punta Gorda Town Board also donated up to $51,066.43. Today the road and drainage infrastructure will be officially inaugurated at 3:00 p.m. Speakers at the event will include Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce; Mayor Fern Gutierrez, and the Executive Director of Social Investment Fund, William Lamb Jr., among others.

    Ministries and departments to cut expenses?
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the 2017-2018 budget at the House of Representatives on Monday. As part of its fiscal consolidation measures under the terms of restructured 2034 bonds, GOB’s consolidation plan for this fiscal year must be at least 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To accomplish this, GoB is seeking a $70 million (or 2% 0f GDP) increase in revenues and a $30 million (or 1 % of GDP) reduction in expenditures.

    Prime Minister Barrow foresees economic improvement
    At the budget presentation on Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow summarized the country’s economic outlook and said there would be positive developments for the new fiscal year 2017/18. In Barrow’s words: “The conditions of the economy and the public finances will improve appreciably in the coming financial period, and this will be secured both by natural rebound and by our measured consolidation.”

    Economy expected to bounce back this year says PM Barrow
    The Central Bank of Belize has forecasted a 3.5 percent economic recovery for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in his budget presentation, explained that GOB expects the economy to experience a 3.5 percent recovery in this fiscal year.

    BTIA responds to departure tax increase; Says GOB didn’t consult with stakeholders
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is calling for the Government of Belize to reconsider two pieces of proposed legislation in the national budget that it feels will have disastrous consequences for Belize’s tourism sector. The BTIA today issued its concerns and recommendations, in response to GOB’s proposed amendments to the Statutory Bodies Development Contribution Act 2017, and the proposed PACT (Amendment) Act, presented during the budget presentation on Monday.

    San Pedro woman dies while waiting for flight to Belize City
    A San Pedro woman was scheduled to arrive in Belize City yesterday for medical treatment but she never made it. According to police reports, Jordanie Olivera, 23, was complaining of shortness of breath and collapsed inside Tropic Air’s Airstrip in San Pedro while waiting for her flight to Belize City. Olivera was then rushed to a Polyclinic nearby and was pronounced dead on arrival.

    Belizean elected to serve on Waukegan Township
    Sylvestre Castellanos, who hails from San Ignacio, is the first Belizean-American to have been elected to serve on the Waukegan Township, which is responsible for Waukegan, Beach Park, Park City and North Chicago. On February 28, he was elected to serve 4 years on […]

    Inmate reportedly dies in prison
    Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that a prisoner died at the Hattieville prison. He has been identified as Matilde Ku, 62, who is originally from August Pine Ridge in Orange Walk. According to police, the cause of death was cardio respiratory arrest. He was pronounced […]

    BTIA fears new departure tax will kill Belize’s tourism industry
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is concerned that the new amendments to the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) Act, presented in the national budget, could raise departure taxes, thereby seriously hurting Belize’s tourism industry. BTIA President Osmany Salas, told BBN that the departure […]

    Blogs

    Let’s Celebrate The Belize Barrier Reef
    The Belize Coral Reef – the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world – is the crown jewel of Belize. The miles and miles of rainbow corals that make our entire coast line what it is today. Literally. Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker started as patches of coral and built up over thousands of years. Placencia Peninsula was once a stretch of coral growth that is now covered by river sediment and sand. Our atolls and cayes…coral. It’s part of what brings thousands of visitors and keeps millions of fish, sharks, whales in our waters. It should be protected like any crown jewel would be when under attack. But I won’t even START on the Government of Belize’s preposterous ideas to search for oil within 1 kilometer of the reef. Reef Week is March 9th to March 15th and is celebrated with events around the country.

    Visit Belize in March
    With fantastic weather, Belize in March is at the top of tourist season, with countless opportunities to fish, dive, snorkel, sail, and explore the lush landscape of tropical rainforests, mountain peaks, and rich fertile plains. March is also when many high-energy festivals and celebrations occur throughout the country, making it the perfect time to visit the tropical paradise of Belize. Instead of shivering through another month of winter in the United States and Canada, why not come on down to Belize and relax under the warm sunny rays of a tropical sun? With fantastic weather and so many fun festivals, Belize is truly the destination of choice in March. Escape the dreary dregs of winter and head on down to Belize, where a laid-back and friendly country filled with exciting adventure opportunities and beautiful nature await you! You’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and happy when you return home after spending a week under the warm tropical sun of Belize.

    International Sourcesizz

    Air Canada gets green light for flights to Belize
    Canadian regulators have approved a request by Air Canada to operate flights between Canada and Belize, according to Canadian Transportation Agency documents. The documents do not specify routes or a start date, and Air Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The approval applies to Air Canada, Air Canada Cargo and the company's low-fare Rouge unit. Air Canada has not served Belize since at least 2005, the earliest available year of FlightGlobal schedules data.

    Tiffany Trump returns to snowy New York after spending two weeks on a romantic spring break trip in Belize
    Tiffany Trump is back in New York City after spending a couple of weeks enjoying the tropical climate in Belize with her longtime boyfriend Ross Mechanic.Tiffany, who spend the past two weeks in tank tops and bathing suits, traded her athletic wear for a chunky turtleneck sweater and a puffy bomber jacket with a fur hood. President Donald Trump's youngest daughter accessorized her warm, winter look with black leggings, white high-top sneakers, and a studded black handbag. And it looks like Tiffany was lucky enough to get a flight back to the city a few days before the winter storm hit the East Coast. The couple filled their days with adventurous activities, including zip-lining and snorkeling, and Tiffany happily shared photos and videos throughout their trip. One underwater photo sees Tiffany wearing her snorkeling gear while swimming up to the camera, which was presumably being held by Ross.

    The State of Central American Food in Los Angeles
    In addition to claiming the title of best Mexican food city in the U.S., Los Angeles is also the top destination for Central American cuisine, with strong representation from five of seven countries along the isthmian strip at the southernmost end of North America. Refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and other countries arrived in L.A. during the 1970s and 80s due to a century and a half of Monroe Doctrines, the Roosevelt Corollary and our Cold War policies that led the U.S. to support military dictatorships in Guatemala, El Salvador and right wing contras in Nicaragua. Mass deportations of MS-13 and other Central-American gang members that began in the 1990s until today have forced another wave of Central-Americans fleeing for their lives to the calmer settings of South Central Los Angeles, Koreatown, Jefferson, the San Fernando Valley and in and around Huntington Park. They brought with them nothing but the shirts on their backs, along with their rich culinary traditions. Plus a map of where to eat the best dishes in the city.

    Students survey beetles, piranha, sharks for Earthwatch
    Nicole Tu-Maung’s research on a South African nature reserve sought to document the complex ecology of white rhinos by collecting and examining the beetles feasting on the animals’ dung. “It was the hellish orchestra of several hundred beetles, scraping their serrated legs on the hard exteriors of their fellow captives; clawing and biting desperately at each other to make way toward the edge of the bag only to be trapped and crushed under the weight of several kilos of sloshing, wet dung,” wrote Tu-Maung in her post-expedition blog. At the Glover’s Reef atoll off the coast of Belize, Joyce worked with Demian Chapman and Katie Flowers, both affiliated with Florida International University and Global FinPrint. Working with these international researchers, Joyce studied shark and ray populations, catching and tagging Caribbean reef sharks and observing rays with Baited Underwater Remote Video cameras, or BRUVs.

    The Decline of Reef Predators Could Mean Disaster For Reefs
    A trip to see coral reefs isn’t complete without sighting some big predators like sharks and barracuda. Sadly, up to 90 percent of reef predators have disappeared from the Caribbean due to overfishing, disrupting the delicately balanced ecosystem and leaving visitors disappointed. John Bruno, a marine biologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Abel Valdivia, a study co-author, studied the reefs and released their findings in the journal Science Advances. Bruno explained that the loss of these predators not only means a decline in tourism for the islands, but also a dramatic increase in small fish that then in-turn put added stress on the environment, as is common when a deer population grows too quickly and vegetation suffers.

    Videos

  • The Ever-Changing Illegal Activities in the Chiquibul, 7.5min. The huge expanse of the Chiquibul National Park has been under continuous threat for all sorts of illegal activities over the years. The protected area has an abundance of highly sought natural resources by persons from across the border. Tonight, the news is that the harvesting of xaté and the poaching of the scarlet macaw have been minimized significantly. Friends for Conservation Development has been at the forefront in the fight against the pillage of the forest. That is the good news…but on the flip side, a more lucrative activity is on the surge. News Five’s Duane Moody was deep in the forest as part of a program with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust and files the following report.

  • Senate Special Select Committee hearings regarding the Auditor General's Report continues, 35min.

  • San Pedro Market Ambergris Caye, Belize, 1.5min. The San Pedro Town Artisans market area.

  • Scuba School And Family Dive Center Belize, 1.5min.

  • LARC Fellow Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown, 6min. Interview with LARC Fellow Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown (Anthropology, Athabasca University) about her current projects and research.

  • Women in Education, 46min.

  • BTL - March Campaigns, 18min.

  • Downtown Rejuvenation Project Community Cookout Engagement, 22min.

  • Reef Swim Challenge 2017, 6min. Reef Week kicked off last week with a number of activities and it continued over the weekend with a ride, cleanup effort, and a swim challenge. News Five tagged along with the folks from the World Wildlife Fund out to Goffs and English Caye for the yearly reef swim challenge. It is a challenge – not a competition – that is held to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy reef. On Sunday twenty-five swimmers took to the English Channel to challenge themselves and, for some, to engage in a friendly competition to cross the finish line first. Here’s a look at how the reef swim challenge went on Sunday:

  • Youth Information/Educational Fair @ YWCA., 1.5min.

  • Belize, Mahogany Bay, & Cozumel, 2min.

  • Aerial view of the Rio On Pools in Mountain Pine Ridge Belize., 2.5min. Aerial view of the Rio On Pools in Mountain Pine Ridge Belize.

  • Belize 2017, 7min. Belize 2017 Gaia River Lodge Mountain Equestrian Trails Xunantunich Ruins Amergris Caye.

  • Take Belize Int Airport Tropic Air to Placencia, 2min.

  • Belize 2017, 3min. Shot in Caye Caulker this February 2017. Most of the videos are from the Raggamuffin snorkeling trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and other snorkeling spots between Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Panoramic shot at the end is from the day flats fishing east of Ambergris Caye.

  • Goldfish Swim School in Belize, 3min. Goldfish Swim School trip to Gales Point, Belize 2017.

  • Sea Turtle, Mexico Rocks, Belize, 1min. Snorkeling in Belize San Pedro Mexico Rocks Tuff E Nuff Tours Costa Blu.

  • San Pedro, BELIZE Golf Cart Ride to AK'BOL Yoga Retreat Ambergris Caye -Caribbean, 3.5min. Golf Cart ride up north to Ak'Bol Yoga Retreat from our condo near the bridge in San Pedro, Belize. Ak'bol does daily yoga, has rooms, and offers amazing views of the Caribbean.

    March 15, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Jordanie Olivera collapses at Airport
    The San Pedro Sun extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of 23-year-old Jordanie Olivera, who suddenly passed away today, March 14th. According to an official police report, Olivera was complaining of shortness of breath, and after seeking medical attention, collapsed while waiting for a flight to Belize City for further care. A source from Tropic Air briefly told The San Pedro Sun that Oliveria sought treatment at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II and was released from the clinic around 2:55PM, after which she booked a flight to receive emergency care at Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. However, she was experiencing breathing complications, and moments before boarding her flight, she passed away.

    SPHS student Angel Navidad recovering after attack
    A San Pedro High School (SPHS) student and member of the school’s champion male softball team, Angel Jose Navidad is recovering in a hospital in Belize City after being attacked on Saturday March 11th. Navidad was on his way home when he reportedly received a severe blow to his head by his attacker. He was then taken to Belize City where he has been under observation. Initially it was reported that Navidad’s state was critical and a surgery was to take place. However, after being examined by doctors in Belize City, surgery was ruled out. Navidad was closely monitored and according to the latest update, his recovery has been swift. According to a social media post from his family, within 24 hours of the attack, he was already conscious and talking. “I am happy to report that Angel Jose Navidad is doing much better. We had long conversations and everything looks great.”

    SPHS Male Softball team defends championship at Northern Softball Regional championship
    San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted the 2017 National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) Northern Softball Regionals on Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th. In a total of eight matches played at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex, high school teams fought for a chance to represent the North at the anticipated NSSSA National Softball Championship. At the end of the tournament, the SPHS male and the Belize Rural High School (BRHS) female softball teams emerged as champs of the North. Outstanding players were given individual awards. Keena Pott (BRHS) and Angel Jose Navidad (SPHS male) won for Batting Champion; Indyra De La Fuente (OWTHS female) and Antholyn Vellos (CCC) won Best Outfield; Selena Banner (BRHS) and Javon Carrillo (BHSA) won Best Infield; Keena Pott (BRHS) and Lester Gamez (SPHS) won Most Wins; Britney Bijil (SPHS female) and Isaul Coba (SPHS male) won Most Run Batted In; Ada Cordova (SPHS female) and Alrick Quan (CCC) won Most Stolen Base); and Arumy Campos (ESTM) and Lester Gamez (SPHS male) won Most Strikeout.

    Isla Bonita Elementary holds annual Science Fair
    Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) had a full house on Friday, March 10th, as students hosted their 2nd annual Science Fair. Under the theme, “Knowledge is Power”, students from standards three to six were divided into groups and tasked with creating an experiment or science based project. Using creativity and unique talents, students successfully showcased their grasp of the scientific curriculum. From 9AM to 2PM, the upper-class students presented their group projects on static electricity, electromagnetic spectrum of light, gravity, the nervous system, the skeletal system and the pinhole camera. The lower division students presented an experiment with Diet Coke and Alka-Seltzer, and how to make slime. All the groups were well-versed in their material, their hard work clearly visible to their teachers. Students were graded on their presentations, and many groups passed with flying colors. Principal Addy Martinez was excited for her students’ performance.

    Ambergris Today

    Woman Collapses to Her Death While Waiting for Flight to Belize City
    The Police Department has confirmed the death of Jordani Olivera, 23-years-old, today Tuesday, March 14, 2017. According their report, Jordani was complaining of shortness of breath and collapsed whilst waiting for her flight to Belize City. She was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic and was pronounced dead by a medical officer. According to reports, Jordani had been battling health complications from a procedure she underwent at the Poly Clinic weeks earlier. She got really ill and after revisiting the clinic earlier today, she was advised to travel to the city for better medical care. While she waited for the 4p.m. flight at Tropic Air, Jordani suddenly fell really ill and was reportedly in pain. It was during the time that the departure crew at Tropic Air rushed to prepare the flight a little earlier to assist Jordani on her way to the city that she collapsed. First Aid attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.

    Southwest Airlines Launches Direct Flights Between Belize and Denver, Colorado
    On Saturday, March 11th, 2017 Southwest Airlines and Belize launched its inaugural flight from Denver, Colorado direct to Belize connection. With two ceremonies held on that day to commemorate this event, the first was held in Denver, Colorado to mark the first flight departing to Belize. Those in attendance representing Belize included Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Mr. Anthony Hunt, member of the Aviation Development Committee. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation stated: “It is always a pleasure to welcome a new route to Belize and today’s inaugural flight from Denver, Colorado is no exception. Southwest Airlines continues to show its commitment to Belize by creating additional routes to Belize making us more accessible to US travelers. We are grateful to Southwest who believes in our destination and we hope that they will continue be a great partner for years to come.”

    BWS Expands San Pedro Sewage While Residents Complain About Water Supply
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, met with members of Belize Water Services (BWS) on Thursday, March 9, 2017 to discuss BWS intentions of further expanding its sewage system along the Laguna Drive from San Pedro High School to Sir Barry Bowen Bridge in San Pedro Town. An estimate of about $1.5 million dollars will be used for this project which will be funded by the Government of Belize and Belize Water Services. This project is to benefit approximately 62 residents and businesses. CEO of BWS, Mr. Alvan Haynes along with Mr. Sanjay Keshwani (BWS Technical Services Manager), Mr. Dave Pascascio (BWS Operations Manager) and Mr. Jermaine Jones (BWS Operations Supervisor) were all present on site with Mayor Guerrero and Hon. Heredia as they visited the areas that will be connected to BWS’ sewage system.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Caye Caulker signage
    Yesterday our Council met once more with the STP 2 team who has been coming out to coordinate with us and the public on new signage that will be placed around our island. We are still deciding on the best ones that will capture the attention of the public. For our next public meeting, we will be consulting more with public before we make the final decisions. Please feel free to comment! Attached are just some of the many examples!

    Caye Caulker beach lighting
    The Caye Caulker Village Council is working on our beach lighting project to light up dark areas along our beach. We have currently installed one of the many Eco Friendly Solar Lights on the beach and will be installing some more of these solar lights this weekend. We ask the communities kind cooperation in taking care of these new lights.

    Chiquibul Challenge Marathon Photos by Tony Rath
    Photos from the first Chiquibul Challenge Marathon. Sorry I could not cover everyone, some runners were too fast, others too slow, so I could only cover those that were just right ;)

    Corozal Community College Open Day
    March 17th, 91m - 2:30pm

    Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00 noon, Sunday, March 19: portion Philip Goldson Highway from Mile 1 to Buttonwood Bay Blvd roundabout at Mile 2 1/2
    Two 15min power interruptions 8:00am to 8:15am and 11:45am to 12:00 noon will also affect West Landivar, Coral Grove, Buttonwood Bay & Belama Phase 1. BEL to install primary load switching devise on power distribution system in area.

    Power interruption 4:45pm to 5:00pm, Saturday, March 18, portion Cayo District
    Unitedville to Arenal including Benque Viejo, San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Unitedville, Duck Run 1 & 2, Billy White, Georgeville, Central Farm, Esperanza, San Miguel, Cristo Rey, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Bullet Tree Falls, Branch Mouth, Santa Familia, Calla Creek, Corozalito & Succotz. BEL to replace poles and ground wires on the transmission system in the area.

    Seatrade Global 2017
    The Belize Team at Seatrade Global in Ft. Lauderdale.

    Miss Teen Belize
    With the official photoshoot scheduled for April 1st & pageant day set for May 27th, the final casting call will be held at the venues listed below. Due to the large amount of applicants , the committee would like to get to know you better. For those of you who have signed up and given us your information we look forward to meeting you, and those of you who want to be apart of the 2017 Miss Teen Belize edition, send us your information before it's too late! Thank you to everyone contributing to this exciting event!

    Caye Caulker Ocean Academy: Last Batik class for this school year
    Thank you Lee Vanderwalker for mentoring young OA artists and designers. You can see the batik work display on March 24th at our Ubuntu Mentor Appreciation Event. Come out 10-11:30 and 1-3:30 at the Beach beside Rainbow restaurant/palapas.

    Official Inauguration of Rehabilitated Road & Drainage Infrastructure Project, Punta Gorda, Toledo
    Residents of Punta Gorda and surrounding communities are now enjoying a safer and more pleasant street and drainage environment courtesy of the Government of Belize, which financed the project at a cost of $1,702,214.32 with funds through a loan from the World Bank, and counterpart contribution from Punta Gorda Town Board amounting to $51,066.43. In this regard, the road and drainage infrastructure will be officially inaugurated at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Speakers at the event will include Hon. Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce; Mayor Fern Gutierrez, and the Executive Director of Social Investment Fund Mr. William Lamb Jr., among others. The project is designed to improve the quality of life for all Belizeans traversing in Punta Gorda. It includes the rehabilitation of Robert Pennell Street, Lucille Melendrez Street, and Hopeville Loop, coupled with an extensive drainage system, street markings of finished chip seal surface, and installation of road signs.

    The Special Envoy of Belize presents the "She for Belize" initiative.
    Support the Rio Blanco Women’s Group in the Toledo District with the purchase of one of these handmade Jippi Jappa baskets--available at Mirab until April 1st.

    Belizean Elected as a Waukegan Township Trustee
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Government of Belize, extends congratulations to Mr. Sylvestre Castellanos for his remarkable achievement as the first elected Belizean American to serve on the Waukegan Township.

    Belizean Youth Ambassadors luncheon
    On March 13, Chargé d'Affaires Adrienne Galanek and the Embassy staff hosted eight Belizean Youth Ambassadors and their mentors for a luncheon and discussion at the Chief of Mission residence. In just a few days, these energetic Youth Ambassadors will travel to the United States on a three-week long leadership exchange program facilitated by Georgetown University in Washington D.C. They will also travel to Alabama and Idaho as part of the exchange. The Central American Youth Ambassadors (CAYA) program is a U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs's youth exchange program designed to strengthen leadership skills of young people from Central America and the United States. Upon return, the Youth Ambassadors will lead various community projects in their communities and inspire their peers to develop leadership skills.

    2017/2018 Budget Presentation by Prime Minister Dean Barrow
    Read and download the Budget

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

    Earth Hour 2017
    Don't miss out! Let the lights shine on Corozal the March 25th as we celebrate Earth Hour! All are invited!!

    RADiCAL Art Exhibit Launch
    The RADiCAL art exhibit by the Belize Women's Art Collective will be launching at the SISE House of Culture on Friday, March 17th, at 6:00pm. "You are Invited! Launch of Women's Art Exhibit happening this Friday March 17th at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at SISE House of Culture!"

    Ride to the Reef 2017
    Oceana's annual Ride to the Reef was held on Saturday, March 11th 2017. Some 100 cyclists took part in the event and averaged 16 miles per hour to make it from the steps of the National Assembly in the capital city Belmopan to the coast at the BTL Park on Princess Margaret Drive. We thank the sensational Belizeans for braving inclement weather to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to highlight the importance of our marine resources.

    Channel 7

    Burnt Female Body is Teenager
    Yesterday we told you about a female body which was found at the dump site 4 miles outside of Belmopan; it had been burnt beyond recognition. Well, today police confirmed that the victim is a teenager: 18 year old Kerona Ara, a resident of Blackman Eddy Village. So, who killed her and why? Well, police haven't confirmed at this time, but we have received reports that a young Teakettle resident has been detained by police for his possible involvement. No one has been charged, but Belmopan police have also impounded a car which they believe was used in the crime. And police have confirmed that her murder is not connected to the murder of 66 year old taximan, Elbert Gillett, a possibility which investigators were looking into yesterday.

    Easy Bail For Cop Who Ran
    Last night, we told you about Police Corporal Darrell "Tutsi" Usher, who was charged with trafficking for 9 kilos of marijuana. Well, he's out on bail tonight after being taken to the Magistrate's Court. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where he pleaded not guilty. and even though he allegedly ran from the cops and eluded arrest for more than 48 hours, the police prosecutor had no objection to bail. Chief Magistrate then granted him bail of $1,000, but he had to pay 500 of that in cash. The conditions of the bail are that he must surrender his travel documents, and he cannot leave the country without permission of the court. He must also sign in at the Hattieville Police Station once a week until his case is done. He returns to court on May 29.

    Man Gets Off Conviction for Causing Child's Death Due To Jury Error
    Two weeks ago, we told you about Lyle Harris, who was found guilty of knocking down and killing four year old Elisha Gilharry. As we reported on March first, the jury deliberated for 90 minutes before arriving at a verdict. Well, it turns out, that wasn't enough. Today - on the day he was supposed to be sentenced - Harris's attorney Simeon Sampson submitted that the jury of 6 women and 3 men did not deliberate for the mandatory 2 hours. Because of that error, trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas had to order a retrial. So that means the guilty verdict for causing death by careless conduct is thrown out, and he will have to face a while new trial in front of a new jury. It's a major disappointment for Elisha's family who was hoping to bring some closure to her death - which happened in 2010. The four year old was walking with her father when Harris ran over, and didn't notice so the vehicle was dragging her along the pavement.

    Ashcroft And GOB Retire After Two Days Of Arguments, Wait For April 12th
    Arguments concluded today in the case between the Barrow Administration and the Ashcroft Alliance. They were arguing over what the court should do with the injunction which prevents the Belize Bank Limited and the BCB Holdings Limited -now named Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited - from enforcing the 50 million US dollar judgment granted by a US court. Government wants the court to make it permanent; the Ashcroft Alliance wants it lifted. Eamon Courtenay appeared for the Ashcroft Alliance, and Denys Barrow appeared for the government of Belize. They argued all day before the Chief Justice yesterday, and then continued again this morning. When they finished at midday we asked them how it went, and they outlined their main arguments:...

    Monster Croc Captured in Residential Neighborhood
    Belama Phase 2 residents can finally walk about freely after a 10 foot crocodile was captured this morning. It has been terrorizing the neighborhood for months. But one resident couldn't take it any longer and made countless pleas on social media. Well, the Forestry Department and the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary answered her call. They teamed up and captured the crocodile before dawn. Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers told us how he roped up the reptile and restored peace in the community. City Councilor Phillip Willoughby also discussed some of the works that will be done in the area to ward off other crocs lurking in the nearby canal.

    What the New Taxes Will Cost You In Real Figures
    Last night, we gave you the broad outline of Prime Minister's Budget presentation for the fiscal year 2017/2018. That speech is titled "Bouncing back - A Bold Belizean Recovery," but it's also about contraction, and the coming year's budget is about 5% smaller than last year's budget. That's a stark contrast from last year's budget, which increased by almost 8% over the previous year. But, while the Government is cutting spending, It intends to collect an unprecedented 1 billion dollars in taxes from you, the tax payers. To do this, the government is rolling out 88 million dollars in new tax measures, 80 million of which we already told you about. Last night, we showed you the areas that the Government intends to tax, but we showed you those figures as percentages of the GDP. We've done some crunching of the numbers, and this is what we found.

    Are Taxpayers Bankrolling High Cost Wage Increases In A Time Of Austerity?
    But with so much revenue from new taxes, what's government doing on the expenditure side? Well, overall, that's coming down by about 60 million dollars with a freeze on expenditure, but there's one area that's going up sharply, and that's wages and pensions. Those are increasing by about 32 million dollars as government pays out the last tranche of its promised wage increase to teachers and public officers. Now wages are usually frozen during a time of austerity and cutbacks, and the IMF would even go further and recommend retrenchment. But, the Barrow administration is going in the other direction when it comes to teachers and public officers - and we asked the tough questions that naturally arise from that apparent contradiction:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Sir, are we the other tax payers being held hostage, being made to pay for these people when they are ruthlessly inefficient. 50% of our children failed PSE and more will fail this year because of the strike. So why are we, the tax payers, being made to bankroll that?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Well its a point of view. It is not my point of view."

    Taking A Bite Out Of Statutory Bodies
    And in trying to raise revenue, government isn't only looking to you the taxpayer. They're also going into those big spending statutory bodies, to take a cut of their revenue. The PM announced yesterday that all statutory boards are required to contribute 10 percent of their 2017/18 income to the Consolidated Fund. Statutory bodies include places like the BTB, PACT, BAHA, The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), The Belize Social Investment Fund, known as SIF, BELTRAIDE, and the PUC, among others. The PM discussed how it will work: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Which has to be cut at the statutory bodies and nobody, the ministries associated with the particular statutory bodies, including the ministry of finance - those ministries have not been doing the kind of monitoring, the kind of supervision that must be done and so there is this sort that let everything come into the consolidated revenue fund and we only give back as a budget what these people can justify and that would help to curtail some of the excessive spending."

    Coming Up With A Relevant Curriculum
    The high school curriculum hasn't been revised since the 90's. Now unless, everyone is comfortable with their kids being stuck in the 20th century, then it's about time for an education reform. That's what the Ministry of the Education has been working on and today stakeholders held a meeting to discuss ways to re-vitalize the secondary school curriculum. CEO in the Ministry of Education, Deborah Domingo discussed some of the focus areas that will be reflected in this new curriculum. Deborah Domingo, CEO, Ministry of Education: "Today's event is not a new initiative it is an ongoing one. The Ministry of Education has embarked on an effort to rationalize and diversify the curriculum at the high school level. So one of the first things we have done is to pull our stakeholders together to have us develop a profile of who the high school graduate for Belize should be, what attributes should they have. Having done that we have looked at, well how best do we deliver this through the curriculum."

    Working Towards A National Trade Policy
    Today the Directorate General for Foreign Trade hosted the first of a two day public consultation for the National Trade Policy. The Directorate introduced the framework for the new policy in July 2016 and is now working with stakeholders from the public and private sectors to further develop the legislature. The policy will be used to strategically stimulate trade and further integrate Belizean products in regional and international markets. The DGFT's Acting Director General, Andy Sutherland, told us more...

    PM Had To Fight Mayor To Block Chang's Candidacy
    Last week, former UDP City Councillor Eric Chang shook up the Senate Inquiry when he appeared before them calm, collected, and, he claimed to be candid, when he said he too was set up in the whole Citizen Kim affair. And after the whole scandal below up, Chang - who was then an elected city councillor - stayed in Taiwan, while the saga of Citizen Kim played out with manic intensity back here in Belize. When he returned 12 weeks later, Chang had been stripped of his Deputy Mayorship and his portfolios. Politically, he was dead meat. Or was he? According to the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Belize City still wanted him on the slate. It's an interesting angle and a story we'd never heard which the PM as Party Leader shared with us yesterday:...

    Finnegan On Political Rot
    And as the Senate Inquiry lumbers on tomorrow, there could be more revelations which UDP did what in the great game of Immigration Irregularities. Indeed, as one officer pointed out, every corrupt politician needs a corrupt public officer to facilitate them in this game, and it seems there's no shortage of either. It's a cause of much sorrow for many UDP faithful who still wanted to believe that theirs was the honest and un-corrupt party, but there's ample proof that red lights were bring run rampantly on both sides of the PUDP political superhighway. We asked retiring UDP party whip Michael Finnegan how he feels about all the tales of corruption surrounding the political movement he joined in the 60's:..

    Finnegan, An Improbable Ascent
    And while decency may win out in some unforeseeable future, Finnegan won't be around. As he told us on Friday, he's retiring, for real this time. We asked him to reflect on his improbable ascent to power:.. Jules Vasquez, 7News: "As you make this announcement of retirement from political life, from electoral politics, Mike, you are from Conchshell Bay. You are a boy with a primary school leaving certificate." Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Rep, Mesopotamia: "Do I have that? The last time I check I never see any hanging (laughing). Amazing." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "You grew up rough, but now as you retire, one of the strongest politicians the UDP has ever seen, probably top 2." Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Rep, Mesopotamia: "All that went on is that when you are coming up, you follow good people. You follow Dean Lindo, Evan X Hyde, Phillip Goldson, Manuel Esquivel - you grew up and raise as boyhood friendship with Dean Barrow. How can one go wrong?"

    Dancehall Unlimited
    UNLMTED (Unlimited) is a Belizean dancehall and reggae artist who is trying to uplift at risk youths in Belize. He recently released a music video for his song "About Life", which brings to light the struggle many Belizeans face everyday. We spoke to UNLMTD earlier today about his music and his message...

    Channel 5

    18 Year Old Kerona Ara is Belmopan Dump Murder Victim
    The identity of a female who was stabbed multiple times, her throat slit and then set on fire has been determined. Her body was found over the weekend at the [...]

    87% of Bondholders Sign Up for Superbond; Late Payment Comes Due
    On Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that Superbond Three point Oh was a done deal. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight this evening confirmed to News Five that some eighty-seven percent [...]

    A Closer Look at the 2017-2018 Budget
    News Five has begun its review of the 2017-2018 General Revenue and Appropriations Bill, also known as the Budget, which is scheduled to be debated on the second reading on [...]

    Belize Bank Limited Hoping to Lift Injunction on Arbitral Award
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved judgment in the case of the Belize Bank Limited and the Government of Belize after hearing submissions from both parties.  A second day of [...]

    “Forum Shopping” Behind Trial of Belize Bank Case?
    The question of whether or not the case is deliberately being retried is also central to the argument.  According to Barrow, government decided at the eleventh hour to challenge the [...]

    Will Judgment be Binding in the End?
    Courtenay maintains that government took the decision of the CCJ to the U.S. jurisdiction and requested that the enforcement not be granted.  Barrow, on the other hand, says that the [...]

    Prime Minister Fights on Over B.T.L. Settlement
    Is the Government conceding that the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited have triumphed in relation to the second payment of the B.T.L. settlement? It is due later this year [...]

    O.A.S.’ Almagro Comes to Belize
    It has not been officially announced, but the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro arrives in Belize this Thursday. This is Almagro’s second visit to Belize, [...]

    The Ever-Changing Illegal Activities in the Chiquibul
    The huge expanse of the Chiquibul National Park has been under continuous threat for all sorts of illegal activities over the years. The protected area has an abundance of highly [...]

    Who Will and Will Not be Affected by Statutory Board Demand
    As we first reported last week, the Government is demanding ten percent of the revenue of statutory bodies to go into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. A Cabinet committee is reviewing [...]

    P.M. Gives Thumbs Down to Eric Chang, Patrick Tillett
    Three witnesses are to be called for Wednesday’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee. But the testimonies of former Deputy Mayor of Belize City, Eric Chang, and former [...]

    Manuel Heredia Jr. Ready for Senate Inquiry
    It may be a while before any Ministers of Government are called before the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration, but quite a few, past and present, have had to [...]

    Cop Charged Over Weed Interdicted
    Interdicted police officer, Corporal Darrel Usher, who over the weekend was allegedly busted with a huge amount of cannabis, was today arraigned after a number of issues delayed his arraignment [...]

    Man Convicted of Aggravated Assault
    Austin DeCosta was found guilty of aggravated assault upon a woman. The forty-three-year-old resident of Caye Caulker appeared in court today to answer to the charge for an incident that [...]

    Is Shyne the Right Choice for Music and Politics?
    Exit Dean, enter Shyne? The entertainer-turned-aspiring politician has made no secret of his plans to succeed uncle and mentor Michael Finnegan, who recently announced plans to step down as area [...]

    Why Re-Registration Cannot Happen this Year
    Re-registration of voters will be put off until 2018, but the Prime Minister has committed to having it happening before re-districting of electoral boundaries and a referendum on the International [...]

    How to Fix Education Curricula
    The Ministry of Education kicked off its two-day consultation workshop with principals, heads of school boards, and other education partners to engage in a discussion on how curriculums can be [...]

    Reef Challenge Gives New Awareness on Precious Natural Resource
    Reef Week kicked off last week with a number of activities and it continued over the weekend with a ride, cleanup effort and a swim challenge. News Five tagged along [...]

    Flying the Skies with Southwest Airlines
    On Saturday afternoon, Southwest Airlines gave Belizean tourism officials a “Rocky Mountain High.” But it was not the kind induced by marijuana, though that is also legal in the state [...]

    LOVE FM

    Burnt Remains Found = 18-Year-Old Keona Ara
    The charred remains of a female found at the Belmopan dumpsite on Saturday has been identified. This afternoon, Shirley Mai, the mother of 18 year old Keona Ara, confirmed the identity of her daughter by the tattoos she has on the left arm and back of the neck. Her body was found by the security […]

    Gov’t and Ashcroft Continue Argument Over Jurisdiction and Foreign Assets
    The case involving the Government of Belize by Belize Bank Limited and Caribbean Investment Holding Limited, formerly Belize Caribbean Holdings Limited, came to a conclusion today in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The trial is in relation to the arbitration award granted to BCB Holdings for 27.4 million US dollars and Belize Bank […]

    Superbond 3.0 Is a Done Deal
    When we last reported on the status of the renegotiated Superbond, Belize was yet to achieve the 75% consent from the bondholders as is required. Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a press conference last week had noted that by March 10 they were expecting some finality to the renegotiations. Yesterday he confirmed to the media […]

    Environmental Tax Increase Will See Trickle Down Effect
    In the upcoming fiscal year slated to start on April 1, the Government of Belize is proposing to make just over fifteen million dollars in revenues from Environmental Tax. In the budget presentation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Environmental Tax will be upped by one percent, putting it at three percent. While there […]

    Arriving at the Lowered Threshold for Taxed Electricity and Other Measures
    Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the 2017/2018 budget entitled Bouncing Back – a bold Belizean recovery. Following the presentation, Prime Minister Barrow explained why certain measures were taken. DEAN BARROW “The question of trying to get at the objective but ensuring that there is minimal pain and that the pain is distributed in such […]

    Statutory Boards to Aid GOB in Meeting Fiscal Target
    While Government is hoping to earn an additional fifteen million dollars via the rise in Environmental Tax, they are also hoping to gain six to seven million dollars through the Statutory Boards. According to Prime Minister, discussions are ongoing to have these boards contribute ten percent of their revenue to the Government of Belize. DEAN […]

    PM: Ashcroft Inflating Costs in Second Payment Due for BTL
    During the budget presentation for 2017/2018, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that there are currently four arbitration awards against the Government of Belize. There is a second payment becoming due to Lord Michael Ashcroft in the Belize Telemedia Limited acquisition which Prime Minister Barrow says that he is having issues with as Ashcroft is reportedly […]

    The Fiscal Burden of the Public Service
    According to the Draft National Budget for 2017/2018 there are just under fifteen thousand public officers on the Government’s payroll. This is costing taxpayers just over four hundred million dollars on an annual basis. One question posed to the Prime Minister yesterday was whether Belizeans are getting bang for their buck when it comes to […]

    Tourism Minister Says He Welcomes Interrogation From the Senate
    Tomorrow, the Senate Select Committee will convene in Belmopan to continue its investigation of the results of the Auditor General’s Special Reports. Several witnesses and key persons of interest have appeared before the committee since the inception of the hearing. Last week Former UDP Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and former Belize City Council Employee, Patrick […]

    Education Ministry Lobbies for Standardized Secondary Curriculum
    A few years ago, the Ministry of Education decided to implement the Belize Education Sector Reform Project. One of the key components under that project is the Rationalization and Diversification of the Secondary School Curriculum in Belize. Basically, the Ministry is proposing to have all secondary schools implement a standardized curriculum. A workshop was held […]

    Amandala

    Police charge Corporal Darrel “Tutsi” Usher with drug trafficking
    The buzz around the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning was that police would bring Corporal Darrel “Tutsi” Usher to face a drug trafficking charge. The morning passed and the police did not bring Usher, for whom court reporters and his attorney were waiting. Usher, in fact arrived in the afternoon, and was not put in the cell along with the other accused persons. After he had spent more than an hour and a half at the court, Usher was taken back to the police station in the same van in which he arrived. The word is that there was an error on the charge sheet that needed to be fixed before the court could proceed with reading the charge to the accused cop.

    Belizean murdered in Melchor
    We have received confirmed reports that a Belizean man was killed across the Guatemalan border over the weekend. According to our police sources, the victim has been identified as Amadeo Teck. He is in his early twenties and resided in the village of Bullet Tree Falls. It is believed that sometime on Saturday he was in Melchor when he was fatally gunned down. Details surrounding the cause of his death are at this time sketchy, but we do know that Guatemalan authorities have not located his killer and are struggling to identify a suspect.

    Decomposing corpse of missing taxi driver found
    The search for taxi driver Elbert Gillett, 66, of Belize City, who was reported missing after he failed to return home after leaving at about 11:00 Thursday night to work in his cab, came to an end when his body was found this afternoon off the George Price Highway, at Mile 4, in the area of Belizean Beach. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition. Later, between 7:00 and 8:15 tonight, a post-mortem was conducted on the body, and at the conclusion, the autopsy certified that his death was caused by a perforating gunshot wound to the head.

    A billion dollars in taxes!
    An $80 million menu of tax measures was formally unveiled in the National Assembly this morning by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, delivering his 10th national budget presentation since his party came to power in 2008 under the theme, “Bouncing back – a bold Belizean recovery!” Just last month, Ministry of Finance officials in a presentation to social partners—the private sector and unions—delivered a starkly contrasting presentation under the same caption it had pitched to bondholders, signaling that the Belize economy is “imperiled.” The officials had outlined Government’s planned “fiscal consolidation measures,” but the details of tax measures were not unveiled until today. Whereas Barrow’s budget speech forecasts an economic turnaround to coincide with the new budget year, spanning April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, it calls for an unprecedented BZ$1.033 billion in tax revenues, up from the BZ$937 million approved by parliamentarians last year, when the budget was propped up by a $50 million tax hike at the pumps. Further levies on fuel are included in the new mix of tax measures.

    Bandits remain undefeated at Week 8
    At the end of Week 8 in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season, it is again shaping up to be a rough ride for a number of teams in their quest of a spot in the Top-4 playoffs. Only the champs, Belmopan Bandits, seem assured of their playoff berth, as 5 other teams are in contention for the remaining 3 spots. (See standings below.) In the only Saturday night game in Week 8, Verdes FC got a 48th minute goal from John King, and it proved enough to secure the 1-nil victory over hosts, Placencia Assassins at their home field in Independence.

    Pigs of Belize …
    On this Monday morning, March 13, 2017, we are minded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In that allegorical classic, the animals overthrew the oppressive Farmer Jones, and began to run the farm themselves. Things didn’t work out that well, however, because the pigs who emerged as leaders of the animals began to behave a lot like the drunken and much despised Farmer Jones. As we await the reading of the Government of Belize’s 2017/2018 budget later today, we remember the optimism which prevailed in Belize in January of 1964 when the colony of British Honduras became self-governing. Orwell’s story was intended by the writer to cast the fictional animals as the real workers who had taken over the running of communist Russia after 1917, and the pigs as the Stalinist politburo who had emerged, post-Trotsky, as the political bosses of the Russian Revolution. In our situation in Belize in 1964, the British colonialists would have been Farmer Jones, and the honest native farmers, fishermen, and other workers would have been the ones taking over in Belize. There was already a Belizean politburo in place, however, in the form of the People’s United Party (PUP), which by January of 1964 had pushed aside the foundation of the General Workers Union (GWU) on which the PUP had been built.

    Seeks Philip Lewis
    Dear Sir, I knew the artist Philip Lewis many years ago on Caye Caulker. I can’t find him now in Winterthur, Switzerland. I have returned to CC for a few days and would be so glad to make contact if he has returned to Belize. Please! Let me know if he is around!

    UDP’s “Pie Eating”
    Dear Sir, I watched with disgust an interview conducted by Channel 7’s Jules Vasquez with the Hon. Michael Finnegan on Friday night, March 10, 2017, in which they discussed his (Hon. Finnegan) impending retirement from electoral politics and the subsequent assigning/support of same to his nephew and son of the Prime Minister, Jamal Shyne Barrow. His response, as shown above, was shameful, and should serve as an eye-opener for Belizeans as to how the minds of the ruling UDP fraternity thinks. The Hon. Finnegan’s response represents their attitude, their way; the UDP way … the transferring of Belize’s electorate patrimony to family members and UDP insiders so they could enjoy a piece of the pie, so to speak.

    Factors influencing children’s health: Immunizations
    Hello everyone. Today we’ll share some valuable information about some of the factors that influence children’s health: Immunizations. Vaccinations are developed to guard children and adults against potentially lethal and previously prevalent childhood diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus (we call it “lock jaw”), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and so forth. The schools and hospitals require parents to start childhood vaccinations as early as two months. The medical profession states that vaccines are the safest and most effective protection against serious childhood illness and the community at large. Possible side effects of immunization include rashes, fever, diarrhea, sore arms, and even death (in extreme cases) have been considered to be minimal, when compared to the benefits.

    Economy shrank 0.8% in 2016, but 3% rebound forecast for 2017
    Last December, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported to the press that the Belizean economy had contracted by 0.7% for the first nine months of the year, signaling the first recession since 2007-2008. In his budget presentation today, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow announced that for the year 2016, the Belize economy contracted by 0.8%, citing the SIB as his source. Barrow said that the Belizean economy has grown for 7 of the 9 years for which the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) has been in office and he went on to point to a forecast by the Central Bank of Belize that the Belize economy would rebound with growth of 3% to 3.5% this year, 2017. The recession of 2016 was not forecast in Barrow’s 2016-2017 budget. The Prime Minister had said in his budget presentation last March that “…GDP growth will moderate to between 1.5 to 2.0 percent in 2016 as the primary sector contracts further and activity in the secondary sector flatlines.”

    Police capture Mario Aguirre, 25, alleged killer of Marcelino Chan, 54
    The police manhunt to capture Mario Aguirre, 25, a truck driver of San Roman, wanted for the murder of his cousin and fellow villager, Marcelino Chan, 54, a father of 11 children, came to a successful conclusion yesterday when he was captured in the village and charged with murder. Aguirre has not yet been arraigned in court. Police say that at about 8:30 Saturday night, March 4, in San Roman, Aguirre stabbed Chan 4 times — in the left side of the chest, behind the ears, and twice in the rib cage.

    3 men arraigned for invading Burrell Boom home
    Three residents of Burrell Boom were remanded to the Belize Central Prison this morning after they were arraigned on a charge of aggravated burglary with a firearm. The three men, Ashley Haylock, 25, Brenton Flowers, 22, and Julian Gillett, 21, appeared before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez, who arraigned them on the charge. All three accused pleaded not guilty. When Magistrate Rodriguez asked his court prosecutor, Corporal Clarke, if he would be objecting to granting the men bail, Clarke informed him that the offence for which the men were charged falls under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act and as such, bail is automatically denied.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belizean killed in Melchor to be laid to rest
    The body of Amadeoes Gaspar Teck, a Belizean citizen who was killed in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala on Sunday was transported back to Belize today and funeral arrangements are now being prepared by the family.

    Body of burnt female identified as Blackman Eddy village resident
    The burnt body of a female who was found near the Belmopan dump site on the Hummingbird Highway has been identified by her mother as 18 year old Keona Gabbi Ara from Blackman Eddy village in the Cayo District. The tattoo that was released by the police was vital in assisting with the identification of the victim.

    Chief Justice sets date for GOB/Ashcroft injunction decision
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, this morning, said that the Government of Belize (GOB) and Michael Ashcroft’s Belize Bank Ltd. will need to return to court on April 12 for his decision in their injunction hearing. The Chief Justice set the date at the end of a two day trial, which discussed lifting an injunction that barred Ashcroft’s company from enforcing a US $50 million arbitration award, or making the injunction permanent.

    GST on your B.E.L bill?
    Prior to yesterday’s budget presentation many feared that GOB might have raised the General Sales Tax (GST) from 12.5 to 15 percent. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, however, assured that there would be no increase in the GST amidst a fiscal re-adjustment plan aimed at meeting a 2 percent annual GDP growth target for the next four years.

    GST untouched; Gas, liquor and imports to increase
    Yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made his budget presentation at the House of Representatives and among all the sophisticated expressions was the fact that fuel and cement prices will increase. Barrow said that GST, however, will not be increased as many had feared it would because his administration champions the pro-poor and pro-people cause. As a part of Superbond renegotiation, GOB has prepared a fiscal adjustment plan that is expected to yield an additional $80 million in revenue.

    Ashcroft and GOB back in court today
    Today Michael Ashcroft’s Belize Bank Ltd., and the government of Belize are back in the Supreme Court as the bank seeks enforcement on its US $50 million arbitration award, upheld by United States courts. Denys Barrow, attorney for GOB; and Eamon Courtenay, attorney for Ashcroft will try to persuade Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to either lift the injunction barring the bank form enforcing a US $50 million arbitration award or make the injunction permanent.

    Minor blackmailed and raped for sharing nude photos
    Police are reporting a disturbing case of rape in which a 13-year-old girl claims she was blackmailed into having sex, fearing that her nude photos would be made public online. According to police, the 13-year-old student and her mother made an official police report yesterday at the Belmopan police station. The girl claims that she had started communicating with a man from Camalote, Cayo District, online last October. He allegedly asked her to send nude photos of herself, which she admitted she did.

    Belize City man arrested on marijuana possession, trafficking charges
    A man in Belize City was arrested yesterday for drug trafficking. According to reports, police were conducting patrol on Central American Boulevard when they stopped and searched Akeen Joshua Reneau, 27, a messenger of a St. Jude Street address who was riding a bicycle and had a knapsack in his possession.

    Belize: Barrows its head in the sand!
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow read the annual public sector budget for 2017-18 yesterday, saying it expects to increase taxation revenue by 2.2% of GDP while reducing public sector spending by 1.0% of GDD and growing the GDP by 3.0 – 3.5%. This budget estimates summary does nothing more than fill-in-the-blanks to express the minimum requirements that Belize Bond holders placed on the government as condition for the recent, unprecedented third restructuring of the so-called US$547 million 2034 SuperBond…which became necessary due to poor performance of the economy, on the edge of going broke.

    International Sourcesizz

    Tiffany Trump disfruta sus vacaciones en Belice
    Mientras una fuerte tormenta azota a la costa este de Estados Unidos, Tiffany Trump, la hija menor del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, disfruta de las aguas cálidas del Caribe en unas cortas vacaciones en Belice. Tiffany y su novio Ross Mechanic llegaron al país centroamericano el pasado 4 de marzo y de inmediato comenzaron sus aventuras en la jungla. La joven de 23 años publicó en su cuenta de Instagram varias imágenes en las que aparece lanzándose del canopy y realizando snorkel en las playas beliceñas. En otra de las fotos, aparece junto a un gigantesco árbol. 'Un poco diferente de mi jungla normal de concreto', escribió junto a la imagen, en referencia a su hogar en Nueva York. La pareja también fotografió varios tiburones en el oceáno, según se observa en un video subido a su cuenta de Instagram.

    Inseltipp Caye Caulker in Belize
    Caye Caulker in dem kleinen mittelamerikanischen Land Belize galt lange als typische Insel für Rucksackreisende. Das ändert sich gerade, was einige bekümmert. Das Talent zum Müßiggang aber ist geblieben - ob am Strand, im Restaurant oder beim Tauchen. Der Hai kommt von hinten und schwimmt mitten zwischen den Beinen hindurch. Es ist ein kurzer Schock. Von allen Seiten gleiten plötzlich Ammenhaie und Stechrochen dicht über das Seegras, unter und zwischen den Schnorchlern hindurch. Es ist Futterzeit am Hausriff von Caye Caulker.

    BEST CARIBBEAN RESORTS TO VISIT BY LUXURY YACHT
    There's nowhere quite like the Caribbean for an indulgent getaway. Whether you're luxuriating in the Bahamas, exploring the jungles of Dominica or diving the Great Blue Hole in Belize there's a place for everyone — and if you're wanting to spend some time on dry land, discover the best Caribbean hotels to visit by boat.

    The Central American cocaine corridor, at full throttle
    The US State Department has named seven Central American countries as havens for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking and organized crime. This is the first time since 2013 that the State Department has included Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama together in the list of primary money laundering countries in its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). An important development in the 2017 INSCR - which refers to trends and statistics from the previous year - is that El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua have re-entered the list of "major money laundering countries," which the State Department defines as those "whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking."

    Videos

  • Can't keep a good croc down in Belama, 1/2min. Ten feet long. Makes you wonder what it was eating

  • Belize Vacation, 4.5min.

  • Christian Workers Union, 19min.

  • World Rotaract Week, 13min.

  • Woman in Political Leadership - Experiences, 45min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN MARCH 9, 2017, min.

  • Belize Canoe Build 2017, 15min. For La Ruta Maya

  • Belize Aggressor 2017, 5min.

  • Chan Chich Archaeological Project, min. Last month, a three-person recon team visited Belize to check out two locations where loggers from Yalbac Ranch had reported large mounds. One of those spots turned out to be a previously unrecorded, large ruin that may prove to be larger than Chan Chich! Mark Willis created this 3D model of the plaza at the site, which is the only area the team had time to visit and map. We have named the site Xma Ha Ak'al and can't wait to return to it in the near future to learn more about its size and layout. Already, we know it has some unusual features for northwestern Belize, including an east-west oriented ball court and a small courtyard connected to the plaza by a causeway. The tallest mound we mapped is a 20-m high temple-pyramid.

  • Women's Week Conversation - Rootsville Book, 17min.

  • Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute Coastal Awareness Week, 24min.

  • Undersatnding & Reporting thr National Budget, 38min.

  • San Pedro Sun 26th Anniversary Video, 1min. Born on March 14, 1991, The San Pedro Sun turns 26 today! Thank you our dear community, friends and family for your years of support! We feel the love!

  • Budget Presentation 2017/2018, 50min.

  • Tarpon jumping to grab its food, 15sec. Tarpon jumping out of water to grab its breakfast in Caye Caulker, Belize

  • Jungle Hike, Belize, 2min.

  • Trip To Belize, 6min.

  • Belize 2017, key Caulker,, 3min.

  • Lamanai trip!!! Belize, 2.5min.

  • HANDS Trek 2017 | Punta Gorda, Belize, 9min. In March of 2017, 97 men from various backgrounds embarked on a journey to the Machaca Outreach Center in Punta Gorda, a small town in southern Belize. Their goal was to serve Jon and Lisa Gotz, who run camps every summer at the center for children.

  • Hi from Belize, 6min. Rena and Ann's snorkelling adventures in Belize..

  • Sleeping nurse shark in Belize, 1min. Tour guide rubbed belly of nurse shark.

  • Marathon through the Chiquibul for Macaw Awareness, 6min.

    March 14, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    A Night in Monte Carlo fundraiser for Raise Me Up
    The Banyan Bay Resort beachfront was a fantastic venue to host Raise Me Up’s first major charity event. The non-governmental organization held a masquerade party on Saturday, March 11th, under the theme ‘A Night in Monte Carlo.’ The event included live performances, wine tasting, catering, valet parking and a mounted casino on the beach. All proceeds from the party will benefit the construction of San Pedro’s first children’s home, Hope Haven.

    Ambergris Today

    Ocean Mural Unveiled in San Pedro During Reef Week
    As part of their National Mural Campaign Oceana Belize and The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage today, Monday, March 13, 2017, unveiled their ninth and final mural to coincide with Reef Week that is being observed throughout the country of Belize. The purpose of the national mural project is to spread awareness and stop offshore oil from destroying these types of scenes in our marine environment that are depicted on the murals. In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, artist Valentino Caliz had the honors of waiting the largest mural in the project on Lagoon Drive at Oasis del Caribe. Special permission was granted by the homeowners of Oasis who were happy to be part or the project.

    San Pedro High School Softball Teammate Injured in Attack after Game
    On Saturday, March 11, 2017, San Pedro High School Boys Team won the NSTA Softball Regional Champions that were held on Ambergris Caye. Part of their celebration during the weekend was a fun trip to neighboring Caye Caulker on Sunday morning. Unfortunately for one player the celebration only lasted a short period as a minor attacked him that same night on his way home. Angel Navidad received a severe blow to the head by his attacker. He was taken to Belize City where he has gone through several cat scans. Although doctors say that no surgery is needed Navidad will remain under observation and will undergo another CT scan later today. He is currently awake and alert and has even spoken to a couple of his visitors. Angel’s dad, Ruben Navidad posted today on Facebook: “I am happy to report that Angel Jose Navidad is doing much better. We had long conversations last night and everything looks great. Anyone able to visit is welcome and immensely appreciated. He is completely conscious and talkative. Visitors are allowed in the trauma room anytime, but only one person at a time. Your prayers are a blessing.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Belize Fishing Report, March 6 - 12, 2017
    So many bonefish were caught this week it was hard to keep count. Lots of beginners managing to catch bonefish like the pros. As many as thirty bonefish a day were landed by some. Roger, Fred, Tom, Katie, Larry, Shelly, Johanne, Louis, Ben, Penelope, Lucas and a host of others had an awesome week of fishing. March winds make us appreciate those beautiful days ahead. Tight Lines!!

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

    Forest Day!
    It's going to be a celebration at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium on Tuesday, March 21st for Forest Day!

    Here is a snippet of the "Arte Con Voz de Mujer" Exhibit
    Held at the Corozal House of Culture.

    Congratulations Southwest Airlines! Travel to Denver is even easier!
    SW inaugurated its Denver-Belize route on Saturday. Charge d'Affaires Adrienne Galanek, the Ministry of Tourism, Belize Tourism Board, the Belize National Dance Company and passengers joined SW in inaugural celebrations for the new Belize-Denver route. Belize welcomed the Denver flight with a water salute. SW plans to open a direct route to Fort Lauderdale in June.

    Chiquibul National Park Challenge
    Our congratulations go to out to Kim Espat who took top honors in the first annual Chiquibul National Park Challenge. We are proud to support efforts to love and protect Belize. Belize Kudos to all the participants who took up the challenge and the organizers for pulling off the event.

    LONE WRASSE: EXHIBTION OF TRASHY ART
    As part of the events around Reef Week 2017 the Embassy of Mexico to Belize and OCEANA cordially invites the general public to visit the art exhibit: LONE WRASSE: EXHIBTION OF TRASHY ART, it was presented on March 9 and will run until May 7 2017 at the Mexican Cultural Institute – Belize. LONE WRASSE: EXHIBTION OF TRASHY ART is an exhibition comprising of 32 pieces created by local Belizean artists made from marine debris (plastic, styrofoam, wood, glass,compact discs, etc.) found on the coasts of Belize. The exhibition is named after the artistic piece, “Lone Wrasse”, made using marine debris from coastal and island beaches across Belize.The free standing ‘fish’ made its debut as a part of the Titans carnival group’s presentation in last year’s carnival road march.

    Commentary: Our Garifuna people exiled from their native homeland in search for the truth
    By Wellington C. Ramos. How many Garinagu arrived in Honduras? Let us analyze first the number of Garinagu who were displaced from the big island, as they were placed into the small barren island of Balliceaux, later to Bequia until they finally arrived to Roatán, Bay Islands. How many Garinagu were captured in St Vincent and the Grenadines? A lot has been written about the number of Garinagu who were captured in Yurumein as a prelude to their deportation to Honduran shores; let me present you some facts: War Office reports 22 June 1796 that there were 5,000 Caribs (Garinagu) captured which included men, women, and children. General Hunter reported that 4,633 Caribs (Garinagu) had surrendered or had been captured between 4 July and 18 October 1796. Shephard established that by 26 October 1796, a total of 5,080 Caribs (Garinagu) had surrendered and that only 4,044 were shipped to Balliceaux an island off the coast of St Vincent.

    Nocturnal Eyeshine Survey
    This past weekend was spent on Caye Caulker leading the Next Gen Croc students in Nocturnal Eyeshine Surveys. The students did an amazing job of teaching those on board about the crocs of Belize, and also helping collect data on a seven foot American Crocodile! All in all the weekend was filled with great outreach, research, awesome crocs, and amazing people.

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY - BTB & CTO Scholarship Opportunities
    Great Scholarship Opportunity in Tourism!

    Coastal Awareness Week Schedule
    Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) is pleased to share with you the schedule of events for Coastal Awareness Week (CAW) 2017! CAW 2017 starts Monday, March 20, 2017 and will be a celebration of Belize's Coastal Zone. Coastal Awareness Week 2017- Business and Environment: A Foundation for Sustainable Growth! Let's celebrate Together!

    Corozal ART IN THE PARK
    Just a reminder that Saturday, March 18th, 2017 will be another Edition of our monthly ART IN THE PARK event. Come out support and enjoy!

    Grand Excursion to Half Moon Caye and Blue Hole!
    Kids ages 5-11 will pay the $100BZE. Any child below that age will not be charged. Any child above 11 years will pay the adult price. Depart from OW: 5:00 a.m. (OW Town Hall) Depart from BZE: 6:30 a.m. Arrive HMC: 8:30 a.m. Visit Blue Hole: 9:00 a.m. (stay for 2 hours max) Depart from HMC: 3:30 p.m. While at Half Moon Caye, the tour of the bird tower will be done. Rental of Snorkeling Gears: $5BZE per person. You are responsible for your own food and refreshments.

    Women in Art Fair
    March 18, Cayo Welcome Center, 9am - 3pm

    Women in archaeology in Belize
    Inspired by the recent Belize IA post celebrating women in archaeology in Belize, we want to share this post featuring the women who have been actively involved in archaeology at Lamanai in recent decades, many of whom have done, or are currently doing, extensive research at Lamanai for their advanced degrees in archaeology. Bios are included with individual photos.

    Channel 7

    Budget Day, New Tax Measures Announced
    The wait is over, tonight Belizeans know exactly what new taxes will come down on them in the new fiscal year starting in April. As we've been reporting, government has to find at least 70 million dollars in increased tax revenue and save 30 million in expenditure in the next fiscal year. That's the belt tightening they promised the Superbond creditors - to get them to agree to a refinancing. Basically, the idea is that if the bondholders have to take the pain of earning less from the Superbond, then the taxpayers and the government of Belize have to share that pain. The question tonight is how much pain will you have to take? Jules Vasquez sizes it all up in his report on today's budget presentation:... Jules Vasquez reporting: Calling the budget "hard fought" the Prime Minister conceded that this year's balancing act isn't easy: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "A financial plan for consolidation that's tailored to bolster revenue, bridle waste and protect the pro-poor and productive sector incentives." But, it's hard to do all three at once. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Nation-building was always a task for giants. So the United Democratic Party will continue to prove that we are the titans who can more than get the job done."

    Briceno: "Barrow Bogus Budget"
    The budget will be debated on March 23rd and 24th - but before that we have a little preview in the leader of the opposition's off the cuff reaction to the budget. He told the press today that it is bogus:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "This government claims that they like to boast that they are a pro-poor government and I think I want to agree with him that they are pro-poor government, because they are keeping people poor. Every year they spend more than a billion dollars in their budget, yet the numbers of poverty continues to go up and there is nothing in this budget, no specific projects that can show you how they are going to reduce poverty in this country - the Barrow bogus budget. If you were to take a second and think about it, he is now talking that he is going to have a primary surplus of 115 million dollars. That's a turnaround from this year of 211.5 million dollars."

    PM, Is This His Last Budget?
    So is it true, will the PM really walk away before the next budget is presented in February or March of next year? He's been dropping some strong hints about his imminent departure, and today he told us that he simply doesn't know:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Is this the last budget speech that you will be reading as prime minister?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I don't know. I don't have any particular plan to leave before the budget next year. But I don't really know." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Sir, the Leader of the Opposition has accused very pointedly of making up figures. He says that you are cooking the books." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "No but, unfortunately we are going to be moving to the surplus that we are projecting, because of course we've had to engage in very painful cost cutting measures and the revenue raising measures. That's the long and short of it."

    Missing Taximan Found Shot To Head
    But first we have to tell you about a very violent weekend. We start with the terrible news about 66 year old Elbert Gillett. He's the taxi driver who was reported missing by his daughter on Friday. His vehicle was found burnt later that day, ands driver's license was found by a stranger in Ladyville. Those were alarm bells signaling the likelihood that we were facing another taxi man's murder. The worse fears were confirmed don Sunday afternoon his family found his body on Sunday. We spoke to his family and fellow cabbies to try and figure exactly what happened... Alex Courtenay reporting: On Thursday night, 66 year old taxi driver, Elbert Gillett left his home and family to see if he could pick up a few extra passengers before calling it a night. That was the last time his family saw him. After realizing that he did not come home, his family reported him missing to the police the next morning. Then, they got a search party together and looked for him themselves, and did not stop until they found him.

    Woman's Body Found Burnt At Belmopan Dump
    But, there's no sign that his vehicle had been used in the commission of a crime, or that he had been robbed for any large sum of money. so what's the motive. Well, police are looking at the possibility - and we stress it is only a possibility - that another grisly weekend murder could be connected to Elbert Gillett's murder. That's the killing of an unidentified female in Belmopan. Her body was found burnt at the dump site 4 miles outside of Belmopan. Police say the body was burnt beyond recognition, and they still do not have an identification. But, they are looking at the possibility that the death of those fable could be somehow linked to to the taxi-man's murder.

    Hattieville Man Murdered Sitting On Steps
    Turning now to the weekends other murder, a man was executed outside his front door in Hattieville. On Saturday night, 35 year old Michael Usher was sitting on a bucket at the front steps when a man opened fire - hitting him in the head and side. Usher collapsed and took his final breaths in the yard. Usher's aunt, Vinette Arnold told us that he had just walked her inside the house when she heard the gunshots. She said she would have never thought that she would find her nephew's body thrown in the dirt. Here is her account. Vinette Arnold, Aunt: "I usually sit down out there with him but I came in, when I came in, I stood up by the table to speak to my common law and I moved right in and I went into the room that is 8:30 and when I listened I hear him, but the door wasn't locked, the screen door was pushed in and the door hauled in and when I heard "Buay what is going with you, Buay what is going on with you Buay?"

    Corporal Tutsi for Trafficking
    Tonight, the well-known police officer, Corporal Darrell "Tutsi" Usher, is in police custody awaiting an arraignment in the magistrate's court. Police say that he ran away from them and threw away 20 pounds of weed, which they have since recovered. According to the cops, at around 9:15 on last Friday night, they spotted a man, later identified as "Tutsi" Usher, coming out a bushy yard on Faber's Road Extension. They say that he then drove off, and they followed him, pulled him over, and told him that they would conduct a search on him.

    PUP Rep Accused UDP Rep Of Political (Self) Castration
    Things were hot in Santa Elena town yesterday at the Peter August Memorial racetrack. That's because a horse racing event was planned. It had been in the making for weeks, but just one day before, the Cayo Belmont Jockey Club which controls the track said the event couldn't happen because the track was in poor condition. Still the organizers went along and that resulted in a showdown with police and politicians on Sunday. PUP Area representative for Cayo Northeast raised it on the adjournment of the house meeting today:... Hon. Orlando Habet: "Horse race enthusiasts, horse race fans approached Peter August Memorial Race Track stadium in Santa Elena. They encountered an enigmatic, but malicious clouds hovering over the area and that had to do with a police lockdown of the horse track, preventing the horse racers, the fans and everybody else from entering the stadium."

    Government and Ashcroft Alliance In Court
    The Barrow Administration and the Ashcroft Alliance were back in the Supreme Court today. They were there to try to persuade the Chief Justice why he should or should not discharge the injunction which Justice Michelle Arana granted against the Ashcroft group of companies. You'll remember it as the one which prevents the Belize Bank Limited and the BCB Holdings Limited -now named Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited - from enforcing the 50 million US dollar judgment a US court granted, upholding the enforcement of an award made by an international tribunal against Belize. The Government maintains it won't pay because a judgment of the Caribbean Court of Justice says the arbitration award cannot be enforced in Belize against GOB.

    PM Barrow Says He May Have Been "Bested" By Ashcroft
    And the Ashcorft Alliance also featured prominently in today's budget presentation. The second half of the BTL compensation payment is due in the two upcoming fiscal years. That's tens of millions of dollars and the PM discussed the difficulties with the payouts:.. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "You know, his position is: well, there is a settlement agreement and we will go to the language and we will get the interpretation from the CCJ- and he is right, but Christ man. I sat across the table from this man, I'm not naïve, but I will tell you that when I was insisting that the only way I would settle is if there were an agreement that the accommodation agreement portion of the award would go to the people of this country for the funding of charitable projects. We argued and ultimately I said to them and they agreed, well he doesn't have any personal financial interest in these shares, these things are owned by charitable concerns and so yeah he can agree to do, subject only to his taking out expenses. What is happening know, is that, clearly, because, in my view, he has been checkmated, at least temporarily in terms of collecting on the arbitration awards, he is inflating, deliberately, those costs with respect to the Dunkeld expenses to try to get back at the government, well we are going to the mattresses.

    Man Charged For San Roman Murder
    2 weeks ago, we told you about the stabbing death of 54-year-old San Roman Villager Marcelino Chan. Police say that his cousin, 25 year-old Mario Aguirre was the attacker, and tonight he's been charged with murder. THE incident allegedly happened on Saturday, February 25, at Aguirre's home. Police say that there was a domestic dispute at around 8:30 that night, between Aguirre and his wife. Chan tried to part the fight, and was attempting to walk away. That's allegedly when Aguirre jumped him and stabbed him multiple times. One of those stabs pierced his chest, and he died from the attack. Police eventually located Aguirre, and he will now be arraigned as soon as possible, after which, he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

    Cayo Man Shot In Groin
    Tonight a Cayo resident is recovering after he was shot in the groin. On Friday night around 11:50, 39 year old Rudolph Gentle told police that he was at his home in Santa Elena when a man wearing a hoody shot him - hitting him in the groin and causing a serious injury. Gentle has undergone surgery and is recovering. Police are still looking into Gentle's report. There is no clear motive at this time and no one has been detained.

    Fatal Accident In St. Matthews
    A teenager was killed in an accident over the weekend. St. Matthews resident Eric Ibanez was riding his motorcycle on Franks Eddy Road when he collided into an oncoming Isuzu pickup truck. The impact killed Ibanez. The police have no released any more information on this accident.

    A Series Of Shootings In South
    Police are reporting that there were 2 shootings in the Toledo District. The first one happened on Saturday, sometime around 5:30 p.m. in San Antonio Village. 23 year-old Crispino Bolon was in the company of another man, and they were socializing under a bus shed. That's when another man, known to Bolon, showed up, and they got into an argument. Police reports say that this man pulled out a 9mm pistol and shot him in the chest. He was rushed to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he is receiving medical treatment. The other incident happened about 5 hours later in the village of San Pedro Colombia Village, where police found 2 men with gunshot injuries. Those victims were 21 Melvin Hernandez who was suffering from 4 pellet wounds to the neck, and 3 pellet wounds to the right shoulder. 24 year-old Benjamin Trapp was suffering from 1 pellet wound to the neck, 1 to the right arm, 1 to the right leg, and 1 to the right side of his buttocks.

    Southwest Airlines, Now From Denver To Belize
    SouthWest Airlines added a new flight to Belize this weekend. Now travelers will be able to fly nonstop from Denver, Colorado to Belize City. According to SouthWest, demand for a direct flight to Belize has been growing, with 13000 people traveling from Denver to Belize last year, a 50% increase since 2013. The new flight will run seasonally, when demand is at its highest. This year the service will run from March 11 to April 24, and then from June 4 to August 14. The flight leaves Denver every Saturday at 10:30 am and arrives at 2:50 pm local time.

    Superbond, Both Sides Now
    Is the renegotiation called Superbond 3.0 a good deal for Belize or not. Last week you heard two different version, one form the Prime Minister and the other form the leader of the opposition. Today they went head to head in the house. Here are the conflicting views: Hon. John Briceño - Leader of the Opposition: "The Prime Minister was saying that they had a net present value gains of, I think, about $400 million that in effect you mentioned prime minister, I don't have the exact number, and in this case, I think, from our estimates it seems that they used 12% present value or discount rate, which, if you look at the reality, madam speaker, there is no bank that is giving you 12% on savings. Actually, here in Belize it's probably around 3% and in the more developed countries like in the US, in some instances, it's even below 1%, so I don't think that that would hold, that argument that the government is making. But what is more important that you look at in any business venture that you would get into, madam speaker, is the cash flow because, as everybody will tell you, cash flow is king."

    Shyne For Mesop? Mike P For Queen's Square?
    Today, at the house meeting we also got the chance to ask the PM about his son Shyne Barrow. As you heard on Friday, Michael Finnegan is stepping down in Mesopotamia, and he has given the nod to his nephew and the PM's son Shyne Barrow. How does the PM feel about it? And about his own successor in Queen's Square? We asked today: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "With respect to his political ambitions, he is perfectly free to have those. I certainly believe in public service and so to the extent that he would want to get involve in public at that level, I applaud him and encourage him." Jules Vasquez 7News: "Sir, in Queen's Square, there are rumors that Mike Peyrefitte, the emergent ascendant Mr. Peyrefitte might be your successor in Queen's Square."

    Channel 5

    PM’s Budget Touts “Bold, Belizean Recovery”
    The much anticipated 2017-2018 Budget was considered a crossroads for the Government and people of Belize.  The country faces heavy external debts including the Belize Telemedia Limited settlement and arbitration [...]

    Opposition Leader Accuses G.O.B. of “Cooking the Books”
    His formal remarks will be made in the coming Budget Debate, but today Leader of the Opposition John Briceño offered his first review of the Prime Minister’s Budget, and to [...]

    Why You May Pay G.S.T. for Electricity and More for Beer and Cigarettes
    Those who enjoy the vices of beer and cigarettes will have a bone to pick with the Prime Minister. But what could cause a potentially larger problem is the reduction [...]

    Superbond is Done Deal, But is it a Good Deal?
    It’s now official: Superbond 3.0 is a go.  Though the Consent Solicitation Offer has been extended to Wednesday of this week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that a three-quarter majority [...]

    Back to C.C.J. on B.T.L?
    As part of his Budget address, Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave an update on the continued wrangles with the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited and the owners of the [...]

    Arguments Begin to Discharge Belize Bank Injunction on Arbitral Award
    Attorneys for the Belize Bank, as well as the Government of Belize, filed into the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin shortly before eleven o’clock this morning.  The litigants were [...]

    Woman’s Life Gruesomely Ended in Belmopan
    A woman was gruesomely murdered over the weekend and police need the public’s assistance to determine the identity of who at this point is Jane Doe. Here is the little [...]

    Sad End for Taxi Man Elbert Gillett, Found Dead near Belizean Beach
    A well-known and elderly taxi man from the City was reported missing on Friday soon after his burnt vehicle was found on Benbow Street in the Old Capital. Two days [...]

    “G-Mike” Usher Cut Down by Bullets in Hattieville
    Michael Usher was shot and killed in his yard on Saturday night sometime around nine. According to the family, just over a month ago, Usher moved to Hattieville to live [...]

    Charge for Accused Killer in Domestic Dispute
    A twenty-five-year-old man has been charged for the stabbing death of fifty-four-year-old Marcelino Chan.  Last month we told you how Chan a cane cutter of San Roman Village in Orange [...]

    What Was “Tutsi” Doing with Weed in the Dike?
    Police Corporal Darrel ‘Tutsi’ Usher remains in police custody tonight after being busted with a little over twenty pounds of marijuana over the weekend.  According to his colleagues at Eastern [...]

    Supreme Court to Hear Officer’s Appeal in Stolen Radio Case
    While Usher is in trouble with his department; a police officer found guilty for the theft of a handheld radio stolen from the Belize Police Department was granted an appeal [...]

    Is Prime Minister Contemplating Early Retirement?
    Could today’s Budget presentation be the last for Prime Minister Dean Barrow? He has committed to stepping down as leader of the United Democratic Party at their next convention prior [...]

    Horse Racing and Insult Trading in House
    The debate on the adjournment is a free-for-all of topics considered by representatives to be of national importance or concern. The Police intervening to stop a horse race meet in [...]

    Marathon through the Chiquibul for Macaw Awareness
    Over the weekend, a first of its kind Chiquibul Challenge was put off by the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic, which rescues wildlife in the Chiquibul.  Friends for Conservation and [...]

    Hundreds March to Fight Kidney Disease and Renal Failure
    The Kidney Association of Belize held its third annual Kidney Walk on Saturday morning under the theme “Save Us Today So We Can Save Others Tomorrow.”  This year, World Kidney [...]

    The Best in Belizean Sports with James Adderley
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   [Highlights from the weekend sporting activities….]

    CTV3

    2017/2018 National Budget Presented
    Higher taxes – that’s what Prime Minister Dean Barrow proposed this morning in his presentation of the 2017/2018 Budget of $1.18 billion at the sitting of the House of Representatives. The Prime Minister wants to raise over $80 million dollars in revenue from increased taxes to plug the budget’s widening deficit. According to the Prime Minister, while economic experts proposed heavier austerity measures, the tax increases sought by his Government in the next fiscal year are the least painful to Belizeans.

    Opposition Leader Lashes Out At GOB For State Of Economy
    Briceno also lashed out at the Government for the economic state the country is in. The Opposition Leader pointed out that the Barrow Administration had every opportunity to get things right when it accessed over $300m in Petrocaribe loan funds. The Prime Minister disagreed however, saying he doesn’t regret his Government’s decisions one bit. Honourable John Briceno - Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party: “What has happened is that the Prime Minister has squandered the money, he has behaved like a drunken sailor you know when he just get off the ship, being six months in the ship and come on shore and just gone into a wild spending spree and that is what has happened; Four hundred million dollars and there is not much to account for, 400 million dollars and our economy is contracting, 400 million dollars and we have more unemployment, 400 million dollars and crime is up, 400 million dollars and we have more poverty, that is the legacy of Dean Barrow and the United Democratic Government.”

    Which Sectors Will Benefit From Budget 2017//2018?
    So how is the Government proposing to spend $1.18 million in the new fiscal year? While the PM gave the breakdown, we can tell you that wages will continue to take up the majority of the expense. Rt. Honourable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “Of this proposed amount, some 422.4 million dollars is for Personal Emoluments; 79 million for Pensions; 235.6 million for goods and services; 184.3 million for subsidies and current transfers and 109.1 million for interest payments on the debt. The rise in current expenditure is driven largely by increases in personal emoluments and in wage related transfers as provisions have been made for the implementation of the third stage of the three years’ salary adjustment package. Madam Speaker, my government is proposing to allocate some 149.7 million dollars to its Capital Program in the upcoming fiscal year, made up of some 66.3 million dollars in locally funded Capital 2 Expenditure and some 81.3 million dollars in the externally funded Capital 3 Expenditure.

    Orange Walk Prisoner Dies At Kolbe Correctional Facility
    A man detained at the Kolbe Correctional Facility is tonight dead. But police are not looking at another case of murder. Information reaching our newsroom just before news time indicates that sixty two year old Matilde Ku of August Pine Ridge Village here in the Orange Walk District passed away sometime after 3:30 this evening while being incarcerated at the Kolbe Foundation. According to authorities, the cause of death was determined as Cardio Respiratory Arrest. Ku had been convicted approximately three years ago after a search was conducted at his residence by Orange Walk Police on the morning of June 23rd, 2014. The search led to the discovery of a 16 gauge shotgun, six 16 gauge cartridges, one 20 gauge cartridge, and 386.3 grams of cannabis. Police also managed to discover a clearing in Ku’s yard which contained one hundred seedlings of marijuana along with two separate bags containing four and nine pounds of marijuana respectively.

    O/W Police Operation Leads To Confiscation Of Drugs
    Orange Walk Police continue in their efforts to remove drugs from the streets of our town. Their latest operation conducted on major hot stops throughout town led to the discovery of two separate busts amounting to almost two thousand grams of cannabis. The first was discovered sometime around 8:30 on Friday night as the Quick Response Team conducted a search of an unfinished concrete structure on Rio Grande Street. A quick search of the building led police to the discovery of a total of 515 grams of the drug.

    Belize Represented In Cuba
    Belize’s Ambassador to Cuba, Her Excellency Annie Lou Burns and Belize’s Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Daniel Gutierrez, travelled to Havana Cuba last week to attend the 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council. The meeting was organized by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) which is comprised of 25 nations including the 15 member states of CARICOM along with the Latin American Member States such as Cuba, Mexico and Central and South American countries. The objective behind the meeting was to underline the work that the Secretariat has embarked on to re-energize, re-organize and re-brand the association. And while the effort of Secretary General to strengthen the ACS, introduce tactical planning and to attract donors was commended, representatives from the different Caribbean regions took the opportunity to express their disagreement regarding the blacklisting/isolating of Member States by non-regional partners as well as their grave concern about the unending assault that the loss of correspondent banking symbolizes for the Caribbean economy.

    Man Wanted For Murder Arrested By O/W Police
    Mario Aguirre, wanted by police for the stabbing murder of fifty three year old San Roman Resident Marcelino Chan, was escorted to the Orange Walk police station by his lawyer over the weekend. He was being sought in connection with the murder of Chan which played out on Saturday February 25th in the village of San Roman in the Orange Walk District. Chan was stabbed multiple times to the body after he tried to intervene in a dispute between Aguirre and a female companion. Aguirre promptly escaped the scene of the incident after fatally injuring Chan and wounding another villager who tried to assist.

    Newly Formed Group Gives Back To The Community
    On Friday’s newscast we told you about the newly formed Charity group in the Carmelita Village under the name ‘The Carmelita Sporting Club: Willingness is our priority’ and their mission to provide a helping hand to the residents of their community. Over the weekend the group held their first activity to provide assistance to the less fortunate by distributing a total of twenty care packages to different families and individuals. Wilson Perez- President: “Delivering the help to the elder less and single moms and the needed people for instance the sick on behalf of the Carmelita Sporting Club willingness is our priority and are groceries and items that we collected within the community and we must thank all those people that contributed tremendously and we accomplished what we were looking for and we thanked them for trust and for trusting the committee as well. It is all donated by the business and individuals and parents and we have to thank them for that too.”

    What Does PM Thinks About Revelations During Senate Hearings?
    And while the topic of the Senate inquiry came up, so did the names of well-known UDP agents Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett who testified last week about their roles in immigration scandals including the Kim Won Hong fiasco and the visas stolen from the Western Border in December 2012. Chang admitted that he tried to visit Kim who was held at a detention center in Taiwan, while Tillett admitted he was selling visas for $6,000. Today, the PM scoffed at both gentlemen, and while Chang’s reputation had already been sullied in his view, Patrick Tillett’s confessions have surprised him most.

    PM Speaks On Re-registration
    After insisting for After insisting for weeks that it will hold an electoral border redistricting exercise prior to carrying out a scheduled re-registration exercise against the wishes of the Opposition and social partners, the Government announced last week that it had changed plans. GOB now says it will hold a re-registration first, but not until after the Senate inquiry into immigration irregularities is completed. Today the Prime Minister explained that the decision has more to do with the financial state of the country that giving in to any kind of pressure.

    Amandala

    Pigs of Belize …
    On this Monday morning, March 13, 2017, we are minded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In that allegorical classic, the animals overthrew the oppressive Farmer Jones, and began to run the farm themselves. Things didn’t work out that well, however, because the pigs who emerged as leaders of the animals began to behave a lot like the drunken and much despised Farmer Jones. As we await the reading of the Government of Belize’s 2017/2018 budget later today, we remember the optimism which prevailed in Belize in January of 1964 when the colony of British Honduras became self-governing. Orwell’s story was intended by the writer to cast the fictional animals as the real workers who had taken over the running of communist Russia after 1917, and the pigs as the Stalinist politburo who had emerged, post-Trotsky, as the political bosses of the Russian Revolution. In our situation in Belize in 1964, the British colonialists would have been Farmer Jones, and the honest native farmers, fishermen, and other workers would have been the ones taking over in Belize. There was already a Belizean politburo in place, however, in the form of the People’s United Party (PUP), which by January of 1964 had pushed aside the foundation of the General Workers Union (GWU) on which the PUP had been built.

    The Belize Times

    BARROWBOND 3.0 – Hocus-Pocus Economics 101
    It was like déjà vu all over again as Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the porcine Michael Peyrefitte and a taciturn Mark Espat played national heroes to be adored because they restructured BARROWBOND 2.0 to create BARROWBOND 3.0. Not surprisingly, they were cheered by the usual host of UDP jesters assembled for the joyous event. What Mr. Barrow has in fact done is what he does so well – malign the PUP while casting the bondholders as villains. He has done the same thing with Lord Ashcroft, his friend of so many years. Barrow continues to blame the PUP for the bond, even though the UDP has been in office for nine years now and has in fact also restructured the bond, besides adding over $1B in debt on the backs of the Belizean people. Hocus-pocus economics aside, the truth is that all the UDP has done is push back payment – nothing else. The principal debt is still the same as it was before the restructuring. The insignificant savings in interest, $14M over the life of the bond, will evaporate after GOB makes payment of the consent fee, the bondholders representatives and our country’s foreign and local advisors. Mr. Barrow boasts of savings of $600M. does this mean that Belizeans will not have to pay $600M? Absolutely not.

    Dean Bows to PUP Pressure
    The Barrow Administration has confirmed that it intends to conduct a re-registration exercise followed by re-divisioning but only AFTER the municipal elections due March 2018. While Dean Barrow and the UDP will never admit it, they were forced to backtrack from their intent to steal another election through refusing to clean up the voters list. It was only after the PUP met with and rallied other organizations including the Belize Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Council f Churches that Barrow acknowledged that his shady intent would not fly. The PUP has maintained from the very start that the voters list is corrupted, outdated and full of ghost voters. The recent acknowledgement, at the Senate Special Select Committee hearings, by the disgraced visa-less former Director of Immigration that the wide-spread granting of nationality before the 2012 general election led to voter registration fraud, has created great unease in the PUP and among right thinking members of civil society. During the Penner and Castro and August nationality orgy in 2012, countless Guatemalans were granted Belizean nationality. So desperate were the UDP to win, they completely ignored our national security concerns and proceeded to grant nationality to Guatemalans in clear contravention of the Belize Constitution.

    CHANG-NESIA…!
    After almost 3 and a half years of unconcerned silence, Eric Chang, former UDP Deputy Mayor, current UDP insider and the man suspected to be major part of the Won Hong Kim passport scandal, finally presented himself to testify in the Senate Hearings on Immigration. Chang has enjoyed the protection of his political bosses where prosecution is concerned, though he has been directly implicated in multiple criminal offences. So did he tell all, come clean? Actually, Chang chose to suffer from a rare form of selective amnesia which we will call Changnesia, in his honour. He couldn’t remember a number of important details. His name was called in 2 huge immigration scandals which he says he is completely innocent of and to hear him tell it from his perspective, he was simply too trusting, which landed him in bad situations. So, how does he explain his close proximity to the South Korean Fugitive Won Hong Kim, and what appears to be his attempts to get this man out of a Taiwanese detention center? First of all, he could not deny that he tried to visit Citizen Kim back in September 2013. Cherie Nisbet, Belize’s Ambassador to Taiwan sent an official email to the Government of Belize confirming that, and it was included in the Auditor-General’s report.

    The Truth Shall Set You Free
    If the PUP is not united and determined and hungry going into the next general elections, the United Democratic Party will likely be returned to a fourth term in office. It’s as simple as that. If the PUP cannot get its act together, with major players restraining themselves from behaving like kindergarten children, the UDP will make history, AGAIN. That will likely signal the destruction of the PUP, and certainly signal another term of unchecked corruption, greed, victimization, poverty, rising costs and economic disaster. What must be understood, quite clearly, is that this would be a disservice to the tens of thousands of supporters who believe in the PUP. It is not about those who would be Ministers. This is about the Belizeans who are currently going through a terrible time in this country under the inexplicably inept management of Dean Oliver Barrow and his goons. When the PUP loses an election, it is really our supporters who suffer. That is the truth. Actually, under this administration, all normal Belizeans are in the same boat, even the normal Belizeans who support the UDP. It is only the very privileged cronies who have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the spoils of electoral war – persons like Juliet Thimbriel who just a few years ago had nothing, and is now a millionaire in her own right with properties and assets all over the country.

    No Limits, Running Rebels & Dream Ballers Win in NEBL Basketball
    The Baron Bliss holiday weekend brought a series of upsets to the National Elite Basketball League competition at the UB gym on Thursday, at the Belize Elementary auditorium in Belize City on Friday night, and at the SCA auditorium on Sunday. No Limits clawed their way out of the NEBL cellar as Kenny Brown scored 16pts, 7 rebounds to lead them to a 79-72 win against the Cayo Western Ballaz who fell to 3rd place with 3w – 3l. John Rudon, Mateo Gutierrez and Kyle Young scored 8pts apiece, while Bernard Felix added 7pts and Lincey Lopez, Marcus Lewis and Kevin Domingo posted 6pts apiece. Cayo’s Daniel “Buddy” Nolberto also scored 16pts; Richard Troyer and Brandon Flowers added 12pts, and Darwin “Puppy” Leslie posted 11pts, while Brandon Rogers tossed in 10pts.

    Optimist Junior Sailors Preserve Belize Harbour Regatta Tradition
    The Optimist Under-15 junior sailors are keeping Belize’s annual Baron Bliss Regatta tradition alive, with 8 races held in the 89th Regatta organized by the Belize Harbour Regatta Committee under the patronage of the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young, over the Baron Bliss weekend. The 13 Optimist young sailors from sailing clubs of Corozal Bay, Placencia, Gales Point and the Belize Sea Scouts faced a brisk south east wind, blue skies and “popcorn clouds” and completed 4 races on Saturday, and 4 more on Sunday, on an inshore course in front of the BTL Park. Two Sea Scouts’ “Bosun” class sloops also completed the course and a “Dart 16” won the multihull unchallenged.

    N.I.C.H. Canoe Wins 2017 Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge
    Team N.I.C.H.: Efrain, Henner and Felix Cruz won the 2017 Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge from under the Hawkesworth bridge in San Ignacio to Belize City over the Baron Bliss weekend. They clocked 17:50:40 in their 4-day paddle over 180 miles of river to win the Kinich Ahau trophy and the cash prize for 1st place in the Male Division. Male Division: 1st Team NICH – 17:50:40. 2nd D&A SMART Warriors: Kenrick & Wilberto Daniels, Amado Cruz – 17:50:54. They won $250 prize for 1st place Male for the 4th stage, also winning the $3,000 station prize at the Burrell Boom bridge! 3rd Team Koop Sheet Metal – Jerry Rhaburn, Jerry Cante, Daniel Cruz – 17:53:29. 4th Belize Bank Bulldogs – Armin Lopez, Roy & Eric Cano – 18:00:55. 5th Coast Guard ACE – 18:22:47.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Youngest American to travel the world is in Belize on historic tour
    Sal Lavallo, the man venturing to be the youngest American to travel the world is in Belize on his historic tour. Lavallo landed at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on Saturday, making Belize his 169 stop. He has until April 2018 to break the record but hopes he can do it by September 2017, before his 27th birthday. Lavallo started traveling in 2007 for school and work but over the last 15 months, has been traveling full time without any endorsements or sponsorships.

    Sixteen-year-old girl reported missing
    According to police reports, last night around 10:03, a 55-year-old grandmother of George Price Street reported that her granddaughter Mekaya Suazo, 16, left home from the same address on Saturday en route to Belize City, where she was to stay at a particular residence. However, when she inquired about her granddaughter at that residence, she was told that she did not arrive at that location.

    Fifteen-year-old Dangriga girl missing
    According to police reports, Francelia Laurie, a businesswoman of theb Rivas Estate area in Dangriga, reported that on February 11 around 7:00 p.m., her 15-year-old daughter, Marcelia Flores, left home to stay at her elder sister’s residence at Ghans Avenue. Laurie told police that on March 8 around 7:00 p.m., she called her daughter to check on her but she was informed that Marcelina had left the house at about 1:30 p.m. on the same date to an unknown destination.

    Police officer Darrel “Tutsi” Usher busted with 20 pounds of weed
    Darrel “Tutsi” Usher is a police corporal and the son of businessman and politician, Gilroy Usher Sr., who represented the PUP in the Port Loyola division in the last General Election. On Friday, Usher was busted with drugs by his own colleagues. According to […]

    Toledo man shot in chest at a bus stop
    A man was shot in the village of San Antonio in Toledo District sometime around 5 p.m. on Saturday. He has been identified as 23-year-old Crispino Bolon, a farmer of San Antonio Village. According to police reports, he was spotted lying near a bus […]

    Two men injured in Toledo shooting
    Two men are injured after a single shot was fired in a bar at around 10:55 p.m. on Saturday night in San Pedro Columbia in the Toledo District. According to police information, 21-year-old Melvin Hernandez, and 24-year-old Benjamin Trapp, were both seen suffering from […]

    Toledo cops looking for motorcycle thief
    Thieves in Toledo have made off with a Meilun brand 2012 (150) motor cycle bearing license plate number SC M-0629 valued at $1,500.00 The motorcycle belonged to 24-year-old Javier Francisco Franco. Franco told police that sometime between the hours of 9:15 p.m. on Thursday […]

    Teenager crashes into parked car and dies
    A teenager is dead after his motorcycle collided into a parked grey Isuzu pickup truck on the Franks Eddy Road. According to police reports, 17-year-old Eric Ibanez, a laborer of Saint Mathews Village in the Cayo District was riding his motorcycle on Franks Eddy […]

    Cayo Man shot on penis
    A man was shot to his penis on Friday before just before midnight in the Cayo District. According to police reports, 39-year-old Rudolph Gentle was at a residence in the Hot Point Area in Santa Elena Town, when a dark complexion male person wearing […]

    San Pedro boy busted with weed in front of mother
    On Friday night around 7:15, while on duty at the ocean ferry dock, San Pedro Police conducted a search on a 16-year-old male construction worker of San Mateo area, San Pedro Town who was seen carrying a black school bag. A search of his […]

    Hattieville man killed while relaxing on verandah
    On Saturday night shortly before 9:00, police responded to reports of a shooting incident in Hattieville village, Belize. Police visited Foster Drive where officers saw the body Michael Usher, 35, lying with gunshot wounds to the head and to the left side. Initial investigations revealed […]

    Missing taxi man found dead, killed execution style
    According to police reports, on Sunday at 3:50 p.m., police visited mile 5 on the George Price Highway, Belize City where officers found the body of Elbert Gillett, 66. Gillet was a Belizean taxi driver of Signa Yorke Street in Belize City, who was reported […]

    PM Barrow presents budget
    The Budget presentation is happening now at the National Assembly in Belmopan City. Prime Minister Dean Barrow began his presentation this morning by saying that government’s revenue has seen a rise of 6 percent over the last fiscal year. Barrow stated that a report […]

    Mexican politician jailed for orchestrating fugitive’s escape to Belize
    A Mexican politician is currently in jail after it was reported that he allegedly helped another wanted politician escape into Belize last October. Former interim governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz, Flavino Rios, was arrested on Sunday for helping his predecessor, Javier Duarte, […]

    Blogs

    Taking advantage of March Winds
    Shortly after Valentine’s Day, there is a change in our weather on Ambergris Caye. Winds begin to pick up, blowing ever stronger across the island. While there are a few days when you wonder if you’ll ever stop shaking sand out of your hair, most times it’s all about letting the winds caress you and take away your cares…well, at least for a moment. So, with the March winds now in effect, what are the best ways to take advantage of the longer days and lush waters of our beautiful Caribbean Sea? Here are some fun options! This one is a bit of a challenge, but I know you don’t back down from one! If you are up to it, PassionKite Belize offers kite surfing lessons on the leeward side of the island straight from Martin John Leslie’s hand-built bamboo floating raft. MJ is a local islander who grew up playing in the water. He is passionate about his surroundings, even spearheading a group of like-minded people in a project called Reef Angels, whose task is to clear the ocean of debris. Using kayaks and their hands, they swim and free dive our waters to clean up discarded bottles, plastic and other garbage that unfortunately would go unchecked otherwise.

    Belize Spring Break 2017 Guide
    March is rapidly coming upon us and the university grind has us just about mad. Fret not. however, as March means more than just another 6 to 8 weeks of lectures, it means – Spring Break! (In Belize?) trust us, we’re just as excited as you are! But, what is all this excitement if there’s no direction to point it at? What is there to do? Where to go? Why not pack your bags and make your way down to Mother Nature’s best-kept secret? Here’s your 2017 guide to spring break in Belize! Spring – the season that takes over the winter gloom and springs the entire world to life… (get it?). The water is finally a palpable temperature and you want nothing more than to go to the beach! If that statement at all resonated with you just now, then you’re in luck as Belize has just your fix – fixes actually!

    Fly In 2017 was held in Spanish Lookout, Cayo, Belize #Flyin2017#
    The Flight Enthusiasts thanked everyone one who came out on Sunday March 12, 2017 to watch the show about the plane stunts, plane on display, Harley Davidson's motorcycle and more. Surprisingly, close to 2000 people came out on Sunday March 12th, 2017. A massive thanks to all the ground crew and vendors and parking attendants that kept everyone safe and fed and who contributed so much to make this a wonderful day at the #flyin2017. Thank you to Brian Dueck and those that helped with organizing the event and making this a reality! You guys rock! Also a big thanks to Skydive San Pedro the who kept the people jumping of people from a plane. Please visit them at their facebook page today. Airplanes arrived at 10 A.M. although the entertainment and planned events didn't start until after 12:30 P.M. People still came out early to watch the Skydivers coming down from the Sky. RIDES! Astrum Helicopters was to show up at the event. But, Sadly at the last minute they cancelled out. They where offer rides for sale on location, for you and your loved one could have gone for a flight over the country side.

    International Sourcesizz

    Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It’ll Be Gone
    ON A PLATE, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy. In 1950, most bananas were exported from Central America. Guatemala in particular was a key piece of a vast empire of banana plantations run by the American-owned United Fruit Company. United Fruit Company paid Guatemala’s government modest sums in exchange for land. With the land, United Fruit planted bananas and then did as it pleased. It exercised absolute control not only over what workers did but also over how and where they lived. In addition, it controlled transportation, constructing, for example, the first railway in the country, one that was designed to be as useless as possible for the people of Guatemala and as useful as possible for transporting bananas. The company’s profits were immense. In 1950, its revenues were twice the gross domestic product of the entire country of Guatemala. Yet while the United Fruit Company invested greatly in its ability to move bananas, little was invested in understanding the biology of bananas themselves. Then the inevitable happened. A malady arrived—Panama disease (now more often called fusarium wilt), caused by the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense. Panama disease started to wipe out banana plantations in 1890. Nothing precluded its spread or even promised to slow it. Seen from above, the plantations across Latin America started to look like the lights had been turned off. Patches of bright green went black. Whole landscapes went black. In the Ulua valley of Honduras alone, thirty thousand acres were infected and abandoned within the first year in which Panama disease arrived. Nearly all the banana plantations in Guatemala were devastated and, once devastated, abandoned, because it was quickly figured out that the pathogen, having arrived, could lurk in the soil for years (or even, as we now know, decades).

    10 Must-Dive Destinations For 2017
    The ocean. It’s terrifying to some and the most relaxing place in the world to others. Me? I lean somewhere in the middle–I’m always anxious about getting in, but I’m completely curious to discover this world that’s totally different from my own. And I’m a sucker for any experience where I get to see animals in their natural habitat. Hello sea turtles! Ambergris Caye, Belize: One of the most famous dive sites for divers and non-divers, this underwater sinkhole isn’t a dive that you do for the marine life, this is a dive that you do for the natural beauty of the site itself. Caves, stalagmites and stalactites start to appear at a depth of about 120 feet. A three hour boat ride from Ambergris Caye through rough open water can make this trip seem like a hassle, but sometimes the best things take a little work, right?

    Videos

  • Unveiling of Ocean Mural in San Pedro Town by Oceana Belize during Reef Week in Belize, 15min.

  • Broadcast of the 2017/2018 Budget Presentation, 1hr42min. Budget Hearing: Meeting of The House of Representatives.

  • Spanish Lookout Fly In, 1min. Yesterday, the community of Spanish Lookout held its annual Fly In 2017. We where super excited about this year's Fly In!!! It was a lot of fun! And there was delicious food for sale. People Brought their own lawn chairs and umbrellas to stay cool wile you watch all the exiting aviation activities. Free ride at the plane for those who wish to donate. Kids enjoyed getting sweets from the stunt plane that throw it above the air.

  • HANDS Trek 2017 | Punta Gorda, Belize, 9min. In March of 2017, 97 men from various backgrounds embarked on a journey to the Machaca Outreach Center in Punta Gorda, a small town in southern Belize. Their goal was to serve Jon and Lisa Gotz, who run camps every summer at the center for fatherless children.

  • San Pedro, BELIZE Seaweed BEACH Clean Up - Ambergris Caye - 2017, 1.5min. Sped up version of Sargasso Seaweed Clean up recorded from the Melt Cafe & Beach Bar at the end of Beach Road in San Pedro, Belize - March 2017.

  • SAN PEDRO BELIZE - projects abroad, 4min. I was given the opportunity to travel to San Pedro Belize by myself to volunteer at the ABC PreSchool through Projects Abroad. Along the way, I met some pretty amazing people and did some pretty amazing things. Most definitely an experience that changed my life.

  • 2017.2 Belize - Caracol, 4min.

  • OCEANA new mural in Sap Pedro, 3.5min. Good morning from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye where the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Oceana are launching our mural on Laguna Drive. Artist Valentino Caliz and his team did a great job! The purpose of our national mural project is to spread awareness and stop offshore oil from destroying these types of scenes in our marine environment.

  • Jacintoville ( The Beginning), 2min. Jacíntovílle Cacao sources the highest quality organic cacao. We are a seed to bean farm located in Punta Gorda, Belize. Our goal is to change lives using cacao as a tool to give back. Help us be apart of our journey! Click the link in the bio to learn more.

  • Discover Hamanasi Adventure Dive Resort in Belize, 5min.

  • Monmouth Regional_ Lilliani Patt Belize 2016 Altun Ha Maya Ruins, 2min.

  • Welcome to Hamanasi Resort in Belize!, 2min.

  • 2017 Ruta day 1 highlights, 21min. The first days highlights of the 2017 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, from San Ignacio to Banana Bank. Meet many of these paddlers, see and hear their journey down the Belize River.

  • Trip To Belize Part #2 (day 2 and 3), 10min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 9min.

    March 13, 2017


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Angel Navidad attacked in San Pedro
    The San Pedro Sun is sad to report that San Pedro High School student and 2017 NSTA Northern Regional Softball Batting Champion, Angel Navidad is currently in Belize City receiving treatment following an attack. Navidad was attacked by a minor after the championships on Saturday, March 11th. He sustained injuries to his head and is currently under observation. The attacker's name is being withheld at the moment as investigations are ongoing.

    Yensi L. Maldonado is February’s employee of the month at Tropic Air
    Our Employees strive each and every day to provide our customers with the best possible flying experience. This is done with friendliness, attention to detail, and operational excellence wherever we serve. Our Employee of the Month program recognizes current staff members who demonstrate outstanding contributions to our customers through his or her work, and exhibit a positive and supportive attitude. One staff member each month receives the award, and all recipients of the monthly award in the year, become eligible for our Employee of the Year. We are proud to announce that Yensi L. Maldonado, Shift Supervisor in San Pedro, is our ‘Employee of the Month’ for February 2017.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: The Worst Pain
    “Mario called and said this evening he is going to pay back the ten dollars he borrowed from you last week,” Sherry said. “I’ll believe it when you show me the money.” When I got to Mario’s he was sitting on the porch with Maria drinking a beer. “I sure wish you had come earlier,” he said. “Maria’s brother came over and needed some money so I lent him your ten dollars. Can I borrow ten for me because now I’m short ten dollars?” I had to laugh until I suddenly heard a shriek of pain. “A-i-i-i!!!” “What was that?” I asked. “Our neighbor, Elsa is having a baby at home tonight,” Maria answered, “and she’s having labor pains. It’s the worst pain in the world. That’s why women are stronger than men. They feel pain more.”

    San Pedro Preschool holds Cultural Day
    As part of Child Stimulation Month activities, San Pedro Preschool celebrated ‘Cultural Day’ on Thursday, March 9th. Smart toddlers were dressed in costumes representing seven dominant cultures within Belize: Maya, Mestizo, East Indian, Creole, Garifuna, Chinese, and Mennonites. Each child was called to present their assigned culture’s traditional dishes. From Chirmole (Mestizo) to Sere (Garifuna), and Roti (East Indian), they were delighted to celebrate diversity. Teacher Andrea Nuñez told The San Pedro Sun that it is important for children to learn about culture. “I am happy that they were open to learning about different ethnic backgrounds. They all brought a national dish, and presented it to their classmates. It is very important for them to be exposed to different cultures because it opens their mind when they know that there are different types of people in the country. When they get older, they won’t be shocked or become judgmental when they see others dressed in their native wear. We want them to be proud that their country is enriched with many cultures,” said Nuñez.

    Doctor Love: Emotional Wreck
    Dear Doctor Love, I am ashamed to say that I am so jealous over my boyfriend. I try to be calm but when he talks to another girl, looks for too long, or mentions his ex girlfriends name I just feel like blowing up. I make him miserable, and I know it, but I cannot stop myself. I have followed him home from his work as a bartender to see if he is taking anyone else home. Other nights, I lie in bed and imagine he is taking someone else home then I grill him the next day about what girls he talked to the night before. Please help me. He does not deserve this and I really want to get control of it before I do something really foolish. /s/ Emotional Wreck

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Caribeña Fuels Marina is back!
    After Hurricane Earl's destruction, Caribeña Fuels Marina is back stronger than ever! In a short and intimate ceremony, with a few invited guests, the newly built Caribeña Fuels Marina gas station was officially inaugurated and will be open for business on Monday, March 13, 017. A little after the building was blessed by the priest, family and invited guests, including Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, were given a tour of the building. Congratulations to everyone at Caribeña Fuels and Caribeña Enterprises on this great accomplishment!

    Poets Corner: Collaborate
    By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. Chinese came to this country Discrimination aside, do we know they would be bad for the country Or are we buy in to this false sense of nationality They are here for a better life Somebody ought to build a better government Why not them? Let’s find out what’s their plan then We isolate ourselves by isolating them Monies coming in hand over fist This super bond is taking an entirely new twist Why can’t Belize pay 13 million US quarterly? When tax di coming in, taxes are being paid and people are buying This was the same bond that was restructured They had to give proof and evidence for repayment Or the bond hold would not have made the investment?

    From Beautiful Copper Bank Village, Reef Week Activity by Belize Audubon Society
    Annual Reef Swim Challenge

    The Reporter

    Police find body of missing Belize City taxi driver
    Police on Sunday night confirmed that a body found on the George Price highway is that of Elbert Gillett, 66, a taxi driver of Belize City who was reported missing last Wednesday. Gillett’s badly decomposed body was discovered just past the entrance to the Belizean Beach at mile 4 sometime Sunday evening. The taxi driver had left his house on Signa Yorke street late Wednesday night to run his taxi business but had not returned. His daughter, Karen Gillett reported him missing the next day. Gillett’s partially burnt taxi car was found Friday morning on Ben Bow street in the Port Loyola area on the south side of Belize City; and a man turned in Gillett’s driver’s license the same day at the Caribbean Shores police station, which is on the north side. The unidentified man said he found the identification card in Ladyville, which is out of Belize City limits. Police have not indicated by what means Gillett died or if they have any suspects in this bizarre incident.

    Burnt body of female found in Belmopan
    There are reports that a partially burnt body of a female was discovered near a dumpsite in Belmopan late Saturday evening. Unofficial reports are that at around 2:00 p.m., a female body with its head completely burnt off was discovered near the Belmopan dumpsite. There are also evidence to suggest that attempts were made to burn the entire body, and police say they were able to see the imprints of a fresh tattoo, which they are currently using to identify the body. There has been no official police press release on the developing story. More information will be posted as police investigations continues.

    Murder in Hattieville!
    A Hattieville resident was fatally shot by an unknown gunman on Saturday night, while he was sitting on his varanda. Police say that at around 8:55 p.m., 35 year-old Michael Usher was sitting outside his house on a bucket, at a Foster Drive address when a gunman approached him and fired three shots at him. Usher was hit in the back of his head and in the left side of his waist. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Rural Eastern Division Crime personnel say when they arrived at the scene, they observed Usher lying face up, motionless on the ground. Police say their investigation into the murder is ongoing.

    The Belize Times

    UWG Moving Forward
    After two planning sessions, the UWG has finalized its strategic plan and has commenced its implementation. True Blue Women from across the country and different walks of life participated in this process. A strategic plan is a necessary guide to chart the direction and the destination the Party Arm aims to take. The Vision of the United Women’s Group is “Women are actively involved in governance and politics at all level of the People’s United Party in service to the women, children and the people of Belize.” This is the dream of the women of the UWG, the destination where we are walking and working towards. The Mission is “to ensure that the women of the PUP play an active role at all levels of the party, and that gender related issues are competently addressed by the PUP and at the national level.” As our great woman leader Dolores Balderamos Garcia shared, it is not sufficient for women to simply be seat warmers; we must bring our gender issues to the forefront and make sure these issues are addressed in the public and in the House of Representatives.

    WHO WILL NOW MIND THE FAMILY BUSINESS?
    Congratulations to the “First Brother” for his high elevation into that rarefied air in the stratosphere of the Caribbean’s highest Court – the Caribbean Court of Justice. It is a distinguished appointment for a man who is affable and of legal and intellectual prowess.He has also been the legal advisor and de facto Attorney and Solicitor General in his brother’s – the Prime Minister – royal court of persistent legal battles, and the chief prosecutor and defendant of the government. For his role he has been rewarded with bushels of money. Were he not moving on to higher heights, it would have been easy, during the current budget exercise in which the government is strapped for money and will have to cut to the bone, to declare the official posts of Attorney and Solicitor Generals to be redundant. They virtually were and perhaps continue to be.It was, maybe, unfortunate that in making public his new appointment to the Caribbean High Court, in an interview on a local television, he made it sound, no doubt unwittingly (or not), that he was the best thing that ever happened to Belize since sliced bread.

    Local Farmers First
    Today our farmers in the Orange Walk and Cayo Districts are suffering huge financial losses after a bumper crop of potatoes because there is virtually no market for their product. This has occurred because the government put short term profit for a few over the long term interest of the country. The disgraceful act was perpetuated with the indiscriminate issuance of import permits for vegetables which has allowed government’s political cronies to flood the local market with cheaper Mexican potatoes. While we mourn the current huge financial loss to our potato farmers at the hands of the government, we must not forget that our farmers who dare to produce acres of cabbage, tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers and other vegetables suffer the same back-stabbing at harvest time as a result of dozens of import permits for vegetables that are issued wantonly by Belmopan.With vast tracts of fertile lands in all six districts and a hardworking population, Belize has the potential to supply both the Caribbean and Central America with a huge percentage of its vegetables and other crops. That of course would result in thousands of needed jobs, huge foreign exchange for the country and a better life for our people.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
    Dr. Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis is a sprightly septuagenarian with this very long full name. She is also known as Crusoe Kid, but much better known as Calypso Rose!! She was born on April 27, 1940 in Bethel Village, Tobago. She is THE pre-eminent woman calypsonian, and her career spans over fifty-three years. Her father was a leader with the Spiritual Shouter Baptists, and her family was very much opposed to her singing the “devil music” calypso.However, she had the special gift of a calypsonian, and she composed her first calypso after seeing a man steal the spectacles off of a woman’s face. She has now written over eight hundred calypsos.Her career developed steadily, and in 1977 she won the Carnival Road March in Trinidad. The following year after she won the entire competition, the title Calypso King was changed to Calypso Monarch in her honour. She has also won numerous awards, including an award for unprecedented achievement by a calypsonian and one for the first triple crown Calypso Monarch. Interestingly, in 1982 she was named an honorary citizen of Belize in recognition of her work to raise our country’s international awareness on the cultural front.

    No Time for Distraction
    Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes. The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. If the problems you have this year are the same problems you had last year, then you are not a leader. You are rather a problem on your own that must be solved. Leadership is built on true character! You lose your leadership when you fake your character. The degree of leadership potential a person can expose will depend on how effectively he can maintain his true character! A wise leader understands that when a person feels valued and cared for by their leader, they will be far more willing to take the feedback and implement the needed changes. They understand that no value comes from the use of sarcasm, beating around the bush, or sugar coating things that need to be communicated. They understand that using those things breaks people’s trust and leaves them feeling uncertain or belittled, which ultimately lead to harbouring bad feelings toward their leader, rather than a desire to change or improve their own behaviour.

    Thinking Out Loud
    As I write this, my heart is heavy as I come to grips with the fact that a man I was extremely proud to call friend and advisor has gone to meet his maker, no doubt to regale him with endless anecdotes and jokes. It is hard to express the disbelief, shock and grief which gripped me when I got the news. Carl Meggs was larger than life yet one of the most down to earth persons you could ever be privileged to meet. He was a thinker. He was a political animal, always dissecting and analysing. But more than all that, he was a family man and a great friend to those he kept close to him. I will miss him more than I can say.Doc Meggs was also a boon to this community and to this country. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of people he helped – those who needed urgent dental care but could not afford it. He was a patriot and loved Belize, and I believe he showed that love in part by always helping those who needed him. His contributions to quality health care in this country will never be forgotten by those who worked with him. Deficiencies in healthcare today concerned him immensely and he was always critiquing, always willing to offer input to make it better and willing to not only talk, but to get involved.

    Crime Minister Dean O. Barrow!
    The Barrow Administration’s crime fighting strategy has been a total and complete failure. Since taking office Dean Barrow’s UDP has seen crime spike to unprecedented levels: violence that has been fuelled by Barrow’s love affair with street gangs. The civil war murder rate has been further underpinned by the failure of the Crown to secure convictions. The Barrow Administration has reverted therefore to punishing accused criminals with extraordinarily long remand periods after which, with almost certainty, the cases fall apart in the Courts. Such is Barrow’s abject failure, that the legal term “Nolle Prosequi” has become a common phrase on the blood soaked streets of Belize.The inability of the Crown to secure convictions has only emboldened the criminals and forced many law abiding citizens to seek street justice, further perpetuating the cycle of violence. On September 21, 2011, Dean Barrow boasted proudly “Welcome to CSI Belize.” We would later come to realize that this was just another one of his empty promises. The much bragged about DNA lab has yet to produce a single conviction; the scenes of crime vehicle has not deterred crime and “CSI Belize” is yet to arrive. Empty rhetoric is all that the Belizean people have gotten from Dean Barrow. Crazy Glue said it best: “all glitter and no substance.”

    Minor Chopped to Death in Teakettle
    A seventeen year old boy is dead and police believe he was lured and killed by one of his teenage friends. The deceased has been identified as Teakettle resident Ernest Wiltshire who was reported missing last Tuesday. He was last seen alive by his mother at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 28 when he went to a nearby river with his friends. Shortly after midday on Friday he was found about a mile behind Teakettle Village through the Arizona Road dead with a large chop wound to his head. He was already in a state of advanced decomposition. According to police reports a post-mortem examination conducted on his body certified the cause of his death was “Craneoucednalic traumatic injuries” due to the multiple chop wounds to the head.

    GSG Responsible for Caye Caulker Shooting?
    A mother of two small children has been placed in an induced coma at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after she was shot early Monday morning. According to police reports Camille Munnings, 29, was socializing with her boyfriend Akeem Garcia, 29, and his friend Raul McFarlane, 34, at around 12:23 a.m. near Island Oasis located on Xocol Street in Caye Caulker when a gunman attacked them. Munnings was shot into the left upper shoulder and the back of the head while Garcia was shot to his left leg and lower back and McFarlane was shot to his left upper back and left leg. Garcia and McFarlane are currently in a stable condition receiving treatment for their injuries at the KHMH.

    Double Murder Baffles Police
    Albert Wade, 27, better known as “Ras Taka,” had been trending on Facebook for almost three weeks after someone posted that he had been living with HIV.On February 15th a woman even threatened to kill him if she too tested positive for the virus. However, Taka posted to his Facebook page the results of a test which revealed that he was not infected with HIV. But amidst all that drama, he was found lying in mud dead on a feeder road between miles eleven and twelve of the George Price Highway. He was not alone. Beside him was Godwin Panting, 24, better known as “Paps,” who was also shot dead. A couple in the area had spotted the two men and immediately contacted the Police Department at about 2 o’clock on Saturday.It is widely speculated that the men were killed in a drug transaction. However, their families believe otherwise. Instead they believe that the men were randomly targeted in a hit.

    What Has CitCo Done for YOU Lately?
    In one year, the UDP Belize City Council will go to the polls. It is likely that Darrell Bradley, shamed in Caribbean Shores, will again run for Mayor. The other names will probably remain the same. When they come to you asking for your vote, you should ask them to point out their achievements in this last term, since the drying up of the Petrocaribe monies and Central Government largesse. You should ask them to name one project the Council accomplished well for the benefit of the people in the city – one project which was done well and has held up, one project that has not deteriorated rapidly or somehow become screwed up by mismanagement, one project of which the Belize City Council can be proud. The picture contained in this article is a fitting symbol of the Council’s inadequacy and inability to get anything right. Practically every street fixed with the proceeds of a $20M municipal bond is breaking up. Sidewalks are breaking up. The streets flood with the slightest downpour. Downtown Belize City is filthy, with the homeless, mentally challenged and panhandlers roaming wild and free, mingling with the tourists to give them an idea of what Belize City is all about.

    The Truth About BarrowBond 3.0
    This is once again kicking the can down the road, taking the burden off our shoulders and putting it squarely on the backs of our children. Forget about any claim of net present value savings, that is all hocus pocus economics. Let us look at the real actual cash savings on cash outflow over the life of the bonds. For the period from now until Feb 2034, under SB 2.0, the total interest payments made add up to US$410mn. Under SB3.0, the total interest payments for the same period add up to US$403mn, a total savings in actual cash outflow of the grand sum of US$7mn over 17 years. That amounts to a savings of roughly US$400K per year. Was there any savings in principal? Was there any principal haircut? No. So all this renegotiation and hiring of local and foreign legal and financial advisors was for a savings of US$7mn.

    Dah Fool Dih Talk…!
    UDP insider Patrick Tillett has gone before the Senate Select Committee to admit under oath that he took money to try to get Visas approved for Chinese Nationals. More incredible than that is that he told the Senate Committee that 6 of the 8 stolen visas from the Immigration Department ended up in passports for his “clients”. Rather than report that he was jilted out of money by an immigration agent, he says he decided to take a $30,000 financial hit to sweep it under the rug. Tillett claims that he performed these Visa services only twice, and the second time he was jilted by a “Mr. Middleton.” He testified that he was approached by persons acting on behalf of 6 Chinese nationals who wanted to come to Belize. He charged those persons $6,000 each, and in those fees, $2,000 was to go towards the fees for the Government of Belize, $3,000 was paid to immigration agent “Mr. Middleton,” and $1,000 was his fee. He said that he checked to make sure that the applications had all the required documentation before handing over the application package to the “Mr. Middleton.”

    Barrow Administration Sanctions Corruption
    The revelation that a UDP insider and former UDP Deputy Mayor of Belize, Eric Chang, bought stolen Visas through a conduit from a crooked Immigration official would have caused great alarm in any normal country. It is a crime. The fact that Eric Chang then tried to coerce Immigration officials to fix those stolen Visas to make them usable would have resulted in prosecution in any normal country. It is, in fact, also a crime. But in Belize, there will be no prosecution or arrest of Chang or his sidekick, UDP insider Patrick Tillett, because this Barrow administration appears to condone corruption at every level. What did Chang want with those Visas? Who would have been brought into Belize using those Visas? Where would they have gone after their stay in Belize? Doesn’t this reek of human trafficking, which is another crime? Valid questions, but nobody in the Barrow administration will provide any answers.

    If Dah Noh Soh…
    Just heard that bonehead Alberto August is recommending that Dean Oliver be awarded as a National Hero of Belize. Well, what a splendid suggestion that is. I have the best idea ever. Let’s have one big ceremony with lots of sparkly lights and glitter and even Ozzy the Clown. And there’ll be two awards, not one. Seconds after Alberto August hangs that National Hero tassel around DOB’s neck, we’ll surprise him with his own ‘special’ award – National Jackass of Belize. How’s that? I swear schupid people more common than common sense nowadays.If we were living in any normal country in any part of the world operating under the rule of law, so many people in this damned scurvy UDP Immigration affair would have been under lock and key by now, guests of the Hattieville Ramada. Check out Eric Chang. All of ah sudden dih man ketch amnesia. He noh remembah nothing. He noh know nothing. He nevah sih nothing. He nevah duh nothing. Same thing with Patrick Tillett…innocent like wah newborn baby. He nevah duh nothing. Dah Dean Barrow gat dih UDP like dat. Once yuh dah UDP yuh could duh all the shit you want and ain’t no Police gonna come knocking on your door. Like wah senior Police officer tell me this week, nobody inna powah wah evah call een Police fuh arrest one of their own. My question is this…when did we get to the point that Police have to be given instructions by politicians before dealing with criminals? Dangerous stuff dat.

    Questions to Ministers
    Would the Member for Queen Square, Minister of Finance and Prime Minister please say how much will be paid to his Finance Ambassador Mark Espat and the Attorney-General Michael Peyrefitte for their roles in BarrowBond 3.0? Would the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister please say how much is paid to his wife, the so-called Special Envoy for Women and Children, and his son, the so-called Music Ambassador, out of public coffers? Could he also say how much the government pays in perks and allowances including offices, travelling allowances, driver, bodyguard, etc. for his wife and prodigal son? Would the unelected Senator and blow-hard Minister of Immigration please say when he will resign that post, based on the revelations coming out in the Senate hearings which show that he did nothing to stop the widespread corruption happening under his nose? Could the waste of time pseudo-intellectual also say when he will allow Police to arrest his son?

    Penner Coming Back in Cayo Northeast?
    Since the fateful September 19, 2013 GOB announcement that then Minister of State for Immigration, Elvin Penner “did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers” and his subsequent ejection from the UDP Cabinet, Penner has maintained a low profile. Aside from his Court appearances during COLA’s private prosecution of him in relation to the Citizen Kim passport scandal (pleading the fifth every single time to the media), he remained low key. That is, until almost three years and a half later. Perhaps he feels enough time has elapsed for people to have forgotten his reckless and wanton sale of our sacred Belizean patrimony to a South Korean national who was then imprisoned in a Taiwanese jail.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    New tax measures in Belize’s new budget – What they may look like?
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow will introduce the budget for fiscal year 2017/2018 in the National Assembly on Monday on the heels of finalizing the terms of an unprecedented third restructuring of the country’s 2034 US dollar bonds. The government has tried its best to assure the Belizean public that they will not be saddled with the burden of rigid austerity measures to repay the bond, however, with the terms GOB has agreed to, the money obviously has to come from somewhere. Under the terms of the newly restructured bond arrangement, Belize has undertaken to grow the country’s economy by at least 2 percent of GDP for three consecutive fiscal cycles starting 2018/2019. During his press conference last Wednesday, the Prime Minister acknowledged that there would be some spending cuts and other measures to ensure the country meet its 2 percent target. He said, though, that it would not come at the expense of public officers, who are due a salary increase plus interest this year for the deferral which resulted in an 11-day strike last October.

    Blogs

    My Journey from Ambergris Caye To Placencia & A Look Around
    Belize is a tiny country – but travel, depending on your time and your budget (but mostly your budget), can be time consuming. A few days ago, I took the slow route south – from Ambergris Caye to Placencia. The quaint, colorful, vibrant village famous for their deep long beach and sidewalk main street. A mere 100 miles as the crow flies – and two short hops by Tropic Air – but by boat and bus, let’s call it the “local route”, it became an all day affair. Please make sure to read my 8 Tips for Riding the Bus in Belize. It’s actually really quite easy. I LOVE to fly – love it. Beautiful and quick. But I also love the slow route. Here’s how it took me all day to move down the coast to Placencia, Belize. Alarm set for 5:30am to catch the 7:30 water taxi to Belize City. (I have a 35 minute golf cart ride to town.) The water taxi is about 1.5 hours. Taxi from water taxi to Belize bus station 5 minutes, $7bzd. The James Express bus arrives at 10am. Express takes us from Belize City straight west to the capital, Belmopan, over the mountains and south to Dangriga and into the port town of Independence (aka Mango Creek). In total, I was on the bus for 4.5 hours.

    International Sourcesizz

    Southwest Airlines Launches New Nonstop Flights to Belize
    Southwest Airlines has continued its Caribbean expansion with a new nonstop route to Belize. The company has launched the first-ever nonstop service between Denver, Colo. and Belize, with the inaugural flight over the weekend. The service will operate weekly on Saturdays through June 4, when it will launch Saturday and Sunday service through Aug. 14. It’s the latest boost in airlift for Belize, which is one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in the Caribbean by stayover passenger traffic. (Last year, Belize saw 13 percent growth in arrivals, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.)

    Everything Tiffany Trump Did On Her Vacation to Belize
    From snorkeling with sharks to ziplining through the jungle. Since the start of her father's presidential campaign, Tiffany Trump has largely stayed as far away from politics as possible. So, now that he's president, it makes sense that she'd straight-up leave the country — at least for a little while. While President Trump was defending Speaker Paul Ryan's wildly unpopular new healthcare bill last week, the younger first daughter was vacationing in Belize with her boyfriend Ross Mechanic, enjoying the sun and partaking in as many adventures as possible. At some point during their trip, the couple even got to go ziplining over the jungle. They also got to go snorkeling with sharks, an experience Trump shared multiple photos of on Instagram.

    50 Reefs: A Global Plan to Save Corals from Extinction
    Ninety percent of the world’s coral reefs are expected to disappear by 2050 due to climate change, pollution and poor fishing practices. Now, a unique philanthropic coalition has launched 50 Reefs, a plan to save the most critical reefs so once the climate stabilizes they can reseed the entire coral ecosystem. The initiative, launched at The Economist World Ocean Summit in February, brings together ocean, climate and marine scientists as well as conservationists from around the world to develop a list of the 50 most critical coral reefs in need of protection. The idea is to identify 50 high priority coral reefs that have the best chance of surviving climate change and can then help in the recovery of coral reef ecosystems once global temperatures have stabilized. As the project unfolds through 2017, a panel of world leading scientists will oversee a process to prioritize reefs worldwide deploying a transparent ‘decision algorithm’ developed at The Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions at The University of Queensland.

    Videos

  • Reef Swim San Pedro!!!, min. Awesome project guys. GO Madi go.

  • Ocean defenders at work on Ambergris Caye, 2min. After Reef Swim San Pedro

  • Annual Reef Swim Challenge, 1/2min. The Annual Reef Swim Challenge was held today. The event, organized by the WWF, features a 1.6 mile swim of the English Channel [from English Caye to Goff's Caye]. This year some 25 swimmers braved the sea, including 17 Coast Guards. The Challenge is a part of the activities for Reef Week.

  • VACATION TO BELIZE!, 8min.

  • belize '15, 3min. tumiwa xmas vacation 2015.

  • Belize 2017, 8min. At the end of February, I took a mission trip to Belize. This is my video showing the highlights of our trip. It included visiting 4 of the 6 American Baptist Association churches currently in Belize.

  • Take off from Belize City Municipal Airport,, 1/2min. View of Newton Barracks, BTL Park, Marine Parade.. March 2017.

  • 1 Year Ago | Belize in 3 Minutes, 3min. One year ago, during the winter my family went to Belize in Central America.

  • Belize 1Week long event ep 4j, 8min.

  • Snorkeling off of Turneffe Atoll in Belize, 3min.

  • Belize dolphins near Half Moon Caye, 1.5min.

  • Caracol Mayan Ruin, Belize, 3min. We took a day trip from San Ignacio to the Caracol (Mayan ruins) through Maya walk tours.

  • Feeding Jaguar at the Belize Zoo, 4min.

  • San Antonio Falls Belize, 2min.

  • Belize in 6 minutes, min.

    March 12, 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

    Shark fishing continues; MarAlliance calls for drastic legislation changes
    Shark fishing has resumed at Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This is according to reports made to MarAlliance, a non-governmental organization based in San Pedro Town. The organization is calling on Central Government to make a drastic change in legislation to protect the shark population in Belize. According to MarAlliance, this recent report raises grave concerns about unsustainable shark fishing. “We were informed that [the fishermen] hold shark fishing licenses and further hold the special Managed Access fishing licenses meant for long-time users and traditional fishers of Zone 7 / Lighthouse Reef Atoll…The shark fishers have refused to vacate private land that the owner has asked them to vacate through the intermediary of his manager in charge. This sets a dangerous precedent for any landowner in Belize…The parting words of the fishers as they left with the remains of more than a thousand sharks were, ‘We’ll be back next year.’ It is clear that they will continue to come back until there are no more sharks left,” said MarAlliance.

    Rehabilitation is possible: Jason Reyes makes major strides at Central Prison
    After being found guilty in October of 2015 for the death of island resident Lionel Pinelo, San Pedro resident Jason Reyes has made major rehabilitation strides at the Kolbe Foundation Belize Central Prison. The San Pedro Sun spoke to a prison administrator who was pleased to share the good news of Reyes’ progress. He has gone so far as to work as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) alongside the prison doctor, while undergoing training to be officially certified by the time he gets out. It is expected that if everything goes well, he might be out on parole, and is likely to be hired as an EMT with the Government of Belize. According to Doctor Javier Novelo of the Central Prison, from the moment Reyes was remanded, he showed an interest in the medical field. “After doing health presentations at various sections of the prison, I saw his interest in the field, so I placed him as medic personnel to work with me. His duties were just to distribute medications and getting complaints from those who are sick,” said Novelo. “After observing his dedication, I brought him to the medic department of the prison, where he trained with me for over a year.” Novelo said that as part of their rehabilitation program, he has been able to convince the prison’s administration to allow certain inmates to learn trades, such as paramedic, so that when they return to society, they have a profession to earn a living.

    Oil spill in Western Belize; Environmentalist continue campaigning against offshore oil exploration
    An oil spill was reported on Wednesday, March 1st at one of the oil wells in the Belize Natural Energy’s (BNE) compound in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District. The leak took place at the Michael Usher Number 1 oil well, and took BNE workers around two hours to contain it. Even though BNE indicated that it did not cause any major environmental damage, oil seeped into a small stream. BNE shared with the media that upon reports of the leak, they observed crude oil on the surface of the ground near the Michael Usher well. Production Engineer Bernard Raymond said they quickly shut off the flow of oil in order to prevent a major spill. “No oil went into the environment, we collected most of the oil after the situation was contain,” said Raymond. According to him that particular area where the spill occurred only produces about 20% of crude, while the remainder is water. He said the spill response team was able to scoop out layers of top soil that were contaminated with oil water, and they did extract the oil that went into the stream.

    Dredging taking place in Caye Chapel despite lack of EIA
    Reports of dredging activities on Caye Chapel are once again raising concerns. A dredging machine has been spotted in front of the island, and many environmental and tourism organizations are expressing their disapproval over the ‘beach re-creation’ at Caye Chapel. The project has allegedly been given the green light, despite not undergoing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The only response from the Department of Environment (DOE) so far is that the project is a major investment and what is taking place at Caye Chapel is just a pilot project. DOE stated that an EIA will apply to the larger project whenever it begins in the upcoming months. In a letter dated December 23, 2016 Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria granted Environmental clearance for the pilot project. The letter also indicated that the investors at Caye Chapel have permission to upgrade the utilities on the island and to install five temporary tents during the ‘beach creation’ works. It was also stated in the letter that prior to dredging activities, a permit must be obtained from the Mining Unit, within the Ministry of Natural Resources. A copy of this permit was to be submitted to the DOE.

    Record number of manatee deaths caused by boat collisions
    Since the beginning of 2017, local manatee conservation programs, Belize Manatee Conservation Program (BMCP) and Manatee Eco Warrior (MEW), have documented 11 manatee deaths so far. With an estimated 1,000 left in our country, it is believed that Belize is the last stronghold for the Antillean manatee population. Manatees are part of Belize’s rich biological diversity, and important in many ways. The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute states that not only are manatees an indicator species of ecosystem health, they also provide diverse opportunities for tourism. The first manatee death this year was recorded on January 11th when an adult was found dead in Bainton Bank. Since then, several mature and juvenile manatees have been found dead. A lifeless manatee was even recently spotted in Ladyville during Belikin’s La Ruta Maya 2017 River Challenge on Monday, March 6th.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    NSTA Northern Regional Softball Championship
    Congratulations to the San Pedro High School (SPHS) Male Softball Team on winning the NSTA Northern Regional Championship! Kudos to the SPHS Female Softball Team for taking third place.

    President of the University of Belize pays a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Belize
    Professor Clement Sankat, President of the University of Belize, paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honorable Dean Barrow. He was accompanied by Mr. Harry Pilgrim, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of UB at the Prime Minister's Belize City Office. The University of Belize looks forward to continue working closely with the leaders of this nation to accomplish the shared vision of building a better Belize through quality and relevant education

    First Southwest Airlines flight from Denver
    We welcome Southwest Airlines new nonstop flight from Denver to Belize!

    Seaweed Cultivation Training Course
    Jomael Verde and Johnny Flores from the Sarteneja Fishermen Association, Sarteneja Village, Corozal participated in a Seaweed Cultivation Course hosted by the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Ltd (PPCSL) and The Nature Conservancy. The course brought together representatives from various Fisher's Associations in the country interested in the cultivation of seaweed. These two SFA members are now certified to cultivate Seaweed and is a major step towards the realization of Seaweed Cultivation by SFA.

    Patchakan, Village
    A wonderful week of team work and generosity ends in stellar fashion on The Jacob's Rehabilitation Farm Center in Patchakan, Corozal as we celebrated the completion of the mentor-ship building erected by the fabulous Manna Organization at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. We celebrated with authentic Mayan cuisine of pork pibil cooked under ground with hot stones covered with palm branches and dirt. A gratitude hand carved plaque is presented to the team. The Jacob's Rehabilitation Farm Center Turtle Band performed the song "You Raise me up" which expresses the sentiment of our hearts for such great love and support to the cause of bringing sobriety to one brother at a time, one life at a time restored to a new walk in spirituality and families restored.

    Rainbow Park Corozal
    It is a beautiful place to bring out your family to relax, swim and enjoy.

    Belize Bird REscue: Movig termite nest!
    In an effort to help Pomona learn to forage on her own, Oscar and I got a small termite mound from the jungle near the pre-release aviary past the tool shed. I thought there would be big mounds as one sees in Aftica, but this was a bit smaller than a soccer ball. There were loads of small brown termites. We wedged the termite mound in the intersection of two large branches of a tree somewhat close to the aviary where she sleeps. On both of my last two days at the rescue I brought Pomona to the termite mound and banged on it with a stick to get the termites to come out. Pomona wasn't immediately interested, but repeated efforts may produce the desired outcome.

    SouthWest- Denver to Belize Inaugural Flight

    A Tribute to Carl - March 11th, 2017
    Grief is an overwhelming emotion that takes over our being when we lose someone so close to us as Dr. Carl Meggs was. Many strong wise and able people tell us that we should not grieve but that we should instead celebrate the life of this extraordinary gentleman, this outstanding Belizean, this extremely loyal friend. But I will tell you right now that it is hard. How can we not grieve the sudden loss of Carl Meggs when he meant so very much to so many of us? How can we not fight to hold back an avalanche of tears when we realize that our friend is lost to us, so unexpectedly taken away on the twilight of a dream? Yes, we WILL and we MUST celebrate the life of Carl Meggs, the wise man, the doctor, the thinker, the father, the husband, the friend, the soldier, the unwavering Belizean nationalist, because our memories of him are good ones. We will always keep those pleasant memories etched in our hearts and our actions.

    The Reporter

    Ministry of Agriculture gets new CEO
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer to its Ministry. Dr. Percival Cho has been appointed to the post and will work sprcifically with Minister Omar Figueroa. Cho will have oversight of the Fisheries and Forestry departments, as well as the environment, sustainable development, climate change and the Solid Waste Management Authority. A press release from the Government’s Press Office quotes that with his knowledge and expertise in science at national and international levels, the Ministry warmly welcomes Cho to his post. Cho is said to have 17 years experience in the public service in the forestry department. He is a forestry expert and natural resource scientist with a a PhD in Environmental Biology, and a Masters degree in Forestry.

    Belize City taxi driver missing
    Belize City police are investigating the suspicious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a taxi driver, after he was reported missing on Friday morning by his daughter. Twenty-nine-year-old Karen Gillett told police that on Thursday March 9, at around 11:00 p.m., her father 66-year-old Elbert Gillett, left their home at on Signa York Street en route to work. The daughter says that since then, she has not heard anything from her father and is worried. On Friday morning Gillett’s car was discovered in the city completely destroyed by fire, however there was no sign of him. More worrying evidence turned up when a man visited the Caribbean Shores police stationed and handed over Gillett’s drivers license, which he claims to have found somewhere in Ladyville.

    Belize represented at Ministerial Council meeting in Cuba
    Belize was present at the 22nd session of the Ordinary Meeting of Ministerial Council, held in Havana, Cuba on March 10, 2017. The meeting was held by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and highlighted the works that the Secretariat has undertaken, with the aim of re-energizing, re-organizing and rebranding the ACS, specifically for the protection of the Caribbean Sea, a release from the Government’s Press Office states. At the meeting, the members expressed their concern over the isolation of members states by non-regional partners, as well as the loss of correspondent banking in the Caribbean. Members from the 15 member states of CARICOM, Latin America and countries that share the Caribbean sea attended the event. Belize was represented by Her Excellency, Annie Lu Burns, Belize’s Ambassador to Cuba and His Excellency, Daniel Gutierez, Belize’s Ambassador to CARICOM.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Southwest Airlines and BTB celebrate inaugural flight from Denver to Belize
    Yesterday, Southwest Airlines along with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) inaugurated the new non-stop flight from Denver International Airport to Belize City, Belize. As part of the inauguration, customers heard remarks in the gate area at the Denver International Airport from Southwest and BTB officials and Belize’s Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia. A band and samba dancers also performed at the event.

    Bullet Tree Residents complain after a mature Guanacaste tree is cut down by the Village Council
    Villagers in Bullet Tree Falls in Cayo District are terribly upset because the Village Council decided to remove a Guanacaste tree that had been in existence for decades. The tree was a top attraction in an area of the village where a few small resorts are located. But what would make the village council go so berserk and remove a landmark tree? Well information to our newsroom is that the Village Council attempted to remove some bees using fire and the tree was set ablaze as a result. This afternoon, the Village Council decided to cut down the tree in its entirety.

    Horse race controversy in Cayo – Politics at the center
    There is an ongoing feud between current Cayo Central Area Representative, Rene Montero, and the Twin Towns’ Jockey Club Horse Racing Association with UDP/PUP politics at the center of the controversy. A long standing member of the Twin Town Jockey Club contacted BBN because the Club is concerned that the horse race organized for tomorrow at the Peter August race track in Santa Elena, Cayo, is in jeopardy. Montero had recently formed his own committee to organize horse racing events in Cayo as a number of the executive members of the Twin Towns Jockey Club are known supporters of his opponent Daniel Silva and the PUP. However, the Twin Town Jockey Club claims that it is a legally registered association whose committee was elected by horse owners from across Belize and they claim that Montero is sabotaging their race for tomorrow.

    Belize to hold national consultations on new trade policy
    Belize is seeking to develop a national trade policy and now the country is preparing to host a series of public consultations with various stakeholders. The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce said at the core of the consultations, “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.” The Ministry also stated that the 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.

    Taxi man missing; vehicle found but “burnt”
    Elbert Gillett, 66, a senior citizen of Belize City has been reported missing and his family now suspects the worst after his vehicle was found completely destroyed by fire. Yesterday evening a man also went to the Caribbean Shores Police Station and handed over Gillett’s driver’s license. The man told police that he found it somewhere in Ladyville. Gillett left home on Tuesday night at 11:00 and has not been seen since.

    Michael Finnegan stepping down; Shyne Barrow to succeed him
    Career politician, Michael Finnegan, who has represented the Mesopotamia constituency in Belize City since time immemorial told 7news yesterday that he will not seek re-election. According to Finnegan, he may serve out the remainder of his term scheduled to end in 2020 or if necessary he may vacate office earlier. His nephew Shyne Barrow who is the eldest son of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has expressed interest in succeeding him.

    Former GSU Commander needs your help
    Former commander of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), Mark Flowers, needs your help. Flowers suffered a stroke in late 2016 and has been recuperating since. Today, a BBQ is being held at his residence in Santa Elena town to collect funds to continue paying for his treatment. Flowers served as GSU Commander from August 2014 to June 2016 when he was replaced.

    SIB gets $60,000 worth of new equipment
    Yesterday at a ceremony held at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Omar Figueroa handed over 25 computer systems to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The donation is valued at over $60,000 and was made possible through the Ministry’s Capacity Building for Strategic Planning Management of Natural Resources in Belize Project (CD2).

    Young’s law firm closes its doors
    Young’s Law Firm has officially closed its office in Belize. Readers will recall that the firm was owned by Attorney at Law, Michael Young, who committed suicide last year.

    Belize Represented at the 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States Ministerial Council
    The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held its 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council today, March 10th, in Havana, Cuba, according to a Government of Belize press release. The session brought together 25 nations of the Caribbean region which include the 15 member states of CARICOM, as well as Latin American Member States such as Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South American countries that share the Caribbean Sea. According to the release, the meeting underscored the work that the secretariat has undertaken with the aim of re-energizing, re-organizing and ultimately rebranding the ACS.

    Blogs

    My Eight Craziest Adventure Tours In Belize Plus One
    Belize is full of adventure. Such a small country, you can be at the 2nd largest reef in the world on one day and then deep within an inland cave the next. It was my trip to the “Black Hole” that got me thinking about this list so I’ll start with that. Adventure? Me? Yes indeed. 1. Rappelling The “Black Hole” Drop 2. Night Snorkeling 3. Natural Watersliding At Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve 4. Ziplining Belize’s Longest Zip Line and Waterfall Rappelling at Bocawina Park 5. Climbing to The Top of The Tallest Building at Lamanai and then Coming Down 6. The Belize Zoo 7. Diving or Snorkeling the Great Blue Hole

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize to hold national consultations on new trade policy
    Belize will host a series of public consultations with various stakeholders as it seeks to develop a national trade policy. The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce said at the core of the consultations on March 14-15 “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.” The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) launched the Trade Policy Framework in July 2016 that 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.

    Videos

  • Inaugural Southwest flight from Denver arriving in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Breathtaking Belize, 2min. "As it was our first time in Belize we wanted to see a little bit of everything. We decided to split our trip between the verdant jungles near San Ignacio and the dive haven of San Pedro, a small town on Ambergris Caye. While one week was not nearly enough to explore the dozens of islands, cayes, or ancient ruins, I do feel we got a nicely balanced taste of what makes this country such a joy to visit."

  • Caye Caulker | Mexico - Belize Trip | Gopro & Phantom | Part3, 6min. Belize / Caye Caulker - Third part of our Mexico/Belize Trip Our Stops: Playa del Carmen

  • TheSilverAdventurer, 15min. The Machaca Hill resort in Belize was an exciting end to our Belize adventure, and an extraordinary location for river trips, canoing, kayaking, hiking, birding, .

  • Lamanai, Belize, 3.5min. Our shore excursion that took us on a speed boat through the Belize jungle to Lamanai.

  • TOURING IN DANGRIGA TOWN, BELIZE, 17min.

  • Zip lining Belize, 3min.

  • KITESURFING on a breezy day in BELIZE!!! Kiteboarding Ambergris Caye, 3min. Kiteboarding inside of the reef on a breezy day in Belize.The island of Ambergris Caye offers amazing views, crystal clear water, and nice breezes.

    March 11, 2017


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    BEL makes effort to accommodate Ospreys
    In an effort to provide better service to Belize Electricity Limited’s (BEL) customers, a power interruption was scheduled on Saturday, March 4th for San Pedro Town and Bomba Village on the mainland. The purpose was to remove problematic osprey nests that have caused power outages in the past. In less than two hours, BEL teams, comprised of work crews, supervisors and BEL’s Environmental Specialist, managed to successfully remove the empty nests from the transmission structures in Bomba Village and at the southern end of Ambergris Caye. According to Vonetta Burrell, BEL’s Manager of Public Relations, the company has been aware of the osprey nests on the transmission structures in both areas. “We have been monitoring the wildlife activity. So to better manage reliability for customers, and take care of wildlife in Belize, we installed platforms for the birds to build their nests, away from the power system. These nests have caused power interruptions in the past, but now, we have an alternative option for the birds to build their nests. We will continue to monitor the activities of osprey in the area,” said Burrell.

    Andre Vega in hiding; GOB serves his attorney lawsuit papers
    The Government of Belize (GOB) continues its efforts to retrieve $800,000 from Andre Vega, son of former Deputy Mayor, Gaspar Vega, and Attorney Sharon Pitts. This is the result of a controversial land transaction deal, wherein Vega and Pitts obtained the land title for a privately owned property located at Mile 5 near the Haulover Bridge in the Belize District. After the Office of the Solicitor General gave both Vega and Pitts 30 days to refund the money, the GOB filed a lawsuit in the Belize Supreme Court against Vega in December 2016. After having difficulties locating Vega, Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke confirmed that the GOB has served lawsuit documents to Vega’s attorney, Estevan Perrera, on February, 28, 2017. According to Hawke, Pitts has been cooperating, but Vega is nowhere to be found. “I wouldn’t know if Vega is out of the country. But certainly, in relation to the matter with Ms. Pitts, she has filed her defense. Her matter was served on her and she’s filed a defense so we now await a date from the court for case management in relation to her matter,” said Hawke.

    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. In her presentation, High Commissioner Perdomo remarked on the strong historical and current ties between Belize and the United Kingdom and spoke about the importance of the APPG at this critical time for both Belize and the United Kingdom. She spoke about Belize’s reliance on trade with the UK, particularly for its sugar and banana exports as well as future trade and investment opportunities. The High Commissioner also briefly spoke about Belize’s inherited border dispute with Guatemala.

    Human Development Services seeks foster homes for Belizean children
    Every year the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation runs its ‘Give your Heart to a Child’ national campaign. The project aims at recruiting foster or permanent homes for children who are living in children’s homes or abusive households. In San Pedro Town, the office of Human Development Services has been advocating for this initiative, and is once again reaching out to the community for their support. Speaking with Adan Kay, Human Development Officer for San Pedro, Kay says that most institutions housing children keep increasing in population. According to him, many of these children have been abandoned by their relatives and spend most of their lives in such institutions. “We have different options how people can become involved and make a change in the lives of these children,” said Kay. “For instance, we are looking for families that would probably take a child with them for the weekend or during certain holidays and share their time with them.” Kay said that the database for foster homes in San Pedro is very small and he hopes it can increase this year. They need families who are willing to foster teenagers, siblings, children with special needs, and babies and younger children at times.

    SPTC Softball Tournament nearing semi-finals
    Eliminations are fast approaching in the San Pedro Town Council Softball Tournament, and teams fought for a spot in another round of games this past weekend at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. Starting at 9:30AM on Sunday, March 5th, teams- Rusties, San Pedro High School (SPHS), Atlantic Bank, Sea Star and Quality Reef kept softball fanatics entertained throughout the day’s games. SPHS and Atlantic Bank faced off in the first game, with SPHS winning via mercy rule in the third inning, 11-1. The second game saw Quality Reef walking away with the victory via default after Tuff E Nuff did not show up once again. SPHS continues to lead in the tournament with six consecutive wins. The current standings for the other teams are: Sea Star four wins and one loss. Extreme, three wins and two losses, while Rusties has two wins and three losses. Quality Reef has two wins and three losses, followed by Atlantic Bank with one win and five losses, while Tuff E Nuff remains winless.

    Ambergris Today

    Central Park Renovation Begins for Easter Activities
    Easter is around the corner and the San Pedro Town Council has started renovations at Central Park in preparation for all the activities during the holiday weekend. Approximately 15-truck-fulls of sand will be used to enhance the beach area at Central Park. The San Pedro Town Council has been working with the Dj Association of San Pedro and have come to an agreement that instead of everyone having their separate beach party, all activities will be held in unison at Central Park. Different Soca artists have also been invited to perform at the beach party during Easter

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Shark Anatomy
    All of us are curious beings, in one way or another. And we think that our new shark anatomy poster will spark your curiosity and wonder as it reveals some of the massive diversity in form and function of these awesome animals. We focused on a great hammerhead for our anatomical cutaway as aside from being beautiful iconic animals, hammerheads are uniquely evolved and the larger bodied hammerheads are now globally endangered to extinction due to overfishing. Learn about the magnificent sharks and commit to doing at least one thing that helps sharks. This could include not eating sharks (panades, cecina, steaks, liver oil), not buying shark curios, or booking a shark encounter tour that benefits local communities.

    Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Field Trip to Dangriga
    Sabal's Cassava was the first stop on Form 3 and 4 business students' field trip to Dangriga. OA students observed all the steps involved in the production of cassava bread (ereba) in this family-run business. Next stop...Marie Sharpe's! Mr. Lorenzo is teaching his business students about real-world entrepreneurs and local enterprise.

    Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Field Trip to DangrigaMr. Lorenzo's business classes visited Marie Sharpe's Dangriga factory today and learned about the entire process involved in creating top quality Belizean hot sauces and preserves. This photo is a cardboard cut out but....stay tuned for our group photo with the real Marie Sharpe!

    North Ambergris Caye neighborhood watch meeting Saturday
    The north Ambergris Caye neighborhood watch will be holding a crime watch meeting to revitalize the group on saturday March 11th at 10am at the conference center above the grocery store at the Grand Caribe Resort. All interested stakeholders are invited to attend.

    UPDATED CABINET/CEO LISTING
    Government of Belize Press Office

    BELIZE REPRESENTED AT FIRST COMMONWEALTH TRADE MINISTERS MEETING
    Belize was one of about thirty Commonwealth countries represented at the first ever Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting held in London on 9th and 10th March, 2017. The Belize delegation was made up of Mr Jose Alpuche, CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, HE Perla Perdomo, High Commissioner for Belize to the United Kingdom, and Mr Dylan Vernon, Ambassador for Belize to the European Union. The meeting is the first of its kind and was organized by Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council in coordination with the Commonwealth Secretariat. On 9th March, Trade Ministers and Representatives participated in several roundtable discussions including Financial Services, Ease of Doing Business, Technology and Innovation, Business and Sustainability, Creating and Export Economy, and Attracting Investment. On 10th March, the Ministers and Representatives participated in a closed Ministerial meeting before a entering in a larger meeting which addressed harnessing the Commonwealth advantage in a changing global trade landscape and leveraging opportunities and addressing challenges to intra-Commonwealth trade and investment.

    Dr. Percival Cho appointed as Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Percival Cho as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with oversight for the Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Department of the Environment, Sustainable Development, National Climate Change Office, and the Solid Waste Management Authority. Dr. Cho will work specifically with Minister Omar Figueroa who has direct responsibility for the aforementioned portfolios. Dr. Cho is a career public officer with over 17 years experience serving in the Ministry of Forestry.

    Belmopan Belize Duck Race
    Save the date folks. The ducks are coming, on March 18th the Rotary Club of Belmopan will be having its Belize Duck Race Kick off event. Come on out and purchase tickets for the Belize Duck Race to be held on June 24th 2017.

    2nd annual Rovers Meet-Up 2017 Land Rover car show
    The second annual Rovers.bz Meet-Up 2017 Land Rover car show will be held at Ayianha Park during the Crooked Tree Tilapia and Bird Festival Saturday April 1st thru Sunday April 2nd in Crooked Tree Village, Belize District, Belize. This is a FREE event. FREE Rovers.bz T-shirts will be given to the first 12 Rovers that come to the event. FREE Rovers.bz window stickers will be given to all Rover drivers. 3 trophies will be given for People's Pick awards and 1 trophy for the Oldest Rolling Rover that comes to the event. Awards ceremony will be at 3PM SUNDAY. Land Rover has a rich history in Belize, having first gained recognition as George Price’s automobile of choice. The Rover soon became a popular government vehicle as it could traverse rough landscape and access almost any part of Belize. Today, Land Rover lovers still benefit from the longevity and durability of the vehicle. Land Rover enthusiasts are encouraged to attend this free event and mingle with other owners, mechanics, and parts dealers. For more information visit our site Rovers.bz, send an email to mateo@rovers.bz, or text 667-9284

    Legends of Belize
    Please join us at the Corozal House of Culture on March 16 at 10 AM as Felicita Cantun talks to us about “The Legends of Belize”! Should prove to be a very interesting topic and very informative. We will also be querying the membership on what type of excursions we would like to take. Hope to see you all there!

    2nd annual Art Show by the Women Art Group
    In celebration of Women’s Month the San Pedro House of Culture is delighted to present the 2nd annual Art Show by the Women Art Group, showcasing our exceptionally talented female artists of San Pedro. All proceeds from the sales of the paintings will be donated to the “Women in Need” Foundation. Paintings, wooden bowls, jewelry, will be on display from March 11th to 19th. You are cordially invited to the exhibit launch Saturday, March 11th beginning at 9 am.

    New Oceana Mural unveiling in San Pedro
    As a part of Reef Week Belize we invite the San Pedro community to come out for the official unveiling ceremony of the San Pedro mural! See you there!

    Science Fair at Isla Bonita School in San Pedro

    25 computer systems donated to the Statistical Institute of Belize
    Today, March 10th, at a ceremony at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development handed over 25 computer systems to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The donation valued at over 60 thousand dollars is made possible through the Ministry’s Capacity Building for Strategic Planning Management of Natural Resources in Belize Project (CD2), which is financed by the Global Environmental Facility and the United Nations Development Programme. Pictured are Mrs. Diana Castillo-Trejo, Deputy Director General at SIB and Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment & Sustainable Development.

    Belize Represented at the 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States Ministerial Council
    The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held its 22nd Session of the Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council today, March 10th, in Havana, Cuba. The ACS brings together 25 nations of the Caribbean region. These nations include the 15 member states of CARICOM, as well as Latin American Member States such as Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South American countries that share the Caribbean Sea. The meeting underscored the work that the secretariat has undertaken with the aim of re-energizing, re-organizing and ultimately rebranding the ACS. The very specific work of the Association in reference the protection of the Caribbean Sea as a shared patrimony was highlighted. The effort of Secretary General Dr. June Soomer to strengthen the ACS, instill strategic planning and to attract donors was applauded.

    BWS Expands Sewage System along Laguna Drive
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, met with members of Belize Water Services (BWS) on Thursday, March 9, 2017 to discuss BWS intentions of further expanding its sewage system along the Laguna Drive in San Pedro Town. (Laguna Street from High School to Sir Barry Bowen Bridge) (As shown in pictures.) CEO of BWS, Mr. Alvan Haynes along with Mr. Sanjay Keshwani (BWS Technical Services Manager), Mr. Dave Pascascio (BWS Operations Manager) and Mr. Jermaine Jones (BWS Operations Supervisor) were all present on site with Mayor Guerrero and Hon. Heredia as they visited the areas that will be connected to BWS’ sewage system.

    ANNUAL KIDNEY WALK
    Hundreds of Belizean braved inclement weather to attend the annual "Kidney Walk" organized by the Kidney Association of Belize. Many are survivors, relatives and sympathizers of those who live with and die from kidney disease and renal failure. Proceeds from t-shirt sales help fund the work of the association.

    7th annual Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit
    In celebration of Women’s Month the Corozal House of Culture was delighted to present the 7th annual Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit; creating a platform for expression and appreciation by showcasing our exceptionally talented female artists of Corozal. Sculptures, paintings, textiles, basketry, photography, charcoal drawings, animation and more will be on display through to the end of March.

    Who's ready for Easter Fest?
    I know we are!! We are excited to have back this year D.j. Karlo from Corozal,Belize, DeeJay Capone from Florida,Usa and DJ ELEOS representing Puerto Rico, with special guest djs,Film crew and more!!! More Sound and Lighting to make The Holiday Hotel Shake!!

    Women In Art Fair 2017
    We will be at the "Women In Art Fair" next weekend in Cayo. Please come and see us and all the other beautiful women making wonderful local products here in Belize. Please come out and support our country's amazing small businesses!!!

    Jacob's Rehabilitation Farm Center
    The Jacob's Rehabilitation Farm Center located in the village of Xaibe is a wellness center for those battling substance abuse and addiction. It was a great honour yesterday to have been visited by our Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin. Music was provided by the Jacob's Farm Turtle Band and scrumptious meal of Belizean cuisine was prepared by Adela Pederson and dessert by Pastor Dan Mary Elizabeth. It was a day well spent by members and the Chief Justice of Belize. Magnificent time of excitment and hearts filled with gratitude. We join in welcoming to Corozal our Honourable Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin.

    “Lone Wrasse: Exhibition of Trashy Art”
    It was an honor to participate in the inauguration, and to host once again Oceana Belize, in particular its Vice-president Janelle Chanona, on the occasion of the recycled art presentation “Lone Wrasse: Exhibition of Trashy Art” that will be on display at the Mexican Cultural Institute from today until May the 7th. The exhibition shows 32 pieces that were made using marine debris from coastal and island beaches across Belize. The message is clear: Let’s create awareness of the need to protect our environment and avoid contaminating the sea by throwing trash in it.

    Cayo Easter Fair 2017
    Cayo's Easter Fair will be on April 15th and 16th this year, and once again, will be at Macal River Park. Now's the time to get your stall. If you're interested, call 804-2035 for more information.

    Channel 7

    Superbond Solicitation Offer Extended
    Last week Friday night, the big breaking news was that Superbond 3.0 was just about a done deal. Government had made a revised final proposal and the creditor committee had accepted it. That deal expired today at 5:00 pm New York Time. At that time government had hoped to have buy-in from 75% of the bondholders. That 75% would trigger what's known as a collective action clause, forcing all bondholders in, and sealing the deal. But, that didn't happen, and the news tonight is that Government has had to grant another extension. A press release posted on the government's website a few hours ago says that government is now extending the offer to Wednesday, 15th March, 2017. So is this a sign of trouble ahead? Or that the re-negotiation which government has boasted about might not go through? Not really. Those close to the process say it's really more of a paperwork issue than anything else. We are told that 75% of the bondholders have consented and it's just a matter of processing the paperwork to make it official. In today's press release, the financial secretary is quoted as saying, quote, "a large number of positive responses to the revised Consent Solicitation has already come in and…this extension is merely to give a bit more time for the process to be completed.

    Hon. Finnegan Retires From Electoral Politics
    The UDP's two safest seats in the country are considered to be Queen's Square and Mesopotamia. In the last three elections, representatives Dean Barrow and Michael Finnegan have garnered more than 76% of the votes in each election. That's as safe as they come, but, we can't say how much longer they will be that way because Queen's Square's Dean Barrow will be retiring shortly, and tonight we can announce the same for Mesopotamia's Michael Finnegan. Sure, Finnegan has been publicly flirting with the idea of retirement for some years now, but today the six term representative and party whip made it official in an exclusive interview with Jules Vasquez. Here's how he put it:... Michael Finnegan - Area Rep, Mesopotamia: "I believe in the old Methodist philosophy: do all the best you can, for all the people you can, for as long as you can. And I think, and I want to believe that I have reached the end of my road as far as electoral politics is concerned and I will not be defending my seat in the Mesopotamia division." Jules Vasquez - reporter : "Explain the consideration, the physical circumstances, the entire lay of everything in your life that has brought you up to this point, because you have been in politics from the 60's." Michael Finnegan - Area Rep, Mesopotamia: "1965."

    Growing Concern For Missing Cabbie Whose Car Was Found Burnt
    There are grace concerns tonight for the safety and wellbeing of taxi driver Elbert Gillett. The 66 year old was reported missing by his daughter this morning. According to her, Gillett left his home last night at 11:00 in his green Geo Prism and has not been seen since. What's most troubling is that his taxi was found this morning on Benbow Street in Belize City. It was burnt and abandoned, but there was no sign of Gillett or his belongings. Gillett is as you see him in this photo, and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a button down shirt and dress pants. Anyone that has information about his whereabouts is asked to contact their local police station. His daughter declined an interview today.

    Cops Called To Gwen Liz High As Tensions Mount Between Admin And Tardy Students
    There was a disturbance at Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City today, where police and an ambulance had to be called. 7News has learnt that it was a dispute over tardiness. The school has long complained to parents and students that tardiness was a problem, and so they instituted a policy of locking the gates at 8:10 - which is 10 minutes after school starts. Today, two handfuls of late students were waiting outside when we understand one of the male students tried to force his way in. He ended up injuring his elbow on the gate. Police were on the scene and decided to take him to the hospital for treatment. The other students were let in after 9:00. And while it might seem to be a fairly minor administrative issue, it's a problem that's been flaring up for some time. That's probably why we saw the most senior officials in the Ministry at the school: that's Chief Executive Officer Debbie Domingo, and Chief Education Officer, Carol Babb. They were on their phones and meeting with as many as three senior police officers for about half an hour. When they left, Babb told us that it was too early to talk, but both the Board and the Administration would have to hold meetings before further action can be taken.

    PC Jamil Got Out Of Jail On Bail
    Two weeks ago we told you that Police constable Jamil Scott was convicted of the theft of a police hand held radio and sentenced to 3 months in jail. But tonight he is free on bail. So how does a convicted person get bail? Well, Scott appealed his conviction and sentence and today Justice Denis Hanomansingh granted a stay of execution and offered him a bail of $5,000. Scott was represented by attorney Leeroy Banner while the Crown was represented by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich.

    Coalition Sends A Message To Belmopan
    This morning, members of the environmental community gathered in Belmopan to send a message to the Prime Minister about keeping our barrier reef system safe. The reef is currently on UNESCO's "in-danger" list, meaning that organization that designates World Heritage sites is worried about the management and longevity of Belize's largest tourist attraction and greatest natural wonder. Our news team went to Belmopan to see for ourselves... Alex Courtenay reporting: Today the World Wildlife Fund in Belize kicked off Reef Week by taking their message of conservation directly to the office of the Prime Minister. Conservation stakeholders staged a small parade around the National Assembly building, where they delivered 265,000 virtual letters to the PM. WWF's Advocacy Lead told us more. Valentino Shal - WWF: "This is an ongoing campaign that we have undertaken since 2009. Belize's World Heritage site, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System has been in the endangered list with UNESCO and there are several measures that the government needs to take to ensure that it's properly protected and then it will be taken off. Those measures have not yet been met and year after year we are making very slow progress. So we need to bring this matter to the attention of the Prime Minister."

    Talking Taxes With Fin. Sec.
    The new budget will be presented on Monday, and all this weekend, government's number crunchers will be trying to come up with the right mix ox takes and expenditure to reach fiscal targets. This year that budgetary exercise is more purposeful than ever since government has committed to specific fiscal targets, namely a primary surplus equal to at least 2% of GDP. Right now there is a primary deficit. On Wednesday, the Financial Secretary explained how government plans to turn that negative into a positive:… Joe Waight, Financial Secretary: "The commitment we made to the bond holders and to ourselves is to consolidate, to do an adjustment to take primary which is a measure of your savings, to take that primary from a negative minus one or so up to a half a point or a positive 2.5. How do you do the consolidation? A blend of tax measures and tax increases, a lift in taxes and also a squeeze in expenditure. There's an array of taxes you can look at."

    The Balancing Act Between Taxation And Stagnation
    And so while the government has to take its surplus commitment very seriously, in the next fiscal year alone, government needs 70 million more in additional tax revenue. But, won't they choke the economy by squeezing out more taxes from consumers, workers and businesses? That's what we asked The Fin. Sec. today:.. Jules Vasquez, 7News "Will this not have necessarily a natural contractionary effect on the economy if people are more taxed and have less disposable income?" Joe Waight, Financial Secretary: "It's always a concern that you don't want to increase your tax to the point where it becomes negative impact growth. It's a balancing act you have to do." The Budget will be Rea don Monday morning, and by Monday night's new we'll be able to tell you exactly where that 70 million in additional tax revenue is coming from.

    Man Claims Island Cops Banished Him From La Isla Bonita
    Darren Gonzalez, a Belize City man who was living on San Pedro, is stuck in Belize City tonight without his personal belongings. He claims he was banished from the island by police. He says claims that the cops are being unfair to him because he is no criminal, and yet, he's not being allowed to return to the place where he wants to continue to make a living. He visited our office to complain that the police are going exceeding their authority by barring him from the island. He added that they are being unreasonable to the point that they don't want him to come collect his belongings. He came to us out of frustration because he says that he's being given the run-around. Here's how he put it: Darren Gonzalez, Upset with San Pedro Police: "I was living there 13 years ago and I moved back to Belize to be around my family. I went back out for 1 month and 1/2. I was working with BTL pulling with the 4G wire and trying to make a better life for myself. That job finished and I started to look around for jobs. Monday Jemott asked me to come in the office to see me. When he came to see me he detained me."

    GOB Welcomes Scientist As CEO
    A highly trained Belizean is joining the ranks of Government CEO's. Dr. Percival Cho is the new CEO of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change. He takes over from Dr. Colin Young, who took a job as the CEO of the Social Security Board. And while Young was a doctor of ecology, Cho is a forestry expert and natural resource scientist who holds a PhD in Environmental Biology from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, as well as a Masters in Forestry from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and a Bachelors in Forest Resource Management from Clemson University the US. A government release notes that he recently completed a 2-year post-doctoral appointment at the University of Oxford where he is registered as an Honorary Research Associate. Cho will work with Minister of State, Dr. Omar Figueroa.

    ID Appears For Missing Man
    At the start of our last segment we told you about missing taxi man, Elbert Gillett. Police found his car this morning in Belize City and it had been burnt. There was no sign of the 66 year old cabbie. Well, during the news we have learned that sometime this evening a man went to the Caribbean Shores police station and handed over two ID'S to police. One of them, this driver's license was for Gillett. He told the cops that he found it somewhere in Ladyville. The 66 year old was reported missing by his daughter this morning. She said he left home last night at 11:00 and has not been seen since. Gillett is as you see him in this photo, and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a button down shirt and dress pants. Anyone that has any information about his whereabouts is asked to call the police.

    DPP is New VP Of Bar Assoc.
    The Bar Association of Belize has a new executive committee, elected at the annual general meeting on Wednesday. Pricilla Banner serves another term as president, and she is joined by DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal who has been elected as Vice President. Leslie Mendez was elected as Secretary, and Jose Alpuche was elected as treasurer. Roberta Magnus Usher, Natalia Bevans and Mikhail Arguelles are now serving as Bar Committee Members.

    Young's Law Firm Closes Its Doors
    In other news from the legal community, Young's Law Firm, the late Michael Young's law practice, closed its doors today. It was one of the bigger law firms in Belize, but when Young committed suicide last year October, since he was the sole proprietor, it ended up in the hands of his family, who are his executors. We've since learned that 2 of the partners have come together with another attorney to form their own practice. This new law firm will be the spiritual successor of Young's Law Firm, but will bear a different name and have a different address. It is still unclear what exactly will happen to the employees of Young's Law Firm who, we are told, have been paid off.

    Making HIV Relevant To Women and Children
    Today, the National AIDS Commission, the Belize Family Life Association, the Ministry of Health and the Special Envoy for Women and Children teamed up for a health fair. The event was themed "The Best Defence is a Good Offense", and ti was timed to commemorate today's importance as the National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day. We stopped by and spoke with a representative from the NAC: Arthur Usher - Communications/Programs OFC. NAC: "We are celebrating World Kidney Day as well as International Women's and Girls HIV Awareness Day. It's a collaborative effort between the kidney association and national aids commission, Ministry of Health and BFLA and also the special Envoy for Women and Children. So, what we are doing today is providing information as well as free testing in all these areas. Its open to the general public as well as youth, girls, women and anybody can come in and get the test. We do have blood pressure checks, we have kidney checks, we have HIV testing and with all this, we do have all the information, the follow up, the pre and posttest and whatever else information they may need. So each organization has their own booth and their own information sharing."

    A Book About The Truths Of Roots
    Belize has a newly published author, and she's Althea Garbutt, a teacher at Nazarene High School. Her book, 'Rootsville', was launched at the UWI Open Campus Auditorium yesterday. It's a collection of 4 short stories, and a play. They are all based on familiar themes such as abuse of power by law enforcement, party politics, and the way Belizeans "throw phrase" when they are quarreling with a neighbor. It's intended for students in the upper divisions of primary schools, and high schoolers in 1st and 2nd form. But she told us she hopes the book will be embraced by readers of all ages: Althea Garbutt - Writer, Rootvilles: "The name of this book is rootsville and my target audience is the upper division for the primary school and 1st and 2nd formers. It took me quite a while because these were stories that I wrote throughout the years and they are my babies and I kept them very close to me and I didn't want to release them because it's a hobby. The writing was hobby for me but a friend of mine, she saw one of my stories and she was like, why don't you put it out there?"

    SIB Gets New Computers
    Today the he Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development donated 25 new computers to the Statistical Institute of Belize. It comes through the Growth and Sustainable Development Project, government's strategic plan aimed at developing the economy. The computers will help to boost the SIB's data collection and assessment capabilities. Here's the SIB's Deputy Director General on why this donation is so crucial... The GSDS project is a three year initiative launched in 2016

    A Crucial Warm Up Race
    The pinnacle of the cycling calendar, the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is just 5 weeks away, and that why this weekend's Belmopan Classic is important. Cycling official Kwame Scott told us that the 36th riding of this 100 mile race is an important proving ground for elite cyclists. The elite race starts at 9:00 in Belmopan. As you heard, it will be live on the radio.

    Cocono Bwai Di Come!
    Last week we told you about the funeral for Leela Vernon, the Queen of "Brokdong". Well today we got a visit from "Cocono Bwai" the self titled Pricne of Brokdong who says he put out a new song and video in a rush to let the public know that Leela's spirit lives:… Cocono Bwai will release the video on the internet, and you can also see it here on Channel 7.

    Channel 5

    Friends Remember Dr. Rubia Briceño, Lost in Accident
    The medical community, along with family and friends of Doctor Rubia Briceño, continues to mourn her untimely demise, following a fatal road traffic accident on Thursday afternoon.  The well-known physiotherapist [...]

    Final Extension for Superbond; P.U.P. Questions Wisdom of Arrangement
    This evening, it was announced that there is another, possibly final, extension of the Consent Solicitation Offer for the Belize U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 or the more common name [...]

    Who is Really to Blame for Superbond?
    As is often the case, the Government has tried to shift blame for the results of the Superbond on the P.U.P. as their predecessors in administration. Alleged “failed” projects cited [...]

    Prime Minister Lists Costs of Re-Negotiation
    At what cost does the renegotiation of the Super Bond come to Belizean taxpayers?  It’s a question that remains to be answered definitively, in dollars and cents.  The proposed offer [...]

    Foreign Minister Says It Was Worth It
    The additional expense, as we’ve mentioned, will be placed squarely on the backs of taxpayers.  According to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, it was necessary to restructure the Super [...]

    P.M. Says Budget Will Not Be One of Austerity
    The budget for the financial year 2017/2018 will be tabled at the House of Representatives this coming Monday.  It is known that government will have to do belt-tightening and increase [...]

    Foreign Affairs and Other Ministries Suffer Cuts
    Despite the prime minister being mum about specific tax increases, it is known that ministries will experience cutbacks in their budgets. Minister of Foreign Affairs Elrington confirms his ministry is [...]

    World Wildlife Fund Launches Petition
    World Wildlife Fund and local partners marked the start of Reef Week with a symbolic handing over of over two hundred and fifty thousand petitions to the office of the [...]

    Elrington: Belize Can Be Relieved about Superbond
    Back to the issue of the super bond…It’s restructuring has been balked at by the Opposition who criticize it as nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  Reproach aside, when we [...]

    Lindsay Wade Goes Toe-to-Toe with Senate Committee Over Visa Foils
    Our coverage this week of Wednesday’s Senate Inquiry has been extensive, but tonight, we touch on two more issues.  A combative Lindsay Wade directly challenged the Senate panel on his [...]

    Patrick Tillett Details “Visa Services”
    As we have already seen in the Senate Inquiry and confirmed by no less than Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, the business of visas, especially for Chinese nationals, is big [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Affirms Unity after Julius Espat Comments
    Two-term area representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat, appeared in local media last week with pointed criticism for his own party.  Espat questioned why his fellow parliamentarians are not driving [...]

    Opposition Mourns Faithful Servants Cecil Reneau, Philip Palacio, Dr. Carl Meggs
    A slew of famous Belizeans have died in recent weeks, and several of them have direct ties to the People’s United Party. A black bow has adorned the front gate [...]

    AIDS Commission National Women & Girls’ Awareness Day
    March tenth is recognized as National Women and Girls’ HIV Awareness Day; this year, under the theme: “The Best Defence is a Good Offense.”  The activities bring into focus the [...]

    Teacher Althea Garbutt Authors “Rootsville”
    On Thursday evening at the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Belize City, a new publication was released, targeting upper division for primary schools as well as first [...]

    Unicomer Volunteers for Sister Cecilia Elders
    There were many reasons to celebrate this week. Aside from celebrating women on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the folks at Courts Belize reached out to the elderly population.  [...]

    LOVE FM

    PM and the Question of Excessive Spending
    The Barrow administration has been making it a point to remind Belizeans of the genesis of the Superbond, emphasizing that this government is merely trying to fix a problem created under the Musa administration. In the early years of Dean Barrow’s leadership there was a free cash flow evident in the elections and the various […]

    Belize’s Buy-Back of Bonds
    Prior to getting confirmation from the Government of Belize on the restructuring terms of the Superbond 3.0, we had reported that one of the points in the agreement was that Belize would be buying back some of the bonds. In Wednesday’s press conference that matter arose and Mark Espat clarified how that idea came about […]

    Ten Months Later and Still No Framework for the Sarstoon
    While Prime Minister Dean Barrow had noted back in May 2016 that there is no deadline set for the framework to be established over the Sarstoon and its management, there was expressed hope that it would have been completed by the end of 2016. That, however, did not happen and with three months into 2017, […]

    Guatemala May Go to Referendum in September
    The Guatemalan Congress has ratified the referendum process for their country and Prime Minister Dean Barrow has noted that Belize will wait for our neighbors to make the first move on this issue. The pending referendum in both countries is to have the electorate decide whether the aged old dispute would be taken to the […]

    Still No Monies for the OAS Adjacency Zone
    In May 2016 when a delegation from Belize and Guatemala travelled to Istanbul, Turkey for bilateral talks, one of the pressing matters that arose was the funding for the Organization of American States in order to keep the offices of adjacency zone open. We have been getting updates here and there of the group Friends […]

    Largest Petition Launched to Protect Reef
    The World Wide Fund, WWF delivered more than two hundred and fifty thousand letters to the Office of the Prime Minister today. These letters, in the form of petitions, were compiled over the past several years and the WWF is asking the Prime Minister and the Government of Belize to protect Belize’s Barrier Reef. Speaking […]

    Dr Percival Cho Named As Figueroa’s CEO
    The Government of Belize announced today that Doctor Percival Cho is the new Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change. Dr. Cho will have oversight for the Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Department of the Environment, Sustainable Development, National Climate Change Office, and the Solid Waste […]

    Ministers in the Commonwealth Meet on Trade
    The inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting took place yesterday and today at Lancaster House in London. In the meeting Belize was represented by CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche, High Commissioner for Belize to the United Kingdom, Perla Perdomo and Ambassador for Belize to the European Union. The objective of the meeting was […]

    Belize City Council Re-Elects Samuels for Deputy Mayor
    Dean Samuels is an elected City Councillor in Belize City who is in his 12th year as an elected official. Yesterday during a Caucus meeting of the Belize City Council, Samuels was re-appointed for the fourth time as the Deputy Mayor. The 44-year-old politician has an extensive resume of accomplishments including the cobble stone streets […]

    Briceno Says All Is Well With The PUP Executive
    While Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber has agreed with the remarks made by Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat surrounding the affairs of the PUP, the Party Leader John Briceno does not. In a press brief called today at Independence Hall in Belize City, Briceno noted to the media that there have been significant advancements […]

    Amandala

    Belize’s Ambassador to Taiwan fingers former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang in “Citizen Kim” passport scandal
    Former Belize City deputy mayor Eric Chang, was summoned to appear in front of the Senate Select Committee on Wednesday primarily to address claims made in a special report by the Auditor General that he (Chang) and Belize City Council Financial Controller, Patrick Tillett, allegedly bought 8 visa stickers that were stolen from the Immigration Department. However, after the committee sufficiently interrogated him on that matter, senators quickly turned to the Won Hong Kim saga, which involved the issuance of a Belizean nationality certificate and passport to a South Korean national in a Taiwanese prison. The Auditor General had been able to obtain an email dated September 16, 2013, written by Cherie Nisbet, Belize’s Ambassador to Taiwan, in which she documented that Eric Chang had made efforts to assist Kim. In her email, Nisbet stated that she had gotten an urgent call from Chang in which he asked if she could urgently issue a visa to two South Korean nationals who needed to go to Belize the next day.

    The billion-dollar superbond problem: has it really been solved?
    A quick tally of interest payments made by the Government of Belize since 2002 on what is now the billion-dollar superbond, being restructured now for the third time, reveals that the figure is roughly a billion Belize dollars, with roughly $500 million paid since the year 2008 and over $800 million due in interest alone between now and when the bond matures in almost two decades. Currently, the bonds are set to mature in 2038, with interest payments increasing from the current rate of 5% to 6.767% when the next payment is due in August 2017. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow announced at a press conference held this morning at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City that the Government is close to getting the required 75% of creditors to approve new terms it proposed last Friday to slash the debt by cutting back on interest payments and delaying the repayment of principal. The offer from the Government—which missed the February 20 coupon payment of BZ$26 million on the superbond—expires this Friday, and Finance officials seem hopeful that other bondholders will agree to the amended terms, which also proposes 5 soft bullet payments of equal size from 2030 to 2034 to repay the principal.

    Lawyer and politician Philip Palacio passes at 43
    Prominent lawyer and politician, Philip Palacio, celebrated his 43rd birthday at the start of this year. However, weeks later his life would be altered forever. He had been diagnosed with an advanced brain tumor and lung cancer. Since the grim diagnosis made in mid-February, Palacio had been receiving treatment at a medical facility at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). On Tuesday our newspaper received reports that Palacio had passed sometime around 4 a.m. Hours later his mother-in-law would also pass away. Deputy Party Leader of the PUP, Cordel Hyde, told us that Palacio, “Always defied the odds. He was always a high achiever. Was always underestimated but was quietly brilliant. He gave so much of himself to so many and eventually all that giving took a toll on him. We lost a true brother right there. Needless to say, his family’s loss is greatest, but we as his friends will mourn his passing forever. You could not meet a realer person. Leaving us this young was the only selfish thing he ever did.”

    GOB wants to raise $70 mil more in new budget year
    Trade unionists who attended the Prime Minister’s press conference held this morning to unveil a breakthrough in the superbond negotiations, left clueless on what new tax measures would be tabled at the reading of the national budget next Monday, March 13, although Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow did disclose to us that fiscal consolidation measures are being planned to raise $70 million more in revenues while cutting spending by $30 million. Sharon Fraser, president of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM); Eldred Neal, president of the Public Service Union (PSU); and Jackie Willoughby, interim president of the umbrella organization – the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB); were all present when Barrow announced that there would no retrenchment, no increment freeze and no further delay in the final salary adjustment of 3% which was due to be paid to public officers and teachers last year. He declined, though, to get into details on tax measures and belt-tightening on the horizon.

    Opposition Leader John Briceño says Superbond 3.0 agreement is hocus pocus economics
    The Opposition, the People’s United Party (PUP), called a press conference this afternoon at their Independence Hall headquarters, where the PUP Leader Hon. John Briceño presented the PUP’s take on the recently concluded negotiations between the Barrow government and Belize’s bondholders, dubbed Superbond 3.0. Briceño said that he listened to the Prime Minister’s press conference yesterday and can’t help but think that the Prime Minister is living in an alternate world, “spewing out these alternate facts that he has been repeating so many times, that I believe that he has now convinced himself that it is the truth.” When the Prime Minister read his first budget in 1998, he had to admit that the PUP left a primary surplus of 98.1 million dollars, which is 4 percent of GDP, Briceño said.

    $3,000 just to deliver an immigration document!
    For weeks the Senate Select Committee has been zeroing in on the case of 8 missing visa stickers that were reportedly stolen from the Western Border Station in December of 2012. According to the Auditor General’s Special Report, the stolen visa stickers were bought by former Belize City Council Deputy Mayor Eric Chang and the Council’s financial controller, Patrick Tillett. On Wednesday, Tillett appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee and confirmed that he had been in possession of 6 of those visa stickers for 6 visa applications for Chinese nationals. According to Tillett, he simply completed the application forms and passed them to a man identified only as “Mr. Middleton”, who delivered them to the Immigration Department and oversaw their completion.

    ‘Backs strengthen attack with Belizean superstar
    The Atlanta Silverbacks Football Club has signed Deon McCaulay for the 2017 NPSL season. McCaulay most recently played for Verdes FC in the Belize Premier Football League. The 5’93 forward turns 30 this September and looks to bolster the already prominent Silverbacks attack. This is McCaulay’s second stint with the club, previously signing in 2014. But his success is most notable in his achievements with Belize’s national team. McCaulay is the all-time leading scorer for the international side and was the leading scorer (11 goals) in 2014 World Cup Qualifying, tying Robin Van Persie of Netherlands and Luis Suarez of Uruguay. You can keep up with Deon on Instagram (@deonmccaulay/Deon McCaulay Official), and keep up with the club on all social platforms throughout the 2017 campaign. Atlanta opens their NPSL schedule at home against the Birmingham Hammers on Saturday, May 6th at 5:00 PM. Be sure to get your affordable ticket package for the upcoming season by clicking the ‘Tickets’ tab.

    89th Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta winners
    The Harbour Regatta Committee announces the winners of the 89th Baron Bliss Regatta, held in the waters off the BTL Park, Belize City, under the patronage of His Excellency Sir Colville Young on Sunday, March 5, 2017. WINNERS Optimist: Gold – Trent Hardwick (Belize Sea Scouts); Silver – Peter Joo (Placencia Sailing Club); Bronze – Adyanerie Teck (Corozal Sailing Club); Youngest Sailor – Kevin Andrewin, 9yrs (Gales Point Sailing Club). Bosun: “Seagull” – 1st Place Joshua Pott of Belize Sea Scouts. Multi-Hull: “Dart 16” – Keith Hardwick. The day of sailing in a brisk south-east wind, blue skies and “popcorn clouds” saw 13 Optimists completing 5 races on an inshore course in front of the BTL Park. Two Sea Scout Bosuns completed the course, and a “Dart 16” won the Multi-Hull unchallenged. Participating were sailing clubs of Corozal Bay, Placencia, Gales Point and Sea Scouts.

    Wagiya grabs first win
    We’re at the half-way point, Week 7, in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season, and every team has now registered a win, as Wagiya dropped Freedom Fighters for their first victory; but one team still remains undefeated – defending champions, Belmopan Bandits SC. In the only Saturday night game in Week 7 this past weekend, home standing Belmopan Bandits won, 3-1, over visiting Placencia Assassins, to record their sixth victory this season. The Bandits scored 3 goals, from Humberto Requena (38’), Aloisio Teixeira (58’) and Jairo Roches (60’), before Placencia replied from the penalty spot through Luis “Baaka” Torres (86’ PK). On Sunday, in front of their home fans at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga, Wagiya grabbed their first season win, 4-2, in the “Battle of the South” against Punta Gorda’s Freedom Fighters. Wagiya goals were by Hector Gomez (3’ & 65’), Alton Carr (46’) and Ernest Flores (85’); while Jarren Lambey (69’ & 72’) accounted for both PG goals.

    NEBL “In the Paint”
    The defending champs, Hurricanes aren’t playing like it lately, and even their much-publicized hurricane shelter could not withstand the devastation brought on by Coach Brads Neal and the visiting Orange Walk Rebels on Sunday night in an NEBL holiday special. The Hurricanes suffered its second straight defeat and first to the Orange Walk Running Rebels this year, a team which they have traditionally dominated in their head-to-head match-up since 2014; and a team they had not loss to since February 28, 2015. Tonight, though, they succumbed reluctantly, losing by the final score of 86-84 in a perilous mid-season match-up. The Hurricanes, unexpectedly, have now started their title defense, winning just 2 of their first 6 games, while experiencing their second two-game losing streak of the season; something they did not endure throughout the entire 2016 championship run.

    Editorial: Stormy Monday
    So far the Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, has done a masterful job softening up the people of Belize for his “Stormy Monday” budget speech scheduled for next Monday, March 13, 2017, in the House of Representatives. Mr. Barrow had not spoken to the Belizean people in a press conference for weeks and weeks, leaving us mortals to speculate, in feeble powerlessness, about the nature and specifics of his 2017/2018 budget, a budget dreaded by all and sundry of rational capacity in The Jewel because of Belize’s financial and economic crisis. When he finally spoke, at a Wednesday morning press conference this week, it was to congratulate himself and his “team” for “bringing home the bacon” with respect to restructuring, for a third time in a little more than a decade, the frightening superbond. The problem is that the aforementioned “softening up” represents a political solution to what is a financial and economic problem. The reason we are in this mess is precisely because of political solutions to economic problems. The politicians of Belize since 1998, both from the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) and the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), have found themselves unable and/or unwilling to come clean with the people of Belize. In their electoral political brilliance, our political leaders concluded that the people of Belize were unable and/or unwilling to face the truth.

    Yes to Pro-Organic Belize!
    Dear Editor, Russia recently announced that they will become the world’s largest exporter of healthy, non-GMO, non-industrialized food. However, their market is mostly Europe. This is a great opportunity for Belize to become a substantial exporter of healthy, non-GMO food for the Caribbean and the Americas. There is a growing number of people opting for healthy pesticide-free produce right here in Belize. A food co-op project started by Pro-Organic Belize (POB) last October quadrupled in size in a few months just by word of mouth. The farmers who are supplying pesticide-free harvests to the co-op are greatly benefitting financially and consumers are happy to be eating healthy non-toxic foods. Belize is known throughout the world for its unspoiled nature. This is a perfect opportunity for farmers, consumers, tourism and commerce organizations to get behind Belizean farmers in a concerted effort to increase production of toxic-free clean and healthy food for Belizeans and for a growing export market.

    I commend Mr. Evan X Hyde
    Dear Editor, I read with great interest, the article in your Amandala of Tuesday, February 28, 2017 covering the very “historical” Address given by your Publisher, Mr. Evan X Hyde, at the Christian Workers Union AGM. For the unions and workers of our country, I take this opportunity to clarify the statement of information in the article, that the “General Workers Union” (GWU) faded away. In the early 1960’s, I joined my late uncle, Nicholas Pollard, Sr. and other family members to form the existing Christian Workers Union. In 1963, I left the CWU because Nicholas Pollard decided to bring in the late Ray Lightburn as president to curry favours from the then Minister of Labour, the late Lindbergh Rogers.

    Romel Cuello says, absurd ideas …
    Dear Sir, Am hearing two going backwards and absurd ideas floating around – the enforcement of having to present an income tax release to leave the country. Man, this thing dates back to when King Hatchet was a hammer. If the authorities need to detain someone, that is okay, but you must not and should not inconvenience thousands of persons to get to a very few. Has this requirement caught 10 culprits in the last decade? The bringing back of Business Income Tax in place of the Business Tax – the Business Tax substituted for the Business Income Tax because it is a surer and simpler way to collect the taxes. Under the old system, a lot less was collected. The stats can be checked by whoever makes decisions and is interested. If GOB needs more revenue, it just needs to raise from 1.75 to 2, or 2.5%. Many more millions will flow in.

    Obesity, it’s link to degenerative diseases, and maintaining a healthy weight management compatible with your body type
    Hello everyone. Today we’re going to re-visit a topic that many of us may prefer to ignore: weight manage-ment and obesity. The good news is, weight management should be compatible with your body type and should not be modeled off the models in Vogue Magazine. We may have to do this discussion in two parts because there’s a lot to talk about. Weight loss has become a national past time, albeit an obsession, in the United States. According to the National Institute of Diabetes approximately 70% of American adults and 75% of American males are considered overweight to obese. The CDC estimates that by the year 2020, three-quarters of Americans will be obese (this statistic includes children and adolescents. Approximately 112 thousand deaths, annually in the U.S. are attributable to obesity. This is an epidemic, folks! Many of us don’t want to address what we should or can do about it, at the individual level.

    “Ras Taka” Wade and “Paps” Panting executed: 11 children fatherless
    Two friends and delivery men, Albert “Ras Taka” Wade, 27, and Godwin “Paps” Panting, 23, were found shot dead on a feeder road between Miles 12 and 13 of the George Price Highway on Saturday, March 5, at around 2 p.m. Wade was shot five times, once in the back of the head, once in the right triceps, once in the right femur, once in the right side of the abdomen, and once in the left side of the back. Panting was shot three times, the most fatal being a shot in the left side of the face, which exited through the back of the head. Their bodies were discovered by a couple who were fishing in the area. Police were called; they processed the crime scene then transported the bodies to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they were certified dead at 4:50 p.m. It is believed that the men were lured to their deaths in a drug transaction turned deadly. According to Wade’s family, no drugs were found on the scene, and so they do not agree that he was involved in an illicit transaction.

    The Reporter

    Environmentalists present petition to Prime Minister to protect Belize Barrier Reef
    Amidst a torrential downpour, key environmentalists and concerned citizens gathered at the foot of the National Assembly building in Belmopan today to present over 265,000 petitions to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, for the protection of the Belize Barrier Reef. The online petition, which was launched […]

    Belize attends first ever Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting in London
    Belize had representation at the first ever Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting in London on March 9 and 10. Jose Alpuche, CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as Belize’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Perla Perdomo, and Dylan Vernon, Ambassador […]

    Missing person found dead in Teakettle Village, allegedly killed by friend
    An 18-year-old Teakettle resident is facing a murder charge for allegedly murdering his friend, 17-year-old Ernest Wiltshire, whose body was found in an advanced state of decomposition last Friday. Belmopan Police have confirmed that Shemar Santos has been arrested and charged for the murder. Wiltshire or “Jun […]

    Man shot while using phone on street
    A 42-year-old man of a Belize City address was fatally shot multiple times by an unknown assailant while he was standing on Jasmine Street using his cell phone last Saturday night. Police investigations have since confirmed that around 11:50 p.m. last Saturday, Marvin Flowers was targeted by […]

    One person dead while baby and woman recovers from traffic fatality
    A road traffic accident on the Sittee River road has left one person dead while an infant and a woman are recovering from injuries sustained in the deadly collision. On Saturday March 4, around 2:45 p.m, 52-year-old Ernest Lincoln Andrews Jr., 25-year-old Rosalyn Logan and 2-year-old Eamon […]

    Young woman perishes in RTA
    Kendra Mejia, 21, became the country’s latest traffic fatality when the minivan she was driving careened off the George Price highway and slammed into a ditch, flipping several times on Tuesday night. Mejia was heading from Benque Viejo del Carmen to San Ignacio at around […]

    More questionable land transactions involving Vega family unearthed
    has confirmed several other questionable land transactions that occurred while former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was the minister responsible for lands, and involving his family members. The documents show that while Vega was Minister of Natural Resources, members of his family, in […]

    Environmentalists to present petition to the Prime Minister
    Several environmental organizations will converge on the steps of the National Assembly building in Belmopan City, at 10:00 a.m., on Friday March 10, in the hopes changing government’s stance as it relates to the protection of the Belize Barrier Reef and offshore oil exploration. Recently […]

    National Trade Policy consultations getting underway
    The Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT) is launching the first in a series of public sector consultations regarding the National Trade Policy, this month. The policy is aimed at stimulating and expanding trade for the domestic and international markets. The first consultations will take […]

    2017 Agriculture Trade Show dates released
    The new dates for the 2017 Agricultural and Trade Show have been announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as the commencement of the preparation of the grounds. The Ministry noted the dates are set for the 28th, 29th and 30th of April, and will be […]

    Rodeo for Kids
    Belize Camping Experience (BCE), the organization known for the annual Harvest for Kids activity, is hosting a new venture to raise funds, a livestock auction. BCE will collaborate with ranchers in the Orange Walk district to host the auction at the Blue Creek rodeo on […]

    New Civic to finish this year
    The Belize Civic Centre is scheduled to be complete by the end of this year with the inauguration of the facility expected for early 2018, provided there are no delays with the upcoming rainy season. The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), headed by Director, Christy Mastry, […]

    First daughter of the US vacations in Belize
    US President Donald Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany Trump arrived in Belize for vacation last Saturday. Trump, 23, and her boyfriend Ross Mechanic was spotted arriving at the Philip Goldson Airport last Saturday accompanied by a robust security detail. On Monday, Trump posted an instagram video of herself […]

    Mexico honors Women’s Day in Belize
    As Belize observed International Women’s Day, Mexican Ambassador CarlosQuesnel Melendez joined the celebration of Belizean women’s contribution to the Belize’s development by hosting a breakfast for the women of the diplomatic corps at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Wednesday morning, March 8. Pioneer Belizean women legislators like […]

    Editorial
    After all the dire predictions over what the rollover of the Superbond might do the economy of Belize, March 8 rolled around and the predictions showed themselves to be greatly exaggerated. Belize will not have to face a devaluation. Belize will not be subjected to IMF control. Belize will not […]

    $100 million in savings! GOB restructures Superbond
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced this week, that his government has successfully renegotiated the 2034 US dollar bond (Superbond) which will save Belize an estimated $100 million. Barrow, accompanied by Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, and Economic Ambassador Mark Espat, held a […]

    Chang and Tillett finally take the stand
    After over a month of declining requests by the Senate Special Select Committee to testify in the inquiry regarding corruption at the Immigration Department, Eric Chang and Patrick Tillett made their first appearance this week. Tillett, former financial controller of the Belize City Council, explained […]

    Therapist dies in collision on Stann Creek Valley road
    A therapist of Belize City lost her life after she was flung about ten feet away from a vehicle she was traveling in, after it was involved in a collision at mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road on Thursday afternoon. When police responded […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    No police confirmation on Wednesday night shooting
    Two men were shot in Belize City on Wednesday night at around 8 in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. We understand that one of the men was shot in his foot while the injuries the other received are not yet known. We contacted the police for answers but we’re told that they were unable to provide the identities of the men as the men are not cooperating.

    Help coming for Belmopan police
    Yesterday, Officer Commanding Belmopan Police, Sr. Supt. Howell Gillett hosted Israel Lucas Jimenez, Regional Security Officer for the European Union (EU) permanent office, Kingston Jamaica and Mads Korn, EU Programme Manager, Technical Support Office to Belize. Jimenez’s office is responsible for Jamaica, Belize, the […]

    Briceño fires a warning shot to all PUP party members
    People’s United Party Leader, Johnny Briceño, this week, issued a warning to all PUP party members, that those unwilling to follow his leadership will be cut off. Briceño, speaking at a press conference at PUP headquarters yesterday, made it plain that his plans to take […]

    Belize High School Delegation blazes a trail at HACIA Democracy Summit
    Eight delegates of the Belize High School are currently in Panama City, Panama representing school and country in the HACIA Democracy, XXIII Summit of the Americas. Harvard Association Cultivating Inter-American Democracy (HACIA Democracy) is organized annually by Harvard University. The delegates spent months […]

    Murder suspect to stand trial
    After being in prison on remand for murder for more than five years, Ronlee Petillo got out of prison in June of 2016. Just one month after being released, Petillo was arrested for another murder. Roger Williams Banner was sitting on the rail […]

    Dr. Percival Cho is new CEO in Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change
    Today, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change announced the appointment of Dr. Percival Cho as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Cho will over oversee the Fisheries Department, Forest Department, Department of the Environment, Sustainable Development, […]

    Southwest starts flying directly from Denver to Belize Tomorrow
    Starting tomorrow, Southwest Airlines will be flying nonstop to Belize City from Denver, Colorado, USA. The new service will run from March 11 to April 22, 2017. Flights will leave Denver International Airport at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday and arrive in Belize City at 2:50 […]

    Taiwanese President to visit Caribbean
    The recently elected president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, is scheduled to visit the Caribbean later this year because its relations with some Caribbean allies have become “unstable.” According to reports, some Caribbean countries have kicked Taiwan to the curb and have instead embraced mainland China. Nevertheless […]

    BPP challenges GOB and Opposition to present plan to stimulate productivity
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) issued a press release yesterday stating that the Prime Minister is attempting to paint a rosy picture concerning the renegotiated “superbond”,. The BPP says that it was certainly not convincing. The BPP decries the deceitful display that persists by […]

    5 Rave Reviews and FB vote is in
    I apologize for my absence, been busy planning and facilitating an event on Caye Caulker. It went fabulously and there’s more to come on that after all the official reports and press write-up are closer to being done. Meanwhile, back to this post – the FB votes are in plus I received a couple of emails on four award winning hotels from around the country of Belize, plus a Caye Caulker restaurant review. It’s a rave review for sure and no surprise either, that ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group and Adventure Company recently received nine 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards between three of their properties in The World, Central America & Belize categories. Congratulations to the following winners . The three ViVA BELiZE Resort Winners are The Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge in Belmopan district, Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa and Almond Beach Resort & Spa both Hopkins in the Stann Creek district.

    Don’t Miss Out on Direct Non Stop Flights From Denver to Belize
    Beginning on Saturday, March 11, 2017, Southwest Airlines will begin operating its brand-new non-stop route between DIA airport in Denver, Colorado, to Belize City, Belize (BZE). Southwest only has plans to operate the new route until April 22, 2017, based on rising demand from Colorado area residents to vacation in the Central American nation of Belize. In 2016, more than 13,000 passengers flew from Denver to Belize, and those numbers are expected to rise with the new non-stop Southwest flight. Southwest will be operating its Belize route once a week on Saturday during the peak travel season. The flight will depart DIA at 10:30 AM and arrive in Belize City at 2:50 PM using one of the company’s signature Boeing 373 aircraft that can carry up to 143 passengers. The new Denver-Belize route will join Southwest’s existing service from Houston, Texas (HOU) and a new route from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida (FLL) scheduled to begin on June 4, 2017.

    It’s Buckingham Palace’s Turn to Host San Ignacio Resort Hotel!
    Back in November, Prince Harry announced the initiation of the Royal Household Hospitality Scholarship—a 6-week programme that gives professionals from the Caribbean realms the opportunity to work at the Master of the Household’s Department in preparation for Royal Ascot Week in the United Kingdom. The scholarship was created with the aim of giving passionate and experienced individuals a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity in various areas of service —from working with complex chocolate and sugar crafts backstage to performing intricate duties for royal guests. And guess what?! The San Ignacio Resort Hotel team is overjoyed to announce that our Event Coordinator, Michelle Montejo, has been elected as one of lucky 9 individuals who will be hosted at the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle!

    Top 10 best Placencia, Belize pictures posted by guests in the village this week!!
    I LOVE seeing the pictures people post of their time here...it is something I look at at least 2x a week. Seeing Belize through the eyes of a first time guest reminds me of how incredible it is, and also lets me in on new things I didn't know about! My favorite site to see pictures is Instagram, and you don't have to be on Instagram to see them. You can google #placencia pictures, and you can see several sites that grab the latest Instagram pics and list them chronologically. Here are my top favorites from the last week - I try to pick a group of photos that explains the feel of Placencia, as sometimes pictures can explain it much more than words!

    Stay In These Awesome Luxury Tree Houses in Belize
    One of the most special ways to enjoy the majesty and wonder of nature in Belize is by staying in a luxury tree house. Located high up in the jungle canopy, the tree house gives guests an unparalleled view into the hidden world of the rainforest. Imagine spotting colorful parrots and toucans sail through the air or marveling as monkeys climb, play, and feed high above the ground. All of this and more is possible when you stay in one of our five-star tree houses. The range of either Riverview or Canopy tree houses at Caves Branch Lodge in western Belize are designed to be modern oasis of comfort. Each tree house comes with a four-poster king size bed, full bath with hot water, and in the case of the Canopy Treehouses, a deck on the second story complete with a soaker tub with an unparalleled view over the surrounding hills and jungle. Able to accommodate up to six people, each tree house sits more than 200 feet above the Caves Branch River and features elegant furniture made from local hardwoods. In addition, 2 lovely Two Bedroom Treehouse units are also available for those situations of extended family or friends and provide the exact amount of privacy needed to enjoy an unforgettable visit to the rainforest of Belize.

    Corozal held its 7th Annual Women's Month Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit 2017
    In celebration of Women’s Month the Corozal House of Culture was delighted to present the 7th annual Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit; creating a platform for expression and appreciation by showcasing our exceptionally talented female artists of Corozal. Sculptures, paintings, textiles, basketry, photography, charcoal drawings, animation and more will be on display through to the end of March. You are cordially invited to the exhibit launch Friday, March 10th 2017. It began at 7pm.An unprecedented exhibit showcasing ten women artists of Corozal Town was launched on 4 March, 2011, at the Corozal Town Hall. The exhibit delved into the lives of these talented women, biographies unveiled the successes of each one, and their art captivated everyone. Art Con de Mujer Exhibit Opening Ceremony commenced with the National anthem, Invocation, Welcome Address by Debra Wilkes Coordinator Corozal House of Culture, Kenote Address Ms. Joanna, Vote of Thanks Mrs. Lydia Ramcharam Polard Window in the past East Indian Museum and last was the cutting of the ribbon.

    International Sourcesizz

    5 Active as Heck Vacations for Adventure Addicts
    Energize your life this year by planning an active vacation to an epic domestic destination or an overseas adventure travel hotspot. For some people, vacation is all about pure relaxation and escape – which definitely has its benefits. But for others, the idea of flopping on a beach and doing nothing for days just creates a feeling of restlessness and even anxiety. Snorkel Belize – Head to this English-speaking Caribbean country for jungle caving, Mayan ruins, killer seafood – and some of the best snorkeling on the planet. No experience is necessary to explore the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef, the second longest barrier reef on the globe. Running north and south along the coastline, the reef is super accessible and is dotted with islands where you can base your adventure. Find gentle currents and easy shallows – or venture to famous dive spots like the Blue Hole and Shark Ray Alley.

    US Report: Central America’s Revitalized Cocaine Corridor
    The US State Department named the seven Central American countries as havens for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking and organized crime, and described the region as a main cocaine corridor for US markets, confirming the importance of Central America in the international drug trade. This is the first time since 2013 that the State Department has included Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama together in the list of primary money laundering countries that forms part of its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). An important development in the 2017 INSCR — which refers to trends and statistics from the previous year — is that El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua have re-entered the list of “major money laundering countries,” which the State Department defines as those “whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking.”

    Fairtrade Applauds Efforts to Step Up the Fight Against Child Labour in Belize
    BSCFA, a Fairtrade sugar cane producer association, has been running Fairtrade International’s Youth-Inclusive Community Based Monitoring and Remediation system to tackle child labour since 2015. Last month, Belize’s Ministry of Labour announced the activation of the following bodies: Labour Advisory Board, Tripartite Body, National Child Labour Committee, and Interest-Based Bargaining Stakeholders. The establishment of these bodies represents an important step towards safely identifying cases and remediating child labour in the country. A 2015 report by the United States Department of Labor found that Belize had made minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, particularly in the agricultural sector, and that important gaps in the country’s legal framework still remained. For instance, Belize has not defined what kind of work can be undertaken at the minimum age of work (14 years). Additionally, an approved hazardous list of child labour has not been finalized as yet, including a hazardous list in the sugar cane sector.

    Videos

  • Two Centuries of US Immigration Visualized, 2min. This is neat. Also watch the lower left of the screen, listing the countries. For the past 200 years where have all the people been coming from? You can stop it by clicking the arrow on the right side of the slide.

  • Delivering 265,000 petitions to the Prime Minister, 15min. We're at the National Assembly in Belmopan as World Wildlife Fund delivers letters from all over the world asking the Government of Belize to protect the Belize Barrier Reef from the inherent hazards of offshore oil.

  • La Ruta Maya 2017 Finish, 4min. Excellent video of the finish of this year's La Ruta Maya. Well done, J'Aerials Photography! "These guys paddled out their hearts.. Depicting the true meaning of courage and will power. Kudos to all the participants whether they were able to finish or not, you all did a marvelous job. Looking forward to see an even bigger turn out next year and may unity, friendship and good sportsmanship continue to grow throughout the Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge!!"

  • Belize Adventures, 7min. Fred, Amy, Nyana and Chandwen adventuring in Red Bank and Placencia, Belize, Jan 21-Feb 3, 2017. Iguana some more!

  • U.S. Embassy Belize Campaign- Be Bold For Change and Show Cyber Respect, 2min.

  • Exhibiting Heroes, Patriots and Benefactors, 2.5min.

  • San Ignacio Belize Heartz Football Club, 3min. Global Soccer Concept was invited by Belize Bank to train Heartz Football Club from mister Carlos Chavez.

  • The Reserve Discover Belize Tour, 2.5min.

  • Zenaida Moya Show Episode 13, 2h4.

  • Corozal House Of Culture host “Arte Con Voz de Mujer”, 4min.

  • Fashion Model & Beauty Ambassador - JoyJah, 23min.

  • "Juggling" as an Industry - New & Veteran DJs Speak, 37min.

  • Youth Advocacy through Arts (Y.A.T.A) - Youth Issues, 36min.

  • Cassava Making, 2min. Ereba (Cassava) has always been an important part of the survival of the Garifuna people, here is a look into how it's made.

  • Belize NOW Episode 13 - Friday, March 10th, 2017, 26min. Prime Minister Barrow Announces Successful Restructuring of the Super Bond, National Heroes and Benefactors Remembered in NICH Exhibition and the Government of Belize Signs Agreement for Feasibility Study for Upgrading of Caracol Road Project. These stories and more on this week’s edition of Belize Now.

  • Belize, 4.5min.

  • REEF WEEK 2017 - ‘TURN THE TIDE, RESPECT THE REEF’, 1.5min. Belize's Barrier Reef makes up more than 300 meters of this ecosystem; in fact, Belize's barrier reef is the second longest in the world. The Government of Belize has proposed a one kilometer buffer to protect the Reef from the inherent hazards of offshore oil. Experts say a compromise safety buffer would be a minimum of 50 kilometers. As we begin Reef Week 2017, we join the call to "Turn the Tide; Respect the Reef"!

  • flying underWATER STINGrays Belize, 1/2min.


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