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March 23, 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

Police Report
On Sunday, March 19th, Caye Caulker Police received a report of a stabbing incident, and visited a clinic on Pasero Street, where they saw a male minor of a Belize City address suffering several injuries: a stab wound to the left shoulder, right hand, as well as abrasions to the head and right hand. Investigations revealed that around 6PM, the male minor was socializing at a bar, when he got into a fight with 22-year-old Charles Robinson of San Pedro, who then inflicted injuries on the minor. While police attempted to detain Robinson, he tried to escape from police by jumping into a boat. However, in an effort to avoid being hit by the boat, the police fired a single shot at the engine causing a hole in the engine which is valued at $30,000.00. Police investigations continue.

SPTC is temporarily burning garbage at the island’s dump
To help reduce the massive amount of garbage accumulated at the town’s dump, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has once again resorted to the burning trash. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, following the Garbage Transfer Station’s temporary cease of operations in January of this year, this is the alternative until a solution is found. Mayor Guerrero has stated before that if operations at the station were to shut down permanently, the SPTC would go back to burning garbage. He told The San Pedro Sun that even though the station has resumed its day to day functions to get rid of garbage from the island, the amount is too big for them to get rid of. “We are burning trash again, but it is temporary as the transfer station cannot get rid of the garbage in a timely manner,” said Guerrero. “There is too much garbage accumulated there. But after we assist the transfer station in getting rid of the excess, we will stop burning.” It is expected that in upcoming weeks, the old practice of burning will stop and the SPTC hopes not to return to it in the future.

Retirees voice concerns over issues with QRP program
The Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) incentive program was designed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) to make retiring in Belize easy. Once eligible persons have met the income requirements to permanently live and retire in Belize, recipients are able to enjoy various benefits, including the convenience of not stamping their passport every 30 days at the Immigration Office. Although the QRP program has attracted hundreds of foreigners yearly, many have recently encountered setbacks within the program and have expressed their concerns to The San Pedro Sun. There seems to now be an issue with one particular benefit: the QRP card. Many expats have complained that they have not received their QRP identification card, even after applying months ago. Many, like Mike McDonnell, are now threatening to leave the program. “With no cards, we can’t benefit from the program. People have paid their fees and submitted all the required forms with no results. We were told by BTB that Immigration was printing the cards, and I have never gotten any information from Immigration. BTB first told us the cards were delayed because they were out of printer ink,” said McDonnell.

Prime Minister Barrow pushes Re-registration to July 2018
Originally set take place in July 2017, the Elections and Boundaries Commission has decided that voter re-registration will now take place after the Municipal Elections in 2018. The opposition and social partners have demanded the Government of Belize (GOB) to conduct a voter re-registration after Ruth Meighan, former immigration director, revealed that the 2012 general elections were fraudulent. During an interrogation at the Senate Hearing into the Immigration Scandal, Meighan disclosed to the Senate Select Committee that a large number of unqualified individuals were issued fraudulent nationality certificates, allowing them the opportunity to register and vote in elections. The next municipal election is scheduled for March 7, 2018, and the opposition and the social partners have rejected this decision entirely. According to them, a re-registration is necessary because of voter fraud, and proper re-registration ensures that all future elections are fair and concise.

Ambergris Today

Belize Reef Week 2017 A Success
During Reef Week 2017 Belizeans celebrated the crucial role of coral reefs to our country’s economy, food security and cultural heritage under the theme, “Turn the Tide, Respect the Reef”. The national activities occurred between March 10th 2017 and March 17th 2017. Since 2013, organizations from across Belize have come together to celebrate “Reef Week” by organizing activities that highlight the incalculable contribution of our marine resources and the Belize Barrier Reef System to the national economy and to the Belizean collective cultural identity. This year, Belizeans across the country celebrated the contributions of the Belize Barrier Reef through a multitude of activities, including delivering more than 265,000 signatures from around the world to the Prime Minister’s office asking for a ban on offshore oil, hosting a bike ride from the National Assembly building in Belmopan to the Belize City coast to highlight that decisions made in the corridors of power have impact on marine resources, organizing informational fairs, concerts, swims to the reef, participating in morning show broadcasts live from Punta Gorda, holding art exhibits, executing clean-ups, lionfish culls and launching social media competitions and poetry contests.

San Pedro Nominated For Two Orvis Awards In Fly Fishing
The excitement for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this month is word that a local sports fisherman and fishing lodge have been nominated for the 2017 Orris Endorsed Awards for excellence in the fly fishing industry around the world. Local sports fisherman and tour guide Carlos ‘Kechu’ Marin has been nominated for 2017 Saltwater Fly-Fishing Guide of the Year and El Pescador has been nominated for 2017 International Destination of the Year! How cool is that; we are all excited!? Orvis is a retail and mail-order business specializing in high-end fly fishing, hunting and sporting goods which has been recognized as a leader in the industry. For more than 30 years, the Orvis Company has been recognizing excellence in sporting experiences through its Endorsed Lodges, Outfitters, and Guides program. The winners of this year’s coveted awards will be announced at a ceremony during the 2017 Orvis Guide Rendezvous in Missoula, Montana, on April 28.

Misc Belizean Sources

mzz

Ministry of Health Wants You to “Unite to End TB” on World Tuberculosis Day
The Ministry of Health will once again join the global community in observing World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24th, 2017. This year’s theme is “Unite to End TB”. The idea is to have patients and their physicians or health care provider think of TB as part of the national efforts to increase the number of cases diagnosed and treated successfully in Belize. This year, health regions across the country will be hosting various public information sessions including TB talks, ‘Morning Show’ appearances and booth displays to share information.

UNAUTHORIZED LAND DISTRIBUTION AND UNAUTHORIZED SURVEY AT MILES 42 and 43 GEORGE PRICE HIGHWAY
The Lands and Surveys Department has been informed that a person or persons are reportedly involved in unauthorized distribution and surveying of lots within Parcels 945, 946, 947 and 948 Mount Pleasant Registration Section,situated at the intersection of the More Tomorrow Road and George Price Highway between Miles 42 and 43 near Cotton Tree Village. The Lands and Surveys Department hereby warns the general public and especially the residents of Cotton Tree and More Tomorrow Villages and surrounding communities that: 1. Parcels 945, 946, 947 and 948 are private lands.

Coastal Awareness Week Run 4 The Coast
Next week Saturday, we end Coastal Awareness Week with a Run For The Coast! Come out and run or walk to raise awareness of the sustainable use of Belize's coastal and marine resources! There will be prizes for top finishers in all age groups and several giveaways! Register early to be one of our first twenty participants who will receive a free Coastal Awareness Week T-shirt.

Belize International Film Festival - Tropical & Topical!!!
Thanks for the review Kevin Lally and Film Journal International!! We are now accepting submissions for the 2017 Edition of BIFF. Entry forms on website at www.belizefilmfestival.com. Deadline is April 30th, 2017

Please support the TREE OF CORTEZ initiative
@summerofgoldbelize is the username to quickly locate the Facebook page for "Summer of GOLD" project... which aims to plant 100,000 Cortez Gold trees across Belize, to create a natural man-made wonder when these trees bloom every March-April.

Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm on Sunday, March 26: Mile 2.5 to 35 along Philip Goldson Highway
Including Belama Phases 2,3 & 4, Bella Vista, Fuller’s Crescent, Driftwood Bay, Ladyville, Lords Bank, Green Estate, Dew Drop Estate, Los Lagos, Maxboro, Sandhill, Maskall, St. Ann’s, Corozalito, Chicago, Santana, Lucky Strike, Cowhead Creek, Rockstone Pond, Boston, Grace Bank, Gardenia, Biscayne, Crooked Tree and Rhaburn Ridge. BEL to conduct critical maintenance and testing of equipment at the West Lake Substation which supplies electricity to portions of the Belize District. In the event that there is a need to balance the load on the mobile substation, portions of Belize City may experience 3 hours of power interruption.

BTB hosts Agents from UK
Top Agents from the UK are currently in country conducting a Familiarization trip to experience Belize.

Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project Community Outreach Committee Meeting
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project invites the public to our Community Outreach Committee Meeting on April 1st 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the House of Culture. We will be discussing up and coming events and will assess potential programs for the following months. These programs are a central component of long term museum program development..

Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Student Plans
Form 1 students are very entrepreneurial! Tuesday, April 4th come to the palapa garden beachfront, 10-3, to learn about student plans for a Teen Club, Island Gym, Coconut products, Baked Goods and much more.

Minister John Saldivar Keynote Speaker at Opening of Quality Poultry Complex in Belmopan
Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar was Keynote Speaker at a ceremony this morning marking the official opening of a brand new complex for Quality Poultry Products in the Capital City, which serves as a wholesale distribution and retail outlet, as well as a convenience store and restaurant. Also speaking at the ceremony was Belmopan Deputy Mayor Ralston Frazer and Quality Poultry Products General Manager Raymond Barkman who gave the Area Representative and Deputy Mayor a full tour of the facility after they cut the symbolic ribbon for the official opening.

It's Cross Country Season!
3 GREAT races in 3 weekends First in the series is the the 18th Edition of the Junior Cross Country to be held on Sunday April 2nd, 9 a.m from Succotz Ferry in Cayo to BEL Headquarters, Phillip Godson Highway in Belize City. Second event is the 28th Annual Womens Cross Country to be held on Sunday April 9th starting at 9:00 a.m. from Columbus Park in San Ignacio to BTL Park in Belize City. The grand finale is the 89th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic which will be held in Saturday April 15th, 6:00 a.m from the BTL Park in Belize City to Columbus Park in San Ignacio return to finish at the BTL Park.

Volleyball Tryouts
Tryouts for the male U19 and U17 continue this weekend at SJC gym. Interested and talented U19 and U17 male athletes should come to tryouts this Saturday at 9:30 am and 3:00 pm and Sunday morning at 8:00 am at SJC gym. U19 Males must be born 1999 and after and U17 males must be born 2001 and after. Athletes will continue with practicing during the week and weekends from now through September and October when the teams participate in the CA Championship. Players outside of Belize City will train in their area during the week and then come to Belize City on weekends to train together. Player evaluation continues this weekend.

Earth Hour
Join us this Earth Hour at BTL Park on Saturday, March 25, 7:00pm for songs, stories, poems and a candlelight walk at 8:30pm to the Baron Bliss Lighthouse. Let your light shine and be a part of the movement towards building a better tomorrow for our planet and future generations. Spread the word and bring a friend along! Together, we can unite to shine a light on climate action and Change Climate Change! From its humble beginnings in 2007, WWF's Earth Hour has grown to become the world’s largest grassroots-led environmental movement for the planet, engaging more than 178 countries and territories worldwide!

Casino Mayan Princess of Chetumal closes
POR ESTO and PQ Newspapers from Mexico report that the Mayan Princess Casino of Chetumal called it quits today, as a result of unsustainable federal taxes being levied on them by the new government under Carlos Joaquín González. As a consequence of today's closure, the casino terminated more than 60 of their employees. Tal y como los diario POR ESTO! dieron a conocer de manera oportuna, el casino Mayan Princess de Chetumal cerró sus puertas desde este día, luego de ser “ahorcado” por las cargas tributarias impuestas por el gobierno federal y por el “gobierno del cambio” de Carlos Joaquín González. Iciento a las erogaciones en juegos y concursos ordenado por el gobierno joaquinista se sumó al impuesto federal ya existente por los premios de loterías, rifas, sorteos y concursos, que es de aproximadamente un 7 por ciento en el caso de Quintana Roo.

CJC EXPO 2017
Corozal Junior College invites the community to its annual Expo and Trade Show 2017. Friday, 31st March 2017, from 9am to 4pm on the CJC campus.

Library Computer Courses in Corozal
Adults and Seniors, here’s an opportunity to enhance yourself with technology. Come and learn Basic Computers Skills. Don’t be left behind. Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30pm, beginning Wednesday 29th March 2017. Cost: $5 per session. Space is limited, please contact the Corozal Public Library at 422-3751.

CEMJC Open Day 2017
YOU ARE INVITED! It is that time of the year again. It is time for the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College’s (CEMJC) Annual Open Day. We plan to bring you lots of surprises and give you many prizes. It all happens on Thursday April 6th, 2017, beginning at 9am. Be a part of this grand event highlighting the best of CEMJC. It’s all happening at the grounds in San Roman. Pin it down on your calendar and don’t miss out.

4th Annual Citrus Festival
4th Annual Citrus Festival coming up this Sunday. Come on out with the family for a fun day! 11am to 6pm at Blue Moon in Belmopan!

Shyne to partner with Group Hug
Group Hug is VERY pleased to announce that the Office of the Music Ambassador has offered to partner with Group Hug for multiple projects in the upcoming months! The Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow, has proposed to sponsor and host the first ever Bright Lights Talent Competition' in Hattieville, to be organised later this year! This is in addition to his continued support for our Backpack Drive and Christmas Charity Event. On behalf of our beneficiaries and members, we extend a big thank you to your dedication to our cause!

Child Advisory Body (CAB) of Belmopan cultural activity
As a part of its mandate to create child and family friendly educational initiatives, the Child Advisory Body (CAB) of Belmopan is hosting its first cultural activity. This will be held on Sunday March 26th, 2017 from 3pm to 6 pm at the Independence Park. CAB will be showchasing the CREOLE CULTURE

Easter Fest 2017
Apr 15 at 12 PM, Holiday Hotel, Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro. In less than a month away for #Easter Fest 2017! JOIN this Belikin-Style Mega Madness 2-day event, Holy Saturday & Easter Sunday! Get those swimsuits ready!

Santa Elena Rabies Vaccinations
Rabies Vaccination Campaign underway in SISE. See flier below for the 4 locations in Santa Elena this Saturday, March 25th! Take your pet to the location nearest to your home for a FREE Rabies Vaccine.

Go Inside Belize’s San Ignacio Resort Hotel
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel was highlighted in Uptown Magazine. Their new look is amazing, inside and out, as they are currently putting the final touches on the exterior. Cayo's in town jungle. Keep up the great service, SIRH! "San Ignacio Resort Hotel in San Ignacio, Belize underwent a cosmetic revamp for its 40th birthday, so it could continue offering guests unparalleled luxury in the jungle of Central America. The saw replaced the scalpel to give this luxury property a facelift that includes a new contemporary and Mediterranean-style lobby, complete with a new Baroque-themed bar; a formal dining room; extended outdoor seating; and an overhaul of existing suites. The 26-room hotel also added two new suites that are outfitted with in-room Jacuzzis."

AN EXPERIENCE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY: MARA SÁNCHEZ-RENERO
The Embassy of Mexico to Belize, in collaboration with the Museum of Belize and NICH, kindly invite all amateur / professional photographers and general public interested in the Visual Arts to participate in the FREE workshop: AN EXPERIENCE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY: MARA SÁNCHEZ-RENERO Dates: Thursday April 6th- 11th Daily Sessions from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Saturday April 8th: 11:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

East Indian Community Leaders and NICH Participate in Indian Diaspora World Convention

UK Travel Agents Familiarization Tour of Belize

Channel 7

More Pieces of Body In River Near Blackman Eddy
Yesterday we told you about the 'crocus' bag containing the amputated hands and legs of a human. The bag was found about a quarter mile downstream from the Iguana Creek Bridge, and was discovered by the brothers of 18 year old Kerona Ara, who was murdered over a week ago. Since then police have been working on identifying the origin of these dismembered body parts, and earlier today they got another clue. This morning another bag was found a little further down the river. This bag contained a torso without legs, arms and head. And while police have yet to positively match it to the body parts found yesterday, eyewitnesses have told us that the body appears to be that of a female, which lines up with reports we received yesterday.

Another Mamaeyal Fatal
A Yo Creek Villager was killed in an accident at the notorious Mameyal curve on the Northern Highway. This morning around 8:00, 23 year old Matthew Bull was heading to Orange Walk on his motorcycle when he tried to overtake a cane truck at the curve. Bull slammed into an oncoming Ford Pickup truck and was flung violently off his cycle unto the pavement. 31 year old Hernan Cortez was driving the truck at the time. Police haven’t disclosed if Cortez will be charged. Over the years, there have been countless serious and fatal accidents at the Mameyal Curve – which is at mile 57 on the northern highway.

Santa Elena Fire Claims Two Houses
A blaze took down 2 homes this evening in Santa Elena. Gerald Gregory Vasquez was upstairs with his wife at their George Price Avenue home when their daughter, who lives in front of them alerted them of the fire downstairs. They rushed out of the house and tried to contain the blaze but it engulfed their home and spread to their relative’s house next door. this video captured by a passerby shows the house in free burn stage. The flames destroyed everything. Vasquez lost about $15,000 worth of belongings. Reports in the town suggest that it was arson, but the fire department has not released any official report as yet. If you would like to contact or help Vasquez and his family you can call 650 1579.

Man Accused of Chopping Sister To Death Appears Before Court Disoriented
Today Elijah Burke, who is accused of chopping his sister, Juliane Burke, to death appeared in the Magistrate's Court. Burke was scheduled to be arraigned for murder, but when Magistrate Carlon Mendoza called his name, Burke said that he wasn't Elijah, and that was the name of his brother who happens to look like him. Mendoza asked him again, and Burke again said no. This denial of identity led the prosecutor to believe that Burke was not in his right mind, and asked that the court have him examined. Mendoza obliged and ordered that a psychiatric evaluation be conducted. Despite his behaviour, the charge of murder was still read to him and he was remanded to prison, and is scheduled to appear again on June 21st.

COLA Crew Vindicated Of Tyre Fire Charge
In October of 2016, at the height of the teachers’ strike, unknown persons started a tyre fire on the Belcan Bridge. It was put out in a few minutes, and didn't lead to anything else, but police moved quickly to find and charge the persons responsible. Within a few days, they said that the activist group COLA and its allies were responsible. COLA President Giovanni Brackett, Perry “Stix” Smith, Clayburn Pascascio, Adrian Avaloy and two minors were charged with causing a bonfire to be set without police permission. They all pleaded not guilty when they first appeared in court five months ago. Southside Commander Chester Williams said it was a “methodical investigation” and that police had all the evidence. But, today in Magistrate’s court, the case fizzled and the charges were struck out against all 6 accused. That gave Brackett and his attorney an opportunity to do some chest-thumping against the government:…

Hunting Accident Causes Fratricide In Toledo
One brother has killed another in a hunting accident in the Toledo district. 31 year old Geraldo Cus and his 22 year old brother Leonardo went hunting yesterday evening around 6:00. They ventured about 10 miles outside of San Miguel. According to the younger Cus, he and his brother got separated, and a couple hours later he accidentally shot Geraldo in the chest. After realizing what he'd done Cus called his family and rushed Geraldo to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds late last night. Police are still investigating, but at newstime, no charges and been finalized for Cus.

The Enduring Mystery Of “Mr. Middleton” Unravels
Since the first Wednesday of this month, we’ve been showing you how the mysterious character, known only as “Mr. Middleton”, was being brought up regularly in the Senate Hearings on Immigration. His name was first called by Immigration Officer Mark Tench, as the man who somehow managed to get his hands on at least 6 of the 8 stolen visas which went missing from the Immigration Department’s Western Border back in November of 2012. Officer Tench then pointed fingers at Patrick Tillett, UDP insider and former Belize City Council employee, who was hired to perform a visa service for 6 Chinese Nationals. Tillett was trying to get their help to get back money they had paid to this “Mr. Middleton”. The plot thickened even more when Tillett appeared before the Senate 2 weeks ago, and disclosed that he received a total of $36,000 from those 6 Chinese “clients” to try to get them Belize visas. He said $1,000 per visa was his fee to make sure that the application was in order. $2,000 was to go into the Government’s purse for the visa application. But, the lion’s share, $3,000, was being paid to this “Mr. Middleton” who was hired to take the visa applications into the Belmopan Immigration office and do whatever “follow-up” was necessary.

Casanova: Middleton Not My Man
So, while Immigration Officer Inez Casanova was able to positively identify Barton Middleton to the Senate Select Committee, she wanted to make clear that she has no relationship to him. In the Auditor General’s report on the the 8 missing visas, she was quoting a report from Immigration Officer Vernon Leslie. Leslie identifies Middleton as her common-law husband. But, that’s not right, and today while she had the nation listening in on the Senate Hearings, Casanova took the opportunity to make it clear that she has no relationship to Middleton. She told the Senate Committee that this has hurt her reputation, and she wants the record cleared: Inez Casanova - Immigration Officer: "It is my understanding that I'm here to be of any possible assistance to the Honourable Senate Select Committee in relation to one matter and not because I am in any way a part of any wrong doing or irregularities at the immigration department. That one matter is mentioned of my name in relation to missing visas at the immigration department Benque Veijo station.

What Did Casanova Really Know About Barton?
Okay, so, Barton Middleton isn’t Casanova’s common-law husband, but what exactly is he to her? And how did she manage to convince him to show up and tell the truth about those 6 stolen visas? That’s what the Senate Select Committee wanted her to explain today, and her answers just weren’t adding up. At the end, the Senators began suspecting that she knew more than she was willing to disclose, and so they grilled her for almost 2 hours on the topic. We’ll have the blow-by-blow account of that conversation in tomorrow’s newscast, but here’s an excerpt of the questions she was being asked about Barton Middleton: Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator: "I just wanted to know the circumstances of how you decided to say well get in contact with this Mr. Middleton." Inez Casanova - Immigration Officer: "I had called?" Hon. Eamon Courtenay: "As I understand it Mr. Venon from Benque came to Orange Walk and said we are looking for Mr. Middleton in relation to the missing visas. The question I am asking is according to you, you know two Mr. Middleton, Mr. Eugene and Mr. Barton. My question is how is it that you decided to refer them to Mr. Barton or why you called Mr. Barton and he came?"

A Tale Of Hacking
So, from skepticism in Inez Robinson’s testimony, the Senate appeared almost disbelieving of the answers that Erwin Robinson was providing them. He’s one of the Immigration Officers who went on suspension back in September 2013 for the Won Hong Kim Passport, which was a fraudulent production from start to finish. They all faced a tribunal from the Public Service Commission. At the end he was restored to duty as a public officer, but he lost his job because it was determined that he, or someone using his profile in the Department’s passport took a picture of a picture of Won Hong Kim. This South Korean fugitive couldn’t have been in Belize to take a passport picture because he was in lock down in a Taiwanese detention center at the time. So, did Robinson do it? Well, when the Senate put that one to him, he categorically, denied, and he shared his surprising theory that the passport machine’s user computer was hacked, and that he was being set up as the fall guy. Here’s that part of today’s hearing:

Shyne Urges Artists To Protest Against Businesses Countrywide
Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow is the CEO of BSCAP (BEE-SCAP) the Belizean Society of composers, Authors and Publishers. He’s in the new news tonight because in a letter dated March 13th, he's urging music creators to protest against businesses who don't pay rights fees for using their music. Shyne says, quote, “be prepared to engage in protests of all businesses nationwide who are violating the copyright act and chancing our members….if all of our members come together and take action in the form of nationwide demonstrations our voices will be heard and businesses will comply.” End quote. Here’s what he's talking about: under the copyright law, anyone who plays music in public should pay a royalty fee to the creator or publisher of that song. So, if you hear, let’s say, Supra G’s “Party Insane” playing in a nightclub, in a store, or on the radio, Supra G should get a few cents everytime it plays. Shyne is trying to get local businesses to sign license agreements with BSCAP to pay a monthly user fee, but so far only a literally handful have signed on. And so, facing widespread noncompliance, he’s urging music creators to protest against these big businesses that want to sign. We asked him about it today when we found him in the Mesopotamia area:….

Corned Beef Concerns
Is your corned beef safe? Several Caribbean countries say that if it comes from Brazil, it’s not. The governments of Jamaica and Barbados have instituted a temporary ban on the widely eaten canned food, while several others are discussing whether or not they should do the same. But why such extreme measures, and should you be worried too? According to reports, several major Brazilian meat processing companies have been selling rotten beef and poultry. And that's where Grace Kennedy, one of the largest distributors of corned beef in the Caribbean, gets their beef from. Apparently, many of these companies paid bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licenses. Since the bans were implemented, Grace has confirmed that their suppliers in Brazil have consistently qualified for licenses from the British Retail Consortium, which sets global manufacturing and quality standards. The government of Belize has yet to officially acknowledge the situation, or give any information on whether they are making an evaluation.

”Water No Get Enemy”
Don’t waste water: we have all heard that phrase more than enough times but on World Water Day, it never gets old. Today a forum and fair were held at the Princess Hotel to celebrate water day. There were presentations on various topics including Water sanitation and hygiene, recycling wastewater among others. A number of government agencies set up information booths as well. Hydrologist Tennielle Williams told us more about this year’s theme. Tennielle Williams- Hydrologist: “Today is World Water Day indeed, it’s a day taken to highlight the importance of water and the role it plays. In the UN from 1993 they designated March 22nd as World Water Day where we take actions on water issues. Today is not really different from any other water day we’ve held, we just target different sectors or different issues concerning water management and this year the theme is Waste Water and the campaign that we are promoting is “Why waste it?” So the theme is waste water and we are saying why waste water? We want to impart that it is not just waste. It’s not to just to use it and you throw it away.

PUP Calls For Wilfred’s Removal (Again)
Last week Friday, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington held a press briefing where he made some controversial remarks. He likened Belize with the unresolved Guatemalan claim to a squatter without title for the land he's been occupying. He added that Belize’s maritime borders have never even been agreed upon. Well - not surprisingly - the PUP isn't happy with that and the opposition is again calling for his removal. In a release the party says it is, quote, “appalled and outraged” at the comments. The PUP says is is, quote, “unbelievable that the man who heads negotiations with Guatemala is seemingly unaware that our nation’s maritime borders are established.” The PUP has a different take. IT says, quote, “not only does Belize have definite maritime borders as described in the Constitution of Belize and the Maritime Areas Act, but further, that those borders are recognized and respected by all nations, and even by Guatemala which refuses to relinquish its claim to Belize.” It argues quote, “To describe Belizeans as squatters is not only despicable, but dangerous”. And it closes with a a familiar refrain, quote, “We demand that the Prime Minister remove or reprimand the Foreign Minister who continues to mismanage the situation with Guatemala.”

Granny With A Crack Pipe?
A 66 year old grandmother was taken before the court today for possession of a crack pipe. But she was quick to tell the court that she was merely fixing pipe for someone and that she does not smoke crack. Pitts, who had to walk with a piece of PVC pipe as a cane was brought in the prison van and escorted into Court #5 to be read a single charge of possession of a pipe before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. But despite her denial of crack use, Marjorie Pitts pleaded guilty to possession of pipe and was fine $150.00, or in default, 2 months in prison.

Remembering “Philco”
Earlier this month, well known attorney and politician Phillip Palacio died after a valiant fight against cancer. Today his colleagues from at the Bar gathered for a special sitting of the Supreme Court in his honour. We spoke to Kareem Musa, who knew him as both and attorney and politician for the PUP, about the impact of the loss... Hon. Kareem Musa - Attorney: "Phillip was a very dear friend of mine and many of my colleagues not just in the legal fraternity but also in the political world. Mr. Palacio ran for us in the Mesopotamia position and he put up a valiant fight but we're talking about a true humanitarian, we are talking about a very humble individual who look out for the poor, who looked out for the marginalised and so it is a huge loss and I really just want to convey my respects. I want to convey my condolences to his family, he has a very young family, we all feel for him and it truly is a sad day for us."

Shyne Stayed The Course In Mesop
Now the man who wants to replace Finnegan for the UDP is also making news tonight. Earlier in the news, you heard Shyne Barrow talking about his advocacy as the CEO of the Belizean Society of composers, Authors and Publishers. But, we met him doing his political work in the Mesopotamia division. Two weeks ago, the incumbent in that area Michael Finnegan - who happens to be Shyne’s uncle - announced that he is retiring from electoral politics, and wants Shyne to succeed him. Today Shyne told us he's been waiting two years on that endorsement:… Shyne Barrow - UDP Mesopotamia Hopeful "I am grateful and honoured that my uncle favours me and has endorsed me and like to see me be his successor but ultimately as I believe he has said, the people of Mesopotamia will make that decision, the constituence will make the ultimate decision, I am here to work for them and to serve them so I am continuing to build my relationship with them so when the time comes for them to make that decision, hopefully I will be the person that they will choose but there is no automatic succession, it's certainly is a honour and a privilege and I had to work for two years for my uncle to favour me and to endorse me because you use to abstract me all the time and say bwai da man no say nothing, da man no say nothing, da man say he di run again, that was an ongoing joke between you and I. So finally I've worked hard enough, he pay attention to what people are saying in the division and he is confident enough that I can continue in his footsteps and secure that legacy and ultimately the people will decide so I am hopeful and I am definitely looking forward to getting the support of the people in Mesopotamia because ultimately they are the ones that will decide my fate."

Julius, Of Benchwarmers and Advice
And while Shyne hopes he’s chosen an able replacement for Michael Finnegan, he surely doesn't want to be a benchwarmer. That’s the dismissive term PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat has used for those unelected persons that his leader John Briceno has put at the forefront of the party and on the executive. Today in Cotton Tree we asked him to clarify his remarks:… Hon. Julius Espat- Area Rep, Cayo South: “It is not criticism, it is advice and there is a major difference between that. I fundamentally believe that the area representatives are the people that the people have put their trust in. We are figure heads; we are the voice of the people. So if we are the voice of the people and we live in a democratic system then I believe the voice of the people should at least be around the table. I no even the ask fu mek them vote. Just to be around the table so that you can listen to when decisions are being made and that you can on behalf of your people make wah lee advice and that when the decisions are made you can go back to your people to explain to them what the policies are. What I said, I stand by but it’s not to hurt the party. I’ve never been someone to hurt my party. I love my party and I know that my party will form the government. I just believe that you prepare for the worst and you no ride the wave; that’s been my firm you know, prepare for the worst and if the wave come well boss da gravy.”

Julius Ain’t Scared of Redistricting
The media also asked Espat what he thinks about redistricting. His large division of Cayo South is certainly going to get downsized, but he feels that the entire exercise is wrong-headed:… Hon. Julius Espat- Area Rep, Cayo South: “The fair way of doing it, let’s assume how many people should be in a constituency, I have presently going close to eight thousand. I think each area rep should handle more like ten thousand. With the proper resources you can do it, we dih do it with zero resources basically, so you can do it. So imagine you divide the country 150…how much we got? That’s more or less how much you have voting, you divide that by 10 thousand you a got 15 constituencies. Now, that would be more efficient but what deh wah do? They wah change it from 31 to 41, you a got 10 more Minista, 10 thieving minista more, with 10 vehicles more, with 10 staff more, with 10 miss use of money more. Is that what we want? In Cayo South it makes no difference. If they buss it up inna three ih a be three PUP seat, so to us it doesn’t matter.”

A Fence For Cotton Tree School
We met Espat today in Cotton Tree Village where he had installed a fence for the village school. As an opposition representative, he had to beg sponsorship and he told us how he did it:…

Feeling Festival 2016
And keeping it on the kids, we close tonight with highlights from night one of the preschool festival of the arts which took place on Monday at the Bliss center. Enjoy the Belize District presenaitons, and have a great night…

Kareem Riled Up For Budget
And keeping it on politics tomorrow is the first day of the budget debate. The PUP and UDP Representatives will go back and forth on the virtues and vices of the budget. The Opposition have called it "the Barrow bogus budget” and Today PUP Area Rep. for Caribbean Shores, Kareem Musa, gave us a preview of his angle of attack: Hon. Kareem Musa - Area Rep, Caribbean Shores: "It is a train wreck that is what it is. It is the debris after a train wreck that all of us as Belizeans are standing around debris looking at it. Essentially the train that Mr. Barrow has been driving over the last 8 years was an unsustainable one that can only be characterised by wasteful spending of the people's money and I'm speaking specifically of the petro-Caribe spending over the last 3 and a half years, some 350 million dollars. I'm speaking specifically about the 560 million dollars that he paid for BTL and if you listen to Mr. Barrow still blaming the PUP over a super bond when the payments for that super bond is only 50 million a year, 25 million US but in just two years Isani, in just two years he spent almost one billion dollars on petro-Caribe spending which has no accountability whatsoever. If you recall the month before the general election of 2015, Mr. Barrow brought another supplementary to the house where he spent 40 million dollars and you know what that said?

Forest Day At Sacred Heart
Taking a break now from politics, yesterday was the Forest for Life celebration at the Sacred Heart High School and Junior College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. More than 800 students focused on the dependency on forests. Keynote speaker Marcello Windsor explained that in 30 yearsBelize’s forest cover has gone down form 80% to 60%:…

Kenzle Hulse Arraigned
Last night, we told you how 27 year-old Kenzle Hulse, son of Agriculture Minister Godwin Hulse, was charged yesterday for harm. Well, what police hadn’t said was that Hulse was arraigned yesterday, and he’s out on bail tonight. His case has been adjourned for May 18, 2017, but what is of concern to outsiders is he wasn’t charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. You’ll remember that he is being accused by Albert Santos Lopez, a cohune walk businessman. Lopez reported to police that Kenzle Hulse allegedly hit him in the face with a licensed firearm.

Channel 5

In Blackman Eddy, More Bones Found; Who Do They Belong To?
More body parts were found this morning in the Belize River in Blackman Eddy, Cayo District.  On Tuesday afternoon, the hands and feet of a man were found stuffed in [...]

Inez Casanova Speaks About Relationship with Barton Middleton
A current and a former Immigration officer both appeared before today’s public hearing of the Senate Special Select Committee in Belmopan.  The first, Inez Casanova, has not been directly accused [...]

Immigration Officer Tells How Authorities Got to Middleton
We will come to more of the Orange Walk-based immigration officer’s relationship with Middleton later on, but first, she revealed that she assisted Immigration officers who came to her asking [...]

Casanova Says Relationship Never Got Personal
Casanova claims that her relationship with Barton Middleton did not go past occasional conversations while she was driving him to town, and never about Immigration-related matters. But Senators seized on [...]

How Well Did Inez Casanova Know Barton Middleton?
How well can you really know a person – especially one to whom you would occasionally allow access to ride in your personal vehicle? In the case of Inez Casanova, [...]

Erwin Robinson Says He Took Won Hong Kim’s Picture for Passport
Former data entry clerk at the Immigration Department, Erwin Robinson, spent six years in the Public Service, five of those in Immigration, until he was suspended over the Won Hong [...]

COLA Walks Tall Away from “Belcan 6” Bonfire Charges
They have been flying under the radar, but today months after they were charged for setting a bonfire at the BelCan Bridge, a group of activists went back to court [...]

Erratic Sister-Killer Elijah Burke in Court; Faces Psychiatric Evaluation
Twenty-six-year-old Elijah Burke has been ordered a psychiatric evaluation after appearing in Magistrate’s Court earlier today to face a charge of murder.  The younger sibling of Julian Burke was detained [...]

Caribbean Shores’ Kareem Musa Says Budget is a “Trainwreck”
The debate begins this Thursday in the House with the budget rebuttal by the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño.  The P.U.P. Area Representative Kareem Musa will also go on [...]

Musa Questions Where Surplus Will Come From
Musa also points to what he describes as an odd proposition being made by the Prime Minister where he puts forward that there will be a turnaround of the economy [...]

Ex-data Clerk Can’t Explain How Kim’s Picture Got in System
Back to the senate inquiry… earlier we shared with you Erwin Robinson’s recollection of the day “Won Hong Kim” purportedly visited the Immigration Department to take his passport picture.  But [...]

Robinson Says He Will Never Forget Kim
Robinson’s inability to explain the Kim caper haunts him, as he was unable to hold a job in the Public Service following his suspension. But as he was shown photographs [...]

Julius Espat Believes “Messengers” Will be Blamed in Senate Inquiry
As telling information is revealed at the ongoing senate inquiry, we asked the Cayo South area rep Julius Espat if he thought that the so called big wigs would face [...]

Working with Waste Water on World Water Day
In light of World Water Day celebrated across the globe today, staggering facts and data have been published that brings into sharp focus the shortage of access to potable water [...]

Cotton Tree School Gets New Fence
A primary school in Cotton Tree Village, Cayo District, is a safer place tonight. The compound, which was previously exposed to criminal elements roaming the area, is now properly fenced [...]

Julius Espat Believes Redistricting Will Not be Fair
The sprawling Cayo South division has below eight thousand registered voters. The P.U.P. has been lobbying for a re-registration exercise to take place this year, but the process has been [...]

P.U.P. lashes Foreign Minister over Borders Comment
Before departing Belize last Friday, the Secretary General of the O.A.S., Luis Almagro, held a press briefing.  While Almagro did not take questions from the press relying only on a [...]

Coastal Zone Holds Forum
Earlier this week the CZMAI launched its third Coastal Awareness Week and we showed you how they kicked off the activities with a trivia challenge for Belize City primary schoolers. [...]

Philip Palacio Recognized at Special Sitting of Supreme Court
This morning in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, colleagues in the legal fraternity convened a special sitting in honor of the late attorney Philip Palacio.  The former People’s [...]

CTV3

Twenty Three Year Old Killed In Traffic Accident
The family of a twenty three old Orange Walkeno is tonight mourning his death after his life came to a tragic end following a traffic accident near the Mameyal curve on the Philip Goldson Highway. The incident involving a Ford Ranger Pickup truck and a motor cycle played out a little after 8:00 this morning and claimed the life of Matthew Bull, a resident of Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District. Information we were able to gather at the scene indicate that Bull was traveling towards Orange Walk Town when just a few miles in the outskirts of town he tried to overtake a cane truck travelling in the same direction when he collided into this white Ford Ranger pickup truck which was traveling in the opposite direction towards Corozal. The name of the driver is yet to be released by police.

Immigration Clerk Discloses Penner Brought Chinese National For Application
Today, the Immigration clerk who was centrally involved in processing the passport application for the infamous Won Hong Kim testified in public for the first time. Erwin Robinson is no longer employed at the Immigration Department, having been suspended and then transferred to multiple departments leading to his resignation, but he knows a lot about what goes on at Immigration. In particular, he is very knowledgeable about the Won Hong Kim fiasco because while employed at the Immigration Robinson was the data entry clerk who entered Kim’s bio-data in the system and passed on the application for approval. The Kim file and passport printed are filled with discrepancies, featuring principally that Kim was in a Taiwan jail at the time and could not have personally applied for the passport as required by immigration laws. So what transpired inside the Immigration Department for Robinson to carry through with the application? That’s what the Senate hearing tried to find out today.

Immigration Officers Give In To Political Pressures Or Else...
In Robinson’s testimony, you would have heard him mention that the Kim application was processed with speed because it was brought in by Minister Penner. The intimidating role of Ministers and political agents has been established in previous testimonies, and today we heard Robinson’s version of how and why immigration officers must give in to political pressure or suffer the consequences. Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I: “We have minister that bring in people many different times, well I guess are their friends or acquaintances and we usually just help out and assist in whatever way we could like ministers are usually first priority basically in any government office I guess.”

Mr. Middleton Has A Face And First Name, All Revealed In Senate Hearing
The elusive “Mr. Middleton” whose name surfaced at the Senate hearings in regards to the case of 8 missing visas from the Western Border got a face and first name during today’s hearing when Immigration Officer Inez Cassanova took the witness seat. Cassanova is named in the Audit report as an acquaintance of the man who was trading visas with Patrick Tillett for a price of $6,000. But 8 of the visas used in the business in 2012 were linked to stolen visas and this raised alarm. Until today, no one was willing or able to identify Mr. Middleton. When Cassanova took the bench, she commenced with a prepared statement in which she said she will sue anyone who makes false allegations against her.

Robinson Says He Became The Prodigal Son
Former Immigration clerk Erwin Robinson also discussed the repercussions of the Kim Won Hong scandal on his professional life. According to him, he became a sort of pariah in the public service. Erwin Robinson - Former Data Entry Clerk I: “The reason I stop working for the government at the time when I left they sent me to the health department after my suspension after I cleared my case they sent me to the health department and I asked them I would want work somewhere other than the health department because they moved me around; they put me at Lands then they put me somewhere else then they say we are not to put you there so I was like what is happening and the lady told me we are going to real nobody wants you, no government office wants you, people literally say no don’t send him here and all of this I had to gone through.”

LOVE FM

Superbond 3.0 Brings New Ratings from Standard and Poor
Five days ago, Standard and Poor’s Rating Agency lowered Belize’s long term foreign currency rating from a CC to SD meaning Selective Default. In addition to that Belize was moved from the status of Credit Watch with negative implications where it was placed on February 21. In the short term foreign currency rating, Belize was […]

Belize Tasked to Find Alternative Industry to Replace Sugar
Jamaica, Belize and Mauritius were among a group of more than 10 nations that benefited from quota- and duty-free access for one point six million metric tons of mostly raw-sugar shipments to the European Union in 2015-16. The amount, which can vary year-by-year, represented about half the European bloc’s imports of the commodity.” This statement comes out […]

Belize’s Bid for $10M Approved by CDB
Yesterday we told you about the forty million US dollars grant that the Caribbean Development Bank, CDB would use to help Caribbean nations including Belize. Today, the Government confirmed that Belize’s bid for ten million US dollars was approved and has been earmarked to expand services to poor and vulnerable communities across Belize. A release […]

Human Limbs Found in Crocus Sac
Belmopan Police are trying to identify a mutilated body that was found shortly before one o’clock this afternoon in Black Man Eddy Village. According to reports, four men from the village had gone hunting for iguana about quarter miloe from the Iguana Creek Bridge. The men were reportedly pinning the iguanas and putting in their […]

Police Nabs Man for His Sibling’s Murder
Twenty six year old Elijah Burke has been detained by Belize City police. A wanted poster was issued yesterday after his sister, 29 year old Julian Burke succumbed to her injuries. Elijah Burke is accused of chopping his sister repeatedly on Sunday night outside her home on First Street in the Kings Park Area. Julian […]

30 Murders in 80 Days
Today marks eighty days into the year 2017 and Belize has seen thirty murders occurring in various parts of the country but predominantly on the south side of Belize City. Of the thirty homicides, fifteen of them occurred in old capital with fourteen happening on the south side and one on the north side. It […]

Belize to Acquire Weather Stations via Agreement with Insurance Facility
The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company, CCRIF SPC today signed a grant agreement with the Government of Belize. That Agreement provides GOB with 100,000 dollars to purchase forty to fifty automatic weather stations that will provide the meteorological service of Belize with access to real time rainfall data. The agreement was signed […]

Minister’s Son Charged on Allegations of Harm
27-year-old, Kenzle Hulse, the son of Minister Godwin Hulse was arraigned this morning in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court where he faced a charge of harm. The charge comes more than a month after the incident occurred at Hulse’s business establishment in that municipality where he allegedly accosted a customer who had reportedly refused to pay […]

Anglican Archbishop on Working Visit to Belize
The Anglican Church in Belize is hosting the Most Reverend Dr. John Holder, current Archbishop of the Church in the province of the West Indies and See of Barbados. He is here in Belize to attend three meetings. The first was on Saturday on the House of Bishops, the second was on the Provincial Doctrinal […]

Complaints on Immigration Investigated by Ombudsman
In yesterday’s newscast we told you of complaints reaching the Office of the Ombudsman surrounding the Belize Police Department and the Belize Central Prison. In our recent interview with Ombudsman, Lionel Arzu we also learnt of some complaints made against the Immigration Department. LIONEL ARZU “Complaints against immigration would vary. From our records it indicates […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Three men to be retried for 2012 murder of BDF soldier
Three (3) men namely, Tyrone Meighan, Brandon Baptist and Orel Leslie Jr., who walked away in October 2015 for the shooting murder of BDF soldier James Noralez, are to be retried for murder. Noralez was reportedly lured by the men to the junction of […]

Association of Protected Areas not happy with GoB’s departure tax increase
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO) is not happy with Barrow’s cash strapped Government of Belize (GoB) intent to increase the conservation portion of the departure tax for non-Belizean from BZ $7.50 to BZ $40 on April 1st 2017. The additional BZ […]

Parents camping out all night to get their kids into prestigious primary school
A group of 17 parents are camping out in front of St. Andrew’s Anglican School in San Ignacio town tonight ahead of registration day tomorrow. The parents have been there from 4:00 a.m. today waiting to be the first in line to secure a […]

GOB issues warning to unauthorized land surveyors
The Lands and Surveys Department issued a release today stating that it has been informed that a person or persons are reportedly involved in unauthorized distribution and surveying of lots within Parcels 945, 946, 947 and 948 Mount Pleasant Registration Section, situated at the […]

Ministry of Health Wants You to “Unite to End TB” on World Tuberculosis Day
The Ministry of Health is joining the global community in observing World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24th, 2017. This year’s theme is “Unite to End TB”. The focus is to increase awareness of the TB national response among patients and healthcare providers in order […]

San Ignacio man missing
A young man from 3rd street in San Ignacio town has been reported as missing since March 11, 2017. The family of 18-year-old Daniel “Blacky” Bennett; is seeking public assistance in locating him. Bennett was last seen on Saturday, March 11. Since then, no […]

Quality Poultry Products opens brand new complex in Belmopan
This morning, Quality Poultry Products inaugurated their brand new complex in Belmopan which will serve as a wholesale distribution and retail outlet as well as a convenience store and restaurant. Belmopan Area Representative, John Saldivar was the keynote speaker at the event. Belmopan Deputy […]

Man arrested for wandering child
Last night around10:45 , while police were on patrol on Flamboyant Street in Belize City, officers saw a 10-year-old minor walking alone. He was questioned and then escorted to his father’s residence. Simon August, a 44-year-old fisherman of a Marigold Lane address was later arrested and charged for the offense, “Allow or Suffer a Child to be in a Public Place.”

Man shoots and kills brother while hunting
Yesterday Toledo police visited the Punta Gorda Hospital where officers saw Geraldo Cus, 31, a construction worker of Santa Elena, Cayo with a gunshot wound to the chest. Investigations revealed that he and his younger brother Leonardo Cus, 22, went hunting approximately ten miles outside of San Miguel at around 6:00 p.m. They reportedly got separated at about 8:00 p.m.

Human remains found near Iguana Creek, Cayo
Yesterday around 1:06 p.m. Cayo police responded to reports of body parts found in a bag in the river near the Iguana Creek Bridge in Cayo. A team of police officers visited the area where approximately 900 meters down the Belize River, a black plastic bag containing a white bag was discovered.

Fatal traffic accident in Orange Walk
Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that there was a fatal road traffic accident near the Mameyal curve in the Orange Walk district. A white pick up and a motorcycle reportedly collided. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the driver of the motorcycle died on the scene. […]

Brother kills brother in Toledo
A man is in trouble after he killed his brother last night in Toledo. According to reports, sometime after midnight the two were hunting in San Miguel Village when one brother thought that he saw a peccary and opened fire. However he injured his […]

Blogs

Captain Carlos ‘Kechu’ Marin Jr. nominated for the 2017 Orvis Saltwater Fly-fishing Guide Award!
El Pescador’s very own, Carlos ‘Kechu’ Marin Jr. has been nominated for the Saltwater Fly-fishing Guide of the year as part of the 2017 Orvis Endorsed Awards. With over 30-years of experience, Kechu is a premier guide in Belize’s fly-fishing industry, guiding out of El Pescador Fly Fishing Lodge. “My father was one of the first guides at the El Pescador. My four brothers are all guides in the area, my brother Emir and I strictly guide for El Pescador. It’s a family tradition!” says Marin.

Naia Resort and Spa, Placencia: Unlike Any Other in Belize
A few months ago, a new resort opened called Naia Resort and Spa. I visited for a nice long weekend and I was WOW-ed…seriously. In more ways than one. Naia is pretty awesome. No expense was spared on this amazing spa and the flawless details. But equally impressive is the landscape and the sustainable development of the land. This is not a property where the native forest and brush was leveled…they took great care in planning this resort and surrounding community. Even moving flowers like orchids. Front Desk, Naia Resort and Spa, Placencia, Belize This huge resort surrounded by 200 acres of beautifully, thoughtfully designed and tended land – filled with old growth trees, mangroves and orchids, with thousands of feet of beach front, sunset lagoon and mountain views is spectacular (yes…I said spectacular). The new modern resort and the beautiful full grown trees, orchids and water features…

Belize and The Sharing Economy
I believe that Belizeans are unaware of how the emergence of the so-called “sharing economy” is affecting them. We know that it may be the greatest technological disruption the travel industry has seen as of late, however, it is only seen as something that is affecting developed countries like the US. We see in the news – the various litigations between cities and Uber/Airbnb and we think that it is only a big city problem. We think it doesn’t matter if Airbnb encourages gentrification and raises real estate prices in places like New York. However, of course this can be tied back to problems Belizeans will also have. Lately, I have been hearing a lot of complaints about how Belize tourism visitor numbers keep rising but hotels are actually seeing low occupancy rates. There is speculation that the government may be making the tourism numbers up, however, I believe that the issue is that apartment/room sharing sites like Airbnb and VRBO are taking up many of the visitors. The last time I checked there were over 300 rentals. You may say that this isn’t a problem because everyone deserves a little side hustle, however, investing in a hotel is not a minor investment and if it goes belly up the ramifications are widespread. Hotels pay taxes and follow certain regulations, which many individuals who list their places on sites like Airbnb avoid. Yet people who stay at Airbnb sites use the same resources from the town or city, which are subsidized by taxes. The point of me sharing the above is not because I want Airbnb to disappear, it’s so that you are more cognizant of what is happening.

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 — Coastal Awareness Week 2017
On Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 Coastal Awareness Week 2017 goes north to Corozal for our Tertiary Level Competition & Information Fair. This event will be held at the Rudolph Wade Auditorium (Corozal Junior College) from 9am to 3pm. Five groups from tertiary institutions from across Belize will be competing for a grand prize of $3,000. Come and visit booths from Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Inter-American Development Bank Belize, Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, Fisheries Development, Friends of Corozal United for Sustainability, and Development Finance Corporation.

International Sourcesizz

Fulbright Student Fellowships 2018-2019 Opened for Application
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the opportunity to compete for 2018-2019 Fulbright Student Fellowships for graduate study in the United States leading to a Master’s or Doctoral degree.

U.S. Army South and BDF work together to provide projects and services to communities in Belize
U.S. Army South, in partnership with the Belize Defence Force (BDF), and the Ministries of Defence, Health, and Education are proud to announce “Beyond the Horizon 2017” (BTH), a collaborative training exercise involving numerous U.S., Belizean, and international participants. BTH will provide free medical and dental services, as well as build medical and educational facilities, valued at USD $10 million, to communities across Belize. The exercise will start on March 25, 2017 and is scheduled to end the second week of June, 2017. BTH furthers the U.S. Government’s continued commitment to the Government and people of Belize in the field of humanitarian assistance. During the exercise, the BDF and many Belizean organizations will work side by side with U.S. military forces, learning from each other and serving the Belizean people. BTH will strengthen the partnership between the United States and Belize through collaboration on a variety of projects throughout Belize. The exercise will consist of five construction projects and three medical service events.

Marine protected areas suffer from lack of funds, staff
Countries across the world created some of the largest marine protected areas (MPAs) last year, some spanning hundreds of thousands of square miles. The recently created Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument off Hawaii, for example, is currently the largest marine protected area in the world at 582,578 square miles. Unfortunately, many marine protected areas are yet to realize their full potential. This is mainly due to a lack of adequate funds and staffing capacity that are preventing large expanses of protected oceans from achieving their conservation goals, concludes a new study published in Nature.

The rise of the hipster bird-watcher
nd so, it’s official: bird-watching is the new must-have string to the millennial’s bow. Once regarded as the preserve of middle-aged men wearing complementary shades of olive and beige, a nationwide survey of Britain’s hobbies and interests has discovered that 32 per cent of men aged between 16 to 25 have been birding. That revelation follows a recent Condé Nast Traveller magazine profile which described bird-watching as “2017’s unlikeliest craze”. The article cited former Blur frontman Damon Albarn and the Elbow singer Guy Garvey as arch proponents of the new zeitgeist. Although the crueller among you may point out that they are in fact well on the way to being bona fide middle-aged men themselves. Leaving that aside, there is a also a growing number of young women getting into it, setting up online groups with names like Next Generation Birders - further proof that birding has entered the hipster pantheon. To paraphrase Gordon Gekko: grebes are good.

Videos

  • World Water Day being celebrated in Belize!, 2min.

  • Special Senate Select Committee, 1.5 hr. The Senate Special Select Committee ( 3-22-2017 ) From The National Assembly Chamber in Belmopan.

  • Youth Mission Belize 2017, 6min. from South Tulsa Baptist

  • Pantropical spotted dolphins in Belize, 12sec. Drone footage from our first marine mammal expedition in Belize! Please help support our next comprehensive marine mammal research expedition in the coastal and offshore habitats of Belize! Make a difference in the lives of marine mammals and be a part of ocean conservation.

  • Adventures In Central America: Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, 10min.

  • Public health in Belize, 5min. Study Abroad assignment. This was one of the best trips that I have EVER been on! He is a director of a local nursing home facility.

  • Belize Jet Flying, 10sec. Use the jet ski to power flying.

  • Skydiving Belize, 1min. No Drone? Go Skydiving!!

  • ITVET hosted its annual Expo and Trade Fair welcoming hundreds of visitors from across the country, 10min.

  • Sport Talk, 90min.

  • Tanya Carter will be in SAN PEDRO FOR EASTER 2017, 1min. Yes. It will be fun concert. ITS GOING TO BE CRAZY.

  • CEMJC Recruitment Drive 2017!, 11min. CEMJC is the place to be! Vocational Technical education to help the development of our Nation. We are now accepting applications for all of our programs. WE are also opening our Business Entrepreneurship program the coming academic year. For more information you can visit our campus or you can call 423-3132. Like us on Facebook. Make CEMJC your second home!!! Please Share.

  • Chapter Day 6 Belize, 14min.

  • Scuba Belize Video GoPro, 10min.

  • You Betta Belize It | Travel Vlog, 15min.

  • Belize Ambergris Caye, 3min. Our honeymoon in Belize began on the island of Ambergris Caye! This area has the second largest coral reef system next to the Great Barrier reef, so it is a very popular dive site - an activity we came to do! To prepare we took an extensive online exam about diving principles. Once in Belize, we did a 4 hour pool training to learn about the equipment and diving principles. After lunch, we performed our first and second ocean dives started in a relatively shallow region - 12 ft; in the first two sessions we went to a max depth of 30ft. Afterwards we ended the day with snorkel trip to swim with sharks and manta rays.

  • Yellow Belize Seahorse, 1.5min.

  • San Pedro Belize, 8.5min.

  • Belize Trip 2017, 7min. Carson graham school trip of 2017

  • Belize- Snorkeling the Silk Caye, 1min.

  • Its Gonna be a Bumpy Ride Mon. Belize 2016, 6.5min.

  • Belize Wood Works Ltd, 1hr20min. BELIZE WOOD WORKS LTD. BRUNO KUPPINGER and his GREAT TEAM

  • A AGUA MAIS AZUL DO CARIBE!, 6min. Depois de conhecer a selva de Belize, chegou a hora de conhecer o lado caribenho!

    March 22, 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

    Sagebrush and Pit Stop Ministry fixes 48 bikes
    Over 15 volunteers from Sagebrush Ministry got their hands dirty on Saturday, March 18th as they provided free bicycle services for the island community. From 8AM to 12PM, the volunteers repaired a total of 48 bicycles at the Sagebrush Belize Campus across from Paradise Theater. Under the shade of a tent, volunteers fixed rims and brakes, greased chains, tightened bolts, and replaced tubes, tires, chains, pedals, bearings, seats, rear hubs, sprockets and sponges. Sagebrush Pastor Rafael Torres stated that this service was influenced by Pit Stop Ministry, which is located at their main campus in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United Sates. “Pit Stop Ministry voluntarily repairs vehicles. Last year in September 2016, Todd Crampton from Pit Stop came and saw that bikes corrode easily here, and we decided that bike owners would benefit from the cause since many people use it as their primary means of transportation. Here at Sagebrush Church, we believe that every act of our Christian faith and love for others brings honor to God,” said Torres.

    Strengthening ties between Cuba and San Pedro: Ambassador Lissette Perez pays official visit
    Ambassador of Cuba, Lissette Perez paid an official visit to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, and the San Pedro Town Councilors on Saturday, March 18th. This visit comes after she made a courtesy call on February 24th. Since Belize and Cuba are members of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Central American Integration System (SICA), Ambassador Perez expressed her interest in developing a partnership that would strengthen ties between Cuba and San Pedro Town. After the official meeting, Mayor Guerrero prioritized three key areas that both countries will focus on: climate change, sports, and culture.

    Police say no foul play suspected in the death of Rickilee Mercer
    A post mortem examination on the body of American National Rickilee Michelle Mercer has confirmed her cause of death as drowning. Mercer, a 29-year-old accountant from Spring Texas USA, was found dead in the leeward coast of Ambergris Caye on Wednesday, March 1st. She had been reported missing at sea late Tuesday evening, on February 28th, after reportedly falling off of a Jet Ski. According to police, due to the results of the post-mortem, no foul play was suspected in the cause of death and the case has since been closed.

    Ambergris Today

    More Belizeans Trained To Take Care Of The Elderly
    In keeping with its mandate, thirty nine persons, who are employed or seeking employment as caregivers in homes of the elderly or in assisted living facilities, received a certificate after a five-week training on Basics of Caregiving during a brief ceremony that was held on Friday, 17th March, 2017 at the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) on the ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City. The training has three components: theory, first aid and CPR and two-week internship at the Sister Cecilia’s Home for the Elderly. The training seeks to certify persons who have a passion for working with older persons either new entrant into the field or persons who are working but have had no formal training.

    Belize Listed 50th Happiest Country In The World - Not Bad!
    It’s not about being the richest! Money does not bring happiness; and despite the not-so-good economic outlook and many social woes around the country, Belizeans are happy. Our country has been listed as the 50th Happiest Country in the World. NOT BAD! Considering all 196 of them. This is the latest report from World Happiness Report (WHR), produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The aim of the report, said Mr Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General, is to provide another tool for governments, businesses and civil societies to help their countries find a better way to well-being.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    SBDC Workshop: QUICKBOOKS 101-ACCOUNTING PART 3
    Presented by: Mr. Jorge Gentle, Business Advisor, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Training Room, ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City. Workshop Date: March 24th, 2017. Time: 8am to 3pm. Cost: $60.00. QuickBooks is an accounting software program created by Intuit for small businesses and self-employed professionals. It can be used for almost all financial business processes. You can use it for entering receipts, tracking expenses, invoicing, payment tracking, tax tracking, purchase orders, and even to prepare reports and statements regarding your finances. QuickBooks is your business' solution when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting. This course was created for anyone who wants to learn QuickBooks. Whether you signed up simply to learn QuickBooks or are a complete newbie to the software does not matter. We will teach you the software from beginning to end so that anyone, regardless of experience, learns all that they need to know to successfully use the program.

    World Water Day Forum 2017
    The Ministry of Natural Resources, in conjunction with various local water partners, is hosting a one-day forum to commemorate World Water Day, which is celebrated annually on March 22nd under the United Nations theme for 2017: “Wastewater”. The Official Opening Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. at the Ramada Princess Hotel King's Room in Belize City. The Opening Ceremony will be followed with an open exhibit and a Wastewater Forum, to be held concurrently. Official ceremonies and presentations commence at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.

    Princess Casino Free Zone does it again
    This Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th. It is another weekend of belly laughter and LOL (Laughing Out Loud) with popular Mexican imitator and comedian "CHRISTIAN BURGOS". Come out and enjoy. NO cover charge.It all begins at 10:00 P.M. Belize time or 11:00 P.M. Mexico time.

    Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College's Annual Open Day
    YOU ARE INVITED! It is that time of the year again. It is time for the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College's (CEMJC) Annual Open Day. We plan to bring you lots of surprises and give you many prizes. It all happens on Thursday April 6th, 2017. Be a part of this grand event highlighting the best of CEMJC. It's all happening at the grounds in San Roman. Pin it down on your calendar and don't miss out. Please Share!

    National Tapir Day Slogan Competition
    The Belize Zoo is having a slogan competition. Fuego's 4th birthday will be celebrated on April 27th, and the winner along with their classmates, will be guests of honor. "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.

    Duck Race Kick Off
    The Rotary Club of Belmopan had a kick off party for this year's Belize Duck Race, which will happen at the Hawkesworth Bridge on June 24th. "Over the weekend, The Rotary Club of Belmopan had the official Kick-off event of the Belize Rubber Duck Race held at Buca Services Station in Belmopan City. We would like to take this oppunity to thank our sponsors for this event on Saturday Quality Poultry Central TV & Internet Belize Buca Services Co. Ltd. and too the community of Belmopan for all the support. we also want to say a big thank you to our Rotaract Club for coming out and helping us with this event. Bruce Flowers Belmopan Rotaract Club Rotary Club of Belmopan."

    Submissions for the 2017 Edition of BIFF are now open
    Entry forms on website at www.belizefilmfestival.com. Deadline is April 30th, 2017.

    Food Travel Specialists taste Belizean Cuisine
    Food Travel Specialists from Travel Specialist from Travel and Food, Central America from Intrepid Group, Currie & Co., Travels Unlimited & Cheema’s NYC LLC here in Belize to experience Belize's cuisine from The Northern Islands to Southern Belize.

    CARICOM week coming!
    Sign-up to participate in the Art Competition today!

    Erosion at Monkey River, photos

    Splashers
    Join us this Thursday at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar to paint "Relaxing Day"

    CUBAN AMBASSADOR VISITS SAN PEDRO TOWN
    During Her visit, Ambassador Perez met with Mayor Daniel Guerrero and other elected councilors in which areas of cooperation were discussed. Mayor Guerrero in speaking with the Cuban Ambassador discussed opportunities in the areas of Culture/Music/Art, Climate Change and Sports. As part of her visit, Ambassador Perez also met with several stakeholder groups including the Cuban Community on Ambergris Caye, Costa Maya Festival Committee Members, Lobster Fest Committee and the Cultural and Festival Committees of the San Pedro Town Council in which the subject of culture, music and art were discussed. The Ambassador ended her three-days visit with meeting with Sports/Softball coordinators of the San Pedro High School team along with the Councilor Hector "Tito" Alamilla. In the coming weeks, the council will be preparing a series of proposal that will be presented to the Cuban Embassy in an effort to utilized the available human resources to improve the three main areas of cooperation. For historical context, Belize has enjoyed a long standing good working relationship with the people and country of Cuba.

    Beyond the Horizon: 2017-Belize
    Beyond the Horizon: 2017-Belize (BTH), is a collaborative training exercise involving numerous U.S., Belizean, and international participants. BTH will provide free medical and dental services, as well as build medical and educational facilities, valued at USD $10 million, to communities across Belize. The exercise will start on March 25, 2017 and is scheduled to end the second week of June, 2017. The construction projects are as follows: • Expansion of the emergency room at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan. • Construction of a new medical waste incinerator housing at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan. • Construction of a new medical clinic building at the Ladyville Health Clinic. • Construction of a new medical clinic building at the Double Head Cabbage Clinic. • Construction of three new classrooms at St. Matthew’s Government School.

    Reef Week continues in Sarteneja Village!
    Wildtracks Update: Inspiring, and being inspired by youths in Sarteneja - towards improved marine stewardship! Reef week activities at the Manatee Rehabilitation Centre have continued with a visit from Standard 3 students of the Sarteneja Nazarene School, who learnt about the natural resources that manatees need, and the threats they face in the coastal waters of Belize.

    Beautifully painted floats
    Absolutely awesome. Great work Chuy Carillo

    Meditation for Beginners
    Saturday, April 8 at 10 AM - 1 PM, Core Fitness - Corozal 5th Avenue, 501 Corozal, Corozal, Belize. A workshop to help you initiate a daily meditation preactice with Jeremy A. Enriquez. Everyone is invited. Small Donation fee all proceeds go to charity. Brought to you by ROC (Rhythm of Change Belize). Vegetarian and Chicken lunch is included

    Forest 4 Life at SHC
    The Forest 4 Life celebration at Sacred Heart College to celebrate Forest Day was this morning. "Forest 4 Life Launch, huge success! Over 1200 students attended the event. 21 outstanding performances from schools from all over the country. What a FOREST DAY CELEBRATION! This event commemorates this year’s International Forest Day and is geared at listening to young voices of our children as they express why they believe forests are important to their lives and how they can help to protect forests for future generations. A highlight of the celebration will be the official launch of the Forest 4 Life campaign, an educational and recreational program for young people to learn by doing. At this event, Forest 4 Life youngsters will invite other students to join the movement, so that they too can engage in wise use and true conservation of our forests."

    10th NRM & Research Symposium
    The 10th annual Natural Resource Management and Research Symposium is next Thursday and Friday, at the UB campus. It's not too late to register. "Have you registered yet? Join us as we make the effort to share knowledge and forge partnership at our annual symposium. Register at www.msbcbelize.wordpress.com Submit a publication - published or unpublished, research paper, technical report or pamphlet etc. - for presentation at our publication spotlight. What's better than free publicity for your work?? Contact msbc.belize@gmail.com for more information."

    Clean-up and beautification of the Why-Not Island
    Awesome job to our sensational wavemakers in Dangriga. Jamall Swaso and the Dangriga basketball U-14 and U-18 teams carried out a clean-up and beautification of the Why-Not Island in Dangriga town. Way to go guys!

    Annual Reef Week fair
    Oceana and non-governmental organizations are participating in the annual Reef Week fair. This year the fair is being held in the beautiful coastal town of Punta Gorda in Southern Belize. These kinds of events provide the opportunity to engage Belizeans one on one about our advocacy goals and hear their concerns.

    Channel 7

    Dismembered Body Parts Found In Sack Near Iguana Creek
    Exactly one week after finding out that their beloved daughter and sisters were brutally murdered, the family of 18 year old Kerona Ara is back in the news, but this time the tragedy did not happen to them. At about 1 this afternoon, a couple of Ara's brothers and their friends were hunting iguanas near the Iguana Creek Bridge. They came across a 'crocus' bag in the water that they wanted to use to hold an iguana that they had captured, but as they got closer they realized the bag was already holding the remains of a human body; the hands and feet to be exact. The boys then ran home to tell their mother, Sherlene Mai, about what they found, and the family quickly called the police. The boys were too shaken up to talk to us, but Mai recounted what they told her, and told us what she saw when she went down the river to see for herself... Shirlene Mai, Mother of Eyewitness

    Police Tracked Down Elijah
    Tonight, Elijah Burke remains in police custody pending charges for killing his own sister, 29 year old Juliane Burke. As we told you, it happened on Sunday night in front of her 6 year old son. She had just picked him up and was about to take him for a walk, when her brother appeared out of nowhere. He chopped her several times, chasing Juliane and her young son out on the street. She fell into the drain, and that is where he continued to savage her. He escaped before police could arrive. They rushed her to the hospital and she died 12 hours later. He had been on the run, but last night, at a little after 8:00, Northside police captured him on New Road. He is in custody pending charges for murder. But why would anyone attack their own sister in such a murderous rage? Her husband told us last night what he believes was the motive:...

    Court Reverses Acquittal In Trial Without Jury, Sends Men Back To Jail
    About an hour or so ago, the Court of Appeal reversed the first acquittal for murder for 3 men who stood trial without jury. Those 3 men, Orel Leslie, Tyrone Meighan, and Brandon Baptist, who had been acquitted of the murder 28 year-old James Noralez, are now back on the hook for that case. And, that's bad news for Leslie and Meighan who had been free for 1 year and 5 months after beating their case in October of 2015. In the trial which was presided over by Justice Troadio Gonzalez The DPP's office showed evidence against all 3 men that they, Aaron Paquil, and the deceased, James Noralez, were socializing in Orel Leslie's yard on November 26, 2012. They ran out of drinks, and the investigators believed - but couldn't prove in original trial - that this was the time when they lured him to the junction of Fabers Road, and George Price Highway, under the pretense of replenishing the stock.

    Police Charge Minister’s Son
    It took two months, but Police have charged 27 YEAR OLD Kenzel Hulse, the son of Agriculture minister Godwin Hulse. A one liner from the police a few minutes ago says that the businessman of Cohune Walk Belmopan has been charged for 1 count of harm committed upon Alberto Santos Lopez. Santos Lopez told Police that he was attacked by Kenzel Hulse who allegedly hit him in the face with a licensed firearm and assaulted him.

    US Pres. Trump’s Alleged Russian Ties Extend All The Way To Belize?
    Does US President Donald Trump's alleged Russia ties extend all the way to Belize? That's what this invoice says. International news reports say it's an off-the-books payment of 750 thousand dollars to former Trump campaign manager Davis Manafort in 2009. The transaction is disguised as a payment for 501 computers and it is billed to an offshore company called NEOCOM Services Limited registered at #1 Mapp Street. That's the headquarters for International Corporate Services which probably has thousands of IBC's registered at that same address. Doug Singh is the founder and managing partner of the operation and he says NEOCOM was struck from the register of offshore companies in 2010, and was involuntarily dissolved in 2014. The company last paid its 100 US dollar registration fee in 2009, after being incorporated in 2007.

    Suspected Killer of Well Liked San Pedrano Wanted In Canada
    It has been 11 months since San Pedro's Star Footballer Melvin Almendarez was murdered, and his suspected killer Canadian resident Jordan Bacchus, is still on the run. According to an online news article in the Toronto Sun, Bacchus is believed to be hiding out in Canada. Although Bacchus had surrendered all this travel documents during the court proceedings, he still found his way out of Belize. In the article it says that Toronto detectives have searched a number of home addresses linked to Bacchus but he wasn't at any of the locations. He is wanted in Toronto for a number of firearm related offenses. So, the hunt for Bacchus continues. Melvin Almendarez was killed in May 2016. Police believe he was run over by a golf cart before he was shot and killed. As we have reported last year, there is compelling evidence that ties Bacchus to the Almendarez's murder including bloody clothes at his residence, blood at the bottom of his golf cart, hair specimens from the victim on his belongings plus a positive test result for gun powder on his hands. But Bacchus simply got away after facing a minor drug charge.

    A Day In The Life Of A Social Worker
    Earlier this month we told you about the trauma training for social workers. Belizean American Psychotherapist Dr. Alex Depaz had organized a session on how important it is for social workers to confront their own trauma and heal before treating or helping others. Well, in order to understand a social workers' perspective, you have to understand the work they do and the role they play. Today on World Social Work Day, an open day was organized to spread awareness about social workers. Here is how the coordinators put it. Ganesha Brannon, Human Dev., Coord., - Child Protection Services: "It's, ahm looking at World Social Work Day and we are honoring our social workers for the hard work that they've been doing throughout this year and we are looking at it through the Ministry of Human Development and what are some of the services that our ministry offers to the general public."

    Where Governments Get Insurance
    We all know about the different insurance companies in Belize which provide coverage for life and property in the event of catastrophe, tragedy or natural disaster. But, where do Governments go to get insurance in the case of natural disaster? Well, those within the CARICOM turn to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, which was established in 2007. Belize along with 16 other countries - mostly from the Caribbean are clients of CCRIF (C-RIF), and last year Belize received a payout for the damage caused by Hurricane Earl. Presently the CCRIF is in Belize for their very first time, and it is a perfect opportunity for them to make a donation to purchase equipment for the Belize Met Office. That donation of $100,000 was handed over today to the Ministry of Finance, and they invited the press to observe it. 7News was there, and here's what those at the head table had to say:

    Immigration Reports Fast Clearances Of Long Lines At Airport
    Last night we told you about those extraordinarily long lines for inbound and outbound passenger at the Phillip Goldson International airport. We said it was because there aren't enough immigration agents to process all of them which is based on observation. Well, the Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration Beverly Williams and the Director of Immigration Diana Locke were observing on that day too. They spent the day at the airport assessing the immigration work situation, and the passenger flow. Today the Director of Immigration Diana Locke told us via email that it took 9 officers only 15 minutes to clear the Southwest flight from Houston. She points out that on Fridays they have 13 flights, Saturdays, there are 22, and on Sunday's there are 12. She notes that they are constant and close together.

    Dear Teenage Girls…
    Five days ago, 18 year old Kiah Pastor made a thoughtful post on facebook. Now, people post stuff on Facebook all day, but hers seemed especially well thought out and lucid. It speaks about the trend of girls on social media being exploited and preyed upon by older men seeking nude pictures. She says those same men had pressed her to do the same. It’s an unusually frank testimonial of a growing and disturbing trend, and she told us more about it today:..

    Anglicans Hold Synod in Belize
    Since last Week Friday, the Anglican Bishops of the Province of the West Indies have been in Belize for their Provincial Synod. It's a gathering of the 8 dioceses of the Anglican Church which makes up the West Indies Province. These Synods are held every 3 years, and their main purpose is to take a long hard look the management of the Church, and the success that they have had in all 8 territories. This year, the Anglican Diocese of Belize were the host for 3 meetings under the synods, namely, the House of Bishops, the Standing Committee and the Commission on Doctrine. This afternoon, we got a chance to meet the Arch-Bishop of the West Indies, after he was coming out of one of the meetings. He granted us an interview about the assessment of the Belize chapter of the Anglican Church, and here's what he had to say:

    SIF Spends On Poverty
    Last night we told you that the CDB had earmarked 40 million US dollars in low interest loans for 8 Caribbean countries. Well, 5 million US of that is for Belize. According to CEO in the Ministry of Economic Development Yvonne Hyde, the funds will be used over the next four years to significantly enhance SIF's ability to provide support to poor and vulnerable communities throughout the country.

    Channel 5

    Human Remains Found near Blackman Eddy
    Tonight, villages in central Cayo District are on edge after another gruesome discovery was made around two this afternoon. A group of boys hunting iguana on the banks of the [...]

    Police Catch Up with Accused Sister-Killer Elijah Burke
    In the case of another gruesome murder, Elijah Burke, a Belize City resident, is in police hands awaiting arraignment in court for the hacking of his sister. It is not [...]

    S and P Not Impressed by Superbond 3.0; Downgrades Belize to Default Status
    In financial news….The government has been celebrating the restructuring of the Super Bond 3.0. But the credit rating agency, Standards and Poor’s Global ratings, is downgrading Belize’s long-term currency rating [...]

    APAMO Continues Challenge to Government on Taxes
    Government is proposing to increase departure tax for visitors to Belize to forty US dollars from thirty-five. It intends to raise as much as eleven million dollars from this tax [...]

    Belize Dragged into Trump Aide’s Laundering Claims in U.S., Ukraine
    The Washington Post and other U.S. news organizations have published a huge story which places a former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump to an offshore company in Belize which [...]

    Immigration Tells Why Lines are Long at P.G.I.A.
    In a classic case of “progress brings problems,” the Department of Immigration and Nationality has responded to concerns that its nineteen-member staff at the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville [...]

    Toledo Construction Worker Tells of Police Beating for Intervening in Arrest
    Thirty-year-old Mario Makin of San Marcus, Toledo, says that four cops beat him and left him for dead in August 2016 and nothing has been done about it. The construction [...]

    Court of Appeal Orders Retrial for 3 Accused of Murder
    In October 2015, Judge Troadio “John” Gonzalez ruled that three Belize City men accused of the 2012 shooting murder of B.D.F. Soldier James Noralez had no case to answer.  The [...]

    Police Finally Charge Kenzle Hulse in “Pistol-Whipping” Case
    Two months after the incident was first reported to police, twenty-seven year old Kenzle Hulse has been charged with harm. It was announced late this evening that the businessman from [...]

    Belize Gets Disaster Risk Donation
    The Government of Belize has signed into a major insurance agreement with Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, known as CCRIF. The signing took place today in Belize City and will [...]

    SIF Gets Infusion of Cash for Poverty Alleviation
    The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved ten million U.S. dollars to the Government in support of strengthening the Belize Social Investment Fund in order for it to continue providing [...]

    Recognizing the Worth of Social Workers
    Today, the Human Services Department services joined the rest of the world to observe World Social Work Day. Since 1983, the day has been celebrated around the world on March [...]

    More on Budget from Economist Dr. Densil Williams
    The 2017 budget which outlines government’s projected expenditure for the upcoming fiscal year will be debated in the House of Representatives at length on Thursday and Friday.  Ahead of that [...]

    Sustaining Coastal Growth and the Environment
    This week, the Coastal Zone Management Authority Institute is observing Coastal Awareness Week.  In its third year, the event draws attention to the importance of sustainable coastal management and at [...]

    Kids Quizzed over Coastal Awareness
    As part of the activities, today the Coastal Zone Authority held a trivia competition that saw the participation from schools across the city. The purpose is to raise awareness and [...]

    CTV3

    New NTUCB Leader Sets The Tone
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize held elections over the weekend to re-elect a new executive. If you would recall, back in December the Union body held elections and returned Marvin Mora to his position of National President. But because of the wording of the Congress’ constitution which prohibits persons who have served two consecutive terms in the Union from running again, Mora’s win was overturned. Since then, Jacqueline Willoughby has acted as President. In the new elections, Willoughby offered herself for the Union leadership but it was not to be. She was defeated by newcomer to Unionism, Floyd Neal, who got 45 votes to Willoughby’s 21. A third contender, Hubert Enriquez, eventually withdrew his candidacy.

    Concepcion Village Council Member Still Waiting To Be Swore In
    As part of the village council elections held in July 2016, a new village council was elected in Concepcion Village in the Corozal District. While the PUP won four seats, the UDP won the Chairman seat and two Council member seats. Normally, following the elections officials from the Ministry of Local Government visits each community to swear in the new council members which formalises their authority to act on behalf of the community. Well, it seems the Ministry of Local Government has forgotten Concepcion Village since nearly nine months later, no official ceremony has been held. Elected Councillor Rodolfo Lainez told us why it is becoming a problem for them.

    ITVET Prepares For Expo And Trade Fair
    Final preparations for the annual Orange Walk Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training Expo and Trade Fair are in full swing as we speak. The Expo, which is one of the institution’s leading marketing events, will take place tomorrow morning at the school’s campus. The aim of the activity is to recognize the quality of work, skills and talents imprinted in each student and at the same time, providing a gateway for new matriculation of students.

    Beyond The Horizon 2017 Comes To Belize
    The U.S. Army South, in partnership with the Belize Defense Force (BDF), and the Ministries of Defense, Health, and Education today announced the formation of a collaborative training exercise involving numerous U.S., Belizean, and international participants under the name “Beyond the Horizon 2017”. The BTH will provide free medical and dental services, as well as build medical and educational facilities throughout Belize, all valued at $10 million US dollars. The exercise is set to start on Saturday March 25th, 2017 and is scheduled to end the second week of June, 2017. In a release issued today by the US embassy in Belize it highlights that the BTH furthers the U.S. Government’s continued commitment to the Government and people of Belize in the field of humanitarian assistance.

    Standard & Poor Lowers Belize's Long Term Foreign Currency
    Standards and Poor Global Ratings has lowered its long-term foreign currency rating on Belize to selective default ('SD') from 'CC'. At the same time, the organization removed the rating from CreditWatch with negative implications, from where Belize was placed on Feb 21st, 2017. In addition, S and P lowered the short-term foreign currency rating to 'D' from 'C'. S and P also affirmed Belize’s 'CC' long-term local currency rating and the 'C' short-term local currency rating and revised the outlook on the long-term local currency rating to stable from negative. These rating actions follow Belize's announcement on March 15, 2017, that holders of more than 87% of the U.S. dollar bonds due in 2038 have consented to amendments to the terms of the bonds, which will alter the interest rate and amortization schedule.

    Opposition Leader Commits to Proper Government Audits
    Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceno has expressed grave concern that the figures presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his forecasts of the upcoming fiscal year are not matching up. Prime Minister Barrow says the economy will grow with a primary surplus of 3.5% but aside from saying that new tax measures will provide $88 million dollars to Government coffers, he has not detailed how this will be achieved. A major challenge to keeping the PM honest is the fact that the data presented in his budget hasn’t been audited by the Auditor General’s office. Briceno said when the PUP gets into Government; every Ministry will have to keep proper financial records.

    Police Finally Make Move On Victor Cituk's Case
    You might remember aggrieved Corozal resident, Victor Cituk. The 36 year old resident of Corozal Town has been on our newscast twice, accusing the Police Department of unfair treatment. Cituk was severely injured when he was knocked down by the driver of an SUV on January 1st. He reported the matter to the authorities, but at least two months passed and no charges had been laid on the driver of the vehicle. Cituk claimed the Police were covering up and so he took his plight to higher authorities including the Police’s internal affairs and the Ombudsman’s office.

    Identitiy Of Human Skull found At Dump Site Remains Unknown
    Police investigations are tonight still ongoing in the gruesome discovery of the charred remains of a human skull. The discovery was made over the weekend in the dump site situated at the Chan Pine Ridge road. Though Police have been minimal in the information provided to the media on the case, we have been able to confirm that DNA testing has been conducted on the partial remains but police have not been able to confirm an identity.

    Amandala

    “Red Top” did in “El Tigre”
    A man known as “El Tigre,” 62, reportedly originally from Corozal Town, a lover of Red Top rum who used to hang out at the Commercial Center on Regent Street with the homeless, and who, despite suffering with illness, refused to leave his beloved rum to go and seek medical treatment, died this evening on the sidewalk near his favorite spot under the Commercial Center. El Tigre’s body has since been taken to the morgue, where it will undergo an autopsy to certify the cause of his death. Police have ruled out foul play. El Tigre’s friends, frustrated with his stubborn refusal to get medical assistance, told us that since last Wednesday, they had been telling him to go to the doctor, and they have been telling him to go every day, but El Tigre refused. He would drink and not bother to eat.

    Canadian man, wanted for murder in Belize, also wanted in Canada
    Canadian national Jordan Bacchus, 27, has been wanted in Belize for murder since last year. However, before Belizean police officers could nab him, he made a clean getaway to Canada. In Canada, Bacchus has again found himself on the wrong side of the law and is being sought in connection with multiple firearm-related offences. According to the Toronto Police Service, on February 22, they executed search warrants at addresses in Toronto for him, but he could not be located at the time the warrants were executed.

    Brother chops sister to death
    Julianne Burke, 28, had just finished work at Aisha’s Restaurant on Dunn Street at about 8 o’clock Sunday night and was going with her 6-year-old son to her room, which is located in the same yard behind the restaurant, when her brother, who had lay-waited her, came out of the darkness and attacked her with a machete. Burke’s little son ran back to her employer, shouting that her uncle was killing her mommy. Julianne managed to escape from her homicidal brother and ran out of the yard to the front of the restaurant to get away from him, but he chased her and tripped her on the road, and chopped her mercilessly.

    Third Belizean killed in Melchor
    In less than two weeks, another Belizean has been murdered in Melchor. On Friday at approximately 9 p.m., San Jose Succotz resident and tour operator, Carlos “Botty” Manzanero, was seated with his wife at a bar known as Champon at the western border when a gunman accosted him. Manzanero was reportedly shot once in the right knee, once in the left hand and five times in the chest. He died seated in his chair. His attacker had been at the same establishment before the incident, but fled after the shooting. According to eyewitness accounts, there was no prior confrontation between the men.

    Hipolito Mai drowns in Biscayne pond
    Hipolito Mai, 22, of Old Well Road, Ladyville, drowned when he jumped into a pond in Biscayne at about 5:30 this evening. The body was recovered and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where it awaits an autopsy to certify the cause of death. Police said that no foul play is suspected and have described the incident as death by drowning. Reports to us are that at about 5:30 this evening Mai and a friend went to swim in the pond. The friend jumped in, but was not aware that Mai had followed him into the pond. When the friend came out of the water, Mai was nowhere to be found. Mai’s body was later found and Compression Press Resuscitation (CPR) was performed on him, but the effort was in vain.

    KREM Music Awards 2017 – the best of the best honored
    The annual KREM Music Awards, our local version of the Grammy Awards, was the occasion for a red-carpet rollout at the Bliss Institute on Saturday night. Artists from every crevice emerged from their respective corner of the country to see who would be awarded for the 15 categories in which nominations had been made. The title of top female artist of the year was awarded to the self-proclaimed Soca Queen, Ernestine Carballo, who told our newspaper that, “As a female in this male-dominated business, you got to be self- motivated, believing in yourself that you can achieve anything in life.” “Not everyone would want to acknowledge or treat you with the same level of respect, you have to demand it,” she said.

    Martinez’ buzzer-beater against Wagiya keeps FC Belize in striking distance of PLB playoffs
    Week 9 is completed in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2016-2017 Closing Season, and we are in the back stretch of what looks to be another hectic run to the top-4 playoffs, as FC Belize made a significant move at the last minute yesterday, gaining a desperately needed victory over visiting Wagiya on a last-minute injury-time goal by Mexican striker Hector Martinez. There are now 6 teams in contention for the 4 playoff spots. Defending champion and league-leading Belmopan Bandits are pretty much in the “driver’s seat,” which leaves 5 teams – Belize Defence Force FC, Verdes FC, Police United FC, FC Belize and Placencia Assassins FC – to battle for the 3 remaining berths in the playoffs. There is no stopping Opening Season champion Belmopan Bandits from “flying the iron bird” to CONCACAF Champions League First Round this year; but a championship is still a championship, and the home stretch run will likely be flavored with some surprises from fast improving Wagiya and Freedom Fighters, who are building with their sights on next season. (See updated standings right.)

    FFB launches National Amateur Women’s League
    This past weekend, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) kicked off its National Amateur Women’s League football tournament with Week 1 games being played at 4 different venues across the country. According to release late last week from the FFB, “The league will be sectioned in two zones, northern and southern zones, with four teams per zone.” “The teams will be competing in their respective zones in the first round,” after which the top 2 teams from each zone will go on to the home-and-away semifinals series, the winners of which clash in the home-and-away championship series.

    Editorial: Cops, crime, and the community
    In Belize City, the nation’s population center, the Police Department is clearly overwhelmed by the violent and often sensational crimes which occur so frequently as to be practically dizzying. Violent crime in Belize City has been the order of the day for a quarter century and more. In fact, it was almost exactly a quarter century ago that Itza Brown, considered the Majestic Alley Crips leader, was murdered in the horse stables at the old National Stadium, whereupon there was retaliation thousands of miles away in Brooklyn, New York against a major Bloods figure who was visiting from Belize: the streets will never forget the early months of 1992. Since 1992, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has been in power for 14 years, and the People’s United Party (PUP) has been in power for 11 years. There is no real difference in Belize City’s violent crime statistics when the UDP is in power compared to when the PUP is in power. But the Opposition party, whichever it happens to be at any given time, is always tempted to blame the ruling party, whichever it is, for the rate of violent crime, because these incidents are often headline news in Belize’s media.

    US attorney writes from Washington
    Dear Editor, The Honourable Foreign Minister was quoted in the media as saying this past week that Belize lacked “internationally recognized borders,” and that the Belizean people therefore are like “squatters”. If Mr. Elrington was quoted correctly, then I certainly have to understand him to have been speaking metaphorically. The fact that Guatemala refuses to recognize Belize’s established borders does not render them any the less valid at law. The international community, speaking through the United Nations, recognized both the Sarstoon, and also the parallel of longitude passing north to south through Garbutt’s Falls, as Belize’s borders with Guatemala. The U.N. General Assembly passed successive annual resolutions in the years prior to independence calling for Belizean independence within just these borders.

    PART 2: TRUTH & FALLACIES ABOUT OBESITY … WEIGHT LOSS MEDICATIONS
    Hello everyone. Two weeks ago, we spoke about some dynamics of obesity and managing our weight, compatible with our body type. To recap, in that discussion, we spoke about some of the causes of obesity and weight gain. We spoke about the interaction between one’s culture, environment, exercise habits, and eating styles. We also addressed one’s genetic, biochemical and physiological “set point,” that may contribute to weight management. Finally, we spoke briefly about some cases of obesity that are due to an imbalance of the hormone, insulin. This bring us up to date and since this is a large and protracted topic, today in Part 2 as a follow-up on this topic, we will not overburden ourselves with details, but rather, we will hit some of the essential points, at a personal level, where we can all easily relate to them in our daily lives. So, let’s get started.

    Diplomatic relations between Belize and Guatemala not normalized
    Almost a year ago, Guatemala’s Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Estuardo Roldan Barillas, was called back to Guatemala for consultations, and although a diplomatic note was sent out roughly 2 weeks ago announcing his resumption of duties in Belize, Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington told the media today that the Ambassador is in Guatemala—not Belize. Elrington said repeatedly that Ambassador Roldan, who was visible last week in meetings held in Guatemala with Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, is not back in Belize. “We would wish for him to come back. We are hoping that he’s going come back, but he is not in the country,” Elrington stressed.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Godwin Hulse son charged for pistol whipping disgruntled customer
    Kenzel Hulse, 27, the son of Minister Godwin Hulse has been charged by police for pistol whipping a man at his gas station in Belmopan. According to reports, he was charged yesterday afternoon for 1 count of harm committed upon Alberto Lopez. The incident […]

    Superbond renegotiations prompts S&P downgrade
    Standards and Poor’s Global ratings, in light of Belize’s restructuring of the 2034 US dollar Bonds, made changes to Belize’s credit rating, including downgrading Belize’s long-term currency rating from CC to SD. S&P explained that it downgraded the raring from CC (Eminent default with […]

    Old San Ignacio hospital to be new location for twin towns administration building
    BBN was informed today by Earl Trapp, the Mayor of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena in the Cayo District that the old San Ignacio Hospital will be the new location for the council’s administration building. A section of the building […]

    OAS to investigate murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie
    DANNY In April of last year, a Guatemalan minor was shot and killed in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul forest. The gunfire exchange occurred when Belize defense Force (BDF) soldiers along with Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) personnel encountered the minor and […]

    Elrington calls for strengthening of police-media relations
    The media boycott of the police department remains in effect. According to media, the police refuses to share needed information so as to keep the public informed. Home Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington, however, told the media that when he was handed the police portfolio, […]

    Man detained for chopping his sister to death
    Sometime before 9 o’clock last night, police in Belize City arrested Elijah Burke on New Road. Burke had been wanted in connection with the vicious chopping of his sister on Wednesday night. His sister, Juliane Burke, 29, was chopped multiple times by her brother […]

    Mutilated body found near Iguana Creek Bridge, Cayo District
    A mutilated body was found near Iguana Creek Bridge in the Cayo District this afternoon.Police are currently on the scene. According to reports, it appears to be the body of a Hispanic man. Coincidentally, the body was found by a group of men including the […]

    Brigadier General David Jones inducted into U.S. Army Command & General Staff College International Hall of Fame
    Brigadier General (BG) David N. Jones, was inducted into the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) International Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place last Thursday at the Lewis and Clark Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA where Jones studied in 2007.

    Sandhill man missing at sea
    Our newsroom has received reports that a man is missing. He has been identified as Barry Rosales also known as Jaxey of a Sand Hill Village address. According to reports, he is missing at sea. His family reportedly received a call at around 3 am yesterday confirming that his bag was found. However, he was not found with it.

    GOB will not protest fatal shooting of Belizean in Guatemala
    Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, told the media this week that the Government of Belize will not be issuing any protest notes to Guatemala, after the fatal shooting of Belizean Amadeos Teck in Melchor De Mencos tlast weekend. Ellington explained that since the issue was a crime committed between civilians, there is no need for GOB to send an official protest note to the Government of Guatemala. He said that killings become a diplomatic issue when members of a country’s armed forces are party to such killings.

    Minor stabbed during bar fight in Caye Caulker
    According to police reports, last night around 7:15, acting upon information received of a stabbing incident, police visited a clinic on Pasero Street in Caye Caulker. Police observed a 17-year-old male of a Belize City address suffering from a stab wound to the left shoulder, right hand and abrasions to the head and right hand.

    Over 900 students celebrate Forest Day today
    Today is International Forest Day 2017. The theme this year is: “Forest 4 life”. Over 900 children and youths are expected to gather at the Sacred Heart Auditorium to celebrate the importance of forests to their lives. The event is being hosted by the Forestry Department. These students will join forest conservation partners in the Forest for Life celebrations at the Sacred Heart Junior College Auditorium, San Ignacio Town.

    Belize celebrates World Water Day with forum
    World Water Day is celebrated annually on March 22nd and this year the United Nations is celebrating the day with the theme: “Wastewater”. The Ministry of Natural Resources, in conjunction with various local water partners, is hosting a one-day forum to commemorate World Water Day. The Official Opening Ceremony will be held on tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. at the Ramada Princess Hotel King’s Room in Belize City. T

    New houses handed over to fire victims
    Earlier today, National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Minister Edmond Castro was in the Albert Division of Belize City along with the constituency’s Area Representative, Tracy Taegar-Panton handing over houses to victims of natural disaster. The houses were handed over in the Conch Shell Bay area.

    Belize City cops seize drugs and ammunition
    A further search was conducted and police also discovered four more black plastic bags containing cannabis and four .9mm rounds: two Luger brand, one Aguila brand, and one S&B brand.

    GOB to receive US $10 million to support poor and vulnerable communities
    The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved US $10 million to the Government of Belize in support of strengthening the Belize Social Investment Fund (SIF) in its continued delivery of providing services to poor and vulnerable communities across Belize. Belize SIF is an implementing agency of the government addressing the basic needs of Belizeans as enshrined in the government’s policy to alleviate poverty reduction in both urban and rural communities.

    Troubled times ahead for Belize’s sugar industry as EU lifts quotas for beet sugar
    The sugar industry in Belize and the greater Caribbean, may face massive declines in revenue as the European Union, the largest importer of Caribbean sugar, prepares to change its sugar regime. In October this year, the EU will lift the limitations it had imposed on beet sugar production, which will offer European consumers a more local and cheaper alternative than importing cane sugar from its former African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) colonies like Belize.

    Ambassador Nestor Mendez receives medal of honor for merit
    Belizean Ambassador Nestor Mendez was awarded a Medal of Honor for Merit during a ceremony last week Thursday in Panama City, Panama. The event was attended by diplomats, security experts, and representatives from international and regional organizations. H.E. Nestor Mendez is also the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the award was presented by the Sociedad de Estudios Internacionales (SEI) of Panama “in recognition of his work to promote democracy, strengthening human rights, and fostering peace and security and integral development.”

    Blogs

    Retire Close to Home in Low-Cost Central America Fast Facts
    Central America is a popular choice for retirement for many North Americans. This is not surprising when you consider the great qualities the region has to offer. First off there are the practical aspects, such as its proximity to North America, and its similar range of time zones. Nowhere else in the world can North American expats enjoy their retirement overseas and still have the option of visiting their families within the space of two hours. This close proximity works both ways too, meaning that expats in Central America are regularly entertaining guests from back home. With a population of 330,000, English-speaking Belize offers plenty of empty, wide-open spaces. Located below Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, this is picture-postcard Caribbean. It’s a country of Maya temples, seaside condos, jungle lodges, and colonial mansions. Belize offers economic stability, ease of living, and a cost of living that is good value when you compare it with that of other Caribbean retreats. According to International Living Belize Correspondent, Ann Kuffner, depending on which part of Belize you choose to live, a monthly budget for a couple can be anywhere between $1,200 to $3,000.

    Lobsterfest in Belize
    Is it wrong to plan an entire vacation around one’s taste buds? Not if you crave an obscene amount of lobster! This delicacy is the superstar of Belize’s culinary scene beginning in mid-June, and since you can fly to Belize in just a few hours, envision yourself eating breakfast at home and feasting on lobster for lunch. No need to bring a bib if you make Lobsterfest your 2017 goal. Just pack wash and wear clothes and your favorite flip-flops and you’ll fit right in! This annual seafood bacchanal is no ordinary celebration. Lobsterfest is an official summer kickoff event coinciding with the first lobster harvests that continue through February 15th. The wildly popular nationwide event turns Belize into one big homage to crustaceans celebrated in three areas: Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Placencia. Bring your appetite. Is it possible to grow weary of eating this delicacy? No way.

    Chocolate Festival of Belize
    Wanting to showcase the superior quality of their local cacao, various chocolate manufacturers and cacao farmers in the Toledo District of Belize gathered together in 2007 to form the first Chocolate Festival. Now in its tenth year, the Chocolate Festival has blossomed into a three-day event featuring local foods, wines, trips to cacao farms and a musical competition celebrating the area’s indigenous heritage. Cacao (the key ingredient in chocolate) is indigenous to the Americas, and Belize’s Toledo District is world-renowned for having some of the finest quality cacao anywhere. Beside traditional chocolate desserts, the festival features everything from chocolate beer to chocolate soap. The festival also coincides with a large street fair with plenty of music, cultural displays, and exhibitions to entertain the whole family. The festival is held in the town of Punta Gorda located in Belize’s southernmost District of Toledo. In 2017, the Chocolate Festival will be held between Friday, May 19, and Sunday, May 21 in the town of Punta Gorda in Toledo District.

    You better Belize it; Visiting Belize for easter
    We take this greatest pleasure in inviting you to come visit Belize. Our country has the friendliest friends and visitors with a warmth that results both from an instinctive sense of hospitality and from various cultures that have made Belize unique. In Belize, you can experience the warm Caribbean teeming weather with the wonders of the deep, and lush, exciting interior where you can walk the pathways of our rain forest and discover the exotic and breath-taking wildlife that awaits you. Crawfish, the feeding time on the house reef of Caye Caulker is an impressive sea game and a must for anybody who can take a boat on the small island off the coast of Belize. Much more than to snorkel around the whole day, there is a lot to do here. And that's exactly how it should be. Most backpackers have visited the Mayan sites and colonial towns of Belize, which are on their way to the jungles of Guatemala and to more ruins. On Caye Caulker, they press the break button for a few days. From the hundreds of islets along the world's second largest barrier, Caye Caulker, Placenia, Corozal and San Pedro is the easiest to reach and most convenient. Crawfish also for backpackers A lot has changed in the past five years, Everywhere is now being built.

    Why Choose Belize as a destination for vacationing
    Living in harsh winter conditions for five months of every year, it is understandable to want to escape the cold for a few weeks and get some serious vitamin D. With 5-star resorts, long beaches, cabanas, and cocktails on demand, the east coast of Mexico is often the destination of choice for many. But if you’re seeking an adventure that will break up your trip to Mexico, Belize is only a six-hour road trip directly south of Cancun. If it’s still the relaxed vibes and stress-free ambience you are looking for, then Caye Caulker is the destination for you. Caye Caulker, located only 21 miles northeast of Belize City, is surprisingly only four miles in length. But don’t let the size of this tiny island reflect the people and things to do on it. Caye Caulker is predominantly a fishing community, although over time as travellers have spread the good word to fellow nomads, this tiny island now relies profoundly on tourism.

    Let's protect our Barrier Reef in Belize by Oilspilling
    Coral reefs, some of the Earth’s most remarkable natural structures, are more than just beautiful to admire. Besides fostering a diverse marine environment, coral reefs are also vital to the health of the oceans. In total, coral reefs cover about 0.1 percent of the ocean’s but they nurture 25 percent of the world’s marine species. Coral reefs are the ocean’s lifelines and when they disappear, it can create an ecologically devastating domino effect. Sadly, the world’s corals are rapidly disappearing due to warming ocean temperatures, human industry, overfishing, and ocean acidification. For example, over the past thirty years, the Great Barrier Reef has lost approximately 50 percent of its coral. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which was placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 2009, is facing a similarly dismal future. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is home to an amazing 1,400 different species, including 500 types of fish and 100 corals. This reef hosts the world’s largest population of threatened Indian manatees, as well as endangered sharks and marine turtles; however, in recent years, the reef’s ecosystems have been damaged by coastal construction, and oil concessions continue to pose a threat.

    Marine Biology class travels to Belize over Spring Break
    A Saint Mary’s marine biology class took in-depth learning to a whole new meaning. The class spent spring break in Belize at South Water Caye applying what it learned in the classroom life to the natural world. Saint Mary’s assistant biology professor Laura Kloepper said marine biology had not been taught in years, but the department now plans on regularly running the class. “For the past few years no one has been teaching that class,” Kloepper said. “So we’ve resurrected the marine biology class and we plan on teaching this every two years. This trip to Belize was part of the lab component for our marine biology class that we offer here for majors.” Kloepper said studying Belize was an obvious choice because of its diverse environment. She said it provided a unique opportunity to learn more about a field that is not as prominent in a landlocked state like Indiana. “If you’re teaching marine biology in Indiana doing a lab is a little difficult. So we decided to make our lab one big field trip to Belize where it is a very diverse coral reef ecosystem that’s pretty easy to get to,” Kloepper said. “It’s also one of the few coral reefs that is still fairly unaffected by coral bleaching.”

    International Sourcesizz

    New documents show Trump aide laundered payments from party with Moscow ties, lawmaker alleges
    Did former Trump campaign manager launder Ukrainian payments through Belize, as alleged by Ukrainian lawmaker? - A Ukrainian lawmaker released new financial documents Tuesday allegedly showing that a former campaign chairman for President Trump laundered payments from the party of a disgraced ex-leader of Ukraine using offshore accounts in Belize and Kyrgyzstan.
    A Ukrainian lawmaker released new financial documents Tuesday allegedly showing that a former campaign chairman for President Trump laundered payments from the party of a disgraced ex-leader of Ukraine using offshore accounts in Belize and Kyrgyzstan. The new documents, if legitimate, stem from business ties between the Trump aide, Paul Manafort, and the party of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who enjoyed Moscow’s backing while he was in power. He has been in hiding in Russia since being overthrown by pro-Western protesters in 2014, and is wanted in Ukraine on corruption charges.

    'Camp Macaw'
    Check out 'Camp Macaw' an article featuring the efforts on the ground to protect Scarlet Macaws in Belize. Special thanks to National Audubon Society and Audubon Magazine! Roni Martinez Friends for Conservation and Development - FCD Belize

    Dallas DJ Starts Four-Day Techno Fest in Belize to Help Charity
    Veteran Dallas DJ and promoter Willie Trimmer has served as an ambassador for the Dallas house and techno scenes for nearly two decades. Through his promotion company 12InchPimps, he’s organized parties, managed DJs and held down several residencies himself. Now he’s leveraging his experience and connections to start the four-day Festival of the Sun & Moon in San Pedro, Belize. Andy Caldwell, DJ Dan and Hatiras will headline the 20-artist lineup at the inaugural festival, taking place April 6-9. The U.S., Canada, England, Germany and host country Belize will all be represented, and Texas alone will have 6 artists on the lineup: Andy Austin, Girlbot, Nate Nelson, Stetra, DJ Dilly and Trimmer — all from Dallas — plus Zekk from El Paso. A portion of the proceeds from Sun & Moon will benefit two nonprofits: the San Pedro Aids Commission and Raise Me Up. The latter is run by a former Dallasite and works to help the poor in San Pedro; the group's latest project is building a shelter for women and children.

    Manafort cash trasferred to US from Belize, says Ukraine lawmaker
    Ukrainian Lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko said the amount and date of the payment _ October 14, 2009 _ matches one of the entries on the so-called Black Ledges, the handwritten accounting books of the Party of Regions, where Paul Manafort's name stood next to several entries as receiving the party's funds. Leshchenko argued that the documents found in Manafort's office and the invoice in particular show the mechanics of money-laundering that should be investigated by U.S. authorities. "Paul Manafort is an American citizen. NABU [Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau] has enough to do with corrupt Ukrainian officials. I think they can be party to a bigger international investigation,'' he said. "First of all, it's up to American officials to investigate, because we're talking about American citizens. Money (was) transferred to an account in the United States from Belize opened with an account in Kyrgyzstan, so Ukraine is almost not involved in this.''

    Parranda Festival in Belize Lights up Easter Week
    Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, a multi-award-winning boutique eco-resort invite guests to Hopkins, Belize for the 4th annual Belize Parranda Festival – Belize’ premiere indigenous folk art festival. Scheduled for April 15, the festival will feature international music, art exhibitions, and local food. This event is sponsored by the Belize Heart and Soul Foundation, Hamanasi Resort and the Parranda Fest Committee. Activities will get underway at 10 AM at the Palmento Grove Cultural and Fishing Lodge on Holy Saturday, April 15. Hopkins International Parranda Fest 2017 Will provide the best of Belizean Cultural & Musical Entertainment for the Easter Weekend. It all starts off with a cassava baking exhibit and a cultural art & music exhibition that goes through at 6:00 with live entertainment. Night time on stage will be a variety of local bands with featuring renowned Belizean Garifuna artist Aziatic. He has been a dynamic star in Punta Rock and Parranda music for 20+ years.

    ETBU students spend spring break on mission
    East Texas Baptist University students spent spring break demonstrating the love of Christ by serving people in the jungles of Belize, in a storm-damaged area of South Louisiana and on the beaches of South Padre Island. “We are grateful to have committed Christian servant leaders in our East Texas Baptist students, who are willing to sacrifice their vacation time for the blessing of others,” President Blair Blackburn said. Lisa Seeley, director of global education and the ETBU Great Commission Center, led 10 students to recover water wells and share the gospel of Jesus in Belize. The team worked in Otoxha, a remote jungle village without electricity or running water. “Seeing how different our cultures are was eye-opening,” sophomore Abbey Sturdivant said. “Even though we are so different, we are all equal in the eyes of God.”

    Five Caribbean Nations Named Major Illicit Drug Transit Countries
    A list of five Caribbean nations has been sent to the U.S. Congress by Donald Trump with the label: “major illicit drug producing and/or drug-transit countries.” That’s according to the latest International Narcotics Control Strategy Report on Drug and Chemical Control, released recently by the U.S. State Department. Belize was also listed as a major transit country for illegal drugs destined for the United States from source countries in South America, due to its position along the Central American corridor. The State Department also says the country’s remote jungles provide a hospitable environment for the growing and transferring of cannabis and urged the government in Belize to strengthen its public security and law enforcement institutions through more effective anti-corruption legislation, comprehensive background checks and vetting of new and existing personnel, better training, and continuing education programs.

    Caribbean Development Bank Seeks to Reduce Poverty In 8 Countries with $40M Funding
    The Caribbean Development Bank has announced $40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight countries in the Caribbean region, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). The resources will support improved access to quality education, water and sanitation, basic community access and drainage, and livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9). Countries that will benefit are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

    Caye Caulker foto's & tips: Shark alley
    In wezen kun je Shark Alley, voor de kust van Belize, ook als een verborgen water zien. Weliswaar niet echt buiten de gebaande paden, want het kan er druk zijn met toeristen. Maar wel verborgen in de zin van dat je het zonder gids niet gemakkelijk zult vinden. Het is namelijk een gedeelte in de Caribische zee. Bijzonder aan deze plek is, dat het er stikt van de pijlstaartroggen en rif- en zusterhaaien. Ze doen over het algemeen geen vlieg kwaad, en vandaar is het een populaire plek om er te snorkelen. Dat het echter ook wel eens fout kan gaan, heb ik gisteren beschreven in de blog "Trouble in paradise"

    SPMAGTF-SC 17 begins pre-deployment training at Camp Lejeune
    Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Southern Command 17 have begun training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 8, 2017, to prepare for their upcoming deployment to Central America. The task force, comprised of approximately 300 Marines from both active and reserve components, will deploy to Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras this summer to build upon security cooperation efforts and established relationships in the region. "The mission has to do with helping our allies and partners in Central America keep the peace within their borders,” said Col. Michael V. Samarov, commander of SPMAGTF-SC 17. To accomplish the mission, the Marines will participate in shoulder-to-shoulder training with partner militaries, and conduct infrastructure improvement projects.

    Videos

  • Muffles College Student Government Association nomination day, 4min.

  • The biennial Corozal Community College expo, 8min.

  • CENTAUR COMMUNICATIONS TAKES THE WORLD WIDE WEB INTO THE CLASSROOMS OF CONCEPCION R C SCHOOL, 5min.

  • Fun Fridays, 100min.

  • The National Budget 2017 - 2018 - Review by Senator Mark Lizarraga, 56min.

  • UNICOMER - Corporate Social Responsibility Events, 21min.

  • Orange Walk ITVET - Technical & Vocational Education in Belize, 24min.

  • Awesome octopus video, Mexico Rocks, San Pedro, Belize, 2.5min. an Octopus at Mexico Rocks. The other fish he encounters is a Peacock Flounder.

  • Garifuna Drumming Belize-John Canoe, 1min.

  • Clark Edwards visits Altun Ha Belize in 2008., 2min. Clark takes a tour of the Altun Ha Archaeological Reserve in November of 2008.

  • Morning Matters at Maxis, 58min.

  • Comparative Analysis on Budget - A Regional Perspective, 29min.

  • Inter- Ministerial Coordination for ECD - Goals & Objectives, 47min.

  • US Embassy in Belize - Visa Requirements, 17min.

  • Here's a snapshot of the life of outstanding Belizean entertainer, broadcaster, and comedian, Edison Seferino Coleman., 10min. Report by Steve Lovell.

  • I am passing by Xanadu Island Resort and is just FABULOUS!, 7min.

  • Mayan Mysteries Through The Mists Of Time, 12min. The Mayan Meso American civilization spanned the regions of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. The Mayan tribes were very advanced and they studied the night sky with astounding accuracy and built monuments that are still standing today.

  • BELIZE 2017, 2min. Me and my 12 friends and our fishing trip in Belize.

  • YOU BETTER BELIZE IT - Hopkins, Belize - Part 1, 7min. We travel to Belize looking for crocs. It's likely we just end up drinking scotch at the bar. Don't stop Belize in. Karaoke happens.DRONES HAPPEN. DRONES ARE NOT A CRIME. I FLEW A DRONE AT AN AIRPORT YOU BASTARDS. Rum punch is delicious. This may be the ADD talking.

  • Spending the Weekend in Belize, 6.5min. There is so much to do in Belize. Water Taxis, Private Islands, Conch Diving, Bars on the Water, Cave Exploring, Mayan Ruins, The Blue Hole and much more...

  • Sail fish in belize, 1min.

  • Sailfish release in belize, 15sec.

  • Kori Diego - Volley Ball Athlete from Belize, 2min.

  • 2017 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 2, 26min. See the second day of competition while the paddlers travel from Banana Bank to Double Head Cabbage

  • Bus ride through Corozal Town, Belize, 1.5min.

  • Living off the Grid Belize Fly Fishing Barracuda, 8min. Come join us on the remote Caribbean island as we experience our first day of Living off the Grid in Belize.

    March 21, 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

    Thirty Nine Persons now Equipped to Take Care of the Elderly
    he 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 cadre of well-trained, marketable and self-sufficient individuals able to confidently compete in the marketplace. In keeping with its mandate, thirty nine persons, who are employed or seeking employment as caregivers in homes of the elderly or in assisted living facilities, received certificates at the conclusion of a five-week training on Basics of Caregiving during a brief ceremony was held on Friday, 17th March 2017 at 11:00 am at the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) on the ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City.

    Back to back Championship: SPHS Male Softball Team wins nationals!
    The San Pedro High School (SPHS) Male Softball Team returned home champions after winning the National Softball Tournament held over the weekend in Belize City. The tournament took place on Friday, March 17th and Saturday March 18th, and saw the island boys representing the north of the country, having won the Northern Regional competition earlier this month. The team won its qualifying game on Friday, March 17th, which allotted them to a spot in the championship game the following day. With spirits high, on Saturday afternoon, the island boys managed to win and bring home the coveted title, and were named the 2017 National Softball Male Champions.

    GEM survey reveals major improvements in Belize’s entrepreneurial activity
    The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, through BELTRAIDE, is pleased to announce that a recent survey by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has revealed major improvements in Belize’s overall national entrepreneurial activity. The survey, which was conducted last year among 2,318 Belizeans (between the ages of 18 to 65, including males and females) countrywide over a one month period, rated Belize’s overall national entrepreneurial activity from a mere 7.1% in 2014 to a whopping 28.8%, in 2016, which placed Belize second behind Ecuador’s 31% for the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Region, and third globally.

    Ambergris Today

    Nadir Price Wins Oceana's Annual Reef Week Instagram Competition
    Oceana is pleased to announce the winner of its annual Reef Week instagram competition, Mr. Nadir Price of Belmopan. Held under the 2017 Reef Week theme: “Turn the Tide, Respect the Reef”, Nadir’s video submission combined footage from the Hol Chan and the Silk Cayes Marine Reserves. His images showcased both the beauty and vulnerability of the Belize Barrier Reef. The Instagram campaign encouraged Belizeans to share their original photos and videos that exemplify the Reef Week theme as well as their unique perspective, stories and experiences of the Belize Barrier Reef. Nadir’s prize package includes a GoPro Hero 5 Black camera, Lexar 32 GB storage card; GoPole Bobber, a LowePro carry case and GoPro Dual Battery Charger and Battery; gear which this budding photographer can continue to capture beautiful Belizean images.

    More Entrepreneurs Emerge And Contribute To Belize Economy
    These dramatic changes can be attributed to the increased outreach and awareness programs, as well as all enterprise and entrepreneurial development activities being done nationwide by BELTRAIDE, through its Small Business Development Centre, Belize (SBDCBelize) and other key national partners. In the time between the two earlier surveys (2014 and 2016), there were two national global entrepreneurial week celebrations, four major seed capital start-up initiatives; SBDCBelize fully expanded its outreach to all six districts, with scheduled workshops in Belize City, Orange Walk and Belmopan, and participated in more national trade shows and events.

    Misc Belizean Sources

    mzz

    Second Annual Drug Run in San Pedro
    Second Annual Drug Run coming up! Let's all show our support. "PUT A CAP ON DRUGS"

    Cayo BTIA Strategic Plan Session
    The Cayo BTIA is having a special strategic planning session on Wednesday, March 22nd, starting at 6:30pm. "Inviting our BTIA Cayo Chapter MEMBERS to an important consultation meeting being held next week Wednesday March 22nd, 2017 at the Cahal Pech Village Resort, San Ignacio Belize from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. Your presence and input is requested."

    Aurelio...and the Garifuna Collective...
    Friday, April 7th...Bliss Centre

    The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
    The Essay Competition gives nationals and residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories aged 18 and under an opportunity to express their views about the world, share their dreams for the future and develop their creative writing skills. Participants continue to demonstrate their ability to stimulate and provoke discussions about important issues like poverty, sustainable development, gender inequality and universal education.

    San Pedro High School Male Softball team National Champions
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to congratulate the San Pedro High School Male Softball team on their triumph as National Champions for the NSSSA Male & Female Softball tournament 2017! Special mention goes out to our very own, Mr. Marion Mejia, for going the extra mile for the team and being an aspiring example and role model for these individuals. Great job guys! The entire community of San Pedro is proud of your accomplishment!

    San Juan and Boca del Rio Clean Up Campaign
    On Friday, March 17, 2016, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors along with the SPTC staff, went out to the streets of San Juan and Boca del Rio to inform the people of the Clean Up Campaign. Door to door, the residents were given bags and flyers, which explained how to maintain their environment clean. The Clean up campaign began today, March 20 and will run until April 7. Residents are asked to take out all their yard garbage and to dispose any water catchment containers/items.

    BUMPY ROAD BE GONE!
    The stretch between Las Terrazas and Journey's End has been fixed and it is now a smoother commute.

    EXPORTBELIZE COLLABORATES WITH THE US EMBASSY FOR FDA WEBINAR
    EXPORTBelize, a unit of BELTRAIDE, in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States of America facilitated a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Webinar on Friday March 17th, 2017, at the US Embassy in Belmopan. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety of Human Drugs, Vaccines blood products, medical devices and Food. The Webinar was presented by Mr. Allan Gonzalez, International Regulatory Analyst for FDA. Participants included to government stakeholders and private sector companies. Key topics covered were: Jurisdiction and responsibility of the FDA, FDA registration process, Facility inspections and follow-ups, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The aim of this session was to inform local companies on requirements to export into the US.

    Mr. and Ms. Culture International Maya 2017
    The SISE Town Council is having the annual Mr. and Ms. Culture International Maya pageant this Saturday, March 25th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. "Inviting the public to come out at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday, March 25th 2017. Come out and show your support to our Miss Culture Belize 2017, who will be representing our country in the Mr & Miss Culture International Maya 2017 pageant in Salvador. International Director and founder, Manuel Blanco, and Miss Culture Mexico 2017, Cielo Aguilar, will be there to present to the public, our Miss Culture Belize 2017. Five beautiful ladies will be modeling dresses from Mexican designer, Victor Franco. We'll also have performances by local an international artist, dancers etc..."

    FCD gets donations from marathon
    We wish to thank Dr. Isabelle and Justin Ford for the successful marathon. A donation of Bz$3,468.86 was handed over to FCD!!! Of course this was made possible due to the many supporters and all the marathon athletes. We are extremely grateful for this support. Funds are being earmarked for macaw conservation efforts this year.

    Conchshell Bay Fish market
    This is where you get FRESH fish in Belize city. Did you know that many BELAMS (Belizean /Americans) buy their fish in bulk and take to the states when they come home for vacation?

    Channel 7

    Brother Chopped Up Sister In Front Of Her Son; She's Dead, He's At Large
    Last night a 29 year old mother was viciously chopped up by her own brother - and she died from her injuries this morning. After work on Sunday night at 6:00, Juliane Burke stopped by her home, and picked up her 6 year old son. She was about to take him for a walk, when she was ambushed by her brother, Elijiah Burke, who was reportedly hiding underneath a 'crocus' bag in her back yard. Burke chopped her several times, chasing Juliane and her young son out on the street. When she fell in a drain, he went after her with no mercy - all this happening within view of her son. Hearing the cries for help from Juliane and her son, her neighbors ran to assist, and called the police, but Burke fled the scene before they showed up. Juliane was rushed to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries late this morning. Her husband, David Funes was out of town during the brutal incident, but he told us the story he got from his now traumatized stepson...

    Father Of Three Killed In No-Man's Land
    A father of 3 was gunned down and killed at the Western Border on Friday night. 40 year old bus driver Carlos Manzanero was hanging out with his family at Larios Bar around 8:30. A gunman then came out of a car and shot Manzanero several times. Police haven'r provided much details on this case, and the family didn't want to speak, but a couple of his friends told us what they know. Since August 2016, Carlos Manzanero worked as a bus driver for the Marlin Espadas tour agency. Every morning at 10:00 he would pick up passengers coming from Guatemala at the Western Border and take them to Belize City. And those coming from Chetumal, he would bring right back here to the border. But on Friday night, Manzanero's life was taken at this border crossing which he frequented everyday.

    Burnt Human Skull Found in OW
    Orange Walk police don't know what to make of a burnt, partial human skull which was found at a dumpsite on Chan Pine Ridge Road. It was discovered on Saturday afternoon, at the garbage dump site on Chan Pine Ridge Road. But, no one is reported missing in Chan Pine Ridge, and police cannot link it to any report they currently have. So, the skull has been taken to the Northern Regional Hospital Morgue. Police say quote, "DNA testing will be done to confirm the identity." Of course, that would require a matching DNA sample from the person or their possessions - and right now, police say they don't know who that person might be.

    Long Lines At Airport, Who Is To Blame?
    Last week we told you about reports that some hotels are seeing lower occupancy rates in 2017, than last year or the year before. But the BTB has been reporting steady increases in overnight arrivals, and it seems the immigration department just cannot keep up. Very long lines of inbound and outbound visitors have been piling up at the airport recently - because there's not enough staff to process them expeditiously. This video was taken on Saturday when the airport is usually the fullest. Outbound passengers - 95% tourists - were stuck in a sprawling line that spanned the entire length of the expended Terminal two. Problem is, there are only two immigration booths to process all those outbound visitors. Similarly on the inbound side at the arrivals lounge, even a massive new arrival hall that's been built could not accommodate all the passengers, and last week they were seen lining up outside, all along the length of the building. Again, there are two few immigration posts to process them inside. Now, there are reports that the Immigration Officers may have been on g-slow and that accounted for the outlandish lines but form what we've seen and been able to find out, that is not the case: they're not going slow, they're just overwhelmed! We could not reach the Director of Immigration.

    NTUCB's New Pres Says No More Toothless Tiger For Union Umbrella Group
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize elected a new president on Saturday. This happened at an Emergency General meeting - after the last meeting in December, 2016, elected a president who was no longer eligible to be on the executive. So, Saturday's meeting was mainly to elect a new president. First Vice President Jacqueline Willoughby had been acting president and she offered herself to be full time president. Her only challenger on election day was Floyd Neal, the General Secretary of the Christin Workers Union. To the surprise of some, Neal, who is a relative newcomer to the union movement, easily beat out Willoughby - who has been prominent in the PSU for many years. In the end Neal garnered 45 votes to her 21 votes. Today, Neal held a press conference to say that, under this leadership, the NTUCB - which represents 10 powerful unions - will take its rightful place as a social actor:... Floyd Neal, President - NTUCB: "Is a new chapter in my involvement with the labor movement in Belize, early days yet, but without a doubt the narrative out there, the image most Belizean workers have to TUC is of a toothless tiger. We need to change that. So my own thinking is that we need to get the word out that the days of TUC being a toothless tiger are behind us and we need to do things, we need to take steps, we need to forge partnerships, which will let the power that be recognize it's a new day."

    GOB Resisting "Titanic" Judgment
    A month ago, we told you how Bahamian Securities Traders Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach won an award against the Central Bank, which forces the Bank to fork over 1.4 million US dollars that it had seized from both men's bank accounts. That's in addition to 8.8 million dollars which the Supreme Court awarded them back in January of 2016. Well, right now, the Government is appealing that ruling at the Court of Appeal, in hopes of convincing the judges to set aside that award. As has been well reported, that 8.8-million-dollar judgment debt dates back to the September of 2014 when both men and their company, Titan Securities, were indicted by the US Government along with several others for securities fraud and money laundering. At the request of the US, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Anti-Drug Unit cleaned out their offices at the Matalon Building on Coney Drive. That raid was so extensive that the Belizean authorities removed all of their documents and equipment. They sued the Government and Justice Courtney Abel (ABLE) ruled in their favour that the search and seizure was excessive, unlawful, and in breach of their constitutional rights. He awarded the men almost 9 million dollars, but, in the Court of Appeal today, Government Attorney Denys Barrow was attempting to convince the Appeal Court judges that he came to the wrong conclusion.

    Putting Coastal Concerns On Calendar
    Today the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute kicked off Coastal Awareness Week. CZMAI partnered with businesses and other stakeholders, like the IDB, to help raise awareness for the sustainable development of Belize's coasts. We spoke to CZMAI's CEO, Chantalle Samuels, and IDB Country Representative, Cassandra Rogers, about this important initiative... Chantelle Samuels, CEO - CZMAI: "The Coastal Zone Management and Institute is observing the 3rd annual coastal awareness week and this year we have selected the theme "Business and the Environment - A foundation for Sustainable Growth." It is a week that will allow us to engage our stakeholders, impart knowledge, but also build awareness and have them assist us in informing how our coastal resources should be sustainably manage and develop over time. So, today we are at the official opening ceremony and we've had remarks from our parent ministry - the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, as well as the Ministry of Economic Development and we had a special invited guest Dr. Cassandra Rogers of the Inter-American Development Bank - Belize office and Belize is celebrating its 25th year of membership in the IDB and so they have partnered with Coastal Zone as an initial activity towards that celebration."

    CDB Announces Poverty Reduction Funding For Belize
    The Caribbean Development Bank today announced that it would be sharing 40 million US dollars in funding for poverty reduction across eight Caribbean countries. The money comes through the Basic Needs Trust Fund - which is administered by SIF in Belize. Countries that will benefit are: Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Suriname. Last month in Barbados, the CDB President told us why the CDB is always eager to partner with Belize for poverty reduction programmes: Jules Vasquez- reporter: "why is it that Belize is one of the top three countries with the CDB in terms of accessing loans?" Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "We are in that business, so that I think that that in part explains the extent of our involvement with Belize on the lending side. Their electricity sector also; historically that's one that CDB has given a lot of emphasis to."

    Elmer Larios, His Lady, The "Joe" And The Judge
    He claims to have found a man in bed with his girlfriend, and allegedly pistol whipped the "Joe,", but he was still remanded. 39 year old Elmer Larios was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and wounding. He said that at about 3 a.m. on March 18, he went to his girlfriend's house and found a man there with her. He said the man assaulted him and he knocked the man unconscious but he did not have any firearm. Larios pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault, but he was remanded into custody until May 25.

    Waitress Stoned Police Truck
    19 year-old Jahsell Flores, a waitress from the Elements Night Club is at home tonight after dodging jail time for stoning one of the Police Department's New Isuzu D-Max pickups, breaking the windshield. It happened on Saturday at around 3:18 in the morning. Flores claimed that she was attacked by 2 women while she was at work. She said that one of her attackers threw a pint bottle at her, which she picked up and threw back at the women. It missed, and ended up breaking one of the windows on the D-Max, and so police charged her for damage to property. She was arraigned today, and the police say that the cost to fix the vehicle is $231 dollars. She pleaded guilty and explained what happened, telling the court of the fight, and of the fact that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time. She told the court that she was sorry for what she did, but Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer was not particularly convinced of her remorse.

    Kids And Karate
    This weekend students from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy went to Chetumal to participate in the annual Wushu-Kung Fu-Karate tournament. The kids entered both form and fighting divisions, and performed exceptionally in their age brackets, most of them earning medals for their performances. We spoke to their Grand Master, Shihan Kelly, and Roberto Hoare, who brought home two gold medals... Apart from Hoare, three other students brought home medals. Kody Cuellar, Eion Anderson and Eleazar Orellana all placed third in the Children's Fighting Division, and Orellana also placed 2nd in the Children's Karate Form Division.

    Real Recognition For Nestor Mendez
    Last week Thursday, Belize's own Nestor Mendez, who is the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS received the Medal of Honor for Merit presented by the Sociedad de Estudios Internacionales of Panama, in recognition of his work to promote democracy, strengthening human rights, and fostering peace and security and integral development. The honor was presented to Ambassador Mendez during a ceremony in Panama City, Panama. On Friday, Ambassador Mendez held a meeting at the National Assembly of Panama with the Assembly leadership, committee chairs, and caucus members.

    Almagro Visited Guatemala Villagers On The Edge of Belize
    And while Ambassador Mendez was in Panama, his boss, Secretary General Luis Almagro was in Guatemala and Belize. We already told you how he did a flyover of Belize and what all he saw along the border, but what did he see in Guatemala? Well he visited villages along the border - those same villagers that pushed into Belize, and he was moved:... H.E. Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General: "The 15th we visited Guatemala. We were received by the minister of foreign affairs Carlos Raul Morales. We had a meeting with him and we talked about the different issues related to the, ah, the relationship between Guatemala and the Organization of American states. Ahm, as well, ehm the work in the zone of adjacency. With minister Morales we visited the communities of San Jose Las Flores Chiquibul, San Marcos, Monte Los Olivos, and Santa Cruz. We really appreciate the opportunity that we have to talk to the people of those communities. That was very important for us. It was very gratifying for me and i am extremely grateful to see these people how they work hard to overcome the difficulties and the problems that they have and they have to confront every day."

    Sarstoon Protocol, Was It A Fleeting Fancy?
    But what we didn't hear from Almagro was anything about that Sarstoon protocol. All progress on that seems to have stalled due to intransigence in Guatemala. And, so, even though so much effort was put into it, now it seems like the status quo ion the Sarstoon s good enough. Here's how Belize's Foreign Minister put it:... Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Things like that I like to think of as matters that we are working on continually. We don't have any definitive position on it yet, but we continue to work on it. The good thing is, the very good thing is that we have no incidents down there and that is exactly what we want."

    Channel 5

    Woman chopped to death in Belize City; did her brother do it?
    Tonight there is a most disturbing case of fratricide to report involving a pair of siblings in the King’s Park community. A brother reportedly hacked his sister with a machete [...]

    Out west, family grieves after father and brother is shot multiple times, fatally
    The second murder over the weekend took place on Friday night in the West.  A father of three lost his life at Champon at the adjacency zone area when he [...]

    Minister of Home and Foreign Affairs says Police will take charge
    The hit on the well-known bus driver, as well as the vicinity of the deadly spray of bullets on Belize’s side of the Adjacency Zone, has raised serious concerns about [...]

    No need for diplomatic note on murder, says F.M.
    We asked Foreign Minister Elrington if there will be a protest note sent to the Guatemalan government in the wake of the fatal shooting. According to the F.M., it is [...]

    G.O.B. argues to strip Titan Securities of multi-million dollar judgment
    “We will appeal…we don’t think that judgment can stand.”  So said Prime Minister Dean Barrow on January twenty-first, 2016, upon hearing that the Supreme Court had awarded Titan International Securities [...]

    Less is more; Police Minister says new media policy helps police investigation
    As you would know by now, the working relationship between the media and the police, is somewhere at its lowest ebb.  Police are now only providing bulletins scanty of details [...]

    Minister promises to work on ‘institutional strengthening’ for press queries
    While Elrington is of the firm belief that commanding officers often misspoke during interviews, he also agreed that information channeled to the media via the press release is ineffective.  In [...]

    With E.U. quota gone, cane farmers must be competitive
    Will Belizean cane sugar remain viable on the European market in 2018?  A gradual shift to cheaper beet sugar produced within the European Union will force stakeholders in the local [...]

    Agriculture C.E.O. pushes crop diversity
    According to Alpuche, the effect of European producers boxing out the competition can be devastating to local farmers if they do not diversify their crops.   Jose Alpuche, Minister of [...]

    Ministries can make do with 2017 budget, says Elrington
    The fiscal year 2017 commences on April first and the budget for the upcoming financial calendar has been presented by the Barrow administration.  While the annual financial plan will be [...]

    Human skull found in Orange Walk dumpsite
    Investigations are ongoing in the case of a human skull found at a dump site over the weekend in the Orange Walk District. Police are providing only the minimal details [...]

    Stabbing reported in Caye Caulker
    A minor was stabbed in Caye Caulker over the weekend. Police report that the seventeen-year-old boy Ryan Saldivar was wounded in the shoulder on Sunday sometime after seven. Investigations revealed [...]

    Shop lifter promises not to steal again, spared jail
    A shop lifter who was caught in Public’s Supermarket on Saturday stealing a ball of Dutch cheese was charged with theft and was luckily sentenced to a three-month suspended sentence. [...]

    Shopkeeper pleads not guilty to attacking boy in Ladyville
    A nine-year-old boy who was harmed late last week was back in school today despite injuries he sustained allegedly inflicted by a Chinese businessman.  The child’s mother, Darlene Morris alleges [...]

    Floyd Neal: Beware the NTUCB ‘tiger’
    An extraordinary general meeting of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize took place over the weekend in Belize City, at the headquarters of one of its strongest member unions, [...]

    Unionists can resolve differences, says Neal
    Neal was most recently an aide to Audrey Matura while she was vice-president at OCEANA, and he started out in the Government Information Service with stints at old United Democratic [...]

    Youngsters take over Bliss stage for Arts Festival
    For the past week or so, Belize’s youngest performers in the districts have been on the stage giving of their talents in art, music, dance, and drama as part of [...]

    Revised curriculum boosts arts in schools
    Much like the heyday of the adult Festival of the Arts in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the various incarnations of children’s Festivals of the Arts have given Belizeans [...]

    Sports Monday talks Basketball, Football and Cycling
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   [Highlights from the weekend sporting activities….]

    CTV3

    Human Skull Found At Dump Site In Orange Walk
    The charred remains of a human skull was discovered here in Orange Walk over the weekend. CTV3 News understands that on Saturday at around 12:25 in the afternoon, police were called out to the garbage dump site located on the Chan Pine Ridge road after the skull was spotted by an individual who was in the area. Upon arrival at the dumpsite police processed the area but were unable to locate the rest of the remains. The partial skull was subsequently taken to the Northern Regional Hospital Morgue where it awaits a DNA test to confirm an identity.

    EU Says Goodbye To Sugar Cane
    Belize along with various other countries who belong to the European Union’s preferential market are now bracing for direct competition following the recent EU reform on world sugar prices. In view of the introduction of beet sugar in Europe, Belize will no longer enjoy the preferential rates on sugar it has experienced in the past, thus, a reduction in prices of the sweetener is inevitable for Belizean cane farmers. While Belize will continue to benefit from quota- and duty-free access for 1.6 million metric tons of mostly raw-sugar shipments to the EU, Belizean Sugar which stands among the highest production costs may struggle to compete against EU beet farmers who are boosting yields and increasing scale. And with eighty percent of Belizean produced sugar exporting to the EU the market is in no doubt facing troubling times.

    Opposition Leader Comments On Taxes In Belize
    Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that his Government will be implementing a series of revised tax measures to raise $88 million dollars in the new fiscal year that commences on April 1st. Taxes will be going up on fuel, on the departure fee for air travel, on environmental tax charged on all imported goods, on electricity bills above $100, and on beer, stout, soft drinks and cement. While GST will not see an increase generally, as feared, the revised tax measures will certainly increase the cost of living for Belizeans. PUP Leader John Briceno remains concerned that the tax increases will push individuals into tougher economic conditions.

    Will Opposition Participate In Bilateral Discussions In Guatemala?
    At a press conference held on Friday, Foreign Minister Wilfred Sedi Elrington commented on the Opposition’s participation in the bilateral discussions with Guatemala. According to Elrington, the Opposition has been invited to all events and encounters, and suggested that it is the PUP who has been absent from meetings. Today, PUP Leader responded, rejecting Elrington’s assertions and instead accusing the Government of not reaching out to them.

    Former PUP Standard Bearer Lobbys For Free Internet For Primary School
    As you heard in the interviews a number of local leaders also had an input in making today’s initiative a reality. These include former area representative for Corozal South West Ramiro Ramirez and elected Village Council members. We spoke to Ramirez and Councillor Rodolfo Lainez to find out how they believe the community will benefit from free access to Internet.

    The Reporter

    Two charged for girl’s murder
    Investigators in Belmopan have been successful in cracking open the murder case of an 18-year-old girl whose body was found at the Belmopan dumpsite last weekend. Shaylon Santos, 20, a resident of Teakettle village and Jaime Patnett, 22, of a Star Apple street address will be arraigned in the Belmopan […]

    Tourist drowns in Placencia
    An American tourist who was vacationing with family members in Placencia, drowned unexpectedly late Tuesday evening. On Tuesday around 6:30 p.m., Steven Gail Wine, a 53 year-old American of Colorado was with his wife and other family members socializing at Barefoot Bar, when Wine left the group to go for […]

    17 year-old dies after allegedly colliding into parked vehicle
    A seventeen year old teenager of St. Matthews village succumbed to injuries he sustained after he was involved in a collision on the Franks Eddy village road this past weekend. Police Investigations have since revealed that on Saturday March 11, at around 11:30 p.m., Eric Ibanez was […]

    Belizean executed in Guatemala, shot multiple times
    A Belizean man was executed in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala last weekend just two weeks shy of celebrating his 24th birthday. The incident took place on Sunday March 12. Amadeoes Gaspar Teck, a Belizean resident of Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo was shot dead while in Guatemala. Reports […]

    GOB’s new departure tax cut be bad for business says BTIA
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), said this week, that the new changes in the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) Act, could raise departure taxes detrimentally high for the tourism industry. Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the proposed changes to the PACT Act during his reading of […]

    Bureau of Standards meets the public on World Consumer Rights Day
    To commemorate World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) held a three-day public awareness drive, in three districts. The BBS began its tour on Tuesday, visiting Queen Elizabeth Park Orange Walk, on the actual celebration of WCRD, the bureau headed to the Battle […]

    Growing Belize’s exports of services and goods
    Belize’s exports have traditionally been raw materials from agriculture, forest and fisheries, but with tourism now its fastest growing service sector, the quest to expand Belize’s export of services has become a team effort. To this end, representatives of the Customs, Fisheries, Transport and Civil Aviation joined participants from BELTRAIDE […]

    Keep your children close, Magistrate warns
    A working mom has been ordered to pay a fine of $500.00 because the court found she had been negligent in allowing her 13 year- old son to be out on the street after 9 o’clock at night. She could have been fined $1,500, or sent to prison, Magistrate Norman […]

    GOB hands out new computers
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, handed over 25 new computers to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) and the Hydrology and Agriculture departments, to assist them in improving their productivity. The ministry handed over the computers, a total value of $60,000, […]

    Blood clots and their risks
    A blood clot that is stationary, such as on the skin, or elsewhere, is generally not harmful, but if it is in a vein and breaks up and travels to your heart and lungs, it could become a serious health factor because it can get […]

    10-foot “croc” removed from Belama Street
    Residents in the Belama Phase 1 area can breathe a sigh of relief after learning that a 10-foot crocodile, large enough to kill a child, was safely removed from a street in the area at the break of dawn on Tuesday. It took the effort […]

    Editorial
    This week the Ministry of Economic Development broke out its first national consultation to create a National Trade Policy that will guide Belize on its development path leading to economic prosperity. The panel of presenters showed itself to be well informed and progressive in looking for new ways for Belize […]

    Budget 2017: Spending cuts, Taxes up
    Increased revenues from taxes, widening recurring expenditures, decreased Capital II spending, and a fulfilled promise to avoid retrenchment, are only some of the highlights of the Government of Belize’s 2017/2018 National Budget. Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the $1.18 billion budget on Monday, accompanied by […]

    Superbond 3.0 is unsustainable, experts say
    By Alexis R. Milan Editor The government of Belize, this week, officially announced the success of its consent solicitation with the new terms of the revised 2034 bonds on the heels of touting the restructuring as a national and political victory. Experts, however, don’t share Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s same […]

    No info, no coverage!
    Relations between the media and the Belize Police Department’s press office deteriorated this week after a policy introduced in January governing the method of information dissemination has effectively blocked the media from important details about criminal and police related matters. The media has collectively decided […]

    Fire consumes elderly woman and house
    Louise Berry, an 86 year-old woman who lived alone in a 10' by 8' wooden structure on Iguana Street, Belize City, died Thursday morning when flames consumed her while trying to get out of the burning place. Berry’s step-sister, Gretel Lopez told the Reporter that […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Police needs public help to find man who killed sister
    Police are seeking public assistance in capturing Elijah Burke in relation with his sister’s death. Today BBN reported that a woman was hacked to death at her home in Belize City on Sunday. Police now suspect that Elijah inflicted the fatal wounds to his sister. He has since reportedly gone into hiding.

    Belize the 50th Happiest country in the world
    Despite the economic outlook and social ills, Belize is still the 50th happiest country in the wold, according to the latest World Happiness Report, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The UN released the WHR 2017, this month, which ranked the citizen satisfaction of people in 155 countries. The report sampled responses of an average of 3000 participants per country, asking them to evaluate their lives in six categories, from 0-10 (0 being the worst possible, and 10 being the best). The six categories are “GDP per capita”, “Social support”, “Healthy life expectancy”, “Freedom to make choices”, “Generosity”, and “Perceptions of corruption.”

    Woman chopped multiple times in Belize City
    A woman was chopped multiple times in Belize City yesterday. According to reports, police responded to information of a chopping incident and visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where they encountered Julian Burke, 29, suffering from multiple chop wounds.

    Police find human skull at garbage dump in Orange Walk
    Police in Orange Walk District found the charred remains of a human skull this weekend. According to reports, on Saturday at around 12:25 in the afternoon, police visited the garbage dump site located on Chan Pine Ridge road in Orange Walk District when they made the discovery. The partial skull was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital Morgue.

    San Ignacio man busted with 9mm
    According to police reports, on Saturday around 4:05 a.m., San Ignacio Police were on mobile patrol on Bullet Tree road when their attention was drawn to 26-year-old Melvin Ray Charles Budna, a labourer of San Ignacio, who threw away a black bag upon seeing the police.

    GOB to borrow $81.8 million to finance 2017-2018 budget
    Last fiscal year 2016-2017, government projected needing $149,419,532 to finance the budget. The actual out-turn was $245,593,911. For the new budget for fiscal year 2017-2018, the Prime Minister is projecting the external financing needs for the budget to be $81,815,420. In his budget presentation, […]

    GOB to collect $7 million GST from your electricity bills
    Belizeans whose electricity bills exceed $100 will now have to pay General Sales Tax (GST) on their monthly bills. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in his budget presentation last week, introduced a tax package aimed at collecting more revenues while curbing expenditure. Barrow said that […]

    Public officers’ 3 percent salary adjustment totals $15 million
    dean In the Prime Minister’s budget speech last week, he reiterated government’s commitment to implement the third stage of the salary adjustment package for public servants and teachers. The increase was due to be implemented in the last fiscal year but was deferred after Hurricane […]

    NTUCB elects Floyd Neal as new president
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held over the weekend, elected a new president and executive. Floyd Neal, who ran against Jacqueline Willoughby, was elected as the union’s new president. Neal will serve as president for the […]

    Young’s law firm remains open
    Young’s Law Firm hasn’t yet closed its doors, as had been previously speculated. The Young firm, however, has made it clear that offices are still operational though business is winding now. Deceased attorney at law, Michael Young, was the sole proprietor of the law […]

    Santa Elena town gets new sign
    Yesterday, the Mayor of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Earl Trapp inaugurated a new sign in Santa Elena town. The colorful sign is located at the round about on the La Loma Luz boulevard. The Cayo district is a large […]

    Philip Palacio to be buried today
    Attorney at Law, Philip Palacio, is scheduled to be buried today. According to reports, a bus will leave Dangriga at 9 a.m. for those wishing to attend the funeral service in Belize City. We are told that the funeral will be held at St. […]

    Police investigating murder of Belizean killed in Champon
    According to an official report from police, on Friday night around 9, police visited Larios Bar located at the Belize Adjacency Zone area (Champon) at the Belize Western Border where they saw Carlos Manzanero, 40, Belizean bus driver of San Jose Succotz Village, Cayo […]

    Blogs

    A GORGEOUS Day Out and About in San Pedro Town
    Today is just the most glorious day on Ambergris Caye, Belize. I have little more to tell you… Chuck & Robbie's Dive Shop San Pedro Belize Well that’s not TOTALLY true. But I can not promise you anything of consequence. Here’s the beauty of this morning. Low 80s…cooling breeze…the westerly wind swept much of the sargasso off the shore. And the weather for the rest of the week is forecasted to be great. I stopped at Chuck & Robbie’s Dive Shop and decided to take a short walk – and take lots of picture in Boca Del Rio. The beach road just north of town. And a few things going on in town – I posted the photos to my Facebook page but I thought I would re-iterate if you aren’t one of the billion on FB. Our San Pedro High School Male Softball Team won NATIONALS! And I caught them on their victory parade this morning.

    It’s Not All Fun and Games Living on Ambergris Caye Island
    For many, living on Ambergris Caye Island presents a challenging paradigm. Being largely a ‘drinking island’ the results of alcohol on working and personal environments can often reach crazy proportions. What would not be the norm elsewhere is often overlooked in regards to drinking.I once had a friend tell me he knew where to buy beer at 6:00 am if he needed to. My first thought was, “buddy that is the last thing you need to know”. That was a few years ago, sadly he has been spiraling ever since. I have also heard tales of repeat black-outs from the same person. At 49, I do not understand how that isfun, I tried it once (at 16) and vowed never again. To this day 33 years later I have been drunk way too many times to count (sorry mom) but kept my promise to myself and never blacked out again. Living on a tropical island and you can always find friends to play with at bars. Plus there is a tendency to get instantly thrown on the vacation party mode ride when friends are visiting or simply because we can alltoo easily. It is an above average party place with a strong social bar culture.

    MAYAN LEGENDS: BEDTIME STORIES OF AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION
    Mayan Legends Mayan mythology emerged from the traditions and religion of a civilization as old as 3,000 years from a vast region called Mesoamerica: territories that are now the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatan, in addition to some parts of Central America. Even though many of the texts written by the Mayans were burned on the arrival of the Spanish, some legends have survived and continue to be told today. Mayan mythology is fascinating. The stories below serve a double purpose: to remember the traditions of a civilization that continues to be alive. To shed some light on a culture that we are immerged in. 1. The legend of the Aluxes: mystical beings that since the beginning of time take care of their owners. 2. The legend of Xtabay: a story that gives life to a liquor found in the Yucatan Peninsula. 3. The love story of Sac-Nicte & Canek: one of the many legends that explain the abandonment of Chichen Itza. 4. The legend of the Uxmal dwarf: an unlikely king who builds spectacular structures and made a city grow.

    Reef Swim 2017 – What a Way to Create Awareness
    You may have read about me joining a brave and very athletic group of swimmers during last year’s Reef Swim. We swam from the Amigo’s Del Mar Dive Shop to the reef and back. While I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and promised to do it again, this year had to be a little different. A mere swim to the reef and back would not begin to create the awareness needed to understand the importance of our World Heritage Site. After snorkelling the Barrier Reef from North to South along with Madi, this means more now than it ever did. Luckily I have a few friends that share my passion for our Belize Barrier Reef. Kristin Marin, head of the group of activists leading the charge against offshore oil in San Pedro, was ready for reef week even before I was able to contact her. She had already printed “no to offshore oil” flags for the occasion. The next obvious contact to make was our pioneer of reef cleanups himself, Martin John Leslie. I knew he’d be excited at the thought of having a lot more Reef Angels in the water on Reef Week. A flyer, a few more calls for Kayaks and snorkel gear and we had ourselves a Reef Week event we could be proud of.

    Morning Drive By: Wyndham Grand Belize on Ambergris Caye
    This morning we were driving to town to run some errands. And about 3 miles north – at the property called The Venezia – a bit of Venice in Belize – I saw this peeking out… …and came to a screaming halt. A Wyndham resort? In Belize? WHAT? Apparently yes. I had to look it up to see exactly what Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are. Here’s what I found…the Wyndham Hotel Group includes TONS of brands. Days Inn, Howard Johnsons, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge and Dream Hotels – it also includes RCI, the largest timeshare company in the world. Wyndham Grand exists in over 40 locations – larger, luxury resorts. The website for the Wyndham Grand Belize is somewhat limited – and very similar to that for Venezia Del Caribe. So I don’t know if there is a new owner or a new investor or just an investment in a franchise. But I do know this will widen the exposure that Belize gets. Will turn up the spot light.

    The Warm Allure of Naïa Resort & Spa
    My idea of a perfect getaway is escaping to a quiet beachside resort, where you can explore secluded beaches, languish by a swimming pool, nap in a hammock and indulge in fabulous food and cocktails. Add having your worries massaged away by a skilled masseuse, while surrounded by peaceful serenity, and I’d say you had me at hello! Needless to say, when the nice folks at Naïa Resort and Spa invited me to a weekend of pampering, I couldn’t wait to pack my bags and head to Placencia! Known as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize, the Placencia Peninsula is centrally located in the Stann Creek District. This picturesque ribbon of land is blessed with 17 miles of sunrise beach front and a vast sunset lagoon with mountain views of the mainland. The length of the peninsula is dotted with sleepy communities, marinas and resorts, with the village of Placencia at the southern tip. Located between Maya Beach and the Garifuna village of Seine Bight, Naïa Resort and Spa is situated within the 200-acre Cocoplum Residence. On 19 acres of quiet beachfront and tropical landscapes, Naïa is the newest star in this resort community.

    International Sourcesizz

    CDB provides funds for poverty reduction in 8 Caribbean countries
    The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it is providing US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight Caribbean through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). It said the resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9). The countries that will benefit from the initiative are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

    Europe Is Waving Goodbye to Sugar Cane
    Europeans’ taste for sugar transformed the world. West Indies plantations built from the 17th century to feed demand drove a nexus of commerce, capital and manufacturing that fomented the industrial revolution and modern financial markets. More than three hundred years later, Europe is set to deliver a crippling blow to a trade that once made up almost a fifth of its entire imports, and has sustained developing-country sugar cane farmers since. The European Union’s decision to remove limits on its own beet-sugar output from October means less demand for cane growers from Jamaica in the Caribbean, to the Pacific island of Fiji, and Swaziland in southern Africa. “Within a decade or so, I can see the EU market for raw sugar from the Caribbean being all but a matter of history,” said David Jessop, an adviser to companies and governments on trade and investment in the region. "The challenge from the Caribbean perspective is what they can do, if anything, to ensure the future of their industry."

    Cops hunting Toronto man accused in Belize murder
    Central American detectives believe a Toronto man wanted for the senseless slaying of a beloved athlete on a lonely road is hiding here. Jordan Bacchus, 27, is wanted in Belize for the May 6, 2016 murder of Melvin Almendarez. The San Pedro Sun reports that Bacchus was the prime suspect at the time of the slaying but was sprung after 48 hours. A week later a warrant was issued for his arrest. By then, he had fled to Canada despite surrendering his passport and other documents to police in Belize.

    Marine Biology class travels to Belize over Spring Break
    A Saint Mary’s marine biology class took in-depth learning to a whole new meaning. The class spent spring break in Belize at South Water Caye applying what it learned in the classroom life to the natural world. Saint Mary’s assistant biology professor Laura Kloepper said marine biology had not been taught in years, but the department now plans on regularly running the class. “For the past few years no one has been teaching that class,” Kloepper said. “So we’ve resurrected the marine biology class and we plan on teaching this every two years. This trip to Belize was part of the lab component for our marine biology class that we offer here for majors.” Kloepper said studying Belize was an obvious choice because of its diverse environment. She said it provided a unique opportunity to learn more about a field that is not as prominent in a landlocked state like Indiana.

    S&P cuts Belize rating following announced debt exchange
    On March 17, 2017, S&P Global Ratings lowered its long-term foreign currency rating on Belize to selective default ('SD') from 'CC'. At the same time, we removed the rating from CreditWatch with negative implications, where we had placed it on Feb. 21, 2017. In addition, we lowered the short-term foreign currency rating to 'D' from 'C'. At the same time, we affirmed the 'CC' long-term local currency rating and the 'C' short-term local currency rating. We revised the outlook on the long-term local currency rating to stable from negative. We affirmed our transfer and convertibility (T&C) assessment at 'CC'. We are also lowering our rating on the bonds included in the sovereign's debt exchange to 'D' from 'CC' (foreign currency bonds due in 2038).

    Belize Budget Looks To Indirect Taxes To Boost Revenues
    Belize has rejected International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendations to raise taxes across the board in favor of more selective reforms that it says will be less punitive to the country's businesses and poorest citizens. In his budget speech the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Natural Resources, Dean Barrow, rejected the IMF's "publicly rehearsed" advice to raise general sales tax (GST), ditch zero-rated treatment for certain products, cancel exemptions, and increase personal and business income taxes as "regressive and punitive to both citizens and enterprise." He instead announced a series of "pro-poor and pro-people" reforms, which he said would increase revenues by 2.2 percent of GDP. These include a 10 percent income tax on statutory boards of "quasi government entities;" increasing the excise levy on aerated water, beer and stout, cement, and fuel; increasing the environmental charge on imported goods by one percent; and raising stamp duty on foreign exchange permits by 0.5 percent.

    When former ‘King Sugar’ is waiting to be pronounced dead
    The news out of Europe this past week has not been good for cane sugar, a manufactured product that has been at the heart of the continent’s relationship with the English-speaking Caribbean for over 300 years and, at one point, was the mainstay of most regional economies, including Barbados. Bloomberg, the global financial and business news service, reported that the European Union (EU) is planning from this October to fully liberalize its market for domestic beet sugar, a move which is expected not only to reduce demand for cane sugar imports from former colonies like Barbados which make up the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group but also bring down prices close to what obtains on the world market where only the most efficient producers can survive. Jamaica, Belize and Guyana, which still export significant quantities of raw cane sugar to the EU, will be the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries hardest hit. In Barbados’ case, even though exports today are negligible compared with 25 or so years ago, they still bring in valuable foreign exchange which helps to boost the island’s stock of international currency reserves.

    'Don't worry, be happy' seems to have bypassed the Caribbean
    The fifth annual World Happiness Report, written by a group of independent experts under the aegis of the United Nations, was published on Monday, but the concept immortalised in song of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, often erroneously attributed to Bob Marley, seems to have bypassed the Caribbean. In fact, out of a total of 155 countries listed, the first four that could be considered part of the wider Caribbean are mainland countries: Mexico (25), Guatemala (29), Panama (30) and Colombia (36). The first island country listed, somewhat surprisingly given the rampart crime problems there, is Trinidad and Tobago (38). This is followed by two more Central American countries: Nicaragua (43) and Belize (50). The next Caribbean island is Jamaica (76), followed by Venezuela (82); another island, the Dominican Republic (86); and Honduras (91) also in Central America.

    CDB announces US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight Caribbean countries
    The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight countries in the Caribbean region, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). The resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9). Countries that will benefit are: Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; and Suriname. “The participating countries share many common characteristics and face a number of challenges inherent to small, open economies. BNTF 9 will respond to the development needs of these countries, which face challenges associated with limited diversity in production and extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, which is now exacerbated by climate change and other external shocks,” said Daniel Best, director of projects, CDB.

    MCC SQUAD DEPART FOR MEXICO & BELIZE
    A squad from Marylebone Cricket Club left Lord’s on Wednesday 15 March ahead of a 14-day tour of Mexico and Belize. The 13-strong squad will be managed by former Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Toby Bailey and captained by Hampstead batsman George Adair. The Club will play the Mexico national team at the Reforma Club in Mexico City, before travelling to Belize to compete in the sixth Central American Cricket Championships. The tournament features twelve teams including Costa Rica, Aruba and Belize. John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “This is the first MCC overseas tour of the year and it’s a very exciting one.

    Videos

  • Parade for the SPHS Male Softball Team , 2min. The Community of San Pedro is proud of the San Pedro High School Male Softball Team that displayed lots of dedication and discipline to bring the National Championship Trophy to San Pedro. Congrats.

  • Shark Ray Alley, Belize, 1min.

  • SCUBA DIVING IN BELIZE!! 2015, 11min.

  • Belize Reef off Caye Caulker UNDERWATER with TURTLES GOPR6460, 4min.

  • THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BUDGET AND SUPERBOND | BELIZE POLITICS, 1hr39min. Belize Progressive Party: Its high time Belizeans and true friends of Belize hear the the truth about the two abominations (the Budget and the Superbond), which are, undoubtedly, hallmarks of the PUDP.

  • Inside Belize's First Earthship, 4K 360 Honeymoon, 2min. In deepest, darkest Belize - the southern state of Toledo, if you get a bus far enough, you may eventually bump into the Atkinson family. They're a band of Brits who've 'escaped to the wild' and set up a homestead next door to the enchanting Mayan ruins of Lubaantun. But more than just build a few cabanas and growing some bananas, they embarked on a truly staggering, monumental project. These lovely nutters have decided to build an 'earth ship'; a building made completely from rubbish. Tens of thousands of bottles let the light in, tires, plastics of every description are packed into the earthquake-friendly walls to make a structure that's like a big breathtaking wedding cake. If you didn't know, 'Earth Ships' are a thing. An architect called Michael Reynolds is to blame, and these beautiful fortresses of trash are cropping up all over the place. But the Atkinsons' is the only one in Belize to date. You can find them and their progress on Facebook as 'Chaos Oasis'.

  • SPRING 2017 BELIZE STUDY ABROAD, 7min. AEC/CALS study abroad trip to Belize during Spring Break 2017.

  • Meet the Meat Pie Man of Belize City. They say his call is just as satisfying as his delicious treats, 1/2min.

  • Just passing by Ramon's Village Resort, 2.5min.

  • Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Missions Trip 2015, 11min. Restoration Temples 2015 missions trip to the Los Flores area in Belize.

  • Snorkeling with Fred Dodd, Founder of IZE Belize 1970 South Water Caye 2017, 6.5min.

  • Zero Tolerance Band playing at Jalapenos in Hopkins Belize, 3.5min. Zero Tolerance is a local band that is very talented. Check out this video shot at night


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