Friday, January 31, 2014

Deadly Belize Coast Guard Boat Accident in Crooked Tree Village - Belize

Crooked Tree Village, Belize - A young man lost his life in a Belize Coast Guard boating accident on the Crooked Tree Lagoon early this morning.

A village resident I spoke with said that the teenager, Ben Gentle, Jr. died of blunt force from the collision of two coast guard boats. Five other students who were also in the smaller boat, were seriously injured.

The Belize Coast Guard boats have been in the village to shuttle high school children and villagers across the Crooked Tree Lagoon since October 31 of 2013. Crooked Tree Village has been cut off from road access due to continuous rains that caused serious flooding in and around the Belize River Valley area.

This was supposed to be a short boat ride and today was to be the last day that the coast guard were performing their duties. The village council had an award dinner planned in their honor tomorrow night in the village to thank them for their tireless work and professionalism.

It is not know what caused the accident, but poor lighting is a key point of interest as authorities look into this deadly crash. 

The names of the operators of the coast guard boats are not know at this time and the Belize Coast Guard has not yet released information on the collision.
Benjamin Gentle, Jr

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PM Barrow of Belize Reassigns Min. Castro And Fires Director of Belize Airport Board

Press Release-Belize Press Office,January 28th
At its meeting today, Cabinet discussed thoroughly the highly publicized matter of cheques issued by the Belize Airports Authority (BAA) to politically assist Minister Hon. Edmond Castro.Cabinet was much assisted in its discussion by an informal report submitted to it by the BAA. Cabinet learned that only three cheques were issued in the personal name of Minister Castro. One of those was for per diem in the course of the Minister’s official travel on BAA business, another was for assistance in burying the Minister’s mother, and the third was to pay for assistance with sports in Belize Rural North.
Cabinet was also informed that the other cheques not in Castro’s name, but issued to help the Minister in his constituency, did not amount to even a quarter of the seventy alleged by the Opposition.
After due consideration, including hearing from Minister Castro himself, Cabinet was of the view that while there was nothing illegal in the actions of either the BAA or the Minister, there was poor judgment leading to a perception of abuse of authority on both sides. In light of this, the Prime Minister took the following decisions:
1. The portfolio of Civil Aviation, which includes the Belize Airports Authority and over which Minister Castro exercised day to day jurisdiction, will be removed from the Ministry of Transport and placed with the Ministry of Tourism.
2. The Solicitor General and the Financial Secretary will meet with all Statutory Bodies to review operational protocols and advise on proper administration.
3. The current Directors of the BAA will be asked to resign.
Cabinet also examined other areas in which it felt action was needed to combat any suggestion that theAdministration would not resolutely act to put a stop to Ministerial or official wrongdoing. Accordingly, the Prime Minister has required ex-Minister Elvin Penner to turn in the Government vehicle that he kept, after removal from Cabinet, as Chair of a House Committee. Hon. Penner will also lose the chairmanship of that House Committee on Public Utilities, Transport and Communications.
As well, the Prime Minister, as Minister of Finance, has instructed the Financial Secretary to require every Area Representative, upon pain of losing the stipend, to account for the $2,300 monthly allocation provided for constituency office rental and secretarial services.
Finally, following the consultations between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, the new Integrity Commission to be chaired by ex-FIU Director Marilyn Williams, has been agreed and will be formally constituted at next month’s sitting of the Senate.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Roadmap for the Strengthening of Bilateral Relations between Belize and Guatemala

Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala agree on “Roadmap for the Strengthening of Bilateral Relations” between Belize and Guatemala at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC
Belmopan. January 24, 2014. 

The Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, His Excellency Fernando Carrera, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala and His Excellency Jose Miguel Insulza, today signed a document entitled Roadmap for Strengthening Bilateral Relations in 2014 at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. The signing of this important undertaking took place before Ambassadors and representatives of OAS member states.

The Roadmap identifies specific aspects of the Framework Agreement for Negotiations and Confidence Building Measures between ‪Belize‬ and‪ Guatemala‬ and other measures that the parties will focus on for implementation in 2014 with a view to promoting peace, security and cooperation and an environment conducive to the holding of the agreed simultaneous referenda that was postponed in October 2013. The Roadmap should also contribute to the management of bilateral relations between Belize and Guatemala until such time as Guatemala’s claim to Belize is finally and definitively resolved.

Some of the specific outcomes include the creation of a Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission which along with the support and participation of a representative of the OAS Secretary General, will promote and develop cooperation programmes.

The Belize delegation was headed by H.E. Wilfred Elrington and included Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Alexis Rosado, Senator Lisa Shoman, Representative of the Leader of the Opposition Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala Senior Ambassador H.E. Alfredo Martinez, Belize’s Ambassador to the US and Permanent Representative to the OAS, H.E. Nestor Mendez and Minister Counsellor Ardelle Sabido.

By Government Press Office

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Taiwan Scholarship Program 2014 - Belize

The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 at 10:30AM at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel, Belize City, this Embassy and Belize-Taiwan ICDF Alumni Society in Belize will co-host the 2014 Scholarship Program Briefings for those who are interested in this year’s Taiwan scholarships.

Started from 2002 and 2004 respectively, this Embassy has accepted and recommended numerous Belizean students to pursue their degrees from Bachelor, Master to Ph.D programs in Taiwan in various fields such as public health, agriculture, business administration, engineering and information and communication technology. Until 2013, there are totally 232 recipients are awarded and more than 100 persons had finished their study and returned to Belize to contribute their learning to Belize.

There are 21 Universities and 32 programs provided by Taiwan ICDF this year, including 11 Bachelor programs, 19 Master programs and 2 Ph.D programs. The application deadlines for Taiwan ICDF Scholarship and Taiwan Scholarship are March 14, 2014 and March 31, 2014 respectively. 

For more detailed information, please visit this Embassy’s website:, or contact by telephone: 227-8744, 223-1862 or e-mail:

Via Capital News Post FB page

Monday, January 20, 2014

Remembering Dr. King

Today we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and many across the USA paused to remember the great civil rights leader with parades, marches and community service projects.

Dr. King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the federal holiday is commemorated on the third Monday in January.
At Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was pastor, a church service will be held. In Ann Arbor, Mich., activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte planned to deliver the keynote address for the 28th annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium on Monday morning at the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium. 
And in Memphis, Tenn., the place where Dr. King was assassinated, an audio recording of an interview with King would be played at the National Civil Rights Museum. The recording sheds new light on a phone call President John F. Kennedy made to King's wife, Coretta Scott King more than 50 years ago.
Historians generally agree Kennedy's phone call to Coretta Scott King expressing concern over her husband's arrest in October 1960 — and Robert Kennedy's work behind the scenes to get King released — helped JFK win the White House.
Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., your dreams, words, and actions remain as inspiring today as they were 50 years ago today.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase." 

~Martin Luther King Jr.~

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Public Health Awareness in Belize - Deadly Leptospirosis Virus

Michael Winston Lewis
Health authorities are investigating reports that four people may have died in recent weeks due to a bacterial infection known as leptospirosis – carried by cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, and wild animals, but most notably by rats, particularly in light of concerns that flood conditions may result in an outbreak of the potentially fatal disease.

Several cases of leptospirosis were reported in Belize City in 2000, after Hurricane Keith. In 2006, businessman Ramon “Moncho” Galvez contracted leptospirosis after eating from a loaf of bread bought at a Chinese store. He did not realize, until after having eaten some of it, that rats had bitten through the pack of bread.

Last week, on New Year’s Day 2014, a former traffic officer succumbed to the disease.
“Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.

“Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death,” notes the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Family members confirmed today that Michael Winston Lewis, 47, who lived on Castle Street in Belize City, will be laid to rest after funeral services scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. at Ebenezer Methodist Church in Belize City.

Belize Public Health Alert - H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)

The Belize Ministry of Health is monitoring cases of severe respiratory infections that could be H1N1 or the Swine Flu. Laboratory tests are being conducted to determine whether the cases being managed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital are the H1N1 strain of the influenza virus.

H1N1 Flu In Alberta Causes 10 Deaths