Title: Independent reformer
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00006
 Material Information
Title: Independent reformer
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Independent Publishing Company (of Belize) Ltd.
Place of Publication: Belize City, Belize
Publication Date: January 12, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00006
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Selling out:


how much Is yo


Ablue note? Aplate of dinner and a
ride to the polls? Have you ever been
offered, or accepted money or favors
for your support on election day? If so,
you are not alone. But what's really in it
for you? What does it really cost you,
and your country?
The buying and selling of votes,
together with the importation of
foreigners to vote in national elections
is a familiar component of the election
campaign in Belize. It is so blatant, so
obvious in so many instances the
Political Reform Commission
addressed the problem. In their report
the commissioners noted, "It is a well
- known fact that the practice, while
illegal is rampant".
That was in 2000. Has anything
changed since then, or will Belize's next
election be for sale too? Will your vote
go on the auction block, given to the
highest bidder?
Neva! You say, you would never sell
yourvote. Not for cash maybe, butwhat


ir vote

they "know" how votes were
purchased in past elections:
The voter is given a marked
ballot, by the vote buyer, to be
deposited in the ballot box.
Instead of marking the ballot
received at the polling place the
\ other deposits the previously
marked ballot in the ballot box
and brings the unmarked ballot
to the buyer. The
unmarked ballot
is then
exchanged for
the money which
he or she was to
be paid for his
or her vote.
It is entirely
possible that
such a system
allowed certain
candidates to
win elections that
they may have


Money Laundering in Belize?


By Justin Other Gingo. Esq.
This article contains no accusations. I
will simply describe money laundering as
it exists world-wide, and then perhaps
suggest some places where you might find
ityourselfinBelize. My primary source is
Jeffery Robinson's book, The
Launchymen, (Simon & Schuster, 1994)
which does not mention Belize at all.
However, as you read the book, if you
are aBelizean or "an old Belize hand" as
I am, you will notice many places where
laundering may be going on.
Money Laundering Basics
What is Money Laundering? Quite
simply, itis the handling of money which
was collected illegally. Most often, that
money is drug money, but it may also be
money collected from the sale of
pornography, illegal contracts, from
human trafficking or political corruption.
Ever since Al Capone was sent off to
prison for income tax evasion, potentially
dirty money has been under close scrutiny.
If you try to deposit any large ($10,000?)
sum of money in a bank in Belize, they


will ask you where it came from. And
decline to accept the deposit if they don't
like your looks or the sound of your
explanation! (That's why aBelizean bank
wants so much information about you
when you open a new account.)
Profit. Consider how a normal
business makes money. They buy or build
a product which costs them $100. Ifthey
sell it for $200, that's "a hundred-percent
markup." Such a profit is considered very
good in normal (honest) business.
Drug Mark-ups. A South American
manufacturer invests $1000 in raw
materials and produces a product which
he sells to a North American wholesaler
for $10,000. A thousand-percent
markup. He is very happy, but he now
has a lot of dirty money he has to make
legitimate.
The North American wholesaler takes
the product and cuts it to one-fourth to
one-eighth its original strength, and sells
the new, greater amount for $100,000.
He is very happy, but now he has a lot of


money that (s)he will have to account for
once it enters the formal economy.
What to do??? The drug manufacturer
or dealer really doesn't want to be in the
laundry business- he just wants to spend
his profits without harassment from
international law enforcement, which could
includejail time. Because his profits are
so extreme, he can normally sell his dirty
money for a lot less than its face value in
the US. For instance, he can sell a dollar
for fifty cents- it only cost him 10 cents!
So, he sells it to a laundryman, or perhaps
goes to a laundromat and does it himself!
In Belize, dirty money (in US dollars) is
sold for a premium on the black market.
Sweetness on top of sweetness. ABelize's
finance ministry official called this the
"parallel market" when reporters were
probing a missing six million from a public
company.
The Laundrymen. In Robinson's
book, he relates hundreds of actual cases
of money laundering throughout the world.
The process is always pretty much the
same. Gather the money, Wash it and
(Please Turn To Page 3) 0


worth?

otherwise lost. That people who now
sit in Cabinet, hold office as Area
Representatives, would not be where
they are right now if the people who
voted for them had not accepted money.
Had not allowed themselves to be paid
off, had not sold their franchise for
practically nothing.
And it costs those politicians
practically nothing in the wider scheme
of things. After the last national election
the buzz in one villages was that there
had been more than $100,000 in checks
cashed immediately before the voting,
to obtain cash to buy votes. That's
about the same amount in salary some
top government appointees get in a year.
Or some government drivers get in
perks and allowances. And where did
that money come from? Some wealthy
campaign financier? Or the taxes
collected in that same village?
Let's not mince words here. The
voter that sells his or her vote makes a
(Please Turn To Page 3) M W

Inside this Issue

Predictions for
Belize in 2007
pg.4


Bare Facts
pg. 5


Where do the
independents
stand?
pg.7


Blessed &
Peaceful: 2007
Pg.9








Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2


jQ to2~pdewev.


Edito ialDieco













Meb Cllac











Edi' itor




Kal/Hune/ero








Geeal, aae











andS*igns


F71YES!


Just Change the names...

Dear Editor,
I refer to the article Vested Interests
Control Honduras in the Jan 5 issue of
the INdependent; in some ways, we could
just change the names, and it would be
descriptive of Belize, eh?
And, it is descriptive of the US as well.
Again, just change the names....
This report is scandalous, of course,
and I don't think we'd see a
report of this detail in Belize, and certainly
not in the US. The major
corporations in the US have a death grip
on the media, and they are
engaged in massive propaganda
operations to shift attention away from
themselves and toward 'enemies' who
cannot defend themselves (like the
Muslims) or those who don't vote (like
the illegal aliens).
In Belize, the UDP focuses on the poor
- accusing the PUP of neglecting
them, and not spending public monies
properly. Meanwhile, the UDP
neglects the critical issues of governance,
transparency and accountability. And, we
recollect that the corruption was just the
same the last time the UDP was in power.
Have you ever watched one of those
slight-of-hand magicians, pulling
things out of your ear, or out of thin air?
It's a lot like that "watch this hand!"
-while I pickyourpocket with the other
one.
Now, the intemet gives us access to a
lot of information, but at least
half of it is disinformation. I like this report,
because it names names which as I said
-probably won't happen in Belize. (Our
"Rule of Law" makes it possible for
someone with lots of money to sue you
for Libel and tie you up in the courts for
years. A definite flaw in the
British libel laws, which seem to worry
more about reputation than truth.)


But remember that, for example, half of
the sites purporting to discuss
the 9/11 issue are actually run indirectly
by the US Government. So, you can
probably believe about half of what you
read on the intemet!
As a Belize note: The report: Task
Force on Services Strategy for
the Development of the Services Sector
- 15 Oct 1999 is no longer on Belize
government website. This report was
produced by a blue ribbon panel
commissioned by the Hon. Said Musa;
its major conclusion was that
the telecom monopoly was the largest
single factor holding back growth
inBelize. Ibelievethatitwas omitted from
the new gov website because it's too
embarrassing. The resale ofBTL to "our
British cousin" has ensured that a defacto
monopoly of telecom services will
continue to exist.
Ifyou have not read this report, youcan
find it on the 'waybackmachine' at:
http://web.archive. org/web/
20000819025203/www. belize.gov. bz
library/ task force/welcome.shtml
It points out that (in 1999) 68% of
Belize's GDP was accounted for by
SERVICES, as compared to 15% for
export products. This is because, in
the Third Wave (http://www.skypoint
.com/members/ mfinley/toffier. htm)
technology allows a third world country
to LEAPFROG other countries who
depend upon capital-intensive
manufacturing & industry for their GDP
Currently, I see some discussion of
second wave technologies on the
list serves. I want to caution you about this,
because they are capital-intensive, and we
invite outsiders (particularly those with
narco-dollars) to take a big part in our
economy when we look to this
strategy for improving our GDP. Our
strengths lie in our language
proficiency and our geographic location,


independendent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com
P.O. Box 2666
Beli/c Cit.. Beli/c
Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reforner for as little as
BZ$30.00 (US$30 00 international)


I m -I ,h.


I llIIcIi~ I~IIin ,IrPri~c .I i tibh.%.rip it'ri m Itp. i w c ii'11.111 r% I t-1 Lih~o ilrt.-n -'tit -d,-I ;.:It I


and we need to exploit these.
Enuffornow.
Signed: SeniorRick

Suffering in the Land
Dear Editor,
I laughed so hard reading the article
titled "Thirty Minute Country" in the latest
edition of the Independent Weekly. While
the author injected a lot of humor into the
article, it is all so very true.
As a born and raised Belizean, it hurts
me to say that I would not want to live
there now. After aboutthree days inBelize,
I'm climbing the walls wanting to get the
hell out. Call me traitor, call me chicken,
but Ijust don't have the stomach for Belize
anymore.
Every time I visit, the one song that
keeps ringing in my earisthat old Jimmy
Cliff song from the late 60's titled
"Suffering In The Land". Do you know
that this song was actually banned from
playing on Radio Belize back in the late
60's? And it was not because of any
vulgarity or anything like that. It was
because of the words "the rich get richer
and the poor get poorer". That's what I
see every time I return to Belize.
I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy
New Year.
Fortunately, money cannot purchase
happiness nor good health and therefore,
people can still be relatively happy living
inBelize despite the oppressiveconditions,
much ofwhich is brought on by the GOB.

Signed: Errol Sandiford

Mangrove Madness

Dear Editor,
Thank you Mr. Charles Heusner,
Chairman of National Fishermen
Producers Co-operative, for standing up
for the mangrove! His small article came
(Please Turn To Page 13) l* W


P.I'Lln-.111 111clodcd r-l Iill m,: liir ED







Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3


--n (Continued From Page 1)
Spin Dry it.
Gather it. In order to gather money,
you have to have a place that's pretty
public. They're all around us, so Iwill
pick one. The one I'm picking may not
actually be a laundryman on purpose, but
he is functioning as one (perhaps
unwittingly.) For example, consider a
luxury car dealer in the USA. He
accommodates people who have lots of
cash. I talked to one ofthese guys once
- a Ferrari dealer.
"Do they finance?" I asked.
"No, they usually take the cash out of
theirbusiness. They'redoctorsandlawyers,
youknow."
Wash it. Suppose I'm a drug dealer. I
have $1,000,000 of dirty money. Igointoal
Mercedes dealer (in the USA) and give him
my card. It says"J. O. Gringo, Attomey-at-
Law." I tell him I want to buy a 2007,
300SEL andlwantto pay cash.
He says "That car has a sticker price
of $120K, but for cash, I'll give itto you
for a hundred grand!" He takes my


Comments?
Suggestions?
or want to
share your
thoughts
Email us at
Independent. newspaper.
bz(aimail. corn


money, and I take the car.
Spin Dry. He takes my money to the
bank to deposit.
"Where didyougetit?"
"I sold aMercedes 300 SEL, for cash!"
"Where didHEgetthecash."
"He's lawyerr"
Story done.
Best ML Bets anywhere
Devicesformoneylaunderingwoddwide:
LandDevelopments
Casinos
CashBusinesses
PrivateBanks
4. SpecialAttractions ofBelize
Why dothe laundry inBelize?
Land
Exports/Imports
Customs for sale
TouristTraffic
Recent Twists
Developments in the past two or three
years
The Conduitis gone
Cruise Ships
Lack of Evidence
It's all 'secret deals' so this is really
just speculation
But... you can speculate too, huh?

Next issue, we'll talk about all the
different ways the Laundrymen work.

About the Author
Justin Other Gringo came to Belize in
the 90's from the U. S and lived here for
many years with a fictious name. He has
been involved in various local and
international enterprises, and has learned
a lot about "How Things WorkinBelize."
He now lives inthe U.S.


Money Laundering

in Belize?


--_E (Continued From Page 1)
fool out of him or herself and will pay
for the foolishness in the future, some
way or another.
But it's about economics, not
corruption you say. The voters are poor
and the $50.00 is a windfall they truly
need... Okay, so let's look at the
economics. Over the next 5 years that
politician is in office, how many
thousands, even millions of dollars does
he or she get away with diverting from
the needy people ofBelize? Ahell of a
lot more than that $50 or $100 he/she
paid on election day!
A voter should realize that anyone who
offers to buy your vote is asking you to
condone theft. To condone corruption, to
condone the selling out of Belize. Anyone
who hastobuy your vote is already
corrupt, already unfit to hold public
office. He or she already di tief!
Perhaps more and more
Belizeans are realizing this. Which
may be why the practice of assisting
illegal aliens and other non-
qualified persons to vote in national
elections has also become rampant.
In the last national election gill net
fishermen from Guatemala came
ashore at Monkey River to vote.
When the citizens of Monkey River
attempted to stop the Guatemalans
from voting the police intervened.
In fact, witnesses say the police
escorted the Guatemalans to the
polling booths!
Many Guatemalans came across
the border into Belize to vote during
the last national election. A sizeable
number came from the city of
Melchor, in Guatemala, most had
been registered to vote. Eight of


them had the same registered
address in Belize. That address
was a vacant lot. These
Guatemalans are rewarded for their
votes. How many ministers have
been elected to office with the
assistance of Guatemalan votes?
Guatemala, the same country that
still has a border dispute with Belize
is actually helping to determine who
leads Belize! Think about that.
Maybe that is precisely why the
claim will never be resolved.
Neither major political party has
made a move to correct the
problem. Neither party appears to
want to fulfill the mandate. Is it
because UDP and PUP candidates
believe they can out do the other in
buying votes?
Buying votes is not only illegal it
is un-democratic. It creates a
situation where the candidates with
the most money to buy votes can
win. Vote buyers are violating the
rights and opportunities of any third
party candidates who seeks to be
elected in a fair and honest election.
There are statutes that make it a
crime to buy or attempt to buy
votes. The Political Reform
Commission has made it clear that
the vote buying process is "illegal".
However, no one ever seems to be
penalized for wrong doing.
If there is not already, there
should also be a criminal statute that
makes it a crime to aid or abet or
attempt to aid or abet voting by a
non qualified persons or the
registration to vote of such non-
qualified a persons. Those who
(Please Turn To Page 9) E


Selling out...


.com




Over 1 5,000 dailj visitors

The biggest and busiest website on J)elize


I







Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4



Predictions for Belize in 2007


By: Karla Heusner Vernon

At the start of any new year,
Belize's tarot card readers do a brisk
business as people try to put the past
behind them and catch a glimpse of
their future. INdependent Weekly
asked a completely unqualified source
who "claims" to be psychic what the
nation can look forward to in 2007. This
is what she had to say--
A word of caution: like all such
predictions, there is no guarantee any
of this will come true. Unless of course,
you believe in self-fulfilling prophecies.
In January of 2007 a political heavy
hitter will declare he is not running for
office in the upcoming general election
but retiring to South America.
Following successful knee surgery he
will take up golf with Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez. Under Chavez'
influence, he will liquidate his assets and
begin distributing his fortune on the
Southside in a "Cash for Literacy
Program." All recipients have to do is
learn to read secret contracts.
On Valentine's Day 2007 a female
party stalwart will defeat all
challengers in a runoff convention for
Central Belize. She will then give an
ultimatum to the party executive in
which they must give her a key legal
position. "First nephew" takes over
fort "first son" who goes into real
estate after successfully acquiring
every business on North Front Street.
In March of 2007 foreign investors
will open a new casino/marina facility
in Double Head Cabbage. To
facilitate access by cruise ships they
will dredge the Belize River turning it
into a deep water port and build a
causeway over to the PGIA. Through
a series of misadventures architects in
Taiwan who have never been to Belize
but who hold permanent residency
will misunderstand the drawings
provided. They position the mega
resort backwards on the property
requiring another entrance be cut
through the bush and build a
causeway to the Chalillo Dam which
they mistake for the Rio Hondo. To
save face, the project will then be
renamed "Double Head Dragon."
In April of 2007 the northern
,aNor&


highway will be adopted by the City
of Chetumal and Mexican bus
companies will take over the bus runs
formerly serviced by a now bankrupt
Belizean company. Belizean
commuters will be so happy with the
new road conditions and service they
will park their cars and ride the buses
to work, thus beating high fuel prices
and getting raffle tickets for a chance to
win a shopping spree at Chedraui every
month.
In May, the Corozal Commercial Free
Zone will be openedto the Belizean public


in an effort by the customs department to
reduce contraband and zone merchants
regain customers lost when Mexicans
began shopping at Hotchandani & Co
(formerly the PoundYard.)
In June the political leaderwill reverse
his earlier decision announce he IS running
for office again. His replacement will have
to give up her position and be offered an


ambassadorial post vacated by another
woman who opts to return home to run
against Zenaida Moya in a Belize City
division. Marion Jones, retiring from
sports, contemplates running as an
independent.
In July, gasoline prices will plummet in
an attempt by GOB to recover the taxes
being lost due to the heavy use of public
transportation. Consumers, unwilling to be
fooled by a short term ploy, will continue
to use Mexican buses and water taxis will
start a San Pedro to Belize City to Double
Head Dragon daily run.
In August, portions of Belize City by a
supermarket on the northern highway will


break off and float away due to dredging
in the area. Several homes, now leaning,
will fall over. GOB will declare a state of
emergency and "Friends ofBelize" will
provide US $6 Billion in emergency relief
which will immediately be spent, only no
one will know on what exactly. Affected
homeowners will be given temporary
housing in a new development near the


Acidic soils cost Belizean farmers
millions of dollars in reduced crop
yields. Scientific studies show that acidic
soils (pH < 6) reduces the availability of
important nutrients, creates toxic levels of
aluminum, iron, and manganese, and
damages root systems.


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In September 2007, visiting Bel-Ams
will adopt abandoned children and
wayward teenagers as part of a program
called "Take Back Belizeans." A data
bank will be setup for reuniting families
and school friends separated during
Hurricane Hattie. Alumni from Technical
galvanize and stage a successful protest
to reclaim the college before it
becomes gets turned into a IT-Vet.
There is great rejoicing in the land.
In October 2007, some church
officials will attempt to pass legislation
banning Halloween and all references
to Harry Potter. One denomination
will uphold the Potter ban (having
already expelled a student in Cayo for
imitating the magical teen) but balk at
the removal of Halloween since it
provides a money making opportunity
for school fairs. Trick or treaters get
the fright of their lives when a national
leader personally hands out candy at
his King's Park home. One child is
hospitalized.
November 2007 passes uneventfully
as no one notices the Belize dollar is
devalued during Garifuna Settlement
Day Celebrations. No press release is
issued.
Ho, ho, ho... .and here we go again.
I don't know if you believe in tarot
cards yourself...but getting a reading
sure can be fun. You didn't really
expect true accuracy did you? After
all, its only $5 a pop. Same price as a
plate of fried chicken. But more on
fried chicken next week.....


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Attention farmers!

Who se money no grow pan tree?


Comments?
Suggestions?
or want to
share your
thoughts
Email us at
Independent. newspaper.
bz(2qmail.comrn
l i


"In July, gasoline prices will

plummet in an attempt by GOB

to recover the taxes being lost due,

to the heavy use of public.

transportation..." 11







Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5


Bare


Facts:


The media blackout across the land


By: Trevor Vernon

These past two
weekends Belize
experienced what
canonlybeclassified
as a general news
blackout, except for
the crime reports.
We at this paper are
not interested in the
glorification of crime. In fact, we consider
the glorification of crime a dangerousthingin
that it serves only one purpose: the
perpetuation ofmore one-upmanship type
ofviolence.
The lengthy Christmas and New Year
weekends brought about a disruption in the
way news gets reported in print, on the
evening news, and in othermediain Belize.
Everyone was onvacation sothemediamill
grindstoahalt. It's a dangerous timein any
fragile democracy, especially when the
unwashed masses are officially encouraged
to indulgeininebriating practices and spend
extra-budgetary resources they don't have,
to celebrate a religious holiday.
Well, while the nation was out partying


andrunningupthe credit,weleamt, quiteby
accident of yet another massive increase in
the pump prices ofregulargasoline. Wewere
not supposedto notice andmost didn't, given
the state ofmeny making. WeBelizeanshave
become so numb that we are even afraid to
look or ask when we get gas pumped in our
tanks. Makes you wonder ifbutane prices
went up too. No one seems to know.


Yet as a percentage of the illusive
"acquisition cost" [the price ESSO/SOL
charges to have the stuff delivered here] the
governments tax take almost exceeds that
cost. Therefore, it can be argued that GOB's
take (rrd, environment, & import duty) as of
December 26,2006 ($3.55 per gallon) is
almost 100% of the acquisition cost
($3.9170). Now, almost halfthe price you
will see atthepump forregulargas represents


govemment'staxes on fuel. Thisisabigtake
and forwhat? To repairroads? To cleanup
the environment? To ensure safety standards?
No, no, and no. It's to pay off those
"sovereign guarantee" loans forthe chosen
few. So we, the citizens must re-pay their
loans so they can live large and we are told
that we must be happy to endure their pains
too. I don't think so; but most Belizeans


appearto be happy with the arrangements
the Musa government made.
One gentleman suggestedthatthe reason
forth high tax rate on gasoline is to pay for
road construction and maintenance. Maybe
we are inthewrongbusiness because $3.55
pergallon on 11 million gallons is almost40
million year in taxes on regular gasoline
alone. Tocounterhisargument, anotherfiiend
points out, that diesel powered vehicles,


trucks, busses, and heavy equipmenttake a
muchheaviertoll on ourroadways yet diesel
is only taxed at 1.24 cents agallon. You figure
that one out.
Then long comes the second long news
blackoutweekend, which included a closed
session ofthe Belize Senate on December
28,2006. What have we heard ofthis very
private session?Nothingyou say? Naturally
What did you expect: a press release? You
didn'tgetonewiththemassivenewincreases
inpump prices on Boxing Day orthe plane
load ofdeportees that arrived from the USA,
didyou?
One ofthe greatest philosophical books
of all time, Plato'sRepublic, instantly comes
to mind whenwriting about news blackouts
in Belize today. In book sevenPlatolays out
in allegorical terms people being trickedby
their leaders and made to live with blinders
overtheir eyes in a cave. It is more popularly
known as Plato'sAllegory of the Cave. It is
timeless writing and the concept so apropos
for our mosttroubling times in Belize today
wherepowerlovingpolitidansrefusetoheed
to the will ofthe people. And that stuffwas
written hundreds ofyears ago. Imagine!
(Please Turn To Page 14) *JW







Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6


JUSTICE GONE


by Des Parrett


Iwentto seethe OldOnewholives atthe
ruins. His hair is white as sea foam, and
althoughhe claims thatgetting older doesn't
always mean gettingwiser, heistruly awise
one. Ihad a question for him.
Recently in our village a neighbor was
murdered and last week a young woman
was raped. I wanted to knowwhich is the
most destructive evil to our society? Murder
or rape?
"Neither," the Old One replied. "Both
murder and rape are savage and


unacceptable, but the greatest evil in any
society is dishonestjudgmentsbecause such
judicial action murders our whole justice
system. Withoutjustice we can only have
anarchy where every person must resort to
one's own solutions. Eventhemostdespotic
kings and dictators understood that people
needed fair courts to settle their differences.
"Our democraticway oflifeisbasedupon
fair and equal treatment under the law, and
justice for all citizens. We find these very
words in nearly every constitution of every


Pothole politricks


by Meb Cutlack


Just how long is it going to take for the
poor, andthemiddleclassesofBelize,tofinally
raise up and refuse to pay their taxes the
only measures left to them to remove the
yoke of government taxation from around
thdeirnecks?
Inhis column intheAmandalalastweek
FrankieRhys raised exactly this question:
"...the IMF, which appears to be of the
opinionthatBelizeneedstofurthertightenits
belt by increasing taxes or by retrenching
Government employees. The people can
hardly handlethe current situation, much less
absorb morepunishmentfrom aGovemment
that has blown huge amounts of money by
giving favored treatment to its friends and
cronies. Weneedataxrevoltin2007! Refuse
to file. Refuse to payGST"
He added: "Didn't a refusal to pay taxes
triggertheAmericanRevolution?"
Well, last week was certainly a sort of
record for Belize when on the very day that
oil droppedtoatwo-yearlowof$55 abarrel
the price in Belize soared another 40 cents!
No announcement, no news release, just a
new rise to putthe price ofgas in Belize to a
shade under $10 a gallon.
Talkabouttaxationwithoutrepresentation!
ThePUPmouthpiece, The Times, hasthe
cheekto criticize local councils forthe state
of the roads and pot holes. They are PUP
pothdoleswithourroadsfallingdailyintoworse
repair. Ifjust atiny iota of the gasoline tax
wentto service potholes instead of private
pocketsBelize would be in farbetter shape.
The government has "explained" there is
notenoughasphaltinBelizetorepairtheroads
and so they are filled with sand and gravel.
Of course the first rain washes out the sand
and gravel and makes the holes evenworse!
How can there notbe enough asphalt, or
money to buy it? Belizeans are not the only
ones using the nation's roads and highways,


noraretheytheonly onesnoticingit. Tourists
are scandalized.
And the tourism industry vehicle owners
and operators are punishing. All across the
country, tourism generates revenue through
bedtax, GSTandincometax.Nottomention
the exorbitant exit tax. All of it pours into
'General Revenue' butNOTHINGcomes
back out for roads and other infrastructure.
Let alone schools or otherneeds.
When will it end? It wont because as
Frankie so aptly puts it, ""Neverlet people
know that you are broke." If they know,
they will squeezeyouunmercifully, because
they knowyouhavetobe desperate, willing
to entertain any solution even ifitis toyour
great disadvantage! An individual mightbe
ableto conceal histruefinancial conditionif
heisan excellentpokerplayerwhocan sustain
a bluff. As far as a nation like Belize? The
wholedamnworldknows!"


democracy in the world. Dishonest
judgments destroy fair and equal treatment
and thus a democracy can not be sustained.
"Obviously dishonestjudgmentscanresult
whenjudges accept money, favors or power
to influence their decisions, but dishonest
judgments do not always mean dishonest
judges. In Belize we have an even more
devastating cause of dishonestjudgments:
NO JUDGMENTS. When our judicial
system fails to rendertimely judgments, the
effects are the same as dishonestjudgments,
but in Belize, this failure is not caused by
corrupt judges but instead by corrupt
politicians.
Justice must always be the number one
priority of every democracy.
Ourpoliticianshaveignoredthedesperate
needs of our court system untilwenowhave
hundreds of civil court cases moldering on
the desks of two orthree overloaded judges,
animpossible situationthat denies ourcitizens
justice,justasmuchasdishonestjudgments.
Itiscommonknowledgethatitwilltakethree
tofiveyears or even moretoget hearing on
a civil dispute, and some cases have gone on
foraslong as tenyears. Whenthe case finally
endeditwasbecauselheplaintiff ordefendant
died! Whenthieves, murderers, rapists, drug
dealersandthelikearenotassured immediate
courthearings ourjustice system is sacrificing
therights ofourlawabiding dctizenstoprotect
the rights of evil criminals. Certainly that is
not the proper goal of politics.
"Itistruethatthisdreadful situationinBelize,
ofno recourse tojustice, is caused in part by
incompetence and corruption ofpoliticians
who place ahigherpriority ontheirpersonal
projectsthan injustice, but ourjustice system
itselfhastosharetheblame,bedngbasedupon
the antiquated, out-of-date, inefficient,
ineffectiveBritishCommonLawsupposedlly
modified by our Constitution. We had the
ultimate authority (Privy Counsel) ofEnglish
tradition overriding our the constitutional
authority four citizens. English Common
Law was designed to protect the aristocrat
from the commoner, and it has never
functioned as a protector of the commoner
from the power structure. Our Belize
Constitution shouldbetheultimate, only, and
FINAL word with the exception of a
Regional Court (CARICOM) attunedto our


culture andvalues.
"Our Belize antiquated civil court
procedures withitspowderedwigs, medieval
robes, royal bowingtothejudge, addressing
thejudgesas"M'Lord" as ifthey were some
kind of a potentate, no computers, fewifany
court recorders.... as well as low budgets,
needs a seriousrestructuring. Weneedmore
judges. We need betterjudges. We need
court dates tobe firm and not abused at the
whim of senior lawyers who repeatedly call
forpostponements. Weneed simple, straight
forward and efficient courtroom procedures
based upon mutual respect, instead of the
local lord ofthe manor handing out favors.
After all judges are only people hired to do a
job of rendering fair and honestjudgments;
they should certainly be respected butthey
are not gods. We need proper secretarial
helpinthecourts. The courts shouldgive no
more advantage, recognition, privilege or
weighttoaseniorlawyerthantoonerecently
admittedtotheBar. Every citizen shouldbe
assured that he is equally represented in the
court room no matterwhat the seniority of
hiscounsel. Thecourtshouldchargeahealthy
fee, athousandormoreperday, forall actions
using the court rooms, with such charges
leveled against the losing party or against
anyone causing a delay or postponement.
We need our civil and criminal courts
completely separate from one another and
operating with the same efficiency and
timeliness.
"We need all lawyers to be more
accountabletotheir dients and their actions,
and judges accountable for their decisions,
all reviewable by a Justice Review Board
composed of independent citizens who are
NOT members oftheBarAssociation. And
this demands that ourjudicial system must
have an adequatebudgetto serve ourpeople
fully and properly.
"We can correct the problems of our
judicial system, the problems of dishonest
judgments," concluded the Old One, "ifwe
acknowledge our problems and have the
courage to make the necessary changes.
If we do not, then murders and rapists
will remain farbehind dishonestjudgments
and corrupt politicians in the list of evils
that are aggressively destroying our
society."


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Mailing Address: Box 346, Belmopan
E-Mail: chrissy@cheersrestaurant.bz







Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


"A challenge: where do the independents standP"


By Meb Cutlack


They probably stand to win enough
seats to dictate policy change if they run
as "independents" but could win nothing
if they stand as one or two or three
"independent" political parties. Belize is
crying out for men and woman of integrity
to offer themselves to the electorate, to
call for "reform!" And to cut out the
"party" nonsense that has ruled Belize for
so long and so badly.
To see them now squabbling over who
leads an independent party is akin to
denying the very basis for which they
supposedly stand. Reform, even with a
small "r", isamulti level andmulti strategic
option which needs intelligent
consideration from every quarter and,
above all, it ultimately needs personal
commitment based on ideals and out of
which can emerge a consensus. That
consensus must come from legitimate
discussion between the possible wedge
of independents who take the middle
ground and whichever of the traditional
parties, or splinter of, which is prepared


to accept demands for real change.
Ironically only Mark Espat and Cordel
Hyde have publicly pledged to seek an
elected senate and other reforms. The
UDP and the sitting PUP are very careful
not to mention senate reform and an
elected senate-one of the very fewways


top level corruption can, at least, be
monitored, even curbed.
It is also essential that the senators and
representatives are not elected in the same
election or at least have a different time
period to serve to avoid one party, again
and again, taking all power.


INdependent Weekly offers a challenge
to all prospective independent candidates
throughout Belize to present yourselves
and your ideas to the public via our
newspaper. All you have to do is:
State you name and constituency
Provide a photograph
Give your reason for running as an
independentcandidatethengiveyourviews
onthefollowing:


A) an elected senate or alternative
B) land reform with means to take
power away from ministers and others to
use Belizean land to enrich themselves.
C) "general revenue", the
government's large holdall, into which
all government revenue is poured and


then redistributed as per the instructions
of one or, at most, two men.
D) a new integrity commission to
which all ministers, senators and house
members must submit all details oftheir
financial and property holdings prior to
the elections.
E) review of all recent environmental
impact assessments related to Megaa'
proj ects.
Finally, give you views on what has
gone wrong in Belize since
independence with regard to the
following:
Education,
Poverty alleviation,
The collapse of southside and rural
economies and spread of poverty
throughout Belize.
The demise of ecotourism through
high departure taxes while cruise ship
passengers pay only a pittance to enter
Belize -part of which goes to the tourist
village and so back to the cruise ship
company!
ThisinvitationisopentoALLindependent
candidates not directly affiliated with an
established political party.


Mexico will return to Belize a portion of


the territory on the Southern Frontier


Translated from original text
from Univision. com (Jan 2,
2007)

It was made known today by
the Secretary of External
Relations of Mexico that the
Government of Mexico will
return a portion ofterritory to Belize
that was incorrectly absorbed by
Mexico more that a Century ago.
The Mexican Chancellor
confirmed in a communique
that this action would be
formalized in the future with a
new Territorial Agreement with
Belize.
"An initial agreement has
already been reached and all we
are waiting for are Belize's
observations on some points in
the frontier, for example the Bay
of Chetumal, where the actual



Comments?
Suggestions?
or want to
share your
thoughts
Email us at
Independent. newspaper.
bz(qmail. corn


treaty signed in July of 1893, with
important mistakes, considers a
portion that has always been the
territory of Belize, as Mexican
territory" the Minister went on to say.
The Mexican Chancellor points
out that from 2003, the Government
of Mexico had presented to the
Belizean Government a proposed
treaty of the border divisions and
that this "is currently being
evaluated in that country".
Authorities from both nations


are presently conducting technical
meetings that will permit them to
define the basis for the signing of a
new treaty, according to the
communique.
On the other hand, the same
ministry of the government
informed in another communique
that Mexico and Guatemala are
conducting joint studies in an effort
to clean up their common
borders.
This action will permit


conserving and establishing
border limitations between the
both nations which has an
extension of 573 kilometers,
according to the secretary.
Included in the studies that are
being carried out, is the cleaning
up and the development of the
border areas, and the maintenance
of the of international monuments
as markers, the establishing of the
maritime borders and the
stabilizing of the Suchiate river.


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Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8







Xmas Thieves and Hedges sold by shops throughout the and clear his name and reputation-won't conflict. Little wonder he spoke out!
A Customs office at the country at $40 Bz a carton. that be better than a hand full of stolen Guatemala is stranded in a cash crisis
northern border wanted a Thepublicisbeingbeingroyally smoked money for keeping quiet? that impedes cashing checks, collecting
criminally high rate of duty ona by their own countrymen and the salaries oraccessing cash dispensers.The
bottle oftequilaboughtinChet. Although governmentjust fans the flames. Want to join the U.S. army? local press says the people are hungry,
it came with a Mexican receipt for 120 The US armed forces, already spending New Year's Eve amid shortage
pesos, he wanted the same duty as on a Intimidation police style! unable to meet recruiting goals, and distress."ElPeri6dico" online edition
bottle of $98 tequila bought in Belize.. Our DPP, Kirk Andeerson has gone. w are considering expanding the says the Oscar Berger government closed
No matter that the visitor had a British Yes, but he has gone with a strong whiff number of non-citizens in the 2006 with devastating effects on the
passport and stated his duty rights of a of police and PUP government ranks-including proposals to people due to negligence ofthe Central
bottle and cigarettes. "Not at a border intimidation and an embarrassing display open recruiting stations overseas and Bank of Guatemala (BCG).
town!" he was told but when he ofpointless powermongering. putting more immigrants on a fastertrack The paper says the BCGis "shameful
theatdened to pour the tequila away the They nabbed him at the airport and to US citizenship if they volunteer. toaskthehungryto stay calm. "Thecrisis
officer suggested he coughup afee of $5! returned him under escort to a nearby Of course, this could be considered affects the majority, including the middle
But worse still the wife of a friend of bank to pay his income tax. recruiting mercenaries to defend US soil! class, rural workers impeded from
his who works for government drove Tut, tut his salary arrears due in the History has it that the Roman Empire collecting their salaries, the informal sector
down from the same borderwith his blue future and legally secure were much more collapsed for the same reason recruits impeded from making sales and nearly
platedpickuploadedwithXmasgoodies thantheincometaxbill! from the colonies who turned on the one million families depending on
illegally bought in the Free Zone.. No duty As well as the money due to him there emperor!! remittances.
on anything! is inevitably a sum of several thousand In the days leading up to the 10th
Smoking hot cigarettes dollars for"going quietly". Guatemala's makes pledges -again! anniversary of the UN sponsored
Someone in high places with Chinese Well, they broke their side of the deal Guatemala's president pledged last Peace deal which ended the civil war
connections is making a killing from the and so I suggest that Kirk go anything but week to revive constitutional reforms Guatemalan leaders have
import ofuncustomed Chinese cigarettes quietly and sing, sing, sing all the way to promised in peace deals that ended the acknowledged that while the Central
sold openly in Belize. Jamaica. country's civil war a decade ago, saying American country has made some
There is also blind eye being turned The INdependent offers hims as much Guatemalans must conquer the social advances in education and health, it
to the import ofBritish packetted Benson room as he wants to tell the whole story inequalities that helped give rise to the has yet to overcome extreme poverty.
E I


Statement from

We The People Reform Movement


"This example of changing the Constitution by assembling the wise men of the state,
instead of assembling armies, will be worth as much to the world as the former examples
we have given it" Thomas Jefferson 1787.
Once more the current power has again proven to the Belizean people its absolute
power and the urgent need for constitutional reform. On Friday, December 08 2006,
Cabinet had secured the House approval of two money motions, which was passed on
a single sitting even by disrespecting the House rules and by a feeble protest by a weak
opposition. On the following Monday, Cabinet had also secured the rubberstamp senate
approval for these two money motions to refinance Belize's foreign debt.
Cabinet has consistently imposed its will on our weak and shackled Parliament and
cannot be held responsible or accountable for its acts by a feeble National Assembly.
The PUP architects of the Belize Constitution for an Independent Belize (had also the
blessings of the late come UDP) had no intention to yield itheii ncI' 1 acquired control
and privileges on the destiny of our new nation to the National Assembly even one of
their own making. They framed the constitution to allow a Cabinet-Reign with absolute
power to be permanently concentrated on the executive. Cabinet absolute power to
grant Ministers discretionary powers, to loot and plunder our country, discretionary powers
to tax us, to borrow locally and international institutions billions of dollars in our name,
discretionary powers to hold and dispose our national wealth, assets and resources at
their pleasure.
They have persistently established a large Cabinet with fewer backbenchers in the
House to impose their will and a weak opposition that could not even protect itself
against gross indignities in a weakened House of Representatives. Cabinet Ministers
are also provided with state immunity against punishments for crimes committed against
the people. These Honorable Ministers are unaccountable and are unanswerable to the
rule of law and to the National Assembly. Why not throw off the cloak that is asphixiating
us; "the Cabinet Ministers with discretionary powers and stop this endless punishment."
Nowhere in the world does a smaller cabinet control a larger Parliament. Why should a
tiny cabinet of Belize control both Houses of the National Assembly and our lives? We
have no other alternative but to propose new constitutional amendments to consolidate
Belize Democracy.
We propose new powers of a two-House National Assembly:
a. To empower our National Assembly for legislative powers to be vested in a two
House (bi-cameral) Assembly. All legislative powers herein granted shall be
vested in a National Assembly of Belize which shall consist of a Senate and a
House of Representatives.
b. A New Executive, a Cabinet led by a Prime Minister in order to abolish Cabinet
control on both Houses of the National Assembly and insuring the separation of
powers, we propose the direct elections for the Prime Minister office with a
limited two terms, with constitutional authority to allow the Prime Minister to
choose his or her ministers with well experienced and capable individuals from
the Belizean public. Elected members of the House shall not be a member of the
Executive, effectively ensuring a free House to agree or concur with amendments
to any bill proposed by the Executive. An Elected Senate replacing the appointed
Rubber Stamp (Powers of an Elected Senate).


c. All power to disagree to any bill and may propose or concur with amendments
to any money bill as on any other bill. Power to establish within the Senate a
Special Senate Investigative Committee capable of withstanding all weather
storms.
d. The elected Senate shall be constitutionally empowered by establishing a Special
Senate Investigative Committee from amongst its elected members. Any party,
political movement, or independent represented in the Senate shall be allowed
to appoint one Senator (only) to sit on this special Senate Investigative
Committee so as to ensure a well balanced and inclusive democratic
independent committee free from partisan control and any cover-up or
obstruction ofjustice.
On the first sitting of the Senate they shall select a chairman between
themselves and the chairmanship shall be on a rotate basis. This Senate Special
Investigative Committee shall be legally constituted and sworn in the first
sitting of the Senate. Once constituted the members or any member of the
Special Senate Investigative Committee may commence any investigation on
the misconduct of any former or present government official at the services of
the government of Belize and any public contract providing services to the
government of Belize.
Once substantial evidence arises from any investigation the Senate Special
Investigative Committee shall draw charges of impeachment and shall constitute
itself into a Senate Tribunal to hear the charges. The Senate Tribunal shall not
impose to a convicted offender any prison terms but the immediate removal
from public office and shall be banned for life to hold office. If criminal offences
has been committed by the convicted offender or offenders, the Senate Tribunal
may appoint a special prosecutor to immediately initiate court action for his or
her conviction.
Establishment of an Independent Judiciary free from political manipulation
with a separate budget.
e. The Judges of both the higher courts and the lower courts most be well
experienced and competent proven attorneys to hold their offices during a
fixed term with good behavior.
We believe our recommendations for Constitutional Reform offers a new positive
change. Our proposals are for the strict division, control and limitation of power and
to restrict the role ofthe State to the essentials. Only by enactment ofthe Constitutional
changes above will the people of this country rid themselves of the present tyranny
and undemocratic behavior of a Cabinet Reign with discretionary powers.

On behalf of We The People Deputy National Coordinator

Lucilo Teck
Deputy National Coordinator

We The People Reform Movement P.O. Box 194 Corozal Town
Tel. 409-3004,6008729







Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9



Blessed & Peaceful: 2007


Rev'd Canon LeRoy Flowers


A happy, peaceful, hopeful and
joyous 2007 to all our members, friends,
and supporters.
What will 2007, bring for us? Are
you afraid? What action will you take
to make 2007 a blessed one?
Sad to say many see dark days
ahead, even among those who claim
Jesus as their Lord!! Remember He
promised to be with us in the storm of
life.
Poverty, hatred, greed, murder, theft
and lying will continue unchecked in
2007. Children will belittle their parents,
parents will abuse and abandon their
children and responsibilities. Within the
churches there will continue to be
disunity and strife. This is due to our
spiritual poverty. Families will continue
to fall apart ......domestic violence taking
center stage in the wider community
while many in the church will talk about
love, but never live it... due to their anger
and strife in their hearts...
How then can we hope for a
meaningful blessed 2007? The answer
lies to a great degree with what you and
Iwill do. It is simple, but true! Letus
learn to do the following on a daily
regular basis:
* Pray more humbly
* Talk less...Listen more
* Practice: Please, Thank You,
Excuse Me, Good Day!
* Read some books!
* Watch wholesome movies on TV.
* Care about all God's children.
* Be responsible at work and in our
homes.
* Give respect to all, including our
opponents.
* Learn to accept criticism.
* Learn to accept that you are not
God, therefore not always right.
* Learn the difference between


Sollimn
-n i(Continued From Page 3)
cross the border to vote illegally
should be arrested along with those
who caused them to cross the
border.
The buying- or stealing-of
political offices should be
prohibited by criminal penalties.
Any legislator that has failed or
refused to support legislation for
such penalties may well be a
candidate with the same criminal
thinking that leads to corruption.
Such thinking process should lead
to his or her disqualification to hold
office.
It is time that the Prime Minister
and his cabinet provides the
guidance he says is what leadership
is all about and put into effect
legislation they would end illegal


making recommendations and
making decisions.
Stop trying to make everyone think
and act just like you.
Spend quality time with yourself and
family.
Strive daily to make this world a
better place.
Stop trying to manipulate others and
the system.
Let us honor the value of work.
Develop the virtue of patience with
the greatest fool! Whoever you think
he/she may be!
Learn to love and accept love. Not
everyone is dishonest and wants
something from you.
Practice to forgive all who offend
you.
Be kind and helpful to someone in
need every day.
See your glass as half full rather than
half empty.
Do something about the problem
you face rather than complaining.
Light a candle in the dark rather than
curse the darkness
Try to be more considerate and kind
to all you meet.
Stop believing that you are the only
right, honest person in the
world... and that others are trying to
destroy you.
My brothers and sisters, I have no
fear of the future; because I know who
holds the future His grace is sufficient
for us to face the future with
confidence!!!
Yes many things will go wrong in
2007...But He has the whole world
in His hands...then why fear?
..sickness, death, pain and suffering
are an integral part of life in 2007.. .But
he is still God and loves each one in a
special way.


I out...
voting and vote buying. It is time the
issue is addressed by the so-
called Good Governance
department.
For its part, although the UDP
does not have a majority in the
House of Representatives, it is not
relieved of the responsibility to try
and enact any anti-corruption
legislation recommended by the
Political Reform Commission. If the
PUP does not support the legislation
proposed by the UDP then the
voters know who not to vote for.
They say you get what you pay for.
Perhaps Belizeans are finally getting
the sense that they are getting what
they were paid for. As the Association
of Concerned Belizeans says "No sell
u vote!"
The price is simply too high.


I am saddened that we are
growing to be a complaining
and ungrateful people. We
must learn to appreciate
God's goodness and
blessings. We must also lean
to be thankful as individuals
and as a people in general.,
yes correct what is wrong.
I find it so sad that many
never appreciate their family
and friends, much less, the
goodness of God in their
lives. No time to say thanks,
no time for worship, no time
to pray, no time for fun, no
time for appreciation for the
goodness of life itself, no time
for others, no time for
laughter.......No wonder we
are all so angry with each
other and even with
God.....2007 will be a
blessed one for us ...If we
walk with Jesus .. .the Lord
and Saviour..... Ourselves
and God.
However Jesus pointed out
I will be with you to the end of the
world." It is vital that we become
involved in our own wellbeing and
happiness. Our happiness should never
be controled by others.


We have a vested interest in working
for our own happiness. By becoming
engaged in the wellbeing of others, we
will add to our happiness and thus make
Belize a better society.
It is not about them, it is about us.
Thus a blessed 2007.


For an online version of the

INdependent Reformer

visit us at

http://www.belizenorth.com/

independentreformer.htm

OR

http ://belizenews.com/

independentonline.pdf


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Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


Oil Exploration Threatens Belize's Protected Areas


BvAlana Herro

Published on Worldwatch Institute
( i /ll1 11 tln Reprinted il ith permission of the au-
thor
By permitting oil exploration on
indigenous lands, the government ofBelize
is violating international human rights law
and possibly several other international
treaties, according to the environmental
group Global Response [1]. The group
says the government's April 2006 decision
to allow Texas-based U. S. Capital Energy
[2] to conduct seismic operations in
Sarstoon Temash National Park, the
country's second largest protected area,
is in breach of a 2004 Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights ruling and
may also violateBelize's treaty obligations
under the Ramsar Convention on
Wetlands [3] and the United Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity [4].
Belize, a Central American country
roughly the size of Belgium, boasts more
than 90 protected areas and has an
international reputation for conservation
and nature-based tourism. Over the past
decade, however, the government has
issued licenses for logging, oil exploration,


Sarstoon Temash National Park. Photo: SATIIM


and other extractive activities in areas that
have traditionally been home to Belize's
indigenous Mayan communities, including
Sarstoon Temash National Park, a
41,000-acre (16,592 hectare) area of
pristine forests and coastline along the
southern border with Guatemala.
In 1998, two native rights groups, the
U. S.-based Indian Law Resource Center
[5] and the Toledo Maya Cultural Council


[6], filed a petition to the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (ICHR)
arguing that by granting logging and oil
concessions in indigenous territories
without local consultation, the Belizean
government was violating certain rights
guaranteed under the American
Declaration of the Rights and Duties of
Man. In October 2004, the ICHR ruled
[7] in favor of the petitioners, concluding


Unfinished Business


By Trevor Vernon

Rather than write my predictions for
2007, let's take stock of issues hanging
over from 2006 and before that need
to be resolved this year.
1) dfc/ssb investigation findings
2) judiciary strengthening
3) increased tax revenue, which will
come principally from taxing
pump prices for regular unleaded
fuel
4) integrity commission; when will


the public figures file their annual
re ports?
5) Bz-Guate slippery slope
adjacency zone issue
6) Mex-Bz treaty issues on border
delimitation arising out of # 5
above
7) Bz-Honduras maritime issues
8) Elections floodgate pressures will
become an issue in 07
9) IMF/WB fiscal imbalance
pressure i
10) Tourism "golden goose"


11) Shrimp Farming...Nova has
a l r e a d y
stumbled, but not Sir Barry &
his Big Warts in the south
12) Shrimp trawler banning
13) Fisherman revolt: esp against
developers wanting
to kick them off their
strategically positioned
premises at the mouth of the
river
14) trade union rebellion issues
15) political infighting and
backbiting
16) runaway fuel tax
17) regularized tax evasion by the
wealthy few
18) high interest rates
19) parallel market/money
laundering with
international law enforcement
20) ElAissues particularly with Ara
Macao, Stake Bank, and
North Drownded Cayes,
21) increased tax measures on the
poor (See IMF letter of
December 20)
22) Venezuela & Taiwan payback
23) The free port development with
the Lucas Cruise Lines.
Of course, there are many more, but
23 is a good number to start
with.


that the failure of the government to consult
with the Mayan people, and the negative
environmental effects arising from the
concessions, constituted violations under
international human rights law.
Global Response and local groups say
the allowance of new oil exploration in
Sarstoon Temash National Park is in
direct contravention of this ruling. Since
2003, the government of Belize and the
Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous
Management [8] (SATIIM), a group that
represents five Q'eqchi Maya and
Garifuna indigenous communities in the
area, have managed the park ointly. But
Greg Ch'oc, executive director of SATIIM,
observes that when it comes to certain
decisions, outside money has more clout
than local governance-or even
international law. "A wealthy foreign
corporation can set off dynamite and extract
ilwithoutanenvironmentalimpactassessment
oramitigation plan," he says. "This selective
application of the law is a violation of the
human rights of the indigenous people in
Belize."
At the request of SATIIM, Colorado-
based Global Response is launching a
letter-writing [9] campaign to Belizean
Prime Minister Said Musa to stop the
destruction ofbiodiversity and indigenous
livelihoods in the park. Sarstoon Temash
includes 10 miles (16 kilometers) of
Caribbean coastline and encompasses
14 ecosystem types, including
undisturbed mangrove forest, the only
comfra palm forest in Belize, and the
only known lowland sphagnum moss
bog in Central America. The park is
home to a known 226 species of birds,
24 species of mammals, 22 species of
reptiles, and 46 species of butterflies.
This story was produced by Eye on
Earth [9], a joint project of the
Worldwatch Institute and the blue moon
fund [10]. View the complete archive
[10] of Eye on Earth stories, or contact
Staff Writer Alana Herro at aherro [AT]
worldwatch [DOT] org with your
questions, comments, and story ideas.
Source URL:
http://www.worldwatch.org/node/
4807
Links:
[1] http://globalresponse.org/index01.php
[2] http://www.uscapitalenergy.com/
[3] http://www.ramsar.org/
[4] http://www.biodiv.org/default.shtml
[5] http://www.indianlaw.org/
[6] http://geography.berkeley.edu/
projectsresources/MayanAtlas/
MayaAtlas/tmcc.htm
[7] http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/
2004eng/belize. 12053eng.htm
[8] http://www.satiim.org.bz/index.htm
[9] http://globalresponse.org/
gra.php?i=current
[10] http://www.bluemoonfund.org/


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Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11

Mexico reintegrarai a Belice

una porcion de territorio

en la frontera sur Ai


Original Text from Univision.com
02 de Enero de 2007, 06:47pm ET
Mdxico, 2 ene (EFE).- El
Gobierno mexicano reintegrara a
Belice una porci6n de territorio que
equivocadamente fue mal delimitada
hace mas de un siglo, inform oy la
Secretaria de Relaciones
Exteriores. La Cancilleria mexicana
precise en un comunicado que esta
acci6n se concretara en el future
con un nuevo tratado de limits con
Belice. "En principio ya se logr6 un
acuerdo inicial y s6lo faltan las
observaciones de Belice en algunos
puntos de la frontera, como por
ejemplo la Bahia de Chetumal,
donde el tratado vigente celebrado


Comments?
Suggestions?
or want to
share your
thoughts
Email us at
Independent. newspaper.
bz(dgmail. corn


en julio de 1893, con equivocos
importantes, consider una porci6n
que siempre ha sido de Belice como
territorio mexicano", sostuvo el
ministerio. La cancilleria mexicana
record que desde 2003 el
Gobierno mexicano present a
Belice la propuesta de trazo de la
Linea Divisoria, y que "se encuentra
en process de evaluaci6n en ese
pais". Las autoridades de ambas
naciones se encuentran en reuniones
"tecnicas", lo que permitira definir
las bases de la suscripci6n de un
tratado de limits en tre ambas
naciones, segun el comunicado. Por
otra parte, la misma dependencia
gubernamental inform en otro
comunicado que Mexico y Guate-
mala realizan conjuntamente
trabajos de limpieza en la frontera
comun. Esta accion permit
conservar y definir la delimitaci6n
entire ambas naciones, cuya
extension es de 573 kil6metros,
segun la Secretaria. Entre los
trabajos que se desarrolla estan la
limpieza de la brecha fronteriza, la
construcci6n y el mantenimiento de
monumentos limitrofes
internacionales, la delimitaci6n de la
frontera maritima y la estabilizaci6
n del rio Suchiate.


Place an ad in the
endent


Jacana


In our continuing series on
the birds of Belize, this week
the INdependent brings you
thejacana, courtesy the popu-
lar field guide "Jungle Walk"
by Katie Stevens.

There are eight species of
this lively little lily-pad trotter,
only one of which resides in the
marshes, ponds and other waters
of Belize-wherever floating
aquatic plants thrive. The
Northern jacana (Jacana
spinosa) is locally known as
"Georgie Bull" despite its
dainty grace as it hops on its
long and spindly toes in search
of water bugs, or tiny fish, or
small mollusks. It stalks the
water hyacinth and steals its
seeds.
This slender bird attains a
top-to-tail length of about 9-
10". It is cinnamon-red with a
vivid yellow forehead shield on


its black head and yellow-green-
ish patches on its wings. With
neck extended and long legs dan-
gling as it flies it flashes the yel-
low underpinion of its rounded
wings. As it alights, it stretches
high its wings before folding them


neatly behind its back, tucking in
the spurs at the crook of its
wings.
The immature jacana is gray-
brown above and whitish below
with a distinctive wide white
stripe above the eye.


Along with the jacana's gen-
erally charming appearance
goes a voice of many songs-
most of them raucous. It calls
out with a single, rasping note.
Or emits a plaintive whistle. Or
clacks away like a portable type-
writer. In flight it makes a sharp
cackle. In argument with its fel-
lows, it chatters and chuckles.
Jacanas are eminently noisy!
The breeding season is in
April and May. A floating plat-
form is contrived of stems and
reeds; upon this thin, flat,
flimsy surface as many as four
eggs are laid, each spotted and
speckled in excellent imitation
of the nest. It is the malejacana
which does most of the egg-sit-
ting-a matter of 22-24 days-
and, when they have hatched, he
continues on with the baby-sit-
ting, while he is at it.
You can see jacanas on Bird's
Isle.


[i kaIBB Le iza^p






Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12



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Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13


- E (Continued From Page 2)
out in the Reporter, Saturday Dec 30.
Destruction of the mangrove destroys
the nurseries for the big fish that inhabit
the reef-so, No Mangrove = No Fish;
also, no dolphins, no manatees, we could
fill the entire page with creatures affected
by destruction of the mangrove. Humans
are one of those creatures too.
Yes we can see other countries around
this world are now trying to replant their
mangrove-good luck to them as itis very


expensive & difficult. Maybe Dept of
Forestry should do the job that we
taxpayers pay them for and protect the
mangrove, quick before it's all gone.
In the past, people had to get
permission to put in a small cut for boats
through the mangrove-my family did this
about 15 years ago. Now the big
developers can just come in & fill the
mangrove like it's a garbage dump.
Take a look at the Placencia Peninsula.
Mangrove once lined the entire length of


the Placencia Lagoon, this was once a
pristine area.
Indeed, Dept of Environment actually
seems to like this sort of clear-cutting &
filling of the mangrove. Protecting the
mangrove is not their ob, as they have
told me many times this past year.
So I contact Forestry-if you would
like to hear a very sleepy voice answer
your phone call, call the Forestry Dept!
They are snoozing on the job!-the job
that we pay them for. The sleepy voice
will tell you they can't do anything. And
probably they cannot, since our own Area
Representative Rodwell Ferguson is
actively giving away huge tracts of
mangrove to his friends & family.


The destruction is shocking. Now
Rodwell is trying hard to convince the
residents here that Ara Macao,the
infamous giant development with plans to
put 2 poisonous golf courses on the
mangrove which will drain its poisons &
fertilizers into the Placencia Lagoon, is
good for us!
Again, we may look like barefoot beach
bums but we are all very well instructed
about our environment. We know Ara
Macaois huge mistake, and will probably
mean total destruction of the Placencia
Lagoon as we know it, not to mention
destruction of the entire Peninsula.
Peace.
Signed: Linn from the Peninsula


Valerio Yama Sr. with Min. Mark Espat


<2\


anl


7*


w 1


-v


%~


" .* *


MARK
ESPAT
PUPAlbert Committee


W,








IFriday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14


ARIES
(Mar. 21-April20)
One sided attractions are likely. Secret love affairs may
be enticing; however, you must be prepared for the
restraints that will follow Get involved in activities
that will be fun for the whole family. Romance is likely
if you can bring yourself to go out with friends.
TAURUS
(Apr 21-may 21)
Make sure that new mates live up to your high stan-
dards. Don't be shy to promote your own interests.
Take a close look at any contracts you've signed in
order to be sure exactly where you stand. Do not
overspend on entertainment. You could find that chil-
dren willbe a handful.
GEMINI
(May 22-June 21)
You may find that children are not as accepting as you
have been. You will get along well in social situations.
You can make excellent careermoves ifyou are opento
the opportunities that exist. You should be in business
for yourself.
CANCER
(June 22-July 22)
Things at home may be somewhat rocky. You can
make progress professionally. Visitors are likely to
drop by and chances are, they may even stay a little
longer than you want them to. You may have prob-
lems with skin, bones, or teeth if you haven't been
taking proper care of yourself.
LEO
(July 23-Aug 22)
Your high energy will enable you to enlist the help of
those in a position to back you. Be sure not to reveal
private information to the wrong individuals. You could
experience delays in shipments or mail, and should be
careful while traveling. Delve a little deeper if you
really want to know the score.
VIRGO
(Aug. 23 -Sept 23)
Changes in your domestic scene are evident. You can
make money through your creative efforts. Business
conducted in your own office will proceed smoothly.
Don't get involved in joint ventures.
LIRA


(Sept 24 -Oct 23)
Plan some family outings. Don'tbe too quick to judge
your position or surroundings at work. Keep on your
toes when dealing with others. A passionate party for
two might be just the remedy.
SCORPIO
(Oct 24 Nov. 22)
You can make life easier for an older member of your
family. Take the time to do your job correctly or you
may find yourself looking for a new one. Try to curb
your habits, or you could fmd yourself in an awkward
financial position. Be diplomatic when dealing with in-
law
SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Your lover will cost you dearly if you let them. This
will be a very hectic day if you've made promises to
too many people. The great outdoors will allow you
to teach youngsters some of the things you learned
when growing up. Spend some quality time with the
one you love. Your talents will shine at work.
CAPRICORN
(Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Your partner may not understand your mood swings
but ifyou are willing to communicate, a lot of grief can
be avoided. Drastic changes regarding your personal
attitude are evident. Be careful when dealing with in-
vestments. Dealing with foreigners will be most en-
lightening.
AQUARIUS
(Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Opportunities to pamper yourself may unfold. You
should be in business for yourself. You can make new
friends by taking part in social events involving col-
leagues. Spend time getting into physical activities with
your lover.
PISCES
(Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Conflicts over joint finances are likely. Be sure to look
into travel opportunities that will provide you with
mental stimulation. Don't get involved in joint ven-
tures. You can make a serious attempt at quitting those
bad habits that you've picked up over the years.


Bare Facts:


n (Continued From Page 5)
We have the constitutionally recognized
Opposition, in this case the only other"mass
party". Theirjob andespeciallytheirleader's
job is to play watchdog and to guard the
people's interest, all the people... notjust
personal interests. But we are not getting a
ferocious or alarm sounding watchdog
outside ofHouse Meetings; all we seem to
be getting is contented and calculated
callousness. The mostferocious guardian of
thepeople'sinterestisWaveRadio(Moming
Show& Kenny's afternoon show). Nothing
else inthe Opposition's arsenal comes close
to taking care of the people's business on a
daily basis. Yes, they get personal at times
but they also get the attention in alerting
Belizeans to the hocus pocus the
government pulls onus, all ofuswho have
to pay $9.66 a gallon for regular gasoline
that only cost then $3.9170 to import.
There was a time at the OAS in 2001,
where delegations sat to hammer out the
drafting ofthe Inter-American Democratic
Charter at the US' dogged insistence.
What was most appalling to my mind was
the fact that the USA-lead sessions refused
to enshrine in that charter the vital role of
the media as a"main pillar" of democratic
governance. Yes, it was thrown in there
as an afterthought somewhere; but, not
as a pillar, a vital element. As fate would
have it, at precisely the same minute foreign
ministers & their representatives were
signing this glorified Charter in Peru on 9/
11, terrorist planes were flying into and
taking out the twin towers in New York
City andthe Pentagon in Virginia. And who


I


Suly's Restaurant

Farmer's Market
I have saved this review till now for fear of the mad rush that might ensue,
but why hold back on the best place in town? There is only one place to get
Conch Soup and this is it. All the regulars rush into the purple place before
the lunch crowd because after 12:15 the "Best Conch Soup in Town" might
be gone. But if it is, you still won't be disappointed, the rice and beans with
the usual sides are truly some of the best around, and the Chimole is great.
Suly's has been dishing up the belly full for years now and it has become the
place of choice for the area diners and for a few politicians who try to sneak
in before everyone at 11 am. During one of my Stew Beef runs, I commented
to a frequent visitor that I see him there every time I come. His reply Cho!
I come ya at least 4 times a week, but pleese no tell mi wife, she tink I deh da
Subway!" Amen! So don't miss the true taste of Belize, Suly's. Daily Spe-
cials, Lunch & Dinner $5.50 & up


Your weekly


I


ymt tor 0((.)d
With Anthony Hunt


made the rest of world aware of the
madness that was occurring in an effort to
"preserving law & order and democracies
worldwide?" The media. How ironic, I
remembered saying to myself. Without
responsible media reports we have not
even the pretense of democracy, period.
Therefore one could make avery strong
case that the current government is not a
very democratic one precisely because
they withhold so much vital information
from the public and sneak in new revenue
measures, among other things over long
holidays. They may participate in
"Freedom of Information" seminars
abroad, and signed the Inter-American
Democratic Charter, but they don't really
support freedom of information. We hear
of many Belizeans being deported from
the USA during December but we can't
get a comment from anyone about the
numbers or the type of criminal behavior
they are being deported for. Instead all
we hear is the gangs have agreed to a
government sponsored truce. Next thing
you know, the government will amend
the constitution to give the street level
criminal element a seat in the senate,
alongside the churches, unions, and the
private sector.
They may have gone thoughthe paces to
get elected, but without the free flow of
information to the public through the media
establishments all we havemustbe classified
as totalitarian. So, yes I can see why
govemments inthis hemisphere feel theneed
to downplay the role of the media when
negotiating heavy handed Charters and that
collective action has served this Musa
bGovemmentvely well indeed.







Friday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15


Back to school
Little Johnny had finished his Christmas
vacation and gone back to school. Two
days laterhisteacherphoned his motherto
tell herthathewas misbehaving.
"Wait a minute," she said. "I had Johnny
withme forthree weeks andInever called
you once when he misbehaved."
Where is your homework?
Teacher: Whereisyour homework?
Pupil: Ilostitfightingthiskidwhosaidyou
weren'tthebestteacherinthe school
Who is this calling?
A high school has a policy that the
parents must call the school if a student
is to be absent for the day. Kelly (name
changed to protect the guilty), deciding
to skip school and go to Chetumal with
her friends waited until her parents had
left forwork and called the school herself
This is the actual conversation of the
telephone call.
Kelly: "Hi, I'm callingto reportthatKelly
so-and-so is unable to make it to school
today because she is ill.
Secretary athigh school: "Oh, I'm sonyto
hearthat. I'll note herabsence. Whoisthis
calling?'
Kelly: "Thisismymother."
Better Grades
Little Johnny wasn't getting good
marks in school. One day he
surprised the teacher with an
announcement.
He tapped her on the shoulder and said,
"I don't want to scare you, but my
Daddy says ifI don't start getting better
grades...somebody is going to get a
spanking!"
School Excuses
The following are excuse notes from
parents (including original spellings)
My son is under a doctor's care and
should not take P.E. today. Please
execute him.
Please excuse Lisa forbeing absent. She
was sick and I had her shot.
Dear School: Please ekscuse John being
absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32,and
also 33.


Back to

school

humor

Please excuse Gloria from Jim today.
Please excuse Roland from PE. for a few
days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and
misplaced his hip.
John has been absent because he had two
teeth taken out of his face.
Carlos was absent yesterday because he
was playing football. He was hurt in the
growing part.
Megan could not come to school today
because she has been bothered by very
close veins.
Chris will not be in school cus he has an
acre in his side.
Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He
has very loose vowels. (Squirts)
Please excuse Tommy for being absent
yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots
leak.
Irving was absent yesterday because he
missed his bust.
I kept Billie home because she had to go
Christmas shopping because I don'tknow
what size she wear.
Please excuse Jennifer for missing school
yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday
paper offthe porch, and when we found it
Monday, we thought it was Sunday.
Sally won't be in school a week from
Friday. We have to attend her funeral.
Please excuse Jason for being absent
yesterday. He had a cold and could not
breed well.
Please excuse Mary for being absent
yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.
and under the doctor.


For an online version of the
INdependent Reformer
visit us at
http://www.belizenorth.com/
independentreformer.htm
OR
http://belizenews.com/
independentonline.pdf
ImmmmmmmmmmmmIImmIIIImm I Im


--Lee.king

for your copy of

Independent Reformer
Weekly?


We currently have the following
distributors Countrywide and are looking
for more:
Corozal:
Raidys
Orange Walk:
Peoples Store, Del La Fuenta
Drugs Store
San Ignacio:
Hangout El Che, Celinas, Venus
Juan Chuc (Bullet Tree Road)
The New P Wang Super Store (Benque Road)
street vendors
Succotz:
Hua Yong Store
Benque Viejo Del Carmen:
Long Lucky Super Store
Dangriga:
Oscar Ramirez
Placencia:
Noldan Brown
Punta Gorda:
Natures Way Guest House
Caye Caulker:
Trends
Belmopan:
Hyde's Mini Mart
Dakers Stationery
Belize City:
Albert & Queen Street Stalls, Twin Supermarket
and Slingshot on St. Thomas Street, Water Taxi
Terminal, Shell Service Station, Ml. 2 1/2 N.
Hwy.,
Ladyville:
El Ca's Supermarket, Jonze Salon, Celinas
Grocery, Highwayman Service Station, Bodale's
Burrel Boom
W. Thompson, Seidy's Store
San Pedro:
seeking a distributor


New Distributors are being added every
week so look out for increased
availability. You can also join our mailing
list, see page 2 for details.





SFriday, January 12, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 16


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