Title: Independent reformer
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Title: Independent reformer
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Independent Publishing Company (of Belize) Ltd.
Place of Publication: Belize City, Belize
Publication Date: January 19, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00007
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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By Des Parrett
I went to see the Old One who lives at
the ruins. I told him I was confused about
oil. Oil is so important that the US and
Britain invaded Iraq and threatened other
Middle Eastem countries to protect their
oil supplies. Oil has made a lot of desert
folks rich enough to trade in their mangy
camels for a Mercedes or Rolls Royce.
Oil has solved many of the financial
problems of the struggling Third World
countries. In fact oil seems to be the most
important issue in world commerce today,
so if oil is that important, why the Hell
doesn't somebody tell us what is going
on with our oil in Belize?
"The best information comes for those
involved," the Old One said. "Go directly
to the sources, to the people involved and
ask your questions."
That made sense so I tried GOB, and
found that our government knows that we
have oil, but that seems to be about all
they know. Howmuchoil? Thisisyetto
be determined. How will it benefit us
Belizeans? This is yet to be determined.


A new

Contributed
There has been talk of a Third
Political Party to compete with the two
powerful ones we already have. Is this
a good idea?
The problem is not one of numbers,
but of color. When it comes to giving
the people a choice, 3 parties should
be better than 2, but if it is numbers
that count then 10 parties should even
better... and it probably would be.
We now have a BLUE party and a
RED party. If you mix RED and
BLUE together and form a new party
you get a PURPLE party. What have
you gained? Let's look at it from an
operational perspective. If you start
with a party of thieves and a party of
robbers and then you form a party of
bandits, you have given the people a
wider choice, but is it a better choice?
It certainly is NOT a wiser choice
because the results will be the same.
On the other hand, if you want to
form a YELLOW party that shines
with a sunlight to illuminate
mismanagement, dishonesty, and


Will it be good for Belize like it is for other
countries? Obviously. How? Well, this
is yetto be determined. Will our schools


party

incompetence, or a WHITE party that
will clean out corruption and truly
serve the interest of the people, then
a new party or even two new parties
would be better because you have
created a broader, wiser and better
choice for the people. But where do
you get new party people who think
YELLOW-honesty or WHITE-
anticorruption? It takes only a very
little touch of either RED or BLUE to
quickly spoil the purity of the color,
the purity of the ideology.
In a recent article 'Pussy Foot'
expounded on the needs for an
elected Senate, rightly implying that a
Senate with equal footing with the
Representatives would create better
checks and balances. You go to a
doctor today and he will give you
medicine to cure the symptoms that
give you discomfort. Your body is
supposed to eventually correct the
disease that causes the symptoms.
New parties and elected Senates are
medicines that can cure the political
symptoms, but there is no body that


and hospitals benefit? Within government
projects benefit according to their priority.
Hmmm. What's that supposed to mean?

can correct the disease of corruption
which remains and festers... and
eventually will be fatal.
Our political system is the core
disease that not only causes the
symptoms of corruption, dishonesty,
incompetence and mismanagement,
but makes these practices inevitable.
The British Empire perfected a
program of rape, pillage and plunder
of their colonies over some three
centuries of intensive practice. They
convinced the colonial "natives" that
their British government had all the
answers, and it was everybody's duty
to accept such governmental guidance
and dictates without questioning.
Sensing the Empire was dying,
colonies began to demand the right to
govern themselves, and the officials of
the crumbling Empire, aghast that
mere "natives" should even think they
were capable of self government,
turned their backs and walked away.
There was no effort to train or educate
their replacements.
If the "natives" were stupid enough
to believe they were as capable as
their British "superiors", then let them
(Please Turn To Page 6) M W


So I tried BNE and found that the oil
company also knows we have oil. How
much? Sorry, they are not at liberty to
discuss that. Howwill the oil revenues help
Belize? Sorry, that's a question the
government must answer. Will it be good
forBelize? Oh certainly. We are doing
great things and have created a lot of new
jobs for Belizeans. Aha! Now I have
found a benefit. Have the oil activities
created any big problems? Sorry, but they
are not at liberty to discuss that. But
whatever problems there are will be
eliminated when the pipeline is finished.
Are there any other good things Belizeans
can expectfromthe oil production besides
afewjobs? Sorry, that's a question the
government must answer. Hmmm.
It appears that those directly involved
with GOB and BNE, don't have anything
directly to say. Maybe those directly
affected could help, so I talked to the
Mennonites at Spanish Lookout. I hit a
mother lode of information.
"Has the oil production affected the
community," I asked a Mennonite I know
(Please Turn To Page 13) lE


Inside this Issue


Are all cruise ship
programs bad?
pg.3


Fantasy Island
Pg. 4


Adjacency
Zoning Issues
Pg. 5


INdependent will not
be intimidated!
pg.7


Home stays sweetened
with chocolate
pg. 9


Photo: Michael Stravato -The New York Times







Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2


EditoialDieco






-I Cllc



































SlngSho. erisn

andSign
Desg* S* I *IS


j9*v/ & de W'11kof


100% increase in
work permit fees

Dear Editor,
I have been here just over a
year now and have applied for
residency, my first interview is
18th January, my work permit
runs out on the 23rd of January.
So I went to ask for an extension
and was told that I have to apply
again from scratch.
I thought this was madness as
they already have all my details
and nothing has changed, but no
I have to fill in all the same forms
again and this time it is going to
cost me $2,000 for a work
permit, when it only cost $1,000
this time last year!
I have been employing
Belizeans in my business for a
year, not taking a wage for
myself and won't be this year,
but because I own the business


I have to pay the $2,000 for a
work permit.
This is really crazy and
frustrating, especially if it take
another 2 years for my residency
to come through. Someone
needs to put this system to
rights.

Signed: Jane Beard

Suggestion for Rufus X

Dear Brother Rufus:
It is so refreshing to hear you
each week on the
KREMANDALA Show talking
about "men being manly". I think
it would be a good idea if you
would publish a "Manly
Manifesto" so these terrible
politicians can have some
"manly" guidelines. I would like
to forward a few suggestions: A)
Men who have children out of


independendent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com
P.O. Box 2(.666
BcIi/c (Cit. Beli/e
Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as
BZ$30 ( ()( IS$30.00 international)


1 1 '11. I P I
. tIId

I m -I ,h.


wedlock, including current &
former ministers, should be man
enough to make the children
carry their names. B) Ministers
in Government should abolish
GST on medicines and doctor
fees: after all nobody buys
illness. C) Abolish GST on tires
and spare parts since
government seems incapable
of fixing our roads and
developing our infrastructure.
D) Allow entry for all
Belizeans into the Free
Zones; after all Belize is for
Belizeans- is that not they
continually tell us? E) Be
manly enough to properly
manage Belize's single
budget, since innumerable
housewives seem not only
efficient at handling her home
budget but also the budget at
work!
Respectfully: T. Thompson


SPPAA Presents
,4 FEBRUARY 10 & 11, 2007

ALONG THE IDEW'ALK IN
PLACENCIA VILLAGE

ALL ARTIST-S W-ELCOMIE.
TO RFGI~rl.:R:
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Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3



Are All Cruise Ship Programs Bad?


By Punta Gorda correspondent


There has been a lot of good debate
about the cruise ship industry, mostly
pointing out the potential negative effects,
and it's important for our people to know
this. It seems to me that the main issues
are the number of passengers, what they
do, and were and to whom the money
goes.
However I believe when properly
planned, regulated and supervised, the
cruise ship industry can be beneficial to
our environment and society. The eco-
tourism part of the Toledo People's Eco
Park Plan has two small cruise ship
programs. Many believe these can
provide badly needed economic income,
support NGOs working on environmental
and cultural conservation, as well as the
local businesses and the general public
both in the rural villages and Punta Gorda
Town.
The program "The Gulf of Honduras
Mini Caribbean Cruise," is a three day
two night regional tourism package. It
opens the bottleneck between Livingston
Guatemala andPlacentiaBelizeviaPunta
Gorda Town and Monkey River. A small
ferry, capacity 100 passengers, leaves
Guatemala6:00 a.m. and arrives PGTown
by 7:00 a.m., clears customs in time for
breakfast at 7:30 a.m., ready to take a
wide variety of tours offered by the local
tour operators, toledo tour guide
association in the rural villages and in and
around Punta Gorda Town. The visitors
choose which restaurants and hotels they
want to sleep and eat in, including the
option of staying overnight in the award
winning TEA village guest house eco trail
program.
Next morning after breakfast hosted by
the toledo btia, the ferry takes them to
New Haven Harbor where they can visit


the Salt Creek Wildlife Preserve operated
by tide or take a boat to and up Monkey
River with the monkey river tour guide
association, or visit Wild Cane Cay to see
the only Maya temple ruins found on a
Cay. After lunch prepared by the people
from Punta Negra the ferry takes them to
Placentia village where they again have
their choice of restaurants, hotels and
entertainment, hosted by the Placentia
BTIA and theirtour guides, afterbreakfast
the last morning of the tour they head out
to the Sapodilla Cayes for a full day on
the sandy beaches and swimming above
the reef hosted by taste. The ferry arrives
back in Puerto Barrios Sunday afternoon
in time to catch the evening bus to
Guatemala City in time to be back to work
Monday morning if need be.
The second cruise ship program of the
TPEP plan is for a larger passenger cruise
ship of up to 700 to 800 passengers. They
could come once ortwice a week, offering
the following four packages.
#1 Village tour, when 20 local buses
Toledo bus drivers association take 20
touristto 20 villages for one an ahalfhour
village presentation and a half hour eco
trail walk in the rain forest.
#2 The 6 day Eco Cultural Tour of
Toledo. Where the six principal ethnic
groups, Garifuna, Maya, Kriol, East
Indian, Mestizo, Others, have designed a
special presentation with music, dance,
food, history, and a visit to a protected
area Toledo taxi drivers association, can
accommodate 30 visitors each.
#3 At the present time we have 10
licensed boats with toledo tour guides
association tour guides, that can take up
to eight visitors on a short fishing trip or
river exploration.
#4 We have four private tour operators
who can take 15 visitors each.
For a total of 700 visitors:
Village Tour and Eco Walk 400


Eco Culture Tour 6 X 30 180
10 Boats X 6 60
4 Private Tour operators 15 X 4 60

700
This leaves 100 visitors who may for
one reason or another preferred staying
aboard, or who may want to take an
inexpensive walking tour ofPG Town.
For those who stay on board we have
a slide show, lectures, arts and crafts
making lessons and other activities they
can choose from.
Potential problems: While cruise ships
that stay overnight can contribute to drugs
and prostitution, research has shown that
the increased drugs, prostitution and other
crime that can come with uncontrolled
cruise ship programs is notfrom the mostly
older passengers, but from the crew which
can number as high as 1 crew member to
every 2 or 3 passengers, so a cruise ship
with 600 passengers can have 200 plus
members of the crew.
By restricting their shore leave, the
potential crime can be greatly reduced,
this with a well planned and supervised
short 3 hour shore visit should be able to
totally controlling these potential negative
effects.
While environmental pollution due to


improper waste disposal is another valid
concern, the International Maritime
Organization estimates that up to two
kilograms of waste per passenger is
generated. The fact in Toledo District is
that pilot projects for community recycling
programs of our solid waste have
indicated that our volume of recyclable
products has been too low to make it
economically profitable at this time. So
contracting with the cruise ships to take
some of their selected waste can actually
help to make our community recycling
projects a reality.
Another problem has been destruction
of coral reefs by cruise ship anchors and
the back wash generated by their big
propellers. Again this may not be a
problem for a small cruise ship visiting
Punta Gorda because the Belize Barrier
reefis 40 miles tothenorth east, anywhere
the ship would be anchored are barren
sand banks and the currents run down into
the basin, the shore being many miles
away. Passengers can be ferried from the
ships to shore as they are now in Belize
City.
While there are definitely other potential
problems that must be considered and
solved, limited space prevents us from
addressing them all.


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INFORMATION
ON ANY UNSOLVED CRIMES


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Announcing our new internet host:


For an online version of the


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visit


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Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4


By: Karla Heusner Vernon

My husband and I spent part of the
weekend at the cayes, enjoying the
spontaneous escape and sense of adventure.
As soon as we hit the Belize City harbor I
knew we had made the right tum off the
pothole ridden Northem Highway. If only
scenic drive to town along the riverwas as
pleasant as it used to be... .will it ever get
better?
Sometimes I think the conditions of the
roads are just a metaphor for the condition
of our nation, the pieces eroding away
representative of the erosion of power and
control, the lack of funds for sustainable
repairs like the state of our foreign debt
servicing-bothnowindefault.
But Idrive these thoughts out ofmy mind
as we drive. Ortry to.
Instead, today Iwill just enjoy the patches
of sunlight breaking through the clouds, the
blues and greens of the water stretching out
around us withits usual vibrancy. Itfeels and
looks and smells the same as it did when I
was a child heading out with my father and
mother and sister.
Withinminutes, our cares are behind us.
But within minutes, the reverie was
disrupted. How couldwe keep fromlooking
towards Stake Bank and Swallow's Caye
andotherareaslthatwillbeaffectedbytourism
developmentifall goes accordingtothegrand
plan?
How differentthis whole areawill be in a
fewyears, perhaps even months. Even now
stakes areinthewater, itwill onlybeamatter
oftimebefore construction begins.
How sad.
Notjustforus, but forth tourists. Who
among us is not nauseated by the Coney
Island appearance of the Tourism Village
from the harbor? Is this really the first
impression we want to give visitors to our
country?
Whatwilltheythinkwhenthey are shuttled
to Stake Bank on a causeway and cordoned
offinto an area ofmanmadebeach? Perhaps
hula girls will greetthem withleis, bid them
"Aloha"inthesameinaccurateDisneylanding
they got when the village first opened and
people dressedup like ndianswerebrought
in to take photos with tourists. North
AmericanIndians,mindyou.NotevenMaya
warlords or demure ladies inhuipils.
Just more ofthe tacky souvenirs forthem
to take home with their coconut monkeys
whittled outby Japanese artisans andAfiican
carvings ofgiraffes and elephants, puka shells
from Indonesia andBali-esquebatikpattem
sarongs and tequila shot glasses proudly
proclaiming"Belize"manufacturedinTaiwan.
Oh, lestweforgetthebrilliantly coloredhand
woventextilesandslingbagsmaderighthere


unsightly sand lighters and fishing boatswill
be barred from the Swing Bridge area.
Heavenfoibidthetouristsseemenwhomake
living offthe water.
I guess you can see by now I am not
impressed with express line tourism where
visitors are herded onto buses and cast down
riversininnertubesandallowedtowalkalong
the reef and break bits of it off.
Even ifthey spent an average of $200 US
a day each, and paid $50 each in head tax I
wouldnotbethrilledtohave these headhunters
tranplingevelything, samplingasnorgasbordof
Belizean"cultur,"all-you-ca-eatstyle.Iwanttoyell
atscneof~n,'SacymeifyouwantMcDntald's!"
Butldo't
Rather I pity them they will never get to
taste panades, or walk up a set of wooden
stairs in some rickety house, unpainted
outside but lovingly filled with mementos
inside, invited to sit at grandma or auntie's
plastic covered table as she dishes out her
homemade rice and beans and chicken and
salad and tells Junie to turn the fan towards
herguests. "Goodnessbuteonlyhotlidday!"
The chances ofanycruiseshipvisitorgetting
taste ofauthenticBelizeis slim duetotheir
hectic schedules and carefully crafted
itineraries. Perhaps only those who sit for
hours at the hair braiders get any chance to
slow down. Probably most of them regret
their decision 20 minutes into theinaction.
To those who do notj oin the snorkeling
tours or inland "adventure" treks, but make
the decision to knock aroundBelize City for
afew hours, Iwish I could apologize. To tell
them we are sorry and ashamed our
communityislookingasitis,thatbelieveitor
not it did not always look thisway. Thatwe


Is'a


in Guatemala
Don't get me wrong, I know the brave
few who venture outside the security of the
village despite the dire shipboard wamings
ofmuggings and rapes buy aBelikin ortwo
and some Marie Sharp Pepper sauce. After
they locate the bathroom at the Museum of
Belize or Chon Saan Restaurant on North
Front Street, enjoy the air conditioning at
Mirab and buy a Crystal water from the
vendingmachine outfront.
Soon they will be able to see even more
ofthe real Belize City as they stroll downthe
boardwalk, completely segregated from the
post office and other diabolical touristtraps
on North Front Street. Soon enough those


wish we couldrid them, and ourselves, of
the crackheads following people around.
That they should not be wary of the hard
working tour guides and taxi drivers who
have had their dignity stripped away by a
system which keeps them outside the gates
oftheVillageinsteadofprovidingthem space
insideit.
Iwanttotell themthatwetoo are shocked
and dismayed by how everything is falling
apart. How certain streets depress us and
theviewfromtheHauloverCreeklooks like
portions of war ravaged countries and we
don't know what to do about it.
Most of all I want to tell them that the
money they might be spending is NOT


trickling down tothe communitiesthey visit,
butbeing hoarded by agreed few. Except
perhapsthetips.
I'd also like to tell them they have been
misinformed on shipboard if they havebeen
toldBelize City is an island, that there is a


tas'


beach, orthatits okay towalkaroundtown
inyourbathing suit, red skin anduppertorso
exposed, flip flops flopping. Iwished for a
camera the day I was driving down Regent
Streetinpouringrain,4yingnottosplashoffice
workers in their uniforms when a young
Caucasian lady tried to cross in front ofme,
half clad in a bright orange sarong, with a
hibiscus inherhair sipping something out ofa
coconut with a straw!
Itwas such a remarkable contrast to the
workaday world, ridiculous really. Poor
flower child, shewastotally out ofher element
out in the elements. lam sure she will stickto
Mauinexttime.
Then again, maybe she had fun onFantasy
Island. Maybe shewill bethefirst oneto sign
up for a return trip to Stake Bank. To eat
buffalo wings and drink tequila and sing "If
you like Pina Coladas, or getting caught in
the rain.. ." to her boyfriend or husband as
he swills Beliklinandasksifhecanbuy some
more to take back for his buddies. "And a
few packs of those cigarettes too, what's in
themthings anyway?"
Who am I to rob them of their exotic
holiday. After all, my hubby and Ineeded our
own retreat from civilization too. Maybe
Belizeans have more in common with the
touriststhanwe'dliketothink Maybeinsome
ways, we need the break more than they do.
We can'ttumthem away, they have found
us already.
But we should be able to ensure their fun
doesn't come at our expense, or alter forever
the things we love most about Belize.


"... I wsdivn on eet Stre n* orn
raintrin nt o plshofiewrkrsin thei
uifom whnaIon CuasaIadridt


Anti-domestic Violence Walk

To celebrate our 124 Fcundaticn Day and the arrival
of the Sisters of Mercy to Belize, Saint Catherine
Academy, in crmjurcticn with the Women' s Department
is holding an Anti-dcmestic Violence March on Friday,
January 19'h, 2007. The theme for this march is
"STOP THE MADNESS, END THE SADNESS".

The day begins with a mass at 8:00A.M. at SCA
grounds. The mass will be followed by presentations
Dr. Carol Fonseca from the Women' s Department and
victims of dcnestic violence. Immediately after the
presentations, the march will proceed through the
principal streets of Belize City. The March ends at
Constitution Park with a rally and musical presentations.
Booths set up by various organizations that support
the struggle of warin in Belize will be cn-site to offer
information and services.

The walk leaves SCA at 10:30 am into Marine Parade,
North Park St, North Front Street, Queen St, Daly St.
Craig St, Barrack Rd. Freetown Rd., Douglas Jones,
North Front St, Swing Bridge, Albert St., Kirg St.
Euphrates Ave, Cemetery Rd on to Constitution Park.

The public is invited to join us as we take a stand
against violence and pray for God' s mercy cn Belize.
4.


On Tuesday, oil traded near an 18-n-cnth 1cw at $55.64
a ban-el in U-v York, doAn nearly 9 percent since the
k aft cf the -yr.


I source New York Times







Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5


diacenc'


By: Trevor Vernon

A number of
readers asked my
thoughts on both
Minister Godfrey
Smith's column in
the Belize Times,
"Flashpoint," on
Belize and
Guatemalaandthe
recent related release from the Mexican
Foreign Ministry on a soon to be signed
Belize Mexico border treaty.
Both Mexico & Honduras were very
helpful to Organization of American
States' (OAS) negotiation process. That
is to say: they acquiesced to creative
mechanisms along theirrespective border
with Belize in the form of the tri-national
marine park in the south and the shifting
of the marker at Aguas Turbias in the
north.
To my mind it is clear that Pickstock
Representative Smith is putting all hopes
of any Guatemala settlement to rest at this
point. That much is crystal clear. So, no
more worries of attacks on gringo owned


resorts out west. No more expensive
negotiations.
Accordingto the Prime Minister'sNew
Year's message, the focus now shifts to
getting Guatemala to agree to go to the
World Court. Presumably at the prodding
of SICA (Central American Integration
System), and other non-CARICOM
countries.
Smith appears to disagree. Remember,
he was a key player in the recent OAS
sponsored negotiations, from its formal


inception in June, 2000. For a good
portion he was either Attorney General
or Foreign Minister, playing a substantive
role in the process. And, he oversaw the
first rotating Belize Presidency of SICA.
Mr. Smith too, to my mind, is saying to
everyone: don't expect
much from ourForeign Ministry in terms


Zoning


of initiatives now. All that can be
realistically expected from them is the
trademark temper tantrums Belize plays
in regional and international trade talks.
It's not just matter of temperament;
Minister Smith, an attorney by profession,
also holds a masters in international
relations from some high brow college in
Boston, while his successor does not.
Smith believes the OAS negotiations
and Ramphal-Reichler proposals were
doomed from the outset because of the


political situation in Guatemala at the time.
I could further argue they failed because
Lead Negotiator, aka Ambassador
Thirteen, did not get Guatemala's Nobel
peace prize winner Rigoberta Menchu
Tum to play some buffer role as facilitator.
The lady has serious "indigenous leader"
credentials.


Issues

There should have been only one
facilitatorin the Belize-Guatemalatalks and
it should have been Rigoberta. Why?
Because in the ancient world all Maya
along the corridor were related politically,
and indeed the issues on the ground in
today's adjacencyy zone" are wholly
Mayan issues in Mayan territory. Yes
exclusive Mayan issues: land ownership,
health, education, cultural, political and
economic integration.
But the Guatemalans were/are afraid
of this leader and Belize probably backed
off, trying not to infuriate the "rabbi-
blancos" that control the Guatemalan
political landscape. The nefarious Guat
leader Rios Montt is known to consider
all Maya tobe lesser mortals ...and that's
being kind to his bloody legacy. He has
particular reason to be wary ofRigoberto;
for she went on shortly after the talks
started, to file charges against Rios Montt
in Spain for crimes against humanity,
holding him accountable for her own
father's death. Too many ghosts in his
closet.
Having Reichler & Ramphal take on
the roles instead distorted the issues,
(Please Turn To Page 7) *E


"bDis do di third IX@#1 flat ah get ena di laas foa months! Wat di hell is guvment doing wid di car licensing an drivers' licensing money?" .:
IaAudm n In mn,*biA A* J1ja ta rnanodi


Caroonsposordlb BeizeMeicalAsocite







Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6


on


Laundering in Belize


By Justin Other Gringo
(Continued from last week)
3. Best Money Laundering Bets--the
same here as Laundromats from around
the world. Give them your dirty money
or launder it yourself.
Land Developments are wonderful.
They need lots of money. "Buy low,
sell high" sounds like a good idea, but
the development costs are alarming.
Roads, rain gutters, water lines, power
lines, sewers (well, maybe not in Belize!)
- all of these take money. And the
suppliers will take cash! (No tax trail.)
Casinos. Another wonderful place!
"I want to buy some chips -
$10,000 worth."
"Certainly, sir."
Later...
"Can I cash these in?"
"Certainly, sir." Spun dry!
Oklahoma is full of casinos, run by


the Native Americans on their
reservations. I visited one. Where do
all these customers come from? I
wondered. Texas!! Texas has no
casinos. It does have lots and lots of
Meth Labs, however, out there on the
plains where the nasty fumes won't
bother anyone. What to do with the
money? Visit Oklahoma, or Shreveport,
Louisiana (five "Riverboat" casinos, just
a few miles from Texas.)
Cash Businesses. In the US, "the
mob" organized crime-usually has a
comer on vending machines, illegal slots
(in private clubs) and juke boxes. Lots
of coins. Take those to the bank.
"Where did all this money come
from?"
"I have a vending machine business."
"Oh... OK."


A new party


i--n (Continued From Page 1)
suffer the consequences. They had
shown the "natives" how to suck the
life blood out of their country, so now
they could jolly well rape, pillage and
plunder themselves. And with that
example the results that followed were
inevitable.
"The political system created and
put into operation in Belize must make
those old colonial Brit administrators
smile in their graves. We now elect
representatives who appoint one
another as Ministers with the same
uncontrolled power as their colonial
predecessors; Ministers who
circumvent the law whenever they
wish; Ministers whose decisions are
final and not reviewable, placing
themselves above the law and above
the constitution; Ministers who shuffle
funds and properties for the benefit
of themselves, relatives and favored
ones, without fear of retaliation;
Ministers controlling sensitive areas of
our government without proper
training or education; Ministers who
borrow massive funds to cover losses
from their corruption without
constraints, burdening our future
generations with overwhelming debts.
"Corruption? How could we
expect anything else? And now that
our political corruption has pillaged
and plundered our national assets to
where there is little of value left, we
talk about a new party as if that is the
answer that will cure the ills. NO, we
don't need ANOTHER party, we
need a BETTER party dedicated to
correcting the abuses of our
politicians. We need a BETTER party
that will realign our political system so
that it serves our people instead of our
politicians. We need a BETTER party


that will search out and prosecute
corruption. We need a BETTER
party that will put power back in the
hands of the people. We need a BETTER
party that will make all of our elected
officials accountable for their actions and
punished fortheirinfractions."
I told the Old One we are all trained
or conditioned to think the same way.
We only know what we know, and it
seems to me that to make things better
means we will have to learn a lot of
things we don't already know. Does
this mean that we have to continue to
live with our political corruption until
we get a lot smarter or better
educated... sometime in the distant
future? It is easy to say what we
HAVE to do, but isn't our real
problem HOW are we going to do it?
"Exactly," the Old One answered,
"but the answers are all around us.
Start looking for them."


But it doesn't have to be machines.
Any business that deals in cash provides
the same answer, even if it's only a
hamburger stand, and it doesn't really
matter if the business is actually showing
a profit!
New Businesses. What a good use
for dirty money! Start a new business.
Use dirty money to buy all the
equipment, orto fill the store with stock.
The business may be slow to turn a
profit, but if your investment dollar only
cost you ten cents, you can afford to
wait. And you're helping out young
budding entrepreneurs.
Private Banks. Jeffery Robinson
talks a lot about these in his book "The
Laundry Men." In Belize, the Central
Bank closely scrutinizes all of its banks,
public and off-shore, but that's not so
in many Caribbean countries.
(Robinson has written a newer book
called The Sink his name for the
Caribbean basin!) If you want to open
an account with a thousand or even ten
thousand dollars, you will be closely
examined. But if you have a million
dollars, what bank would be crazy
enough to turn you away? And banks
have a wonderful device for spinning
money dry. It's called a wire transfer
- a standard device in many John
Grisham novels.
Special Attractions of Belize
Jeffrey doesn't say much about
Belize, even in his newest book, but
there are lots of opportunities if you look
around.
Land. Compared to other countries,
Belize has a lot of wilderness. Warm
wilderness. A friend of mine says
"Belize as more undeveloped land than
any place that's not freezing cold." At
least half of it is protected, but there's
still plenty available for development.
Exports/Imports. Containers going
in and out. Lots of places for powder
going out and money coming in.
Authorities in the US are swamped,
trying to inspect all of the incoming


shipments for nuclear devices. In Belize,
they're just swamped. Drug sniffing
dogs can find powder, but have you ever
met a money sniffing dog?
Customs for sale. In his interesting
book Down By the River, (Simon &
Schuster, 2002) Charles Bowden tells
about US Customs agents being paid
one million dollars to overlook a
hundred million dollar shipment of
cocaine coming across the Texas
border. It would take a lot less money
to buy a Belizean agent. I personally
watched an agent at the Belize City
customs barn, going through a shipment
of shoes to find a pair she liked. Imagine
what would happen if she found a shoe
box full of money!
"Why don't you just keep that box?"
says the importer.
Tourist Traffic. Tourism is our most
important industry. And most of the
tourists look pretty affluent. Just like a
money launderer. (Did you think they
all look like "Super Fly?") They come
and go in big groups. The cruise ships
look wonderful all those 'hidey holes'
and no time to search them all.
5. Conclusions
You'll have to draw your own
conclusions. Just as in the US, there
are plenty of things beneath the surface
in Belize. Secret deals and two sets of
books, and all of the devices we already
know about from watching Godfather
movies. So this is really just speculation
on my part, and you're free to speculate
on your own. Have fun. I do.
S About the Author

Justin Other Gringo came to
Belize in the 90's from the U. S and
lived here for many years.. He has
been involved in various local and
international enterprises, and has
learned a lot about "How Things
Work in Belize." He now lives in
the U.S. You can email him at
justinogringo@yahoo.com.


X10ithi


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Res:/Fax: 820-2062
Int.: 501-822-8014


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


, .







Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


Independent will not be intimidated

By Meb Cutlack


A report to us from top PUP circles
has revealed that the PUP has
appointed a 'special'unit under a
leading Cabinet Minister to -disrupt'
The INdependent.
The plan, as described to us, calls for
intimidation of our staff and business


contacts and advertisers and efforts to
identify and put pressure on whoever
they can find who is 'backing' us. Well,
our backers are few but far. They are
loyal Belizens who want to see
transparency, an end to corruption and
a return to the democratic principles


Adjacency Zoni


El (Continued From Page 5)
'murkied' the waters. Belize and
Guatemalamay just aswell have appointed
representatives of the KKK...
The latest round of talks was a total
waste of time because it was poorly
structured. Actually, it was the
bastardization of a better proposal the
usurping architect could not see
properly. It was not his initiative, his
brainchild. Try as he might he could
never make it his own. Thirteen's
fixation was precisely what he told the
Israeli reporter: he wanted to patent a
successful negotiation process that
could then be used in the Middle East.
Wrong focus, Dorian Grey. And,
unapologetically I have and will always
take issue with that end game...until the
fowls have teeth. No one wants to say
this but facts are stubborn things: The
last Shoman/Musa attempts at a
settlement were a massive
disappointment and yet another very
costly failure. The vision, whatever it is,
is unclear to the rest of us. Surely it's
not a resolution of the border dispute.
At least, not as Belizeans envision it with
Guatemala there and Belize over here.
Everyone's territory intact.
And if Lady Rigoberta could not have
been brought in because of lack of
receptiveness in Guatemala then talks
should NOT have commenced; forcing
the ripeness was not conducive to anything
other that massive complications that saw
our border moved eastward, ridiculous
adjacency zones established, millions of
dollars withdrawn from the Belize treasury
for First Class travel, accommodations.


Most of all, it created a white elephant
onthe OAS' doorstep...and placed both
Mexican and Honduran foreign policy
machineries in compromising positions.
Having said all that, I think the only
positives to come the OAS negotiations
are:
1) confidence building measures (most
were good) although we
still have Santa Rosa... a hostile
Guatemalan settlement in Belize.
2) big money sitting in accounts at the
OAS in a Peace (or should we say "piece')
Fund for solving the political issue in the
future
3) renewed interpersonal relations in
both countries (including by Opposition
members).
But all in all, I have to give itto Godfrey,
he is-in the words of Luke Espat "a
bright minister". The initiative atthe OAS
is not only dead, it was stillborn. Now
Mexico has to scramble to deal with the
fallout andtry to spinitpositively. Honduras
will be next.
So what's next? Do we will have to
waituntil the old dinosaurs like The General
and the Oxford trained scholar Kramer
expire for ripeness to occur? Kramer has
been looking ahead too, indoctrinating a
whole new generation of political elites.
So there is no end in sight really, unless
this thing is redefined within an indigenous
peoples' context. That just might fly since
the rights of indigenous peoples is hot right
now, both in Washington and at the United
Nations. Not to mention with the citizenry
of the US and Great Britain, even all of
Europe. Collectivewhiteguiltmayfindthat
$100 Million Guatemala wants as


promised by Independence.
They out of reach of PUP
intimidation. Efforts to sink us will only
result in a greater resolve on their part
for us to continue our fight for reform.
From indications the UDP is also not
happy about our appearance on the


gl


as


compensation.
And just maybe when Lady Rigoberta
takes the Guatemalan Presidency, we'll
have better luck nailing down a final
settlement.
Inthe meantime, Minister Smith might
consider another proposal to resolve both
issues: ifthe squabbling between the Belize
bigmoney boys andthe cruise companies


scene. Neither of the two top retailers
in the country, one PUP and the other
firmly UDP, will handle The
INdependent.
Meanwhile, the PUP continues to buy
up our Newspapers as they hit the
street. They have not had much success
in the City and even less in the districts
where our newspaper is rapidly
becoming the top seller countrywide.
We will not be intimidated.

is indeed at an impasse, why not propose
Guatemala big money interests take the
cruise port? For Guatemala, it would
solve the Guatemalan cart road problem
and their desire for access to the cayes.
For Belize southern portions of the
country (including indigenous
communities) would benefit and Belize
City residents wouldn't have to worry
about those pesky potholes and paltry
head tax anymore and it wouldn't take
any skin off the nose of the border-
dwelling Mayan Communities.


E-mail: nab.nursesassociationofbelize@gmail.com


KHMH & UHS:Amalgamation or Damnation
Nurses, where will you be after Jan. 15th, 2007?

The Ministry of Health has put forward a concept to amalgamate the
KHMH (public) & UHS (private) and the MOH has established a Task
Force to review the institutions' services with a mandate to submit a report
with recommendations by January 15th, 2007. Your professional
organization, the NAB, has been monitoring the situation and has the
support of other unions and associations on the position it has taken. The
NAB continues to make recommendations that will positively impact
nurses and the health care delivery system.

The NAB continues to stand strongly by its position of

NO amalgamation without professional consultation!

NO amalgamation without sensitization of patient care delivery!

NO amalgamation without revision of KHMH Act!

NO amalgamation without job security!

NO amalgamation without salary negotiation!

Actions Taken to date

1.) Establish an NAB Task Force (representative from KHMH/UHS
nurses)
2.) Requested the MOH to have representation on the its Task Force-
Mrs. L. Longsworth
3.) Conducted a KHMH 18 hrs poll (responses were 89 NO / 2 YES/ 2
spoiled)
4.) Press Conference
5.) Review and compilation of various reference documents KHMH
Act, KHMH & UHS Amalgamation Proposals, Cabinet press release
on the issue, etc

Your input in the consultation has proven vital to the process as we stand
as professionals to safe guard the quality of care we deliver to our clients.
In addition we stand together in solidarity to safe guard our socioeconomic
welfare and working condition. Please be informed that the Caribbean
Nurses Organization (CNO) and the International Council ofNurses (ICN)
have been informed of the situation.
Let us continue to implore each other to aggressively keep abreast of the
issues which impacts us as professionals and our clients!


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Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8


When


friends fall out!
It is quite a unique


_-- and fascinating sight
as the bully boys of
5 ". the PUP fall out and
go for each others throats in such a
public manner. It is obviously no
holds barred between Luke Espat
(reportedly backed by Michael
Ashcroft) goes head to head with
Michael Feinstein (backed by
Tourism Minister Godfrey Smith).
According to Smith, who backs
Feinstein's Stake Bank proposal:
"For Stake Bank to be feasible it
must be designated as a port to be
able to collect taxes to repay its
loan." But, Luke Espat is equally
adamant that Belize Ports Limited
has a contract with the government
which prevents GOB from issuing
"any other commercial port
licences in Belize without giving
BPL the right of first refusal." Of
course, both Stake Bank and BPL
have been very carelesss (if not to


say carefree) about envrionmental
law as it relates to both their
projects. Perhaps both Lord
Ashcroft and Godfrey Smith and
their champions, Luke Espat and
Mike Feinstein, should take a
lesson from the Spanish Lookout oil
disaster (see below)and think about
actually complying with
environmental law BEFORE
proceeding with their mega projects.
Spanish Lookout Oil Spill
There is plenty of blame to be
shared by all in the spray of oil over
the village of Spanish Lookout. For
more than a year the oil company
BNE has ignored Department of
Environment instructions to submit
an Environmenal Impact
Assessment. For this same amount
of time the Department Environment
has made threatening noises but little
else. Well, the real blame lies with
the PUP government's laisse-faire
attitude towards all environmental
laws, placing themselves and their


cronies above all law.
Our Roads!
They are now such a disgrace
nationwide that it is going to need
millions of dollars to make them
even half roadworthy. This
spendthrift (ie. he who spends money
prodigally and who is extravagant and
recklessly wasteful) government has
nil when it comes to funds to fill any
of the pot holes. The Public Works
Department depots coutrywide look
like abandoned equipment yards,
their staffs are underpaid and their
ability to repair roads reduced to trucks
of sand and gravel and a couple of men
with shovels. Even where they do pave
is up and gone within days.

BTL's reputation at zero!
A financial journalist visiting
Belize on a cruise ship commented
on the new 'cell' phone service
available on board: "About the only
complexity in thecellular at sea
system is that it switches itself


offwhen the ship arrives at port,
putting you at the mercy of local
carriers such as Belize
Telecommunications Ltd. (BTL).
That outfit has a virtual monopoly in
that country.
I figured BTL is not necessarily
someone I wanted to trust with billing
information, so I stuck with the on-
board cellphone service."

Troubled youths scam?
The INdependent wants to recruit
youths to work and sell paper the
newspaper in Belize
City. The newspaper
will pay the highest
sales commissions in
town (50 cents a copy) to the
youths. The newspaper has tried to
find the so called 'troubled youth
programs' but been unsuccessful.
Maybe these programs don't
actually exist and are no more than
another PUP scam which sucks
money from abroad.


Litigation Fund, Ara Macao Resort and Development


The Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable
Development (PCSD) is seeking to raise
BZ$15,000 as the remainder of funds
needed to challenge government approval
of the Ara Macao Resort and Marina
proposed for the northern end of the
PlacenciaPeninsula.
Most of the funds necessary to launch a
judicial review of the development were
raisedlocallybyPCSD inthelasttwoweeks
ofDecember2006 in afundraising effort that
began on 13 December 2006 after PC SD
met with a team ofinternational and local
attorneys abouttheAra Macao review and
approval process.
TheBelizeDepatmentoftheEnvironment
(DOE) began circulating a draft
Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) for
the project for review by the National
EnvironmentalAdvisoryCommitteeinmid-
December 2006. Execution ofthe ECP by
DOE and the Ara Macao developer is
necessary for formal approval of the
proposed development, and DOE
representatives have statedthattheECPwill
be signed shortly.
However, DOE representatives have
refusedtoprovideany additional information
aboutthe status of the ECP
DonationstotheAmMacaolitigationfund
may be made anonymously by depositing
funds into the PCSD account at Atlantic
Bank, account number 100158838.
Donations may also be made by check
payable to the Peninsula Citizens for
SustainableDevelopment, GeneralDeliveiy,
Placencia, Belize. Donors who make
donations by check may also request
anonymity.
Please contactthePeninsula Citizens for
Sustainable Development at


For an online version of the

INdependent Reformer

visit us at


info(placenciadocuments.info for further I
infMmaiion. http://www.behzenorth.com/
The Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable I
Development is grass roots community I independentreformer.htm
organization of Peninsula volunteers I
concerned with the rapid, and often poorly I OR
planned and executed, development ofthe I
Peninsula. PCSDseekstobringinformalion I http://belizenews.com/
aboutproposed developmentstoPeninsula
residentsto ensurethat all developments are independentonline.pdf
environmentally sustainable with respectto *
the fmragile eco-systems ofthe Peninsula and
its communities andcultures. *mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmI




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Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9


Home stays sweetened with chocolate

Andrew Purvis in Belize discovers ancient sites and a modern heartland


UK Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT06/01/
2007

Cho, Choc, Choco... in the Toledo
district of southern Belize, even the local
surnames carry echoes of the region's
most important crop: cocoa. Cyrila Cho
has invited me to her home in San Felipe
to see how brigadeiros (chocolate
sweets) are made.
First, Cyrila roasts the beans, which
she grows and ferments herself, on a
comal a circular iron hotplate over a
wood fire. After grinding the cocoa by
hand, she adds condensed milk,
allspice, ground black pepper and tzibik
- wild vanilla. When the mixture cools,
Cyrila rolls it into large balls, and from
these she fashions smaller ones the size
of truffle chocolates. "We sell them to
local hotels," her daughter, Anna-Marie,
explains, "and to holidaymakers touring
the villages."
By "the villages", she means the
Maya settlements about 30 in all,
radiating out from the tiny regional
capital of Punta Gorda and extending
high into the Maya Mountains. While
Lamanai and Altun Ha (in the north of
Belize) and Caracol (in the west) are
the places to go for ancient ruins, Toledo
is the heartland of the living Maya.
Comprising two thirds of the population,
they are conspicuous by their squat
physiques and broad, Maori-like
features shared with other descendants
of the ancient Maya, from the Yucatan
Peninsula of Mexico to Honduras. In
Punta Gorda, they have setup their own
radio station broadcasting in Kekchi -
the language of the modem Maya via
the old Voice of America radio mast.
Its flashing red light blinks eerily above
the town, and there are other signs of
Punta Gorda's proximity to the United
States. Members of the Peace Corps -
the US equivalent ofVoluntary Service
Overseas cycle by, and there seem to
be more young Americans working for
NGOs than there are locals.
Inside her kitchen a shack with a
gas cooker and a single low-energy light
bulb I notice Cyrila Cho's distinctive
Amerindian features. Her language is
guttural and unfamiliar and she speaks
little Spanish, nor does she display any
of the Hispanic traits so common in
Central American people.
"Cho, Choc and Choco are Maya
names," she explains, using Anna-Marie
as interpreter. I realise I am looking at a
living, breathing, modern-day Maya
Indian complete with the traditional
Mayan flair for making brigadeiros.
Spiced chocolate, it transpires, is
nothing new in Toledo. Kukuh, the drink
of the ancient Maya, was flavoured with
black pepper, chilli and spices and
sweetened with forest honey. Next day,


we sample a version of it in Dolores, a
remote village near the Guatemala
border, where we have lunch with
Sebastian Putul and his family. In their
smoky hut, festooned with hammocks
and drying clothes, we sit on the floor
and slurp the sweet nectar from plastic
bowls. Then we are treated to caldo
(spicy soup) and tortillas made from
black corn harvested that morning,
cooked with ground limestone or
crushed snail shells to counter the effects
of thiamine deficiency. Sebastian and his
family eat paca (pronounced pay-kah),
or gibnut, a wild rodent considered as
much of a delicacy as hickatee (river
turtle).
Such experiences can be had through
the Toledo Ecotourism Association
(TEA), which arranges stays at
guesthouses in eight Maya villages.
Outwardly, the tourist lodgings are
indistinguishable from the rest long huts
with plank walls and thatched roofs -
but have showers, toilets, bunks and
bedding. Meals are taken with different
families in rotation, to spread the income
fairly.
On the road from Dolores back to
Punta Gorda, we pass settlements
called Otoxha, Corazon Creek, Santa
Teresa and Jordan. Each comprises a
dozen or so clean, tidy huts scattered
across an emerald clearing where boys
play soccer (not American football) and
smaller children run exuberantly in the
sunshine among the cats, dogs, hens and
ginger pigs. Watching the smoke rise
from the chimneys and catching the smell
of tortillas on the griddle, it's easy to
romanticise the Maya way of life but
these are among the poorest, most
oppressed and least socially integrated
people in Central America.
Only in Belize (in general) and Toledo
(in particular) have they gained a new
dignity and a unified voice through the
Punta Gorda radio station, the TEA and
the Fairtrade project run since 1994 by
Green & Black's, the chocolate brand,
which buys up every single organic
cocoa bean in the district. It helps, as
well, that Belize is more culturally
tolerant and diverse than other Central
American countries, thanks to the Maya
resistance to Spanish occupation. In the
conquistadores' absence, British
pirates, loggers (the Baymen) and
African slaves from Nicaragua found
opportunity in Belize and pragmatically
co-existed.
On the drive to dinner, we pass the
most bizarre tribute of all to Belize's
ethnic diversity. Awoman walks by the
road, wearing a winter frock and a
bonnet like something out of a Dutch
old-master painting; her son has blonde
locks tumbling from beneath a straw hat
and is dressed in denim overalls.
"It's a Mennonite family," says our


driver, explaining that these hard-
working farmers are the descendants of
an Anabaptist group founded in the
Netherlands in the 16th century. The
most traditional among them reject
mechanisation and technology (riding in
horse-drawn buggies, like the Amish)
and speak Low German, while the more
progressive speak English and have no
qualms about using tractors, pick-up
trucks and bicycles.
As darkness falls, we dine on the
candle-lit veranda at Hickatee Cottages
- a complex of Caribbean-style cabanas
set among nature trails, with a butterfly
house, an orchid tunnel, a pineapple
patch and vegetable plots where the
English owners, Ian and Kate Morton,
grow produce for their restaurant.
Pumpkin soup is followed by a salad of
citrus andjicama (a legume also known
as Mexican turnip), then a choice of
coconut shrimp, chicken parcels stuffed
with calaloo (like spinach) or catch of
the day snook, landed that morning,
brought fresh to Hickatee by bicycle and
pan-fried with butter, lime and garlic.
It's a standard of cuisine repeated at
The Lodge at Big Falls, which combines
simple accommodation with


birdwatching. Some 490 species have
been spotted in Toledo, half of them in
the grounds of the lodge. In the
surrounding jungle, snakes, paca and
kinkaj ou nightwalkerss), members of the
racoon family, are common.
By the swimming pool at the Coral
House Inn, tastefully appointed with
local wood carvings and terracotta floor
tiles, I sip a Belikin beer and read
about the scuba diving at Sapodilla
Cayes. Encounters with manatees,
the gentle mammals also known as sea
cows, are likely but today the sea is
too rough.
Two days later, the weather lifts and
our Cessna soars out over the cayes into
clear blue skies and blinding sunlight.
Below, in the improbably clear water,
we can make out the tiny shadows of
manatees grazing on sea grass. "We'll
have to come back," I say but already
the orange groves and vast industrial
shrimp farms of central Belize are
unfurling below us, bringing us sharply
back to the modern world. Toledo
seems like another country.
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
travel/mainjhtml?xml=/travel/2007/01/
06/etmayamodem06.xml


Toledo is the heartland of the living Maya,
comprising two thirds of the population,


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Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


Criticizing or Correcting?


By the Rev'd Canon LeRoy Flowers


As a child of God, each of us is
called to evaluate
things... unfortunately for most of
us... including myself, it is not an
easy task. We have this inner
compulsion to jump in and correct
everyone who's not doing something
"right" (the way I do it or see it).
This is not always the most effective
way as Christians. We can be very
destructive and thoughtlessly
criticize someone's message or
action. Sometimes we do this just
to show up our opponent.
Yes, there are times when all of
us can benefit from our correction.
For example, correcting a statement
that is clearly contrary to Scripture
or totally untrue, or a government
policy that hurts the nation on a
whole. We're called to hold each
other accountable for Christ-like
actions and biblical teachings. But
when we do, the way we approach
the issue is as important as what we
say. If God leads us to challenge
or deal with a problem, the
question is: How to do so
effectively and responsibly?
(a) Get the facts first: Too many of
us draw conclusion and rush to
judgment based on erroneous
assumptions. Make an effort to
inquire and ask the relevant
questions. Do not allow
prejudice, class, race, status,
politics, or religion be the
decisive factor.
(b) Don't confront in anger. Work
through your anger before the
Lord, not in scathing letters in
the media or on the radio.
Sarcasm may make you feel
clever- but it is never
constructive. Hang on to that
letter or e-mail for at least 24
hrs a week is better before
you send it. "The anger of man
does not achieve the
righteousness of God. (Jas.
1:20)
(c) Stick to the issue. Talk about
what the person did or said that
is of concern. Do not question
his character or assume you
know his/her motives. Implying
that someone is not walking
with God and is dishonest is
deeply hurtful and uncharitable.
Without facts or evidence you
are becoming judge and jury all
in one. Not healthy! Besides,


it's very difficult for a person
whose character has just been
attacked to willingly receive
your comments.
(d) Be Objective. Too many of us
allow emotions and past failures
to guide our current discussion
with opponents. Too many are
guided by prejudice.
(e) Be part of the solution. What
solution do you advocate for the
problem? I believe that we should
have at least one solution to offer
every problem we confront.
(f) Speak respectfully. To help keep
what you say in the right spirit, ask
yourself:
Is my primary motive to help
this person?
Do my comments reflect love,
joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and
self-control? (Gal 5:22-23).
Am I giving the person the
benefit of the doubt?
Have I affirmed or praised
the person for what he/she's
doing right?
Learn to listen with your
heart, to what your
opponent is saying.
Am I confronting in humility
and respect rather than
being superior?
Will the effect of my words
and actions be to tear
down, or to build up?
If I had made the same
mistake, how would I want
someone to approach me
about it? (Matt. 7:12)
(g) Do Speak. Most leaders want
to hear from people who are
unhappy about something
they're doing. They prefer
dealing with problems directly
and openly. Often talking to
them is best. But it should be
done respectfully. Letters can
be misinterpreted, and a
meeting can clear up issues
more quickly. "The more
deeply felt the issue, the more
important it is to meet face to
face."
It is a holy responsibility to
correct and admonish one another
in Christ. Even if what we say is
right, words offered in the wrong
spirit can do more harm than good.
Jesus said, "First take the plank


out of your own eye, and then you
will see clearly to remove the
speck form your brother's eye?
(Matt 7: 3-5)
Before we correct someone, we
need to examine our own lives for
"planks" like pride, a demanding,
demeaning spirit, lack of love and,
failure to forgive. With such planks


in place, we are set to criticize and
destroy. We are the only correct
ones! Such an attitude is not
conducive to building fellowship
and relationships. It is certainly not
healthy in nation building.
Deal effectively with the issues in
an objective manner so we can truly
join in correcting each other, not
destroy, nor tear each other down.
"Praise God from who all blessings
flow!"
Let us all seek to build a better
Belize for the greater good.


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


Place an ad in the

,endent








Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11


New Executive Director for


TIDE


Punta Gorda Town January 8,
2007

As the Toledo Institute for
Development & Environment
(TIDE) prepares to enter its tenth
year of conservation work in Belize,
it bids farewell to the founder of the
award winning organization, Wil
Maheia, and welcomes Celia
Mahung, former Campus
Administrator and Lecturer of the
University of Belize, Toledo
Campus, as its new Executive
Director.
Outgoing Executive Director, Wil
Maheia, has stepped down as
Executive Director of the leading
Non-Government Organization in
the Toledo District to undertake
personal endeavors of leadership.
In his final staff meeting Mr.
Maheia told the TIDE staff
that he is confident that Ms.
Mahung will take TIDE to
another level of distinction in
its conservation efforts.
As an active member of TIDE's
Board of Directors, Ms. Mahung
has been extremely instrumental in
the growth and success of the
organization since its inception in
1997. She has represented TIDE
at international meetings on


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T
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re
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cc


TIDE employees: (from left to right) Mario Muschamp-PCNP manager, Darius Avila-Accounting Consultant,
Stephene Supal-Office Manager, Celia Mahung-Executive Director, Jonathan Labozzeta-Development Director,
Wil Galvez Program Manager
sustainable development and has has promoted locally and TIDE's conservation efforts. Sh
anticipated in fund-raising internationally over the last decade. is enthusiastic and highly motivate
eminars as well as several She is committed to the long-term to protect and help develop th
leadership training sessions for sustainability of the natural Toledo District.
IDE's Board of Directors. For resources of Toledo, and TIDE is committed in its efforts
he past three years, she committed to the continued growth promote sustainable development (
presented the University of of the organization. Her particular the Toledo District by fosterin
elize, Toledo Campus on the Port strengths lie in her passion for the efficient and effective management(
f Honduras Marine Reserve development of the Toledo District, the region's resources, conducting
advisory Committee. leadership experience, capacity relevant research and by promotion
Ms. Mahung knows and building expertise, vast knowledge training and advocacy in order t
understands her country, her of local and national people and preserve our natural heritage f(
community, and TIDE, which she customs, and her familiarity with present and future generations.


Curassow


Curassow -taken from the book
"Jungle Walk" with permission of
the author Katie Stevens

Mr. & Mrs. Curasscw (Crax rubra)
are a most distinguished looking
couple. They are as large as a hen
turkey but more elegant, with trim
figures and sophisticated plumage.
The male is formally attired in a
black suit with a glossy but discreet
green bib and spotlessly white
pantaloons. His grooming is
impeccable, each forward curl of his
crest in fastidious place, while over
his beak he sports a large, bright
yellow knob known in bird circles as
a caruncle. His lady wife has two
outfits, cne broAn, the other reddish
(rubra), but her head and neck are
always striated black and white and
her black crest is white-lace.
Curassows are related to the
guan family and also-dare it be
mentioned-to those rowdy, dowdy
chachalacas from the other side of
the tree.
The curassow spends much of its
life stalking about the forest floor,


dining cn what it finds there: appetizer
of tree seeds, a large beetle as an entire,
perhaps a fallen mango for dessert.
However, with the help of its mate, it
builds its nest in a tree, usually at abcut


ten meters up.
Once a liaison is formed,
neither Mr. or Mrs. C would even
think of philandering. The male
is the dominant spouse, leading
his family about and warning of
danger with a high-pitched
whistle. He also has a unique
song, very low-pitched but far-
flurg, which consists of a series
of patterned notes. The pair
mutter together about domestic
matters.
Two fluffy chicks are hatched
from rough-shelled white eggs.
They prefer to clamber about in
shrubs and other dense
vegetation rather than to join their
parents on the ground, but at the
end of the day they flap their way
to their mother's roost and
snuggle in for the night, one
under each wing.
he futue of these birds is linked
to the caTined exists e of tropical
forests frcm eastern Mexico through
GaCtal America into Colcmbia and
Ecuador-and to the food fads of
people of th eseregicns.


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to
or


[i kaIBB Le wa iza






Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12



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U U







Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13


Belizi
-- (Continued From Page 1)
who was parked in the FTC parking lot?"\
"Oh, yes."
"Could you tell me how, exactly," I
pushed?
"Well, we have a lot more dead
chickens now. I know at least two cows
have died. Stinking flares bum all night
covering our houses and fields with slimy
soot and never allow the night to be dark
enough for sleeping any more. Our
children complain of belly aches. Many
ofus now have breathing problems and
some of our families had to move to get
better air. The noise is constant. Oil trucks
are pounding our roads to potholes. Alot
of very rude people are running around
telling our people we have to do what they
say because they own the oil and they can
come on our property whenever they
want to. And did you see Channel Five?
The oil company just had a spill which they
tried to cover up, even though it
contaminated our water reservoir and
pastures. Our oil consultant warned us and
I guess we should have listened to him."
"Who is the consultant?"
"Don't know his name, Jim something,
but he has been right on with everything
he has told us. Allen Reimer is in charge
of our oil committee and he knows what's
going on. Try him."
Unfortunately Allen Reimer was in a
meeting. I stopped to get gas at the Esso
station, and asked one of the men there
what they thought about the oil production.
"Just had a bad spill from the Usher 2
that came all the way up here. See there
on that tractor, those oil spots. You can
follow them all the way back to the well,
a half mile away. Those oil people don't
seem to care much, but our reservoir is
contaminated now too. Don't know if it
will make the chickens and cattle sick
'cause they have to drink that water. That
BNEoilwomanwastellingusawhileback
that we didn't have to worry once oil
production started because there wouldn't
be any problems then, just during drilling.
Our consultant said he didn't want to say
she was lying, but if she wasn't lying she
was plumb ignorant. Looks like he was
right."
"Who is your consultant," I tried again.
"Don't know his name. It is Jim
something. White hair, white beard and
he's at full market weight," he laughed.
"Just saw him a little while ago checking
some soil pasture grasses for oil kill. He's
got some age on him, but he sure gets
around."
It wouldn't be right to pass Western
Dairy without stopping in for ice cream. I
found a couple of older Mennonite men
there who were enjoying an ice cream
cone and asked if they thought the oil was
a good thing?
"Must be good for some people, but
they don't live in Spanish Lookout," one
of them responded.
I pointed out that I understood the
Community got a lot of money from their


oil fiasco


share of the oil royalties. Didn'tthey think
that maybe in the long run the money they
were getting would be beneficial for
Spanish Lookout?
"Money we are getting? That oil
company has paid for some ofthe damage
they have done, but aftertwo years ofthem
stomping our crops, invading our barns
and peeking in our windows, the
Community has never received a penny
of royalties from the oil production. And
it doesn't look like we are going to either,
'cause the government is supposed to
collect the money first and then pay us. I
expect we will see eggs at a dollar an egg
before we will see the first dollar from the
government!"
I commented that I was surprised
because the law said the landowners were
supposed to get 5% of the oil revenues or
something like that.
"Doesn't seem to matter what the law
says because the government runs the law.
But it is a lot less than 5%, and it don't
make any difference even if it were 50%
' cause we aren't getting any ofit anyway.
Talk with Allen Reimer or our consultant.
They'll know all about it."
Decided to make one more stop at
Midway Convenient Store where I found
a Mennonite friend of mine talking about
the oil pipeline that was being installed. I
told him I saw where they were installing
two pipes, a big and a little one, by the
Thrift Shop, and I understood the pipeline
was going to stop all of the problems they
were having with the gas flares, and oil
production.


"What you see is not really what you
have with that pipeline," my friend
commented. Our consultant was really
againstthe installation, because that smaller
pipe isn't an oil pipeline at all, it's a high
voltage 25kva electrical cable. According
to our consultant laying a 25 thousand volt
electric line on top of, and in the same
trench as, a pipeline carrying high volume
of explosive oil is a creating a future
disasterjust waiting to happen. The first
time a backhoe accidentally breaks
through that trench there will an explosion
that will kill anybody nearby.
"When the oil people started talking
about a pipeline, a lot of us were
concerned because it would cross
property that we were planning to build
houses on. BNE people told us not to
worry that as soon as they put the pipeline
in we could go ahead and build over it. It
was a common practice everywhere. Our
consultant said the BNE people were


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.


Recommended by
CGA andBGA!


either lying or just plain ignorant. He
arranged a trip and took the oil committee
to the States and Trinidad so they could
see the problems with pipelines, and they
found that nobody builds over any oil
pipeline. In fact it was against the law in
other countries. BNE then said we must
have misunderstood what they said, but
we didn't.
"Our consultant asked for an
engineering report on the pipeline butBNE
refused to give it, or maybe they didn't
have one, so he asked for the engineering
data so he could evaluate it himself, but
BNE refused to give it. He asked for
information on leak detection and safety
devices, but BNE just didn't answer. I
understand that the Environment people
at DOE also asked for it, but Ministers
ignore the laws when they want to, so
nothing more was done and BNE acts like
nobody asked them for anything."
"Who's your consultant," I asked?
"Man's name is Jim and his card's over
there on the wall. You should go look him
up."
I guess Consultant Jim is my next stop.
Tell you next week what he has to say.


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Comments? Suggestions?

or want to share your

thoughts

Email us at

Independent. newspaper.

bz(2hpmail. com


Attention farmers!

Who se money no grow pan tree?








Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14



Your weekly


ARIES
(Mar. 21- April 20)
Travel should be on your mind. Your charm will
attract members of the opposite sex. Make sure
that you get legal matters checked out thoroughly.
You can get good solid advice from relatives or
close friends you trust.
TAURUS
(Apr. 21- may 21)
Talk to someone you trust if you need advice about
broaching the subject. This might not be a day for
hasty decisions. You can make career changes that
may put you in a much higher earning bracket. Find
ways to make extra cash. Start making things or
reusing rather than buying ready made.
GEMINI
(May 22-June 21)
This is a turning point. Talk to your mate about a
vacation and discuss the expectations of your
relationship. Take care of your own responsibilities
before you help others. Friends may not be
completely honest with you.
CANCER
(June 22-July 22)
You won't have to look for the action. Your
emotional state could leave you vulnerable and
confused. Get involved inj obs that require creative
input. You can win points with both peers and
superiors. Changes to your self image will be to
your benefit as long as you don't over pay.
LEO
(July 23-Aug 22)
Try to be there for someone if they need assistance.
Opportunities to meet new lovers will evolve
through your interaction with groups or fundraising
functions. Be willing to listen, but don't be fooled.
You can make money if you're willing to push
your ideas on those in a position to support your
efforts.
VIRGO
(Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Mingle with those who can help you get ahead.
Make amends if you can. Get into fitness programs
to keep in shape. Your ambitious mood may not go
over well with loved ones. Consider starting a small


I


business on the side. Look for marketable gimmick.
LIBRA
(Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Reciprocate by offering helpful hints. You can set
your goals and make a beeline for your target. You
need an outlet. You must make sure that all your
personal documents are in order.
SCORPIO
(Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
Channel your efforts into achieving your goals. Use
your creative flair. A change in position could be
better than you thought. Difficulties with your mate
may lead to isolation.
SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Don't let your emotional partner upset you this
week. Someone you work with could try to
undermine you. Try not to at tempt to do something
unless you are fully intent on following through
with the plans. Your lover may disappoint you in
such a way that estrangement will follow.
CAPRICORN
(Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
If you are not already, think about going into
business for yourself Female colleagues may be
able to help you get the job done. Your involvement
in sports or entertainment will lead to new
romances. Get back into the swing of things.
AOUARIUS
(Jan.21 -Feb. 19)
You need some help this week. You can make
personal changes that will enhance your reputation
and give you greater self confidence. Your partner
could also use some time alone with you. You will
have original ideas for ways to make extra money.
PISCES
(Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You can expect to feel confused about your personal
prospects. Try not to judge too quickly. You can
continue to forge ahead if you make a few long
distance calls pertinent to closing pending deals.
New interests are preoccupying your time.


Mothers


Mothers are sweet
mothers are kind
my mother should know
I love her
She loves me
I think that's something we both can see that she is mine

By Julia Heusner



Your dose of laughter


' \L


A teacher was giving a big
test cne day to his students.
He handed out all of the
tests and went back to his
desk to wait. C he the test
was over, the sturent s all
handed the tests back in.
The teacher noticed that one
of the students had attached
a $100 bill to his test with a
note saying "A dollar per
point." The next class the
teacher handed the tests
back out. This student got
back his test and $56


Chateau Caribbean Restaurant,
Marine Parade, Belize City.


This former colonial era hospital where many of us were
born, has been a fixture of the Fort George area for many
years. While the restaurant was quiet, the food was hot and
ample. We tried the Club Sandwich, Stewed Chicken
andTomato Shrimp dishes, with varying reviews. While the
sandwich was very good the other dishes get outshined by
previous reviewed establishments in thiscolumn. The service
was decent and the view, great, but the prices were a bit out
of the ustomary lunch budget for most. We do hear that the
dinner service is much better attended. This is good news for
a restaurant that has one of the best locations in town. Daily
Specials, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner $15 & up


7 0
ymt O-r O(G)d tood


L With Anthony Hunt


J


change.






Friday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15


SociaI Page


Mr Tw f&T- / -I'
Belikin Calender models Ti, 1 ,* Jones and Shanna Pott. The calendar was launched
on January 6, 2007 at the Riverside Tavern in Belize City


There were long lines at the calendar signing at the Tavern. (Photos by Richard Holder)

PUBLIC & BANK
HOLIDAYS 2007
It is notified for general information that public and bank holidays
specified in the First and the Second Schedule to the Holidays Act,
Chapter 289 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000,
will be observed on the following days during the year 2007 in accordance
with Section 3 of the saidAct:-
Day Date Occasion
Monday January st New Year's Day
Monday March 12th Baron Bliss Day (in lieu of Friday, March 9th)
Friday April 6th Good Friday
Saturday April 7? Holy Saturday
Monday April 9th Easter Monday
Tuesday May 1st Labour Day
Monday May 21st Sovereign's Day (in lieu of Thursday, May 24th)
Monday September 10th National Day
Thursday September 21st Independence Day
Monday October 15th Day oftheAmericas (in lieu ofFriday, Oct 121)
Monday November 19th Garifuna Settlement Day
Tuesday December25h Christmas Day
Wednesday December26h Boxing Day


--Lee king
for your copy of
Independent Reformer
Weekly?


We currently have the
distributors Countrywide and


following
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
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.
% .d





SFriday, January 19, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 16


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