Title: Independent reformer
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00015
 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: March 16, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00015
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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By: Des Parrette ant, chain
Andrew Cho of the Department of lutely w
Geology of the Ministry of Natural Re- royalty
sources called a special meeting at cheating
Spanish Lookout to inform the Men- ties wou
nonites about the oil royalties they have tion. La
never received. In addition to Andrew the owner
Cho, GOB was represented by Pedro is drilled
Cho, Trinidad Petroleum Engineer age and
Gardiner, and two other members. Gil- that this
bert Canton represented Belize Natu- should b
ral Energy (BNE), and Spanish Look- that indiv
out was represented by Community in the U
leaders Henry Dueck, Abe Thiessen, could d(
Allan Reimer, Issac Dueck and Jim not hav
Cavanaugh. Cavanau
According to accounts the presenta- had indiv
tion turned into a brawl with Jim set a CA
Cavanaugh, the Mennonite Oil Consult- was sup

know it.
what's h

0g u
rging that the GOB was abso-
rong in their interpretation of
distribution and that GOB was
; all landowners whose proper-
ild be involved in oil produc-
andowner royalties are paid to
er of the land upon which a well
to compensate him for the dam-
disruption. Cavanaugh stated
standard international practice
be followed, but Cho claimed
vidual royalty rights only existed
JSA and Canada, thus Belize
o what they wanted to and did
ve to follow their example.
igh countered that Trinidad also
vidual mineral ownership, which
RICOM standard that Belize
posed to follow.

I see people every day, talk to
e. I can be more vigilant about
happening "

p Rey
The dispute deepened when Cho
stated that the already pitifully small roy-
alty that landowners were to receive
would be reduced by a further 29% for
the Mennonites because "currently
available technology" suggested that
maybe the reservoir extended further to
the north from the established Spanish
Lookout production area, along a nar-
row structure about 300 yards wide,
which they called the San Marcos ex-
tension. According to Cho all of the
land over the total suspected reservoir
should therefore be unitized; that is all
the lands should be added together and
considered as one parcel with each in-
dividual owner receiving a share of the
royalty revenues depending on their
proportionate share ofthe unit. Because

t Ladyvilll
Her son, Hosni, is also a part of the
independent team. The two Turtons are
joined by taxi driver Fernando Leal,

GOB had determined that the reservoir
may extend farther north beyond the
Mennonite property, then those land-
owners should receive a proportionate
share. Cavanaugh argued that unitiza-
tion was never done when all of the pro-
duction involved only one property
owner, and it was ridiculous and unrea-
sonable to pay royalties to landowners
who had no producing wells on their
property or where no proven oil pro-
duction occurred, simply on the suspi-
cion that oil may occur in the future.
Cavanaugh pointed out that "currently
available technology" simply identifies
where a subsurface structure could ex-
tend which may possibly have oil. The
only way to determine if oil is present is
(Please Turn To Page 3) E ,

e Council
Martin Jimenez of Delmart Hardware,
Odessa Gibson, Carolee Hecker and
(Please Turn To Page 15) E '

Chairlady candidate Sharon Turton
Saying they are neither UDP, nor
PUP, a full slate of independent candi-
dates is once more challenging the
Ladyville village council elections.
The team is lead by the candidate for
Chairlady, Sharon Turton, who has
lived in Ladyville for 32 years. She
owns her own catering business and is
well known in the village.
She told Independent Weekly she
was initially approached by the UDP
who wanted her to run as a member of
their slate, but she declined, telling them,
"I will not run under any umbrella. Un-
der any color." In her view "The village
should be run by residents not political
parties. By people who live here and



Bliss Regatta

Sea Scouts' dinghies 'Sea Gull' & 'Gannet' tack into the wind in the race for 14' sailing dinghies at 80th Annual Baron Bliss
Harbour Regatta, honouring Belize's greatest benefactor.


Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2 -

Editorial Director

Meb Cullack


Karla Heusner Vernon

General Manager

Trevor Vernon


William G. Ysaguirrre

Published by:

Independent Publishing

P 0. Box 2666


(501) 225-3520
Belize C.A.

Printed by:

National PHnters
New Road
Belize City, Belize

For an online version of the

INdependent Reformer

visit us at


Dear Editor:
The PUP leadership is trying to use
numerous tricks to suggest that the lead-
ership of both [mass] parties is the
same... the inference being that they are
both evil and detrimental to the interest
of Belize and Belizeans. I have heard
their minions repeat this nonsense but I
am surprised when other seeming right-
thinking Belizeans take the bait hook,
line and sinker.
The leadership of the UDP is diametri-
cally different in my view and if I can
walk through just a few examples to
expound my point, please permit me.
I won't have time to address every
"nitti-gritty" but maybe I can discuss the
larger ones in my view.
The national debt was managed by
both the UDP and the PUP, during their
respective terms in office. Today the
single largest negative influence for
growth and development in Belize is the
3 billion dollar debt, recently refi-
nanced at tremendous new costs. On
page 3 of the 1998 PUP "Set Belize
Free Manifesto" the present prime min-
ister of Belize argued that Belize needed
to be set free from a staggering" $385
million debt. The inference here is
someone carry a load they can barely
handle and there struggling and stagger-
ing withit. That was $385 million. The
only thing the PUP government grew
was the debt... by $2.5 BILLION.
Given the opportunity he, Said Musa,
unconscientiously in 8 short years drove
the debt to now close to $3,000 million
and lies repeatedly about it. The differ-
ence is that the UDP never lied about
the figures; and secondly, restricted
Belize's debt burden even if it meant
modest 5% growth in GDP and re-
stricted government spending.
Government Spending has been the

biggest impetus for the increase in debt.
The UDP offered realistic budgets that
all the numbers were verifiable and cor-
rect and maintained government spend-
ing primarily by getting value for money.
The PUP used government spending
primarily to quench the insatiable thirst
for money of their persons, friends and
cronies. Government spending then fu-
eled the now intransigent and deep
rooted corruption within the PUP and
has been the hallmark of the Musa ad-
DFC under the UDP was a vehicle
for soft loans to private sector business,
students, and housing and agriculture
activities. DFC under the PUP hemor-
rhages under the corruption, nepotism,
insider trading and wastage that we all
knew and that the present commission
of inquiry is confirming.
Secondly, BTL under the UDP was
designed and strictly managed with
Belizean ownership and control. Under
the PUP it has literally gone to the dogs
with admitted "parallel market" foreign
currency activities.
There is a chasm of difference be-
tween the UDP and PUP leadership.
The UDP has demonstrated sober
stewardship of our finances and, by
comparison, is infinitely more qualified
to run this country than the PUP.

signed, Robert Tillett

God Bless the USA
& Belize
Dear Editor:
As a constant reader of the Belize
news online, I am able to keep abreast
of the news and activities within this new
dynamic emerging nation where I was
born many decades ago (precise num-
ber is not relevant).
One of the issues that have always

P.O. Box 2(666
Bcli/ Cit., Beli/c
Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as
BZ$30 00 () S$30.00 international)

1 1 '11. I P I


t-SIii. W.

I m -iii tilit

bothered me, is this incessant attack on
the USA, especially white America.
Before I continue, I must say I am a
dual citizen who loves Belize dearly, but
have also come to love my adopted
country in spite of its many flaws be-
cause I have also seen what is good
about America. And believe me, there
is much that is good about America. I
may be accused of complicity here since
I married one of those white Americans,
and became father to four wonderful
caring citizens not only of the USA (and
one of them of Belize), but of the world.
Much may be wrong with white
America (as I suppose with many other
countries be they white or non-white),
but there are many within that group that
constantly fight and struggle, and yes,
are even killed, to bring about equitable
change. No other country in the world
with this type of vast diversity has
handled its diversity as well as America
because of its strong laws and its strong
press and media. America still remains
a country of first choice for the maj ority
of the world's citizens who wish to emi-
grate, or even just those who wish to
be educated. Without its dynamic
economy (not always equitable) its
Latin American contingency (Belize in-
cluded) would not be able to send over
$3 0 billion to its families in their home-
Please do not misunderstand me. I
am not advocating that we excuse what
is wrong with America in general- and
white America in particular. God knows
racism is hard to eradicate, and is not
the exclusive domain of white Ameri-
cans. Progress in this area may never
be complete, but hopefully, we are go-
ing in the right direction. Those white
Americans that travel in that direction
(and there are many) deserve better than

(Please Turn To Page 15) *E


E-1 Lill lll E-1

!.-I IIb IIj.II..II lild 111,11 1 .11' 1.-1 i),11 ..

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3

By Any Means Necessary

By: Trevor Vernon
The nation was treated last Friday to
insights into the mind ofthe Right Honor-
able Ralph Fonseca. The man is a master
at redefining standard concepts, especially
generally accepted accounting principles.
The Inter-American Democratic Charter
never figured they' d have to deal with thi s
super minister's mindset. Did they?
In this man's world, the IMF is the en-
emy, not the greedy usurping government
structures he created. He has to outsmart

Slick Oil
--. (Continued From Page 1)
to drill and establish commercial produc-
tion. He reminded the GOB representa-
tives present that royalties are paid only
on the oil that is produced, not on oil that
is "suspected", and until such time as it
was proven that a suspected area con-
tained commercial oil, there was abso-
lutely no basis forunitizing. Allan Reimer
demonstrated with diagrams that 98% of
the total production from the suspected
field would still be produced from the
Mennonite lands, even if the suspected
area is found to have oil sometime in the
Cavanaugh further argued that a well,
referred to locally asthe "Musa Well," had
already been drilled in the suspected ex-
tension of the field, and it had been a dry
hole. Trinidad Engineer Gardner said that
he believed there was a fault that sepa-
rated the dry well from the suspected field
extension, and that the Musa Well was
drilled on the wrong side of the fault.
Cavanaugh charged that it was obvious
GOB had already made the decision to
screw the landowners and the Menno-
nites were dealing with a closed mind.
The "Musa Well" is troublesome. Was
a Musa or The Musa involved here? A
BNE worker was asked, "Was there any
"Some, I guess, but not enough to make
a well so they shut it in."
"Why do they call it the Musa Well?"
The worker hesitated a minute. "Ahhh,
I dunno nothing about nothing, Mon. For-
get we talked. All I know is a cousin in
the Lands Department said that as soon
as BNE found oil, all the politico big shots
were in the land office grabbing up any
government land around Spanish Look-
out they could get."
Couldn't get any more information, so
contacted Jim Cavanaugh, who said the
whole deal was so outrageous he didn't
even want to discuss it. Cavanaugh

and outmaneuverthem with his "measured
deviations from orthodoxy" .. .to protect
the people, he says. Brilliant concept: out-
smarting the draconian "cookie cutter"'
solutions the IMF dictates. Its not that the
Minister and his people set out to do any-
thing underhanded; in their minds they had
to save the people ofBelize from the pain-
ful standardized remedies of this Bretton-
Woods organization.
What can be nobler? The only prob-
lem is, in "rescuing" us, is he subjectingus
to explosive consumption taxes that
cripple the ordinary people of this coun-
try who do not qualify for GST exemp-
tions, GST refunds, duty free fuels and
tax-free containers from Panama.
What could be worse than 10% GST?
Perhaps only the 100% RRD on gaso-
line. I mean really, last week I had to pay
10% GST on a doctor visit. I told him I

don't need a receipt but he insisted. Why
do I need more paper?
The "Save Belize (from the IMF)" tax
regime that has been unleashed on
Belizeansisthe coldesthomegrown policy
of them all. It's worse than the generally
accepted rampant official corruption. It's
try of its finances, but it sure as hell ain't ac-
ceptable to do so atthe expense ofthepeople
who electedyou... with massive, massive
consumption taxes. You can get rich quick
and load up those offshore accounts (by
whatever means necessary); but, you had
better cut the people some slack and fast.
The natives are beyond restless.
TheMinister says he has an electoralman-
date from the people. Yes, but he has twisted
ittobecome some supreme power, a divine
right (handed down by Price) to accomplish
everything his party promised, by whatever

Deals: GOB hog up

brought up another troubling question
though. Cho reported that the govern-
ment had received $BZ 2.6 million in roy-
alty payments, the landowner gets only 5%
of the GOB 7.5% share. Of course now
itis only 71% ofthe 5% ofthe 7.5%. But
BNE had earlier reported selling 811,000
barrels for 2006. Considering the aver-
age price of crude oil was around $BZ
120, and the total oil income reported in
the media was some $BZ 97 million, the
GOB royalty of 7.5% should total some
$BZ 8.7 million. What happened to the
other 5.9 millions dollars and the landown-
ers share of it? That means 70% of what
is due the landowner is missing!
To put this into perspective, suppose a
well is drilled on your farm and it pro-
duces 100 barrels of oil a day. The total
revenues will be $BZ 12,000 a day. Here
is how the money is distributed:
GOB 7.5% Royalty $ 900.00
GOB 1.5% Production Sharing
$ 180.00
GOB 40% tax $4800.00-
GOB 10% ownership in BNE
GOB TOTAL $7080.00
BNE $4920.00
Landowner: 5% due $45.00
70% disappearance $31.50
Balance $13.50
ield expansion 29% $ 3.92
Total left for landownern $9.58
This means that GOB would be raking
in over BZ$ 2.5 million a year and the
landowner won't get enough to buy din-
ner each day!
AndtheMusaWell? Cavanaugh said
he didn't know anything about the land
deals, and all he knows is that well made
no sense at all.
"Considerthat you have five good wells
in the Spanish Lookout field capable of
producing a thousand barrels a day each.
It costs about a million Belize dollars to
drill a well, so why would you step out a

mile away from the field where you know
you are going to get another good well,
and drill a high risk wildcat? The specu-
lation is it had to be a political well be-
cause itjust didn't make good economic
sense. I guess it makes sense if the politi-

means necessary. People are afraidto speak
out against this man when he admittedly
screwed up and did so royally. Why? Is it
because he controls the security forces with
an iron fist or because he has a perverse
sense of power, or both?
Whatever his mindset, he is certainly a
into the hearts of many. Is that what we
elected him andhispartytodotous? While
hidingbehindhis"swomto secrecy" cabi-
net oath of Said? (Notice he doesn't have
We can no longer afford to keep these
people in office. They areruiningthis won-
derful country they had nothing to do with
building. His testimony atthe DFC inquiry
was revealing. Not necessarily in what he
toldthe commission, butwhathe showed of
himselfto the rest of us... and I am sure he
knows otherpeople were listening keenly.


cians gobbled up the San Marcos land;
because even if it doesn't have oil, some-
one is now going to get a big cut of the
royalties that should go to the Menno-
nites. That's why Ithink this horrendous
greed is so outrageous."



10th annual


to be held at the

BLISS Performing Arts

6;00 p.m. on Sunday April 1, 2007

TICKETS; Adults $20 Child $15

Phone: 225-3064 or available at door

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 |





; .-/-
'.. ...,,. . '.
By: Karla Heusner Vernon
Like all parents of children in Stan-
dard 6, my life has been consumed by
preparations for the Primary School
Examination. Now, just days away
from the first portion, it might not hap-
pen. At least, the teachers may boycott
the sitting and the grading.
But I am not upset, or disappointed.
Not in the teachers.
The educators of this country were
humiliated by their own Ministry ofEdu-
cation a couple of weeks ago. The Min-
istry went public with dismal results for
teachers who sat the exam themselves.
Some 70% did not pass.

It is a dismal performance. No doubt
about it. It is cause for serious review
of both the teacher's skills and knowl-
edge levels, the examination, and con-
ditions under which it was given.
But I would hazard a guess that after
similarly pathetic results from Belizean
children several years running, that if our
teachers had their way, they would re-
teach the material or revise the test, or
both. All seasoned teachers know the
normal examination curve puts the ma-

Angry, hurt, betrayed
teachers are the last
needs right now...

j ority of the students in the middle range,
not the bottom.
Only hard headed people keep giv-
ing a test the majority of otherwise in-
telligent people fail. Or people who
have something to gain from its admin-
istration, printing and distribution.
One cannot help but wonder why this
test, which was devised supposedly to

replace an equally poor BNSE, is still
being given. And why were these re-
sults released now, when they have been
available since December? Just what
was the Ministry trying to accomplish
in the middle of union unrest over BTL
firings, and calls for strike action by all
the trade unions, including the most ac-
tive arm at all, the Belize National
Teacher's Union?
Angry, hurt, betrayed and insulted
teachers are the last thing the govern-

ed and insulted
thing the government

ment needs right now... So who
dropped the ball? Was it a mistake to
go public? Or, a calculated move to
deflect blame for what may yet another
expected poor performance on the PSE
by yet another crop of Belizean chil-
Speaking of the children, did anyone
in the Ministry consider THEIR reac-

tion? Some five thousand are even now
preparing to sit the PSE at the end of
this month. They have spent months in
evening classes, Saturday classes and
many schools will pull them in from Eas-
ter vacation early to get ready for Part
Does the Ministry care about their
sacrifice or the fact that now many Stan-
dard VI-ers, are wondering if it matters
how they do on the PSE since the
grownups they know can't pass it any-
way? May have lost their motivation?
What was the ministry thinking? Or
were they not thinking at all? Surely they
could have waited a few more weeks
until the exam was over...
My own daughter has been told by
every adult she knows that her perfor-
mance on the PSE is critical, not only
to her admission to the high school of
her choice, but possibly her future per-
formance in high school and beyond.
Her entire family- and a lot of con-
cerned, loving friends- are urging her
to study hard, learn her formulas, prac-
(Please Turn To Page 14) *

"Soooooooo distracted by a few teeeeeeny pieces of paper? How come he did not get
distracted by the many biiiiiiiiiiig pieces of paper he gave out to his cronies?"

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5

An Evil Eye Opens Up Again

By Mirien Gutierrez
Operation Malocchio ('evil eye') as
it was called, was "one of the biggest"
anti-money laundering operations ever
launched in Italy, says former prosecu-
tor Giovanni Salvi who was in charge
of the investigation together with his
colleague Pietro Saviotti and investigat-
ingjudge OtelloLupacchini. Investiga-
tion began in 1996 into hundreds of
millions of dollars in proceeds from the
smuggling of 900kg cocaine out of Latin
America By 1997 the network was
set to 'import' 5,000 kg of cocaine
and buy a bank in Belize accord-
ing to a report by Espresso maga-
zine in Italy.
Operation Malocchio was launched
after Italian authorities carried out "an
information exchange with the U.S.
FBI," said a report issued in 2001 by
the anti-mafia investigative unit (DIA)
of the Italian ministry of interior. The aim
was "dismantling a complex crime group
involved in the trafficking of significant
consignments of cocaine coming from
South America, as well as in money
laundering and in the re-investment of
huge capital through international finan-
cial channels."
The probe led to several arrests in
1998. In 2001, 15 people were con-
victed for laundering money from
narco-trafficking, including kingpin
Fausto Pellegrinetti. But he escaped and
is still a fugitive. Appeals against the sen-
tence were rejected. Accomplices in
Panama, and also in Brazil and
Belize (a tiny Central American na-
tion with a population of 273,000
bordering Guatemala and Mexico)
had a prominent role in the money
laundering and re-investment
scheme, according to documents
seized by the Italian police.
In October 1997 Italian authorities
asked Interpol in Panama for informa-
tion that could link three suspect tele-
phone numbers with well-known Pana-
manian politician Alfredo Oranges.
Oranges was then a serious contender
for presidential candidacy in the 1998
elections from the Revolutionary Demo-
cratic Party (PRD). Interpol Panama
confirmed that the numbers belonged to
The Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) in
Panama then discovered that money
from outside the country was being
transferred regularly to and from the
local bank accounts of the company
Clark's Investment Corp. Oranges
was authorised to sign documents on
behalf of Clark' s Investment, the UAF
said. This corporation "has served as
bridge for a series of banking transfers
that cross several countries without an
apparent motive or commercial activity
justifying them," said the UAF. Some
of the transfers were higher than a mil-
lion dollars.
Edwin Arias Castillo, a Clark's Invest-

ment executive and Oranges' associ-
ate, was also treasurer in another cor-
poration France Mistral, S.A., where
Lillo Rosario Lauricella kingpin
Pellegrinetti's right hand in Latin
America was vice-president, the
UAF noted. "Vast amounts of money
from outside were deposited through
Panamanian corporations in local bank
accounts, where they would stay for a
couple of days and later were trans-
ferred to a bank in another country,"
Jorge Mottley, former head of Interpol
Panama told IPS in a telephone inter-
view. Mottley had joined investigation
of the Panamanian ramifications of the
The Italian investigation was revealed
at a press conference in 1998 by Presi-
dent Ernesto Perez Balladares, Or-
anges rival in the PRD. As Oranges
protested in Panama, in Rome judge
Lupacchini ordered the preventive ar-
rest of 58 people including Oranges as
alleged members of a criminal network
engaged in narco-trafficking and money
laundering. Italian authorities said in the
arrest warrant that the criminal network
had deposited 250 million dollars in
Then Panamanian attorney-general
Jose Antonio Sossa sent special anti-
drugs prosecutor Rosendo Miranda to
Italy in October 1998. Miranda dis-
patched a facsimile from Rome stating
that the Italian authorities had evidence
linking the money in transit through
Panama with the narco trafficking op-
eration, says Mottley. Several docu-
ments seized by the Italian authorities
indicated that Lauricella had contributed
to Oranges presidential campaign.
Oranges later admitted this.
Mottley says Miranda took back a
request from Italian authorities to freeze
the funds linked to Oranges and to in-
terview him in the presence of a repre-
sentative of the Italian prosecutor.
"Nothing of the sort happened," he
adds. Inexplicably, attorney-general
Sossa concluded there was no evidence
against Oranges.
In 1999 Panamanian daily La Prensa
published an interview with Oranges in
which he admitted that he had been
meeting for years with Lauricella, who
he said was interested in the casino
business. Oranges said he did not know
Lauricella's background, and could not
possibly have investigated all his asso-
ciates. According to Panamanian migra-
tion authorities, Lauricella seems to have
lived in Panama from July 1996 to Feb-
ruary 1998. Lauricella declared himself
a "gardener" living in the not exactly
cheap Hotel El Panama.
Meanwhile in Rome the order to ar-
rest Oranges was cancelled. "As the
person who put together the case, I am
sure there was enough evidence (to in-
vestigate Oranges )...more than
enough," says Salvi now. "As a matter

of fact we asked the judge for a war-
rant, and it was granted by the investi-
gative judge (Lupacchini). But the
Tribunale del Riesame (court of re-ex-
amination) decided differently." That
was due to what court officials called a
Marco Lillo, a journalist from
Espresso who has written about the
case says the Italian authorities were only
interested in the Italian suspects. "And
as you can imagine, the reactions (from
other countries to the requests sent by
the Italian authorities) were not very
Before matters reached the court of
appeal in Italy, investigation progressed
with the help of information provided
by Lauricella, who became a "cooper-
ating witness". Operation Malocchio
now revealed that the proceeds from
narco trafficking were invested in sev-
eral businesses, from the import of ex-
otic fruits from Santo Domingo (in the
Dominican Republic in the Caribbean)
to the installation of thousands of slot
machines in Brazil.
In 2000, Lauricella- the cooperat-
ing witness who had been the link be-
tween the gang and its Latin American
ventures and on whose statements the
investigation was based was con-

victed but vanished, says LucaArmeni,
deputy chief of the DIA. "When you
have a trial as difficult as this money laun-
dering case, you need two things: good
documents and good cooperating wit-
nesses," says Salvi. Lauricella, he said,
"revealed himself not to be a good wit-
ness when he disappeared."
Lauricella went into hiding under a
false identity, and in 2002 was shot
dead outside a casino in Caracas It
was difficult to identify his body because
of the multiple facial surgeries he had
undergone, according to a report in
Espresso in November last year. The
local fallout of the case was not investi-
gated either in Panama or in Belize, but
in Brazil the case led to an investigation
that is still continuing.
The Italian DIA sent the Brazilian au-
thorities information provided by
Lauricella. Some of this information was
made public last month by the Instituto
Brasileiro Giovanni Falcone (IBGF) set
up to fight organised crime (it takes its
name from magistrate Giovanni Falcone
assassinated by the mafia in 1992.) "The
introduction in Sao Paulo and Rio de
Janeiro of slot machines served as a tool
to launder money produced by interna-
tional narco-trafficking," the IBGF said.
(Please Turn To Page 7) M


The operations of the United Nations agencies resident in
Belize (PAHO/WHO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF, which are
all organized in the United Nations Country Team) are guided
by the Belize United Nations Development Assistance Frame-
work 2007 2011 (http://www.undg.org/content.cfm?id=331)
and cover the following thematic areas: Human Rights and Mil-
lennium Development Goals, Governance & Decentralization,
Education, Child Protection, Health Systems & Services, Sexual
& Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS, Adolescent Mobiliza-
tion and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable
Natural Resources Management, Social Communication and
Results-oriented Monitoring and Evaluation.
The UNCT wishes to establish a joint database for a more
efficient and harmonized process of recruiting national con-
sultants for the agencies' programmes and projects in the above-
mentioned thematic areas. The UNCT therefore is now inviting
experienced and skilled national consultants, individuals as well
as legally established firms, to submit the necessary informa-
tion to be included in this database. Consultant firms are re-
quested to submit the profile of each individual member of
staff. The provided information should contain the following
information fields: a) an up-to-date CV containing name, mail-
ing address, telephone & email, legal status, education qualifi-
cations and relevant work experience; b) thematic areas) of
expertise, and; c) a listing of consultancy services & products,
delivered over the past 4 years.
Information should be forwarded electronically to UNDP
Belize at undp.bze(btl.net

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 |


By: Meb Cutlack
No, this is not about caring families
but about greedy families who snatch
public land for themselves and for
speculation in a totally illegal and often
secret manner.
The Guardian's recent exposures of
PUP land grabs reveal only a tiny glimpse
of how in fact these families are enrich-
ing themselves at the expense of
As the Guardian recently stated:
"Readers may recall that it was Ainsley
Leslie and ServulofBaezathathad"sold"
tourism developer Carlos Popper some
5 acres of caye property on which Pop-
per invested close to $1.0 million only
to find out later that the land was owned
by someone else. He had paid some
$150,000.00 for the 5 acres he was
The newspaper added: "Ainsley Leslie
(and Servulo Baeza for that matter) has
therefore fully established himself as a
land speculator and not a land devel-
oper based on his involvement in the
phantom "sale" to Carlos Popper. So


DNA Examiner Gasper Sanchez
DNA Examiner Gasper Sanchez
of the Belize National Forensic Sci-
ence Services returned March 4,
2007 to Belize after attending a
two-month DNA Internship pro-
gram at the Harris County Medical
Examiner's Laboratory in Houston,
Texas. The internship program
was invaluable in helping Mr.
Sanchez gain insight on important
duties, responsibilities, and re-
quirements of his job. Mr. Sanchez
was able to familiarize himself with
the standard operating procedures
and methods of analysis performed
at the facility, all of which will help
Belize to develop its own capabili-
ties in the area of forensic science.
According to Gaspar Sanchez:
"The training was excellent, both in
terms of knowledge gained and the

why are he and his family grabbing up
so much prime Government land hand
over fist?"
Evidently, according to documents
received by the Guardian members of
Ainsley's family acquired the following:
16.343 acres at Rendezvous Point,
Turneffe Islands, 0.004 acres south of
Little Vaqueros Creek, Mountain Pine
Ridge, 10.052 acres south of Rendez-
vous Point, Turneffe Islands, 10.039
acres south of Rendezvous Point,
Tumeffe Islands
The Guardian also lists 10.206 acres
on Turneffe which went to a friend of
Leslie's, one Larry Goss.
The above accounts are but the tip of
the iceberg and represent only a tiny
proportion of land scooped up by Mr.
The method often employed by to
assume and then sell on cheaply ac-
quired prime land was outlined in aRe-
porter article several years ago. As a
result of an investigation by this colum-
nist for The Reporter it was shown
that Mr. Leslie (in his various capacities

experience gained. The facility is an
accredited institution with state of
the art DNA equipment, all of which
I had the opportunity to use. This
knowledge and experience gained
will prove vital in the development
of the serology section of the Na-
tional Forensic Science Services
and by extension the country of
Belize as it will improve level of ser-
vice we offer."
During the first phase of the pro-
gram, Mr. Sanchez observed the

of Deputy Land Minister and acting
Land Minister) issued conveyances
(not the above mentioned) to third par-
ties for numerous tracts of land, inland
and on the cayes, for ridiculously low
These lands, once conveyed, were
not registered as required by law -
but handed over as a means for the
third party to 'sell on' at high price.
Registration would only take place
when the so-called 'first' buyer found
a second buyer. Profits must presum-
ably have been shared by the illegal
seller with Mr. Leslie or, in some
cases, with his family.
The Guardian: "As we have seen
before, when such lands are sold to
foreigners, they attract rates of
US$50,000.00 per acre and above.
"It is only right that all Belizeans
should be able to own a reasonable
piece of the "jewel"; we have nothing
against anyone owning his or her
piece. But it is totally unfair that PUP
"first Belizeans" should be able to
grab so much prime lands, mostly for

different extraction techniques em-
ployed at the DNA laboratory and
quantification, amplification and run-
ning of extracted DNA as carried
out by analysts.
In the second phase of the pro-
gram, Mr. Sanchez had hands-on
training and started to carry out the
processes himself. He practiced
extraction techniques for different
samples, all in accordance with
U.S. standard operating proce-
dures. He also had hands-on train-

speculation, while the majority of us
cannot own even a small 50 feet by
75 feet house lot, or are charged mar-
ket value for such lots."
Several years ago this writer gave a
lift to a resident from one of the vil-
lages on the Western Highway. He
had a small business in San Ignacio
and rather than travel every day to and
from his village he applied to Mr.
Ainslie for a plot of land to build a
house on, in, or near, San Ignacio.
Mr. Leslie denied this working
Belizean the right to even a small plot
of land. At the same time he was 'giv-
ing' valuable tracts of land in the dis-
trict to friends and family. Some of
these lots he 'assigned' were actu-
ally part of a large parcel in a housing
project which had been reserved by
government for a school. The whole
'school reserve', and a nearby area
reserved for a park, were sold by Mr.
As The Guardian stated this
wholesale robbery of lands owned by
all the people of Belize must stop!

ing on the quantification, amplifica-
tion and running of the known
Funds for the training were pro-
vided by the Department of State,
Bureau for International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement Affairs
(INL), on behalf of the U.S. Em-
bassy Belize. The project was co-
ordinated through the assistance of
the Department of Justice, Interna-
tional Criminal Investigative Train-
ing Assistance Program.

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7

E goofed in

Teachers' PSE results

By Thomas Oliver
It was reported in the news recently
about the Standard Six teachers' per-
formance on the Paper 2 of the PSE
Mathematics and English. Would like
to question the rationale of the MOE to
go public with those results. The teach-
ers, Managers and the MOE knew
them, so what is the purpose of telling
the world? What was achieved by do-
ing this?
What they have failed to realize is that
by releasing those results, they have
helped in lowering the morale of teach-
ers country wide as well as have par-
ents and students making accusations
of ALL Standard Six teachers. While I
must agree that some teachers are not
qualified to teach Standard Six or any
class in the Primary School, I would also
like to comment on a few things con-
cerning the examinations taken by the
teachers and about teacher training.
The teachers who sat those PSE tests
were given limited time to complete
them, without any prior knowledge that

they would be given the tests. They did
not arrived at that workshop in a frame
of mind to go and do any test. We were
not in an examination setting as there
were several persons sitting around the
same table. One will find that even
though some teachers are capable of
teaching letter writing and composition
to Standard Six students, they may not
be able to themselves write an excel-
lent letter or story in thirty minutes. I
know that I used up some of the time in
reading the questions and deciding on
which topic I would write topics which
many of us found inappropriate for
Standard Six students. Any good writer
would write and edit his or her writing.
There was no time for that. It makes
me wonder whether this was a deliber-
ate attempt to shame teachers. When
the Ministry of Education decided to go
public with these results, they should
have also reported the conditions un-
der which these tests were given. I must
also point out that some teachers that
took the test also had it in their posses-

sion before hand as they were markers
of the PSE last year. However, even if
a teacher made perfect scores on the
tests, that does not mean that they are
capable of imparting such knowledge
to our students.
Sitting the exams did nothing more for
me than to make me be aware of how
my students must feel when they go to
sit it; why some of them probably do
poorly as opposed to the work they
produce in the classroom. Some
people just cannot produce what they
are supposed to under examination con-
ditions. Even though the PSE has its
uses, I have never been one to advo-
cate the use of standardized test and I
don't think I ever will. Anyone in edu-
cation would know that not all children
are visual learner, and so the students
who would comprehend better by hear-
ing are at a disadvantage when they sit
the PSE. It there an audio cassette with
the examination for such students?
I must state at this point that I did at-
tend the first follow up session and found

An Evil Eye Opens Up

--n (Continued From Page 5)
"In a first delivery, according to DIA,
35,000 machines were sent to Brazil ."
A statement from the public ministry
of Paran* in Brazil says "the
accusation.. .has been revived in 2004
in a new inquest on money laundering"
linked with gaming. In Panama, Mottley
found himself stripped of his position in
2000, three years after the case landed
on his desk. Sossa accused him of un-
lawfully passing classified information to
Italian authorities. Mottley was exon-
erated later.
Oranges filed three lawsuits, one
before the Panamanian Supreme Court
against the Panamanian state, a second
before the Human Rights Commission
of the Organisation ofthe American Sta-
tus (OAS), also against the Republic of
Panama, and the third before the Of-
fice of the High Commissioner for Hu-
man Rights of the United Nations against
the Republic of Italy. Only the first con-
tinues today. The suit was admitted in
February 2004.
Oranges is demanding 48 million
dollars from the Panamanian state as
compensation for losing his nomination
as presidential candidate.
Since Mottley left Interpol in 2000,
Operation Malocchio was forgotten in
Panama-until now. Sossa's contro-
versial mandate as attorney-general
ended in January this year, and that has
triggered a re-evaluation of his role.
Mottley, now acting in a private capac-
ity, sued him in January for corruption,
calumny, providing false testimony, not
complying with his duty as civil servant,
and for other crimes against the public
administration ofjustice.

IPS tried to talk with Sossa; the phone
calls were abruptly cut. Oranges spoke
through his Panamanian lawyer Luis
Vasquez to La Prensa, and reiterated
his claims of innocence. Mottley says
that in at least one other prominent in-
stance Sossa had refused to investigate
strong evidence ofwrongdoing.
Starting in 1996, Panama had re-
ceived several requests from authorities
in the United States, Germany and Chile
to investigate Marc M. Harris, a U.S.
financier based in Panama. Some of
the requests indicated that Harris ap-
peared to be providing financial services
to convicted narco-traffickers. La
Prensa published documents proving
this, and also that fraudsters and money
launderers were among Harris's clients.
Only, it was double deception: Harris
refused to return their money, and the

clients could not resort to the authori-
ties they were avoiding in the first place.
A U.S. Senate report issued in 2001
said Harris had been behind a number of
international banking investment and se-
curities frauds. Harris fled toNicaragua,
but was expelled in 2003 and brought to
justice inMiami. OnMay21 lastyearhe
was sentenced to 17 years in prison and
ordered to pay a 26 million dollar fine
following conviction on 16 counts of
money laundering, tax evasion and con-
spiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
La Prensa also reported Sossa's fail-
ure to investigate Harris. The attorney-
general brought criminal defamation
charges against several of the daily's
journalists. He was unsuccessful. Some
of the charges were rejected by the
judge and others just expired..
The commission for the prevention,

it to be a waste of my time for most of
that day. I decided not to attend the
others as I have better use of my time.
The very first workshop that was done
was good because we were better in-
formed of what the examiners are look-
ing for on the PSE. For example, that
the children should introduce the set-
ting and characters in the first paragraph
of their stories, which I do not fully sup-
Many times, in many schools, the
Middle Division of the school suffers
because principals would normally put
the "stronger" teachers in the Infant and
Upper Divisions. A Standard Six
teacher inherits all that the teachers be-
fore did or failed to do with the students
coming into his / her class. They are
expected to do some miracles with those
students who are not at the expected
level in about seven months. This is near
impossible when you have a class of
thirty-five, sometimes more.
It is my firm belief that we have
(Please Turn To Page 8) O W


control and eradication of drugs, narco-
trafficking and money laundering of the
Panamanian parliament had earlier re-
quested investigation of Sossa's role by
a special prosecutor in the Malocchio
and Harris cases in 2000.
The prosecutor, Alma Montenegro de
Fletcher, who also has left office re-
cently, exonerated Sossa the same year.
But in her final statement she indicated
that the attorney-general had neglected
his duty and showed "unacceptable"
conduct in a civil servant.
About the Author: Miren Gutidrrez
is IPS Editor in Chief Formerly
Business Editor atLa Prensa, she was
part of the paper's investigative unit
This article, published in February
of 2005, was written with the coop-
eration of Mnica Palm, editor at La
Prensa in Panama.


i tropical T ist

Anita Tupper

Christine Tuppe

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

r Mile 31 1/4
Western Highway
BELIZE, Central America
Mailing Address: Box 346, Belmopan
E-Mail: chrissy@cheersrestaurant.bz

Opening Hours ,-CO
Monday Saturday 6 a.m 8:30 p.m.
Sunday & Holidays 7 a.m. 7:30 pm.
Breakfast Lunch and Diner

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8 |

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Take matters in hand when it comes
to dealing with clients or colleagues. This
is a great day to get out and enjoy an
entertaining evening with friends or lov-
ers. You may find yourself in the midst
of a pretty good deal. You will reach
the most people if you speak out at an
organizational function. Your lucky day
this week will be Tuesday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
You may want to sign up for courses
that will encourage you to have more
confidence in yourself. Misunderstand-
ings could cause confusion and upset.
You're intuitive this week; however, this
attribute could get you in trouble if you
tactlessly say what you think. Be pre-
pared to make changes to your personal
documents. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Art investment will pay big dividends
in the long term. Family outings will
make you feel secure and happy. Your
determination and sheer desire to do
your own thing will be successful. You
should follow through on educational
endeavors you have wanted to pursue
for some time. Your lucky day this week
will be Wednesday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22) You can
expect changes in your financial situa-
tion as well as in your status. Lack of
funds may add stress to your already
uncertain situation. Be careful not to let
friends or peers make you look bad.
You should visit a friend or relative who
hasn't been well. Your lucky day this
week will be Tuesday.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Elders may get you going this week. A
second chance will result in good work.
Exercise your talents and present your
ideas to groups you think you can con-
tribute to. Pleasure trips will be a form of
healing for your emotional state of mind.
Your lucky day this week will be Friday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
You should spend your day trying to
get things completed at work. It's a fa-
vorable time for real estate, investments,
and moneymaking opportunities to be
successful. Chances to express your ideas
and beliefs can bring popularity as long
as you're not arrogant. Don't neglect
these problems; deal with them once and
for all, then move on to more pleasurable
tasks. Your lucky day this week will be
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
If you're already in a relationship, use
this added energy passionately. Secret
affairs will only lead to deception. Money
may slipthroughyourfingers.Youwill have
a great day ifyou just say what you feel.
Your lucky day this week will be Mon-
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
Problems with colleagues are likely. Ask
family members for help and you will be
able to complete the projects more
quickly. They will not have the patience
to wait for you to complete things that
they've asked you to do. Your profes-
sional attitude will not go unnoticed.
Your lucky day this week will be Thurs-
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Unforeseen changes in your location are

Your weekly -

apparent. Visit friends or relatives you
rarely see. You are best to ask questions
if you aren't certain about issues that are
confronting you. Loved ones may be an-
noyed if they feel restricted. Your lucky
day this week will be Wednesday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Sign up for courses orj oin fitness clubs.
Try to put your money away for a rainy
day. Get thinking about prolonging lon-
gevity. Driving too fast or double parking
will resulting difficultieswith officials. Your
lucky day this week will be Saturday.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Get busy trying to make more money.
You should get out and enjoy social events
where you are likely to meet new poten-

"M" (Continued From Page 7)
stopped producing quality teachers
when the Belize Teachers' College be-
came a part of the University of Belize.
Under the Belize Teachers' College, the
"climate" was different and all efforts
were concentrated on only teacher
training and acquiring pedagogical skills.
Teachers were together at the same
campus for the whole day. This led to
a lot of exchanging of ideas, concerns
and possible solutions and you inter-
acted with each other. Lecturers were
concerned only with teacher training and
did not have to be teaching other course
in other fields of study. This climate
cannot exist in other institution when
there are other courses that also needs
I hope that one of these days we will
wake up and do the right thing stop
focusing on the PSE results and start
focusing on a TEACHERS' TRAIN-
ING COLLEGE. Even though some
people might think we are stepping
backwards if we were to re-open the

tial mates; however, don't over spend.
Business partnerships should turn out to
be quite lucrative. Travel for business will
be advantageous. Your lucky day this
week will be Saturday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You'd be wise to control your spend-
ing so your debts don't get out of hand.
Brunch, along walk, or a quiet dinner will
secureyourpositioninthe relationship. Try
to deal with the problems of those less
fortunate; however, don't allow them to
make unreasonable demands. Don't get
depressed, get busy. You can accomplish
a lot if you're willing to put in a little extra
time. Your lucky day this week will be


-- .S


Euphrates Avenue Belize City

Simple and straight to the point. Great location. Great appearance. Great
atmosphere. Half the stuff on the menu not available. But, what was in
stock was very good. I had been wanting to try this place for several
months, as the placard outside announcing the meal of the day was al-
ways so tempting. We went in with Lasagna in mind, but waitress told
1/2 us "only enough for one" tried to order several other items but were told
that they "no ga non tiday". However, the boil-up and the rice-n-beans
with stew beef that they did have were very good. I would even venture to
say that the beef itself was some of the best I have had around town. The
tambran juice was also very good. So, maybe we caught them on an off
day, as the location is too good to disappoint, but yes I would go back, if
for the beef alone.


11fed ...

Belize Teachers' Training College, I do
not hesitate to disagree with them. I
think that it was at the point when the
2 + 1 training was scrapped that we
started to lose our footing on educa-
tion in this country. There were people
who went into the 2 + 1 training, and
because it gave them a true value of
what a teacher should be, that they re-
moved themselves from the teaching
profession. The institution, at the time,
served to keep those persons who
would make good and dedicated teach-
ers while making those who thought that
teaching was an easy job, change their
minds. We must also bear in mind that
not everything that works in industrial-
ized countries will work for us. So let
stop copying everything that we read
or hear about. Please, it is time to bring
back good, sound teacher training in
an institution which caters ONLY to
teacher training.
About the author: Thomas Oliver
is a Standard Six Teacher at the
Burrell Boom Methodist School.

I Photo& Design 02007YELLOWTAIL CREATIVE 41

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9

Some Thoughts on BTB


By: RayAuxilou
Someone on the online debating list
serve mentioned that most of the Belize
Tourist Board advertising budget is
spent on a few expensive high end ho-
tels. Such an idea startled me, with the
reversal of empirical evidence of tour-
ism development over the past forty five
years in Belize.
I can see where it might come about,
from young civil service people who
have not watched the business grow and
experienced thej oys and difficulties of
applying their own risk capital in tour-
ism development over decades. Such
an idea that investing in advertising to
support the few top hotel earners in the
tourist industry is obviously a choice that
a bureaucrat concentrating on highest
tax revenues earned for the government
might make.
As a strategy to boost tourism num-
bers, however, the idea of concentrat-
ing the majority of advertising budget
on high end hotels would be totally
wrong, empirical evidence and experi-
ence shows over four decades in Belize.
Do we go by academic theory, or by
the evidence? Here is the difference be-
tween practical hands on knowledge
and that by theoretical academics.
What attracts tourists to Belize fluc-
tuates and is always driven by market
demand. Tourism and even high end
tourism hotels succeed, only if adver-
tising is spent by government depart-
ments with this responsibility on your
small tourist operator offerings. These
are the things that attract tourists. You
advertise your small tourist mom and
pop operations with articles in the in-
ternational media, that include the hu-
man interest element and the eventual
effect is to fill those big hotels, as
spillover. Without the small tourist op-
erations, you have no industry, or will
lose what you have.
In my lifetime of experience, you look
after the small individual, doing things
like manatee tours, macaw colorful par-
rot watching, the kite windsurfers, the
Ragamuffin Sailing Tours, etc. You con-
centrate your advertising on the exotic,
the small person, the David versus
Goliath competition. That is what brings
increases in your tourism overnight visi-
tor statistics. You advertise the small
entrepreneur with a hostel, a guest
house and that sort of thing. For com-
parison: if you concentrate on saving
pennies and nickels in your personal life,
you will eventually be rich. If you con-
centrate on your small tourism places,
you will expand the industry to bring new
investment into the country for new big-
ger hotels.
If the debate on the list serve is true,
then BTB have their investment policy
reversed. There are some basics to ad-
vertising Belize. You advertise adven-
ture, the small family owned operator

struggling against the giant hotel corpo-
rations, you spend money keeping the
San Pedro and Caye Caulker front
beaches filled with sand and attractive.
You place small strategic one and two
inch cheaper classified ads in all the
sports magazines, from the North
American Backpacking magazine, to
Mountain Bike magazine, to Hiking Trails
magazines, to Windsurfing magazines,
to Gold Prospector magazine, Fishing
magazines, to Archeology magazines, in
Sailing and Cruising magazines, in
Scuba magazines, in car racing maga-
zines, in private small plane ultra light
and glider magazines like Soaring and
you find these equivalents in the Euro-
pean and Asian markets with their local
languages and just fill the classified ad
sections of all sorts of magazines giving
entrepreneur, or activity niche some-
place in Belize as destinations and places
to go, to experience these exotic excit-
ing things. Two hundred dollars per
magazine issue, perhaps three hundred
magazines, how hard can that be?
Remember, while your big hotel cus-
tomer is old and rich, in their minds they
are still young and wish to relive their
youth. They may not get past the swim-
ming pool with rum and coke drink in
hand, but they will come not for a big
hotel, but for the idea, that if they wanted
they could do those physical things. It
is the young and their adventures, that
attract the rich older expensive tourist,
who wants luxury and comforts.
Without good beaches on the islands
you won't have a tourist business to

speak of either. That is a basic lesson;
people come to islands for the beaches.
They may not use the beach, but if you
don't have one, yourtourist business will
die. The asset is photogenic, sort of the
romantic idea of the Caribbean, sand
and coconut trees. Old rich folks may
do no more than look out the window
at young people playing volleyball on
the beach, but if you don't have those
young physically fit people, you won't
get the old rich tourist either. Tourism
is a psychological game and how you
advertise is key. You are selling im-
age. Your typical tourist lives in a
crowded city, full of concrete tall can-
yons and lives in a cave called an
apartment, or a room. They yearn
spiritually for the outdoors, to com-
mune with nature and meet physical
challenges of the outdoors. This is
what you sell in Belize. The idea of

what is real from older days in an old
fashioned sense, and advertising for
young people in the small operator
and low budget hostel environment
that they can afford, is where you need
to BEST spend your advertising dol-
lar as a nation. You must sell the ex-
otic and the physical and nature. The
rich will follow the young adventurers
and dream of what was once, that
they have left behind in their advanc-
ing years.
There are now six low budget hos-
tels in Belize. One on San Pedro,
three on Caye Caulker, two in West-
ern Cayo District. Look after your
small guys BTB, the big hotel invest-
ments and customers with the money
will follow. Advertise to attract the
yuppies in their twenties and the old
and rich will follow and want those
big hotels.

For an online version of the
INdependent Reformer

visit us at


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-60 gallon tank
-new seat belts
-she flies no brakes available.

Contact owner:

tel. 225-3520

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10

A report from the frontlines
n n^. i -t i* U UU

iV:uelfina 1Mitchell
Greetings to all from Belize!
Four months ago, my husband
Mitch, my mom, our three dogs,
Chief, Gunny, and DOG, our cat
George, and I, left Florida to start our
new adventure. It rained every day for
the first three months. I swear, every
single day! It was hot and muggy, and
many days and nights it was continu-
ous rain.
We live about 12 miles outside
Belize City in a village call Ladyville.
The area we live is just being devel-
oped, hence there are acres and acres
of land with a neighbor here and there.
Mitch, my Mom and I all refer to it as
Every day is a new adventure for
us as well as the animals.
Horsing around
Since our property is not yet fenced,
horses come walking through, eating
the grass our sticking their heads into
veranda to see what is going on. The
dogs would go wild barking every
time they saw the horses, day or night.
- they had never seen horses before.
This went on for about six weeks,
then one day we heard the horses
chomping through but the dogs never
budged from their resting spot. The
horses were old news.
Friendly neighbors
David, our neighbor, is a blessing.
He returned to Belize to chill out about
seven years ago after he retired from
the US army. He understands the kind
of limbo we are in and is a wealth of
information and advice on living in
Belize. He raises ducks, chicken and
turkeys in his back yard.
A small lake runs between our
property, and David's ducks would
float by or his chicken and turkeys
would wander over and Chief and
Gunny would chase them. One mom-
ing about 3 am, I woke to hear this
strange noise, and found Chief had
brought back one of David's ducks.
It was fluttering around, sounding like
its neck was crushed.
So we're out in the rain with a half
dead duck making a lot of noise and
wondering how David was going to
react to our dog getting his duck. I

tell Mitch we needed to put him out
of its misery, to use a cement block
or machete but he says that's mean
and he wasn't going to do it. In the
end we both went back to bed leav-
ing the poor duck fighting for air. The
next day we had to pay twenty dol-
lars to David for his duck.
Midnight visitor
My sister, Icelind, who wants des-
perately to live in Belize, (she hasn't
been able to convince her husband on
the move yet) jumps on the plane ev-
ery time I call and ask her to. One
night, she was up late sitting at the
kitchen table when her attention was
drawn to Georgie's hissing. A snake
had crawled in from under the door.
Mitch came out to investigate the
commotion in the kitchen and found
her standing on top of the kitchen
We suspected it was a poisonous
coral snake, and confirmed it the
morning by checking the internet. We
now have weather strips on the door
and if you ever happen to enter
Icelind's room, you'll find a lot of gar-
lic scattered over the floor. Some-
one told her garlic drives snakes away!
On Feb 2, Chief, Gunny, and
DOG died.
In Belize there are some strange
delicacies. One such is a wild turkey
called Curassow. A friend of my
mother's brought her a piece of the
"turkey." Since I was not excited
about the prospect of eating the meat,
I decided to cook it for the dogs. I
boiled it in a stew for them and fed it
to them over the dry dog food.
Unfortunately, we found out too late
that Curassow is not something you
feed to the dogs. The birds eat poi-
sonous plants and the toxins are
stored in the bones. When the dogs
chew the bones it releases the toxins.
Thirty-four years had passed since
we left Belize and my mother had for-
gotten about this supposedly com-
mon knowledge. The poison affects
the brain, the process was horrible, it
affects the brain causes them to have
painful, frightful hallucinations. The vet
could do nothing for them. Symptoms
started on Monday and by Friday

they died from massive seizures.
Itwas just horrible! We all cried like
A week later we walked outside our
door to find four of the most beautiful
puppies. Friends are wonderful. Our
friend Harry, hearing of our loss shared
his new litter with us. We are now
enjoying Harry, Asia, Jane, and Trib-
ute, our newest family members!
The fire
In Belize, they sometimes clear out
the land by lighting fires to burn the
bushes. On Valentine's Day, Mitch
and I were relaxing enjoying this re-
tirement life when we discovered a
bush fire on the other side of the road
had gotten out of control. It was
threatening the home of an elderly lady
who was not home at the time.
The fire was beautiful and scary, it
was hot and you could hear it crack-
ing as it ran up the trees and in the
bushes. The only person home was
the maid and she was just looking so
scared running around outside. Mitch
went to fetch David while the maid
and I started filling buckets with wa-
ter to put the fire out.
By the time we ran back to the
house to fill the buckets and come
back to the fire it had spread fur-
ther. Several times I had to stop to
splash water onto my face in order
to get some relief from the heat.
Thankfully Mitch and David came
up. They both had machete in their

hands. Shortly after, other villagers
who were working in the area came,
they had branches they had cut from
trees in their hands. I wonder what
the hell they brought those for but
soon got my answer. The spread
out and used the branches to beat
the fire out and the machete to cut
more. It worked, they got the fire
under control and eventually put it
Truckload of trouble
I could tell you about the excite-
ment of the 4 feet boa constrictor
snake that crawled up the under-
side of my father's pick up truck
last Friday and how I had to drive
the truck to the car repair shop, so
they could lift it up and get the snake
out. But I'll let you use your imagi-
I'm adjusting to this retirement
thing. I haven't looked for any jobs
yet and am not sure if I will at this
point. Sometimes I think, I have to
have a purpose, I have to be in
charge of something I can't just be
a housewife!
But for now, I'm still getting
settled in our new home and I love
sleeping in. I can't say that I miss
the Navy. I do miss my boys, fam-
ily and friends but I have great
memories and even though you may
not hear from me often, know I do
think of you way back here in the

Adk 1111k gmRe rva* ons: 5 1-26-0S
U S. olFe- 80-2-3435i

Fax. 01-22 -233

Em i: eev 0in@ tr66 ai* S


The Belize Zoo

In Theor
^* I

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11

Belize mourns George Gabb

Belize's gifted giant Geroge Gabb

The National Institute of Culture
and History joins the entire nation of
Belize in expressing our sincere con-
dolences to the Gabb family on the
passing of Belizean patriot and cul-
tural icon, George Seymour Gabb,
Even as we mourn the loss of
George Gabb "the Gifted Giant", we
take this opportunity to celebrate his
life, accomplishments and invaluable
contribution to his homeland and his
Having dedicated over four de-
cades of his life to Culture and the

Arts, George Gabb made his indel-
ible mark on Belizean culture as a
playwright, poet, painter and most
notably, as Belize's pre-eminent
It will be recalled that his award-
winning play "Yellowtail" was voted
Best All-around Production in the
Festival ofArts of May, 1966. He will
be remembered as the author of many
literary works including "Naked Eye:
Belizean Proverbs and Philosophy".
His works as a sculptor form part of
Belize's National Collection, as well
as private collections at home and
abroad; including those of the Queen
of England and the Archbishop of
Canterbury. One of his most recog-
nizable pieces, "the Sleeping Giant"
(part of Belize's National Collection)
has been used as a watermark on the
Belize passport and is still being on
Belizean paper currency.
George Gabb taught sculpture to a
number of young Belizeans and for
some time, spent months teaching as
an artist-in-residence at universities in

Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee,
Texas and South Carolina.
For his numerous contributions,
George Seymour Gabb was made a
Member of the British Empire in 1974.
He was later a recipient of the Belize

Arts Council's Outstanding Artist
Award in August, 1998. On Septem-
ber 19, 2002, he received the Meri-
torious Service Award from the Gov-
ernment of Belize.--Press Release
from NICH

George Gabb's culture of a tiger man.



Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12

.... ..... .
.... ..... 191 - ----
............ ...... ....
... .....
-4k& RIO .. AN
...... ...... .........
.. ...... ...... .. ......
. . . . . . . . .
... ........... .... .

Goodbye George Gabb

He was a great strength; a fortress of
talent as a philosopher, artist painter,
sculptor, poet, wood carver. He was
also always an open and friendly source
of common sense and good advice. He
will be sorely missed.

downs with world leaders, including Fi-
del Castro and President Bush.
Fox has signed a book deal to pub-
lish his memoir Revolution ofHope in
October, according to a statement by
Viking, a sister imprint of Penguin Press.
The book will be co-written by Fox
and his friend, public-relations consult-
ant Rob Allyn, who spent much of De-
cember and January working on the
book with Fox at his ranch in central

Guatemala City dodgy?

The Rio Lempa in El Salvador

In recent years, some ties between the
two countries like medical services -
have increased. About 340 Cuban doc-
tors have served in this Central Ameri-
can country, and around 500 Hondu-
rans study medicine in Cuba.
Salvador, Honduras and Guate-
mala unite!
El Salvador, Honduras and Guate-
mala signed an agreement Wednesday
to create the tri-national border com-
munity of Rio Lempa, near the largest
reserve of water in Central America.
Mayors of the three Central Ameri-
can countries in nearby municipalities
said actions performed together will fos-
ter efficiency of the development pro-
grams scheduled for border zones.

structure projects including: the con-
struction of national stadiums in
Dominica, St Lucia, and Grenada; the
construction of a psychiatric hospital in
St Lucia; redevelopment of the Botani-
cal Gardens in Dominica and the con-
struction of a new block in a school
nearby. China has also promised sup-
port for the development of a major
highway in St Lucia, and is active in
Jamaica, Guyana and Suriname.
Regional governments are ecstatic
about the generosity of the Peoples
Republic of China, and many have
switched long held allegiance with Tai-
wan. Now only three countries in the
English speaking Caribbean Belize,
St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and

Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega
has repeated his offer to provide tem-
porary headquarters for the Central
American Parliament (PARLACEN)
due to the lack of security in Guatemala.
The situation in Nicaragua offers peace
for the sessions without fears and anxi-
eties that today exist in Guatemala, as-
sured the Sandinista leader to board
members of the regional parliament.
Ortega received the PARLACEN
members in the offices of the Sandinista
National Liberation Front (FSLN) that,
together with the OlofPalme Conven-
tion Center has been his office since he
became the President of Nicaragua last
January 10.

Fox tells all!
MEXICO CITY Former Mexi-
can President Vicente Fox is telling all
in a memoir that will detail his ups and

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Honduras renews relations with
Honduras named its first ambassa-
dor to Cuba in 45 years last week, com-
pleting the restoration of diplomatic ties
with the communist-run island that were
severed during the Cold War.
Ramon Elvir will be sent to Havana
as Honduras' ambassador.
Honduras broke off diplomatic relations
with Havana in 1962, when Cuba was
expelled from the Organization ofAmeri-
can States. It renewed formal relations with
the island in January 2001, but did not
name an ambassador until now.

A rainbow over Roseau, theprinciapl city in Dominica
Chinese in Caribbean but not in the Grenadines, plus Haiti and the Do-
Belize! minican Republic still maintain rela-
Chinese development assistance is tions with Taiwan
being delivered in several visible infra-

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 133

Green Party Asks: Strength In Unity?

Are Two Heads Better Then One?

By: Chet Schmidt
PG correspondent for

The Toledo branch of the Belizean
Green Party has some ideas that we
don't see in the information from the
other parties. One of the most signifi-
cant and important concepts was the
requirement that at least 80% of the
members must vote for a motion to
pass. What is the concept of democ-
racy? That each citizen has one equal
vote. The different parties put up their
platforms and manifestoes as to what
they think should be done and how.
The responsible citizen, the elector-
ate, should study the different parties'
recommendations. To help with this the
different party's candidates should hold

public meetings and debates. In a civi-
lized society these should be focused
on the issues and be conducted in a re-
spectful atmosphere of good will. Now,
what often happens, as we have seen in
the past elections is one candidate will
say our party believes if we go down
the road that heads north we will be
prosperous, but if we go down the road
to the south as my opponent from the
other party says ,we will go broke and
come to ruin. They both push for the
benefits of their way and keep warning
the people of how bad it will be if the
other party's road is taken. Unfortunately
each candidate often attacks the char-
acter of their opponent, sometimes
called character assassination or nega-
tive campaigning.
Now in theory when one side gets
elected, maybe by a few votes, perhaps
53% to 47%, those candidates and
members of the electorate who lost are
supposed tojoin with those in the ma-
j ority, and do their best to go down the
road that they have been telling every-
one they would never go down is defi-
nitely no question about it, the road to
ruin. Their leaders are to forget all the
mean and ugly things their opponents
said about them and perhaps their wives

and mothers, and in the true spirit of de-
mocracy do their best to make the
majority's road work.
That is the theory, but is that what re-
ally happens in practice? In my obser-
vation, those who lose often stand back
and watch the other head off on their
own. Sometimes they even do things
that will make it harder for those who
go on the other road to succeed. Read-
ing about ancient African and Indian
cultures, I learned villagers kept on de-
bating and struggling with the issues un-
til they came to a consensus where ev-
erybody agreed as to the best way to
go. This also happens in some of the
most successful democracies in the most
advanced nations of today like Denmark
and Holland who also keep on work-
ing until they have at least a near con-
sensus. Considering what recently hap-
pened to Mexico where they just had a
very close election and are still having
serious problems that continues to di-
vide and weaken them, you have to think
consensus is the key to success.
The members of the Toledo branch
agree that it would be far better to
take the time to agree and debate the
issues until a consensus or near con-
sensus, at least 80% is achieved, with

the clear understanding by all that if
the road chosen turned out not to pro-
vide what was expected, a sincere
effort would be made to try the other
road. This is one of the concepts put
forward that we think is very impor-
Do you believe our desperate con-
ditions call for radical changes? Then
try this on for size. Do you believe that
two heads are better than one, even
if one is female and one is male? An-
other idea that is sure to receive some
ridicule is that we have true gender
equality, by having a male and female
for each political office. Their first job
would be to agree on what course
they would take together, if they were
divided on the issue, they would take
it to the House of Representatives and
the Senate, for them to vote on it.
Again a maj ority should be convinced.
Could these circumstances be diffi-
cult? You bet. But that's what our
what our leaders are paid for-- to
work hard.
Please e-mail comments to
see our website at http://
to learn more about our platform.

Cayo independent candidate donates

He says he is also working "to
ensure the monopoly which prevents
this country from having access to

Voice over Internet Protocol is
dismantled, when I am successful in
the next general election."

Ivan Roberts presents certificate for 7 computers to the principal of St Jude R.C. school
in Camalote.

On March 6, Ivan Roberts, who
describes himself as an "Ambassador
of the Universal Peace Federation"
donated 7 computers to St Jude R.C.
school in Camalote.
He says "These are the first of 35
computers which I intend to donate
to that school. I also have request
from schools in Cotton Tree Village,
Santa Famelia, Teakettle and other

communities. It is our intention to
make sure that every school in the
country of Belize has this technology
available to all their students."
He says he plans to ensure that
not only Cayo Central schools, which
are in his constituency, but all towns
and villages in the Cayo district gets a
fully equipped lab with a minimum of
35 computers per lab.




Hamson Chemals, Mile 46, Westem Hgway, BELIZE, TEL. 501-822-2290

Mile 46, Western Highway, Mount Pleasant
Belmopan, BELIZE
Tel/Fax: 501 822 2290 Cel: 501 620 3535
Email: harrisonbza(yahoo.com

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 141


Everyone at The Belize Zoo (in-
cluding the animals) enjoys having
Carlos around each Sunday. His
bright and eager attitude is conta-
gious! Carlos is learning a lot, and

The Belize Zoo is happy to provide
a fun and interesting Sunday for this
very cool guy!
It is simply TOO WILD FOR

Carlos cuddles the zoo's boa constrictor, Bal Boa, as he describes the snake's natural

By Sharon Matola
Carlos is not even 12, but even at this
early age, has a great desire to fit in
zookeeper duties as part of his life!
School during the week in Belmopan
takes a lot out of this guy, but his home-
work reports are excellent, and that is
the requirement for Carlos to be able
to extend a helping hand at The Belize
Zoo every Sunday.

Feeding monkeys, deer and birds,
Carlos learns from the Belize
Zookeepers proper animal management
techniques, and the many factors in-
volved in being a good zookeeper.
Carlos has learned to handle the zoo's
boa constrictor, Bal Boa, and tells visi-
tors about this gentle snake's interesting
natural history.
Carlos admits, "I don't have a favourite
task at the zoo. I like everything I do
there, from cleaning cages, to fixing din-
ners for the animals and of course, get-
ting to know them!"

Top of the class

g--i (Continued From Page 4)
tice, manage her time on the exam, fo-
cus, focus, focus.... They have been
admonishing her, guiding her, cheering
her on.
What do we tell her now?
If this is an example of how the cur-
rent Ministry treats its educators and
students, no wonder our children are
failing. No wonder our teachers are de-
moralized, underpaid and overworked
while the administrators are out of touch,
overpaid and under worked.
Whatever the reason behind the an-
nouncement, it backfired, big time. The
Minister himself is now in the dunce chair
with some even suggesting he, perhaps
the entire cabinet, should take the test
and have the results made public.
The ministry is now faced with the
very real possibility that the professional
men and women it counts on to invigilate
and grade this exam, will boycott this
year and are questioning its very rel-
In terms of public relations, right now
the ministry has an "F" for foresight and
The Minister says he is disappointed
in the teachers.
Clearly they are disappointed in him.

I will stand with our teachers on this
one, even if it affects my own child. I
will side with them because I respect
them and their efforts. Because I re-
member those teachers at Teacher's
College who left newborn babies in
PG with relatives, or commuted sev-
eral hours every day by bus from
Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and
Dangriga because they were told they
needed to be certified. I will side with
them because these women, and a
handful of men, who turn up for class
each day, often take money out of their
own pockets to feed our children, buy
supplies, counsel them when they are
in trouble or have difficulties at home,
take assignments in communities so
many of us would give up on before
we even got there. They keep work-
ing, teaching our nation's children, year
in and year out, because it is what they
have been called to do.With little
thanks from the parents, and even less
from their Ministry or the churches.
For me, and many Belizeans, the
teacher's willingness to stand up and
say "No More," is the true test of their
intelligence. The yardstick by which
we should all be measured.
In standard VI and beyond.

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 155

10th La Ruta Maya River

- new record

The Cruz sisters of Esperanza Village won the female category for the 2nd year running.

Armin Lopez, Amado & Rudy Cruz of the Belize Bank team paddled to a record
breaking finish to win La Ruta Maya River Challenge for the 3rd consecutive year.

The Builders Hardware team won the Mixed Team category.


Ladyvllle Village Council

Governor General Sir Colville Young lays a wreath on the grave, at Monday's ceremonies
honouring of Belize's greatest benefactor Baron Edward Victor Ernest Bliss.

n (Continued From Page 1)
Reginald Williams.
Odessa Gibson is a former Chairlady
of Rockstone Pond and Carolee
Hecker has worked campaigns before
for other candidates but this is the first
time she has run herself.
Hecker says not only is their team hav-
ing to introduce themselves during house
to house visits, they are having to in-
form people there is an election on April
1st. "A lot of people are not even aware
there is a Village Council Election."
This may be due to a lack of publicity
from the Ministry of Local Government
and also the Elections and Boundaries
The team says some people have got-

ten very dependent on the politics of
money. Turton says some Ladyvillians
have told them outright, "If you don't
have money, don't even come to my
house." She says they are not going to
pay anyone to vote and want to help
instill pride in the community. "Just be-
cause you are poor, does not mean you
have to live in a dirty area or not keep
up your yard."
This is the second time a goup of in-
dependents is campaigning in Ladyville.
In the elections of 2001 group called
the "Independent Seven," lead by
Michael Hutchison, almost took the
council, losing the Chairmanship to the
PUP by only two votes.

B nE(Continued From Page 2)
a blanket unqualified condemnation
sometimes seen in some of the edito-
rial-like articles.
I wish to close now with part of a
speech from the greatest American ora-
tor of modem times.
"We must forever conduct our struggle
on the high plane of dignity and disci-
pline. We must not allow our creative
protest to degenerate into physical vio-
lence. Again and again we must rise to
the majestic heights of meeting physical
force with soul force. The marvelous
new military which has engulfed the
negro community must not lead us to

distrust all white people, for many of our
white brothers, as evidenced by their
presence here today, have come to re-
alize that their destiny is tied up with our
destiny and their freedom is inextrica-
bly bound to our freedom. We cannot
walk alone."
Martin Luther King Jr.
August 28, 1963.
May God bless Belize and the United
Respectfully yours,

Rudolph A. Bowman
Dangrigan Belizean
Coloradoan American






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