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: March 30, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00017
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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By: Gus A. Perera
I read with much curiosity, the com-
mentary which makes reference to
the NGO Consortium report of 1993
dealing with the old "stratagem to
recruit new voter at election time "
through the arbitrary granting of
Belizean citizenship to Central Ameri-
can immigrants.
The commentary aroused curiosity
not so much because of its content,
but more so because it was this very
same issue that ignited SPEAR's Po-
litical Reform Campaign in 1994.
Deja Vu
In 1993, not only was the passport
machinery "cranked up" but voter
disillusionment was at an all time high.
The Belizean voters were convinced


that irrespective of which party was
in power, it was always business as
usual corruption, abuse of power,
and cronyism. The Belizean people
were desperately looking for a space
that would give them more say in the
running of the country's affairs.
Project Democracy
Between 1994 and 1997 SPEAR,
with the help of a Political Reform Ad-
visory Committee (PRAC) lead a na-
tionwide public consultation campaign
under the banner "The People 's
Agenda. "
The objectives of the campaign in-
cluded creating an increased aware-
ness of the workings of the political
system, informing citizens of their
rights and responsibilities in the po-


The


Ges Commoe


Ladyville's Independent Seven led by
Sharon Thurton has gained the support
of Belize City-based Commoners' or-
ganization. Patrick Rogers, spokesman
for the Commoners and deputy Chair-
man of the VIP met with the candidate
for Ladyville Chairlady on March 22.
Rogers, who ran as an independent
candidate in the 2003 General Elections
in the Lake Independence division told
Independent Weekly, "Independent
slates throughout Belize deserve our as-
sistance with logistics. We are happy to
help Ms Sharon and her team in any
way we can."
Sharon has lived in Ladyville for over
30 years and is a professional caterer
who owns her own business. She has
sponsored the Thurton Football Club
for the past 5 years.
She says although both the UDP and
PUP asked her to run on their slates she
feels it is in the best interest to leave the
red/blue politics out of the village coun-
cil. Among her top priorities are expand-
ing the new library's services and open-
ing hours, and to increase participation
of villagers in sporting events.


litical arena, collecting baseline data
of the perceived failures of the present
political system, and finally, finding out
what changes the people most wanted
to see as part of any political reform
effort.
By the end of 1997, the documented
concerns of Belizeans fell into three
categories: excessive concentration of
power resulting in abuse and leader-
ship arrogance, lack of accountabil-
ity on the part of elected ministers of
government resulting in corruption,
and the lack of people's participation
in the decision-making process result-
ing in political oppression.
Poli-triks Par Excellence
In 1998, and promising political re-
form and power to the people, the


Lauyville"



er Support


Ladyville's Independent Seven Chairlady candidate Sharon Thurton has the support of
Belize City-based Commoners' organization. Patrick Rogers, VIP deputy Chairman.


Independent Seven village council
aspirants are well known residents
Fernando Leal, Reginald Williams,
Martin Jimenez, Hosni Thurton and two
other ladies from Ladyville Odessa
Gibson and Carolee Hecker.
Other "horses in the race" includes
slate identifying itself as UDP led by
Lucio Choc, incumbent village chair-


man, and a blue backgrounded, pre-
sumably PUP slate, lead by Herman
Blease.
Voting takes place April First at the
Community Center. Itisthelargest, single
most important village council elections of
the bunch so all eligible residents are en-
couraged to cast their ballots.


PUP became the "power" in
Belmopan. The PUP manifesto read
in part: "The UDP rulers have
shown that they are bent on achiev-
ing absolute power, whether by hi-
jacking the House of Representa-
tives or by manipulating the judi-
cial system. Ministers commit
crimes, squander the country 's re-
sources and ride roughshod over
the people. Their administration
has provided the strongest argu-
ments for urgent political reform. "
In 1999, one year of their 1998
general elections victory, the PUP ap-
pointed a Political Reform Commis-
sion to review the system of gover-
nance and make recommendations for
improvement with a view to achiev-
ing greater democracy. In his speech
to the commission, Prime Minister
Musa said "regard no institution,
no law, and no policy or practice
as sacred. In 2000, the Political
(Please Turn To Page 3) E"

(Inside this Issue ^


pg 3
Money Laundering
in Belize


pg.4
Beer Belly Ache


pg.5
Journalists under
attack


pg. 7
Zee's Genius








Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2 -


Edito ialDieco













I. sC llag



























.............

Karl es.e ero


GeealMnae


a rvo'ero


E YES!


Belize is in a State
of Tyranny!
I write in support of the VIP to form
our next government.
It was the latter part of 2005 that VIP
placed on record its vision and position
on issues affecting Belize. In the articles
and public statements that followed, the
VIP warned that Belize was well into
the 5th stage of corruption, bordering
on a state of tyranny. Today that we
are able to see and hear under oath
about THE POLICY OF GOVERN-
MENT 1998 THRU PRESENT, it is
clear that our jewel is in the final stage
of corruption: tyranny. Make no mistake
about this one. In order to get ourselves
out of this state of affairs we will be
forced to understand it.
Recently it has been exposed that the
Government of Belize is willing to see
the rulings of our higher courts ignored.
This is evident in the BTL/PROSSER
issue. The finances of social security
and the government of Belize have not
been audited for years. The DFC and
Social Security coffers have been plun-
dered into bankruptcy. Even more re-
cently, there has been unjustified firing
of BTL workers and to add insult to in-
jury, a public lynching by way of job
severance, of a lead trade union nego-
tiator, during an ongoing industrial dis-
pute. All this has been happening un-
der the watch of our Director of Public
Prosecutions who has the power to
bring criminal charges against anyone he
considers it "desirable so to do". I feel
that it is time for the DPP to act on be-
half of the people and a good place to
start is with criminal proceedings against
those who have plundered the "poor
man's bank".
The VIP warned in an earlier article
that only the unarmed judiciary stands
between the people and the armed


cabinet. You see Belizeans, our courts
can rule on a matter but it is the will and
force of the cabinet that implements
those rulings. We see no move towards
this kind of will today. So in effect we
have done away with the RULE OF
LAW. The cabinet now makes its own
law and will force compliance.
The snubbing of our laws has lead to
a cover up of loans, gifts and favors,
given to the privilege within a rising
Belizean oligarchy that missed its mark
so far in the creation of this threatening
dictatorship. This was exposed in the
DFC COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
HEARING Further still, the contempt
and disrespect displayed by those tes-
tifying, to the commission and in the face
of Belizeans at large, exposes the true
belief of those persons close to the
building dictatorship.
According to the testimony from
many at the heart of the near missed
dictatorship, Government during the
period 1998 thru present, advocated
policies to create monopolies!
1) Novelos in transportation,
2) Universal Health Services in the
health sector
3) BTL monopoly and an illegal
change of its article of association.
4) A complete control of the con-
solidated revenue fund, where ministers
and representatives along with senators,
town councilors, and contract workers,
take out more than they put into the
development of the country. A recent
calculation shows that the salaries of
elected officials equals in some cases
and surpasses that which is allocated to
municipal bodies in any given year. All
this done in secrecy and with the acqui-
escence of Her Majesty's loyal oppo-
sition.
In understanding tyranny, Belizeans
must know that elections do not equal
democracy. Iraq under Sadaam had


independent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com
P.O. Box 2(666
Bcli/ Cit., Beli/c
Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as
BZ30(00 ()( IS$30.00 international)


1 1 '11. I P I

.itlit

t-SIii. W.

I m -iii tilit


elections, Iran has elections, and China
has elections. Cuba has a form of elec-
tions but do any of those translate to
true democracy or the brand of democ-
racy we seek? The days of voting for a
color must come to a quick stop if we
are to get out of this looming dictator-
ship. As for me, I will work with the
VIP especially to bring two critical
changes to our system of representa-
tion.
1. To Amend the Referendum Act
to allow the people to vote directly on
local and national issues.
2. To Introduce a Recall Referen-
dum to end the term of elected leaders
who have lost the public trust.
Belizeans, it is time for us to wake up
and act. The VIP represents a real
chance for Belize to redirect our nation
toward a real Belizean solution. They
will work to bring to us National Unity,
Productivity, Family life environment,
Social Justice and Fair Representation.

Citizen Bub Sat

Beauty among debris
Dear Editor,
Now that the San Ignacio dump (sani-
tary land fill?) has spread out to the
Western Highway, it affords easy bird
watching right from your car.
There are not too many species for
viewing, but the numbers of vultures are
something to behold as they pick
through the garbage and trash looking
for choice tidbits of rotting meat.
And the lovely yellow flame created
by burning hospital waste, abatoir
waste, used pampers, chemical residue
in plastic bottles, batteries and etc oh
yes, please includeBowen andBowen's
"recycled" plastic bottles, is a wonder
as you drive through the smog-filled
night.


E-1 Lill lll E-1


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







Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3


Money Laundering


The U.S. Internal Revenue Ser-
vice had been targeting Minnesota
businessman John Priscella since at
least 2003, when the agency con-
cluded that he owed taxes on more
than $3.6 million in unreported in-
come from 1995 to 2000.
But it was a money-laundering
scheme that undercover IRS agents
picked apart that finally resulted in
criminal charges.
Last week, Priscella, 55, pleaded
guilty in U.S. District Court to four
counts of money laundering. He
could face 20 years in federal
prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
His business associate, Amy
Elizabeth Kirsch, a former Minne-
sota resident, pleaded guilty to a







i-_N (Continued From Page 1)
Reform Commission completed its
task and presented to the Prime Min-
ister 103 recommendations for po-
litical reform. Believing that the re-
form process had begun, the Politi-
cal Reform Commission celebrated
its achievement.
The Reality
Unfortunately, the assessment on
political reform which was done by
SPEAR in 2006 revealed the con-
trary in reality, hardly any serious
reform was undertaken and democ-
racy, 25 years after Independence,
remained illusive to the Belizean
people.
The SPEAR Reform Assessment
Report concludes by noting that po-
litical reform expectations were met
with "great disillusion and disap-
pointment. It goes on to note
that people's high expectations were
grossly unmet and that "even when
recommendations were made and
accepted, there were no adequate
human and financial resourcesfor
implementation of the recommen-
dations. "


single Count of tax evasion for not
paying between $30,000 and
$80,000 in tax on income of more
than $170,000 in 1998. She faces
up to five years in prison and a fine
of $100,000.
IRS agents caught Priscella wir-
ing $35,000 to a bank in Belize,
money that he believed had come
from the sale of stolen vehicles, ac-
cording to court documents.
Priscella had set up a "front" busi-
ness, the Neighborhood Network
Advisory, to funnel the money. The
company provided software for
people to download to get informa-
tion on Amber Alerts for missing
children, severe weather updates,
criminals on the loose and issues of







"The constant reshuffling of Cabi-
net Ministers and the correspond-
ing changes in staffing across the
public service created instability
and lack of continuity in implemen-
tation of recommendations from
commissions, councils, and
projects."
Persons interviewed as part of
the study expressed their view that
the investigations into the Social
Security and DFC scandals (and
more) would yield no results, no
arrests, no convictions, and that the
politicians, knowing this, had, in
popular Creole language "no
change fi change. "
And so, almost 10 years after the
promise of Political Reform, and 25
years after Independence, democ-
racy in Belize has been, paradoxi-
cally speaking, "progressively re-
gressive ".
And most ironically, the reality in
2007, is that our present "rulers
have shown that they are bent on
achieving absolute power,
whether by hijacking the house of
representatives or by manipulat-


boat


day the vessel, which has not reported
itself, was spotted on Thursday by a
surveillance aircraft to the south of
Sakhalin. It was intercepted by a coast
guard ship and taken to the port of
Nevelsk for investigation.


YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK,
March 23 (Itar-Tass) -
Russian coast guards detained the
Bansei Maru fishing boat flying the
Belize flag for violating the border re-
gime.
The coast guard service said on Fri-


in


national security, the court docu-
ments say.
Priscella told undercover agents
that "no one would go after a busi-
ness that supports missing children,"
according to public records.
Priscella worked out of the base-
ment of his pink, multi-level home
in Crystal In an affidavit submit-
ted to the court, the IRS said
Priscella previously had engaged in
two fraudulent schemes in the state.
In one, he created shell corpora-
tions and persuaded people to in-
vest in them, selling them worthless
stock in exchange for valuable pos-
sessions.
In the other, he approached pri-
vate companies and convinced own-







ing the judicial system. Ministers
commit crimes, squander the
country 's resources and ride
roughshod over the people. This


Belize

ers that he could help take their
firms public. He then gained con-
trol of company bank accounts and
depleted them. According to court
documents, Priscella bragged to
undercover IRS agents that he was
"an expert in offshore banking" and
claimed to know a German busi-
nessman with "diplomatic status"
who could take large amounts of
cash outside of the country because
he didn't face the same security
checks as others.
Priscella told the undercover
agents that he had 17 offshore bank
accounts, ranging from Belize to the
Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Guernsey
and Jersey.
story by Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune







administration has once more
"provided the strongest argu-
ments for urgent political re-
form. "


Belize fishing


detained by Rul


.11


hg-\ I ~


VISTA DANCE STUDIO

Director: SISTIE FAIRWEATHER -HARMES
10th annual

DANCE RECITAL

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


I







Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 |


Beer


By: Karla Heusner Vernon
I am standing in front of the cooler in
the shop. Red Stripe, Miller, Heineken,
Lighthouse, Belikin Premium and Regu-
lar. I have only a few dollars left over
from the grocery shopping and man, do
I deserve a cold beer after the week I
had.
But like potato chips, how can you
have just one?
Do you remember when we used to
order a case of beer, stick six or so in
the fridge to make sure they were good
and cold, just IN CASE friends came
by? Those were the days of house par-
ties when people hardly ever asked you
to BYOB, because everyone had
enough disposable income to have
house parties for no reason other than
it was Friday. People would always
bring extra liquor anyway or run out to
get a quart of something when the sup-
ply was running low. Just to keep people
at the party, stop them from drifting off
to the discos.
I see a lot of people having truck par-
ties these days. You know, standing
around in front of someone's house or
outside a sporting field, drinking from
the back of a pickup. Mostly contra-
band liquor.
It's pretty open, not hidden at all.
Contraband beer and liquor flow freely
at almost every social event now from
weddings to Christenings. Look out
across the crowd at any sporting event
and it's a sea of Modelo, Corona Ex-
tra, Superior, Sol, MJD and Fosters,
(from Airport Camp) and Heinekin in
the bigger bottle (from the Free Zone),
Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Light,
Gallo et all. Sometimes I wonder if the
only people drinkingthe "Beer ofBelize"
are the tourists.
Due to taxes and the high cost of fuel
and doing business, the price of a case
of Belikin beer seems like it has qua-
drupled in recent years. Alot of us only


buy it for special occasions now, not just
to have on hand.
The price of a single beer ranges from
$2.75 to $3 for a regular, $3.50 for pre-
mium in shops or $6 or more in a bar or
restaurant or a dance.
It's a shame, because right across the
border you can get a Modelo for 6 pe-
sos, about $1.20, or 36 pesos for a six
pack, or around $7. So we can't even
get half a sick pack for the same amount
ofmoney.
Beer in Belize is not the common man
or woman's drink, as in other countries.
It's becoming more of a luxury item every
day. Those of us who live in Ladyville,
just a stone's throw from the beer fac-
tory, feel particularly hurt that beer is so
expensive. After all it's a community in-
dustry that employs a lot of people. Of
course, some enterprising employees are
actually contrabanding Belikin and selling
it for less than the factory charges. I am
not sure how this is happening, but it
is....imagine, smuggling local products.
Now Bowen and Bowen not only has to
worry about competition from the outside,
but also on the inside.
Imported beers, I mean those brought
in legitimately and on which all the cus-
toms duties and excise taxes are paid, are
also in trouble. One of the merchant
houses told me their sales are down 30%
or more and they see Mexican products
with the same label at many bars and
clubs.
What can they do? People want beer
and they will get it and not pay any more
than they have to. Call the police and cus-
toms? That's a good one. If I told you
how many people tell me they buy the con-
traband from men in uniform you'd fall
over backwards.
Anyway, I have had this cooler door
open long enough, I have to pick a beer
and leave. Do I spend a little extra for an
imported lager, or pay far more than I
should to support the local brew?
Or do I close the door, leave the shop
and make a phone call to another sup-
plier and get a whole case of something
delivered to my door no questions asked,
as long as I don't ask any questions ei-
ther?
Oh Mon, Igive up. I'll save my money
on this one and spend it on three of four
beers in the next time I am in Chet. Duty
free, guilt free, yes, practically for free.


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Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5



Journalists under attack...


as General Elections draw nearer


By: Trevor Vernon


The citizenry of the entire country of
Belize has moved from just becoming
restless to collectively developing a re-
solve to rid ourselves of the lowliness
of the political directorate, (of which the
leader of the opposition apparently
plays some role). Things done in the
dark are coming to light, for the most
part thanks to the demands of the unions
and the leaking of documents to the
media. The politicians are now blam-
ing everyone but themselves for their
own improper conduct, including the
misappropriation of public funds.


The media which was so earnestly
wooed by the ruling party is now
branded yellow journalists or "attack
media." One particularly notorious poli-
tician went as far as calling a central
media personality by a Hilter-era name.
Reporters have become the scapegoats
for the crimes of chief crony & his
minions... as ifj oumalists are fabricat-
ing the raping and pillaging the treasury
and the natural assets of this our coun-
try, writing fictitious stories of their all-
too-true dark side self-enrichment from
public resources.
The people, including traditional party
supporters, are increasingly disillusioned
with what they are seeing and hearing
of the activities of BOTH red & blue
leadership. And here we do lump the
red with the blue. When the Opposi-
tion leader can repeatedly go to court
to defend the interests of the untouch-
able Lord Ashcroft and then brag about
how well he gets paid for doing so, ulti-
mately at the public's expense; when he


can sit beside his archrival Senator
Dickie Bradley, in court and defend al-
leged master predators for obscene
sums of monies. Then yes, the voting
public will form perceptions that are not
too flattering of the Hon Leader of the
Opposition, and his leadership.
With outmost respect for the Hon
Henry Young, I say this paper is merely
reflecting widespread, and growing,
public opinion. Opinions formed not as
a result of any judicial review or hear-
ings but by the public's observations
from the evening news and the live
broadcast of both the Senate hearing
and the recently concluded DFC Com-
mission hearing. What this paper has
been saying is simply this: the opposi-
tion is perceived as having been too
accommodating to the robber barons
and a corrupt government, in fact he
seems a primary player at many levels.
The people are asking: how can you
protect us, yet who set out to hurt us at
the same time?


The public is now demanding more in
when it comes to personal ethics of our
politicians all our politicians. The
people want to see a more articulate and
active integrity commission. They are
demanding a less elastic, rubber stamp
role from the offices of the Ombuds-
man, the Auditor General, the Contrac-
tor General, and, yes, the Governor
General himself. The people see these
oversight offices as having been re-
duced to simpering "yes men". People
are abused, their rights violated, land
and property taken away, killed through
police brutality or highway repair negli-
gence and all we get is silence, evasive
comments ormusical instruments forthe
schools. The very people who have the
constitutional power to protect us from
those who would exploit us, have sold
out. Nothing personal to any of them,
but this is what Belizeans now believe.
The media, including Independent
Reformer Weekly, has an obligation to
(Please Turn To Page 8) W







Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 |



THE POPULATING OF BELIZE


By Richard Harrison
In the past 50-60 years, has Belize be-
come more of a cosmopolitan society?
WIKIPEDIA describes cosmopolitan
in the following way: "describing an en-
vironment where many cultures from
around the world coexist; or a person
whose perspective reflects exposure to
a variety of cultures. It may also have
the weaker senses of "worldly" or "so-
phisticated".
The word derives from Greek cos-
mos (the Universe) and polis (city). Its
sense overlaps to some extent with be-
ing a universal citizen, implying identifi-
cation with a world community rather
than with only a particular state, nation
or people. Indeed, its first recorded us-
age was by Diogenes the Cynic, who
described himself as a "kosmou
p"lie ", i.e. "a citizen ofthe world"; and
as such he would seek attachments be-
yond the local ones, disregarding the
importance given to 'accidentally' ob-
tained concepts of gender, place of birth,
place of residence and so on.
The word is sometimes misused to mean
only "the global", either as a person who
is seasoned in ways of the world, or as an
adjective, to describe something with a
far-reaching impact. However, it is argued
by many scholars that a multicultural con-
text, multiculturalism, is a necessity for
people to develop a cosmopolitan iden-
tity.
Cosmopolitan identity would, as all other
identities, be contextual and situated. This
might mean that while feeling quite cos-
mopolitan in a situation, a person could
act, for example, as a nationalist in a dif-
ferent context.
The cosmopolitan view is the core of
cosmopolitanism, a socio-political stance
or movement which sees all persons in all
nations as members of a single global com-
munity- in contrast or conjunction with
nationalism.
My father's father (Charles Harrison)
was of Irish-African blood coming to
Belize from the Caribbean. His mother
(Barbara Medina) was ofMestizo origin
coming to Belize from Guatemala and
Mexico.
My mother's father (Wahib Habet) was
of Lebanese origin, while her mother
(Verena Lisbey) was ofAfro-Mestizo ori-
gin coming to Belize from Cayman Island
and Tabasco Mexico via Guatemala.
This kind of mixture is common-place
inBelize.
My father was an independent type, and
was the ultimate entrepreneur in my eyes.
He had a thousand and one ideas for in-
come generation, and actually made many
experimental projects, from tub ice-cream
to bamboo crafts, from planting beans to
saw-milling timber, from operating a con-
cession serving the British army to trading
avocados and limes. He was never suc-
cessful in a grand scale on any project,
but I can remember my mother rationing


food in our home only once, for about a
week, during my lifetime. During that
week, we ate mostly over-ripe avocado
with stew beans and corn tortillas. We
leamed very early that it was 'normal' for
entrepreneurs to experience upward and
downward trends in their economic af-
fairs throughout their lifetime. He was the
builder of a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
My mother was also fiercely indepen-
dent, determined to do the best with what
we had, understanding and living the
meaning of 'through good times and bad'.
She also set her life by proverbs and say-
ings. She would tell us 'early to bed, early
to rise, makes a man healthy, i'i 1thh)y
andwise'. We would have to rise with
the sun, and she would checkthat we com-
pleted all the chores that she set for us
before getting ready for school. At vari-
ous stages, she supervised us working in
her back-yard vegetable garden and feed-
ing the chickens that provided eggs for
our table, saying 'ifyou don't sow, you
can 'treap'. She would say 'waste not,
want not', and so we were not allowed
to make waste of anything. She gave the
example by doing such things as making
patch-work bed-sheets from clothes that
did not fit us anymore. She would say
'make hay while the sun shines', oth-
erwise we would 'learn how barley
grows'. Although I had no idea what hay
or barley was, I got the sense very early.
She loved the 'speed and accuracy'
booklets we would use to do our home-
work. She would say 'don Y leave for
tomorrow what you can do today ', and
she would have us working in the yard
until sundown most days. Ifwe did good
work, she would reward us with evenings
to play football orbasketball in the neigh-
borhood. She understood the importance
of punishment and reward in shaping her
children, while always expressing unques-
tionable love. We would have to be home
before dark, or get a trashing not soon
forgotten. She would listen to Seferino
Coleman every evening on Radio Belize,
and laugh out loud at the healthy cheer he
spread to his listeners, making reference
to funny things he observed taking place
in our communities across Belize. She
was the builder of moral and spiritual val-
ues and work ethics.
As children, my father always took one
or two of us (we are ten siblings) along
with him, to most places he went.
Whether it was to the Royal Bank of
Canada (now the Belize Bank), to nego-
tiate financing for his projects; or to de-
liver logs to Mr. Johnny Roberson's (I
thinkhe is American) sawmill in Ontario.
Sometimes he would take us to Spanish
Lookout, 'just to show you how the little
German boys drive tractors and plough
the fields', or to show us how the men
were able to repair damaged truck parts
so they could work 'like new brand'. We
got to know many parts of the country,
from north to south, whether trading avo-


cados and lime, searching for reusable
truck parts or just visiting his friends who
lived in those parts.
I can still remember when Caesar
Sherrard (Ithinkheis SouthAfrican) came
to San Ignacio with his family as 'hippies'
in a little Volkswagen van. He setup a gift
shop next door renting one of Carmen
Requena's property (I understand that at
one time she owned most of what is now
Santa Elena), and he eventually started
New Hope Trading Company. They em-
ployed many Belizeans and produced high
quality wooden furniture and gift pieces
for sale to tourists and later for export.
My dad used to sell him mahogany and
cedar lumber. Many years after, Efrain
Medina who worked a long time for New
Hope, started Medina's Furniture in his
back yard.
It does not take a social scientist to fig-
ure out that the populating of Belize has
not been coincidental. Just looking at the
Mayan population....you see round faces,
tall bone structures, with clear skin (al-
most Chinese looking eyes) in the Mopan
Maya of central Belize.....you see darker
skin with relatively short bone structure in
the Quiche of southern Belize.... you see
very tall bone structures and almost
pointed in the Yucatec of northern Belize.
Their features are so unique even to this
day, as to suggest thatthey coexisted within
a relatively small geographic area, with
only limited inter-racial mixing. Can itbe
suggested that the same is occurring to-
day with the 'new' Germanic, Indian and
Chinese ethnics that have arrived here?
Is there a deliberately high level of mixing


occurring between the 'indigenous', His-
panic and black populace? Are these
behaviors deliberately 'promoted' within
the subcultures that 'motivate' each group?
Are there new trends in inter-racial mix-
ing among Germanic and Hispanic per-
sons? Is there a trend in the mixing of
American ex-pats and the 'local breed'?
If so, what motives or 'drivers' are at
work here?
It was not by coincidence that people
ofAfrican and European origins landed
and settled here among the 'indigenous'
peoples. Even'indentured' laborers from
China and India did not land here by co-
incidence. Christian Lebanese and Pal-
estinians who came here, and all overLatin
America, were escaping difficulties in their
own countries. Guatemalans, Hondurans
and Salvadorans who have been moving
here in great numbers also sought to es-
cape wars and economic strife in their own
countries. The scale of this generational
influx of'foreign' people could in no way
be considered 'insignificant', given the
relatively small population ofBelize. Many
Belizeans go to other countries, mostly the
USA, to escape difficulties they perceive
they cannot overcome here, to reunite with
their families who went before, to pursue
the' high life', or by adjusting to their cir-
cumstances. People mightbe coming here
for similar and justified reasons.
In this decade, Belize is observing an-
other large scale influx of 'foreign' per-
sons. Again, this is by no coincidence.
Some local business leaders have ex-
pressed the need for Belize to populate
(Please Turn To Page 8) OE


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Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


wE


Is


By: Meb Cutlack
Zee Edgell's new novel "Time and the
River" is being launched this week at
the Bliss.
It seems an appropriate moment to
revisit her first book, 'Beka Lamb,' a
book that truly reflected life in Belize at
the time Zee was growing up.
Extraordinarily, and perhaps distress-
ingly, the main character (Toycie's) ex-
periences then, almost 3 generations
ago, still reflect many ofthe socially crip-
pling and negative aspects of our
Belizean society today.
Zee's portrayal of Toycie and her re-
lationship with her young man from
among Belize's upper class; her preg-
nancy out of wedlock and of being
dishonoured and flung out of school, of
being deserted by the father of her child,
is all too familiar even today.
Back then did Toycie and Beka faced
a different set of standards in educa-


tion, social ideas and ideals? As Zee
wrote, the school's attitude was: "In
cases like this, we believe it is entirely
up to the modesty of the girl to prevent
these happenings".
Toycie then, and a lot of today's
young women face the same set of cir-
cumstances, disgrace and a single
mother's life of trying to raise a family.
In Beka Lamb, Emilio, the father of
Toycie's child, faced no consequences.
He was not expelled from school. He
was able to receive the education his
wealthy family paid for and look for-
ward to a job and position in society
when he graduated.
Toycie was however damned and
everything Troycie's aunt had saved for
Toycie's education was wasted. Isn't
it equally true today that there are hun-
dreds of girls like Toycie out there? And
also, hundreds of under privileged girls
and youths particularly, from among the


poor, who are still being brought up by
a relative because 'mother', and often
'father' too, is 'away' in the USA.
While the sheer brilliancy of'Beka
Lamb' written some years ago, still reso-
nates as if it was written yesterday, its
clear message is an indictment of Belize
today.
Where is the future so glibly prom-
ised by Independence? Where has it
gone? How brutally our politicians, and
many of our big businesses, have cor-
rupted it, have taken away hope and
promise from generation after genera-
tion of young Belizeans. Too often, not
even by intent but by selfish corruption
and greed -the only ingredients neces-
sary to stop a society dead in its tracks.
Here's Zee 'history': Born ZelmaL.
Tucker in Belize City. Zee has had a va-
riety of careers. She received a diploma
inj journalism from the Polytechnic of
Central London, and then furthered her


education at the University of the West
Indies. She then worked for the "Daily
Gleaner"' in Jamaica from 1959 1962,
and next became editor of the "The
Reporter". She also taught at St.
Catherine Academy in Belize City.
In 1981, she was appointed Director
of the Women's Bureau in Belize. From
1984 1985, she assumed the portfo-
lio of vice president of the YWCAin
Nigeria, and was also a UNICEF con-
sultant to the Somali Women's Demo-
cratic Organization. Back in Belize in
1986, she became Director of The De-
partment ofWomen's Affairs.
Zee is currently Assistant Professor
in the Department of English at Kent
University, Ohio. Zee has written three
other novels since BekaLamb. In Times
Like These (1991). The Festival of San
Joaquin (1997) and now Time and the
River.
Welcome Home Zee!


Tourism decision making: a matter of fact


By: Sir Ronald Sanders
A new study commissioned by the
Caribbean Hotels Association (CHA)
has re-emphasised the important role
that tourism plays in the economies of
many Caribbean countries, and has
pointed to opportunities for locally and
regionally produced goods and ser-
vices.
The study entitled, "The Caribbean
Accommodation Sector as a Consumer
of Locally Produced Goods and Ser-
vices and Contributor to Government
Revenues" was produced by Tourism
Global Inc with funding from the Euro-
pean Union (EU) and the African Car-
ibbean and Pacific Group.
Informed decision-making about
tourism by both governments and the
private sector in the Caribbean has suf-
fered from insufficient information based
on hard evidence.
This is the second study that the CHA
has commissioned recently on the Car-
ibbean tourism industry in an effort to
guide decisions on the basis of knowl-
edge rather than hunch. An earlier study
conducted by the World Travel and
Tourism Council in 2004, established
the considerable contribution (an av-
erage of 65%) that tourism is making
to the GDP of the region.
The ten countries covered by the new
study are: Antigua and Barbuda, Ba-
hamas, Barbados, Dominican Repub-
lic, Dominica, Jamaica, St Lucia, St.
Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago and
the US Virgin Islands.
It is noteworthy that the US Virgin
Islands was sufficiently keen for the
study to be conducted that it paid for


its own participation.
Guyana, which was invited to partici-
pate, declined. The new Minister of
Tourism, Mannie Ram Prashad, who
appears keen to get the sector moving
Guyana, said this was a private sector
decision.
The point of the study was to quan-
tify what a sampling of the hotels (small
and large) in the 10 countries spends
on an annual basis on locally and re-
gionally produced goods and services,
and their contribution to the revenues
of governments.
Only 54 of the 604 hotels in the ten
countries responded. Of these the prop-
erties in the USVI and Trinidad and
Tobago were reported to be outstand-
ing in their cooperation.
This reticence in providing informa-
tion indicates two things: the intensely
competitive character of the hotel busi-
ness in the Caribbean, and a lack of ap-
preciation by hotel managers and own-
ers of the value of research and data to
their own decision-making. It is an area
in which CHA will have to work con-
tinuously in the future to educate its
members.
In any event despite the fact that only
8.9% of the properties responded, the
study concluded that "the sample size
overall was sufficiently large to make
generalizations with a level of precision
of plus or minus 5% at a 95% level of
accuracy".
Some of the findings are as follows:
93% of the utilities, i.e., elec-
tricity, water and telecommunications
purchased by hotels comes from the
local economy;


84% of services required by the
hotel sector are being purchased locally.
74% of vegetables used by the
hotel sector are produced locally;
67% of dairy products are
sourced locally;
63% of meats are sourced lo-
cally;
the hotel sector provides em-
ployment at the average rate of 2.3
employees per room, spending $61.1
per room per day in payroll and related
costs in 2005;
The hotel sector provides direct
entrepreneurial opportunities in at least
14 areas identified in the survey e.g. taxi
concessions, water sports, spas and
beauty salon, gift and craft shops and
restaurants.
But, there are areas in which the ho-
tels could do better and which provide
opportunities for local and regional
businesspeople including fishermen, in-
terior designers and construction firms.
For example in a region whose wa-
ters are abundant with fish, only 20%
of hotel needs is purchased locally. The
share of the local market for fresh fruit
and eggs is even worse at 16% and 10%
respectively.
The hotels claim that "factors beyond
their control influence their ability to pro-
cure locally, such as local supply chain
elements -e.g. availability, quality, price,
reliability, and logistics and convenience,
as well as intra-regional shipment issues
on a regional scale".
This points, once again, to the urgent
need for a regional transportation policy
for the efficient and swift movement of
goods within the region, and the oppor-


tunity for reliable shipping to fill an ob-
vious void. Equally, there is need for
Caribbean countries to develop agricul-
tural production and marketing plans,
and to dismantle barriers to the impor-
tation offish, fruit and eggs from regional
neighbours.
Were such arrangements in place,
Guyana, Dominica, St Vincent, St Lucia
and Belize could provide much of the
fish, fruit and other agricultural products
still being imported by the hotel sector
in the region.
The study also revealed that less than
one-half (47%) of requirements for light
manufacturing is sourced locally even
though some items are higher than the
average. For example bakery has an
80% share of the market, non-alcoholic
beverages 66%, uniforms 60%, and
printing and stationery 56%.
Expenditures on construction and fit-
ting out of hotel plant are extremely low
with market share at 39% locally and
8% regionally.
CHA should be congratulated for its
effort to raise the basis of decision-mak-
ing about the tourism industry from
hunch to research.
Now governments and the private
sector should oin them in taking advan-
tage of the obvious opportunities to
keep more of the tourist dollar in the
local and regional economy.
Sir Ronald Sanders is a business
executive and former Caribbean
diplomat who publishes widely on
small states in the global commu-
nity. (Caribbean News Net, March
10, 2007).


31h
boo


M Fe







Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8



THE POPULATING OF BELIZE


iN (Continued From Page 7)
itself with more consumers so that they
can sell more of their produce and grow
their domestic-market-oriented busi-
nesses. Some business leaders and po-
litical leaders expressed the opinion that
without 'investors' and/or 'laborers' from
abroad, Belize will not be able to develop
itself. Is there a deliberate racially moti-
vated attempt at latinizing Belize, or is it
primarily an economically motivated issue
of populating Belize with 'consumers'?
We would be in a better position to an-
swer this question if Haiti was also one of
our next door neighbors, and we were
making an obvious choice of Latins or
Blacks. Belize has undertaken to pro-
mote itstourism ambitions to northAmeri-
cans, and their entrepreneurs are listening
and coming here in increasing numbers.
Would it not be interesting to know the
percentage oftourism businesses infBelize
which are owned by Americans or natu-
ralized American-Belizeans? The US
policy of restricting the entry of persons
from the Middle East and Asia has also


generated significant demand for immigra-
tion to Belize, as a stepping stone to that
country; given that the US 'barrier to
entry 'ofBelizean nationals into their coun-
try is set relatively low. Belize's accom-
modating realities for get-rich-quickby any
means' subculture would make it quite
attractive to such persons as they bounce
on the trampoline. Belize's 'guided'rela-
tions with Nigeria, Cuba and CARICOM
has also stimulated increasing immigration
from those parts, especially of profession-
als who come here and later bring their
families to settle.
Thus exists a strong demand for work
permits and residential/nationality status by
foreign nationals in Belize....and the pur-
ported thriving trade in such 'rights'. Like
drugs, any industry with strong demand
for its commodity with comparative ad-
vantages will continue to operate, even if
it is made illegal and loses its revenue
heading in the national budget. The in-
come is thus lost to the national treasury,
and would thus accrue to the private ped-
dlers and their accomplices who would


take the risk of operating illegally.
Belize's lax policy on immigration, on
distribution of national resources to for-
eign nationals, on law enforcement will-
ingness and capability, in dispense ofjus-
tice, and in exportation of funds, has been
inviting influx of other types of prospect-
ing 'investors'. In many instances, it can
be argued that these prospectors are not
required to attend to the responsibilities
that should accompany the rights that they
enjoy here in Belize. Some of them come
from very vast countries, where national
laws are not as well known or respected
as their own laws and they learn to make
do with what they can 'get away with'.
In any case, if difficulties arise here, they
just flee and alter their identity or are pro-
nounced as expired persons back in their
vast territories.
Since Independence, Belize's immigra-
tion policy has been mostly influenced and
determined by persons who fancy them-
selves 'internationalists'. To them it
seems, citizenship and nationality is just
another tradable commodity. In Belize,


immigration may be one of the biggest in-
dustries. Unfortunately forBelizeans, it
may be interpreted that this industry might
have been relegated to the grey market
by way of elitist collusion, exploiting the
nationalist views of most Belizeans, by
pandering in public with nationalist pro-
nouncements while it could be business
unusual. Like most other state-regulated
industries in Belize, it would be described
as a monopoly, or at best an oligopoly; if
there are only a small number of actors
and beneficiaries.
There is a lot of good that can come
about when foreign nationals bring new
skills, know-how and resources to Belize,
and use them in ways that Belizeans can
learn and develop themselves. We should
be aware that with every opportunity
comes risks, and it may be wise to take
steps to mitigate those risks.
Does all this mean that Belize isbound
to become increasingly cosmopolitan?
And if so, is 'cosmopolitan' diametrically
opposed to 'nationalist'?


Remittances to Latin America from US top $100B


reprinted from www.iadb.org
GUATEMALA CITY Remit-
tances to Latin America and the Car-
ibbean will continue to grow in com-
ing years and surpass $100 billion a
year by 2010, according to the Inter-
American Development Bank's Mul-
tilateral Investment Fund (MIF).
MIF Manager Donald F. Terry to-
day presented the estimate for the
money transfers made by Latin Ameri-
can and Caribbean migrants at a news
conference held here on the eve of the
annual meeting of the IDB Board of
Governors, which will convene here
Monday and Tuesday.
"Given present economic and de-
mographic trends in Latin America
and the Caribbean and in industrial-
ized countries, remittances will con-
tinue to grow in volume over the next
few years to more than $100 billion a
year by 2010," he said.
For the IDB and the MIF, added
Terry, this growth is not a cause for
celebration because it reflects the fact
that the region cannot generate suffi-
cient income opportunities to prevent
millions of people from migrating.
Nevertheless, he said, remittances
will continue to flow and already ex-
ceed both foreign direct investment
and overseas aid to Latin America and
the Caribbean, helping millions of
families to escape poverty.
"The challenge for the countries in
this region, and for institutions such
as the IDB and the MIF, is to find
ways so these flows may have a
greater development impact by offer-
ing migrants and their families more
options to get more out of their


money," Terry said.
The IDB and the MIF support pro-
grams to expand the economic impact
of remittances by encouraging finan-
cial institutions to handle these flows
so that people who send or receive
money transfers may build credit his-
tories and gain access to services such
as savings accounts, insurance, pen-
sions and business and housing loans.
The MIF will also support a new
program launched by the International
Fund for Agricultural Development
(IFAD), which will establish a $10 mil-
lion facility to finance projects to cut
the cost of making money transfers to
remote rural areas around the world.
Remittances in 2006
Latin American and Caribbean
countries last year received some
$62.3 billion from its migrants, mostly


in North America, Europe and Asia.
The total was 14 percent higher than
the amount for 2005, said Terry.
At $23 billion, Mexico was by far
the top recipient of remittances, fol-
lowed by Brazil ($7.4 billion) and Co-
lombia ($4.6 billion).
Several countries received slightly
more or less than $3 billion: Guate-
mala, El Salvador, the Dominican
Republic, Ecuador and Peru.
For 2007, Terry said, the MIF ex-
pects remittances to Latin America
and the Caribbean to rise to around
$72 billion.
About the MIF
The Multilateral Investment Fund
promotes private sector development
in Latin America and the Caribbean,
with an emphasis on microenterprise
and small business. The MIF, which


is administered by the IDB, makes in-
vestments, loans and grants to finance
innovative projects in areas such as
microfinance.
The MIF began analyzing remit-
tances in 2000 to gauge their vol-
ume and economic impact. Their
studies and projects spurred com-
petition among service providers
and encouraged financial institutions
to enter a market traditionally
dominated by money transfer com-
panies.
The fund currently finances vari-
ous programs seeking to leverage
remittances and expand access to
formal financial services for mi-
grants and their families as well as
to stimulate economic activity and
job creation in their communities of
origin.


iOllit a


i tropical TvOist


Anita Tupper

Christine Tuppe


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


r Mile 31 14
Western Highway
BELIZE, Central America
Mailing Address: Box 346, Belmopan
E-Mail: chrissy@cheersrestaurant.bz








Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9


ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Stand up and propose your ideas,
and you'll be surprised how many
people will follow you. You will enj oy
events that lean toward theater, art, or
music this week. Purchases will be well
worth it and they will last a long time.
Channel your energy into decorating or
household chores. Your lucky day this
week will be Monday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
You may find that depression is caus-
ing you to feel lonely and insecure. Take
the time to close deals that have been
up in the air. Entertain those who can
provide you with valuable information
and knowledge. Your energy will be
high. Your lucky day this week will be
Tuesday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Try to get others to stand behind your
good judgment. Don't rely on others to
do your work. This is a great day to
mingle with people you would like to
impress. Try not to argue about trivial
matters. Your lucky day this week will
be Monday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You will learn valuable skills if you sign
up for seminars this week. Entertain-
ment could cost you more than you ex-
pect. Pamper yourself this week. Do
things because you want to, not because
someone else thinks you should. Your
lucky day this week will be Tuesday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Try to keep your opinions to your-
self. Emotional disputes will only end in
sorrow. Take a long look at your
present direction and consider your


professional options. Accept the inevi-
table and continue to do your job. Your
lucky day this week will be Sunday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Need some adventure in your life?
Exotic destinations beckon you. Put
your efforts into physical fitness pro-
grams or competitive sports. You can
convince others to follow suit. Be dip-
lomatic when dealing with in-law. Your
lucky day this week will be Tuesday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Everything is moving quickly, just the
way you like it. Look into making
changes to your personal papers and
don't neglect those bills that have been
piling up. Be careful not to lead some-
one on if you truly have no interest. You
may overspend if you travel this week;
however, the trip will be one to remem-
ber. Your lucky day this week will be
Sunday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
If you go shopping, only take what
you can afford to part with. You won't
be able to keep a secret. Depression
may be likely if you're away from home.
Travel for business purposes may bring
the highest returns. Your lucky day this
week will be Tuesday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Your ability to talk circles around your
colleagues will help you forge ahead in
the workforce. Trips should be your
choice. Pleasure trips will bring you into
contact with new and interesting
people. In-laws or older individuals may
give you a bit of a hard time this week.
Your lucky day this week will be Sat-
urday.


I dream of a better tomorrow... where
chickens can cross roads and not have
their motives questioned

Live like every day is the last day
Love like you have never been hurt
Dance like no one is watching

Heck is where people go who don't
believe in gosh

You laugh at me cuz I'm different. I
laugh at you cuz you're all the same.

I'm not totally useless! I can be used
as a bad example

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do or say will be exag-
gerated or misquoted and used against
you.

Live your life so the preacher won't
have to lie at your funeral.


CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
You may want to invest in something
that will grow in value. Don't back
down but don't ignite the situation. Your
ideas are right on the mark and your
work commendable. You will be too
quick to point your finger at your mate.
Your lucky day this week will be Satur-
day.
AOUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Make sure that you have all the perti-
nent information before any reprisals or
making any moves. Focus on your do-


Your weekly

O @( 00


mestic scene. Get together with friends
or relatives. Get thinking about prolong-
ing longevity. Try not to spend too much
on children or entertainment. Your lucky
day this week will be Thursday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You should be putting in some over-
time. You will have a tendency to put
on pounds. You can make progress if
you deal with the right individuals. Plea-
sure trips will be favorable and bring
about romance. Your lucky day this
week will be Thursday.


1 lu I OR

NERIE'S RESTAURANT
Douglas Jones St. & Daly St, Belize City

Nerie's is practically a Belizean institution. From their humble beginnings
on Freetown Rd, to an expansion to a second place on Daly St, to new
digs on Douglas Jones, their take on traditional fare has always remained
consistent and above par. While, again, there are better places for overall
food delectability, some items do set Nerie's apart. Their escabeche and
their chirmole are good, especially when you get the nice hot tortillas, and
their fried fish is worthy of a seaside diner in Caye Caulker. But, alas,
one of my "spies" classified their rice and beans with stew chicken as just
"ok", so there is room for improvement. They do get an "A" for service
and atmosphere though, and with two locations, you don't have to go far
out of your way.
Note: I had to send out the reviewer's agents (properly screened of course)
on this assignment as target establishments are beginning to spot me out!


It's all fun and games until someone
pokes an eye out... and then it's hilari-
ous.
There is a fine line between fishing and
just standing on the shore like an idiot.

I never apologize. I'm sorry, but that's
just the way I am.

A day without sunshine is like night.

Don't look at me in that tone of voice

7/5 of the population doesn't under-
stand fractions

Two wrongs don't make a right... but
three rights make a left

I love animals... They're delicious!

Keep watching....maybe I'll do a
trick

Never Knock On Heaven's
Door.. .ring the bell then run (he hates
that)

I'm usually skinny and gorgeous but
its my day off!

God, if you can't make me skinny,
please make my friends fat!







Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


l ,. l


By: Rev'd LeRov Flowers
Here is the mystery of the Church of
Christ, a true, impenetrable mystery.
She has the power to give me ho-
liness, yet she made up all, the way
through, of sinners- and what sinners!
She has the omnipotent and invin-
cible faith to renew the Eucharist, yet
she is made up of weak men groping in
darkness and fighting daily against the
temptation of losing their faith.
She carries a message of pure
transparence, yet she is incarnate in a


mess of dirt, which is the dirt of the
world.
She speaks of the sweetness of the
Master, of his nonviolence, yet in his-
tory she has sent armies to disembowel
infidels and to torture heretics.
She carries a message of evangeli-
cal poverty, yet she often seeks gifts and
alliances with the powerful.
We have only to read the Inquisi-
tion trail of St. Joan of Arc, to convince
ourselves that Stalin was not the first to
falsify charges and corrupt the judges.
We have consider what the inno-
cent Galileo was made to sign under
threats to be convinced that the person-
nel of the church, although they make
up the Church, are often evil and fal-
lible personnel, capable of making er-
rors as great as the earth's path round
the sun.
It is useless to want anything else
from the Church except this mystery of
infallibility, sanctity and sin, courage and
weakness, credibility and the lack of it.


its


r


Journalists under attack...


-'- l(Continued From Page 5)
report what is going on in Belize. In-
cluding things the politicians do not
want the public to know. We will print
letters and articles from people who
are fed up, feel this government has
been too long in office. That's just the
way it is. The SPEAR Polls has twice
confirmed that the majority of
Belizeans feel this way, it is there in
black and white for the entire world
to see.
And furthermore, when faced with
these harsh economic realities of be-
ing taxed on everything including medi-
cines and death certificates, the
Belizean people have had to shed their
inhibitions of the overbearing tradi-
tional respect for the "honorable"
elected politicians. They are no longer
afraid of The Minister's tactics of in-
timidation. They are truly freeing
themselves from the mental slavery
and demanding better of elected rep-
resentatives.
Belizeans will continue to show their
displeasure, at the current polling for
elections of the 192 or so Village
Councils and we will continue to re-
port it. The government can try to hide
the results, the Red & the Blue can
claim all the victories they wish but
that's not the reality in the streets and
picados of the countryside. The
people are waking up from the slum-


ber. The daily pains are too great for
them to remain in the state of mass
party hypnosis. They will vote for in-
dependent slates, where the choice
exists.
So we believe that the media, es-
pecially the non-aligned houses, needs
to be united in our opposition to the
predators on both sides of the house
who are inciting and instigating their


troops to bring harm to more jour-
nalists. The sustained attack as vi-
cious as the ones being visited on our
2006 man of the year is an attack on
us all. We must band together to fight
this grave injustice; because, if we
don't they'll feel free to take it to the
next level and we could end up get-
ting our faces peeled off just like the
late freelance court reporter & jour-


nalist, Richard Hulse who was found
viciously murdered in his home a
month ago...without any semblance
of a real investigation.
The MEDIA is not to blame for the
mess Belize is in. We all know exactly
who is responsible. But not to worry,
they will fall from glory soon enough.
And when they do, we will all be
there to comment on it.


.1


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Church's Mystery


I a yI nIT N


People who are dreaming of
something different from this reality are
simply wasting time and keep going back
to the beginning again. Moreover, they
show they have not understood human-
kind.
Because that is human, just as
the Church shows us to be, in our wick-
edness and, at the same time, in our in-
vincible courage, which faith has given
us? And the love of Christ has us live.
The Church exists, not for the pious
and righteous, but for sinners and godless
man. It must notjudge and condemn, for
all the gravity of its message, but heal, for-
give, save. Its inevitable warnings must
not be and end in themselves, but a re-
minder of the offer of grace held out by
God. It can never, despite all its graces it
has received, indeed precisely because of
the grace it has received, pretend to be
self-righteous caste or class of pure and
holy men. It can never assume that un-
holy, godless and evil things exist only out-
side itself. There is not endangered, frail,
and unstable, constantly in need of cor-
rection and improvement. The front-line
between the world and the reign of God
passes directly through the centre of the
Church, through the heart of every indi-
vidual member.
A Church which in these last days
doesnotrealizethatitis composed of sinful
men and exists for sinful men, must grow
hardhearted, self-righteous and without
compassion, deserving neither the mercy


of God nor the confidence of men. But a
Church which is genuinely aware that only
the perfect reign of God can divide wheat
from tares, good fish from bad, will be
granted the grace of holiness and righ-
teousness which it cannot create for itself.
Such a Church will know that it has no
need to affect a high moral tone for the
world's benefit, as though everything in it
were as good as it could be: it will know
its treasures are stored in very earthly ves-
sels, that its lights are dim an flickering its
faith weak, its knowledge lacking its con-
fession of faith halting. It knows that there
are no sins and omissions to which it can-
not be tempted and to which it has not, in
one way or another, yielded and that how-
ever much it continues to keep sin at a
distance, it has no reason to keep the sin-
ner at a distance also. The Church would
be unable to enter the Kingdom of God
justified, if looked down self-righteously
on publicans and sinners. But if the
Church, as the fellowship of those who
are called to righteousness and holiness,
remains aware of its guilt and sin, then it
may live inj oyful assurance of forgiveness,
then in the dawning reign of God its un-
holy members will be saints, then it need
have no fear despite the almost irresistible
temptations to which it is exposed and
despite its constant failures and mistakes.
For the Church has been promised that
he who humbles himself shall be exalted.
This is the Church we are called to build
and be to the world.







Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11


Huge drug catch


(Reuters) U. S. and Panamanian of-
ficials made one of Central America's
biggest drug busts on March 14, seiz-
ing 11.4 tonnes of cocaine worth an
estimated $200 million on a ship bound
for the United States. U.S. Coast Guard
and Panama's anti-drug police stopped
the boat in the Pacific Ocean after it had
left Panama and arrested eight Venezu-
elan men aboard a Belize registered
vessel.
Belize in cheating
scheme


said Pukke's credibility was "zero" and
that he continued to obscure his hold-
ings even during lengthy testimony dur-
ing the 10-day contempt hearing. "I
cannot let pass the duplicity I found in
this case," Messitte said. Messitte froze
Pukke's assets in 2005 while the FTC
case was still pending, and appointed
the receiver, Robb Evans & Associates
to track down his holdings. In the fall,
the receiver asked Messitte to hold
Pukke in contempt, saying he was us-
ing family and friends to hide substan-
tial sums. Pukke did not comment after
the ruling. Messitte said he would con-
sider possible ail time ifPukke contin-
ues to shield his funds.
The receiver claimed the hidden funds
included a $10 million stake in a project
to build multimillion dollar homes near
a Belize game preserve, a purported
interest in an online gambling venture
worth $20 million, Latvian bank ac-
counts and a $6.45 million Laguna
Beach, Calif., mansion that was bought
in the name of a friend. In his testimony,
Pukke denied the charges that he was
not forthcoming about his holdings. He
said he invested $3 million in the Belize
game preserve but lost much of his
stake after declaring personal bank-
ruptcy in 2005. He said the Latvian bank
accounts were controlled by his father,
who used the money to help pay his
son's hefty legal fees.
Lesson for Belize


it draws up legislation later in the year.
The debate examined 10 options for
proposed laws to reform the chamber,
including splitting the Chamber equally
between elected and appointed peers.
Leaky Border


Mexico, Prensa Latina Trafficking
with people, drugs, arms and Central
American women is commonplace in
Quintana Roo, at the southern Mexi-
can border with Belize.
Hundreds of places are unguarded at
what El Universal daily defines as a liq-
uid, unmarked, imaginary border along
the 112 mile Hondo River.
Such are the cases of La Uni6n, San
Francisco Botes, Cacao and El Ingenio
villages. People can cross the river on
foot from Belize to La Uni6n, and al-
though the Navy improved their pa-
trols, they neither request ID at night nor
detain anyone.
Next to San Francisco Botes, in
September the Belize Police seized
cargoes of AK-47 and AR-15 rifles
heading to Mexico and detained
seven Nicaraguans and one Belize


citizen abandoned along the roadside
in Cacao.
El Universal also talks of brothels
operating with Central American
women in El Ingenio, a sugar planta-
tion village.
Not Condeleeza, the
other rice
Othr ac


Reuters reports that Mexico is con-
ducting tests on U.S. rice imports to
ensure it is free of genetic material not
approved for human consumption, a
government official said on Wednes-
day.
Marco Antonio Meraz, who heads
a federal Biosecurity and GMO com-
mission, said the government was test-
ing for the LL Rice 601 strain, which
contaminated the U.S. commercial
supply last year.
The USA Rice Federation said on
Wednesday Mexican officials had
stopped rice shipments at the border
and were asking for certification that
the grain is free of the genetically
modified material.


(AP) A federal judge has ruled the
founder of a debt management firm ac-
cused of cheating thousands of debtors
is in contempt of court for trying to
shield assets from a fund set up to re-
pay the former customers of his com-
pany.
U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte
ordered Andris Pukke to turn over
roughly $40 million worth of disputed
holdings that include proceeds from an
Internet gambling venture, a Belize hous-
ing development and a California man-
sion.
Messitte said Pukke had not been
forthcoming with a receiver the judge
appointed to find Pukke's assets. He


British politicians have voted to re-
form the country's unelected upper
house of parliament, the House of Lords,
making it fully elected for the first time
in its history.
Following two days of debate in the
House of Commons, members voted
337 to 224 in favour of evicting all 'he-
reditary peers' in the House of Lords.
In the UK, it has been traditional to
appoint hereditary peers Lords who
serve a life term rather than a fixed pe-
riod in office, an unusual practice in most
democracies.
The vote will not automatically be-
come law, but the government says it
will take the results into account when


N MOSU..TllFe : 0S2233


Visit



The Belize Zoo




The Bt I ittleZoo

InTh W il








Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12



Environmental planning: it's terribly


important to Belize


- RIGHT NOW!


By: Nadja Chamberlain
Being an environmental advocate in
Belize will require some knowledge
of environmental planning in order to
help protect Belize, so here are
thoughts to ponder in this second of
a series of articles.
Because Belize is a small country
and has a small population, environ-
mental planning is do-able for the en-
tire country. Belize has a treasure
chest full of natural resources that
provides us with a high quality of life;
but we have to protect those re-
sources from poorly planned devel-
opment. We could lose this quality
of life either through many poorly
planned small development projects
or through a few poorly planned large
developments. Well-planned devel-
opment that considers the impacts on
our way of life and the impact on the
environment can be beneficial to all,
including the developers, while
thoughtless development impover-
ishes us.
Let's look at how the process of
environmental planning for the future
works because we can all make con-
tributions to it. First of all we need a
big topographical map of Belize and
some folks with knowledge of land
use, natural resources, and geology,
for example. Here are some of the
considerations we need to make:
We will begin by marking off areas
where people should not live like


flood plains, steep slopes, and
groundwater recharge areas. We
would mark off the 66 ft. buffer zones
that are Queen's Lands and are for
public benefit, i.e., those areas where
both freshwaters and salt waters meet
the land. Saving this buffer is pres-
ently the law but in some places the
law is not being respected. We would
mark off a buffer zone of the man-
groves that protect our shorelines and
provide nursery areas for our impor-
tant fisheries, and we would mark off
buffer zones around the edges of our
lagoons and estuaries to protect our
fisheries. Of course, archaeological
sites would be marked off as would
be areas that are already considered
as parks and reserves. There are
other concerns such as environmen-
tally sensitive areas of endangered
plants and animals that should be pro-
tected and these have already been
identified in studies of the special ar-
eas of Belize. We would need to mark
off shoreline parks so the people will
always have access to the sea. Belize
already has some wonderful inland
parks but the sea-land interface need
protection, too. Next would be to
mark off areas of soils that are good
for those important agricultural uses
that add so much to our good nutri-
tion in Belize. OK, these are just
some examples and you get the idea
about this part.
Then we would look for areas that


could be developed in the future with-
out hurting our wildlife habitat, our fish-
eries habitat, our water supplies and
other important factors that support
our treasure chest of natural resources.
If we're really smart to start with,
the areas that we look for to develop
will have elevations at least 20 feet
above sea level so that 50 years from
now we won't be building dikes and
dams to hold back the sea that is ris-
ing with climate change. Living on
higher elevations in the coastal areas
will also protect us from hurricane
storm surges. This will also leave our
existing undeveloped coastal areas for
recreational uses by the people and
so they can continue their traditional
lifestyles. We would then never have
to worry about not having access to
the sea like in Florida where nearly all
shorelines have been blocked off for
private use and going to the few beach
parks means being squashed together
with thousands of others trying to en-
joy the seaside.
After we find the very best areas for
development, we can get to the com-
munity level where people can have
input on how they want to live, where
they want their neighborhood parks to
be, where their children's schools
should be, what would be their op-
portunities for employment, and to tell
what would be important for them in
a new community. They can even plan
where the village dump should go, i.e.,


where the toxins from the garbage
won't filter down into their ground-
water, and how the dump can be
downwind where the smells from the
facility won't drift into their neighbor-
hoods from time to time. Even in the
communities, we could have wildlife
corridors so a squirrel in Corozol
could jump from tree to tree until he
got to Punta Gorda, and singing birds
would remain a part of our life.
We are small in population, we
have land, and we have choices right
now. But this is RIGHT NOW! We
are starting to grow in some ways that
are not beneficial to all. Let's de-
mand that we stop and do some seri-
ous environmental planning and even
put a moratorium on the sale of large
parcels of government land until the
people of Belize can do this planning
for their future. Belizeans could still
ask for the smaller parcels of land that
are their due, but let's leave as much
of our government land intact so that
we could trade for land we'd like to
have for specific uses in the planning
process.
Carefully consider what has been
proposed here. If you agree with the
concept, ask those who are going to
be running for office if they would
support environmental planning that
would benefit the entire country. And
be prepared to be a part of the plan-
ning process by offering your services
in your area of expertise.


E-Government prizes to be


In a bid to promote greater public
sector transparency and citizen partici-
pation, the Organization of American
States (OAS), partnering with the In-
stitute for Connectivity in the Americas
(ICA), today launched the "excelGOV"
electronic government prizes.
Public sector organizations in 32
Latin American and Caribbean coun-
tries are eligible for these awards,
designed to recognize efforts to use
information and communication tech-
nologies (ICTs) to implement strate-
gies to improve transparency and par-
ticipation. Institutions connected to
the executive, legislative or judicial
branches or other central government
agencies are eligible.
Winners in both categories-public
transparency and citizen participa-
tion-will be awarded 10 scholar-
ships to pursue OAS e-government
training courses, as well as a trip to
Canada, where the ICA is based, to
observe first-hand that country's


OAS Executive Secretary for
Integral Development Alfonso
Quifi6nez
progress in using technology for pub-
lic services.
OAS Executive Secretary for Inte-
gral Development Alfonso Quifi6nez
explained that the excelGOV Awards
were created to highlight progress be-
ing made throughout the Americas in


the area of electronic government.
"Technology is an important tool with
which governments can modernize
their institutions, increase efficiency,
ensure accountability and generally
strengthen democratic governance,"
said Quifi6nez.
Individuals and institutions may sub-
mit as many nominations for the
excelGOV Awards as they wish by
filling out the online application form,
details of which are available on the
Web (www.redgealc.net). A group of
experts from around the region will
judge the nominations and select the
top ten finalists; these will then be
evaluated by a panel of distinguished
experts in the field of the knowledge-
based society.
In rating the applications, special at-
tention will be paid to solutions that
meet the United Nations Millennium
Development Goals. Two awards will
be given in each category-for best
solution and best effort, the latter in-


tended to recognize significant
achievements in countries with more
limited resources.
This initiative is one of the activities
of the Network of Electronic Gov-
ernment Leaders of Latin America
and the Caribbean (RED GEALC, in
Spanish), an OAS-created forum for
hemispheric efforts to promote the
exchange of experiences and coop-
eration in this area. The Dominican
Republic will host the next RED
GEALC annual meeting, slated for
May 24-25, and the excelGOV
Awards will be presented at that time.
With technology in the public ser-
vice becoming increasingly important
in the region, last year the OAS Gen-
eral Assembly adopted the Declara-
tion of Santo Domingo: "Good gov-
ernance and development in the
knowledge-based society," which un-
derscores the importance of ongoing
use of ICTs to strengthen democratic
institutions.








Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pagel33



Poll shows PUP Near Dead


Bv: Meb Cutlack
A university of Belize opinion poll last
week showed Said Musa and the PUP
barely breathing in the political scales
and headed for sure elimination in any
coming election. Musa was hardly able
to beat the leading Independent com-
petitor, and the PUP party itself garnered
only 16% in a possible 2008 election
while the independents polled more than
20% between their various parties.
This is a stunning indictment of PUP
rule and, while the poll awards the UDP
a comfortable 55.5%, the results of the
Independent parties reveals that al-
though many of the candidates and their
parties are totally unknown the public
wants them.
Inthe "ThePeople'sPerception ofElec-
tion 2008" poll the opinions of 430 ran-
domly selected persons were sampled
nationally via telephone.
Pollsters asked respondents two ques-
tions: Whowouldyou vote for as the next
Prime Minister? Which party would you
vote for in the next general elections? For
the first question: 14.9% ofthe sample said
they would vote for Said Musa, while
55.7% said they would vote for Dean
Barrow. The independents were led by
the NRP's Cornelius Dueck who was
supported by 8.9% respondents. On the
second question ofwhich party they would
vote for: 55.5% of the respondents said
they would vote for the UDP, while 16%
would vote for the PUP. The NRP would
get 8.9%, VIP, 7.3%, the PNP 2.6%,
and the We the People Movement 2.4%.
In both Stann Creek and Toledo Inde-
pendents polled higher than the PUP.
According the Channel 7 the poll found:
"that in the Belize District sample, the
Prime Minister at 12.8% only has a nar-
row lead of less than a percentage point
on Paul Morgan and Cornelius Dueck
who earns 12% of the support from the
sample group."
In other districts, the poll recorded that
the support for independent leaders actu-
ally surpassed that for the Prime Minister.
The significance of these results, added
to the first series of Village council elec-
tions (in which support for Independents
also soared) should not be underesti-
mated. Every day that goes by makes
the Independents stronger.
This lesson should also come home to
the UDP and get them to realize that there
is something 'lacking' in their offerings to
the Belizean electorate. The 55% repre-
sents little more than they have tradition-
ally achieved in winning elections in the
past.
The people want a change in the way
they are governed. It is probable that, see-
ing recently the total impotence of the
present Senate setup, they also urgently
want an elected Senate.
It is no time for the UDP to gloat butto
consider seriously just what the elector-
ate is saying.


nit, wuuu yUtJ V3W jur a. UIS EISA, ri 'mliv ifli~SSMI 'ii n,,tu


Dean Said Hipolito Will Paul Cornelius
BARROW MUSA BAUTISTA MEHtA MORGAN DUECK


Corozal OW Belize Cayo Stann Toledo
Creek
Who would you vote for as the next Prime Minister of Belize?


* ~IE q -.uU,. YuU ..-HUE... ,,'I.Om.flhl..t U U... CMk L


UDP PUP


WTP PNP VIP NRP


Corozal Ow *Belze Cayo Stan" Toledo
Creek
Which party would you vote for to form the next Gov't of Belize?


COURTS staff helps


Baby

Press Release--The staff & man-
agement of Courts (Belize) Limited
has donated $2000 to Errolyn Tillet.
The money will be used to assist
little Errolyn with medical expenses
in the United States where she will
undergo treatment.
Our staff was very touched by the
story of Errolyn so we wanted to
assist. Our Managing Director, Mr.
Keith Slater, agreed to have the
Company match any staff dona-
tions. In an effort to raise funds,
staff countrywide gave personal
donations and wore casual clothes
for a fee. We were able to collect
$1,000 and at 4:30pm last Friday;
we were pleased to present a
cheque in the amount of $2,000 to
little Errolyn. Her mother, Claudette
Haylock, was very appreciative of


Erollyn Tillett


COURTS marketing manager Camila Hunt presents baby Errolyn Tillett and her
mother Claudette Haylock wih the $2,000 donation from the management & staff
our Company's heartfelt gesture. for helping to make this donation a
The management thanks the staff success.


I







Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 141[



TOO wrU FOR. WOUtDS!


Zoo &Toob


- - --isitors to the Belize Zoo cool off as they enjoyloting on a tube down the Sibun River.
Visitors to the Belize Zoo cool off as they enjoy floating on a tube down the Sibun River.


By Sharon Matola


"It's a hot one! Like seven inches
from the mid-day sun!" These words
belong to legendary guitarist, Carlos
Santana, from his song, "Smooth", but
they also do well to describe a visit to
The Belize Zoo during mid-day at the
height of our dry season
But don't sweat it! Because now,
there is a cool "post-zoo" river trip
which is simple and easy and of course,


FUN!
Forget packing a kayak or canoe,
zoo transport will take you on a short
10 minute drive and then assist you as
you place your backside into a toob.
You and your toob will be on the
peaceful and lush Sibun River, and as
you head eastwards, the calls of
kiskadees, kingfishers and tanagers will
guide you towards the Belize Zoo River
Camp.
Situated nearby a gigantic limestone


rock (and you can jump off of this big
white stone into the river), is a screened
cabana where lunch and cold drinks
await you......very beautiful and exotic
and yes, you may hear the call of howler
monkeys while you enjoy a healthy help-
ing of rice and beans.,,,
Swimming? The best! Trails to
walk? Of course!
And if you are staying at the Tropical
Education Center (or want to stay
there), then forget a vehicle pick up!


It is a simple journey back how?
Jump back into your toob and float a
bit to a nearby trail, climb out and then
have a leisurely walk back to your ac-
commodations.
Cool? Relaxing? Refreshing? Yes to
all of that!! It is truly a very beautiful
time spent in Belize's tropical natural
paradise.
No doubt about it, simply: TOO
WILD FOR WORDS!!


What kind of Airplane would Belize


choose to form its own CARICOM Airline?


By: RavAuxillou

It was interesting reading the new fad
sweeping the Eastern Anglophile Car-
ibbean members of CARICOM, as
presented by writer David Jessop in the
Belize Times, regarding the formation
of a CARICOM internal AIRLINE.
This follows much debate here in Belize
in what we want out of this idea? Belize
is at a crossroads with Caricom and
Central American trade and while we
are constantly bombarded from home
and abroad with the concept of a Car-
ibbean Federation, or CARICOM
country, or association, the business and
economic trade statistics do not sup-
port a CARICOM membership. Only
politics on the world stage is of any ad-
vantage to us in Belize, in the foreign
arena from Caricom dreams.
Our trade with Caricom is a miserly
drop in the bucket at $44 million a year.
Outpaced by much larger trade num-
bers with Mexico, or Central America
neighbors and growing. Even India and
China are going to eventually surpass


Caricom trade numbers. We can see
the potential market in Jamaica, Trinidad
and Barbados with perhaps vegetables?
But without internal transportation, by
ship and airline, the concept of a grow-
ing Caricom trade is a dead one. PM
Musa did the right thing the other day
calling for an emergency meeting of
Caribbean Heads of State to discuss
internal transportation organization.
So if Belize were to go it alone in
attempting to start Caricom trade what
would we need for an airplane? Quite
simple really!. What we need is the big-
gest cubic volume and weight carrying
space possible for the lowest price. We
need a multi-purpose aircraft, one for
passengers and cargo. This would
mean fuel economy, 1800 mile range
with reserve, weight and space capac-
ity as big as possible and speed would
not be a consideration, fuel economy
per pound, or cubic foot volume car-
ried is what counts financially. What
airplane would that be, given the dis-
tances from Belize to the rest of the tar-
get market areas in Caricom. Well I


have one airplane picked, but that is a
trade secret and should something bet-
ter be found, would quickly change my
mind, provided the characteristics men-
tioned above were met.
The trouble with Jessop's article, it
is apparent the Eastern Anglophile Car-
ibbean are thinking only in terms of tour-
ist seats. A fool's game in my experi-
ence. A multi-purpose aircraft should
be able to earn it's keep in different fields
of endeavor to smooth out the cycles
of seasonal trade. Interesting to read
that one island over there on the other
side of the Caribbean pond, has de-
cided to act unilaterally and open their
skies and borders, to include five neigh-
boring islands to outside air carriers, in
order to foster trade, competition, lower
fares locally and new routes, were none
now exist. With ambitions at least to
become an Eastern Caribbean airline
hub at the expense of the other local
players. On this side of the pond, Belize
should be also an airline hub, but how
do we do it? Our own CARICOM air-
line, one plane endeavor would be a


start for sure.
There is a lot of new bureaucratic
rhetoric in the Jessop article in the Belize
Times, coming now from previous
Belize private sector complaints and
positions, on non-existant opportunities,
explaining the problems from Belize
economic viewpoints in trading with
Caricom. I still don't see any logic in
all the hot air though. What I see is greed
on the positions of Eastern Caribbean
anglophile governments. Without trans-
portation, Caricom, Mr. Jessop now
agrees, is a non-starter as an economic
entity. Lip service is fine, but can Belize
start a Caricom airline on it's own? We
are surely looking at 12 to 15 years of
trade building operating at a loss, at least
from jet fuel. Even a cheap operating
airplane costs money to run. The sharks
from the Eastern Caribbean banks
would be watching us closely ready to
compete, once we opened CARICOM
markets and trade. Are these
CARICOM people in our bureaucracy
really serious about this?








Friday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 155


St John's College students Chris-
topher Waight and Eric Alamina
won the first ever annual Math
Olympiad sponsored by the Belize
Social Security Board.
Waight and Alamina scored the
highest points 1,900 to claim the
title outright. They also each won a
DELL desktop computer with the
latest software and accessories as
their first prize and a cash prize of
$1,000 educational grant, trophies,
medals, and certificates of partici-
pation. They also won a projector
and atrophy for their school.
Namrita Balami and Ronald
Rempel of Belize Christian Acad-
emy won second prize which in-
cluded a $1,000 education grant
each, a plaque, a certificate, medal,
and a trophy, plus $500 for their
school.
Roberto Gongora and Dorita
Sanchez of Orange Walk Technical
High School won third prize, which
was $700 educational grants each,
plaques, certificates, and medals.


-
St John's College students Christopher Waight and Eric Alamina share the moment of triumph at the SSB Math Olympiad with their
math teachers Ufemia Castillo, Julio Tarrogo (holding trophy) and Nadine Williams.


They also won a $400 prize and a
trophy for their school.


Rene Villaneuva Sr gets peck on the cheek from Miss Belize Universe Maria Jefferies at
the launch of his new book, "Thanks for Choosing Love."



Drug Kingpin gets 33 years


March 23, 2007 -A drug smuggler
with ties to Colombian terrorists was
sentenced yesterday to more than 33
years behind bars for threatening to kill
federal agents and conspiring to import
tons of cocaine into the United States.
Robert James Hertular, 36, of Belize,
boasted of ties to notorious paramili-
tary leader Carlos Castano, and threat-
ened to have DEA agents killed after
they refused to drop an investigation in
2001 in exchange for the drug


trafficker's cooperation in the case.
Hertular also threatened a Belizean
law-enforcement officer that same year
and offered a hand grenade to a person
who turned out to be a federal infor-
mant, believing it would be used to blow
up DEA agents in April 2003.
Hertular was arrested in January
2004 and extradited to the United States
six months later. Manhattan federal
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald also or-
dered Hertular to pay a $250,000 fine.


n l(Continued From Page 2)
Of course there is a price to pay for
all of this beauty, but we don't mind that,
since fumes have drifted into school
yards, businesses and even water
cachement tanks in San Ignacio, that our
children get to breathe all of this.
I don't know much about dumps and
whether or not they are a health hazard
because you can read all sorts of things
on the internet. But I do wonder about
some things. For instance, can you
catch a cold or other more serious vi-
rus from breathing fumes from burning
hospital waste?
And of course, we know, in spite of
what our tourists might think, that we
DO practice Sustainable Tourism. Af-
ter all, the Tourist Board tells us we do.
And while seeing might be Belize-ing,
it's not always believing.
Signed, Judy Duplooy

Land-grabbers Not
So Anonymous
Dear Editor
Some residents ofPlacencia & Seine
Bight & MayaBeach were talking about
this land grab issue outside the main gro-
cery store the other day. Here is a list
that is circulating the community. We
thought it would be of interest to your
newspaper.
1 Charles Leslie: 20 acres inner
Placencia lagoon entry 8672
2 DevitaWilliams: 10 acres Placencia
lagoon entry 8761
3 Alexander Nolbito: 10 acres
Placencia lagoon entry 8761
4 Hands Foundation: 14 acres


Southern Long Caye
5 Rodwell Ferguson & Fred
Cabral: 450 acres Jenkins Creek area
5 Ernesto Castillo c/o Eagle Dean
Company: 30 acres Placencia lagoon
6 Rodwell Ferguson, wife Anna Mae
& son: 10.011 acres Pla lagoon, entry
8672, 1 acre Placencia lagoon, 2 acres
Placencia lagoon, 148.93 acres Mile 29
Southern Hwy, entry 7375, 48.478
acres west of Sittee bar mouth along
sea coast, 5.315 acres Pelican Range,
entry 8887, 14.73 acres old Mullins
River Rd, plan 283/9, 20 acres mile 11
Stann Creek Valley Rd, plan 115/8
7 Andrea Villanueva: 3 acres
Placencia lagoon 1427.559 m2 Small
Morris Caye 5.315 acres Pelican Range
8 Elena Cuellar: 1.503 acres
Placencia lagoon 1327.559 m2 Small
Morris Caye
9 Charles Longsworth: 1.503 acres
southwestern portion Northeast Caye,
1 acre Placencia lagoon
10 Anthony Fred Cabral: 2 acres Pla
lagoon
11 Percival Neal & wife Betty Jean:
1 acre Placencia Lagoon, 5 acres
Placencia lagoon, 50 acres northern
side Flour Caye
12 Aquaworld Limited: Jose &
Yvonne Coye: 9.735 acres Placencia
inner lagoon,
10.066 acres Placencia, between inner
& outer lagoon, 10.059 acres Lark
Caye
13 George Westby: 12 acres Pla In-
ner lagoon
Signed,
Concerned Placencia resident





IFriday, March 30, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pa~e16 I


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I Friday, March 30, 2007


The INdependent Reformer


Page 16 1


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