Title: Independent reformer
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00020
 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: April 20, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00020
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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Close Call in Lords Bank;

DIP squeezes by PUP

Lord's Bank, the sister village to
Ladyville in the Belize District,
April 15, butjustbarely. Chairman --...... -...::.."
voted in a red council on Sunday, .
Andre Rivero just edged out PUP
contender, former Belize City
Mayor Stephen Latchman, 3 07 to .-
284 votes, with twelve spoiled bal-
The UDP presence was strong on
polling day with banners on every
utility pole down the Lord's Bank
Road off the Northern Highway and
United Democratic Party flags wav-
ing at the entrance to the commu-
nity center. Supporters in red t-
shirts greeting every elector as they
The People's United Party was
low key in terms of visuals, and " --
stood more on the sidelines. ..- ..4 ^-,
Besides Rivero, a career civil ser- .. --
vant with experience as a social ..-. .- --.
worker, law enforcement officer, Lords Bank residents line up at the community center to cast their ballot.
traffic department officer, prosecu-
tor and community reha-
bilitation officer, theUDP Inside this Issue
slate includes Paul Garcia
Sr., retiree, Roger Garbutt Peninsula Citizens
a business machines tech-
nician, Walter Sosa, a protest Illegal
Bowen and Bowen sales-Mii
man, Mark Anderson,
electrician, Sheldon Will- pg. 3
iams, salesman and athlete,
and youth group member
Michelle Williams. Defining Objectives
PUP councilor aspirants
include Carol Young, pg.6
Daniel Molina, Raquel
Arnold, Agnes Stevens,
Edison Parks, Pamela Divide & Conquer
Election data from pg. 7
around the country was
slow to arrive at the Min-
istry of National Develop- OAS & OECD agree
ment, at Independent press
time on Monday only re- to fight corruption
sults for Cayo were in and
information had not yet pg. 8
UDP Village Councillor-elect Sheldon Williams welcomes Lords Bank voters to the been disseminated to the
polls on Sunday afternoon. media.

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2

Higher end power
users should pay more
Dear Editor,
On April 12th, 2007 Mr. Roberto
Young, Chairman of the Public Utilities
Commission, PUC, appeared on the
Channel 5 newscast and invited members
of the public to comment on the applica-
tion submitted by BEL for a rebalance of
I reviewed a 12 page document avail-
able on the PUC website (www.puc.bz).
The tables and schedules were quite diffi-
cult to understand by a lay person such as
myself as little in the way of explanatory
notes are provided. Nevertheless, I made
an attempt and offer the following com-
ments for your consideration.
While the newscast indicated that the
proposed charges are supposed to trans-
late to reduced bills for most consumers,
based on my understanding of Schedule
4 with respects to residential tariffs (again,
without the benefit of explanatory notes),
I found that the proposed rates would
result in a 3% increase for lower end en-
ergy consuming residential costumers and
a 2% increase for the higher end consum-
ing residential costumers.
The documents did not indicate what
the average consumption of a residential
costumer is, but assuming one refrigera-
tor, three 60 watt light bulbs, two floor
fans, a 75 watt 19" television, and a radio
or other small appliance, and using aver-
age energy consumption of these items
that I gleaned off the Internet, I estimated
this to be somewhere in the neighborhood
of 300Kwh. Doing the math, I calculated
that the average monthly residential bill for
household with these appliances would
increase from $132.00 per month to
$135.50 per month or an increase of 3%.
Meanwhile, residential consumers who
have more electrical appliances such as

clothes dryers, air conditioning units, ceil-
ing fans, and who therefore consume more
energy will experience a 2% increase in
their bill because the increase in proposed
tariffs weighted more on the first 50Kwh
of consumption ($0.06 increase) and less
on the consumption above 200 Kwh
($.01 increase).
I encourage you to examine this rate
structure and to consider modifying it such
that the increase is shifted more towards
the higher end users who consume more
energy (are less energy efficient) and who
can most likely afford an increase, or if
they can't afford the increase, or at least
have more flexibility in adjusting theirrate
of consumption by, for example, turning
off their air conditioners and using a fan,
orunplugging the extramrefrigerator or tele-
vision set.
Please consider arate structure that will
promote more efficient and sustainable
energy use among residential consumers
by shifting the increase more toward higher
end residential consumers and away from
basic or lower end consumers. For ex-
ample, a $0.02 increase at all levels along
with replacement of the $10 service
charge with $5 flat rate would result in
reduced bills for consumers who keep
their consumption levels below 200Kwh,
1% increase for consumers who use 300
Kwh per month, and gradually increase
up to 4% for residential consumers who
use up to 2,500 Kwh per month.
Mario Lara

Under wraps
Dear Editor,
Why is it that the results of the village
council elections are seemingly being
horded by the government for days on
end and the public has to rely on yeriso
from the major political parties? What
happened to freedom of information? Ac-

countability and transparency?
During any General Elections, when
there are thousands more Belizeans vot-
ing, the Elections and Boundaries Depart-
ment posts the results on their website.
Granted they are always far behind me-
dia reporters, especially those on radio
who get inside information and unofficial
results from campaign workers and friends
on the "inside," but at least we can find
the results after 24 hours or so.
But for village council elections, we are
merely told the Ministry ofNational De-
velopment will be posting the results in
newspapers, but how long does it take
for them to get the numbers anyway?
Perhaps they are trying to hold off as
long as possible to prevent anything un-
flattering to the mling PUP from emerging
and influencing the next round of village
voting. Which, raises the next question:
why are the elections being staggered?
General Elections and Municipal Elections
are simultaneous. Do you mean to tell us
we do not have enough personnel be-
tween the Elections and Boundaries Of-
fice and National Development to sustain
polling areas in all the villages? That seems
so ridiculous. But maybe it's the case. Sad
And even sadder that the dates of the
village council elections are so poorly pub-
licized. Perhaps the Ministry ofNational
Development can do a post mortem after
this round and figure out how they can
work more closely with the media and
perhaps collaborate with Elections and
Boundaries. Some ofus are not entirely
comfortable with other ministries running
elections anyway when we have people
we trust (or are supposed to trust) being
paid very good salaries at Elections and
Boundaries and they only have to kick into
action every three years or so.
A. Martinez

P.O. Box 2(..666
Beliie Ciit. Belie/

Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as
BZS3000 (LISS30.00 international)

1 1 '1. I I k P

I m -III .jti.

E-1 Lill lll E-1

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


Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3

Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable

Development protest illegal
The Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable
Development area up in arms against Illegal mining in Placencia La(
the illegal dredging of the Placencia La- A I
goon. They have written a letter to 10 A april 2007
Martin Alegria of the Department of
the Environment and to Craig Moore
of the Department of Geology, of the
Ministry of Natural Resources, with
copies to the Minister of Natural Re-
sources John Briceno.
They also copied the letter to ...............
Placencia and Seine Bight Village, I.i.
Councils, the Friends of Nature, the .
Department of Forestry and the me-


We reproduce their letter in toto
that our readers may understand their
"Re: Illegal Dredging of the
Placencia Lagoon; Permits and ECPs
Dear Mr. Moore and Mr. Alegria:
As reported to you by numerous
residents of the Placencia Peninsula,
Albert Loewen has been dredging and
mining sand from the Placencia La-
goon at the Lagoon entrance to Lot
146 in the Maya Beach area, owned
by Jim and Sarah Robinson.
Loewen has been mining this sand

from the Lagoon without a permit for
at least a week and one resident of
the area estimates that at least 150
dump truck loads of sand have been
take to Villas at Coco Plum, owned
by Mr. Boris Mansfield, and the

The Minister of Tourism, Information and
National Emergency Management,
|, Hon. Godfrey P. Smith
in conjunction with the
A. Belize Tourism Board

Scordially invites you


attend ...


Daiea Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
7T me: ):30 a.m. (Seanng at 9:00 a.m.)
Place Pnnccss Hc-tel and Ca.mno, -ein 's R::>cm


TYIhake th choTiR E ieane...
Enhance the Tourism Experience!

Zeboz development area (Plantation
development) in the last week. Fur-
ther, this is not the first instance of
Loewen's illegal sand dredging, simi-
lar illegal dredging occurred off the


Lagoon property of Ms. Alice Brady
several months ago.
Area residents have repeatedly re-
ported this illegal sand dredging and
(Please Turn To Page 13) *Ej



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0 0


Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 |

holds no interest for you, and emails are the Creator intend for it to be this way? domino tournaments. Sharing the yard
to be left unanswered for another time. Is it not why (S)He made fruits so de- with coconut and breadfruit and guava
Right now, you only have time to eat sirable the humans and animals in the and lime trees... a good life for a tree.
your mango. Before someone comes first place? So that tapirs would cross There is a special place in the Belizean
and you feel obligated to share. You rivers to get to them and horses would heart for the mango trees; how they love
must hurry, but savor the moment, at risk being chased off private property us in return, showering us with basket-
the same time. and monkeys would sneak up on each fuls of rewards in exchange for doing
The only way to top this, your first other and steal their prize and eat it fur- pretty much nothing to take care of
-i time of the season, is to eat that mango tively, then pitch away the life-bearing them. We don't even water them, just
-p Begin to watch them every April and
B: KarlaHeusnerVernon ever met anyone who ever May, trying to tell if its going to be a
..have you ever met anyone who ever "good season" or if that the "cold front
I am convinced there is nothing like said, "No thanks, I don't like mangos," no confuse di tree mek he think da winta
the first mango of the season. Unless of still yet..."
course it is the first peach, or straw- No matter our station in life, the color
berry, or kiwi, or equally delightful fruit in the water a river is okay, but the center or pips, cast them out onto the of our skin, sucking on a mango is a
native to some equally delightful and sea is better when a little briny water winds or grasses so they can germinate pleasure we all look forward to, each
fruitful part of the world. splashes up on your lips and creates a and reproduce great trees and fruits of and every year. I say all, for have you
In Belize, the first sniff, the first peel delectable contrast between sweet and their own someday? ever met anyone who ever said, "No
of the skin, the first bite and first juicy salt. No doubt garbage pails and landfills thanks, I don't like mangos," as they
dribble down your chin are nothing You toss the skins as far away as pos- were not part of the equation... might say of papaya or craboo or
short of sensational. You stand there sible and then the seed too, watching But for those mango seeds that sur- kinep? They might only be particular
totally focused on what is before you; them drift away gently on the waves. vive the modern trash collection and about the variety, but I certainly have
for a few moments the outer world re- There is no guilt; its not pollution, being disposal systems life must be pretty yet to meet a mango hater.
cedes and the universe is simply deli- biodegradable after all. No fish have good in Belize. Just think ofthe generations of people
cious. No one, no thing, can upset your ever died from mango poisoning, no Imagine growing up next to some in this part of the world who have
equilibrium. You are at one with the corals have been bleached yellow or- homewithboisterous, energetic children watched the trees and waited for fruits
world. Younolongerfeel the humid heat, ange or affected by too much beta caro- and talkative adults and friendly dogs. to ripe and ready. Or cut them green
or hear the deafening boom box next tene. Providing shade to entire neighborhood for chutney or to eat with salt.
door, the novella or soap on television What could be more natural? Did not convocations, birthday parties and (Please Turn To Page 14) *

Butane and gasolene price gaan up but me di no pay no big money Fu gas.
We gaan totally natural energy wid Biogas, an' dat dah no bullshit(((

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5




a. A.x









Jauinar 15. 2006



T0 LE2.o









BzeC in C'
C-ale. cmn I
BEelinop L
zn In ao Tarai 4
Corozdi Tawnu
C'E 3nqeallk Town
D.an-E TO T.n. .'
Punra Grrma To- 1n
: L -p:i .
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In the pire- Ou: '.eaU :I ." rha.e 'si: 3 total cf 424 nD HP. ln'ecticirn.th .6 ,912 .r a BeL.e 9 ,2 [a' i
Ca'.o .. 'CJ '"'. Corc aL .3 i0 "'oi m Orise 'Aill 'k I ,-4 ic3 Ym Sian Creel ind 2 0 :. Oa. Toledo

Tbhe pericair e of a Lun F poLt-ie infecuanr: iandi ]d; iuaL Te:leld at C.\L roi the '.eat 2 '. 6 '%. :a. O'.1, v Belt"e
Dtcr) .La Ca -omDrncr 3 ,'oLu C.ronaJ Dinmct I .'-tc m01anwe. %a31 Di;nir e o -0S!mna Creek Duni-ci
ind I I't Teledc DLtrizi
In be pre lou: -.eai -'Olf ia:l 4 %, l Beie Di:oaict ] aI Cao DL:-IC 10 -'o0 t Cotc-al DcoCat 0 :'.'I im
Oranie V, ii DenOc 'v I ra Siainu Ceek o DLunic, ad i'" D Toledo Dnu,:,


Fci the .ear 2t'0 6 there n e 1 D.ale and m l9le: a temaje .m i L, e ne- l'. d a .no.ed 3: HP. i.a ,,maIle 'entIle

In ir pbie..'ou ',ir .il r" thee **ej '4 mile: and 'i1I r'I .aIle: eh- 'erpe Qei t- n e agd oleda-. HAL iRPat i male
female 1 06 I;

For an online version of the INdependent Reformer visit us at

http://www.belizenorth.com/ independentreformer.htm

4 H2 i's


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Total net, HIV INFEC TIONS reported for the war :'(.16 4-43

Total neU AIDS C ASES reponed tor the e,au r',06 3

Total ne, A. I)S DEATHS reponed for she ewar ,i "2s

Total reponed H' INTT-E( TIONS iuce 19'. t-Wl end of Decemtber 'r.06 3.S05.

Total reprned .AIDS C ASES .unce 19 6 timd end of December 206 8(09

Totalreponed AIDS DEATHS uc.:e 1 '-6 unid end I,: December 2'0i "D'l

The ior-I nLmber f lNe'v HI-' Irfieclion for the .ear '2006 u: J1-13
In the pre.:iou: ea 20:.* II t .i; 43
The toirl number of Nev AIDS Ca.e-: for the earr 2006 .13
Iu the pre.vioi: ,ear "'105i 11 a. 3
The toil mnimber of Neav DS De ils for the .ear 20")6 A: -',
In rhe previous:. ,ear 20. It ai -6
The reprned cri3al u iiber oftHF,' [nfecioun. from 1926 i. end December 2006 -. 80i.
The rep-rned '1eal number of HFi' [le:ionm from 9I 6 c end December 2'0" a- 3 .'62
The repned 'cial numbIer of A.iDS Caee. from 19I6 o end December '200'6 a9 S')
The repcrned i3ral n Imber of A.IDS CIWe. from 1946 toi:, eud Deuember 2'0 a: sa 6
The reponed rcial ilnum1bei of IDS Death fro,,m 1986 t1o end December 2('06 ai "'01
The replied Icial ] um'be of AIDS Deathb from 1086 io end December 2,'l': as. 626

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 |

Defining Objectives

By: Richard Harrison
What one intends to do or achieve:
aim, ambition, design, end, goal, intent,
intention, mark, meaning, object, point,
pupos, target, view, wh. Idioms: end
in view, why and wherefore. See
planned purpose.
I spent 1996-97 at Lancaster Univer-
sity School of Management reading for
their Masters in Business Administra-
tion certificate. This was fulfilling an
objective I had set for myself before I
had completed my Bachelors Degree
in Pharmacy in Michigan.....at a time
when I was completely broke and had
no knowledge of how this objective
would be financed.
One of my world re-known strategy
professors came into the auditorium one
day....and wrote the letters S.M.A.R.T.
on the blackboard. He asked if any-
one would volunteer to say what was
understood by the letters that were so
written. We had 60 students in the
course, from 22 countries around the
world. Needless to say, there were
many different perspectives expressed
for the meaning of those letters.
The professor went on to disclose his
purpose for raising this topic. He
wanted us to discuss the process by
which'good' objectives can be set. We
had already discussed the importance
of setting objectives in previous confer-
ences. He wanted to establish some
sets of criteria by which objectives
would be deemed to meet the thresh-
old of being 'good' managerial deci-
The word 'good' reflects some de-
gree of measure of quality. Hence, he
suggested that the quality of the obj ec-
tives we set is reflective of our degree
of commitment to challenge ourselves
to obtaining the best possible outcomes
from our managerial pursuits. It is also
reflective of the degree of transparency
and accountability with which a man-
ager open up to scrutiny by stakehold-
ers. Usually, poor quality managers
would set poor quality objectives, con-
sequently any performance appraisal
becomes difficult and elusive. Poor
quality objectives are often a sign of lack
ofcommitment to achieving them. Even
worse is when NO objective is set for
important parameters that would be
used to measure and declare success.
He suggested that one simple way of
improving on the quality of our obj ec-
tive setting, is to use the letters SMART
against the objectives that we set for
1. Specific Objectives should
specify what they want to achieve.
2. Measurable -You should be able to
measure whether you are meeting the
objectives or not.
3. Achievable Are the objectives you

set, achievable and attainable?
4. Realistic Can you realistically
achieve the objectives with the re-
sources you have?
5. Time- When do you want to achieve
the set objectives?
Some typical national objective might
be stated as "to increase exports", or
"to increase investments", or "to in-
crease employment", or "to increase
productivity", or "to improve the qual-
ity of primary education".
These are very general statements.
They do not meet the criteria of being
specific enough, and their 'goodness' as
objectives can be brought into question.
Exports of what? Increased by how
much? To where? Through what distri-
bution channel? At what competitive
level? Under what framework?
On the other hand, if a national ob-
j ective is "to build 10,000 new houses
over the next five years", this is more
specific and measurable in that it states
the amount of houses and over what time
frame. However it can be criticized
for not saying what kind of houses, what
price range, under what terms, for re-
sponding to the needs and means of
what target population, nor how it would
be financed. After the fact, one could
go back and say they meant mobile
homes, and that the amount included
mortgages financed by the private sec-
tor; and they would be quite within the
stated objective.
"To meet the demand for tertiary level
education in Belize". Yet, no one can
say exactly how many persons demand
a tertiary level education, what the sub-
groups are willing and able to pay for it,
the varying levels of background prepa-
ration to successfully undertake it,
whether short certificate courses or full
curriculum courses, or what logistics in
time would best suit their need for gen-
erating income while studying. If there
are over 48,000 persons between the
ages of 20-29, and 50% of these were
demanding some form of tertiary edu-
cation or training, there would be
24,000 persons. Would Belize have
sufficient trained instructors to meet this
demand? Would such a goal be achiev-
"To produce 10,000 new jobs over
the next five years". If this objective is
set along with another which says "to
reduce the level of unemployment"; then
it might not be realistic. If there are
32,000 persons coming into the work
force during the same five year period,
creating only 10,000 new jobs would
not serve to reduce the level of unem-

"Health for all by the year 2000".
This a typical cliche that sounded off
during 1980's and 90's; typical of the
socialist sound-bites emanating from the
United Nations at the time, and gladly
propagated by the local socialites. Sure
it sets a specific timeframe, but does not
say anything about whether its primary,
secondary or tertiary health care; it does
not say if ALL covers only workers or
extends to all citizens and residents re-
gardless of employment status. Indeed,
it is so vague as to be meaningless even
unto this day; yet many dollars were
poured into the hands of those who
printed posters, banners, leaflets, t-
shirts and so many other paraphernalia
that promoted this vaguity.
Belizeans should become more inter-
ested their national objectives. They
should pay more attention to the ob-
j ectives that are put forward by national
manifestos. Setting poor quality objec-
tives has plagued Belize for decades,
and is reflective of the type of commit-
ment we hold our leaders to, as well as
their own lack of moral commitment to
serve the people using the best mana-
gerial principles available to them. But,
it would be worse to accept that "no
objectives will be set, as we do not
know the situation of the national fi-
nances that we will meet when we as-
sume government".
While the SMART framework estab-
lishes a set of criteria for improving our
objective setting, there is still a lot of

refining that can be done to improve
objective setting at a national level be-
yond this framework. This framework
calls for declaration of GENERAL and
SPECIFIC objectives, so that a 'big
picture' and a more 'detailed picture'
can be expressed objectives in concise
a manner as possible. One leader once
emphasized to me to use economy of
words. I have learned that while that is
valuable, it is more valuable to express
completeness of thought. This frame-
work would be a good start however,
to help us to raise our standards for
objective setting.
One can see clearly, that by setting
better quality obj ectives, the potential
for improved monitoring and evaluation
of performance is automatically
achieved. The pressure increases for
managers to become more transparent
and accountable by this built-in mecha-
We clamor for transparency and ac-
countability as one of our national objec-
tives, and one way to assure that this is
complied with, is to insist on improved
quality of national obj ectives that are stated
from the onset. When we are pandered
to with poor quality objectives, we should
be able to identify them immediately by
qualifying them against the SMART cri-
teria, and question the persons or parties
who deem us so ignorant as to disrespect
our good judgment by providing us with
poor quality objectives.....orworse... .no
objectives at all!

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7

ivide and


By: William Schmidt
PG correspondent for
When will our Belizean people
learn? The way to build the new
Belize and to be sure all are involved
in, and benefit from the peaceful, con-
structive Belizean revolution, is to
stand together, because in unity is the
strength we need. Don't trust those
who try to separate us. Trust those
who try to and do bring us together!
Now people from outside, have
come again into Belize to support
another lawsuit against our govern-
ment. They have helped to organize
some of the forgotten people of To-
ledo and encourage them to protest
against the discrimination they've
been and still are suffering. The last
time it was the Indian Law Resource
Center. They told the Maya people
if they protested and filed a lawsuit
against our government they would
get the 500,000 acre Maya Home-
land the foreigners promised.
This was impossible and an absurd
lie. But the people from outside had
the money to pay local coordinators
and to fly local Maya leaders to other
countries where indigenous people
were able to get control of land. No
one would help our people to pro-
mote their own plans for a realistic
Eco Park, so these foreigners were
able to pay some of the local leaders
to support their plans to divide our
people and to turn many Belizeans
against the people of Toledo so they
would not have sympathy for their le-
gitimate protest against the discrimi-
nation they were suffering. I'm not
saying the local leaders understood
what their new friends' true intentions
It was a very effective way to di-
vide the Belizeans of Maya descent,
many of whom who did not support
the Maya Homeland idea and to
separate the Belizeans of other an-
cestry who were really upset with the
idea that the Maya of Toledo wanted
to establish a Maya Homeland where
only Maya could get land and live on
it, while Belizeans of other ethnic
backgrounds would have to be ap-
proved by the Maya council, but the
Maya supporters of a homeland con-
cept would be free to go to any other

part of Belize to live wherever they
With the Belizeans of Maya ances-
try representing only approximately 10
percent of the total population of
Belize and with few if any government
ministers of the day of Maya descent
and the two area representatives of
Toledo East and West being non
Maya, what chance would such an
absurd idea have of passing into law?
It was a very affective method how-
ever for dividing our Belizean people,
which is in my opinion exactly what I
believe the foreign supporters of the
idea had in mind. I have lived in To-
ledo for over 37 years and before the
Maya Homeland I never heard racist
remarks against the Maya by the
people of Toledo. I did hear govern-
ment ministers and foreign funders and
their non-governmental organizations
speak against the Maya and Garifuna
as being backward, ignorant and un-
able to work together, too indepen-
dent, resisting constructive change
etcetera as justification for their
government's and founder's failed
projects. But discrimination against
the Maya by local citizens of Toledo
was very rare until the Maya Home-
land was promoted and financed by
outsiders. I have many Maya friends
who did not think the proposal was
fair or that it would work. And I can't
remember any non Maya Belizean
who really supported it. Of course
there were several foreigners who
could see the Maya were being taken
advantage of by the funders and the
non-governmental organizations, who
sympathized with their poverty and
supported the Maya Homeland as a
way to help the indigenous people.
The Indian Law Resource Center
was said to be a front for the CIA
whose job is to support American
economic interests abroad. They
were suspected in Nicaragua by the
Sandinistas and later by the Zapatistas
in Mexico.
I personally spoke to several rep-
resentatives of the Indian Law Re-
source Center when they were sup-
porting the Maya Homeland project.
I explained how the proposed Toledo
People's Eco Park would help the
Maya as well as the Garifuna, East
Indian, Mestizo and Creoles to get
control of their community lands us-
ing the Special Development Areas
Plan (SDA), and the Toledo Alcaldes
and Village Council Act. But they
steadfastly refused to abandon the
Maya Homeland Plan or to support
the Eco Park Plan alternative. This led
me to believe what the Sandinistas re-
portedly said about them.
If any reader wants to know why
the CIA would want to prevent the

Maya and others from getting a
good development plan for Toledo,
I believe they knew oil exists here
in Toledo. That it was a strategic
oil reserve too small to develop
economically at the time, but good
to have available if and when
needed. Once the Middle East
erupted the value of any oil in the
U.S. of A's backyard increased
greatly. You notice who owns the oil
company that is sucking up Belize's
rich black blood today.
Now that the Indian Law Re-
source Center's cover has been so
badly blown by our neighbors and
the Maya Homeland has been shot
down. Most Maya know that it was
unrealistic and they would not be-
lieve the center again. So another
foreign human Indian rights organi-
zation from the states has shown
up. They have organized another
court case trying as some non Maya
people in the street have said, to
Mayanize Toledo like Balkanizes.
Right Honorable George Price
and Honorable Manuel Esquivel
both personally told me they
would never agree to divide up
Belize into different ethnic parts.
Belize, all Belize, should be for
all Belizeans.
What makes me highly suspicious
of this new effort to divide the
people of Belize is the same thing
that made me suspicious of the last
attempt. The current Maya lead-
ers and their new found foreign
friends of this new case also refuse
to support the proposed Toledo
People's Eco Park Plan, and none
of them can give one single reason
why. The Eco Park Plan works
within the current framework of the
law. It was designed to work with
the Alcaldes, Village Council and
Toledo Development Corporation's
Act's. It also calls for no more
National land to be sold or leased
by government. That both private
property and communal land be
The Eco Park Plan has a conser-
vation element that will protect the
endangered watershed, while it sup-

ports the traditional communal land
sharing system for agriculture. It
also supports protection of the en-
dangered flora and fauna with the
Biosphere Plan of core areas con-
nected by wildlife corridors, buffer
zones for regulated extraction of
forest products and development
areas for sustainable organic farm-
ing, by and for all the people of
Toledo District.
The planners of the Eco Park
know that the old traditional Maya
farming and forest extraction sys-
tem was not so good once the
population increased beyond the
forest's ability to sustain them.
Eventually they had to move from
Belize. Now the population is
growing again, but the amount of
available land remains the same.
There is an old saying that those
who fail to learn from past mistakes
are destined to make them again.
The question concerned Belizeans
should ask is why these foreign in-
digenous rights activists and the
Maya leaders who are working with
them haven't supported the Toledo
People's Eco Park Plan? It offers a
realistic solution to Toledo's very
real problems, a solution that rec-
ognizes the equal rights of all the
citizens of Toledo, young and old,
male and female, rich and poor from
Puta Gorda Town and the rural vil-
In 2003, representatives of all the
democratically elected leaders of
Toledo, the largest conservation,
cultural and development organiza-
tions, the President of The Toledo
Civil Society and even the United
States Peace Corps signed in sup-
port of the further development of
the Toledo People's Eco Park Plan.
Dr. Ludwick Palacio, General Man-
ager of the Toledo Development
Corporation who drafted the
Memorandum of Understanding
rightly called it a truly historic docu-
ment. Why the Minister of Eco-
nomic Development refuse to sup-
port it?
Concerned Belizeans should de-
mand an answer.


O A Centoniial Community Program Coordinatd by the RWoary Club of B1liir.

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8 |


By: Meb Cutlack
Under this present PUP govern-
ment Belize has become a whore.
not just any old whore though -
because she only sleeps with the
high rollers and the very rich.
She sleeps with Fortis, she sleeps
with Ashcroft, she sleeps with
Feinstein and she sleeps with any
old environmental abuser who has
the money.
And, just like any real whore, she
has her pimps "developers" and
"environmental consultants" and
others. They sleep with her and also
take their cut of her earnings.
Drug war in Belize? No, it's a drug
arrangement because our whore,
while 'cleaning' up the streets
around her bedroom and prosecut-
ing marijuana smokers, sleeps with
the cocaine drug lords and takes
her cut.
It might not be so bad if she spent
her ill-gotten money down the block

The Organization of American States
(OAS) and the Organisation for Eco-
nomic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) today signed an agreement to
strengthen the fight against corruption
in theAmericas. The memorandum of
understanding will establish a legal
framework in which both entities will
work together in anti-corruption efforts
as well as state modernization.
"This has to do with two inter-
related and critical issues for the con-
solidation of democratic governance,
economic growth and the social devel-
opment of our countries," OAS Sec-
retary General Jose Miguel Insulza said
during a brief ceremony at the regional
body's headquarters.
Insulza explained that these is-
sues "are very important so that our
democracies are not only democracies
from an electoral point of view, but also
countries that are able to continue de-
veloping political and civilian citizenship
and citizen participation."
In terms of state modernization, both
organizations identified several areas of
potential cooperation, including E-gov-
emment; public employment and man-
agement; budgeting and public expen-
ditures; and open government and citi-
zen participation, among others.
On the anti-corruption front, coop-
eration would center on issues such as
avoiding conflicts of interest; promot-
ing integrity through transparency and
accountability; and enhancing resistance
to corruption in risk areas such as pub-
lic procurement, contract management
and lobbying.
For his part, OECD Secretary
General Angel Gurria noted that his or-



but she doesn't. She banks in
For donkeys years our whore has
been sleeping happily (for oodles of
bucks) with Taiwan but now a ri-
val has stepped into the picture. The
Peoples Republic of China has paid
court to her. Even she knows she
can't sleep with both China and
Taiwan and so she will have sleep-
less nights until one or the other of
the two clients comes up with the
highest bid.
On the subject of corruption, the
Organisation for Economic Co-op-
eration and Development (OECD)
today signed an agreement to
strengthen the fight against corrup-
tion in the Americas.
The organization said that coop-
eration would center on issues such
as, "avoiding conflicts of interest;
promoting integrity through trans-
parency and accountability; and en-
hancing resistance to corruption in

ganization has along history of fighting
corruption globally. However, he
stressed the importance of being able
to expand its efforts in this region, "be-
cause we only have one Latin Ameri-
can member country in the OECE -
Mexico. This is a very exciting and very
important opportunity to work with an
institution that would then work with all
the countries to offer this support," he
Secretary General Insulza reiterated
that the fight against corruption is a high-
priority issue within the OAS, noting that
the Inter-American Convention against
Corruption, adopted in 1996, was the
first treaty of its kind in the world. This


risk areas such as public procure-
ment, contract management and
This, on the same day that the
Prime Minister Said Musa refused
to release details of the massive
$33,000,000 debt handed to the
Belizean public by the secret hos-
pital deal.
He told Channel 5 that requests
for disclosure of the contents of the
guarantee, "have to be denied
based on confidentiality for bank-
ing documents. The P.M. went on
to assert that in December 2004,
Belmopan did in fact guarantee
Universal's debt at the Belize Bank"
Musa maintained to Channel 5 that
without consent from the sharehold-
ers of Universal or the Belize Bank,
under the law, government is not
able to release the details.
Channel 5: "That position has hit
a sour note with the public, most of
who argue that since taxpayer

treaty "has become the navigational
chart of our collective action in this field,"
noted Insulza, adding that it has been
ratified by 33 of the 34 OAS member
The OECD, like the OAS, has long
been committed to the fight against cor-
ruption. In 1997 the OECD created the
Convention on Combating Bribery of
Foreign International Business Transac-
tions, and continues to monitor its en-
forcement through regular meetings of
its Working Group on Bribery.
Both organizations have likewise
pushed for modernization of the state,
which would allow for greater efficiency
and transparency.

money will be used to pay off the
debt, the public has a vested inter-
est in the contents of the guaran-
This sour note has hit a new high
with the government's constant pan-
dering to offshore financial groups
in the sale of huge areas of Belizean
coast and islands for dubious
projects with little or no real sur-
vey of the environmental conse-
quences of their actions.
They don't even take the advice
of their own tame specialists who
prostitute themselves with their less
than adequate assessments of the
real local, and global warming, ef-
fects of some of their favorite
It is time that our whore sought a
new way of life which perhaps a
new government could provide.
Whores and prostitutes: Those
who compromise principles for per-
sonal gain.

The agreement signed between the
OAS and OECD is an extension of a
cooperative relationship that began in
1963. Recent collaborative efforts in-
clude a September 2006 technical
meeting held in Chile on international
bribery investigations and a May 2004
meeting in Brazil which centered on
conflict-of-interest issues.
The Organization for Economic Co-
operation and Development, a forum of
30 democracies, provides a setting in
which governments can compare policy
experiences, seek answers to common
problems, identify best practices and
coordinate domestic and international

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The INdependent Reformer

Friday, April 20, 2007


Lies and



By: Meb Cutlack
The PUP seem to imagine, in their
wild dreams, that the Belizean elector-
ate will somehow come to forgive them;
forgive their two terms of total incom-
petence, horrifying corruption and greed
and bribery almost beyond human reck-
They seem to think that Belizeans
don't mind or notice the yawning pit of
poverty and deprivation which has re-
placed prosperity and hope.
They do not seem to realize that a little
more time- March or June until 2008 -
will not make them any more elector-
able than they are today. And, they are
not elector-able today, tomorrow or
next year.
They no longer have any hope of be-
ing re-elected.
The simple truth is that two genera-
tions, or more, of Belizeans now have
burned indelibly into their consciousness
the fact that the PUP is a crooked bunch
of self serving, greedy, corrupt and in-
competent liars who are incapable of
honest government.
Even their elaborate 'crony' system,
of' selling' government assets at bargain

prices with government money to their
chosen few in return for chunks of' elec-
tion' money, is beginning to tumble in
on itself. The 'cronies' are finding out
that the cookies, which they thought they
had been handed, had in fact been
handed to rival cronies as well.
The 'cookie jar', in the immortal
words in the House of Representatives
of Michael Finnigan, is empty. The
cookies have run out and all the at-
tempts by the PUP to disillusion their
supporters with phony promises of oil
land, islands and huge tracts of prop-
erty are now empty promises.
Even if handed over (by false con-
veyances) oil lands, islands or anything
else are liable to very close scrutiny by
whoever is elected in 2008 and 'should'
lead to immediate prosecution and, in
many cases to imprisonment.
The PUP live in a carnival house of
mirrors in which each mirror reveals not
the true image but the image they want
to see. When they walk through it they
can see fat for thin, thin for fat, short for
tall, sober for drunk.
Said Musa, Ralph Fonseca and
Godfrey Smith and the others can dance


in front of these mirrors all day long but
they cannot change their real shape.
The people now see and know this
real shape.
The people of Belize want not only
change, at this moment from blue to
red, but they also want a dramatic
change in the manner in which they are
governed. They don't want another 25
years of theft and corruption.
While the PUP is, for obvious rea-
sons, totally against any form of politi-
cal reform it appears that the UDP has
its heels equally dug in on the subject of
an elected senate.
It does not take a genius to figure out
that an elected senate builds in certain
safeguards against corruption as all the
emerging reform parties have so ad-
equately demonstrated by their nation-
wide support.
No, it's not perfect but it appears the
only method to stop the abuse of power
that's endemic with Cabinet government
where all power rests in the hands of
one or two men.
A short time ago this writer sat down
with a high official of the UDP who com-
plained that the INdependent newspa-


per was unfairly comparing the UDP to
the PUP.
The discussion ended up centered on
the subject of an elected senate and it
equally 'broke down' on this subject.
There appears to be no way the UDP
will endorse the idea of an elected sen-
ate not even to have an immediate bi-
partisan, internationally supervised com-
mission, to look into the pros and cons
of such an elected second chamber.
The problem with this blank 'NO' is
that critics, and even supporters of the
UDP, are left with the impression that
the UDP refuses to acknowledge the
fallibility of man. They refuse to accept
that much of mankind, for all protesta-
tions to the contrary, is not always in-
corrupt-able.They are asking us to be-
lieve that hidden in their bag of elec-
toral goodies are men of extraordinary
statue who will not be susceptible to
bribery and who will rise above the ex-
ample the Belizean people have of 25
years of incompetent and often corrupt
This writer personally would like the
safeguard of an elected senate or at
least an ample reason why not.


honours Julian Cho

PNP Leader WilMaheia calls for
unity and support for Maya land
rights struggle.
Punta Gorda Town, Toledo-Wil
Maheia, PNP Leader spoke at the
Julian Cho memorial on Saturday, April
7, 2007. Maheia said, "All Belizeans
should support the Maya land struggle
because all Belizeans will benefit if the
Mayans are successful in defending their
land rights".
"The government of Belize regularly
violates the land rights of Belizeans es-
pecially in the rural areas like Toledo.
Julian Cho brought to the attention of
the people of Belize that planning was
needed before the Southern highway
came in. Communities along the South-
ern highway were promised land use
rights for two miles along the highway
on both sides, but the Gob did not keep
their promise," continued Maheia.
Julian would have been proud of the

The Julian Cho Society, The Alcalde's
Association and the Toledo Maya

Mayan leader Julian Cho, who died
tragically in December 1998,
championed rights of the Toledo Maya.
lawsuit brought against the GOB. His
fight was not in vain. Julian always urged
Mayans to work together and I want to
do the same. All of the Mayan organi-
zations, The Maya Leaders Alliance,

Women's Council need to be united to
win this fight. --PNP press release


The Belize Zoo

In he orl

Page 9 -1

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Older family members may take ad-
vantage of you by making you feel guilty.
Don't blame every thing on your mate.
Be sure to keep communication open
with those you live with. Concentrate
on spending quality time with
children.Your lucky day this week will
be Monday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
A change is as good as a rest. Don't
go looking for change. You may have
more to do with children this week;
keep an open mind. You are best to
work at home, clearing up overdue
projects. Rewards for past good deeds
will be yours. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Catch up on your reading and corre-
spondence. You will get out of shape
easily if you don't keep on top of things.
You need a change and you need to earn
more cash. Someone around you may
not be trustworthy. Your lucky day this
week will be Wednesday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Good friends will give you honest an-
swers. Jealousy may be a contributing
factor to your emotional ups and downs.
You can get into self awareness groups
or look into physical enhancement pro-
grams. New love connections can be
made through group associations. Your
lucky day this week will be Tuesday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Someone envious of your popularity
may challenge you to a debate. Travel
for business will not only bring you valu-
able information but also profits as well.

Secret affairs will come back to haunt
you. Your lucky day this week will be
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
You can come up with ways of earn-
ing extra cash. Be creative in your ef-
forts. Try to be tolerant of the moods
of those around you. Go out with
friends and avoid the situation on the
home front. Your lucky day this week
will be Thursday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Be cautious while traveling; minor ac-
cidents are evident. You can't lock your
partner up and if you keep restricting
their freedom you may be left out in the
cold. Relationships have not been the
best for you lately and it's left you some-
what gun shy. Keep an open mind when
listening to the opinions of others. Un-
certainties about your personal life are
probable. Your lucky day this week will
be Monday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
You will profit from home improve-
ment projects and real estate deals.
Your ability to deal with humanitarian
groups will enhance your reputation.
Use your creative talent in order to ac-
complish your goals. Your lucky day
this week will be Wednesday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Don't get so wrapped up in being rich
that you overlook the fact that your plan
may not be as solid as you thought.
Someone you live with could be frus-
trated and upset. Disappointments are
likely if your mate embarrasses you in
front of friends. Partners may try to ar-
gue with you; however, you must stand

Dumb as Einstein

A young boy enters a barber shop and
the barber whispers to his customer,
"This is the dumbest kid in the world.
Watch while I prove it to you."
The barber puts a dollar coin in one
hand and two shillings in the other, then
calls the boy over and asks, "Which do
you want, son?" The boy takes the shil-
lings and leaves.
"What did I tell you?" said the barber.
"That kid never learns!"
Later, when the customer leaves, he
sees the same young boy coming out of
the ice cream store. "Hey son, may I
ask you a question? Why did you take
the shillings instead of the dollar coin?"
The boy licked his cone and replied,
"Because the day I take the dollar, the
game's over!"

A boy comes home from school and
his mom says "What did you learn in

your ground. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Opportunities to get ahead will be evi-
dent. You can pick up some overtime
this week. You will meet new and ex-
citing people if you attend social activi-
ties or sporting events. Your lucky day
this week will be Friday.
AOUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Your mate will be pushing you to do
things that you really don't want to do.
You are best to put your efforts into re-

Your weekly

decorating or inviting friends over.
Empty promises will cause confusion.
Tell it like it is.You will be accident
prone if you aren't careful this week.
Your lucky day this week will be
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You may be likely to have difficulties
with females. Romantic opportunities are
evident. This will not be the best time to
initiate change. There mightbe a problem
with will orwith an insurance policy. Your
lucky day this week will be Saturday.

with Anthony Hunt


.~ ~c. ;~
-. -
~Yi~ ~
* -* I-
- - ~ 1J~Q .~

11JU111FO 1 T

Ring Road, Belmopan

Our new healthy focus doesn't mean we won't eat. We will just eat more
selectively! We decided to pop by the legendary Bull Frog Inn in Belmopan
one Saturday lunchtime and see if we could manage to keep to the plan.
First of all the service was great and the atmosphere was nice. We ordered
the ceviche, skipping the chips, and a club sandwich, skipping the fries.
Both were excellent and prepared nicely. Although the menu tempted us
1/2 with other fare, and a daiquiri sounded delightful on a hot afternoon, we
managed to have a belly full of satisfaction and quench with minimum
guilt on the food and no guilt at all on bottle water! We are told the key
to eating healthy is not going Vegan, but instead eating smaller portions
and avoiding the deep fried sins at all cost.... so far so good and a thumbs
up to the Bull Frog

r Prices: $.00 nd p

school?" He replies, "Obviously not
enough because I have to go back again

There were 4 people in an army
plane: the pilot, and three soldiers. The
pilot said that they were weighted down
and told the soldiers to throw whatever
items they didn't need off the plane. The
first soldier throws off his gold star
badge. The second soldier throws off
his silver star badge. The third soldier
grabbed a bunch of grenades and threw
them off the plane. The plane landed
safely and the soldiers decided to re-
trieve their items. The first soldier went
to where he thought his gold badge
landed. There he found a little boy cry-
ing. He asked what was wrong and the
boy said a gold star fell from the sky
and killed his father. The soldier felt
ashamed and went away. The second
soldier went to where he thought his sil-
ver badge landed. There he saw a little
boy crying. When asked why the boy
said a silver star fell from the sky and
killed his sister. The soldier was
ashamed and went away. The third sol-
dier went to where he thought his gre-
nades would be and there he saw a little
boy LAUGHING He asked what was
up and the boy answered "I farted and
my house blew up!"


Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11

Oil for 100 years!

CARACAS, Venezuela (Bloomberg):
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has
called for the creation of a Latin Ameri-
can energy system to prioritize local
markets in a "true energy revolution,"
guaranteeing oil and gas supply to the
region for 100 years.
"All the oil and energy that Latin
America needs is here in Venezuela,"
Chavez said at a graduation ceremony
in Caracas. "That resource, once in the
hands of the empire, is now in Venezu-
elan hands, and we have it to share with
the people of Cuba and the Caribbean,
Nicaragua and Central America, Brazil
and South America at least for 100
Chavez called proposals by US Presi-
dent George W. Bush to substitute
gasoline with ethanol in a bid to reduce
US reliance on foreign oil, "true crazi-
ness" that "go against nature" and
threaten the region's poorest inhabitants.
"To produce the ethanol necessary to
replace the gasoline that the US alone
consumes, we'd have to plant almost
all the land on this continent with corn
or sugar cane not to feed people, but
to feed the cars of the US empire," he
Oil's other legacy

Aljazeera: Ecuador's natural re-
sources are central to the country's
economy, with oil accounting for 40 per
cent of export earnings.

But oil revenues, which make up a
third of the government's budget, come
at a cost to the environment and activ-
ists say at a cost to the health of Ecua-
dorians living in the affected areas.
Maria Garofalo, a mother of six, has
lived next door to a pumping station for
20 years. She has ovarian cancer and
says her illness is a result of the fumes
and waste she has been exposed to in
that time. "All the smoke from those
burners comes in the house. When it
rains the roof turns black, the same
colour as the water in the tank. That's
what's affecting my health," she said.
Garofalo lives in San Carlos, a small
town in Ecuador's Amazon basin where
the oil industry has operated since the
The town also has the highest inci-
dence of cancer in the country, while
among children there are high rates of
skin disease, throat pains and diarrhoea.
A lawsuit, filed in 1993 and represent-
ing 30,000 local people, alleges that
Texaco, the US oil company which is
today part of Chevron, is responsible
for the contamination of more than
25,000 square kilometres of Ecuador-
ian rainforest.
The lawsuit also alleges that more than
six-and-a-half-billion cubic metres of
gas were pumped into the air.
Mexican farmers
protest Plan Puebla

Over 2,000 farmers were in Mexico
City last week to protest what they be-
lieve is the real objective of the Puebla-
Panama Plan (PPP) Summit : to expel
them from their lands.
Luis Antonio Che, leader of the
Emiliano Zapata Farmer Front, said
contingents mobilized to reject the sum-
mit, despite deployment of police and
federal agents along roads leading to the
Meanwhile, social activists consider
the PPP meeting also aims to channel
oil and other natural resources in the
region to benefit large foreign and na-
tional investors, chiefly those in the
United States.

Guatemalans protest

Guatemala: Thousands of Guatema-
lan health workers marched in the capital
and other cities last Tuesday to reject a
plan aimed at putting these services in
the hands of the private sector.
The so-called Health FrameworkAct,
one of the four elements of the country's
Vision Plan, is no more than the covert
privatization of state-run hospitals, union
leader Thelma Estrada told Prensa
Union leaders say the country's Vi-
sion Plan means putting the State con-
stitutional responsibility to offer free
health services in the hands of private
business people.
FTAA will remain

at the Mexican Embassy in Tokyo on
Tuesday. Soj o is visiting Japan to com-
memorate the second anniversary of the
enforcement of the Japan-Mexico Eco-
nomic Partnership Agreement.
While expressing the Mexican
government's continued support for the
FTAA scheme, Sojo said, "Because
there is no consensus in the region at
this point, the best strategy [for Mexico]
is to continue with bilateral agreements."
The scheme hit an impasse in 2005,
however, after a bitter round of talks
over liberalization of agricultural mar-
kets between the United States and
Brazil that failed to reach an accord.
On the EPA with Japan Mexico's
only free trade pact in Asia Sojo
stressed that it has "benefited Mexico
as well as Japan," as shown in the nearly
30 percent growth of Mexican exports
entering the Japanese market since it
came into effect two years ago.
Wolfowitz apologises
over Dav row

World Bank PresidentPaul Wolfowitz
has apologised for "mistakes" made
over the promotion and pay of an ex-
colleague with whom he is romantically
involved. Mr Wolfowitz's partner,
Shaha Riza, was moved to the State
(Please Turn To Page 12) ME

Mexican Economy Secretary
Eduardo Sojo said in Japan that the
U.S.-led Free Trade Area ofthe Ameri-
cas scheme is likely to remain stalled in
the foreseeable future as negotiations
between the United States and the left-
ist-dominated South America on the is-
sue have been deadlocked for the past
few years.
"It makes no sense to proceed at this
point in time," Soj o said in an interview

AdIlk 0 Alll Reservations: 501-226-2012
moll" M ME=
M, Nor- M U.S. Toll Free: 800-422-3435
M M 14NOW Fax- 501-226-2338

Email: reservations@tropicair.com
The Airline of Belize www.tropicair.com

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12

Hal Ec

rt Group forming

By: Nadja Chamberlain
People with a deep knowledge of
the natural systems of Belize are com-
ing together to watchdog the devel-
opment of Belize by forming a group
called Belize EcoWatch Alliance.
Their plans are to stay alert, keep
communication open between gov-
ernment departments and the envi-

ronmental community, bring together
and assist regional groups who are
facing and fighting environmentally
destructive projects in specific loca-
tions, and help with the struggle to
keep Belize from losing what makes
Belize "The Jewel".
The group will be reviewing sec-
tions of certain Environmental Im-
pact Assessments (EIA's) that per-
tain to their specific scientific, pro-
fessional, or local knowledge and
then will issue a report on that EIA.
Their assistance could ultimately
include helping in the preparation of
law suits by providing scientific data
and local knowledge that support
their case and interpret this infor-
mation in terms that could be un-
derstood by the average person.
This group will try to see that the
citizens of Belize are informed of

what decisions are being made, by
whom they are being made, and
what is being affected by these de-
cisions. They will be joining efforts
at local, regional, and national lev-
els in the hope that scientific facts
and local knowledge of the ecosys-
tems of Belize will be the basis for
land use decisions.
The group is looking for people
with knowledge of any of the envi-
ronmental sciences and environ-
mental law, with or without a de-
gree, whether they are students,
professionals, or local residents
with an understanding of the natu-
ral world in their area of Belize.
They welcome all those who want
to be sure their very way of life is
not destroyed by thoughtless plan-
ning and development that does not
benefit the people of Belize or pro-

tect its natural systems.
This is NOT a group that plans to
have meetings and more meetings
and not accomplish anything. This
is a group that may seldom meet
together but that primarily will stay
in communication through e-mail
and be ready to jump to respond
to serious environmental issues.
With Stake Bank, North Drowned
Caye, the Belize Cruise Terminal,
Smugglers Run, Maya Plantation,
Ambergris Belize Resort, Ma Lo
Ha, Corozal Yacht Club and
SATIIM oil exploration (all coastal
developments with ElAs either
pending or recently reviewed),
Belize is definitely in a crisis on the
If you would like to join in this ef-
fort, contact the group at this e-mail
address: bzecowatch(Zgmail.com

[TOrFCh1 iLWA 37V1

^-- (Continued From Page 11)
Department when he took the
Bank's top job in 2005. But the
bank's staff association says she then
received pay rises and promotions
which were "grossly out of line" with
the Bank's staff rules. The contro-
versy comes ahead of joint World
Bank and IMF spring meetings. Mr
Wolfowitz also said he would accept
any remedy that the World Bank's
Board proposed. The bank chief -
formerly US deputy secretary of de-
fence has adopted a fiercely anti-
corruption stance. The latest furor
threatens to undermine Mr.
Wolfowitz's personal campaign to
combat corruption and poor gover-
Gorbachev warns
about US plans

nation in Europe," Mikhail Gorbachev
said. "I believe it is wrong that
America did not even bother to con-
sult its NATO allies."
Asked how Russia could respond to
these plans, he only said: "Time will

The U.S. revealed plans in January
to deploy elements of its missile defense
system in the Czech Republic and Po-
land to counter possible attacks from
Iran or North Korea, whose nuclear
programs have provoked serious inter-
national concerns.

Russia, which has been anxious about
NATO bases that have appeared in
former Communist-bloc countries and
ex-Soviet republics, has blasted the
plans to deploy anti-missile systems in
Central Europe as a national security
threat and a destabilizing factor for Eu-

Novosti) Deployment of U.S. mis-
sile-defense bases in Poland and the
Czech Republic is an attempt by the
U.S. to control Europe, the former
Soviet president said Thursday.
"It is all about influence and domi-

11 ith a

Tropical T-0ist

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

Comments? Suggestions?

or want to share your


Email us at

Independent. newspaper.

bz(a@gmail. com

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13

Peninsula Citizens... protest illegal mining

-S. (Continued From Page 13)
mining activity to the Department of
Geology with no action by Geology.
The police have now shut down the
sand mining operation at Lot 146.
Loewen has publicly stated that he
has an "agreement" with the Depart-
ment of Geology allowing him to mine
sand from the Lagoon without a per-
mit. This is contrary to the laws of
Belize and, we believe, is a criminal
offense both by Loewen and the De-
partment of Geology, if true.
We would like not only a response
from the Department of Geology re-
garding this alleged agreement, but
also copies of all dredging and mining
permits issued by Geology for the
Placencia Lagoon, as well as copies
of all Environmental Compliance
Plans for developments on the
Placencia Peninsula. We will gladly
pay for all copies of these PUBLIC
documents, and will also arrange to


a. C

Illegally mined sand deposiled at Villas at(
,, .. 13 April

The illegally mined sand has been piled up at Villas at Coco Plum.

have them picked up in Belmopan.
PCSD would also like to put both


Bishop banned

Guatemalan Catholic Bishop Alvaro
Ramazzini was barred from address-
ing journalists at the IDB meeting.
The Bishop learned, to his surprise,
that he is considered a big threat to
finance ministers and bankers.
Ramazzini, bishop of the over-
whelmingly indigenous San Marcos
diocese, and three Maya leaders,
were kept out of the press conference
with non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) on social inclusion and in-
equality by the Guatemalan govern-
In a letter to the NGO organizers,
the government said it could not ap-
prove the event with Ramazzini a
high-profile campaigner on poverty
issues for security reasons.
Ramazzini was angered by the ex-
cuse. "Personally, I don't believe that
I am a security threat," he told Emerg-
ing Markets in a phone interview from
San Marcos.
"It would have been much better if
the government had said that I had
nothing relevant to add to a meeting
about high finance. Instead, they raise
the security question as a way to stop
whatever they don't like."
He said his exclusion is even more
surprising given the ubiquitous theme
of the IDB's Guatemala meeting:
"That no one is left behind."
The organizers of the seminar that
would have included Ramazzini
were also surprised by the decision.
They said that they followed the
regulations and provided the gov-
ernment and the IDB with the names

of participants and themes of the
"I think they cancelled, because
they knew that Bishop Ramazzini
and the indigenous representatives
were going to contradict directly
what the IDB has been saying these
past few days," said Paulina Novo,
of the Bank Information Center.
Ramazzini said he was "disap-
pointed" that the IDB appeared to
have condoned the exclusion. The
IDB said that NGO visitors had
been accredited for events on pre-
vious days, but that yesterday
passes had been refused across the
Civil society groups have been at-
tending the IDB's annual meetings
for years, pointing out that macro-
economic improvements have not
trickled down to the poor majori-
ties something even most govern-
ments acknowledge and are ac-
tively trying to address.
Ramazzini said that he had
planned to talk about the fact that
the government is touting 5% GDP
growth, while conditions in the
countryside deteriorate for the in-
digenous majority.
"I don't get how there is macro-
economic growth and people are
poorer. Something is wrong," he
Guatemalan activists also question
the government's tax policies and
plans to attract foreign investment,
which go hand-in-hand.
by Lucien Chauvin for Emerging Markets.

the Department of the Environment
and the Department of Geology on
notice that our citizens group intends
to monitor ALL development approv-
als on the Peninsula AND to publicly
question all decisions by the Depart-
ment of Environment when it decides
NOT to require full-fledged ElAs for
developments that may have an im-
pact on the Peninsula and the
Placencia Lagoon. Both dredging and
cutting of mangroves will be of par-
ticular focus for our group.
Attached are some pictures of
Loewen's illegal dredging. These pic-
tures were taken by various people
on the Peninsula.
We await your reply.
Leonard Williams, President
Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable



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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14

Colorado court swats mosquito lawsuit

Three prisoners serving potential life
sentences in Colorado say their lives
have been threatened by mosquitoes.
The inmates at Walsenburg and Li-
mon prisons sued, saying they were at
risk of contacting West Nile virus or
other diseases after they were bitten
repeatedly by mosquitoes and suffered
"the emotional and mental distress of

The first Traveling Caribbean Film
opened April 11th with a ceremony and
cocktail party at the Bliss Centre for the
Performing Arts. Two films, "JAB; Blue
Devils of Parmin" from Trinidad and
tobago and "Zulaika" from Curacao
opened the showcase which ran almost
a full week until the 17th.
It featured films from all over the Car-
ibbean in English, Spanish, French and
French Creole. While most productions
were from the last decade, the Jamai-
can classic"The Harder They Come,"
with reggae star Jimmy Cliff was also
included. Only one documentary from

-- (Continued From Page 4)
Is it any wonder pregnant women crave
mangos? As rich with life as they are, as
beautiful and rounded at the bottom half
like the female form when she is carrying
a child. How many women are even now
wanting mangos and not quite sure why?
Or knowing, because it happened be-
Do you like the slippers, black mango,
nine eleven, common mango or Hayden?
Are you willing to lose a good portion of
your allotted time in the conversation to
eat one in front of other people, and not
be able to speak either because your mind
is too distracted by the burst ofjoy in your
mouth, or your teeth tethered together by

whether or not each mosquito's bite
would result in death or serious bodily
Stephen G Glover, Alan Smith and
Michael Freeman said the bites
caused high fever, headache, neck
stiffness and muscle weakness.
"Each attack constituted bodily in-
jury, which the (Department of Cor-

Belize, "The Day of the Dead" from the
Simply Belize television series made the
The Traveling Showcase's visit to
Belize was made possible through the
support of UNESCO, the Embassy of
Cuba in Belize and the National Insti-
tute of Culture and History, NICH, and
local organizer Suzetter Zayden ofFer
de Lance Productions. Ms Zayden is
an independent producer and the driv-
ing force behind the Belize International
Film Festival which will be held biannu-
ally instead of annually alternating with
the Caribbean Traveling Showcase.

stringy fibers? Maybe you have to raise
your hand to cover your lips until you are
sure you have gotten all the little bits out.
Or do you go and hide in the yard or on
the veranda and eat it alone, in order not
to offend or become embarrassed should
you stain your shirt?
That is the only bad part about eating a
mango, getting out the evidence.
Ah, but the trouble is worth it, is it not?
And don'twe all pity those poor Belizeans
living away who cannot getthe first mango
of the season at all?
Yes we do. Go enjoy your canned pine-
apple and fruit cocktail from Winn Dixie.
We got mangos coming, four fora dolla,
or just falling off the trees for
nothing... don't you wish you were here?

reactions) had the power to prevent, but
consciously elected not to," wrote the
inmates, acting as their own attorneys.
But the Colorado Court of Appeals
swat down their case and upheld a
lower court's decision to throw their

case out.
Prison officials said no confirmed
cases of West Nile virus have ever
been found in the prison population,
and inmates are provided mosquito

Full Service Airline

With over 180 daily

scheduled flights

throughout Belize

and Flores in


Charters also available

The Airline of Belize

Social pago

Cuban Ambassador H.E. Eugenio Martinez and his wife Johanna Martinez.with Film
showcase organizer Suzette Zayden (center).

Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15


- Protecting Belize, but are

we protecting them?

Naturalist/photographer Christian
Ziegler has spent hours capturing the
beauty of mangroves, trees many of us
take for granted. Despite the fact that
they provide much needed protection
from hurricanes and erosion, as well as
function as a nursery for many species
of fish and a home to birds and other

This brown egrets survives by feeding on
the fish it catches among the mangrove

wildlife, irresponsible land developers
cut them down exposing the land to di-
saster in many parts of Belize, particu-
larly the Placencia Penninsula.
Independent Weekly is pleased to
share some of Zeigler's work with our
readers and we thank him for giving us
permission to publish them.

Cnrisnan ziegler ana researcher AnKe

The stilt-like roots of the mangrove help retain the shoreline from washing away.

Belizeans may have later cause to regret the ill-conceived burning of mangroves for
land clearing by farmers and other land developers.

The mangrove is a hardy plant tolerant of high salt concentrations which can establish
itself in the shoals of the reef. When this single plant grows into a clump, the combined
tangle of roots will retain sand to begin the formation of a tiny island.

These zebra-striped juvenile spade fish blend in with the lights and shadows among the
roots of the mangroves along the shore.

1/2 acre lots in Burrel Boom 70 acres in Burrel Boom Single-12 acre plot in
starting at $10K for US$50K Ladyville $120 K
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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 16



"I am unable to provide I
because we do not have

There is a DFC GUARANTEE but'
"It really beggs the
statement would have beei
there Is such a guarantee."


Universal Health Service,
- $17million ballooned to $32million + DFC 12 = $44million
- Government wants to swap land...
- Belize Bank is in urgency, carrying around an expensive & non
performing loan.


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