Title: Independent reformer
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00026
 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: June 1, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00026
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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stalks


the state


The PUP swept into office at the 1998
general election with an overwhelming
victory. It apparently was no secret that
Michael Ashcroft had donated
$1,000,000 to the PUP to help get the
PUP elected into office. At the time the
media set forth an alleged quote from
Ashcroft which in substance stated that
if he had known the PUP would do so
well he would not have donated so
much money!
Michael Ashcorft faired well thereaf-
ter. In response to bad press that
Michael Ashcroft was receiving in Brit-
ain that suggested that he was exercis-
ing an unhealthy control over Belize. The
Government of Belize sent an open let-
ter in the form of a press release to the
British newspapers. The letter exalted
Ashcroft's alleged virtues. The letter,
dated 19 July 1999, ended with the
statement "the British press should ei-
ther produce evidence to substantiate


The stmr

Last Friday had promised to be a
powder keg ready to explode with
people power, Ghandi-style. No, not
the infamous legal counsel in Ministry
of Finance but the late great Mahatma
Gandi. Peaceful people power.
The people, with the full backing of
the Unions, the Council of Churches,
and the powerhouse Chamber of Com-
merce won over the business interests
of chief crony and the bagmen. With that
backing the mouse was cornered, min-
isters fleeing from his side in droves.
Heavy threats by the business com-
munity not only to shut down business
on Friday but with promises to collec-
tively withhold paying taxes for 30 days
was the real deal breaker for Musa &
the boys. The business community
caught his attention real fast with that
promise to bring down his house of
cards. And we are sure the International
observes threw a couple of barbs to
remind him what this will mean to his


Great White sighted offshore


its allegations or cease this campaign of
smear and whispering, which not only
stains the reputation of Michael Ashcroft


that


but puts at risk the economy and liveli-
hood of the Belizean people".
Michael Ashcroft was served well by
the Government of Belize's letter, he
became Lord Ashcroft.
Ashcroft has continued to do well. The
Government, at great expense, made a
large land fill in the waters opposite the
Marine Parade. It is now contended that
an Ashcroft interest owns the well lo-
cated and extremely valuable prop-
erty.
The Government has relieved
Ashcroft interests from the payment
of $16,000,000 in taxes that were
due. The GOB contends that this was
a settlement of a suit brought by
Ashcroft interests. The merits, if any,
of the suit were never litigated.
A money laundering scandal was
made public in Belize, it appeared that
Ashcroft interests were then the larg-
est money launders in the Country,


laundering many millions. Allegations
were made that the money laundering
was accomplished with funds from the
narcotics trade. Such allegations were
not pursued by the Government, con-
sequently, they were never shown to
be true or not. The Musa government,
only last Friday, introduced a pro-
posed piece of legislation in the House
of Representatives, supposedly to
tighten the practices in the offshore in-
dustry.
If the allegation had been true the
money launders would have been aid-
ing and abetting the narcotic dealers,
a very high brow crime. However, the
matter was hushed up and there was
never any prosecution.
The PUP attempted to use the tax
payer's money to pay Ashcroft's in-
terest the sum of $34,000,000 to
settle a questionable private debt. An
(Please Turn To Page 5) M W


Is


mne mooa at rriaay s aemostrauon was more relaxed, even ine police were smiling:
longevity in office. ity, and more drastic measures. I still
Last week we suggested other eco- think the business community should
nomic pressures like boycotting a cer- gradually steer clear of a certain bank
tain bank or two, a certain health facil- that has threatened ACB members and


anyone else whojoins their lawsuit. This
would send the the message that mega-
lomania will not be tolerated, English
titles or no.
So while everyone did their share
to create public awareness, it was the
powerful Chamber of Commerce, in
our view, that forced Musa to stand
down and stand his rabble-rouser
Jefferies down. He should apologize
to the Belizean people for allowing
himself to become a pawn in the
power struggle. Treachery of this na-
ture deserves just one swift disciplin-
ary action.
There is more treachery coming
down the Musa pipeline as he pre-
pares his golden parachute for his
grand exit...to Miami, or will it be
Panama? Houses have been prepared
in both places for his very cushy re-
tirement, deposed-dictator style.
Long live the Belize Chamber of
(Please Turn To Page 13) Nl"








Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2


Skeletons coming out
of the closet
Dear Editor,
As I sat listening to the radio broad-
cast of the events unfolding in Belmopan
Friday last, it was all I could do to keep
from bursting into tears, especially when
the teargas started to fly and the smash-
ing started. What is happening to this
beautiful country? What is to become
of it its environment, its culture and
especially the people themselves, the
youths and children?
Under the weight of discussion about
UHS other issues are slipping through.
By what process was the mortgage of
the Mahogany Heights development
settled so that homeowners could get
title? The continuation for the passage
for the construction for the Vaca Falls
dam, something I'd be willing to bet
most people did not realize was already
well underway? How is the free school
text project going to be financed? And
what will happen to the many individu-
als of Benque who work for BRC and
Deacon Cal can't sell his text books?
How about the destruction of the envi-
ronment in the Reserve by the oil com-
pany? Everyday it seems more undis-
closed deals surface.
Concerning the UHS situation, I don't
think anyone is arguing with the con-
tention that Belize needs more and bet-
ter tertiary medical care. What people
are angry about is how this all came into
being. No one person, or even two or
three, should have the right to mortgage
the future of a country's children with-
out consultation with the parents of these
children. At the very least the law says
the cabinet has to be consulted. An act
done illegally cannot be made legal af-
ter the fact!! The children of this coun-
try will be bent double with the burden
of the "supa bond" and now this, for


the next 25 years. And there won't be
any more debts entertained between
now and then? We all know there will
be; new ones are added each day.
One news article stated a number of
cases where UHS had given free care
to a number ofBelizeans. Howwas this
possible? Only because other patients
were paying the high fees allowed this
charity to happen. I am sure, as another
said, that hundreds have benefited from
the care at UHS, especially kidney pa-
tients. But it is also true that hundreds
of others have had to leave for Mexico,
Guatemala and the US because they
could not afford prices here. This is hap-
pening right now. Others are dying be-
cause they cannot find the wherewithal
to get treatment in any place.
When asked just what was included
in this UHS deal, what the public purse
was expected to get for their money,
Hon. Marin listed several properties. I
have no idea how the land was ac-
quired, whether it is personal property
of the individuals concerned or belongs
to the group, but we saw that the other
two health care facilities were instituted
immediately as the NHI was an-
nounced. How have they fared? UHS
itself has obviously not made a profit-
from NHI fees only, how did these other
two keep up-or did they?
There is a great need for tertiary care
but there is an even greater need for
primary and secondary basic care.
There are continued complaints about
basic medication not being available in
the clinics. San Ignacio will no longer
have a hospital but a "polyclinic"- what
in heaven's name does that mean? I sup-
pose it means that everything the least
bit serious will be sent to KHMH. Do
they realize how difficult it will be for
family and friends to visit patients? You
are worried about your family member
and then you have to endure a 6 hour


bus ride, crammed up and uncomfort-
able, then a taxi, which costs even more
for the short trip than the bus does!!
Hon. Marin mentioned the need for
preventive education. On that point I
couldn't agree with him more. As a
health care professional I have advo-
cated the prevention of illnesses,
whether medical or dental ( and they
are intimately connected) on numerous
occasions. I see these little kids each
morning coming to school and the first
thing they do is run across to the snack
shop and come out with all this junk (I
will not call it food)- all this sugar and
fat. And then teachers wonder why they
are so hyper all day long!! Yes high
blood pressure, heart disease in its vari-
ous manifestations and diabetes are rav-
aging the older, and not so old, popula-
tion but these are preventable diseases
which have their beginnings at a very
(Please Turn To Page 15) *


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P.O. Box 2(666
Bcli/c (il%. Beli/e

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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3


Dey


Gastu


Go


By: Alfred Ramirez
We are told that Constitution is the
Supreme Law of Belize and that abso-
lutely nothing, NADA is bigger than the
Constitution of Belize.
Yet we see on a regular basis how
government and select individuals in the
private sector openly and arrogantly ig-
nore and defy provisions of the Consti-
tution and the Laws of Belize. I note
that in the last five to six years in par-
ticular, issues of national importance re-
lated to the development of the people
and the country of Belize have raised
the concern over the abuse of Consti-
tutional Rights and the Rule of Law in
several instances of government deal-
ings both on international and local lev-
els. Belizeans are all too familiar with
the Prosser BTL deal, the INTELCO
deal, the privatization deals, the land
deals, the UHS deal, the BNE deal and
the questionable decisions made at the
highest levels of the Law, and more re-
cently the open defiance of Supreme
court rulings, by private moguls.
Crimes of all types, blue and white
collar are escalating and spreading into
our towns and villages. Our leaders,
those we elect to manage our local and
national affairs, are regularly caught with
their hands in the till. Those who are well
connected through politics or social and
economic status often get away Scot-
free or with only a slap on the wrist


along with an admonishments to simply
follow the money, and try not to get
caught next time.
It is abundantly clear to any keen ob-
server everything is falling apart here in
Belize and that the Ruling Party and the
loyal opposition can't seem to do any-
thing about the ongoing deterioration of
the state of the country's affairs.
The government continues to sell
away our national assets under the guise
ofprivatization and/or developmentwhile
lawlessness escalates. It seems to be a
hopeless situation since the corridors of
power in Belmopan reek with corruption
double dealing, back stabbing, secret
deals, questionable legislative rulings etc.
etc. And the loyal opposition simply goes
on pontificating, hollering, bitching and
promising to do better when they get into
power.
Power seems to be the driving force
behind the opposition's bid to govern and
manage the affairs of Belize this time
around. And the desperation by the party
to hold onto that POWER at any cost is
clearly the driving force behind their bid
to continue their mismanagement, their
double dealings their disrespect of citizens
rights and indeed the downward spiraling
of Belize into chaos and anarchy.
How do we stop this greed for power?
This ongoing deterioration of our way of
life inthisjewel?
SIMPLE! By the determination to and


the will to cast our VOTE in the next gen-
eral election for a new covenant, with a
select group of individuals, 29 or so who
have the country's physical, social eco-
nomic, moral and spiritual well being at
heart.
The old guards in both the PU.P. and
the U.D.P must go. They gastu go be-
cause they simply do not have the cohones
to implement and effect meaningful
changestothe existing parliamentary sys-
tem we have been living with in the last 25
years.
Recall thatBelizeans have tried both the
U.D.P andthePU.P administrations and
neither one has been able to address what
Icallthecolorparliamentary system which
is clearly is not working for all the citizens
ofBelize.
Is it not ironic that the PU.P won the
1998 general election under the banner
of REFORM? Recall that they prom-
ised political reform (whatever that
means to them) and power to the
people at that time.
I quote from the 1998 PU.P. mani-
festo. Remember they were then op-
position:
"The U.D.P. rulers have shown that
they are bent on achieving absolute
power whether by hijacking the House
of Representatives or by manipulat-
ing the judiciary system.!
Ministers commit crimes, squander
the country's resources and ride


roughshod over the people. Their ad-
ministration has provided the stron-
gest arguments for urgent political re-
form".
BASED ON THAT PROMISE and
of course other political promises, but
more so the promise of REFORM the
Belizean people voted the PU.P. into
power with a resounding majority in
the last general election.
It is now over ten (10) years, yes
ten looong years since the promise of
political reform, and we find today
that the P.U.P. administration have
shown that they are hell bent on
achieving absolute power whether by
hijacking the House of Representa-
tives or by manipulating the judicial
system. Ministers commit crimes,
squander the country's resources and
rule roughshod over the people.
Prophetic! Or just the law of Karma
at work?
The Belizean voters can now say, just
as the PU.P. opposition of 1998 said
at the time-
THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS
PROVIDED THE STRONGEST AR-
GUMENTS FOR POLITICAL RE-
FORM.
Indeed in a united and resounding
voice through the ballot, every Belizean
citizen must say: This administration
gastu go come next general election.
LAAD! POWER TO THE PEOPLE


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4




Not a nonsmter

wanted to blow the trumpets and watch the diasporic community! more, pulling another fancy move from
the walls come tumbling down...the If he was not amazed at the open de- his repertoire. That the Guarantee is not
money lenders chased from the temple, fiance of a normally compliant people, off the table just because it was not "or-
Yes, others were relieved, believing the rest of us certainly were. Amazed dered to lay on the table" in the Na-
he did it because he FINALLY saw rea- and proud. For the first time in a very tional Assembly this week. That it will
son, or more importantly to the masses, longtime, reappear in new raiment, a cloak of
invisibilty which covers it better,
.II !U Ii ".. It would be nice if he did it simply out of keeps its feet from sticking out like
-" the last one did, exposing the secret
.' a sense of decency, the realization his people deal to the censure of the community.
By: Karla Heusner Vernon have punished enough." The Carnival contract was nothing
It was like a last minute reprieve of a compared to this one, although it too
death sentence. Just hours before thou- was brought to light by whistleblowers
sands converged on Belmopan to tell he finally heard and abiding by the will Some will say that being a church going willing to risk their income and posi-
the Prime Minister "NO" to UHS and of The People. Ordinary people. man, there was some divine interven- tions. Are there other guarantees out
y extension no to Ashcroft's Belize People who voiced their opinions in a tion, or at least, some intervention from there? Besides the one shared with us
Bank, the man withdrew the controver- SPEAR poll, cast ballots in an unoffi- the clergy. That he was guided in his by 7 News already?
sial motion. Said he would seek buyer cial referendum and flooded the talk choice through prayerful thought and the The true unbelievers are now sug-
forthe private hospital, wouldworkwith shows with their calls and text mes- level-headedness ofthe church elders. gesting Jules could create a 24 hour
the private sector to find a solution that sages. People who, for once, did not Perhaps he sought their counsel during drop box for public servants to anony-
will not affect the tax payers. hide behind their anonymity and fear, or the tumultuous week precisely to be mously leak out documents. In return
Some were disappointed. They even their location in another country. assured that withdrawing the motion they could receive fresh toner car-
wanted a showdown at high noon be- In fact, on Thursday, you might say it was in fact a show of strength, not weak- tridges for the copy machines now
tween the two party heads, wanted to was the "Belize Americans" who be- ness. Perhaps their guidance helped him weary of the sheer volume of repro-
see if theirAreaReps would mutiny and came the most vociferous of the UHS see a out of the darkness. That would ductions going on as officers in vari-
get kicked out. They wanted to see opponents, one set from Los Angeles be nice. Good people would be happy ous departments gather evidence as
some action, watch someone punch the even threatening to turn him back at the aboutthat. we head into the election season,
PM down (figuratively speaking)- not International Airport ifhe dared to come More cynical people will say he is a party loyalists armed with document
have him simply walk away. Belizeans there for a visit or to solicit funds from master chess player who is just, once (Please Turn To Page 13) ~


We PoPpets dance to my Lord's every whim and fancy( He says jump, we ask how high?







Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5


Charting a Focused Course


By: TrevorVernon
The Independent Reformer Weekly,
Belize rebel's paper, is pleased to an-
nounce we are celebrating our sixth
month of publication. We have been
warmly received, not only by readers
in Belize but readers all over the globe.
In fact the numbers coming in from our
four web hosts indicate Independent
Weekly was being downloaded at a
rate of almost 150,000 times per month.
Thus far, this far exceeds our initial ex-
pectations and vastly outstrips our hard
copy circulation in country.
Our online version in pdf format is also
now being produced in color and is an
easy-to-navigate set of pages in which
all advertisements appear prominently.
In fact, the first thing almost all new ad-
vertisers ask is, "Will this ad appear on
the internet in colour too?" The an-
swer is always yes.
In terms of mailed subscriptions, this
is growing steadily as new subscribers
join our roster daily. Many have indi-
cated they are buying a subscription due


to difficulty in obtaining the paper in
shops or from vendors, since political
elements continue to try and sabotage
the distribution network. We had con-
firmed reports the paper was being
burned in at least three locations by sta-
tus quo political operatives.
In addition, there are concerns about
the large amount of newsprint a news-
paper consumes and its effects on the
environment and deforestation, gener-
ally. We are often challenged with re-
turns, as is other newspaper houses.
What they do with their returns is
anyone's guess. We want to be respon-
sible with the disposal of bulk paper.
As we enter phase II of our business/
distribution plan it is clear to us that the
future of the paper lies online and with
our subscribers and advertisers... a
situation which mirrors, in many re-
spects, recent trends in larger, presti-
gious metropolitan and local newspa-
pers worldwide.
Therefore, we are taking the bold
decision at this juncture to take the
plunge and go primarily electronic from
here on in, with a smaller, hard copy
production limited to a select group of
subscribers. This would be mailed to
both those who have supported us from
the beginning and those who wish to
climb on board now. This way we will
not risk disenfranchising loyal readers
who may not have internet access, or


Lone shark


stalks the state


--S. (Continued From Page 1)
outlay over twenty five years that
would have saddled the people with
about $112 MILLION dollars. PM
Musa very wisely withdrew the bill
to take on the UHS private debt.
The PUP now wishes to pass the
BTL Vesting Act. They are doing
this in an attempt to escape the ef-
fect of a Supreme Court order in-
stalling Jeff Prosser as BTL Chair-
man. The effect of the act could dis-
enfranchise thousands of small BTL
shareholders.
To add insult to injury the PUP is
attempting to make the change
which will involve the transfer of
property that would normally re-
quire the payment of taxes in the
vicinity of $12,000,000. The Lord
wants the transfer to be without the
payment of the tax, naturally. All


other citizens of Belize are required
pay transfer taxes; however, the
PUP now wants to exempt Ashcroft
interests from the payment such
taxes, yet again. Is the Lord's
transactions now fully tax exempt?
When was the last time any of his
interests paid any taxes to benefit
the people of this country? Yet he
continues to make big money con-
tributions and loans to the PUP.
Ashcroft interests appear to stand
better with the Prime Minister than
the interest of the people. Was the
British Press right? It makes one
wonder what the real dynamic was
behind the pulling of BBC from the
airways in Belize. The question now
really is to what extent is the Prime
Minister compromised? And how he
has paid for his new mansion in the
United States.


through a sense oftraditional joy of read-
ing a "real" newspaper. We are looking
for ways to show our appreciation to
readers, contributors, and supporters of
the rebel venture.
We are in the process of developing
our own web site, but will of course con-
tinue to be immensely grateful for the
hosting by those guardians of the free
press: www.belizenorth.com ,
www.belizenews.com and
www.belizean.com. It is thanks to them
that so MANY Belizeans and friends of


F'


Belize find our paper each and every
week.
We believe this is a good compro-
mise for our readers, better for the en-
vironment, and the best way to en-
sure our readership as the advertising
base grows, unimpeded by those in
power who want to prevent Belizeans
from having access to diverse views
and critical, thought provoking essays
about our beloved, but endangered
country.


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6


Belize's Lack of Environmental Planning


increases Hurricane Vulnerability


By: Nadja Chamberlain
Belize's hurricane season is here and
where your home is located and what
has been done to your land can affect
its vulnerability to hurricanes.
For thousands of years, mangrove
forests have provided a natural buffer
against cyclones, hurricanes, and other
water-related events that affect the
shore. Many articles have been written
regarding the tsunami that originated
near Sumatra, Indonesia, on 26 Decem-
ber 2004. The articles told of the areas
that were not seriously affected because
they had been protected by mangroves
while areas where mangroves had been
removed by humans were totally de-
stroyed.
When a large volume of fast-moving
water from either a hurricane surge or
tsunami moves from deep water to shal-
low, the height of the water increases
and tremendous damage is done when
this mass of water contacts land. Many
believe that the Barrier Reef completely
protects Belize from storm surge, but it
can engender storm surge as the mass
of water rapidly moving through deep
water hits the reef and the shallow wa-
ters on the lee side of the reef. In addi-
tion, bays can focus storm surges and
increase their height and storm surges
meeting flooding rivers become far more
dangerous.
When Hurricane Wilma was in the
Gulf of Mexico and heading for Florida
in October of 2005, it was predicted
that if it hit the west coast of Florida as


a Category 4 storm, the shallow Gulf
would help create a storm surge for
parts of the Gulf Coast of 15 to 20 feet
with heights of 25 feet up into the bays
and rivers of the west coast of Florida.
Predictions for storm surge from hur-
ricanes in Belize are as follows:
Category 1 storm 4 to 5 feet


above normal tide level
Category 2 storm
above normal tide level
Category 3 storm -
above normal tide level
Category 4 storm -
above normal tide level
Category 5 storm


- 6 to 8 feet

9 tol2 feet

13- 18feet

- more than


18 feet above normal tide level
The height of a river that is flooding
from hurricane rains can be increased
by storm surge approximately 5 feet for
each hurricane category at and near the
mouth of the river. How far upriver this
additional height of water can have an
effect can depend on land elevation, tide
stage, and the amount of rain generated
by the hurricane.


With these figures in mind, let's look
at an area of Belize that has had recent
development with little or no environ-
mental planning. The area is on the
southern coast to the north of a fairly
large river mouth.
River mouths love to switch around
as eroded material in the river is carried
downstream and is deposited at the
river mouth when the river reaches the
sea and slows. However, the banks of
the mouth ofthis particular Belizean river
have been stabilized over many years
by extensive old mangrove forests that
have grown up on either side of the
mouth, holding the land together. While
the entry to the river is shallow from
deposition of eroded materials, a nar-
row channel is maintained by dredging.
Referring to the images in the article,
one can see that much of the old man-
grove wetland forest that been holding
the north riverbank together to within
12 mile of the river mouth has been re-
moved for home sites. Since this
Google Earth image was produced, a


road has been bulldozed and filled for
additional home sites even closer to the
river mouth.
This despite the fact it is a wetland
area. Wetlands are identified by wetland
soils, wetland species of vegetation, and
yearly or seasonal presence of water.
This land contained all of these wetland
indicators plus the old mangroves yet all
of this activity was permitted by the gov-
ernment.
Bulldozers came in and leveled all the
wetland vegetation, including the very
old, mature mangroves. One can see
the remains of the mangrove forest on
either side of this lot, the remnants of
the wetland vegetation in the cleared
area, the dark wetland soils, and the wet
surface of the soil. The lots were filled
by truckloads of sand brought in from
inland in most instances. In other in-
stances, sand was dredged from the sea
just offshore and pumped onto the lots,
a practice that causes erosion on adja-
cent beaches. In many cases, the lots
(Please Turn To Page 10) *Ji


What happens when a Category 5 storm comes ashore in these bulldozed areas?


This aerial view shows homes built along the coast cleared of protective mangroves and the canal dug
behind. A storm surge could wash across beach into canal and possibly divert the river


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


Belize's Lack of Environmental Planning


increases Hurricane Vulnerability


nEi(Continued From Page 7)
were bulldozed from the filled access
road to the sea, including the dunes and
dune vegetation. n most cases, any re-
maining dune vegetation that was help-
ing the shoreline to stay in place after
the bulldozers were finished was re-
moved in a practice referred to by the
homeowners as "cleaning the beach".
The dunes had been protecting the land
behind them and the dune vegetation
had been holding the dunes in place
and trying to rebuild destroyed dunes.
Recently has been even more de-
struction of mangroves and dunes in
this area. Across the filled road to
the home sites, a canal was dredged
through mangroves to drain the land
and one can see the dark wetland soils
that had been dredged out of the ca-
nal and used for fill in this area. These
are anaerobic soils that will subside
as they are exposed to the air. Now
the dredged canal meets the river


Belize City, Belize Wednesday,
May 22, 2007-- The Belize Audubon
Society (BAS) will host its 3 8' Annual
General Meeting on Saturday, May 26,
2007 at the St. Herman's Blue Hole
National Park. All BAS members are
invited to attend the AGM and partici-
pate in the elections of four directors to
the Board of Directors and the presen-
tation of BAS' achievements for 2006.
According to BAS' Executive Direc-
tor, Anna D. Hoare, the key achieve-
ments for the organization for 2006 was
"the instituting of a new financial system
based on cost accounting which quan-
tifies the cost of implementing activities


about 1,050 feet in back of the de-
velopment
The river heading downstream takes
a hard right angle turn just where the
dredged canal meets the river. Also,
at this turn of the river and adjacent
to the dredged canal is a marina facil-
ity with gas pumps and tanks on site.
After studying satellite images of the
changes, you need to begin to think
about cause and effect. Suppose a
Category 3 to 5 hurricane with storm
surge of 9 to 18 feet comes ashore in
this area? The shallows (lighter color
water) and the small bay just offshore
of this site will funnel and increase
storm surge onto the land.
Questions:
Do you think that a river swollen
with hurricane rains, blocked by shal-
low water at the river mouth, and run-
ning into oncoming storm surge en-
tering the river will be able to make


and assists in making critical manage-
ment decisions. This new financial sys-
tem has lend to greater financial trans-
parency and accountability of BAS
funds, and streamlining for greater op-
erational efficiency. In addition, the or-
ganization has focused its efforts on
building institutional capacity through
staff development."
These important achievements have
allowed BAS to improve its contribu-
tion to Belize 's environmental, eco-
nomic and social development through
protected areas management, environ-
mental education, advocacy and public
policy, and community development.


This satellite photo shows the area of development on a small bay near the Sittee
River mouth. Note the lighter color of shallow water and the bay, both of which would
increase a storm surge.


this hard right turn?
Will part or all of the river turn into
the dredged canal and meet and join
forces with the hurricane surge com-
ing across the land after coming
ashore just 1300 feet away from the
river?
Will this dredged canal be the path
of least resistance?
Do you think a new mouth for the
river might appear in the area where
the mangroves have been removed?
Who would be responsible for dam-
age in this area: The landowners who
bought the land and accepted or ok' d
these land practices? The contractors
who brought down the mangrove for-
est and removed the dunes? The
Government of Belize that permitted
these practices?
Who will pay for the repairs of the
damage to the new homes? The in-
surance companies (which would im-








Following the business part of the
Annual General Meeting, members will
have a range of recreational activities
to participate in at St. Herman's Blue
Hole National Park including birding,
cave tubing, cave exploration and hik-
ing, swimming and rock climbing.
The Society started holding itsAGM
at the protected areas it co-manages
last year to build awareness of BAS on
site management initiatives and foster
appreciation for protected areas in
Belize in the general public, and in par-
ticular, within BAS members.
The Belize Audubon Society helped
establish Belize's first protected area at


pact everyone else's premiums in the
future)? The Government of Belize
(meaning the taxpayers)?
As usual, it is the average Belizean
who will have to take the brunt for
this lack of planning and the political
atmosphere that allows the practices
that have been outlined above. At this
writing even more mangrove forest
has been removed even closer to the
river mouth in an area that had been
previously designated as an Eco Pre-
serve.
If we take care of our land, it will
protect us. Taking away the very fea-
tures that protect us only ensures our
coastline is exposed to disaster.
Belize must begin to do some serious
environmental planning and tighten up
its mangrove protection laws, permit-
ting, and enforcement RIGHT NOW!
Satellite image by Google Earth
Photographs by Christian Ziegler









Half Moon Caye, and now manages
nine protected areas covering over
162,000 acres, on behalf of the people
and Government of Belize. These pro-
tected areas include St. Herman's Blue
Hole National Park, Cockscomb Ba-
sinWildlife Sanctuary (Jaguar Reserve),
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
(Ramsar site), Guanacaste National
Park, Halfmoon Caye Natural Monu-
ment (World Heritage Site), Tapir
Mountain Nature Reserve, Blue Hole
Natural Monument (World Heritage
Site), Victoria Peak Natural Monument
and Tapir Mountain Natural Monument.


Dump truck carrying landfill along Jilled road







Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8


ikman


sa


By: Meb Cutlack
Derek Aiman's Covenant Movement
poll, designed to see whether or not
Belizeans accept the Government's
guarantee of UHS debt to the Belize
Bank, told a glaring truth to which the
Prime Minister took the ostrich's way
out by hiding his head in the sand.
Over 7 thousand people voted coun-
trywide in the poll and, according to
the P.M's usually tame radio station
Love FM: "A total tally of the votes
shows no support for the Government
on the UHS issue. Of the 7 thousand
1 hundred and 43 votes that were cast,
7 thousand and 77 people voted 'no',
and '63' people voted yes. Three of
the ballots were spoilt."
Well, of course, the P.M's answer
was that PUP did not vote! No PM, a
lot of PUP supporters did vote. It is
that, just like many members of your
cabinet, they are against your illegal
UHS manipulations.
The message for Mr. Musa on this
issue and on the BTL issue could not
be clearer. Belizeans of all walks of life
are fed up with the PM catering to his
local cronies and his foreign buddies at
the expense ofBelizeans.
A reminder PM, if you need it, of a
speech by Minister Mark Espat back
in June 2005 referring to BTL Minis-
ter Espat said: "This is the single larg-
est privatization of a public asset in the
history of this country. This is a matter
of historical importance.
He then said: "I start with a quote
from a US Justice, Mr. Brandeis, who
wrote: 'the government is the potent,
the omnipresent teacher. For good or
ill it teaches the whole people by its
example. Crime is contagious. If the
government becomes the law breaker
or the law bender, it breeds contempt
for laws, it invites every man to become
a law unto to himself...'
Mark Espat "It is important to.....
look at the company's history and to
speak frankly about how we got to
this point. This is a time for plain speak-
ing.
"For 15 years now, the Carlisle
Group of companies, led by Mr.
Michael Ashcroft and sporting various
disguises such as the Belize Bank, the
Belize Holdings and more recently,
Mercury Investments, Pillow Talk and
E-Com, has pursued a scorched earth
campaign to gain control of Belize's
most profitable public company- BTL.
"Throughout this conspiracy to con-
trol and suck dry BTL and its Belizean


consumers, it would appear that this
government has been an all too willing
accomplice. As it has appeared to the
Belizean people, the relationship be-
tween the conspirator and his accom-
plice is a "Master-Puppet" relationship.
Mr. Espat went on to say: "The events
of the past two years, starting when the
government signed a secret memoran-
dum of understanding to buyout the
Carlisle 52% shareholding of BTL in
October 2003, have proven beyond a
reasonable doubt, just how
costly and how wrong this incestuous
relationship has been.
"It has damaged beyond belief our
Party's grassroots credentials, our
government's credibility and our
country's reputation. The so-called in-
vestment climate at home and abroad
has been sullied. This is a sad story, a
tragedy of unbridled greed, of reckless
disregard for the Belizean consumers
and voters, atale of the free market sys-
tem at its worse.
"The BTL story chronicles the quest
on behalf of Mr. Ashcroft to become
"a permitted person" permitted to
illegally hold more than 25% of the com-


pany, permitted to extract tens of mil-
lions in management fees and deposits,
permitted to withhold dividends from the
hundreds of small Belizean sharehold-
ers, permitted to marginalize the
Belizean management and staff, permit-
ted to gouge the consumers, permitted
to enjoy a monopoly, then permitted to
obstruct interconnectivity and competi-
tion, permitted to avoid taxes, permit-
ted to blur the line between onshore and
offshore, permitted in short to act against
the national interest ofBelize."
Mr. Espat added: "It is absolutely clear
to me, and it was made absolutely clear
at the time BTL was first incorporated
in its 1988 Prospectus for the Sale of
Shares, that no person should hold
more than 25%."
He went on to say: "The public pro-
spectus declared: 'In order to prevent
undue influence in the affairs of the
company as the telecommunications op-
erator in Belize, the Articles of Asso-
ciation contain provisions to limit
shareholdings. With the exception of
permitted persons, namely, a Minister
of the Government, any person acting
on the written authority of the Govern-


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the "B" shares, no person shall be al-
lowed to retain more than 25% of the
voting capital of the Company.'"
In fact, as Mr. Espat pointed out at
the time, Article 36 of BTL is actually
entitled "Limitations on Shareholding"
and this article deals extensively with the
procedures that the Board shall employ
to ensure that no one owns more than
25%. The article detailed the Board's
obligations to dispose of any shares held
by a person who exceeds the 25% limit.
There it is in black and white and not
from anyone else but from a member of
his PUP cabinet and yet, just this week,
an even more insidious bill enshrining
Michael Ashcroft's total control over
BTL was pushed through the House.
This Bill, and a lot of other legisla-
tion passed by Mr Musa to help local
cronies and foreign pals, has to be re-
visited by the next Government of
Belize otherwise this sort of sup-
posedly legalized theft will stand as
blank cheque for all future govern-
ments of Belize.


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9


WTP


- PNP Alliance calls on leaders to


take control of the country's affairs


We are again witnessing the actions
of a constitutionally elected government
with absolute power to impose its will
against the wishes and the interest of the
common people. This hated monster
with its "hard head" is here to destroy
our future and that of our children. Un-
less we destroy the undemocratic sys-
tem that keeps this monster alive, it will
destroy us all.
Cabinet is vested with absolute
power for the full term of this Govern-
ment and no matter what Belizeans think
or say, it does not have to and will not
submit itself to the public's outcry. This
points to the urgent necessity for con-
stitutional reform to remove Cabinet's
absolute power and make it more con-
trollable.
The announced intention of the Op-
position to mobilize people into mass
protest is only a convenient and imprac-
tical tool being used to regain political
power. Yes, it is our democratic right to
peaceful protest and to ventilate our
anger and frustrations, but this is no
guarantee that it will be successful.
The planned mass protest in
Belmopan did not prevent this absolute
power Government from taking the first
steps to forcing the unjust and private
UHS debt onto the backs of all Belizeans
as was anticipated in the Guardian
newspaper of Sunday, May 19t', 2007
edition, page 3. And the planned mass
protests by the Opposition in the dis-
trict towns and cities will not stop the
Government from "passing the buck"
either. And to quote the Hon. Dean
Barrow, leader of the Opposition, "if the
PU.P can successfully and lawfully gain
approval from the National Assembly
for the repayment of the U H S debt, a
new government can hardly take that
back." We must awaken to the fact that
these "peaceful protests" are failing to
have their desired effect and purpose
and we must begin to explore other
more effective and legal avenues we can
turn to.
That legal avenue is constitutional re-
form. Let us look at our 1981 Consti-
tution, Chapter VI, Page 51.
The Legislature, Section 55
Establishment of Legislature 55
There shall be in and for Belize a Legis-
lature which shall consist of aNational
Assembly comprising two Houses, that
is to say, AHouse of Representatives
and a Senate.
Composition of House of
Representatives Sec 56 (1)
Subject to the provisions of this Sec-
tion, the House of Representatives shall
consist of eighteen members who shall
be elected in the manner provided by
law.
(House members were increased to


29 and further increased to 31 for the
2008 general elections.)
(Note too that it was the PU.P. con-
stitutional architects that ensured direct
elections for House members and a suf-
ficiently large Cabinet drawn from
among these same House members to
guarantee them absolute power.)
Now let us look at Sec 61, Page 57
The Senate
Composition of Senate The
Senate shall consist of eight members
(in this constitution referred to as "Sena-
tors") who shall be appointed by the
Governor General acting in accordance
with the advice of the Prime Minister.
(The Senate members have been in-
creased to twelve, 6 appointed on the
advice of the Prime Minister, 3 on the
advice of the Leader of the Opposition
and 3 on the advice of Civil Society.
Since the introduction of the non-
elected Senate, it has consistently been
hijacked by the PU.P, and in turn by
the U.D.P. Despite the shenanigans, the
Senate merely executes the will of Cabi-
net, becomes its Rubber Stamp, pow-
erless to oppose the raising and spend-
ing of public revenues. It cannot and
will never effectively defend the interest
of the people.
It is the PU.P. and the U.D.P. that
have subordinated the unelected Sen-
ate to the wishes of Cabinet, prevent-
ing this country for so long from having
a government with true "separation of
powers" with each House checking the
other before any law can be passed.
It is and shall always be the other
House of the National Assembly, an
elected Senate by the people that shall
forever have the constitutional author-
ity of the people to always say no, no,
no to any unjust and oppressive Bill of
Law.
We must reclaim and free the Senate
now and make it a real upright and firm


"House" of the National Assembly. It
belongs to the people. We must begin
to freely elect our Senators to repre-
sent us, and not the Prime Minister nor
the Opposition nor special interest.
Now is the time to renew our com-
mitment to this with even more vigour
and let our voices ring along the entire
length and breadth of this land so that
the Prime Minister, the right Hon. Said
Musa and the Leader of the opposition
Hon. Dean Barrow and other upcom-
ing leaders that they must take this stand
to prove to the Belizean people that they
truly hold allegiance to them. We call
on them to endorse and introduce the
constitutional amendments necessary for
an elected Senate and to do this before
the 2008 general election. Otherwise,
history will not be kind to them.
We invite Senator Godwin Hulse and
his distinguished colleagues, Senator
Rene Gomez and Senator Moises Chan
to join us in leading this national cam-
paigning to "free the Senate." We invite
all former Senators too to help us to rid
ourselves of this frustrating non-elected
Senate. We invite them to recall how
many times they were whipped into line
with the reminder by the leader of gov-
ernment business in the Senate that as
appointed Senators they could not op-
pose the will of the elected Government.
We invite Senator Godwin Hulse to
take the necessary steps to introduce
three motions at the next sitting of the
Senate:
1. Amotion to amend the Constitu-
tion for a freely elected Senate.
2. A motion to amend the Constitu-
tion for direct elections of the next Prime
Minister.
3. A motion calling on the Prime
Minister to hold a national Referendum
for the people to express through the
ballot their support or otherwise for both
proposed constitutional amendments.


We further extend this invitation to all
Belizeans that have expressed their open
support for an elected Senate and to
those in the media and in other respon-
sible positions, namely
Mr. Jorge Espat, former Minister of
Government
Mr. Francis Gegg, W.T.P.R.M,
Founder
Mr. Harry Lawrence, The Reporter
Mr. Meb Cutlack, The Independent
Reformer
Mr. Russel Vellos, Amandala, Chief
Editor
Ms. Adele Ramos, Assistant Editor
Mr. Mose Hyde, KREM Radio and
Television, Manager
Mr. Trevor Vernon, The Independent
Reformer, Manager
Mrs. Karla Heusner Vernon, Inde-
pendent Reformer, Editor
Mr. Derek Aikman, former Minister
of Government
Mr. Bert Tucker, International Con-
sultant
Mr. Kevin Herrera, Belize Chamber
of Commerce and Industry, General
Manager
Mr. Henry G Gordon, Former Cabi-
net Secretary
Ms. Candice Pitts Student and
Writer
Mr. Frankie Rys, Teacher and Activ-
ist
Mr. Rene Villanueva, Love Radio and
Television, Owner
Mr. Jules Vasquez, Channel 7 News,
Journalist
Mr. Stewart Krohn, Channel 5 News,
Manager
Ms. Zenaida Moya, Belize City
Mayor
The Presidents and Secretary Gen-
erals of all Labour Unions
The Chairmen of SPEAR and all other
N.G.Os of Belize.
The members of the A.C.B.


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


The following are highlights of an
intervention by Margarita Riva
Geoghegan at a recent Permanent
CouncilMeeting at the Organization
ofAmerican States, of which Belize
is a member.
The United States is a nation that fol-
lows the rule of law. The United States
has a separation of powers an inde-
pendent judiciary, an independent leg-
islative, and an independent executive
branch. The judiciary system of the
United States has taken a position on this,
and we ask that the Government of Ven-
ezuela respect that decision.
However, I want to start, Mr. Chair-
man, and make clear, as we have in the
past, U.S. policy on counterterrorism. It
is clear: It is as we said the last time that
Venezuela raised this same issue. We
condemn terrorism and terrorists, irre-
spective of the cause they pretend to es-
pouse. In the "Declaration of Panama
on the Protection of Critical Infrastruc-
ture in the Hemisphere in the Face of
Terrorism," which was adopted earlier
this Spring by all OAS Member States -
except Venezuela- states agreed to con-
tinue to build on the spirit of multilateral
cooperation in order to prevent, combat,
and eliminate terrorism in all of its forms
through the protection of critical infra-
structure. In this, my delegation firmly
agrees.
Since the terrorist attacks of Septem-
ber 11, the Member States of the OAS
have worked in concert to strengthen our
ability to confront the threats of terror-
ism. The hemisphere has strengthened
its institutional capacity to help prevent
the threats from becoming real. For ex-
ample, the OAS adopted at the June
2002 General Assembly the Inter-Ameri-
can Convention Against Terrorism, ex-
panding our legal obligations to work to-
gether to both prevent and respond to
terrorism. Today, 22 states, including the
United States, are State parties to the
Convention. The activities of the Inter-
American Committee Against Terrorism
(CICTE) along with the Inter-Ameri-
can ConventionAgainst Terrorism-con-
stitute a strong institutional foundation for
our hemispheric fight against terrorism.
Ourgovemment has demonstrated time
and again that it is fully committed to pre-
venting terrorists from establishing a safe
haven from which to attack. Mr. Chair-
man, in reference to Venezuela's draft
declaration before the Permanent Coun-
cil today, the United States' position is
that this is a bilateral issue between two
OAS Member States. It is not a multi-
lateral issue that needs discussion here.
In fact, as I stated before, the tone and
substance ofthe distinguished delegate of
Venezuela clearly makes that point forus.
We do not believe this declaration has a
place before this body today.
Turning to the public allegations on the


case of Mr. Posada Carriles made by the
Government of the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela, we categorically reject these
characterizations and specific accusations.
We would, however, make the following
points: The United States has taken a
number of actions with respect to Luis
Posada Carriles. In taking these steps,
the United States has acted consistently
with international law as well as its do-
mestic legal framework that provides for
due process and various constitutional
safeguards. As with all democracies
around the world that follow the rule of
law, these safeguards provide that an in-
dividual cannot be brought for trial or ex-
tradited unless sufficient evidence has been
established that he committed the offense
charged. In the United States, this stan-
dard is described as "probable cause."
Mr. Chairman, here is brief overview
of the steps the United States has taken
with respect to Posada within this legal
framework: Posada entered the United
States illegally in early 2005. Posadawas
detained by immigration authorities in the
United States on May 17, 2005, and he
was, in accordance with U. S. law, placed
in removal proceedings. The immigration
judge who handled the removal proceed-
ings ordered that Posada be removed
from the United States on September 27,
2005. This order remains in effect. The
United States has been seeking ways -
and continues to seek ways to imple-
ment it consistent with the terms of the
order andU.S. regulations that implement
the obligations of the United States under
the ConventionAgainst Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment.
Specifically, atthe time the immigration
judge ordered Posada removed, the im-
migration judge also determined that
Posada could not be removed to either
Cuba or Venezuela, as it was more likely
than not that he would be tortured if he
were so transferred. The United States
would, however, be prepared to transfer


Posada in accordance with U. S. law to
another country with terrorism-related
charges against him.
Moreover, the United States sought and
obtained a criminal indictment charging
Posada with violations of our immigra-
tion laws. The federal district court a
part of the United States' independentju-
diciary handling that case issued a deci-
sion on May 8, 2007 dismissing the in-
dictment. The United States is currently
reviewing that decision and its options for
challenging it. Posada also remains un-
der investigation for past activities. Inthe
meantime, Posada remains subject to the


order of removal issued by the immigra-
tionjudge and is without legal status in the
United States. He is also subject to an
Order of Supervision from the Depart-
ment of Homeland Security, Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which
imposes certain restrictions on Posada,
including reporting andmonitoringrequire-
ments.
The United States would like to under-
score that the recent U.S. court decision
to drop immigration-related charges was
made by the independentjudiciary of the
United States and that decision is being
reviewed by U. S. law enforcement au-
thorities, including the Department ofJus-
tice, to evaluate all options. In sum, the
United States continues to be engaged in
an ongoing series of actions, consistent
with our legal requirements and due pro-
cess, with respect to Mr. Posada.
Mr. Chairman, we are a nation governed
under the rule of law, with a strict separa-
tion of powers and a fiercely independent
judiciary, of which we are very proud. It
is unfortunate that this case is being pre-
sented by Venezuela, willfully ignoring the
efforts the United States has made to de-
tain Mr. Posada that are on-going, and
our firm resolve and commitment in the
global fight against terror.
To close, let me just sum up. Immigra-
tion charges were dismissed. The De-
partment of Justice is examining that. He
is effectively still under house arrest and
(Please Turn To Page 13) 0 "


US Permanent Representative to the OAS Margarita Riva
Geohagen addresses a recent OAS Permanent Council Meeting.


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11


By: Julia Heusner
Each year millions of teenagers be-
come pregnant world wide. In Belize,
1/4 of babies are born to mothers
under the age of 20. Today, teenag-
ers experience sexuality and often
respond to their feelings in an irre-
sponsible way. In their hearts and
minds they feel that they're in love,
when it is usually infatuation. Teen-
agers now must decide whether to
engage in sexual activity or abstain,
use contraception, have an abortion,
keep the baby or put it up for adop-
tion. Birth control is 98 % effective
and so are condoms, so putting the
two protections together is highly ef-


Teenage Pregnancy

you think about it most could have been prevented
with the use of protection. Some people may not
afford condoms but if you cannot afford a condom
you cannot afford a baby. Children from runways
by teenage mothers go through a hard time in life.
Teenage mothers have no time for other things; be-
cause they are busy taking care of their baby. Most
teen mothers end up dropping out of high school,
S-" because they do not have time for school anymore.
f j They work for low wages to make money and sup-


fective but against some religious be-
liefs. Most teenagers really do not un-
derstand how big of a life change they
will undergo. The numbers of teen-
age pregnancy is very high but when


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ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Your mate will appreciate your hon-
esty. You have so much to offer; open
up and let your thoughts be known. If
you've taken on a lot of work, be sure
to leave some time for yourself and fam-
ily. Social events will be plentiful. Your
lucky day this week will be Thursday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
You will not impress others by being
foolishly generous. Opportunities to get
ahead are evident. Look for professional
guidance if it will help unite the family.
Changes in your domestic scene are
evident. Your lucky day this week will
be Wednesday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
You will have splendid suggestions for
fund raising events. Your boss may not
be in the best of moods this week. Don't
let the erratic behavior of someone you
live with interfere with your professional
performance. You need to distance
yourself from the situation for a little
while first. Your lucky day this week will
be Saturday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Avoid friction with your mate. Try to
avoid serious discussions with loved
ones. Travel for business or pleasure will
be enlightening. Involvement in groups
will be favorable and lead to valuable
information. Your lucky day this week
will be Friday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You are likely to be left alone if you
aren't willing to bend just a little. Real
estate investments will be profit able. You
need to spend some time getting to know
this person all over again. Expect some
flak. Your lucky day this week will be
Tuesday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Opportunities for new partnerships
will develop through the organizations
you encounter. Get busy putting your
place in order. You may be upset if
someone has borrowed something that
belongs to you. There may be oppor-
tunities to attend social functions that are
linked to work. Your lucky day this
week will be Thursday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Travel could bring you the adventure
and excitement you require. Don't let


port the child. Some teenagers try to
stay in school to have a good image,
so that other people in school do not
look at them as a pregnant teenager
but as just one of them. Another risk
of having sex is that you might catch
an STD. When teenagers plan to
have intercourse, they should think
about whether or not they could
handle a baby.


relatives stand in the way of your per-
sonal plans. The existing problems must
be dealt with one way or another. Be
firm when dealing with matters pertain-
ing to your environment. Your lucky day
this week will be Wednesday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
You should avoid getting involved in
the personal problems of colleagues.
Promote your ideas now. A need to be
in love may fool you. Social get-together
will bring you in contact with intelligent
new friends. Your lucky day this week
will be Saturday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
You may find yourself in an uncom-
fortable situation if you have overloaded
your plate unintentionally. Be prepared
to have relatives or close friends intro-
duce you to new and exciting individu-
als. Realize that you don't have to do
everything yourself. Ferret out informa-
tion that will hold them responsible. Your
lucky day this week will be Wednes-
day.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Self-deception about relation ships is
a problem. Keep your feet on the
ground, if you can. You will be in the
mood for competition, and your ability
to lead a group will bring you popular-
ity. Your creative ideas must be put to
good use. Your lucky day this week will
be Monday.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
You are best not to confront situations
that deal with in-laws or relatives. Your
emotional partner will push the right
buttons this week. Check your personal
papers and make sure everything is in
order. You can accomplish a lot if you
deal with other people's money or pos-
sessions this week. Your lucky day this
week will be Sunday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Don't sign up for too many extra ac-
tivities or you'll have trouble fulfilling
your obligations. Take time to deal with
authority figures or government agen-
cies. Be considerate and avoid being
overly opinionated, or arguments will
ensue. Chances are you could get stuck
with a colleague's job unexpectedly.
Your lucky day this week will be Fri-
day.


Your weekly

K](a)[@







Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12



-iO iCWAs FBT


The PM-did in fact evacuate his im-
mediate family to US, but only the Musa
side. At least only Musa side on the
same plane. Second wife was at House
Meeting.
Word is that PM spent several nights
sleeping at APC under guarded protec-
tion. (Foolish if there was a military
coup...) Last time around he stayed in
the presidential suite at the Princess
Hotel & Casino in Belize City, top floor.
And he gets on a BDF chopper to get


Television camermen Alfonso Noble (left) and his brother i ,ghi stood their ground to report the events of demonstrations on May18
and 25 and were targeted by the Police for their job dedication.


The controversial Supt. Crispin Jeffries


www~ol~d p ra~K'cntu rcs.com











Information Security


to Belmopan for the last two Friday
Meetings of the House of Representa-
tives.
Reports are he recently purchased a
spread for $US5Million in the USA.
Wonder where all that "plata" came
from? Prime Ministerial salaries must
have gone up...
Congrats to Acting Commissioner of
Police Maureen Leslie for standing her
ground and refusing to let the contro-
versial Crispin Jeffries anywhere near
the National Assembly and protesters
on May 25'. The walls have ears and
heard him insist he would be out there
and challenge her authority. Just let him
try to grab her around the neck as he
did a civilian woman on the Bel-China
Bridge in January, 2005....plenty of
cameramen around willing to get that on
tape.
Speaking of cameramen, GOB's at-
tempts to muzzle the media and keep


images of brutality against protesters off
the tv and internet went way too far over
the past two weeks. Swipes at Romero,
arrest of Ellis then the Noble
brothers... .good thing for the cops they
didn't have any hidden cameras on them
while in lockdown. Now THAT would
be newsworthy coverage.
Please be reminded Minister of Home
Affairs that Belize has signed an inter-
national convention on Freedom of the
Press and these things are monitored
abroad. No doubt the complaints have
already been filed with the Inter-Ameri-
can Press Association. Certainly they
should be recorded with the Human
Rights Commission here in Belize.
These Castro-esque tactics against the
free media should alarm us all. But thank
you gentlemen for not only bravely fac-
ing the rioters but also the oppressors
to give us a glimpse of the new reality.
What's wrong with these Ministers


ILT m -wAT f


locking up journalists on suspicion of
whatever and then releasing them with
any charge or worse any apology?
Seems like Ash has the goods on
Musa & Fonseca; he gets them to do
as he wishes to protect his interests.
Word is he hands them the draft legis-
lation he needs passed in our house of
representatives. They pass all the legis-
lation the British Lord demands ...at the
expense of the people of Belize. Won-
der if he can pull that stunt in the UK?
Heard Lady Speaker is upset at the
exposed special family relationship she
has with the PM. When will the oppo-
sition reveal the special family relation-
ship she has with the British Lord? And
she is right too when she said that the
opposition didn't obj ect when she was
being appointed. Barrow should have
objected then... as he should when
Musa's other family were being ap-
pointed all over the place.


.1


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page :13


Not a monster


-I n (Continued From Page 4)
shredders working late into the night..
Was it the threat of further expo-
sure that prompted him to back off
on UHS? Or was that less of a con-
sideration than the need for a peace-
ful house meeting to ensure the pas-
sage of the BTL Vesting Bill? What is
$33 to $100M compared to the loss
of BTL to an American?
Or was it another threatened loss,
that of business and sales tax for at
least a month that did the trick? The
Chamber's call for a one day busi-
ness closure was peants compared to
their call for a delay in tax payments.
Would such a thing have crippled the
economy? Might have at least kept
GOB from meeting payroll... then
there is the risk some BCCI members
might have simply not resumed pay-
ing again later, continue their civil dis-
obedience or joined the the big boys
in their indefinite tax exemptions..
Then again, maybe it all just got too
personal. Maybe the Prime Minister
began to fear for his safety and that
of his family.
Maybe he feared his loss of repu-
tation internationally, specifically
among CARICOM and SICA mem-
bers, some of who made private jokes
and inquiries with local press about
how long "can he keep his govern-
ment?" Surely the Barnett resignation
and threatened resignations of a good
chunk of his cabinet must have
opened him to speculation about his
leadership, and methods of doing gov-
ernment business.
It is hard to say what prompted his
move, there were so many pressures.
It would be nice if he did it simply out


of a sense of decency, the realization
that his people have punished enough
under his tax regime, are suffering
enough from an unsustainable cost of
living and price of fossil fuels.
If he did indeed wake up that
Thursday morning and think to him-
self, "I have really screwed things up,
I wonder what came over me? If
change my ways can I win back their
respect and loyalty? Win myself a third
term?"
Perhaps his comments to one of the
tv stations that he is "not a monster"
are an indication he is finally begin-
ning to understand that the public has
not only lost confidence in his leader-
ship, they now consider him a villain
in the national drama. See him now
as an overseer oppressing the slaves
in the timber gang, taking away the
household plantations from the wom-
enfolk and indenturing the children for
generations to come.
The slavery, the bondage imagery
is every where. The references to
Massa and Boss Man are pervasive.
He must hear it, read it. He must see
it on the anxious, angry faces of the
people who trusted him once upon a
time.
Belizeans who turned away in bore-
dom when the We The People Re-
form Movement, the Commission on
Political Reform made their recom-
mendations are now calling vehe-
mently for an elected senate, a limit
on campaign financing and terms of
office.
He may think he is not a monster,
but he sure seems to have created one.
And now even he no longer knows
how to control it.


The straw that broke


the camel's back


Solitary demonstrator waves the flag while the crowd picnicked during midday lull


/In.(Continued From Page 1)
Commerce & Industry and the other
private sector organizations that were
bold enough to bring the camel to its




nera (Continued From Page 1)
un er a deportation order. The extradi-
tion request is still being reviewed. He is
still under investigation for other crimes.
There have been teams that have gone
to other countries to investigate if there
were any crimes that took place out-
side of the United States that may have
violated U. S. laws while they were be-
ing performed. We are still reviewing
the U.S. laws that may have been vio-
lated. We are communicating with other
countries about the possibility of taking
Mr. Posada.


knees. Maybe they'll take on the
much despised English Pirate next and
become true champions of the poor
people of Belize.




Member delegates, the United States,
contrary to the impression that you may
have heard that we are not doing any-
thing with regard to this case, is actively
working this case, and I sum up by say-
ing that we still believe that it is a bilat-
eral issue between us and Venezuela,
and I do not believe that this issue be-
longs in this forum, and I thank you for
your attention. I am apologetic that we
have had to take your time, when we
could be dealing with other matters of
much more urgency before the General
Assembly comes before us. Taken from


w w w.ous.org.
with Anthony Hunt


A-l- -- I IX 1XXL.J V L_-J

THIEVES HALT THE FOOD COLUMN, FOR Now...
380 Lake Gardens, Ladyville
Well, 4 brazen kid thieves (Yes, we know who you are!) paddled in a stolen ca-
noe, cleverly avoided some dogs, then managed to, by sheer luck, pick the only
time this year the alarm was off, and squeeze (Yes, squeeze!) through a 12 inch
by 14 inch space in my burglar bars, to enter this writer's home and steal several
items, including my camera used to do this column. All of this happened while
we were at a children's party just down the street in BROAD DAYLIGHT on
a Sunday afternoon. Obviously we were staked out, but the bigger question is
...what is becoming of a country in which adults actively encourage a child to
do home invasions? It is truly sad. Our political culture of self entitlement and
dependency has ultimately bred lazy adults who send their kids to steal. And to
know that we are being stalked, in our own homes, in a well laid out plan...well,
that is truly not the Belize that I love. But, I dare them to try it again....they have
a very, very big surprise waiting on them, and we will not be caught napping! In
the meantime, we foiled their Monday attempt at a house down the street, where
they escaped into the "Japan" bushes. We recovered the canoe. Psst....notice the
absence of the word "police" in this story....Belize is now the wild wild west and
the hunt is on. Hey theives, consider yourself warned...if you can read....


THE1


- !







Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 114


GUEST


GALLERY


On Wednesday May 30th Caracol
students from Arenal Belize and Gua-
temala are presenting their photo-
graphic exhibition 'Living on the Bor-
der Line' at the George Price Centre
for Peace and Development in
Belmopan. The Exhibition will run until
Monday 11th June.
This exhibition was launched in
Arenal Village on 5th and 6th May of
this year and will be touring to
Belmopan City, Guatemala City and
other locations in Belize, England and


Scotland.
Caracol-ycd and the Language Ex-
change Project Belize-Guatemala
sponsor this exhibition.
Tu Caracolito, a bilingual youth
magazine including texts and pictures
produced by the same students, will
be officially presented to the public.
If you have photos you would like
to share in Independent Reformer
Weekly's Guest Gallery email them to
karlavernon_belize@yahoo.com in
j peg format.


"I took this picture of my grandfather because he asked me to take it. He was taking a
rest on the cement edge of the house. I loved my grandfather very much because he was
very good and he loves me taking his picture. Even when it is going to be one year since
his death, I cannot forget my beloved Grandfather." (photo by Ofelia Pat, age 14)


"My little brother's name is Edson Ardani Meda. He was pretending to kill birds when
I took the picture at my brother in law's lot. My brother in law wanted to kill all the red
headed woodpeckers because they ware eating all the oranges. He offered to pay the
children one quetzal for each bird they killed." (photo by Efrain Meda Cunil, age 15)


Who is this fisherman? (Hint: you can find his alter ego on page 5)


"To take this picture I went on top of a stone and I almost fell over. It was raining
during those days and the river was dirty, and there was mud everywhere. As there is no
running water in every house, this child was taking water out of the river. He is wearing
my Dad's boots because he didn't want to get his feet dirty."
(photo by Greisy Marroquin Guerra, age 14)


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15


in. (Continued From Page 2)
early age. Money does need to be spent
on educating parents, children and
teachers on how they can be their own
care-givers.
The oil revenues are said to be the
source for payment so that all can have
free medical care. So far we haven't
seen what this may amount to and when
it will be available. It sounds great but
as the saying goes "There is many a slip
between the cup and the lip"
PatAsling,
BenqueViejo
Cowboys and Indians
Dear Editor,
I just watched the news (Thursday
May 24). It appears that PM Musa has
outmaneuvered opposition leader Dean
Barrow once again. No matter how you
slice it, Musais abetter manipulator than
Barrow.
It's crystal clear that Musa can wiggle
out of any trap Barrow may devise.
Perhaps Musa is the best candidate to
lead this country, a country full of people
who have been regretfully overcome
and crippled by a deep-seated malaise.
Belize could follow the old commu-
nist method of issuing vodka (in this
case rum) to the citizens in an effort to
quell their ever-simmering discontent.
But, I don't think so. Currently, anger
is the drug of choice used as an intoxi-
cant by manipulators.
Or perhaps they could vote into of-
fice people who actually care about this


country and their collective welfare.
Yes. This makes sense.
It will be interesting to see what tran-
spires over the next few years. This
Musa-Barrow "cowboys and Indians"
routine is getting a bit old. Where is the
creativity? Where are the big ideas that
when implemented will deliver the citi-
zens into a prosperous economy and
better lifestyle?
It's really none of my business, but
Belizeans are wonderful people who
deserve better treatment by their gov-
ernment. They deserve a chance to live
better lives. Being nice by nature has
hurt Belizeans in the long run. Bullies
have run rough shod over them. What
a shame.
Yes, bad business decisions have
mostly robbed Belizeans of any hope
for security. So far, it seems that none
of the decision makers, present or past,
have done enough to propel the Belizean
economy forward. Selfishness has
robbed the treasury.
But you see that same selfishness
every day when some maniac zooms
past your car on the roads... passing on
blind curves with that "Me First" atti-
tude that is the underlying disease eat-
ing away at Belize.
Meanwhile, murdering thugs continue
to terrorize Belizeans trying to earn an
honest dollar. They don'tjust rob. They
kill. For nothing. The only way to turn
this entire zoo around is to start taking
a hard line with street thugs, then work
up to the thugs in government. Not that


there's much difference between the
two.
What we need now is a lot of tar and


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feathers. Rehabilitation starts at home.
Signed,
An adopted Belizean


609-5632 3-5pm daily. Photo below
Free Ads! The INdependent Re-
former is offering free classified ads
for the month of May:
1) 20 words or less
2) one ad per person in the promotional
period for free
(additional ads are only $10 each)
3) with photo (first time free... $10 ad-
ditional for photo ads)
jpeg or tiff formats only. Must be
emailed, no disk pickup or drop off
4) business card -first run is free for
month of May, 2007, $20 a run there-
after
5) All classified ads must be emailed to
independent, newspaper. bz@ggmail.
com with cc to
kheusner(@yahoo. com and checks to
PO Box 2666, Belize City.
Please note: We must receive your ad
by Friday at mid-day for inclusion in
following Tuesday issue.


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Friday, June 1, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 116

PARENTS

Even though BRC's Infant Division Math and
Reading books are used in sixty to eighty percent
of the schools, BRC's Math and Reading books
will not be given away free. Instead, Government
is giving away Caribbean books that are designed
for children who speak English as a first language
and have a lot of parental help in learning.

In most schools there is a high percent of children
who must learn English as a second language. In
many schools there is a high percent of children
whose parents cannot or will not help their children
learn. Even if you help your child, children who
do not learn well often become discipline problems
and may keep your child from learning as much as
he/she could.

Why did the Government decide to give away
foreign books rather than BRC's books: jealousy,
power, money, arrogance, victimization, a utopian
vision of education?

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