Title: Independent reformer
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00033
 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: July 20, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00033
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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"MOYA


There is no present outlook for peace
in Belize's City management. It appears
that there will never be such peace as
long as Zenaida Moya is Mayor.
Zenaida has been around long enough
to realize that if she stops all of the hustle
that those involved in the hustle may
leave their employment. She must
realize that the hustles have been going
on for so many years that the hustlers
consider the extra money they receive
as fringe benefits or supplemental pay.
They do not want to loose their fringe
benefits.
She continues to interfere with
managers obtaining fringe benefits. She
will no longer allow them to make
waivers of fees. Managers can no
longer collect one half of the required
fees, sign a waiver for all fees and
pocket the one half of the fees they
collected.
Zenaida shows no sympathy for the
manager, some of whom have been


MUST


involved in the hustles so long that they
feel they have a right to the money. Their
position is: after all, the money doesn't
belong to Zenaida -it is the tax payer's
money.
The Mayor should have known she
was stepping on big toes when she
rejected bloated contracts and
prevented their enforcement. Her
attempts to stop corruption haves
created BIG political and business
enemies. In both parties.
It has almost a tradition that there
be something in the contract for the
person that has authority to authorize it.
Zenaida has interfered with, and
blocked, tradition by preventing such
contracts. There are people involved
who wish to live high on the hog and
those who will pay them off for a
lucrative contract. The bigger the bloat,
the bigger the booty.
Mayor Moya's actions are magnified
by the fact that in her attempt to stop


Mayor of Belize City
Zenaida Moya


corruption and block bloated
contracts she is stepping on the toes
of the Big, Big Boys. These Big Boys
have influence and are part of the
reason why she continues to receive


Congratulations To The Ministry Of Education


GO!"
bad publicity. Publicity that distorts
the facts and disregards the truth. The
big boys must see that Zenaida is
removed from office so they can
continue with their scams at the tax
payer's expense. The false bad
publicity is their means of bringing
about her removal.
The big boys say "Moya must
go." They will use all their
political influence and such other
means as they conceive to make
certain she goes. After all, they
have been carrying out their scams
at tax payers expense for years, under
the very noses of previous mayors,
perhaps with their collaboration. Why
should they let this newcomer
interfere with and prevent further
corruption?
Each time you read or hear bad
publicity about Zenaida Moya, stop
and consider its source. Think of the
Big Boys that brought the publicity
about and how they are involved in
corruption.


Since the announcement of the
standardization of text books for
Primary School Students much of the
response has been negative criticism.
Such criticism does not take into
consideration the positive aspects of
what has taken place and the great
benefits to the children and the future of
Belize.
The main complaint of those who
criticize is that there wasn't enough
consultation. One would think that
twenty five (25) years of consultation
should have been more than enough!
The necessity and benefits of
standardization has been recognized
for over two decades. During that
period there have been many meetings
in respect to standardization. They all
failed. The only reason given for the
failures was that those involved could
not agree upon what text books would
originate as standardized.
Now after 25 years of frustration
there have finally been those with
sufficient intelligence and intestinal
fortitude to make the selection and
bring about standardization, for the
Primary level. They took the bull by the


horns and accomplished that which
could not have been accomplished
otherwise and which others failed to
accomplished during 25 years. The
critics should be working to assist those
involved to make a success of
standardization.
Standardization is one of the more
important achievements since
Independence in 1981. It will have a
very far reaching beneficial effect on the
future of the Country and the livelihood
of its children.
Standardization requires the
cooperation of the parents to make
it entirely successful. It is the parent's
responsibility to see that the issued
books are protected from loss or damage
so that they can be re issued to others.
Standardization of books for Primary
School Students is a great achievement,
however, it is only the beginning.
Standardization of books for the
First through Fourth Form is an
absolute necessity. Such
standardization would provide such
education for thousands of additional
students annually. Students that could
not otherwise afford such an education.


q 1i


9


The Language Exchange Project BelizelGuatemalalUK
The Article On Page 5


Standardization for Secondary
education could be easily
accomplished without a large
expenditure of money. It could be
self supporting and maintain itself
without further expenditures.
The Greek Philosopher Socrates
(469BC 399BC) believed that bad
behaviors resulted from ignorance.


Socrates was correct; however, during
modern days the problem goes much
further. Education is necessary for one
to make a living and advance in life.
Absent a secondary education, the
children of Belize will have great
difficulty in making such a living and
advancement.
(Please Turn To Page 15) *


L e dI n e nd t O nli e at http //b ei zene w co mi nd e end nt r h tp: tin ug A m 245 gg







Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2


Moody's Report ........ A Trojan Warning!


Dear Editor,
After reading Moody's Economic
Report and Economic Out-look for
Belize in theAmandala on Monday, July
9th 2007 ... "Belize not out of the woods
as yet, says Moody" I felt as though I
was reading a highly diplomatic and
Trojan warning. I felt the need to try
and decode the subtle hints and clues
directed to us the Belizean people.
A prominent paragraph to me in the
reportwas:"The most surprising element
of last year's macroeconomic
performances was the ability of the
authorities to avert a full balance of
payments crisis and a devaluation. This
is mostly explained by the unexpected
build-up in FX [foreign exchange]
reserves due to an unusual confluence
of positive factors, including the
discovery of oil and loans from
Venezuela and Taiwan"
The report used such words as
"surprising"......... "the ability of the
authorities" it goes on to try and explain
and again another of those
words...."unexpected" build-up in
Foreign Exchange.......more of those


words "unusual "
confluence............the discovery of oil
and loans from Venezuela and Taiwan.
Those beautiful descriptive
adjectives......Words speaking clearly
for themselves to anyone with a grade
3 education in Belize who cares to read
or listen!
The Discovery of Oil......well, we all
know who owns all that! Certainly not
Belize orBelizeans.
What is promised to Venezuela???
What is promised to Taiwan????? NO
ONE GIVES YOU SOMETHING
FOR NOTHING !!! Well maybe in
Taiwan's case.....the support VOTE
against China.....But I have a very
strong feeling that both of those
countries/their politicians will later on be
revealed to own most of Belize's land
and/or assets. And with no disclosure
and accountability.......we could very
well have bargained or sold our
souls!..... Unknowingly.
If these were the FORCES that came
together....... sorry I meant
CONFLUENCE to SAVE Belize .......I
there say that it was the PRIVATE


SECTOR AND FOREIGN
INTEREST that saved Belize.......ne can
therefore conclude ....."THUS"
........ BELIZE IS OWNED, Lot, Stock
and Barrel by the Private Sector!!!!!!
(I think we know them too)
The facade created by corruption is
keeping Belize artificially afloat. How
long can this go on??? ....read between
the lines......Moody'swaming!
Like the DFC which was arbitrarily
utilized by this same Private Sector as
a slush fund and co-signer liability for
their corruption, we see that Belize is
not "tangible" in this Economic
sense......and may very well be a
national disposable vehicle as was DFC.
Why does the government of Belize
"keep paying" to keep our dollar afloat
when most of the Caribbean countries
with surplus economies have
abandoned this huge costly practice so
long ago?
Especially since Belize is in t
he red" by over a billion United
States of America Dollars.
($1,000,000,000.OOUS). and this debt
growing geometrically..
On brief speculation, one could
Surmise it is because they don't know
what they are doing?? This could easily
be a convenient and palatable answer.
On closer inspection...BECAUSE IT
(Please Turn To Page 14) E


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Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3


PNP Donates Stove To School


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Blues Mckenzie:
614-8307
SANANTONIO VILLAGE, Toledo
District, Thursday, June 28,2007:
Wil Maheia, Leader of the Peoples'
National Party (PNP) donated a stove
today to the San Antonio RC primary
school in the Toledo District.
The Principal of the School Mr.
Onorio Rash and other teachers
accepted the stove on behalf of the
school. The Principal thanked the PNP
for its dedication to education. "This
donation was made on the PNP
pledge to continue to support
education and to ensure that a


Making the presentation, PNP Leader, Wil Maheia, far right


feeding program exists at every healthy meal while learning," said
school so that children can have a Maheia, "We realize this is a small

Dialogue From The Countryside;

"Now, That's Interesting...'
By George Deuck that today about 12 people got their
electricity disconnected in his village.
On a recent trip to Belmopan I met a They just can't pay the bill.
businessman, who is also my friend. That is very interesting because on a
He came to the city to collect a $2,000 morning show at a well know radio
bank check which had bounced from a station, the Hon. PM said, "Our dollar
shop owner. "Ah heah no money is strong and our economy is
deh" the shop owner say. The shop vibrant." Of course he sees it from
owner reasons with my friend on the his perspective. He also commented
bounced check by explaining that a that their Convention up north went
Government Department owes him and very well. Someone put the approximate
did not pay on the date they had said cost of the activity at close to 1/2 a
they would. "They are not paying million dollars. Our Hon. PM also
their debt,"the shop owner complains, spoke on "social justice" and
"Now they are 3 weeks late. They "integration". How ironic!
seem to be broke," sighs the man with Most Chinese restaurants sell a dish
resignation. called "sweet and sour". Is this what
On my way back through village we Belize has become? Sweet for some
stop at a grocery store. The owner said and sour for others? Let's dialogue some
he only sells 1/3 of what he sold a year more...
ago. It is 3 years now since business From Office of National Reform
took a downward spiral. He told me Party http://nrpbelize.org


step toward realizing our goal that every school
provide a free meal program but it is a concrete


Belize Puts 4-5 Offshore Oil Blocks Up for Grabs


BNamericas, Mon., July 09, 2007:
There are 4-5 vacant oil blocks in
Belize out of 21 blocks in the country,
geologist Pedro Cho from the natural
resources and environment ministry's
geology and petroleum department told
BNamericas.
The government has not seen the need
to launch formal bidding for the
available blocks. Instead, interested
companies can approach the
department to review available
information, Cho said. The blocks are
in deeper, offshore areas.
There is a possibility Japan's Japex
Geoscience Institute (JGI) may help
update and verify offshore oil data, in-
cluding the 4-5 blocks, he said. JGI is
helping Honduras with similar work.
Seven production-sharing agreements
have been signed to date and there are
six applications pending for different
blocks not including the 4-5 vacant
ones, the official said.


Belize Natural Energy (BNE)
currently is the only company
producing oil in the country, roughly
3,000b/d, as well as further exploratory
work, said Cho, adding that the bulk of
oil is exported and only 4-5% remains
in Belize. Much of the crude is exported
to the US, according to the US Energy
InformationAdministration.
BNE was the first company to find a
commercial oilfield in Belize in the
country's 50-year exploration history.
In May, Latin American and
Caribbean infrastructure financing firm
CIFI committed US$5mn as part of a
US$30mn credit facility to help BNE
develop a recently discovered oil field
of 25M-50Mb sweet crude,
BNamericas reported previously.
Other companies in advanced E&P
stages are Allan Oil carrying out
exploratory drilling and US Capital
Energy conducting seismic work, Cho
said.


Workers Say Pesticides Made Them Sterile


By NOAKI SCHWARTZ, Associ-
ated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES, Calif., Monday,
July 9th, 4:46 AM ET-
The pesticide was designed to kill
worms infesting the roots of banana
trees on Latin American plantations. But
at least 5,000 agricultural workers from
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala,
Honduras and Panama have filed five
lawsuits in this country claiming they
were left sterile after being exposed in
the 1970s to the pesticide known as
DBCP
Jury selection for the first of the
lawsuits is scheduled to begin Tuesday
in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
"This is the first time any case for
a banana worker has come before a
U.S. court," said Duane Miller, one of
the attorneys representing more than 3 0
Nicaraguan plaintiffs who worked on
plantations from 1964 to 1990.
The cases raise the issue of whether


multinational companies should be held
accountable in the country where they
are based or the countries where they
employ workers, legal experts said.
Verdict in favor of the workers could
open the door for others to file similar
claims in the U.S., where juries are
known for awarding bigger judgments.
"The administration of justice in
developing countries in comparison
to the administration of justice in
the U.S. there's a big gap, said
Alejandro Garro, a Columbia
University law professor.
"The significance of it is we're
talking about a global economy
where big business does business all
over the world and where we don't
have a uniform type of justice," he
said
The upcoming lawsuit was filed in
2004 and accuses Dole Fresh Fruit Co.
and Standard Fruit Co., now a part of
Dole, of negligence and fraudulent


concealment while using the pesticide.
Dow Chemical Co. and Amvac
Chemical Corp., manufacturers of
the pesticide, "actively suppressed
information about DBCP's
reproductive toxicity," according to
the lawsuit.
Attorney Erin Burke, who represents
Westlake-based Dole, and Kelly
Kozuma, a spokeswoman for Newport
Beach-based Amvac, declined to
comment.
Scot Wheeler, a spokesman for
Midland, Mich.-based Dow, said in
an e-mail that the lawsuits were without
merit, and that "there are no
generally accepted studies in the
scientific community of which we
are aware which establishes an
effect on sterility in banana farm
workers exposed periodically to the
chemical.
"Workers bringing these claims
rotated jobs often or changed jobs


altogether with enough frequency
that long-term exposure would have
been fairly unusual and it is not
likely that there is any injury
whatsoever related to DBCP,"
Wheeler wrote.
The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's Web site says the chemical
was used as a fumigant on more than
40 different crops in the U. S. until it was
largely phased out by 1979.
Long-term exposure to the pesticide
causes male reproductive problems,
including decreased sperm count,
according to the site, which lists DBCP
as a "probable human carcinogen."
In April, all five lawsuits were placed
under the jurisdiction of Superior Court
Judge Victoria Chaney. The legal
actions involve claims on behalf of
workers from Nicaragua, Honduras,
Panama, Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Other growers and manufacturers are
(Please Turn To Page 14) 0*F


step forward in the right
direction."
"It is very important
for children to have a
good diet and a full
stomach so that they can
retain what is taught to
them in school" said
Dionicio Choc PNP
candidate for Toledo West.
"Education is vital to
the building of a
solid nation but it must
be done properly and
food is a critical part
that too often is
ignored", continued
Choc.
The PNP also pledges
to keep the gas tank full on
the stove for the first six
months








Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4


Compassion Tourism


the aisles, examining brand new
passports and trying to figure out if
they have anything to declare or not
when they fill out their forms and what
exactly was their "port of
embarkation." They are almost


were somehow trying to fill some sad
void in their lives by doing unto others.
I am less cynical now, particularly
reading through the many interviews
with them available online from small
local and metropolitan newspapers in
the States. For weeks these articles
have been popping into my yahoo
"belize" alert box. American citizens


.^ ,..- I don't know that as a group the general public

_____ __ really understands how much they spend, how
By: Karla Heusner Vernon much they buy, how long they stay among us.
"What a cute baby! So chubby! -
What did he weigh when he was oblivious to the other passengers in their talking about how they stayed in Mayan
born?" An American woman was focus on themselves. villages in Belize and were so
smiling at the photo the proud Papa, and On the return of course, they are a welcomed, so impressed with the
owner of the restaurant was showing different bunch. Sunburned and freckled dignity of the people despite their
her. All the patrons had turned around and fly bitten, brand new backpacks humble circumstances, doctors visiting
when the woman, in a brightly colored showing signs of mildew, wooden villages to provide medical care and
t-shirt, flanked by two teens in similar carvings carefully wrapped in surgeries forthe deformed and disabled,
shirts had come in bearing a gigantic newspaper inside. Some have shell primary school students who were
cardboard box. Now, as it was being jewelry, plaits and beads in their hair. startled by crabs and snakes and
filled with styrofoam containers, the trio Almost all have hats and t-shirts with scorpions and swam with dolphins,
with the Jesus inspired slogans on their "Belize" emblazoned on them. Traces made friends with Belizean children.
shirts was looking at baby pictures and ofkriol have infiltrated their American Teachers visiting Belize City or rural
speculated about whether "all this accents. Belize has gotten under their schools, bringing books, meeting
food willfit in the van." skin, as well as into their luggage. Belizean educators.
We see the matching t-shirt set all Whenever I see them, in US airports For while I once believed it was a
over Belize, especially during the or on the ground in Belize, in my mind, one-sided exchange with the affluent
summer-in-the-US months. Volunteer I always refer this type of Christian North Americans bringing stuff they
church and medical and college students group as "compassion tourism. "They collected at work or school in some
from all across America who come seem so intent, notjust on ministering frenzied drive to "provide" for the less
down to Belize not to paint the town or spreading the gospel, but on doing fortunate abroad. I was concerned they
red or have sex with reckless abandon some good works, reaching out to the might even be deepening our own
on Temptation Island, but to paint less fortunate. culture of dependency on handouts, our
schools and churches, help provide For a long time I used to think there own people's aversion to fixing and
health care or some sort of was some element of guilt involved in repairing and painting our own kids
humanitarian aid, or get university their arrival, like so many US celebrities schools, our own communities'
credit while doing marine or zoological who travel the world in search of poor churches.
or archaeological research. Some just people to save from hunger and conflict, But now, I am beginning to see that in
come to "experience other adopting babies along the way in some so many ways, these visits can serve a
cultures." bid to repay the millions of people the useful function, and are mutual
They don't just come to Belize of world over who watch their movies and exchanges. For the people who come
course; they go all over the world. enable them to make millions of really do need to explore a world
Filling entire sections of airplanes with dollars... I used to think these young, outside their own comfortable
their excited, hyper selves, passing cups flush faced teens and the blond streaked existence, to be shocked and startled
of Starbucks and mp3 players and men and women with that "I know by life in the "real world." They need
digital cameras back and forth across Jesus is my savior" serene expressions to make friends with people who look

UB Offers Doctor In Education Degree In Belize

For a cool $50,000 and a three year/9 semester commitment


The University of Belize in
collaboration with Nova Southeastern
University is now offering what appears
to be its first full time doctoral program
in Belize.
The launch of the program was
announced at an Inaugural Session at
the Princess Hotel last Thursday, July
12, 2007.
With Jason Guerrero strumming out
the National Anthem and Bishop Wright
blessing the undertaking, the respective
provost of the two Universities had this
to say:
Marco Olsen, Provost, University
of Belize
"University of Belize, we will not
help you to print a title in your
business card i//hin/ three years or
even to enable you to get an
increment. But we are here
committed to ensure that you are


prepared to make this country a much
more strong country. And through
education there will be such a deep
change, there will be such a wonderful
change not only in your lives, but in
the lives of all those who live and
believe in this. (Marco has a serious
non-Belizean accent but he may have
a passport)

Wells Singleton, Provost, Nova
Southeastern University
"You will be a changed person
professionally and personally as a
result of this journey and that change
that will occur in ith/i you will then
spread from you to the community,
to this great country, and in fact well
beyond the boundary lines, political,
economic, religious, cultural that you
might be facing at the present
time. "


Both provosts were smooth as silk in
their sharp presentations, avoiding the
cost issue but highlighting the major
benefit to Belize in that no one has to
go away anymore and disrupt their lives
and livelihoods in pursuing a Doctorate
in Education abroad. This is a great
start. Maybe in the future we will get
other offerings.
Belize Senator Dr. Deborah
MacMillan gave the inaugural address.
Much thanks was given the previous
provost of UB for the early groundwork
of this collaborative effort where over
30 Belizeans have already signed up.
Kriol Gyal Sylvana Woods, is one of
the thirty something Doctoral
Candidates; she is a current lecturer at
UB and former Chair of the Belize
Broadcasting Authority, among many
other titles. She gave the lovely vote of
thanks.


and speak differently than they do, and
to get past those superficial differences.
They need to feel they have somehow
made a "difference, "however trite,
however small. To leave some footprint,
however faint, somewhere in the wider
world.
From their descriptions of life in Belize
and their interactions with Belizeans, it
is clear to me that while they came
thinking they would give something to
Belize, they quickly discovered it was
Belize giving something to them. One
youth told his hometown newspaper
reporter, "They just don't worry
about the same stuff we think is so
important in the US." Perhaps he
has learned some of that stuff really is
unimportant, or at least only commercial
and fake. Perhaps he has learned to
make do with less, slow down and enjoy
life a bit more.
Maybe their coming here changes our
own views too. Calling attention to the
things we take for granted. One boy was
so thrilled that a village youth could kill
a snake with a machete, another man
that fish could be caught on a hand line.
A nurse so impressed with a community
health worker's ability to serve her
community with almost no resources,
that traditional, medicinal plants are still
a vital part of our culture. A college girl
was astonished to see a baby carried in
a sling around her mother's head
and she was so moved when the woman
let her hold her child with complete
trust.
I suppose these "compassion
tourists" and "educational
exchange-ees" are included in the BTB
surveys of departing passengers at the
airport. But I don't know that as a group
the general public really understands
how much they spend, how much they
buy, how long they stay among us. For
they are not housed at the more
exclusive resorts and hotels, they do not
eat at the higher end restaurants. Instead
they book rooms at guest houses and
private homes, eat at Chinese
restaurants and buy from rice and
beans stands and "panades shops"
and taco carts. They ride water and land
taxis and rent vans and buses. And gift
shops, everywhere they look for gift
shops.
It would be interesting to calculate
how many thousands, perhaps millions
of dollars student and church groups
and other volunteer organizations pump
into Belize each year. It is probably an
impressive number. But there is no way
we can put a dollar value on what this
interaction is worth to us in terms of
promoting Belize, and Belizean
hospitality. For while they may quickly
forget the fried chicken they bought at
a particular restaurant, they may well
remember the photo of the restaurant
owner's baby when they come back
years from now to visit and they
meet him all grown up. And introduce
him to their own children and
grandchildren.







Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5


The Language Exchange Project Belize/Guatemala/UK


By: TrevorVernon
"Boy, Trev, don't put my picture
in your paper. I don't want people
to think I came here to sell them
out..." said one ranking participant
over lunch during last weekend's
language exchange program in
Guatemala City.
Even though the program was
sponsored by the British government,
public perception is thatBelize's leaders
and some leading citizens have a long
history of visiting Guatemalato pickup
suitcases of money. These participants
were well aware of the stories and were
clearly concerned that colleagues and
friends back home might think they
were doing the same thing.
I was way more concerned for my
personal safety given the level of
violence and political crime in that
august city. But I could relate to my
colleagues' concerns.
The group was in Guatemala at the
invitation of the Society for the
Promotion of Education and Research
(Belize), SPEAR, to participate in a
workshop on "Transparency and
Governance," within the broader
context of Confidence Building
Measures of the Belize/Guatemala
failed negotiations. I was hesitant to go,
quite frankly, but I threw caution to the
wind and boarded the flight with the
specific aim of promoting the paper and
doing a little research of my own.
Given my previous incarnation in the
Foreign Service, I was grasping at
straws in an effort to justify my
commitment to participate. But from the
very opening session at the Presidential
Compound, the director of the
Language Exchange Project, a
seasoned British Diplomat, expounded
on the aims of the UK government
funded project. Lots of ranking Belizean
delegations have participated in the
various exchanges over the last four
years in an effort to build confidence
between the various institutions in Belize
and Guatemala: Defense, Judiciary,
Political Parties, NGOs, newspapers,
mayors, diplomats, etcetera. So I felt
comforted by the precedence set by
earlier attendees, mostly in Guatemala.
Even our constitutionally-appointed
Opposition Leader had participated.


f


at cracking. Lots of money changing
hands by this ongoing scam.
Maybe the LX Project managers
should have a confidence building
workshop for the "businessmen" who
facilitate the disappearance cars in
Guatemala and reappear in parking lots
and farms around Belize. Maybe their
devious and predatory minds can
resolve the border issue with their
harems, their contraband, their
political contributions, their controlled
substances and their wicked ways. I'd
be happy to supply them with a list of
predatory characters they could


invite. After all, who better to negotiate
a sell out than the politically connected
cocaine cowboys? They are great guys
with a lot of ill-gotten resources.
I understand they are branching into
new areas such as the importation of
school textbooks and exportation of
carbon credits. But seriously, with all
these people making off with suitcases
of money, what a shame that a bunch of
decent people whojust want a nice trip
to Guatemala and to meet some real
counterparts face to face have to worry
about what Belizeans at home will think
of them.


So the Brits have been funding this
confidence building project that has
seen them spend almost 3% Million
British Pounds. I kept asking myself: To
what end? Yes, it's a wonderful thing to
build confidence between the
governmental and NGO community.
But why fund and manage a project
like this? Naturally, it has to be in their
best interest. Somehow. Right?
Before I go on let me tell you
where you can get more information
on the soon-to-be historic project:
www.guatemalabelice.com Apparently
the project comes to an end
within the year. It has been highly
successful.
Anyway, I personally believe the
confidence building measures are mostly
good given the state of play of the
political dynamic both in Belize and in
Guatemala. Both Belize and Guatemala
are facing elections within the next
six months, or so. The latter in
September.
In Guatemala, nearly every political
analyst claims that the "mafia" is
running the country as is the case in
Belize. Corruption is a malignant
cancer that is eating away at the heart
and soul of our individual states. And
the corrupting trans-border forces
have united to some extent; it
appears, to cheat the individual nation
states not only of taxes and government
revenues but of public and private
resources.
Take the case of the stolen car ring
that benefits the mafiosos and the ruling
politicos who provide them cover. SUVs
are stolen in Guatemala but only the
insurance companies appear to lose
there. While here in Belize, only certain
buyers lose their money when elements
of the Belize Government selectively
target them for punishment. Other,
better connected buyers continue to
drive their stolen vehicles with impunity.
For now, I wait on the court registrar to
even call up my case.., .been waiting for
two years. Wonder why Musa had three
of his called up in the same week against
the Reporter Newspaper of Belize and
won them all. Animal Farm?
The point is, there is trans-border
collaboration that involves ranking
politicians, civil servants, and the ever
enterprising hyphenated Belizean
businessmen.
I can't figure out why the Guatemalan
insurance companies are not making
a fuss over the huge losses they
suffer... unless it's the re-insurers in the
USA& UK who take the hit. It's a great
little gig and the biggest losers say
absolutely nothing. I am out of pocket
a tidy sum. So, I don't need to say one
of the reasons for my participation was
to gather information on the
trans-border stolen car situation that
the otherwise competent Belize
Police Department is normally good


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Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6


It's Simple
Third Indigenous El
Observation Mission (G
ANTECEDENT
In the eighties, a new
institutional life of Guater
After three decades of int
conflict, with tragic sequ
persist in the Guatemalan
important institutional a
change is initiated that
accomplishment of gene
possible. Similarly, the
National Assembly of 19
Political Constitution that ar
constituent in 1986 establish
of a multicultural State. The
of the Guatemalan nation as
is an important step; neve
demands for participation b
have come to face several c
the interior of a State that his
been monist and excluding.
The element of ethnic
discrimination that has bee
the politics of the coun
precarious conditions of life
by the high indices of p
extreme poverty, are co
obstacles that prevent st
democratic processes. Ine
constant threat to democrat
institutions themselves, whe
inequalities become
inequalities".
The signing of the Pe
marked an important land
history of the country. These
do not only manage to puta
armed internal conflict,
propitiate a series of refl
reforms about varied them
the principles of the co
democratic system is on
subjects that has been
reflection. It is important t
that as a result of the Peac
place has been given to the
reflection of that democratic
an intercultural perspective
The next general election
constitute a possibility o
scene, that is initiated and s
the natives with the objec
and participating in the system
of a "mission of electoral o
that reveals practices and
cause the levels of partic
representation on behalf o
to be greater. Similarly, the
reflect concerning the ob
make it difficult or that preve
participation of the indigent
in electoral processes.
This exercise tries to be
proposals from the optics o
who more and more wish
an institutional order tha
incorporating reforms to
emptiness and the shortcom
by a monist and excluding
special importance the
mentioned within the frar
possible constitutional reform
be made during the govern
that begins in 2008.
WHO CARRIES OUT
MISSION OFINDIG
OBSERVATION


- 65% Is The Majority Of
ectorial The Organism Naleb', private
Iuatemala) institution, non lucrative, of pro-positive
TS and constructive character, whose C
v era in the mission is to elevate the level of o
nala begins, intercultural relations that allow abetter b
emal armed development of the Guatemalan society, r
els that still counts with two accumulated and a
I society, an successful experiences of electoral c
nd political observation from the perspective of t6
makes the indigenous peoples; first carried out v
ral elections during the general elections of 1999 ti
Constituent and the second during the elections of a
986 and the 2003. h
ises from this Among the reached profits of these t6
i the adoption unpublished and enriching experiences t6
e recognition it is important to mention: n
s multiethnic It was verified that a high degree of I
rtheless, the manipulation ofthe indigenous population A
)y the natives exists and that municipalities with more A
challengess in than 50% of indigenous people are those G
storicallyhas that have a greater percentage of J
electoral participation through the C
and cultural exercise of voting.
n constant in An analysis and debates were initiated C
try and the on a national level concerning the ii
e determined situation of the indigenous peoples and b
poverty and their participation in democratic o
nstituted in processes. s
rengthening *A young group of political analysts s(
equality is a with intercultural perspective in the rural c
cy and to the area was started. fi
rethe "social *A process of work of electoral p
political observation with national cover took o
place, able to cause an encounter S
ace accords between the departments and the capital. L
Mark in the *A report of observation was o
e agreements presented to the Electoral Supreme C
an end to the Court and to mass media. o
but also to OBJECTIVES OF THE III
sections and MISSION? u
es that affect *To observe and to analyze the n
)untry. The messages and the publicity unfolded a
ne of these by the political parties and civic c
a matter of committees, identifying their cultural fi
o emphasize relevance, handling of languages and s
ce accords a contents. s3
analysis and *To observe the indigenous
system from participation in the political parties and 5
. civic committees through proposals, c
ons of 2007, elaboration of political agendas, tl
f creating a dialogues, ethnic composition, structure r
supported by of decision making, plan of government, rf
t of forming strategy of campaign and financial
-m, by means information. V
observation" To observe the operation, the cultural I
actions that relevance of their public actions, the
;ipation and cover of work during the electoral 1-
fthe natives campaign of 2007 and the fulfilment of Q
necessity to the Electoral Law and Political Parties C
)stacles that of the Electoral Supreme Court,
ent the ample Executive authority, Legislative and G
ious peoples Judicial Power, Office of Human rights
and Municipalities. P
constructing To get to know and to analyze the
fthe natives, political activities, electoral alliances and S
to be part of proposals that the social sectors and G
it should be groups make within the electoral A
surpass the campaign of 2007, taking into account,
nings caused the situation of citizen security of all the a
state. It is of process.
previously When obtaining the raised objectives, u
network of a the fundamental aim of this Ill Mission r
m that would of observation is to certify the electoral v
mental period process from an intercultural perspective
and to produce a departmental map of v
THE III indigenous participation within the civic c
ENOUS structures of political parties and c
N? committees, p


The Population
WHO LEADS THIS PROCESS?
1. The Intercultural Directive
council: Maximum instance of decision
f the process of Observation. It is a
ody formed by professionals; they are
representatives of different indigenous
ndnonindigenous organizations from the
country. With the purpose of obtaining
he wished impact and including the
hole country, this council will integrate
thirteen people: ladinos, natives, garifuna
nd xinca. In addition, this council will
ave the mission to give continuation to
he political events that happen during
he electoral campaigns and during the
national elections. The members are:
Varia del Rosario Toj, Otilia Lux,
Antonieta Castro, LiliaPalacios, Patricia
\rd6n, Orlando Queme, Anabella
jiraca, Carla Villagran, Jose Serech,
ose Luis Tiguila, Pop Alvaro, Irma
:italan and Medarda Castro.
2. The Interinstitutional Consultative
council: Sets itself up as an advisory
instance of the III Mission. It is formed
y representatives of important
organizations who affect, analyze or
tudy national events from different
copes: political, economical, social,
cultural, etc. Their uprisings will be a
Lindamental base to follow during the
process. These institutions are: Institute
flnterethnic Studies, Faculty ofPolitical
Sciences of the University Rafael
Landivar, CONAVIGUA, Association
f Mayan Women MOLOJ,
'ONGECOOP, and the Training center
f Western Border CEDFOG
3. Executive Being: It sets itself
p as the Naleb' Organism. It will
mainly consist of a Head of Mission
nd three coordinators: an executive, a
coordinator of mass media and one of
finances. In addition to the personnel of
support in logistic and information
systems.
4. Realization: It is planned to contract
6 observers on a national level. The
country will be divided into 5 regions,
therefore 5 regional observers are
required who will coordinate these
regions:
1. The Northern Region: Peten,
Verapaz Discharge, Low Verapaz and
zabal.
2. The Western Region: Quiche',
luehuetenango, San Marcos,
)uetzaltenango, Totonicapan, Solola and
'himaltenango.
3. The Central Region: City of
3uatemala.
4. The Eastern Region: Zacapa, the
progress, Jutiapa, Chiquimula and Jalapa.
5. The Southern Region: Retalhuleu,
Suchitepequez, Escuintla, Santa Rosa,
juatemala and Sacatepequez.
METHOD OFIMPLEMENTATION
To accomplish the III Mission four
reas are included:
1) Mass media; through publicity the
se of languages will be analyzed, cultural
relevance and the content of messages
ill be analyzed.
2) Political Institutions; the plans of
work on a local and a national level,
campaign strategy, financing, ethnic
composition and structure of political
parties and civic committees that


participate in the election will be
analyzed.
3) Responsible Institutions; the
operation will be observed, cultural
relevance and coverage of The Electoral
Supreme court, executive, legislative and
judicial Organizations, Municipalities and
Office of Human rights.
4) Social Context; here, the goal is to
observe political activities, alliances,
proposals, the electoral process and the
participation of ONGs, indigenous
organizations, academic institutions,
businessmen/women, cooperatives,
churches, women and farmers.
The III Mission is implemented in three
stages, with duration of 17 months from
October 2006-to February 2007.
1) Assembly of the III Mission; from
October to December of 2006. This
stage includes the definition of the
objectives in terms of indicators and
people in charge, the search of financing
of the project and the contact of the
described human resource.
2) Accomplishing the III Mission; it
will be carried out of from January to
December of 2007. During the first
semester of the year, meetings of
organization and coordination will take
place on levels of the Directive,
Consultative and Executive council, calls
and selection of observers at a national
level, press conferences will be given to
know the project and its objectives,
emissions, training of observers,
analyzing mass media, accreditation of
observers before the Electoral Supreme
Court, and elaboration of the I
observation report. In the second
trimester of 2007, meetings on levels of
the Directive, Consultative and
Executive Council will continue, press
conferences, observation of the process,
poster distribution on the III Mission,
interviews with directors of political
parties, strategy of the coverage of the
Election Day, II written report of
observation, edition of the B'aqtun
magazine.
3) Socialization of results of the III
Mission; it will be carried out from
January to February 2008. The
consolidations of observations and
analysis of mass media will be carried
out, elaboration of the closing report,
publication of results in the B'aqtun
magazine, public presentation of
results at a regional and a national
level, presentation of results before
the Electoral Supreme Court and
spreading of the results of the III
Mission.
FINANCING
A group of co-operators will be
formed, integrated by International
nongovernmental Organizations,
Credited Diplomatic body in the
country and international institutions
that sponsor this project. Three meetings
will be organized with the purpose of
presenting information regarding
both the physical and the financial
advance and the achievements of the III
Mission. With the purpose of presenting
reliable financial information to the
co-operators, it is planned to carry out
three revisions: two will be made with
the first and the second reports and also
a final revision.








Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


inflation in
By Ray Auxillou
There has been or not
a good debate Intern
Son the internet investing
listservs lately US curr
about cost of Panama
living and food general
inflation costs in member
the twin towns banking
of Cayo West. illegally
There doesn't seem to be any argument informal
that inflation of foodstuffs, both violation
Imported and local, have increased at -wire t
least 25% over the past year. Belgiur
In Cayo West, by my estimation food anybody
inflation is running 32% for the past andarisk
twelve months. Most of the arguments of US c
were that the percentage was actually by comr
higher and the majority felt it was over mules.
50%. I suppose that depends on the trail? TI
kind of foods you eat? Certainly for whowo
our family inflation in foodstuffs, is at governor
least 25%, though those that eat a lot of you nee
imported processed foods can quite to accur
rightly claim higher inflation costs, currency
perhaps even into the over 50% range. nation's
Certainly corn tortillas are still a launder
dollar a pack, but the pack quantity is a who are
lot less than in years gone by. I don't at Cabin
know much about the price of beans, circums
and most poor people eat a lot of red conspire
kidney beans as a meat substitute. The thi
Gasoline of course continues to have a is there
rising trend line. oftruth.
One of the more humorous rumor That
mongering stories I found quite funny local h
was the effect inflation will have on vote cashiers
buying in the Ladyville, Hattieville, Gales faith tha
Point, for an elected representative seat. the next
In past articles, mostly in the Amandala the guy
I think? It has been hinted that in the election
last election, the representative's team this ne
paid out about $60,000 on Election Day particii
for his seat at $100 a pop per vote. session
There was an explanatory article Dueckc
in one of the weekend port town bank ac
newspapers explaining how they did it as the P
in the PUP, to ensure they got the Persor
actual vote for the money. I forget the Menno
details, but accept the story articles as backyard
true enough. $1500 s
What the rumor mill is saying though, behoove
is that the vote this year in this division, mentio
ofHattieville-Ladyville-Gales Point is together
that the PUP will have to pay $500 to profess
$700 per vote this time around. Now sell their
that is inflation indeed! to the hi
There was also an interesting If Du(
discussion on the listserv as to whether that dis


would s
to $150(
an auci
piratica
such fur
film it ai
post is
bidders!
Whate
us all, fi
politician
tortillas
Belize.


Belize
the ministry responsible for
al Security is obstructing
nations into the multi-million dollar
ency smugglers from Belize to
a? It certainly makes a good
conspiracy theory! One list
rwas explaining that the SWIFT
wire transfer network had been
y supplying SECRET customer
ition to the US Government in
n ofEU laws (I believe SWIFT
transfer system is located in
n?); suddenly clarifying why
y would go to all the trouble
of smuggling millions of dollars
currency from Belize to Panama
mercial airliner using people as
You want to break the paper
his obviously would work, for
uld know this information in our
nent? Couple that with the fact
d Cabinet permits, a local bank
nulate illegal forbidden foreign
y and the connivance of some
s Central Bank in such money
ing schemes, the newspapers
insinuating such skullduggery
net levels, certainly have enough
stantial meat to create a valid
acy theory.
ing about conspiracy theories
is usually at least some degree

said; some pundit over at the
hardware store, today in the
s' line, re-iterated once again his
it the PUP will be able to BUY
t government elections! Since
has been right for the past two
s, he may very well be right for
xt one. Although, another
pant in our hardware store
suggested that Mr. Cornelius
ofthe NRP says he has as big a
account to buy the next election
UP. That boggles the mind!
ally, after a visit to a Camalote
nite-run auction where a
*d full of farmhouse junk worth
sold for over $10,000, it might
ve the voters of the above
ned voting district to band
er and hire this Mennonite
ional auctioneer operation to
r votes in front of their ballot box
ghest bidder.
eck gets to run for his NRP in
trict, those unpatriotic votes
spiral upward to maybe $1200
0 each and maybe more! Surely
tion of votes would fit the
1 times we are in? It would be
ito watch! Channel 5 & 7 could
nd we could see what a Cabinet
really worth to the highest

ver happens; inflation is hitting
-om wannabe get rich aspiring
ins, to the poor family living on
s and beans at home in rural


Pallotti High School Fifty Years Later


PRESS RELEASE
July 8,2007
Belize City, BELIZE
In celebration of Pallotti High
School's 50 Years of operation, 54
Young Women of the Graduating Class
of 2007, held its Commencement
Exercise preceded by a Graduation
Mass on Sunday, June 10,2007, at the
Fordyce Memorial Chapel of St. John's
College in Belize City, Belize.
The Salutatory Address was given by
Lianni Yanini Rodriguez, while the
Valedictory Address was presented by
Dayrin Mariela Perez Polanco.
The Guest Speaker was former
graduate ofPallotti High School, Dame
Rosalie T. Staines. In her brief and
succinct presentation, Rosalie repeated
the message which, she said has made
an intense impression upon her over the
years to her graduating class of 1966,
was given by their Guest Speaker the
then Premier of Belize, George Cadle
Price said in part "... in charting a
course for a successful future you
must reach for the Moon and
clutch the Stars which represent
your Dreams, Aspirations and
Achievements... ".
The highlight of the 50th Anniversary
of Pallotti High School was a Banquet
Dinner which was held on Saturday,
June 30,2007, at the Princess Hotel &
Casino.


Guests of Honor were his Excellency
Sir Colville N Young, the Governor
General of Belize and Honorable
Francis Fonseca, our Minister of
Education and those Pallottine Sisters
who dedicated over three decades as
educators at the High School from its
inception. Awards and presentations
were given by Provincial of the Pallotine
Convent, Sr. Rosalyn, Sr. Benedict, the
Principal of the High Schoolfor 30
years. Sr. Rosella who was not present
but received an award for over three
decades of contribution, other teachers
and past graduates also received
awards. Sr. Elsa who founded the
Stella Maris School coordinated a
Documentary depicting 50 years of the
Pallotti High School which was
presentedfor viewing to those in
attendance.
The Director of Ceremony was
Dame Rosalie T. Staines who is
also a graduated from Pallotti High
School.
Presently Pallotti High School has
embarked on a fundraising campaign to
construct a new building which will
accommodate some 100 more students.
For more information to contribute to
the Building Fundraising Initiative, call
the organizers at:
Tels: 224-4886/223-0486 or email
us at: marlene1965@yahoo.com
or srcteul2006@gmail.com.


U.S. Embassy Belmopan 6TH Annual

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gives you your first
classified ad free of charge!
After that only $10 per
advert per issue.
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Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8


The Best Political Platform


The platform of this party shall include
the following provisions. The party shall
insure that these provisions are enacted
into law as soon as practical after
entering into office. Public quarterly
report on the progress made to fully
enact and enforce these changes will
be madethroughout this party's
administration.
Plank No. 1
Granting of Powers to Local
Government Whereas, it is
recognized by this party that local town
and village government is considered as
being superior tofederal regulation
in dealing with certain local village
matters, and Whereas, each town or
village is recognized as having different
standards and needs for the provision
of certain services, and Whereas, the
ability of the GOB to finance and
provide all services to local towns and
villages from funding sources available
to the GOB is very limited, this party
will insure if elected into office
that:
1) Local towns and villages will be
allowed to petition for incorporation
by Charter from the GOB, to be
responsible for raising local taxes and
fees, if required, in the provision of
certain services including but not
limited to road and drainage
maintenance, utilities, telecommunica-
tion services, solid waste services,
local police services, and certain other
services as may be petitioned by the
local town or village.
2) Decisions concerning the quality
of service and the administration of such
services, including setting fees and taxes
for chartered services, will be totally the
responsibility of the local elected
town council with no oversight or
determinations by Ministries of the GOB
being required.
3) That the GOB will work with local
towns and villages to the extent
possible in grant assistance and other
cooperation between the town and
GOB.
4) That in order to petition the GOB
for a town Charter, that a minimum of
51% of local registered voters must
petition the GOB for a Charter through
the local town or village council.
5) That all local town and village
elections will be nonpartisan in nature
and any participation by any recognized
party will be specifically prohibited by
law.
6) That local Towns and Villages will
have the specific authority to regulate
the use of land through zoning and land
use designations through the use of
appropriate planning principals and
through public participation in the
development of such land use
regulations.
7) All Chartered Towns and Villages
shall be required to operate with a


balanced budget each year with an
audit of all accounts performed by
professional auditors on an annual
basis.
Plank No. 2
New Requirements of Elected
Officials Whereas, it is recognized by
this party that holding public office is a
public trust granted by the general
public, and Whereas, the appearance
of wrong doing can result in the loss of
trust in government officials, and
Whereas, holding public office requires
100% of available time dedicated to the
office held, this party will insure if elected
to office that:
1) Declaration ofAssets Alaw shall
be passed requiring that all people
running for public office at the national
or local Town and Village level shall
declare to the public, in a form to be
determined, all assets and interest held
in any and all businesses both within
Belize and in other countries. The
candidate shall also make public their
prior year's income tax statement.
Discovery of assets not declared shall
result in the immediate termination from
office.
2A) Business Interests During the
Term of Office During the term of
office, the elected official (at the national
level), shall not participate in any
private business operations directly
or indirectly including attending any
meeting concerning the business,
presence in the office of any personally
owned business, work of any kind
for the businesses) or government
contracting that would lend favor to any
personally owned business or business
of any relative. Local Town and Village
elected officials may hold public office
and continue in their normal business,
however, anytime a vote of the council
relates to any business or personal
interest of the local Town or Village
official, that official will withdraw from
voting on or discussing the issue.
Failure to comply with these
requirements shall result in the
immediate termination from office.
2B) Any lawyer or other professional
who is elected to office (at the national
level) shall immediately assign all work
load to associates of the firm or other
companies and cease and desist from
any work representing any past,
current, or future client, until such time
as the term of office is over. Any lawyer
or other professional who is elected to
local Town or Village Mayor or
Council Member may continue their
practice, however that official will
withdraw from voting on or discussing
any issue that relates to personal or
family business and other similar
interests. Failure to comply with this
provision in the proposed law shall
result in immediate termination from
office.


3) Campaign Finance Reform In
order to improve the public confidence
and reduce the excessive influence of
individuals or corporations in the
election process for national and local
elections, this party shall pass laws
that will (a) require the maximum
contribution of any individual or
corporation (including the candidate
themselves) to any one candidate for
office (including the party of the
candidate) a maximum contribution of
$1,000 BZ for each election campaign,
and (b) all contributions shall be kept in
the records of the candidate and such
records shall be available as public
information within 7 days of the
contribution. After the day of the
election, no contributions will be
allowed in any amount to any
successful or unsuccessful candidate
until a formal announcement is made
that the candidate will run for the same
or another elected office in the next
election cycle. Failure to comply with
these requirements will result in the
immediate termination from that elected
office. Nothing in this law shall be
intended to limit the reporting by news
media on the status of the election
process, news articles reflecting the
opinions of individuals or editors of the
papers, public meetings, or other forms
of communication including the use of
the internet for public information.
Political advertisements in the form of
ads in various print media, ads on TV
or other visual media forms shall be
paid for by the same fees as other similar
forms of advertisement. All
advertisements shall be paid for from
funds collected and reported as
described above.
4) Term Limits This party shall
support the concept of term limits for
certain elected offices including the
office of Prime Minister, Senator, and
certain other offices to be determined.
The term of office shall be for 4 years
and each person shall hold the elected
office for no more than 2 terms. It shall
also be the policy of this party to hold
regularly scheduled elections to
properly implement the concept of term
limits, hold down the cost of elections,
and allow for proper planning for
elections.
Plank No. 3 :
Implementing the Political Reform
Commission Recommendations
Whereas the final report of the Political
Reform Commission contained several
recommendations that have not been
totally implemented to date, and
Whereas there continues to be a
lack of accountability of elected and
public officials, this party pledges to
enact or revise legislation to fully
and effectively implement the following
recommendations from the 2000 Final
Report of The Political Reform


Commission:
1) Statutory Instruments This party
recommends that the use of the
Statutory Instrument mechanism be
further regulated by:
(a) curtailing the enabling power of
Ministers to legislate by reducing
legislation that gives this power;
(b) Making it mandatory for all
statutory instruments to go to the House
ofRepresentatives for ratification at the
next sitting of the House.
2) Public Debt This party
recommends that:
(a) provision be made for all details
of all loans made to the Government
of Belize to be published in the
Government Gazette;
(b) The Government take measures
to ensure that public debt as a
proportion of national income is kept at
a prudent level.
3) Government Contracts This
party recommends that the following
measures be taken with regard to the
process of awarding government
contracts:
(a) that the Constitution and relevant
laws be amended to require the House
of Representatives to approve the
awarding of all contracts over
$100,000, or to any one entity whose
aggregate contract exceeds $100,000;
(b) That internationally recognized
standards for competitive public
contracting be adopted by the
Government through legislation such that
there be public bidding process that is
opened to the general public.
4) Auditor-General To enhance the
effectiveness and independence of the
Office of the Auditor-General, this party
agrees with the Commission that:
(a) the Constitution be amended at
section 109 of the Constitution to
reform the appointment process so that
the Auditor-General is appointed by
the Governor-general acting on
recommendation of the National
Assembly contained in a resolution
passed on that behalf;
(b) the Auditor-General be required
to have specific qualifications
equivalent to that of a certified public
accountant, and be an active member
of the Institute of Certified Public
Accountants;
(c) Chapter IX, section 120 be so
amended as to ensure that the budget
for the Office ofthe Auditor-General is
submitted directly to the House of
Representatives and be given priority
call on the Consolidated Revenue Fund;
(d) the Public Accounts Committee
of the House be the medium through
which the Auditor-General communi-
cates with the House;
(e) the Finance and Audit Act be so
reviewed with the aim of making
amendments that increase, establish,
and ensure the execution of penalties
for (i) government auditors who disclose
information on audit inquiries without
proper authorization, and (ii) public
(Please Turn To Page 9) *








Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9


The Best
m W (Continued From Page 8)
officers and others who refuse to
cooperate with the requests of the
Auditor-General during annual audits;
(f) the Public Services Commission
delegate, as allowed by the
Constitution, its authority of
employment, promotion, and removal
of staff of the Office of the Auditor
General Department to the Auditor
General;
(g) provision be made for the
development and implementation of
penalties for failure to present audited
national accounts to the House;
(h) provision be made and resources
be provided to allow the Auditor
General to contract the services of
auditors outside of the public service
to assist in the execution of the duties of
the office;
(i) amend section 120(b) of the
Constitution to state that a report be
submitted to the House by the Auditor
General whether or not the report is
complete and, if not completed, the
reasons why;
(j) provision be made for the revision
of the Finance and Audit Act to ensure
compatibility with the Constitution;
(k) Revise and consolidate the
Financial Orders, Store Orders and
Control of Public Expenditure
regulations into one document.
5) Wavier of Fees This party
recommends that provision be made to:
(a) require that all waivers suspend-
ing the legal requirement of any persons
or organization to the payment
of a particular fee or charge be done
only by permission of a statutory
instrument and that no waivers be
allowed until such statutory instrument
is passed by the House;
(b) Ensure that all waivers of fees are
published in the government gazette.

Plank No. 4
Planning and Environmental
Protection
Whereas the pristine environment of
Belize is recognized to be one of its most
important and valuable assets of Belize,
and Whereas the protection of the
environment is one of those unique roles
best suited for government, and
Whereas there are certain industries that
present unique threats to the
environment, and Whereas the GOB
does not have the adequate capacity in
place to monitor the Cruise ship or the
oil industry, and Whereas local
communities ought to have a greater say
towards influencing land development,
industry, and economic development
opportunities that are undertaken in their
communities:
1. A special business tax, placed on
cruise ship companies and oil
companies, shall be enacted to fully fund
the regulation and management of the
cruise ship and oil industries that are
granted access to Belize. Such taxes


Political Platform


shall be managed through a special fund
and will be designated for the sole
purpose of environmental protection
and management programs.
2. Each district will be encouraged
(but not required) to develop a 20 year
General Plan. This plan shall be
developed through the Strategic
Planning Process with a broad range of
stake holders. The plan shall be
adopted by a majority of the Area
Representatives including Mayors of
Towns and Villages, and the leader of
each Alcalde, who shall also form a
permanent body whose approval will
be required for major development
projects affecting the district. A maj or
project is defined as one that under
current laws would require an
environment impact assessment before
being granted a license or permit.
Funding for this planning process shall
be provided for and included in the
budget of the general government.
Towns and Villages who opt for their
own Charter shall provide their own
localplan development with funding of
the plan development by the General
Government.
Plank No. 5
Economic Development of Belize
Whereas it is recognized that the
creation of job opportunities for all
Belizeans is of significant priority for
Belize, and Whereas it is of primary
importance that the education of people
match the economic job opportunities
that will come to Belize in the future,
and Whereas it is recognized that small
businesses have the potential to provide
significant economic development of
Belize, and Whereas it is recognized
that Belize operates in a competitive
way with many countries of the world:
1) Cooperative Village Banking -
This party supports the concept of
"Cooperative Village Banking"
where village and surrounding
community residents combine their
borrowing power to encourage lending
of small business development funds for
the development of small local individual
owned business operations including
farming, service shops, light
manufacturing, and similar business
ventures. These opportunities to finance
the start of small local business shall
be open equally to men and women and
all ethnic and cultural backgrounds who
are citizens of Belize. This party will
pass laws to encourage and facilitate the
start of new small business operations
by the Belize Government and offer tax
relief and other means to facilitate new
business development. The Town or
Village Council will act as the Board for
the cooperative banking and shall
approve loans and shall determine
standards and types of businesses to be
approved that will coordinate with
local planning and economic
development efforts.
2) Education and the Economy -


Given the interlocking relationship
between Education and Economic
Development this party recognizes the
critical importance of a viable
educational system. The prior findings
of the Education Commission will be
honored and put into place in the
elementary and secondary systems. Post
secondary education will be brought
under review and a Board with a
majority seating of active business
leaders will be created. This board will
act with the authority to approve
budget allocations, curriculum, all
appointments, and the award of all
publicly funded scholarships. The
Department of Labor shall select five
industry sectors and assign priority in
terms of growth, balance of payments/
cash flow, tax generation, employment
impact, and include government
operations as one of the five industry
sectors. Starting with one sector the first
year, education will add an additional
sector each year for the subsequent four
years meanwhile creating a full service
curriculum with degrees proceeding
through graduate programs as
appropriate which will cover the
spectrum of jobs in each sector. In all
cases, the curriculum content will be
developed via a DACUM type study
led by SME's (subject matter experts)
drawn from businesses in each sector.
Further, funding will be made available
for a small business incubator program
under the community college
component. Sufficient funding will be
allocated for the startup of at least three
businesses each year. The selection will
be on a competitive basis as judged by
the CC business faculty and other
faculty relative to the priority sector for
that year.
Encouraging Investment in Belize -
Given the poor history of business and
job development in Belize, this party
recognizes the critical importance ofj ob
creation and need for business
investment in Belize to create those obs.
It is also recognized that the history and
culture of Belize needs to be fully
understood and protected by those
who may invest in Belize from foreign
countries. Since passing a law to
encourage business development
several years ago, very little business
development with significant job
creation has been accomplished and
improvements need to be made in this
legislation that will foster real and
measurable quality ob creation. It is also
recognized that not all business types
generate the same economic impact to
Belize. It is important therefore, to
promote the types of business that will
allow money generated through the new
business to circulate to other businesses
within Belize and multiply the value and
impact of the money generated to the
overall economy. Partnerships between
foreign investors and Belizean
Nationals will be encouraged with


increased incentives offered to
majority ownership of Belizean
Nationals. Existing government offices
will be reorganized to form a new
Department of Economic Development
designed to solicit investment, track and
report the progress of investments and
business development, and work with
the GOB in creation of legislation to
implement this policy. This legislation
will include but not be limited to:
(a) Requirement for foreign investors
and new residents to attend the UB for
a course in Belize History and Culture,
(b) Improve the criteria relating to tax
incentives and other inducements to
encourage foreign investment in new
business including the attraction of
new retirement communities, medical
training facilities, manufacturing and light
industry, non-traditional medical
facilities, and the development of unique
products to be exported,
(c) Plan and provide for the
development of the University of Belize
Business Park in Belmopan including
the provision of needed infrastructure
improvements,
(d) Continue with the expansion of
airport facilities including smaller airports
located near business development,
(e) Plan for and improve the
development of port facilities, and
(f) Utilize the Strategic Planning
process in the implementation of these
strategies.

Plank No. 6
Support Constitutional
Amendments
Whereas the Constitution of Belize
has not been amended since its original
institution in 1981, and Whereas the
history of government operations based
on this constitution indicates the need
for change, and Whereas the people of
Belize need a more direct voice in
government through the election of
government officials and also need
mechanisms to make petitions to their
government, and Whereas the size of
government and government budgets
needs to be limited to what the people
want and can afford:
Elected Senate In order to
further the balance of powers and
provide a more direct voice of the
people in government, this party
supports the proposal to provide for the
"District Election" of senators.
There shall be two elected senators from
each District in Belize which will have
equal voting rights and other equal
responsibilities for their District. The
terms of office shall be staggered and
shall be for a period of 3 years.
Senators elected to office may be
recalled by a petition of the registered
voters of the District and a special
election set within 6 months of the
receipt of the validated petition.
Petitions by the People -Petitions
to the government of Belize for
grievances and voter initiated ballot
(Please Turn To Page 11) -l








Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


No M
From the NRP Party Office Belize
www.nrpbelize.org
Noh money deh, means we need
some more money.
It is said that money makes the world
move. That's is true... if we move it is
because there is money. Mr. Jones said
this past February, "Money answers
all things. "Yet it is not the answer
for all things; even in the good country
of ours, called the Jewel, of riches
untold.
Have you wondered where the
phrase, "we live in a good country"
came from? You may have to go back
about 8 years in our financial history and
drive from Belize City to Belmopan, and
look carefully at every sign. Normally,
the Government would help industries
and thus promote development; and then
wait for their tax money to come in.
Somehow we got it the other way!
Most of us Belizeans are waiting
expectantly that Government hire us and
give us jobs and even give us contracts.
If the Government runs out of money,
ideas and vision, like it has happened
today, many would loose their jobs,
contracts, their house, furniture, even
friends and family.
Come to grips. The few of us that
read newspapers or have gone through
experiences know that we as a country
owe a large amount of money. Some
may think that it is the problem of the
administrator that borrowed the money,
but it so happens that it is our country,
the jewel, that owes the money. It is
you and I who will have to pay it back.
You may say I have my own bills to pay!
Which is true; but what you may not
realize is that every time you pay light,
water, phone, tax and fuel bills, you are
paying our countries debts. Also, you
are paying to run Government, like the
offices, fuel and labor expenses; for the
police force, for hospitals, and as of late
even for a private hospital.
Many have heard about our country's
financial situation but have not listened
carefully because we don't understand
it. Therefore, reality has not hit us. At
the beginning of this year we heard we
could borrow Five Hundred and Sixty
million to pay all our outstanding bills.
We went for it through the "Supa-
bonds"! Later we find out there are
more bills in the drawer. So we make a
few smaller loans. This has many
guessing how much we really owe. We
can speculate that it is about 2 billion
now, with interest maybe over 3 billion.
How much is one billion? If we have
never seen one hundred thousand,
much less a million, then a billion is
just unimaginable. But breaking it down,
a billion is one thousand times a
million.
You may think, why did we borrow
so much, if the tax and revenues
collected pays to run the country; beside
we are getting so many millions from


money
foreign organizations and missions
as grant money. On top of all this we
have sold off land properties every
where (towns, cities and even
islands).
A few years ago, we heard that we were
financially strong and it made us feel
good about our country and gave us a
sense of security. But the problem is that
from the time we heard that we were
very strong financially and those from
neighboring countries came and worked
for us is something of the past. Things
have changed! People went back to their
countries and many Belizeans are left
without obs. What is worse is to hear
that our government is broke. Noh
money deh!
We have not heard any explanation
as to what really happened. Well, really
we have not asked for an explanation.
What changed the story so suddenly?
This is a question that should come to
our minds. We should ask ourselves,
what happened with so much money
that came our way? Did we have it for
a rainy day? Or when disaster strikes?
You may ask who administers this
money. Is it the National Assembly? Oh,
well, is it the Minister of Finance? But it
is one and the same person, the Prime
Minister! Who should be held
accountable for the finances? We should
hold him accountable for the sake of
our children and grandchildren to come.
They will surely hold us accountable for
not holding our government
accountable.
Let us imagine. With a quarter of this
money we can promote industries that
will give Belizeans aj ob and increase in
their wages. When money circulates and
businesses increase, jobs and contracts
also increase. This is done by investors
and local entrepreneurs and producers;
who in turn bring more development,
so government gets more tax money.
But if government raises taxes,
businesses decrease.
Today, banks are not happy. About a
year ago a banker commented, "our
best customers are defaulting
because business is down 50% and
some have even closed down. Our
government development bank went
down as well. The consequences are
that many students will not be able to
go to college this year because parents
don't have the money to send them.
Many farmers will not even plant this
year. Some fear that DFC will take
away their land for what they owe.
Some have sold their machinery to pay
off the loan, to save the land. Others
are leaving the country to follow a dream
in foreign lands.
The dangers of a low economy!
People say "laifhaadoutyah!" This
means different things to different
people. A slow economy creates
negative things like an increase of
arguments, fights, court cases, divorces,


Deh!
drugs dealings, theft, jealousy,
animosity, and even murder. Many
parents will have difficulties sending their
children to school this year. Teachers
are saying that when children come to
school hungry they cannot learn. They
even fall asleep in class, which is an
effect of starvation. What can teachers
do? They have orders to send children
home if they cause too much trouble,
or when they come without shoes or
uniform.
The worst part of the "haadout yah"
is that the parents are trying to stretch
their "dalla" and trying to feed the
children by buying foods at the Chinese
store, the cheapest food in town, with
long shelf life. The food is very low in
nutrients. It fills the stomach but that's
about it. White flour, white sugar, white
rice, instant coffee, ideals, soft drinks
are 'foods" that have no nutritional
value. If children live on this for a while,
parents will later have to buy back their
health with medicines and vitamins,
which is very costly and it hardly solves
the problem. A social worker said that
many children in the Cayo area have
diabetes, some even at an early age of
three years old. Those sicknesses used
to be for old people only, but not any
more.
Most Belizeans are not aware of living
conditions in some areas. They don't
write to newspapers, neither do their
neighbors. APUP campaigner said, "I
did not know that there are people
within one mile from my house are
eating only one meal a day". He
came upon this, because he went
house-to-house campaigning; but
never-the-less we live in a good
country.
This instant cash and suffer later
attitude will not take us where we want
to go. When the cash is gone, suffering
settles in. Some of our best Belizean
people begin here and end up in foreign
countries; most of them never come
back to the good country. Minister
Coye said "that is why we run short
of nurses in Belize. "Many contracts
are designed so that only foreigners
qualify to get them. Our schools are not
designed for a student to have the skills
to assure him an immediate job after
graduation. Many times a Minister will
not hire a contractor from his own
district. This game was played by the
UDP and now by PUP. When the UDP
government retrenched people just
before Christmas many years ago to
please some foreign masters, they still
did not get the money to keep the
economy going, and people starved just
like today.
Mismanagement and ignorance are
costly. It is as ifa worker sells his shoes
to buy food. How will he be able to
work without shoes? This is what is
happening with the multi-million dollars
Social Security buildings. They spend


so much money in the buildings and
what about the people that put up the
money to build them? No wonder if
you are in an accident and you go to
collect your "benefits" itis as if you did
something wrong all those years
you paid your money to the
institution.
It seems that our government is happy
with our economy. In January they were
happy to negotiate the "supa-bond"
which set all our bills at ease until 2029.
What a relief! Then in May, they were
happy that the Belize Bank had mercy
over the 33 million over due bill. Then
later in the same month, we hear the
PM came from Taiwan. They were glad
that they favored us with a loan again.
In June 6', PM came from Venezuela.
He announced on Love FM that he was
assured that our loan request with the
CDB will go through and meet some
very serious target. We learn now this
is a monthly thing. The rest of us are
eager to hear the rest of the story. If
some crumbs will drop; if perhaps we
will get aj ob again; or get a loan to start
a business; or have the luxury to finish
our house; or come to a moral level of
making payments on our overdue bank
loan payment bills; and for some at least
pay the grocery bill.
Don't tell me we are all under an
illusion syndrome. Here is one way to
check it out. Most people find out where
they standby visitingtheirneighbor. They
either come back ealous of the better
things and the life they have or thank
God I am not in their shoes. Today, in
our country the amount of people that
come out of all comers to beg for food
and medical help is tremendous. Some
of course have spent their last dollar to
the China man and lottery. Some just
ran out ofj ob and have a family to feed.
Some are too under nourished to
maintain their health anymore. Some go
to the hospital and hear that we run out
ofmedicine.
Richard Merrow on Love FM made
a profound statement, "negative
people are constantly looking at
what others have and do; real
winners have their eyes on what
they are doing; but selfish and
negative people cannot stand the
success of others. And sometimes
not even their own success. They
think that the success of others is
in the way of their success when it
is just the opposite."

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Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 111


Mario Lara Reviews "Thanks For


I picked up a copy of "Thanks for
Choosing Love" by Rene R.
Villanueva, Sr. at the airport in Belize
and read it on my flight back to the
US. It is a good read and I would
encourage anyone interested in Belizean
culture to get a copy.
Mr. Rene Villanueva, Sr. describes
himself as a hard working and
dedicated professional who tirelessly
pursues his dreams and goals to achieve
his success story in Belize. His hard
work and dedication and the excellent
role models he had in his parents are
clearly aspects he felt were important
in his life and things that we often
lament are considerably lacking in Belize

The Best
O W (Continued From Page 9)
initiatives (including proposed
constitutional amendments) shall be
accepted by a petition of 25% or more
of the registered voters of the people.
District petitions shall be by District
voters. National petitions shall be from
voters of Belize. Upon receipt of the
petition, the petition shall be validated
and placed on the next respective
election ballot. To make changes in the
law or recall an elected Senator by voter
initiated change will then require a vote
of approval of 60% of the registered
voters of the District or Belize
depending on the type of petition.
Voter Fraud Any voter found to
accept payment for any public vote shall
be considered to have committed a
felony punishable by the loss of all
future voting rights in Belize and shall
pay a fine of $1,000 BZ.
Issuance of Public Debt-No debt in
excess of $500,000 BZ shall be
issued by the government of Belize
without a vote of 9 of the 12 elected
Senators.
Tax Reform This party believes that
the current type of taxation system in
Belize to raise income for government
debt and operations is unbalanced and
places an undue burden on people of
low and moderate income. It is also rec-
ognized that certain revenues are re-
quired to operate government in the
provision of public services. This party
will recommend the decrease in the cur-
rent gas tax as a priority and will not
increase any taxes unless first recom-
mended by the auditor general after a
full audit
of all current government income and
expenses. No tax
increase or decrease shall be allowed
without a vote of 9
of the 12 elected Senators. Tax reform
will be initiated
with the philosophy of graduated tax
scales from low taxes
on the poor and increased percentage
of taxation on higher
incomes and higher valued property.
Revenue sharing with


today. So, it is great to have his story
told as an example that includes the
importance of these values.
His memoir also includes other
aspects of Belizean life and culture such
as the role of political connections and
how it often overshadows the role of
hard work and dedication. Without the
political connections and access he
enjoyed based on knowing and
meeting the right people, you get the
sense that his story would have been
very different. He might have given up
in frustration and/or left Belize altogether
(like some of his peers and other
pioneers did) had he not been fortunate
enough to make some key political and

Political
local chartered Towns and Villages
based on population and need shall be
considered.
Plank No. 7
Foreign Policy
Whereas it is recognized by this party
that the foreign policy of Belize can have
significant impact on not only Belize, but
other nations of the world, and Whereas
the foreign policy of Belize should
reflect the majority feelings ofBelizeans
and is, as a sovereign nation, recognized
as a bridge between Central America
and Caribbean nations, and Whereas
Belize desires to be a positive influence
in the world:
The Prime Minister shall serve as the
official voice of Belize foreign policy in
dealing with other nations. The Prime
Minister will confer with elected
Senators, Cabinet Members, and
voters prior to taking official positions
before the United Nations, individual
nations, or other world bodies.
Belize will honor all agreements and
debts incurred by past and present
Belize commitments unless found to be
unlawful.
Belize will honor past commitments
and enter into new mutual aid
agreements for emergency aid in the
relief of hurricane damage and other
national disasters.
It shall be the official policy of Belize
to work with other nations of the world
in the control and elimination of drug
trafficking, improper trafficking or
forced labor of peoples, money
laundering, and similar acts of crime as
determined by Belize law. Law
enforcement within Belize (through
combining the efforts ofthe Police Force
and the Belize Defense Force) shall give
such crime a high priority in daily
operations through the establishment of
a special department for such crime
control.
It is recognized that foreign trade is
an element of foreign policy. It shall be
the general policy of Belize to trade fairly
with all nations which adhere to mutual
international treaties and do not violate
human


Choosing LOVE"
business connections, which he was able
to skillfully leverage to his advantage.
So his story also illustrates that in
Belize who you know is clearly just as
important, if not even more so, than
what you know.
In his book, Rene Villanueva, Sr.
spent a great deal of time describing the
difficulties he had with a fellow by the
name ofNorris Hall (a PUP fanatic who
tried to destroy him and in the process
laid the groundwork for the ultimate
destruction of the Broadcasting
Corporation of Belize because he
thought that Rene had switched
allegiance to the UDP). We get an
insider's look at the pettiness and

Platform
rights according to the UN and Geneva
Convention in an effort toward a free
market and economic development.
It shall be the policy of this party to
continue discussions and promote
positive relations with Guatemala in the
resolution of the historic border dispute
between the two countries.
This party shall seek appropriate
developmentusing sustainable methods,
whether privately, through grants and
other assistance from foreign countries
in the development of Belize that would
be beneficial to Belize in every aspect.
We will not accept or allow assistance
or development which will undermine
or degrade our sovereignty or natural
resources.
This party recognizes the need to
remain neutral to the extent possible in
the international disputes between other
nations. Belize will not support acts of
aggression, illegal sanctions, or acts
contrary to international treaties.
This party will ensure that the foreign
policy of Belize will be such that Belize
will become known for its unbiased
integrity and advocacy for human rights
in international affairs. The party shall
also insure that the best interests of the
Belizean people and the sovereignty of
Belize will be the primary driving factor
in all foreign policy.
It shall be the policy of this party to
protect the historic rights and culture of
Belizean peoples.
This party will re-evaluate existing
treaties and participation in international
organizations relative to the best
interest of the Belizean people. All
proposed changes in existing treaties
and participation in international
organizations shall be brought before the
public through media, discussed in
open forums, and placed before the
elected Senate for majority vote (9 out
of 12 minimum) prior to making
changes or implementing new treaties
and participation in international
organizations.

Plank No. 8
Ethics in Government


pervasiveness of politics in Belize and
the lack of greatness and vision in our
political leaders. We see broadcasting
in Belize suffer due to the shortsighted
meddling of politicians and their
lackeys; but ultimately coming out okay
as a result of the dedication and hard
work of people like Rene and his
staffers who he sometimes mentions and
credits. I'm reading somewhat into what
he wrote, he doesn't come right out and
say it and Rene clearly has affection,
respect, and admiration for the some of
the political leaders he has dealt with
throughout his career.
The political meddling and lack of
vision continues to plague our country
and that is why it is even more
important for there to be hard working
dedicated professionals willing to stand
up and do the right thing even at great
personal risk (as Mr. Villanueva has
described himself to be) so that the
country can continue to move forward.
All in all, I think the book is a very
worthwhile read and I commend Mr.
Villanueva, Sr. for expending the effort
to tell not only his story, but also the
story of broadcasting in Belize.
Reading it on the flight back from Belize
was a good cap to my one week
vacation and a reminder that I better
get my professional and dedicated self
back in gear.








Whereas this party will insist upon the
highest of ethical standards in the
operations of government, and Whereas
this party will deal honestly with the
citizens of Belize, and Whereas every
elected official and every government
employee has a duty to report
violations of ethical standards, and
Whereas knowingly failing to report a
violation is a violation of the Code in
itself, and Whereas this party shall
insure that a code of ethics will
immediately be put in place with the
following elements as a minimum, and
Whereas failure to abide by the newly
established code of ethics by any
elected, appointed, or other government
employee will result in disciplinary
action up to and including termination
from elected office, appointed office, or
employment with the Government of
Belize at municipal, District, or national
level; the following shall be the minimum
standards of the "Government of Belize
Code of Ethics":

PLEAiE TYIN

i i I IE

CNINUE NTHIS4







Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12


A Journalist defying Silence In Honduras


FROM THE BBC. COM
Honduran journalist Dina Meza has
won the 2007 Amnesty International
Special Award for Human Rights
Journalism Under Threat.
A lawyer for her online magazine
Revistazo, which has investigated
abuses by the country's burgeoning
private security companies, was shot
dead in December 2006 in a crime
which remains unsolved.
Here Meza, a mother of three
teenagers and a devout Christian, tells
the BBC News website about the
pressure she and her six fellow
journalists work under, and why she re-
fuses to give up:
"In the Middle East, the war is
obvious. We can see the physical
destruction of buildings and deaths
ofpeople. But in Latin America, the
war is different: it is one waged
against poverty, hunger and a
violence rooted in corruption which
targets people who express their
own ideas.
It is a silent war against the
impunity of recent years. It is a fight
for a fair society.
Corrupt legal systems, corrupted
media and impunity for the
torturers and killers of the 1980s are
phenomena to be found across Latin
America.
Journalists here only have two
options: you are either for or against
the oppressed.
If we can get into the shoes of
those who are suffering, we will feel
their pain and will be moved to do
something.
My colleagues and I created
Revistazo because we could not
publish our stories about human
rights abuses anywhere else.
Dina Meza (seated) at work in her
office in Tegucigalpa (image:
Amnesty International) We want
the state to protect us properly
As a website, we aim to impact on
decision-makers in Honduras and
give the people whose interests we
defend a hearing.
One area we have been
investigating particularly is the
private security companies which
appeared in Honduras after the
Cold War of the 1980s when
our country was nicknamed the
"backyard of the USA ".
They were mainly formed by
landowners and people who had
violated human rights during the
war, and who suddenly found
themselves without the protection
of the army.
There are more than 350 such
companies in Honduras. They
employ seven times more people
than the whole of the national
police force.
They are overflowing with


Honduran journalist, Dina Meza is
of the 2007Amnesty Internation
Award for Human Right

weapons and the state has little
control over them.
It is very easy to violate the
human rights of their employees
who typically have very little
education and come from very small
villages. They often have to work
around the clock for no extra pay
and without holidays.
They have to buy their own
uniforms and can have their pay
docked for no reason. They are given
weapons in very poor condition and
have to pay for any bullets they
fire.
We decided to take up their case
because nobody else was fighting


Tell All Who You 1
BY: George & Candy Gonzalez, San
Ignacio, Cayo.
Monday, 16th July 2007:
We would like to see a lot of folks
COME to Court 2:30 Wednesday,
July 18th to show support for the people
living downstream of the Chalillo and
Mollejon Dams our children, our
families, our homes, our communities.
We are asking the Chief Justice of the
Belize Supreme Court to ORDER the
Department of Environment to do their
job and follow the law.


s the winner
al Special


I


ts who is behind this
harassment. We also
investigate the pay of senior civil
servants and we also cover the rights
of workers in the fast-food
industry.
Our lawyer, Dionisio Diaz Garcia,
was murdered on 4 December.
All seven of us have been assigned
one police bodyguard each but they
are effectively only there during
office hours.
We also have to pay for their meals
and travel expenses though that
should be the state's responsibility.
Even then, we do not know if we
are really safe because the security
companies have a lot of influence
within the police.

rhink Should Know
The hurricane season is here. There
is a plan to bring people inland if
there is a hurricane warning. But
what do people do if there is a dam
failure?
We want protection for the people
and communities who are directly and
indirectly effected by the failure to put
in place a dam break emergency
preparedness plan, the failure to inform
people about the safety of eating fish
from the Macal River and if the water is
safe to swim in, to drink.


for their rights.
Since last year staff
on the magazine
have been threatened
more and more.
We have had our
telephones bugged
and we and our
families have been
followed in the street.
Threats get posted in
the comments section
of our website.
Once I got a
message telling me
that my teenage
daughter was "very
good-looking ".
It is not easy to say


Subscribe To The INdependent Weekly



INdependent Week g Thirt
for r one u ar sbscription



to th Nwspapr,

Pl1anr4fr to pAe#2 for
subscription form,


We want the state to protect us
properly and to find the murderers
of our lawyer.
I compare the risk my family and
I now run with the legacy which I
would leave my children by giving
up.
One state official privately offered
me plane tickets to leave Honduras
but I said I could not because I
needed to continue my work.
He was asking me to stop our
investigation of the murder because
of a "clash of interests".
I asked what these interests were
and he said he did not want to go
into it and that he would give me
no more information.
When I recently asked the same
official what progress had been
made to solve the murder, he got
quite annoyed and told me he was
going to take no further action
regarding our problem.
When you get a reply like that
from the state, all you can do is put
your faith in God and go on
working.
I compare the risk my family and
I now run with the legacy which I
would leave my children by giving
up.
I would leave them a corrupt
society with a lot of injustice. It is
just not worth it. My children know
what I do and they know the risk
we run. They also trust in God and
know that He is protecting us.
So no, I won't give up.
Interviewed by Patrick Jackson,
BBC News, London



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Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13|


I.


I


II -4


HRH Prince Charles doing inspections
!Careful with the hands, Your Royal Highness!"

m ar


We hear that a Venezuelan Foreign
Minister-led delegation was in Belize for
the 4th of July. Members of the political
establishmentwere seen rushing off from
US Ambassador's party for a special
state dinner for the visiting delegation.
Rumors were flying of a $10 million
USD contribution to the PUP with no
formal strings attached...

ScotiaBank Manager turned VP of
that Canadian Bank is on a meteoric
rise. Couple months ago the bank
elevated him to VP now last week the
Canadian Government named him
Honorary Counsel for Canada to
Belize. What's next for Mr. Andrews?
Governor General? Godspeed, old chap.

British Royal family members rarely
come to Belize when the PUP is in
Government. Perhaps because Mr.
Price had more grace. Princess Ann was
in Guatemala last week but couldn't be
bothered with Belize. No wonder
people ask if the Queen is still alive.
Musa dislikes the Brits so much, he had
them pull the BBC broadcast plug on
us.. .yet his wife is British and his kids
all have EU passports. What's Musa's
point exactly? Who does he represent?
Pinks Alley? Get real.

Whatever happened to
"Malcontents" Zetina and the various
cases of the hundreds of missing
passports? Someone ought to be held
accountable for the wholesale disposal
of our passports. Foreign authorities
now look at ordinary traveling Belizeans
as suspects. Where does the buck
stop? Panama?


We hear of all sorts of changes and
appointments in the Belize Foreign
Service but nothing officially released
in Belize... standard operating
procedure. CEO Amaliais still CEO....
for now. But Mr. Frijoles Leslie was
busying himself in DC a few weeks ago
with interviews. It seems all the Belize
Ambassadorial Appointments now are
full-fledged Assadistas. We will say
nothing of the "N" word, that is,
NEPOTISM, within the service.

We hear the political establishment is
trying to do to Zenaida what they did to
Derek but Zenaida is no fool; she sees
the play coming from a mile away...

This latest "free school book
program" is yet another temporary
electioneering scheme. Under Price's
PUP there was an excellent leased
schoolbook program at all government
schools, including the tertiary level.
Somebody is kicking back somewhere
along the pipeline. Come clean with this
program, Francis.

No DFC Commission Report?
What's the hold-up, Guys?
Something's being cooked and curried
or what?

Did you know that Guatemala has 21
registered political parties and that 65%
of their population is indigenous? Yet
most of the indigenous peoples of
Guatemala (mostly Mayans) are de
facto disenfranchised... don't vote, for
whatever reason. NALEB Organization
of Guatemala is trying to change this
and it could prove to be another South
Africa, post Apartheid, come


Beiize's delegation at the Language Excnange project workshop in
Guatemala.
Visiting Antigua, Guatemala. From left to Right: Troy Flowers, Gustavo
Perera; Belize Immigration Official, Valerie Samuels; Belize City
Mayor Moya; General Manager INdependent Weekly Newspaper;
TrevorVernon; CEO, Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Kevin Herrera and Public Service Union Executive, Dylan Reneau.


TEEN CARTOON


September 9th, 2007. Wonder who
their Bishop Tutu is.

Ifyou think it's been a particularly warm
year, you might be right, at least according
to the new and improved Belize Telemedia


By: Julia Heusner


Ltd 121 service. Afew nights ago after a
powerfailure, BTL'stime and date hotline
recording was telling customers "the
current temperature is 109 F
degrees." Talk about climate change!
Thank you for calling BTL.


OAPN PAKI
Tune in to the
OAPN PAKI SHOW
on LOVE FM
Every Sunday morning
from 10:15 a.m. to 12:00 noon
With your Host
ROSALIE T. STAINES


Gu/ e8f Galle r:id


.,iq


".w4


- -- I alawal I








Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14


Citizens Group
By George & Candy Gonzalez, San
Ignacio, Cayo, 11 July 2007
On July 9, the Belize Institute for
Environmental Law and Policy
(BELPO), acting on behalf of citizens
living downstream of the Chalillo and
Mollejon Dams filed an action in the
Supreme Court seeking to get the Court
to order the Department of the
Environment to do their job! The
hearing on the Application has been set
for July 18, 2007.
BECOL is already blasting in
preparation for the construction of the
Vaca Hydroelectric Dam, which will be
downstream of the other two dams, on
the Macal River. The group wants to
see the Environmental Compliance Plan
(ECP) concerning the Chalillo Dam
complied with before any further work
proceeds. Failing to do so seriously puts
at risk the lives, property, health and
safety of the people and communities
downstream.
BECOL was to put in place a Dam
Break Emergency Preparedness Plan
(EPP), a public awareness program on
the plan, and a public awareness
program on the water quality and safety
issues related to mercury levels in the
fish of the Macal River as part of their
obligations spelled out in the ECP signed
April 5,2002.
The Dam Break Emergency
Preparedness Plan was to be
completed and in place before the Chalillo
Dam started operation (in November,

Primary School Re
By Ray Auxillou
I read all the full page ads on the
textbook program to increase reading
ability and reading comprehension.
As an old person and ex-primary school
teacher I can only shake my head in
wonder. What nonsense the debate over
reading books are today! This argument
was resolved back in 1967.
Neither of the solutions presented today
will work as good, if at all, as the solution
we found in an experiment done over two
years on Caye CaulkerRC Primaiy School
back in 1967. We had got our primary
school library outfitted with donations of
newbooks, from a bunch of doctors from
an Osteopathic Hospital in Detroit.
To our dismay as teachers, we could
not get children to read. It was painful to
see children and adult villagers laboriously
fingering the headlines on a local
newspaper in the village, spelling out the
words, trying to read.
What we finally decided on, was that
reading had to become a pleasure. The
missing link we thought was COMIC
BOOKS, whether from the UK or the
USA. A campaign, writing Texas High
Schools out of a telephone book was done
and we received donations of thousands
of COMIC BOOKS from students of
these schools in Texas. COMIC BOOKS
were given out as prizes to the island
primary school students at all grade levels.
At the time, they were Donald Duck,
Superman, Fantasy Four, Batman, Pluto,
and many other comic books of that era. It
took no time at all for primary school
students and their parents at home to learn
to read. TESTS on reading speed and com-


Seeking Justice
2005).
BECOL was also required to
monitor the water and the level of
mercury in the fish and to make the
public aware of their findings.
Obviously, they have failed to do that, as
well.
Since it is the responsibility of the
Department of Environment to monitor
and make sure the ECP is complied with,
their refusal to do so is unlawful.
Although it is BELPO bringing the
case, without an attorney, it is done so
not as an organizational act but in the
public interest on behalf of the people
and communities who are directly and
indirectly effected by the failure to
enforce the ECP
The ECP, according to the EIA
Regulations, is a "legally binding
document developed by the
Department of Environment .
consisting of a set of legally binding
environmental conditions, guidelines,
policies and restrictions which the
developer or his representative agrees
to in writing to abide by as conditions
for project approval".
Since the Department Health, the
National Emergency Management
Organization (NEMO) and the National
Meteorological Service had roles to play
in the enforcement of the ECP, they are
listed as "Interested Parties" in the
case.
People living downstream have heard
rumors about cracks in the dam; we have

adding Controversy
prehension found that primary school
students increased eight class levels in
examinations in just five short months.
We gave away comic books for being
first place in class contests, for last place,
for being first to school, for chopping yard,
for being last to school, for smartest kid,
for being class dunce and so on. Kids were
hiding comic books under there desks and
reading when they were supposed to be
doing other classes, trading comic books
and so on. It was a fun experiment. At
first they just looked at the pictures, then
they gradually spelled the words and
learned them and the concepts. In five
months the Caye Caulker primary school
children were college level in reading,
writing and comprehension. Then we
would start reading printed books of their
age group level from the unused school
library, get one third of the way through a
book and and stop reading it at a point of
exciting suspense. The mad rush of
children lining up to take out this library
book to find out what happened next in the
story was pandemonium.
Within the next ten years, the United
Nations had announced Caye Caulker
village was the richest village in all of the
Caribbean and Central and SouthAmerica.
It still is! Of the original 90 families of
then Caye Caulker, nearly all are now
millionaires in assets.
BRC phonetics, or Caribbean Texts for
primary schools? What nonsense! Get
comic books if you really mean business.
The experiments in learning to read have
been done forty years ago in Caye Caulker,
Belize and the conclusion is inescapable.
Make reading FUN!


seen strange discolorization of the
water and been subjected to foul odors
coming from the river. We have asked
the Department of Environment, the
health department and other agencies for
answers to our concerns about the health
and safety issues related to the water
and the eating of the fish. We have not
gotten any answers. In fact, we have
been ignored.
We previous got promises and
assurances that tests on the water and
fish would be done, that people would
be informed and that a Dam Break
Emergency Preparedness Plan would be
put in place. But this has not happened.
During the recent National
Emergency Awareness Week, observed
from May 27 to June 2, 2007,
coordinated by the National Emergency
Management Organization (NEMO),
many of us asked about planning for a
dam break emergency, especially since
this area (San Ignacio/Santa Elena)
often doubles in size during a hurricane
alert.
As to water and fish safety, the
government has been misleading and
BECOL has shown no concern for the
people. In August 2006, the Office of
Health Services released a study on the
mercury levels in the fish of the Macal
River that was done almost a year
BEFORE the Challilo dam went online.
We need tests on the amount of
methyl-mercury (which is more toxic)
that is in the fish NOW. Methyl-


mercury is what is predominant in the
fish in tropical dams.
The damming of the river at Chalillo
would definitely increase the levels of
methyl-mercury found in the fish, but we
have not gotten any information about
any studies done since the January, 2005
samples were taken.
There have been no meetings to
inform people about the safety of
eating fish from the Macal River since
the Chalillo Dam began operation; there
has been no information on the
different kinds of mercury content in the
fish or the harm that they can cause to
the population since the Chalillo Dam
went online. There has been no move
by the Department of Environment to
allay fears of the people living
downstream who are concerned about
the safety of the dam, even though
citizens have continually raised such con-
cerns. And, in fact, we are already into
the 2007 Hurricane Season and there is
no Dam Break Emergency Plan in
place.
For these reasons, we believe we had
no choice but to seek help from the
Court. Because we have no funds or
funding, we are doing this without an
attorney and relying on the statements
of the Court that they would like to see
the legal system more "user friendly"
and, thereby, more accessible to
average citizens to seekjustice from the
Court and the law, even when they
cannot afford an attorney.


Workers Say Pesticides Made Them Sterile


!!e (Continued From Page 3)
namedias defendants.
The lawsuit filed by Miller claims Dow
and Amvac knew about DBCP's
toxicity as early as the 1950s, and that
scientists employed by Dow had noted
atrophied testes in laboratory animals
exposed to the pesticide.
"Defendants, however, continued
to market, sell and use pesticide
products containing DBCP outside
of the United States, including
Nicaragua," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit claims the pesticide was
sprayed under tree canopies and fell in
droplets onto workers and seeped into
the water supply.
Plantation workers were allowed to


ingest and bathe in contaminated water
when they lived in company-supplied
housing on Nicaraguan banana
plantations, the lawsuit said.
Dole neither warned the workers of
the dangers of exposure nor tried to
protect them by issuing gloves, safety
glasses or masks, the lawsuit claims.
Joe Fisher, an attorney representing
workers in several of the other pending
lawsuits, believes the case will get
widespread attention.
"I think everyone has their eye on
it to see how a jury treats it, he said.
If the case has "a good result I
think there's a chance it could
benefit all the banana workers," he
said.


- p


n- (Continued From Page 2)
WORKS FOR THEM! This constant
need for foreign exchange is a "wind
fall" and a perfect vehicle for the laundry
business and corruption.
Just think about it! An endless need
for money flow!! A perpetual market.
Hell, One could easily have their own
separate hidden economy. Will a new
government carry on this practice????
Again read between the lines in
Moody's warning.
Devaluation would reveal the true
value of our dollar in relation to our
assets and liabilities. Devaluation would
expose that "soft underbelly" where all
them fleas and warry-ticks are hiding in


the hairs, sucking away like vampires
at Belizeans life blood and sovereignty.
Devaluation would make it much harder
to hide financial activities even with
offshore secrecy and anonymity.
Devaluation could actually force our
Government to come clean and be
honest about our financial austerity.
The Report ended with: thus far, little
has been achieved in terms of ensuring
accountability, thus reinforcing the
perception that poor governance could
become a chronic issue in Belize," the
Moody's report cautions ........ This is
plain out self-explanatory!
Respectfully
Charles Lawrence Payne








Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15|


I contend that for a nation to try to
tax itself into prosperity is like a man
standing in a bucket and trying to lift
himself up by the handle.
Winston Churchill

Foreign aid might be defined as a
transfer of money from poor people in
rich countries to rich people in poor
countries.
Douglas Casey, Classmate
of Bill Clinton at Georgetown
University

Liberal is someone who feels a great
debt to his fellow man, which debt he
proposes to pay off with your money.
G Gordon Liddy


Government's view of the economy
could be summed up in a few short
phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps
moving, regulate it. And if it stops
moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan (1986)

Giving money and power to
government is like giving whiskey and
car keys to teenage boys.
P.J. O'Rourke, Civil
Libertarian

Democracy must be something more
than two wolves and a sheep voting on
what to have for dinner.
James Bovard, Civil
Libertarian (1994)


I~depnden
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Congratulations To The
E (Continued From Front Page)
Without a substantial means of making
a living the children will not sit by and
starve. They will take whatever means,
be it criminals if necessary, to survive.
Advancing education through the
Fourth Form will go long way toward
reducing Belize's gang problem and
Belize's presently increasing crime
rate.
It is hoped that the Ministry will keep
up the momentum and provide
standardization for the First through
Fourth Form. If money is a problem,
standardization could take place
with one core subject at a time. That
is, each year, or when money is
available, the text books of an
additional core subject could be
standardized.
The initial procurements of the books
would be a one-time only expense. A
modest rental sum would provide all
future books without any additional
expenditure.
Standardization could easily reduce
the cost of text books to students to a
small fraction of their present costs and
provide for their rental. Presently,
books for the First through Fourth Form
can cost a student around $200.00 a
semester. The greater buying power
resulting from the increased number of
similarbooks on a subject resulting from
standardization, could reduce their cost
by 10% or more to $180.00 or less a
semester. With proper binding and care
a book can be used for 6 semesters.
This would reduce the cost of the use
of books from $200.00 to $30.00 a
semester. If the books lasted for only 3
semesters the cost of use of the same
number of books would be reduced to
$60.00 a semester instead of the present
$200.00. Such a reduction would allow
thousands of students to attend First
though Fourth Form who could not
otherwise attend as they can not
otherwise afford the books.
The heads of the schools who
threaten to not use the standardized
books and those heads of school who
are advocating a parallel list of
supplementary books, could well hang
their heads in shame.
Children attending secondary
education classes frequently complain
that they are often required to purchase
books that are never used in class or
otherwise referred to in their studies. Is
it that there are some who claim to be
holier-than-thou and are involved in
education, who, on the side, profit from
the procuring of books? Could that be
the reason why there could never be an


Ministry Of Education


agreement between so-called
educators leading to the standardizing
of books?
It is time for the so-called educators
to show they have a conscience and
assist the Ministry in promoting
standardization. They all have an
obligation to the children. It is their duty
to assist in making standardization
work.
The Union should be cautious
regarding its criticism. The world is not
perfect and there is frequently a
resistance to change. There are those
that criticize so as to be noticed. There
are dissenters in every union. There are
those who do not look forward to
having to be oriented to a new teaching
approach or appreciate its benefits and
therefore find the workshop
objectionable and burdensome.
In the overall picture the teachers will
benefit. With standardization, when a
teacher now wishes to transfer to
another school the teacher will not have
to be oriented to a different teaching
approach as all schools now use the
same books. If the complaining school
Managers, Principals, Teachers and the
Union really believe that there should
have been a pilot program with them
involved in the consultations, the door
is now wide open for them. They can
immediately provide for a pilot program
and commence consultations regarding
the standardization ofbooks for the First
through Fourth Forms.
Until the Government altered the
truancy laws, the law covered children
through the Fourth Form. Those who
should have been participating in
Secondary education who did not
appear in school were truant. Therefore,
education through the Fourth Form was
mandatory and such education was a
right of the children. Instead of
complaining the complainers should
start a pilot program and take the lead
to bring about standardization ofbooks
utilized in Secondary education. Such a
program is 25 years overdue.


w~ o mj\* ^ F^^BHax- 501-226-2338
N or ma Email-SSBt a


T 3l of BeiSze www^tropicaircom


Notable Quotes






Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 16


GoB/MoE/QADS
Not one of us does not support the Textbook Programe. What we
do not support is your choice of books in the Infant Division.
The teachers, parents, managements, BNTU and BRC have a
LEGITIMATE CONCERN.
You have taken BRC's very successful and popular learning to read series out of the schools and
replaced it with Fast Phonics which you wrote and evaluated.
The Reporter Newspaper quotes Mr. Longsworth:
"...in March a revision of the list of text books by primary schools was done, experts
were invited to review the list and, based on a formula devised by the University of
the West Indies, the Ministry made an evaluation and arrived at a list".
You consulted with experts rather than the education partners because you knew that the education
partners would choose BRC. The formula devised by the University of the West Indies is no better
than the persons using it. QADS used the formula to evaluate Fast Phonics that they wrote and
wanted in the schools. Then, they evaluated BRC that they wanted out of the schools.
GoB, how can you accept the obviously biased and extremely optimistic opinion of QADS officials
and dismiss the testimony of parents, teachers, principals and managements?
On the 10th of May, 2007, the Association of Catholic Primary School Principals met. Not one of
the Principals stated that they had been consulted and almost 100% of the Principals stated that they
wanted BRC books to be included in the Textbook Programme. A large majority signed a petition
requesting the above.
On the 13th of June, 2007, the Catholic Local Managers met. They were not pleased that they had
not been consulted and that BRC's books were not on the Textbook Programme. The local managers
asked the General Manager to write the Minister of Education expressing their displeasure at not
having been consulted and requesting that BRC's books be an option on the Textbook Programme.
GoB, QADS believes that their Fast Phonics is going to be extremely successful. They believe that
children will be able to read anything put in front of them after one year of Fast Phonics.
GoB, talk to teachers. The English speaking world is struggling in its effort to teach privileged
children how to read in two or three years and QADS believes that they can teach non-privileged
children how to read in one year. GoB, our children and all of us will pay the price if you are wrong.
The decision is yours, not QADS.
GoB, even after your presentation, parents, teachers, principals and managements are not happy. If
your "experts" are wrong and Fast Phonics is not as good as BRC's Reading, you are going to have
some very angry people.
GoB, why are you going to risk the anger of the parents and teachers on the opinions of QADS? If Fast
Phonics and the New Caribbean Readers do not help children learn to read as well as BRC's Reading,
you have much to lose.
Your statement that "parents should not purchase books for core subject areas," meaning BRC's books,
is an effort to get BRC's successful books out of schools. Why? Why are you willing to go against the
wishes of a majority of parents, teachers, principals and managements?
Parents care about their education. If the children of parents who can afford to purchase books are not
learning as well as in the past, they will be really angry when the school tells them that GoB would not
even allow them to ask parents to purchase BRC books
Most schools which serve the needy have been using BRC's books. Many parents made great
sacrifices and bought the books because they believe in education for their children. Free books that do
not help their children learn are not going to make them happy.
Even at this late date, you could listen to the cries of the people and everyone but a few MoE/QADS
personnel would be happy. You would accomplish everything you set out to do with your Textbook
Programme unless getting BRC's books out of schools is part of your plan.
To whom can teachers and parents turn if your technocrats are wrong?
BRC Printing Ltd./Deacon Cal







Friday, July 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 171


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