Title: Independent reformer
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00011
 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: February 16, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00011
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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by Des Parette
June 19, 1953 was an interesting day
in history, for on that date Julius and Ethyl
Rosenberg were executed by the United
States for treason. They were Ameri-
can Communists, and although they were
free to believe what they wanted to,
they were not free to obtain national
secrets and sell them to the enemies of
the US... the Russians. In otherwords
they enriched themselves by using their
position of trust to damage their coun-
try. The court said they were guilty of
treason and ordered them to be ex-
ecuted. Little later a scientist named
Fuchs did the same thing with the same
results, and more recently a bureaucrat
named McClean and his gay partner
sold American secrets for a bunch of
money and when discovered, quickly
scooted to Russia.
Oran 's Dictionary of the Law de-

fines treason as "the crime of disloy-
alty to one's nation. A person is guilty
of treason who betrays the nation of
their citizenship and or reneges on
their oath of loyalty. Treason is will-
ful betrayal of confidence, fidelity or
trust for personal gain at the expense of
one's country.
What does disloyalty to one's nation
by willful betrayal of trust actually mean?
How about giving citizenship to our en-
emies so they can damage us from
within our own borders? Definitely that
would be treason, wouldn't it? But isn't
that exactly what is happening when
truckloads of Guatemalans are brought
across our border and given passports
so they can vote for PUP in the next
election [as reported by the STAR re-
cently]? Have they forgotten that Gua-
temala is still trying to take over Belize?
How about immigration officials and

SaP says "Belize has


in the

This article discusses some of the
quantitative trends affecting Stan-
dard & Poor's Rating Services'
analysis in 2007 for all 18 sover-
eigns rated in Latin America A
wider selection of economic indica-
tors can be consulted in the recently
published Sovereign Risk Indica-
tors for 113 sovereigns rated by
Standard & Poor's, which is pub-
lished semiannually in January and
July. In addition, a commentary com-
paring sovereign rankings globally
titled "Sovereign Risk Indicators:
2007 Outliers" was published this
"Sovereign Risk Indicators: Latin
America" -Only two Latin Ameri-
can sovereigns- Chile and Mexico -
have investment-grade ratings. At year-
end 2006, only eight Latin American
sovereigns out of a total of 18 had for-
eign currency credit ratings that were

their political bosses who sold hundreds
of passports to Chinese, Arabs, Paki-
stanis and even terrorists to line their
pockets with millions of dollars? Trea-
son compounded by greed.
How about the questionable Challilo
dam and making the government re-
sponsible for any failures that may oc-
cur, approved because certain govern-
ment officials will make a lot of money
from contracts to supply the gravel and
How about stealing hundreds of acres

of government land valued in the thou-
sands of dollars an acre and worth mil-
lions for a trifling $50/acre in a sweet-
heart deal with other government offi-
cials? Not only an outrageous betrayal
of trust but blatantly done! Over and
over again.
How about government officials and
police in collusion to bring stolen cars
to Belize to be sold at great profit, or to
conduit drugs through the country on
their way north? This damages both our
(Please Turn To Page 3) M W

Band Fest II-

Bigga a Betiim


higher than they were in 2000. Over this
same time frame, the credit ratings on
seven sovereigns deteriorated, and the
ratings on three remained unchanged
(see Table 10 for a list of all rated sov-
ereigns in the region).
Latin America has gone through two
very different economic periods so far
this century. In the first couple of years
of this century, many Latin sovereigns
experienced significant political and eco-
nomic crises that led to worse credit-
worthiness. (Examples include Argen-
tina 's default in 2001, Uruguay' s de-
fault in 2002, Venezuela's political cri-
sis and near default in 2003, Brazil 's
recession in 2001-2002, and Bolivia 's
ongoing political crisis since 2003.) The
region's average creditworthiness has
started climbing back to where it was
at the end of the last century only since
2004, helped by sharp improvements

(Please Turn To Page 5) EM

Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2

Edtoia Dieco

r b ullack

!]I fEX e ditor TT

Karla Heousn ero

GtSt pt meneral' Manager J



"Duct Tape to the

Dear Editor,
I enjoyed your column on 3 0 minute
Belize from a few weeks ago. Belize is
hard on men's shoes as well.
Two years ago, I was going to the
closing ceremonies for the Belize Film
Festival. A short film of mine was up
for an award so I dressed up a bit more
than normal. For me that basically just
means long pants. Anyway I dug out a
pair of nice brown leather lace up shoes
from my closet. I don't remember what
brand they were, but they were a good
"states brand". I didn't buy them in
Belize. Nor did I wear them often.
Probably only 4 or 5 times over a period
of about 2 years.
So after scrubbing the green mold
from my shoes I got dressed and went
off to the Bliss. Just as the cocktail
reception was winding down, mere
minutes before the awards ceremony
was to begin, the sole of one of my
shoes fell off! No warning. Ijust took
a step and the upper part of my shoe
simply came away from the sole.
As the ushers began herding us
from the palm court to the theater, I
asked one of the Bliss technicians to
find me some duct tape. While Suzette
Zayden and others made speeches, I
was making repairs to my shoe. By the
time they called my name as winner for
the Best Belizean Documentary I had
managed to get the sole of my shoe to
stay attached, thanks to a very hideous-
I had to walk up on stage to accept
my award and I'm sure everyone else
noticed my footwear disrepair, but
oddly nobody said anything to me
about my duct-taped shoe. Probably

because most of them had already
"walked a mile in my shoe" somewhere
Brent Toombs,
Oxa Productions
Falling house,
crooked contractor

Dear Editor,

My husband and I were ready for
warmer climates and researched Belize
for several months before moving there.
I must say, that far too much of what
we learned on the net, just is not true
and is not a reality once you live there.
We researched the QRP program and
like many people, were lured into think-
ing that this country really does want
retired folks to live here.
We rented in a town in western Belize
for well over a year. While we were
there a local business man there intro-
duced us to this contractor. He showed
us several homes in the area he had built
and told us that he could build us a home
that we wanted.
He built the house alright, but he used
inferior goods charged us for better
goods... .in the middle of building the
house he would change what we had
picked out to use for flooring and use
one that was cheaper from a different
vendor. He told us it was because what
we had selected could not be used be-
cause there was not enough of it. Not
true. I called both places and was told,
yes they did have what I wanted in stock
and had enough and the second place
quoted me a price several dollars
Well, the house is now falling down
and a disaster. We have now been in-
volved with a court case against the

P.O. Box 2(666
Bclic Ciit. Beli/c
Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as
BZ$30 00 (IS$3(0.00 international)

1 1 '11. I P I


t-SIii. W.

I m -iii tilit

contractor for well over three years.
Apparently he called all of the best law-
yers in Belize before we could hire one,
to make sure that we were limited in
who "could" even take our case. Thanks
be onto our Lord we finally found a law-
yer who could not be bought. After pay-
ing for three different engineers to in-
vestigate and write a report, all making
reports of faulty everything, the Su-
preme Court finally heard us.
Well, as far as the Registrar General.
Two days before we departed Belize
our lawyer told us that the Registrar
General had ruled in our favor. Won-
derful, great, finally. Not so. Now we
get word from our lawyer that there is a
new Registrar General and we are in
"case management". What? What does
that mean?
We left a man there with papers
signed and authority to finish the sale of
what could be sold of our falling home.
We have since heard from him that three
different people have been arrested
stealing from the property and that items
that had been removed for sale have
been stolen. Rumors have it, that the
original contractor is involved with the
stolen items!
What is going on? First the man steals
from us in building a faulty structure/
home and then when we can no longer
live in it he can steal from it again and
we lose even more. The stolen items
were already removed from the dwell-
ing to resell and were stolen from a dif-
ferent location. The information that has
been shared is reliable but as is so often
the case in Belize, no one wants to say
or be involved because of retribution for
stepping forward with information. I had
several men who worked on the con-
struction of our home come and tell me
after the fact of things to look for and
(Please Turn To Page 15) *rW

E-1 Lill lll E-1

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Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3

Precious Reserve faces extinction

It took 30 years of painstaking per-
sonal effort; of weeks and weeks, and
months and months, and ultimately of
years and years, for 'Chocolate'
Heredia to finally plan and put together
the 7000 acre Swallow Caye Manatee
Reserve, a few miles north east of Belize
For most of those years it was a lonely
battle, a personal crusade, fighting offi-
cial indifference on the one hand and
the prejudices of his fellow fishermen
on the other.
'Reserve' to them meant a 'no go
area' and Chocolate had to argue and
plead their reluctant support.

Chocolate Heredia founded the Swallow
Caye Manatee Reserve.

He achieved this by (at first) secretly
nurturing his reserve and then by intro-
ducing his fellow guides, one by one, to
the manatees. The reserve is now rec-
ognized as one of the world's most ex-
traordinary nature 'parks' with abundant
bird and marine wildlife and manatees
(endangered in many parts of the world)
interacting with their human contacts
without fear or danger.
And now; along comes the Stake
Bank mega cruise ship proj ect, which
is backed by local entrepreneur Mike
Feinstein and who plans to build a gi-
gantic four cruise ship berthing facility
and a huge two island development with
casino, convention center, three five star
hotels, lots of condos and a marina for
about 250 boats.
The islands will be 'created' and con-
nected to Belize City by a 4 mile cause-
way. The horrific development includes
North Drowned Caye right near the
western border of the sanctuary and
Stake Bank right near the southern edge
of the sanctuary! The plan is to con-
struct the causeway from Belize City to
North Drowned Caye and then another
through the Sanctuary to Stake Bank.
It will totally destroy the nature reserve.
The Environmental Impact Assess-
ment has already been completed for

The Stake Bank pier under construction.
the two island developments and it
looks like Stake Bank is only waiting
on the EIA approval for the causeway.
Already millions of tons of fill are being
dredged and dumped in the area.
The Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanc-
tuary is not just about Manatees but,
with over 7,000 acres of sea and
mangrove, provides a unique bird
and abundant wildlife sanctuary on the
very edges of Belize City. These are
the very attractions which bring cruise
ship passengers to Belize! What sort
of logic allowed the 'powers that be'

to even think about granting permis-
sion for such a proj ect?
The answer is personal greed, be-
cause, all the project will do is to en-
rich a very few as major profits,
work contracts and even jobs go out
of Belize. Belizeans will be forbidden
to enter the Exclusive Stake Bank re-
sort area. The causeway will also
cause many fishermen from Belize
City to detour some 6 miles to reach
their normal fishing grounds!
It is a shame, for the manatees, for
Chocolate, and all the rest of us.

-"ll (Continued From Page 1)
national reputation and integrity.
How about the tragically disgusting
plundering ofDFC, or the Social Se-
curity fund before it?
When ever government employees
are implicated, all of these are acts of
treason because they are willful acts of
betrayal motivated by personal greed
that damage our nation.
But it gets worse.
Our population is small enough that
we could actually function as a pure de-
mocracy with every issue of policy and
taxes taken straight to the people and
voted on at town and village meetings.
Of course pure democracy becomes
awkward and cumbersome as popula-
tions grow, and the issues become more
complex and difficult to explain to vot-
ers. The political system then evolves
into a republic where we elect trusted
people to be our representatives to un-

derstand the issues, and to vote in a way
that is best for our community and our
To "serve" our country as a repre-
sentative of the people is the highest
honor we can offer an individual, be-
cause we are saying that we trust that
elected individual to protect our health,
safety and economic well being. Con-
versely when such individuals offer
themselves as candidates, they are say-
ing they understand and accept this great
trust that is being placed in them, and
they agree to serve their community to
the best of their ability. They swear
before God in their oaths of office that
they will do so.
Whenever a hired government em-
ployee uses his position to enrich him-
self by selling passports, refusing to
prosecute crimes, stealing or misappro-
priating government land, property or
funds, these acts are obviously treason;

but when an elected official uses his
position of trust to enrich himself at
the expense of the country, such acts
are the highest of treason. Every act of
corruption by an elected government
official is high treason, because such acts
not only damage our nation but actually
kill our democratic system. A corrupt
elected representative reneges on his
oath of trust and is a traitor to his
people, his community, his country and
even to his God
People guilty of such treason should
be stripped of their position, forfeit all
their assets, be denied all pensions and
privileges, and be barred from any pub-
lic job or position of trust for the rest of
their lives. In short they should be pros-
ecuted as traitors to their country and
sufferthe full penalties for high treason.
Corruption will continue to be rampant
until such anti-corruption laws are en-
acted and we have an independent an-

nual audit [as already required by the
Laws of Belize], which is published in
full for the public to review and act upon.
We have a wonderful country. It has
problems, but if we believe in ourselves
we can make Belize realize its poten-
tial. Afew centuries ago, pirates used
our country to prey on ships, stealing
the goods of the world's wealthy mer-
chants. Today the pirates have returned
as a Mafia which has invaded and taken
control of our government, converting
our system into an elected fascism. Our
government now preys on the wealth
of our country stealing from the poor
who can least afford the loss, to enrich
the already wealthy. The people of
Belize must take back control of our
country or stand by and watch us sink
into the poverty and despair of another
Nigeria, Somalia and other Third World

The gentle West Indian manatee has a safe haven at the Swallow Caye Manatee
Reserve, now threatened by the Stake Bank development

Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4

stay in power, stay in control. Lose the It's not just the swing voters moving crack addiction epidemic or crime wave
mind control factor in the city and all away and becoming apathetic; at this that the political establishment can't
hell breaks loose. juncture, the diehard rank and file are seem to solve.
Heretofore, everything was either red becoming the most disillusioned of us This is explicitly part of this newspa-
or blue, not unlike the gangs of Los all. They work tirelessly for their red/ per agenda: tear down the walls of this
Angeles. Every single Belizean hadbeen blue party of choice, only to be swept jail they have created for the minds of
conditioned to think in these terms only. aside once the ballot is cast. There was the people of B elize. They know this
If you are not with the Blue machine, a time when the worker bees were and that's why the Independent Re-
you must be with the Red, or vice versa. "taken care of", if only superficially. former is the newspaper neitherthe PUP
By: Trevor Vernon This colonialization enslavement of the These days there isn't even the pretense or the UDP want you to read. They want
Been traveling around the country a mind is what kept a great many people of "turning them on" after the govern- to keep you numb, dumb, and full of
bit, papers in hand, visiting our gracious in line. Not the church and its dogma, ment has been installed. It's a new day despair...for now.
distributors while looking for additional like the politicians would have you be- and most diehards don't know how to But we'll get it to you anyway so you
secure distribution outlets countrywide. lieve. Not the Royal this and Royal that deal with the new reality, not unlike the can see what they are up to. Somehow.
We've had to hit the road because the like they like to spew. It's this red/blue
powers that be are trying to sew up the hocus-pocus hypnosis emanating from V isit
city and intimidate our distributors and the very top.
sellers in the Old Capital. They buy up Let it be known that the era of mind
ourpapers inbulkfrom some willing sell- games is over. The people of Belize are T h e B elize Z oo
ers and attemptto run the unwilling ones beginning to see the chess board for
offthe street in Belize City. what it is, and to realize that the red/
We sort of expected that. The politi- blue kings and queens are not oppos-TBLe
cal doyens want absolute control of ing forces, but in collusion, in bed to-
whatis circulating. And you can't blame gether, if you will....to the detriment,
them really They must control the minds and loss, to all the rest of the players on
of the masses of the Belizean people to the board.

"Weh happen to yu gal? Nowadays yu look so down!"
"Gaal, ah feel like mi man gat wan nex woman! E no love me anymo because e no beat mi fi wan long time now!"
,, .,-: ..
,,, ,,. , ,
@h~r- ''= 110

Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5


:'. .*". -. '- *' .. *'.
By: Karla HeusnerVernon
No se mi say, but Ihyar den di talk
bout Said step down.
Cho! He a neva give up powa.
No, well maybe he have to dis time,
dey know dey cyan win unless he go...
But who would tek ova? Mark?
Johnny? Godfrey? Eamon?
Den betta watch deyself
Don't you just love the gossip at the
business lunches and cocktails? It's so
different from the conversations in the
streets about shootings and lootings and
who is the latest pervert.
Of course, it may just be idle chatter.
But you know what they say in Belize,
"if da no so, da nearly so."
What would happen I wonder if the
PUP did change leadership. Would the
public suddenly forget the national debt
and depression and vote them in again,
hope renewed?
Or would Barrow then get his chance?
Maybe, if his own people don't decide
maybe he is a liability too and throw their
weight behind someone else? Wonder
what kind of party leader Lois would
be... Or Zenaida, or even Merlene?
It's all being tossed around, believe me.
I have heard it. Why not? Just because a
man holds onto power as stubbornly as
any two year old holds onto a lollipop
does not mean he deserves to have it. Or
keep others from getting a lick.
Too many people have been licked
down lately and kicked around for any-
one in national leadership to feel too se-
cure in their positions. Anyone.
But the aspiring hopefuls should be
careful too. Watch out and make sure
they are not getting set up to get their
heads chopped clean off when they stick
their necks out.
Payback for that little cabinet rebel-
lion. Or retribution for getting too popu-
lar with the electorate and stealing the
attention from the chief of the tribe.
Saafly, saafly tiga ketch monkey.
Same tiga which gaan wid Banner dog.
Gyal, yu tink BTL workers when
strike again fi tru?
Buoy, you tink di doktas no gwine
a work if this UHS ting happen?
Da sin what dey do at customs,
wanting dem to get master 's de-
What you tinkpipple would do if
the govament go bruk and cyan page
salary one of dees enda month?


Dat would be ruction fi tru!
Have you noticed the interest people
are paying to these developments? Are
you also feelingthe almost eerie, hurricane-
like watch going on over BTL? Like
people know we're going to get hit this
time and somehow they don't even mind.
That they are almost hoping something
dramatic starts to force some change...
Shopkeepers, shop girls, messenger
boys, teachers, students, bus driver, bus
riders, everyone asking, asking, will they
strike? Asking union leaders they see on


TV... reporters, arm chair pundits, street
side soap box specialists. Their barber,
their hairdresser.
What kind of breeze will blow this time?
Wa li pass ova, or some real man breeze?
Where are the manly men?
They kill up the woman and none of
dem bredda, fadda, uncle dem stop
Den fus Belizeans tief up di money
and no one cyan get it bac?
Dey kill up di buoy dem and di police
cyan ketch dem or the jury dem con-

Maybe some people really are get-
ting ready to make a bid for con-
trol... of more than just BTL.



smart! gives you more to share your love!

-EMFB^ va F


vict them?
Wey di man dem gone ina Belize?
Even di lawyer dem sey da woman
fumfum now... let the woman dem lib-
erate di country if de man no gat no
Yes, lotta talking in Belize right now.
Maybe it's just gossip; or maybe there is
some fire behind the smokescreens.
Maybe some people really are getting
ready to make abid for control... of more
thanjust BTL.
Well, all we can say is Godspeed to
anyone willing to step up and out. I just
happen to know a newspaper editor who
will give them free space and a good dis-
count for ads too.
In the meantime, Ij oin the rest of the
country keep watch with the angels, the
stars and moon... hoping freedom comes
tomorrow's noon.



e month of February 2007


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Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6

SaP says "Belize has the highest

debt burden in the

-Ei (Continued From Page 1)
in the terms of trade, more flexible ex-
change-rate regimes, debt reduction (in-
cluding by defaulting in the cases ofAr-
gentina and Uruguay), and more pru-
dent fiscal management in some coun-
In 2006, GDP growth for the region
as a whole was about 5.5% (all data
come from the Sovereign Risk Indica-
tors tables). No rated Latin sovereign
experienced negative growth in 2006 or
in 2005. The Dominican Republic, Ven-
ezuela and Argentina recorded the
fastest growth rates, while Paraguay
and Brazil had the lowest growth rates.
With the exception of the Dominican
Republic, South American countries
grew faster than Central American coun-
GDP growth is likely to approach
4.6% in 2007, led by small countries
like Panama and Dominican Republic
as well as by Peru. Growth is likely to
be modest for the two largest regional
economies- Mexico and Brazil -at
about 3.5% in each of them.
Falling External Debt
The Latin American region has ben-
efited in recent years from good exter-
nal conditions. High commodity prices
and easy availability of external capital
have bolstered economic growth and
facilitated the implementation of im-
proved debt-management practices
throughout the region. The terms of
trade for the region as a whole-a mea-
sure of the change in export prices com-
pared with the change in import
prices-are better than they were in the
past decade, largely because of higher
commodity prices. This external stimu-
lus has helped boost economic growth,
especially in South America.
The direct impact of higher commod-
ity prices has been on the balance of
trade, which has been in surplus in Latin
America as a whole since 2002. More-
over, the regional trade surplus has been
growing in recent years. The region's
balance of services remains in deficit,
but the deficit level has been stable in
recent years. The net result is a current
account surplus for the region since
2003, boosting foreign exchange re-
serves and reducing net external debt.
Much of the regional current account
surplus arises in only a handful of sov-
ereigns, such as Venezuela, Brazil,
Argentina, and Chile. All regional data
in this report are based on simple aver-
age calculations.
The sharpest improvement in the net
external position has been in Venezuela
, which was a net creditor by this mea-
sure in 2006 compared with a net

debtor position only a few years before.
Interestingly, all other sovereigns in the
region are in a net debtor position,
showing the region's traditional depen-
dence on external capital. Narrow net
external debt fell to 132% of current
account receipts (CAR) in Argentina
last year, but that country still has the
second-highest burden for this measure
in the region, exceeded only by that of
Panama. Belize, which is now in se-
lective default on its debt, has the
next highest external debt burden,
at about 124% of current account
The reduction in external vulnerabil-
ity has boosted creditworthiness in sev-
eral sovereigns. Overall, the region is
better prepared now to absorb an ex-
ternal shock than it was in 2000. The
(simple) average current account defi-
cit in 2000 was of 3.3% of GDP. It fell
in 2006 to 0.7% of GDP (see Chart 2)
and is likely to expand toward a bigger
deficit of 1% of GDP in 2007.
However, the biggest and third-big-
gest economies in the region (Brazil and
Argentina, respectively) enjoyed cur-
rent account surpluses in 2006, and
Mexico, the second-biggest economy
in the region, had a very small deficit.
Venezuela is likely to again have the big-
gest current account surplus in 2007
because of oil exports, while Brazil is
likely to run a surplus similar in size to
its surplus of last year. Central Ameri-
can countries (which typically are net
importers of commodities) are again
likely to run the biggest current account
deficits in 2007. Some of them, like
Costa Rica, can largely fund the cur-

rent account deficit with foreign direct
investment inflows. Others-such as
Panama, Guatemala, and El Salvador
-will depend more on debt inflows.
The data for gross external financing
show a similar pattern. Of the top nine
countries with the largest external financ-
ing needs, all are from Central America
(with the exception of Uruguay ). Peru,
Bolivia, and Venezuela have the lightest
external financing needs in 2006 and
2007 because of healthy exports of
natural resources.
Gross external financing needs for the
region as a whole in 2000 were at about
121% of CAR plus usable reserves,
whereas in 2006, they were down to
100% of CAR. External debt, net of
liquid assets, in 2006 is expected at
54% of CAR, a significant improvement
from the 110% of CAR recorded in
Better Fiscal Profile
The average figure includes massive
fiscal surpluses in countries like Chile
(estimated to be 7%-8% of GDP in
2006 because of high copper prices)
and more modest surpluses in Argen-
tina and Venezuela (both less than 1%
of GDP). Nevertheless, Brazil contin-
ues to run a general government deficit
of just under 4% of GDP, a modest im-
provement from previous years.
Chile is likely to again enjoy the larg-
est fiscal surplus in 2007, even if cop-
per prices continue to decline from their
current high levels. However, most Latin
American countries, including the big-
ger ones like Brazil and Mexico, will
again be in deficit. Although its general
government deficit is likely to decline

modestly towards 3.4% of GDP in
2007, Brazil will again have the largest
fiscal deficit in the region.
This reduction in external vulnerabili-
ties has also been accompanied by a
significant improvement on the fiscal
accounts. Fiscal balances have im-
proved in most of the region The aver-
age general government fiscal deficit
expected for 2006 is about 0.2% of
GDP, which compares very well with a
deficit of about 3.6% of GDP recorded
in 2000.
It is encouraging to note that govern-
ment revenues have generally increased
as a share of GDP in the region while
spending has increased at a slower
pace, allowing the primary budget sur-
plus to increase. That, in turn, has given
sovereigns the resources to either retire
debt or reduce the pace of new bor-
The overall debt burden of Latin
American sovereigns (measured as a
share of GDP) has not improved as
much as the external indicators of debt.
General government debt (net of gov-
ernment liquid assets) is expected to
have fallen below 35% of GDP in 2006
and is expected to reach 32% in 2007.
However, the recent decline in the gen-
eral government debt level is largely a
recovery from higher debt levels in the
recent past. For example, general gov-
ernment debt on average for the region
was 36% of GDP in 2000.
Belize has the highest debt burden
in the region at more than 84% of
GDP, followed by Argentina at about
61%. Based on current projections,
(Please Turn To Page 7) W


Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7

Taxed to

By Meb Cutlack

Belizeans are reeling under the most
iniquitous tax system ever imposed.
They are taxed when they sleep, when
they wake, when they rise, when they
walk, when they buy and when they sell.
They are even taxed, through hospital
and funeral parlor, when they are born
and when they die.
They are taxed when they get up in
the morning and turn on the light. They
are taxed when they turn on the gas.
They are taxed when they telephone.
They are taxed when they drive. They
are taxed when they buy breakfast, lunch
or dinner. They are taxed just to buy a
coke or limejuice!
Yes, the GST puts 10% on every-
thing! Ten percent twenty times, or
more, every day! Some businesses are
lucky because they get it back. Not
Tom, Dick or Juan or Juanita or Mike
or Neida or Rosita or Julian, or any
other ordinary citizen- they have no tax
breaks -just pay, pay, pay!
And check out this! The US Embassy
in Belize City had a sale last week of
leftovers after their move to Belmopan.
And, the taxman was there! Fifty per-
cent (yes, 50%) tax on old furniture. An
old chair, a desk, table, and anything
furniture-wise, and the grab bag was
open and the PUP Government
grabbed 50% of the purchase price!
The PUP government puts out its fist

SaP says
-n E(Continued From Page 6)
both Chile and Venezuela could
become net creditors in 2007 be-
cause of high commodity prices,
which have allowed their govern-
ments to retire debt and to acquire
Interestingly, all Latin American
countries (other than Belize and
Argentina ) currently have debt
levels of less than 60% of GDP,
the threshold level set by the Eu-
ropean Union (under the
Maastricht Agreement) a few
years ago for European countries
that sought to join the union's com-
mon currency. Latin American coun-
tries have far weaker revenue bases
and shallower domestic capital mar-
kets than developed countries in Eu-
rope do. As a result, they run a higher
risk of debt default compared with
developed European sovereigns at the
same level of debt (as measured
against GDP).
The improvement in external measures
of debt in Latin America in recent years
reflects many sovereigns having taken
advantage of the favorable conditions
in the external market to develop their
domestic capital markets, thereby gain-

ing more sources of funding. Govern-
ments throughout the region have
sought to reduce their foreign currency
debt by replacing it with local currency
debt, reducing the exchange rate mis-
match between their liabilities and their
The switch from foreign to local cur-
rency debt is favorable from a ratings
perspective, as the new debt profile

Opening Hours [1
Monday Saturday 6 a.m.- 8:
Sunday & Holidays 7 a.m.- 7:
Breakfast Lunch and Diner

Sleep, Breathe a Eat

for every single penny it can squeeze
from the people. It threatens and intimi-
dates anyone who can't pay. It exploits
the poor to hand to the rich!
Just take the 'few' driving all those
vehicles with blue and green number
plates who pay little or nothing for their
land grabs, their gas or even for their
income tax. They are the privileged; the
cronies and the thieves who masquer-

ade as loyal Belizeans but who are the
ones who benefit while others pay. They
are the ones who are destroying
And, look at the inequalities the
PUP hands out to those who visit this
country; the ones who come to stay
for days at a time (with love and money
in hand) to visit our rivers, mountains,
Mayan ruins and reef. They are taxed
$70 a head to stay more than 24 hours!
The PUP Government forgets the
possibility of those people spending
$100 to $200 a day if they stayed
longer. No, that would go into the lo-
cal communities and only filter slowly
to government. They are addicts and
they must have their fix immediately!

Just think for a moment--a real tour-
ism couple staying 3 or 4 days or more
in Belize (taking in the reef and the
mountains) leaves $800 US or more
in the communities and in the country
- and that filters down through local
hotels, tour guides and little restau-
rants. The same couple, staying just a
day and a half, leave only $70 US plus
a nights stay. And, virtually nothing fil-

ters through!
You would think that a wise gov-
ernment economist would get the pic-
ture but, no.
The time has come for this to
change. Visitors should be given in-
centives, not punishments for staying
longer. Give them 'free' exit if they
stay more than 3 days.
Why not?
Why not treat them with the same
love as the cruise ship tourists. They
pay no exit tax at all. Yet they stomp
and block the streets, they overtax the
sewerage systems, their busses pound
the roads in the city and districts and
they aren't taxed. They are just
charged a token fee half of which

goes back to the cruise ship company.
How did this happen? That money
was meant for Belize instead it ended
up in the hands of a PUP crony and
was then handed back to the Cruise
ship Company!
It's time that Belizeans demanded a
better accounting. It's time that they
demanded a real revision of the Cruise
ship head tax.
Forget an extra dollar and demand
want it costs Belize to put up with
them. And, that includes the cost to
our roads and infrastructure and our
ecotourism reputation now butch-
ered internationally by thousands of
cruise ship passengers crowding our
streets, our roads, our reef and our
Other countries; many have little or
nothing to offer, compared with
Belize's natural attractions, yet charge
cruise ship passengers $20 U.S.
We must up our charge to at least
$12.U.S to $15. U.S per passenger
with a 5 year review built into all con-
tracts. Certainly at least a dollar a
head for the city, $2 for roads and
infrastructure and an urgent review
of all the monies which go back to the
Cruise ship company.
Only then might it make the money
we receive, to have these hoards de-
scend on us and stomp on our
Belizean heritage, almost worthwhile.
Think about it.

ist debt...
The encouraging macroeconomic
performance of recent years in most
Latin American countries is expected
to continue in 2007. Large coun-
tries-such as Brazil Colombia ,
Chile, and Peru -now enjoy a posi-
tive outlook on their sovereign ratings,
indicating the possibility of higher sov-
ereign ratings in Latin America in

typically reduces the vulnerability of
the government's finances to an ex-
change rate risk or to a negative ex-
ternal shock. However, the overall
levels of general government debt re-
main high in Latin America, when
viewed against the typically narrow tax
base or the volatility of government
revenues (especially for large com-
modity exporters).

\with a

Tropical TI ist

Tel: 822-8014
Res:/Fax: 820-2062

Anita Tupper Int.: 501-822-8014

Christine Tupper Mile 311/4
Western Highway
BELIZE, Central America
30 p.m. Mailing Address: Box 346, Belmopan
:30 pm. E-Mail: chrissy@cheersrestaurant.bz

"Belize has the


Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
You will be popular and will easily at-
tract members of the opposite sex. Get
involved in sports groups or hobbies that
attract you. Catch up on overdue phone
calls and correspondence. You can come
up with solutions to the problems respon-
sible for inefficiencies at work. Your lucky
day this week will be Tuesday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
Spend time with friends or family. You
may find that getting together with col-
leagues after hours will be worthwhile. Be
prepared to counteract the damage that
adversaries are about to create. Residen-
tial moves will be favorable, and larger
quarters the most probable direction. Your
lucky day this weekwill be Thursday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Don't forgetto letyour mate know how
muchyoucare.Family outings oraquiet stroll
throughtheparkwill leadto stimulating con-
versation and a closer bond. Take care of
any dealingswithgovemmentagencies. You
canbe surethatany dealingwithlargeinstitu-
tions shouldgowell.Yourlucky daythisweek
will be Saturday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Pleasure trips will be most enjoyable
and should lead to new and lasting friend-
ships. You can solidify your relationship if
you plan a special eveningwithyourmate.
Youwill dowell ifyouminglewith the brass
this week. You can change your living ar-
rangements. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You will enjoy travel and getting together
with peers. Your added discipline will en-
able you to complete some of those un-
finished projects. Do your own thing. Your
outgoing nature might work against you
this week. Your lucky day this week will
be Wednesday.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
You will feel tired and rundown if you
have allowed yourself to get into a finan-
cial mess. Try to stay calm and understand
both sides of the situation. Romance is
likely ifyou participate in unusual forms of
entertainment. You can make gains ifyou
look at long-term investments. Your lucky
day this week will be Thursday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Family outings should include visiting
friends or relatives. Use your charm to get
your own way. You don't owe anyone an
explanation. Do your own thing, you need
time to yourself. Do not push your opin-
ions or try to reform your emotional part-
ner this week. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
Real estate investments will payoff. You
must be careful not to trust just anyone.
Your ability to be practical in business will
help. It's time to reconnect with some of
the people you used to know. Your lucky
day this week will be Friday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Take care when dealing with older rela-
tives. You can develop your creative tal-
ents ifyou take the time to practice your
art. Interaction with colleagues will only
be upsetting. Use your creative talent in
order to accomplish your goals. Your
lucky day this week will be Monday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
A need to express yourself may come
out in creative ways. You can make a dif-
ference if you offer your help at functions
that involve children. Before you proceed
be sure to talk your plans over with those
they will affect. You are best to be dis-
creet. Your lucky day this week will be
AOUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Don't let your work and your personal

"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an
imperfect person perfectly."
"I get the best feeling in the world when you say hi or even smile at me because
I know, even if its just for a second, that I've crossed your mind."
"The spaces between your fingers were created so that another's could fill them
"Never frown because you never know who might be falling in love with your
"Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you
hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay
awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who
wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand
in front of his friends, who thinks you' re just as pretty without makeup on. One
who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to
have YOU... The one who turns to his friends and says, that'ss her"....
"You know you're in love when you don't want to go to sleep at night because
your life is better than a dream."
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love
with you was beyond my control."
"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it's yours. If it does not come
back, it was never meant to be."
"Today I caught myself smiling for no reason... then I realized I was thinking
about you."
"Last night I looked up and matched each star with a reason why I love you; I
was doing great, until I ran out of stars."
"If you truly love someone, then the only thing you want for them is to be
happy.... even if its not with you.."
"Once I dropped a tear in the ocean, the day I find it is the day I'll stop loving

life interfere with each other. Stop those
bad habits. Communication will be the
source of your knowledge and you must
be sure to spend time with those who have
more experience. Don't make large pur-
chases unless you have discussed your
choices with your mate. Your lucky day
this week will be Friday.

PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Speak of your future goals, intentions,
and commitments. Don't donate more
than you can afford in order to impress
others. Visitors may be likely to drop by.
You can make extra cash by moonlight-
ing. Your lucky day this week will be



Intersection of OW Bypass and Corozal Rd. Orange Walk

Ceviche is the dish of record at this quaint establishment. I stopped by on
a Saturday afternoon to find a place bustling with activity, and bursting
at the seems with good food and cold beer. I was truly not surprised by
the high standard of the ceviche (one would expect nothing less in Orange
Walk), but I was taken aback by the excellent "fiyah haat" taste of the
rice and beans. The stew chicken was up to par with the best family places
1/2 around, and I would boast that the pork was better than most. It was also
refreshing to see that quite a lot of effort had been taken in providing a
nice atmosphere to dine in, with nostalgic mementos on the walls and
prompt and very friendly service. Need I mention AGAIN that the beers
were ICE COLD! And you know it is a good sign when policemen are
sitting, enjoying their meal too. So don't just fly past Ole Rambo Town
anymore, stop by El Establo and tell them we sent you.

Approxmate eal Cst $6oo&u

Your weekly

Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9

A perfectly

plan, going to waste

By: Independent P.G
For many years the people of Toledo
have tried to get recognition for their
homegrown development plan, the To-
ledo Eco-Park Plan. On September
12, 2003, representatives of all the
democratically elected political leaders
in the district as well as the cultural,
conservation and development organi-
zations signed a memorandum of un-
derstanding prepared by the General
Manager of the Toledo Development
Corporation in support of the further
development of the plan. Seeing the
united consensus of support the United
States Peace Corps and the Toledo
Civil Society also signed.
In a foreword to his Toledo Strategy
and Action Plan 2006-07, Minister
Mark Espat writes, "government has
taken a lead role in the planning pro-
cess, and we are committed to use this
plan to guide development in the dis-
trict". Then he goes on to write "how-
ever, true development will only be
achieved if the energy comes from those
within those targeted for development."
This is precisely the type of commu-
nity consultation brought out the sup-
port for the Toledo People's Eco park
plan back in 2003. But rather than use
any of these ideas, government plan-
ners put in what they wanted. The cost
for preparing their "action plan for pov-
erty elimination in Belize?" Ahalf a mil-
lion dollars!
Among the goals of this action plan,
listed under "Enterprise Development"
page 45, is to "Promote tourism and
investment and development through
the establishment of the Toledo Gate-
way Program listed as part of this pro-
gram was the following: Establish the
Toledo Eco Cultural tourism zone

$15,000. Establish of the Maya heri-
tage trail and sea route $150,000. Es-
tablish the Toledo in Gateway program
$150,000. Source of funding BTB,
GOB, BTIA. Implementing agencies
and CBO's community."
Recently however, I interviewed sev-
eral people from these agencies about
the status of the government's poverty
alleviation plan for Toledo. Dr. Ludwig
Palacio General Manager of the TDC:
"Dr. Palacio, what do you know about
these programs." "I don't know about
Question, "how can we establish a
program if it doesn't yet exist?" "Well I
believe it means to design the program".
Question, "Well the programs have
not been designed, how can they de-
termine funding for three years?" No
Next was the President of the Toledo
branch of the BTIA, Mr. Bruno
Kuttinger, "What do you know about
these programs." "Nothing, I have never
heard of them?."
Mr. Roberto Echeverria, President of
the Toledo Tour Guide Association,
"What do you know about these pro-
grams?" "Nothing, I have never heard
Ms C. Ross, Belize Tourist Board
says, "I don't know about them".
Mr. Kenneth Williams, Product De-
velopment Officer, "I can't tell you any-
thing about them, but I think I remem-
ber hearing about them once at a meet-
Mr. Andrew Godoy President of the
National BTIA "I have no knowledge
of any of this plans".
Mr. Carlos Galvez, Mayor of Punta
Gorda Town, "I have never heard of
any of these projects, many times

projects and plans come to Toledo with-
out proper consultation, we only hear
about them after they have been ap-
proved by those higher up."
Mr. Mario Chavarria Town Manager
"I have never heard of these projects".
Mrs. Celia Mahung, Executive Direc-
tor of TIDE "Never heard of these pro-
grams" Mr. Vincent Sacul, Chairman of
the Toledo Eco Tourism Association, "I
know nothing of these projects"
Mrs. Leela Vernon, Chairlady of the
Punta Gorda Conservation Committee,
"I have never heard of them."
Mr. Lenardo Acal, Chairman of the
Toledo Maya Cultural Council, "I have
never heard of these proj ects." No one
told me about any of them.
I also wrote Honorable Godfrey
Smith, our Minister of Tourism, asking
if he knew anything of these projects
and programs. This letterwas registered,
and sent on December 14th, 2006, 74
days ago, still no answer, what a sad
What will happen if our people are
not supported in our efforts to help
ourselves to take advantage of the
rich natural resources we have been
blessed with and the tremendous op-
portunities for harvesting them that are
now available to us with the Toledo
People's Eco-Park Plan? The answer
should be obvious to most Belizeans
by now.
Foreigners will come here and they
will take advantage of them. Some
of them will use many of their ideas.
They will say, "well, why shouldn't
we take advantage of the resources
and these ideas to develop them, the
people haven't, if I don't, someone
else will. While I might be the owner
instead of them, at least I will provide
jobs for them!"

The sad truth is as many of us have
already seen, our government lead-
ers will rush to support them, the for-
eigners, when they wouldn't help our
own people. Our government's lack
of faith in the ability's of the people of
Toledo is painfully obvious.
Or do they believe in our potential
and just don't want us to succeed, so
that they can get their money under
the table? By selling their support and
our resources to those from outside,
who have money to pay them?
So what we have here is the Gov-
ernment of Belize Ministry of Eco-
nomic Development, paying some
consultants to consult with the local
stakeholders in tourism in Toledo to
help put together a plan they believe
in, and will put in the energy neces-
sary to implement.
Paying $500,000, to come up with
plans for tourism development in To-
ledo that no one interviewed here has
ever heard of, and omitting a tourism
development plan that took many
years of trial and error and success
to design by the democratic partici-
patory planning process is ludicrous.
What we need is a holistic plan for
the unification of all the ministries, non-
governmental organizations, and
people who are living and working in
Toledo for a better Toledo. One that
recognizes that in 2003, after singing
the national anthem under our national
flag in the parish hall, some of our
most respected citizens signed onto
the plan, or as witnesses.
The first step was simply to get a
pilot project, give the People's Plan a
chance. But it seems the ministry was
afraid it would succeed, and then, ev-
eryone would want to try it, and there
would be no stopping them.....

The Magical Biodiversity of the Runaway Creek Nature Reserve

By Sharon Matola

A magical forest ALWAYS harbors
the rarest of the rare!
To keep within this well-earned repu-
tation, the Runaway Creek Nature Re-
serve is home to one of the rarest small
mammals in all ofBelilze!!
The Greater Grison, Galictis vittata,
is the name of this unusual animal.
The Belize Zoo is home to two
Grisons and they never fail to thrill their
visitors. Dashing about, these happy
Grisons will flip their bushy tails into the
air and spray out a bit of"Grison per-
Does it smell bad? Well, NOT if you

The Greater Grison hunts small rodents day & night and is a skilIful swimmer.

are a Grison!
The eyesight of the Grison is not so
sharp and they most likely depend on
their ears and nose to locate food in the
Fruits and insects make a grand feast
for them, and check out those Grison
feet! They are semi-webbed, making
any effort to swim, an easy pursuit.
What makes the Runaway Creek
Nature Reserve the perfect happy home
for a Grison? These fast-moving small
mammals enjoy roaming about in Sa-
vanna habitats, as well as lush tropical
forest. Both of these important Grison-
friendly ecotypes thrive within the
boundaries ofBelize's Runaway Creek
Nature Reserve.

F l y T o p iA r-y T r oi

Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10

OAS invites Young Entrepreneurs

The Young Americas Business Trust Thomas
(YABT), a non-profit affiliate of the Or- when T
ganization of American States (OAS), entries,
is inviting young entrepreneurs from the istered.
hemisphere to participate in the Talent broades
and Innovation Competition of the around t
Americas, or TIC Americas. Theco
The international contest and awards stages: c
program is geared toward teams of as- on-site f
piring entrepreneurs under age 35 from Panama
OAS member countries, though young June 1,
people from other countries may also sembly
participate. YABT c
Roy Thomasson, Chief Executive Of- Entrepr
ficer ofYABT, noted that many young East-W
entrepreneurs who start out with ideas Eight
and dreams will go on to create jobs ness Pr
and help build a strong economic foun- ture and
dation in the region. "TIC Americas rep- of Entr
resents an opportunity," he said. "Ev- and Soc
eryone who participates will be a win- prize fo
ner in terms of the benefits they will gain teams c
from the experience." will incl
Entries are being accepted in five pri- ships, b
ority sectors: energy, agribusiness, nities an
trade, tourism and technology. The com- to the G
petition is based on the preparation and Taiwan
implementation of business plans, but it YABT
also incorporates extensive opportuni- filiated
ties for training, mentoring and network- tariat th
ing, as well as a prototype phase to test create j
market feasibility. Each team that en- entrepre
ters must have at least three members. To reg
The deadline for submissions of the format
final business plan is March 15. (www.ti


son noted that since last month,
IC Americas began to accept
more than 300 teams have reg-
"We want to encourage the
t possible participation from all
the hemisphere," he said.
competition is being held in two
)n-line semi-finals, followed by
inals. The finals will be held in
City, Panama, from May 31 to
prior to the OAS General As-
and following an international
conference on "Innovation and
reneurship: A North-South/
est Dialogue.
prizes will be awarded in Busi-
ocess, Creative Design, Cul-
t Traditions, E-business, Spirit
epreneurship, New Markets,
ial Entrepreneurship, plus one
)r finalists from international
outside the Americas. Prizes
lude monetary awards, intern-
usiness- incubation opportu-
nd travel for a team member
global TIC event to be held in
in August.
T is a private-sector initiative af-
with the OAS General Secre-
at aims to reduce poverty and
obs for young people through
sister or for more complete in-
on, visit TIC Americas on-line




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Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11

Cubola Productions releases New Book

Benque Viejo del Carmen,
In a timely fashion, as in 2007 we
celebrate the 200th anniversary of
the abolition of slavery in the former
British Empire, Cubola Productions
is pleased to release a new book,
Family and People all Well... an
Account of the Occurrences in the
Business of Mahogany and Log-
wood Cutting in the Bay of Hon-
duras in 1789.
This account not only depicts the
business of mahogany and logwood
cutting during the slavery years but
also allows us to glimpse into the
real lives of slaves.
The book's is based on the diary
of Colonel Lawrie, one of the big-
gest slave owners in the Colony,
who owned and exploited a tract of
land known as Rowley's Bight in the
Bay of Honduras in 1789, in the
vicinity of what today is known as
Corozal Bay.
Colonel Lawrie's account of the
lives of the slaves living and work-
ing under his command was discov-
ered by Roy Murray, the author of
the book, at the Scottish Record
Office in Edinburgh. These primary
sources are extremely rare and
valuable and, as far as we know,
Colonel Lawrie's diary is the only
day-to-day account of the activities

of timber slaves in Belize that has
survived the ravages of time.
Through the Journal, we learn of
the existence of Violet, Creessy,
Indian Nanny, Othello, Cato, and
Harlequin who were among the 104
other men women and children
slaves named in the slave inventory.
We learn how much they were
priced at and their family relation-
ships, their health and living condi-
tions, including food rations and the
provision of clothing,
Reading through the book, we are
exposed to the suffering and humili-
ation men and women had to en-
dure on this land before the right to
own slaves was abolished by law.
As the author, Roy Murray, tells
us in his introduction I feel privi-
leged to have worked on this manu-
script and to have had the oppor-
tunity to bring to live the experi-
ences of one group of slaves in
Belize, as a testament to their ef-
forts and those of generations of
bondsmen and bondswomen in the
settlement to make as much of a life
of their own as they could in the cir-
cumstances in which they found
themselves, and to leave their mark
on the history of a country who owe
them so very much.
This book is the third volume in

the Belize Collection, which pre-
sents issues of Caribbean-wide in-
terest from a Belizean perspective.

It is available in bookstores and gift
shops throughout Belize

ZnC4 Annut- 1A

Entrance $4
Under 12 enter free!!

Place: Cucumber Bea(
SMile 5 Western
Time: 9am 5pm

Marine products & services
Outboard engines
Inboard engines
Fishing supplies
Boat Manufacturers

3rd r 4th, 2007
Sat-&r Sw"n

Do you have a boat, product or
service you want to sell?
Call 610-1681


ch Marina (Old Belize)
Hwy, Belize City

* Companies offering charters for
snorkeling, fishing, sailing
* Intro to scuba diving
* Safety equipment
* New and used boats for sale


Events at the George Price Centre for
Peace and Development this month
Exhibit: The World ofWu
Enjoy the art ofTaiwanese-Belizean multi-talented artist Steve Wu: illus-
trations, woodwork, photography, cartoons, sculptures, drawings and de-
sign. The exhibit will be on display until February 23.

IT Training: Microsoft Excel
From 1.00 to 5.00 p.m.
Thursday, February 8 -Beginners
Tuesday, February 13 Intermediate
Thursday, February 15 -Advanced

Movie Club: Secondhand Lions
Join the movie club on Thursday, February 8 at 7.00 p.m. for a showing of
Secondhand Lions with Michael Caine; Robert Duval andHaley Joel Osmont.

Valentine's Dance organized by the Belmopan Cancer Society
On Saturday, February 10 from 8.00 p.m. enjoy good food, good music
in good company, all for a worthy cause!

For further information, contact:
Elsie Alpuche, Curator / Coordinator
The George Price Centre for Peace and Development
Price Centre Road, City of Belmopan
E-mail: info@gpcbelize.com
Website: www.gpcbelize.com

Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12

Private Listing

Lake Gardens, Ladyville
"Chalet d' Eve"

SBeautiful 2900 sq foot home on / acre property
in highly secure neighborhood, 10-12 feet above
sea level with on site hurricane shelter
5 bedrooms (ac unit in each)
* 4 full bathrooms
2 kitchens
3 fully screened porches
breakfast room/ study/ games room
walk-in pantry
mahogany cabinets
utility room

Hurricane shelter with metal windows
and ferro concrete roof
1000 gallon water collection backup cistern
reverse osmosis water system for potable drinking

decorative plants & 20 fruit trees .
external electrical outlets and faucets

6' security fence
motion detector spotlights
off street parking for one or two cars
privacy ofcul-d-sac living on private estate

Just 20 minutes from Belize City, 7 minutes to International .
Airport close to grocery shopping and 2 banks 4..
Taxes-- approx BZ $200/year property taxes (fully paid up) VIEWING

PRICING by appointment only
property appraised at $ 420,000 but ask for details by appointment only
Please call Trevor @ 600-1627

1/2 acre lots in 10 acre plots in 12 acre plots in
Burrel Boom Burrel Boom Ladyville
starting at $10K starting at $50K starting $120,00050K
Call Call Call
600-1627 600-1627 600-1627

for details

for details

for details


Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pagel33

~7r~1 itfA 3V1 9

El Pilar Coloring Book
Anew book hopes to impress in the
minds of Belizean students the "mar-
riage of nature and antiquity." The col-
oring book is about El Pilar, the huge
Mayan site in Cayo, and it is aimed at
students as part of their African and
Maya history curriculum. Archaeologist
Dr. Anabel Ford: "... This is a tiny
book, it is not the encyclopedia. I hope
that the students in standard IH will be
able to start bringing forward this won-
derful chance to save the Mayan for-
est." Over 8,000 copies are being dis-
tributed free to students across the
country. Teachers guide is also being
prepared by Dr. Ford.

Panton said the question of a new cruise port for Belize City has yet to be resolved, but construction has already begun at Stake
you look at the competitive spend in Mohammad Farhadi said the chemic
Central America and the Caribbean, and herbal treatment appeared effe
Belize is way below that. We are being tive on other immune disorders as we
outspent three to one by our Central "It is not a medication to kill the virus
American neighbours, and five to one rather can be used besides other an
by Caribbean partners." And she retroviral drugs," Baqeri Lankarani sa
added: "I think maybe the marketing on state radio.
spin may seem stale to us... This year, The drug, made after five years
for example, we are going to do exten-

Police complain!
We hear from a concerned policeman
who overnights at a Mayan site that the
food is not up to scratch, the accom-
modation is uncomfortable and that his
'rifle' doesn't work. We are not saying
which site he works...
BTB having a rethink?
Tracy Panton of BTB told Channel 5
last week: "....we are at the stage where
we really need to look critically at what
we are doing, not only in the public sec-
tor but also in the private sector. When

- IOM11=

sive research to test how our marketing
spend is affecting our arrivals, and what
is effective, what isn't effective in the
long and short term. New blood is al-
ways good. It adds new energy, but we
don't want to fix something if it's not
quite broken." Panton said that the
question of a new cruise port for Belize
City has yet to be resolved.

Parkinsons cure?
Cannabis may cure Parkinson's by
boosting levels of the brain's natural can-
nabis-like chemicals. This could im-
prove the treatment of Parkinson's dis-
ease, aUS study suggests. Mice with a
similar condition could move normally
within 15 minutes of having a cocktail
including a compound which increases
endocannabinoid levels. But the scien-
tists, writing in Nature, warned smok-
ing cannabis would not have the same
Iran claims found
herbal cure for AIDS
A journalist, Ron Brynaert, reports
that Iranian scientists have claimed that
they have discovered a herbal cure for
AIDS. "The drug named 'IMOD' is
completely effective and safe with no
proved side effects," Former Minister
of Health and Medical Education Dr.

research, has been tested on 200 pa-
tients, IRNA said, adding that it is
considered the fifth generation of
medications helping control the HIV/
AIDS virus. Farhadi said the medi-
cation will now be tested on some
3,000 to 5,000 Iranian patients in the
next year to monitor its efficacy.
Health Minister Baqeri Lankarani
said that the number of HIV/AIDS
cases in Iran stands at around 14,000
while 1,700 people have died of the

Announcing our new internet host:

For an online version of the







Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pagel44

Band Fest II- Bigga & Bemal

Mayor Zenaida Moya presents the winners' baton to Succotz Festival Marching Band,
second time overall winners of Band Fest H on Saturday, February 10th.

BEL marketing manager Diane Forman presents prizes and trophies to Christy Pech and
band leader Leon Palacio of Mt Carmel School, winners of primary school category.

Drummers ofBanda Bethel of La Ceiba, Honduras put on a show to wow the crowd.

Lovely majorettes of the Colegio Osorio Sandoval Band from Guatemala stole the
hearts of many Belizean spectators.

The Youth Band of Chetumal, Quintan Roo also performed in this year's Band Fest II.

The San Pedro High School Band brought the Isla Bonita rhythm to Belize City.

This precocious pom-pom girl of the Holy Redeemer School Band drew rounds of
applause with her performance onstage.

Friday, February 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 155


US Ambassador Robert Dieter presents certificates at the closing of Medical Readiness
Training Exercise (MEDRETE) at Santa Teresa RC School, Toledo.

BeIPAC's awards Citizen

of the Year 2006

M&M Tour 2006 champion Marlon Castillo plants a kiss on Atlantic Bank employee
after she presented him with the leader's jersey for the start of the 2007 M&M Tour.

Falling house, crooked contractor

--ni(Continued From Page 2)
be aware of, that they knew were faulty
in the construction, but would not state
it in a court for fear of what would hap-
pen to them if they did. How very sad.
I cannot see things getting better for
anyone there who is honest and law
abiding. It sure does appear that if you
are honest you had better be afraid to
step forward and if you are a crook,
you have all the power and ability to
keep information from being told to a
There is no doubt that this loss has
hurt us. I don't know if we will ever be
able to recoup it, but, I am still in a bet-
ter situation then those that are so afraid
to step forward with the truth and to
not work under situations that they are
required to do sub-standard work to
just have a job.
I read tonight on the news that yet
another house has fallen, this is the sec-
ond in as many weeks. How many
homes need to fall, how many families
that have paid for those homes need to
suffer before the law holds those who
build them to be accountable?
Do I sound angry and disappointed?

You bet I am. I did not move to Belize
and sink our entire life savings thinking
that every bit of it would be taken and
we would have no ability to avail on
honest recourse for what was stolen.
The GOB promotes one thing to lure
retirees to move and then, poof........ like
the old rabbit in the hat trick, the prom-
ises and incentives are gone. The only
thing worse is that as a US citizen I
could leave, those there who cannot
leave are stuck.
And I do mean stuck.
Why is it that there are more people
of Belize living anywhere other than
Belize? More and more families of
Belize trying to get their children out of
Belize? We had many different friends
in the area and in all honesty, 95% of
them were either trying to get out as a
family or at least the children. It makes
me weep for Belize.
In closing I share Ecclesiastes 8:11.
and encourage all to read this verse.

Name withheld,
case pending in court.
(She hopes.)

Belizeans Promoting Active Citizen-
ship (BelPAC) hereby announces its
selection for the 2006 Citizen of the
Year Award.
The recipient of this first Award is Mrs.
OfeliaNovelo from Orange Walk Town.
Mrs. Novelo is the leader of the group
MAMAS Mujeres Ayudando a
Mujeres a Superarse. This organization,
which was founded by Mrs. Novelo a
few years ago, has been helping women
to excel in various fields, including
handicraft-making. The organization
also offers mentoring programs for
women, among other activities.
Mrs. Novelo was selected for the
Award from among an impressive field
of candidates. The Orange Walk pub-
lic had an opportunity to submit nomi-
nations, which were then reviewed by
the BelPAC Executive Committee.
Award nominees were required to meet
the following criteria:
*Be a model Belizean citizen/resident
living in Orange Walk for at least 5 years
*Contribute to the social improve-

ment and/or physical conditions of Or-
ange Walk on a voluntary basis
*Possess a character beyond self-in-
terest in whatever activity she/he is in-
*Be willing to have his/her contribu-
tions highlighted in the local and national
BelPAC introduced this Award ini-
tiative last year to acknowledge the tre-
mendous voluntary work being carried
out by citizens of Orange Walk, and
expects to continue the program on an
annual basis.
A special reception in honour of Mrs.
Novelo will be held on Thursday, Feb-
ruary 15, 2007, in Orange Walk Town.
Mrs. Novelo will receive the BelPAC
Citizen of the Year plaque, as well as a
cash prize.
BelP AC applauds Mrs. Ofelia
Novelo for her inspirational contribu-
tions to the Orange Walk community,
and for her unswerving commitment and
dedication to the improvement of the
lives of women in the community.

Mrs. Ofelia Novelo BelPAC's Citizenof the Year.

4 sj^


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