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Independent reformer

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Title:
Independent reformer
Place of Publication:
Belize City, Belize
Publisher:
Independent Publishing Company (of Belize) Ltd.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2006
Language:
English

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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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RP promises Belizeans both


Businessman Cornelius Dueck has
stunned Belizean voters by announcing
his new political party has enough can-
didates at the ready to contest EVERY
division in the country, all 31 of them,
should General Elections be called to-
morrow. He also claims they have the
resources to match the PUP and UDP


The NRP candidates Manuel Avila, George Boiton Jr., Fermin Choc, Alden McDougal, back row Enio Lopez, Hilberto Nah,
Charles Selgado and Derick Stuart, each addressed the electorate via live radio broadcast.


NRP leader Cornelius Dueck addresses
the nation.
machineries, combined.
The starting revelations came during
ceremonies broadcast live from the
National Reform Party Headquarters in
Belize City on February 21.
Dueck, a Belizean Mennonite, who
owns a truck parts store, is a pastor in
the "Streams of Living Waters Minis-
try" and spent the last two years dis-


By: Meb Cutlack
An avalanche of anger is building in
the country. The Trade unions, most
young people and the entire media (ex-
cept two government outlets) are sol-
idly against the present Musa/Fonseca
government.
Amandala has gone as far as to de-
clare its support for third parties:
"...And what we mean by "third party"
in this context, is any initiative which is
not beholden to Lord Michael
Ashcroft."
Commenting on the Union march


tributing Bibles in Honduras. He says
he has enough money in his own bank
accounts, support from the Belizean
business community and donors abroad
to spend around $50 to $100 MIL-
LION Belize dollars if necessary to
convince voters the NRP should form
the next government.
Nine candidates were introduced at
the launch but the party claims they have
others standing by, some of whom cur-
rently work in the public service. So
far there is only one woman, Darlene
Graham on the ticket, but Dueck says
the party is seeking additional female



che of


Amandala amplified its statement: "At
the core, the demonstrators were dem-
onstrating against Lord Ashcroft's he-
gemony directly in the case of BTL,
and indirectly in the case of KHMH.
UDP Leader, Hon. Dean Barrow, con-
veniently absented himself from the old
capital on Saturday, because his law
firm represents Ashcroft's interests at
both BTL and at the Belize Bank, the
bank which is prominently involved with
The Universal Hospital deal, which is
the direct cause of the KHMH staff pro-
test.


candidates and welcomes all Belizeans,
regardless of sex, ethnicity, religious
denomination or past political affiliation.
Campaign Coordinator Estevan
Berejano says it is a diverse, but uni-
fied group: "The National Reform Party
has one goal, and only one goal, and
that is to see this country rise from the
poverty state we are in and to move
into a place of economic stability to ad-
vance this nation into a first world na-
tion."
Dueck, hails from Spanish Lookout,
a Mennonite settlement which has yet
to collect any royalties from GOB for



Rnger


"As a result of Barrow's absence and
the UDP's practical ambivalence, the
leaders of the demonstration found
themselves effectively isolated by the
two Ashcroft-influenced maj or parties.
On the one hand, they had been con-
demned by the PUP as UDP, and on
the other hand, the UDP itself had cho-
sen to confine its support to tepidity.
"In conclusion, then, we repeat,
whether the Leaders intended it to be
so or not, Saturday's Demonstration
was a third party
(Please Turn To Page 3) *E


the discovery of oil on their communal
lands. He says it is crucial that Belize
use its oil revenues wisely, citing the case
of Nigeria, a national rich in natural re-
sources, but whose corruption level has
(Please Turn To Page 16) O W

Inside this Issue

Diplomatic SNAFU -
pg 3


PNP plants seeds
inToledo
pg. 4


Belly of the Beast

pg. 9


Ara Macao Update
pg. 11








Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2


Editorial Director


Meb Cullack




Editor


Karla Heusner Vernon




General Manager


Trevor Vernon




DesignALayout


William G. Ysaguirrre


Published by:


Independent Publishing


P 0. Box 2666


Telephones:


(501) 225-3520
CompanyLtd.
Email:
Belize C.A.
hudWendentn0AWpff.LZkWaWcom


Printed by:

National PHnters
New Road
Belize City, Belize












For an online version of the

INdependent Reformer

visit us at
httn://v,,N.belizenorth.com/
independentreformer.htm
OR
httn:/Ibelizenews.com/
independentonline.nd


W YES!


VIP-Public
Consultation update:
The People Speak
Out!!

Dear Editor,
Since the launching of our Party's
National Direction, we have been re-
ceiving much response from the
Belizean public. VIP appreciates and
takes very seriously such advice. Please
allow us to share with the public a few
inputs to date. We have picked those
that capture the general mood of re-
sponses we are getting.
1. Dear VIP, I first voted in 1979
and have witnessed the first time the
UDP and PUP governed our beloved
Independent Belize. What they have
both done is run down our country into
the mess we have today. I advise the
VIP to work as a team with the public
service. The day to day running of our
country is really in the experienced and
professional hands of the public service
but the parties have instead retrenched,
manipulated or totally bypassed them.
2. Dear VIP, I am a Belizean liv-
ing in the US and have maintained my
close ties with my family and homeland.
I fully support VIP's initiative to allow
Belizeans abroad to vote. Like me,
most ofus own property and pay taxes.
As a Tax paying Belizean, I believe I
should have the right to vote no matter
where I am in this world. Thank you
VIP for championing our constitutional
right to vote.
3. Dear VIP's, I think that fixed,
land purchase values need to be estab-
lished and a law passed so that it can-
not be reduced by politicians. Offer soft
terms including interest free payment
plans for Belizeans to purchase their first
lot.


4. VIP, I am a resident of San
Pedro and strongly object to (name
withheld) owning 9000 acres of Prime
Island property or (name withheld) own-
ing 1500 acres of southern coastland.
VIP should set a limit on the amount of
beachfront land Belizeans can own. I
also believe that no foreigner or for-
eign owned company should own more
than 200 feet of beach front property
or ten acres on any island or along sea
coast. VIP should set up a review
board to look at all land sold by the PUP
in the last two terms and take appro-
priate action.
5. Remove land distribution from
the hands of the Politicians of all shape
and color. Implement a system that
would empower wide spectrum district
committees to recommend all or any
decisions regarding land allocation.
6. Dear VIP, I will support your
new party simply for your humility and
openness to publish yourmunicipal cam-
paign financial. I look forward to see-
ing your national campaign financial. I
don't ever expect to see financial from
the PUP or UDP who will always dance
to the tunes of the First Belizeans:
(names withheld).
VIP will continue to update the pub-
lic on all inputs that will be compiled into
our final National Plan 2008.
Yours in Service to Country,

Bobby Lopez
VIP Public Relations

Congratulations to
the Minister of
Education

Dear Editor,

The Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minis-
ter of Education, should be com-


independendent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com
P.O. Box 2(666
Bclic Ciit. Beli/c
Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as
BZ$30 00 () S$30.00 international)


1 1 '11. I P I

.itlit

t-SIii. W.

I m -iii tilit


mended for his efforts in the enforce-
ment of the Education Rules that pro-
hibit a school from denying atten-
dance to, or discriminating against, a
child of compulsory school age, when
the child's parent or guardian is un-
able to pay the schools fees.
Under the present rules it appears
that the compulsory school years are
now through Standard 6. Previously
truancy laws and their require en-
forcement included secondary educa-
tion. But in 2005, the Government
canceled the truancy programs. It is
certainly more than arguable that prior
to the canceling of the truancy pro-
grams that education was to be pro-
vided through the fourth form.
In similar respect, prior to the can-
cellation of the truancy program, the
unanimous recommendation of the
Political Reform Commission was that
Chapter 11 of the Constitution be
amended to expand the rights of the
persons of Belize to include "Protec-
tion of the Right not to be denied Ba-
sic Education". With modern day ad-
vances and requirements, a "Basic
Education" would, by necessity, in-
clude the right to an education through
the fourth form. Anything less would
not be basic.
If the schools elected to do so, such
education could be provide in the man-
ner that was successful in the Soviet
Union. That is, those who intended to
continue on to college proceeded with
a course of studies that provided all
of the college preparatory subjects.
Those who did not intended to pro-
ceed to college could elect a course
of studies that would also teach them
a trade or craft.
There are thousands of children an-
nually that are being denied second-
ary education. Such denial is the re-
(Please Turn To Page 15) *rW


E-1 Lill lll E-1


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








Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3


Diplomatic SNAFU: Cal violates the Service


By: Trevor Vernon
A lot of people are expecting me to
write about the Moises Cal situation as
reported on in both the local and for-
eign press. They ask me what I know
from my interactions with him 2000-
04, my second stint with the Foreign
Service. I don't want to write about
Cal. I am uncomfortable, I must admit.
I see the Foreign Service as sacrosanct;
so, I am terribly disappointed with Cal's
purported behavior as it serves, to my
mind, to taint everyone else's past ser-
vice in the foreign service, and GOB's
current leadership role (rotating) in the
SICA.
Moises Cal, for those of you who
don't know, was a staunchly loyal
Shoman man when I knew him. The
Ambassador Cal I knew was willing to
take a hit for Show-Time, anytime.
Now Show-man isn't known to be
wrapped up with big time funny money;
so, the news of Cal being busted in
Panama with a million USD$ in a suit-
case doesn't add up to my mind.
Show-time is the known sponsor of the
Cals' entry into elected politics in Belize.
Money, they say, is the root of all evil


and Ambassador Cal has always been
ambitious. But I can't see the man get-
ting wrapped up with the kind of folks
"DEA wants to talk to". The man I knew
wasn't that desperate. He was closely
allied with Chief Pharisee Assad, the
brain of many officious operations. He
did whatever Assad wanted,
anytime.. .not unlike quite a few other
PUP insiders. Worshipped him
unapologetically, without reserve. I used
to shudder at Moises' knee time both
in front of and behind Assad's back,
given the latter's reputation.
Now, there is a lot of speculation as
to what the Show-man is/was doing in
London. Alot of speculation. Put to pas-
ture, some say. Not the Assad I know;
he'll never be put to pasture. The smart
money says he is raising money for
Rigoberta's Presidential bid in Guate-
mala. I mentioned this in a private con-
versation to a player and he chuckled
nervously. He knew I was deadly seri-
ous but his intelligence was telling him
otherwise, apparently. Besides, his eyes
were focused elsewhere... apparently
on Dueck's political ascendancy, given
some of the statements Dueck made at
his launch.
I can't see Cal doing the dirty work
for the PUP Risk element where one's
almost expected to be a mule in or-
der to be inducted into the fraternity
and become a made member. The
pressure has always been on the dip-
lomatic corps worldwide to use those
diplomatic pouches to bag underworld


interests. And, stranger things hap-
pen in politics, especially Belize poli-
tics, where the Risk Analyst still rules
money matters (Red & Blue), no mat-
ter what.
So in many ways, this is not about
Ambassador Cal and his wild ambi-
tions in as much as it is about other,
larger underworld forces. What inter-
ests me right now is the big money
the NRP's leader talked about being
prepared to spend. The mass parties
are expected to blow $50 to $100
MILLION on the next general elec-
tion, Cornelius Dueck-a truck parts
dealer and pastor from Spanish
Lookout- stated in the launch last
Wednesday of the National Reform
Party he doesn't plan to be left be-
hind or be outspent. Choice exple-
tives came to my lips as I heard Dueck
make his statement in response to a
tough question from the Editor of an-
other local paper. Like most observ-
ers have been whispering, I too won-
dered about the gargantuan mysteri-
ous financial backing.
Big money circulating in our little
Belize and here I am struggling to meet
payroll and printing costs on a sub-
sistence basis...while fighting with
GST to get registered. Obscene sums
of money from supposedly clean
money sources.
And, the tainted money is here, no
doubt about that. Mr. Risky Business
himself called it "parallel market" for-
eign exchange outsourcing when the


laundering scheme was blown wide
open at BTL a few months ago. I
shudder to think of all those who have
been lured in. It seems like it's be-
come the norm in business circles and
social clubs. It's kosher in Belize to
take cocaine money and become
apart of the rinse cycle. Even cool.
Some people here worship the
lavadoras unreservedly. All the sup-
posedly big name social elites are
swimming in the stuff while their very
own kids, siblings, and spouses are
hooked on some form of the real
devil's excrement: powdered cour-
age. It's simply too bloody incred-
ible.
We at this paper are not interested
in the blood money machinations.
They can keep it and keep worship-
ing it. We will keep our sanity and
our focus. Moises apparently lost his
and I hope to God Chief Negotiator
wasn't behind it, for the country's
sake. Not that he'll suffer in Hell for
it, or anything. He can always go to
confession, too.
Moises will live a full life, no doubt;
and, as a good Catholic will receive
absolution. But he has lost all the re-
spect people had for him, no matter
how much money he has been able
to amass. You can keep your blood
money, your fancy cars and material
wealth. I'll keep my sanity, self re-
spect and respect for my fellow man.
I am not a predator or preacher, and
I rather like the simple life.


lance of


er


--i (Continued From Page 1)
demonstration. At Kremandala, we sup-
port third party initiatives. But they have
to be serious. We are not here to be the
butt of Lord Ashcroft's jokes."
It was interesting to see The
Reporter's recent editorial reflecting on
an old 'crime' carried out by Musa.
"Nine years ago" wrote Harry
Lawrence," a Commission of Inquiry
similar to the one now looking into alle-
gations of irregularities in the Develop-
ment Finance Corporation, published a
report of its findings into allegations of
misdeeds against Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Hon. Said Musa. He went on
"The two Commissioners found that
despite some stonewalling from govern-
ment officials who could not produce
two requested files, and despite the re-
fusal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
to assist the Commission with his testi-
mony, it had sufficient information to


determine that the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Said Musa, was 'responsible'
for the loss of $7,535,833.38 of gov-
ernment revenue." Mr Lawrence noted
"The Commission in its published re-
port went on to say: 'We are also of the
view that he knowingly and deliberately
acted in contravention of the require-
ments of the Economic Citizenship
Programme, and therefore may have
committed a criminal offence.'"
That is strong language; and if you add
to this indictment the recent extraordi-
nary and hard hitting Guardian expose
of the PUP government's ugly and un-
limited give away of some of Belize's
best land (and huge chunks of our cayes)
to cronies and foreigners, you have the
building of a huge media swell against
the Musa Government.
Where does that leave the third par-
ties? Well, it is the two party system,
the status quo in politics, which has got


us to where we are today. The fact that
there are now 5 different third parties -
representing a huge tide ofBelizeans
throughout the country -means that the
status quo is now quite likely broken
forever.
The new third parties have emerged
BECAUSE too many people cannot
see enough light between the PUP and
the UDP. It is not that there is not a large
space between the philosophies of the
two main parties, there is.
It isjust that, for whatever reason, the
UDP continues to refuse to actually re-
veal how the UDP would be different,
from what it used to be or from the PUP,
when it comes to land reform and an
elected Senate.
In a small start to answering elec-
toral concerns, Opposition Leader
Dean Barrow has declared that a
UDP government would cancel all
leases involved in the scandals the


Guardian have exposed. The UDP
government would also re-acquire
any lands that have been titled to what
Mr. Barrow's letter calls 'cronies'.
Barrow's letter also advised third
party buyers of those lands should
beware before they buy.
But for the most part, the whole
country is crying out for a break up of
the tremendous power of the Execu-
tive branch of government, by empow-
ering an elected senate to monitor gov-
ernment corruption and actions. The
UDP is just not listening.
There is a sense arrogance in the man-
ner in which they presume they will be
the next government and see no rea-
son to bother to address the electorate
on issues which are screaming to be
addressed.
They should wake up before they too
are swept away in a tsunami of disgust
and distrust!


I Fly Tropic Air Fly Tropic Air Fly Tropic Air]






Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4



Calling all Bellzeans

Selling citizenship and residency cards democratic process, steal our elections to offices that real Belizeans wanted to
is big business in this country, even if out from under us. cast out, by casting their ballot. How
the recipient pays, not with cash, but Recently a gentleman from Burrell many Belizeans might notgotothe polls
political support. Boom called a morning show regarding this time around because they feel their
To be fair, not all the illegal voters certain divisions and Guatemalans be- own vote will be canceled out by a paid
come in under the wire unchallenged. ing given residency and registered right foreigner?
In every division there are vigilant now. He also claims that if you check What can we do about it? Clearly the
people (most often campaign workers) the numbers in the last election, certain challenges are important, but are they
who challenge the names on the voter's candidates in certain divisions lost by enough and will they not simply be cir-
lists, even take the matter to court. the EXACT number of people brought cumvented once more? When asked
By: Karla Heusner Vernon Some stand, some are thrown off. in. Or should we say certain people about illegal registrations, the VIP re-
You win some, you lose some. When WON by that number of votes. sponded, "We will leave that one to
There is nothing new about Guate- These allegations should cause us to God." (They don't have the resources
malans, Hondurans, perhaps even These allegations should cause us to won to monitor and they don't have $50
Mexicans, being imported to vote in der just how many "false" Belizeans were million to hire people to do it.)
Belizean elections. In fact, the practice f Hmmm, well if it is true God helps
may be as old as "free and fair" elec- responsible for returning people to office those who help themselves, maybe we
tions. Yes,thereareregulationstopre- real Belizeans wanted to cast out, by cast- can do something. One suggestion,
vent it, but there are ways around resi-. made to me by the General Manager
dency requirements, officials and doc- mng their ballot. of the Independent, is that Belizeans
tors willing to sign documents, fake test should demand a moratorium on new
results. The most recent innovation was you lose some, they just bring in some This gentleman seems convinced so registrations with naturalization certifi-
the former head of the immigration de- more... many Guatemalans and others will be cates. Set a cut off date and that is it.
apartment personally ordering stamps But aside from a few blips on the elec- coming into Belize for this election, the No more newly naturalized Belizean
from Angelus Press to allow people to tion day reporting radar, I don't know PUP has already won it! voters can be added to the lists.
begin entering Belize at a southern that the Belizean public has any real These allegations should cause us to In addition, I propose that we try to
crossing without having to go through tabulation of the numbers of people en- wonder just how many "false" Belizeans counter the influx with an influx of our
the official border at Benque.. tering this country to destabilize our were responsible for returning people (Please Turn To Page 14) U


"Buay! Fi wee passport dah Flying Carpets to everybody else's dreams,
except fi wee di poor people!"






Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5


Belize Vice Prime


to 10UC


Inlster commits


Ridge to Reef a


Belize City, Belize River sediments
and pollutants are badly affecting the
Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System
(MBRS). To help conserve the reef sys-
tem, John Bricefio, Belize Vice Prime
Minister expressed support for IUCN's
efforts to work with partners on the
'Ridge to Reef' approach, which aims
at integrating watershed management
upstream with marine environments
downstream.
"We now know that we cannot man-
age the reef system sustainably without
addressing the problems originating from
land-based activities." said Bricefio.
During a meeting last week in Belize with
the Head of lUCN's Water Programme,
Ger Bergkamp and the Mesoamerica
Water Coordinator, Rocio Cordoba,
Mr Bricefo expressed his commitment
towards engaging with IUCN on safe-
guarding the reef, stressing the need to
work together on a 'Ridge to Reef'
approach.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is in-
creasingly under pressure from indus-
trial impacts such as oil spills, irrespon-
sible tourism development and over-
fishing. In addition land-based activities
are increasingly threatening the reef eco-
system. Unsustainable agricultural prac-
tices, deforestation and inadequate solid
waste disposal are among the many
causes of excessive sedimentation and
accumulation of pesticides and nutrients
in the Gulf of Honduras. The pollution
and degradation of the reef's water-
sheds not only harm natural ecosystems
but also put at risk people's health, their
livelihoods and living standards.
The current IUCN mission to Belize,
Honduras and Guatemala is to design
IUCN's support to the 2nd phase of
the MBRS project. During this phase
the MBRS Commission and Marine Re-
search Centre will be established in
Belize City. Over the next 6 months,
under the presidency of Mr. Bricefio,
Belize will also lead the Central Ameri-
can Commission on Environment and
Development (CCAD). A major em-
phasis will be given to establishing sus-
tainable watershed management in the
rivers flowing into the Gulf of Hondu-
ras.
The governments involved have re-
quested IUCN to support their efforts
on watershed management in the years
to come. Noel Jacobs, Director of the
MBRS Project, stressed that IUCN's
involvement was sought "because of its
trusted relationship with relevant gov-
ernments and ministries, its extensive
membership and partners' network in
the region, and its strong technical ex-
pertise in watershed management."
The IUCN Water programme is cur-


rently working with over 150 member management. During the meeting Mr
and partner organizations in more than Bergkamp stated that "IUCN has gained
30 countries worldwide on river basin significant experience in sustainable wa-


sma rt


ter and watershed management in recent
years. It is well placed to work with its
members and partners to address the
problems in the river basins around the
Gulf of Honduras". Rocio Cordoba em-
phasized that "the current involvement of
IUCN in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
System follows years of work by a large
number oflUCN members and partners
working on protected areas and monitor-
ing of marine ecosystems". IUCN sup-
ports sustainable watershed management
in the region as part of the activities de-
veloped under the 2nd phase of the Wa-
ter and Nature Initiative, due to start in
the second half of 2007.
(IUCN Press Release)


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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6



PUP Standard Bearer wanted


by Panama Police


According a report published by the
Panama press, the Panama police are
seeking a Belizean diplomat who
brought an undisclosed amount of US
dollars into the country by paying off a
group of Customs agents who, official
sources say, are now in custody.
In a release to the media, the Direc-
tor General of Customs, Daniel Delgado
Diamante, announced the separate
charges on Friday, while intense inves-
tigations of these four officials of this
department of the Ministry of
Economics and Finance continues.
The agents are "presumably involved
in an act of corruption at the Tocumen
International Airport. The part played
by a Belizean citizen who presented a


diplomatic passport upon entry, is also
under investigation," he indicated.
The sources also confirmed that the
Belize government reported that the
unidentified individual is not a member
of its diplomatic corps.
Delgado Diamante said that in the wee
hours before dawn last Saturday, four
Customs officials detected a suitcase full
of money passing through a an x-ray
machine in the baggage area of the
Tocumen International Airport,which
belonged to a passenger who identified
himself as a Belizean diplomat.
"Upon detecting the cash, which had
not been declared as required by Pana-
manian law, the purported diplomat of-
fered and handed over sums of money


to the Customs officials, to avoid the
total confiscation of the cash," he ex-
plained.
Only $130,000 was reported as un-
declared, while the officials allowed the
entry of an undetermined quantity of
cash.
Delgado added that the Ministry's in-
vestigations indicate the guilt of the Cus-
toms official, Gregorio Anselmo
Villarreal Cedefio.
He was detained last week in the vi-
cinity of the San Miguel Archangel Hos-
pital in possession of $88,000 in cash
and another $15,000 were later found
at his residence, which at first he said
were "his savings."
Villarreal Cedefio, who has worked
in Customs since 1990 and had risen to


head his unit, confessed that he had
participated in the illicit business and
divided the money with his three co-
workers, two unidentified young men
and a lady, who have been employed
by Customs since 2003, 2004 and
2001, respectively. The four Customs
officials remain in custody.
Sources say the Ministry authorities
are looking in Panama forthe purported
diplomatic, who was ordered to be re-
strained from leaving the country.
The source adds that this latest inci-
dent adds to a series of other incidents
at this body last year, such as felonies
involving the altering of official docu-
ments, the fraudulent introduction of
used cars into the country and other acts
of corruption.


GMO Corn now in Belize


By: Godsman Ellis
The approval by Government to im-
port GMO corn raises a red flag for the
health of the nation. The circumstances
leading up to the approval raises a num-
ber of questions. The issue of imported
foods and planting material containing
GMO is not new to Belize and the rel-
evant ministries have been long in dis-
cussions (public and internal) on the is-
sue.
As recently as last October BAHA
held public consultations countrywide
on the issue of GMO's in Belize. In
fact this Government agency made rec-
ommendations for policy guidelines to
GOB. An underlying fact is that Belize
ratified the Cartagena Protocol on
Biodiversity which obliges the country
to implement and develop its own na-
tional regulatory framework "for the
safe transfer, handling, use and release
of genetically modified organisms,
GMO's and products resulting from
modem biotechnology"
It is the responsibility of Government
to protect the health of its people and
the environment from the adverse ef-
fects of modern biotechnology espe-
cially when the products are managed
by unscrupulous businessmen. We are
reminded how GMO corn imported
from the United States ruined the corn
industry in Mexico driving thousands of
its farmers into poverty and dependency.
Farmers of Belize have also suffered the
consequences of biotechnology when
they replaced their traditionally selected
corn seeds with synthetic seeds (result-
ing in loss of germplasm) in that they
were not prepared for the technology
package.


It is reasonable to appreciate the ur-
gency of the situation given the case
presented by the importer and the situ-
ation with the usual suppliers. But the
question remains: were other options
explored? The potential risks associ-
ated with the permit for the 3,000 tons
of GMO corn on our chicken meat (the
most consumed meat product in Belize)
is yet unknown.
In such a situation Government is well
advised to follow the precautionary
principle rather than put the health of
the people at risk. This serious prece-
dent can open the flood gates to the im-
portation of unregulated GMO prod-
ucts into Belize.


Naturc'sWa r
AM"




..A



StrLeeo
tralocation Sea Front r ie Breeze

Sin'me23BZDDoub&le.




Main & Church Streetsw

hill.75 yaras to Guesthous
,. 4l . -: T *


Visit


The Belize Zoo







Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7



PNP Plants Seeds in San




Antonio milage Toldo District


By: INdependentWeeklv
P.G Correspondent
On Sunday, February 18, a new po-
litical party was launched in San Anto-
nio, Toledo. They have two candidates
who have offered to run in the national
election, Wil Maheia for Toledo East
and Dionicio Choc, for Toledo West.
Independent Weekly's PG corre-
spondent was there... Bartolo Teul,
Master of Ceremonies, opened the
meeting by welcoming the people to
"history in the making". He did this in
English and then Q'etchi. Glenise
Locario sang the national anthem, and
pastor Dionicio Choc, PNP candidate
for Toledo West, led in prayer.
Mr. Teul, welcomed the people who
came from Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo,
Stann Creek and Corozal District. The
Chairman of San Antonio, Theodoro Oh
and Alcalde, Inoscio Cho, welcomed
everyone personally. Mr. Cho gave his
remarks in Mopan Maya saying
"change will only come if we all work
together and make it happen."
The PNP was endorsed as the new-
est member of the Belizean political
landscape by Hipolito Bautista from
"We the People" based in Corozal. He
urged the gathering to "do away with
the two-party system, and welcome a
new multi-party system. This is the mes-
sage of today. Amulti-party system will
have more people in the system, watch-
ing to see that the money and other
things are not lost. We have been living
too long between the red devil and a
deep blue sea. Thanks to the People's
National Party, We the People's Party,
and the Vision Inspired by the People
Party, we are going to change things! It
is up to all of us to take personal re-
sponsibility for what happens in this
country."
Felipe Tzul, also of "We the People"
spoke in Yucatec Maya, "let us work
together, we have to work together if
we want to make change, we have to
support the National People's Party."
Vision Inspired by the People, VIP,
also sent representatives to the PNP
launch. Mateo Polanco of Stann
Creek District: "For to long we have
suffered from these two old political
parties, who have misrepresented us"
we have experienced that these two
parties have only given us misery and
sorrow. This is why I'm offering my-
self for the Vision Inspired by the
People Party. I'm here to support Wil
Maheia and Dionicio Choc of the
People's National Party. Let us move
forward in peace and unity for our
beloved beautiful country."
Ivan Roberts from Cayo District:


"It is an honor and privilege to come
here to give my support for fellow
Belizeans who are against the present
system. I hope that all our people will
join together to make sure we make
a new and better Belize, a reality. I
have been telling my fellow Belizeans
since 1998 to change our government,
don't be doing the same thing, going
from one party to the other, from red
to blue, and back to red. This time
join together and elect a new party."
Dionicio Choc, PNP standard
bearer for Toledo South was intro-
duced as one of the founders of the
Toledo Eco Tourism Association some
years ago who believes Toledo has
great potential for eco-tourism in this
district, is very active in his church.
Mr. Choc: "I pledge to you to bring
justice, hope and integrity back to you
in my district. We must stop the crime
and corruption, we need a new party,
and that Party is the People's National
Party. Millions of dollars have been
wasted, who is going to have to pay
this debt, it is us and our children".
Bartolo Teul introduced the Stan-
dard Bearer to Toledo West: "Wil
Maheia has founded an organization
that has been working to protect our
beautiful natural environment for many
years, it is now the biggest in Toledo,
TIDE. He has decided that TIDE can
move on without him. He is offering
himself to continue to work for To-
ledo by running for the national elec-
tions.
When it was his turn, Maheia be-
gan by saying, "let's hear it for the
Maya Mountains". People ask me if
I'm nervous to be speaking to such a
big crowd, I say no, why should I be
nervous, I'm among my friends and
family today. We are planting the seed


for the National People's Party. You
are here today because you're tired
of the crime and corruption that has
been happening in our country for too
long. Today the winds of change are
blowing out of the South and there
blowing up north.
"The reason why we are launching
the party in San Antonio is because
we are going to focus in on the center
of this district. Since 1998 the gov-
ernment has been robbing us, they
have been getting millions of dollars,
and we can't collect one penny from
them.
"People ask me why I left a good
job at TIDE, I was in a comfort zone,
I had a good salary, but I asked my-
self, what about the poor of our coun-
try? Why do I want to get into poli-
tics? It's because I want to make a
real change. I'm tired of seeing the big
ones in our country ripping us off.
Many of our leaders are making mil-
lions and millions of dollars, and still
they can't even pay those of you who
are the rice farmers, who they still owe
money. We can't properly run this
country while these people continue
to rip us off.
"I promise you that within the first
hundred days of our party, we will
have a collection agency that will be-
gin to collect the money for the people,
and we will use it for the people! To-
day Belize is an oil-producing coun-
try, so why is our gas costing $10 per
gallon? It is a crime that poor people
in Toledo have to take a bus or plane
up north to get medical attention.
"I went up the Moho River the other
day and I almost cried to see the
amount of survey lines, and the chair-
men of the villages there tell me they
don't know anything about them. The


minister is giving out land to people
who don't even live there. How many
people here have traveled to
Belmopan to try and get your land and
they won't even see or talk to you?
We are going to change that, when we
get into power. I want to thank all
those people who came from up north
to support us."
INdependent Reformer's corre-
spondent took the opportunity to ask,
Mr. Maheia what the People's Na-
tional Party will do about the Toledo
People's Eco Park Plan. Wil Maheia:
"We will endorse that, I have always
supported it, and we will continue to
support it."
Correspondent: "Mr. Bautista, Wil
says his PNP Party will support the
eco park, what about We the
People?"
Mr. Bautista: "We will support any
plan that will protect the pristine en-
vironment, and we will support the
eco-development of the district's eco-
nomic potential."
Mr. Andre Price, closed the meet-
ing by saying thank you all for being
here today at the dawn of a new po-
litical party, a new age, together we
can work to make Belize a better
place. We stand for a responsible
party, that stands for all our people,
not just the chosen few. Thank you
all, welcome to the People's National
Party, "give change a chance, no mek
dem chance you".
The PNP launch had a good turn-
out and was a lively event with plenty
of Rice and beans, chicken, tamales,
and chicken caldo. Entertainment was
provided by the Punta Rebels, Paul
Nabor and his group of Garifuna
drummers, and the Shaka Shakers
and singers followed.


VWith a


Tropical T Vist


Anita Tupper

Christine Tuppe


Opening Hours C6
Monday Saturday 6 a.m- 8:30 p.m.
Sunday & Holidays 7 a.m. 7:30 pm.
Breakfast Lunch and Diner


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


r Mile 31 1
Western Highway
BELIZE, Central America
Mailing Address: Box 346, Belmopan
E-Mail: chrissy@cheersrestaurant.bz








Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8


ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
You need to take a long, hard look
at yourself and your personal situa-
tion. You need activity. It's time to get
yourself back on track. Your lucky day
this week will be Thursday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
Your charm will be captivating. You
must consider yourself for a change.
You can anger others quickly this
week. Avoid overspending on items
for your home. Strength will come from
your ability to overtake just about any
one. Your lucky day this week will be
Wednesday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Opportunities to make advance-
ments through good business sense
are apparent. Opportunities for ro-
mance will develop through activities
with large groups. Don't let cowork-
ers get wind of your ideas or they
might try to take credit for your hard
work. You could be blind to the de-
fects of those you love. Your lucky day
this week will be Tuesday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Curl up with a good book or go for
a drive in the country. Try to under-
stand both sides of the issue before
taking sides. Old friends may not like
your choices. Take a close look at any
contracts you've signed in order to be
sure exactly where you stand. Your
lucky day this week will be Tuesday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Someone you live with could be
frustrated and upset. Get promises in
writing or you will be disappointed.
Your devotion will be persuasive. Take


time to catch up on gossip and make
plans to do a little adventure travel.
Your lucky day this week will be
Monday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Problems with fire, gas, or oil may
cause disruptions and annoyances.
Advancement can be yours if you put
your efforts into work related matters.
Opportunities to get ahead will be
evident. Join humanitarian groups and
let your leadership ability take over.
Your lucky day this week will be
Thursday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Now is the time to concentrate on
building a strong financial future for
your family. You will be extremely
sentimental, and if pushed by oth-
ers you may hold a lasting grudge.
You may find that you are a little
lucky this week. Emotional decep-
tion will cause friction on the home
front. Your lucky day this week will
be Friday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
Don't let relatives make demands
of you. Major job changes or op-
portunities to get ahead profession-
ally are apparent. Someone you
work with may be withholding valu-
able information. You will find that
unfinished projects at home will be
most satisfying. Your lucky day this
week will be Wednesday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec.
21)
Be careful how you handle friends
and relatives, they may take things
the wrong way. Too much talk will


Your weekly


lead to disputes. You will get drawn
into groups that are not favorable
to you. Much knowledge can be
obtained through the experiences
you have. Your lucky day this week
will be Thursday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
You may be overreacting to a situ-
ation at hand. Your ability to charm
others will put you in the limelight
at social functions. Your partner
could make you angry if they steal
your thunder or embarrass you in
front of others. Talk to those in a
position of power about your inten-
tions. Your lucky day this week will
be Friday.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Organizations may cost you more
than you can afford. Don't let


someone you work with put words
in your mouth. You should focus on
moneymaking matters and stay
away from emotional disputes. It
might be best not to spend your
money on luxuries this week. Your
lucky day this week will be Thurs-
day.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Put your efforts into making con-
structive improvements to your en-
vironment and to your state of mind.
Realize that you don't have to do
everything yourself. However, you
must not neglect your family. You
will meet some interesting people if
you at tend promotional functions.
Your lucky day this week will be
Tuesday.


THE


11 Jl LFORI


LE PETITE CAFE
Radisson Fort George, Cork St. Belize City 223-3333

It is about time that I get to Le Petite! Tucked in the Radisson Hotel, this
little gem has become a popular snack and breakfast stop for hotel guests,
tourists, taxi drivers and neighborhood residents. As one cabbie told me
whilst taking the picture "OH OH, they are in trouble now with the crit-
ic" Nothing could be further from the truth. The Cafe's choices such as
cinnamon rolls and sticks, powder buns and johnny cakes are excellent.
And while, the coffee is a little pricey, the ambiance of the patio more than
makes up for it. While I did pass on the dessert display (7am is a little
early for Cheesecake!) it did look delicious. The Cafe also offers a wide
range of breads for sale, as well as occasional "special" treats such as the
"greasy greasy" as it is know to us commoners. What is better, rumor has
it that they are expanding to make it easier to satisfy the demand!


Your friendship means so much to me
that... When you cry... I cry. When you
Sm laugh... Laugh. Whenyoujump outa
window... I laugh some more.

You are just jealous that the voices
talk to me and not you.

You say "Psycho" like its a bad thing.

If you could read my mind you wouldn't be smiling.

"Smile... it confuses people"

I'll be nicer if you give me chocolate.
Sometimes, I have dreams, and in those dreams, THINGS happen to you...
I do whatever the voices in my head tell me to do

S T UP ID = Smart Talented Unique Person In Demand

One bright morning... in the middle ofthe night, two dead boys came out to fight.
They stood back to back and faced each other drew their swords and shot each
other. The deaf policeman heard the noise and came to kill those two dead boys.
If u don't believe my story, it's true. Ask the blind man, he saw it too!
You're so stupid you threw a rock at the ground and missed.








Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9


In the Be


of the Beast


By: Meb Cutlack
The expression in the 'belly of the
beast' has been variously used to de-
scribe the continually warring conflict
between various aspects of' self'.
Take the PUP as The Beast and
the present fight going on in its belly!
More and more it appears to be a fight
to the death not just of one or other of
the warring factions but of the beast it-
self.
There is the spectacle of Jose Coye
(on Channel 5) discussing the ongoing
discrepancy in the takeover of the Uni-
versal Group concerning its debt (some
thirty three million dollars to the Belize
Bank and an additional twelve million
owed to the Development Finance
Corporation). He could offer very little
as far as the financial details of the trans-
action.
Jose Coye -"Whosoever is dealing,
which is the Ministry ofFinance, I would
expect that well they should be deal-
ing with that, that's not the health mat-
ter for us. I'm certain the D.F.C. will
have their figure and I would expect that
the bank would have their figure, and I
would expect indeed that when they are
finalising the debt with the bank that they
would be able to see that figure and
see how they arrive at it. I would ex-
pect that would happen."


Janelle Chanona "Who is your
counterpart at the Ministry of Finance
since, obviously, you are taking care of
the Health aspect of it?"
Jose Coye "I don't (know) who all
are involved with the Ministry of Fi-
nance. I would expect that-I don't
know who all are engaged in that exer-
cise. I have tried to deal with the health
side of it and although I try to..."
Adele Ramos, Amandala "Sir, don't
you discuss this at Cabinet?"
Jose Coye "Yeah but what I'm try-
ing to do is that I cannot be wearing the
two hats at the same time and at the
same time. I am taking up with the health
aspects of it and at the same time I am
trying..."
Adele Ramos, Amandala "So you
are not in discussions?"
Jose Coye "No, I have not been
dealing the debt side of it. I have not."
Adele Ramos, Amandala "That's a
serious problem, sir."
Jose Coye "You'd like me to deal
with both no? ... but what I'm telling
you there is a there are progress.
They are dealing with the debt. I can-
not also deal with that."
Adele Ramos, Amandala "But you
don't know who they are?"
Jose Coye "The Ministry ofFinance.
I don't know exactly who it is, the


Prime Minister with the F. S. and who-
soever they are; I'm not really into that."
It's a matter, not of substance, but only
of how quick to make a deal! Grab and
sell and grab an sell again! That's the
roar in the PUP's belly; 'Quick fix!
Quick deal... and damned be all who
have to and accept these deals and
suffer the consequences.'
It is getting to the point that not only
do the warring factions within the PUP
have very little idea of what their other
half is doing but often enough no idea at
all of what they themselves are doing.
Godfrey Smith Minister of Tourism is
a case in point. He lauds the "success"
of the tourism industry as he allows it to
die; under resource, over taxed and
brutally under attack from the cruise ship
industry.
The disintegration within the 'belly'
of the PUP is nowhere better illus-
trated than in the enormous contra-
dictions and existing hatreds between
the'executive' (containing the PM,
Said Musa and Minister of 'what-
ever', Ralph Fonseca) and the eight
'might have been' rebels. This has
become a disease in the belly, a poi-
sonous substance which the PUP is
unable to get rid of and which will, no
doubt, lead to the beast's agonizing
death.


Of course, you can also look upon
the expression, 'the beast in the belly'
with a less jaundiced and more hope-
ful view- as expressed by the famous,
and often much maligned African
American writer, W.E.B. Du Bois:
"..this double consciousness, this
sense of always looking at one's self
through the eyes of others.... [O]ne
ever feels his twoness ... two souls,
two thoughts, two un-reconciled
strivings; two warring ideals in one
dark body...."
Du Bois imagined a united front
people of persons of African descent
wherein exiles could use their loca-
tion "in the belly of the beast" to trans-
form the international system for the
benefit of all.
There is certainly not a 'united front'
in the "belly of the beast" in Belize to
reform anything. There is in fact a to-
tal inability among the PUPs to in any
way transform the reign of incompe-
tence and financial folly exercised to-
day from the Prime Minister down!
And Du Bois? He gave up and, in
1961, he became completely disillu-
sioned with the United States. He
moved to Ghana, joined the Commu-
nist Party, and a year later renounced
his American Citizenship. He died in
August 1963 at the age of 95.


Slavery for the Children of Belize?


contributed

Slavery was abolished in Britain and
its colonies in 1833 by the Slavery Abo-
lition Act. But Belize has taken a step
backwards in promulgating a situation
that has burdens of slavery. Such at-
tributes that are a creation of the
Fonseca- Musa duo which is locking
their yoke onto the people of Belize,
their children and the children's children.
The Fonseca Musa duo's machi-
nations have resulted in a massive defi-
cit that has resulted in an incredible in-
crease in taxes. The taxes place a stag-
gering burden on the people of Belize
and the future lives of their children. The
children's position is tantamount to be-
ing shackled to a debt that they will
have to labor hard and excessively to
pay off.
When the PUP went into office in
1998 the country's external debt bur-
den was $338 million dollars (see CIA
World Fact book). However, presently
the country is broke and indebted in the
sum of over $1 Billion and growing!
The increases in the tax burden is de-
stroying Belize's economy. The present
tax structure can bring the country
down. Tax increases beyond a certain
level do not result in increased revenue


to the country. To the contrary such
taxes can cause the Countries revenue
to decrease and the economy to fail.
The economists explain the phenom-
ena by the process commonly referred
to as "Supply -Side Economics". Sup-
ply Side Economics is a process that
has served many countries well. Briefly
put, higher tax rates, beyond a point,
do not result in higher revenue. The rea-
son is increased taxes discourages in-
vestments and as a result production and
supply decrease. With less output to tax,
less revenue is collected. The reverse
occurs when taxes are reduced because
tax cuts are favorable to larger invest-
ments which result in increased produc-
tion and supply that in turn bolsters the
economy. This leads to more jobs and
a greater revenue from taxes than were
received prior to reduction of the tax
rate.
The effects of such tax reductions
were clearly shown in the US at the end
of the Ronald Regan Presidency and
during the Bill Clinton Presidency.
Ronald Regan brought about a reduc-
tion in tax rates that resulted boosted
the economy and thereby increased the
tax revenue to United States treasury.
President George Bush brought about
a reduction in tax rates and also pro-


vided an immediate tax write off for
equipment purchased for less than
$100,000. As a result of the Bush tax
reductions, during the Presidency of Bill
Clinton that followed, the economy
boomed. Annually, the country received
a greater revenue from taxes than it col-
lected during the earlier period when the
tax rates were higher.
A country cannot borrow its self out
of debt. But such a fact does not seem
to bother the Fonseca Musa duo.
Belize, under their auspices, have made
a practice of guaranteeing debts of pri-
vate persons or non-governmental en-
tities and then having the country pay
those debts. In other countries such a
procedure would not exist, it would be
considered illegal.
Such guarantees are basically a gift
of national monies to a crony or a non-
government entity. One would wonder
whether such a gift is shared and if so
how? There can be no rational basis of
providing $45 million to Universal
Health Services.
Where did such a large sum of money
go? It certainly didn't all go for the fa-
cility and its equipment. Politicians do
not have a right to give the people's
money to their friends.
No problem for the Fonseca Musa,


though, as the tax payer will directly or
indirectly pay the debt, not the crony.
The Government does not appear to
want to be reimbursed from the crony
for the country's loss. There are those
who believe that if the Government at-
tempted to collect the debt it would be
shown, in court, that the crony debtor
did not receive all of the money, that
others shared portions of the money and
should have to pay their portion of the
debt to the Government. Are there Gov-
ernment officials that should have to pay
portions of the delinquent debts attrib-
uted to the cronies?
The important question is, has the duo
created a debt and resulting tax burden
that is so great that tax relief is not pos-
sible? Currently, the tax burden is so
broad that if a Belizean becomes ill he
or she will have a tax added to their
hospital bill. Is it cheaper to just die, or
is that taxed also?
It is shameful that the rich get richer,
through the misuse of Government
funds, while the poor get poorer and
the middle class becomes smaller. It is
near criminal that the poor and middle
class are required to pay off the im-
proper indebtedness that was created
to make the rich richer.







Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


Our Government a Changes!


By: RavAuxilou
One of the things that strikes me
about our parliamentary model, is that
while the idea of a national assembly
electing a cabinet, or a federal coun-
cil by any other name, in our model
of government is democratically cor-
rect. The difference is mainly in that
the role of electing a PARTY
LEADER destroys the very demo-
cratic principal behind the system.
To make a genuine democratic gov-
ernment, the national assembly should
by rights elect seven members to be
the cabinet for one year of their five
year term. This cabinet then in turn by
secret ballot should elect the Prime
Minister from among the seven mem-
bers, for the one year term, of the five
years that the party is in office. Each
year the Prime Minister is changed and
the position is non-repetitive and of-
ten some of the actual Cabinet mem-
bers by the national assembly also.
This only requires internal party elec-
tions. It does however serve to stop
a repeat of abuse of authority and that
of the government finances by a dic-
tatorial party leader, over a party,
which in turn rules over the nation as
in our current case.
The act of making the party leader
automatically the Prime Minister for
the whole five years is subversive and
corrupt. Of course in England where
this originated it was intended to be
so, by the get rich quick Lords from
the aristocracy who were running for
office.
The power of the people, taken
mostly from the California model is
exercised in direct initiatives and by
referendums sorted out by people led,
petition referendums. Referendums in
our system currently are only to ex-
press political power, but the Califor-
nia model gives actual power to the
people to disagree with political power
and acts as a check and balance on
totalitarian power. The whole idea is
to follow the will of the people and
not that of the alleged managers,
which, in our current parliamentary
system are dictators for five years--
under the biggest dictator of all, the
party leader. To pass such constitu-


tional changes there would of neces-
sity have to be penalties spelled out,
such as automatic loss of parliamen-
tary seat for violations.
How does the population of our cur-
rent state throw out the dictatorial
system of our parliamentary model of
rule by a party leader, who in turn uses
the party as a second level set of rul-
ers, instead of them being managers
of government policy subject to
people?
Belizeans are wrestling with these
ideas for the past twenty years.
Well, the populace must organize!
One way uses petitions and strikes,
as is currently being done, to try
and obtain the keys to the treasury
revenues and power of Ministerial
Discretion ( another bad thing).
Multiple parties must learn to unite
for common goals against the en-
trenched incumbents who wish to pre-
serve the GREED aspects of the loot-
ing mentality of the current model.
Greed is natural, self interest is also.
So the constitution has to be changed
to thwart the effects of greed and
self interest and substitute laws in-
stead. Opponents of the current
parliamentary system need to study
how they can and will use media
relations, arbitration techniques,
and so on to elect their smaller
group leaders, to form cells, and
committees. People who don't
learn these things will remain slaves
in everything but name by their rul-
ers.
One technique of ruling dictatorially
is to educate young people and make
them apolitical, passive and dependent
on government jobs. This makes them
malleable putty in the hands of deter-
mined power mad and greedy rulers.
Another technical name for this pro-
gram is co-opting. To be educated
then in a small society like ours, means
you lose the organizational skills
needed to build a genuine democracy
from those party people whose prime
aim is greed and self interest. The po-
litical parties themselves have their
cells and secret conference systems,
though they go by different names,
like block captains and such.


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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11


acao Development u


POSD needs funds and expertise


Press Release from The
Penninsula Citizens for Sustain-
able Development
The Environmental Compliance
Plan (ECP) for the Ara Macao de-
velopment was signed by the Belize
Department of Environment (DOE)
and Ara Macao Development Ltd.
on 3 January 2007. A copy of the
ECP is available for review at http:/
/www. destinationsbelize. com/
ara_macao_ecp.htm
Now that the Ara Macao devel-
oper has a signed ECP in hand, it
can legally begin construction un-
der the timetable set-out in the
ECP. However, no work appears
to have started.
Unfortunately, whether Ara
Macao Development, Ltd. does or
doesn't continue is irrelevant be-
cause the ECP does not prohibit as-
signment of the development rights
granted by the ECP. In plain En-
glish, this means that the Ara
Macao developer can sell the land
AND the ECP, and some other de-
veloper can come in and do what


the original Ara Macao developer
received permission to do with
any such new developer certain to
have LOTS of money, perhaps a
cruise line or a casino, to name but
two ofthe possibilities.
The ECP also does not include
any deadline by which work must
begin. Therefore, the original de-
veloper has plenty of time to find a
suitable buyer, while the land and
the development approval appreci-
ate in value meaning development
could theoretically start years down
the road.
Because immediate concerted
action is so important, a request for
judicial review of the DOE approval
and the DOE approval process for
the Ara Macao development will be
filed during March 2007, and the
PCSD has retained Belize attorney
Antoinette Moore to represent
PCSD in the litigation.
A meeting was held with Ms.
Moore and Candy Gonzalez from
BACONGO (Belize Association of
Conservation NGOs) early this


week to discuss litigation strategy
and grounds for the request for ju-
dicial review. The meeting was very
encouraging, and it seems that there
may be issues stemming from Ara
Macao that could significantly af-
fect the approval process for de-
velopments throughout the country.
Legal research is currently under-
way.
However, legal research resources
in Belize are limited and PCSD does
need assistance with this legal re-
search. Therefore, please contact
PCSD if you have any Common-
wealth legal contacts who might be
willing to help.
Nadja Chamberlain from the
Sittee River area has volunteered to
assist in the litigation by reviewing
documentation from DOE and the
Ara Macao developer in connection
with the validity of the DOE ap-
proval process.
PCSD currently has pledges and
donations totaling a little over
BZ$16,000, with an additional
BZ$1,000 in donations received to-


day. The legal fees for the Ara
Macao judicial review process are
estimated at BZ$25,000. However,
copying, document delivery and
transportation could very well cost
another BZ$5,000 to BZ$10,000
given the number of possible par-
ties to the lawsuit and the widely
dispersed geographic locations of
those parties.
Therefore, donations are needed
now more than ever, and may be
made by deposit directly into the
PCSD account at Atlantic Bank, or
by check or wire transfer. For de-
tails of these please email Peninsula
Citizens for Sustainable Develop-
ment Placencia, Belize at
info@placenciadocuments.info or
call 501-610-4718
The (PCSD) is now officially a not-
for-profit corporation under Belize
law. Meeting will be held in the next
two weeks to elect a board of direc-
tors, and notices of meeting date and
time will be sent out shortly. Please
email PCSD if you're interested in be-
ing on the Board.


March
3rd&dr 4th 2007


2nd Annual


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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12


beaches and pension checks stretch fur-
ther '"The retirement segment is one
thing, but then there is the whole over-
seas lifestyle segment," said Avirett, who
is spearheading a 'baby boomers'


Beware Corozal
A Supreme Court ruling in Mexico
has revalidated controversial gaming
permits that were issued in 2005, for
remote betting centers (offsite books)
and numbers parlors. This means per-
mit holders with gaming establishments
already in operation will stay open, and
others who may have hesitated due to
legal doubts can now forge ahead. A
ban on casinos could also soon be lifted.
Senate Members of the Party of the
Democratic Revolution (PRD) ex-
pressed their support for the installation
of full-fledged casinos in Mexico. They
said that the time has come for clan-
destine gaming activities to end, and for
taxes that should exceed US$800 mil-
lion annually to be paid. On February
13 the Mexican Senate sent an
"excitativa" to the Chamber of Depu-
ties a formal request urging the other
chamberto move legislation thatwould
reform the 1947 Law, and allow casi-
nos.


Jamaica sugar losses
Losses by the Sugar Company of Ja-
maica (SCJ) from the 2006/2007 crop
are expected to be in the region of
$500 million. This however is a big im-
provement over last year's losses of ap-
proximately $1.2 billion.
Baby boomer wave!
There is evidently a growing wave of
baby boomers planning to retire abroad
in hot spots such as Belize, Nicaragua
and the Dominican Republic where


website from his home in Fort Lauder-
dale. We are creating a website for
boomers going abroad whether it's for
a visit or for a lifetime." By some counts,
there are 75 million boomers in the
United States making the slow march
toward retirement. According to mar-
ket research commissioned by
Boomerscape, 70 percent say they
would like to spend most of their time
traveling.


How Wealth Creates Poverty
Michael Parenti writes that by dis-
placing local populations from their
lands and robbing them of their self-suf-
ficiency, corporations create over-
crowded labor markets of desperate
people who are forced into shanty towns
to toil for poverty wages (when they can
get work), often in violation of the coun-
tries' own minimum wage laws. "In
Haiti, for instance, workers are paid 11
cents an hour by corporate giants such
as Disney, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penny.


The United States is one of the few
countries that has refused to sign an in-
ternational convention for the abolition
of child labor and forced labor. This po-
sition stems from the child labor prac-
tices of U.S. corporations throughout
the Third World and within the United
States itself, where children as young
as 12 suffer high rates of injuries and
fatalities, and are often paid less than
the minimum wage." Parenti also alleges
that, "U.S. foreign aid usually works
hand in hand with transnational invest-
ment. It subsidizes construction of the
infrastructure needed by corporations
in the Third World: ports, highways, and
refineries. The aid given to Third World
governments comes with strings at-
tached. It often must be spent on U. S.
products, and the recipient nation is re-
quired to give investment preferences
to U.S. companies, shifting consump-
tion away from home produced com-
modities and foods in favor of imported
ones, creating more dependency, hun-
ger, and debt. A good chunk of the aid
money never sees the light of day, go-
ing directly into the personal coffers of
sticky-fingered officials in the recipient
countries." Sound familiar Belize?


At long last!
Leaders from 20 countries, including
China and the US, have signed a reso-
lution that paves the way for a replace-
ment to the Kyoto protocol, set to ex-
pire in 2012. Although the resolution is
non-binding, it is being viewed as a "tip-
ping point," that finally sees the US and
China take full responsibility for helping
to combat global warming. The forum's
closing statement said man-made cli-
mate change was now "beyond doubt"
- bringing it in Line with the stance held
in the scientific world.
Meanwhile, wild grass!
Awild grass found in Asia and Africa
could hold the key to dreams of pro-


viding an alternative to fossil fuels
blamed for global warming, experts say.
Miscanthus, a perennial grass native to
subtropical and tropical regions of Af-
rica and southern Asia, is the ideal plant
for producing ethanol at a lower cost
than corn, currently the most widespread
source for the fuel. The grass, which is
used as an ornamental plant in the
United States, produces yields between
five and 10 times greater than corn, ex-
perts said.


The Real Cost of Bottled Water
Now a report from the USA: "San
Franciscans and other Bay Area resi-
dents enjoy some of the nation's high-
est quality drinking water, with pristine
Sierra snowmelt from the Hetch Hetchy
reservoir as the primary source. Every
year, the water is tested more than
100,000 times to ensure that it meets
or exceeds every standard for safe
drinking water. And yet San Franciscans
still buy bottled water. Why?"
The report adds that in fact federal
standards for tap water are higher than
those for bottled water. And the report
states "Clearly, the popularity of bottled
water is the result of huge marketing ef-
forts. The global consumption of bottled
water reached 41 billion gallons in 2004,
up 57 percent in just five years. Even in
areas where tap water is clean and safe
to drink, such as in San Francisco, de-
mand for bottled water is increasing -
producing unnecessary garbage and
consuming vast quantities of energy. So
what is the real cost of bottled water?"


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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 133



We 1hu PNol lisB fI hat Hi M ftM in


It is time for the W.T.P, the We The
People Reform Movement, to make its
intentions known now that the VI.P, the
P.N.P, and the N.R.P. have declared
their individual entry into the general
elections.
From last year, the W.T.P. announced
that it is contesting the general elections.
This announcement was made in the
media without celebration and without
glossy brochures and dinner afterwards.
We want to win this election strategi-
cally, with our brain, not brawn or mil-
lions and millions of dollars.
For a political party to say that it will
spend $50M $100M on a general
election in a small country like ours with
less than 140,000 voters and 44% pov-
erty is nothing short of vulgar. In fact, it
sends the wrong message. It says to
44% of poor Belizeans that more free-
bies are on the way and by extension,
more disrespect and more dependency
than we already have.
We do not wish to be a political party
that buys elections. We have great re-
spect for our Belizean people. How will
we get them to grow and be agents of
growth in our society if we continue to
treat them like underprivileged men,
women and children at Christmas par-
ties feeding on free food, drinks,
"caliente" dancers and mind-numbing
music? Afterwards, we will complain
like others that our society has become
a society of beggars and thumbs still in
their mouths.
Over the six years of our existence,
and having contested general elections
and municipal elections, the W.T.P has
learnt that more "election-stealing" than
"election-winning" goes on. The Blue
and the Red have large armies of orga-
nized political campaigners, millions and
millions of dollars and bags and bags of
political tricks which they use to steal
elections. It is important that new po-
litical parties face these two parties with
combined resources, especially politi-
cal intelligence. Otherwise, realistically
speaking and despite good intentions,
we will become no more than cannon
fodder for the Red and the Blue mon-
ster parties.
At present, the Blues are badly
wounded and desperate, especially the
Prime Minister; and as we know,
wounded and desperate individuals are
usually at their most dangerous and un-
predictable. We are already seeing the
Blues at work with "no holds barred".
At present, the offices of area repre-
sentatives and political officers have
evolved into branches of the immigra-
tion office, obtaining nationality for aliens
and registering them like crazy. Without
a transparent land distribution system,
and to quote Minister of Natural Re-
sources, John Briceno, thousands of lots
have been given out across the country.
The fact is that as usual, they are being


given away as an election gimmick, and
many people with land are getting more
while those with genuine need are get-
ting none. Watch out too. Expect that
blue and red notes in envelopes will be
slipped under the door of undecided
voters on election-day itself!
The Reds themselves, consumed with
the euphoria of being the next govern-
ment and intent on not missing this op-
portunity are not too far behind with
their preparations, illicit and otherwise.
They are keeping their war chest replen-


ished by staying cozy with the Lord
Ashcroft's and Santiago Castillo's com-
panies, among others, not to mention
fund raising groups in the USA. They
are also meticulously registering voters
on the very day they turn eighteen. They
are not missing anyone. And like the
Blues, their freebees flow in terms of
food, paid bills, and chaperoning by
political candidates.
The best chance for Alternative Par-
ties to win this general election in the
best interest of the Belizean people is
to form an Alliance of Alternative Par-
ties and vie for the "balance of power"
in this coming election. We will win this
election through education of the voting
public and through real, practical re-
forms. We will win this election by en-
suring we have winning candidates in
areas where neither the Blue nor the Red
are strong. This can be determined by
polls. We will win by raising as quickly
as possible an army of organized and
experienced campaigners to hit the
streets and the homes in every
neighbourhood. Persons like Derek
Aikman who offer election campaign
consultancy should be brought in as
soon as possible to head the overall
Alliance election strategy. It is to be re-
called that DerekAikman through sheer
determination and dogged dedication
did what was viewed as impossible,
defeating serving Prime Minister George
Price in his own constituency. We will
win by ensuring that neither the Red nor
the Blue obtain an outright majority of
seats in this election. That way, they will
have to include elected alternative party
representatives in any new government.
There are many ways to victory.
What alternative parties must also
understand is that presently pork barrel
politics (giveaways), election trickery
and lots of money is winning the elec-


tions for the Red and the Blue. Those
parties promise free this and free that,
like free education, another Cancun, ten
thousand (free) homes, lower power,
telephone, and water bills, knowing fully
well they cannot deliver, grandiose
things like that. And people fall for it and
vote them in, overlooking their secret
schemes and dreams to become pow-
erful Ministers and representatives, in-
tent on securing their retirement pack-
ages.
Today, the Belizean voting public,


For a political party to say that it

will spend $50M $100M on a

general election in a small coun-

try like ours with less than

140,000 voters and 44% poverty
is nothing short nf vulgar.


deceived so terribly over the past 25
years, expect substance, no more rheto-
ric. If Alternative Parties say they will
stamp out corruption, they must not be
like the Red and the Blue. They must
show the Belizean voter how they will
effectively do this. Moreover, there are
many searching and intelligent minds in
Belize today, plus an emboldened me-
dia, who are showing a propensity to
fiercely defend the Belizean people from
being conned by political parties that
make promises they cannot deliver and
who are in fact, empty drums and
frauds.
The sixty (60) reform ideas of the
WTP to transform Belize society into a
new and safe haven include an elected
Senate and a Belize Whistleblowers
Protection Act.
The WTP has already presented its
"Reformed Senate" proposal. It calls
for a People -elected Senate which will
supervise Cabinet and not be controlled
by it, a Senate that can say no to new
taxes and their "no" sticks.
The Belize Whistleblowers Protection
Act proposed by the WTP is designed
to smother rampant corruption that has
enslaved us and our country today. The
US$565 million bond which we and our


children will pay up to 2029 is one of
the many children of this unchecked
corruption.
The purpose of the Belize
Whistleblowers Protection Act pro-
posed by the WTP is three-fold:
First, it is to encourage and fa-
cilitate disclosures of improper conduct
by public bodies and public officers.
Secondly, it is to provide pro-
tection for persons who make these dis-
closures and for persons who suffer re-
prisals in relation to these disclosures,
and
Thirdly, it is to provide for mat-
ters disclosed to be properly investi-
gated and dealt with.
There will be penalties of up to two
years imprisonment for anyone or any
institution that causes persons to suffer
reprisals in relation to their disclosures.
It also carries fines and imprisonment
for mischievous and irresponsible dis-
closures.
Who can make these disclosures?
It is a person who believes on rea-
sonable grounds that a public body
or public officer has engaged, is en-
gaging or proposes to engage in im-
proper conduct as a public body or
public officer. It is a person who be-
lieves on reasonable grounds that a
public body or public officer has
taken, is taking, or proposes to take
detrimental action against the public
as a public body or public officer.
Who are these public bodies or
public officers? Certainly the DFC,
the Social Security Board, the Small
Farmers Bank, the Free Zones, and
any government department or
agency, any government hospital,
contractor or sub-contractor. Public
officers include members of the House
and Senate, Mayors, Councilors,
members of the Police Force and per-
sons appointed by the Governor Gen-
eral, the Prime Minister or another
Minister.
We will provide more details to the
public in the form of a pamphlet we are
preparing to circulate.
Hipolito Bautista National WTP
Party Coordinator
Lucilo Teck National WTP
Deputy Party Coordinator


Comments? Suggestions?

or want to share your

thoughts

Email us at

Independent. newspaper.

bz(cigmail. com








Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 144


BTB hosts Tourism Summit 2007 Bird Day at the Belize Zoeoll


BTB Vice Chair Teresa Parkey, James Nisbet of Fort Street Tourism Village and CTO
Secretary General Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace discuss managing the cruise industry.
Vanderpool-Wallace emphasized that what hurts you most are the "Things you know
that just ain't so!"


Director ofArchaeology Jaime Awe, Environmental leadership expert Jamie Sweeting
and PACT's Valdemar Andrade discussed "Green & Gold" how to reap the profits
from tourism while preserving the environment and Belize's cultural heritage.


Congratulations to the Minister of Education


i H (Continued From Page 2)
sult of the high cost of and often un-
availability of books. Such high cost
and unavailability are the result of the
failure of the countries schools to
standardized the text books utilized
in the First through Fourth Forms.
Such failure to standardize, in ad-
dition to driving up the cost of books
has placed an additional unnecessary
burden on the parents. Many of the
mothers have to travel great distances
to Belize City in an attempt to pur-
chase the required books for their
children. They often have to go to at
least 3 book stores to obtain the
books. Frequently, the required
books are not available at any price.
The mother's child is therefore pro-
hibited from attending the class that
required the unavailable book.
If he put his mind to it, the Hon.
Francis Fonseca could assist the Rev-
erend Canon Flowers, President of
Belize's Council of Churches, in Rev-
erend Cannon Flowers' efforts to
have the school text books standard-
ized. Such standardization would re-
duce the cost of books to where thou-
sands ofBelizean children, who could
not otherwise attend, would be able
to attend the first, through fourth
forms.


It is time for both the Churches and
the Government to show greater re-
spect for the poor and give them the
assistance that they are entitled to.
Such standardization would not cost
the Government or the schools one
penny. It would reduce the cost of
books to where thousands of the
Countries children, from less fortunate
families, could afford to attend the
first through fourth forms.
There is no logical reason why the
text books should not be standard-
ized. The greed of the unscrupulous
few who profit from the present situ-
ation is not a reason to prevent chil-
dren of Belize from acquiring their
right to a basic education that includes
the first through fourth forms.
There is certainly no reason why the
other Church officials should not join
in and assist the Reverend Cannon
Flowers in his attempt to have of
school books standardized. Their fail-
ure to do so will continue to prevent
thousands of disadvantage children
from receiving a secondary education
and be contrary to the teachings of
Christianity and all other religions.

Signed, Belize's largest school book
purchaser for the less fortunate


Zoo Director Sharon Matola introduces the children to Alvin, the Roadside Hawk.


Bird's the Word! That was the theme
of the day for 21 pre-school children
from La Democracia Government
school.
The children had been studying their
birds and were well aware that the birds
of Belize ARE special!
The Belize Zoo continues to work
with schools and communities through-
out Belize to draw attention to our
"feathered Belizeans".
In early February, BIRD DAY was
celebrated at the zoo and the children
made visits to view their national bird,
the Keel Billed toucan, and alist of other
feathered friends including the Scarlet


Calling all

-Ell (Continued From Page 4)
own. Literally.
For every "alien" willing to come to
Belize to vote, there must be a Belizean
abroad who would do it too. There are
thousands who left within the last ten
years and are still on the voting lists, or
who maintain enough ties, help to main-
tain residences here that they are (or
should be) eligible to vote. Add them to
the hundreds of university students away
studying and growing number of retir-
ees/returnees coming home to retire and
we could muster enough reinforcements
to outnumber the fraudulent voters.
Most importantly, these Belizeans are
people who have Belize's best interest
at heart. People who are literate, mo-
bile, and paying keen attention to re-
cent economic and political develop-
ments. Hard working men and women
who are providing tens of millions of
hard currency dollars in aid to their fami-
lies back home through remittances,
making donations of supplies to schools
and hospitals and helping Belizeans who
emigrate get situated, get jobs and feel
welcome in the Belizean communities
abroad.
We must encourage these Belizeans
to register, and to pull other relatives
home to do the same. We must, at his
juncture, get over any bitterness over
those who "left" while we stayed, the
brain drain and all the rest of it and band
together in a common cause: saving this
country from further "ruination". We
must put aside any sibling rivalries and


Macaw, King Vulture, Jabiru Stork and
of course, Panama the Harpy Eagle.
Zoo Director Sharon Matola brought
out Alvin, the Roadside Hawk, and the
children got "up close and personal" to
this happy raptor, learning about the
natural history of the Roadside Hawk
here in Belize.
After a lunch of "bird sandwiches"
(chicken salad), the children sang a con-
servation song, "Bird's the Word" and
YES!!!!! It was Fun, Educational, and
Ultra Cool!!!
The Belize Zoo: Keeping true to its
reputation of being The Best Little Zoo
inthe World!!!!


put our Family -as extended as it is, as
far flung as it is-first.
Granted it is an expensive proposi-
tion. But how much of their election
campaign funds will the parties devote
to importing the imposters? To stuffing
the ballot box?
Surely once the election date is set,
those Belizeans who do come home on
vacation would consider timing their visit
to coincide with going to the polls....
We could even ask hotels to offer them
special packages in conjunction with an
airline or two. Don't you think? Show
them we need them more than ever at
thistime.
It is not impossible; it is infinitely do-
able given the time frame before us. The
longer the Prime Minister takes to call
elections, the more time Belizeans
abroad have to prepare and plan. And
ifa political party should offer to fly them
home... all the better, as long as they
remember their vote is sacred, and se-
cret and they owe it to no one.
We must pay attention to the grow-
ing number of reports and allegations
of illegal registration. But we must do
more than just be outraged and upset
this time.
We must turn the tables on those
who would try to use our apathy
against us and sneak in people who
have no right to be here.
We can fight both our apathy, and
their subterfuge, by bringing in our
own people. People who have every
RIGHT to be here. Still.







Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 155


Guatemala strikes gold at 1st Central American


Cross Countrv Track & Field Championships


The quiet bedroom community of
Lord's Bank was a beehive of activity
Saturday morning, Febraury 23 as
some 80 athletes from Costa Rica, Gua-
temala, Salvador and Nicaragua con-
verged for the first ever Regional Cross
Country track and field competition.
The Central American Isthmus Ath-
letic Confederation (CADICA)
awarded the Belize Amateur Athletic
Association the privilege to be the first
to host of this historical event.
A 2 kilometre course was mapped
out over pristine terrain within the
Lord's Bank area. The Guatemalans,
accustomed to training in the moun-
tains, had a decided advantage with


The girls from El Salvador won one gold and a bronze in the Junior B female 4,000 meter.


more oxygen in their system when
they came down to the flat terrain at
sea level. They swept five of the six
gold medals, including both the Fe-
F male 8,000 metre Open and the Male
12,000 meter Open. They also won
golds in the Junior AFemale 6,000
meters, Male 8,000 meters and Jun-
ior B Male 6,000 meters as well as
four silver and 3 bronze medals.
The El Salvador contingent won one
gold and a bronze in the Junior B fe-
male 4,000 meter and two silvers. The
Costa Ricans won one silver in the
male open.
Team Belize won no medals but
might easily have won the award for
Good Sportsmanship, if there were
one. Part of the reason for the lack of
Belize success in this event is the fact
that the Belize Amateur Athletic As-
... sociation has no long distance devel-
opment programme for our athletes;
they tend to focus on developing ath-
Sletes for the sprints and shorter dis-
tances.
The Guatemalans took 5 of the 6 gold medals, including both the Female 8,000 meter Open and the Male 12,000 meter Open, the
JuniorA: Female 6,000 meter Male 8,000 meter and Junior B Male 6,000 meter, 4 silvers and 3 bronze medals.


BNE Canoe wins Boom to Citiv race


The BNE canoe (right) overhauls the Belize Bank team.


The Belize Natural Energy canoe,
paddled by Elmer, Efrain and Felix Cruz
(formerly the Pine Lumber team) finally
triumphed against their arch -rivals, the
Belize Bank team Armin Lopez,
Amado Cruz and Daniel Cruz in the
Boom to Belize City canoe race on
Sunday, February 25.
The Belize Canoe Association
(BCAnoe) organized the race as a sort
of dress rehearsal for the annual La Ruta
Maya River Challenge race, coming up


for the March 9 weekend.
Some 20 canoes had begun the race
in Burrell Boom and when the first ca-
noes came in sight at the Belcan Bridge
in Belize City, the Belize Bankteam was
leading with the BNE canoe digging
paddles in the sprint to the finish.
By the time they reached the bridge,
the BNE canoe had overhauled, the
Belize Bank team to finish in 2:51:15,
one second ahead of the Belize Bank
team.


The BNE team receives their $800 prize and trophy from Elvin Penner ofBCAnoe.







Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 165


Morality


Vs money

--"B (Continued From Page 1)
made its people among the poorest in the
world.
He said he "almost cried" on a recent trip to
Chetumal when he saw all the new stores, high-
way expansions and standard of living of the
people compared to Belize which he termed
a "disgrace." He said he had to "drive over
piles of garbage to enter Belize City, that to
me is a sign our leaders have lost hope."
Dueck dismisses the current opposition
UDP saying they have "nothing to offer" and
that while the PUP newspaper's motto is
"The truth shall set you free, the lies being
told to the Belizean people have done just
the opposite of setting them free."
Dueck challenged the independence of
Belize's judiciary, "You just have to see the
person charged last name to know the ver-
dict... This diplomat that came from
Panama, we know already the outcome for
him.. That no justice will be served as long
as this government is control."
The NRP platform is decidedly pro-fam-
ily and a stable home life is a requirement
for candidacy. The party leader introduced
his wife and children and Bejerano
undescored the party's position on the open
display of sweetheart relationships by mem-
bers of the government, "We believe a
healthy family structure is the foundation for
a strong nation. We believe in the principle
of a leader being faithful to ONE partner... if
a leader cannot lead or rule his house well it
will be difficult for him to lead a nation."
In terms of foreign policy direction for
Belize, Dueck was unequivocal: "I don't
think we should look to Chavez for help. I
don't think he has the solution for Belize. I
don't think Cuba has the solution for Belize.
I don't think China has the solution for
Belize, but the United States has the solu-
tion we need."
The Israeli flag was displayed prominently
at the launch and when asked by a member
of the press why, Dueck said, "The Bible
says anyone who blesses Israel shall be
blessed and anyone who curses it shall be
cursed." But the party is not connected in
any way to the State of Israel. Dueck claims
numerous regional governments and friends
in Washington want to see Belize become a
"praise" for God.
Dueck urged anyone so frustrated with
the current situation who may be contem-
plating leaving the country "to hang on" a
while longer and have courage because a
change is coming to Belize."
He was reluctant to name his backers
before consulting with them. But he did say
he has significant backing from Belizean
businessmen....leading many to speculate
about just who these big "investors" are.
Who else has a private plane to fly him to
Panana? The Lord? Susy & Sally? Are
they providing, and will they continue to
provide come election time? The people
want to know notj ust who will be funding
NRP's campaign but all the other parties'
campaigns.


I-, ~~at~j1


Ruimentar

WaterSystemS


Inaugurated


Ministry or National Development


San ELazarU
*raiig Wa lk i strict


The Ministry of National Development, Investment
and Culture officially inaugurated the San Lazaro
Water System in the Orange Walk District on Sunday,
February 18,2007

The total cost of the project amounted to
$324,662.44 with the Government of Belize
providing $302,062.44 mostly from grant funds
received from the Caribbean Development Bank
under the Basic Needs Trust Fund Fifth Program. The
community of San Lazaro contributed the value of
$22,600.00 through in-kind labour for the trenching
of 11,300 feet of trenches dug for the water system.
The project was implemented by the Basic Needs
Trust Fund on behalf of the Government of Belize.

The scope of works included the provision of a
production well; construction of a new elevated
water tank with a capacity of 20,000 gallons,
trenching and installation of 11,300 feet of pvc pipes,
construction of a pump house at the well site to
house pump controls, chlorinator and other electrical
components of the system. Chain link fencing was
built to secure the pump house. The water will be
gravity flowed to the entire community through 4';3"
and 2" PVC pipes. A water meter and a stand pipe
were installed for each household. The project was
completed over a period of six months with the
Village Council together with the Water Board
supervising its implementation.

A Water Board has been appointed to administer the
water system. Training in management, operation
and maintenance of the system was provided to
appointed operators, billing clerk and the Water
Board members. The system will benefit over 275
families of the village of San Lazaro.

Main speakers at the event were the Hon. Mark Espat,
Minister of National Development, Investment and
Culture, Hon. Ismael Cal, Area Representative and
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and
Mr. Oscar Alonzo, Project Manager for the Basic
Needs Trust Fund.




Full Text

PAGE 1

Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 1 INdependent for the PeopleVol. 2 No. 9 Friday, March 2, 2007 $1.00TheReformer (Please Turn To Page 3)An avalanche of anger is building in the country. The Trade unions, most young people and the entire media (except two government outlets) are solidly against the present Musa/Fonseca government. Amandala has gone as far as to declare its support for third parties: “...And what we mean by “third party” in this context, is any initiative which is not beholden to Lord Michael Ashcroft.” Commenting on the Union march Amandala amplified its statement: “At the core, the demonstrators were demonstrating against Lord Ashcroft’s hegemony – directly in the case of BTL, and indirectly in the case of KHMH. UDP Leader, Hon. Dean Barrow, conveniently absented himself from the old capital on Saturday, because his law firm represents Ashcroft’s interests at both BTL and at the Belize Bank, the bank which is prominently involved with The Universal Hospital deal, which is the direct cause of the KHMH staff protest. Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger By: Meb Cutlack Inside this Issue Diplomatic SNAFU pg 3 PNP plants seeds inToledo pg. 4 Belly of the Beast pg. 9 Ara Macao Update pg. 11Businessman Cornelius Dueck has stunned Belizean voters by announcing his new political party has enough candidates at the ready to contest EVERY division in the country, all 31 of them, should General Elections be called tomorrow. He also claims they have the resources to match the PUP and UDP tributing Bibles in Honduras. He says he has enough money in his own bank accounts, support from the Belizean business community and donors abroad to spend around $50 to $100 MILLION Belize dollars if necessary to convince voters the NRP should form the next government. Nine candidates were introduced at the launch but the party claims they have others standing by, some of whom currently work in the public service. So far there is only one woman, Darlene Graham on the ticket, but Dueck says the party is seeking additional female candidates and welcomes all Belizeans, regardless of sex, ethnicity, religious denomination or past political affiliation. Campaign Coordinator Estevan Berejano says it is a diverse, but unified group: “The National Reform Party has one goal, and only one goal, and that is to see this country rise from the poverty state we are in and to move into a place of economic stability to advance this nation into a first world nation.” Dueck, hails from Spanish Lookout, a Mennonite settlement which has yet to collect any royalties from GOB for the discovery of oil on their communal lands. He says it is crucial that Belize use its oil revenues wisely, citing the case of Nigeria, a national rich in natural resources, but whose corruption level has Moralit Moralit Moralit Moralit Moralit y vs Money y vs Money y vs Money y vs Money y vs MoneyNRP promises Belizeans both NRP promises Belizeans both NRP promises Belizeans both NRP promises Belizeans both NRP promises Belizeans both (Please Turn To Page 16)“As a result of Barrow’s absence and the UDP’s practical ambivalence, the leaders of the demonstration found themselves effectively isolated by the two Ashcroft-influenced major parties. On the one hand, they had been condemned by the PUP as UDP, and on the other hand, the UDP itself had chosen to confine its support to tepidity. “In conclusion, then, we repeat, whether the Leaders intended it to be so or not, Saturday’s Demonstration was a third party machineries, combined. The starting revelations came during ceremonies broadcast live from the National Reform Party Headquarters in Belize City on February 21. Dueck, a Belizean Mennonite, who owns a truck parts store, is a pastor in the “Streams of Living Waters Ministry” and spent the last two years dis-NRP leader Cornelius Dueck addresses the nation. The NRP candidates Manuel Avila, George Boiton Jr., Fermin Choc, Alden McDougal, back row Enio Lopez, Hilberto Nah, Charles Selgado and Derick Stuart, each addressed the electorate via live radio broadcast.

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2 Editorial Director Meb Cutlack Editor Karla Heusner Vernon General Manager Trevor Vernon Design/Layout William G . Ysaguirrre Published by: Independent Publishing P.O. Box 2666Telephones:(501) 225-3520 Email: independent.newspaper .bz@gmail.comPrinted by:National Printers New Road Belize City, BelizeCompany Ltd.“Quote of the Week” Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as BZ$30.00 (US$30.00 international) INdependentReformer The Name (please print) Address Apt. City State Zip Email Address Payment Included Bill me later Prices for subscription and postage may vary for subscription outside Belize. independendent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com Belize C.A.For an online version of the INdependent Reformer visit us at http://www .belizenor th.com/ independentr eformer .htm OR http://belizenews.com/ independentonline.pdfYES! P.O. Box 2666 Belize City, Belize Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor VIP-Public Consultation update: The People Speak Out!!Dear Editor, Since the launching of our Party’s National Direction, we have been receiving much response from the Belizean public. VIP appreciates and takes very seriously such advice. Please allow us to share with the public a few inputs to date. We have picked those that capture the general mood of responses we are getting. 1.Dear VIP, I first voted in 1979 and have witnessed the first time the UDP and PUP governed our beloved Independent Belize. What they have both done is run down our country into the mess we have today. I advise the VIP to work as a team with the public service. The day to day running of our country is really in the experienced and professional hands of the public service but the parties have instead retrenched, manipulated or totally bypassed them. 2.Dear VIP, I am a Belizean living in the US and have maintained my close ties with my family and homeland. I fully support VIP’s initiative to allow Belizeans abroad to vote. Like me, most of us own property and pay taxes. As a Tax paying Belizean, I believe I should have the right to vote no matter where I am in this world. Thank you VIP for championing our constitutional right to vote. 3.Dear VIP’s, I think that fixed, land purchase values need to be established and a law passed so that it cannot be reduced by politicians. Offer soft terms including interest free payment plans for Belizeans to purchase their first lot. 4.VIP, I am a resident of San Pedro and strongly object to (name withheld) owning 9000 acres of Prime Island property or (name withheld) owning 1500 acres of southern coastland. VIP should set a limit on the amount of beachfront land Belizeans can own. I also believe that no foreigner or foreign owned company should own more than 200 feet of beach front property or ten acres on any island or along sea coast. VIP should set up a review board to look at all land sold by the PUP in the last two terms and take appropriate action. 5.Remove land distribution from the hands of the Politicians of all shape and color. Implement a system that would empower wide spectrum district committees to recommend all or any decisions regarding land allocation. 6.Dear VIP, I will support your new party simply for your humility and openness to publish your municipal campaign financials. I look forward to seeing your national campaign financials. I don’t ever expect to see financials from the PUP or UDP who will always dance to the tunes of the First Belizeans: (names withheld). VIP will continue to update the public on all inputs that will be compiled into our final National Plan 2008. Yours in Service to Country, Bobby Lopez VIP Public RelationsCongratulations to the Minister of EducationDear Editor, The Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, should be commended for his efforts in the enforcement of the Education Rules that prohibit a school from denying attendance to, or discriminating against, a child of compulsory school age, when the child’s parent or guardian is unable to pay the schools fees. Under the present rules it appears that the compulsory school years are now through Standard 6. Previously truancy laws and their require enforcement included secondary education. But in 2005, the Government canceled the truancy programs. It is certainly more than arguable that prior to the canceling of the truancy programs that education was to be provided through the fourth form. In similar respect, prior to the cancellation of the truancy program, the unanimous recommendation of the Political Reform Commission was that Chapter 11 of the Constitution be amended to expand the rights of the persons of Belize to include “Protection of the Right not to be denied Basic Education”. With modern day advances and requirements, a “Basic Education” would, by necessity, include the right to an education through the fourth form. Anything less would not be basic. If the schools elected to do so, such education could be provide in the manner that was successful in the Soviet Union. That is, those who intended to continue on to college proceeded with a course of studies that provided all of the college preparatory subjects. Those who did not intended to proceed to college could elect a course of studies that would also teach them a trade or craft. There are thousands of children annually that are being denied secondary education. Such denial is the re(Please Turn To Page 15)

PAGE 3

Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3 Fly Tropic Air Fly Tropic Air Fly Tropic Air A lot of people are expecting me to write about the Moises Cal situation as reported on in both the local and foreign press. They ask me what I know from my interactions with him 200004, my second stint with the Foreign Service. I don’t want to write about Cal. I am uncomfortable, I must admit. I see the Foreign Service as sacrosanct; so, I am terribly disappointed with Cal’s purported behavior as it serves, to my mind, to taint everyone else’s past service in the foreign service, and GOB’s current leadership role (rotating) in the SICA. Moises Cal, for those of you who don’t know, was a staunchly loyal Shoman man when I knew him. The Ambassador Cal I knew was willing to take a hit for Show-Time, anytime. Now Show-man isn’t known to be wrapped up with big time funny money; so, the news of Cal being busted in Panama with a million USD$ in a suitcase doesn’t add up to my mind. Show-time is the known sponsor of the Cals’ entry into elected politics in Belize. Money, they say, is the root of all evil By: T r evor V ernon Diplomatic SNAFU: Cal violates the Ser Diplomatic SNAFU: Cal violates the Ser Diplomatic SNAFU: Cal violates the Ser Diplomatic SNAFU: Cal violates the Ser Diplomatic SNAFU: Cal violates the Ser vice vice vice vice vice and Ambassador Cal has always been ambitious. But I can’t see the man getting wrapped up with the kind of folks “DEA wants to talk to”. The man I knew wasn’t that desperate. He was closely allied with Chief Pharisee Assad, the brain of many officious operations. He did whatever Assad wanted, anytime...not unlike quite a few other PUP insiders. Worshipped him unapologetically, without reserve. I used to shudder at Moises’ knee time both in front of and behind Assad’s back, given the latter’s reputation. Now, there is a lot of speculation as to what the Show-man is/was doing in London. A lot of speculation. Put to pasture, some say. Not the Assad I know; he’ll never be put to pasture. The smart money says he is raising money for Rigoberta’s Presidential bid in Guatemala. I mentioned this in a private conversation to a player and he chuckled nervously. He knew I was deadly serious but his intelligence was telling him otherwise, apparently. Besides, his eyes were focused elsewhere…apparently on Dueck’s political ascendancy, given some of the statements Dueck made at his launch. I can’t see Cal doing the dirty work for the PUP Risk element where one’s almost expected to be a mule in order to be inducted into the fraternity and become a made member. The pressure has always been on the diplomatic corps worldwide to use those diplomatic pouches to bag underworld interests. And, stranger things happen in politics, especially Belize politics, where the Risk Analyst still rules money matters (Red & Blue), no matter what. So in many ways, this is not about Ambassador Cal and his wild ambitions in as much as it is about other, larger underworld forces. What interests me right now is the big money the NRP’s leader talked about being prepared to spend. The mass parties are expected to blow $50 to $100 MILLION on the next general election, Cornelius Dueck—a truck parts dealer and pastor from Spanish Lookout— stated in the launch last Wednesday of the National Reform Party he doesn’t plan to be left behind or be outspent. Choice expletives came to my lips as I heard Dueck make his statement in response to a tough question from the Editor of another local paper. Like most observers have been whispering, I too wondered about the gargantuan mysterious financial backing. Big money circulating in our little Belize and here I am struggling to meet payroll and printing costs on a subsistence basis...while fighting with GST to get registered. Obscene sums of money from supposedly clean money sources. And, the tainted money is here, no doubt about that. Mr. Risky Business himself called it “parallel market” foreign exchange outsourcing when the laundering scheme was blown wide open at BTL a few months ago. I shudder to think of all those who have been lured in. It seems like it’s become the norm in business circles and social clubs. It’s kosher in Belize to take cocaine money and become apart of the rinse cycle. Even cool. Some people here worship the lavadoras unreservedly. All the supposedly big name social elites are swimming in the stuff while their very own kids, siblings, and spouses are hooked on some form of the real devil’s excrement: powdered courage. It’s simply too bloody incredible. We at this paper are not interested in the blood money machinations. They can keep it and keep worshiping it. We will keep our sanity and our focus. Moises apparently lost his and I hope to God Chief Negotiator wasn’t behind it, for the country’s sake. Not that he’ll suffer in Hell for it, or anything. He can always go to confession, too. Moises will live a full life, no doubt; and, as a good Catholic will receive absolution. But he has lost all the respect people had for him, no matter how much money he has been able to amass. You can keep your blood money, your fancy cars and material wealth. I’ll keep my sanity, self respect and respect for my fellow man. I am not a predator or preacher, and I rather like the simple life. (Continued From Page 1) Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger Avalanche of Anger demonstration. At Kremandala, we support third party initiatives. But they have to be serious. We are not here to be the butt of Lord Ashcroft’s jokes.” It was interesting to see The Reporter’s recent editorial reflecting on an old ‘crime’ carried out by Musa. “Nine years ago” wrote Harry Lawrence, “ a Commission of Inquiry similar to the one now looking into allegations of irregularities in the Development Finance Corporation, published a report of its findings into allegations of misdeeds against Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Said Musa. He went on “The two Commissioners found that despite some stonewalling from government officials who could not produce two requested files, and despite the refusal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to assist the Commission with his testimony, it had sufficient information to determine that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Said Musa, was ‘responsible’ for the loss of $7,535,833.38 of government revenue.” Mr Lawrence noted “The Commission in its published report went on to say: ‘We are also of the view that he knowingly and deliberately acted in contravention of the requirements of the Economic Citizenship Programme, and therefore may have committed a criminal offence.’” That is strong language; and if you add to this indictment the recent extraordinary and hard hitting Guardian exposé of the PUP government’s ugly and unlimited give away of some of Belize’s best land (and huge chunks of our cayes) to cronies and foreigners, you have the building of a huge media swell against the Musa Government. Where does that leave the third parties? Well, it is the two party system, the status quo in politics, which has got us to where we are today. The fact that there are now 5 different third parties – representing a huge tide of Belizeans throughout the country -means that the status quo is now quite likely broken forever. The new third parties have emerged BECAUSE too many people cannot see enough light between the PUP and the UDP. It is not that there is not a large space between the philosophies of the two main parties, there is. It is just that, for whatever reason, the UDP continues to refuse to actually reveal how the UDP would be different, from what it used to be or from the PUP, when it comes to land reform and an elected Senate. In a small start to answering electoral concerns, Opposition Leader Dean Barrow has declared that a UDP government would cancel all leases involved in the scandals the Guardian have exposed. The UDP government would also re-acquire any lands that have been titled to what Mr. Barrow’s letter calls ‘cronies’. Barrow’s letter also advised third party buyers of those lands should beware before they buy. But for the most part, the whole country is crying out for a break up of the tremendous power of the Executive branch of government, by empowering an elected senate to monitor government corruption and actions. The UDP is just not listening. There is a sense arrogance in the manner in which they presume they will be the next government and see no reason to bother to address the electorate on issues which are screaming to be addressed. They should wake up before they too are swept away in a tsunami of disgust and distrust!

PAGE 4

Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 By: Karla Heusner V ernon Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans (Please Turn To Page 14)There is nothing new about Guatemalans, Hondurans, perhaps even Mexicans, being imported to vote in Belizean elections. In fact, the practice may be as old as “free and fair” elections. Yes, there are regulations to prevent it, but there are ways around residency requirements, officials and doctors willing to sign documents, fake test results. The most recent innovation was the former head of the immigration department personally ordering stamps from Angelus Press to allow people to begin entering Belize at a southern crossing without having to go through the official border at Benque.. Selling citizenship and residency cards is big business in this country, even if the recipient pays, not with cash, but political support. To be fair, not all the illegal voters come in under the wire unchallenged. In every division there are vigilant people (most often campaign workers) who challenge the names on the voter’s lists, even take the matter to court. Some stand, some are thrown off. You win some, you lose some. When democratic process, steal our elections out from under us. Recently a gentleman from Burrell Boom called a morning show regarding certain divisions and Guatemalans being given residency and registered right now. He also claims that if you check the numbers in the last election, certain candidates in certain divisions lost by the EXACT number of people brought in. Or should we say certain people WON by that number of votes. to offices that real Belizeans wanted to cast out, by casting their ballot. How many Belizeans might not go to the polls this time around because they feel their own vote will be canceled out by a paid foreigner? What can we do about it? Clearly the challenges are important, but are they enough and will they not simply be circumvented once more? When asked about illegal registrations, the VIP responded, “We will leave that one to God.” (They don’t have the resources to monitor and they don’t have $50 million to hire people to do it.) Hmmm, well if it is true God helps those who help themselves, maybe we can do something. One suggestion, made to me by the General Manager of the Independent, is that Belizeans should demand a moratorium on new registrations with naturalization certificates. Set a cut off date and that is it. No more newly naturalized Belizean voters can be added to the lists. In addition, I propose that we try to counter the influx with an influx of our These allegations should cause us to wonder just how many “false” Belizeans were responsible for returning people to office real Belizeans wanted to cast out, by casting their ballot.you lose some, they just bring in some more… But aside from a few blips on the election day reporting radar, I don’t know that the Belizean public has any real tabulation of the numbers of people entering this country to destabilize our This gentleman seems convinced so many Guatemalans and others will be coming into Belize for this election, the PUP has already won it! These allegations should cause us to wonder just how many “false” Belizeans were responsible for returning people

PAGE 5

Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5 Belize City , Belize – River sediments and pollutants are badly affecting the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). To help conserve the reef system, John Briceño, Belize Vice Prime Minister expressed support for IUCN’s efforts to work with partners on the ‘Ridge to Reef’ approach, which aims at integrating watershed management upstream with marine environments downstream. “We now know that we cannot manage the reef system sustainably without addressing the problems originating from land-based activities.” said Briceño. During a meeting last week in Belize with the Head of IUCN’s Water Programme, Ger Bergkamp and the Mesoamerica Water Coordinator, Rocio Cordoba, Mr Briceño expressed his commitment towards engaging with IUCN on safeguarding the reef, stressing the need to work together on a ‘Ridge to Reef’ approach. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is increasingly under pressure from industrial impacts such as oil spills, irresponsible tourism development and overfishing. In addition land-based activities are increasingly threatening the reef ecosystem. Unsustainable agricultural practices, deforestation and inadequate solid waste disposal are among the many causes of excessive sedimentation and accumulation of pesticides and nutrients in the Gulf of Honduras . The pollution and degradation of the reef’s watersheds not only harm natural ecosystems but also put at risk people’s health, their livelihoods and living standards. The current IUCN mission to Belize, Honduras and Guatemala is to design IUCN’s support to the 2nd phase of the MBRS project. During this phase the MBRS Commission and Marine Research Centre will be established in Belize City. Over the next 6 months, under the presidency of Mr. Briceño, Belize will also lead the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD). A major emphasis will be given to establishing sustainable watershed management in the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Honduras. The governments involved have requested IUCN to support their efforts on watershed management in the years to come. Noel Jacobs, Director of the MBRS Project, stressed that IUCN’s involvement was sought “because of its trusted relationship with relevant governments and ministries, its extensive membership and partners’ network in the region, and its strong technical expertise in watershed management.” The IUCN Water programme is curBelize Vice Prime Minister commits Belize Vice Prime Minister commits Belize Vice Prime Minister commits Belize Vice Prime Minister commits Belize Vice Prime Minister commits to IUCN’s Ridge to Reef approach to IUCN’s Ridge to Reef approach to IUCN’s Ridge to Reef approach to IUCN’s Ridge to Reef approach to IUCN’s Ridge to Reef approach rently working with over 150 member and partner organizations in more than 30 countries worldwide on river basin management. During the meeting Mr Bergkamp stated that “IUCN has gained significant experience in sustainable water and watershed management in recent years. It is well placed to work with its members and partners to address the problems in the river basins around the Gulf of Honduras”. Rocio Cordoba emphasized that “the current involvement of IUCN in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System follows years of work by a large number of IUCN members and partners working on protected areas and monitoring of marine ecosystems”. IUCN supports sustainable watershed management in the region as part of the activities developed under the 2nd phase of the Water and Nature Initiative, due to start in the second half of 2007. (IUCN Press Release)

PAGE 6

Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 The approval by Government to import GMO corn raises a red flag for the health of the nation. The circumstances leading up to the approval raises a number of questions. The issue of imported foods and planting material containing GMO is not new to Belize and the relevant ministries have been long in discussions (public and internal) on the issue. As recently as last October BAHA held public consultations countrywide on the issue of GMO’s in Belize. In fact this Government agency made recommendations for policy guidelines to GOB. An underlying fact is that Belize ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biodiversity which obliges the country to implement and develop its own national regulatory framework “for the safe transfer, handling, use and release of genetically modified organisms, GMO’s and products resulting from modern biotechnology” It is the responsibility of Government to protect the health of its people and the environment from the adverse effects of modern biotechnology especially when the products are managed by unscrupulous businessmen. We are reminded how GMO corn imported from the United States ruined the corn industry in Mexico driving thousands of its farmers into poverty and dependency. Farmers of Belize have also suffered the consequences of biotechnology when they replaced their traditionally selected corn seeds with synthetic seeds (resulting in loss of germplasm) in that they were not prepared for the technology package. It is reasonable to appreciate the urgency of the situation given the case presented by the importer and the situation with the usual suppliers. But the question remains: were other options explored? The potential risks associated with the permit for the 3,000 tons of GMO corn on our chicken meat (the most consumed meat product in Belize) is yet unknown. In such a situation Government is well advised to follow the precautionary principle rather than put the health of the people at risk. This serious precedent can open the flood gates to the importation of unregulated GMO products into Belize. By: Godsman Ellis PUP Standard Bearer wanted PUP Standard Bearer wanted PUP Standard Bearer wanted PUP Standard Bearer wanted PUP Standard Bearer wanted by Panama Police by Panama Police by Panama Police by Panama Police by Panama Police According a report published by the Panama press, the Panama police are seeking a Belizean diplomat who brought an undisclosed amount of US dollars into the country by paying off a group of Customs agents who, official sources say, are now in custody. In a release to the media, the Director General of Customs, Daniel Delgado Diamante, announced the separate charges on Friday, while intense investigations of these four officials of this department of the Ministry of Economícs and Finance continues. The agents are “presumably involved in an act of corruption at the Tocumen International Airport. The part played by a Belizean citizen who presented a diplomatic passport upon entry, is also under investigation,” he indicated. The sources also confirmed that the Belize government reported that the unindentified individual is not a member of its diplomatic corps. Delgado Diamante said that in the wee hours before dawn last Saturday, four Customs officials detected a suitcase full of money passing through a an x-ray machine in the baggage area of the Tocumen International Airport,which belonged to a pssenger who identified himself as a Belizean diplomat. “Upon detecting the cash, which had not been declared as required by Panamanian law, the purported diplomat offered and handed over sums of money to the Customs offcials, to avoid the total confiscation of the cash,” he explained. Only $130,000 was reported as undeclared, while the officials allowed the entry of an undetermined quantity of cash. Delgado added that the Ministry’s investigations indicate the guilt of the Customs official, Gregorio Anselmo Villarreal Cedeño. He was detained last week in the vicinity of the San Miguel Archangel Hospital in possession of $88,000 in cash and another $15,000 were later found at his residence, which at first he said were “his savings.” Villarreal Cedeño, who has worked in Customs since 1990 and had risen to head his unit, confessed that he had participated in the illícit business and divided the money with his three coworkers, two unidentified young men and a lady, who have been employed by Customs since 2003, 2004 and 2001, respectively. The four Customs officials remain in custody. Sources say the Ministry authorities are looking in Panama for the purported diplomatic, who was ordered to be restrained from leaving the country. The source adds that this latest incident adds to a series of other incidents at this body last year, such as felonies involving the altering of official documents, the fraudulent introduction of used cars into the country and other acts of corruption. GMO Corn now in Belize GMO Corn now in Belize GMO Corn now in Belize GMO Corn now in Belize GMO Corn now in Belize Visit The Belize Zoo The Best Little Zoo In The World

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7 Opening Hours Monday Saturday 6 a.m. 8:30 p.m. Sunday & Holidays 7 a.m. 7:30 pm. Breakfast Lunch and Diner On Sunday, February 18, a new political party was launched in San Antonio, Toledo. They have two candidates who have offered to run in the national election, Wil Maheia for Toledo East and Dionicio Choc, for Toledo West. Independent Weekly’s PG correspondent was there… Bartolo Teul, Master of Ceremonies, opened the meeting by welcoming the people to “history in the making”. He did this in English and then Q’etchi. Glenise Locario sang the national anthem, and pastor Dionicio Choc, PNP candidate for Toledo West, led in prayer. Mr. Teul, welcomed the people who came from Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek and Corozal District. The Chairman of San Antonio, Theodoro Oh and Alcalde, Inoscio Cho, welcomed everyone personally. Mr. Cho gave his remarks in Mopan Maya saying “change will only come if we all work together and make it happen.” The PNP was endorsed as the newest member of the Belizean political landscape by Hipolito Bautista from “We the People” based in Corozal. He urged the gathering to “do away with the two-party system, and welcome a new multi-party system. This is the message of today. A multi-party system will have more people in the system, watching to see that the money and other things are not lost. We have been living too long between the red devil and a deep blue sea. Thanks to the People’s National Party, We the People’s Party, and the Vision Inspired by the People Party, we are going to change things! It is up to all of us to take personal responsibility for what happens in this country.” Felipe Tzul, also of “We the People” spoke in Yucatec Maya, “let us work together, we have to work together if we want to make change, we have to support the National People’s Party.” Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, also sent representatives to the PNP launch. Mateo Polanco of Stann Creek District: “For to long we have suffered from these two old political parties, who have misrepresented us” we have experienced that these two parties have only given us misery and sorrow. This is why I’m offering myself for the Vision Inspired by the People Party. I’m here to support Wil Maheia and Dionicio Choc of the People’s National Party. Let us move forward in peace and unity for our beloved beautiful country.” Ivan Roberts from Cayo District: PNP Plants Seeds in San PNP Plants Seeds in San PNP Plants Seeds in San PNP Plants Seeds in San PNP Plants Seeds in San Antonio Village Toledo District Antonio Village Toledo District Antonio Village Toledo District Antonio Village Toledo District Antonio Village Toledo District “It is an honor and privilege to come here to give my support for fellow Belizeans who are against the present system. I hope that all our people will join together to make sure we make a new and better Belize, a reality. I have been telling my fellow Belizeans since 1998 to change our government, don’t be doing the same thing, going from one party to the other, from red to blue, and back to red. This time join together and elect a new party.” Dionicio Choc, PNP standard bearer for Toledo South was introduced as one of the founders of the Toledo Eco Tourism Association some years ago who believes Toledo has great potential for eco-tourism in this district, is very active in his church. Mr. Choc: “I pledge to you to bring justice, hope and integrity back to you in my district. We must stop the crime and corruption, we need a new party, and that Party is the People’s National Party. Millions of dollars have been wasted, who is going to have to pay this debt, it is us and our children”. Bartolo Teul introduced the Standard Bearer to Toledo West: “Wil Maheia has founded an organization that has been working to protect our beautiful natural environment for many years, it is now the biggest in Toledo, TIDE. He has decided that TIDE can move on without him. He is offering himself to continue to work for Toledo by running for the national elections. When it was his turn, Maheia began by saying, “let’s hear it for the Maya Mountains”. People ask me if I’m nervous to be speaking to such a big crowd, I say no, why should I be nervous, I’m among my friends and family today. We are planting the seed for the National People’s Party. You are here today because you’re tired of the crime and corruption that has been happening in our country for too long. Today the winds of change are blowing out of the South and there blowing up north. “The reason why we are launching the party in San Antonio is because we are going to focus in on the center of this district. Since 1998 the government has been robbing us, they have been getting millions of dollars, and we can’t collect one penny from them. “People ask me why I left a good job at TIDE, I was in a comfort zone, I had a good salary, but I asked myself, what about the poor of our country? Why do I want to get into politics? It’s because I want to make a real change. I’m tired of seeing the big ones in our country ripping us off. Many of our leaders are making millions and millions of dollars, and still they can’t even pay those of you who are the rice farmers, who they still owe money. We can’t properly run this country while these people continue to rip us off. “I promise you that within the first hundred days of our party, we will have a collection agency that will begin to collect the money for the people, and we will use it for the people! Today Belize is an oil-producing country, so why is our gas costing $10 per gallon? It is a crime that poor people in Toledo have to take a bus or plane up north to get medical attention. “I went up the Moho River the other day and I almost cried to see the amount of survey lines, and the chairmen of the villages there tell me they don’t know anything about them. The minister is giving out land to people who don’t even live there. How many people here have traveled to Belmopan to try and get your land and they won’t even see or talk to you? We are going to change that, when we get into power. I want to thank all those people who came from up north to support us.” INdependent Reformer’s correspondent took the opportunity to ask, Mr. Maheia what the People’s National Party will do about the Toledo People’s Eco Park Plan. Wil Maheia: “We will endorse that, I have always supported it, and we will continue to support it.” Correspondent: “Mr. Bautista, Wil says his PNP Party will support the eco park, what about We the People?” Mr. Bautista: “We will support any plan that will protect the pristine environment, and we will support the eco-development of the district’s economic potential.” Mr. Andre Price, closed the meeting by saying thank you all for being here today at the dawn of a new political party, a new age, together we can work to make Belize a better place. We stand for a responsible party, that stands for all our people, not just the chosen few. Thank you all, welcome to the People’s National Party, “give change a chance, no mek dem chance you”. The PNP launch had a good turnout and was a lively event with plenty of Rice and beans, chicken, tamales, and chicken caldo. Entertainment was provided by the Punta Rebels, Paul Nabor and his group of Garifuna drummers, and the Shaka Shakers and singers followed. By: INdependent W eekly P .G . Corr espondent

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8 A RIES (Mar. 21April 20) You need to take a long, hard look at yourself and your personal situation. You need activity. It’s time to get yourself back on track. Your lucky day this week will be Thursday. T AURUS (Apr. 21May 21) Your charm will be captivating. You must consider yourself for a change. You can anger others quickly this week. Avoid overspending on items for your home. Strength will come from your ability to overtake just about any one. Your lucky day this week will be Wednesday. GEMINI (May 22-June 21) Opportunities to make advancements through good business sense are apparent. Opportunities for romance will develop through activities with large groups. Don’t let coworkers get wind of your ideas or they might try to take credit for your hard work. You could be blind to the defects of those you love. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday. CANCER (June 22-July 22) Curl up with a good book or go for a drive in the country. Try to understand both sides of the issue before taking sides. Old friends may not like your choices. Take a close look at any contracts you’ve signed in order to be sure exactly where you stand. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday. LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Someone you live with could be frustrated and upset. Get promises in writing or you will be disappointed. Your devotion will be persuasive. Take time to catch up on gossip and make plans to do a little adventure travel. Your lucky day this week will be Monday. VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23) Problems with fire, gas, or oil may cause disruptions and annoyances. Advancement can be yours if you put your efforts into work related matters. Opportunities to get ahead will be evident. Join humanitarian groups and let your leadership ability take over. Your lucky day this week will be Thursday. LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23) Now is the time to concentrate on building a strong financial future for your family. You will be extremely sentimental, and if pushed by others you may hold a lasting grudge. You may find that you are a little lucky this week. Emotional deception will cause friction on the home front. Your lucky day this week will be Friday. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22) Don’t let relatives make demands of you. Major job changes or opportunities to get ahead professionally are apparent. Someone you work with may be withholding valuable information. You will find that unfinished projects at home will be most satisfying. Your lucky day this week will be Wednesday. SAGITT ARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21) Be careful how you handle friends and relatives, they may take things the wrong way. Too much talk will T otally ly Teens lead to disputes. You will get drawn into groups that are not favorable to you. Much knowledge can be obtained through the experiences you have. Your lucky day this week will be Thursday. CAPRICORN (Dec 22.Jan. 20) You may be overreacting to a situation at hand. Your ability to charm others will put you in the limelight at social functions. Your partner could make you angry if they steal your thunder or embarrass you in front of others. Talk to those in a position of power about your intentions. Your lucky day this week will be Friday. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19) Organizations may cost you more than you can afford. Don’t let someone you work with put words in your mouth. You should focus on moneymaking matters and stay away from emotional disputes. It might be best not to spend your money on luxuries this week. Your lucky day this week will be Thursday. PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20) Put your efforts into making constructive improvements to your environment and to your state of mind. Realize that you don’t have to do everything yourself. However, you must not neglect your family. You will meet some interesting people if you at tend promotional functions. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday. Your friendship means so much to me that... When you cry... I cry. When you laugh... I laugh. When you jump out a window... I laugh some more. ******** You are just jealous that the voices talk to me and not you. ******* You say “Psycho” like its a bad thing. ********* If you could read my mind you wouldn’t be smiling. ********* “Smile... it confuses people” ********* I’ll be nicer if you give me chocolate. Sometimes, I have dreams, and in those dreams, THINGS happen to you... I do whatever the voices in my head tell me to do ******** S T U P I D = Smart Talented Unique Person In Demand ******** One bright morning... in the middle of the night, two dead boys came out to fight. They stood back to back and faced each other drew their swords and shot each other. The deaf policeman heard the noise and came to kill those two dead boys. If u don’t believe my story, it’s true. Ask the blind man, he saw it too! You’re so stupid you threw a rock at the ground and missed.

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9 Slaver Slaver Slaver Slaver Slaver y for the Children of Belize? y for the Children of Belize? y for the Children of Belize? y for the Children of Belize? y for the Children of Belize? Slavery was abolished in Britain and its colonies in 1833 by the Slavery Abolition Act. But Belize has taken a step backwards in promulgating a situation that has burdens of slavery. Such attributes that are a creation of the Fonseca – Musa duo which is locking their yoke onto the people of Belize, their children and the children’s children. The Fonseca – Musa duo’s machinations have resulted in a massive deficit that has resulted in an incredible increase in taxes. The taxes place a staggering burden on the people of Belize and the future lives of their children. The children’s position is tantamount to being shackled to a debt that they will have to labor hard and excessively to pay off. When the PUP went into office in 1998 the country’s external debt burden was $338 million dollars (see CIA World Fact book). However, presently the country is broke and indebted in the sum of over $1 Billion and growing! The increases in the tax burden is destroying Belize’s economy. The present tax structure can bring the country down. Tax increases beyond a certain level do not result in increased revenue vided an immediate tax write off for equipment purchased for less than $100,000. As a result of the Bush tax reductions, during the Presidency of Bill Clinton that followed, the economy boomed. Annually, the country received a greater revenue from taxes than it collected during the earlier period when the tax rates were higher. A country cannot borrow its self out of debt. But such a fact does not seem to bother the Fonseca Musa duo. Belize, under their auspices, have made a practice of guaranteeing debts of private persons or non-governmental entities and then having the country pay those debts. In other countries such a procedure would not exist, it would be considered illegal. Such guarantees are basically a gift of national monies to a crony or a nongovernment entity. One would wonder whether such a gift is shared and if so how? There can be no rational basis of providing $45 million to Universal Health Services. Where did such a large sum of money go? It certainly didn’t all go for the facility and its equipment. Politicians do not have a right to give the people’s money to their friends. No problem for the Fonseca Musa, to the country. To the contrary such taxes can cause the Countries revenue to decrease and the economy to fail. The economists explain the phenomena by the process commonly referred to as “Supply –Side Economics”. Supply – Side Economics is a process that has served many countries well. Briefly put, higher tax rates, beyond a point, do not result in higher revenue. The reason is increased taxes discourages investments and as a result production and supply decrease. With less output to tax, less revenue is collected. The reverse occurs when taxes are reduced because tax cuts are favorable to larger investments which result in increased production and supply that in turn bolsters the economy. This leads to more jobs and a greater revenue from taxes than were received prior to reduction of the tax rate. The effects of such tax reductions were clearly shown in the US at the end of the Ronald Regan Presidency and during the Bill Clinton Presidency. Ronald Regan brought about a reduction in tax rates that resulted boosted the economy and thereby increased the tax revenue to United States treasury. President George Bush brought about a reduction in tax rates and also procontributedthough, as the tax payer will directly or indirectly pay the debt, not the crony. The Government does not appear to want to be reimbursed from the crony for the country’s loss. There are those who believe that if the Government attempted to collect the debt it would be shown, in court, that the crony debtor did not receive all of the money, that others shared portions of the money and should have to pay their portion of the debt to the Government. Are there Government officials that should have to pay portions of the delinquent debts attributed to the cronies? The important question is, has the duo created a debt and resulting tax burden that is so great that tax relief is not possible? Currently, the tax burden is so broad that if a Belizean becomes ill he or she will have a tax added to their hospital bill. Is it cheaper to just die, or is that taxed also? It is shameful that the rich get richer, through the misuse of Government funds, while the poor get poorer and the middle class becomes smaller. It is near criminal that the poor and middle class are required to pay off the improper indebtedness that was created to make the rich richer. The expression in the ‘belly of the beast’ has been variously used to describe the continually warring conflict between various aspects of ‘self’. Take the PUP as The Beast and the present fight going on in its belly! More and more it appears to be a fight to the death not just of one or other of the warring factions but of the beast itself. There is the spectacle of Jose Coye (on Channel 5) discussing the ongoing discrepancy in the takeover of the Universal Group concerning its debt (some thirty three million dollars to the Belize Bank and an additional twelve million owed to the Development Finance Corporation). He could offer very little as far as the financial details of the transaction. Jose Coye -”Whosoever is dealing, which is the Ministry ofFinance, I would expect that — well they should be dealing with that, that’s not the health matter for us. I’m certain the D.F.C. will have their figure and I would expect that the bank would have their figure, and I would expect indeed that when they are finalising the debt with the bank that they would be able to see that figure and see how they arrive at it. I would expect that would happen.” Janelle Chanona “Who is your counterpart at the Ministry of Finance since, obviously, you are taking care of the Health aspect of it?” Jose Coye – “I don’t (know) who all are involved with the Ministry of Finance. I would expect that—I don’t know who all are engaged in that exercise. I have tried to deal with the health side of it and although I try to...” Adele Ramos, Amandala “Sir, don’t you discuss this at Cabinet?” Jose Coye “Yeah but what I’m trying to do is that I cannot be wearing the two hats at the same time and at the same time. I am taking up with the health aspects of it and at the same time I am trying ...” Adele Ramos, Amandala “So you are not in discussions?” Jose Coye “No, I have not been dealing the debt side of it. I have not.” Adele Ramos, Amandala “That’s a serious problem, sir.” Jose Coye “You’d like me to deal with both no? … but what I’m telling you there is a — there are progress. They are dealing with the debt. I cannot also deal with that.” Adele Ramos, Amandala “But you don’t know who they are?” Jose Coye “The Ministry of Finance. I don’t know exactly who it is, the Prime Minister with the F.S. and whosoever they are; I’m not really into that.” It’s a matter, not of substance, but only of how quick to make a deal! Grab and sell and grab an sell again! That’s the roar in the PUP’s belly; ‘Quick fix! Quick deal…and damned be all who have to and accept these deals and suffer the consequences.’ It is getting to the point that not only do the warring factions within the PUP have very little idea of what their other half is doing but often enough no idea at all of what they themselves are doing. Godfrey Smith Minister of Tourism is a case in point. He lauds the “success” of the tourism industry as he allows it to die; under resourced, over taxed and brutally under attack from the cruise ship industry. The disintegration within the ‘belly’ of the PUP is nowhere better illustrated than in the enormous contradictions and existing hatreds between the‘executive’ (containing the PM, Said Musa and Minister of ‘whatever’, Ralph Fonseca) and the eight ‘might have been’ rebels. This has become a disease in the belly, a poisonous substance which the PUP is unable to get rid of and which will, no doubt, lead to the beast’s agonizing death. In the Belly of the Beast In the Belly of the Beast In the Belly of the Beast In the Belly of the Beast In the Belly of the Beast By: Meb CutlackOf course, you can also look upon the expression, ‘the beast in the belly’ with a less jaundiced and more hopeful view– as expressed by the famous, and often much maligned African American writer, W.E.B. Du Bois: “..this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others. . . . [O]ne ever feels his twoness ... two souls, two thoughts, two un-reconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body….” Du Bois imagined a united front people of persons of African descent wherein exiles could use their location “in the belly of the beast” to transform the international system for the benefit of all. There is certainly not a ‘united front’ in the “belly of the beast” in Belize to reform anything. There is in fact a total inability among the PUPs to in any way transform the reign of incompetence and financial folly exercised today from the Prime Minister down! And Du Bois? He gave up and, in 1961, he became completely disillusioned with the United States. He moved to Ghana, joined the Communist Party, and a year later renounced his American Citizenship. He died in August 1963 at the age of 95.

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10 One of the things that strikes me about our parliamentary model, is that while the idea of a national assembly electing a cabinet, or a federal council by any other name, in our model of government is democratically correct. The difference is mainly in that the role of electing a PARTY LEADER destroys the very democratic principal behind the system. To make a genuine democratic government, the national assembly should by rights elect seven members to be the cabinet for one year of their five year term. This cabinet then in turn by secret ballot should elect the Prime Minister from among the seven members, for the one year term, of the five years that the party is in office. Each year the Prime Minister is changed and the position is non-repetitive and often some of the actual Cabinet members by the national assembly also. This only requires internal party elections. It does however serve to stop a repeat of abuse of authority and that of the government finances by a dictatorial party leader, over a party, which in turn rules over the nation as in our current case. The act of making the party leader automatically the Prime Minister for the whole five years is subversive and corrupt. Of course in England where this originated it was intended to be so, by the get rich quick Lords from the aristocracy who were running for office. The power of the people, taken mostly from the California model is exercised in direct initiatives and by referendums sorted out by people led, petition referendums. Referendums in our system currently are only to express political power, but the California model gives actual power to the people to disagree with political power and acts as a check and balance on totalitarian power. The whole idea is to follow the will of the people and not that of the alleged managers, which, in our current parliamentary system are dictators for five years-under the biggest dictator of all, the party leader. To pass such constitutional changes there would of necessity have to be penalties spelled out, such as automatic loss of parliamentary seat for violations. How does the population of our current state throw out the dictatorial system of our parliamentary model of rule by a party leader, who in turn uses the party as a second level set of rulers, instead of them being managers of government policy subject to people? Belizeans are wrestling with these ideas for the past twenty years. Well, the populace must organize! One way uses petitions and strikes, as is currently being done, to try and obtain the keys to the treasury revenues and power of Ministerial Discretion ( another bad thing). Multiple parties must learn to unite for common goals against the entrenched incumbents who wish to preserve the GREED aspects of the looting mentality of the current model. Greed is natural, self interest is also. So the constitution has to be changed to thwart the effects of greed and self interest and substitute laws instead. Opponents of the current parliamentary system need to study how they can and will use media relations, arbitration techniques, and so on to elect their smaller group leaders, to form cells, and committees. People who don’t learn these things will remain slaves in everything but name by their rulers. One technique of ruling dictatorially is to educate young people and make them apolitical, passive and dependent on government jobs. This makes them malleable putty in the hands of determined power mad and greedy rulers. Another technical name for this program is co-opting. To be educated then in a small society like ours, means you lose the organizational skills needed to build a genuine democracy from those party people whose prime aim is greed and self interest. The political parties themselves have their cells and secret conference systems, though they go by different names, like block captains and such. For an online version of the INdependent Reformer visit us at http:// www .belizenor th.com/ independentr eformer .htmOur Government & Changes! Our Government & Changes! Our Government & Changes! Our Government & Changes! Our Government & Changes! By: Ray Auxilou WELCOME TO EVAS RESTAURANT BAR, TOURS & ART 22 BURNS AVENUE SAN IGNACIO TOWN BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA WEBSITE: www.evasonline.com E-MAIL: evas@ btl.net ADVENTURE BELIZE ghe hâu oy f t Ç \zÇ t vio goãÇ ghe hâu oy f t Ç \zÇ t vio goãÇ ghe hâu oy f t Ç \zÇ t vio goãÇ

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11 “The Airline Of Belize” Press Release from The Penninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development The Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) for the Ara Macao development was signed by the Belize Department of Environment (DOE) and Ara Macao Development Ltd. on 3 January 2007. A copy of the ECP is available for review at http:/ /www.destinationsbelize.com/ ara_macao_ecp.htm Now that the Ara Macao developer has a signed ECP in hand, it can legally begin construction under the timetable set-out in the ECP. However, no work appears to have started. Unfortunately, whether Ara Macao Development, Ltd. does or doesn’t continue is irrelevant because the ECP does not prohibit assignment of the development rights granted by the ECP. In plain English, this means that the Ara Macao developer can sell the land AND the ECP, and some other developer can come in and do what the original Ara Macao developer received permission to do — with any such new developer certain to have LOTS of money, perhaps a cruise line or a casino, to name but two ofthe possibilities. The ECP also does not include any deadline by which work must begin. Therefore, the original developer has plenty of time to find a suitable buyer, while the land and the development approval appreciate in value meaning development could theoretically start years down the road. Because immediate concerted action is so important, a request for judicial review of the DOE approval and the DOE approval process for the Ara Macao development will be filed during March 2007, and the PCSD has retained Belize attorney Antoinette Moore to represent PCSD in the litigation. A meeting was held with Ms. Moore and Candy Gonzalez from BACONGO (Belize Association of Conservation NGOs) early this week to discuss litigation strategy and grounds for the request for judicial review. The meeting was very encouraging, and it seems that there may be issues stemming from Ara Macao that could significantly affect the approval process for developments throughout the country. Legal research is currently underway. However, legal research resources in Belize are limited and PCSD does need assistance with this legal research. Therefore, please contact PCSD if you have any Commonwealth legal contacts who might be willing to help. Nadja Chamberlain from the Sittee River area has volunteered to assist in the litigation by reviewing documentation from DOE and the Ara Macao developer in connection with the validity of the DOE approval process. PCSD currently has pledges and donations totaling a little over BZ$16,000, with an additional BZ$1,000 in donations received today. The legal fees for the Ara Macao judicial review process are estimated at BZ$25,000. However, copying, document delivery and transportation could very well cost another BZ$5,000 to BZ$10,000 given the number of possible parties to the lawsuit and the widely dispersed geographic locations of those parties. Therefore, donations are needed now more than ever, and may be made by deposit directly into the PCSD account at Atlantic Bank, or by check or wire transfer. For details of these please email Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development Placencia, Belize at info@placenciadocuments.info or call 501-610-4718 The (PCSD) is now officially a notfor-profit corporation under Belize law. A meeting will be held in the next two weeks to elect a board of directors, and notices of meeting date and time will be sent out shortly. Please email PCSD if you’re interested in being on the Board. Ara Macao Development updateAra Macao Development updateAra Macao Development updateAra Macao Development updateAra Macao Development updatePCSD needs funds and exper PCSD needs funds and exper PCSD needs funds and exper PCSD needs funds and exper PCSD needs funds and exper tise tise tise tise tise

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12 1/2 acre lots in Burrel Boom starting at $10K Call 600-1627 for details 10 acre plots in Burrel Boom starting at $50K Call 600-1627 for details Single-12 acre plot in Ladyville $120,000K Call 600-1627 for details Beware Corozal A Supreme Court ruling in Mexico has revalidated controversial gaming permits that were issued in 2005, for remote betting centers (offsite books) and numbers parlors. This means permit holders with gaming establishments already in operation will stay open, and others who may have hesitated due to legal doubts can now forge ahead. A ban on casinos could also soon be lifted. Senate Members of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) expressed their support for the installation of full-fledged casinos in Mexico. They said that the time has come for clandestine gaming activities to end, and for taxes that should exceed US$800 million annually to be paid. On February 13 the Mexican Senate sent an “excitativa” to the Chamber of Deputies a formal request urging the other chamber to move legislation that would reform the 1947 Law, and allow casinos. TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS beaches and pension checks stretch further ‘“The retirement segment is one thing, but then there is the whole overseas lifestyle segment,’’ said Avirett, who is spearheading a ‘baby boomers’ The United States is one of the few countries that has refused to sign an international convention for the abolition of child labor and forced labor. This position stems from the child labor practices of U.S. corporations throughout the Third World and within the United States itself, where children as young as 12 suffer high rates of injuries and fatalities, and are often paid less than the minimum wage.” Parenti also alleges that, “U.S. foreign aid usually works hand in hand with transnational investment. It subsidizes construction of the infrastructure needed by corporations in the Third World: ports, highways, and refineries. The aid given to Third World governments comes with strings attached. It often must be spent on U.S. products, and the recipient nation is required to give investment preferences to U.S. companies, shifting consumption away from home produced commodities and foods in favor of imported ones, creating more dependency, hunger, and debt. A good chunk of the aid money never sees the light of day, going directly into the personal coffers of sticky-fingered officials in the recipient countries.” Sound familiar Belize? viding an alternative to fossil fuels blamed for global warming, experts say. Miscanthus, a perennial grass native to subtropical and tropical regions of Africa and southern Asia, is the ideal plant for producing ethanol at a lower cost than corn, currently the most widespread source for the fuel. The grass, which is used as an ornamental plant in the United States, produces yields between five and 10 times greater than corn, experts said. Jamaica sugar losses Losses by the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) from the 2006/2007 crop are expected to be in the region of $500 million. This however is a big improvement over last year’s losses of approximately $1.2 billion. Baby boomer wave! There is evidently a growing wave of baby boomers planning to retire abroad in hot spots such as Belize, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic – where website from his home in Fort Lauderdale . ``We are creating a website for boomers going abroad whether it’s for a visit or for a lifetime.’’ By some counts, there are 75 million boomers in the United States making the slow march toward retirement. According to market research commissioned by Boomerscape, 70 percent say they would like to spend most of their time traveling. How Wealth Creates Poverty Michael Parenti writes that by displacing local populations from their lands and robbing them of their self-sufficiency, corporations create overcrowded labor markets of desperate people who are forced into shanty towns to toil for poverty wages (when they can get work), often in violation of the countries’ own minimum wage laws. “In Haiti, for instance, workers are paid 11 cents an hour by corporate giants such as Disney, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penny. At long last! Leaders from 20 countries, including China and the US, have signed a resolution that paves the way for a replacement to the Kyoto protocol, set to expire in 2012. Although the resolution is non-binding, it is being viewed as a “tipping point,” that finally sees the US and China take full responsibility for helping to combat global warming. The forum’s closing statement said man-made climate change was now “beyond doubt” bringing it in Line with the stance held in the scientific world. Meanwhile, wild grass! A wild grass found in Asia and Africa could hold the key to dreams of proThe Real Cost of Bottled Water Now a report from the USA: “San Franciscans and other Bay Area residents enjoy some of the nation’s highest quality drinking water, with pristine Sierra snowmelt from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir as the primary source. Every year, the water is tested more than 100,000 times to ensure that it meets or exceeds every standard for safe drinking water. And yet San Franciscans still buy bottled water. Why?” The report adds that in fact federal standards for tap water are higher than those for bottled water. And the report states “Clearly, the popularity of bottled water is the result of huge marketing efforts. The global consumption of bottled water reached 41 billion gallons in 2004, up 57 percent in just five years. Even in areas where tap water is clean and safe to drink, such as in San Francisco, demand for bottled water is increasing – producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy. So what is the real cost of bottled water?”

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13 13 We The People throws its hat into the ring We The People throws its hat into the ring We The People throws its hat into the ring We The People throws its hat into the ring We The People throws its hat into the ring It is time for the W.T.P, the We The People Reform Movement, to make its intentions known now that the V.I.P, the P.N.P, and the N.R.P. have declared their individual entry into the general elections. From last year, the W.T.P. announced that it is contesting the general elections. This announcement was made in the media without celebration and without glossy brochures and dinner afterwards. We want to win this election strategically, with our brain, not brawn or millions and millions of dollars. For a political party to say that it will spend $50M $100M on a general election in a small country like ours with less than 140,000 voters and 44% poverty is nothing short of vulgar. In fact, it sends the wrong message. It says to 44% of poor Belizeans that more freebies are on the way and by extension, more disrespect and more dependency than we already have. We do not wish to be a political party that buys elections. We have great respect for our Belizean people. How will we get them to grow and be agents of growth in our society if we continue to treat them like underprivileged men, women and children at Christmas parties feeding on free food, drinks, “caliente” dancers and mind-numbing music? Afterwards, we will complain like others that our society has become a society of beggars and thumbs still in their mouths. Over the six years of our existence, and having contested general elections and municipal elections, the W.T.P has learnt that more “election-stealing” than “election-winning” goes on. The Blue and the Red have large armies of organized political campaigners, millions and millions of dollars and bags and bags of political tricks which they use to steal elections. It is important that new political parties face these two parties with combined resources, especially political intelligence. Otherwise, realistically speaking and despite good intentions, we will become no more than cannon fodder for the Red and the Blue monster parties. At present, the Blues are badly wounded and desperate, especially the Prime Minister; and as we know, wounded and desperate individuals are usually at their most dangerous and unpredictable. We are already seeing the Blues at work with “no holds barred”. At present, the offices of area representatives and political officers have evolved into branches of the immigration office, obtaining nationality for aliens and registering them like crazy. Without a transparent land distribution system, and to quote Minister of Natural Resources, John Briceno, thousands of lots have been given out across the country. The fact is that as usual, they are being given away as an election gimmick, and many people with land are getting more while those with genuine need are getting none. Watch out too. Expect that blue and red notes in envelopes will be slipped under the door of undecided voters on election-day itself! The Reds themselves, consumed with the euphoria of being the next government and intent on not missing this opportunity are not too far behind with their preparations, illicit and otherwise. They are keeping their war chest replentions for the Red and the Blue. Those parties promise free this and free that, like free education, another Cancun, ten thousand (free) homes, lower power, telephone, and water bills, knowing fully well they cannot deliver, grandiose things like that. And people fall for it and vote them in, overlooking their secret schemes and dreams to become powerful Ministers and representatives, intent on securing their retirement packages. Today, the Belizean voting public, children will pay up to 2029 is one of the many children of this unchecked corruption. The purpose of the Belize Whistleblowers Protection Act proposed by the WTP is three-fold: ·First, it is to encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct by public bodies and public officers. ·Secondly, it is to provide protection for persons who make these disclosures and for persons who suffer reprisals in relation to these disclosures, and ·Thirdly, it is to provide for matters disclosed to be properly investigated and dealt with. There will be penalties of up to two years imprisonment for anyone or any institution that causes persons to suffer reprisals in relation to their disclosures. It also carries fines and imprisonment for mischievous and irresponsible disclosures. Who can make these disclosures? It is a person who believes on reasonable grounds that a public body or public officer has engaged, is engaging or proposes to engage in improper conduct as a public body or public officer. It is a person who believes on reasonable grounds that a public body or public officer has taken, is taking, or proposes to take detrimental action against the public as a public body or public officer. Who are these public bodies or public officers? Certainly the DFC, the Social Security Board, the Small Farmers Bank, the Free Zones, and any government department or agency, any government hospital, contractor or sub-contractor. Public officers include members of the House and Senate, Mayors, Councilors, members of the Police Force and persons appointed by the Governor General, the Prime Minister or another Minister. We will provide more details to the public in the form of a pamphlet we are preparing to circulate. Hipolito Bautista National WTP Party Coordinator Lucilo Teck National WTP Deputy Party Coordinator Comments? Suggestions? or want to share your thoughts Email us at Independent.newspaper. bz@gmail.comished by staying cozy with the Lord Ashcroft’s and Santiago Castillo’s companies, among others, not to mention fund raising groups in the USA. They are also meticulously registering voters on the very day they turn eighteen. They are not missing anyone. And like the Blues, their freebees flow in terms of food, paid bills, and chaperoning by political candidates. The best chance for Alternative Parties to win this general election in the best interest of the Belizean people is to form an Alliance of Alternative Parties and vie for the “balance of power” in this coming election. We will win this election through education of the voting public and through real, practical reforms. We will win this election by ensuring we have winning candidates in areas where neither the Blue nor the Red are strong. This can be determined by polls. We will win by raising as quickly as possible an army of organized and experienced campaigners to hit the streets and the homes in every neighbourhood. Persons like Derek Aikman who offer election campaign consultancy should be brought in as soon as possible to head the overall Alliance election strategy. It is to be recalled that Derek Aikman through sheer determination and dogged dedication did what was viewed as impossible, defeating serving Prime Minister George Price in his own constituency. We will win by ensuring that neither the Red nor the Blue obtain an outright majority of seats in this election. That way, they will have to include elected alternative party representatives in any new government. There are many ways to victory. What alternative parties must also understand is that presently pork barrel politics (giveaways), election trickery and lots of money is winning the elecdeceived so terribly over the past 25 years, expect substance, no more rhetoric. If Alternative Parties say they will stamp out corruption, they must not be like the Red and the Blue. They must show the Belizean voter how they will effectively do this. Moreover, there are many searching and intelligent minds in Belize today, plus an emboldened media, who are showing a propensity to fiercely defend the Belizean people from being conned by political parties that make promises they cannot deliver and who are in fact, empty drums and frauds. The sixty (60) reform ideas of the WTP to transform Belize society into a new and safe haven include an elected Senate and a Belize Whistleblowers Protection Act. The WTP has already presented its “Reformed Senate” proposal. It calls for a People -elected Senate which will supervise Cabinet and not be controlled by it, a Senate that can say no to new taxes and their “no” sticks. The Belize Whistleblowers Protection Act proposed by the WTP is designed to smother rampant corruption that has enslaved us and our country today. The US$565 million bond which we and our For a political party to say that it will spend $50M $100M on a general election in a small country like ours with less than 140,000 voters and 44% poverty is nothing short of vulgar.

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14 14 BTB hosts Tourism Summit 2007 BTB hosts Tourism Summit 2007 BTB hosts Tourism Summit 2007 BTB hosts Tourism Summit 2007 BTB hosts Tourism Summit 2007 BTB Vice Chair Teresa Parkey, James Nisbet of Fort Street Tourism Village and CTO Secretary General Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace discuss managing the cruise industry. Vanderpool-Wallace emphasized that what hurts you most are the “Things you know that just ain’t so!” Director of Archaeology Jaime Awe, Environmental leadership expert Jamie Sweeting and PACT’s Valdemar Andrade discussed “Green & Gold” how to reap the profits from tourism while preserving the environment and Belize’s cultural heritage.Bird’s the Word! That was the theme of the day for 21 pre-school children from La Democracia Government school. The children had been studying their birds and were well aware that the birds of Belize ARE special! The Belize Zoo continues to work with schools and communities throughout Belize to draw attention to our “feathered Belizeans”. In early February, BIRD DAY was celebrated at the zoo and the children made visits to view their national bird, the Keel Billed toucan, and a list of other feathered friends including the Scarlet sult of the high cost of and often unavailability of books. Such high cost and unavailability are the result of the failure of the countries schools to standardized the text books utilized in the First through Fourth Forms. Such failure to standardize, in addition to driving up the cost of books has placed an additional unnecessary burden on the parents. Many of the mothers have to travel great distances to Belize City in an attempt to purchase the required books for their children. They often have to go to at least 3 book stores to obtain the books. Frequently, the required books are not available at any price. The mother’s child is therefore prohibited from attending the class that required the unavailable book. If he put his mind to it, the Hon. Francis Fonseca could assist the Reverend Canon Flowers, President of Belize’s Council of Churches, in Reverend Cannon Flowers’ efforts to have the school text books standardized. Such standardization would reduce the cost of books to where thousands of Belizean children, who could not otherwise attend, would be able to attend the first, through fourth forms. (Continued From Page 2)Congratulations to the Minister of EducationIt is time for both the Churches and the Government to show greater respect for the poor and give them the assistance that they are entitled to. Such standardization would not cost the Government or the schools one penny. It would reduce the cost of books to where thousands of the Countries children, from less fortunate families, could afford to attend the first through fourth forms. There is no logical reason why the text books should not be standardized. The greed of the unscrupulous few who profit from the present situation is not a reason to prevent children of Belize from acquiring their right to a basic education that includes the first through fourth forms. There is certainly no reason why the other Church officials should not join in and assist the Reverend Cannon Flowers in his attempt to have of school books standardized. Their failure to do so will continue to prevent thousands of disadvantage children from receiving a secondary education and be contrary to the teachings of Christianity and all other religions. Signed, Belize’s largest school book purchaser for the less fortunate Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor own. Literally. For every “alien” willing to come to Belize to vote, there must be a Belizean abroad who would do it too. There are thousands who left within the last ten years and are still on the voting lists, or who maintain enough ties, help to maintain residences here that they are (or should be) eligible to vote. Add them to the hundreds of university students away studying and growing number of retirees/returnees coming home to retire and we could muster enough reinforcements to outnumber the fraudulent voters. Most importantly, these Belizeans are people who have Belize’s best interest at heart. People who are literate, mobile, and paying keen attention to recent economic and political developments. Hard working men and women who are providing tens of millions of hard currency dollars in aid to their families back home through remittances, making donations of supplies to schools and hospitals and helping Belizeans who emigrate get situated, get jobs and feel welcome in the Belizean communities abroad. We must encourage these Belizeans to register, and to pull other relatives home to do the same. We must, at his juncture, get over any bitterness over those who “left” while we stayed, the brain drain and all the rest of it and band together in a common cause: saving this country from further “ruination”. We must put aside any sibling rivalries and put our Family –as extended as it is, as far flung as it is—first. Granted it is an expensive proposition. But how much of their election campaign funds will the parties devote to importing the imposters? To stuffing the ballot box? Surely once the election date is set, those Belizeans who do come home on vacation would consider timing their visit to coincide with going to the polls…. We could even ask hotels to offer them special packages in conjunction with an airline or two. Don’t you think? Show them we need them more than ever at this time. It is not impossible; it is infinitely doable given the time frame before us. The longer the Prime Minister takes to call elections, the more time Belizeans abroad have to prepare and plan. And if a political party should offer to fly them home…all the better, as long as they remember their vote is sacred, and secret and they owe it to no one. We must pay attention to the growing number of reports and allegations of illegal registration. But we must do more than just be outraged and upset this time. We must turn the tables on those who would try to use our apathy against us and sneak in people who have no right to be here. We can fight both our apathy, and their subterfuge, by bringing in our own people. People who have every RIGHT to be here. Still. Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans Calling all Belizeans (Continued From Page 4) Bird Day at the Belize Zoo!!! Bird Day at the Belize Zoo!!! Bird Day at the Belize Zoo!!! Bird Day at the Belize Zoo!!! Bird Day at the Belize Zoo!!! Macaw, King Vulture, Jabiru Stork and of course, Panama the Harpy Eagle. Zoo Director Sharon Matola brought out Alvin, the Roadside Hawk, and the children got “up close and personal” to this happy raptor, learning about the natural history of the Roadside Hawk here in Belize. After a lunch of “bird sandwiches” (chicken salad), the children sang a conservation song, “Bird’s the Word” and YES!!!!! It was Fun, Educational, and Ultra Cool!!! The Belize Zoo: Keeping true to its reputation of being The Best Little Zoo in the World!!!!Zoo Director Sharon Matola introduces the children to Alvin, the Roadside Hawk.

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15 15 Guatemala strikes gold at 1st Central American Guatemala strikes gold at 1st Central American Guatemala strikes gold at 1st Central American Guatemala strikes gold at 1st Central American Guatemala strikes gold at 1st Central American Cross Countr Cross Countr Cross Countr Cross Countr Cross Countr y Track & Field Championships y Track & Field Championships y Track & Field Championships y Track & Field Championships y Track & Field Championships The quiet bedroom community of LordÂ’s Bank was a beehive of activity Saturday morning, Febraury 23 as some 80 athletes from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Salvador and Nicaragua converged for the first ever Regional Cross Country track and field competition. The Central American Isthmus Athletic Confederation (CADICA) awarded the Belize Amateur Athletic Association the privilege to be the first to host of this historical event. A 2 kilometre course was mapped out over pristine terrain within the LordÂ’s Bank area. The Guatemalans, accustomed to training in the mountains, had a decided advantage with more oxygen in their system when they came down to the flat terrain at sea level. They swept five of the six gold medals, including both the Female 8,000 metre Open and the Male 12,000 meter Open. They also won golds in the Junior A Female 6,000 meters, Male 8,000 meters and Junior B Male 6,000 meters as well as four silver and 3 bronze medals. The El Salvador contingent won one gold and a bronze in the Junior B female 4,000 meter and two silvers. The Costa Ricans won one silver in the male open. Team Belize won no medals but might easily have won the award for Good Sportsmanship, if there were one. Part of the reason for the lack of Belize success in this event is the fact that the Belize Amateur Athletic Association has no long distance development programme for our athletes; they tend to focus on developing athletes for the sprints and shorter distances.The girls from El Salvador won one gold and a bronze in the Junior B female 4,000 meter. The Guatemalans took 5 of the 6 gold medals, including both the Female 8,000 meter Open and the Male 12,000 meter Open, the Junior A: Female 6,000 meter, Male 8,000 meter and Junior B Male 6,000 meter, 4 silvers and 3 bronze medals. BNE Canoe wins Boom to Cit BNE Canoe wins Boom to Cit BNE Canoe wins Boom to Cit BNE Canoe wins Boom to Cit BNE Canoe wins Boom to Cit y race y race y race y race y raceB The Belize Natural Energy canoe, paddled by Elmer, Efrain and Felix Cruz (formerly the Pine Lumber team) finally triumphed against their arch -rivals, the Belize Bank team Armin Lopez, Amado Cruz and Daniel Cruz in the Boom to Belize City canoe race on Sunday, February 25. The Belize Canoe Association (BCAnoe) organized the race as a sort of dress rehearsal for the annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge race, coming up for the March 9 weekend. Some 20 canoes had begun the race in Burrell Boom and when the first canoes came in sight at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City, the Belize Bank team was leading with the BNE canoe digging paddles in the sprint to the finish. By the time they reached the bridge, the BNE canoe had overhauled, the Belize Bank team to finish in 2:51:15, one second ahead of the Belize Bank team.The BNE canoe (right) overhauls the Belize Bank team. The BNE team receives their $800 prize and trophy from Elvin Penner of BCAnoe.

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Friday, March 2, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 16 16 made its people among the poorest in the world. He said he “almost cried” on a recent trip to Chetumal when he saw all the new stores, highway expansions and standard of living of the people compared to Belize which he termed a “disgrace.” He said he had to “drive over piles of garbage to enter Belize City, that to me is a sign our leaders have lost hope.” Dueck dismisses the current opposition UDP saying they have “nothing to offer” and that while the PUP newspaper’s motto is “The truth shall set you free, the lies being told to the Belizean people have done just the opposite of setting them free.” Dueck challenged the independence of Belize’s judiciary, “You just have to see the person charged last name to know the verdict… This diplomat that came from Panama, we know already the outcome for him.. That no justice will be served as long as this government is control.” The NRP platform is decidedly pro-family and a stable home life is a requirement for candidacy. The party leader introduced his wife and children and Bejerano undescored the party’s position on the open display of sweetheart relationships by members of the government, “We believe a healthy family structure is the foundation for a strong nation. We believe in the principle of a leader being faithful to ONE partner…if a leader cannot lead or rule his house well it will be difficult for him to lead a nation.” In terms of foreign policy direction for Belize, Dueck was unequivocal: “I don’t think we should look to Chavez for help. I don’t think he has the solution for Belize. I don’t think Cuba has the solution for Belize. I don’t think China has the solution for Belize, but the United States has the solution we need.” The Israeli flag was displayed prominently at the launch and when asked by a member of the press why, Dueck said, “The Bible says anyone who blesses Israel shall be blessed and anyone who curses it shall be cursed.” But the party is not connected in any way to the State of Israel. Dueck claims numerous regional governments and friends in Washington want to see Belize become a “praise” for God. Dueck urged anyone so frustrated with the current situation who may be contemplating leaving the country “to hang on” a while longer and have courage because “ a change is coming to Belize.” He was reluctant to name his backers before consulting with them. But he did say he has significant backing from Belizean businessmen....leading many to speculate about just who these big “investors” are. Who else has a private plane to fly him to Panana? The Lord? Susy & Sally? Are they providing, and will they continue to provide come election time? The people want to know not just who will be funding NRP’s campaign but all the other parties’ campaigns. (Continued From Page 1) Moralit Moralit Moralit Moralit Moralit y y y y y vs money vs money vs money vs money vs money