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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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i'C


GOB H
By: Des Parrette ant, chain
Andrew Cho of the Department of lutely w
Geology of the Ministry of Natural Re- royalty
sources called a special meeting at cheating
Spanish Lookout to inform the Men- ties wou
nonites about the oil royalties they have tion. La
never received. In addition to Andrew the owner
Cho, GOB was represented by Pedro is drilled
Cho, Trinidad Petroleum Engineer age and
Gardiner, and two other members. Gil- that this
bert Canton represented Belize Natu- should b
ral Energy (BNE), and Spanish Look- that indiv
out was represented by Community in the U
leaders Henry Dueck, Abe Thiessen, could d(
Allan Reimer, Issac Dueck and Jim not hav
Cavanaugh. Cavanau
According to accounts the presenta- had indiv
tion turned into a brawl with Jim set a CA
Cavanaugh, the Mennonite Oil Consult- was sup

Independents
know it.
everyone
what's h


0g u
rging that the GOB was abso-
rong in their interpretation of
distribution and that GOB was
; all landowners whose proper-
ild be involved in oil produc-
andowner royalties are paid to
er of the land upon which a well
to compensate him for the dam-
disruption. Cavanaugh stated
standard international practice
be followed, but Cho claimed
vidual royalty rights only existed
JSA and Canada, thus Belize
o what they wanted to and did
ve to follow their example.
igh countered that Trinidad also
vidual mineral ownership, which
RICOM standard that Belize
posed to follow.

contest
I see people every day, talk to
e. I can be more vigilant about
happening "


p Rey
The dispute deepened when Cho
stated that the already pitifully small roy-
alty that landowners were to receive
would be reduced by a further 29% for
the Mennonites because "currently
available technology" suggested that
maybe the reservoir extended further to
the north from the established Spanish
Lookout production area, along a nar-
row structure about 300 yards wide,
which they called the San Marcos ex-
tension. According to Cho all of the
land over the total suspected reservoir
should therefore be unitized; that is all
the lands should be added together and
considered as one parcel with each in-
dividual owner receiving a share of the
royalty revenues depending on their
proportionate share ofthe unit. Because

t Ladyvilll
Her son, Hosni, is also a part of the
independent team. The two Turtons are
joined by taxi driver Fernando Leal,


cities
GOB had determined that the reservoir
may extend farther north beyond the
Mennonite property, then those land-
owners should receive a proportionate
share. Cavanaugh argued that unitiza-
tion was never done when all of the pro-
duction involved only one property
owner, and it was ridiculous and unrea-
sonable to pay royalties to landowners
who had no producing wells on their
property or where no proven oil pro-
duction occurred, simply on the suspi-
cion that oil may occur in the future.
Cavanaugh pointed out that "currently
available technology" simply identifies
where a subsurface structure could ex-
tend which may possibly have oil. The
only way to determine if oil is present is
(Please Turn To Page 3) E ,

e Council
Martin Jimenez of Delmart Hardware,
Odessa Gibson, Carolee Hecker and
(Please Turn To Page 15) E '


Chairlady candidate Sharon Turton
Saying they are neither UDP, nor
PUP, a full slate of independent candi-
dates is once more challenging the
Ladyville village council elections.
The team is lead by the candidate for
Chairlady, Sharon Turton, who has
lived in Ladyville for 32 years. She
owns her own catering business and is
well known in the village.
She told Independent Weekly she
was initially approached by the UDP
who wanted her to run as a member of
their slate, but she declined, telling them,
"I will not run under any umbrella. Un-
der any color." In her view "The village
should be run by residents not political
parties. By people who live here and


Salls


at


Bliss Regatta


Sea Scouts' dinghies 'Sea Gull' & 'Gannet' tack into the wind in the race for 14' sailing dinghies at 80th Annual Baron Bliss
Harbour Regatta, honouring Belize's greatest benefactor.


I








Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2 -


Editorial Director


Meb Cullack





Editor


Karla Heusner Vernon





General Manager


Trevor Vernon





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William G. Ysaguirrre


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P 0. Box 2666


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For an online version of the

INdependent Reformer

visit us at
httn://v,,N.belizenorth.com/
independentreformer.htm
OR
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W YES!


PUP vs UDP
Dear Editor:
The PUP leadership is trying to use
numerous tricks to suggest that the lead-
ership of both [mass] parties is the
same... the inference being that they are
both evil and detrimental to the interest
of Belize and Belizeans. I have heard
their minions repeat this nonsense but I
am surprised when other seeming right-
thinking Belizeans take the bait hook,
line and sinker.
The leadership of the UDP is diametri-
cally different in my view and if I can
walk through just a few examples to
expound my point, please permit me.
I won't have time to address every
"nitti-gritty" but maybe I can discuss the
larger ones in my view.
The national debt was managed by
both the UDP and the PUP, during their
respective terms in office. Today the
single largest negative influence for
growth and development in Belize is the
3 billion dollar debt, recently refi-
nanced at tremendous new costs. On
page 3 of the 1998 PUP "Set Belize
Free Manifesto" the present prime min-
ister of Belize argued that Belize needed
to be set free from a staggering" $385
million debt. The inference here is
someone carry a load they can barely
handle and there struggling and stagger-
ing withit. That was $385 million. The
only thing the PUP government grew
was the debt... by $2.5 BILLION.
Given the opportunity he, Said Musa,
unconscientiously in 8 short years drove
the debt to now close to $3,000 million
and lies repeatedly about it. The differ-
ence is that the UDP never lied about
the figures; and secondly, restricted
Belize's debt burden even if it meant
modest 5% growth in GDP and re-
stricted government spending.
Government Spending has been the


biggest impetus for the increase in debt.
The UDP offered realistic budgets that
all the numbers were verifiable and cor-
rect and maintained government spend-
ing primarily by getting value for money.
The PUP used government spending
primarily to quench the insatiable thirst
for money of their persons, friends and
cronies. Government spending then fu-
eled the now intransigent and deep
rooted corruption within the PUP and
has been the hallmark of the Musa ad-
ministration.
DFC under the UDP was a vehicle
for soft loans to private sector business,
students, and housing and agriculture
activities. DFC under the PUP hemor-
rhages under the corruption, nepotism,
insider trading and wastage that we all
knew and that the present commission
of inquiry is confirming.
Secondly, BTL under the UDP was
designed and strictly managed with
Belizean ownership and control. Under
the PUP it has literally gone to the dogs
with admitted "parallel market" foreign
currency activities.
There is a chasm of difference be-
tween the UDP and PUP leadership.
The UDP has demonstrated sober
stewardship of our finances and, by
comparison, is infinitely more qualified
to run this country than the PUP.

signed, Robert Tillett

God Bless the USA
& Belize
Dear Editor:
As a constant reader of the Belize
news online, I am able to keep abreast
of the news and activities within this new
dynamic emerging nation where I was
born many decades ago (precise num-
ber is not relevant).
One of the issues that have always


independendent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com
P.O. Box 2(666
Bcli/ Cit., 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


bothered me, is this incessant attack on
the USA, especially white America.
Before I continue, I must say I am a
dual citizen who loves Belize dearly, but
have also come to love my adopted
country in spite of its many flaws be-
cause I have also seen what is good
about America. And believe me, there
is much that is good about America. I
may be accused of complicity here since
I married one of those white Americans,
and became father to four wonderful
caring citizens not only of the USA (and
one of them of Belize), but of the world.
Much may be wrong with white
America (as I suppose with many other
countries be they white or non-white),
but there are many within that group that
constantly fight and struggle, and yes,
are even killed, to bring about equitable
change. No other country in the world
with this type of vast diversity has
handled its diversity as well as America
because of its strong laws and its strong
press and media. America still remains
a country of first choice for the maj ority
of the world's citizens who wish to emi-
grate, or even just those who wish to
be educated. Without its dynamic
economy (not always equitable) its
Latin American contingency (Belize in-
cluded) would not be able to send over
$3 0 billion to its families in their home-
lands.
Please do not misunderstand me. I
am not advocating that we excuse what
is wrong with America in general- and
white America in particular. God knows
racism is hard to eradicate, and is not
the exclusive domain of white Ameri-
cans. Progress in this area may never
be complete, but hopefully, we are go-
ing in the right direction. Those white
Americans that travel in that direction
(and there are many) deserve better than

(Please Turn To Page 15) *E


OVA


E-1 Lill lll E-1


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







Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3



By Any Means Necessary


By: Trevor Vernon
The nation was treated last Friday to
insights into the mind ofthe Right Honor-
able Ralph Fonseca. The man is a master
at redefining standard concepts, especially
generally accepted accounting principles.
The Inter-American Democratic Charter
never figured they' d have to deal with thi s
super minister's mindset. Did they?
In this man's world, the IMF is the en-
emy, not the greedy usurping government
structures he created. He has to outsmart

Slick Oil
--. (Continued From Page 1)
to drill and establish commercial produc-
tion. He reminded the GOB representa-
tives present that royalties are paid only
on the oil that is produced, not on oil that
is "suspected", and until such time as it
was proven that a suspected area con-
tained commercial oil, there was abso-
lutely no basis forunitizing. Allan Reimer
demonstrated with diagrams that 98% of
the total production from the suspected
field would still be produced from the
Mennonite lands, even if the suspected
area is found to have oil sometime in the
future.
Cavanaugh further argued that a well,
referred to locally asthe "Musa Well," had
already been drilled in the suspected ex-
tension of the field, and it had been a dry
hole. Trinidad Engineer Gardner said that
he believed there was a fault that sepa-
rated the dry well from the suspected field
extension, and that the Musa Well was
drilled on the wrong side of the fault.
Cavanaugh charged that it was obvious
GOB had already made the decision to
screw the landowners and the Menno-
nites were dealing with a closed mind.
The "Musa Well" is troublesome. Was
a Musa or The Musa involved here? A
BNE worker was asked, "Was there any
oilintheMusaWell?"
"Some, I guess, but not enough to make
a well so they shut it in."
"Why do they call it the Musa Well?"
The worker hesitated a minute. "Ahhh,
I dunno nothing about nothing, Mon. For-
get we talked. All I know is a cousin in
the Lands Department said that as soon
as BNE found oil, all the politico big shots
were in the land office grabbing up any
government land around Spanish Look-
out they could get."
Couldn't get any more information, so
contacted Jim Cavanaugh, who said the
whole deal was so outrageous he didn't
even want to discuss it. Cavanaugh


and outmaneuverthem with his "measured
deviations from orthodoxy" .. .to protect
the people, he says. Brilliant concept: out-
smarting the draconian "cookie cutter"'
solutions the IMF dictates. Its not that the
Minister and his people set out to do any-
thing underhanded; in their minds they had
to save the people ofBelize from the pain-
ful standardized remedies of this Bretton-
Woods organization.
What can be nobler? The only prob-
lem is, in "rescuing" us, is he subjectingus
to explosive consumption taxes that
cripple the ordinary people of this coun-
try who do not qualify for GST exemp-
tions, GST refunds, duty free fuels and
tax-free containers from Panama.
What could be worse than 10% GST?
Perhaps only the 100% RRD on gaso-
line. I mean really, last week I had to pay
10% GST on a doctor visit. I told him I


don't need a receipt but he insisted. Why
do I need more paper?
The "Save Belize (from the IMF)" tax
regime that has been unleashed on
Belizeansisthe coldesthomegrown policy
of them all. It's worse than the generally
accepted rampant official corruption. It's
nowwhollyacceptabletodisabusethiscoun-
try of its finances, but it sure as hell ain't ac-
ceptable to do so atthe expense ofthepeople
who electedyou... with massive, massive
consumption taxes. You can get rich quick
and load up those offshore accounts (by
whatever means necessary); but, you had
better cut the people some slack and fast.
The natives are beyond restless.
TheMinister says he has an electoralman-
date from the people. Yes, but he has twisted
ittobecome some supreme power, a divine
right (handed down by Price) to accomplish
everything his party promised, by whatever


Deals: GOB hog up


brought up another troubling question
though. Cho reported that the govern-
ment had received $BZ 2.6 million in roy-
alty payments, the landowner gets only 5%
of the GOB 7.5% share. Of course now
itis only 71% ofthe 5% ofthe 7.5%. But
BNE had earlier reported selling 811,000
barrels for 2006. Considering the aver-
age price of crude oil was around $BZ
120, and the total oil income reported in
the media was some $BZ 97 million, the
GOB royalty of 7.5% should total some
$BZ 8.7 million. What happened to the
other 5.9 millions dollars and the landown-
ers share of it? That means 70% of what
is due the landowner is missing!
To put this into perspective, suppose a
well is drilled on your farm and it pro-
duces 100 barrels of oil a day. The total
revenues will be $BZ 12,000 a day. Here
is how the money is distributed:
GOB 7.5% Royalty $ 900.00
GOB 1.5% Production Sharing
$ 180.00
GOB 40% tax $4800.00-
GOB 10% ownership in BNE
$1200.00
GOB TOTAL $7080.00
BNE $4920.00
Landowner: 5% due $45.00
70% disappearance $31.50
Balance $13.50
ield expansion 29% $ 3.92
Total left for landownern $9.58
This means that GOB would be raking
in over BZ$ 2.5 million a year and the
landowner won't get enough to buy din-
ner each day!
AndtheMusaWell? Cavanaugh said
he didn't know anything about the land
deals, and all he knows is that well made
no sense at all.
"Considerthat you have five good wells
in the Spanish Lookout field capable of
producing a thousand barrels a day each.
It costs about a million Belize dollars to
drill a well, so why would you step out a


mile away from the field where you know
you are going to get another good well,
and drill a high risk wildcat? The specu-
lation is it had to be a political well be-
cause itjust didn't make good economic
sense. I guess it makes sense if the politi-


means necessary. People are afraidto speak
out against this man when he admittedly
screwed up and did so royally. Why? Is it
because he controls the security forces with
an iron fist or because he has a perverse
sense of power, or both?
Whatever his mindset, he is certainly a
masterpredatorwhoinstillsthefearofGod
into the hearts of many. Is that what we
elected him andhispartytodotous? While
hidingbehindhis"swomto secrecy" cabi-
net oath of Said? (Notice he doesn't have
amnesia)
We can no longer afford to keep these
people in office. They areruiningthis won-
derful country they had nothing to do with
building. His testimony atthe DFC inquiry
was revealing. Not necessarily in what he
toldthe commission, butwhathe showed of
himselfto the rest of us... and I am sure he
knows otherpeople were listening keenly.

royalties

cians gobbled up the San Marcos land;
because even if it doesn't have oil, some-
one is now going to get a big cut of the
royalties that should go to the Menno-
nites. That's why Ithink this horrendous
greed is so outrageous."


-~-


VISTA DANCE STUDIO

Director: SISTIE FAIRWEATHER -HARMES
10th annual

DANCE RECITAL

to be held at the

BLISS Performing Arts

6;00 p.m. on Sunday April 1, 2007

TICKETS; Adults $20 Child $15

Phone: 225-3064 or available at door







Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 |


w


(


.e


C


; .-/-
'.. ...,,. . '.
By: Karla Heusner Vernon
Like all parents of children in Stan-
dard 6, my life has been consumed by
preparations for the Primary School
Examination. Now, just days away
from the first portion, it might not hap-
pen. At least, the teachers may boycott
the sitting and the grading.
But I am not upset, or disappointed.
Not in the teachers.
The educators of this country were
humiliated by their own Ministry ofEdu-
cation a couple of weeks ago. The Min-
istry went public with dismal results for
teachers who sat the exam themselves.
Some 70% did not pass.


It is a dismal performance. No doubt
about it. It is cause for serious review
of both the teacher's skills and knowl-
edge levels, the examination, and con-
ditions under which it was given.
But I would hazard a guess that after
similarly pathetic results from Belizean
children several years running, that if our
teachers had their way, they would re-
teach the material or revise the test, or
both. All seasoned teachers know the
normal examination curve puts the ma-

Angry, hurt, betrayed
teachers are the last
needs right now...

j ority of the students in the middle range,
not the bottom.
Only hard headed people keep giv-
ing a test the majority of otherwise in-
telligent people fail. Or people who
have something to gain from its admin-
istration, printing and distribution.
One cannot help but wonder why this
test, which was devised supposedly to


replace an equally poor BNSE, is still
being given. And why were these re-
sults released now, when they have been
available since December? Just what
was the Ministry trying to accomplish
in the middle of union unrest over BTL
firings, and calls for strike action by all
the trade unions, including the most ac-
tive arm at all, the Belize National
Teacher's Union?
Angry, hurt, betrayed and insulted
teachers are the last thing the govern-

ed and insulted
thing the government


ment needs right now... So who
dropped the ball? Was it a mistake to
go public? Or, a calculated move to
deflect blame for what may yet another
expected poor performance on the PSE
by yet another crop of Belizean chil-
dren?
Speaking of the children, did anyone
in the Ministry consider THEIR reac-


tion? Some five thousand are even now
preparing to sit the PSE at the end of
this month. They have spent months in
evening classes, Saturday classes and
many schools will pull them in from Eas-
ter vacation early to get ready for Part
II.
Does the Ministry care about their
sacrifice or the fact that now many Stan-
dard VI-ers, are wondering if it matters
how they do on the PSE since the
grownups they know can't pass it any-
way? May have lost their motivation?
What was the ministry thinking? Or
were they not thinking at all? Surely they
could have waited a few more weeks
until the exam was over...
My own daughter has been told by
every adult she knows that her perfor-
mance on the PSE is critical, not only
to her admission to the high school of
her choice, but possibly her future per-
formance in high school and beyond.
Her entire family- and a lot of con-
cerned, loving friends- are urging her
to study hard, learn her formulas, prac-
(Please Turn To Page 14) *


"Soooooooo distracted by a few teeeeeeny pieces of paper? How come he did not get
distracted by the many biiiiiiiiiiig pieces of paper he gave out to his cronies?"








Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5



An Evil Eye Opens Up Again


By Mirien Gutierrez
Operation Malocchio ('evil eye') as
it was called, was "one of the biggest"
anti-money laundering operations ever
launched in Italy, says former prosecu-
tor Giovanni Salvi who was in charge
of the investigation together with his
colleague Pietro Saviotti and investigat-
ingjudge OtelloLupacchini. Investiga-
tion began in 1996 into hundreds of
millions of dollars in proceeds from the
smuggling of 900kg cocaine out of Latin
America By 1997 the network was
set to 'import' 5,000 kg of cocaine
and buy a bank in Belize accord-
ing to a report by Espresso maga-
zine in Italy.
Operation Malocchio was launched
after Italian authorities carried out "an
information exchange with the U.S.
FBI," said a report issued in 2001 by
the anti-mafia investigative unit (DIA)
of the Italian ministry of interior. The aim
was "dismantling a complex crime group
involved in the trafficking of significant
consignments of cocaine coming from
South America, as well as in money
laundering and in the re-investment of
huge capital through international finan-
cial channels."
The probe led to several arrests in
1998. In 2001, 15 people were con-
victed for laundering money from
narco-trafficking, including kingpin
Fausto Pellegrinetti. But he escaped and
is still a fugitive. Appeals against the sen-
tence were rejected. Accomplices in
Panama, and also in Brazil and
Belize (a tiny Central American na-
tion with a population of 273,000
bordering Guatemala and Mexico)
had a prominent role in the money
laundering and re-investment
scheme, according to documents
seized by the Italian police.
In October 1997 Italian authorities
asked Interpol in Panama for informa-
tion that could link three suspect tele-
phone numbers with well-known Pana-
manian politician Alfredo Oranges.
Oranges was then a serious contender
for presidential candidacy in the 1998
elections from the Revolutionary Demo-
cratic Party (PRD). Interpol Panama
confirmed that the numbers belonged to
Oranges.
The Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) in
Panama then discovered that money
from outside the country was being
transferred regularly to and from the
local bank accounts of the company
Clark's Investment Corp. Oranges
was authorised to sign documents on
behalf of Clark' s Investment, the UAF
said. This corporation "has served as
bridge for a series of banking transfers
that cross several countries without an
apparent motive or commercial activity
justifying them," said the UAF. Some
of the transfers were higher than a mil-
lion dollars.
Edwin Arias Castillo, a Clark's Invest-


ment executive and Oranges' associ-
ate, was also treasurer in another cor-
poration France Mistral, S.A., where
Lillo Rosario Lauricella kingpin
Pellegrinetti's right hand in Latin
America was vice-president, the
UAF noted. "Vast amounts of money
from outside were deposited through
Panamanian corporations in local bank
accounts, where they would stay for a
couple of days and later were trans-
ferred to a bank in another country,"
Jorge Mottley, former head of Interpol
Panama told IPS in a telephone inter-
view. Mottley had joined investigation
of the Panamanian ramifications of the
case.
The Italian investigation was revealed
at a press conference in 1998 by Presi-
dent Ernesto Perez Balladares, Or-
anges rival in the PRD. As Oranges
protested in Panama, in Rome judge
Lupacchini ordered the preventive ar-
rest of 58 people including Oranges as
alleged members of a criminal network
engaged in narco-trafficking and money
laundering. Italian authorities said in the
arrest warrant that the criminal network
had deposited 250 million dollars in
Panama.
Then Panamanian attorney-general
Jose Antonio Sossa sent special anti-
drugs prosecutor Rosendo Miranda to
Italy in October 1998. Miranda dis-
patched a facsimile from Rome stating
that the Italian authorities had evidence
linking the money in transit through
Panama with the narco trafficking op-
eration, says Mottley. Several docu-
ments seized by the Italian authorities
indicated that Lauricella had contributed
to Oranges presidential campaign.
Oranges later admitted this.
Mottley says Miranda took back a
request from Italian authorities to freeze
the funds linked to Oranges and to in-
terview him in the presence of a repre-
sentative of the Italian prosecutor.
"Nothing of the sort happened," he
adds. Inexplicably, attorney-general
Sossa concluded there was no evidence
against Oranges.
In 1999 Panamanian daily La Prensa
published an interview with Oranges in
which he admitted that he had been
meeting for years with Lauricella, who
he said was interested in the casino
business. Oranges said he did not know
Lauricella's background, and could not
possibly have investigated all his asso-
ciates. According to Panamanian migra-
tion authorities, Lauricella seems to have
lived in Panama from July 1996 to Feb-
ruary 1998. Lauricella declared himself
a "gardener" living in the not exactly
cheap Hotel El Panama.
Meanwhile in Rome the order to ar-
rest Oranges was cancelled. "As the
person who put together the case, I am
sure there was enough evidence (to in-
vestigate Oranges )...more than
enough," says Salvi now. "As a matter


of fact we asked the judge for a war-
rant, and it was granted by the investi-
gative judge (Lupacchini). But the
Tribunale del Riesame (court of re-ex-
amination) decided differently." That
was due to what court officials called a
"technicality".
Marco Lillo, a journalist from
Espresso who has written about the
case says the Italian authorities were only
interested in the Italian suspects. "And
as you can imagine, the reactions (from
other countries to the requests sent by
the Italian authorities) were not very
enthusiastic."
Before matters reached the court of
appeal in Italy, investigation progressed
with the help of information provided
by Lauricella, who became a "cooper-
ating witness". Operation Malocchio
now revealed that the proceeds from
narco trafficking were invested in sev-
eral businesses, from the import of ex-
otic fruits from Santo Domingo (in the
Dominican Republic in the Caribbean)
to the installation of thousands of slot
machines in Brazil.
In 2000, Lauricella- the cooperat-
ing witness who had been the link be-
tween the gang and its Latin American
ventures and on whose statements the
investigation was based was con-


victed but vanished, says LucaArmeni,
deputy chief of the DIA. "When you
have a trial as difficult as this money laun-
dering case, you need two things: good
documents and good cooperating wit-
nesses," says Salvi. Lauricella, he said,
"revealed himself not to be a good wit-
ness when he disappeared."
Lauricella went into hiding under a
false identity, and in 2002 was shot
dead outside a casino in Caracas It
was difficult to identify his body because
of the multiple facial surgeries he had
undergone, according to a report in
Espresso in November last year. The
local fallout of the case was not investi-
gated either in Panama or in Belize, but
in Brazil the case led to an investigation
that is still continuing.
The Italian DIA sent the Brazilian au-
thorities information provided by
Lauricella. Some of this information was
made public last month by the Instituto
Brasileiro Giovanni Falcone (IBGF) set
up to fight organised crime (it takes its
name from magistrate Giovanni Falcone
assassinated by the mafia in 1992.) "The
introduction in Sao Paulo and Rio de
Janeiro of slot machines served as a tool
to launder money produced by interna-
tional narco-trafficking," the IBGF said.
(Please Turn To Page 7) M


UNITED NATIONS


The operations of the United Nations agencies resident in
Belize (PAHO/WHO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF, which are
all organized in the United Nations Country Team) are guided
by the Belize United Nations Development Assistance Frame-
work 2007 2011 (http://www.undg.org/content.cfm?id=331)
and cover the following thematic areas: Human Rights and Mil-
lennium Development Goals, Governance & Decentralization,
Education, Child Protection, Health Systems & Services, Sexual
& Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS, Adolescent Mobiliza-
tion and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable
Natural Resources Management, Social Communication and
Results-oriented Monitoring and Evaluation.
The UNCT wishes to establish a joint database for a more
efficient and harmonized process of recruiting national con-
sultants for the agencies' programmes and projects in the above-
mentioned thematic areas. The UNCT therefore is now inviting
experienced and skilled national consultants, individuals as well
as legally established firms, to submit the necessary informa-
tion to be included in this database. Consultant firms are re-
quested to submit the profile of each individual member of
staff. The provided information should contain the following
information fields: a) an up-to-date CV containing name, mail-
ing address, telephone & email, legal status, education qualifi-
cations and relevant work experience; b) thematic areas) of
expertise, and; c) a listing of consultancy services & products,
delivered over the past 4 years.
Information should be forwarded electronically to UNDP
Belize at undp.bze(btl.net







Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 |


CS


By: Meb Cutlack
No, this is not about caring families
but about greedy families who snatch
public land for themselves and for
speculation in a totally illegal and often
secret manner.
The Guardian's recent exposures of
PUP land grabs reveal only a tiny glimpse
of how in fact these families are enrich-
ing themselves at the expense of
Belizeans.
As the Guardian recently stated:
"Readers may recall that it was Ainsley
Leslie and ServulofBaezathathad"sold"
tourism developer Carlos Popper some
5 acres of caye property on which Pop-
per invested close to $1.0 million only
to find out later that the land was owned
by someone else. He had paid some
$150,000.00 for the 5 acres he was
'sold'."
The newspaper added: "Ainsley Leslie
(and Servulo Baeza for that matter) has
therefore fully established himself as a
land speculator and not a land devel-
oper based on his involvement in the
phantom "sale" to Carlos Popper. So


F
I.


DNA Examiner Gasper Sanchez
DNA Examiner Gasper Sanchez
of the Belize National Forensic Sci-
ence Services returned March 4,
2007 to Belize after attending a
two-month DNA Internship pro-
gram at the Harris County Medical
Examiner's Laboratory in Houston,
Texas. The internship program
was invaluable in helping Mr.
Sanchez gain insight on important
duties, responsibilities, and re-
quirements of his job. Mr. Sanchez
was able to familiarize himself with
the standard operating procedures
and methods of analysis performed
at the facility, all of which will help
Belize to develop its own capabili-
ties in the area of forensic science.
According to Gaspar Sanchez:
"The training was excellent, both in
terms of knowledge gained and the


why are he and his family grabbing up
so much prime Government land hand
over fist?"
Evidently, according to documents
received by the Guardian members of
Ainsley's family acquired the following:
16.343 acres at Rendezvous Point,
Turneffe Islands, 0.004 acres south of
Little Vaqueros Creek, Mountain Pine
Ridge, 10.052 acres south of Rendez-
vous Point, Turneffe Islands, 10.039
acres south of Rendezvous Point,
Tumeffe Islands
The Guardian also lists 10.206 acres
on Turneffe which went to a friend of
Leslie's, one Larry Goss.
The above accounts are but the tip of
the iceberg and represent only a tiny
proportion of land scooped up by Mr.
Leslie.
The method often employed by to
assume and then sell on cheaply ac-
quired prime land was outlined in aRe-
porter article several years ago. As a
result of an investigation by this colum-
nist for The Reporter it was shown
that Mr. Leslie (in his various capacities




experience gained. The facility is an
accredited institution with state of
the art DNA equipment, all of which
I had the opportunity to use. This
knowledge and experience gained
will prove vital in the development
of the serology section of the Na-
tional Forensic Science Services
and by extension the country of
Belize as it will improve level of ser-
vice we offer."
During the first phase of the pro-
gram, Mr. Sanchez observed the


of Deputy Land Minister and acting
Land Minister) issued conveyances
(not the above mentioned) to third par-
ties for numerous tracts of land, inland
and on the cayes, for ridiculously low
prices.
These lands, once conveyed, were
not registered as required by law -
but handed over as a means for the
third party to 'sell on' at high price.
Registration would only take place
when the so-called 'first' buyer found
a second buyer. Profits must presum-
ably have been shared by the illegal
seller with Mr. Leslie or, in some
cases, with his family.
The Guardian: "As we have seen
before, when such lands are sold to
foreigners, they attract rates of
US$50,000.00 per acre and above.
"It is only right that all Belizeans
should be able to own a reasonable
piece of the "jewel"; we have nothing
against anyone owning his or her
piece. But it is totally unfair that PUP
"first Belizeans" should be able to
grab so much prime lands, mostly for




different extraction techniques em-
ployed at the DNA laboratory and
quantification, amplification and run-
ning of extracted DNA as carried
out by analysts.
In the second phase of the pro-
gram, Mr. Sanchez had hands-on
training and started to carry out the
processes himself. He practiced
extraction techniques for different
samples, all in accordance with
U.S. standard operating proce-
dures. He also had hands-on train-


speculation, while the majority of us
cannot own even a small 50 feet by
75 feet house lot, or are charged mar-
ket value for such lots."
Several years ago this writer gave a
lift to a resident from one of the vil-
lages on the Western Highway. He
had a small business in San Ignacio
and rather than travel every day to and
from his village he applied to Mr.
Ainslie for a plot of land to build a
house on, in, or near, San Ignacio.
Mr. Leslie denied this working
Belizean the right to even a small plot
of land. At the same time he was 'giv-
ing' valuable tracts of land in the dis-
trict to friends and family. Some of
these lots he 'assigned' were actu-
ally part of a large parcel in a housing
project which had been reserved by
government for a school. The whole
'school reserve', and a nearby area
reserved for a park, were sold by Mr.
Leslie.
As The Guardian stated this
wholesale robbery of lands owned by
all the people of Belize must stop!




ing on the quantification, amplifica-
tion and running of the known
samples.
Funds for the training were pro-
vided by the Department of State,
Bureau for International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement Affairs
(INL), on behalf of the U.S. Em-
bassy Belize. The project was co-
ordinated through the assistance of
the Department of Justice, Interna-
tional Criminal Investigative Train-
ing Assistance Program.


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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


E goofed in


Teachers' PSE results


By Thomas Oliver
It was reported in the news recently
about the Standard Six teachers' per-
formance on the Paper 2 of the PSE
Mathematics and English. Would like
to question the rationale of the MOE to
go public with those results. The teach-
ers, Managers and the MOE knew
them, so what is the purpose of telling
the world? What was achieved by do-
ing this?
What they have failed to realize is that
by releasing those results, they have
helped in lowering the morale of teach-
ers country wide as well as have par-
ents and students making accusations
of ALL Standard Six teachers. While I
must agree that some teachers are not
qualified to teach Standard Six or any
class in the Primary School, I would also
like to comment on a few things con-
cerning the examinations taken by the
teachers and about teacher training.
The teachers who sat those PSE tests
were given limited time to complete
them, without any prior knowledge that


they would be given the tests. They did
not arrived at that workshop in a frame
of mind to go and do any test. We were
not in an examination setting as there
were several persons sitting around the
same table. One will find that even
though some teachers are capable of
teaching letter writing and composition
to Standard Six students, they may not
be able to themselves write an excel-
lent letter or story in thirty minutes. I
know that I used up some of the time in
reading the questions and deciding on
which topic I would write topics which
many of us found inappropriate for
Standard Six students. Any good writer
would write and edit his or her writing.
There was no time for that. It makes
me wonder whether this was a deliber-
ate attempt to shame teachers. When
the Ministry of Education decided to go
public with these results, they should
have also reported the conditions un-
der which these tests were given. I must
also point out that some teachers that
took the test also had it in their posses-


sion before hand as they were markers
of the PSE last year. However, even if
a teacher made perfect scores on the
tests, that does not mean that they are
capable of imparting such knowledge
to our students.
Sitting the exams did nothing more for
me than to make me be aware of how
my students must feel when they go to
sit it; why some of them probably do
poorly as opposed to the work they
produce in the classroom. Some
people just cannot produce what they
are supposed to under examination con-
ditions. Even though the PSE has its
uses, I have never been one to advo-
cate the use of standardized test and I
don't think I ever will. Anyone in edu-
cation would know that not all children
are visual learner, and so the students
who would comprehend better by hear-
ing are at a disadvantage when they sit
the PSE. It there an audio cassette with
the examination for such students?
I must state at this point that I did at-
tend the first follow up session and found


An Evil Eye Opens Up


--n (Continued From Page 5)
"In a first delivery, according to DIA,
35,000 machines were sent to Brazil ."
A statement from the public ministry
of Paran* in Brazil says "the
accusation.. .has been revived in 2004
in a new inquest on money laundering"
linked with gaming. In Panama, Mottley
found himself stripped of his position in
2000, three years after the case landed
on his desk. Sossa accused him of un-
lawfully passing classified information to
Italian authorities. Mottley was exon-
erated later.
Oranges filed three lawsuits, one
before the Panamanian Supreme Court
against the Panamanian state, a second
before the Human Rights Commission
of the Organisation ofthe American Sta-
tus (OAS), also against the Republic of
Panama, and the third before the Of-
fice of the High Commissioner for Hu-
man Rights of the United Nations against
the Republic of Italy. Only the first con-
tinues today. The suit was admitted in
February 2004.
Oranges is demanding 48 million
dollars from the Panamanian state as
compensation for losing his nomination
as presidential candidate.
Since Mottley left Interpol in 2000,
Operation Malocchio was forgotten in
Panama-until now. Sossa's contro-
versial mandate as attorney-general
ended in January this year, and that has
triggered a re-evaluation of his role.
Mottley, now acting in a private capac-
ity, sued him in January for corruption,
calumny, providing false testimony, not
complying with his duty as civil servant,
and for other crimes against the public
administration ofjustice.


IPS tried to talk with Sossa; the phone
calls were abruptly cut. Oranges spoke
through his Panamanian lawyer Luis
Vasquez to La Prensa, and reiterated
his claims of innocence. Mottley says
that in at least one other prominent in-
stance Sossa had refused to investigate
strong evidence ofwrongdoing.
Starting in 1996, Panama had re-
ceived several requests from authorities
in the United States, Germany and Chile
to investigate Marc M. Harris, a U.S.
financier based in Panama. Some of
the requests indicated that Harris ap-
peared to be providing financial services
to convicted narco-traffickers. La
Prensa published documents proving
this, and also that fraudsters and money
launderers were among Harris's clients.
Only, it was double deception: Harris
refused to return their money, and the


clients could not resort to the authori-
ties they were avoiding in the first place.
A U.S. Senate report issued in 2001
said Harris had been behind a number of
international banking investment and se-
curities frauds. Harris fled toNicaragua,
but was expelled in 2003 and brought to
justice inMiami. OnMay21 lastyearhe
was sentenced to 17 years in prison and
ordered to pay a 26 million dollar fine
following conviction on 16 counts of
money laundering, tax evasion and con-
spiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
La Prensa also reported Sossa's fail-
ure to investigate Harris. The attorney-
general brought criminal defamation
charges against several of the daily's
journalists. He was unsuccessful. Some
of the charges were rejected by the
judge and others just expired..
The commission for the prevention,


it to be a waste of my time for most of
that day. I decided not to attend the
others as I have better use of my time.
The very first workshop that was done
was good because we were better in-
formed of what the examiners are look-
ing for on the PSE. For example, that
the children should introduce the set-
ting and characters in the first paragraph
of their stories, which I do not fully sup-
port.
Many times, in many schools, the
Middle Division of the school suffers
because principals would normally put
the "stronger" teachers in the Infant and
Upper Divisions. A Standard Six
teacher inherits all that the teachers be-
fore did or failed to do with the students
coming into his / her class. They are
expected to do some miracles with those
students who are not at the expected
level in about seven months. This is near
impossible when you have a class of
thirty-five, sometimes more.
It is my firm belief that we have
(Please Turn To Page 8) O W


Again

control and eradication of drugs, narco-
trafficking and money laundering of the
Panamanian parliament had earlier re-
quested investigation of Sossa's role by
a special prosecutor in the Malocchio
and Harris cases in 2000.
The prosecutor, Alma Montenegro de
Fletcher, who also has left office re-
cently, exonerated Sossa the same year.
But in her final statement she indicated
that the attorney-general had neglected
his duty and showed "unacceptable"
conduct in a civil servant.
About the Author: Miren Gutidrrez
is IPS Editor in Chief Formerly
Business Editor atLa Prensa, she was
part of the paper's investigative unit
This article, published in February
of 2005, was written with the coop-
eration of Mnica Palm, editor at La
Prensa in Panama.


X10ithla


i tropical T ist


Anita Tupper

Christine Tuppe


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


r Mile 31 1/4
Western Highway
BELIZE, Central America
Mailing Address: Box 346, Belmopan
E-Mail: chrissy@cheersrestaurant.bz


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








Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8 |


ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Take matters in hand when it comes
to dealing with clients or colleagues. This
is a great day to get out and enjoy an
entertaining evening with friends or lov-
ers. You may find yourself in the midst
of a pretty good deal. You will reach
the most people if you speak out at an
organizational function. Your lucky day
this week will be Tuesday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
You may want to sign up for courses
that will encourage you to have more
confidence in yourself. Misunderstand-
ings could cause confusion and upset.
You're intuitive this week; however, this
attribute could get you in trouble if you
tactlessly say what you think. Be pre-
pared to make changes to your personal
documents. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Art investment will pay big dividends
in the long term. Family outings will
make you feel secure and happy. Your
determination and sheer desire to do
your own thing will be successful. You
should follow through on educational
endeavors you have wanted to pursue
for some time. Your lucky day this week
will be Wednesday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22) You can
expect changes in your financial situa-
tion as well as in your status. Lack of
funds may add stress to your already
uncertain situation. Be careful not to let
friends or peers make you look bad.
You should visit a friend or relative who
hasn't been well. Your lucky day this
week will be Tuesday.


LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Elders may get you going this week. A
second chance will result in good work.
Exercise your talents and present your
ideas to groups you think you can con-
tribute to. Pleasure trips will be a form of
healing for your emotional state of mind.
Your lucky day this week will be Friday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
You should spend your day trying to
get things completed at work. It's a fa-
vorable time for real estate, investments,
and moneymaking opportunities to be
successful. Chances to express your ideas
and beliefs can bring popularity as long
as you're not arrogant. Don't neglect
these problems; deal with them once and
for all, then move on to more pleasurable
tasks. Your lucky day this week will be
Monday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
If you're already in a relationship, use
this added energy passionately. Secret
affairs will only lead to deception. Money
may slipthroughyourfingers.Youwill have
a great day ifyou just say what you feel.
Your lucky day this week will be Mon-
day.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
Problems with colleagues are likely. Ask
family members for help and you will be
able to complete the projects more
quickly. They will not have the patience
to wait for you to complete things that
they've asked you to do. Your profes-
sional attitude will not go unnoticed.
Your lucky day this week will be Thurs-
day.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Unforeseen changes in your location are


Your weekly -


apparent. Visit friends or relatives you
rarely see. You are best to ask questions
if you aren't certain about issues that are
confronting you. Loved ones may be an-
noyed if they feel restricted. Your lucky
day this week will be Wednesday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Sign up for courses orj oin fitness clubs.
Try to put your money away for a rainy
day. Get thinking about prolonging lon-
gevity. Driving too fast or double parking
will resulting difficultieswith officials. Your
lucky day this week will be Saturday.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Get busy trying to make more money.
You should get out and enjoy social events
where you are likely to meet new poten-


"M" (Continued From Page 7)
stopped producing quality teachers
when the Belize Teachers' College be-
came a part of the University of Belize.
Under the Belize Teachers' College, the
"climate" was different and all efforts
were concentrated on only teacher
training and acquiring pedagogical skills.
Teachers were together at the same
campus for the whole day. This led to
a lot of exchanging of ideas, concerns
and possible solutions and you inter-
acted with each other. Lecturers were
concerned only with teacher training and
did not have to be teaching other course
in other fields of study. This climate
cannot exist in other institution when
there are other courses that also needs
attention.
I hope that one of these days we will
wake up and do the right thing stop
focusing on the PSE results and start
focusing on a TEACHERS' TRAIN-
ING COLLEGE. Even though some
people might think we are stepping
backwards if we were to re-open the


tial mates; however, don't over spend.
Business partnerships should turn out to
be quite lucrative. Travel for business will
be advantageous. Your lucky day this
week will be Saturday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You'd be wise to control your spend-
ing so your debts don't get out of hand.
Brunch, along walk, or a quiet dinner will
secureyourpositioninthe relationship. Try
to deal with the problems of those less
fortunate; however, don't allow them to
make unreasonable demands. Don't get
depressed, get busy. You can accomplish
a lot if you're willing to put in a little extra
time. Your lucky day this week will be
Saturday.


TH


-- .S


I lUlIlIFOR

THE OLD SALTY DOG
Euphrates Avenue Belize City

Simple and straight to the point. Great location. Great appearance. Great
atmosphere. Half the stuff on the menu not available. But, what was in
stock was very good. I had been wanting to try this place for several
months, as the placard outside announcing the meal of the day was al-
ways so tempting. We went in with Lasagna in mind, but waitress told
1/2 us "only enough for one" tried to order several other items but were told
that they "no ga non tiday". However, the boil-up and the rice-n-beans
with stew beef that they did have were very good. I would even venture to
say that the beef itself was some of the best I have had around town. The
tambran juice was also very good. So, maybe we caught them on an off
day, as the location is too good to disappoint, but yes I would go back, if
for the beef alone.


OPENMONA Y-I A TURA Y


11fed ...

Belize Teachers' Training College, I do
not hesitate to disagree with them. I
think that it was at the point when the
2 + 1 training was scrapped that we
started to lose our footing on educa-
tion in this country. There were people
who went into the 2 + 1 training, and
because it gave them a true value of
what a teacher should be, that they re-
moved themselves from the teaching
profession. The institution, at the time,
served to keep those persons who
would make good and dedicated teach-
ers while making those who thought that
teaching was an easy job, change their
minds. We must also bear in mind that
not everything that works in industrial-
ized countries will work for us. So let
stop copying everything that we read
or hear about. Please, it is time to bring
back good, sound teacher training in
an institution which caters ONLY to
teacher training.
About the author: Thomas Oliver
is a Standard Six Teacher at the
Burrell Boom Methodist School.


I Photo& Design 02007YELLOWTAIL CREATIVE 41







Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9


Some Thoughts on BTB


Policy


By: RayAuxilou
Someone on the online debating list
serve mentioned that most of the Belize
Tourist Board advertising budget is
spent on a few expensive high end ho-
tels. Such an idea startled me, with the
reversal of empirical evidence of tour-
ism development over the past forty five
years in Belize.
I can see where it might come about,
from young civil service people who
have not watched the business grow and
experienced thej oys and difficulties of
applying their own risk capital in tour-
ism development over decades. Such
an idea that investing in advertising to
support the few top hotel earners in the
tourist industry is obviously a choice that
a bureaucrat concentrating on highest
tax revenues earned for the government
might make.
As a strategy to boost tourism num-
bers, however, the idea of concentrat-
ing the majority of advertising budget
on high end hotels would be totally
wrong, empirical evidence and experi-
ence shows over four decades in Belize.
Do we go by academic theory, or by
the evidence? Here is the difference be-
tween practical hands on knowledge
and that by theoretical academics.
What attracts tourists to Belize fluc-
tuates and is always driven by market
demand. Tourism and even high end
tourism hotels succeed, only if adver-
tising is spent by government depart-
ments with this responsibility on your
small tourist operator offerings. These
are the things that attract tourists. You
advertise your small tourist mom and
pop operations with articles in the in-
ternational media, that include the hu-
man interest element and the eventual
effect is to fill those big hotels, as
spillover. Without the small tourist op-
erations, you have no industry, or will
lose what you have.
In my lifetime of experience, you look
after the small individual, doing things
like manatee tours, macaw colorful par-
rot watching, the kite windsurfers, the
Ragamuffin Sailing Tours, etc. You con-
centrate your advertising on the exotic,
the small person, the David versus
Goliath competition. That is what brings
increases in your tourism overnight visi-
tor statistics. You advertise the small
entrepreneur with a hostel, a guest
house and that sort of thing. For com-
parison: if you concentrate on saving
pennies and nickels in your personal life,
you will eventually be rich. If you con-
centrate on your small tourism places,
you will expand the industry to bring new
investment into the country for new big-
ger hotels.
If the debate on the list serve is true,
then BTB have their investment policy
reversed. There are some basics to ad-
vertising Belize. You advertise adven-
ture, the small family owned operator


struggling against the giant hotel corpo-
rations, you spend money keeping the
San Pedro and Caye Caulker front
beaches filled with sand and attractive.
You place small strategic one and two
inch cheaper classified ads in all the
sports magazines, from the North
American Backpacking magazine, to
Mountain Bike magazine, to Hiking Trails
magazines, to Windsurfing magazines,
to Gold Prospector magazine, Fishing
magazines, to Archeology magazines, in
Sailing and Cruising magazines, in
Scuba magazines, in car racing maga-
zines, in private small plane ultra light
and glider magazines like Soaring and
you find these equivalents in the Euro-
pean and Asian markets with their local
languages and just fill the classified ad
sections of all sorts of magazines giving
entrepreneur, or activity niche some-
place in Belize as destinations and places
to go, to experience these exotic excit-
ing things. Two hundred dollars per
magazine issue, perhaps three hundred
magazines, how hard can that be?
Remember, while your big hotel cus-
tomer is old and rich, in their minds they
are still young and wish to relive their
youth. They may not get past the swim-
ming pool with rum and coke drink in
hand, but they will come not for a big
hotel, but for the idea, that if they wanted
they could do those physical things. It
is the young and their adventures, that
attract the rich older expensive tourist,
who wants luxury and comforts.
Without good beaches on the islands
you won't have a tourist business to


speak of either. That is a basic lesson;
people come to islands for the beaches.
They may not use the beach, but if you
don't have one, yourtourist business will
die. The asset is photogenic, sort of the
romantic idea of the Caribbean, sand
and coconut trees. Old rich folks may
do no more than look out the window
at young people playing volleyball on
the beach, but if you don't have those
young physically fit people, you won't
get the old rich tourist either. Tourism
is a psychological game and how you
advertise is key. You are selling im-
age. Your typical tourist lives in a
crowded city, full of concrete tall can-
yons and lives in a cave called an
apartment, or a room. They yearn
spiritually for the outdoors, to com-
mune with nature and meet physical
challenges of the outdoors. This is
what you sell in Belize. The idea of


what is real from older days in an old
fashioned sense, and advertising for
young people in the small operator
and low budget hostel environment
that they can afford, is where you need
to BEST spend your advertising dol-
lar as a nation. You must sell the ex-
otic and the physical and nature. The
rich will follow the young adventurers
and dream of what was once, that
they have left behind in their advanc-
ing years.
There are now six low budget hos-
tels in Belize. One on San Pedro,
three on Caye Caulker, two in West-
ern Cayo District. Look after your
small guys BTB, the big hotel invest-
ments and customers with the money
will follow. Advertise to attract the
yuppies in their twenties and the old
and rich will follow and want those
big hotels.


For an online version of the
INdependent Reformer


visit us at





www.belizenorth.com/


independentreformer.htm
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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


A report from the frontlines
n n^. i -t i* U UU


iV:uelfina 1Mitchell
Greetings to all from Belize!
Four months ago, my husband
Mitch, my mom, our three dogs,
Chief, Gunny, and DOG, our cat
George, and I, left Florida to start our
new adventure. It rained every day for
the first three months. I swear, every
single day! It was hot and muggy, and
many days and nights it was continu-
ous rain.
We live about 12 miles outside
Belize City in a village call Ladyville.
The area we live is just being devel-
oped, hence there are acres and acres
of land with a neighbor here and there.
Mitch, my Mom and I all refer to it as
"back-a-bush".
Every day is a new adventure for
us as well as the animals.
Horsing around
Since our property is not yet fenced,
horses come walking through, eating
the grass our sticking their heads into
veranda to see what is going on. The
dogs would go wild barking every
time they saw the horses, day or night.
- they had never seen horses before.
This went on for about six weeks,
then one day we heard the horses
chomping through but the dogs never
budged from their resting spot. The
horses were old news.
Friendly neighbors
David, our neighbor, is a blessing.
He returned to Belize to chill out about
seven years ago after he retired from
the US army. He understands the kind
of limbo we are in and is a wealth of
information and advice on living in
Belize. He raises ducks, chicken and
turkeys in his back yard.
A small lake runs between our
property, and David's ducks would
float by or his chicken and turkeys
would wander over and Chief and
Gunny would chase them. One mom-
ing about 3 am, I woke to hear this
strange noise, and found Chief had
brought back one of David's ducks.
It was fluttering around, sounding like
its neck was crushed.
So we're out in the rain with a half
dead duck making a lot of noise and
wondering how David was going to
react to our dog getting his duck. I


tell Mitch we needed to put him out
of its misery, to use a cement block
or machete but he says that's mean
and he wasn't going to do it. In the
end we both went back to bed leav-
ing the poor duck fighting for air. The
next day we had to pay twenty dol-
lars to David for his duck.
Midnight visitor
My sister, Icelind, who wants des-
perately to live in Belize, (she hasn't
been able to convince her husband on
the move yet) jumps on the plane ev-
ery time I call and ask her to. One
night, she was up late sitting at the
kitchen table when her attention was
drawn to Georgie's hissing. A snake
had crawled in from under the door.
Mitch came out to investigate the
commotion in the kitchen and found
her standing on top of the kitchen
table.
We suspected it was a poisonous
coral snake, and confirmed it the
morning by checking the internet. We
now have weather strips on the door
and if you ever happen to enter
Icelind's room, you'll find a lot of gar-
lic scattered over the floor. Some-
one told her garlic drives snakes away!
On Feb 2, Chief, Gunny, and
DOG died.
In Belize there are some strange
delicacies. One such is a wild turkey
called Curassow. A friend of my
mother's brought her a piece of the
"turkey." Since I was not excited
about the prospect of eating the meat,
I decided to cook it for the dogs. I
boiled it in a stew for them and fed it
to them over the dry dog food.
Unfortunately, we found out too late
that Curassow is not something you
feed to the dogs. The birds eat poi-
sonous plants and the toxins are
stored in the bones. When the dogs
chew the bones it releases the toxins.
Thirty-four years had passed since
we left Belize and my mother had for-
gotten about this supposedly com-
mon knowledge. The poison affects
the brain, the process was horrible, it
affects the brain causes them to have
painful, frightful hallucinations. The vet
could do nothing for them. Symptoms
started on Monday and by Friday


they died from massive seizures.
Itwas just horrible! We all cried like
babies.
A week later we walked outside our
door to find four of the most beautiful
puppies. Friends are wonderful. Our
friend Harry, hearing of our loss shared
his new litter with us. We are now
enjoying Harry, Asia, Jane, and Trib-
ute, our newest family members!
The fire
In Belize, they sometimes clear out
the land by lighting fires to burn the
bushes. On Valentine's Day, Mitch
and I were relaxing enjoying this re-
tirement life when we discovered a
bush fire on the other side of the road
had gotten out of control. It was
threatening the home of an elderly lady
who was not home at the time.
The fire was beautiful and scary, it
was hot and you could hear it crack-
ing as it ran up the trees and in the
bushes. The only person home was
the maid and she was just looking so
scared running around outside. Mitch
went to fetch David while the maid
and I started filling buckets with wa-
ter to put the fire out.
By the time we ran back to the
house to fill the buckets and come
back to the fire it had spread fur-
ther. Several times I had to stop to
splash water onto my face in order
to get some relief from the heat.
Thankfully Mitch and David came
up. They both had machete in their


hands. Shortly after, other villagers
who were working in the area came,
they had branches they had cut from
trees in their hands. I wonder what
the hell they brought those for but
soon got my answer. The spread
out and used the branches to beat
the fire out and the machete to cut
more. It worked, they got the fire
under control and eventually put it
out.
Truckload of trouble
I could tell you about the excite-
ment of the 4 feet boa constrictor
snake that crawled up the under-
side of my father's pick up truck
last Friday and how I had to drive
the truck to the car repair shop, so
they could lift it up and get the snake
out. But I'll let you use your imagi-
nation....
I'm adjusting to this retirement
thing. I haven't looked for any jobs
yet and am not sure if I will at this
point. Sometimes I think, I have to
have a purpose, I have to be in
charge of something I can't just be
a housewife!
But for now, I'm still getting
settled in our new home and I love
sleeping in. I can't say that I miss
the Navy. I do miss my boys, fam-
ily and friends but I have great
memories and even though you may
not hear from me often, know I do
think of you way back here in the
bush!


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U S. olFe- 80-2-3435i

Fax. 01-22 -233

Em i: eev 0in@ tr66 ai* S


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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11



Belize mourns George Gabb


Belize's gifted giant Geroge Gabb

The National Institute of Culture
and History joins the entire nation of
Belize in expressing our sincere con-
dolences to the Gabb family on the
passing of Belizean patriot and cul-
tural icon, George Seymour Gabb,
M.B.E.
Even as we mourn the loss of
George Gabb "the Gifted Giant", we
take this opportunity to celebrate his
life, accomplishments and invaluable
contribution to his homeland and his
people.
Having dedicated over four de-
cades of his life to Culture and the


Arts, George Gabb made his indel-
ible mark on Belizean culture as a
playwright, poet, painter and most
notably, as Belize's pre-eminent
sculptor.
It will be recalled that his award-
winning play "Yellowtail" was voted
Best All-around Production in the
Festival ofArts of May, 1966. He will
be remembered as the author of many
literary works including "Naked Eye:
Belizean Proverbs and Philosophy".
His works as a sculptor form part of
Belize's National Collection, as well
as private collections at home and
abroad; including those of the Queen
of England and the Archbishop of
Canterbury. One of his most recog-
nizable pieces, "the Sleeping Giant"
(part of Belize's National Collection)
has been used as a watermark on the
Belize passport and is still being on
Belizean paper currency.
George Gabb taught sculpture to a
number of young Belizeans and for
some time, spent months teaching as
an artist-in-residence at universities in


Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee,
Texas and South Carolina.
For his numerous contributions,
George Seymour Gabb was made a
Member of the British Empire in 1974.
He was later a recipient of the Belize


Arts Council's Outstanding Artist
Award in August, 1998. On Septem-
ber 19, 2002, he received the Meri-
torious Service Award from the Gov-
ernment of Belize.--Press Release
from NICH


George Gabb's culture of a tiger man.


I


026-








Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12


.... ..... .
.... ..... 191 - ----
............ ...... ....
............
... .....
-4k& RIO .. AN
..................
...... ...... .........
.. ...... ...... .. ......
. . . . . . . . .
... ........... .... .


Goodbye George Gabb


He was a great strength; a fortress of
talent as a philosopher, artist painter,
sculptor, poet, wood carver. He was
also always an open and friendly source
of common sense and good advice. He
will be sorely missed.


downs with world leaders, including Fi-
del Castro and President Bush.
Fox has signed a book deal to pub-
lish his memoir Revolution ofHope in
October, according to a statement by
Viking, a sister imprint of Penguin Press.
The book will be co-written by Fox
and his friend, public-relations consult-
ant Rob Allyn, who spent much of De-
cember and January working on the
book with Fox at his ranch in central
Mexico.


Guatemala City dodgy?


The Rio Lempa in El Salvador


In recent years, some ties between the
two countries like medical services -
have increased. About 340 Cuban doc-
tors have served in this Central Ameri-
can country, and around 500 Hondu-
rans study medicine in Cuba.
Salvador, Honduras and Guate-
mala unite!
El Salvador, Honduras and Guate-
mala signed an agreement Wednesday
to create the tri-national border com-
munity of Rio Lempa, near the largest
reserve of water in Central America.
Mayors of the three Central Ameri-
can countries in nearby municipalities
said actions performed together will fos-
ter efficiency of the development pro-
grams scheduled for border zones.


structure projects including: the con-
struction of national stadiums in
Dominica, St Lucia, and Grenada; the
construction of a psychiatric hospital in
St Lucia; redevelopment of the Botani-
cal Gardens in Dominica and the con-
struction of a new block in a school
nearby. China has also promised sup-
port for the development of a major
highway in St Lucia, and is active in
Jamaica, Guyana and Suriname.
Regional governments are ecstatic
about the generosity of the Peoples
Republic of China, and many have
switched long held allegiance with Tai-
wan. Now only three countries in the
English speaking Caribbean Belize,
St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and


Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega
has repeated his offer to provide tem-
porary headquarters for the Central
American Parliament (PARLACEN)
due to the lack of security in Guatemala.
The situation in Nicaragua offers peace
for the sessions without fears and anxi-
eties that today exist in Guatemala, as-
sured the Sandinista leader to board
members of the regional parliament.
Ortega received the PARLACEN
members in the offices of the Sandinista
National Liberation Front (FSLN) that,
together with the OlofPalme Conven-
tion Center has been his office since he
became the President of Nicaragua last
January 10.

Fox tells all!
MEXICO CITY Former Mexi-
can President Vicente Fox is telling all
in a memoir that will detail his ups and


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Honduras renews relations with
Cuba
Honduras named its first ambassa-
dor to Cuba in 45 years last week, com-
pleting the restoration of diplomatic ties
with the communist-run island that were
severed during the Cold War.
Ramon Elvir will be sent to Havana
as Honduras' ambassador.
Honduras broke off diplomatic relations
with Havana in 1962, when Cuba was
expelled from the Organization ofAmeri-
can States. It renewed formal relations with
the island in January 2001, but did not
name an ambassador until now.


A rainbow over Roseau, theprinciapl city in Dominica
Chinese in Caribbean but not in the Grenadines, plus Haiti and the Do-
Belize! minican Republic still maintain rela-
Chinese development assistance is tions with Taiwan
being delivered in several visible infra-


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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 133


Green Party Asks: Strength In Unity?


Are Two Heads Better Then One?


By: Chet Schmidt
PG correspondent for
INdependentWeeklV

The Toledo branch of the Belizean
Green Party has some ideas that we
don't see in the information from the
other parties. One of the most signifi-
cant and important concepts was the
requirement that at least 80% of the
members must vote for a motion to
pass. What is the concept of democ-
racy? That each citizen has one equal
vote. The different parties put up their
platforms and manifestoes as to what
they think should be done and how.
The responsible citizen, the elector-
ate, should study the different parties'
recommendations. To help with this the
different party's candidates should hold


public meetings and debates. In a civi-
lized society these should be focused
on the issues and be conducted in a re-
spectful atmosphere of good will. Now,
what often happens, as we have seen in
the past elections is one candidate will
say our party believes if we go down
the road that heads north we will be
prosperous, but if we go down the road
to the south as my opponent from the
other party says ,we will go broke and
come to ruin. They both push for the
benefits of their way and keep warning
the people of how bad it will be if the
other party's road is taken. Unfortunately
each candidate often attacks the char-
acter of their opponent, sometimes
called character assassination or nega-
tive campaigning.
Now in theory when one side gets
elected, maybe by a few votes, perhaps
53% to 47%, those candidates and
members of the electorate who lost are
supposed tojoin with those in the ma-
j ority, and do their best to go down the
road that they have been telling every-
one they would never go down is defi-
nitely no question about it, the road to
ruin. Their leaders are to forget all the
mean and ugly things their opponents
said about them and perhaps their wives


and mothers, and in the true spirit of de-
mocracy do their best to make the
majority's road work.
That is the theory, but is that what re-
ally happens in practice? In my obser-
vation, those who lose often stand back
and watch the other head off on their
own. Sometimes they even do things
that will make it harder for those who
go on the other road to succeed. Read-
ing about ancient African and Indian
cultures, I learned villagers kept on de-
bating and struggling with the issues un-
til they came to a consensus where ev-
erybody agreed as to the best way to
go. This also happens in some of the
most successful democracies in the most
advanced nations of today like Denmark
and Holland who also keep on work-
ing until they have at least a near con-
sensus. Considering what recently hap-
pened to Mexico where they just had a
very close election and are still having
serious problems that continues to di-
vide and weaken them, you have to think
consensus is the key to success.
The members of the Toledo branch
agree that it would be far better to
take the time to agree and debate the
issues until a consensus or near con-
sensus, at least 80% is achieved, with


the clear understanding by all that if
the road chosen turned out not to pro-
vide what was expected, a sincere
effort would be made to try the other
road. This is one of the concepts put
forward that we think is very impor-
tant.
Do you believe our desperate con-
ditions call for radical changes? Then
try this on for size. Do you believe that
two heads are better than one, even
if one is female and one is male? An-
other idea that is sure to receive some
ridicule is that we have true gender
equality, by having a male and female
for each political office. Their first job
would be to agree on what course
they would take together, if they were
divided on the issue, they would take
it to the House of Representatives and
the Senate, for them to vote on it.
Again a maj ority should be convinced.
Could these circumstances be diffi-
cult? You bet. But that's what our
what our leaders are paid for-- to
work hard.
Please e-mail comments to
belizeangeenpaivtoledo@hotmail.com,
see our website at http://
belizeangreenpartvtoledo.wetpaint.com
to learn more about our platform.


Cayo independent candidate donates


He says he is also working "to
ensure the monopoly which prevents
this country from having access to


Voice over Internet Protocol is
dismantled, when I am successful in
the next general election."


Ivan Roberts presents certificate for 7 computers to the principal of St Jude R.C. school
in Camalote.


On March 6, Ivan Roberts, who
describes himself as an "Ambassador
of the Universal Peace Federation"
donated 7 computers to St Jude R.C.
school in Camalote.
He says "These are the first of 35
computers which I intend to donate
to that school. I also have request
from schools in Cotton Tree Village,
Santa Famelia, Teakettle and other


communities. It is our intention to
make sure that every school in the
country of Belize has this technology
available to all their students."
He says he plans to ensure that
not only Cayo Central schools, which
are in his constituency, but all towns
and villages in the Cayo district gets a
fully equipped lab with a minimum of
35 computers per lab.


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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 141


TOO WrL) FOR. WORDS!


Everyone at The Belize Zoo (in-
cluding the animals) enjoys having
Carlos around each Sunday. His
bright and eager attitude is conta-
gious! Carlos is learning a lot, and


The Belize Zoo is happy to provide
a fun and interesting Sunday for this
very cool guy!
It is simply TOO WILD FOR
WORDS!


Carlos cuddles the zoo's boa constrictor, Bal Boa, as he describes the snake's natural
history.


By Sharon Matola
THE BELIZE ZOO ANIMALS
GET LOVE AND ATTENTION
FROM JUNIOR ZOOKEEPER
CARLOS DOMINGUEZ!
Carlos is not even 12, but even at this
early age, has a great desire to fit in
zookeeper duties as part of his life!
School during the week in Belmopan
takes a lot out of this guy, but his home-
work reports are excellent, and that is
the requirement for Carlos to be able
to extend a helping hand at The Belize
Zoo every Sunday.


Feeding monkeys, deer and birds,
Carlos learns from the Belize
Zookeepers proper animal management
techniques, and the many factors in-
volved in being a good zookeeper.
Carlos has learned to handle the zoo's
boa constrictor, Bal Boa, and tells visi-
tors about this gentle snake's interesting
natural history.
Carlos admits, "I don't have a favourite
task at the zoo. I like everything I do
there, from cleaning cages, to fixing din-
ners for the animals and of course, get-
ting to know them!"


Top of the class


g--i (Continued From Page 4)
tice, manage her time on the exam, fo-
cus, focus, focus.... They have been
admonishing her, guiding her, cheering
her on.
What do we tell her now?
If this is an example of how the cur-
rent Ministry treats its educators and
students, no wonder our children are
failing. No wonder our teachers are de-
moralized, underpaid and overworked
while the administrators are out of touch,
overpaid and under worked.
Whatever the reason behind the an-
nouncement, it backfired, big time. The
Minister himself is now in the dunce chair
with some even suggesting he, perhaps
the entire cabinet, should take the test
and have the results made public.
The ministry is now faced with the
very real possibility that the professional
men and women it counts on to invigilate
and grade this exam, will boycott this
year and are questioning its very rel-
evance.
In terms of public relations, right now
the ministry has an "F" for foresight and
sensitivity.
The Minister says he is disappointed
in the teachers.
Clearly they are disappointed in him.


I will stand with our teachers on this
one, even if it affects my own child. I
will side with them because I respect
them and their efforts. Because I re-
member those teachers at Teacher's
College who left newborn babies in
PG with relatives, or commuted sev-
eral hours every day by bus from
Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and
Dangriga because they were told they
needed to be certified. I will side with
them because these women, and a
handful of men, who turn up for class
each day, often take money out of their
own pockets to feed our children, buy
supplies, counsel them when they are
in trouble or have difficulties at home,
take assignments in communities so
many of us would give up on before
we even got there. They keep work-
ing, teaching our nation's children, year
in and year out, because it is what they
have been called to do.With little
thanks from the parents, and even less
from their Ministry or the churches.
For me, and many Belizeans, the
teacher's willingness to stand up and
say "No More," is the true test of their
intelligence. The yardstick by which
we should all be measured.
In standard VI and beyond.


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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 155


10th La Ruta Maya River


- new record


The Cruz sisters of Esperanza Village won the female category for the 2nd year running.


Armin Lopez, Amado & Rudy Cruz of the Belize Bank team paddled to a record
breaking finish to win La Ruta Maya River Challenge for the 3rd consecutive year.


The Builders Hardware team won the Mixed Team category.


contest


Ladyvllle Village Council


Governor General Sir Colville Young lays a wreath on the grave, at Monday's ceremonies
honouring of Belize's greatest benefactor Baron Edward Victor Ernest Bliss.


n (Continued From Page 1)
Reginald Williams.
Odessa Gibson is a former Chairlady
of Rockstone Pond and Carolee
Hecker has worked campaigns before
for other candidates but this is the first
time she has run herself.
Hecker says not only is their team hav-
ing to introduce themselves during house
to house visits, they are having to in-
form people there is an election on April
1st. "A lot of people are not even aware
there is a Village Council Election."
This may be due to a lack of publicity
from the Ministry of Local Government
and also the Elections and Boundaries
Commission.
The team says some people have got-


ten very dependent on the politics of
money. Turton says some Ladyvillians
have told them outright, "If you don't
have money, don't even come to my
house." She says they are not going to
pay anyone to vote and want to help
instill pride in the community. "Just be-
cause you are poor, does not mean you
have to live in a dirty area or not keep
up your yard."
This is the second time a goup of in-
dependents is campaigning in Ladyville.
In the elections of 2001 group called
the "Independent Seven," lead by
Michael Hutchison, almost took the
council, losing the Chairmanship to the
PUP by only two votes.


B nE(Continued From Page 2)
a blanket unqualified condemnation
sometimes seen in some of the edito-
rial-like articles.
I wish to close now with part of a
speech from the greatest American ora-
tor of modem times.
"We must forever conduct our struggle
on the high plane of dignity and disci-
pline. We must not allow our creative
protest to degenerate into physical vio-
lence. Again and again we must rise to
the majestic heights of meeting physical
force with soul force. The marvelous
new military which has engulfed the
negro community must not lead us to


distrust all white people, for many of our
white brothers, as evidenced by their
presence here today, have come to re-
alize that their destiny is tied up with our
destiny and their freedom is inextrica-
bly bound to our freedom. We cannot
walk alone."
Martin Luther King Jr.
August 28, 1963.
May God bless Belize and the United
States.
Respectfully yours,

Rudolph A. Bowman
Dangrigan Belizean
Coloradoan American


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Full Text

PAGE 1

Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 1 INdependent for the PeopleVol. 2 No. 11 Friday, March 16, 2007 $1.00TheReformer Saying they are neither UDP, nor PUP, a full slate of independent candidates is once more challenging the Ladyville village council elections. The team is lead by the candidate for Chairlady, Sharon Turton, who has lived in Ladyville for 32 years. She owns her own catering business and is well known in the village. She told Independent Weekly she was initially approached by the UDP who wanted her to run as a member of their slate, but she declined, telling them, “I will not run under any umbrella. Under any color.” In her view “The village should be run by residents not political parties. By people who live here and Independents contest Lady Independents contest Lady Independents contest Lady Independents contest Lady Independents contest Lady ville Council ville Council ville Council ville Council ville Council Chairlady candidate Sharon Turton (Please Turn To Page 15) Slick Oil Deals Slick Oil Deals Slick Oil Deals Slick Oil Deals Slick Oil DealsSails ahoy at Baron Bliss Regatta Sails ahoy at Baron Bliss Regatta Sails ahoy at Baron Bliss Regatta Sails ahoy at Baron Bliss Regatta Sails ahoy at Baron Bliss Regatta Sea Scouts’ dinghies ‘Sea Gull’ & ‘Gannet’ tack into the wind in the race for 14’ sailing dinghies at 80th Annual Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta, honouring Belize’s greatest benefactor.know it. I see people every day, talk to everyone. I can be more vigilant about what’s happening.” Her son, Hosni, is also a part of the independent team. The two Turtons are joined by taxi driver Fernando Leal, Martin Jimenez of Delmart Hardware, Odessa Gibson, Carolee Hecker and GOB Ho GOB Ho GOB Ho GOB Ho GOB Ho g Up Ro g Up Ro g Up Ro g Up Ro g Up Ro y y y y y alties alties alties alties alties Andrew Cho of the Department of Geology of the Ministry of Natural Resources called a special meeting at Spanish Lookout to inform the Mennonites about the oil royalties they have never received. In addition to Andrew Cho, GOB was represented by Pedro Cho, Trinidad Petroleum Engineer Gardiner, and two other members. Gilbert Canton represented Belize Natural Energy (BNE), and Spanish Lookout was represented by Community leaders Henry Dueck, Abe Thiessen, Allan Reimer, Issac Dueck and Jim Cavanaugh. According to accounts the presentation turned into a brawl with Jim Cavanaugh, the Mennonite Oil ConsultBy: Des Parretteant, charging that the GOB was absolutely wrong in their interpretation of royalty distribution and that GOB was cheating all landowners whose properties would be involved in oil production. Landowner royalties are paid to the owner of the land upon which a well is drilled to compensate him for the damage and disruption. Cavanaugh stated that this standard international practice should be followed, but Cho claimed that individual royalty rights only existed in the USA and Canada, thus Belize could do what they wanted to and did not have to follow their example. Cavanaugh countered that Trinidad also had individual mineral ownership, which set a CARICOM standard that Belize was supposed to follow. The dispute deepened when Cho stated that the already pitifully small royalty that landowners were to receive would be reduced by a further 29% for the Mennonites because “currently available technology” suggested that maybe the reservoir extended further to the north from the established Spanish Lookout production area, along a narrow structure about 300 yards wide, which they called the San Marcos extension. According to Cho all of the land over the total suspected reservoir should therefore be unitized; that is all the lands should be added together and considered as one parcel with each individual owner receiving a share of the royalty revenues depending on their proportionate share of the unit. Because GOB had determined that the reservoir may extend farther north beyond the Mennonite property, then those landowners should receive a proportionate share. Cavanaugh argued that unitization was never done when all of the production involved only one property owner, and it was ridiculous and unreasonable to pay royalties to landowners who had no producing wells on their property or where no proven oil production occurred, simply on the suspicion that oil may occur in the future. Cavanaugh pointed out that “currently available technology” simply identifies where a subsurface structure could extend which may possibly have oil. The only way to determine if oil is present is (Please Turn To Page 3)

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Friday, March 16, 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 Dear Editor: The PUP leadership is trying to use numerous tricks to suggest that the leadership of both [mass] parties is the same... the inference being that they are both evil and detrimental to the interest of Belize and Belizeans. I have heard their minions repeat this nonsense but I am surprised when other seeming rightthinking Belizeans take the bait hook, line and sinker. The leadership of the UDP is diametrically different in my view and if I can walk through just a few examples to expound my point, please permit me. I won’t have time to address every “nitti-gritty” but maybe I can discuss the larger ones in my view. The national debt was managed by both the UDP and the PUP, during their respective terms in office. Today the single largest negative influence for growth and development in Belize is the 3 billion dollar debt , recently refinanced at tremendous new costs. On page 3 of the 1998 PUP “Set Belize Free Manifesto” the present prime minister of Belize argued that Belize needed to be set free from “ a staggering” $385 million debt . The inference here is someone carry a load they can barely handle and there struggling and staggering with it. That was $385 million. The only thing the PUP government grew was the debt… by $2.5 BILLION. Given the opportunity he, Said Musa, unconscientiously in 8 short years drove the debt to now close to $3,000 million and lies repeatedly about it. The difference is that the UDP never lied about the figures; and secondly, restricted Belize’s debt burden even if it meant modest 5% growth in GDP and restricted government spending. Government Spending has been the biggest impetus for the increase in debt. The UDP offered realistic budgets that all the numbers were verifiable and correct and maintained government spending primarily by getting value for money. The PUP used government spending primarily to quench the insatiable thirst for money of their persons, friends and cronies. Government spending then fueled the now intransigent and deep rooted corruption within the PUP and has been the hallmark of the Musa administration. DFC under the UDP was a vehicle for soft loans to private sector business, students, and housing and agriculture activities. DFC under the PUP hemorrhages under the corruption, nepotism, insider trading and wastage that we all knew and that the present commission of inquiry is confirming. Secondly, BTL under the UDP was designed and strictly managed with Belizean ownership and control. Under the PUP it has literally gone to the dogs with admitted “parallel market” foreign currency activities. There is a chasm of difference between the UDP and PUP leadership. The UDP has demonstrated sober stewardship of our finances and, by comparison, is infinitely more qualified to run this country than the PUP. signed, Robert Tillett (Please Turn To Page 15)Dear Editor: As a constant reader of the Belize news online, I am able to keep abreast of the news and activities within this new dynamic emerging nation where I was born many decades ago (precise number is not relevant). One of the issues that have alwaysPUP vs UDP God Bless the USA & Belizebothered me, is this incessant attack on the USA, especially white America. Before I continue, I must say I am a dual citizen who loves Belize dearly, but have also come to love my adopted country in spite of its many flaws because I have also seen what is good about America. And believe me, there is much that is good about America. I may be accused of complicity here since I married one of those white Americans, and became father to four wonderful caring citizens not only of the USA (and one of them of Belize), but of the world. Much may be wrong with white America (as I suppose with many other countries be they white or non-white), but there are many within that group that constantly fight and struggle, and yes, are even killed, to bring about equitable change. No other country in the world with this type of vast diversity has handled its diversity as well as America because of its strong laws and its strong press and media. America still remains a country of first choice for the majority of the world’s citizens who wish to emigrate, or even just those who wish to be educated. Without its dynamic economy (not always equitable) its Latin American contingency (Belize included) would not be able to send over $30 billion to its families in their homelands. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating that we excuse what is wrong with America in general— and white America in particular. God knows racism is hard to eradicate, and is not the exclusive domain of white Americans. Progress in this area may never be complete, but hopefully, we are going in the right direction. Those white Americans that travel in that direction (and there are many) deserve better than

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3 By: T r evor V ernon The nation was treated last Friday to insights into the mind of the Right Honorable Ralph Fonseca. The man is a master at redefining standard concepts, especially generally accepted accounting principles. The Inter-American Democratic Charter never figured they’d have to deal with this super minister’s mindset. Did they? In this man’s world, the IMF is the enemy, not the greedy usurping government structures he created. He has to outsmart and outmaneuver them with his “measured deviations from orthodoxy” …to protect the people, he says. Brilliant concept: outsmarting the draconian “cookie cutter” solutions the IMF dictates. Its not that the Minister and his people set out to do anything underhanded; in their minds they had to save the people of Belize from the painful standardized remedies of this BrettonWoods organization. What can be nobler? The only problem is, in “rescuing” us, is he subjecting us to explosive consumption taxes that cripple the ordinary people of this country who do not qualify for GST exemptions, GST refunds, duty free fuels and tax-free containers from Panama. What could be worse than 10% GST? Perhaps only the 100% RRD on gasoline. I mean really, last week I had to pay 10% GST on a doctor visit. I told him I By Any Means Necessary By Any Means Necessary By Any Means Necessary By Any Means Necessary By Any Means Necessary don’t need a receipt but he insisted. Why do I need more paper? The “Save Belize (from the IMF)” tax regime that has been unleashed on Belizeans is the coldest homegrown policy of them all. It’s worse than the generally accepted rampant of ficial corruption. It’s now wholly acceptable to disabuse this country of its finances, but it sure as hell ain’t acceptable to do so at the expense of the people who elected you… with massive, massive consumption taxes. You can get rich quick and load up those offshore accounts (by whatever means necessary); but, you had better cut the people some slack and fast. The natives are beyond restless. The Minister says he has an electoral mandate from the people. Yes, but he has twisted it to become some supreme power, a divine right (handed down by Price) to accomplish everything his party promised, by whatever means necessary. People are afraid to speak out against this man when he admittedly screwed up and did so royally. Why? Is it because he controls the security forces with an iron fist or because he has a perverse sense of power, or both? Whatever his mindset, he is certainly a master predator who instills the fear of God into the hearts of many. Is that what we elected him and his party to do to us? While hiding behind his “sworn to secrecy” cabinet oath of Said? (Notice he doesn’t have amnesia.) We can no longer afford to keep these people in office. They are ruining this wonderful country they had nothing to do with building. His testimony at the DFC inquiry was revealing. Not necessarily in what he told the commission, but what he showed of himself to the rest of us…and I am sure he knows other people were listening keenly. to drill and establish commercial production. He reminded the GOB representatives present that royalties are paid only on the oil that is produced, not on oil that is “suspected”, and until such time as it was proven that a suspected area contained commercial oil, there was absolutely no basis for unitizing. Allan Reimer demonstrated with diagrams that 98% of the total production from the suspected field would still be produced from the Mennonite lands, even if the suspected area is found to have oil sometime in the future. Cavanaugh further argued that a well, referred to locally as the “Musa Well,” had already been drilled in the suspected extension of the field, and it had been a dry hole. Trinidad Engineer Gardner said that he believed there was a fault that separated the dry well from the suspected field extension, and that the Musa Well was drilled on the wrong side of the fault. Cavanaugh charged that it was obvious GOB had already made the decision to screw the landowners and the Mennonites were dealing with a closed mind. The “Musa Well” is troublesome. Was a Musa or The Musa involved here? A BNE worker was asked, “Was there any oil in the Musa Well?” “Some, I guess, but not enough to make a well so they shut it in.” “Why do they call it the Musa Well?” The worker hesitated a minute. “Ahhh, I dunno nothing about nothing, Mon. Forget we talked. All I know is a cousin in the Lands Department said that as soon as BNE found oil, all the politico big shots were in the land office grabbing up any government land around Spanish Lookout they could get.” Couldn’t get any more information, so contacted Jim Cavanaugh, who said the whole deal was so outrageous he didn’t even want to discuss it. Cavanaugh Slick Oil Deals: GOB hog up royalties Slick Oil Deals: GOB hog up royalties Slick Oil Deals: GOB hog up royalties Slick Oil Deals: GOB hog up royalties Slick Oil Deals: GOB hog up royalties (Continued From Page 1)brought up another troubling question though. Cho reported that the government had received $BZ 2.6 million in royalty payments, the landowner gets only 5% of the GOB 7.5% share. Of course now it is only 71% of the 5% of the 7.5%. But BNE had earlier reported selling 811,000 barrels for 2006. Considering the average price of crude oil was around $BZ 120, and the total oil income reported in the media was some $BZ 97 million, the GOB royalty of 7.5% should total some $BZ 8.7 million. What happened to the other 5.9 millions dollars and the landowners share of it? That means 70% of what is due the landowner is missing! To put this into perspective, suppose a well is drilled on your farm and it produces 100 barrels of oil a day. The total revenues will be $BZ 12,000 a day. Here is how the money is distributed: GOB 7.5% Royalty $ 900.00 GOB 1.5% Production Sharing $ 180.00 GOB 40% tax$4800.00· GOB 10% ownership in BNE $1200.00 GOB TOTAL $7080.00 BNE$4920.00 Landowner:5% due $45.00 70% disappearance$31.50 Balance $13.50 ield expansion 29%$ 3.92 T otal left for landownern $ 9.58 This means that GOB would be raking in over BZ$ 2.5 million a year and the landowner won’t get enough to buy dinner each day! And the Musa Well? Cavanaugh said he didn’t know anything about the land deals, and all he knows is that well made no sense at all. “Consider that you have five good wells in the Spanish Lookout field capable of producing a thousand barrels a day each. It costs about a million Belize dollars to drill a well, so why would you step out a mile away from the field where you know you are going to get another good well, and drill a high risk wildcat? The speculation is it had to be a political well because it just didn’t make good economic sense. I guess it makes sense if the politicians gobbled up the San Marcos land; because even if it doesn’t have oil, someone is now going to get a big cut of the royalties that should go to the Mennonites. That’s why I think this horrendous greed is so outrageous.” VISTA DANCE STUDIODirector: SISTIE FAIRWEATHER -HARMES10th annualDANCE RECITALto be held at theBLISS Performing Arts6;00 p.m. on Sunday April 1, 2007 TICKETS; Adults $20 Child $15 Phone: 225-3064 or available at door

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 (Please Turn To Page 14) Angry, hurt, betrayed and insulted teachers are the last thing the government needs right now… By: Karla Heusner V ernon Like all parents of children in Standard 6, my life has been consumed by preparations for the Primary School Examination. Now, just days away from the first portion, it might not happen. At least, the teachers may boycott the sitting and the grading. But I am not upset, or disappointed. Not in the teachers. The educators of this country were humiliated by their own Ministry of Education a couple of weeks ago. The Ministry went public with dismal results for teachers who sat the exam themselves. Some 70% did not pass. T T T T T op of op of op of op of op of the class the class the class the class the class It is a dismal performance. No doubt about it. It is cause for serious review of both the teacher’s skills and knowledge levels, the examination, and conditions under which it was given. But I would hazard a guess that after similarly pathetic results from Belizean children several years running, that if our teachers had their way, they would reteach the material or revise the test, or both. All seasoned teachers know the normal examination curve puts the majority of the students in the middle range, not the bottom. Only hard headed people keep giving a test the majority of otherwise intelligent people fail. Or people who have something to gain from its administration, printing and distribution. One cannot help but wonder why this test, which was devised supposedly to replace an equally poor BNSE, is still being given. And why were these results released now, when they have been available since December? Just what was the Ministry trying to accomplish in the middle of union unrest over BTL firings, and calls for strike action by all the trade unions, including the most active arm at all, the Belize National Teacher’s Union? Angry, hurt, betrayed and insulted teachers are the last thing the government needs right now…So who dropped the ball? Was it a mistake to go public? Or, a calculated move to deflect blame for what may yet another expected poor performance on the PSE by yet another crop of Belizean children? Speaking of the children, did anyone in the Ministry consider THEIR reaction? Some five thousand are even now preparing to sit the PSE at the end of this month. They have spent months in evening classes, Saturday classes and many schools will pull them in from Easter vacation early to get ready for Part II. Does the Ministry care about their sacrifice or the fact that now many Standard VI-ers, are wondering if it matters how they do on the PSE since the grownups they know can’t pass it anyway? May have lost their motivation? What was the ministry thinking? Or were they not thinking at all? Surely they could have waited a few more weeks until the exam was over... My own daughter has been told by every adult she knows that her performance on the PSE is critical, not only to her admission to the high school of her choice, but possibly her future performance in high school and beyond. Her entire family— and a lot of concerned, loving friends— are urging her to study hard, learn her formulas, prac-

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5 UNITED NATIONS The operations of the United Nations agencies resident in Belize (PAHO/WHO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF, which are all organized in the United Nations Country Team) are guided by the Belize United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2007 – 2011 ( http://www .undg.or g/content.cfm?id=331) and cover the following thematic areas: Human Rights and Millennium Development Goals, Governance & Decentralization, Education, Child Protection, Health Systems & Services, Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS, Adolescent Mobilization and Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Natural Resources Management, Social Communication and Results-oriented Monitoring and Evaluation. The UNCT wishes to establish a joint database for a more efficient and harmonized process of recruiting national consultants for the agencies’ programmes and projects in the abovementioned thematic areas. The UNCT therefore is now inviting experienced and skilled national consultants, individuals as well as legally established firms, to submit the necessary information to be included in this database. Consultant firms are requested to submit the profile of each individual member of staff. The provided information should contain the following information fields: a) an up-to-date CV containing name, mailing address, telephone & email, legal status, education qualifications and relevant work experience; b) thematic area(s) of expertise, and; c) a listing of consultancy services & products, delivered over the past 4 years. Information should be forwarded electronically to UNDP Belize at undp.bze@btl.net Operation Malocchio (‘evil eye’) as it was called, was “one of the biggest” anti-money laundering operations ever launched in Italy , says former prosecutor Giovanni Salvi who was in charge of the investigation together with his colleague Pietro Saviotti and investigating judge Otello Lupacchini. Investigation began in 1996 into hundreds of millions of dollars in proceeds from the smuggling of 900kg cocaine out of Latin America . By 1997 the network was set to ‘import’ 5,000 kg of cocaine and buy a bank in Belize , according to a report by Espresso magazine in Italy . Operation Malocchio was launched after Italian authorities carried out “an information exchange with the U.S. FBI,” said a report issued in 2001 by the anti-mafia investigative unit (DIA) of the Italian ministry of interior. The aim was “dismantling a complex crime group involved in the trafficking of significant consignments of cocaine coming from South America, as well as in money laundering and in the re-investment of huge capital through international financial channels.” The probe led to several arrests in 1998. In 2001, 15 people were convicted for laundering money from narco-trafficking, including kingpin Fausto Pellegrinetti. But he escaped and is still a fugitive. Appeals against the sentence were rejected. Accomplices in Panama, and also in Brazil and Belize (a tiny Central American nation with a population of 273,000 bordering Guatemala and Mexico ) had a prominent role in the money laundering and re-investment scheme, according to documents seized by the Italian police. In October 1997 Italian authorities asked Interpol in Panama for information that could link three suspect telephone numbers with well-known Panamanian politician Alfredo Oranges . Oranges was then a serious contender for presidential candidacy in the 1998 elections from the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD). Interpol Panama confirmed that the numbers belonged to Oranges . The Financial Analysis Unit (UAF) in Panama then discovered that money from outside the country was being transferred regularly to and from the local bank accounts of the company Clark’s Investment Corp. Oranges was authorised to sign documents on behalf of Clark ‘s Investment, the UAF said. This corporation “has served as bridge for a series of banking transfers that cross several countries without an apparent motive or commercial activity justifying them,” said the UAF. Some of the transfers were higher than a million dollars. Edwin Arias Castillo, a Clark’s Investof fact we asked the judge for a warrant, and it was granted by the investigative judge (Lupacchini). But the Tribunale del Riesame (court of re-examination) decided differently.” That was due to what court officials called a “technicality”. Marco Lillo, a journalist from Espresso who has written about the case says the Italian authorities were only interested in the Italian suspects. “And as you can imagine, the reactions (from other countries to the requests sent by the Italian authorities) were not very enthusiastic.” Before matters reached the court of appeal in Italy, investigation progressed with the help of information provided by Lauricella, who became a “cooperating witness”. Operation Malocchio now revealed that the proceeds from narco trafficking were invested in several businesses, from the import of exotic fruits from Santo Domingo (in the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean) to the installation of thousands of slot machines in Brazil. In 2000, Lauricella — the cooperating witness who had been the link between the gang and its Latin American ventures and on whose statements the investigation was based — was conBy Mirien GutierrezAn Evil Ey An Evil Ey An Evil Ey An Evil Ey An Evil Ey e Opens Up e Opens Up e Opens Up e Opens Up e Opens Up Again Again Again Again Again ment executive and Oranges ‘ associate, was also treasurer in another corporation France Mistral, S.A., where Lillo Rosario Lauricella — kingpin Pellegrinetti’s right hand in Latin America — was vice-president, the UAF noted. “Vast amounts of money from outside were deposited through Panamanian corporations in local bank accounts, where they would stay for a couple of days and later were transferred to a bank in another country,” Jorge Mottley, former head of Interpol Panama told IPS in a telephone interview. Mottley had joined investigation of the Panamanian ramifications of the case. The Italian investigation was revealed at a press conference in 1998 by President Ernesto Pérez Balladares, Oranges ‘ rival in the PRD. As Oranges protested in Panama, in Rome judge Lupacchini ordered the preventive arrest of 58 people including Oranges as alleged members of a criminal network engaged in narco-trafficking and money laundering. Italian authorities said in the arrest warrant that the criminal network had deposited 250 million dollars in Panama . Then Panamanian attorney-general José Antonio Sossa sent special antidrugs prosecutor Rosendo Miranda to Italy in October 1998. Miranda dispatched a facsimile from Rome stating that the Italian authorities had evidence linking the money in transit through Panama with the narco trafficking operation, says Mottley. Several documents seized by the Italian authorities indicated that Lauricella had contributed to Oranges ‘ presidential campaign. Oranges later admitted this. Mottley says Miranda took back a request from Italian authorities to freeze the funds linked to Oranges and to interview him in the presence of a representative of the Italian prosecutor. “Nothing of the sort happened,” he adds. Inexplicably, attorney-general Sossa concluded there was no evidence against Oranges . In 1999 Panamanian daily La Prensa published an interview with Oranges in which he admitted that he had been meeting for years with Lauricella, who he said was interested in the casino business. Oranges said he did not know Lauricella’s background, and could not possibly have investigated all his associates. According to Panamanian migration authorities, Lauricella seems to have lived in Panama from July 1996 to February 1998. Lauricella declared himself a “gardener” living in the not exactly cheap Hotel El Panamá. Meanwhile in Rome the order to arrest Oranges was cancelled. “As the person who put together the case, I am sure there was enough evidence (to investigate Oranges )...more than enough,” says Salvi now. “As a matter (Please Turn To Page 7)victed but vanished, says Luca Armeni, deputy chief of the DIA. “When you have a trial as difficult as this money laundering case, you need two things: good documents and good cooperating witnesses,” says Salvi. Lauricella, he said, “revealed himself not to be a good witness when he disappeared.” Lauricella went into hiding under a false identity, and in 2002 was shot dead outside a casino in Caracas . It was difficult to identify his body because of the multiple facial surgeries he had undergone, according to a report in Espresso in November last year. The local fallout of the case was not investigated either in Panama or in Belize , but in Brazil the case led to an investigation that is still continuing. The Italian DIA sent the Brazilian authorities information provided by Lauricella. Some of this information was made public last month by the Instituto Brasileiro Giovanni Falcone (IBGF) set up to fight organised crime (it takes its name from magistrate Giovanni Falcone assassinated by the mafia in 1992.) “The introduction in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro of slot machines served as a tool to launder money produced by international narco-trafficking,” the IBGF said.

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 DNA Examiner Gasper Sanchez of the Belize National Forensic Science Services returned March 4, 2007 to Belize after attending a two-month DNA Internship program at the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Laboratory in Houston, Texas. The internship program was invaluable in helping Mr. Sanchez gain insight on important duties, responsibilities, and requirements of his job. Mr. Sanchez was able to familiarize himself with the standard operating procedures and methods of analysis performed at the facility, all of which will help Belize to develop its own capabilities in the area of forensic science. According to Gaspar Sanchez: “The training was excellent, both in terms of knowledge gained and the Forensic DNA Examiner gets U.S. Internship Forensic DNA Examiner gets U.S. Internship Forensic DNA Examiner gets U.S. Internship Forensic DNA Examiner gets U.S. Internship Forensic DNA Examiner gets U.S. Internship experience gained. The facility is an accredited institution with state of the art DNA equipment, all of which I had the opportunity to use. This knowledge and experience gained will prove vital in the development of the serology section of the National Forensic Science Services and by extension the country of Belize as it will improve level of service we offer.” During the first phase of the program, Mr. Sanchez observed theDNA Examiner Gasper Sanchezdifferent extraction techniques employed at the DNA laboratory and quantification, amplification and running of extracted DNA as carried out by analysts. In the second phase of the program, Mr. Sanchez had hands-on training and started to carry out the processes himself. He practiced extraction techniques for different samples, all in accordance with U.S. standard operating procedures. He also had hands-on training on the quantification, amplification and running of the known samples. Funds for the training were provided by the Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), on behalf of the U.S. Embassy Belize. The project was coordinated through the assistance of the Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. No, this is not about caring families but about greedy families who snatch public land for themselves and for speculation in a totally illegal and often secret manner. The Guardian’s recent exposures of PUP land grabs reveal only a tiny glimpse of how in fact these families are enriching themselves at the expense of Belizeans. As the Guardian recently stated: “Readers may recall that it was Ainsley Leslie and Servulo Baeza that had “sold” tourism developer Carlos Popper some 5 acres of caye property on which Popper invested close to $1.0 million only to find out later that the land was owned by someone else. He had paid some $150,000.00 for the 5 acres he was ‘sold’.” The newspaper added: “Ainsley Leslie (and Servulo Baeza for that matter) has therefore fully established himself as a land speculator and not a land developer based on his involvement in the phantom “sale” to Carlos Popper. So By: Meb Cutlack F F F F F amily V amily V amily V amily V amily V alues alues alues alues alues why are he and his family grabbing up so much prime Government land hand over fist?” Evidently, according to documents received by the Guardian members of Ainsley’s family acquired the following: 16.343 acres at Rendezvous Point, Turneffe Islands, 0.004 acres south of Little Vaqueros Creek, Mountain Pine Ridge, 10.052 acres south of Rendezvous Point, Turneffe Islands, 10.039 acres south of Rendezvous Point, Turneffe Islands The Guardian also lists 10.206 acres on Turneffe which went to a friend of Leslie’s, one Larry Goss. The above accounts are but the tip of the iceberg and represent only a tiny proportion of land scooped up by Mr. Leslie. The method often employed by to assume and then sell on cheaply acquired prime land was outlined in a Reporter article several years ago. As a result of an investigation by this columnist for The Reporter it was shown that Mr. Leslie (in his various capacities of Deputy Land Minister and acting Land Minister) issued conveyances (not the above mentioned) to third parties for numerous tracts of land, inland and on the cayes, for ridiculously low prices. These lands, once conveyed, were not registered as required by law but handed over as a means for the third party to ‘sell on’ at high price. Registration would only take place when the so-called ‘first’ buyer found a second buyer. Profits must presumably have been shared by the illegal seller with Mr. Leslie or, in some cases, with his family. The Guardian: “As we have seen before, when such lands are sold to foreigners, they attract rates of US$50,000.00 per acre and above. “It is only right that all Belizeans should be able to own a reasonable piece of the “jewel”; we have nothing against anyone owning his or her piece. But it is totally unfair that PUP “first Belizeans” should be able to grab so much prime lands, mostly for speculation, while the majority of us cannot own even a small 50 feet by 75 feet house lot, or are charged market value for such lots.” Several years ago this writer gave a lift to a resident from one of the villages on the Western Highway. He had a small business in San Ignacio and rather than travel every day to and from his village he applied to Mr. Ainslie for a plot of land to build a house on, in, or near, San Ignacio. Mr. Leslie denied this working Belizean the right to even a small plot of land. At the same time he was ‘giving’ valuable tracts of land in the district to friends and family. Some of these lots he ‘assigned’ were actually part of a large parcel in a housing project which had been reserved by government for a school. The whole ‘school reserve’, and a nearby area reserved for a park, were sold by Mr. Leslie. As The Guardian stated this wholesale robbery of lands owned by all the people of Belize must stop!

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7 (Continued From Page 5)“In a first delivery, according to DIA, 35,000 machines were sent to Brazil .” A statement from the public ministry of Paran* in Brazil says “the accusation...has been revived in 2004 in a new inquest on money laundering” linked with gaming. In Panama , Mottley found himself stripped of his position in 2000, three years after the case landed on his desk. Sossa accused him of unlawfully passing classified information to Italian authorities. Mottley was exonerated later. Oranges filed three lawsuits, one before the Panamanian Supreme Court against the Panamanian state, a second before the Human Rights Commission of the Organisation of the American Status (OAS), also against the Republic of Panama , and the third before the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations against the Republic of Italy. Only the first continues today. The suit was admitted in February 2004. Oranges is demanding 48 million dollars from the Panamanian state as compensation for losing his nomination as presidential candidate. Since Mottley left Interpol in 2000, Operation Malocchio was forgotten in Panama — until now. Sossa’s controversial mandate as attorney-general ended in January this year, and that has triggered a re-evaluation of his role. Mottley, now acting in a private capacity, sued him in January for corruption, calumny, providing false testimony, not complying with his duty as civil servant, and for other crimes against the public administration of justice. An Evil Ey An Evil Ey An Evil Ey An Evil Ey An Evil Ey e Opens Up e Opens Up e Opens Up e Opens Up e Opens Up Again Again Again Again Again IPS tried to talk with Sossa; the phone calls were abruptly cut. Oranges spoke through his Panamanian lawyer Luis Vásquez to La Prensa, and reiterated his claims of innocence. Mottley says that in at least one other prominent instance Sossa had refused to investigate strong evidence of wrongdoing. Starting in 1996, Panama had received several requests from authorities in the United States, Germany and Chile to investigate Marc M. Harris, a U.S. financier based in Panama . Some of the requests indicated that Harris appeared to be providing financial services to convicted narco-traffickers. La Prensa published documents proving this, and also that fraudsters and money launderers were among Harris’s clients. Only, it was double deception: Harris refused to return their money, and the clients could not resort to the authorities they were avoiding in the first place. A U.S. Senate report issued in 2001 said Harris had been behind a number of international banking, investment and securities frauds. Harris fled to Nicaragua , but was expelled in 2003 and brought to justice in Miami . On May 21 last year he was sentenced to 17 years in prison and ordered to pay a 26 million dollar fine following conviction on 16 counts of money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. La Prensa also reported Sossa’s failure to investigate Harris. The attorneygeneral brought criminal defamation charges against several of the daily’s journalists. He was unsuccessful. Some of the charges were rejected by the judge and others just expired.. The commission for the prevention, control and eradication of drugs, narcotrafficking and money laundering of the Panamanian parliament had earlier requested investigation of Sossa’s role by a special prosecutor in the Malocchio and Harris cases in 2000. The prosecutor, Alma Montenegro de Fletcher, who also has left office recently, exonerated Sossa the same year. But in her final statement she indicated that the attorney-general had neglected his duty and showed “unacceptable” conduct in a civil servant. About the Author: Miren Gutiérrez is IPS Editor in Chief. Formerly Business Editor at La Prensa, she was part of the paper’s investigative unit. This article, published in February of 2005, was written with the cooperation of Mónica Palm, editor at La Prensa in Panama . By Thomas OliverIt was reported in the news recently about the Standard Six teachers’ performance on the Paper 2 of the PSE Mathematics and English. I would like to question the rationale of the MOE to go public with those results. The teachers, Managers and the MOE knew them, so what is the purpose of telling the world? What was achieved by doing this? What they have failed to realize is that by releasing those results, they have helped in lowering the morale of teachers country wide as well as have parents and students making accusations of ALL Standard Six teachers. While I must agree that some teachers are not qualified to teach Standard Six or any class in the Primary School, I would also like to comment on a few things concerning the examinations taken by the teachers and about teacher training. The teachers who sat those PSE tests were given limited time to complete them, without any prior knowledge that they would be given the tests. They did not arrived at that workshop in a frame of mind to go and do any test. We were not in an examination setting as there were several persons sitting around the same table. One will find that even though some teachers are capable of teaching letter writing and composition to Standard Six students, they may not be able to themselves write an excellent letter or story in thirty minutes. I know that I used up some of the time in reading the questions and deciding on which topic I would write topics which many of us found inappropriate for Standard Six students. Any good writer would write and edit his or her writing. There was no time for that. It makes me wonder whether this was a deliberate attempt to shame teachers. When the Ministry of Education decided to go public with these results, they should have also reported the conditions under which these tests were given. I must also point out that some teachers that took the test also had it in their possession before hand as they were markers of the PSE last year. However, even if a teacher made perfect scores on the tests, that does not mean that they are capable of imparting such knowledge to our students. Sitting the exams did nothing more for me than to make me be aware of how my students must feel when they go to sit it; why some of them probably do poorly as opposed to the work they produce in the classroom. Some people just cannot produce what they are supposed to under examination conditions. Even though the PSE has its uses, I have never been one to advocate the use of standardized test and I don’t think I ever will. Anyone in education would know that not all children are visual learner, and so the students who would comprehend better by hearing are at a disadvantage when they sit the PSE. It there an audio cassette with the examination for such students? I must state at this point that I did attend the first follow up session and found it to be a waste of my time for most of that day. I decided not to attend the others as I have better use of my time. The very first workshop that was done was good because we were better informed of what the examiners are looking for on the PSE. For example, that the children should introduce the setting and characters in the first paragraph of their stories, which I do not fully support. Many times, in many schools, the Middle Division of the school suffers because principals would normally put the “stronger” teachers in the Infant and Upper Divisions. A Standard Six teacher inherits all that the teachers before did or failed to do with the students coming into his / her class. They are expected to do some miracles with those students who are not at the expected level in about seven months. This is near impossible when you have a class of thirty-five, sometimes more. It is my firm belief that we have MOE goofed in publishing T MOE goofed in publishing T MOE goofed in publishing T MOE goofed in publishing T MOE goofed in publishing T eachers’ PSE results eachers’ PSE results eachers’ PSE results eachers’ PSE results eachers’ PSE results (Please Turn To Page 8) Opening Hours Monday Saturday 6 a.m. 8:30 p.m. Sunday & Holidays 7 a.m. 7:30 pm. Breakfast Lunch and Diner

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8 A RIES (Mar. 21April 20) Take matters in hand when it comes to dealing with clients or colleagues. This is a great day to get out and enjoy an entertaining evening with friends or lovers. You may find yourself in the midst of a pretty good deal. You will reach the most people if you speak out at an organizational function. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday. T AURUS (Apr. 21may 21) You may want to sign up for courses that will encourage you to have more confidence in yourself. Misunderstandings could cause confusion and upset. You’re intuitive this week; however, this attribute could get you in trouble if you tactlessly say what you think. Be prepared to make changes to your personal documents. Your lucky day this week will be Sunday. GEMINI (May 22-June 21) Art investment will pay big dividends in the long term. Family outings will make you feel secure and happy. Your determination and sheer desire to do your own thing will be successful. You should follow through on educational endeavors you have wanted to pursue for some time. Your lucky day this week will be Wednesday. CANCER (June 22-July 22) You can expect changes in your financial situation as well as in your status. Lack of funds may add stress to your already uncertain situation. Be careful not to let friends or peers make you look bad. You should visit a friend or relative who hasn’t been well. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday. LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Elders may get you going this week. A second chance will result in good work. Exercise your talents and present your ideas to groups you think you can contribute to. Pleasure trips will be a form of healing for your emotional state of mind. Your lucky day this week will be Friday. VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23) You should spend your day trying to get things completed at work. It’s a favorable time for real estate, investments, and moneymaking opportunities to be successful. Chances to express your ideas and beliefs can bring popularity as long as you’re not arrogant. Don’t neglect these problems; deal with them once and for all, then move on to more pleasurable tasks. Your lucky day this week will be Monday. LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23) If you’re already in a relationship, use this added energy passionately. Secret affairs will only lead to deception. Money may slip through your fingers. You will have a great day if you just say what you feel. Your lucky day this week will be Monday. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22) Problems with colleagues are likely. Ask family members for help and you will be able to complete the projects more quickly. They will not have the patience to wait for you to complete things that they’ve asked you to do. Your professional attitude will not go unnoticed. Your lucky day this week will be Thursday. SAGITT ARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21) Unforeseen changes in your location are apparent. Visit friends or relatives you rarely see. You are best to ask questions if you aren’t certain about issues that are confronting you. Loved ones may be annoyed if they feel restricted. Your lucky day this week will be Wednesday. CAPRICORN (Dec 22.Jan. 20) Sign up for courses or join fitness clubs. Try to put your money away for a rainy day. Get thinking about prolonging longevity. Driving too fast or double parking will result in difficulties with officials. Your lucky day this week will be Saturday. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19) Get busy trying to make more money. You should get out and enjoy social events where you are likely to meet new potential mates; however, don’t over spend. Business partnerships should turn out to be quite lucrative. Travel for business will be advantageous. Your lucky day this week will be Saturday. PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20) You’d be wise to control your spending so your debts don’t get out of hand. Brunch, a long walk, or a quiet dinner will secure your position in the relationship. Try to deal with the problems of those less fortunate; however, don’t allow them to make unreasonable demands. Don’t get depressed, get busy. You can accomplish a lot if you’re willing to put in a little extra time. Your lucky day this week will be Saturday. (Continued From Page 7)stopped producing quality teachers when the Belize Teachers’ College became a part of the University of Belize. Under the Belize Teachers’ College, the “climate” was different and all efforts were concentrated on only teacher training and acquiring pedagogical skills. Teachers were together at the same campus for the whole day. This led to a lot of exchanging of ideas, concerns and possible solutions and you interacted with each other. Lecturers were concerned only with teacher training and did not have to be teaching other course in other fields of study. This climate cannot exist in other institution when there are other courses that also needs attention. I hope that one of these days we will wake up and do the right thing stop focusing on the PSE results and start focusing on a TEACHERS’ TRAINING COLLEGE. Even though some people might think we are stepping backwards if we were to re-open the Belize Teachers’ Training College, I do not hesitate to disagree with them. I think that it was at the point when the 2 + 1 training was scrapped that we started to lose our footing on education in this country. There were people who went into the 2 + 1 training, and because it gave them a true value of what a teacher should be, that they removed themselves from the teaching profession. The institution, at the time, served to keep those persons who would make good and dedicated teachers while making those who thought that teaching was an easy job, change their minds. We must also bear in mind that not everything that works in industrialized countries will work for us. So let stop copying everything that we read or hear about. Please, it is time to bring back good, sound teacher training in an institution which caters ONLY to teacher training. About the author: Thomas Oliver is a Standard Six Teacher at the Burrell Boom Methodist School. MOE goofed ... MOE goofed ... MOE goofed ... MOE goofed ... MOE goofed ...

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9 Someone on the online debating list serve mentioned that most of the Belize Tourist Board advertising budget is spent on a few expensive high end hotels. Such an idea startled me, with the reversal of empirical evidence of tourism development over the past forty five years in Belize. I can see where it might come about, from young civil service people who have not watched the business grow and experienced the joys and difficulties of applying their own risk capital in tourism development over decades. Such an idea that investing in advertising to support the few top hotel earners in the tourist industry is obviously a choice that a bureaucrat concentrating on highest tax revenues earned for the government might make. As a strategy to boost tourism numbers, however, the idea of concentrating the majority of advertising budget on high end hotels would be totally wrong, empirical evidence and experience shows over four decades in Belize. Do we go by academic theory, or by the evidence? Here is the difference between practical hands on knowledge and that by theoretical academics. What attracts tourists to Belize fluctuates and is always driven by market demand. Tourism and even high end tourism hotels succeed, only if advertising is spent by government departments with this responsibility on your small tourist operator offerings. These are the things that attract tourists. You advertise your small tourist mom and pop operations with articles in the international media, that include the human interest element and the eventual effect is to fill those big hotels, as spillover. Without the small tourist operations, you have no industry, or will lose what you have. In my lifetime of experience, you look after the small individual, doing things like manatee tours, macaw colorful parrot watching, the kite windsurfers, the Ragamuffin Sailing Tours, etc. You concentrate your advertising on the exotic, the small person, the David versus Goliath competition. That is what brings increases in your tourism overnight visitor statistics. You advertise the small entrepreneur with a hostel, a guest house and that sort of thing. For comparison: if you concentrate on saving pennies and nickels in your personal life, you will eventually be rich. If you concentrate on your small tourism places, you will expand the industry to bring new investment into the country for new bigger hotels. If the debate on the list serve is true, then BTB have their investment policy reversed. There are some basics to advertising Belize. You advertise adventure, the small family owned operator Some Thoughts on Some Thoughts on Some Thoughts on Some Thoughts on Some Thoughts on B B B B B T T T T T B B B B B Adver Adver Adver Adver Adver tising Policy tising Policy tising Policy tising Policy tising Policy By: Ray Auxiloustruggling against the giant hotel corporations, you spend money keeping the San Pedro and Caye Caulker front beaches filled with sand and attractive. You place small strategic one and two inch cheaper classified ads in all the sports magazines, from the North American Backpacking magazine, to Mountain Bike magazine, to Hiking Trails magazines, to Windsurfing magazines, to Gold Prospector magazine, Fishing magazines, to Archeology magazines, in Sailing and Cruising magazines, in Scuba magazines, in car racing magazines, in private small plane ultra light and glider magazines like Soaring and you find these equivalents in the European and Asian markets with their local languages and just fill the classified ad sections of all sorts of magazines giving entrepreneur, or activity niche someplace in Belize as destinations and places to go, to experience these exotic exciting things. Two hundred dollars per magazine issue, perhaps three hundred magazines, how hard can that be? Remember, while your big hotel customer is old and rich, in their minds they are still young and wish to relive their youth. They may not get past the swimming pool with rum and coke drink in hand, but they will come not for a big hotel, but for the idea, that if they wanted they could do those physical things. It is the young and their adventures, that attract the rich older expensive tourist, who wants luxury and comforts. Without good beaches on the islands you wonÂ’t have a tourist business to speak of either. That is a basic lesson; people come to islands for the beaches. They may not use the beach, but if you donÂ’t have one, your tourist business will die. The asset is photogenic, sort of the romantic idea of the Caribbean, sand and coconut trees. Old rich folks may do no more than look out the window at young people playing volleyball on the beach, but if you donÂ’t have those young physically fit people, you wonÂ’t get the old rich tourist either. Tourism is a psychological game and how you advertise is key. You are selling image. Your typical tourist lives in a crowded city, full of concrete tall canyons and lives in a cave called an apartment, or a room. They yearn spiritually for the outdoors, to commune with nature and meet physical challenges of the outdoors. This is what you sell in Belize. The idea of what is real from older days in an old fashioned sense, and advertising for young people in the small operator and low budget hostel environment that they can afford, is where you need to BEST spend your advertising dollar as a nation. You must sell the exotic and the physical and nature. The rich will follow the young adventurers and dream of what was once, that they have left behind in their advancing years. There are now six low budget hostels in Belize. One on San Pedro, three on Caye Caulker, two in Western Cayo District. Look after your small guys BTB, the big hotel investments and customers with the money will follow. Advertise to attract the yuppies in their twenties and the old and rich will follow and want those big hotels. For an online version of the INdependent Reformer visit us at http:// www .belizenor th.com/ independentr eformer .htm Boat for SALE for US $10,000 -21' open fisherman double hull -flooring recently refurbished -live bait well (a must for any real fisherman) -14 rod holders -6 holders for trolling -dependable 200hp Yamaha with 120 hours -new stainless steel prop with spare aluminum prop -new center console -Bimini top -all stainless steel fittings -Captain chair doubles as fighting chair all running lights & bildge pump operational w/new switches -new bottom paint/anti-fouling paint -60 gallon tank -new seat belts -she flies no brakes available. Contact owner: tel. 225-3520

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10 Greetings to all from Belize! Four months ago, my husband Mitch, my mom, our three dogs, Chief, Gunny, and DOG, our cat George, and I, left Florida to start our new adventure. It rained every day for the first three months. I swear, every single day! It was hot and muggy, and many days and nights it was continuous rain. We live about 12 miles outside Belize City in a village call Ladyville. The area we live is just being developed, hence there are acres and acres of land with a neighbor here and there. Mitch, my Mom and I all refer to it as “back-a-bush”. Every day is a new adventure for us as well as the animals. Horsing around Since our property is not yet fenced, horses come walking through, eating the grass our sticking their heads into veranda to see what is going on. The dogs would go wild barking every time they saw the horses, day or night. they had never seen horses before. This went on for about six weeks, then one day we heard the horses chomping through but the dogs never budged from their resting spot. The horses were old news. Friendly neighbors David, our neighbor, is a blessing. He returned to Belize to chill out about seven years ago after he retired from the US army. He understands the kind of limbo we are in and is a wealth of information and advice on living in Belize. He raises ducks, chicken and turkeys in his back yard. A small lake runs between our property, and David’s ducks would float by or his chicken and turkeys would wander over and Chief and Gunny would chase them. One morning about 3 am, I woke to hear this strange noise, and found Chief had brought back one of David’s ducks. It was fluttering around, sounding like its neck was crushed. So we’re out in the rain with a half dead duck making a lot of noise and wondering how David was going to react to our dog getting his duck. I tell Mitch we needed to put him out of its misery, to use a cement block or machete but he says that’s mean and he wasn’t going to do it. In the end we both went back to bed leaving the poor duck fighting for air. The next day we had to pay twenty dollars to David for his duck. Midnight visitor My sister, Icelind, who wants desperately to live in Belize, (she hasn’t been able to convince her husband on the move yet) jumps on the plane every time I call and ask her to. One night, she was up late sitting at the kitchen table when her attention was drawn to Georgie’s hissing. A snake had crawled in from under the door. Mitch came out to investigate the commotion in the kitchen and found her standing on top of the kitchen table. We suspected it was a poisonous coral snake, and confirmed it the morning by checking the internet. We now have weather strips on the door and if you ever happen to enter Icelind’s room, you’ll find a lot of garlic scattered over the floor. Someone told her garlic drives snakes away! On Feb 2, Chief, Gunny, and DOG died . In Belize there are some strange delicacies. One such is a wild turkey called Curassow. A friend of my mother’s brought her a piece of the “turkey.” Since I was not excited about the prospect of eating the meat, I decided to cook it for the dogs. I boiled it in a stew for them and fed it to them over the dry dog food. Unfortunately, we found out too late that Curassow is not something you feed to the dogs. The birds eat poisonous plants and the toxins are stored in the bones. When the dogs chew the bones it releases the toxins. Thirty-four years had passed since we left Belize and my mother had forgotten about this supposedly common knowledge. The poison affects the brain, the process was horrible, it affects the brain causes them to have painful, frightful hallucinations. The vet could do nothing for them. Symptoms started on Monday and by Friday they died from massive seizures. It was just horrible! We all cried like babies. A week later we walked outside our door to find four of the most beautiful puppies. Friends are wonderful. Our friend Harry, hearing of our loss shared his new litter with us. We are now enjoying Harry, Asia, Jane, and Tribute, our newest family members! The fire In Belize, they sometimes clear out the land by lighting fires to burn the bushes. On Valentine’s Day, Mitch and I were relaxing enjoying this retirement life when we discovered a bush fire on the other side of the road had gotten out of control. It was threatening the home of an elderly lady who was not home at the time. The fire was beautiful and scary, it was hot and you could hear it cracking as it ran up the trees and in the bushes. The only person home was the maid and she was just looking so scared running around outside. Mitch went to fetch David while the maid and I started filling buckets with water to put the fire out. By the time we ran back to the house to fill the buckets and come back to the fire it had spread further. Several times I had to stop to splash water onto my face in order to get some relief from the heat. Thankfully Mitch and David came up. They both had machete in their hands. Shortly after, other villagers who were working in the area came, they had branches they had cut from trees in their hands. I wonder what the hell they brought those for but soon got my answer. The spread out and used the branches to beat the fire out and the machete to cut more. It worked, they got the fire under control and eventually put it out. Truckload of trouble I could tell you about the excitement of the 4 feet boa constrictor snake that crawled up the underside of my father’s pick up truck last Friday and how I had to drive the truck to the car repair shop, so they could lift it up and get the snake out. But I’ll let you use your imagination…. I’m adjusting to this retirement thing. I haven’t looked for any jobs yet and am not sure if I will at this point. Sometimes I think, I have to have a purpose, I have to be in charge of something I can’t just be a housewife! But for now, I’m still getting settled in our new home and I love sleeping in. I can’t say that I miss the Navy. I do miss my boys, family and friends but I have great memories and even though you may not hear from me often, know I do think of you way back here in the bush! By:Delfina Mitchell Belize retirement Belize retirement Belize retirement Belize retirement Belize retirement : : : : :The Dream, and a few Nightmares The Dream, and a few Nightmares The Dream, and a few Nightmares The Dream, and a few Nightmares The Dream, and a few NightmaresA report from the frontlines Visit The Belize Zoo The Best Little Zoo In The World

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11 The National Institute of Culture and History joins the entire nation of Belize in expressing our sincere condolences to the Gabb family on the passing of Belizean patriot and cultural icon, George Seymour Gabb, M.B.E. Even as we mourn the loss of George Gabb “the Gifted Giant”, we take this opportunity to celebrate his life, accomplishments and invaluable contribution to his homeland and his people. Having dedicated over four decades of his life to Culture and the Belize mourns George Gabb Belize mourns George Gabb Belize mourns George Gabb Belize mourns George Gabb Belize mourns George Gabb Arts, George Gabb made his indelible mark on Belizean culture as a playwright, poet, painter and most notably, as Belize’s pre-eminent sculptor. It will be recalled that his awardwinning play “Yellowtail” was voted Best All-around Production in the Festival of Arts of May, 1966. He will be remembered as the author of many literary works including “Naked Eye: Belizean Proverbs and Philosophy”. His works as a sculptor form part of Belize’s National Collection, as well as private collections at home and abroad; including those of the Queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury. One of his most recognizable pieces, “the Sleeping Giant” (part of Belize’s National Collection) has been used as a watermark on the Belize passport and is still being on Belizean paper currency. George Gabb taught sculpture to a number of young Belizeans and for some time, spent months teaching as an artist-in-residence at universities in Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina. For his numerous contributions, George Seymour Gabb was made a Member of the British Empire in 1974. He was later a recipient of the Belize Arts Council’s Outstanding Artist Award in August, 1998. On September 19, 2002, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Government of Belize.-Press Release from NICH Belize’s gifted giant Geroge Gabb George Gabb’s sculture of a tiger man. T eeny ly Toon

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Friday, March 16, 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 TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS Goodbye George Gabb He was a great strength; a fortress of talent as a philosopher, artist painter, sculptor, poet, wood carver. He was also always an open and friendly source of common sense and good advice. He will be sorely missed. downs with world leaders, including Fidel Castro and President Bush. Fox has signed a book deal to publish his memoir Revolution of Hope in October, according to a statement by Viking, a sister imprint of Penguin Press. The book will be co-written by Fox and his friend, public-relations consultant Rob Allyn, who spent much of December and January working on the book with Fox at his ranch in central Mexico . Guatemala City dodgy? Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega has repeated his offer to provide temporary headquarters for the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) due to the lack of security in Guatemala. The situation in Nicaragua offers peace for the sessions without fears and anxieties that today exist in Guatemala, assured the Sandinista leader to board members of the regional parliament. Ortega received the PARLACEN members in the offices of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) that, together with the Olof Palme Convention Center has been his office since he became the President of Nicaragua last January 10. Fox tells all ! MEXICO CITY — Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is telling all in a memoir that will detail his ups and Honduras renews relations with Cuba Honduras named its first ambassador to Cuba in 45 years last week, completing the restoration of diplomatic ties with the communist-run island that were severed during the Cold War. Ramón Elvir will be sent to Havana as Honduras ‘ ambassador. Honduras broke off diplomatic relations with Havana in 1962, when Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States. It renewed formal relations with the island in January 2001, but did not name an ambassador until now. In recent years, some ties between the two countries like medical services have increased. About 340 Cuban doctors have served in this Central American country, and around 500 Hondurans study medicine in Cuba . Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala unite! El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala signed an agreement Wednesday to create the tri-national border community of Rio Lempa, near the largest reserve of water in Central America . Mayors of the three Central American countries in nearby municipalities said actions performed together will foster efficiency of the development programs scheduled for border zones. Chinese in Caribbean but not in Belize! Chinese development assistance is being delivered in several visible infrastructure projects including: the construction of national stadiums in Dominica, St Lucia , and Grenada ; the construction of a psychiatric hospital in St Lucia; redevelopment of the Botanical Gardens in Dominica and the construction of a new block in a school nearby. China has also promised support for the development of a major highway in St Lucia , and is active in Jamaica , Guyana and Suriname. Regional governments are ecstatic about the generosity of the Peoples Republic of China, and many have switched long held allegiances with Taiwan. Now only three countries in the English speaking Caribbean Belize , St Kitts and Nevis , and St Vincent and the Grenadines , plus Haiti and the Dominican Republic still maintain relations with TaiwanThe Rio Lempa in El Salvador A rainbow over Roseau, the princiapl city in Dominica

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13 13 The Toledo branch of the Belizean Green Party has some ideas that we don’t see in the information from the other parties. One of the most significant and important concepts was the requirement that at least 80% of the members must vote for a motion to pass. What is the concept of democracy? That each citizen has one equal vote. The different parties put up their platforms and manifestoes as to what they think should be done and how. The responsible citizen, the electorate, should study the different parties’ recommendations. To help with this the different party’s candidates should hold Green P Green P Green P Green P Green P ar ar ar ar ar ty Asks: ty Asks: ty Asks: ty Asks: ty Asks: Strength In Unity? Strength In Unity? Strength In Unity? Strength In Unity? Strength In Unity?Are Are Are Are Are T T T T T w w w w w o Heads Better o Heads Better o Heads Better o Heads Better o Heads Better Then One? Then One? Then One? Then One? Then One? public meetings and debates. In a civilized society these should be focused on the issues and be conducted in a respectful atmosphere of good will. Now, what often happens, as we have seen in the past elections is one candidate will say our party believes if we go down the road that heads north we will be prosperous, but if we go down the road to the south as my opponent from the other party says ,we will go broke and come to ruin. They both push for the benefits of their way and keep warning the people of how bad it will be if the other party’s road is taken. Unfortunately each candidate often attacks the character of their opponent, sometimes called character assassination or negative campaigning. Now in theory when one side gets elected, maybe by a few votes, perhaps 53% to 47%, those candidates and members of the electorate who lost are supposed to join with those in the majority, and do their best to go down the road that they have been telling everyone they would never go down is definitely no question about it, the road to ruin. Their leaders are to forget all the mean and ugly things their opponents said about them and perhaps their wives and mothers, and in the true spirit of democracy do their best to make the majority’s road work. That is the theory, but is that what really happens in practice? In my observation, those who lose often stand back and watch the other head off on their own. Sometimes they even do things that will make it harder for those who go on the other road to succeed. Reading about ancient African and Indian cultures, I learned villagers kept on debating and struggling with the issues until they came to a consensus where everybody agreed as to the best way to go. This also happens in some of the most successful democracies in the most advanced nations of today like Denmark and Holland who also keep on working until they have at least a near consensus. Considering what recently happened to Mexico where they just had a very close election and are still having serious problems that continues to divide and weaken them, you have to think consensus is the key to success. The members of the Toledo branch agree that it would be far better to take the time to agree and debate the issues until a consensus or near consensus, at least 80% is achieved, with the clear understanding by all that if the road chosen turned out not to provide what was expected, a sincere effort would be made to try the other road. This is one of the concepts put forward that we think is very important. Do you believe our desperate conditions call for radical changes? Then try this on for size. Do you believe that two heads are better than one, even if one is female and one is male? Another idea that is sure to receive some ridicule is that we have true gender equality, by having a male and female for each political office. Their first job would be to agree on what course they would take together, if they were divided on the issue, they would take it to the House of Representatives and the Senate, for them to vote on it. Again a majority should be convinced. Could these circumstances be difficult? You bet. But that’s what our what our leaders are paid for-to work hard. Please e-mail comments to belizeangreenpartytoledo@hotmail.com, see our website at http:// belizeangreenpartytoledo.wetpaint.com to learn more about our platform. On March 6, Ivan Roberts, who describes himself as an “Ambassador of the Universal Peace Federation” donated 7 computers to St Jude R.C. school in Camalote. He says “These are the first of 35 computers which I intend to donate to that school. I also have request from schools in Cotton Tree Village, Santa Famelia, Teakettle and otherCa Ca Ca Ca Ca y y y y y o independent candida o independent candida o independent candida o independent candida o independent candida te dona te dona te dona te dona te dona tes tes tes tes tescommunities. It is our intention to make sure that every school in the country of Belize has this technology available to all their students.” He says he plans to ensure that not only Cayo Central schools, which are in his constituency, but all towns and villages in the Cayo district gets a fully equipped lab with a minimum of 35 computers per lab. He says he is also working “to ensure the monopoly which prevents this country from having access to Voice over Internet Protocol is dismantled, when I am successful in the next general election.” Ivan Roberts presents certificate for 7 computers to the priincipal of St Jude R.C. school in Camalote. By: Chet Schmidt PG correspondent for INdependent W eekly

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14 14 TOO WILD FOR WORDS! TOO WILD FOR WORDS! TOO WILD FOR WORDS! TOO WILD FOR WORDS! TOO WILD FOR WORDS! THE BELIZE ZOO ANIMALS GET LOVE AND ATTENTION FROM JUNIOR ZOOKEEPER CARLOS DOMINGUEZ! Carlos is not even 12, but even at this early age, has a great desire to fit in zookeeper duties as part of his life! School during the week in Belmopan takes a lot out of this guy, but his homework reports are excellent, and that is the requirement for Carlos to be able to extend a helping hand at The Belize Zoo every Sunday. The Belize Zoo is happy to provide a fun and interesting Sunday for this very cool guy! It is simply TOO WILD FOR WORDS! By Sharon Matola Carlos cuddles the zoo’s boa constrictor, Bal Boa, as he describes the snake’s natural history.tice, manage her time on the exam, focus, focus, focus…. They have been admonishing her, guiding her, cheering her on. What do we tell her now? If this is an example of how the current Ministry treats its educators and students, no wonder our children are failing. No wonder our teachers are demoralized, underpaid and over worked while the administrators are out of touch, overpaid and under worked. Whatever the reason behind the announcement, it backfired, big time. The Minister himself is now in the dunce chair with some even suggesting he, perhaps the entire cabinet, should take the test and have the results made public. The ministry is now faced with the very real possibility that the professional men and women it counts on to invigilate and grade this exam, will boycott this year and are questioning its very relevance. In terms of public relations, right now the ministry has an “F” for foresight and sensitivity. The Minister says he is disappointed in the teachers. Clearly they are disappointed in him. I will stand with our teachers on this one, even if it affects my own child. I will side with them because I respect them and their efforts. Because I remember those teachers at Teacher’s College who left newborn babies in PG with relatives, or commuted several hours every day by bus from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Dangriga because they were told they needed to be certified. I will side with them because these women, and a handful of men, who turn up for class each day, often take money out of their own pockets to feed our children, buy supplies, counsel them when they are in trouble or have difficulties at home, take assignments in communities so many of us would give up on before we even got there. They keep working, teaching our nation’s children, year in and year out, because it is what they have been called to do.With little thanks from the parents, and even less from their Ministry or the churches. For me, and many Belizeans, the teacher’s willingness to stand up and say “No More,” is the true test of their intelligence. The yardstick by which we should all be measured. In standard VI and beyond. T T T T T op of op of op of op of op of the class the class the class the class the class Feeding monkeys, deer and birds, Carlos learns from the Belize Zookeepers proper animal management techniques, and the many factors involved in being a good zookeeper. Carlos has learned to handle the zoo’s boa constrictor, Bal Boa, and tells visitors about this gentle snake’s interesting natural history. Carlos admits, “I don’t have a favourite task at the zoo. I like everything I do there, from cleaning cages, to fixing dinners for the animals and of course, getting to know them!” Everyone at The Belize Zoo (including the animals) enjoys having Carlos around each Sunday. His bright and eager attitude is contagious! Carlos is learning a lot, and (Continued From Page 4)

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Friday, March 16, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15 15 a blanket unqualified condemnation sometimes seen in some of the editorial-like articles. I wish to close now with part of a speech from the greatest American orator of modern times. “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new military which has engulfed the negro community must not lead us to distrust all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.” Martin Luther King Jr. August 28, 1963. May God bless Belize and the United States. Respectfully yours, Rudolph A. Bowman Dangrigan Belizean Coloradoan American Reginald Williams. Odessa Gibson is a former Chairlady of Rockstone Pond and Carolee Hecker has worked campaigns before for other candidates but this is the first time she has run herself. Hecker says not only is their team having to introduce themselves during house to house visits, they are having to inform people there is an election on April 1st. “A lot of people are not even aware there is a Village Council Election.” This may be due to a lack of publicity from the Ministry of Local Government and also the Elections and Boundaries Commission. The team says some people have gotten very dependent on the politics of money. Turton says some Ladyvillians have told them outright, “If you don’t have money, don’t even come to my house.” She says they are not going to pay anyone to vote and want to help instill pride in the community. “Just because you are poor, does not mean you have to live in a dirty area or not keep up your yard.” This is the second time a goup of independents is campaigning in Ladyville. In the elections of 2001 group called the “Independent Seven,” lead by Michael Hutchison, almost took the council, losing the Chairmanship to the PUP by only two votes. Independents contest Independents contest Independents contest Independents contest Independents contest Lady Lady Lady Lady Lady ville Village Council ville Village Council ville Village Council ville Village Council ville Village Council10th La Ruta Maya River Challenge new record 10th La Ruta Maya River Challenge new record 10th La Ruta Maya River Challenge new record 10th La Ruta Maya River Challenge new record 10th La Ruta Maya River Challenge new recordBelize honors Belize honors Belize honors Belize honors Belize honors Baron Bliss Baron Bliss Baron Bliss Baron Bliss Baron Bliss Governor General Sir Colville Young lays a wreath on the grave, at Monday’s ceremonies honouring of Belize’s greatest benefactor Baron Edward Victor Ernest Bliss. Armin Lopez, Amado & Rudy Cruz of the Belize Bank team paddled to a record breaking finish to win La Ruta Maya River Challenge for the 3rd consecutive year. The Builders Hardware team won the Mixed Team category. The Cruz sisters of Esperanza Village won the female category for the 2nd year running. Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor (Continued From Page 1) (Continued From Page 2)

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