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Independent reformer

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

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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services (UFDC@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.

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Close Call in Lords Bank;




DIP squeezes by PUP

Lord's Bank, the sister village to
Ladyville in the Belize District,
April 15, butjustbarely. Chairman --...... -...::.."
voted in a red council on Sunday, .
Andre Rivero just edged out PUP
contender, former Belize City
Mayor Stephen Latchman, 3 07 to .-
284 votes, with twelve spoiled bal-
lots.
The UDP presence was strong on
polling day with banners on every
utility pole down the Lord's Bank
Road off the Northern Highway and
United Democratic Party flags wav-
ing at the entrance to the commu-
nity center. Supporters in red t-
shirts greeting every elector as they
arrived.
The People's United Party was
low key in terms of visuals, and " --
stood more on the sidelines. ..- ..4 ^-,
Besides Rivero, a career civil ser- .. --
vant with experience as a social ..-. .- --.
worker, law enforcement officer, Lords Bank residents line up at the community center to cast their ballot.
traffic department officer, prosecu-
tor and community reha-
bilitation officer, theUDP Inside this Issue
slate includes Paul Garcia
Sr., retiree, Roger Garbutt Peninsula Citizens
a business machines tech-
nician, Walter Sosa, a protest Illegal
Bowen and Bowen sales-Mii
man, Mark Anderson,
electrician, Sheldon Will- pg. 3
iams, salesman and athlete,
and youth group member
Michelle Williams. Defining Objectives
PUP councilor aspirants
include Carol Young, pg.6
Daniel Molina, Raquel
Arnold, Agnes Stevens,
Edison Parks, Pamela Divide & Conquer
Fitzgibbon.
Election data from pg. 7
around the country was
slow to arrive at the Min-
istry of National Develop- OAS & OECD agree
ment, at Independent press
time on Monday only re- to fight corruption
sults for Cayo were in and
information had not yet pg. 8
UDP Village Councillor-elect Sheldon Williams welcomes Lords Bank voters to the been disseminated to the
polls on Sunday afternoon. media.








Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2


Higher end power
users should pay more
Dear Editor,
On April 12th, 2007 Mr. Roberto
Young, Chairman of the Public Utilities
Commission, PUC, appeared on the
Channel 5 newscast and invited members
of the public to comment on the applica-
tion submitted by BEL for a rebalance of
rates.
I reviewed a 12 page document avail-
able on the PUC website (www.puc.bz).
The tables and schedules were quite diffi-
cult to understand by a lay person such as
myself as little in the way of explanatory
notes are provided. Nevertheless, I made
an attempt and offer the following com-
ments for your consideration.
While the newscast indicated that the
proposed charges are supposed to trans-
late to reduced bills for most consumers,
based on my understanding of Schedule
4 with respects to residential tariffs (again,
without the benefit of explanatory notes),
I found that the proposed rates would
result in a 3% increase for lower end en-
ergy consuming residential costumers and
a 2% increase for the higher end consum-
ing residential costumers.
The documents did not indicate what
the average consumption of a residential
costumer is, but assuming one refrigera-
tor, three 60 watt light bulbs, two floor
fans, a 75 watt 19" television, and a radio
or other small appliance, and using aver-
age energy consumption of these items
that I gleaned off the Internet, I estimated
this to be somewhere in the neighborhood
of 300Kwh. Doing the math, I calculated
that the average monthly residential bill for
household with these appliances would
increase from $132.00 per month to
$135.50 per month or an increase of 3%.
Meanwhile, residential consumers who
have more electrical appliances such as


clothes dryers, air conditioning units, ceil-
ing fans, and who therefore consume more
energy will experience a 2% increase in
their bill because the increase in proposed
tariffs weighted more on the first 50Kwh
of consumption ($0.06 increase) and less
on the consumption above 200 Kwh
($.01 increase).
I encourage you to examine this rate
structure and to consider modifying it such
that the increase is shifted more towards
the higher end users who consume more
energy (are less energy efficient) and who
can most likely afford an increase, or if
they can't afford the increase, or at least
have more flexibility in adjusting theirrate
of consumption by, for example, turning
off their air conditioners and using a fan,
orunplugging the extramrefrigerator or tele-
vision set.
Please consider arate structure that will
promote more efficient and sustainable
energy use among residential consumers
by shifting the increase more toward higher
end residential consumers and away from
basic or lower end consumers. For ex-
ample, a $0.02 increase at all levels along
with replacement of the $10 service
charge with $5 flat rate would result in
reduced bills for consumers who keep
their consumption levels below 200Kwh,
1% increase for consumers who use 300
Kwh per month, and gradually increase
up to 4% for residential consumers who
use up to 2,500 Kwh per month.
Sincerely,
Mario Lara

Under wraps
Dear Editor,
Why is it that the results of the village
council elections are seemingly being
horded by the government for days on
end and the public has to rely on yeriso
from the major political parties? What
happened to freedom of information? Ac-


countability and transparency?
During any General Elections, when
there are thousands more Belizeans vot-
ing, the Elections and Boundaries Depart-
ment posts the results on their website.
Granted they are always far behind me-
dia reporters, especially those on radio
who get inside information and unofficial
results from campaign workers and friends
on the "inside," but at least we can find
the results after 24 hours or so.
But for village council elections, we are
merely told the Ministry ofNational De-
velopment will be posting the results in
newspapers, but how long does it take
for them to get the numbers anyway?
Perhaps they are trying to hold off as
long as possible to prevent anything un-
flattering to the mling PUP from emerging
and influencing the next round of village
voting. Which, raises the next question:
why are the elections being staggered?
General Elections and Municipal Elections
are simultaneous. Do you mean to tell us
we do not have enough personnel be-
tween the Elections and Boundaries Of-
fice and National Development to sustain
polling areas in all the villages? That seems
so ridiculous. But maybe it's the case. Sad
ifitis.
And even sadder that the dates of the
village council elections are so poorly pub-
licized. Perhaps the Ministry ofNational
Development can do a post mortem after
this round and figure out how they can
work more closely with the media and
perhaps collaborate with Elections and
Boundaries. Some ofus are not entirely
comfortable with other ministries running
elections anyway when we have people
we trust (or are supposed to trust) being
paid very good salaries at Elections and
Boundaries and they only have to kick into
action every three years or so.
Signed,
A. Martinez


independent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com
P.O. Box 2(..666
Beliie Ciit. Belie/


Send me 6 months of the INdependent Reformer for as little as
BZS3000 (LISS30.00 international)


1 1 '1. I I k P



I m -III .jti.


E-1 Lill lll E-1


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


[71YES!







Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3



Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable


Development protest illegal
The Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable
Development area up in arms against Illegal mining in Placencia La(
the illegal dredging of the Placencia La- A I
goon. They have written a letter to 10 A april 2007
Martin Alegria of the Department of
the Environment and to Craig Moore
of the Department of Geology, of the
Ministry of Natural Resources, with
copies to the Minister of Natural Re-
sources John Briceno.
They also copied the letter to ...............
Placencia and Seine Bight Village, I.i.
Councils, the Friends of Nature, the .
Department of Forestry and the me-
dia.


goon


We reproduce their letter in toto
that our readers may understand their
gripe.
"Re: Illegal Dredging of the
Placencia Lagoon; Permits and ECPs
Dear Mr. Moore and Mr. Alegria:
As reported to you by numerous
residents of the Placencia Peninsula,
Albert Loewen has been dredging and
mining sand from the Placencia La-
goon at the Lagoon entrance to Lot
146 in the Maya Beach area, owned
by Jim and Sarah Robinson.
Loewen has been mining this sand


from the Lagoon without a permit for
at least a week and one resident of
the area estimates that at least 150
dump truck loads of sand have been
take to Villas at Coco Plum, owned
by Mr. Boris Mansfield, and the


The Minister of Tourism, Information and
National Emergency Management,
|, Hon. Godfrey P. Smith
in conjunction with the
A. Belize Tourism Board

Scordially invites you


20O


attend ...


i

:resenlalion
Daiea Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
7T me: ):30 a.m. (Seanng at 9:00 a.m.)
Place Pnnccss Hc-tel and Ca.mno, -ein 's R::>cm








!^P




TYIhake th choTiR E ieane...
Enhance the Tourism Experience!


Zeboz development area (Plantation
development) in the last week. Fur-
ther, this is not the first instance of
Loewen's illegal sand dredging, simi-
lar illegal dredging occurred off the

STRENGTHENING OF BEL


Lagoon property of Ms. Alice Brady
several months ago.
Area residents have repeatedly re-
ported this illegal sand dredging and
(Please Turn To Page 13) *Ej

SIZE'S i 11LTI-SECTORAL


RESPONSE TO HIV AND AIDS

JOB DESCRIPTION FOR THE PROJECT OFFICER
Global Fund Actie ilies
The PIolecC Ofllfci lce ll :sstun.iimc enciil I.esponIsibilil.cs loi o\ CieII lo'tiM.ica .iS[pcCs of
Ilk Global FLnid lMimlsl of Hcaii Iiiimplnciiiciiiiion ilncILklinh the Ilcnfolcintg of the lInlelc-
nIlllnaLion of1 il Global Flmltd Acui\ lCmes TIlh cJal IIchmlclIC fel'clillll IlK T slccIionI nld
contl i nC 1 of 01p 10\ dli s ld the OI' lall n / I 1 o01 \\of oikshops COIl''K'inc .lla llld i'i'ltlllL's
Hie she \\ ill be he Ifoc pomi \ ill Pot'Iniunun pnlliC anisld Inmplcnclilntl' A'clcis
The Pmolcci officec i ill be I>pC r idlseld \ and iCpol t10 ll DIctCIoi of Ill Njilnionil AIDS
Pmomanin i NAPi in thell k Minimus of HIcall th IMOH
RESPONSIBILITIES:
Ad\ is tllhe D ictool of ll NjaitionaIl AIDS Plol.Ianini Onl all IClcI ant issul les
pcllainin to10 Global Fund iand HIV\ AIDS STIs
Cooldnil Ill theGlobal Fnlnd Aci\ i les. is 11 pilalis Ito the MinimstI of Haillth
COI[ O llCll
Enlsul ImnplIenC1uionol of Global Fulnd AcIl\ lies .is 11 ipclilns to the MNI(OH
EnsullC l l 11 llC\ C\C illllOII o l pio10 c l 1cll\ Inl .is nl dlchic cncIllIs l Ofl Ollpllluts
Plo0\ role lnd nkli1111i111i I cl OIl ll con111111ninc 11011 blN\ n11 thl dilllfcIIll ntsub-
ICClipiCnIs of Global Funtld t10 CsiiuLii aidcilul coolinllaloi ol c1nll\ Il.cs
Plodlucll i 011ai illCl h basis illfull ICppoll of on011o0111i aclles %l 'llul Ithe PloiCcl
tOmIv'lll/C li l ficill i ci cpacillc l buillhni w' lito! _IJnlCs11i s COls.is. 01 IlIh.Inds-on
sessions. fo Ih Minlist n of Hciallh aild implCmeniCulilonm pliillncis
Assist \\ Ill olhCl dulls ltl 01 alssi'mlllllns consistent lth thell oll lob | sci ptoll nl
is outlinldl ibo0\
Qil.llifl'icatioiii:
A FIl tlct!ICC 1in PIOICI N IaliienlinIl Public A.inlli1lsuillion Public Hcaillh oi
IC ie I llC discipline
Fi\ C 51 \ Anl llundcl stlitlInl,' of the socIo-conomC01101111C Cllll lidl pollitil CalusCs of HI\
lndl AIDS id its IInllpick ilthe Ic alllthi nd dcl lopmlin Cl of BCll/C
.A s10n1112 ,Ill\ lilCl 1iCpoll u\ 1l% i t ,iind nlrlcCpCisona l sklls itnd
A COIlllllllnuicI ttll 10 p llicip1oly apploaCll 10 plOICCI IllllpIClnIill llo011
Remniiiieitioii:
Sailil illl be IK llfl ai C IIs n Olltible btised Oil qt illificillOlIsa ll C \|IC I I KInc1 '

Applicianl ts IC iCqlid Ito 10 ubmit tl\o coplCes of C IIuniclIunll \N i 1a alont \\ Il i\\mo -2 i
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( lul E \ECcuilI\ OlfficC
NMinis i of He Ith Locl Go'\ Cl iinliTi Tiiilnsi)oili al (o0iimiiniL illonis
S' Flooi Easl Block Buildin't! IIIndtleindnc PlIa/,
Beliniopin


0 0
miluilud


L.]







Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 |







holds no interest for you, and emails are the Creator intend for it to be this way? domino tournaments. Sharing the yard
to be left unanswered for another time. Is it not why (S)He made fruits so de- with coconut and breadfruit and guava
Right now, you only have time to eat sirable the humans and animals in the and lime trees... a good life for a tree.
your mango. Before someone comes first place? So that tapirs would cross There is a special place in the Belizean
and you feel obligated to share. You rivers to get to them and horses would heart for the mango trees; how they love
must hurry, but savor the moment, at risk being chased off private property us in return, showering us with basket-
the same time. and monkeys would sneak up on each fuls of rewards in exchange for doing
The only way to top this, your first other and steal their prize and eat it fur- pretty much nothing to take care of
-i time of the season, is to eat that mango tively, then pitch away the life-bearing them. We don't even water them, just
-p Begin to watch them every April and
B: KarlaHeusnerVernon ever met anyone who ever May, trying to tell if its going to be a
..have you ever met anyone who ever "good season" or if that the "cold front
I am convinced there is nothing like said, "No thanks, I don't like mangos," no confuse di tree mek he think da winta
the first mango of the season. Unless of still yet..."
course it is the first peach, or straw- No matter our station in life, the color
berry, or kiwi, or equally delightful fruit in the water a river is okay, but the center or pips, cast them out onto the of our skin, sucking on a mango is a
native to some equally delightful and sea is better when a little briny water winds or grasses so they can germinate pleasure we all look forward to, each
fruitful part of the world. splashes up on your lips and creates a and reproduce great trees and fruits of and every year. I say all, for have you
In Belize, the first sniff, the first peel delectable contrast between sweet and their own someday? ever met anyone who ever said, "No
of the skin, the first bite and first juicy salt. No doubt garbage pails and landfills thanks, I don't like mangos," as they
dribble down your chin are nothing You toss the skins as far away as pos- were not part of the equation... might say of papaya or craboo or
short of sensational. You stand there sible and then the seed too, watching But for those mango seeds that sur- kinep? They might only be particular
totally focused on what is before you; them drift away gently on the waves. vive the modern trash collection and about the variety, but I certainly have
for a few moments the outer world re- There is no guilt; its not pollution, being disposal systems life must be pretty yet to meet a mango hater.
cedes and the universe is simply deli- biodegradable after all. No fish have good in Belize. Just think ofthe generations of people
cious. No one, no thing, can upset your ever died from mango poisoning, no Imagine growing up next to some in this part of the world who have
equilibrium. You are at one with the corals have been bleached yellow or- homewithboisterous, energetic children watched the trees and waited for fruits
world. Younolongerfeel the humid heat, ange or affected by too much beta caro- and talkative adults and friendly dogs. to ripe and ready. Or cut them green
or hear the deafening boom box next tene. Providing shade to entire neighborhood for chutney or to eat with salt.
door, the novella or soap on television What could be more natural? Did not convocations, birthday parties and (Please Turn To Page 14) *


Butane and gasolene price gaan up but me di no pay no big money Fu gas.
We gaan totally natural energy wid Biogas, an' dat dah no bullshit(((








Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5


'I


tionat,


Surveij


a. A.x



ttA~L


HmvAI


eaa


ft


mant


V)nit














iNCE


JANUAR Y- DECEMBER, 2006

Jauinar 15. 2006
BELIZE C.A



NE\l HI, I-TEC IOS AND PERC ENTAGE BY DISTRICT T JANUARY TO DEC EMBER 2'006.


CAI'O
3I3%


T0 LE2.o


- COROZAL


,%ra


GRAPH I PERC ENTAGE OF NE\\ POSITI\T 1 TEC TIONS BY DISTRICT T IN
TOTAL VNIMBER OF PEOPLE TESTED AT C(L. BELIZE.
DURING JANUARY TO DEC EMBER. 2006.


6'.%/:


Im'u HIV POSITIVE INFECTIONS


BELIZE CA/O COROZA!


0 WAL K CREEK IuTOLEDO


DISTRICT


T.kBLE 1 NM\\ H-T. LFEC TIONS BY GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION LN PEOPLE TESTED AT
(ENTR.AL MEDIC L LABORATORY (C[KL. BELIZE. DRINTC, JAN'ARY TO
DECE.MBER.2006.
BELIZE DISTRICT T 366
BzeC in C'
C-ale. cmn I
Ladt-.riUt
(CAVO DISTRICT T I
BEelinop L
zn In ao Tarai 4
C(OROZAL DISTRICT 9
Corozdi Tawnu
ORANGE WALK DISTRICT T 8
C'E 3nqeallk Town
STA.N- C REEK DISTRICT 12
D.an-E TO T.n. .'
TOLEDO DISTRICT I
Punra Grrma To- 1n
(C IULTATI\T TOTAL 443
: L -p:i .
The d i.t:nbuni.:n of' H :Letp :, u'. a L r.iad'i,duaL te,'d at C IL iepcned b, d.rnci: Cfoi the .ear .'C0"6 v a:. a oial
ot 4-14. ne HIV. L[nuiecncL uitb '6 6' A 6.n BeLze I 3'r I Ca'.o 9 ,:'' m Cco,'zL t. i S'- n Oringe
'A'hll 42 9:'ot 4oi iSuSmanCree anudi 'L I Twcledc
In the pire- Ou: '.eaU :I ." rha.e 'si: 3 total cf 424 nD HP. ln'ecticirn.th .6 ,912 .r a BeL.e 9 ,2 [a' i
Ca'.o .. 'CJ '"'. Corc aL .3 i0 "'oi m Orise 'Aill 'k I ,-4 ic3 Ym Sian Creel ind 2 0 :. Oa. Toledo


Tbhe pericair e of a Lun F poLt-ie infecuanr: iandi ]d; iuaL Te:leld at C.\L roi the '.eat 2 '. 6 '%. :a. O'.1, v Belt"e
Dtcr) .La Ca -omDrncr 3 ,'oLu C.ronaJ Dinmct I .'-tc m01anwe. %a31 Di;nir e o -0S!mna Creek Duni-ci
ind I I't Teledc DLtrizi
In be pre lou: -.eai -'Olf ia:l 4 %, l Beie Di:oaict ] aI Cao DL:-IC 10 -'o0 t Cotc-al DcoCat 0 :'.'I im
Oranie V, ii DenOc 'v I ra Siainu Ceek o DLunic, ad i'" D Toledo Dnu,:,

GRAPH 2 NE"\ -I- LTEC(TIONS BY SEX IN PEOPLE TESTED AT (1NIL.
BELIZE. DURING JAN.LARY TO DEC EMBER. 2006.
MALE
253










FEMALE
130
Fci the .ear 2t'0 6 there n e 1 D.ale and m l9le: a temaje .m i L, e ne- l'. d a .no.ed 3: HP. i.a ,,maIle 'entIle
i3]1


In ir pbie..'ou ',ir .il r" thee **ej '4 mile: and 'i1I r'I .aIle: eh- 'erpe Qei t- n e agd oleda-. HAL iRPat i male
female 1 06 I;



For an online version of the INdependent Reformer visit us at

http://www.belizenorth.com/ independentreformer.htm
lll


4 H2 i's

STAXi CREIs


0c.t
. r.t


HIV AIDS SURVEILLANCE E IN BELIZE
.IJAN ARY TO DEC EMBER. 2006


GLOBAL SI.MMARY OF THEL HIV AIDS EPIDEMIC LN BELIZE


Total net, HIV INFEC TIONS reported for the war :'(.16 4-43

Total neU AIDS C ASES reponed tor the e,au r',06 3

Total ne, A. I)S DEATHS reponed for she ewar ,i "2s

Total reponed H' INTT-E( TIONS iuce 19'. t-Wl end of Decemtber 'r.06 3.S05.

Total reprned .AIDS C ASES .unce 19 6 timd end of December 206 8(09

Totalreponed AIDS DEATHS uc.:e 1 '-6 unid end I,: December 2'0i "D'l

The ior-I nLmber f lNe'v HI-' Irfieclion for the .ear '2006 u: J1-13
In the pre.:iou: ea 20:.* II t .i; 43
The toirl number of Nev AIDS Ca.e-: for the earr 2006 .13
Iu the pre.vioi: ,ear "'105i 11 a. 3
The toil mnimber of Neav DS De ils for the .ear 20")6 A: -',
In rhe previous:. ,ear 20. It ai -6
The reprned cri3al u iiber oftHF,' [nfecioun. from 1926 i. end December 2006 -. 80i.
The rep-rned '1eal number of HFi' [le:ionm from 9I 6 c end December 2'0" a- 3 .'62
The repned 'cial numbIer of A.iDS Caee. from 19I6 o end December '200'6 a9 S')
The repcrned i3ral n Imber of A.IDS CIWe. from 1946 toi:, eud Deuember 2'0 a: sa 6
The reponed rcial ilnum1bei of IDS Death fro,,m 1986 t1o end December 2('06 ai "'01
The replied Icial ] um'be of AIDS Deathb from 1086 io end December 2,'l': as. 626







Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 |




Defining Objectives


By: Richard Harrison
OBJECTIVE: noun
What one intends to do or achieve:
aim, ambition, design, end, goal, intent,
intention, mark, meaning, object, point,
pupos, target, view, wh. Idioms: end
in view, why and wherefore. See
planned purpose.
I spent 1996-97 at Lancaster Univer-
sity School of Management reading for
their Masters in Business Administra-
tion certificate. This was fulfilling an
objective I had set for myself before I
had completed my Bachelors Degree
in Pharmacy in Michigan.....at a time
when I was completely broke and had
no knowledge of how this objective
would be financed.
One of my world re-known strategy
professors came into the auditorium one
day....and wrote the letters S.M.A.R.T.
on the blackboard. He asked if any-
one would volunteer to say what was
understood by the letters that were so
written. We had 60 students in the
course, from 22 countries around the
world. Needless to say, there were
many different perspectives expressed
for the meaning of those letters.
The professor went on to disclose his
purpose for raising this topic. He
wanted us to discuss the process by
which'good' objectives can be set. We
had already discussed the importance
of setting objectives in previous confer-
ences. He wanted to establish some
sets of criteria by which objectives
would be deemed to meet the thresh-
old of being 'good' managerial deci-
sions.
The word 'good' reflects some de-
gree of measure of quality. Hence, he
suggested that the quality of the obj ec-
tives we set is reflective of our degree
of commitment to challenge ourselves
to obtaining the best possible outcomes
from our managerial pursuits. It is also
reflective of the degree of transparency
and accountability with which a man-
ager open up to scrutiny by stakehold-
ers. Usually, poor quality managers
would set poor quality objectives, con-
sequently any performance appraisal
becomes difficult and elusive. Poor
quality objectives are often a sign of lack
ofcommitment to achieving them. Even
worse is when NO objective is set for
important parameters that would be
used to measure and declare success.
He suggested that one simple way of
improving on the quality of our obj ec-
tive setting, is to use the letters SMART
against the objectives that we set for
ourselves.
1. Specific Objectives should
specify what they want to achieve.
2. Measurable -You should be able to
measure whether you are meeting the
objectives or not.
3. Achievable Are the objectives you


set, achievable and attainable?
4. Realistic Can you realistically
achieve the objectives with the re-
sources you have?
5. Time- When do you want to achieve
the set objectives?
SPECIFIC
Some typical national objective might
be stated as "to increase exports", or
"to increase investments", or "to in-
crease employment", or "to increase
productivity", or "to improve the qual-
ity of primary education".
These are very general statements.
They do not meet the criteria of being
specific enough, and their 'goodness' as
objectives can be brought into question.
Exports of what? Increased by how
much? To where? Through what distri-
bution channel? At what competitive
level? Under what framework?
MEASURABLE
On the other hand, if a national ob-
j ective is "to build 10,000 new houses
over the next five years", this is more
specific and measurable in that it states
the amount of houses and over what time
frame. However it can be criticized
for not saying what kind of houses, what
price range, under what terms, for re-
sponding to the needs and means of
what target population, nor how it would
be financed. After the fact, one could
go back and say they meant mobile
homes, and that the amount included
mortgages financed by the private sec-
tor; and they would be quite within the
stated objective.
ACHIEVABLE
"To meet the demand for tertiary level
education in Belize". Yet, no one can
say exactly how many persons demand
a tertiary level education, what the sub-
groups are willing and able to pay for it,
the varying levels of background prepa-
ration to successfully undertake it,
whether short certificate courses or full
curriculum courses, or what logistics in
time would best suit their need for gen-
erating income while studying. If there
are over 48,000 persons between the
ages of 20-29, and 50% of these were
demanding some form of tertiary edu-
cation or training, there would be
24,000 persons. Would Belize have
sufficient trained instructors to meet this
demand? Would such a goal be achiev-
able?
REALISTIC
"To produce 10,000 new jobs over
the next five years". If this objective is
set along with another which says "to
reduce the level of unemployment"; then
it might not be realistic. If there are
32,000 persons coming into the work
force during the same five year period,
creating only 10,000 new jobs would
not serve to reduce the level of unem-
ployment.
TIMELY


"Health for all by the year 2000".
This a typical cliche that sounded off
during 1980's and 90's; typical of the
socialist sound-bites emanating from the
United Nations at the time, and gladly
propagated by the local socialites. Sure
it sets a specific timeframe, but does not
say anything about whether its primary,
secondary or tertiary health care; it does
not say if ALL covers only workers or
extends to all citizens and residents re-
gardless of employment status. Indeed,
it is so vague as to be meaningless even
unto this day; yet many dollars were
poured into the hands of those who
printed posters, banners, leaflets, t-
shirts and so many other paraphernalia
that promoted this vaguity.
Belizeans should become more inter-
ested their national objectives. They
should pay more attention to the ob-
j ectives that are put forward by national
manifestos. Setting poor quality objec-
tives has plagued Belize for decades,
and is reflective of the type of commit-
ment we hold our leaders to, as well as
their own lack of moral commitment to
serve the people using the best mana-
gerial principles available to them. But,
it would be worse to accept that "no
objectives will be set, as we do not
know the situation of the national fi-
nances that we will meet when we as-
sume government".
While the SMART framework estab-
lishes a set of criteria for improving our
objective setting, there is still a lot of


refining that can be done to improve
objective setting at a national level be-
yond this framework. This framework
calls for declaration of GENERAL and
SPECIFIC objectives, so that a 'big
picture' and a more 'detailed picture'
can be expressed objectives in concise
a manner as possible. One leader once
emphasized to me to use economy of
words. I have learned that while that is
valuable, it is more valuable to express
completeness of thought. This frame-
work would be a good start however,
to help us to raise our standards for
objective setting.
One can see clearly, that by setting
better quality obj ectives, the potential
for improved monitoring and evaluation
of performance is automatically
achieved. The pressure increases for
managers to become more transparent
and accountable by this built-in mecha-
nism.
We clamor for transparency and ac-
countability as one of our national objec-
tives, and one way to assure that this is
complied with, is to insist on improved
quality of national obj ectives that are stated
from the onset. When we are pandered
to with poor quality objectives, we should
be able to identify them immediately by
qualifying them against the SMART cri-
teria, and question the persons or parties
who deem us so ignorant as to disrespect
our good judgment by providing us with
poor quality objectives.....orworse... .no
objectives at all!


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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7


ivide and


Conquer


By: William Schmidt
PG correspondent for
INdependentWeekly
When will our Belizean people
learn? The way to build the new
Belize and to be sure all are involved
in, and benefit from the peaceful, con-
structive Belizean revolution, is to
stand together, because in unity is the
strength we need. Don't trust those
who try to separate us. Trust those
who try to and do bring us together!
Now people from outside, have
come again into Belize to support
another lawsuit against our govern-
ment. They have helped to organize
some of the forgotten people of To-
ledo and encourage them to protest
against the discrimination they've
been and still are suffering. The last
time it was the Indian Law Resource
Center. They told the Maya people
if they protested and filed a lawsuit
against our government they would
get the 500,000 acre Maya Home-
land the foreigners promised.
This was impossible and an absurd
lie. But the people from outside had
the money to pay local coordinators
and to fly local Maya leaders to other
countries where indigenous people
were able to get control of land. No
one would help our people to pro-
mote their own plans for a realistic
Eco Park, so these foreigners were
able to pay some of the local leaders
to support their plans to divide our
people and to turn many Belizeans
against the people of Toledo so they
would not have sympathy for their le-
gitimate protest against the discrimi-
nation they were suffering. I'm not
saying the local leaders understood
what their new friends' true intentions
were.
It was a very effective way to di-
vide the Belizeans of Maya descent,
many of whom who did not support
the Maya Homeland idea and to
separate the Belizeans of other an-
cestry who were really upset with the
idea that the Maya of Toledo wanted
to establish a Maya Homeland where
only Maya could get land and live on
it, while Belizeans of other ethnic
backgrounds would have to be ap-
proved by the Maya council, but the
Maya supporters of a homeland con-
cept would be free to go to any other


part of Belize to live wherever they
wanted.
With the Belizeans of Maya ances-
try representing only approximately 10
percent of the total population of
Belize and with few if any government
ministers of the day of Maya descent
and the two area representatives of
Toledo East and West being non
Maya, what chance would such an
absurd idea have of passing into law?
It was a very affective method how-
ever for dividing our Belizean people,
which is in my opinion exactly what I
believe the foreign supporters of the
idea had in mind. I have lived in To-
ledo for over 37 years and before the
Maya Homeland I never heard racist
remarks against the Maya by the
people of Toledo. I did hear govern-
ment ministers and foreign funders and
their non-governmental organizations
speak against the Maya and Garifuna
as being backward, ignorant and un-
able to work together, too indepen-
dent, resisting constructive change
etcetera as justification for their
government's and founder's failed
projects. But discrimination against
the Maya by local citizens of Toledo
was very rare until the Maya Home-
land was promoted and financed by
outsiders. I have many Maya friends
who did not think the proposal was
fair or that it would work. And I can't
remember any non Maya Belizean
who really supported it. Of course
there were several foreigners who
could see the Maya were being taken
advantage of by the funders and the
non-governmental organizations, who
sympathized with their poverty and
supported the Maya Homeland as a
way to help the indigenous people.
The Indian Law Resource Center
was said to be a front for the CIA
whose job is to support American
economic interests abroad. They
were suspected in Nicaragua by the
Sandinistas and later by the Zapatistas
in Mexico.
I personally spoke to several rep-
resentatives of the Indian Law Re-
source Center when they were sup-
porting the Maya Homeland project.
I explained how the proposed Toledo
People's Eco Park would help the
Maya as well as the Garifuna, East
Indian, Mestizo and Creoles to get
control of their community lands us-
ing the Special Development Areas
Plan (SDA), and the Toledo Alcaldes
and Village Council Act. But they
steadfastly refused to abandon the
Maya Homeland Plan or to support
the Eco Park Plan alternative. This led
me to believe what the Sandinistas re-
portedly said about them.
If any reader wants to know why
the CIA would want to prevent the


Maya and others from getting a
good development plan for Toledo,
I believe they knew oil exists here
in Toledo. That it was a strategic
oil reserve too small to develop
economically at the time, but good
to have available if and when
needed. Once the Middle East
erupted the value of any oil in the
U.S. of A's backyard increased
greatly. You notice who owns the oil
company that is sucking up Belize's
rich black blood today.
Now that the Indian Law Re-
source Center's cover has been so
badly blown by our neighbors and
the Maya Homeland has been shot
down. Most Maya know that it was
unrealistic and they would not be-
lieve the center again. So another
foreign human Indian rights organi-
zation from the states has shown
up. They have organized another
court case trying as some non Maya
people in the street have said, to
Mayanize Toledo like Balkanizes.
Right Honorable George Price
and Honorable Manuel Esquivel
both personally told me they
would never agree to divide up
Belize into different ethnic parts.
Belize, all Belize, should be for
all Belizeans.
What makes me highly suspicious
of this new effort to divide the
people of Belize is the same thing
that made me suspicious of the last
attempt. The current Maya lead-
ers and their new found foreign
friends of this new case also refuse
to support the proposed Toledo
People's Eco Park Plan, and none
of them can give one single reason
why. The Eco Park Plan works
within the current framework of the
law. It was designed to work with
the Alcaldes, Village Council and
Toledo Development Corporation's
Act's. It also calls for no more
National land to be sold or leased
by government. That both private
property and communal land be
recognized.
The Eco Park Plan has a conser-
vation element that will protect the
endangered watershed, while it sup-


ports the traditional communal land
sharing system for agriculture. It
also supports protection of the en-
dangered flora and fauna with the
Biosphere Plan of core areas con-
nected by wildlife corridors, buffer
zones for regulated extraction of
forest products and development
areas for sustainable organic farm-
ing, by and for all the people of
Toledo District.
The planners of the Eco Park
know that the old traditional Maya
farming and forest extraction sys-
tem was not so good once the
population increased beyond the
forest's ability to sustain them.
Eventually they had to move from
Belize. Now the population is
growing again, but the amount of
available land remains the same.
There is an old saying that those
who fail to learn from past mistakes
are destined to make them again.
The question concerned Belizeans
should ask is why these foreign in-
digenous rights activists and the
Maya leaders who are working with
them haven't supported the Toledo
People's Eco Park Plan? It offers a
realistic solution to Toledo's very
real problems, a solution that rec-
ognizes the equal rights of all the
citizens of Toledo, young and old,
male and female, rich and poor from
Puta Gorda Town and the rural vil-
lages.
In 2003, representatives of all the
democratically elected leaders of
Toledo, the largest conservation,
cultural and development organiza-
tions, the President of The Toledo
Civil Society and even the United
States Peace Corps signed in sup-
port of the further development of
the Toledo People's Eco Park Plan.
Dr. Ludwick Palacio, General Man-
ager of the Toledo Development
Corporation who drafted the
Memorandum of Understanding
rightly called it a truly historic docu-
ment. Why the Minister of Eco-
nomic Development refuse to sup-
port it?
Concerned Belizeans should de-
mand an answer.


DIAL




WE PAY CASH FOR
INFORMATION
ON ANY UNSOLVED CRIMES
O A Centoniial Community Program Coordinatd by the RWoary Club of B1liir.







Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8 |


Belize


By: Meb Cutlack
Under this present PUP govern-
ment Belize has become a whore.
not just any old whore though -
because she only sleeps with the
high rollers and the very rich.
She sleeps with Fortis, she sleeps
with Ashcroft, she sleeps with
Feinstein and she sleeps with any
old environmental abuser who has
the money.
And, just like any real whore, she
has her pimps "developers" and
"environmental consultants" and
others. They sleep with her and also
take their cut of her earnings.
Drug war in Belize? No, it's a drug
arrangement because our whore,
while 'cleaning' up the streets
around her bedroom and prosecut-
ing marijuana smokers, sleeps with
the cocaine drug lords and takes
her cut.
It might not be so bad if she spent
her ill-gotten money down the block


The Organization of American States
(OAS) and the Organisation for Eco-
nomic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) today signed an agreement to
strengthen the fight against corruption
in theAmericas. The memorandum of
understanding will establish a legal
framework in which both entities will
work together in anti-corruption efforts
as well as state modernization.
"This has to do with two inter-
related and critical issues for the con-
solidation of democratic governance,
economic growth and the social devel-
opment of our countries," OAS Sec-
retary General Jose Miguel Insulza said
during a brief ceremony at the regional
body's headquarters.
Insulza explained that these is-
sues "are very important so that our
democracies are not only democracies
from an electoral point of view, but also
countries that are able to continue de-
veloping political and civilian citizenship
and citizen participation."
In terms of state modernization, both
organizations identified several areas of
potential cooperation, including E-gov-
emment; public employment and man-
agement; budgeting and public expen-
ditures; and open government and citi-
zen participation, among others.
On the anti-corruption front, coop-
eration would center on issues such as
avoiding conflicts of interest; promot-
ing integrity through transparency and
accountability; and enhancing resistance
to corruption in risk areas such as pub-
lic procurement, contract management
and lobbying.
For his part, OECD Secretary
General Angel Gurria noted that his or-


is

is


but she doesn't. She banks in
Panama.
For donkeys years our whore has
been sleeping happily (for oodles of
bucks) with Taiwan but now a ri-
val has stepped into the picture. The
Peoples Republic of China has paid
court to her. Even she knows she
can't sleep with both China and
Taiwan and so she will have sleep-
less nights until one or the other of
the two clients comes up with the
highest bid.
On the subject of corruption, the
Organisation for Economic Co-op-
eration and Development (OECD)
today signed an agreement to
strengthen the fight against corrup-
tion in the Americas.
The organization said that coop-
eration would center on issues such
as, "avoiding conflicts of interest;
promoting integrity through trans-
parency and accountability; and en-
hancing resistance to corruption in


ganization has along history of fighting
corruption globally. However, he
stressed the importance of being able
to expand its efforts in this region, "be-
cause we only have one Latin Ameri-
can member country in the OECE -
Mexico. This is a very exciting and very
important opportunity to work with an
institution that would then work with all
the countries to offer this support," he
said.
Secretary General Insulza reiterated
that the fight against corruption is a high-
priority issue within the OAS, noting that
the Inter-American Convention against
Corruption, adopted in 1996, was the
first treaty of its kind in the world. This


a


risk areas such as public procure-
ment, contract management and
lobbying."
This, on the same day that the
Prime Minister Said Musa refused
to release details of the massive
$33,000,000 debt handed to the
Belizean public by the secret hos-
pital deal.
He told Channel 5 that requests
for disclosure of the contents of the
guarantee, "have to be denied
based on confidentiality for bank-
ing documents. The P.M. went on
to assert that in December 2004,
Belmopan did in fact guarantee
Universal's debt at the Belize Bank"
Musa maintained to Channel 5 that
without consent from the sharehold-
ers of Universal or the Belize Bank,
under the law, government is not
able to release the details.
Channel 5: "That position has hit
a sour note with the public, most of
who argue that since taxpayer


treaty "has become the navigational
chart of our collective action in this field,"
noted Insulza, adding that it has been
ratified by 33 of the 34 OAS member
countries.
The OECD, like the OAS, has long
been committed to the fight against cor-
ruption. In 1997 the OECD created the
Convention on Combating Bribery of
Foreign International Business Transac-
tions, and continues to monitor its en-
forcement through regular meetings of
its Working Group on Bribery.
Both organizations have likewise
pushed for modernization of the state,
which would allow for greater efficiency
and transparency.


money will be used to pay off the
debt, the public has a vested inter-
est in the contents of the guaran-
tee."
This sour note has hit a new high
with the government's constant pan-
dering to offshore financial groups
in the sale of huge areas of Belizean
coast and islands for dubious
projects with little or no real sur-
vey of the environmental conse-
quences of their actions.
They don't even take the advice
of their own tame specialists who
prostitute themselves with their less
than adequate assessments of the
real local, and global warming, ef-
fects of some of their favorite
projects.
It is time that our whore sought a
new way of life which perhaps a
new government could provide.
Whores and prostitutes: Those
who compromise principles for per-
sonal gain.


The agreement signed between the
OAS and OECD is an extension of a
cooperative relationship that began in
1963. Recent collaborative efforts in-
clude a September 2006 technical
meeting held in Chile on international
bribery investigations and a May 2004
meeting in Brazil which centered on
conflict-of-interest issues.
The Organization for Economic Co-
operation and Development, a forum of
30 democracies, provides a setting in
which governments can compare policy
experiences, seek answers to common
problems, identify best practices and
coordinate domestic and international
policies.


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The INdependent Reformer


Friday, April 20, 2007


Bribery.,


Lies and


Corruption,


incompetence


By: Meb Cutlack
The PUP seem to imagine, in their
wild dreams, that the Belizean elector-
ate will somehow come to forgive them;
forgive their two terms of total incom-
petence, horrifying corruption and greed
and bribery almost beyond human reck-
oning
They seem to think that Belizeans
don't mind or notice the yawning pit of
poverty and deprivation which has re-
placed prosperity and hope.
They do not seem to realize that a little
more time- March or June until 2008 -
will not make them any more elector-
able than they are today. And, they are
not elector-able today, tomorrow or
next year.
They no longer have any hope of be-
ing re-elected.
The simple truth is that two genera-
tions, or more, of Belizeans now have
burned indelibly into their consciousness
the fact that the PUP is a crooked bunch
of self serving, greedy, corrupt and in-
competent liars who are incapable of
honest government.
Even their elaborate 'crony' system,
of' selling' government assets at bargain


prices with government money to their
chosen few in return for chunks of' elec-
tion' money, is beginning to tumble in
on itself. The 'cronies' are finding out
that the cookies, which they thought they
had been handed, had in fact been
handed to rival cronies as well.
The 'cookie jar', in the immortal
words in the House of Representatives
of Michael Finnigan, is empty. The
cookies have run out and all the at-
tempts by the PUP to disillusion their
supporters with phony promises of oil
land, islands and huge tracts of prop-
erty are now empty promises.
Even if handed over (by false con-
veyances) oil lands, islands or anything
else are liable to very close scrutiny by
whoever is elected in 2008 and 'should'
lead to immediate prosecution and, in
many cases to imprisonment.
The PUP live in a carnival house of
mirrors in which each mirror reveals not
the true image but the image they want
to see. When they walk through it they
can see fat for thin, thin for fat, short for
tall, sober for drunk.
Said Musa, Ralph Fonseca and
Godfrey Smith and the others can dance


People's


in front of these mirrors all day long but
they cannot change their real shape.
The people now see and know this
real shape.
The people of Belize want not only
change, at this moment from blue to
red, but they also want a dramatic
change in the manner in which they are
governed. They don't want another 25
years of theft and corruption.
While the PUP is, for obvious rea-
sons, totally against any form of politi-
cal reform it appears that the UDP has
its heels equally dug in on the subject of
an elected senate.
It does not take a genius to figure out
that an elected senate builds in certain
safeguards against corruption as all the
emerging reform parties have so ad-
equately demonstrated by their nation-
wide support.
No, it's not perfect but it appears the
only method to stop the abuse of power
that's endemic with Cabinet government
where all power rests in the hands of
one or two men.
A short time ago this writer sat down
with a high official of the UDP who com-
plained that the INdependent newspa-


national


per was unfairly comparing the UDP to
the PUP.
The discussion ended up centered on
the subject of an elected senate and it
equally 'broke down' on this subject.
There appears to be no way the UDP
will endorse the idea of an elected sen-
ate not even to have an immediate bi-
partisan, internationally supervised com-
mission, to look into the pros and cons
of such an elected second chamber.
The problem with this blank 'NO' is
that critics, and even supporters of the
UDP, are left with the impression that
the UDP refuses to acknowledge the
fallibility of man. They refuse to accept
that much of mankind, for all protesta-
tions to the contrary, is not always in-
corrupt-able.They are asking us to be-
lieve that hidden in their bag of elec-
toral goodies are men of extraordinary
statue who will not be susceptible to
bribery and who will rise above the ex-
ample the Belizean people have of 25
years of incompetent and often corrupt
government.
This writer personally would like the
safeguard of an elected senate or at
least an ample reason why not.


Party


honours Julian Cho


PNP Leader WilMaheia calls for
unity and support for Maya land
rights struggle.
Punta Gorda Town, Toledo-Wil
Maheia, PNP Leader spoke at the
Julian Cho memorial on Saturday, April
7, 2007. Maheia said, "All Belizeans
should support the Maya land struggle
because all Belizeans will benefit if the
Mayans are successful in defending their
land rights".
"The government of Belize regularly
violates the land rights of Belizeans es-
pecially in the rural areas like Toledo.
Julian Cho brought to the attention of
the people of Belize that planning was
needed before the Southern highway
came in. Communities along the South-
ern highway were promised land use
rights for two miles along the highway
on both sides, but the Gob did not keep
their promise," continued Maheia.
Julian would have been proud of the


The Julian Cho Society, The Alcalde's
Association and the Toledo Maya


Mayan leader Julian Cho, who died
tragically in December 1998,
championed rights of the Toledo Maya.
lawsuit brought against the GOB. His
fight was not in vain. Julian always urged
Mayans to work together and I want to
do the same. All of the Mayan organi-
zations, The Maya Leaders Alliance,


Women's Council need to be united to
win this fight. --PNP press release


Visit


The Belize Zoo




In he orl


Page 9 -1








Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10


ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Older family members may take ad-
vantage of you by making you feel guilty.
Don't blame every thing on your mate.
Be sure to keep communication open
with those you live with. Concentrate
on spending quality time with
children.Your lucky day this week will
be Monday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- may 21)
A change is as good as a rest. Don't
go looking for change. You may have
more to do with children this week;
keep an open mind. You are best to
work at home, clearing up overdue
projects. Rewards for past good deeds
will be yours. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Catch up on your reading and corre-
spondence. You will get out of shape
easily if you don't keep on top of things.
You need a change and you need to earn
more cash. Someone around you may
not be trustworthy. Your lucky day this
week will be Wednesday.
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Good friends will give you honest an-
swers. Jealousy may be a contributing
factor to your emotional ups and downs.
You can get into self awareness groups
or look into physical enhancement pro-
grams. New love connections can be
made through group associations. Your
lucky day this week will be Tuesday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
Someone envious of your popularity
may challenge you to a debate. Travel
for business will not only bring you valu-
able information but also profits as well.


Secret affairs will come back to haunt
you. Your lucky day this week will be
Tuesday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
You can come up with ways of earn-
ing extra cash. Be creative in your ef-
forts. Try to be tolerant of the moods
of those around you. Go out with
friends and avoid the situation on the
home front. Your lucky day this week
will be Thursday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Be cautious while traveling; minor ac-
cidents are evident. You can't lock your
partner up and if you keep restricting
their freedom you may be left out in the
cold. Relationships have not been the
best for you lately and it's left you some-
what gun shy. Keep an open mind when
listening to the opinions of others. Un-
certainties about your personal life are
probable. Your lucky day this week will
be Monday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
You will profit from home improve-
ment projects and real estate deals.
Your ability to deal with humanitarian
groups will enhance your reputation.
Use your creative talent in order to ac-
complish your goals. Your lucky day
this week will be Wednesday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Don't get so wrapped up in being rich
that you overlook the fact that your plan
may not be as solid as you thought.
Someone you live with could be frus-
trated and upset. Disappointments are
likely if your mate embarrasses you in
front of friends. Partners may try to ar-
gue with you; however, you must stand


Dumb as Einstein


A young boy enters a barber shop and
the barber whispers to his customer,
"This is the dumbest kid in the world.
Watch while I prove it to you."
The barber puts a dollar coin in one
hand and two shillings in the other, then
calls the boy over and asks, "Which do
you want, son?" The boy takes the shil-
lings and leaves.
"What did I tell you?" said the barber.
"That kid never learns!"
Later, when the customer leaves, he
sees the same young boy coming out of
the ice cream store. "Hey son, may I
ask you a question? Why did you take
the shillings instead of the dollar coin?"
The boy licked his cone and replied,
"Because the day I take the dollar, the
game's over!"

A boy comes home from school and
his mom says "What did you learn in


your ground. Your lucky day this week
will be Sunday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Opportunities to get ahead will be evi-
dent. You can pick up some overtime
this week. You will meet new and ex-
citing people if you attend social activi-
ties or sporting events. Your lucky day
this week will be Friday.
AOUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Your mate will be pushing you to do
things that you really don't want to do.
You are best to put your efforts into re-


Your weekly
MOJO


decorating or inviting friends over.
Empty promises will cause confusion.
Tell it like it is.You will be accident
prone if you aren't careful this week.
Your lucky day this week will be
Wednesday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You may be likely to have difficulties
with females. Romantic opportunities are
evident. This will not be the best time to
initiate change. There mightbe a problem
with will orwith an insurance policy. Your
lucky day this week will be Saturday.


with Anthony Hunt


THE


.~ ~c. ;~
-
-. -
~Yi~ ~
* -* I-
- - ~ 1J~Q .~


11JU111FO 1 T


BULL FROG INN
Ring Road, Belmopan

Our new healthy focus doesn't mean we won't eat. We will just eat more
selectively! We decided to pop by the legendary Bull Frog Inn in Belmopan
one Saturday lunchtime and see if we could manage to keep to the plan.
First of all the service was great and the atmosphere was nice. We ordered
the ceviche, skipping the chips, and a club sandwich, skipping the fries.
Both were excellent and prepared nicely. Although the menu tempted us
1/2 with other fare, and a daiquiri sounded delightful on a hot afternoon, we
managed to have a belly full of satisfaction and quench with minimum
guilt on the food and no guilt at all on bottle water! We are told the key
to eating healthy is not going Vegan, but instead eating smaller portions
and avoiding the deep fried sins at all cost.... so far so good and a thumbs
up to the Bull Frog


r Prices: $.00 nd p


school?" He replies, "Obviously not
enough because I have to go back again
tomorrow!

There were 4 people in an army
plane: the pilot, and three soldiers. The
pilot said that they were weighted down
and told the soldiers to throw whatever
items they didn't need off the plane. The
first soldier throws off his gold star
badge. The second soldier throws off
his silver star badge. The third soldier
grabbed a bunch of grenades and threw
them off the plane. The plane landed
safely and the soldiers decided to re-
trieve their items. The first soldier went
to where he thought his gold badge
landed. There he found a little boy cry-
ing. He asked what was wrong and the
boy said a gold star fell from the sky
and killed his father. The soldier felt
ashamed and went away. The second
soldier went to where he thought his sil-
ver badge landed. There he saw a little
boy crying. When asked why the boy
said a silver star fell from the sky and
killed his sister. The soldier was
ashamed and went away. The third sol-
dier went to where he thought his gre-
nades would be and there he saw a little
boy LAUGHING He asked what was
up and the boy answered "I farted and
my house blew up!"


I








Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11


Oil for 100 years!


CARACAS, Venezuela (Bloomberg):
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has
called for the creation of a Latin Ameri-
can energy system to prioritize local
markets in a "true energy revolution,"
guaranteeing oil and gas supply to the
region for 100 years.
"All the oil and energy that Latin
America needs is here in Venezuela,"
Chavez said at a graduation ceremony
in Caracas. "That resource, once in the
hands of the empire, is now in Venezu-
elan hands, and we have it to share with
the people of Cuba and the Caribbean,
Nicaragua and Central America, Brazil
and South America at least for 100
years."
Chavez called proposals by US Presi-
dent George W. Bush to substitute
gasoline with ethanol in a bid to reduce
US reliance on foreign oil, "true crazi-
ness" that "go against nature" and
threaten the region's poorest inhabitants.
"To produce the ethanol necessary to
replace the gasoline that the US alone
consumes, we'd have to plant almost
all the land on this continent with corn
or sugar cane not to feed people, but
to feed the cars of the US empire," he
said.
Oil's other legacy


Aljazeera: Ecuador's natural re-
sources are central to the country's
economy, with oil accounting for 40 per
cent of export earnings.


But oil revenues, which make up a
third of the government's budget, come
at a cost to the environment and activ-
ists say at a cost to the health of Ecua-
dorians living in the affected areas.
Maria Garofalo, a mother of six, has
lived next door to a pumping station for
20 years. She has ovarian cancer and
says her illness is a result of the fumes
and waste she has been exposed to in
that time. "All the smoke from those
burners comes in the house. When it
rains the roof turns black, the same
colour as the water in the tank. That's
what's affecting my health," she said.
Garofalo lives in San Carlos, a small
town in Ecuador's Amazon basin where
the oil industry has operated since the
1960s.
The town also has the highest inci-
dence of cancer in the country, while
among children there are high rates of
skin disease, throat pains and diarrhoea.
A lawsuit, filed in 1993 and represent-
ing 30,000 local people, alleges that
Texaco, the US oil company which is
today part of Chevron, is responsible
for the contamination of more than
25,000 square kilometres of Ecuador-
ian rainforest.
The lawsuit also alleges that more than
six-and-a-half-billion cubic metres of
gas were pumped into the air.
Mexican farmers
protest Plan Puebla


Over 2,000 farmers were in Mexico
City last week to protest what they be-
lieve is the real objective of the Puebla-
Panama Plan (PPP) Summit : to expel
them from their lands.
Luis Antonio Che, leader of the
Emiliano Zapata Farmer Front, said
contingents mobilized to reject the sum-
mit, despite deployment of police and
federal agents along roads leading to the
city.
Meanwhile, social activists consider
the PPP meeting also aims to channel
oil and other natural resources in the
region to benefit large foreign and na-
tional investors, chiefly those in the
United States.


Guatemalans protest
too


Guatemala: Thousands of Guatema-
lan health workers marched in the capital
and other cities last Tuesday to reject a
plan aimed at putting these services in
the hands of the private sector.
The so-called Health FrameworkAct,
one of the four elements of the country's
Vision Plan, is no more than the covert
privatization of state-run hospitals, union
leader Thelma Estrada told Prensa
Latina.
Union leaders say the country's Vi-
sion Plan means putting the State con-
stitutional responsibility to offer free
health services in the hands of private
business people.
FTAA will remain
stalled


at the Mexican Embassy in Tokyo on
Tuesday. Soj o is visiting Japan to com-
memorate the second anniversary of the
enforcement of the Japan-Mexico Eco-
nomic Partnership Agreement.
While expressing the Mexican
government's continued support for the
FTAA scheme, Sojo said, "Because
there is no consensus in the region at
this point, the best strategy [for Mexico]
is to continue with bilateral agreements."
The scheme hit an impasse in 2005,
however, after a bitter round of talks
over liberalization of agricultural mar-
kets between the United States and
Brazil that failed to reach an accord.
On the EPA with Japan Mexico's
only free trade pact in Asia Sojo
stressed that it has "benefited Mexico
as well as Japan," as shown in the nearly
30 percent growth of Mexican exports
entering the Japanese market since it
came into effect two years ago.
Wolfowitz apologises
over Dav row


World Bank PresidentPaul Wolfowitz
has apologised for "mistakes" made
over the promotion and pay of an ex-
colleague with whom he is romantically
involved. Mr Wolfowitz's partner,
Shaha Riza, was moved to the State
(Please Turn To Page 12) ME


Mexican Economy Secretary
Eduardo Sojo said in Japan that the
U.S.-led Free Trade Area ofthe Ameri-
cas scheme is likely to remain stalled in
the foreseeable future as negotiations
between the United States and the left-
ist-dominated South America on the is-
sue have been deadlocked for the past
few years.
"It makes no sense to proceed at this
point in time," Soj o said in an interview


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The Airline of Belize www.tropicair.com







Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12


Hal Ec


rt Group forming


By: Nadja Chamberlain
People with a deep knowledge of
the natural systems of Belize are com-
ing together to watchdog the devel-
opment of Belize by forming a group
called Belize EcoWatch Alliance.
Their plans are to stay alert, keep
communication open between gov-
ernment departments and the envi-


ronmental community, bring together
and assist regional groups who are
facing and fighting environmentally
destructive projects in specific loca-
tions, and help with the struggle to
keep Belize from losing what makes
Belize "The Jewel".
The group will be reviewing sec-
tions of certain Environmental Im-
pact Assessments (EIA's) that per-
tain to their specific scientific, pro-
fessional, or local knowledge and
then will issue a report on that EIA.
Their assistance could ultimately
include helping in the preparation of
law suits by providing scientific data
and local knowledge that support
their case and interpret this infor-
mation in terms that could be un-
derstood by the average person.
This group will try to see that the
citizens of Belize are informed of


what decisions are being made, by
whom they are being made, and
what is being affected by these de-
cisions. They will be joining efforts
at local, regional, and national lev-
els in the hope that scientific facts
and local knowledge of the ecosys-
tems of Belize will be the basis for
land use decisions.
The group is looking for people
with knowledge of any of the envi-
ronmental sciences and environ-
mental law, with or without a de-
gree, whether they are students,
professionals, or local residents
with an understanding of the natu-
ral world in their area of Belize.
They welcome all those who want
to be sure their very way of life is
not destroyed by thoughtless plan-
ning and development that does not
benefit the people of Belize or pro-


tect its natural systems.
This is NOT a group that plans to
have meetings and more meetings
and not accomplish anything. This
is a group that may seldom meet
together but that primarily will stay
in communication through e-mail
and be ready to jump to respond
to serious environmental issues.
With Stake Bank, North Drowned
Caye, the Belize Cruise Terminal,
Smugglers Run, Maya Plantation,
Ambergris Belize Resort, Ma Lo
Ha, Corozal Yacht Club and
SATIIM oil exploration (all coastal
developments with ElAs either
pending or recently reviewed),
Belize is definitely in a crisis on the
coast.
If you would like to join in this ef-
fort, contact the group at this e-mail
address: bzecowatch(Zgmail.com


[TOrFCh1 iLWA 37V1


^-- (Continued From Page 11)
Department when he took the
Bank's top job in 2005. But the
bank's staff association says she then
received pay rises and promotions
which were "grossly out of line" with
the Bank's staff rules. The contro-
versy comes ahead of joint World
Bank and IMF spring meetings. Mr
Wolfowitz also said he would accept
any remedy that the World Bank's
Board proposed. The bank chief -
formerly US deputy secretary of de-
fence has adopted a fiercely anti-
corruption stance. The latest furor
threatens to undermine Mr.
Wolfowitz's personal campaign to
combat corruption and poor gover-
nance.
Gorbachev warns
about US plans


nation in Europe," Mikhail Gorbachev
said. "I believe it is wrong that
America did not even bother to con-
sult its NATO allies."
Asked how Russia could respond to
these plans, he only said: "Time will


show."
The U.S. revealed plans in January
to deploy elements of its missile defense
system in the Czech Republic and Po-
land to counter possible attacks from
Iran or North Korea, whose nuclear
programs have provoked serious inter-
national concerns.


Russia, which has been anxious about
NATO bases that have appeared in
former Communist-bloc countries and
ex-Soviet republics, has blasted the
plans to deploy anti-missile systems in
Central Europe as a national security
threat and a destabilizing factor for Eu-
rope.


KALININGRAD, April 12 (RIA
Novosti) Deployment of U.S. mis-
sile-defense bases in Poland and the
Czech Republic is an attempt by the
U.S. to control Europe, the former
Soviet president said Thursday.
"It is all about influence and domi-


11 ith a


Tropical T-0ist


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


Comments? Suggestions?

or want to share your

thoughts

Email us at

Independent. newspaper.

bz(a@gmail. com








Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13


Peninsula Citizens... protest illegal mining


-S. (Continued From Page 13)
mining activity to the Department of
Geology with no action by Geology.
The police have now shut down the
sand mining operation at Lot 146.
Loewen has publicly stated that he
has an "agreement" with the Depart-
ment of Geology allowing him to mine
sand from the Lagoon without a per-
mit. This is contrary to the laws of
Belize and, we believe, is a criminal
offense both by Loewen and the De-
partment of Geology, if true.
We would like not only a response
from the Department of Geology re-
garding this alleged agreement, but
also copies of all dredging and mining
permits issued by Geology for the
Placencia Lagoon, as well as copies
of all Environmental Compliance
Plans for developments on the
Placencia Peninsula. We will gladly
pay for all copies of these PUBLIC
documents, and will also arrange to


P4.


a. C


Illegally mined sand deposiled at Villas at(
,, .. 13 April


The illegally mined sand has been piled up at Villas at Coco Plum.


have them picked up in Belmopan.
PCSD would also like to put both


Guatemalan


Bishop banned


Guatemalan Catholic Bishop Alvaro
Ramazzini was barred from address-
ing journalists at the IDB meeting.
The Bishop learned, to his surprise,
that he is considered a big threat to
finance ministers and bankers.
Ramazzini, bishop of the over-
whelmingly indigenous San Marcos
diocese, and three Maya leaders,
were kept out of the press conference
with non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) on social inclusion and in-
equality by the Guatemalan govern-
ment.
In a letter to the NGO organizers,
the government said it could not ap-
prove the event with Ramazzini a
high-profile campaigner on poverty
issues for security reasons.
Ramazzini was angered by the ex-
cuse. "Personally, I don't believe that
I am a security threat," he told Emerg-
ing Markets in a phone interview from
San Marcos.
"It would have been much better if
the government had said that I had
nothing relevant to add to a meeting
about high finance. Instead, they raise
the security question as a way to stop
whatever they don't like."
He said his exclusion is even more
surprising given the ubiquitous theme
of the IDB's Guatemala meeting:
"That no one is left behind."
The organizers of the seminar that
would have included Ramazzini
were also surprised by the decision.
They said that they followed the
regulations and provided the gov-
ernment and the IDB with the names


of participants and themes of the
presentation.
"I think they cancelled, because
they knew that Bishop Ramazzini
and the indigenous representatives
were going to contradict directly
what the IDB has been saying these
past few days," said Paulina Novo,
of the Bank Information Center.
Ramazzini said he was "disap-
pointed" that the IDB appeared to
have condoned the exclusion. The
IDB said that NGO visitors had
been accredited for events on pre-
vious days, but that yesterday
passes had been refused across the
board.
Civil society groups have been at-
tending the IDB's annual meetings
for years, pointing out that macro-
economic improvements have not
trickled down to the poor majori-
ties something even most govern-
ments acknowledge and are ac-
tively trying to address.
Ramazzini said that he had
planned to talk about the fact that
the government is touting 5% GDP
growth, while conditions in the
countryside deteriorate for the in-
digenous majority.
"I don't get how there is macro-
economic growth and people are
poorer. Something is wrong," he
said.
Guatemalan activists also question
the government's tax policies and
plans to attract foreign investment,
which go hand-in-hand.
by Lucien Chauvin for Emerging Markets.


the Department of the Environment
and the Department of Geology on
notice that our citizens group intends
to monitor ALL development approv-
als on the Peninsula AND to publicly
question all decisions by the Depart-
ment of Environment when it decides
NOT to require full-fledged ElAs for
developments that may have an im-
pact on the Peninsula and the
Placencia Lagoon. Both dredging and
cutting of mangroves will be of par-
ticular focus for our group.
Attached are some pictures of
Loewen's illegal dredging. These pic-
tures were taken by various people
on the Peninsula.
We await your reply.
Sincerely,
Leonard Williams, President
Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable
Development


STRENGTHENING OF BELIZE'S MULTI-SECTORAL
RESPONSE TO HIV AND AIDS

JOB DESCRIPTION FOR THE MONITORINGAND
EVALUATION OFFICER

Thek NonMoiniin Intd E\ IlilionOlfficcil 'ill be' ieponsible lCnsuliIC the colleciionintl
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IIonal ind local i.spons t.o HI\ indl AIDS int Bli "t I lll l c lIIImplwmh sIS on the
pIo`cC 1n.Cilill:i Strn "rtiili'tiiiiI of Beltitr' Muiii-Sccioral Rcponii too HIV' AIDS"
Thlk I lidlil undc tllie supcill ision ol ik DicciOI of Ikt NjlionalAIDS Pioa'-'in ill
Iplo\ Ie suppoitl to the Njlional AIDS Pio'anuinici' iNAPi of the MiniiuMS of H`calth
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icf'lncIs: ii a ild :nI\ elop on 01o b\ 4 inpm April2iithi. 21111" to
C'liifl' Ecutii t Ol'ficer.
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3-' Fihlooi; LF.I Block Buiilintu. In(depende(knce PI.iP.1.
Belimop.iit.







Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14


Colorado court swats mosquito lawsuit


Three prisoners serving potential life
sentences in Colorado say their lives
have been threatened by mosquitoes.
The inmates at Walsenburg and Li-
mon prisons sued, saying they were at
risk of contacting West Nile virus or
other diseases after they were bitten
repeatedly by mosquitoes and suffered
"the emotional and mental distress of


The first Traveling Caribbean Film
opened April 11th with a ceremony and
cocktail party at the Bliss Centre for the
Performing Arts. Two films, "JAB; Blue
Devils of Parmin" from Trinidad and
tobago and "Zulaika" from Curacao
opened the showcase which ran almost
a full week until the 17th.
It featured films from all over the Car-
ibbean in English, Spanish, French and
French Creole. While most productions
were from the last decade, the Jamai-
can classic"The Harder They Come,"
with reggae star Jimmy Cliff was also
included. Only one documentary from



-- (Continued From Page 4)
Is it any wonder pregnant women crave
mangos? As rich with life as they are, as
beautiful and rounded at the bottom half
like the female form when she is carrying
a child. How many women are even now
wanting mangos and not quite sure why?
Or knowing, because it happened be-
fore...
Do you like the slippers, black mango,
nine eleven, common mango or Hayden?
Are you willing to lose a good portion of
your allotted time in the conversation to
eat one in front of other people, and not
be able to speak either because your mind
is too distracted by the burst ofjoy in your
mouth, or your teeth tethered together by


whether or not each mosquito's bite
would result in death or serious bodily
injury."
Stephen G Glover, Alan Smith and
Michael Freeman said the bites
caused high fever, headache, neck
stiffness and muscle weakness.
"Each attack constituted bodily in-
jury, which the (Department of Cor-


Belize, "The Day of the Dead" from the
Simply Belize television series made the
playlist.
The Traveling Showcase's visit to
Belize was made possible through the
support of UNESCO, the Embassy of
Cuba in Belize and the National Insti-
tute of Culture and History, NICH, and
local organizer Suzetter Zayden ofFer
de Lance Productions. Ms Zayden is
an independent producer and the driv-
ing force behind the Belize International
Film Festival which will be held biannu-
ally instead of annually alternating with
the Caribbean Traveling Showcase.



stringy fibers? Maybe you have to raise
your hand to cover your lips until you are
sure you have gotten all the little bits out.
Or do you go and hide in the yard or on
the veranda and eat it alone, in order not
to offend or become embarrassed should
you stain your shirt?
That is the only bad part about eating a
mango, getting out the evidence.
Ah, but the trouble is worth it, is it not?
And don'twe all pity those poor Belizeans
living away who cannot getthe first mango
of the season at all?
Yes we do. Go enjoy your canned pine-
apple and fruit cocktail from Winn Dixie.
We got mangos coming, four fora dolla,
or just falling off the trees for
nothing... don't you wish you were here?


reactions) had the power to prevent, but
consciously elected not to," wrote the
inmates, acting as their own attorneys.
But the Colorado Court of Appeals
swat down their case and upheld a
lower court's decision to throw their


case out.
Prison officials said no confirmed
cases of West Nile virus have ever
been found in the prison population,
and inmates are provided mosquito
repellant.


Full Service Airline

With over 180 daily

scheduled flights

throughout Belize

and Flores in

Guatemala


Charters also available


The Airline of Belize


Social pago


Cuban Ambassador H.E. Eugenio Martinez and his wife Johanna Martinez.with Film
showcase organizer Suzette Zayden (center).







Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15


Mangroves


- Protecting Belize, but are


we protecting them?


Naturalist/photographer Christian
Ziegler has spent hours capturing the
beauty of mangroves, trees many of us
take for granted. Despite the fact that
they provide much needed protection
from hurricanes and erosion, as well as
function as a nursery for many species
of fish and a home to birds and other


This brown egrets survives by feeding on
the fish it catches among the mangrove
roots.


wildlife, irresponsible land developers
cut them down exposing the land to di-
saster in many parts of Belize, particu-
larly the Placencia Penninsula.
Independent Weekly is pleased to
share some of Zeigler's work with our
readers and we thank him for giving us
permission to publish them.


Cnrisnan ziegler ana researcher AnKe
Sparmann


The stilt-like roots of the mangrove help retain the shoreline from washing away.


Belizeans may have later cause to regret the ill-conceived burning of mangroves for
land clearing by farmers and other land developers.


The mangrove is a hardy plant tolerant of high salt concentrations which can establish
itself in the shoals of the reef. When this single plant grows into a clump, the combined
tangle of roots will retain sand to begin the formation of a tiny island.


These zebra-striped juvenile spade fish blend in with the lights and shadows among the
roots of the mangroves along the shore.


1/2 acre lots in Burrel Boom 70 acres in Burrel Boom Single-12 acre plot in
starting at $10K for US$50K Ladyville $120 K
Call 600-1627 Call 600-1627 Call 600-1627

for details for details for details





Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 16


S5o


OMBUDSMAN


"I am unable to provide I
because we do not have


There is a DFC GUARANTEE but'
"It really beggs the
statement would have beei
there Is such a guarantee."


JUST


Universal Health Service,
- $17million ballooned to $32million + DFC 12 = $44million
- Government wants to swap land...
- Belize Bank is in urgency, carrying around an expensive & non
performing loan.


Ah
mr




Full Text

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 1 INdependent for the PeopleVol. 2 No. 16 Friday, April 20, 2007 $1.00TheReformer Inside this Issue Peninsula Citizens protest Illegal Mining pg. 3 Defining Objectives pg.6 Divide & Conquer pg. 7 OAS & OECD agree to fight corruption pg. 8UDP Village Councillor-elect Sheldon Williams welcomes Lords Bank voters to the polls on Sunday afternoon.LordÂ’s Bank, the sister village to Ladyville in the Belize District, voted in a red council on Sunday, April 15, but just barely. Chairman Andre Rivero just edged out PUP contender, former Belize City Mayor Stephen Latchman, 307 to 284 votes, with twelve spoiled ballots. The UDP presence was strong on polling day with banners on every utility pole down the LordÂ’s Bank Road off the Northern Highway and United Democratic Party flags waving at the entrance to the community center. Supporters in red tshirts greeting every elector as they arrived. The PeopleÂ’s United Party was low key in terms of visuals, and stood more on the sidelines. Besides Rivero, a career civil servant with experience as a social worker, law enforcement officer, traffic department officer, prosecuClose Call in Lords Bank; Close Call in Lords Bank; Close Call in Lords Bank; Close Call in Lords Bank; Close Call in Lords Bank; UDP squeezes by PUP UDP squeezes by PUP UDP squeezes by PUP UDP squeezes by PUP UDP squeezes by PUP tor and community rehabilitation officer, the UDP slate includes Paul Garcia Sr., retiree, Roger Garbutt a business machines technician, Walter Sosa, a Bowen and Bowen salesman, Mark Anderson, electrician, Sheldon Williams, salesman and athlete, and youth group member Michelle Williams. PUP councilor aspirants include Carol Young, Daniel Molina, Raquel Arnold, Agnes Stevens, Edison Parks, Pamela Fitzgibbon. Election data from around the country was slow to arrive at the Ministry of National Development, at Independent press time on Monday only results for Cayo were in and information had not yet been disseminated to the media.Lords Bank residents line up at the community center to cast their ballot.

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Friday, April 20, 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 PublishingCompany Ltd.P.O. Box 2666Telephones:(501) 225-3520 Email: independent.newspaper .bz@gmail.comPrinted by:National Printers New Road Belize City, Belize“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. independent.newspaper.bz@gmail.com 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 Higher end power users should pay moreDear Editor, On April 12th, 2007 Mr. Roberto Young, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, appeared on the Channel 5 newscast and invited members of the public to comment on the application submitted by BEL for a rebalance of rates. I reviewed a 12 page document available on the PUC website (www.puc.bz). The tables and schedules were quite difficult to understand by a lay person such as myself as little in the way of explanatory notes are provided. Nevertheless, I made an attempt and offer the following comments for your consideration. While the newscast indicated that the proposed charges are supposed to translate to reduced bills for most consumers, based on my understanding of Schedule 4 with respects to residential tariffs (again, without the benefit of explanatory notes), I found that the proposed rates would result in a 3% increase for lower end energy consuming residential costumers and a 2% increase for the higher end consuming residential costumers. The documents did not indicate what the average consumption of a residential costumer is, but assuming one refrigerator, three 60 watt light bulbs, two floor fans, a 75 watt 19" television, and a radio or other small appliance, and using average energy consumption of these items that I gleaned off the Internet, I estimated this to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300Kwh. Doing the math, I calculated that the average monthly residential bill for household with these appliances would increase from $132.00 per month to $135.50 per month or an increase of 3%. Meanwhile, residential consumers who have more electrical appliances such as clothes dryers, air conditioning units, ceiling fans, and who therefore consume more energy will experience a 2% increase in their bill because the increase in proposed tariff is weighted more on the first 50Kwh of consumption ($0.06 increase) and less on the consumption above 200 Kwh ($.01 increase). I encourage you to examine this rate structure and to consider modifying it such that the increase is shifted more towards the higher end users who consume more energy (are less energy efficient) and who can most likely afford an increase, or if they can’t afford the increase, or at least have more flexibility in adjusting their rate of consumption by, for example, turning off their air conditioners and using a fan, or unplugging the extra refrigerator or television set. Please consider a rate structure that will promote more efficient and sustainable energy use among residential consumers by shifting the increase more toward higher end residential consumers and away from basic or lower end consumers. For example, a $0.02 increase at all levels along with replacement of the $10 service charge with $5 flat rate would result in reduced bills for consumers who keep their consumption levels below 200Kwh, 1% increase for consumers who use 300 Kwh per month, and gradually increase up to 4% for residential consumers who use up to 2,500 Kwh per month. Sincerely, Mario LaraUnder wrapsDear Editor, Why is it that the results of the village council elections are seemingly being horded by the government for days on end and the public has to rely on yeriso from the major political parties? What happened to freedom of information? Accountability and transparency? During any General Elections, when there are thousands more Belizeans voting, the Elections and Boundaries Department posts the results on their website. Granted they are always far behind media reporters, especially those on radio who get inside information and unofficial results from campaign workers and friends on the “inside,” but at least we can find the results after 24 hours or so. But for village council elections, we are merely told the Ministry of National Development will be posting the results in newspapers, but how long does it take for them to get the numbers anyway? Perhaps they are trying to hold off as long as possible to prevent anything unflattering to the ruling PUP from emerging and influencing the next round of village voting. Which, raises the next question: why are the elections being staggered? General Elections and Municipal Elections are simultaneous. Do you mean to tell us we do not have enough personnel between the Elections and Boundaries Office and National Development to sustain polling areas in all the villages? That seems so ridiculous. But maybe it’s the case. Sad if it is. And even sadder that the dates of the village council elections are so poorly publicized. Perhaps the Ministry of National Development can do a post mortem after this round and figure out how they can work more closely with the media and perhaps collaborate with Elections and Boundaries. Some of us are not entirely comfortable with other ministries running elections anyway when we have people we trust (or are supposed to trust) being paid very good salaries at Elections and Boundaries and they only have to kick into action every three years or so. Signed, A. Martinez

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3 The Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development area up in arms against the illegal dredging of the Placencia Lagoon. They have written a letter to Martin Alegria of the Department of the Environment and to Craig Moore of the Department of Geology, of the Ministry of Natural Resources, with copies to the Minister of Natural Resources John Briceno. They also copied the letter to Placencia and Seine Bight Village Councils, theFriends of Nature, the Department of Forestry and the media. We reproduce their letter in toto that our readers may understand their gripe. “Re: Illegal Dredging of the Placencia Lagoon; Permits and ECPs Dear Mr. Moore and Mr. Alegria: As reported to you by numerous residents of the Placencia Peninsula, Albert Loewen has been dredging and mining sand from the Placencia Lagoon at the Lagoon entrance to Lot 146 in the Maya Beach area, owned by Jim and Sarah Robinson. Loewen has been mining this sand P P P P P eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz ens for Sustainable ens for Sustainable ens for Sustainable ens for Sustainable ens for Sustainable De De De De De v v v v v elopment protest ille elopment protest ille elopment protest ille elopment protest ille elopment protest ille g g g g g al mining al mining al mining al mining al mining Zeboz development area (Plantation development) in the last week. Further, this is not the first instance of Loewen’s illegal sand dredging, similar illegal dredging occurred off the from the Lagoon without a permit for at least a week and one resident of the area estimates that at least 150 dump truck loads of sand have been take to Villas at Coco Plum, owned by Mr. Boris Mansfield, and the STRENGTHENING OF BELIZE’S MUL TI-SECT ORAL RESPONSE T O HIV AND AIDS JOB DESCRIPTION FOR THE PROJECT OFFICER – Global Fund ActivitiesThe Project Officer shall assume general responsibilities for overall logistical aspects of the Global Fund/Ministry of Health Implementation, including the enforcing of the Implementation of the Global Fund Activities. This can include facilitating the selection and contracting of providers and the organization of workshops, conferences and meetings. He/she will be the focal point with Programme partners and Implementing Agencies. The Project Officer will be supervised by and report to the Director of the National AIDS Programme (NAP) in the Ministry of Health (MOH) RESPONSIBILITIES: ·Advise the Director of the National AIDS Programme on all relevant issues pertaining to Global Fund and HIV/AIDS/STIs ·Coordinate the Global Fund Activities as it pertains to the Ministry of Health’s component ·Ensure Implementation of Global Fund Activities as it pertains to the MOH ·Ensure timely execution of project activities and achievements of outputs ·Provide and maintain a constant communication between the different subrecipients of Global Fund to ensure adequate coordination of activities ·Produce on a quarterly basis a full report of ongoing activities within the Project ·Organize and facilitate capacity building programmes, courses or hands-on sessions for the Ministry of Health and implementation partners ·Assist with other duties and/or assignments consistent with the job description as outlined above Qualifications: ·A First degree in Project Management, Public Administration, Public Health or a related discipline ·Five (5) years working experience in programme or project implementation ·An understanding of the socio-economic, cultural and political causes of HIV and AIDS and its impacts on the health and development of Belize ·A strong analytical, report writing and interpersonal skills; and ·A commitment to a participatory approach to project implementation. Remuneration: Salary and benefits are negotiable, based on qualifications and experience. Contact: Applicants are required to submit two copies of Curriculum Vitae along with two (2) references in a sealed envelope on or by 4 pm April 20th, 2007 to: Chief Executive Officer Ministry of Health, Local Government, Transport and Communications 3rd Floor, East Block Building, Independence Plaza, Belmopan Lagoon property of Ms. Alice Brady several months ago. Area residents have repeatedly reported this illegal sand dredging and (Please Turn To Page 13)

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4 By: Karla Heusner V ernon Butane and gasolene price gaan up but me di no pay no big money fu gas. Butane and gasolene price gaan up but me di no pay no big money fu gas. Butane and gasolene price gaan up but me di no pay no big money fu gas. Butane and gasolene price gaan up but me di no pay no big money fu gas. Butane and gasolene price gaan up but me di no pay no big money fu gas. We gaan totally natural energy wid Biogas, an’ dat dah no bullshit!!! We gaan totally natural energy wid Biogas, an’ dat dah no bullshit!!! We gaan totally natural energy wid Biogas, an’ dat dah no bullshit!!! We gaan totally natural energy wid Biogas, an’ dat dah no bullshit!!! We gaan totally natural energy wid Biogas, an’ dat dah no bullshit!!! Bear Bear Bear Bear Bear ing F ing F ing F ing F ing F r r r r r uits uits uits uits uits (Please Turn To Page 14)I am convinced there is nothing like the first mango of the season. Unless of course it is the first peach, or strawberry, or kiwi, or equally delightful fruit native to some equally delightful and fruitful part of the world. In Belize, the first sniff, the first peel of the skin, the first bite and first juicy dribble down your chin are nothing short of sensational. You stand there totally focused on what is before you; for a few moments the outer world recedes and the universe is simply delicious. No one, no thing, can upset your equilibrium. You are at one with the world. You no longer feel the humid heat, or hear the deafening boom box next door, the novella or soap on television holds no interest for you, and emails are to be left unanswered for another time. Right now, you only have time to eat your mango. Before someone comes and you feel obligated to share. You must hurry, but savor the moment, at the same time. The only way to top this, your first time of the season, is to eat that mango the Creator intend for it to be this way? Is it not why (S)He made fruits so desirable the humans and animals in the first place? So that tapirs would cross rivers to get to them and horses would risk being chased off private property and monkeys would sneak up on each other and steal their prize and eat it furtively, then pitch away the life-bearing in the water a river is okay, but the sea is better when a little briny water splashes up on your lips and creates a delectable contrast between sweet and salt. You toss the skins as far away as possible and then the seed too, watching them drift away gently on the waves. There is no guilt; its not pollution, being biodegradable after all. No fish have ever died from mango poisoning, no corals have been bleached yellow orange or affected by too much beta carotene. What could be more natural? Did not center or pips, cast them out onto the winds or grasses so they can germinate and reproduce great trees and fruits of their own someday? No doubt garbage pails and landfills were not part of the equation… But for those mango seeds that survive the modern trash collection and disposal systems life must be pretty good in Belize. Imagine growing up next to some home with boisterous, energetic children and talkative adults and friendly dogs. Providing shade to entire neighborhood convocations, birthday parties and domino tournaments. Sharing the yard with coconut and breadfruit and guava and lime trees…a good life for a tree. There is a special place in the Belizean heart for the mango trees; how they love us in return, showering us with basketfuls of rewards in exchange for doing pretty much nothing to take care of them. We don’t even water them, just begin to watch them every April and May, trying to tell if its going to be a “good season” or if that the “cold front no confuse di tree mek he tink da winta still yet…” No matter our station in life, the color of our skin, sucking on a mango is a pleasure we all look forward to, each and every year. I say all, for have you ever met anyone who ever said, “No thanks, I don’t like mangos,” as they might say of papaya or craboo or kinep? They might only be particular about the variety, but I certainly have yet to meet a mango hater. Just think of the generations of people in this part of the world who have watched the trees and waited for fruits to ripe and ready. Or cut them green for chutney or to eat with salt...have you ever met anyone who ever said, “No thanks, I don’t like mangos,”

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5 For an online version of the INdependent Reformer visit us at http://www .belizenor th.com/ independentr eformer .htm

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6 OBJECTIVE: noun What one intends to do or achieve: aim, ambition, design, end, goal, intent, intention, mark, meaning, object, point, purpose, tar get, view, why. Idioms: end in view, why and wherefore. See planned purpose. I spent 1996-97 at Lancaster University School of Management reading for their Masters in Business Administration certificate. This was fulfilling an objective I had set for myself before I had completed my Bachelors Degree in Pharmacy in Michigan…..at a time when I was completely broke and had no knowledge of how this objective would be financed. One of my world re-known strategy professors came into the auditorium one day….and wrote the letters S.M.A.R.T. on the blackboard. He asked if anyone would volunteer to say what was understood by the letters that were so written. We had 60 students in the course, from 22 countries around the world. Needless to say, there were many different perspectives expressed for the meaning of those letters. The professor went on to disclose his purpose for raising this topic. He wanted us to discuss the process by which ‘good’ objectives can be set. We had already discussed the importance of setting objectives in previous conferences. He wanted to establish some sets of criteria by which objectives would be deemed to meet the threshold of being ‘good’ managerial decisions. The word ‘good’ reflects some degree of measure of quality. Hence, he suggested that the quality of the objectives we set is reflective of our degree of commitment to challenge ourselves to obtaining the best possible outcomes from our managerial pursuits. It is also reflective of the degree of transparency and accountability with which a manager open up to scrutiny by stakeholders. Usually, poor quality managers would set poor quality objectives, consequently any performance appraisal becomes difficult and elusive. Poor quality objectives are often a sign of lack of commitment to achieving them. Even worse is when NO objective is set for important parameters that would be used to measure and declare success. He suggested that one simple way of improving on the quality of our objective setting, is to use the letters SMART against the objectives that we set for ourselves. 1.Specific – Objectives should specify what they want to achieve. 2. Measurable – You should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not. 3. Achievable Are the objectives you set, achievable and attainable? 4. Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have? 5. Time – When do you want to achieve the set objectives? SPECIFIC Some typical national objective might be stated as “to increase exports”, or “to increase investments”, or “to increase employment”, or “to increase productivity”, or “to improve the quality of primary education”. These are very general statements. They do not meet the criteria of being specific enough, and their ‘goodness’ as objectives can be brought into question. Exports of what? Increased by how much? To where? Through what distribution channel? At what competitive level? Under what framework? MEASURABLE On the other hand, if a national objective is “to build 10,000 new houses over the next five years”, this is more specific and measurable in that it states the amount of houses and over what time frame. However it can be criticized for not saying what kind of houses, what price range, under what terms, for responding to the needs and means of what target population, nor how it would be financed. After the fact, one could go back and say they meant mobile homes, and that the amount included mortgages financed by the private sector; and they would be quite within the stated objective. ACHIEVABLE “To meet the demand for tertiary level education in Belize”. Yet, no one can say exactly how many persons demand a tertiary level education, what the subgroups are willing and able to pay for it, the varying levels of background preparation to successfully undertake it, whether short certificate courses or full curriculum courses, or what logistics in time would best suit their need for generating income while studying. If there are over 48,000 persons between the ages of 20-29, and 50% of these were demanding some form of tertiary education or training, there would be 24,000 persons. Would Belize have sufficient trained instructors to meet this demand? Would such a goal be achievable? REALISTIC “To produce 10,000 new jobs over the next five years”. If this objective is set along with another which says “to reduce the level of unemployment”; then it might not be realistic. If there are 32,000 persons coming into the work force during the same five year period, creating only 10,000 new jobs would not serve to reduce the level of unemployment. TIMELY “Health for all by the year 2000”. This a typical cliché that sounded off during 1980’s and 90’s; typical of the socialist sound-bites emanating from the United Nations at the time, and gladly propagated by the local socialites. Sure it sets a specific timeframe, but does not say anything about whether its primary, secondary or tertiary health care; it does not say if ALL covers only workers or extends to all citizens and residents regardless of employment status. Indeed, it is so vague as to be meaningless even unto this day; yet many dollars were poured into the hands of those who printed posters, banners, leaflets, tshirts and so many other paraphernalia that promoted this vaguity. Belizeans should become more interested their national objectives. They should pay more attention to the objectives that are put forward by national manifestos. Setting poor quality objectives has plagued Belize for decades, and is reflective of the type of commitment we hold our leaders to, as well as their own lack of moral commitment to serve the people using the best managerial principles available to them. But, it would be worse to accept that “no objectives will be set, as we do not know the situation of the national finances that we will meet when we assume government”. While the SMART framework establishes a set of criteria for improving our objective setting, there is still a lot of refining that can be done to improve objective setting at a national level beyond this framework. This framework calls for declaration of GENERAL and SPECIFIC objectives, so that a ‘big picture’ and a more ‘detailed picture’ can be expressed objectives in concise a manner as possible. One leader once emphasized to me to use economy of words. I have learned that while that is valuable, it is more valuable to express completeness of thought. This framework would be a good start however, to help us to raise our standards for objective setting. One can see clearly, that by setting better quality objectives, the potential for improved monitoring and evaluation of performance is automatically achieved. The pressure increases for managers to become more transparent and accountable by this built-in mechanism. We clamor for transparency and accountability as one of our national objectives, and one way to assure that this is complied with, is to insist on improved quality of national objectives that are stated from the onset. When we are pandered to with poor quality objectives, we should be able to identify them immediately by qualifying them against the SMART criteria, and question the persons or parties who deem us so ignorant as to disrespect our good judgment by providing us with poor quality objectives…..or worse….no objectives at all! By: Richard Harrison Def Def Def Def Def ining Objecti ining Objecti ining Objecti ining Objecti ining Objecti v v v v v es es es es es

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7 By: William Schmidt PG correspondent for INdependent W eeklyWhen will our Belizean people learn? The way to build the new Belize and to be sure all are involved in, and benefit from the peaceful, constructive Belizean revolution, is to stand together, because in unity is the strength we need. DonÂ’t trust those who try to separate us. Trust those who try to and do bring us together! Now people from outside, have come again into Belize to support another lawsuit against our government. They have helped to organize some of the forgotten people of Toledo and encourage them to protest against the discrimination theyÂ’ve been and still are suffering. The last time it was the Indian Law Resource Center. They told the Maya people if they protested and filed a lawsuit against our government they would get the 500,000 acre Maya Homeland the foreigners promised. This was impossible and an absurd lie. But the people from outside had the money to pay local coordinators and to fly local Maya leaders to other countries where indigenous people were able to get control of land. No one would help our people to promote their own plans for a realistic Eco Park, so these foreigners were able to pay some of the local leaders to support their plans to divide our people and to turn many Belizeans against the people of Toledo so they would not have sympathy for their legitimate protest against the discrimination they were suffering. IÂ’m not saying the local leaders understood what their new friendsÂ’ true intentions were. It was a very effective way to divide the Belizeans of Maya descent, many of whom who did not support the Maya Homeland idea and to separate the Belizeans of other ancestry who were really upset with the idea that the Maya of Toledo wanted to establish a Maya Homeland where only Maya could get land and live on it, while Belizeans of other ethnic backgrounds would have to be approved by the Maya council, but the Maya supporters of a homeland concept would be free to go to any other part of Belize to live wherever they wanted. With the Belizeans of Maya ancestry representing only approximately 10 percent of the total population of Belize and with few if any government ministers of the day of Maya descent and the two area representatives of Toledo East and West being non Maya, what chance would such an absurd idea have of passing into law? It was a very affective method however for dividing our Belizean people, which is in my opinion exactly what I believe the foreign supporters of the idea had in mind. I have lived in Toledo for over 37 years and before the Maya Homeland I never heard racist remarks against the Maya by the people of Toledo. I did hear government ministers and foreign funders and their non-governmental organizations speak against the Maya and Garifuna as being backward, ignorant and unable to work together, too independent, resisting constructive change etcetera as justification for their governmentÂ’s and funderÂ’s failed projects. But discrimination against the Maya by local citizens of Toledo was very rare until the Maya Homeland was promoted and financed by outsiders. I have many Maya friends who did not think the proposal was fair or that it would work. And I canÂ’t remember any non Maya Belizean who really supported it. Of course there were several foreigners who could see the Maya were being taken advantage of by the funders and the non-governmental organizations, who sympathized with their poverty and supported the Maya Homeland as a way to help the indigenous people. The Indian Law Resource Center was said to be a front for the CIA whose job is to support American economic interests abroad. They were suspected in Nicaragua by the Sandinistas and later by the Zapatistas in Mexico. I personally spoke to several representatives of the Indian Law Resource Center when they were supporting the Maya Homeland project. I explained how the proposed Toledo PeopleÂ’s Eco Park would help the Maya as well as the Garifuna, East Indian, Mestizo and Creoles to get control of their community lands using the Special Development Areas Plan (SDA), and the Toledo Alcaldes and Village Council Act. But they steadfastly refused to abandon the Maya Homeland Plan or to support the Eco Park Plan alternative. This led me to believe what the Sandinistas reportedly said about them. If any reader wants to know why the CIA would want to prevent the Maya and others from getting a good development plan for Toledo, I believe they knew oil exists here in Toledo. That it was a strategic oil reserve too small to develop economically at the time, but good to have available if and when needed. Once the Middle East erupted the value of any oil in the U.S. of AÂ’s backyard increased greatly. You notice who owns the oil company that is sucking up BelizeÂ’s rich black blood today. Now that the Indian Law Resource CenterÂ’s cover has been so badly blown by our neighbors and the Maya Homeland has been shot down. Most Maya know that it was unrealistic and they would not believe the center again. So another foreign human Indian rights organization from the states has shown up. They have organized another court case trying as some non Maya people in the street have said, to Mayanize Toledo like Balkanizes. Right Honorable George Price and Honorable Manuel Esquivel both personally told me they would never agree to divide up Belize into different ethnic parts. Belize, all Belize, should be for all Belizeans. What makes me highly suspicious of this new effort to divide the people of Belize is the same thing that made me suspicious of the last attempt. The current Maya leaders and their new found foreign friends of this new case also refuse to support the proposed Toledo PeopleÂ’s Eco Park Plan, and none of them can give one single reason why. The Eco Park Plan works within the current framework of the law. It was designed to work with the Alcaldes, Village Council and Toledo Development CorporationÂ’s ActÂ’s. It also calls for no more National land to be sold or leased by government. That both private property and communal land be recognized. The Eco Park Plan has a conservation element that will protect the endangered watershed, while it supports the traditional communal land sharing system for agriculture. It also supports protection of the endangered flora and fauna with the Biosphere Plan of core areas connected by wildlife corridors, buffer zones for regulated extraction of forest products and development areas for sustainable organic farming, by and for all the people of Toledo District. The planners of the Eco Park know that the old traditional Maya farming and forest extraction system was not so good once the population increased beyond the forestÂ’s ability to sustain them. Eventually they had to move from Belize. Now the population is growing again, but the amount of available land remains the same. There is an old saying that those who fail to learn from past mistakes are destined to make them again. The question concerned Belizeans should ask is why these foreign indigenous rights activists and the Maya leaders who are working with them havenÂ’t supported the Toledo PeopleÂ’s Eco Park Plan? It offers a realistic solution to ToledoÂ’s very real problems, a solution that recognizes the equal rights of all the citizens of Toledo, young and old, male and female, rich and poor from Puta Gorda Town and the rural villages. In 2003, representatives of all the democratically elected leaders of Toledo, the largest conservation, cultural and development organizations, the President of The Toledo Civil Society and even the United States Peace Corps signed in support of the further development of the Toledo PeopleÂ’s Eco Park Plan. Dr. Ludwick Palacio, General Manager of the Toledo Development Corporation who drafted the Memorandum of Understanding rightly called it a truly historic document. Why the Minister of Economic Development refuse to support it? Concerned Belizeans should demand an answer. Di Di Di Di Di vide and Conquer vide and Conquer vide and Conquer vide and Conquer vide and Conquer

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8 Under this present PUP government Belize has become a whore . not just any old whore though because she only sleeps with the high rollers and the very rich. She sleeps with Fortis, she sleeps with Ashcroft, she sleeps with Feinstein and she sleeps with any old environmental abuser who has the money. And, just like any real whore, she has her pimps – “developers” and “environmental consultants” and others. They sleep with her and also take their cut of her earnings. Drug war in Belize? No, it’s a drug arrangement because our whore, while ‘cleaning’ up the streets around her bedroom and prosecuting marijuana smokers, sleeps with the cocaine drug lords and takes her cut. It might not be so bad if she spent her ill-gotten money down the block Belize is a W Belize is a W Belize is a W Belize is a W Belize is a W hor hor hor hor hor e! e! e! e! e! but she doesn’t. She banks in Panama. For donkeys years our whore has been sleeping happily (for oodles of bucks) with Taiwan but now a rival has stepped into the picture. The Peoples Republic of China has paid court to her. Even she knows she can’t sleep with both China and Taiwan and so she will have sleepless nights until one or the other of the two clients comes up with the highest bid. On the subject of corruption, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) today signed an agreement to strengthen the fight against corruption in the Americas. The organization said that cooperation would center on issues such as, “avoiding conflicts of interest; promoting integrity through transparency and accountability; and enhancing resistance to corruption in risk areas such as public procurement, contract management and lobbying.” This, on the same day that the Prime Minister Said Musa refused to release details of the massive $33,000,000 debt handed to the Belizean public by the secret hospital deal. He told Channel 5 that requests for disclosure of the contents of the guarantee, “have to be denied based on confidentiality for banking documents. The P.M. went on to assert that in December 2004, Belmopan did in fact guarantee Universal’s debt at the Belize Bank” Musa maintained to Channel 5 that without consent from the shareholders of Universal or the Belize Bank, under the law, government is not able to release the details. Channel 5: “That position has hit a sour note with the public, most of who argue that since taxpayer money will be used to pay off the debt, the public has a vested interest in the contents of the guarantee.” This sour note has hit a new high with the government’s constant pandering to offshore financial groups in the sale of huge areas of Belizean coast and islands for dubious projects with little or no real survey of the environmental consequences of their actions. They don’t even take the advice of their own tame specialists who prostitute themselves with their less than adequate assessments of the real local, and global warming, effects of some of their favorite projects. It is time that our whore sought a new way of life which perhaps a new government could provide. Whores and prostitutes: Those who compromise principles for personal gain. By: Meb CutlackThe Organization of American States (OAS) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) today signed an agreement to strengthen the fight against corruption in the Americas. The memorandum of understanding will establish a legal framework in which both entities will work together in anti-corruption efforts as well as state modernization. “This has to do with two interrelated and critical issues for the consolidation of democratic governance, economic growth and the social development of our countries,” OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said during a brief ceremony at the regional body’s headquarters. Insulza explained that these issues “are very important so that our democracies are not only democracies from an electoral point of view, but also countries that are able to continue developing political and civilian citizenship and citizen participation.” In terms of state modernization, both organizations identified several areas of potential cooperation, including E-government; public employment and management; budgeting and public expenditures; and open government and citizen participation, among others. On the anti-corruption front, cooperation would center on issues such as avoiding conflicts of interest; promoting integrity through transparency and accountability; and enhancing resistance to corruption in risk areas such as public procurement, contract management and lobbying. For his part, OECD Secretary General Ángel Gurría noted that his orOAS & OECD agree to fight corruption OAS & OECD agree to fight corruption OAS & OECD agree to fight corruption OAS & OECD agree to fight corruption OAS & OECD agree to fight corruption ganization has a long history of fighting corruption globally. However, he stressed the importance of being able to expand its efforts in this region, “because we only have one Latin American member country in the OECE – Mexico. This is a very exciting and very important opportunity to work with an institution that would then work with all the countries to offer this support,” he said. Secretary General Insulza reiterated that the fight against corruption is a highpriority issue within the OAS, noting that the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, adopted in 1996, was the first treaty of its kind in the world. This treaty “has become the navigational chart of our collective action in this field,” noted Insulza, adding that it has been ratified by 33 of the 34 OAS member countries. The OECD, like the OAS, has long been committed to the fight against corruption. In 1997 the OECD created the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign International Business Transactions, and continues to monitor its enforcement through regular meetings of its Working Group on Bribery. Both organizations have likewise pushed for modernization of the state, which would allow for greater efficiency and transparency. The agreement signed between the OAS and OECD is an extension of a cooperative relationship that began in 1963. Recent collaborative efforts include a September 2006 technical meeting held in Chile on international bribery investigations and a May 2004 meeting in Brazil which centered on conflict-of-interest issues. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a forum of 30 democracies, provides a setting in which governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify best practices and coordinate domestic and international policies.

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9 By: Meb Cutlack The PUP seem to imagine, in their wild dreams, that the Belizean electorate will somehow come to forgive them; forgive their two terms of total incompetence, horrifying corruption and greed and bribery almost beyond human reckoning They seem to think that Belizeans don’t mind or notice the yawning pit of poverty and deprivation which has replaced prosperity and hope. They do not seem to realize that a little more time – March or June until 2008 will not make them any more electorable than they are today. And, they are not elector-able today, tomorrow or next year. They no longer have any hope of being re-elected. The simple truth is that two generations, or more, of Belizeans now have burned indelibly into their consciousness the fact that the PUP is a crooked bunch of self serving, greedy, corrupt and incompetent liars who are incapable of honest government. Even their elaborate ‘crony’ system, of ‘selling’ government assets at bargain Bribery, Corruption, Bribery, Corruption, Bribery, Corruption, Bribery, Corruption, Bribery, Corruption, Lies and incompetence Lies and incompetence Lies and incompetence Lies and incompetence Lies and incompetence prices with government money to their chosen few in return for chunks of ‘election’ money, is beginning to tumble in on itself. The ‘cronies’ are finding out that the cookies, which they thought they had been handed, had in fact been handed to rival cronies as well. The ‘cookie jar’, in the immortal words in the House of Representatives of Michael Finnigan, is empty. The cookies have run out and all the attempts by the PUP to disillusion their supporters with phony promises of oil land, islands and huge tracts of property are now empty promises. Even if handed over (by false conveyances) oil lands, islands or anything else are liable to very close scrutiny by whoever is elected in 2008 and ‘should’ lead to immediate prosecution and, in many cases to imprisonment . The PUP live in a carnival house of mirrors in which each mirror reveals not the true image but the image they want to see. When they walk through it they can see fat for thin, thin for fat, short for tall, sober for drunk. Said Musa, Ralph Fonseca and Godfrey Smith and the others can dance in front of these mirrors all day long but they cannot change their real shape. The people now see and know this real shape. The people of Belize want not only change, at this moment from blue to red, but they also want a dramatic change in the manner in which they are governed. They don’t want another 25 years of theft and corruption. While the PUP is, for obvious reasons, totally against any form of political reform it appears that the UDP has its heels equally dug in on the subject of an elected senate. It does not take a genius to figure out that an elected senate builds in certain safeguards against corruption as all the emerging reform parties have so adequately demonstrated by their nationwide support. No, it’s not perfect but it appears the only method to stop the abuse of power that is endemic with Cabinet government where all power rests in the hands of one or two men. A short time ago this writer sat down with a high official of the UDP who complained that the INdependent newspaper was unfairly comparing the UDP to the PUP. The discussion ended up centered on the subject of an elected senate and it equally ‘broke down’ on this subject. There appears to be no way the UDP will endorse the idea of an elected senate not even to have an immediate bipartisan, internationally supervised commission, to look into the pros and cons of such an elected second chamber. The problem with this blank ‘NO’ is that critics, and even supporters of the UDP, are left with the impression that the UDP refuses to acknowledge the fallibility of man. They refuse to accept that much of mankind, for all protestations to the contrary, is not always incorrupt-able.They are asking us to believe that hidden in their bag of electoral goodies are men of extraordinary statue who will not be susceptible to bribery and who will rise above the example the Belizean people have of 25 years of incompetent and often corrupt government. This writer personally would like the safeguard of an elected senate – or at least an ample reason why not. PNP Leader Wil Maheia calls for unity and support for Maya land rights struggle. Punta Gorda Town, Toledo —Wil Maheia, PNP Leader spoke at the Julian Cho memorial on Saturday, April 7, 2007. Maheia said, “All Belizeans should support the Maya land struggle because all Belizeans will benefit if the Mayans are successful in defending their land rights”. “The government of Belize regularly violates the land rights of Belizeans especially in the rural areas like Toledo. Julian Cho brought to the attention of the people of Belize that planning was needed before the Southern highway came in. Communities along the Southern highway were promised land use rights for two miles along the highway on both sides, but the Gob did not keep their promise,” continued Maheia. Julian would have been proud of the Visit The Belize Zoo The Best Little Zoo In The World P P P P P eople’ eople’ eople’ eople’ eople’ s Na s Na s Na s Na s Na tional P tional P tional P tional P tional P ar ar ar ar ar ty ty ty ty ty honours Julian Cho honours Julian Cho honours Julian Cho honours Julian Cho honours Julian Cho lawsuit brought against the GOB. His fight was not in vain. Julian always urged Mayans to work together and I want to do the same. All of the Mayan organizations, The Maya Leaders Alliance, The Julian Cho Society, The Alcalde’s Association and the Toledo Maya Women’s Council need to be united to win this fight. --PNP press releaseMayan leader Julian Cho, who died tragically in December 1998, championed rights of the Toledo Maya. Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues Current Issues

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10 ARIES (Mar. 21April 20) Older family members may take advantage of you by making you feel guilty. Don’t blame every thing on your mate. Be sure to keep communication open with those you live with. Concentrate on spending quality time with children.Your lucky day this week will be Monday. T AURUS (Apr. 21may 21) A change is as good as a rest. Don’t go looking for change. You may have more to do with children this week; keep an open mind. You are best to work at home, clearing up overdue projects. Rewards for past good deeds will be yours. Your lucky day this week will be Sunday. GEMINI (May 22-June 21) Catch up on your reading and correspondence. You will get out of shape easily if you don’t keep on top of things. You need a change and you need to earn more cash. Someone around you may not be trustworthy. Your lucky day this week will be Wednesday. CANCER (June 22-July 22) Good friends will give you honest answers. Jealousy may be a contributing factor to your emotional ups and downs. You can get into self awareness groups or look into physical enhancement programs. New love connections can be made through group associations. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday. LEO (July 23-Aug 22) Someone envious of your popularity may challenge you to a debate. Travel for business will not only bring you valuable information but also profits as well. Secret affairs will come back to haunt you. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday. VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23) You can come up with ways of earning extra cash. Be creative in your efforts. Try to be tolerant of the moods of those around you. Go out with friends and avoid the situation on the home front. Your lucky day this week will be Thursday. LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23) Be cautious while traveling; minor accidents are evident. You can’t lock your partner up and if you keep restricting their freedom you may be left out in the cold. Relationships have not been the best for you lately and it’s left you somewhat gun shy. Keep an open mind when listening to the opinions of others. Uncertainties about your personal life are probable. Your lucky day this week will be Monday. SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22) You will profit from home improvement projects and real estate deals. Your ability to deal with humanitarian groups will enhance your reputation. Use your creative talent in order to accomplish your goals. Your lucky day this week will be Wednesday. SAGITT ARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21) Don’t get so wrapped up in being rich that you overlook the fact that your plan may not be as solid as you thought. Someone you live with could be frustrated and upset. Disappointments are likely if your mate embarrasses you in front of friends. Partners may try to argue with you; however, you must stand your ground. Your lucky day this week will be Sunday. CAPRICORN (Dec 22.Jan. 20) Opportunities to get ahead will be evident. You can pick up some overtime this week. You will meet new and exciting people if you attend social activities or sporting events. Your lucky day this week will be Friday. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19) Your mate will be pushing you to do things that you really don’t want to do. You are best to put your efforts into reT een ly Page decorating or inviting friends over. Empty promises will cause confusion. Tell it like it is.You will be accident prone if you aren’t careful this week. Your lucky day this week will be Wednesday. PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20) You may be likely to have difficulties with females. Romantic opportunities are evident. This will not be the best time to initiate change. There might be a problem with a will or with an insurance policy. Your lucky day this week will be Saturday. Dumb as Einstein A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.” The barber puts a dollar coin in one hand and two shillings in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?” The boy takes the shillings and leaves. ”What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!” Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store. “Hey son, may I ask you a question? Why did you take the shillings instead of the dollar coin?” The boy licked his cone and replied, “Because the day I take the dollar, the game’s over!” ***** A boy comes home from school and his mom says “What did you learn in school?” He replies, “Obviously not enough because I have to go back again tomorrow! ***** There were 4 people in an army plane: the pilot, and three soldiers. The pilot said that they were weighted down and told the soldiers to throw whatever items they didn’t need off the plane. The first soldier throws off his gold star badge. The second soldier throws off his silver star badge. The third soldier grabbed a bunch of grenades and threw them off the plane. The plane landed safely and the soldiers decided to retrieve their items. The first soldier went to where he thought his gold badge landed. There he found a little boy crying. He asked what was wrong and the boy said a gold star fell from the sky and killed his father. The soldier felt ashamed and went away. The second soldier went to where he thought his silver badge landed. There he saw a little boy crying. When asked why the boy said a silver star fell from the sky and killed his sister. The soldier was ashamed and went away. The third soldier went to where he thought his grenades would be and there he saw a little boy LAUGHING. He asked what was up and the boy answered “I farted and my house blew up!”

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11 Oil for 100 years!But oil revenues, which make up a third of the government’s budget, come at a cost to the environment and activists say at a cost to the health of Ecuadorians living in the affected areas. Maria Garofalo, a mother of six, has lived next door to a pumping station for 20 years. She has ovarian cancer and says her illness is a result of the fumes and waste she has been exposed to in that time. “All the smoke from those burners comes in the house. When it rains the roof turns black, the same colour as the water in the tank. That’s what’s affecting my health,” she said. Garofalo lives in San Carlos, a small town in Ecuador’s Amazon basin where the oil industry has operated since the 1960s. The town also has the highest incidence of cancer in the country, while among children there are high rates of skin disease, throat pains and diarrhoea. A lawsuit, filed in 1993 and representing 30,000 local people, alleges that Texaco, the US oil company which is today part of Chevron, is responsible for the contamination of more than 25,000 square kilometres of Ecuadorian rainforest. The lawsuit also alleges that more than six-and-a-half-billion cubic metres of gas were pumped into the air.Mexican farmers protest Plan Puebla Panama Guatemalans protest tooat the Mexican Embassy in Tokyo on Tuesday. Sojo is visiting Japan to commemorate the second anniversary of the enforcement of the Japan-Mexico Economic Partnership Agreement. While expressing the Mexican government’s continued support for the FTAA scheme, Sojo said, “Because there is no consensus in the region at this point, the best strategy [for Mexico] is to continue with bilateral agreements.” The scheme hit an impasse in 2005, however, after a bitter round of talks over liberalization of agricultural markets between the United States and Brazil that failed to reach an accord. On the EPA with Japan Mexico’s only free trade pact in Asia Sojo stressed that it has “benefited Mexico as well as Japan,” as shown in the nearly 30 percent growth of Mexican exports entering the Japanese market since it came into effect two years ago.Wolfowitz apologises over pay row (Please Turn To Page 12)CARACAS, Venezuela (Bloomberg): Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has called for the creation of a Latin American energy system to prioritize local markets in a “true energy revolution,” guaranteeing oil and gas supply to the region for 100 years. “All the oil and energy that Latin America needs is here in Venezuela,” Chávez said at a graduation ceremony in Caracas. “That resource, once in the hands of the empire, is now in Venezuelan hands, and we have it to share with the people of Cuba and the Caribbean, Nicaragua and Central America, Brazil and South America , at least for 100 years.” Chávez called proposals by US President George W. Bush to substitute gasoline with ethanol in a bid to reduce US reliance on foreign oil, “true craziness” that “go against nature” and threaten the region’s poorest inhabitants. “To produce the ethanol necessary to replace the gasoline that the US alone consumes, we’d have to plant almost all the land on this continent with corn or sugar cane not to feed people, but to feed the cars of the US empire,” he said.Oil’s other legacyAljazeera: Ecuador’s natural resources are central to the country’s economy, with oil accounting for 40 per cent of export earnings. Over 2,000 farmers were in Mexico City last week to protest what they believe is the real objective of the PueblaPanama Plan (PPP) Summit : to expel them from their lands. Luis Antonio Che, leader of the Emiliano Zapata Farmer Front, said contingents mobilized to reject the summit, despite deployment of police and federal agents along roads leading to the city. Meanwhile, social activists consider the PPP meeting also aims to channel oil and other natural resources in the region to benefit large foreign and national investors, chiefly those in the United States. Guatemala: Thousands of Guatemalan health workers marched in the capital and other cities last Tuesday to reject a plan aimed at putting these services in the hands of the private sector. The so-called Health Framework Act, one of the four elements of the country’s Vision Plan, is no more than the covert privatization of state-run hospitals, union leader Thelma Estrada told Prensa Latina . Union leaders say the country’s Vision Plan means putting the State constitutional responsibility to offer free health services in the hands of private business people.FTAA will remain stalledMexican Economy Secretary Eduardo Sojo said in Japan that the U.S.-led Free Trade Area of the Americas scheme is likely to remain stalled in the foreseeable future as negotiations between the United States and the leftist-dominated South America on the issue have been deadlocked for the past few years. “It makes no sense to proceed at this point in time,” Sojo said in an interview World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has apologised for “mistakes” made over the promotion and pay of an excolleague with whom he is romantically involved. Mr Wolfowitz’s partner, Shaha Riza, was moved to the State TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12 (Continued From Page 11)Department when he took the Bank’s top job in 2005. But the bank’s staff association says she then received pay rises and promotions which were “grossly out of line” with the Bank’s staff rules. The controversy comes ahead of joint World Bank and IMF spring meetings. Mr Wolfowitz also said he would accept any remedy that the World Bank’s Board proposed. The bank chief formerly US deputy secretary of defence has adopted a fiercely anticorruption stance. The latest furor threatens to undermine Mr. Wolfowitz’s personal campaign to combat corruption and poor governance.Gorbachev warns about US plansKALININGRAD, April 12 (RIA Novosti) Deployment of U.S. missile-defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic is an attempt by the U.S. to control Europe, the former Soviet president said Thursday. “It is all about influence and domination in Europe,” Mikhail Gorbachev said. “I believe it is wrong that America did not even bother to consult its NATO allies.” Asked how Russia could respond to these plans, he only said: “Time will show.” The U.S. revealed plans in January to deploy elements of its missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland to counter possible attacks from Iran or North Korea, whose nuclear programs have provoked serious international concerns. People with a deep knowledge of the natural systems of Belize are coming together to watchdog the development of Belize by forming a group called Belize EcoWatch Alliance. Their plans are to stay alert, keep communication open between government departments and the environmental community, bring together and assist regional groups who are facing and fighting environmentally destructive projects in specific locations, and help with the struggle to keep Belize from losing what makes Belize “The Jewel”. The group will be reviewing sections of certain Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s) that pertain to their specific scientific, professional, or local knowledge and then will issue a report on that EIA. Their assistance could ultimately include helping in the preparation of law suits by providing scientific data and local knowledge that support their case and interpret this information in terms that could be understood by the average person. This group will try to see that the citizens of Belize are informed of what decisions are being made, by whom they are being made, and what is being affected by these decisions. They will be joining efforts at local, regional, and national levels in the hope that scientific facts and local knowledge of the ecosystems of Belize will be the basis for land use decisions. The group is looking for people with knowledge of any of the environmental sciences and environmental law, with or without a degree, whether they are students, professionals, or local residents with an understanding of the natural world in their area of Belize. They welcome all those who want to be sure their very way of life is not destroyed by thoughtless planning and development that does not benefit the people of Belize or proNational Eco-suppor National Eco-suppor National Eco-suppor National Eco-suppor National Eco-suppor t Group forming t Group forming t Group forming t Group forming t Group forming tect its natural systems. This is NOT a group that plans to have meetings and more meetings and not accomplish anything. This is a group that may seldom meet together but that primarily will stay in communication through e-mail and be ready to jump to respond to serious environmental issues. With Stake Bank, North Drowned Caye, the Belize Cruise Terminal, Smugglers Run, Maya Plantation, Ambergris Belize Resort, Ma Lo Ha, Corozal Yacht Club and SATIIM oil exploration (all coastal developments with EIAs either pending or recently reviewed), Belize is definitely in a crisis on the coast. If you would like to join in this effort, contact the group at this e-mail address: bzecowatch@gmail.com By: Nadja Chamberlain Comments? Suggestions? or want to share your thoughts Email us at Independent.newspaper. bz@gmail.com Russia, which has been anxious about NATO bases that have appeared in former Communist-bloc countries and ex-Soviet republics, has blasted the plans to deploy anti-missile systems in Central Europe as a national security threat and a destabilizing factor for Europe. TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS TOPICAL TIDBITS

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13 The illegally mined sand has been piled up at Villas at Coco Plum. STRENGTHENING OF BELIZE’S MUL TI-SECT ORAL RESPONSE T O HIV AND AIDS JOB DESCRIPTION FOR THE MONIT ORING AND EV ALUA TION OFFICERThe Monitoring and Evaluation Officer will be responsible to ensure the collection and analysis of HIV data, information and indicators, critical to the monitoring of the national and local response to HIV and AIDS in Belize, with particular emphasis on the project entitled “Strengthening of Belize‘s Multi-Sectoral Response to HIV/AIDS” . The individual, under the supervision of the Director of the National AIDS Program will provide support to the National AIDS Programme (NAP), of the Ministry of Health (MOH), for the monitoring and evaluation of the Global Fund indicators so as to ensure the successful implementation of the project. The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer will be supervised by and will report to the Director of the National AIDS Programme in the MOH. Responsibilities: The specific responsibilities: 1.Monitor all those specific indicators set out in the contract agreements between the Principal Recipient, the Global Fund and the Ministry of Health a and any other entity relevant to the project; 2.Contribute to the establishment of a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit for HIV/ AIDS within the Ministry of Health; 3.Manage national data to facilitate the monitoring of indicators for Global Fund, National Strategic Plan, UNGASS, MDGs, etc; 4.Contribute with the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry to develop and disseminate, the quarterly National Epidemiological Surveillance report and assist with the maintenance of an institutional profile of HIV/AIDS in Belize; 5.Liaise with the Secretariat of the National AIDS Commission, the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, the Central Statistical Office, and any other agency, as appropriate, to ensure that current information and indicators to monitor the country’s performance of the national HIV and AIDS response are available; 6.Produce monthly, quarterly and annual reports that analyse the achievement of the goals/objectives of the National AIDS Programme-Global Fund project; 7.Organize and facilitate capacity building programmes, courses or hands-on sessions for the Ministry of Health and implementation partners as it pertains to M&E activities; 8.Assist the Ministry of Health and other partners in the strategic use of data and information so as to improve the implementation of the GF project; 9.Assist with other duties or assignments consistent with the job description outlined above. Qualificationns: vA first degree in a Statistics, Epidemiology, Sociology, Public Health or a related discipline vAt least four (4) years of experience in handling Biostatistics and/or Monitoring/Evaluation Programmes vAn understanding of the socio-economic, cultural and political causes of HIV and AIDS and its impacts on the health and development of Belize; vA strong analytical, report writing and interpersonal skills; and vA commitment to a participatory team approach in all Global Fund Activities. Remuneration: Salary and benefits are negotiable, based on qualifications and experience. Contact: Applicants are required to submit two copies of Curriculum Vitae along with two (2) references in a sealed envelope on or by 4 pm April20th, 2007 to: Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Health, Local Government, Transport and Communications, 3rd Floor, East Block Building, Independence Plaza, Belmopan. mining activity to the Department of Geology with no action by Geology. The police have now shut down the sand mining operation at Lot 146. Loewen has publicly stated that he has an “agreement” with the Department of Geology allowing him to mine sand from the Lagoon without a permit. This is contrary to the laws of Belize and, we believe, is a criminal offense both by Loewen and the Department of Geology, if true. We would like not only a response from the Department of Geology regarding this alleged agreement, but also copies of all dredging and mining permits issued by Geology for the Placencia Lagoon, as well as copies of all Environmental Compliance Plans for developments on the Placencia Peninsula. We will gladly pay for all copies of these PUBLIC documents, and will also arrange to the Department of the Environment and the Department of Geology on notice that our citizens group intends to monitor ALL development approvals on the Peninsula AND to publicly question all decisions by the Department of Environment when it decides NOT to require full-fledged EIAs for developments that may have an impact on the Peninsula and the Placencia Lagoon. Both dredging and cutting of mangroves will be of particular focus for our group. Attached are some pictures of Loewen’s illegal dredging. These pictures were taken by various people on the Peninsula. We await your reply. Sincerely, Leonard Williams, President Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development have them picked up in Belmopan. PCSD would also like to put both (Continued From Page 13) P P P P P eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz eninsula Citiz ens... protest ille ens... protest ille ens... protest ille ens... protest ille ens... protest ille g g g g g al mining al mining al mining al mining al mining Guatemalan Catholic Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini was barred from addressing journalists at the IDB meeting. The Bishop learned, to his surprise, that he is considered a big threat to finance ministers and bankers. Ramazzini, bishop of the overwhelmingly indigenous San Marcos diocese, and three Maya leaders, were kept out of the press conference with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on social inclusion and inequality by the Guatemalan government. In a letter to the NGO organizers, the government said it could not approve the event with Ramazzini – a high-profile campaigner on poverty issues – for security reasons. Ramazzini was angered by the excuse. “Personally, I don’t believe that I am a security threat,” he told Emerging Markets in a phone interview from San Marcos. “It would have been much better if the government had said that I had nothing relevant to add to a meeting about high finance. Instead, they raise the security question as a way to stop whatever they don’t like.” He said his exclusion is even more surprising given the ubiquitous theme of the IDB’s Guatemala meeting: “That no one is left behind.” The organizers of the seminar that would have included Ramazzini were also surprised by the decision. They said that they followed the regulations and provided the government and the IDB with the names of participants and themes of the presentation. “I think they cancelled, because they knew that Bishop Ramazzini and the indigenous representatives were going to contradict directly what the IDB has been saying these past few days,” said Paulina Novo, of the Bank Information Center. Ramazzini said he was “disappointed” that the IDB appeared to have condoned the exclusion. The IDB said that NGO visitors had been accredited for events on previous days, but that yesterday passes had been refused across the board. Civil society groups have been attending the IDB’s annual meetings for years, pointing out that macroeconomic improvements have not trickled down to the poor majorities – something even most governments acknowledge and are actively trying to address. Ramazzini said that he had planned to talk about the fact that the government is touting 5% GDP growth, while conditions in the countryside deteriorate for the indigenous majority. “I don’t get how there is macroeconomic growth and people are poorer. Something is wrong,” he said. Guatemalan activists also question the government’s tax policies and plans to attract foreign investment, which go hand-in-hand.by Lucien Chauvin for Emerging Markets. Guatemalan Guatemalan Guatemalan Guatemalan Guatemalan Bishop banned Bishop banned Bishop banned Bishop banned Bishop banned

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 14 (Continued From Page 4)Is it any wonder pregnant women crave mangos? As rich with life as they are, as beautiful and rounded at the bottom half like the female form when she is carrying a child. How many women are even now wanting mangos and not quite sure why? Or knowing, because it happened before… Do you like the slippers, black mango, nine eleven, common mango or Hayden? Are you willing to lose a good portion of your allotted time in the conversation to eat one in front of other people, and not be able to speak either because your mind is too distracted by the burst of joy in your mouth, or your teeth tethered together by stringy fibers? Maybe you have to raise your hand to cover your lips until you are sure you have gotten all the little bits out. Or do you go and hide in the yard or on the veranda and eat it alone, in order not to offend or become embarrassed should you stain your shirt? That is the only bad part about eating a mango, getting out the evidence. Ah, but the trouble is worth it, is it not? And don’t we all pity those poor Belizeans living away who cannot get the first mango of the season at all? Yes we do. Go enjoy your canned pineapple and fruit cocktail from Winn Dixie. We got mangos coming, four for a dolla, or just falling off the trees for nothing…don’t you wish you were here? Bear Bear Bear Bear Bear ing F ing F ing F ing F ing F r r r r r uits uits uits uits uits Three prisoners serving potential life sentences in Colorado say their lives have been threatened by mosquitoes. The inmates at Walsenburg and Limon prisons sued, saying they were at risk of contacting West Nile virus or other diseases after they were bitten repeatedly by mosquitoes and suffered “the emotional and mental distress of Social PageColorado court swats mosquito lawsuit Colorado court swats mosquito lawsuit Colorado court swats mosquito lawsuit Colorado court swats mosquito lawsuit Colorado court swats mosquito lawsuit whether or not each mosquito’s bite would result in death or serious bodily injury.” Stephen G. Glover, Alan Smith and Michael Freeman said the bites caused high fever, headache, neck stiffness and muscle weakness. “Each attack constituted bodily injury, which the (Department of Corrections) had the power to prevent, but consciously elected not to,” wrote the inmates, acting as their own attorneys. But the Colorado Court of Appeals swat down their case and upheld a lower court’s decision to throw their case out. Prison officials said no confirmed cases of West Nile virus have ever been found in the prison population, and inmates are provided mosquito repellant.Cuban Ambassador H.E. Eugenio Martinez and his wife Johanna Martinez.with Film showcase organizer Suzette Zayden (center).The first Traveling Caribbean Film opened April 11th with a ceremony and cocktail party at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. Two films, “JAB; Blue Devils of Parmin” from Trinidad and tobago and “Zulaika” from Curacao opened the showcase which ran almost a full week until the 17th. It featured films from all over the Caribbean in English, Spanish, French and French Creole. While most productions were from the last decade, the Jamaican classic“The Harder They Come,” with reggae star Jimmy Cliff was also included. Only one documentary from Belize, “The Day of the Dead” from the Simply Belize television series made the playlist. The Traveling Showcase’s visit to Belize was made possible through the support of UNESCO, the Embassy of Cuba in Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH, and local organizer Suzetter Zayden of Fer de Lance Productions. Ms Zayden is an independent producer and the driving force behind the Belize International Film Festival which will be held biannually instead of annually alternating with the Caribbean Traveling Showcase.

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Friday, April 20, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15 1/2 acre lots in Burrel Boom starting at $10K Call 600-1627 for details 70 acres in Burrel Boom for US$50K Call 600-1627 for details Single-12 acre plot in Ladyville $120 K Call 600-1627 for details Mangr Mangr Mangr Mangr Mangr o o o o o v v v v v es Pr es Pr es Pr es Pr es Pr otecting Beliz otecting Beliz otecting Beliz otecting Beliz otecting Beliz e, e, e, e, e, but ar but ar but ar but ar but ar e e e e e w w w w w e pr e pr e pr e pr e pr otecting them? otecting them? otecting them? otecting them? otecting them? Naturalist/photographer Christian Ziegler has spent hours capturing the beauty of mangroves, trees many of us take for granted. Despite the fact that they provide much needed protection from hurricanes and erosion, as well as function as a nursery for many species of fish and a home to birds and otherChristian Ziegler and researcher Anke Sparmann The stilt-like roots of the mangrove help retain the shoreline from washing away. The mangrove is a hardy plant tolerant of high salt concentrations which can establish itself in the shoals of the reef. When this single plant grows into a clump, the combined tangle of roots will retain sand to begin the formation of a tiny island.wildlife, irresponsible land developers cut them down exposing the land to disaster in many parts of Belize, particularly the Placencia Penninsula. Indpendent Weekly is pleased to share some of ZeiglerÂ’s work with our readers and we thank him for giving us permission to publish them.This brown egrets survives by feeding on the fish it catches among the mangrove roots. Belizeans may have later cause to regret the ill-conceived burning of mangroves for land clearing by farmers and other land developers. These zebra-striped juvenile spade fish blend in with the lights and shadows among the roots of the mangroves along the shore.

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