Title: Independent reformer
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00031
 Material Information
Title: Independent reformer
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Independent Publishing Company (of Belize) Ltd.
Place of Publication: Belize City, Belize
Publication Date: July 6, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00031
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Blue notes for blue

This past Sunday's turnout in Belize's
northern-most border town proved
once more that political cash handouts
to starving, marginalized Belizeans can
still buy the PUP a lot of love. At least
for the day.
Despite all the scandal of the past
months, desperate Belizeans turned out
in droves to collect their "per diems",
food coupons, and refreshments from
PUP street captains organizing the flo-
tillas to Corozal.
It was no lobsterfest, but busloads of
people cashed in on the free-food, free
liquor, and free t-shirts, not to mention
free dollars. But is this lease-a-crowd
just taking the money and planning to
vote their mind during the General Elec-
tion like they did during the municipal
and village council elections?
That has to have the PUP wondering.
Do they really love us, or just the
money? This thought has got to have
them feeling blue because they really
don't know. Do they?
Almost as blue as having Said Musa
lead their party yet again, with no real
challengers being tolerated by the man
who would be king for a third term. Not
willing to play hypocrite, the one man
who could have been a viable contender,
and perhaps one of the few PUP's left
who could inspire confidence in
Belizeans both at home and abroad,
Mark Espat, steered clear of the whole
convention charade.
Why bother going, since everything
at this leadership convention had already
been hashed out days before and vot-
ing by delegates as much a rubber stamp
affair as a Senate meeting on a "money
matter bill". Nope, absolutely no sur-
prises. Briceno & his crew retain the

Ex-Deputy Prime Minister John Briceno is still Deputy PUP Party Leader!

territories they had before and were ef-
fectively neutralized from exercising any
bid for real leadership and all rebellious
area reps were "Ralphed" in once more.
Yes, despite the bankruptcy of the
entire country, the PUP is somehow in
the money once more and ready to buy
votes from anybody who's got one for
sale. Party before country -blue notes
for blue votes... long live Chavez and
his plata.
Covenant Movement, on the other
hand were a bit naive, we think, to be
forced to compete with both a festive
lobsterfest and a big money national
convention by one of the mass political

parties. Lobsterfest goers are the prime
target audience for the Movement. Plus,
people have been frightened into think-
ing that their kidnapping could be next,
if they get too close to Mr. Aikman. Just
ask the womenfolk with families.
The PUP didn't promise the people
of Belize anything newthat they haven't
promised before; and, really it was just
a political orgy of confidence building
measure for their insiders.

?rek Aikman at the launch of
Covenant Movement.

IBSI ashes fl

WTP's Hipolito Bautista in solidarity
with Covenant movement members.

L e dI n e n d t O n li e a t h t t p // b ei z e n e w c o mi n d e e n d n t r h t p : t i n ug A m 2 4 5 g g

PNP Leader Will Mehia came all the way
from PG for Covenent launch.

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 2

Freedom of
Information? PUC
Fails to Answer
Questions on the Vaca
Over two weeks ago, I wrote Mr.
Roberto Young, Chairman of the Pub-
lic Utilities Commission concerning ap-
proval for construction of the Vaca Hy-
droelectric Facility. Under the law,
Belize Electric Company Limited
(BECOL) must apply to the Public
Utilities Commission, PUC, for a license
and permission to build and operate the
Vaca Dam.
No such application, permission or
license appears anywhere on the PUC
or the BEL web sites and we have not
seen any notice in the paper as to an
application being filed, or a license be-
ing granted.
After seeing the statement released by
Belize Electric Company Ltd.
(BECOL), dated May 30, 2007, we
requested information from the PUC.
BECOL wrote: "Belize Electric Com-
pany Limited (BECOL) has received all

maj or approvals for construction of the
BZ$105 million Vaca Hydroelectric
Facility and has commenced activities
at the site."
I asked the PUC ifBECOL applied
for the required permission to construct
and operate the Vaca Hydroelectric
Facility? I asked if a license and per-
mission had been granted by the Public
Utilities Commission?

I asked for any and all documents
upon which the permission and license
were granted, if they were granted.
Those are fairly straightforward ques-
tions and requests that should not take
any time to answer. It is a simple ques-
tion was the law followed and, if so,
what was the decision based on?
Candy Gonzalez

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or want to share your thoughts & photos? Email us at
Independent, newspaper. bz(dgmail. corn

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P.O. Box 2(666(
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l --YES! Send me my FREE T-shirt with my year's subscription of the INdependent
Reformer for BZ$60.00 in Belize (US$60.00 international)

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of Karla Heusner's-t
collection of columns
Only $25 BZ
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Call, email or write to
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E-1 Lill lll E-1

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

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3

GraceKennedy (Belize) Ltd.

ebrating 25 years of Belizean enterprise
Open any kitchen cupboard in Belize and you will find us. That's because GraceKennedy Belize sales and distribution agents have spent
the last quarter of a century creating a distribution network. A network so strong and wide that Belizeans don't have to go any further
than their comer shop to find their favorite Grace and Colgate-Palmolive products, Teddies diapers, Suretox insecticides, Devon biscuits,
and other fine lines distributed by the people at GraceKennedy Belize.

The 25th anniversary of GraceKennedy Belize coincides with the excitement of the 85th anniversary of GraceKennedy Limited, which
began In Jamaica and then branched out to many different countries across the region, but make no mistake-Grace Belize Is very much
a Belizean company. It has been since it's startup in 1982 by Roberto Espat Sr. the founder and a major shareholder of GraceKennedy

lWenty five years later, it boasts a staff of over 45 dedicated, proud Belizeans with one of the country's youngest and most energetic
management teams headed by General Manager, Alberto Young.

Grace Belize ranks as the third largest distributor/exporter In the country; but In terms of customer loyalty, GraceKennedy Belize Is
number one. For even as Belizeans have increasingly wider selections from competing products, they continue to look to
GraceKennedy Belize for the quality products they have relied on for years accepting no cheap substitution.

What's more, GraceKennedy Belize not only imports what Belizeans want and need, GraceKennedy Belize is an exporter to the
Caribbean with the best Belize has to offer. In past years It has worked with cooperatives and local farmers to sell their red kidney
beans, black-eyed peas, marine products and citrus concentrate to markets in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados. Today it
continues to work closely with the Citrus Products of Belize Ltd. to seek export markets for Belizean orange and grapefruit concentrate.

GraceKennedy Belize also has its Sno-Brite Bleach and Grace Vinegar bottled In Belize and continues to seek out producers who can
package foods under the Grace label.

GraceKennedy Belize prides Itself in the development of its employees and continuously seeks to establish programs that will benefit
employees. GraceKennedy Belize Is one of the very few companies that provides a variable salary and profit sharing scheme for its
employees among other benefits like a retirement fund, training programs, medical and life Insurance, and educational assistance.

Its management team is focused on motivation and continuously strives to create an environment of teamwork and camaraderie. Its
family day and quarterly employee socials are special events which encourage positive attitudes and teamwork in employees at Grace

Notable Belizeans have contributed to the development of the mother company, GraceKennedy and Company Ltd. over the years.
Amauri Rafael Diaz, born and raised in the Cayo district was one of GK's most influential executives, taking up an accounting post at
the head office in Kingston in 1969 and rising to become the CEO of GraceKennedy & Co. Limited and Chairman of the Board until he
retired in 2005.

In 1989 a reporter from the Jamaica Gleaner asked him what direction he believed the Jamaican economy should take. His reply: "What
really is required is foreign exchange. My advice to Government Is to focus on an export-led economy."

Mr. Gilroy Graham Is another Belizean who is helping to shape GraceKennedy & Company Ltd. and also GraceKennedy Belize. Gilroy
Graham joined GraceKennedy Belize In 1991 and was transferred to World Brands In Jamaica In June of 2004 where he now holds the
position of General Manager.

Clearly Belizean business Ingenuity has been important to GraceKennedy, both In Jamaica and Belize.

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, GraceKennedy Belize is proud to have established itself as a leader In the distribution/export
industry. Our success is due to the support of all our customers, large and small, and our commitment to them. We proudly share our
company's values: "My Word is My Bond," "The Promise That is Kept," Ethics and Integrity, Respect and Consideration, Commitment
and Openness.

During the month of July, GraceKennedy Belize will host several activities starting with a church service at the Open Door Church on
Sunday, July 1, 2007 to be attended by all Its employees, launch of a Salvation Army school feeding program, consumer specials
throughout the month, samplings and other consumer activities, and a grand Customer Appreciation sale on July 14, 2007 at the
GraceKennedy compound.

GraceKennedy Belize Invites all Belizeans to celebrate its anniversary and thanks all its customers for allowing us to be a part of their
lives, as they serve their family meals, maintain their homes and produce agricultural and marine products for the regional export

GVace Great relatio

Customers and employees


Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 4




keep. You do have air conditioning, don't being chopped off their futures as
you?" citizens of the new global economy,
Part of me is sure they just don't know many older Belizeans abroad feel
how good they have it "up there" or how nostalgic about the land they left and

Certainly they are not always wel-

comed back with open arms; some-

times it is more like open palms.

By: Karla Heusner Vernon
Every once in a while I get a query
from a Belizean abroad who is thinking
of retiring "back home." Most of the
time I am tempted to just shout: "NO!
don't do it! Stay where you are, you
are saferthere! Save yourself while there
is still time!"
But instead I usually say, very ratio-
nally, "Well, life here has its challenges
and I would recommend you not sell
your house in the US for a few months,
see if you like it here again....'
As I speak, I secretly imagine myself
at their knees begging, "Please let me
come live with you, I won't take up a
lot of room and I can write up stuff you
want written up or something. Earn my

bad we have it "down here." If they did,
they wouldn't want to come back.
Or maybe they still would. Believing as
so many of us do that the grass is always
more verdant and luscious somewhere
else, that surely there is better grazing in
the very place which we happen not to be
at the moment. If only we relocated, life
would be better for us...
Besides, when a person is intent on do-
ing something, no amount of counsel will
counsel them out of it; they will hear what
they want to hear and reject the rest as
unnecessary negativity.
So just as many young students and
workers fervently believe every additional
day they remain in Belize is another day

grow eager to spend their retirement
time helping "develop the country."
Of course, there is no reason they
should not. Should not come home,
should not help improve or change
things, or-most of all, believe they
can and should do these things. Belize
on a whole does need them,
Belizeans on an individual level do
need them.
To me, it's more a question of
whether or not Belize and Belizeans
appreciate them when they do come.
Certainly they are not always wel-
comed back with open arms; some-
times it is more like open palms. I
have spoken to some who came

home only to find themselves regarded
as some sort of bank or lending agency.
For loans never to be repaid, in cash or
goods. Their possessions just seem to
walk away, the victim of the "E'neva
mid di use it anyway," syndrome. Ra-
tionalized by the "E could get wa next
one when e go backup. Den tings cheap
da States."
I have met a few Belizeans who came
home but have already gone back again
disillusioned. Beaten down by a rougher
lifestyle than they remembered or could
get adjusted to once more- the heat, the
mosquitoes, the poor roads and capricious
service, the high cost of living, the threat
of bodily harm or constant break-ins.
Sometimes they just grow weary of
being regarded as some sort of alien in
their own homeland. A person betwixt
and between, not an American, but
somehow no longer perceived as 100%
Belizean, just because they have lived
and loved and worked somewhere else.
Somewhere else so many Belizeans
wish they were living and loving and
(Please Turn To Page 5) W

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5

ommiu Homume

Living with

--'i (Continued From Page 4)
Is it a case of envy? Certainly to some
degree. Is there some anger too? Yes,
I believe so. Anger at being aban-
doned, left to cope on our own with-
out their brainpower, their muscle.
But we can hope this relationship,
not unlike the love-hate relationships
many Caribbean nationals face in the
wider diaspora, is improving. We
hope that the gap between how our
Belizeans abroad believe we are liv-
ing and how we are actually living is
narrowing. The internet and access to
news and radio talk shows is certainly
helping to give them a more accurate
picture of our lives. The blind spot
perhaps is greater on this end, as so
many Belizeans think the lives of those
in the US is just filled with shopping
and partying; failing to understand just

how many long hours of hard work is
required and what kind of sacrifices
have to be made to maintain a certain
lifestyle, and send home those remit-
tances every month.
Yes, there is a two way flow hap-
pening now, people going away and
people coming home. There is no way
to stop the ones who want to leave,
who believe it is for the better, and no
way to stop those who want to come
home, who believe this too is for the
Who am Ito discourage either set?
Who am I, who has also glimpsed
greener grass on both sides?
Come home if you will, go away if
you must. Just don't forget where you
learned Creole and who makes the
best rice and beans. Just don't forget
your family and friends, wherever they
may happen to be at the moment...

Belize City, June 21, 2007.

CMA CGM now launches its weekly Maya Express Ser-
vice to Belize City.

Effective June 28th 2007, CMA CGM will upgrade its Maya
Express Service, linking Miami and Belize City as a newly
added Port of Call.

We are pleased to offer our customers this new trade lane
which will incorporate a weekly fixed-day service with
sailings every Thursday from Miami and arriving in Belize
City Monday evenings.

The first sailing from Miami will be the CMA CGM Bar-
bados departing Miami on Thursday, June 28, 2007 with
arrival in Belize City on Monday, July 02, 2007.

For more information, please contact our Agent in Belize
City (shown below) who will be able to answer all your

No.95 Albert Street
P.O. Box 611
Belize City, Belize
Tel: 501-227-2112 or 3448
Fax: 501-227-5404
Email: marserve@btl.net


Climate Change

By William Ysaguierre
The warming of Earth's surface and
oceans over the past century is very well
documented, and may have a profound
impact on Belizean's lifestyle and eco-
nomic prosperity over the next century.
Meteorologist Ramon Frutos of the
National Meteorology Department de-
tailed some of the impacts during the
launch of a Climate Change Public
Awareness Campaign at the Coastal
Zone Management Authority & Insti-
tute on Tuesday, June 26.
World Wildlife Fund Central Ameri-
can representative Sylvia Marin did a
presentation on the WWF Climate
Change witness Project, while Dr
Kenrick Leslie, executive director fo the
CARICOM climate change center ex-
amined the issues and how they will af-
fect the Caribbean.
Meso-American Reef scientist Nadia
Bood discussed how Belizeans might
hein mitionte the effect s of climate

CCCCC executive director Dr Kenrick
Leslie, describes climate change impact on
the Caribbean.

Meteorologist Ramon Frutos expalins
Climate Change impacts.
Belizeans may try to adapt, but facts are
stubborn things. Reef scientists are already
observing coral bleaching on some of our
reefs. Warmer temperatures will produce
more coral bleaching, with its resultant
impact on the tourism industry. With tour-
ism as a maj or source of employment for
young Belizeans, it will also have an eco-
nomic impact. Sea level rise will result in
the inundation of low lying areas and an
increase in our wetlands. The reduction
of land mass and the impact of climate
change on fanning and fisheries will also
have economic impact. Will we build dikes
and sea walls to protect our coastal com-
munities, or will sea level rise force us to
move inland?
Where Belizeans may have the op-
tion of moving inland, in most of the
smaller Caribbean islands the situation
is more grim. Rising sea levels will
threaten coastal roads and villages, di-
minished rainfall will threaten the islands'
(Please Turn To Page 13) lE*

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Contact Independent Weekly


Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 6

By: RavAuxillou
St. Martin's Credit Union of the twin
towns of Cayo West is doing well. The
big news is by the end of this year their
capital is expected to break the $10
million dollar ceiling.
Some people scoff at credit unions,
as they are started by small people with
little money to pool their fiscal resources
to lend to each other. Unlike Commer-
cial Banks, Credit Unions do not re-
quire real estate assets, or other secu-
rity for loans. All Credit Union loans
are called "character loans" and ap-
proved by your peers in a Loans Com-
mittee. By character, they mean, can
you prove to them, that you can SAVE
a little bit each week, or month? Ifyou
can develop a saving habit, then you will
also be able to pay a loan.
There are useful things about Credit
Unions. Those that have a checking
account facility do not charge for a
checking account. Commercial banks
charge to have a checking account and
also load it with other miscellaneous
service fees, which increase their income
at your expense. Some Credit Unions
only have savings accounts. All banks
and credit unions make their money by
lending the pooled money resources.
Credit unions have a fixed loan interest
rate based on 12% simple interest.
Commercial banks charge more loan
interest than credit unions and they make
it a compound interest, which is far more
expensive, as you end up paying inter-
est on your interest. They also can cal-
culate daily, which gets more expensive
than a simple interest Credit Union loan.
St. Martin's Credit Union is a mem-
ber of CUNA, the international Credit
Union body. Through CUNA comes
many other benefits, like specialized
money insurance schemes. St. Martin's
Credit Union in the twin towns of Cayo
West for instance has your Loans in-
sured up to $40,000. If you die, your
loan is paid off by life insurance. This is

an automatic feature, no extra payments
on your part. My credit union in Miami
has our account savings insured for a
$100,000 US through something else
called the FDIC. At St. Martin Credit
Union, your savings are for small people
and only go up to insurance of $8,000.
That's because this credit union serves
small farmers, salaried workers and ag-
riculture and small business people. No-
body can really live independently and
raise a family comfortably on the low
salaries in Belize, so some business ven-
ture as a sideline, or even several busi-
ness ventures are necessary for young
families to get ahead and pay their bills.
Borrowing for such small business ven-
tures from your local Credit Union is
the best borrowing deal around.
If you borrow money, up to $40,000
from St. Martins for a mortgage for in-
stance, if you die, the land and house
would be paid off by this insurance up
to $40,000. The children or other heirs
would receive clear title after probate
of your estate. Some DFC housing
scheme house and lots also have this
proviso, and heirs of the deceased, got
their LEASE certificates free and clear
from DFC. Though will still have to pay
Lands Department transfer costs.
After 70 years, all St. Martin's Credit
Union customer insurances are canceled
however. The Credit Union system does
not insure old people's money. But if
you died by accident, the beneficiary of
your account would get double your
savings deposited from the umbrella
CUNA MUTUAL insurance scheme.
If you are old and have saved, or sold
your house, business, or farm and plan
to live off your interest on your savings,
then the Credit Union is not for you.
Dividends for St. Martin's Credit Union
for instance for 2006 were only 5%.
Whereas most commercial banks are
paying over 8% interest on your larger
savings capital. 3% or more is a lot of
difference in a commercial bank Cer-
tificate of Deposit.
What the Credit Union excels at is
lending money for anything you want,
without security, just your reputation
and character and preferably some dem-
onstration that you are honest and al-
ways eventually pay offyourloans. Your
Credit Union loan is usually cheaper
than a commercial bank loan as well.
In comparison, a credit card will
charge you about 18% interest on your

credit card borrowing. But since it is
compound interest and they have a flurry
of extra fees, service charges and any-
thing else they can think of to trick you
out of your money, such as changing the
end of month free usage date, to the 8',
instead of the 31 st or some such trick-
ery, your credit card loan cost usually
runs between 34% and 49%. ATM
cards which are touted for convenience
have usage fees. The trick with bank
ATM cards, is if the amount the ATM
card is good for is very low, then the
fee you pay to use it escalates into as-
tronomical amounts calculated on an
annual basis. If you have a $100 limit
card and pay a $2 usage fee, you are
paying 2% for a short transaction of a
week or two, which on an annual basis
becomes de facto 24% interest over
twelve months. If you have a $500
ATM card limit, then the same $2 fee
to use it, would cost you, if you used
the whole limit at one time inside of a
month, the cost would be much less.
The difference is less on a $500 bigger
limit of an ATM card and the interest is
lower. ATM cards are about paying to
use your own money for the conve-
nience of 24 hours service from a ma-
chine and sometimes is cheaper than
buying gasoline to go to the bank on a
The best bet is to get money through
a Credit Union, and out in Western
Cayo, St. Martin's Credit Union is the
big name in the twin towns. Ifyou bor-
row big and then can budget carefully
for your living costs, it is the cheapest
borrowing money around. You borrow
one time, then budget yourself on how
you spend it. Learning to budget your
living costs weekly is the name of the
game to get ahead and being able to
Commercial Banks have a deal where
you get approved for a big loan for
some project, and they will allow you
drawing privileges. You only pay inter-
est on what you use, when you use it.
The alternative is a Credit Union loan
and you budget carefully.
expenses are the name of the game if
you want to wisely use Credit Union
loans to put your family ahead more
quickly. Never borrow more than you
can pay.
Here it pays to calculate what you
can pay, by budgeting 20% of your in-

come from salary, or business estimate
on a weekly basis for payback. This will
give you the amount you can RISK to
borrow in a loan. No loan should be
so big it can't be paid off in less than six
months. There are always new reasons
why a family needs more money and
quickly. Keep your loans small and
manageable, make them for short term
goals, rather than gamble too big and
borrow too much and you will get ahead
in smaller safer increments.
The success of St. Martin's Credit
Union is based on an expanding local
economy based on a population growth
of 6% a year. Business in Cayo West
is good, though business competition
keeps pace with demand and cycles of
supply and demand tend to get whittled
down to a smaller market share in quick
order through more competitors. Tour-
ism is recovering after a drought of five
years or so and seems to be expanding
as new hotels and guest houses con-
tinue to sprout up all over the place, con-
struction in general continues to main-
tain a steady growth pace. There are
days you cannot get building materials,
the demand is so high. The national
export brain drain is over. College
graduates have job offers to choose
from and educational policy changes are
paying off. Belizeans are returning
home to capitalize on the boom.
A total of 2,730 loans were approved
during the past year for almost $5 mil-
lion dollars. The biggest loan portfolio
were "construction" loans, at over a
million dollars.
There are babies everywhere as the
population expands. Vehicle repair
loans because of bad roads came to
$738,800 dollars. If the government
ever asphalt paves the streets and
roads, this loan portfolio will shrink.
This is unlikely to happen though, as the
future revenues for the next 30 years or
so is being spent right now by the PUP
on some sort of leveraged borrowing
spending policy. Membership of St.
Martin's Credit Union is now 4,562
persons. Income before expenses for
the past year was $877,299 dollars.
Expenses run about 2/3 of that. Sala-
ries have been raised for staff and perks
approved. St. Martin's Credit Union
in the twin towns is now a dynamic in-
stitution contributing to the growth of life
in Cayo West.

ResrvtinsS50 -26-01
Moor onl=
M1 10= .S.TollFree 80-422343
MON 00 1qq M M NNO F ax 50 -226 233
ANOMOL E ai: esevaoS *@ 6 e Sirco

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7

Senate Elections now, before General Elections

By: Lucilo Teck,
WTP Deputy National
The central role of the Elected Sen-
ate must be well defined through de-
bates and finally resolved through a
National Referendum within the follow-
ing sixty days. We call on the Prime
Minister, Right Honorable Said Musa,
to immediately appoint SPEAR and
BELPAK as the Official Organizers to
develop aj oint program with the media
houses of the Press Radio and Televi-
sion to commence public debates on the
issue of an Elected Senate now.
This is to inform the Belizean people
on this important issue of the Elected
Senate bringing together representatives
of the political sector, social movements,
civil society and other national actors
to inform Belizeans on the positions
adopted by each party and other orga-
nizations on the issue of the Elected
Senate; thus contributing to a better in-
formed electorate to decide wisely on
the up coming National Referendum.
ALL organizations must be given equal
opportunity to voice their positions and
proposals freely.
World history has recorded great hu-
man events. One of these great events
was when a dedicated group of patri-
otic French men stormed and caused
the fall of the Bastille in France. In
France the Bastille was seen as an evil
and hated institution of absolute power,
arrogance and oppression. The fall of
the Bastille brought rejoicing, liberty,
quality and freedom to the French
Many patriotic Belizeans are too con-
vinced that Cabinet with absolute
power, corruption and oppression is a
true copy of the evil and hated French
Bastille. Our devoted and committed
group of patriotic Belizeans have com-
menced to storm and demolish this evil
Bastille the seat and throne of Cabinet
absolute power in Belmopan.
History has also recorded that in most
countries loyal to the system in great
numbers have opposed political change
but have always lost popular support.
Both prominent and common Belizeans
have agreed that meaningful change is
necessary to dismantle absolute power
and made more controllable now.
They are a group of determined pa-
triots to free both houses of our Legis-
lature from Cabinet absolute control,
they demand direct election of the next
Prime Minister and a free Elected Sen-
ate before the 2008 General Elections.
We demand the demolition of the
Belize Bastille (Cabinet absolute power)
WTPAlliance presents to the people:
The following 4 fundamental principles
of our elected Senate.
1. The elected Senate will ensure
an effective people's participation, an
effective people's representation and a
more effective strong and capable leg-

islature that will oppose autocracy and
corruption on any form. It will truly rep-
resent all the people.
As a new elected legislative body of
the Legislature the new Senate will be
empowered to propose and approve
laws which shall be necessary and
proper for the good of the people. The
elected Senate shall have the sole
power of impeachment and power to
try all impeachments through its mixed
new committee in place the Grand Spe-
cial Senate Investigative Committee.
In our proposal for an elected Sen-
ate its component shall ensure the
people's participation and their free will
always prevail to ensure transparency,
better accountability and good gover-
nance. The elected Senate shall pro-
vide equal opportunities to all political
parties and independents to contend for
seats in the Senate. It will finalize the
issue of who decides in our democracy
and signal the end of political arrogance,
corruption and abuse of power.
Our Senate provides for the first time
the proper Grand Special Senate com-
mittee. Its members shall be comprised
by one elected Senator for each suc-
cessful party ovements or independents
to become by right members with spe-
cial powers on this Grand Senate spe-
cial investigative committee. All parties
are assured equal voices in this Grand
Special Senate investigative committee.
We introduce this new Grand Special
senate investigative committee to the
Additionally, this elected Senate shall
be constitutionally empowered to have
a Grand Special Senate investigative
committee. On this Special committee
will sit one (1) representative for each
of the political entities who succeed in
the Senate elections.
The successful independents will be
empowered to choose one of their num-
bers to sit on the Special investigative
committee. This will ensure transpar-
ency and fairness in determining any in-
vestigation or influencing its outcome.
If only two parties are successful in
having elected Senators, the Governor
General will be empowered to appoint
one independent Senator to sit on the
Special Investigative Committee only to
ensure there is always a quorum of three
(3). Such Senator will not partake in
other deliberations and decisions of the
Senate. At the first sitting of the Senate
this Special Investigative Committee will
elect a rotating president for each in-
vestigation. Once an investigation is
sanctioned by the Special Investigative
committee, they will by joined by 3 ap-
pointed Senators representing the civic
organizations to form a Senate tribunal
for a full hearing.
Impeachment is a charge of serious
misconduct while in public office. The

new Special investigative Committee
shall be constitutionally empowered to
draw charges of impeachment against
any official or former official of the Na-
tional Government. The Senate Tribu-
nal will sit as a court to hear the charges.
Once an official is found guilty, the
Tribunal will have the power to order
the immediate removal from office of the
individual who shall be banned from
holding public office for life and lose all
benefits accrued. If evidence is uncov-
ered that a criminal offence has been
committed, the individual will be handed
over to the Supreme Court for trial,
conviction and sentence.

The elected Senate will ensure the
proper oversight of the executive branch
of Government by consistently sum-
moning the presence of any government
minister C.E.O. S and Heads of depart-
ments to provide financial reports on
public proj ects being undertaken under
any government ministry, spot checks
shall routinely be carried out to ensure
the proper spending of public funds, in-
cluding government contracts and all
government statutory bodies.
Additionally the Senate at any time will
summon and question any minister or
ministers responsible for internal devel-
opment policies the senate will also
question any minister or ministers re-
sponsible for foreign diplomacy and
external development policies.
The following are the 4 fundamental
principles of our elected Senate. The
elected Senate will be constitutionally

empowered to:
I. To act as a check on the Executive
Powers by its very nature as a legisla-
tive body from which all power ema-
nates and from which the Executive
derives its authority. The Legislative
arm of Government is the check on ex-
ecutive Power.
II. The Senate must be Credible. To
be credible, power must be given to the
Senate by the people. We therefore
recommend an elected Senate which is
nothing new and that for the last two
decades has been firmly established in
Australia and in New Zealand our sis-
ter Commonwealth Countries, under the
Westminster System.
III. The Senate must be truly repre-
sentative of the people. Because of the
special powers to be assigned to the
Senate, we feel it is important to have
the Senate truly representative of all our
IV The Senate must have authority.
There is a clearly no point in construct-
ing this forward looking institution with-
out having its authority. Therefore, in
addition to the regular Legislative func-
tioning of debate and review bills, we
propose that the Senate be assigned full
Legislative powers.
Composition of the Senate, 21 sena-
tors total
1. Three (3) Senators will be elected
directly by each district for a total of
eighteen (18) elected senators.
2. Three (3) Senators appointed to
represent Civic Organizations.
(Please Turn To Page 9) M W


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Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 8

"Size Is Not Destiny, Regionalism Is"

By: Dr. Indira Rampersad
Was it sheer coincidence that an al-
leged plot to blow up a fuel supply to
JFK airport by some geriatric Carib-
bean "terrorists" had dramatically un-
folded before our incredulous eyes just
over a week before seventeen Carib-
bean leaders flocked to Washington
D.C. in a combustive burst of tropical
exuberance to participate in the Con-
ference on the Caribbean a 20/20
Vision (June 19th-21st, 2007)?
Organized with near-military preci-
sion, the conference was the product
of the collaborative efforts of the cor-
pus of Caribbean Ambassadors to
Washington, the Caricom Secretariat,
the IDB, the World Bank, the OAS and
the U.S. government. The title "20/20
Vision" was appended for two reasons:
first, the organizers hoped to assess the
issues of the region with the clarity of
perfect vision and second, they are de-
termined to have them resolved by the
year 2020. The three-fold Expert,
Diaspora and Private Sector forums
collectively and critically addressed
anything and everything that are of con-
cern to the region including, trade, in-
vestment, finance, energy, education,
crime, security, diaspora and deeper,
thicker, faster and denser integration
through the Caricom Single Market and
Economy (CSME).
In the U. S., we frequently hear that
all politics are domestic. The bombshell
terrorist plot explodes in timely fashion
to be a convenient diversion from the
doldrums into which the current Bush
administration has sunk itself. That same
week of alleged Caribbean terrorism,
the U.S. media was having a field day
with the minorityAGAlberto Gonzales's
catastrophic dismissal of three minority
judges. Then came allegations of the
U.S. decision to fund Sunni insurgents
in Iraq. Not surprisingly, Bush's ap-
proval rating continues to slide to an all
time low. It is rather curious though, how
quickly the analysts were able to pre-
pare their media speeches on "Carib-
bean terrorism" and make the link to
Islamic fundamentalism. The message is
clear. Whether in the Middle East or in
our tropical paradise in America's back-
yard, the issue of the day is "American
Seemingly oblivious to America's
grand designs, our leaders and profes-
sionals from the region and the U.S.
diaspora, embraced the conference with
passion, zeal and true Caribbean fer-
vor. Even with the monumental Wash-
ington obelisk towering over our heads
like a giant phallus, Jamaica's Prime
Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, insisted
that "Size is not Destiny, Regionalism
Is". But the call for a new Shiprider
agreement in the interest of regional se-
curity, this time on Caribbean terms and
conditions, gave credence to the age-
old adage that "it's not the size of the

ship, but the motion in the ocean that
really matters."
The Titanic may have sunk, but our
incessant navigation for regional se-
curity has not. So far, the Caribbean
conference has received virtually no
attention from the mainstream Ameri-
can media. Our seventeen Caribbean
leaders could not compete with Israeli
Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, for
Georgie's and the media's attention.
United in their deep and abiding com-
mitment to eradicate those "extrem-
ists and radicals who use violence and
murder as a tool to achieve objec-
tives", the unholy alliance between
Bush and Olmert is reinforced by
America's unrelenting support of Is-
raeli occupation of Palestinian land.
But it gets curiouser and curiouser.
Clearly, the timing of Olmert's visit
was well- calculated. The 2008 elec-
tion drums are rolling in the U.S. Hi-
lary and Obama have already raised
millions for their respective Demo-
cratic campaigns. And though money
has never been a major problem for
the Conservatives, the enormous con-
tributions of the powerful Jewish-
American lobby to the Democratic
Party is no secret. Indeed, it is larger
than the financial contributions from
any other ethnic Political Action Com-
mittee in the U.S. Yes, all politics are
It was clear that American insecu-
rity rather than regional security was
the issue of the day when our leaders
met with Bush on Wednesday morn-
ing. Hoping to repeat at least some of
the gains of Reagan's Caribbean Ba-
sin Initiative (CBI), their reasonable
demands for more aid, trade, prefer-
ential treatment and investment from
Uncle Sam, more than likely fell on
deaf ears. Bush was more preoccu-
pied with the Caribbean's relations
with Venezuelan firebrand, Hugo
Chavez and Cuba's indomitable
Comandante, Fidel Castro. Why?
Recently, at the meeting of the Carib-
bean Studies Association in Bahia,
Brazil (May 29th-June 2nd), I at-
tempted to explain the "Logistics Be-
hind the "Illogical" U.S. Cuba Policy"
in the geopolitical context of both
U.S. domestic politics; "Manifest
Destiny" which Justifies American ex-
pansionism; and the 1823 Monroe
Doctrine -the historic mission of the
U.S. to ward-off European powers
and protect what it considers its
sphere of influence in the region. In a
post-Cold War era, it seems that
America's worst fears are justified.
The capitalist superpower has failed
to castrate Castro for forty-six years
and is now ironically forced to con-
front an unenviable leftist political mi-
lieu in the absence of a Soviet Union,
and in its own backyard. Aneo-Mon-
roe Doctrine targeting the socialist

ideology, rather than European pow-
ers, is not only timely but an impera-
tive for the U. S. Cuba's Fidel Castro,
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's
Evo Morales, Brazil's Luis Inacio Lula
da Silva, Argentina's Nestor Kirchner,
Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Uruguay's
Tabare Vasquez, Chile's Michelle
Bachelet and Nicaragua's Daniel
Ortega, all veer toward the left. Some
such as Chavez, Kirchner, Ortega,
Morales and Correa have overtly ex-
pressed anti-imperialist sentiments
and resentment for the Washington
Consensus. Vasquez's first announce-
ment upon election victory in 2004
was the restoration of diplomatic ties
with Cuba. Correa quipped that
Chavez "calling Bush the devil, of-
fends the devil".
Yes, all politics are domestic. Strong
anti-Castro Republican representation
by hardline, right-winged Cuban-
Americans in South Florida has facili-
tated the perpetual tightening of the
ridiculous embargo on Cuba, particu-
larly in election years. They constitute
the second most important campaign
financiers in the U.S., superseded only
by that of the Jewish-American lobby.
The latest 2004 and 2006 Reports of
the Commission for Assistance to a
Free Cuba, detail the tenets of the
draconian policies which currently
govern American foreign policy to the
These closely mirror the Monroe
Doctrine of 1823 and its later Amend-
ment in 1904 in the form of the
Roosevelt Corollary. Fortunately, the
coj ones of some of our regional lead-
ers, are still intact. It is the fearless
and dynamic Guyanese and Soviet
trained Bharat Jagdeo, who took the
Bush by the horns in his defense of
the Caribbean's relations with Chavez
and Castro for which Bush expressed
open concern.
"It is in our national interest to have
relations with Venezuela and Cuba,"
he explained to the distraught Bush.
"Just as it is in your interest to have
relations with un-democratic Saudi
Arabia." He should have added "and
socialist China" which incidentally, is
the largest trading partner of the
United States.
The astute Jagdeo must have long
realized that despite the myriad of is-
sues on the Caribbean agenda at the
Conference, the only real concern of
the U.S with regards to the region is
the formidable strengthening of the
leftist "Castro-led Axis in Latin
America" by other Caribbean coun-
tries. After all, Jamaica's Michael
Manley (1976-1980), Grenada's
Maurice Bishop (1979-1983) and
Jagdeo's predecessor, Cheddi Jagan
(1957-1964, 1992-1998), have all
flirted outrageously with socialism in
the past. Jagdeo must also be acutely

aware that herein lies the Caribbean's
trump card for invaluable aid, assis-
tance and preferential treatment from
the United States.
But even without an expansion of
the "Castro-led Axis" into Caribbean
waters, a U. S. accord with regional
Governments which affords the su-
perpower easy access to the region
under the guise of "Caribbean terror-
ism", would fulfill both the historical
objectives of "Manifest Destiny" and
the Monroe Doctrine and appease the
Cuban-American zealots in Miami.
Yes, all politics are domestic.
Sadly, American paranoia has
reached such mammoth proportions
that it seems to have been transmit-
ted even to the Caribbean Diaspora
in the U.S. I was privileged to be
sponsored to present a paper at the
Diaspora Forum of the Caribbean
Conference on "Crime as an Obstacle
to Diaspora Investment." The paper
necessitated a series of unstructured
and semi-structured interviews with
members of the Caribbean business
diaspora in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale,
Orlando and New York. My findings
reflect a highly successful but suspi-
cious, traumatized, disappointed,
cynical and angry Caribbean-Ameri-
can business disapora which has not
fully assimilated into the mainstream
American cultural and political milieu.
At the same time, the majority are not
prepared to return or invest in the re-
gion mainly because of the spiraling
crime rate, inadequate returns on in-
vestment due to the currency exchange
rate and lack of well-paid and pro-
fessional job opportunities. Yet, para-
doxically, they harbor a lingering nos-
talgia to return to the tropical home-
Undoubtedly, our leaders' three-
day dedication to regional issues in
Washington has heightened awareness
of their commitment to improving the
quality of life in the region. They as-
sured and reassured us that this con-
ference is not just shop talk. So, even
in the absence of any real American
interest in developing the region, if at
least two of the proposals on the re-
gional agenda should indeed come to
fruition in the short or medium-term,
we can concur unhesitatingly, that the
Conference has been a resounding
success. By now, Caribbean leaders
should know that the onus is on them
to collectively take the initiative for the
region's development. For "Size is not
Destiny, but Regionalism is". And as
far as the United States is concerned,
all politics are domestic.
Dr. Indira Rampersad is an Inter-
national Relations Public Policy
Specialist at the Department of
Political Science, University of
Florida. You can contact her at
indi2304,yahoo. corn

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 9

EE(*1 i[WAmyiuI II

Why Musa supports
Taiwan and not
Mainland China
BEIJING (Reuters) China plans to
sack all officials found to have secretly
"kept and supported" mistresses, in a
move aimed at raising social morals,
state media reported on Friday. The step
hardens up previous policy. "It is a mis-
understanding that officials who have
mistresses would only be sacked when
the situations serious," theBeijingNews
quoted a Ministry of Personnel spokes-
man as saying.
Mistresses and "second wives" are
common among government officials
and businessmen in China, and Chinese
media have said the financial pressures
of keeping mistresses have driven some
officials to seek money through bribes
or abuse of power.
Corrupt officials are a major cause
of public outrage in China, and the
country's Communist rulers have
warned that if graft is not checked it
could threaten the party's grip on
The ministry said it had studied the
issue and found it "necessary to make
a clarification and emphasis" on the
punishment for officials who sup-
ported mistresses. "The morality of
government officials shown in their
management or power operation...
directly affects the moral level of the
whole society," the spokesman was

quoted as saying. "Therefore, officials
should set up good examples, and
abide by social morality rules."
Last year, a Chinese vice admiral was
jailed for life on embezzlement charges
after one of his many mistresses blew
the whistle on him when he refused to
give in to her demand for money.
Nothing new from
PUP Convention in
The People's United Party held its
National Convention in the Mexican
Border town of Corozal over the
weekend to endorse party leader Said
Musa and other officials. The hard lin-
ers led by Ralph Fonseca sought to
further discipline former Deputy Prime
Minister Briceno but failed. Briceno
has a couple of other big fights on his
hands as his former campaign man-
ager and friend "Chendo" Urbina
builds a grown swell in Orange Walk
for the UDP. When Briceno loses his
seat to "Chendo", it will be a tough
fall for the former northern caucus
powerhouse... not unlike the Ricalde
fall from grace a few decades ago.

The philanthropist's
Lord Bowen plunked down $19.5
MILLON USD to Wartsila of Sweden
to purchase special power generating

machines that basically burn crude oil
from Spanish Lookout. According to
the Wartsila website, Bowen intends to
sell power to BEL. Wonder if the poor
people of Belize will see any benefit
from that sweetheart deal with a sover-
eign guarantee to boot. Check it out for
yourselves; go to the wartsila.com
Some other good news for the local
lord: the US has banned cheap shrimp
from parts ofAsia. Bowen is big in the
shrimp farming business in southern
Belize so this is splendid news for his
bankers. Wonder if he'll take over
NOVAIndustries now, at fire sale price.
Maybe OPIC will cut a deal with him,
or vice versa, after all.
Finally, who will Bowen bank on in
the upcoming general elections? We
know he owns sections of the UDP and
the PUP, concurrently. But who is he
banking on? Wonder if he is factoring
the third party coalition sans NRP?
Corporate Raider
Ashcroft's street captains have been
offering a premium to small sharehold-
ers of the telephone company. If you
had bought in a $2/share his people are
offering $10 for shares that now have a
book value of about $6/share.
BTW, BTL still promising better
Digicell countrywide coverage but it
remains just that: empty promises.
See You in Court!
But When?

The Musa Administration appointed
a new Court Registrar almost a year
ago, but the backlog of cases seems to
be getting longer. Perhaps Henry Usher
would have been the better choice for
Registrar after all. He wouldn't be al-
lowing a two to three year wait for civil
OW under a black
When will the Belize Sugar Industries
make good on promises to reduce the
amount of ash it dumps on surrounding
communities? How many years will it
take, and what kind of guidelines and
penalties are in place for such emis-
sions? If its causing plants to choke to
death, what is it doing to the lungs of
Orange Walkenos?

An Orange Walk resident swept up this
pile offly ash from the patio, where they
say the hot ashes have been killing their
garden plants.

Log On Today for your
Tell thcm you carncd about it heri


Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 10

The Honorable Said Musa has indi-
cated a leaning toward an Elected Sen-
ate. This would be great news if Said
Musa and the PUP are contemplating a
Bicameral Senate with its checks and
balances arising from its separation of
powers and separation of chambers. As
the facts are unfolding however, it ap-
pears that if there is to be any version
of an Elected Senate endorsed by the
PUP it will be a watered down.
A diluted version of the Senate which
does not have Bicameral features would
not be of any value. Instead, it would
be an unpatriotic approach and an in-
sult to the voters. The Prime Minister's
actions are to be given greater consid-
eration than his words.
A forum has been set up allegedly to
determine the public's position as to an
Elected Senate. But does it? The forum
was not a public forum. It is a PUP fo-
rum conducted and controlled by the
PUP. In its first public meeting, a PUP
Senator spoke against an Elected Sen-
ate-acting as "devil's advocate." But
we have to wonder, are these forums
structured in such a way to distort that
which the PUP will eventually claim is
the public view?
The PUP, in the last National Elec-
tion, promised political reform and a halt
to the ever increasing corruption. There
was no reform and corruption has grown
to staggering proportions, injuring the
country's economy. A Bicameral
Elected Senate (two legislative cham-
bers) is the best means of stopping cor-
ruption. It would take the power from
politicians interested only in lining their
own pockets and finally give the power
to the People where it belongs.
Evidence that points to the PUP's pro-
clivity towards watering down pro-
posed reforms is found in the PUP's
present consideration of the important
issue of Election Reform.
In 2002 the Political Reform Com-
mission in its determination put a prior-
ity upon initiating laws regarding elec-
tion finances. The Commission wanted

the laws in place prior to the 2003 elec-
tion. The PUP did not consider institut-
ing such laws.
As 2008 approaches the PUP has
been considering election reform. Even
now, the PUP is in the process of weak-
ening a version of election reform bill
regarding finance that was prepared for
them based on Canadian laws. One
would believe that Canadians laws on
to election reporting would be proper
for Belize. Apparently the Ministers do
not think so as they are looking for
something less effective. You can't
blame then as the Canadian law would
expose donation that the ministers do
not want exposed and provide for pen-
alties they do not want to face, for fail-
ure to report the donations. So what they
will come up with and present to the
people as campaign finance "reform"
will not be beneficial to the people; it
will be useless except are more PUP
Those who believe an Elected Senate
will slow down the legislative process are
using a spurious argument. The slowing
process is actually excellent, as it is pre-
vents the Prime Minister from ramming
through legislation before those who are
to vote on it are able to discover the bad
elements hidden in the legislation.
Those who claim an Elected Senate will
be more expensive are using an even
weaker argument for an Elected Bicam-
eral Senate would be the Country's great-
est money saver. Its curb on corruption
would save taxpayers many times the cost
ofrunning the Senate. There would be no
more $34 Million guarantees, or other
guarantees of private debts for cronies.
Those who suggest that Senators should
be appointed by political parties, churches
or other organizations are not thinking
clearly and ignoring the problems created
by such appointments. Senators should
not be continued as rubber stamps.
It is Belize's interests that are to be
served by the Senators, not the interest of
any political party, church or other orga-
nization. Senators should answer to the

people. Therefore, all Senators should be
elected by the people and therefore an-
swerable to them, directly.
An Elected Senate may not be a per-
fect form of government. However, an
Elected Bicameral Senate has existed for
hundreds of years in many countries and
continues as the best form of government
that has ever been devised.
Obviously the cronies and their political
mentors do not want a Bicameral Elected
Senate for one reason and one reason
only: it would put a stop to available slush
funds. There would no longer be a means
whereby the political party could reward
its friends and contributors with public
money at public expenses.

The voter must be careful and shun po-
litical rhetoric which is not sincere and
designed to mislead the public. Under the
present system there is no true democ-
racy. The ministers must answer to the
Prime Minister who is in effect a dictator.
If they go against the Prime Minister's
wishes they are removed from their posi-
So the questions right now are: does
the Honorable Said Musa and the PUP
really want Senate reform, campaign fi-
nancing reform and other reforms so that
they become servants of the people? Or
do they just say they do, so they can
continue to serve themselves at the
public's expense?

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Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11

Why Drugs are Bad

By: Julia Heusner
Drugs are chemicals that change the
way a person's body
works.Cigarettes and alcohol are two
kinds of legal drugs. But smoking and
excessive drinking are not healthy for
adults and off limits for kids
One of the most popular drugs is
marijuana because it is so easy to get
and usually cheap.
But there are many other kinds of
drugs, but all of them are hazardous
to your body and your health.
Most people use the drugs just to
forget about everything, some kids
think that drinking and drug use is
alright because they see their parents
come home after a long day of work
and all they do is reach for a beer or
pop a pill.
Some people think that drinking and
smoking helps reduce stress they're
wrong. They forget about the dangers
drugs can cause them.
Marijuana is a big seller these days
and it is a lot worse than it used to be
people's bodies are building up
immunity's to the drugs the the deal-
ers have to add more things to help
you get the "high".
When a child's parents divorce the
child feels that it's their fault and they
need a way to escape from the pain
of there messed up life. Another rea-
son is because their friends pressure
them into using drugs.
Most teen marijuana users are be-
tween the ages of 12-18. They often
say they feel great at first and that

drugs are the best thing that ever hap-
pened to them but that doesn't last
Over time, they'll need more and
more to get the same high and this
really increases the risk of addiction,
and in some cases, overdose. Drugs
can ruin their health, force them to
drop out of school, lose friends, and
impair their judgment enough that
they'll do some really stupid stuff.
Drug users do things they wouldn't
do while sober-they engage in un-
safe sex or put other people's lives at
risk on the road.
Sure, this might all seem fun for them
while they're doing it but are they go-
ing to be laughing through an unwanted
pregnancy, a car accident, or during
the wait for results from an AID S test?
The issue of drugs can be very con-
fusing to young children. If drugs are
so dangerous, then why is the family
medicine cabinet full of them?
And why do TV, movies, music and
advertising often make drug and al-
cohol use look so cool?
Why do people take bad or ille-
gal drugs?
There are lots of reasons. Maybe
they don't know how dangerous they
are. Or maybe they feel bad about
themselves or don't know how to
handle their problems. Maybe they
don't have parents they can talk to.
Why are some drugs good and
some drugs bad for you?
When you get sick, the drugs the
doctor gives you will help you get
But if you take these drugs when
you're healthy, they can make you
Also, there are some drugs, like

Senate Elections now,

before General Elections

-in.(Continued From Page 7)
Senate Elections
1. Three (3) Senators shall be
elected by each district for a five (5)
years term. There shall be midterm
Senate Election.
2. Nine (9) Senators shall vacate
their seats at the end of the thirty (30)
months expiration of the first Senate
The (9) Senators seats to be
contested at the first mid term Senate
Elections shall be by the alphabetical
order of districts. Three (3) Sena-
tors of the Belize District, three (3)
Senators of the Cayo District and
three (3) Senators of the Corozal Dis-
trict, the Orange Walk, the Stann
Creek and Toledo Districts, Senators
shall seek endorsement at the end of
the Senate first term.

We propose that Village Council
Elections, City and Town Council
elections be reduced to a thirty (30)
months term and be held simulta-
neously with each midterm senate
elections. The Senate is the people's
House, it belongs to the people.
Building Democracy The key for
a better future and a better country is
our goal.
Free Senate elections and a direct
election of the Prime Minister now.
Be it resolved through a national ref-
erendum now.
Are you in favor of an elected Sen-
YES* or NO*
Support the elected Senate now.
On behalf of WTP Alliance

crack, that is never good for you.
To be safe, never ever take any

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Opportunities to meet new friends will
I come through pleasure trips or social
events. Be sure to take care of the needs
ofyoungsters. You will have the discipline
to make changes you feel are necessary.
You will be extremely receptive to new
and progressive methods at work. Your
lucky day this week will be Wednesday.
TAURUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
Avoid any erratic behavior or it could
cause isolation at home. Try toj oin groups
of interest such as ballroom dance classes
or perhaps an internet organization. Get
help setting up a reasonable budget. Look
into ways of making extra cash. Make
residential changes that will lift your spir-
its. Your lucky day thisweekwill be Mon-
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Social events will beplentiful. You're not
your usual self this week. You can offer
your help to others but back off if they
appear to be offended by your persis-
tence. Avoid any confrontations with col-
leagues. Yourlucky day thisweekwillbe
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
Home improvement projects will en-
hance your residence and bring the family
closer together. Responsibilities with re-
spect to older relatives may be a burden.
You might be overly emotional concern-
ing situations at work. Be sure to look into
travel opportunities that will provide you
with mental stimulation. Your lucky day
this week will be Wednesday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You may wantto stay in the background
this week. You need adventure and ex-
citement in your life. You may feel a need
to make changes toyourlegal documents.
You need to take a long, hard look at
yourselfandyourpersonal situation. Your
lucky day this week will be Sunday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Don't overspend to impress someone
who interests you. Disputes on the home
front may be hard to avoid. The locks,
stove, gas, or electric wires may not be
secure. You can come up with ways of
earning extra cash. Your lucky day this

drugs unless Mom, Dad or the doc-
tor says it's okay.
And find other ways to cope with
your problems. Taking drugs just
makes things worse.

week will be Saturday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Your creative input will be appreciated
by your boss. You will attract new love
interests. Moves will be hectic but favor-
able in the end. Take precautions while
traveling; you don't have to get anywhere
that fast. Your lucky day this week will be
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
Opportunities for romance may develop
through dealing with groups that have a
purpose. Be cautious while traveling to
foreign countries. Thinktwice before you
say somethingyoumightregretlater. Don't
lend orborrow. Your lucky day this week
will be Thursday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec. 21)
Balance is required if you want stability.
You can raise your standard of living if
you pick up some freelance work on the
side. You are exceptional at presentingyour
ideas. Take care when dealing with older
relatives. Your lucky day this week will
be Tuesday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
Avoid any confrontations with col-
leagues. Extend an invitation to clients you
enjoy spending time with. Do not sign
contracts or get involved in any uncertain
financial deals. Try to be there for some-
one if they need assistance. Your lucky
day this week will be Saturday.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Don't expect new acquaintances to be
completely honest about themselves.
Don't evade important issues; you may
find yourself backed into a comer. You
really can't do anything to change matters
this week. In return, the satisfaction you
get is enough for you. Your lucky day this
week will be Wednesday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
Problems with large corporations or in-
stitutions are apparent. Try to get others
to stand behind your goodjudgment. Be
sure that you lay your cards on the table.
You should look into making some physi-
cal changes, such as new hair color or
toning up yourbody. Your lucky day this
week will be Monday.

Information Security

Your weekly

"'The roaJ lceSS travcl[ci'u
WWW.Oljrivcdvcn ftuire~.com

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 12

Public Servant Encourages Today's Youth

New Book Motivates Future He stresses that humanity is the com-
Leaders to Reflect on Their Roles mon thread among the people of the
in the World world. Taking time to develop a greater
ROCKVILLE, Md. A new book appreciation of viewpoints and lifestyles
designed to inspire young people to foreign to one's own will help open
greater heights, J. Edsel Edmunds' The minds and strengthen people's capac-
Triangle of Success (now available ity to serve.
through AuthorHouse), presents moti- Edmunds encourages young people
national tools and sound advice for to explore constantly, acquire hobbies
building a foundation from which to that stimulate their creativity and brain
soar. power and realize the vast amounts of
Directed at youth, especially those in information they have yet to learn. This
disadvantaged situations, Edmunds sets the stage for people to transform
seeks to empower them and help them into the strong leaders the world des-
reach their full potential. In order to perately needs.
achieve this, he offers a "Triangle of An uplifting book, The Triangle of
Success" with three key facets: goal Success motivates readers of all ages
setting, believing in oneself and creat- to assess how they can better them-
ing action plans. This roadmap to selves for the good of their world.
achievement helps readers focus on Edmunds has spent his career in pub-
improvement in any area of their lives. lic service. He earned a bachelor's de-
The book emphasizes an understand- gree in agronomy from the University
ing of the differences in culture that of- of Puerto, a master's degree in plant pa-
ten spark confrontation and confusion. thology and a Ph.D. in nematology from

New Cruise Port

in Quintana Roo

Mexican communications and trans-
port ministry SCT has awarded to busi-
nessman Jose Alberto Garcia a
2.35bn-peso (US$216mn), 20-year
concession to build and operate a cruise
ship terminal in southern state Quintana
Roo, according to SCT documents.
No bidding process was carried out,
as the concession was directly awarded
to Garcia, an SCT official told
The terminal which will heknnwn as

Punta Brava, will occupy 47,182m2 of
land in the state's Benito Juarez munici-
pality, near the Chetumal-Puerto Juarez
highway, according to the SCT docu-
Works to build the port, that will in-
clude five mooring positions, will begin
upon the approval of its executive
project, which will be evaluated within
30 days once handed in to SCT. After
that Garcia will have two weeks to make
any necessary changes, the documents

Now available

Cornell University. A former research
fellow at the University of the West
Indies and director of research and de-
velopment with the Windward Islands
Banana Growers association, he served
as a senator in St. Lucia and as an am-
bassador of that country to the United
States, United Nations and Organiza-
tion of American States. He was chair-
man of the OAS Permanent Council and
chief of OAS electoral missions in
Guyana and Grenada. An international
consultant to donor agencies, he has
also written more than 50 papers in top-

ics ranging from agriculture to democ-
racy. His awards include accolades
from the Queen of England and a deco-
ration in the rank of Grand Cross from
Chile. He has published one other book,
a poetry collection titled Many Hori-
zons (Diaspora Press, Medgar Evans
College, NYU).
AuthorHouse is the premier pub-
lishing house for emerging authors and
new voices in literature. For more in-
formation, please visit


^ y \ A- '

One 28 footer, 8-foot beam, licensed
for 24 passengers, fishing or
passenger, live well

Asking $27,000

Call 223-1276

Get your Free Gift
of an Independent
Reformer Weekly
t-shirt when you buy
a year's

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 133

Living with Climate

--M (Continued From Page 5)
potable water supply, and reduced fish-
eries catch will threaten the islanders'
food supply. An increase in insect pests
such as mosquitoes will also produce
and increase in vector-bome diseases
such as malaria and dengue.
Climate research shows that most of
the warming in the past half century has ..
resulted from manmade greenhouse
gases. In recent years, global warming
has been the subject of a great deal of '
political controversy. As scientific
knowledge has grown, this debate is
moving away from whether humans are
causing warming and toward questions
of how best to respond. WWF-CA rep Sylvia Marin and reef scientist Nadia Bood discussed how to mitig
The Planet is Heating Up and Fast effects of climate change and global warming.
Glaciers are melting, sealevels areris- erywhere, except for parts of the east- unusual when compared to th
ing, cloud forests are drying, and wild- em Pacific, Southern Ocean and parts 1,300 years. The last time the p(
life is scrambling to keep pace. It's be- ofAntartica. gions were significantly warmer
coming clear that humans have caused The warmth of the past 50 years is the present (about 125,000 year
most of the past century's warm-
ing by releasing heat-trapping
gases as we power our modem
lives. Called greenhouse gases,
their levels are higher now than in L.
the last 650,000 years.
Canada's Inuit see it in disap- -
pearing Arctic ice and permafrost.
Shantytown dwellers of Latin
America and Southern Asia see it
in the lethal storms and floods. ---- | |
Europeans see it in the disappear- 1 .. -
ing glaciers, forest fires and fatal It's digging L
heat waves. Evidence from tree What is that other machine doing? from the sea bed to fill up th
rings, ancient coral and bubbles to make a beach.
trapped in ice cores reveal that
the world has not been as warm
as it is now for a millennium or
more. The three warmest years "R 4 9
on record have all occurred since
1998; 19 of the warmest 20 years -
have all been observed since
1980. And Earth has probably --
never warmed as fast as in the I
past 30 years a period when
natural influences on global tem- O cimateiscgig. The waters
Our climate is changing. The waters are
peratures, such as solar cycles and ves, and that is resulting in chasing away the fish. Ohe orelef andmangrovesct as natural buf
volcanoes should have cooled us from this area. But that's not the worst. storms and provide habitats for the
_down. That's why we must protect
Other signs that are hard to ig-
nore: Carbon Dioxide (C02) lev-
els are rising. The oceans and seas
are warming. The glaciers are .
melting. Sea level is rising. The *
maritime ice sheets are becoming
thinner. The lakes are shrinking.
The ice platforms are collapsing. .____
Birds incubate their eggs earlier.
Coral bleaching are more fre- Yup. With stronger storms coming, we'll have
quent. Invasion of exotic species to spend a whole lot of money trying to
has become harder to control. protect our property from flooding & erosion.
has become harder to control. are d it** nd*a? i --
Amphibians are disappearing. Canwedoanything about
Beach erosion is increasing.
Warming is truly global. Since t
1979, when satellite measure-
ments started, scientists have ob-
served that the land is warming
significantly faster than over the
oceans, but that warming is ev-


ie F
s aq


the reductions in polar ice caps led to a
4 6 meter rise in sea level.
With the industrial revolution of the
eighteenth century came rise in carbon
dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide lev-
els which have resulted in global warm-
ing. The International Project on Climate
Change postulated in February 2007
globally average surface air is warming
to around 1.8C for the low scenario
(likely range 1.1 C to 2.9 C ) to 4.0
C by 2099. Under one of the climate
change scenarios (SRES A1B), by mid
2090, global sea level will reach 0.22-
0.44 m above the 1990 levels, and ris-
ing at a rate of about 4 mm per year.
In the Caribbean, where much of our
the livelihood comes from the sea, a deli-
cate balance will need to be struck be-
past tween investing in tourism development
and mitigating the effects of climate
change on fisheries and tourist attrac-
go), tions such as the beaches and the reef.

Why are they knocking down the mangrove, grandpa?
STo build a hotel, darling

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Pagel44



El Salvador's Sandra Lopez wowed the judges with her physique and floor routine to win a gold medal at the Central American
Bodybuilding and Body Fitness Championships at the Bliss Institute on Saturday night.

These Belize City youngsters found an
innovative way to beat the heat.

Belize swept the 1.68 cm class Josephine Gault winning bronze, Kayla Myvett gold
andArlene Welch silver.

"Kegin" is a 17 year old manga artist in the US with Belizean parents

Emily Rose Vernon was a star performer at her Kindergarten variety show.

Prime Minister and first lady of St Vincent, Mr. and Ralph Gonsalves, Belize's Foreign
Minister Lisa Shoman and General Manager of Independent Weekly, Trevor Vernon, at
the closing reception of the Conference on the Caribbean in Washington DC June 21.

Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 155

l- -* Prw-nes o L
robelize Consulting
pe isT&.er,F1 s.nes,. & & eal E-aJte
Consulting- Escrow Services
Properly Searches and more
Visit our webase at w wrobehMze c an f o more
information or mail us at wrobelize@ mail.tcrn
Needed: Mountain Bike Tour Op-
erator wanted in Cayo with equip-
Tel: 663-5580 Cayo Adventure
Tours Ph# 824-324
Need help with cleaning, ironing,
painting or other household chores at
your Ladyville home? Then call me at
624-3652. Reasonable rates, mature
For sale: Home overlooking Sittee
River w/1/3 acre. Info/photos at:

609-5632 3-5pm daily. (Photo be-
"Free international real estate
and investment blog and podcast.
Go to http://
investtheworld.blogspot.com as we
travel the world for fun, investment
and profit."For Rent: A (2) bedroom
flat located in King's Park, Belize City
One commercial building (4 offices,
conference room, reception area) in
King's Park $1800.00/month
Computers $800/each Call: 223-
Free Ads! The INdependent Re-
former is you your first classified ad
with us free of charge! After that only
$10 per advert per issue. Ads must
be: 1) 20 words or less 2) photo must

bejpeg or tiff formats only. Must be
emailed, no disk pickup or drop off
3) business card -first run is free
2007, $20 a run thereafter
4) All classified ads must be emailed to
independent, newspaper. bz(gmail.



kheusner@yahoo. com and checks to
PO Box 2666, Belize City.
Please note:
We must receive your ad by Friday
at mid-day for inclusion in following
Tuesday issue.

cc to


Private Property Owners Meeting
Friday 6 July 2007
9AM @ Spanish Lookout
All owners, occupiers and people in possession of Belizean lands are
invited to attend a very important meeting at Spanish Lookout on Fri-
day 6th July to develop a Private Property Policy concerning oil explo-
ration and production.
There are a number of issues affect private landholders for oil explo-
ration and production which are not well defined, and thus do not allow
the private landowner or occupiers to accurately access what rights
and options are available in negotiating the use of their property. The
issues have been presented in a discussion series which has been cir-
culated to interested parties for the purpose of developing a consensus
position on the issues for inclusion as part of a Private Property Policy.
The goal of this policy is to establish a consistent position which clearly
sets out the rights of landowners and occupiers, and the conditions for
using their lands for oil exploration and production which is consistent
with international practice. The intent is NOT to be confrontational,
but instead to develop a positive and uniform platform from which fair
and reasonable private land use agreements can be negotiated.
For More Information Contact:

Land For Sale

Suitable for Conservation

70 acres in Burrell Boom for US$50K


Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page16

Throughout the month of Juy

Take advantage of


MA Brother
Sky Blue
Orange Walk
People's Store
M & A Supermarket
SP Group Ltd.
San Pedro
Richie's Super
Dai[a's Store
Caye Caulker
Alan Chan
Belize City
Publics Supermarket
Xtra House
Malic's Poultry
Everyday Super
New Capital Super
Cardinal's Store
Crossroads Super
Zhen's Super
Alwin's Supermarket
Chen's Super
Woods Super
Super Saver
Lupita's Store
Punta Gorda
Teu 's Grocery
Brad's PG

on select

race products


per rnoi



Grace ra Grace
Coconut MilkS s Grace Corned Beef
Powder Vienna Sausages 7 oz.

per cane

Grace Canned Vegetables

Look for this logo and save on
these and other great products from
Grace at your favourite store!
llI prices im'dihn e of GST

Sno-Brie Bleach

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Friday, July 6, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 17

Crude Facts

The Spanish Lookout Oil Field

Belize Natural Energy started oil pro-
duction operations in the Spanish
Lookout oil field in late 2005. Since
that time, the Spanish Lookout Com-
munity has benefited significantly
both economically and socially, direct-
ly and indirectly from BNE operations.

During the short time BNE has been operating in the area, the
company has directly paid Spanish Lookout businesses includ-,
ing civil works contractors, hardware vendors, fabricators, elec-
tricity suppliers, crude oil truckers and many others more than
8.8 million dollars for goods and services.
BNE pays the owners of the land where the wells are located
an annual rental fee for the land used by the company. BNE
pays for the use of community roads and for damages to crops,
fences etc. BNE has paid Mennonite monitors to be present
while work is being carried out Furthermore the Spanish Look-
out community will also receive from the Government of Belize
5% of royalties paid by BNE.


Spanish Lookout residents
have benefited from
participation in First Aid
training. The company is
currently planning an
advanced First Aid course
to be delivered by the Red
Cross and an oil measure-
ment course through
Caleb Brett Intertek, a
world renowned oil measurement provider. TheSpanish
Lookout community and Government of Belize have
been invited to participate.
BNE has provided fire-
fighting assistance to
communities in and
around the Spanish Loo out
area. During the last dry
season, the company put
out 3 fires within Spanish
Lookout and Wo forest fires
in surrounding areas. This
was done using SNE's fire
fighting equipment and company personnel based at
Iguana Creek at no cost to area residents.

PIPELINE: a system of connected lengths of pipe, usually
buried in the earth or seafloor, that is used for transporting
crude oil and natural gas frorna producing area to refineries
All or I- the 00 & Gas
or tiarminals. "P://www.rr&ovecickwwgy.=m/imicoo4.mtm i

BNE has over the short period of exploration and
production operations moved to minimize its
presence in the Mennonite Community respect-
ing the community's wishes. As such a pipeline
was installed that gathers all the oil produced
from the field and transports it to a central facil-
ity outside of the community and there is no flar-
ing, venting or trucking of crude oil being con-
ducted within the community.

A small maintenance crew works In rotating shifts
at the 5 well sites on a 24hr basis.


June 2007

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