Title: Independent reformer
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099538/00037
 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: August 17, 2007
Copyright Date: 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099538
Volume ID: VID00037
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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More legal battles for the Belizean
taxpayers to pay for, battles created by
our corrupt government politicians; once
again we are strained to the limits of our
resources, like a child made to be a
prostitute before puberty has set on.
Never before have Belizeans been in
so much conflict with their elected offi-
cials: a true anomaly. Clearly it appears
that Belize is being "Double-Benked"
by both Musa and Ashcroft; high-
jacked and black-mailed, stripped of
Lord Michael Ash croft
its sovereignty to make court decisions
in its ownjurisdiction, denied the right
of "due process".
Anyone could easily conclude thatthis
case is obviously a"Belize matter"'. The
business is named Belize Bank, oper-
ating business in Belize, subject to
S""- Belizean laws, earning money from
Belizeans through the service they
provide......getting rich from Belizeans,
A getting tax breaks from the Belizean
Prime Minister Said Musa government, supported by the Belizeans

Water a precious &

endangered resource

MucKea up mess: lvon-functional Blelmopan treatment plantJorces raw sewage
directly into the Belize River.
By: William G Ysamuirre which will in the future become as i

workers, clearly Belizean jurisdiction!
These stealth deals appear to be pre-
meditated, set up from the beginning to
circumvent Belize and Belizeans from


their money in the event of their expo-
sure or being challenged.
Since the Belize Bank has exercised
(Please Turn To Page 14) *MJ



Costa Maya Queen

As the world's population grows,
presently 6 billion, water is becoming
an increasingly vital resource and is al-
ready being traded like a commodity

portant as petroleum. This is because
although 70.8 % of the world's surface
is covered by water (361.132 million
(Please Turn To Page 3) l "

Miss Belize Maria Jefferies wowed the judges to win the 2007 Reina de la Costa
Maya pageant in San Pedro.(See more photos inGuest Gallery onpg 15)

L e dI n e n d t O n l i 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 t t p / / t n y u l o m / 4 5 d p



Read S S S -- S ~Independent Oniea tp/blznwscmidpneto tp//iyrgo/4dpPg

Eco-tourism is fastest
growing sector, says

Dear Editor,
According to World Tourism Orga-
nization, ecotourism is growing at an an-
nual rate of 5%, or about three times
better than the industry as a whole.
"It's one of the fastest-growing parts
of tourism," Dave Sollet, executive di-
rector of the International Ecotourism
Society, based in Washington, D.C. told
the Pittsburgh Business Times. "There
is a consumer demand."
Signed Linn Wilson
Dear Editor,
Mr. Krohn seems to have missed the
point of PCSD's article, Doom or
Boom in Placencia, published in the
Friday, 10 August 2007 edition of The
Independent newspaper. In no case
does PC SD condemn all developments.
In fact, the article itself states that:
Development can be sustainable and
offer positive economic growth and en-
vironmental, social and cultural protec-

tion at the same time. But, rampant and
uncontrolled development offers neither
sustainable economic benefits nor en-
vironmental, social and cultural ones.
That's the whole point sustainable
development that doesn't rob our chil-
dren and our grandchildren of the natu-
ral resources and beauty of this very
beautiful and ecologically rich Peninsula.
And, as pointed out in our article, the
process of achieving sustainable devel-
opment must include:
An environmental review pro-
cess that takes the cumulative impact
of all developments on the Peninsula
into consideration, not a case by case
approval process as we have now.
A transparent and legitimate
environmental review process which
openly informs the public of proposed
projects, allows adequate time for pub-
lic review and comments on those
projects, and which is not influenced by
politicians seeking to advance their own
interests and the interests of their politi-
cal cronies and campaign contributors.
Enforcement of laws and regu-
lations regarding dredging, cutting of
mangroves and compliance with regu-
lations set out in Environmental Com-

pliance Plans as part of the approval
process of the Department of the Envi-
ronment. Enforcement should include
requiring developers to post permits in
publicly accessible places so that people
on the Peninsula can assist in enforcing
our laws.
A substantive legal review of the
format of Environmental Compliance
Plans used by DOE. In their present
format, these ECPs have so many holes
you could drive a dredger through them.
Governmental monitoring of
projects and publication of monitoring
We agree with Mr. Krohn that a Pen-
insula planning authority would be an
enormous benefit to the development
of the Peninsula. However, Placencia
and Seine Bight Villages cannot even
persuade the national government to
approve the Village bylaws passed by
both Villages back in 2002 under the
Village Council Act. Those by-laws,
which would allow local Peninsula gov-
ernments to have some say in the kind
of development that occurs on the Pen-
insula, are apparently a dire threat to
the ability of the Government of Belize
(Please Turn To Page 16) I0* =

Comments? Suggestions?

or want to share your thoughts & photos? Email us at

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Beli/e Cit. Bcli/c
Z71 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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Friday, August 17, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 3




inBE (Continued From Page 1)
square kilometers), only 3% of that is
fresh water. And 70% of that fresh wa-
ter is frozen in the polar ice caps and
glaciers, while 30% lies beneath the
earth's surface as ground water. Only
0.3% is readily accessible in surface
water, of which 67% is stored in lakes,
12% is trapped in swamps and only
2% flows in rivers.
Belize has 34 watersheds from which
water may be drawn for human use, and
99.5 % of our urban population (98.4%
overall) has access to potable drinking
water, according to 2004 statistics. But
the reservoirs from which that water is
drawn are threatened by contamination
from a number of sources, Albert
Roches of the Department of the Envi-
ronment told participants at an environ-
mental journalism workshop at Chaa
Creek on Saturday.
The pollutants may consist of a wide



Albert Roches of the Department of the Environment talks to environmental journalists about Belize's water woes.

The BSI sugar factory at Tower Hill reduces the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of
its effluent in treatment ponds before releasing it to the new river, but also causes
thermal pollution from its condenser cooling water.

range of organic and inorganic chemi-
cals such as heavy metals, petrochemi-
cals, and bacteria. Water pollution may
also occur in the form of thermal (heat)
pollution and oxygen depletion. Other
threats include climate change, loss of
biodiversity, over-use of the water as a
result of development, and through
some new legislation there also owner-
ship issues.
Sources of this pollution include the
Belize sugar industry, the citrus indus-
try, agriculture, aquaculture, Mining,
sewage and oil. For instance, the Belize
sugar industry produces over 30,000
gallons of effluent/minute primarily from
its condenser cooling water stream,
causing thermal pollution of the New
River. The biological oxygen demand
(BOD) of the effluent ponds is very high
and as a result these ponds dump over

5 tons of organic demand into the New
River everyday. Since the river is within
the tidal range of the sea, some of this
effluent will eventually also affect ma-
rine life. Whenever the biological and
chemical oxygen demand of the factory
depletes the oxygen in the river, towns-
people become aware when the river
fish go belly up gasping for oxygen at
the surface and a fish kill is recorded.
The citrus industry produces over
100,000 tons of citrus peel every year,
which used to be dumped in a ravine
and the leaching into watersheds has
caused numerous fish-kills in the North
Stann Creek River. This caused an al-
teration in practice, 100% of the peel is
now being composted; but the leachate
produced at the compost site still causes
water pollution. Tons of decomposing
citrus peel at the old site still require

The banana industry also uses some
460 million gallons of water per year,
mostly from South Stann Creek,
Swasey, Trio and Bladden rivers. Wa-
ter is also from wells within banana belt.
The water is used primarily for irriga-
tion and fruit processing, but it is also
used for aerial spraying, airplane clean-
ing, and mixing herbicide. The waste
wash waters and the runoff from irri-
gation ends up back in our streams and
rivers. The rice industry uses water for
flood irrigation, drawn from Blue Creek
in the North, and from rivers and
streams in the south.
But the aquaculture industry is the big-
gest effluent producer in the country.
Fish and shrimp farms are using 40,000
acres of coastal land. These farms ex-
tract hundreds of millions gallons per
day from the sea, estuaries, lagoons and

rivers, producing millions of gallons of
effluent per day, but less than a quarter
of the 12 farms do any sort of treat-
ment before releasing its effluent. They
also contaminate environment in the dis-
posal of waste such as shrimp heads,
oil and fuel storage, etc.
A compromise was made as the
industry's export production and rev-
enues have grown increased from 189
thousand pounds (Bz$1.8 m) in 1990,
to 1.17 million pounds (Bz$10.4 m) in
1995, to 7.1 million pounds (Bz$48.7
m) in 2002 and 22.7 million pounds
(Bz$153 m) in 2003. This industry pro-
cesses nearly 5 million pounds of shrimp
annually, generating a 1,000 tons of
waste (shrimp heads) each year, which
is disposed ofby burying. This is now a
cause of concern as the decomposing



Water leaching into watersheds from citrus peel dumps like this one has caused
numerous fish-kills in the North Stann Creek River.

I. IS ReadS S I~~Independent Oniea tp/beieescmidpedn rht:/inulcm25 ag4 1


I ". ... ,- '. ,*

By: Karla HeusnerVernon
They were lined up along the high-
way, armed with weed-whackers. A
whole troop of them dressed alike in
royal blue shirts: one the front the words
"Ralph Works" and on the back "Be-
lieve in Belize."
Both statements struck me as odd,
because it was not Ralph working at
cutting the grass, it was men he had
hired to do it, casual labor, with no fu-
ture associated with that labor. Except
a few more days in the broiling sun.
The "Believe in Belize"? Well, if that
is the campaign slogan for 2007-08 it
needs some serious work. It's just not
true, for if the party believed in Belize
we would not be in the mess we are in

d so many Belizeans would not be some options. Or maybe if there was
ed with disbelief at our predicament. an affordable community college or easy
Of course, I suppose there are some access to small business loans they might
-lizeans whose heads have been in have used their dismissal as a spring-

It is campaigning as usual, as if

Belize has not changed and every-

thing is as it was before.

the sand for the past 8 years and who
still believe this country, their particular
division, has improved. People who still
believe in Santa Claus I guess. People
who will ignore the fact that this coming
Christmas hundreds of women will be
jobless with the shutdown of the nation's
only real sewing factory. Such is the op-
timism of the brainwashed. Someone al-
ways rescues someone in time...
These women would not have needed
rescuing if other factories had opened
their doors in Belize over the past few
years. If the climate for investors had
been welcoming, taxes and utility costs
lower, Belize's ranking on the corrup-
tion index not quite so high. If this had
happened, these women might have

board towards their own personal and
professional development. Realized
some of their own small dreams, pro-
gressed in their education, set up a small
business, j oined together in a cottage
industry producing crafts or garments
or t-shorts tourists might buy, uniforms
for local schools and businesses, gov-
ernment offices.
But the reality is this is just another
Christmas Retrenchment. These work-
ers will join their colleagues already let
go and the hundreds of others out job-
hunting since Nova Shrimp Farm closed
down too.
Will they all get a temporary job
weedwhacking a fake park which is only
bushed over around election time?

A lot of things only happen around
election time. A lot of roads only get
fixed, lines painted, buildings face-lifted
right before a vote occurs. Perhaps this
is something our politicians inherited
from the colonial governors who only
ordered public buildings painted and
streets resurfaced when royalty from the
motherland were coming to town- and
only on the routes their royal highnesses
would pass over!
Did the colony's citizens see through
the hypocrisy then? Or did they just
enjoy the makeovers when they hap-
pened? Consider it better than nothing?
Have we made so little progress that
a few cosmetic changes are still con-
sidered better than nothing, some small
compensation for the lack of upkeep
all the rest of the time? Why do we al-
low money to be released into our vil-
lages, towns and cities when some poli-
tician and his friends can benefit or votes
are being bought-- and not when the
villages, towns and cities need it? Why
do we think its okay to neglect our
nation's infrastructure and appearance
for five years as long as it get's spruced
(Please Turn To Page 16) IEM

Yu no hear weh ah di try fu tell yu, yu Kyant pleez everybody(((

Friday, August 17, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 5



By: TrevorVernon
I was driving along the western high-
way a few months ago and a big sign
close to the Zoo's entrance read some-
thing like: "predators are important to
nature's balance, we need to protect
them." There was beautiful image of a
big cat in the background. I can't to this
day get that message out of my thoughts:
protecting predators which wreck
havoc on the existence of the masses?
Normally when I think predators, I
think the higher level animals, the homo
sapiens/man. I think of the people who
raid the treasury, the DFC, SSB, et al.
I reflect on the mindset that appears to
be so dominant across our beautiful
country today. Get the Benjamins at
whatever risk including lives, at what-
ever other compromise: judicial, moral,
environmental or a combination.
Now, the Zoo has been a solid ad-
vertiser since the first issue of the Inde-
pendent and for this we are most grate-
ful; at the same time we like to think we
project a good pro-conservation image.
PACT, Audubon, WWF and BTB

don't seem to think so just yet but we
are sure they'll see the light soon enough.
We are proud to have Sharon & the
Belize Zoo advertise with us and share
your wonderfully informative column
with our readers, especially the kids.
But getting back to this predator busi-
ness, human are animals after all and
we have human predators all around
and amongst us.
We are watching in Belize a rapid
pace of deterioration of the once pris-
tine environment to the detriment of the
delicate ecological balance of all our
ecosystems. And at the same time we
are watching a serious moral degrada-
tion of our society at all levels, across
the board and around our little world
called Belize. And I would like to sug-
gest that they're connected; the glue that
holds them together is the new
trendsetting mentality of the political di-
rectorate for instant gratification, for in-
stant "bling".
Now there is a dilemma for this preda-
tory political directorate as the general
elections rapidly approach. Abig dilemma
for them because the people who vote
are not of the mind to protect those preda-
tors from anyone, anymore. Our villages,
towns, and cities have been raided by
those predators way too often and the
people are not happy. Those predators
are taxing the people to death and have
eaten away at their disposable incomes
with senseless consumption taxes. The

people want back the power and not
just for a day when they go through the
charade of dipping their fingers in ink.
The people want to own that ink well
and permanently keep their index fin-
ger wet with that red ink. The people
want justice and they want it applied
equally and constantly.
The predators are now offering at the
eleventh hour, free poorly translated
textbooks, and free land certificates, and
free patching of roads, and free street
lights, and free rum to keep the people
intoxicated... until that ink dries on your
finger. Then the people will pay a thou-
sand fold for all the free this and free
that and the merrymaking and then the
smiling buddies will be gone for the next
five years of pain that they will be forced
to inflict by the people they got the 50-
100 million to run their flashy political
campaigns. That's what predators do:
they sweet you up till they get your vote
then they return to "stealing your corn
and look at you with a scorn"... for the
next five years.
No, these are one set of predators
the people will never protect, never
again. They, the political predators all,
must feel the pain and humiliation of de-
feat because they have inflicted way too
much pain on us in this animal kingdom
in order to feed their egos and offshore
bank accounts. And after, we'll deal with
the other forms of legal retribution to
recoup our national patrimony.
A dear friend opined the other day, in

a high tech forum, that the country
should be run by the civil service for the
next 5-6 months after the elections,
whoever wins. Let cooler heads pre-
vail for a period, a cooling off period to
allow the outgoing predators to find new
feeding ground and safe havens to bury
their loot, I suppose, far away from us.
But unfortunately there is no legal pre-
cedence for this so it will never happen.
Another dear friend retorted that to-
tally ridding ourselves of the predators
we know (who feed off us) will create
a power vacuum. That threw me for a
while. Homo sapien predators create
systems and structures that are vital to
smooth social and economic interaction,
she continued.
To hell with power vacuums, we need
flatter organizational structures across
the board, especially after the elections
have come and gone. Its way too late
for the current fat cats to change their
spots; they commissioned but didn't
implement that wonderful Political
Reform Commission report, 2000.
The tables have turned with the
people now smelling blood in a passive-
aggressive sort of way. Wonder what
that red ink they use at polling booths is
really made of? Maybe they should use
some sheep's blood in the mixture come
elections day, one that won't dry and
flake off anytime soon.. .to remind us
constantly of the hell they, the master
predators, have been inflicting on us all
in this kingdom of the party animals.



press release from Satim
The Environmenta! Assessment
{ElA) for US Energy Helile Limited has
been completed. It was prepared and
handed to community leaders by 'Tu-
nic Nah Consultants and Engineering
on Monday, 6 August. 2007. The
package contained a note book where
the leaders were told to write t h e
names of the residents of their com-
munities to formally confirm their un-
derstanding and acceptance of the EIA,
According to community leaders, they
are to come to Punta Gorda in a week's
time for a consultation where they are
to give their inputs.
This is totally unacceptable, outright
discriminatory and blatant disregard for
the rights of these communities on the
part of the government und the US
Capital Energy. The finger must point
squarely at the Department of
the Environment for their failure insist
that the company conduct thorough
consultations in each community about
the EIA Report.



We have submitted proposals to the
Department of the Envitonment and US
Capital Energy on how the EIA consulta-
tions should be conducted. However, the
Department and US Capital Energy re-
fused to accept these proposals.' These
proposals were developed in an effort to
overcome the socio-cultural factors of the
decision making process and the language
barriers of the communities,
As one leader says, how can they ex-
pect to read this EIA report in one week,
much less understand these technical jar-
gons in this huge document when we are
limited in ourknowledge of the English
SATIIM has only been given the draft
copy and is from this version. 'What
have become apparent arc the enor-
mous gaps in baseline data that have
translated to dubious mitigative mea-
sures. SATIIM is currently looking at
all options available, both political and
legal, to address the issues that have
begun to emerge from Environmental
Impact Assessment Report

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August 24-25, 2007
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US migrant laws hit cash sent to Mexico

iV: Kichard Lapper
Legal restrictions targeting illegal im-
migrants have contributed to a sharp
fall-off in the remittances sent to
Mexico from a number of US states,
according to a survey published on
The survey, commissioned by the
Inter-American Development Bank,
shows that Mexicans living in south-
ern and other US states without a
strong tradition of Latin American
immigration such as Louisiana,
North Carolina and Georgia- are feel-
ing uneasy about the future.
These states have also seen a re-
cent surge in legislation increasing pen-
alties for those who employ illegals
and making it more difficult for mi-
grants to obtain driving licences and
other documentation, for example.

by Miranda La Rose
The Assistant Secretary General of
the Organisation of American States,
Albert Ramdin expects that the mat-
ter of the Guyana government's with-
drawal of advertisements from the
Stabroek News would be dealt with
substantively between the Inter-
American Commission on Human
Rights of the OAS and the Guyana
Asked at a press conference in
Georgetown last week for his general
impression on the ads issue between
the government and the Stabroek
News Ramdin said that he would not
comment on the substantive issue be-
cause the matter fell under the pur-
view of Ignacio J. Alvarez, the Spe-
cial Rapporteur on freedom of ex-
pression in the Inter-American Human
Rights Commission.
However, he said that he strongly
supports the role of the media both
from the perspective of being able to
carry out their responsibilities as best
as possible and that as an important
element of society they must be able
to carry out their work freely without
any intimidation.
This view, which he publicly stated
at a seminar in June in Washington
with Caribbean journalists, he said,
was also shared by the Secretary
General and other organs of the
OAS. Nevertheless he expects re-
sponsible journalism from the media
and "it cuts both ways," he added.
In terms of the response to the Spe-
cial Rapporteur's request for infor-
mation from the government on the
withdrawal of the ads, Ramdin said
he feels the matter would be resolved
by having good communication be-
tween the government and the Spe-
cial Rapporteur.

Only about half the almost 2m
Mexicans in these so-called "new"
migration states are sending back re-
mittances, compared with four-fifths
a year ago. That is the biggest single
factor explaining a levelling-off in re-
mittance growth to Mexico following
several years of double digit growth,
according to the report.
"The environment is becoming much
more hostile in these new states," said
Don Terry, head of the multilateral in-
vestment facility, which leads the
IADB's work on emittances.
The research singled out the south-
ern state of Georgia as "the epicentre"
of the new trend. "It is logical that if
you feel you are not welcome and are
going some place else you start to
save a little kitty to deal with emer-
gencies. In addition, in these states it

He said that the letter from the Spe-
cial Rapporteur to the government not
arriving on time and that a statement
had been issued by the rapporteur
before the government had time to
deal with the issue was an "unfortu-
nate development."
He was of the impression that the
communication between the govern-
ment and the Special Rapporteur on
the ads issues was going to continue
without any further difficulty.
The government cut off ads from
Stabroek News in November last year
and has to date not provided any in-
formation to support its argument. The
OAS rapporteur is now seeking such
information. The rapporteur had given
the government 15 days to respond
and when no response was forthcom-
ing he issued a statement expressing

his disappointment and calling for the

OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin

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is not so easy to get a job or to se-
cure an increase in wages," said
Sergio Bendixen, a
pollster who conducted the research.
Mexico received $23.1bn
(16.8bn, 11.4bn) in remittance in-
come in 2006, with the flows helping
to boost substantially the income of
poor families. However, the rate of
increase has begun unexpectedly to
tail off this year. Figures from the
Mexican Central Bank show remit-
tances grew by only about 0.6 per
cent in the first six months of 2007
compared with a rise of 23 per cent a
year previously.
"Immigrants feel they are suffering
from discrimination and lack of re-
spect," said Mr Bendixen, whose re-
search was based on focus group in-
terviews with Mexican and Central

American migrants. "They are unable
to rent homes and in some cities it is
becoming more and more difficult to
find a job."
The survey shows a slightly differ-
ent picture emerging in 10 states such
as New York, California and Florida
where there has traditionally been a
strong Hispanic presence and where
the Mexican, Central American and
other Latin American communities are
well organised.
About two-thirds of the estimated
8.4m Mexicans who live in these states
have continued to send remittances this
year. Remittances from Guatemalan,
Salvadoran and Honduran migrants,
who tend to be concentrated in these
traditional areas, rose by 11 per cent in
the first six month of this year from just
under $4.5bnto almost $5bn.

government to review the withdrawal
of the ads.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Rudy
Insanally then said he did not see the
letter requesting information until the
day Alvarez's statement expressing
disappointment at the non-response
had been released. The ministry said
it has not been able to trace exactly
when the request for information ar-
rived at the ministry as the relevant
envelope with the markings would
since have been disposed of. The min-
istry said it would be replying to the
rapporteur in due course but to date
there has been no indication that this
has been done.
The withdrawal of the ads by the
government has been greeted with
widespread condemnation by press
groups in the Caribbean and further
Background on the withdrawal of
the ads can be gathered on
www.stabroeknews.com by clicking
on the press freedom link.

Friday, August 17, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 7




precious &

I resource

"iE(Continued From Page 3)
heads will produce leachate that could
seep into groundwater. The shrimp
heads contain a lot of phosphate, but
so far no one has suggested processing
them into fertilizer.
Approximately 12,000 hectares of
forest is cleared for agriculture each
year, and soil eroded from steep slopes
is dumping material rich with chemicals
into our rivers & streams.
Some 40% of the 600,000 gallons of
oil which Belize imports each years dis-
posed of in a manner unfriendly to the
environment. The country has begun
collecting and recycling waste-oil and
has exported some 300,000 gallons of
waste oil to Guatemala to be refined as
fuel for cement kilns.
In Belize where only 16 5 of house-
holds are connected to a sewer system

This satellite image of Belize City shows the sewage treatment ponds (arrow), from
which spillage caused the closure of several popular beaches.

normally attached to these grains and
they accumulate in the marine environ-
Dams also raise environmental con-

cerns such as water quality, mercury
levels, the color and taste of the water,
habitat destruction, loss ofbiodiversity,
and emergency plans human should the
dam fail.
Under the Environmental Protection
Act passed in 1992, the Department of
the Environment (DOE) was assigned
27 duties, two of which are: "to control
the volume, types, constituents and ef-
fects of wastes, discharges, emissions,
deposits or other sources of emission
and substances which are of danger or
potential danger to the quality of the
environment, and to maintain a register
of all wastes, discharges, emissions,
deposits or other sources of emission
or substances which are of danger or
potential danger to the environment"
With budget cuts and a small staff, the
DOE relies primarily on voluntary com-
pliance, only the approval of a budget
for a larger staff can give the depart-
ment the manpower and the teeth to
enforce the law.

. -.......

Raw sewage flows into a drain in Belmopan and ultimately into the Belize River.

and another 42% connected to a septic
tank, water contamination from sewage
is another maj or concern, especially in
the coastal areas such as Belize City
where only 30% of the population is
hooked up to the sewer system. The
Public Health Laws of Belize still allow
the disposal of "night buckets" into the
sea from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. In San
Pedro Town, potable water must be
produced from the sea by desalination
through reverse osmosis, because all
water wells have been contaminated
with faecal coliform.
Spillage from the sewage treatment
ponds of the city forced the closure of
a number of popular beaches when fae-
cal matter was detected in the water.
The sewage treatment plant in the
Belmopan is non-functional and raw
sewage is now flowing directly into the
Belize River, which eventually flows
downstream to where the Belize Water
Services draws river water for its treat-

ment plant to supply the Belize City with
Cruise ships visiting Belizean water
are forbidden from emptying their bilge
and waste water tanks within the 12 mile
limit of our territorial seas, but we have
no control outside the 12-mile limit. The
same cannot be said of the cruise ship
tenders and other tour operators' boats
which take cruise ship tourists to visit
nearby offshore cayes. Although these
boats can accommodate up to 150 pas-
sengers eating, drinking, partying at a
caye, the boats routinely return to port
with their sewage tanks empty. Was the
sewage dumped at sea? Only proper
monitoring can force operators to com-
ply with the law, and the department of
the environment is undermanned and
overwhelmed to cope with the prob-
Mining in rivers has resulted in tons
of sediments being transported out to
sea. Organophosphates (fertilizers) are

The disposal of shrimp heads (above) into the dump (below) produces leachate which
could contaminate the ground water.

The Race te the National Electons

r. N11

By: RayAuxillou
Discarding the Christmas and New
Years holiday
month, there are only six months of ac-
tive election campaigning left. How do
we stand? With an active political ma-
chine and all seats covered by candi-
dates, the incumbent PUP is way out
in front. For leadership, they have pre-
sented the National Health Insurance
scheme as their province. Not too bad
an idea, although they haven't quite fig-
ured out how to pay for it. Leadership
will be measured by their ability to
show improving money management
governing skills, by a shrinking num-
ber, of the foreign debt to GDP ratio.
They need to get that into the low half
of 2% of GDP, to indicate improve-
ments over their dismal past record of
learning to govern capability. It was the
PUP who got us all into this current debt
crisis, for lack of leadership and man-
agement skills in the previous term. For
vision, they have to pass a Balanced

By: Ricky Singh
As a "community of sovereign states"
Caricom upholds, as one of its four
major pillars, co-ordination in foreign
policy. It frequently reminds us of con-
tinuing efforts to
achieve consensus on important issues
of foreign affairs, including elections to
top positions in international
Caricom Heads of Governments
would, therefore, be expected to dis-
cuss and decide on their candidate of
choice as new Secretary General of the
53-member Commonwealth of Nations
when they meet in Port of Spain next
month for the one-day Health Summit.
Since the Health Summit takes place
ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Conference in November,
the Caricom Secretariat considers it
opportune for our preference as new
Commonwealth Secretary General to
be discussed, following completion of
the main agenda issue -the region's
health development, with special focus
on non-communicable diseases.
Choosing a successor to New
Zealand's outgoing Secretary General,

Fm= --

Budget Act and an Elected Senate Act
before Christmas to find credibility with
the voters.
While the government itself is short
changed for money due to PUP past
policies, the party itself have a windfall
very full campaign treasury, which prom-
ises free beer, food and music parties
around the districts. Thanks to Hugo
Chavez of Venezuela, the rumor mill
The UDP are in second place coming
around the first stretch into the next turn
of this race. This party also has all seats
covered for the national elections. A
small campaign budget, still a bit disor-
ganized, but picking up speed and slowly
catching up to the lead
runner. For leadership skills, they prom-
ise to fix the National Debt problems
created by the PUP and have put for-
ward a few Political Reform suggestions
to the Constitution, to show their lead-
ership capabilities. The vision section
of their party hasn't come up with any-
thing yet for the future. So far, this early
in the race, the battle for first seems to
be between the PUP and the UDP.
The NRP, a Mennonite run political
party, they claim to have most of the na-
tional elective seats covered. Slow off
the starting blocks, this party is way be-
hind the two lead runners. They were
said to have a sufficient campaign trea-
sury, which now seems to have
been an imaginative over-exaggeration.

Don McKinnon, who has served two
terms, is one of the agenda issues for
the forthcoming Commonwealth Sum-
mit in Kampala, Uganda.
With the exception of Asia, all regions
of what had emerged as the British
Commonwealth way back in 1931 have
had the satisfaction of one of their na-
tionals serving as Secretary General with
the creation of that post in 1965 -
C a r i c o m
included with Shridath Ramphal.
When the contest between New
Zealand's McKinnon and Bangladesh's
Farook Subhan emerged eight years
ago, divisions, resulting from a mix of
superior lobbying, financial and politi-
cal influence, went in McKinnon's
favour, including split votes within
Caricom. I doubt such a recurrence
within Caricom at the coming confer-
ence in Kampala.
Now, for the first time, India, which,
like China is an emerging economic
power, and accounts for most of the 1.7
billion multi-ethnic population of the
(after Zimbabwe's suspension and sub-
sequent withdrawal) has decided to

No significant money has been spent
for this election, even though the race
has started in earnest.
I probably spent more in the last elec-
tion for the WTP! Currently the odds
are 20 to 1 in betting shops against the
NRP catching up to the two leading par-
ties in the race. For leadership they of-
fer the example of Mennonite
community social system through the
heartland ofBelize. For vision they are
talking about creating agro processing
export growth through tax breaks.
The rest of the political parties in the
field are bunched up back with a very
wide gap between this group and the
leaders half a lap ahead already. Of the
bunch running in last place, the PNP
seem to be slightly ahead of this lag-
gard group. The vision seems to be
solely for the Toledo District seats in an
attempt to boost the development of
their homeland through self government.
They will make an excellent third party
in a mixed government.
Coming behind them are the VIP of
Belmopan, who also have no campaign
treasure chest, some intellectual skills
passed off as leadership potential, some
vision barely
expressed for political reform, but
poorly communicated to the general
public. They also seem to be a small
Belmopan area political party, whose
interest seems more orientated to the
capital of the country and the civil ser-

have one of its distinguished foreign
service nationals to head the London-
based Commonwealth
Secretariat Kamalesh Sharma.
Currently India's High Commis-
sioner to the United Kingdom,
Sharma, however, faces competition
from three other identified candidates.
They are Malaysia's Culture, Arts
and Heritage Minister Dr Rais Yatim;
Malta's Foreign Minister Michael
Frendo and Mohan Kaul, the India-
born ex-officio Director General of
the Commonwealth Business Coun-
cil, who is not to be confused as a
candidate of India. The two front-run-
ners are evidently India's Sharma and
Malaysia's Yatim.
However, as of July 28, the Malay-
sian national news agency,
BERNAMA, was reporting the pos-
sibility of Malaysia's Prime Minister
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, accepting
Yatim's desire to withdraw as a can-
didate since he claims not to have had
sufficient opportunity to personally
promote his candidature. In contrast,
that is, to Malta's Frendo and India's

The rest of the bunch of political par-
ties coming behind in last place--I can't
even remember their names. There are
two upsets that could happen in this early
part of the race. Bad publicity for the
PUP could shove the UDP in a frantic
last ditch spurt of speed into first place.
What they call the rebellion dissatisfied
reaction. Then the NRP could get or-
ganized and turn serious about cam-
paigning. The other factor would be if
voters in most of the electoral divisions
decided to vote for candidates present-
ing themselves as persons of good char-
acter and honesty, willing to do their
Regardless of which party they be-
longed to, a slate of honest candidates
like hat happened in Belize Rural South
two terms ago, could upset the plans of
both the PUP and the UDP and bring a
whole bunch of parties across the finish
line at the same time, creating a totally
new form of government in Belize. This
wouldn't be at all bad and really for the
next five years we do not even need
one dominant party running the govern-
ment. There is little to do but build class-
rooms and no money to do public
works. The PUP already spent it, dur-
ing the term before this! Maintaining
the status quo with government job s is
the name of the game for the next five
years. Forget the infrastructure mainte-
nance like the last five years.

Even if Malaysia should maintain in-
terest in having a candidate as Com-
monwealth Secretary General, it
seems that Asia's turn has inevitably
finally arrived to have a
national in that post. It would be ex-
tremely difficult to ignore the obj ec-
tive factors in favour of India's candi-
Outgoing Secretary General
McKinnon recently made a surpris-
ing observation as reported by the As-
sociated Press on July 19 There was
an assumption, he said, that his
successor could be "an Asian candi-
date" because Asia has not had a Sec-
retary General....
"The message will be, sure put up
an Asian candidate, but," he added,
"Commonwealth leaders would want
to ensure that he or she is a credible
and good candidate."
If his intention were not to be con-
descending, the former Foreign Min-
ister of New Zealand, who will be
leaving the Commonwealth Secre-
tariat next year, is experienced enough
to know that there is no doubt about
(Please Turn To Page 9) E

Friday, August 17, 2007

The INdependent Reformer

Page 9


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El fiasco de los libros
The Ministry of Education claims
the new "free" textbooks were se-
lected in full consultation with the
teachers, or at least a select group
from the Ministry. So whose head is
going to roll over the problem with
the Spanish books which depict Belize
as a part of Mexico? Clearly NO
ONE looked through this book care-
fully, or perhaps they never even saw
a single copy? What an outrage and
disgrace. The only thing worse would
have been a map with Belize as part
of Guatemala! Back to school for
some Ministry personnel to take a ba-
sic course in geography. If these books
are not recalled and exchanged for
another the teachers are going to go
ballistic. Not to mention the par-

BTL pulls a fast one
Perhaps in an attempt to correct a
flub-up with their billing system which
could not get out the "new" Belize
Telemedia bills on time a couple
months ago, Belize consumers were
shocked to find their latest bill due on
August 6 instead of the 15th, or end
of the month as usual. To heap injury
to insult the bills were postmarked
August 2 and only reached many cus-
tomers on August 5 or even days af-
ter they were due!
As if their rates are not extortionary
enough now Lord Shark wants his
blood money in minutes. Isn't there a
law somewhere that bills are not over-
due until 30 days? Maybe its time for
a strike by customers since the union
busting appears total with employees
getting their new uniforms, new logo
and new raise. Go check your bill if
you have not already paid, you might
not have seen the due date and are in
danger of being cut out!

- nE(Continued From Page 8)
the capacity of the Asian continent to
deliver a very "credible and good can-
didate" to succeed him.
The question of relevance is to what
extent Caricom could help make that
possible with its own dozen votes, along
with pledges forthcoming from African
states such as
Uganda, host country for the Novem-
ber Commonwealth Summit; SouthAf-

Butane Pain
Thanks to Channel Seven for some
great interviews on how the latest in-
crease in butane is affecting food sell-
ers and consumers who frequent them.
Why on earth is GOB raising the price
of cooking gas again. This commodity
should be price fixed since it is an es-
sential. Just one more way to squeeze
the poor and working poor. Maybe
Gordito and Musito can ask Hugito to
send Belizeans some cheap butanito.
Then again, maybe the price is being
artificially inflated so they can drop it in
time for elections and make people think
they are getting a break. The games
gangsters play...

Where are they now?
Are Mark, Cordel, & Johnny in
country? We know Eamon is; he just
opened his own brand new law firm and
moved from underuncle, wife, daddy's
wings at the big family firm. Johnny has
lots of business interest and is said to
be investing in a cable company in
Ralph's territory among other things.
Mark has business interests too but not
very public. We have no idea what
Cordel is keeping himself busy with but
are quite sure its in Lake I. God-Frey is
busy as tourism minister pushing for big
hotels. Nobody in the industry which
has less than 50 room occupancy al-
ready wants anything to do with his
"flagship" hotels but he's pushing it ev-
erywhere he goes. More rooms mean
more taxes, eh Frito? Or is it the Afri-
can junket has him dreaming grandiose
dreams. He really has him hooked on
the Lord and whatever he was made
to see there?

Do they really care
about health care

rica and Kenya as well as those that once
comprised the so-called "old Common-
wealth" like Britain, Canada and Aus-
It is difficult to conceive, given the de-
mographic, cultural, trade and economic
realities, India's Sharma failing to emerge,
either by majority or consensus, as the
successful candidate to be the new Com-
monwealth Secretary General in 2008.--
the Trinidad Express

The "original reformer" Coye is
pushing NHI being financed by oil
revenues and not from any line item
in previous budgets. Coye can want
all he chooses but we know it is Ralph
who will decide the faith of the NHI
rollout funding... weeks before elec-
Under PM Price we had free health
care and free education. We had
healthier people and more educated
Under PM Esquivel we got the
KHMH, but what have we gotten ex-
cept a lack of supplies, the UHS scan-
dal and nurses and doctor's strikes
under PM Musa? Not to mention
baby Kimora Leslie and other need-
less deaths....Do they think the
Belizean people will forget how many
people had to beg for money for life-
saving treatments over the last 8 years
just because they roll out NHI at the
last minute? Wasn't it part of their
manifesto promise from 1998?
Maybe if the money thrown away
on UHS had been thrown at KHMH
and the Regional hospitals we
wouldn't need NHI, hmmm?

Top of the line parts.
Asking Bz$1,200 O.B.O.
contact Independent
Reformer Weekly

Child Labor in
Political Ads?
The UDP recently published an
ad in which some children are
working and the PUP are scolded
for borrowing so much money
Belizean children will have to work
their whole lives to pay it back. The
PUP complained bitterly that the
UDP were exploiting working
children..Now hang on a minute: 1)
these kids WILL have to work their
whole lives to pay enough taxes so
these loans can be repaid over the
next 50 plus years
2) If they are forced to work as
little children it is precisely because
the PUP government has screwed
the economy up so badly their par-
ents have no other choice. So who
is exploiting the children of Belize?
Not the UDP.
You can bet there won't be any
photos of underage cane cutters
and and street vendors selling pil-
lows and tamales in the new text-


R e er v ti ns: 5 1-26-01

Fax- 501226-233
Eal eevtos aoiai~o
The irlne f Beizewwwtropcai~co


Friday, August 17, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 11

There is a debate going on in Belize
over the management of our natural re-
sources. Actually there are many clash-
ing interests where our natural resources
are concerned. So much so that last
week IW headlined the Placencia situ-
ation where developers and environ-
mentalists have locked horns as we
present some views from both sides.
It's a most interesting debate where
the release of relevant information is
usually a major weapon. Ourj ournal-
ists, as a whole, haven't had the man-
agement support and financial resources
to adequately cover the environmental
impact of the barrage of new resort &
condominium developments, for ex-
(Please Turn To Page 12) *I Belizean journalists learn about oil exploration and production from BNE's Daniel Gutierrez (in blue overalls).

Full Service Airline

With over 180 daily

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and Flores in


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Dr Bon i nhomas, Director oJ the center or Environmental Communications at Loyola
University, explains the difference between a garbage dump and a sanitary landfill.
7' A


I. IS ReadS S I~~Independent Oniea tp/blieescmidpnen rht:/iyrgcm25p ae1

---E (Continued From Page 11)
ample. Still our journalists are just now
becoming engaged in the fight for the
dissemination of all information on en-
vironmental issues.
In this effort, The Belize Environ-
mental Reporters Network (BERN)
was formed last December coming
out of the first meeting at St.
George's Caye. This past weekend,
through the sustained assistance of
local & international conservation
organizations, experts on environ-
mental reporting flew in from the
United States to participate in their
Second International Center for
Journalists' Environmental Journal-
ism Workshop.
It's a project at the International
Center for Journalism in Washing-
ton DC and it's funded by Pro-
tected Areas Conservation Trust of
Belize and the OAK Foundation.
Funds have also come in from the
National Fish and Wildlife Founda-
tion in Washington DC.
Independent Weekly's editor had the
opportunity earlier this year to visit the
International Center for Journalists in
Washington, DC. Shortly after that trip
we designated an environmental editor
for the paper.
Many of you may know William
Ysaguirre as a freelance sports reporter,
but the man who holds an HNC in
Chemistry from London is also a key
environmental reporter and editor. He
participated in both workshops and filed
his front page report in this issue of the
paper. There were over a dozen
Belizean journalists and key local & in-
ternational presenters at the three day
workshop in Chaa Creek this past
Professor Bob Thomas from Loyola
University of New Orleans, workshop
facilitator, said that the reason for the
workshop was to talk primarily about
journalism skills, about new tools inj our-
nalism that can help the communication
of information through various media
houses. Environmental journalism is
multi-disciplinary and the international
team did a wonderful job of choosing
topics and site visits to better sensitize
the jornali sts about the nuances ofthi
type of reporting.
Key areas of discussion focused on
oil and the environment and the runoff
of agricultural pesticides into water
ways, potable water contamination.
whereas last year's workshop at the
caye focused more on the reef ecosys-
Here's what some of the participants
had to say about what was a highly suc-
cessful workshop:
"Thi roponnnihilitx i lft ncww ith ni

NEAC's Dr. Candy Gonzalez explains
journalists. We need to do our part in
sending the messages to the public." -
Claudelle Serano, Love FM
"I really learnt a lot from this work-
shop. I had a chance to hear both sides
of the issues that are affecting our coun-
try." Kera Bowen, Plus TV Belmopan
"It was very useful for my knowledge
to further develop these skills so as to
write about it and get the public in-
formed/educated/aware on these sen-
sitive environmental issues."
"These workshops have opened my
eyes and I now see things I would have
missed before."- Ian Leiva, Reef Ra-
dio San Pedro


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Independent Weekly

It is with profound
sadness that we
announce the death
of four year old
miniature Schnauzer,
Lucia Staines, who
was euthanized due
to a terminal illness

SI *

on Saturday, August > ,
4, 2007, in Belize City. .
Lucia is survived by
her mother and care
giver, Rosalie T. Staines, her big brother
Nicholas Staines and many friends. Lucia was
a beautiful, loving and loyal companion,
friend and bodyguard who will be
tremendously missed but never forgotten by
all those who knew and loved her during her
short four years of life with us.
Sincere appreciation goes out to Ms. Susan
Wilken who gave tremendous support and
assistance to Rosalie during her time of
sadness. We also thank Dr. Patricio Rivero
Medina of Chetumal, Q.Roo, Michael
Deshield, Jane Crawford, Sheila Schmeling
& Rosie Flores who cared for and treated
Lucia during her illness.



Friday, August 17, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 13

HIS: a way to meet friends or

a way to scandalize them?

By: Julia Heusner &
Robin Schaffer

We understand that there are approxi-
mately 38,000 Belizeans who use intemet
websites regularly to make friends (or so
we've heard recently on atalkshow). Hi5
is one of the more popular internet sites.
Many of you know what Hi5 is. But are
you aware of the dangers of it?
For those of you who are not aware of
thewebsite, letus explain. Hi5 is an intemet
website whereby people join to meet
friends. People usually putup pictures and
information about themselves that others
are free to comment on. Sounds innocent
So what are the dangers one might ask.
There seems nothing wrong with trying to
make friends, but is everyone there for
just that? When you are talking to some
one on the intemet anyone can be behind
the computer. So for example, 13 year
old Jamie from Alaska may actually be
47 year old Bob from Belize (pervert).
So then how are you sure if you are inter-
acting with someone your own age, or
with a sexual predator? The fact of the
matter is you can never be sure. So then
why do you do it? Why do you put pic-
tures of yourself that some sick pervert
can copy and paste to wherever he or
she may wish. (porn site!). So then, why
expose yourself?

Hi Irene I'd like to add you to my hi5 friends net-
work. You have to confirm that we are friends, and
we'll each get to meet more people. Please approve
or reject my request by accessing the hi5 web site:

Accept Friend))
What someone else takes from the
internet, you CAN NOT CONTROL.
Even if you do not care, think of what it
can do to your reputation. Do you want
years from now for your child to stumble
into a porn site with you on it? Or if you
want to run for minister, do you really want
the public to see a naked picture of you?
(THINK PEOPLE!)Also, be careful with
what you do with your pictures, or who

Thanks, A friend
takes them. Because even if you do not
post it up on the internet, who is to stop an
ex-friend or ex boyfriend/girlfriend? In our
personal experience we've had a friend
who was scandalized by a group of re-
vengeful ex-friends.
They created a Hi5, using her name and
email, and they took pictures of her and
other people she hung out with and posted
it up on the net. They accompanied this

with terrible comments that demeaned her
character and embarrassed her family.
When our friend noticed she was getting
Hi5 requests, she knew something was
wrong. (busted!) Eventually the truth
came out and parents were involved.
The whole point of this is BE CARE-
FUL. Make sure you know where pic-
tures that people take of you go, and re-
member that whatever you put on the
internet is available to EVERYONE.
Technology isn't bad. It's howyou use it,
so be smart and USE YOUR HEAD!

Information Security

ARIES (Mar. 21- April 20)
Deceit with coworkers is apparent.
You can ask for favors but don't take
them for granted. Be diplomatic but
stem. Someone you least expect may
not have your best interests at heart.
Your lucky day this week will be Mon-
TA URUS (Apr. 21- May 21)
You won't have to look for the ac-
tion. You will be able to pick up on fu-
ture trends if you keep your eyes peeled
for unique ideas. Don't let someone talk
you into parting with your cash unless
you can truly see the benefits of doing
so. You will be too quick to point your
finger at your mate. Your lucky day this
week will be Monday.
GEMINI (May 22-June 21)
Don't be too hard on your mate. Set
your goals and stick to your guns. You
can make some favorable changes to
your looks. You can expect to feel con-
fused about your personal prospects.

Your lucky day this week will be Fri-
CANCER (June 22-July 22)
You need to get out and be an ob-
server. Think hard before going into
business with friends or family. You will
be overly generous with children this
week. Children may be difficult to
handle. Your lucky day this week will
be Wednesday.
LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You can discuss your findings behind
closed doors with your boss. You can
sell your ideas to those who have the
money to back them. Try not to make
waves. Don't start a dispute unless
you're prepared to accept irreversible
results. Your lucky day this week will
be Wednesday.
VIRGO (Aug. 23 -Sept. 23)
Take action. You mustn't give too
much to your children. You can win if
you're open and up front with your
boss. Refrain from using the highway

as a racetrack. Your lucky day this week
will be Friday.
LIBRA (Sept. 24 -Oct. 23)
Your involvement in sports or enter-
tainment will lead to new romances.
Children might be on your mind. Don't
hesitate to make special plans just for
two. Your lover may be annoyed if you
have been flirtatious or not attentive to
their needs. Make plans that will take
you to exotic destinations. Your lucky
day this week will be Sunday.
SCORPIO (Oct. 24 Nov. 22)
Your unique contribution to the orga-
nization will enhance your reputation.
Your high energy will help you through
this rather hectic day. Residential moves
will also be advantageous for all con-
cemed. Payoff all your debts before you
go out and celebrate. Your lucky day
this week will be Tuesday.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 -Dec.
Don't take offense at comments
made by coworkers. New relation-
ships could evolve through group ac-
tivities. This will not be the day to lend
money to friends or family. Some of
your new friends may not be that
trustworthy. Your lucky day this week

will be Wednesday.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22.- Jan. 20)
You could be quite erratic regard-
ing your personal relationship. You can
make a difference if you offer your
help at functions that involve children.
If you're already in a relationship, use
this added energy passionately. Your
childlike quality may get you into big
trouble this week if you neglect your
responsibilities. Your lucky day this
week will be Wednesday.
AOUARIUS (Jan. 21 -Feb. 19)
Changes in your home may be
alarming at first. Your social skills with
people may be more than just help-
ful. Keep your thoughts to yourself for
the time being. You will have the dis-
cipline and fortitude to accomplish
what you want this week. Your lucky
day this week will be Wednesday.
PISCES (Feb. 20-Mar. 20)
You have more energy than the rest
of the people you live with anyway.
You will find travel and lectures most
stimulating. You can come up with fu-
ture trends in creative fields. Try to
be there for someone if they need as-
sistance. Your lucky day this week will
be Wednesday.

Your weekly


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www~otcJ ivecra ventu rcs.com

I. IS ReadS S I~~Independent Oniea tt:/eieewgo/nepneto *-:/iyrlcm25 P age1

-- E (Continued From Page 1)
its contractual right to move and change
jurisdiction and go to foreign Arbitra-
tion, hopefully there are mechanisms in
place for recourse within international
law to make an appeal or challenge the
result in that same chosen jurisdiction..
Maybe the Association for Concerned
Belizeans should explore this matter and
if there is recourse they could bump it
up to the Supreme Court of England.
They may view things differently--ethi-
cally and morally--after all, Britain gave
up its hold on Belize a long time ago.
The Crown may not look too kindly on
one of its citizens controlling the
economy of their Queen's former colo-
The fact of the matter is Mr. Ashcroft
is a very wealthy man and he did not
get to be this wealthy by being foolish.
He has companies that conducts busi-
ness in most of the Caribbean Islands

g-.I(Continued From Page 2)
up in time for the big party?
Yes, Evan X is right, the campaign has
been on for some months now. It is
obvious from the tv ads, the cosmetic
changes, leadership tours and flurry of
press releases extolling the virtues of the
aspiring representatives and the various
government departments generally in hi-
bernation except around election time.
The machinery is in full swing.
It is campaigning as usual, as ifBelize
has not changed and everything is as it
was before. Splash the countryside with
colorful t-shirts, toss some money
around and the stupid fools will forget
everything they have been subjected to.
Loyal subj ects all who will turn out on
National Day and wave their little flags
and grin up with their leaders, allow their
photos to be taken, grinning like idiots
when some political Boss puts his arm
around them and says "Say Cheese."
Then slips them some cheddar and
emails the picture to the party paper for
publication, or orders the videotape
edited in time for the 6:30 news.
Well, I am sorry Mr. Politician (there
are so few Ms Politicians as to be neg-
ligible) I do not vote for you based on
some crappy park you park some
benches in, some handouts you hand-
out, some projects you launch that will
never get off the ground, donations of
used, expired or rejected equipment or
supplies or hustled from do-gooders in
other countries. I vote based on your
track record and performance in office.
And if you have no prior list of achieve-
ments, or misdeeds, then I evaluate you

(all previous British Colonies with simi-
lar British Common laws as Belize). He
should know these country's laws, the
proper procedures and protocol. He
also knows the "Art of the deal" (see
his website), he knows the legal perim-
eters; he knows the "Danger Zones" he
has an entourage of top attorneys. Did
he and his attorneys not know that size
of the Universal Health Service Deal re-
quired Cabinet approval???? I smell a
Big Dead Rat.......sorry, a huge dead
George ....ahh .... Charlie Price!
"Cavet Emptor," I say to you Mr.
Ashcroft, he premier rule in business:
Buyer/Investor Beware!
In the past, the Belizean press has
revealed that Mr. Ashcroft has done
business with these same Belizean Poli-
ticians before with unfavorable results.
We Belizeans remember Intelco !!!
Why then should innocentBelizeans pay
for more apparent "mistakes?" Why

based on your stand on reform and cam-
paign financing limits, poverty alleviation,
your commitment to creating jobs and
opportunities and making educational
opportunities available. It is not about
thej okes you tell or your silver tongue
and ability to talk your way out of a lie.
I don't care how many little old ladies
thinkyou are sexy or young women want
to have your babies. Its not about per-
sonality, it's about performance, integ-
rity and all those other cliches, yes, even
Some say the economic train has
stalled, some say it lost direction, oth-
ers say it was badly driven. I can reach
only one conclusion: the train was only
ever intended to carry first class pas-
sengers. All the other cars were de-
tached early on and left to sit on the
tracks abandoned, the passengers left
like National Transport riders to find their
own way to their destination while those
who rode up front barreled off at high
speed to get to the goodies first and hide
it from the rest of us.
I cannot and will not support any eco-
nomic policy which only pursues one
goal: self enrichment of those in power
and at the expense of those without. I
cannot and will not support any politi-
cian who refuses to acknowledge any
wrongdoing or corrupt acts, or any who
covered them up. I will not vote for any
man or woman who is so foolish as to
admit he or she "deserves" to be elected
because it is his/her turn at the trough. I
will not accept t-shirts of free beer or
meals or rides to rallies or payment for
my vote. I do not need your nationality

should we pay for what may actually
be an act of collusion and corruption?
Hey, I have an idea Mr. Ashcroft, why
not go directly after the two people who
defrauded you through their mis-repre-
sentation and circumventing of the
Belizean people. Go after their personal
assets! They have milked us royally.
Leave the innocent alone!
The issue is clear.... "What is legal and
what is illegal"? I strongly believe that
there is an imposed reverse onus when
doing business directly with any
country's government; an implied obli-
gation for due legal process and extra
caution exercised when using tax-pay-
ers money to fund deals (especially ob-
vious, "conflict ofinterest" private deals
using the people's money). This is the
basis of Common Sense... Honesty...
Prudence... Good Faith in a country's
I dare say Mr. Ashcroft... .that on

papers or promise of a job or favors. I
do not need you as much as you need
me and you need to remember that.
I have but two requests from the man
wanting my vote. Bring the cost ofgaso-
line down to $7 or less a gallon and do
something for my sisters who are being
laid off just down the road from my
home, in my community. Because they
are about to punish, and badly.
Help them, not with handouts, but with
real opportunities to do something to
generate income or get a decent job.
If you can start with these women and
theirfamilies, help them maintain their dig-
nity for their years of service to those
companies and this country, THEN I will
begin to believe you Believe in Belize.
Only then.

such a huge deal as UHS, we believe
that your T's... should have been legally
crossed and you I's ethically dotted!
At the risk of pontificating: people
who have been elected into a position
of power and authority are given a
unique and special opportunity to do
"real good" for your people. Instead,
you betrayed and stole from them. You
may feel that you are not accountable
to ANYONE but you will be account-
able to your GOD! You may think you
will live forever.....you think you can
take it all with you.. you think that your
estate will flourish from your sins... .but
your sins will find you and your children
and their children as it is written Psalm
32.23. I don't know about you people,
but I am a God fearing man and I don't
like being double-benked. Or double
By: Charles Lawrence

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Friday, August 17, 2007 The INdependent Reformer Page 15

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Miss El Salvador, Marta Elena Martinez Vidal (photo by Shamir Guererro)

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Miss Mexico Isis Amor Barerra (photo by Shamir Guererro)

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~1{~) i'~ IA

IME (Continued From Page 1)
to do whatever it wants, when it wants,
and how it wants on the Peninsula. If
the GOB won't even support our by-
laws, why would they support a regional
planning authority which would be an
even greater threat? And, in fact, Pen-
insula-wide planning already took place
when the Peninsula was made part of
the Mango Creek Special Development
District. The "zoning" of the Peninsula
that took place as part of the Special
DevelopmentArea planning process has
been simply ignored by the GOB.
However, if Mr. Krohn would like to
try to develop a Peninsula PlanningAu-
thority, PCSD will support this effort and
offer any assistance that we can to make
a Peninsula planning authority a reality.
As for the road, well. November -
maybe. First a start was promised this
ear for March, then July, now Novem-
ber. Frankly, people on the Peninsula
have been through this road dance so
many times that our dancing shoes have
worn out from the dust, potholes and
rocks with which our road is STILL
lined. (Paving of the road was first
promised around 1998.) Water and the
aquifer? According to the engineers that
we've talked to, the amount of water in
our aquifer CAN be measured. How-
ever, it will require the assistance of the
GOB because it will be expensive. And,
should people on the Peninsula be re-
quired to sacrifice the good, pure wa-
ter we now have just to line the pock-
ets of developers? One of the engi-
neers we discussed this with is a man
who is a registered civil engineer, has
owned and operated 7 water compa-
nies in the State of Maine and has well
over 50 years experience in the field.

At present, at the age of 92, he is chair-
man of the Clean Water Committee for
the State of Maine. Here's what he has
to say:
The first and most important issue is
to not issue any more permits for con-
struction until the water supply situation
has been studied and recommendations
made and accepted by the authorities
for future growth-and this should in-
clude down to single family occupancy.
This is vital. Regarding aquifer capacity
- it is a three dimensional matter -
width, length, and depth measurements
are needed to start. Depth from sur-
face to bedrock is the costly, explor-
atory factor and while test drilling in
sand overburden at scattered points will
provide some info, bedrock permeabil-
ity must be explored, depending on type
of rock-coral, metamorphic, etc. If the
geological formation on the Peninsula
is similar to that of the three wells [dug
and tested by Ara Macao], you have a
lot of info to start. However, under-
ground formations can vary tremen-
dously so one has to be careful-the
two areas might be worlds apart in their
formations. The first step is to hire an
experienced engineer who has a track
record in the field and he/she will lead
you on.
We would very much appreciate the
assistance of Mr. Krohn as well as the
assistance of all the developers on the
Peninsula to measure aquifer capacity -
BEFORE we run out of water. (Many
experts predict that within the next 50
years, wars may be fought over water.
Water is critical to human life and ask-
ing the people of Peninsula to sacrifice
their water is simply untenable.)
The members of PCSD believe that

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sustainable development of the
Placencia Peninsula can occur only
through viable public and private part-
nerships that work to make the Penin-
sula a better place for all of us. And,
we are eager to work with developers
who come to build and not destroy.
Mr. Krohn's development, which is
low density, and has attempted to em-
brace the natural environment of the
Peninsula, is exactly the kind of devel-
opment we would like to see on the
Peninsula. Unfortunately, most of the
developments currently under construc-

from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

tion are not.
And, we cannot and will not support
developments that ignore our culture
and our community and the potentially
adverse effects of their developments
on us.

I Now available

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Announcement of

Sale of Business

This article is to give notice that the business known as
C@f6 Caye operating at 12 Burns Ave, San Ignacio, Cayo
District is under contract for sale. Completion of sale to
take place 28th August 2007.
Any persons or businesses who believe they have outstand-
ing accounts to be paid from said business should contact;
Rainforest Realty, PO Box 195, San Ignacio, Cayo Dis-
trict, in writing 7 days before the date of completion.

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